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Once Bitten

Chapter Text

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.

"Go away."

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.

"What happened?"

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.

"You don't-"

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.

"Derek Hale."

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.

Chapter Text

Wound up. That's the term Stiles is looking for, like any minute he'll spring into action and start racing around in circles. Every nerve in his body feels on fire, ADHD has nothing on turning into a werewolf.

Something in the back of his mind reminds him of how Scott had acted after being bitten, he'd laugh if he wasn't going out of his mind.

"Pull over," he snaps, his seatbelt already off.

"Stiles," Derek sighs. "You're fine-"

"You have no fucking idea how I feel Derek," he growls and wow, so that's why Derek does it so much, growling is satisfying.

"I remember how it felt learning control," the older wolf tries to sympathize, side eyeing Stiles.

"This isn't about control, pull over!"

"It's a few days from the full moon, it's a lot more intense for you-"

"Oh don't start in on that shit." He slams his palm against the dash and throws himself back, huffing out a breath and crossing is arms. He wants to claw his skin off so he settles for digging said claws into his forearms.

"Knock it off," Derek says calmly, grabbing Stiles hands.

"Why," Stiles grumbles, "I heal instantly now, why does it matter what I do to myself?"

Derek's brows pinch together, a deep pit of worry filling his stomach. Stiles looks tense, sitting in the passenger seat but as much as he's trying to look pissed that Derek has ignored his last three requests to pull over he didn't hesitate to hold onto Derek's hand.

"Did-" Stiles hand squeezes Derek's, "Did you tell Scott?"

Derek glances at him, "No, that's up to you."

Stiles nods and slowly let's Derek's hand go before leaning his face against the window. Derek can smell his anxiety, can smell his fear but Stiles is angry too and he won't stop moving, more then usual. He knows the boy needs to find a way to ground himself but the full moon is so close and he's barely been a wolf for a week. Stiles won't have any control under the influence of this moon, the older Were knows that the loss of control will plague him the most.

"I need out Derek, now."

"A few more minutes Stiles-"

"No! I don't-"

"Stiles," Derek flashes his eyes but leaves out the command, Stiles goes silent anyway. "Just breathe, okay? Do you... do you remember that mantra I tried to teach Liam?"

Stiles scoffs, "The one that didn't work?"

"Just try it," he pauses, then adds, "Please."

Stiles says it, Alpha-Beta-Omega, again and again on a low breath and tries to picture something. His first thought is his dad but then he's angrier because what if his dad hates him? First a demon fox possesses him and now he's a werewolf, his dad was going to have a heart attack.

Derek speaks softly, reminds him to repeat the mantra and Stiles thinks of his mom but a dull ache forms in his chest. He tries thinking of Scott but it only reminds him that his best friend is likely going to be upset about this because he knew how much Stiles didn't want The Bite. He thinks of how simple it was for Scott to find an anchor though. When this leads him to think of Allison, he knows his eyes flash before he hits the dash again and growls out.

"If you don't let me out I will rip the door off!"

"We're here," Derek says simply and cuts the engine.

The Melbourne pack was willing to help some more by getting rid of the alphas body and Gregory invited Derek and Stiles to spend the full moon with them. He'd told Derek over the phone that they had a secure space for the newly turned and that it might be best to wait out those few days and then return home. Stiles had been reluctant at first but after ten minutes in the car he had been ready to eat his own eyes.

"Hello again Derek," Gregory greets and then turns to Stiles, "You must be the boy who's caused so much trouble."

He's smiling but Stiles bristles.

"Did you have an trouble with the disposal," Derek asks to change the subject. Gregory promises it was no problem and shows them to the rooms they can use, introducing his Second, a girl named Willow. She's shorter, with hazel eyes that glue to Derek instantly.

"If you can't find me she'll be able to help you," Gregory smiles, squeezes her shoulder before he makes his departure.

"I'll grab you fresh linens," Willow grins. "It's wonderful to have you, Alpha."

Derek's eyes snap upwards at the term, his chest filling in pride as he watches her walk away. He hadn't been expecting it but it's nice, almost to nice, recalling what it's like to be in power.

Stiles rolls his eyes, arms crossed over his chest, "Oh God. Are you going to start drooling?"

Derek's eyes cut to him, a glare forming, "Shut up Stiles."

"Try not to sleep with anyone who wants to murder my dad, yeah?"

Stiles slams the door to his room and Derek reminds himself that it's just the moon, Stiles has never blamed him in the past. At least, he never admitted to doing so. He sighs, rubbing a hand over his face.

Stiles lays down, his stomach rolls but he ignores it. He doesn't know why he said that and knows it was a cruel jab but his brain-to-mouth filter seems to be completely gone now.

Sleeping doesn't come easily, Stiles tosses around, waking every hour or so from a heat induced nightmare before he finally flings his covers off and creeps out. The tiles of the kitchen floor are cold to his bare feet but the increase of his body temperature makes it easy to ignore. He downs three glasses of water and drops into a stool tucked beneath the bar that lines the room.

"Hey there."

Willow made no noise as she entered, or maybe Stiles wasn't paying enough attention but she's suddenly in front of the fridge, holding a carton of milk.

"Oh, uh, hey," Stiles smiles a little, gives a wave.

"Can't sleep?"

Willow walks to a cupboard and pulls out a couple bowls and Stiles finally takes the moment to really look at her. Her skin is a darker tone then Derek's but she's built petite, her hair is all piled on top of her head and is an unnatural burgundy.

"Not really," Stiles admits and drops his gaze.

"It's the moon," she tells him before setting a bowl in front of him. Stiles looks upwards and she's already reaching for a box of Fruit Loops, he smirks.

"And the cereal?"

"You missed breakfast," she grins and pours him some. "Your alpha instructed we not wake you."

"He's not my..." Stiles stops, he hadn't taken time to think about his status. Naturally, Scott is his first choice but what if Scott doesn't accept him? Would Derek?

"I'm sorry," Willow rushes. "I had just assumed, well with him having come to find you that.... So you two aren't," she makes a gesture with two fingers, a wiggling move then clips them together.

"No," Stiles says but he feels a tug somewhere deep inside.

"Sorry," Willow says again. "So the moon, are you planning to stay?"

"I think so, I don't know if I can survive the drive right now."

"Yeah," Willow sighs and plops in the stool beside him, her own cereal in hand. "I remember my first moon, I ripped a chunk out of Greg."

"What," Stiles chuckles. "How'd you manage that?"

"I don't remember, I was told the next day when I came to but he was still healing."

She's smiling but there's a flush to her cheeks and Stiles thinks of Kira. "What's it like, this secure room your pack has?"

"Oh, Greg will wanna show you both later but it's in the cellar. It's not as dark as it sounds!" she rushes to add. "It's actually really nice and since we have no other newly bitten you won't have to be chained."

"Right," Stiles nods. "So who all lives here? It's pretty quiet."

"This is Greg's house, newly bitten stay the first few months, I live here permanently and his son Tommy. The rest of the pack have their own homes but they're all in the area, can't have suspicious neighbors if all your neighbors are wolves."

"Is your pack really big?" Stiles leans forward and spoons up some cereal.

"Last count was," Willow taps a finger to her chin, contemplating. "A hundred fifteen."

Stiles whistles, "That's impressive."

"It's fairly small compared to some though."

There isn't much talk beyond that, they eat in silence before Willow excuses herself and tells Stiles to help himself to whatever he would like. He doesn't feel as hungry as he thinks he should so he doesn't linger long before he goes outside.

Derek tries to give Stiles space, a part of him longs to be around the new wolf more then he cares to admit but he knows it's for the sake of pack. His instincts are pushing at the surface, longing to build, to strengthen but Derek knows his place in Stiles life. Scott will be his alpha, Derek will have to make due if he plans on staying in Beacon Hills. The thought of leaving for good nearly burns but he knows he can be with Cora, knows they can build something the way he and Laura had once planned.

The sun is only setting when Derek ventures outside, Stiles scent washes over him first before he spots him across the way. Gregory's home rests on a small space of land, a farm really minus the animals but it's clear and mostly quiet. Trees surround the property and box it in but the alpha had told him that all the neighbors were his betas so worry of being outed was limited.

Stiles is sitting in a tire swing, swaying slowly back and forth, looking miserable as ever. Derek inhales a deep breath before walking across the yard to him. The younger male doesn't acknowledge his presence but he knows he's there, Derek stops the swinging and squats down in front of him.

"Stiles," he starts. "We don't have to stay, if you wanna be with Scott for this we can go now. I'll stop whenever you ask and-"

"I'm fine," Stiles sighs but he sounds defeated.


"I just," he holds his breath. "I thought that if I ever got The Bite it would be Scott. It'd be simple and I thought getting out of Beacon, I didn't need to worry."

Derek doesn't say anything, just patiently waits for Stiles to continue and when the boy looks at him he can see the wetness in his eyes. "Nowhere is safe."

"Your pack is safe," Derek assures him.

"What pack," Stiles scoffs. "Some random alpha turned me."

"Scott will-"

"Have you told Scott?" he challenges, Derek looks down. "Didn't think so, because you know like I do there's a chance he won't accept this. Scott loves me, I know he does but this isn't about that."

"You don't trust Scott to care beyond his instinct?"

"You did," Stiles catches his eyes. "You tried to get Scott as part of your pack but was that because Peter turned him? It was still Hale blood, right?"

"Scott was strong, loyal. I wanted that for my pack," Derek admits as he rises back up and walks to lean against the fence.

"What am I?"

Derek feels a million things at once, a hundred descriptive words come to mind and he's contemplating where to start because words still aren't easy for him when a young boy comes bounding over.

"Alpha Hale!" he shouts, all smiles. "Dad wants to show you both the safe room."

The secure room is in fact in a cellar but beneath the barn behind the house, Gregory explains it was once a wine cellar before they converted it.

"It's not insulated for noise, only because we didn't wish to lessen the pull of the moon but the door is solid against us and there are bars over the windows," the Melbourne alpha explains. "As you can see, it isn't all doom and gloom as one might first think."

The walls of the room are bare save for the shackles, which is the only way Stiles can think of them, four sets, one to each wall. There is a scent of blood and his head swims with it, not having figured out how to ignore the stronger sense yet.

Gregory lingers near the door, attempting to draw little attention as Stiles walks the room, touches the chains and the walls. Derek can't take his eyes off the chains, somehow this room feels wrong, feels like a cage and less like what it was built for. He'd had no problem chaining Erica, Boyd, and Isaac. The thought of his lost betas aches deep inside still but seeing the dejected look upon Stiles face as he fingers the chain links makes him want to howl.

"You won't need to be chained," Gregory points out. "We have no newly bitten."

"I'll be alone," Stiles states. His voice sounds near breaking and Derek is ready to leave, wants to take him home to his pack, his real pack and let him spend his first moon with them, let them surround him and make him feel safe.

"No," Derek says before he thinks to stop himself. "I'll be here."

Stiles eyes drift slowly towards him and lock, he looks uncertain in a way Derek has not seen for a long, long time.

Stiles does not join the Melbourne pack at dinner, Derek can't stop worrying because he's never known Stiles to not eat and when the meal is through, Willow catches him outside the kitchen with a plate and a smile.

"Maybe he just needs someone familiar," she says. Derek nods, thanks her and heads to the room next to his.

Stiles doesn't answer on the first knock and Derek has to suppress his urge to growl because he can hear him, smell him in there. With the moon only one night away and him getting reacquainted with his alpha power, he's finally starting to feel agitated or maybe it's been there and he hadn't noticed. He had been really focused on Stiles the last two days.

"Stiles," he calls out and knocks again but this time, when he doesn't answer, Derek just walks in.

"Generally," Stiles begins, he's laid on his side on his bed, faced away from the door. "If someone ignores you, they don't want you to come in."

"You need to eat," Derek says flatly as he closes the door behind him.

"I'm not hungry," but his stomach loudly protests the statement. Derek fights down the smirk, he really does as he moves slowly closer and sets the food next to the bed. "Am I always gonna feel like this," Stiles suddenly asks.

"How does it feel?"

"Like I could crawl out of my skin, like I wanna tear something apart, like-like fuck!" Stiles flops himself to his back, palms rubbing harshly at his eye sockets.

"I don't know exactly," Derek admits, "It's different for born wolves but after the moon isn't full, you won't feel so agitated."

"Did you mean it?"

"Yes, it's really the moon-"

"No," Stiles snaps, then sighs and speaks softer. "Earlier, when you said you'd be there. Did you mean it?"

Derek feels a tightness in his chest once the chemosignals wash over him, the entire room smells like fear and anxiety and Stiles has been keeping himself in here for hours.

"I'll be there if you want me to," Derek tells him. Stiles hands slowly fall away from his face and he's looking at Derek like he needs him, like he doesn't know what to do without him. "I'll be there," he reaffirms.

Chapter Text

Stiles texts Scott the morning of the full moon from Derek's phone, he tells him he's okay and that they'll be back soon, that he'll explain more when they get there. Scott doesn't hesitate to call but Stiles can't bare to hear him right now, can't listen to his voice try and soothe when he doesn't even know what's he's soothing. He texts him that he can't talk but to let his dad know that he's sorry, that he loves him, and then he turns the phone off before slumping down in the bed. His hands are shaking and he starts chewing his lower lip, he doesn't want to cry in a house full of werewolves.

Willow comes knocking an hour later with Gregory's son Tommy trailing after her, she's smiling and carrying a plate full of eggs and bacon and toast.

"Alpha Hale asked I bring this to you," she tells him before Tommy bounces up onto the bed and next to Stiles.

"I like Derek," he smiles and he can't be more then 10, Stiles thinks.

"Tommy," Willow snips. "He's an alpha."

"It's okay," Stiles smiles at him. "But, you wanna know a secret? He likes being called Der-bear more."

Tommy jumps up and runs off, Willow calling after him, "Don't you dare!"

Stiles smirks but Willow turns on him, hand on her hip as she sets his food on the stand. Stiles mocks innocence, hands palms up, "What?"

"He's supposed to be seeing to the needs of our guests," she gripes.

"Derek's needs will be met, he loves the nickname," Stiles exaggerates with an eye roll. Willow shakes her head and sighs, makes a pointed nod towards the food and then walks out.

Stiles picks at the food but it's not long before he starts feeling immured and ventures out. The house is over flowing with werewolves, there's a pleasant buzz filling nearly every space, children run passed as he walks down the hall and out into the living room. People no older then Stiles are piled on the couch and chairs on their phones and several older women and men are crammed in the kitchen, chatting and prepping food. He's never seen a pack so alive for a moon, he's used to being stuck home while the pack runs but he can't picture them behaving this way, not when they're usually so tense the days leading up to it.

When Stiles finally makes it outside he feels like all the air rushes back into his lungs, like he'd been underwater long enough to nearly drown. He keeps walking awhile because even outside there are people everywhere, setting up long tables or chasing other kids around. He just needs a moment, he figures, just some air and a moment where someone doesn't bump him or smile at him, or welcome him for the moon. One moment where he doesn't have to be in the room but doesn't feel like he's being smothered.

Inside the barn seems to be the only vacant space and Stiles practically barrels in, before dropping his hands to his knees and breathing heavily, panic rising in his throat.

"Reminds me of my family."

Stiles eyes snap up and Derek is just there, leaned against the open barn door, arms crossed over his chest. He doesn't meet Stiles eyes and there's a scent he can't place, it makes his heart ache though so he imagines it's grief.

"It's a lot though," Derek says when Stiles doesn't speak. For a moment they are both silent until Stiles breathing slows and he can stand upright again, Derek finally looks up at him. "Did you talk to Scott?"

Stiles nods slowly, digs into his pocket and moves almost cautiously to hand the phone over. When Derek doesn't say anything and simply takes his phone back Stiles tenses, swallows the lump that's forming.

"I forgot about school," he manages when neither make a move to leave.

"I talked to them," Derek says. "They're giving you a little time off."

"Oh," because it's all he can think to say.

When night begins to fall the werewolves are gathering outside and Stiles is left in the cellar, he's growling, his claws extending and his fangs cut his lips. Gregory is quick about informing him that the door will be locked up and someone will come in the morning. At first, Stiles is disappointed that Derek isn't there and then he's angry and throws himself against the door, snarling his outrage.

How dare he make a claim to be there and then not bother to show, how dare he act like he cared, like he was Stiles friend. Stiles wants to rip the bars from the window but they sting, singeing his skin on contact and he howls in pain.

"They're infused with wolfsbane," he hears from behind him. When he whirls around, Derek is there, eyes glowing. Stiles doesn't think as he charges and slams into the older werewolf, he claws with no real reasoning and snaps his fangs. Derek takes a few hits before he pins him down on his stomach, growling out as he does so.

"Stiles," he says, his voice a deeper timber then usual. "Focus, think of Scott, of the pack."

The words are becoming hazy and he starts thrashing around, Derek left him, for hours he left him in here, what would he know? Stiles wants to taste blood, he realizes for a horrifying moment and he freezes, oxygen burning with his long inhales.

"Stiles," Derek questions and the pressure slowly releases from his back.

"Chain me up," Stiles pleads. "Derek, chain me up now."

"You don't-"

"Do it," he snarls and flips himself over, eyes glowing.

Derek looks hesitant but Stiles scrambles backwards until he feels the chains rattle behind him, he wraps his hands around the links and pulls himself up a little. He doesn't take his eyes from the other wolf, pleads with them so he'll understand his desperation.

Derek sighs, rises up and helps lock Stiles in place, he looks disappointed but Stiles can't care, not when he wanted so badly to rip into him.
"You should go," Stiles tells him.

"I'm not going anywhere."

The last thing Stiles is able to remember is looking into Derek's golden, green eyes.

Morning is bleak, sounds feel like a hangover while someone pounds nails into a board so it takes a minute for Stiles to realize he isn't chained anymore and that he's been sleeping on the floor. Derek is there and there's blood on his shirt, Stiles jerks away from his place beside him and his eyes skirt across the room. There's blood on the floor and on the cuffs of the chains he'd been locked to the night before and Stiles feels his breaths come in more shallow.

He can't remember and Derek isn't moving and there's blood, there's blood and the scent overwhelms him. He doesn't know if it's his blood or Derek's, he doesn't know. The panic is crushing, his head pounds and he draws his knees upwards, wraps himself inwards and rocks.

Whether it's minutes or hours he isn't sure for how long he stays there, curled in on himself, before a hand is gripping his shoulder and someone is calling his name. Golden, green eyes are the first thing he sees.

"Stiles," Derek calls impatiently, like he's said it several times. "It's okay, it's morning."

He doesn't speak but his fingers tangle into a particularly tattered part of Derek's shirt that has dried blood, he holds tight and looks up at him.

"I'm okay," Derek assures him. "You didn't hurt me."

He wants to ask what happened but his mouth is dry and his throat aches to much to voice the words. Derek looks pained when he speaks next, "You kept clawing at yourself."

It's only moments before Gregory is coming inside, he greets the both of them as though there was no incident and then informs that breakfast is waiting. For once since arriving here, Stiles eats with Gregory's pack but he's silent the entire time, nibbling slowly.

After Stiles disappears to his room Derek takes the time to shower, scrubbing off blood and trying not to recall the way Stiles howled and dug his claws into himself the night before. It's easier once his blood doesn't stain Derek's skin, he had cleaned up before they ate but a proper shower was necessary.

Derek walks across the hall back to his room with a towel around his waist, as he walks in he freezes. Willow is sitting atop his bed, her hair is down and wild, she's in a shirt that's too big and hangs off her shoulder and shorts that barely show beneath it.

"Hey there alpha," she grins. Derek's never been uncomfortable in his nudity but there's something feral about the way her eyes scan across his body. "Feel better?"

"Yes, thank you," he tries to ignore her presence as he walks over to his clothes on the bed.

"You know," she lays back, stretches. "I know you have to get Stiles back to his alpha but what are you going to do after?"

Derek doesn't answer as he quickly dresses, he wants to get on the road as soon as Stiles is ready, wants to get him home so he can see that things will be all right.

"Because I was thinking," Willow continues without encouragement. "Greg is always looking to build alliances in the area. Maybe you could start your pac-"

"My pack is in Beacon Hills," he says flatly as he tugs his jacket on.

"Everyone knows McCall has Beacon Hills now, do you really think he'll-"

"Scott and I are on mutual terms, we have no issues. If you'll excuse me," he steps around her legs and grabs his wallet and keys off the nightstand.

"Just," she says and tugs the hem of his jacket, though she doesn't stop him. "Think about it. Greg would help you."

Derek spots Stiles leaving the other bathroom in the same state he'd been, without a shirt Derek is able to see how Stiles arms toned out but he drops his eyes quickly and moves passed him to the living room. Gregory is visible through the front window outside with his son and several other children. They tackle him, climb his sides, growl and tumble one another, their alpha laughs, flashes his eyes occasionally. Derek sighs, the sight reminds him a little to much of his father.

"I'm ready."

Stiles hair is still dripping but he's fully dressed, eyes downcast, Derek huffs and they head for his Camaro.

"Where's your jeep?" Derek asks as they pull away. Gregory had extended his kindness, told Derek that he hoped to see him again soon and that he and Stiles were always welcome, along with their packs.

"Parked out in that industrial place," he says quietly.

"Gregory said he'd send someone to get it, that it can stay at his place until you're ready to come back."


"Stiles," Derek breathes, figuring they can talk now that they're alone. "What happened?"

The boys eyes close tight before he exhales heavily, "He showed up in my dorm, after he bit me. He had me leave with me, took me out to this crappy motel. He wanted to know what pack I ran with and when he alpha-ed it out of me-" Stiles voice cracks and Derek has the urge to grab his hand but holds back. "He wanted me to go after you guys."

"So the wolfsbane?" Derek glances from the road to Stiles and back.

"I couldn't use mountain ash anymore, I figured with the wolfsbane I wouldn't be strong enough."

"How long were you there?"

"A day or two, I don't know," Stiles runs a hand through his hair. "It's fuzzy."

"I'm sorry," Derek says and then feels Stiles confusion. "That I didn't find you sooner."

Stiles laugh is self deprecating, "I'm not that teenager you used to have to shove away danger anymore, Derek. I should be able to take care of myself."

"Pack take care of each other."

He says it but Derek isn't even sure where he fits anymore, how Scott or the betas will react to Derek being an alpha again. He hadn't even had the nerve to call Cora yet.

By the time they reach the first sign for Beacon Hills they haven't stopped but Stiles is suddenly shouting to pull over. The road is an empty stretch between the highway and entering the city, they're surrounded by trees. Stiles throws himself out the passenger door and is hunched over the grass by the time Derek makes it around the other side.

"Hey," he calls but Stiles is trembling and looks like he might be sick. "Stiles, it's okay."

"I put my dad through so much shit already," he grumbles and falls back and sits. "He asked me, you know? Right after he found out about werewolves, he asked if I wanted that, if I was gonna run off and get The Bite."

Derek drops down beside him with enough distance that they aren't touching, "Your dad loves you."

"You can love someone and still be disappointed in them."

Derek swallows and there's a click from his dry throat, he has to force the words out. "Isaac told me that Peter had told you about Paige."

Stiles looks to him, eyes showing shock and Derek continues. "When my mom found me, I figured she'd hate me, she'd disown me, that my entire family would just be," he huffs. "I thought like you are but she didn't, she just wanted to be there for me, she didn't want me to hate myself so she made sure she loved me more."

"Derek," Stiles says. "I-"

"It's not what it used to be," he interrupts, knowing if he doesn't he won't continue. "Your dad loves you. You've always said Scott was your brother, so I'm thinking your dad loves him. Did that change?"

"No but-"

"Did Scott's mom stop loving him, was she disappointed in what he became? Or was she disappointed that he didn't think he could tell her?"

"Yeah," Stiles sighs, toes at a rock beside his sneaker. "Yeah, okay. Mr. Alpha know it all now."

Derek smirks and Stiles nudges him, head resting on his forearms as he looks at him. "You're gonna do good this time, you know."

A howl cuts through their moment, followed by another and then another, Derek smiles.

"Scott knows we're here."

"Sounds different," Stiles bites his lip, tries to concentrate.

"You want to answer it," Derek guesses.

"No," Stiles brows furrow. "Should I?"

"In time, when your alpha calls, you'll want to answer it, it's okay if you don't feel that yet."

"Stiles? Derek?"

Both men look up to see Scott standing at the edge of the treeline, he's in beta form, eyes glowing red but he looks confused as he takes a deep breath through his nose. Then his eyes widen as he looks between the two, "What happened?"

Chapter Text

Scott scent marks. Stiles had been suspicious for years, had thought that Scott had developed a habit to be a little more touchy since becoming an alpha but he would never admit it. Not even when the entire pack basically rubbed themselves all over Stiles stuff when he went off to school. Apparently, that had nothing on Stiles becoming a full fledge member of the werewolf pack though.

He'd growled at first, assumed Derek had magically become an alpha again without his knowledge then ran off to bite Stiles but once that was cleared up, he'd tackled his brother and rubbed his face all up and down the side of Stiles neck. He was never going to live it down, no matter how old or gray they got, Stiles would hold this on him.

Liam was right behind Scott though, followed by Isaac and they took a turn rubbing against Stiles as well. He laughed, "I didn't even get this much action my first year away!"

Derek rolled his eyes, a pointed look saying 'I told you' so was thrown in after though. When Stiles was on his feet again, Scott was grinning like a mad man but Isaac was lingering near Derek, like he was afraid of rejection. Scott pulled Stiles into another hug before Stiles caught the beta leaning into his old alpha. Derek looked tense at first, like he didn't expect it but then he's hugging the younger man and looking almost happy.

"So," Scott says as he pulls back. "What the hell happened?"

"Long story Scotty," Stiles pats his shoulder. "But I... I need to see my dad."

The sheriff is still in his uniform when Derek pulls up to the house, he's standing on the porch and Stiles knows he's tense by the crease between his eyebrows. Scott, Isaac, and Liam fill the backseat but Stiles can only hear the rabbit beating of his heart. A warm hand lands on his wrist that's limp in his lap, Derek's looking at Stiles and nods slightly, like he's telling him it's okay, reminding him of what he'd opened up to Stiles about.

"I gotta do this alone," Stiles says to the car but he looks back at Scott. His best friend makes the puppy eyes he never grew out of but he says okay and then Stiles is climbing out of the car.

John doesn't waste even a moment, he's rushing forward and yanking Stiles into a rough hug immediately. "Where have you been, kid? Scared the hell out of all of us."

Stiles finally feels the tears he'd held in the past few days and slumps into his dads embrace. "I'm sorry," he sniffles.

It's a minute before they separate and another before he's ushered inside and his dad sits him down with a hot cup of coffee. The pack sits out front, Stiles knows, because Derek promised they'd wait in case his dad had a break down. Or made Stiles leave.

"Stiles, what happened?"

Stiles thinks back to the sheriffs station when Scott's mom found out, about the way she'd reacted and he hopes his dad will be as understanding.

"I love you," he starts and the sheriff shifts forward in his seat, sets his mug down and reaches out for his son.


"Can you just," he chokes. "Could you just tell me."

"Of course I love you," John states. "I always love you but you're scaring me son."

"You have no idea yet."

"Did you get some girl pregnant, is that what this is about?" John grabs his hand, tries to get Stiles to look at him but his son just laughs and pulls away, flops back into the couch.

Stiles may have neglected to mention to his father that what had originally been a college 'experimentation' during his first year away with a guy named Ricky, turned out to be an awakening that he'd very happily chased after. Stiles may still have a love for women but it'd been awhile since he'd actually been with one, long enough that he was sure there was definitely no sudden pregnancy popping up.

"No dad," he shakes his head and runs a hand through his hair. "You're not about to be a grandpa."

"Thank heavens," the sheriff sighs and sits back, an easy smile on his face. "It's too soon for some tiny person to run around calling me old."

"Dad," Stiles takes a deep breath then sits up, his eyes are still closed. "Something happened at school-"

"Is anyone dead?"

The age old question really, Stiles thinks because ever since werewolves turned out to be real his dad was always worrying that Stiles might wind up imprisoned. He can't say no without it being a lie though and instead of drawing it out any longer, Stiles opens his eyes and let's them glow. The sheriff inhales sharply.

Derek doesn't listen to the conversation going on inside the Stilinski's home although he wants to, Isaac climbs over the center divider and plops in the passenger seat.

"He's fine," he tells Derek. Scott nods his head to confirm and Derek starts the car. "The sheriff was never going to hate him."

"It wasn't for him," Derek states as he pulls away from the curb.

"Thank you," Scott says suddenly and Derek cocks an eyebrow into the rear view mirror. "I don't know what happened but I know you took care of him, so thank you."

Derek nods his head but doesn't say anything as he drives, he heads for Deaton's when Scott asks and all the wolves but himself climb out when they get there.

"Derek," Scott says before he walks in. "If Stiles still trusts you then however you became an alpha again can't be bad. I hope you know you don't need to leave."

Isaac gets back in the car and Derek raises his eyebrows, Isaac smiles, "Heading home?"

Derek smirks, glances down and then pulls out, heading in the direction of his loft.

Stiles doesn't cry again but he kind of thinks he wants to when his dad spends the next ten minutes just holding him. He hadn't freaked out or shouted, he didn't ask Stiles to leave, he just moved to the couch with Stiles and pulled him into his arms.

"I thought you'd be mad," Stiles admits.

"If Scott didn't bite you, I know you didn't choose this."

Stiles breathes a sigh of relief, "Derek's an alpha again."

The sheriff huffs and draws back, "Okay, what happened?"

Stiles recants the story, leaves out some more brutal details and then waits for his father to absorb it all. He doesn't expect much, figures his dad will question what happened to the alpha but could figure it out since Derek is one now and Stiles is okay. He waits and waits for his dad to ask a hundred questions, to ground his adult self even but his dad runs a hand over his hair and smiles.

"I always knew it'd happen," he says. "You and Scott, you've always followed each other."

"I thought," Stiles starts, then sighs. "I thought getting out of here that everything would be different."

"Son," the sheriff smirks and wraps an arm around Stiles shoulders. "You're a part of this messy life. Here, there, sometimes I wish you weren't but I know you. Maybe you were meant to be a werewolf."

Stiles rolls his eyes at his father's sentiment, "I don't know, there's a witch at my school, studying botany and a vampire who claims to be "vegetarian" but really just eats a lot of raw meat and occasionally picks off a goat from the farm a half hour away."

"Oh boy," his dad breathes out and they both flop back against the couch. "A witch and vampire huh?"

"Yeah," Stiles sighs. "But um, Derek and I stayed with this pack that knew his sister, Laura. They let us stay for the full moon, I couldn't sit in the car for long before it. That's why it took a few days."

"How do you feel now?"

"Tired," he scrubs a hand over his face. "But like I want to run around in circles."

"Derek's a good man," John states and Stiles cocks an eyebrow at him. "We should have him for dinner soon."

"Dinner? With Derek Hale? The guy you arrested?"

"Weren't you the reason for that," he gives Stiles a pointed look.

"I apologized!" he flails about, arms raised above his head.

"He found you, is my point and I'd like to give him a proper thank you."

"Dad-" Stiles tries to tell him it's okay because honestly, he can't picture a scenario where Derek willingly comes over.

"I don't know what I'd do without you kid."

"Probably eat that cherry pie in the fridge," Stiles smirks, attempting to lighten the mood, his dad tenses. "It's going in the trash, along with all that red meat."

"All right, it's time for you to go back to school," John laughs and shoves Stiles over.

Derek calls Cora the day after he and Stiles return, she listens quietly as he explains the story and when he tells her he's an alpha again, he doesn't expect her reaction.

"Are you okay," she asks softly.

"I've been alpha before."

"It's different now and," she's quiet. "Things happened before."

"Stiles thinks it'll be better," he doesn't know why he tells her that.

"Stiles thinks hmm," she says in an almost mocking tone. "Well I guess if Stiles thinks and the world didn't implode."

Derek rolls his eyes, Cora had a thing for picking on Stiles more then the rest of the pack. The few times she'd come back to Beacon Hills for a visit the two often wound up bickering back and forth for hours before one would leave.

"I-" Derek takes a deep breath. "I'm going to do better. I promise."

"D," she sighs and he can picture the way her shoulders roll, like when she's just exhausted of him. "You did fine before."

"No," he admits. "All I cared about was power."

"And now?"

"I want a pack Cora," he almost laughs at himself when his voice cracks. "A real pack."

"Well good," she laughs. "I can't have my brother spoiling our name as bad as our uncle."

Derek knows she's teasing, they've come to a comfortable space where they can do that now. It stings at times, for the both of them, but things aren't the way they were.

Later on, after Derek thwarts Cora's attempt at asking about his dating life, Isaac shows up. It had surprised Derek the day before when he'd tagged along and hung out after but him showing up with dinner is even more bizarre. They talk about Stiles at first, about the alpha and what had happened. Isaac asks if he'd wanted it, the alpha power or if it was really a moment of convenience. Derek has to take a second to think, to reconsider the night and what happened and if he'd have done it differently if he could. The answer is yes. He doesn't mind having the power but if it wouldn't have saved Stiles and himself, he wouldn't have went for it.

Then they talk about Scott, how Kira showed up a few days ago and that's a surprise. No one had seen or heard from her since she'd left three years ago, Isaac said she's different, not quiet or shy like she'd been. She's planning to stay, as it turns out and Scott is already lovesick once more. Derek rolls his eyes but then Isaac tells him that Kira was explicit in that she wanted nothing more then to help out, no intention of being involved with anyone. Apparently Scott looked like a kicked puppy since and that seeing Stiles was the first he'd looked happy in days, Derek quirks an eyebrow at the blonde but the guy looks away quickly and it's left alone.

Isaac asks Derek how he feels about Stiles being a werewolf now, after all these years of him being the human in the pack. Derek doesn't honestly know, he hadn't had time to process it because at first he was just relieved Stiles was okay, then angry that some other pack, some alpha, took his choice from him. Then when they were at Gregory's, he was so wrapped up in trying to keep Stiles calm, help him feel safe, he just didn't think about it.

"It's different," he settles on and Isaac nods like that's all the explanation he needs.

"How was the full moon?"

Derek bristles almost on instinct, once Stiles knew he hadn't hurt Derek he didn't seem at all interested in what had happened which was puzzling him because Stiles never shut up with his curious nature. His head swims with images of the young wolf howling like he was in pain and then raking claws down his arms. He'd fought Stiles almost all that night, it didn't matter that he'd heal, Derek couldn't watch him rip himself apart.

"It was rough," he says on a sigh. "But he'll get better, once he finds his anchor."

Chapter Text

The days pass slowly, Derek hears from Scott that John helped Stiles get a temporary leave from school and shoots off a text to Willow -whose number he isn't sure how he got into his phone- that he'll come get Stiles jeep. She tells him not to rush, that Gregory isn't worried but that he may have found the alphas pack and will call Derek when he knows. Isaac shows up regularly to Derek's, he isn't sure what to make of it but Scott doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Although, Derek starts to suspect that maybe that's why Isaac is there so much instead of with his alpha like he used to be, before Kira returned.

Malia pops up three days after they had come home, she only comes to tell Derek that Peter was let out of Eichen, or escaped, she isn't sure. No one has seen or smelled him though so she believes he left town, admits she received an anomalous text from a number she didn't know the day before. She looks at him strangely but she doesn't act out to the smell of alpha the way he assumed she would.

The day after has Liam poking around with Theo and Hayden, Derek wants to roll his eyes because he remembers the way Stiles had texted him when Theo first showed up. He figures they won't be seeing Stiles any time soon, although he knows Stiles definitely has a soft spot for what he regularly refers to as 'Scott's Wolfy adopted son'.

Scott's mom Melissa shows up by the end of the week, she looks uncomfortable but ends up hugging him, Derek is stiff the whole time but tries to relax.

"I love him like my son," she tells Derek when she pulls away. "And John wouldn't survive losing him too."

Derek feels the tension build in his chest, can't stand the way the pack seems to think of him as a hero. When Scott had thanked him for the third time, Derek told him any of them would have done it, Derek just had the convenient schedule. Still, he won't lie to himself that he does swell with pride at the look of adoration from Melissa.

John calls him the day after Melissa stopped by, at first Derek is worried Stiles is struggling but John assures him he's okay and that they'd like Derek to come to dinner.

"You can ask me anything," he tells him, assuming that's what it's about.

"Derek, you saved my son. I just want you to come eat dinner in my house and let me thank you the way I was raised."

He wants to argue, decline, really he does but he has a strange admiration for the man and can't help himself, he agrees to come Sunday evening when the sheriff is off duty. Then the whole week leaves him confused, Kira and Lydia showed up with Isaac one evening and Lydia updated him on Jackson and Ethan. Kira explained a bit about going back to Japan and the training she had done. By the end of that day it seemed the only person Derek wasn't interacting with was Stiles. For some reason, this made him uncomfortable and almost eager for Sunday night.

Stiles slept for three days when he got home, he didn't know why because he hadn't felt tired but it was like, he lied down in bed and just didn't get up. His dad told him Scott came by with Melissa and that some of the rest of the pack did as well but he couldn't be bothered. He went to text Derek about it but then Lydia showed up and he figured he should shower and try to be social.

"How do you feel," she asked as they sat down on the couch. Stiles had showered quickly and made up some popcorn, she looked at him crazy and snagged a water instead.

"Great," he laughed and popped a handful of the buttery treat into his mouth. Lydia's mouth quirked and her eyebrow raised, her signature 'that isn't a proper answer' look. "Physically," he corrected himself. "I feel great physically."


"I don't know, it happened, I panicked."

"Stiles," she sighs.

"What do you want me to say Lydia?"

"The truth," she shrugs, eyes widening for emphasis.

"I don't know," he sets the popcorn on the coffee table. "I haven't figured it out. It's new."

He didn't know how to tell her that he'd been okay, being turned and that his real stress had been over telling them and that his panic only arouse when the alpha so easily commanded him to destroy them and he'd tried to obey. He'd flashed back to the Nogitsune, the way he'd felt both powerful and utterly helpless at the exact same time. It wasn't something he'd enjoyed, in truth he had wanted to swallow as much wolfsbane as possible so he couldn't come here and do what the alpha wanted him to.

He flexes his fingers on his thigh, thinking of the way Derek's blood bad felt as it dripped down, his hand squeezes into a fist.

"Scott's more excited than I thought," she says as she flicks her hair over her shoulder, Stiles winces. "He's angry though, I doubt he'll tell you because he wants you to be comfortable but the fact that this wasn't your choice, he isn't happy."

"I know Lydia," he sighs.

"We're just glad you're safe though," she smiles and touches his arm. He thinks about the time they kissed last, how it had been everything he wanted and somehow, it didn't suit them. He doesn't ache for the way she feels warm and soft, he just, he wants to hug her because she smells like home. She promised whenever she was here she'd check in on his dad so his childhood home has a good dose of Lydia wafting through it. He smiles.

"I'm always fine, I can just run head first into the danger now and Derek can't be all 'You're human, you don't heal, we do'," he does his best brooding Derek face and Lydia giggles.

"So I hear he's an alpha again?"

"Yeah," Stiles almost grimaces and looks away. "I kind of forced it on him."


"I did Lyd's," he huffs and sits back. "I just wanted to stop him, that alpha and when I saw a chance, I used it. Only, that chance meant Derek had to kill him."

"He'd have done anything Stiles, to make sure you were safe."

"Yeah, he really likes taking care of the pack."

Lydia rolls her eyes, looks exasperated and Stiles adds with a smile, "He's gonna do good this time Lydia. He's different."

"Oh I know," she laughs and shakes her head.

"Oh you know?" Stiles smirks. "Been spending more time with our recluse pack mate have you?"

"Shut up Stiles," she says and gets up.

Scott comes over that night and the three of them watch movies and snack, before leaving Lydia says that she has to go back to school by the following week and wants to spend some time with Stiles. He tells her to come over Saturday for lunch and she kisses his cheek, Scott tells him Kira is back and planning to stay. He looks like someone kicked his dog but chips right back up as he talks about runs under the moon. Stiles can't burst his bubble that he had no control under his first full moon and doubt's he'll have any under the next.

Scott says Isaac's name once and Stiles instantly smells the change in emotion.
"Where is Isaac," he asks and Scott tenses up.

"He's been hanging with Derek the last few days."

"That bother you?" He wants to know how Scott feels about Derek being an alpha again but he's afraid he won't like the answer.

"No," Scott shakes his head vehemently. "He can hang out with whoever, I just..."

Stiles waits but Scott never picks back up, he opts for pushing the other subject. "Derek's an alpha again."
Okay, so he wasn't subtle.

"Yeah?" Scott cocks an eyebrow.

"That's not gonna be a problem? Two alphas, one town."

"Look, I get Derek has to get betas, I'm hoping he will steer clear of the high school this time, it'd be even weirder then before since he's almost -what- 25 or 26 now?"

"I just meant, you aren't feeling like...threatened?"

"Honestly? Once I knew he'd just brought you home, no. I was actually kind of grateful."

And that's how Scott hears the story, the whole story accept about the full moon, Stiles doesn't want to think about it. That heart stopping moment he thought he'd seriously hurt Derek. So they don't talk about it but Scott spends hours that night, trying to teach Stiles the different chemosignals. It takes time but eventually he's able to know when they're bad ones or good ones, he tells Scott that the bad signals usually smell soured or gritty. He can't explain the good.

"It'll come to you eventually," Scott says and grips his shoulder as they walk across the backyard and towards Stiles house. "The more times you smell an emotion the more you start to recognize it."

"Yes alpha," Stiles teases and jabs Scott with his elbow, somehow the word doesn't feel right on his tongue.

"Shut up," Scott quips and grabs Stiles into a headlock. It's more forceful now that he doesn't need to worry about hurting his best friend & Stiles instinctively knows he could fight back but wraps his arms around Scott's middle and picks him up before dropping him back down. Both boys laugh as Scott gets back to his feet and dusts off before they walk inside.

"So my dad is having this thing where he just has to thank Derek for "rescuing" me," Stiles air quotes.

"What do you mean," Scott turns to look at him from where he'd been poking around in the fridge.

"He apparently invited Derek to dinner Sunday."

Scott's laughing now, "What excuse did Derek use?"

"None, I guess he's coming over."

"Dude, no way," Scott laughs some more. "Derek agreed to come over? For dinner? With your dad? The sheriff?"

"I know right," Stiles squeezes passed Scott and grabs a coke. "I thought for sure it wouldn't happen and then this morning he's asking if Derek has a favorite food."

"Does he," Scott cocks an eyebrow.

"How should I know!" Stiles tosses his hands up.

"So what're you going to do?" Scott pops a coke for himself and takes a long swig as they both walk back to the living room.

"That's on my dad, Derek's his guest."

"Have you told him?"

"Told who what?" Stiles asks as he flops onto the couch, being still is worse now and he shuffles about to get comfortable.

"Derek, did you ever thank him? I mean I know it was rough at first but," Scott scratches the back of his head as he sits next to Stiles. "He didn't really hesitate to go find you and he made sure to let me know what was happening. Like that pack that helped? He got them involved almost as soon as he knew something was wrong."

Stiles hadn't considered it, the fact that Derek might have dropped everything to come looking for him or that he had involved Gregory's pack, a pack that in all these years Stiles had never once heard of. Or that he had been there for awhile before he actually found Stiles, and he hadn't even told Derek thank you yet.

"I mean, you know I'd have been there bro, like I wanted to go right away but-"

"Scott," Stiles interrupts and shakes his head. "I get it, did you find the omegas?"

"Yeah, they were holed up together out on the preserve basically living under a rock. Deaton said it was strange because they behaved like a pack to one another but still had the wild traits of omegas."

"What does that mean?"

"We just have to keep an eye out for awhile, and hey!" Scott says as a big grin spreads across his face and he turns to Stiles. "Now we have extra wolf senses!"


Lydia shows up promptly at 7:30 on Saturday morning and Stiles has never, never despised her until that moment and he let's it be known by the glare he gives her through his sleep encrusted eyes.

"Morning," she smiles brightly as she saunters in passed him.

"Do banshees not sleep? Did I miss that in the Beastiary?"

"Coffee," she grins as she holds out a thermo cup towards him, the smile looks evil in her eyes.

"People this chipper this early aren't to be trusted," he continues to glare as he crosses his arms over his chest.

"Fine," she says and slowly pulls the cup away, Stiles snatches it and glares over the plastic lid as he sips. Lydia smirks and heads to the kitchen, Stiles follows and as they move he's taking deep inhales, trying to learn her scent. He'd practically sniffed off Scott's skin last night trying to figure out what made him smell like an alpha.

"Stiles," Lydia groans as she drops a paper bag on the table. "I'll tell you this only once, the sniffing thing, it's still creepy even if we are friends."

He ignores her and shoots right for the bag, ruffling around because he definitely smells a bear claw in there somewhere beneath the health nut muffin Lydia insists on eating.

After coffee and breakfast she orders him to shower and dress is something appropriate, so of course Stiles digs out an old Batman shirt and a plaid button up that matches. The sleeves are to short but he rolls them up and leaves the thing unbuttoned, Lydia rolls her eyes so hard it's a wonder they don't fall into the back of her head. Stiles smirks.

She takes him to run her errands for her mother which includes picking up the pre-ordered groceries from the health food store a town over and then picking up the departments schedules for the boutique Mrs. Martin opened a year ago. She grabs Prada and they head off to the "doggy salon".

"If I was gonna do this all day, I could have stayed in my pajamas," Stiles grumbles as he slumps down into the passenger seat. Prada nuzzles up his neck, licks his cheek and Lydia eyes them funny.

"She's usually really weird around the werewolves," she says.

"Yeah, well I'm special. So what are you doing to your poor dog today?"

"She is anything but poor," Lydia says proudly. "She's getting a trim and her nails cut down, she needs a good bath as well."

"All of this sounds like stuff you can do at home, yourself."

"Not if I want her to have the French tips and for her fur to be even," Lydia glares out at the car stopped in front of them.

"I don't even think I know what you just said," Stiles huffs. "Come on Lydia, I thought you wanted to hang out. You could have told me it was just chores."

"We've done two things and they aren't chores," she shakes her head as she flicks her blinker on. "Honestly, it hasn't even been two hours."

"Well I'm tired of sitting in the car, Jesus," Stiles can feel the urge to growl.

"Since when do you not like being in a car?"

Stiles doesn't want to think about cars, he just wants out of it as soon as possible, he could run at super human speed now couldn't he?

Derek shows up at the Stilinski's at 7:47 on Sunday night, John had said 8 but he hadn't had anything else to do. He's standing at the door, about to knock when he wonders if he should have brought something, that was what people normally did wasn't it? Before he can consider anything Stiles swings the door open, he's dressed nicely compared to his usual attire, a red shirt with a slight V-neck and dark washed jeans that fit how they should.

"Lydia picked it out," Stiles rushes and Derek's eyes flick back up to his face, he hadn't even been aware he was staring. Stiles rubs at the back of his head, smells almost of embarrassment and Derek only cocks an eyebrow at him. "I don't know, she dragged me into the mall yesterday. Didn't go well, by the way."

Derek moves closer without thinking, comes into Stiles bubble and breathes in, he still smells of his usual stress. "What happened?"

"Oh um," Stiles swallows and looks away a bit. "We were in her car to long, I don't know it stressed me out and then all those people in the stores," he sighs, drops his hand. "I almost lost it, yelled at her, in order to accept my apology I had to wear what she picked out for tonight."

Derek can't help the odd look he gives him but shakes it off and speaks before Stiles starts ranting into Lydia and her fashion demands. "Should I have brought something?"

"Brough- Oh, dude no," Stiles grins. "My dad went a little crazy because I had no idea what your favorite meal was so he kind of made everything."

"What do you-" And that's when all the scents hit him, cheese and meat and sauce and vegetables and creams and spices and herbs. Derek feels overwhelmed for a minute and Stiles touches his arm.

"I've been battling that all day buddy," he sighs.

"Stiles should I make the- Oh hello Derek," John walks out of the kitchen with a floral apron around his waist and an oven mitt on one hand. Stiles snickers but bites his lower lip and looks away, Derek tries not to crack a smile.

"Hello sir," he says and goes to shake his hand, apparently Derek calling John 'sir' still gets to Stiles because it's then that he loses it and busts up laughing.

Dinner is something like a five course meal of Lasagna made with real Italian sausage, chicken Alfredo, spinach stuffed ravioli, country fried steak and eggs, and something Polish that Derek could not pronounce for the life of him and that's how he learns Stiles real name.

"By the time he was ten he had everyone and their mother calling him Stiles," John chuckles after having told the story of when his son reintroduced himself to every single person they came across. Stiles had dropped his head to the table several minutes ago when Derek's whole head snapped his direction after the mention of his real name.

"I. Hate. My. Life." Stiles emphasizes each word by banging his head each time, then he snaps up abruptly, eyes narrowing on Derek. "Scott is sworn to an oath, if you so much as utter one single syllable it's gonna be me making the teeth ripping throats out threat, only I'll actually do it!"

Derek doesn't really consider how John might react when he grins real sharp at Stiles. "You think I won't?"

Stiles looks like he's up for the challenge and Derek feels a strange sense of eagerness, it reminds him a little of when he'd tussle with Laura or one of his cousins but before either can do anything they're brought down by Stiles father clearing his throat.

"Teeth and throat ripping," John looks pointedly at Stiles.

"Ancient history pops," Stiles smiles and when John looks down he winks at Derek, the alpha shakes his head and goes back to eating his ravioli.

Most of the evening is idle talk after that until John asking Derek what he plans to do now that he's an alpha again.

"Dad," Stiles groans and rubs a hand down his face. "Give the guy a break-"

"I think it's important as the sheriff for me to know if we'll be having any new werewolves bitten anytime soon."

"Okay but-"

"I'm not making a pack," Derek interrupts Stiles which makes him abruptly look to the older werewolf.


Derek swallows, looks away, "I've been thinking and I don't think I'll bite anyone."


"I think that's smart," John nods. "Those omegas, they're that way because they didn't have an alpha?"

"Yes," Derek says, ignoring that dumbfounded look Stiles is shooting him. "Some choose to leave, others are left but some, it just happens."

"Do you plan to take some in then?" John looks very interested but Derek can see Stiles flailing from the corner of his eye, he smells like confusion and annoyance.

"I don't know," Derek admits.

Stiles catches a strong scent, the one he'd smelt back the barn at Gregory's that he'd assumed was grief, he wonders if the talk of being an alpha again has him thinking of Erica and Boyd. Suddenly, Stiles doesn't like that his dad is asking all these questions.

"So," he says loudly to interrupt, "Anyone ready for dessert?"

He collects plates without an answer, speaks before Derek can say no, "Tonight is my dad's only cheat night while I'm home."

"We're having cake," John smiles. "Three slices each."

"One," Stiles narrows his eyes as he grabs his dads plate.

"Two," his dad bargains.

"Fine but only because Derek is here," he nods his head towards the alpha.

The evening ends all to soon and Stiles follows Derek out to his car, tense and hoping tonight wasn't as weird to Derek as it was to him, he doesn't know why.

"Thank you," Derek says but it's tight and Stiles kind of wants to laugh because he probably doesn't say that much.

"Um," he stops the older male, realizing he had yet to say it himself. "Actually I uh, I should be thanking you. For...well, for saving my life, for coming to find me."

"Stiles, we're pack."

"We still are," he suddenly needs to know, needs to know to a point it almost burns. "Aren't we?"

"Scott is your alpha-"

"Okay but he isn't like kicking you out, you're still in our weird group of misfits."

Derek grins at that, "Okay."

"So you know," Stiles shoves him a little but Derek doesn't budge. "Don't go disappearing on us."

"Okay," Derek says again before he's loading up into his car with leftovers Stiles dad made him take and then driving away.

Weird, Stiles thinks, so weird.

Chapter Text

Derek could not sleep, when he did it was restless hours of tossing and turning, dresms that plagued him of his long passed betas, he hadn't dreamt of them in so long it was almost surprising now that he did. He'd wake sweating, panting and feeling the phantom pull from Boyd and Erica and once it happened to many times he gave up sleeping and started running. Four AM would find him deep in the preserve, running full speed, bounding across logs and attempting to wear himself out. It never worked but he tried, starting earlier and earlier every few days.

Two weeks before the full moon and just passed midnight he was lacing up his sneakers when his phone buzzed. At first he doesn't think to check, it's late and nobody messages him around this time but then, nobody messages him around this time and he wonders what happened.

Stiles says, Can't sleep, is it the moon? Derek texts back a quick Yes and then wonders why Stiles didn't just text Scott or almost anyone else in the pack about this. It's not surprising to hear from him though, Stiles has always messaged him since Derek returned from hunting Kate down a couple years ago, it's just that the born wolf figured the boy would text his alpha.

Will that ever go away? he asks in his next message, quickly followed by I already don't sleep as it is. Derek sits down on the end of his bed and debates with himself a full two minutes before he dials Stiles number.

"The first couple full moons will rile you up, Scott should take you out, help you burn off some of the energy," Derek says immediately when Stiles answers.

"He's been trying," Stiles says and there's a rustle from the other end of the line, like he's adjusting himself in bed.

"Once you learn control," Derek sighs, lays back, "It won't be this hard, you'll be able to sleep easier."

"God you sound like Scott, "Control this, control that, control control control". Aren't wolves nocturnal?" Stiles hisses. Derek fights himself not to chuckle at how frustrated the younger male sounds and he can picture Scott, rambling on about control and Stiles getting annoyed. "I taught him, I don't know why he keeps acting like I haven't been involved since day one. I know I have to learn control."

"He's just doing what alphas-"

"Dear God, please shut up with that, I liked you better when you threw me into walls."

He can hear Stiles roll his eyes and Derek grins, "You liked being thrown into walls?"

"Oh my God, you aren't even helping me!"

"I'll talk to Scott," the sentiment of doing so feels bitter rolling off his tongue.

Stiles groans, "What good-"

"Maybe something my mother used to use for training will help."

Derek wishes Laura could be here, knows she'd have know what to do, known what to say to help. He's so caught up in his thoughts it takes a moment to realize Stiles has gone silent, the wolf can't even pick up on his breathing.


"Yeah," he stutters. "Yeah, I'm..." a low sigh, he sounds broken to Derek's ear. "I'm here man."

"You all right?"

"Derek," Stiles starts, his voice riding up like he's prepared a speech, he quiets as he trails on however. "I'm sorry, I don't know if I ever actually said it, sorry? About your family? About-"

Derek can hear the click in his throat as he swallows and it makes something in his chest tighten.

"About Laura, going out like I did, me and Scott that night. I'm sorry man."

Derek reiterates he'll speak to Scott before hanging up the phone, he doesn't talk about Laura and he hadn't really thought about it in a long time. He can remember finding her dug up not long after he'd buried her and when he'd been arrested he was much more upset about that then the actual handcuffs & patrol car but Stiles had still shown up. He had a habit of showing up where he wasn't wanted until eventually, he was just a large piece of your life. Derek knew better then a lot of people, in fact the only other person who probably knew just as well was Lydia. He didn't mind, not anymore.

Of course this realization was had with Cora on the phone and she had laughed and laughed.

"Why is it funny," Derek grumbled hours after he had hung up on Stiles.

"Nothing to worry about right now Derek," she said with a breath. "Just try to help him, he's the oldest turned so far, in the pack. I remember mom saying that teenagers were easier but I can't remember why."

"Hormones and changes in the body," Derek told her and sighed. Cora had only just started talking about their parents again, she still hadn't been able to talk about Laura and Derek knew she was still holding tight to hating Peter for what he did. Cora had been close to Laura before the fire and Derek knew when she'd come back to Beacon to find out she had to lose her all over that she hadn't dealt well with it. He hadn't known what to say then and still didn't know now because losing Laura had hurt him even more then the fire because for a time, he'd had her all to himself.

Laura hadn't blamed him, though he'd constantly argued she should, Derek knew in the beginning when he'd told her about Kate that some part of her was angry with him but she'd fought herself tooth and nail to make sure Derek didn't see it, even when he could smell it on her she'd tell him she loved him and her heart beat never faltered when she said it. For awhile that had been funny because Derek could remember her torturing him about her future alpha status and him getting her busted all the time for sneaking out. They'd hated each other as teenagers, until they were all they had left and even then, they'd had their bad days, Derek had ran off when he turned 18 and Laura spent a year trying to hunt him down and drag him back. Laura was special and Derek really wished Cora had her, instead of him even.

"Derek," Cora calls out and he manages to make a humming sound to confirm he's still there. "Stop thinking, I hear the gears in your head grinding."

He rolls his eyes with fondness but he wonders how Cora would react to Kate, would she still love him as Laura had? Would she scorn him the way she did when he didn't become the Hale Alpha she expected to find when she came to California? He didn't think he could tell her, he couldn't really tell anyone, he'd barely had it in him to tell Laura when he did.

"Shouldn't you be sleeping," he jest. Her sigh is so much like Laura's, all exasperation and adoration and it makes Derek ache a little, he loves her but he can't really say so because the words are to often stuck on his thick tongue and dried out mouth when the thought arises. He knows he's a bit of a coward when it comes to her but she's what's left and if she asked, he'd find a way to jump off the face of the earth.

"Shut up old man," she laughs and then tells him good night.

Derek thinks this is how Laura must have felt about him and it makes sense why she'd want to chase him for a year, why she would try so hard to forgive him because anything Cora did he knows he'd forgive. He still thinks that Laura should have left him, Cora deserves the love but Derek... he couldn't even bring back his packmate unharmed.

Stiles can't help the empty hole that burrows into his stomach when Derek hangs up, he knows he's upset the alpha and that makes him want to roll over. Okay, so he understands now why dog jokes aren't funny but he isn't going to stop make them okay! He's just not because when the others get flustered it's kind of funny.

He rolls out of bed, not able to sleep at this point and heads downstairs, digs around the fridge for something edible and maybe a little bit bloody but he refuses to think about that. He thinks he should text Scott, invite him over and maybe get some more one on one alpha time before he has to start training with the pack but he just... he's not feeling the need. The idea kind of makes him sad but his dad, bless him, has heard him down here and comes in the kitchen half asleep.

"Is that steak?" he says, rubbing his eyes but stops halfway to the fridge and really eyes Stiles plate. "Is that cooked?"

"I resent that!" Stiles cries, some steak sauce dribbling down his chin. "I am not an animal!"

The sheriff smirks, "Hate to break it to you son but you now turn a little furry under the moon."

"Jokes? Now you have jokes?" Stiles flails as his dad starts the coffee pot then heads for the stairs, probably to shower but he's laughing the whole way. "Since when are there jokes!? It wasn't funny when I was a fox!"

His dad is still laughing in the bathroom, Stiles knows because he practiced his hearing just for that knowledge and a little bit of him feels uncomfortable but the fact his dad will laugh about it warms him.

They spend breakfast together, far to early and much more unhealthy then Stiles would like but it's nice being with his old man again.

"You should start coming up on weekends," John suggests and Stiles rolls his eyes.

"It's a three hour drive."

"You could probably run it in two."

He gapes, his dad is entirely nonchalant in his suggestion that his newly turned son run across the state just to spend weekends home.

"Maybe," he says slyly. "Plus if I'm here every weekend I could really keep up on your intake of red meats."

"Then again," his dad grabs their empty plates and rises up. "It's best for you to experience the world, be an adult, all that."

It feels easy, being home and his dad being okay with it, feels easy that Scott is happy and excited, easy that the pack is preparing to help him. It's easy, except that it's not and he wishes that Erica were here because he knows they'd get into a good wrestle now that he could take her. He doesn't know what makes him long for her but somehow, the rest of Scott's pack, his pack, just cannot fill her shoes.

In the late afternoon when Stiles is restless and eager to move, about ready to call Scott and go run or do something he's surprised to open his door to Chris Argent.

"I heard what happened," he says once Stiles has invited him inside. "How are you doing?"

Stiles eyes narrow, "Why?"

"Stiles, you know I'm retired, after Kate-"

"Then how did you find out?" he crosses his arms, leans away a bit.

"Isaac and I still keep in touch," the older man admits and Stiles is honestly not surprised. "I'm here in case you needed help."

For Allison, Stiles thinks because he knows without a doubt Allison would have been there for him, she'd loved Scott far to much and she was part of the pack.

"I'm fine," Stiles lies because he can, because Chris is not a werewolf and it's simple. He lies because he doesn't feel right telling him the truth, something deep inside makes him wants to have Chris leave.

"How's Scott handling it?"

"He's happy, excited."

"Can't say I'm surprised, the two of you were always within feet of each other."

Stiles hears an accusation but he doesn't acknowledge it, fights the urge to bristle and growl, Chris hasn't felt like a threat in many, many years but right now, standing in his house Stiles feels hostile.

"Yeah well, here we are and I'm fine so you should probably be on your way, see Isaac or whatever," he waves him off. Somehow though, as the words tumble out, he wants to take them back, doesn't completely like the idea of Chris seeing the beta but his only concern right now is that Chris leave.


He smells Scott just as the alpha knocks on the door and he's thankful and on edge when he rushes over and swings it open, all smiles.

"Hey man, just in time," he let's his eyes flicker in Chris's direction and Scott, thankfully has improved instincts and moves passed him and right over to the ex hunter.

"What're you doing here," Scott nearly demands, Stiles figures he must smell the tension in the air because he's put himself between him and the older man. It doesn't put Stiles at ease the way he thought it might, he has an urge to snap at Scott because he could protect himself. The whole thing is confusing, twisted and Stiles wishes he felt like Scott was defending him but he doesn't, it doesn't feel like anything other then a threat.

"I was checking in on Stiles," Chris tells him, makes an obvious point to keep his hands visible.

"We don't need you to check in, Stiles is fine."

"Pretty sure Stiles can still speak for himself," Stiles grumbles behind him. Scott flashes an annoyed look but doesn't say a thing before turning back to Chris.

"I'll go," the ex hunter nods and makes for the door. Scott's eyes follow him, his body rigid in his movements even long after the man has bid his farewell.

"You all right man," Scott asks in his normal, happy sounding voice as he turns to Stiles. The new beta feels angry and lashes out, "I'm fine Scott," he barks.

Scott looks taken back but Stiles can't seem to process his own behavior and storms off, through the kitchen and his backdoor. He paces the yard, from one end of the fence to the other and back several times before Scott steps out, confusion written all over his face. It makes Stiles feel more frustrated though because Scott is supposed to his alpha, right? He's supposed to fix things, Stiles shouldn't have to do the work anymore. Or maybe.... Maybe he just wants an excuse to be mad because he can't find one, can't understand why he feels hostile when he's never felt this strongly against him before. He's been mad, of course, everyone has been mad at their best friend before, he's been disappointed and upset, hell he's had at least one moment where he thought he hated him, was so angry but at least, at least then he'd had a reason. There was passion. But this, this blind fury without understanding, it has to be the worst ever.


Being a werewolf should have been easy for him, he was there for everyone else, he'd worked hard to help them so this should be simple, he should know what to do.

"Come on bro, let's go out to the preserve, go run or chase something down?"

Stiles cracks, Scott hasn't made a joke like that since becoming a wolf and it's funny, it's funny because he kind of wants to run and chase things and Scott is grinning all goofy and man, he really does love him.

"Let's go," he cheers and Scott throws an arm around his shoulders once Stiles is close enough. They don't take Roscoe or Scott's bike, Stiles finally gets to test himself and they run, careful to bolt through backyards and emptier streets, the treeline feels like a door to heaven once Stiles can smell the leaves and the dirt, the wild.

Derek feels groggy, sluggish as he comes to, he'd sat down to read a bit and must have fallen asleep because his book is lying on the floor and his body feels like its in a weird position, he should go to his bed but then he just catches Liam's scent and bolts up. The young beta has barely opened the door and looks scared, Derek feels his shift recede and the kid eases up but barely.

"What're you doing here?" he asks and Liam swallows hard, Derek already doesn't like this.

"We can't find Stiles."

Derek moves closer, takes in his scent and its earth and air and his shoes are dirty, hair a mess. "The preserve?"

"Yes," he says and his eyes flick over, likes he wants to go.

"He'll be fine," Derek tells him and moves back towards the couch. It'd been a few days since he last spoke to the new wolf and it hadn't sat right in his stomach but he didn't know how to reach out and he knew Stiles was waiting for him to.

"Derek," Liam rushes, grabs his arms. "He's been gone a few days."

This grabs the Alpha's attention, and he starts grilling the young werewolf who says he and Scott went running and Stiles had taken off and Scott couldn't find him so the pack had gone out and none of them could find him either. His scent is seemingly gone, none of his usual anxiety and tension. Derek wants to ask why no one said anything sooner but he growls where the words won't come out and then he's snatching up his phone and calling Scott.

"Derek, is Stiles with you?" Scott says as a greeting.

"No, but Liam is here."

"We need your help man," Scott sighs. "He just-"

"Why didn't you get me two days ago," he hisses.

"I wasn't thinking," Scott snaps. "My best friend is gone!"

Derek almost wants to be petty enough to mention how Scott forgot about him back in high school but he knows Stiles has moved on from that, doesn't blame him. The thought irks Derek more now then ever, that anyone could just forget him and that he'd so easily accept it the way he had.

"I'm heading out-"

"There's no scent Dere-"

"I don't need a scent to track him."