He’s been here for hours, watching, waiting, hoping to see just a glimpse of the creature his parents told him about. The sand is cool between his feet and the waves are even colder as they brush past his ankles. The moon is high in the sky and he knows he should be with his family right now, running through the forest, bonding, but he also knows that the full moon is the only time he can see a merperson. The beautiful race of creatures that he’s been enamored with since he was born. Mom often told him stories of a secret race of people that lived under the water, that would only show themselves to onlookers with good intentions. He would always laugh and shake his head, not believing his mother’s silly stories. When his parents told him what he was, what they all were, he believed her. If his race could exist, who knows how many others there could be?
He stares out into the water, thinking about turning back and waiting until next month to search, when he notices a flash of light reflected by the moon. He scans the water and sees a splash of water jet out from under the dock. He takes off running towards the dock at the end of the beach and almost trips over his own feet in his haste. He can practically hear his family howling with laughter at his eagerness, but he’s a six year old trapped in a twenty-one year old’s body. He hears a giggle coming from under the dock and he pauses, listening intently, focusing on the creature’s loud heartbeat pounding in his head.
“You can come over here.” The creature speaks, his voice garbled by the soft sound of the waves. “I won’t hurt you.”
He follows the voice all the way to the end of the dock, enticed by the smoothness of the young merman’s tone.
“Hello.” The merman pops his head of the water, looking Derek right in the eyes. He has big doe eyes that shine honey amber in the light of the moon. Moles line his torso and arms, a few of them scatter around his jawline. Derek wants to count them all, wants to trace his fingers down the merman’s spine and- “My mother tells me you’ve been looking for me.” He says, breaking Derek of his less-than-pure thoughts.
“Not you in particular, but someone of your kind, yes.” Derek tells him and the creature’s face drops. “I’m happy you trust me enough to show yourself to me. It’s a real honor.” Derek bows slightly and the boy smiles again.
“Mother says we’re not supposed to, even if we trust them. Because humans are vile beings that prey on chaos and the misfortune of others.” The merman wrinkles his nose in disgust and Derek grins.
“Good thing I’m not human, than.” The boy cocks his head and Derek lets his fangs drop down from his gums. The merman squeals and claps his hands together, a bright smile glowing on his face.
“Werewolf.” He muses. “I’ve read about you, you’re supposedly the most dangerous land monster.”
“Monsters eat people, I don’t eat people.” Derek corrects and the kid frowns.
“No?” He asks and Derek shakes his head.
“Mostly just little animals, rabbits, deer, things like that.” the boy looks even more confused and Derek just says, “Nevermind, the bottom line is that we don’t eat humans.”
“I do!” The boy shouts vivaciously. “But only when absolutely necessary.”
“I thought merfolk were supposed to be peaceful creatures who swam about helping sailors who drowned.” Derek tells him and he laughs.
“And I thought werewolves were supposed to grow into ugly hairless wolves who ran around biting innocent people willy nilly.” The merman laughs harder. “You can’t believe everything you see in movies.”
“Fair enough, then how about we meet here every day for the rest of the week so we can learn about each other.” Derek proposes and the boy purses his lips.
“I’m not supposed to surface unless it’s a full moon, but you’ve sparked my interest.” He gives Derek a toothy smile. There’s a loud screeching noise that makes Derek cover his ears but makes the merman whine. “That’s my mom, she says I have to come home now.”
“Your mom sounds like a dying whale?” Derek asks and the boy flicks water in Derek’s face with his tail.
“It’s how we communicate, our language so to speak.”
“So how come I can understand you?”
“I learned to speak like a land-walker when I was very young. Excuse me, I really must go now. I’ll see you back here tomorrow.” There’s another loud noise and the merman looks like he’s about to cry and then turns to leave.
“Wait, how come you know my name?” Derek demands and the boy smirks.
“Seems I’ve been searching for you just as long as you’ve been searching for me.”
“I don’t know your name though.”
The merman scoffs. “Yes you do, just think about it. You’ve heard my name your entire life.” He reaches around his neck and unclasps a leather necklace. “Here, my pendant, all merfolk get one right after their born, to signify what clan they belong to.” He grabs Derek’s hand and places the necklace in his palm. “Keep it safe.”
“I can’t take this.” Derek tries to give it back but the boy shakes his head.
“I’m part of the Royal Family, every mer knows who I am with or without the pendant. I’ll see you again.” He caresses Derek’s arm and Derek shivers. “Goodbye, Derek.”
Derek stands up and watches as the merman swims away, tail shimmering in the moonlight. The wind blows around him and he gets chills up his spine. Suddenly, something clicks in his brain, he has indeed known the merman’s name his whole life.
When Derek returns to the dock the next day at the same time, Nathraichean doesn’t show. He waits all night and it’s his sister’s job to find him and bring him back to their house on the beach.
“Maybe he left, honey. Merfolk don’t stay in one area for very long.” His mom, Talia, tells him. “Don’t be disappointed, dear. He promised he would see you again and merfolk always keep their promises.”
“Don’t be so worried, little brother, they can take care of themselves.” Laura says and Derek sighs.
“But he looked so little.” Derek whines.
“How old did he seem, Derek?” His father, Morgan, asks.
“Seventeen at the most, maybe thirteen at the youngest.” Derek answers.
“I can assure he can take care of himself, he’s much older than he looked. Seventeen years to us is about a Millennium to them.” Eric, his brother, informs him. “Now stop moping and either help the big kids pack up the house or go watch the little ones in the living room.”
Derek ops for watching the kids instead of packing because while he may have supernatural strength he is not fond of using it very often.
“Derk.” His youngest family member babbles, reaching out to him.
“Hey, Delphine.” Derek picks her up and bounces her on his chest. “How are you?” he asks in his baby voice.
“Ma.” Delphine commands and Derek goes to look for his Aunt Catherine.
“Aunt Catherine! Delphine wants you!” Derek calls up the stairs and he gets an answering moan in response. “Oh god what the-your entire family is home-why would you-” Derek mumbles to himself to keep sane.
“We told them that their room was soundproof.” Grandma Rose tells him. “It’s not.” She cackles evilly and his dad sighs.
“So to embarrass your son you’ve decided to torture the rest of the family, great idea, Rose.” Morgan rolls his eyes at his mother-in-law and Derek laughs.
“Mom there some things I don’t need in my life and one of those things is having to hear my little brother having-” Talia pauses to shoo Derek out of the room, like she’s protecting his innocence.
“Derk.” Delphine reminds him that she’s still in his arms. She points to the floor and Derek sets her down carefully. She turns her attention towards the TV and Derek can relax until he sees his four year old nephew starting to climb the bookshelf.
“Eric, your demon child is at it again.” Eric’s wife Amy shouts at him from the kitchen where she’s packing up the utensils.
“Why is he my child when he does something bad?” Eric groans from the study.
“You gave him the troublemaker gene, therefore, that side of him is your child.” Derek explains, pulling Joesph off of the shelf. “Go sit with Del, Joe. And no more climbing.” Joseph pouts but toddles away to where Delphine is playing with blocks.
“If you turn out like Joe, Mommy is disowning you.” Laura speaks down to her stomach. The pup kicks and she yelps.
“You deserved that.” The sixteen year old Cora says, walking by her older sister.
“You really did.” Derek agrees and high fives Cora when she walks into the living room.
“Like you could ever give that child up, you’ve already fallen in love with her.” Rose says and places a hand on Laura’s arm. “But nice joke, though dear.”
“If only I could’ve fallen in love with her father.” Laura sighs. “But whatever, Mommy doesn’t need a man to protect her.” She rubs her belly and the entire Hale family feels the calm filling their home.
Derek walks up the staircase to the second level and stops at his uncle’s door. He pounds his fist hard on the wood and he hears Peter swear. “Mom and Dad say that it’s time to stop making children and take care of the one you have.” He hears gasps from inside the room and he snickers. “Oh and to help pack because, reminder, we leave tomorrow morning. There, message delivered.”
“Thank you, Derek.” Talia tells him when he comes back downstairs.
“I hate you.” Derek says through clenched teeth and Morgan laughs.
“Liar.” His father says and hugs him tightly from behind.
“Maybe.” Derek grumbles and the family laughs. “Now let me go, we don’t have time for a puppy pile right now.”
“Aww, Derek still calls them puppy piles. You’re still my baby boy after all.” Talia coos at him and he flushes.
“Not even.” Derek growls.
“Right you’re so grown up now, you’ve got your very own merman now.” Laura laughs.
“A merman? Do tell, Nephew.” Peter says from behind him, spooking him.
“I’m not talking to you.” Derek says without turning around and his aunt puts her head on top of his. “You either.”
“Aw, Der, we’re sorry. We didn’t mean to scare you, punkin.” Catherine apologizes in her sharp Southern accent and Derek shrugs. “How about we put Cora on babysitting duty for two weeks instead of you when we get to Beacon Hills?”
Derek turns to look at her and he smiles. “Thanks.”
“Unfair!” Cora shouts and tackles Derek to the ground.
“My money’s on you, Cora.” Uncle Peter announces and Derek’s eyes flash blue.
“Not a chance, baby sister.” Derek says, flipping them over and pinning her to the floor.
“Okay, okay, you win!” Cora pounds on the floor and Derek stands up, smiling triumphantly. He offers her a hand to help her up and she takes it carefully.
“There, no hard feelings.” Derek teases and she headbutts him.
“Pups!” Talia shouts in her Alpha voice.
“Sorry, Mom.” They say together, baring their necks.
“It’s alright, just settle down. We’ve still got a lot to do before we leave.”
“Yes, Mom.” Derek says and goes back to watch the kids.
“Thank you, go ahead and put them all to sleep and then you go to bed right after. It’s a long drive from South Carolina to California.” Talia tells him and he nods from the other room.
“Bedtime, kiddos!” Derek shouts at them and they squeal at his tone of voice. “We’re gonna sleep here since all the rooms are packed up, is that okay?” The ones that are able to, nod, and Delphine claps her hands together, reminding Derek of his merman.
“You’re so lame, Derek.” Cora replies but goes to cuddle up with him on the couch anyways. “Go to sleep, little ones.” She insists and they all hum as they turn into wolves, and one by one, fall asleep. “You too, Derek, you’ve had a long night.” Derek just sighs and thinks of Nathraichean in the peacefulness of his own mind.
They arrive in Beacon Hills three days later and Derek hates the town as soon as he steps out of the car. He doesn’t like how it smells more like fresh water than salt water, how everything in the town is so closed together instead of spaced out like he’s used to.
“You just have to get used to it, sweetheart.” Talia assures him as they walk into their new house, hidden back in the woods.
Derek doesn’t want to get used to it, he wants the beach and the docks and the ocean and most of all he wants his merman.
“I’ll never see him again in this town, Mom!” Derek cries as he unpacks his things into his new room.
“Fate works in weird ways, you just have to be patient.” She ruffles his hair then leaves him to his unpacking.
They have everything unpacked in less than a day because when your entire family is full of werewolves, well, you get shit done.
“Cora, you start school tomorrow. Derek, you’ll be taking college classes at the local community college until you get back in the swing of things. Laura, you stay here and help everyone settle in. Keep yourself rested so the baby doesn’t get hurt.” Morgan tells them over dinner Sunday night.
All three of them start to complain at once, talking over each other and whining about it in harmony.
“Listen to your father.” Rose remarks. “I think this could be good for you guys.”
“Everyone’s gonna know that we’re werewolves.” Derek grimaces.
“So you think they discriminate by race here?” Amy inquires and Peter nods.
“Oh most definitely.”
“There’s no other werewolf packs in this town. They’ll have to know.” Talia tells them, cutting up the steak on her plate to feed to Joseph.
“They’re gonna beat down our door and stab us to death with pitchforks.” Cora’s face pales and Rose laughs.
“They wouldn’t dare mess with werewolves. From what I’ve been told about Beacon Hills, the people that live here are mostly harmless creatures. Nymphs, sprites, fairies, maybe one or two lone wolves, definitely at least one kanima and a banshee. And more Norms than Supes.” Rose explains and Cora makes another face.
“So what do we do?” Cora asks and Morgan shrugs.
“Act like you normally would.”
“Don’t attack anyone if they call you out on anything, don’t draw attention to yourselves, and do not drop fangs, that’s grounds for arrest.” Talia recalls from the handbook. “Other than that, you should just be you.”
“Oh great. Cover up every part of your wolf and act human, but don’t tell people that you’re human because they’ll know that you’re lying but be yourself. Thanks, Mom.” Derek sasses.
“You’re just scared of it all. A new town, new friends to make.” Laura tells him and he growls.
“Can I be excused?” Derek asks, pushing his plate away. “Suddenly, I’m not so hungry.”
“You’re just nervous, you’ll be fine.” Eric tells him but Derek just walks away.
“If anything happens tomorrow, you call Laura right away. She’ll come get you. Goodnight, son.” Morgan nods at his son and Derek retreats up the stairs.
“This whole thing is so stupid.” Derek grumbles, sitting down on his bed.
“I agree.” A voice says from the tree.
“What are you?” Derek stands up to see a fox sitting in the tree outside.
“Kitsune.” The fox answers, jumping from the tree into his room. The fox changes into a small girl with black hair. She’s wearing a light pink robe that she ties tightly around her waist. “I’m Kira.” She says, putting her hand out for Derek to shake it.
“Derek.” He replies and takes her hand. “How did you find me?”
“I wander the neighborhood at night when I get bored, found you sitting here all alone, thought you could use the company.” Kira says and he smiles.
“Thanks. I’m new here.”
“Well duh, it’s not every day Beacon Hills becomes the new home of a pack of werewolves as big as the Hales.”
“You know who we are?” Derek asks and she nods.
“The whole town’s been talking about it since we got wind of you. Talia Hale is the most respected Alpha in all of North America.” Kira sounds in awe of his mom and Derek laughs.
“Would you like to meet her?”
Kira pauses and her eyes widen. “Oh heavens no, I couldn’t intrude like that. Especially during dinner.”
“So come over after school tomorrow, meet the entire family.” Derek spreads his arms out and grins, one day and he’s already made a friend.
“It’s a deal.” Kira hugs her smaller body to his and he yelps in surprise. “Oh sorry, Kitsunes are very affectionate.”
“Wolf packs are too, I’m just not used to outside contact.” Derek tells her, hugging her back.
“Make sure to find me first at school, so I can show you around and give you the lay down of who’s who and who’s what.” Kira winks and then jumps out the window again. Derek rushes to see if she landed and she’s grinning up at him in fox form. “See you tomorrow, Derek!” she says before trotting off.
“Maybe this town won’t be so bad after all.” Derek decides while getting ready for bed. “Yeah, maybe.” he reassures himself as he turns the light off.
The next day, Derek bounds out of bed to get breakfast before his sisters.
“What’s got you so chipper?” Laura asks from the bar, nursing a coffee.
“I’m just excited is all.” Derek smiles goofily and Laura squees.
“I knew you’d be happy with this place. I can feel how good this town is gonna be for us.” She puts her coffee down to take his hands. “Can’t you?”
“Sort of. Now let me go, you weirdo, I’ve got to eat.” She lets him go and he heads straight for the Sugar Crunch.
“If you weren’t a werewolf you’d have diabetes.” She tells him as he pours the milk into the bowl all over the sugary cereal.
“Probably.” Derek smiles around a mouthful and she makes a face. “I’m gonna go now. And I’m taking the camaro.” He picks up Laura’s car keys and races out the door.
“Jerk.” Laura hisses and Derek just laughs when she slams the front door closed.
“God you two are loud.” Cora complains from the couch.
“Just shut up and get out here or you’re walking to school!” Derek calls from outside and she walks outside, slamming the door behind her. Laura still laughing at her siblings who have to go to school.
“Ready?” Cora asks.
“Course.” Derek flashes her a smile while she glares, and he pulls out of the driveway, tires squealing.
“I’ll come see you at lunch, okay? Text me if you start to lose hold on your anchor. I’ll pick you up at the end of the day.” Derek says as he drops Cora at the door.
“Thanks, Mom.” Cora teases and Derek feels his wolf rising, whether out of fear for his sister or fear for the other students, Derek doesn’t know. “See you.” And Derek watches her walk into the school, books close to her chest.
Derek drives away and pulls into the first spot he sees in the parking lot.
“Ah, new kid, nice of you to join us.” The teacher in the front of the room says as Derek stumbles late into the lecture hall. “Welcome to Microbiology. I’m Mr. Harris. Please, introduce yourself to the class.”
Derek clears his throat before scanning the room, looking for Kira. He spots her in the back and sighs in relief. “My name’s Derek.”
“Derek whom?” Mr. Harris prompts.
“Hale, Derek Hale.” The whole class gasps, minus Kira, and they stare at him, eyes wide.
“Mr. Hale, a pleasure. Have a seat anywhere you’d like.” Harris gestures around the room and Derek heads straight for the back row where Kira is seated.
“Did you see that? They looked at you like you’re royalty.” Kira says, helping Derek drown out Mr. Harris’s annoying voice.
“According to you, I kind of am.” Derek bumps his shoulder into hers and she laughs.
The two of them talk the entire lecture and Harris looks like he wants to yell at them but refuses to say a word.
“Are there other Hales here at school?” She asks when the bell rings.
“My younger sister Cora, she’s at the high school but not here. My older sister Laura should be here but she gets a break because she’s pregnant. ” He replies and she nods.
“Get ready for hoards of girls to attack you at any given moment.” Kira tells him. “Just remember, keep your head down and don’t talk to anyone. I’ll see you at the end of the day before you leave.” And just like that Kira is gone to her next class and left Derek standing in the hall to figure out his schedule alone.
He makes it through the rest of the day without wolfing out or making a rude remark and he applauds himself for it. He just has to make it through three more years of school without drawing attention to himself, easy peasy.
Two Years Later
“Honey, it’s what they do! Stop moping about it, it’s been two years.” Lydia tells him, swimming around him as they wander through the castle aimlessly.
“He’s mine, Lydia! He touched me and I felt it, the spark you said I would. It’s him, it’s always gonna be him.” Stiles whines, throwing an arm over his forehead.
“You are not the first to get your heartbroken, Stiles. And you’re certainly not the last. He’s a wolf, they migrate.”
“I have to see him, Lydia. At least one more time before Mom finds out.” Stiles pleads and she rolls her eyes.
“How you gonna find him, huh?” Lydia asks and Stiles smiles.
“I gave him my necklace. I can track him through that.”
“For the record this is a dumb idea and I’m going to regret going with you.” Lydia says, trailing behind him as they make their way to his room.
“You’re coming with me?” Stiles asks excitedly and she rolls her eyes again.
“Someone has to make sure you don’t get yourself killed, you are the crown prince after all. Can’t have you going and dying on all of Atlantica now, can we?” She smiles and nudges his shoulder with his own. “If this ends badly though I am saying I told you so.”
“I know.” Stiles smiles and they reach his room. He crackles his knuckles and settles down on his bed with an armful of maps. “These will lead me right to him.”
“If he’s even still got the necklace.”
“If you’re going to be a Negative Narwhal, I don’t want you coming with me.”
“I’m just trying to be realistic, Stiles! He’s a werewolf, you’re a merman. It’s not going to work out.”
“Watch it, Lydia. Like you’ve mentioned, I am the crown prince. With powers far greater than yours.” Stiles speaks darkly, eyes glowing white and hands sparking with power.
Lydia just snorts and shoves him. “Keep looking, dumbfish.”
“How you wound me.” Stiles grips his heart and smiles goofily at her.
“I’ll get to work on getting us legs. See you at dinner?” She asks and he nods before escorting her out.
“Okay Derek, I’m coming for you.” Stiles says, focusing entirely on the maps in front of him. The first map starts glowing blue in the far left corner and Stiles shouts at Lydia to come back in.
“What? What is it?” She’s out of breath and Stiles knows she was speed-swimming again.
“I found him. He’s in some place called Beacon Hills, California.” He pronounces it like ‘Cawlifornea’ and Lydia giggles.
“It’s California.” She corrects and claps her hands together. “This should be fun. Apparently this town attracts all sorts of Supernatural creatures called Supes in the World Above. Humans are called Norms. If I do the spell right we should be able to change back and forth between legs and tail whenever we touch water. As long as we avoid water, we should be able to pass as Norms. I’ll work on it tonight and we’ll leave in the morning before anyone finds out.”
“You know what you’re risking, right? By coming with me?” Stiles asks and Lydia pauses in the doorway.
“I do.” She smiles sadly. “It’s worth it, I swear to god it’s worth it.”
“I hope so.” Stiles agrees and she blows him a kiss before leaving, silver tail swishing along behind her.
“I can’t believe that it’s been two years already.” Derek says to Kira one day while they’re sitting in his room.
“I can’t believe that you’re in love with a merman.” She fires back quickly with a smirk.
“I’m not in love with him.” Derek sighs and grips the necklace hanging around his neck.
“Yes you are and that’s okay. You’ll find him one day.” Kira says, ever the positive one in their friendship.
“Yeah sure. Now keep working, the professor will have our heads mounted on his wall if he finds out we haven’t finished our papers yet.”
“Sure sure, just one more question?” Kira begs and Derek rolls his eyes but nods anyways, he knows he’ll never deny his best friend when she begs for things. “When did you find the first body?” Derek clenches his fists at his sides and bares his teeth at her. “Not those ones, Derek. You know I’d never bring them up. I promised your family I would keep you safe.”
“But they couldn’t keep themselves safe!?” Derek growls angrily, standing up, letting his things fly everywhere. “They kept Lia and I safe, us, we were their priorities. Why not Joesph or Cora or god fucking damn it, Delphine. They were kids! Kids! And they died kids. They died young and it’s just not fucking fair that I got to live and they didn’t.”
Kira walks cautiously over to him and wraps her body around his. She pricks his back up and down with her claws and he sighs happily, calming down. “They did not do that in vain. They had their reasons, and sure you don’t understand them. But you will, I swear to god Derek, you will.”
“Thanks.” He breathes into her hair.
“Anytime. Now I think it’s time for a break.” She pulls away and then takes his hand, leading him out of his room and out of the house.
“What about Lia?” Derek asks as they stumble through the forest behind their house.
“She’s still with the sitter. Now come on, we’re going to your favorite place in the world.” Kira discloses and Derek smiles.
“The beach?” He asks and Kira laughs.
“Okay, your second favorite place.”
“The stream by the cliff.” She smiles back at him and nods. “You’re the best.”
“I know. Now strip, Hale.” She commands when they reach the stream. Derek flushes and she rolls her eyes. “Don’t get modest on me now. I just meant so you can go Wolf. If you wanna rip your precious leather jacket than by all means, go right ahead.” Kira says as she strips and shrinks to her fox form. “Don’t be a baby, Hale. Be a werewolf.”
Derek howls and drops down onto all fours and starts to shift. He always feels more connected to his family like this, like he can’t, won’t, disappoint his family this way.
They wade in silence just enjoying each other’s company when they hear screaming from their left. They ignore it at first, it just sounds like a deer caught in a trap, or a bird spazzing out over a twig. Then they hear it again, louder and Derek thinks he hears the faint sound of bones cracking. He sprints out of the water, Kira not far behind him and follows the sound to the edge of the preserve. There’s a pale creature with sharp teeth and blood running down it’s jaw caving in on a human. The creature’s claws are pointed towards the human and digs its claws into the boy, slicing him open.
The boy screams in pain and the creature licks its lips hungrily, staring at his prey with pitch black eyes. The thing dips its head down to lap at the blood running from the boy and that’s when Derek hurls himself at it. The creature hisses and swipes at him, missing his chest by inches. Derek roars and the creature has the nerve to bare its neck, like it was submitting. He snaps his teeth at the being and it flees, Kira hot on its heels.
“Help.” The boy mumbles weakly and Derek pads over to him. Derek sniffs at the wound and noses at his hip. The boy’s eyes are pleading, like he wants Derek to just kill him. Derek shakes his head and fits his mouth around the kid’s hip. He bites down and the boy wails in pain. Derek licks at his bite mark and he can see it starting to close up. Soon the boy can stand up on his own and he does, prompting Derek to shift back.
“What was that?” The boy asks, standing up and wiping the blood off of his side.
“I have no fucking idea.” Derek says truthfully.
“And I’m a werewolf now?” He asks and Derek refuses to answer.
“What’s your name, kid?” Derek asks.
“Scott.” The boy answers.
“Well Scott, welcome to the Pack.” Derek finally answers and takes Scott’s hand. “I’m Derek, your Alpha.”
“Whoa buddy, I have a mother and a stepfather, I have a family. I can’t just join your Pack.” Scott shakes his head and backs away from Derek who chuckles.
“You do if you wanna survive. Lone wolves never survive in the wild and you certainly won’t survive on your own in this town.”
“That much I gathered. Seriously, what the hell was that thing?”
Kira comes running back into the clearing out of breath and red faced. “No fucking idea but whatever it was it was fast, terrifying, and it could swim. I chased it to the edge of the cliff and it just smiled back at me before jumping off of it and landing into the lake with a rather large splash.”
“If it comes back around this town, I’m killing it.” Derek promises and his eyes flash red, a much different color from his normal blue. “I’m the Alpha, and I’ve gotta protect this place from whatever tries to take it down.”
“Amen.” Scott and Kira say in unison, following Derek back to the house.
“Stiles, really!?” Lydia asks when he walks back into the apartment that they’re renting. He shrugs and looks at the floor. “Nu uh, mister, you look at me.” He looks up at her through his lashes and she sighs. “What am I gonna do with you?”
“Let me off the hook because I’ve never been around humans before?” He guesses and she sighs deeply again.
“This is your one warning. After today, no more. We’re gonna get found out if you do that again.”
“All I did was spook him a little. A wolf and a fox came to save him. The wolf actually growled me into submission. It was kind of hot.” Stiles confesses and Lydia sighs. “What’s the big deal!? I left him alive. I just wanted a little snack.”
“First of all, you killed someone last night. Second of all, the kid’s gonna know it’s you, Stiles! Now that he’s a wolf he’ll be able to smell it.”
“I was hungry and human food tastes like dried out kelp. At least humans taste good. Plus this kid wasn’t a wolf when I attacked him. I don’t have seaweed for brains. I know I’m not strong enough to go against a werewolf.”
“Oh please, you totally are. You’re just scared.” Stiles sticks his tongue out at her. “Seriously though you better behave or your mom’s gonna find out and have both of our heads.”
“Like she’d kill us. I’m her son and you’re basically like her niece so don’t even.” Stiles hits her on the arm and she whines. “Huh, guess human skin is really fragile.”
“Exactly, so don’t damage it. If you’re gonna get hurt I prefer if it’s in your other form. Not your mer form and not your human form.”
“No one can touch you in your banshee form without getting their eardrums blasted out of their heads. Me, I’m just an ugly looking elf thing.” Stiles complains, sitting down on the chair closest to him.
“You’re half Slaugh, half merman. That’s not a bad combination.” Lydia soothes him by rubbing his back.
“Are you kidding me? Of course it is! Merfolk are supposed to be peaceful and sing about wanting to be above the water. The Slaugh race eat people and cause chaos and destruction everywhere they go.”
“Merfolk eat people too, or don’t you remember that one time where your mother had to physically pull you away from a drowning sailor because you were trying to swallow him whole like you were some sort of sea snake.” Lydia reminds him and he groans.
“I was eight!” Stiles defends.
“Hundred!” Lydia shouts back and he laughs.
“What are we doing here, Lyds? We don’t fit.”
“Your idea. You wanna find loverboy or not?” Stiles sighs and nods. “Good, I signed us up for somewhere the local kids attend called high school. We start tomorrow. Hopefully we can find out where he is by the talk in school.”
“You think we can pull this off?” Stiles asks.
“If you can keep your Slaugh side in check, than we definitely can pull this off. Go to bed, get a good night’s rest.” Lydia shoves him towards his bedroom and he flops down on the bed, expecting it to close on him when he got comfortable.
“Lydia! It’s not closing! How do I fix it?” He calls and she giggles.
“It doesn’t close, it’s not a giant clam. It’s a bed, a mattress on a frame. Land walkers sleep in them every day.” Lydia explains.
“Gross.” Stiles says before slipping quickly into sleep.
“I hate this. I hate you.” Stiles grumbles as she pulls him through the hallway, hand on his hip to keep him balanced. “How do you know how to walk? Legs are hard.” He whines and Lydia pinches his side.
“Get a grip. No whining. Just because there are other Supes here doesn’t mean they’ll accept Merfolk. To them, we’re the most dangerous things in the world.” Lydia tells him in a hushed voice to avoid being caught.
“That’s stupid. What are we gonna do? Eat them whole out in the open?” Stiles scoffs. “As if, none of them smell good enough to be eaten.”
“Keep your voice down!” Lydia hisses loudly, making a few heads turn their way. “We’re new students, humans, do not blow this for us if you want to find Derek.”
“Excuse me, are you two the new students?” A blonde girl comes up to them and smiles.
Lydia steps in front of Stiles and smiles at the girl. “Yes we are. I’m Lydia, this is my cousin Stiles. We just moved here with our grandparents.”
“It’s nice to meet both of you. I’m your assigned student director. I’ll show you around the school today and answer any questions you have, and if you need me for anything, don’t hesitate to call for me. I’ll hear you.” Erica winks and Stiles’ face lights up.
“You’re a werewolf!” Stiles says gleefully and Erica raises an eyebrow at him.
“And you’re human. How did you know that?”
“We’ve met a few werewolves before. Stiles has a knack for discovering the species of whomever he talks to.” Lydia discloses and follows Erica down the hallway.
“You should fit in here perfectly, Stiles.” Erica turns to smile at Stiles and she winks. “There’s not many humans here but I’m sure you’ll find that everyone is friendly.”
“Even the Lizard-wolf?” Lydia asks, discreetly scenting the air.
“That’s just Jackson. He’s a Kanima slash werewolf. He doesn’t bite.” Erica promises and they keep walking. “Anymore” She tacks on as an afterthought.
“No one here eats humans, right? Just forest animals and human food?” Stiles asks, more for the safety of his sanity over the human students.
“Oh no, no one would dare. Derek Hale would kill whoever preyed on a human.” Erica opens a door to an office and shuffles through a few files.
“Derek Hale?” Lydia asks, looking over at Stiles.
“He’s my Alpha, and he’s the Alpha of the Hale pack. He and his niece have lived here ever since I can remember. He lost his entire family in a fire a few years back and just a year ago he started rebuilding his pack. The only Shifters in Beacon Hills are part of the Hale pack. Me, my friends Isaac and Boyd, the douchey wolf lizard Jackson, Kira’s a Kitsune, and a newbie just joined last night, Scott. My guess is that Derek had to bite him so he would survive.”
“Wow, he sounds important.” Stiles drawls and Erica grins.
“He is, he’s the best. I’m sure he’d love to meet you two. He always wants to know who’s living in his town and whether or not they’re a threat.”
“I can promise you that we’re no threat but if that’s what it takes to prove it to him, Stiles and I can meet him.” Lydia says and Erica pulls two files out.
“These are your schedules.” She says, handing them their files. “Follow the order and you guys should be good to go. I’ve got to go back to class now or I’ll be in trouble but seriously, you guys should come over after school. We live in the woods, a giant white house, you can’t miss it.”
“We’ll be there.” Stiles decides and Lydia smiles at him.
“Perfect!” Erica claps her hands together and leaves them in a flash, Lydia and Stiles left standing in an office unaware of where to go from there.
“Oh my god, Lydia.” Stiles breaths. “I’m actually going to see him.”
“Yeah, yeah you are.” Lydia pulls him close. “Don’t fuck it up.”
“How could I possibly fuck this up? It’s all I’ve ever wanted for the past two years.” Stiles smiles innocently.
“How about not eating anyone else, or even just a light snack. You’ll have to get used to human food if you want to pose as a human.”
“We could always just reveal ourselves as merpeople.” Stiles suggests and Lydia puts her hand on her hip. “Okay no we couldn’t.”
“No, we couldn’t. Now come on, we’ve got some class called Econ.” Lydia drags him out of the office but she can’t wipe the brilliant smile from off of his face.
“I invited some Norms over.” Erica says casually as she walks into the house.
“You what!?” Derek growls, backing her into the wall.
“Relax. They’re new to Beacon Hills and I told them the laydown of the town and how everyone has to be run by you first. They’ll be here soon. Maybe put actual clothes on.” Erica suggests and Kira interrupts.
“Or don’t. That would make them submit easier.” She giggles and Erica high-fives her.
“I want Lia down here with us when we meet them. So I can be sure if I can trust them.” Derek says before walking upstairs to Lia’s room
“Seriously, Derek. Shirts are a good thing!” Erica calls from downstairs and Isaac snickers.
“Your family is full of idiots.” Derek coos to Lia as he picks her up and bounces her on his hip.
If Laura were here right now, she would probably smack him for calling them idiots and then proceed to take a million pictures of Derek with her kid.
“Drek.” Lia says around her thumb and Derek smiles.
“Yeah baby, what’s up?” He pulls her off his hip and holds her to eye level.
“Where Mama?” She asks and Derek swallows thickly. She’s been asking for Laura for a while now but he can’t tell her, she’s too young to understand anyways.
“Mama’s gone sweetheart.” Derek says softly and Lia just stares up at him with wide eyes. “I’ll tell you when you’re older, baby.”
“They’re here! You better have a shirt on when you come down!” Kira calls and he hears Erica open the door and greet her guests.
“Stiles, Lydia, this is Kira, the Kitsune I told you about.” Derek watches from the stairs and Kira waves slightly.
“What’s a Kitsune?” Stiles asks Lydia and she whispers something in his ear that makes his eyes go wide and he shuffles behind her.
“Nice to meet you.” Lydia says politely and Erica invites them inside.
“Derek will be down in a second, he’s got a phobia of shirts so it might take him a while to put one on.” Isaac tells them then introduces himself.
“Boyd come here, we have guests.” Kira drags Boyd from the kitchen to the living room and he looks at the floor.
“Hey.” He says in his low voice and Stiles smiles brightly at Boyd which makes Boyd lock eyes with him and smile. A real, genuine smile, that Derek hasn’t seen in a very long time.
“What is this kid?” Derek whispers to Lia before stepping down on the ground.
“Well not deaf, for one thing.” Stiles pokes his head around Lydia and his pack bursts out laughing.
Derek growls but immediately stops when he sees Stiles. “You.” He whispers and Stiles blinks at him.
“Me?” Stiles asks and looks to Lydia before looking back at Derek.
Surely Stiles has to remember him. He doesn’t look that much different. Except his name seems to be Stiles and not Nathraichean. Well of course he doesn’t look different though, merfolk don’t age like humans do. Derek sets Lia down on the floor to toddle around and slowly makes his way over to Stiles.
“I’ve waited for you for quite a long time, Nathraichean.” Derek purrs and his Betas step out of the way. The only thing between Derek and Stiles is Lydia and she stands her ground.
“You must have him confused for someone else, Alpha Hale. We’re human. That name, that name isn’t human.”
“Mermaid!” Lia claps her hands and stares at Lydia.
“You-you brought a mermaid into our house, Erica!?” Boyd snaps at her. “After everything Derek went through trying to save Isaac! You brought that into our home!?”
“I didn’t know!” Erica throws her hands up in exasperation and Isaac leaps off the couch to hide behind Boyd. “You tricked me!” She rounded in on Lydia and Lydia shoved Stiles further behind her.
“Touch him and see what happens.” Lydia hisses, sharp teeth bared to Erica.
“Erica, don’t.” Isaac says weakly. “They’re evil, you know what they can do.”
“What the hell is going on?” Derek scrubs his hand across his face as Jackson comes down the stairs.
“Erica brought mermaids into our house.” Boyd answers, glaring at Erica harshly.
“Is Isaac okay?” Jackson asks immediately and rushes over to where Isaac is hidden behind Boyd. “Erica,” Jackson snarls. “get them out.”
“No, they’re not going anywhere.” Derek finally speaks up. “We’re all going to sit down and have a civil conversation.”
“He’s-Derek-is he?” Kira asks and Derek nods slowly. “Oh my god how did I not see this coming? Of course the mermaid you’re in love with has to be the one that almost sliced Scott to pieces last night.” Kira says exasperated.
“Lydia, I think it’s time to go.” Stiles starts to pull Lydia out the door but she sits down on the chair closest to her.
“No, we’re staying here to explain ourselves. And we’re not leaving until you and Loverboy talk shit out because I’m not spending eternity listening to you go on and on about him.”
Lydia’s defiant and Derek knows she’ll be hard to handle, but at the same time he likes her. She reminds him of Laura and Cora rolled into one. Fiercely protective of her family like Cora but logical and harsh like Laura.
“Thank you, Lydia. I want everyone in here.” Derek orders and no one moves. “Now!” He barks and his pack scrambles to the living room.
“What do you think is gonna happen here, Derek? We’re gonna talk it out and suddenly everything’s gonna be okay? That we’re gonna be holding hands around a campfire and singing Kumbaya?” Jackson sasses, body curled protectively around Isaac.
“Lydia could be the one that tried to kill him, Derek. Or she could know. And don’t even get me started on Stiles. He tried to slice Scott up like a sushi roll!” Kira yells and Derek silences her with a look.
“I haven’t tried to kill anyone.” Lydia pipes up. “To try is to imply that I didn’t succeed, and I always succeed. But don’t worry, you’ll learn all about me soon enough.” Her teeth are still out but it makes her seem even more beautiful to Derek. His parents taught him to fear merfolk, but they also taught him to see the beauty in creatures like her.
“You won’t live long enough for us to learn anything about.” Erica growls, face in Beta form and Stiles laughs loudly.
“I know werewolves like to think that they’re the most superior species, but I’ve got some bad news for you guys, you’re not. It’d take at least five of you to take down Lydia. And even more to take me down. So go ahead, try if you really want to.” Stiles dares and Erica looks ready to challenge him.
“Down girl, he’s right. They’re stronger than us.” Isaac soothes her with a hand to her shoulder and she shifts back.
“What do we do, Derek?” Boyd looks to his Alpha and Derek sighs.
“You’ll answer every single one of our questions, truthfully, and after we’re satisfied then we’ll decide if you get to stay here.” Derek tells the merfolk.
“We traveled a very long way to see you, Derek. You can’t just throw us out on our tails like we mean nothing to you.” Lydia says calmly.
“You don’t mean anything to me.” Derek tells her and she nods, she knows he isn’t lying.
“You’re not lying, about me. But Stiles, you wouldn’t dare. You’ve left your Mate for far too long, you won’t do it again.” Lydia smirks like she just won and Derek hangs his head because she has.
“Enough!” Derek regains his composure. “Why did you come here?”
“To find you, Derek. Lydia just answered that.” Stiles says, not looking Derek in the eyes. Derek wants him to, wants to stare into the honey-amber eyes he fell in love with.
“Who was the bitch that drowned my brother?” Isaac’s suddenly angry, like all of his memories came flooding back at once.
“Pardon me?” Lydia asks, taken aback.
“Last year, Derek was walking along a stream in Los Angeles, it was dark out.” Isaac starts. “He saw my brother Camden and I getting lead into the water by a being that could only be described as a mermaid. She was a woman and she was really strong, stronger than she should’ve been for a mermaid.”
“What happened?” Stiles sounds concerned and it makes Boyd look up in shock. Derek understands where Boyd is coming from, mermaids aren't known for their sympathy.
“But Stiles is different!” Derek wants to shout at his Beta. “Stiles wouldn’t hurt anyone!”
“Derek got to us as fast as he could,” Isaac continues, breaking Derek’s thoughts.
“but he only had time to save one of us. Camden told him to save me, so he did. And when Derek discovered that I wasn’t breathing, he turned me. I was his first bitten Beta.” Isaac finishes and smiles over at Derek and he returns it easily. “So I ask again, who was it?”
“What did she look like?” Lydia turns to Derek now and closes her eyes.
“She had blue skin, almost florescent. It glittered in the moonlight and she looked beautiful. She sang something haunting, and it seemed to pull Camden in first. Which I think is why he told me to save Isaac, not because he wanted to spare his brother’s life, but because he wanted her to himself. I don’t think he knew he was being dragged to his death.” Derek explains and as he recalls the memory, he can picture everything perfectly.
“Sounds like a Naiad.” Lydia opens her eyes and turns to Stiles who nods in agreement. “They’re fresh water nymphs. My guess is that she wasn’t trying to kill you, she probably didn’t even know that he would die. Naiads only show themselves to men they deem worthy of their affection. You two must have been enchanted by her.” Lydia tells Isaac.
“How could she not know that she would kill him? He was human and she was a Naiad.” Isaac demands to know.
“It happens a lot in Mythology, which of course we know now that they aren’t myths, but anyways.” Stiles explains and Lydia takes over again.
“Nymphs don’t exactly know what they’re doing. They’re basically cursed to be hormonal teenagers forever. They take a guy down into the depths of their dwelling and get confused and upset that they die. They just figure that everyone can breathe underwater since they rarely come across humans.” Lydia speaks and the wolves are rendered silent.
“It’s a sad life to live, but they can’t live any other way. It’s the only way they can feed.” Stiles adds. “They’re forced to keep reliving it, reliving the grief and sadness of dragging men to their deaths because that’s the only way they know how to survive.”
“So why doesn’t anyone try to stop them? Why doesn’t anyone kill them all off?” Jackson inquires and Stiles sighs.
“You’re missing the point. It’s in their nature to do so. Like how it’s in my nature to feed off humans, like it’s in Lydia’s nature to scream when she senses death. How it’s in a werewolf’s nature to shift when they feel threatened. It’s the way we were all created. How would you like it if I tried to kill you for being who you are?” For the first time since Derek met him, Stiles sounds like he’s 1,700 years old rather than 17. “Boom, just dropped an electric eel on your tails!” Stiles makes a shocking noise and Lydia snorts.
“Way to ruin the moment. You were so good and you just had to ruin it.” Stiles smiles, all teeth and she flashes a similar smile back at him.
“I’m not done asking questions.” Jackson interrupts their moment. “Why did you try to kill Scott?” Jackson fires quickly and Lydia shrugs.
“He was hungry, it was just a snack. No permanent damage.” She says like it’s nothing.
“What about the psychological damage?” Isaac asks tentatively.
“He’s a big boy werewolf now, he’ll get over it.” Stiles says nonchalantly and Derek’s realizing how much he was taught about merfolk was the truth.
His parents used to say that merpeople will do what they want, when they want, and no one will stop them because they’re afraid. Most merfolk never leave the water so they aren’t threats. But Lydia and Stiles, the two sitting calmly on his sofa, they’re the biggest threats Derek has ever faced. And he’s in love with one of them.
“Why did you not come back the second night?” Derek asks and Stiles is speechless, looking over to Lydia like she has the answers, she always does. But this time she shakes her head because this is his question to answer.
“I couldn’t. I was forbidden to leave my room, much less the city. My mother had found out, that I went to see a human. Of course I tried telling her that you weren’t human, which apparently made her even more mad and she grounded me until I’m 7,000 years old.” Stiles explains truthfully. “Which I’m not, by the way, 7,000 years old. So technically I’m still grounded.”
“And you snuck out of the ocean like she isn’t going to notice?” Kira asks, apparently fascinated with him after he proved his intelligence.
“Oh she most likely already did. She’ll have merpeople scouring the ocean for him. When she finds out he’s nowhere to be found, she’ll know he left. Which is when I’m dead because she’ll kill me for letting Stiles leave.” Lydia says frantically and Stiles rolls his eyes.
“I’ve told you before, she won’t kill you, or me.” He turns to the wolves. “You guys though, you guys might be dead.”
“Why wouldn’t she want you to be here?” Kira puts her face in her hands and looks up at Stiles.
“Merfolk are supposed to be above Land Walkers and other Supes, as you call them, so she’d hate it that I was up here spending time with them.” Stiles tells her. “Also, my father lives somewhere in this country and she wouldn’t want me finding him.”
“Though you have zero intention to, he was the asshole that walked out on you guys.” Lydia reminds him and he nods.
“I know. God, what kind of man walks out on his family?” Stiles asks rhetorically. “A bad one, that’s what. I can’t believe he’s gone this long without feeding, Slaugh can’t do it for long intervals at a time.”
“He probably adapted to life without human flesh.” Lydia suggests and Stiles guesses it could be true. “Wherever he is, you don’t need him.”
“I know, I don’t.” Lydia grabs his hand and kisses his cheek.
“Have we been deemed safe? Can we leave now?” Lydia asks impatiently.
“No, no the two of you will be living here until I’ve decided it’s safe for you guys to live on your own.” Derek decides and the pack all start muttering at once.
“Derek’s right. It’ll be safer if we can look after you guys, we can’t have you getting hurt.” Kira says, smiling at them.
“Wait, you guys actually want us here?” Stiles sounds confused, even to his own ears.
“Well seeing as you’re Derek’s Mate and it’s obvious that if we keep the two of you apart any longer it might actually kill both of you, it makes sense.” Lydia figures out.
“Mate? What’s a Mate? You used that word before.” Stiles points out and Lydia holds up her hands up and looks at Derek.
“Your Mate, you explain it.” Lydia tells him and ushers the rest of the pack out of the house so they can talk privately.
“It means that you’re mine, forever. I’m never going to want to let you go.” Derek explains quietly and Stiles stays silent.
“That’s what I said before I told Lydia I had to go find you. That you’re mine, I felt it when I gave you my necklace. The spark, the power, when we touched. It could rival my electric current and that’s saying something.” Stiles runs his hand over Derek’s and smiles.
“You’re okay with it?” Derek blinks at him and Stiles nods eagerly.
“I traveled all this way and almost got murdered several times by nasty octomaids just to get to you.” Stiles affirms.
“Thought you told me to not believe everything I see in movies?” Derek ducks down to kiss a mole on the back of Stiles’ neck.
“The evil sea witch may be the only part that Disney got right.” Stiles confesses and Derek nuzzles his ear.
“What are we gonna do when your mom gets here?” Derek asks, getting it out of the way.
“I don’t know, but right now, I don’t care. I’ve got you and that’s all I want. I’ve been looking for you ever since you were born, Derek Hale.”
“And you finally found me.” Derek kisses him on the lips and Stiles’ heart flips in his chest.
“I love you.” Stiles says when they pull away.
“I love you too, Nathraichean. I love you, too.” Derek says sweetly back and Stiles smiles with happiness for the first time in centuries.