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Seeds of the Nemeton

Chapter Text

Prologue

 

            Long before the Hales became the protectors of Beacon Hills, long before Beacon Hills was even called that, the Nemeton existed.  Planted, fostered and grown long before humanity, or the supernatural had an idea of the importance of this place, the Nemeton oversaw all and was the protector.  Early shaman and spirit speakers utilized the power of the Nemeton to attract allies, confuse enemies and prepare for war.  This was its sole purpose.  Its destruction forced it into hibernation.  Though still strong, the Nemeton slumbered only able to watch and feel the shifts in power within Beacon Hills.  As protector, it remained vigilant in the pursuit of observing the rises and falls within its boundaries. 

            It used its power to protect and save Jennifer Blake.

            When Jennifer sacrificed unwilling individuals for their power, the taint of this dark act began to spread throughout the land, gathering at the focal point of the Nemeton.  Slowly the slumbering giant awakened.  With the sacrificial ritual which opened the minds of Scott, Allison, and Stiles to the darkness, the Nemeton was opened to the dark forces that reside within Beacon Hills.  When the chaos, strife, and pain that the Nogitsune unleashed upon the town began, the giant awoke, full of energy from more unwilling sacrifices.  The Nogitsune fed on the chaos, the Nemeton drank deeply of the blood that ran like torrential rains.  The giant was awake again, its goal to protect Beacon Hills remaining but the method changing.  To save the territory, it must control the territory. 

            The once benevolent protector became the twisted tyrant with one simple goal.

Chapter Text

Chapter 1- Tears for the Fallen

 

            Stiles slowly opened his eyes, the sliver of light pouring from the morning sunlight through his curtains.  He slightly groaned, not really waking up but more like slowly coming out of deep thought.  Though his body had rested that night, his thoughts roamed as he relived the events that had just transpired, events the nogitsune had led but the memories, and corresponding guilt, lie with Stiles. 

            He could hear his father moving around downstairs and figured it would only be a few minutes before he would hear the knock at the door.  Stiles slowly shifted in his bed, swung his legs over the side and brought himself to sit up.  He rubbed his eyes both from lack of sleep, the light, and the dried tears of quiet sobbing that had kept him awake through the night.  He glanced over at the computer chair where his black suit was laid out.  He swallowed with great difficulty the anxiety within him rising as he was coming to terms with today.  Today was Allison’s and Aiden’s respective funeral.  Two people close to either him or friends of his and two people who sacrificed their lives to save him.

            The soft knock came to the door, followed almost immediately by the slow creaking of it opening with Sheriff Stilinski peering into the room as he softly spoke,

“Stiles, are you up?”

Stiles slowly whispered, his voice strained by fatigue, “Yeah dad, I am awake…still”

“If you aren’t feeling up to this, you don’t” Stiles interjected before his father could finish,

“I need to do this, I need to be there.  I won’t sit back while my friends hurt, not again.  Not when…”  Stiles slowly mumbled the last bit, garbling the words.

The sheriff strongly sighed, “Well we have a couple of hours.  Take your time and do what you need to get ready.  I’ll go fix something to eat and…when you are ready, food will be waiting for you.”

Stiles nodded as he stood up, walked over to his father and hugged him.  He whispered into his dad’s ear, “I’ll be down shortly.  Thank you dad, I love you.”

“I love you too, son.”

            Sheriff Stilinski released the embrace as he felt his son pulling back, walked out of the room and closed the door behind himself.

            Stiles began getting cleaned up by getting into the shower.  As the hot water washed over his pale, still beaten and broken body, his mind wandered back to the night the Oni killed Allison.  The memories boggled his mind since the connection with the nogitsune shared both sides of the event with Stiles.  The moment the Oni killed Allison kept replaying in his mind despite how much he wants it to stop.  Tears fell as the water flows over him.

“I should’ve been stronger.” He mumbled to himself repeatedly like a mantra.

Once the water was freezing, Stiles stepped out of the shower and finished his preparations for the funeral.  After he tied his last shoe and finished the task, he headed downstairs to the kitchen table where his dad sat, already wearing his suit and sipped on a cup of coffee.  A plate with a sandwich with all the extras and a bowl of soup sat at Stile’s seat at the table.

The two sat in silence, Stiles ate his meal almost robotically and cleaned his dishes when he finished.  Stiles noticed his father watching him, the look of concern plastered over his face only momentarily interrupted by checking his watch for the time.

“Dad, if you don’t mind, I will drive Roscoe to the funeral, alone.”  Stiles meekly said, stumbling over the word alone.

John looked up at his son as he stood in front of the kitchen sink and nodded, “I am here for you son, you don’t have to be alone, but I understand needing space.”

They both left the house and drove to the Beacon Hills Cemetery and the Sheriff led the trip.  Stiles stopped his jeep short, near the hill that overlooks the majority of the cemetery as his dad drove to the same parking area near the plot. 

Stiles knew he was late as he trudged up the hill and looked down at gathering as the funeral had already begun.  He couldn’t help but notice how many people were in attendance. His eyes drifted over her friends and family, his friends and family as well.  He noticed the clouds were full and threatened to break tears for the passing of the young hunter as if they felt the loss. 

Stiles stepped under a tree, leaned against it and willed himself to go down and join Scott, Melissa, Lydia, Isaac and Chris, much like his father had already done but his body was frozen in grief and guilt.  He let another tear fall as he quietly sighed to himself, “If I had only been stronger, if I were only stronger now.”  Maybe due to coincidence, or wolf hearing, Isaac looked up at Stiles and though he was clearly in pain, Stiles could’ve sworn the young wolf’s expression was one meant to comfort him. 

Stiles watched as everyone paid their respects and left and only walked up when Chris and Isaac remained.  He knelt down beside the freshly lowered casket and whispered, “I’m sorry Allison.”  As he did this, both men placed a hand on each of his shoulders and slowly helped him stand when he gathered the energy to,

Chris stated, “You know she didn’t blame you, you know she fought to save you.  It killed her, not you.”

Stiles looked to Chris and then to Isaac, who even through the tears managed a small comforting smile as he said, “I am sure she is glad you survived and that you came here today.”

Before he could say anything, the two men pulled him into a hug.  Stiles couldn’t help but feel weak again and wonder exactly how much of his guilt showed.

As they pulled away from the embrace Chris said, “I am going to head home.  I have to get things into order.”

Isaac glanced over at Chris, “Can I go see Ethan with Stiles before I head back?”  Isaac sounded like an eight year old boy, scared of the world, to Stiles as he asked the elder hunter.  Chris only nodded and said, “I will see you when you are ready to leave, son.”  He spoke the word son softly as he walked towards his SUV.

Stiles gave a look of confusion to Isaac and stumbled out, “Are you leaving with Mr. Argent and why do you want to go with me to see Ethan?”

“When I get back from Aiden’s funeral, yeah, and Stiles” He paused fighting back more tears and mustering a weak smile, “You aren’t the only one wishing they were strong enough to save her, them.”

They walked back to the jeep in silence as the rain began to fall.  Once inside Isaac asked, “Do we know how Ethan is doing?  I mean I haven’t seen him or Derek either.”

As Roscoe rumbled to life and as they began their trip to the preserve Stiles responded, “I don’t know.  This is the first day I could even bring myself to see anyone.”  Isaac nodded and spoke seriously as he watched the road, “Stiles, let’s go be strong for him now.  Today, he needs us.”

After they parked at the preserve and hiked for what had to be an hour, guided only by the loose directions Stiles had put together from maps, the description of the clearing and Isaac’s sense of smell, they found the pyre with Aiden’s body.  Ethan stood a few feet in front of it with Scott and Lydia on his respective sides.

Scott spotted the two as they walked up to the clearing and his eyes met Stiles as he asked, “Hey bro, where have you been?”

Before Stiles could respond, Lydia spoke up without taking her eyes off the pyre, “He’s been with us the entire day.”

Stiles nodded as Scott was a little surprised, “Sorry Scott, better late right?”

Scott nodded and looked at Ethan, who lit the torch as the boys talked.

Ethan said, “Aiden lived as a warrior, and a protector” Tears rolled down his face as he spoke.  “He saved us in the end.”  Ethan stepped forward, holding the torch near the pyre and whispered, “I hope I make you as proud of me as I have always been of you.”  He lit the pyre and stepped back as he tossed the torch into the fire and watched the flames consume the body of his brother.  He turned to face the small gathering for his brother and said, “Thank you for coming, you didn’t have to.”

Scott walked to him and pulled him in for a hug, “You are pack, you and Aiden were pack before I even realized.  I want to be here for you and for Aiden.” Scott stepped away and Lydia hugged Ethan giving him a hug and leaned in as she whispered to him, “He really was one of the good guys, I wish I knew it sooner.”  She choked back a sob and kissed the twin on his cheek, “You are a good guy too, don’t forget it.”  Lydia stepped away from Ethan and Stiles and Isaac joined him near the pyre.

Stiles placed his hand on Ethan’s shoulder and said, “Aiden is one of the reasons I am here today, I am sorry I couldn’t save him.”

Ethan looked at the frail young man, “You couldn’t, no one could, but you are here now and that’s what matters.”

Isaac nodded and pulled Ethan in for a hug.

Ethan looked to everyone and said stoically, “I will stay here and see my brother off, I can’t ask you to stay.”  He turned around and continued to watch the flames as Scott and Lydia said their goodbyes and walked off into the woods. 

Stiles looked over to Isaac, both men’s eyes met as they resolved the same thing as they turned to face the fire.

Stiles said, “Ethan, we will be here with you until you are ready to leave.  A wise man told me you don’t have to be alone.”

Ethan turned to Stiles and smiled under the grief, “Thanks” He glanced over to Isaac, “Both of you.”  The boys turned men stood in silence, the light rain covered them, as the pyre burned to cinders and Aiden’s body was returned to the earth.

Many hours had passed and the last embers finally burned out when the three men began making their trip out.

Stiles felt much of the guilt slip away as they walked.  His thoughts wandered wildly on the loss that was felt and how tragedy has an odd way of pulling people together. 

After a short amount of time, Stiles realized that they were near the stump of the Nemeton, and looked towards where it would be.  Instead of being the stump though, there was a large, several hundred year old tree.

Before he could process it, his vision blurred and he felt himself hit the forest floor.  Just before he lost consciousness he heard Ethan and Isaac call out his name.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2- This Side of the Rabbit Hole

 

Stiles slowly woke up from his dreamless unconsciousness.  He blinked several times allowing his eyesight to readjust to the light.  He stared up, realizing he was laying on his back and saw a make shift ceiling above made of nothing more than an old tarp tied to the trees surrounding the “tent”.  He heard the slow breathing and could feel the heat of Isaac and Ethan who were lying next to him, on his left and right respectively.  “We were walking back together from Aiden’s funeral when I passed out.”  He spoke to himself, his voice cracking a little from waking up.  He sat up and muttered, “What happened? Where are we?”  As he looked around, the forest seemed different.  The trees, leaves, and grasses were all an ashen gray, even the air seemed to feel off.  He looked over at Ethan and realized that he wasn’t wearing the same clothes at the funeral but a black tank, black pants, and black boots.  Then he quickly looked over at Isaac and noticed his suit was replaced with a grey Henley, leather jacket, jeans and a black scarf.  Stiles rolled his eyes, as he instinctively reached into his jacket pocket, “A scarf, really?”

When he pulled out a piece of mojito mint gum, he looked over himself.  He was wearing the black jacket, grey hoodie, khaki pants and blue target shirt.  He realized it was the same outfit that he wore the night Scott was bit.  Almost instinctively he rubbed his head and felt the soft scratch of his buzzed haircut.  Before he could say anything, a fiery pain shot through his arm and caused him to let out a pain laden scream as he reflexively grabbed his right arm. 

The two werewolves bolted up at the scream, and looked at Stiles, Ethan said, “Stiles what’s wrong?”

“I don’t know, it feels like someone set my arm on fire.” Though as soon as he finished saying that, the pain disappeared as quickly as it came.  He pulled his left hand away and pulled up his sleeves looking at his forearm.  His arm looked perfectly normal.  Stiles looked at Ethan, “Something definitely isn’t right man, and I take it you guys didn’t set up camp.”  Stiles motioned to the tarp cover and several blankets thrown down under the ceiling.  Ethan shook his head trying to remember, “No, I went to see what happened to you when you passed out and I didn’t quite make it before passing out myself.”  Ethan mumbled the last part.

“Guys, something definitely isn’t right here” Isaac stated as he stood up and walked around the campsite.  Stiles looked back to Isaac, who stood up and walked towards one of the trees while he said, “You mean besides being kidnapped to the greyest part of the forest after following a quick unconscious fashion show.”  His words dripped with sarcasm.  Isaac snapped back to the conversation and met Stiles’ gaze and said, “Yeah, there aren’t any animals near.”  His words caught Ethan’s attention who began sniffing the air and listening to the sounds of the forest.

“Aren’t you guys apex predators, shouldn’t that scare them off?”

Ethan nodded and said, “Yeah but it’s not that they aren’t here, it smells like they never were here.”  Like a light bulb going off, Stiles realized exactly how quiet the forest was.  Isaac and Ethan both let out a yelp in pain as they grabbed their arms.  Stiles watched Ethan’s forearm and noticed that much like his, there was no physical wound.  In just a moment, both wolves pulled their hands away and looked at Stiles with a look of confusion.

“Let me get this straight, we walked into the forest, passed out and woke up with a change of clothes, mysterious arm pain, and at the greyest, devoid of all animal life part of the forest.”  Stiles stated, frustration clearly in his voice.

Isaac smirked and said, “Yeah, that sums it up.”

“You are of no help whatsoever.”  Stiles quipped, “And again with the scarf” He couldn’t help but laugh.

Isaac shrugged a little, pretending to be a little offended when Ethan said, “Well we need to think back to what happened shortly before we woke up here, and Isaac” Ethan’s gaze met Isaac’s, a playful smile creeped onto his face, “keep the scarf, it looks cute on you.”  Isaac gave a mocking gasp before the three men laughed.

Once the gravity of the situation reasserted itself, Ethan asked, “Well the last thing I remember was running over to you, Stiles, so what do you remember?”

“Well, I remember looking over towards the Nemeton, or the stump of it and it wasn’t a stump but a full grown ancient tree.”

Isaac chimed in, “Yeah, that tree was the Nemeton, wasn’t it?  That can’t be a good thing.”

Stiles grimaced at the young wolf’s comment, “I doubt it means happily ever after.”

“Well, let’s go check it out.  Maybe there might be a clue to explain what happened.”  Ethan stated.

As the young men walked toward the direction of the tree, the fog slowly grew and spread out blocking their senses to the rest of the forest.  When they reached where the tree should be, a giant mirror, almost like a wall between the forest and the fog, stood in its place. 

Isaac smirked and quipped, “That’s new”

“I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.” Stiles stated as he walked up towards the mirror, a reflection of himself walked into view as well.

The Stiles in the mirror looked like him but his hair was dark and spikey, his skin was much paler than normal with dark circles around his eyes.  Mirror Stiles was still wearing the dark suit from the funeral.  “What the fu…” Stiles quietly mumbled as Isaac and Ethan walked up as well.  Allison, wearing a dark print dress, olive drab coat, archery glove and navy blue leggings and shoes was reflected back to Isaac.  The blood from being run through by the oni showed through the material of the dress.  Isaac gasped a little at the reflection, the Allison in the mirror carried the same expression.

Aiden was reflected to Ethan, wearing the blue and white coat, flannel shirt and jeans, and boots.  The gaping wound bleed through his blue t shirt and the dark black blood dripped from his mouth.  Ethan’s eyes flashed blue.  With rage and indignation barely being contained within his voice he yelled, “This isn’t real!  This is a trick!”

Stiles took a step back from the mirror and his reflection smiled back at him.  The surface of the mirror rippled like a stone being thrown in a pond and Allison and Aiden shifted into Isaac and Ethan.  The mirror copies of Isaac and Ethan stepped through and wolfed out.  Their eyes burned red, the same red that an alpha’s eyes burned.  Ethan shouted as he wolfed out to meet his mirror self, “We aren’t in Oz.”  Isaac growled at his counterpart and wolfed out.

The fight between the wolves began as a flurry of claws and violence.  Stiles took a few steps back as his copy stepped through the mirror.  It said, mocking the voice the nogitsune used, “Stiles, I have been waiting for you.  A new game has begun.”  Stiles immediately shuffled backwards until he backed into a tree at the edge of the fog line.  He collapsed to the ground, sitting against the tree, a look of fear plastered across his face as the copy slowly walked towards him.

After being tossed to the ground, Isaac looked over towards Ethan, who just got slammed into a tree, “This isn’t working, you fight me and I’ll fight you.”  Ethan ran towards Isaac, and as soon as he stood up, flipped over him and began fighting the Isaac copy.  As Isaac and Ethan utilized their strengths and fighting differences, the battle against the copies shifted in their favor. 

The copy of Stiles reached him, placed his hand against Stiles’ face and dropped to one knee to look Stiles in the eye.  Fear gripped Stiles and paralyzed him as he looked his amber eyes.  “Don’t worry Stiles, I just want something from you” the copy whispered as he leaned close to Stiles face, eyes locked.  The copy pulled Stiles face and kissed him, not the way a lover would, but in a passionless, ritualistic way.

At the same time, the Isaac copy had pinned Ethan to the ground and growled victory close to his face.  Ethan could smell the death that hung on his breath.  As the Isaac copy shifted his weight to raise his claw to finish the fight, Ethan saw his opportunity and rolled his opponent off balance and on to his back.  Ethan straddled the prone alpha and lunged for his throat. His teeth tore out the alpha’s throat.  With blood flowing out of his mouth, he looked over at Stiles and his copy in the not so tender embrace.  He saw a faint blue energy shift from the real Stiles into the copy.  “You have got to be kidding me” Ethan said as he felt power rising within his own body.  He released a loud, proud, howl as his eyes shifted from steel blue to vibrant red.

The howl was all Isaac needed.  While he and the copy of Ethan were slashing, dodging, and blocking each other’s strikes, the howl acted as a distraction.  The sheer power of the new alpha’s howl pulled the copy’s attention away from the fight.  Isaac capitalized on the copy’s misguided attention by spinning around his left shoulder standing back to back with the alpha.  He clawed into the copy’s throat and threw him over his shoulder into the forest.  The copy’s body flew but Isaac’s claws and strength held its head firmly in place.  A spray of blood covered Isaac and while he almost felt sick to his stomach, he felt something else growing inside.  The feeling sat heavy in his stomach but quickly began to rise.  Isaac thought it was acute nausea but when he opened his mouth, a raw, primal, bellowing howl was what came out.  He felt power like no other, but his internal rage grew and was focused through that howl.

Meanwhile, the Stiles copy broke the kiss and stood up.  The copy shifted its mannerisms and even his voice sounded like Stiles normally sounded when he tapped Stiles on top of the head and quipped, “You really need to get that checked out.  Dad, Melissa, and Scott are waiting for me, no doubt, so take care Stiles.”  There was almost a hint of genuine concern from the copy as the howls were heard and the air around the copy rippled.  As Isaac and Ethan ran towards the copy it said, “See you on the other side of the rabbit hole.”  He disappeared right in front of the three men.

Stiles sat against the tree, his head felt like it was splitting open, as his eyes gazed on Isaac and Ethan.  Both wolves possessed the vibrant red eyes of an alpha.  Stiles realized this was the first time he was truly looking at either man.  Isaac stood tall, pride beaming, his wavy blonde hair covered in the blood of his victory.  Ethan had a serene calm in complete contrast to the blood that still covered his mouth.  Ethan extended his hand towards Stiles to help him stand.  Stiles grabbed it weakly and used Ethan’s strength to bring himself to standing. 

Stiles weakly muttered, “Let’s go back to the camp”

The wolves helped the human walk back to the camp and as they walked into the fog the mirror glowed and materialized into a shaded figure.  It laughed quietly and said, “Well done boys.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 3- Two and a Half Alphas

 

The sky threatened to open up and wash the teens away but they managed to make it back to camp before the torrential rain began.  Stiles sat in the center of the tent with Isaac to his left and Ethan to his right.  All three sat in a horseshoe pattern looking towards each other.  Stiles held his head with his left hand, the weakness, nausea, and headache threatening to steal away his consciousness.  He weakly croaked, “So I don’t think we are in Beacon Hills anymore or maybe not our Beacon Hills.”

Ethan nodded, “Stiles, I think you are right.”

Isaac sighed, “So where are we then?”

Stiles mumbled, “I don’t know.”

Ethan placed his left hand on Stiles’ shoulder, making skin contact on his neck, “Are you alright?”  The twin asked before he started taking some of Stiles’ pain away.

Stiles smirked at Ethan, “Why would you ask if you were going to take my pain?”

Ethan grinned back, “Because your stoic pride would’ve made you say fine even though you look like shit.”  Stiles didn’t know whether it was the wolf taking away his pain or the genuine concern Ethan was showing but he knew he was feeling better.

Stiles breathed deeply and asked, “Well what exactly happened?”

Isaac beamed proudly, looking like a puppy who just got a treat, “I beat an alpha, and I’m an alpha now.”

Ethan laughed, “I saw that.  Do me a favor Isaac, don’t take my head off figuratively or literally.  I’m already going to have nightmares over than one.”

“Well you tore out my throat.  A perfectly good scarf ruined.”

Stiles couldn’t help but laugh as the alphas made light of the situation, “Ethan is concerned about being decapitated and you, Isaac, are concerned about a scarf.”

Isaac began to defend himself, “Well it’s a nice scarf.”  Then, like a light bulb going off, “Oh yeah, but Ethan wouldn’t rip out my throat, at least I hope he wouldn’t.”

Ethan smiled, “I wouldn’t nor would I damage your precious clothing.”

Stiles shook his head and stated, “Boys, can we focus on the problem.”

In unison the alphas whispered, “Sorry”

Stiles shook his head again, “So, a tree was a mirror and we had to fight reflections of ourselves.”

Ethan grinned devilishly, “Well Stiles, I wouldn’t call your situation a fight.  Unless you were planning on seducing your duplicate into submission.”

Isaac looked confused, “Do I even want to know?”

Ethan cut Stiles off before he could respond, “His reflection put the moves on him.  They were making out.”

Stiles huffed, “It wasn’t even like that.  That thing drained something from me.  It was like he was browsing through my mind, downloading all the information.”

Ethan ribbed Stiles, “Sure.” He said, dragging out the ur sound.  “You know I am kidding but I did notice that you two had an odd, supernatural glow.”

Stiles wryly smiled, “So where did my reflection go?”

Isaac thought about it and answered, “I think he went back to our Beacon Hills, to take your place.”

Stiles blinked a few times, the solution seeming probable and looked at Isaac, “I take back everything I said about you not being helpful.  That actually makes sense.”

Isaac smiled proudly and stated, “Thanks, but don’t we have to find a way to, I don’t know, stop him.”

“Well, it shouldn’t be long before our friends come looking for us, right?”

Ethan and Isaac looked away.  Ethan said, “Well everyone will be thinking that I left so no one will be looking for me.”

Isaac nodded, “And I was supposed to leave with Mr. Argent so everyone will think I left with him and when he doesn’t see me, he’ll leave without me.”

Stiles chimed in, “But Scott will”

Ethan cut him off, “Be fooled by the duplicate that looks, sounds, and smells like you.”

Stiles looked down defeated, “Well he can’t be exactly like me”

Ethan rubbed Stiles shoulder, in an attempt to comfort him, “Well not exactly, I haven’t seen you making out with guys.”

Stiles snapped out of his mood, “Did you take the pup’s mantle of not being helpful?” he said sarcastically.

Isaac said, “Well we have to find a way back and stop the evil Stiles and” he paused, grinning at Stiles, “What do you mean by pup?”

Stiles laughed, looking at Isaac, “It’s not my fault you look young”

Isaac grinned and slapped Stiles on the back, “We’ll, more like you’ll figure it out, and we will protect our token human pack mate.”

Stiles laughed, “Consider my confidence returned.”

As they laughed, Ethan was about to comment when a smell caught him off guard.  Even though it was a downpour, Ethan recognized the smell.  He quickly stood up, looked out into the forest, and wolfed out with his eyes glowing red.  “We’ve got company.”

Isaac stood up and looked out into the forest, a confused look on his face, “Ethan, I don’t see or smell anything.”

Ethan ran out of the shelter and into the forest towards a shadow of a figure.

Stiles quickly stood up and shouted, “Wait!  Don’t go off by yourself!”

Ethan knew that smell. It smelled of death and fateful decisions made long before he was accepted by this pack.  He ran within a few feet of a figure, just out of sight of the camp.

“It’s been a while, Elijah.”

The figure smiled, Elijah stood just a few inches taller than Ethan.  His olive skinned, slim build covered with glowing markings in an ancient language.  They were easily seen through his black tank, olive drab fatigue bottoms that hung loosely on his wiry frame.  His short, spikey black hair, matching his shiny black combat boots, appeared to be untouched by the rain.  His crystal blue eyes seemed to light up just before each rumble of thunder.  His face was serene and looked to be only as old as his late teens. In a calm, almost monotone tone, Elijah said, “I was hoping to see you and your brother Ethan, and yes it has been a while.”

“Something tells me you know what’s going on but more importantly, why are you here?”

Elijah grinned, “I am here for your brother.”

The rage with Ethan swelled and he attacked at Elijah, attempting to claw his torso.  Elijah deftly dodged the attack, stepping just out of range and he blocked the second slash as Ethan swung.  As soon as Ethan’s arm made contact with Elijah’s a bright light flashed around the two and a crescendo of thunder could be heard.  Ethan gasped as he stumbled backwards.

Stiles and Isaac saw the light, and heard the thunder, barely seeing Ethan stumble before the darkness returned.  They ran into the rain, towards their friend.

Elijah spoke, “You don’t want this Ethan.”

Burning with anger, Ethan leapt towards Elijah, but it seemed his move was too telegraphed because Elijah deftly caught and threw the twin against a nearby tree.  Once again, when the two made contact another flash of light surrounded them and the cacophony of thunder didn’t end until Ethan splintered the tree as he crashed through it.

Stiles yelled towards Isaac, “He’s killing him!”

Isaac sped up putting all of his force towards tackling the newcomer but he was caught by his arms and thrown at the staggering Ethan.  Isaac’s body struck Ethan hard and both wolves were sent to the ground.

As Stiles got closer, his mind raced on what he could do against the man who was easily besting two alphas.  He hated feeling this helpless. 

The wolves once again got to their feet and charged Elijah, trying to flank him.  Ethan slashed towards his torso, Elijah barely dodged each attack, while Isaac ran behind him.  Both wolves slashed and clawed at Elijah but rather than dodge the attacks, he began to block each swipe causing the flashing light and thunder.

Stiles thought, “He is going to kill them.  I am not strong enough again?!?!”  Something in Stiles’ mind snapped and the inner helplessness was replaced with a burning rage.  He screamed at the newcomer, “LEAVE MY PACK ALONE!!!”  As soon as the words left Stiles’ mouth a shockwave left his body and travelled towards the fight.  The rain and grey of the forest were ripped to show clear sun and color as it travelled, finally making contact with the three men.  Elijah flew back into a tree, and both wolves were knocked to the ground.  Stiles continued walking towards Elijah, a fresh shockwave being directed at the staggering man ever few steps.  The world around Stiles seemed to bend and shift like a pair of shudders slamming against the calm of a house.  Each shockwave knocked Elijah into the tree.  Elijah wasn’t able to get his footing before Stiles grabbed his throat and effortlessly lifted him off the ground, pinning him against the tree.

Once the shockwaves began, Isaac and Ethan realized they were no longer wolfed out but they also weren’t able to shift.  Furthermore, their senses diminished considerably, back to a normal human’s range.  They got up and ran towards Stiles.

“If you threaten my pack, I will kill you!” Stiles bellowed as Elijah struggled feebly against his aggressor.

“I wasn’t…threatening…anyone” the newcomer mumbled out.  “I.am.here to.help”

Stiles’ eyes locked with Elijah’s and he could instinctively tell he was speaking the truth.  A thin line a blood began to flow from Stiles’ nose, the pressure in his head amplified his headache.

Ethan’s hand reached Stiles’ shoulder and he said, “Stiles, we are alright, you need to calm down.”

Stiles looked at Ethan and saw the look of fear and concern on the twin’s face and was quickly filled with shame.  Stiles dropped Elijah and stumbled back, mortified at his own actions.

Isaac caught Stiles by wrapping an arm around his back and said, “I knew you were holding out on us.”  Fighting through the fear, Isaac wore a shit eating grin as Stiles looked up at him, “But you need to stop making us look bad.”

Stiles calmed down and looked at Elijah as he stood up.

Elijah coughed a few times, “Like I said, I am actually here to help.”

Ethan responded, anger in his voice, “Then why are you here for my brother?”

Elijah shrugged, “Well I am here to make sure his spirit makes it to the other side.  After all those deals with spirits of death to avenge my family and my own subsequent death, well this is my job now.  You know, to pay off debts and all.”

Ethan looked shocked and then glanced at Isaac and Stiles, a look of guilt filled his face.  He looked down and began to quietly speak.

“I never told you how I came to have blue eyes.  Aiden and I” He stumbled over the words, “Killed Elijah when he came after our pack, our original pack.  It’s like I told you and Scott before Stiles, our old pack were monsters.”

Elijah nodded, “Their alpha killed my older sister, Emma when he tried to turn her.  The women of my family always had a strong affinity towards the supernatural, spirits specifically.”

“Our alpha only saw her as a means to more power and when she died, he laughed because if he couldn’t have her, or their power, then no one would.  That’s when he had the betas slaughter Elijah’s family.”

Isaac asked, “So you and Aiden killed his family?”

“No we were the omegas, we stayed and guarded our pack’s den.”

Isaac looked confused, “The how did you two kill Elijah?”

Elijah spoke up, “I wasn’t home when the pack killed my grandmother, mother, and baby sister.  I was off trying to find Emma.  I came home to a house that reeked of death and cried out for vengeance.  As a medium, I was able to contact the very spirits of death, offering my body and soul to become a weapon to destroy those werewolves.”

Ethan nodded, “When Elijah came to the den, and all hell broke loose.  None of the betas were able to lay a hand on him and were tossed around like rag dolls.  He even put his fist through Marcus, killing him before he could even heal.”

Isaac gasped, “So how were you and Aiden able to kill him?”

Elijah interjected, “Remember how I said vengeance?  Well Ethan and Aiden were innocent, in more ways than one.  As they charged me, my powers fled.  Even the spirits of death have a sense of humor it would seem.  The twins impaled me on their claws.  I died in their arms and as I breathed my last breath, I saw their amber eyes shift blue.”

Stiles wiped the blood from his face, looking at Elijah, “Then if you’re dead”

Elijah cut him off, “We are currently in the realm of spirits.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 4- Take One for the Team

 

The rain had stopped as the four men stood in the grey forest, Elijah’s revelation sunk in.

“We are currently in the realm of spirits.”

“Does that mean we are dead?” Isaac asked, a look of terror on his face.

“I don’t think so” Elijah replied, “Just listen for your heartbeats.”

Stiles wore a wry expression as the two wolves concentrated on hearing the heartbeats.  He wiped the blood from under his nose, the pressure of his headache slightly subsiding.

Ethan gasped, “I can’t hear our heartbeats.”

“So we really are dead?” Isaac said, the fear in his voice growing.

Elijah laughed, “No you aren’t, but your lack of hearing is due to this one” he said as he pointed at Stiles.

“What do you mean?” Stiles asked.

“Well, how do you think you beat the shit out of me so easily?  You shut off my connection to the supernatural.  My markings didn’t work so I was effectively, a walking corpse.”  Elijah said smugly.

“So that was magic or something?” Ethan asked.

“Not exactly” Elijah replied, “What I do has to do with magic and supernatural bonds, what your friend did was kind of anti to that.  Think of this human as more human than he could be.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as he muttered, “Just what we need, another Deaton.  Can you break it down into layman’s terms?”

“You can shut down any supernatural power within your vicinity and focus it to repel supernatural things like a barrier pushing things away.”

Stiles grinned, “Like a force push right?”

Elijah rolled his eyes, “Yeah, if you want to infringe on Star Wars copyrighting, then yeah something like that.”

Stiles did a bit of a victory dance as the wolves groaned.

Ethan asked, “So when will our mojo come back?”  Almost as soon as he finished the question, he could feel his wolf stir and his senses came back.  “Never mind”, he said as he shifted his focus to listening for heartbeats, hearing three distinct heartbeats.

Elijah looked at Ethan, “Shall we go see your brother off?  I know it’s not the best time for you but at least this way he won’t suffer any more.”

Ethan nodded and began walking towards the direction of the pyre.

The four men walked through the grey forest, the quiet only broke by their conversation.

Isaac asked Elijah, “Are you also coming to help Allison?”

Elijah breathed in slowly, though he didn’t need to anymore, the habits of his old life clung to him.  He smiled slightly, looking back at the alpha, “Yeah, you can be there if you want.”

Isaac fought back a tear and nodded, “I would like that.”

Stiles lagged behind the group, the conversation getting a bit too heavy for him.  His mind raced over what he had done as the nogitsune and what was happening now.

Once they reached the burned remains of the pyre, which looked even darker than before the men stopped.

Ethan said, concern in his voice, “Where is Aiden?”

Elijah walked in front of Ethan and turned to face him, “Where do you think he is?”

“I don’t know, that’s why I am asking you!”  The anger in Ethan’s voice rose.

“Twins are special, in more than one way.”  Elijah began speaking calmly, “There are legends about the soul and how everyone has one but with twins, they share a soul.”

Ethan asked, “So he’s just gone then, I don’t get to see him”

Isaac blinked a few times, the lightbulb going off in his head, “No, I think what Elijah is saying is he is right here, with you.”

Elijah nodded and as he did, a translucent blue version of Aiden stepped away from Ethan.  Aiden and Ethan made eye contact, a tear rolled down Ethan’s face.

Elijah continued, “They say that twins stay together even after death.  They are said to be able to hear each other, and know each other’s thoughts and feelings.”

Before Elijah could continue, Ethan and Aiden were laughing, though Aiden made no sound, Ethan could hear him.  They spoke to each other without words.

Stiles walked up to Ethan and asked, “Is everything alright?  What are you two laughing about?”

Ethan snickered a little, “Are you sure you want to know?”  A grin crept across his face.

Defiantly Stiles stated, “Of course I want to know!”

Ethan said, “Well first thing, Aiden said he is glad that the plan worked and you are back to being yourself”

Stiles blinked a few times, “Okay, I appreciate that but why were you two laughing?”

Ethan started laughing as he said, “Because he also said that he knew why he won over Lydia.  You were too busy making out with yourself.”

Isaac laughed when Ethan finished speaking.

Stiles’ eyes widened, a bit of annoyance crept into his voice, “Assholes!  You guys can give me a break over that harrowing experience.”

Elijah interrupted the light-hearted conversation, “There is still the issue of Aiden”

The gravity of the situation struck Ethan and he looked to Elijah, eyes wide with fear and sorrow, “Aiden has to leave doesn’t he?”

Elijah shrugged, “Not exactly, you two share a spirit so it is entirely possible for Aiden to stay with you, but that decision has to be made soon.”

Ethan nodded and looked at Aiden, their wordless conversation began.

Isaac pleaded with Elijah, “Is it possible for Allison to stay?”

Elijah shook his head, “I’m sorry, if she stays much longer, she will become a tortured spirit, something you probably know better as a ghost or in a far worse case, a poltergeist.”

Isaac fought back the sorrow and nodded, acknowledging what the newcomer said.

Ethan turned towards Elijah, “Aiden wants to stay with me and I want him to stay.”

Elijah nodded, “Just understand there will be times when Aiden’s presence may overtake yours.  It may take a bit of getting used to but certain things that Aiden held dear will empower him to act through you.”

Ethan sighed, “I am willing to deal with whatever may happen as long as my brother is with me.”

Aiden’s expression softened and a look of pride spread across his face.

Elijah nodded and whispered something in a tongue that no one recognized.  His arcane markings lit up and both Ethan and Aiden glowed brightly for a moment.

“It is done.  You two will pass from the world when you pass away Ethan.”

Stiles smiled, looking at the twins, a light hearted sarcastic tone entered his voice, “Great, now I can expect twice as many underhanded comments.”

Ethan and Aiden looked at each other and then at Stiles as Ethan said, “We hope we don’t disappoint you.”

Stiles laughed then looked at Elijah, “So do you know why or how we are here?”

Elijah furrowed his brow thinking and said, “Well I am not sure, what has happened to you three since coming here.”

Stiles explained how all three men passed out near the Nemeton in the physical world, how they dealt with the mirror and their reflections, and the mysterious pain.

Elijah smirked, “Well isn’t it obvious?  Someone or something has done something to your bodies, specifically your arms in the physical realm. And since the mirror event happened near the Nemeton, I would guess that its power has something to do with it.”

Isaac smirked, “So basically you don’t know what it is.”

Elijah shrugged, “Not really but I do know that the Nemeton is exponentially more powerful now than it has been in decades.  It is the real reason I am here.”

Ethan raised an eyebrow and looked at Elijah, “What do you mean the real reason?”

“Well in the spirit of candor, I want to be alive again.  I don’t want to be the caretaker of spirits for the rest of eternity.”

Stiles asked, “What does the Nemeton have to do with that?”

“I can use my arcane power to sever the connection with the spirits of death but that will only take my body back to the time of my death.  Normally, I would die and be right back to square one.  By tapping into the Nemeton’s power, I could survive and go back to enjoying life before I let vengeance take over.”

Stiles asked, “Wouldn’t that piss off the spirits of the dead?  Couldn’t they just kill you again?”

“Not exactly.  Would they be pissed?  Of course they would.  Could they just kill me?  No, it would render the agreement void.”

“Ah”, the young human said, “So I don’t see where that includes us.”

“We may need each other.  I have the power to take you back but I will only do this if I have your help getting to the Nemeton.”

Isaac laughed and said, “Dude, its right over there.”  He pointed in the direction of the Nemeton.

“Young wolf, I don’t think you understand.  If I go walking over there, I will get confused and lost.  Right now the Nemeton is using its power to hide its location from anyone who isn’t attached to it.  It’s also acting as a beacon, attracting supernatural beings to its power and subsequently confusing them by playing with their senses, leaving them to wander around the forest.  My guess is that it is pulling their power to continue this ruse.”

Ethan asked, “So why aren’t we affected?”

While the men were distracted by their talk, a figure walked through the fog towards them.  Once it was within sight, a familiar smell flowed through the air towards the group.

Isaac shouted and instinctively wolfed out, “Allison!”

The five men looked at the figure of the huntress, not translucent like Aiden, but solid.

“I hope you don’t mind if I took this shape, I needed to make sure I would be someone, familiar to you.” 

Isaac growled, “You bastard” and charged the figure of the huntress.

Allison stared down the alpha as he struck an invisible barrier that lit up bright blue before sending him flying to the ground.

Elijah began mumbling something in arcane language but was interrupted by Allison.

“Not so fast interloper” she said before she waved her hand towards him, causing him to disappear in a puff of black smoke.

“Now, where was I before such a rude outburst?” She said with a disdainful tone.

Stiles and Ethan ran towards Isaac and helped him to his feet, the pack stared at the mock huntress.

“As you may have guessed, I set up the test.  The three of you passed, so it’s time for your reward.”  An insidious smile crept across her face.  “I am in need of a sacrifice and you are in need of making it back to your realm.  The terms are simple, one of you will sacrifice themselves to me and I will release the others.”

Ethan snarled, “You know we won’t do that.”

“Do I need to wear a more convincing face?”  Allison said as she playfully pouted.

A flurry of leaves surrounded Allison as she shifted into Coach Finstock.

“C’mon boys, you know someone has to take one for the team!”

The being shifted into Deucalion.

“The pursuit of power always requires sacrifice,”

It ended by shifting into Gerard.

“It’s really simple, I want one of your lives as power and I will get it one way or another.”

Stiles gasped a little and said, “Why us?  What makes us special?”

Gerard grinned, “Ah your power would be great indeed, no wonder the nogitsune possessed you, young Stilinski.”

Stiles lunged forward but struck the barrier and was sent flying back into the waiting arms of Isaac and Ethan.

“Don’t worry young Stilinski, I have done you a favor already.  The nogitsune won’t bother another soul, ever again.”

Isaac smirked, “We already know that old man, and it’s safely trapped in the triskele box.”

Gerard laughed, “And what was that box made of pup?”

Isaac growled as Stiles meekly said, “Wood from the Nemeton.”

Gerard licked his lips, “The nogitsune was a tasty treat to give this old tree.  Really boys, you are far too kind.”

Ethan glanced over at Aiden, both twins nodded to each other before Ethan charged towards Gerard.  Ethan and Aiden hit the barrier simultaneous and it shattered from their impact.  Gerard looked genuinely surprised that it failed.  As the twins charged the old man he smiled.  Ethan and Aiden wolfed out and clawed the old man.  They easily made contact but Gerard seemed unfazed.

“I see you learned how to use your power, mutt.  But being a wolf isn’t enough.”  Gerard backhanded both Ethan and Aiden, sending the incorporeal one flying back into Ethan as they both hit the ground.

“You have three days to decide boys before I start killing your friends.”  As soon as Gerard said that, he disappeared in another flurry of leaves.

Ethan stood up and walked back to Stiles and Isaac.  “Aiden and I, we couldn’t even hurt it.”

Stiles commented, “But you broke the barrier.  That counts for something.”

Isaac smirked and asked, “What do we do?”

Stiles sighed and said, “We should head back to camp.  We need to figure something out.”

As the men walked back to the camp, Isaac quipped, “What I wouldn’t give for some herbicide right now.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 5- Enter the Big Bad Wolf

 

The three men made it back to the campsite and almost immediately went to the arrangement of blankets under the tarp.  Exhaustion from the day’s events overtook them and they passed out.

Stiles woke up first and noticed that the gloomy appearance of the forest and the sky hadn’t changed since they fell asleep.  He thought about how they had no clue as to how much time had passed and the ultimatum still stood.  He wondered about where Elijah had been sent and what could happen to their friends.  He stared at the tarp, his facial expressions changed multiple times, oblivious to the world, as he contemplated events.

Isaac woke up while Stiles was lost in thought and noticed the many changing expressions he wore.  He snickered at how comical Stiles looked.  “You look weird when you are concentrating Stiles.  Have you always done that?”

Stiles huffed and weakly said, “Yes Isaac, I do look weird when I am lost in thought, and yes, I have always done that.”

“Thinking about the ultimatum?”

Stiles sighed, “That amongst other things.  Like for one, why us?  I know he mentioned power but we aren’t exactly front runners in that category.  And another thing, why aren’t any of us hungry?  I can hear our stomachs growl periodically but I am not hungry.  Then there is Elijah and what he offered.  I can’t say I trust him yet.  Then there is what I can do.  I don’t even have a clue how to control it.  Most of all though, I keep thinking about dad, Melissa, Scott, Lydia, Danny, Malia, Derek, and Kira.  If we don’t figure something out, he’ll probably try to kill them.”  Stiles stopped himself, realizing that he was rambling on.

Isaac sighed, “Well, you’ll figure something out.  You always do.”

“You sure have a lot of faith in me, even without my Adderall.” 

Isaac laughed a little, “You know, you never really needed that stuff.  Sure it helps you stay awake but your mind is sharper without it.”

Stiles smiled, “Thanks pup, I never thought you cared.”

Isaac playfully pulled Stiles into a headlock and rubbed his knuckles against the smaller man’s head.  “Stop calling me pup”, he said half laughing.

“Hey, weak fragile human here.”  Stiles called out in mock protest.

Ethan sat up abruptly and grumbled, looking at both of them, “I am awake now.”  His eyes narrowed, “So we are going to chop down a blood thirsty tree today.”

Isaac let Stiles go and both young men quietly mumbled, “Sorry”

Stiles stood up and walked out from under the tarp and turned around to face both wolves, “So, do we wait for Elijah or just teach the tree with Gerard’s face a lesson?”

Ethan smirked, “Aiden thinks we should tear out the Nemeton’s throat even though I have tried to explain multiple times that it’s a tree and doesn’t have one.”

Isaac grinned, “I agree with your brother.”

Stiles laughed sarcastically, “Great wolves think alike I guess.”

Ethan nodded, “We can’t find Elijah easily so let’s do some landscaping.”

Stiles smiled, “So do we have any idea what the tree is going to do?”

Ethan said, “Well if it tries the barrier, leave that to Aiden and myself.”  As soon as Ethan finished the word Aiden, the blue translucent form of Aiden shifted off of himself and sat next to him.

Stiles blinked, “So this is totally a thing now?”

Ethan laughed as Aiden appeared to growl, though no sound was made.

Stiles paced in front of the group, “I can shut down its supernatural mojo, but only as long as you guys aren’t near me.  I think the fight may go one sided if I shut down everyone’s power.”

Isaac sighed, “I guess that leaves me to claw it apart.”

Stiles smiled and kneeled to look at Isaac face to face, “And wear adorable scarves.”

Isaac growled a little, “Shut up Stilinski”

Stiles mock jumped back in terror, “So clowning on scarves, off the table.”

Isaac stood up and walked out of from under the tarp, looking in the direction of the Nemeton, “I just hope I am strong enough this time.”

Stiles walked over to Isaac, looking in the same direction, “You will be, plus then you can be a part time lumberjack or something like that.  Isaac, you would look good in flannel and boots carrying an axe”

Isaac looked over at Stiles, right as the young man looked at him, and flashed his red eyes.  Stiles jumped back, this time legitimately, “Wow, someone woke up on the wrong side today.”

Ethan stood up and walked in between the two, “Do we need anything else before we tear down a tree?”

Stiles looked to Ethan, “I’m ready, are you?”

Ethan nodded and Isaac said, “There is no way this will end well.”

The three men walked towards the Nemeton, the silence between them was deafening as they contemplated finally getting back to their world and saving their friends.

The three saw Gerard sitting on the stump of the Nemeton and as they approached he said, “Well, well boys, have you made your decision on who would be the sacrifice to me?  Or are we at the point of failed heroics?”

Ethan stepped forward, Aiden shifted off to Ethan’s right side as he said, “You won’t harm our pack, our friends ever again.”

Isaac stepped away from the three and moved to flank the old man, “Interesting face, we’re going to fix that.”

Stiles walked to the left side of Ethan and said, “I hope you realize that Gerard didn’t fare any better than you will today.”

Gerard grinned, “Boys, all I asked was for one sacrifice, for the greater good, but if I need to take all three of you, well broken eggs and omelets and all.”  Gerard threw up the barrier which signaled Ethan and Aiden to wolf out and charge.  When the twins made contact the barrier instantly shattered.  Stiles ran up behind them, charging Gerard as gale force winds kicked up and began pushing the men back.  Isaac lost his footing and flew backwards and splintered a smaller tree and he flew through it.  Ethan and Aiden ran to each side of Stiles, placing a hand on each shoulder.

“Stiles, do it now.  You need to get close to it and we will keep you moving.”

Stiles nodded and his thoughts flashed to all of his friends and family who were in danger from this threat.  His rage grew and before he could utter a word the first shockwave flew from him and cut through the wind unhindered and struck the image of the old hunter.  Gerard's form flickered but returned to normal.  With each subsequent shockwave, a bubble untouched by the spirit realm formed around Ethan, Aiden, and Stiles.  They pushed forward against the clash of raw power, Ethan and Aiden’s hands firmly held the young Stilinski upright.  A line of blood trickled down his nose as he felt the pressure in his head grow. 

Once Stiles was within arm’s reach, he swung a fist at the form’s chest, striking the center.  “Nemeton, we are shutting you down.”  When the fist made contact a glowing light erupted from the chest of the man as he groaned in pain.  The light grew until it was blinding and erupted from the form, sending the three men flying backwards.  Gerard disappeared but the fully grown Nemeton stood in his place.

Isaac got to his feet as the light exploded and ran to the tree wolfed out.  As he reached the tree, he clawed at the bark but glanced over at his pack who laid unconscious on the forest floor.  His claws couldn’t pierce the bark of the weakened spirit tree.  Isaac growled as he squared up with the tree, placing his right shoulder into it and wrapping his arms around.  “I will be strong enough this time.”  He bent his knees and exerted his wolf strength and anger in to tearing the tree from its very roots.  He managed to dig his claws into the bark but he couldn’t manage to budge the tree and he felt his power fading quickly.  “I don’t want to fail, not again.”  He felt his muscles weakening and he heard his bones begin to crack under the pressure he was creating.  His vision went and he couldn’t feel his body anymore when Isaac was consumed by darkness.

Isaac was back inside the freezer in his mind.  His fear rose as he clawed against it.  His claws made contact but nothing seemed to happen.  The darkness pushed into his mind as he flailed against it, tears from fear and loneliness rolled down his cheeks.  He could feel the grasp of futility when he heard a small, familiar voice; Allison’s.

“Isaac, don’t, you aren’t alone, I am here with you.”

The young wolf stopped flailing and murmured, “Allison, I can’t see you, what is going on?”

“You are inside the Nemeton.  It has you trapped and we need to get you out.”

“But what about you?”

“I’m sorry Isaac, you know I can’t go with you but that doesn’t mean I can’t help you here.”

“I just wanted to save you Allison.”

“By saving my friends and yourself, you will save me Isaac.”  The young wolf felt the huntress’ lips on his own.  A chaste kiss, but one they destroyed the fear and dread within the alpha.

“You are strong Isaac, tap into that strength.”

Isaac opened his eyes and saw the wooden frame of the inside of box that surrounded him.  He heard muffled screams from Ethan and Stiles.  He slowly breathed in and out and placed his hands against the opposing sides of the walls themselves.  He whispered to himself. “I am strong, I will save them.  I am strong, I will save them.”  He felt his power return to his limbs and the pressure of the Nemeton against his body grew.  Once again he heard his joints groan and his bones creak but he kept his focus on his personal strength, his focus on proving Allison right.

Isaac felt as if the box was getting smaller until he looked at his arms and realized they were growing larger, and were completely covered with white fur.  He heard a voice separate from Stiles and Ethan shout, “Do it now!!”

With all of his might Isaac pushed the opposing walls and heard and felt the tree crack and splinter under his might.  The alpha burst through one wall of the tree and heard it fall over.

Stiles continued screaming to Isaac.  He never thought that the tree would actually absorb one of them and he never wanted the young wolf to be in that danger.  As his voice grew hoarse, the tree itself buckled and splintered, the top crashing to the forest bed.  As the dust settled, an over 9 foot tall, completely white furred werewolf stood, his gentle yet determined eyes glowed the fiercest red.  The wolf man’s features were far more wolf than man and they resembled that of the legends of the dire wolf.

Stiles stumbled back and muttered, “Oh my god.”

The wolf man closed his eyes and slowly shifted his form back to normal.  Isaac grinned and asked, “So what do you guys think?”

Stiles laughed proudly as a look of relief spread over his face, “Totally badass!”

Ethan smiled and walked over to Isaac, giving him a hug, “Way to teach that shrub a lesson.”

“I was strong wasn’t I?”

Ethan nodded, “Yeah Isaac, you were or are.”

Stiles walked past the two over to the stump of the tree and pointed down, “So do we follow the staircase down?”  As soon as Stiles said that, the three men grew drowsy and passed out.

Ethan woke up to muffled screams being heard from outside.  He looked around and recognized that they were in a root cellar.  His body felt stiff like he hadn’t used it in weeks and he glanced at his arm and noticed the roots had dug into his skin.  He ripped the roots out and stood up, instantly recognizing Stiles and Isaac who were slowly coming out of their unconsciousness.  His appetite was ravenous and he could feel the wolf bleeding to the surface out of hunger.  Ethan ripped the roots out of Stiles’ and Isaac’s arms.  He moved over to Stiles, after noticing that Isaac was already healing, and laid his hand on the young man’s arm, taking his pain as he was waking up.  Ethan scanned Stiles’ face, dried lines of blood streaked his face from his nose and eyes.

Stiles’ groggily said, “What is going on?”  His vision cleared and his gaze fell on Ethan who was taking his pain.  “So, did you have the same dream?”

“It wasn’t a dream Stiles, we just stopped the Nemeton.”

Isaac looked at Ethan, “So is that it?  Are we safe?”

“I don’t know” Ethan said as their conversation was interrupted by another line of hoarse screaming coming from above ground.  The three men got to their feet and climbed out of the root cellar to see a young, dark haired boy screaming as he bled from his sides.  The black tank top draping over the young man like a curtain and his olive drab combat pants looking way too large for the boy’s small frame.

Ethan ran over to the youth and knelt beside him, placing a hand on his shoulder and began taking his pain.  “Elijah, are you alright?”

The boy looked up at the twin wolf, his now long shaggy black bangs hanging over his innocent 14 year old face.  His voice cracked as he spoke, “Ethan, it worked.  I’m not dead or dying.”  Elijah reached around Ethan and gave him a genuine hug, “Thank you.”

While Ethan was distracted, helping the youth, a smell of rot and decay caught Isaac’s nose.  The young wolf looked around, surveying the scene of bodies, rotting in the sunlight at the roots of the massive tree that was the Nemeton.  “Guys, I think we should get out of here.  I don’t think we are done yet.”

Stiles looked around, covering his mouth as he surveyed the bodies, some he vaguely recognized in passing while others were complete strangers.  He covered his mouth and said, “We need to go somewhere fast”

Ethan scooped the wounded youth in to his arms and said, “Let’s go back to my place.  We need to regroup.”  Ethan reached into his pockets and pulled out the keys to the motorcycles, tossing Aiden’s set to Isaac, “Here, I can only drive one motorcycle at a time.”  Isaac caught the keys, smiling a little as Stiles attempted to fish through his pockets for the keys to Roscoe.

“My keys are missing and so is my wallet.  I got mugged while being molested by an evil tree!”  Isaac pushed Stiles along towards the vehicles, as Ethan carried Elijah, and laughed saying, “We will find your keys and until then, you can ride with me.” 

Stiles glared at Isaac and sarcastically remarked, “You are enjoying this way too much Pu, I mean Big Bad Wolf.”

Isaac grinned, “Big Bad Wolf, I like it.”

The men reached the motorcycles and as they drove to their safe haven, the voice of Gerard echoed in their minds, “2 more days boys.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 6- A Tale of Two Stiles

 

The parking area was empty except the twin’s motorcycles.  The four teens walked up on them, having no difficulties navigating the forest as they left the Nemeton.  The sun was setting and the weather seemed fair.  Elijah was doing considerably better as he walked up to Ethan’s bike.  The freshly formed claw marks on his side still oozed blood but the young man assured the others that he would be alright. 

Stiles rummaged through the pockets of his suit, now grimy from the moisture and dust of being in a root cellar for days.  “I can’t find my cell, my keys, home or otherwise, my wallet.  This is total BS.  Who robs a comatose, suit wearing man being Capri Sunned by a giant tree in a root cellar?”

Ethan and Isaac moved the bikes to prepare them for the drive to the apartment building and Isaac glanced at Stiles and said, “I can just call your phone.”

“You still have your phone?”

“Yeah” Isaac said as he pulled out his smartphone, waving it at the young Stilinski.  “And my wallet, and the spare key to the McCall’s house, and my key to the Argent’s apartment.”

“So I was the only one robbed?!?!?  Total BS!!”  Stiles spat loudly.

Isaac tried to turn on his phone to call Stiles’ number but realized his battery must’ve died while they were unconscious.  “If it helps, my phone is dead.”

Ethan chimed in, pulling out his cell, “I still have battery life.  Good thing I turned it off before the funeral.”

Stiles glared at Isaac, “I see Big Bad is reclaiming his mantle”

Isaac smirked and shrugged.

Ethan placed the call to Stiles’ phone while Elijah was barely containing his laughter towards the situation.  After a few rings the person on the other end answered.

“Hey, what’s up?  Have you found out anything new?” the Stiles on the other end of the phone asked, the voice and inflection being unmistakable.  Ethan blinked a few times, staring at Stiles and mumbled, “Sorry wrong number” and quickly disconnected the call.

Isaac patted Stiles on the back, “You stole from yourself Stilinski, and at least we know where your copy is.”

“That tree mojo born bastard is living MY life.  He has Roscoe and my stuff, if I wasn’t going to take a baseball bat to him before, it’s looking awfully tempting now.”  The indignation within Stiles rose.

Ethan interjected, “Calm down Stiles, first we will head back to my place, get something to eat and figure out what is going on.  You, I mean Stiles, you know the other you was waiting for a call from the pack about something.”  Ethan ushered the young Elijah over to his bike before he mounted it and started it up.  “And do you always answer the phone without checking to see who it is?”

Stiles blinked a few times after he mounted Aiden’s bike behind Isaac, holding on to the larger man.  “Only when I am distracted or in research mode.”

Isaac started up the bike, “Then that means something big is going down.  Do you think they know about what is going on with the Nemeton?”

Stiles shook his head, “Doubtful, remember the field of bodies, if they did then the smell would’ve drawn them to us.  Not to mention Lydia should’ve heard about the deaths.  Something isn’t right at all.”

The group left on the bikes and rode to the apartments.  Nothing much seemed different about Beacon hills.  They reached the apartments right as night had settled in.  Once in the elevator, Ethan called in a rather large order of Chinese food and the teens rode to Deucalion’s former place.

Ethan unlocked the door and a stale suite with one duffel bag on the already furnished apartment greeted them.  Ethan turned on the light and let out a sigh of relief as it came on, his concern that the utilities had already been cut.  The men walked into the living room, Ethan immediately going to his bag and fetching a change of clothes.

“Let’s get cleaned up before the food arrives.”  He said, tossing a maroon muscle t and matching basketball shorts to Isaac.  “There are two showers, one in my room” He motioned towards a door immediately to the right of the living room, “And one in the master bedroom, Aiden’s room.”  Ethan pointed towards a smaller hallway to the left of the living room.  “Stiles, you can borrow one of Aiden’s outfits.”  Ethan chuckled a little and said, “He thinks his might fit you a little better than mine.”

Isaac walked into Ethan’s room while Stiles slowly walked towards the master bedroom and joked, “I thought your clothes were about the same, being twins and all.”

Ethan laughed, while pulling out a pair of beat up jeans and a dark print t shirt, “Hardly, I am the one that knows how to dress.”

Elijah sat down on the couch, mumbling something in arcane to himself, a singular symbol just behind his right shoulder glowed.  Ethan moved his bag and sat down next to Elijah, a look of concern spread across his face.  “Is everything alright?” 

Elijah blinked a few times, his concentration slowly breaking as his gaze shifted to Ethan.  “Yeah, I am just trying to use what little I can now to get back into fighting shape.  We do have one pissed off tree to deal with.”  The sounds of showers could be heard in the background. 

“What do you mean fighting shape?  I thought you were alright.”

“Not exactly” the younger teen replied, “I pulled my body through time to the exact moment you and Aiden killed me.  While I am mostly out of the woods, I don’t want to just die from that.”

Ethan furrowed his brow, “Ah, so that’s why you look so young again and that means you are really powerful again, right?”

Elijah laughed, “Not at all.  I just severed all my contracts, if it weren’t for my meager talents and pulling power from the Nemeton, I’d be dead, again.”

Ethan blinked a few times in surprise and said, “Elijah, this isn’t your fight.  You don’t have to risk your life.”

Elijah grinned, “Since I just pissed off the spirits of death, put a deadly mystical tree in a magic chokehold, and stripped myself of 90% of what I used to be able to do, in a town where I have never been physically, I am going to stick around.  Plus it wouldn’t hurt to have a couple of wolf protectors and a supernatural dead zone creator to help.”

Stiles stepped out of the master bedroom and down the hallway wearing a navy blue tank, a pair of dark blue jeans and a pair of nearly new, black motorcycle boots.  “Ethan, tell Aiden thanks.  I can’t believe how new and nice these boots are.  Oh and did I mention I have hair again.”  The young man ran his fingers vigorously through his dark spikes.  “I am not shaving my head again.”

Ethan and Elijah looked at Stiles and laughed before Ethan said, “Elijah is staying here with me.”

Stiles smiled and nodded, “Well considering the fact I am pretty sure he is legally dead, that would make some sense.”

As Isaac walked out of Ethan’s room, freshly cleaned up wearing the maroon muscle shirt and basketball shorts, there was a gentle knock at the door.

Ethan answered the door, paid the delivery driver and took the food, closing the door behind himself.  He took the food to the dining room table and laid the many entrees out on the table.  The young men ate heartily and finished cleaning themselves up from their days in the woods.

After eating, Isaac stood up from the table and walked towards the door, “I need to go see if Chris is still here.”

Stiles chimed in as he stood up and followed suit, “And I need to go home and see my dad.”

Ethan nodded and said, “Just remember the spare key is under the doormat and Aiden said you can take his bike but if you scratch it, he’ll”

“Tear my throat out with his teeth”, Stiles interrupted, “Man, do all you werewolves use the same threat?”

Ethan laughed and said, “No he didn’t say that, only that he would make you fix and restore it, by hand, until it was perfect again.”

Stiles picked up the keys from the table, “Wow, that’s pretty reasonable actually.”

The two men left the apartment while Ethan and Elijah cleaned up the remains of the meal.

 

After riding the short trip in the elevator, Isaac exited at the Argent’s place.  He walked into the hallway, the faint smells of Chris and Allison caught his nose.  The apartment already began to smell stale, devoid of anyone living there.  He opened the door to Chris’ study and noticed it was empty except a couple of duffle bags with a note and a disposable cell phone lying on top.  Isaac stepped over and read the note.

Isaac,

I don’t know if you changed your mind or if something else happened to you after the funeral.  I searched the forest the day after you didn’t return just to make sure and I couldn’t find you.  Inside these bags are a few things you left behind as well as a few things you may need in the future.  I’m sorry I can’t wait around longer but business calls and with everything that has happened in Beacon Hills these last two years, I am eager to be elsewhere.  I hope this note finds you in good health and if you change your mind and want to join me then the cell here has all of my contact information and numbers to reach me.  Whatever you decide, you have my support.  I don’t want this to be a goodbye so call me to let me know what is going on and what your plans are. 

Take Care Isaac and don’t let tragedy destroy the good in you.

Chris

Tears began to well up in Isaac’s eyes.  The young alpha picked up the phone and texted the hunter.  He worried that his emotions and the stress with dealing with the Nemeton would drag the hunter back to the town that had effectively left him alone.  Isaac couldn’t bear to be the reason to cause Chris such pain so he texted;

Chris, I just got home.  It’s hard to explain but I will be helping Ethan deal with some issues here.  I haven’t changed my mind, just delayed our plans.  Talk to you soon.

Isaac gathered up the bags and walked towards the elevator, almost reaching it when he received a text back.

I trust you and know that I will do everything I can to help.  Take care son.

Another tear came to Isaac’s eye as he stepped into the elevator and returned the Ethan’s place.

 

The night’s cool wind whipped against Stiles as he sped down the roads on the motorcycle.  Stiles smirked to himself as he negotiated traffic and the road on the sleek motorcycle.  He was glad that Scott taught him to ride and he knew his best friend would be pissed to know that he was driving Aiden’s motorcycle.  Stiles popped a wheelie as he drove and laughed since the only time he did this on Scott’s bike, he had been chewed out for being reckless.

As Stiles reached his house he noticed the jeep and the department cruiser parked outside.  He slowed the motorcycle down and parked it on the dark side of the house, away from the street lights.  He climbed up the side of the house to the window to his room.  After quite a few minutes of effort he reached his window and thought, “Man, I can’t believe Scott and Derek did this regularly.”  The window was cracked open and Stiles slowly pushed it open enough to climb through.  His room was dark, the only light in the room beamed from his computer.  He looked at the screen and saw maps of towns in Mexico.  “Why would I be researching Mexico?” He quietly mumbled to himself.  As the young man padded through the room he heard a crash downstairs.

Stiles quickly ran downstairs and saw his copy standing over his father a bottle of Jack in his hands.  The sheriff was unconscious on the floor, his tumbler shattered against the hard floor of the kitchen.  The copy looked at Stiles.

“Don’t worry, he’s only unconscious, but I am glad you are here Stiles.  The Nemeton wants you to see what happens when you don’t follow the rules.”

Stiles lunged at his copy and caught it firmly in the midsection, knocked the bottle of Jack flying and both men to the floor.  For a split second, Stiles was really glad for all the days spent at lacrosse practice.  Stiles sat up and raised his fist to strike the copy when a surge of pain flooded his body, radiating from his arm.  The prone copy locked eyes with Stiles.

“You didn’t think that your connection with the Nemeton would end when you left the spirit world?”

The copy pushed Stiles off of himself and towered over the young man.

“Now time to kill your father.”

Stiles tried to move but the surging pain kept him immobilized.  He stared as his duplicate and noticed a faint silver thread flowing off of the copy.  He tried to channel his anger and while Stiles felt the pressure in his head increase, the copy moved unhindered towards the knife rack in the kitchen and retrieved the butcher knife.  With a maniacal gleam in his eyes, the copy looked at Stiles.

“No mystical shockwave voodoo this time.  What a shame.  I guess you really are just a weak, defenseless, helpless human being.”

The words almost knocked the resolved out of Stiles but he noticed that the surges of pain had stopped, he could move again.  As the copy moved to stab the sheriff, Stiles caught the hand holding the knife.  For a split second he saw the silver thread snap and the copy looked Stiles in the eyes.  This time it wasn’t the vengeful, controlled look but one filled with fear and regret.  The knife fell and all resistance against Stiles fell with it.  Stiles could feel his memories flow to the copy, the deep emotional attachments to them and to the people in them spread to the copy.

The copy gasped, “Oh my god, what have I done?”

Stiles let the copy’s hand go and he moved to check on his father.  Once he realized his dad was only unconscious, he pulled him to the couch in the living room.  He slid a pillow under his dad’s head and wrapped a blanket around him before he looked back at the copy who was still on the floor.

“So it’s different now that you aren’t being a puppet for the giant fly trapper.”

The copy murmured, “I remember everything.  Mom, Dad, Scott, Melissa, Lydia and Alli.”  Tears began to form when the copy began to say Allison’s name.

Stiles walked over to the copy and helped him to stand and said, “Let’s go to my room before dad wakes up and sees us.  I don’t think his heart could take it.”

The copy nodded and the Stiles walked upstairs to Stiles’ room.  The copy sat on the edge of the bed and Stiles sat in the computer chair to face the copy.  “I take it when I stopped you from killing my dad, I broke the Nemeton’s control over you?”

The copy nodded, “Yeah, I think so.  It’s all a haze like when the Nogitsune would possess me and when I took back control, like a blur in between moments.”

Stiles’ mouth dropped.  He never told anyone about that or even actively thought about that description.  It was completely true though.  “That happened to me, not you” Stiles said definitively.

“But I remember it.  I was there, trying to break the hold it had on me.  I can’t believe how I let it use my weakness for not being able to break free and save Malia to possess me.”

Anger and betrayal flashed across Stiles’ face as he said, “Well if you remember SO much then you know the night mom died”

Before Stiles could finish the copy interrupted him, “I cried up until she died but when dad didn’t arrive until after, I stayed strong because at least I got to say goodbye.”  Tears formed in the copy’s eyes, the memories held a profoundly strong effect on him.

The anger faded as the realization sunk in.  Stiles leaned forward and hugged his duplicate, allowing the young man to release some of his sorrow.  When the copy slowed his sobbing, Stiles broke the embrace and looked the amber eyed young man in the eyes.  He saw himself, through and through in the copy.

“You really are me, or at least a part of me, aren’t you?”

“I don’t know but I do know I am Stiles.”

Stiles couldn’t help but laugh.  “At least the Nemeton was thorough.  Even down to”

The copy laughed and said, “The embarrassing formation of moles on my left cheek.”

Stiles smirked and said lightheartedly, “I was going to say memories, thoughts, and emotions but yeah that too.”

The two Stiles laughed.  Stiles glanced at the computer and looked back to his copy, “Why are you researching Mexico?”

“Derek is missing and Scott, Kira, Lydia, Malia, and I are going on an impromptu trip to deal with some hunter family to get him back.”

“Damn, I knew something had happened, otherwise the freak occurrence of the supernatural graveyard near the Nemeton would’ve set off warning bells.”

“It’s not like we can be in two places at the same time.”

Stiles grinned at the copy’s statement, “They can’t but we can.”

The copy mimicked the grin, “I think I know where you are going with this and might I say great minds think alike.”

“You don’t have any weird I want to kill my friends and serve them as h’orderves to a magical tree thoughts do you?”

“Not anymore.  I can’t even feel the Nemeton’s presence anymore.  It’s like the connection is completely gone.”

“Then Stiles, do me a favor, help our friends but keep me posted on what is going on.”

“I can do that Stiles but where will you be and what will you be doing?”

“Pruning a tree and maybe, just maybe stopping something really bad here before anyone is in any real danger.”

The copy nodded and said, “Well Roscoe and I ride tonight.”

A flash of anger crossed Stiles’ face, “Speaking of which, I owe you a serious ass kicking for stealing my keys, wallet, and cell.”

The copy mimicked the anger, “Hey, you had my things!”

Stiles laughed, realizing this was getting nowhere, “Go save Derek, I’ll just manage with a few clothes from here and Aiden’s motorcycle.”

The copy’s mouth dropped, “Does it handle as good as I think it would?”

Stiles grinned, “Better”

The copy looked dejected, “Man, Scott wouldn’t even let me mess around with his bike.”

Stiles laughed and embraced his copy again, “I’m heading out, take care of dad and this time, save Ethan’s number so you recognize it.”

“Oh yeah.  Take care of Ethan and Isaac.  What do I call you?  Stiles seems wrong since I am Stiles.  Maybe Stilinski but that doesn’t work either.  Bro doesn’t make sense since we are kind of the same person.”  The copy rambled in the usual Stiles way which brought laughter to Stiles.

Stiles pulled away from the embrace and said, “Man I really do ramble like that.  Just call me, Bilinski.”

Both Stilinski’s laughed as Stiles left his room, a few outfits in hand, out the very window he climbed in earlier.

 

Ethan sat with Elijah as they talked about events that happened after they parted ways.  After Isaac came back Ethan told him that he and Stiles could share Aiden’s room since it was the only other room furnished to live in.  With his eyes still puffy from visiting the Argent’s, Isaac took the duffels to Aiden’s old room and went to bed for the night.  Sometime later, Elijah passed out from exhaustion on the couch and Ethan placed a blanket around him.  The twin wolf walked to his room and laid down on his bed as thoughts flowed over and through him. 

He worried about Stiles but he also thought about Danny.  He couldn’t help but feel the pull of love towards the man who had, just a few days earlier, dumped him.  Ethan pulled out his phone and called Danny.

It rang a couple of times before Danny answered.  Danny sounded harried when he almost screamed,

“Ethan, thank God, you have got to help me.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 7- He is Special

 

“Ethan, thank God, you have got to help me.”

Ethan’s heart rate jumped at the sound of despair in his former lover’s voice.  “Where are you? What’s going on?  What can I do?”  Ethan practically screamed it into the phone as the cold sweat of dread began to cover his body. 

Danny gasped between words, trying to catch his breath as he said,” At the Jungle, in a supply closet, this guy, he’s trying to.”  Before Danny could finish the sentence, Ethan was throwing on a pair of jeans and boots and grabbed his helmet and keys.  Ethan ran out the front door and didn’t even notice that Elijah was awake and watched him leave.

“He acted interested but then, he tried to force himself, I fought back, he had a knife.”  The rage within Ethan welled as he rushed down the stairs, practically jumping down the entire length of the stairwell.  As soon as Danny said the word knife, the call was disconnected.  Ethan tried frantically to call Danny as he got his bike started but the call kept going to voicemail.  The bike sped down the dark streets as Ethan barreled towards the Jungle.

Aiden’s voice popped into his head, “Ethan, try to remain calm” Ethan didn’t realize he had wolfed out as he rode his bike towards the club.  “You don’t understand!  I won’t lose him too.  Not like this!”  Ethan yelled at no one, the wind whipping around him as he closed in on the club. 

Aiden reiterated, “Calm down Ethan.  You can’t save him if you don’t stay in control.”

“Shut up Aiden!”  Ethan barked as he threw off his helmet as he slid the motorcycle to a stop behind the bar.  Ethan leapt off the bike as it fell over and skidded through several trash cans.  Ethan yanked open the recently fixed back door and reverted back from being wolfed out.  His eyes still glowed red and only saw red as he navigated through the back hallways.  He spotted a tall, pale, white muscular man, wearing a camo top, jeans and boots. 

The man banged on the door and Ethan could smell Danny, from the room and on the man.  Ethan ran up on the man, balled up his fists and punched him square in the jaw.  “Leave Danny alone.”  The man barely registered the hit and backhanded Ethan down the hallway.  His eyes glowed silver as he turned to face Ethan.  Ethan slid across the floor, his claws coming out to slow his slide.  He looked at the silver eyes on the man and grinned, fully wolfed out again and said, “Thank God, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to hold back on you.”

The tall man grinned, “Greetings from the Nemeton.”

Ethan lunged at the man and tackled him into the wall.  The man was ready and stabbed Ethan in his stomach.  Ethan felt the burning sensation of the knife and raked his claws across the man’s torso and he jumped back and landed on his feet kneeling.  Aiden’s voice popped into his head again, “Brother, let me help you.”  Ethan snarled, “One body remember, I’ve got this guy.” 

“Then what are you going to do about those guys” Aiden said as two more imposing figures walked around the corner, their eyes gleaming silver.  “That knife would isn’t normal either, just so you know Ethan.”

Ethan grabbed his stomach and felt the wound and noticed that it was healing remarkable slower.  “Aiden, I still only have one body.”

Ethan could feel Aiden smirk as he said, “Not a problem brother, I’ll take care of the three tree guys, you save Danny.  Get him to safety.”  The translucent blue form of Aiden lunged off of Ethan and spun, slashing all three men with enough force to knock them back into the hallway.

“Danny, open the door.”  Ethan shouted as Aiden began clawing at the three, forcing them further away from the door.  Danny opened the door a crack and Ethan capitalized as he grabbed the young man and pulled him out of the supply closet and towards the exit.  Aiden continued pushing the men back and yelled back to Ethan, “We have a problem.  Our magic tree is controlling even more people in the club, RUN!”

Ethan dragged Danny out the back door only to see figures with glowing eyes on both sides of the alleyway.  As they began to move towards the two men, Ethan scooped Danny up, throwing the young man over his shoulder, and jumped up and grabbed an old second floor fire escape.  He pushed the young man onto the ledge and pulled himself up.  “Danny we have to go to the roof.” 

Danny nodded and the two men ran up the fire escape as the figures looked up and watched the two.  When they reached the roof, Ethan heard more footsteps coming from inside the club.  He spotted the abandoned warehouse across the opposite alley way and looked over at Danny and grinned, “Ready to make the leap.”  Danny walked to the edge and looked down.  The smell of fear and anxiety rolled of the young man as he said, “I don’t think I can make that leap.”

“Don’t worry, all it takes is commitment” Ethan said as he ran towards Danny.  Danny looked back and began to say something but was interrupted as Ethan scooped him up in his right arm and leapt across the alleyway and through an office window, carrying Danny along for the flight.  Ethan pulled Danny’s body close to his and took the force of the landing as he tumbled through the office and into another.  Ethan rolled Danny off of his body and quickly got to his feet and closed the door.  He listened for movement and heard a multitude of footsteps outside, but they were moving away from the warehouse.  He sighed a breath of relief and turned around, slumping against the door as he slid down to sitting.  He looked up and saw Danny as he walked over, his right hand extended.  Danny kneeled in front of Ethan and he began to trace the outline of his wolfed out face.

Ethan instinctually looked away and in a hushed tone Danny said, “Don’t.”  Danny placed his hand under the alpha’s chin and gently pulled his face back, so their eyes met.  Ethan met Danny’s gaze and saw surprise, gratitude, and wonder gaze back at him.  Ethan flinched, as the pain from the stab wound reasserted itself.  Danny looked at Ethan’s maroon T shirt and noticed the torn clothing and the discolored darkness.  He placed his hand on the wound and felt the dampness from the blood.  A look of concern fell on Danny’s face as he said, “Ethan, you’re bleeding.”

“I’ll be alright, it’s just taking longer to heal.”  Ethan said as he looked back at Danny, he face slowly shifting back from being wolfed out.  Danny watched the shift, once again a look of wonder fell on his face.  He quietly muttered, “You are beautiful.”  Ethan blushed, a smile slowly formed on his face.  Ethan broke free of the moment and asked, “Why was he after you?”

Danny blinked a few times, “At first everything was normal but he said something about a sacrifice and that’s when he slammed me against a wall and pulled the knife.”

Ethan nodded, “And when you got to the closet and I called you.”

Danny nodded, “Yeah, why did you call me?   Not that I’m not grateful for the rescue, but I thought you left town.”

Ethan sighed, “I was going to leave town but something has happened and now I think you and probably the whole town are in danger.”

Danny smirked, “So just a rescue mission” He said as he stood up and surveyed the dusty room, empty except a worn chair behind an old professional desk and a singular filing cabinet.  Ethan stood up, walked up behind Danny and wrapped his arm around the taller man.  “I missed you.  That’s why I called.”  Ethan slowly spun Danny around to face him, “I wanted to tell you I was going to be in town for a while and I would love to spend some of that time with you.”

Danny leaned in and the two men kissed passionately.  After they released the embrace Danny said, “I thought that after Aiden passed away…Wait, I heard you talking to Aiden outside the door and I am certain I saw him fight off the crowd.”

Ethan’s eyes grew huge, “What?  You can hear him?”

Danny nodded, “So he’s alive then?”

Aiden stepped through the door, “Not exactly.”

Aiden’s presence startled the two men and he grinned and said, “Next time I should say Hi or Are-you-two-decent-so-I-can-come-in?

Danny laughed and Ethan looked back at him, a small smile forming on his face. “You can see and hear Aiden” he said softly.

Aiden looked at Ethan, “He can see and hear me?”

“Yeah brother, I told you he was special.”

Aiden started laughing.  Danny asked the twins, “So, can no one else see and hear him?”

Aiden stopped laughing, a smile formed on his face as he said, “Since I died and became my brother’s spiritual baggage, only he has been able to hear me and people can only see me when I am about to rip something’s throat out.  Speaking of which, there are a few less magic tree pod people.  It took them a while to figure out that punching, stabbing, and trying to shoot me wouldn’t do anything.”

Ethan shook his head laughing and Danny joined in.  Danny walked over to Aiden and went to pat him on the back as he said, “Welcome back to the world of the living Aiden.”  When the young man’s hand made contact with the spirit wolf, Aiden felt it as his body became solid, living flesh once again.  Surprised by the contact, Danny stepped back and Aiden gasped since he forgot how being alive felt over that short period of time.

Since his death, Ethan heard Aiden’s heartbeat once again and a tears of joy formed in his eyes.  Aiden looked at Ethan and the twin boys hugged but as they did, reality reasserted itself.

Aiden’s living body slowly shifted back to being translucent and Ethan lost his grip and reached through his brother.  Ethan took a couple of steps backwards the shock of joy and crushing defeat weighing on him.  Ethan’s thoughts raced and he looked over at Danny who was firmly grasped by confusion and ran over and embraced the young man.  “Thank you Danny, Thank you”

Danny muttered, “But I didn’t even do anything.  I definitely don’t know what I did.”

Aiden smirked, “Danny, you are special.  Probably another reason why the tree wanted you dead.”

Ethan released Danny and looked to his brother, “Well we aren’t safe here, do you think you can distract the mob while I take Danny back to the apartment.”

Aiden wolfed out, “Well, unless they are Danny, they can’t touch me.”

The three left the warehouse and headed back to the apartment.

After evading the crowd, Ethan and Danny made it back to the apartment.  It was early morning and when they entered, they heard three sets of snoring.

Danny whispered, “A sleepover?”

Ethan responded as he guided the young man to his room, “Not exactly but I will explain after we get up in the morning.”

The two barely made it to Ethan’s bed before they passed out, the exhaustion of the night getting to them.

Stiles slowly woke up when the light from the bathroom caught his eyes.  The smell of soap and morning cleaning rituals filled his nose and glanced to the bathroom and saw Isaac, still partially wet, a towel wrapped around his waist as he brushed his teeth.  Stiles must’ve made a sound because the young wolf looked at him and grinned, letting the toothbrush hang loosely in his mouth.  Isaac removed it before he said, “Morning sunshine, I bought hygiene stuff for us this morning.  I figured you might need some.  I hope you like Old Spice ‘cause that’s what I got for your body wash.”

Stiles groaned and said, “What time is it?”

“It’s almost 8 am.  Don’t worry though, I am pretty sure we aren’t making it to school today.  Plus this is the last day of the ultimatum.  Any ideas, idea-man?”

Stiles shook his head and a thought entered his head, “Did I crawl into bed with you last night?”

Isaac laughed, “In a manner of speaking, yes but don’t worry, it’s a large bed and you didn’t cross the midline, except.”

Stiles face grew red from embarrassment, “Except when?”

A mischievous look crossed the young alpha’s face, “Did you know you get really handsy when you are asleep.”

“No, I DO NOT!”  Stiles stated definitively.

Isaac couldn’t help but laugh as he finished getting cleaned up and pulled a pair of jeans, a white V-neck shirt, a pair of plaid boxers, and a stripped blue scarf from his duffel bad.  “I am kidding, obviously, you just like to try to spoon.”

“I do not, can we talk about what we know about the Nemeton or something.”

Isaac stepped into the bathroom, closing the door all but a crack as he got changed, “We can.  We don’t know much but Chris left Allison’s family bestiary in the other duffel.  Unless you can read Latin it’s pretty much worthless.  And don’t worry Stiles, I was gentle.”

“Man, are you always this much of an asshole in the morning?”  Stiles muttered, his brain finally waking up.

“Typically.”

“I have an idea, something Scott had mentioned before.”

“What’s that Stiles?”

“Isaac, what would you say to visiting an old acquaintance who may be able to read this but more than likely would already know what we need to know.”

“Who is that?”

“Someone both of us could really enjoy taking some of our frustrations out on if he wants to be difficult.”

Isaac popped his head out from the bathroom, “I don’t hate Deaton, I actually kind of like the vet.”

 “I was thinking that maybe a hunter might know a bit more about what’s going on and who better than an Argent.”

“But Chris left town already.”

Stiles grinned a dark grin while looking at Isaac, “Gerard hasn’t.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 8-Big Bad Wolf, Worse Cop

 

“Gerard”

When Stiles mentioned the hunters name, Isaac’s blood pressure rose and he felt his anger climb.

“You’re kidding me right?”  Isaac said, the anger dripping off his words as he put on his shoes, sitting on the far side of the bed.

Stiles grabbed a pair of skinny jeans, a batman t shirt and a change of underwear from the clothes he brought back from his house as he responded, “I am serious Big Bad, serious as a heart attack.”

“I thought he died after Scott’s plan.”

Stiles stepped into the bathroom, leaving the door cracked as he began his morning ritual to get ready for the day.  “Seriously messed up from mountain ash, yes.  Roughly incapacitated in a rest home like facility, yes.  Dead, thankfully no.”  Stiles’ voice shifted to a more sinister toned when he stated the last part of the phrase.

“Shouldn’t we just go talk to Deaton?”  Isaac almost sounded desperate in his response. 

“No” Stiles said definitively, “Scott and the others have enough on their plate at the moment and we can handle this.  Unless you are looking to bring the rest of the pack into this insanity.”  Stiles stated coldly.  Stiles’ thoughts drifted as he realized that he wasn’t afraid of what was going to happen, more eager to have the answers.  He wondered why he felt so numb and distant but shook it out of his head.

Isaac looked down to the floor and whispered, “Alright.”  He slowly brought his head up and looked to Stiles, “Stiles, are you alright?”

Stiles stuck his head out the bathroom door, just after the shower began to run, and smiled a fake, comically ridiculous smile, “Sure, never better.  By the way, you snore Isaac.”

Isaac shook his head and genuinely laughed, “We should probably get breathing strips because you do too.”

Stiles closed the door and continued to get ready.

Isaac looked at his phone as he decided that a game might get his mind off of the events that had transpired.  He looked at the date and suddenly his stomach twisted with anxiety.  They had been gone for over a month.  It hadn’t felt like it was that long but now the state of the Argent’s old place made sense.

Isaac stepped out of the master bedroom into the living room and sat on the couch which was still disheveled from Elijah.  He noticed that the couch was cold and that Elijah must be up and about somewhere.  Isaac shrugged and pulled out the phone Chris gave him as he decided that the hunter may have some insight in this problem.

Isaac called Chris’ number multiple times and when he got the voicemail the last time he left a message.

“Hey Mr. Argent.  Sorry to blow up your phone like this but I think I may need your help soon.  I didn’t realize exactly how much time passed so I am sorry I made you worry.”  Isaac hated how weak and needy he sounded but he continued, “Please call me back when you get this.”  The alpha didn’t want the hunter to think he was incapable but there was something to Chris that made him feel like an eight year old boy, equal parts curious of the world and scared to death needing a protector.

Isaac glanced towards Ethan’s room and noticed the door was cracked and he could see Ethan and Danny asleep in each other’s arms.  A smile crept across Isaac’s face as the door to the master bedroom opened and Stiles walked out, bestiary in hand.

Stiles walked up to the couch and glanced at Isaac, to Ethan’s room and back to Isaac.  “Let it be said that Ethan always has his eye on the prize.” 

Isaac chuckled and picked up the keys to Aiden’s bike, and looked to Stiles, “Are you driving your jeep?”

“No, Stiles is.  Long story but Stiles, other Stiles that is, has it and I won’t be taking it from him.”  Isaac gave Stiles a confused look as he grabbed a helmet and Stiles grabbed the other one.  “Don’t worry Big Bad, I’ll explain over breakfast.” 

The two men left the apartment and never realized that Elijah was listening the entire time.

After breakfast the two men made it to the Beacon Hills Health and Rehabilitation center.

A stout, wall flower of a nurse in magenta scrubs walked into Gerard’s room and announced to the aged hunter that he had visitors before continuing on her shift.  The old hunter stared out the window, the stains from the viscous fluid present on his nose, ears, mouth, and fingers.  He held a handkerchief that was equally stained as he felt the presence of the two men entering the room.  “It’s been a while since you last visited, I thought you forgot about me.”

Stiles closed the door behind them and in a cold tone, Stiles replied, “I don’t think it’s possible for me to forget about you or what you did.”

Gerard spun around in his wheel chair and studied the two men.  “Mr. Stilinski, to what do I owe the honor?”  The old man said, the creep of disdain evident in his voice.

“We want information.”

The old hunter grinned, “Then you know there is a price and knowledge doesn’t come cheap.  Is that why you brought Mr. Lahey?”

Isaac’s eyes flashed red and as Gerard observed this, he smiled a twisted smile.

“My how things have changed.  Did you grow tired of being a whiny beta Isaac?”

Isaac closed the distance and was nearly on top of the old hunter before Stiles said, “Calm down Isaac, he is just trying to get in your head.” 

Gerard smiled before he coughed and spit into his handkerchief. 

Isaac said, “We need to know about the Nemeton.”                                                                 

Gerard rolled up his sleeve, exposing his arm to Isaac, “We all have needs.”

Isaac fought back his rage, his eyes still red but he controlled the wolf.  He kneeled in front of the old hunter and stared him in the eyes as he said through clenched teeth, “Tell us what you know about the Nemeton or things will get messy.”

Gerard laughed, coughing up more when he finished.  “Negotiations are about leverage, Mr. Lahey.  Who do you think has the power in this negotiation?”

Isaac stepped back and realized the hunter had the advantage when Stiles stepped up and said, “I do”

Gerard grinned as he looked at Stiles, “Oh really?”

Stiles looked at Isaac and spoke in a cold tone, “Isaac, place your hand on Gerard’s arm and begin slowly taking his pain.”

Isaac was confused but did as Stiles told him.             

Gerard smiled as Stiles walked to the window, staring out at the terrace.  “I am aware of what is going on within your body Gerard.  The pain must be intense at times but your damaged, but still supernatural level of healing has to make it considerably more bearable.  I know it is keeping your broken, twisted, shell of a body going. But enough about setting the stage.”

A look of fear and dread flashed across Gerard’s face.

“Now we are here for information but you are right, this is a negotiation.  As long as you answer satisfactory then Isaac will continue to take your pain.  If you don’t, I will shut down both his ability to take it and your ability to heal.  With Isaac taking your pain, you are receiving a positive condition.  When you fail to respond correctly, then you must receive the negative stimuli.  You might call this an experiment in operant conditioning.”

Gerard snickered, “What? Are you going to have Isaac stop and slash me up a bit?  That wouldn’t look good for the Sheriff.”

Stiles looked back, his expression cold and blank, “No, but you’ll see, probably sooner than later.”

Gerard coughed into his handkerchief and asked, “What do you want to know about the Nemeton?”

“Why is the Nemeton here?  What is its purpose?”

Gerard grinned and spat, “Because someone planted it here to be a tree.”

A sinister grinned formed on Stiles’ face, “You see, I just knew you were going to be willful.” 

Isaac looked at Stiles as he noticed his senses dim and a drop of blood trickled out of Stiles’ nose.  Gerard groaned in pain and heaved more black fluid into the handkerchief.

“It was inoperable, terminal cancer right?  Painful on its own, no doubt.  But then again, with you falling for Scott’s plan, your own body rejects you for the worthless, twisted, broken man you are.  So do you want to figure out which will kill you first or will you answer the questions?”

Gerard coughed and groaned, “It was placed as a spiritual overseer for Beacon Hills.”

Stiles smiled and Isaac could feel his wolf strength return.

“How does it accomplish the task?”

Gerard coughed, “By being connected with the telluric currents and using this energy to tap into and affect the people and life within the area.”

Stiles nodded, “How does it affect life?”

“By disrupting the natural flow of energy that is present in everyone.  The more exposure to the Nemeton’s flow, the easier.”

Stiles slowly paced the room and returned to the window, “I see.  Where do the sacrifices come into play?”

“The Nemeton needs power to do anything but it also acts as a battery.  The currents themselves can only sustain it.  It needs an outside power to do anything else.  That’s why druids utilize it.”

Stiles watched birds outside as he nodded, “Why does the Nemeton need specific sacrifices?”

“The more powerful or diverse the power, the more abilities one can pull from the Nemeton.”

Stiles slowly walked around the room and noticed the blank walls, ignoring the physical presence of Gerard, “Why does the Nemeton agree to be used?”

Gerard laughed, coughing into his handkerchief, “It doesn’t, it is a tool, nothing more.”

Stiles quickly stepped up to Gerard, “Wrong Answer” He said, malice dripping from his voice as he increased the pressure in his head.  Gerard writhed in pain, coughing violently into his handkerchief.

“Why does the Nemeton agree to be used?”  Stiles reiterated the question, his tone shifted from almost blasé to disdain.  “And please tell me it doesn’t again.”

Gerard blinked, “I don’t know, it isn’t supposed to be sentient.  It is a living artifact.”

“Still not good enough Gerard.”  Stiles leaned towards Gerard and lightly tapped on the man’s chest.  “I wonder which would do you in first, the fluid that your body can’t fight off without your healing, the very fluid Isaac can hear gathering inside you whenever I turn your power back on, or the cancer which is returning the instant I shut it off to feast on your body that doesn’t fight it but actually helps it kill you.”

Gerard gasped, “I, don’t, know, Stiles.”  Gerard had a painful coughing fit, a cold sweat covered his face which cast a grey shadow over it.  “Something changed, someone didn’t, follow the ritual.”

Stiles released his grasp over the supernatural powers and when Isaac’s power returned, he got light headed from the surge of pain he absorbed.

Isaac looked at Stiles and said, “We can’t keep doing this Stiles.”

Stiles looked at the young alpha, “If you can’t, just stop taking his pain.”

Isaac shook his head, “Not just that.  Gerard is horrible, but so is this.”

Stiles smirked, “If you don’t want to be in here, you can wait outside.”  The chill from Stiles’ words cut Isaac deep and the young alpha walked out of the room, slamming the door behind himself.

Stiles kneeled in front of Gerard, “Now it’s just you and me Gerard.”

Gerard grinned, “If someone murders the sacrifices, then it brings darkness and if someone circumvents the sacrifices then it opens the door for the Nemeton to merge with other dark spirits.”

Stiles grinned back, “So you are finally answering.”

Gerard nodded, “But the Nemeton still has one goal, the goal from the ritual to create it.  Oversee and protect.”

“Protect?”  Stiles questioned, a bit confused.

“Maybe I should say control.”

Stiles nodded, “How could other dark spirits affect it?”

“The more powerful they are, the more powerful the Nemeton would be.”

Stiles nodded, his thoughts going back to what the Nemeton Gerard said about the Nogitsune.

“I have a question for you Stiles.”

Stiles stood up and walked towards the door, stopping right before he reached it.  “Ask”

“What kind of creature are you?”

Stiles turned around, a grin on his face, “The most dangerous kind, a human being.”

Gerard laughed and said, “I never told you but I thought you would make an excellent hunter.”

Stiles laughed, “I am an excellent hunter, I just hunt for something different.”  Stiles opened the door and as he walked out into the hallway he said, “Take care Gerard, don’t die in your sleep or anything.”

The two men left the facility in silence and didn’t say a word until they returned to Ethan’s place. 

When they walked into the apartment, Isaac closed the door behind them and asked, “Stiles, is everything alright?”

Stiles sat on the couch, “Yeah, everything is fine, why do you ask?”

Isaac blinked a few times in shock as he listened to Stiles’ heartbeat.  “You just tortured Gerard and it looked like you were enjoying it.”

Stiles shrugged, “I did what I had to” Lie.  “I wasn’t going to let anything too bad happen to him” Lie “and I didn’t enjoy it.” Lie.  Isaac nodded and asked with concern, “Are you really alright?  You seem kind of distant at times, especially today.  I was afraid for us.”

Stiles smiled, “Dude I am fine.” Lie. “I know it seems like I haven’t been me but I am still dealing with a lot, I mean we all are, even excluding the tree that wants us as sacrifices.” Truth.  “Plus, you know me Isaac, I wouldn’t do anything that would hurt any of us.” Lie.

Isaac smiled, fighting back the urge to call Stiles out, and said, “Yeah, right now we don’t have a lot in our favor but I am glad I can trust you guys, my pack.”

Stiles said, “You can trust me Isaac” Lie. “And I will have your back” Truth.

Ethan and Danny walked out of Ethan’s room wearing only basketball shorts, the look of sleep clung to them as Ethan said, “You know we were gone for over a month.”

Isaac nodded, “Yeah”

“So what are we going to do?”

Stiles smiled and looked at Ethan, “About lunch, about school, or about the giant magical, sentient tree?”

Ethan laughed. “Any of the above, all of the above.”

Danny and Ethan started laughing and Isaac gave them a peculiar look.

Danny looked at Ethan, “Aiden always has some comment doesn’t he?”

Before Isaac could ask Ethan said, “The Nemeton controlled people who tried to kill Danny.  Also, Danny can see and hear Aiden.  He is under my protection.”

Danny whispered, “Is that all I am under?”  Ethan slyly grinned.

Stiles groaned and said, “Well at least we have a full house of able bodies.  Speaking of which where is Elijah?”

Isaac tried to pick up Elijah’s scent but couldn’t find it.  “I think he stepped out, probably to grab a bite.”  Isaac noticed Stiles’ scent had changed, almost like there was a hint of electricity to it, like the smell before a really bad thunderstorm.  He shook his head and looked at Ethan, “By the way Ethan, what happened to your bike?”

“I’ll tell you over lunch.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 9- True Allegiances

 

Elijah woke up when Ethan and Danny stumbled into the apartment.  He slowly got up after he heard the mutual snoring from Ethan’s room.  His thoughts raced on his next move.  He knew that it wouldn’t be long before things took a turn south.  He could feel the spread of energy from the Nemeton throughout the city.  He stood up and walked to the window overlooking the street.  The city was vacant except a few lone stragglers.  He opened the glass down and walked out onto the ledge.  The air felt good against his skin but carried a twisted scent.  He realized the smell wasn’t a physical smell but more an intuitive feeling given form.  The voice of the old man filled his head, “You are expendable.  They won’t protect you.  No one will protect you.  You can’t even protect yourself.”

He shook his head repeatedly, holding his hands firmly to his ears and whispered, “Shut up!, Shut up!, Shut up!”  When the voice continued he muttered one word, “Forest” and one of his symbols glowed brightly and the voice dissipated.  Elijah knew he was practically invisible to all entities at the moment but he knew it wouldn’t be long before the Nemeton could find his presence again.  He sighed, running his hands through hair.  “They have a choice to make, more than they think.  I can feel the Nemeton increases its control over them and their situation but how do I get them to listen to me?”

Elijah stepped back into the apartment as he closed the door behind himself.  He walked into the kitchen and grabbed the dry erase board and markers off the fridge.  He sat down at the kitchen table, setting the board down in front of himself and began drawing different arcane figures on it.  He tried to tap into some of his knowledge that he gained as ferryman of the dead before his living form rejected it.

After several hours of scrawling bits and pieces, Elijah heard movement from the master bedroom.  It was only a few minutes before he saw Isaac as he grabbed the keys to Aiden’s motorcycle and left.  He mumbled, “Well at least I know my power is strong enough to mask my presence from them.”  He glanced outside and realized that the sun was beginning to rise.

He looked over his writings and sighed, “Half words and half phrases.  My family would be embarrassed that this is all I can remember.”  As he stared at the writings he heard Isaac reenter the apartment carrying a couple of plastic bags.  Isaac went to the master bedroom and it wasn’t long before Elijah heard the shower.  “Well, at least today would be a good day to see what everyone is like and since no one can see or hear me, I might as well have fun with it.”

Elijah waited in the kitchen and overheard where Isaac and Stiles were going.  He left the kitchen and followed them to Beacon Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center.  Elijah watched what transpired with Gerard through his window.  Elijah held his breath during the interrogation and finally let out a sigh when Stiles left the room.  “I can’t believe it.  These guys are worse than I thought they could be.”  Elijah turned off his power and slowly walked away from the facility.  The voice of Gerard returned but it was accompanied by the groans of pain from the real man. 

Elijah stopped in a nearby park and sat under the shade of a tree on the outskirts.  He watched as people walked down the sidewalks and went about their daily lives and at the children playing on the swings and seesaws at the park.  The voice whispered, “You can help them.  You can stop the darkness.”

Elijah whispered to himself, “But you are the darkness.  You are the one killing people for power.”  The voice answered, “Why do you think I need power?  You witnessed the depths of depravity of the supernatural forces here.  Drastic times call for drastic measures.”

Elijah shook his head, completely unaware of the slow moving darkness that resembled a gelatinous oil slick moving from around the tree towards him.  “That’s not true, maybe I just misunderstood what happened.  You killed people.”

The voice laughed, “If we are comparing body counts, you may wish to talk to Mr. Stilinski more.  The blood from the dead he left behind woke me from my slumber.”

Elijah closed his eyes tightly, placing his hands over his ears, “That’s not true!  You are lying!”  The voice laughed, “If you are so certain, why don’t you ask the young man himself?”  Elijah opened his eyes and looked down only to notice his lower half covered by the darkness.  “What’s going on?  What are you doing?”

The voice laughed and responded as the darkness covered the young man, “You’ll see.  Maybe you aren’t useless.”  The darkness disappeared as it flowed into his eyes.

Elijah slowly stood up, his eyes momentarily flashed silver and he left the park and headed back to the apartment.  He walked in and noticed that Isaac and Stiles were sitting in the side chairs while Danny and Ethan shared the couch.  There were sandwiches wrapped in plastic on the coffee table in front of them.

Stiles grinned, “Good timing Elijah, we were about to eat.  Saved you a sandwich”

Elijah slowly trudged into the kitchen and brought one of the chairs and sat it between Isaac and the couch.  “Thanks” he said meekly as he grabbed the chicken salad sandwich left behind.  “So what’s the plan?  I mean, today is the last day right?”

Stiles nodded and looked at Isaac and Ethan, “Well we know the Nemeton isn’t even waiting on its own timeline so wait, watch, observe.”

Isaac nodded, “Yeah, we need to watch for subtle changes too.”  His eyes focused on Stiles.

Danny and Ethan looked into each other’s eyes and laughed and Danny said, “I think I can vouch for Ethan and Aiden.”

Ethan smiled and said, “Yeah and Danny isn’t different, just awesome.”

Stiles rolled his eyes at the two and shook his head as he finally realized that Isaac was still looking at him.  He looked at Isaac and Elijah and Elijah instantly looked away.  “You don’t need to worry Big Bad, I am normal.  A little discombobulated at times but normal.  Though I do miss my jeep and there are a surprising number of bugs in Beacon Hills that you don’t realize are there unless you are riding a motorcycle.”

Elijah whispered to Isaac while Stiles continued to ramble to himself, “Is he always like this?”

Isaac smirked and nodded to the kid, “Yeah, this much is normal.”

Stiles continued to ramble, “I mean even though Roscoe was beat up, that only made me love it more.”  Stiles eyes slowly looked at Ethan, “Speaking of damaged, what happened to your bike?”

Danny grinned and gently elbowed the young alpha, “Yeah Ethan, what happened to your bike?”

Ethan laughed and poked Danny in the ribs, “I laid it down rushing to save your ass.”

Isaac spoke with concern, “What happened?”

Ethan told the group about going to the club, saving Danny, and what happened with Aiden.

A shocked expression spread across Stiles’ face and he said, “So Danny can hear and even touch Aiden.”

Danny nodded, “Yeah.  I didn’t realize how unique that was.”

Ethan grinned and gave Danny a peck on the cheek, “Yeah, another thing that makes you special.”

Elijah interjected, “So what exactly does that make Danny?  I mean supernatural kind.”

Danny shook his head, “Don’t ask me.  I didn’t think I was anything but human.”

Isaac shrugged after catching Danny’s scent, “He doesn’t smell any different.”  As soon as the young alpha said that, Ethan shot him a nasty glare and said, “Don’t you think I know Danny’s scent.”

Isaac smirked and with a little anger in his voice, said, “It’s always good to double check.  We don’t want to be tricked by the Nemeton.”

Ethan glared at Isaac, “No we don’t, nor do we want to be tore apart by pointless accusations.”

Isaac shrugged, “I didn’t accuse him of being anything.”

Danny interjected, “Calm down, no harm done.”

During the exchange, Elijah wore a slight grin, one that didn’t hide well from Stiles, who said, “Is everything alright Elijah, you seem different.”

Elijah shook his head, “Everything is fine, by the way Stiles, what happened with Gerard earlier?  I overheard your discussion with Isaac when I was in the kitchen.”  Isaac flinched when Elijah mentioned Gerard’s name.  Ethan watched the flinch and furrowed his brow, confused at the reaction.

Stiles blinked a few times and said, “It went well.  We know the Nemeton was originally made as a protector of the area and that it is connected to the telluric currents.”

Danny looked to Stiles, “It is connected to the currents, then that means it is connected not only to Beacon Hills but to Beacon County as well.”

Ethan focused on Isaac and said, “So Gerard just told you this, for what?  Old times?”

Isaac looked away, a look of shame crossed his face, and in a meek voice said, “No, we kind of interrogated him.”

Ethan shrugged, “Well it is one thing that werewolf muscle is good for.”

Isaac murmured, “Not exactly.”

Stiles commented, “No, I shut down his healing.  It’s still kind of interesting how the mountain ash affected his body even when he was rendered effectively human.”

Danny looked at Stiles, “You did what?  And how?”

Stiles looked at Danny, “Oh yeah, I can shut down supernatural mojo.  I get nasty migraines and nose bleeds afterwards but I think it can be well worth it.”

“Like interrogating an infirm hunter?”  Elijah mockingly asked, a hint of malice in his voice.

Stiles glared at the kid, “You wouldn’t understand.  Gerard isn’t a kind old granddad.  What he did, how he used Jackson, he is a monster.”

Danny looked to the floor, “You know, some people might say the same about us.”

Elijah stood up and walked to the window, a grin plastered across his face that he didn’t want anyone to see.  “Wouldn’t be the first time regular people looked down on us.”

Danny looked to Ethan, “regular people” he mumbled and then said, “So what are you guys doing about school?”

Stiles smugly grinned, “I’ve got a copy finishing up for me.  That way I can devote my time to research and taking out the evil shrub.”

Isaac looked at Stiles, “Are you sure that’s such a good idea, I mean school kind of helps keep us, well normal?”

Ethan looked at Isaac and then to Stiles and said, “Yeah, for once today I agree with Isaac, we should try to pick up where we left off.”

Stiles shrugged, “Yeah but we don’t want to drag Scott and the others into this madness.”

Elijah said, still looking out the window, “Who is to say that they aren’t already involved?”

Ethan’s eyes flashed steel blue and Aiden’s voice spoke through him, “We have to make sure Lydia is alright.”

The grin on Stiles’ face faded at the mentioning of Lydia.  “You are right, but she is with Scott, Kira, Malia, and Stiles in Mexico at the moment.”

Aiden’s eyes focused on Stiles, “How long have you known they were in Mexico and what are they doing there?”

Stiles looked at Aiden, “Calm down Aiden, they went to find Derek and they left early this morning.  I can send a text to Stiles if that’ll make things better.”

Aiden barked, “It would be better if we were there with them.  And how do you know we can trust your copy?”

Stiles retorted, “Well we can’t and how do we know we can trust you?”

Elijah fought back laughing as the plan to sow chaos began to work.

Stiles quickly regained his composure and said, “I’m sorry Aiden, that wasn’t called for.  Trust me on this, we can trust my copy.  I severed his connection to the Nemeton and he is me, only without the cool power shut down abilities.  So, you can trust him as much as you can trust me.”

Isaac sighed and glanced to the floor and barely mouthed the words, “But you keep lying to us.”  Ethan and Aiden heard Isaac’s words and Ethan’s red eyes flashed.

Danny stepped between the two, “Alright guys, go to your corners.  Remember, we are working together to stop something.”

Stiles abruptly stood up and walked to the door, “I think I’ve got as much from this meeting as I can for now.  I am going to head home and actually figure out our plan of action.”  He stepped out and slammed the door behind himself.

Isaac stood up and slinked into the master bedroom as he murmured, “I’m going to get in touch with Chris again.  He might know something more.”

Ethan fumed as he glared at the seat Stiles’ just vacated, “Is it me or does he assume that we are just the muscle?”

Aiden growled, “I think you are right.”

Danny stood up and walked in front of Ethan, kneeling to meet him eye to eye.  In a calm voice he said, “Hey Ethan, weren’t you going to teach me how to drive a motorcycle?”

Ethan’s expression instantly softened, “Yeah, let’s get changed and go do that.”

The two men walked into Ethan’s room and got ready for the day’s motorcycle adventure.

Meanwhile, Elijah stood at the ledge, a dark expression plastered across his face.  The voice returned and said, “Good work Elijah.  Separate and destroy them.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 10- Care Bear and Fox

 

Four days had passed since the pack meeting.  The bickering and arguments had continued and Stiles was once again living with his dad.  Isaac sequestered himself to the master bedroom when he wasn’t out in the town and besides when Danny convinced the three to get back to school, the pack spent very little time together.  The ultimatum came and went and the only preparation for it was Ethan set up some mats in the space between the living room and kitchen table and there were periodic sparring bouts between himself, Aiden and Elijah. 

Ethan learned that each of Elijah’s four arcane markings did something different and each one was tied to how he fought or acted.  Ethan had heard him speak a mantra, “Swift as the Wind, Silent as a Forest, Fierce as Fire and Immovable as a Mountain.”  Ethan thought it sounded familiar and Danny reminded him of history class and how that was the thought behind the Takeda clan banner.  Ethan noticed that each arcane mark represented a piece of the mantra but when he asked Elijah about it, the young man just laughed it off. 

Stiles continued his attempts at research at his house but was interrupted by a knock at his window.  He glanced out the window and noticed it was dark out and then to his clock which read 9:38 PM.  He walked over to the window and opened it and walked back to his computer chair. 

In a droning tone he said, “You know normal people use the front door”, his eyes focused on the computer screen in front of him.

Isaac climbed through the window and glanced over Stiles shoulder, “You are so wrapped up in your research I doubt you would’ve noticed it, just like you didn’t hear me knock earlier.  When are you going to get another cell phone?”

“Don’t need one.  If someone wants to get a hold of Stiles, they’ll call him, if they want to judge and doubt him for working a plan to stop the Nemeton, they’ll come harass me.”

Isaac took a step back, a hurt expression temporarily flashed across his face, “I didn’t mean to sound like I was judging or doubting you.  I’m just worried that you aren’t doing well.”

Stiles glanced over his shoulder and met the young alpha’s gaze, “I’m fine, maybe a little tired but that happens when you keep looking for answers and only come up with more questions.”  Stiles rubbed the bridge of his nose and turned the chair to face Isaac, “But something tells me that simple concern isn’t what brought you here tonight.”

“They are coming back tonight.  Your copy messaged Ethan earlier.  By the way, Ethan has become a lot more withdrawn lately and the smell of emotion in the apartment is anger and anxiety.  I don’t know if I want to know what he and Aiden have been discussing.”

Stiles sighed, “Probably discussing when they are going to be leaving Beacon Hills and ditching us with this problem.  I thought they were trying to do better but I guess a wolf can’t change its nature.”

Isaac smirked, “I don’t think that’s what is going on.  I think they are worried about what the Nemeton is actually doing right now and are afraid you’ll try and sacrifice them to it.”

Anger flashed across Stiles’ face, “Alright Big Bad, why the hell would I do something that foolish?  I secretly want the magic tree to kill every supernatural?  I think that somehow that will benefit me?  Or maybe you think I believe the twisted thing that thinks using Gerard’s image and voice would actually make it trustworthy?  I don’t know why you wolves can’t understand that the steps I take, the plans I make, and the sacrifices I am willing to, and have made on occasion, are, I don’t know, signs that I might actually give a damn about you.”

Isaac was taken aback, one because since the geriatric torture session he had been instinctively listening to Stiles’ heartbeat and heard nothing but truth coming from the young man, and two because Stiles’ verbal diarrhea showed him how much the loneliness and guilt was tearing the young man apart.  Isaac looked to the floor, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean, I mean, we are worried about you, not about sacrificing us or anything.”

Stiles smirked, “You still don’t trust me, do you?  I bet you are listening to my heartbeat right now.”

Isaac was instantly ashamed and embarrassed at his actions and he knew Stiles could see his face flash red from it.  “I’m sorry” the young alpha barely whispered.

Stiles stood up and lifted the alpha’s chin up so he could look him in the eyes, “That’s another thing Isaac, stop apologizing and just talk to me.  I am not going to leave nor am I going to hit you or anything.  If anything, I might just try to pick a fight with you so you beat the crap out of me and things can actually start going back to some sense of normal.  Hell, you aren’t a kicked puppy, you are a badass furry buzz saw of destruction.”  Stiles huffed after he finished, his breath left him with the anger.

Isaac narrowed his eyes a little in a playfully suspicious way, “Furry buzz saw of destruction?”

Stiles smiled a little, “Yeah, you splintered the magic tree once.  Why do you think I call you Big Bad?”

Isaac laughed a little, nervousness still in his voice, “I thought you didn’t trust me or thought I was useless.”

Stiles shook his head, “Now why would I think that?  First off, I have trusted you since I’ve known you.  But for the sake of argument I will give you an example.  Do you remember when Derek thought Lydia was the kanima and you guys were determined to kill her at the McCall house?”

Isaac nodded and Stiles continued, “Why do you think I would step toe to toe, mano y mano, to you, a freaking werewolf?  Because of two things, one, I knew that if you guys killed Lydia it would be something that not only hurt my friends and family but it would’ve been something that would’ve torn you apart inside.  You may be a furry buzz saw but you aren’t a killer.  And two, I knew you wouldn’t actually hurt me.  You could’ve slashed me to ribbons but you were content with only making the show of tossing me around a bit.  I barely got a bruise or a scratch from that “fight”.  Let me show you something.”  Stiles took off his shirt and there were noticeable faint pink marks and skin discolorations across his torso.  “Most of these are scars from Scott.”  The young man pointed to a faint mark on his right shoulder, “This is from when Scott accidentally scratched me when I was trying to help him control his shift on the full moon.”  The young man spun around and pointed to a discoloration on his right shoulder blade, “and this is from when I hit a wall as he was trying to kill me during his first full moon.”  He spun back around, noticing Isaac’s face fill with concern but he continued talking as he pointed to a mark on the left side of his chest, “And this is from when he shoulder checked the crap out of me, full wolf strength by the way, when he was being a complete douche bag.  I swear it was bruised for well over a month.”  Stiles slapped Isaac when he noticed the alpha’s concern deepening which resulted in his eyes flashing red, “Stop it!  I’m not broken, a bit damaged, but no worse than any other teenage male.”  Stiles sighed, “Scott is still my best friend and I love him to death AND he has never, nor would he ever, really hurt me.  Now I ask you this, Isaac, how many scars have you given me?”

The alpha shook his head.

“Not a single one.  And remember, I have seen you break men, or teenagers, twice my size in lacrosse.  You are a good guy, even when you are being sensitive, or overly negative.”  Stiles shook his head and pulled his shirt back on.  “Now it’s my turn, why don’t you trust me?”

Isaac sighed and regained his composure.  “Stiles, with what happened with the Nogitsune, when you tortured Gerard, I could tell you enjoyed it and that scared the shit out of me.  I didn’t want, No, I don’t want you to be willing to give up your humanity just to get information.”

Stiles slumped back into his chair, “You are right, I enjoyed it”, the young Stilinski said meekly.  “For once, I had the power to do something besides research.  You know, when I was possessed, I did enjoy actually being powerful.  I remember everything.  I remember killing the Oni.  I remember tossing Derek freaking Hale around like he used to toss me around.  It was intoxicating.”

Isaac nodded, “Yeah and that’s why I am afraid.”

Stiles looked to the floor, “Care bear, you still listening to my heartbeat?”

Isaac nodded slowly.

“I am sorry for scaring you.  I am sorry for making you a part of that torture.  I am not sorry I did it to that twisted evil man but I know it was wrong.  I do enjoy being able to get off the side lines but I won’t let this new power corrupt me.  I guess I have to look for an anchor too, so to speak.”  Isaac listened intently to the young man’s words and heard nothing but the truth.

“I will say one thing, I don’t trust Elijah as far as I can throw him.  Something is off about him and I can’t quite place it.”

Isaac shook his head, “He seems decent enough, and he’s been training and sparring with Ethan and Aiden.  He’s actually a pretty good fighter and he has been really nice, at least to both of them.”

Stiles grinned, “Exactly my point.”

Isaac raised an eyebrow, “Okay, now I am confused, what do you mean?”

Stiles laughed as he stood up next to the alpha and leaned against his shoulder like he was telling him a secret.  “Don’t you find it odd how he is really chummy with the men who killed him?  Not just that either.  After thinking over our last meeting, it seemed to me like he was trying to stir things up.  Let me ask you a question, has he mentioned anything about Boyd and Erica to you?”

Isaac was a bit startled, “Actually yeah, right before Ethan and I got into an argument.”

Stiles nodded, “So don’t you find it a bit funny how he would know about them?”

Isaac blinked a few times, letting the information sink in, “Well maybe, but what if Aiden and Ethan were talking about them and he just overheard?”

Stiles’ patted the alpha on his shoulder, “You know that can’t be.  It was like pulling teeth just to get Ethan to admit what he did, back when he was in the alpha pack, back when he was on the team that wanted to kill us.  He feels guilty as shit about that and you know Aiden wouldn’t ever bring up an old wound to his brother just for passing conversation.  Now did YOU and Ethan talk about it recently?”

Isaac thought back, “Actually yeah, the night we set up the mats.  We sparred that night and he asked me about them, about my first pack.  We actually had a bit of a heart to heart.  But Elijah wasn’t there.”

Stiles nodded, “Are you sure?  I thought it was funny how he knew we were up and we were planning on going to see Gerard.  What I also found funny is that he KNEW we went to see Gerard.  You could’ve easily distracted me or convinced me to take the bestiary to Lydia or Ms. Morrell to get the translation and yet he knew what happened.”

Isaac asked, “What are you trying to say?”

Stiles laughed, “He is trying to outfox us.  And trust me, from the teenager who was the vessel for a very twisted fox, he is trying to divide us.  I don’t quite know why yet but I am certain it has to do with Ethan and Aiden.”

Isaac nodded, “Interesting theory but how could he have overheard and how could he have followed us?”

Stiles smirked, “You tell me, Big Bad, what can his magic marks do?”

Isaac thought back, “Well I have seen him spar with Ethan and Aiden.  One mark makes his fists engulf in flames, kinda cool trick.  Another makes him incredibly durable.  I swear Aiden was beating the crap out of the kid but he didn’t even flinch or move for that matter.  Another makes him really fast, like dodge all out attacks from Ethan and Aiden at the same time.  And the last one makes him almost unnoticeable.  If you aren’t actively watching him, it’s almost like he disappears.  He loved using that on Aiden when he would spin around him.”  As the young alpha finished, it dawned on him.  “He has been around most of the time using the disappearing one.”

Stiles playfully ran his hand through the alpha’s curly locks, “You see, you keep this up and you’ll make research team for sure!”

Isaac laughed, “Don’t forget, I am the furry buzz saw of destruction.”

Stiles laughed, “But the downside is, well, Ethan and Aiden won’t believe us unless we present solid evidence.  And since he has an attachment to them, well, that’ll be difficult.”

Isaac looked at Stiles, “So what are you thinking about doing?”

Stiles shrugged, “Well, we are going to outfox the kid.  Something tells me he probably isn’t too fond of Danny and that could be just what we need.”

Isaac looked confused, “But don’t you think he’ll catch on?”

Stiles grinned, “Of course he would, but tomorrow we are going to have a huge argument to make him think this talk was actually working in his favor.”

Isaac looked down to the floor, “I’m tired of being surrounded by people but alone.”

Stiles rubbed the top of Isaac’s back, “Don’t worry Care Bear, It’s only going to be pretend and we won’t do it until tomorrow.”

Isaac looked to Stiles and almost plead, “So you are coming home tonight?”

Stiles nodded, “Yeah, I can’t crowd Stiles.  I’ll head back home with you.  Who knows, I might even let you share the bed with me.”  As he finished a wide toothy grin grew on the young man’s face.

Isaac glared at Stiles, “You’re a dick, you know that.”

Stiles shrugged, “Yeah and that’s why you love me.”

“Oh, I forgot to ask, what message did Stiles send about the trip to Mexico”

Isaac said, “They found Derek but you wouldn’t believe what has happened unless you see it for yourself.”

Stiles laughed, “Gotta love me.  Even I can annoy myself.  If we have time tomorrow, we may have to check it out but I trust that Scott had everything semi but not really under control until he speaks with Deaton and comes up with some half-cocked plan.”

Isaac laughed, “Wow, you really are a dick.”

Stiles shook his head, “No, I just know my best friend.  He is really bad at chess for the same reason.”

Isaac raised an eyebrow, “Why is that?”

In a serious tone, “Because he is never willing to lose a single person.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 11- Reconciliation

 

Ethan stared at the door and watched it close just after he told Isaac about the text from copy Stiles.  Danny sat next to him and Aiden and Elijah were sparring on the mats behind them.  Danny looked at Ethan, his face filled with concern as he said, “You are worried about him.  What’s on your mind?”

Ethan shook his head, “I don’t know exactly.  I want Stiles back here, you know, so we can watch after one another but I don’t think he wants that.  It almost seems like he is distancing himself from us.  Then there is the issue with Isaac.”

Danny raised an eyebrow, “What issue with Isaac?”

Ethan sighed and looked to the floor, “Well, Aiden and I are the reason that Boyd was killed and we had a hand in what happened to Erica.  I know he still thinks about it.  We had an argument about it yesterday before he stormed out.”

Danny placed a hand on Ethan’s back, “I don’t know exactly what happened, nor do I need to.  I trust and love you Ethan because of who you are.  It won’t take that long for Isaac to realize that you are a good person.”

Ethan looked to Danny, “I wish everyone could see me how you see me.  I love you too Danny.”  The two men kissed on the couch. 

The display of affection distracted Elijah which allowed Aiden to trip him and place a claw to his throat.  Elijah could feel the pressure of a knee to his chest as he tried to struggle to get away.  Danny glanced back and said, “Aiden says you lose Elijah.”

Elijah glared at Danny, “Don’t you think I know that?”  The pressure disappeared and the claw was withdrawn as Elijah got to his feet.  The young man wiped the sweat off his forehead and looked back to the two on the couch, “So when are you going to learn to fight Danny?”

Danny looked to Aiden and then to Ethan, “Well I probably should practice some.  I know I can take a hit from lacrosse but I don’t know how well I could deal with werewolves and other supernatural things.”

Ethan smiled, “You don’t have to worry, I’ll be here to protect you.”

Elijah snidely commented, “You can’t always be with Danny, Ethan.”  Elijah could barely make out a growl near him.  Before Elijah could say another thing he found himself knocked to the ground, lying flat on his back.

Ethan looked at the young man, “I would try not to piss off my brother, Elijah.  He said he’ll make sure no one hurts me or Danny.”

Elijah laughed a hollow laugh, “You guys place a lot of faith on always being together.  It wouldn’t hurt to be a little self-sufficient.”  He pulled himself to his feet.  “Plus we don’t even know the Nemeton’s next move.”

Danny commented, “Well we know it’s using the currents to affect every living thing in Beacon Hills so what if it is trying to control one of us to promote infighting?  I mean you guys did say it wanted a sacrifice of either Ethan, Isaac, or Stiles.”

Ethan nodded, “Well that does make some kind of sense but wouldn’t we know?”

Elijah walked over to the two at the couch, “I don’t think that’s happening.  Ethan is right because of the whole werewolf scent thing and if it wanted to sacrifice anyone then why not just control them to do it?”

Danny shrugged, “Well what if it doesn’t affect the person’s scent and maybe it actually needs a willing sacrifice?”

Elijah rolled his eyes at Danny, “And what if your dad was a woman, wouldn’t that make him your mom.”

Ethan glared at Elijah, “You don’t have to be an asshole.”

Elijah shrugged, “Whatever.  The only person I see that can do things unexplained and showed up shortly after we got back is Danny.”

Ethan went from sitting on the couch to standing in front of Elijah and his eyes flashed the deepest of reds, “Watch your tongue Elijah.”

Elijah smirked, “I am just pointing to facts.”

Danny looked away from the two and to the wall in front of him, “Elijah isn’t wrong but I know he isn’t right either.  I honestly wish Stiles were here, maybe he found something out or, at the very least, would be able to offer some perspective to this.”

Ethan leaned over the back of the couch and whispered into Danny’s ear, “I trust you Danny.  I know you are you.”

Danny shifted in his seat to look into Ethan’s eyes, “But how do you know?”

Ethan bit his lip a little, “Because you are you and if anything were off, trust me, I’d know.”

Elijah rolled his eyes and said, “You know what, you are probably right.  It’s probably Stiles anyway.  He went from trying to stop his copy to being his best friend and then to torturing a senior citizen.  That doesn’t sound normal to me.”

Ethan stood up and faced Elijah and his eyes flashed red again, “How do we know anything?  It could be you or it could be no one.  Maybe we are just being observed to see how we react, to see if we as a pack are showing any signs of weakness.”

Danny sighed, “I agree with Aiden, if that were the case then we are showing some major cracks in our unity.”

Elijah laughed, “So what do you propose?  Should we get together and sing songs or maybe go to one of those cheesy teamwork seminars?”

Ethan glared at Elijah, “Actually that wouldn’t be that bad of an idea.  We should try and have another conversation, all of us, and get everything out in the open.  If we air all of our grievances then none of us will have anything to hide.”

Danny stood up and walked over to Ethan and placed an arm on his shoulder, “Babe, you want to work up some sweat sparring?  I promise I am not that fragile.”

Ethan grinned at Danny and guided the taller man to the mats. 

Elijah shook his head, “Whatever.  You two have fun with that, I am going to get cleaned up.”  Elijah walked to Ethan’s bathroom and turned on the shower.

Danny and Ethan fought a little, Ethan going easier on his boyfriend the first round until the taller man choked the twin alpha unconscious.  When he came to he said, “When did you learn to fight?”

Danny laughed, “Let’s see, I am a man who happens to love UFC, Jackson Whittemore is still my best friend and I enjoyed playing lacrosse.  I also happen to be a gay man who was on a high school lacrosse team with some of the biggest meatheads California has ever produced.  Why wouldn’t I have learned not only how to defend myself but how to deal some punishment too?”

Ethan chuckled as he stood up, “Good point.”  As soon as he got to his feet and Danny stepped back onto the mat, Ethan tripped the taller man and followed his body to the mat and straddled him.  He extended his claws and brought them to Danny’s throat, “I don’t want you to get too cocky though.  Werewolves aren’t the only ones to not fight fairly.”

Danny laughed, “Good point.”  Ethan began to shift his body weight and slowly pulled his arm back which gave Danny just enough time and leverage to flip the twin onto his back where Danny applied leverage and weight to hold the alpha’s claws to his own throat.

Ethan grinned and retracted his claws, “I like it Danny.  But my weapons are always in my control.  I have a question though, why didn’t you disarm the redneck?”

Danny shrugged and helped Ethan to his feet.  “I guess I wasn’t really thinking about it.  I may have been a little intoxicated and I definitely knew something wasn’t right.”

Ethan raised an eyebrow and continued talking as they began strikes and blocks, “You saw the silver eyes didn’t you?”

Danny nodded, barely blocking Ethan’s incoming throat punch, “Yeah so I figured if I could get some distance I might just be able to create an opening.”

Ethan smiled, “And then I called.”  The twin alpha caught his boyfriend’s foot as he tried to kick him.

“My savior”, Danny grunted as Ethan clipped his remaining foot out from under him but the taller man grabbed the werewolf and pulled him down with him.  Instinctively Danny wrapped his legs around the alpha and controlled the movements of his body with his considerably strong legs.

Ethan grinned seductively, “I guess you have me now.”  He leaned forward to kiss Danny but was interrupted by a groan.

Aiden said, “You know that isn’t why we got those mats.”

Ethan glared at his brother, “Well you and Elijah had fun getting physical on them and since Danny and I are using them now, we’ll burn off a little steam.”

Aiden laughed, “I guess it’s a good thing you guys have bleach then.”

Danny looked at Aiden, “Do you have to kill the mood every time?”

Aiden grinned, “Not every time but just enough so that you guys won’t forget that I am standing right here.”

Ethan blushed as he leaned back, “Sorry Aiden, I didn’t mean to ignore you.”

Aiden laughed as Ethan and Danny turned to one another and kissed.  The front door to the apartment opened and Stiles and Isaac walked in just in time to catch the kiss.

Stiles snorted, “Really guys?  I am pretty sure those mats aren’t for fun sexy time.”

Ethan pulled back from the kiss and looked at the two of them and smiled innocently, “Stiles, Isaac, I, err, we didn’t hear you come in.”  Danny laughed a little as the two men untangled themselves from each other.  “Aiden was just saying the same thing.”

Isaac smirked, “I don’t doubt it.”  Stiles and Isaac took a seat in each of the sitting chairs while the couple moved to the couch.  The shower could still be heard coming from Ethan’s room.

Stiles looked at Danny and Ethan and nervously said, “Hi, so I am back, so what’s been going on?  Besides hand to hand combat on the mats.”

Ethan shrugged, “Not much besides teaching Danny how to ride a motorcycle and school.  I gotta say it’s hard to concentrate on Algebra when there is a homicidal tree plotting your friend’s deaths.”

Stiles nodded, “Well, you guys are going to Beacon Hills High right?”

Isaac shook his head, “Oh I didn’t tell you, we enrolled or transferred to Forest View Charter School.  We figured what you said about endangering the others was probably right.”

Stiles grinned as he looked over to Isaac, “You know Scott is going to be pissed when he finds out you won’t be his right hand man on the field.”

Ethan looked to Danny and laughed, “Especially when we play Beacon Hills.  We not only made the team but Danny is the team captain.”

Stiles gasped, “Damn, I hope they weren’t aiming on a flawless season.”

Ethan looked to Stiles, “You should enroll too.”

Stiles laughed, “I don’t think that would work.  There already is one Stiles Stilinski going to Beacon High.”

“So?  Do you honestly think I have a legitimate high school transcript or identification?  We still do have money from being in Deucalion’s pack and we can easily create a new identity for you.”

Stiles furrowed his brows, “Maybe, but don’t you think it might be a little odd if I were to run into anyone from school when our teams play?”

Isaac nodded, “It’s alright Stiles, you can just be the team mascot then.  No one will even know it’s you.”

Danny and Ethan laughed as Stiles smirked to the young alpha, “Thanks Big Bad, you really do like kicking me when I am down.”

Isaac plastered a shit eating grin across his face, “No problem Stiles, I am always here to help.”

Elijah stepped out of Ethan’s room wearing an overly large t shirt and shorts and looked at the four.  “It’s almost midnight and it’s a school night.”

Stiles stood up and looked at Elijah, “Good to see you too.”

Elijah smirked, “I’m going to get some air, you guys can enjoy your kumbayas.”

Stiles shrugged and walked to the master bedroom with Isaac following behind him as Elijah walked out onto the ledge.

Ethan looked to Danny and asked, “Want to get cleaned up?”

Danny nodded and the two stepped into Ethan’s room, closing the door behind themselves.

Elijah breathed deeply as his eyes flashed silver against the moonlight.  “Tomorrow’s full moon will be fun.”  A grinned formed on the young man’s face.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 12 Defiance to the Moon

 

Stiles woke up to the blaring of the alarm and the sound of Isaac brushing his teeth.  He rolled over and looked at the clock which flashed 6:42 as it continued to blast a sound which reminded him of an air raid siren, not an alarm clock.  Stiles smacked the off button to the alarm clock, knocking it off the nightstand.  He blinked a few times and looked at Isaac.  As his eyesight came into focus he noticed Isaac was wearing a navy blue sports jacket with an emblem surrounded by a dark green outline.  It was hanging loosely over his pressed white button up which hung over the top of his khaki pants.  The young alpha spit in the sink, turning the water on to wash the toothpaste down the drain.  He swished around a cap full of mouthwash and tried to fumble with his navy blue with dark green striped tie.  Stiles laughed a little as he noticed how ridiculous the tie looked, like a young child tried to tie it.  It was horribly off with the front, larger part of the tie being way too short and the back hanging past the young man’s navel.  Isaac spit out the mouthwash and looked at Stiles, “Get up sleepy.  We have to leave in like half an hour and you get to enroll today.  Plus if you are lucky, you can still try out for the lacrosse team.”

Stiles drug himself out of bed and a shiver shot through his body as the cold morning air hit his naked, except for a pair of X-men boxers, body.  He walked over to Isaac and untied his tie gently, “I swear you are as bad as my dad.  I’m just glad mom taught me how to tie a tie.”

Isaac chewed his bottom lip, a look of questioning forming on his face as he meekly said, “Is it really that bad?”

Stiles laughed, “Yes, yes it is but at least I get to have some respect for you since it isn’t a clip on.”  Stiles finished untying the tie and slowly tied it correctly as he said, “Yeah but don’t feel too bad, my dad still doesn’t tie them well.  Most of the time he just has me tie them in advance and put them on the hanger.”  He gave it a gentle tug and finished fixing it so it hung tightly but not too much so.

Isaac weakly smiled, “So will you do that for me?”

In a serious tone, Stiles said, “Nope.”  He popped the p for extra emphasis, “You are a Big Bad alpha which means you will learn how to tie a tie correctly.  But I will make sure that you don’t look like a doofus before you leave.”

Isaac grinned, “Thanks, oh and Ethan and I took the liberty of getting you a school uniform, it’s in the bathroom hanging up.  You can get changed after your shower.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as he walked into the bathroom and sarcastically said, “Thanks Big Bad, it would be a shame if I looked like a normal person when I went to enroll today.”

Isaac stepped into the living room, closing the door behind himself as he heard the shower start.  Danny and Ethan were standing in front of the couch, adjusting each other’s uniforms.  Isaac laughed, “You guys know that these are all identical except for size, you can’t do too much more to stand out.”

The two men looked at Isaac and Danny said, “Aren’t you going to tuck in your shirt?”

Isaac smirked, “Not a chance.  I have to wear this all day today so I am going to be comfortable.”  The young alpha did notice that their sports jackets were a more form fitting cut and that both men had more form fitting shirts.  Both of their ties were immaculately tied and Danny’s tie was silk with the school’s emblem embroidered onto it.

Elijah stepped out of Ethan’s room, his uniform appeared sloppier than Isaac’s with his bangs hanging over his eyes.  “Having uniforms sucks.  Why does the school hate students like this?”

Ethan smiled at the teen, “It’s about unity and discipline.  It’s not a bad thing to know how to dress and to be able to plan to get ready.”

Elijah rolled his eyes, “Yeah, yeah.  Learn to be an adult…blah blah blah.”

Danny laughed at Elijah’s response and looked at Ethan as a grinned formed on his face, “I bet you were like Elijah when you were younger.”

Ethan laughed, “Actually, Aiden was more like Elijah.”

The teen fumed, “Guys, standing right here!”

Stiles stepped out of the bedroom shortly after the conversation, his uniform similar to Isaac’s except he wore a blue and green bowtie.  Isaac grinned as he looked at Stiles in the uniform and looked at Ethan, “You owe me 20 big ones.  I told you he would wear the bowtie.”

Ethan laughed and half-awake Stiles commented with fake anger, “You guys bet on which tie I would wear?  Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Ethan glanced to Isaac, “But the bet for the tie was only 10.”

Isaac nodded smiling, “Yeah, they were Marvel, not DC.”

Full of fake indignation Stiles retorted, “You bet on my underwear too?  Plus Stiles and myself decided to split the comic clothing, he got DC and I got Marvel.  Still, that doesn’t make my wardrobe something you get to have sideline conversations and bets about.”

The three men laughed as Elijah silently scowled.  Stiles noticed the scowl and smirked, “Not a morning person, are ya Elijah?  Wouldn’t have anything to do with tonight’s full moon would it?”

Elijah huffed, “No and can we just go to school?”  The teen picked up a navy blue backpack with the school symbol.

Isaac looked to Stiles, “Oh yeah, we have to prepare for that but for now, go grab your gym bag so you can maybe try out as well.”

Stiles glanced to the side of the couch and noticed that Ethan, Danny, and Isaac’s lacrosse gear was sitting next to their backpacks.  Stiles laughed as he popped into the bedroom and grabbed his gym bag.  “This is going to be an interesting ride to school.”

The group left the apartment and put their bags in Danny’s Car.  Elijah and Stiles rode with Danny while Isaac and Ethan rode the motorcycles.  It took almost half an hour to reach the school which sat on the opposite side of Beacon Hills as their old high school.  The preserve encroach on the distinguished looking estate far more that it did at BHHS.  As Stiles got out of Danny’s car he was in awe of the school.  “I didn’t even know that a school that looks like this was even in Beacon Hills.”

Danny looked at Stiles and smirked, “Yeah, don’t be too impressed, it used to be a college for the most liberal of arts.  If you look at the foundation you can see where runes were placed to protect and heighten learning here.”  He finished the last sentence with a laugh.

Isaac looked to Ethan and copied the twin as he hung his helmet off the bike.  He then looked over at Stiles, “Stiles, I’ll take you to the office and help you get enrolled since I put my study period as my first class of the day.”

Ethan nodded at Isaac’s statement and helped Danny take Elijah into the school as the 15 minute warning bell sounded.  Stiles took a deep breath and looked at Isaac, “Are you sure I have to do this?  And besides, who am I going to be anyway?”

The young alpha smiles and pulled a file out of his backpack and handed it to Stiles.  Stiles opened it and immediately began laughing, “I am Stiles Bilinski, an emancipated teen who happened to have a sterling GPA in honors classes.”  He continued to read, “And you included my issues with ADHD.  You do care BB.”

Isaac shrugged as he smiled, “Yeah, Ethan put it together but I told him that your name should be Stiles since you answer to it anyway and I noticed your copy referred to you as Bilinski in your texts.  By the way, here is your new phone.”  Isaac tossed a smartphone to Stiles, who almost dropped it as he caught it.  “And before you say anything, don’t thank me, thank Ethan.”

Stiles opened the phone and noticed all of his contacts were loaded and they was an X-man picture for the background.  “You guys did think of me.”

Isaac patted the young Stilinski on the back and said, “Of course we did.  Now let’s head to administration to get you checked in.”

The two men walked to the administrator’s office.  The walls were painted navy blue with dark green trim and there were multiple generic banners hanging around the school.  The hallways were clear and clean and almost every classroom they passed were set up like lecture halls.  When they reached the office, there were two women arguing.  The shorter, thin, older woman with light blonde hair was discussing GPA requirements with a considerable larger woman of Latin descent.  Both women wore conservative dress attire that was navy blue with green trim.

The smaller woman said quietly but sternly, “I am sorry Ms. Gutiérrez, but Mr. McAllister can’t play this semester.  His GPA is abysmal and he failed Biology last semester.”

The larger woman huffed and in the voice of a coach said, “Then what Mrs. Adams, the principal wants what?  My lacrosse team to lose?  My team doesn’t lose!”

The women continued to argue as both young men walked into the room.  Isaac cleared his throat and looked to Ms. Gutiérrez, “Um morning Coach.”

Ms. Gutiérrez, who stood about the same height as Isaac but seemed to tower over him said, “Mr. Lahey shouldn’t you be in class?  Weren’t you supposed to be at practice this morning?”

Isaac laughed nervously, “My first period is my study period and you said practice doesn’t start until next week.”

Ms. G narrowed her eyes suspiciously, “Yeah, it does start next week, shouldn’t you be studying?”

Isaac rubbed the back of his neck while Stiles fought back laughing at how comical the Coach appeared to be.

Ms. G shifted her gaze to the young Stilinski, “And who are you Mr. Bowtie?  Do you even play sports?  I bet you stare at computer screens and chess boards.”  She stepped up to Stiles and looked down at him, “Are those even arms?  You need to get outside and run or play a sport or something.  Skin so pasty.”

Stiles laughed and met Coach’s gaze, “Actually I played lacrosse at my old high school.  I scored the last goal to win us the state championship.”  Stiles puffed out his chest as he sat his paperwork on the desk and Mrs. Adams began to read over it.

Ms. G said shortly, “You state champion?  Your GPA must not be good then.”

Mrs. Adams interrupted, “Actually Mr. B-Bil-Bilinski, did I say it right?  Yeah Mr. Bilinski’s GPA is almost perfect with him being on the dean’s list at his old school.”

Stiles smiled and Ms. G smirked, “Bilinski huh?  I knew something had to be off.  Be on the field, TODAY, I want to see how good this state champion honor kid is.”  As she finished speaking Ms. G pushed past the boys and walked down the hallway.

Stiles blinked a few times and looked at Mrs. Adams who said, “Well everything appears to be in order here.  Just to confirm though, you are residing with Mr. Lahey and Mr. Carver?”

Stiles began to say, “Who the hell is Mr. Car-“

Isaac slapped his hand over Stiles mouth, “Yes Mrs. Adams, Mr. Ethan Carver and Myself are his roommates.”

Mrs. Adams nodded and began to type the file into the computer, “Mr. Bilinski, I need you to come back after lunch to sign up for your classes and since your roommates have already provided your uniform, I have nothing more for you. Tell Mr. Carver that I greatly appreciate him getting this squared away before Mr. Bilinski’s first day.”

Isaac smiled and nodded, “Yes ma’am.”  Isaac slowly pulled Stiles out of the administrator’s office and into the hallway.  Stiles narrowed his eyes as he gazed up at Isaac, a hand still firmly covering his mouth. 

Isaac removed the hand and Stiles said, “What the hell dude?  Were either of you going to clear it with me before you go and enroll me into this school?  What if I don’t like it here?  What if I need to go back to my dad’s?  What if Ms. Gutiérrez chews me up and spits me out at practice?  And you already knew she was the coach and how she was.  Maybe I should just be on the chess team or something.”  Stiles flustered at the end as the two men walked outside and sat at one of the tables in the courtyard near the cafeteria.

Isaac smiled, “It’ll be alright, Coach G isn’t much different from Coach Finstock.  Except angrier and she does this weird pronunciation thing when she is mad.  Did I mention she throws things, not at students, just in general?”

Stiles blinked a few times and in a serious tone said, “So the only real difference is she is female?  Is there at least a Greenburg?”

Isaac grinned, “Yep.  McAllister.”

Stiles squinted his eyes a little as a look of confusion crossed his face, “Then why was she fighting FOR him?”

Isaac shrugged, “Maybe she thinks he is a good luck charm or maybe she just fights for everyone on the team.”

Stiles shook his head and said, “Mr. Lahey, give me your schedule.”

Isaac reached into his backpack and pulled out his schedule and handed it to Stiles.  Stiles read over it and looked at Isaac, “AP Environmental Science, Pre-Calculus, German, Weight Lifting, and Honors English.  Wow BB, I didn’t think you were taking courses this difficult.”

Isaac smiled bashfully, “Yeah, I’m not that smart, I am just a good student.”

Stiles smiled at him as he copied the schedule on another piece of paper, “You may have officially made it on to team research.”

Isaac laughed, “Well I have to head to class, I’ll see you later at the field.”  Isaac stood up from the table and walked off to class. 

Stiles meandered around the school and watched as the classes let out and new ones started.  He made it back to the office after having lunch with the group and enrolled in the exact same classes as Isaac.  He found out that the only class the entire group has together is Weight Lifting and it begins right after lunch.  After school let out, Ethan, Danny, Isaac, and Stiles went to lacrosse practice.  The team went through drills and after several spaz moments, Stiles got into his stride and earned a place on the team.  Elijah was nowhere to be seen but the group went home together.

Stiles was giddy went they walked into the apartment, “Did you see that shot I made?  All that practice is finally paying off.  And when I blocked the HGH reject.”  Stiles laughed as Isaac, Danny, and Ethan followed him inside.  Danny said, “Yes Stiles, we saw your sweet moves.”  Isaac laughed as Ethan groaned. 

Ethan looked to the three after they put away their backpacks and gym bags, “Did anyone see or hear from Elijah?”

Danny looked at Ethan, “I didn’t but do you think we left him at the school?”

Isaac shook his head, “No, he decided to leave before we went to practice.  Something about wanting to get some fresh air and exercise.”

Stiles smirked, “Then why didn’t he just join the team?  Coach G. is definitely cut from the same cloth as Coach Finstock.”

Danny shrugged, “I don’t know.  Maybe he just doesn’t fit in as well at this school.”

Ethan nodded, “Well the kid was dead for the last 5 years so I’m really not surprised he doesn’t interact with teenagers all that well.”

Stiles nodded, “You can say that again.  I don’t know if the kid interacts well with anyone.”

Ethan glared at Stiles, “Just because you two don’t get along isn’t a reason to bash on the kid.  But he’ll come home when he is ready.  Now what are we going to do about tonight?”

Isaac bit his lip nervously, “Yeah, I can definitely feel the pull of the moon.  I swear it’s worse now than it ever has been.”

The glass door to the ledge opened and Elijah stepped in.  “What are you guys talking about?”

The group was startled and Stiles said, “You know, dealing with the full moon tonight.”

“What?  Are you expecting to deal with crazies tonight?”

Stiles smirked, “No, but we do have two alphas living in this household.”

Elijah shrugged and smirked, “Well they have been werewolves for a while so they should be able to handle themselves fine.”

Ethan interjected, “Not exactly.  I know I will be fighting back my pull as well as Aiden’s and Isaac, the Big Bad Wolf, is a new alpha with an incredibly strong pull.”

Stiles placed a hand on Isaac’s shoulder and exchanged a nod and a glance with the young alpha.  “Well do we have a place we can go”, the young Stilinski asked.

Ethan nodded, “Yeah, we can use the old bank.  It should be abandoned again and I doubt anyone will be expecting us to be there.”

Stiles nodded, “Then I’ll go to my dad’s and get the restraints”, the young man said in a cold tone.

Isaac looked at Stiles and half pouted, “We don’t need them do we?”

Stiles met the alphas gaze and almost maliciously said, “Yeah, we need them.  I’m not going to have to try and stop you from lumbering through downtown Beacon Hills tearing up anyone and anything you come across.”

Isaac bit his lip and then snarled, “I think you just want to chain us up.”

Stiles spat back, “What are you trying to say Lahey?  You think I get off on the fact that I have to take care of you, AGAIN?  I’m pretty sure Ethan would be just fine but YOU, YOU are the one I am worried about.”

Isaac’s eyes flashed red as he stepped chest to chest with Stiles, “I think you just want to chain me up like a dog.”

Stiles poked Isaac in the chest, “Well if the shoe fits Fido!”

Danny tried to step between the two but Isaac glared him down, “Stay out of this Danny.  If I feel like give Stiles wall-to-wall therapy, I will.”

Ethan stepped in front of Danny as his eyes flashed red, “I think you might need the chains Isaac!”

Elijah grinned as he watched the arguments.

Stiles shook his head, “I’ll meet you at the bank.”  His malicious gaze fell on Isaac, “Don’t worry, I’ll bring plenty of chains for you and if I need to, I’ll give you an obedience lesson too!”  Stiles grabbed the keys to Aiden’s bike and slammed the door as he left.

Elijah walked over to Isaac, “Dude, has he always been like that?”

Isaac nodded, “Yeah, especially around the full moon.  I swear it’s like he hates all werewolves.  I bet the Argents are kicking themselves for not recruiting HIM as a hunter.”  Isaac shook his head and stormed into the master bedroom, slamming the door behind himself.

Elijah looked to Danny and then to Ethan, “Is it always like this?”

Ethan shrugged and Danny said, “With those two, it’s like they run hot and cold.”

Elijah furrowed his brow, “What if the Nemeton is affecting one of them?”

Ethan nodded, “We’ll know tonight.”

Elijah nodded, “If you don’t mind Ethan, I’ll stay home tonight.  I think I may just aggravate them more.”

Ethan nodded and walked into his room following behind Danny.

Elijah walked to the ledge and smiled, “Everything is going well.”

 

The men got changed and drove to the abandoned bank.  It was dark, quiet and deserted.  The wolves heard one additional heartbeat and when they walked into the vault they saw Stiles as he secured the chains to the walls.

Danny looked at Stiles and Isaac and said, “I’m not going to have to separate you two, am I?”

The two men shook their heads as Ethan walked with Danny to one of the sets of chains.

Ethan looked at Danny, his eyes flashed between blue and red, he spoke with his voice and Aiden’s when he said, “Danny, can you please help me get this set up?”  Danny began calmly talking small talk with Ethan as he began to restrain his boyfriend with industrial chains.

Isaac walked over to Stiles and when Stiles began to affix the restraints he whispered, “I’m sorry about earlier.”

Stiles smiled and whispered, “You have nothing to be sorry about.  It worked wonderfully but you are sorry, you are the Big-Bad-Care-Bear-Furry Buzz saw of destruction.”  Stiles leaned up to Isaac’s ear and pretended to be working on the restraints around his neck, “I’m sorry if I hurt you though.  Do me a favor, find the anchor you need so I never have to restrain you again.”

As Stiles pulled away from Isaac, he smiled a weak smile to the alpha and Isaac blinked away his red eyes and weakly smiled back.

Danny and Stiles walked to the center of the vault and Danny asked, “So, do we just wait now?”

Stiles nodded and said, “Yeah but I should be able to handle them.  I want you to head home and get some rest.  I’ll call you if I need you.”

Danny began to plead but noticed Stiles was giving him his resolve face.  Danny nodded and said, “See you later Isaac, love you Ethan.”

In double voice Ethan said, “I love you too.”

Danny walked out of the vault and headed to his car.  The three waited silently until they heard the vehicle leave.  Stiles walked over to one of the boxes along the wall and opened it, placing the keys to the locks and the motorcycle inside.  He looked to Ethan and Isaac, “If something happens, the keys are right here and I am certain one of you will be able to get free to get them.”

The two alphas nodded. 

Hours crept by and the snarling and growling of the two alphas was almost deafening.  Both alphas wolfed out but neither one applied too much pressure to their restraints.  Stiles walked over to Isaac and knelt in front of the alpha, who was sitting at this point, “How are you holding up?”

Isaac looked to the floor, “I’m alright.  I keep trying to think about my dad but I keep seeing myself, full wolf, tearing through people.  I keep thinking about what your blood might taste like.”

Stiles placed a hand on the shoulder of the young alpha, “it is okay buddy.  Just try to find an anchor that works for you.  Plus, you know what my gym socks smell like?”

Isaac looked at Stiles and nodded, “Vile and disgusting.”

Stiles smiled, “Yeah, my blood probably tastes like that.”  Stiles laughed gently and Isaac was able to fight through the rage to laugh a little too.  “I’m going to check on Ethan okay?  I’m not leaving, I’ll be right over there.”

Isaac nodded and Stiles stood up and walked over to Ethan.  He kneeled in front of the twin and noticed that one of his eyes was blue while the other was red.  The twin was sweating profusely.  Stiles asked, “Is everything alright Ethan?”

In two voices he responded, “Yeah, I have to control Aiden and myself and keep Aiden inside my body.  It’s a bit more difficult than I thought it would be.”

Stiles nodded, “Is there anything I can do for you?”

The alpha shook his head, “You’ve done enough.  Try to relax yourself.  We can smell the fear and anxiety rolling off of you.”

Stiles laughed, “That’s just sweat from practice.  Coach G is a real ball buster.”

Ethan laughed and Stiles walked towards the vault door.  He could smell the fresh night air and wondered what Scott was doing tonight.  He turned around and sighed, “Man, I wish Scott were here right now.”

Stiles heard the rattling of the chains and he looked as both Ethan and Isaac struggled against them.

“What’s goi-“

Stiles’ sentence was interrupted by the fierce strike of a baseball bat against the side of his head.  The figure holding it stepped into the light and Ethan and Isaac saw him.

In unison they said, “ELIJAH!”

Elijah smiled and he drug the unconscious man outside of the vault.  He stepped back in to see Isaac beginning to shift into his dire wolf form and Ethan struggled against the chains.

“You see the Nemeton was going to get his sacrifice, one way or the other.  It’s kind of funny that we start with the philosopher but the best power has to go first.”

Elijah laughed as the two wolves growled.  He walked out of the vault and slammed the vault door closed.

Isaac tapped into all his rage and anger and as the hulking white werewolf, ripped the chains from the wall.  The rings snapped and shards of metal hit the floor.  He roared as he ran to the vault door and grabbed ahold of it.  He ripped the door through the locks and metal and tossed the shredded heap of metal to the side he just tore free of his chains.  He tried to catch a scent but neither Elijah nor Stiles could be found.

In a mournful howl Isaac screamed for Stiles.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 13- The First Sacrifice pt.1

 

Isaac’s mournful howl collapsed into a sobbing scream.  Isaac stumbled back into the vault completely human again.  He looked over at Ethan and said, “Elijah took him and I can’t catch a scent.”

Ethan continued to struggle against the chains and Isaac walked over to the box and grabbed the keys.  He moved to Ethan and unlocked the locks and the chains fell to the floor.  Ethan, still wolfed out, growled as he said, “We know he can’t be far.”

Isaac argued back, “That’s not the problem.  If he used his mark to hide, we won’t be able to find him anyway.”  Ethan growled at the realization, “Then what do you think we should do Isaac?”

Isaac shook his head, “I don’t know.  I don’t know.  I don’t know!”  The young alpha started punching the wall with each statement of “I don’t know” tearing his fist into a bloody pulp.  Ethan grabbed the alpha to stop him and Isaac relented.  The blood dripped off his fist as it healed and he turned to face Ethan, “Stiles will be glad his plan worked, for what it’s worth.”

Ethan slowly shifted back human and asked, “What was Stiles’ plan?”

“To use the appearance of a fractured pack to draw out the next move of the Nemeton.”

Ethan smirked, “I wish you two would’ve kept me in the loop, but I understand why you didn’t.”

Isaac shook his head, “We have to find him.”  The two alphas left the vault and used their heightened senses to attempt for find Stiles.  They wandered through the forests of Beacon Hills throughout the rest of the night without catching a sound or smell of either Elijah or Stiles.

 

Stiles woke up with a splitting headache, the light of the sun cutting through the limbs of the Nemeton.  He found himself tied to the tree by his limbs and barbed wire wrapped around his neck.  He let out a pitiful sigh as his eyesight adjusted and he realized where he was at.  Elijah paced in front of him.  Stiles weakly said, “Elijah, what is going on?”

Elijah walked over to Stiles and gently tapped him on the cheek, “You finally woke up.  I thought that maybe I hit you a little too hard.”

Stiles groaned, “So that wasn’t just a dream, why are you doing this?”

Elijah laughed, “Don’t you understand?  You can’t win.  You and your friends think they can protect Beacon Hills, well they are wrong.  As a matter of fact, you guys are just another problem that needs to be dealt with.”

Stiles blinked as he tried to gather his thoughts and fight through the headache, “What do you mean?  Do you think the Nemeton is any better?”

Elijah grabbed Stiles chin and yanked his head to the left and to the right as he said, “Look around you Stiles, the Nemeton is doing better.”  Stiles was able to see different bodies strewn about the forest floor.  He also noticed the roots of the tree were wrapped around the bodies.  The smell finally hit him and Stiles fought back the pressure of throwing up as well.

“How does it keep them hidden?  How does it kill them?” Stiles muttered.

Elijah laughed maniacally, “That’s the best part.  Right now anyone who isn’t connected to the Nemeton will only see a small gathering of trees.  They will only smell the normal smells of the forest.  We are hidden.”  Elijah grinned darkly, “And as for killing, it uses the same illusions to trap its targets in the forest, slowly sapping them of their strength until they collapse from exhaustion.  When they wander too close though.”  As Elijah was stating the last sentence one of the roots appeared to raise up from the ground and stabbed into one of the bodies.  Stiles heard a slight gasp as the body remained motionless.  “See, it’s kind of like a giant supernatural bug zapper.”

Stiles sighed, “Is that what you plan on doing to me?”

Elijah shook his head, “No, Stiles, we are going to break your will until you agree to be a sacrifice to the Nemeton.  It would love to have your power to shut down supernatural abilities.  You always were the target.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, “Great, A giant magically tree has a crush on me.”

Elijah rubbed Stiles’ shoulder gently, “Look on the bright side, no one will even miss you.  Stiles is back there in Beacon Hills with his dad, Scott, Ms. McCall, Lydia, and the others.”

Stiles glared at Elijah, “If you expect me to just roll over, it’s not going to happen.”

Elijah paced around the tree, “Well I didn’t think you would.  But I do know something that will help you decide.”  Elijah stopped pacing in front of Stiles’ left arm and pulled out a knife.  He slowly cut a symbol into the young man’s arm.  The superficial depth of the wound caused pain but it was far from fatal.  Stiles gritted his teeth through the pain and mustered the strength to say, “What is that?  What are you doing?”

When Elijah finished he looked Stiles in the eye, “You are about to remember why your life is worthless except as the honor of being a sacrifice.”  The symbol glowed and Stiles’ mind began to run images of every mistake he ever made, every time he ever hurt anyone, and every tragic event of his life.  The tears began to roll down his cheeks before Elijah even walked back towards Beacon Hills.

 

Danny woke up the next morning to the sound of Isaac and Ethan stumbling into the apartment.  It was barely light out and he still had another half an hour before he needed to wake up for school.  He watched as Ethan walked into the bedroom and when he sat down on the bed, Danny asked, “Is everything alright?  How did it go?”

Ethan sighed as he let his head hang, “Is there a word worse than abysmal?”

Danny quickly sat up and placed his hand on Ethan’s shoulder, “What happened?”

Ethan breathed in slowly and said, “Elijah is working with or controlled by the Nemeton and he has Stiles.  We searched all night and weren’t able to find either of them or the Nemeton.”

Danny gasped, “Did the tree disappear or something?”

Ethan shook his head, “We don’t know.  It’s like it was never there.  For all we know he could’ve killed Stiles by now.”

Danny shook his head, “I don’t think so Ethan.”

Ethan turned to face Danny, “Why is that?”

Danny met his boyfriend’s gaze, “Didn’t you mention sacrifices?”

Ethan nodded and Danny continued, “I think it actually wants willing sacrifices.  Maybe that’s what it needs to gain power.”

Ethan quickly stood up and kissed Danny, “You are right.  We can still save him.”

Danny blushed a little, “Morning breath”

Ethan smiled, “I don’t care.  You just made my day.  But we don’t even have a clue where to start.”

Ethan and Danny’s moment of clarity was interrupted by Isaac’s growl and the loud slamming of something against the wall.  Both men rushed out of the bedroom to see the young alpha, fully wolfed out, holding Elijah against the wall by his throat.

Isaac angrily spoke through his teeth, “Give me one reason I shouldn’t tear out your throat right now.”

Elijah grinned through the pain, “Because we are friends.”  Isaac leaned forward and growled loudly into Elijah’s face. “Alright, because even though Stiles will sacrifice himself, I am your only shot at being able to be there when he does it.”  Elijah’s eyes flashed silver when he finished speaking.

Isaac glared at Elijah and slowly released his grip. “Where is he?”

Elijah smirked, “Where all of the other bodies are.  The Nemeton prefers to enjoy their presence before it enjoys their life’s blood.  Especially the sacrifices.”

Isaac demanded, “Take us to him!”

Elijah sneered, “No, it isn’t time yet.  When it’s time, I will.  After all, watching your foolhardy and reckless leader offer himself to the Nemeton for the greater good should give you guys sufficient motivation to follow suit.”

Isaac was taken aback and almost fell onto the couch as he stepped back.  His thoughts raced not just of Stiles’ possible fate but of the realization that Stiles was, in fact, their leader.  He thought about even though Ethan and himself are alphas they looked to Stiles to make the hard decisions.  Somehow through everything that has happened they placed their faith and lives in the hand of a human, Stiles. 

He noticed that Elijah referenced Stiles in present tense which means he was still alive.  Isaac embraced this new hope that his leader, his friend was still out there, alive.

Isaac looked at Elijah, “So what will you be doing until then?  Playing mind games with us?”

Elijah smiled innocently, “Of course not, we have school to attend.”  The young teen walked past Ethan and Danny, into Ethan’s room and began to get cleaned up and dressed for school.

Ethan looked at Isaac, “Looks like we are playing the Nemeton’s game again.  What do you think we should do?”

Isaac shook his head, “I don’t know but in situations like this, I think I know someone to call.”

Danny looked at Isaac, “Do you think Elijah will let us get help?”

Isaac grinned, “No, but I think you two can handle him while I get the outside help.”

Danny and Ethan nodded and walked into Ethan’s room and began to get ready for school.  Isaac stepped into the master bedroom and grabbed his cellphone and called Chris.  After a few rings, the phone was answered.

Chris’ voice answered, “Isaac, what is going on?  Do you know what time it is?”

Isaac answered forcefully, “Stiles was kidnapped by this possessed mage kid Elijah and is in the process of being sacrificed to the Nemeton.”

The hunter responded, “Hmm, Can’t you go to the Nemeton to stop it?”

Isaac informed Chris of their attempts and what happened since the day of Allison’s funeral.

There was an audible sigh heard from Chris before he said, “Well I don’t think Elijah is just any arcane dabbler.  Most can’t use their talents when they are being controlled.  Their personal will is needed to perform.  Without knowing more I can’t say though.”

Isaac had an idea and rushed into the kitchen and asked, “Can you receive pictures right now?”

Chris said, “Yeah, I’m actually at a place with good service.”

Isaac took a picture of the arcane markings on the dry erase board and sent it to Chris.  After a few moments Chris responded, “Alright, you aren’t dealing with a wizard or anything of that kind.  Have you ever heard of a Kharon?”

Isaac shook his head instinctually and said, “No, I haven’t.”

Chris laughed slightly, “That’s not surprising.  They are the ferrymen of the dead.  They guide souls to the other side.”

Isaac commented, “But Elijah said that is what happened after he died, you know the first time.”

Chris responded, “I know but it isn’t something you make a deal into.  Think of it like fate, certain people become one after they die.  It usually has to do with an upset of balance.  It’s also the reason he can still use his talents without his own will.  Kharons are effectively controlled by a stronger power.  They don’t get to make any decision on taking or leaving behind the dead.”

Danny and Ethan quickly escorted Elijah out of the apartment as they noticed Isaac on the phone in the kitchen.  Elijah didn’t even notice Isaac as he almost strutted out of the apartment, backpack in hand.

After watching them leave Isaac asked, “Is there a way to stop him or at least remove the control?”

Chris replied, “Whether Elijah knows it or not he will carry an obol.  If you can take the obol off of his person then you can control him.  As a Kharon his identity is tied to it.”

Isaac thought for a moment and then asked, “What’s an obol and what does it look like?”

Chris laughed a little and said, “An obol translates into a coin but it doesn’t have to be one.  Most likely it is an amulet or a medallion he possesses.”

Isaac smiled and with a bit of enthusiasm said, “So I just find the obol and take it.”

The sounds of a boarding call at an airport cloud the message from Chris but Isaac is able to hear, “Good luck and I will see you soon, son.”

Before the phone call is disconnected Isaac said, “Take care and I look forward to seeing you.”

A smile is plastered across Isaac’s face as he runs into the bedroom and gets cleaned up to go to school.

 

The images and memories bombard Stiles.  Stiles sees the Oni run Aiden through as the young werewolf stabs the silver arrow into it.  The scene repeats until Stiles is the Oni and he can feel the blade tear through the flesh of the former alpha.  He screams for Aiden.

Stiles sees Allison valiantly firing her last arrow, the silver one to save Isaac’s life only to be run through.  This scene repeats until he is the Oni that she killed only instead of being shot with the arrow, he deflects it and cuts Isaac down.  He sees the last tear fall from the eyes of a werewolf whom he would gladly call friend, maybe even more, before the darkness gathers in his eyes.  Stiles can’t tell whether he is actually crying or just so wracked with guilt and sorrow that it feels like a torrential rain inside himself.  He then sees himself when he ran Allison through.  He feels he blood spatter against his armor.  Stiles can’t even bring himself to call out for Allison, the guilt tearing at him keeps him silent.

The visions continue and he sees Jackson at the moment he is impaled by Derek and Peter.  In this vision, the young Whittemore just dies with Lydia emotionally shattered crying for her lost love.  Stiles feels the jealousy for the connection they shared but also the guilt for wanting to kill Jackson rather than save him from the maniacal control of Matt and Gerard.  He feels the profound self-loathing for hating a man who, besides being a complete tool, was ultimately an innocent victim caught in the supernatural crossfire.  The scene replays in his mind and Stiles can swear he is screaming Jackson’s name.  Each time Derek and Peter kill Jackson, his voice joins with Lydia’s when he screams for Jackson.

“Jackson!”

“Jackson!”

“Jackson!” When he screams the third time, his vision blurs and the images cease.  He feels the familiar pressure in his head as he can once again see the forest. 

Stiles blinked his eyes and saw Jackson, stumbling around and confused.  The young Stilinski mustered his energy once again and called, “Jackson!  Over here!”

Jackson turned around and faced Stiles.  The smell of the cadavers hit Jackson and he quickly used his sleeve to cover his nose and mouth.  He slowly walked up to him.  Stiles noticed that Jackson looked haggard and his red button up and jeans looked worn and filthy.  Jackson stepped up to Stiles and narrowed his eyes and lowered his hand, “Stiles, are you real?  Where am I?”

Stiles sighed and his voice cracked as he said, “Yes Jackson, I am real.  You are back in Beacon Hills.”

Jackson looked over Stiles and saw the dried blood that crusted down the left side of the young Stilinski.  He noticed the dirt stains and twigs that hung loosely from his wolverine t-shirt.  He watched the trickles of blood from Stiles’ arm and the fresher one that began to flow down his chin from his face.  He slowly smirked, “I figured I was back dumbass, I do recognize the cross country trail Danny and I used to run, but what the hell is going on?  What the hell happened to you?  I left for school over a week ago and found myself wandering around here.  Where is McCall?”

Stiles partially flinched at Jackson’s response but smiled back saying, “I never thought I would be glad to see you, you beautiful, arrogant asshole.  Scott isn’t coming so use your wolfie claws and cut me free.  And start with the barbed wire.  I don’t want you to take my head off as you are trying to save me.”

Jackson struggled but managed to control the shift for his claws and as he was cutting Stiles free he grunted, “What the hell is going on?”

Stiles fell forward into Jackson’s arms which sent both men tumbling to the ground.  Stiles slowly pulled himself to his feet and noticed Jackson struggling to muster the energy, having only pulled himself to sitting.  “Well Jackson, this is the Nemeton and it wants me to kill myself for it and just wants you to die so it can eat you.”  Stiles walked over to Jackson and grabbed his hand and pulled the young man to standing.

“It looks like someone else was trying to beat you to killing yourself.” He said and then sighed.  “I thought I was done with Beacon Hills.”  Jackson said before he began to stumble.  Stiles quickly caught Jackson and wrapped the larger man’s arm around his shoulder to stabilize him.  He laughed and said, “Yeah well apparently Beacon Hills isn’t done with you yet.  So I think we should leave before this overgrown fly trap decides it’s about to lose lunch.”

Jackson grinned and weakly said, “For once Stilinski, I agree with you.”  The two men began the very slow and arduous task of carrying one another away from the Nemeton.  The two men only made it a few feet before they fell to the ground and the roots of the Nemeton wrapped around them.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton-Chapter 14-The First Sacrifice pt.2

 

Isaac made it to school just before lunch period and caught up with Danny and Ethan.  They were sitting at a table in the courtyard which was shaded under a tall tree.  Neither one had touched their lunches as they tried to discuss what they were going to do.  Isaac ran up to the table still wearing the plastered, innocent smile he had at the end of the call with Chris.

Danny looked at Isaac and grinned, “I take it you have good news for us.”

Isaac quickly spoke, “Have either of you seen Elijah wearing a pendant or carrying some kind of good luck charm?”

Danny shook his head and looked to Ethan.  Ethan furrowed his brow in thought and looked back to Isaac, “Not that I know of Isaac.  I don’t remember him having anything like that.”

The statement struck Isaac like the force of a sledge and the young alpha slumped down at the table next to Ethan.  He mumbled, “But he has to.  Chris said he was a Kharon.”

Danny blinked a few times, the look of confusion spread across his face, “What’s a Kharon and what does a keepsake have to do with it?”

Isaac sighed, “He is one of those grim reaper death things that takes the dead to the other side and his pendant is how we can either control him or break the control the Nemeton has over him.”

Danny snickered slightly at the response, “Well that clears that up” his voice quietly trailing off at the end.

Ethan patted Isaac on the back, “Don’t worry, if he has something like that, we’ll find it.  Plus we have Weight Lifting with him next period.  He’ll either have it on him or in his gym bag for sure.”

Isaac nodded slowly, “Well I’ll check his gym bag and you guys can see if he is wearing anything.”

Danny nodded, “Sounds easy enough.”

As the men talked, Elijah walked up to the table and sat down.  “Now I wonder what you three are talking about.”

Isaac glared at Elijah as his eyes flashed red and Ethan and Danny turned to face the teen, Danny said, “We were actually talking about next period.  I wonder if I will be able to beat my old record on the bench.”

Elijah grinned, “Sure you are.  It shouldn’t be much longer now.”

Isaac grimaced as he looked away from Elijah.  Ethan and Danny looked at each other and wore troubled expressions.

Elijah reached across and patted Ethan on the shoulder before he stood up.  “See you in weight training.”  The young teen confidently walked away with a twisted smile on his face.

Isaac whispered, “I can’t stand this.  He is actually enjoying this.”

Ethan looked to Isaac hand held up his hand in protest, “That isn’t Elijah speaking.  He is being used by the Nemeton and from our reactions, it’s working.”

Danny nodded, “We can’t let him get to us.  Let’s just focus on finding the keepsake.”

The three men nodded as they departed from lunch and headed to weight lifting class.

After getting changed the four men stepped into the weight room.  Coach G reiterated to the class the importance of safety when using the equipment.  She said, “Remember, this equipment is made to make you strong but it also doesn’t care if you get hurt.  I need all of you to not get hurt so we can crack skulls on the field.”

McAllister interrupted Coach G, “What if we aren’t on the team anymore?”

Coach G shot the young man a death glare and said, “What do you mean not on the team?  Everyone is on the team!  You play on the field, or on the bench or cheer for your school’s victory from the stands.  There is no one who isn’t on the team.  For asking such a question how about you run a few laps on the track.  Maybe that will get your mind in the right place!”

McAllister sighed and half jogged out of the gym and ran to the track which could easily be seen from the window of the weight room.  Coach G smiled as the young man began to run laps.  She looked at the class and said, “What are you waiting for?  Lift, become strong!”

During the display between Coach G and McAllister, Isaac stepped back into the locker room and quietly moved to Elijah’s locker.  The combination lock stared back at the young alpha.  He quietly mumbled to himself, “This sucks, what am I going to do?”

He could’ve sworn he heard Stiles say, “You’ve got all the wolf power and you are going to let a lock beat you?”  Quietly he responded to himself, “No!”  He thought about it and started turning the dial and used his wolf hearing to notice the numbers that unlocked the lock.  After finishing the last combination he opened the lock and locker and looked through the gym bag.  He tossed the clothing and books around but found nothing.

He cussed to himself and closed the bags and locker back.  “I hope they are having better luck.”

 

Meanwhile, Danny, Ethan and Elijah took their place at the bench.  Danny was on the bench and was lifting 225lbs. with Ethan spotting him.  Elijah was using 25 lb. free weights to do curls.  After a grunt of effort, Danny pushed the weight back onto the rack and didn’t need Ethan’s help.  Ethan smiled down at Danny and said, “Congrats, you beat your old max of 215.”

Danny smiled and looked over at Elijah, “Hey Elijah, you want to see what your max is?”

Elijah smirked and walked the free weights back to the rack as he said, “Sure but I don’t think it’ll matter.”  As Elijah walked back to the bench he was intercepted by Coach G.

“What do you mean it won’t matter?  Of course it matters!  You’ll never get on the field with that attitude.”

Elijah rolled his eyes, “What if I don’t want to get on the field?”

Coach G raised his eyebrow and showed a scowl of disapproval, “Of course you want to get on the field.  You can’t wait to have the opportunity.”

Elijah just nodded and sat down at the bench and lowered himself to laying down as he muttered, “Whatever” under his breath.  Danny took off some weights and added others leaving the total weight at 175lbs.

Danny looked at Elijah and asked, “Do you want me to spot for you?”

Elijah looked at Danny and then to Ethan, “I’d rather have someone who could actually stop me from crushing my chest.  Ethan spot me.”

Danny and Ethan exchanged glances as the young teen slowly lowered the weight.  Ethan leaned in closer, with his hands placed near and under the bar.  He watched Elijah’s neck with his peripheral vision and noticed the movement of a chain under his T shirt.  As the young teen began to struggle, Ethan slowly helped him get the bar back to the rack.

Elijah sat up quickly with a look of frustration.  “I’m not getting stronger.”

Ethan looked at Danny and nodded towards Elijah’s neck.  Danny stepped up to Elijah and placed a hand on his shoulder, his fingers noticed the chain that Elijah wore.  “It’s alright, you will.  I just takes time.”

Elijah smirked at Danny and said, “Time we don’t have.  Get your things, it’s time to pay a visit to your friend.”  Elijah quickly stood up and stormed into the locker room.  Ethan and Danny followed the teen and all three ran into Isaac as he walked out of the locker room. 

Elijah pushed past the confused alpha and said, “We are leaving.”

The four men grabbed their things and left the school.  They drove to the preserve and made their way to the Nemeton.

When they reached the tree, they saw massive roots wrapped around Stiles and Jackson as they held them both in standing positions.  Danny moved to run over to them but Elijah blocked him with his hand, “This isn’t time for a reunion, Danny.”  The teen walked up to the roots and turned to face the three.  “Don’t you understand?  You can’t stop it and you shouldn’t want to anyway.  The Nemeton is trying to save Beacon Hills.  Don’t you see that?”

Ethan and Isaac wolfed out and Isaac growled at Elijah, “Let them go.  You don’t have anything to protect you now.”

Elijah laughed as he tilted his head backwards, “Wake up Stiles, I wouldn’t want you to miss me beating your precious pack.”

Stiles slowly stirred and quietly said, “Get out of here.  It’s a trap.”

Isaac launched himself at Elijah and the youth activated his markings and effortlessly dodged the alphas assault.  As the alpha moved past him, his fists engulfed in flames as he backhanded Isaac and sent him flying into another tree.  Isaac hit the tree with an audible thud and slid to the ground before he looked up at Elijah, his eyes burning red.

Aiden split from Ethan and the twins charged Elijah next.  They flanked the young man and slashed relentless at his body.  Elijah stood in place, each claw connected with his body but made damaging impact.  Elijah smirked, “What a shame, I guess you two aren’t going to kill me again.”  Elijah spun towards Ethan and grabbed the twin and threw him into Isaac as the alpha attempted to renew his charge.  Aiden pursued Elijah’s movements as he stepped towards Danny.  As Aiden lunged Elijah stepped out of the way and Aiden’s shoulder came into contact with Danny and once again he solidified as a mortal.  Elijah grinned and took advantage of his opponents flesh body and slammed his mountain solid, flame engulfed elbow into the base of the twin’s neck.  Aiden fell to the ground unconscious.  Elijah stepped towards Danny as the young man took a step back.

Ethan screamed, “Danny, get out of here.”

Elijah lunged towards Danny, who placed his forearm up and deflected the youth’s strike.  A surge of pain travelled through Elijah upon contact with Danny.  Danny noticed the flicker of light from Elijah’s markings and took advantage of the youth’s weakness to grab the chain around Elijah’s throat.  Elijah attempted to pull Danny’s hand off the chain but the longer he held contact with Danny, the weaker he became.  Ethan ran over and pulled Elijah’s arms away and locked them behind his back as Danny pulled the pendant off of Elijah’s throat.

At the same time, Isaac shifted to his dire wolf form and ran to Jackson and Stiles and tore the roots away from both of them.  He caught both him and helped them to remain standing.  Stiles watched as Danny pulled the pendant away and a cloud of miasma left Elijah’s body.

Ethan could feel the fight leaving the youth and released his arms.  Elijah collapsed to his knees, his gaze firmly locked on Danny.  Danny looked at Ethan as he stared at the pendant which looked to be nothing more than a circular picture carrier.  “I guess Isaac was right.”

Elijah pleaded, “Give it back.”

Danny looked at the youth, “Are you back to yourself or are you going to try to sacrifice someone else to the tree?”

Elijah sighed, “I am myself again.  I can’t believe I was doing what I did.”

Danny handed the pendant to Elijah and the youth put it back on and ran over to Isaac, Stiles, and Jackson.

He looked first into Isaac’s red eyes and then into Stiles, “I am so sorry.  I didn’t mean to do that.”

Isaac growled but Stiles cut him off, “Dude, it’s alright.  I know the feeling.”  Stiles flinched in pain as the mark on his left arm glowed again.  Elijah quickly reached forward and grabbed the arm.  He muttered something arcane and the glow from the mark ceased.

Jackson groaned and looked at Elijah, “This kid did all this?”

Stiles responded, “No, he was just being used.”

Danny and Ethan walked over to Elijah and Danny said, “I’m glad to have you back Elijah.”  Ethan nodded in agreement and said, “With everything that has happened, at least we get to place this in the win column.”

Elijah looked at Stiles, “I can’t believe I cursed you with those visions.  I am so sorry.”

Stiles grinned a little, “It’s alright, really.  I am a lot stronger than I look.”

Elijah nodded, “If I could take it back, if I could take your place, I gladly would.”

The moment Elijah uttered those words something clicked in Stiles mind.  It was as if a light went off.  Elijah just perfectly described being a sacrifice.  A fearfully surprised Stiles screamed at Elijah, “No, you can’t say that!”  Before Stiles could finish the warning one of the large roots ripped from the ground.  The tree formed it into a nasty spike and it flew true to its sacrifice.  The root tore through Elijah’s back and ripped through the youth as it sprayed blood over Isaac, Stiles, and Jackson.  Elijah let out a small gasp as he collapsed to the ground.  Ethan and Danny rushed to Elijah’s side as Isaac was caught by surprise from the root impaling the youth and the blood spray which covered him.  Danny and Ethan flanked Elijah as the root ripped from the youth’s body and returned, blood covered, to the earth.  Ethan instinctually knelt and grabbed Elijah’s hand while Danny did the same for the other side of him.  Ethan began to take what pain he could for Elijah’s dying moments.  Elijah slowly rolled his head to look at Danny and muttered, “Oh, well that’s why you are special.”  His eyes glazed over from the pain and loss of blood.  Elijah slowly looked at Ethan and whispered, “Stop it!  Don’t let it use me to kill.  Please!”  Ethan sobbed as the pain stopped flowing and Elijah breathed his last breathe.

Stiles watched Elijah pass and glared at the Nemeton.  Before his eyes, the Nemeton glowed with the mark of the mountain and development an almost stone appearance.  He groaned in pain before he once again lost consciousness.

Ethan and Danny continued to hold Elijah’s hands until his body spontaneous collapsed into dust, the only thing that remained was the picture from the pendant.

In the picture was a young Elijah, A woman who appeared to be his grandmother to his left, his mom standing behind him, a slightly older girl to his right and in his arms was a toddler.  They were all smiling.  Ethan knew with Elijah’s passing this happy picture marked the death of a family.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 15- Drip, Drip

 

 

Sheriff Stilinski sat in his office going over what scant amount of information they had gathered on the Benefactor.  Parish had stepped out of the office earlier to attend to the more mundane comings and goings of Beacon Hills so it just left him with his son.  Stiles sat in the other chair and stared at diagram they had created earlier as if it might decide to share a secret with them.  John rubbed the bridge of his nose when his cell began to ring.  He pulled it out, looked at the incoming call, and looked to Stiles as he said, “Melissa is calling.”  As he answered the phone, Stiles turned to watch/listen to the phone call and its subsequent reactions.  “Hello Melissa”, the sheriff answered.

In a stressed voice Melissa responded, “John, you need to come to the hospital right away.”

John looked genuinely surprised and Stiles stood up to listen more intently but was swatted away by the sheriff.  “What’s going on?  Did something happen?”

Melissa gathered her resolve and said, “There was a fight or something and the doctors are thinking he might have serious head trauma.”

John gasped, “Melissa, who might?”

Melissa sighed as she responded, “Your son, Stiles.”

 

 

Stiles woke up to the sounds of an IV drip and the beeps of a heart monitor.  He knew these sounds all too well since entering the world of werewolves.  He slowly blinked his eyes and felt groggy and stiff.  The exposure to the harsh hospital lights caused a wave of nausea to hit him.  The sterile scent assaulted his nose as well but he was able to restrain himself from losing what little food he might still have in his system.  Stiles looked around the room and noticed Jackson, hooked up to an IV, laying in the bed to his left and Isaac passed out in the chair to his right.  He groaned a little which must’ve created just enough noise to let Jackson know he was awake.

Jackson rolled onto his side to face Stiles and said, “You created quite a scene earlier.  You got wheeled around for all sorts of tests with doctors freaking out.”

Stiles struggled but managed to turn to face Jackson, “From a hit to the head?”  Stiles looked over himself and noticed assorted wrappings and bandages on his arms and felt his head and found it was bandaged up as well.

Jackson grinned, “Well at first but after they took you to get a CT scan, to make sure you didn’t have a concussion, all hell broke loose.  They wouldn’t even let your puppy stay with you.”

Stiles blinked a few times and asked, “Have they called my dad yet?”

Jackson nodded, “Yeah, Ms. McCall just stepped out a few minutes ago after checking to make sure that the patient really was you.  It’s what?  Three stop lights or maybe four he’ll blow through, sirens blazing, before he gets here.  So I’d say you have about 10 minutes or so to make up whatever excuse you are thinking about.”

Stiles smirked, “My dad knows about werewolves and the supernatural within Beacon Hills.  I don’t have to worry about that.”

Jackson furrowed his brow, “Couldn’t keep him out of it?”  The question was only half full of venom, the other half even hinted at concern.

Stiles laughed, “No, I couldn’t.  But at least it made it easier to explain to him why I acquired the prisoner transport van and kidnapped you.  No hard feelings though.”

Jackson smiled, one half filled with genuine feeling and the other half just to show his teeth, “Of course not.  At least you didn’t kill me, Stilinski.”

Stiles laughed hollowly, “Yeah, definitely not my shining moment.”

Jackson stretched a bit and said, “No, Stilinski, not at all.  What’s with Isaac though?  I thought he was Derek’s right hand but now he follows you like a lost puppy.  I also haven’t seen McCall or heard you mention him.  Did you trade him in for Scott 2.0?”

Stiles smirked, “It’s complicated Jackson.  And no, I didn’t trade Scott in.  Things are just a bit different here.  And by the way, you are welcome for saving your life.”

Jackson laughed and pulled himself to standing.  There was a small audible beeping sound heard from Jackson’s side of the room and Melissa stepped in shortly after it began.  She walked in carrying an IV bag and went to Jackson’s IV drip.  His bag was almost empty and while talking to the boys, she went about changing his bag.  She asked, “Do I want to know what brings you back to Beacon Hills, Jackson?”

Jackson put on his puppy dog eyes and smiled gently as he said, “Can’t I just come back and visit friends?”

Melissa nodded, “Sure you can, but not while being severely dehydrated.  About 6 hours or so and I doubt we’d be talking right now.  So, Jackson” Melissa’s eyes shifted to looking the young man in the face, “What really brings you back?  And try to include the part where Stiles has signs of blunt force trauma to the left side of his head and cerebral swelling.”

Jackson gulped and sat back down on the bed as he looked at Stiles.  Stiles only nodded and said, “Yeah, she knows too.”  Jackson gave Stiles the “are-you-serious?!?!” look and said, “I don’t know exactly except I remember going to school, in London, and then next thing I know, I am cutting Stiles down from a tree.  Apparently I was wandering around the preserve for a few days or more.”

Melissa shook her head and looked at Stiles, “Stiles, will you tell me what happened?  And where is Scott and why isn’t he here?”

Stiles looked around as he hoped he would find an answer, “Well there was a fight and I took a bat to the side of my head.  They hurt a surprising bit more than you would think.  At least I know how a baseball feels now.  Then there was me being tied to a tree that wanted to eat me.  And then there was Jackson clawing me free only to faint.”

Jackson growled, “I didn’t faint!”

Stiles grinned back at Jackson, “My bad, you swooned.”  Stiles added extra emphasis to the “oo” sound in swooned.

Jackson stood up quickly and Melissa shot him the serious mom face and he quickly sat back down.

Stiles continued, “And Scott wasn’t with me so I’d say he is probably spending time with Kira.  And he doesn’t know I am here.”

Melissa responded with a hint of anger, “You were fighting something without Scott.  Did something happen between you two?”

Just then there was a knock at the door and Melissa quickly walked to it and opened the door.  Without looking at either patient the Sheriff stepped in and said to Melissa, “I think there has been a mistake because Stiles is” The sheriff glanced at the bed and recognized his son as Stiles weakly waved from the bed.  “Laying in a hospital bed in front of me.”  The sheriff finished the sentence softly, his voice filled with confusion.  The copy stepped into the room and said, “Dad, I can explain.”

Jackson looked at both Stiles and said, “Oh my God, they are multiplying.”

Both Stiles weakly laughed and Melissa looked at both Stiles and walked over to one of the chairs near Jackson’s side and sat down.  The sheriff followed her and sat at the only remaining empty chair.  In an angry father voice he asked, “Can one of you, Stileses, tell me what is going on?”

The copy looked at Stiles and he sighed when he realized he just lost the mental rock paper scissors match.  Stiles began, “Dad, you see what had happened was.”  Stiles stopped midsentence as he glanced over at Isaac, who was slowly waking up.  Stiles returned looking at his face and continued, “We kinda got kidnapped by a giant magical tree about a month and a half or so ago.  Ethan, Isaac, and I fought the magical tree and in the process, some magical things happened.”  The copy interrupted, “Yeah that’s when one Stiles became two.”

Stiles nodded as he weakly smiled, “Yeah and more crazy tree business, I got hit in the head, kidnapped and saved Jackson.”  Stiles finished his ramblings hoping that he wouldn’t be asked anymore questions.  The sheriff looked at Isaac, who now wore the expression of a deer in the headlights, and asked, “Isaac, is there anything else I should know?”

Isaac said, while wearing a complete straight face, “Congratulations Sheriff, you have twins, identical in every way.”

Jackson couldn’t control his laughter at the ridiculousness of the situation.  The sheriff glared at Jackson who only quieted his laughter.  “So I have two Stiles now.”

Stiles grinned and genuinely said, “Don’t worry dad, I enrolled at Forest View and I have been living with Ethan and Isaac.  I spent a few days with you last week while Stiles was in Mexico with Scott.”

The John and Melissa’s gazes met one another before he stood up.  The copy looked to Stiles and whispered, “I didn’t mention Mexico to either of them yet.”

Stiles’ smile shifted to a foot-in-the-mouth O.  Jackson just laughed harder.  “You see Stilinski, or Stilinskis, this is why I don’t even need reality television.  You make this entertaining enough.”

Isaac glared at Jackson and the sheriff walked up to both Stiles and looked between both of them.

The copy asked, “I’m grounded, aren’t I?”

The sheriff said, “You, both of you, are beyond that.”

Melissa walked up to the sheriff and placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “Well we still need to talk about what is going on with Stiles, the one in the bed.”

Sheriff Stilinski nodded and the two adults step out of the room.  Jackson stood up and walked to the restroom while the two Stilinskis look at each other.  Stiles asked, “So what is new with the whole quest to save Derek?”

The copy smiled, “Well we got Derek back and Mexico was frightening and awesome!  Dude, Malia and I are getting pretty serious.  I actually should meet up with her to help her study soon.”

Stiles grinned, “How is she?  I do miss talking to her.  Especially after she saved my ass in Eichen House.”

The copy beamed, “She’s doing well.  Definitely adjusting to this whole human side thing.  Don’t worry, I’ve been helping her.”

Stiles nodded and smiled and caught Isaac staring at the floor through the corner of his eye.  Stiles turned his head and looked at the young alpha.  Stiles saw the fatigue and stress of the last few weeks on the young man’s face.  Stiles asked, “Isaac, did you stay with me the whole time?”

Isaac nodded, turned to Stiles and smiled a huge innocent smile, “After we brought you here, I just couldn’t leave you by yourself.  Or just with Jackson.  Plus it hasn’t been that long, you’ve only been here a few hours.  Sorry about your dad though, Ms. McCall caught me entering the room earlier and you know the mom powers she possesses.”

Stiles laughed and the door opened once again and Scott, Lydia and Malia walked into the room.  Scott stopped after his gaze met that of both Stiles.  While Scott was frozen, his thoughts racing as he tried to figure out what was happening, Lydia walked over to Isaac and said, “Hello Isaac.  You are looking, well pretty bad” She said as she pulled a loose twig out of the alpha’s hair.  “How are things?”  Isaac smiled a bashful smile and looked down to the floor.  “I’m alright” he muttered.

Scott said, “Two, there are two Stiles.”

Malia said in a serious tone, “Yeah, definitely two.”

Scott repeated, “Two” then said, “What?  When? How?”

Before the Stilinskis could respond, Jackson stepped out of the bathroom and began laughing again.  “Stilinski, or Stilinskis, this is awesome.  I needed this.”

Both Stilinskis shot Jackson a glare but shifted their gaze as Lydia made a b-line to the hospital gown clad jock.  “Jackson, what are you doing back here?  Why didn’t you tell me you were coming back? What is goi” Before Lydia could finish the next question, Jackson embraced the young banshee and kissed her passionately.  He whispered after they parted from the kiss, “I missed you too.”

Lydia’s expression shifted from angry to calm and back to angry, “You can’t just kiss me!  You left.”

Jackson shrugged and smiled his patented playboy smile and said, “Lydia, I don’t know why you are angry with me.”  He pointed at both Stiles, “Two Stiles”

Lydia smiled her all knowing smile and said, “I know, I noticed them.”

Scott repeated the look of desperate confusion plastered across the alpha’s face, “What? When? How?”

Stiles looked at his copy and said, “I told dad, it’s only fair you get to explain to Scott.”

Isaac interrupted, “Scott, something happened with the Nemeton and we have two Stiles because of it.”

Scott looked at Isaac and then to both Stiles as he tried to process the information.  Malia interrupted Scott’s train of thought by asking, “Which one is the real one?”

In unison both Stilinskis smiled and said, “These are not the droids you are looking for.”

Malia smirked in confusion while Isaac and Jackson laughed.  Malia caught the scent and said, “Well Stiles one” she said as she pointed at the copy, “Smells like Stiles and Stiles two smells just a little bit different and there is another scent I just can’t place my finger on.”

Stiles smirked and said, “Like hospital gown and disinfectant?”

Scott interrupted, “No more like the smell you pick up right before a really bad thunderstorm.”

Isaac nodded and nervously laughed, “Yeah, I noticed that earlier, like shortly after we got back from” his voice trailed off as he didn’t feel like explaining the entire spirit realm ordeal.

The copy stepped up to Scott and Malia and said, “I will explain, everything, when we get back to my house.”  The copy leaned in and kissed Malia and whispered, “I promise.”

Scott slowly nodded, not wishing to push the issue any farther and walked over to Stiles and looked down at his bed bound best friend, “What happened?”

Stiles sighed, “Well Scott, something is trying to kill us, again.”

Scott smiled a weak smile, “it is okay Stiles, we know about the deadpool.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow, “What deadpool?  I am talking about the supernatural munching magic tree, you know the Nemeton.”

Jackson walked over to his bed and sat down, looking at Scott and Stiles as they talked, “So needless to say, Beacon Hills hasn’t really changed one bit.”  He fiddled with his lone pocket and found a flash drive in it.  With a look of confusion he held it up, “Is it normal hospital protocol to leave flash drives in hospital gowns?”

Scott shook his head and Lydia walked over to Jackson and took it as she said, “Give it to me.”  Jackson smiled a fake smile and said, “You see, this is what I miss.”

Lydia glared at Jackson momentarily before she looked at Scott and the copy.  Scott looked confused but the copy chimed in, “You don’t think that is connected to the deadpool, do you?”

Lydia shrugged, “Only one way to find out.”  She turned back towards Jackson, “Are you going to be in town for a while?”

Jackson nodded but before he could speak Isaac interjected, “He’ll be staying with Ethan and Myself at Ethan and Aiden’s apartment.”

Lydia smiled and slowly sauntered out of the room as she said, “Good, I already know where that is.”

Jackson scowled at Isaac, “What do you mean I am staying with you guys?  I do have money and I can stay somewhere else.”

Isaac stared down the jock as he said, “Well we aren’t giving you a choice, not while a tree wants to eat you.”  Isaac flashed his eyes red and this caused Jackson’s eyes to flash blue and him to instinctually look away.  Malia and Scott watched the exchange of glances and Malia said, “That would be the other smell I picked up on.”

Scott looked at Isaac, his eyes lit up red as well.  “When did you become an alpha Isaac?”

The young wolf grinned and said, “Scott, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

Melissa and the sheriff stepped back in the room a look of concern firmly held by the sheriff.  Melissa demanded, “Alright, these two need rest.  Everyone out but don’t worry they should be discharged in the morning.”

Isaac looked at Melissa as his eyes returned to normal, “Can I stay with Stiles?”  The young alpha pleaded as he gave her the puppy dog eyes and slight pout.

Jackson responded before Melissa could speak with, “Just let him.  I don’t want to deal with tiny pebbles being thrown at the window and whimpers as I am trying to get some sleep.”

Melissa shook her head, unable to argue with Isaac, “Alright.  I’ll bring you a blanket in case you get cold tonight.”  She looked at Scott, Malia, and the copy and said, “But you three out, you have school tomorrow.”

The copy ushered them out as they told Stiles goodbye.  Melissa and the sheriff stepped out of the room.

Isaac glared at Jackson, who defiantly met his gaze, “What the hell was that about?”

Jackson smirked, “It got you to stay, didn’t it?”  The young man lowered himself into his bed and made sure he didn’t twist the IV tube.

Isaac nodded and Stiles interrupted them, “Alright guys, calm down, no harm done.”  Stiles looked at Isaac and caught the young alpha observing his injuries.  Isaac looked lost in concern over Stiles.

Stiles angrily huffed, “Isaac, you are doing it again.  I am fine.  A little cut here, a little bruise there.  I’m not going to shatter into a thousand tiny little pieces.”

Isaac met Stiles’ anger as he said, “You know you can actually let us be concerned about your well-being.  I don’t like seeing you hurt and I especially don’t like you risking your life just to try to prove something to us or yourself.”

Stiles sat up, empowered by anger, and said, “I can handle myself Big Bad.  In case you didn’t notice, Neither Jackson or I are dead.”

Isaac leaned in closer and his eyes flashed red, “And how many times are you going to push your luck until something really bad happens to you?  Just because there is another you running around doesn’t mean there aren’t people who care about you.”

Stiles slowly lowered himself and said “I’m sorry I was only” but he was cut off by Jackson.  The jock almost yelled, “Oh my god would you two just get a room.  And preferably one that I am not in.  I do actually want to get some sleep tonight.”

Isaac and Stiles turned to face Jackson and Stiles said, “What the hell are you talking about?”

Jackson looked at the two men and smirked his know-it-all smirk and said, “Stiles, you may be the brains but right now, that’s not saying a whole lot.”  Before either man could respond he grabbed the privacy curtain and yanked it shut.

Isaac and Stiles met each other’s gaze and almost in unison said, “I don’t know what that was about.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 16-Cyclones and Turtles

 

A week passed since Jackson was discharged from the hospital.  Stiles had to stay two more days and Isaac only left his side to go to school and pick up Stiles’ homework.  The doctors explained to Stiles that they were keeping him under observation since his brain activity on the CT scan exceeded that of even an extremely manic individual.  When they determined that he was, more or less, back to normal and healthy, they released him. 

School and classes continued, the pack explained Elijah’s disappearance as he ran away, and Jackson, with Ethan’s help, transferred to Forest View. Jackson convinced Coach G to let him try out and play for the Forest View Turtles.  Jackson made the team and tried to compete with Danny to become team captain but Coach G kept Danny as captain.

In the locker room, Jackson argued with the coach, “I am the best player you have on the team.  Danny is good but I can tear up the field.”

Coach G grunted, “Mr. Whit-te-more, you may be the best player but I am coaching a team.  You don’t know how to teamwork.  Danny is a confident leader, you are cocky and self-centered.  If you want to captain a team from your ivory tower, go back to Beacon Hills High.  I’m sure Coach Finstock would jump at the idea of having another showboating “I” player.”

Danny looked to Jackson and said, “Sorry man.”

Jackson scowled initially and then smiled to Danny, “Well if I had to lose to anyone, I am glad it’s you, Danny.”

Coach G walked over to Stiles.  The young Stilinski still wore a small bandage on his arm and a large head wrap.  “Bilinski, state champion honor student, we have a scrimmage Friday night and as first line, I need you to play.  Will you be able to play?”

Stiles nodded and with a confused expression, asked, “I am first line?”

Coach G laughed, one filled with confidence, “Of course you are first line.  You teamwork well.”

Stiles flinched at the woman’s butchering of the English language and commented, “You mean I work well with the team.”

With a flash of anger, Coach G said, “No!  You teamwork well.  I know what I said honor kid!”

Isaac laughed and Coach G shot him a glare, “Don’t think I haven’t noticed your performance on the field Mr. Lahey.”

Isaac smirked, “What do you mean Coach?  I played well.”

Coach G returned the smirk, “You play better when you share the field with Mr. Bilinski.”

Jackson nodded to Danny at the comment and laughed out loud, “I told you so.”  Isaac and Stiles shot Jackson a glare which only caused the jock to laugh harder.

Ethan walked over to Danny and Jackson and asked the jock, “What’s so funny Jackson?”

Danny turned to his boyfriend, “Nothing, Jackson is just being an ass.”

Jackson looked to Danny and gave him the playboy smile, “It’s not my fault that you find it cute.”

Danny laughed and Ethan leaned towards Danny as he said, “He’s so cocky.  How do people put up with him?  How are you his best friend?”  Danny shrugged as Jackson sauntered over to Ethan, still wearing the playboy smile, “It’s okay to be jealous Ethan, I am everyone’s type.”

Ethan pretended to gag which only brought Danny and Jackson to tears as they laughed.

Coach G posted the team assignments list next to the door to her office and entered her office, closing the door behind herself.  Stiles ran up to the list and Isaac followed him.  He looked it over and turned to Isaac and said, “Hey Big Bad, we made first line as defenders.”

Isaac smiled at the thought of the two of them paired on the field and Jackson cut in and looked over the list.  He said, “Well I’m an attacker, which makes sense, because I’m awesome.  Danny, Coach G has you as a midfielder with Ethan.”

Ethan smiled to Danny and said, “Well that’s understandable.  Lead your team Danny.”  Ethan leaned in to Danny and kissed him of the cheek.  The men finished cleaning up after practice and went home to celebrate making first line. 

When they got back to the apartment, Jackson received a phone call.  Jackson answered it as he walked into the apartment and sat down on the couch.  Danny and Ethan stepped into Ethan’s room.  Isaac and Stiles flanked the jock and sat in each of the chairs on the sides of the couch.

Jackson said, “Hello Dad.”

Mr. Whittemore said, “Jackson, where are you and why have you been avoiding our calls?  We are worried sick.”

Jackson sighed and said, “I am back in Beacon Hills.”  Jackson smirked when he noticed Isaac and Stiles as they tried to listen in on the conversation.  Jackson put the phone on speaker and continued the conversation. 

Mr. Whittemore continued, “What are you doing back there?  Are you safe?”

Jackson rolled his eyes as he said, “Dad, I’m fine.  I came back here because I wanted to finish out my time in high school here.  I’m actually already enrolled in Forest View.”

His father said, “You could’ve talked with us about that Jackson.  We can be back in Beacon Hills by tomorrow afternoon.”

Jackson angrily responded, “Dad, I’m fine.  I don’t need you or mom to come back here.  I am staying with some friends.”

His father asked, “Who are you staying with?  Do we know them?”

Stiles commented in without thinking, “Hello Mr. Whittemore.”

His father angrily responded, “Stiles Stilinski, the boy who kidnapped you.  What’s going on Jackson?”

Jackson shot a glare at Stiles and said, “It’s a long story dad but I am fine.  Yes, that was the loudmouthed son of the Sheriff and yes I am staying with him but I am fine and not kidnapped or anything.  But if you are really worried, you’ll just send me my Porsche.”

His father calmly laughed, “Alright Jackson, but I am not sending you the Porsche.  If you need a car, you have the money in your account.”

Stiles and Isaac looked at each other as Jackson’s expression slowly shifted to normal.

Jackson said, “Thanks Dad, I’ll be back to visit before you know it.  Talk to you later.”

His father said, “Take care, love you Jackson.”

Jackson smirked, “Later Dad” as he hung up the phone.  Stiles and Isaac looked at Jackson and Isaac said, “Your dad is just letting you stay on the other side of the globe because” the young alpha paused as he looked for the words, “you are a dick?”

Jackson glared at Isaac, “No, I am staying here because I am an adult who makes his own decisions.  My dad just accepts that.”

Stiles quietly said, “You have enough money to buy another Porsche in your account?”

Jackson glanced over to Stiles, “More than enough Stilinski.  But I am getting the feeling a motorcycle might be in order.  Oh, and next time I am on the phone, no butting in to the conversation.  I only put the phone on speaker to save you two pillow talk about Isaac eavesdropping the conversation later.”

Isaac and Stiles looked to each other and caught each one a little red in the cheeks before looking back to Jackson, “I don’t know what you are talking about”, Stiles said.  Jackson rolled his eyes, “Why don’t you answer that question now, when I am listening to both of your heart beats then.”  Jackson grinned devilishly after he finished speaking.

Stiles gasped a little and began to respond but was interrupted by a knock at the door.  Jackson continued to grin at Stiles as Isaac answered the door.  As soon as the young alpha opened the door, Lydia barged past him and into the living room.  She carried a laptop which still had the mysterious flash drive plugged in.  She sat down on the couch and opened the laptop.  “We have a problem”, the banshee said.

Isaac took his seat and Jackson looked at the computer screen and noticed the gibberish of letters and numbers.  “I hope that isn’t your calculus homework because that doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Lydia glared at her ex, “No Jackson, it’s a code and this one I can’t figure out the cipher key.  It’s definitely part of the deadpool.”

Jackson gave his ex a confused look, “Okay, so what’s a cipher key and what is a deadpool?”

Lydia smirked and explained the deadpool and cipher keys to Jackson.

The beta slowly breathed in and out when Lydia told him about Allison.  He said, “Allison’s dead?”

Stiles lowered his head as Isaac and Lydia looked away.  He meekly said, “Yeah, she was killed trying to save me from the Nogitsune.”

Jackson rushed towards Stiles but was blocked as Isaac stepped in the way.  “You got her killed?!?!” the beta yelled and Stiles only sighed as tear began to well up in his eyes.

Isaac looked Jackson in the eyes and said, “It wasn’t like that.  It isn’t his fault.”

Jackson sneered, his eyes shifted blue, “So his boyfriend defends him, why am I not surprised?”  Jackson tried to shove Isaac aside but the young alpha didn’t budge.  Isaac’s eyes shifted red as he continued to meet Jackson’s gaze.  “No, the Nogitsune killed Allison, not Stiles and you need to come to terms with that.”  The comment seemed to float in the air.  Its intent seemed to address Stiles’ sadness and guilt more than Jackson’s anger. 

Jackson stared down the alpha for a few minutes before he turned away and said, “I’m gone for 6 months, maybe, and shit goes south.”  He looked to Lydia who seemed sad but genuinely surprised at Jackson’s reaction.  “So what are we looking for?  Another name of someone killed?”

Lydia shook her head and said, “I don’t know.  I’ll just know when I hear it.”  Jackson shook his head and said, “When you figure it out, let me know.  Until then, I have a bike to purchase.”  Jackson stormed out of the apartment.  Isaac slowly turned around and knelt in front of Stiles.  The young Stilinski was quiet as the tears rolled down his cheeks.  Isaac placed his hand under Stiles’ chin and raised the young man’s head until their gazes met.

“You’ve got to stop doing this to yourself.”

Stiles sighed, “Doing what?  Accepting the truth?”

Isaac softly said, “No.  Remember how you told me to stop apologizing and be a man about things.”

Stiles slightly nodded, not breaking eye contact.

Isaac smiled, “Then stop beating yourself up.”

Stiles sighed, “Allison, Aiden, and now Elijah.”

Before Stiles could finish the sentence Isaac interrupted, “Aren’t your fault.  If you need me to, I’ll drag Aiden in here just to tell you that.”

Stiles smiled a little, the tears seemed to stop.  Lydia watched both men with a slight smile and asked, when Isaac finished, “What do you mean bring Aiden in here.”

Ethan stepped out of his room, his eyes flashed blue as he rushed to Lydia’s side.  In Aiden’s voice he said, “Lydia, I can’t believe you are here.”  The twin pulled the young banshee close and kissed her deeply.

Danny stepped to the entrance on the room, only wearing a pair of shorts.  He smirked as he sarcastically said, “Thanks Lydia.”

Aiden glared at Danny and then looked back to Lydia.  The young banshee laughed a little and said, “Okay, what is going on?”

Danny walked over to the couch and plopped down next to Lydia, “Short and sweet, your boyfriend is possessing my boyfriend which means MY celebration for being team captain is now postponed.” 

Lydia gave her victorious smile to Danny before looking into Aiden’s eyes.  She looked deep into them and realized the twin looking back was the one she was intimate with.  “Aiden, I am glad to see you too.”

Aiden smiled but his eyes shifted back to red and Ethan took a few steps back.  “Did I just make out with Lydia?”  He said full of confusion.

Danny nodded, “Yeah and if I was the jealous type I might have to hurt you.”

Stiles and Isaac watched the scene unfold.  Stiles began to say something but Isaac drug the young man into the master bedroom as he said, “Not now Stiles.”

Lydia laughed as the two men left and looked at Ethan, “So, Aiden just possesses you whenever?”

Danny looked at Ethan who still seemed shocked at the idea of kissing Lydia and said, “No, only when Aiden feels strongly about someone or something.”

Lydia sighed happily at Danny’s response.  Danny stood up and walked over to Ethan, “Is everything alright?”

Ethan looked into Danny’s eyes, “I kissed Lydia.”  Danny laughed and said, “Just as long as you still love me, we don’t have any problems.”

Ethan laughed, “No, I still love you but I can’t believe Aiden did that.”

Danny looked to Lydia, “Just be glad you didn’t turn my boyfriend.”  The young man laughed as he spoke.

Lydia flipped a bit of her hair over her shoulder and said, “I can’t help it if I have that effect on men.”

The three had a good laugh about things and Lydia left shortly after.  Jackson returned in a considerably better mood since he rode back his new Ducati.  The rest of the week flowed until the night of the game.

 

The air was crisp the evening of the game.  The BHHS team was the away team playing at the smaller field at Forest View.  Stiles walked up wearing his lacrosse gear, which sported the name Bilinski and the number 42, and carried a long stick.  He walked out of the locker rooms and towards Coach G who stood next to the Turtles’ bleachers.  She was having an argument with Coach Finstock, who was waiting for the rest of his team to get to the field.  Both coaches wore the respective running suits for their schools.

Coach G said, “Bobby, I hope your team is ready to see what teamwork really is.”

Coach Finstock responded, “With Mehealani and Lahey on your team, I would say I taught them teamwork.”

Coach G smirked, “With Mr. Mehealani as team captain and under my guidance I will show you why your teamwork doesn’t work.”

Finstock laughed, “And who won the state championship?”

Coach G sneered, “It was a season of rebuilding.”

Finstock laughed harder, “More like poaching all of Beacon Hills’ good players.  What did you offer them?  A scholarship?  Proceeds from the games?  Academics?”

Stiles walked up and said, “What’s going on Coach?”

Both coaches turned to him and Coach G said, “Get on the field Bilinski, bring your honor student teamwork.”

Coach Finstock looked confused and said, “Stilinski, you are in the wrong uniform.  Go back and get changed and get on the field.”

Coach G stepped between Stiles and Finstock and said, “Honor student’s name is Bilinski and he belongs to the Turtles.”

Finstock stepped closer to Coach G, “His name is Stilinski and he goes to Beacon Hills.”

“BILINSKI!” Coach G shouted. 

“STILINSKI!” Coach Finstock shouted back.

Just then, Jackson walked by both coaches, his new number being 43.  He nonchalantly said, “Hey coach” before he walked to the Turtles’ side.

Finstock shouted some incomprehensible words before he said, “You have Jackson Whittemore, but he moved to England or somewhere in Europe.”

Coach G smugly grinned, “And he came back to join the Turtles.  Problems with retention Bobby?  Maybe you should train harder at teamwork.”

Isaac, Ethan, and Danny ducked by the coaches but Finstock watched them as they scurried by.  He yelled, “Traitors, after all I did for you!”

Coach G laughed as they moved towards the field, “So what do you say to a friendly wager?”

Finstock laughed, “What do you take me for Enilda?  I just expect you to say McCall next.”

McCall and the Copy walked up to Coach Finstock and McCall asked, “Coach what’s up?”

Enilda and Bobby looked at both Stiles for a moment before Stiles interrupted the impending aneurism, “He’s my cousin.  Yeah I know we look a lot alike.  We’ve heard it all our lives.  That’s why my family originally moved away from Beacon Hills.”

In unison they both said, “Cousins?”

The copy nodded and said, “Yeah, cousins.  Can’t you tell?  I’m better looking and he’s a little taller.  Plus my skin is clearer than his.”  Scott laughed and Stiles shot the copy a glare.

“Hey Stilinski, don’t forget how I am smarter and definitely more athletic than you.”

The copy smirked, “I have a girlfriend!”

Stiles responded, “Well I have” but he paused as he was trying to think of a response.  During the natural pause Jackson shouted, “Isaac!”  Stiles shot the jock a glare.  Jackson laughed as he continued to say, “Isaac, get on the field and join us for warm ups!”

Scott laughed heartily at the two Stiles and the coaches but Finstock cut him off, “McCall, take your team to the field and even though this is preseason, remember what I say.”

Scott nodded slowly and with a monotone voice said, “Winning is everything” before he rallied his team to the field.

Coach G turned to Finstock, “That is your McCall?  I am not impressed.”  She looked to her players on the bench and said, “Joseph, take position as goalie tonight.”  A large built man of pacific island descent stepped off the benches and walked out on the field.  He easily towered over the teens on the field and looked to be twice as wide.  He was the player who Stiles constantly referred to as the HGH reject.  Finstock remarked, “He’s big enough to fill the goal, not guard it.”

Coach Finstock watched the man take the field and yelled back to his team, “McCall, Have Dunbar take a short stick.”  Liam walked to the sidelines and traded out a long stick for short stick.  Finstock turned back to Coach G, “That’s what I think about your Samoa Jo-a”

Coach G laughed, “You send a boy.  This will be fun to see.”

It wasn’t long before the game began.  The cohesion between the Turtles enabled Jackson to score a couple of points within the first few minutes of gameplay.  Isaac and Stiles were easily able to overwhelm the Cyclone’s attackers and even knocked Scott around when he tried to charge to the goal.  Danny leaned on the strengths of his team and was guiding them to victory by the half.  When the whistle blew, both teams walked back to their respective benches.  Coach G called the team together.

During the half time talk Lydia walked up into the bleachers carrying a Jackson is #1 poster.  The young beta noticed it as he was walking back onto the field and waved at Lydia.  Ethan immediately ran away from the conversation he was having with Danny to Jackson.

Aiden said, “Why does Lydia have a sign for you Whittemore?”

Jackson smirked at Aiden and said, “Get back to you side of the field Carver.  I can’t help it if Lydia only sides with winners.”

Aiden pushed Jackson and his eyes glowed blue, “Exactly, which is why she is with me.”

Jackson laughed derisively, “Didn’t seem that way when we were kissing in the hospital.”  Aiden charged Jackson and tackled him to the ground.  Both betas’ eyes blazed as they wrestled and fought on the ground.  Coach G ran up to the two and managed to reach them as Isaac and Danny were pulling them apart.

She said, “Carver, what are you doing?!?  That isn’t teamwork!  Take the bench, you are sitting the rest of this game out.  We will see if you are still first line later.”

Ethan’s eyes shifted back as he lowered his head and walked back to the sidelines as Danny followed him. 

Jackson laughed smugly and Coach G eyed him down, “Anymore hot dogging stunts from you Whit-te-more and you will be lucky to play in the band, much less the team.”  Coach G stormed back to the Turtles’ sideline.

McCall led the Cyclones to score immediately after they returned to the field.  At the next face off Danny managed to gain control of the ball.  He ran downfield and passed it to Jackson.  The jock charged towards the goal and came into direct contact with Liam.  Both betas struck sticks and gloves and knocked each other flying in the air.  The ball went wild as they spun midair and landed on their feet, hands and knees.  The landed with faces down and slowly lifted them to face each other, their eyes instinctual flared blue and gold and met as the betas stared each other.  The game continued down to the final seconds.  The Cyclones were down one goal when Scott charged up the field, flanked on either side by Liam and the copy.  The copy body checked Stiles and sent him flying while Scott checked Isaac right after he passed the ball to Liam.  With only the Joseph left, Liam took the shot and managed to tie the game up.  The Cyclones and Turtles went into sudden death overtime.

Coach G and Coach Finstock continued to argue about the game, both upset by tie.  The players took the field after a brief pause and Danny, with renewed vigor, led his team to victory.  With the game ending in victory for the Turtles, the players maneuvered to the locker rooms.  Stiles and Isaac met up with Scott and the copy.  They laughed about the game and talked about how much fun it was to compete, especially without having to worry about the other supernatural stresses.  Aiden and Jackson walked behind the four and were stopped by Lydia.

The young banshee addressed Aiden, “You can’t keep doing that.”

Aiden smirked and said, “Do what?  Enjoy seeing you?”  He walked up to Lydia who promptly held up her hand to block him.  “Back off lover boy, that’s not why we are talking.”

Jackson smiled a confident smile and tried to step in between the two and said, “No offense, Carver, but she wants me, the sign said so.”

Aiden growled at Jackson, who laughed back at him.  Lydia separated the two, “Boys, stop.  I am not here for either of you.”

Both betas looked at the banshee with a look of confusion and in unison said, “What?”

Lydia confidently smiled and said, “Aiden, it’s sweet you care but you need to move on.  And Jackson, you’ll always be my first love but.”

Jackson asked, “But what?”

Lydia laughed, “I don’t date boys anymore, just men.”  The banshee turned to walk away, with both betas in pursuit when one of her earrings fell off and made a distinct song.  The banshee stopped in her tracks, the many voices bombarding her hearing when she said one word, “Elijah.”

Ethan immediately took his body back over and said, “Elijah?  What about him?”

Lydia shook her head, the confident look became a fearful one as she said, and “He’s the key, the key to the new list.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 17- Stiles’ Pack

 

“He’s the key, the key to the new list.”

Ethan took control of his body from Aiden.  The twin alpha told Jackson, “Get everyone from the locker rooms, I’ll take Lydia to the apartment so we can finally know what is on this list.”

Jackson rolled his eyes and said, “Whatever” as he ran into the locker rooms.  As Ethan knelt down and picked up Lydia’s earring, Malia ran up to both of them.  The coyote said, “Lydia, you know the key for the list.”

Lydia still half dazed simply nodded her head.  The three made their way to Lydia’s car and drove back to Ethan’s apartment.

After Jackson told them what was going on, the packs quickly got changed and made their way to the parking lot.  Scott hopped on his bike and Kira got into Stiles’ jeep.  Isaac, Stiles, and Jackson tossed their bags into Danny’s car and walked to the two motorcycles.  Jackson grinned as he said, “Bilinski, you are riding with me.”  The jock revved up his new Ducati as he stared at Stiles and Isaac.  Stiles stepped away from Isaac, towards Jackson, and asked, “Why would I want to ride with you?”

Jackson only grinned more and said, “Because mine is faster.”

Stiles looked to Isaac, who just looked to the ground and asked, “Do you want me to ride with Jackson?”

Isaac sighed and said, “I think you should.  I think this is his way of apologizing for blowing up at you about Allison.”  Stiles nodded as he grabbed his helmet and walked over to Jackson and the Ducati and mounted it.

Jackson sped off as soon as Stiles got situated and left the other vehicles in the dust.  When they reached the first stoplight, Jackson said, “I’m sorry about what happened with Allison.  Ethan and Danny told me what happened and it was wrong of me to blame you.”

Stiles’ mouth dropped and for a moment he was speechless, “Jackson, you are apologizing?”

Jackson smirked, even though Stiles could only see his back, and said, “Yeah, dicknuts, I am apologizing.  I didn’t know the situation before and I know now and I am a dick, just not that kind of one.  So yeah, I’m apologizing.”

Stiles smiled slowly but was jerked out of his reverie by Jackson speeding away as the light turned green.  The beta noticed as Isaac tried to keep up and whenever the alpha would get closer, Jackson accelerated more.  They reached the apartment a few minutes before Isaac and the others that followed and Jackson almost pushed Stiles into the elevator.  Stiles saw Isaac as he ran to catch it before the door closed.  He could swear Jackson had a grin on his face as he waved to Isaac as the doors closed.  Stiles turned to Jackson and said, “Is there a reason you are trying to piss Isaac off?”

Jackson only smiled and looked at Stiles, “Besides it’s fun?”

Stiles smirked, “Yes, besides that.”

Jackson shrugged, “No reason.”  His smile shifted into a full Cheshire grin.

Stiles rolled his eyes and looked forward, “You have an idea about who is on the list, don’t you?”

Jackson turned his head and faced forward, his expression went neutral.

Stiles continued, “You don’t want Isaac to be thinking about that right now.  That was your plan with the bike ride, to get his mind off the stress that we are about to deal with.”

Jackson turned to Stiles as the door opened, “Do you think I am that smart?”  The jock walked off the elevator and Stiles smiled as he whispered, “Yeah, I do” before he walked off the elevator and into the apartment.  Just as Jackson and Stiles stepped into the apartment, the door opened again and Isaac fumed by the entrance.

“Jackson, you could’ve held the elevator”, the young alpha said as he breathed heavily from running up the many flights of stairs.

Jackson grinned at Isaac, “Yeah, I could’ve.”

Isaac glared and huffed at Jackson but his attention was torn away by Lydia typing on her laptop as she sat between Ethan and Malia on the couch.  She gasped as she read the list.

Ethan sighed, “Yeah, we are all on it.  So what does this mean?”

Malia looked to Ethan, “There are people who are going to try and kill you for money.”

Ethan glared at Malia and said, “I know that.  Why does this exist and how do they know about us?”

Isaac, Stiles, and Jackson walked behind the couch and peered over Lydia’s shoulder.  Isaac turned to Stiles and said, “Stiles Bilinski, 10”

Stiles lowered his head and walked into the kitchen.  His mind raced on the idea that someone or something wanted him dead, again.  His thoughts went to how anyone could’ve known about his fake identity outside of school.  He tried to process it as Isaac walked up behind him and placed his hand on the young human’s shoulder.  They looked to each other, eyes filled with concern, as words slowly formed to be spoken.  They began to speak but were cut off by Jackson’s yelling.

“Jackson Whittemore 250!?!?!  This is bullshit!  I am worth more than that with just my assets alone!”

The rest of the packs stepped in shortly before Jackson’s outburst and everyone looked at the jock.  Liam walked up to Jackson and said, “Shouldn’t you be happy about that?  I mean, maybe they’ll overlook you for someone else.”

Jackson glared at Liam, “Why the hell would I be happy about that?  Jackson Whittemore doesn’t get overlooked!”

Liam glared back, “Well maybe that is also a good thing.  Maybe they’ll be too interested in you and give us the opportunity to take them out.”

Jackson sneered, “And what about you, little man?  What is your number?”

Liam looked dejected as the copy piped in, “3”

Jackson shook his head and said as he stormed into the master bedroom, “3 million?!?!  Total bullshit!”  The door slammed behind Jackson.

Malia looked around the room and noticed looks of concern as well as smiles and snickers held back.  She asked, “Is he really upset there isn’t a bigger bounty on his head?”

Scott nodded and said, “That’s Jackson.”

Lydia, both Stiles, and Danny nodded and laughed in agreement.  Ethan looked at Danny, “Babe you are on here.”

Danny stepped over and read his name on the list.  He asked, “Isn’t this like a supernatural hit list?”

Lydia slowly nodded and Danny continued, “Then why am I on it?”

Ethan half smiled and said, “Well babe, you are special.”

Danny smirked after he kissed Ethan on top of his head, “Thanks babe but that doesn’t help the fact that someone wants me dead.”

Stiles looked to Scott and said, “What are we doing or going to do about the list?”

Scott shrugged and said, “Look after each other and try not to die?”

Stiles laughed a little and looked to his copy, “You see, this is why we come up with the plans.”

Liam looked to both Stiles and said, “Your plans aren’t much better.”

The copy shrugged and Stiles gasped as he looked at Liam, then to Isaac, “My plans are better?  Aren’t they?”

Isaac innocently smiled, “You do have your good moments.”

Ethan, Danny, and the copy laughed at Isaac’s comment which left Scott’s pack with confused expressions.

Jackson stormed out of the bedroom and said, “250?!?!  Let me find who made this list and I will choke him to death on 250!”

Lydia glanced over to her ex, “When we find it out, we’ll let you know Jacks.  I am glad to see you are being so mature handling this.”

Jackson rolled his eyes and said, “Thanks Lyds.”  He looked to Scott who wore a very confusing expression, “What’s up McCall?  Is tonight’s loss bothering you that badly?”

Scott shook his head as Kira looked at him with concern in her eyes, “No, it’s the smell.”

Ethan looked to Scott, “What smell?”

Scott’s eyes flashed red which instinctually caused Isaac’s and Ethan’s eyes to flash red.  “Both of you are alphas?  How can you stand to be in the same room?”

Isaac and Ethan looked at each other, shrugged slightly, and then back to Scott, “Isaac and I haven’t had any issues with it.  I guess we are just used to it.”

Scott shook his head, his eyes remained red, “I don’t know if it works that way.”

Lydia commented, her eyes still affixed on the list, “It’s because they are a pack”

Scott smirked, “I know that but if one of them followed the other, there would be tension.”

Jackson looked to Scott and smirked, “Well yeah, but you still haven’t figured it out yet, have you McCall?”

Scott shot a glare at Jackson who proceeded to laugh. 

Scott fought back his wolf as it growled angrily in protest to being in another packs territory.  He finally picked up on the other smell, the strong scent of ozone.

Kira looked to Liam and Malia and said, “Alright I am confused but I can definitely feel the energy in the room.”

Lydia said, “Well isn’t it obvious?”

Jackson looked at Scott’s pack, his laughter only continuing, “Man, I am glad to be on this side.  Haven’t you noticed the smell yet?”

Scott shook his head and noticed the strong scent of ozone clung to Ethan, Danny, Isaac, Jackson, and Stiles.  Like a light bulb going off he said, “Your alpha is.”

He was interrupted by Stiles as the young Stilinski stepped towards him and Scott could’ve sworn Stiles’ eyes flashed red as Stiles said, “Me.”

Isaac looked at Stiles and caught the scent of the pack and realized that his thoughts of Stiles as the leader coincided with the smell of ozone over the pack.  He looked to Scott and Ethan and asked, “How is this even possible though?”

Scott looked confused and Ethan shrugged and said, “I don’t know how, I just accept it is.”

Stiles turned around to face Isaac and asked, “Is everything alright though?  I don’t want this kind of thing to be forced.”

Isaac looked a bit confused and lost in thought when Jackson chimed in, “I don’t mind Stilinski.  Just remember, I answer only to myself!”

Lydia laughed and said, “Stiles, you’ll have Jackson whipped in a week, tops.”

Jackson glared at his ex who only responded by playfully sticking out her tongue.

Scott said, “Stiles, my pack can handle the deadpool while yours handles the Nemeton.”

Stiles turned to face Scott, “Sounds good.  We can deal with both problems and if need be, we can call each other for help.”

Scott slowly walked up to Stiles and gave him a bro hug.  With confusion in his voice, Stiles asked, “Yo Scotty, what’s the hug for?”

Scott slowly pulled away, “I don’t know, I just felt like I will be losing you, you know.  Like when all of this is done, you won’t be my best friend that I’ve always known.”  The copy chimed in, “What am I?  The backup plan?”

Scott and Stiles looked at the copy and laughed before they looked at each other.  Stiles nodded, “I know how you feel Scott.  Don’t worry though, we’ll still be best friends but I don’t think either of us will be the same.”

Scott rounded up his pack and they left the group meeting and the Stiles pack sat in the remaining seats, the deadpool list with their names was written on the dry erase board.  Stiles stood in front of them with Jackson and Isaac in the chairs and Danny and Ethan on the couch.  He sighed and asked, “So seriously, how long have you guys known?”

Jackson laughed and said, “For me, I’d say London.  I know it sounds crazy but I remember the smell even before I was magic-ed back here.  It’s almost like you were calling me back, in addition to the murderous tree.”

Ethan and Isaac looked at each other and then to Stiles, “I don’t know about Isaac but I would say the day of the funerals.”  Isaac nodded as he agreed with Ethan. 

Danny shrugged, “Don’t look at me, I have no clue about this whole pack business.  I just know that if anything happens, we look to you.”

Stiles nodded after he took all of what his pack said to heart and then asked, “Does anybody want it any different?”

Jackson answered first, “I want to say I should lead but it just feels right with you.  I’m still going to bust your balls if you screw up.”  The jock smiled a devious smile as he finished.  Stiles laughed as he faced Jackson, “Well, Jacks, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Ethan turned to Danny and then to Stiles and said, “As long as you respect our wishes, I have no objections.”  Stiles looked to Danny and Ethan and said, “I won’t try to force you to do anything you don’t want to do.” 

Stiles faced Isaac and noticed the young alpha still lost in thought, his head down as he looked at the floor.  Stiles kneeled in front of Isaac and asked, “What about you Care Bear?”  Isaac met Stiles’ gaze and asked, “You are going to be in a lot of danger aren’t you?”

Stiles half-smirked, “Probably.”  Isaac nodded, “Then I have one condition.”

Stiles nodded, “Name it.”  Isaac responded, “Stop blaming yourself for the past and don’t beat yourself up for anything that might happen in the future.  We trust you, now learn to trust yourself.” 

Stiles smiled, “Alright Big Bad, I’ll do it.”

Jackson chimed in, “Plus the only one who gets to beat you up for stupid decisions is me!”  The jock wore his patented know-it-all grin.  Isaac glared at Jackson which only caused the jock to laugh.

Stiles stood up and faced the pack again, “Alright, pack, what do you think our next move is?”

Danny answered, “I think with two separate, or at least separate to our knowledge, things that want us dead means we need to be more careful.  We should always have a pack member close.”

Stiles nodded, “Sounds like a good idea Danny.”  The pack agreed.  “What should we do about the Nemeton?”

Jackson chimed in, “I think we should do a little recon.  We don’t know how the sacrifice changed it but we do know that it has an end game with our deaths involved.”

Isaac nodded, “And when Elijah was possessed he called you the philosopher.  When Ms. Blake sacrificed those people they were split into 5 groups, virgins, philosophers, warriors, healers, and guardians.”

Stiles continued, “So you think the Nemeton is wanting us because we fit the mold?”

Isaac nodded, “Yeah, Elijah was a virgin so that is one down.”

Jackson asked, “Okay so Stiles is a philosopher, but who else fits anything but warrior?”

Stiles shook his head, “I don’t know Jackson.  I think we may learn as things progress.”

The phone Isaac received from Chris began to ring and he stepped into the master bedroom to answer it.  Stiles looked to the door confused and then back to the remaining pack members.  “Well if we are going to check out the Nemeton and the area, I am going.  After all, I am the only one that can shut down its mojo if it tries to do the illusions or work any tree magic.”

Danny and Ethan looked at each other, their faces torn with concern and uncertainty.

Jackson answered before either said anything, “Well you’ll need muscle, so I’m going.” 

Ethan looked from Danny to Stiles, “What about Isaac?  You know he won’t just opt out of this.”

Stiles nodded, “I know but something tells me Mr. Argent’s call isn’t just a social one.”

Isaac stepped back in the living room and said, “Chris said he found something that might be of interest to us.  That and he wants to see what’s left of the obol.”

Stiles turned to face Isaac, “Well Big Bad, do you mind taking Danny and Ethan to meet Mr. Argent?”

Isaac shook his head slowly, “No but what are you and Jackson doing?”

Jackson turned his head and grinned up at the alpha, “We have a date with a magical tree.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 18- Nemeton too, Electric Bugaloo

 

“We have a date with a magical tree.”

Isaac blinked a few times as Jackson’s words sank in.  The young alpha turned to Stiles and asked, with noticeable anger in his voice, “You are kidding right?  You and Jackson just got out of the hospital from your last adventure with the Nemeton.”

Stiles stepped up to Isaac, his resolve face worn as he said, “No joke Big Bad, you need to go see Chris and we need to do some recon on the Nemeton and the preserve to see if we can get an idea on what is going on.”

Isaac shook his head, “No, you two are not going there.  If we do that, we go as a pack.”

Stiles shot back, “So if something happens and things go south we do what?  Wait for Scott’s pack to come to our rescue?  Or do we hope that Argent is able to save us?  BB, this is kind of our only option.”

The young alpha’s eyes flashed red, “Then we just don’t do it.  It’s too dangerous.”

Jackson began to say something but Stiles held out his hand to stop the young beta and said, “We are not going to sit back and wait for the Nemeton to make its next move.  We already lost Elijah and I am not losing another member of my pack.”

As Isaac stared into Stiles’ eyes he could feel his resolve soften and his will give until he looked away defeated.  He said, “Since you two are going to go whether I agree or not then I won’t try to stop you.  If anything goes bad.”

Stiles finished his statement, “Then we get out of there.  We have your number so we can call or text and if things get twisted I’m pretty sure we can do smoke signals and flashlight bat signals as well.”

Isaac sighed and looked at Stiles, “Be careful.”  He shifted his gaze to look at Jackson, “You too, Jackson.”

Jackson stood up and slapped the young alpha on his shoulder, which only caused Isaac to growl, as he wore his cocky smile, “We’ll be back before you know it.”

 

Jackson and Stiles grabbed their helmets and left the apartment as they rode to the preserve.  When they arrived at the parking area outside of the preserve, Stiles dismounted the bike and asked, “Jackson, why did you volunteer to come here with me?”

Jackson smirked as he hung his helmet off the bike, “It was my idea.”

Stiles shot Jackson a glare, “Is that the only reason?”

Jackson didn’t answer until they began to walk into the forest.  “Something is different about you Stilinski and I can’t quite place my finger on it.”

“You mean besides the smell?”

“Yeah.  You aren’t the same spastic nerd that you were before I left.  Now the other Stiles, he hasn’t changed but you, you’ve changed.”

Stiles shrugged, “I’m not hiding anything if that’s what you are thinking.”

Jackson looked at Stiles with a shit eating grin, “Now that’s a lie.  I don’t even have to hear your heartbeat to know that.  You are still hiding an iceberg of guilt and anxiety.  And that’s only what I can smell.”

Stiles looked away from the beta as they continued to maneuver through the forest.  “Alright, I’m not hiding any actual secrets.”

Jackson stopped Stiles and asked, “So you’ve told the rest of the pack that your power is the cause of your brain swelling?”

Stiles gasped a little, his mind raced as he said, “How the hell do you know that?  I know I’ve been keeping that to myself.  Did you overhear my conversations with the doctor?  You know there is such a thing as doctor patient confidentiality.”

Jackson laughed as he responded, “Yeah I did that and read your charts.  You and Isaac are pretty deep sleepers.”

“Then why didn’t you let Isaac stop me?”

Jackson shrugged as they walked, “Because I still do know you Stilinski.  You would’ve snuck away to do it anyway and If Isaac had tagged along then you would’ve put on your tough face which might actually get you killed.”

Stiles smirked and sarcastically said, “Why Jackson, I didn’t know you cared.”

Jackson laughed and said, “You know, I could say the same thing to you.”

Stiles responded, “What do you mean?”

“The Nemeton was the second time you saved my life.  And the funny thing with that is that you didn’t even consciously mean to.  You helped me get my identity back, not to mention my actual life, from the kanima and Gerard.  I haven’t forgotten that.”

Stiles smirked, “I just didn’t want Lydia to get hurt.”

Jackson laughed loudly, “Alright Stilinski, that’s bullshit.  I know I am not going to get the real answer but I know a fake one when I hear it.  Anyway, let’s just focus on seeing if anything is really out of place here.”  Jackson turned his head to meet Stiles’ gaze, “And don’t try to be a hero.  Just because you lead our motley pack doesn’t mean you get to take all the risks.”

Stiles smiled quietly at the jock’s genuine concern as they continued towards the Nemeton.  He let his mind wander as to the why of saving Jackson.  Stiles couldn’t figure out if he just felt sorry for Jackson or if he understood that behind the mask there was actually a decent human being, well werewolf now, that didn’t deserve to be used and tossed away.

As Stiles walked through the forest, lost in thought, his foot made contact with something large and he fell to the ground.  He shook his head as he slowly made it to his feet and Jackson darted over to his side.  “Trip and fall again?”

Stiles smirked and said, “Yeah, just this once.”  He looked back to see what he tripped over and saw what appeared to be a large, hairy, branch.  “What is it?”  Stiles asked as he knelt beside it.

Jackson looked at it and nonchalantly said, “It looks like a giant spider leg.”

Stiles’ eyes widened as he turned to the beta, “How can you just say that?  If I just tripped over a spider’s leg that just happens to be the size of a large tree branch then that means there is a pissed off giant spider that is missing its leg!”

Jackson pointed into a darker patch of the forest and said, “The spider is right over there.  It’s dead though.”

Stiles narrowed his eyes to the beta, “How long have you known that the giant dead spider was over there?”

Jackson smirked, “I smelled in about a few hundred yards ago but I wasn’t certain until you tripped over the leg.”

Stiles shook his head and walked over to the corpse of the spider.  He looked at it and noticed the thing’s thorax was actually the torso of a person.  The torso of the young man had a root thrust through it.  Stiles noticed that the roots continued to run along the forest floor.  The roots or roots branches appeared to be the same ones from the Nemeton.

Jackson quietly walked up behind Stiles and while the young man investigated the spider person’s body, he placed his hand on Stiles’ shoulder.  Stiles jumped up, his heart beating erratically as he said, “Don’t do that!  Giant spider!  Right here!  Scary as shit!”

Jackson laughed a little and knelt down with Stiles as he continued to investigate, “So, seen one of these things before?”

Stiles shook his head, “Can’t say I have.  What is this thing?”

Jackson shook his head and pulled out his cell phone as he stood up.  He took a picture of the giant spider person.  When he looked at the picture he noticed a tattoo on the neck of the young spider man, “Hey Stiles, I don’t think giant spiders usually have tattoos.”

Stiles stood up and looked at Jackson’s picture, “Is that a number 3?”

Jackson nodded, “Sure looks like it to me.”

“So where are one and two?”

Jackson smirked, “Probably left the area when someone shot at them with wolfsbane.”

Stiles smirked at Jackson, “Let me guess, you smelled that from the body?”

Jackson grinned, “Yeah.  The root only finished it off.  The wolfsbane weakened it.”

Stiles said, “Is there anything else you smell?  I’m really getting annoyed with the coy wolf not sharing information as we go game.”

Jackson nodded, “Only one more thing, we aren’t alone here.  I hear another heartbeat and something smells like death, and not the dead spider.”

Gerard’s familiar laugh began as the old man stepped from behind a larger tree.  He held a shotgun and pointed it at the two young men.  “Well well Jackson, you are a bit smarter than I gave you credit for.”

Stiles and Jackson faced the elder hunter and Jackson said, “Aren’t you supposed to be dead?”

Stiles whispered, “Actually he lived from that but I don’t know what he is doing here.”

Gerard laughed as he said, “Boys, don’t talk about me as if I’m not here.  Mr. Stilinski, it was you that gave me the idea to come see the Nemeton.”

Stiles gasped as Jackson smirked and said, “Death not coming fast enough?  Did you figure you’d do us all a favor and let the giant tree munch you down?”

Gerard grinned spitefully, “No Jackson, I am using the Nemeton to get better.  And if I happen to clean up the supernatural smears that live here, well that’s just another benefit.”

Stiles spat, “You’re a monster!  These are people with families and lives.”

Gerard said, “I am protecting this town from the real monsters, ones like you Mr. Stilinski.” 

When Gerard finished speaking he fired the shotgun at Stiles.  Stiles instinctively flinched and when he heard a body hit the ground and no pain came he opened his eyes in terror.  Jackson was laying on the ground motionless.  Stiles ran to his unconscious pack mate but before he could check to see if he was alright, the elder hunter charged him and struck him with the butt of the shotgun and knocked him unconscious.

 

When Stiles awoke he could feel the restraints against his wrists.  He was bound as he sat against a tree.  He saw Gerard out of the corner of his left eyes, the shotgun pointed at the side of his head.  Gerard yelled to the still prone Jackson, “Come on Jackson, wake up.  The Nemeton has a gift for you.”

Stiles said, “You killed him Gerard, he isn’t getting up.”

Gerard laughed, “There wasn’t enough aconite in that round to kill him, only enough to force the Arachne’s transformation.”

Stiles watched as Jackson slowly got to his feet, his eyes blazed blue.  Jackson turned to face Gerard and began to step forward before the hunter said, “Not so fast Jackson.  I will kill Mr. Stilinski before you ever reach me.”

Jackson smirked as his eyes darted around and surveyed his surroundings.  “Well what’s the gift?  If it’s more wolfsbane, I’ll pass.  I think I’ve had enough for a couple of lifetimes.”

Gerard laughed as his eyes shifted silver, “Not at all Jackson.”

The roots gathered and wrapped around the giant spider person cadaver until they became a plant shelled cocoon.  There was a flash of light from the center of the mass.  Claws ripped apart the mass from the inside and a wolfed out copy of Jackson stepped out.

Jackson took a step back and wolfed out.

Gerard said, “It’s really simple Jackson, you must fight and kill yourself.  If you win, I’ll think about letting Mr. Stilinski live.  If you lose, well you’ll be dead so it won’t matter what I do.”

Jackson laughed once and plastered the wolf version of the cocky jock smile across his face, “I hope you are ready for a short fight.”

Gerard scowled and the copy charged Jackson with its claws raised.  Jackson easily sidestepped the assault of the copy and in a blur, pushed past him to face Gerard.  The elder hunter smiled as Jackson kept his back to the copy.  The copy appeared to turn around and Gerard said, “You are dead now.”

Stiles noticed what happened though.  The young detective’s eyes were firmly locked on one of Jackson’s claws which was dripping blood and none of it was his.  As Gerard smiled, thinking victory was his, the copy fell over as its stomach and intestines spilled onto the forest floor.

Jackson said with no emotion what-so-ever, “I’ve been fighting myself my entire life.  Did you honestly think one copy stood a chance?”

Stiles smiled and attempted to scurry to run to Jackson while the elder hunter was distracted.  Gerard caught the movement and discharged the shotgun into Stiles’ side.  Jackson, who was charging towards Gerard, shifted his movement and caught Stiles before the young man could hit the forest floor.  His eyes shot to the place Gerard was standing and saw that the elder hunter had fled.  He looked down at Stiles and the wound to Stiles’ left side.  It bleed profusely and Jackson knew that he wouldn’t be able to get the young man to medical attention before he bled out.

Stiles gasped as he said, “It’s alright Jackson.  It’ll be fine.  Take out the Nemeton.  Save the pack.”

Jackson sneered as he took the young man’s pain, “I don’t know why you are always doing such stupid things!  I am the fighter, not you.”

Stiles smiled weakly, “You know me, stubborn.”  Stiles gasped a bit and fought against his body shutting down, “If I didn’t know better Jacks, I’d swear that was concern in your voice.”  Stiles saw the beta shift back to his normal face, his fierce blue eyes glowing, before he lost consciousness.

 

Jackson could feel the strength and vigor of Stiles’ body evaporate.  The young man wasn’t dead yet but at this rate it would only be a few more moments.  In his entire life Jackson has never felt as helpless, worthless, and useless as this moment.  He closed his eyes and held Stiles as he felt his heartbeat enter its last cycle.  He thought, “You idiot.  What good is there in your death here?  I learned in my life that there are people who care about me so why couldn’t you understand that? “Jackson concentrated his thoughts on Stiles, “You aren’t weak, worthless, or useless.  You are the one to lead us to stopping this, not me.”  Jackson felt as Stiles heart struggled to beat and he howled for Stiles to get up.

Jackson felt the pain that he was taking reverse and return to Stiles.  The force of the howl made it seem like it returned a thousand times faster and stronger.  Jackson could feel himself forcing and willing the injuries within Stiles to heal themselves.  He felt the muscles, organs, and skin knit itself back together.  He howled deeply once more, not one for Stiles but one outside of his control as it pushed through his body.

Stiles slowly blinked as he woke up.  The world appeared blurry and he could feel the heat from Jackson’s arms as it radiated to him.  He looked at the beta, whose eyes were forced closed, as a single tear ran down his face.  He said, “Jacks, you don’t have to be so loud, you could wake the dead.”

Jackson’s eyes flew open to see Stiles smiling.  His eyes darted to the shotgun wound only to find unbroken skin covered by the shredded shirt from the discharge.  The beta pulled the young man into a tight embrace and said, “You idiot!  If you ever try something stupid like that again.”  Jackson stopped speaking as he released Stiles.  He helped the young man to his feet and looked at his clothing, which was covered in Stiles’ blood.

Stiles said, in a meek voice, “You’ll just let me die?”

Jackson smirked, “No, I’ll kill you myself.  Now let’s head back.  I don’t want Gerard to realize you aren’t dead yet.”

As they walked back towards the bike, Stiles said in a playful tone, “So Jackson, this means you actually care about me.”

Jackson looked at Stiles, once again wearing his cocky smile, and said, in a light hearted tone, “Shut up Stilinski.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 19- Spin a Little Story for Me

 

Isaac, Ethan, and Danny watched Stiles and Jackson leave to do some recon on the Nemeton.  A sense of dread filled the young alpha.  He looked to Ethan and Danny and said, “I really don’t like this plan.”

Ethan shrugged and Danny said, “Wouldn’t Stiles just sneak out and do it anyway if you stopped him?  At least Jackson is with him.”

Isaac nodded, “Stiles would do that.”  The young alpha smirked, “But don’t Jackson and Stiles kinda hate each other?”

Ethan laughed a little, “Obviously not that much.  Irritate and demean each other, sure, hate, I doubt it.”

Isaac shrugged, “We should probably go see what Mr. Argent has found.”

The remaining pack members left the apartment and met up with Mr. Argent at a warehouse in the seedier part of the town. 

As they entered the building they found the hunter standing over the body of a young man.  The young man had olive skin which was only slightly discolored from death.  His dark hair appeared disheveled and his white t shirt and jeans appeared to be peppered with tears and blood splatters.  The blood congealed around the wounds with the large center wound in the chest still oozing slightly.  On the young man’s neck there was a singular tattoo of the number 1.

Isaac walked up to Chris who was standing next to the body and brought the hunter into an embrace as he said, “I’m glad to see you again.”

Chris hugged the young alpha and said, “I am glad to see you too, son.”

Ethan and Danny walked up to the body, knelt down, and observed the corpse.  Danny asked, “Why does he have a number 1 tattooed on his neck?”  Ethan quickly followed the question, “And why does he smell like wolfsbane?”

Chris looked at the two young men and smiled, “I’m glad that you two are observant.  He was a member of a nest.  That would explain why his neck is tattooed and this will explain the wolfsbane.”  The hunter knelt down near the head of the body and slowly opened his mouth and pulled back his upper lip.  In his top row of teeth his canines were different.  They appeared hollow and considerably hollower and slender compared to normal canines.

Isaac asked with a bit of shock in his voice, “Is he a vampire?”

Chris laughed gently and shook his head, “No, Isaac, he is not a vampire.”

Ethan looked confused as Danny reached into the young man’s mouth and touched the fangs.  He could feel that they were sticky from being slick with something besides normal saliva and as he pulled his hand back he noticed his fingertips went numb.  The young man said, “Venom.”

Chris nodded and said, “Yes, this young man was a member of a nest of Arachne.”

Ethan said, “Arachne, so he is or was some sort of spider shifter?”

Chris nodded again and Ethan continued, “Then why does he smell like he was killed with wolfsbane?”

Chris said, “Much like the Greek legend, the Arachne’s form can be sealed using aconite.  This young man was killed with the rounds but the wolfsbane was used so he wouldn’t be able to escape his death.  The better questions are why was an Arachne here and where is the rest of the nest?”

Isaac asked, “Where are Arachne usually found?”

Chris responded, “They are highly territorial and slow to move from their location.  Their nests are led by a single female Arachne.  It is rare for them to become separated and even rarer for them to leave their territory.  Arachne are typically found in the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia, though some have been found in South America.”

Isaac asked, “Do you think the Nemeton drew them here?”

Chris shrugged, “Maybe but to travel hundreds to thousands of miles to foreign territory over such a short period of time is not how they operate.”

Ethan stood up and reached into his pocket and retrieved the picture of Elijah’s family that was left behind when he passed away.  He showed the picture to Chris.  “This is all that is left of the medallion.”

Chris looked over the picture and asked, “Then where is the Kharon?”

Ethan glanced away as Danny stood up and flanked his boyfriend, “Elijah died, the Nemeton killed him.”

Chris narrowed his eyes and asked, “Killed him?  Or was he sacrificed?”

Isaac looked to the floor, “Sacrificed.”

Chris let out a sigh as he stepped away from the group.  “That might explain a few things now.  With each sacrifice the Nemeton gets stronger, more diverse powers to tap into.”

Isaac nodded, “Yeah, we noticed when it did the immovable mountain thing that Elijah could do.”

Chris turned to face the boys with a grim expression on his face, “Do you know what Kharon’s do?”

Danny nodded, “Yeah, take people to the other side, right?”

Chris nodded and said, “Yes but they do this by using a kind of teleportation.  A Kharon can be anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye.”

Isaac looked confused and asked, “So the Nemeton can teleport anywhere in the world?”

Ethan looked to Isaac, “Not just that, it can teleport any being in the world here.  Something like dropping a few more supernatural beings into its trap.”

Chris said, “Exactly, don’t forget that the Nemeton still needs to act through someone.  It may be a powerful spirit but it is still locked to its physical form as a tree.”

Isaac asked the hunter, “Do you mean like how it controlled Elijah?”

Chris shook his head, “No, that was one sided control.  To utilize every power that it has taken, it must have a symbiotic relationship with someone.”

Ethan asked, “Do you think that is why it made copies of us?”

Chris shrugged, “It could choose to do that.”

Danny looked to Ethan and said, “Then that means Scott’s pack is in danger.  Stiles’ copy is with them.”

Almost immediately, Aiden took control of Ethan’s body and said, “We have to stop Stiles!”  Aiden darted out of the warehouse as Danny rushed to follow him.

Isaac looked confused and asked Chris, “You said could, is there a reason it wouldn’t do that?”

Chris nodded, “Yes, unless the copy’s connection is severed, it wouldn’t live long to begin with.  And from the amount of time that has passed since Stiles’ copy was made, that connection must’ve been severed.”

Isaac walked up to Chris and embraced the hunter, “Thanks for your help.  I know it wasn’t easy coming back here.”

Chris said, “It isn’t but I came back for my own reasons.”  The two men released the embrace and Isaac said, “So what are we doing about the Arachne?”

Chris shrugged, “For now, waiting to see what will happen.  Their leader has to be here.”

Isaac nodded and ran after his pack mates.

Chris sighed as he watched Isaac leave, “The impulsiveness of youth.”  A dark shadow fell over Chris and he pulled out his pistols as he heard a female voice say, “I was wondering when we would finally be alone.”

 

Isaac chased after Danny and Aiden.  The two men left in Danny’s car and Isaac pursued on his motorcycle.  Isaac stopped the motorcycle when he caught up with the two men.  On one of the side roads near the preserve there was a large tree that had fallen into the road.  Aiden and Danny were already outside of Danny’s car.  The two stood next to the tree when Isaac stopped.

Danny said to Aiden, “Something isn’t right here.”

Aiden knelt down and grabbed the tree to move it out of the road when the smell hit him.  “Wolfsbane” the twin spat, anger in his voice.  Isaac dismounted the bike but didn’t notice the black SUV with tinted windows as it sped around the corner and struck both Isaac and the motorcycle.  The bike toppled and skidded to a stop when it struck the rear end of Danny’s car.  Isaac flew forward and landed roughly on the pavement near the fallen tree.  He gasped as his breathe escaped him.

Aiden and Danny turned to face the stopped SUV when they heard the crash.  Danny rushed over to Isaac, who was barely conscious from the impact, while Aiden wolfed out.  The twin said, “It’s an ambush.”  Two hunters stepped out of the vehicle holding assault rifles.  Several figures in the woods maneuvered to get clear shots on the three young men as Danny helped Isaac to his feet. 

The hunter at the driver’s side of the SUV yelled, “Boys, today we get to retire.  A multimillion dollar bounty sits right in front of us.”

Isaac whispered to Danny, “Get to the car.  We’ll handle these guys.”  Isaac wolfed out to his dire wolf form.  Aiden and Ethan split and Danny ran to the vehicle as the hunters opened fire.  Danny made it into the car as the windows were shot out.  Bullet holes marked the side of the vehicle.  Isaac took a few hits as he knelt down to lift up the tree.  Ethan dodged the rounds as he maneuvered into the forest.  The shots went through Aiden as he charged the men outside of the SUV.  Ethan blurred through the hunters in the forest, knocking them unconscious as they attempted to shoot him.  Shots continued to sound as Isaac tossed the tree out of the road.  Several rounds shot through the young alpha and he collapsed to the ground. 

Aiden slashed through the SUV door and into the hunter that hid behind it.  He collapsed to the ground, the gurgle of blood could be heard as he choked on his breath.  Aiden dove through the vehicle and slashed through the other hunter.  Danny watched Isaac collapse and dove out of the car and ran to his side. 

The crosshairs of a scope fell on Danny.  The hunter breathed in and lined up the shot.  He pulled the trigger but the shot went nowhere as the claws of a werewolf tore apart the rifle.  A swift backhand from Ethan knocked the hunter unconscious.

Ethan ran over to the vehicle as Danny dragged Isaac’s body into the backseat.  Ethan helped Danny and said, “We need to get out of here before they wake up.”  Aiden growled, “The ones I dealt with won’t wake up.”  Ethan glared at Aiden as he shut the door to the vehicle.  Danny got into the driver’s side and said, “I’ll meet you at the apartment.”

Ethan grabbed the bike and managed to get the beaten vehicle running.  The pack quickly drove back to the apartment.  As Danny drove he kept looking back to Isaac who continued to slowly bleed.  “Come on, be alright”, the young man said to himself as he heard a loud roar echo through the preserve.  Isaac shot up to sitting at the howl and yelled for Stiles before passing out in the backseat.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 20- Through the Eyes of an Outsider

 

Stiles and Jackson walked through the forest on their way back to the bike.  Jackson pushed Stiles to lead them back and made certain the human never left his sight.  As Jackson kept his senses heightened he reflected on why he saved Stiles.  He knew he could’ve let the young man die and actually that would’ve been easier.  He still felt the taint of being a murderer, even if it was only committed by the kanima.  He could’ve chased down and finished off Gerard and he knew that is something he owed to that twisted shell of a man.  When Stiles was lying in his arms Jackson realized something, both men craved a release from the guilt.  As much as Jackson hated it, he too viewed death as an easy way out.  This secret he knew to his core, he and this new Stiles were more alike than he would ever want.

As they made it back to the bike Jackson could’ve sworn that Stiles was happy.  Stiles almost skipped along as they went, while the beta felt defeated because this boy almost died, almost proved what he thought about himself to be true.  Jackson said, “You seem awfully chipper for someone who just took a shotgun blast to his torso.”

Stiles turned to face Jackson as he walked, a large smile plastered across his face, “Dude, I feel great!”  The young man lifted his shirt, “See, not even a scar and I don’t have a headache or even muscle fatigue.  Whatever you did Jackson, you should bottle and sell that stuff.  You’d make even more of a fortune that you already have.”

Jackson smirked and laughed a little as he fought to mask his own pain.  When Stiles looked back towards the path, Jackson felt the shotgun wound to his side.  It was healing and thankfully the aconite didn’t transfer when he healed the human but he wasn’t ready for Stiles to realize that he didn’t heal the wound, he took it.  Jackson said, “Don’t get too excited though, you still lost quite a bit of blood.  You actually look paler than you used to.”

Stiles slapped his hand on the Ducati and said, “Yeah, but that’s pretty much the norm after the nogitsune.  And dude, like I said, I feel awesome.  How did you do that by the way?”

Jackson shrugged and smiled a cocky smile, “I don’t know, I guess I am just that awesome.”

The two men mounted the bike and drove back towards the apartment.  At one of the stoplights, Stiles touched Jackson’s left side which caused Jackson to flinch in pain.  Jackson listened for Stiles’ heartbeat and noticed it sped up a little.  He waited for the statement but the light changed before the words ever came.  When they reached the apartment building, the two men noticed the state of Danny’s car.  All of the glass had been shot out and bullet holes marked the sides of the once pristine car.  Stiles dismounted the bike first and ran towards the building as Jackson slowly removed himself from the bike.

Jackson smelled the blood from Isaac in the car and noticed the distinct smell of aconite.  As he walked to the building he lifted he grabbed his side and flinched.  He felt Stiles’ hands as they steadied him and the young man asked, “Jackson, are you alright?”  Once again, Stiles’ hand touched the wound and Jackson flinched as he said, “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Jackson stepped out of Stiles’ grip and made it to the entrance.  He saw the look of concern on the young man’s face and said, “Save it for your boyfriend.  Someone shot him up by the smell of Danny’s car.”  A flash of fear crossed Stiles’ face and they rushed up to the apartment.

When Jackson opened the door and Stiles darted in, the overwhelming smell of blood, gunfire, fear, pain, and dread smacked the young beta.  Stiles ran to Isaac’s side as the young alpha laid on the couch, his eyes almost peacefully closed.  Danny rubbed a cold cloth against the young alpha’s head while Ethan anxiously paced nearby.  Stiles looked to both men and asked, “What happened?”

Ethan looked to Stiles and said, “We were ambushed by some hunters on our way back.  Isaac was shot with wolfbane.”

Jackson could see the looks of anxiety as they flowed over the expressions of the other men.  He stepped up to Isaac and looked at Stiles, “Make some room Stilinski.”

Stiles shot a glare at Jackson, “What are you going to do Jackson?”

Ethan stepped towards the two men and said, “We have to go back and find out what kind of wolfsbane they were using.  The way Isaac’s body is reacting, it’s not healing.”

Jackson smirked, “No we don’t.  Just step away from Isaac.”

Stiles stood up and stared into Jackson’s eyes.  Jackson could see the fear and anger rise in the young man before he spat, “What Jackson?  You are just going to let him die?”

The words cut Jackson deep.  He knew he looked surprised for a second before the cocky jock defense mechanism kicked in.  He smirked at Stiles and said, “No dumbass, I am going to heal him, like I did to you earlier.  Remember?”  Jackson knew he said it with too much condescension but his point was the same.  He watched as the dejected young man lowered his head and stepped away from the alpha.  Jackson shook his head and knelt beside Isaac.  He placed his hand on the alpha’s chest and closed his eyes.  He could feel the poison as it surged towards his heart and as his heart struggled to maintain pressure. 

Jackson breathed deeply and began to take the alpha’s pain.  Isaac groaned and struggled against Jackson.  The beta felt the surge of pain returning as he felt the bullet wounds close for the alpha.  His heart slowly returned to its normal rhythm and Isaac’s breathing returned to normal.  Jackson opened his eyes and watched as Isaac opened his and met his gaze.  The alpha looked confused initially but his expression softened when he said, “Jacks, have your eyes always been glowing white?”

Jackson removed his hand and slowly stumbled into the chair next to the couch.  He watched as Stiles ran over to Isaac.  Both men recognized each other and equally pulled one another into an embrace.  Isaac said, “Stiles, you are alright.  I heard Jackson’s howl, I thought something terrible happened.”

Stiles laughed and said, “I’m fine, I thought I was going to watch you die right here.”

Ethan looked over to Jackson, a look of surprise on his face and said, “Jacks, when did you start doing that?”

Jackson smiled weakly to the twin alpha as he felt the gunshot wounds open and then begin to close on himself.  “Right about the time I needed to.”

Ethan quirked an eyebrow and Danny asked, “One, when was that and two, are you alright, you look really pale?”

Jackson smiled to his best friend, “I’ll be fine.”  He took off his shirt and Danny and Ethan gasped at the state of the jock’s torso.  He was dotted with gunshot wounds and his left side still looked like a piece was shot out.  It was obvious that his werewolf healing was working it just appeared to be overwhelmed at the moment. 

When Danny stepped over to Jackson and used the cool cloth to clean his many wounds, Stiles and Isaac looked at the jock.  Stiles said, “I knew you were hiding something from me.”

Jackson only wore a cocky smile before he let himself close his eyes and rest.

 

A few hours later, Jackson woke up.  He still sat in the chair as Danny and Stiles watched him from the couch and chair respectively.  He groaned a few times but could feel that most of the wounds he took had healed.  Stiles shot him a look of displeasure while Danny only looked concerned.  Stiles said, “So, Jacks, when were you going to tell me you didn’t heal people, just took their wounds?”

Jackson blinked a few times and felt his anger rise as the accusation of hiding something.  He was already pissed off at Stiles for hiding secrets from his own pack but then to be the one accusing someone of keeping secrets was almost too much.  He said, “Actually Stiles, I was going to tell everyone when you stopped being such melodramatic kids.  Plus, I think I told MY secret when I decided to take off MY shirt and show everyone.”  He finished the statement with an accusatory glance to the young Stilinski.

Danny caught the tone of his best friend’s voice and turned to watch Stiles to see what Jackson was hinting at.

Stiles gasped slightly and shifted his tone and expression to one of curiosity, “You’ve been calling me Stiles and not Stilinski, what gives?”

Jackson rolled his eyes and grinned at Stiles’ blatant attempt at changing the subject.  “It’s your name or nickname or whatever isn’t it?”

Stiles nodded and laughed a little, “Well yeah, it is but you always call me Stilinski.  I didn’t even think you bothered to remember what I was called.  Is this kind of like a thank you for saving you from the Nemeton?  Because if it is, well it isn’t necessary.  I honestly don’t mind if you want to still call me Stilinski.  Oh yeah and your new bike is awesome but what happened to Danny’s car is not.”  Stiles continued to ramble which only caused Jackson to laugh.

He knew this was Stiles’ way of further hiding his secret that he just got called out on.  He was surprised he understood Stiles as well as he did.  “Stiles, where are Isaac and Ethan?”

Danny responded, “Aiden flipped out about the safety of Lydia and whether the other Stiles was trying to hurt them.  Isaac tried to calm him down but only managed to piss him off worse.  They went looking for Scott’s pack.”

Jackson shook his head.  His thoughts went to how Scott reacted to the two alphas before and now these same two alphas would be after his best friend.  “So the two, tactless alphas went after the other alpha’s best friend.  Yeah, this will end well.”

Stiles interrupted, “Well Aiden isn’t an alpha.”

Jackson glared at Stiles, “Ethan is and last time I checked, hormonal, overprotective, and desperate for acceptance and approval Aiden is hijacking his body.  How do you think your best friend is going to react when Aiden finds Stilinski?”

Jackson could see the cogs of Stiles’ thoughts go into motion before he uttered, “Oh.  We need to stop them, like right now.”

Jackson stood up, grabbed his shirt and slid it on.  He could still feel the dampness from his sweat but couldn’t find the energy to care.  “I’m heading out to go find Stilinski before they do.  What are you two planning?”

Danny looked at Jackson, “I’m going to stay here.  My car is destroyed and I don’t think I would stand much of a chance stopping a pissed off werewolf.”

Stiles said, “Jackson, I’m going with you.”

Jackson smirked, “This is something I was talking about Stiles.  The old you would be planning before just running head first into danger.  How about you stay with Danny and make calls to Lydia, McCall, your copy, the sheriff, whomever and find out where they are.  Then you can text that to me.”

Stiles retorted, “But we aren’t supposed to travel alone, murderous tree and all.”

“And you wanted to do what Stiles?  Leave Danny here alone or try to get me to fit three adult men onto one motorcycle.”

Stiles looked down, “Oh, I guess I didn’t think about that.”

Jackson said, “Let your near death experience teach you to not go charging into every bad situation.  Try to get a hold of Isaac so we can know where they are.  Maybe, just maybe we might be able to stop this before something bad happens.”

Jackson didn’t wait for Stiles to respond before he grabbed his jacket and helmet and left the apartment.  As he mounted his bike he contemplated where Stilinski would be.  It was early morning on a Saturday.  If Stilinski was like any normal teenage boy he’d either be at home asleep or with his girlfriend.  Jackson chuckled at the thought of normal and Stilinski as he started his bike.  He rode the bike to the sheriff’s station.

When he arrived and parked, he saw Stiles’ jeep parked next to his father’s cruiser.  Jackson laughed as he thought to himself, “Early Saturday morning and Stilinski is at the station.  Why am I not surprised?”  He walked into the station and the officer at the front desk stopped him.

She said, “Excuse me sir, do you have an emergency?  If so, I can begin to help you here.”

Jackson smiled a coy, seductive smile at the young woman and said, “No emergency, I am just here to see Stiles.”

The officer blushed a little and Jackson can’t help but smile to himself as he thought, “I’ve still got it.”  The officer said, “They are in the back with the Sheriff.”

Jackson walks past the officer and down the hallway towards the Sheriff’s office.  The smell of perfume and coconut medley shampoo stopped him.  He could smell Lydia there and for a brief moment that tore at the young beta.  He shook his head and pushed the thoughts of Lydia out of his mind as he walked into the bull pin.  He looked around the area and saw Lydia talking to a young officer.

He walked by the desk towards to the sheriff’s office and Lydia said, “Jackson?  What are you doing here?”

The beta turned to face the banshee, he felt a pull of loss as he put on his best fake smile.  “Lyds, I’m just here to see Stilinski.”  He noticed the look of genuine contentment shift to the forced fake smile Lydia did so well during their relationship.  He fought back the sting and was distracted when Parrish asked, “Is there a reason you need to see the Sheriff?”

Jackson looked at the deputy and knew he wasn’t able to fight back the disdain for the young man.  “Not the Sheriff, Deputy, just his son.  He is in there right?”

Parrish was startled a little at Jackson’s anger and said, “Yeah, he’s in there.”

Jackson smirked and knocked on the door.  Stiles opened the door and said, “Yo Jackson, what are you doing here?”

Jackson noticed his level of irritation increased.  The smell and sound of this Stiles got on his nerves, the way the other one doesn’t.  He rolled his eyes and said, “Can we step into your dad’s office where certain Barney Fife’s can’t eavesdrop?”  Jackson heard Parrish whisper to Lydia how her ex-boyfriend is such a dick.

Stiles nodded and let Jackson step into the office and closed the door.  Sheriff Stilinski looked at the boys and said, “So Jackson, what brings you here?”

Jackson looked to the Sheriff and then to Stiles, “Right now there is an alpha hunting down Stiles here thinking that he might hurt Lydia.”

Stiles said, “Why does Aiden or Ethan think that I would hurt Lydia?”  Sheriff Stilinski just watched the conversation, confused at the interaction.

Jackson sighed, he felt irritated that he would have to explain but he said, “The entire Nemeton copy control thing.  Apparently Aiden only thinks with his crotch and can’t figure out that the only way you can hurt anyone is by annoying them to death.”

Stiles gasped and appeared to be offended, “I could be a force to be reckoned with.”

Jackson laughed at the copy and said, “Sure you could Stilinski.”  Jackson pulled out his phone and texted Stiles. 

Good here.  Aiden and Isaac back.  Aiden not flipping out.

Thnks Stiles.  Next time, txt b4 I have to talk to other Stiles.

Jackson looked at both Stilinskis and said, “It seems the pack has everything under control.  I’m going to head back.” 

Sheriff Stilinski said, “Alright, always a pleasure Jackson.”

Jackson could hear the uptick in the Sheriff’s heartbeat when he said pleasure.  He knew the sheriff didn’t care for him and only gave a genuine smile.  He stepped out of the office before Stiles could say anything.  He waved to Lydia and Parrish before he walked out of the station. 

As he walked up to his motorcycle he noticed a large group of people.  They stared at Jackson and when a car’s headlight flickered he saw their eyes flash silver.  “Shit”, the beta said before he wolfed out.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 21- Virgin, Warrior. Healer, Philosopher, Guardian pt. 1

 

Jackson stared down the group as they approached him.  He started the motorcycle and pulled it out of the parking spot as they charged towards him.  As the two fastest men of the group reached Jackson, he lifted himself up using the bike and spun across the top of the bike and kicked them both away from him as he mounted the bike.  He quickly gunned the accelerator and popped a wheelie and rode back to the apartment.

Jackson stormed into the entrance to the surprise of the pack.  Stiles and Isaac stared at Jackson from the chairs while Danny and Ethan sat on the couch.  Jackson said, “We need to get out of here like now.  There is a large group of silver eyed people heading our way.  As I drove here, more people just seemed to stop what they were doing and flash silver eyes and follow.  I think our tree is making its move.”

The two alphas stood up and wolfed out to fight and Isaac said, “Why am I not surprised you want to run away Jackson?”

Jackson glared at the alpha, “We need to get away so we don’t hurt them.  Those people are regular people being controlled by the Nemeton.  I would gladly run away than murder those people.”

Isaac looked away from Jackson and Stiles stood up and said, “Alright.  I’ve got an idea.”

The pack looked to Stiles and Jackson said, “We aren’t going to like this, are we?”

Stiles grinned, “Not at all.”

Isaac looked to Stiles and said, “You’re going to be in danger, aren’t you?”

Stiles continued to grin, “I think that’s obvious at this point.”

Jackson smirked and Stiles continued, “Alright pair up.  Big Bad, you ride with me, we are headed to the hospital.”

Ethan asked, “Won’t that guide this mob to the hospital as well.”

Stiles nodded, “Right.  Ethan can you, Danny, and Jackson distract the mob so Isaac and I can get things ready there?”

Jackson looked to Danny and nodded.  Ethan said, “Yeah, we can do that.  We will meet up with you at the hospital.”

Jackson, Ethan, and Danny grabbed their riding gear and left the apartment.  Stiles looked at Isaac and saw the worried expression the alpha wore too much lately, “What’s up Big Bad?”

Isaac shrugged, “You are going to risk your life, again, and we aren’t even another step closer to stopping the Nemeton.  I don’t like this, it’s almost like we are playing the parts, you know.”

Stiles nodded, the enthusiasm of his plan waned at the statement, “I know but we have to do something now.”

The two men left the apartment and headed towards the hospital.

 

When Jackson, Danny and Ethan reached their bikes they could see the gathered hoard of possessed people close and after starting the Ducati, Jackson looked to Ethan, “Let’s take them through the warehouses.  Try to keep up.”

Ethan nodded and started his bike as Jackson sped off towards the gathering.

Danny leaned in close to Ethan and said, “I don’t like this but I guess we don’t have a choice.”  As Ethan and Danny sped after Jackson, they noticed the hoard turned and followed them which left Stiles and Isaac a way to the hospital.

Jackson accelerated through the hoard and created an opening that Ethan followed.  The group ran after them which forced the two bikes to slow down so that they would keep up.  After a prolonged chase they reached the warehouse district.  When Jackson found an abandoned warehouse, he parked his bike on the side and motioned for Ethan to do the same.

Jackson said, “We can gather them inside and lock them up.  I’ll bait them in, you two find some chains or something to lock the front door.”  Ethan agreed and Jackson walked up to the chains that hung on the front door and ripped them off as he opened the massive doors.  Ethan and Danny darted into the building and began to look for something to seal the door.

Jackson yelled to the crowd as they got closer, “I’ve dealt with adoring fans before but you are relentless.  The least you could do is chant my name or something.”

The hoard increased its speed as they ran towards Jackson.  The beta ducked into the entrance and stood in the middle of the empty warehouse.  The building was large with an empty first floor which was most likely used for storage.  A set of rickety metal stairs clung to the side of the building and led to the offices above the storage floor.  Bits of scrap metal and littered the floor and there was a larger hoist attached to the ceiling.

Jackson grabbed a metal bar, roughly the same size as a long stick, and looked to the hoist where he saw Ethan and Danny as they attempted to dislodge the chain.

The beta spun around and took a defensive stance as the hoard began to enter the warehouse.  He smirked in his cocky jock way and said, “It’s game time.”

 

Isaac sped the bike in the opposite direction of the group and towards the hospital.  He could feel Stiles tremble as the man clung to him to hold on.  The few people who were out this early in the morning barely noticed the duo even though Isaac could see their silver eyes. 

He asked, “Stiles, you are using your power aren’t you?”

Stiles laughed a little, the pain of the pressure in his head dampened his usual mirth, “Of course BB, I’ve got to get ready for the main event.”

Isaac asked as they blazed down the road, “What’s the main event?”

Stiles grinned, even though Isaac wouldn’t be able to see it, “Help me get to the top of the hospital and you’ll see.”

As they rode up to the parking lot they could see more and more people fall under the sway of the Nemeton.  It seemed to spread rapidly with seemingly no rhyme or reason.  People’s eyes just flashed silver and they began to search for the pack. 

When Stiles and Isaac parked and walked to the doors someone caught their attention.  Melissa McCall walked towards the entrance, her eyes silver just like everyone else. Both young men stepped out of her way, even though she was under the Nemeton’s control, they couldn’t just sweep her aside.  They ran to the elevator leaving drops of blood behind as Stiles’ nose began and continued to bleed.

 

As the hoard of people charged into the warehouse, Jackson jumped and dove into them, leading with the metal pole.  He caught the front group and knocked them back and, with his momentum, kicked off of their tumbling bodies.  He flipped himself off the kick and landed on his feet, once again in his defensive stance.  The beta maneuvered around the group, luring them further into the warehouse without letting them corner him.  As the group reached close to fifty pursuing the beta, he yelled, “Anytime you two feel like locking the door would be nice.”

Danny and Ethan continued to wrestle the chain loose until they finally had enough length to close and seal the door.  Ethan clawed at a rusty link that held their chain to the hoist until it snapped.  As they ran towards the fire escape from the offices, Danny shouted, “Jacks, get them inside we are ready.”

Jackson growled as the crowd pushed him further towards the far wall from the entrance.  He realized at this rate they would have him pinned in minutes.  The beta spotted a large man, clearly over 6 and a half feet tall who had to weigh close to 300 pounds.  The man caused Jackson to grin as he used the long stick to throw his body onto the man’s shoulders.  As the man tried to grab Jackson, he jumped up from the large man and just barely grabbed the grating of the upstairs ledge. 

Jackson swung forward until his momentum was enough to flip himself backwards onto the higher floor.  The beta ran to the rickety stairs and ripped them from the wall as he yelled, “They are in position.”  The stairs fell from the floor onto the hoard of people below them.

The hoard had to number well over a hundred people and they reached for Jackson as if this were a twisted horror movie.  Danny and Ethan circled to the entrance.  Ethan rushed and slammed the doors shut while Danny ran the chain through the handle openings where they met.  Once Danny had the chain set, Ethan ran a piece of rebar through the holes in the link and bent it closed to act as a lock.

Jackson rushed out the fire escape and met the two men by their bikes.  He said, “Well that should hold this group for a while.  I hope they made it.”

Ethan sighed and nodded, “Yeah, only one way to find out.  Let’s get to the hospital.”

The two bikes tore away from the warehouse district towards the hospital.

 

Stiles and Isaac reached the roof of the hospital with minimal troubles.  The possessed people ignored them since Stiles was shutting down the supernatural influence around himself.  Stiles started to stumble and Isaac caught him.  Isaac said, “Are you alright Stiles?”

Stiles grumbled, “Yeah, it’s just the pressure, it’s getting to me.  Can you help me get to the antenna?”

Isaac nodded and carried Stiles over to the antenna that stood atop the highest part of the hospital.  Stiles grinned as he placed his hand over the cold metal.

Isaac asked, “So now that we are at the antenna, what are you going to do?”

Stiles looked at the alpha and said, “Well, it’s my personal electric field that I can use to shut down the Nemeton.  I figure I’ll just concentrate that, through the antenna, and shut it down across the entire city.”

Isaac gasped, “That’s why you didn’t tell us what you were planning.  That’s insane, you aren’t in any condition to do that.”

Stiles grinned as he heard Jackson’s Ducati in the distance.  He pulled out his cell phone and texted Jackson.

On roof.  Get here ASAP.

As soon as Stiles finished texting he smiled at Isaac and said, “Just make sure Jackson gets here.  I might not be able to do this but I can’t let all these people become that twisted tree’s puppets.”

Isaac began to say something to argue but felt the force of Stiles’ power, routed through the antenna begin.  He watched as Stiles’ nose and ears bled and just as the young man squeezed his eyes tight, he felt the full force of the wave. 

The force crackled around him and he could smell the ozone, even without the benefit of his heightened senses.  Once the wave passed him, Isaac watched Stiles fall and hit hard.  The alpha ran over to him.

As he checked Stiles, he could tell he wasn’t breathing and he didn’t have a pulse.  Completely overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, Isaac began to do CPR on Stiles.  He could feel the tears roll off his cheeks as he screamed at the young man between breaths.  He didn’t even hear when Jackson, Danny, and Ethan made it to the roof.  Isaac wasn’t certain how long he had been trying to reclaim Stiles’ heartbeat but he knew his arms were on fire. 

Jackson yelled at Isaac to step away from Stiles but the alpha didn’t listen.  Jackson watched the fury and loss in Isaac’s movements and face for a moment before he shoulder checked the larger man out of the way.

Isaac flew back but was up to Jackson within a moment, completely wolfed out as his red eyes blazed.  Ethan stepped between Isaac and Jackson, as the beta had begun to heal Stiles, wolfed out as well.

Ethan yelled, “He’s saving his life.  Just calm down Isaac!”

It took Isaac a moment to register what Jackson was doing.  He saw the black veins rush back towards Stiles.  Jackson collapsed next to Stiles right as the young man shot up, eyes wide open, but they glowed Jackson’s steel blue.

Isaac ran to Stiles only to have the young man collapse unconscious once again.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 22- Virgin, Warrior. Healer, Philosopher, Guardian pt.2

 

Stiles slowly opened his eyes.  He could feel the coolness from the floor from where his bare skin touched it.  He looked around as he barely lifted his torso off the ground.  He could make out four doors, two to his left and two to his right.  The room appeared empty and with the exception of the darkness at the far end and the letters on the door, everything was white.  A figured stood at the other end.  Stiles slowly stood up and narrowed his eyes as the shadows around the figure feel away.  Stiles was able to make out the familiar leather jacket, dark t shirt and tight blue jeans.  He noticed the black stubble and glowing blue eyes.  He asked, “Derek?”

Derek grinned slightly, “Yes and no Stiles.”

Stiles slowly walked towards Derek and noticed his eyes had trouble adjusting.  He said, “Okay, cryptic as always, where are we?”

Derek slightly shrugged, “Not we, just you.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as he looked around the small room, “I’m just glad you are such a conversationalist.  So what is this place?”

“Your mind Stiles.  Or a part of your memories that you have difficulty recalling.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow out of confusion and asked, “Then why are you here?”

“This is your way to come to terms with being an alpha, because make no mistake, Stiles, you are one.”

Stiles retorted, “Well that’s kinda hard since I am not a werewolf.”

“But you do lead your pack and you do have the heart of a wolf.”  A large circular mirror seemed to appear in Derek’s hands.  He slowly raised it and Stiles could see his reflection.  His eyes burned alpha red, though none of his other features changed.  Stiles took a step backwards before regaining his composure, “Cute trick Derek.  I am just a regular teenager, no different than any other.”

“You don’t really believe that, do you?”

Stiles looked at his hands as he slowly opened and closed them.  He said, “I guess not.”

“Stiles, life is a collection of moments.  Separately, they don’t mean much, but together they weave a story.”

Stiles snorted, “Is that what this is?  Story time?  Man, I could’ve gotten a lot better storyteller than you Sourwolf.  Do you even like to talk?”

Derek responded, just as monotone as every other time, “You attracted your pack long before now.  Would you like to see?”

Stiles laughed sarcastically, “You are just going to continue this entire self-reflection piece even if I don’t agree to it.  Whatever, what are my choices?”

The mirror disappeared and Derek motioned to the doors on the left, “You can choose to see what went negatively” then he motioned to the doors on the right, “Or what went positively.  Which would you like to see first?”

Stiles shrugged and walked up to a door on his right.  The door appeared to be a plain white door, with no handle and a single black letter, a capital D.

Stiles looked back to Derek and said, “Let’s start here.” 

Before he could turn around he was standing at the track at his middle school.  He recognized the younger versions of himself and Danny.  They both appeared tired from running several laps around the track. 

Stiles said, “Hey, I remember this.  Danny wrecked house on the track that day.”

Several boys walked up to Danny as the younger Stiles walked to the benches to grab his water. 

“Didn’t know you could run so fast queer.”

“It’s probably the whole fairies have wings thing.”

“I wonder if he’d run that fast if we kicked the crap out of him.”

Stiles watched as Danny tried to walk away from the boys but they continued to yell at him.  He yelled, “Leave him alone!”  No one in the scene reacted to Stiles’ words.  He watched his younger self rush over to Danny.

When he reached Danny’s side, younger Stiles yelled to the boys, “He beat you.  That’s all there is to it.  You might want to talk less shit and actually run next time.”  The younger Stiles looked to Danny and asked, “Hey, are you alright?”

Danny responded, “Yeah, they are just being jerks.”

“Looks like he got another boyfriend.”

“I guess Jackson wasn’t enough for him.”

Danny looked away as younger Stiles stood in the boys’ way from reaching him.  “How about you guys, I don’t know, shut up before I have to stop you.”

“What are you going to do Stilinski?”

“Call your dad on us?”

Younger Stiles smirked, “How about yeah, after I get finished beating the shit out of you.  Yes all of you.  You guys really need to learn a lesson in respect and I am just the Stilinski to teach it.”  The younger Stiles eyed down the leader of the boys.  The tension could be felt in the air.  Just before the leader of the boys took a swing at Stiles, they heard the gym teacher’s whistle.  He said, “Hit the showers.”

The group of boys backed down and back towards the gym.  Younger Stiles walked over to Danny, “If they give you trouble again, just let me know.”

Danny chuckled and said, “Dude, they would’ve totally beat your ass.”

Younger Stiles placed an arm around Danny’s shoulder as they walked back towards the gym, “I don’t know about that.  I am pretty scrappy.”

Danny smirked and laughed, “More like scrawny.”

Stiles half gasped, “I am not.  I am wiry, that’s it!”

Danny asked genuinely, “Why did you get involved, you didn’t have to?”

Stiles smiled, “Because I saved all my energy from not running.  But seriously, they were jerk offs and I couldn’t just let them say those things about you.”

Danny asked meekly, “But what if I am?”

Stiles grinned from ear to ear, “What awesome?  Of course you are awesome Danny.  It’s kinda who you are.”

The scene seemed to slowly fade away as Stiles reappeared in the white room.  He looked to Derek and said, “I don’t even remember standing up for Danny.  I just remember laughing about how he good of an athlete he was afterwards.”

Derek replied, “You know he remembers that to this day.”

Stiles looked to the floor, “Eh, it’s not that big of a deal.”

“You still have one more door on this side, and two on the other.  Which do you want to see next?”

Stiles walked across the room and stopped at the door with the letter E.  “This one seems as good as any other.”

The room shifted until it was the hallway of Beacon Hills High.  He saw himself standing at his locker as he fished out his books for the class after his free period.  He watched himself close the locker and see Ethan standing on the other side.

Ethan said, “Stiles, can I talk to you for a moment?”

Stiles said with disdain, “Talk or threaten to kill, maim, and torture my friends?”

Ethan looked to the floor, “Just talk.”

Stiles watched as his slightly younger self and Ethan walked towards the tree line.  Stiles stopped once they were just outside of werewolf hearing and said, “You wanted to talk, so talk.”

Ethan sighed and said, “I’m sorry for what we did, what I did, when we were in Deucalion’s pack.  I know those words don’t mean a lot to you but it’s true.  I regret what happened to Erica and what Aiden and I did to Boyd.”

Stiles watched as the tears began to well up in Ethan’s eyes and how his younger self continued to bleed disdain for the former alpha.

“I know we can’t fix it but can you give us a chance to try and make things better.”

Stiles spat, “You want a second chance for killing people?  You are serious aren’t you?  This is all about joining Scott’s pack isn’t it?  Well I have news for you and your equally homicidal brother, deal with it.  No one trusts you, no one will ever trust you.  What, did you think that you would appeal to me to get to Scott?  That’s almost funny.”

Ethan meekly said, “But.”

Stiles cut him off angrily, “No buts.  You aren’t wanted here.  I’m honestly surprised you two are still here.  Then again maybe that was your original plan.  Get Scott to deal with Deucalion and then move in here.  Trust me, no one believes that either of you has a genuine bone in your body.  I am surprised Danny hasn’t seen through your bullshit yet.”

Ethan looked up at Stiles, pain and anger surged through him as he stared him down.

“What Ethan?  You think I am scared of you?  You are nothing but a broken shell of a werewolf and even less of a person.  I am glad Scott isn’t considering allowing you or your brother to stay.  All I can say is good riddance.  Go find some place where mentally unhinged psychopaths call home.  I’d suggest Eichen House.”

Ethan ran off into the woods and while younger Stiles laughed to himself as he walked back to the school, Stiles was shocked in how he treated Ethan. 

The school melted back into the white room.  Stiles barely voiced, “I can’t believe I said that to him.”

Derek nodded, “You did.”

Stiles sighed, “And he still, both he and Aiden, helped fight to get me back.”

“Yeah, even after that they did.”

Stiles smirked at Derek, “Thanks Sourwolf.  If I ever need to feel like a piece of shit, I know I can rely on you to help.”

“Which door do you want to see now?”

Stiles sighed and walked to the door next to Ethan’s.  “I figure I already feel like shit, how much worse can it get?”

Stiles stared at the door and saw the letter J.  He sighed and said, “Jackson.”

The room shifted until he was standing at the playground at Beacon Hills Elementary.  He saw himself sitting on one of the swings, his young head low as he watched his own feet dangle.  He could see the puffy cheeks from tears.

Stiles whispered, “My first day back at school after mom died.”

His vision shifted until his younger self wasn’t even in view.  He saw Jackson and Danny talking to kids.

One kid said, “His mom died a couple of weeks ago.  He looks sad.”

Jackson said, “Maybe we should try to cheer him up!”

Another kid said, “No, he’s weird.  Now that he doesn’t have a mommy, he’s even weirder.”

Another chimed in, “Yeah.  Not having your mommy isn’t right.”

The first kid said, “I wonder what he did to her.”

Jackson looked angry as he said, “He loved her.  That’s what he did.  He isn’t weird, he’s our friend!”

“He isn’t my friend.”

“He’s annoying.”

“At least he’s finally quiet.”

Jackson yelled, “Shut up!  We are his friends.”

The kids laughed at Jackson as they walked away, “You go talk to the freak, freak!”

Jackson looked at Danny, tears of anger in his eyes, “You are his friend, right Danny?”

Danny nodded and smiled, “Yeah Jacks, yours too.”

Jackson and Danny started walking towards Stiles and Danny asked, “You feel bad for him because you lost your parents too.”

Jackson looked at Danny, “Don’t tell him I told you that.  I don’t want him to think I am only talking to him ‘cause I’m adopted.”

Danny smiled, “But you aren’t.  You just know what it feels like.”

Jackson hugged Danny, “You are the best Danny!  Let me go talk to him first.  I don’t want him to think we are ganging up on him.”

Danny nodded, “Okay Jacks.”

Jackson walked up to the swing set and sat in the swing next to Stiles.  He quietly said, “Hey Stiles, how are you feeling?”

Young Stiles said, “I miss my mom.”

Jackson sighed and slowly swung on the swing, “Yeah, do you want to go shoot hoops or something?”

Young Stiles said, “No.  I’m just sad.”

Jackson jumped off the swing and stood in front of Stiles and wore the most genuine smile ever, “Hey let’s go grab Danny and do the monkey bars or something.”

Young Stiles looked up at Jackson and said, “Why are you trying to be nice to me?  You are mean to everyone.”

Jackson looked confused, “I’m not mean to everyone, I just don’t like people to make fun of other people.”

Young Stiles smirked, “Like you make fun of me.”

Jackson said, “No.  I think you are cool.”

Young Stiles shook his head, “So you feel sorry for me?  I don’t need you feeling sorry for me.”

Jackson pleaded, “But I don’t feel sorry for you.  I just want to help you feel better.”

Young Stiles looked to the ground, “I don’t need you to Jackson.  No one needs you Jackson.  Not now, not ever.”

Stiles could see how his words tore into the young Jackson as he ran to Danny, tears in his eyes.  Slowly the playground scene shifted back to the room.

Stiles asked, “Is that why Jackson has always hated me?”

Derek shrugged, “It was the start.”

Stiles pleaded, “But I didn’t know anything about him being adopted then.  I didn’t know.”

“You can’t change the past Stiles, just the future.”

“How did I see Jackson’s side?  I know I wasn’t around to remember it.”

“Because as an alpha your pack shares their strengths and weaknesses with you.  Jackson has shouldered your very injuries.  When he does that, little bits of him bleed over.  That was some of it.”

Stiles sighed and walked to the last door.  “At least this one is a good memory right?”

Stiles looked at the door and saw the letter I.  The room blurred and shifted into the locker room of Beacon Hills High.  Stiles saw himself throwing up into sink.  He turned on the water and cleaned himself up.  Stiles looked around and only saw his younger self and Isaac.

He said, “Oh yeah, suicide sprints for practice freshman year.  Gotta love dry heaving and throwing up.”

He watched as Isaac slowly undressed, his eyes darted around as he tried to make sure he was alone.  Isaac slipped into the showers as the younger Stiles went to his locker and grabbed his clothes to shower and get changed.  As Stiles walked to the shower he bumped into Isaac.  Isaac looked startled and frightened as Stiles said, “Sorry about that, my vision isn’t too keen after Coach’s suicides.  I thought I was alone in here.”

Isaac mumbled quietly, “So did I.”

Stiles laughed a little, “Hopefully you left me some warm water.  I don’t want to get home smelling like grass and balls.”  Isaac laughed a little and Stiles moved to slap him on the back but noticed a very large bruise that spanned the youth’s back.  He asked, “Yo Isaac, are you alright?  It looks like you took a major spill.”

Isaac turned his head in a feeble attempt to look at his back as Stiles curiously reached his hand out and lightly touched the bruise.

Isaac quickly stepped away and said, “Yeah, I just need to get home and study.  I’ve got a history test tomorrow and I have to do well.”

Stiles smiled, “World History I right?”

Isaac slowly nodded, “Yeah, with Mr. Whitaker”

Stiles nodded, “Yeah, I’ve got that tomorrow too.  I’m doing really well in his class, if you want to study together, I’d be more than happy to help.”

Isaac shook his head, “I would but I have to ride my bike home.  My dad will get angry if I am late.”

Stiles grinned, “No problem, Roscoe is outside and I drove it here by myself today.  Don’t tell my dad though.”  Stiles snickered to himself at the thought of the son of the sheriff snubbing the law.

Isaac gasped a little, “No, I couldn’t ask you for a ride.”

Stiles smiled as he walked into the shower and turned on the hot water.  “You aren’t.  I’m telling you, one lacrosse player to another, I am driving you home.  That way I can help you study and you’ll get home on time.”

Isaac asked as he changed, “What about Scott?”

Stiles laughed, “I can have more than one friend.  Plus his mom already picked him up.”  Stiles finished showering and changed.  He looked at Isaac, who appeared freaked out, “Dude, it’s no problem what-so-ever.  Let’s go.”  Stiles grabbed his bags and helped lead Isaac out the door.  He placed his arm over Isaac’s shoulder and said, “Sorry about what happened with Lydia Martin.  I swear, if she wasn’t so awesome, I’d call her a bitch.”

The locker room faded away and once again Stiles stood in the white room.  He looked to the floor, “I didn’t even remember doing that.  I always thought I met Isaac shortly before you turned him.”

Derek said, “No, there for a very small amount of time, you were his only friend.”

Stiles sighed, “That didn’t exactly make me feel better about myself.”

“It wasn’t supposed to.”

Stiles looked at Derek, “So what is the point of all of this?”

Derek shrugged, “Maybe something, maybe nothing.  You’ll know when you wake up.”

Stiles shook his head before the sounds of machines beeping and blaring invaded the white room.  He flinched his eyes as an overwhelming white light filled the room.  His eyes struggled against the burning sensation and he felt like he was falling through the floor.

When he slowly opened his eyes, he could see the fluorescent lights overhead.  He heard the heart monitor beeping in the background and could feel the catheter in his arm.  He also felt the warmth of a hand holding his own.  He slowly looked over and saw Isaac.  The alpha’s head was laying on his bed and his hand firmly held Stiles’.  Stiles swallowed difficulty as he looked to the other side and saw a familiar sight.

Jackson looked at Stiles, the same genuine smile from before they ever became enemies.

Jackson said, “It’s about time you woke up Stiles!”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 23- Virgin, Warrior. Healer, Philosopher, Guardian pt.3

 

“It’s about time you woke up Stiles!”

Stiles looked to Jackson and weakly mumbled, “How long have I been here?”

Jackson nonchalantly said, “Well you didn’t leave the night you EMPed the better part of Beacon Hills.  We got quite a few calls from Scott’s pack, Deaton, and Derek.”

Jackson looked over at Isaac who still snored, “And this one has been with you the entire time.  Just be glad you aren’t a wolf Stiles because trust me, not a smell you’d like.”

Stiles grumbled, “Yeah but how long?”

Jackson sighed and said, “You were unresponsive for about a week.  It’s Friday.”

Stiles groaned, “What do you mean, unresponsive?”

Jackson rolled his eyes and said, “I mean a coma.  The doctors weren’t exactly being optimistic.”

Stiles gasped and one of the doctors with Melissa walked into the room.  Melissa walked over to Stiles and asked, “How are you feeling today Mr. Whittemore?  I’m glad you finally decided to join us in the land of the living.”  Her words almost seemed forced as she moved to check his vitals.

Stiles said, “Mr. Whittemore?”

Jackson looked at Stiles with a death glare and said, “Yeah Jackson.  We were so worried when you fell unconscious, on the roof of the building.  Must’ve been an electrical surge through the antenna.  You are lucky to be alive.”  Jackson’s words sounded even more ridiculous and forced than Melissa’s.

The doctor looked at Stiles, “Well Mr. Whittemore, we are going to run some tests later so try and rest up.”  He looked over the vitals and said, “Everything is looking good so far.  It’s times like these that I am glad we were wrong.  Melissa, I am going to check on Mr. Fields, can you finish up here?”

Melissa responded, “Yes Doctor.”  The doctor walked out and Stiles looked between Melissa and Jackson.  “What the hell is this Mr. Whittemore shit?”

Melissa scolded Stiles, “Language, young man!”

Stiles lowered his eyes as Jackson laughed a little, “Dude, I have totally better insurance than your dad does.  And since I called your “next of kin” with hospital supervision, my dad won’t even know what happened.”

Melissa smiled a little, “I don’t know what you did Stiles, but don’t do it again.  I’m getting greys just seeing you here.”

Stiles bit his lip before he said, “I’m sorry Ms. McCall.”

Melissa laughed a little, “Don’t be sorry, just stop doing it.”  She finished here checks and updated his paperwork and said, “Scott and the others are outside.  If you feel up to more guests, you just let me know, Mr. Whittemore.”  Melissa walked out of the room and closed the door behind herself.

Stiles looked at Jackson, “Dude, I owe you one.  Hell, not just one like a million or so.”

Jackson looked confused as he said, “Why?  A little insurance fraud and getting your heart started again?  I thought that’s what packs did.”

Stiles reiterated, “No seriously, I’m sorry for being a dick to you.  You are a lot better person than people believe.  Thank you for being there, even when I didn’t know you were.”

Jackson’s confused look deepened as he said, “You were the dick? I thought I held that title.  Are you having some sort of near death Oprah moment? Because I’m not in the mood to hug out some feelings.”

Stiles laughed, “No, Derek helped me, no I realized some things about the pack while I was unconscious.”

Jackson nodded and then looked over at Isaac, who still snored loudly, “Did you figure out what you and Isaac are?”

Stiles shook his head and slowly squeezed Isaac’s hand which only caused the slumbering alpha to release a pleasant groan, “I don’t know.”

Jackson smiled his cocky smile and said, “Well, Dicknuts, you are going to have to figure that out.  This whole almost dying multiple times oh yeah and not having a pulse for well over a minute thing pretty much shook him to the core.”

Stiles looked up at Jackson, “I died?”

Jackson shrugged, “Technically, we both did.  Ethan and Isaac had to stomp the shit out of my chest to kick in my werewolf healing to get my body started again.”

Stiles looked around confused, “What do you mean both?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “I got your text before you up and died.  I took your wounds again.  By the way, nice headaches dude.  My head felt like it was splitting for the better part of this week.  Hell, I ran up to find Isaac hammering away on your chest trying to do CPR.”

Stiles said, “So you got my heart back started?”

Jackson laughed, “Yeah dumbass, that’s what I do.  Your plan worked though, for what it’s worth.”

Stiles looked at Isaac and saw him slowing beginning to stir.  Stiles whispered, “Morning sleepyhead.”

Isaac looked up at Stiles and tears of joy began to form in his eyes.  Isaac whispered back, “Morning.  I’m glad to see you awake.”

Stiles leaned over towards Isaac which only caused the alpha to shift backwards in his chair and release his grip.  Stiles looked confused as Isaac slowly stood up and backed out of the room.  Stiles could only see the conflicted looks of joy and sadness in the alpha’s eyes.

Stiles looked to Jackson and asked, “What the hell just happened?”

Jackson smirked, “To say Isaac cares about you is an understatement.”

Stiles interrupted, “Okay, then why did he just run away?”

Jackson laughed sarcastically and said, “He has lost everyone he has ever really loved.  And here you go risking your life and dying constantly.  On top of that he has the looming thought that you will ditch him for Lydia any day.  You remember Lydia, the woman you have a crush on and won’t do anything about.  The same woman sitting outside the room who has been here almost as long as Isaac.”

Stiles gasped, “What did you say about Lydia?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Figure things out before you start anything.”

Stiles sighed, “I don’t know what I want.”

Jackson laughed, “Well you’ll have to figure that out.  Maybe you shouldn’t lead someone on before knowing what you want.”

Stiles shook his head, “When did you figure all this out Jackson?”

Jackson smirked and walked towards the door, “About the time I screwed up my life.  I’m sending everyone else in and making sure Isaac makes it back to take a shower.  Don’t worry, your Care Bear will be back at your side before you know it.”  He opened the door and motioned for the group to enter.  Jackson slid by Scott on his way out the door.

Scott, Lydia, Stiles, Ethan, and Danny walked into the room.  Scott walked up to his bedbound friend and hugged him.

“Dude, you scared the shit out of us, again.”

Stiles said sheepishly, “Yeah, sorry about that Scotty.”

Lydia maneuvered to Stiles far side and said, “This whole risking your life thing is a pretty sad attempt at getting people’s attention.  You know text messages work better.”

Stiles chuckled as he looked up at Lydia.  Her hair appeared in a bit more disarray than she would normally allow and even her make up didn’t cover her sleepless eyes.  He said, “Well clearly it worked, you, Lydia Martin, have had sleepless nights because of moi.”

Lydia laughed, “Well someone had to be here.”

Stiles smirked, “Yeah, Isaac was here.”

Stiles caught the slight look of rejection in Lydia’s eyes before her patented fake smile appeared, “Just returning the favor from last year.”

Stiles took a deep breath and reflected on what Jackson said.  He tried his most suave, seductive grin, which looked almost laughably ridiculous and said, “Well how about we call the returning of favors good by going out after I get out of here.”

Lydia blushed slightly which caused the copy to glare at Stiles, “If that’s what it takes to make sure you don’t end up in the hospital, again, it’s a date.”

The copy of Stiles’ mouth dropped as he mumbled, “How the hell?”

Lydia leaned forward and kissed Stiles on his forehead and said, “I’ll see you then.”  She glided out of the room effortlessly, a smile across her face.

The copy watched Lydia leave and then looked back to Stiles, “She was smiling?  Because of you?  How did you just do that?  Do you have some other mojo that I don’t know about?  Lydia Martin just said yes?  Really?”

Ethan and Danny looked to each other and chuckled with Scott joining them after the copy finished his questions.

Stiles looked at his copy, “Yeah Stilinski, she just said yes.  I guess it’s a good thing you and Malia are together, since this way I won’t have to compete against myself.” 

Scott blinked a few times, dumbfounded at the turn of events, “Dude, I think your plan might actually be working.”

Stiles smirked at Scott, “Did you have any doubts?”

“With Lydia Martin, yeah, I did.”

Stiles laughed, “O ye of little faith.”

The copy leaned on Scott’s shoulder and asked, “Are you taking HIS side with this?”

Scott laughed, “I’m not taking anyone’s side.  There may be two of you but only one Lydia.”

The copy grumbled a bit before a thought struck him which caused an animate flailing of limbs, “That’s it!  I am going to help you get ready for this date when you get out!  If I can’t go on a date with Lydia, I may as well live vicariously through you.”

Stiles laughed at his copy’s idea but his thoughts wandered.  If Jackson hadn’t mentioned Lydia earlier, he doubted if he would be thinking of her at the moment.  He thought about how much has changed and how different he is now.  Danny snapped him out of his reverie, “By the way Stiles, Coach G is pissed at you.”

Stiles gasped, “By being in a coma?”

Ethan mocked the woman, “Bilinski doesn’t teamwork well!  Who goes into a coma before practice? Not a team player!  Make a card for him.  Make sure everyone signs it and brings his honor student champion self back to reality!”

Stiles laughed as Ethan stepped forward to hand him the card.  Stiles read the card as his copy and Scott began to argue about how Stiles could chase Lydia while dating Malia.  Stiles noticed what Isaac wrote:

We, I mean, I am lost without you.  You have to wake up.  When you do, I will be there.  I can’t lose someone else, especially someone who means so much.

Wake up Stiles,

Wake up.

Stiles could tell where the ink ran a little from a tear hitting the card.  He sighed and looked to Scott and Stiles, “Hey guys, if it would be alright, can I have a moment with Danny and Ethan?”

The two looked at Stiles and Scott said, “Sure dude.  We are going over to my place to study for the PSATs.”

Stiles gasped, “Is it that time already?”

Scott laughed, “Yeah, tomorrow.  See you later.”  Scott and the copy continued to bicker as they left the room.

Ethan and Danny walked around the bed so that one flanked either side.  Ethan asked, “What’s up?  Why did you want to talk to us?”

Stiles sat up and pulled the alpha into an embrace, “Dude, I am so sorry for everything I said before.  I am glad you are here.  I’m glad you didn’t listen to me.  Seriously, thank you for everything.”

Ethan could feel a slight shudder in Stiles’ body as the young man fought back tears.  He said, “Don’t worry about it.  We’ve all done and said shitty things.  It’s water under the bridge.  Plus, if I didn’t want to be here, I wouldn’t be here.”

As Stiles pulled away from the embrace he saw Ethan’s expression lighten with a small smile on his face.  Stiles looked to Danny and hugged him.  “Danny, you are just as awesome as you’ve always been.  Just thought you should know that.”

Danny laughed a little as Stiles released the hug.  He said, “I don’t know what drugs they gave you but I might have to try them some day.”

Stiles laughed, “It’s not that.  I just didn’t realize exactly how lucky I am to have you guys.”

Ethan laughed, “You are lucky to have us?  Not a week ago you risked your life, and kinda lost it for a couple of minutes, to save everyone in this town from being possessed or killed by the Nemeton.  I think we are the lucky ones to have a friend willing to make such a sacrifice.”

Stiles smiled until he heard the word sacrifice.  The word fell into the room like a cinder block being thrown into a lake.  His eyes widened at the realization.  He stared off and said, “We, I just played into the role the Nemeton gave me.”

Ethan looked confused and looked to Danny, who also appeared confused.  Ethan asked, “What are you talking about?”

Stiles looked at Ethan, “I willingly sacrificed myself.  And then Jackson did the same.”

Danny interjected, “But you aren’t dead.”

Stiles shook his head, “But we were dead.  That’s the problem.”

Ethan gasped at the realization, “Oh shit.  When you get out, we are having a pack meeting.”

Stiles nodded in agreement, “Yeah, I think we need to figure out what is actually going on.”

 

After a week and many more tests, Stiles was released from the hospital.  The pack picked up the young Stilinski the following Friday morning.  Isaac had been dutiful in bring Stiles all his homework from school and helped him complete it and turned it in for him.  They finally made it home by the afternoon.

Stiles looked at Danny’s car, “Wow, they did a really good job fixing up your car.”

Danny smiled, “Yeah I think so too but you know the guys.”  “I can still smell Isaac.” “It smells like Care Bear in here.”   Danny said mocking Ethan and Jackson.

The pack laughed as they went to the apartment.  Stiles walked to stand in front of the chairs as the pack filtered into their seats.  He said, “So I think we played into the Nemeton’s hand two weeks ago.  I can’t believe how much time has already passed.”

Ethan nodded, “After talking with Danny, I think you are right Stiles.”

Isaac looked to his pack with a look of confusion, “Alright, I am confused because this isn’t making any sense.  Didn’t we stop the Nemeton’s plan?”

Stiles looked at Isaac and nodded, “We did but that’s what it wanted.  The overwhelming pressure effectively killed me.”

Jackson interrupted, “And then when I took your injuries, my heart stopped until you guys beat the crap out of me and forced my werewolf healing.”

Stiles nodded, “Which means we both died.”

Isaac looked at Stiles, “But you both are alive.”

Jackson nodded and looked to Isaac, “But we both sacrificed ourselves which means the Nemeton fed off of that.  We should’ve died but here we are.”

Stiles paced in front of them, “First Elijah, now Jackson and myself.  Virgin, Healer, and Philosopher.”

Danny looked to Ethan and then back to Stiles, “I have a question.”

Ethan looked at Danny, “What’s up babe?”

Danny half smiled, “You guys didn’t really manifest any other powers until after dealing with your copies and ultimately the Nemeton right?”

Ethan looked at Jackson, Isaac, and then Stiles and nodded, “Yeah.  But that doesn’t include Elijah.”

Stiles interjected, “Actually it does.  He used the Nemeton to become, well, alive again.  I get that it could be forced but I don’t think it would’ve been easy.”

Danny nodded, “What if the Nemeton is purposefully manifesting these abilities in each of you?”

Jackson looked to Danny, “So that we would fit the proper sacrifices, right?”

Danny looked to his best friend and nodded, “Yeah.  If that is the case then it only needs two more for its circle to be complete, right?”

Stiles stopped pacing, “Yeah.  I just wished I would’ve realized it before I went to the hospital.”

Isaac looked to Stiles, “No, you did the right thing.  Because of you, the Nemeton isn’t controlling all the people of Beacon Hills.”

Stiles smiled, “That’s something right.”

Jackson looked at the two before he said, “What is our next move?  Is it going to target Ethan and Isaac or will it try to take a sacrifice of opportunity?”

Stiles shook his head, “I don’t know.  I wish we knew more about its plan.”

Isaac looked to the pack and then back to Stiles, “One thing is for certain, Stiles, you need to stop using your power.”

Stiles looked at Isaac, “What do you mean?”

Ethan said, “I agree.  Stiles your power is killing you.”

Stiles began to say something but Danny cut him off, “I agree as well.  Stiles, you were in a coma for a week.  Next time you might not wake up.”

Stiles said weakly, “But”

Jackson interrupted, “Stiles, no buts to this.  I was able to bring you back last time but we don’t know about the next time.  We need you and not as a willing sacrifice.”

Stiles lowered his head, defeated in the argument, “Alright.  I will only use it when absolutely necessary, last resort, life, limb, and eyesight.  Can we agree to that?”

Isaac looked to the rest of the pack and after everyone nodded in agreement he looked to Stiles and said, “Yeah.  But actually necessary, not just convenient.”

Stiles walked over to Isaac and placed his hand on his shoulder, “Alright, Big Bad, I promise.”

Jackson looked at the two and said, “Stiles, don’t you have to head over to your Dad’s and get ready for your date tonight?”

Isaac brushed away Stiles’ hand and walked into the master bedroom.  Stiles looked at Jackson and said, “You know you could’ve been a little more tactful.”

Jackson smiled his cocky smile and said, “Yeah, I could’ve.”

Stiles shook his head and gathered up his wallet, keys, and riding gear.  He looked at the pack, “I’ll be back later.”

Danny and Ethan smiled and shared an inside joke with one another.  Jackson gave Stiles a thumbs up with a cheesy grin, “Don’t screw up your only chance every.”

Stiles took a deep breath and left the apartment, headed towards his dad’s.

 

Isaac stepped out of the master bedroom, a goofy smile plastered on his face, “So how did I do?”

Danny looked at Isaac, “Pretty believable.  Look on the bright side, one way or another Stiles will finally have an answer to his unrequited question.”

Jackson cell phone made a noise for an incoming text.  The number showed as private and he read the text aloud.

“Tomorrow Morning, BHHS lacrosse field.  Be There.”

Jackson looked to the pack before asking, “So anyone free tomorrow?”         

 

Stiles reached his childhood home.  As he walked up to the front door he could hear his copy and his dad arguing about something.  He pulled out his key to open the door but decided against it.  He smiled and knocked on the front door.

His copy yelled, “I’ll get it dad!”  The copy rushed to the door and threw it open.  His smile shifted to a confused look, “Dude why’d you knock?  You know that’s why you have a key.”

Stiles continued smiling, “Yeah but it just didn’t seem right to interrupt you and dad in an obvious family moment.”

The copy yanked Stiles into the house and pulled him towards the kitchen in a modified hug headlock.  He said, “Dad, your other son is here.  I guess that makes him my brother even though that doesn’t really make sense either.  But it’s like I said, it is totally reality at the end.  He finally made his way through the dreams.”

John walked up to his boys and hugged them both, “It’s good to see you Stiles.”

The copy smirked, “Yeah, you see me every day.”

John looked at the copy, “Not you, my other son.  Is that even right?”

Stiles shrugged as they released the embrace, “I’d say it’s close enough.  I think this might be one of those just accept things rather than ask for answers kind of thing.”  Stiles looked at his copy and without missing a beat, “Dude, he was totally in another dream.  Remember the top at the end.  Yeah it weaved but it went right back to the starting position.”

John looked at Stiles and then the copy, “Wait, I thought you two shared the same thoughts or something like that.  Are you actually disagreeing?”

They looked at their father with the copy rolling his eyes and Stiles only nodded slightly and said, “Well Dad, there are many things that make us different.  We started similar and have almost all the same memories and feelings but it’s how we use them that makes us different.”

The copy looked at Stiles, “Then there is your entire unconscious brain swelling thing.  That has to change how you view things.”

Stiles glared at the copy, “Or the fact that I had the balls to ask Lydia Martin out and she said yes.”

The copy gasped in offense, “You’re a dick.”

Stiles smiled back, “Yeah, but I only use my powers for the forces of good.”

The two Stiles’ laughed as John watched their conversation.  John smiled because he noticed something in both of them that they probably didn’t even realize themselves.  With all of the horrible things that happened in Beacon Hills, and all the stress they were under right now, these two boys were actually carefree.  It may only be for a few moments but the monsters that go bump in the night couldn’t dampen the spirits of two Stiles discussing a date night.

The copy said, “Alright now we need to get you upstairs and cleaned up.  You are to pick her up in an hour.”

Stiles looked confused and said, “But I didn’t set a time.  I was going to swing by and surprise her.”

The copy held up his cell phone which read:

Have him pick me up by 7.  Also, tell him I don’t like the entire go with the flow date time.

Stiles muttered playfully, “Wow, she does know me.”

The copy pulled Stiles away from the kitchen and their dad and upstairs into his bedroom.  When Stiles walked in he noticed the wall by the computer had people’s names and faces push pinned up with different color strings running to each.  He looked at the bed and saw several different outfits laid out.

The copy said, “I was thinking you could go with a more casual button up and jeans, maybe add a bowtie.”  The copy motion to an outfit on the bed.

Stiles replied, “Nope, not going to do it.”  He walked to the closet and pulled out his red hoodie, a striped white t shirt and a pair of blue skinny jeans.  “This is what I am wearing.”

The copy argued, “But that is what you wear every day.”

Stiles laughed, “No, I wear a goofy school uniform every day and besides Lydia has seen me in either a hospital gown or lacrosse gear lately.  I think the everyday stuff would be refreshing.”

The copy shook his head, “Dude, that’s the kind of outfit I wear every day.  It wouldn’t be refreshing.  Plus refreshing?  For Lydia Martin?”

Stiles tried his best to copy Jackson’s cocky smile, “Exactly.”  He walked into the bathroom and began to get ready for the date.

The copy yelled through the door and sounds of a shower, “You’re going to regret that decision.”

As water pelted his face, Stiles responded, “I don’t think I am.  I think this is exactly what I need.  Also dude, what happened to the Old Spice body wash?”

The copy yelled back, “I never had any Old Spice body wash.”

Stiles laughed and yelled back, “Alright, get some.  It smells good.  4 out of 5 werewolves agree.”

The copy yelled back, “Who is the werewolf that doesn’t agree?”

Stiles laughed and yelled back as he finished the shower, “Scott.  He says I smell different.”

The copy laughed as he sat at his computer and messaged Scott.

Stiles stepped out of the bathroom just in time to hear a message on his copy’s phone.  Stiles looked at the copy, who seemed to be completely engrossed in his conversation with Scott, “Dude, aren’t you going to check that?”

The copy shrugged and tossed the phone to Stiles.  “You do it Stiles.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as he opened the messages on the phone, “Whatever you say Stiles.”

Tomorrow Morning, BHHS lacrosse field.  Be There.

Stiles laughed and tossed the phone back to his copy, who batted it around as he clumsily tried to catch it before he finally caught it.  “Looks like you have lacrosse practice in the morning.”

The copy grinned a Cheshire cat grin at Stiles and said, “No, WE have lacrosse practice in the morning.”

Stiles laughed and asked his copy, “So, How do I look?”

The copy looked at him and said, “Pretty plain.  I’m not surprised though, I am the good looking one.”

Stiles laughed and turned around to head out.  “Don’t wait up.”

The copy yelled, “You forgot something!”

Stiles turned around just in time to catch the keys to Roscoe as the copy threw them.  He said, “You don’t think Lydia Martin is going to want to pick bugs out of her teeth because she rode your crotch rocket, do you?”

Stiles chuckled, “I guess you are right.”  He walked out of the room and yelled goodbye to his dad before taking Roscoe over to Lydia’s home. 

Stiles stopped at the local diner to pick up their dinner.  He placed the bags in the backseat and drove to Lydia’s.  When he parked in her driveway he checked himself out in the mirror.  He smiled to himself and a realization dawned on him.  Stiles realized he wasn’t nervous at all.  He got out of his jeep and walked up to the front door.  He checked his cell and noticed it was 5 minutes til 7.  He smiled to himself as he knocked on the door.

Ms. Martin answered the door and eyed up Stiles as she said, “You are the Mr. Stilinski Lydia was talking about?”

Stiles only smiled larger, “Yeah, just call me Stiles though.”

Ms. Martin shook her head, “You and your cousin go by the same name.  Your family reunions have to be confusing.”

Stiles laughed, “Like you wouldn’t believe.”

Ms. Martin called out to Lydia and the young banshee stepped into view from the living room.  She was dressed just as casually as Stiles with earth tones.

Stiles extended his arm, crooked at the elbow and said, “Shall we MI ‘lady?”

Lydia laughed and rolled her eyes and she took Stiles’ arm.  Ms. Martin laughed and closed the door as the two walked off the front porch.  Stiles looked at Lydia, “You look beautiful.”

Lydia blushed a little before her staged expression kicked in and she said, “Of course I do.”

They both got into the jeep and drove to the outskirts of the town.  Their conversation shifted multiple times from the issues with the deadpool and the Nemeton back to high school and lacrosse.  Stiles laughed at exactly how well Lydia understood the game which only earned him the reply, “I did date Jackson, remember?”  They laughed about the highlights of the last few years.  When Stiles pulled the vehicle to a stop off the road, Lydia asked, “Where are we?”

Stiles smiled and said, “Just wait, you’ll see.”  Stiles grabbed the food and a blanket from the jeep and guided Lydia to a rock that jutted out from the cliff face.  They could see the entire town of Beacon Hills as the different lights lit up for the night.  Lydia stood in awe as Stiles opened the blanket and set the food down in the center of it.

She said, “It’s beautiful, how did you know this existed?”

Stiles smiled and said, “Let’s just say I’ve driven just about every road in and out of this town.  I like to clear my head by driving.”

They both sat down and enjoyed their dinners.  Lydia laughed at exactly how many curly fries Stiles ordered and how he scarfed them down.  As she laughed he looked up at her, mouth full of curly fries and asked, “What?”

She only responded by saying, “Nothing.  You just look cute when you try to chipmunk curly fries.”

Stiles laughed after swallowing and said, “I don’t look cute, I look manly, like really manly.  Like conquer everything and use heavy tools manly!”

Lydia laughed and they continued talking throughout the date. 

As it got late Stiles laid down to look up at the stars and Lydia joined him.  She laid on his chest and was at awe at how clear the sky was.  Before she could say anything he said, “It’s because up here there isn’t the light pollution from the town.  You can see everything so clearly.”

Lydia looked into Stiles face, focusing on his brown eyes as he scanned the heavens and said, “You are right.  I can see everything clearly.”

A little startled, Stiles looked down to Lydia and only managed to adjust his neck before she kissed him.  His mind went a million miles a second at the thought that Lydia Martin was kissing him.  They kissed for a short while before Stiles broke away.

He looked confused and flustered and said, “Lyds, it’s getting late, we should head back before your mom gets worried.”

Lydia gave a sad smile and nodded her head as they gathered up their things and headed back to the jeep.

Stiles realized exactly how right Jackson had been.  He knew what he had to do and now, he knew exactly what he wanted.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 24- Be There

 

Jackson’s alarm went on a 5 AM that Saturday morning.  The air was still crisp as the jock put on his clothes for his run and grabbed his bag with his lacrosse gear.  As he got up to leave the apartment he heard Danny call out to him.

“Dude, wait up.  I want to run with you before practice.”

Jackson looked back to Ethan’s room and saw a half awake Danny as he rubbed his eyes.  “Alright but hurry up.  I want to be nice and limber before practice.”

Danny smiled and darted back into the room.

Jackson asked, “Is Ethan joining us?”

Danny laughed a little as he put together his gym bag and said, “No, my boyfriend needs his beauty rest.  Oh and Aiden is pissed you helped push Stiles to asking Lydia out.”

Jackson laughed, “Well tell Aiden that he can eat me.”

Danny stepped out of the bedroom with his gym bag over his shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure he already knows.”

Jackson said, “Let’s take your car this morning.  It’s a little too chilly for the bike.”

Danny nodded and grabbed his keys as the two men left the apartment and headed to Beacon Hills High School.

 

They arrived at the school and parked near the lacrosse field.  They left their gear in the car as they walked over to the track.  They began to run at a decent pace as the cool air nipped at their skin.  Their breaths fogged around them as their bodies heated up and the moisture around them condensed and gave the appearance that they were steaming.

Danny asked as they ran. “Why are we practicing here?”

Jackson smiled and said, “Just doing Coach a favor”

Danny looked to Jackson, “Finstock or G?”

“Finstock.  I don’t know how Coach G would react if she knew we were here.  She would probably blow a gasket.”

After their fourth lap the two men saw Liam and Mason walk towards the track as Liam carried his gym bag.

Jackson shouted to the young beta, “Hustle up ‘mallow.  Danny and I have already ran a mile.”

Liam pushed his gear to Mason, ran to the track, and caught up with Jackson and Danny.  Liam asked while they ran, “So why are we practicing together today?  Did you guys lose a bet to Coach or something?”

Jackson smiled to the younger beta, “No, Coach just thought I should practice with you since he commented on how you are as good at lacrosse as I am, maybe better.”

Liam asked, “But isn’t Scott better than you?”

Jackson held up his left hand as his right went to his side to hold back laughter.  He slowed his pace as he laughed.  Danny and Liam stopped as Jackson brought his own amusement under control, “McCall?  I am definitely better than McCall.  No offense to your fearless captain but I was actually good before things changed.”

Danny nodded in agreement with Jackson and looked to Mason, “Say Jacks, I am going to get Mason on the track for a few laps, why don’t you and Liam push yourselves more, like I can already tell you are craving to do?”

Jackson looked to Danny and smiled, “Sounds good Danny.”  He slowly shifted his gaze to Liam.  As their eyes met, Jackson’s eyes flashed blue while Liam’s flashed yellow.  The two betas locked gazes until they reached the starting line.  Jackson said, “First one to run two miles wins.  Loser has to play goalie first.”

Liam chuckled, “You’re on!”

The two betas darted off and began their race around the track.  Danny walked over to Mason who had sat down at the bottom of the bleachers with Liam’s gear.

Danny said, “Aren’t you going to join us on the track?”

Mason shrugged, “No, I’m just here for Liam today.”

Danny shook his head, “Not with Coach here you aren’t.  Expect to practice some as well.  Run with me so you can at least loosen up before our practice.”

Mason sighed as he stood up, “I’m not that fast.”

Danny smiled and ushered the young man to the track, “That’s alright, compared to those two, I’m not fast.  Plus we can just do this at your pace.  Just remember, this is a warm up so don’t burn up all your energy.”

Mason nodded and he and Danny began to run laps around the track.

Jackson and Liam remained neck and neck during the race.  Every time Liam thought he was making gains, Jackson just sped up more.  Liam pushed his anger into it and Jackson only pushed more and remained ahead of the younger beta.  The race ended with Jackson beating Liam by almost a quarter of a lap.

The two betas stepped off the track towards the water fountains outside of the locker rooms.  Jackson said, “Liam, you are pretty fast.  I hope you can play lacrosse as good as you can run.”

Initially Liam was pissed at losing to Jackson but the older beta’s comment took the winds out of the sails of anger, “I’m better actually.”

Jackson drank a little water before he grinned his cocky grin and said, “Good, I want actual competition.”

Liam drank some water and the two betas headed towards the bleachers.  Jackson asked, “So Liam, what brings you to Beacon Hills High and into Scott’s pack?”

Liam tells Jackson about the events that got him expelled and how Scott turned him.  Jackson couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous Scott and Stiles sounded after Scott bit Liam.  Liam angrily said, “I was just telling you what happened, you don’t have to make fun of it.”

Jackson just smiled and said, “I was just laughing at McCall and Stilinski.  You seem like a pretty good kid.”

Liam said, “Did you miss the part about being expelled for the Coach’s car?”

Jackson grinned and said, “I didn’t but when you become a tool for murder, let me know because then we’ll be on the same page.”

Liam looked confused, “What are you talking about?”

Jackson told Liam about being BHHS lacrosse team captain, the dealings with Peter, and becoming the kanima.  Liam looked shocked as Jackson candidly shared his past with him.

Liam asked, “Do you and Derek even talk anymore?”

Jackson shrugged, “Not really, I belong to a different pack now.”

Liam grabbed his bag and they walked to Danny’s car and changed into their lacrosse gear.

Liam asked, “Is it really true that Stiles is your pack’s alpha?”

Jackson smiled and nodded, “Yeah, we aren’t the most orthodox pack to say the least.”

Liam looked confused, “But I thought an alpha werewolf led a pack.”

Jackson grinned, “So did I but we have two alphas and neither one is the alpha of the pack.”

Liam asked, “So what keeps you guys together?”

Jackson sighed and said, “If I had to put my finger on it, I would say comradery through loss.”

“Loss?”

Jackson nodded, “Yeah.  We have to deal with the Nemeton but I think our mutual loss, in friends and identity kinda helped push us together.  We are definitely better together than individually and I know I can trust these guys as much as they trust me.”

“Things are going to get worse before they get better, aren’t they?”

Jackson sighed again, “Yeah kid, they are.  Don’t worry though, McCall will look out for you.”

“What about your pack?”

Jackson smiled, “Don’t worry about us.  We can more than handle ourselves and Stiles is a lot better alpha than he appears.”

Danny and Mason walked off the track and towards the car.  As they approached Jackson asked, “So Liam, how much does Mason know about this stuff?”

Liam looked away and said, “Nothing.”

Jackson placed his hand on the young beta’s shoulder, “Yeah, that’ll have to change.”

Danny and Mason reached the vehicle and Danny looked to Jackson and Liam and said, “I wonder what you two have been talking about?”

Jackson smirked, “Just lacrosse stuff.”

Danny rolled his eyes and laughed as he grabbed his things and began to change.  Jackson looked at Mason and noticed the boy immediately looked away.  He shifted his gaze to Danny and asked, “I wonder what you two were talking about on your run?”

Mason quickly said, “Nothing.”

Jackson noticed Danny’s smile and looked to Liam, “I think your best friend thinks I’m hot.”

Liam’s eyes widened and Mason gasped.  Jackson turned his best cocky jock, seductive gaze to Mason and said, “It’s alright Mason, I’m everyone’s type.”

Danny couldn’t help but laugh as Liam began to look irritated.  He said, “That’s not cool.”

Jackson playfully looked confused, “What?  I didn’t say anything that wasn’t the truth.”

Mason could tell that Liam was getting angry but was surprised when he moved to walk to his best friend and Jackson’s arm stopped him.  Jackson said, “Anger can be good Liam.  Channel that at practice.  Who knows, you might actually be able to beat me.”

The group moved to the field and Liam took his position in the goal.  After Danny, Jackson, and Mason went through many one up drills only a few balls made it into the goal, Jackson’s shots.  Coach Finstock walked toward the field with a cup of coffee in hand and Scott and both Stiles followed him.  He looked out to the field just in time to see Liam make an awesome catch when Jackson bulleted the ball towards the goal.

Coach Finstock said, “Now that’s what I like to see!”

Both Stiles argued over who was better between Liam and Jackson and Scott stepped up to walk next to Coach.  He asked, “Coach, why did you ask Jackson to be here?”

Finstock grinned at Scott before he looked back at the four boys practicing, “McCall, you and Jackson motivate players in different ways.  I think Jackson’s method might work better with Dunbar.”

Scott looked confused, “I don’t understand Coach.”

Finstock yelled to the players in the field, “Danny take goal, Jackson, and whoever you are out there kid, grab long sticks.  I want to see if Dunbar get actually score a goal.”

The men on the field shuffled to change sticks and positions.  Stiles looked to Coach and said, “Do you want us to take the field?”

“And ruin the training drill?  Not a chance Stilinski.”

The copy interrupted, “Coach, I’m Stilinski.”

Coach Finstock looked at both Stiles, noticeably irritated, “Bilinski, Stilinski, whatever.  Just go sit on the bleachers.”

Both Stiles laughed and walked to the bleachers and sat down.

As the drills began, Scott could feel the anger as it flowed off Liam.  Every time the young beta charged the goal, Jackson knocked him to the ground.  The only thing that made it look more comical is how Mason moved out of the way.

Jackson taunted, “Dunbar, you have to get by me to score.”  He turned to Mason, “What are you doing?  You aren’t made of glass, you can stop him.”

Liam charged again, his eyes burned yellow as he struck Jackson, knocking the jock to the ground.  He continued to run towards the goal and Danny prepared himself to defend when Mason stepped into Liam’s path.  Liam struck Mason hard and the young man fell to the ground.  As Liam continued to run, his feet got wrapped up on Mason and he began to fall as his shot went wide.  Jackson rolled to his feet and laughed as the shot pathetically missed.  He said, “Good job Mason.  Using your body to stop Liam is a method, though not the preferred method.”

Mason smiled as he slowly stood up and he noticed exactly how angry Liam was becoming.  Scott began to run to the field but saw Jackson as he reached Liam’s side.

Jackson spoke quietly to the young beta, “Dude, it’s alright.  That’s why Coach wanted to do these drills.”

Liam glared daggers at Jackson and asked, “What are you talking about?”

Jackson grinned, “He wanted me to piss you off and see if you could channel it into the game.”

Liam’s eyes widened, “What?”

Jackson nodded and said, “So you missed the shot.  Big deal, it’s practice and it’s not even the purpose behind this drill.”

Liam looked confused and asked, “Well then what is the purpose?”

Jackson motioned to Mason, who was dusting himself off and said, “This is a defensive practice drill.  Looks like you just taught your best friend a valuable lesson.”

Liam’s eyes returned to normal as he saw Mason smile and wave at him.  The young beta’s tone shifted and he yelled to Mason, “Good job Mason.  I didn’t think you had it in you.”

A loud, female voice erupted from just beyond the bleachers behind Coach Finstock and Scott.  Coach G walked up to Coach Finstock, wearing her school uniform and carrying a cup of coffee, as she said, “This is your game Bobby, use my team to help your team’s teamwork.”

Everyone looked back to see Coach G walking up with Isaac, Ethan, Kira, and Malia.

Coach Finstock and Scott looked surprised as they saw Kira and Malia.  Scott said, “Kira?  Malia?  What are you doing with their team?”

Malia smirked and Kira smiled as she said, “Isaac texted us about the practice session and I know I can use the practice so we met up.”

Coach G stopped next to Coach Finstock and said, “Your Dunbar is like Whittemore, only with less confidence.”

Finstock grinned at G and said, “You noticed.”

Coach G crossed her arms and grunted, “Of course I noticed.  So we have our teams train with one another.  Work their teamwork by training their teamwork with another team.”

Finstock laughed and said unusually loud, “What is with you and always talking about teamwork?”

Coach G looked at Finstock, “Teamwork is the element that causes teams to be teams.”

Coach G yelled to the teens, “Pick sides, we are having a scrimmage.”

Coach Finstock nodded and the teens broke into two groups.  They played a light hearted game.  The Coaches watched as the players maneuvered the field with ease and worked together with near expert precision.  As the game continued, Coach G said, “See, teamwork!”

The game came to a conclusion but no one even kept track of the score.  The teens walked towards the bleachers.  Isaac walked over to the Stiles and asked, “Stiles, how did things go with Lydia last night?  You didn’t come home after the date.”

The copy interrupted, “He crashed at home.  He crashed and burned.”  The copy almost seemed happy at how the date ended.

Stiles shot a glare at the copy, “It didn’t end like that.  We had a good time and I can tell Lydia likes me, well a lot.”

Isaac looked confused as they reached the bleachers.  “So, what’s the problem then?”

Stiles sighed and said, “You know it was cool to go on a date with her but after I stopped idolizing her, I realized that there are two bad things in life.”

Even more confused, Isaac asked, “What are the two bad things in life?”

Stiles laughed a little, “Not getting what you want and getting exactly what you want.  I realized I love Lydia, just not in that way.  I kinda realized I’ve fallen for someone else.”

The copy and Isaac looked at Stiles and in unison said, “Who?”

Stiles turned to Isaac and pulled the alpha down for a chaste kiss.  Time seemed to stop as everyone turned to see Stiles kissing Isaac.

Jackson yelled out happily, “It is about time!”

After the kiss ended, Isaac asked meekly, “You’ve fallen, for me?”

Stiles threw his arm around the confused young man, “With that smile, who wouldn’t?”

A look of surprise crossed Finstock’s face as he asked loudly, “Stilinski is gay?”

The copy yelled, “I’m not gay”, quickly followed by a muttered phrase of confusion, “am I?”  Malia walked up to the copy and ruffled his sweaty hair and didn’t say a word but laughed.

Coach G laughed and looked to Finstock as she guided him away from the field, “Teamwork like theirs has to blossom off the field.”

Finstock asked, “Blossom?”

“Bobby, let’s leave the teenagers to their drama.  Plus we need to talk about future training opportunities.  I don’t see why Beacon Hills can’t be second in the state.”

Finstock yelled back as they walked away, “Forest View can’t be first, Beacon Hills is first.”

Danny and Jackson stood next to each other as they watched Liam and Mason talk about the game they just played.  Danny leaned over towards Jackson and said, “It’s like Déjà vu isn’t it?”

Jackson smiled and said, “Yeah, they remind you of us.”

Danny nodded and smiled.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 25- Eyes, Red Eyes

 

After the game and some friendly banter between packs they split and went their separate ways.  The Stiles pack returned to the apartment.  Jackson rushed up the stairs while the pack rode the elevator up.  Stiles looked to Danny and said, “I think Jackson found a new friend in Liam.”

Danny smiled and said, “More like the little brother he never had.”

The pack stepped out of the elevator and Jackson stood by the entrance, door open, with a smug look on his face.  He said, “I heard that Danny.”

Danny shrugged and pretended to look away as he playfully said, “Whatever do you mean Jacks?”

Jackson laughed and slapped Danny on the back as he walked into the apartment with him.  The pack sat down in the living room area after taking their bags to their rooms.  Jackson, Danny and Ethan shared the couch while Isaac and Stiles sat in the adjacent chairs.  Ethan and Danny whispered to each other as they caught the little smiles and looks from the new couple.

Jackson groaned and rolled his eyes, “So are we going to make faces at each other or figure out our next move?”

Stiles snapped out of his lulled relaxation and said, “Yeah, we do need to figure out what to do next.”

Danny asked, “Since Stiles and Jackson were already sacrifices, does that mean the Nemeton will leave them alone or at least aim for them less?”

Ethan looked at Danny, “I doubt that.  Plus we have to worry about who is going to be the vector for the Nemeton’s power.”

Stiles looked to Ethan, “I think it’s a safe assumption to think that Gerrard succeeded in reaching the Nemeton and becoming its vessel.”

Isaac nodded and asked, “So that means we not only have to deal with assassins, the evil magic tree, but a heavily experienced hunter with powers and nothing to lose.”

Stiles looked at Isaac, “C Bear, that’s what I was talking about not being too helpful.”

Isaac blushed a little and Jackson rolled his eyes when he said, “Oh my god.  I can’t believe I am the fifth wheel in this pack.”

Danny looked at his best friend and said, “You could always invite Liam and Mason over.”

Jackson glared at Danny, “Not funny Danny.”

The pack laughed at Danny’s joke before Stiles asked, “Care Bear, have you heard anything else from Chris?”

Isaac shook his head, “I haven’t.  Do you think we need someone else who might give us a different perspective?”

Stiles nodded and said, “I’m almost tempted to call Deaton.”

Ethan looked to Stiles and asked, “Why not call Ms. Morrell?  I know she is still in contact with Deucalion but in a situation like this I know she would help.”

Jackson impatiently stood up and said, “That sounds like a great idea.”  He moved over to the sparring mats and looked to the pack, “Someone can call her and then someone can get over here and spar.  After the lacrosse game I am wired.”

The two couples exchanged glances and Stiles said, “Jackson, I think you are the only one wired right now.  I will call Ms. Morrell though.”

Jackson huffed and slightly pouted before he plastered his cocky jock expression and said, “Whatever.”  The jock pulled out his cell and started texting as he ignored the pack.

Stiles looked to Ethan and Danny, “I’ll call Morrell and we can get cleaned up and relax a bit before we decide what to do next.”

Ethan and Danny nodded and stepped into Ethan’s room.  Stiles looked to Isaac and said, “Shower and food after I call?”

Isaac smiled as he stood up and walked into the bedroom.  He glanced back at Stiles which only motivated the young man to dart into the bedroom after him.

Jackson texted Liam:

Hey.  What R U Doin?

Liam- With Scott and Stiles.  Malia broke up with Stiles or something

Jackson rolled his eyes as he read it. 

Jacks- Damn.  Drama

Liam- Dude I know

Jacks- I want to train more.  Still wired from game.

Jackson bounced on his heels as he anticipated the reply.

Liam- Me too.  What R U thinkin?

Jacks- I want to fight.  Spar at the apartment?

Liam- Maybe later.  Pack concerned.  Deadpool.

Jacks- Another exercise?

Liam- Like what?

A twisted grin formed on the beta’s face.  He replied:

Jacks- Hunt the hunter.

Liam- HtHr?

Jacks- Grab a marker, no sharpies.  Bigger = Better

Liam- Marker?

Jacks- Catch me before I catch u.

Jackson yelled to the pack, “I’ll be back later”, before he ran out the front door.

 

After talking with Ms. Morrell and taking a shower, Stiles and Isaac laid on the bed. They were on their sides so they faced each other. Stiles asked meekly, “So, Care Bear, what happens now?”

Isaac shrugged, “I’ve never dated a guy before.”

Stiles laughed dryly, “Well, I’ve never dated before.”

Isaac laughed a little, “So I guess this is kind of a bunch of firsts for us.”

Stiles rolled onto his back and looked at the ceiling, “It just seems confusing.  Like what’s next and how will it affect the pack?  And then what is going on with Gerrard and the Nemeton and will Ms. Morrell be able to help us?  She said she wanted to come visit us and talk about something.  It kinda sounded important.  I just feel confused and lost but hopeful, you know?”

Isaac recognized Stiles’ verbal diarrhea and leaned towards Stiles and said, “Relax.  For now everything is simple.  It’s just you and me.”

Stiles tilted his head and looked into Isaac’s blue eyes.  He could see and feel nothing but acceptance and trust.  He leaned forward and Isaac followed suit and the two young men closed their eyes and kissed one another.  When Stiles pulled away and opened his eyes, Isaac looked at him confused and scared.

Stiles asked, “What’s wrong Care Bear?”  As the words left Stiles mouth he could feel his bite was different.

Isaac gulped and said, “Stiles, we may have a problem, go look in the mirror.”

Stiles’ eyes widened as he darted to the sink outside the bathroom.  He looked in the mirror and saw the glow of red in his eyes.  He opened his mouth and saw the bite of a werewolf.  The young Stilinski fingered his elongated fangs and said, “Shit.  This isn’t right.”  He quickly looked to Isaac and said, “BB, what is going on?”

Isaac shook his head and asked, “So when is Ms. Morrell supposed to be here?”

Stiles anxiously said, “In an hour or so?”

Isaac nodded and sat up as he opened his arms, “Come here bae.”

Stiles slowly walked over to Isaac and curled up in the bed with him.  Feeling utterly afraid he let the young alpha wrap his arms around him.  He could feel his heart beat slow down.  He asked, “CB, do I look scary?”

Isaac giggled a bit which caused Stiles to feel the vibrations on the back of his neck, “No offense bae but you look as scary as a kitten.”

“Like a scary one?”

“A fluffy cuddly one.”

 

Ethan and Danny sat in the living room and talked about school and the game for a bit.  They heard a knock on the front door and Ethan walked over and opened it.  Ms. Morrell stood in the doorway, wearing her professional school attire.

She said, “Good afternoon Mr. Carver.”

Ethan stepped away from the door and invited Ms. Morrell in as he said, “Good afternoon to you too.  I didn’t think you would be here so quickly.”  Ethan returned to his seat on the couch next to Danny.

She smiled as she walked in and sat in the side chair near the door, “Well this isn’t a situation to procrastinate.”

Danny asked, “The Nemeton?”

She tilted her head, “Partially.”

Isaac said as he opened the door to the bedroom and ushered Stiles into the living, “We may have a problem.”

Stiles looked at Danny and Ethan who looked incredibly shocked at the red eyes and werewolf fangs.

Without even looking at Stiles, Ms. Morrell said, “Actually, that is the situation I was talking about.

Isaac and Stiles walked over to the couch and Isaac sat down with his legs spread wide as Stiles sat on the floor between the alpha’s legs.  Stiles used the front of the couch as a back rest a leaned against one of Isaac’s legs.  Isaac leaned forward and held Stiles’ shoulders as the young man looked at Ms. Morrell.  His expression was buried under his complete confusion.  “I can’t shift or change it.  It doesn’t matter how calm I am.  What’s going on?  What’s happening to me?”

Ms. Morrell sighed and closed her eyes to collect her thoughts.  She slowly said, “When a human joins a pack there is usually a bit of difficulty.  As a beta the person typically only shows emotional changes, sudden mood swings or fierce loyalty to the pack.  Nothing that is truly detrimental.  However, there are stories about a human who leads a pack.  They say that the force of the wolves begin to cause physical changes in the person.  These stories all end rather tragically with the person losing their identity and their mind.”

Stiles eyes widened fearfully, “What?  Can we just change it then?  I don’t want to go crazy?  Or crazier than I already am.  Someone else can be alpha.”

She shook her head, “It’s not that simple Mr. Stilinski.  The wolves in your pack already recognize you as their leader.  They already carry your scent.  Such a change isn’t done easy and even if it is done, it may kill you in the process.”

Isaac desperately asked, “Then what are we going to do?”

She smiled slightly, “The changes you are experiencing Stiles are caused by the aspects of the wolves of your pack to give you their strength.  Much like when an alpha werewolf leads a pack, their betas give them power.”

Ethan asked, “So we are subconsciously empowering Stiles?”

Ms. Morrell nodded, “What we need to do is create a way for Stiles to be able to receive that power.”

Stiles looked to the floor with a despondent expression, “I have to accept the bite, don’t I?”  As the words left Stiles mouth, Isaac tightened his grip of his boyfriend’s shoulders.

Ms. Morrell said, “That’s one possibility but due to your abilities, I wouldn’t advise it.”

Danny looked confused and asked, “Why not?”

She turned to Danny and said, “The bite can cause a person to become a werewolf or kill them.  Stiles’ very being rejects the supernatural.  He has to allow it consciously.  He would not be able to shut his body’s reaction to the change.  The bite would most likely kill him.”

A single tear slid down Isaac’s face a hit the top of Stiles’ head as he quietly whispered, “There is no hope?”

Stiles looked up a tried to force a comforting smile to Isaac.  Isaac fought back tears at the idea of losing someone, again.

Ms. Morrell looked to Isaac and said, “Isaac what do you think?”

Isaac gasped as he said, “It seems like every problem becomes another.  We’re losing this fight and everything we’ve done has worked against us.  We can’t lose Stiles too, I can’t.  Without Stiles, I don’t think we can go on.”

Stiles smiled at Isaac and rubbed his calf as he said softly, “Care Bear.”

Ms. Morrell nodded and said, “Then remember what Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you…never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Isaac looked at Ms. Morrell and said, “What do you mean?  I don’t want Stiles to die from the bite or him to lose his mind.”

Ms. Morrell grinned slightly, “If Stiles as a human can’t receive the power of the pack and Stiles can’t become a werewolf to receive the power.”

Danny interrupted, “Then we have to find a way to change the power so Stiles can receive it.”

Ms. Morrell’s grin shifted into a full smile, “Exactly Danny.”  Danny blushed slightly at the praise as Ms. Morrell continued, “There is a way to bond a human into a pack, more than just acceptance.  We need to gather all who are in the pack together to do it.  All members, living or dead must be represented for this to work.  It requires a ritual to bond the pack.  There is a risk of failure but given the alternative, I think it is our best shot.”

Stiles looked to Ms. Morrell, “So we just need to get Jackson and someone to act as Elijah’s representative?”

She nodded and said, “Yes, I will head back and get the supplies needed.  We need to do this soon before the more feral aspects take over.”

Stiles nodded and looked at Ethan and Danny, “Are we in agreement about doing this?”

Ethan smiled and said, “If it saves your life, I’d gladly risk it.”

Danny smiled and nodded.

Ms. Morrell stood up and said, “I do need to warn you that one component of this ritual is wolfs bane and there is a risk of harm, maybe death to anyone involved.”

Ethan responded, “That doesn’t change my response.”

Danny said, “Mine either.”

Isaac leaned forward and kissed Stiles on top of his head and said, “For Stiles, this self-sacrificing, risk taking, daredevil, I’d gladly risk it.”

Stiles laughed, “For once I guess I won’t be the one taking the biggest risk.”

Ms. Morrell nodded and left the apartment.

Stiles stood up and turned to face his pack.  “We need to get ahold of Jackson and find someone to act as Elijah’s representative.”

Isaac said, “I’ll call Jacks.”  The young alpha stepped into the master bedroom as the rest of the pack continued to talk.

Isaac dialed Jackson and after several rings the beta answered, “Thanks dicknuts.  I’m going to kick your ass when I see you next Lahey.”

Isaac responded with anger and said, “Something is wrong with Stiles.  We need you here now.”  Isaac heard Liam’s voice in the background as the beta asked what was going on.  Before Jackson could reply Isaac continued, “And bring your protégé.  We are going to need him too.”

Jackson’s tone changed as he said, “Sorry, I’ll be right there.”

Isaac stepped back into the living room.  As soon as he opened the doors, all eyes were on him.  He said, “Jackson is coming and so is Liam.”

A look of relief flowed across the faces of the pack as they waited for Jackson to return.

 

Almost an hour later Jackson almost tore down the door as he opened it.  He appeared out of breath and a single red marker line was noticeable on his left cheek, right below his eye.  He asked, “What’s going on?”

Before anyone could answer he saw Stiles’ eyes and fangs as the young Stilinski looked at the beta from his usual chair.

“What the hell?”

Liam slid by Jackson as he stepped into the apartment, his neck, arms, and ears darted with multiple black marker lines.  He looked at Stiles and asked, “When did you become a werewolf?”

Jackson looked at Liam, “He isn’t one.  You can tell by the smell.”

Liam blinked a few times as the information sank in and repeated Jackson’s statement, “What the hell?”

Stiles looked at the two betas as they walked to the couch and sat down next to Danny and Ethan.  He said, “Ms. Morrell is coming back so we can perform a ritual to allow my body to receive the pack’s strength.  It is risky so if you don’t want to do it, I can’t make you.”

Liam looked uncomfortable as Jackson smirked his patented cocky jock smirk, “So for once WE are allowed to take the risk for you?  I’m in.  Maybe this will let you know that the burden isn’t just your own.”

Liam looked to Jackson and said, “You’d risk your lives for each other?”

Jackson nodded, “I couldn’t imagine doing anything less.”  The jock looked to Stiles, “Remember what I said though.”

Stiles rolled his red eyes and said, “If I try to be the hero again”

Jackson interrupted, “I’ll kick your ass.”

Liam could feel the strength of the pack and thought about his own connection to Scott and his pack and said, “If I can help, I’m in.”

 

Ms. Morrell returned shortly afterwards and set up the room for the ritual.  The pack sat in a circle around Stiles on the sparring mats.  As they began to get situated, Aiden appeared in physical form, his hand on Danny’s shoulder and said, “You guys weren’t planning on leaving me out, were you?”

Stiles and Ethan smiled and Ethan said, “Of course not Aiden.  We were just waiting for you to arrive.”

Ms. Morrell lit a large candle that reeked of aconite and set it on the kitchen table.  She had Isaac hand the picture of Elijah’s family to Liam and had everyone close their eyes.  She said, “Focus on Stiles.  Focus on what he means to you as a pack, as a friend, as someone you care about.  Reach forward and place your hand on your pack mate and accept him.  Focus on him.”

Before her words could continue the pack found themselves no longer in the living room, but a large white room.  They still sat in the circular formation but realized they were no longer in the physical realm.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Hunt the Hunter

 

Jackson grabbed a large black marker and his motorcycle gear as he darted out the door.  He ran down the stairs, excited as a kid going to Disneyland.  He texted Liam:

Meet at the school.

Liam- Yours or mine

Jackson rolled his eyes as he started up the Ducati.

Jackson- Yours dick4.

Jackson mounted his bike and rode to Beacon Hills High.  He enjoyed the whip of the wind as he made it to the school.  He parked his bike by the entrance and saw Liam standing next to the Beacon Hills High sign with a red marker in his hand.  Jackson smiled as he dismounted the bike, purposefully brandishing his black marker as he stashed his gear with the bike.  He walked up to Liam and plastered his cocky jock smile.

“I see you got away from your pack meeting.”

Liam nodded, “Yeah it ended rather abruptly.  Why are we at the school?”

Jackson grinned, “Because we are going to play a game.  One of us will be the prey while the other hunts.  The goal is to mark the prey with the marker.  If one of us tries to mark the other and is discovered or dodged then the hunter becomes the hunted.  Sound good?”

Liam smiled, “Yeah, but won’t there be security at the school today?”

Jackson shook his head, “Probably not but if we can’t evade them then what good are we?”

Liam nodded and said, “Yeah that makes sense.  By the way, what is a Dick4?”  As the young beta said the words, Jackson’s grin grew and it dawned on him as Jackson began to laugh.

Jackson said, “If you have to ask.”

Liam huffed, “Shut up Jackson.”

Jackson said, “Liam, I am going to give you two minutes to get into position before I start stalking you.”

Liam nodded and ran into the courtyard of the school.  Jackson paced around near the entrance.  He remembered playing a very similar game with Derek during his Werewolf 101 crash course.  He remembered them using their claws and how he had a lot of scratches from the alpha but also remembered surprising Derek with a few of his own.  His wolf jumped in anticipation to the game.  When the two minutes were up he picked up Liam’s scent.  His eyes flashed blue as he tapped into the innate heat vision.

In less than five minutes, Liam had his first mark behind his left ear.  He was hiding in the locker room, hoping the smell of the sweaty players would throw Jackson off.  Jackson had stalked him and made it to the roof overhead.  He slowly slid down and while Liam’s head was turned towards the hallway, Jackson hung from the overhang and marked Liam’s ear.  Jackson flipped off the overhang and said, “You have to rely on your other senses Liam.  Sight alone just won’t cut it.”  Jackson gaze met Liam’s as he noticed the younger beta’s eyes were still normal, compared to his steel blue eyes. 

“You aren’t even tapping into your vision.  If you don’t then this game is going to get very boring for me and you are going to be covered in black marks.”

Liam smirked as his anger rose and Jackson responded as he could tell the emotional shift.

“Either channel that anger or get rid of it.  Your choice but I’d say that anger could be a good thing, or at least a good thing in another game.”

Liam fought back his rage as he nodded, “Time to go hide again.”

Jackson grinned, “No, hunt me this time.”

Jackson walked out of the locker room and said, “Two minutes.”  The jock walked straight into the middle of the gym and sat down.  He laughed to himself from the center of the basketball courts.  He closed his eyes and thought, “The young beta will have to be clever to succeed here.”

Liam easily found Jackson and tried to pad up behind him.  Jackson appeared to be sitting with his eyes closed.  Liam ran up from behind him only to see the jock pivot his body and sling himself between Liam’s open legs.  The slick floor enabled Jackson to slide, both under the young beta and to his feet in time to marker the back of the young beta’s arm.

Liam said, “That was a trick.  You cheated.”

Jackson grinned as the young beta turned to look at him.  “Not really, that was an easy one.  Remember, the hunt is a three dimensional environment.”

Liam grinned and said, “I’ve got an idea.  I am the prey right?”

Jackson nodded, “Yeah, you’ve got two minutes.”

Liam darted away.  Jackson laughed as he figured the young beta would start using his brain.  After almost 20 minutes of trying to pick up Liam’s scent, it dawned on Jackson where he went.  Jackson nonchalantly walked into the bleacher side entrance to the pool.  He saw Liam under the water towards the shallow end.  The jock smiled with pride as he moved, just outside of Liam’s view to the side of the pool. 

Jackson laid flat on the floor and waited for the young beta to come up for air.  Jackson took aim with the marker and as soon as Liam’s nose came up, the jock launched the marker.  It tumbled a few times in the air but hit its mark on the tip of Liam’s nose.  Liam gasped and sucked in water as the marker was knocked onto the floor on the opposite side.

Jackson dove it and helped the angry young beta stop thrashing and to the side of the pool.  On the pool stairs Liam turned around and faced Jackson, the black mark on his nose being evident.

Liam growled, “You cheated, and you threw the marker.”

Jackson grinned, “Says the guy sitting at the bottom of the pool?”

Liam and Jackson laughed as they got out of the pool.  After drying off in the locker room they continued the game.  After many failed attempts to mark Jackson, and many more failed attempts to dodge being marked, Liam was frustrated.

He said, “I don’t get it.  I know I am faster than I was, I know that I should be able to get at least one mark.  How are you doing this?”

Jackson grinned and said, “When is the prey not the prey?”

Like a light bulb going off, Liam said, “When the prey is hunting the hunter.”

Jackson nodded, “One more round, winner take all, sound good?”

Liam grinned and nodded excited.

Jackson said, “Alright prey, you’ve got two minutes.”

Liam darted off once again and after waiting the two minutes, Jackson began to track Liam.  The jock walked through classrooms, the gym and locker rooms, even the ventilation shafts following Liam’s scent.  He proudly smiled as the chase grew more difficult after exiting the ventilation shaft in the chemistry room.

Jackson whispered, “Oh, he is good.”

Jackson began to walk towards the courtyard when he heard Scott’s motorcycle.  He smiled as he thought, “Using Scott as a distraction, craftier than I thought.”  Jackson walked towards the library and slid in between two shelves at the back of the reference section.  He watched through the window of the doors from his vantage point and saw Scott walk by.  He saw Liam follow Scott and decided to slowly stalk them both.

Jackson weaved through the school, always just out of their sight but firmly in their range of hearing.  Scott looked around for the mysterious stalker while Liam held a grin to his face.  When they moved towards the main entrance of the school, Jackson split to flank them as they would reach the doors.  As he came down the stairs, hugging the wall, his phone began to ring with “Sexy Back.”  Before he could silence the ring, Liam appeared at the bottom of the stairs and marked Jackson’s face.

The young beta cheered, “I won, I finally caught you.”

Jackson smirked as he answered the phone.  After he spoke with his pack he looked at Scott and Liam.

Scott asked, “Jackson, what are you and Liam doing at the school and why was I called here?”

Jackson said, “Well McCall, we were playing the game Hunt the Hunter, only I decided markers instead of claws and slamming each other into walls.”

Scott looked a little confused, “You mean what Derek did to me when I just turned.”

Jackson nodded, “Yeah, don’t worry, he did it to me too.”

Liam looked confused, “Why didn’t we do it the other way?”

Jackson looked at the confused beta and said, “With your strength and focused rage, I’ll pass.  I look too good to get clawed up.”  Jackson grinned as he leaned closer to Liam, “Liam, why did you call your alpha here?”

Liam looked to the floor as Scott’s gaze fell on him, “Sorry Scott, I was using you as a distraction against Jackson.”

Scott initially looked surprised and said, “That’s thinking on your feet.”

Jackson nodded and said, “You’ve got a good beta Scott, don’t screw it up.”

Scott looked confused then smiled his goofy smile, “Jackson, did you just call me by my name?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Between you and Stiles that is your biggest revelation?”

“You never call me by my name.”

Jackson rolled his eyes and said, “Whatever.”  He looked at Liam and then to Scott, “My pack needs me, is it alright if Liam comes along too.  I don’t want Stiles risking something stupid or putting himself in any more danger.”

Scott laughed as he nodded, “Yeah, I know how that can be.  I would ask to come along but I don’t think I’d be too much help.  My wolf doesn’t like being in another pack’s territory.”

Jackson nodded as he placed his arm over Liam’s shoulder and lead the three out of the school.  He said, “Ready to help my pack.”

Liam smiled and said, “Yeah, I’m just ready to help.”  As Liam and Jackson left Scott and headed towards the apartment a pestering thought pervaded his mind.  “If their packs were so close, why aren’t they just one pack?”

As they stopped at a stop light, Liam asked Jackson, “Hey, why isn’t your pack a part of Scott’s pack?  Or better yet, why aren’t you in Scott’s pack?”

Jackson laughed and said, “That’s a loaded question Liam.  I’ll give you the simple answer, I had a chance to be in the past but that time passed.  I care for your pack but I can never be a part of it.  If you think about it, everyone in my pack shares that very same situation.”

Liam remained confused as they reached the apartment to begin the ritual.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 26- Bonds Built of Time

 

Isaac opened his eyes and saw that the pack continued to sit in the circle but the apartment was no longer the setting.  They sat in a sterile white room with no doors nor windows.  Stiles, the way he normally looked, sat in the center of the circle while a feral, wolfed out alpha Stiles was caged outside of the circle.  Isaac looked at the feral Stiles and was deeply hurt by how little of his leader, his boyfriend, remained in the animalistic shell.

The Stiles in the center stood up and looked at his pack.  He realized that each member brought strength to him.  Each relied on him for something as well.  His gaze fell on Elijah, who took Liam’s spot in the realm.  Stiles said, “I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.”

Elijah blew his bangs out of his eyes and smiled, “It’s alright dude.  I did try to kill you, remember?  I didn’t exactly make it easy to be saved.”

Stiles gave Elijah a half smile, “Still.”

Elijah shook his head, “Still nothing.  We are here to save you this time.  Do us a favor and let us.”

Stiles looked confused and said, “How can I let you?”

Elijah grinned, “It’s really simple actually.”  Elijah broke the circle and stepped up to Stiles.  He placed his hand on the young Stilinski’s shoulder and said, “As a member of your pack I give you strength.”

Stiles could immediately feel a shift in energy from Elijah to himself.

Elijah continued, “To you, Stiles, I give you my greatest strength; Forgiveness.”

The feral Stiles shook the cage and howled as the sterile white walls, floor, and ceiling flashed several different moments of Elijah’s life.  The images appeared like the entire room was a movie theater projecting several different movies at the same time.  Ethan and Aiden instantly recognized the betas from their old pack as Elijah escorted each one to the other side.  Even though they were the ones that decimated his family, only compassion and understanding was held in the eyes of the Kharon.  To each one Elijah said, “I am not who or what you would’ve expected to see and yet I stand before you.  While we share a past, I harbor no ill feelings towards you.  Do not fear me nor worry.  You can finally put your head down and relax, your violent life has ended.”

Stiles looked to Elijah and said, “To you Elijah, I give you justice.  I won’t let your death be in vain.”

When the images disappeared, Elijah disappeared as well and he was replaced by Liam.  Stiles’ eyes glowed red and the feral version of Stiles lost its red eyes.

Liam asked, “What just happened?”

Jackson laughed a little as he stood up in the circle, “Take a seat Liam and just enjoy the show.”  Jackson stepped towards Stiles and placed a hand on his shoulder as Liam stepped back into his place in the circle.

He said, “This almost feels weird Stiles.  I never thought I would end up viewing you as an alpha, much less my alpha.”

Stiles looked to the jock and said, “I know what you mean Jackson.  I always thought I’d end up flipped into a trashcan by you.  Or I would end up putting Nair into your shampoo.”

Jackson nodded until the Nair comment sunk in, “You were going to Nair my shampoo?”

Stiles grinned which only caused Jackson to shake his head.  “I should give you my strength of an ass beating”, the jock said as he laughed.

Jackson took a deep breath and said, “As your loyal beta, I give you strength.”

The feral Stiles began to rattle the cage more as the shift of energy happened.

Jackson continued, “Stiles, I give you my perseverance.”

The room once again began to flash images but this time they were all of the same event.  A lone car drove down one of the more treacherous back roads of Beacon Hills.  The rain poured down on the car and the lightning flashed showing a couple in the vehicle.  As the car made a turn the road gave out under the front passenger tire and the car careened into the flooded embankment before hitting a large tree.  In a short time ambulances appeared and took the pregnant woman to the hospital.  The images shifted to the woman being hooked up to machines to keep her alive.  The doctors took her into surgery and delivered a young boy via C section.  He screamed, which sounded suspiciously like a howl, as soon as the oxygen outside of the womb hit him. 

As the images stopped, Jackson had tears in his eyes.  Stiles looked to him and said, “Damn Jackson, I didn’t know you faced death before you ever had a chance to live.  I take back MOST of the horrible things I said about you over the years.”  Stiles laughed a little at his own joke which snapped Jackson back to reality and brought a laugh out of the jock.

Stiles said, “Jackson, I give you humor, so you can put life into perspective.”

Jackson leaned forward and briefly hugged his alpha and whispered, “Thanks Stiles, not just for saving my life, but for showing me my parents.”

Stiles copied Jackson’s cocky jock smile and said, “What are alphas for?”

The facial hair around the feral Stiles receded as it howled once again.

Jackson laughed and sat back in the circle.

Aiden stood up next and placed a hand on Stiles.  He said, “I didn’t even know that I was in your pack.  I thought I died trying to be a member of Scott’s.”

Stiles shrugged, “Yeah, it’s weird. I guess you joined mine before I ever knew I had one.  After all, you were fighting to save my life.”

Aiden grinned and said, “I could say that I give you Lydia but there are two things wrong with that.  One, no one owns Lydia, ever and two”, Aiden looked over at Isaac, “I think that might piss off your boyfriend.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, “Aiden, Aiden, what ever are we going to do with you?”

Aiden looked back to Stiles and said, “Accept my strength alpha.”

Once again energy surged into Stiles.  The feral Stiles stopped howling and began to scream as it started to sound like Stiles.

Aiden continued, “Stiles, I give you my rage.”

The images flashed and several events flashed on the different walls.  They all showed Aiden, beaten and broken as he fought against adversaries considerably stronger than him.  In each image Aiden was protecting Ethan, his eyes wild with harnessed rage as he did everything in his power to protect his brother.  In the flashes, Aiden was covered in wounds and continued to fight which kept Ethan relatively unscathed.

As the images began to disappear Stiles smiled softly as he said, “You really are one of the good guys, probably one of the best guys.”

Aiden looked to his brother and smiled before looking back to Stiles.  He said, "I’m glad I was wrong about you.”

Stiles nodded and said, “And I say the same thing about you, Aiden.”

Aiden smiled as Stiles said, “Aiden, I give you acceptance.  You never need to feel alone or cornered, we are pack.”

Aiden nodded and sat back in the circle.

Danny stood up and walked over to Stiles and placed his hand on him.  He said, “Okay, this is definitely not what I expected.”

Stiles smiled, “What?  No hugging it out moments?”

Danny laughed, “Not just that.  It’s almost like we are sharing ourselves with the entire pack.”

Stiles nodded, “Maybe that’s how werewolf packs really do become closer than family.”

Danny nodded, “Well, Stiles, I give you strength.”

The feral Stiles screamed as his wolf-out appearance shifted back to his regular appearance except he still possessed his fangs and claws.  He rattled the cage violently.

The only image that flashed was of an owl.  It appeared powerful and protective.

Stiles looked confused and asked, “You’re showing us an owl?”

As the realization struck Danny, he smiled softly.  “I just realized what strength I give you Stiles.  I give you family.”

Stiles shook his head in confusion, “An owl means family?”

Danny nodded and said, “I’ll tell you one of these days Stiles, just not today.  I think we have slightly more pressing concerns.”

Stiles nodded and said, “Danny, I give you hope.  It’s not that you really needed more, but since becoming involved in all of this supernatural stuff, well, you can never have enough.  Maybe I’ll be able to stop anything else from upsetting your world.”

Danny smiled and said, “I’ll hold you to that Stiles.” 

Stiles smiled as Danny walked back to the circle.  Ethan looked at Danny with confusion as he asked, “An owl?”

Danny nonchalantly said, “Yeah babe, it’s your turn now.”

Ethan looked at Stiles as he stood up and walked over to him.  He placed his hand on the young Stilinski and said, “Stiles, I give you strength.”

Several waves of power flooded over Stiles as the feral Stiles’ fangs and claws disappeared.  It continued to feebly shake the cage and its screams died down considerably.

Ethan continued, “Stiles, I give you compassion.”

The images flashed to several scenes of Ethan and Aiden’s old pack.  As their alpha and betas ruthless chased innocent people, they could see Ethan finding ways for the people to escape.  He utilized his knowledge of werewolf strengths to dampen or remove the people’s smell and hide them from being killed.  While none of the victims thanked the young wolf, he saved them for its own sake.  The last series showed him trying to save Emma but ultimately being caught and punished by his old alpha.

Stiles looked at Ethan, “Did Elijah ever know you tried to save his sister?”

Ethan shook his head, “No, I failed so I never saw a reason in bringing it up.”

Stiles embraced the twin alpha and said, “I wish I could’ve done something to help you and Aiden during those horrible times.”

As they parted from the embrace Ethan said, “Dude, you didn’t even know us then.  You know not everything is in your control.”  He laughed a little after saying it and Stiles laughed as well.

Stiles said, “Ethan I gi-“ but was immediately stopped as the twin alpha placed his finger over Stiles’ mouth.  He said, “I already know and thank you, Stiles, alpha.”

Ethan walked back to his seat and Danny glared at Ethan.  Ethan looked at his boyfriend and grinned as he shrugged, “What?  You aren’t the only one who has a secret he isn’t quite ready to share.”

Danny laughed and Isaac stood up and walked to Stiles.  He placed his hand on Stiles but his eyes remained focused on the floor.  Stiles reached towards Isaac and gently raised his head so that they made eye contact.

Stiles genuinely asked, “What’s wrong Care Bear?”

Isaac almost whispered, “I’m really not that strong and I don’t think I have anything to give you.”

Stiles laughed a little which caused a look of shock to flash across his boyfriend’s face.

Stiles said, “Care bear, stop doubting yourself.  When you do that, you’ll see the answer.”

Isaac nodded and said, “Stiles, I give you my strength.”

An incredible surge of energy flowed into Stiles and the cage around the feral copy disappeared and any sign that the other Stiles was feral disappeared.

Isaac sighed as he said, “I still don’t understand.”

Stiles playfully nudged Isaac’s cheek and said, “Silly, you give me your empathy, your humanity.”

A single scene flashed across the room.  Stiles was in his room and Isaac and he argued about what happened with Gerard.  The rest of the pack watched as Stiles admitted to enjoying the power of being possessed by the Nogitsune.  Stiles didn’t watch the scene but kept looking into Isaac’s eyes.

As the images ceased, Stiles said to Isaac, “Now Care Bear, do you know what I give you?”

Isaac half smiled while hit nibbled on his bottom lip.  He nodded slightly.

Stiles smiled and said, “Isaac, I give you love, I love you.  Even if this whole relationship turns sour, I will never let you feel worthless, ever again.  You are the kindest, gentlest, furry buzz saw of destruction that has ever walked this planet.  And I intend on reminding you of that every time you get down on yourself.”

Isaac laughed and embraced his boyfriend, “Thank you Stiles.  I love you too.”

Jackson and Aiden groaned and Jackson rolled his eyes as he said, “Could one of you give me a barf bag, thanks.”

Isaac turned to the jock, his eyes burning red as Stiles quickly pulled the young alpha’s attention back to himself.  “Let him say whatever, he secretly finds this adorable.”

Jackson rolled his eyes again as Danny laughed and said, “You aren’t wrong Stiles.”

Isaac walked back to his seat and the uncaged Stiles walked into the circle and placed a hand on Stiles.

He said, “Stiles, I give you your pack.”

A large flash of light filled the room.  When the pack opened their eyes, they were back in the apartment.  Ms. Morrell blew out the candle and opened the door to the balcony.  The strong scent of aconite still filled the room but the smoke gently left.

Isaac opened his eyes and looked at Stiles.  Stiles’ eyes were back to their whiskey colored glory and any signs of fangs had disappeared.

Liam stood up and looked around as confusion set in.  “What just happened?”

Ms. Morrell smiled and said, “You just helped save your friend.”

Stiles stood up and looked to Ms. Morrell, “Thank you, how can we ever repay you?”

Ms. Morrell smiled and said, “Mr. Stilinski all I want is for you boys to succeed in what you were already doing.”

“Stop the Nemeton and save Beacon Hills.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 27- Forced Hand

 

After the ritual is complete Ms. Morrell gathers up the supplies she brought and says goodbye to the pack as she leaves.  When she opens the door, an unaddressed envelope fell from the door.  Even though she watched it fall, Ms. Morrell continued towards the elevator.  Liam walked to the door and picked up the envelope and handed it to Jackson.

“I think someone left this for you guys.”

Jackson opened the envelope and read the letter aloud, “Bring Ethan and Isaac to the Hale property tonight.”

Liam looked at Stiles’ pack and asked, “Derek didn’t send that, did he?”

Stiles shook his head, “Not a chance.  The Hale’s property lies within the preserve and isn’t far from the Nemeton.  It’s a trap, no doubt about it.”

Jackson smirked and plopped down onto the couch, “I say we just don’t go.  If it’s a trap, we just avoid it.”

Isaac smirked at the jock, “I don’t think we’ll get off that easy.  Remember the Nemeton did tap into the telluric currents and control most of the people in the town.  It can kill, with or without its host.”

Ethan nodded, “Yeah, Isaac’s right.  I owe a lot of people here so I couldn’t let them be in danger for my own safety.”

Danny tried to plead with Ethan but was immediately stopped.  Ethan said, “I’m going, trap or not.  This might be our best chance.”

Isaac nodded and said, “I’m going too.”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Alright wonder twins, or triplets, or whatever, don’t forget we were inhaling wolfsbane during the entire ritual and we will be far from full strength.”

Liam nodded and said, “I could tell Scott and Stiles so both packs can handle it.”

Danny looked to Liam, “Yeah, we should do that.”

Stiles shook his head and said, “No, we need to leave Scott’s pack out of this.  Having them ready to be backup would be fine but if we are all there, we could fall into the trap and leave Beacon Hills defenseless.”

The pack moved to their respective chairs and Liam looked confused as he stood off to the side.  Jackson slid over on the couch, closer to Danny, as he created a place for Liam to sit.  He said, “Either take a seat and join in the meeting or you can leave.  Not meaning to be a dick but standing off to the side as a bystander won’t help anything.  You also need to make a decision about something.”

Liam looked confused as he walked over and sat down next to Jackson, “What decision?”

Jackson smirked, “I don’t know how but your best friend is right outside the elevator door.  Either invite him in or take him away from here.”

Liam raised his head and caught Mason’s scent.  He looked scared as he looked back at Jackson and said, “What do I do?”

Jackson smirked, “I can’t tell you what to do.  You have to make this decision because once someone gets involved in this, there is no going back.”  Jackson looked over to Danny, “Right Danny?”

Danny smiled as he looked at Jackson, “Yeah, that’s right.”  Danny embraced Ethan a little tighter as he looked back to his boyfriend.

Liam nodded and decided that he should finally let Mason know what is going on.  As he stood up to walk to the door, Stiles said, “Are you sure about that?  We are in the middle of two separate battles, either of which could kill your friend in the crossfire.  I don’t mean to sound harsh but that’s reality.”

Liam thought back to the conversation with Scott.

“Not all of us did.”

He sighed and said, “I’ll make sure Mason doesn’t get lost on the way home.  If you guys need me, just let me know.”

Jackson smiled and nodded, “Later kid.  Next time we hunt for real.”

Liam laughed and said, “I hope you’ll be ready Jacks.”  Liam left the apartment and Jackson slid back over giving Danny and Ethan a little more room.

Isaac looked at Stiles and said, “Why did you tell Liam that?”

Stiles looked to the floor, “Because I don’t know how well we will protect each other, much less someone outside of the pack.  I don’t want Mason to stay in the dark forever but now is a really dangerous time.”

Ethan nodded and said, “You did the right thing Stiles.  When this business cools down we should be able to safely let him in.”

Stiles looked at his pack and said, “We do know for certain now that Ethan and Isaac are the targets.”

Isaac smiled as Stiles’ gaze fell on him, “Don’t worry, I can protect myself.  I am the furry buzz saw after all.”

Stiles laughed, “I don’t disagree with you there Big Bad.”

Ethan broke the lighthearted exchange when he said, “Isaac and I should head there first.  We are both alphas and our senses are better attuned at spotting the trap.”

Danny immediately interjected, “No, you two are the targets.  If anything, Stiles, Jackson and Myself should head in first while you two wait as backup.”

Isaac responded, “I am not sending Jackson and Stiles in again, both of them almost died last time.  And by the Nemeton’s power, both of them technically did die.”

Jackson laughed at Isaac’s response, “Sitting right here dicknuts.  I can handle myself and I know Stiles can.  Besides making stupidly self-sacrificing decisions, our alpha can handle himself.”

Isaac glared at Jackson and the jock smirked back, “If you want to try it “Big Bad” go for it.  I promise you I’ll have you screaming to Stiles to kiss your little boo boos away.”

Isaac’s eyes flashed red as he growled at Jackson, who in turn flashed his eyes blue and growled back.

Stiles yelled, “Stop it! All of you!”

The pack stopped their bickering and looked to Stiles.  He said, “We are going to send Ethan and Isaac first.  Ethan has a good point about their senses.  Jackson and I will act as backup, especially since the Nemeton should be able to shut down supernatural abilities now.  Danny, you are going to link up with Scott’s pack and let them know what is going on.  Under no circumstances are you to leave them.  If you want to help, then get them to come with you.”

Danny began to say something but nodded, “I understand.”

Ethan looked to Isaac and they exchanged looks.  “Then we should leave soon.”

Ethan kissed Danny and said, “I’ll be back shortly babe.”

Danny grinned, “You’d better.” 

Danny stood up and grabbed his keys, “I’m going to head to Scott’s or Stiles’ place, wherever their pack is.”

Jackson grinned at Danny, “Make sure to pick up Mason and Liam.”

Danny looked confused as Jackson continued, “I brought Liam here and Mason walked.  I could tell by the smell of his sweat.”

Danny shook his head and laughed before he left.

Stiles looked at Ethan, “Are you sure about the senses thing because the coy wolf here notices a lot of things, he just likes keeping them to himself.”

Ethan grinned, “Maybe I am wrong, when it comes to Jackson that is.”

Ethan and Isaac gathered up their things and Ethan stepped out the door while Isaac walked over to Stiles.  He kissed his boyfriend on the top of his head and whispered, “Be safe tonight.  I don’t care what happens, I want you to be alright.”

Stiles looked up at Isaac and said, “You too.”

Isaac followed Ethan out of the apartment.  Stiles looked to Jackson, who was smiled at him.

Jackson said in a mockingly bashful way, “What?”

Stiles sneered, “You know what.”

Jackson rolled his eyes playfully and said, “I told you so.  Maybe you’ll listen to me in the future.”

Stiles laughed and said, “Since when did you become me, and I became Scott?”

Jackson grinned, “About the time Isaac became your boyfriend.”

Stiles stood up and grabbed his riding gear as Jackson did the same.  Stiles asked, “Yo Jacks, can I drive this time?”

Jackson laughed as he walked to the door, “You know what they say Stiles, if you have to ask.”

The young Stilinski pleaded with the jock the entire elevator trip down.  When they reached the Ducati, Jackson started it up.  Stiles sighed at his defeat and Jackson stared at him.

Stiles looked confused as he asked, “What are you doing?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Waiting for you to drive.  I just enjoy busting your balls.”

Stiles mounted the bike and muttered, “Asshole.”

Jackson mounted the bike behind Stiles and laughed as he said, “You know you love it.”

 

The two men made their way to the preserve.  As they closed in on the Hale property they saw both of the other bikes stopped on the side of the road.  Neither Ethan nor Isaac were anywhere to be found.  Stiles maneuvered the bike near the other two and said, “I don’t like the looks of this.”

Jackson caught their scents and said, “Neither do I.  There were others here and Gerard was one of them.”

Stiles and Jackson dismounted the bike and left their helmets with it.  Jackson led as they weaved through the forest, following the scents of Ethan and Isaac.  They reached a clearing where a group of hunters were trying to capture Ethan and Isaac.  Both alphas were fighting off their attackers and the hunters fell one by one.  Jackson leaned forward to charge into the fray but Stiles grabbed his shoulder.  “They are alright right now.  Trap remember.  We don’t want to lose the ability to stop it by joining them.”

After the last hunter fell, Isaac looked to Ethan, “Some trap huh?  I’m pretty sure a couple of humans with regular rounds is kind of a joke.”

Ethan kneeled next to one of the unconscious hunters and checked his belongings.  After emptying the man’s weapon of rounds he found a folded up piece of paper.  He opened it and said, “This is a copy of the deadpool.  I don’t think these guys were the trap.”

Isaac walked over to Ethan and looked at the list, “So we are still in danger?”

From the far side of the clearing, Gerard’s voice could be heard, “Still in danger is an understatement Mr. Lahey.”

Both alphas turned to face the direction of Gerard’s voice.  Stiles pulled Jackson down to kneeling as they concealed themselves in the underbrush of the opposite side of the clearing.

Ethan yelled, “We received your invitation Gerard.  You know a text would’ve worked just as well.”

Gerard laughed as he stepped into the clearing.  “Now why would I do that?  Especially when you boys were busy with your little ritual.”

Isaac wolfed out and charged towards Gerard.  Thick waves of string like webs flew from behind Gerard and engulfed most of Isaac.  They caused him to fall to the ground.  Ethan ran to help Isaac only to be covered by the same webbing.

Gerard walked up to the prone alphas and said, “Never piss off an Arachne.  It isn’t good for your health.”

The two alphas struggled against the webbing.  Isaac began to shift to his dire wolf form and Aiden appeared next to Ethan.  Gerard smiled as his nose began to bleed the dark viscous fluid.  Both alphas immediately shifted back to human and Aiden disappeared.  Gerard laughed, “Not so fast boys.”

Gerard looked back to the forest where he walked out of and yelled, “Acacia, take these boys to the Nemeton.  It is waiting for them.”

An older looking women with olive skin and long dark hair walked out of the forest.  She looked normal, in a pair of jeans and a t shirt, as she walked up to Isaac and Ethan. 

Stiles and Jackson charged out of the wood line towards the mysterious women.  Before they could reach her though, she knelt beside both alphas and placed a hand on each one.  Her eyes flashed silver and the three of them disappeared.

Stiles and Jackson skidded to a stop right where their pack mates just were.  Gerard said, “I really have to thank your Kharon for being such a willing sacrifice.  Psychopomp is such an interesting power to possess.”

Jackson yelled as he wolfed out, “Gerard, I am going to enjoy hurting you.”

Gerard looked at the beta and said, “Mr. Whittemore, you can try but we both know how it ended last time.”

Jackson ran towards the elder hunter but was greeted with a forceful wave that struck him to the ground.  He immediately returned to being human and could feel all of his strength disappear.  Stiles ran to Jackson’s side and helped the jock to his feet.

“What about you Mr. Stilinski?  Are you going to test your luck?”

Stiles whispered to Jackson, “Are you alright?”

Jackson nodded and said, “Yeah, I’ll be fine.”

Stiles let go of Jackson and walked towards Gerard, “Against you?  I’ll gladly test my luck.”  Jackson caught the grin that formed on Stiles’ face as the Stilinski walked towards the hunter.

Stiles said, “Just remember, the moment you stop shutting down Jackson’s power, he is going to rip you apart.”

Gerard grinned as he coughed up a little fluid, “Don’t worry Mr. Stilinski, I can do this all night.”

As Stiles closed in on Gerard, he charged and struck the elder hunter, knocking him to the ground.  “Not as tough as before Gerard.  Is concentrating on different things too hard?”

Stiles felt a wave of the energy surge from Gerard and through him.  He grinned, “Sorry about that Gerard, I’m just a run of the mill Stilinski.”  When he finished speaking he kicked Gerard in his side.  The elder hunter grunted and rolled to his feet.

Gerard spat out more black fluid as he said, “I have a few more tricks up my sleeve.”  Stiles noticed as the four marks that Elijah possessed glowed on the hunter.  Gerard’s fist engulfed in flames and his punched Stiles in the gut.  Stiles doubled over but the elder hunter screamed and pulled his hand back.  He shook it vigorously and yelled, “How did you break the field?  You shouldn’t be able to hurt me now.”

Stiles slowly stood up, his eyes flashed red.  “Did you forget about packs Gerard?”

Gerard feebly growled, “What are you talking about?”

Stiles walked up to Gerard and punched him square in the chin.  The Elder hunter fell as the mark of mountain lit up and the crackle of its power fizzled away.  “Where does an alpha get their power?”

Slowly getting to being on all fours Gerard said, “Their pack.”

Stiles looked down at Gerard, “Exactly.  You can thank Danny for that one.”

Gerard stumbled to his feet and black blood flowed from his ears as Stiles felt another wave pass through him.  Stiles shook his head and laughed, “Really Gerard?  That’s what I can do.  Now let me ask you a question.  What is the side effect of what I do?”

Gerard shook his head angrily as the pressure was becoming intense, “Headaches.”

Stiles grinned viciously, “Not just headaches, you are actually shutting down your own healing, Gerard.”  Stiles kicked the back of Gerard’s knee, knocking the elder hunter to the ground.  “I wonder how much longer your body will keep going.  The best part is this time, all I am doing is stopping you from shutting it off.”

Gerard coughed violently as thick, black fluid was expelled all around him.  He glared at Stiles before his eyes lit up silver and he disappeared.

Stiles’ eyes widened as he felt the adrenaline dissipate and he began to fall.  Jackson ran and caught Stiles before he collapsed to the ground.

The jock said, “You really do need to stop the heroics.”

Stiles grinned at Jackson and said, “I’ll stop the heroics when you stop catching me.”

Jackson sat Stiles down and said, “It has Ethan and Isaac.  What are we going to do?”

Stiles closed his eyes and breathed deeply, “We have to save them.  But the Arachne took them to the Nemeton and that doesn’t make sense.  Why would she work with the thing trying to kill her?”

Jackson shrugged, “Maybe she’s being controlled?”

Stiles shook his head, “It just doesn’t make sense.”

Jackson looked at Stiles with confusion on his face, “How did you know that Gerard wouldn’t be able to hurt you?”

Stiles smiled at the jock and said, “Just listen.”

As Jackson’s heightened hearing returned, he heard one definitive sound.  The presence of an owl.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 28- The Last Sacrifice

 

 

Jackson looked to Stiles, “Do you think we’ll just be able to walk up to the Nemeton and find them?”

Stiles grinned weakly, “Maybe, that is kind of the hope.”

Jackson rolled his eyes and said, “Stiles, you are officially banned from anymore plans.  I think you and McCall changed spots or something.”

Stiles huffed at the beta, “My plans are still better.”

Jackson sighed and rolled his eyes again, “Marginally.”

The two maneuvered through the forest towards the Nemeton but Jackson stopped Stiles after only 15 minutes or so.

“We aren’t alone.”

Stiles looked around and said, “I don’t see or hear anyone.”

Jackson smirked and said, “Come out Arachne or I’ll have fun getting rid of another long legs.”

A frail, olive skinned and dark haired man stepped out from behind a larger tree.  His shirt and jeans looked dirty and worn and his appearance was haggard.  He had a tattoo of the number 2 on the side of his neck.

He said meekly, “I don’t want any trouble.”

Jackson closed the distance and was on the man in an instant, “Where is Acacia?  Where are Ethan and Isaac?”

The young man looked away, “She went to the tree.  She said it was the only way to get back home.”

Stiles walked up to the two and looked to Jackson, “I don’t think he is under the Nemeton’s control.”

Jackson glared at Stiles before looking back to the young man, “Why aren’t you with her?”

The young man sighed and looked to the ground, “I was found wanting.  The tree only wants me as food.  But I can’t abandon the queen.”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “So you are a whipped spider?  Help us get our friends back and we will stop the Nemeton from controlling Acacia.”

The young man met the beta’s gaze.  His eyes were completely black as he said, “You can’t stop Acacia.  She isn’t controlled by the tree.  She joined with it.”

Stiles gasped, “What?”

The young man nodded, “Yes, our queen abandoned us for the power the tree offered.  She is one with it now.”

Jackson looked to Stiles, “There is your answer on why.”

Stiles nodded and looked to the young man, “Head back to town, go to the hospital and tell them you are a friend of the sheriff’s son.  That should keep you safe from this.”

The young man shook his head, “I can’t.  No more than your beta here can choose to abandon you, I cannot abandon my queen.”

Jackson shook his head and walked past the man, “If you want to tag along, feel free.  It would be easier if we knew your name though.”

Stiles and the young man caught up to Jackson and he said, “My name is Castor.”

Stiles smiled and said, “Nice to meet you Castor.  Maybe next time it won’t be under such circumstances.”

The young man silently nodded as they made their way towards the Nemeton.

 

When they reached the area the Nemeton was located, they couldn’t help but notice the overgrowth of trees, roots and vines.  The once, near barren, area was lush with over growth and large webs hung from the trees.  Isaac and Ethan were suspended above the ground on the lower branches of the Nemeton itself.  The smell of death permeated the air.

Stiles ran up to Isaac as Jackson shouted for him to stop.  Jackson used his senses to scan the area but found that, for the moment, they were the only ones there.  Stiles attempted to pull the webbing off his boyfriend but found that it was incredibly durable.

Stiles said, “I can’t tear it off of him.”

Jackson and Castor walked over to Isaac and Jackson said, “He’s been poisoned.  I can smell it.”

Castor meekly said, “The queen must’ve bitten your friends.  I’m sorry.”

Stiles looked at Castor and said, “Why are you sorry?  Just help us get them free.”

Castor nodded and before their eyes the young man shifted into a half man/ half spider.  He deftly cut the web from Ethan’s body.  As his body fell, Jackson caught it and laid him down on the ground.

Jackson said, “At least he is breathing.”

Castor shifted along the massive tree to Isaac and moved to cut him free.  He was startled by a shifting in the webs.  He said, “My queen?”

Acacia descended in her considerably larger half spider form and said, “My, my Castor.  I wouldn’t think you would betray me.”

Castor mumbled, “No, my queen.  I am here for you.”  He leaned forward and cut the webbing that held Isaac to the tree and the young alpha fell on Stiles.

Acacia grinned, “Then you are ready to feed the tree so that I may grow more powerful?”

Castor shook his head, “No, my queen.  I am here to free you from its grip.”  The young male spider jumped from the tree onto the queen’s web.  “It will only use and kill you in the end, my queen.”

Acacia said calmly, “Oh Castor, you just don’t understand.  This is why I was chosen.  Your brothers didn’t understand and now I know what has to be done.”

Acacia charged Castor and the two spiders began to fight.  Stiles slowly pulled Isaac off of himself and tried to drag him away.  Jackson pulled Ethan’s body away from the fight.  The trees shook as the spiders lunged and fought one another.  Acacia clearly outmatched the smaller male and it wasn’t long before she was closing to finish him.

Jackson looked to Stiles, “I’m going to try and buy you some time.  Get them away from here.”

Stiles screamed to Jackson as the beta ran towards the webs.  Completely wolfed out, Jackson clawed the support lines of the web and the two spiders fell to the ground beneath them.  Jackson clawed Acacia, which caused the spider to scream.  Castor turned his attention towards the beta and covered him with a string of webbing that sent him flying into a tree behind them.  He was covered and restrained as he fought to get himself free.

Acacia realized Castor was distracted and descended on the spider.  She bit his neck and the syrupy venom flowed from her mouth as she pulled away.  Almost instantly he stopped fighting.  His body fell limp and his eyes began to cloud.  Stiles looked to the spider queen and then to Jackson.  Jackson shouted, “Run, dumbass!  Get them to safety!”

Stiles resolved to never abandon his pack again.  He knew the strength they gave him and could feel it course through him.  His eyes glowed red as he tapped into that power.  He looked back to the spider queen but saw she was already gone.  He smiled as he closed his eyes and listened for her movements.

Time seemed to slow for Stiles.  He heard the wind as it rustled the leaves in the trees.  He heard Jackson’s frantic heartbeat and the much slowly heartbeats of Isaac and Ethan.  He could hear the individual strands of webbing as they bent and moved under the pressure of the queen’s weight.  Stiles looked up and released a roar from deep within.

Jackson watched as Stiles appeared to look calm.  His heat vision showed a different feeling though.  Stiles was surrounded by the energy of a powerful wolf.  When he raised his head to roar, the wolf raised his to howl.  The force of the sound and energy released destroyed the webs overhead and the spider once again fell to the earth below.

Stiles stepped towards Acacia, as she stumbled to her feet.  “Give up now”, he said dispassionately.

Acacia got to her feet and stared down the young Stilinski, “I will just shut that down then.”  A wave of energy flowed from the spider queen, past Stiles and into Jackson which instantly knocked him out of being wolfed out.

Stiles smirked, “I’m sorry, it just doesn’t work on me.” He slowly walked up to the surprised spider, and with a strength that she didn’t expect him to possess, he grabbed ahold of one of her legs and yanked it until it tore from her carapace,  She screamed in pain as she covered Stiles in webs.

A single mark glowed through the steel like webbing and it burned away in almost an instant.  Acacia stumbled backwards as Stiles glared her down.  “You abandoned your nest for a power that wants you dead.  And then you tried to kill my pack.  Acacia, I feel sorry for you.”

In a blur Stiles flew at the spider and struck her in the torso which caused her large body to flail through the vines until it struck the Nemeton.  She collapsed against the tree as he blood flowed over the roots.  She mumbled, “But, you, you are just a human.”

Stiles smirked as he walked closer, “Just a human?  That’s almost funny.”  Stiles turned and walked towards Jackson.  He placed his hand on the webbing and the mark glowed as his hands engulfed in fire.

Acacia noticed the moment of distraction and charged towards Stiles.  The venom flowed from her fangs as she blurred towards the young man.  Another blur crossed her path and he reflex to bite was too much as she released her venom into the one that crossed her path.

Jackson screamed, “Ethan!”  As the webs burned away he ran past Stiles to grab his fellow pack mate who was still in the spider’s clutches. 

As Stiles turned around to face the spider, another root of the Nemeton flew from behind the spider and impaled her and tore into Ethan’s back.

Ethan collapsed into Jackson’s arms as the root ripped out of him and Acacia and sent the mortally wounded spider flying.  Stiles helped Jackson lower Ethan to the ground.  Ethan stared up at Jackson and Stiles, One of his eyes glowed blue while the other glowed red.

He said, “I’m dying, aren’t I?”  His breathing became more difficult as the venom ran its course and his wound bled.

Jackson shook his head, “No man, you aren’t.  I’ve got you.”

Ethan looked at Jackson and spoke with his and Aiden’s voices as he said, “This wound might even kill you Jackson.”

Jackson laughed with tears in his eyes, “Don’t worry about it.  Like I said, I’ve got you.”  Jackson tried to take away Ethan’s pain but found that he wasn’t able.  “What’s going on?  I can’t take away your pain.”

Ethan grinned and said, in two voices, “It’s because I’m not in any pain.  It feels peaceful.  I just want to rest.”

Stiles eyes widened, “No, you can’t rest.  Ethan! Aiden! Wake up!”

Ethan looked to Stiles, “Not so much fun on the other side, is it alpha?”  He lazily opened and closed his eyes as the weight of his eyelids almost grew too much.

Stiles screamed, “No.  Wake up Ethan!  Don’t do this to us!  Don’t do this to Danny!”

Jackson closed his eyes and tried to tap into his healing but without the presence of pain, he found that he couldn’t do anything.  He weakly muttered, “I can’t do anything.  I can’t, heal him.”

Ethan smiled softly, “It’s alright.  Tell Danny, I love him.”

Stiles screamed, “Tell him yourself!”

Ethan closed his eyes as unconsciousness fell over him.

Stiles screamed for his pack mate and the sounds of the forest quieted out of respect for the sorrow of an alpha.

 

Stiles opened his eyes and realized he was sitting in the apartment again.  Jackson held a cup of coffee towards him and said, “Dude, drink your coffee before it gets cold.”

Stiles looked at him confused, “Jackson, where are we?  What happened?”

Jackson sat in the chair next to Stiles and set the cup on the coffee table.  He looked at Stiles and said, “After you blacked out, I dragged you, Ethan, and Isaac back to the clearing.  I got on the phone with Danny and got our back up there.  You’ve been here for that last few days.  In some sort of haze.”

Stiles immediately turned to Jackson, “Is Ethan?”

Jackson raised an eyebrow, “Dead?  No.  He made it, barely but he made it.”

“Where is he?  Where is Isaac?”

Jackson sighed and looked to the floor, “That’s the bad news.  They are still unresponsive from earlier.  The queen Arachne’s venom is no joke.”

Stiles blinked a few times, the severity sinking in, “You mean?”

Jackson nodded, “They are here.  Ms. Morrell is with Isaac right now and Deaton is with Ethan.  After they stabilized Ethan they are trying to figure out how to awaken them.  Neither one is responsive to any stimuli.”

Stiles closed his eyes and sighed.  He felt someone sit down next to him on the couch.  He looked over and saw Scott.  Scott looked confused and concerned at what happened.

Jackson looked at the two men and said, “It looks like you two have some alpha business to discuss.  I’m just going to step out onto the balcony and talk to Liam.  He seems a bit too quiet tonight.”  Jackson stood up and joined Liam and the copy on the balcony.

Stiles looked at Scott, “Dude, we are losing.  Bad.”

Scott nodded, “Yeah, I know what you mean.”

Stiles sighed, a world weary expression on his face, as he asked, “It seems like every plan we make ends with us failing.  How do you do it?  How do you keep pushing and hoping when it seems that everything is fighting against you?”

Scott placed his arm around his best friend and pulled him in for a one armed hug, “Well, I have people like you who need me to.  There are times where I just want to run, want to hide but I can’t.  It’s like you said, I can do things that no one else can.  Because of that, I have to do something.”

Stiles lowered his head, “I just don’t know what else to do.  Isaac and Ethan are alive but unconscious.  And if we don’t find a way to bring them back then I don’t know what to do.”

Scott smiled and said, “For starters, you can let people help you.  Not just your pack but you know I am here for you.  You are my best friend.”

Stiles looked at Scott, “I know but I’ve seen how much you have on your shoulders and for once, just one time I am able to not put more on them.  I just didn’t want you to have to fight my battles too.”

Scott looked back to the balcony and saw Jackson and Liam laughing.  He said, “It’s not just about fighting battles together.  Look.”

Stiles joined Scott and looked at the two betas.

Scott continued, “We share in everything.  Successes, failures, fights, and whatever comes our way.  That’s what friends do.  That’s what packs do.”

Stiles interrupted, “But the deadpool.”

Scott cut him off, “Has ended.  Your pack wasn’t the only one doing things.”

Stiles’ eyes widened, “What?”

Scott nodded, “Yeah, we put an end to that tonight.”

Stiles meekly asked, “Is that why?”

Scott smiled, “Is that why Jackson and Liam are celebrating, yeah.  You can’t let the bad things drag you down.  They look to you to be the strong one.”

Stiles turned back to facing forward, “But I’m not that strong.”

Scott followed Stiles in facing forward and fought back a laugh, “Are you kidding me?  Jackson told me what happened.  You were totally badass.  It sounds like you only have the Nemeton to deal with now.  You killed an Arachne queen and sent Gerard running for the hills.  Still sounds like a success to me.”

Stiles responded, “But Ethan and Isaac”

Scott interjected, “Will be fine.  Deaton and Morrell will find a way to cure them.  It’ll just take some time.”

Stiles sighed, “What will I do until they do?”

Scott shrugged, “You still have Jackson and Danny.”

Stiles shakes his head, “I can’t put them in danger.  Not after this.”

Scott shakes his head, “Wake up Stiles.  Your pack doesn’t ask to be put in danger, they choose it.  All they want is for you to lead them.”

Stiles turned to face Scott wearing a confused expression, “What do you mean?”

Scott smiled his goofy smile, “Try and leave them out of your next mission and see what happens.  I don’t know who would take you out first.”

Deaton steps out of Ethan’s room and closed the door behind himself.  He looked to Stiles and said, “Your pack is really lucky.  I know I’ve told you that before but I think you need to hear it now.”

Stiles looked at the vet, “What do you mean?”

Deaton looked at Scott and Stiles, “Your bond with them is what sustained them through the poison.  Their bodies are still fighting it off.  I am going to continue to look for anything that might break their sleep but I am also optimistic that they may wake up before I find something.”

Stiles asked, “What do you mean bond?”

Scott laughed at turned to his best friend, “Just like a pack gives an alpha strength, an alpha gives their pack strength.”

Deaton nodded, “Quite right Scott.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, “Well not all of us are true alphas, alright.”

Deaton laughed, “No, but I can’t think of another human alpha of a pack that didn’t die or lose their mind.”

Stiles smiled weakly, “Ms. Morrell told you?”

Deaton nodded.

Stiles laughed, “Then I will just shut my mouth now.”

Jackson stepped inside with Liam and immediately said, “That would be a first Stiles.”

Stiles glared back at his beta, “I thought you were giving us alpha time?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “I never said I wouldn’t eavesdrop.”  Jackson and Liam walked to the side chairs and sat down near their respective alphas.

Stiles looked to Scott and smiled, “You see, this is what I mean.  I swear Jackson is worse than I ever was with you.”

Scott smirked, “Really?  Has he hit you with balls yet to check your heart rate?”

Stiles began, “Well no.”

Jackson interrupted as he laughed, “No, Stiles would enjoy that too much!”  Liam couldn’t help but laugh at the jock’s joke as Scott blushed a little at his choice of words.

Stiles looked at Jackson, who wore his best shit eating grin.  The jock responded, “What?”

Stiles narrowed his eyes, “You know what!”

Scott looked between the two and said, “It looks like Jackson is growing on you Stiles.”

Stiles rolled his eyes and said playfully, “Like a fungus.”

Jackson continued to grin, “You know you love it.”

Liam leaned towards Scott and asked, “Have they always been such close friends?”

Scott leaned toward Liam, his eyes not moving off Stiles and Jackson, “Nope.  These two used to hate each other.”

Liam blinked a few times, “Really?”

Ms. Morrell stepped out of the Isaac’s room and said, “I’ve done all I can for now.”

Deaton looked to Morrell and said, “We’ll leave you to your celebrations and planning.  If anything comes up, let us know.”  The two emissaries said their goodbyes and left.

Shortly after they left Scott stood up, “I should head out too.  My mom should be off work soon and she’s been saying how she never sees me anymore.”

Liam looked to Scott and asked, “Is it alright if I stay?”

Scott looked to Liam and shrugged, “If Stiles and Jackson say it is, I don’t see why not.”

Jackson looked to Stiles and then to Liam, “Sure.  Just tell your parents.  I don’t want my dad getting a call from the Beacon Hills PD about a kidnapping.”

Liam smiled and began to text his parents.  Stiles stood up and walked Scott to the elevator.

As he pressed the button and heard the elevator climbing to their floor he asked, “Scott, how do you do it?  How do you put on the strong front when I know you want to crumble?”

Scott hugged his best friend and said, “You just do.  Your pack will do the rest.  Trust me on that.”

Stiles hugged him back until the elevator reached their floor.  “I’m sorry for getting you involved.”

Scott smiled back, “Don’t be.  You should’ve called sooner.”  Scott stepped into the elevator and the doors closed.

Stiles realized just how much he missed having his best friend by his side.  As he turned towards the door he said to himself, “I always wanted to be Batman, until I got it.”

When he looked at door, he saw the fivefold knot picture posted to the door.  There was a red mark through all the knots.  A message at the bottom read:

“No more sacrifices needed.  Thank you Mr. Stilinski.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 29- Serious

 

 

Stiles yanked the picture off of the front door.  He walked inside where Liam and Jackson were laughing about something.  He tossed the picture on the coffee table and sank into his chair.  He let out a deep sigh and slid further into the chair.  Jackson picked up the picture and showed it to Liam.

Liam asked, “Does this mean what I think it means?”

Jackson looked to Stiles to answer but when he realized how despondent Stiles was, he said, “Yeah, it means that the Nemeton isn’t playing games anymore.”

Danny walked out of Ethan’s room, clearly pissed off and said, “I, for one, am done playing games with the tree.”

Jackson looked to his best friend, “Wow Danny.  What do you think we should do?”

Danny walked to the other chair and sat down.  The anger flowed from him when he said, “I don’t know why we just haven’t burned the damn thing down.  It might be a magic tree but that doesn’t stop it from being a tree.”

Stiles stared at the floor and said in a monotone, unemotional voice, “It has the power of a Kharon.  If we tried to damage it, it would just teleport away or use one of the marks to resist the damage.”

Danny smirked and argued back, “Well we can stop it from doing that.”

Stiles sighed, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to use my powers in this plan.”

Danny raised an eyebrow as he tilted his head, “Well my family guardian can shut it down without having anyone get hurt.”

Jackson looked at Danny with a confused expression, “Your family guardian?  You mean the owl?”

Danny nodded, “My Aumakua.  The moment I saw the owl during the ritual it all finally made sense.”

Liam muttered, “Aumakua?”

Danny nodded, “Yeah, it’s my family’s ancestor spirit.  Here I thought that my grandparents where blowing smoke but I’ve seen it, heard it and know what it can do.”

Jackson asked, “Is that why you can bring Aiden?”

Danny nodded, “Yeah.  The spirit can influence the crossing of life and death.  It’s also why nothing that Elijah did would work on me.”

Stiles looked up at Danny, “That’s why he said you were special.”

Danny smiled a little, “He saw the owl before he passed over.  It’s not surprising really.”

Liam still looked confused when he asked, “So, Danny, you are just a regular person?”

Danny looked to the younger beta and said, “If by regular you mean pissed off that a tree incapacitated my boyfriend and that is being directly protected by an ancestor spirit which is equally intent of reestablishing the balance, then yeah, I’m just a regular person.”

Jackson smiled while looking at Danny, “Danny, gotta say, I am enjoying the righteous fury going on.  So are we going to torch an evil tree or what?”

Danny blushed a little at Jackson’s comment and Stiles said, “I don’t think it’ll be that easy, we are two alphas down.  We are at a serious disadvantage and I can’t ask you to risk your lives for this.”

Danny smirked at Stiles, “Whether you ask us to or not is irrelevant.  I’m going to find a way to stop this thing from ever threating my life again.”

Stiles laughed a hollow laugh, “Scott was right.”

Jackson looked at Danny and Stiles, as a grin formed on his face, “Are we finally taking the fight to the overgrown shrub?”

Stiles couldn’t help but get pulled into Jackson infectious enthusiasm, “Gentlemen, I think it’s time we planned to take down that tree.”

Liam jumped off the couch and cheered, completely wrapped up in the pack’s enthusiasm, “I’m in!”

Jackson looked at Liam and said, “Not so fast ‘mallow.  You wouldn’t last two minutes against it.”

Utterly dejected, Liam looked to Jackson, “What?  Why?”

Jackson explained, “Each one of us has a direct connection to it.  That is why we can’t fall under its control.  It’s also the reason we have to fight it.  No offense ‘mallow, but I don’t want you getting hurt trying to help us.”

Liam slowly sank back down onto the couch, “But, I can help.”

Stiles nodded, “You sure can.  We need to get our plans together and when we act on it, we are going to need you here in case it tries to finish off Isaac and Ethan.”

Liam rolled his eyes, “Lame.”

Danny nodded, “Tell me about it.”

 

After much discussion and research the four men made their plan.  With Danny’s understanding of science, Jackson’s willingness to afford no expense and Stiles’ research they figured out a method to deal with the physical tree.  Over the course of the week the men prepared as the kept watch over their incapacitated friends and continued going to school.  When Friday afternoon rolled around, they felt they were ready.

 

Stiles busted through the apartment door, homework and gym bag in hand as he rushed into the master bedroom.  He took off his bowtie as he stared at Isaac’s unconscious form.  He tossed his bags aside as he leaned in next to his boyfriend’s face.

“We are going to stop this tree tonight.  I hope you can hear me and decide to do your furry buzz saw thing and help.  But then again, if you don’t I am totally going to rub your face in this for missing the action.  I think you might actually like this plan since it involves breaking the law and gratuitous amounts of fire.”  Stiles sighed as he finished his rambling.  In a soft voice he said, “Wake up Isaac, wake up soon.”  Stiles leaned forward and kissed Isaac on the forehead before heading into the living room.

Jackson and Danny, both sitting on the couch, looked up at Stiles.  Danny looked to the floor as he realized the confirmation that Isaac also hadn’t stirred from when they brought them back.  Stiles sat in his chair and looked to the duo.  He said, “When is Liam expected to be here?”

Jackson shrugged, “I don’t know exactly but it shouldn’t be too much longer.”

Stiles nodded, “Is everything packed and ready?”

Danny smiled a little as he raised his head, “Yeah, Operation Slash and Burn is a go.”

Jackson smiled as he thought of their plan.  “Do we know if this is going to finish the job or just be the start?”

Stiles shrugged, “I think it would be too much to hope for this being enough to finish it but we should be able to finish what the plan doesn’t.”

Jackson grinned, “I was kinda hoping you would say that.”

Danny looked to Jackson, “Jacks, why are you so eager to deal with this?  I know why Stiles and I are but you seem to be beside yourself.”

Jackson’s grin only widened, “Let’s see, fire, explosives, wanton destruction.  If you toss a barbeque into the mix then we’d have a great Fourth of July party.”

Danny shook his head as he laughed a little, “Sorry I asked.”

Jackson raised an eyebrow towards Danny, “Don’t get me wrong, I am glad to help the pack, but come on.  A chance to do it and do it in a kickass kind of way.  You know me Danny.”

Danny laughed, “Style over substance right?”

Jackson playfully rolled his eyes, “More like substance with style.”

A rapid, frantic knock was heard at the door.  Stiles opened it as Liam rushed into the apartment.  Liam appeared distraught.

Stiles closed the door and asked, “What’s up Liam?”

Liam muttered out quickly, between breaths, “Something is happening.  People all over town are just collapsing.  Hospital is full.”

Stiles eyes widened as he looked to Jackson and Danny, “Looks like the tree is making its move.”

Jackson looked at Liam, “Dude, breathe.  It’ll be alright.”

The young beta looked into the older beta’s eyes and slowly began to control his breathing. 

Liam said, “My dad is at the hospital dealing with this.  But Mason.”

Danny interrupted as he asked, “Is Mason alright?”

Liam’s eyes frantically searched around the room as if the answer would present itself, “We don’t know yet.  He passed out a school.”

Stiles stood up, “Alright pack, we need to head out before passing out becomes something worse.”

Danny stood up and looked to Stiles, “Do you think it is drawing power from the people through the currents?”

Stiles contemplated it as Jackson interrupted, “So what if it is?  We nuke the tree and call it a day.”

Liam interrupted, “Scott’s pack is on the way here.”

Stiles looked to Liam, “What?”

Liam nodded, “When I told them your plan, Scott insisted and Stiles wants to go with you guys.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, “Well, so much for a quick entrance.”

Jackson looked at Stiles, “You honestly thought your twin wouldn’t want to be a part of this?  I’m surprised he isn’t here already.”  As soon as Jackson finished speaking, the sound of the jeep as it braked could be heard.  “Spoke too soon.”

It wasn’t long until there was more frantic knocking at the front door.  Stiles rolled his eyes as he opened the door and his copy darted into the apartment.  “Where are the fireworks?  This is going to be so awesome.  Why didn’t you guys ask me for help in putting this together?  We are totally going to teach this tree a lesson!  Why did you guys allow Liam to help with this?  Scott is on his way up.”

Jackson groaned and rolled his eyes at the copy and Stiles said shortly, “Shut up Stiles.”

The copy looked at Stiles and mocked being offended, “That was harsh.”

Stiles nodded and said, “Yeah, and this is serious.  Who all is coming?”

The copy rambled, “Scott’s here but Kira is with her dad at the hospital and with all of these people just rapture style passing out, Lydia is freaking out.  I think the tree might actually be trying to simultaneously kill the majority of the residents of Beacon Hills.”

Stiles shook his head and laughed, “I really do sound like that.”

Jackson said in an annoyed tone, “Yeah, you do.”

Danny laughed as Stiles asked, “What about Derek?  Malia?  Deaton?”

Scott walked into the apartment, “They aren’t coming.  I think they are dealing with this issue on their end.”

Stiles walked up to his best friend and gave him a bro hug, “Good to see you Scott.”

Scott hugged Stiles back, “Good to see you too.”

Liam looked at Scott and Stiles and said, “So when do we all head out and deal with this tree?”

Stiles and Scott released the hug and Stiles said, “We all don’t.  There is a slight change of plans though.”  Stiles looked at Scott, “Are you coming with us?”

Scott smiled a goofy smile and said, “Not a chance.  I remember when we were thirteen and you almost blew off your hand messing with a black cat.  I am good to be nowhere near this.”

Stiles mouth fell open, “Where is the faith, man?”

Jackson laughed, “You would almost blow yourself up Stiles.”

Liam interrupted, “So that means I can go right?”

Scott looked at his beta and shook his head, “If you can work with them, I’ll stay here with Isaac and Ethan.  I doubt the tree can do anything I can’t handle.”

Stiles looked at Scott and asked, “Are you sure?”

Scott smiled, “Absolutely.  If things go south, give a call, or a howl.  I can be there in no time.”

Stiles looked to Liam, “Alright, you are coming with us then.  I’d rather have two wolves than one.”

Jackson looked at Liam, “Alright ‘mallow, I hope you brought s’mores.”

The copy interrupted, “So, I get to come too right?”

Stiles looked at his copy and said, “I don’t see why not.”

Jackson interrupted, “On the one condition that you can manage to talk only as much as it doesn’t annoy me.”

The copy smiled and said, “Quiet.  Gotcha.”

Stiles looked to Jackson and asked, “I don’t annoy you, do I?”

Jackson raised an eyebrow, “Now you are.”

Stiles laughed and said, “Alright, then we are ready.  Let’s go.”

 

Stiles, Danny, Jackson, Liam, and the copy left the apartment.  Liam rode in Danny’s car with the package while the copy took his jeep.  Jackson led the drive on his Ducati while Stiles flanked him with Aiden’s bike.  They drove towards the preserve as if the town’s lives depended on it.

When they reached the parking area near the preserve they set the duffle bags next to Danny’s car.  Stiles looked at his friends and said, “Well, needless to say this is going to be dangerous.”

Jackson interrupted sarcastically, “Really?”

Stiles glared at the jock momentarily before he continued, “So we are going to stick with the plan.  Danny and I will neutralize the tree and stop it from escaping.  We know it can do the Kharon thing so let’s not give it the chance.”

Danny nodded, “I am good with my side.”

Stiles looked to Liam and Jackson, “You two are to fight whatever crap the Nemeton throws our way.  If it is possessing a mass of people, distract them.  If it is using something worse, best judgement call.”

Jackson looked at Liam and then back to Stiles, “Alright, people save, supernaturals kill.”

Stiles eyes widened, “Not necessarily.”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Whatever.  We will deal with them.”  He looked to the younger beta, “Right ‘mallow?”

Liam nodded, “Right Jacks.”

Stiles looked to his copy, “You will begin setting up the package and when Danny and I have accomplished our objective, we will assist.”

The copy said, “Gotcha, handle the package.”

Jackson shot the copy a sly look, “The bomb, not your own.  Or Isaac’s.”

Both Stilinskis yelled, “Hey!”

Jackson, Danny and Liam laughed at the reaction.

Stiles shook his head, “Alright team, let’s burn this tree down.”

 

The pack began their trek through the forest.  They stuck to the trails and realized how much the forest had grown over.  Liam looked at the trees which seemed vibrantly colored, “Has the preserve always been like this?”

Jackson looked at the young beta, “No ‘mallow.  This is the work of the Nemeton.  Stick close to me so you don’t fall under its spell.”

Liam nodded and walked close to Jackson.

Danny walked next to Stiles and whispered, “Do you think the other Stiles will fall under the Nemeton’s control again?”

Stiles shook his head, “I doubt it but don’t worry, I already have a contingency plan.”

Danny smiled as they walked toward their goal.  When they reached the tree without issue Liam asked, “Doesn’t this seem a little too easy?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “You had to say it, didn’t you ‘mallow?”

Liam looked to the ground and meekly said, “Sorry.”

Stiles and Danny walked up to the tree and noticed the markings of Elijah were glowing in the bark.  Both men placed their palms on the tree and the marks disappeared.  The copy opened one of the duffle bags and place the explosives at the trunk of the Nemeton.  He said, “Yeah this is way too easy.  I mean you’d think with a tree that could control and pretty much see everything in this town that it would, I don’t know, try to stop us.  We’ve pretty much walked up here easily.  I haven’t even heard anything.”

When the copy said the words “heard anything” Jackson and Liam’s gazes met.  Jackson yelled, “Hurry up.  It’s another trap.”

The roots of the tree pulled themselves out of the ground and began to strike at the areas around the tree.  Danny was able to pull Stiles out of the way barely as a large root struck where the human alpha was just standing.  The copy continued to run the premade lines of accelerant around the bases of the trees as he dodged the roots.

Jackson and Liam wolfed out and fought back.  As they tried to dodge and grapple the roots, which acted like giant tentacles they realized they were being overwhelmed. 

Jackson yelled to Stiles, “I thought you turned this thing off.”

Stiles yelled as Danny threw him out of the way of another strike, “I thought I did too.”

Jackson rolled his eyes as he caught a root before it struck him.  Another flew through the air behind him and he flinched as he waited for the hit.  After a second he felt something slide over the top of his shoulder.  He looked back to see the Liam had deflected the root and it harmlessly flew past him.

“Good job ‘mallow.  Maybe I need a new nickname for you.”

Liam growled as he snapped a larger limb.  “I’m not a marshmallow.”

The copy yelled to the pack, “We’ve got a problem.”

All eyes shifted to the copy who was completely contained in the coils of roots.  He held the catalyst for the explosive in his hand.

Danny ran towards the copy only to be restrained by another set of roots.  He muttered, “This isn’t good.”

Liam growled as he was overtaken by even more roots.  He struggled against them but the more he struggled, the more they crushed him.  He let out a scream of pain.

Jackson ran to Liam and dodged a flurry of slashing and grabbing roots as he reached Liam.  Jackson began to rip the roots away from Liam as more relentless pounded the older beta.  In between hits he yelled, “Stiles do something!”

Stiles ran towards the Nemeton only to be covered with roots which slammed him against the tree.  He closed his eyes as the sounds of the world were cut off from him.  He could feel the pressure of the roots as they crushed his body against the tree.  The only thought that entered his mind was, “This can’t be how it ends.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 30- Pack

 

 

Stiles struggled under the pressure until he suddenly felt it disappear.  He slowly opened his eyes and saw Isaac as he stood in front of him.  The young alpha appeared ethereal, his features slightly softer as if they were highlighted by a gentle white light.

Stiles mumbled, “I didn’t actually think you were an angel.”

Isaac smiled a genuine smile, “I’m not but you are in trouble.”

Stiles sighed, “I know.  I’m dying right now, aren’t I?”

Isaac quirked his eyebrow, “I would figure you know what that feels like by this point.”

Stiles smirked, “Really?  Even in my fear induced vision you are reclaiming your mantle as not being helpful.  I don’t know why I do this to myself.  I know you aren’t really you and this is my subconscious’ way of making death easier to deal with.”

Isaac rolled his eyes, “Sorry Stiles, that’s not true.  I am me.”

Stiles analyzed Isaac’s reaction, “But you were poisoned and unconscious at the apartment.”

Ethan appeared to step up, just out of view, “And so am I but that doesn’t mean we can’t reach you, alpha.”

Stiles looked at the two, “So are you guys here to help?”

They both nodded and Isaac said, “You just need to channel the power we, your pack, have already given you.  You are so close, don’t let this defeat you.”

Stiles nodded and watched as Isaac and Ethan were surrounded by a white light that soon blocked out his vision.

Stiles felt the pressure from the roots crushing his body against the tree magnified.  He fought to breath in the tiny space and thought of his pack.  He thought, “Give me strength.”

He felt renewed vigor travel through his body.  He could feel his body closing the wounds that he had already received.  He found himself getting stronger, but also bigger, almost as if his pack were willing him to shift.  He felt himself pushing the roots away and he pushed all of his force against the tree to free himself.

The tree groaned and buckled against Stiles’ strength as he pushed free from the roots.  Stiles yelled from the nest of mangled roots which still surrounded him, “Stiles, Do it now!  Blow up the tree!”

Jackson yelled, “But you aren’t free of the blast area!”

The copy, still restrained by the roots, gasped the detonator and clamped down on the trigger.  In a large flash of light the explosion triggered.  Danny and Stiles were thrown, with the roots surrounding them, from the impact area.  The force wave and shrapnel flew over Jackson and Liam.  The cacophony of wood splintering was heard by all as fire and smoke engulfed where the Nemeton once stood.

Jackson tore the last root away from Liam and stood as he watched the fire from where the tree once stood.  The smoke clogged his vision and he could only hear ringing from the explosion being so close.  Liam got to his feet and said, “I can’t see Stiles.  Is he alright?”

Jackson could only see the wreckage of tree roots and billowing smoke.  A tear came to the eye of the alpha as he howled for Stiles.  Struck by the depth of emotion, Liam joined Jackson in his howl for his alpha.

 

Scott walked around the apartment.  He was unsure about what to do besides listen for heartbeats and wait.  He glanced at his cell, which was almost dead from playing games.  He tried to text Kira earlier but didn’t get a response.  The true alpha mumbled, “She probably doesn’t have reception in the hospital.”  He heard what sounded like a dull thud in the distance followed with a pair of highly muffled howls.  He heard the shift in heartbeats from both rooms and he ran into Isaac’s room.

Scott watched as Isaac bolted out of the bed.  The young alpha was instinctively wolfed out and he glared at the true alpha.  He said, “Stiles is in danger, we have to go now.”

Scott looked confused, “But Ethan.”

A wolfed out Ethan interrupted Scott from behind, “Is right behind you.  Let’s go.”

The three alphas left the apartment and raced towards the remainder of Stiles’ pack.

 

Jackson walked over to Danny and the copy and started checking on them as he ripped the roots off their bodies.  He couldn’t hear much except for the insane ringing in his ears.  The jock swallowed his emotions as he checked Danny’s unconscious body.  Thankfully, Jackson found that besides being knocked out from the blast and being banged up in the fight, Danny was alright.  He looked over at the copy before looking back to Liam.  The young beta appeared to be shouting something but Jackson couldn’t hear a word he said.

Almost as if the wolf healing kicked in, Jackson’s hearing cleared up and he heard Liam say, “There is a figure in the fire.”

Jackson stood up and moved in between Danny and the copy and the fire.  He scanned the fire and saw a single person.  The figure stood in the center of the fire and seemed to be surrounded by an aura of energy that created an intense outline around him.  Jackson yelled to Liam. “I don’t think we are done here yet.”

Jackson dropped his stance slightly and growled as he bared his fangs.  The figure moved towards the jock and slowly stepped out of the smoke and fire.  Liam copied the reaction of the older beta and watched in awe as the figure stepped into the clear light.

Jackson felt like the world’s biggest idiot when Stiles stepped out of the fire and met the beta’s gaze.

Stiles looked at Jackson and Liam as their bared their fangs at him and he said, “I did have a plan you know.  I wasn’t going out in a blaze of glory.  You don’t have to be that pissed about it.”

Jackson darted towards his alpha and almost knocked him to the ground as he grabbed him.  “You incredibly self-destructive moron!  You are lucky that you weren’t liquefied by that explosion.  McCall was right, you would blow yourself up!”

Stiles grinned as he gasped a little from the hug/chokehold his beta had him in, “Elijah’s marks, remember?  I just channeled a little pack power.”

Jackson stepped back and glared at his alpha, “You just can’t stop doing to most ridiculously stupid things, can you?”

Stiles raised an eyebrow, “You sound like you were worried Jackson, were you?”

Jackson narrowed his eyes, “Shut up Stiles.”

Liam walked over to the copy and Danny and slowly helped them up as they regained consciousness.  Danny looked at the area and saw the fire still smoldering where the Nemeton used to be.  He looked at Jackson and Stiles and asked, “How are we all still alive?”

Jackson looked at his best friend and yelled in a serious tone, “It’s because we aren’t pussies.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as the pack gathered a little farther from the blast area.  He asked, “Is everyone alright?”

Danny nodded and the copy said, “Yeah, except I might have whiplash or something.”

Jackson glared at the copy and said, “Yeah, but I might’ve spoke too soon about Stilinski.”

Liam nodded and said, “Yeah.  That was an awesome explosion though.  I didn’t think it would be that big.”

Almost as if Liam’s voice triggered an emotional change, Jackson looked at the younger beta and said, “What did I tell you?  Fourth of July, right?”

Liam nodded as a smile formed on his face.

Stiles grinned, “Well I am glad we are all well but that was only phase one of slash and burn.”

Liam asked, “Phase one?  You mean there is more?”

Danny nodded at the young beta’s question, “There is more.  Time for us to cross over into the spirit world and shut down the Nemeton’s connection to the telluric currents.”

Liam said, “I don’t remember this part of the plan.  How are we going to do that?”

Stiles grinned and said, “We used the type of explosive we did so that it would blow up and out and cause very little damage below.  The root cellar below the Nemeton should help us connect to the spirit world.  It is where Isaac, Ethan, and I were originally held there.”

Liam looked confused, “This tree has a root cellar?”

Jackson laughed a little and said, “Yeah ‘mallow, try and keep up.”

Liam smirked, “Stop calling me ‘mallow.”

The copy interrupted, “Liam, I wouldn’t have said that.  You just let Jackson know that the nickname bothers you.  He isn’t going to stop calling you that now.”

Jackson glared at the copy, “Shut up slapnuts.  You are already annoying me again.”

As the remaining fire died down the pack maneuvered into the root cellar.  Stiles, Danny, and Jackson sat next to the large roots that made up one of the walls.  Liam paced around and asked, “So what do you guys want me to do?”

Danny smiled and said, “You are our protection.  When we enter the spirit realm, we are going to be helpless here.”

Stiles grinned and said, “Remember how I said I prefer two betas to one?  It’s because I knew I couldn’t stop Jackson from wanting to cross over.”

Jackson glared at Stiles, “You were originally thinking of leaving me out during this part?  You suck Stiles.”

Stiles’ grin only grew as he looked at the jock, “Don’t you love your alpha?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Whatever Stiles.  And you’re right, I am not sitting this one out.  You might do something stupid, again.”

Danny laughed, “Damn Stiles, Jackson has you pegged.”

The copy watched the pack from the entrance and said, “You know, I could’ve easily protected you guys.  Liam could cross over if you wanted or he wouldn’t have to be here.”

Jackson glared at the copy, “You don’t even have your trusty baseball bat on you.  Plus, seriously, have you ever even hit someone or something with that?  Baseballs included.”

The copy grinned, “Successfully?”

Jackson laughed, “My point.”  He looked at Liam, “Take care ‘mallow, see you when we get back.”

Liam huffed, “Stop calling me ‘mallow!”

Jackson laughed as the Stiles’ pack closed their eyes and focused on crossing over.  It felt like forever but when they opened their eyes they were at the grey campsite in the spirit realm.

 

Isaac, Ethan, and Scott ran through the preserve.  The smell of explosives and burnt wood filled the air.  Scott yelled as the other two alphas continued ahead of him, “Shouldn’t we be on the lookout for something?  We could be running into a trap.”

Isaac yelled back, “Don’t care.  Stiles is in danger.”

Ethan grinned as he yelled back to Scott, “Feel free to hang back and be cautious but he is our alpha and we aren’t letting anything happen to him.”

They reached the smoldering stump of the Nemeton and saw the copy as he paced around the entrance to the root cellar.

Isaac ran up to him, which caused the copy to jump from being startled, “Where is Stiles?  Jackson and Danny?”

The copy pointed to the root cellar, “Yeah, they already crossed over.”

Ethan yelled, “Damn it!  We missed them.”

Scott asked confused, “Can’t you just follow them?”

Isaac shook his head, “Only Elijah and maybe Danny can bring people over to the spirit realm.”

Scott nodded and asked Isaac, “By the way, what woke you up?”

Ethan looked at the pained expression that flashed across Isaac’s face and then to Scott as he said, “We heard Jackson’s howl.  We thought.”

Isaac interrupted Ethan, “I thought Stiles was dead.”  The young alpha looked to the ground.  “I don’t know what we, what I would do without him.”

The copy smiled and placed a hand on the young alpha’s shoulder, “Dude, no worries.  Stiles is just fine and so is everyone else.  You did miss out on one epic explosion though.  I can’t believe Stiles, Danny, and Jackson just blew up the Nemeton.  I knew Stiles and Danny were pissed about what happened to you two but damn.  Remind me to not get on their bad side.”

Isaac looked at the copy.  He realized that while this Stiles looked like his boyfriend, he still looked different somehow.  While the copy sounded like his boyfriend, the way he spoke, the inflections in his speech were somehow different.  He also knew that this Stiles smelled incredibly wrong compared to his boyfriend, his alpha.  He said, “You know, Jackson is right.  You are different from our Stiles.”

The copy looked confused, “What do you mean?”

Isaac shrugged and Ethan interrupted their conversation, “Well boys, it looks like we have the job of guarding them.  I don’t like it but I have to trust them.  After all, we are pack.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 31- Grey

 

 

Jackson opened his eyes and saw the forest around them.  The lack of color struck him as odd but the lack of many scents sent a chill down the beta’s spine.  He looked to Danny.  Danny wore the older Beacon Hills High practice jersey that they used to wear when they first started running cross country before their first season on the lacrosse team.  His hair was much shorter, similar to how he used to cut it during middle school.  Jackson laughed and said, “Danny, you look ridiculous in that workout gear and when did you change?”

Danny looked at Jackson and laughed since Jackson was also in their first season practice gear and he had his militant style shaved head.  “You should talk Jacks, you look like a freshman again.”

Stiles stood up and said, “Yeah, in this realm we are reflected as the selves that first ran into the Nemeton.”

Danny and Jackson stood up and Jackson said, “So what is our plan?  We don’t exactly have another explosive here.”

Stiles nervously smiled, “I was thinking that we might just have to make it up as we go along.  I don’t really know a lot about severing a powerful beings connection to the natural currents of energy that flow through our town.”

Jackson responded, “Great plan Stiles.  Like I said before, marginally better than McCall’s plans.”

Stiles smirked, “Thanks for the confidence Jacks.”

Jackson grinned his cocky jock grin, “Glad to help.”

Danny interrupted, “Couldn’t we just seal the connections to the Nemeton.  Create a kind of energy dead zone for the Nemeton.”

Stiles listened and said, “In theory that would work but how are we going to do that?”

Outside of the conversation an oddly familiar voice said, “I could help with that.”

The pack turned to face the voice and saw the considerably more grown and adult form that Elijah originally wore when he first met the pack.  Danny asked with a look of curiosity across his face, “Elijah?”

Elijah smiled and nodded, “Yeah, it’s me Danny.”

Danny laughed, “You filled out in all the right places.”

Elijah laughed and Stiles looked at Danny, “Did you just hit on Elijah?  Skinny, annoying Elijah?”

Danny looked at Stiles, “Yeah.  That’s a really good description though.”  Danny continued with dripping sarcasm, “I don’t think I have ever met anyone who grew to be attractive after being skinny and annoying.”

Jackson laughed at his best friend’s insult and Stiles conceded, “Point taken Danny.”

Stiles faced Elijah and said, “How can you help us stop the Nemeton?”

Elijah grinned, “The Nemeton is surrounded by death.  It continues to kill and the bodies litter the ground around it.”

Stiles nodded, “Yeah, that’s a big reason why we blew it up.”

Elijah smirked at the alpha and continued, “Shifting over the spirits of the dead to the other side can create kind of an energy vacuum.  It’s not for a long time but it definitely occurs.”

Like a light bulb going off Danny said, “Then we could use our connections to reroute where the Nemeton is pulling energy.”

Jackson looked at his best friend, “Wouldn’t that let it drain us though?”

Elijah answered, “Without a physical connection, the subject has to allow the transfer to occur.  That’s why the Nemeton stabbed Stiles, Ethan, and Isaac before.”

Jackson shrugged and Stiles said, “So it seems we do have a plan after all.”

Jackson rolled his eyes at Stiles and said, “You know, you won’t always get this lucky.”

Stiles grinned a shit eating grin at the jock and said, “Who knows?  Maybe this is one of my perks for being a human alpha.”

Jackson shook his head at the pack walked to the Nemeton.  The area surrounding the Nemeton was tainted black.  The trees and the forest bed looked like they had be covered in oil and the Nemeton itself looked to be the heart of midnight.

Danny looked at Elijah and asked, “Is this because of all of the deaths?”

Elijah nodded, “The Nemeton has tainted the very spirit world with the murders it has committed.  When tragedies of this caliber occur, the spirit world suffers because of it.”

Stiles looked at Elijah, “Is that what I, I mean the nogitsune caused in Beacon Hills.”

Elijah slowly nodded, “I hate to say it Stiles but yes, the nogitsune created these dark zones throughout the town.  They aren’t as deep as this one but they do exist.”

Stiles looked at the ground and was flanked by Jackson and Danny.

Danny said, “Stiles, you can’t blame yourself for that.”  Stiles looked at Danny and was greeted with a warm smile.

Jackson said, “Plus you aren’t the only one.”  The jock looked at Elijah, “Did I cause something like this when I was the kanima?”

Elijah nodded, “That you did Jackson.”

Jackson looked back to Stiles and met his gaze, “See, alpha.  I was creating these dark spots before you ever were possessed.”

Stiles began to say something contradictory but Jackson cut him off, “I always knew you were trying to copy me Stiles.  But I am not dealing with a pissed of Isaac because you want to chase after Jackson Whittemore.”

Stiles’ eyes widened and he said, full of mock indignation, “You think I wanted to copy you?  Not a chance Jackson.  I think you are completely full of yourself.  And I would never chase you, Jackson.  And if you think referring to yourself in the third person adds any legitimacy to your argument, you are wrong.  Stiles Bilinski doesn’t chase anyone!”  Stiles grinned a satisfactory grin and was met, in kind, by Jackson.

Elijah rolled his eyes, “So are we ready then?”

The pack nodded and Elijah began to speak in arcane tongues.  The symbols that covered his body glowed and hundreds of tiny floating lights appeared for beneath the oily darkness that covered the area.

Stiles watched in wonder and asked, “Are all of those people who the Nemeton killed?”

Elijah glanced at Stiles as he continued and Danny answered, “Yeah Stiles, they are.  Can’t you hear them?”

Stiles shook his head and Jackson said, “Sorry Danny.  I think you and Elijah are the only ones that can hear them.”

The Nemeton began to glow as the lights surrounded it and after a bright flash of light that blinded the pack, Jennifer Blake stood where the Nemeton was.

She said, “I have to give you credit boys.  I didn’t think you would venture back here.  Though I hate to say it, you fell into another of my traps.”

Stiles smirked, “She’s bluffing.  We blew up the physical form.”

Jennifer laughed darkly, “And did you remember to deal with my vessel?  Probably not since he is even more underhanded than I claim to be.”

Jackson looked at Stiles, “Gerard.  He must be doing something to the rest of the pack.”

Stiles smiled at the jock, “They have Scott, Liam, and my copy to help them.  They’ll be alright.”

Jennifer walked towards Stiles, “And Mr. Stilinski, what do you think will happen to your copy once you complete this?  I hope you haven’t grown too attached to him.”

Stiles began to say something but Danny interrupted, “Ms. Blake, or Nemeton, or whatever you prefer, you do an excellent job copying someone.”

Jennifer smiled, “Why thank you Danny.”

Danny continued, “Right down to the way Ms. Blake’s ears would get red when she was not telling the truth.”  He smiled and continued, “I would be a horrible student if I didn’t learn how to read my teachers.”

Jennifer’s expression shifted to unadulterated rage as she held her hand towards the pack and knocked them back with a force wave.  Jackson, Danny, and Stiles flew backwards while the wave passed harmlessly around Elijah.  Elijah continued his chant and the lights only grew brighter.

She walked towards the prone pack and continued to attack them with wave after wave.  Their bodies skidded across the forest floor.  Each blast knocked the wind out of them and they could feel the pressure crushing them.

Stiles mumbled, “She’s too strong.”

Jackson hit a tree and brought himself to sit with his back against it, “We have to do something.”

Danny pleaded to Elijah, “Help us.  She doesn’t seem to be able to hurt you.”

Elijah looked to the pack with a sorrowful look on his face as she said, “He can’t help you fight.  Release the spirits, sure.  That’s his job as a Kharon, help you fight?  Well that breaks the strict rules he has to follow.  You boys know that.”

Stiles looked to Jackson, “I hope you are ready Jackson.”

Jackson nodded and Stiles focused his rage at the Nemeton and the familiar pressure in his head increased as he launched a wave that collided with Jennifer’s wave.  The opposing forces made contact and blasted light and energy in all directions.  Jennifer stumbled backwards as Jackson used the distraction to get to his feet.  He ran towards Ms. Blake as he wolfed out.  He threw himself behind the wave and lunged towards her. 

Ms. Blake raised her arms to block Jackson as he flew through the air but felt a surge of pain as he blurred past her.  She gasped a few times as blood began to flow from her mouth.

Danny watched as Ms. Blake coughed and he noticed the deep slash wounds that almost seemed to appear across her torso as Jackson turned to face her.  His claws dripped with only the slightest amount of blood but the damaged they caused was obvious.

She said, “You shouldn’t have been able to hurt me.  The marks should’ve stopped you.”

Elijah stood up as his chant finished.  He said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t tell you that they wouldn’t work while I am using them.  Think of them as borrowed power.  Only one can use them at a time.  And since I need to channel all my power to release this many spirits, well they were being used.”

She coughed once more before falling to the ground.  The form of Ms. Blake disappeared and the tree form on the Nemeton once again appeared in her place.

Danny got to his feet and ran to the Nemeton.  He placed his hand on the tree and closed his eyes.  He focused on his family’s spirit and whispered, “Please, help me.”

The sound on an owl could be heard almost immediately.  As the spirits began to disappear, even more owls could be heard.  When the last spirit disappeared, the sounds of owls was almost deafening to the pack. 

Danny glanced to the ground and saw what looked like veins of energy that stretch from far from where the pack stood and converged on the Nemeton.  As the presence of the spirits faded, the flow of energy dwindled like a stream drying up.  He could feel the wind change as his protector diverted the energy.

Jackson watch the energy and said, “Danny, I think your plan is working.  What do you think Stiles?”

When there wasn’t a response, Jackson looked at Stiles and saw that he was still leaning against a tree with his eyes closed.  A trail of blood ran from his nose down his chin and onto his clothes.  Jackson yelled for Stiles as he ran to his alpha’s side. 

The veins of energy defined their redirection away from the Nemeton as the dead zone created by the spirits was lifted and no veins touched the Nemeton anymore. 

Danny ran over to Jackson and Stiles and noticed that Jackson’s arms were covered in dark veins as he drew Stiles’ pain away.  Before he could begin to heal Stiles, Elijah interrupted, “Jackson, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

Jackson glared at Elijah, “Why not?”

Elijah looked at Stiles as he said, “Listen for the heartbeats.”

Jackson focused on his hearing and heard the fury of multiple hearts beating wildly.  He said, “What is going on?”

Elijah said, “I think Gerard just found your pack.”

Jackson responded, “So?  With the Nemeton shut down I don’t think he’ll give them much of a fight.”

Danny looked at the tree and said, “I think this may be more serious than we thought.”

Jackson looked to his best friend, “What do you mean?  More serious than me healing our alpha?”

Danny nodded and Elijah said, “When you cut off the Nemeton, it instinctually releases its remaining power to its vessel.  Right now, Gerard is more than a threat.  The pack is going to need you ready to fight.”

Jackson looked at Stiles’ unconscious form and sighed, “Alright.  Let’s get back so there is a pack to help.”

Elijah walked over to his pack and placed his hands on Danny’s and Jackson’s shoulders as he spoke in arcane tongue.  The air around them grew hazy and when they woke up they were back in the root cellar.

The sounds of movement outside caught Jackson’s ears and the noticeable smell of blood instantly caught his attention.

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 32- A Gift for Gerard

 

Isaac slowly pulled himself back to his feet.  He didn’t know what happened but Gerard was considerably stronger now than before.  He easily dodged the assault that he, Scott and Ethan launched against him and for the better part of half an hour he had been kicking the crap out of the pack.  Isaac glanced at the copy who was still knocked out after being backhanded by the elder hunter.

Isaac’s rage grew and he shifted into his dire wolf form.  Gerard, who was standing confidently on the smoldering remains of the Nemeton only laughed.  “Are you finally deciding to fight in earnest Mr. Lahey?”

Isaac growled as he lunged at the elder hunter.  Gerard caught both of Isaac’s claws and struggled against the dire wolf’s strength.  Ethan watched the struggle and split Aiden from himself.  The twins charged towards Gerard as he was being held by Isaac.  Scott ran around to Gerard’s rear and charged low, towards the hunter’s legs.

Gerard laughed as he said, “Boys, we’ve done this before.”  As the pack neared the hunter, the battle of strength shifted in Gerard’s favor.  Isaac attempted to pull away as Gerard latched on to the young alpha and lifted him off the ground.  In one swoop he struck Ethan and Scott with Isaac’s body and launched the alpha through a nearby tree. 

Aiden jumped to slash at Gerard and an ethereal copy of Gerard sprang forward and tackled the twin to the ground.  “Sorry Aiden, Ethan was a sacrifice, even if he didn’t die.  That is a useful power though.” 

Isaac slowly pushed himself back up.  As he got to his feet he saw Jackson and Liam emerge from the root cellar.  He yelled, “We need help here.  Gerard is too strong.”

Jackson and Liam wolfed out and ran to the sides of Ethan and Scott and helped them both to their feet.  Jackson looked at Liam, “Remember the game, Liam.  When is the prey not the prey?”

Liam smiled and jumped into the treetops overhead.  Jackson smiled and yelled to Gerard, “So you decided to make a last stand here?  I hope you remember what happened last time, you know when Stiles kicked your ass, or the time before when Scott made you look like an idiot.”

Gerard turned towards Jackson and narrowed his eyes, “Jackson Whittemore.  Still the puppet as always.  I have no use for broken toys.”  Gerard charged towards Jackson.  Jackson ran at the elder hunter and both made contact as they charged.  Jackson was knocked to the ground and skidded until he hit one of the large old roots of the Nemeton.  Gerard rushed and was standing over the jock in an instant.  He said, “I am going to enjoy snuffing you out, Jackson.  Any last requests?”

Jackson smiled his cocky smile, “Just one, NOW!”  Gerard looked confused as Liam jumped down from the tree, just over Gerard’s head and slashed all the way down the elder hunter’s back.  Blood flowed from the wound as Gerard let out an unearthly scream.  While the hunter writhed in pain, Jackson rolled to his feet and clawed into the back of the hunter’s knee.  Gerard dropped to one knee as the tendons gave way and Jackson rushed out of the hunter’s reach.

While he grimaced in pain, Gerard laughed, “It seems you taught the child a few lessons.  Maybe you should’ve taught him how to survive.”

During the exchange, Isaac picked up a fallen tree and swung it to strike Gerard as the hunter fought to stand.  When the tree hit the hunter it knocked him onto the stump of the Nemeton.  Scott and Ethan ran to the prone hunter and impaled him to the tree with their claws. 

Gerard continued laughing as black blood began to spew out of his mouth, “You still haven’t even hurt me.  But I can hurt you.”  A forceful shockwave flew from Gerard and knocked the pack to the ground.  They reverted back to their human forms and inherited all the weakness that came with it.

Gerard stood up and, before everyone’s eyes, his wounds closed up.  He said, “Thank you Jackson.  That’s the power of a healer.”  Gerard picked up the fallen tree and javelin threw it into Isaac’s legs.  Two of the larger branched stabbed through Isaac’s legs and pinned him to the ground.  He released a scream as the pain shot through him.

Gerard grinned to Isaac, “Guardian, remember.  Thanks for your sacrifice.”  Gerard turned to Scott and Ethan who pulled themselves to standing.  Twisted, gnarled claws formed on the hunter’s hands and he stabbed both alphas in their shoulders.  He shifted their weights and lifted them up by their wounds as they screamed.  “Ethan, the warrior.  I figured you would enjoy this.”

Liam ran towards Gerard and the hunter tossed the screaming forms of Ethan and Scott into a tree as their wounds continued to bleed.  The hunter effortlessly caught the young beta by his wrists.  He twisted Liam’s arms until the snapping of bone and sinew could be heard.  “Poor kid, a virgin no doubt.  It’s a shame you aren’t Elijah but he is already dead.”  Liam screamed against the pain and Jackson ran to save him. 

Gerard tossed the crumpled form to the side and caught Jackson in the throat.  He grasp held the beta as he lifted him off the ground.  “That only leaves philosophers and since you are the last functioning member of your pack, that doesn’t leave much for you.  You never were a thinker Jackson.”

Jackson spat in between struggled breaths, “Fu.ck. You. Ge.ra.rd”

Gerard grinned, “I am going to enjoy choking the last breath out of you.”

From the entrance to the root cellar, Stiles said, “Why am I not surprised the pervy ex-principal enjoys choking young men? 

Gerard turned to face Stiles as he tightened his grip on Jackson’s throat.  “Your pack is decimated and I get the honors of killing your beta first.  Don’t worry though, you’ll join him shortly.”

Danny and Elijah stepped out of the root cellar after Stiles and Danny said, “I wouldn’t be on that.”

Elijah stepped forward and Gerard laughed as Jackson struggled to breathe, “What?  A Kharon wants to fight?  He can’t do anything against me.”

Elijah continued to step forward as Danny smirked, “Why is that Gerard?”

Gerard responded, “This isn’t his fight.  He can’t stand against the living, it breaks his rules.”

Stiles smiled, “Not so fast Gerard, Elijah can do whatever the being that controls his obol allows.”

Gerard looked shocked as he dropped Jackson and Danny pulled the pendant out of his pocket and held it over his head.  He said, “Disable Gerard Elijah.”

Elijah smiled and muttered something arcane.  Tiny balls of light surround the injured members of the pack.  His marks grew brighter as he continued his chant.

Gerard spat, “Not this time Kharon” as he released a force wave at Elijah.  Stiles stepped in front of Elijah and released a force wave against Gerard’s.  The energies met and caused a blast which knocked Gerard to the ground but left Stiles standing. 

Stiles grinned, “What’s wrong?  Running a little low on juice from the Nemeton?  I hope you don’t mind but my pack hasn’t stopped empowering me.”

Gerard grumbled as he stood, “I should’ve killed you when I had the chance, Stilinski.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, “You did, but Jackson saved me.  Now it’s time for me to return the favor.”  Stiles’ eyes burned red as he launched another force wave at Gerard which passed over his pack and struck the hunter with enough force to embed him into a large tree.

Gerard spat, “How?”

Stiles smiled darkly, “Virgin, Warrior, Philosopher, Healer, and Guardian.  These were the sacrifices for your power but these are also the powers that my pack represents.  They don’t sacrifice it to me but share it with me.  Just as I share it with them.  You really should learn.”

Stiles closed his eyes and concentrated on the pack.  As the tiny orbs floated around them, protecting them, their pain and injuries surged into the human alpha.  His skin grew dark from the black veins and their wounds appeared over his body.  He opened his eyes and the light contained within grew with intensity.  He stared down the hunter and said, “You have reveled in death for too long Gerard but I have a gift for you.”

Gerard stumbled out of the tree as a wave of energy of pure pain and suffering struck the hunter.  He screamed as Stiles transferred all of the pain and wounds onto him. 

He said, “Don’t you know pain and suffering can make you stronger?  I would gladly carry my friend’s pain, could you ever say the same thing?”

Gerard spat blood as he stumbled towards Stiles, “I.Will.Kill.You.If.It’s.The.Last.Thing.I.Do.”

Stiles stood still as Gerard moved towards him.  The pack slowly got to their feet, their injuries gone as they watched Stiles stare down Gerard.  Gerard lunged weakly at Stiles and was caught in the waiting arms of the human alpha.  Stiles whispered, “It’s time to say goodbye to everything the Nemeton gave you Gerard.  Thank Danny for this.”

Stiles’ hands glowed and the energy and power the Nemeton gave Gerard surged from his body and into the earth.  The energy from the pain and the wounds themselves left the aged hunter’s body.  He gasped as the release overtook him.  Stiles looked over to Elijah as he held the hunter, “Feel free to give him your gift, Elijah.”

Elijah’s marks glowed brightly as he touched the hunter’s arm.  A light brand appeared on Gerard’s left arm as the Kharon finished his chant.  Gerard’s eyes instantly glazed over.  Elijah whispered to the broken hunter, “I hope you are prepared to see every death you caused for the rest of your miserable life.  Don’t worry though, when you finally do pass away, I will be back to claim what remains of a spirit that you do have.”

Stiles dropped the hunter to the ground who almost immediately began whimpering and crying.  He walked over to the Nemeton stump and said, “Guys, we’ve done it.  The Nemeton is sealed once again.”

Scott ran over to his best friend and gave him a hug as the rest of the pack walked over.  Scott said, “Good job Stiles.  I didn’t know if we were going to be able to do this.”

Stiles grinned at his best friend, “I know what you mean.  I had my doubts too.”

Jackson butted in, “Just so you know McCall, he blew himself up.”

Scott laughed, “Why do you think I didn’t want to join you guys on that part of the mission?”

Isaac jumped in between them and hugged his boyfriend, “You blew yourself up?  Why would you do that?”

Stiles shrugged and weakly smiled, “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Danny laughed and rolled his eyes, “That’s our alpha.  It’s a miracle that he didn’t die.”

With the laughter a jovial mood the word die struck Stiles.  Stiles instantly looked at the crumpled form of his copy and ran over to him.  He said, “Hey Stiles, wake up.  You’re alright, aren’t you?”

The copy didn’t respond and Stiles tried to shake him awake.  As tears formed Ethan yelled, “He’s breathing and his heartbeat is steady, I don’t think he’s dead.”

Stiles nodded and tapped into Jackson’s healing power and pulled the pain from the copy and healed the blunt trauma to the back of his head.  The copy’s eyes instantly opened and he said, “I had that geriatric hunter cornered until he resorted to punches.”

Stiles laughed with tears in his eyes as Jackson groaned.  Liam looked at Jackson and laughed at the older beta, “Aw, poor Jacks.  I guess you’ll have to continue to be annoyed by both Stiles.”

Jackson glared at Liam, “Shut up ‘mallow.”

Liam laughed as the pack gathered together.  Stiles looked at everyone, “We couldn’t have done this without everyone.  Beacon Hills is safe tonight because of what we did.”

The two packs cheered and Ethan asked, “So what are we going to do about Gerard?”

Stiles smiled as he said, “I already have a plan for that.”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “In a ditch doesn’t count as a plan.”

Isaac responded to the jock, “It does to me.”

Jackson stared down the young alpha, “And you are the one that gave him humanity?  Did you lose yours in the process?”

Isaac smirked, “No.”  Stiles quickly stepped between both wolves and looked Isaac in the eye.  He whispered, “Do you trust me, Care Bear?”

Isaac nodded and said, “Yeah bae.”

Stiles leaned forward and kissed his boyfriend.  When they released, he smiled and said, “Let’s go home.”

 

The weekend had arrived and the grounds at Beacon Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center looked peaceful.  Elderly and injured patients wandered the halls and grounds as nurses and aides attended to those in need of attention and care.  Two motorcycles and a car pulled into the parking spaces.  The scene of loving grandchildren bringing back their grandfather could be seen to the uninitiated. 

They fetched a wheelchair from the facility and placed the elderly man in it.  He seemed to mumble almost incoherently as they wheeled him into the facility.  The same wallflower nurse with magenta scrubs greeting the young men at the entrance.  She said, “I’m glad you boys found Mr. Argent.  We were worried when he left the grounds.  Is there any change?”

Jackson answered. “Physically, he seems to be doing better but I think something happened out here that confused him.”

Isaac continued, “Yeah, we found him wandering around in the woods without a clue.”

Stiles chuckled a little at both inside jokes and said, “I am just glad we found him and we could return him here, where he belongs.”

The nurse smiled and said, “Mr. Argent is lucky to have such loving grandkids.  If you’ll follow me, I’ll take you to his room.”

Jackson pushed the wheelchair as Stiles and Isaac walked behind the nurse.  The same vacant and banal room awaited the Jackson pushed the chair to face the window.  He grinned slightly as his eye caught the sight of someone in the courtyard.  The three men turned to face the nurse and Stiles said, “We should go though.  I don’t want to confuse him anymore.”

The nurse smiled and said, “Alright boys.  You know visiting hours.  Take care and have a good weekend.”  The three men left the room as Gerard continued to mumble.  His words came to a brief halt as his eyes met that of a figure outside.

Elijah whispered as he grinned, “It won’t be too long.”

Chapter Text

Seeds of the Nemeton- Chapter 33- Aftermath

 

Stiles stared at the full moon from the balcony at the apartment.  A week had passed since the Nemeton was rendered dormant once again.  He remembered what Ms. Morrell had told them.

“You’ve cut off the Nemeton’s power source and bled it of all the power it had.  For now, it is dormant.  We don’t have the means to destroy it though.  I honestly don’t know if we could.  For now though, this is your victory.”

Stiles smiled a little as the thought of victory crossed his mind.  The air was crisp and it caused him to shiver a little.  He heard Isaac’s voice from inside, “Are you coming in bae?  It’s cold outside.”

Stiles glanced back at his boyfriend, who was wearing his lounge pants, t-shirt and a smile.  The only sign that it was a full moon was Isaac’s eyes which burned red.  Stiles said, “In a minute Care Bear.  I am enjoying the feel of the air.”  Stiles realized that loungewear probably wasn’t the best choice for February, on a balcony, many stories above the town but the tensionless air of Beacon Hills was intoxicating.  He whispered to the wind, “I helped get you the justice you deserve Elijah.  Thank you for your help and I am glad you are in the pack.”

Stiles stared off into the sky.  It appeared dark and far reaching without the comforts of the stars.  He remembered explaining to Lydia about the light pollution from the town blocking them out.  Before long he felt a warm, welcoming arm wrap around his torso and he instinctually tilted his head to let his boyfriend nuzzle against his neck.

Stiles grinned and said, “It seems you got impatient Care Bear.”

Isaac grinned and tilted Stiles’ head back as he kissed him.  As he pulled away from the kiss, Isaac said, “I didn’t want my anchor staying too far away during the full moon.  You know, safety reasons and all.”

Stiles shifted his body to face his boyfriend without removing Isaac’s arm.  He looked up into Isaac’s eyes and grinned, “Safety huh?  Something tells me safety is the last thing on your mind Care Bear.  If I had to guess on what you were thinking about right now, I would say which marvel character.  Is it the x-men?  Or maybe good old Spiderman?  Punisher perhaps?  Or have I gone all villain and chose Deadpool?”

Isaac looked a little confused as he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.  Your lounge pants and t-shirt are just plain.”

Stiles’ grin grew, “Exactly.”

Isaac shook his head lightly when he finally figured out the reference.  He smiled genuinely and said, “Now that you mention it, that does sound like something I need to think about.  I have to say Spiderman.”

From the couch in the living room, Jackson said, “He tricked you again Isaac.  They are the incredible Hulk.”

Isaac smiled and Stiles shouted from the balcony, “Jackson, I know you are lonely and all with Liam off with his pack but you don’t have to be an ass.  Plus, how the hell do you know what underwear I am wearing?”

Stiles’ statement caused Isaac to turn towards Jackson and he said, with a little more anger than he meant, “Yeah, Jackson, how do you know what underwear my boyfriend is wearing?”

Jackson pulled himself away from the game he was playing on his cell and looked over the back of the couch.  He grinned his cocky grin as he noticed how irritated Isaac was.  The jock said, “Aw, is the pup mad?”  Jackson laughed a little before he continued, “Stiles lifted his shirt earlier when he was fidgeting on the couch, waiting for you to finish talking to Chris.  I noticed that the top rim was neon green.  Quite the contrast to his faded blue lounge pants.  Correct me if I am wrong but that was Incredible Hulk green, right?”  The jocks grin grew as he noticed Stiles’ face redden.

Stiles walked into the apartment and guided Isaac inside as he closed the door behind them.  He said, “You are right Jackson.  Have you always noticed things like that?  I mean seriously, I swear there isn’t a single detail that gets by you.”

Jackson laughed as he returned his attention to his cell, “Before the change, yeah, a few things would get by me but after.”  He laughed loudly once, “Since I changed, I doubt much of anything has eluded my notice.  Just something else I am great at.”

The two young men walked over to one of the chairs and Isaac sat down while Stiles sat on the floor between the taller man’s legs.  Jackson groaned as Isaac began to rub Stiles’ shoulders with a contented look. 

“If you two are going to start doing the love dovey shit, I am going to go out for a ride.  I can’t wait for Chris to let me sign the papers so I can move out.”

Isaac mockingly pouted at Jackson, “Come on Jacks, don’t you like living here?”

Jackson rolled his eyes, “Dealing with two couples that can’t seem to keep their hands off each other?  I prefer my sleep to watching another rendition of Animal Planet.”

Stiles’ mouth dropped, “We are not Animal planet!”  His gaze slowly shifted to looking up at Isaac, “Are we?”

Isaac grinned as he looked down at his boyfriend, “A little bit Stiles.  We are Animal Planet a little bit.”

Jackson laughed, “You two aren’t that bad.  I just want some space and to not sleep on a couch or a floor.”

Stiles looked to the jock, “That makes sense.  You really just want a private gym and a master bedroom right?”

Jackson grinned, “I would be lying if I said I didn’t.”

Ethan and Danny walked into the apartment and sat down next to Jackson.  Ethan’s eyes glowed red but otherwise he was in complete control.  He said, “Another full moon.  At least we don’t have to deal with another thing trying to kill us.”

Danny smiled at his boyfriend, “Does Organic Chemistry homework count?”

Ethan returned the smile, “Babe, Organic Chemistry homework always counts.”

The pack laughs at the joke and when the laughter ended, Isaac said, “Chris is already on his way to Mexico.  Scott’s pack left quite a while ago.  I feel bad that we aren’t with them.”

Jackson grinned at the young alpha, “We did offer our help to Scott but he never returned the call.”

Isaac responded, “But that’s the thing, Scott is missing.”

Stiles quickly lifted his face up to look his boyfriend in the eye, “Scott’s missing?  We need to meet up with them.”

Danny asked, “Do we even know where they are, besides Mexico?”

Isaac shook his head, “I know they have back up and that the sheriff might have an idea.”

Jackson, Danny, and Ethan looked at one another and Jackson said, “Then let’s play it by ear.  If they need our help, then one of them will call.  Think about how badly things could’ve ended if Scott’s pack attacked the Nemeton while we were elsewhere.”

Before Stiles could protest, Ethan continued, “We don’t want to place them in danger off the idea that we are helping.  We don’t know enough to run headlong into a problem.”

Stiles looked at Isaac and said, “But.”

Isaac interjected, “Sorry bae, I kinda agree with the guys.  We can be their backup.”

Stiles sighed, “Alright.  I’ll agree this time.  Only because riding a motorcycle through Mexico, at night, doesn’t sound like the most enjoyable experience.  I guess this way we can make sure nothing bad happens here, right?”

Isaac smiled and nodded, “Yeah bae.  Now I need some help studying for our Environmental Science practical.”

Isaac stood up and walked to the door to their bedroom and gave Stiles a “come hither” look.

Stiles quickly stood up and said, “Right.  Studying for the practical.  All the practice in Science and things science like.  Yes.”  He quickly scurried after Isaac as the young alpha walked into the bedroom.  Jackson yelled after Stiles closed the door behind himself, “We can still hear you out here you know.  You aren’t fooling anyone.”

Ethan and Danny glared at Jackson and the jock responded, “What?  It’s true and you two know it.”

Ethan rolled his eyes and Danny asked, “Jacks, do you always have to be a dick?”

Jackson smirked, “I wouldn’t really be myself if I wasn’t one.”

Danny conceded, “I guess that’s true.”  Danny looked at Ethan and said, “Do you want to go study?  Or maybe teach me another hand-to-hand combat maneuver?”

Ethan grinned, “Sure.”  The couple stood up and Ethan chased Danny into their bedroom.

Jackson groaned, “I swear.  Animal Planet.”

Jackson grabbed his riding gear and left the apartment.

 

After several hours of driving around, Jackson received a text from Liam.

On our way back.  Lots happened.  Talk when I get back.

Jackson responded, while stopped at a stoplight.

K.

The jock rode home.  He realized that Beacon Hills was amazingly calm when things weren’t stirred up.  He enjoyed the peaceful feel of the town and enjoyed how different it felt to be accepted.

 

A couple of days went by.  Jackson signed for Chris’ old apartment and moved downstairs.  With the pack’s help, he made the study into a private gym and training room.  He moved into the master bedroom and left Allison’s room exactly like Chris had before he left.  The pack considered Jackson’s gym as their place to work out and while the jock lived alone, his apartment was rarely lonely.

 

Stiles sat in the living room of the apartment.  He kept checking his cell for a message from Isaac.  He laughed a bit to himself on how he became the eager and insecure boyfriend.  He said, “I can’t believe I am sitting, alone, in the apartment waiting for Isaac to get home.  I am so not good at this whole relationship thing.”  As he contemplated playing another game on his phone he heard a knock at the door.  Stiles quickly stood up and opened the door.  Before the young Stilinski could say something, Lydia pushed past him into the apartment.  She walked to the couch and sat down.  While Stiles looked dumbfounded at the door she said, “Aren’t you going to offer me something to drink?”

Stiles closed the door and said, “Yeah Lyds, what do you want?  We have juice, water, or milk.”

Lydia shook her head and smiled at Stiles, “I am fine with a bottle of water.”

Stiles quickly went to the kitchen and grabbed a couple of bottles from the fridge and brought them back to the living room.  He gave Lydia one as he sat in the side chair and faced the young banshee.  “What’s going on?”

Lydia opened the bottle and took a sip before she asked, “When did you get whipped Stiles?”

Stiles eyes widened, “I am not whipped!  I just wanted to be a good host.”

Lydia laughed and said, “I am here because of Parrish.”

Stiles leaned forward slightly as he took a sip of his water, “What happened to Parrish?  Is he alright?  What can my pack do to help?”

Lydia smiled, “He’s alright.  And I don’t need help from your pack but you Stiles.  I need help figuring out what Parrish is.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow, “First, how am I going to be able to help with that?  Secondly, couldn’t my entire pack help with that more?  Lastly, what makes you think his is something supernatural, besides the entire deadpool thing?”

Lydia spoke dryly as she said, “First, you are the brains of your pack.  If I wanted help from the other lover birds or the jock I would’ve waited until you had a pack meeting.  And as for the entire Parrish being a supernatural thing, his former partner set him on fire to try to collect the bounty.  Parrish survived, without a single mark to show from being engulfed in flames.  It sounds pretty supernatural to me.”

Stiles nodded and asked, “Well, what about asking Deaton?”

Lydia looked off to the side as she said, “I really don’t know how much I can trust Deaton.  I’ve scoured the bestiary and haven’t come up with anything.”

Stiles sighed, “So you want me to try to do some research and investigation then?”

Lydia looked back to Stiles and said, “I would like that.  The sooner we find out then the sooner we know whether he will be a problem for us in the future.  Or an ally to the pack.  I honestly hope the later.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow, “Is this the man you mentioned to Aiden and Jackson?”

Lydia nervously bit her lip before she said, “No, Stiles, he is not the man I was talking about.”

Stiles grinned, “Lyds, you are a horrible liar.”

The two laughed and enjoyed their evening as they made plans to find out what kind of supernatural being Parrish is.  Stiles had missed spending time with Lydia, and while he wasn’t in love with her in that way, Stiles knew he will always love her. 

 

The following Friday night both packs gathered at the Stilinski house.  Scott and Stiles stood in the center while Scott’s pack sat on couch and chairs on the left side of the living room and Stiles’ pack sat on the right side.  The copy sat in a chair close to Scott while Isaac sat in a chair close to Stiles.  Near the middle of the split, Jackson sat next to Liam.

Stiles looked to Scott and said, “How do we run this?  Is it like parliamentary procedure or are we just winging it?”

Scott looked to his best friend and smiled, “I don’t think it is all that important.”

Stiles laughed and said, “I guess I am just over thinking things.”

Isaac quipped, “That wouldn’t be the first time.”

Stiles looked back to his boyfriend, “Hey, no heckling from the peanut gallery.”

Isaac laughed and Scott addressed the packs, “We figured it was time to meet up and touch base on what happened over that last couple of months.”

Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa stepped into the kitchen from the back door and the Sheriff said, “Good, because I am still a little lost.”

Stiles looked to his dad, “I guess you are going to find out what I have been doing.”

The sheriff narrowed his eyes at the comment as Stiles looked to the packs, “As most of you already know, my pack dealt with the threat that the Nemeton posed to Beacon Hills.  While we do know it is still active, it is not able to tap into the currents so it is unable to affect anyone living here.  Furthermore, we are pretty sure it isn’t even sentient anymore.  Also, Gerard, who was acting as the vessel to the Nemeton is safely confined back at the rehabilitation center.”

Jackson interrupted, “I still say we should kill the bastard before he is able to attack us once again.”

Liam agreed with Jackson and Scott looked to Liam, “How do you even know about Gerard?”

Liam grinned and said, “I have been training with Jackson.  We do talk you know.”

Scott looked to Jackson and the jock grinned and said, “What McCall?  I only told him what happened.  I know you are busy a lot and it wouldn’t hurt for the ‘mallow to know a little more about this town.”

Liam stated with a hint of anger, “Stop calling me ‘mallow.”

Jackson smiled at the young beta, “Beat me in hand-to-hand combat next training session and it’s a deal.  Until then, you are ‘mallow.”

Liam grinned to the older beta, “You’re on.”

Stiles continued, “We also know that the manifestation of certain abilities within our pack was a direct result of the Nemeton.  Isaac can become a full-fledged furry buzz saw of destruction, Ethan and Aiden can do their twin combat, Jackson can take other’s wounds and I can shut down supernatural powers.  While I am talking about my ability, it will be rare for me to use it anymore.  Basically my power is slowly killing me.”

Scott turned his head to his best friend, “What?!?  It’s killing you?”

Jackson piped in, “Don’t be too surprised McCall.  He chose not to tell his pack until after his first adventure to the E.R.”

Melissa crossed into living room and headed for Stiles.  The look of angry mother on her face as she said, “Stiles, what are you thinking?  If that’s what caused your erratic brain activity levels and brain swelling then you need to never use it again.  I don’t care what you are stopping.  You are lucky there wasn’t any permanent damage.”

Stiles looked to Melissa, “I’m sorry.  I just couldn’t let the Nemeton take you all away or kill you.”  The young Stilinski looked seriously downtrodden with the thought of losing everyone and Melissa’s expression softened, “Be careful.  You know how much losing you would hurt everyone here.”  Melissa stepped back to the sheriff’s side as the meeting continued.

Kira asked, “Was Stiles, pack number 2’s Stiles, the reason that we all lost the ability to use any of our powers that night a few weeks ago?”

Isaac answered, “Yeah.  He projected it through the antenna at the hospital and pretty much engulfed the town in his supernatural dead zone.”

The copy commented, “Wow, that’s kind of ingenious.”

Stiles looked to his copy, “That’s what I was saying.”

Jackson interrupted, “Don’t forget the part where you died and I had to bring you back which killed me in the process.  We got lucky that night, really lucky.”

The sheriff said, “You died?!?  How many of you guys died and came back?”

Stiles’ pack looked to each other and Stiles answered, “Pretty much everyone in my pack but Danny.  And Elijah didn’t come back after he was sacrificed.”

Isaac looked to Stiles, “The venom killed me?”

Jackson looked to Isaac and answered, “Yeah, you and Ethan.  If it weren’t for Danny and myself, you both would’ve stayed dead.”

Stiles looked to Jackson, “You didn’t tell me all of that.”

Jackson raised an eyebrow, “Why do you think you were a zombie for a few days?  That’s what happened when you woke up to find your two alphas dead, one of which was your boyfriend.”

Stiles sighed deeply, “I didn’t even remember it.  Is there anything else you aren’t telling me?”

Jackson slowly shook his head, “Not really, nothing I can think of at the moment.”

Malia looked to Jackson, “Why are you keeping secrets?  Shouldn’t you just tell your pack?”

Jackson looked to Malia, “You’re the werecoyote right?  I’ll share everything with the pack when I find it out and you can share the revelations of your relationship with your pack.”

Malia growled, “That’s different.”

Jackson smirked, “Not really.  I am not keeping secrets to hurt them, quite the contrary.  I don’t know how much fight Stiles could’ve had left if I told him when he finally came back to reality.  Plus Deaton and Ms. Morrell lied as well.”

Stiles’ eyes widened, “What?!?!”

Jackson looked to Scott and nodded and then to Stiles, “Dude, they had no clue if Isaac or Ethan would’ve ever woken up.  They lied so you wouldn’t throw in the towel.  You know, the kind of things you would keep from your own pack.”

Ethan looked to Danny and asked, “Did you know?”

Danny looked away and whispered, “Yeah, babe, you had me worried.”

Stiles looked to Danny, “Is that why you were all righteous fury, let’s go blow up a tree with a homemade bomb?”

Danny nodded, “The idea of losing Ethan, especially to that.  I couldn’t deal with it so yeah, that’s why.”

The sheriff asked, “How did you guys know how to make a homemade bomb and where did you learn that?”

The copy non-chalantly responded, “Isn’t it obvious dad?  The internet.”

John shook his head, “I give up.  I am surprised you guys didn’t ask Parrish about it.”

Stiles looked to the copy and then to his dad, “That’s actually kind of an awesome idea if we need to blow something up in the future.”

Melissa scowled at John and he responded, “Forget I said anything.  I will not be a part of reckless destruction.”

Stiles looked to Scott, “That pretty much sums up our side.”

Scott nodded and address the packs.  He explained the events from saving Derek from Mexico, to discovering and defeating the dead pool and finally to defeating Peter and stopping Kate.  Jackson spoke up at the end, “Peter was responsible for the deadpool?”

Lydia looked to her ex, “Yeah Jacks.  And he is safely being held at Eichen house.”

Jackson growled, “I am going to teach that creeper a lesson someday.  250?  I’ll teach him 250.”

Liam looked to Jackson, “Is that still bothering you Jacks?”

Jackson scowled at the younger beta, “No, it doesn’t bother me at all.”

Danny laughed, “I don’t even have wolf hearing and I know that is a lie.”

Jackson glared at Danny which caused Ethan to glare at the jock.  Jackson said, “Anytime you want to dance Ethan.  Aiden can join too.  I’m pretty sure I would surprise both of you.”

Scott intervened, “Guys, we are all on the same team here.”

Stiles and Isaac looked to each other and snickered, “I don’t think that’s exactly the truth.”

Kira laughed and looked at the couple, “You know that isn’t what he meant.”

John looked to Melissa and said, “I’ve heard enough for tonight.  Drink?”

Melissa slowly nodded, “Yeah, you still keep the bottle of Jack in the study right?”

John nodded and Melissa guided him into the study.

The copy grinned as his head darted from looking to Scott and Stiles repeatedly before he said, “Guys, I think you broke the ‘rents.”

The packs laughed at the realization.

After a few more discussions about future pack meetings the multi pack meeting ended.  Everyone slowly left the household except for the two Stiles.  They moved all the furniture back into place before they sat on the couch.  They stared at the TV, which was still off, as they began to talk.

The copy asked, “So how does it feel?  You know, to be an alpha of a pack.”

Stiles said, “Different and the same.  It’s weird to explain.”

The copy grinned, “Alright, how was the date with Lydia?  You never told me what happened.”

Stiles softly said, “We had a nighttime picnic at the spot that overlooks the town.  We kissed and that’s when I realized I wasn’t in love with her anymore.”

The copy’s mouth dropped, “I thought you totally bombed the date.”

Stiles shook his head, “No, it actually went really well.  Except for the part where I realized that I had fallen for Isaac.  It’s weird, I don’t check out other guys, I can’t say I have any other attraction or desire that is typical for gay men, I just want to spend every moment I can with him.  I feel lost when he isn’t around.  I can’t believe how much I have grown to not just want him around but need him around.  I think it’s actually pretty serious.”

The copy softened his expression and said, “Awe, it sounds like love to me.  And who cares if you don’t fit some mold for what couples usually do or how things usually happen?  If you didn’t notice, I am another version of you created by the once malignant evil tree with the purpose of killing your friends.  I think we do abnormal pretty well.”

Stiles smiled at his copy’s ramblings, “Yeah Stiles, you are right.  We do abnormal pretty darn well.”

 

Ms. Morrell walked into the pack’s apartment.  Stiles stood at the center of the horseshoe of chairs as his pack faced him.  It was their pack meeting and Stiles had invited Ms. Morrell to attend.  When she joined the circle Stiles said, “For me, and from everyone, thank you.  Thank you for all your help.  We understand that you didn’t have to help us but you did so thank you.  Really.  We mean it.”

Ms. Morrell gently smiled and said, “Mr. Stilinski, just remember what I said earlier.  I wasn’t helping out of some altruistic place but out of concern for the balance in Beacon Hills.”

Stiles nodded and said, “Well, yeah, but you still helped us.”

She smiled and continued, “But balance is also why I am here tonight.”

Ethan asked, “What do you mean?”

She answered, “It’s about time for this pack to get an emissary and also to lay claim to territory within Beacon Hills.”

Stiles responded, “But isn’t Beacon Hills Derek and Scott’s territory.  I don’t want to create friction between packs.  And what do you mean get an emissary.  I am a human alpha, I think we’ll probably be alright with the whole understanding the human side.  And if that ever becomes an issue then we still have Danny.”

Ms. Morrell smiled and said, “Your answers are good enough for now Mr. Stilinski.  Just remember that this won’t always be the case.”

Ethan asked, “Couldn’t you be our emissary?”

She shook her head, “I’m sorry but my duty belongs elsewhere.  Don’t worry too much, life has a way of providing one before you ever realize you need one.”

Isaac asked, “Is there going to be violence and territorial issues between the packs?”

She looked to him and said, “It’s a little too early to tell at this moment but I am not completely confident that it can’t happen.”

The pack continued their meeting with Ms. Morell as they discussed possible future events and training to deal with future problems.  Thankfully for them, their discussions mainly revolved around homework and preparing for the finals in the future.

 

The near full moon glowed down at the town of Beacon Hills.  The bright moon light cut through the loose foliage of the preserve near the stump of the Nemeton.  The scars of the explosion and fire still clung to the area.  The smell of chemical explosives and fire still faintly clung to the area and wouldn’t dissipate for some time.  The broken tree limbs slowly rotted but cracked easily under the pressure of a person standing on them.  A figure pushed the remains aside with a gloved hand.  After walking around the area in the shadows and collecting a few strange fruits from the demolished trees the figure laughed.  “With these seeds, there may be more fun to come.”