He hadn't been in Beacon Hills for longer than a summer before. It was his "hometown", but he was hardly familiar with it. Everything he knew was secondhand; it all came from his dad's stories or tales from his job. Being at a boarding school for most of his life complicated it more than his father knew. However, he couldn't really blame the college thing on him. One thing Stiles was sure of, though, was that seeing his dad at the airport, waiting for him with a big smile, didn't make him regret anything.
Stiles looked up from the trunk of the car to see his dad peering at his forearm.
"Yeah. It's one Baba drew up for me."
John sighed, "You and her are nothing but trouble together, I swear. How are you going to get a job like that?"
"Lucky for me, my dad happens to be the sheriff and is willing to be unbiased when hiring me."
He grunted as he lifted Stiles' bags, "Yeah. Lucky you, son."
They were sitting at the dinner table and having some leftover Chinese when Stiles felt something.
"I'll tell you what I always do. Just look at Angelina Jolie and Tom Hardy. Both crazy successful actors and-"
John looked up from his plate, eyebrows raised.
Stiles swallowed nothing and shoved a bite of General Tso's into his mouth.
"And nothing. I mean, how can you tell me my tattoos aren't awesome?"
"I didn't say that."
"You didn't have to. It's all in your judgy eyes. Judging me. You can't do that when we're eating leftovers on my first day home."
John rolled his eyes and continued eating, "You wouldn't have liked anything I bought."
"Can I go now? To the store?"
John looked at him like he was crazy, "Stiles, it's like eight o'clock."
Stiles blinked, "But can I? Are there any stores open?"
He huffed, "Maybe? Just don't go scaring the locals, kid."
Needless to say, he had no idea it would be the other way around.
Stiles had no idea where he was going. Baba, his grandmother, had told him to be careful once he got back home, but he didn't think he'd need to be so soon. During dinner he'd felt a blip. It's what he came up with when he was younger to describe the feeling of supernatural energy. A blip on a radar. Baba thought it was cute.
He stopped outside the Beacon Hills Preserve and cut the engine of his motorcycle. Looking around at the empty lot, he suppressed a sigh.
"Yeah, I don't look suspicious at all."
He put the bike on its stand and walked into the dark forest. A large magical signature was somewhere in the preserve, he knew. Stiles walked the trail as far as he could until he found it tedious. The light of the moon shone faintly through the clouds, but it was primarily overcast. Despite this, Stiles veered off-path into the trees. Baba often said he didn't have any self-preservation instincts. After he walked into the third spiderweb, he was pressed to agree.
Up ahead there was a break in the trees that he could see. His feet crunched over the ground as he sped up, heartbeat matching. The open meadow air caressed his face as he stepped out into it. The tree stump in the distance left a faint hum in his system. With a one-track mind, he walked over and examined it. Crouched down, he ran his fingers over the age rings.
"Hello there. I'm Stiles."
A small spark went up his finger, and he laughed. Nemetons were always good fun in Europe.
Faint thuds caught his attention, and he drew himself up to stand again. Stiles looked to his left and felt his heart jump into his throat. A large blonde wolf was racing right towards him. Its paws tore up the dirt, and Stiles didn't even have seconds to think of something to do before he was hit from behind. His chest hit the ground with a thud, and a bright pain ripped through his shoulder. It was followed by another distinct set of teeth clamping onto his thigh. The scream that had caught in his throat burst from his chest with such intensity that it shook him. Then he was throwing fire at the creatures on top of him. He got another set digging into his wrist for that.
The jaws clamped on him released immediately. He lashed out with a whimper. Electricity crackled from his hands and shot out at the threat. He backed himself up against the nemeton with gritted teeth as the wolves snarled. The other wolf was black and bigger than the blonde. They flanked him while a man silhouetted by the moon walked briskly across the grass to stand in front of him.
"The hell is your guys' problem?"
"What are you doing here?"
Stiles groaned, "Seriously? Since when is it illegal to check out a nemeton?"
The man's face was shadowed and he seemed as still as a statue.
"So you were searching for it. Why"
Stiles looked over briefly at the blonde wolf to see it pull its lips back and snarl.
"I didn't know it was a nemeton when I was looking. I just felt something. Why the fuck do I have to answer your questions? I didn't do anything wrong."
Warmth slid down his wrist into his curled hand, and he exhaled shakily.
"You aren't from here. Who are you and why are you here?"
"First off," He said icily. "I am from here. I moved back here to work with my dad. You might know him, actually. He's the fucking sheriff."
The silence was deafening. Stiles barely held himself back from smirking.
Both of the wolves turned tail and fled into the trees. The man kneeled awkwardly, and Stiles could finally see him. The whole bitch face he'd been building was probably completely ruined by the blush that covered his cheeks. The man frowned harshly as he grabbed Stiles' elbow and hand. Black lines crept into his veins and left him with a wash of relief.
"I'm sorry you were mistakenly attacked. We've had trouble with people trying to abuse the nemeton's power before. It was preemptive."
He made eye contact with clear green, "You're American."
Stiles shrugged, winced, and said casually, "Yeah, but I grew up in Scotland around my baba. People over there know not to mess with stuff like this."
Looking down at his arm, he saw that a lot of the blood had painted his hand. His right thigh was soaked in it and made him panic.
"I work with your dad. I didn't think magic ran in his family."
"Oh." Stiles said lamely. "No. It's from my mom's side. You're right."
"And I'm not trying to be a bother or anything, except I totally am," He said tightly. "But I don't think I can drive or go home like this. Care to give the son of your boss a hand?"
He only said one thing as he helped him up.
"Those are going to leave marks."
Stiles smiled mischievously, "Why do you think I have the tattoos?"