Actions

Work Header

Lone Human

Chapter Text

Four hulking shadows, formed from the light of the moon, were the only sign that anything was stalking along the tree line. The shadows grew taller the closer they made it towards their destination; the back porch of the gigantic manor that stood in the middle of an opening in a secluded part of the forest. The house stood large and modern, a stark difference to the ancient woods around it with its towering redwoods and sprawling oaks.

The figures grew more bold in their action as they crept closer to the porch. A glimpse of rustic color fur was the first to break the clearing’s light. Followed by a swish of a black tail. The two tangled themselves in a heap landing sprawled out under the crescent moon, cover blown, not long after. Each wolf stood tall, rising to their full hight, a bit larger than your average canine. Brin, the black one may have been slightly taller. But Remus, the shaggy brown, was a bigger build of pure muscle. The two snarled playfully at each other. That was until Nymeria stepped out, her coat was white and light grey and much sleeker, head poised high, snout in the air. She may physically be smaller than her brothers but what she lacked in size she more than made up for in ferocity. Her siblings immediately quieted and fell in line behind her.

The three wolves trained their eyes on the tree line, looking for movement, and scenting the air. They had the general direction right. Nymeria narrowed her eyes. Just behind the bushes crouched low, she spotted it, two pinpricks of scarlet. She bared her teeth. Long white fangs glimmering threateningly in the night. Remus followed her lead. But Brin, lopped over and playfully tackled the figure. The larger black wolf allowed the other to push him down and the two rolled out into the clearing.

Derek Hale in his full wolf form howled long and loud. The three real wolves followed suit. The alpha was shaggier and larger than his natural counterparts and his coat was a darker shade of black than even Brin’s. The only other noticeable difference that set the ware apart from the wolves was the red glowing orbs, they screamed supernatural.

As the four wolves made their way up the back porch an on to the wooden deck, Derek shifted to open the back door. He led the way into his kitchen grabbing a pair of shorts and shirt he had folded up on a chair prior to his run so it would be ready to go. He was just ruffling his hair when he picked up one heartbeat too many and a familiar scent.

The alpha didn't bother raising his voice as he called for his uncle.

The man in question slipped into the room silently wearing a light colored v-neck and looking much the same. “Nephew! Alpha! How are you…”

“Peter! We haven't heard from you in three months?” Derek took a full look at his uncle. Stiles did a pack binding spell on all the members years ago, prior to everyone going off to college, that allowed the pack to sense when a member was in danger. Despite his uncle’s extended absence, he hasn't felt the warning. “Explain.”

“Ahhh, well, you see I heard an interesting rumor. One that had it panned out, would have been quite a shock for both of us. But, unfortunately, no, my effort was fruitless…” The older Hale shook his head.

“And you didn't have cell reception while chasing this rumor?” Derek raised an eyebrow.

“Actually, no and frankly electricity was a rare accommodation.” Peter made it clear that was the end of his interrogation by turning for the stairs, listening for heartbeats. “No Stiles?” He questioned.

“Last final was today, he should be back into town soon.” Derek frowned at the thought of his emissary and boyfriend being so far away.

“And home for the summer! I'll make myself scares, still leasing that loft of yours to Vernon and Erica?” Peter grinned largely at his nephew.

“Yes. But they are probably the most… active pack members…”

“Ah indeed, but they also care less about voyeurism and unlike you they are afraid enough to listen to me.” Peter’s grin widen.

Derek really didn't want the details and allowed his beta to head upstairs but the other man paused.

“Why did you smell so worried when I brought up our dear emissary?” Peter asked.

“He has been busy with finals, he was really stressed last time I talked to him, but that was almost two weeks ago, and…”

“You expect me to believe you two love birds went two weeks with out talking?” The older man interrupted.

Derek’s eyebrows only grew closer together in concern as a fresh wave of fear and anxiety clouded the air. “He sent a text to Scott today… he's just… busy…” the alpha sounded uneasy even if his heartbeat stayed true confirming the statement.

“Ah well, tomorrow then.” Peter replied looking a little troublesome himself.

***

The next day almost the entire pack was set to return from their perspective Schools. Erica, Boyd, and Isaac had all went to the local community college. Scott and Allison attended UC Davis and have been home for two days already. Despite their epic final break up in their senior year of high school the two stayed friends and happened to attend the same university. Isaac actually spent a lot of time in Sacramento with them. Stiles went to Berkeley and Danny went to Cal Tech and were both due home today. Lydia naturally had to go far for her dream of MIT, so her plane is landing in approximately two hours. But Jackson actually took the distance to a whole new level when he decided to head to Westminster in London. He wasn't due back until very early Saturday morning, so naturally that was when Erica was planning her kick off the summer pack party.

He didn't think he would see anyone else aside from Stiles who pretty much lived at the renovated Hale house during his summer breaks until then, so the alpha was surprised when he was awoken in the middle of the night by the smell of burning flesh, a scent he and Peter had grown too accustomed to years ago, it was one he never cared for. And, unfortunately it was a scent he had to accept now that their hellhound, deputy Parrish had sufficed for what he truly was; a guardian of the supernatural. Prior to her departure for school, Lydia had helped the young deputy discover himself and what the uncovered was well a hell hound, one that enjoyed walking around on fire, despite his alpha's will.

“Parrish its four in the morning! What?” Derek said aloud as he made his way to the front door.

When he answered it, Parrish faltered in his trance for a moment and seemed to recognize where he was and thankfully put out his flame.

“Sorry, Derek, uh alpha, uhhh I guess I had a vision again….” The two pointedly refused to look down, knowing one man was now naked without a flame to hide his more private locations.

“More dead bodies?” Derek asked with a sinking feeling. The last time the hellhound walked around unbeknownst to himself, the pack had dealt with several supernatural dead bodies. Stiles had gotten to the bottom of things and restored the balance in no time. It was very helpful having such a powerful druid as their emissary.

“No, vision, this was different, ummm maybe I should call the sheriff and get him in on this too?” Parrish looked a bit embarrassed that his sleepwalking took him to his alpha over his boss.

“Your vision?” Derek was loosing patience.

“Guns, lots of guns, hunters probably, hunters are coming.” The deputy looked into his alpha's eyes with round saucers. “And… at least one dead body, something supernatural if I'm seeing this vision…”

Derek gave a quick nod of his head. “Okay I'll put Stiles's dad on notice… and Argent. You should give Lydia a call in the morning, she landed late.”

“Yeah see if our banshee is getting any feelings…. The one we all love, impending doom…” Parrish nodded in agreement.

“Do you want shorts for your walk home?” Derek looked like he would rather not contaminate his clothing with the others scent.

“Yeah, sure thanks.” The deputy fidgeted in realization that he was in fact still naked in the pack’s kitchen.

“Here, I don't mind sharing…” Peter sauntered out of the darkness from the stairwell shorts in hand. “Keep them.” He added with a sneer, as the younger man put them on commando.

“Thanks…” Parrish said as he left the house giving the older wolf a wide berth, he hadn't seen his alpha's uncle in quite some time. He was naturally a little cautious.

“So…hunters?” Peter questioned his nephew.

“Hunters.” Derek said, familiar scowl in place.

***

The late night house visit didn't stop half his betas from noisily making themselves at home that morning and he was awoken to shouts of glee from Erica and groans of pain from both Scott and Boyd.

Derek headed down stairs to investigate.

The three were horsing around in the kitchen, egg was dripping from the wall. They all stopped in their tracks at the sight of their alpha.

“I want mine scrambled with cheese.” Derek addressed them. Scott and Boyd did some scrambling of their own before Scott pull out victoriously. Boyd was cooking breakfast.

Derek asked Scott as casually as he could about Stiles's last text. The emissary hadn't had time to respond to his as it were and the alpha was naturally a little concerned. While the two took it slow, very slow thanks to the sheriff, Derek and Stiles were almost inseparable when they were in the same town and had a very healthy text conversation full of many, many compromising photos… as well as terms of endearment. It was so unlike his boyfriend to be silent for this long.

Nymeria, Brin, and Remus chose that moment to come galloping into the kitchen, looking for love and attention from the pack. The three had become quite comfortable and accustomed to their ear scratches and belly rubs over the years. It was impossible not to spoil them.

Scott started to cart his fingers through Remus’s wiry fur. “I told you, he text me yesterday, said he'd be home today, was planning on surprising his dad at the station. He had to get a new phone like two weeks ago, said his was just lost, you know Stiles… maybe he doesn't know your number and is too afraid to admit it and ask one of us?” Scott shrugged unconcerned.

Derek did know Stiles. He knew that boy would never not know his number, he liked to memorize things for fun. And he would have for sure for emergency purposes, if anyone was prepared for the eventual end of the world or all hell to break loose, it was his boyfriend. But Derek didn't argue with the willfully obtuse twenty-one year old sitting at his table. He chose rather to give his attention to Nymeria who rested a head on his lap while eyeing Scott with disbelief.

Peter joined them in the kitchen followed closely by Isaac and Allison who were holding hands. That was a fairly new development and a brand new one for the oldest wolf who looked pointedly at the new couple and then back at Scott before turning to Allison again.

“Guys, she is a huntress. A hunter! Why? You know what never mind, I don't want to know.” Peter grabbed some toast and coffee and left the house. No vehicle was heard, so they knew the man had left on foot.

Everyone was silent for a minute before Erica piped up, “so uncle creeper is back, that will make Stiles happy at least!”

Chapter Text

Stiles was having a horrible day. He had loaded his Jeep up with everything from his dorm the night before to get an early start, but his efforts proved pointless as his new phone’s alarm failed to wake him. Now the soon-to-be junior was sitting in almost a stand still on the highway. He was still reeling with how unprepared he was for some of his finals. It was like he had missed half the material in class or something, there was so much that went over his head. It startled the usually composed young adult to be so out of his element in the classroom. It was probably because he went with his dorm mate to that end of the year kegger over the weekend. He didn't usually do stuff like that, but why not? He was hit on nonstop! And by beautiful people too. The brunette, she was smoking….

Screeeeeeeeech! BANG!

Stiles slammed on his breaks but not quickly enough. He just rear ended the car in front of him. Great!

The injured car pulled off the road and on to the shoulder. Stiles hit his flashers and joined them. A horrible day indeed.

***

The disgruntled young adult finally made it into Beacon Hills several hours late of his planned ‘surprised’ lunch with his father and he wasn't sure if he should still head to the station or home at this time of day. His father’s shift technically should be over, but the sheriff's schedule was never a given.

He opted to hit up the station first. While his dad wasn't there, Parrish was and he merrily welcomed the young man back for the summer.

“Thanks, deputy… Parrish!” Stiles peered at the officer’s badge. “I didn't see my dad's cruiser, but I figured I'd check his office before I head out. He's not in?”

The deputy hesitated for a minute at the unusual behavior. Stiles was typically pretty sarcastic and would crack a joke or two when ever Parrish was around. “He's probably at Melissa’s or the pack house, for dinner.”

Stiles looked confused by the statement but joyfully said he would head to the McCall’s.

***

Turns out Scott's house was empty too.

Stiles begrudgingly headed home. Perhaps his dad would be there. He really wanted to surprise his old man, even if his father definitely knew his last final was yesterday as they had chatted about how (well!?) school was going. The twenty-one year old may have fibbed a bit on how prepared he was for those tests.

His driveway was empty however and no lights were on. Hemmm, interesting. Stiles decided he would take the alone time to empty his Jeep and perhaps look into hiding the new scratch on his front bumper. His big hunker of a Jeep was no match for the tiny Ford Fiesta that now sported some cracked fiberglass, but as they were moving at a snail’s pace, it was really more of a bump than an accident. A bump that would increase Stiles's already outlandish insurance premiums….

As he unpacked and reacquainting himself with his room he noticed some odd things that just didn't belong. His dad must be using Stiles's desk for extra storage for old books. It had to be related to a case but still, it was really out of place for his dad to work in here. He had an office of his own just downstairs.

It was past dinner time by then, and his father still hadn't come home. The young man wasn't sure where he could be so he decided to cave and text. His dad said he was at the pack house and that he was glad his son was home safe. The pack house? The officer from the station mention that, maybe it was like a new restaurant or something. And, he sort of safely made it here, as he ‘forgot’ to mention the fender-bender… But, there was no need to correct his dad via text, that was a conversation they could have later in person, if at all.

Stiles was really confused at this Pack House place though, but decided to brush it off for now. He text Scott instead.

Scott took an extraordinarily long time to respond. It was dark out side when he received a ‘WHERE ARE YOU’ message in all caps. He replied back saying he was home and his phone rang almost instantly.

“Dad?” That was strange he just texted Scott, right?

“Son. Why are you home? Your friends are waiting for you, official party isn't until tomorrow when Whittemore gets back from London, but still, get your butt over here.” His dad sounded like he may just have had a drink or two.

“Jackson! That asshole? Dad why are you at a party…. with Scott?” Stiles felt a slight pang of jealousy that his dad was so close with his best friend that they would be at a welcome home for the summer party together, without him?! And drinking! They were of age finally, so It could happen, but the only time Stiles had drank with his father was when his dad visited campus the weekend after his birthday. Where was this Welcome Back gathering? Why was the sheriff there at all, it seemed so weird

“Son, you and Jackson may have an interesting friendship, but he is like your best friend so you shouldn't call him that.” His father attempted to scold him, but the alcohol or the fact that Stiles was now an adult hindered the affect.

“Sure thing.” Stiles responded brushing him off.

“So when are you coming over? Your boyfriend won't stop moping…” The sheriff said in a teasing voice.

What? Boyfriend? Scott? So many questions but that was for a sober father-son conversation.

“Listen dad, today was really long. I just… I think I'm going to head to bed early, I have a bit of a headache. See you in the morning? Keep an eye on Scott for me… I hope Melissa is there to keep an eye on you, too!” Stiles’s head hurt a bit. The last thing he needed was to corral his father home. If he was embarrassing Scott at this party, well that was Scott's problem. Stiles only felt slightly guilty at the thought.

“Mel's here. She misses you too! We actually wanted to talk with you and Scott…”

“Dad. Tell her I miss her and love her and I'll see you all in the morning!” Stiles interrupted. His head was really starting to hurt. Serves him right.

“Ah okay son…. do you want to talk to…” His dad tried to switch tactics.

“No, it's cool, tell him I'll see him tomorrow too.” Stiles said nonchalantly, referring to Scott.

“Oh, okay. Get some rest. I'll head home soon.” His father sounded disappointed.

“Not too soon, you'll head home when your sober!” Stiles warned jokingly. After all the you better never drive under the influence conversation the two had had prior to his sixteenth birthday, his father knew better than to risk it.

“Yeah, of…of course.” Stiles's father really did sound like he was sad that his son wasn't joining them, wherever they were.

“ ‘Night, dad!” Stiles bit out.

“Good night, son.” The sheriff added reluctantly.

His headache seemed to be getting worse by the minute, so after a quick bathroom trip to brush his teeth, Stiles really did go to bed.

***

He was awoken the next day by a knock on his bedroom door. It's his dad, dressed in his uniform and looking as if he didn't have a wild night of partying with twenty-something-year-old’s the night before, so that was good at least.

“Feeling better? Scott is downstairs. Saw the scrape on your Jeep, that is a conversation we will be having…. What are your plans for the summer? You staying here?” The sheriff added looking around the very moved back into room.

“Yeah, of course. I was hoping to pick up a part time job at the library or something, but yeah, I'll be here.” Stiles responded groggily.

“A job? Werewolf and magic isn't enough to keep you busy these days?” His father questioned.

“What?” Stiles was so confused.

“Okay. See you late tonight. My shift is 'til ten. Long one.” His father added business like as he disappeared from the doorway.

***

As promised, Scott was waiting for him in the kitchen, helping himself to cereal. The sugary kind, that Stiles certainly would not let his dad buy.

“Eat two bowls of that, we need to get rid of it.” Stiles gestured. “How was your semester?”

The two friends had talked regularly over the last couple of months of school, so it wasn't like they had much to catch up on. But, they spent the morning talking test and classes and professors and cute girls who were in Scott's coed dorms. Stiles was just about to tell him about the brunette he had met at the party a week ago, when Scott changed the subject.

“But enough about me, we have to get going to the vets! Erica would kill me if I forgot the wolvesbane.” Scott stood up abruptly.

“What? Wolvesbane? Like the plant? Scott I don't…” Stiles tried to tell his friend.

But Scott tilted his head and held up his finger. “Never mind, they are coming here! Damn alpha misses you…”

“What!? How do you?” But this time Stiles was interrupted by his front door banging open and several leather clad individuals barging in.

How did Scott know? Who were these people? Stiles head hurt just thinking about it and he glared at the intruders with a look of pure shock.

The good looking one with startlingly pretty eyes didn't halt in his stride as he came straight for the appalled young adult who had yet to form words to describe his confusion and terror? at having these individuals infiltrate his home uninvited. But they seemed friendly, at least, as Stiles was scooped up into welcoming arms.

“Missed you.” The larger man whispered.

“Ummm. Scott?” Stiles looked to his friend who was chatting away happily with the curly haired guy. He looked a bit intimidating. But Stiles did have some decent biceps now, he could probably take him. Which was the exact opposite of the thought he had when looking at the tall, dark guy in the back. He seemed reserved, and had an arm protectively around a blond lady who had a huge grin, but Stiles knew the outcome of a fight between himself and that man, and he would not fare well.

“Stiles! You look like you've kept up on your pull ups!” The blond commented appreciatively. She looked sort of familiar. Like from high school, maybe.

“Erica. I think your making him nervous!” The curly haired boy said. “Your heartbeat is racing, you okay man?” He added looking at Stiles, who's eyes were round as he appeared over the shoulder of the man who hugged him.

“Yeah Stiles, what's wrong?” Scott asked.

The man who held him seemed to be the leader, everyone in his kitchen turned to him for direction as he let go and looked concerned for the stranger he just hugged. Stiles wasn't sure what to say. Scott at least seemed to know these people and did that one say he could hear his heartbeat?

“Stiles?” Pretty eyes questioned.

“Ummm. What?” Why was everyone looking at him like he was the one acting strangely.

Their leader, as Stiles had dubbed him in his head, scrunched his eyebrows up in confusion.

“We’re all meeting at the house later, after Jackson gets situated. And Lydia is still napping, but we missed you and you didn't come over yesterday so we're coming to get you, early!” The blond, Erica, explained.

“Jackson? Whittemore? He is like the last person I want to see this summer and who's house? And Lydia! She's going to be there?” Stiles definitely had a full on headache as he tried to understand everything he was being told.

“Well, pack house! And of course Lydia will be there! Are you and Jackson fighting or something? When he came out to you after highschool, you guys were like suddenly best friends. It was so funny watching Scott pine for your friendship for once…” She smirked at Scott who frowned at the memory.

“What? Whittemore’s gay? Is… is Lydia single then, my ten year plan may have to become a fifteen or sixteen but…” Stiles trailed off nudging Scott with his elbow.

Scott frowned and looked to their leader who was suddenly looking devastated.

“What? What did I say?” Stiles asked again as everyone turned to look at him with matching faces of disbelief.

“It's just, I mean you haven't made a pass for Lydia in years, and I don't know, to do it in front of Derek, it's just wrong, I guess.” Scott muttered as he indicated the burly looking stranger who was easily the most upset by what Stiles had said.

“What? Why?” Stiles addressed Scott.

“Well I mean to show interest in Lydia with your boyfriend…”

“Boyfriend!?” Stiles screeched. “Tell that to the brunette I was trying to tell you about, buddy, she had these long legs, like a model, Scott, a model and she came up to me!? Can you believe it?” Stiles raised a fist to Scott as he spoke; the universal sign by dudes everywhere to ‘pound it’ when a brother was talking about a possible conquest. Scott didn't react however and looked if possible even more upset by Stiles's response.

This was nothing however, when compared to the group’s leader who took a step back and glared. The blond next to him sucked in a deep breath, audibly. The curly haired guy shifted his feet nervously.

“Umm. Maybe we should go?” The well muscled man near the back said. He was silent prior to that recommendation and his suggestion startled the group which turned everyone's attention away from Stiles.

“What? No way! We haven't seen Stiles in forever, we miss him!” Erica protested.

“I don't think the feeling is mutual.” The curly haired one stammered.

Yes, maybe they should all leave as they weren't invited in to begin with. Stiles had just opened his mouth to say this when the pretty eyed leader nodded in agreement.

“Lets leave you two to catch up. See you guys tonight… I guess.” The man backed away with a look of deep hurt easily readable on his face, it was almost heart wrenching. Stiles was still confused. They came into his home, who are they to be upset by Stiles’s lack of reaction for them? These friends of Scott's. He rubbed his temples as they continued to pound.

“Dude, that was harsh!” Scott scolded his friend.

Stiles shot him a look of contempt. “They came in to my house, I was just being honest with your friends, I didn't do anything and I definitely could have as they were not welcomed in.”

The other young adult shook his head and said he had to go as well, Erica wanted him to get the drink enhancers from Deaton for the party and they could talk then.

“What party?” Stiles asked with frustration.

“The pack party… werewolf pack! We haven't been all together in forever, Peter's home even!” Scott said as he placed his bowl in the sink.

Stiles was trying to come up with a reasonable response to that ludicrous statement but was just gaping at his friend like a fish without water. Who was Peter?

“Later, man.” Scott clamped him on the shoulder as he left.

Stiles still didn't have a response and he was usually the witty one.

Instead of pondering the oddities that took place in his kitchen, the twenty-one year old decided he would use the late morning to get a jump start on placing a few job applications around town and then treat himself to lunch at his favorite diner afterwards.

***

Something was up....Something strange was going on between Stiles's father and Scott and that really built guy with the scruff and pretty eyes. And all those leather clad followers... what was the deal with the blond one, Erica?... Her name sounded familiar. What was Scott doing with them? Did he join a motorcycle gang while Stiles was away at school? Their was something going on and his dad knew, his best friend knew, and for some reason Stiles didn't. The college student pondered this while he made his way into the diner, he hasn't been there since last summer. Sam, the owner/cook greeted him. Sam was nice, always knew his order, often gave him a milkshake while he waited. Sam was familiar, at least he wouldn't be acting so strangely... claiming there was a pack of werewolves in town, what was Scott thinking? Surely his best friend didn't think he would fall for that?

“Hey kid, long time no see!” Sam greeted his customer as he wiped his greasy hands with a rag.

“The usual.” Stiles responded as he took a seat at the bar. “Glad to see your still cooking!”

“And where would your father sneak his weekly burger and curly fries if I wasn't here to make it for him?” Sam grinned with crinkled eyes. “Where is that wolf pack of yours? I haven't seen you with out your babies since you were in your high school days? Or your boyfriend for that matter, nice kid. Great tipper.”

Stiles was shocked into silence yet again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Jackson was the second to last to arrive that evening for Erica's official kick off the summer party and he joined the guys and she-wolf in the backyard who were playing a friendly game of lacrosse. Peter was manning the grill while Lydia and Allison gossiped idly on the porch steps. The red head shrieked excitedly as the huntress told her of her budding relationship with Isaac. This caught Parrish’s attention who missed an easy pass from Boyd.

Derek offered a beer to the parents of the pack as they occupied the patio set on the deck. Melissa had managed to get off of her shift early and arrived with the sheriff. Derek eyed the two knowingly, he glanced at Scott who was oblivious to the small familiar touches between his mother and friend’s father. Chris came too and talked about the latest hunter news, apparently there was wolves causing a stir to their north and the pack should be on the lookout for possible omegas coming through. Derek shared Parrish’s late night warning, ‘and he is sure it was hunters with guns?’ The group continued to discuss possible meanings.

Remus ran around the game chasing after the ball. Brin laid protectively at the alpha's feet. But Nymeria seemed to know their party was one guest shy as she sat staring at the back door, expectantly.

“He will come, Nymers, he'll be here.” Peter whispered to the nervous wolf as he tossed her a crumpled burger patty.

Derek looked at the back door with a face of disbelief equal to Nymeria’s.

***

As the first round of burgers were being plated the lacrosse game finished and the hungry wolf pack piled around the table all eagerly hoping they would be fed first. To everyone's disappointment, the parents, Parrish, and Derek himself took almost the entire plate. Erica was the only lucky young adult to score a patty. She slowly added condiments while teasing the boys.

Lydia didn't mind the lack of burger meat and made herself a salad while waiting. Once she returned from the kitchen with dressing, she asked, “so, I know you guys said Stiles was acting weird this morning but like if he doesn't show… are we going to go get him or something?”

“He was more than just typical Stiles odd, though, I got the feeling he didn't want us around…” Isaac replied.

“What did he say after we left?” Erica asked Scott. Derek gave his full attention to the beta, he was really curious about this as well.

“I'm not sure. I didn't really stay much longer, I had to go to Deaton’s you know, he just wanted me to eat all of the Frosted Flakes.” Scott shrugged.

“Hey! You didn't though? You saved me some, right?” The sheriff asked hopeful.

“Ahhhh….” Scott looked sheepish, “sorry.”

“So he didn't say anything like why he would talk about liking some chick with long legs or why he hasn't called me in over two weeks or why he wouldn't show up tonight?” Derek snapped.

No one responded as the anger was easily felt by all, werewolf or not.

“Let me just text him.” The sheriff suggested with a frown as he started typing away on his phone. He knew it was typical for couples to grow apart with distance, and that college was full of temptation. The man may be in his late fifties, but he remembered that much of his early twenties at least. But, he really liked his son’s boyfriend. Hale was always respectful and caring. He was protective of his son which was a godsend as his son was so very careless with his life. He had hoped that they would be together for a long time and had even grew to liken the man as a son of his own over the years. So it was troubling to see his kid put such little effort into his relationship.

“Don't bother, he'd be here if he wanted to.” Derek grumbled.

“He just asked me for the address…?”

“What!? Let me see that!” Lydia demanded reaching for the phone.

Sure enough there it was, Stiles's father had asked him to come to the pack house and Stiles had replied with one word, ‘address?’

“This is really odd.” Lydia looked contemplative.

“No one has felt the warning when one of us is injured recently, right?” Allison asked.

“Does that even work for Stiles? Since it was his magic that set up the bond between us all?” Melissa questioned with concern.

“I'm not sure.” Derek admitted.

“We might have to ask the vet.” Erica piped up.

“He's leaving for a personal trip to South America this evening.” Peter announced as he set another plate of patties down.

Scott eyed him suspiciously. It would seem the sneaky older beta still kept tabs on Deaton.

Most of the pack was lost in thought and were surprised that the second set of burgers had finished.

***

They were still in the back yard some thirty minutes later when the wolves’ ears perked up at the sound of the familiar blue Jeep. Nymeria sprang into life with excitement as she paced by the back door, white tail waggling. Rather than see the familiar face come outside as they had a hundred times before, however, they heard a knock on the door.

“I guess, I guess I'll answer it.” Derek made his way over, Nymeria right behind him.

As he swung open the door telling his boyfriend and emissary he was always welcomed to enter as he should know already, he immediately sensed the discomfort coming from the younger man. Stiles was wearing a plaid over shirt and jeans, his longer hair looked like he put little effort into it and maybe even like he was rubbing his head subconsciously. He looked worried and smelled anxious but that smell was immediately overtaken by pure fear as the young man stepped back at the sight of Nymeria. She was a full grown wolf, canines and all, but she had never in all of Stiles’s life, ever threatened her father figure. Stiles had raised her from the early age of just two months and she adored the twenty-one year old. Her tail swished happily despite the standoffish behavior her favorite person was emitting.

Stiles was terrified. He followed his GPS to what he thought would lead him to a restaurant and was surprised and concerned when Google Maps had him turning towards the preserve. He diligently continued to follow the path, even against his better judgment and was blown away by the beautiful house it led to. It was a huge two story. He would have left had it not been for the fact that Scott's bike and his father's cruiser were both parked in the yard.

The young man reluctantly knocked on the door. His head hurt a bit and he was no closer to figuring out what everyone in this small town seemed to know about wolves and packs and pack houses that he didn't. He wasn't too surprise that pretty eyes open the door with a look of confusion on his face. Stiles took a moment to appreciate how much more human the man appeared in the white Henley over the dark leather he had seen earlier before he took in the hulking giant dog behind him. This dog looked friendly enough but couldn't hide her sharp fangs and telltale wolf like features. He instantly began to panic. Apparently the pack house meant real wolves, as in more than one. What was his dad doing here? This was turning into some kind of cult thing and it scared him to consider the possibilities.

Stiles glanced from the actual wolf to the man who calmly answered the door with that beast behind him. Maybe she was trained? To be honest, the young man didn't really care to find out.

“Ahh, my dad here?” He questioned, voice betraying how afraid he actually was.

“Stiles.” The man said as if that was a reasonable response.

The young adult stayed firmly on the front porch, keeping as much distance between himself and the wolf as possible. He was just about to ask again as it became apparent that the older man wasn't going to answer, when Nymeria had had enough of being ignored and she pranced over to her target to lick playfully.

Stiles, terrified, backed away and tripped while screaming as manly as possible given the situation. Nymeria took the laying down position as her opportunity to reacquaint her tongue to his face. She pounced and pinned her target with precision and speed that would have usually had earned her praise or love and affection. Confused on why her usually happy to see her parental figure was frozen in fear, the wolf eventually backed off a little and stared down at Stiles with her head cocked to the side in concern. Derek wore a similar expression and the look was mirrored on almost every member of the pack that crowded into the doorway to gaze at their emissary in confusion.

Stiles scrambled up and away from the three wolves that now stood with their ears back on the front porch emitting soft whines. He blindly reached for a forgotten lacrosse stick and held it like a baseball bat ready to swing should any of the wolves attempt to get close enough to lick him again.

“Stiles?” Derek questioned.

The young man's attention shifted from the white wolf who stood closest to him to the man with the pretty eyes. He looked for a reason for all of this to be happening, a reason his father and best friend was here, but couldn't come up with anything. Taking a few deep breaths he lowered the lacrosse stick to a less threatening stance and rubbed at his temple with his other hand, his headache was coming back with vengeance.

“Stilinski! Stiles! Jailbird! What the hell man I haven't seen you in months!” Jackson strode past the group and wolves as if he didn't just witness the odd behavior to reach his friend.

Stiles however only backed away further placing his second hand back on the lacrosse stick.

“Whoa. Whoa! Is this like a PTSD thing or something?” Jackson asked the group over his shoulder with a smirk, still not taking the situation seriously .

“What?” Stiles questioned. “Back off!” He pointed the stick at the former high school bully.

“Okay, no!” Jackson smiled his charming full grin. “We’re your pack! What's wrong with you?” The determined man took a step closer with each word.

“You should back off Jackson.” Boyd warned lazily.

“No.” Jackson snapped he let a bit of a growl out with those words and looked back at Stiles not with his usual icy blue orbs, but bright glowing unnatural eyes as he was becoming frustrated.

Stiles however reacted on instinct and slammed the lacrosse stick over the other man's head with such a force it snapped it in half. This didn't do anything to halt the advancing werewolf however who ripped the splintered half stick from Stiles's hands and had him pinned against the exterior wall.

“Do something! Do some magic! You should have me on my ass by now and instead your heart is beating so fast it's going to explo…”

The beta wolf was unable to finish that statement as he was sent flying by his alpha who turned his attention back to his boyfriend. “Are you okay? It's okay. We're not… we're not going to hurt you.” He gestured to the pack, several of whom shifted their eyes.

Stiles was instantly drawn to Scott’s. “Are you….are you okay?” He asked his best friend with concern.

“Yeah man. I'm good. We all are.”

***

It was several hours later with the entire pack sitting in the living room telling and showing Stiles different accounts of their supernatural life that the fact that this was real and happening seemed to fully register with the young man.

“So like you're telling me I'm pretty much Harry Potter, you're a wizard Stiles and all?” He asked with his first smile of the night. He sat with his dad on a couch to the left side of the room making sure he could keep and eye on the wolves location at all times. “And what about the wolves over there, or oh my gods! Are they actually people!? Can you guys do that? And if you killed Peter, how is he here now? And Lydia you said you weren't a werewolf, so uhh what are you? Dad! Are you a wolf too?” He would have continued to ramble his questions but Lydia interrupted.

“Deaton likes to call you a Paladin, but you refer to yourself as a druid, a high druid.” She checked off a finger. “Those are real wolves, you actually found them at the campgrounds you used to go to with your mom, Derek is the only one who can full shift into that form, he learned a couple of years ago. Peter used to have a full shift but his was uhh, different.” She took a deep breath to continue with her points. “I'm a banshee, no, your dad's human. So is Danny and Melissa. Jordan, uh deputy Parrish is a hellhound. And Peter is a long story but basically he used me to resurrect himself.” She held up her hand. “Now we have questions for you.”

The interrogation continued in a tit for tat motion from there on out. Stiles was less than helpful not knowing when he lost his memories, if that's even what this is. But he would go off on long tangents and follow up questions whenever they gave him the slightest bit of information.

“So her name is Nymeria?” He said tentatively putting out a hand, finally deciding the wolf could come scent him. She was pacing and whining on her side of the room for the past hour. Fantastic choice of name, Stiles thought as he grinned, he loved Brin’s and Remus's as well.

“Yes, Stiles you named them!” Erica rolled her eyes at his giddiness.

“So uhh, this is kind of awkward, but ummm you mentioned my boyfriend and I assumed you meant Scott cause we're like always together being best friends and all, but I'm now assuming you meant someone else?” Stiles asked his dad.

This one questioned seemed to change the atmosphere of the room. Scott looked guilty. Jackson looked a little hurt. That was nothing compared to how pissed Derek, the alpha as he had just learned, was. He was attempting to glare a hole into the floor. Isaac shuffled his feet a bit too, so Stiles was honestly really confused, especially as no one had answered the question.

“Oh for the love of…. Danny! You tell him!” Lydia huffed, clearly done with her explanations for the night.

The tech genius of the group stirred a little at being called out. “Well, you probably haven't called McCall your best friend in years, since before high school ended, at least… He started hanging out with Isaac when Melissa adopted him and he moved in. You umm well I guess you and Lydia became good friends…”

“Lydia! We're friends!” Stiles was thrilled to hear this, but from the moment he saw her today he had known his lust for her had ended in high school. It just wasn't the same. Nothing was apparently. Everyone looked if possible even more uncomfortable by his out burst. Stiles couldn't help but resume his ongoing temple massage. It was probably all the incoming information, but his head was killing him.

“So”, Danny continued. “You uhh started hanging out with every one else a lot more in our senior year and I guess Jackson's probably the closest to you know. I mean he did come out to you, even though he's totally my BFFL, I even have a middle school year book with his signature that says it!” He smirked at his longtime friend.

“I…. I don't believe it. Werewolves, sure. I'm totally a bad ass witch I can get on board with that. I have a boyfriend? Okay, I was definitely a little curious I can see that happening. But Whittemore is my friend? Nope. I draw a line there, if you expect me to believe this crazy night is real and not just a dream, or a nightmare…” Stiles added glancing at Jackson while absentmindedly scratching behind Nymers’s ears which just happens to be her favorite spot. “Then you'll have to do better than that, I'm afraid.”

Most of the group sniggered at this and Scott leaned over for a high five. He was left hanging as Stiles gave a pointed look to Isaac while raising an eyebrow saying ‘really?’

“I'm going to bed.” Derek stood up abruptly. He proceeded to head up the stairs with multiple sets of eyes trailing after him.

Stiles wasn't sure why exactly but his gut clenched a bit at seeing the alpha, no his alpha walk away from him. He was the pack's emissary after all.

“Maybe I should too, head home that is, my head is killing me with all this new information.” Stiles piped up. He went to stand up but felt all the blood pulsate in his temples and quickly sat back down.

Now he was getting the matching looks of concern from everyone, again.

“Stiles? Stiles!” He heard his dad shout as his world went black.

Chapter Text

Derek had just placed his hand on the door knob about to enter his room when he heard his boyfriend's father's heart pick up accompanied by shouts of Stiles's name. He immediately went back the way he had came just in time to see the emissary hit the floor with a dramatic faint. The pack was quick to react. Several werewolves assured Stiles's dad that his son was okay and that his heart was beating. Melissa was at the young man's side checking his pupils and other vitals.

Stiles was out cold.

“He did say he had a headache.” Erica piped up unhelpfully.

Derek was there kneeling by his side and placed a hand on his boyfriend's forehead to siphon the pain. Black trendles moved up his arm. It was shocking to feel this level of pain from the otherwise physically okay young man. After their hour long discussion, that had only reassured the fact for the alpha that his emissary didn't know who he was, Derek was sure of two things: his boyfriend didn't know they were dating and other than that, he was fine. He had even questioned if this was something supernatural at all and not some spontaneous case of amnesia. But it was now looking closer to the former and the alpha's concern was back ten-fold. How could Stiles be hurt without them knowing it? It just didn't make sense. Unless the binding spell he put on the pack really didn't work on himself and that would be unhelpful, something his emissary would probably have found a way to correct or at least inform him of.

Scott was questioning his mom on his friend’s condition. The young man was studying to be a vet and had just started taking some basic med classes this past year. The two were speaking in a language all their own. Peter was restraining an upset Nymeria and Remus. Brin made his way through and was nudging the unconscious man's feet. The sheriff was kneeling on the opposite side of Derek next to the nurse. He kept talking to his son as if he could hear him.

Lydia sighed. “Well, we’ll have to get the bestiary out again. Do you want to research here or my place? She asked Danny.”

“Here's fine.” He nodded heading to the corner of the room for his laptop bag.

“Dad, do you think we have anything else that could help?” Allison asked timidly.

“We’ll head to the Hale vault and check to see if there are any books on mysterious memory loss as well.” Peter nodded, indicating Boyd and Erica. “You two should take the wolves for a run.” He added looking at Jackson and Scott.

The two looked at each other. Had they ever partnered off or seen eye to eye on anything? But they were both really anxious looking at Stiles.

“Sir, do you mind if I take him up stairs to a bed?” The alpha asked the sheriff.

“Of...of course.” He looked a little dazed. “Melissa? Do you think it could be… frontotemporal dementia?” He questioned.

The nurse shook her head. “This memory loss seems very specific and fainting isn't really a symptom, although the headache definitely could be. When he's feeling up to it I'll get him scheduled for an MRI.” She glanced away. “He hasn't been to the hospital since…”

The pack looked confused at first and then all shifted uncomfortably. Usually the only one to ever mention the sheriff arresting his own son was Jackson when he was being a smart ass about it.

“Even if he does remember, I'll make him go. This isn't something to mess around with, he will agree.” The sheriff said resolutely.

Scott looked like he had tears brimming his eyes as he shook his head at his mom.

“Just get him to bed for now.” Melissa said with a grim expression.

Derek scooped up his boyfriend with ease and carefully yet swiftly had him in his room. On his side of the bed. He smiled, despite the situation, at the peaceful look on Stiles's face as he lay there. It had been too long since the alpha had seen that sleeping face adorn those pillows. Except. He wasn't sleeping and he wasn't in this bed by choice. The thought soured his mood instantly.

***

Stiles woke the next day in an unfamiliar room. It had beautiful cherrywood furniture, simple yet sophisticated. The curtains were shut, blocking out the sun, so he had no way of telling what time of day it was, but the young man felt stiff, as if he had been in bed for a long time.

He heard a soft scratch and mewling sound from the door. It instantly put the twenty-one year old on high alert. The doorknob turned slowly. He was sure the scratching and noise was cause by an animal, so the fact that it was opening the door was alarming.

“Sounded like you woke.” Pretty eyes said as he entered, accompanied by the three full grown wolves who wasted no time in making themselves comfortable on the bed. Instantly the memories from yesterday came rushing back. It was overwhelming, but at least his headache was gone. Derek, the werewolf, alpha werewolf, told such a mix of emotions with his eyebrows. Worry was the most prominent. Concern. Guilt. And was that anger?

“What happened? Is my dad here? Why do you look guilty?” The man currently buried under three wolves asked.

Derek's head snapped up with that last question.

“I'm, I’m sorry Stiles.” The alpha began. “It's just, well. First of all your dad is downstairs reading a book about magical ailments. And, you fainted. But I'm sorry because you were clearly hurting and in need and I'm your boyfriend and I didn't notice… again! I just… I'm so sorry! You deserve better than me.” The older man muttered the last part as the look of anger (self anger?) gave away to resolve.

The room was silent.

Eventually Derek looked up from the floor to his emissary who was staring at him with his mouth hanging open in shock. His large eyes were searching for unasked questions and fully judging Derek as he took him all in.

“I know. We… we were dating but it's not like you remember that so it's not…. We don't have to anymore.” The alpha bit out resentfully. “You deserve better.” The last statement was barely a whisper.

Stiles continued to gape. “I? But you're! You’re so gorgeous!” He finally managed, face glowing scarlet. “Gods! I've dubbed you pretty eyes in my head the moment I saw you! You're perfect. And, I'm such a dork, and you wear leather jackets and have wolves for pets!” Nymeria nudged him with a bit more force than usual at that last statement.

Derek was the one gaping now. Stiles was usually so playful with him, teasing and joking. It was strange to see him be so honest with his thoughts. The result left the older man gaping this time.

“How? Why? Does my dad know!?” Stiles rushed out question after question. “How… How long?”

“Uhhh…yes, your dad gave me the talk. We have breakfast together every Sunday when your in town. We also watch a lot of baseball. Your father and I are in agreement on the incredible athletic-ness that is the Giants. Even though you're so close to them while at school, you're still and avid Mets fan.” Derek smiled as he sat down.

“Well that's a given, I doubt there is any version of me with or without memory that wouldn't be a Mets fan as they are simply the greatest baseball team to ever step foot on home plate. I mean who doesn’t love an underdog story?”

“Underdog is not a synonym for pathetically awful.” Derek smirked.

The younger man shook his head. “Nope. I know you're lying now, no way I would date someone who can spew such blasphemy!”

Derek raised an eyebrow. “Oh yeah? Even if he's…perfect?”

“Clearly I wasn't given all the facts before making that statement.” Stiles challenged.

This caused Derek to openly laugh. It was definitely the first time Stiles had ever remembered seeing the older man laugh. It made him want to hear it again. He smiled.

Derek stopped and stared at his boyfriend's beautiful, honest smile. Stiles usually wore such a cocky grin. He loved the rare happiness full smile he would earn from time to time.

The two continued to stare. Derek, on instinct moved in. He was almost hypnotized by the younger man's long lashes as they grew closer. He was just an inch away from tasting his boyfriend for the first time since the week before finals when the bedroom door burst open.

“Stiles, Melissa squeezed you in now that you're awake but we have to go like right now so you're not late…” The sheriff was talking as he swung the door open and it took him a minute to realize what he was interrupting. “You didn't even know who he was yesterday!” He shook his head with disbelief, narrowing his eyes at the older man. “We'll talk about all of this later, we have an MRI Scheduled in half an hour, before the doctor goes to lunch!”

Derek looked apologetically at Stiles.

***

Stiles spent the afternoon getting an assortment of tests done. His dad and him took the opportunity to talk about school in greater detail. The younger Stilinski now felt it was appropriate to admit he was less prepared for his finals than he previously let on. The sheriff was disappointed to hear this for two reasons: he obviously wanted his son to do well in school and the pack was operating on the theory that all of Stiles's lost memories were associated with the supernatural. He tried to run this theory by his son who was still hung up on the supernatural being real aspect.

He secretly had tried to will his magic to work while waiting in between the doctor’s tests, because that was how his dad had described his ability. But try as he might to levitate the pen on the desk by force of will alone or make the water jump out of his dad's cup while he was board, the items stubbornly refused to cooperate.

His dad spent a good portion of his day checking in with Melissa and Derek, both of who seemed just as concerned with what the doctors had to say. Scott surprised the Stilinski men and his mom by bringing takeout from Sam's diner for lunch. The four grabbed a remote table in the hospital's out door eating section and chatted away, pointedly refusing to talk about their current issues.

It was really nice. To Stiles's belief this is how it always was when he and Scott were off from school. They were best friends and despite what he was told and in spite of Jackson's protests. This Stiles loved his brother and his brother's mother and considered them family. He was happy to see that even though he was told of the rift in their friendship, his dad and Melissa seemed to get on alright with one another. It was probably lonely for the parents with their kids away at college. Stiles was glad his father had a friend outside of work. As he ate his curly fries he watch the small encouraging smile Mrs. McCall sent his dad. The twinkle in the older Stilinski’s eyes when excepting that smile didn't go unnoticed either.

Stiles elbowed Scott to get his attention. His friend looked up sheepishly with a mouth full of food. Stiles nodded his head in their parent’s direction. Scott just tilted his head in further confusion.

“Never mind, man, never mind.”

***

It was a long day at the hospital and Stiles was actually really looking forward to heading home. Except his father just made a wrong turn.

“Uhh dad?” Stiles asked tentatively.

“Yes, son?” The sheriff looked across to the passenger seat at his son who looked expecting.

“Umm, where are we going?” The young man questioned.

His father almost slammed on the breaks. “I'm sorry son, I just I'm so use to you being at Hale’s I was actually going to drop you off there. You know you have your own room, you don't have to share with Derek. It's on the first floor, Nymeria, Brin, and Remus made it their den of sorts… anyways I'm sorry I'll turn around just up here.”

“No dad. It's okay. I need to get used to this life now. Pack? It's so weird. I used to have one friend, you know, I just… this feels like a dream…” Stiles sighed. “ It's a hell of lot to find out all at once, but hey at least my headache stayed away today!” He added with a forced grin.

“Son, you have a perfectly good bed at home and gods know I miss having you around.” His father clamped a hand on his shoulder after putting on his turn signal.

The did an U-turn.
***

The next day however the sheriff had to go back to work. During breakfast he asked if he wanted to drop his son off at the pack house or if he wanted to stay here. Stiles thought about it before choosing the pack house. He ran up to his room and piled all the old books and things that he assumed were his father's but now knew to be his into a duffle bag and lugged it out to the sheriff's cruiser. His dad raised an eyebrow.

“Just want to find out why I had these and what they were for.” Stiles defended.

The two drove with small talk from the day before. All of the test results they had received so far were coming back in the normal ranges. So his dad was pretty thankful. One doctor had suggested a therapist, that perhaps the trauma of loosing his mother to such a disease has caused Stiles to mimic some of the symptoms unconsciously. Stiles was quick to refuse the possibility. ‘Im not faking this dad, it's not unconscious processing!’ His father just nodded his head in agreement at the time but attempted to suggest the theory again here in the car between the two of them. His son adamantly maintain the same stance. But in the end they decided that if he was unable to find a cause or solution soon they would give the therapy a chance.

“And watch me slip up and mention werewolves and they chuck me in the looney bin!” Stiles protested. “I kind of feel like I don't want to go back to the hospital ever again, I'm just not sure why.” He muttered as an afterthought.

The sheriff shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

***

The pair arrived and Stiles greeted his beloved Jeep with a pat on the hood, and only hesitated a second before greeting Nymeria in a similar fashion. They made their way inside where Lydia and Danny were poured over books. Peter sat comfortably on a squishy arm chair with his laptop open. And, Derek followed the Sheriff back outside.

The banshee and technology inclined young adult turned expectantly towards the older beta.

“What?” He spat after a pause.

“What are they saying?” Danny huffed.

“Wait? You can hear them!” Stiles looked excited. “That's so cool.”

Peter smiled evilly.

“No it's not. They are always spying on conversations they shouldn't. It makes it really hard to have privacy.” Lydia frowned. “So, what are they saying?”

“Boring stuff, our Stiles here really enjoyed his day free from the supernatural pressures yesterday despite it being spent at the hospital.” Peter drawled.

The young man in question flailed a bit at being called out.

“Don't worry, our alpha agrees, we should keep our delicate member away from the dangers.” The werewolf ignored the squawk of protest at those words and continued. “He feels normalcy might be best for you right now and perhaps it won't be a bad thing if you can't continue to be our emissary. You could have a normal life, free from pack obligation and free from the responsibilities associated with being boyfriends with an alpha werewolf.” The older man said this as if it was nothing, completely ignorant of how each sentence was breaking the other’s heart in new ways.

“What!? No! So I'll just never get my magic back? I'm not pack anymore without it? I'm not… worthy of being…” Once Stiles could fully form words he was on his feet and practically shouting at Peter who held his hands up in a defensive manner. “I just…? He doesn’t want me like this?”

“No.” Everyone's heads turned around to see their alpha standing in the doorway with blazing red eyes. The site left Stiles speechless. “My uncle was being cruel and purposely misinterpreting for you.”

Peter scoffed. “Context, reading between the lines. Perhaps a push or motivation is all the emissary needs.”

“Where is my dad?” Stiles questioned. He was confused but mostly he was certain he wasn't going to stay here if he was unwanted.

“He went to work.” Derek sighed. “He was just saying it was nice having some normal conversations with you where you two weren't forced to speak in code because you would sound crazy talking about werewolves and magic in public. It was nice to see you laugh and smile so freely without the weight and worries associated with helping me run our pack. Our pack, because you are in it, human or not. Your dad, Melissa, Allison, Danny here, and maybe even Chris are all human members of my pack and... They are always welcomed here and have all proven to be valuable in their own rights. We would never kick you out because you can't perform magic anymore or move nature with your mind. I do agree with your dad, however, and your amnesia is our biggest focus right now and it's the only one I want you to deal with. We have active hunters to our north and even a premonition from our hellhound, just trust me that we are handling it. And focus on yourself.” The alpha came nearer during his speech and laid a comforting hand on the younger man's shoulder. And as for you and I, well? One step at a time. This is new for you but very familiar for me, I don't want to pressure you accidentally. Your father agreed.”

Stiles went through an array of emotions with each statement. Relieved they aren't kicking him out. Anger and worry that they were planning on keeping some dangerous information from him. Confused, so confused about what he might feel for Derek. He wasn't sure, should he be grateful that the alpha was willing to back off? Hurt that he might not like him so much if it's that easy for him to do so. Intrigued by the possibility that this could be fun teasing the older man a bit. Stiles just wasn't sure how any of this made him feel, but he responded to the touch on his shoulder by leaning into it. Which was a good sign right?

“Okay.” He muttered.

“Good now that that's settled.”Peter clapped his hands to bring the attention back to himself. “You and I Stiles have a side relationship going on and I'm less inclined to give you space, so…”

“Uh. No! I may not be aware of half of what's going on around here but I know for certain that we did not.” Stiles broke into the beta’s rambling.

Derek growled threateningly.

“It's not true, Derek, I swear, this I know.” Stiles was quick to defend himself.

“I know I could hear the skip in his heartbeat when he said it.” Derek managed to say with a mouth full of canines. Stiles was lost in thought for a minute just taking in the startling new additions to the older man's mouth.

“I was just testing him. You see he is likely to believe anything he hears at this point, I mean we just broke it to him that werewolves are real, he could believe anything. So it's nice to see that he does draw the line.

“And what if he did believe you?” Derek questioned.

“Well, that wouldn't be too bad.” His uncle gave Stiles a look over and shrugged.

“Out! Now!” Derek commanded.

Chuckling to himself, the werewolf left as ordered. Danny and Lydia watched this entire interaction from the floor with the wolves with their mouths hanging open.

Lydia quickly recomposed herself. “Well, I know you're angry at him, but that was actually a really good thing to test. It's not a bad thing to see that Stiles has a limit to what he will except as fact.”

Derek only grumbled.

Stiles joined the others on the floor with his duffle and started to ask Lydia questions.

Even though it was under less than ideal circumstances, the alpha really appreciated having his pack home for the summer, he thought, as he watched his researchers do what they do best.

Chapter Text

 

“So, have any of you ever heard of a Spellweaver?” Danny addressed the entire pack as they lounged with their dinner, spread out amongst the living room.

“Spellweaver?” Scott repeated with a puzzled look.

“Hemmm, I'll have to ask my dad? Never heard the term but maybe he would know.” Allison added from her place between Isaac's legs on the ground by the coffee table.

“Ah, and where is the hunter, anyways?” Peter questioned. It went unanswered as Lydia ignored him to address the group.

“We came across it in the bestiary. It's a mythical creature that according to the book has the ability to live forever, take any shape it pleases, and steal power from naturally magical beings… it's not exactly what we were looking for. But as Stiles has lost his abilities, it could be the cause? Unfortunately the entry was one of the shortest I've ever translated…” The red head bit her lip in consideration.

“And you still remember nothing? It's a big blur?” Jackson asked the amnesiac in question who was still staring at the bowl of Chinese food his alpha passed him. It had all of his favorites.

“Hem, oh, ummmm, well, no.” Stiles screwed up his eyes in frustration. “But I've learned so much! That book has a entire sections just for shifters, there are so many! Have you guys seen a were-coyote? Or were-jaguar before? It even had a picture of a werewolf-lion!” His face lit up as he started to explain the differences.

Derek couldn't help but grin as he listened to the younger man ramble off about the fascinating things he read. It didn't take long for everyone else in the room to continue their conversation with more pressing matters. The alpha tuned them out, however. As he only had eyes for the curious round orbs that lit up with each new fact that was spouted off. He was distracted by his emissary who waved his hands around as he spoke and completely missed Isaac who was trying to get his attention.

“Derek!” The curly haired beta snapped his fingers.

“What?” Derek responded with a flash of red eyes the quieted both Stiles and Isaac instantly.

“Sorry.” Stiles turned to his best friend's adopted brother. “I was hogging your alpha.”

“Our alpha. And, you’re allowed to hog him.” Erica chimed in.

Lydia rolled her eyes. “I was trying to tell Derek that if a Spellweaver did this to you, well, according to what we know you would have had to allowed it to do so. They are not aggressive and require participation from the magic user in question…”

“Yes, I know. You told me earlier. I don't really know what happened. Maybe they trick their victims? Who just relinquishes all of their power?” Stiles huffed.

“Well, you would.” Boyd surmised. “Did, probably.” Everyone looked confused.

“The quiet one is right.” Peter smiled predatorily at the former magic user in question. “Now would you have given up a your magic and memories willingly to help the creature or even yourself? Probably not. But would you to help your pack?”

“With out a doubt.” Deputy Parrish agreed and shook his head. “Your dad basically said my Christmas bonus rides on whether or not I keep you safe during pack stuff because you have a tendency to not watch your own back when things are getting hairy…”

Derek looked fully at his boyfriend, if they could call themselves such anymore, the young adult was much more built than he used to be in his high school days but would still be considered skinny by pack standards. He was pale and mole speckled with a friendly lopsided grin and messy hair. The alpha could see the innocence in him. He could sense the vulnerability. Stiles was far more defenseless than he had ever remembered him being, and that was largely because he had no idea he should be so guarded. But, prior to this loss of memory it was vastly different. He was always on and ready. The alpha just couldn't imagine someone sneaking up on the younger man or tricking him with wit. Stiles was simply too good for that so if this Spellweaver stole his powers and with it his memories, and Stiles gave it permission to do so, there must have been something threatening someone he loved or cared about for him to not put up a fight? But he was away at school when this happened? Or was he?
“Stiles, what were you doing two weeks ago, after the weekend I spent up there with you? You had plans to study.” Derek asked.

“I did study, I’m sure of it. But for all the little good it did, I’m not even entirely sure I passed Biochemistry…” The confused young man told the floor in his evasiveness.

“It’s okay man, that class was hard.” Scott slapped his friends back reassuringly.

Lydia narrowed her eyes.

“Stilinski we had a Skype study session a month ago on that subject because I took the class last semester.” Jackson stated in a bored tone.

“What? Really?” Stiles scratched his head and scanned the group who were all looking at him with their mouths hanging open.

“So his memory loss is even longer than the two weeks we already feared?” Isaac asked, unsure.

“No. I visited three weekends ago.” Derek stated. “It can’t be.”

“No, no, it’s not.” Danny agreed. “Something happened two weeks ago, of that I’m certain, and I think it affects all his memories that relate to… us. His pack.”

“And, Scott?” Stiles questioned.

“Well he has been your friend prior to all of this.” The tech savvy individual pointed out.

“So the real question is, why? Why do they want our emissary to forget us? Who wants this?” Erica asked.

Everyone quieted as the considered the question.
“Hem. Parrish your vision was of hunters? Hunters wouldn’t have the means to pull this off.” Peter surmised. “It’s… larger than we know.” He added looking at his nephew.

The alpha nodded, looking worriedly at his pack.

It was getting late and while the group had some new things to consider, they also had new questions and little answers.

Brin barked to gain the group’s attention. He wagged his tail as he moved to the back door and howled at the moon. It was bright. He was right, nothing they could do with only half the truth of the matter for the time being.

Derek moved to open the back doors. He would think while taking a moon lit run. As he passed he pulled up his shirt revealing well toned abs

. “Going for a perimeter run.” He announced. “Continue this tomorrow?”

Stiles stared transfixed, his mouth agape. In the shadows of the back porch he watched the older man finish disrobing himself and transform into an actual wolf. The monster(?!) was larger than the others, with a darker, soft looking coat. Stiles stood. He was momentarily lost in thought and had only one desire; to run his fingers through that shaggy coat. He blinked. And the wolf was gone at a gallop. The three real wolves trailing behind. Stiles turned to his newfound friends, all of whom smiled at him.

“You reacted pretty much the same the first time he did it.” Lydia informed him.

“You can scratch his ears when he returns.” Erica added.

Stiles frowned. “No, it’s getting late.” He had yet to stay the night again, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the pack.

The group took that as their cue to go their separate ways. Parrish was working the late shift and Lydia planned to escort him so they could continue their discussion on his premonition and her lack of one. Jackson and Danny had planned to meet some friends at the Jungle and invited Stiles to join who considered, but declined, because he still had questions and promised Mrs. McCall he would stop by soon. Isaac and Scott had plans for a movie marathon and Stiles was sort of hoping to tag along to that too. Allison had a similar idea. Erica and Boyd looked so comfortable snuggled together and both chose not to volunteer their plans for after everyone else departed. Peter, however, was lost in thought and as everyone was making their way out to their respective cars, he called after Allison of all people to wait a second.

Isaac tilted his head to listen in on the conversation. Stiles raised an eyebrow expectantly.

“Oh he’s just asking about her father, he wants to talk to him about the hunter activity to the north.” The werewolf supplied.

“How far can you guys hear?” Stiles asked with a large grin, impressed by the ability.

Scott shook his head, “pretty far, man. We tested it back in our sophomore year. I um, got distracted, so you declared the range inconclusive.”

“Distracted? By what?” His long time friend asked.

“By whom, is the question.” Isaac answered for his adoptive brother.

Stiles followed both their lines of sight to see the brunette hunter making her way towards them.

“So movies at the McCalls?” She asked as she joined them.

***

Movies turned into a sleepover full of Stiles’s questions being answered. He had quizzed Lydia and Danny earlier but he felt like he was getting a much better idea of the friendships amongst the pack and where he fits in with this inquiry over the one prior. Allison was very forthcoming and honest, telling him that she and him had never been as close of friends as they once were after she had turned on the pack all those years ago. She had deeply regretted many of her choices in high school and appreciated this chance to tell him how she felt now. Isaac also admitted that they were probably the least close in the group, and rarely hung out one on one. Stiles wasn’t sure why his old self felt this way. While he distasted the curly haired beta’s clothing choices (why did he wear scarfs in the summer) he found the man to be funny in a dry humor sense and could easily see him getting along well with Scott and himself. He also understood the Allison appeal. He secretly thought she was perfect for Scott, but he knew they had tried that and it didn’t work so he didn’t say anything. He saw the way her eyes lingered on Isaac’s. It was clear they were in the puppy dog stage of love still. He thought it was cute.

Stiles made up his mind, that should he regain his loss memories, he would do everything in his power to keep this budding friendship. He liked these people.

Melissa came home sometime in the middle of their third movie. It was well past midnight, but she wanted some time to talk with Stiles and make sure her other ‘son’ was handling and adjusting well to the shock of the supernatural reveal. They chatted over late night coffee, decaf for the nurse, and she told him it was nice to see him hanging out in her living room again. It had been too long, she had said. Stiles smiled warmly at the sentiment and told her of his plans to continue this even if his memories flood him and he suddenly wants to be buddy-buddy with Whittemore again.

Melissa’s face instantly darkened. “You may feel differently. It’s just, my son, he… he wasn’t the best at taking care of his friendship with you and you eventually grew closer to the people who valued you a bit more.” She sighed. “I don’t want to sound harsh, but I don’t want to sugar coat it for you either.”

Stiles nodded in agreement and thankfulness for the honesty. “I think they made that pretty clear. Maybe I had a bitter outlook on Isaac and Allison and that wedge formed between Scott and I but that was all so long ago. I think it’s all forgiven, now. No need to miss out on movie nights at the McCalls… Speaking of which, is my dad spending a lot of time over here for movie dates also?” The young man asked slyly.

The nurses smiled. “He and I want to talk to all three of you boys together, but yeah, your dad… Is it okay, with you? With you boys out of the house and Isaac always at the loft or pack house, we suddenly have a lot more time to ourselves.” She giggled.

Stiles patted her shoulder as he stood to rejoin his friends. “You guys deserve happiness, too.”

She thanked him.

***

Stiles was pleased with his efforts and the pack’s to regain his lost friendships with everyone. He spent time shopping the mall with Lydia, Erica, and Boyd. He spent the mornings playing video games with Isaac and Scott. He went to the gym with Jackson and Danny who were patient with him as he had forgotten most of what they had already taught him over the years. His father and him were often joined by Parrish or Melissa as they ate dinner at Sam’s diner. Chris Argent and Peter even joined them once, although the two looked surprised when they walked in to see the booth near the back already occupied.

The college student spent afternoons getting to know his boyfriend again in the pack house while playing with the wolves, whom he has decided are awesome. The three intelligent animals would listen intently as he rambled about everything. They would all go for long walks and even though Stiles wasn’t sure where he was going, it felt very familiar. That feeling was usually followed by a lingering headache. This was one of the reasons that he limited his time at the house in the preserve. And, it was also how he found himself alone at four in the afternoon while shopping for healthier alternatives to his father’s favorite junk foods at the grocery store.

He was disturbed while comparing nutritional facts on instant oatmeal boxes by a pair of rather handsome looking twins.

“Eh’hem” One of the twins cleared his throat right behind him, causing the brown eyed boy to jump.

“Remember us?” The other added with a smirk at the startled face.

“Uh, no… should I?” Stiles asked politely while placing the box with less sugar in his cart.

Chapter Text

“Eh’hem” One of the twins cleared his throat right behind him, causing the brown eyed boy to jump.

 

“Remember us?” The other added with a smirk at the startled face.

 

“Uh, no… should I?” Stiles asked politely while placing the box of oatmeal with less sugar in his cart.

 

The twins shared a skeptical look.

 

“Well, it doesn’t matter. We’re here to warn you.” The closer one said with a sharp smile.

 

“Yeah, you need to leave town, like right now.” The other said in a whisper.

 

“What? No. No way.” Stiles replied. He had a feeling he shouldn’t trust these two. He clutched the side of his head in anticipation of the headache that he now associated with being confronted with people or things from his forgotten past.

 

“Don’t argue. Just go.” The first one said with a huff.

 

“….No.” Stiles sighed. “Who are you? Better yet, just leave me alone.” He purposely shoulder checked the one closer to himself as he pushed his cart over the foot of the other. “I don’t know you guys, why would I listen to you?” He called over his shoulder.

 

“Uhhh.” One of the twins stared gobsmacked at his brother. “What do we do now?”

 

“Stiles!” The other one desperately called out. “We’re trying to help you!”

 

Stiles shook his head as he turned the corner. The twins chased after him but as they rounded the same turn they came face to face with a crossed-arm older lady who looked disapprovingly at the boys, who stood in the middle of the grocery store without a cart nor any items they intended to purchase.

 

“You leave that boy be.” The white haired woman said sternly. “He is shopping for his father, the sheriff. He is a good kid who’s name was wrongfully caught up in a crime spree he was unassociated with years ago. If he wants nothing to do with you, than you leave, now.” She huffed out while scooting the pair of shocked twins down the aisle. “Out, go on now!” She added as she pointed to the exit.

 

The brothers were unsure what they should do. Leave? Well, the older lady didn’t seem to be giving them much choice in the matter.

 

Begrudgingly, they exited the building.

 

Stiles continued to shop while pondering this warning.

 

***

 

The next day Stiles planned on telling Derek about the strange interaction. He really did. But the older man met him in the pack house’s drive way wearing cargo shorts and a tight black tee and all other thoughts were pushed from his mind.

“I was hoping to show you the tree I told you about, the Nemeton.” Pretty eyes greeted him with a smile. “You up for a small hike?” The wolves all perked up from their lounging locations on the front porch at those words.

“Sounds fun. Lead the way.” Stiles easily answered back. While pack life was a lot to suddenly take in for the amnesiac, he was grateful that his interactions with his former boyfriend were easy. The alpha wolf was very respectful and willing to grant the younger man space no matter how reluctant he may seem by the very thought. They had yet to even come close to kissing since that first day of waking up in the man’s bed.

While Stiles truly was thankful for the space to wrap his head around and adjust to everything, he knew he would be heartbroken to see the man he loved everyday and not have him as he once had. He grinned at Derek and offered a hand. The alpha was quick to take it.

They walked mostly in silence. While Stiles wasn’t sure if it was always this way, it felt normal to be comfortable in the quietness that sometimes existed between them. He used the reprieve to contemplate on his earlier thought. Love. Did Derek love him? Perhaps he did, does he still? Did Stiles love him back? A part of him really hoped so, but he wasn’t sure. It was frustrating. Does he love him now? No. He barely knew him. But, he did like him, of that he was certain. He was getting used to the familiar butterfly feeling in his stomach, the anticipation associated with seeing the werewolf was welcomed.

 

“Lost in thought?” Derek questioned.

 

“Yeah, I suppose so.” Stiles answered.

 

“This tree used to be just a stump. It calls to the mythical world. It was broken, dying. It’s beautiful now, you… you did that.” The older man said in a small voice that failed to hide his awe.

“How?” Stiles asked.

 

“We’re not sure, you never did explain it well. But you took a bad energy and forced it to bring back something good. Something worthy.”

 

Stiles considered this. He certainly sounded powerful from all the tales he has been told. Perhaps he would gain some of that back. Perhaps, he just needed to see with his own eyes what he had done, what he had formed with his magic, his will. A warmth started to swirled in his chest with his renewed hope, joining his fluttering stomach. Perhaps.

 

“You’re still quiet.” Derek commented.

 

“Just thinking…. Wishing.” Stiles said after a pause.

 

“About?” The alpha inquired.

 

“Wondering what it will take for me to be me again. You thing I can just want it to be so and it will be? Maybe I haven’t tried hard enough with the imagining part, you know.” The younger man confessed. “Maybe, I’m doing it wrong.”

 

“Maybe.” Derek agreed. “But, that Spellweaver thing, if it took your abilities… maybe not.”

 

“Yeah, maybe not.” Stiles frowned.

 

Before Derek was given the opportunity to cheer up his former boyfriend, they breached the thick trees that surrounded the clearing which held the massive Nemeton. The tree easily stood taller and broader than any other in the forest. It’s leaves were a vibrant green and it’s trunk almost gleamed in its rich coloring. The alpha opened his mouth to announce their arrival and to respond to the other’s dejected statement, but Stiles was staring at the tree with his mouth hanging open. Birds chirped merrily, undisturbed by their presence. He glanced quickly at the dark haired man once before racing across the grass to place his hands on the trunk.

 

“I feel like I can feel it, the magic, the power!” He whispered.

 

Derek’s wolf hearing heard though, he instantly became optimistic. “Really?” He took his time crossing the field enjoying the sight of the other’s excitement. “It’s constantly growing. It wasn’t this big five years ago. Every time we come here you comment on that. You’re always in awe..

“It’s quite amazing! I can’t believe I formed this? With the… darach’s dark energy?”

 

“Something like that.”

 

“Can you? Can you feel the humming?” Stiles asked as the other man finally was near enough to touch the trunk.

 

Derek did his best to tune out the world around him and just focus and what he felt when he touched the tree…. That might have been a spark, a sensation(?) at first contact. He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate. Stiles suppressed a giggle as he took in the seriousness of his burly alpha practically hugging the tree. He slid down to sit on one of its thick roots and just took in the gigantic beauty above him. The leaves swayed unevenly even though their was no gust to stir them. The effect made them sparkle from the sunlight.

 

“Fitting, isn’t it. That we meet here again, after all these years?”

 

Stiles head snapped down to take in the arrival of three new occupants on the edge of the clearing. One was a tall bald man, he looked menacing and intimidating, much like Boyd when Stiles met him in his kitchen, he knew this was a man he would not survive against. And, he lacked Boyd’s obvious warmth. The thought was more than enough to cause him to bristle as he stood next to a furious looking Derek.
The other two were female. One was small and meek looking. Her chocolate eyes were large and round and she looked almost dazed. She didn’t appear nearly as threatening as the other two. The last female stood slightly in front of the others and clearly was the one that spoke. She held arms crossed sporting long, sharp claws. Werewolf claws, which matched the ones on her bare feet. Stiles didn’t need to see her alpha red eyes to know she was the leader of this pack.

 

“Kali! Why are you here? You were banned from this place.” Derek stepped protectively in front of his emissary. “Leave, now.” He commanded.

 

“Not until I get what I came for.” She smiled fiercely. “Lena, now!”

 

On her command, the smaller girl eyes grew, if possible, even wider and she stared directly into the Derek’s. He tensed up and his breath hitched.

Chapter Text


“Fitting, isn’t it. That we meet here again, after all these years?”

Stiles head snapped down to take in the arrival of three new occupants on the edge of the clearing. One was a tall bald man, he looked menacing and intimidating, much like Boyd when Stiles met him in his kitchen, he knew this was a man he would not survive against. And, he lacked Boyd’s obvious warmth. The thought was more than enough to cause him to bristle as he stood next to a furious looking Derek.


The other two were female. One was small and meek looking. Her chocolate eyes were large and round and she looked almost dazed. She didn’t appear nearly as threatening as the other two. The last female stood slightly in front of the others and clearly was the one that spoke. She held arms crossed sporting long, sharp claws. Werewolf claws, which matched the ones on her bare feet. Stiles didn’t need to see her alpha red eyes to know she was the leader of this pack.


“Kali! Why are you here? You were banned from this place.” Derek stepped protectively in front of his emissary. “Leave, now.” He commanded.



“Not until I get what I came for.” She smiled fiercely. “Lena, now!”



On her command, the smaller girl eyes grew, if possible, even wider and she stared directly into Derek’s. He tensed up and his breath hitched.

 

Too many things happened at once. Instantly the trees rattled with a large gust of wind and the sun, itself, seemed to darken. Derek glanced at Stiles to see if the younger man was the cause of the change of weather, but if he was he didn’t seem to know it. He looked…. Scared. The three wolves circled around the magical tree and growled threateningly at the intruders while waiting for a command from either their alpha or their former parental figure.

 

At the same time several new people broke the tree line to join the growing discord in the clearing. The sheriff stepped forward with a confused look, as if he wasn’t sure why he would suddenly be in the woods, but upon seeing the crowd his fingers reflexively checked his holstered weapon as he turned to Derek for a signal. Across the clearing, Scott emerged with twigs in his hair and large confused eyes. He took several moments to realize where he was but once he did, he too looked to his alpha for guidance. Next to him was Allison. She instantly took in the scene and reached for a crossbow on her back and visibly deflated among finding herself unarmed. Behind them several more pack members tentatively stepped forward, all looking to Derek for leadership in this confusing scenario. Lydia, Jackson, Erica, Boyd, and Isaac all peered over the scene taking in Kali, Ennis, and the new seemingly week accomplice. Derek couldn’t help but glance at Stiles who seemed to have the full attention of the new girl now. She was staring at him unblinkingly, almost as if she was communicating non-verbally.

 

The former druid stared back with a look of horror as sudden realization overtook his features and his face hardened. He broke eye contact first and looked around at all the newcomers as he called the wolves to heel at his side. An action he hadn’t done since prior to his amnesia. Was Stiles back? Derek wondered as he held his breath.

 

The young man in questioned sucked in a deep breath and he spoke. “I…I remember.” It was barely more than a whisper, but all of the werewolves would easily hear him and it seemed even the humans and banshee did as well, as everyone in the clearing reacted.

 

Most had smiles at the news. Nymeria barked in approval, her eyes never leaving Kali. The female alpha herself smiled large and she held out her arms indicating the entire group.

 

“Tell them what you remember! Tell them!” She smirked, knowingly.

 

“I… I remember. I remember being tortured by Gerard…. He let me go and I need you, Scott, but you… you didn’t even know I was missing you needed Lydia… And you Lyds, you didn’t care, I was obviously in pain, but all you cared about was Jackson.” With each accusation he shot a look of pure hatred at the accused. “And, Derek!” The older man flinched at the tone in which his name was said. “I needed you, I was so alone as you formed your pack and you all healed together, but no one cared to invite me! Heeling from broken ribs, my dad overworking himself and not trusting a word I said…”

 

The sheriff stirred at being called out and stepped forward to reply but was cut off as Stiles continued.

 

“And you! You arrested me!” He was yelling now. “You didn’t believe me about the darach and she was killing all those people and you… you really thought it was me!” Stiles had tears forming in his brown eyes as he faced his father. “How could you?”

 

“Stiles please…” Scott surprisingly stepped forward first to placate the upset man.

 

“No!” Stiles rounded on him. “No! You don’t get to talk to me, you’re a shitty best friend, dude! The worst. You replaced me with Allison and then again with Isaac and they are like a thing now and where does that leave you? And us? How can their be an us, you don’t deserve my friendship! So, no, Scotty, no to whatever you were planning on saying.”

 

“Stiles.” Derek sighed.

 

The young man looked quizzically at the sound before slowly turning to face his former boyfriend. The three wolves looked a little torn with who’s movements to follow. Stiles was upset with everyone and while Brin and Remus were staring at Scott and the sheriff respectively, Nymers finally turned her back on Kali to give his alpha her full attention. There wasn’t anyone standing between Stiles and the former alpha pack now.

 

“Stiles….” Derek tried again pleadingly. “I… we, we all have a lot to apologize for, we do. But right now we need to worry about them.” He nodded to the other side of the clearing.

 

“Huh… I bet you didn’t want me to remember any of this, ever!?” Stiles sneered as he walked away from his alpha. “But I do, I remember it all!” He smiled as lightning crackled and split the air furthering the distance from everyone else as Stiles and the wolves stood in the center of the clearing now. “I know what it feels like to have no one in your corner, to have no one who believes you, or thinks you worthy of an invite. I know what repeatedly cancelled plans and missed dinners will do to a person. To have hope and longing and have it ripped away…”

 

The wolves instinctively formed a shield in front of Stiles. But instead of shielding him from the actual enemy behind him. The wolves guarded him from his friends and family and pack.

 

“I watched their mother die…” Stiles was whispering again looking at the ground rather than anyone in particular. “I watched her die in front of them, they were so alone too. I watch my mother die, dad. Alone.”

 

No one had anything to say to that.

 

“Stiles. Come here.” Kali whispered back holding her arms out in an almost motherly expression of acceptance on her face.

 

And to everyone’s astonishment, Stiles actually obeyed.

 

They embraced and Stiles took his place behind her in the attack formation. Lena, the newer non-werewolf member, squeezed his arm reassuringly as his wolves bared their teeth. But not at the alpha pack or this action of acceptance between them, but at their own pack, Stiles’s pack. The one he almost left years ago when Deucalion insisted he join them, despite his word about already being an emissary to the Hale pack.

 

Derek felt his heartbeat stutter and swallowed thickly around the new lump forming in his throat. He didn’t seem capable of words.

 

Stiles looked at each person individually pausing for a second longer on Derek’s diminished expression. “Attack.”

 

All at once the real wolves sprang into action like a tightly wound coil waiting to be released and chaos overtook the serenity of the clearing.

 

Their was yelling and screaming. The sounds of flesh tearing and different members cried out in pain. It seemed impossible that three wolves could attack so many people at once. But from the noise, it seemed everyone was a target.

 

The sound of the sheriff’s gun was the last thing Derek heard as he dropped to his knees in front of Nymeria who wasted no time in exacting her master's revenge. She approached with a blood dripping muzzle showing every single canine. Derek didn’t even protest.

 

------------------ In reality---------------

 

“Kali! Why are you here? You were banned from this place.” Derek stepped protectively in front of his emissary. “Leave, now.” He commanded.



“Not until I get what I came for.” She smiled fiercely. “Lena, now!”



On her command, the smaller girl eyes grew, if possible, even wider and she stared directly into Derek’s. He tensed up and his breath hitched as he dropped to his knees in defeat.

 

Stiles looked questionably at his friend who didn’t appear to be in pain but was obviously seeing something only he could. He had tears streaming down his face and looked utterly broken. Brin nosed his cheek with a whimper.

 

“He can’t hear you or see you.” The leader of the newcomers called out to answer the unasked question. “It’s my Lena, here, she’s a very talented seer. Some can tell the future, others force a vision, a shift of reality. She has been known to do both. But it’s the latter I enslaved her for, prediction of the future are finicky, you can’t force them. But having her here to occupy your alpha, well, that’s more than worthy of the little collar she is wearing. Do you see it now?”

 

Stiles looked more closely at the smaller girl. She looked terrified. And on her neck was a rather plain looking metal collar that was inscribe with runes, they were glowing ever so slightly against the silver of the band.

 

“See she, like you, is a magic user, and long ago, blah, blah, they, probably hunters, created this symbol when mixed with silver it was said to dilute the user’s ability. I, of course, thought of you and how you had too much power for your own good.”

 

Stiles suddenly felt very alone in the clearing. Derek was clearly not aware of this conversation and while the wolves stirred uncomfortably, they too had no qualms with the line of conversation. Stiles wasn’t really sure what he was capable of, except that he was less capable now.

 

“So imagine my surprise when I tested it. I put it on a simple druid, wiry little thing, too good with the mountain ash circles for my liking. Well it did inhibit her ability, but she still had them, she was just not in control…. I was!” Kali laughed. “It was glorious! But the best part, once again, imagine if I had you in this collar, with your abilities!”

 

Stiles stumbled back a little tugging on Derek’s shoulders but the werewolf was like an immovable boulder. Lost to the world of the living by whatever dreams Lena had concocted for him. Nymeria, picking up on Stiles’ panic, barked at the intranced alpha to no avail.

 

“So, I then had to figure out how to get it on you and off of Marin. You see she was curious about the device herself and put it on willingly. Was that the key? No, not really because she couldn’t remove it, she really couldn’t do anything without me commanding it of her. So we found another magic user and I demanded she take the necklace or else I would chop off Marin’s head to remove it. It worked. The maniacal opened itself and with the new owners permission it reformed on their neck. So then I tracked down Lena because I thought her expertise would prove useful.” Kali indicated the now shaking Derek.

 

“Are you hurting him?” Stiles called out in desperation. He was barely listening to the female alpha’s rant, while trying to figure out a plan of escape. Why did this tree have to be so remote.

 

“He’s in no physical pain.” Lena spoke for the first time. Her voice was almost musical.

 

“Stop it. Just try and stop it, don’t listen to her, listen to me, instead, okay.” Stiles pleaded.

 

“It doesn’t work like that boy!” Ennis called from across the clearing. “Kali commands her, alone.”

 

“He’s right.” Kali nodded to Ennis who took that as his cue to move and quickly crossed the clearing. Brin barked and Remus growled threateningly in warning but the older werewolf ignored them as he took his position behind Derek, swiftly.

 

“You listen to her, if she doesn’t like what you say or do I snap his neck.” Ennis announced.

 

Stiles looked taken aback. Nymeria showed her fangs but refused to leave his side.

 

“So here’s the deal, Lena here is going to come to you. She’s going to take off her collar and your going to put it on. You fight me about this and Ennis will snap his neck, okay sweetie.” Kali cooed.

 

Stiles shook his head but couldn’t find words to argue.

 

Lena crossed the clearing looking apologetic. “It’s okay, Stiles. Do you remember me?”

 

Stiles, still speechless, shook his head again.

 

“Okay. You will. Are you ready?” She asked in as friendly of a voice as one could manage while talking about enslaving someone. “We planned this, it’s okay, I promise.”

 

Perhaps it was her soothing tone, but something in the way she reassured him and seemed to know him cause Stiles to trust her. He nodded as she approached.

 

“What do you mean you planned this?” Kali shrieked.

 

But her frantic call was drowned out by the rush of air leaving Stiles as the shackle opened itself and Lena placed it around the former emissary. The world sound him seemed to dull and his head felt heavy and thick.

 

Lena sucked in a deep breath and visibly elated at her new found freedom. “I’m sorry! I’m so sorry!” She whispered.

 

Derek seemed overwhelmed taking in his surroundings as he came back to himself.

 

“Come here Stiles.” Kali called.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

LH8

 

“Come here, Stiles!” Kali called.

 

Stiles didn’t even hesitate. Ennis escorted him to Kali’s side with a large grin as everything was going according to their plan.

 

“Wait. Wait!” Lena called. She ran up to Stiles who didn’t protest as she grabbed his head and locked him in intense eye contact.

 

The two looked like they were having a staring contest with their foreheads mere inches from touching. Kali quickly grew impatient with the delay and growled causing Ennis to grab the two and forcefully break them apart. Lena went flying backwards and landed roughly on the ground at Derek’s feet. The werewolf didn’t offer a hand to help her up. He was still more than a little confused on what had happened. But nothing was more important than getting Stiles away from the alpha he now stood behind submissively. Nymeria had yet to cease her barking and was clearly in agreement with her alpha.

 

Stiles felt numb. It was surreal. His memories were back. It wasn’t overwhelming or shocking. It was like a switch was flipped and he went from no memories of the pack and pack life to having a full firsthand account of all the stories that were shared with him over the summer and then some. It had no effect, however, on his mood. He didn’t feel angry at his friends for not noticing he was so alone back then, he didn’t feel hurt by his father’s mistrust. He felt nothing, no love, at having the memories of Nymeria, Brin, or Remus back. He didn’t feel joy as each memory of Derek holding him close at night was at his whim to recall. He didn’t laugh at Peter’s antics or worry over Jackson’s promiscuous nightlife habits. Stiles felt all of those things but so distantly it almost didn’t compute. And then Kali spoke and all other thought was pushed from his mind.

 

“Stiles, I want you to kill your former alpha. Strike him down with that lightning you love to command!” She said acidly while smirking at the werewolf she sentenced to death. Derek was unaware of what had happened while he suffered from Lena’s vision so he clearly didn’t think Stiles would ever do such a thing, even if he still had the ability. But, Lena held her breath and glanced nervously between the two former lovers. This was it. If everything went according to their plan, Derek and the pack would be safe. Safe from Stiles’ power as a high druid at least.

 

Nothing happened. Remus cocked his head to the side questioningly as no one spoke for a full minute.

 

Kali eventually tore her eyes away from the unarmed Derek to glare at Stiles. “I said to strike him down!” She shrieked.

 

“I can’t.” Stiles replied, honestly. “I don’t know how.”

 

This was not the response the female alpha was looking for. She slapped him hard across the face, nicking him on his temple with her long, sharp nails.

 

“Use your damn earth magic and kill him. Kill him now!” She bellowed in his face.

 

Stiles didn’t respond. He continued to look at Kali.

 

“Are you defying me? Can you defy me?” She questioned.

 

“I can not. Nor can I attack with a power I no longer have.” Stiles replied in a monotone. He had a steady line of blood dripping down his face that he had yet to wipe away.

 

“Why don’t you have your powers?” The irate alpha questioned.

 

“I gave them away.” Stiles answered.

 

She slapped him again, and this time Nymeria couldn’t hold herself back and moved in to attack. Ennis landed a kick to her midsection and a resounding crack of a broken bone was heard throughout the clearing. This didn’t deter the other wolves as they joined their sister in Stiles’ defense. Brin sunk his teeth in to Ennis’ arm as it attempted to punch Nymeria. Remus who was the muscles of the trio pounced hard on Ennis’ chest in an effort to knock the large man backwards. And Nymeria, despite her injury, managed to make it to her targets ankle and bit the heel and Kali’s bare feet. She took a clawed kick from said alpha for her troubles. Brin growled threateningly at the sound of his sister’s whimper. Remus continued to struggle with his target.

 

Meanwhile, Stiles stood there neither helping nor hindering and seemingly unaffected. Derek was unaware of his tears as he watched the scene unfold while calling the three wolves back to his side. During the fray. All three took some damage but limped their way reluctantly to their alpha. The alpha werewolves were already recovering from their bites and started to retreat on Kali’s order. Stiles didn’t hesitate to follow once asked. He didn’t apologize to Derek who was taking the pain from Nymeria. He didn’t say farewell to Lena, who he apparently knew. No the former druid left the clearing without so much as a look back at the towering tree that they had come to see. Derek was left in shock.

 

***

 

“We need Deaton, now!” Derek had yelled once he was in earshot of his pack. Everyone had felt the sign of danger and distress on both Stiles and Derek and reported immediately to the hale house only to see their alpha running out of the woods with a bleeding Nymeria in his arms. Her brothers were on the alpha’s heels.

 

“Where’s Stiles?” Jackson asked choosing to ignore the inquiry on the vet.

 

“Gone. He left.” Derek managed to say still looking disbelieving at the situation. That’s when the werewolves of the pack all looked up to see a lady jog out of the woods. She looked out of breath and relieved to break into the clearing. She breathed deeply as she slowed her pace and joined the crowd forming in the backyard.

 

All eyes turn to her in question.

 

“Where is Stiles? And who is this?” Peter asked as he joined the group with Chris in tow. Chris looked ready for a fight.

 

“I, I saw you!” Parish answered for the new girl. Everyone looked away from her and to the deputy with shocked or disbelieving faces.

 

“She umm, she got away from the hunters but…”

 

“Carlos died and his friend, the werewolf, she’s still recovering…” Lena finished solemnly. “My name is Lena, and I can see visions of the future. I saw one involving your pack and I went to Stiles to stop it.”

 

Derek whirled around to accuse her quickly, “and yet you used him to… to get that necklace off you and on him and now he is gone too!” He said dangerously.

 

“That’s not a necklace, it’s a collar, meant to enslave. I honestly hoped that it wouldn’t even work on him since he gave his magic away and he is no longer a guardian of nature. But, I suppose he must still have trace amounts or the damn ruins on that thing can’t distinguish between current and past…or… it’s not, either way… it’s not worth looking into. We need to destroy it but I’m not sure what will happen now, I’m afraid.” She took a deep breath. “ I saw him, I saw him killing all of you, under her control. He killed his pack and it destroyed him. This kid barely out of high school, so young…. Caused so much destruction. It was horrible.”

 

Most listened to her with rapt attention and disbelief. Derek growled.

“Derek. What the hell is going on, who is she, and why is she telling us this? And where the hell is Stiles?” Lydia interrupted before Lena could continue.

 

“He… he went with Kali.” Derek muttered. “He just left with her. But Nymeria needs the vet, I think she has a broken rib.” He said reminding everyone of the urgent issue at hand.

 

“He is still out of town.” Peter informed them.

 

“Let me take a look and I’ll call my mom.” Scott suggested. He was already inspecting the shallow cuts on her hind leg.

 

Derek nodded and moved into the kitchen where everyone followed except Lena, who hovered near the back door, unsure if she was really welcomed.

 

She wasn’t. Most of the pack ignored her or continued to give her a wide berth. Everyone except Danny and Lydia which cause both Jackson and Parrish to stand protectively between the outsider and the rest of the pack.

 

“Okay, so you saw this horrible vision, but we still don’t know what’s going on…” Danny surmised.

 

Lena looked incredibly apologetic as she described the nature of the collar and how the device works. She told them about how she tricked Stiles into accepting it from her with Kali and Ennis and even admitted she felt instant relief once it was off of herself. She told them about the battle or lack there of that took place in the forest and even told her that she fed a version of Derek’s worst nightmare to him under Kali’s orders to keep their alpha distracted from what was really happening. Lena was crying as she recalled the look of horror the older man gave her once he had become aware that what he had witnessed did not in fact happen.

 

While she talked more and more of the Pack migrated closer to listen to her story and occasionally interrupted to ask a question.

 

“So how do you know Stiles, then. You said earlier that you had planned to pass the collar to him and hoped that it wouldn’t work on him?” Boyd asked.

 

“And, why wouldn’t it work?” Isaac inquired after.

 

“Ahhh. I told you I saw Stiles hurt all of you in a vision of the future. I just I couldn’t let that happen. It was bad, it threatened to expose the supernatural because his abilities despite being so nature oriented were used in such an unexplainable manner under Kali’s ownership. I panicked when this vision came to me. I knew Stiles from School, I’m a senior at Berkeley. We weren’t exactly friends and didn’t really hang out with the same crowd but after that vision I made of point of getting to know him as we had more in common than one might assume. It was easy to befriend him after I told him I was a Seer. And then when I told him of my vision he freaked out and begged me to stop it. So I promised to help him, I just couldn’t let what I saw come to pass. He wanted to tell his alpha right away. But I told him to let me dream on it, because usually when I interfere with a vision a new one will come to me as I dream. And so it did…” Lena continued to describe all the different scenarios she had seen.

She now had the full attention of everyone in the house. Nymeria laid calmly under Scott’s gentle petting with a bandaged side and orders to not move, but even they were listening too.

“Stiles telling Derek didn’t work. The future was different but still disastrous. He suggested telling his dad or even working with his boyfriend’s uncle without involving the rest of the pack. Neither of these situations had a positive outcome. He… he considered running away and breaking contact with all of you.”

 

Melissa and the sheriff had just arrived during that last part and took in the gravity of the situation quickly.

 

“Stiles?” The eldest Stilinski questioned.

 

“Yes, I’m sorry. He was willing to leave but it was breaking him. We planned to leave right away but, umm, his boyfriend,” she turned to face Derek, “was planning on visiting that weekend and he wanted to say goodbye.”

 

“He… he didn’t, he acted so…. Normal.” The alpha was a mix of emotions and had to sit down just to digest this new information.

 

“Yes. He told me he couldn’t. But we left anyways, I knew of someone that might be able to help him, but we had to go to South America.” Lena continued.

 

“South America!” Peter interrupted. Chris tugged on his arm in an overly familiar way to silence the out burst.

 

Lena paused for just a minute and then continued. “So we found the Spellweaver he was living with a pack of werewolves. His name in this form was Carlos, but he takes many forms. He was quick to agree to my plan, but I had yet to tell Stiles. You see…”

 

“A pack! Where? Where are they located?” Peter asked harshly, making Lena stare.

Lydia made a noise of indifference causing everyone to look at her instead. “A Spellweaver can steal the magic right off him… so that’s why you took him there?” She asked, brow furrowed in disappointment. Parrish rubbed her back in a placating motion.

 

“Did it take his memories too?” Erica asked as she scratched behind Remus’ ears.

 

“Stiles agreed to forfeit his ability as in every dream it was that more than anything that ultimately destroyed us all.” Lena explained. “It was his choice. But, let me tell you he didn’t think twice about it.” She assured the grumbling crowd.

 

“So, we left the pack but a werewolf asked to come with us. She had spent a great deal of time talking to Stiles the night before and she was American. I think she missed it here. The pack was very remote. Carlos wanted to come too. He said he’d like the trip.” Lena hesitated, she was crying now.

 

“What happened to them? Where is the werewolf?” Peter asked breathlessly.

 

“It… my dreams changed again, of course, but it was almost as bad for the supernatural world, perhaps a bit less so for your pack…” Lena continued.

 

“But, Carlos, he was a rare creature, we need him to keep the balance. I couldn’t let him die… I thought maybe if Stiles just knew nothing about our world then she wouldn’t use him. And we would be safe.” Lena was practically whispering now.

 

“What did you do?” Derek growled.

 

“I… I … I used a technique my mother taught me to… block his memories.” She said so lowly the humans couldn’t hear had to tun to the werewolves for understanding.

 

“She took his memories!” Derek growled. “Of us! Of all of us!”

 

He stormed through the back door shifting as he went and tearing his clothes in the process. Brin was quick to follow. Remus hesitated for just a moment before he joined his brother in the backyard. The three too large to be natural wolves disappeared in the shadows of the tree line instantly. A howl filled with pain and loss broke the silence in the dusk.

 

“He… I gave them back, I think it worked, but it’s hard to tell when he is wearing that collar, it keeps you in this odd feeling.” Lena kept going despite the lack of attention she was receiving as half the Pack stared longingly out the back door.

 

“My son. This is my son you messed with.” The sheriff boomed. “Why?”

 

“That night I dreamt again, it was the last one. It wasn’t good. Carlos died the werewolf from that village died, a lot of hunters died, I… I died. Stiles did too.” She admitted. We were cornered by Kali and her pack. The twins were ruthless and did her bidding without thought. We didn’t stand a chance now that Stiles was powerless. Carlos died in my arms and I just didn’t have it in me to fight back.” She was crying again.

 

Melissa offered her a glass of water. “Tell us what you did to stop that vision from coming true.”

 

Lena took a deep breath. “I suggested we go back to school for the finals and I didn’t tell Stiles about my last dream. He didn’t ask. I think he was really upset about loosing his power, he would randomly touch the ground or a tree and frown. He was really quiet on the trip home.”

 

“And the werewolf from South America? She came with you guys?” Peter questioned again.

 

“Yes she did. That first night back I walked Stiles to his dorm and I took ‘em, his memories. He fell asleep instantly. I put him in bed and mentioned to his roommate about a party that we would be at that weekend. He brought Stiles and I brought Carlos and Cora and we all chatted with him but he didn’t know us, and seemed really interested in the werewolf, it’s funny how he is so damn drawn to them.” She smiled at the group. “He flirted with her and was almost like a different person when compared to the sad guy I brought back from South Amer….”

 

“Cora! Cora?! You’re sure that was her name? Where is she?” Peter roared. He looked wild and frantic.

 

“It’s okay.” Chris tugged on his arm. “Calm down, we’ll get there.” He soothed.

 

Everyone stared at the two but none more so than Allison who wore a mix of emotions on her face. She was horrified and impressed and finished with a small smile.

 

“The hunters has her.” Lena squeaked, causing all eyes to turn back to her.

 

“I didn’t dream the night I took Stiles’ memories. I thought it was over, I didn’t know.” She took a deep breath. “Kali cornered us after the party. Stiles had already left to take his roommate home. Thankfully. She asked me to wear the collar to accept it from some kid who looked at me with vacant eyes. I was usually the one who made Stiles take it in my dreams so this wasn’t a complete surprise.” Lena took a second to wipe away stray tears. “She, she broke Cora’s leg when I hesitated! So I did as she asked. Once under her control I went with her without question. Cora was already healing, just slowly as Kali is an alpha. So she had no choice when Ennis picked her up. But Carlos refused. He was a really docile creature, and he simply continued to refuse Kali’s orders. She told the twins to kill him. They were hesitant to do so. Anyone in the supernatural community can feel it, the magic flowing in a Spellweaver. They’re really old and peaceful and once they are destroyed it’s gone.”

 

“The twins refused!” Parrish piped up. “This is what I saw in my vision!”

 

Lena looked inquisitorially at the deputy. “Hellhound, protector of the supernatural.” He answered her unasked question.

 

“They did refuse but they still dragged him along. Kali took us all to Portland.” Lena’s face turned down in a frown. She’s obsessed with getting back at you guys. She is so blinded by her choices. She used me to trick some hunters into working for her. It was easy too easy and I personally think it’s a trap.”

 

“Carlos escaped!” Parrish gasped.” And the hunters killed him! That’s what I saw and felt!” He looked sicken at the thought.

 

“Cora tried to too but she didn’t make it. Kali gave her to the hunters as reward or punishment I’m not sure which. The lead huntress, she’s a real… piece of work. I haven’t seen her since.” Lena addressed Peter directly. “Cora was injured but alive when they took her.”

 

“Kali wanted to get Stiles and I think she was planning on using him against the hunters in the end, but it won’t work because he doesn’t have his abilities. The hunters are smart they know too much, but I’m not sure what their angle is yet.” She admitted.

 

The sheriff was crying now too. “What can we do?”

 

“Stiles knew he would be used in such a manner, that’s why he forfeited his abilities, but I was afraid by taking his memories he’d forget his own plan. I think I gave them back to him. In the clearing, I tried. But I’ve never done something like this before, I think it worked, it’s just hard to tell because he is virtually emotionless with that damn collar on!” She huffed. “I can use a vision to trick the person into a new reality so he thinks everything I showed him happened from the moment right before Scott was bit. I forged a new reality in his mind and he lost the old one. I gave him the old one back in much the same way, I think it worked.”

 

“Well, that’s good right, maybe he’ll remember how to bend nature to his will and can use it to break out?” Scott asked, hopeful.

 

“No his power is still gone, gone for good, lost to the world, the moment Carlos died. Not that a spellweaver could or would give that back to him. He feeds on it and in turn the energy returns to the earth. It’s a dangerous imbalance to remove such a vital piece of the puzzle.” Lydia informed the group with a frown.

 

“She’s right.” Lena agreed. “But, hopefully Stiles is fully aware of the situation now and can operate from that perspective.”

 

“Either way, he needs us.” Jackson announced matter of factly. “He needs our help, we need to get Derek under control, and to rescue Stiles from these lunatics.”

 

“And, Cora.” Chris added before Peter could get angry again.

 

“She’s my niece.” Peter stammered, gaining shocked gasps from the majority of the pack.

 

“So,” Lydia turned to the group at large. “What’s the plan?”

Chapter Text

“So really what we need is to know where they would take him in Oregon?” Danny questioned.

 

“Yes. I’m afraid I don’t know, I was never given the liberty of seeing where we were going nor outside of the building once we were there. But I can tell you the inside was a warehouse and I know the hunters were from Portland.” Lena supplied helpfully.

 

“And you’re positive they wouldn’t be staying here? In town?” Boyd asked for the second time.

 

“No, definitely not. For one thing they didn’t bother keeping our hotel a secret from me and for another, her plan to destroy half this town didn’t turn out as it was supposed to, so I’m sure she needs to regroup.” Lena told him.

 

“Why would she keep Stiles if he is of no use to her now?” Jackson wondered aloud.

 

“I’m not sure.” Lena admitted with a frown.

 

“To punish him.” Lydia said with a monotone. “Think about it!” She added when the whole group stopped to focus on her. “She wanted to use him and he outsmarted her, she is probably pretty angry with him for that.”

 

“It won’t be easy for him.” Isaac agreed with a nod, causing the sheriff to say something incoherent.

 

Melissa reassured her new flame without thought for the group of onlookers and she shushed him and kissed him soothingly. Scott gave his mom a warm smile at the action.

 

“So we need to leave soon.” Erica suggested. “As soon as Derek returns, they already have half a night head start on us.”

 

“Right, I’ll let you know what we find out.” Peter said as he grabbed Chris’ arm to lead the older man towards the door. “I’ll call yo…..” he stopped talking and tilted his head in earnest. “A… car is coming.”

 

All of the other werewolves and the hellhound did their best to hear too.

 

“He’s right!” Scott said after a second. And, Parrish shook his head in acknowledgment too.

 

“Who?” Melissa wondered aloud.

 

“Not sure. It doesn’t sound familiar…” Peter whispered as he crept closer to the door. He held out a hand indicating to the others to keep their voices down. Everyone followed him to the entryway and held their breath as the vehicle grew closer except Scott who stayed with Nymeria in the Kitchen. He soothed the upset wolf and cautioned her not to move to join her pack in the planned ambush.

 

“Maybe it’s just a wrong turn and they will turn around when the see the driveway.” Parrish said optimistically. Causing Boyd and Lydia to give him doubtful expressions.

 

***

 

“Why would they trust us? He didn’t trust us? We really don’t have that ‘trust me’ type of face, you know…” Ethan asked his brother as he drove their sleek, silver sports car down the dirt path.

 

“Speak for yourself!” Aiden refuted. “I have the face of a beautiful god amongst men!”

 

“We have the same face!” Ethan rolled his eyes at his brother’s self indulgence. “And it’s the face of a guy who tried to kill you once, so again, why would they believe us?”

 

“Stiles didn’t try to kill us in the grocery store!” Aiden protested.

 

“Yes, but Stiles didn’t seem to know who we were, either” his brother countered.

 

“Stop worrying Ethan! They will want our help, I’m sure. They’ll welcome us with open arms!” Aiden reassured his twin with a friendly pat on the back.

 

***

Derek was angry. He needed to get away from that seer before he did something he would regret. He was angry with Stiles for keeping all of this from him, he was angry with himself for being so useless to stop it all. Some alpha he was, he was unable to protect his pack mate. Arguably the most important member of his pack, he thought bitterly.

 

Remus was not happy with his outburst and decision to leave. The rustic wolf was constantly running into Derek throwing the larger one off his stride. Brin kept whining too, showing his displeasure in his alpha’s behavior, but, the shaggy wolf trailed behind the other two all the same.

 

The three wolves galloped in a perimeter circle staying close to their home, led by the red eyed one until they heard something that made all three of their sets of ears perk up. An engine roaring too close to be coming from the highway. Derek instantly felt a wave of guilt as he wished it was the Jeep’s. But Stiles’ Jeep was already sitting in his driveway. The alpha felt a pang of guilt at how his idea to take the young adult for a stroll through the woods to visit the Nemeton was what allowed this to happen to begin with… if they weren’t so isolated maybe the pack could have helped where Derek had failed?

 

Brushing his self pitying feelings aside, Derek decided to follow the sound of the vehicle. It turned out to be a sports car, one he could easily see Jackson driving and yet it wasn’t the arrogant werewolf in the drivers seat. But it was a werewolf, of that Derek’s nose was sure. Two of them. It was hard to see their faces clearly with the tinted windows but that hardly mattered. All of the werewolves that should know of his home in the woods were already there. So whoever it was in the car they were most certainly not welcomed. The alpha stocked his prey all the way to the pack house’s driveway.

 

***

 

The twins pulled up to the large house, one with an optimistic smile and the other with dread pooling in his gut.

 

Ethan opened his door and quickly shut it again as a black figure appeared as if from nowhere and pounced quickly. The figure left an impact in the side of the rental vehicle. This squirmish did little to deter his brother from exiting the car and In an instant the hulking figure had the other werewolf pinned to the forest floor. Derek recognized the alpha twins for who they were and knew instantly that they wouldn’t be leaving here alive. The first one saw him coming and got away but the second one was more naïve and it would be the death of him.

 

The large black wolf growled furiously at the man beneath him. The other twin rattled his door handle but was unable to reopen the door as the dent left by Derek barred his exit.

 

“We come in peace!” The twin stuck in the car yelled. “We want to help!”

 

Derek only continued to growl as he moved in to rip the man beneath him’s throat out.

“And why should we trust you?” Allison’s huntress voice rang clear across the scene causing Derek to falter in his actions. He looked up to see she had her crossbow trained on the pinned man’s head and her father had two hand guns pointed evenly at the other twin who was still in the car. That twin had its hands up in surrender.

 

“Told you they wouldn’t trust us!” He shouted at his brother.

 

“Let’s not kill them yet.” Peter said with a smirk as he strode over to his nephew. “We need to extract information from them first.”

 

“I told you!” Ethan yelled as he used his werewolf strength to force open the injured door and step out of the vehicle while cautiously putting his hands back in the air.

 

Despite Aidan’s current predicament, he still managed to roll his eyes at his brother’s anguish yell.

 

***

 

Stiles was stuck in his perpetual state of numbness. He sat in the back seat of a black sedan and quietly watched the trees flicker past and grow larger the further North they migrated. Kali was still fuming. She would occasionally demand a show of supernatural abilities from Stiles and time and time again he would fail her as he just sat there quietly and continued to look out the window.

 

Kali had a temper. And this behavior was not going unpunished. Stiles now sported several shallow cuts across his face and arms from sharp claws as well as several more bruises from being shoved violently whenever he failed her. He took the abuse without complaint in his new subdued state. He also never attempted to stop the attack or clean up afterwards, resulting in blood trails scattering his clothing and skin alike.

The three went back to the hotel where the alpha pack’s remnants were staying at in Beacon Hills and upon realizing that the twins had failed to return again, Kali immediately decided to head back to the warehouse. Should she ever cross the twins’ path again, she would kill them. It was that simple.

 

The hunters were going to make her a deal and it was one she couldn’t refuse so she returned as planned with her new obedient toy in tow.

 

It quickly grew dark outside during the drive and yet, the collared boy in the backseat continued to stare out the window even though it was now impossible to see anything.

 

***

 

“Tell us where he is?” Derek, who had shifted back to his human state, was now screaming in one of the twin brother’s faces.

 

The alpha brothers were tied up with the chains the pack had used years ago when they were still learning to control their shifts on full moons in the living room surrounded by everyone else. They had repeatedly denied harming Stiles or Cora as Peter had brought her name into the questioning as Derek slumped off upstairs to put new clothes on. Once he returned to the living room, however the pack silenced themselves and waited for their alpha’s command. All except the sheriff, who took the reprieve to phone in to the station about his son’s kidnapped status and suspected location. If they took him anywhere with a police force between here and Washington state, he was sure to be alerted immediately.

 

“We tried to warn him! We did! But he didn’t even remember us! I mean I know we weren’t friends but we had to have made an impact on you all back then…” Aidan said with a small smile at the implication.

 

“Is he telling the truth?” Lydia asked the room at large. “How would he know about Stiles’ memory loss?”

 

“He is.” Isaac assured her and then turned to Peter for confirmation.

 

“He is.” Peter admitted scornfully. “But, it hardly means they are innocent in all of this. Tell us what you know. Where is she?”

 

“She?” Derek faltered and questioned his uncle.

 

“Cora. I think they have your sister.” The older Hale said heavily.

 

Whatever Derek was expecting, it wasn’t that. He sucked in a deep breath but failed to find words. After a moment he asked in a small voice, “how?” The rest of the pack were aware that Peter felt this Cora was his niece, but they had failed to realize that she would be Derek’s sister too and another survivor of the Hale fire. The room was deathly quiet.

 

“She must have survived, she was young , meek, maybe she slipped past the ash line before it was fully formed…” Peter said placing a hand on his nephew’s shoulder for support. “I wasn’t sure, but I heard a rumor, it turned out false, or so I thought, but it looks like I was just too late. She had already returned to the States with our young emissary after his foolish trip to South America.

“What?” Derek asked. It would seem he was reduced back to one word sentences from the shock of the news.

 

“We need to find them both!” Peter summed up before partially shifting and threatening the twins again.

 

“Look, its true. We’ve been with Kali and Ennis for years now, but it’s not like we liked them!” Ethan began. “We didn’t even like Deucalion, but we didn’t know anyone else like us and he had tricked us into killing our alpha. It wasn’t… I wasn’t ideal, but they were all we had after that.”

 

“They noticed Stiles left school and panicked so when he returned they moved up their plan to capture him and use him and that’s when they found out he knew a seer. They wanted Lena to be claimed by the collar right away, knowing that Stiles would probably rescue her himself and if he didn’t her ability to distract people would be… useful. I think Kali looked into getting another collar, but her source denied her.” Aidan added to the story, causing Lena to shiver.

 

Despite being twins, when Aidan spoke it was with a shrug and nonchalance while his brother sounded much more regretful.

“So,” Ethan continued, “She promised to give them Stiles when she was all done with her revenge on your pack, I don’t know why they want him. I don’t like the hunters….”

 

“How many are there?” Chris asked. “What are their names?”

 

Ethan looked apologetic. “I’m not sure really. At least five, they take orders from the girl, she’s… she’s not human, but I don’t think the other hunters know.”

 

Chris narrowed his eyes at this. “What is she then?”

 

Aidan tilted his head to look at the hunter who asked the question directly in the eyes. “I don’t know, she’s not a wolf either, but she’s definitely not human, smells like a dead cat…” he wrinkled his nose in disgust.

 

“We’ll take you there.” Ethan piped up. “If you unchain us, we’ll take you to her hotel and if they’re not there we’ll take you to her warehouse…”

 

“Okay.” Scott said right away. “Let’s go now and try and close the distance between us, what if they’re still in Beacon Hills!” As he spoke he crossed the room towards the captives in the center, but Derek stood firm in his way.

“No one is to undo their bindings.” He proclaimed.

 

“But…” Scott protested. “They’re not lying!”

 

“Maybe so, but they are not trustworthy either.” Boyd agreed with Derek.

 

“What about Stiles!” Jackson demanded.

 

“Yes.” Peter said slyly. “But, there are two of them, and we only need one to cooperate…”

 

***

 

The pack found themselves separated as did the alpha twins. Lena, Lydia, Danny, Erica, Melissa, Isaac, and Allison all stayed at the pack house to guard over Aiden. Erica and Allison were in charge of the guarding part and Melissa was there to ensure no one got hurt. Lydia and Danny were both working hard on figuring out what they could about the magic restriction collar and how to get rid of it with Lena’s help. Melissa checked over her son’s work on Nymeria and carted her hands through her white fur in the kitchen as she still occupied the tabletop. Of all the complaining from the ones left at home Nymeria’s whining was probably the most consistent.

 

Chris, Peter, the sheriff, and Parrish all drove ahead of the group to the address the twins told them. It was a warehouse district on the South side of Portland. Chris took his pickup because it was inconspicuous and the sheriff took his squad car and planned on alerting the local police of his arrival.

 

Meanwhile, Derek, Boyd, Scott and Jackson drove to the hotel with Ethan seated between Jackson and Boyd in the backseat of the Camaro. Jackson was unable to keep his werewolf talons in check; a fact that Ethan was quick to pick up on.

 

Brin and Remus attempted to ride in the car too but quickly gave up as no one would open the door for them even as they pawed the doors to death. Derek was sure to be angry over the scratch marks later but for the time being he didn’t care all too much he just ordered the wolves back inside so everyone could leave. Remus in his protest however jumped in the back of Chris’ pickup and refused to get out. Brin followed suit. The werewolves could have fought them tooth and nail to leave the vehicle’s bed, but, both natural wolves were showing teeth with their growls of protest and Derek knew it wouldn’t be an easy battle and they simply didn’t have time for such matters. So the wolves took off on their longest journey, yet.

 

Feeling as if they were at least finally doing something productive Derek attempted to turn his grumpy mood around on the way to the hotel. It quickly became apparent that the place was deserted however and he became overruled by anger and doubt once again. Scott called Peter and told them of the bad news and said they would do their best to catch up.

 

Derek drove twenty over the speed limit the whole way there.

Chapter Text

“Get in there and sit on the floor!” Kali ordered, pointing to a secluded office that has long since been abandoned.

 

Stiles, of course, had no will of his own to protest and did as was asked of him.

 

The room was small and at one point in time must have had a desk taking up the majority of the it, based on the scrape marks it left on the concrete floor. Now however, there was no desk left, no chair, no artwork, not even a degree proudly hanging on the wall. It was empty, bleak, and dark. Stiles sat right in the center and didn’t even flinch when Kali shut and locked the door. A sliver of light shown through the bottom, that tiny bit was all the collard young man had to stop him from sitting in pitch blackness. It was quiet.

 

At least Kali wouldn’t be able to sink her claws in him while he was in here, he thought miserably. And hey! That was new, he had yet to have a thought of his own since the numbness swept over his body. So, maybe he was starting to fight back? Maybe this magical device wasn’t able to control him for long and he would be able to overthrow it in time? It was a hopeful thought, and that was something! It didn’t take long however, for the gravity of the situation to set in and he found himself wondering what’s the point of even trying. Why hope? He was nothing but a robot made to do his master’s bidding, he thought cynically. But, at least he wasn’t near her now…

 

He continued to sit there and experience the endless cycle of ups and downs. It would be enough to drive a sane man crazy. But, for Stiles who was so locked up in his own turmoil, the wondering and thinking and fighting against his self doubt was giving him something to do and deep down he felt that perhaps that was the key to all of this. To simply keep his mind occupied and full of thought so it wouldn’t revert to the nothingness again.

 

As he thought, he scratched absentmindedly at the collar on his neck.

 

***

 

Derek didn’t say a word the entire trip. Occasionally, Ethan would pipe up about which route was faster. His only acknowledgment from the angry alpha behind the wheel was a flash of red eyes in the rearview mirror.

 

Jackson, however, took his time questioning the man next to him, and didn’t stray from asking all sorts of personal questions too. Jackson was ruthless. He was accusatory while asking the twin about his parentage and original wolf pack. He held no punches when getting to the bottom of the sad tale on how Ethan and Aiden ended up alphas and apart of Deucalion’s pack. And, Ethan responded as clear and honestly as he could manage given the circumstances. He was cautious, but recognized that by helping this pack find their emissary, he was taking the first step in the right direction, perhaps the first step in forming a pack of his own with his brother. And if they were less misunderstood, it would go a long way towards building that trust. So he told the hollowing story and relent some of the guilt he felt at the loss of his father and mother, a loss caused by their own hands.

 

This crushing guilt registered with Derek and he felt the first pang of sympathy for the alpha in his backseat. He was so lost in his worry for Stiles and now for Cora too, that it took him by surprise. He refused to show it, however as he maintained a stony face while gripping the steering wheel in a crushing force.

 

Scott was close to tears but held it together. Ethan’s story affected him but so did the potential loss of Stiles. Scott and the new Stiles were certainly closer and he knew that Stiles’ lack of memory was a big factor in that. The summer had been great for the former best friends. He had always felt guilty at how poorly he treated his brother back in high school. The look of deep sadness and betrayal that Stiles had given him when he blamed his mother’s kidnapping on him, was never forgotten. He apologized and Stiles accepted it, but their friendship was never the same after the whole Darach incident. Stiles grew closer to Derek and Jackson and Danny and Lydia and became more distant with Scott. It hurt, but he was happy that his friend was happy. And then this whole thing with Lena happen and suddenly Stiles was texting him more often and they hung out more often and he would be lying if he didn’t admit that this was the best couple of months he had had in a long time, probably since Allison and him called it quits. He was so worried for his friend and what he was going through and what he would be like after knowing the truth about his memories. How would that affect him?

 

Scott’s mood was sensed by all. Boyd reached upfront and gripped his shoulder tight in support.

 

When Jackson felt Ethan had divulged enough personal information and deemed the twin truthful in his plea to help rescue Stiles, the Camaro lulled into an uneasy and subdued silence.

 

Tentatively, Ethan cleared his throat. “The hunters, Kali has these hunters, she is a fool to trust them… they have chains and electricity, they hunt wolves, but… I don’t think they would mind hurting your human.” He said, sadly. “You need to hurry.”

 

Derek, reluctantly, agreed with the alpha and increased his speed.

 

***

 

Danny and Lydia actually had a good idea where to start on their search for the answers surrounding the magical collar. It turns out that the Argent bestiary had mention a collar used to limit a magical user’s abilities. Lena had looked at the hastily drawn picture and confirmed that she thought it could be the same device.

 

Melissa who had left Nymeria’s side, only after the wolf had succumbed to sleep, offered to help the trio look up supernatural incidents that could have possibly been connected to the necklace. She glanced at Lena’s neck, however, and immediately noticed how raw and red the skin was there.

 

“Lena, honey!” The nurse exclaimed. “You should have said something! I’m a nurse let me look at that neck of yours, okay.”

 

The seer looked away awkwardly, claiming it was nothing and that she was fine. This caused Lydia to scrutinize her and with Melissa’s help she was able to convince Lena to lower her shirt collar. There was a blistering red ring around her neck and obvious scratch marks and even some bruises that appeared to be healing.

 

“Oh, Lena!” Lydia whispered. “How painful is that thing? Why didn’t you say anything? Is Stiles suffering?”

 

“Let me go get some ointment…” Melissa refrained from further chastisement.

 

“It… you don’t really notice it, while it’s on.” Lena said carefully after a pause to consider the questions. “It kind of blocks out your awareness, so like I barely noticed I had it on at first, overtime, I think I built up a tolerance, it was mostly just itchy, kinda like a burn that’s healing….”

 

Lydia pursed her lips considering this new information. “So, how long did you wear it?”

 

“A little over a month, I guess, it was right before the end of the semester. I wasn’t even aware at all for that first week, and I only just managed to talk to Stiles on my own accord while under the collar’s influence, this afternoon…” The seer admitted. “I don’t think the irritation will bother Stiles all that much, they should catch up to him tonight, he will barely notice, I’m sure.” She attempted to sound positive but all of the werewolves in the living room heard the skip in her heartbeat.

 

Danny looked up from the article he was reading with a frown to ask, “Lena, is there a way to remove the necklace without placing it on another magic user?”

 

“I don’t know, in all of my visions it was always passed from myself to Stiles or a druid to Stiles. I’ve never seen it before that.” Lena answered honestly.

 

Aiden scoffed from his bindings in the middle of the living room, causing all eyes to turn to him.

 

“What?” He asked.

 

Erica crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes. “You tell me, what did you have to add to Lena’s proclamation?”

 

Allison and Isaac stood on either side of the aggressive she-wolf. Whether it was to offer protection to her or the captive was anyone’s guess.

 

“It’s just, “ Aiden started to explain, “if you saw a vision of yourself getting mixed up with all of this, wouldn’t you choose to I don’t know, run far as fuck away?”

 

Lena redden at being called out.

 

“I had to do something. So many people died, especially in the first vision….” She explained. “You lived, though.” She added with a hint of accusation.

 

“Well, that’s what I do, survive.” Aiden replied, nonchalantly.

 

“Yes, you survived, but your brother didn’t… he was killed by Ennis for trying to interfere.” The seer said with hauntingly troubled eyes.

 

Aiden paled, and failed to respond.

 

After a beat, he quietly said, “thank you.”

 

“I’m not sure who is going to survive this time, don’t thank me yet…” Lena said quietly.

 

Melissa returned with the burn cream and politely asked if she could take a closer look in the Kitchen’s lighting.

 

Everyone else continued their research and musing or guard duty respectively.

 

***

 

Stiles was lost in the darkness. He is sure there are people and noises and things going outside of the darkness but it seems so remote, so far away.

 

He knows he is supposed to be concentrating on something… he just doesn’t remember what. There is a tickling feeling on his neck. He tried to scratch it, to smother it, but he just can’t quite satisfy the itch. And he is tired, exhausted now that that thought came to him.

 

The ground is hard underneath him, but he can’t bring himself to stand or even move.

 

“STILES!” A shrill voice pierced his thoughts. Kali, the day’s events rushed into him causing the young man to sway a bit as he was overwhelmed.

 

The door swung open flooding the darkness with light. Stiles stood on impulse.

 

“Come, follow me.” The alpha she-wolf ordered in a clipped tone.

 

Stiles was back in the main room of the warehouse which now housed many new occupants. Despite his numbed brain, the former high druid couldn’t help but flicker his eyes to the center of the newcomers. Surrounded by six hunters all clad in boots and holsters was a face he recognized. The face of the woman who ruined his boyfriend’s life!

 

Kate Argent.

 

He was flooded with a sudden wave of intense emotion. Fear, hate, anger, disgust, and disbelief.

 

Kali flicked her eyes questioningly to her captor. Could she feel it too, as his master? Then just as quickly as the feelings came to him he was swept over with the emptiness again.

 

“He’s broken!” Kali accused. “He doesn’t listen to me!”

 

Kate narrowed her beautiful, unnatural lime green eyes. “What do you mean the kid doesn’t listen? You are still the owner of the collar, right? I let you kill my cousin, to take that right!”

 

Kali smirked. “Stiles!” She snapped. “Kill the hunters.” Kate shifted her feet, uncertain.

 

Stiles hesitated for a minute, before he walked blindly forward and attempting to disarm one of the hunters from their side piece. The man looked shocked and then amused at the effort. He twisted Stiles around and roughly knocked him to the ground. He proceeded to pull out the firearm in question and point the pistol at Stiles, directly between his eyes.

 

“Do you want me to kill him?” He asked Kate.

 

“Hemmm, interesting.” Kate smiled, evilly. “Stiles, get up.”

 

The young man stayed on the ground.

 

Kate looked imploringly at Kali who hesitated before she ordered the boy up. Stiles did as he was told. “Kill them, with your abilities!” Kali shrieked.

 

Stiles stood there.

 

“You see!” Kali said accusatorially at the lead huntress. “He doesn’t have his magic anymore!”

 

Kate smiled. “Oh. Isn’t this something. Tell me Stiles, are you still apart of that reformed Hale pack? Are you still… Derek’s lover? His second choice?”

 

Stiles didn’t respond. This caused Kate’s smile to falter. She glanced at the hunter who still held his gun raised on the boy.

 

“Tell her.” Kali demanded. “Answer her questions.” While she didn’t care for the emissary, at all, she had plans to desecrate his pack, and she felt he was worth more use alive then dead, even if he was… broken.

 

“I am the Hale pack emissary.” Stiles replied clearly. “Derek was my boyfriend.”

 

“Hemmm. Interesting.” Kate looked predatorily at the younger man. “I’ll take him. He can stay with the beast, and when they come for him we can negotiate.”

 

“I want them dead, all of them.” Kali all but yelled, fangs out. “No negotiations.”

“I want Hale alive.” Kate refuted. “We can lead them in, under the guise of negotiating for the two captives. I wanted the druid, to use him to rid this world of its harrier members, get rid of the beasts once and for all… but, I’ll settle for tormenting an old fling. A delicious one, at that.” She smirked in Stiles’ direction again.

 

Kali seemed agitated that she lost the upper hand. “Just go with him,” she nodded at the hunter who still held a gun to Stiles’ head. “Do as he says.”

 

The hunter smiled at that and trailed the gun down the back of Stiles’ head in an almost lovingly manner. “You’re not even a beast, are you?” He whispered into the collard man’s ear.

 

Stiles walked blankly ahead, giving no reaction.

 

“We won’t get to cut that pretty little body of yours in half, will we?” The hunter attempted to goad a response from the seemingly unaffected young man.

 

It didn’t work. Stiles was steered into a little trap door that led underground.

 

The tunnel they walk through was low hanging and filled with roots and other plant life that was insistent on breaking into the walls. It led to a bunker, of sorts. Upon entering it was obvious the room was a weapons cache for the hunters but it doubled as a prison for the girl who laid naked and chained to a fence. Her long, brunette hair was wet and pasted to her body, causing her to shake. Regardless, she looked up with determinedly stubborn eyes once hearing she had visitors.

 

It was Stiles’ friend that he met in South America, Cora.

 

“Stiles?” She asked in wonder. “Stiles! Oh my… what are you doing here? With him?” She spat the last part with distaste.

 

“He won’t answer you.” The hunter said lazily as he set his gun down on a counter and didn’t even bother restraining the former druid.

 

Stiles looked at Cora with slight recognition. Cora saw the collar that was formerly on Lena and realized the gravity of the situation with dawning realization.

 

“Don’t do anything to him!” Cora said scornfully to the hunter now. “He can’t do anything, he has no powers left… just let him go!”

 

The hunter smiled at her antics. “Keep that up, pretty wolfy, and I’ll have you screaming in pain for me to ‘Stop, Stop, Stop’” he mocked in a high pitched voice.

 

Stiles showed a flicker of concern at the threat but failed to move.

 

“Stiles!” Cora called out to him. “Stiles are you in there?” She desperately pleaded for him to come to. There were times, when the she-wolf thought that perhaps Lena was more coherent than others. “If you can hear me, grab his gun, Stiles do it!”

 

The hunter spun on his heels feared that perhaps the werewolf knew something he did not, but Stiles stayed motionless.

 

“Did the alpha order you to follow my directions?” The hunter asked.

 

“She told me to go with you and do as you say.” Stiles replied monotoned.

 

“Perfect.” The hunter smiled wide. “Get… undressed.”

 

Cora perked up at this and started screaming. “LEAVE HIM ALONE!”

 

“Hush. The wolves above will hear you.” As he said this he placed a filthy rag in Cora’s mouth.

 

She flinched from the taste. He tied it behind her head.

 

The hunter seemed proud of his handiwork. “One more peep from you and I’ll turn the electricity back on!”

 

Cora fidgety but remained silent.

 

“Now, Stiles, is it? Get undressed.” Stiles did as he was told and removed his clothing piece by piece. There was nothing particularly seductive in the act, but that didn’t stop the hunter from getting aroused. He was turned on by his control over the young man as he ordered him to turn around slowly.

 

“Come here.” The man commanded. Stiles obeyed. He stayed still and silent as the older man allowed his hands to roam all over. He started tentatively, reaching for the compliant man’s bicep and squeezing. The man quirked an eyebrow when Stiles failed to show a reaction. He took his time lowering his hand to Stiles’ nipple and giving it a rough tug. Still no reaction. He lowered his hands still further until he had one resting on each hip, with his thumbs moving in a soothing circle.

 

“You would let me do anything, to you huh?” The man asked in a low, husky voice. Stiles didn’t respond. Cora squirmed a little bit louder in protest for her friend.

 

The hunter’s gaze flicked to the collar on Stiles’ neck. He traced a rune, idly with a forefinger, pulling Stiles closer still with the other hand. His hand moved and smacked the collard prisoner hard on the round curve of his backside, leaving a resounding noise breaking the tension in the small bunker. The hunter rubbed the red hand print lovingly.

 

“Anything…” the older man whispered to himself. He allowed a finger to dip experimentally in the cleft between each of Stile’s cheeks.

 

And then, as if he just remembered who he was and what he was doing, he fastened a chain around the collar on Stiles neck briskly. The collar flared red and the chain underneath melted away burning Stiles in the process.

 

“Eh, that looks… painful.” The hunter mused to himself as he turned Stiles neck sideways to get a better view.

 

He looked around the room and decided to secure a second collar to the young man. This one he attached the chain to without issue. He fastened this chain to the wall, just far enough to keep him out of reach of Cora.”

 

“There!” The hunter said briskly. “Chained like the dogs you love to hangout with…”

 

“Sit!” He barked the order and laughed openly when Stiles dropped to the floor like a pile of bricks.

 

“Stay. Good boy!” The hunter was thoroughly enjoying his teasing now. “I’ll be back for you later.”

Chapter Text

Lydia, in an uncharacteristic fit of anger, slammed the book she was reading shut. Everyone in the pack house looked up in concern from the interruption.

 

“Arrgg.” She growled in a good intimidation of her werewolf friends. “We’ve traced that damn collar through history from France to here and there has never been a time when it wasn’t on someone’s neck, except… except for the instances where the person wearing it died… which almost always happened when they chose not to pass it to someone else!”

 

“The magic user has to except it. So, everyone agreed for one reason or another.” Lena reminded the banshee.

 

“Yes, but it was usually under destress. There was one sorcerer who practically became a hunter, himself, he wore it for at least a year, and died from an infection from the open wound on his neck.” Lydia said as she shook her head in defeat. “The Argent who controlled him was heartbroken and claimed in her anger she destroyed the collar. But, obviously they made a new one or she was lying, because one exists and it’s on Stiles’ neck and I think the only way to get it off is if we put it on someone else… Like hell Stiles would allow that…”

 

Danny nodded. “I’m not sure what we will do, but we won’t let him die, and we won’t let anyone else be enslaved by it.”

 

“Yeah, Lydia!” Erica attempted to cheer up the banshee. “You’re too smart to give up now. You’ll figure it out, you three always do!”

 

“But, they don’t exactly have Stiles’ help this time!” Isaac whispered loud enough for everyone to hear.

 

Allison slapped him playfully on the arm. “Not, helping!?”

 

“Why don’t you take a break, it’s almost midnight, get some rest.” Danny suggested, turning to the red head. “Allison’s dad and the sheriff should be close to Portland, now. The hard part is almost over. They’ll bring Stiles home and we will figure it out!” He tried a bit to much, overdoing the optimism in his tone.

 

Lydia begrudgingly agreed and stood up to allow Allison to lead her to one of the downstair’s bedrooms, when her phone rang. It was Parrish.

 

“Hey! Any luck?” Lydia answered the phone, briskly.

The others watched as her hopeful expression was replaced with doubt again. “Okay. Okay. How long?”

 

The banshee couldn’t stop her self from pacing nervously as she talked. “He went ahead? After Derek told him to wait? …Okay. Sure, we’ll keep working on it. …No. Not yet.”

 

There was a long pause. “Okay. Be… be careful, for me.” She added in a small voice and dropped the phone as she hung up.

 

The werewolves had heard both sides of the conversation but for everyone else, Lydia explained. “They are waiting for Derek who is almost there, except Peter. He… yelled at Chris about family and left them. The sheriff has the police on alert but didn’t give them the location, because Derek is sure there will be some werewolf… disagreements tonight. The whole street is abandoned. Parrish said it was the same spot he saw in his vision, so he just new….”

 

Danny rubbed her back and led her to sit back down on the couch. “You should still get some rest.” He suggested.

 

“Why am I not getting any feelings over this?” She mused to herself.

 

“Do you really want to?” Erica asked. “Your strange ways tend to lead to dead bodies…”

 

Lydia’s head snapped up at this, “I just don’t want it to be too late…”

 

“Sleep.” Danny persisted.

 

Nymeria walked over gingerly and laid her head comfortably on the red head’s lap. Lydia shifted to place a hand on the wolf’s soft neck so she could cart her fingers through the thicker hair there. As soon as she touched the wolf, however, her world shrank away and she was left seeing the white wolf springing into action and tackling a female leather clad huntress to the ground. The huntress, Kate Argent, she realized, had long sharp fangs, green eyes and a purplish tinge to her skin. She was mere seconds away from placing a clawed hand in Derek’s throat when the leap from Nymeria threw them off balance and the huntress… monster? What ever she was, landed the deadly blow in Nymeria instead coating the pure fur crimson. Nymers whimpered as Derek scrambled to pull the wolf into his arms. He was crying and in his anger he whirled around and killed Kate with several deep claw marks to her chest. He turned back to Nymeria. The wolf was dead, staring vacantly back up at Derek or Lydia for she realized she had switched from an observing in the vision to a first person point of view.

 

Lydia was crying. Nymeria smelled the tears and rearranged herself to lick them away.

 

“Ask and you shall receive?” Isaac questioned, a little uncomfortable at seeing the strong woman reduced to tears in front of him.

 

“We… we need to go.” Lydia announced vaguely. “They… Derek will need us.”

 

“What did you see?” Erica squeaked, catching on.

 

“Derek… he needs Nymeria.” Her voice broke as she realized what she was committing the young wolf to by choosing to bring her there. “We have to go, now.”

 

“Who did you see die?” Danny asked, worriedly.

 

Allison stood to go wake Melissa. “No, Allison, call your dad.” Lydia stopped the huntress abruptly breaking her stride. “Call him and tell him, Kate’s alive. And a were-something, and deadly.”

 

Allison sucked in a deep breath as she fumbled for her phone.

 

***

 

Cora continued to wiggle her jaw back and forth. She had her fangs out and was trying with all her might to tear up the thick cloth in her mouth enough so she could talk to her fellow captive.

 

Stiles sat still and silent in the dimly lit bunker. An emergency light on the back wall barely illuminated the entire space. But, Cora could see that the young man had yet to move. He was nakedly sitting with his legs crossed, all sense of modesty gone with his ability to think and act for himself.

 

The hunter had left rather abruptly and Cora had no clue when that man would return. But for her own sake and now Stiles’, she didn’t intend to be there when he got back. Stiles was simply collard to the wall. One restraint. The second chain on his neck would be rather easy to pick, if she could talk him into doing so…

 

As she struggled, she kicked and flared her limbs as much as possible, given her own restraints. She was week, hungry, tortured , and abused. But, just seeing her short term friend was enough to ignite a small spark of hope within her. She just had to get the cloth out of her mouth first. That was the first step.

 

***

 

Derek pulled up next to the Beacon Hill’s squad car and frowned. Chris, deputy Parrish, and the sheriff were all leaning against the vehicle with their arms crossed and matching looks of disappointment on each of their faces. Brin and Remus sat motionless in the back of the pick up.

 

“Listen, I know you told us to wait, but…” Chris started to say before Derek was even out of the vehicle. The older man had his trusty pistol in his right hand, Derek was sure the safety was off.

 

The alpha didn’t make any indication that he had heard him.

 

The hunter continued, “it’s his niece, you know how much he… he needed to make sure she was okay.”

 

Derek grunted.

 

“Listen, kid,” the sheriff said placing a familiar hand on the alpha’s shoulder. “That’s not all, you need to listen to Chris.” He raised both eyebrows for emphasis.

 

Scott, Boyd, Jackson, and Ethan all exited the black Camaro in silence listening to what the oldest Argent had to say.

 

“It’s about my sister.” Chris started tentatively. This caused Derek to perk up in anger and interest.

 

“What.” He bit out over a mouth full of fangs, “about her?”

 

Chris sighed. “Allison called…”

 

He explained the vision Lydia had. Parrish visibly disagreed when Chris told the others how everyone, even Aiden, were on their way up, now.

 

“Who died?” Boyd asked, sadly. “In the vision, who died?”

 

Derek was so full of anger over hearing that not only was Kate alive, somehow, but that she was involved in all of this, that he failed to realize why Lydia would have had a vision to begin with. Her premonitions, which sometimes came too late, were unpredictable. She has seen the death of strangers and friends alike and the pack has been able to stop it. She has also arrived on crime scenes of the already dearly departed. Her role as a banshee is almost always connected, however, even if it’s unclear at the time. So, Boyd was right. That was a good question to ask.

 

“They didn’t tell us.” Chris admitted, numbly.

 

“And yet, they are all driving here and putting themselves in harms way!” Parrish exclaimed a little too harshly.

 

The sheriff looked knowingly at his young deputy. “She’s smart, you should trust her.” He said. It took the older Stilinski much longer than it should have to learn the real value of trust. It’s such an easy thing to loose and so hard to earn back. But, more importantly, it should be given freely to those that you love, because without trust, what is a relationship built on? Rather that be a relation between a couple or a relationship between a father and son. He lost his wife and somewhere along the way forgot that he could depend on those around him. He lost faith in even his own son’s word. And that was a mistake he deemed he would never repeat.

 

“Right.” Derek said. “Which one?” He smelled the air, not unlike a dog would, as he indicated the rows of abandoned warehouses.

 

“Peter went that way.” Chris pointed to the curve in the road at the end of the street.

 

“It’s the big grey one two streets over.” Ethan said, patiently.

 

“And, why should we take your word on it?” Jackson asked skeptically.

 

“I haven’t lied to you yet…” The twin said with a flirtatious grin.

 

To everyone’s surprise, Jackson returned it.

 

“But, Kali and Ennis are alphas and the huntress is… not human.” Ethan added more grimly. “They will hear us coming.”

 

“You’re right.” Derek agreed.

 

“They will hear Peter coming first, won’t they?” Scott asked, timidly, like he was unsure of an answer in school.

 

“Let’s go quick.” Derek said after a pause.

 

“An ambush?” Chris asked.

 

“You ready?” Derek replied around a mouth full of fangs and claws out.

 

The hunter pass the sheriff wolvesbane bullets.

 

“Ready.”

 

***

 

Kali and Kate had yet to fully agree on a plan for negotiations when the older hunter who locked up the former druid returned.

 

“Took you long enough!” Kate complained. “Go secure the border with the others!” At her words all six hunters left.

 

“No need for the extra security, I’ll hear them, if they even find this place.” Kali snapped.

 

“You seem to have forgotten that you returned two alphas shy of an alpha pack!” Kate grinned. “What is to stop those twins from betraying you?”

 

“They wouldn’t, they’re selfish, they are probably halfway across the country now. They have no reason to help the Hale pack.” Kali found herself defending the boy’s, reluctantly

 

“You can never be sure of anything!” Kate laughed. “Nothing is for certain, not even death!”

 

The huntress allowed for more of her shift than just her emerald green eyes as she spoke. Her teeth elongated and features turned mor cat like and predatory.

 

Ennis showed the first sign of interest as Kate shifted into her beta form. “What are you?” He questioned.

 

Kate raised an eyebrow at the usually silent man. “What? Never seen a were-jaguar before? Honestly always thought of myself more of a cougar, personally, but I knew I definitely had cat claws… imagine digging your way out of your own shallow grave. Unable to go back to the family that disowned you. An abomination, the very thing I was taught to hunt…”

 

After a dramatic pause in which both alphas failed to acknowledge her, Kate continued. “ I should thank you. You guys took care of my father, and despite his own werewolf bite, he would surely have hunted me, just the same…”

 

Kali looked less surprised by this revelation and nodded knowingly.

 

“Stay here… I think I smell a Hale that I failed to burn… I’ll take care of him.” Kate smirked.

 

“We’ll go together!” Kali protested.

 

“No, stay here. Guard the tunnel.” The two women looked seethingly at each other.

 

Kate flipped her blond hair arrogantly and disappeared through the double front doors.

 

Kali motioned for Ennis to follow and took off in the direction of the back.

 

***

 

Cora’s struggle was not for naught. She spit the filthy rag onto the floor with venom and immediately started to plea with Stiles’ prone form.

 

“Hey! Hey! Stiles! Remember me! From Brazil! Cora! You were going to introduce me to your pack!”

 

“ My… my brother’s pack…” she added more to herself.

 

For she had listened to the strange plight of the high druid who came to her remote village in the forest looking for Carlos of all people. She found him odd, at first, but when she heard that he was from Beacon Hills, she knew they would be friends, if not for nothing else other than the fact that his Portuguese was abysmal and he would need a translator. She was excited to hear that he was apart of a werewolf pack and he was doing this to save their lives, but she didn’t dare ask who the pack alpha was, not wanting to know who had taken over her mother’s land.

 

The emissary raved about his alpha and boyfriend, regardless. His boyfriend, Derek and she hoped against hope that perhaps her brother had somehow survived… was he even home during the fire? And, then the two stayed up late talking and Stiles… he loves his talking, shared with her his boyfriend’s tragic past. She found out the reason behind the Hale fire and was pissed, at first. But, her anger gave way to the fact that she not only had a brother, but an uncle still alive. She almost told the clueless mole speckled man who she really was… almost.

 

Cora couldn’t quite give a reason for her hesitancy. She did accept Lena’s offer to return to the States. It was too good of an opportunity to pass up, but she wasn’t sure how welcomed she would be. Would Derek question why she stayed away for so long… and Laura, she missed the opportunity to live with her older siblings. It wasn’t fear from her family or even anger at their misdeeds, it was just a looming closure that she didn’t know she needed until it was available to her. And, rather than rush into it, she needed time. Time to forgive and accept.

 

During her self musings, she fail to notice that Stiles had stood up and was staring at her. Unblinkingly. They were both naked still. It was a tad too creepy for Cora’s taste. She gaped at him.

 

“Stiles! Stiles!” Cora practically screamed. “Do you remember me?”

 

He didn’t respond. But she saw the dawning realization sweep over his features, briefly.

 

“That’s okay, don’t focus on talking. Listen, can you pick your lock? Look around for something, a pen… maybe. Anything on the workbench? I can talk you through it.” She said desperately.

 

Stiles scratched his neck, causing the burn from the metal chain to reopen. Cora screwed her face up as the fresh tang of blood hit her.

 

“Come on, focus!” She yelled.

 

Stiles screwed his eyes shut as if in pain and and roughly massaged his aching head, causing his already messed up hair to stand on end.

 

“I… can’t.” He croaked out.

“You’re doing good!” Cora said in a placating manner, “just don’t give up, okay. Look at the bench.”

 

Stiles was stuck in and endless loop of attempting to fight against the drowsy, empty feeling and wondering why he should even bother. Focusing with all his might, he managed to say words his master had not solicited from him. Cora, his… friend? Acquaintance? Person he met on a recent, seemingly pointless trip to South America…. She was here and needed him and he could see her… he could even acknowledge this fact in his own head, but he didn’t feel anything for her, no worry or care for her plight. And, that endless doubt kept niggling him; why should he care anyways?

 

The bench, the bench, she was relentless. Look at the bench… and Stiles did. And he saw a gun, a similar model to his father’s firearm.

 

***

 

Peter didn’t have much of a plan, he wasn’t one to act so carelessly. He could only hope the others caught up quickly an prove to be a big enough distraction for the alpha pack and their hunter friends. He’d kill them all if he had it his way, but killing the alphas… that would give him back his alpha status… he smiled at the thought.

 

Cora could be his first beta! Family. He had to find her. Nothing else mattered. Then, he thought of who exactly was going to be apart of his hopeful distraction… Derek, his nephew. They have definitely had their disagreements over the years, but the alpha still looked to him for leadership (and sometimes relationship) advice. He liked the kid, who really wasn’t a kid anymore. Cora wouldn’t be a little girl either…

 

And, Chris. Peter knew the hunter was smart and cunning. He had no doubt that the man would be okay, no matter what they faced…

 

His thoughts were just enough of a distraction for him not notice the nearby heart beats. They were too close. The scent trail led to that warehouse. But the heart beats were behind him…

 

He whirled around and glimpsed a flash of blond hair. Behind him was Kate Argent, alive and well. The huntress was quickly flanked buy her hunter buddies, all equipped with wolvesbane bullets, by the smell of them. He was careless.

 

Fangs and claws extended, he didn’t hesitate to leap at the smirking woman who flashed her glowing eyes in response. She was alive and not strictly human!

 

“Now.” Kate yelled with a smirk.

 

The hunter to her left through a handful of black ash on the ground, completing the circle she had just crossed. Peter slammed up against the mountain ash wall harshly and fumbled back. He roared.

 

And, Kate roared right back.

 

But Peter was on the inside of the ash line. Cora was supposedly in the warehouse, there were too many new and unfamiliar scents to be certain and for some reason the building smelt faintly of… gasoline? He ignored Kate who took off for the tree line in the direction of the highway and focused on finding his niece… and Stiles.

 

The werewolf saw two other figures run into the ash barrier in the distance. They were trapped in it too… trust an Argent to play dirty with her alliance, Peter thought vindictively as he entered the warehouse.

 

***

 

Derek, Boyd, Jackson, Scott, and Ethan led the way toward the grey building the humans and Parrish trailed behind. The alpha was the first to spot the two figures in the distance be blocked by an invisible barrier… mountain ash…

 

His stomach ached. Would they be able to get inside? Could the Sheriff or Chris break it… the sheriff was Stiles’ father, he might be up to the task.

 

“Stop! Stop!” Ethan yelled and skidded to a halt himself. “It doesn’t smell right! Something is wrong!”

 

Derek whipped around, ready to berate the alpha twin for daring to demand he stop when he heard it; an explosion.

 

It wasn’t particularly loud or large but somehow the small flare of red quickly engulfed the entire building. The others slowed momentarily, but Derek carried on. The warehouse may be on fire and spreading at an alarming rate, but Stiles was in there and he was going to get him out!

Chapter Text

Derek glared as the fire continued to grow. He was pressed up against the ash line waiting for the humans to catch up and break it. This ware house was huge and even if the area was abandoned, the fire was sure to attract unnecessary attention.

 

“You can’t break the line!” Ethan whispered. He looked terrified.

 

In the distance the two figures, werewolves, alpha werewolves, were slowly edging their way closer to the group. Ethan did his best to remain unseen hiding behind Derek and Boyd’s built forms.

 

“What do you mean?” Scott asked, not understanding why they wouldn’t rush in there to help put out the flames.

 

“Stiles is in there! And Cora!” Derek growled.

 

“The alphas.” Boyd pointed to Ennis and Kali who dared to continue to come closer.

 

“Have your human break the ash line and we’ll let you live. I have a cat to hunt…” Kali called lazily.

 

“When we break the line, the first thing I’m going to do is rip your throat out… with my teeth.” Derek puffed up, red eyes blazing with anger.

 

“No. I don’t think you will.” The female alpha replied with a smirk. “Your boyfriend is burning alive in there, you don’t have time to waste on us! Your older beta is in there too… you better hurry!” She tauntingly added.

 

Ennis narrowed his eyes at Ethan. “We will take the traitor off your hands, however.” His eyes held no amusement.

 

This caused Kali to give the twin an equal stair of disdain.

 

Ethan subconsciously stepped back.

 

Surprisingly, it was Jackson who jumped to the alpha’s defense. “We break the line and you leave all of us alone.” He crossed his arms and moved in front of the twin.

 

“She hurt Stiles! She locked him up in a building and put it on fire!” Boyd protested. “We can’t just let her go!”

 

Brin and Remus had barked in their agreement to his words.

 

“We didn’t do this!” Ennis defended. “Why would we trap ourselves in here?”

 

“Kate!” Derek spit the name, as if it was poisonous.

 

“You can get behind me in line to take out that bitch!” Sneered Kali.

 

Scott turned and saw the others were close. “We need to break the line now for Stiles, so figure out what we are doing!” He glared at Derek. “And we are not giving them Ethan, he helped us!” He added with a reassuring nod to Jackson.

 

Parrish arrived and took in the situation. “I can go in there.” He volunteered, setting his body ablaze.

 

“I’m going too!” Derek ground out, he was pacing in front of the line now.

 

“I thought you were going to kill me? … with your teeth?” Kali teased.

 

The entire first floor was on fire now. No natural fire would have spread that quickly.

 

“Is Peter in there too?” Chris asked as he jogged up.

 

No one answered.

 

“What are you going to do alpha?” Kali taunted.

 

Chris stepped closer and was about to break the line when Derek’s hand shot out and stopped him. Both Kali and Ennis were fully wolfed out and ready to go. Sirens could be heard in the distance too. How would they explain this to people not in the know?

 

“Peter’s in there! Stiles is in there!” Chris protested.

“Sheriff!” Derek called, “point your gun on Ennis, Chris, take Kali.”

 

The men did as instructed. Chris didn’t wait for the okay to swipe his foot across the ash line ending the alpha’s entrapment. There was a slight pause before everyone erupted into motion.

Kali and Ennis lunged at Jackson and Ethan. Chris fired but hesitated on his second shot as the beta wolf was tangled between the two alphas. Ennis failed in his attempt at Ethan and kept his momentum moving away from the group and calling for Kali to join him. He took at least one of the three shots the sheriff fired at his back. It hindered his movement for a brief second but he disappeared at the tree line. Kali twisted Jackson’s arm behind him causing the werewolf to whimper. Ethan attempted to help and took a clawed foot to his gut for his effort.

 

“Let me go. And you can keep the traitor!” She shoved Jackson towards the now bleeding Ethan and the two landed in a tangled heap on the ground.

 

Kali trailed after Ennis. Chris abandoned his shot of her to race towards the burning building. Parrish and Derek were already ahead of him, with the real wolves trailing at their heels. Boyd helped Jackson sit up gingerly, inspecting the beta for any further injury. Scott did the same to Ethan, nervously instructing him to keep pressure on the open wound Kali had left him with.

 

The four of them joined the sheriff in pursuit of the others.

 

The blaze was wrecking havoc on the warehouse. Parrish attempted to go through a hole in the outer wall that was completely engulfed in flames, making it impossible for Derek to follow, but just then the second story swayed and collapsed, barring his entrance there. He didn’t hesitate to start looking for another way in, however. The whole building was creaking now. It wouldn’t stand much longer as the flames ignited the roof, licking teasingly out of each window.

 

“Parrish stop!” The sheriff called when he caught up. “Derek! You can’t!” He huffed, out of breath.

 

The hellhound swirled on the spot and looked questioningly at his boss. The alpha ignored the him and continued to look for a window or door he could safely enter.

 

“That build is coming down. Even you can’t go in there Parrish, it’s not safe!” The older Stilinski explained with tears in his eyes. “It’s not safe.” He said again dropping to his knees in the grass.

 

The sirens were coming closer still.

Scott whined as he watched the glowing building. Chris failed to form words but he kept his eyes trained on the fire dancing before him, perhaps with hope, that a man, his man, would emerge. Ethan cradled his bleeding stomach and kept his head down in shame. Jackson looked up, hopelessly shaking his head at the towering flames. Boyd, ever silent, moved to join the collapsed man on the floor, lending his support anyway he could.

 

Derek continued to pace the outer edge, until he spotted a side entrance on a stretch of wall that seemed less damaged than the others. He ran up to it and ripped the locked door off its hinges. In doing so he caused a backdraft. As oxygen rushed into the sealed room it mixed violently with the flames in there sending the alpha flying backwards and causing him to land harshly on the now burning grass. Everything was on fire including Derek himself.

 

Brin heroically jumped to the alpha’s aid, causing the large man to roll off the enflamed earth to a safer patch of grass, but was burned severely, himself, for the effort. Derek howled in pain and agony not only for himself, but for his failure to get those inside out of the building. He was already recovering from his superficial burns which claimed his eyebrows and singed his stubble. He held the injured wolf in his arms and syphoned his pain.

 

Scott quickly joined him after witnessing the explosion. He announced that Brin had extensive 2nd and 3rd degree burns, but he would survive. They needed to get him to an emergency vet as soon as possible, however.

 

The words barely registered to the alpha who sat there, still taking pain from the injured wolf in his arms, and staring unblinkingly at the building which swayed threateningly before him before collapsing in on itself.

 

The crash did cause some of the flames to die out while others only grew in intensity. The threat of being crushed was gone, however so Parrish lit up his body once more and ran straight into the blaze.

 

The sirens and lights could be seen and heard by humans and werewolves alike by now. Their vehicles, both of which were parked at the entrance to the business warehouse district would be easily spotted and look very suspicious. So would a slowly but still healing Ethan and Derek and not to mention the partially burnt Brin, who happens to also be a wolf. They needed a story and plan and they needed it fast.

 

***

 

Peter was furious. Of course an Argent was behind this, it didn’t even surprise him that it was Kate, Peter’s dead sister. He knew better than most that death was not always permanent. The werewolf slinked in the warehouse ignoring the growing feeling of dread he felt at the eeriness and immediately realized there were no other heartbeats left in the building. Was Stiles and Cora still alive? Were they even here?

 

An explosion somewhere on the first floor jarred Peter into action. If they were here he would find them. This was a trap and they were the bait. Stiles scent was fresh and he could follow it, would follow it even as the building started to warm from the fire in the other room.

 

He made it down a hall full of abandoned offices and into a wide open workspace that was already alit in flames. The fire was spreading quickly. The scent was starting to over power Stiles’s smell. Peter knew he had to move fast, or he wouldn’t make it out of the death trap. His gut churned at the thought of the last time he was caught in a burning building… the places his mind went as he laid there in turmoil for years after…. There would be no repeat performance. He was going to find them, alive or not and he was going to get out or he was going to die trying…

 

The flames licked the concrete flooring in an impossible manner. Something was off about this fire and the gasoline scent was stronger in the main room. Who started the explosion? Were they still in the building with them? He doubted it.

 

Sweat poured off his brow as the werewolf continued to track Stiles in the increasingly more oven-like environment. He was starting to have difficulty breathing. He didn’t care for his human-like traits being so exposed. Whoever started this fire and Kate were going to pay.

 

A piece of the building crumbled from above, Peter dodged a burning log with grace, smirking at his sidestep. And, that’s when he saw it! A trapdoor! It was close to impossible to spot with the flashing shadows created by the fire, but he saw it all the same and Stiles scent seemed stronger near there.

 

He pulled back the door with all the force associated with werewolves causing the metal frame to go flying across the room. He hopped down the hole and was relieved to find himself in a cool tunnel after spending so much time in the blaze above.

 

He moved quickly in the only path the tunnel led, and was ecstatic when he heard a girl shouting Stiles’s name off in the distance. The werewolf sped up his pace.

 

***

“Stiles okay, good, you have a gun! That’s good. Is there anything else? A pen? A paper clip?” Cora tried to keep the hysteria from her tone as she spoke to her fellow captive who was now standing naked and chained to the wall behind him with a handgun resting at ease in his right hand. He reached for the item hesitantly and had yet to do anything since.

 

“Stiles!” Cora yelled. “Stiles, please!”

 

The collard man in question only moved his gaze away from the work bench to look at the gun in his hand. The next person to come through that door, he thought to himself, he would kill…

 

***

 

Chris took Jackson and Scott aside. “Okay, you understand what you have to do? Go now! Before the paramedics arrive.”

 

The two betas nodded their agreement and with their alpha’s help the managed to get Ethan off the ground and the four of them walked off towards the tree line in the opposite direction of Kali and Ennis beyond which laid the local town. Derek carried Brin in his arms, now that the alpha twin was on his feet again and they followed their GPS to find a hospital for the wolf, hopefully one which wouldn’t ask too many questions. Derek went unwillingly, but as his wounds were already healing he couldn’t risk sticking around and being questioned.

 

The older Argent then turned to Boyd. “ You remember our story, you can recite it back to me?” He questioned.

 

The werewolf did as asked of him.

 

The sheriff was mostly in denial and shock. Parrish had yet to return from the flames and it would be more than alarming for the firefighters to stumble on a man on fire walking around the flames, seemingly unhurt, with glowing eyes…

 

“Parrish!” Chris yelled. “If you can hear me, you need to get out!”

 

A speeding fire truck rounded the turn. The paramedics, police, and firefighters swarmed the scene within minutes of each other.

 

Boyd was quick to recite the story Chris fed him, the old hunter’s own spin matching up perfectly. The police attempted to question the sheriff who grunted in his affirmatives but volunteered little to add besides that.

 

“Sir, your squad car, parked back there, you said that was yours, correct, why are you so far from your jurisdiction?” One officer questioned. Mr. Stilinski turned his eyes away from the partially extinguished fire.

 

“My son.” The sheriff mumbled. “I spoke with your chief about my kidnapped son, I think… I think he was in there!”

 

The officer looked stricken. He was told about the missing twenty one year old’s case. Usually if a kid of that age is missing, they aren’t really missing so much as not telling their percentage where they are located, but the sheriff from California was insistent that his son was kidnapped against his will and the Portland police were to take the accusation seriously. The officer gazed at what was left of the warehouse, how could anyone survive that?

 

Chris gave accurate descriptions of Kali and Ennis and hesitated just a minute before he started to describe his sister. Claiming she was most likely the cause of the fire.

 

“We’ve got a live one!” A firefighter called, signaling a team of paramedics. Everyone held their breaths.

 

It was Parrish. He was naked and blacken, but not showing any other damage from the flames. The paramedics held an oxygen mask over his mouth wondering how the man had not only survived with little injury, but was also conscious. Given the harsh environment, it was unheard of.

 

The sheriff was quick to defend his deputy, claiming the man had bravely entered the building looking for his son.

 

“Anyone else apart of your rescue party that we should know about?” The officer asked questioning the sheriff with a frown this time. He was disappointed in the older man that he would allow one of his own to enter the dangerous situation.

 

The older Stilinski hesitated for just a moment before he replied, no. Just us, four.

 

Boyd couldn’t help looking at the trees in the distance where the others had slipped off unnoticed. Remus’s reddish brown tail was just visible in the moonlight.

 

***

 

Peter raced down the hall, there were several turns and cut offs now and he assumed the tunnels connected all of the warehouses nearby and possibly even more. What purpose did this elaborate maze serve? Perhaps the warehouses were involved in a smuggling ring and that is why they were all abandoned now?

 

Luckily the girl, Cora?, kept up her pleas and shouts at Stiles, it was easy for the werewolf to follow along the path, he didn’t bother keeping his noise down as he sped up further still, following the voice of his niece. Just up ahead he could smell someone new and heard a heart beat, just the one, the shouting was close it had to be Cora, even if the scent wasn’t what he remembered… it was hard to rely on his nose after the burning building. He rounded a sharp curve...

 

And, slammed into something cold and round on his forehead. The barrel of a gun. The barrel of a gun held in place by a youthful smirking hunter.

 

“She told me to come get the prisoners, how pleased will she be when I return with three instead of two?” The kid said with glee.

 

He was young, probably not even out of college yet. Peter found himself wondering how the boy got mixed up with Kate and her hunters, but he didn’t care. As soon as he could he would kill him just the same.

 

“Move it wolf!” The boy said. “In there.” He indicated a bunker, a bunker where Cora was still screaming at Stiles.

 

The door opened, causing Cora to freeze in her panicked yelling. Stiles, however swung his arm up with precision, waiting for the person to enter.

 

Peter was shoved roughly into the room and before he could take in his surrounding he heard a bang and felt a ripping sensation as a bullet tore its way through his upper thigh. It was a clean shot and had he not been a werewolf, he would have dropped to the ground immediately. As it was, however, the hunter behind him used him as a shield as he peered questionably into the room. He took his gun off Peter’s skull to point and Stiles who was chained to the back wall and was naked for some reason, but held his gun at the hunter’s head as Peter was blocking the rest of his body from view.

 

“What the hell happened here?” The hunter asked. “Why are you both naked?”

 

He would never find out.

Peter didn’t hesitate as soon as the gun left his skull he rearranged his body just enough to get a good hold on the hunter’s out stretched arm. The injured werewolf snapped the arm with an echoing crack causing the hunter to drop his weapon. Then Peter turned the man roughly around and snapped his neck.

 

It was silent in the bunker for a full minute.

 

Peter looked at Stiles sharply. “You shot me!”

 

Cora watch the scene unfold, unable to breathe as she saw her uncle for the first time in years. Then she watched as Stiles put a bullet in him. And she kept watching, was simply unable to look away, as Peter proceeded to break the hunter’s arm before killing him with a quick turn of his neck. Her uncle seemed unfazed by the killing and slightly amused by being shot. But his expression darkened as he took in the state of the room and its occupants.

 

Cora was still chained to the fence without clothes. She had wounds that had yet to fully heal, most likely caused with wolvesbane laced knifes. The fence was hooked up to some electrical device, and several buckets of water were placed next to that. This was not a safe location, by any means. The room had multiple shelving units all lined with different types of weapons. Stiles was naked too. He had a hastily fashioned chain keeping him tethered to the wall. He stood still as a rod, so unlike the kid Peter knew, still death-gripping the weapon in his right hand.

 

He didn’t apologize for shooting Peter. That was odd. The boy could be rash and quick to judge, but he liked the werewolf alright. The two found each other to be the funniest of the pack, a sense of dark humor no one else really understood as much. Maybe, with the exception of Lydia.

 

“Stiles.” Peter said, panicking that he was still clinging to the weapon. “It’s okay now, I’m rescuing you.” Peter hobbled forward. “I need you to put the gun down. That was a clean shot, straight through, wolvesbane, so it burned but it’s already healing as the stuff didn’t stay in,” he indicated the hole in his leg.

 

Peter treated the former druid as a caged animal ready to pounce at any moment, and in some perspective, he kind of was.

 

“What ever they did to you guys,” he grimaced as he could only imagine the reasoning for their matching states of undress, “its over now. You’re safe.”

 

“Uncle.” Cora spoke in barely a whisper. Peter’s head snapped to her immediately.

She was older, of course, than the last time he gazed at those chocolate eyes, but there was no doubt that the strong woman standing before him was his niece. She looked a lot like his sister, Talia.

 

“He can’t really think for himself, with that collar on. Kali controls him.” She said, timidly.

 

Peter knew this, he was present when Lena explained the way it worked. But, he didn’t fully understand until he saw the blank look in his nephew’s boyfriend’s eyes. Eyes that once lit up with excitement and knowledge stared back at him unblinkingly and dull.

 

“Stiles.” Cora addressed the mute. “Peter is here to help and he is going to get us out of here, okay?”

 

Stiles didn’t move but he also didn’t protest when Peter started to rip open Cora’s bindings, some of which were coated in wolvesbane too. It did little against the angry uncle who was in protective mode now.

 

Once Cora was free she easily snapped the second collar on Stiles and hesitantly reached for his gun. Stiles grip on it was firm.

 

“Okay.” Cora placated the young man. “You can keep it, but please don’t shoot us.”

 

“Again!” Peter added with a shake of his head at the ridiculousness of the situation. Allowing an unstable human to keep a wolvesbane infused weapon…

 

They needed to find their way out of the tunnels and quickly… and the two of them needed clothes.

 

Cora stepped cautiously around the dead hunter.

 

“This one didn’t come down here much.” She said as she took off the dead man’s pants and tossed them to Stiles who fail to catch them as they landed at his feet.

 

She proceeded to take his jacket for herself. She was so skinny now the jacket easily covered her like a baggy, semi-too-short dress with lots of pockets.

 

“Stiles put on the pants!” She ordered.

 

He didn’t move.

 

“This is going to be so difficult!” She complained as she forced him into the article of clothing like a giant baby.

 

“No. It’s not.” Peter tested putting pressure on his healing leg. He judged he could handle the wait as he scooped up the immobile young man and threw him over his shoulder. “Lets go!” He nodded towards the exit.

 

Cora led the way.

 

“For what it’s worth, I’m glad your alive, I just wish I found you under better circumstances.” Peter said to his niece’s back. “We have a lot to catch up on, later. But I’m… I’m sorry, you had to grow up alone.”

 

“South America was really nice.” Was all Cora said in response.

 

***

 

It took hours, but the fire department determined that there were no bodies amongst the rubble and the fire was most likely arson. While the official ruling of that matter would come at a later date, the suspicion was enough to caused the local police to look further into their only witnesses. Chris, Boyd, and the Sheriff were all taken down to the local precinct. Parrish had already left in the back of an ambulance, but no doubt would be questioned at the hospital.

 

They had already suggested the sheriff’s son’s captors as the reason behind the fire. But, there were no remains in the building. And, no one had see the supposed kidnappers. The only two vehicles on the scene belonged to Mr. Argent and Mr. Stilinski. It didn’t look good. But the officers respected the sheriff enough to allow him to make two phone calls. He told them that they had other people looking for his son that were on their way here.

 

The sheriff called Scott. He quickly told the beta where he would be and that they failed to find a body in the building. He also made sure they understood that Parrish was alone at the hospital.

 

He then called Melissa who was driving one of the two vehicles transporting everyone else up. She immediately freaked out once her… boyfriend? Lover? Intended? (They had yet to give their fling a title) told her where he was heading. She said they would tell the other car and come up with a plan.

 

Melissa called her son as soon as the sheriff hung up.

 

They found a 24 hour clinic that was willing to help the wolf for a bit of an up charge. The facility wasn’t meant to treat any animal but the wolf’s burns were similar enough to human ones and the doctor working the late hours was a dog-person. She could hardly refuse their plight.

 

Melissa said they would meet at the clinic.

 

Derek couldn’t believe they didn’t find Stiles and Cora in the ashes, he had to go and look for himself, as soon as Brin was ready to go. He wasn’t sure he could wait for the others to join them.

Chapter Text

Cora led the others through the tunnels. She didn’t really know where she was going, but she needed to put as much distance as possible between herself and that… place.

 

The three walked in relative silence, which was surprising, Peter thought, given that Stiles was amongst them. He would never tell the kid to shut up again, he swore to himself, should they all make it out of this alive.

 

It wouldn’t be a proper rescue mission, if they didn’t have some hunters to take care of. So the older werewolf was not even remotely surprised when he heard two more men grumbling to each other.
One was telling the other what it was like, to be so in control of another being. He was sickeningly relaying his happenings when he escorted the enslaved druid to the bunker.

 

“He would do anything I told him. The possibilities are endless! Imagine if we can get that collar on the girl, she’s a firecracker. Won’t let me touch without whipping her claws out…” the man laughed.

 

A chill visibly shot through Cora. Her uncle noticed. He pushed himself in front of the other two protectively.

 

The man continued. “Never been with a guy before, I’d imagine he’d be tight, probably tighter than my used cunt, right?! And those lips! Around my… he has this dainty, upturn, nose, kind of feminine… I would tell him to look at me the whole time with his innocent eyes…”

 

Peter’s claws and fangs were out. Cora gripped Stiles hand as he had stopped moving and it had already taken them a good twenty minutes of coaxing to get him to follow them on his own. He looked back at her with wide eyes of understanding, and she knew; knew that Stiles understood that this man was talking about him and her in that derogatory way.

 

The other man piped up. “I don’t know, doesn’t sound like my thing.” He sounded nonchalant. “But, maybe that’s what is taking Sean so long to return with them? Maybe the kid is just having some fun with ‘em…”

 

“I don’t know why Kate sent him to do a man’s job?” The other replied sounding put out. “I handle the captives!”

 

“Well, sounds like you’re doing more than just handling them…” the other added. “Kate’s a smart woman, she knows things…”

 

The first man huffed in his annoyance. “It’s not like I asked for a collar of my own! But… if I can get a in, I’m going to kill that werewolf alpha! Kill the controller and take over as master, that’s how she became the master to begin with, correct?”

 

“Kate will definitely not be pleased with that, she wants to kill her, herself.” The second man replied, they were definitely getting close now. “Plus, didn’t you leave your gun in the burnt warehouse? Police are going to find your prints man!”

 

The arrogant man laughed cockily. “I’m better with the crossbow, anyways.”

 

The second man sighed. “I’m just here to play with fire, you know I love my chemistry. I never signed up for killing humans…”

 

“The kids not really human though, is he?”

 

Peter signaled for the others to duck into a side passage just as the hunters round the corner. They continued their chat; one grumbling about how far they have to walk now that they relocated to the new place. They walked right by the three eavesdroppers. They would have continued if the flash of ice blue didn’t catch their attention.

 

Peter, fully wolfed out, slammed both men up against the opposite wall, snarling threateningly as he did so. The armed man dropped his weapon in surprise. It landed with an echoing clatter.

 

“You are both garbage!” He growled at each of their faces as he lifted the men off the floor by their necks.

 

“Filth.” The angry werewolf spit the word. “You hunt us, hate us, call us monsters, but you are the real monster here!”

 

Cora watched. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to join in or not. That man… he ruined her, she hated him… but she had never killed before… They killed Carlos though, they couldn’t get away with that.

 

She was a little paralyzed at the thought. Stiles stood tall beside her, raising his gun at the man who looked at it with recognition.

 

Peter didn’t waste anytime. He roughly shoved them back against the wall for a second, third, and fourth time punctuating each sentence with the sound of their heads slamming into the unforgiving surface. “Which one of you. Cretans. Dared to touch my niece and emissary?” His grip was so tight, neither could talk and the one on the right was turning blue.

 

Peter set them down just enough to loosen his grip to see what each had to say. They both scrambled to blame each other. They both hastily attempted to defend themselves. Peter had enough. He looked over his shoulder to ask Cora but saw that Stiles held his pistol trained on the man on the left. Without further verification, he clawed the man on his right up through his chest and ending with tearing out half the man’s neck. He slumped, instantly dead, to the floor.

 

The other man looked relieved. “It.. it was him!” He squeaked.

 

“No, it wasn’t.” Peter replied calmly. He then proceeded to take a clawed hand to the man’s genitals, tearing off the appendages through his cargo shorts and all. The hunter screamed in pain. Peter let him fall to the floor, throwing the offensive, blood covered body parts at him as he went. They bounced off his face with a sickening sound leaving a bloody trail as they too fell to the ground.

 

Cora was unable to speak as she witnessed this. She was shaken, relieved, and a bit terrified at who her loving, sweet uncle turned out to be.

 

Peter didn’t make any notion that they would continue their escape as he stared at the whimpering man on the floor.

 

“Have to make sure he bleeds out.” He grunted into the silence. Cora looked up with wide eyes in disbelief, but didn’t protest.

 

Stiles watched the man squirm and try and fail to stop the blood flow from his lower regions. He would scream occasionally.

 

***

 

Jackson laughed a lot when he over heard. He has always been a bit of an asshole. It never bothered him or the pack much, really. But he couldn’t help it this time, his laughter was hysterically loud and out of place, given the situation, causing Remus to look up at him questionably, as if he was unsure of the werewolves sanity at this point.

 

Derek and Ethan glared at the inappropriateness. Scott ignored it as he was on the phone with the sheriff, quickly followed by his mother. Once the phone calls were done, the werewolf with too much styling product in his hair was still giggling uncontrollably. The room would laps into silence and then all you could hear was Jackson trying and failing to hold it in again. After the fourth time this happened, Derek snapped.

 

“What!?” He roared. “Is so, gods be damned, funny?”

 

Jackson tried again to silent his laughter, the results were him shaking silently, which still annoyed the alpha.

 

“What?” Derek shouted, earning him a reproachful look from the doctor who just emerged from a sterile room with a bandaged Brin.

 

“Are you sure you don’t want me to look at your wounds too?” She asked, taking in the burnt marks on his leather jacket and knowing that surely the man had taken some of the fire during his rescue of the wolf, as was their story when the group of disgruntled young adults barged into her clinic. She eyed Ethan’s obvious blood stained stomach suspiciously too.

 

“No.” Derek grunted. “We’re good.”

 

 

“The others should be here soon.” Scott said looking at his clock, it was morning now. The alpha didn’t acknowledge him.

 

Derek wanted desperately to head back to the warehouse and look for Stiles or find a reasonable explanation for where he would be by now.

 

“Should we get breakfast? For everyone?” Scott continued as he realized he was being ignored.

 

Ethan perked up at the suggestion.

 

“We need a vehicle.” Derek grumbled. The werewolves could move quickly enough on their own, but they had Brin to carry. He was currently out in a drug induced sleep. He was also given strict orders on limited movement.

 

“They are coming with cars, McDonald’s is right there.” Scott said not understanding what was so difficult about making the decision to get breakfast.

 

Derek continued to ignore him.

 

Scott was just starting to cross the street when his mother’s beat up sedan came speeding into the parking lot.

 

“Mom!” Scott called. No one else was in the car with her.

 

“Where is…” he began to ask, but was cut off by Melissa as she said hurriedly.

 

“They are releasing them, down at the station (Jackson burst out into a hollowing laugh again), I’m going to pick them up, the others are coming but they swung by the warehouse so Allison could get her dad’s pick up for all of you. Parrish was released to, I called the hospital, but they weren’t sure where he went and he didn’t have a phone…” the nurse said looking worried.

 

Derek nodded.

 

“Where are we meeting?” Mrs. McCall asked looking a little irritated and jumpy.

 

“Back at the warehouses.”

 

She nodded as she sped off.

 

“They arrested the sheriff!” Jackson said, in able to keep quiet any longer. Scott gave him a disgusted look. “How ironic, I cant wait to tell Stiles…”

 

He sobered up at the thought.

 

The group was exhausted.

 

“They only questioned his dad.” Derek said after a beat. “We need to find him. He has been gone for too long.”

 

***

 

Peter, Cora, and Stiles managed to make it out of the tunnels eventually. Given their set back, it wasn’t surprising it took them so long.

 

The fire didn’t seem to be spreading underground, but it was nice all the same to breathe fresh air. They were in a warehouse, still. This was a newer one and cleaner and had police men circling around the outer edge.

 

Peter looked at his niece who looked even more traumatized after the encounter with the hunters than ever before and Stiles who still clung to his handgun. He couldn’t let them be taken into custody. It wasn’t safe for them or the policemen that would attempt to disarm the young adult. The lower floor of this building didn’t have any windows to peer out, so Peter directed the group to the upper story in hope they could gage their location from up there.

 

It was daytime now. The burnt out remains of the warehouse they started in wasn’t visible but he could smell the direction it laid, to the north. He couldn’t scent his pack though. That was worrisome. He did smell wolves however, two of them. Most likely laying low in the building next door. Kali and Ennis. Peter new that they would know they were here too, with their alpha senses.

 

He looked at Cora who huddled in her oversized jacket, looking small and meek and… tired. She was pouring water over some of her open cuts, washing poison out so they could heal, at long last. Stiles didn’t fare much better. He had dried blood on his temple and neck. It had dripped down his naked torso at some point and left him looking dirty in a grimy kind of way.

 

Cora didn’t appear ready for a battle and Stiles was a wild card. So far, the only person he managed to shoot was Peter, himself, so, he was unreliable at best. He thought of the alphas waiting nearby. He had to keep Stiles away from them, that much was clear.

 

He knew Kate was close enough to send her men to get Stiles and Cora from the underground bunker, too. The evil huntress had orchestrated this whole thing. It was time she died again.

 

“Uncle.” Cora started hesitantly, “how… how many people have you killed? You’ve always had blue eyes, I know, and mom respected you because you were strong and would do anything for the pack, but… how many? You make it seem so easy. I was terrified when I saw him again, unsure if I could do it.” She admitted, reluctantly.

 

Peter couldn’t stop the light blue from bleeding into his eyes as he forced himself to look at the little girl who had grown up away from all of this. He killed her older sister. Should he start with that one? A fresh wave of guilt washed over him. He usually tried to keep the feeling at bay but it was difficult when staring into his dead niece’s counterpart.

 

He sighed heavily and launched into the story, not knowing that she had already been told all of this from Stiles’s perspective.

 

***

 

Kate was furious. Sean had fail to return with the prisoners. Gregory and Alfred never came back either. What was taking them so long? She needed the boy to make a deal with his pack. The kid for their alpha. She was pretty sure they would agree, especially if she roughed him up some more. Make them desperate to get him back.

 

Kate thought sickly on what she would do to him this time. He loved his emissary. It was talked about amongst the supernatural world. How the Hale pack was rebounding, how they had a strong emissary, and the alpha and emissary were a wonderful team…

 

It made her sick. That mutt! How dare he! He was hers, didn’t he know that? She lost everything chasing after the destruction of the great Hale pack. The huntress thought she had succeeded once, but Derek came back and rebuilt. They would all pay for foiling her plans!

 

When she kills Kali she would control the kid and make him watch as she seduces his former boyfriend. It would be all too easy, Derek always appreciated her assets…

 

“Do you want me to go after them, my husband has seemed distant, distracted by playing guard with the girl as of late,” she looked hurt as she added, “I could beat some sense into him.”

 

“No.” Kate snapped. She didn’t have time for her hunting party to be dealing with their marriage quarrels. “They should be back soon, or we all go in to investigate.”

 

***

 

Allison picked up the anxious party at the animal clinic in her father’s pick up as promised, and despite Derek’s obvious disagreement, the group stopped to bring breakfast back for the others.

 

The alpha’s mood only darkened when he saw Lena sitting on the hood of Lydia’s car talking merrily with Erica, as if she was a part of their pack!

 

He bit back his protests as it was obvious a couple of officers were sweeping the area nearby looking for their arsonist and the sheriff’s missing son. They eyed the growing lot of ‘volunteers’ wearily. They obviously didn’t want the group messing up their crime scene, even if it was to look for a missing person.

 

“Officers already swept the woods and warehouses.” Lydia chirped when she saw Derek.

 

He gave her a stiff nod to indicate he was listening.

 

She continued. “They didn’t find anything, not even Peter. And, you’re sure he was in there? Maybe he couldn’t get in because of the ash ring?”

 

He hadn’t considered that. The alphas said he was inside, they took their word for it, but what did they know. Derek wasn’t sure of anything any more and he said as much.

 

Melissa arrived a half an hour after them. The sheriff and Chris looked tired and disgruntled. Boyd seemed like he fared his interrogation much better.

 

Erica greeted him with a kiss, whispering something about having a thing for bad boys. Jackson slapped the larger beta playfully on the arm and said it was a shame Stiles wouldn’t be the only pack member with a record anymore…

 

“Stiles doesn’t have a record!” The sheriff snapped. He was irritated because he was kept separate from the others but more importantly he was unable to look for his son all night. All because the officers couldn’t understand the arsonist’s motives.

 

“And, I do.” Derek mumbled.

 

“You were cleared. Charges expunged from the record, too.” Mr. Stilinski informed him. “And, we weren’t under arrest. Just questioned. No charges.”

 

“They barely even questioned me, mostly I was waiting for them to finish with these two…” Boyd informed them. “I kept saying the same thing Mr. Argent told me to say over and over again, I think they got bored with me.”

 

Allison sniggered at his formality.

 

Derek cleared his throat, indicating the conversation was over. “Okay so we’re all here, Melissa, use my card and get us a couple of rooms at a pet friendly hotel. Brin and Nymers will need it…”

 

“Eh hem.” Lydia interrupted. “Parrish is missing still. And, Nymeria needs to stay with me.”

 

“She’s healing.” Derek narrowed his eyes.

 

“We came here to save a life and she’s apart of that.” Lydia said briskly, as if that settled the matter.

 

“Who’s life?” Isaac asked. He had brought it up occasionally on the drive over and the red head had maintained her silence on the matter.

 

She didn’t respond, again.

 

“Fine. You two can stay here.” The alpha continued.

 

Lydia pouted but didn’t interrupt again.

 

“We have permission to search the woods and buildings outside of the red tape. With our noses it shouldn’t be too difficult. Teams of three at least.”

 

“Who’s guarding us?” Aiden asked as he threw an arm over his brother’s shoulder.

 

“We don’t have time to protect you guys, you should leave.” Derek replied curtly.

 

“Protect?” Aiden objected. “From who?”

 

“Kali and Ennis.” Ethan said pointing to his blood stained shirt.

 

Aiden was speechless. Oh.

 

“We can go to the hotel….” He suggested after a minute.

 

“No. Just leave.” Derek glared at them. “We don’t have time for this.” He added in frustration.

 

Ethan looked hurt. But stopped his brother from interrupting again.

 

“So teams, at least one werewolf on each, and… what!?”

 

Lydia put her hand up and was staring pointedly at Derek as he continued.

 

“What about Parrish! And someone will need to stay here with Nymeria and me!”

 

Derek bit his tongue to stop himself from wolfing out on the banshee.

 

***

 

The officers had deemed the street empty. How wrong they were, Peter thought as he watched them retreat.

 

It didn’t take long for Kali and Ennis to be on the move again too. He thought they were coming to them and he panicked for a minute because he knew the two alphas were beatable but it would require an edge and Cora and Stiles were not it.

 

His niece currently slept with her head in his lap. Stiles looked like he was ready to pass out from exhaustion, himself, but stubbornly refused.

 

Peter was on high alert. The pack had to be around here somewhere. From listening to the cops talk, he knew the sheriff had organized volunteers from his home town to sweep the area. They doubted his son was here at all, and still didn’t understand where the older man had gotten that idea. Their job was done, however, this place was obviously deserted.

The fools.

***

 

It was with a foul mood that Kate decided to use the tunnels to go to the bunker, herself. She led the hunting party down the bleak hole, knowing that she was taking them too close to the scene of the crime for their own good.

 

She knew that eventually, her prey would fall into her trap and to be patient. She was taught these things at a very young age, but she couldn’t ignore the feeling of dread that something had gone wrong with the captive. Stiles. That boy was a slippery snake, if there ever was one...

 

She smelled the dead bodies of her hunters before she saw them. She would find that emissary.

 

***

 

Two officers were walking back to their patrol car when an emergency code was sent over their radio.

 

“Another fire!” The taller one exclaimed. “That’s unusual.”

 

“Looks like are arsonist is striking again.”

 

“And our only witnesses and possible suspects are all here.” He indicated the group.

 

“Looks like they were telling the truth… an evil blond with a vendetta.”

 

The other one smirked. “Well, stranger things have been known to happen.”

 

Derek wasn’t the only werewolf to listen into the conversation taking place a football field’s length away. He watched as all of the police officers piled back into their squad cars and sped off to the latest call.

 

What ever the cause was, the alpha was thankful they could search uninhibited.

 

The pack looked for Stiles, Peter, and Cora.

 

Kate looked for Stiles.

 

Kali looked for Kate.

 

Peter watched it all from the second story of the warehouse he sat in with Cora and Stiles.

Chapter Text

LH14

 

Kali found her target first.

 

The alpha wolf was avoiding the Hale pack, now. She smelled them, the three of them in a neighboring warehouse. She knew that Stiles was there still, obediently wearing his collar ready to obey her every whim. And, by the end of the day she planned on leaving, unharmed, with the boy in tow.

 

But first, she had a were-Jaguar to hunt.

 

The huntress trapped her in an ash circle next to a burning building! It was practically her trademark move now… What could she expect from an Argent though? Even a disgraced one who allowed herself to turn from the bite.

 

Kali knew the huntress wouldn’t be able to sit still for long; she wanted Hale and Hale was only here long enough to get his emissary back. How the kid escaped the jaguar’s claws was beyond her speculation. But he was technically out of Kate’s range and that meant Kate would be on the prowl.

 

Kali signaled for Ennis to climb and the two of them took opposing warehouse rooftops to scour the scene below. It didn’t take long to spot a blond haired hunter barking orders at three of her cronies. They were hurled up in a warehouse the next street over. The Hale alpha wasn’t too far off from her trail himself, sniffing the air like the over grown puppy he was.

 

Her eyes narrowed when she spotted the twins working with a handful of other Hale pack members coming up from the opposite side. No. No this wouldn’t do. She nodded her head to get Ennis’s attention, and he understood perfectly.

 

The large werewolf slid down the outer edge of the warehouse causing a decent amount of noise and bringing attention to himself. It worked.

 

The twins, Jackson, the sheriff, and Isaac all halted immediately and captained their necks to try and see who caused the loud noise. They were too late, however, Ennis was already down and on the move. He seemed to have healed completely from his earlier wolvesbane bullet, as he slunk his way in between two warehouse that would hopefully give him the advantage of the shadows.

 

Aiden was ready for him. As he was familiar and versed in the bald alpha’s tactics, he knew the man wouldn’t be playing fair as soon as he picked up his scent.

Ennis sprang forth going for the closest of the five, which happened to be the sheriff. The older Stilinski dropped his weapon as his right arm was nicked, but luckily Aiden was there and kept the momentum from Ennis’s surprise attack going just long enough to swing the large man around. This put himself in front of the human, who stumbled back from the shock and clutched his arm.

 

Aiden growled, his brother joined him in a heartbeat and the two did something the others had not seen before, they merged into one hulking beast larger than even Ennis.

 

Isaac came to the sheriff’s support, but the two of them were so surprised that it was hard to tell who was supporting whom. Jackson stood at the ready next to the Twins’ form, looking minuscule in comparison.

 

Ennis attacked. It was a tangle mass of claws and limbs and teeth. The two large forms rolling over each other in equal measure. Every time Jackson attempted to intervene, he hesitated just long enough, so that his planed attack would have hindered rather than helped. He seemed frustratedly stuck on the edge.

 

A sharp howl was followed by a bone snapping noise, but it was impossible to tell who was hurt. Eventually it slowed enough for Ennis to land a knee into the singular twin’s stomach, causing the beast to double over. That was all the opening the bald alpha needed. He grabbed their head and twisted.

 

This crack was much, much louder and it was followed by a ringing silence as the hulking form dropped to the ground and separated. The twins appeared lifeless. Ennis staggered back, a large smile on his face.

 

The silence was interrupted by three resounding gunshots, and an arrow whizzing through the air. The scuffle caused a lot of dust to rise up, and as it settled the out line of two more people became clearer. Chris and Allison Argent were stalking over, weapons still trained on their target.

 

Ennis fell to the floor. Isaac confirmed for the group that his heartbeat had stopped. Allison’s arrow head when right through the back of his skull.

 

Isaac ran to his girl friend and inappropriately kissed her in greeting and thanks.

 

“I thought you guys were with Derek and Scott?” He asked her.

 

“We were, but we heard the scuffle.” The dark haired huntress indicated the three fallen wolves. “Derek sent us, just in case.”

 

The sheriff frowned. “His alpha must be around here somewhere, trying to isolate us, I bet.”

 

“Are they okay?” Chris asked.

 

The twins had yet to move, but Jackson nodded as he heard their beating hearts. “Alive at least.”

 

“You should get that looked at.”’Chris indicated the sheriff’s bleeding arm.

 

“Not until I find my son.”

 

***

 

Peter watched the exchange and knew it was wiser to keep his two wards up and away from all of that until the enemy had been taken care of. He knew that, it would be difficult for him to not sink his teeth in to Kate… or regain his alphaness from Kali, especially if someone weakens her for him…

 

***

 

Kali heard Ennis make his mark on the twins and she wasn’t sure how the large alpha had faired in that particular battle. It certainly carried on for longer than she thought it would take him. She also heard the gun shots and felt it when her pack mate left this world for ever. They may both be alphas in their own right, but the pack formed amongst each other by the alpha of alphas, Deucalion, was true.

 

A werewolf needs its pack, after all. She suddenly felt very alone, and that anger filled her up with a seething rage like never before. Kate would pay. So would Stiles. She will line up his pack and order him to take them out one by one with his bare hands, if she has to.

 

Kali felt Kate tense up.

 

The were jaguar had finally caught her scent. It pays to be an alpha, the she wolf smirked to herself.

 

Not one for the dramatic edge, like her fallen Ennis, she decided to allow the devilish huntress to be aware of her current location. She smirked as she watched Kate swing her head around, spinning that blond hair of hers, in an attempt to figure out where the Kali scent was coming from.

 

Kali reached up and scratched a long mark into the metal outing of the building she was in. She stayed in the shadow, knowing that all the were-jaguar would need to do is flash those lovely green eyes at her again to see.

 

The two deadly women smiled predatorily at each other.

 

Kate ordered her hunters to stay back and nodded to them. Meaning, they wouldn’t be playing fair, not that she expected them to.

 

Kali moved. She was a graceful flash across their path. Two of the hunters open fire, causing a racket and little else. The noise was enough, however, to get Hale’s attention. Exactly what Kali wanted.

 

***

 

Derek and Scott heard the commotion and instantly crouched low to investigate, moving in a practiced two man formation. That was until the alpha spotted a glimpse of slow moving red out of the corner of his eye. Lydia.

 

He ordered the banshee to stay back by the cars with Remus and a still recovering Nymeria, since she refused to go with Melissa, Danny, and Lena. Erica and Boyd had volunteered to stay with her.

 

Now, though, the redhead walked in a trance like state right towards the fighting, with Remus and Nymeria flanking her sides. Nymeria moved gingerly still avoiding pressure on the one side and Remus sniffed the air excitedly, probably looking for Stiles too.

 

Erica and Boyd had obviously given up on trying to stop the banshee and were nervously trying to surround her as Lydia walked brazenly out in the open.

 

Derek signaled for them to get behind him. Surprisingly, it worked. Lydia didn’t look shocked by her location and on the contrary whispered an apology to the white wolf and order the brown one to ‘go find him, boy’.

 

Remus was gone in the blink of an eye.

 

Derek raised his brow at that, did he know where? But he didn’t head towards the noise ahead of them? He didn’t have time to ponder this for long as the hunters scrambling to find the alpha she-wolf stumbled on the recently reinforced Hale pack instead.

One poorly aimed shot at Boyd and the palpable charge in the air snapped. Boyd dodged and Erica charged. The two circled the hunter with ease, toying with her. Scott soon had one of his own coming along his right side, but Derek zoned in on the hunters plan and got to him first. This left Lydia and Nymeria unguarded for a split second, but Scott, catching on filled the gap in turn and interfered the last man as he raise his shotgun at the pure white wolf.

 

The distraction of her hunters dropping like flys was all Kali needed to attack. Kate was ready for her and flung the werewolf behind her. It wasn’t intentional, but it was a powerful throw and the result was a disgruntled Kali landing on a even more disgruntled Derek. He caught the flying alpha with his claws out and felt a sudden gratifying rush as he was finally able to sink them in his former boyfriend’s captor.

 

Kali twisted away taking a clawed hand of her own across Derek’s face. He roared.

 

***

 

If Peter wasn’t clued in on the scuffle he was just then. Everyone in the miles wide abandon warehouse district would have heard that roar. Stiles included. The boy perked up in a way he had failed to do so since his rescuing. He leaned dangerously out of the window in a failed attempt to see what would require werewolf eyes at that distance.

 

Peter encircled his former emissary, just in time, stopping him from falling out. Cora was awaken by Derek’s call too and stared at the two with wide knowing eyes.

 

“Derek” she whispered.

 

Peter didn’t like it, but he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to stop them from going, if he tried, so they headed down stairs only to be greeted by Remus’s wagging tail. The wolf yipped merrily over finding his Stiles. He wasn’t deterred by the fact that Stiles ignored him, either. But Cora, she fell in love.

 

“Oh! Uncle Peter! It’s a wolf! A real wolf, Stiles told me once how he found them, even showed off photos on his phone like a proud momma, but…” she fell to her knees to pet and scratch the happy wolf, “he’s so beautiful in person!”

 

While she spoke, Stiles walked aimlessly towards the commotion. Several sounds of metal crunching could be heard. Occasional pangs of windows breaking…

The werewolves and Remus jogged lightly to catch up to the zombie like human walking stight into the battle.

 

A lot had happen since Peter left his perch.

 

Lydia had a gash in her leg and was on the ground, surrounded by Erica, Boyd, and Scott. The three werewolves looked disheveled, but relatively okay. At their feet was a dead hunter. He probably was the one that succeeded in injuring the banshee as he died from multiple werewolf bite marks.

 

The other two hunters were dead as well. The woman and other man slumped near each other, lay forgotten; they probably had bled out.

 

Kali, Kate, and Derek were locked in a three way battle of sorts. Nymers huddled low in a corner, whimpering with her canines showing. Her eyes darted back and forth as she followed the fray in front of her.

 

Way down the street, jogging in from the distance, was Chris and the sheriff. Both puffing out of breath and both with their weapons drawn. Peter assumed the others stayed with the twins.

 

Derek was the one to go flying next, landing with a thud near Peter’s feet. The alpha wolf rolled over and attempted to shake off the impact when he looked up and realized who was next to him.

 

“I think you have this one covered? Right nephew?” Peter said lazily, pointing at the two women who were tangled in the ultimate cat fight.

 

Derek stared open mouth at his uncle, taking in his almost pristine appearance. (The beta wolf had a little bit of blood speckling from his earlier encounter down in the tunnels.) The alpha’s gaze moved on to Cora. He looked at his sister for the first time in years. She was a full grown woman now, all tall and beautiful, a mix between his mother and Laura. He smiled. And just behind her, on the other side of Remus, Remus who did as Lydia asked and found him, as simple as that, was Stiles.

 

Stiles stared just as intently back at Derek. He looked dirty and was shirtless. In one hand was a gun, on his neck was that damn collar, the skin around it was inflamed and swollen and in one spot you could tell it was scabbing over. It looked like a burn. They hadn’t broken eye contact.

 

“Stiles.” Derek whispered.

 

The commotion seemed to cease at once. Kali and Kate simultaneously turned to look at the new arrivals too. Kate’s eyes blazed with hate. Kali’s lit up.

 

“Stiles!” She shouted as she took several retreating steps. “I want you to kill them! Kill them all with your gun, start with him,” she smirked at Derek.

 

Stiles started to shake. He went from no movement to a trembling mess of loose limbs as he tried to pull off the collar with both hands while still clutching his weapon tightly.

 

Derek was terrified he would shoot himself. If you asked him later, that fear would be what gave him the edge he needed. The alpha darted across the pavement in a burst of speed, encircling the older she-wolf.

 

Kali struggled to speak, but she managed to get out, “Stiles… kill… him… help…”

 

Derek snuck his teeth in her neck at the same time she ripped her claws through his torso. They were both life ending blows. They crumpled in a heap and only one heartbeat could be heard. Stiles stopped his self struggle immediately, and Peter knew, Kali was dead.

 

That would have been Kate’s opportunity to strike, but she took in the whole scene, just as surprised by it as everyone else. Derek shakily rose to his knees and looked across the mess of people directly at Stiles. The alpha’s red eyes burned brightly for just a moment and then became just a shade darker. He had taken Kali’s alpha powers.

 

Kate smirked at the still healing alpha. “On your knees, just like I like you!” In a fit of rage she charged at him, claws out. The huntress was mere seconds from landing a killing blow to Derek’s throats when Nymeria jumped ready to pounce.

 

This was it! Lydia held her breath as she watched, unable to look away as she had committed the female wolf to her death by bringing her here.

 

Bang. Bang. Bang.

 

Three gun shots rang out, causing everyone to fall silent once again. Kate and Nymers landed hardly on the road underneath them, the latter letting out a soft whimper on impact. Derek was clearly okay. Well, as okay as you can be with a gaping wound in his side, but he was alive.

 

The same could not be said for the two who had fallen. Again, only one heartbeat could be heard, it was pounding with excitement and adrenaline. Neither figure moved.

 

Peter glanced down the road, expecting to see smoking guns from the two expert marksmen that were still half a mile away. He didn’t, and that’s when he realize the sound came from next to him. Stiles still held his right arm up, eyes staring at the unmoving pile.

 

Derek was the first to come back to his senses. He reached over and lifted the white wolf off the beta shifted were-jaguar. Her front side was covered in blood. It was a stark difference with her pure colored fur. The wolf was breathing raggedly, but she was breathing…

 

The same could not be said for Kate. The huntress had three bullet holes; two in the chest and one dead center on her forehead. Derek snapped his head around to face Stiles and thanked him.

 

The collard young man didn’t move or react at all. Derek told him it was going to be okay and that he could lower his weapon. Stiles did so immediately.

 

Scott took that as his chance to come over and assess Nymeria. He determined that she probably jarred her injured rib in the pouncing motion and that was the cause of her labored breathing.

 

Peter gave a knowing nod to Chris who shook his head minutely in response. Peter sighed. He would have to explain… or worse apologize, for running off earlier.

 

The sheriff had finally caught up with the group and immediately encased his son in a tight hug. It wasn’t returned.

 

“Stiles?” He looked questionably down at the obviously traumatized individual.

 

“Stiles…” Derek whined coming over and giving Cora a steady hug of his own. “Are you okay?”

 

“Yes.” Stiles replied in a monotone.

 

Cora sighed. “It’s the thing,” she pointed to the collar around his neck.

 

Derek knew this, but Kali was dead. Surely Stiles should be free now. Except, he wasn’t.

 

Just then a car kicked up some dirt driving down the road. It was Melissa’s.

 

She rolled up to the scene cautiously. “This one just wouldn’t take no for an answer.” The nurse used her thumb to point to her passenger in the front seat, blushing. It was a very naked Parrish.

 

The deputy seemed like he was in a trance. As he exited the car, unashamed, and proceeded to grab the bodies and place them in the closest warehouse.

 

“Found him walking away from a burning building downtown.” She supplied, even though no one had asked. “Never made it to the hotel, sorry.” She shrugged towards the alpha and proceeded to exit the still running vehicle to kiss the sheriff passionately.

 

Everyone looked away aside from Stiles. “Good to see you, kid.” Melissa said ruffling his hair. “Okay, what? Why are none of you talking? The others okay?” She added worriedly.

 

Peter told the group that the twins were hurt badly and asked the nurse to take a look at them. This caused Derek to perk up.

 

“I told them to leave.”

 

“I think,” Scott said after a minute, “they’re just looking for a new alpha.”

 

Melissa hopped back inches car, asking Chris to lead the way.

 

In her back seat sat a very worried looking Danny, bandaged up but awake Brin, and Lena who could keep her bulging eyes off Stiles’s form.

 

“Lena.” Derek barked stopping the car from escaping. “What happens when the person controlling the collar is killed?”

 

The seer looked thoughtful. “Who did the killing? I would suppose they would be in charge of Stiles now.”

 

The car drove off.

 

“Stiles. Hug your dad.” The alpha ordered.

 

He did as asked. The sheriff was thankful for the hug either way, but Derek looked stricken….

 

“Lydia?” He questioned.

 

The banshee only shook her head in response.

 

***

 

Some thirty or so minutes after he had forcibly turned Melissa’s steering wheel whenever she failed to take a direct route to the warehouses, Parrish had arrived and quickly set to work. He brought all the bodies together In one central location.

 

He emerged from the warehouse finally aware of what he was doing not long after that, shouting for the pack to hurry.

 

“What’s wrong, Parrish?” Lydia asked as soon as she spotted the other man jogging toward them with nothing but a hand covering his front.

 

“We have to go now, I just….” The building behind him started to smell like fire.

 

All the werewolves perked up.

 

“I think I just committed arson again! That’s twice in one day! We have to go…”

 

Nobody disagreed.

Chapter Text

The entire pack found themselves at the 24 hour clinic again. They had just stumbled out of their vehicles, most of whom came illegally from the back of the pickup, when the same doctor from the night before parked her own car, about to report in for her shift.

 

She took one look at the disheveled group and asked, “Did you get the bastards who did that to the poor wolf?”

 

She took x- rays of Nymeria and sewed up Derek without complaint once she heard their answer. The twins just need rest, she had said. But, privately, once she left the room they flashed their eyes at each other and knew. They were no longer alphas.

 

They didn’t want to bring Stiles in to have his wounds looked at for two reasons; Derek was avoiding the human like the plague, terrified he would accidentally order him to do something against his will, and the other was Stiles, himself, was a little odd in his current state and the collar could not be removed, how would they explain that to the doctor?

 

Melissa used a first aid kit on him in the back of his father’s car. She chatted merrily as she worked, telling him how hard the pack had tried to find a way to remove the thing from his neck. He cracked a smile, one that the nurse missed because her head was down.

 

Almost instantly, once she was finished with him, Stiles started to paw and scratch at his bandages around his neck.

 

“You are like a child! Stop that!” She teased. At first it looked like he would ignore her completely, but after a moment he did. He clasped his hands together to physically restrain himself.

 

The pack saw most of that strange reaction.

 

“It was the worst. The itching, especially when your somewhat lucid. I can’t imagine he would be aware at all as he has barely had the thing on, though.” Lena said thoughtfully. “All you said he did! It’s kinda amazing.”

 

Derek gave the seer a disgusted look. He hadn’t said it out loud but he thought it a lot in the last hour, why doesn’t Lena just except the collar back from him and they could be done with it? He has a feeling half the pack would protest, even Stiles, himself.

 

***

 

Derek got them several rooms at a local hotel, including one for the twins and Lena, much to his displeasure. The sheriff volunteered to take Stiles with him and Melissa which was great because the alpha couldn’t bare the thought of forcing him to do anything. ‘Okay, that’s good, Stiles will go with you.’ He had said absentmindedly as he divided up the rooms. Of course Stiles went, but did he want to? It was very frustrating.

 

Parrish and Lydia shared with Erica and Boyd, and wasn’t that new? He knew they had a thing for each other, but the deputy had been very slow moving since the redhead broke up with Jackson, amicably. That was the only surprise, though, Peter and Chris insisted they wouldn’t be sharing with anyone else and Isaac made a fuss until Scott agreed to join him in their king sized, one bed only room, that he had with Allison…

 

Cora went with Derek and the remaining wolves. It was a great opportunity for the two siblings to talk and catch up. There was fighting and yelling, on Cora’s part, and lots of crying from both, but in the end, they hugged and Cora agreed to stay in Beacon Hills for the rest of the summer and possibly longer. She told Derek how positively Stiles had talked about him, and she made him promise not to hurt the twenty one year old.

 

Wasn’t that a promise, now, given the circumstances.

 

Derek showed her something that he happened to keep on him since he found them among the ruins in the former Hale house basement, before he rebuilt it. It was their mother and father’s wedding bands on a chain that he had attached to the inside of his pocket. They were simple rings with the triskelion, not even done in fancy metal, to most they would be worth very little. But to Derek they meant the world, because when he found them laying not far from one another, he knew he would propose to Stiles one day with those rings. He didn’t mean to admit that last part to his, sister, but he did, followed by a sigh.

 

“He didn’t even know me… had no clue who I was, and I was thinking of ways to propose… wanted to use the whole pack, since we weren’t really a pack until I got my head out of my ass, and that was all thanks to him…” Derek admitted softly.

 

Cora was speechless.

 

***

 

The pack slept like the dead after the police had determined that they were not on site when the second warehouse caught fire and they congratulated the Sheriff on finding his missing son who was not in any condition to be questioned. The sheriff told them threateningly.

 

Their sleep was interrupted by a loud knock on the alpha’s door in the early morning. It was Dr. Deaton.

 

“You smell like… home!” Cora exclaimed, flinching as she realized she said that in front of her brother who had offered her a new and old home all in one go.

 

“Ah. Miss Cora Hale. It has been a long time. You’re right I did travel to your pack. I felt the disturbance and had to investigate, I think all the Druids felt it… the loss of magic in this world, when we lost the life of your friend Carlos…. There is an impressive shrine in your village for him.” Deaton explained. “I was shocked when your alpha told me of your existence, I’m glad I don’t have to go far to track you down…” he smiled at Derek.

 

“Thank you.” Derek said when the vet didn’t make his way to leave or come in further. “Why are you here?”

 

“Well, as soon as I was back within cell reception, I got the most disturbing voicemails from half of your pack. Scott called me over twenty times alone…” The vet still didn’t come in.

 

“Okay.” Derek said with gritted teeth, it was three in the morning, after all.

 

“Forgive me.” The vet said after an awkward pause. “I’m here to look at young Mr. Stilinski, last I was told he may have recovered from his memory loss, but he was taken by the alpha pack, and has a deadly device on his neck?” Deaton said all of this casually. “I see you’ve rescued him at least, does he require my assistance further?”

 

They were interrupted by someone clearing their throat. It was the sheriff, with Stiles in tow. Derek invited them all inside his room so this meeting wouldn’t continue in the hall.

 

Deaton examined Stiles, even taking a peak underneath the bandage near his collar. He frowned when he touched the collar and examined its ruins. The entire time the young man sat unmoving and patient.

 

“It is eerie seeing you sit so still, Mr. Stilinski.” The vet murmured.

After a long while he sighed. “Mr. Mahealani and Miss Martin were unsuccessful in finding a safe way to remove the device? I dare say he is having an allergic reaction to it…”

 

“Probably an allergic reaction to following orders.” The sheriff smirked, in a failed attempt to keep the room jovial.

 

“Let me ask you, Derek, have you given him many orders?” The vet asked.

 

“I try not to, it’s… difficult…” The alpha fidgeted.

 

“I see.” The vet continued. “Have you tried ordering him to take it off and simply not put it on some one else?”

 

It was quiet for a long moment, before Cora leaned up on her knees, “do it.” She whispered.

 

And, Derek did. Stiles looked straight at the alpha when he addressed him as he had done so, since the rescue. He didn’t even have to touch the necklace. It started to glow blue all on its own and then it dissolved and reappeared on the bed next to him. Stiles took in an audible breath of air, followed by another one. He was shaking and crying and unable to look at anyone.

 

“Stiles, Stiles!” Derek raced over and placed two hands on the younger man’s knees. “It’s okay, now. You’re okay.”

 

Stiles continued to shake. He was about to go into a full on panic attack when Derek said, “look at me.”

 

Stiles snapped his head up and met his alpha’s eyes.

 

“Did he just follow your commands again?” Cora asked, uncertain. This caused Stiles to look at her briefly before taking in the entire room.

 

He saw Nymeria, Brin, and Remus all huddled together on the other bed. Without responding Stiles got up and flopped down next to them, placing a gentle hand through Nymers’s hair. He was crying and whispering that he was sorry.

 

The sheriff eyed his son wearily, obviously fighting the urge to comfort him. Derek took one look at the pile of them and knew he needed a minute.

 

“Everyone out.” He ordered.

 

The group found themselves in the hall again. This time without the now freed young man. The commotion was enough to wake up half the hall, including most of the pack who now stuck their heads out of their respective rooms.

 

“Deaton!”

 

“What’s going on?”

 

“Everything okay?”

 

Melissa came and placed a warm hand on the sheriff’s arm, calming him down some.

 

“Is that? Is that the collar?” Lydia asked pointing to the ringed object in Derek’s hand.

 

The alpha looked down. “How do we destroy it?”

 

“He’s free!” Scott exclaimed. “Thank you,” he added to his former boss, causing several heads to look inquisitorially at the vet.

 

“I’m always happy to help.” Deaton replied, causing even more heads to snap to his attention, Derek’s with a furrowed brow. “Well, I had a rather long flight, so I’m going to see what I can do about acquiring a room of my own…” he added as he strolled past everyone. “Good night.”

 

“Does he remember us now?” Jackson asked in a whiny tone.

 

“Where is he, can we see him?” Erica added, hopeful.

 

“No.” Derek snapped. “Give him time to… adjust.”

 

“It’s okay.” Stiles said from the hotel doorway. He had visible tear tracks on his cheeks that were hastily wiped away and red rimmed eyes.

 

“I… missed you guys, I’m so sorry…” the mole speckled man said to all his onlookers.

 

It happened in an instant. Everyone rushed the young man, causing quite a stir in the hallway. One patron of the hotel angrily opened their door and yelled at them to keep it down, and that he’s not afraid to get physical. This caused everyone, even Derek, to burst out laughing and the entire pack squeezed themselves into the alpha’s room.

 

It was cramped in the tiny room.

 

“Where should I even start?” Stiles muttered as he sat with his wolves yet again. “I’m just I’m really sorry… I shouldn’t have kept this from you guys, it was just such a mess…”

 

“You left the country! With out my permission!” The sheriff said but he had a huge grin on his face indicating that he wasn’t even remotely mad.

 

“You didn’t think we were bros!” Jackson tossed a pillow at the smaller man, but Derek snatched it out of the air and gave his beta a death glare for throwing it.

 

“We… we uhhh.” Scott attempted to say.

 

“It’s cool, man.” Stiles interrupted. “I remember everything. I… I know I ‘forgave’ you but I never really let us be friends the way we once were, it’s all good now. This last month of video games and movie nights has been awesome, I needed it… I need you, especially since we’re are like real brothers now!” He winked at his dad who held Mrs. McCall close.

 

“And you’re my bro still too!” He added hastily to Jackson. “Who else am I going to Skype at five in the morning?”

 

“Hey! Its right between my morning and afternoon classes!” Jackson protested with a friendly smile.

 

Stiles eyes landed on Cora and he quickly moved his way through people to give her a hug. He paused for just a minute giving her time to nod that it was okay before he touched her.

 

“Are you…” he trailed off.

 

“I’m okay, how are you? Do you really remember… everything?” She asked in a small voice.

 

The she-wolf knew from the dark look in the others eyes that he did.

 

“I… I can help with that, for both of you, if you’d rather forget.” Lena piped up.

 

Most of the room’s occupants had forgotten she was there too.

 

Cora shook her head with wide, fearful eyes. She shared a knowing look with Stiles and the two silently agreed they would be each other’s support system when dealing with their more traumatic events.

 

Stiles looked solemnly at the seer. “No. I think I’ve had enough memory loss to last a lifetime.” He didn’t mean for it to sound bitter.

 

Lena looked close to tears.

 

He scooped her up in a tight embrace too. “Hey, you did it, no one died, right? Except well the bad guys but they had it coming… and Carlos…” he added. “I’m sorry that happened to him. Thank you for doing all you could to save my pack.”

 

Lena was speechless but appreciated the words all the same.

 

“So!” Stiles said changing the subject and looking far more happier in one breath. “Danny! You had me lifting twice as long as I usually would! I’ve spent way to much time in the gym with you guys, this summer, don’t think I’m going to forget that! And, Isaac! I don’t know how you managed to make me choose Superman over Batman, but, no… just, hell no! And Lydia! Their will be no more shopping trips! I can’t believe you made me get a manicure!” He huffed indignantly.

 

The pack all sniggered or ducked their heads for unintentionally taking advantage of the clueless Stiles they had during that first month of the summer.

 

“And, Derek!” Stiles said with a big smile. “I’d really like it if you kissed me already…”

 

That was everyone’s cue to leave. Lena invited Cora to share her bed for the rest of the night and in under a minute only Derek, Stiles and the wolves remained.

 

And Derek kissed him.

 

***

 

It took some time for things to settle back down in Beacon Hills. Peter and Derek failed to destroy the collar and locked it up tight in the Hale vault, with Chris’s permission. He assured them that no Argent aside for himself and his daughter would ever know the collar’s whereabouts.

 

The twins were asked, not so politely to leave, but have failed to do so. Ethan and Jackson, in particular, were getting very close. And despite their alpha’s protest, the two were wiggling further and further into pack life.

 

Lena said she would be off on her way shortly after making sure Stiles didn’t need her for anything. She planned on visiting the shrine for Carlos in Cora’s village.

 

“Oh! I almost forgot!” Lena squeaked. “I have something for you!” She pulled a small black rectangle out of her purse. “Your phone!” She said as she handed it to Stiles.

 

The college student was so excited. “Oh my gods! I have so many photos on here, thank you! I figured it was lost for good! How did you? Oh never mind, thanks!”

 

Derek redden at the mention of the photos on the phone, because some of them may be of him in compromising positions…

 

“Guys! Gather around we have to look!” Stiles motioned for those present to lean over.

 

Derek redden further, causing Cora to roll her eyes at her brother.

 

“Stiles! I don’t think…” he tried to protest but his boyfriend, officially once more, waved him off and continued to crowd in the pack around him so they all could see.

 

He had two folders one with about fifty photos and one with over a thousand. He clicked on the larger one and Derek grimaced.

 

It was Nymeria, Remus, and Brin all starting out as puppies and slowly growing up again before their very eyes.

 

Derek let out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding. He was worried that perhaps this was the one thing Stiles had forgotten, but nope, apparently the man had thousands of photos of his pets and expected everyone to look at them all.

 

The group let out collective awes and giggles at all the appropriate moments and before they had even reached half way through the slide show, the crowd had dispersed and cleared off, leaving Erica, Lena, and Derek as the only ones still interested in the ridiculous amount of photos Stiles had taken of the three little wolves.

 

“Thank you for this too!” Stiles told Lena when they were all done.

 

“I kinda stole it, when I took your…” She crunched up her face.

 

“Never mind it.” Stiles waved her off. “You’ll be late for your flight! Hey, send my regards to the pack for me! And, could you thank the spellweaver on my behalf…” He added in a forcedly positive tone.

 

Lena nodded. “Are you sure your staying here?” She called to Cora who had slinked away somewhere around photo number four hundred.

 

“Yeah, I’m staying here… maybe for good,” she added with a smile to Derek.

 

“Hey, big guy.” Stiles elbowed the older man playfully, “want to go upstairs and look at the other photos?”

 

They disappeared without the pack noticing.

 

***

 

Everything was almost back to normal. The pack grew by two and their emissary was just a simple human now.

 

‘It’s okay.’ Everyone had assured him at one point or another, but Stiles just couldn’t help but feel the loss of his magic. He would touch the protective ruin on the pack house and not feel a thing, it was so… disheartening.

 

The only time he ever felt the familiar buzz under his finger tips was when he would visit the Nemeton, which the young man found himself doing a lot, these days.

 

Derek cornered him out underneath the tree, late one afternoon.

 

“I kinda hate this clearing as much as I like it,” he said in lieu of announcing his presence.

 

Stiles only raised an eyebrow in response, a habit he had surely picked up from the alpha, himself, over the years.

 

“It’s just, I’ve almost lost you twice here.” He fumbled with the chain in his pocket. “And that vision…” he shuddered at the memory of it.

 

Stiles nodded knowingly. “I’m sorry, that was a close one, and it was very difficult for you, seeing me… unaware and unable to control myself, like that…”

 

“Stiles. Stop apologizing!” Derek murmured, as he brush the younger man’s cheek softly. “You were a victim in all of this, not the cause, okay?”

 

The two embraced.

 

Derek shifted awkwardly on his feet for a minute before stealing himself.

 

“Stiles.” He said, tentatively. “I uhhh, I’m not sure, this might be too quick, but the whole time you didn’t remember me, I kept thinking what if you had…” He trailed off.

 

Stiles silently and patiently waited. If Derek hadn’t seen how still the younger man could be under the collar’s influence he would have doubted his boyfriend’s ability to be so patient.

 

“Stiles Stilinski, you are with out a doubt the best part of me, when you aren’t here, I’m not whole. I love you.”

 

Stiles knew Derek was trying to say something important so he didn’t interrupt’ although he desperately wanted to tell the older man he feels the same way.

 

“You know I’m no good with words…” Derek grumbled. “What I’m trying to say is..”

 

“Yes!” Stiles burst out before Derek could finish the question. “Sorry. Continue.”

 

“Yes?” The alpha scrunched up his eyebrows. “Yes, you want to m…”

 

“Yes!” Stiles said again. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, yes, I love you too, and it doesn’t have to be right away and we will need to tell my dad before the pack… and ring shop… but yes, will you merry me?” Stiles said in one exhale.

 

“Who’s asking who, now?” Derek replied with a smile and fished the rings out of his pocket. “They were my parent’s… we don’t have to use them, but…”

 

Stiles reached for his and held it close. It was a beautiful ornate silver with a black triskelion carved in the top, it matched Derek’s perfectly. He thought they were gorgeous and he told the older man so.

 

They spent the rest of the afternoon under the large tree.

 

***

 

The pack was excited. It turns out that the sheriff already knew, and so did Cora and Peter. No one else was too surprised, most saying it was a matter of time and that they were inseparable for the past five years…

 

They went to Sam’s diner to celebrate. It was pack tradition, after all. The wolves loped in and went straight to their booth, joined by Stiles and Derek. The rest of the pack made their way around them, filling up half the seats.

Sam looked thrilled by the news of the engagement and excited to have so many of his favorite customers. He didn’t even have to take orders, as he knew everyone’s favorites and promised them their food was started as soon as he saw them pull in.

 

“Stiles!” Sam called from the doorway to his kitchen, “could I have a word?”

The human got up anxiously and followed the older man into the back.

 

The room was small and deserted. His wife up front was apparently the only other employee, which was saying something as that meant Sam was truly always cooking himself. An impressive feat at any age, but the man was getting up there in years, too.

 

Stiles knew instantly the secret behind this feat. He didn’t miss how the frying pan with burger patties was rocking itself gently to stop them from burning. The fry basket had raised itself out of the hot oil, and as stiles peered around the corner he saw the dishes were washing themselves. He looked at Sam in awe.

 

“Well now kiddo, you didn’t think I could manage this place without a little help, didn’t cha?” The old man asked with a wide smile and knowing eyes.

 

“I know you recently… lost your way, you were an earth druid, right? Just felt the magic and it would come?” He added in a chipper tone.

 

Stiles was still speechless and just nodded.

 

“Yes, well the cheaters the lot of you!” Sam grumbled. “But!” He added with a smile again. “In order to become a sorcerer, you have to work for it, studying and spell books! It isn’t easy! And nothing will be handed to you, but…” he held a book to Stiles.

 

“I think you more than qualify… open it up, it’s a beginners book.” He prompted.

 

Stiles did as he was told. He read the first couple of pages with a huge grin taking up his face.

 

“Thank you!” He muttered.

 

“Don’t thank me, do a spell!” Sam nudged.

 

Stiles raised his hand and muttered some words. His eyes flashed white for just a minute and the spoon in front of him levitated. In his excitement it dropped to the floor in a clatter.

 

“Very good! Very good! Now, take that book home with you and we will meet regularly, I’d like to train you up proper, if that’s alright?” Sam asked.

 

“Of… of course. Thank you! Thank you!” Stiles squeezed the other man’s hand as they shook on it.

 

He felt a familiar warmth spread up from his fingertips. He didn’t even realize how much of himself he was missing, until the tingle settled deep in his heart.

 

“Thank you!” He said again

 

Stiles rejoined the others and slipped the book behind him as he snuggled close to his fiancé.

 

A few people asked him what Sam’s kitchen was like or what the older man wanted but he brushed it off and as the food arrived, everyone seemed to forget about it.

 

As everyone was eating, stiles muttered those words again and watched as Nymeria’s plate hovered in the air in front of him. The white wolf barked indignantly at the plate that carried away her food, causing the other two to join her.

 

This got everyone’s attention and soon the whole pack saw the floating plate. Derek smirked at his emissary who held his hand out as he levitated it.

 

“Maybe your not so human, after all?” He questioned with a cocked eyebrow.

 

“Maybe not…” Stiles agreed.

 

They ate their lunch in joy and celebration for their alpha and emissary’s pending nuptials as well as for Stiles new(ish) abilities.

 

Nymeria huffed loudly as her plate was finally returned to her.