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A Symphony Made In Red

Chapter Text

 

Stiles hated being right. As he often was. In this case, it came to bite him in the ass. As it often did. When he and Lydia went on the run, they had no real destination in mind. Just getting away from their friends and family as quickly as possible. What they were now…They couldn’t be around humans. Not anymore.
   

   When the attack happened, it was a normal, average day. They were on a summer camping trip. Celebrating their graduation from high school. Lydia and Stiles had tied for valedictorian. Despite Stiles’ natural spastic attention span, he was rather good at retaining information. Lydia, even more so.
    

   When it was finally decided, the school let them do a speech together. It went off without a hitch. They celebrated in style. Of sorts. There was an open spot in the woods. Lydia brought the wine. Stiles brought the whiskey. Along with a few of their friends. It was fun. Until it wasn’t.
    

   The creature came out of nowhere. And it left just as quickly as it came. It tore through them as if they were made of paper. Looking back, the only reason that Stiles and Lydia had survived as sheer luck. Everyone else was slaughtered. And that was the appropriate way to describe it.
   

   The next morning, when he woke up, Stiles saw the wreckage that awaited him. Six bodies lay strewn across the campgrounds. In various states of mutilation. Lydia was already staggering around. Breathing short and sharp. As if trying to stave of the impending panic attack. It came when she tripped over the body of her best friend.
    

   Stiles, being the son of a cop, has already seen his fair share of violence. And was better to process it better. That didn’t make the scene any less horrifying. At some point, he managed to find his phone and call his dad. By some miracle, there was service. A literal fleet of police cruisers and ambulances arrived within minutes.
    

   They went through the process of examination. Determining the injuries that they had sustained. The EMT’s had determined that it was some manner of animal. With large fangs and claws. Stiles knew otherwise. But he didn’t want to say.
    

   It moved like a man. On two legs with blinding speed. Though it roared like a beast, it moved otherwise. A terrifying thought. Six people were dead. And the police were ready to blame a goddamn mountain lion. Stiles did his best to keep from laughing.
    

   At the hospital, he and Lydia were better examined. Seeing if there were any deeper injuries. They were scanned, prodded, and questioned. At the end, it was determined that they had both a significant amount of blood. They received transfusions. Which, looking back, staved off the start of what was happening to them.
   

   It started with the noises. Small little buzzings at the edges of the room. Tiny clicks at the very boundaries of his hearing. The whole thing was maddening. Driving Stiles to the point of insanity. After several days, he learned that was he was hearing, was the sound of machines and electricity.
   

   He could quite literally hear the humming of power currents around him. Through the walls, in lay the wires. Where the driving sounds were coming from. Lydia was experiencing a similar effect. But worse than that, was the hunger.
     

   Nothing satisfied him. No matter how much he ate, his stomach still rumbled. In fact, food seemed to make him sick. He always felt queasy. Whether it was an apple or a burger. Nothing, nothing satisfied his hunger. It went on for the better part of a week. Then, in a horrible realization, he came to know what he had been craving.
     

   There was a warm, undulating pulse. A siren call that came to him in the night. Drawing him to the source. His feet moved of their own accord. Taking him to where his stomach was drawn. Which so happened to be his father's room. Where he lay sleeping. Unaware to the rest of the world.
    

   Stiles was nearly to his neck when reality came crashing back into him like a sack of bricks. He leapt from the room. Taking flight back to his bathroom. Locking the door behind him. His heart pounded in his chest. Hammering away at his rib cage. Threatening to burst like a bad sci-fi movie.
     

   When he looked in the mirror, the first thing he noticed was his eyes. While normally they were a whiskey-amber, now....They were pitch, unyielding black. The color of a moonless midnight. A terrible, awful color that seemed to lead to the deepest depths of hell.
   

   The second thing he noticed, was his fangs. At first, the sensation wasn't noticeable. But as he stared at the unnatural points of his teeth, he felt their odd presence. A thrum beneath his gums. Aching to tear and render living flesh. To bite and rip. He had very nearly killed his father.
     

   There was only one thought that ran through Stiles' mind. Run. Run far and fast. As quickly as his legs would take him. Far away from his father and every other person that was in danger from this sick hunger he found himself plagued with. Only, as it turned out, he wasn't going to be running alone.
    

   Lydia called him just as he had finished packing. Crying ugly sounding tears. From what he could gather, she had faced a similar hunger. A similar torment. And rather than harm her parents, she instead ate her dog. There was very little left of Prada. And in that moment, Stiles knew that the both of them couldn't stay.
     

   Thankfully, the Jeep didn't cause any issues in their departure. And Lydia didn't seem to mind riding in the thing. Her usual snobishness replaced by abject fear. Fear of hurting someone. Hurting someone that she loved. Stiles felt the same. Every single person that they knew, and even the ones the didn't, were at risk.  And they could never return.
    

   The first town they stop in, Stiles knows better that to think that they can stay for long. His father would be awake in a few hours. And when he found both the Jeep and his son gone, the search would be on for the both of them. What little cash they had needed to be preserved. Thankfully, Lydia didn't mine sleeping in the back.
    

   By some minor grace, one of them had thought to bring pillows and a blanket. The setup was not ideal, but they weren't near anyone. Parked away from the heavier traffic areas. And less likely to be spotted. That window of time would be short. But they needed rest. After all, they had been a hair's length away from committing murder.
   

   There really wasn't anything else to do but sleep. Sleep and plan. They had limited funds and no way to get any more. Add that to the fact that they were now monsters, and Stiles had next to know ideas about what to do next. In short, they were screwed.
    

   When morning came, Lydia took the wheel so that Stiles could get a few hours of rest. The flow of morning trafffic allowed them to hide in plain sight. Lessening their chances of discovery. Stiles knew that those chances increased as the clock ticked on. While both legal adults, he was the son of a sheriff. And Lydia's parents were more than affluent. They had their own resources to use.
     

   By the next town, the both of them were nearly mad with hunger. Stiles could feel his fangs pulsing at from behind his gums. Itching, begging to be set free. If either one of them so much came with a hundred feet of another human...Stiles tried not to think about it.
     

   In the end, once night fell, and the shroud of darkness covered the streets, they set off to find something to eat. There were plenty of animals that roamed around the city limits. According to Lydia, Prada tasted like dirt. But, it staved off the hunger in a small way. Something was better than nothing. At this point, Stiles was more than willing to tear into a raccoon. Of which he did several times. Lydia was right. Animal blood did taste like dirt.
    

   They hunted as quickly and as quietly as they could. Doing their best to avoid trouble. But in fact, trouble found them. In that of a group of homeless men. Disoriented and frightened, they shouted obscenities at the pair. And the raccoons and other little creatures weren't nearly enough to dull their terrible hunger.
    

   Lydia was the first to lunge leaping atop the closest man. Stiles managed to grab her before she could tear the man's head off. Though the damage was done. The scent of blood was in the air. Permeating it with a tantalizing sweetness that Stiles couldn't resist. The man could no longer defend himself. The others were fair game.
    

   By some miracle, of which Stiles still thought about, they kept from killing any of them. How, he didn't know. But when they left, all their heartbeats could be heard in the still night air. Weak, but alive. They would live. In what manner, Stiles didn't know. But they were already out of time.
     

   By the end of the week, their were running on pennies. With the fuel light on in the Jeep, they had no choice but to walk. It was an awful thing. It gave them plenty of time to think about the men that they had attacked. Whether or not they were still alive. And what would happen the next time one of them lost control.
    

   Neither of them spoke about it. Still too fresh in the mind. But they knew the truth. Fresh, human blood is what they had been craving. And it was the only thing that would slate their hunger. It lasted for several days. Far better than any woodland creatures they happened to come across. But at this point, the both of them were starving.
    

   Perhaps that's why Stiles didn't notice it. Not at first. The fain, almost untraceable itching behind his teeth. A dreadful feeling that was telling him one thing and one thing only. Run. Run far away from where they were. There was danger here. Danger that threatened even monsters. Shame he didn't listen.
     

   When the first howl broke through the air, it seemed a dream. Stiles knew that there were no wolves in California. But that didn't seem to be the case now. Or at the very least, these weren't your average wolves. Which was made apparent when the first of them broke through the tree line.
   

     It stood well above Stiles' head. Far larger than any natural wolf that could ever occur in the forests of California. It's fur was sandy brown. Wisp like strands being gentle tossed by a breeze that didn't belong. Three more, just as large, followed its footsteps. Appearing from behind the dense curtain of greenery.
   

    But that was not the terrifying part. Truly, that was the wolf that came out last. Easily twice the size of the others, it stood at the front. Fangs barred in aggression. Eyes burning a flaring, faltering red. Stiles' mouth watered at the sight. Which was odd, given that they were most likely about to die.
     

   He barely had time to tell Lydia to run before the big on charged.

                             (*)(*)(*)

Isaac's howl broke through the night like a shot. Alerting the others of what he had found. Something different. Something that may or not be a danger. Derek howled back. Signaling the others to follow and meet at the source. He hoped it was something minor. His pack was new and young and foolish. He didn't need any deaths on his hands.
   

   The pack ran and converged at the edge of the tree line. And that’s when the smell hit him. Derek understood why Isaac was so concerned. The scent of a predator. Sharp, with an edge of musk that sent Derek’s hackles, as well as the others, straight up. When they broke through and found the source, it only made sense.
    

   There were two of them. No more than nineteen. And that was a compliment. Slightly disheveled. But very much aware that they had been surrounded. The male stood at the front. With the female crouched behind him. Almost as if she was afraid. Which made no sense. Creatures like this didn’t know fear. Like werewolves, they were at the top of the supernatural food chain.
    

   Whatever they were, it certainly wasn’t human. The male’s eyes were blacker than the deepest pits of hell. Fangs bared as his chest rose and fell with heavy breaths. They had been running. From someone or something. More so, and most of all now that Derek noticed it, there was the scent of blood coming off the both of them.
    

   Through the scents of the forest, of green things and subtle clear water, there was blood. Human blood at that. And it was recent. Derek didn’t know whether or not they had killed someone. Or if there was some other scenario that ended with them being covered in the scent. But it wasn’t a reassurance.
     

   The male crouched even lower, readying to attack. The female cowered away. Like a frightened puppy. Derek didn’t believe the act for a second. Whatever these two were, it was dangerous. And while they may not have done anyone harm in the territory, they had still violated its boundaries.
    

   He gave the order to charge just as the male told his companion to run. She was faster than she looked nimble frame becoming a blur in the stillness of the night. Heading towards the opposite side of the clearing. Attempting to vanish within the trees. Derek knew that she was the faster of the two based on how she moved.
    

   Erica was the fastest of their group. Naturally, she gave chase. She knew that Derek wanted them alive and intact. But a little mangaling was allowed. Erica didn’t get the chance. The male, while not as fast as the female, was still quick. He slammed his body into Erica’s side. Sending her carrening across the clearing. A small yelp shot out as she hit the dirt.
     

   Derek didn’t hear any bones break, so he knew she was fine. But his wolf was enraged that one of his pack had been hurt. Boyd, even more so. As Erica’s mate, he was naturally protective over her. Seeing her hurt sent him flying towards the male. Derek didn’t even bother trying to restrain his beta.
     

   Jackson and Isaac tried to curl around the male to reach the female. Only for the former to leap into the air, landing just shy of Isaac. Who was dealt a swift kick in the leg. Sending him down and crying out in pain. Jackson attempted to latch on to the male’s arm with his teeth. But the creature was too quick.
    

   He leapt just out of reach. Leaving Jackson with a sharp uppercut that sent him down as well. That’s when Boyd found his opening. Tackling the male to the ground. Pinning him where he lay. The male, for what he was worth, did not act like he was afraid. Or even concerned with a fully shifted werewolf being atop of him.
    

   Boyd, however, was still enraged at Erica being thrown across the clearing. And let his guard down in that anger. Even though it was only a moment, it was careless. And the male was able to kick the wolf away. This time there was a broken bone. Most likely one in his leg. Boyd was out of this fight.

     Derek realized that he had underestimated the creature. Its determination and desperation was far greater than he thought. And it allowed him to fight a pack of werewolves single handedly. If only long enough for the female to escape. He knew that he was going to have to fight the creature himself.
     

   But as he got closer, there was another scent that came across the wing. Amongst the blood and the howling and the fighting, none of them had noticed it. Pain. Pure, undiluted pain. It came off the male in waves. While Derek could see not outward signs of injury, the man reeked of agony. It was enough to give him pause.
    

   Everyone knew a wounded animal was at its most dangerous. That would explain why he was able to move as he did. Fending off assaults from four adult werewolves simultaneously. This was a more dangerous situation. Derek hadn’t paid enough attention. And he had put his pack at risk. There was no real way to resolve this without someone else getting hurt.
    

   Boyd already had a broken bone somewhere in his leg. While relatively minor, it was enough to make him vulnerable. Against a high class supernatural predator running on pure desperation…That was a risk that Derek wasn’t going to take. So, he did the only thing he could think of.
    

   Shifting back into human form while which, while still deadly, would put him at a disadvantage. But he couldn’t speak in this form. And he needed to find another solution to this before someone died. So, he allowed the wolf to recede. Morphing his shape back to that of a man. Standing on two legs, naked mind you, before the creature.
 
“What business do you have on my land?” he asked with a blunt tone.
     

   “Just passing through.” The creature quipped.

“You should’ve known better. This territory is occupied and you and your companion knew that.”
    

   “Dude, I was human up until a few weeks ago. I had no idea any of this shit even existed.”

Derek didn’t detect a lie. The man’s heart was stable. Despite being in a brawl with a pack of wolves just not too long ago. The rest of the pack was awaiting orders. Trying their best to restrain themselves from attacking while the creature was distracted. Derek appreciated it. And he knew what to do next.

“Erica, get Boyd back to the house. Jackson, make sure the female doesn’t circle back around and attack them. Isaac, call Deaton and tell him to get here. You, follow me. As of now, your under the jurisdiction of the Hale pack.”

 

   The young man didn’t bother to offer any words of resistance. Nor did he try and flee. Derek knew, after all this, he was tired. Tired and in pain. He had no other real option but to trust him. Derek could only hope that trust was enough to keep him from attacking again. Oh well, they had survived worse.

Chapter Text

There was a very naked man standing in front of Stiles. A very, hot naked man. One who also happened to be, what Stiles was assuming, was a werewolf. At least, that’s the theory that he was going with. One minute, he was a giant wolf. Then, he was a man. It only made sense. As much sense could be made given the circumstances.

    He and Lydia had been turned into something that could only survive by feeding on human blood. At this point, anything was game. If nothing else, they were alive and intact. Lydia managed to get away. Although the leader had sent one of the wolves to follow her. Stiles pitied the poor bastard.

     There were very few men who could stand toe to toe with Lydia. Now, given what they were and how they could move and fight…Stiles could only hope that she didn’t kill the guy. That would complicate things for Stiles. He’d broken the leg of one of his attackers. That was enough of an upset.

     While Stiles made a mental note to apologize to the wolf later, he also took in the better part of his surroundings. The forest became far denser as he went in. The smell of damp, and green and earthy rot intensified. Drowning out the thundering smell of the wolf’s blood. Which he was grateful for.

     It was an odd sort of smell. While not that different from a human’s, there was a strange edge to it. Stiles knew he could feed from one of them. But every instinct in him said that attempting to do so would most likely end in a swift and painful dismemberment. So, he filed that that thought to the back of his head.

     As they approached the wolf’s house, their scent intensified. And with it, Stiles’ urge to run. Out of the frying pan and into the fire. The itching behind his teeth became unbearable. His fangs drew themselves out without his permission. Ever muscle in his body was geared and ready for a fight. Even though he just got out of one. Even though he was starving.

    The big wolf disappeared. Presumably to find some manner of clothes. Stiles liked to think that they didn’t run around all day naked. That being said, it was still a nice thought to have. Even with the present circumstances ending with him in a house full of werewolves. Which bode well for absolutely no one.

     The house itself was not overly impressive, nor ornate. Simple brown and cream walls. With functional, albeit durable looking furniture. It was given as minimal a thought as possible. Without actually being minimalism. There was a part of him that appreciated it.

     Even tired, hungry, and nearly dead on his feet, Stiles still had the capacity to admire decorum. How frustratingly funny he found it. He and Lydia had been on the run for the better part of a month. Leaving the entirety of their old lives behind. And with it, worrying family and friends. There was no going back for them. But now, in the midst of giant wolves, they were stuck. And it wouldn’t be long before someone put the pieces together.

     The big wolf returns. Fully dressed and no less brooding. Before meeting the man, Stiles didn’t know of anyone who could judge another just by using their eyebrows. It was quite an astonishing feat. The look on his face was far from graceful. And the young man had no delusions that he was actually welcome in this house.

     The others arrived shortly after the big one. Thankfully, clothed and with slightly less murderous looks in their eyes. The female was named Erica. Her, what Stiles was assuming her boyfriend, was Boyd. The one whose leg he had broken. The third one was Isaac. Tall, slender, and for some reason wearing a goddamn scarf. They address the big one, who Stiles learns is Derek. Assuring him that they were safe.

     The absurdity of it nearly drove Stiles to the brink of insanity. If he wasn’t there already. That being said, they weren’t trying to kill him. That, if nothing else, was a bonus. Whether or not they kept the sentiment was to be determined. At this point, Stiles would cling to what remained of his life was long as possible. But in the back of his mind, he knew that if it came to another fight, he would die. And quickly at that.

      The only real thought he had in his head was what his father would do if that were the case. They had enough of a hard time dealing with his mother’s death. Sending the good sheriff into a downward spiral of despair and whiskey. And a son who the world couldn’t help. With little else to do but cry.

     He thought of Scott. His only friend in the world. Goofy, slack-jawed, asthmatic Scott. Melissa to. The woman who was his mother as best as she could be. Being a single parent working long nights in an ER was hard enough. Taking in another child on top of that helped nothing.

     By now the three of them were probably wondering where Stiles and Lydia were. If they were okay. Or even alive. Desperately searching for answers that, if Stiles had his way, they would never receive. He was a monster now. Living in a world he didn’t know or understand. Currently surrounded by other monsters. At least he had some decent company.

       They said and did nothing. But Stiles did notice that there was never a moment where one of them didn’t have their eyes on him. This pack of wolves was certainly vigilant. And had no intention of letting Stiles leave. Or even have a moment of privacy. They had seen what he could do when desperate and afraid. That was more than enough to put them on alert.

      The silence was deafening. In that he could hear each and every one of their heartbeats. Feel the blood pumping through them. He was starving. Truly and utterly starving. Insides dried and crumbling. The desire to bite into something nearly overwhelming. Only the innate sense of self-preservation kept him from doing so.

    He needed something. Something, anything that could distract the animal thing inside him.

     After he and Lydia nearly slaughtered a group of homeless men, Stiles had made a point to steer as far away from humans as possible. Lest the same thing happened again. They had hunted animals. And even when they were lucky enough to find enough to have any semblance of being full, it wasn’t enough. Whatever they were now, it didn’t want animal blood. It didn’t want something so small and insignificant.

     Even though the wolves smelled dangerous, and more like a predator than prey, it was getting to the point that he was desperate. That, pushed past that point, he knew that he would attack one of them. At the first opportunity he could find, he would have to run. Run far and fast. Away from them. Away from civilization. He could only hope that he could snag Lydia along the way. There was no part of him that would willing leave her here. Surrounded by wolves.

     It was the two of them now, whatever they were. Being in a pack of wolves wasn’t going to work. Wasn’t a viable plan for anything that could allow them to survive. Neither would be living anywhere near humans. They would have to live alone. There was no other way.

     But there was no opening. The wolves were relaxed and doing various activities. Erica and Boyd were tangled together on the couch, watching some nameless movie. Isaac is playing what sounds like Candy Crush. Derek was reading a book. They were all occupied. That didn’t mean they weren’t paying attention.

     Erica kept looking out at the corner of her eyes. Boyd keeping one ear trained in his direction. Making sure that he could hear any strange movements. Isaac wasn’t even subtle. He looked up from his phone every sixty seconds. Staring straight at Stiles. Eyes placid, but firm. Derek didn’t even bother. But Stiles knew that he was well aware of the other man’s movements.

     Derek seemed to be the leader of the pack. They orbited around him. Never straying too far from him. The radius seemed to be about twenty feet. Around visual, Stiles thought. There was a predator in their house. And they weren’t going to drop their guard for a single moment. Which meant that Stiles had to earn, in some way their trust. Which he had no idea how he was going to do.

    He was just trying to find something when one of the wolves phones chimed. They had received a message. Isaac was the one to hop off the couch. He strode across the room. Stopping in front of Stiles. Eye to eye. They were of equal height. Which was an odd thing to think about at the moment.

 

“Jackson says your friend won’t come back. But she’s not trying to run anymore. She wants us to know if you’re alive.”

 

That was…Unexpected. Stiles had never thought, for a single moment, that Lydia would actually quit running. She was smarter than that. She knew that she was outnumbered and outgunned. The Lydia that Stiles knew would’ve tried to slip away. Hiding away, trying to formulate a plan that would allow her to get him back. Stopping. There was something going on. Something that she had come up with.

   

“Call your other wolf and put her on the phone.”

 

Isaac’s placid eyes quivered for a moment. There was the briefest sliver of anger. A small, nearly untraceable glimmer of anger. He didn’t like being given an order from the predator in his home. Derek was there leader. He was the one that gave them commands. Not the freak running, covered in the scent of blood.

 

“Please.”

 

Isaac seemed to understand that Stiles was sincere. He wasn’t trying to be forceful. Nor was he trying to be intimidating. He was trying to ensure the safety of his friend. That’s what he wanted more than anything. That’s why he had allowed himself to be taken back to this den of wolves in the first place. He wanted to make sure. Lydia wasn’t going to go anywhere near here without any kind of assurance that they would be safe. As safe as they could get.

     Isaac continues to glare at him, ever so slightly. But he dialed the number and waited. It rang four times before an agitated voice on the other end answered. He gave Isaac a verbal lashing like Stiles had never heard. The other wolf simply held his phone away from his ear. Face relaxed with indifference. When Jackson, now that Stiles knew his name, finally finished his rant. Breathing heavily as he was out of breath from his angry rant.

     Isaac told him, rather sharply, now that he was annoyed, to put the female on the phone. Jackson mumbles something unintelligible. Possibly a curse. Or several, strung together. It was hard to tell. There was a brief moment. And a shuffling sound on the other end. Then, Isaac hands him the phone.

 

“Lydia?” Stiles asks. There is a beat of silence. Then, his friend answers. In typical Lydia fashion.

    “You’re an idiot.

“Good to know that my sacrifice was worth it.” He said exasperated.

     “Never assume that I need you to save me. Now, have they hurt you?”

“No. But they aren’t going to let me leave either. That much I know.”

 

The statement was obvious and there was nothing to be misunderstood. Lydia was trying to get facts. She couldn’t come up with a plan unless she had information. And that wasn’t going to be easy. Given that she wasn’t going to walk right into the wolves den outright. So, she’d have to make do.

 

“Put the big one on the phone.”

 

Stiles didn’t hesitate to hold the phone out towards Derek. Who walked over smoothly. Taking it from him speaking before he was even finished placing to his ear. Stiles couldn’t quite make out what they were talking about. Derek only answered questions with yes or no. And made sure that he turned away from Stiles. Ensuring that the conversation stayed private.

     It went on for nearly ten minutes. All that time, Derek only gave answers of yes or know. Lydia was keeping the questions simple and concise. Time was of the essence. And she wasn’t going to waste what little of it she had. That, Stiles knew for sure. It was only an issue of what she could get. And how she could use it.

     Stiles knew that Derek wasn’t going to tolerate this for much longer. He could tell by the vein beginning to rise in the man’s forehead. This conversation had a minute left, at best. Stiles could only hope that Lydia had enough information to do something. Anything. He knew it was over when Derek answered with his first actual sentence.

 

“I’ll call you back after our emissary sees him. Stay with Jackson until then. Leave or hurt him, and I can’t guarantee the safety of your friend.”

 

Derek pressed the end call button on the phone. Cutting Stiles off from Lydia. He was alone again. In a den full of wolves. With no chance of escape. Or perhaps, even survival. Hope, it seemed, was slim and fading fast. But there was one thing that he had learned. Derek wasn’t brutish or cruel. He made a reasonable demand that Lydia not harm or run from Jackson.

     That, in of itself, was a meaningful statement. He could’ve threatened Stiles far more extensively. Or outright harmed him to begin with. But, he made an assurance that Stiles would remain safe. So long as she complied. That, he could work with. And, there was something else that Stiles had learned. Something he could use to segway into Derek and his pack.

 

“What’ an emissary?” Stiles asked.

 

The entirety of the wolves stilled at his question. Eyes all snapping towards him. Mouths taught and thin. It was just a moment, but Stiles could see that they all wanted to rip him in half. They didn’t want to answer any questions. That would give them away. Reveal something that he could use. More than he already had. It wasn’t likely to happen. Given how tense they all were. But Derek, surprisingly, answered.

 

“He is our human connection. A sort of guide that helps us balance the man and the wolf. As well as communicate with other packs. If needed.”

 

The answer itself would’ve been useful. Had Derek not said one fateful word. Human. Human. Human meant fresh, warm blood. Human meant food. Human meant feeding. Stiles’ fangs dropped before he could even think. The intense stinging snapped him to his senses long enough to get his legs moving. He ran.

     Erica was the fastest. She tackled him, much like he did her in the clearing, straight to the ground. Her knee firmly planted in the back of his head. Boyd, or what he assumed was Boyd, kept his hands restrained. He was going nowhere. Not unless he tore his way out. Ripping through the two wolves currently holding him down. Which would lead to his immediate death.

     The other option was wait until this emissary fellow showed up and he went straight for his throat. Killing him within seconds. Which would also lead to his death. There was no good option here. He was going to die either way. Leaving Lydia alone and at the mercy of Jackson and the rest of the wolves. No matter how hard he tried, he was hungry. So hungry that he barely had the mental function to run.

      The level of desperation Stiles now found himself at was well beyond dangerous. Had Erica not been as quick as she was, one of the wolves would’ve already been dead. Derek, however, seemed undisturbed by this. At least, he wasn’t angry. More annoyed than anything else.

 

“Care to explain that little stunt?” He asked.

     “I don’t won’t tonight to be the one where I became a murderer.”

“And why would you murder our emissary?” Isaac interrupted.

     “It’s….Whatever I am, humans are food now. That’s why Lydia and I crave. And we lost control once.”

“So you have killed before.”

 

It wasn’t a question. It wasn’t an accusation. It was a statement. Derek assumed that Stiles and Lydia had already killed someone. And they were almost right. That group of homeless men had been afraid. Any person would’ve been. Seeing two people savagely tearing into little woodland creatures. The carcasses of their brethren laying in a heap on the ground. Stiles wasn’t disputing that. Not at all.

 

“Not killed. But we did attack them. We were starving. Living off squirrels and raccoons was barely keeping us alive. We…We lost it. But we didn’t kill them.”

     “And you’re afraid that when our emissary gets here, you’ll lose control again and attack him.” Derek asked,

“Yes. That’s why I tried to run.”

 

The others, much to Stiles misfortune, didn’t seem to believe him. But Derek, Derek paused. As if contemplating what to do next. Which happened to be leaving the room, and heading down a flight of stairs towards what Stiles knew to be the basement. When the wolf returned, he was carrying a set of chains and locks. Well, that was unexpected. If nothing else, Stiles would still be alive. That he could work with. What came next, he didn’t know. But he could only hope. That was the only thing he had left.

    Derek orders Erica and Boyd to release him, allowing him to sit up. Derek put the other man’s hands behind his back. Chaining them together. Then, wrapping his legs together, chaining them as well. He was effectively restrained. With no chance of getting free. He was hungry. And desperate. Hell, he was borderline savage. But there was no way that he could break solid steel. At least, he thought he couldn’t. There wasn’t much time to think about it. Because the front door opened, allowing a sweet, succulent scent to pour into the house. It was time to see if tonight was the night where Stiles died.

Chapter Text

Derek looked at the young man he had bound in chains and wondered just what the hell his life had become. He had only been an alpha for a little over a year. And in that time, he had learned a few things. One, his parents had more faith in him that they should’ve have. His mother had passed her alpha status to Laura. His father did the same, but to Derek. Leaving the two of them as alphas of the Hale pack. With their parents retiring.

     They now acted as consultants to other packs. Offering their advice and wisdom to the shifters that needed it the most. Usually on the east coast. Always far away, but never out of touch. This left Laura and Derek to lead their prospective packs in their own way. Though it was always in the way of the Hales.

     Laura took over the betas in the family. Derek, having gone independent, formed his own pack from the locals of Beacon Hills. Isaac, Erica, and Boyd were the best choices he could find. Given the circumstances. They fit the role of wolves perfectly. Almost as if they had been born rather than bitten. There was little issues rather than their control. That didn’t mean things were easy.

     Laura, for some godforsaken reason, had moved to South America with Cora. Taking the family with them. They were heading there to live for the next two years. A pack of untouched wolves had been discovered through deforestation in the Amazon. And they had attacked the workers. Her pack was one of three that were heading out to make contact. To ensure that the natives stayed secret and away from human eyes.

    Derek understood her choice to do so. But it left him to defend their family territory. With new pack of wolves that were essentially pups. There was no other way to put it. So far, there hadn’t been any real issues. The surrounding alphas new full and well the lineage of the Hales. And weren’t foolish enough to try and launch any kind of attack. Not here. Not so soon after Laura’s departure to the Amazon. Derek had been on guard ever since. And left no holes in his patrol. The only exception being this Stiles kid and his friend, Lydia.

     The scent of the two of them had been confusing. His wolf didn’t know what to make of it. They looked human. But that’s where the similarities ended. They moved in ways that no human could. Even under extraordinary circumstances. That, plus the black eyes and fangs. And according to Stiles, the intense, ungodly craving for human blood. There was no mistaking the fact that they weren’t human. But they weren’t shifters either.

      There was no sign that they had the capabilities. The eyes and fangs meant they were supernaturals. But not like Derek and the others. He didn’t know what they were. Only that they were dangerous. Stiles was fast, and desperate. As given example by how he fought. Lydia, was smart. Derek could gauge that from the brief conversation that they had over the phone.

      Her questions were simple. But she knew what to ask to get information that she could find useful. Their numbers. Their proximity. The location of their house. Derek, much to his own dismay, gave her truthful answers. She was still with Jackson. And at any moment, could launch an attack if she thought Stiles was in danger. With no one to back them him up, Jackson was at risk.

     While Stiles was the stronger and more dexterous of the two, Lydia was quicker. And in a one on one fight, that could mean the difference between life and death. Derek wasn’t willing to put his betas at risk. Not now, not ever. He had taken them in when they needed a place where humans couldn’t provide. Particularly Jackson. He was still adjusting the most out of all of them.

     Lydia demanded that she see Stiles in person. Derek had to refuse that. It would’ve given her the chance to plan an ambush. Or harm Jackson as leverage. There were any number of situations that could go wrong. Derek wasn’t going to risk it. He wanted Deaton to see Stiles first. And get as much information as they could. Learn their weaknesses and what could be used against them.

     All they had right now was that they were fast, strong, and desperate. Most of all, that they fed on blood. Both animal and human. Derek could smell it on them when he brought Stiles into the house. There was more animal than human. But there was human nonetheless. According to Stiles, they had attacked a group of people. But had left them alive.

     Derek could not detect any lies in the young man’s heartbeat. Even when captive and restrained, his heart was even. And it was the reason for running that gave Derek pause. Stiles didn’t want to stay when he learned that Deaton was human. That if Deaton came here, he wouldn’t be able to restrain himself. There was genuine grief and borderline madness in the young man’s voice.

     It’s probably the only reason that he hadn’t killed him outright yet. His wolf didn’t like whatever he and Lydia were. They were predators, like wolves. Ones that had already shown great skill in intelligence and sheer, brute force. But the man had seen that, while they were indeed predators, they were also children. In reality, it was likely that they weren’t much younger than Isaac, the packs youngest member at eighteen. While the wolf may not have liked them, the man felt sorry for them.

    They were running. Running far and fast from the lives that they had known. More than likely, because of the threat they had now posed to their human friends and family. What had been loved ones, were now a source of food. And while they had become predators of an unknown kind, and craved blood, they couldn’t bring themselves to stay. They had nowhere to go. And no one to go to.

      Derek didn’t know how long they had been on the run from their old lives. He did know that they had been running long enough to be barely able to move. More so out of instinct than anything. Desperate and starving. Still trying to stay as far away as they could from humans and society in general. They had failed when the group of people happened across them. According to Stiles, they had indeed attacked them and fed from them. But had left them alive.

     There was no lie that Derek could detect. And he indeed felt sorry for him. Even still, he wasn’t going to risk it. Deaton would know what they were, and what the best route to take was. Hopefully, it was something peaceful. Something that wouldn’t result in their deaths. Derek could only hope.

     Stiles was restrained. Bound in a series of chains. Even enraged and half feral, Derek would’ve had a hard time breaking out of them. And he was an alpha werewolf. Stiles was a starving, whatever he was. Surrounded by a pack of young, healthy werewolves. He wasn’t going anywhere. He wasn’t going to be able to attack anyone. Derek hoped at least.

    When Deaton finally arrived, the change in Stiles was immediate and borderline violent. His eyes bleed into black. Fangs dropping into a snarling mouth twisted in a sick mixture of rage and bloodlust. He wasn’t kidding when he had said that he wouldn’t be able to control himself. If it weren’t for the chains, there was no doubt that he would’ve lunged straight for the man.

     Deaton, while composed, did show some manner of shock. Though he said nothing as he approached. Slowly and surely. As if there wasn’t a dangerous, savage supernatural merely a few feet from him. It was astonishing how placid the man remained as he got closer. Derek was both grateful and slightly terrified at the fact.

 

“I had thought that there was some manner of exaggeration. But apparently, that wasn’t the case.” The man said taking a closer look at Stiles. He was moving to close for Derek’s comfort. So he placed a hand on the man’s chest. Stopping him before he could endanger himself.

     The emissary tilts his head, ever so slight. Like a curious little cat who had found a mouse. It was oddly amusing. And slightly concerning. Deaton was the type who only spoke when needed. Or he felt necessary. It infuriated Derek to no end sometimes. The vague way he carried himself. Not here. Not there. Sometimes, the alpha wondered if he had any real intention of ever being a proper emissary. Or  if he there was another motive he had in mind.

     The man had served Derek’s parents for the better part of two decades. And he had served them well. Given them countless pieces of advice and wisdom in many different matters. Always in the same, aloof manner. Keeping little bits and pieces to himself. Leaving the rest of the pack to interpret what he had given them to work with.

     In this situation, there wasn’t going to be room for any manner of interpretation in the matter at hand. Derek needed to know what Stiles was. And Deaton had apparently come well equipped with the tools to do so. He extracted several vials from his bag. Placing them out in no particular order. Derek recognized wolfsbane and mountain ash. Mistletoe and nightshade. Other than that, whatever it was, Deaton had decided to keep to himself.

      He studied the vials wordlessly. As if making some manner of decision. Perhaps which one to use first. Or which one would be the least threatening. With the lowest possible chance of creating a lethal reaction to whatever Stiles was. It certainly wouldn’t help anything if they had accidentally killed him.

 

“I would like to address him, if you don’t mind.”

    “He’s bound, but still dangerous. I’d keep you distance.” Derek suggested.

“Your advice is duly noted.”

 

Deaton approached the young man. Seemingly unconcerned with his own continued existence. Which was unfortunate. Because Stiles pulled hard enough on the chains to make them creek. For a single, terrifying moment, Derek actually thought the guy was going to break them. The moment passed. And Stiles settled as best he could. Still breathing heavily. Or trying not to breath at all. Predators such as him relied on scent to hunt. No doubt Deaton being this close was bringing him to the brink of madness.

 

“Hello, my name is Alan Deaton. I would like to ask you a few questions.”

     “The name’s Stiles. I’d say pleasure to meet you, but I’m in a lot of pain. And trying really hard not to rip your head open.” The young man said with a fleck of humor. Derek admired the young man’s determination to stay as human as possible. Given the current circumstances. He really was trying.

“I’d say it was lovely to meet you. But your distress deems otherwise. Can you tell me the source of your pain?”

     “I’m hungry.”

 

It was a plain and unremarkable answer. But one that was telling all the same. Whatever the thing Stiles had been turned into didn’t like being hungry. In fact, it seemed, for all intents and purposes, that it reacted to hunger by inducing pain. A pain that persisted and grew with each passing day. So much that he would either be forced to feed. Or suffer a complete and utter mental breakdown.

     Derek knew hunger. In different ways. The wolf, the other side of him, had needs the man did not. The wolf needed to shift. To run. To hunt. But most of all, especially as an alpha, the wolf needed a pack. To be surrounded and bonded to other wolves. To feel the deep, unyielding sense of companionship that only pack could provide.

     Stiles, whatever he was, seemed to be a solitary creature. Apart from Lydia. There was very little chance that creatures like this traveled or lived in groups. There was no social structure that would allow it. Wolves had an alpha. A leader. A head that the rest followed through submission and respect.

     Stiles, much like an alpha would, didn’t submit to anything but himself. And that involved his hunger. A need to subsist  and survive. The ultimate instinct of any lifeform. Of any creature human, wolf, or otherwise. Live. Above all else, live.

 

“Yes, well. That does answer a few more questions. Derek said that your hunger is only truly slated by human blood. If that is the case, how have you survived this long?” Deaton asked.

     “Small woodland creatures. A few deer here and there. Whatever we could find that wasn’t a person. Usually at night, away from any people. Less risk that way.”

“I see. Is the drive to hunt at night a choice? Or is there something else? An instinct perhaps, one that inherently tells you to avoid the daylight when searching for a food source?”

      “Don’t know. Just seemed like the smart thing to do at the time.” Stiles answered.

 

Deaton didn’t ask another question. Instead, he began using the contents of the vials he had brought with him. As Derek expected, the wolfsbane and nightshade did nothing. Nor did the mistletoe. But the next vial, a thing of glimmering powder, had a somewhat visual reaction. The moment the contents touched Stiles’ bare skin, he flinched back in pain. There was the smell of burnt flesh, and an apology from Deaton. Finally, a single, impossible word. Said with such utter plainness that Derek could hardly believe it.

 

“Vampire”

 

That word meant nothing and everything in the same moment. Derek, being from the family that he was, had met and encountered dozens of species of supernatural. But never, ever a vampire. Nor had he heard of anyone else meeting one. They were the ghost stories of the supernatural world. The monsters under the bed. Mad, snarling things that tore the throats out of children. And danced on the corpses of widows. They weren’t real. They were just a nightmare.

     What convinced him otherwise, was Deaton. The man, in all his years, had never been this straightforward. Ever. He most often operated by vague hints, and open ended conclusions. Leading the pack to deduce the answer by figuring out the rest through exhaustive thought processes. Derek hated him for it.

     Generally speaking, this moment was a matter of rarity. If nothing else. There was very little Derek could do but think. Stiles and Lydia were vampires. A creature that had been regarded as a myth for the better part of a thousand years. Even with the great scares during the Inquisition. Just panicked humans trying to make sense of the world that didn’t make sense anymore.

      He didn’t know what to do next. There was no guidebook for something like this. If vampires were a myth, then so was all the information that they had to work with. Sunlight obviously didn’t kill or even hurt them. There was nothing but conjecture and dumb luck. All they knew for certain was what they hunted. And that didn’t help their case.

     Deaton packed away his vials. Now, no longer needing them. He had all the confirmation he needed. Stiles was a vampire. A creature that lived off of the lives of others. Human beings at that. Living, breathing humans. That had lives and loved ones and homes. An existence that he was forced to snuff out in order to live. Or very nearly. And Derek, for all he was worth, didn’t know how to process that thought. That there were two creatures in his territory that needed the lives of others to survive.

 

“What do we do?” He asked.

      “It’s obvious the Stiles and his companion were accidentally turned. Whatever vampire did this, did not do it intentionally. From what I have learned, vampires essentially went underground. Living away from any and all civilization apart from their own. Except when it came time to feed. This one, this vampire, was different.”

“Different how?”

     “It split from its group. A group that had obeyed the orders of those whom had created this rules of living. Most likely, it was able to escape execution. They wouldn’t have allowed it to live. Too much risk. Too much that could go wrong. And perhaps, in a desperate attempt to stay hidden, it abstained from feeding.”

 

That would make sense. For a creature that needed the lives of others to survive, not feeding would be the simplest, albeit most difficult way of hiding. Away from the pursuers. Away from those who would kill it. As it turned out, it didn’t last long. It attacked Stiles and Lydia. The rest of their group was dead. Ripped to literal pieces. Only they had survived. Why?

     While Deaton said they lived in groups, it didn’t seem to be from an instinctual need to do so. Rather, an order. A system in which they could live and breathe and stay safe. Away from humans. Away from other supernaturals. Away from anything but themselves. Away from a world that wanted them dead.

     That was the most logical conclusion that Derek could come to. A rogue. Strayed from the pack as it were. A single, isolated element that had ended the lives of a bunch of kids. And altered the lives of two more. They were like it now. Away from the very society that had been born to protect its own. More than likely, should that society discover them, they would be killed on sight.

     They wouldn’t have been raised there. Not have been brought up to follow its rules. And therefore, not allowed to exist in the first place. That was a distressing thought. Derek had never killed personally. But he had watched his parents do it. In defense of their pack. In defense of their family. He knew it was part of being an alpha. Eliminating threats. Stiles and Lydia…They were threats.

     Even if Derek didn’t want to consider them to be. They were kids. Just average ordinary kids before this happened. But now, they were newly turned vampires that had little, if no control over their hunger. He had a duty as the alpha to protect not only his pack, but the people of Beacon Hills. That was his priority. That being said, he wasn’t in the business of murdering children.

   There was no good outcome to this. No positive end. There was no scenario where he could walk away and just let them leave. Knowing that there was a town full of humans for them to feed on. And even if they managed to bypass them, there wasn’t any guarantee that they wouldn’t attack the next poor soul they came across. He was at a crossroads. One where he either accept an unacceptable risk. Or, commit an atrocity that would end the lives of two innocent people. But there was something. Something that he didn’t want to admit.

       It was a thought. A single, utterly absurd thought. One that could have disastrous consequences. But, it was the only one he could think of that didn’t end in murder. The only choice that spared both Stiles’ and Lydia’s lives. As well as the humans they were bound to encounter if he were to let them go. He walked towards the young man. Claws extended on one hand. The others tensed. Ready for a fight. But that wasn’t what Derek was here for. No, he had another idea entirely. With a single claw, he opened a small gash on his forearm. Which he held out to Stiles. He gave a single, simple command.

 

“Drink.”

Chapter Text

Stiles didn’t really think that he’d still be alive at this point. After willingly following a werewolf back to their house. After being chained in the living room. He was all for his continued existence. But he didn’t know how long that would last. Derek, for all he was worth, seemed to be on the borderline of killing him. There was a chance that he would let Lydia live, or not. It just depended on what happened next.

     Apparently, they had some kind of expert. One who specialized in all matters of things that concerned what went bump in the night. And, much to Stiles’ misfortune, he was a human. That meant he couldn’t stay. That meant he had to run. As soon as he realized it, his legs moved before he could even think. Breaking out in a dead sprint. Trying his damnedest to get the hell out of dodge.

     The wolves were quicker than he thought. And just as quickly as he had started to run, he was pinned to the floor. Trying desperately to escape their hold on him. As hungry as he was, as much as his body screamed at him to feed, he had no desire to be a murderer. It was the one thing that he would never forgive himself for. Even if people were his food now, he would do everything he could to never touch a drop.

     So this man, this emissary, was in danger. Stiles knew from the moment he set foot in the house, there would be no holding back. There would be no way he could restrain himself. He was too hungry. If the wolves didn’t stay atop him, their emissary would have his head ripped off in a flash. Derek, however, had another idea.

     An idea that involved chains. Heavy, steel chains. While not in the particular realm of his kinks, it was better than being compressed by three werewolves. Though, not by much. His hands were bound behind his back. His legs crossed, ankles shackled together. He tested their strength, as well as his own, by giving them a slight tug. They groaned, but stayed firm. As shitty as the situation was, he wasn’t going to be able to hurt anyone in this position. So, for the moment, he had no other choice but to endure it. For how much longer remained unclear.

      He knew the moment Deaton arrived. Namely, because he could smell prey. It was the only thought that his brain could even comprehend. Derek and the others seemed to disappear from the room. The scent of rich, warm life flooded his nostrils. Fangs descending down. Muscles tensing, readying him to pounce on the man. Had he not been restrained, Stiles would’ve ripped the man limb from limb.

     The chains actually creaked against his efforts. Rather loudly at that. He felt the weight of someone’s hand on his shoulder. Pulling him back ever so slightly. That’s what snapped Stiles back to reality. At least, for a short time. As the man drew closer, he threatened to try and leap again. Despite being so heavily restrained. That’s how hungry he was.

     Deaton seemed to be rather unfazed by the entire experience. Ignoring Stiles entirely. Instead addressing Derek. Asking him a few questions before finishing his approach. The alpha warned him against it. Stating how dangerous Stiles was. Deaton affirmed that he was well aware. Choosing to stand directly in front of Stiles. Giving a proper introduction in the process.

     The young man tried his hardest to focus on pleasantries. But the pain seeping in his gut nearly keeled him over. He was famished, starving, any number of words couldn’t have done it justice. Every last cell of his being was telling him to feed. To rip through Deaton’s neck and drain him dry. Stiles didn’t know why he didn’t. There was no denying that he wasn’t human anymore. But there was still some part of him determined to hang on to what he had.

     Deaton, while acknowledging Stiles’ stress and intense pain, otherwise ignored it. Instead, he extracted a series of vials from his bag. Laying them out in a random, unsensed order. Even though they were sealed, Stiles could detect the scent of their contents. The first was a purplish flower that made his skin crawl. It wasn’t a bad smell. But it by no means was pleasant. The other one smelled of death and rot. Like something in him knew intrinsically, had he been human, this substance would’ve killed him rather quickly. The other one didn’t have a scent in particular. Only that it was bright, and it burned the back of Stiles’ throat ever so slightly.

     Deaton was going to perform a few tests. Or, what he considered tests. Which was spreading the contents of the vials across small patches of Stiles’ skin. All the while asking questions. Stiles did his best to answer them. While simultaneously ignoring the throbbing blood vessels within biting distance. The emissary didn’t seem that concerned with his continued existence. And Stiles couldn’t smell any fear on him. Which was a fearful thing in its own right.

    It wasn’t until Deaton got the silvery powder that there was any reaction. The moment it touched his skin, Stiles flinched back in pain. Whatever it was burned, like hell. There was no other word for it. He could feel his flesh sheering itself apart at the cellular level. The stink of it filling his nostrils. Deaton apologized and wiped it away. Then, he said a word. And Stiles wanted nothing more than to wake up from the nightmare he had fallen into.

      Apparently, among all the crazy, supernatural shit he could’ve been, vampire was the logical conclusion. Not that he didn’t exactly think that at some point during his and Lydia’s whole running away. But he didn’t dwell on it. Because if he did, then he would’ve had to accept it. And accepting it meant that he would never be human again. And judging by both Deaton and Derek’s reactions, this wasn’t helping the situation.

      According to the emissary, vampires had been underground for centuries. Possibly millennia. They didn’t hunt conspicuously. And when they did, they often faced lethal consequences for doing so. This was some Twilight level bullshit that Stiles didn’t want any part of. At the very least, he didn’t sparkle. He’d take that goddamn win and run with it. That, of course, left the matter of what the hell they were gonna do now.

     Derek didn’t seem exactly keen on the idea of Stiles and Lydia staying in their territory. Or anywhere near humans for that matter. There wasn’t any fault in the matter. Derek, for better or worse, was the protector of his pack. And the people of the town. Stiles and Lydia ate people. That meant they were a threat. And from what Stiles knew of wolves, they didn’t tend to ignore threats. Or let them live for that matter.

      He wondered if they’d bury him away from the world. Where no one would ever find him. Whether they would mark his grave. Or leave him to be forgotten to the woods around them. Perhaps, if Derek was kind, he’d stage Stiles’ death and report the body to the police. Maybe, if he was lucky, they’d make it look like an accident. And his father would get some peace. Thinking that his only child died peacefully. Maybe…

     There were a lot of maybes in Stiles’ hopes. Derek had no reason to grant him or Lydia anything. But he did hope regardless. He hoped that his father would be able to move past his death. That Scott wouldn’t cry too much. That Melissa, god bless her, would be strong enough to help them both through the grieving process. Keeping their little family, what was left of it, together. That’s what Stiles hoped for.

     Derek didn’t seem to want to waste time. He approached Stiles, claws out. Ready to render flesh from form. Stiles took a breath. Readying himself for death. The animal part of him, the predator, told him to fight back. To scream and kick and bite, to cling to his life as fiercely as possible. But the human, the human knew his time was up. He had run as far as he could. And now, he was going to die. In a house full of werewolves. Maybe the actor who played him in the ensuing biopic would win an Oscar.

      But, much to everyone’s surprise, Derek didn’t turn his claws towards Stiles. Rather, himself. Opening a small line across his forearm. Letting a little well of blood come forth. While not nearly as appealing as Deaton, or any other human, it smelled far better than a raccoon. It was warm, and smelled of earthy, bright things. And at this point, Stiles was hungry enough not to care. With Derek being close enough, there was enough temptation for him to leap forward. Even if the rest of Stiles’ brain was screaming that it was a bad idea. Derek, however, thought otherwise.

 

“Drink.” He ordered while extending his arm.

 

It took everything Stiles had not to tear into the wolf’s arm right then and there. He was offering, of his own volition, to allow being fed from. And as hungry as he was, Stiles was sorely tempted to accept. Even if there was that one small part of his brain that said danger. All of the wolves smelled like a threat. Derek most of all. Maybe because he was the leader, but Stiles’ animal self knew that, if he wanted, Derek could’ve ripped him in half.

       He coiled away. Breathing through his mouth, trying to stave off the scent of the blood that Derek had presented. It helped only slightly. His tongue could gather a vague sense of what the wolf would taste like if he took a taste. Just a little one. Though, seeing as it had been weeks since he’d had a proper meal, he would be taking a lot more than a little.

      Even though Derek was offering, it felt wrong to drink so much as a drop. Stiles was something sustained his own existence by taking it away from others. Even though he did that when he was human, it was animals. Processed and packaged in far away plants. Out of sight and out of mind. It felt wrong to do anything like that to a person. Regardless of what they offered.

 

“Not a good idea.”

     “You’re starving and in pain. As well as half mad. If you and your female are going to be staying my territory, outside of keeping you constantly chained, this is your best bet.” Derek retorted.

“You smell like a threat. One part of my brain is telling me to rip your arm off and drink. The other says run.” Derek didn’t answer. Instead, he turned towards Deaton. Raising an inquisitive eyebrow. There was some manner of silent communication between them. Deaton using a pout of his mouth. Derek, still using those ridiculous eyebrows.

 

“Theoretically, it could be possible. Humans and werewolves aren’t that different. At least on a biological level. Your blood should, with no forseeable side effects, allow Stiles and his female companion slate their thirst. So long as you offer it.”

 

Derek, the smug bastard, turned towards Stiles. Lips in a smirk. Exalted that he was right to offer Stiles his arm. That didn’t make it better. He didn’t want to feed from anyone. Even if every last cell is his body was screaming in agony. Crying out. Demanding that he drink. Derek was right. He was on the verge of madness.

 

“The three muskateers need to keep a grip on me. I don’t know how this is gonna go. But I’d really rather not amputate part of you in the process.” Stiles tried, as he always did, to make a joke out of things. It was his default response to nearly every aspect of his life. Using it when faced with a potentially lethal situation didn’t say much for his character.

    Isaac, Erica, and Boyd all clamped their hands down on his shoulders, neck, and arms. That, plus the chains, and he was effectively restrained. There was very little chance that he was going anywhere. Nor would be able to feed any more than Derek allowed him to. Hopefully, against all hope, this wouldn’t end in his or Lydia’s death. Stiles wondered if God answered the prayers of vampires.

     The alpha stepped close enough that Stiles could practically feel the heat coming off of him. His fangs dropped without his permission. While his breathing became labored with the effort of restraining himself. The hunger had reached its climax. And while he acknowledged how perverse this whole thing was, he didn’t deny that the darker part of him was happy to have something to drink.

     Derek pressed his arm and Stiles hesitated for the smallest, most imperceptible of seconds. Then, he bit down as gently as he could. Even starving and on the brink of insanity, he didn’t want to be rude. The first wash over his tongue nearly makes him pass out. Weeks living off woodland creatures had left him bereft of anything truly satisfying. So, to have a source of food that actually pleased his vampire stomach was nearly overwhelming.

    So much so that he didn’t even really have time to register the taste of it. Stiles was rather thankful for that. He didn’t want to seem like he was enjoying feeding from Derek. That he was literally sucking the life out of him. Derek himself didn’t seem to mind. His face remained unmoving. A stone, as it were. Deaton, for all he was worth, simply observed.

       Time dragged out for what felt like ages. Stiles knew otherwise. But it wasn’t long before the gnawing hunger in him ceased. Fully sated. The pain of it, gone. Without so much as a trace. Which was impossible. There was no way, in that short period of time, Stiles could’ve taken more than a unit out of Derek. Which would’ve been nowhere near enough to slate a weeks long hunger. But, impossible as it was, he no longer felt hungry.

     He pulled away, retracting his fangs. Watching as the alpha’s arm healed right before his eyes. So, that was a thing. Shape-shifting and super healing. Neat trick. Part of Stiles still wondered if he would be able to turn into a bat. Even if no part of that made sense. Much like anything else did these days.

 

“Better?” Derek asked, interrupting his train of thought. Stiles didn’t see any reason in lying. He did feel better. His stomach was silent. Along with the rest of his body. The pain was completely gone. Not muted or lessened. But completely gone. He would’ve called it a miracle had what he just did not been so disgusting.

      “It’s weird. I had to drain a dozen raccoons just to take the edge off the pain. You, I didn’t even need fraction that. Weird.”

“If I may interject, Stiles, was it? It’s quite possible that Derek’s blood, as well as the others, is, what’s the word, more potent than that of a human. Which would explain why you needed to imbibe so little. Though that does raise a few more questions. If you don’t mind, I would like to take a few samples. For testing purposes.”

 

Stiles, feeling giddy and full, gave Deaton leeway to do whatever the hell he wanted. The man took hair, skin, saliva, and much to the irony of the whole situation, blood. Saying that he would get back to Derek within the next few days should anything relevant come up. It was as good a end to this fuckery of a night as they were gonna get. Stiles would take it and run. Figuratively speaking of course.

      When Deaton had left, and Derek double checked that he was indeed out of range of Stiles’ senses, he unchained the young man. Allowing him to move freely. The vampire stretched out all of his limbs one by one. Feeling his joints crack and pop. There was certain sense of relief that was felt. Even as he noticed give him a rather salacious look. Stiles was surprised to find that he could still blush.

     Even more surprised when Derek jerked his head, a silent order for him to follow. Stiles didn’t dare refuse. Not after the man had quite literally kept him from going insane. They moved away from the living room, towards the back of the house. It seemed to be the area where most of the bedrooms were. Stiles wondered why exactly Derek was taking him here. The alpha didn’t give a moment to question when he pointed towards a door.

 

“You and your female will sleep in here. You’re not to leave unless I say so. You’re not to contact anyone. You’re not to so much as twitch the wrong way.”

      “Firstly, Lydia isn’t ‘my female’. Secondly, I had no intentions of trying to leave. Thirdly, who shoved a stick up your ass?” Stiles spat.

“I have two, newly turned vampires in my territory. One of which I just had to feed. The other still won’t let Jackson bring her back. I’ll be calling her in a minute. She gonna give me any trouble about it?”

     “Not if you promise her answers to the questions she has. And that you let me…you know.”

 

Derek huffed in abject derision. Seemingly fed up with Stiles for the night. Which made sense. Given the manager of nonsense that the lot of them had been through. Stiles found himself suddenly rather tired. Wishing for nothing more than a soft bed. Which was what it looked like when he entered the room. It was as plain as the rest of the house.

     Simple brown walls. Functional furniture. Nothing that made it stand out in any way. Stiles appreciated the sentiment behind Derek’s decorating tastes. He was also smart enough to not make a comment of any kind. The alpha left him to his own devices. And the vampire knew that he wasn’t going anywhere. Derek had every intention of keeping him here. For whatever reason, he decided to remain silent.

      Stiles didn’t need to know why. He was just happy to be alive. Well-fed atop of that. His main concern now was making sure that Lydia complied with Derek. And perhaps she could feed from one of the other wolves. If they were willing to let her. He didn’t imagine Derek could handle feeding two starving vampires. He’d find out when she got here. Until then, all he could do was wait. And, as it turned out, he wouldn’t have to wait long. Because Derek didn’t have time to call this Jackson fellow.

       There was the sound of footsteps. Actually, more like running. And Stiles could smell blood on the wind. And it wasn’t Lydia’s. It wasn’t an animals. In fact, it smelled oddly like Derek. If a bit weaker. Which meant that there was only one possibility. It was the blood of a werewolf. And the only werewolf of Derek’s pack not in the house was Jackson.

Chapter Text

Derek was so over his head that it wasn’t even funny. He’d been an alpha for only a short while. With three, still adjusting betas. There was a whole hell of a lot that he thought he’d have to deal with. Other alphas trying to push their way into his territory. Omegas looking for a pack. Normal, run of the mill werewolf stuff. Vampires didn’t exactly fit into that narrative by any stretch of the imagination.

     Stiles, as far as he could tell, was an average, unassuming human before he was turned. With no previous knowledge of the supernatural. Which meant that he had no idea how to even adapt to his new status as a creature of the night. And Derek had just given him permission to stay in his territory. Why, he wasn’t exactly sure. It wasn’t pity. No, the alpha recognized a predator when he met one. Even of Stiles didn’t want to admit it.

    It was something else. Not grief or anger or anything like that. No. It was something close to the reason he had turned Isaac, Erica, and Boyd. The three of them, in one form or another, had no real footing in their human lives. Isaac came from a shattered, abusive home. Erica’s epilepsy was slowly killing her. Boyd’s parents had basically withdrawn after a family tragedy. Leaving him friendless.

     There was nearly every reason to turn them. Young, strong, looking for a place that the world had denied them. There had been a lot of work that needed doing. Adjusting to the shift. Learning to control their respective abilities. There were new instincts that they needed getting used to. And Derek was more than happy to teach them.

      That’s the narrative Stiles fit. He had a place, and it was ripped from him. Cruelly stolen by circumstance and a hungry predator with no sense of remorse. He and Lydia both. Which was another matter entirely. Derek could tell that the young woman was fierce and intelligent. Up until now, Erica had been the only female in the pack. Adding another would upset the balance and could possibly lead to a conflict. And that’s if the young vampiress decided to stay. Stiles was easy. He knew that he was dangerous. Knew that he was a threat to others by his mere existence. Lydia seemed both prideful and unmoving.

       Though Derek didn’t wonder have to wonder how he was going to get her back here. And ensure Jackson’s safety. There was blood on the wind. The blood of one of his pack. It evoked and immediate response from all of them. The shift taking over before Derek could even think about stopping it. All four of them were outside in an instant.

     Lydia wasn’t how Derek imagined her to be. She was small, shorter than Erica. With screaming red hair. And piercing green eyes. Even disheveled and dressed in tattered clothes, she was a force to be reckoned with. She eyed the four of them with carefully placed distrust. Not moving an inch. Even her breathing was subdued. If Stiles was hesitant to embrace the nature of what he had become, Lydia was but one step from fully accepting it.

    Jackson trailed behind her. Naked, smothered in dirt and foliage. A small mark healing on his shoulder. That’s where the scent of blood had come from. Lydia had fed from him. The matter now was whether or not Jackson had agreed to it. Even if he did, Derek didn’t like the idea. He was the alpha. And such decisions were his to make. Especially ones regarding the physical well-being of his pack.

 

“Nice place you have here. You weren’t lying when you said there would be room for me.”

     “Yeah, that’s before you took off. Which could’ve resulted in your head being ripped off.” Jackson spat.

“Never assume that I need you to protect me.”

 

Derek suppressed a groan. He could already tell that Lydia was going to be handful. He also noticed it was the first time since Jackson joined their pack that he actually talked to someone. Rather than at him. He was an omega. Parents killed in car crash, and no place to go. He had plenty of money. But no other wolves. They were a rare, family unit. One that hardly ever survived in the supernatural world.

    Werewolves were pack animals. That’s how they lived. That’s how they hunted. It was their nature. Actively going against it had severe repercussions. Jackson’s mother had been the alpha. His father, a beta. That was their unit. That was their pack. And somehow, against the odds, it had worked. The three of them lived in peace, away from other packs. Surrounded by humans.

     It was the accident that was the tipping points. Werewolves that lived as family units rarely made it last without incident. Jackson had never known any other werewolves. Had no connections. No one to turn to. Nowhere to go. It was hell, and even that wasn’t a good enough way to describe it. Derek had found him by chance.

     Omegas were migrants by nature. It was basic instinct to seek out a pack. To find an alpha and a place amongst their fellow wolf. Jackson, even destitute, was a hard sell. He only ever had his parents. The only wolves he had ever trusted. Offering submission to a stranger, to an alpha he had no connection with didn’t sit well with him. Derek offered him a place to stay regardless.

     It was a tumultuous few weeks, but eventually, he came around. Seeing that offering submission wasn’t the same as being subservient.  The others offered him a place alongside them. And the stubborn, lonely omega became was what arguably Derek’s staunchest beta. That didn’t mean he fully trusted any of them. He was still hesitant to talk about himself. Or his family. Any details beyond why he was an omega remained a mystery.

      So for him to talk to Lydia so easily meant something. There was a look in his eye. A fondness that wasn’t there before. He looked at her like she was the most precious thing. Which didn’t make much sense. Seeing as they had only known each other for the span of a few hours. Derek wondered if Jackson saw something in her that the others didn’t.

 

“You fed from him.” Derek said coldly.

     “Well, he kept insisting. It grew to be rather annoying. And I was hungry. To be fair, I didn’t remove more than a unit or so. He’s fine.”

 

Derek didn’t know what to say. He had offered himself to Stiles. Gave him his blood to relieve the intense of pain of his hunger. There was no doubt that Lydia was facing a similar agony. Jackson may have been callous and a little self-centered, by he was by no means cruel. It was an indication that Derek had made the right choice in accepting him.

      The beta stormed into the house. Most likely to get some clothes on. But would no doubt be back within minutes. Unwilling to leave Lydia alone with the pack. More than likely, he would be her protector while she stayed with them. And that’s if she did. Derek had little doubt that she had no intention of submitting to anyone. She and Stiles traveled together of out necessity and nothing else. That, and he was familiar.

      Werewolves were supposed to live in groups. That’s how they survived. That’s how they lived. Derek didn’t know how vampires lived. How their dynamics worked. How any part of their lives, apart from feeding, functioned. Lydia and Stiles were flying by the seat of their pants. Which was what Derek was doing at this point. He didn’t want to cast two innocent people out into the unknown. Leaving them barren, and trying their best not commit murder.

     But if Lydia didn’t want to cooperate with dynamics of a wolf pack, then there wasn’t much he could do. As an alpha, he had to maintain order for his betas. As well as the humans that lived in town. Having any out of control supernatural running around was unacceptable. Especially one that fed on humans as source of food. Derek wasn’t willing to take a risk.

    Which left him at an impasse. Stiles was willing to listen and behave. He had even agreed to be chained so as not to risk Deaton upon his arrival. And when Derek offered his blood, the man had felt guilty. Even with a consenting person, he felt guilty about feeding from someone. That, Derek could work with.

 

“I suppose you must be Derek.” She said interrupting his train of thought.

    “I’m the alpha of this pack. And you’re in my territory under my authority. Is that going to be a problem?”

“Well, you didn’t kill Stiles. And from the smell, you fed him. Which means you have every intention of keeping us here. So, no. No issues. So long as I have a room and a shower. You the blonde one, what’s your name?” she asked, seemingly finished with Derek.

 

Erica looked at the other woman with a peaked eyebrow, both curious and cautious in the same moment. Derek hoped against all hope that this would work. He didn’t want the first female to live with them to be antagonistic. Erica, while at home and comfortable with Isaac and Boyd as pack mates, did need other women in her life. Lydia, however odd and offbeat, was a chance to provide that.

 

“The name is Erica. Nice to meet you I guess, given the circumstances.”

      “Judging by your hair, which is flawless by the way, you have and know how to use product. I normally dress a little more conservatively. But at this point, I’ll take what I can get. May I have the pleasure of browsing your closet?”

 

For the first time, in longer than Derek could remember, Erica smiled. And it wasn’t the smile she gave when she wanted to scare or intimidate someone. The one full of teeth glaring from behind scarlet red lips. This smile was different. Ear to ear, eyes alight a way even Boyd couldn’t bring out. Despite his expectations and Lydia’s more obvious personality traits, the two of them were going to get along fine.

     Erica led them inside, chatting hastily. There was a lot of missed girl talk to catch up on. She had spent the last year surrounded by men. Having another woman in the house would do her some good. Jackson came outside not long after. Fully cleaned and dressed. His face twisted in annoyance. No doubt Lydia had bypassed him. Which meant that Erica would occupying the other woman’s time.

       Even under these stressful circumstances, Derek couldn’t help but be amused. Out of all of his betas, Jackson tended to be cross, more often than not. For seemingly no reason in particular. It was a constant stressor. But it was just who he was. He fit into the pack without question. But he wasn’t turned. Being a born wolf meant that he had more in common in Derek than with the others. And that did make things difficult sometimes.

      Isaac had tried. Awkward and stumbling as it might have been. Boyd, even as pack, was stoic and intelligent. He didn’t pal around in the usual ways. His idea of bonding was watching movies back to back in complete silence. Erica, bless her, did nothing but lightly tease Jackson. Which of course helped nothing. Derek had tried to get him to open up. If only a little. Lydia had succeeded in that in what was only a few hours.

 

“So, this has been a fuck of a night. To say the least.”

     “Thank you for that input Jackson. It was very helpful. Now, the question is, what do we do from here?” Derek asked.

“You’re the alpha. You decide.”

     “Alpha, not tyrant. I listen to what you all have to say. I’ve never ignored you or benched your opinions. This is our territory. And this affects us as a pack. And that means we decide as a pack.” The others didn’t say anything. Derek knew that things were going to be difficult from here on out. They were still together as alpha and betas. There was room for error. With Stiles and Lydia here, it only complicated things further. He wondered, truly wondered what the right thing to do was anymore.

 

***

Stiles could hear Lydia enter the house. She was talking with the blonde one, Erica. Happily at that. The two of them seemed rather amused with themselves. He didn’t know how to take that. Even Derek didn’t seem to care for him very much. And the man had offered himself up as dinner. Meanwhile, Lydia walks in, and everything’s peaches and cream.

    At least they were alive. And that was saying something. The entire time they were running, Stiles feared that they might not survive. The hunger itself was maddening. A constant ache that grew and grew until it consumed you. The pain was severe enough that Stiles was sure that they were going to die. They had staved it off by tearing into whatever animals they could find. Anything that wasn’t a person.

     Running head first into a den of werewolves had been the last thing he’d expected. As time went on, they only had two goals. Stay alive and away from the eyes of people. As to not be discovered. And not to kill anyone. When they came across Derek and his pack, priorities changed. Staying alive took the forefront to everything else. He knew that staying here was a risk. Every movie and story ever said that vampires and werewolves didn’t get along. Which is what made things so confusing.

     Derek, even cold and disconnected, seemed genuinely concerned for Stiles. He had to be. Otherwise he wouldn’t have offered his blood. Knowing full and well that Stiles could’ve ripped his arm off without even thinking. At the very least, that meant that he wanted Stiles alive, for now. That was one of the only favorable things about this whole situation. The other was that the room that Derek had given him came with an adjoining shower.

      Stiles hadn’t had a proper bath in weeks. What little money they had went to gas to keep the Jeep moving. They had only stayed in motels a few spare times. And only out of the utmost necessity. The showers in them were so gross that neither he nor Lydia wanted to risk the infection that would’ve followed. So, they went by without bathing. Which wasn’t good for either of them.

     Though they didn’t know at the time that they had been turned into vampires, the transformation came with a few unfortunate additions. Namely, the thirst for human blood. Another lovely add on was an enhanced sense of smell. Which meant their unwashed selves were even worse in the confines of the Jeep. Combine that with a ceaseless hunger, and the both of them were teetering on the edge of madness within a month.

     Lydia in particular was less than enthused with the arrangement. Stiles loved her to pieces. But there was no denying that she had a rather set series of expectations. Tolerating the fact that they had to live out of his ancient Jeep was one thing. But living without basic hygiene was another matter altogether. She put up with it as best she could. Though it was obvious that Lydia was nearing the end of her wits.

     Now, with Erica, she’d have access to all things that Stiles couldn’t give her. Which she was grateful for. And he could shower as well. Wash away weeks of dirt, blood, and grime. For one, brief and glorious moment, he could feel human again. The shower itself was ordinary and unimpressive. The line of soaps was another matter. Stiles had always been a 3-1 body wash kinda guy. Apparently, werewolves had standards.

     The soaps weren’t something that’d you’d get at Walmart. These were organic, natural fragrances that people paid top dollar for. There was even proper conditioner. After weeks of constantly being on the move, this was a godsend. And the first rush of hot water across his skin makes him groan obscenely. He only hoped that the sound of running water overpowered it.

      He takes his time, washing and scrubbing every last inch of himself. Though careful enough not to use all of the hot water. Lydia would more than likely castrate him if he did so. He didn’t want to deprive of her of the same joy he was currently experiencing. With another girl to help her, she’d be back to her fierce self in no time. Not that it went anywhere.

     After his shower, Stiles dries himself. Feeling refreshed and content. More so than he could’ve been had he stayed on the run. It was only after he’d made his way back into the room that he realized that he didn’t have any clothes to wear. Which was something of a problem, personal insecurities aside, he assumed that his hosts wouldn’t appreciate him walking around their home stark naked. Even if they did. Though the reasons behind it were somewhat unavoidable.

     Having no other choice, he rummaged through the drawers. Looking for anything that might have any chance of fitting him. He settled on a rather drab pair of grey sweatpants. And a slightly oversized shirt with a faded graphic print. It was by no means anything fancy. But it was comfortable enough.

Foregoing any sort of shoes, he made his way downstairs. Just like he would’ve had been at home. There was a small pang in his chest. There was no denying that his missed his father. And Scott. And Melissa. All the people that he loved and cared for. They were still probably wondering if he was dead or not. Wondering if he was safe and warm. Lydia’s family no doubt had similar concerns. But they couldn’t go back. Not now or ever.

      As long as they hungered for literal people, there was no going home for him. There was no going back to their old lives. Their loved ones would no doubt keep looking. And that’s why they kept moving. Always keeping out of sight and away from the eyes of others as much as they could. Being the son of sheriff came in handy for this kind of thing. He knew how searches for missing people worked. And he knew how to avoid them.

     Always use cash. Never take the risk of anywhere that had cameras. There was no telling how or what they could have access to. Especially since Scott’s dad, however estranged, worked for the FBI. That doubled their risk of being caught. And made things slightly more complicated. That’s why Stiles always insisted on traveling at night or low traffic hours. Where his very obvious Jeep wasn’t so easy to spot.

     It was a harsh, unforgiving system. One that had worked. Until they’d stumbled into Derek’s territory. So far, the alpha had seemed amicable about letting them stay. That is, until Stiles came into the living room. The man was standing beside Isaac. Eyes glaring red. A low growl rumbling in his throat. Maybe he’d decided to kill him after all.

Chapter Text

Derek finally had a handle on what he wanted to do with his two vampires. Isaac hadn’t said anything. He hardly ever did when it came to stuff like this. Boyd, surprisingly was a bit more vocal. He suggested that they stay, for now. Under constant supervision. Where they can be seen and observed. To test the true nature of their behavior. He liked that idea a lot actually.

     Stiles, Derek had a pretty good handle on. Innocent. Naïve. And desperate to stay as human as possible. He had refused to feed from the alpha when he offered. Even going so far as to be restrained further before he accepted. That told Derek enough to start with. Lydia was another matter entirely.

    She happily accepted Jackson’s offer to feed her. Which meant that she was likely in more pain than Stiles was. Or had less self-control. Or perhaps the pain induced by hunger was more intense for the females of the species. There were a lot of unanswered questions. Even Deaton didn’t have that much information. It was just conjecture at this point. There was a rather steep learning curve. And only time could tell what it would bring having the two of them stay with the pack.

    So far, Stiles seemed content on fading into the background of things. Staying out of the way and making as little noise as possible. Lydia was instantly attuned to Erica. As Derek suspected she would be. The two young women seemed to be getting along just fine. At least, that was the case so far. Derek had hosted other supernaturals in his territory before. But they were relatively harmless.

     There were of course other werewolves. Omegas passing through. He had offered some of them a place in his pack. Isaac and the others could use the experience of another, older beta in the pack. One who could share in their learning to control the shift. None of them had ever accepted. The legacy of his family still stained the land.

    Being targeted by hunters came with the territory of being a werewolf. For the most part, they stayed out of the way. Some of them worked with packs to keep the peace in order to root out problematic alphas. There were others, however, who had no intention of keeping any of peace. The ones that were determined, one way or the other, to eliminate all non-humans. Derek had encountered one.

     Kate came out of the shadows in the midst of his grief. Paige had been buried for less than two weeks. He still refused to go to school. Peter was still healing from the amount of bones his mother had broken. There was a myriad of things that clouded his judgement. Derek should’ve known better. But he didn’t. And it nearly cost him, and his family their lives.

     The sex was great. Feral, mindless, and satisfying in a hollow sort of way. He didn’t think much about how Kate acted. The secrecy of it all. Or why he was so determined to help her keep those secrets. When she came for them, there was no escaping. The fire had consumed most of the house. The tunnels, doors, and windows were all blocked with mountain ash. He was certain that they were all going to die. Had it not been for the quick thinking of his mother, Kate would’ve succeeded.

    She had been keeping a close eye on him since Paige’s death. And knew full and well something was up. Kate may have planned ahead. But Talia Hale was no fool. She had survived multiple attempts on her life. From other alphas, as well as hunter. There was always a plan B. This one involved the emissary of an old friend.

    Morell was as strange, aloof, and terrifying as her brother, Deaton. But where he lacked certainty and consistency, she more than made up for it with cold, brutal efficiency. The woman fired three rounds into Kate’s left knee. Crippling her in swift, merciless moment. She then broke all the mountain ash lines around house. Allowing everyone to escape. There was not one life lost.

     Derek nearly changed that when he charged Kate. Rage consumed every last inch of his body. He saw more red than he ever had in his life as a werewolf. He would’ve succeeded had it not been for his parents. The both of them restrained him. That’s how enraged he was. Where the sheer brute force of two alphas was required to hold him back. Kate lived. But she by no means got away with it. Her family, the Argents as it turned out, had no room to defend her. She had acted outside of the Code. Attempting genocide on a pack that had committed no crime.

     Derek left it to human laws. The hunters weren’t going to punish her. That meant that they would have to hold themselves to a similar standard. And that wasn’t going to happen any time soon. The trial was short and sweet. There was a grotesque amount of evidence against her. In the end, she was charged and found guilty of arson. As well as nearly two dozen attempted murders. And intent to commit murder. Three consecutive life sentences, with no chance of parole. She would never see the outside of a prison for the remainder of her existence.

     It was the most unsatisfying closure that Derek could imagine. Her family cut all ties with her, effectively removing themselves from any blame. Meaning that any of her potential conspirators slipped away with no consequences. And Kate herself, while imprisoned, by no means had atoned for her crimes. She was locked up yes. But she was safe. Away from any shifter that would enact vengeance.

    Derek attempted to release himself from the anger that he had found himself immersed in. His family was able to move on. Rebuild the house. Refurnish it. All of that. They removed any and all trace that there had ever been an attempt on their lives. Kate was in prison. And the entire supernatural world knew what kind of family the Argents really were. But Derek couldn’t move past it.

     He retreated. Far into himself. Isolating all that he was from his family. From his pack. Until the only thing left was his anger. The omniscient rage that he had been left with. It became his anchor. His grounding point to reality. The only other option was to fade into static. To be consumed by the nothingness that he felt. To embrace the guilt of being responsible for the near death of his entire family. And he wasn’t every going to feel it.

    Things got better after he became an alpha. After he formed his own little pack. Taking over the family territory. Ensuring the legacy of the Hale pack. It was grueling, thankless work. Supernaturals came through every day. Some good. Some not. The not good ones were dispatched rather easily. And with each one, the period in which others came through decreased. It had taken some number of years, but after the fire, the Hale family name had finally been rebuilt along with the rest of them.

     Stiles and Lydia threatened to upset that name. Every story that Derek had ever heard said that vampires and werewolves were mortal enemies. That there could be no peace between them. Ever. In order for this to work, he would have to prove all of the stories wrong. To turn their very history on its head. And leave the world in awe.

     They’d already had a fairly rough start. It helped nothing that the both of them were nineteen. The same age as Derek’s betas. But if the stories and theories about vampires was correct, they would never age. Forever petrified in a teenage state. Unable to grow old. Frozen in time forever. That would certainly complicate things. Having two immortal teenagers living with them. Even though werewolves aged significantly slower than humans, they aged nonetheless. It was many problems Derek faced if he meant to do this long term.

     Another issue would be the full moon. Which was two weeks away. Isaac and the others had been training to control the shift for a little over a year. And in that short time, the three of them had made remarkable progress. They had gone from nearly feral and uncontrollable on the full moon, to well controlled and in order. That is, so long as they stayed within the boundaries of the preserve. It was where their wolves felt the most familiar. Where they felt safest.

     Derek understood that instinct. It was intrinsic to being a wolf. There was no getting rid of it. But they couldn’t stay in the trees on the full moon forever. They’d never be able to be functioning adults otherwise. It didn’t help that they now had two apex predators of the supernatural hierarchy living with them. No matter how they felt for them as humans, their wolves would more than likely feel differently. Particularly around the full moon.

    Every instinct a wolf had was heightened several times over. Including the desire to protect one’s territory. That, above all else, was at the forefront of any wolf’s mind. With two vampires in their territory, there was no telling how any of them would behave. They had spared the two of them only because Derek was a born wolf. And had years of practice with keeping his wolf under control. Even while shifted. The full moon was a different story.

     He had to devise something, anything to keep Stiles and Lydia safe. But at the same time, make it to where they could make a run for it. There would be plenty of opportunities to hatch an escape plan while the pack dealt with the full moon. As much as Derek would’ve liked to trust them, he wasn’t about to put anyone’s lives at risk for that trust. The two of them would have to earn it.

    He decided to head into the house to make sure that Stiles and Lydia were settling in properly. Mostly to make sure that the latter hadn’t completely taken over Erica’s room. While Derek was sure his beta was happy to have another female in the house, she wouldn’t tolerate a violation of her personal space. The two of the as friends as a frightening thought. The idea of them actually coming to blows sent shivers down his spine.

    When he entered the house, all seemed to be quiet. He could hear Erica and Lydia’ heartbeats. They were both calm and collected. Even and steady. They weren’t angry or scared. There was no sign that anything was out of place. Save for the scent. There was a scent in his home that didn’t belong. It was pack, but not. Like the person was a member among them, or trying to be.

     He found the source when Stiles entered the living room, clad in a pair of his old clothes. His hair was till damp from the shower. That was the kicker. He had used the same brand of soap that Derek did. He stocked all the spare rooms with it. Not really thinking about, he always bought extras to keep them stocked. It never occurred to him to get any other brand. Effectively, right now, Stiles smelled as if he had been scent marked by Derek. Which led to a very confusing reaction the alpha’s instincts.

    The first part was…Pleased. Derek’s wolf recognized Stiles as an apex predator of their world. As far as anyone knew, there were no competitors among supernaturals for food compared to vampires. They had others that they would fight over territory for. But not food. Stiles having Derek’s scent on him meant that, to the wolf, he had submitted to Derek’s authority. That he had inserted himself into a recognized part of the pack structure.

     The other part of the wolf felt…Something deeper. Even amongst his betas, he didn’t share his clothes. That was pushing the boundaries of scent marking. It was something that was much more intimate. Something more personal. Generally speaking, it was only done by those who were courting each other. And even then, only with full intention of pursuing a relationship. Stiles wearing his clothes meant that he wanted…No. That wasn’t the case. Stiles was a vampire, not a wolf. So the clothes meant nothing.

     At least, that’s what Derek told himself. He tried his best to rationalize the situation. To calm his wolf. There was enough stress going around. He didn’t need to add to it. Stiles did, however, noticed the change in Derek’s behavior. Though he didn’t comment on the matter. Simply letting the alpha pass by him without a word. He wasn’t so lucky with his betas.

 

“You wanna tell us what that was about?” Isaac asked.

     “Not important. Go to bed. We’ve got a long day tomorrow.”

 

The younger man didn’t make any further comments. And Derek was grateful for it. There was enough to think about. He didn’t need his wolf confused about what Stiles meant wearing his clothes. The man probably didn’t even know that they were Derek’s. He just grabbed whatever he could find laying in the spare room’s dresser. Lydia, however, came out in ravishing style.

    She had clearly plundered through Erica’s closet. And while Derek didn’t mind spending money on his betas, there was a limit. So there was no shortage of fine clothes that the young woman could choose from. Even still, it was late at night. And Lydia was dressed like she was on for the town. Derek wondered if she was type that wouldn’t be caught dead in lounge wear.

     Jackson was once again rendered speechless. Normally, the beta always had an opinion. If he didn’t quite act like he was pack, he still made his voice heard. This time, seeing Lydia, he had not a thing to say. Which meant that he was either afraid of her, or wanted to bed her. If it was the latter, Derek would be overjoyed. In the few months that Jackson had been with them, he didn’t give any indication of bonding.

     Even if it was just on the level of being pack mates, he would’ve been satisfied. But there were other wolves, other packs that came through. At one point, Derek thought the young man might’ve been asexual. Or something along those lines. But Jackson showed an interest in Lydia that defied any sense of how he had behaved before. Even more so when he offered her his bed. That truly was out of character for Jackson.

     He was normally a very private person. More so than Derek liked to think. He didn’t allow his alpha into his room. Having offered it to Lydia without hesitation should’ve sent a warning bell blaring off in his head. Instead, it meant that, for the first time, Jackson was forming a bond with someone. It meant that maybe, just maybe, he’d start truly opening up to the pack sometime soon. Oddness aside, Derek would take a victory where he could get it.

     The two of them headed towards Jackson’s room. Who hopefully would be sleeping on the floor. It seemed a bit tactless to try and sleep with someone in that regard upon meeting them so soon. More than likely, Lydia would have him wrapped around her finger before long. Not in a bad way. Just one that meant Jackson would be truly devoted to her.

     That just left Stiles. Who had come lumbering in. Eyes dredged with sleepiness. But looking as to be trying very hard to stay awake. Derek didn’t quite understand the man’s insistence in doing so. If he needed sleep, then he should’ve slept. Perhaps that’s just the kind of person Stiles was. Hopefully not. Derek didn’t like the idea of having a pack member that stayed up all hours of the night.

 

“I’m sorry for whatever it was that I did to upset you.” Stiles managed to say. Albeit weakly.

     “You didn’t know. Sharing clothes with werewolves means something a little different. My wolf reacted before I could think.”

“Reacted how?”

     “Get some sleep, Stiles.”

 

The young man didn’t offer any further resistance than that. Pattering off to the room that Derek had given him. For which he was grateful. There was a lot more to think about. Namely, what in the hell was he going to tell his sister? How did one explain the presence of two creatures that literally sucked people’s blood to survive? More worrying still was what would happen if any hunters found out. Vampires had been underground for centuries. Having two stay in the house of one of the most notorious packs on the west coast would be an endless nightmare.

      Derek knew that his sister, as well as his parents, would’ve have anything negative to say about Stiles and Lydia being here. They would, however, caution him against doing anything rash. What he could do beyond what he’d done already couldn’t possibly be any more rash. That being said, there was still plenty of time before the full moon. And a lot could happen in two week’s time

Chapter Text

 

Stiles rested well, given the circumstances. The last twenty four hours had been the most fucked rollercoaster of an emotional process he’d been through in his nineteen years of life. And that was including the time he and Scott got drunk in the woods. He’d learned that the creature that had attacked the night of their graduation party was a vampire. And that he, as well as Lydia, were both now the same thing. Also that werewolves were indeed a real thing. To top that shit show off, they were now living with a pack of them.

      He hadn’t expected to make it out alive when they’d stumbled into the trees. Being chased by a series of cool, eerie howls. There was some part of him, the darker animal part, that knew that there was no way it was anything natural. Every hair on his body went rigid. His skin prickled to attention. Fangs dropping without his consent. Every last part of him was telling him to run. Even if he had, he wouldn’t have gotten far.

     Weeks of slaughtering forest critters wasn’t very satisfying to the pallet. Leaving him weak and struggling to move. The pain making every motion a nightmare. When the fight came, he had prepared for death. But, as it turns out, the leader of these particular werewolves was merciful. If not a brooding jackass with no sense of humor. Stiles would take the win where he could get it. Because jackass Derek may have been, but he let him live. Was even nice enough to feed him.

      Jackson, the other brooding asshole, was enamored with Lydia. For what reason, Stiles didn’t have a clue. She was terrifying as a human. Even more so as a vampire. But the young werewolf was hell-bent on keeping her safe. Stiles would take that victory as well. That, and Erica seemed genuinely pleased to have a female friend in her otherwise all male pack. Sausage fest didn’t even begin to cover it. Now, if nothing else, the scales were a tad more balanced.

       The bed Derek provided for him was comfortable. Far better than sleeping in the Jeep. Or on the ground as they had for the past week before stumbling across them. There was even a heavy duvet to go with it. Compared to how their nights had been spent, Stiles by no means was going to complain. It was far more than he could’ve hoped for. Not since he discovered that his primary food source was literal people.

     It was still something he was coming to terms with. The idea, the undeniable truth that he was a creature of the night. One that preyed on the lives of others as a means of survival. Deaton was going to look into things a bit further. But Stiles doubted that this was a cheap fairytale. Where killing the vampire who turned you magically reversed the transformation. Even if they that were the case, there was no way they could’ve found the person who’d done this to them. He didn’t have any idea what they looked like to begin with.

      The sheer thought of it depresses him. Thinking of all the things that he had lost. And would never be able to have again. His father. Scott. Melissa. The entirety of his life had been uprooted. Tossed aside and burned to ashes. Blown into oblivion, never to return. What he was now didn’t allow him to be around humans. There was no changing that. As of right now, he’s only options were being alone. Or hanging out with a bunch of werewolves for the foreseeable future.

     The latter wasn’t exactly a terrible thought. They were nice enough. Derek aside, the other four seemed to have their own issues that needed sorting. Isaac was like Stiles. Lithe, but where Stiles observed with feverish interest, Isaac was subdued. He was indeed the quietest out of the four wolves. But there was no denying he was the keenest. The only person who had better attention than him was Derek.

    Erica was defensive. Underneath the cherry red lipstick and leather skirt, there was something else. A faded, but still living insecurity. A small, nasty thing that didn’t make it easy for her to trust outsiders. It was the way she kept her arms crossed. The way she positioned her hips. Always ready to pounce. A she-wolf that wasn’t to be messed with. There was a reason she and Lydia became such easy friends so quickly. There was a history to the both of them. One that allowed a mutual understanding of the other. Stiles was happy for them. Even though Lydia was his friend, he knew that there was a limit to how much she could stand of him.

     Boyd was the tank. The silent sentinel. There was no denying that he was the powerhouse of the four. Having fought him, Stiles knew better than to think that in a one on one fight, he’d come out on top. The only reason he had managed to break the man’s leg was because they’d caught him by surprise. There was also the way he stood near Derek. Always at his side. More than likely, he was second in command. With excellent reason. He had to respect that fact, if nothing else.

     Then, there was Jackson. Stern, a little standoffish, and absolutely deadly. He was more like Derek than the others. The way that he moved seemed to be more natural. A means that the other three didn’t have. He didn’t know the reason for that. But in terms of combat power and fighting style, he was better-rounded. Only Derek would stand above him in that regard.

     Beyond that, Stiles didn’t know much about his newly found housemates. Only that if he put one step out of line, they’d rip him to pieces. Lydia was no exception. Derek made the decision to let the two of them stay here. In their house, under their authority. It was a kindness combined with a deterrent. They weren’t going to let a pair of fledgling vampires do as they pleased. With good enough reason. After the incident with the group of homeless people, Stiles didn’t entirely trust himself.

     The hunger that came with being a vampire didn’t come lightly. It was an all-consuming thing that hurt right down to the bones. Every last cell screaming feed, feed, feed. It was all they could do not to go insane. Had it not been for Derek and Jackson, the both of them would still be well on their way down that deep abyss. And while Jackson seemed to have done it out of genuine concern, Derek had other motivations.

      The alpha was stern and serious. He knew full and well how to run a pack. As well as discern and respond to threats as they came. Calmly assessing the situation without every losing an ounce of composure. Stiles had no delusions that it was done out pity or kindness. It was done to keep him under control. He was, in one small way, a prisoner. And Derek was the warden. The one who sheltered him and fed him. Which meant that Stiles was completely at his mercy.

     Thankfully, the man was neither cruel nor spiteful. Merely attentive. He wasn’t going to risk any member of his pack. Nor the townspeople just outside of the preserve. It was testament to the kind of man he was. Stiles could respect that he was a genuine threat. And that Derek, as well as the others, had no reason whatsoever to trust him. That was just the truth of the matter.

      When he wakes, the house is quiet. Calm and serene. It’s almost enough to make him think he’s back him. But he knows better than to believe that this place could ever be a real home. That these werewolves would see him as an equal. As a member of their pack. That just wasn’t going to happen. And while they hadn’t gone full Underworld on each other, that didn’t mean they were friends. As much as Stiles would’ve liked for them to be.

    Fully awake, he decides to get out bed, and start the day. Might as well get it out of the way. There wasn’t really anything else to do. Since he showered before he went to bed, he doesn’t do anything beyond brush his teeth. Even letting his fangs descend to make sure they’re nice and clean. He was going to be a hygienic vampire. Which in of itself was an amusing thought to have. It was the most ridiculous possible joke.

     When he enters the living room, there isn’t a soul in sight. It was still early in the morning, but he figured at least one other person would be awake. Oh well. When he goes into the kitchen, he opens in the fridge. Despite the fact that he couldn’t eat anything in there. While it was possible to eat human food, it made him nauseous. Sending his whole digestive system into a downward spiral. For the sake of appearing normal in front of others, he could handle it. But he’d rather not.

      There was a plethora of things he loved when he could still eat when he was human. Breakfast sausage. Eggs. Typical stuff one would have in the morning. There was even all the veggies for a traditional omelet. Perfect for feeding a pack of werewolves. Which was what he planned on doing. Even if he couldn’t eat, the others would. And no doubt, they’d be rousing soon. He decided to go ahead and get started.

     The first thing he did was start on the biscuits.  There was all the ingredients to make them from scratch. Not as well as if he had taken the full process. But excellent all the same. If Derek and the others were anything like movie werewolves, they’d be gorging on carbs and protein first thing in the morning. That, Stiles could do. He’d spent years cooking like that for his dad. Until that first dangerously high cholesterol report came back.

     It was a rather large source of tension between them. At first anyway. And then his dad actually began to see the side effects of his decade’s long set of poor diet habits. He was lethargic. Slower to move. Unable to run without getting winded. It showed in his work. It was rather obvious that if he was to remain sheriff, he needed to make some serious changes. That didn’t mean he was happy about it.

    Stiles did a complete overhaul. Slicing out anything fried or needlessly fatty. To ensure that he didn’t meet a complete resistance, he did cut salt too much. And he knew better than to touch sugar. His dad had an outrageous sweet tooth. The most pressing matter, was how much coffee the man drank. After doing a budget, Stiles found that they spent an absurd amount of money on coffee. As well as other caffeinated beverages. Which was normal. Given that working as the sheriff meant plenty of early mornings and long nights. But if he didn’t cut back, there was an ulcer in his father’s future.

     Thinking about it sends a small pang through his chest. After his mother died, Stiles’ father became a different person. He was never much a drinker. Not from what Stiles could remember. But the week’s leading up to her death, the sheriff began taking two fingers of whiskey before bed. Then, after the funeral, it became half a bottle. Then, well…Stiles tried not to think about it. They grew apart from each other. And Stiles was responsible for taking care of himself for a few good months.

     He tried his best to stay out of the way. To keep from bothering his dad as much as he could. All the while trying to process his own grief. His mother, the person he was closest to in the world, was gone. It was something that an eleven year old Stiles couldn’t quite comprehend. Panic attacks were frequent in the beginning. His teachers grew used to the days where he had shut down. Unable to do much more than breathe.

    Eventually, somehow, the world evened itself out. The universe fell back into place. And all the grief seemed to fade into the most mournful static tune. The loss was still there. That empty, achy feeling that would never go away. His father went back to work. Pouring what remained of his whiskey down the drain. Their lives became the same as they had before his mother’s death. Spastic little kid with no attention span. And a man trying his best to protect and serve the people of his county.

       Stiles is broken from his recollections from the sound of footsteps descending down the stairs. As a human, he wouldn’t have been able to hear such a thing. It was quiet. With only the subtle squeaking of wood giving the person away. That, and the red surge of their heartbeat. It’s what his vampire brain focused on most. The beating and flowing of fresh, lively blood. It was a useful thing in terms of always knowing when someone was nearby. Sickening when he thought that it was a tool to help him hunt.

    It’s Boyd that enters the kitchen. Looking like anything but a normal person. First of the morning, most people were rubbing the sleep from their eyes. Yawning and still trying to walk without bumping into things. Not this guy. From the look in his eyes, he was well awake and attentive. Without so much as a drop of coffee. Those were the kinds of people Stiles feared the most. The man was definitely a force to be reckoned with.

 

“You cook?” he asked.

    “Figured you guys would be hungry. After all that went down last night.”

“Good idea. But whatever you’re making, double it. Just for good measure.” Stiles nodded in affirmation as the other man moved towards the coffee maker. It was a large, chromed piece of machinery. It looked more expensive than he cared to think about. Too many buttons and knobs and whatnot. But Boyd handled it as if he’d designed the machine himself. Yet another reason to fear him.

    Some part of Stiles wished that it was another person that had woken up first. Even Jackson was still a better option than this. Even Derek. When they’d run from the wolves, and landed in the ensuing fight, Boyd was the one that had been injured. In Stiles’ blood starved and desperate state, he’d broken the man’s leg. He still didn’t quite understand the full depth of his strength. There was learning curve to all of this. One that he was still taking in.

 

“About last night…I’m sorry. For breaking your leg and all. I’d like to make an excuse. But there isn’t one. I thought I was gonna die. And you guys…Well….”

    “You defended yourself and your female. That’s the instinct of any apex predator. I healed. You didn’t kill me or hurt anyone else. I think we can agree that last night can be stricken from any future grievances.”

“Again, like I told Derek, Lydia isn’t my “female”. We’re just friends. Also, do you like omelets?” Stiles was trying to steer the conversation away from the subject of his relationship with Lydia. He didn’t know why they were so hell-bent on assuming they were together. It was annoying little process that he wanted to nip in the bud. He didn’t want people making the wrong conclusions.

     He didn’t have anything against the idea of being in a relationship with Lydia. There was a time in which he crushed on her, hard. Fantasizing that they were the dream couple. But that time had long since passed. He had realized that they would never be anything more than friends. And that was okay. Now, with Jackson in the picture, that’s all they were going to be. At least, that’s the way it seemed to Stiles.

    There was certainly something between the two of them. At first, it had seemed one sided. Then, Stiles looked a bit closer. Jackson was enamored with Lydia. There was no denying that. Part of him was happy. Another wondered just how a werewolf and a vampire were going to make a relationship work. There were enough complications without the species coming into the mix.

     Boyd interrupts him with a cup of coffee. Its steam rises in soft little curls. The smell of it invigorates Stiles. Of all the things he ate and drank during the transformation stage, coffee was one of the only ones that was tolerable. He could drink it with minimal issue. For that, he was thankful. A man’s coffee was sacred after all.

     He starts on the pancakes while Boyd gets fresh veggies from the fridge. From the size of him, Stiles had him pegged for a protein guy. Apparently, first thing in the morning, summer vegetables were his choice. Stiles was more a cheese man himself. Lots of it. That and he preferred an egg white omelet as preferred to one with the yolks in. He could make either. Which was fine with him. He needed something to take his mind off the day anyway. Thankfully, there was a ten pound bag of potatoes to chop. Normally, by the end of it his fingers would be cramping. But now that he was a vampire, that seemed to no longer be an issue. Fatigue was a thing of the past.

      By the time he’s thrown the potatoes in the massive cast iron skillet, Erica has come down. She skips, literally skips, into the kitchen. Hair pressed and wrapped into a messy bun atop her head. If Boyd was scary for being so alert first thing in the morning, Erica was downright terrifying. There was no way anyone should be that perky this early. She truly was a fearful young woman. As well as an affectionate one.

     She gives Boyd a chaste kiss, greeting him for the day. Then proceeds to make demands for the menu once she sees Stiles cooking. Apparently, an entire pack of bacon was meant for her. Had the girl been human, he would’ve given her a lecture on blood pressure and risk of heart disease. But he didn’t think werewolves had to worry about that kind of thing. Not with the super healing factor they had going on.

     Isaac is the next to join them. He makes no demands. And offers no greetings. Instead, he heads straight for the coffee. Pouring himself an obscenely large amount. That, Stiles could understand. He was definitely that kind of person first thing in the morning. Isaac was his soulmate in this houseful of supernatural nonsense. At the very least, he could have that going for him.

     Jackson and Lydia were next. And Stiles knew from the moment they walked in, something was up. He was still getting used to his enhanced senses. Namely, his sense of smell. The world was full of things that he had never noticed before becoming a vampire. The two of them reeked of each other. They had shared a bed. Which was moving things along rather quickly. As long as it was consensual, Stiles didn’t care.

     Lydia gave him a kiss on the cheek. Asking in her own version of politeness if he could make her a quiche. Stiles was by no means a chef. But he could cook when it came to it. There had been more than few times that he had provided late night snacks for study sessions. Feeding himself and two other teenagers was a rather daunting task. Particularly when one of them was used to fine, quality ingredients. He had been able to work around Lydia’s somewhat snobbish tastes rather well.

      Jackson didn’t ask for anything. Or even acknowledge Stiles’ presence beyond a simple glance and nod of his head. That said a lot for his character. His wasn’t a morning person any more than Stiles was. Though he seemed to be a lot more on edge than any of the other wolves. Which Stiles was willing to forgive. What he wasn’t going to overlook, was the wolf trying to take a pancake of the stack before he had finished cooking.

     There was a resounding whack that went through the kitchen as Jackson found his hand smacked by a wooden spoon. The wolf recoiled from the hit, hissing in pain. Lydia and Erica found it hilarious. Stiles raised his eyebrow, daring the wolf to try again. He was smart enough not to. There was a certain brand of satisfaction that came with that. As what followed behind the other two. Which was Derek. Covered in thin sheen of sweat. Face lightly flushed with exertion.

      Stiles had never paid attention to other guys in his life. Even in the locker room. So this latest revelation was something that was even more confusing that becoming a vampire. He’d had a few fantasies before. But Derek drew his attention in a way that others didn’t. It was a slightly disconcerting revelation. One, nineteen was a but far along in the days to have a sexual awakening. Two, he could not, could not be crushing on the guy that was housing him. As well as feeding him. Certainly couldn’t imagine what things he could do to make Derek all sweaty.

 

“You cooked?” The alpha asked, interrupting his thoughts.

     “You and Boyd share a tendency to ask the obvious. Yes, I cooked. Yes, I take requests. And no, you cannot eat anything until it’s done.”

“You do realize that you just gave me, the alpha of this pack, an order. Not to eat my own food, in my own house, that I paid for. With my money.” There was a rather sharp raise of his eyebrows. Any normal person would’ve been afraid. Even before becoming a vampire, Stiles was hardly normal.

     “Tough shit, alpha man. I don’t like pickers. Leader of the pack or otherwise. I’m grateful to you for not ripping my head off. And you know, feeding me. I’m trying to be nice. So do let me.”

 

Erica’s giggle cuts through the somewhat tense air like a knife. Even Boyd, normally stern and placid, let out a chuckle. Jackson didn’t even bother trying to let it. The corner of Derek’s mouth twitched in the slightest, most imperceptible of ways. He was actively trying not to smile. Stiles would take that win. But it wasn’t but a few seconds later before Derek got him back.

     The man came in from behind, rubbing his sweaty face along the back of Stiles’ neck. This close, he got a full frontal assault of the man’s scent. Earthy. Like browning leaves on wet ground. It was a nice scent. Comforting in a strange, nostalgic way. The alpha scampered off. Taking his seat at the table. Fully smiling this time. Stiles, despite being a member of the supposed undead, felt a blush creep into his cheeks. This was going to be an interesting set of people to live with after all.

 

Chapter Text

Derek was running. Not as a wolf, but as a man. He did so every morning. It was a routine that he’d settled into as alpha. Patrolling the territory. Seeing if there were any anomalies that needed attending to. Vigilance was never a bad thing. Keeping it meant that they would stay safe. That they would never be caught by surprise. Except, as of last night, they had two vampires living with them.

   It was still something that he was trying to wrap his head around. The creatures themselves were myth. Even amongst the supernatural world. There hadn’t been a confirmed account of them in nearly a thousand years. At least, that was according to Deaton. All the hysteria of the Inquisition and the Victorian era was just that, hysteria. Panicked humans trying to make sense of a world that didn’t make sense. At least, not to them.

     There were a myriad of non-human creatures that existed. Across all cultures, across all countries. Hell, even Antarctica had a few. Which said something in of itself. Derek didn’t try and question what may or may not be real in the world. If it didn’t affect his territory or his pack, it didn’t concern him at all. Stiles and Lydia concerned both. For now, the threat of them going berserk was gone. With the both of them having been fed. That didn’t mean there was no danger left.

    Stiles and Lydia where children. Much as his betas where. Young, inexperienced individuals that had no real grounding in the world. Add the fact that they’d had their entire lives turned upside down from being made into vampires, and the situation didn’t improve. Derek was a born wolf. He’d had a lifetime to grow and adjust to his powers. He was the expert here. And he would use that expertise to keep his pack safe. As well as try and integrate the young vampires into his life.

     The territory is safe. With no signs of anyone had following Stiles and Lydia. Wolf or otherwise. If there really was someone who’d be after the one that turned them, they weren’t following those two at all. More likely, they’d be focused on the rouge slaughtering people indiscriminately. That was cause for concern. Derek didn’t know how it worked for vampires, but alphas felt an inherent attachment to the ones they bit and turned. An instinctual bond that wasn’t easily severed. If Stiles’ maker came for him ad Lydia, he didn’t know what he’d do.

     At the moment, he focused on the boundaries of his territory. Ensuring that none of the lines had been violated. After last night’s events, it would’ve been easy for something to slip through undetected. There were no signs of such a thing, but he preferred to be vigilant. He was a Hale after all. Towards the end of his run, his phone began to ring. Which meant it wasn’t one of the betas. They would’ve just howled.

    The caller ID wasn’t a number he recognized. In fact, the area code wasn’t even for this continent. Unlikely to be a spam call. He learned rather quickly who it was, given how loudly she yelled.

 

What the hell are you thinking, taking in vampires!?” Laura’s voice was grating on his ears. A sharp, piercing pain that would result in a headache. That much was certain. He opted to hold the phone away from his head until she calmed down. If that actually happened to be the case. Which was unlikely.

     “Hello, dearest sister. Lovely to talk with you after so many weeks.” Derek did his best to make sure his voice was dripping with unhindered sarcasm.

Don’t avoid the question, little brother. Deaton called asking for references from the library, sourcing new information. After which, he mentioned that you took in literal vampires.”

    “Did he also happen to mention that they were forcibly turned, and aren’t any older than Cora?” His sister paused at that. Which was a given. No matter the werewolf, how cruel or how much they lacked compassion, every wolf had an instinctual response to the young. No matter how small. Especially as alphas, the both of them had strong feeling towards the pups in the pack. Stiles and Lydia were by no means pups. But having them be so close to his baby sister’s age made them vulnerable.

     They were human, forced into the shadows of the supernatural world. A place that was harsh, and unforgiving to those who let down their guard. Derek wasn’t going to let youngling vampires run loose and free over her territory. But he wasn’t going to treat them like prisoners either. Laura entrusted him with their family’s land. And she’d have to accept the fact that he had made the choice fully aware of the potential consequences.

    “I…That doesn’t change that they eat people Derek. They’re a danger to your betas and the town. Surely you realize that.”

“And surely that I have no intention of becoming a murderer.” Derek made sure that the edge to his voice came through as harshly as he could put it.

    “They’re not people anymore Derek. It’s tough, but they can’t stay.”

“Then we’re no better than the Argents.” Laura went silent after that. When the ashes settled, and the fire died down, their family was still intact. Everyone knew that it had been Derek that Kate had used to get to them. That she had manipulated him and wormed her way into their home and nearly killed them all. Most of them never mentioned it, out of a simple courtesy. Even Peter, with all his sharp wit and vile character traits, never mentioned it. That didn’t mean Derek ever forgot that he’d been responsible for the near destruction of his family.

     He never forgot the look on Kate’s face as she watched their house burn. As flames tore through a century old house. Careening across ancient oak pillars. Swallowing innocent people alive. They had escaped only by luck. As well as Morell’s sheer mercilessness. It was that day that Derek truly learned that hunters had no qualms about killing. The code was what they hid behind. But given the chance, anything non-human would meet the business end of a Desert Eagle.

    He wasn’t the type of alpha to rule with an iron fist. That behaved more like a tyrant than an actual leader. The Hale line was full of respected, noble alphas that lead by example. Derek wasn’t going to set his by killing two innocent kids. Laura, as well as any other member of his family, would have to accept that. Regardless of what the rest of the world thought.

    “You’re nothing like her, Derek. You hear me? But they are a danger, and I can’t help you from another continent.”

“Don’t remember asking for your help, Laura. I’m fine. The betas are fine. We’re handling it.”

“How are they going to survive there, Derek? What do you intend to feed them, squirrels?” It seemed Deaton had left that information out. That Stiles and Lydia had fed from members of the pack. Which was likely a good thing. Given how upset his sister already was.

    “I’m handling it Laura. Put the same trust in me that you did when you and Cora left for Brazil.” She didn’t say anything after that. At least about Stiles and Lydia. Only that he needed to call her if anything happened. Not that she could just drop off from what she was doing, but she could call their parents. Which he was wholeheartedly against.

     She ended the conversation slightly less agitated than when he had answered the call. The victory was small, but he’d take what he could get. His sister was a continent away, yet still found a way to make his life hell if she wanted to. Hopefully he wouldn’t have to call her for a while. Stiles and Lydia, as well as the betas, needed his full attention.

     When he arrives back at the house, the smell of cooking meat permeates the air. He catches the scent before he even walks through the door. Stiles, as well as the betas are in the kitchen. All chattering away in one form or another. Making idle conversation. The young man stands at the stove, all four burners going at once. One for pancakes, another for potatoes, another for bacon and sausage, and one for omelets. It was a veritable feast. Which Derek was pleased with.

    As alpha, it was the basic instinct to provide for his pack. In the old days, that meant hunting and ensuring a fresh kill. Now, in modern times, it was relegated to grocery shopping, and cooking enough food to feed a small army. Or werewolves. It was very much a stereotype. One that he enjoyed. Cooking for his betas gave him a sense of satisfaction. But seeing Stiles do it…Another part of him responded.

    Derek hadn’t been with anyone since Kate. Her actions had left him bereft of any desire to pursue a relationship with anyone. But seeing Stiles in such a domestic position…The wolf stirred. Grumbling with a sort of pleasure that was primal in a way. It desired Stiles. In what way, Derek wasn’t exactly sure. He didn’t know how such things felt anymore. Nothing was helped when the young man blatantly voiced defiance. However small.

     The wolf liked being challenged. It gave it a chance to bear down and prove its authority. Stiles was opting for that challenge. Which he reciprocated by rubbing his face across the back of the young man’s neck. A weak point for any creature. Even more so for an apex predator. Had Stiles been a wolf, the gesture would’ve been more significant. Even still, Derek enjoyed his scent on the other man. The spice of their combined aromas. Melding together in a way. The alpha wondered if he could make it to where no one could tell them apart.

     When breakfast is finally served, and Stiles has calmed down from Derek’s antics, everyone eats with a certain kind of fever. Being a werewolf meant dealing with a ravenous appetite. Accelerated healing didn’t come freely. His betas didn’t even bother trying to keep decorum. Devouring piles of meat, eggs, and potatoes. Chatting in between mouthfuls. Derek enjoyed every second of it. The feeling of pack. The feeling of being together.

    Stiles and Lydia couldn’t share in that. Apparently, vampires couldn’t eat human food. Not without getting horrendously ill. Derek pitied them for it. Sharing a meal was a means in which all social creatures, human or otherwise, communicated. How they bonded. Not being able to do so must’ve been a blow to their lives atop of everything else. Though they didn’t seem disheartened.

    The both of them enjoyed chatting with the others. Happily engaging in the comradery that was breakfast time in a house full of werewolves. Erica and Lydia still continued to hit it off with each other. While Boyd seemed to harbor no ill resentments towards Stiles for last night. Derek was pleased. As pleased as he could be.

    When everyone was finished, the betas cleared the table and began washing up. Derek headed upstairs for a shower. There was plenty that he had to get done today. And he wasn’t going to get any of it done lousing about the house. The betas could keep an eye on Stiles and Lydia. Derek was happy to house them. But that didn’t mean he was foolish enough to think that they could let their guard down.

     He heads out the door waving an idle goodbye. With Stiles handing him a protein shake, offhandedly mumbling how there was too much damn laundry. Derek had the feeling that he’d be doing more than just cooking. So long as the betas didn’t forget their own chores, he didn’t see the harm in it.

     The grocery store already has his order ready when he arrives. One of the best advents of modern technology is that he didn’t have to spend three hours shopping for his pack. Rather, he could place what he wanted online, and the store would have it ready to load into his car. Generally, only large retailers offered this. Which was fine with him. As long as he didn’t have to spend too much of his day on one simple task.

     As he leaves back for the house, Deaton calls, asking him to stop by the clinic to discuss what he had found. Seeing no issue, Derek pulls into the parking lot. Not even bothering to lock his car. People in this town knew who it belonged to and where unlikely to mess with it. Even if they weren’t aware that he was a werewolf. Humans still cleared away from him and the betas. There was a part of him that enjoyed that.

    The ash barrier parts for Derek as he enters. Doing so via a silent command Deaton gives. The alpha didn’t know much about magic, or what part it played in being an emissary. And he never saw any reason to ask. The man did his work, and kept Derek and the others safe. Never using his magic for ill, or otherwise malicious purposes. If anything, he’d only ever used it to keep his clinic private from non-humans. Which made sense. Given the shifters were rather tumultuous beings at times.

     He stands in the surgery area. Gleaming steel tables topped with endless books, odds and ends, as well as other things that Derek didn’t recognize. Deaton, who said nothing, simply pointed to one of the books. Which was already opened to a marked page. It was a heavy, leather bound thing. Aged black covering, and it smelt heavily of dust. Given the impression that it hadn’t been read for quite some time. Derek didn’t acknowledge his emissary, save for pick up the book and beginning to read.

 

“The vampire myth is prevalent throughout of all of human history, and across a variety of cultures. They come in a rather diverse set of forms. Much like that of shifters. They can appear as normal as any human. Or take grotesque shapes that haunt the deepest reaches of our nightmares. Either way, the common theme between all of them is their food source, human beings. Be it their blood, their life energy, or some other nourishment, vampires have always fed from humans.”

“We already know this. Why am I reading redundant information?” He asked petulantly.

    “Skip a few pages. It gets interesting.” Derek did as he was told. Flipping forward, he found another marked passage.

 

“Vampires, throughout their history, have been a secretive race. Rarely revealing themselves outside of feeding or their own kind. Even before what is now known as the ‘Great Vanishing’. Where all established vampire communities seemed to fall from the face of the earth. Much like the Mayans. There was little, if not trace of them.

    The speculations of why an entire race of creatures across the entire planet seemed to disappear continues to this day. But the most prevailing one, and perhaps the most frightening, is that they knew they had to disappear. The elders, the leaders of their kind, somehow managed to gather across six continents and simultaneously removed their existence from the world entirely. From human and non-human alike. That’s the terrifying part. That tens of thousands, perhaps even millions could become little more than a story.

    The last thousand years, every vampire community has remained secretive. Or died off. It’s hard to know, given their ability to hide away from everyone but themselves. There seems to be a system. A code that exists to alert others of their kind to the presence of a community. Which allows them to interchange themselves as they need to.”

 

“Still not seeing the importance of this.”

    “If there exists a code that allows vampire to locate their own kind, a system that allows them to communicate, but stay secret, then we have a chance to find them.”

“You want to invite the possibilities of more vampires?” Derek asked with a huff.

    “Or perhaps, invite the chance to make Stiles and his companion human again.” That gave Derek pause. As far as he’d heard, no wolf could go back to human after being turned. There were plenty of legends. Plenty of stories that talked about. More often than not, it involved killing the wolf that turned you. Which, to his knowledge, never worked. All it did do was leave a newly turned wolf with the powers of an alpha, and dangerously unstable.

     Vampires, however, were a different story. Even though the book talked about them, how they went underground and away from the world, it didn’t give details. There were no specifics. Only rumors and speculations. No hard, concreate evidence of why or how vampires vanished from the world. That meant, perhaps, with hope against hope, Stiles and Lydia could be human again. The problem was finding out someone who could actually confirm it.

 

“There isn’t much to go one. In fact, there’s only one symbol to go on. And I haven’t found any reference that could come close to translating it. But it’s more than what we had. I’ll keep looking.”

     “This almost makes up for the fact that you called Laura behind my back.” He said sharply.

“I am her emissary as much as yours. And she is privy to the happenings of this territory regardless of the fact of her distance.” Derek didn’t have a retort for that. Instead, he opted to look through the rest of the books to see if he could find anything. Deaton told him to go home, and that he’d call if anything changed.

     The alpha heeded the words of his emissary. Leaving without a proper goodbye. He was still annoyed at the situation with Laura. But he was happy that he could bring Stiles and Lydia good news. Probably the first of any that they’d have since being turned. And while they hadn’t caused any real trouble yet, Derek couldn’t wish for them to be gone. Couldn’t wish that they were so easily removed. They were pups. Much like Isaac and the others. He couldn’t fault them for being as tightly wound and irritable as they were. Hopefully, it would give them something to look forward to.

 

Chapter Text

Two weeks later

 

“ISSAC, COME PICK UP YOUR GODDMAN CLOTHES!” Derek had been trying to read the same page of his book for the last hour. It was an ongoing, and increasingly difficult task. Given how much noise his pack was making. Which was rather a lot. The day leading up to the full moon was always a hectic time in his family. With all the kids running around. The adults scrambling to get things in order.

    Now, as the alpha of their ancestral territory, he was in charge of such things. But, after taking in two fledgling vampires, things had changed quite a bit. Namely, Stiles. He was a rather…Interesting character. Derek thought he knew everything there was to know about the young man. Namely, and most importantly, he didn’t. Not by a freaking longshot.

     The young man was hyperactive at the best of times. Being a creature of the night helped absolutely nothing. All the energy that came with being a supernatural entity needed to be directed somewhere. Stiles, when bored could find the solution to world peace in a matter of hours. Derek had little doubt of that. He was a dangerously focused individual. Which did come in handy. The house had never been cleaner.

    The expectation that his pack would share in the chores hadn’t changed. Derek treated all his betas the same in that regard. They were a pack. They were a family, and family worked together on such things. That, he had always made clear. The alpha didn’t longue around being waited on hand and foot. Didn’t favor his second over the others. They were to share their duties in the household. Stiles took that all and turned it on its head.

     The young man had yet to leave the preserve since he arrived two weeks ago. Derek, at first, had forbidden either he or Lydia from leaving. His wolf wasn’t comfortable with the idea of apex predators roaming around unsupervised. The man knew that they were still adjusting to the powers and instincts that came with being what they were. He hated that they were essentially in a prison. But, until they could prove otherwise, that’s how they were going to live.

     In that time, Stiles took it upon himself to rearrange their entire lifestyle. The fridge was neatly organized in a way that made sense only to the young vampire, but somehow still worked. Every surface was cleaned and sparkled. He even had the sense to use scent friendly cleaners as to not agitate their sensitivities. Which was rather impressive.

      There was also the matter of cooking. Stiles, despite his young age, had something of a talent at the stove. Every single meal was taken under his jurisdiction, and it was always on time. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not to mention the snacks that he was able to make. Of which there was plenty. Werewolves, born or bitten, all had voracious appetites. Which usually meant a lot of carbs and protein. Stiles felt otherwise.

     He must’ve have found time to get a degree in nutrition in high school, as he was able to plan every day accordingly. There was never a moment when the betas went hungry. Or even had to ask for food for that matter. It was rather impressive. More so, the fact that he had, in two week’s time, shaved nearly four hundred dollars of their budget.

    List making was another one of Stiles’ strange, but incredibly invaluable talents. Derek didn’t have to worry about money. His family had that in spades. In stocks, real estate, business, and other investments. They really only worked for the sake of appearances. As long as they weren’t excessive or greedy, every adult wouldn’t have to work for some number of decades. But wolves who got complacent rarely made it far.

     His mother had always taught him that money and position meant nothing. Working gave a sense of purpose and opportunity. Werewolves were supposed to live amongst and beside humans. That didn’t happen by being lazy and trotting about the trees all day. The betas all had their own odd jobs. Nothing much. Enough to cover whatever they wanted outside of basic living expenses.

     Stiles and Lydia, didn’t. Though the latter also found ways to contribute. Namely, their clothing. Derek had been buying generic brands for years. There was no need for anything exuberant or over the top. Peter was enough of a diva in that regard. With all those godforsaken V-necks he liked to wear. It was basic staples of every day wear. Werewolves didn’t focus that much on that part of their lives. Given how quickly their clothes could be destroyed.

      Lydia was having none of it. While Stiles was a master of living expenses, Lydia took personal finance to a whole new level. There were plenty of miscellaneous expenses that came with being college students. Erica and Boyd both attended the same school, so they car pooled. That saved money in of itself. Jackson had his own car, and his own money. Isaac was the one without a vehicle. Though Derek was more than happy to provide one. His beta staunchly refused. Saying that the kind of money wasn’t something he was willing to accept.

     Lydia was a genius with numbers. The time in which it took her to calculate Isaac’s expenses was borderline terrifying. She had an entire spreadsheet mapped out in a matter of hours. All the betas had their own jobs. Had their own personal accounts. Isaac made decent money for a college kid. Lydia helped him plan his expenses to where he could have a car of his own. Paid in full, with cash, in less than a year.

     It was a startling thing. To see the two of them work their way into the pack without even really trying. There was still plenty they didn’t know about vampires. Only that they drank blood, and were highly vulnerable to silver. That was is it. The gap of information didn’t sit well with Derek. He didn’t like being in the dark. And while Stiles and Lydia were good people, they didn’t belong in a pack of werewolves. They’d always crave the company of their own kind.

    Deaton had no new progress to report about locating any vampires. The symbol that he had found was ancient. Dark ages ancient. Written in a language that was dead long before the Renaissance. Whatever traces were left died when the vampires went underground. Or in the many wars that plagued Europe over the centuries. It was a rough going, daunting task that meant a waiting game was all they could play.

     Derek reached out to a few of his own sources, as much as he could anyway. He had no doubt that Laura would’ve told their parents about Stiles and Lydia. That there were two, freshly turned vampires in their family’s territory. Though they would have the good sense to keep that information private. Derek knew that he’d need to be discrete. About where the symbol came from, and what it meant. The world didn’t need to know that vampires were back.

     Namely, he worried over the hunters. They were bad enough when it came to shifters. A thousand years of legends and paranoia wouldn’t help them keep Stiles and Lydia safe. More than likely, they’d shoot to kill. If that’s how one killed a vampire anyway. Derek hoped he didn’t have to find out.

      He slams his book shut, giving up on actually trying to retain any information. The house was alive with the sounds of his pack, and while he did enjoy it, focus wasn’t something that came easy with this time. His betas are nowhere to be found. No doubt hiding from Stiles’ immanent wrath. He did so dislike the mess that they left. They had too much energy in the hours leading up to moonrise. And they were still too new to have learned how to focus it.

     Stiles is the in the kitchen, apron tied around his waist. Every viable surface covered in colorful ingredients. Derek had explained, several times over, that Stiles was not their housekeeper, nor their chef. But the young man ignored him each and every time. He was effectively trapped here. Unable to leave. By his own fear. Even though he’d proven that he was more than in control of himself. So long as he was fed.

     There was a slight bitterness to his scent. A dull, throbbing ache that let Derek know that he was hungry. The young man hadn’t taken a drop of blood from anyone since the first and only feeding. His instincts would’ve been starting to stir. Seeking out where he could drink from. As far as he knew, Lydia had fed from Jackson twice since they first met. Derek didn’t mind so long as it remained consensual. Stiles, it seemed, still felt hesitant in asking.

     The alpha didn’t even offer in words. He simply stuck his arm out, interrupting whatever food related task the young man had at hand. He swatted his hand, moving out of the way. Paying no mind to the alpha. For all is wits, Stiles still remained stubborn. There was a guilt that lay in him. One that Derek understood well enough. He had been human. And then forcibly made into something that feeds on them. He didn’t relish in it. Didn’t take pleasure in it.

      There was little doubt in Derek’s mind that the young man would obstain until the hunger became unbearable. Until he was teetering on the edge of madness. If he was going to stay, he couldn’t be brought to that brink again. Not with Deaton coming and going at random. If he lost control…Derek tried not to think of what he’d have to do.

     Much like last time, he cut a small line across his arm. Freely letting the smallest rivet of blood flow downwards. Stiles sucked in a harsh breath. Sharp and heavy. Senses no doubt alert to the presence of rich, warm blood. Derek tried not be amused by his reaction.

 

“Dick move.”

     “You’re hungry. And with the full moon tonight, I don’t need you half there.” It was a pressing issue that Derek hadn’t found a solution to. Having Stiles and Lydia here was one thing. Having them here during the full moon was another. They were both apex predators. Smack in the middle of werewolf territory. Even though they’d melded in quite nicely, there was still a risk.

“I don’t like taking from you, or any of the others like that.”

      “Jackson doesn’t seem to mind all that much.” Derek shot back.

“Jackson is wrapped around Lydia’s little finger. So there’s quite a bit more to that arrangement.” The alpha didn’t have any comment for that. Jackson had taken a liking to Lydia. Well, more than a liking. He, for some unknown reason, was absolutely smitten with her. That was his choice to make. That was his choice to live with. If he wanted a vampire as a mate, so be it.

     Derek and Isaac were now the only members of the pack without a significant other. It wasn’t necessarily high on his to do list. After Kate, the idea of that kind of intimacy still gave him unreasonable anxiety. Though his parents weren’t one to let him stand idle. There had been plenty of hints dropped at the idea. Of lovely females from other packs how’d be more than happy to meet with him. Now that he had two vampires in his house, that was certainly out of the question.

    

“I’m asking because I want you to be safe. I can control my wolf, but if the others see you as a threat, I don’t want to have to force them into submission.” Derek wasn’t that kind of alpha. He knew the power he had as head of his pack. As their leader. That didn’t mean he used it freely. If the others felt Stiles was dangerous, especially during the full moon, there was no telling what they’d do.

    The young man didn’t offer any protest. Instead taking Derek’s arm, gently, as with grace, biting down just above his wrist. It was an interesting thing. The care that he took when feeding. Even when he was starving and on the brink of insanity, he’d taken measure to ensure that Derek wasn’t hurt. It was a testament to how hard he was trying to stay human. To keep what little of himself he had left. Derek understood that well enough.

     Even as a born wolf, he had trouble controlling the shift when it first started. Especially after Paige died. After he did what he did. There was no denying that he stayed on the edge of feral for that year. When Kate came, and the fire, he nearly lost it completely. He respected Stiles’ desire to stay as “human” as possible. But he wasn’t going to let the young man torture himself either.

     He drinks for less than a minute. Taking the bare minimum of what he needs to curb his thirst. Even if did relent and feed, he wasn’t going to be greedy about it. That’s what Derek imagined his thought process to by anyway. A noble sentiment. Albeit a dangerous one.

 

“What monstrous feast have you concocted this time?” Derek asked trying to avert his thoughts.

     “Catwoman said you all get ravenous leading up to the full moon. And that if you don’t eat, you’ll eat Bambi, and then feel guilty the next morning. So, I came prepared.”

“And that means…What exactly?”

     “Ten pounds of pork roast. Seven pounds of honey ham. Two chickens. Twelve pounds of mashed potatoes. And for Isaac’s hilariously vegetarian self, a delightful vegetable quiche the size of Winnipeg. As well as enough gravy to full an Olympic swimming pool.”

    As always, Derek was impressed with the young man’s efficiency and attention to detail. He leaves with a small swipe of his hand across the man’s neck. The contact makes him shiver ever so slightly. He’d explained the purpose of sent marking. As well as he could without making it awkward. Stiles, for all he was worth, seemed to take in stride.

     Erica and Isaac left their own in casual contact. Boyd, and to no one’s surprise, Jackson, had yet to initiate their own contact. Derek respected that. Boyd was a cautious man even before Derek turned him. Jackson was Jackson. That wasn’t going to change any time soon. So long as he carried Derek’s, things should be okay. Though the young man did return the favor.

    A slight brushing of hands. A whisper of a touch. Barely there. Only felt because Derek was an alpha. Almost as if he was afraid. Derek’s wolf reveled in it. Though still wary, it felt…Proud. Proud that he had two strong, ample creatures in pack. Even if they weren’t human. Even if there was no way for them to fit into the pack structure.

    It was also strange that he even considered them pack to begin with. They’d been here less than two weeks. The others still went on their tiptoes sometimes whenever they were in the same room with either Lydia or Stiles. Hell, Jackson was a wolf, and even he’d taken some time to fit in. There was no rational reason as to why Derek, the alpha, considered them to be pack. However small or slight that feeling may have been. He made a note in the back of his mind to talk to Deaton after the full moon.

     Towards the later part of the evening, when the sun just started to set, the effects of the moon began. The rampant energy they all felt became that much greater. And even Jackson, a born wolf, wasn’t able to sit still for longer than five minutes. Stiles took it all in stride. Serving up plate after plate of food. Derek made sure that the betas took care of the cleanup. After all the time Stiles had spent, it was the least they could do.

      When the last dredges of sunlight vanished behind the horizon, the betas launched themselves into the woods. Erica giving a valiant howl into the clear night air. It was a beautiful thing. The sky was clear. Without so much as a wisp of a cloud in sight. The fullness of the moon illuminating the forest floor. It was nights like this that Derek enjoyed the most. Where the deepest parts of the wolf could be set free. And it was in that moment he realized the depth of his unusual attachment to Stiles.

     The young man was on the porch, watching as the betas played and ran and hunted little rabbits. Unconcerned and slightly amused. Derek couldn’t help himself. He sat down next to the other man, leaning onto his shoulder. Enjoying the sharpness of his scent. Stiles didn’t seem to mind very much. He ran soft circles in the wolf’s hair.

 

“You’re not going to join them?” He asked.

     “They need to learn how to function without me around. Part of being alpha is making your betas exercise their own independence. It’s a work in progress.”

“Is that why they haven’t gone full Fido yet?” Derek huffed at Stiles’ joke. The young man was predisposition to humor in general. And it wasn’t always tactful.

     “Running as a full wolf takes focus and experience. They’re still too new to have complete control during the full moon. Though they aren’t that far off.” Stiles didn’t make a comment. Instead, he placed his head next to Derek’s. Content to sit with him.

      Lydia and Jackson were playing tag in the yard. Darting back and forth. It was an interesting game to watch. Jackson, even as a born wolf, was never very playful when it came time for the full moon. Derek never asked why. But with the young vampiress, he actually engaged in play. Happily so. Erica and Boyd teamed together to take down Isaac. It was the most together they’d been in quite some time.

    

   

 

Chapter Text

Living with a pack of wolves was…strange. Stiles felt, and he was still getting used to this, at home. As odd as it sounded. He’d been with them for a month. That’s was it. In that short time, he’d made friends among the fury little bastards he now called his friends. Lydia, for all her sternness, felt the same.

      Maybe it was because they were all creatures of the night. Those unknowable things that went through wire thin pieces of shadow. Creeping between specks of dust. All while the rest of the world slept. It was becoming easier. Accepting that he was no longer human. Lydia had long since discarded the sentiment.

      There were days, sometimes in a row, where he thought of his old life. His bed. His house. His dad. Scott. And Melissa. All things he left behind when he ran. All the things he could never have again. Not as long as he was what he was. A vampire.

     He wondered if the rumors of immortality of true. That creatures like him didn’t, or rather couldn’t, die from old age. That they would live and live and live. Frozen in time. Forever unmoving even as the world continued to move. His father was already in his years. Already down the hatchet and over the hill. And Stiles could never see him again.

    He asked Lydia about it. How she felt leaving everything behind. Where all the things she knew and loved were back far away from them. For the most part, she ached. Her parents were in the midst of a divorce when they left. Squabbling and arguing. Trying to barter for her affections. She still loved them.

      Stiles laughed. For all the faults of their parents, they were virtually infallible. Even amongst Derek and the others, where they could live and breathe, the vestiges of their human lives cried out. He focused his thoughts away from such things. Busying himself with whatever tasks he could find. Even through his own self-confinement, there was plenty to do.

    Werewolves, as it turned out, were goddamn messy. Always on the move, rarely content to sit still. They tracked in mud twigs. As well as the occasional forest critter that suffered an untimely demise. Stiles had gotten used to skinning rabbits and squirrels. And made damn sure they were eaten. Waste not want not, and all that.

      Derek insisted, on more than one occasion, that he was not the housekeeper. That he was not responsible for taking care of the betas. Or any subsequent messes that came with them. He waved the alpha off with a disinterested shrug every time. His ADD demanded, even as a vampire, that he remain occupied. That he have something, anything to do.

     Lydia, much to everyone’s misfortune, was the same. She hated being confined to the house. Though she did love a stroll through the woods. Derek had relented his restriction, saying they were allowed in town with supervision. He trusted them enough for that. The problem was, Stiles didn’t trust himself. It was an ongoing process.

    He resisted the hunger as much as he could. Lydia had all but accepted that they needed blood to survive. Jackson was more than happy to provide. And while Stiles was more than happy for Lydia, he wasn’t relishing in his newfound hunger. Or rather, his newfound thirst.

     Derek had offered every time he could smell the hunger creeping in. It was an unfair advantage in Stiles’ mind. That he could take a little sniff and suddenly know everything about him. Or his mood at least. Every time he’d resisted, all three times, Derek had cut his arm open. Forcing the young vampire to smell the scent of fresh blood.

     It was an annoying little stunt that Stiles hated to no end. Even though the alpha offered it willingly, he still felt a twinge of guilt for taking so much as a drop. The others, even if they didn’t fully like the idea of their alpha being dinner, laughed at him. Lydia as well. The sentiment of Stiles’ lingering humanity was a rather ridiculous notion.

      Today, he felt sated. Happily cleaning up after the mess of a full moon run. Of which there was plenty. Though the betas didn’t shift into their full fury forms, they still managed to make a mess. And there was plenty of it. Werewolves, as Stiles had learned, were rather rambunctious on a good day. During a full moon, damn near intolerable. At least the untrained and undisciplined ones were.

     There was all manner of dirt, foliage, and other forest bits that got tracked into the house. It took him an hour to clean the mud room. Another to rinse the nonsense from all their clothing. The only one that behaved themselves was Derek. Then again, he was a born wolf, as well as an alpha. Therefore, he had quite a bit of experience under his belt.

     Apparently, his family had been here for quite some time. A few generations in fact. There was no real reason that they settled in this remote, nothing-ever-happens-town. They just did. And there were distinguished. According to Erica anyway. The Hale name was known across North America. Stiles didn’t know whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

    Derek didn’t talk about himself much. Stiles didn’t pry. The man had taken him and Lydia into his home. Gave them beds to sleep in, and didn’t treat them any differently than his own betas. His privacy was his. It was just that simple. Besides, Derek didn’t seem the talkative type to begin with.

     The others were more than happy to discuss their lives. It gave them something to do. Isaac came from a broken home. Broken it what way, he didn’t specify. But Stiles could tell. He was the son of a cop. And had seen more than his fair share of abuse cases. Isaac’s broken home more than likely came with some broken bones.

     He had met Derek by chance, randomly, one night. He was escaping his father. Wandering away from home for just a few short hours. Releasing the pent up anxiety and self-loathing the man made him feel. It was in their cemetery of all places. Isaac’s father was the groundskeeper. And it was the last place that he’d look for his son.

     Stiles shivered at the idea of hanging out in a graveyard. It sounded like a bad goth cliché from an 80’s movie. But Isaac was comfortable there. Among the dead. Where there no voices to shout. No hands to throw things at him. No one but himself. And Derek.

     It was a full moon, and the man had just become an alpha. There was no particular reason that he was in the graveyard. He just was. The meeting may have been fate. It may have been coincidence. It didn’t matter. Derek felt the need for a beta. And Isaac wanted away from his father. He jumped at the opportunity.

     Erica was another matter. She had a decent home life. Or, at the very least, he parents weren’t abusive. In fact, just the opposite. They were rather overprotective. Having epilepsy tended to do bring that out in a person. She hated her home life. Namely, because she didn’t have any privacy. There was never a time when she could be alone.

    Derek found her, as he did with Isaac, by chance. After a particularly nasty seizure, and an extended hospital stay, she was due to be discharged. He found her, in the front lobby, reeking of pain and misery. It was instinctual. The young woman was a prime candidate for the bite. Her conditioned could be managed to near eraser as a wolf. It was only a simple matter of waiting for her to turn eighteen.

    Boyd became pack by association. He and Erica had flirted on and off. So he was around enough to be a consideration. And unlike the other two, his home life left something to be desired. His parents were neither abusive, or overprotective. They just simply worked. Boyd always came home from school to an empty house. And almost always ate dinner alone. Stiles couldn’t imagine it.

     Derek, along with the rest of his family decided to offer Boyd a place amongst them. It had been peaches and cream ever since. Jackson was another matter. He was something called an omega. A wolf without a pack. Like Derek, he was a born wolf. His parents had died, leaving him alone. Much like Isaac and Erica, meeting the Hales seemed to be an act of providence.

     Though he didn’t adjust well. At least, that’s what the others said. Jackson seemed to be fitting in well enough from what Stiles could see. He was happy, and playful even. Though there were some days that his standoffishness got to be a bit much. There were a pack. They were happy. Even with two vampires living with them. It was a shame that someone had to go and screw it up.

     Stiles smelled them before he heard them. That was the terrifying part about being a vampire. The ability to pick up prey even if they were miles, in this case half a mile, away. He’d grown used to the scent of wolves. So it was rather easy to pick up something that didn’t belong in the preserve. The house was nestled deep into the trees. Far away from any hiking trails. There was no reason for people to be out here.

     There was also the nature of their scent. Stiles could tell from the warmth and the sweetness that they were indeed human. Roughly a dozen of them. Moving at a slow pace. There was the lingering scent of gasoline. Which meant they’d arrived in a car. But decided to travel on foot. Derek had taught him that one. He’d also taught him that it meant whoever it was had a reason to do so. Namely, stealth.

     They were trying to sneak up on the house. If that wasn’t enough of a concern, there was a strange, unnatural bitterness to the edge of their scent. Something that was floral. It made his nose itch. It took him a moment, but he realized that it was wolfsbane. Deaton had spread some across his skin when they first met. To test, among other substances, what exactly he was. There was a group of people coming, and they were covered in wolfsbane. That didn’t mean anything good.

 

“Derek, call the others and take them to the back of the house. There are people coming and they stink of wolfsbane. Nearly a dozen. They’ll be here in 30 minutes at this pace.” He knew Derek could hear him. Even if he was outside. Whoever these people were, it wasn’t anything good to why they were coming.

      Stiles could hear the others fussing around inside. Getting ready to move and flee if it happened to be an attack. Derek hadn’t covered it much, but apparently, there were those who would wish them harm. Rival packs for one. But these people weren’t wolves. They were humans. That didn’t mean they were nice.

      The first of them breaks through the tree line just as Derek steps outside to join Stiles. His eyes are already red. He smells…Angry. And perhaps a little nervous. But from the way he positions himself, he knows these people. Or at least, he knows their leader. The man at the front. He isn’t much older than Stiles’ dad. If a touch younger. Salt and pepper beard. Greying at the edges hair.

    He walks with confidence. He is man that carries a particular brand of certainty. The others who follow behind him do the same. There is an atmosphere of professionalism to the group. One that gives Stiles’ heart a little jump. As they approach the house, he can smell gun oil. They’re armed. Though they hide it well.

     Derek jerks his head, silently ordering Stiles into the house. The young man raises an eyebrow in protest. Daring the alpha to even think of confronting them alone. Not. Gonna. Happen. Derek could growl and flash his eyes all he liked, Stiles wasn’t going anywhere. These people were dangerous. And he wasn’t scared of a fight. After all, he was a vampire.

    The leader stops just shy of a hundred feet from the front porch. Eyeing Derek curiously. His attention wavers to Stiles for but a second. Then, he turns his gaze back to the alpha. Ten thousand things are said in a single moment. All without a word. These people aren’t welcome here. And they know it.

 

“You’re looking well, Derek. All things considered.” The man said plainly.

     “Thanks. Nice chat. Now take your hunters and leave.” Derek wasn’t thrilled. His were still blaring red. Stiles could tell that these people was most decidedly, unwelcome. Furthermore, he’d referred to them as hunters.

    Stiles wasn’t exactly surprised. There were vampires and werewolves in the world. It stood to reason that there would be those who hunted them. Even in this modern age. There were probably as many hunters as there were werewolves. With all the stories that existed in the world, he assumed some of them had to be true.

 

“Just checking in. We have a right to monitor the comings and goings of your pack. We’re not here to start anything.”

     “Sorry, but that’s a load of bullshit. You’re covered in wolfsbane, and reek of gun oil. Armed, and cloaked to hide from werewolves. How is he supposed to take that any other way?” Stiles didn’t mean to speak. This wasn’t his area of expertise. But the smirk in the man’s voice unnerved him.

“I’ve see you’ve made some new additions. Quite the expansion you’ve got going for you. Being such a young alpha.”

      “He’s a guest, under my roof and my protection. His affiliation with this pack doesn’t concern you.” Derek spat.

“It is if he’s a wolf. The Argents have always kept the peace. Even after what happened. We’re here to ensure that you and your pack aren’t plotting something.”

 

Stiles came to attention at the mention of the name. Argent. He’d heard it before. Only briefly. But he’d heard it. Erica had talked about them in hushed whispers. Always away from Derek. Now, he knew why. There was bad blood here. Very bad blood. The kind that lasted a generation, and more. Stiles didn’t.

 

“As much as I enjoy your self-righteousness, Chris, he isn’t a wolf. But he’s here, and that should be good enough. If I want to expand my pack with consenting adults, that’s my business and no one else’s. I’m not going to ask again. Leave. NOW.”

    There was a boom in his voice. The authority that he held as alpha was clear. He wasn’t going to be polite or cordial with these people. These hunters. They were going to leave. Or else…Or else…Stiles didn’t want to think about what would happen if this came to blows. Or in this case, gunshots. He’d never been shot before. So he didn’t exactly understand what he’d do. But he knew that he’d protect Derek and the others.

     Three of the hunters drew their pistols. Desert Eagles from the looks of it. One woman not much older than Stiles drew back on her bow. Which she had somehow mysteriously made appear from out of nowhere. They came armed alright. Stiles had to resist the urge to drop fang. These people thought he was human. And it was probably beneficial if it stayed that way. The man didn’t seem too concerned with his people taking up arms.

 

“You may not know, your sister may not know it, but things are in motion Derek. Ever since Kate went to prison, there are those who’ve taken advantage of that absence. The lapse in our family.”

     “You’ve no one to blame but yourself for that one. She knew what she was doing. She knew it was wrong. She did it anyway. Any power struggles, or packs out for blood are on your head. Take that back to Gerard and tell him to shove it up his ass.”

     Stiles had to resist the urge to laugh. Even in this tense situation, he had a bad timing for his sense of humor. Derek, decidedly, was far less than amused. He dropped his fangs, growling lowly in his chest. The hunters had made their threat. This was the response. The others would be outside in seconds. They wouldn’t move fast enough.

     The twitchy ones were always the worst. That’s what Stiles had learned about people with guns. Even trained experts, even hunters as it turned out, could be trigger happy. In this case, it came from the man to the left and at the back. His hands were shaking ever so slightly. He was nervous. Stiles could smell it from here. The predator side of him was thrilled. The man smelled like prey.

     In a move that was very unbecoming of prey, he fired off a single round. Aiming straight for Derek. Stiles could barely hear anything else over the boom of the gun. He’d moved before he realized that his feet were in a different place. One second, he was standing next to Derek. The next, in front of him, a bullet slicing into his chest.

     It hurt. Not as much as he thought being shot would. But nonetheless, it hurt. Every part of his body was screaming to attack. To rip thrash and tear apart the people in front of him. The only reason he didn’t, the only thing that stopped, was a single image. The sight of his friends being torn that fateful night. Their bodies rent asunder as the vampire that turned him ripped them apart like rice paper.

     Derek was in full shift now. Not even bothering to hold back anymore. Boyd had just burst through the front door as the rest of the hunters cocked back the hammers on their guns. Once again, Stiles moved before he could even think. Before anyone knew it, he’d disarmed three hunters, and had the bow armed woman by the throat.

     Everyone froze. No one moved a muscle. Every eye was on him. In particular, Chris. He seemed rather terrified at Stiles’ position of having the young woman as a hostage. The other hunters had their guns trained towards him. Completely ignoring the porch full of werewolves they were now faced with.

 

“I so abhor violence. I like getting shot less. Now, let’s all make nice. And you can leave, just as you were told.” It was a straining effort to keep his eyes and fangs put away. He was exposed as a non-human from how quickly he moved. But they didn’t need to know the specifics.

     “Let my daughter go, and we can talk.” Chris said with his hands in a tight grip on the firearm.

“You talked. We listened. You were told to leave. You didn’t listen. Then, I got shot. At this point, talking time is over. Release the clips on your guns, and throw them away, please.”

     “Dad, it’s fine. I’m fine.”

“Allison, sweetie, I admire your bravery. But there’s a creature holding you by the neck. You’re not fine.” Stiles was going to come up with some kind of witty retort. Some kind of comedic comeback. Just to take the edge off the situation. That’s when Allison decided to plunge a knife into the side of his leg. This time, he could help but let his fangs out. Serrated steel cut like a bitch.

    

   

 

Chapter Text

Derek considered himself to be a rather composed man. He was in control of his wolf from a young age. Even after Paige’s death, the fall out was minimal. Considering what could’ve happened. What could’ve gone wrong. That he could’ve went completely feral. Lost all sense of himself.

     The damage that Kate had done was worse. She stripped him of everything he thought he knew about himself. Took every sense of identity and shredded into unforgiving pieces. He was a wreck for weeks…No months after her attempted mass murder. It had left with a lingering sense of doubt. That he was unworthy of his pack. That he was an unworthy person in general.

     He worked three times as hard to prove himself to his pack. To redeem himself in the eyes of his family. Even as they assured that it wasn’t necessary. That aside, he did it for himself. To prove that he could be better. That he would never make the same mistake again.

    College was one step. Worked hard, and even still, pushed himself. Every pack member was expected to provide. To contribute in some way. To strengthen themselves and others. Derek did that in spades. He now held a degree in architecture, and history. Both of which allowed him to bring in extensive amounts of revenue.

     It wasn’t about the money. It wasn’t about the bank accounts. It wasn’t about the people he met or the contacts he made. It was about proving that he could be normal. That he could be a good beta, and a good son. A good nephew and a good brother. That he had moved on from his trauma. That he had become better. It was a well crafted façade.

     Kate, even though she was in prison, far away, still held a certain degree of power over him. His pack touched him. Embraced him in their small ways that all wolves did. Even when he became alpha, he did not shy away from his betas. Nor did he deny any of their affections. But it was always there. That lingering sense of fear. That sharp shard of ice that went into his back.

    Touch was never the same with him. There would always be a split second of anxiety. One single moment where his heart leapt into his chest. Whether or not his pack could tell was another matter. If they could, they were gracious enough to leave it unmentioned.

     His mother also shared in this kindness. It was common amongst packs, especially distinguished ones such as theirs, to mix in social circles like the courts of old. The purpose being to meet new packs. New alphas. But most importantly, the prospect for a mate. Derek hadn’t attended one since Kate went to prison.

     The mere idea of that kind made his stomach turn. He could handle physicality with his family. He could handle it with his betas. But there was no chance that he could handle a mate. He wasn’t even brave enough to try. Not now. And certainly nowhere in the future. He had resigned himself. Being as good an alpha as he could be.

     His betas loved him, and he loved them. There was no denying that. Even with all the pain and torment of his past, he was a composed man. Today, that changed. There was very little in the world that could make him lose control on a dime. Where the shift took over and he became ready to destroy anything, and everything in his path. This was one of those moments.

    The only reason he didn’t go to full shift was because he knew the end result. Which would’ve been every armed hunter opening fire. They’d all be injured within seconds, and that would push Stiles over the edge. The huntress had plunged her knife into his thigh. Add that atop of being shot, and the young man was well on the edge.

     Derek could smell it as his half shift took over. There was a dark smell in the air. It wasn’t anger, or fear. It was bloodlust. Pure, unhindered bloodlust. Stiles wanted to rip and gnash and tear. Wanted to rend the huntress into pieces. Until there was nothing left.

    By some miracle he didn’t. He kept his head down, eyes which were no doubt black, hidden from the hunters. Derek had to applaud him for that. Though he could tell things could go very south very quickly. Chris, as much as the alpha hated to admit it, was a damn good shot. When he shot to kill, he meant it, and he didn’t miss. Derek didn’t know how well vampires could survive being shot through the head. He wasn’t particularly keen on finding out either.

 

“That wasn’t very nice. But to be fair, I do have you by the neck.” There was a fleck of humor in the young man’s voice. An uptick that he was desperately trying to hide. He ripped the knife from his leg. Wincing as he did so. Derek could feel he muscles shred from here.

     “You’re definitely not human. But at least you weren’t lying, Derek. He certainly isn’t a wolf.”

“Can we not have idle chit chat when I’ve been shot and horrendously mutilated? Yes? Thank you? I believe you were in the process of disarming yourselves.”

 

The hunters only tightened the grips on their guns. Fingers itching to fire. Derek knew he needed to think of something fast. Something that would allow him to take control of the situation. But he didn’t have any pressing ideas. None that didn’t come with a large risk of someone on both sides dying.

 

“You expect us leave ourselves defenseless in front of a pack full of wolves, with the alpha half shifted?” Chris’ tone left no room for interpretation. He wasn’t going to order the rest of his hunters to lay down their weapons.

     “Okay. You guys are the worst. You come onto private land, brandishing your guns, and try to start a prick waving match. There’s no contest. You’re all grade-A certified assholes. But then again, so am I.” Stiles’ eyes were no longer black. As he stared directly at Chris. His fangs were away to. Derek didn’t know if the hunters hadn’t noticed.

“I’m aware of your less than desirable character. Seeing as your holding my daughter hostage.”

     “Tell me Chris, do you love you daughter? Do you love Allison?” Stiles asked with a dangerous expression.

“More than anything in the world.”

     “Would you still love her if she were a monster?” That gave Chris some pause. In fact, it made his face go white. Derek could actually see the blood drain from his face. The russet undertones of his skin disappearing. Being replaced by chalky alabaster. He was, for lack of a better word, terrified.

    Derek was as well. The implication that Stiles had made was…Unsettling. He was going to turn the huntress. He was going to turn her into a vampire. Which would end in her death. The Argents were an old family. Full of old codes and old rules. Any hunter that became something other than human had one of two choices.

    Commit suicide before the transformation was complete. Or be hunted down like the animal they were considered. Derek knew that Chris didn’t have it in him to kill his only child. He didn’t know if the huntress had it in herself to commit suicide. More than likely, she’d be shot down by the hunters currently surrounding her.

    It was a threat. Plain and clear. Derek didn’t know if Stiles intended to deliver on it. Hell, he didn’t even know if he knew how to make another vampire. From what the young man had said, there wasn’t any memory of what had happened. Only that he and Lydia had been attacked. And where the only survivors. The vampire that committed the massacre was ruthless. Acting swiftly and without remorse.

     The only edge they had, the only one Stiles had, was that the hunters didn’t know what he was. Only that he wasn’t human. Which left plenty to the imagination. There were numerous ways that humans could be turned by dozens of species. Namely, it almost always involved a bite. As was the stereotype. Derek had turned his betas with one. It was just that simple for werewolves.

      The intricacies of the vampire species were unknown to them. It more than likely involved a bite. Maybe more than one. Maybe several. Maybe they had to go full on Interview With A Vampire. There was no knowing. But Stiles was playing the card. Taking the risk. Derek didn’t know how he felt about that.

 

“You’d be dead before you could try.” Chris threatened.

     “Maybe. All it takes is that one little nick. Just. One. And your daughter becomes the thing you hate most. What say on the count of three, I shatter everything you hold dear?” It was a standoff. The worst possible kind. Derek could hear Stiles’ heartbeat. It was exponential. Had he been human, he would’ve been dead.

“One. Two. Thr-.” Chris held his hand up in defeat. Even if Stiles didn’t intend to make a vampire, even if he didn’t know how, his bluff had worked. The hunters dropped their guns. Separating the magazines, and throwing them quite a distance from themselves.

      In return, Stiles released the huntress. Who immediately turned round and took a swing. Not even bother trying to go anywhere but his face. The vampire neatly dodged. Hopping out of the way. A small smile across his face. He was amused. Despite them all nearly dying. The huntress, was decidedly, not amused.

 

“You think this is a joke?!”

    “Kind of. Seeing as I lied my ass off, and it worked.” Chris’ expression regained its color, as well as its fury.

“You threatened my daughter…Threatened to take her from me…”

     “Dude, I was human two months ago. I didn’t know any of this shit was real. I just got attacked, and I woke up…This. Whatever it is. I don’t know how I was turned. Or how to do it to someone else. I bluffed, dude.”

     Stiles, in light of extreme circumstances, managed to diffuse an otherwise tense situation. Derek was rather impressed. Chris seemed to be stunned as well. The man was nothing like Kate. A hunter, yes. But he was far more prone to mercy as opposed to his sister more brutal methods. The alpha could give him credit for that.

     The hunter took pause at the vampire. Even if he didn’t know what he was looking at. He saw a young man, no older than his daughter. How had his entire life turned on its head. There was no denying the slight hesitation that he felt towards him. Now that he knew the truth, at least some small part of it.

 

“Whatever attacked you-.”

     “Is long gone. I didn’t see it. Didn’t hear it. I don’t know what it was, or what it looked like. Only that it killed everyone but me. So please don’t pretend that you understand a single part of what I’m going through.”

“I won’t pretend anything. But you’re a creature that attacks humans. Knowing what you are-.”

     “Sorry to keep interrupting, but I don’t care. Like, at all. Derek agreed to take me in, and keep me safe. I abide his rules, and I live not chained to the floor, or with a bullet in my head. You don’t have the right to take that from me. I may not be human anymore, but I don’t have to act like it.”

 

Chris had a visible vein throbbing in his forehead. Derek couldn’t smell anger. It was something else. Something that he didn’t quite understand. He didn’t really want to. He wanted Chris and his hunters off his land. Far away from here. He wanted them to slither back to their home, away from his pack. Away from Stiles.

 

“I’m sorry for what was done to you. It was wrong. But you’re something that falls under our purview. And if you harm anyone, you’ll have to answer to us. As well as Derek, seeing as he’s taken you in.”

     “Listen carefully to the next words that come out of my mouth. GO. FUCK. YOURSELF. You’ve no right to tell anyone, human or otherwise, how they get to live. You’re not elected representatives. You’re not chosen ones. You’re just a bunch of assholes with a grudge.”

 

    Stiles had gone from playful, to enraged. He had tried to diffuse the situation, and Chris had shit on those efforts, through and through. The betas were on the verge of shifting. Derek could feel the tension from here. He was the only one shifted, and even that had caused the hunters to open fire.

     They may have disarmed themselves, but that didn’t make things better. If any one of them attacked, they’d take it as a declaration. They’d target not only Derek, but the entire Hale family. There would no doubt be a cleansing. Gerard was a vicious bastard. He’d be thorough about it.

     Allison was the one who diffused the tension. A simple hand on her father’s shoulder. A silent gesture. One that made it clear that they weren’t going to win. That they weren’t going to come out on top. They’d lost this round. And proceeding would be foolish.

    Chris relented, with a promise to be back. Derek, in turn, promised that he wouldn’t be welcomed warmly. The hunters retreated with the backs to the trees, still facing forward. They weren’t going to leave that easily, or without thinking they’d be ambushed.

      Derek stayed shifted until the last hunter vanished from his sight. When he could no longer see their outlines, he relented on his shift. Letting his features take back their human shape. The others breathed a sigh of relief. The tension evaporating from their bodies. Especially Stiles. Who shuddered sharply, and proceeded to vomit in a rocket like fashion. Derek was by his side just as he started to collapse.

 

***

 

Stiles couldn’t remember the last time he had a panic attack. Maybe when his dad had that health scare sophomore year. He couldn’t quit recall. He was, in fairness, panicking. Derek had been on edge the moment those people had arrived. As well as the others. Which made sense. Given that all of them stank of wolfsbane.

     The confrontation was fraught with tension the moment they broke through the tree line. It was obvious that their leader and Derek knew each other. Stiles decided to remain silent. For as long as he could anyway. It was obvious as to why they were here. And it wasn’t for anything nice.

    The leader, Chris, had tried to chalk it up to being here on good relations. Stiles, who had kept quiet, called him out on his bullshit. These people had come armed to kill wolves. There was twice the number of the pack. There wasn’t an ounce of goodwill to be had.

     Derek was visibly pissed. Stiles could smell it to. Whatever history these two had, it wasn’t pretty. There was somebody named Kate, and from the sound of it, she wasn’t any better. Seeing as she was in prison. For what, wasn’t said. But it was clear that her incarceration had lasting consequences.

     Chris also noted the addition of Stiles to the pack. Attempting to make a case for intruding by Derek making a new beta. Of which the alpha shut down with a righteous fury. He wasn’t going to be bullied or threatened. The other hunters took that as a sign to draw their weapons. Stiles hated gun happy idiots.

     His dad was a cop. And a sheriff at that. He’d been around enough nutcases to know better. The trigger happy ones were always easy to point out. Stiles found the one that would cause trouble within seconds. It didn’t take him long to fire off a round.

     He moved before he could think. His body reacting the instinct of the man’s finger twitching. The bullet pierced his chest in a fury of fire and pain. He reacted, once again, before he could think. Ripping the guns from three of them, and grabbing the lone huntress by the throat.

   Every hunter that had a gun trained it towards him. He’d successfully removed Derek as a target, and made himself one instead. With no clear way out. In the midst of thinking, he hadn’t noticed that Allison had produced a knife, which she plunged into his leg.

     The pain was as bad as being shot. Only this time, there was far more blood in the air. His blood. Regardless, he felt his eyes sharpen to black. Fangs piercing through his gums against his will. He turned his head away from the hunters. They knew he wasn’t human. But that didn’t mean they had to know he was a vampire. The hardest part was controlling the bloodlust.

     Stiles had felt it in the back of his mind ever since he was turned. That nagging itch that never really left. Being a vampire wasn’t all that different from being a human. It was just a heightened sense of being. More primal. More animal. And it was working against him.

    It would’ve been the easiest thing in the world. Killing the huntress. Her skin was like rice paper. Her bones like woven glass. She wouldn’t have felt any pain. The ease of her slaughter scared him. As well as how easily the thought came to him. How easily he thought of ending her life.

      He knew that being a vampire would come with its downsides. For the most part, it was the thirst. The constant desire to feed. That he’d come to terms with. What had kicked in the gut, what had sent him reeling, was the instinct to kill. It was his first and only thought when presented with a threat. Kill. Kill. Kill.

    He could feel her pulse beneath his fingertips. The exact rhythm of her heartbeat. How her blood pulsed in each and every vein. It was a delicious, mouthwatering sensation. He wasn’t even hungry. But the desire to feed was there. To rip and rend and tear. It would’ve taken only seconds.

      But he knew the consequences. Which were all of their deaths. If the hunters couldn’t kill him, as how quickly he moved, they’d turn their guns on Derek. As well as the others. If the bullets didn’t kill them, the wolfsbane in them would. There was no good options. Except for one.

    Stiles didn’t know how he was turned, how he was made to be what he was. But the hunters didn’t know either. Which gave him an advantage. Threatening to make Allison like himself gave everyone, especially Chris, a pause. They didn’t have enhanced hearing. They couldn’t tell if he was lying or not.

     The young woman’s heart stayed steady. She was afraid. He could smell it. Which helped nothing. But she wasn’t panicking. Her father was. He tried to call Stiles on his bluff. Stiles called back. He won. The hunters disarmed themselves. Ensuring their victory.

     Chris tried to stick around. Tried to make a case. Stiles, even after releasing the huntress, felt himself angered. Teetering on the edge of slaughtering all of them. Even though the hunters left, it helped nothing. His heart was still hammering. He was still geared and ready for a fight. Body wrought with iron tight tension.

     When he could no longer see them, when the threat was gone, he relaxed for a moment. Then, his stomach emptied itself in a horrendous fashion. Seeing as there was nothing in it, all that came up was bile. Which scorched the inside of his throat with the flames of hell. Apparently, vampires were still subjectable the side effects of adrenaline crashes. As well as shock.

      He feels his legs give out. The world spins and spins and spins. He never reaches the ground. There are too many voices. Too much movement. Someone is shouting. There are hands cradling his head. There is something soft beneath him. Even in the midst of all of it, he cannot fathom why he is calming down. He decides to sleep on it.

    When he wakes, it’s to a bundle of mussed hair pressed into his face. Strawberry blonde locks tickling his nose. Lydia is asleep next to him. Breathing softly, and without disturbance. Stiles takes exactly three seconds to admire it before he gently moves away.

     Even though he takes care not to disturb her, she wakes regardless. Her eyes are soft. Softer than they have any right to be. It had been years since he felt this way about Lydia. Even though he’d long since moved away from those notions. There would always be a part of him that felt that way. Even if it disappeared just as quickly as it came.

 

“You certainly gave everyone a right good scare. Feeling better?” Her tone is flat. Even. Stiles knows that voice. He hates it.

     “Just a panic attack, Lyds. Nothing to worry about.” Her eyes pinch themselves in a way that says she isn’t amused.

“You vomited, and lost consciousness. That isn’t your garden variety panic attack. Try again.” He doesn’t know what to say. Doesn’t have the words to describe how he felt. Anger. Fear. Hunger. Bloodlust. Rage. Sorrow. There were too many emotions, and too little space to put them.

     Being a vampire didn’t just enhance the physical aspect. It enhanced the emotional side. He felt things stronger. Deeper. What drove the very nature of humans to live only became magnified. There wasn’t enough words in any language to give life to what he felt.

     He didn’t want to try. Didn’t want to admit how close he’d come to killing the huntress. How easily the thought came. How easily he imagined her neck snapping beneath his fingers. How he had enjoyed the idea of it. How he didn’t even think about ending her life.

     Lydia runs a finger across his cheek. Stiles feels cool moisture. He’d been crying. Without even realizing it, he’d been crying. That was enough to give life to how he felt. Where his body released without his consent. Where everything came pouring out of him.

 

“How do you do it, Lyds? How do deal with the fact that we aren’t human anymore?” He was struggling. Struggling to know why she was so much better at being a vampire. Why she was so much better at any of this.

    “I’m not. I just don’t show it. Women aren’t allowed to cry. Women aren’t allowed to show emotion. We get called weak and feeble. Jackson is the only one to see me shed a tear.”

“You certainly don’t seem like you’re struggling.”

      “Everyday is a struggle. I can hear them. The people in the town. It’s faint, but it’s there. The sound of hundreds of hearts. Filled to the brim with blood. The smell of it. I think about how easy it would be to slaughter a family. To drink and drink and drink. I think about every waking moment.”

 

Stiles didn’t know what to say. He didn’t have any retort or advice. He had felt the same. Derek had offered him blood. Kept his hunger at bay. Made sure that he was able to hold onto his senses. That he was able to stay “human”. Lydia had Jackson. That didn’t make it any better.

 

“I don’t want to be this way anymore. I don’t want to wonder which is the day I become a murderer.” Her eyes glistened with tears. She was crying now to. Lydia never cried. At least, Stiles had never seen her. She was always the infallible one. Never seen in any light other than perfection. He’d realized how selfish he had been.

     He’d just assumed she was adjusting. That she was fine with being a vampire. She had Jackson. She was comfortable. She was flawless. She was Lydia. Stiles hadn’t taken the time to consider anything else. He’d been a bad friend. He couldn’t apologize. It wouldn’t have meant anything. So, instead, he cradled her closer.

    Stroking soft circles in her hair. Letting the rest of his tears fall alongside her own. There was nothing else he could do. They were vampires. Creatures of the night that stalked and preyed and drank. That wasn’t ever going to change. But that didn’t mean they weren’t heartless. It didn’t mean they had to give up their humanity. They were here. And for now, they’d have to live with it.

   

 

Chapter Text

Things weren’t…They weren’t good. But they were better. Considering all that had happened anyway. Derek would take what he could get and roll with it. There wasn’t much else to do. He was still a relatively new alpha. One who still didn’t have all of his bearings. Add two vampires to that, and things got even more restless.

    After Chris and the other hunters had left, Stiles collapsed. It wasn’t gradual or seeable. It was all at once. Full force, down to the ground. Right after he emptied his stomach. Derek didn’t know what to do. At first, he thought the huntress’ blade may have been poisoned.

     Though, the chances of it actually being silver were relatively slim. It made for a beautiful blade, but the metal itself was too soft for practical use. There really wasn’t a manual for this. They only knew silver affected Stiles and Lydia because of Deaton’s test. Whatever else affected them remained unknown.

    There could have been any number of things that gave him such a reaction. The list was potentially endless. And if it was a poison reaction, they had no way of reversing. He was prepared for the worst. The bite couldn’t save him, as he was no longer human.

    Lydia set the record straight. Stiles had just reached the ground, with Derek by his side, when she came flying out of the house. Jackson had kept her from going berserk when the huntress stabbed Stiles. The smell of his blood was thick in the air. Any supernatural could’ve smelled it from miles away.

    She cradled his head as his body shook. Wracked with heavy, ragged breaths. As if there wasn’t enough oxygen. Derek was still convinced it was some kind of poison. Lydia, with her eyes pitch black, calmly explained that it was a panic attack.

     Apparently, the young man had them when he was still human. Something about his ADD. It was a frequent problem. One for which he took medication. When the two of them fled their human lives, he didn’t take it with him. There wasn’t any reason to. He wasn’t human anymore.

     The fit itself, while jarring and somewhat terrifying, doesn’t last that long. When it’s over, Stiles’ body shudders once. Then, he goes stone still. Derek can tell that he’s no longer conscious. Lydia orders, actually orders, that the young vampire be taken inside.

     Jackson is nice enough to help. Maybe he’s still afraid that Lydia will go berserk. It was still a rather relevant possibility. One that Derek wanted to avoid.

      Once inside, the others crowd around Stiles’ still form. Reeking of anxiety. Derek nearly suffocates with it. He himself is still worried. The animal part of his brain, his wolf, pacing and unable to rest. He wanted to render the hunters. Rip them limb from limb.

     It wouldn’t have done any good. It wouldn’t have changed anything. It wouldn’t have helped Stiles. It wouldn’t have calmed the pack down. And as satisfying as it would’ve been in the moment, he knew the consequences of it. The Argents were old blood, and knew old grudges.

    After Kate went to prison, Gerard went on the warpath. Making damn sure every Hale knew that there was a target on their back. It was a rough few months. But he realized that he wasn’t going to get anywhere. His movements were becoming too obvious. Sooner or later, someone would’ve noticed.

     There was also the matter of what Stiles would feel. The young man felt immense guilt for taking so much as a drop of blood. Derek didn’t want to think what he’d say if people were killed in revenge for him.

     He was pack. Or he wasn’t. He was…Something. Derek didn’t know. It was hard to classify the way he felt. As a man, and as wolf. Stiles and Lydia were vampires. No one knew their social structure. With wolves, it was easy. It was concise.

     The both of them had verbally stated their submission. That they recognized that they were under Derek’s authority. And by extension, the authority of the Hale pack as a whole. That much was made clear. But the wolf wasn’t satisfied with words.

   It wanted action. It wanted gestures. It wanted the baring of the throat. A true sign of trust and submission. Each of Derek’s betas had given this. Had affirmed their place in the pack. Their role. Stiles and Lydia didn’t, or rather couldn’t, affirm that.

    Derek didn’t expect them to. He wasn’t going to ask for it. Asking for submission was false and deceiving. It undermined an alpha’s authority. A beta had to, of their own volition, offer it. The idea of a vampire baring their neck to anyone was laughable. The worst kind of irony.

     Derek tried his best to provide support. To be there for the young vampire. Which was difficult. Given that the only real capacity Derek had provided was being a food source.  And his home of course. Beyond that, he wasn’t really anything else.

     He decided to try and be a friend. Which ended…Not well. Stiles distanced himself. Rather effectively. Anytime he was seen outside of his room was only a few minutes as at time. Derek didn’t see him for over a week. The young vampire was determined to remain isolated.

     He knew there was a problem when the found a deer carcass. It was drained entirely of blood. Excellently butchered. Prepared to feed the pack. Stiles had gone hunting. And while Derek was pleased to have such a fine animal to eat, he wasn’t thrilled about Stiles feeding from it.

     

    Both he and Lydia had fed from animals. And in their own words, it was less than satisfying. In fact, they had said it tasted like dirt. Barely taking the edge of their hunger. As Derek began to pay closer attention, he could smell the young vampire’s hunger.

     It was a bitter, acrid thing. Almost like anger. It upset the pack. There was a ravenous predator living in their house. It set everyone on edge. There wasn’t a truly peaceful moment in the house. Derek wanted to give him space. Wanted to give him time. Time to process whatever he’d gone through.

    Alpha’s that ruled through force and fear didn’t last long. Their betas either abandoned them, or killed them. Derek was an alpha. An alpha from a distinguished bloodline that the entire supernatural world knew. But he was by no means a tyrant.

    That being said, he wasn’t going to allow his pack to function in disharmony. Stiles, as much as it pained him, was the source of it. So, on no particular day, Derek banished everyone from the house. Ensuring that there was at least some kind of privacy. Stiles didn’t even bother to protest when he opened the door.

     The young vampire looked…Horrid. That was the best word the alpha could conjure. There were deep seated lines under his eyes. They were black, his hunger no longer able to be hidden. Derek had waited too long. He’d treated Stiles as a human. Respecting his feelings as such. He’d gotten complacent.

     The vampire didn’t even bother turning his head away. He knew that he’d been caught in the midst of his hunger. That he’d been forced Derek’s hand. There was no other course of action. The alpha wished it were different.

 

“I’d like to talk, please.” Stiles jerked his head, wordlessly telling Derek to close the door. Even if no one else was in the house.

     “I’m fine.” It was an outright lie, through and through. The vampire didn’t even bother to hide it.

“Your eyes say different, as does your scent. Please, try and have enough respect for this pack not to lie to me.” Stiles didn’t have a retort for that.

     “I’m going through some stuff. I’m figuring it out.”

“You ‘figuring it out’, is putting us at risk. You’re a vampire, and you know no matter the number of deer, you’re going to be hungry. Humans will start noticing the dead animals soon. So please tell me how much longer you need, because I can’t give you much more.”

 

Derek didn’t mean for his words to come out as harsh as they did, but they did nonetheless. Stiles actually flinched backwards. Ever so slightly. The alpha wanted to apologize. He wanted to hold the young vampire. Cradle him as he would one of his betas.

     He wanted all the suffering of the world for the young man to go away. For him to have his life back. For him to have his family back. For him to never, ever have to worry about anything like this ever again. But this wasn’t a fairy tale. It was the real world. And the real world sucked.

 

“How did you feel, the first time you shifted?” The question breaks Derek’s train of thought. It is random, or rather, it seems to be. There was a deeper meaning to it. There always was with Stiles.

     “My parents had told me what it would be like. Wolves pass as human until the first shift. Then everything changes, and everything did. At the same time, nothing did. My family was my family. My pack. Only now, I could feel them. I could be a true part of it.”

 

It wasn’t the answer Stiles was looking for. Derek could see it in the way the young man’s face fell even further. The corners of his mouth turned down. It was a comical sort of frown. Only, there was nothing funny about it. At all.

      The alpha didn’t know how to give the young vampire what he needed. What he wanted. Which was a family. Derek may have sheltered him. Even fed him. But he wasn’t family. His family was miles and miles away. Wondering what happened to their loved one. Wondering if they were even still alive.

     Stiles wanted what he couldn’t have. His old life. Surrounded by the humans that he’d known and loved for years. But being a creature that ate them didn’t exactly make that possible. He wondered just how he could help. What he could do.

      Derek thought of doing what he did the last time. Making a small cut on his arm. The scent of fresh, warm blood always drove Stiles to feed. Though, in this state, he was likely to go mad with it. Derek thought about restraining him. Then he decided it would only make things worse.

      Stiles would have to feed of his own volition. That, or leave. Derek didn’t want him to. He didn’t want the vampire out and alone in the world. Careening through the trees, trying to stay hidden. Barely surviving on the blood of animals.

     If he left, Lydia would go with him. Derek had little doubt that Jackson would follow. The only thing stronger than the pull of pack, was the pull of a mate. The two of them had bonded beyond what ordinary people could experience. It made no difference. If they were happy, he saw no issue in letting them leave. Except…

   Except Derek wanted a pack. This one, the one he had right now. It was by no means perfect. Far from it. But it was his. His betas were his, turned and integrated into the life of a werewolf. He’d worked hard for it. Strived for it. Even with Stiles and Lydia here…He wanted it.

     But Stiles didn’t. He didn’t fit here. He didn’t belong here. He didn’t belong among humans either. The only people he could find a place with would be other vampires. And they had no idea where they were. Deaton had made no more progress. There was no news that he could give. Nothing he could say. Nothing he could do.

 

“I don’t know how to make you…I don’t know what answer to give you. I’ve never been human. Always a wolf.”

     “But you didn’t shift until you were a teenager, right?” His tone was hopeful.

“Even before that, I had better senses than humans. Had heightened urges and instincts. Shifting for the first time just brought it out in full.”

     “What do the humans in your family feel? About being surrounded by monsters.” The word itself is harmless, but it hurts all the same. Stiles truly feels as if he is a monster. Thinks that wolves are monsters.

    Derek doesn’t blame him. Up until the last few months, he didn’t know any of this existed. His world was shattered beyond reproach. With no turning back. There was hell to pay. As he was something that was no longer human, it was something that fed on them. That was the cruelest kind of fate.

 

“I suppose from a human’s perspective, we’re monsters. But I tell you the same thing my mother told me when I doubted my place, my story. We’re predators. That doesn’t mean we have to be killers.” Derek’s words give Stiles pause.

    The world would always see them as humans. Never knowing any better. All the old stories were just that. Stories. There would never be any reason for people to suspect that they were anything but an ordinary family.

    But they weren’t. The world may have though they were humans. May have that they were a little strange. A little secluded. It didn’t change their nature. A wolf was a predator. Something that took down prey. That was just the natural course of their existence.

    That didn’t mean they had to be murderers. They weren’t in the Dark Ages. They weren’t fighting for their very survival on a daily basis. They were free of that. There would always be times when the wolf came to the forefront. When the urge to shift, and run, and hunt screamed so loud, everything else became silent.

     Derek understood that. It had taken some time to fully comprehend it. Especially after Paige’s death. But when he did, everything clicked. He understood his place in the world. Understood what it meant to be a wolf. What it meant to be a wolf. And now, he understood what it meant to be an alpha.

 

“I wanted to kill her. I wanted to rip her head off and danced over her corpse. I wanted to drain every drop from her, and I wasn’t even hungry. I wanted to watch Chris weep and beg. I wanted them all to. You may not be a killer, but it seems like I am.”

    “You’ve never taken a life. I don’t think you truly have it in you. You had every last reason to kill Allison, as well as Chris. Hell, the rest of them to. You could’ve. I’ve seen how you move. How you strike. They wouldn’t have stood a chance.”

“Not helping.”

     “My point is this. You had every reason to, but you didn’t. You may not be human anymore, but it was a very human thing to do.” Stiles didn’t have a retort for that. He knew Derek was right. He knew that, despite being a vampire, he wasn’t any less of a person.

“I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to be okay with the fact that I drink…people. I don’t know if I’ll ever be okay with. I can’t stay here forever, can I?”

    You can stay as long as you need.” Derek didn’t know if Stiles could detect lies like a wolf could. He hoped that he could, in some way, know that he was telling the truth. There wasn’t any other solution right now.

    Stiles and Lydia couldn’t survive without the pack, not really. He wasn’t about to cast out two innocent people trying to live. He could never be that cruel. Even if his family wasn’t happy with the decision. Laura would just have to deal with it.

     He offers his arm, like the times before, for Stiles to feed. This instance, he doesn’t have to slice himself open. Stiles drinks willingly. Taking small sips. Careful, as always, not to hurt Derek. He never takes more than he needs. But with Stiles going hungry for so long, he took a tad more than last time. It actually made him a little dizzy.

     Maybe that’s why Stiles noticed it first. His head pops up, eyes still pitch black despite having had his fill. Eyes trained towards the window. A low hiss passing over his lips. This was the stance of a predator. One who’d detected a threat, and was ready to kill.

 

“Derek, there’s a group of wolves at the door. One of them is an alpha.”

 

The both of them couldn’t take out of pack together. Not without sustaining some heavy damage. The rest of the betas were away from the house, and would take some time getting here. They were at a disadvantage. Derek knew it. Stiles knew it.

    Rather than try and flee, and risk and ambush, they went downstairs. If they were going to bust down the door, they would’ve down so already. As Derek senses come back to him, he detects the scents as well. They are familiar, but aren’t. They smell like pack, but aren’t.

    There is a strange, wild tinge around the edges. Something that doesn’t quite belong. Derek wonders just what the hell is going on. He gets his answer when he opens the door. Peter’s face hadn’t changed in the seven months he’d been gone.

     He was a little tanner. With a few more wrinkles around his eyes. Though Derek wasn’t going to mention it. Despite being in the Amazon rainforest for six months, the man was meticulously well groomed, as always. That wasn’t what Derek noticed the most. What he noticed, were both his sisters. And Laura’s eyes were burning red.

 

“Surprise, nephew. So good to see. Thought we’d pop by. Catch up on old times. I hear there’s a lot to tell.” Derek always did hate his uncle.

 

 

 

   

 

Chapter Text

Stiles had grown used to being a house full of werewolves over the several weeks he’d been here. It was an ongoing process some days. Part of him sometimes forgot he was in a literal den of wolves when he first woke up in the morning. Derek, especially.

     There was a lot of interesting and confusing things that came with being a vampire. Namely, how he responded to other supernatural creatures. So far, it was pretty standard. Threat. Move. Run. Fight. There were ten thousand things that his instincts screamed at him. After spending the full moon with them, things calmed down a bit. Save for one.

     Derek being an alpha gave him goosebumps something fierce. Even if they weren’t actually going to kill each other, there was still a lingering fear. As well as…Something else. During their time on the run, Stiles didn’t really think about anything other than survival. That, and staying hidden.

    He was constantly afraid of what could, and probably would happen if they were discovered. Lydia was a fortress in that regard, and he never had to worry about keeping her together. Only himself. There wasn’t much time for anything else. In the given moment anyway.

    When the two of them had stumbled upon Derek and the others, they really weren’t able to think of anything else. Only how fast they could run. Things happened, by some miracle unknown, to work out. After nearly mangling each other. Several times. Though there was no real harm behind it.

      They had a routine. One that worked even when it shouldn’t have. At least, Stiles felt that it did. Things with Derek were still…Complicated. Stiles was afraid of him. In the primal, we’re both apex predators sense.

   He also kinda, maybe wanted to bone him. Which was something of a revelation. He’d played lacrosse throughout high school. Even if he was a benchwarmer ninety-eight percent of the time. Nevertheless, he still used the locker room, and, on occasion, passed a brief glance.

     There was never any real thought to it. Especially after he became a creature of the night. He was more focused on keeping his sanity. Now, given that things had calmed down, his brain was focused on another primal urge. One that was getting a little harder to ignore. Which was a rather ironic joke.

     There was a lot that Stiles had learned about werewolves since living with them. First and foremost, they had a tremendously good sense of smell. Good enough to smell…That. And they weren’t tactful about it either. There were plenty of jokes that people made. Little, snide comments.

     Stiles hadn’t jacked off in literal months. Cohabitating in a house full of beautiful people didn’t help anything. Derek in particular. There was something…Magnetic. A wordless attraction that Stiles did his best to ignore. It’s why the house was so damn clean, and everyone was so well fed.

     If Derek noticed, he was nice enough not to say anything. Stiles did his best to keep his loins in check. The alpha was housing and feeding him. That in of itself was a complication, given that he wasn’t a werewolf. And was still dealing with his own existential crisis.

     After the hunters, Stiles didn’t exactly radiate sunshine. In fact, he kind of retreated into himself. Away from anything and everything. He didn’t want anyone to see him. He didn’t want to be seen as the monster he was. He’d nearly killed that girl. He’d nearly succumb to everything he was afraid of.

    The others respected his desire to be alone. Even Lydia gave him space. There wasn’t really anything else he wanted. Except to be human again. To have his old life back. To see his dad. To see Scott. To have anything close to normality. But it was a foolish little dream.

     A deception that he’d placed on himself. He wasn’t something that could live with humans. Stiles wondered how other vampires did it. How they managed to live. If they had really removed themselves from the world, and gone into the shadows of the earth. What did they eat?

     The arrangement he had with Derek was…Unique. There certainly wasn’t supposed to be anything like that in the supernatural world. Wolves and vampires were natural enemies. In the sense that they were both apex predators. Much like lions and tigers in the wild.

     Stiles couldn’t really imagine the other vampires of the world living with anyone but themselves. There were a lot of unanswered questions. Ones that he needed answers to. But there was no one to give them. Deaton hadn’t made any progress, and there wasn’t any in sight.

    It wasn’t exactly the greatest thing to lift his spirits. But he wasn’t allowed to mope for long. Derek wasn’t exactly the huggy, kiss you on the forehead type. In fact, he was a little bit of an asshole. That being said, he was sensitive when he needed to be. In this case, Stiles.

     He basically expunged everyone from the house. When the vampire could no longer hear anyone else’s heartbeat, Derek confronted him. The alpha wasn’t rude or snide about it. He was direct and to the point. Stiles didn’t even bother trying to put up a resistance.

     He knew that he was being…Sullen. And whatever dynamic went on in the pack, he was disrupting it. the others were on edge whenever he was near. Having the scent of a starving vampire in the house wasn’t exactly a comforting notion. Derek was at his limit with it.

     He was nice enough not to cut his arm open. Which wouldn’t have been the best of ideas. Stiles was on the verge of madness. And the smell of fresh blood would’ve tipped him over. Derek offered, like he always did. The vampire conceded his own self-pity, and accepted.

    He took a bit more than he normally did. Which wasn’t much more than a unit’s worth. It was enough to make Derek a little wobbly on his feet. Stiles almost felt good enough to laugh. Which was a shame, given that there was another alpha at the door.

     He was hyperaware of everything when he was hungry. That’s just how his senses worked. When he was feeding, he was more focused on not killing Derek. So, he hadn’t noticed it at first. But when he did, all of his senses went on high alert.

    Derek rushed to the front of the house, while Stiles shot off a group text to come back as quickly as possible. There was no telling who this was, or what they wanted. But from what Stiles understood, packs showing up unannounced rarely meant anything good.

     Though, when Derek opened the door, all the aggression faded from his face. In its place, recognition. He knew these people, and they knew him. The guy at the front looked like…well, a douche. Any man that dressed that young well into their thirties was no one Stiles wanted to know.

     He was obviously related to Derek. They had the same, carved-from-marble jaw structure. Piercing eyes. And flawless skin. At least Derek didn’t dress like an entitled frat boy. That much, is where the similarities ended. There was also the man’s smile. Which was nothing good. Not with how made sure to show as many teeth as possible.

    There was a young woman next to him. No older than Stiles. If maybe a bit younger. Fierce, warrior features. Eyes alert with tension and intrigue. She dressed…Like a person. There was nothing overstated about her. Save for the sharp smell of anxiety. The woman behind her was the real issue.

     Stiles had seen a picture of Laura Hale, in passing. Derek didn’t exactly have a lot of photos laying around. She looked much different in person. Namely, and most importantly, because she was ten levels of pissed. Stiles didn’t even need to smell it. Her eyes were enough.

     If Derek’s alpha glare was a deep ruby, Laura’s was a burning, fire-like brimstone. The vampire could feel his own eyes bleed to black on reflex. This woman, without question, was a threat. He didn’t need to say or do anything to know. She was more than ready to kill him.

 

“Peter, what an unwelcome surprise. What happened to two years in the Amazon?”

     “Pressing and disturbing circumstances. The rest of the pack will join us next week. Flights out are so hard to arrange.” Stiles noticed the entire time the older man spoke, he never once looked at Derek. His eyes were fixed elsewhere. To be exact, they were trained towards Stiles.

     He tilted his head much like a cat. Not in the cute, curious way. More like the way a cat did before it pounced. There wasn’t a whole lot that Stiles knew about wolves. But much like Laura, Peter seemed the type to strike without question. He was just a little bit better about hiding his intentions.

    For the most part, he was equal portions curious, and bloodthirsty. Stiles didn’t really have a lot of options. The only real one was to run. He was faster than any wolf in their human form. Even when they were shifted, he still had the advantage. It was just a matter of getting a head start.

    Derek was the only one of the pack that could have any chance. As the alpha, he was faster, and stronger. Laura, no doubt, would share in that power. The other two looked like fighters as well. The young vampire didn’t like his odds if this went south.

   Peter seemed to grow more and more intrigued as the seconds ticked by. Stepping forward into the house, past Derek. Standing firmly in front of Stiles. His eyes were still black, but his fangs had yet to make an appearance. He could be thankful for small miracles. What he couldn’t be thankful for, was Peter sticking his fingers into his mouth.

 

“Odd, I was under the assumption that your kind, like us, had fangs.” Stiles retorted by letting them drop. Then proceeding to snap his mouth shut. The wolf hopped backwards, laughing heartily. The vampire tried not be angry about it.

     “This one has…fire. I can see why you kept him.”

“He isn’t a pet, Peter. He’s a guest. One who I owe my life to.”

     “You don’t owe that creature anything.” Laura’s tone left no room for interpretation.

“I’m assuming you’re here because you heard about Chris, but you didn’t hear about this. One of his hunters fired off a shot. Stiles leapt in front of the bullet. Had he not, I might not be here.” Laura’s anger waved for a fraction of a second.

    She pushed Peter behind her, standing toe to toe with Stiles. She was a good four inches shorter than him, but no less terrifying. He held his breath. Not even daring to move. To even blink the wrong way. The woman sized him up, never saying a word. The vampire was ready to collapse at this point.

 

“You smell like blood. Derek’s blood. Why is that?” Stiles didn’t have time to answer.

    “He was hungry.” Stiles felt his heart leap into his throat.

“There are plenty of deer in the woods.”

     “He tried that, it doesn’t work. In fact, it barely staves the hunger. By now, he’d either be dead, or insane.”

“You really expect me to be okay with the fact that this thing is eating my little brother?!” What little calm there was had vanished. Even if they were siblings, Laura and Derek were both alphas. That was bound to cause some kind of conflict.

     Up until now, Derek had been rather composed. That was no longer the case. He didn’t even bother trying to hide his fangs. Or his eyes. They came out in full force. Laura’s attention was diverted from Stiles, and taken to her brother.

     He didn’t know all that much about how to alphas in a family worked, but he assumed the worst. The both of them were growling low in their throats. Obviously a warning to each other. There was a fight looming. And from what Stiles understood, when two alphas fought, limbs went flying.

     Laura advanced on her brother, angry and unconcerned with the potential consequences. Peter and the other woman backed away. Clearly not concerned with stopping what was about to happen. Stiles, however, was. Like with the hunters, he moved before he could really think about it.

    He’s in front of Derek before any of the others could even notice that he was moving. Eyes cold and obsidian. Fangs barred. Hissing a warning towards Laura. The entirety of his body, wrought with tension. Ready to strike. Part of him recognized the threat. The other part was scared at how quickly he was ready to fight.

    Laura, for all she was worth, seemed to be confused on the matter. She’d viewed Stiles as a creature, a thing. Much like the hunters did. The vampire tried not to take it personally. Most people wouldn’t exactly receive him with open arms. But surprisingly, her eyes faded back to their human color. A warm, soft brown. Stiles didn’t relax.

 

“Why is he protecting you?” Laura’s voice was tense, but there was no anger left. At least, none that Stiles could hear.

     “He’s pack. He’s been pack from the moment he kept me from getting shot. He’s been pack since he took a knife in the leg. He’s been pack since he sent Chris and his hunters packing with their tails between their legs.” Laura tilted her head, curiously. She wasn’t angry. For some reason that was gone.

    It didn’t mean that he, in any way, thought that this was over. He knew that a wolf didn’t need a full shift to be deadly. Hell, they could be in human form and do damage. Though Stiles was faster in terms of overall speed, a wolf was quicker on the draw to shift.

     Peter and the other woman seemed to have no concern at all to what had happened. Well, the other woman didn’t seem to have any concern. Peter on the other hand, was positively giddy. He was smiling. This time, with less teeth. Though it didn’t make him any less creepy.

    Laura seemed to back off, and Derek seemed to calm down. Stiles was the only one who was still gearing for a fight. It showed, as now that most of the tension had gone, and he was still crouched. There wasn’t any real reason for him to be. Save for instinct.

     The saving grace was Derek’s hand clapping down on his shoulder. It snapped Stiles out of fight mode, bringing him back to his more human senses. He was grateful for it. Just in time for the rest of the pack to come running through the door. Including Lydia.

     Thankfully, Laura didn’t seem to care all that much about her. After seeing Stiles, she appeared to have…Accepted their presence. For now. He didn’t know how long that would last. Or what the future held for either of them.

      Peter directed everyone towards the kitchen for a “pack meeting”. Stiles suppressed a laugh. He was still high on adrenaline. For the moment, they were alive. They were safe. They were here. With their pack. As strange of a thing as it was to think about.

 

***

Derek hated surprises. He liked surprises orchestrated by his family even less. Laura, Peter, and Cora was supposed to have been deep in the Amazon rainforest. Making contact with an untouched tribal pack. For the next two years. He wasn’t expecting them to show up on his doorstep. He’d have to smack Deaton upside the head later.

     There was little doubt the emissary had managed to contact Laura, and in the process, tell her everything that had happened. Which is something of a miracle. Seeing as there wasn’t any cell service. The alpha figured that there was some kind of magic involved.

     Laura was….less than enthused when he opened the door. Peter was on alert, in his strange, terrifying way. He never really displayed anger or hostility. He was actually an expert in hiding it. That was the trademark of his personality. Never let them see you falter.

      Derek knew his uncle was weaker, being a beta. But he was also far more experienced it terms of combat. As well as a master manipulator. He’d wait, and bide his time. Unless he detected a threat. Cora was, well, Cora.

    A stern, unmoving wall of emotionlessness. She was utterly and completely unimpressed with Stiles. Who was in fact, scared shitless. It had been a while since Derek had seen him this scared. He was on edge, and Laura oozing hostility didn’t help anything.

     When it finally came to a head, Derek was ready to fight his sister. The both of them were damn near shifted, ready to claw at each other. For the most part, being two alphas in a pack worked for them. They were siblings, so the natural competiveness wasn’t nearly as bad. But in this instant, it was.

      Derek was ready to let his fangs drop when there was a blur of movement, and Stiles was in front of him. It still amazed the alpha at how quickly the vampire moved. They were physically weaker than wolves, and they healed slower. But their dexterity, flexibility, and agility more than made up for it.

     Stiles was poised and ready to rip Laura limb from limb. Derek was equal parts impressed and frightened. Laura, for all the anger she had, took a pause. She’d only addressed Stiles as a thing. As a creature. Now, she looked at him as a person.

      Derek knew why. She had smelled blood in the air, blood from Stiles feeding. That helped nothing. A thing that was eating her baby brother. Laura had already decided her course of action. Already decided that Stiles was something that needed to be eliminated.

     Until the vampire moved to protect Derek. Until he boldly, brazenly challenged an alpha werewolf without so much as thinking. Derek could see his sister’s wolf take pause. Wondering just what the hell was going on. What any of this meant. Because now, she saw him as something else. She saw the real person Stiles was.

     It had taken Derek a while to realize it. To realize exactly what he’d been feeling. What both the man and the wolf had been feeling. Stiles was pack, as was Lydia. Even if they didn’t quite fit the dynamic. Even if they couldn’t exactly feel what wolves felt. They were pack.

     It gave Laura a brief hesitation. One that allowed her to see past her anger. To see past the fact that there was a vampire in their home. She saw everything that Stiles was, a protector. Even if their species didn’t exactly get along. It didn’t have to make sense.

      Peter was beside himself with joy. His uncle always did take pleasure in the most inopportune moments. Derek wanted to smack him. Though that wouldn’t have helped anything. Cora still hadn’t said anything. The alpha had a feeling that she wouldn’t.

     The rest of the pack came careening through the door. Busting inside. Thankfully, none of them were shifted. Boyd and the others had probably realized it was Laura. Which would’ve prevented a fight. That, Derek would take.

    With everyone present, Peter corralled the pack into the kitchen. Derek already knew where this was going. His uncle loved to ask questions. Loved to interrogate people, as it gave him a sick sense of satisfaction. Laura, no doubt would have questions as well.

     The rest of the pack stayed silent. They knew better than to talk over the second of an alpha, and certainly an alpha themselves. Stiles and Lydia were the ones being addressed. While Derek had never been that much on traditionalism, but this was important.

    If Laura was going to concede her attitude towards the two young vampires, there was no room for interference. So, the questioning began. It was less than pleasant. Peter was subtle, delicate in a way. Easy going from the start. Laura didn’t even bother hiding her intensions.

    She asked every question possible. Where they were from? Why did they choose Beacon Hills? Did they know any other vampires, like this one who turned them? The two fledglings answered, but not in the way Laura wanted.

     They were vague and nondescript, at best. Derek knew why. Their old lives, their lives as humans, were gone. Talking about it must’ve been painful. Painful beyond words. They didn’t want to relive what they had lost. Over and over again.

     They were vague on exact details because they didn’t want to give away their loved ones. Derek understood that well enough. They weren’t human anymore, which put their very human families at risk. The less Laura and Derek knew, the better.

    Stiles and Lydia were pack, but they had a right to privacy. Derek respected that. Jackson still hadn’t opened up about everything. The alpha suspected he never would. There were some things that were better left in the past. Away from the present, and certainly away from the future.

     The beta was happy. Happy with his vampire mate. Which was all but official. Derek made a note to discuss that later. Stiles seemed to be happy, with the others that is. They weren’t friends, not exactly. But they were pack, and that was enough.

    Laura wasn’t exactly thrilled with their less than descriptive answers. But she’d have to deal. Derek was an alpha as much as she was. And that meant he had a right to make decisions regarding other supernatural creatures in their territory.

     Peter asked more…Interesting questions. What their hobbies were. What their favorite music was. It was like he was trying to build them a Facebook page. Which Derek found somewhat aggravating. At the very least, his uncle wasn’t being overly intrusive.

    Cora only asked one question, and it wasn’t the question she imagined. She wanted to know what it felt like to run as a vampire. Both Stiles and Lydia declined to answer. They’d come closer to accepting what they were. That didn’t mean they were comfortable talking about it.

     With the questions out of the way, the matter of Chris came to light. As well as all the details that came with it. Laura seemed surprised when she learned what Stiles had done. A little impressed. A little, well, terrified. Vampires were an unknown thing to them. What they were capable of was still a mystery.

     Stiles was uncomfortable the entire time. Fidgeting relentlessly. He wasn’t happy about the course of action he’d taken. Even if it did save their lives. Even if it had kept them safe. He wasn’t used to being a predator. Derek doubted he ever would be.

    Laura could sense that they weren’t going to answer any more questions. So she decided to let the matter drop. For now at least. Cora sauntered off, unimpressed as always. The rest of the pack dispersed with discussion on what to do for dinner. Sometimes Derek wondered if he his betas were actually adults.

     Only he and Peter remained. The two of them had a…strained relationship. To say the least. After Kate’s attempted murder of their entire family, Peter was less than pleasant to be around. He’d nearly lost Malia, and his wife divorced him. Although there were extenuating circumstances behind that.

     Derek blamed himself, as he did. It was his fault. He wasn’t surprised that his family hated him. Even if they didn’t really show it. Cora had become a stone wall. Unfeeling and uncaring with seemingly everyone and everything. Laura was always a bit tenser. Their parents, always on alert.

     Things improved over time. Save for Peter. Rather than bitterness, he was sarcastic. Always having to make a joke. Always having to sharpen his wit at other people’s expense. He hated it. It was the worst part of his uncle’s personality.

 

“You’ve seemed to have some…Interesting new “pack” mates.”

     “Enough of your underhanded, conniving bullshit, Peter. They’re here, and if you want to challenge that, feel free.” Derek was at his wits end.

“Why dear, nephew, I wouldn’t dream of challenging you. I was merely saying how much character they have. Let’s just hope this choice pans out better than your last one.”

 

Derek had to resist the urge to throttle his uncle. Of all his family, he was the only one to bring up Kate. He didn’t do it often, but when he did, it hurt. And the man knew it to. But the alpha wasn’t about to play that game. He wasn’t about to let his uncle win.

      There was enough that they had to deal with. Enough that they were still adjusting to. Enough that was to come. Derek needed to be strong for his betas. He needed to be the alpha that kept them together. That wasn’t going to be hindered by his uncle’s mind games.

 

“I don’t know how long I have to apologize, or what achievements you want me to make. Keila is gone. I was part of it, but so were you. Malia is alive. So are you. I’m through trying to please you.”

     “Bold of you to speak her name, like you have a right.” Peter’s eyes had gone dark. With sinister shadows squirming about them.

“Turnabout is fair play, uncle. I was naïve and foolish. I nearly got our family killed. That isn’t going to change. But what can, is you holding onto the past. I’ve decided to let go.”

      “How convenient of you. Like it’s the easiest thing in the world.”

“It isn’t, but I’m through being guilty. And I’m through being angry. You should give it a try. I think you’ll actually have a real reason to smile again.”

 

Peter didn’t say anything. For the first time in so many years, the man who prized his wit, was struck silent. Derek would take that victory to the bank. He didn’t acknowledge his uncle as he left. Didn’t say or do anything else. He wasn’t exactly happy, but he was moving forward. For the first time, in a long time, he was moving forward. And even Peter wouldn’t be able to take that from him.

Chapter Text

Stiles was…uncomfortable. There was another alpha in the house. Another alpha, who, for all that he could tell, didn’t like him very much. He was certain that Laura Hale was a good person. Overall that is. But she didn’t have any tender spots for him. He wondered what the case would be had he been human.

    For the most part, he avoided the woman at any and all costs. She was…tense. Which was a rather nice way of putting it. Derek was enough of a gruff, stern individual. Laura was somehow worse. At the very least, she wanted him out of the house. At worst, well…He tried not to think about it.

   Derek was slightly less wound up, slightly. There was no telling when things would get back to normal. As normal as one could get, being a vampire, living in a house full of werewolves. They weren’t actively trying to kill each other. So, there was that.

      The first week was the hardest. Stiles didn’t discern emotions as well as werewolves could. But he could see that Derek and his sister were at odds. Peter, the bastard, didn’t help much of anything. The young vampire could tell he was no one to be trusted. The older wolf had no qualms about emotional manipulation.

    Every conversation ended with a snide, underhanded comment. No one seemed to want to actually have a discussion with the man. He wasn’t hated, but he wasn’t liked either. Stiles treated him like Laura. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.

     Cora was another matter altogether. She wasn’t openly hostile or dismissive. In fact, she seemed rather interested in Stiles and Lydia. From the perspective of their species that is. She didn’t ask questions. Or lurk in shadowed corners. She was just, attentive. Very, very attentive.

      Stiles knew that certain predators use patience as a tool. Observing prey over time, learning when the most opportune moment was. The young vampire didn’t think that Cora considered him to be prey, but she certainly didn’t consider him a friend.

     Lydia hated her. Well, not for the usual reasons. Cora was…blunt. Somewhat standoffish. And maybe a tad rough around the edges. Lydia’s haughty demeanor didn’t help. They were two strong personalities that clashed in the worst way possible.

     Erica thought it was hilarious. She was like neither of them, but got along with both. Isaac and Boyd just stayed out of the way, just like Stiles. Which was the best possible course of action. Given the circumstances.

     Stiles didn’t like Laura on an instinctual level. The vampire part of him that is. The actual person didn’t mind her. In fact, he had tried to be friends with her. In a small, subtle way. Like cooking for her, after months spent in the literal jungle.

     Peter was actually thrilled. A vampire that knew how to work in the kitchen. It was the first time he hadn’t made a joke, or cut someone down. Stiles was actually impressed. Laura, however, wasn’t. She ate in placid silence. Making not a single comment the entire time. She cleared away her plate when she was done.

     Cora, for the first time, actually had something, not terrible to say. She was rather enthused at having someone in the house who actually knew how to cook. The she-wolf then demanded a litany of foods be prepared over the coming days. Stiles could hardly keep in making a list.

     Erica protested, saying that she had already claimed Stiles as a personal chef. Isaac, as well. Even Jackson made a mild noise of complaint. And for the first time, in quite a while, Stiles smiled. Surprisingly, so did Derek.

     The alpha wasn’t a miserable or unhappy person. He was just…Stern. A little too composed. It was a rare moment that he showed anything other than abject disinterest. At least, in his face. As a person, Derek was very emotional. In what he did, and how he acted.

     He wasn’t high and mighty. Nor was he egotistical. He was…Derek. One of the alphas of the Hale pack. There really wasn’t a manual of this kind of thing. Both he and Laura had their own struggles. They made it work. Derek was just a little more…touchy feely.

    It was a casual kind of thing. The way he interacted with the pack. Soft, kind things. Stiles found himself blushing as he thought about it. Because, by the alpha’s own admission, he was pack. And part of Stiles understood what that meant. But for the most part, he was confused on the matter.

     He wasn’t a werewolf, nor could he really comprehend what they felt. As a pack that is. He knew that they lived and fought together. That they protected each other. That they were a family. That’s how a pack works. That’s how a pack is supposed to be.

     Being a vampire, he didn’t feel what the others called the “pack bond”. He’d asked about it before. They couldn’t put it into words. It was something beyond what spoken or written language could convey. It was instinctual. It was primal. That’s all there was to it.

     Derek expressed this frequently, in the form of touch. Nothing obvious or overstated. It was small, little things. Things that let Stiles know he was pack. Even if he couldn’t feel it. Even if he didn’t really understand it. And he was trying. But other than the physical affections the others gave him, he didn’t feel much of anything.

     The Hales had a rather extensive library. Very Beauty & the Beast type. An entire section of their house was for books. Stiles had avoided it for some unknown reason. Probably because his ADD made reading difficult. It tended to give him a headache.

    No one is around when he enters. From the smell of it, no one had been in here for a while. Not even Derek. Who always seem to have a book in hand. Stiles didn’t waste any time. He found what he wanted, and went straight to work.

     There was plenty of lore and mythology on vampires. The legends, the myths, the folk tales. All the stories of the old world. Of what was, is, and could be a shapeshifter. Wolves just happened to be a rather popular form to take.

     He wasn’t looking for that. He was looking for information of structure. How packs worked. With wolves and humans. And anyone else that may or may not have been involved. He spent literal hours reading. Pouring over books, and manuscripts, and logs. There were even a few journals.

      At the six hour mark, he hadn’t found much of anything. Actually, he’d found nothing. There wasn’t a single account of a vampire living with a pack of werewolves. Hell, there wasn’t even an account of them sharing the same territory. Which helped all of nothing.

     The Hale’s library went back far enough. Enough to trace back to the so called Great Vanishing. When all vampire communities fell off the face of the earth. When the others of his kind went underground. Away from the knowing world. Where no one seemed to be able to find them.

      So, he decided to look about for information regarding vampires. There wasn’t much. In fact, there was only one book. An old, tattered thing that was hand copied from some Dark Age monastery. It was barely legible. From what Stiles could discern, vampires weren’t very well liked.

     Other supernatural creatures found them to be enemies. Regardless of any intentions. That which fed and killed humans to survive, wasn’t to be trusted. The monks who wrote the book claimed they were the deepest spawn of hell. Whose sole existence was to snuff out the light of life itself.

     It wasn’t exactly a great boost in his confidence. It seemed that Derek had been the exception. As from Stiles read, nearly every other alpha would’ve killed him on sight. No pause. No recourse. No mercy. He was even more grateful to the man now.

     There weren’t any other texts that pointed him in the direction that he wanted to go. No other hints, or clues, or helpful little tidbits. If there were, he was far too tired to find them. Even as a creature of the night, he couldn’t stay awake much longer than he could as a human.

    Maybe it’s why he hadn’t noticed Peter enter the library. How he didn’t hear, or smell him. The man was as he always was. Relaxed, with a smile as on his face. The act didn’t fool Stiles for a single second. There wasn’t a ounce of him that believed Peter was harmless.

    Derek was a predator in every form of his appearance. He was Stiles’ height, six foot, but much broader in the shoulders. With the arms of a calendar fireman. There was no doubt that he was an apex supernatural. Peter was…Subtle.

     There was a glimmer in the corner of his eyes. A strange, otherworldly thing that gave Stiles a rather bad feeling. Peter was a predator as he was a wolf. But that’s where things were slightly different. Peter was an observant man. A manipulative man.

    He didn’t do things outright. He didn’t say things outright. There was always a double meaning to every word, to every action. Stiles absolutely hated him for it. The others were uncomfortable around the man. Especially Derek. The young vampire didn’t know why, but he wasn’t keen on finding out.

 

“Glad to see you’re comfortable in our library.” Stiles didn’t need to be a genius to read the subtext.

    “I was looking for information. I found what I needed. So I’ll be going.” Peter blocked his advance in a nice, non-aggressive way. But he prevented him from leaving nonetheless.

“And, what, pray tell, were you looking for?”

     “Derek said I was pack. I’m still…Words can only tell me so much. So I’m trying to figure out what that means.” Peter smiled at his answer. He was amused.  Stiles didn’t know whether he liked that or not.

 

The older man gestures for him to sit. It’s an invitation as much as it was a command. The vampire was hard pressed to refuse. Peter had the answers that he wanted. Issue was, those answers would come at a price. He just needed to figure out what it was.

 

“Pack is, what’s the word, instinctual. It can come from family. It can come from chance. It can even come by choice. A pack is a pack. A cohesive unit that lives and protects each other. The alpha, the head, commands through respect and submission.”

     “Already got that.” Stiles interrupted.

“Hush little leach. Now, the betas help maintain order. Guarding against threats both inside and out.  The emissaries, our human connections, help communicate with other supernatural. Including other packs. It’s a simple, yet infinitely complex web of connections. As you said, words have a limit.

     “But how do I fit? I’m not a wolf, and I’m not human. How the hell does a vampire fit into this?” Stiles was growing annoyed now.

“That’s for you to discover. We’ve no record of your kind living with a pack. Being apex predators tends to make things…unreasonably hostile. But Derek has claimed you as pack, isn’t that enough?”

      “You, Laura, and Cora don’t seem to think so.” Stiles hadn’t been talking to Peter for very long. But it was enough to put him at his wits end. Apparently, the comment drove down deep into the wolf. His eyes had gone dark.

     Away to a place that Stiles didn’t want to go. That he didn’t want any knowledge of. It was a painful, awful place. Full of screams and terror and begging. It was a dark place. And though the other wolf said nothing, Stiles could see years of anger and sorrow in his face.

 

“My nephew trusted a predator once. Once. It nearly destroyed our family. In a way, I suppose it did. My wife left. As did my child. And we were all left cowering in our beds. Wondering when the bitch would come and finish the job.”

 

    Stiles didn’t know much about Kate Argent. Derek had explained the cliff notes version after Chris and his hunters had paid them a visit. She was…well, horrible. Derek had been sixteen when she came into his life. All smiles and wavy brown hair.

     He hadn’t known her. Hadn’t known any better. She took everything from him. And then some. From what he could gather, the relationship was anything but loving. To top that shit capped cake, the huntress had tried to burn his family alive. 

     There were no casualties. Everyone live. Yet, they didn’t. Their ancestral home was destroyed. Decades of memories lost and reduced to ash. Treasured photos and trinkets and antiques. The history of an entire family, gone.

      Derek didn’t elaborate beyond that. He didn’t have to. Stiles lost his family when he was turned. As did Lydia. Derek lost his in the fire. They were alive, but they were lost. There was something missing now. Something that they hadn’t gotten back yet.

     Pieces that were still waiting to fall into place. Cracks that had yet to be mended. It was in Laura, with her distrust of strangers. It was in Cora, with her blunt, cold hardheartedness. In Peter, it was his anger and contempt. They had all had things taken from them. They might have survived the fire, but their souls didn’t.

 

“You’re even more unbelievably shittier than I previously thought.” The words pass over Stiles’ tongue before he realizes that he’s said them. He doesn’t regret it for an instant.

     “Careful, little vampire. I’d be happy to help you see how fast you can heal. We’ll start with your tongue.”

“Try it, and you’ll see that I can amputate cleaner than a surgeon.” Stiles eyes went black, and Peter’s went striking cold. There were at a standoff.

     “I won’t pretend to know what you’re family has been through. But I do know this. Derek was sixteen, sixteen, when Kate went after him. And he’ just as much a victim as the rest of you.”

“Holding pack accountable is what makes us stronger.” Peter retorted.

     “Then I’ll hold you accountable for this. You holding onto to anger for the actions of a child is pathetic, vindictive, and pointless. You’re stuck in the past, held down by spite. You’re also an adult, so get the fuck over yourself.”

 

Stiles didn’t bother to say anything else. He got up and left. Leaving Peter where he sat. The wolf didn’t even try to stop him. At least there was that. He was too angry. Too wound up. He needed some air. Somewhere away from that self-righteous prick.

   Also, he didn’t want anyone coming after him. The rest of the pack could be…protective. Namely, Derek. He was a quicker on the draw when Stiles was upset. Always there when he needed to be. Without him ever having to say a word. It was as strange as it was comforting.

     He reaches the front porch without any issue. Most of the pack is getting ready for dinner by now. The sun is just starting to set. Warm, vibrant colors painting the horizon. It’s beautiful. Part of him is glad that he isn’t affected by sunlight.

    Being a vampire is hard enough as it is. Never being able to see daylight again would’ve been a bit too much to handle. Stiles wouldn’t have lasted until now. Always having to skulk in the shadows of the in-between hours, or in the gloom of night. He wasn’t Dracula, nor did he want to be.

     He lets the light warm his skin, bringing him far away from where he was. The world seemed to open and bloom. Like a flower tasting spring for the first time. It was wonderful. Everything fell into place. Endless scents and sounds. Nature, green and sweet.

     He could hear every heartbeat within a mile radius. It fascinated him as much as it terrified him. That he could detect so much, and yet still be so unaware of his surroundings. He sucked at being a vampire when it really counted. At the very least, he could hear Cora.

    She doesn’t say anything. She just sits down, resting her head on his shoulder. The gesture surprises him. Cora scent marked other members of the pack. It was instinctual for her. Didn’t mean she enjoyed it. Stiles got the feeling that her hardheartedness was more than just an appearance.

     She hadn’t scent marked him, or Lydia for that matter. Maybe she didn’t consider them to be pack. maybe, now, for Stiles at least, she did. The young woman ran her nose along the line of his neck. Which made him shudder. Only Derek had marked him there. For someone else to do it felt…odd.

 

“You smelled angry, so I came looking for you.” She doesn’t move her head from his shoulder.

     “I’ve learned that talking with Peter could enrage a saint.” His tone was derisive and he honestly didn’t care.”

“He has that effect. Laura’s been telling him to work on it. My uncle isn’t the greatest at personal growth.” It was a poor, but appreciated attempt at humor.

     “I gave him a more direct, more enthusiastic reality check in that regard. In that I told him he was an asshole.” Cora laughed at that one. genuinely. Seeing her smile was almost as rare as seeing Derek.

“Peter has…issues. We all do. The fire may not have killed us, but it still…It took something. Something we haven’t gotten back yet.”

 

Stiles doesn’t say anything. He just winds his fingers into Cora’s. Stroking small circles into her hand. He was never very good with this kind of thing. He was chatty when he shouldn’t have been. Quiet when there were things that needed to be said. It was never easy making friends, or dealing with people.

    As a vampire living with werewolves, it was easier. In a certain, strange way. It was unique to them. it wouldn’t have worked with anyone else. Wouldn’t have made sense with anyone else. But, right now, it didn’t have to.

 

“I don’t know why you’ve decided to treat me like a person now, but I’m happy for it.”

     “It’s not that I didn’t consider you a person. I just didn’t consider you to be pack.” She was a little snippy now.

“Not helping.” She gave him a light punch on the shoulder.

     “I didn’t, but now, I do. Does it matter?”

“I was human for nineteen years. Now, I’m not. But I’m not something that understands what pack means. Not yet, so forgive my hesitation.”

      “Derek said you cook. That you clean. Pack takes care of each other. In every capacity.” Cora was looking directly at him now.

“So, because I made myself a glorified housekeeper, I’m pack?”

     “Yes, and no. It’s one thing to be an alpha, and be strong and keep us together. But you…You didn’t have to do anything. You didn’t have to try and get along with anyone. You did. You fought for people you’d known for only a few months. Against hunters who were trained to kill people like us. You did it without hesitation.”

“That was instinct more than anything. I see a threat, I respond, that’s how I’ve survived this long.”

 

Cora shook her head. Obviously annoyed, but determined. Stiles didn’t know how to give the correct response. Didn’t know how to make it to where Cora, where any of them could understand. That he hadn’t really gotten a handle on this yet.

 

“Your first instinct should’ve been to run. You fought. That made you pack. It just took me a little bit to realize it.”

     “Now we just need Laura to come around.” It was meant to be a joke, but it didn’t sound as such.

“Laura doesn’t like strangers. She doesn’t like people who she has no reason to trust. I’ve seen firsthand that you care, that you’re not going to hurt Derek, or any of us.”

     “I just occasionally have to eat one of you.”

“You can’t help that any more than we can help being a wolf.” Her comment was sincere.

     “I’ll take that into consideration. I don’t like it. I really, actually kind of hate it. But it’s the only reason I’m not dead. Derek is the reason I’m not dead.” Cora doesn’t say anything else. She just places her head back on his shoulder. Rubbing her hair along his neck.

      It still felt strange to have one of the pack scent mark him there. Derek was the only one who’d done it. It seemed a tad more intimate than the standard marking. Boyd and Erica did it to each other, but no one else. Jackson did it to Lydia, but no one else. It was something that was…different. Stiles realized just how different when the rest of it clicked.

 

“Either I’m wildly mistaken, or unfortunately correct. But wolves usually don’t scent mark each other on the neck, right?”

     “Correct.”

“When they do, it means something different.”

     “Correct, again.” She was smiling now.

“I appreciate your honesty. I don’t appreciate the game.”

      “You’ll learn to catch up.”

 

Cora didn’t say anything else. She left, with that mischievous grin still across her face. He didn’t give it too much thought. He was too busy thinking about Derek, and what exactly they meant to each other. Stiles was pack. That much had been stated outright. Now, maybe he thought that he and Derek were…something else.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek was walking a razor’s edge, and it was only getting worse. Ever since Laura had gotten back, things had been tense. And that was putting it nicely. Laura’s hostility had dimmed, somewhat. But she just tolerated Stiles and Lydia. Cora was, well Cora.

     Peter absolutely delighted in the entire thing. The man had always found humor in the most inappropriate times. This was one of them. Lydia, as she always did, kept to herself. Save for Jackson. Derek suspected that in her human life, she was a social butterfly.

     Center of the room, vibrant, always with an eye on her. But that was when the audience was paying attention. Now, in a house full of wolves, she wasn’t the socialite she once was. Derek pitied her. Then, he realized that he shouldn’t. Lydia knew, and accepted who she was as a vampire now. She had Jackson, and for now, that was enough.

     Cora was the real issue. Ever since the fire, she had been closed off. His sister had been a happy child. With eyes full of wonder and magic. Marveling at the fact that she and her siblings were wolves. Then, the flames took all that away. There was nothing left. Nothing left of the happy little girl that Derek knew.

     She tended to shy away from pack affection. Indulging only in the slightest. Even with Derek and Laura. She absolutely refused Peter. Derek knew why. Their uncle had become a callous man. With less than endurable wit and occasional fits of unplaced anger.

      So, it came as a surprise when Derek found his little sister’s scent on Stiles. The young vampire had been making an effort to get to know the rest of the pack. Namely, Laura. It was an instinctual, primal urge to please the alpha of a pack. Well, it was for wolves. Derek didn’t know about vampires.

      Stiles did what he did best, which was keep the house. He said it was in part due to his ADD. His brain functioned differently than an average person. Thinking and reacting a little, or a lot quicker. One of the ways that he managed it, was his medication.

     Now firmly in the realm of the supernatural, he didn’t take it. The young man hadn’t even thought to take it when he ran away from his old life. Through some rather shitty luck, he still had to deal with the condition even as a vampire. So, he managed it differently this time around.

     He kept as busy as he could. Never content to sit still or idle. Always buzzing with energy. It was a strange, yet fascinating thing to watch. The rest of the pack hardly ever had anything to do. Namely because Stiles worked in spastic bursts. Moving from one task to the next.

      Laura, for all she was worth, didn’t ever give one word of thanks. She simply nodded a small notion of affirmation, leaving the young vampire to his work. Derek wondered just when he’d catch on. The next tactic was food. Stiles was an amateur at best. But he never did fail to make sure the pack was well fed.

      That, for some reason, seemed to grab Laura’s attention. His sister wasn’t exactly the domestic type. Not by a long shot. Neither was Cora. The both of them seemed to be allergic to the notion of cooking. It was a running joke in their family. Derek enjoyed it.

     Once the two of them realized that Stiles could cook, and actually enjoyed it, the war started. Erica had always been claimed by Erica as the personal chef. Now, there was a contest. It was nothing all that serious. But it was a stepping stone.

     In the midst of the chaos, Laura scent marked Stiles. It was the smallest, most insignificant touch. A passing thing. But it had happened nonetheless. Derek was surprised. As was Laura. Almost as she hadn’t realized that she’d done it

     Cora was still Cora. Standoffish, but getting better. Stiles’ presence, and the other betas seemed to let her be, well, be. She still wasn’t tactile. Until she was. Maybe it was Laura. Maybe it was her finally realizing that Stiles was pack. But Derek found his little sister’s scent on the young vampire. More specifically, he found it on the young man’s neck.

     The initial reaction wasn’t the one he was expecting. Which was his wolf raising its hackles, growling defensively. It was an instant, and somewhat startling revelation. Namely, that Derek realized he’d been marking Stiles on his neck. That in of itself was…Concerning.

     All the betas scent marked him, and Lydia, when she allowed it. Sometimes it was casual. Sometimes it was outright. But never on the neck. That was saved for…something else. The neck was sensitive to wolves. It was, in a way, sacred.

      The neck was a weak point. Betas bared it in submission as a sign of respect for their alpha. Of their trust. The alpha reciprocated that. Protected them. Stiles, obviously, wasn’t a wolf. He hadn’t bared his neck to Derek or Laura. And they didn’t expect him to.

    Being a vampire in a werewolf pack was already complicated enough. The alpha didn’t want to strain or confuse Stiles any further. But subconsciously, he’d been marking the man. Laying a claim that he hadn’t even realized. When he did, it took him a minute to process.

    Namely, wolves marked each other on the neck as a sign of, well, as a sign of mate. It let other wolves know that they were taken. That they were unavailable. That touching them there would incite a challenge, and the ensuing fight. Derek had been marking Stiles as a warning to others.

      He’d only realized it when he found Cora’s scent there. Which was enough of a shock. In part, because she scent marked him. The other was because of the fact that she hadn’t shown any interest in “that” since the fire. Derek’s wolf didn’t like the challenge. He liked it even less coming for his sister. Which made him realize that it wasn’t a challenge to begin with. It was a game. She knew, and she was playing him. He liked that even less.

      His betas were laughing to themselves as the alpha sulked. He wasn’t exactly the most forthcoming person. With his feelings anyway. Ever since Kate, that part of his life was buried deep. Buried and bound in chains. He hadn’t been with anyone since.

      Stiles, Stiles was good. He was kind. And smart. And thoughtful. Attentive and playful. A little bit of an asshole. But most of all, Stiles didn’t want anything. In all the time that he had been with the pack, he’d never asked for anything, from anyone.

      No matter what it may have been, he never asked. He provided and provided. Asked people about their day. Gave people space when they needed it. Gave them affection when they craved it. Derek saw firsthand all the good things about him. He also saw the bad.

    Stiles was…He didn’t like to rely on others. He didn’t ask for help. Even when he was hurting. Even when he needed it. That was one part of the problems. The next was the feeding. He refused and refused. Never wanting to take from anyone. Though they did offer.

     Each time, Derek had to confront him. Reminding him of the consequences of going hungry. Each time, he was able to stand it less and less. Laura walked off in anger every time she smelled Derek’s blood. She may have accepted Stiles as pack. That didn’t mean she had accepted his diet.

    There was also the matter of his potential immortality. Vampires, across all cultures and legends, were said to be ageless. Capable of living for hundreds, even thousands of years. Werewolves had longer lifespans than humans. Hell, Satomi was well over a hundred, but looked like she was still in her sixties. But decades and centuries were two very different measurements.

      Derek didn’t want a relationship that felt so one sided. He would spend his life with Stiles, and die. Leaving him alone and heartbroken. With no reprieve or recourse. That was cruel within itself. That, and Stiles would no longer have a source of food.

     It was a strange thing to think about, but if Derek died, if Stiles and Lydia lost the pack, they’d go back on the run. Feeding from animals, barely surviving. Always trying to stay sane and away from humans. Always trying to keep from being murderers.

     That’s what they had said. That they didn’t want to murderers. Derek wondered how Jackson and Lydia were dealing with that. If they’d even had those revelations. How they were navigating their still settling relationship. There were too many things to think about. To many things that could go wrong.

    Still, Derek didn’t stop. He kept marking Stiles’ on his neck. Not even bothering to be discrete about it anymore. The others were thrilled. Laughing themselves silly. The alpha ignored all of them. Stiles didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he rather seem to enjoy it. Given his scent.

     When he was still a pup, Derek was taught that polite werewolves learned which scents to acknowledge. And which ones were better left unsaid. Arousal was one of them. Stiles was frequently aroused. At first, Derek chalked it up to his age. He was a healthy young man with the same urges as any other.

     But as he continued to scent mark him, he noticed a pattern. Namely, that he was aroused by Derek. He didn’t catch the scent when any of the others marked him. So it was conclusive that the young vampire found him attractive. Derek didn’t know what to do with that.

     Feelings aside, he hadn’t had that with anyone since Kate went to prison. Nor did he ever really think about it. There were more important things to consider than his loins. Now that things had settled, and he was set in his role as alpha, things were a little different. In the sense that the wolf wanted to reciprocate the young man’s feelings.

    Which was of course, out of the question. Stiles was likely inexperienced in that regard, to begin with. That, and he didn’t understand the depth of commitment that wolves felt for each other. It wasn’t that soulmate crap from cheap romance novels. But it was another level of serious when compared to human relationships.

     There was also the matter of Stiles using Derek to feed. The alpha didn’t want the vampire thinking that he had to repay him. Had to owe him something for it. That was a whole other mess that he wanted to avoid entirely. Derek tried not to think about it. He wasn’t very successful.

    Peter helped nothing. His uncle dropped more than hints, and made more than jokes. He was growing tired of it. Stiles, on multiple occasions, told the man to fuck off. It was rare to see Peter listen to anyone but himself. But the young vampire had a sway with his uncle like no one else.

    It was the first time, in a long time, that his uncle actually kept his mouth shut. Derek was genuinely impressed. It only made him crush on Stiles harder. Though, he felt it was more than a crush. Both the man and the wolf felt that way. He just didn’t know how to handle it. So, he didn’t.

      Things went on like that for two weeks. It only got worse. The entire house was in on it. He and Stiles had become an unspoken joke. It wasn’t funny. Laura had enough of it. She was at her wits end with Stiles and Derek. So, she dragged the former out of the house.

     The young vampire went kicking and screaming. He wasn’t entirely comfortable with the idea of going into town. Surrounded by so many humans. He’d eaten recently, so Derek wasn’t worried about him losing control. The alpha was more concerned with what his sister might do. Laura was by no means irrational, but like any wolf, she did have a temper.

      The two were only gone for a few hours. Derek didn’t even bother to call or text them. Not that Stiles had a phone. He was content, for the time being, to let Laura do what she was going to do. His interference wouldn’t have helped anything.

     When they return, Derek is happy to see Stiles in on piece. Alive and well. Not even a scratch. Laura doesn’t seem angry. In fact, she actually seems, almost, kinda happy. Which isn’t exactly odd. But given her mood two hours ago, Derek was thrown for something of a loop.

       Stiles takes off for the kitchen. Pointedly avoiding Derek as he walks by. The alpha doesn’t have time to say anything before a hand comes across the back of his head. Laura’s face is taught with annoyance. Meanwhile, Peter’s appeared out of thin air. Shit eating grin stretched across his face. Derek knew where this was going before his sister and uncle opened their mouths.

 

“Enough of the UST. Bone and get it over with.” His sister was never one for decorum.

      “I concur with Laura. The little minx would be more than happy if you jumped his bones.”

“Since when have you had a vested interest in my love life?” Derek’s tone was pointed, and he didn’t care.

     “Well, the last one nearly slaughtered us in our beds. This one is intent on keeping them made. Good improvement. Plus, he is rather easy on the eyes.” His uncle, for what was probably the first time in his life, was being sincere. Derek didn’t know how to take that.

“And what about you, you’re okay with this?”

      “You’re a grown man and an alpha. Whatever happened with you two while I was in Brazil obviously meant, something. I don’t understand it, but this shit has gotten ridiculous. You’re a Hale. Act like it.” His sister, bless her soul, wasn’t lying.

     Stiles and Derek had a rocky start. To say the least. The alpha hadn’t trusted one bit of the vampire when he first came to live with them. Not at all. Now, Stiles was pack. And pack took care of each other. And they did, take care of each other.

      Derek wanted…something. He just didn’t know what. Sex? A relationship? The actual words eluded him. Staying far away in shadowy depths. Were his past continued to haunt and scream. Part of him wanted to move forward. Had moved forward. But the next step terrified him.

      Stiles was aroused by Derek. Sexual attraction was one thing. Actually wanting a relationship was another. There was no telling what the young vampire wanted. And part of Derek was too afraid to ask. Too afraid to do anything but what he had been doing. That, however wasn’t going to solve anything.

     So, he shot up from the couch. Pushing past his sister and uncle. Stiles was cutting vegetables in a semi-panicked flurry. Derek was amazed that he hadn’t cut his fingers off. The intensity on his face told a story. Derek wasn’t sure he wanted to hear it.

 

“We’re having beef stew for dinner. I’ll go easy on the celery, since I know that-.”

     “You like me.” Derek’s interruption made Stiles stop in his tracks. The young vampire, for the first time in so many months, was still.

“I…That’s…Goddammit.”

     “You like me, and I like you. It’s odd…”

“You mean the part where I’m a vampire who occasionally takes a bite? Or where literally every cheap romance novel suggests that this ends badly?” Stiles was trying to deflect with a joke. Derek appreciated it.

     “I mean…We’re pack. I like you as pack. But the wolf wants…More.”

“Context please. I don’t speak angsty, brooding werewolf.”

      “I don’t brood.”

“Point, sourwolf.”

     “Listen…I…The wolf wants more, so does the man. It’s just…I…Fuck, this hard.”

 

Stiles snickered, the bastard. He was awkward about this as Derek was. But he was the only one enjoying it. Which didn’t make anything easier. Nothing about this was easy. As much as he’d like it to be.

 

“Will you go on a date with me?” It was a simple question. One that Derek hadn’t thought about. He just asked it.

     “A date? What the fuck is this, a Jane Austen novel?”

“Trying to be sincere.”

      “Sorry. Sarcasm is my default reaction. Continue.”

“Like an actual date. Like actual people do. Jackson and Lydia do that, I think. And they make it work.”

     “Please, never, until the end of time, compare me to Jackson in any way.”

“Noted.”

     “And the answer is yes, sourwolf. I will go on a date with you.”

“Great. I was thinking a full moon run.” It was as a good idea that he could muster. His wolf stirred at the idea.

      “Isn’t that you know, a pack affair. Which would involve, well, everyone?”

“It doesn’t have to. Not with two of us.” Derek liked the idea of the two of them under the moonlight. Basking in pearly light. With no one else around.

      “You just like the idea of chasing me down in the woods, don’t you?”

“Yes.” The blush that creeps across Stiles’ face is both entirely entertaining, and excessively arousing. Derek liked the color of the vampire’s cheeks when he blushed. It accented his moles. Which Derek wanted to count. With his tongue.

      The vampire didn’t have anything else to say. Even when he tried, he stuttered over his words. Unable to form a sentence. There was a part of the alpha that took pride in that. Though he would probably stutter to.

     When he gets back in the living room, the entire pack is there. Faces lit up like Christmas. He made a note to smack his uncle later. Peter would’ve no doubt gathered them. there was few high fives, and embarrassing whoops of congratulations. Except from Lydia.

     Who promptly reminded Derek that if he, in any way, hurt Stiles, she’d eat his liver. The alpha tried not to take it personally. The young vampiress loved fiercely. And that was her best friend. Derek had no intention of hurting him. In fact, just the opposite. Now, he just had to figure out how the fuck to plan a date.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Stiles wasn’t exactly sure what the hell was going on. He and Derek…They had admitting that they had feelings. Feelings for each other. Which was, in of itself, a revelation. The young vampire hadn’t given much thought to his errant thoughts. His lingering attraction.

       He was a healthy nineteen year old man, and with that, came certain…desires. But with everything that had been going on, there wasn’t a lot of room to think about it. He was a tad busy coming to terms with being a creature of the nights. Even after a few months, he wasn’t accustomed to everything that came with it.

      It left him with very little brain processing space. Being an ADD afflicted human was difficult enough. Being ADD afflicted vampire was not any better. His thought process was scrambled at the best of times. Living in a house full of werewolves didn’t help anything.

    Namely, because all of them were assholes. The betas relished in Stiles’ frustration, and existential angst. It was a running joke with them. Having the ability to literal smell arousal didn’t exactly help his vehement denials. Still, he tried.

     The idea that he and Derek could be anything, beyond what they already were, was absurd. Stiles was a vampire. Derek was a werewolf. They were, by their very nature, enemies. Or at the very least, they weren’t supposed to get along.

     That, and Stiles routinely took a bite out of Derek. He was his food source, as well as the one who was housing him. Being in a relationship seemed like the subject matter of a bad Lifetime movie. So, Stiles didn’t say anything. Didn’t do anything.

     He kept to himself as best he could. Worked around the house. Cooking and cleaning. That’s what he did when a manic episode struck. He needed something to do. Something that wasn’t Derek. And for a time, it worked out wonderfully. Until it didn’t.

     Peter was a salacious bastard, with little consideration for other people. Especially their feelings. That made his not so subtle comments all the worse. As well as the jokes. Stiles tried to avoid him whenever possible, which seemed to be never.

       The man had a talent for lurking in the shadows. Slithering like a snake through grass. Had he not already been a werewolf, the man would’ve made an excellent vampire. Thankfully, Stiles had the advantage. Peter could cloak his footsteps all he liked, but he couldn’t do anything about his heartbeat.

     As time went on, the young vampire had learned a rather unavoidable truth. One that he was still dealing with. Were in anything with a beating heart was easily noticed. Especially if the creature was warm blooded. Werewolves may be stronger, with more stamina and with a greater sense of smell.

     But Stiles could hear prey far better, and move far better. So, it developed into a twisted kind of game. The two of them dancing around each other. Seeing who could outwit and outmaneuver who. It was insanely ridiculous. Stiles won most of the time, but when Peter did, he delighted in his victory.

     The young vampire hadn’t quite comprehended the purpose of scent marking. It was something that all the wolves in the house did. Stiles put up with it because…well…Because he was lonely. Lydia had been great company while they were on the run.

     It still left him wanting something, anything physical. He was touch starved. Practically begging for it. Truly, he didn’t mind when one of the wolves wanted a little snuggle. Except for Peter. The man was wondrously creepy. And made no qualms about unnerving Stiles as best he could.

     Derek wasn’t having it. The man wasn’t exactly lovey dovey. He marked his betas and his sisters just like they did with everyone else in the house. He just wasn’t as Hallmark about it. Except when it came to Stiles. It was very apparent that the alpha treated him a little differently. Or, a lot actually.

     For the most part, he scent marked Stiles the same as the others. Only, he lingered. Like a lot. Letting their fingers touch for a just a minute longer. Glancing over his shoulder as he cooked. Shoulder to shoulder when the say together on the couch.

     The worst, (best), was when Derek marked his neck. It was…enticing. It also didn’t help with Stiles keeping his arousal in check. If the alpha minded, he never said anything. Though just about everyone else did. In their own way.

     Peter was the worst. And Derek always seemed to be a bit touchier when his uncle marked Stiles. Cora was a tad more…Playful. She ignored Stiles all together. Until she didn’t. It was a rather astounding thing for her to mark him. That, and Laura.

     She was becoming accustomed to the presence of vampires in her home. But she hadn’t marked Stiles or Lydia. The alpha had kept a respectful distance. Never crossing into their space. Even though it was her home. There was a part of her that didn’t like the idea of sharing room with two apex predators.

    So, when the marking came, Stiles honestly froze. He didn’t say anything, or do anything. He just let the alpha pass by, and move on. Things went back to normal. Until they didn’t. The house was full of tension. Peter’s jokes were worse than ever.

     Derek was touchier than before. Not even bothering to conceal his affectionate embraces. Laura was at her wits end. One day, she simply stormed into the house. The sound of her steps, thudding off the walls. Before Stiles knew it, he was being hauled out of the house.

    With Laura spattering on about how she couldn’t take it anymore. At first, he thought they were going into the woods to talk. Which he didn’t mind. Until she headed towards the Camaro. Throwing him into the passenger seat, almost literally, the alpha took off towards town.

    The only reason Stiles didn’t jump out of the car was because he was still in shock. Laura may have accepted him as a member of the pack, that didn’t mean she liked him. That, and he was terrified. He hadn’t been around large numbers of humans in, well, months.

     Derek had let him feed recently, but that didn’t mean he trusted his control. There, at present, were no human members of the pack in the house. Only werewolves. So he hadn’t really had a chance to test his restraint. Being half panicked and kidnapped by an alpha werewolf wasn’t helping.

     Laura stops at a Walmart of all place. Odd, seeing as a lot of wolves hated crowds. Stiles didn’t have it in him to argue. He just went along, not saying anything. The inside of the store was moderately busy. With a low thrum of chatter hanging in the air. Perfect for a conversation. Because that’s what Laura wanted.

    At first, she didn’t say anything. She just pointlessly browsed the shelves. Looking at nothing in particular. Then, she spoke. Explaining why she was so tense, bordering on upset. Stiles had heard about Kate Argent in pieces.

     The first time, from Chris. When he showed up with his merry band of assholes. The betas talked about it. In fractions and hushed whispers. From what he could gather, it was a sensitive subject. He was grossly underestimating the matter.

     Laura didn’t give extensive details. In fact, she kept most of them to the point. Long story short, Kate was a monster. She had seduced a teenage Derek, and used him to get to their family. She then proceeded to set their house on fire. With them in it.

     The story was in pieces, but Stiles got the gist of it. Derek had been in love, or he thought he was. In love with a woman who he have his innocence to. Then, she attempted to murder his entire family. It was a betrayal above betrayal. And it had left its mark.

     Stiles didn’t ask any questions. It wasn’t his place. Laura had said her piece. Made sure that Stiles knew exactly what he was getting into. And what came with Derek Hale. He knew that, if they did pursue this, which he had no intention of doing, it wouldn’t be easy.

     It only deterred him from acting on his feelings even further. The young vampire had resolved to make sure that he kept himself, to himself. Shame a certain alpha werewolf had to go and screw that up. Derek was never one for artfully crafted words. The man lived through doing rather than saying. His confession was both awkward and adorable.

      Stiles, as he did, made jokes. Trying to alleviate the tension between them. It was only partially successful. In the end, they agreed on a date. Which would take place on the full moon. For the most part, on that night, Stiles kept himself away from the wolves.

     Letting them frolic and be all wolfy and shit. This time, he was to be front and center. With Derek at least. He spent the week leading up to it imagining all the things that the alpha had planned. What did wolves do on the full moon during a date? That, and the idea of a date was terrifying.

    Stiles hadn’t dated in high school. He wasn’t exactly unpopular, but it just didn’t happen. There was nothing wrong with that. Now, as a nineteen year old vampire, he was going to have his first date, with an alpha werewolf. what a world he fucking lived in.

     The actual day of the full moon, surprisingly, everyone behaved themselves. There were no jokes, even from Peter. He was however, banished from the kitchen. There was no protest that would be heard. Even if wanted to, the betas kept him plenty busy.

     They were always energetic on the full moon. Today was worse. Every ten minutes he was being dragged into something else. Movies. Video games. Always something that kept him occupied. He wasn’t exactly mad about it, but a little free time would’ve been nice.

    Before he knew it the sun had set, and moonrise was just a hair away. Stiles knew what came next. The entire pack shifted into their wolf forms. A process which still boggled his mind. To watch it was like watching a horror movie.

    Rippling skin. Snarling. The sprouting of fur. It was all very Twilight. It didn’t happen slowly. But all at once. It was kind of amazing, and maybe a little frightening. The entire pack tore off into the trees at Laura’s howl. Lydia hot on their trail, following Jackson. It was the first time they’d run together.

     It was just little old Stiles. Stiles and Derek. Who was suddenly standing beside him, carrying a picnic basket. That was ten levels of hilarious. He actively had to resist the urge to make a joke. The alpha appreciated his restraint.

    They walk idly. Taking their time. With Derek leading them to parts unknown. All the while, their fingers were just inches apart. Stiles wanted to break that aching distance. To lock their hands together. To embrace in that small, all meaning way. But he didn’t.

     Part of him was afraid. He’d never done this before. He didn’t know how this was supposed to go. He didn’t know what to do. Especially given Derek’s past. It was hard to admit that he had feelings for someone. That, Stiles figured out for himself. He didn’t want to push the man into something.

     The reach a small clearing, away from the woods where the others were running. Stiles could still hear their heartbeats. Running wild with play. Enjoying the gleeful madness of the night. Derek, as he always was, stayed conserved and poised.

     The alpha laid out a picnic spread. If only for the aesthetic of it. Stiles couldn’t eat human food without getting sick. But the romanticism of it wasn’t lost or diminished. Derek wasn’t much of a cook from what he could tell. So the knowledge that he’d taken the time to do this was significant within itself.

     The alpha eats, and Stiles talks. About anything and everything. Even about his dad. When he first when on the run, it was hard to even think about his family. About the all the things he’d left behind. His family, his friends, his future. Now, he was a little more comfortable with it.

     Derek listened intently. Making little comments here and there. Asking about the people of Stiles’ life. And in turn, provided some of his own. He talked about his parents. About their legacy as Hales. And the expectations the world had for them.

     As far as werewolves went, they were famous. There was a line of the stretching back several generations. Derek and Laura were just the latest in a long series of distinguished alphas. He talked about the pressure of living up to the name.

     About the controversy he caused when he built his pack. Taking in stray humans, turning them. Making them a part of the Hale name. Many people ridiculed him. But as the alpha, he’d stuck by the decision. And it had been a family ever since.

     Stiles laughed at his stories. The roughhousing that they’d done as children. Adult werewolves were energetic. Teenage werewolves were downright terrifying. Apparently, they’d caused more than a little trouble. Stiles could only imagine.

     It was a nice relief from it all. The worries of what he’d left behind. The fact that he was a vampire. The fact that he had no idea what the future held. Derek made him feel…comfortable. There was still a part of him that was terrified. With them both being apex predators. Now, things were a tad more…stable.

     They talked for hours. All the while listening to the pack roam around the woods. Howling and yipping into the night air. The moon rose to the center of the sky. All was well. And before Stiles knew it, they were kissing.

     It wasn’t like he expected it to be. Derek’s lips were soft and supple. It wasn’t forced or exhausting. It was…easy. Like they were meant to fit together. He could feel his heart rabbiting in his chest. Derek’s was to. Time crawled to a still. Then, Stiles had a single thought.

     It was awful, genius, and dangerous in the same moment. A single, wonderfully horrible idea. That could either end in ecstasy, or someone getting mangled. But he was willing to give it a try. When they parted Derek’s eyes quivered in his head. Alive and breathtaking. Stiles made them turn red with five simple words.

     “Catch me if you can.” The alpha had only a brief second to respond. His eyes flashed red, with a low rumble in his chest. Then, Stiles was off like a bullet.

    He knew that werewolves relished in a chase. It was a basic predatory instinct. On the full moon, it was even greater. The young vampire decided to take advantage of that. Making a little game that his wolfy boyfriend would enjoy. Which was an odd thing to think about.

     They hadn’t decided or made any labels for themselves. But he figured boyfriends would do. There wasn’t anything that needed further complicated. Being a werewolf/vampire couple was already enough of a bad young adult novel. Stiles wasn’t trying to make things worse.

      He tore into the trees, watching the colors of the forest become an incoherent blur. Even still, he loved it. The power, the speed in which he could move was one of the only things he loved about being a vampire. It was another world when he moved. Time became a memory. And the woods belonged to him.

     He could hear Derek gaining ground behind him. From the sound of his steps, he was still running on two legs. That was a little disappointing. Stiles liked the idea of being chased down by the alpha in his wolf form. Which may have been a little concerning.

     As he moved deeper into the forest, Derek picked up the pace. Stiles was faster, but the alpha definitely could out do him in the long run. The young vampire hadn’t had much practice running as a creature of the night, and knew little of how to pace himself.

     Derek gained speed, closing the distance between them. It was only a matter of time. Then, Stiles had another idea. One that would make the game he’d made even more interesting. Just before he knew Derek would gain line of sight, he leapt upwards into the trees.

     He’d never tired that since he’d become a vampire. Goddamn could he leap. It was terrifying and elating in the same moment. He latched onto the closest tree. Trying his best to calm his heart. Even if Derek couldn’t see him, he could still hear his rapidly pounding chest.

    When the alpha finally manages to catch up, he skids to a stop. Eyes glaring red in the darkness of the trees. They’d formed a thick canopy, blocking out most of the moonlight. This was a chase meant for them. Creatures of the night. Eyesight wasn’t what would win. It’s what would make you lose.

    Derek turned round and round, listening intently. Listening for any possible sign of the young vampire. No doubt following the scent trail as well. Which cut off abruptly when Stiles jumped into the trees. It was an amusing thing to watch. He gave himself away by snickering.

     He let the alpha be confused for all of five minutes. Then, he leapt from the trees. Tackling the wolf down to the ground. Rolling the two them in the dirt. Laughing playfully as he went. Stiles may have won the chase, but it was obvious he wasn’t going to win this.

     Derek was far more experienced in the matter. He ended up on his back. Wrists pinned to the ground behind his head. The alpha straddling his hips. Eyes still blaring red. The man was breathing heavily. Trying his best to keep his features human. Stiles decided to push it even further.

     He wasn’t as strong as a werewolf, certainly not as strong as an alpha. But he was plenty strong to sit up just enough, kissing Derek before he could even think. He stilled for a moment, eyes closing briefly. Then, he was pressing Stiles back into the dirt.

     He freed the vampire’s hands in favor of running his own all over the other man’s body. It was an unexpected, by very welcome surprise. Stiles had months of pent up horniness waiting to be let loose. In under a minute, his cock was already standing at full attention.

     Derek, taking notice, grabbed his painfully tight bulge, latching onto Stiles’ neck while he did so. The young vampire, usually so talkative, was at a loss for words. There wasn’t anything that he could say or do. He was more than content to let Derek do as he pleased.

    Then, his fangs came out. It was an unexpected occurrence that short circuited his brain. It also a singularly bad time as Derek had kissed him again. Smashing their mouths together in fire. Stiles didn’t have time to think. Didn’t have time to warn him.

      He didn’t mean to bite the other man. It was an accident. When he feels his fang break the skin of the wolf’s lips, things come to a grinding halt. Derek leaned back, eyes still red, but concerned. He wiped a droplet of blood from his lip with his thumb. Which he then stuck his mouth. Stiles shouldn’t have found that attractive.

 

“Sorry, I just…Got a little excited.”

     “You’re not hungry, so I’ll take it as a compliment. Besides, it’s probably a good thing. I didn’t want to be the first time I blow you to be in the forest. Peter would never let me live it down.”

     Stiles didn’t really think about anything else. Because Derek just said that he wanted to blow him. That, in of itself, was enough to make him rush back to the house. His boyfriend wasn’t far behind. It took only minutes. He truly did move at an amazing pace.

     Maybe that’s why he didn’t notice the car until it was too late. A police cruiser sat in the driveway. Lights off, with a man on the porch. A human man. It was enough to make Stiles pause. The scent of a human at their house. Because he knew that scent.

     “Dad?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

It had been a little over three months since Stiles had seen his father. There wasn’t a day that went by where he didn’t think of him. He missed the daily routine they had. He would share a cup of coffee, with as healthy a breakfast as he could make. Or rather, what his father would tolerate.

     They would chat about their days. Talking about anything and nothing. It was what they did. That’s how they lived. After his mother died, they grew closer. Becoming an inseparable unit. It was very codependent. He wasn’t ashamed to admit that. Not in any way.

     His panic attacks made things difficult at first. That, and his father’s drinking. They both suffered the consequences of Claudia’s passing. It was how they grieved. That’s how they processed. It went on for all a while. Until it didn’t.

     It was just before Stiles started high school. Things evened out. They healed. Well, they didn’t heal. It just hurt a little less. The emptiness in their chests wasn’t so all consuming. It wasn’t the greatest portion of their souls. Things like that never really went away.

     Things were good, until they weren’t. The attack sent Stiles reeling. Recovering from a trauma that would no doubt haunt him for years. The only reason he hadn’t succumbed to it, was because of him becoming a vampire.

     That was more than enough to suppress the well-deserved PTSD that he had coming. He and Lydia both. They were terrified. Rather than what had happened, they were now focused on what the hell was going on. Why they wanted to eat people. Why the pain never really went away no matter what they did.

    Running killed him. He was the only thing his father had left in the world. Their family was either dead, or didn’t talk to them. They had each other. That was it. That’s what was it for them. There was nothing else. Every last part of him screamed to stay.

     To stay with his only family. To stay home. That’s what he felt in the deepest reaches of his soul. That’s what rooted him in place. What made him leave, was fear. Lydia was the clincher. She’d eaten her dog. Stiles’ had found himself hovering over his father. Without even realizing it.

     Even if they wanted to stay, they couldn’t. They’d kill their families. And be forever haunted for it. There was nothing else they could do. Stiles knew the consequences the moment they left their hometown.

     His father had been an officer for nearly twenty-five years. Sheriff for nearly ten. He was a damn good cop, and he was damn good at his job. There was no doubt that he would have the entire county on high alert. Failing that, the whole state. Failing that, the country.

      Stiles didn’t know how well he could work that out. A local sheriff could only work so much. Could only muster so much pull. Influence was a fickle thing. And it only lasted so long. Only so many resources could be allotted.

     If there were no results, it would’ve been relegated to posters and running tv placements. But Stiles was the son of a cop. He knew how to avoid being detected. He knew how to avoid being seen. It had gotten him in enough trouble as a kid.

      So that was the first thing that he had run through his mind. That he had been so careful. That he had taken every necessary step. There was no failure. There was no deviation. There was no trail. They had used cash for every purchase. Made sure to turn their heads away from security cameras.

     How was he here? How had he found them? What mistake had he made? The next thing that crossed through his panicked thoughts, was that his father had lost some weight. Not enough to worry. He actually looked good, considering. Maybe he had adhered to the diet after all. Even with his only child gone.

     The next thing that came up, was his hyperawareness. Stiles was acutely aware of his father now that he had seen him. He could hear his heart. Smell him on the cool night air. Like logs being thrown into a smoldering fire. Leaves fluttering down into the river. He felt the tears well in his eyes before he realized it.

     His father was hugging him. Even with the man being in his fifties, he’d leapt from the porch. In a single bound, standing in front of his son. Gripping him as if the world was ending. Stiles could only hold still. Less he break.

     This was everything that he wanted. To see his father. To be held by him. To see his face. To get back everything he had lost. To be a family again. It was everything that he feared. Because his father was here. And there was no avoiding anything now.

     The questions. The yelling. The heartbreak. The everything. The truth of what he was. What Derek and the others were. Which was bad timing, as the man had come crashing in from the trees. Still shifted, eyes unflinchingly red. Fangs protruding from his mouth.

     There was a single second. A breath and a half where everything stood still. Where the universe blinked, and then, it all went to hell. Stiles’ father released him, the sour stench of fear rolling off in waves. That scent, the young vampire knew that one well enough.

     His hand was already on his gun, finger flipping off the safety. He was ready to shoot. He was ready to kill. It was the most basic human instinct. It was the most natural reaction. Stiles couldn’t be mad about that. He couldn’t fault his father for his fear.

     Derek, for all that he was worth, didn’t move. Didn’t speak. Didn’t try and escape from what knew would be the path of the bullet. Once again, Stiles moved without thinking. His body was reacting without his consent. He was in front of Derek before his father had finished raising his pistol.

     That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that his fangs were out. No doubt his eyes were pitch black as well. Derek’s secret had been exposed in the same moment as his. There was no going back. There was no trying to hide this. His father knew.

     His scent changed. From the sour, cringe of fear, to something…darker. It was….hot. Like red hot coals doused with gasoline. Stiles recoiled from it. The sheer force of it made him take a step back. It took a moment to realize it, but he knew what it was. Rage.

    His father had been consumed by it. Stiles was confused as to why. The fear, the fear he understood. The unknown often brought that out in people. Now, it was Stiles who was afraid. Afraid of what his father would do. What he would do to Derek.

     “Son, there’s a lot going on, but I need you step away from….whatever that is.”

“Dad, it’s fine. We’re fine. He isn’t gonna hurt me or you. Right Derek?” He turned to see that the alpha’s face was human again. But his shoulders were wrought with tension. He was ready to move at a moment’s notice now.

     “Stiles, son, what the hell is going on? I can’t…I finally found you. I finally found you, and I run into…This. Whatever this is.”

“I can explain. Well I can’t explain, but I can give you answers. I just need you to put the gun down, and go inside. Okay? Trust me, please dad.” His father was shaking now. He was physically shaking.

      His scent had changed again. It was a hellish mixture of rage, confusion, grief, and fear. It made Stiles’ stomach churn. It made him want to run. It made him want to hold his father, and tell him that everything was gonna be okay.

    It was a grand delusion of the highest possible order. This wasn’t going to be okay. Nothing was. Nothing about this whole situation is alright. Now, they just had to find a way to make it the opposite. Stiles wanted that. He needed it.

    Derek heads back into the trees. No doubt to gather the others. Making sure they knew what was going on. Well, as much as they could know anyway. Stiles follows his father inside. Three steps behind him. He had seen his eyes. He had seen his fangs. There was a lot of explaining to do.

     The both of them sat down, across from each other. They said nothing. Even with so much that needed saying, they said nothing. Stiles didn’t nowhere to begin anyway. So, he waited. He waited as best he could. Even though he wanted to run.

     It doesn’t take long for the others to arrive. By some miracle, they are all clean and fully dressed. They all avoid Stiles’ pleading eyes. Which are still black. He can’t make the turn back. He can’t calm down. Derek stands behind him. Hand on his shoulder.

 

“You must be Stiles’ father. I would’ve liked to meet you under better circumstances. My name is Laura Hale. This is my brother Derek, welcome to our home.” His father didn’t speak. Only observed in that way that all cops do.

     He knew that look. He was trying to size Laura and the others up. Nearly three decades spent in law enforcement gave him insight into others. Without them ever having to say a word. It was in the way they stood. Their posture. The movement of their eyes. How they fidgeted in long silences.

      “I have plenty of questions. Chief among them, did you kidnap my son?” It wasn’t the question that Stiles expected his father to ask.

“No, Stiles came to us by manner of accident. As did Lydia. They are here of their own volition, and are free to leave any time.” Derek spoke firmly and plainly. His tone flat as possible.

      “I’d like to think my child wouldn’t leave me wondering where he was for three months. Which leads me to question two. What the hell are you people?” That was a little more along the lines of what he had expected.

     There wasn’t an easy answer. There wasn’t a way to explain this in a way that made any form of sense. They were screwed. No matter how Stiles looked at it. no matter what idea he came up with. They were screwed.

 

“We’re…something else. There’s a lot of names for it. Depending on the culture and the time period. But the word you would use, is werewolf.”

     “Not the time for jokes.” His father wasn’t exactly sure if he meant that.

“You saw my face. You saw my eyes. It wasn’t a costume. It wasn’t contacts. We are creatures of the night. If you’d like, we can show you a full shift. Though, I feel like you wouldn’t handle that very well.”

     “You mean more than the freakish, bulgy face and red eyes? I think that’s convincing.”

“So you believe us?” Derek’s tone was…hopeful.

     “I’m not sure what I believe. I’m not sure that I can ever really believe that. But my son is sitting in front of me with black eyes, and from what I know about werewolves, if that’s what you really are, is that you can make others like you.”

“We didn’t turn Stiles. We don’t turn humans without their consent, not that he’s human anymore.” Stiles couldn’t even be mad at Laura for that one. Might as well rip the band aid off.

     His father’s face goes placid. The nauseating mix of emotions vanishes from his features. Leaving a blank slate that Stiles doesn’t know what to do with. He can hear his heartbeat, which is exponential. Other than that, he couldn’t, he didn’t know what to do.

     “My son….He’s like you, not a werewolf, but something like that.”

“In the sense that we’re both creatures of the night, and apex predators, yes.” His father’s eyes quivered at the word predator. He rose from where he sat, ignoring how all the wolves in the room tensed. Peter especially. The older wolf seemed particularly on guard.

     His father came to stand in front of him. Stiles could see tears in his eyes. There was a hand on his face, stroking small circles into his cheek. He didn’t bother hiding it. He opened his mouth, revealing his fangs. The fangs that had nearly killed his father.

     The man, for what he was worth, didn’t scream. Didn’t say anything. Didn’t run. He just ran a finger over the elongated canine. As if to see what he was seeing was real. It was. There was no denying that. Stiles prided himself on how well he could craft a lie.

       There was no lying his way out of this. There was no bending the truth. There was no turning a word. His father was here. He knew about Derek and the pack. He knew about his son. He knew that he was longer human.

 

“It’s why you left, isn’t it?”

     “Yes. I’m…I’m something that sees people…I see people as…” He couldn’t finish the sentence. He couldn’t say it out loud. He couldn’t let his father know just what kind of monster he truly was.

“Stiles is a vampire. As is Lydia. They need to feed on human blood to survive. They’ve been feeding on pack members in order to eat. That was part of the arrangement that they’ve made.” Laura was revealing a little too much.

      “Arrangement, what arrangement?” Now his father was angry again.

“Stiles and Lydia are newly turned vampires. Derek and the others, in my absence, arranged for them to live here. Our family protects this town. Keeps it safe from non-humans.” At least she didn’t reveal that he and Derek were…an item. Stiles didn’t think that he could handle that.

     They spent the next several hours answering each and every question that his father had. Which was a lot. There was plenty to talk about. The entire time, Stiles could see that his father was itching to shoot something. But there was nothing to shoot.

     The vampire that turned them was long gone. They didn’t even know what it looked like. But that didn’t placate his father. He wanted to take revenge. He wanted to hurt something. Stiles understood the sentiment. There were plenty of nights he wanted to meet his maker. If only to end them.

      Surprisingly, his father seemed to adapt to the knowledge that humans weren’t the top of the food chain rather well. At least, that’s how it seemed. Stiles couldn’t tell. His father was either an open book, or an unmoving stone. There was no in-between.

    Derek and Laura gave him as much information as they could. Though, they could tell that there were certain details that they chose to omit. Namely, they didn’t want to reveal too much about the pack. He was Stiles’ father, but that didn’t mean they had any reason to trust him.

      Namely, the omitted the part about Chris and his hunters. That may have been a little too much. That, not only that there were creatures of the night, but there were people that hunted them. That, and Stiles had been shot and stabbed. The knowledge of which wouldn’t have helped anything.

      His father listens, never interrupting. He never cuts off, or raises his voice. Which was impressive. Given that he could have a temper. Stiles was equally parts impressed and terrified. It was the early hours of the morning by the time they’d finished. No one was even close to being tired.

 

“I think I understand now. At least, as well as I can. You don’t work as a cop for twenty years without seeing a few things that can’t really be explained. I’m just trying to process.”

     “It’s a lot to take in. But you’re handling it better than most people would’ve. Which says something. But there is one other matter.” Laura’s face went serious.

“And that would be what, Ms.Hale?”

     “We are safe because we are secret. I need your guarantee that this secret, that your son’s secret stays exactly that. I won’t place my pack at risk. I won’t place my family at risk.”

“My child has been missing for three months. I exhausted every possible resource trying to find, thinking the worst. He’s alive. I intend to keep it that way, Ms.Hale.” Derek had said that wolves could hear a lie. It was in the way the heart fluttered or skipped.

     Stiles couldn’t hear such a thing in his father. Couldn’t detect the lie. Apparently Laura couldn’t either. she relaxed her posture for the first time since his father had arrived. The others followed her. Only Peter remained as the tense one. And of course, he had to go an make it worse.

 

“John, may I call you John? We find ourselves in a rather unique position.” Stiles didn’t like the smile that came across the man’s face.

    “And what’s that, Mr.Hale?”

“Peter, please. No need to be so formal. And it’s what we can offer you. Which is a place in this pack.” Laura and Derek both had to restrain themselves, less they slaughter their uncle in front of god and company.

      “Think about it. You’d have unmitigated access to your son. A family. And the physical benefits aren’t anything to balk at either. All the usual that you see in Hollywood.

     Strength. Speed. Agility. Advanced healing. You’d never have to worry about cancer or arthritis. No heart attacks. No dementia. In fact, you’d live much longer. As we have significantly extended lifespans compared to humans.”

“You said healing. Would that work on someone who was already ill?” It was a very pointed question. One that made Stiles’ heart leap into his throat.

      “Depending on the circumstances, yes. It can prevent whatever illness it is from progressing further. The bite won’t cure anything. But it will stop nearly anything in its tracks.” Stiles say his father’s eyes perk up at that.

    It was a terrifying thought that went through his head. The idea that there was something wrong with his father. That he wanted to be like Derek and the others because it was that bad. Stiles had always been on his case about his health.

     “Dad, is everything all right? You aren’t…You aren’t sick are you?” He was on the verge of tears again.

“No son, I’m fine. It’s just….With everything that’s going on. I didn’t want to tell you.”

     “Tell me what?” His father didn’t speak. This time, Stiles could hear his heart increase. He smelled like fear again.

“Scott is in the hospital.”

    

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek hadn’t driven this long in a while. Normally, he had nothing against road trips. Sometimes, he was even known to enjoy them, on occasion. The betas loved riding in the Camaro. Even if it was a little crowded. They’d take small trips to some tourist trap town. Spending obscene amounts of money. Eating entirely too much food.

     This instance however, was nothing like that. Stiles was asleep in the back seat. Snoring softly.  His father, John, was in the passenger side. Staring off down towards the darkness of the road ahead of them. He hadn’t said a single word since they had left the house.

     It was an entire affair. Stiles was panicked. Pacing, stuttering, unable to keep still. Scott, the young man in question, was his best friend. They had been together for a number of years. Derek understood that. John hadn’t said much else beyond that. But it was enough to set the young vampire towards a panic attack.

     The decision was made easily. They’d packed the bags efficiently, and without wasting time. This wasn’t a vacation. It was an attempt to save a young man’s life. Or, that’s what it sounded like. John hadn’t wanted to provide the details until they reached back home.

     More than likely, he wanted to keep Stiles calm. A frantic vampire was never good for anyone. Derek agreed with the sentiment in silence. He didn’t know this man. Didn’t entirely trust him. Their first meeting involved having a gun pointed at his head.

    At first, he thought the man a hunter. The police car and uniform a clever disguise. Only, Stiles was being hugged, and the man was crying. Not out anger or grief, but of joy. No hunter would be joyous at meeting a creature of the night.

      And a hunter he wasn’t. Any one of them worth their weight would’ve carried wolfsbane munitions at the very least. This one only carried standard issue. He was just a regular civilian cop. The question was, why was he here?

      It became apparent, and things went to hell for a few minutes. Stiles hadn’t talked about what his life was like. What he had when he was still human. Derek had never asked. It was a sore subject. For him and Lydia. They had to abandon everything when they ran.

     Derek couldn’t imagine the strength that would’ve taken. The power that the two of them had to conjure. To leave behind everything they knew and loved. To venture out into the world as creatures who could never truly be a part of it. Derek had his pack. He had his family. They would’ve had nothing.

     John’s finding of Stiles meant that things had changed. It was the worst possible circumstances. Both of their secrets had been revealed. Stiles had gotten better about the hunger. But he was still learning to control the shifting part. He had outed himself as a creature of the night within seconds.

     It was also on the full moon. When everyone was at their strongest, and their weakest. Even seasoned born wolves had trouble with control when there was a threat. They would’ve viewed this man as such from the moment they saw a gun being pointed at their alpha.

      Derek did his best to keep them calm. Keep them placated. Peter was the worst. Ever since the fire, he had been, unreasonable. Given the chance, he’d tear the man’s heart out, and not even apologize for it. Then, Stiles would’ve most likely killed Peter.

     When they return, John had been sitting in the living room with Stiles. Whose eyes were still black. Still marking him as anything but human. It was a long conversation. To his credit, the man never once rejected what was told to him.

     He never questioned it, or called them crazy. He never said they were monsters. He just listened. As best he could. Being a cop for as long as he had been probably helped. If nothing else, they wouldn’t have to worry about him going apeshit on them.

     Even if his bullets didn’t have any wolfsbane, they still would’ve hurt like hell. That’s when Peter had his ridiculous idea. Offering the man the bite. And that’s when John brought up the matter of Scott. Which brought them here. On this desolate, backwater road. With no end in sight.

     They’d opted to take the slightly longer, less used route. Stiles was still listed as missing. For the time being, it was better to keep that premise going. He was still getting used to being around humans in masse. Derek didn’t want to push it.

      Laura already had, when he dragged him out of the house. In her frustration, she’d taken him in public. Away from the rest of the pack, and Derek didn’t want think about why. The end result was John receiving an anonymous tip at his son’s location. And of course they gave a physical description of the woman he was with.

     Right now, Derek wanted Stiles to be safe. Out of harm’s way. Out of the way of temptation. Going into a major hospital full of readily available people wasn’t the best of ideas. But Stiles was determined to go. No one could stop him. That’s what Derek admired about him.

      The young man was, for lack of a better word, stubborn. He was by no means submissive. Held no regard for respect of pack authority. And most of all, bowed to no one but himself. Had been made a wolf, he would’ve been an excellent alpha.

       He wanted to save his friend. He wanted that part of his life back. And even with how dangerous it was, no one could deny him that. There was too much at stake, and too much that they still didn’t know. But Derek did know that he wasn’t going to let Stiles loose something else.

      He had, as best could, recovered after the fire. His family was alive. His pack was alive. That’s what mattered. But each of them lost something in the flames. A century old home gone. Decades of memories and heartbreak and legacy, destroyed.

      No one deserved that. No one. Stiles especially. That didn’t mean Derek was comfortable sitting in the car with a man who, just a few short hours ago, was prepared to shoot him. He was placid and unmoving. But unlike his son, he wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon.

      He didn’t try and make conversation. Didn’t try and engage in any way. Derek assumed he was just happy to know that his son was alive. Maybe not in the way he wanted, but alive. That’s what mattered. At least, he hoped.

     Generally speaking, humans never reacted well to the presence of non-humans. And as they faded into myth and legend, knowledge that they were real was even less palatable. But John had exceeded every expectation that Derek had been taught.

     Normally, he would’ve put three bullets in Derek, and more in his son. Hollywood was every the romantic when it came to such things. The truth was less about doomed romance, as it was about mankind’s inherently violent nature. John had beaten that with a stick, and then some.

      Derek still didn’t trust him. He didn’t know the man. But he was now a part of Stiles’ life again, no there wasn’t much of a choice. He was going to be around. How much was yet to be determined. Being a sheriff wasn’t easily abandoned. Stiles may decide to move back.

     It was a terrifying thought. One he didn’t relish. Derek was….attached. His wolf had come to terms with Stiles’ presence. Then, as the months went on, tolerance became admiration. Admiration became affection. Affection became…Something.

     They had agreed to try and be more than alpha and not-beta vampire. Their first date had gone well. Derek hadn’t had that kind of relationship in years. He enjoyed it. He wanted more of it. Now, he wasn’t so sure where things were going to go.

     He wanted to try and make things work with Stiles. But he wasn’t going to pack up his life, his pack’s life. That was too much to ask. Even as alpha, it wasn’t his right to make such a demand. Relocation came with its own difficulties. Namely, the presence of other supernaturals.

    That was one of his other concerns with Stiles returning home. The idea that there were others like them, now able to be aware of the vampire. Chris was already aware that Stiles was something. No doubt looking into what. They didn’t need nosey packs invading their business.

     There was a lot that could wrong. Normally, Derek wouldn’t take such risks. But that’s what pack did for each other. They were there even when the times were difficult and trying. Stiles had more than proven himself as a pack member. They owed him at least this much.

      They were another day’s drive from the hospital. Derek was content to spend it in silence. Stiles was emotionally exhausted from the events. Reuniting with his father. His father learning about both werewolves and vampires in the same day. He was still pleasantly asleep. Derek wished he could be next to him.

     He looks at the vampire through the rear view mirror. Admiring his prone, resting form. They had been on a chase when John had arrived. Had they not been interrupted, they would have…Derek didn’t know what they would’ve done. He expected at the very least, minimal clothing would’ve been involved.

      He was comfortable enough to admit that. Stiles was, ambitious. He liked to tease and play. Though he didn’t show it often. Even still, Derek was more than enthused. Stiles as well, given that he had shifted in the clearing. The alpha didn’t mind.

      In fact, he’d found it something of an encouragement. A little bit of himself prided in the fact that he made Stiles lose control. Even if it was only for a second. That’s all it took. The alpha wondered what else may have happened had they continued. Stiles may have been on the lean side. But Derek suspected that…

 

“Son, you mind keeping your eyes on the road.” John’s words snap him back to reality. He’d been caught red handed.

     “Sorry. Just a lot on my mind at the moment.”

“I think that’s supposed to be my line, Mr.Hale.”

      “Just Derek is fine.”

“Okay, just Derek. You need me to take over?”

      “With all due respect sir, the only other person I allow to drive this car, is my sister. And even then, only just.” John laughs at that. It was the first time Derek had seen him smile since he’d arrived. It was something else entirely. The little lines at the edges of his mouth seemed like waves.

      The man had been so stern and tense. Trying to process what had happened. What was going to happen from here. And what could never happen again. Derek wondered just how panicked he truly was. There was no way that he was completely okay with this. His son was a vampire. A vampire living with a pack of werewolves.

    

 

“You okay?” Derek’s tone is flat. He doesn’t want to sound condescending.

     “Yes and no. My son, who I thought dead, is alive. But also a vampire, living with a group of strangers. Who turns out, werewolves. Most everyone else would’ve had a nervous breakdown.”

“I was born into this. I have had my entire life to grow used to it. You don’t have to get it in a day.” It was true. John hadn’t run or tried to kill any of them. So Derek would take that win and run with it.

     “My son is someone who now eats people in order to live. You turn fury. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this. But, he’s my son. He’s a good kid, who had a bright future ahead of him. Now….”

“He has us. The pack cares for each other. The pack takes care of each other. That’s how it’s been, and how it’s always going to be. Stiles has a place with us. He’s more than earned that.” John’s eyebrow raises inquisitively. Asking a question Derek didn’t want to answer.

     He knew that he’d said too much, that there was no going back now. So, he told the sheriff about Chris. About what Stiles had done. How he saved Derek. Quite literally taking a bullet. As well as a knife. And of all the little things.

     How he cared for the pack. Not just as a glorified housekeeper. But as a provider in every possible sense. He explained how wolves took notice in that. How they valued it. Stiles was one of them. Even if he was a vampire. Derek tried to convey that as best he could.

     John didn’t say anything. He just payed attention. Much like he did when the first spoke. He was angry at one point. But that involved Chris. Who was now on the man’s shit list. Derek pitied the man should he ever come round with the sheriff present.

    There was plenty more that needed telling. Kate, chief among them. Derek had demons in past. Waiting to creep up at a moment’s notice. Demons affected others. that affected Stiles. Which in turn would affect his father. More importantly, how involved he was with the man’s son.

     He didn’t quite have enough balls to admit that. Not yet. Maybe when things calmed down. And the world made a little more sense. When their lives were just a tad more peaceful. They had plenty left to do. And he wanted it to be absolved of the meeting the parent’s talk. They weren’t quite there just yet.

     The next day’s drive is uneventful. Stiles ends up chasing down a stag just take the edge of his anxiety. Hunter’s instinct and all that. The sheriff didn’t react badly. He didn’t exactly react well either. Derek knew that Stiles feeding from him would’ve been no better.

     When the finally arrive at the hospital, Derek doesn’t try and convince Stiles to stay in the car. He’s already to the doors before the sheriff undoes his seatbelt. The alpha trails behind him. Cursing under his breath. Trying to reign in the vampire. There were too many people here.

      Stiles didn’t even bother asking where Scott was. He knew instinctively. Maybe it was a scent that he found. Maybe it was something a little more primal. But they were at the room quicker than John could’ve kept up.

      The young man lying in the bed does not look well. Pale in the face. Hair matted to his forehead. A wheezing machine huffs as it makes oxygen for him to breathe. At least he isn’t on a respirator. Derek can smell the infection from here. As well as the medicine being used to treat it. His stomach turns.

     Stiles stands in the doorway for all of a second, then, he’s hugging his best friend. Who is absolutely delighted to see him.  There was a flurry of words, of questions and greetings. Tear and heartfelt laughter. It lasted exactly three minutes.

     Whatever infection Scott had been battling caught up. He began coughing horrendously. The sensors attached to him blaring in warning. He was on the verge of some kind of fit. The door slams open, a woman standing in the doorway.

     She is on the older side of thirty. Dark hair in soft waves, mussed about her face. Eyes alight with panic and terror. Derek can see that she is Scott’s mother. The woman’s eyes train to her son for  only a second. Then, they are on Stiles.

     The way she walks is strange. Times stretches towards infinity with how slowly she moves. Hesitant, almost unwilling to believe what is in front of her. The boy they had thought lost. Now found. When her hands cup his face, Derek finds himself jealous of it.

    The intimacy of the encounter makes his breath catch. The woman pauses, maybe thanking the god she worships. Maybe the universe. Then, she’s crying. Silent tears fall like a waterfall. Full of ten thousand lost words. Ten thousand heartbreaks.

       Stiles does not cry. He does not speak. He does nothing but hug the woman. Tightly, and all consuming. They are reunited. A happy thing. For a moment. Then, the questions begin. The hard ones. The same ones that John had. He does not want to answer them.

        Melissa, the woman’s name, much like John, does not speak. Says nothing as several months’ worth of events are consigned to a five minutes of explanation. Perhaps working as a nurse has helped her adapt to the world. Where she can understand the nature of the truth that has been laid before her.

    Derek listens to her heartbeat. Trying to gauge her reaction. Maybe it’s because she’s a nurse. Maybe because of all the things she’s seen. But her heart stays steady and even. Never rising above a slightly elevated set. She is almost calm.

      Scott on the other hand, he’s damn near losing his mind. There was too much information. Too much that had happened, and they hadn’t even told the full story. Derek wondered what kind of beta he was going to be. Part of him was excited. Part of him was terrified. The young man would certainly make for a good fit.

     Young, with a reason for the bite. His asthma was killing him. The most recent attack sprouting of an infection that landed him in the hospital. There was the added benefit of knowing Stiles. Anybody who could tolerate his particular brand of crazy was bound to be trustworthy.

     He explained all the benefits. What would happen with the change. How his body would still essentially be human, but something more. He also explained the risks. The anger. The primal hunger of the shift. What came with each full moon. How his life would be devoted to the pack for the first few years.

     He also explained the hunters. The danger they posed. Well, he gave the cliff notes version anyway. There was some details that needed to remain private. He didn’t need to know about Kate. Not right now at least. Scott, for his goofy, charmed self, never once interrupted. He listened intently. Eyes alight with curiosity and intrigue. Then, he gave his answer.

 

“Do it.”

Chapter Text

Derek wasn’t accustomed to being away from his betas this long. They had been texting every few hours, but it wasn’t the same as actually being there. As a relatively new alpha, the bond between him and his wolves was still settling. Still be laid in the stonework.

     Stiles was here, and that, to an extent, did help. Though, they weren’t bonded like wolves were. They didn’t have that kind of connection. Derek’s wolf recognized him as pack. Recognized him as a part of his family. That much was true.

     It didn’t help with the restlessness. Nothing did. He was miles and miles away from his territory. Away from everything that he knew. Surrounded by people he didn’t know. Explaining his existence to them, hoping for the best. As it turned out, things were pretty okay.

     Melissa took to the idea of her son being a wolf rather well. Scott relished in the idea of being able to breathe on his own. It had been a two years since he’d turned anyone. Part of him was nervous. Part of him was thrilled. An alpha needed betas, and betas needed an alpha. Scott was going to be an excellent addition.

      The young man barely even flinches when Derek bites down. Stiles excuses himself as the smell of human blood still gets to him. He can already tell that the bite will take. Scott was a prime fit for it. Young, in need of accelerated healing. It wouldn’t take long at all.

      Within a few short hours, the effects become apparent. His condition improves. No longer needing the oxygen. The sickly smell of his infection wading away. The sound of his heart getting stronger. Derek was happy. His betas would have a new pack mate in just a few short days.

      Stiles, for the entire time that they are in the hospital, never sits still. His natural energy was amplified tenfold. The young vampire wasn’t comfortable here. Surrounded by so many beating hearts. So much blood that he could take.

      Derek offered his arm, and for the first time, he didn’t hesitate to bite down. He wasn’t greedy, or overdone. He took just enough to reduce the temptation, and no more. The alpha continued to be impressed at his level of restraint.

    By the morning, Scott is ready to be discharged. Melissa handles the paperwork, ensuring that there are no undue questions. No one to ask the obvious. Of how a young man with a serious infection recovered, miraculously, in less than 24 hours. Derek was grateful for the woman’s intuition.

       They make their way back to Stiles’ home. Or, what was his home. He had a place with the pack, a place with Derek. That complicated things a little bit. Well, more than a little. That was a conversation for another time. There was plenty left to do as it was.

      The home is….quaint. There is nothing overtly special or outlandish about it. There were, however, plenty of pictures. Memories upon memories that stretched across the walls. The house was alive in a way that Derek hadn’t known in quite some time.

     His family held memories in other ways. That, and werewolves didn’t photograph well. Derek didn’t blame his mother for not wanting to try. They had their own way of making sure the world knew they were here. That they knew each other were here.

      John welcomes them inside, shrugging off his uniform. No doubt exhausted from the day’s events. Any other man would’ve lost his mind. Would’ve gone down the drain, and off to the loony bin. The man doesn’t even go to bed. He just collapses onto the couch, asleep in less than five minutes.

     Stiles and Scott make their way to the back of the house, towards what Derek assumed was Stiles room. He was expecting everything he found. Posters and monuments to teenage obsession. It was every bit the young vampire. What wasn’t, was the scent.

      As a vampire, Stiles smelled like a predator. Like a threat. Slowly, as time went on, Derek got used to it. He knew that Stiles was dangerous. That he was powerful. To others at least. To Derek, to everyone in their home, he was pack. He was a protector. He was a provider.

     The scent of the room was from when he was human. Without the predatory overtone, Stiles smelled…enticing. Derek had been attracted to other people’s scents before. Pheromones and all that. Stiles was…Enthralling.

      His wolf could smell that had he still been human, he would’ve made for an excellent wolf. That, and an excellent bed partner. He suppressed a blush at that thought. Ever since Kate he had been all but celibate. Save for his hand.

     It hadn’t been something that he concerned himself with. That wasn’t a necessary part of his life. wasn’t something that he wanted to give any of his time or thoughts to. Kate was gone, in prison, for the rest of her life. She wasn’t going anywhere. Still…

     The trauma of that time lingered. In a way that was subtle and damning. Derek didn’t want to admit it, but that kind of intimacy frightened him. To a degree anyway. Stiles wasn’t intimidating in that regard. He was Stiles. And Derek, against all odds, was attracted to him.

    But now wasn’t the time for that. Scott would awake the next day, a fully turned wolf. There was a lot that had to happen to make that work. Namely, relocating back to the pack house. Where he could be amongst his fellow wolves. Where he could adjust to his new senses.

      Stiles and Scott share a bed that night. Huddled next to each other, sleeping soundly. Derek sleeps in a chair. Even though his wolf is screaming at him. Screaming to join his betas in the bed. Despite the fact that there is nowhere near enough room for three grown men.

      He doesn’t really sleep. It’s more of a strange, halfway point. Not awake, but not dreaming either. He’s able to hear both their heartbeats. Able to hear their breathing. Knowing that they are safe. Knowing that all is well. As well as it can be anyway.

     Come the morning, is when things go wrong. Scott awake, in a panic. Flinging himself against the door. Eyes glaring beta gold. Fangs forming in his mouth. His chest heaves with deep breathes. The room is rank with his fear.

      Stiles sits up the bed, drowsy and confused. And maybe a little pissed off that he’s been woken up this early. Derek knew what the problem was right away. Scott’s wolf had reacted to the scent of a predator. And when he realized that he was sharing a bed with that predator, he flung himself away from the perceived danger. It was amusing to witness.

     After several minutes, and a rather simple explanation, Scott managed to calm his wolf enough to make himself human again. It was rather remarkable how well he’d managed to adjust to that. Derek may not have to worry about him wolfing out after all. Stiles was another matter.

     There was a lingering fear in the back of the alpha’s mind. Stiles had adjusted to his new non-human nature rather well. But he would now be around a newly turned wolf. One would snap and anger quickly. One who would shift at the drop of a dime. There was a small concern on how the two of them would live in the same house. Even if they were best friends.

      There was a certain humor to the whole thing. Scott, by no means, was going to attack his best friend. Not right this moment anyway. Only time would tell if the two of them could live together as creatures of the night.

     Little else was left to be done for the day. Scott, now a wolf, was no doubt ravenous. John had already prepared a massive assortment of food. Maybe some part of him somehow knew a newly turned wolf would eat anything in their path. Maybe he just wanted a semblance of normalcy.

     Stiles is somber at breakfast. He’s happy. He’s happy to be here with his father, and his best friend. But his is disheartened that he can’t participate. The bonding ritual of food was lost to him now. He could only watch. Watch and try to have some semblance of happiness from it. Derek did not eat a thing.

     When the whole thing was over, Stiles cleared the plates and began washing up. Derek knew that he was just trying to keep himself busy. That’s what he did. To divert his attention and thoughts to something that didn’t really require them.

     The last three days had been eventful enough. More than likely, he was running on fumes. The alpha wanted to comfort him. To take him to bed, and wrap him in his arms. Ensuring that all the world was locked out. That nothing could reach them. That they would be safe.

     It was an interesting thought, taking Stiles to bed. In more ways than one. Derek was keen on finding out just what Stiles was like. When all the sarcasm and deflection melted away. Leaving him at his rawest, purest form.

      These thoughts, he kept to himself. Their relationship was new, and untested. There was no basis for this. Members of their pack had humans for mates. Or other shifters. Vampires though…That was uncharted territory. Derek didn’t even have the first clue on how to proceed.

     His main concern, was their lifespan. In just about every legend, vampires were immortal. They could not die of old age. They could not die of disease. They could no die save for horrendous mutilation or decapitation.

     Werewolves lived far longer than humans. Several times over. But, they aged nonetheless. They turned grey and withered. Even if it did take a century or so. Stiles was likely stuck in this body, forever. Derek didn’t know if that was true or not.

     Deaton had continued to work translating, working on finding more clues on the creatures that had vanished from the face of the earth. Their culture, their knowledge. Anything that could give them an insight into Stiles and Lydia. He was still holding his breath.

      John leaves for work not long after the cleaning is done. He gives his son a fierce, bone crushing hug. Months of unsaid goodbyes spoken in a single moment. Stiles was fighting back tears. Not because it was a final goodbye, or anything like that.

     But because this was what he had been missing. He was pack, regardless of what happened. That was different from this. He had a life before Derek. A human life, with human family, and human friends. With human feelings.

     Werewolves weren’t that much different from humans. At least, on a physical level. They felt things more intensely. Lived with more commitment, and more sentiment. Derek didn’t know how Stiles felt. There was a longing to him. To have back what had been taken.

     There was no telling how this would work. The sheriff had a job here. Certainly, Scott would be moving in with them. Derek had no intentions of staying here, away from the rest of his betas. And Scott would crave the pack too much to stay.

     The Melissa matter was another concern. She too had a job here. Even if the matter of her relocation wouldn’t be all that complicated, it would be suspicious. Mother and son leaving together, after a lifelong family friend vanished. The level of attention would be dangerous.

     More than likely, John and Melissa would remain here. While Stiles and Scott would come back home. Derek didn’t know how well that could work. How well that could end. Stiles had his father back. He would want to keep him. Scott, for as much as he would crave pack, would also crave his mother. Someone familiar and safe.

     There were too many things to consider. So, for the moment, Derek considered none of them. Stiles was at ease for the time being, and that was good enough. He was content to watch his pack mates romp around the house. Fully reunited after so many months.

     By the evening time, both are exhausted, and Scott wants to sleep in his own bed. Derek had no issue with the matter. The newly turned wolf likely understands that he’ll be leaving soon. Even if Derek hadn’t said it outright, the matter was heavily implied.

     Stiles orders takeout, leaving it on the counter for when his father comes home. The sheriff did tend to work odd hours. Enough that the young vampire knew better than to try and wait up for him. He follows him back to his room. Where the two of them shower.

     As much porn as Derek had watched over the years, it wasn’t remotely sexual. It was far more than that. Intimate in a strong, unapologetic way. He enjoyed every minute of it. Seeing streams of water cascading down Stiles’ lithe form.

     They bathed each other. Soft citrusy soaps washing away days’ worth of tension. Derek has to actively suppress his rumbling voice when the other man washes his hair. Clever, nimble fingers rub deep circles into his scalp. Removing any doubts of what else they could do.

     Getting hard was just a matter of principal. Stiles didn’t seem to mind all that much. Not by the spiciness of his own arousal. Derek didn’t look. He didn’t want to spoil it. He wanted that moment to be, in a word, climatic.

      The shower takes far longer than it needed to. When the water starts to run cold, the both of them bolt out of the shower, laughing like schoolchildren. It was the most fun that Derek had outside of the full moon in ages.

     Fully dressed, they make their way to the. Skin still warm from the shower. Buzzing with low levels of arousal. Derek wanted nothing more than to peel away the other man’s clothes. Little by little. Bit by bit. He wanted to watch the reaction his face would make.

    Would it turn red? Would it turn pink? Would his cupid bow lips purse with tension? Or would they fall open in ecstasy. These were the questions they had. And they would be answered in due time. But for right now, he just wanted to lay here.

     Surrounded by the scent of Stiles. The warmth of his skin. Derek was grateful that the myths of vampires being cold was false. Twilight could choke on it. Stiles seemed to mirror the alpha’s desire. As even though he was still aroused, he made no move to act on it.

      He simply stroked the back of Derek’s head, breathing slow and even. It was a great thing. And a simple thing. One that couldn’t be traded, bought, or replicated. It was something that Derek was grateful for. That he was greedy for. That he could never get enough of.

      When sleep comes, Derek doesn’t realize until he’s already dreaming. The world is soft and full of fuzz. The forms that come are everything and nothing. All he knows is that he feels peace. That he feels at home.

      The sun rises and sets a thousand times. The moon glows full every night. With a breeze that tickles the edge of his hears. It’s a wonderful thing. More than he ever expected. More than he thought he deserved.

      When he wakes, the night is still in bloom. The waxing moon pouring transparent light into the room. Stiles is already awake. Eyes fluttering as he traces small patterns into Derek’s face. He enjoys the touch. Craves more of it.

     He takes the other man’s wrist. Feeling his pulse. As to make sure if he wasn’t still dreaming. He wasn’t. Just to add emphasis, he takes the vampire’s fingers into his mouth. Gently nipping down, playfully inviting him closer.

     When the kiss, it is more than Derek expected it to be. It wasn’t burning, or harsh, or full of fire. It was something else within the universe. Complete, yet brimming with more potential. Stiles tastes like the sunset. Warm, and full of color.

       The first stroke of his hand under his shirt sends a shiver through him. Dreams and fantasies were one thing. This was real. This was here. And Derek wanted each and every part of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Chapter Text

Stiles didn’t exactly know where to go from here. In his nineteen years of life, he wasn’t exactly a Casanova. He had…experience. But that was usually after too much cheap liquor, and when his impulse control had gone out the window. What little he had of it anyway.

      There were of course, a few sober times. Where was his usual spastic self. And the girl giggled and made little jokes alongside him. He was never a lover-type. There were never any complaints. He just did what he’d seen in porn.

    The soft, kinda romantic kind. Not the gross, close up kind. They seemed to enjoy it. And if they didn’t, none of them ever said otherwise. All in all, he’d had three total sexual partners. That he actually had sex with anyway. He didn’t know how people kept track of the other stuff.

      But that was the main issue, they were girls. With breasts and vaginas. Derek, decidedly, was no girl. He was six feet of rippling muscle covered in dark hair. With eyebrows that could tell a story. Very much the macho’s macho man. Stiles was, well, Stiles.

      He was tall, like Derek. But years of lacrosse hadn’t done all that much for his musculature. He was fit, that was certain. But he wasn’t a Hollister model by any means. In the world of physical appearance, Derek had him beat solid.

      He wasn’t exactly an insecure person. Not really. But he knew other guys looked better than he did. Had a bit more confidence than he did. He was Stiles. The slightly awkward kid with too much information and not enough room to put it all. That was kinda his trademark.

    

      Derek, apparently, saw something else. He saw Stiles differently than others. Not that he was complaining. Not by a longshot. It was just confusing. He could’ve had anyone he wanted, and amongst that sea of people, he’d chosen a socially awkward vampire.

      Which was yet another concern. The night of the full moon, the night they ran together, Stiles had dropped fang without meaning to. He’d bitten Derek. He’d drawn blood. Not that the injury was serious. Not even close. It was the lack of control that had concerned him.

      Derek had shown some level of enthusiasm at the idea. The normal, stoic version of himself replaced with a coy little smile. Stiles was unnecessarily aroused at that. The alpha had always walked around like he had a stick up his ass. Now, he probably would have something else up there very soon.

     He was too busy thinking to notice that Derek’s hands had been moving. He felt broad palms move under his shirt. Feeling their way up his chest. The sensation made him quiver a little bit. He didn’t bother trying to suppress the noises he was making. The wolf seemed to enjoy them.

     Stiles wanted to touch as well. Feel the man he had lusted after from afar. Learn the ways in which his body curved and went still. It was a lot to take in, and a lot to enjoy. What he didn’t enjoy, was his brain’s intrusive thoughts. Namely, that his father would be home soon. He broke the kiss. Breathing a little heavy. He’d been focusing on more important things.

 

“Not to ruin the mood, but my dad will be home soon.”

      “There’s a lot I can do with soon.” Derek’s eyes were a soft red. Stiles shouldn’t have found that attractive, but he did.

“He may not have wolfsbane bullets, but he’ll still shoot you.”

      “I’ll heal. So go lock the door.” Stiles didn’t bother to protest. Didn’t bother to try and come up with a rebuttal. He simply did as he was told. Which was lock the door. He was too amped to realize that Derek had followed behind him.

     When he turned back round, the alpha was standing right in front of him. Eye to eye. His were still red. Stiles wondered if his were black. He didn’t have time to think about it. He didn’t have time to think about anything really.

     Derek kissed him. This time, it wasn’t soft. It wasn’t gentle or romantic. It was hard, and fierce. Whatever restraint the man was employing was now gone. Stiles couldn’t even be upset about it. The bruised lips would be fine in a few hours.

     The man kisses and kisses, taking his hands, and using them to pin Stiles’ writs above his head. Wolves were all about dominance and submission. He couldn’t find any fault into bringing it in the bed room. His mouth was otherwise occupied to say otherwise.

      Just when he thinks it time for clothes to disappear, Derek stops. Burying his face in Stiles’ neck. Breathing soft little breaths. He can’t smell any anxiety. Can’t smell hesitation. So he wonders why. Wonders why, when everything was getting good, that he stopped.

 

“You want this, right?” The question was as confusing as it was ridiculous.

     “I thought the answer to that would’ve been obvious.”

“You know about my past. You know about…Kate.” The name makes Stiles’ stomach turn. Makes him want to tear and rip and bite. It’s name that gives birth to anger and fury.

     “I know…pieces. Things that others in the pack have said. Never the full story. And I won’t ask, because it doesn’t matter to me. She’s gone. You’re here.”

“I want this. I wanted this when I thought I’d never want anything like it again. But you reeking of arousal doesn’t count as consent. It doesn’t mean I can do whatever I like.” Stiles heart nearly breaks at the face Derek makes.

     “Trust me, if I had my way, we would’ve been doing this weeks ago. And I gotta ask, what exactly do you want?” In light of answering with words, Derek showed him.

The wolf was always bold, and made no qualms about himself. He was the alpha. So when he takes hold of Stiles’ cock, it should’ve came as no surprise. Even still, the vampire sucks in a breath. Trying his best not to make any undignified noises.

      “I’m…Possessive. If we’re together, this cock is mine, and mine alone. To do with, as I please. Naturally, the same goes for you.”

“And what are you gonna do with it, big guy?” Stiles was trying his best to be a tease. Trying to entice Derek into taking things further. He got his wish.

     The man didn’t even bother unbuttoning his pants. He simple tore the fabric like it was rice paper. He’d worry about that later. When his pants sat in a ruined pile, Derek kissed him again. Palming against his erection. Playing and making no effort too much of anything else.

     Just when he was ready to start begging, Derek takes his hand away, and starts lifting Stiles’ shirt above his head. When that’s gone, he slips one finger into the waistband of his underwear. Pulling it away and letting in snap back. At this point, Stiles wanted to goddamn scream.

     Just when he was ready to, Derek kisses the base of his neck. He also leaves what will be a glaring hickey soon enough. He can’t fathom any reason to care. As long as the other man doesn’t stop. Which, much to Stiles’ fortune, he continues.

      He leaves tiny bites and licks the further he goes down. Stiles buries his hands into Derek’s hair when he reaches his knees. It’s an odd thing. To see a man as powerful as him in such a position. He isn’t going to complain. Derek certainly isn’t.

     The man shimmies his underwear down, with Stiles’ cock springing free. He wonders what shade of red his face is. It’s been a while since he’d had anyone this close to his member. And the person in front of him was hotter than anyone else he’d ever had.

      Derek doesn’t waste time. Running one finger underneath Stiles’ balls. Then gripping them just shy of tight. He stops breathing for a moment. Then, his cock is in Derek’s mouth. It isn’t like he expected it to be. Which was great. It was better than that.

     The wolf seems to actually savor the taste of Stiles. Moaning low in his throat. Making no qualms about how much he’s enjoying this. His ability to think goes out the window. Along with just about everything else. His only focus was to keep his hips still.

      Derek, seemingly impatient, speeds up, swallowing Stiles down to the hilt. This time, he can’t stop from thrusting forward. The alpha doesn’t even blink. In fact, he grabs the back of the other man’s ass. Pulling him closer. Making him fuck his mouth. Stiles takes that as a hint.

     He grips the man’s hair, pulling hard, fucking into his mouth. Derek’s claws bite into the meat of his ass. And Stiles doesn’t stop. He can’t. Heat pools at the base of his spine. He can feel his toes starting to curl. It’ll be over soon. Stiles doesn’t want it to stop.

      Derek frees himself from Stiles grip and his cock. His mouth is puffy and red. It’s beautiful. More so than Stiles can actually handle. He whines, actually whines. Wordlessly begging Derek to continue. The man responds by tonguing his balls.

      Stiles has to bite his lip to keep from screaming. His hands finds its way back to the man’s hair. It’s simply to keep him there. To keep him from stopping. To keep him doing that wonderous thing with his tongue. Stiles never wants it to end.

     But it is going to end, because he can feel it. Feel the heat in the base of his spine spreading upwards. Derek seems to take notice, and latches back onto his cock. Sucking him down all the way. Choking a little as he does so. Stiles comes with a shudder, and hard enough to see stars. Derek doesn’t even flinch.

      When the aftershocks are done, when his legs have regained their feeling, Derek is back on his feet. He kisses him. Mouth warm and wet. The lingering taste of Stiles’ come on his lips. There was a lot that should’ve been gross about that. He didn’t find himself caring all that much.

     Before he had time to realize it, Derek had lifted him up by the backs of his legs. Stiles yelped sharply, then laughed. His brain wasn’t really capable of processing the proper reaction to have at the moment. The alpha deposits him on the bed. Rather roughly Stiles can’t find in himself to care.

      Derek takes his own clothes off in record time. Without so much as a single rip or tear. He’d be made about that later. Right now, he was enjoying the man’s gloriously naked self. The shower was one thing. This…this was better.

      Derek was big. Both in body and cock. Stiles had expected that. Dudes like that didn’t walk around with a shrimp dick. He didn’t know exactly how to blow somebody. Though he’d damn sure give it his best effort.

     He’s smothered in two-hundred pounds of hot werewolf. Wrists pinned above his head, lips being nipped by fangs. This time, it was Derek who’d lost control. Stiles took a little bit of pride in that fact. Also, half-shifted sex was kinda hot. In a trashy, ninety-nine cent novel kind of way.

      Derek aligns both their cocks together, thrusting his hips as he continues to kiss Stiles. The young vampire could already feel himself getting keyed again. Months on the run and in a house full of werewolves left very little opportunities for personal time. They were making up for that now.

      Derek increases his own rhythm. Cock head sliding against Stiles’ stomach. The young vampire felt himself curling inwards. Trying his best not to drop fang. He is unsuccessful. Derek didn’t care. In fact. He buried his nose into Stiles’ neck as he started to shudder.

     When the first splash of come goes across his stomach, Stiles bites down. Not hard, but he bites nonetheless. Warm, sweet crimson fills his mouth as Derek goddamn howls. The neighbors would have something to talk about in the morning.

      He comes not long after. His body wrecked with the looseness of two back to back orgasms. He feels bad that Derek only had one. The alpha doesn’t. He simply curls his arms around Stiles. Pressing their naked, sweaty forms together. It’s a little gross. And a little hot as well.

    He wasn’t going to complain. Derek was breathing heavy. Body wrecked and slick with multiple fluids. Stiles didn’t exactly mind the smell. He wondered what the alpha’s wolf was feeling. The others in the pack had talked about it before. The duel side of themselves.

     The man was logical. The wolf was primal. More in tune with emotion and feeling. Stiles didn’t really understand that part. He wasn’t human at all any more. He was a predator. He was something that craved and hunted. That never stopped craving.

      It was a constant, perpetual state of existence. Always aware of the closest source of blood. It wasn’t something that he’d quite come to terms with just yet. There were other things that he felt. Besides the hunger. What he had with Derek…that was better. That was more important.

     Even if he had succumbed to his base instinct and bitten the man, he didn’t really feed from him. Just took a taste. That was it. The man didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he was rather enthused with the action. Stiles wondered just how awesome it would be when they actually had sex.

 

“You’re thinking too much.” Derek’s head was on his chest. eyes still alpha red. A low purr rumbling in his throat.

     “I always think too much. It’s one of my many charms.”

“Don’t think about this. I enjoyed it. Like I said, I can do a lot with soon.” Derek’s smile isn’t the least bit shit eating.

     “Clearly, given that you had no concern for your physical well-being.”

“Your father wouldn’t have shot me. You’re a consenting adult. Who is free to do what they like with any part of themselves.”

      “I meant the part where I bit you.” Stiles was still hung up on that.

“If you recall, I did plenty of that myself. Did you not enjoy it?” The wolf leaned moved in closer, face buried in Stiles’ neck. Tongue running along his pulse point.

Stiles bit the corner of his mouth to keep from begging. He wanted more. More than they had time for. His dad would be home any time, and he could only explain so much. Sharing a bed with your alpha, that’s fine. Sharing a bed with your alpha, naked, covered in bodily fluids, not so much.

     Derek was determined to get a reaction, any kind of reaction from him. His hands wandered downward. Claws biting in his hips. Keeping him from moving. From running away. Not that Stiles planned on going anywhere. But he certainly would’ve liked a shower.

     They could at least hide from his dad in there. But Derek seemed to have lost the ability of rational thought beyond what his dick told him. Stiles wasn’t complaining. He was more than ready to gear up and go again.

     So, he did the only thing he could think of. He grabbed two handfuls of Derek’s ass and squeezed. That helped absolutely nothing. In fact, it only seemed to encourage the wolf more. Pressing himself into Stiles even further. Even though there was no more room for them to get any more intimate. So, he tried another avenue.

    He grew a little bolder, bolder than he should’ve been. But he thought it the best way to distract Derek, and maybe grab his attention. Stiles slipped one of his fingers between the wolf’s cheeks, rubbing the dark fury pucker that lay there.

     That was enough to make Derek pause. In fact, he stopped all together. Growling low in his throat. And while all the other semi-animal noises he’d been making were a sign of enthusiasm, this one, decidedly, was not.

      Stiles felt his spine lock into place. For the first time in quite a while, Derek had scared him. It disappeared as quickly as it went. But he was no less shaken. His reaction had been simple a warning. ‘I don’t like that. Don’t do it again.’

 

“I take it that’s a full stop for you?” The question was easy enough to ask. But as usual, he tried a little humor to lighten things.

      “No one has ever touched me there, ever. To be touched there is a sign of submission. I’m an alpha, I don’t submit.”

“Full offense, but that’s an outdated way of thinking.”

      “Full offense, but it’s my instincts. I want to do a lot more with you, but surprises like that…The wolf has expectations. What it wants isn’t necessarily the same as the man wants.”

“And what does the man want, what does Derek want?” Stiles wasn’t trying to be coy anymore.

      “What did you have in mind?”

He didn’t know how to answer that question. There was a lot that he wanted to do. Really, a lot. He also had limited time. And not enough brain space to think about all the possibilities that he could squeeze in. Derek was a walking tower of sexy.

      He had muscles and soft places. Ample hair to pull. A neck to rub. There were a myriad of things that Stiles wanted to do. Nasty and dirty, as well as gentle and romantic. But there was one thing. One thing at the back of his mind. One, single thought.

     He’d seen it in porn plenty of times. God, it was popular these days. But he’d never dared to try it himself. None of the girls he’d ever been with seemed open to that kind of thing. Not that he ever had the courage to ask. But he was older now. A little bolder. And a vampire for Christ sake. So, he asked.

“I want you to sit on my face.” The reaction he got was everything that he expected.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek hadn’t expected to be as…enthused as he was with Stiles. He’d never thought about his loins ever since Kate went to prison. There was too much going on. Too much to consider. His pack was young, and still forging the bonds they shared as alpha and betas.

     Erica and Boyd had made progress in their own relationship. Derek was proud of them. The stability they had was impressive. Being such young wolves. Isaac was the in the shared sentiment of being without that kind of relationship.

    Like Derek, he had his own personal demons that need attending to. His father was currently in prison, awaiting trial. The crimes he had committed were when Isaac was still a minor. There was a litany of charges. Assault. Endangerment of a child. It went on. Isaac was a key witness.

     There were plenty of nights he stayed awake. Thinking of facing the man that had tormented him for countless years. He was alone in that house. Abused by a person who was supposed to love him. Derek couldn’t even imagine that kind of pain.

     From the time he was born till now, he had been loved unconditionally. Even after Kate’s attempted slaughter of their family. Peter was the only one that held any real resentment. Even still, he loved Derek no less.

     Isaac was facing a darkness the alpha knew nothing about. All he could try and do was be there for his beta. In whatever capacity. He’d hired a personal lawyer, out of pocket, to ensure that Isaac wouldn’t have to see the man’s face for a very long time.

      The prosecutor was…competent. Derek had faith that Isaac’s father wouldn’t see free daylight for at least a decade. He hadn’t been to see him once. Never sent a letter. Never made a phone call. The alpha didn’t blame him.

     It wasn’t so much fear, as rage. Now that Isaac was a werewolf, he had a pack. He had a family. People that loved and cared for him. That was all he ever wanted from a man who wouldn’t even consider him a son. He was past fear. Past grief, or sorrow. All that was left was anger.

    Derek didn’t blame him. The young wolf had lost years of his life to horrendous abuse. Lost happiness. Lost peace. Lost the last member of his family. Isaac had every right to be furious. Every right to cling to that primal rage as long as he wanted.

      Derek, now, saw that the young man was getting better on his own. Having fewer and fewer restless nights. There wasn’t too much to worry about anymore. Wasn’t too much to think about. Isaac, while still troubled, had learned to cope on his own. And Derek was proud of him for it.

     It gave him more time to consider what he and Stiles were. What he wanted. What he craved. It was…odd. To feel those kinds of things again. Where he actually had the desire to touch and be touched. Where he fucked his fist at night, thinking of all the things he’d like to do to Stiles.

     The vampire had a magnetism to him. Derek was attracted, without even realizing why. Stiles was Stiles. There were many layers to him. His charm. His wit. His anger. His joy. His banter. The many things that Derek could never get enough of. It was strange that he’d found it in someone that should’ve been his natural enemy.

      Deaton had been researching that. And making little progress. But by all accounts, he and Stiles should’ve hated each other. On principal, they shouldn’t have even been able to stay in the same territory. Things, however, had defied expectation.

    At first, Derek wasn’t even remotely interested in trusting him. He thought of Stiles as a threat and nothing more. He was a creature that fed on others to survive. Took the life of others to live himself. That’s how Derek had seen him. That’s how Derek had resigned to himself to see.

     Time, and Stiles unusual brand of humor, changed that. After so many months, Derek realized the most important lesson he’d ever been taught. Like his mother said, he was a predator, but he didn’t have to be a killer. The same applied to Stiles.

     The vampire had done nothing but try and be human. The entire time he had been with the pack, he didn’t behave, or have any interest in being a creature of the night. There was simply no way for him to go back to human. No way for him to have his old life.

     Derek admired him for that. He’d encountered bitten wolves who’d been turned against their will. Stripped of everything they knew and had. Stiles, even with similar circumstances, refused to give up. In doing so, found a pack, and people that would fight for him. That would love him.

     Derek didn’t know exactly how he felt. The word love was a strange thing. He cared for Stiles. Cared for him as he would care for any member of his pack. For any member of his family. That much, he was certain of. Beyond that, he didn’t know how to categorize it.

      The wolf didn’t need words. It needed action. Needed proof of concept as it were. Derek had gotten that in spades. Stiles was fierce. He was loyal. He loved and was loved. Had placed his life on the line for the pack. Giving proof to his strength and his kindness.

     That was enough for the wolf. The man….The man was more the romantic. Was more to sweet words and soft poems. Derek wasn’t the most articulate of people. Even before Kate. Even before the fire. Before he turned to the stone wall that he was.

    With Stiles, things were different. He was better. He was good. He was…happy. More so than he’d been in quite some time. That’s what he’d come to realize. That’s what he’d come to know. He wanted to consummate that happiness. He wanted to show Stiles just how much he desired him.

      The sheriff was at work. And Derek’s wolf was restless. He and Stiles…they hadn’t officiated. Not the way the wolf wanted. It craved it. Demanded it. It wanted to be covered, head to toe, in the alpha’s scent. It wanted Stiles to do the same.

      There was a number of ways of going about that. Derek decided to take the most, and most desirable route. Stiles was nervous. He could smell that. Derek was nervous too. He was more aroused than he was nervous, however. Which made telling Stiles to lock the door, that much easier.

     The alpha could barely wait even that long. By the time the vampire had turned round, he had his wrists pinned above his head. Kissing him with all the ferocity he could muster. The wolf had been tender at first. It wanted to coax Stiles into this. Wanted him to desire it as much as Derek did.

     From the spiciness of his arousal, Derek took that as key. Though, he made sure to ask. He made sure that Stiles was sure. That they both wanted the same thing. He was more than enthusiastic. Which only made Derek harder. He was damn near ready to burst out of his pants.

      When he strips Stiles, he doesn’t even bother holding back. He simply shreds the man’s clothes. Throwing them into a ruined pile on the floor. When he’s on his knees, the vampire’s hand finds his hair. Gripping ever so gently. Derek needs no encouragement.

      When his underwear are out the way, and Derek can see what he’d been wanting to see for weeks, his can’t help it. His mouth waters. Stiles’ cock is beautiful. Long and just the right amount of thickness. Flushed velvet red at the tip. Just for the emphasis, Derek takes the man’s balls in his hand.

    Reminding him, that from this day forward, they belonged to him. That all of Stiles belonged to him. He could feel the young man shudder. It was the best possible reaction. Even better, when he took Stiles into his mouth.

     For someone as talkative as he was, Stiles was decidedly silent. Not completely, but Derek had expected more. The man had bitten the corner of his lip. Possibly embarrassed by what he wanted to say. But what he wanted to do. It only drove him further.

     He tasted like Derek expected him to taste. Strong and heady. He didn’t want to stop. Stiles felt the same. The first thrust nearly makes Derek choke. Instead of slowing down, he grabs the vampire’s ass. Egging him on. Stiles fucks his face with as much politeness as he can muster.

      It wasn’t long that Derek could feel Stiles beginning to tense. His toes were curling. The base of his spine was wrought with tension. The alpha took that as a sign, and swallowed him down to the root. The vampire came seconds later. He tried to warn Derek, tried to tell him. He didn’t even flinch.

      The alpha drank Stiles’ climax down. The wolf howled. He’d pleased his mate. He’d given him pleasure. There was a primal sort of satisfaction with that. He didn’t give the man time to recover. He was back on his feet in seconds. Kissing the vampire hard enough to bruise. If he was human that is.

     He wasn’t, so he didn’t have to worry about actually hurting Stiles. His fangs dropped without him meaning to, and ne nipped the other man’s lips. Not hard, but enough to get his attention. The vampire didn’t seem to mind.

    In fact, he seemed to get off on the rough housing. So, Derek decided to take it a little further. By that, he hauled Stiles up by his legs. Wrapping them round his waist. Hauling him over towards the bed. The other man giggled, and kissed Derek harder.

     He all but threw him down. The alpha had to actually take care in removing his clothes. As much as he would’ve liked to wear Stiles clothes, they weren’t exactly the same size. When his cock was finally free, he actually breathed a sigh of relief. Then, he was back atop his mate.

     He pinned the vampire’s hands above his head. Tasting his mouth again. Licking into it. All while grinding their cocks together. Coming down Derek’s throat hadn’t slowed him down at all. Stiles was still rock hard. Derek didn’t know if that was just part of being a vampire. Or that was just Stiles.

     He honestly didn’t care. All it meant was that they could go on for hours. There was plenty left that Derek wanted to do. That he wanted to try. He wanted to see just how Stiles was willing to push their intimacy. He learned, rather quickly, he had his own boundaries.

     It takes him minutes to come. When he does, it hard, fast, and fierce. His wolf howls with lustful madness. Stiles is covered in his come. Covered in his scent. Marked Derek’s. Marked as his mate. He wanted more. He wanted to feel Stiles, inside and out.

     The young vampire’s brain was going a mile a minute. Even without saying a word. He could just tell. That tended to be Stiles resting state anyway. Derek decided to take his mind off of things by kissing him again. Whatever was troubling him seemed to fade way. Given that he grabbed Derek’s ass with a certain degree of splendor.

     The alpha only took that as encouragement. He kissed harder. Rubbing their cocks back together. They could still get at least one more orgasm in before the sheriff returned. That was all brought to a grinding halt when Stiles ran one of his slender fingers over Derek’s hole.

     The wolf barred fang, and growled out a warning. That wasn’t what Derek had expected the man to do. Wasn’t the way he’d seen things progressing. He reacted on default. Stiles had the good sense to recognize that.

      Being touched there…the wolf didn’t like it. It took it as a sign of weakness. Took it as a threat. As a form of submission. An alpha never submitted. Never surrendered that part of themselves. Derek tried to explain it as such. Stiles took it as he took most things. With humor.

      “I don’t want you to submit to me. This isn’t a trashy romance novel, Derek.”

“Then what do you want Stiles?” The answer he got was far more tantalizing than anything that the alpha could’ve ever imagined.

      “I want you to sit on my face.” Derek didn’t bother trying to hide his arousal. The mere thought of that…He could feel his cock get even harder. The wolf wasn’t thrilled about the notion. The man… the man was more than ready to accept.

“That’s…Fuck Stiles, I knew you were ballsy. But this takes the cake.”

    “I’d like to eat yours.” Derek rumbled low his throat. His wolf be damned. Stiles had taken what they’d done so far, and went that much further. It was an intimate thing. It was an intimate act. Derek…Derek didn’t view it as submission.

     He viewed it as trust. He viewed it as trusting Stiles with a part of himself. And with that trust, that he would do everything he could to make sure Derek felt good. More than good. Stiles wanted to please him. Wanted to please his alpha. He certainly wasn’t going to pass that up.

      The alpha kisses his mate softly. Once, then, he raises himself on his knees. Looking down at the man he was willing to trust. He moves over his head, and Stiles scoots down to accommodate him. Derek barely has time to lower himself. The vampire wastes not a single moment.

     Gripping the wolf’s hips, pulling him towards his mouth. Derek doesn’t get a chance to say anything. The first stroke of Stiles tongue over his hole make him quake. His wolf still isn’t happy. Derek doesn’t give a damn. The man, the man is more than satisfied.

      Stiles isn’t impatient or overly excited. He takes his time. Making sure every stroke finds its mark. Sending wave after wave of shivers through Derek. He’d never been touched there. Even by himself. Part of it was because of his wolf. The other part was his own insecurities.

     Being a hairy werewolf was a rather laughable cliché. His hole was no exception. When he was young, he’d shave his hair off. Embarrassed for no other reason than to be embarrassed. Stiles didn’t seem to care in the slightest.

     He rimmed Derek. He rimmed him as if it was the greatest thing in the world. Derek couldn’t take it. His fingertips became claws without him wanting to. His grip leaves marks in the headboard. Stiles doesn’t stop. Nor does Derek want him to.

     His cock is harder than it’s ever been. It actually aches. But he can’t touch himself. Not with his claws in the way. No matter how badly he wants to. No matter how badly he wants to come. The alpha moans, and begs. Begs for Stiles to touch him.

      The first touch of the man’s hand around his cock makes him shout. The sweet friction is a torturous relief. He switches between fucking Stiles’ fist, and rocking his ass backwards onto his face. The two different, but wholly satisfying sensations make his vision go white at the edges.

      When Derek comes, he comes harder than he ever has. His body actually shakes with it. His legs nearly give out. Stiles doesn’t stop. The man’s tongue moves upwards. Caressing Derek’s freshly emptied balls. Milking him through the aftershocks of his orgasm.

      When he can’t support himself any longer, the alpha simply collapses next to his mate. Breaths heaving in his chest. Body slicked with a thick sheen of sweat. He turns his head towards Stiles. Who wasted no time in kissing him.

     It was a soft thing. The heat of their arousal had mostly burnt off. And while Derek was still more than willing to go, he didn’t want to push his luck. Stiles, however, did. The young man offered his hand to Derek. It was covered in his come.

     The alpha cleaned the man’s fingers. Taking slender digits into his mouth. Feeling them move over his tongue. Stiles removes them, halfway through. And takes a taste for himself. Derek can fell his eyes go red. It was an unexpectedly arousing thing.

     Even after all that, he could feel his cock trying to get hard again. Stiles kissing him helps nothing. The two of them reek of sex, sweat, and come. Derek can’t get enough of it. The wolf, as it always did, wanted more.

      He was satisfied for the moment. Content to lay here with his mate. Content to bask in the afterglow. They’d have to take another shower and change the sheets. The more primal side of Derek was more than happy to sleep in the bed as it was.

     He assumed Stiles, as much as he’d like to think, felt otherwise. There was no rush. Even with the sheriff’s impending arrival, the alpha couldn’t be bothered to move. Couldn’t be bothered to do anything but lay perfectly still and watch Stiles’ eyes quiver.

        They kiss again, hands roaming everywhere. Even though they had no plans of doing anything else tonight. Derek was more than happy to fall asleep like this. To rest and dream and wake next to the man that he trusted. To the man that he loved.

     He said the words before he realized they’d passed over his tongue. Stiles pauses. Every muscle in the man’s body freezes. Becomes wrought with tension. Derek can hear his heart skyrocket. Can smell the surprise past the musk of their come.

     Then, he says it back. He kisses the alpha the softest he’s ever kissed him. It was nothing beyond affirmation. An affirmation that keyed Derek up even more. The sheriff be damned. He wanted to continue. Wanted to taste and touch and fuck.

     Stiles, who seemed to have abandoned his anxiety about the whole thing, agreed. That is, until the sheriff’s cruiser pulled into the driveway. They laughed for but a moment. When they’d managed to compose themselves, they dashed towards the shower. The sheriff may not have been a werewolf, but he was no fool. Derek was already practicing the speech he was going to give in his head.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek didn’t know the meaning of the word restraint. At least, not right now. The good sheriff hadn’t come to Stiles’ room to announce his arrival home. Which worked in their favor. He watched his mate sleep, while listening to the sounds of the sheriff breathing. When the patter indicated slumber, Derek made his move.

     Stiles was sound asleep. Breathing soft, slow breaths. Derek could hear his heart as well. Even and calm. No wiser to the rest of the world. The alpha, however, was wide awake. He was restless. His wolf was restless. It had their mate, right here in the bed. Ready for the taking.

      Claiming was an intimate thing. A sacred thing. It was a thing that all wolves, especially alphas, partook in. no matter how modern, or how ‘human’ they appeared, it was a natural instinct. They hadn’t gone past much more than using hands and mouths. And Derek, for the most part, was fine with that.

     The wolf, however, wanted more. Wanted and craved and lusted. Stiles was a healthy, virile male. His scent made Derek’s cock swell without any effort. He was harder than he’d ever been. It was difficult to remember. It had been so long since he’d been with someone.

      He moves slowly. As to not disturb the sleeping vampire. He wanted this to be a surprise. One that would arouse and please. He liked it. Pleasing his mate. The inborn drive to do so was nearly overwhelming. His wolf demanded it.

     Stiles did not stir as Derek pulled back the thin sheet that covered him. The moonlight coming in through the window illuminated his pale skin. It was a thing of beauty. The finest marble. Laid before him. Carved and molded to perfection. Even down his back, Stiles was covered in moles.

     Derek wondered how long it would take to count them. Many hours he could take mapping each and every one of them. He wondered if Stiles would let him. He wondered if the man could even sit still that long. Doubtful, but he was willing to give it a shot.

     He numbered at least two dozen by the naked eye. Starting at Stiles’ shoulders, moving down towards the base of his spine. There were some on his hips. There some on the smooth swell of his ass. That’s what Derek was interested in. Stiles had used his tongue to great effect. Derek was interested in returning the favor.

      He hadn’t ever thought about doing that. Not that he was opposed to it, but he’d never been with anyone interested in it. Stiles seemed more than interested. In fact, the alpha was certain that he’d lose his damn mind. Only one way to find out.

     He wedges himself between the man’s thighs. Careful not to touch him. Careful not to rouse him. He spreads his legs apart. Moving at a torturously slow pace. Derek can feel his wolf getting more and more uneasy. It wanted this, and it wanted it now.

       Stiles inhales sharply. Just once. But it’s enough to give Derek pause. Enough to make him still. When the man’s breathing is even again, he continues. Stiles’ ass is a thing of beauty. Pale, soft, supple. Derek wants to bite it. Leaves marks with his fangs. But he knows there’s a difference between rimming someone in their sleep. And marking them. They’d talk about that later.

      He kisses the base of his spine. A whisper of a touch. Stiles still does not move. Derek moves down further. Down further still. Until he reaches the swell of his ass. The vampire is musty and virile. His cock grows hard from that alone.

     He separates the man’s legs just a little more. Until the pucker of his hole is visible. His mouth waters. He’s already tasted Stiles’ cock across his tongue. Now, he wants to taste this as well. The vampire does not stir when Derek presses his tongue down. He will soon enough.

      He can see why Stiles wanted to do this. It was an intimate thing. It was arousing in a way that differed. Made another kind of sense. Giving up on the pretense of keeping his mate from waking up, Derek grabs his ass. Massaging it as he runs his mouth along the man’s taint.

    This time, Stiles does stir. His heartrate increases. Warmth flushes across his skin. He isn’t awake. Not fully. But he would be with a minute or so. Derek moves down, taking his balls into his mouth. The feel of that velvety flesh makes his cock leak.

     The first moan makes his hips thrust. He isn’t used to not being in control. He knows he should be careful. He also knows that he doesn’t care. The alpha sucks down, earning a hearty set of noises that would make a porn star blush.

      When he returns to the man’s hole, Stiles is fully awake now. He presses himself up onto his knees, and Derek presses further in. The vampire decides that this isn’t enough. He takes Derek by the hair, pressing his face down. The force of it isn’t that much, but the alpha growls his approval.

      When his hole is sloppy wet, Derek adds a finger. Applying the barest touch of pressure. This, combined with his tongue, makes Stiles dangerously loud. He can’t find himself caring very much. The spiciness of his mate’s arousal overpowers everything else.

    But Derek knows that they can’t do much more than this. They weren’t animals. Even with the growling and the thrusting. The incoherent noises. They needed to do things like people did. No matter how much the wolf wanted otherwise. When he pulls away, Stiles actually wines.

 

“I’m not fucking you for the first time with just spit. Where do you keep your lube?”

      “Top drawer, on the right. Fuck…Just hurry.” Derek complies, smacking the man’s ass as he sits up.

Stiles doesn’t seem to mind the roughness. In fact, the scent of his arousal grows even thicker. It’s the only thing that Derek is focused on. When the bottle in hand, he flips Stiles over on his back. The young man gives an undignified shout of shock. When Derek sees his cock, he doesn’t even hesitate.

     Maybe vampires had vigorous libidos. Maybe it was just Stiles. But the man’s cock was achingly hard. Flushed and dark with blood. Leaking a steady stream of precome onto his belly. Derek wipes it with his finger. It’s sweet on his tongue.

      Stiles doesn’t bother with restraint. He jolts upwards, kissing Derek with the veracity of molten iron. Their teeth clash in a semi-painful union. The alpha barely notices it. His wolf is demanding that they continue. It wants to please his mate. Wants to make him come and come and come.

     He flattens the other man back down. Smiling a wicked smile. There was every possibility of what they could do. Derek already knows what he wants. Which was to have his mate’s cock in his mouth again. Stiles bites his tongue when the alpha swallows him down. They were pushing it with the noise.

      He doesn’t even try to tease. Doesn’t try and drag things out. He works his mate’s cock with speed and precision. Having only one goal in mind. Stiles seems to appreciate the sentiment. He seems to appreciate it greatly.

     The man comes in minutes, and Derek swallows every last drop. He doesn’t give Stiles any time to recover. He pushes the other man’s legs up, returning his tongue down to his mate’s puckered hole. The vampire was harrier than Derek expected. And he every loved every bit of it.

      Not that men without body hair were unattractive. But Stiles had enough confidence in himself to not be worried about it. That, atop of everything else, was also a turn on. The wolf, as well as the man, valued strength. Stiles had that in spades.

     When Derek slips his first finger inside Stiles, the man fucking keens. Bucking his upwards, trying to change the angel. Trying to reach that treasured sweet spot. The alpha, for the first time, denied him this. He teased him. Wanted him to beg for it. Stiles was too proud for that. Derek added the second finger.

      This time, a few words manage to form. None that Derek want to hear. His mate’s cock is still rock hard. Back to leaking. Ready to be tasted again. So he does. He takes Stiles back into his mouth. Still working his fingers inside the other man. The combination works.

    The vampire is whimpering. He’s actually whimpering. But in the best possible way. Stiles begs, begs to be fucked. Begged to fucked and fucked well. Derek wants to oblige, but he’s far from finished. The time to the third finger slips into the man’s hole, Stiles has started to shake.

     It doesn’t take long to finish. His hole offers no more resistance. And Derek can barely stand the scent of his arousal. His wolf was damn near howling. Howling for his mate to be claimed. For him to be fucked and marked with his come.

      He lubes his cock, which has been neglected up until now. Stiles damn near screams when he pushes inside. Derek covers his mouth with his hand, effectively silencing the other man. He doesn’t seem to mind. And the alpha makes no qualms.

    He’d restrained himself, held the wolf back. Wanting to take his time. To draw each and every ounce of pleasure from his mate. But now, not that restraint was gone. He fucks into the other man with fierce snaps. His balls slapping against Stiles’ ass.

      With his mouth covered, the noises the man makes are muffled. Which was a good thing. Because had Derek not taken the incentive, they would’ve woken up the entire neighborhood. Stiles, the cheeky bastard, doesn’t even care anymore.

     He jerks his head away, free his mouth. Not to make noises, but so that he could latch his own hand around Derek’s throat. The wolf howled. Not in protest. But in acceptance. Derek was claiming Stiles as his own. Marking him as his mate. Fucking him into submission.

     The vampire, never one to quit, claimed Derek’s submission. An alpha never let anyone, not even his own betas, touch their neck. That was the ultimate taboo. Derek accepted it, his wolf accepted it, because Stiles was his mate. And that meant the bonding was finalized.

     He snaps his hips the hardest he’s done. Fucking the breath out of Stiles. The alpha comes, his balls draining inside his mate. Stiles keens and touches his cock. Well, he tries to. Even in the midst of aftershocks, Derek is still coherent. Coherent enough to slap the man’s hand away.

      Bending down at this angle is awkward, and somewhat painful. But he manages it regardless. With his cock still buried in Stiles, he takes him into his mouth. It takes less than a minute. Hot ropes of come swash over Derek’s tongue.

     There’s actually too much of it. It leaks out of the side of his mouth, even as he tries to swallow it. Stiles emptied what was left his balls. To wound up to hold anything back. Derek feels his wolf howl in ecstasy. He’d pleased his mate again. Made him come and come. There was a certain brand of satisfaction that came with that.

    He doesn’t even bother pulling out. He just collapses atop the vampire, chest heaving with heavy breaths. The alpha had actually managed to exert himself, surprisingly. Stiles didn’t seem to mind. The man stroked soft circles into the wolf’s hair. Quickly making him drowsy.

 

“That was…That was good. At least, for me. You did do most of the work.”

     “An alpha provides. And I like providing.” Derek smiled. Relishing in the scents that now consumed the room.

“You appear to like tasting it as well. Not that I mind.”

     “Believe me, I was just as surprised as you were. But you taste so fucking good. Smell even better.”

“So, I take it a shower is out of the question?” Derek growled in displeasure at the mere thought of it.

     They’d finally fucked for the first time. Finally, truly submitted to each other. Marked each other. If Stiles had been a wolf, he would’ve understood. But he wasn’t. Didn’t understand the importance of marking. Of making sure their scents were on each other.

     It was all very archaic and barbaric in a certain sense. Derek didn’t find himself caring. His wolf was happy and proud. Proud that his mate was happy and sated. Balls empty, body glowing and sweaty. There was a primal edge to the feeling. One that he thoroughly enjoyed.

 

“What are you thinking about now?” Pillow talk was never his thing. But with Stiles, it was different. It was better.

     “How your wolf doesn’t like me playing with your hole, but your neck is oddly an okay spot.”

“My hole is a sign of unwilling submission. The wolf takes it as a sign of weakness. That won’t ever really change. My neck….That was you asking for submission, and me accepting and giving it to you. It was you accepting me as your mate.”

     “And you fucking me…That was my submission?”

“Yes. You couldn’t have done that if you didn’t submit, and if you didn’t trust me.” Stiles smiles that smile of his. the one that Derek saw the least.

     The one that said everything was good. Everything was alright. That he’d rather be here, than anywhere else. He kisses the tip of the alpha’s nose. Derek smiles back. He’s happier than he’s been in recent memory. Even if he’s going to get daggers glared at him by the sheriff come the morning.

   Sleep comes easy again. And Derek dreams of nothing. Stiles is still, for the first time in his life, for the rest of the night. When the wake, their skin is sticky with come and sweat. The alpha relishes it. In fact, he can already feel himself getting hard.

      Stiles pushes him off, laughing as he sprints towards the shower. They don’t have sex again. There wasn’t enough time for that. They do blow each other. Derek fucks into Stiles’ mouth. He was just as clever with his tongue than when he rimmed him.

      Not wanting to waste all the hot water, they make quick work of each other. Drying off and dressing in loose fitting clothes. Derek can smell coffee brewing. The sheriff was up and about. No sense in avoiding what would come eventually.

     When they get downstairs, the man says nothing. He just eyes, both of them, with a raised eyebrow. His gun is nowhere in sight. So at the very least, he wasn’t planning on shooting Derek. At the moment anyway. He could be grateful for that.

Stiles’ face is flushed red. The vampire reeks of embarrassment. Derek has nothing to be embarrassed about. The sheriff continues his silence as they sit. There is no breakfast. Might need to be one. seeing as they both might be in the hospital within the next hour.

 

“I won’t ask why you thought….That was okay. Not that I mind whatever you two are. But I certainly don’t need to hear it.”

     “Really hoping we could shelve this for later. If you don’t mind.” Stiles’ tone was full of misplaced optimism.

“Forgive me, but let’s recap. First, my son goes missing, for months along with one of his friends. Father searches frantically, losing his mind. Finds son, hundreds of miles away, living with, you guessed it, werewolves. Not only that, my son is also a vampire. The same creature that killed all those poor kids. To top that shit sundae, my son is now sleeping with one of the wolves he’s living with. I miss anything?”

     “No.” The vampire didn’t have anything to say anything after that. His father had pretty much covered everything.

     Derek didn’t exactly mind that the sheriff knew about them. There was nothing to hide. He may be a little concerned with how loud they were, but what was done was done. He would take the time to explain, slowly. What exactly he and Stiles were.

     What it meant, and how things would go from here. Wolves mated, as humans did. If only a little more intensely. Their wedding rituals were virtually the same. Rings and everything. But it was traditionally done on the night of a full moon. Much to the cliché.

      The sheriff didn’t press the matter. He only voiced his displeasure. Derek could live with that. For the moment. The alpha made a note to talk to the man later. Taking the time to make sure he knew exactly what was going on.

      Stiles made them breakfast. And Derek had to actively stifle his arousal. Even after the vicarious session of fucking, his wolf was still ready to go. Watching his mate provide, even in such a simple way, was a turn on.

     The vampire makes a feast of meats, eggs, and potatoes. His usual concerns for his father’s healthy nowhere to be found. He’s trying to make up for waking the neighbors. Derek smiles at his efforts. The sheriff eats while ignoring the both of them.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Stiles was still alive. For the moment anyway. He and Derek, as he expected, got a little carried away. Or a lot. According to his dad. Hopefully, it was just the rumblings of a disgruntled parent. And he had plenty of reason to be disgruntled. His vampire son was sleeping with a werewolf 4 years older than him.

     In truth, he hadn’t given it that much thought. He was nineteen when he was turned. And according to just about every legend there was, he’d stay that way forever. At least, all that he’d read. There were a few that differed. But they weren’t exactly vampires.

     More along the lines of animated corpses. They had no real need to feed on humans. It was just a rage filled compulsion. He was, as far as he knew, a full through and through vampire. Which meant that he wouldn’t age or grow sickly and weak.

     Part of him didn’t want to think about it. Werewolves lived longer than humans, that’s what Laura said. That’s why wolves tended to gravitate towards pairing with others like them. That, and the risk of exposure.

     Stiles didn’t want to think about what would happen if Derek was gone. When he would go grey. When he would no longer be there. Werewolves lived longer than humans. That didn’t mean that they lived forever.

     On the bright side, which there was very little of, it meant the whole age thing was moot. For the moment anyway. Come thirty or forty years down the line, it would be an actual problem. For now, he was focused on more pressing matters. Like avoiding his father’s death glare.

     They were set to leave today. Scott would be coming with them. Back to the pack house. Back to the others. He was anxious to see how his friend would acclimate to the new environment. He was relatively comfortable with Derek as his alpha. But there was no telling how he’d fare with the others.

     At the very least, he’d be given an adjustment period. Derek would see to that. He’d kept the details of what the pack was like to a minimum. Scott could make his own connections when they got there. The real issue would be Laura.

     She didn’t exactly approve of them coming here. Even less with Scott being offered the bite. In her own words, Derek had enough betas. They were both young alphas. Young in their powers and young in their positons. Five betas was pushing it.

     Stiles felt otherwise. Derek, while a little bit of an asshole, was perfectly competent in regards to his role as alpha. at least, from what he’d seen personally. He didn’t see any issue on Derek’s part. The problem would be with Scott. Who was now a werewolf. After living as a human for nineteen years.

     The bridge would have to be crossed when they got to it. The arrangements had been made for the young beta to essentially uproot his life, and move several hundred miles away. There was also talk of his mom joining them. It would make the adjustment easier. If nothing else. Melissa could find work in the nearby hospital.

     The matter that concerned Stiles, was his father. A sheriff, even one from a small county, couldn’t just uproot their life. There was no sudden retirement. There was no vanishing. He’d taken a huge chunk of his personal time searching for Stiles. There was none left.

     There was a more primal side of him that wanted to stay. He had the pack. he had Derek. But his father was different. He was blood. He was family. And he was all his dad had left. That was the truth of the matter. But he knew that his father didn’t want to be a werewolf. and Stiles certainly wasn’t going to make him a vampire.

      With the vehicles loaded, (Scott was taking the Jeep), they were ready to set out. Stiles was only a little uncomfortable with his friend driving Baby. If nothing else, it would save the awkward conversation for a few hours. Scott didn’t a handle on the wolf nose yet. He couldn’t exactly tell what Stiles and Derek had been up to.

     The drive is…long. Being a creature of the night didn’t save Stiles from being bored. He had already binge watched multiple Netflix series. That, and wearing headphones for that long gave him a headache. Which, a vampire with a headache was a stupid thing to begin with.

     Eventually, he gives up and takes a nap. Derek, even though he shouldn’t have, rubs the back of his head until sleep finds him. When he dreams, it is of nothing. Shapeless things that have no real meaning to anyone or anything.

     It’s the kind of dream that Stiles likes best. Soft and simple. Nothing that excites or disturbs him. A kind of rest that makes sleeping worthwhile. Even though he didn’t really need it as a vampire. It was just a function more than anything else. But here, in Derek’s car, next to his boyfriend, he was content.

     He wakes when he feels the car stop. He slept far longer than he expected to. The sun had already set. With only the barest traces of orange remaining. It was nearly nighttime. Scott had just pulled in behind them. but that wasn’t what Stiles noticed. It was Derek. Or rather it was his eyes.

     They were glaring red. Over the months they’d lived together, he’d noticed a pattern. A soft red was good. His wolf was showing, but not in a bad way. A dark, threatening red was what he had to be concerned for. It meant danger. It meant a threat.

     Stiles didn’t see or smell anything out of the ordinary. At least, his vampire senses didn’t pick anything up. But it was rather obvious that his boyfriend felt differently. As he practically vibrating with tension. Which wasn’t anything that could be counted as good.

 

“Something wrong there, big guy?” Stiles was trying to keep things light and fun. As he always did.

      “More than likely something’s wrong. My mother’s here.” Stiles tensed up alongside Derek with that.

He’d heard about Talia Hale in passing conversation. she was one of the former alphas, and leader of the Hale family. She, along with her husband, had passed down the mantle of alpha to Derek and Laura. That made her no less formidable.

      From what Stiles had gleamed, Talia and her husband were renowned on the western coast. The most famous alphas on this side of the country. The Hale name was famous. As were its alphas. That much, he knew. He also knew, she had a notorious streak of fury.

     A line such as the Hales didn’t last as it did without making some enemies. It didn’t last as long as it did without defeating those enemies. Shifter and hunter alike. That was one of the things that scared him. That she took on both, and remained standing.

      He didn’t know that much about Kate. Only that she came from an equally old, equally powerful family. One that was in the business of killing werewolves. as well as all the other things that went bump in the night.

      She had tried to kill the Hales. Set fire to their beds while they slept. And she used Derek to do it. Beyond that, he didn’t ask. What he did know was this. Talia Hale may not have killed Kate in vengeance. Which was her every right. But she did ensure that she never saw the light of day as a free woman ever again.

     That, without the family name, would’ve been a tremendous feat. With Kate’s name….The matter was all that more exponential. Stiles had every right to be terrified. At the very least, Derek was on edge. Bordering afraid. Needless to say, this visit wasn’t an expected one.

 

“She’s not gonna, you know, rip my head off?” It was a legitimate question.

      “Not if I have any say in it. You’ve helped this pack, vampire or not. That, and we’re….well.”

“Let’s worry about our label until after I’ve escaped my doom.”

 

The joke does nothing to lighten the tension. Scott is already out of the Jeep, walking steadily towards the house. He’s picked up on his alpha’s tension, and is ready for a fight. His shoulders are squares. Spine rigid like someone shoved an iron rod up his back.

     Stiles holds Derek’s hand. Trying to find some semblance of comfort. To find something close to peace. He wasn’t calmed at all. It was still nice. Derek squeezes his hand as they walk up the steps of the porch. When the door opens is met with a face he does not recognize.

     The woman is most certainly Derek’s mother. She has the same dark hair and handsome features. He expected her to be taller. He wasn’t fooled by the slightness of her stature. The woman was a werewolf, and a werewolf that knew combat. For the first time in his life, Stiles was as still as stone.

     Derek didn’t say anything. There wasn’t any words that could diffuse this kind of tension. Though, to her credit, Talia was the least bit unnerved. She embraced her son, folding her arms around the wolf’s neck. As if there was absolutely nothing wrong.

 

“Good to see you made it back. And a new addition. Your pack is growing nicely.” Scott keeps his head bowed, saying nothing as he stands beside Derek.

     “Mom, what a surprise. I didn’t know you were coming.” The alpha’s tone does nothing to mask his anxiety.

“Yes, well. Pressing matters. It’s rare that Deaton calls me. So when he did, I took the first flight out.” Derek growled at the mention of the emissary’s name.

 

They proceeded the rest of the way inside. Not bothering with hellos. The betas descended upon them. Several days away from their alpha hadn’t gone over well. It was an odd thing to witness. Stiles had of course watched them scent mark each other a hundred times.

   This was different. There was a sort of desperation behind it. Like they were starved of something. Stiles realized the bond between alpha and betas was a little more serious than he previously imagined. Scott just stood by slack jawed, wondering what the hell was going on.

     Erica was the first to move. She ignored Stiles in favor of her new, wolfy pack mate. The first touch makes his friend skip back. If only a little. Then, after a few seconds. Something kicks in. He returns the favor, marking Erica as pack.

     The others follow suit. It was all very cute and somewhat nauseating. Stiles actually dry heaved a little. That didn’t detract from the reason for Talia’s visit. Which was, as she said, pressing matters. Which could’ve meant any number of things.

     The betas made quick work of scent marking Stiles before settling back to their previous positions. Derek was still squeezing Stiles’ hand. He was holding it for dear life. Like a life raft in a stormy sea. He had no intention of letting go.

 

“So sorry to spoil what would’ve been an otherwise joyous reunion. But I bear both good and bad news. Both which require your attention.” Deaton had set up a mini library.

     “I’ll take the good first.” Derek’s tone was flat. But his eyes were no longer red.

“Very well. Good news, we’ve come one step closer to finding any kind of community that might of use to Stiles and Lydia. Though it did take some digging.”

      “The bad news?” Stiles was almost too afraid to ask.

“That is what’s brought Talia here. It seems, I may have placed you all in mortal peril. Unintentionally, but all the same.”

      “How so?”

“It seems, for whatever reason, anyone who goes looking for vampires, stops. In that they disappear, with no trace or whereabouts. Which sends a rather clear message. I’ve stopped probing. But there’s not any reason to believe that the danger itself had been averted.”

 

Stiles swallowed the lump that had formed in his throat. He couldn’t breathe. Not that he needed to. But he was locked in place. Unable to move or speak. Unable to do anything than simply exist. He was certain that everyone in the room could smell his fear.

 

“A distressing thing to think about. It seems that when the vampires disappeared, they were willing to take anyone that threatened to expose them. Human or otherwise. I think that your name and prestige will make little difference.”

      “So we either abandon hope of Stiles and Lydia getting answers, or vanish into thin air? I don’t care for either one of those.”

“It appears, that even after all these centuries, there is still a well-established leadership. One that has a common consensus. Remain hidden. They won’t risk exposure from the outside. I imagine that they’re on an even higher alert. Given the rogue that turned Stiles and Lydia.”

 

That made sense. According to everything they’d found so far, vampires had been underground for a thousand years. They stayed underground because they followed a strict set of rules. That’s how they stayed safe and hidden.

    The ones that strayed, the ones that broke the rules…Stiles already knew what happened to them. These kinds of rulers didn’t have the notion of mercy or leniency. They struck with the veracity of iron. Swiftly, and without hesitation. And that was with their own kind.

     It didn’t matter if they were human or werewolf, anyone who came looking was disposed of. Made to vanish. Where the rest of the knowing world would never find them. Stiles, being the son of a cop, had seen more than his fair share of missing persons. They were the toughest cases.

     Often with few witnesses, and scarce evidence. It was guesswork, foot patrols, search parties, and reviewing hours of footage. There wasn’t any real way to track someone who’d gone missing if they’d been taken. Especially by vampires.

     Stiles hadn’t been one very long. But he knew how they worked. Knew how they felt. He was, in fewer words than none, a predator. Nineteen years as a human dulled none of his new instincts. The power. The speed. The ability to hear and smell and track prey.

     Any human, hell, even hunters, would’ve had a hard time killing him. So long as he was smart about it. And he was smart. Most people assumed he was just the spastic loser. But there was a terrifying under layer of intelligence. He knew how to use that.

     Looking at him, just about anyone would’ve brushed him aside. Wouldn’t have considered him a threat. That’s the advantage, the real perk of being a vampire. If you were human, there was no possible way of telling the difference.

     Those people didn’t stand a chance. They’d gone searching for something lost. Something mysterious and otherworldly, and they’d paid the price for that curiosity. He wondered if they were killed, or kept as livestock. Maybe they were turned. Added to the community so they had no choice by to abide by its rules.

     He wondered a lot of things. He wondered if his dad was at risk. If Melissa was. Or Lydia’s parents. Even if they didn’t know what she was. He wondered if all they humans in their lives were at risk now. In danger of disappearing.

     They could come live here, with the pack. Be a part of their family. He was certain that Derek and Laura would keep them safe. Stiles would fight, tooth and nail for them. Fight anything that came their way. Anything that threatened their family.

     That being said….he didn’t want to put the pack at risk. Derek aside, Laura didn’t owe him anything. Didn’t owe him shelter, or safety or comfort. She had accepted him, that didn’t mean she liked him. Talia as well. He knew he and Lydia were the weakest links here. That they were…disposable.

      But there was something else that they could do. Something else that they would devise. One that could, just maybe, work in their favor. It involved an unreasonably high level of risk. But with an equally proportional payout. It just might work.

 

“What if you use us? Lydia and I? Put word out that it’s vampires, looking for other vampires.” His suggestion was enough to silence the room.

      “Interesting, but faulty. Vampires, from what we can tell, are a tight knit community. Even more so than a shifter pack. So, based on that premise, it may be difficult to believe.” Deaton made too much sense.

“But that’s the beauty of it. It’s so implausible, that it’ll work. Why would a vampire be digging for other vampires if they’re so close. It would certainly rouse their interest.”

     “Even still, we don’t know nor can we guess their intention. They have no issue making humans disappear. They might not be so welcome in letting two, fledgling vampires join them. You’d be putting your lives at risk from the get go.” Deaton made even more sense. Stiles hated it.

 

Derek looked at him like a dying man did the sun. Painfully. With a breaking heart. There were ten thousand words unsaid in that moment. Jackson looked at Lydia the same. It was true, they’d be putting themselves at risk.

     But if the vampires had already found out that someone was looking, they were in danger anyway. That much couldn’t be denied. Stiles was willing to take the risk if Lydia was. There were answers that they needed. They may be able to be human again. They may get to have some sense of normalcy back.

 

“I don’t like it, but Stiles is right. We need to make sure their goal is to be interested. Not alarmed. If they think that they can ‘save’ them, we have an advantage. As well as one other thing. I’m guessing that all the people that vanished were humans?” Derek turned towards Deaton.

     “Presumably, yes.”

“Then that tells us another thing. They’re willing to get rid of humans. But werewolves? My guess is that they don’t want to be involved with any other supernaturals. Keep to themselves. After all, it’d be a lot easier for us to find them.”

 

Stiles liked Derek’s idea. It was actually kind of brilliant. Two, newly made vampires living with a renowned wolf pack, unheard of. It would certainly make them be cautious. And increase their chances of survival.

 

“Well, as long as the two of you don’t mind being bait, that’s fine. There is, however, one other issue at hand.” It was the first time Laura had spoken since they’d gathered.

    “I hate it when people say that. It’s never anything good.”

“Stiles is it? Stiles, dear, I understand your distress. But please understand that I had a hand in this as much as my daughter.”

     “Mom, care to explain before someone has a panic attack.”

“I know that this is distrusting and somewhat ridiculous, but understand that if we do this, we cannot do it alone. So, I called Chris Argent.”

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek was notably on edge. With excellent reason. There were hunters on their way to his home. He didn’t like it. He understood the decision, but he didn’t like it. He also didn’t bother to hide it. His mother was wise, and had survived much. So, the alpha trusted her choice.

     The rest of the pack wasn’t exactly free of tension either. Isaac especially. He was far more sensitive to these kinds of things. That was just his personality. Boyd, ever the sentinel, was on high alert. Never moving more than two feet from Erica.

     Jackson smirked the entire time. His family had experience with hunters before he came to end up with Derek. He’d spoken about it, once. His mother had nearly died from wolfsbane poisoning. They’d barely escaped with their lives. He didn’t trust them any more than Derek did.

     Chris was by no means Kate. In that he wasn’t a murderous bastard who attempted to slaughter innocent people. But a hunter he remained. His kind did and would always assume that werewolves were no better than animals.

      Cora was the worst of them. She was just a kid when Kate set the fire. Only eleven years old. Derek lost his trust in people. Cora lost her trust in everything. The young woman was hardened thing. Stone and unmoving. Derek didn’t blame her for a single ounce of her anger.

      He also took notice of the way Isaac gazed at her. And the way Cora gazed at him. For the first hour, they stayed separate. Then, for whatever reason, the two of them decided to stop pretending. They sat next to each other. With Isaac resting his head on her shoulder. Hands intertwined softly, enjoying the presence of each other.

      Derek didn’t say anything. He was, of course, concerned. Inter-pack relationships weren’t uncommon. That being said, they came with a certain risk. If they didn’t get along, if things went south, it wasn’t like they could just take a break. He would worry about that bridge later.

     For the first time in many years, Cora had opened herself up in a way that Derek hadn’t seen. Laura was smiling from ear to ear. As was their mother. With all the madness that had been going on lately, he wasn’t going to take this for granted.

     Stiles was, for all intents and purposes, bordering a nervous breakdown. The last time Chris and his lot were here, he’d nearly killed Allison. Come close to toppling over the edge of his darker instincts. Derek didn’t blame him. Vampires responded to threats the same way any predator would. And that was to remove them. Violently.

    His mate wouldn’t, or rather, or couldn’t sit still. He was in the presence of Talia Hale. Renowned Hale alpha, and mother of his boyfriend. They were a bit early in their relationship for the whole, ‘meet the parents’ thing. Even though Derek had already been introduced to the sheriff.

      Stiles avoided her like the plague. It was almost comical. He stood as far away from the woman as he possibly could, while still being in the same room. Erica was cackling to herself. Lydia was grinning mischievously. A look Derek had yet to see on her.

     Talia hadn’t even mentioned the whole thing. Derek was rather hoping she wouldn’t. His wish didn’t come true. She came to stand beside him, resting her shoulder against his own. A simple embrace between mother and son. Between wolf and wolf. He had missed it.

      When he became alpha, Derek didn’t know what to do. What to think or say. His father had passed it to him. Their mother passed it to Laura. They decided it was time for both of them to take the family mantel. To take the full name of Hale.

     When he felt the power become his own, it was the single most painful experience of his life. Physically anyway. A beta turning to an alpha was not an easy transition. At least, while the alpha still lived. Traditionally, the mantel was passed on when the alpha died. Passing it on, and still living…that was a process.

     Both Derek and Laura lost consciousness. Fire erupted in their veins. The world spun and spun. To the point of incoherence. Time grinded to a halt. And Derek thought he was dead. When he woke, he and his sister were both alphas.

     The feeling was…unexpected. He, as a beta, had always felt the bonds of pack. As an alpha, everything was far more intense. He felt stronger. The power that his family gave him. He also felt a crushing loneliness.

     Being the alpha of a family of wolves was one thing, but there was something that was missing. He craved betas of his own. Humans that he had turned himself. Humans that he chose and made pack. So, he found them. Isaac, Erica, and Boyd couldn’t have been a better fit. They’d been inseparable ever since.

     Now, that his mother was here, he’d brought Scott into the fold. A fifth beta. The fourth that he’d turned. He’d also come home with a mate. That, in of itself, was cause for celebration. Cause for joyous madness. He only felt a sense of awkwardness. Given that he hadn’t told his mother about any of it.

 

“You’re different now. Better than you were. Laura to.” His mother always knew what to say, without ever saying too much.

    “Things have changed. For the better. Scott seems to be already fitting in. It’s good. He’ll make a good beta. Maybe even an alpha one day.”

“That’s not what I was referring to, and you know it.” His mother was far too keen for Derek’s liking.

     “It’s…unusual. But Stiles is good. Strong. Caring. Kind. And willing to risk his life without even thinking about it.”

“So I’ve heard. He took a hunter’s bullet for you. And challenged Laura without even blinking when he thought you were in danger. That doesn’t absolve the fact that he’s something that we thought a myth.”

 

Derek didn’t have a retort for that. Stiles and Lydia were nightmares within a nightmare. A tall tale, told in the dark on a moonless night. The fact that they were real was enough of a shock. The fact that they were both mated to werewolves, one of them being an alpha, even more so.

 

“He’s…He’s trying to adjust. He didn’t ask for it. And he doesn’t relish it. He wants, more than anything, to be human again. And I want to give him that opportunity. I want him to be free of this.”

     “An alpha’s bite is a gift, to those who want it. A vampire’s is akin to a curse. To fill with hunger and longing that can never truly be fulfilled. I understand why he’d want to be human. But we must accept that it is just another tale. That the both of you don’t get your hopes to high.”

 

Derek clenched his fists. He’d been thinking about that. They had stories. Fairy tales to go on. All the while Deaton was searching, that’s what they’d been relying on. Hope beyond hope. To find a truth that may not even exist to begin with.

 

“I’ve accepted him as pack and as a mate. Laura and Cora don’t have any issue with it. Is there really anything to discuss?”

     “Well, I am despaired to not be getting any grandchildren from you. But that’s the old fashioned me. My concern lies with the fact that other packs might not be so accepting.”

“Other packs can go to hell.” Derek knew his eyes were glaring red.

     “A sentiment that I’d knew you’d have. There is also the way Chris may react. Our conversation was brief, but he does remember Stiles. As well as that he wasn’t one of us. He’s curious to see what exactly he is. A truth that we may have to reveal.”

“That’s Stiles decision. He is pack, but he shouldn’t be made to put himself in danger for some half-ass alliance that may or not give us something.”

 

Derek wasn’t willing to put Stiles or Lydia at risk for anything that was less than a certainty. Even then, he hated the thought. The two of them were creatures the world thought gone and vanished. The risk of them being exposed wasn’t one he wanted to take.

     He’d have to talk it over with Stiles. See what his mate wanted to do. Derek may have been alpha, but a good leader listened to their betas. And their certainly listened to their mates. That’s the way packs functioned. An alpha ruling with an iron fist never ended well.

     Laura would’ve agreed with him. She was adjusting to her role as alpha as much as Derek was. She didn’t intend to lead their family with unhindered authority. They wanted a pack that lived and breathed together. Taking such risks was a pack decision.

     When he heard the car pull into the drive, Stiles was by his side in a flash. Grasping his hand with the veracity of a man about to meet his maker. The vampire was terrified and on edge. More so than Derek was comfortable with. Lydia as well.

     When Chris was here weeks earlier, she had stayed hidden in the house. The hunter knew of one new addition, but not the other. That was sure to create an uncomfortable atmosphere to start. The alpha didn’t like it. But they were here, and there was no changing that.

     When the man walks in, every head turns his way. Allison is with them. The huntress is not armed with her usual bow. Derek was not foolish enough to think that she came without a weapon. Her eyes are alight with fire. Especially when she notices Stiles.

     The vampire turns away. Keeping his head trained towards the floor. The shame of his memory too much. Derek grips his hand even tighter. Peter is alert as well. There is a shadow squirming in his eyes. A dark, unknowing thing. The alpha felt his chest tighten.

     What worried him, was Scott. The young wolf’s eyes were beta gold. Body wrought with tension. The only that kept him in place was Boyd’s firm hand. Derek knew the moment he caught the scent that they were utterly screwed. Allison was his mate. His true mate.

     A rare occurrence. One in several generations. A wolf finding them was a sight to be behold. They would be bonded in harmony. The match they made would transcend a traditional mating bond. And Derek didn’t have the heart to tell him that it could never happen.

     One bridge at a time. They could deal with the fallout later. Talia formerly greets the hunters. Even though Derek and Laura are present. She was the one who called them. she was the reason they were here. They made no mistake at assuming that she wasn’t an authority.

 

“Last time I was here, I nearly lost my daughter.”

     “The last time you were here, you threatened my son and his pack. Be grateful that you were allowed to leave in one piece.” Talia smiled while delivering the bone chilling threat.

“Sister, enough of that. Past is past. For this at least. We have matters to attend to.” Peter’s eyes could glared through lead. Chris was on the receiving end of it.

     “I don’t like the vagueness of the details you provided. But I need your help, and you need mine. So, where shall we begin?” A simple question, with a difficult answer.

 

The hunters seat themselves, away from the wolves. Allison hasn’t noticed Scott yet. Derek hopes that remains to be the case. They had enough to worry about as it was. This could come to blows in an instant. Bloodshed would solve nothing.

 

“When I came here, I told you things were in motion. They still are. And the fruition of those motions is about to come to pass. Kate going to prison was the trigger. And I fear now…We’re all in danger.”

     “Clarify, if you please. This isn’t a suspense novel. And you’re no Stephen King.” Peter’s voice dripped with sarcasm.

“Gerard is no longer my father. He’s no longer a man who could be called sane. He’s taken the code and destroyed it. Human and wolf…Anyone who crosses him, ends up dead. Or worse. He’s pressuring me, as well as Allison to join his insane crusade.”

 

That wasn’t the news Derek wanted to hear. Gerard was a ruthless bastard to begin with. If he’d truly gone off the deep end, they were in trouble. The man had money, men, and firepower. There was little doubt that he was a threat.

 

“You want us to help you kill him? A bold move, even for you Christopher.” Peter was standing now.

     “I didn’t say that. But he needs to be stopped. Our family is divided. Our family is at risk. My wife….My wife….”

“He killed my mother.” Allison spoke up, drawing attention to herself for the first time. There were tears in her eyes.

     “Victoria got roped into his insanity. Went on a cleansing. Attacked packs that weren’t even on the radar. The alpha didn’t go down without a fight, and she was bitten. I think you can guess what happened next.”

“Your father put a bullet between her eyes.”

 

Peter’s words rang true, and drove through the two hunter’s souls. Allison smelled of a sickening mixture of grief and rage. Scott whined in despair. Boyd smacked him upside the head. Chris’ face drained of color. It was the weakest Derek had ever seen the man look.

 

“Innocent lives are at risk. Even if he didn’t have a vendetta against your pack, he’d be gunning for you eventually. To make an example.”

     “So you suggest were risk our lives to fix a problem you could’ve already solved. You’ve killed your own before, when they were no longer your kind. This is no different. The man killed your wife, and yet you continue to do nothing. How very tragic of you.” Peter wasn’t helping.

“My brother is right. You say you hunt those who hurt the innocent. Apply that code to Gerard and it fits. He’s hurt innocents. Now, do what you were trained to do, and hunt.”

     “It isn’t that simple. Gerard is never alone. It’s not as simple as an assassination. His men are loyal, and outnumber mine, three to one. It’s practically an army. He doesn’t trust me since I won’t outrightly join his campaign.”

“Then you should gather your own men. Even if it’s a risk. You want us because it gives you a copout. It gives you someone to blame, and to give reason to rally the rest of them behind you. We’re the sacrificial pawn in this game.”

 

Derek hadn’t expected Stiles to speak, but the young vampire was staring the hunter down. His eyes were black. His body was vibrating. The acrid stench of rage poured off him in waves. There was anger, and then there was this. Derek was honestly impressed with his mate.

 

“You’re truly not a werewolf.”

     “Part of the reason Talia called you here. We’ve heard you, now hear us.” Stiles stepped forward, resting in front of the hunters.

“What are you, really?”

     “Vampire.” Stiles opened his mouth, revealing both his fangs. Derek didn’t have to worry about whether or not his mate wanted himself revealed. He’d done it himself.

“Impossible. They’re a myth. A horror story. Nothing more.”

    “Yet here I stand, very much real. You’re a hunter, so you have to know something.”

“The Argents hunt wolves, mostly. We date back to before the French Revolution. Things like you vanished long before that.”

      “Not an outright lie, but still not the entire truth, Christopher. Try again.” Peter was barely holding back his anger.

“Fine. It’s just basics. Allergic to silver. Crosses and holy water don’t do jack shit. Neither does running water, sunlight, or damn near anything else. Hard to kill, but certainly not impossible.”

 

So they hadn’t learned anything more than what they already had. Their hopes had gotten up for nothing. And they still had Gerard to deal with. As well as all the madness that came with the bastard. Derek was less than enthused.

 

“There are a few mentions in our bestiary. Scattering gleamed from other families. Older families. But it’s  in Gerard’s possession. He keeps all our records and lore. Help me take him down, and I’ll give you full access to everything.”

     “A generous risk, for a generous payout. Sounds too good to be true. Almost like a setup.”

“You’re more than right not to trust me. That doesn’t mean what I’m offering is any less valuable.” Chris looked towards Laura. She was the only one he hadn’t addressed directly. He knew better than to try Cora.

 

Derek didn’t trust Chris. He didn’t trust Allison. But if what they said was true, that Gerard was on the warpath, then they were indeed in danger. They were at risk of losing everyone and everything. Men like that didn’t stop until they were dead. That much was the truth. Even if Chris didn’t want to admit it.

     He wanted to say something. Wanted to speak up and make sure that these hunters knew the full breadth of what they were asking. That they understood that if they betrayed, or used them as a fallout, there would be consequences. He didn’t get the chance.

     Lydia had stayed still, and silent the entire time. Locked next to Jackson. Unmoving, concealing her presence and making sure the two hunters didn’t notice her. That changed when she stood and marched towards them in red bottom heels.

     Allison went on alert. Readying herself for a potential threat. Derek knew there wasn’t one. The young vampiress wouldn’t do something so rash. She was far to clever for that. Still, the alpha found himself nervous as she stopped in front of Chris. Her eyes turned black as she spoke.

 

“Stiles and I have lost a lot. The Hales have lost a lot. You’ve lost a lot. So has your daughter. That doesn’t mean we’re friends. I’ve come to accept what I am. But I have hope I can change that. You’re promising us that hope. Using it as bait.”

     “Yes. The enticement of knowledge has always been a good lure.” Chris swallowed a lump in his throat.

“Then understand this. If we decide to help you, every action you and your daughter take will be held in account. And if you so much as breathe wrong, have any inkling of betraying any one of us, I’ll carve out your kidneys and feed them to you.”

 

Derek knew that Lydia was a force to be reckoned with. That she was to be feared and never underestimated. Now, that fact had been driven home like a railroad spike. The entire room flinched back. If Stiles was to be feared, she was to be dreaded. A subtle, but powerful difference.

 

“Understood. The same goes for you. A silver bullet with your name, right between the eyes.” Allison was full of fire, much like Lydia. In another life, they would’ve been excellent friends.

 

     The pack released a collective breath. The worst of it over with. They’d laid their cards on the table. They’d bared what they had, and revealed their secrets. The rest was now as simple as a conversation. Only, it wasn’t that simple.

     There was still the matter of Scott’s mate being a huntress who’d rather hang herself. And Peter’s immense disdain of Peter beyond reason. There was a history there that didn’t make sense. Derek wanted to uncover that. He wanted to make sure his pack, that his mate was safe.

     Talia decides to order pizza. Food was always an excellent segue. Even if they weren’t even all that hungry. The presence of it alone would be enough. Right now, Derek wanted to tear into a deer. His wolf was howling and restless. But now was not the time for running and hunting. Now was the time for planning. Now was the time for making peace before combat. Now, was the time for war.

   

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Stiles was more on edge than he’d ever been. Even when he’d realized that he wasn’t human after the attack. Even when he’d nearly killed his father. Even when he and Lydia finally had a word for what they were. Even when he and Derek finally admitted their feelings for each other. This situation was far, far worse.

    For one thing, his boyfriend’s mom had randomly showed up. Which he wasn’t expecting. Derek had met his father, which had gone better than expected. This was another matter entirely. Stiles was a vampire, living with a pack of werewolves. And the former alpha of those werewolves was, quite literally, world renowned.

     She’d lead their pack, and their family for nearly three decades. She wasn’t a woman to be taken lightly, or underestimated. Stiles could feel her from the moment he stepped into the house. Every animal part of his brain…Every basic instinct froze. He couldn’t even run.

    The grip he’d had on Derek’s hand was stronger than steel. He was certain that every person in the room could smell his fear. There was no denying that. And he wasn’t ashamed to admit it. But, much to his surprise, Talia Hale paid him no interest whatsoever.

     She was more focused on her son. As well as the new beta he’d brought home. Scott couldn’t stand still. It was as if ant were crawling over every inch of his skin. Stiles actually chuffed a little. Years of being the end of jokes, and it was no his friend that could be still.

       Talia welcomed him with a smile, relieved to see that they’d all made it back safely. Stiles never let go of his boyfriend’s hand. Even as the betas came and swarmed Scott. Massing atop of him, making something of a scene. Much like a child who gets a new toy.

       They had to see, touch, fiddle. Scott was new. Scott was unscented. Scott was pack. Derek had made it so. Isaac seemed particularly interested in him. He was, out of all the betas, the most reserved and shy. Jackson was just an ass.

    Boyd pulls Erica off as she goes just a tad too far. Not really respecting the boundaries of propriety. Scott was in that delicate, awkward transitional stage that made no sense unless one had already experienced it. He hadn’t, so he left the betas to do the work.

      Laura was as taciturn as when they first met. She wasn’t angry. But she certainly wasn’t happy either. Cora was surprisingly pensive. Eyes trained to a far off place that Stiles couldn’t see. He felt like he didn’t want to. There was a dark thing in the corner of her eye that made him shiver.

     Lydia looked decidedly…unhappy. She was always bubbly and cheerful as a human. As a vampire, that side of her became somewhat muted. The young woman still commanded attention no matter the room in which she resided. At the moment, she was present, and not for good reasons.

    Anger rolled off her in horrid waves that made Stiles’ stomach turn into knots. Jackson was trying his best to calm her down. All efforts, while appreciated on everyone’s part, were by no means successful. He didn’t understand her anger. He didn’t see any reason for it.

     But it was soon made apparent as to why. Deaton had found more information regarding them. Well, regarding on finding others like them. Though the results were hopeful, what came after was decidedly less. Which in that people who went looking for vampires didn’t look for very long.

      According to Deaton, all records of people looking for any sign of them vanished. Not murdered, and died in some horrid accident. But gone. From the face of the earth. Without so much as a trace. No bodies. No sightings. That was it.

     It made continuing the search…dangerous. And that was putting it nicely. Stiles didn’t like it. He didn’t like the hope of answers being dangled in front of him like a carrot. Lydia didn’t either. Now he too was upset. They’d finally found something, only for it to come to a grinding halt.

      Only, it didn’t have to be that way. According to what they’d found so far, vampires didn’t like outsiders. They didn’t like people straying from the communities. So two, freshly turned vampires would draw attention. Especially if they were living with werewolves.

     The idea of being bait didn’t sit well with anyone involved. Derek was opposed outright. Stiles understood why. The risk was exponential. With a low probability of payout. But if it did, if their idea worked, they would get the answers they sought.

      Laura seemed okay with it. So long as Stiles and Lydia didn’t mine being used as the lure. Though that didn’t solve their most immediate problem. Which in that while they were away, Talia and Laura had made a rather radical choice. Which was calling Chris Argent.

       He’d requested to meet again. The mere memory of the hunter turned Stiles’ mouth sour. As well as what he’d nearly done to Allison. That whole situation ended horrendously. He wanted nothing to do with them. Though, there was some small manner of enticement

     They were an old family. And old families had old knowledge. They could get some answers yet. Even if it was just a tidbit. No one was happy about it though. These people were related to Kate, the woman that had tried to burn them in their beds. No one trusted them. Not for a second.

     When the two finally arrive, there are a myriad of reactions. The betas all tense in the same moment. And Stiles can’t help see that Scott is the most wrought of them all. Though not out of anger or nervousness. His eyes flash gold for an entirely different reason.

    Derek and Laura stand next to each other, alphas of their pack and family. Presenting themselves as a united front. Talia is the one who greets Chris. And though she smiles, there is a coldness to her that gives the two hunters pause. Stiles avoids looking Allison’s way as she sits down.

    The conversation is brief, and bears no good news. The hunter’s father, Allison’s grandfather, has apparently gone insane. And was killing werewolves with no provocation. No reason. Just wanted them dead. And he expected his remaining child to join him.

     Chris had resisted. As had his daughter. They were effectively in a civil war. Where not joining with Gerard meant death. Which of course, the two of them were against. Seeing as it got his wife killed. Allison had lost her mother, and Gerard had been the one to pull the trigger.

      Hunters didn’t get to live as werewolves. They either committed suicide, or were executed. Gerard didn’t even bother wasting time. He put a bullet between her eyes. Though according to Chris, they main reason was because his father’s crusade was costing innocent people their lives.

      Stiles didn’t hesitate in calling him out on his bullshit. He was angry. Angrier than he could ever remember being. Coming into their home, armed to the teeth, was one thing. But actually pretending they were the good guys…He couldn’t stomach that.

      Allison flinched away, Chris’ heartrate was exceptional. They were afraid. Now that they knew what Stiles really was. What he was capable of. What the legends and nightmares said about things like him. Lydia didn’t spare them either.

     She threatened Chris in a cold, unfeeling way. It was the deadliest Stiles had ever seen her. They offered them information on vampires. What little they had anyway. But Gerard was to be taken down first. That was the price. Remove him, get the lore. Lydia made sure they knew the price for betraying them.

      Which led to the current situation that they now found themselves in. which was their home full of hunters. Well, not full. But plenty more than Stiles wanted even near the house. They were planning. Planning for the fight to come. Which he knew would lead to nothing good.

      He was something that ate people. Fed from them. And while his self-control had improved tremendously, he didn’t know if he could handle the sight of it. The sight of so many bodies mangled and bullet ridden. His friends being ripped to pieces was one thing. This was war. Or a version of it. And he wasn’t a soldier.

    He didn’t relish in the idea of fighting. Even if he seemed to be rather good as it now that he was a vampire. His methods were animalistic. Relying on either fear or rage. In that he struck and ripped and bit. He knew that if it came to that, he’d lost control. And do something he would regret.

      Derek hadn’t brought the subject to attention. No one had. That there two of the deadliest supernatural predators in history siting in the living room. That they could move faster. Strike faster. That they could kill everyone in the blink of an eye.

    He didn’t want to imagine Lydia being put in that position. Where she had to defend herself with lethal force. Where the former love of his life would stain her hands red with blood. The idea of it made him nauseous. It wasn’t a good feeling.

    The other issue at hand was Scott. Rather, it was that Scott’s mate was Allison. Derek had, in part, explained it. Werewolves were scent orientated creatures. They’d evolved over so many millennia to recognize and discern someone from their unique scent.

    Stiles, at the very least, understood, that much. As a vampire, he recognized, instinctually, threats and certain emotions. This was more intense for werewolves. As they could actually discern on whether or not someone was a suitable mate from their scent alone.

     Scott, as a newly turned wolf, would be overwhelmed by his newly enhanced senses. So when Allison had arrived, they were officially screwed. The young beta turned to a love struck puppy in an instant. Though they’d managed to keep that little piece of information within the pack.

     Chris aside, Allison would have no issue in shooting a dozen arrows into the young wolf. All of which would undoubtedly be laced in wolfsbane. He had no delusions that the young huntress wasn’t just for show. She could shoot, and she didn’t miss.

      Derek made sure that Scott understood the full ramifications of revealing the secret to anyone outside of the pack. The hunter’s reaction aside, a wolf’s drive to protect its mate was unequalled. If Allison was placed in danger, Scott wouldn’t even have time to think. He’d jump into action.

     There were plenty of unpleasant parties that would take advantage of that. Especially with a young wolf. Still adjusting to their powers and instincts. The whole thing was a mess. A mess that had no real way of being cleaned up. But they were doing the best they could with it.

      Over the next week, they met and planned. Exchanging information as it managed to come in. Derek and Laura had allies in other alphas. Other packs. They could stretch the reach of their information network. Having eyes and ears to the ground. Which worked in their favor.

     No one was a fan of the Argents. Even other hunters. Namely because they felt that they were too soft. Some families actually supported Gerard’s madness. More than willing to sit by and watch him slaughter pack after pack. They stayed out, and kept their hands clean. But were just as guilty.

     The other packs were more than happy to help. Even if they weren’t on friendly terms with the Hales, they were on less friendly terms with the Argents. There was a group referred to as the Alpha Pack, led by a man that called himself the Demon Wolf.

      Stiles wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. But he had bad blood with the Argents. In particular, Gerard. And while the name in of itself was terrifying, Stiles did appreciate the help. He just never wanted to meet the man. Or any of the other alphas.

     Derek didn’t seem too keen on the idea on working with them. Neither did Laura. The reasons weren’t stated. But no one seemed to like them. And Stiles didn’t ask questions. It wasn’t his place, and they needed the help. Even if Chris started sweating the mention of them.

     In the end, they laid a groundwork for tracking the hunter’s movements. Able to place who was where, and what they were doing. Save for the man everyone wanted the most. Gerard was as cunning as he was ruthless. There was no trail that they could follow. All information of his whereabouts were being kept under lock and key.

      Chris didn’t bother trying to use his position as the man’s son to draw him out. At this point in the game, that kind of tactic wasn’t going to work. They were past that. And they needed something else. Something else that would snatch Gerard’s attention without fail. Stiles had the same idea as he did with search for his kind.

     Two, freshly turned vampires. Out in the world. Away from any community, or semblance of safety. It was a draw. A lure that the murderous bastard wouldn’t be able to resist. Not with someone who possessed that much ego, coupled with that much rage.

      Chris was against the idea, surprisingly. He felt that the trap wouldn’t work to start. Secondly, even if Gerard did fall for it, there was no way he’d send just a dozen or so hunters. The man would rally all his forces within reach, and they wouldn’t be able to stomp that down.

     It certainly was a risky plan. There were no good options. Not with the man they needed gone to the wind. Derek, of course, rejected it flat and straight. They were already using Stiles and Lydia as bait for the vampires. They didn’t need to add to the list.

      In the end, they spent three days arguing. Hassling, back and forth over which idea sounded best. Which plan to follow. All the while trying to gather as much information as possible. Which wasn’t much. The only hunters of any use were too far away to do much of anything.

    They were receiving less and less news. Almost as if Gerard knew what they were planning. Stiles didn’t think that there were any traitors among them. The hunters may not have liked the Hales, or the vampires that kept company with them. But they liked that genocidal maniac even less.

     Towards the end of the week, everyone’s nerves were fried. There was little else they could do. There still wasn’t a solid plan. All they had were the forces they’d gathered. The other packs that they’d contacted were doing their own work. In the end, it was Deucalion that came through.

    The Demon Wolf lived up to his name. Gerard had no sense of mercy. Neither did the leader of the alpha pack. He’d captured several hunters, and the poor bastards didn’t stand a chance. They’d gotten a ton of good info. None that brought them any closer to Gerard, but enough to hinder his movements. He’d have to show himself eventually.

     The outlying packs they’d brought in took care of the straggling hunters. In total, three bases of operations were taken down. It was more than they’d thought they’d get, but not all that they needed. At the very least, other packs would be safe. Not having to worry about being murdered.

      All in all, the secret war they were waging was a slow, and painstaking effort that yielded slow results. Stiles actually itched to go out. He was faster than any human could ever hope. He also had the advantage of being unknown outside of the Hale house.

     Only a handful of Chris’ hunters knew what he really was. And surprisingly, most of them didn’t care. He was with a peaceful, human pack. Wasn’t hunting humans. Wasn’t making more vampires. They may have despised his very existence, but they didn’t want him dead. He’d take the win.

     That being said, he was going stir crazy. Being cooped up didn’t help his already fried nerves. Being surrounded by hunters all hours day didn’t make anything better. His hunger was under control, and they weren’t in any danger. But his instincts didn’t trust them. When Allison approached him, he damn near bolted out of the house.

      The young huntress said nothing as she sat down next to him. Her eyes were trained towards her father. Wordlessly admiring the man who’d organized the rebellion of their time. It was all very Star Wars. She also feared for him. Stiles could see that as well.

     There was a dark thing in her vision. A formless, slithering shadow. From some far off place that Stiles never wanted to see. The young woman was fierce, she was strong. There was no doubt of that. But this was different than hunting down a rogue wolf.
    This was her family. Her father was the only person she had left. Stiles knew that feeling well enough. They may not have been friends, and they were barely allies. But they could at least sympathize with one another. Hunter and vampire, standing together as the world they thought they knew frayed apart.

 

“I should’ve apologized. For what I did. I was defending my friends, but it was still pretty fucked up.” Allison finally payed attention to him.

     “You were adjusting. You were reacting to a threat. It was wrong, but so were we for how we approached you. I told my dad it was a bad idea. He didn’t want to listen.”

“That desperate?”

      “You have no idea.”

Stiles didn’t. Losing his mom was one thing. But Allison had to live with the fact that hers was murdered by her grandfather. Put down like a dog, without any ounce of remorse. That was its own particular brand of trauma. And with it, came a certain brand of rage.

 

“I’m sorry. I lost a lot, and I didn’t want to see what you might’ve lost. At the very least, at the end of this, I hope we can try to be…something.”

      “You’re friend Scott seems to want far more than something.” The young huntress said dryly.

Shit. Stiles had been hoping to avoid that for a bit longer. There was no anger, or disgust in her scent. She was only making an inquiry. And a valid one at that. Scott’s behavior wasn’t subtle.

      The young vampire didn’t want to say anything. It wasn’t his place. But Allison wasn’t the type to give up without answers. She wasn’t the type to just walk away. She’d press for what she wanted to know. And Stiles wanted to give it to her. But something distracted him.

     Over the near month they’d been hosting hunters, and members of other packs, Stiles had to adjust to a number of heartbeats. That was one part of being a vampire that really did come in handy. His instincts were able to memorize the rhythm of an individual. And when he did, a new one always stood out. So when a literal horde of them started approaching the house, he stood straight up.

     Lydia was by his side before any of them could move. Decorum was gone, their eyes and fangs were out. There was a threat, and they were ready to kill. Because those who were coming smelt of blood and death.

   

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Stiles hadn’t felt this much bloodlust since he was first turned. Every last cell in his body was vibrating. Every part of him was ready for one thing, and one thing only. Kill. Rip. Slash. Tear. Someone, a great deal of someones were here. And they came ready to fight.

     From the sound of the many, uncountable heartbeats, there had to be at least thirty. There was too much noise. He was panicking too much. He was filled with an ungodly mix of rage, fear, and bloodlust. Lydia was the same. The both of them, in this moment, were more vampire than they’d been since being turned.

      Derek and Laura didn’t bother hiding on pretense. They were both half shifted. The hunters in the room, lacking paranormal senses, drew their guns a little late. Though they didn’t know where to point them. But they had them drawn regardless.

    The betas were less reserved. Their bodies quivered with adrenaline. Barely restrain from going full wolf in the middle of the living room. It didn’t help anything. Nothing would at this point. Someone was here to kill them. That much was obvious.

 

“I’m guessing not friendly.” His boyfriend’s words didn’t help anything. But the joke was appreciated.

     “At least thirty, probably more. Armed to teeth from the sound of their footsteps.”

“But something’s wrong. There’s…Something’s off.”

 

Lydia wasn’t wrong. In the endless cacophony of heartbeats, there were a half dozen that were out of place. They were faster. Deeper. Somehow like a human’s, but not. At the very least, Stiles knew it wasn’t a vampire. But it certainly wasn’t anything that he wanted to go up against. Every instinct told him that the best option would be to run.

 

“Cora and Peter, you’re with the kids. Get them out. We’ll make sure no one circles around. Erica, you’re the fastest. Run guard in case anyone slips through.” Laura was taking charge. She was the prime example of what an alpha should be.

     Derek was more brawn than brains. In the sense that strategy wasn’t his forte. But brute force, and unrelenting barbarism? That, he had in spades. Stiles was well. He knew full well what vampires were capable of when pressed into a corner.

     More than likely, he and Lydia would be the linchpins in this fight. The hunters weren’t expecting vampires, and therefore, wouldn’t be armed for them. And whatever they brought may have been beastly, but that often cost speed. Stiles could break their legs before they knew what hit them.

    Lydia was even faster than he was. Her nimble form became a literal blur when she moved. So far, no one in the pack, even Derek or Laura, had managed to catch her. They were at a small advantage. The problem, the most obvious anyway, was the hunters.

     They were trained in multiple forms of combat. Firearms. Knives. Archery. Hand to hand fighting. They had a skill set. But they were still human. They were still fleshy, bruise easily humans. They didn’t heal like werewolves. They didn’t heal like vampires.

     Chris knew that. Allison knew that. They would be going into this fight knowing full well that they might not be walking away from it. That’s what scared Stiles the most. He certainly wasn’t friends with any of them. Hell, they were barely civil towards each other.

     That being said, they weren’t bad or evil people. They wanted this over, they wanted Gerard dead as much as anyone else. They knew the risks. They knew that one bullet, a single shot, and their lives could be over. Gerard had taken from them, had killed their loved ones. Proven that he was no longer the man they knew. And they’d decided that he’d take no more.

     Chris is sporting a rather lethal looking shotgun. The kind that blew a basketball size hole through a man. The hunter didn’t have delusions that they’d be taking prisoners. This was a fight, and they knew who their enemy was. And it wasn’t the kind that went down gently, or quietly for that matter.

    Allison looked like a surprisingly hot version of Hawkeye. She had an ensemble of arrows in her quiver. Stiles didn’t know what all they did. But he knew none of them were pleasant. The young huntress still had that dark look in her eyes. The unknowable thing from the deepest depths of hell.

     The resolve on her face was staggering. In a strange kind of way. Like her father, she knew that there would be no prisoners. It was a sad thing to think about. A woman that young being made to kill. People she knew. Possibly, he own family.

     Stiles had come close to killing. Once, when he lost control and fed on those homeless men. The next, when he first stumbled across Derek and the others. Then, when he used Allison as a hostage. He’d known violence. He’d known rage. He’d known the desire to rend all those before him.

    But he’d never taken that last step. The one before the fall. The one piece that he refused to sacrifice or give for anything. He’d come close, but he’d never quite made it. Today, here and now, that line disappeared. This wasn’t a fight to run away. This was a fight for the right to exist.

      Cora and Peter had herded the children away. There were only a few, so getting them out was a simple process. Even with all the panic in the room. Stiles couldn’t hear any heartbeats save for the ones at the front of the house. There was no one behind them. Gerard was doing this face forward, plain and simple. Tactics that suited his brutality.

      The rest of the hunters had finished arming themselves. Some of the ex-military had some more impressively issued pieces. Along with grenades. Now all they needed was an RPG. The entirety of this was ridiculous beyond measure. If Stiles managed to survive this, he swore he was going to write a book.

     There was nothing else for it but to confront their would be murderers exactly the way they wanted them to. Face to face. With a full on, all-out assault. He swallowed the lump that was in his throat. There was going to be a fight. People, many people, were going to die. The young vampire could only prey that he wasn’t one of them. Or his pack.

     When they head outside, the men and women that meet them are exactly what Stiles imagined them to be. Clad in black and brown. Sporting all manner of vicious weaponry. Made for one thing and one thing only. To kill, and kill quickly. He had no delusions that any of them would be taking prisoners. That was never an option for any of them.

      The man that stands at the front is…unsettling. He was withered and grey. Wrinkled in the face and neck. Marks of his age, and his profession etched into his very being. Gerard Argent had seen, killed, and lived. Stiles could only imagine the number of lives he’d ended. Both directly and indirectly.

      Chris doesn’t even hesitate. The hunter raises his shotgun, making no qualms about who he’s aiming it at. There was a certain level of conviction in that. Stiles hoped the rest of them could have half as much of it. They would need it. Or they were all going to die.

 

“Teaming up with the mutts, I see. How shameful.”

     “The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and that’s what you’ve become. An enemy.” Chris’ eyes stood still as stone.

“I’m doing what I was raised to do. What I was born to do. And that’s wiping this earth clean of their filth, and any who would stand beside them.”

     “We hunt those who hunt others. That’s been the code. Kate broke that, and she paid the price. These people have done nothing wrong.”

 

Chris words bounced off his father in sick contrast. The man snorted, actually snorted. There was a sick kind of amusement in his voice. A feral sort of madness in his eyes. If he thought werewolves were monsters, he needed a long look in the mirror.

 

“Their very existence is wrong. I raised you and your sister to see that. She was the only one who took it to heart. Pity you didn’t. Now, I lose both my children, and my precious granddaughter. How I wish you could’ve joined me.”

 

The man’s words made Stiles’ stomach turn. He really was here to kill all of them. To pull the trigger, mercilessly ending their lives. The young vampire knew full and well that was the truth of things. He’d just now had the concrete reinforcement to prove it. Prove it beyond anything else.

 

“My wife joined you. Allison’s mother joined you. And you put a bullet in her head. Painted the street with her brains. You took her from us. You stole her from us.”  

     “She would’ve done the same to me, or either of you. Make no mistake about that. She followed the code. She lived by it. She died by it.”

 

Chris’ hands shook for a fraction of a second. The smallest, most unnoticeable quiver. At least, not everyone else. Stiles noticed. He also noticed that strange sound again. That deep, hellish drone that made his spine lock into iron. He knew that sound. He knew it because it nearly drove him insane when he first awoke as a vampire. Electricity. And he knew where it was coming from.

 

“Trees!” He barely had time to say the words before the figures came crashing through. What he saw nearly made him vomit.

     There were six wolves. Six wolves, collared with sick looking metal rings. The source of the electricity. No doubt charged to deliver a powerful shock at a moment’s notice. That’s what wasn’t made Stiles stomach turn in on itself.

    They were feral. All of them. They were half shifted, red eyed. Literally foaming at the mouth. Snarling wordless rage. Charging at the group in front of the house. Gerard hadn’t just been hunting packs. He’d been capturing their alphas. Turning them into his own personal foot soldiers. Or rather, berserkers.

      Chris fired the first shot. The sound rang out like a cannon. Which, essentially, is what he was wielding. Everyone had turned their eyes towards the ravenous wolves barreling towards them. The hunter’s shot dropped one of them. With the left side of their head now gone. Splattered across the grass.

     The others moved into action just as Gerard’s men drew and aimed their weapons. The surprise show had failed. Stiles had heard the alphas approaching, and they were already one down. Six more follow. Chris’ men were quicker on the draw. As was Allison.

    The young huntress slung arrow after arrow. It always found its mark. Mostly, in people’s chests. They were dead before they hit the ground. She was aiming, and striking their hearts. Stiles made a note to never, ever piss her off again.

      Derek and Laura charge the front lines. Making quick work of the slower hunters. Guns were only useful if you could draw them quick enough. The arrogant bastards hadn’t thought to do so. They believed the feral alphas would give them the chance. That mistake cost them their lives.

      Gerard was retreating. Doing his best to avoid the onslaught. He was successful. Almost on instinct, the other hunters seemed to form a scattered wall about the man. Half-ass giving him some kind of cover. It worked. Though their numbers dwindled quicker.

     Stiles was more focused on the feral wolves they’d brought with them. Anything less than a kill shot was worthless. They weren’t people anymore. Hell, they weren’t even animals. They were just mindless things. With teeth and claws. Made to rip through anything and everything. They probably couldn’t even register the idea of pain.

      He snapped their necks with as much mercy as he could give them. It wasn’t as difficult as he thought it would be. The only thing they had was brute force, and unhindered rage. A thoughtless, savage drive that held no real strategy.

     He kept at it. Again and again. Darting out of the way of fangs and gnarly claws. By the third one, he was beginning to get tired. Most of his strength was being pushed towards avoiding injury. He may heal better than humans, but it was still a process. And an alpha’s claws were no joke.

     It was a good strategy. One that kept him alive. At least, that was his thought process. That was what he told himself. He was solely focused on the enemies in front of him. Making sure they got nowhere near any of the hunters. He failed.

     Maybe there was something left of who they used to be. Some small vestige of their past. A lingering glimmer of intelligence. Because the big one didn’t even try to go for Stiles. In fact, it made a point to avoid him. Maybe it realized that the vampire had an advantage. Maybe it was something else entirely. But he barreled straight into Chris. Throwing him into a tree.

     The man impacted with a sickening crunch. Stiles knew at least a dozen bones broke with it. His heart was beating damn near out of his chest. He was still alive. But not for long. Because this alpha seemed to make Chris his personal mission. Stiles refused to let him.

     The vampire leapt atop the wolf’s back. Biting down with a ferocity he didn’t know he had. His hands wrapped firmly around the man’s head. The beast roared once before his life was over. The both of them fell to the ground in a mangled heap. Stiles was pinned.

     In the few seconds it took to get the dead wolf off him was just enough time to be in danger. A single, endless moment. That’s when he felt the bullet pierce his side. There was so much gunfire. So much screaming and pain and blood. He wouldn’t have noticed it anyway.

       Compared to the first and only time he’d been shot, this was far, far worse. Maybe it was the caliber. Or some other unknown factor. But when the bullet tears through him, he feels each and every one of his nerves scream.

      His insides feel like fire. Liquid fire. Pouring over his organs. Searing him down to the very atoms of his being. He can’t help it. He screams. He screams louder than he ever has in his entire life. His throat goes raw with it. Such was his agony. He wondered if anyone heard him.

      The assailant became obvious just as he fell back down. His eyes were blurry, but Gerard Argent’s face was as twisted as it had been when the fighting started. Only now, his eyes were empty. Void of anything that could be considered human. Or werewolf. Or even a vampire.

     The man’s mind was gone. What was left of it anyway. There was nothing left. Save for a single-minded hatred that had consumed him right down to his soul. There was a wicked grin spread across his withered face. It made Stiles’ shiver.

 

“I’d heard the rumors. I heard the stories. To think, a thing like you still existed. I didn’t want to believe it. But it’s always best to be prepared. Looks like the myth about silver had some merit.”

 

Stiles knew he was dead. He was going to die, here, in this clearing. Murdered by a man who didn’t even value the life of his own family. There were several moments that crossed his mind. Brief glimpses of what he had done, and what he still wanted to do.

     He thought of his father. The man that had raised him. That had loved him. That had carried him through and through. Even after he had become a creature of the night. He thought of their lives. He thought of everything he still wanted.

     He thought of Scott. Still so new to being a wolf. Goofy, lighthearted Scott. He was an idiot, without the good sense god gave to a dog. But he was loyal and kind. More so than most people could ever hope to be.

     He thought of Lydia, and all the things they’d been through over the past few months. Their pain. Their tears. Their heartbreak. All the things and trials that they’d endured. That they’d overcome. Of what they’d found.

     He thought of Derek. Kind, stubborn, affectionate Derek. Stiles hadn’t ever really thought about love. Much like any hormonal teenager, he was fixated on the idea of it. Or rather, lust. There wasn’t any time given to much of anything else.

     Being a vampire, finding Derek and the others…He’d found love. He’d found it, and he wanted to keep it. Wanted to feel and experience more of it. Wanted years and years. Even if he hated what he was. Hated that he was stuck in this body, stuck with his hunger…He wanted more. Gerard was going to take that from him. Or he thought he was.

     Just as the man’s grin stood ready to split his face, there was a whistle. A small, sharp sound that let Stiles knew what was happening. The arrow pierced through his neck with a horrid squelch. There was a moment. A frozen piece of time where Gerard was still smiling. Then, he was dead.

    His eyes went dark as he body shuddered once. It was sharp, nightmare inducing movement. When he hits the ground, Stiles crushes his windpipe with the back of his heel. Just for good measure. That way, the man has no chance of coming back.

     The realization of what he’s down hits him, and the world spins. The alphas were one thing. It was mostly reflex, killing them. They had no chance. No chance of ever being normal again. They were lost and in a world that didn’t operate on logic.

    Gerard, while equally mad, was another matter entirely. Stiles, already knowing he had no opportunity to survive, callously threw salt in an open wound. It was basically mutilation. Basically. Part of him felt sick. Another didn’t give a rat’s ass. They’d won.

Chapter Text

It had been a week since Gerard’s assault. The pack was healing. Derek was healing. Stiles…Stiles was struggling. They knew that there was going to be a fight. They just weren’t expecting it to come directly to them. That there would be so many. But they did know that people were going to die.

     Gerard, may the bastard rot in hell, was a ruthless son of a bitch. The men he carried with them, even more so. They were base creatures, driven by irrational hatred. The alphas they brought with them, just as much a nightmare.

      The sick bastard wasn’t just slaughtering packs. He was taking their alphas, and fashioning them into weapons. A wolf could only take so much before their mind broke. Before the animal took over, and pushed all notions of humanity aside. That was the key to survival. To become something so powerful, that almost nothing could stand against it.

     There were six or so in total, and if it hadn’t been for Stiles, that shitty tactic would’ve worked. The hunters were counting on themselves being the focus. That they would draw all the attention away. That the pack would’ve had nothing to suspect.

     Stiles, in all his vampire glory, had far better hearing than even an alpha werewolf. He’d mentioned it once. That he was specifically able to hear the heartbeats of every living thing within a certain radius. That he had the terrifying ability to memorize them. That anything new stood out in contrast.

     So he heard the alphas barreling through the trees. Was alerted to the attack before anyone else. Chris dropped the first one with a sickeningly accurate shot. The poor man’s head explodes onto the grass on a gory shower or brain, bone, and blood.

     The fight after that is a madhouse. They have the advantage. Gerard’s men had thought the alphas would give them the element of surprise. So, they’d kept their weapons down. That proved to be their undoing.

     While the feral alphas had the rage behind them, Derek had that, plus years of experience. Laura as well. The two of them tore through the hunters like butter. Their rotten insides spread across the trees. It was all very dramatic. Stiles was the most terrifying of them.

     He took down three by himself. Dancing around the enraged beats with awkward grace. He was outmatched in strength and endurance. But the way he moved…How fast he moved…The wolves didn’t stand a chance.

     At the very least, he was merciful. Breaking their necks with cold efficiency. Derek wept as he fought. Stiles had never taken a life. Never had to. Nearly done it, but never breached the final point. He did it three times in fifteen minutes.

      They would talk later, now, they were fighting for their lives. It was getting more and more intense. Half of Gerard’s men were dead or dying. Parts of them spread out in distances that reflected their violence. Karma was a bitch. The man in question, the man that they wanted dead the most, was still standing not for long.

     Derek was the closest. He would have the first opportunity. But he didn’t get it. The hunters regrouped, and began concentrating their fire. Trying to take him and Laura out. Alphas go down, chain of command goes down. It was a simple, efficient tactic.

     It made focusing a little more difficult. He didn’t notice the alpha barreling towards Chris. The man barely had time to raise his gun. When he hits the tree, Derek winces. The man would be in the hospital for some time. He lives, thanks to Derek’s mate.

     Stiles, for the first time, lets his brutality show. Leaping atop the man’s back. Derek loses sight after that. He knows the beast is dead. He wanted Gerard, wanted to feel his ancient bones snap beneath his fingers. He finds him at the same moment Stiles screams bloody murder.

      With all the gunfire, the shot wasn’t anything special. Except for that it was enough to drop a vampire with a single round. Derek heard his mate’s cries, and moved before anyone else could even register it. The two hunters in front of him were mincemeat before they could reload.

    Stiles was bleeding from his side, Gerard smirking down. Derek felt a muscle in his leg tear with how hard he ran. It was wasted. The arrow pierced the hunter’s neck with a slick motion. Stopping him in his tracks. Allison had just executed her own grandfather.

      To ensure good measure, Stiles spun round, and crushed the man’s throat with the back of his heel. The crunch got lost in the din of the fighting. It didn’t last long after that. Gerard Argent was dead. His hunters fired blindly, trying desperately to stay alive. They failed.

     There were of course, the dumb ones. Who made a last stand. About half of them tried to run. They met an enraged Peter on their way out. He’d returned from securing the children, and ripped into the remaining hunters with a fury that would frighten the devil.

       Derek didn’t understand until he saw the man approach Chris. Covered in gory veil, eyes electric blue. For a single moment, he thought his uncle was going to murder the man. That impression was dismissed when he started taking the hunter’s pain. Which was no small burden.

     The man’s body was already bruising from broken bones. Peter would’ve been in agony. Still, he let the black lines crawl up his arms. Derek made a note to question it later. There was something there that he didn’t understand. But right now, it wasn’t important.

     Right now, what was important, was saving Stiles. He’d since stopped bleeding. But was still in a rather intense amount of pain. The exit wound wasn’t closing. He was weak from the fight. And no doubt, from the silver bullet that pierced his side. It managed to miss his lungs. Had it struck its intended mark…Derek didn’t want to think about it.

     Both he and Laura gave the vampire as much blood as they could spare and when they couldn’t offer anymore, Allison was the one who stepped up. The young huntress said she owed Stiles for saving her father. Derek didn’t have the time to argue that human blood would be a bad idea. His mate was too disoriented to refuse.

     The other problem was, no doubt, Scott. The love struck moron had saved Allison’s life. At the expense of taking half a dozen wolfsbane rounds. That was the first problem. The next was that he managed to kill the last of the feral alphas. Being loaded with wolfsbane, and enraged at his mate being in danger only made him stronger.

      That was something they’d have to deal with later. The next part, was cleanup. Lydia took care of that. What hunters Peter hadn’t slaughtered, she annihilated with extreme prejudice. She didn’t kill them, but they’d never walk again. Not with how she broke their legs. The young vampiress crippled them with a certain brand of cruelty.

      She was furious that Stiles had been so severely injured. Derek didn’t bother trying to reign her in. when it was all said and done, they won. Taking no losses of their own. Just a lot of injured. Even Chris’ men managed to survive.

       The problem now, was of course, Stiles. He was healed. He was no longer in danger of dying. He just didn’t want to be seen, or see anybody. The fact that he’d taken four lives, even in defense of his pack, weighed on his soul. Derek didn’t know how to make it better.

     By the end of the week, he managed to emerge. Weary, and still not wanting to talk. But he was back nonetheless. The pack healed, and welcomed him with open arms. Derek kissed him gently. Chris thanked him for saving his life. Peter no longer looked at him with an air of disdain.

      Things were good, until they weren’t. It came in the form of an envelope. A rather ornate, and expensive thing. It was actually sealed with wax, actual wax. Like some medieval type shit. Derek nearly dropped the damn thing when the scent hit him.

    Whoever handled it was like Stiles and Lydia. A vampire. Only, they were far older, and far deadlier. Every part of Derek, every last instinct said to burn it. To demolish its existence from the universe. He was afraid. For the first time in his life, Derek felt the true essence of fear.

     They opened it as a pack. Together seeing what laid in store for them. They’d been searching for other vampires. Looking for any sign, any clue that could get them answers on what Stiles and Lydia truly were. If there was any hope of them being human again. The message was short and concise.

 

“With regards to Derek and Laura Hale,

 

I will arrive shortly. Please do not take them and run. It will only complicate matters further.

Sincerely, Your Expectant Guest.”

 

As it turns out, shortly turned out to be three days after the received the letter. There was no sound that announced the person’s arrival. No car engine. No footsteps. Even Stiles and Lydia didn’t hear an out of place heartbeat. There was just a knock at the door.

     He ordered them to the back of the house, away from sight. This vampire may not have shown any hostility, yet. That didn’t mean their intensions were good, or even remotely kind. They were here, and everyone was afraid.

     When Derek answers the door, it takes every part of him to not run then and there. In fact, he nearly pisses himself out terror. The man that stands on their front porch in both unassuming, and charming. Rounded cheeks, and soft nose. No angles to speak of.

      There is nothing that says anything about him. His clothes are plain, and carry none of his scent. Freshly purchased. A means so that he couldn’t be tracked and followed. Smart. But most of all, the one thing that gave his status as a non-human away, were his eyes.

     There was nothing in them. Be it time, be it because he was a vampire, or some other unknown reason, the man’s eyes were empty. Void of light and splendor. They were dead. The way he smiled was dead. The way he stood was dead. He was a living statue.

 

“May I please come in?” The question is baseless. And borders on strange. That was a myth. Perhaps he was just being polite.

     The nameless vampire enters the house with silent footsteps. Derek swallows the lump in his throat. The others are standing. All of them are flashing their eyes. The alpha doesn’t blame them. He’d barely managed to contain his own shift.

 

“Thank you for not running, or attempting to kill me. If possible, I’d like to resolve this without violence.” The implication made Scott growl. His fangs descended.

     “Silence your pup, before I neuter it.” Derek jerked his head towards the newly minted alpha. A silent command to shut the hell up.

      The vampire takes a seat. Still smiling in that dead way. Eyes still and endless abyss of nothing. The pack was on edge. The primary instinct would’ve been to circle and entrap the vampire. Then, strike as one to take him down. That would end in all of their deaths. Creatures like this didn’t live on long as they did by being weak.

     No one says anything as Derek and Laura take a seat in front of him. Stiles and Lydia are out of sight. With both Chris and John guarding them. Each packing Desert Eagles loaded with silver rounds. Not that they’d have any chance of making a shot. Not with this vampire.

 

“Welcome to our home. My name is Derek Hale. This is my sister, Laura. We’re the alphas of this pack.”

     “I apologize for intruding, but there are….delicate matters at hand. I’m sure you can appreciate the sudden appearance. As you already have.”

“At least you sent notice. Most wouldn’t have been that kind.” Laura was trying to be courteous. But Derek could feel how tense she was.

      “Ah yes, the Argent hunters. I’d heard of their attack. And of your survival. Most impressive, given how young you are. I’m sure that will be one of many stories to tell the grandchildren.” He was still smiling that dead smile.

     No one could relax. Now that they knew that this man, this vampire, had information. How much, remained to be seen. But he knew about the fight. He knew that they’d won, and a lot of hunters were dead. That was enough to prove that they had a presence.

 

“I think I already know the answer, but why are you here?”

     “Mr.Hale, dispense with the tedious questions. I have a dislike of them. I know they are alive, and I know they are here. Please bring them out.”

“Only if you promise not to bring any harm to them.”

     “Retract from baseless demands if you please. Either you summon them, or I retrieve them. The difference is how many bones get broken.”

He was still smiling that dead smile. Derek knew that there was no room for refusal. Not with the ease that the man had delivered the threat. Nor the conviction he’d placed behind it. They knew, all of them knew, they were only alive because he allowed it.

       He sends a quick text to John, making sure to tell him to leave the guns behind. They wouldn’t have done any good. Not with this one. He doesn’t respond. Derek could only hope that he complied. Chris and John arrive in front. The hunter still sporting some rather nasty bruises. It’d be another two months before he was fully healed.

      Stiles and Lydia trail in their shadows. Moving as silently as their guest. John’s face is wrought with tension and anger. Chris limps into the room, standing next to Allison. The presence of the four newcomers changes nothing. Except for the nameless vampire.

      For the first time since his arrival, that dead smile falls. His eyes quiver. There is something there. Something like grief. Derek assumes it’s that. Because the man is crying. Fat, silent tears fall to from his face down to his legs. It’s rather unnerving to see someone so terrifying so vulnerable.

     He blinks, and then is in front of the two vampire. If Lydia was a blur when she moved, this man was unseen by the naked eye. No one could move. No one could speak. No one could breathe. The nameless vampire cradled each of their faces. Crying all the while.

 

“Children….You’re just children. Dear god….I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry that this was done to you.”

     There was a staggering amount of sincerity in the vampire’s voice. He’d meant every word that he’d said. Derek was actually astonished. Perhaps he didn’t mean them any harm after all. The man was crying, apologizing for a crime that he didn’t commit. This was going better than he’d hoped.

    Stiles and Lydia, like everyone else, were stunned into silence. They weren’t exactly afraid. They were…Relieved. Perhaps. That this vampire, the one that had come for them, was weeping for their very existence. Derek didn’t know what to make of it.

      John was the one who broke the surprising exchange. The man was brave. He actually placed his hand on the vampire’s shoulder. A bold, interrupting touch. The man paid him no mind. Then, he did. He was still crying.

 

“I’m sure you have questions. We have some of our own, if you don’t mind.” The nameless vampire nodded once. Before returning to his seat. It looked like it broke him to leave Stiles and Lydia.

     “I wasn’t expecting…I wasn’t expecting you to be so young. There’s only so much we can glean without drawing attention. I knew he’d attacked a group of humans, but I’d assumed that he’d killed all of them.”

“When you say ‘him’, you mean?”

     “The one responsible for this tragedy. If it’s any assurance, he’s been brought to the appropriate justice.”

“And that would be, what, exactly?” Peter had interjected at a crucial moment, and perhaps the most important.

     The vampire was no longer menacing or wearing that dead smile. It was as good as they were going to get. He was, however slight, vulnerable. They would have to exploit him. They would have to sneak and trick and deceive. That’s the way they were going to get information.

 

“Bound in silver chains. Locked in a lead coffin. And thrown into the deepest blackness of the sea. He’ll spend the next century or so, starving to death.”

     “That seems…extreme.” Peter was taken back by the brutality of it.

“We have laws. He took human life, senselessly. Had I known beforehand that he’d turned you, it would’ve been much more severe. In fact, the coffin would’ve seemed a mercy. That, I can assure you.”

 

That dead smile was back. But the vampire still smelled of grief. Still vibrated with it. Still was on the verge of tears. He was cold. He was cruel. Where Stiles and Lydia was concerned, he was….kind. in his own, understandably messed up way.

 

“What happens now? With us, Lydia and I?”

      “Before I answer that, I can answer a question I’m sure you’re eager to hear. There is no magical cure. There is no godsend miracle. You are vampires. You will remain vampires. That, can and will not change.”

“But will they remain here, with their pack?” Derek interrupts. He knows Stiles and Lydia are crestfallen. That their hopes are dead, but he could still salvage one.

     “Under most circumstances, no. They would be taken back to the community. They would integrate, and be taught our laws and customs. Surrounded by their own kind. Safe, away from the knowing world. However…”

   The pause made Derek nervous. Beyond reproach, he was nervous. Hell, everyone was nervous. They were terrified. Stiles and Lydia had no chance of being human. This was all they had left.

 

     “We don’t…interfere with other species. Not unless there is no other way. Least of all, werewolves. Am I to understand that you are claiming these two, here and now, as your pack?”

“Yes.” Derek and Laura answered simultaneously.

      “That complicates things. Before I decide, I must know several things. First, and most importantly, have you ever taken a human life? Second, have you turned a human into one of us? And third, have you fed from a human?”

“No. No. Yes.”

 

The nameless vampire tensed. The answers seemed to both please and upset him. The fact that they hadn’t killed anyone or turned anyone seemed to please him. That they’d fed from humans…That was upsetting. Derek felt his heart lock into stone.

 

“I must ask, was this feeding consensual. With full knowledge of what you are and what it meant?”

     “The first time….We’d been living off of raccoons and squirrels. We were starving. We came across them by chance. We….We didn’t kill them. I know that. But we did…We did that.” Lydia’s voice was breaking.

     “Weep no tears, my child. You were forcibly turned, left to the hunger of our kind. I shall not punish you for that. But the times after it was consensual, yes?”

“The pack feeds them as they require. It’s how they’ve stayed sane. I granted them asylum when they were running. They became pack, and pack takes care of each other.” Derek made sure his words were firm, and unthreatening.

 

The nameless vampire seemed intrigued by this. He, in fact, seemed to relax. If only slightly. He’d take the win where they could get it.

 

“So, I am to understand, that my children, have been granted a place in this pack. And you and your sister, have sanctioned their feeding from your blood?”

      “First of all, we’re not your children. And yes, Derek gave us a home. Gave us a home when he had every reason to kill us. He and Laura made sure we stayed safe. We love each other, and we are pack.”

 

Stiles’ voice was trembling. Not out of fear, but out of anger. He was, in a word, furious. Angry that this vampire was questioning everything that they were. What they had been through. What they had found. They could never be human. But they had a family, and they were going to fight for it.

 

“All vampires are my children. My bloodline stretches far and wide across the world. I was ancient before the first pyramids were built. Do bare that in mind, before bearing your fangs at me again.”

     Derek hadn’t even realized that Stiles had bared his fangs. The young vampire shut his mouth, realizing that he was treading thin ice. Lydia said nothing. No one did. The nameless immortal just observed them. There was a certain, pointed accuracy that his gaze held. As if he could know all your secrets just by looking at you.

   

“The matter is…shrouded. We do not allow our kind to live outside a community. But we also don’t kidnap pack members. They have been claimed before my arrival. This supersedes any claim that my kind may have.”

     “Thank you.” The sincerity in John’s voice would’ve turned ash into gold.

“However, that means you, Derek and Laura Hale shall bare responsibility. From this day, and until their time is with this pack is done, they shall never again feed from a human. Even if they are a pack member. Werewolf blood only.”

      “If it’s consensual, I don’t see the problem.” Stiles was back to being angry.

“The problem, lies with our kind. I will allow you to live here. But I cannot condone human feeding. It goes against our laws, and would raise doubts. However, werewolves are excluded, therefore, gives you a means to sustain yourselves long term.”

 

There was no rebuttal for that. The nameless vampire was right. If the others back in their community questioned Stiles’ and Lydia’s freedom, they would question their own. That meant they could overthrow the decision for them to stay with the pack.

 

“Another matter, how many humans know of your nature, exactly?”

      “My father, the two humans here, and a dozen hunters.” The nameless vampire’s gaze turned towards Chris.

“I dislike hunters knowing of us. But I dislike needless conflict less. You will be permitted to know of us. However, should you endanger these or any of my children, your bloodlines will be wiped from both this earth, and the history books.”

 

The threat was clear, concise, and without fault. He meant every word that he’d said. He meant every word, and then some. Chris and Allison could only nod. Nod their understanding, and try not to run. That wouldn’t have helped anything.

 

“That being said, from this day onward, no humans are to know that you are what you are. Indeed, it would be best if that information was limited. Even to other wolves. I hope you understand.”

     “I don’t. My mother thinks I’m dead. Her only daughter, gone. I’d like for her to know that I’m alive. I don’t have to tell her.”

“Oh, my child. You would. For she would wonder why she turns grey, why her child stays the same. And even if I allowed it, would you say that she would still love you? That she, knowing her daughter is a monster, would still welcome you into her arms?”

     “Yes.”

The conviction in the young vampiress’ voice could’ve shattered stars. Reduced mountains. Leveled forests. Razed entire civilizations. One word, and the nameless immortal was stunned back from his ruthless arrogance.

     He rises to meet her, eye to eye. There are no tears this time. Only a rocky silence, and a pulse in the air between them. Lydia was never one to be curbed or disheartened. The nameless vampire had met a match in will. Derek could only hope Lydia would win.

 

“You will shoulder this burden. You will deal with each and every one of the consequences that come with it. That includes if her knowledge of you endangers our kind to exposure. Can you accept that, little one?”

“I have my pack behind me. I have my boyfriend. I’ll be fine.”

    “Happy to see that you’ve found love in such a tragedy. Though, I must give some unkind news. Our kind as….Difficulties in procreating. It’s possible, but difficult. Your wolf is the worst possible match should you desire a child.”

“We’ll adopt. Someone orphaned, not human. Of course.”

      “Of course.” The nameless vampire smiled again. Only this time, it was not dead. There was a light behind it. there was joy. Derek didn’t know if he should be worried.

 

“As for you, young one. I think you know that children are impossible. But that’s not what concerns me. What does, is your very human father.”

     “He’s not going to endanger us. I promise.” Stiles had as much conviction as Lydia.

“Men of his honor rarely sully it. My concern, is that you turn him. Which I will not allow, and will punish with extreme prejudice. He will not become a vampire, and no. This is not for discussion. You will outlive him. That is a truth you must accept.”

 

Stiles could only nod. When the nameless vampire made a threat, he meant it. That, they’d all learned. And there was no denying it. There was no moving around it. He was being merciful, so they weren’t going to push it.

     The good news was, the nameless immortal had forbid John from becoming a vampire. That didn’t meant Derek couldn’t turn him. Being a werewolf would give some extra decades. More time with his son. It was a rather obvious loophole, one that Derek intended to exploit.

 

 

“Lastly, I shall make this offer. Do you wish to live with us? With our kind?”

     “You told us that we could stay, that we could live with our pack. You give us rules, and threaten egregious bodily harm should we break them. Why we would we ever want to live with you?” Now it was Lydia’s turn to be mad.

“You are immortal, dear child. You will never age, or have a single grey hair. You are frozen while the world continues to change. Even your precious wolves will be buried, and you shall be alone. This offer stands as long as you live. Because, unless you choose otherwise, you shall live.”

 

There was a tremor in the man’s voice. Horrible nightmare things that made Derek’s skin crawl. He hated it. He hated all the things the nameless vampire had seen. That he’d experienced. That he’d known and hated and loved.

     He knew he full depth of what Stiles and Lydia would endure. What they would suffer. He didn’t want to think about it. His mate being alone after he was gone from the world. But this man had brought it to the forefront of their hearts. Had brought it to their minds.

     Still, the offer was kind. The offer was a valid chance for Stiles and Lydia finding happiness, or at the very least, peace. Derek could be grateful for that. Even if it was so very long away. It would be there. A step they could take to be with people who could understand them.

 

“I can see the answer on your face. Very well, little one. You may stay here with your wolves. But remember; no human blood, no turning any humans, and no other humans may know of what you are.”

    “Except for my mother.”

“Of course.” The nameless vampire turned his attention to Derek and Laura. The both of them stood.

      “Hurt them, bring harm or calamity to them, and I will peel the flesh from your bodies with my bare hands. As a start.”

 

The two alphas nodded their understanding. Nodded their knowing the consequences if they brought anything other than peace and happiness to Stiles and Lydia. The nameless vampire smiled that dead smile again. and then, he was gone.

      The air pulsed, and he was nowhere to be seen. He was out of the house, into the distance unknown. The pack didn’t know what to do. Didn’t what to think or say. It was, of course, Stiles who broke the silence. In the most Stiles’ way possible.

 

“Well, that was sufficiently terrifying.” Derek couldn’t help it. He laughed. He laughed and laughed and laughed.

      The others laughed. Even Peter. The manic terror that had coursed through them was gone. The nameless vampire was gone. They were safe. They weren’t going to lose Stiles or Lydia. They were staying. They were staying for good.

     Derek kissed his boyfriend. Not even bothering to be polite about it. Stiles didn’t seem to mind all that much. Lydia kissed Jackson in a soft, almost subtle manner. Her news was a double edged sword. She could tell her mother, but might not ever be able to have children.

     There were plenty of displaced packs in the worlds. Either because of hunters or other wolves, there would be supernaturals that needed a home. That needed a pack. That needed love. Derek would do everything in his power to make sure that she never missed that opportunity.

      Stiles was still laughing as he kissed Derek. The alpha was overjoyed. His mate was here. He was here to stay. In their crazy, makes-no-sense pack. It was theirs. It was going nowhere. Theirs was a symphony made in red.