Stiles paces, he curses, he slams his hand into the wall nearest his dorm room door and then drops down, starts chewing the pad of his thumb.
There's blood dripping down his neck, seeping into the collar of his shirt and his shoes have small specks that would match the blood on his bat. He wonders idly just how it came down to this.
After taking a deep breath he rises back up and sneaks out to the dorm showers. It's 4 in the morning and Stiles learned his first year at University that hardly anyone ever came in at this time. There was the dedicated early risers who came in at 5 and the new students who thought they'd avoid lines at midnight and 2 but 4 was always clear.
He showers quickly though, scrubs hard at his neck and shoulder and when he finishes he stands before the fogged up mirrors. He leans over the sink, rinses his mouth and stares down at the running water.
He knows he doesn't need to panic, not really because this isn't a big deal. He isn't possessed by a demonic fox and there's no hunters looking to send a message to his friend. No one he knows is in any danger, they're all safe, he'd texted everyone hours ago to be sure.
He finally looks up, the skin at his collar and shoulder is an angry red but it isn't bleeding anymore. He sighs and drags himself back to his room where he collapses and sleeps through his morning class.
Derek isn't panicking, he's not because it's Stiles and the kid still does weird shit. Maybe though, Derek grew a little concerned when Scott called him in the middle of the night demanding to know the last he'd heard from him.
This was the night before and Derek realized it had been almost a week. It's not concerning really because Derek doesn't text but at least once every few days Stiles will send him something. What is concerning though is that Scott hasn't heard from him in five days and the sheriff, John, hasn't heard from him in about the same.
So Derek may have paced around the rest of the night and he may have decided to take it upon himself to drive to the University. Scott can't leave, there were unknown betas that no one could locate yet and John has a case involving a body out in the Preserve.
The pack is tense though, Scott had told him and so Derek texted him as he got into his car to inform him he was going. Scott thanked him and then John called and Derek could hear his worry so he promised the man he'd locate his son.
It's nearly a three and a half hour drive but Derek manages it in two, not caring to break a few traffic laws. He calls Stiles several times as he drives but each time it continues to ring and ring, as he makes it into the city limit, the final call goes directly to voicemail.
He curses before tossing his phone to the passenger seat and takes a few corners sharply. He parks in the University space and jogs to the familiar building.
Stiles first day was just he and John but a week later the pack came up to visit at Derek's beckoning because Stiles confessed once how he didn't feel like pack. So they came and the wolves left their scent all over his room, they'd done it this year as well when he'd transfered and was put in a single.
Derek knows where to go but even as he's moving, he's sniffing and Stiles scent, a lemon balm wash that Lydia insisted he use with a spiced undertone that was strictly Stiles, has faded. Or maybe it's different, maybe Stiles switched body wash without Lydia close enough to hackle him, maybe it's just changed with the environment.
Derek pushes through the throngs of other students once he reaches his floor, there's a heavy scent of sex and cum that makes Derek's nose wrinkle but the closer he gets to Stiles room, the more he can smell the faintest hint of blood.
He tells himself not to worry, it's college, the blood could be anyone's. Accept, Derek knows Stiles blood almost intimately, they've shared more then any two people should have. He takes a calming breath and then it hits him when he flings the door open. Another werewolf has been here, not pack, not familiar. The smell of his blood completely covers Stiles smell.
And then Derek sees Stiles bat, leaning near the window to the left of the door and it's covered in blood.
Derek agonizes over calling Scott, he doesn't know anything yet, whatever issue transpired Stiles had hit the werewolf enough to draw a decent amount of blood. Stiles blood is still a faint scent and Derek hopes that means it was a lot less, perhaps the wolf only got a nick in.
Derek searches the floor and Stiles blood is stronger in the bathroom but it's still to hard to gage the amount around all the other smells.
He spends three hours pestering and possibly frightening the college students but most hardly know anything about Stiles. One guy called him the weird kid and Derek practically snarled at him. This is his pack and he is missing! Derek officially accepts it when he happens upon one of Stiles professors and she tells him Stiles hasn't attended class in 3 days.
He tries to call Stiles again but it still goes immediately to voicemail, Derek wants to roar his frustration. He's sitting in his car now, hands gripping his steering wheel a bit to tightly. He has to call Scott at least, John doesn't need to know until he finds something. Until he finds Stiles, he thinks.
Scott panics, he says a slew of curses and starts talking about coming up there immediately, bringing the pack, but when he mentions John, Derek shuts him down.
"I can handle this, I'll find him."
"Derek," Scott sighs. "If he-"
"I'll find him Scott, just.... don't worry anyone else yet."
It takes a few hours but Derek is able to get in contact with an alpha in the area, he'd known Laura fairly well back in the day and had been introduced to Derek before he and his sister headed off to New York. The alpha agrees to meet with him at a restaurant near to the University campus.
"Hello Derek, pleasant to meet you again. I'm sorry it's under this circumstance."
"Thank you for meeting with me Gregory," Derek shakes his hand.
Gregory Melbourne is only a few years older then what Laura would be, he's dressed casual in jeans and a loose t-shirt. His hair is a pale color but his skin is tanned and his eyes dark. He smiles easily and Derek has never felt a threat from him.
"Tell me about this boy of yours," Gregory starts as they sit. Derek feels his face burn at the implication the alpha has made but he doesn't correct him.
"He's young, human, he was in the area for school. I checked around his dorm, I could smell...a fellow but he has no acquaintances in the area."
"You said you'd gone to his room?" Gregory leans in closer, "Blood, yes?"
"Yeah, a bat he always keeps, it was-" Derek inhales slowly, "The scent was stronger then Stiles."
Gregory nods along as he pulls his phone out and begins to text, "I'd like to send a couple trusted people. Would you be comfortable with that?"
"Yeah, yes, should we meet them-"
"Not necessary," Gregory smiles. "I'd like to head out to another pack, they're local, small, see if they've had any complications."
"Thank you for your help, this means so much."
"Derek, your sister was a good friend, I still mourn her loss and I'd do anything for her family."
Gregory offers to put Derek up with a beta he has in the city but Derek declines and opts to stay in a hotel near the campus.
Derek paces his room for a full hour before he calls Scott and updates him, the alpha appreciates it but is still antsy to get there himself. Derek understands, the need to protect your pack is strong as it is and Stiles is Scott's brother, blood hardly matters. But Scott is needed there and Derek can afford to stay as long as necessary.
Nine hours pass, Gregory told Derek to rest, that he was having betas search the city for either Stiles or the wolf whose blood was on the bat but Derek couldn't even sit down for more then five minutes. He wonders, vaguely, if this restlessness is how Stiles feels when he's having a particularly rough day.
At midnight, Derek gives up the fight and heads out to the diner Stiles had taken the pack to the last few times they visited. It had free Wi-Fi and was open all night, and it turned out to be a good lead.
"He was in here last night, Stiles is my favorite late night."
The waitress is young but not Stiles age, she has brown eyes and her hair is tied up neatly, she smells innocent enough.
"Did he seem," Derek breathes, "Was he okay?"
"No more fidgety then usual," she contemplates. "He did seem tense though."
"How so?" Derek feels his claws lengthen beneath the table.
"Honestly?" she huffs. "He usually drinks coffee like its air, typing away on some paper and talking about baseball or comics," she smiles. "But he was still, or stiller then usual."
Derek can see her fondness, Stiles can talk someone's ear off but doesn't need their immediate attention so she probably enjoys his rabbles on slower nights. He's about to ask if Stiles mentioned meeting anyone or where he might be heading but she speaks again.
"You're Daren, right?"
"Right! Right, you come in with him and all the others, you don't go to the University though, do you?"
"No," Derek shakes his head, he doesn't even remember this girl the last time he and the pack visited. "We're friends from back home."
"I'm sorry I don't know anything, I hope you find him."
Me too, Derek thinks as she walks away. He's settled a little in knowing that Stiles was at least seen in the last 24 hours but the entire thing is far more suspicious then he likes.
As he leaves the diner he catches a whiff of spice and he bolts in the direction of it. The diner is pressed towards the outskirts of the city, near an empty lot and across from several unfinished buildings. The scent leads him further back and when Derek stumbles upon a streak of blood, he can feel his heart stutter.
The smell isn't from the wolf Gregory's pack is looking for and Derek is almost terrified as he slows down. His senses are suddenly over loaded by sweet, bitter flower and Derek knows it's Wolfsbane.
His thoughts lead to hunters but he can't piece together why they'd have use for wolfsbane on a human, let alone on Stiles whose pack is hours away. His boot crunches and that's the first moment he sees it all, the dried up petals scattered around.
The scent makes his head hurt and it's hard to smell anything over it, but he continues to follow the awful plant until he spots it. A dark figure is hunched in a back corner, deep inside one if the buildings and Derek can't force his ears to listen for a heart beat.
Half of him hopes it's Stiles but the other half is frightened he isn't alive, that Derek is to late, that he's lost one more person.
Derek feels air fill his lungs at the familiar tone and he nearly wants to throw himself at the younger male.
"I'll be gone in the morning, please," he rasps. "Just let me sleep here."
That's when Derek sees it, there is not only wolfsbane covering the floor but it's surrounding the figure, ropes with the plant tied to it are strung up around him.
"Stiles," Derek tentatively calls out.
He sees the younger man tense, faintly hears the uptick of his heart now that he's near enough but the wolfsbane is really drowning his senses.
"Stiles," he calls again. "Please."
"Go away," he grits but his voice is different, like he's talking around a mouthful.
"I messed up," Stiles whines. Derek feels something pull at his heart from the noise.
"What happened, Stiles," Derek is practically next to him, just outside the ropes.
"Something really bad happened."
Derek sees as Stiles turns, his profile coming into view and then Stiles face turns upwards, his eyes blinking open slowly. The older male inhales sharply when their eyes meet, Stiles eyes glow, beta yellow.
He had cornered him as he left Staples, Stiles was the last person in the parking lot and for some ridiculous reason, he'd parked a good distance away. The werewolf pinned him against the jeep, arms bracketing him just inside the drivers seat. Stiles remembers seeing the handle of his bat sticking up towards the seat but he didn't immediately reach for it.
"Whose pack do you belong to," the werewolf sneered.
"What's it to you, fluffy?"
A rough, clawed hand grips the back of his neck and whirls him around. The wolf is about his height, broader in the shoulders with brown hair and his eyes are glowing their descriptive red. An alpha. Stiles wants to make a snark comment but the alpha doesn't appear pleased, especially not when he slams Stiles back enough his head hits the roof before he drops down unceremoniously, into the drivers seat.
"Don't toy with me," the alpha growls. "Where is your pack?"
"Not here, clearly," Stiles rubs the back of his head. The werewolf snarls, eyes flash brighter and he's pressing in on him, teeth elongated.
"I will rip out your throat and leave a trail for them to find," he snaps.
Stiles tries, he really does, to not burst up laughing because the threat reminds him too much of another werewolf he's close to but the snickers escape. The alpha draws back, maybe in shock and Stiles takes the opportunity and kicks out. The alpha is thrown off enough that he stumbles and Stiles has a moment to reach his bat and swing, full force.
A resounding crack rings out and the alpha drops down, Stiles isn't an idiot though and knows he'll be back on his feet soon and Stiles rushes to take off. A part of him longs to call Derek, call Scott and get the pack here but the drive is long and Stiles can't distract the wolf until then.
He's driving through the city, contemplating heading to his dorm but he can't risk that the alpha won't show up and hurt others. So Stiles heads for the next city over, there's a housing development that's fairly secluded.
If nothing else, Stiles can figure out how to trap him with mountain ash and then call the pack in.
"What happened," Derek is growling but he doesn't mean to. Stiles heart is racing so fast it sounds as though it'll burst. Derek uses his claws to cut down the rope, ignoring the sting it causes.
"No Derek, don't," Stiles flinches and turns into the wall more.
"Who did this?"
Derek wants to rip their throat out, bury them in wolfsbane.
"Derek, please," Stiles cries out. The older werewolf smells the blood and barely catches as the other starts digging his claws into his thigh.
He doesn't think much as he breaks through and drops down beside Stiles, pulling his hands away before then can inflict more self damage.
Tears spill down Stiles face as a howl erupts through the air, the boy whimpers. "I'm so sorry, Derek."
He feels the blunt pressure of claws in his abdomen and Stiles is nearly bawling, Derek can see his pack mates claws embedded in him when he glances down.
"I'm so sorry," Stiles pleads.
Before heading off for school Deaton gave Stiles a box of mountain ash and a container of dried up wolfsbane. The old emissary explained that at times rogues may appear and because Stiles so clearly smells of his pack, they would be inclined to attack. He'd accepted the gifts but in two years, they'd never left his jeep.
A blessing really, since he needed both now. The wolfsbane to mask his scent inside the houses while he made a plan for the mountain ash.
If the alpha really wants him, Stiles isn't dumb enough to think he can't be found, the flowers just make it a little more difficult. With a little clever maneuvering he's able to get some of the plant around his bat with duct tape and he waits.
"Come out, come out wherever you are," the alpha taunts. Stiles wishes, very rarely that he'd never been involved in this world, part of him drifts back to thoughts of Allison and the other people he'd decimated when he was possessed.
A renewed sense of determination fills him, a sense of anger that this alpha thinks for one minute that he's nothing more then a weak human that can be picked on.
"I smell your hatred," the wolf inhales. Stiles swings the bat up over his shoulder and counts the Weres steps until he walks through the door and Stiles swings.
The alpha easily grabs the bat but hisses at the wolfsbane contact and releases and Stiles swings again. This time he lands a hit in the guys ribs and he snarls and slashes out but Stiles huffs a handful of ground wolfsbane and the alpha chokes on his breath.
Stiles darts around him and lands a hit to the back of his head, the wolfsbane must have made him woozy because he goes down quickly. Stiles is already digging in his pocket, sifting up a handful out mountain ash and starts to circle the downed wolf.
He doesn't make even a half circle when the alpha lungs, pine Stiles to his back and latches tightly to the junction between Stiles neck and shoulder. He figures he should scream but the sound is trapped in his throat, his eyes bulging. The alpha isn't ripping him apart, Stiles knows with no doubt that this alpha has taken claim to him and turned him.
"You'll find me once you need me," he sneers down as he pulls away from him.
The alpha is standing and Stiles feels a bitter, sick desire to completely destroy him and before he can process that he's on his feet and the bat is coming down in crushing blows, over and over.
Blood splatters against his shoes and soaks into the bat, Stiles has no idea how many times he hit the werewolf but he isn't moving now. His brain feels fried and he starts stumbling around and out of the vacant home. He knows what a panic attack feels like even in the earliest stage but he can't seem to calm himself until he's gripping his steering wheel and crys out. He punches the dashboard and shouts again, he's angry, he's hurt, and he's still trembling from fear.
On impulse he texts the pack, checks in, it isn't so late that they'd be worried and he almost considers calling Scott and telling him what happened but the panic rushes up his throat again. What if he doesn't survive The Bite? What if Scott rejects him because another alpha had bit him? What if his dad doesn't want anything to do with him, now that he'll become something else?
He doesn't know how he manages to drive back to campus, or how he got his bat to his room without anyone seeing but he walks in and curses after dropping his bat next to the window.
Derek's head is spinning, the wolfsbane makes him weak so the wound Stiles inflicted isn't healing as fast as it should, he isn't sure why this happened though. Stiles cried before ripping his claws out and begged Derek to stay away, to kill him, to do anything to stop him or leave him and then he'd retreated to the corner.
The new wolf is shivering, he pulled the wolfsbane ropes around himself and hissed from the pain but made no move to drop them. Derek has barely pushed himself up and is watching him, trying to clear his senses enough and make his mouth work.
Stiles idly begins rocking back and forth, eyes glowing every now and then, claws retracting and then digging into his upper arms. Derek can faintly smell Stiles blood over his own but he isn't worried, the boy isn't trying to do any worse to himself yet.
"Sti-Stiles, what...what happened," he manages to stutter out, drops of blood slipping from his mouth. Derek knows that he must have punctured his lung but he can still breathe so it can't be to bad and his healing is still faster then a humans.
"An alpha," Stiles shakes his head, more tears fall.
"How...How did you get b-bit?"
"He just," Stiles sniffles. "Derek leave, please. God please, leave."
"Not...Not without you," he manages and inhales sharply. The pain is subsiding slowly but his head can't clear with all the wolfsbane around them. "We...We need t-to get out of here."
"I can't," Stiles growls, causing his eyes to flash.
"I'm not," Derek huffs, pushing up to his knees and then his feet. He stumbles a little. "You're pack-"
"Not anymore," Stiles grits, his claws digging deeper into himself. "Not yours."
Derek's heart has a strange ache to it at the words, he remembers when he first knew the kid, when he was nothing more then a leech that was attached to Scott. Stiles had taught the kid control though, found out what am anchor was, managed, at 16 to subdue a newly bitten Were on his first full moon and lived to brag about it. Derek remembers when he couldn't stand him but would have accepted him if it had meant Scott would be in his pack.
And then they'd all eventually made a pack of each other, a weird pack that somehow worked and hearing Stiles say he wasn't a part of that anymore.... Derek felt the sting of the truth.
"I won't l-leave you here," he pushes, the blood flow has slowed significantly.
"Derek," Stiles eyes are begging him when he looks up. "Please, leave before I....before I kill you."
He looks defeated in a way he hasn't for a long time, in the way he had after escaping the Nogitsune. Derek wants to howl for his former pack mate, wants to claw apart whatever pack thinks it'll get some kind of claim over this boy.
He chuckles though and says, "You think you can kill me?"
Stiles isn't crying now but the tear stains still cover his face and shine in the faint light of the moon. "I-"
"You forgetting I was born to this," Derek smirks and moves closer to him again. He's clutching his stomach but doesn't feel the blood flowing out anymore, his shirt is soaked though.
Derek rips the ropes away from him and pulls him up, flashing his blue beta eyes and growling slightly. Stiles eyes flash in challenge and if Derek didn't know it was out of some desire to protect whatever pack had changed him, he'd be proud.
"I'm not leaving you here," he snaps at Stiles, teeth elongating.
The voice is sultry, deep and echoes in the small space, he doesn't recognize it however and spins quickly, his body a shield between the stranger and Stiles.
"I thought I smelt a Hale on the boy but my, I'd have never imagined it to be true."
With a shallow in take of breath Derek knows this is the alpha that bit Stiles, he's an older man with a scar across the left side of his neck. He's smiling as he approaches, walks as though the wolfsbane does no harm to him.
Derek snarl again, hunches forward with claws extended, fangs threatening and determined that this alpha won't go near Stiles.
"Come now," the man smiles. "That's my new beta you have there."
"He's mine," Derek growls, not considering that really, Stiles would be Scott's.
"Your packs scent was so light, I thought the boy had been abandoned," he glances down, nudges some dried petals away then looks up. "A mistake, I suppose."
"Leave," Derek states. "He's not yours."
"I turned him, why didn't you," he mocks, knowing well that Derek is no alpha. "Humans don't make good pack members, practically useless."
Derek hears the faint whimper from Stiles, it comes from the back of his throat and he likely didn't intend to make the noise. No matter what the alpha thinks, Stiles won't be leaving with him if Derek is living.
Stiles wakes feeling groggy, over heated and the room spins into view, the sun is bright and he knows he's missed classes. He just manages to drag himself from bed and back to the showers, the water is cool and makes him feel like he isn't suffocating.
After an hour, Stiles feels great, like he's taken his medication on time and had a few cups of coffee. He feels like he's slept for a week.
He finishes up his last classes with a smile and a good amount of notes that he was able to focus clear enough for and he wants to call Scott, wants to tell him what's happened now. He intends to after talking to his professors for the classes he missed, he finds a couple classmates who loan him notes and then heads to his room.
He's just sent Scott a message saying the pack needs to visit and told his dad he might drop by over the weekend when he walks through his door.
"Hey there kid."
His phone falls and he's frozen, the alpha is alive and sitting on his bed, he's grinning. Stiles doesn't know what to do, what to say and he's thinking of making a run for it.
"Uh uh uh," the alpha smirks and his eyes flash. "We need to have a chat."
Derek growls as he bites into the alphas side and rips, blood fills his mouth and the werewolf beneath him howls before digging his claws into Derek's side.
It's a wrestling match of claws and teeth, blood staining the ground around them as they fight. Derek can't check on Stiles right now but he knows the boy has to be there, battling himself to not hurt Derek but also longing to protect his alpha.
It's not until the rope is around his throat that he realizes that urge would be strongest for a newly bitten. Derek claws at the rope but it's searing into his flesh.
The alpha cackles when Derek's knees get kicked out from behind, he falls, rope pulling tighter.
"So obedient," the alpha sneers. "I wonder why you didn't turn him when you were an alpha."
Derek wants to rip his throat out but is struggling enough to breathe.
"I should have him do it," he observes. "Nothing breaks them like killing someone they love so soon after The Bite."
"Now," it's barely a faint whisper, almost a trick of the wind but Derek knows the moment of reality when the alpha stands above him and the ropes loosen.
He doesn't hesitate to rise and bury his claws in the werewolf's throat, then brings his other hand up to grip the back of his neck before digging deeper and then slashing out.
It's instant, the rush of power and Derek's head spins a little and his neck immediately stops hurting. The rope has fallen away and all of Derek's senses are stronger, he remembers this well. He turns to Stiles who's standing back, hand gripping his opposite arm and his head bowed.
Derek is an alpha again and Stiles is a wolf.