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Most of the shit that went down in Beacon Hills started with a witch, and this time was not any different. Seriously, the number of witches who decided that they wanted to fuck with the McCall pack was reaching an all-time high, and yet every time they beat their asses even more witches took that up as an apparent challenge.

This witch, however, couldn’t be touched. No claws, fist or man-made weapon could even come within an inch of her skin, a fact she found particularly enjoyable as she flung the pack hurling in all directions.

Erica was on the verge of losing all control and ripping the bitch to shreds as she crouched protectively over Boyd, who was bleeding out and slowly healing on the ground after being impaled by a jagged, rusty pipe. Her golden eyes were narrowed and her hands were shaking, claws extended, fighting the urge to attack because she knew it would do no good, Cora with matching eyes and stance behind the both of them.

Allison and Kira were up high, bows and crossbows at the ready, Kira’s sword lost somewhere in the fray. Lydia stood behind them, having tracked the witch down herself with her all-hearing abilities that came with being a banshee. Though their arrows and bolts were covered in a multitude of different substances, all of them were deflected off the witch.

Scott, Isaac and Derek were circling the witch, dodging the spells being thrown at them while trying to find a weak point in the witch’s defensive barrier with no avail, claws swiping and sparking off seemingly nothing. Stiles, Deaton’s apprentice, was in the far corner with one Peter Hale, the two with heads together as they hurriedly discussed the situation. It was clear that nobody was getting anywhere if they continued on with what they were doing, and it’d just get all of them killed. The two were all for killing the witch, and had a vast array of ways in which to do so, if only they could get past and disable that goddamn barrier.

“Proximity isn’t working, physical attacking is out of the question,” Stiles noted, eyes fixed on the three wolves circling the stereotypically cackling witch.

“Those bolts were covered in mountain ash, wolfsbane, mistletoe, silver and they had runes carved into them, and none of them worked either. This is an incredibly carefully constructed ward, but there will be a weakness,” Peter mused.

“Very Galbatorix,” Stiles muttered, and Peter raised an eyebrow. “Evil king from the Eragon series? Had the most untouchable wards that accounted for practically everything that could harm him? His sub-clauses had sub-clauses, it was impossible to even get close to the guy, I always figured he’d be killed by something dumb like his own rosebush,” Stiles rambled, and Peter rolled his eyes.

“What did they do in the end?” he asked.

“Some nifty spell using the power of like a hundred dragons or something, but we clearly don’t have those kind of resources at our disposal, no matter how awesome that would be,” Stiles replied. “So we’re back to square one.”

“How good are you at offensive spells?” Peter asked.

“Pretty terrible, my aim is shit. You think we should try?” Stiles asked.

“At this point I think it’s the best shot we have. If physical attacking doesn’t work, magical should, and if both don’t work then we’re really screwed,” Peter sighed, and Stiles groaned. The young boy shut his eyes and exhaled. As he did, the world around him seemed to disappear – the sound of snarls and evil laughter, the feel of a storm brewing and wind buffeting his skin, the fear for his friends and the frustration ebbing away until he was floating calm in a dark sea. He reached inward for the spark that made him special, in more ways than Deaton would ever know, and channeled it’s power to set his bones on fire.

His eyes snapped open and he leveled a splayed palm at the witch, shaking slightly with the power thrumming through him – he was still unable to fully control it, and the shaking threw his aim off like shooting at a target. Stiles tried to concentrate on aiming at the witch and not his friends surrounding her, but the more he tried to steady himself out the more panicked and shaky he got.

Then there was a sudden warmth at his back as a clawed hand took hold of his wrist (completely not reminiscent of that night in the carpark all those years ago not that he’d thought about it since) and held him steady, the shaking subsiding long enough for the spell to build up in his palm. Stiles hurled the spell at the witch, the ball of convulsing orange slipping between Scott and Derek, to crash into the witch’s barrier, breaking across it like electric smoke.

The room went silent as the witch whipped her head around to glare at Stiles with hate-filled eyes that seemed to root him to the spot, as a faint, barely-there cracking sound was heard and echoed throughout the warehouse, like the tinkling of broken glass. Allison immediately loosed a mistletoe-covered arrow into the back of the witch’s calf muscle, and she fell to the floor with an agonized screech.

Almost like a last defense, the witch blindly threw a strange pulsating spell at Stiles, and he didn’t have enough time to defend himself before it blew Peter away from him, and enveloped the boy completely. Everyone in the room seemed to freeze as Stiles fell to the ground, boneless and unconscious, and in that moment the witch managed to teleport herself away with a wicked smirk.

Scott immediately slid onto his knees next to his best friend, cradling Stiles’ head in his lap. Peter hauled himself out of the wall that he’d been blasted into, and Boyd had healed enough for Erica and Cora to help him across the room.

“Is he… dead?” Kira gasped, staring down at Stiles’ paler than usual face, and he seemed to not be breathing.

“Just unconscious,” Scott replied, eyes alpha red as he scanned his best friend for injuries or anomalies as Derek had the night they’d burned the tattoo into his skin.

“But for how long?” Lydia asked. “We have no idea what that spell could’ve been and it’s not like we have the witch around to ask.”

“We’ll take him back to the loft, it’s closer than the Hale house, and if he’s not awake soon we’ll call in Deaton,” Scott decided, standing up with his best friend cradled in his arms, bridal position. “Is everyone alright?” he asked, ever the alpha.

“Boyd’s healing up alright, I’m glad wolves can’t get tetanus,” Erica joked, and Boyd was clearly well enough to let out a snort at her joke, and then groaned at the pain.

“I was blasted into a wall, but I take it that none of you care about that,” Peter informed, and everyone rolled their eyes. Peter wasn’t exactly the most beloved member of the pack, but he was the eldest and knew the most about werewolves and other supernatural creatures, and was therefore useful to have around. Deaton would’ve been even more useful if he didn’t insist on being mysterious and cryptic with everybody except his now currently unconscious apprentice.

Scott loaded Stiles into the back of the jeep, along with the injured Boyd, and the two she-wolves joined them. Scott got into the driver’s seat and threw his bike keys to Isaac, who got the hint. Derek and the remaining three girls got into the Camaro, and everyone immediately headed back to the loft. Scott’s paranoia took over as he kept checking on Stiles via the rearview mirror every ten seconds or so, and contemplated whether he should call the Sheriff or his mom and let them know what’d happened.

“Scott, calm down, he’s gonna be fine,” Cora soothed from the passenger seat. “If anyone can pull through this, it’s Stiles.” Scott sent her a grateful smile before pulling up outside the loft and once again holding Stiles to his chest. After everything that’d happened – the Alpha pack nearly killing Erica and Boyd, Stiles nearly being sacrificed for his virginity by their insane ex-English teacher and then crashing his jeep and nearly dying again, not to mention the number of monsters that the Hell mouth that was Beacon Hills had attracted – Scott had become incredibly protective of his best friend, even though he knew that Stiles could take care of himself.

Hell, he knew better than anyone just how well he could take care of himself, but it didn’t stop him from worrying when he saw his friend covered in his own blood or with a bruise around his neck from where the garrote had tightened before it’d snapped.

Scott lay Stiles down on Derek’s queen sized bed and took his hand, while Peter immediately went off to grab some books to figure out what the hell kind of spell had knocked him unconscious. Erica and Cora sat down on the couch with a mostly-healed Boyd, and Lydia started to make snacks in the kitchen. Everyone else either milled about aimlessly, sneaking worried glances to Stiles who was looking even paler as the minutes passed, or watched whatever crap happened to be on the TV.

(They didn’t have any DVD’s or cable at the loft anymore, not since most of them all graduated high school and moved into the newly renovated Hale house that Derek and Peter had spent the last year working on. Erica, being the youngest, was still in her last year of high school, and the rest of them were either attending the local community college or, like Lydia, were doing correspondence degrees.)

One hour passed, and then two, and then everyone started sending pointed looks to Scott, like he should call Deaton or do something, but he was too focused on how his best friend’s hand seemed to get colder in his, that in trying to draw out pain he succeeded in only finding out Stiles had none, and that his skin was so white his eyelids seemed to turn a lavender to match the colour of his veins. He couldn’t figure out why Stiles wasn’t waking up, there wasn’t anything wrong, his internal thermostat wasn’t dropping or rising, he wasn’t in pain, his heartbeat and breathing was steady… it was like he was turning into a living corpse.

“Scott, I think it’s time to call your boss,” Kira said kindly to her boyfriend, handing out her phone. Scott scrubbed a hand over his face and let go of Stiles’ hand for the first time since they’d gotten back and almost fell into her arms with worry. Peter looked up from where he was sitting on the spiral staircase, pouring over his collection of books but was still unable to find anything. Erica was worriedly gnawing on her bottom lip, red lipstick smudged, and Lydia was hiding her worry by fucking up multiple games of candy crush.

Scott had just started to dial the number he knew off by heart when Derek made a sudden movement, the beta’s ears trained on Stiles’ heartbeat, and within a few seconds Stiles took in a deep breath, like he was waking up. The phone almost fell out of Scott’s hand as everyone approached carefully, aware that they weren’t sure what was going to happen when Stiles woke up. A minute passed and Stiles stirred like he wasn’t quite awake yet, a soft frown on his face like he was possibly struggling to retain consciousness.

“…Stiles?” Scott tried, and in a movement faster than anyone in the room had seen, Stiles was upright with his fingers wrapped loosely around Scott’s throat, eyes impossibly dark, an almost animalistic purr emerging from the boy, everything from his body language to his facial expression screaming Not-Stiles.

“Shit,” Scott swore, recognizing what was before him. Stiles stared at Scott for a few moments while everyone seemed to hold their breath, before recognition swept over Stiles’ features. The boy smirked, and unwrapped his fingers from Scott’s throat one-by-one.

“Scotty, nice to see you,” Stiles said, in a deeper voice that wasn’t his, sending shivers throughout the room. “How long was I out?”

“Just over two hours,” Scott replied, his heart beating a little faster than normal, but like the situation was completely normal and not like his best friend had seemingly been possessed by something that wasn’t him, because this clearly wasn’t the sassy, annoying, fun, loving Stiles that everyone had come to care for.

Stiles hummed, nonplussed, and took a look around the loft and everyone in it – making eye contact with everyone until they looked away, unsettled by this unnaturally still, dark thing that looked exactly like their friend. The only ones who didn’t look away were Scott and Peter; the former keeping calm eye contact while the latter only smirked and continued to stare like a challenge. Stiles had smirked back.

“…Could someone please explain what’s going on?” Allison asked, voice low, as if speaking too loudly would shatter the tense atmosphere and send everything into chaos.

“I forgot we never told them,” Stiles murmured, looking at Scott with a mischievous expression, one eyebrow raised. “Would you do the honours, Scotty?”

“When I first met Stiles as a kid, he was… different,” Scott began, keeping the calm eye contact with his best friend. “We were both five, and some kids on the playground had decided to steal the toy I was playing with. Stiles came up to them and bit the kid’s finger nearly clean off, like it wasn’t anything unusual.” Stiles grinned a smile with too many teeth. “He was the only person who’d ever stuck up for me, and we ended up hanging around. Eventually I learned that he was something dark, something he’d inherited from his mother, something to do with what they were.”

“And… what exactly is that?” Derek asked.

“Not sure,” Scott replied, and Stiles shrugged in response, like he didn’t know either. “I helped Stiles to act more like a normal human being, teaching him what was appropriate and not, covering for him whenever he slipped up. Eventually he managed to completely hide his true self and became who we all know,” Scott explained.

“So Stiles isn’t real?” Cora asked with the patent Hale frown of uncertainty and suspicion.

“He is, they’re both as real as each other. It’s just like he never knew what was appropriate, what social cues to take and how to interact with human beings in a normal way, and I helped him understand that hiding his darkness would make his life easier,” Scott explained, Stiles looking approvingly at him from under his lashes.

“Scotty’s never been anything but good to me,” Stiles said, in that same low voice. “Taught me how to wear this human suit so well it became who I was, ingrained into my instinct. I don’t mind being him,” he admitted with a shrug. The movement was almost startling in contrast to the stillness of his previous non-movement. “We’re the same person, still, and we feel the same… but this is who I was born as.”

There was dead silence as everyone took in what Stiles said before, “It all makes sense.” All eyes turned to Peter, who was descending from the spiral stairs with a book open in his hands.

“It’s a regression spell,” Peter said, as if that explained everything.

“A what?” Boyd asked.

“It was intended, for whatever confused purpose the witch had, to regress Stiles back to his childhood. He is the only one who presents a real threat to her, and he already has tenuous control over his abilities as it is – regressing him to a childlike state would make him even more unstable and give him less control over his abilities, making him a nonexistent threat to her,” Peter explained.

“She didn’t take into account who Stiles was as a child, like us,” Lydia expanded, looking deep in thought. Stiles looked at her curiously – some emotions he feigned, and some emotions he felt so deeply that they seemed to be pulled from his very bones. His childhood crush on Lydia Martin had been faked entirely, but this bone-deep love and protectiveness that extended out to her and his entire pack was not. Lydia Martin trusted Stiles to get her out of an active bear trap, trusted him with her life and he in turn trusted the young banshee with his – he would trust his life to anyone in the room with him, his pack.

Stiles had never thought that he’d feel like this for anyone other than Scott, a dark, twisted but ultimately pure love that tied him to them. A love that he would do anything to keep and protect, that he was willing to die and kill for. A love that would be ruthless in it’s retribution if anybody dared hurt the select people in this tiny town that were under the protection of one Miecyzslaw Stiles Stilinski.

“So basically what you’re saying is that she was hoping to turn Stiles into a wailing man-child that wasn’t a threat at all and instead unearthed a dark, inhuman Stiles that’s more of a threat to her now more than ever?” Allison asked, and Stiles bared his teeth in a frankly terrifying grin.

“Exactly,” Stiles said, sharing a look with Peter, who felt a shiver run down his spine. “She’ll hide out for a few days before she attacks again, she’ll be on the offensive now, but we’ll have the element of surprise.”

“Are you gonna be able to take her out?” Erica asked, voice slightly hushed, as she still wasn’t too sure about Stiles, and in fact the only people who were seemed to be Scott, Peter and Lydia. A few seconds later Erica regretted asking as a terrifying expression took over Stiles’ face, something manic and darkly excited.

“Eri, she’s gonna wish she never came to Beacon Hills,” Stiles promised, and the latent bloodlust within the blonde’s wolf stirred at the sound of his voice. Allison shivered and tried not to think about how he sounded like Peter, with that dark, promising purr of a voice.

Chapter Text


They pulled up at the Hale house just as the sun was starting to peek over the horizon, a soft glow illuminating their home. Most of the building had to be demolished, with just the original framework to pave the way for the new Hale house – home of the McCall pack, one of the largest in California that wasn’t a family, like the Hales previously had been. The foundations of the house had been embedded with runes and magical wards, as well as carved into trees in a circle around the house that created a magical barrier. The large, open-plan kitchen stretched into the dining room and lounge where the pack would meet up every morning with assorted sleepy expressions as breakfast was made (Scott wasn’t allowed into the kitchen since the one time he tried to cook breakfast for his pack and ended up setting the toast on fire).

The lounge had a large 70” plasma TV with assorted gaming consoles hooked up to it, with a rather large DVD selection spanning the wall next to it, most of it belonging to Stiles and Kira. Everybody had their own separate bedrooms, with Scott given the one closest to the stairs so he could be alerted to any potential threats first, although most couples seemed to eventually gravitate into each other’s rooms – Scott and Kira, Erica and Boyd, Allison and Isaac – though puppy piles in assorted rooms were not unusual.

A gym and training room was added onto the back, along with a sunroom for when Melissa visited with the Sheriff, but the basement hadn’t been touched. The builders had been given permission to fill the place up completely with concrete and then seal it up forever – Derek, Cora and Peter refused to even take a step in there during the reconstruction.

The cars and bikes all parked outside the front porch, and there were more than a few tired teenagers who immediately stumbled their way up into bed to sleep away the stress of the night. Stiles, however, was wide-awake, as were Derek, Scott, Peter and Allison. As the rest trudged up to bed, Stiles headed into their weapons room and ran his fingers over the rack of baseball bats in the corner. Stiles had never played, had to hide his abnormally graceful movements by faking his shittiness at lacrosse, but he sure knew how to swing a bat with enough momentum to crack a skull.

“If you’re going to spar with us, Stiles, could you grab the wooden one? I’d like to actually be conscious for when the witch returns,” Scott teased. Stiles’ fingers ran over the aluminum bat, then the mountain ash, wolfsbane and mistletoe embedded bats, before picking up the plain wooden one at the very end. There were a few runes carved into the handle, but nothing that would damage a werewolf.

Much.

Stiles hefted the bat into his hand and gave it an experimental swing. Previously, if Stiles had done that in the room, instinct would’ve required him to knock a few things over in the process, but thanks to the spell, that instinctual human façade had no roots within his body or mind, and he just missed a multitude of dangerous objects, bringing the bat around in a smooth loop.

“Who wants to go first?” Stiles asked, peering back at the wolves and lone huntress.

“I will,” Allison said bravely, picking up her mini crossbow, and with further consideration, one of Kira’s swords that she’d been training with for the past year (Stiles was pretty sure that she and Kira occasionally fucked after a particularly tough battle, but it seemed like neither of their boyfriends minded even in the slightest).

“Brave, Argent,” Stiles said as he swept past her to head into the clearing out the back that they used as a training ground. “I’ll try to go easy on you.”

“By all means, don’t,” Allison said, following him. “I won’t be, I need to test your real capabilities.” Stiles tipped his head back and laughed, the laugh that they were all used to, and the tension that Allison didn’t even notice she had disappeared from her shoulders.

The three wolves watched intently from the back porch as Allison and Stiles stood opposite each other. Allison had strapped the sword onto her back and was loosely holding her loaded crossbow, pointed at the ground. Stiles was looking incredibly casual and relaxed as he stood with his hips cocked to one side, the bat resting on one shoulder, not worried in the slightest.

“What are we fighting with?” Allison asked.

“You’ve got your bow, sword and fists, I’ve got my bat, magic and fists, and we’ll see who comes out on top,” Stiles said. “I’ll have to pull back a little, just so I don’t damage you before the witch comes, but I’ll go all-out on the wolves.” He said it so matter-of-factly that it felt incredibly strange to hear it coming out of her friend’s mouth, but Allison reluctantly agreed. She’d love to have a full-on fight with this new dark version of her friend, but being bruised and broken wasn’t going to help the situation with the witch.

Allison raised her crossbow, and Stiles tightened his fingers around his bat. Allison nodded, and fired the first bolt. Stiles ducked to the side, missing it by a hair’s breadth, and sent a spell flying at Allison. Despite his regression into his dark side, he still didn’t have the control over his magic that he wanted, and the spell went a little wide. Allison loaded up a second bolt so fast it was obvious that she could’ve done it in her sleep, and aimed without fear at Stiles’ head. The bolt ruffled the hair on his head, and he sent her an impressed look, and she smirked back. They traded shots for a while before an unidentifiable expression took over Stiles’ face.

Stiles swung his bat in mid air, still a few metres away from Allison, but a magical shockwave emanated from the bat, slamming into Allison’s midsection, sending her flying. Scott gasped from the sideline, but Allison simply rolled with the landing and dumped her crossbow, unsheathing a sword with a bloodthirsty grin. That was what Stiles loved so much about his huntress – she could kick ass and enjoy it while wearing a pretty dress and lipstick.

She charged Stiles, who ducked the sword and slammed the bat into the middle of her back, and she stumbled a few steps before recovering. Stiles was holding back, but Allison would definitely have a few bruises before this was over (though Stiles was pretty sure the girl really wouldn’t mind). Allison swung her sword again, and he parried with his bat, the sword clashing with it, but not making a neat slice through the wood like it normally would, thanks to the runes carved into it. This wooden bat was unbreakable; he’d learned from his mistake with the Alpha twins.

They dodged and parried back and forth a few times before a complicated maneuver with the sword meant that Stiles’ bat went flying across the clearing to slam into a small pine tree. He then had to dodge a few flurries of the sword, gaining a slice clean across his cheek. Allison grinned triumphantly, but it slowly slide off her face as Stiles’ dormant healing factors kicked in, and the cut sealed up behind him.

(It had been necessary to consciously put a stop to his healing factor in order to keep up with his human façade, something that his father wasn’t particularly happy with, he hated to see his son injured.)

Stiles then recklessly grabbed the blade when Allison next swung, tugged it out of her hands, and threw it across the clearing where it embedded itself deeply into a tree. With a huff, Allison blew her hair out of her face, and brought her fists up. The adrenaline was pumping by this point, and Stiles sent her a shit-eating grin to goad her into attacking. She landed a hit square on his jaw, and he sent a chop to the side of her throat. She coughed, but maintained her concentration as he dodged a punch, but fell to a sweep of her legs.

He flipped himself back up to his feet, in that awesome way ninjas do in the movies (or a young Jensen Ackles, who he totally wasn’t going to distract himself by thinking about in the middle of a fight with Allison fucking Argent) and got in close to really grapple with the huntress. They traded blow after blow, punching, kicking, elbowing and occasionally flipping the other over onto the ground. Stiles went for a low blow by pulling her hair, and Allison retaliated by kicking him in the balls, but eventually Stiles won the fight by pinning Allison down to the ground by her throat.

Or at least, he thought he did, until he felt the tiny hidden blade from her boot pressing up against his neck.

The two stared at each other for a few moments, out of breath with blood pumping, before they burst out into laughter, and Stiles collapsed onto the giggling hunter. He nuzzled her neck in a very wolf-esque fashion before he helped her up as she adjusted her skirt. Her eyes were bright although there was a faint bruise beginning to form on her cheekbone, but she was smiling and if Stiles was reading her correctly, accepting.

“Good round, Stilinski,” she said, heading over to retrieve the sword and her crossbow.

“Right back at you, Argent,” Stiles replied, picking up his bat and slinging it back onto his shoulder. When the two turned to look back at the porch, all three wolves were slightly shocked at what they had just witnessed. Scott had helped to train the grace out of Stiles, but he’d still never seen him in a fight. Derek was easily the most gob smacked, having never seen Stiles do anything more physical than swing his bat once or twice. Peter, however, while shocked was looking at Stiles in a way that was probably a little inappropriate considering their age gap. Stiles smirked, and gracefully handed Allison over to them, before beckoning Derek out to spar.

Their fight went much the same way, claws versus bat, except now that Stiles was able to use his full strength and agility, he’d managed to one-up Derek at the very end, pressing the former Alpha into the dirt, arm twisted to near breaking point. Derek had reluctantly conceded, and Stiles had scented him in the same way he did with Allison, and he felt the man relax under him.

Next up was Scott, and at this point Stiles was almost thrumming with energy, pouring off him to fill the air with something charged and electric. He grinned violently at Scott, his bat discarded as they went up claws against magic, brother against brother. Scott at first was understandably reluctant to hurt his best friend, but after Stiles had rolled his eyes and tackled him to the ground, the alpha in him emerged and howled. Stiles felt his soul answer to the call, and the two fought hard, fast and dirty, flinging each other clear across the field into trees, once into the porch steps, Stiles’ body flying into the porch railing and actually making a dent in the wood. Stiles and Scott laughed maniacally the entire time, free to be themselves fully and wholly around each other in a way they never had been before.

The fight ended with the two rolling about on the grass, half-heartedly elbowing each other in the head, faces buried into each other’s neck. Stiles didn’t have his human side anymore, but around Scott it couldn’t help but come out, like Scott was just so inherently good that he brought it out in someone so dark and bad. When the two finally hauled themselves off the ground, they both had bruises and deep slashes that were healing even as they walked to the porch, Allison laughing at the two of them.

Stiles’ now enhanced senses heard some laughter from the house, and he looked up to the top floor to see Erica, Boyd and Cora peeking out of one window, Isaac out of the other, woken up by the commotion.

The light-hearted feeling left Stiles immediately as soon as Peter Hale stepped forward to be his last opponent. Something stirred within Stiles’ gut as the man prowled out, every inch the monster he (and everyone else) pretended he wasn’t. Something like molten lead settled in Stiles’ stomach as they stood opposite each other, subconsciously mirroring each other’s stance - bent at the knee, shoulders held loose, fingers splayed to make room for claws and magic. Stiles smirked as they made eye contact, the dark inside him wanting to emerge from under his ribcage and smother everything.

Peter Hale made him want to do very, very bad things.

And the smug bastard knew it.

Stiles’ fight with Allison had been about testing each other’s strength and sharing a mutual bloodlust. His fight with Derek was to see how well he fared against a werewolf, and how well a werewolf fared against whatever the hell he was. His fight with Scott was about freedom, brotherhood and friendship.

This? This fight with Peter was like foreplay.

They both hid it very well from their spectators, and if Stiles’ hands gripped Peter’s ass in order to flip him over his shoulder, well then that was just a vantage point. If Peter’s thumb had brushed Stiles’ pulse softly as he choked him up against the tree, nobody would see. And if Stiles’ foot had dragged slowly up the back of Peter’s leg before destabilizing him to send him crashing to the ground, nobody could prove it.

If Stiles bit his lip in a way that he knew drove the elder man mad, then that was simply in the heat of the moment. And if Peter had dug his claws into Stiles’ thigh to get a good enough grip to throw him clear across the field, then that wasn’t anything special.

And if Stiles’ teeth and tongue had made a special appearance while he was scenting Peter, his face buried into his neck… well, nobody had to know.

Chapter Text

After the spar, everyone else went back to bed, utterly exhausted. Except Stiles. Even as a human he hadn’t been able to sleep, he didn’t require energy quite the same way as humans or werewolves, and he’d put it down as insomnia.

Anyway, he needed to plan for when the witch came back. He hadn’t been his true self in years and all he wanted to do was tie the bitch down, break her barrier and torture her until she screamed so loud she ripped her own throat up. The pack probably wouldn’t be too happy about that, though, Stiles mused. But Peter might fuck him afterwards.

Stiles smirked at the thought of the eldest wolf. Stiles had been particularly terrified when the man had been an alpha, prowling the streets in his huge, demonic form, mind split apart at the seams. Back then, along with Stiles being incredibly entrenched in his human persona, he’d had no idea what the fuck to do or how to take out an alpha wolf that was threatening the life of his best friend, and although he wanted to tear those glowing ruby eyes out, he didn’t know how. And not having knowledge was something that terrified Stiles down to his darkened core.

Not being able to protect those he loved so fiercely, not being able to kill and tear and rip whatever threatened them, that was what Stiles hated the very most. But then he’d set Peter on fire, which was hilarious and incredibly satisfying, and Derek had ripped his throat out. Then Peter used Lydia, one of his best friends, to bring himself back, and at that time Stiles hated the man, hated that he’d driven beautiful, strong Lydia insane for his own whims and Stiles had wanted to rip his spinal cord out through his mouth.

And somewhere along the way Stiles had realized that Peter was the only one who was truly his equal. The only one who knew what it was like to put up a human front, to have the monster lurking underneath, to not be what everyone expected of you. To be ruthless and darkness and everything the world despised.

Peter was intelligent, he was witty, he was sharp, and he was good enough to keep up with Stiles on his best day. And it didn’t help that he had a great ass, and sadomasochistic tendencies that sent a pleasurable shiver down Stiles’ back. As a human, he’d never been able to act on those feelings, never been able to tease Peter in the way the older man did to him on a constant day to day basis with those goddamn V-necks and tight pants. He’d never been able to hold him down by the throat and ride him like he so desperately wanted.

But now?

Stiles smirked, and pushed the subject away to continue his research into the witch. The pack would be out for at least another five or so hours, which meant he would have all of that time to work on the most effective way to trap the witch, disable her barrier, and kill her. Preferably in that order.

Stiles’ estimation had been right, and within a few hours the stirrings upstairs of young werewolves and hunters alerted him to the fact that they’d most likely be incredibly hungry, and taking care of his pack was something that he loved to do. It was strange, Stiles mused as he stirred pancake batter, how opposite his emotions were. He’d never really reflected on them before.

On one had, he loved and adored his pack, would do anything for them and protect them ‘til the ends of the Earth. On the other hand, he’d do that by massacring anyone who wanted to hurt them, and he’d get great satisfaction out of doing so.

Boyd wandered downstairs just as Stiles flipped the first pancake, bacon sizzling nearby, the coffee pot filled to the brim.

“Evil or not, man, you make a killer breakfast,” Boyd said, slumping down in one of the dining room chairs, smirking a little at his pun.

“All the better to fatten you up with, my dear,” Stiles returned, piling the pancakes onto a plate. Erica and Cora followed, sleep-mussed and yawning, Isaac trailing behind. “How’s your wound?” Stiles asked, placing the food before Boyd and the wolves on the table.

“Fine,” Boyd said, holding up his pajama shirt to reveal nothing but smooth, dark skin. “I think it might’ve ruined a few of my vital organs, but I’m all healed up now.” Stiles’ jaw clenched and his fingers curled into a fist at the words, glaring at nothing as though his hatred alone would call the witch forth.

“I’m going to have fun killing her,” Stiles ground out, then headed back into the kitchen to get the bacon and eggs. Allison, Lydia and Kira came down next as a group, summoned by the smell of bacon and coffee, which stirred the rest of the wolves. Scott’s entire face brightened up at the sight of breakfast on the table, and he almost tackle-hugged Stiles into the kitchen cabinets.

“I love you, man,” Scott muttered happily into his neck, and Stiles rolled his eyes and elbowed his best friend in the gut.

“You too, now get over there before Derek eats it all,” Stiles teased. The beta pulled a face at him, but didn’t stop loading up his plate. Stiles heated up the leftover pasta from two nights previous and put that on the table, along with some slices of toast and a few breakfast sausages. The table was a mess, everyone shoving arms and slapping hands out of the way to grab the food they wanted, and with werewolf metabolisms they wanted all of it. Arguing, shouting and trying to have an amiable conversation around the yelling nearly made the house shake, and the whole time Stiles dragged his foot up and down the inside of Peter’s leg.

“Are you kidding me, Cora? Hogging the last bit of bacon, again?” Kira yelled. Cora flashed her fangs at her in a particularly satisfied way, and over the commotion nobody heard the front door open until the Sheriff was standing in the doorway, a little dazed at the number of teenagers fighting over food.

“Oh, hey dad,” Scott said, waving a toast crust at the Sheriff’s general direction. “Where’s mom?”

“Early shift, she should be off in a few hours. I got a call last night about a lot of commotion in a warehouse near the industrial areas, with a lot of animalistic snarling and bright flashes – you lot wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?” the Sheriff asked, eyebrow raised as though he didn’t know why he bothered.

“No idea, daddio,” Stiles said, with a look to the Sheriff. His father paused at the sudden change in demeanor, and then groaned aloud.

“Forgot to put on your suit this morning, huh?” he asked, familiar with Stiles and Claudia’s fond term of ‘human suit’. Even Melissa wasn’t aware of the term or even Stiles’ true self, although she and the Sheriff had gotten married almost two years ago, and was still believing that Stiles had just been a troubled child. Stiles still wasn’t sure why he was so reluctant to tell Melissa. He loved her, like his own mother before her, with the same fierceness that made her pack, but he supposed there was just a little bit of fear in the fact that she might reject him, after he’d lost his mother, the only person who knew exactly what it was like.

“Blame the witch,” Stiles replied, picking up his coffee cup. “She’s gonna be dead soon anyway.” The Sheriff’s jaw tightened a little uncomfortably, having forgotten the ease at which Stiles could admit to things that would send most humans running for the hills.

“Any particular reason?” the Sheriff asked, stealing the last bit of bacon off Cora’s plate, to Kira’s amusement.

“She impaled Boyd and ripped up his innards,” Stiles mentioned casually. “I’d like to see her bleed.” The Sheriff knew that there was no way to convince Stiles to go through legal channels and have the woman arrested, most likely she’d be able to break out of wherever they’d send her, and he acquiesced.

“Ok, kiddo, just clean up the mess when you’re done,” the Sheriff said, heading back out to the front door. Stiles saluted him, and drained the last of his coffee cup. He smoothly swallowed the bittersweet liquid down at the same time Peter unassumingly caressed his thigh.

“By the way, I cooked, so everyone else is on dishes,” Stiles announced with a smug smirk, and resounding teenage groans echoed throughout the room. “And I need to discuss witch business with the creeperwolf.” Stiles pretty much bodily hauled Peter out of the room and into the library, shoving him down onto the plush couch. Peter looked amused with eyebrows raised as Stiles settled himself down onto the man’s lap, a dark expression taking over his face.

“You really shouldn’t test my patience, Peter,” Stiles purred, thumb brushing over Peter’s steady pulse in the same way the man had done to him in their earlier fight. “Because I wouldn’t have minded bending you over that dining table and fucking you into submission.”

“So why didn’t you?” Peter asked, a teasing tone lacing his voice.

“I didn’t want to scar Scott for life,” Stiles said. Peter settled his hands comfortably on Stiles’ jean clad thighs, and Stiles flicked his eyes up from his hand around his throat to look Peter in the eye. “You want to do this now?”

“I wouldn’t mind,” Peter said calmly. Stiles grinned, too many teeth, and rest his forehead against Peter’s so his lips brushed the man’s when he spoke.

“We’re going to have to keep very quiet, you understand?” Stiles whispered, electric shocks seeming to jolt through them whenever their lips brushed together and made contact. Peter’s hands came around to caress Stiles’ ass through his jeans, and just grinned back.

“Completely,” Peter purred, that voice doing things to Stiles. He immediately surged forward to capture Peter’s mouth, nothing unsure or gentle as he would have as a human. This was dominating, biting, harsh as Stiles attempted to kiss the wolf into submission. Peter just gave as good as he got, pushing back, pushing Stiles into him, grinding up, breaking away to bite down Stiles’ jaw and neck, sucking in a bruise that Stiles decided to keep for now, hands on his ass tightening their grip.

Stiles impatiently pushed his hands under Peter’s shirt, trailing his fingers (that he knows Peter loves) down those defined muscles to get to his waistband. He teased Peter for a few moments, smirk on his face as Peter nips his neck sharply in response. Stiles undid the button and slid the zipper down, but didn’t go any further than that until Peter slid his hands under Stiles’ jeans and briefs to grip at bare skin, and Stiles huffed a laugh.

“Impatient,” Stiles murmured into Peter’s hair, and the man growled a little, lifting his head back up to nip at the underside of his jaw.

“I’ve wanted you much too long to be patient,” Peter growled low. “You know how I am when I finally get what I want.” Stiles huffed a laugh and finally slipped his hand under Peter’s jeans to pull him out, long fingers teasing him relentlessly.

“And how long would that have been?” Stiles asked, listening to the quickening heartbeat of the wolf in time to his ministrations. “How long have you had to hide the glances you gave to an underage boy? The son of the Sheriff?” he smirked at the harsh grab to his ass, feeling claws just starting to emerge.

“Since the first time I saw that pretty mouth of yours and knew that I wanted you on your knees,” Peter whispered right into Stiles’ ear, warm breath sending shivers down his spine, and Stiles tightened his hand around Peter. “I wanted you kneeling on that concrete ground, wanted to fuck your mouth until you gagged and those eyes filled with tears.” Stiles grinned filthily at this and turns his head to bite Peter’s lower lip.

“Maybe next time,” Stiles whispered into the man’s mouth. Peter’s eyes flashed as his fingers nimbly undid Stiles’ jeans, and Stiles snorted, then gasped as fingers wrapped around him. The sound was shaky and wet and so human that it disgusted him. Stiles ground down as Peter wrapped his hand around the both of them, and the boy dragged his lips along Peter’s jaw to whisper into his ear.

“I want you to fuck me harder than you’ve ever dared to imagine,” Stiles murmured, keeping his voice filthy and low. “I want to ride you and feel you for days, I want bruises on my hips in the shape of your hands.” Peter growled, and those were definitely claws coming out to play, and Stiles smirked, eyes dark. He sent out a thread of magic to lock the library door, and then conjured up a familiar bottle that Peter laughed at.

“No end to the uses of your magical abilities, I see,” Peter laughed, retracting his claws to slick up his fingers.

“Mm,” Stiles murmured, pressing his chest right up against Peter, rising up a little on his knees to give Peter better access. “Wouldn’t you like to know just how much I could do?” He gasped breathily at the first feel of Peter’s finger, and a sub-vocal purr emerged from his throat as Peter slipped a finger inside.

“Well now that’s just adorable,” Peter teased, and the purr lowered into an honest-to-god growl, and Peter shivered. Stiles knew what that did to a wolf, and found great satisfaction in being able to affect him like that. Stiles dug his nails into Peter’s shoulder as the wolf added a second finger, the boy panting harshly as he fought not to make any noise. His hand on Peter’s cock was moving slowly, enough to keep the man interested as he fucked back on Peter’s fingers, biting deep into his own lip.

Stiles was burying his head into Peter’s neck by the time the man worked up to three fingers, biting down harshly, knowing that the bruises wouldn’t stay long enough for his teeth to do any real damage. Peter seemed to take a sadistic pleasure in torturing Stiles, sending sparks up behind his eyelids with every movement of his fingers, but Stiles wasn’t going to beg like the man wanted him to.

Instead Stiles reared back, fingers slipping tight around Peter’s neck, eyes dark and narrowed.

“If you don’t fuck me right now I will leave with only your fantasies to sustain you for the rest of your miserable life,” Stiles snarled, wishing to god that the bruises he was creating would stay. Peter grinned with a mouth filled with fangs, and in one smooth movement removed his fingers and sunk Stiles down onto him. Stiles’ fingers loosened in shock at being so overwhelmingly full, before he finally got the picture and raised up before slamming back down as Peter rose up.

Stiles swore that his eyes rolled up into his head at the movement, and Peter’s clawed fingers dug into his hips, little pricks of pain that just added to the pleasure suddenly coursing through his body. Stiles moved his hands to Peter’s shoulders for better leverage and couldn’t help the little sounds that escaped his throat when Peter punched the air out of his lungs. The tables were turned when Peter wrapped one of his hands around Stiles’ neck, cutting off his air supply, and he bared his teeth at the wolf.

“Be quiet, remember?” Peter murmured, smirking like the little shit he was. Stiles simply rode him harder, the feel of rough jeans on his ass and the claws at his throat and hip were sending him further and further over the edge, so he ground down and tightened to tease Peter, who in turn tightened his fingers around his neck. Just as Stiles felt as though he was going to tip over the edge into oblivion, he ripped Peter’s hand from around his neck and dug his teeth deep into the man’s throat, tasting blood. A claiming bite.

Peter nearly howled as they came, the world lighting up, Stiles’ hand slapped over the man’s mouth with a silencing spell, undulating with the waves of pleasure slipping through his bones.

It took a few minutes for Stiles to finally pull back, his teeth slipping out of Peter’s neck, blood dripping down his lips and chin. Peter looked mostly shocked, a little smug, and a lot sexually satisfied. Stiles smirked and pulled himself off Peter’s lap, taking in the debauched picture the elder man made. Stiles headed into the adjoining bathroom to grab a towel for the both of them, and then sat down with a book on magic in his hands, feet propped up on the table like nothing had happened.

Peter did the same, and there was silence for a few moments before, “You know what you just did, right?” Stiles rolled his eyes.

“Of course. You can reciprocate after I get my human self back if you’d like,” Stiles said nonchalantly, already knowing Peter’s answer. He knew that if he had said human self right now, his heart would be beating faster than he’d be able to keep up with – he’d trained himself well to be human.

“Why then?” Peter asked, flicking a page in his book.

“Because I might be okay with this, but he might not be,” Stiles replied. Peter was silent for a few moments before he lifted his thumb and wiped off some blood from the corner of Stiles’ mouth that he’d missed, before trailing his fingers down the bruises on his neck that stood out in stark contrast to Stiles’ pale skin; nips and bruises and finger marks in beautiful shades of purple and blue. As he did so, the marks slowly disappeared, and Stiles smirked at the angry growl that emanated from Peter’s throat.

There was some scuffling outside, then Scott threw open the door, slightly ruffled and soaked from head to toe. With a thought, Stiles aired out the room, the last vestiges of him and Peter’s affair gone.

“We’ve done the dishes, there was a bit of a water fight but we managed to clean it up. You guys found anything yet?” Scott asked innocently, and Stiles shook his head.

“Not yet, but we will. That bitch is going to pay for what she did to our pack,” Stiles hissed, and Scott rolled his eyes.

“You’re so violent,” the True Alpha whined, before shutting the door behind him. Stiles turned on the couch and threw his legs up onto Peter’s lap, the wolf settling his book on top of them, and Stiles could still feel the fingers around his neck and the final thrums of pleasure vibrating through his bones.

Chapter Text

“Scott?” a timid voice asked, and the alpha turned around to see Kira standing awkwardly at the door, wringing her hands nervously.

“Hey, what’s up?” Scott asked, turning to his girlfriend. Kira stared at the floor for a few more minutes before slipping into their bedroom and shutting the door behind her. She bit her lip in a nervous habit she’d picked up from Erica, then hung her head. Scott gently wrapped his arms around her, resting his chin on top of her head.

“What’s wrong?” he asked. He felt Kira sigh, her breath warm against her chest.

“It’s… it’s about Stiles,” she admitted, voice low, almost a whisper as though she were afraid to speak. “I… I’ve been taking all this crap in stride for years now. I mean, I’m not exactly human, Lydia’s a banshee, not to mention everyone else is a werewolf or a hunter or wields magic as a weapon. I get it, after all these years I get it,” she started.

“But…” Scott offered, feeling like he knew where this was going.

“I wasn’t prepared for Stiles. What he really is, I mean,” Kira murmured. “I love him, he’s one of my closest friends and I can’t imagine life without him in our pack. But… he’s not like us. He’s terrifying, Scott, he’s not just a teenager with supernatural issues, he is dark.” She looked up at Scott, her face just centimetres away from his. “He scares the hell out of me, Scott, and it goes against all of my instincts to not run him through with my sword.”

Scott sighed and hugged his girlfriend closer to his chest. She fisted her fingers in the front of his shirt, breathing heavily.

“I get it, babe I really do, when I first met Stiles I was scared shitless,” Scott admitted. “Even when I was that young I knew that Stiles wasn’t normal at all. He wasn’t just a troubled kid, he was wrong.” Kira’s fingers tightened in his shirt.

“He was also the only friend I had. The only one who stood by my side, like as soon as he met me, he’d assigned himself to protect me for the rest of his life,” Scott said, voice distant. “He… he doesn’t feel like you or me. He doesn’t feel true happiness, he doesn’t feel sadness, he doesn’t really even feel fear. What he does feel is love so deep inside him it’s embedded into his soul. He feels protection for those he loves, enough to let the whole world burn if it keeps the ones he loves safe. He feels satisfaction, and anger, and bloodlust and pleasure and accomplishment.”

Scott pulled back to look Kira in the eye.

“I taught him how to be human, Kira. Despite the fact that he terrified me to no end, I knew that he would always protect me and never, ever hurt me. Sometimes he can say things that are insensitive or spiteful, but he’d rather die than hurt someone he loves. I knew that and I helped him to become human, to ingrain human instincts into him to help him pass through life as safely as possible,” Scott explained. “Me and Claudia, we’d always be on watch for when he slipped, and we’d make excuses for him if we did. I covered for him, just like he covers for me. His human persona, the one we all know, is just as much him now as his true self.”

“What does that mean, though?” Kira asked.

“It means that he’s still Stiles, whether he’s flailing about and trying to catch popcorn in his mouth and arguing over Star Wars characters, or whether he can throw a werewolf a clear hundred feet and rip someone’s throat out without blinking. You just have to know that he’d protect us so fiercely that the rest of the world could burn and die, and if we were safe, he’d be happy, or as happy as he could be,” Scott explained. And for some unknown reason, that made a little part of Kira relax.

In the library, two pseudo-humans sat on the couch, comfortably resting on each other in the silence, eyes devouring page after page, though Peter’s claws were absently scratching patterns over Stiles’ exposed ankle.

“They’re talking about you,” Peter muttered to Stiles.

“All bad things, I hope,” Stiles returned, eyes scanning the old, leather-bound tome.

“Actually good things, it’s honestly quite touching. Though what else do you expect from Scott?” Peter replied. Stiles snorted, and then felt a vindictive pleasure thrum through him as he sat up quickly, exactly what he needed laid out for him like a feast on the page in front of him. Peter immediately looked over, scanned the page before the two shared a dark, sadistic grin that would’ve sent shivers down spines.

“I like your taste,” Peter said, voice lowering in innuendo, and Stiles rolled his eyes. The boy pulled himself off the couch, tome in hand as he left the room to share the news with the rest of the pack, glancing back at Peter with an eyebrow raised, beckoning him to follow.

Boyd, Erica, Cora and Allison were all swearing as Isaac chuckled evilly in the corner, watching sadistically as all four of them swung their controllers left and right as though that would help them to stay on Rainbow Road any longer. Cora’s controller creaked ominously as Yoshi fell into the abyss yet again, eyes flashing as she growled low and glared at Isaac.

“I’m gonna get you for this Lahey, you’re gonna wish that you’d never been born,” she threatened, but it just made Isaac laugh even harder. Boyd groaned as Princess Peach fell off the edge, letting Erica take over into first place with Bowser. Allison was battling it out for first with Toad, and it was an ugly (and violent) race to the finish line before Erica just overtook Allison, who was hit by the blue shell, and she punched the air in victory.

“You’re all morons,” Peter muttered, and Stiles punched him in the sternum, knocking the breath out of the wolf.

“I’d like you to try that infernal level,” Stiles mocked, then dropped the heavy tome onto the dining table with a loud smack. “Speaking of infernal, we’ve got a way to kill the witch.” Cora hollered for everyone else to come downstairs, and Lydia flounced down with Scott, Kira and Derek in tow. Kira offered a small, nervous smile to Stiles.

“What’ve you got?” Scott asked, standing at Stiles’ back to peer at the book over his shoulder. The book was in Latin, so it wasn’t surprising that Scott and many others in the room had frowns on their faces, but Derek and Lydia looked a little green at what they could read.

“That’s… pretty dark,” Derek muttered, eyes stuck to the page, unable to look away, like watching a train crash in slow motion.

“That’s what makes it so perfect,” Stiles grinned. “Basically when the witch comes to get us, we’ll know because of the warding perimeter we’ve set up. I break her barrier and we inject her with a combination of mistletoe and Kanima venom.”

“But… won’t that kill her?” Allison asked. “If she’s anything like the Darach, that mistletoe will burn through her like acid. She’ll be dead in seconds.” Stiles shook his head as his lips curled up at the corners.

“That’s the beauty of the Kanima venom,” Stiles explained. “It’ll paralyze her while the mistletoe works through her system, but because that too will be injected into her bloodstream rather than just on her skin, it’ll nullify the effects of the mistletoe just enough that she’ll be in complete agony, but she won’t die.”

Everyone at the table looked up at the glee in Stiles’ voice as he explained the torture that the concoction would put the witch through. Scott looked green and a little uneasy, and Isaac was visibly fighting not to chuck all over the dining table.

“Isn’t that… a little excessive?” Kira asked quietly after a few moments of uncomfortable, tense silence.

“I’ve been reigning in this part of me for years,” Stiles said as though he was reading the weather. “I want to make the most of it.” The pack shared uneasy looks with each other, but they all turned to Scott in the end to make the ultimate decision. The True Alpha looked a little unsure at the unnecessary violence of the situation, his moralities fighting this from every angle, but if it made Stiles happy…

“What do we need to do?” Scott asked, and Stiles smiled brightly at him, almost like the Stiles they were used to.

“Deaton’s got some Kanima venom in that secret little box he keeps in his office,” Stiles explained. “Scotty, you can grab that, I’ve got to make a few alterations to our wards. If he hasn’t got mistletoe, Mrs Paget is growing some in her backyard. She likes me, so just drop my name and she’ll let you grab some.”

“We need to liquefy those and put it in a syringe, I know how to do that,” Lydia piped up, and nobody questioned why she happened to know the most random things anymore.

“I’ll let Melissa and the Sheriff know to stay away for a few days,” Kira offered. “I left my favourite sweatshirt over there anyway.” Stiles nodded, and everyone left to do whatever they had to do or decided to spar out back. Stiles grabbed Derek on the way out, and the two headed out to the warding line surrounding the Hale house.

Stiles arrived at the first marker; a swirling rune carved deep into a sapling pine tree, completely undetectable unless you knew it was there. Stiles placed his hand over the rune and reached for his spark, much easier to reach without so many layers of human to dive through, and he felt the magic embedded in the tree, like a dormant, glowing coal that pulsed alive under his fingers. He altered the core’s composition a little to alert him specifically when a magical presence passed through the warding, and then pulled back out into reality.

“You gonna tell me what’s going on with you and my uncle?” Derek asked, face expectant and arms crossed. Stiles smirked and walked off to the next marker, Derek following behind.

“We’re research buddies, DerBear, what’s wrong with that?” Stiles teased, trudging through the leafy underbrush, following the current of his ward. It was a little like an invisible motion detector, connected by the trees, anchoring the ward in place. It was set to alert Stiles and Scott when a presence entered the area that wasn’t pack. They’d had a few false alarms with woodland animals in the past, but Stiles refused to change the warding, knowing very well that if he did, a shifter could enter the property unannounced.

“I do have eyes, you know,” Derek drawled, and Stiles huffed.

“Yes, they’re a very dashing shade of hazel, I’ve noticed. Does this have a point?” Stiles asked, eyes fixed on the next marker, a rune in a shape similar to a seven-pointed star.

“Ever since you got hit by the spell you’ve been gravitating towards my uncle for reasons I understand and possibly wish I didn’t,” Derek began. “I’m just concerned at how close you might get.”

“Aw, so you do care about me, Derek,” Stiles teased, gracefully dodging a root that he most likely would have tripped on the day before.

“Of course I do, Stiles, you’re pack. But I know what my uncle is like and I don’t want you… to get hurt,” Derek admitted. Stiles sighed and turned around, the concerned expression on Derek’s face making him look like a kicked puppy.

“Derek, trust me when I say if your uncle gives me the unwanted bad touch, I will be more than capable of ripping his spleen out through his nostrils,” Stiles assured. “My allegiances are capable of changing very quickly.”

“Like that’s assuring,” Derek grumbled, and Stiles laughed as he placed his hand atop the second marker, falling back into the dead space of magic.

--

It was three days of panic, spontaneous outbreaks of fighting, paranoia and concern by the time that Stiles felt the wards twang like a guitar string, alerting him to the unwanted presence that he’d been waiting for. The witch was either too dumb to register a ward, or was so sure of herself that she wasn’t concerned if they knew she was coming or not. Undoubtedly the air of smugness around her would be virtually palpable, and it made Stiles’ teeth grind together.

Peter had been given the duty of injecting the witch with the mistletoe venom, something that nobody was happy about, considering the fact that they still didn’t trust Peter. Stiles could understand that, the man’s ulterior motives had ulterior motives, but he got the feeling that Peter didn’t actually mind having a large, strong pack again, especially after losing his entire family in one fell swoop. The bonds that tied the pack together kept Peter more stable, less likely to go mass murderer on everyone, even if he did have to look after a bunch of teenagers. Peter, was however, disturbingly fast for a beta, and had the highest chance of success.

Stiles’ head snapped up from where he had been idly twirling a mistletoe ingrained pocket knife, meeting Scott’s alpha red eyes.

“She’s here,” Scott informed. Everyone immediately dropped what they were doing and sprung to attention, grabbing weapons and flicking claws out. Kira sent a bolt of foxfire down her sword blade to electrify it, and Stiles grabbed his mistletoe-and-silver bat from its precariously balanced position against the couch.

“This is gonna be a tough fight,” Stiles said into the quietly tense atmosphere. “But I can promise that she isn’t going to touch a single one of you, not while I live,” he promised. Lydia gulped and wrapped her hand around Allison’s, and a faint growling was coming from the corner where Boyd and Erica had been cuddling. Erica was now half-transformed, eyes glowing bright as she clutched Boyd’s shirt protectively right over where he’d been impaled. Female wolves were pretty terrifying when it came to the ones they loved, and Cora was looking pretty damn angry too. Everyone took one final glance at each other and nodded, before heading out to meet the witch head-on, Stiles hanging in the shadows where she wouldn’t be able to see him.

When the witch finally came out of the tree line, everybody was in position. The witch looked smug, as clear on her face as though she were Jackson reincarnated, if that bastard had died instead of fucking off to London, leaving Lydia to pine for months on end. Allison immediately loosed an arrow at the woman from her position in a nearby tree, but it once again bounced off her kinetic barrier – she wasn’t so smug as to not create a new one. She knew full well that it was the only thing stopping her from being mauled to death by angry werewolves.

Scott stood in the centre of the porch, completely human bar his glowing eyes and sharp claws. To his left, Derek, to his right, Kira; to the witch’s left flank, Erica, Cora and Boyd teamed up, glaring at her with so much hatred it seemed to permeate the air around them. Isaac, Lydia and Peter were out of sight, hidden around to the right. Stiles had managed to pull the shadows around him enough that the witch wouldn’t see him unless he moved from his incredibly still position.

It was funny, as a human he’d always been fidgeting and neurotic. Now he was so still it was as though he weren’t breathing, or his heart wasn’t beating. Stiles glared at the bitch through his eyelashes, wanting nothing more than to wipe the smirk off the witch’s face. But he had to be patient; he’d get his chance.

“Well look at you all prepared and ready to fight,” the witch crooned, like an adult talking to a young baby. “It’s adorable, really. I’d heard stories about the unbeatable Beacon Hills pack, but you’re just a bunch of pathetic teenagers.”

“Then how did we eliminate every other threat who has ever come to this town?” Derek asked, an expression slathered on his face like she was the dumbest thing he’d ever come across. Stiles never got tired of Derek’s sass. “If by your logic, we’re pathetic, then how did we beat the Alpha pack? A Darach? Multiple witches just like you, vampires, selkies, demons?”

“You’re afraid of us,” Scott accused. The witch honestly cackled, head thrown back and everything like she’d been watching too much Wizard of Oz.

“That’s cute,” she said, once she’d finally calmed down. “I’m not afraid of you at all, or I’d be running in the opposite direction instead of standing here with a smile on my face. You’re not a threat to me – not your claws, your arrows, your swords. Anything you throw at me I can handle, while I pick each of you off one by one. Too bad you don’t have your little druid friend, how is he?” she mocked, glee spilling off each word.

“Fine, actually,” Stiles said, drawing himself out of the shadows. The witch snapped her eyes to him and blanched, hand raising on instinct to throw a spell when-

Lydia screamed.

The witch shouted and covered her ears, giving Stiles just enough time to get right up close to her, faster than any of the wolves could track, and slammed her with a spell at point-blank range. She went flying back a few metres, the barrier visibly breaking off her and scattering throughout the wind. Without missing a beat, Allison loosed another arrow into the witch’s side, causing her to howl in pain.

Stiles slammed her upside the head with a hard swing of his bat, hearing her skull crack, and she went careening into Erica, who slashed her stomach with her claws. The witch staggered away, attempting to build up a spell in her hand, but it kept flickering and dying out as she couldn’t fully concentrate on it. Boyd kicked her hard and she fell, rolling a few paces, and then struggled to her feet. Stiles knew that he should give the signal to Peter to inject her, but he was having much too fun with this.

He twirled the bat in his hands and slammed it into her side, then followed it up with a swing hard enough to crack her shoulder blades as she tried to turn tail and run. She screeched and blindly threw a spell that hit Stiles in the chest and sent him slamming back into the porch stairs; Derek growled and launched himself at her, Kira close behind. They managed to get in a swipe each before the witch threw them away in sheer desperation, the two tumbling away. Another arrow hit the witch in the knee, sending her collapsing to the ground.

By this time she was a bawling, bleeding, broken mess but Stiles couldn’t help but stalk up to her, bloody grin on his face as he took a final swing at her head, cracking her cheekbone, dark veins slipping outward from the wound because of the mistletoe that coated the bat.

“Stiles,” Scott said calmly from across the field, grounding the boy. Stiles sighed in acceptance and signaled Peter, who was behind the witch in a second, pulling her up by her hair. Before she could even think to fight, he’d stabbed her roughly in the jugular with the needle, injecting it before she could blink.

She dropped to the ground, a little stunned, and wobbled back onto her knees before the effects of the concoction took hold. She looked at Stiles in sheer terror, and then her body froze in place and she began to scream. Not like Lydia, who was like a high-pitched supersonic wave, but a scream from the depths of her lungs, ripping its way up out of her throat as the fire burned through her bloodstream, bubbling in her veins and licking its way through her chest.

Isaac approached with Allison in tow, looking a little green, wincing at the sound she made. Stiles sighed and slapped a silencing spell onto her mouth, and audibly heard her jaw crack from how much she was screaming.

“If you’re squeamish I suggest you go back inside and close all the curtains,” Stiles announced. Isaac, Allison, Lydia, Cora and Boyd nodded and headed indoors, Kira pecking Scott on the lips before she too slipped inside. Soon there were only five surrounding the witch – Peter, Stiles, Erica, Derek and Scott. Scott, of course, looked like he’d rather go inside, but as alpha it was his job to make sure that the threat to their pack was neutralized, even if he didn’t like it.

Erica glared at the woman, not bothered at all by the contorted shape the woman’s body had frozen into, or the pure agony splashed across her features. Derek looked mostly neutral but a little curious, and Peter was fighting back a grin.

Stiles sighed and crouched down next to the woman, watching the tears fight their way out of her eyes.

“I kind of regret giving her the mistletoe now, she won’t be able to concentrate on a single thing I say,” Stiles said almost mournfully. Peter immediately put his hand on the witch’s shoulder, his veins turning black, and Stiles raised an eyebrow.

“I’m just keeping it at bay long enough for you to monologue,” Peter said nonchalantly, and Stiles grinned. The witch’s mouth closed and she would’ve sagged in relief if she could move, and her eyes slowly opened to blurrily focus on Stiles, and flinched at the dark smile present on his face.

“I’m going to take that silencing spell off you now, and you’re going to tell me what I want to know,” he said. He flicked his fingers and the witch’s breathing was audible again as she drew in heaving gasps.

“Now… the spell you put on me, how long does it last?” Stiles asked. “And don’t think about lying to save your own skin, because I don’t mind having Peter here shove that mistletoe back into your veins.” The witch gulped.

“It- it d-doesn’t… it’s p-permanent,” she gasped. “An a-alteration spell, b-but I don’t understand h-how-“

“Oh sweetie,” Stiles drawled, sickly sweet. “You really should’ve done your research before you fucked with this pack. You should’ve known who was protecting them.” Stiles dropped the sweet psychopath act, and as he did, he saw the most terrified expression take over the witch’s expression, and she opened her mouth to scream. Stiles rolled his eyes and signaled to Peter to give the pain back. He did, and the terror turned once more to agony.

Stiles got up to his feet, rocking back on his heels, utterly unaffected by the witch’s anguish. He turned to Erica and gestured to the witch. With bared teeth, Erica raked her claws across the witch’s throat, and her screams died out as she began to fight for breath, blood spurting out of her throat and mouth, drowning her as she burned. Which gave Stiles a very, very, good idea.

“Derek, I’d suggest you go inside now,” Stiles said. Without any explanation, just the tone of his voice, Derek nodded and headed back into the house. Peter stood back a few steps, and Stiles snapped his fingers. Immediately the witch was consumed from head-to-toe in blue-orange flames, her flesh bubbling and melting to match her insides, and the best part was that she couldn’t even scream.

Stiles watched with dark satisfaction as Scott gagged next to him and turned away. The putrid smell of burning flesh overtook the area, and Stiles felt the witch’s life end. He put the magical fire out, leaving a pile of ash and slick organs, before a wave of something metaphysical hit him, sending him stumbling back with the force of the spell ending, and his instincts returned to him in one fell swoop. Scott caught him just as he was about to fall, and he held tightly onto his best friend’s shoulders as his entire world got turned upside down, like he was stuck inside a swirling vortex in zero gravity with no idea of where up or down was.

Stiles had just enough time to gasp his best friend’s name before, in true protagonist fashion, he passed the fuck out.

He was inelegantly thrown back into consciousness an unknown amount of time later, on the couch, smelling of smoke and ozone. He coughed at the smell, and immediately had his best friend’s dorky, loveable face shoved into his vision.

“Stiles, you okay?” Scott asked, looking hopeful like a puppy about to receive a treat.

“Someone get the number of that truck,” Stiles muttered, mouth dry. Scott immediately frowned, concerned.

“What truck?” Scott asked in a tone that implied that Stiles had gone completely fucking mad.

“The one that ran me over,” Stiles groaned, running a hand through his hair. “I feel like utter shit. I hope there isn’t still a burned corpse on the lawn.”

“Peter got rid of it,” Lydia informed from somewhere to Stiles’ right.

“Thank god, it would’ve made a shitty lawn ornament,” Stiles said, and Scott laughed and tackled Stiles, wrapping his arms around him like he was a wereoctopus, and not a werewolf. Stiles had the breath punched out of him, but wrapped his arms around his best friend in return.

“You’re such a dork,” Stiles muttered, and Scott scoffed.

“You smell like dead people,” Scott informed him.

“The sequel to Sixth Sense,” Stiles replied. Scott laughed and pulled back, and eased Stiles into a sitting position. After the initial head rush, Stiles blinked and saw that the entire pack were gathered in the living room with him, standing around the couch or sitting on the coffee table, with varied expressions of worry and relief.

“How do you feel?” Kira asked, a little unsure.

“Other than feeling like I’ve just been bashed in the head by an over excitable kendo champion, fine,” Stiles assured, and then frowned. “God, I live in similes, don’t I?” At his words, Allison immediately launched herself from where she was perched on the coffee table onto Stiles, wrapping her arms around him with a huge grin. Stiles laughed and hugged her back, and then another person threw themselves at him – Erica. Followed by Isaac, Lydia, Cora until he couldn’t see how many werewolves he had crushing his lungs because Allison’s hair was all up in his face.

“Guys I can’t breathe,” he wheezed.

“You have ribs harder than concrete, idiot,” Lydia scolded, and Stiles snorted. Eventually everyone managed to pull themselves off him, mainly because of the burned corpse stink, and settled back into their original places.

“I should go and wash the dead witch off myself,” Stiles said, standing up. “Also… I’m sorry that I didn’t trust you guys with who I was- am. You all took it really well and I’m grateful, but I would’ve killed for you whether you accepted me or not,” Stiles said, looking a little sheepish. Kira grinned.

“You know we’ll still love you Stiles, no matter who you are or what you do,” she said lovingly, and Stiles’ face lit up with a mischievous smile that immediately made everyone in the room worried.

“Does that mean I can do this?” he asked, walking over to Peter. He jumped up and wrapped his legs around the wolf’s waist, hands holding him up by his thighs, as he pressed his lips to Peter’s and felt his grin press against his lips. Stiles wrapped his arms tight around Peter’s neck, opening his mouth for Peter to devour, and there were a few grossed out sounds from the room, and what sounded like a dying whale noise emanating from Scott.

“I knew it,” Derek grumbled, leaving the room immediately. Stiles hummed and only pushed back when he ran out of air to look at Peter, who looked truly happy for the first time that Stiles could remember.

“Do you want the bite?” Peter whispered under his breath, the exact words he’d spoken to Stiles in the carpark all those years ago, and the boy threw his head back and laughed, clear and happy.

“Hell yeah,” Stiles grinned. “Have your way with me, creeperwolf.”

“Okay! Everybody out! We are not coming back until sunset!” Scott ordered, and everyone quite happily complied as they all rushed to get out of the house first, leaving Stiles and Peter alone to do whatever they pleased.

“Now…” Stiles purred. “You mentioned something about me being on my knees?”