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The Bonds We Make

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Stiles met the Hales just before the spring break of his sophomore year of high school.

His dad hadn’t been too happy with him getting into official police business lately and send him off to live with his uncle, Noah, and his cousins, Aubrey and Dave, under the pretense of family bonding, for a solid five weeks.

He basically took him out of school the moment his tests ended and send him away. Christmas and New Year celebrations were only possible every other year anyway, because of his shift duty and this year wasn’t one of them.

Stiles knew, though, that the whole thing was a ruse to keep him out of trouble and give them both a break from Stiles micromanaging his eating habits and prying into his work life.

Besides that, it also was the longest time they’d been apart since his mother’s death and his dad had argued that this would give them both an opportunity to get a feel for how college could be like. Since Stile’s uncle lives in New York they’d also get a feeling for how much distance they could deal with. What he meant was how much distance Stiles could deal with.

It was embarrassing really, how little his dad thought of him, in this context.
Sure, he’d lost it the year after his mom died, and sure he had to take a year off of school and work through some stuff, but that had been predominantly about how bad her dementia had affected him and not about the loss in general.

He knew that now. Along the way it all got tangled up, but as a seventeen-year-old with a good amount of therapy on his back he knew how to differentiate what he was feeling. So, being apart from his old man wasn’t all that hard for him. However, Scott he missed surly.

If his dad had ever been wrong about one thing, then that was that Stiles wouldn’t get in trouble in New York. Maybe not crime related trouble, but he could still do other stuff.

Not only that, but his uncle was the most easy-going guardian he knew, and his older cousins may have seemed well behaved from the outside looking in, but Stiles knew what they got up to.

Needless to say, they were going out a lot.
They took him to different clubs, made sure the bartender knew he was their ‘driver’, so that he wouldn’t get any alcoholic beverages and left him to explore. And explore he did.
He danced with both males and females and just learned how to go with the flow. Making out in dark corners of clubs, who's names he couldn’t pronounce had him questioning his persona as the awkward hyperactive spazz everyone had pegged him as, back home.

He already knew that the physical part of things was exceptionally easy for him, here he could flirt and laugh and get to know people with ease.

In Beacon Hills there were so little people that every interaction felt heavy, loaded with pressure. Do something stupid and the whole school will know about it tomorrow.

Talking his way out or into stuff had become his gimmick along the way.
Scott didn’t think much of casual sex, so he didn’t get to go out clubbing a lot. Well, he only really knew one guy in his school who liked and got up to both of those things, but Danny couldn’t have cared less for him, if he tried.

Never mind the fact that Scott actually still looked like a sixteen-year-old, and Stiles could easily pass for twenty, if he dressed right. Needless to say, they didn’t get up to a lot, together.

Growing his hair out had taken all of last year and god damn it, had he covered the awkward in between stages. But now that his head of hair was back, he pulled it off like nobody’s business. Anyway, they were celebrating the end of his first week in New York, when he met Laura Hale for the first time.

That day would forever be ingrained in his memory, as the day he almost died.

 

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The music was droning through the speaker system, people were grinding on each other and the girl Stiles had been talking to, started getting a little handsy. All in all, it wasn’t a bad situation to be in, but he felt overwhelmingly tired. It wasn’t even 2 am yet, which was unusual for him. Since he was supposed to be the driver, he went to find Aubrey, who was currently involved in a heavy make out session with some random dude.
She immediately handed over her car keys and told him not to bother with waiting for her. She’d be home later, wink, wink.
Stiles laughed heartily.
Grabbed the keys, nodded towards the guy, after mustering him closely and left the place.

The problem with feeling off was that it sometimes sneaked up on you and when you realize that something is off, you’re already in a situation you can’t control, which was exactly what happened when a slick black Camaro shot around a corner and towards him.

He’d seen the car coming, he knew he had to move. He knew it wasn’t going to end well if he didn’t… and yet he couldn’t.

He felt the impact of the car as it crashed into him, felt his hip bone splinter, felt his head crack, felt his arm bend in an unnatural way as it came into contact with the wet asphalt. Felt something wet trickle down his face. Everything registered way to slow at first, and then it felt like it happened all at once.

When someone touched him gently, and that innocent touch sent him reeling with pain, pure panic set in.

There was beautiful woman looking down at him, with brown locks and hazel eyes. She had asked him something, but he couldn’t quite hear her over the tinnitus that had set in, directly after the impact. She looked scared and sad and determined all at once.

‘Do you want to live?’ She asked again.

Stiles wanted to nod, but he couldn’t. He tasted his blood and felt it run down his chin, as he tried to say ‘Yes.’, it didn’t come out quite alright, but the girl understood.

She nodded, took his arm and then the most bizarre thing happened. Her eyes started to glow, and fangs dropped out of her mouth. He knew she was going to bite him. He knew she wasn’t human.

He doubted it was real, maybe this was his brains way of making dying seem like the next big adventure, he wasn’t sure. He just knew that the sensations of her hot breath on his arm and her fangs scraping across his skin, were the last things he felt, before he lost consciousness.

 

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When Stiles woke up, he heard voices. He didn’t try to move, and he didn’t try to open his eyes. He just felt awake and light, like he was floating.

The voices were persisting, Stiles only hoped his father didn’t fly out to watch his son die a slow death in a hospital bed.

He braved every instinct he had and tried moving his fingers and toes and got a response, no pain. His shoulder wasn’t messed up anymore. Everything just felt incredibly heavy. The voices grew louder again.

It was an angry male voice that sounded almost growly, ‘How could you? It’s bad enough that you almost killed him, but you shouldn’t have bitten him without his consent. Do you really think we could handle it if the bond formed and he—’

Bitten? Wait didn’t the girl… He slowly opened his eyes and looked around. He was lying on a queen-sized matrass, that was laid out on a nice hardwood floor.

Upon looking down, he saw that all of his limbs were still attached and not only that, he was also completely healed.

‘What the fuck.’ He whispered as he felt his hip, that had been shattered the last time he was conscious.

Immediately two people were in the room. The girl from last? night, he didn’t know how long he’d been out, and a guy that looked exceptionally angry, which he found incredibly inappropriate.

‘Why do you look so constipated, dude? I’m the one that almost got killed.’ He grunted, while sitting up and testing his muscles.

The woman smiled concerned at him, as the dude’s frown deepened. ‘Do you remember what happened?’ She asked, while Stiles was overwhelmed with scents. The room smelled like laundry detergent and sweat and blood and other stuff he couldn’t quite name.

He rubbed his nose, while glancing up at her. ‘I was about to die, when you bit me?’

She looked relived, when she nodded. ‘Yes, yes, exactly. You were drugged and you were wearing all black and in the middle of the street at night and I didn’t see you. I’m sorry.’ She looked at him searchingly and held her arms to herself like she had to hold herself back from touching him. Weird.

‘I didn’t drink anything alcoholic, but I remember feeling really off, that’s why I was outside in the first place. I was trying to get home, when I saw your car, but it was like I physically couldn’t move out of the way.’ He stared down at his hands, searchingly, like they could tell him, who had been the one to put the stuff into his glass. Was it the cute girl, he’d been dancing with?
Rubbing his nose hadn’t helped, it just irritated it, even though his hands smelled like soap.

Weird. They obviously cleaned him up a little.

‘So, what am I?’ He asked while frowning up at them.

‘What do you mean?’ Angry guy pressed out, between his teeth. Jesus talking seemed to hurt him.

‘I mean I had several severely broken bones and I felt like I was dying, and your girlfriend’s eyes burned red and she got all fangy and bit me and now I’m… better? Thank you for that by the way.’ He said sincerely, as he looked up at the woman.

She was a little baffled but regained her composure quickly. ‘You were dying.’ She said sadly. ‘I’m Laura, this is my brother Derek. We’re werewolves. Born ones, not bitten.’ She gestured nervously between them, before running her fingers through her hair.

‘I am the alpha of our little pack. Two wolves don’t really make a pack, but we don’t take lightly to giving the bite. It’s important to us.’ She gestured to him. ‘By biting you, I turned you into a werewolf. You are now my beta.’ She was back to fiddling with her hands on his hoodie zipper.
He realized now, that this woman, Laura, was wearing his hoodie. Maybe it was a scent thing? Because that thing reeked of him.

‘I’m a werewolf?’ He asked numbly.
‘Yes. It doesn’t have to change a lot.’ She reassured, immediately. ‘You are stronger, faster, heal from almost everything, but the full moon and other stuff are going to be hard for you to deal with.’
Stiles nodded slowly, he didn’t know how to feel about any of this. He wanted to freak out, but he felt like that would be highly offensive. He also wasn’t sure which part he wanted to freak out about, anyway.
He’d almost died and then he’d been changed forever in the span of a few hours, if the electric alarm, sitting on the small desk near the window was to be believed.

He struggled to calm himself, hearing his own heart sped through an incredibly intermezzo certainly wasn’t helping. ‘Am I… am I dangerous?’ He asked finally.

Derek answered him immediately. ‘Yes, you are. Especially if you don’t learn how to control yourself.’

Stiles nodded again, before he looked towards Laura. ‘Listen, I’m really thankful for your help, without you I’d be dying in a hospital somewhere and believe me, I really am happy that that’s not the case, but do you have my smartphone? Or a phone in general? I need to call my cousins, tell them that I’m alright, I kind of left the car behind.’

She smiled, ‘It’s only been two hours. Your phone didn’t make it, but you can use mine to text them later.’

He knew that if they didn’t give him access to letting his family know he was alright, everything was off the table. ‘I don’t mean to be rude, but this is obviously a lot and I’d feel heaps better about myself and this situation, if I knew you’d trust me enough to call my cousin. I’m not going to say anything about werewolves. We just have this deal that when someone ends up going home with anyone, they let the others know where they are and that they are well. I don’t mind if you’re in the room-’ ‘You misunderstood me. We’re not holding you hostage. You can call your family right now. I just thought they’d mind the time.’ Laura said, as she smiled reassuringly at him again and held out her unlocked phone.

‘What address can I give them?’ Stiles felt a little overwhelmed.
‘You can tell them our actual address. You’re currently in Brooklyn, Jefferson Avenue.’

He nodded. ‘I’m not going to give them the address, if they don’t ask.’ He somehow knew that it hadn’t been easy for Laura to give him that information.

The angry dude, Derek he reminded himself, seemed to lose a little of his tension, which was great. Having a menacing person stare him down wasn’t helping the stress.

Aubrey picked up at the second ring.

‘Hey Aub—’ ‘Now listen here you little shit, do you have any idea how worried I was about you? You’re underage, dammit. You can’t just fuck off to god knows where without telling anyone where you are.’ The last part was screamed at him.

Stiles stared at the phone for a moment. ‘I’m in Brooklyn. I went home with someone. Lost my phone. I’m sorry I didn’t call you sooner.’

‘Fucking fuck you, you little twerp, I almost called your dad, hell I almost called my dad.’

‘I mean… If I really had gone missing that would have been great actuall—’ ‘Stiles I’m going to straight up beat you up, when you’re back home. Fuck around all you want but keep me informed, so that I can make sure you’re not dead in a ditch somewhere. When you left the keys by the car, I thought you’d been kidnapped or had gotten into some accident.’ Her voice was really brittle, she was clearly holding back tears.

Stiles groaned into his hands. ‘I’m sorry?’ ‘Are you fucking serious?’ ‘I’m sorry!’ ‘That’s more like it.’

She sighed and he felt how tense he’d gotten. ‘Are you crying?’ He asked, carefully.
‘Hell yes, I’m crying, I was supposed to take care of you. If something had happened—’ ‘Aubrey, you didn’t do anything wrong. I was being an irresponsible brat, but I’m fine. I swear to god.’ He said calmly, voice a little muffled, by his hands.

‘When will you be home?’ He looked up and saw the shocked faces of both Laura and Derek, so he had to wing it. ‘Listen I know this is really shitty, but I went home with a criminal law major. He agreed to take me with him to the campus tomorrow, show me around, tell me a little about what’s going on. I planned on coming back by tomorrow evening, if that’s alright?’ Aubrey sniffled a little before she said, ‘I mean that is a great opportunity.’

She sighed deeply, before agreeing. ‘Just be safe Stiles okay? Call me anytime if you don’t feel comfortable. I’ll pick you up wherever.’

Stiles nodded before realizing she couldn’t see that. ‘I’m really sorry for scaring you, Aubrey. Love you.’ He felt oddly thankful that he had this opportunity, to be yelled at by Aubrey. He suppressed the tears and ignored how his stomach felt like it was twisted in knots, thinking about what could have happened wouldn’t solve anything.
‘Love you too, just tell me next time.’ ‘I will.’ ‘Bye Stiles, have a nice night.’

When he hung up, Laura got all up in his face, ‘You’re underage?’ She asked.
‘I just turned seventeen two months ago.’ He admitted. Because what the fuck was the point in lying to two werewolves. ‘Is that going to change anything?’

Laura nodded slightly. ‘It means teaching control will probably take longer.’ She mumbled. ‘Why were you out clubbing when you’re underage?’ She asked and somehow managed to come off as really motherly.

‘I’m from a small town in California where my dad is the Sheriff, everything interesting that’s happening there is going on without me, because people think I’ll rat them out. I have a reputation as an awkward spazz, that I can’t seem to lose. People don’t just talk to me or want to get to know me. That place is small enough that everything weird or different you’ll ever do will come back to haunt you. I needed to get out, talk to people and prove to myself that I’m more than that.’
He slowly messaged his temples, while he continued.
‘I’m easy to talk to, you know? Worth getting to know. I have a thick skin and a lot of the shit that they are saying back home about me doesn’t get to me, but when I have the opportunity to get to know knew people, I always take it. It may seem pathetic to you, but to me it actually means a lot. Being able to easily talk to people, wanting and having them want me back. Being able to get to know someone who doesn’t already think they know who I am and what my limitations are, is refreshing as fuck.’ He shrugged, couldn’t quite understand why he was being so open about this. ‘Why am I telling you this?’

‘I am your alpha. The connection is as fresh as it can be, you’ll feel compelled to tell me the truth for a while.’ She smiled at him. When he chanced a glance at Derek he was baffled for a moment. He saw pure understanding in the other man’s eyes. As if he too, had something to prove to himself. He quickly looked away, not wanting to make it awkward.
‘So, do you think I’ll be fine by tomorrow evening?’ He chanced a look at Laura, who mustered him intently.

‘For a short period of time, yes. You’ll have to come back the next day.’ She sat down next to him and studied him. ‘Can I scent you?’ He shrugged, it seemed important to her. ‘Sure.’ She immediately hugged him close, with a force that belied her smaller frame. Then she pulled his head to the side, so that his neck was exposed and buried her face there, rubbing her cheek up and down his neck.

He instantly felt serene, taken care of and relaxed. When she stopped, she smiled brightly at him. ‘I’ve been itching to do that all night.’ Stiles laughed. ‘Anytime.’ He smiled. ‘It makes me feel safe.’
Laura’s eyes widened. ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to do. You’re not weirded out by that?’
‘I mean people shove their tongues into each other’s mouths as a display of affection or lust, who am I to say that rubbing your face against someone’s neck is weird? Especially if it makes me feel like that.’
Laura laughed sweetly at that and pulled him back down onto the bed with her. Derek still stood by the foot of the bed, looking indecisive.

‘Sleeping in the same bed is something the pack does when something particularly upsetting happens. For us gaining a new pack member is a big deal.’ She whispered into his neck.
Stiles didn’t feel anything sexual towards Laura. Her brother could be a different story, under the right circumstances, but he knew sex and what they were sharing right now, wasn’t that. Yes, it was intimacy, but it wasn’t passionate. It was calming and almost familiar. So, he nodded towards Derek, ‘I don’t mind.’

Derek immediately crawled in next to him, but he didn’t move to touch him. Laura had other ideas and pulled him into a weird three-way hug, over Stiles, but Stiles didn’t mind. He felt connected to the two of them. There were obviously already pack bonds working their magic. He just felt warm and safe.

They slept for a few hours like that, not minding that they were tangled up. By 10 am a freshly showered Derek woke him by carefully shaking his shoulder. Laura batted at the hand, because she’d slept on the other one. Stiles smiled, when Derek groaned ‘Laura get up, there’s Bacon.’

‘I’m up.’ Laura grumbled into Stiles shoulder, ‘Sure you are. I’m taking Stiles with me, maybe you’ll come when your pillow is gone.’ Derek threatened. Laura growled threateningly and Stiles immediately froze in his position under her, that sound made every muscle in his body tense.

When he managed to calm himself again, Laura sat next to him, eyes wide, hair wild while Derek glared at her, from his place by Stile’s side.
‘I’m sorry. I keep forgetting that you’re going to react to me a lot stronger for the next few days.’ She combed her fingers through her tangled locks and looked almost ashamed to the floor, ‘Fresh turns are always more in tune with their alpha’s moods, I’m not used to that with Derek.’ She mumbled.

Derek had gripped onto his arm and was drawing circles with his thumb over his pulse point. Stiles looked shocked at him, the guy hadn’t given him any reason to believe that he even liked him and here he was soothing him?
‘It’s okay.’ He said, voice still scratchy from disuse. ‘In fact, I remember someone mentioning Bacon, how about that?’

There was in fact a really big breakfast prepared. Laura made a little small talk while Stiles put food away like he had been starved. The fried eggs and crisp bacon on toast tasted heavenly. He ate enough for what felt like three regular people, but Laura and Derek didn’t seem to mind. After that Laura called first shower, which left him alone with Derek.

They slowly started to clear the table together. Then Derek turned around to him, ‘This is a big deal to us. To a werewolf pack means everything. Laura will feel responsible for you, because she made you.’ He paused to look at Stiles, really look at him. ‘Don’t take advantage of her kindness.’

Stiles stared at him for a second before frowning. ‘I get what this is, and I respect that, but I’ll need more information than that. I mean I can guess that I’m not allowed to tell anyone about my newly acquired status as a supernatural or endanger people by losing control, but other than that, I don’t have the slightest idea what I could be doing to harm you or your sister.’

Derek blinked at him, thrown off by his open questions. He nodded. ‘That’s alright. We’ll tell you about everything later. It helps that you’re so honest. You haven’t lied to us once, since arriving here. If we didn’t trust you at least a little, we wouldn’t have slept in the same bed as you.’

Stiles started drying off the plates and handed them to Derek who, put them away.
When Laura came out of the bathroom smelling clean and like herself, Derek nodded towards it, ‘You can go shower now.’

Stiles complied easily. Having craved a shower ever since he woke up the first time.

On the way to the shower he looked at himself in the mirror, he felt like his features had gotten more angular. Like the last of the baby fat had been burned away, his muscles looked more pronounced.
He’d always had a solid build, but it used to be more lean than bulky, now it was a nice mixture of both. He had been wide in the shoulders and slim in the hips, before, but damn. ‘You didn’t tell me I’d get a werewolf makeover’ He said sarcastically, Laura’s answering laughter and Derek amused snort, made him laugh, too.

After he showered, he put on Derek’s jogging pants, he had to work the draw string a little, but they fit alright, the black Henley was too tight around the shoulders and too loose around the hips but overall, he felt decently presentable.

Laura was immediately on him scenting him, and Derek stepped closer to him as well. He carefully placed a hand on the other side of his neck and mustered him, when Laura said, ‘Now, I feel like before we start with werewolf 101, we need to share a little more information about who we are, ease into the whole thing.’ She looked at him enquiringly, so he knew he should start.

They all sat down around the kitchen table and Stiles took in a deep breath. ‘I’m Mieczyslaw Stilinski. I was named after my maternal grandfather, but since no one can pronounce the name I’ve been going by Stiles.’
He paused to look down at his hands, playing with the creamer bottle. ‘I’m from Beacon Hills, California.’ He continued after a moment and would have told them the rest if he didn’t heat their heartbeats go through the roof at that.

He slowly looked up to see the pure angst that was radiating from Derek. ‘What did I say?’

‘We’re the Hales.’ Laura said. ‘We’re the Hales from Beacon Hills.’ And everything Stiles wanted to say or ask was naught. He stared at them both, registered their grief and their sadness. He immediately reached out to them, it was an instinct. As a human he’d been more sensible, respected a boundary that he didn’t feel as a wolf.

The moment he pulled them both in a hug, he realized that human sensibilities had no place here. They were both holding on to him, sharing their feelings, letting themselves be held. They’d been strangers yesterday. It was truly baffling to him how that worked.

But more importantly, they were Hales. They were Beacon Hill’s very own horror story. The only survivors of the big family that had died being burned alive in their own home.

He slowly pulled away. ‘I’m sorry this happened to you.’ He whispered. Laura nodded. Derek stared at the table.

‘It wasn’t because of… It wasn’t because your werewolves, right?’ Derek immediately flinched. Laura looked intently on the creamer bottle, he still held in his hand ‘They said it was an accident.’ Derek was beyond tense, when she said that.
Stiles had never been all that great at filtering himself, so he said what he knew to be true. ‘But it wasn’t’ Laura nodded, and Derek would have flinched again, if she didn’t put an arm around him.

‘We never really talked about it, but I knew, Derek.’ She whispered.
He stared at her, so, so, afraid.

Stiles didn’t know what she knew and how that mattered to Derek, but he felt incredibly uncomfortable. He was just about to ask them if they wanted a little privacy, when Derek made a sound so full of grief and dread, that made the hairs on the back of Stile’s neck stand on end.
He’d sounded like a dying animal and then Stiles smelled blood.
He immediately felt something inside him, reach out to him and then his eyes burned, his nails itched, and his gums tingled. The change from awkward fumbling with the creamer bottle, to standing at the table, letting his eyes wander through the room, searching for a threat that wasn’t there, was instantaneous. When he saw that Derek’s hands bled, because he’d released his claws in his fists, he sighed deeply, almost relived, and he let go of what had felt like an enhanced protective sense.

Laura stared at him. ‘How did you do that?’

Stiles blinked nervously, ‘That was it, wasn’t it? I just changed, didn’t I?’
‘Yeah.’ Derek answered him.
‘That didn’t feel bad at all. It’s just like, an enhanced instinct. I felt protective over you because you’re both in a vulnerable situation right now and then there was the smell of blood and I could feel it creeping up and let it take over. When I realized that there wasn’t a threat, I let it recede again.’ He sighed. ‘I’m really sorry, Derek, I didn’t mean to interrupt.’

The siblings looked at him weirdly and then Derek let his head fall against the table. ‘Only you Laura, only you would manage to bite someone obviously born to become a wolf from Beacon fucking Hills. What are the fucking odds?’ He sounded weirdly resigned. It took everything in Stiles not to preen at the compliment.

Laura smiled at him as she carded her hands through Derek’s hair in what clearly was a comforting gesture. Then she sobered up again.

‘Our house was burned down by hunters.’ She admitted, sounding dejected, ‘Hunters usually follow a code, but sometimes, they lose themselves and start hunting indiscriminately. In most cases, when that happens the hunter will be taken out, but there are also hunting families. Those who’ve been around a long time are only policed by themselves and if they start turning away from the code, the situation gets exponentially more difficult. What happened to us, is not something that happens often. We left when Derek was sixteen and I was eighteen and we have been traveling for the last six years, never staying in one place longer than a year. It just didn’t feel safe to stay longer. Ney York has been the only exception. We’ve been here for almost two years, now.’ She concluded.

Derek looked at him again, eyes guarded, before he said, ‘I’m just doing odd jobs at the moment, trying to figure out what I want to study. Laura’s doing law.’

‘Now we want to know stuff about you and your life.’ Laura cut in. Looking curiously at him.

‘I don’t really know what to say about myself? I guess we could start with my family. My dad’s the Sheriff, my mom died when I was ten years old. She had a severe form of dementia. At her worst, she thought someone send me to kill her. I was in a really bad place after she died and couldn’t go to school for a year. That’s why I’m only a sophomore in high school. I’m currently visiting my paternal uncle and my cousins, here. I’ll have to go back in a month. I’d like to work as a detective someday. Maybe I’ll join the FBI or maybe I’ll study criminal law, I don’t know yet.’

There was an instinctual understanding between all of them. They knew and understood grief. They knew what it felt like to lose a part of yourself and work hard to regain it.
Everything that they shared made Stiles feel better, he wondered if it had something to do, with the warmth in his chest, that felt a lot like Derek and Laura. He didn’t dare ask, yet.

 

They spent the rest of the day doing mundane things. Laura explained everything from hunters, to codes, to rogues and omegas. She also took him to the park to help him differentiate between different scents, the garbage container next to their house almost brought Stiles to his knees.

Derek had left early to go to his job and when he came back later, he tried to help him connect to his wolf. After mediating for two hours with him, Stiles realized the wolf was as much a part of him as everything else he was is, except he could reach for him and gain strength through him, he could also let him take over and let him recede back. He realized quickly that his wolf was unusually calm.

Derek had coached him through every meditation he’d done, and a lot of his advice didn’t make a lot of sense at first, because Stiles couldn’t apply it to the situation. Calming his wolf wasn’t necessary, he also wasn’t sure what kind of mantra he should apply to this situation, to anchor him.

When he described what was happening, Derek called in Laura, who in turn asked him a few things about the appearance of his wolf. ‘Does he look healthy?’
‘He looks like he’s well fed, doesn’t seem sick or anything like that, he just seems calm. His fur also looks kind of pretty.’ He admitted sheepishly. It felt weirdly vain to say that.

Laura laughed loudly at that. Before sobering back up, mustering him intently. ‘Did you meditate a lot before? Did you have to fight yourself a lot? Maybe deal with panic attacks or had a problem concentrating?’

‘Yes, to all of that.’ Stiles said, as he pulled up an eyebrow. ‘I have ADHD, so I’m used to not being able to concentrate easily. I used to fight for control a lot, especially because the meds didn’t always work. I also used to get panic attacks all the time after my mom died.’ He said, feeling like shit.

Laura’s eyes widened.
‘Well, that explains a lot. You’re used to not being in control all of the time, you’re also able to work around that. That gives you an edge when dealing with your wolf, it’s basically grounding it, because it realizes that you’re the one who’s deciding when to let it take over. It won’t have to be vigilant all of the time. This kind of instinctual trust means, that you won’t be having problems with control on the daily. We still need to wait out the full moon and see how you deal with that.’

 

Laura asked him what he thought his triggers were after she tried getting him to lose control by physically throwing him into a wall.

‘I’ve been rolling with the punches all my life.’ He said sounding almost dejected, ‘I doubt it’s going to be anything like anger. Stuff that gets me the most is if I think about my family getting hurt. What would probably make me wolf out is if Scott had an asthma attack and I couldn’t get him his inhaler in time.’ He admitted, the idea of that alone made his wolf perk up. Ready to take action.
He closed his eyes and took a calming breath before looking back up at Laura and Derek, only to see how Derek gave Laura a look, as she stared at him.

Laura nodded, ‘A lot of people don’t understand how to accept the wolf as part of themselves.’
Stiles snorted. ‘Having him as a part of me, saved my life.’
‘Yes, but most people can’t just accept it, that’s why they can’t regulate their strength and lose control. It’s their wolf rebelling against their rejection.’
‘So, my wolf is chill with me, because I’m good with him.’
Derek stared at him like he’d just said the most ridiculous thing anyone had ever said. ‘Yes.’ He finally admitted.

 

Shortly after their last conversation. Stiles had to leave. Since he didn’t have a phone at the moment, Derek and Laura wrote their respective phone numbers on a small paper in case of emergency and they agreed that he’d come visit them the next morning.

Stiles called Aubrey, who picked him up by the park near the apartment, not even ten minutes later.

The moment he sat in the car, she boxed his shoulder hard and fast. He groaned, before he realized that it didn’t actually hurt. ‘I deserved that.’ He muttered. ‘Yes, you did.’ She agreed. And then she pulled him in a long hug. She smelled like familiar love, warmth and relief. He pushed his face further into her neck to breath her in, before pulling back.

On the drive back, she pestered him about the mystery guy.

Since Stiles wasn’t all that creative, he started modeling his fantasy one-night stand after Derek.
‘Damn, tall, dark and handsome and he made breakfast?’
‘Hmm.’ Stiles hummed in agreement.

‘Sounds like boyfriend material.’

Stiles thought about the pure understanding, when he’d talked about his personal quest to prove himself and the utter terror, when they talked about the fire. ‘I don’t think so.’

Aubrey stared at him. ‘Dude, seriously?’
‘I don’t know. I really liked hanging out, I’d be happy if we turned out to be friends.’ He said carefully.
‘Damn, are you seeing him again?’ Aubrey asked while drumming her fingers against the steering wheel.
‘We’re going out for breakfast tomorrow.’ Stiles felt like a huge dork, for making this whole thing seem like something it really wasn’t.

‘Stiles.’

‘I don’t know.’ No, he knew. Laura and Derek were important to him, he was a fresh werewolf and really dependent on their guidance. It seemed like a stupid move to try and flirt with Derek, when he didn’t know how the other man would take to that. Especially since he didn’t feel attracted to him like that. The guy was attractive, but he felt like having him as a pack member was more important.

‘Alright.’ Aubrey focused on the road again, when Stiles remembered the dude from last night. ‘How about you?’
‘Oh, you mean Tony?’ Aubrey asked as she turned into the street their uncle lived in.
‘Tony, huh?’ Stiles asked, grinning widely
‘Well, he’s been a sweetheart. He helped me search the area around the club and looked for you I n the men’s bathroom. When I found the keys, he wanted to hail a cab to the police station.’ She shared.
‘Sounds like a great guy, honestly.’ If things had been different, the dude’s quick thinking could have saved his ass.
‘That’s why we went out today.’
‘Yeah?’
‘Yeah we bonded over irresponsible asshole cousins.’
And because Stiles was still a little bit of an asshole, he winked at her and said, ‘Sounds romantic.’

 

When they went in to eat dinner with their uncle and Dave, their mood was still good. His uncle didn’t comment on anything, so Aubrey must have covered for him. Thank god for her, honestly.

That evening he called his dad and they talked a little bit. Not about much. Apparently, there wasn’t a lot going on in Beacon Hills.
Stiles really wanted to tell him about the Hale fire. Get his father to reopen the case and

bring hell upon the hunters who murdered all of those people. But he held back.
‘So, dad, daddy-o.’
‘What did you do?’ There was an exasperated sigh somewhere in there, that Stiles resented.
‘Lost my phone.’
‘Stiles’
‘I know.’ He groaned.
‘Do you, though?’
‘Yes. I’m sorry.’ He noticed that he was doing a lot of apologizing lately.
‘Great. You’re sorry. Dammit, Stiles. You need that phone, especially if you’re going to spend another month in a city like New York.’
‘So, remember how I talked about working a few days a month at the station? Filing and stuff.’
There was a short pause, then shuffling. ‘You don’t need to work for your phone Stiles.’
‘I know, I just wanted to remind you of the many responsible choices I plan on making when I’ll be back home.’
When his dad spoke again, he could tell that he was smiling. ‘The money will be on your account tomorrow. We’ll talk about you helping out at the station when you are back home.’

Sleep came easily after the hectic day Stiles had. However, he woke up at 6 am the next morning, brimming with energy, after he quickly checked his account, only to find that his dad had already transferred the budget for a new phone, he said goodbye to his uncle, Aubrey and Dave were still sleeping, and went to visit Laura and Derek.

Derek opened the door to the apartment shirtless and with a bed head, looked at him, pulled him in and went with him to Laura’s bed, where she’d previously been sleeping alone, which was made obvious by the starfish sleeping position. He carefully shoved her to the side, manhandled Stiles in between them, laid down next to him and at once, two people shoved the faces against his neck. He laughed heartily, cuddled back and fell asleep again, later he went on a run with Derek, then he went grocery shopping with Laura and helped them both make lunch.
After that the three of them would do something touristy, like sightseeing.

In the evening Laura took him to their basement and showed him how to fight. They started off with pretty basic stuff, most of which Stiles father had already covered with him. How to pack a punch, how to duck and evade, how to ‘take’ a punch, the main difference in that particular learning experience was, that he’d worn a bullet proof vest at the time he trained that with his dad and that a lot of that part of training had been hypothetical, whereas Laura wasn’t pulling any punches, no one else would be holding back.

Anyway, they soon advanced, to more werewolf specific defense techniques. How to defend yourself against wolfsbane, how to free yourself, when confronted with mountain ash and the worst case, how to heal bullet wounds and mistletoe poisoning, in the early stages.

Needless to say, he learned a lot. Since Laura had a treaty with an alpha who had territory in New York, she managed to get him a few different bullets, that contained the most commonly used wolfsbane in hunting, in case he ever ran into trouble. Having them was also helpful in distinguishing the different scents. A hunter smelled always like wolfsbane and if they didn’t, they smelled so strongly like perfume or bathing products, that it was nauseating to be near them for more than an hour, Derek added. Which was a weird thing to know, helpful but questionable. Stiles filed that information away for braver times.

The next two weeks were spent just like that. Cuddling, Learning, Meditating, Feeling the pack bond. Being a werewolf had changed little for Stiles as a person. Being part of a pack had changed everything.

‘The full moon is tomorrow.’ Laura said casually when Stiles failed to see a punch coming and was being pummeled into the wall by one very keyed up Derek.
‘Yeah, I already talked to Dave he’ll cover for me, so that I can stay the night.’
Derek immediately looked slightly pissed. ‘Who’s Dave?’
‘My cousin.’ Stiles answered, slightly baffled about the animosity.
The top of Derek’s ears immediately pinked, which cracked Laura up.
‘Nearing the full moon, we can get a little possessive.’ She explained. ‘If pack members chose to spend it with someone else. It’s something like an insult.’ He himself bristled at the thought of voluntarily spending the day with someone else. Must be an instinct.
Stiles nodded. ‘Okay. I’ll be here bright and early tomorrow.’ He reassured easily.

The day of the full moon was hard for everyone. Not in the way he’d initially thought. They weren’t all tense with pent up energy rearing to go, ready to fight.
He’d even thought they’d chain him up or something, but the whole thing felt like a really intense bout of growing pains.

‘It’s because the wolf craves activity. The moon calls to him, but we can’t run in the city or let it take over here, because hunters are everywhere. The best we can do, is open all windows, lay out a matrass near a window and huddle together.’ Her voice sounded small.

Derek grunted as he pulled the mattress to the window. Their skin felt to hot and to small, like it wasn’t enough to contain them.
When he pressed his legs into Derek and his back against Laura the three of the them sighed. Pack brought comfort. The moonlight soothed them. They glowed their eyes at each other and used their claws to carefully scrape at each other, in a soothing manner. They were more connected to the animal side of things, without losing themselves.

‘New bites have to be chained up, usually. Because of control issues and their potential for aggression. It’s really rare for a wolf to be as centered as you are.’ Derek muttered against his thigh. Laura groaned from behind him. ‘Thank fuck, we don’t have to deal with that today.’ She groaned.

‘Back in Beacon we used to run in the moonlight. It was as close to pure euphoria as any of us can ever get. The connection felt incredible.’ She muttered sounding whimsical.

‘You can’t run in Beacon, anymore.’ Derek quickly cut in and stared intently at Stiles. ‘Those woods aren’t safe anymore.’

Stiles nodded. ‘So instead of pure euphoria we are huddled in a pile, while basking our sorry asses in the moonlight and complain about our bodies giving up on us like a bunch of elderly in a retirement home.’

Laura snorted. ‘Dammit, don’t make me laugh. That shit hurts.’ She groaned.

‘What if we’d run on a treadmill?’ He asked.
‘Too risky.’ Derek muttered. ‘The full moon is not the time you want to test your control. If you give the wolf a taste of what he’s missing, it will fight even harder and the pain will become unbearable.’

‘What a fucking asshole.’ Stiles groaned.

Derek snorted against him.

‘So, this is already really shitty. How will I survive this all by my lonesome?’ He groaned

They all knew Stiles had to go back and it was hard for all of them.
‘We already have a fairly strong bond with you.’ Laura said. ‘If we spent the next two weeks strengthening that and if you come visit us on break, you should be able to get by with texting, calling and skyping on a regular basis.’

‘I already talked about getting a job with my dad, I just hope he lets me come visit over break.’ He mumbled.

‘You don’t have to buy tickets. Use your money to save up for college.’ Laura groaned. ‘We’re flying you in.’
Then she kicked at Derek, snorted and continued. ‘Tell your dad, your rich older boyfriend misses you.’
Stiles cracked up. ‘He’s going to ground me until I leave for college, if I try to pull that off.’
Derek and Laura joined in. It just felt good to laugh, even if it physically hurt.

After a while, he concentrated on the feeling of the moonlight on his skin, and the itching in his gums, the tingling in his fingertips and the sense of community.

‘Guys, how will I keep this from my dad?’ He mumbled as he stared at his hand, where he let out one claw after another, pulled them back and started anew.

‘Try it. If it puts a strain on your relationship be open about it.’ Laura decided, after watching him play with his claws in wonder.
‘I really don’t think it’ll be too big of a problem. I’ve met born wolves before that weren’t as well adjusted as you.’ She touched his hand carefully.

Stiles suddenly felt overwhelmed. ‘Thank you for trusting me with all of this.’ He whispered.

The siblings pressed closer.

‘So, what do you say, we go out tomorrow? Maybe with your cousins. I heard they were offended about you spending all your time with Mr. tall, dark and handsome.’

Stiles groaned. ‘I couldn’t tell them the truth and I’d already told Aubrey I went home with some dude.’

‘You could have told her that you’re with Laura.’ Derek said.

The snort that followed sounded forced. ‘Yeah but if Aubrey ever met her, she would have sent me straight back home to go back to therapy—’ Laura smacked him upside the head, before he could finish the sentence.
‘Shit that hurt. No damn it, you look too much like my mom. Long dark brown locks, pale skin, hazel eyes. I never even talk to woman like that.’

‘Well, that’s okay then.’ Laura muttered appeased.
‘As if you don’t know your beautiful.’ Stiles grumbled, while rubbing the back of his head.

‘Oh no, she knows.’ Derek laughed silently and was promptly kicked again. ‘God dammit Laura, stop doing that.’

To be honest, the first full moon was nothing like what he expected, the moment the sun went up, they were feeling better and they promptly fell asleep.