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Reciprocity

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Lydia debated colour swatches, holding one of each colour up to the wall and closing one eye. She let out a hum and went back to a previous colour. There was a knock from the open door and Lydia jumped, eyes moving to a smirking Stiles, who was holding a cup of tea out for her. Letting out a grateful sigh, Lydia set down the swatches and took the tea from Stiles. Stiles said nothing as he gave her a rather agressive peck on the cheek, the stupid grin he generally always wore plastered on his face.

"Stop it." Lydia giggled, moving away playfully. "I'll spill my tea."

"Okay, okay." Stiles put his hands up in mock defense. "What are you doing anyway?"

"Trying to decide on a colour for the wall." She shrugged. "You should be helping." She raised her eyebrows. "I was thinking a soft blue, but i'm not sure." She gave Stiles a smile as she saw him thinking. He telegraphed so much to her.

"Blue's good. I like blue." He shrugged.

"I noticed." She gestured vaguely in the direction of the garage, and then back at Stiles, focusing mainly on his face.

"Okay, the eyes thing isn't my fault." He said quickly. "Okay, maybe it is, but we don't need to publicise that." He flopped down on their couch and let out a long sigh.

"Regardless..." Lydia sat down next to Stiles. "You should be helping me."

"Is that how it works?" Stiles grinned at her.

"Don't be a smart ass." Lydia rolled her eyed. "So, blue? Or red? I'm torn.

"Blue." Stiles nodded. "I like blue." Lydia smiled.

"Which blue, though? I have four shades?" She smirked. Stiles groaned and tilted his head back so he could look at the ceiling. 

"Lydia, if you pester me one more time about the specific shade of colour walls our future child will have to live with, I am walking right out that door and never coming back." He said it in a teasing tone, but with an inredibly serious undertone. He didn't know the first thing about colour matching.

"Relax." Lydia laughed, as if she wasn't the one to begin the pestering in the first place. Stiles loved her for it, though. "I'm not pregnant yet." She sighed and smiled towards the room they had desegnated as the eventual nursery. "I'm just excited to start trying." She seemed almost in a daydream.

"Do you think our kid would end up supernatural?" Stiles asked.

"Without a doubt." Lydia shrugged. "Whether it's a Banshee or a Werewolf remains to be seen, though the gender might be a telling sign. As far as I know, it's incredibly rare for male Banshee's."

"Huh." Stiles nodded slightly. "Fair enough." There was a bark from the door to the backyard and Stiles looked over, seeing an young, not completely German Shepherd puppy standing, staring at Stiles and Lydia with his tail wagging. The puppy had an unusual white sock on his left leg that went most of the way up, which is why Stiles decided to name the puppy Bucky. "Looks like he wants to come in." Stiles groaned, stood and walked over to let Bucky inside. The puppy immedialy ran to his food bowl and began playing at the dry bits.

It was then that Stiles' phone rang, bringing both of them out of their fantasy. They had left Beacon Hills two years prior, moving to New York and settling down under new identities in Queens. They had a house, a dog and neighbours who actually liked them. They had only recently decided to start trying for a baby, as both of them felt comfortable in their new arrangement. They left Beacon Hills and never looked back. While they still missed it some days, they realised they couldn't return so long as Stiles' record was out in the open.

Stiles pulled out his phone, surprised to see the caller ID register Scott, and immediately picked up.

"Scott?" He asked almost warily.

"Stiles!" Scott sounded incredibly happy to hear his best friend's voice. "You wouldn't believe it, I just got word." Scott seemed almost too excited to speak quick enough. "Parrish managed to get you cleared up."

"What? How?" Stiles nearly dropped his phone. His record was clean...ish.

"He went to a lawyer Peter recommended, a supernatural one, and they took the case to the Judge, who - guess what - happens to be a freaking Druid himself, and obviously the case was hard without you present, but the Judge cleared your record as much as he could. There was even a public announcement. The stuff that happened two years ago is to be taken as manslaughter under duress." Scott explained quickly.

"Thats...wow." Stiles had no words. 

"And it's great timing too," Scott continued. "Because something's happened to Liam and Malia. We need you and Lydia back."

"What do you mean something's happened to Liam and Malia?" Stiles asked.

"They've been put into a coma. Both of them. Deaton says it's supernatural in origin." Scott sighed. "We need you guys."

"I...No. Scott, we can't." Stiles sat down at the dining table, earning a slighlty concerned look from Lydia. "Lydia and I have a life. A good one. A normal one. I...If we go back to Beacon Hills, we'll be losing that." Stiles ran a hand over his face. "We've got a house, a car, mundane jobs that barely pay for food. We've even got a dog and we're planning on trying for a baby. I don't want to lose all of this, Scott." Stiles explained rapidly, his heart racing as he spoke each word.

"I-" Scott cut himself off. "Congrats, man, i'm happy for you. Really." Scott seemed to deliberate with himself on his next words. "I'm honestly really sorry, but we need you two back."

"Just...let us talk about it, okay? I'm not going to rush into deciding anything." Stiles sighed. "In the meantime, you can send me everything you know and I can try to figure something out from here."

"Okay." Scott said nothing more and hung up.

"Was that Scott?" Lydia asked. Stiles nodded, got up from the dining table and walked back to sit next to Lydia, Bucky jumping up and nuzzling under Stiles' arm.

"He wants us to go back." Stiles frowned. "They need our help with some supernatural stuff. Liam and Malia are in a supernaturally induced coma."

"Are we going to go back?" Lydia asked, a sad smile on her face.

"I don't want to." Stiles admitted. "I...I want to stay here. With you. With Bucky. With our boring life and boring jobs and neighbours that like us." Stiles put his head in his hands.

"Stiles...are you...are you afraid something will happen if we go back?" Lydia asked carefully. Stiles looked her in the eyes and nodded.

"Yeah." Stiles shrugged. "I'm afraid you'll die and we won't get to have this...this life together. I'm afraid I'll die and leave you alone. I'm afraid that I'll-" He cut himself off and smacked his mouth shut. Lydia furrowed her brows.

"What, Stiles?" Her voice was soft and gentle.

"I've been clean for two years." He said in a near whisper, eyes down to the floor. "I don't want to break that streak."

Lydia knew he didn't mean 'clean' in the addiction sense, but rather his hands hadn't been stained with anymore blood. He didn't want to kill again and he knew that going back to Beacon Hills would mean that he would have to get his hands a little dirtier. Lydia placed a hand on his and got him to look her in the eyes.

"You've come back to me before." She told him softly. "Could you really stay here and not lift a finger to help our friends?" She asked. Stiles thought for a moment, before pursing his lips. Lydia knew the answer in his mind without him having to say a word.

"I...I don't think so." He admitted. He looked up at the ceiling and groaned. "We'd have to find someone to watch Bucky."

"Or he could come with us." Lydia suggested. "We're coming back after." She said immediately. "I like it here."

"Me too." Stiles nodded. "Okay...Bucky comes with us, we lock up the house, and leave our life behind..." He trailed off. "We'll be coming back after." He said quickly after. "Just hopefully in the same state."

"Time to put off our future plans for a little while." Lydia sighed and looked towards the future nursery.

"Probably for the best." Stiles admitted.

 


 

Stiles had called Scott back the next morning with his answer. They were going back to Beacon Hills, Bucky in tow, to help their friends out. Their pack. It wasn't like Stiles was an omega wolf in New York. They were tag-alongs to the local pack. It was just that everyone knew Stiles and Lydia still held loyalty to the Beacon Hills pack. Any pack affiliations were strictly professional to keep Stiles sane and grounded. They managed to get back to Beacon Hills by the end of the week. Deciding not to drive, they got on a plane and hopped straight over to California after spending two days packing. Once they got into California, Scott was waiting for them at the San Francisco International Airport, stupidly large grin on his face as he greeted them with hugs. Bucky, who was at Stiles' side the entire time, immediately jumped onto Scott and it was clear he found a new favourite - at least for a few days.

"It's really good to see you guys." Scott said. "Really. We missed you. I missed you."

"Missed you too, buddy." Stiles patted him on the shoulder.

"I'm sorry to drag you guys away from New York, I really am. It seems like you have something going there." Scott said with a small smile.

"Yeah. We do." Stiles nodded.

"How are Malia and Liam?" Lydia asked, changing the topic.

"They haven't changed. Deaton says whatever - or whoever - caused this to happen is giving off a familiar signature." Scott shrugged. "He didn't really elaborate on what that meant."

"Magic signature." Stiles stated quickly. "A magic user will give off a specific signature unique to them. No two magic signature is the same. That is, however, excluding the magic used by those Siobhan turned. Their abilities were copies of Siobhan's." Stiles shuddered at the mention of the woman who tried to remake him.

"Let's not go into that." Lydia frowned. "I don't need those memories."

"Me either if i'm being honest." Stiles laughed awkwardly. The group began walking out of the airport and out into the parking lot.

"Okay, so...a familiar signature could mean someone we've encountered before." Scott theorised as they walked.

"Could be, but it can also be someone Deaton has encountered personally." Lydia suggested with a shrug.

"I'd say just take us to Liam and Malia to see for ourselves." Stiles said, earning a nod from Scott and Lydia.

 


 

It wasn't long before the group arrived in Beacon Hills. A feeling of dread settled in the pit's of both Stiles and Lydia's stomach's. Both were anxious about the events that brought them back, and the events that were yet to happen. Stiles, in particular, wasn't happy with the situation. He really just wanted to stay in New York. Lydia, on the otherhand was feeling similarly, but also slightly exhilarated at the thought of a new adventure. While she liked the domestic setting, and how it was doing wonders for Stiles' mental stability, she also missed the constant danger and the adrenaline associated with being part of a pack. While Stiles also missed that aspect, he knew the cost of it. He'd lived it.

Scott took them to his house first to drop off Bucky and their things. They made sure Bucky was settled before Scott drove them to the hospital instead of the clinic. While whatever it was causing the coma's was supernatural in origin, both packmates were still in coma's, prompting proper medical attention. Something that was beyond Deaton. When they came to the room Malia and Liam were situated, Stiles immediately stumbled back at the scent he had caught. Scott and Lydia looked at him curiously.

"You seriously can't smell that?" Stils asked with wide eyes.

"No. What is it?" Scott asked.

"I...honestly...it's definitely something I've smelled before." Stiles told Scott. "It's changed though, from the last time I smelt it." He frowned. "It's like ash, Earth and spices mixed with ozone and dust." His eyes widened when he realised wher he had smelt it before. "Scott, It's smells like the people we faced two years ago."

"You're saying somebody Siobhan turned may have retained their abilities?" Lydia asked, eyes narrow and confused. "Made them stronger?" She added.

"That's exactly what i'm saying." Stiles nodded. He turned back to Scott. "Maybe we should have a chat to James Allen."