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They Never Learn

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1. Chris Argent

"Did Scott try to kill you on the full moon? Did you have to lock him up?"

Stiles's fear turns to anger and he shoves Chris Argent away. It's a move none of the hunters expect. Jackson gapes at him like he's lost his mind, but Stiles is one-hundred-and-ten percent done with these self-righteous jerks. Even if they scare him. A lot.

"Yeah," Stiles snarls, stepping into Argent's space until Argent is the one backing up. "I chained him to a radiator while he learned control. You know what I didn't do? Abandon my friend. He may be a werewolf, but he's still human and unlike you fuckers, I can tell the difference."

Argent frowns. "We have a Code-"

"Bullshit!" Stiles shoves Argent again. He may be small but he's not weak. He plays lacrosse. The Argents aren't getting away with anymore shit. "Where was your Code when your sister trapped the Hales in their basement and burned them alive? Huh?"

Argent gathers himself and steps toe-to-toe with Stiles. "I hate to dispel-"

"No. Don't fucking lie to me. She didn't stop with the Hales. She's got a string of murders all over the country and I can prove it. I'm going to send you and your whole family to jail, Kate first, so unless you want to explain werewolves to the County Sheriff's Department, you better fucking tell me where Kate has Derek and he better be alive."

Argent's eyes widen. He stares, silent, then shakes his head. The fight visibly leaves him, and he steps back. He gestures to the other hunters to let Jackson go. "I don't know." Stiles opens his mouth to protest but Argent shakes his head. "I don't know, but I can find out."

"You better." The words don't feel like an empty threat. He has no idea what he'll do if Argent doesn't come through, but the fire inside of him isn't out yet. He feels different. He feels wild, not unlike the werewolves he's been hanging around. He doesn't know what he'll do yet, but there will be a reckoning and he won't let anyone get in his way.

2. Gerard Argent

"Look," Stiles says, voice full of bravado. "I can probably kick your ass up and down this room."

Gerard swings at him, but Stiles has been training for this. He learned his lesson during his first run-in with the Argents. The Sheriff's Department has an extensive set of self-defense courses and his dad has been more than happy to pay for outside classes in addition. He feels bad for half a second when he clocks Gerard, like he's beating up someone's grandpa, but Gerard is not the sweet, kind old man he pretends to be.

Gerard's backup joins the fray, and while Stiles may be able to handle himself one-on-one, he's not up to taking on groups. Not yet. He is loud, though, and the noise brings Chris and Allison down to the basement. Chris, surprisingly, helps Stiles by tazing Gerard's goons. Allison stands at the top of the stairs, staring down at them with confusion and surprise on her face. She doesn't even look at Erica and Boyd, suspended only feet away from the brawl. Stiles hopes, for the sake of their friendship, that she didn't know Gerard had their classmates captive.

"What's going on here?" Chris shouts when it's down to the Argents and Stiles still standing.

Stiles wipes blood from his mouth and spits the rest on the floor. "Why don't you ask your dad? Seems like crazy runs in the family." He glares at Chris. "I'm regretting letting your family off the hook for Kate's murders. I'm not making that mistake again. You're all going down."

"Why you little-" Gerard steps toward Stiles but Chris gets in the way.

Stiles rolls his shoulders and shrugs. "I can go all day, old man. You kidnapped me, remember?" Stiles stares up at Allison, speaking more for her than anyone else. "Guess you won't be able to leave me dead in a ditch for Scott to find, huh? You okay with that Allison? First your mom tries to kill Scott and now your grandfather tries to kill me. Great family you got there. I'd say I'll be sorry to see them go, but I've had my fill of the Argents."

"What?" Allison tilts to the side and grabs the railing for support. Chris seems equally surprised.

"You really don't pay attention to who your family's trying to kill, do you?" Stiles asks Chris. He shakes his head. "I'm starting to think you're the only one in this messed up family who cares about your stupid Code. Too bad you're not policing your own. Don't worry. I'm ready for the job." His grin is vicious.

Stiles approaches the generator that's hooked up to Erica and Boyd. He doesn't take his eyes off the Argents. He trusts them about as far as he can throw them, and even that's a stretch. He is so very done with their shit.

"So, are you going to stop me from taking these two home or does the Code not apply to teenage werewolves who've never hurt anyone? What'll it be?"

Chris sighs and looks away. "Get out of here. I'll handle the rest."

Gerard is enraged. "You can't just-"

"Not now!" Chris shoves his father back against the wall. "Allison, get out of the way." He looks at Stiles. "Take your pack and go."

Stiles nods and doesn't correct Chris. He's not part of Derek's pack, but he's starting to think he should be. He ignores Gerard's spew of foul words in favor of getting Erica and Boyd out of there as quickly as possible. Allison is nowhere to be seen. That's for the best.

He's sandwiched between Erica and Boyd as they stumble out onto the street. The wolves are healing, finally, but Stiles will support them as long as they need him.

"Okay," he says. "Let's go find Derek."

3. The Alpha Pack

"I don't think this is a good idea," Scott says for the fifth time.

Stiles rolls his eyes and pulls the bank doors open. "Your objection has been heard and noted. Repeatedly."

Derek muffles a snort of laughter. It's close enough to making Derek laugh outright that Stiles counts it as a win and grins back. He'll get that sourwolf to smile one of these days.

The inside of the bank is dirty. It's been abandoned for years and the thick layer of dust proves it. Stiles doesn't make the mistake of thinking it's empty. As they walk deeper into the lobby, he sends a thin thread of magic out like a supernatural sonar. The Alphas light up in his mind like angry red blips. Three are above them, spread out along the balcony overlooking the lobby. Two are directly in front behind the tellers' counters. Probably the twins Isaac mentioned.

"Hey!" Stiles shouts. "We've come for our pack. Give them back and nobody has to get hurt." It's a lie. Stiles is definitely going to hurt someone. They should know better than to touch his shit. Does he need to send out a fucking memo?

The Alphas step out of the shadows. Stiles is sure their "sudden" appearance is supposed to be intimidating, but the effect is ruined on him. Derek and Scott don't move. They probably smelled the Alphas or whatever it is that werewolves use to recognize each other.

"This is certainly unexpected," the man with sunglasses says from the second-floor balcony to their right. "Well done, human. You've brought both the Alphas I seek right to me."

Stiles shrugs. "Sorry, dude, but these ones," he jerks his thumbs back at Scott and Derek, "are already in packs." He waves a hand at the looming Alphas. "You've got plenty. Learn to share."

Sunglasses guy jumps to the first floor like it's nothing. Stiles rolls his eyes. Ugh. Werewolves. So theatrical. "You should have more care when speaking to your betters, boy."

Derek growls. Stiles doesn't need to look to know Derek's got his game face on and claws out. There's about to be a rumble in sixty seconds and Stiles really doesn't want to keep Erica and Boyd waiting that long.

He slides his fingers through the pile of ash in his pocket and grins. "Give Erica and Boyd back and we can get out of your hair."

"I don't think so." Sunglasses guy takes a step toward them.

"Fine. Have it your way." He pulls a handful of mountain ash from his pocket and throws it in the air. The Alphas charge toward him, probably hoping to get to him before he circles his group in ash, but that's not his plan. Instead, the Alphas slam to a halt as they each encounter their own little bubble of ash.

"As much fun as it would be to watch you all duke it out, I'd rather go home and have some pizza. So, you guys can sit there and think about whether you really want to mess with the Beacon Hills packs. If I'm feeling nice, I might let you out tomorrow."

The Alphas growl and start to shout. A twist of his hand cuts off the sound. Stiles nods toward the vault in the back. "They're through there."

Derek smirks at the Alphas as they pass. It's almost a smile.

4. The Darach

Stiles's vision turns red. He hasn't been this angry since... since ever. Ms. Blake jerks away from where Derek's lying on the couch. Derek's eyes are unfocused. He's bleeding.

Stiles growls. Honest to God growls like one of his werewolf buddies. "What did you do?" He's a little afraid of himself at the moment. His voice borders on unhuman.

Ms. Blake draws herself up, trying to present the front of an authoritative teacher. Yeah. Right. Stiles can see right through it. He feels stupid at how obvious it is. How did he miss this? His English teacher is the fucking Darach they've been looking for.

"Mr. Stilinski, this is a private moment. We'd appreciate if you'd leave."

Derek says nothing. He doesn't even acknowledge Stiles's presence.

Lightning crackles around Stiles's clenched fists. He rolls his shoulders. Ms. Blake's catching on. She loses the innocent schoolteacher look for something darker. Same face but devoid of the sweet and kind mask she wears.

Stiles raises an eyebrow. "You really want to fight me for him? Can't you tell he's already mine?"

She tilts her head like she's contemplating whether to step on a bug. "Then I'll have to remove the competition."

Spikes of black ice shoot past him to embed in the door. Stiles grins. It's not a pleasant look. The pack call it his 'dark side' look. "Oh, it is on!"

Later, when the Darach is nothing more than a blackened stain on the hardwood floor and the spell she'd used on Derek is gone, Stiles lets his uncertainty show. His hands flutter in the space between him and Derek. He wants to touch but he doesn't know if he's allowed. Derek's wound is gone, thankfully, but Stiles still worries.

Derek groans. He shakes his head a few times as if the motion will chase his post-spell aches away, and sits up.

"Are you- Are you okay?" Stiles asks. He's hovering. He can't stop hovering. "Did she...?" He can't ask that. There are too many echoes of Kate in what she'd done, and Stiles doesn't want to dredge up bad memories. He settles for the slightly safer version. "She didn't do anything else to you, did she?"

"No," Derek says. His voice is rough but steady. "She talked a lot. She was trying to convince me to fight the Alpha Pack."

"Okay." Stiles nods. He doesn't know what to do with his hands. He moves to pace and then stops. He's a bundle of nerves with nowhere to go.


His head snaps to Derek. "Yes? What? Anything?"

Derek rolls his eyes. "Stop. Sit down. I'm fine."

He bites his lip to keep his protests inside. He wants to know everything she did, every place she touched so that he can undo it all.

Derek drops his head and chuckles, shaking his head. "I'm yours, huh?"

"Oh, shit." Stiles flushes cold. He scrambles up from the chair he'd just sat on. "You, ah, you heard that, huh?" Logic tells him to flee but his heart makes him stay.

Derek looks up at him and he's smiling. He's fucking smiling. "Yeah, I heard that."

How is Stiles supposed to speak when he's got Derek's perfect face in front of him? But words are necessary. Derek is expecting words, most likely in some coherent order. "I... um... you don't... mind?" He can't help sounding a little bit hopeful at the end.

Derek stands. God, he's tall. Not like towering, but his whole presence. Massive. Dwarfing. Stiles wants to fall into it.

"Not as long as you're mine also."

"God, yes." Shit, that was out loud. Derek snorts an abbreviated laugh. "I mean, I'm... uh..."

"Shut up." Derek holds Stiles's chin in place and leans in for a kiss.

Stiles doesn't say a word.

5. The Nogitsune

Stiles sits up. He's in his bed at home, which is not where he fell asleep. It's dark but everything around him seems in order. Same chaos that he left it in yesterday, but there's something strange and unnamable that he can't quite place. He nearly jumps out of his skin when someone knocks on the door.

Who the hell knocks?

He approaches the door but hesitates. How did he get here? Where's Derek? He reaches for the pack bond and feels nothing.


The knock comes again.

Stiles frowns and yanks open the door. Unending darkness stretches beyond.

"Ugh. No."

He slams the door. A heartbeat later, he sits up in a real bed. Derek grumbles and tries to pull him back, but Stiles would rather handle the problem now, before it causes problems.

"Stiles?" Derek is adorable when he's half-asleep. "What are you doing?"

He finds his shirt under his bookbag by Derek's dresser. "I have to go do a thing."

"Now?" Derek combines weariness, disbelief, and annoyance all in one word.

"Yeah. Sorry."

Derek groans and rolls out of bed.

"You don't have to come."

Derek stares at him.

Stiles throws his hands up. "Fine. I offered."

"Do we need the pack?"

"Let them sleep."

Derek doesn't fully wake up until they're in the woods. "Where are we going?"

"The Nemeton."

Derek's groan conveys exactly how done they all are with the magical weirdness the Nemeton pulls. "Why?"

"Gotta kill a nogitsune."

To Derek's credit, he doesn't even blink at that. He shrugs and moves closer to Stiles, adjusting his pace so that he's in front of Stiles. It's a move that never fails to warm Stiles. His werewolf protector. His love.

"What'd it do?"

They step out into the clearing surrounding the Nemeton. There is no moon out tonight. They don't need one.

"Tried to possess me in my sleep."

Derek snorts. He doesn't hide his smile. "That was stupid."

Stiles kisses Derek once, lightly, before marching to the stump. "I know, right? You'd think they'd learn."

"They never do."