Actions

Work Header

Triton

Chapter Text

Stiles jumped as a hand appeared out of nowhere and slammed his locker shut, the loud noise snapping him out of his incessant worrying about his chemistry test next block.

“Stiles!” Scott exclaimed with his big dopey grin on his face. That look made Stiles’s stomach flip as it usually came with Scott trying to rope his best friend into doing something completely out of his comfort zone. “So...some of the lacrosse guys are going down to the bluff this weekend and they invited a bunch of girls-”

“One being Allison,” interrupted Stiles. He already knew the girl’s name would be brought up as she has become the apple of Scott’s eye since transferring to their school last semester. Scott had been desperate to go out with her, proven by his countless attempts to ask her on a date that have ended in him stuttering until he pees his pants or falling over on his ass in front of every popular girl in the school.

Scott stared at the ground as his cheeks slowly turned pink, rubbing the back of his neck shyly with his hand. “Maybe...ok fine yes, one being Allison-”

“And you want me to come with as a wingman.” They’d had this conversation over and over again and it usually ended in Stiles awkwardly standing in a corner alone at some lacrosse team social event as Scott flirted with Allison and his annoying teammates threw insult after insult at Stiles.

Scott’s face lit up as his best friend hit the nail on the head, and how could Stiles say no to that huge grin? Stiles rolled his eyes but let out a loud sigh. “Fine, but I’m still limping from when Greenberg deadlegged me with a lacrosse stick at Jackson’s party last month.” Stiles reopened his locker to grab his chemistry textbook and started to walk down the hallway towards his classroom. Scott bounced behind him as they had the period together, dapping up his fellow teammates as he passed by them.

“I know Greenberg’s a bitch, but I got to talk to Allison alone that night!” Scott clapped a hand on Stiles’s shoulder. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you distracting Lydia with some conversation about smart stuff.”

Stiles rolled his eyes again as the pair made their way to their seats before the bell rang. “Smart stuff, nice one bro.” Scott was about to retaliate, but the girl of his dreams entered the room and stole all of his attention. For the millionth time, Stiles held back a laugh as Scott stared with an open mouth at Allison who shyly took the seat next to him. They both stuttered a “Hey”, and honestly Stiles was getting fed up with their constant pining from a distance. It was clear the two had feelings for each other, they were both just too stubborn to make a move.

“Good morning class,” Mr. Harris, their chemistry teacher, greeted them as he walked in. The bell rang behind him, signaling the students to shut up and put their phones away unless they wanted to spend after school detention one on one with the most annoying chemistry teacher on the planet. “You all have ten minutes to review your notes for the test, don’t talk to anyone and if I hear one vibration of a phone you all fail, now get to it.”

Stiles held back another eye roll as he pulled back out his notes he was so rudely interrupted by Scott from studying earlier. Speaking of his friend, the brunette leaned over his desk to whisper to Stiles, “Wait, we have a test?”

Stiles really loved the guy, but oh boy was he about to punch something if he couldn’t just focus for one second. “Yes Scott!” Stiles hissed back under his breath. “I’ve been telling you about it for a week asking you to go to the library and study, but you’ve been too busy thinking about you know who!”

“Stilinski!” Harris yelled from the front of the classroom. Scott had a guilty look on his face as the teacher only scolded Stiles. “Ah, the subject of my chronic migraines. What did I say about talking? Two hours of detention after school!”

He didn’t even notice his death grip on his notes, but after getting in trouble it tightened, causing Stiles to tear the paper in two. “Fuck, this day just keeps getting better” he groaned.

“Three hours!”

As soon as Stiles got home that night, he immediately slumped on the couch. Detention with Harris had tired him out more than any physical exercise, and he wasn’t even allowed to get up to go to the bathroom. He forced himself back on his feet to go to the kitchen and start dinner. Stiles’s father was still at work at the Sheriff’s station and most likely wouldn’t be home until late so he only made it for one.

After juggling a scalding slice of leftover pizza out of the oven and onto a plate, Stiles made his way back to the couch and proceeded with his nightly routine: dinner on the couch, news on the television, and police scanner turned on next to him. Stiles had an unhealthy obsession with staying up to date on the crime to happen every night. His father being the sheriff of their town made it easy to know every dirty detail.

“Good evening Beacon Hills,” the newscaster’s voice filled the empty house with noise. “I’m Jennifer Blake with your 8 o’clock news. We proceed tonight with the ongoing case of the mysterious string of homicides surrounding Beacon Hills and nearby cities. As the Sheriff’s Department is working their hardest to figure out the cause, we want to remind citizens to lock their doors at night and stay on lit pathways if walking in isolated areas...”

The news were drowned out by the loud static of the police scanner. Stiles nearly choked on his pizza as he shot up and grabbed it to listen close, “Attention all units, another report of a 187 in the west side of the preserve, 10-78.”

“Another murder?” muttered Stiles through a mouthful of cheese. This was the eighth one this month, and they all had the signs of the same killer. Stiles’s father had spent sleepless nights at the station trying to piece together who or what could be out there. The public only thought there had been four homicides to keep the panic somewhat minimal, but Stiles had his inside source, and it was often very unsettling. After swallowing his food, Stiles reached for his phone and dialed his dad’s number. It was a habit whenever he heard a dangerous call over the scanner.

“Stiles, I told you not to bother me at work unless it’s an emergency”, his dad answered the phone with a tired voice. Stiles could hear sirens in the background, signaling that he was in the car on the way to the murder scene. “You need to stop listening to my old scanner.”

“Sorry pops,” Stiles responded. “Just checking up on you.” His voice dropped to become more serious. “Please be careful out there.”

The sheriff’s tone shifted to become more relaxed. “I know bud, I will. I’ll probably be home tomorrow morning before you leave for school. I love you.”

“I love you too dad,” said Stiles before hanging up. He turned off the television and put away his dishes before making his way to his bedroom to get ready for bed in the eerily quiet house.

“Dude, I can’t wait to see Allison in a bikini. She’s so fucking hot. Today is the day I’m gonna make my move, I can just feel something’s gonna happen. And I’m so happy you came! I couldn’t do this without my right hand man! Now if the guys give you any crap just let me know and I’ll tell them off.”

Stiles really wished he wasn’t the one driving so he could put in earbuds and blast his music at full volume instead of listen to Scott go on and on about his plan to woo Allison. He wasn’t usually so pessimistic, but the whole thought of being on a 60 foot tall bluff with a lacrosse team that loved to make Stiles’s life a living nightmare made him actually fear for his life, and the anxiety was already setting in.

“Stiles, you good bro?” Scott asked from the passenger’s seat of Stiles’s run down jeep. “Cause you’re starting to swerve and I’m not trying to fall off the edge of this cliff.”

Stiles was snapped back to reality and quickly jerked the wheel to the left after nearly going off the road, causing Scott to let out a loud yelp. They were driving up a steep, rocky road to “The Bluff”: Beacon Hill’s infamous cliff above the pacific ocean that highschoolers loved to spend weekends at to get drunk and experience an adrenaline rush from diving into the water below.

“Sorry Scott,” said Stiles. “I guess I’m just kind of nervous. You know me and heights.” He had a death grip on his steering wheel, his knuckles turning more white as they got closer and closer to the top.

Scott rested a soothing hand on his friend’s shoulder and gave a reassuring squeeze. “I know, but thank you for doing this for me. You don’t have to jump off, just hang back and you’ll be good. I’ll be right there with you, plus Allison, Lydia, and Danny all love you!”

Stiles let out a chuckle. “Love is a strong word. I think they tolerate me compared to how everyone else treats me.”

Stiles had never been a cool, popular guy. Freshman year him and Scott were the nerds of the school, always getting pushed into lockers by Jackson Whittemore and company. When Scott made varsity lacrosse sophomore year, though, he was instantly sucked into the dark side. He started going to parties and getting drunk or high with “the boys”. Stiles was happy that Scott started to feel accepted, but the popularity didn’t spread to him. He was still just “Scott’s best friend”, and only went to social events as a plus one. Stiles had grown close to a couple of the popular kids; Lydia was always super nice to him and they bonded over school as they had most of their classes together; Allison was just incredibly kind to everyone, Stiles was sure she would never hurt a mosquito even if it bit her; Danny was Jackson’s best friend, who still loved to shove Stiles into any surface in sight, but he always stepped up for Stiles when he was around and made sure to welcome him at every event.

“McCall!” one of the lacrosse players called as Scott and Stiles hopped out of the jeep. They had arrived to the bluff, parking amongst the sports cars of their classmates. Empty beer bottles and cans were littered everywhere, and Stiles flinched as a shirtless guy disappeared from sight off the edge of the cliff with a big “Fuck yeah!”

“And Stilinski,” Jackson added in his usual snarky tone. “Of course I wouldn’t expect McCall to go anywhere without his side bitch.”

Scott glared daggers at Jackson and grabbed a bottle from a cooler. “Knock it off Dickmore, Stiles and I are a package deal.” Stiles couldn’t hold back his slight smile as his best friend stood up for him. No matter how popular Scott got, or who he hung out with, Stiles knew they’d always be there for each other.

“Scott!” a female voice came from behind them and Allison ran up to wrap her arms around Scott. Stiles laughed as the guy started to blush, especially after he ran his eyes up and down Allison’s bikini-clad body. “I’m so glad you came. Hey Stiles!” She let go of Scott to give Stiles a side hug. It was a small gesture but made Stiles feel slightly less nervous. Then Allison turned back to Scott. “You’re jumping off with me right? I went off with Lydia and it was so much fun. She’s still down there coming back up the side path, you have to do it!”

Scott gave her his big dopey smile and nodded excitedly. “Definitely, wouldn’t wanna do it with anyone else.” Allison squeezed his shoulder and gestured for him to follow. Scott watched after her with a lovestruck gaze.

“Go on,” Stiles shoved his friend with a grin. At Scott’s worried look he added, “I’ll be fine dude, go get your girl.” Scott’s face lit up as he thanked Stiles before peeling off his shirt and running to catch up with Allison. Stiles watched with slight anxiety as the two of them leapt off of the cliff with hands intertwined.

With Scott gone, Stiles shivered as the cool ocean breeze replaced the warm body that had been a comfort next to him. This was how it usually ended, Stiles alone and fearful for who would be the first to throw an insult at him. The team never really picked on Stiles with Scott around (except for Dickmore), but they always seemed to find him when he was alone.

“You gonna jump off Stilinski?” one guy called in a mocking tone. “Don’t be a pussy.” Stiles just ignored the comment and looked away.

But then Jackson caught on and stalked over to Stiles. He got so close that Stiles could smell the heavy scent of beer on his breath. “Aw, wittle Stiles doesn’t know what to do without mama McCall huh?” the guy sneered. “Come on Stilinski, you’re not afraid of heights right?” He slung an arm around Stiles’s shoulder and guided him towards the edge.

“What the hell are you doing?” Stiles started to panic. “Jackson, that’s not funny.” The bully just laughed and started to shove Stiles further forward. When Stiles tried to fight back, a couple more lacrosse guys showed up and grabbed his arms and legs, hoisting him up in the air. “Let me down! Fuck you!” Stiles squirmed all he could but the guys were a lot stronger than him.

The last thing Stiles saw before he started freefalling was Scott, Allison, and Lydia sprinting towards him, mouths opened from screaming. Stiles couldn’t hear their voices, though, the only sound in his ears was the deafening beat of his panicked heart. The world seemed to slow down around him, causing the fall to feel like an eternity.

Stiles was shocked he didn’t pass out when he struck the surface, but the water filled his lungs rapidly as his anxiety overtook his common sense to hold his breath. It felt like a panic attack underwater, and it was the scariest moment of Stiles’s life.

Stiles couldn’t move, his body was like a brick sinking to the ocean floor. The water seemed to suck him deeper and deeper like a vacuum, and the pressure started to make him feel like he was going to explode. The light of the surface grew dimmer and dimmer, and Stiles didn’t know if it was because he was getting further away from it, or because he was starting to lose consciousness. He knew it was the latter when spots slowly overtook his vision. Stiles didn’t want to die like this, he couldn’t leave his dad alone after already having suffered the death of his mom. He couldn’t abandon Scott in their last year together before college.

A sudden and unexpected urge came over Stiles to fight. One by one, he regained control over his limbs and struggled to move them to swim up to the surface, but the exhaustion had already taken over. He was already deprived of oxygen for too long and he was too deep. His body wasn’t floating up fast enough.

As his line of sight grew smaller and smaller, Stiles spotted a faint glow in the distance. For an unknown reason, he was drawn to it, and his body surprisingly felt the same. Despite the inability to swim up, Stiles found himself subconsciously drifting closer to the mysterious light. He wondered how he hadn’t drowned yet, but as the distance closed between him and the glow his body felt like it was regaining power. Like two magnets attracted to each other, Stiles’s hand reached out to the light, and he could finally see what it was.

An algae covered trident lay on the ocean floor, but an orange glow broke through the cracks of gunk and shone brighter as Stiles came closer. He couldn’t explain why, but Stiles felt like he needed to touch it. It was calling to him, telling him to come closer and grab the trident.

Stiles’s hand wrapped around the handle, and suddenly it felt like his lungs filled with air and he took a deep breath that restored his energy. The light kept shining brighter, though, and a blinding flash was the last thing Stiles saw before blacking out completely.

Chapter Text

“Stiles...Stiles!” The faint echo of a familiar voice slowly welcomed Stiles back to consciousness. His head was pounding and his lungs burned. The bright sunlight broke through his closed eyelids, making the pain even worse.

“Shit Scott, is he okay?”

“Jackson you dick! What the hell were you thinking?”

“Come on Lyds, calm down. It was just a joke!”

“A joke that almost killed him!”

The voices grew louder as Stiles comprehended what was going on and tried to remember why he was soaking wet. It all flooded back into his memory as he coughed up a shocking amount of water and slowly opened his eyes.

“Stiles!” Scott screamed. He was kneeling down close to his best friend, a hauntingly worried look upon his face. “I was so scared.” Scott wrapped his arms around Stiles and he melted into the warm embrace. The cool breeze of the spring day caused his clinging wet clothing to feel like an ice bath.

“What the hell happened?” Stiles croaked. The last thing he remembered was Jackson and his cronies nearly murdering him, the terrifying feeling of drowning, and a mysterious trident that he definitely hallucinated due to the lack of oxygen.

“Fucking Jackson here was a total asshole!” Lydia exclaimed. The redhead had a furious, but worried look upon her face that matched the one of Allison standing next to her. “Maybe we should get you to the hospital.”

“Come on guys, it was just a harmless joke!” Jackson stepped in and leaned down next to Stiles, clapping a firm hand on his shoulder. “Right Stilinski? You’re fine now.”

Stiles glared daggers at the guy and pushed him off. “Get the hell off of me.” Jackson backed up, holding his hands up in mock defense with a twisted grin on his face.

Stiles then noticed the large crowd surrounding them comprised of the lacrosse team, the popular girls that followed them everywhere, and a few strangers also enjoying the bluff. Stiles hid his face in shame. Most of the time he loved to gain attention with his sarcastic jokes, but now he hated it after such a frightening experience. He slowly stood up, brushing off Scott who tried to help him.

“I’m not going to the hospital, I’m just going home.” Stiles stomped away before anyone else could give him their sympathy, but Scott was hot on his heels.

“I’ll go with you,” said Scott.

Stiles sighed and shrugged his shoulders. “I’m fine dude, really. Stay here with Allison, I’m sure she can drive you home. Like you said, today’s the day you make your move. Don’t worry about me.”

“I can’t help but worry Stiles. You’re my best friend and I could’ve lost you forever right there. Good thing Danny has lifeguard training and pulled you out.”

Stiles shifted his gaze over to Danny who shared the same worried look as Scott and gave him a salute of gratitude. “Tell him thanks for me, but I knew something like this would happen. I just wanna be alone, okay? I’ll text you later and you better not respond unless you’ve made a move!” He put on a forced smile and playfully shoved his best friend. It eased the tension as Scott slowly relaxed his shoulders and returned the gesture.

“Alright fine, but I’m still gonna worry!”

“I know, you love me too much.” With a wink Stiles hopped into his jeep, put his key into the ignition, and drove off down the narrow dirt road.

Stiles should’ve known that the witnesses to his near death wouldn’t just leave the event in the past. As he was laying in bed on his phone that night after a long and hot shower, the first thing on Stiles’s twitter timeline was none other than a picture of himself, unconscious on the rocky ground of the bluff, Danny Mahealani giving him mouth to mouth. The caption of the photo read: ‘this just in, gay beached whale spotted at the bluff today take caution!’ with numerous laughing emojis next to it. Stiles just rolled his eyes at the insult. The picture was posted by Jackson, and nothing he said really affected Stiles anymore once he learned how much of an egotistical idiot the guy was.

“Stiles I’m home,” the sheriff’s voice came from outside the door. He knocked and entered once his son allowed it. “Hey bud, how was the beach today?”

Stiles didn’t exactly tell his dad he was going to the bluff. He didn’t technically lie, as he said he was going to the beach with Scott. It was sort of a beach...just suspended 60 feet above the water. Being the sheriff, Noah Stilinski knew what going to the bluff included, and he’d murder Stiles if he knew he went.

“It was good,” Stiles said. He hated lying to his dad but he would have the guys who threw Stiles instantly in handcuffs, and that would just intensify the bullying. Stiles decided to change the subject. “How was work? Any leads on the murders?”

The sheriff sighed and sat down on the edge of his son’s bed. “We’re working with the officers of Wilma County as they’ve had a couple of the homicides on their land, but so far we’re coming up empty. No witnesses, no fingerprints or evidence left at the scene. Whoever we’re dealing with is a professional. They’re clean and precise, a quick slash to the throat. The weird thing is the eyes.”

“The eyes?” Stiles sat up. “What about the eyes?”

“I shouldn’t be sharing these things with you. I don’t want to scare you.”

Stiles scoffed. “Dad please. I’ve grown up my whole life with you as a cop, I think I’ve heard it all.”

“Here’s something new for you then,” Noah said. “Every victim has had their eyes burned out.”

“Burned?” asked Stiles. “Like by a lighter or something?”

The sheriff sighed and stood up, stretching to expose the gun still holstered on his hip. “That’s what we’re not sure about. It definitely isn’t by just a lighter, this is intense. What psycho does that?”

Stiles gave his dad a reassuring smile as the man headed towards the door. “I know you’ll catch them pops, you always do.” They said their goodnights, then Stiles was left alone again in his bed. He slumped back against the pillow with a loud huff and unlocked his phone again. Jackson’s post had gained comments, some standing up for Stiles (mostly from Scott, Allison, Lydia, and Danny), and some encouraging the bullying.

As Stiles closed the app, he received a text message from his best friend. He smiled as he read: ‘bro, A and I are going out next weekend just the 2 of us! there’s the news you wanted, now how you doin?’ Stiles responded with a quick text saying he was fine, but he wasn’t sure if he believed it himself.

Stiles shut off his phone as the memories of the day traveled back into his mind. He kept reliving the feeling of instantly going from free falling to struggling to breathe underwater. Two of his greatest fears were heights and drowning, and Stiles had been forced to experience the terrifying feeling of both. He didn’t want to confide in Scott, the boy worried about Stiles too much as it was, and Stiles definitely didn’t want to tell his dad. He was forced to try and fall asleep with his internal thoughts kept to himself.

It was times like this that Stiles longed for someone else in his life, someone separate from the popular group at his school, someone in addition to Scott to just spill everything too. Stiles had never really been in a relationship. Sure, he’d had many crushes in the past (including nearly a decade long one on Lydia), he’d kissed girls, heck he’d kissed guys--leading to his discovery that he was in fact not straight. Stiles had never experienced a serious relationship, though. He was only 18, but as the people around him fell in love or hooked up with someone new every weekend, Stiles longed for that deep and romantic connection with another person.

As he started to fall asleep, Stiles’s mind was full of images of a glowing trident, instantly snapping him awake again. “What the hell?” he whispered in the dark of his room. He was sure he had just imagined seeing it earlier, but the visions in his mind were so vivid it felt like Stiles had been transported back into the water where he found it. He tried to fall asleep again, but the object was filling every spot of his subconscious. Images of a bright orange light, a rusty old trident, the feeling of being able to breathe underwater flashed through Stiles’s mind like a slideshow.

After what felt like an eternity of tossing and turning, Stiles hopped out of bed and stumbled to his desk. He grabbed a bottle of over-the-counter sleeping pills and popped one in his mouth. Stiles rarely used the pills anymore, but they were still there from the sleepless nights right after his mom passed.

Stiles made his way back to his bed and grasped for the cup of water on the nightstand. As his hand wrapped around the cool glass, he felt a surge of a feeling unlike anything he’d ever felt before move through his arm. He shrugged it off, muttering “I really need to go to sleep” before taking a big sip.

When the water hit his tongue, the feeling returned and overtook his whole body. It felt almost...powerful, like Stiles was a car low on gas getting refueled. For some reason, Stiles had never enjoyed a glass of water as much as he did that one. He downed the rest of it in seconds and laid back in bed, feeling much better considering the grueling events of the day, and fell asleep.

School the following monday was surprisingly easy. The boys lacrosse team (minus Jackson) seemingly chose to ignore what they did to Stiles, probably in fear of the sheriff finding out they almost killed his son. Scott hovered like a helicopter, and Stiles swore he was gonna punch someone if he heard the question “Are you sure you’re okay?” one more time.

“I graded your tests over the weekend,” Harris said as he entered the chemistry lab. “Like I suspected, you lot seem to not comprehend any information you learn in this class. Why do I even bother?” He started to pass around the tests one by one and Stiles watches as majority of the students hid their grade in shame. The teacher stopped when he got to Stiles and with a heavy sigh, just slapped the paper on and muttered “good job”.

Stiles gave Harris a confused look and turned over his paper, smiling as he saw the large A printed at the top. Meanwhile, Scott hung his head in shame as he shoved his D to the side.

“Not bad considering you didn’t even know there was a test,” Stiles joked. Scott just flicked him off.

Everyone shoved the tests into their backpacks and Harris returned to the front of the room. “For today’s lab you will get in groups of four. One person from each group please come up front and grab a jug of distilled water.”

Scott and Stiles immediately high fived and headed to a lab station. Lydia and Allison joined them soon after, welcoming Stiles with yet more concerned looks. “I’ll go get the water,” Stiles stood up and walked towards the front of the classroom to escape the intense looks his friends were giving him.

All of a sudden the same surge of power that Stiles had felt before came back as he got closer to the table full of water. He stepped back in surprise but found himself being drawn forward to the table. As he approached it and reached a hand out, every jug of water started to vibrate. They shook harder and harder the closer he came until his hand was wrapped around the handle of a jug and every single container of water in the room exploded into the air like a geyser.

The whole class screamed in surprise and Stiles snapped out of his trance. Harris swore under his breath and jumped out of his seat, now completely soaked due to the close proximity of his desk to the table of jugs. “Just fantastic,” the teacher sneered. “Someone call the janitor! Who rigged these before class?”

As Harris started to point fingers at different students, Stiles slowly backed up and made his way back to his lab station, careful not to slip on the wet ground. He sat down and held up his shaky hands. “What the hell was that?” Scott asked next to him. “That was crazy dude, do you think it was Greenberg?”

Stiles gave him a nervous laugh and stuffed his hands in his lap. That couldn’t have been him, right? That feeling though, that surge of power right before the water exploded left Stiles in utter confusion. “Mr. Harris? Can I use the restroom?” The teacher just rolled his eyes and gestured towards the door, too busy dealing with the extensive amount of water covering his classroom floor.

Stiles had never bolted so fast out of a classroom and ran into the boys’ locker room down the hall. It was fortunately empty, so he ran to the sink and stared at himself in the mirror.

As his hands rested on the sides of the sink, the same feeling returned that he felt in the chemistry room. “Oh no,” Stiles muttered as he jumped back, but it was too late.

The faucet flew off of every sink in the row one by one, each one shooting another volcano-like spray of water up into the air. The force threw Stiles onto the ground and his clothes started to soak up the water flooding the bathroom. He scurried to his feet and started to panic.

“What the fuck!” exclaimed Stiles. The door to the locker room slammed open behind him.

Fortunately it was just Scott, and Stiles turned to him with wide eyes. “What the hell Stiles?!” He narrowly missed slipping on the wet ground and made his way over to his best friend. “First the containers in chemistry, and now the bathroom sinks?” Stiles stared down at his hands again which hadn’t stopped shaking. They pulsed with energy, and that’s when he notices the glow of the orange lines traveling up his arm. “Dude, your body...it’s glowing,” yelled Scott.

“I need to get out of here,” Stiles whined. “I don’t know what’s going on...I think it’s me.”

Scott couldn’t take his eyes off of Stiles’s body and just muttered, “You? What do you mean?”

“I think I’m the cause of all this!” Stiles flailed his arms around him towards the flow of water coming out of the sinks, but as soon as he did they mysteriously just shut off and the glow disappeared from his skin. “Ok some seriously freaky shit is going on! Come on.”

The two boys sprinted out of the locker room, avoiding the confused look the janitor pointed at the flood of water seeping out from underneath the door. “I hate this damn job.”

Chapter Text

“Stiles will you please stop pacing!” Scott exclaimed from his spot on Stiles’s bed.

They had quickly driven back to the Stilinskis after school was let off early due to...well...flooding. Stiles made sure to get out of there as soon as possible in case anyone suspected it was him, but the whole thing was so absurd he didn’t want to believe it himself.

“Oh right sorry Scott I shouldn’t be freaking out about me possibly causing a school shutdown!” Stiles retaliated sarcastically.

Scott sighed and stood up, placing both hands on his friends shoulder to stop him. “We don’t even know if that’s true. The water jugs in chem were probably rigged by some class clown or maybe Harris by accident put some reactive chemical inside, and you were probably just in the wrong place at the wrong time with the sinks. I’m sure there was some build up of pressure in the plumbing, right?”

Stiles nodded and took Scott’s place on the bed. “Yeah, yeah...that could be it.” He tried to reassure himself but deep down he didn’t completely believe that. He stared down at his hands again. They weren’t shaking anymore, Stiles didn’t feel that powerful surge, but he knew he didn’t imagine it. It was a feeling unlike anything he’s ever experienced in his life. Then there was that glow. Scott saw it too, which just further told Stiles something weird was going on.

“I don’t know Scott,” Stiles muttered quietly. “Wait, I have an idea.” Scott watched confused as Stiles stood up and grabbed the empty glass on his bedside table. “Go fill this up for me with water.”

“Um, okay,” was all Scott said before complying. He returned a minute later with a full glass of water and Stiles instructed him to set it down on the desk. Scott backed up to observe what his friend was going to do.

Slowly stepping forward, Stiles stretched his arm out to grab the glass. As soon as his hand came up, the glass started slowly shaking and only intensified as he got closer. “Holy shit,” Scott exclaimed from behind him.

The powerful feeling had returned, and now Stiles knew for sure he wasn’t imagining any of this. He made it to the glass, it now vibrating so much water was sloshing over the sides, and wrapped his hand around it. “Dude…” Stiles said in awe, “check this out.”

Scott stepped up next to him, face twisted into disbelief. Stiles’s hand was around the glass and it had stopped shaking, but the water inside swirled around like a whirlpool. “It’s happening again,” Scott pointed at Stiles’s arm.

Orange vein-like lines glowed up his skin. They were moving up his arm, starting at the glass and traveling towards his shoulder, disappearing beneath the sleeve of his t-shirt. Stiles’s eyes widened in shock as his body was overcome with the powerful sensation. “It’s the water,” he whispered in disbelief.

“The water?” Scott repeated, still as confused as his friend about the whole ordeal. Stiles didn’t respond though as he seemed to be hypnotized by the illumination of his skin. “Stiles!”

The teen jumped back and his hand left the water glass, causing the lines to disappear and the water to stop moving. “Sorry,” Stiles shook his head as he came out of the trance. “It’s the water, don’t you see? The jugs in chem, the fountains of it coming out of the sink...it’s like I’m connected to it. You saw me glowing just like that earlier too. The water makes me feel powerful.”

Scott shook his head and laughed. “This is fucking crazy dude,” he told himself but Stiles could see the gears turning in his head as he tried to comprehend what was happening. “People can’t just...control water...that kind of stuff doesn’t exist!”

“There’s a first time for everything,” Stiles said, but he was in the same boat as Scott. Magic and powers and all that jazz wasn’t real. It only happened in fantasy stories full of superheroes and supernatural beings.

“There’s gotta be more to it,” he muttered. Stiles turned back towards the glass and raised his hand again, this time staying in the spot he was.

“What are you doing?” asked Scott.

“I can’t just make water freakin vibrate, that’s so lame,” said Stiles. “I wanna see if there’s more I can do, like Avatar.”

Scott couldn’t contain his laughter. “Like Avatar? Water bending doesn’t exist.”

“Guess again.”

Scott turned to see what Stiles was gaping at and audibly let out a gasp. Stiles’s hand was pointed towards the glass, and a tall stream of water was slowly rising out of it and hovering in mid-air.

“Oh my God,” Scott said. “This isn’t happening.”

“It’s fucking happening dude!” Stiles hollered. He couldn’t believe it. He had freaking powers! His whole childhood, he’d been obsessed with superheroes. He’d seen every single Marvel and DC movie, read nearly every comic, and had dreamt almost every night about becoming a superhero. Now here he was, an 18-year-old in high school actually doing the impossible.

 

Stiles lowered his hand, but a little too fast. The water fell back down towards the glass but most of it ended up spilling onto his desk. “Whoops,” he said with a laugh.

The friends sat on the bed, both in shock. “Ok...the question now is how did this happen?” Scott asked. “You couldn’t do this last week.”

“You’re right,” agreed Stiles. “I don’t know, something had to have happened to me, something like…the trident!” Stiles shot up and ran his hands through his hair.

“The what now?” Scott said in confusion.

Stiles laughed and started pacing again. “Of course! The glowing was the same as what happened under the water!”

“Stiles!” Scott snapped him out of it again. “What the hell do you mean by a trident?”

Stiles eagerly returned to the bed and shook Scott excitedly. “At the bluff, when they threw me in and I was underwater I saw something. I thought I was dying, but I was drawn to this old trident I saw. As I got closer it started glowing the same way I did when I got closer to the water.”

“So you think the trident gave you powers?” Scott asked. The boy still looked like he had seen a ghost.

“What else could’ve done it?” Stiles responded. “I remember it all now. As soon as I touched the trident, I could breathe for a second and there was a big flash of light. Come on Scott, it’s my origin story!”

Scott cocked an eyebrow and scoffed. “You’re what?”

“My origin story, like every superhero has. It’s how they get their powers, the background that motivates them to become a hero.””

“So what…” said Scott, “you’re gonna become a superhero?”

Stiles paused at the question. Would he? He had the ability now, and he’d always wanted to
follow in his father’s footsteps and fight crime. “Let’s not get too far ahead,” he said, “but it’s possible.”

Scott jumped up and pulled on his dark hair. “This is all just insane...a magical trident underwater gave you magical powers to control water. Ok yeah completely normal.”

“I agree it’s crazy, but it’s happening. Now we have to figure out what to do about it.” Stiles started pacing again, a nervous habit when he was thinking hard. “I think we need to go back to the bluff.”

“Are you sure?” Scott asked worriedly. “Are you ok to go back after what happened?”

Stiles sighed but nodded. “Yeah, they’re just idiotic bullies who don’t have anything better to do with their lives. I can’t live in fear of it. I need to get the trident, though. Maybe it’ll give us more answers.”

“Ok, I’m right behind you,” Scott reassured him. Stiles gave him a warm smile. He was so grateful for his best friend. They’d have each other’s backs through anything, even Stiles becoming some sort of water bending mutant thing.

That’s how the boys found themselves an hour later standing on top of the same cliff Stiles was thrown off of over the weekend. Standing up there again and staring down at the churning water below made him feel like he was going to puke.

The sun was barely starting to set, and an impending storm caused the water to act rougher than usual. Scott shivered as a cool breeze came off the ocean.

“Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea,” said Scott. “It’s gonna get dark soon.”

“We already made it this far,” Stiles responded. “We just need to get the trident and go.”

They made their way to the dirt path that led down to the water. Stiles definitely felt a lot safer on it compared to getting down the fast way—which would be to jump. After a couple minutes the boys arrived at the rocky shore. Small waves were violently crashing against the large boulders and rock wall of the bluff.

“I’ll go in,” Stiles said and he stripped down to only his swimsuit. The stormy air hugged his skin immediately, feeling like tiny ice chips hitting him over and over again.

Scott caught Stiles’s clothes which were thrown at him. “Are you sure? The waters a little rough today.”

Stiles sighed and stared down at the ocean. It was angry, he could feel it telling him to turn back. “I have to Scott. I’ll be fine.” Before Scott could respond, Stiles dove into the water.

With the cloudy sunset above, it was hard to see under the surface. Stiles put his hands in front of him as a guide in case he hit any rocks. He swam down to the ocean floor, feeling along it for any sign of the trident.

This experience was extremely different than the last time Stiles was down there. Last time he felt defenseless and weak as the water pulled him down. Now Stiles felt powerful, like he was in charge.

He reached his max for holding his breath so Stiles turned towards the surface. Before he could break through, he accidentally inhaled and dreaded the incoming feeling of water flooding his lungs.

It felt like he had taken a gulp of air though that refreshed his oxygen supply. Stiles’s eyes widened in shock as he realized he could actually breathe underwater. He swam up to the surface anyways to tell Scott.

“Thank God,” his friend said once Stiles poked his head up.

“Dude,” Stiles said as he tried to stay afloat. “I can breathe underwater!”

Scott let out a holler, sharing Stiles’s excitement. “Holy shit.”

“I haven’t found anything yet, I’m going back under,” said Stiles before disappearing once again under the ocean.

Now that he knew of his newfound ability, Stiles breathed in happily through his nose. It was an extraordinary feeling, and he felt even more powerful than before.

Stiles returned to the floor, scanning it back and forth for the trident. After searching for a couple
minutes he came across a small cave in the bottom of the bluff that was submerged. It was pitch black inside and slightly unsettling. Stiles quickly went up to tell Scott where he was going, then made his way into the dark cave. It was just big enough to fit his body, and Stiles ran each hand along the cave wall to help him navigate.

The darkness didn’t last long as the familiar orange glow illuminated the walls around Stiles. The trident was laying at the end of the tunnel, still covered in algae but lighting up the same way as the last time Stiles saw it. This time when he grabbed it, though, Stiles didn’t black out. The orange light transferred from the object through his body. Stiles beamed as an incredible feeling came over him. It felt right, like the trident was molded to fit his hand perfectly.

Stiles turned around and swam out of the cave as fast as possible, the glow now guiding his way. He swam faster than he’d ever swam before. His body felt like a torpedo shooting through the water. Once Stiles broke out of the mouth of the cave, he swam upwards. It was now pitch black under water, and the light illuminating himself started to disappear.

The trident broke through the surface first, followed by the rest of Stiles. Scott was standing right there on a rock and hurriedly tried to help his friend out of the water. “Stiles!” he exclaimed. “What the hell dude I was freaking out! Look!” Scott pointed upwards and that’s when Stiles understood why.

The sun was completely gone from the horizon line, but was replaced by gigantic, looming storm clouds. Thunder and lightning filled the sky over the ocean, and the storm seemed to be moving right towards the boys. Heavy rain was already pounding down on them. The ocean was way more violent than before, slamming Stiles against the rocks as he scurried out. He howled in pain as he felt his knee badly scrape against them, the warm blood trailing down his leg already.

“We need to get out of here,” said Stiles, and he grabbed his pile of clothes in one hand and the trident in another.

The water level had risen, though, and waves lapped at the boys’ feet, threatening to pull them out to sea. Surge after surge came, never giving them a break to escape.

“It’s flooding the entrance to the path!” Scott screamed over the loud pounding of the thunder and roar of the wind. Sure enough, the sea was flooding over the rocks, making the usual easy walk to the path now an impossible swim. Stiles hobbled over to Scott. The boy looked down at his friend in shock. “You’re bleeding!”

“I’ll be fine,” Stiles yelled. “Come on!” They tried their best to balance on the slippery rocks and hopped over to the angry waves crashing against their exit route.

“Stiles watch out!”

He turned around just in time to see a huge wave heading their way. Stiles put his arms up and ducked to brace himself for the impact, but it never came.

He slowly opened his eyes, blinking in surprise as he saw the light illuminating from the trident and his hands. The wave was stopped in midair, frozen in time in its shape right before the crash. “Oh my God,” Scott muttered behind Stiles.

Stiles moved each arm out to either side of himself and the wave split in two, crashing around the boys instead of on top of them. Stiles was just as shocked as his best friend, but hollered in excitement. He turned back around to the path and held his hands up again. The ocean moved with him, separating to form two big walls on either side of the path that allowed the boys to escape. They grabbed their things and ran as fast as they could, the ocean coming back down behind them.

“We made it!” Scott exclaimed and hugged his friend. “You did that.”

“I did that,” Stiles repeated and laughed. “Oh my God I did that!”

“Now come on!” They ran up the pathway and to the top of the bluff. Stiles grabbed his keys out of the pocket of the jacket he was holding and quickly unlocked his jeep.

They hopped in and slammed the doors shut. Stiles threw the trident into the backseat and started the car. “I can’t believe that just happened,” he mumbled as he gripped the steering wheel tight.

“Me neither,” said Scott. “Now let’s get home.”

Stiles nodded and turned the car towards the road. They carefully made their way down the slippery slope through the angry storm, both trying to process the extraordinary events of the day.

Once they arrived back into the suburban neighborhoods, they came down from the high of excitement. “We could’ve died,” Scott muttered.

Stiles shot a glance at him. The boy was staring forwards, mouth slightly open in shock. “But we didn’t.”

“Thanks to you! Shit you really are like a superhero.”

They pulled back into the Stilinski’s driveway. Stiles praised the heavens above that his dad wasn’t home yet. He didn’t need to try and explain him being wet and muddy in only a swimsuit carrying a rusty old trident through the house.

Once they arrived back in Stiles’s room, Stiles threw the trident onto his desk to examine it. Now that he could see it in proper light, the thing was truly amazing. It took up the entire length of his desk, even hanging off of it a bit. The trident was only a little shorter than Stiles’s height, structured the same way as any other one with the three prongs at the top. The grime covering it barely allowed Stiles to see what it looked like underneath, but he ran his fingers along the small areas where he could make out some sort of golden material underneath with unfamiliar writing across it.

“I’m gonna wash this crap off,” Stiles said and picked it up again. Scott followed him to the bathroom as Stiles turned on the shower and scrubbed away at the trident. The algae and dirt fell off in chunks, staining the bottom of the shower green and brown.

“Gross,” Scott muttered but he helped Stiles dry the thing off anyways.

They brought it back into the bedroom and gawked at the golden scepter before them. It was beautiful, like something out of a treasury in Atlantis. The whole thing was gold, with ancient script down the handle. The three prongs had tips like those of a fishhook that formed into a sharp point at the end.

“Woah,” Stiles muttered as he ran his fingers down the writing. A slight glow in the letters followed his movement. He grabbed his laptop and opened it to google information about ancient tridents.

“Do you think you’ll find something?” Scott said while grabbing a chair and sitting down next to Stiles.

Stiles shrugged without taking his eyes off the computer screen. “It’s worth a shot.” He dove deep into google, trying to find anything on magical tridents off the Pacific coast.

“I think I’ve got something,” Stiles said moments later. Scott peered over his shoulder at the screen. It was a website about ancient mythology. A picture took up most of the site that contained a powerful looking merman underwater holding the exact trident on the desk before them. “Oh my God. It says here that the trident belongs to Triton, a Greek god and messenger of the sea, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, and he wielded a trident like his father. Poseidon crafted the trident from the deepest waters of Atlantis and formed it to choose Triton as it’s controller, giving him the power to calm or raise the seas.”

Scott took over reading, finishing the last part for Stiles. “Many believers of the ancient gods think that the lost trident of Triton is still out there, waiting to choose the next master of the seas…” He trailed off and they both looked to the trident in front of them. It all suddenly started to click.

Stiles gave his friend a look of disbelief and just muttered under his breath, “Well shit, I think it chose me.”

Chapter Text

Stiles woke up to the sunlight streaming in through his window and onto his face. He squinted as he opened his eyes and put a hand up as the glare seemed to be brighter than usual. When he finally woke up all the way, he realized it was coming from the sun hitting the golden trident still sitting on his desk.

“Stiles, you up?” his dad’s voice came from right outside the door followed by a knock.

Stiles sprung up as fast as he could and grabbed the trident, throwing it under his bed right as his father turned the doorknob and entered the room.

“You know dad, just because you knock doesn’t mean you can suddenly enter right after,” Stiles whined as he subtly kicked the last visible part of the trident under the bed.

The sheriff just shrugged, not caring that he could’ve walked in on his son in any state. “I’m heading to work, probably won’t be home till late again.” His face then twisted as he took a sniff. “And take a shower, you stink.”

Stiles rolled his eyes as his dad left and lifted up a part of his t-shirt to smell. He realized that he never took a shower after the events at the bluff last night, instead too wrapped up in his research of the trident until he got too tired to function.

The boy quickly hopped in the shower before grabbing a bite to eat and heading out the door. Stiles pulled up to Scott’s house five minutes later. His friend jogged out of the front door and hopped in the passenger’s side of the jeep.

“Dude,” Scott said once they were on the road to school. “Last night wasn’t a dream right? It feels like it, like...you really can do all that shit.”

Stiles nodded excitedly. “I still can’t believe it,” he said. “I don’t know what happens now...I need to keep it a secret though why I figure it out.”

“What!” Scott exclaimed through bites of his bagel. “Bro you can do amazing things! You’d be the top of the school if people knew!”

“Scott, I’d also be a lab experiment,” Stiles reasoned. “Haven’t you seen any superhero movie? They have to keep their identity a secret in case a bad guy threatens their loved ones or the government locks them away.”

“But you’re not a superhero,” Scott pointed out.

Stiles sighed as he pulled into the parking lot of Beacon Hills High School. “I know, but I’m still a supernatural phenomenon. This town hasn’t seen anything worth talking about since the last mayor was found to be having an affair with his male assistant. They’d want to poke me with as many needles as they have to find out how I exist.”

The boys hopped out of the jeep and made their way into the front doors of the school with the rest of the crowd. “I guess,” agreed Scott. “Well your secrets safe with me.”

“What secret?”

The friends froze as they came face to face with Allison and Lydia. “Um, nothing,” Stiles nervously answered Lydia. “Can’t tell you, or it wouldn’t be a secret!”

“Yeah,” Scott forced a laugh. “Just...guy stuff ya know.” Stiles elbowed him in the ribs. Scott wasn’t very subtle.

“Whatever,” the redhead shrugged.

The girls fell into rhythm with the boys as the group walked to their first block classes. Allison and Scott giggled to each other as Stiles awkwardly walked in silence next to Lydia.

“See you guys at lunch,” said Allison as her and Scott went to their shared class. Stiles and Lydia happened to be in the same boat and walked into AP Government together.

As they took two desks next to each other, Stiles heard a snicker from behind him. He rolled his eyes as Jackson leaned forward. “Hey Stilinski, take a nice swim this weekend? I’m sure you just loved Danny doing mouth to mouth, probably your first kiss huh?”

Lydia turned around and glared at the bully. “Don’t you have anything better to do with your life Jackson? Honestly you’re such an asshole.”

“That’s not what you were saying when you were in my bed,” Jackson retaliated. He leaned back and smirked at Lydia. It only made her roll her eyes harder.

“Oh please, that was months ago. I only slept with you because you were easy, and it wasn’t even worth it. I faked it every time.” With a sassy look, Lydia turned back around and crossed her arms, satisfied at the laughs coming from a couple of Jackson’s friends behind him.

“Shut up,” Jackson snapped, but it made him stop his insults towards Stiles.

Stiles shot Lydia a thankful smile as they pulled out their notes for the class. She just shrugged and gave him a wink.

Stiles plopped down across from Allison at their usual lunch table. He was at the end of the table with Lydia on his right and Scott diagonal. The rest of the lacrosse team and some girls were sitting on the other end. It took a lot of convincing for them to let Stiles sit there.

Allison was rambling on about some test and Scott was staring at her with his puppy dog eyes. Stiles and Lydia gave each other a look, they were both tired of the pining. Stiles scarfed down his slice of pizza, but was interrupted by Lydia gawking towards the cafeteria doors.

“Who the hell are they?” she said in awe.

The rest of the friends turned to see what she was staring at. Sure enough, four leather-clad individuals were strutting through the doors like they owned the place. It was like a slow motion scene out of a movie, all eyes on these people who looked like they were carved to perfection by the Greek gods.

“Holy shit,” Stiles said. He ran his eyes up and down the group. There were three guys and one tall blonde girl. They were all gorgeous, but the guy in the front really caught Stiles’ eye.

It was probably the most attractive man Stiles had ever seen. The dude was obviously built, his leather jacket was tight enough on his arms to show off very large biceps and a tight green shirt underneath stretched to show a peak of a 6 pack. His face was gorgeous too with dark luscious hair and a chin of scruff to match. Stiles could see the bright green eyes even from his spot at the table.

“Stiles, you're gonna catch flies,” Scott teased.

Stiles turned to glare at his friend and lowered his voice. “Shut up, I can’t help it ok that is the hottest guy I’ve ever seen.” He turned back to see the guy looking right at him with a smirk. Stiles ducked his head as the blood rose to his cheeks. There’s no way the guy could’ve heard him, but the look he gave made it seem as if he did.

“I’ll go find out who they are,” Lydia said while hopping up. Stiles admired her fearlessness sometimes when it came to talking to other people. The group were close enough now where Stiles could hear their conversation.

“Hi, I’m Lydia, senior class president and head of SCA,” Lydia introduced herself. She loved to let new people know her title so they knew not to mess with her. “Are you guys new?”

The blonde girl stepped up as the spokesperson. “Yeah I’m Erica,” she said while blowing a big bubble of bright pink gum. It popped, causing Lydia to slightly flinch back. Erica crossed her arms and sized Lydia up and down. “This is Isaac, Boyd, and Derek. We just moved here from, uh…”

“San Diego,” a tall curly-headed brunette stepped up. Based on who Erica pointed at, this was Isaac. He towered over Lydia and gave her a warm smile. “Please excuse Erica’s rude behavior,” he shot daggers at the blonde who just shrugged and rolled her eyes, “we’re kind of like all foster siblings in Derek here’s house.”

“Please don’t call Boyd and I foster siblings,” Erica said as she wrapped her arms around the tall, quiet guy standing in the back. “It makes it sound like incest.”

Isaac rolled his eyes. “And yeah, they’re dating.”

“Interesting,” Lydia said. “Well you guys are welcome to come eat lunch with me and my friends over there.” She pointed to the lunch table and Stiles hid his face as the Greek god—Derek—stared right at him.

“We’re fine thanks,” Derek said. “Come on guys.” He started walking away to an empty table in the back. Isaac just gave Lydia and apologetic look and followed, Erica and Boyd hot in pursuit with Boyd’s arm swung over the blonde’s shoulders.

Lydia watched after them, eyes narrowed, then swung around to walk back to the table. “They seem fishy,” she said when sitting down.

“Lydia, you think everyone new is fishy,” Allison pointed out with a laugh. The red head just shrugged and proceeded with eating her lunch.

“I don’t think they seem that bad,” Stiles said and Scott gave him a look.

“That’s just cause you think Derek’s hot,” he teased and Stiles threw a carrot stick at him.

“Shut up, anyone with two eyes can see that Derek’s hot.”

Lydia nodded next to him. “He’s right, the guy is very hot.”

Stiles pointed a thumb at the girl next to him and stuck his tongue out at Scott. “See, Lydia has common sense.”

“If you think he’s so hot then go talk to him,” Scott challenged with a smirk. Stiles gaped at his friend. Did he not know Stiles and his horrible history with flirting? It usually ended with him making a complete fool of himself, and those people weren’t nearly as attractive as Derek.

“Funny joke,” Stiles said sarcastically and threw another carrot stick at his friend.

“Well he won’t stop staring at you, maybe he thinks you’re hot too,” Allison piped in and pointed a thumb over her shoulder to the table where the new kids were at. Sure enough, while Isaac, Erica, and Boyd engaged in a lively conversation Derek was preoccupied with staring intently in their direction. He caught Stiles’s eye and gave another wink, and man the guy really had to stop doing that if Stiles wanted to live to last block.

“Maybe he’s looking at Lydia,” Stiles said when he turned away with red cheeks. “Come on, the dude’s obviously a chick magnet so probably straight, and Lydia’s every muscle head’s dream girl.”

“Thank you,” Lydia beamed at the semi-compliment.

“I mean look,” Stiles continued and gestured to the new kids. “He’s already got girls coming at him.”

The friends all laughed as what seemed to be a group of popular sophomores attempted to make conversation with Derek in their short shorts and caked on makeup. What was truly amusing was the guy’s annoyed look as he rolled his eyes and ignored everything the girls were saying as if he dealt with this every day (which Stiles doesn’t doubt).

“Did I hear Stiles has it hot for the new guy?” Jackson appeared out of nowhere at their end of the table, standing over the group. He knelt down to Stiles’s level and gave him his signature douchebag smirk. “Want me to get his number for you Stilinski?” he mocked.

“Piss off dickmore,” Stiles responded with a roll of his eyes. “I do not and if I did, it’s none of your fucking business.”

Jackson held a hand over his heart in mock pain. “Ouch Stilinski, just trying to help you finally get some, since you can’t seem to do it on your own.” He got up and walked away towards the exit of the cafeteria with a smug grin.

“What a fucking prick, Scott mumbled. “I’ll talk to him Stiles.” He started to stand but Stiles held a hand up to stop him.

“Don’t Scott,” Stiles said. His annoyed look was replaced with a smile as he noticed the mop bucket by the wall that Jackson was about to pass.

Stiles subtly moved his hand under the table and directed it at the bucket. As soon as the bully reached it, Stiles made it tip over, spilling soapy water right underneath of Jackson. The guy let out a yelp as he fell literally head over heels and slammed onto the ground. The majority of the cafeteria bore witness to the humiliating event and laughed at the lacrosse captain. Jackson looked furious as he stumbled to his feet, hobbling out the door trying not to slip again. Stiles let out a loud laugh as he saw the giant wet stain on the guy’s ass as if he’d peed himself.

“Karma’s a bitch,” Lydia said with a shrug.

Stiles looked over at Scott who was giving him a knowing look. He just gave his friend a satisfied smile and happily went back to eating his cold pizza. “It sure is.”

Stiles froze when he walked into English last block. The desks were situated in pairs, and Stiles had gotten lucky he was seated where he got the two tables to himself. Now, though, in the usual empty seat was the subject of Stiles’s lunchtime sexual frustration.

“Ah Stiles,” the teacher said when he walked in. “I put our new student next to you. Just make him feel welcome and get him up to speed what we’ll be working on!”

Stiles gave the woman a forced smile and walked to his seat. “Um...hey,” Stiles said, visibly cringing when his voice cracked. “I mean hey, yeah hey. I’m Stiles.” This was already off to a bad start.

Derek looked up from where he was leaning one arm on the desk. “Hey,” was all he said back, but it still made Stiles weak in the knees as he sat down. The guy’s voice was even hot, how was that possible? Getting through this block would not be easy.

After a moment of tense silence, Derek spoke up again. “Stiles...that’s unique.”

Stiles tried not to lose his shit now that they were kind of having an actual conversation. “It’s a nickname, yeah. But thanks. I like Derek.” He mentally facepalmed. “I mean the name...Derek...it’s nice.”

“How’d you know that was my name?” Derek asked.

Stiles feared the guy now thought he was some psycho. “I heard Erica introduce you at lunch, not like I’m stalking you or anything.” He forced out a laugh and cringed even more. Stiles had fucked up talking to hot people before due to him being excessively awkward, but he never knew he could fuck it up this badly.

“Cool,” Derek looked away, and well there goes that conversation. Stiles thought it was nice while it lasted...well, only the times when he heard Derek’s smooth voice.

Class began so everyone was quiet, but it didn’t stop Stiles from freaking out. He was this close to an incredibly sexy Greek god, how could he not? Stiles had no idea what was going on in class as his thoughts were occupied with excessive worrying about if he was too close to Derek, or making too much noise, or if he had a stain on his shirt or food in his teeth from lunch.

They started to break off into partner discussions, only intensifying Stiles’s worrying. The teacher came over to the pair with her big bubbly smile. “We’re talking about the reading from this weekend. Now Stiles since Derek hasn’t read the book, why don’t you give him a summary instead?” She bounced away and Stiles pulled out his copy.

Derek reached over and grabbed the novel off of Stiles desk. “Outliers,” he read the title out loud. “I’ve read it, no need to summarize.” Derek returned the book to Stiles and leaned his head on his hand again.

“Oh good,” Stiles said. “That makes my job easier...well then I don’t know what to talk about-“

“I want to talk about you.”

Stiles flushed as his eyes widened. “Me?” he repeated in shock, not sure if he heard Derek right. “You...wanna talk about...me?”

Derek nodded and stared intensely at Stiles, making the boy’s skin turn even redder. “Yes,” said Derek. “We’ve got nothing else to talk about, and I don’t really want to sit in silence for ten minutes. I’m new here, and you’re the only person I’ve talked to, so tell me about yourself.”

“Um, okay…” Stiles said nervously. He wrung his hands together in his lap and avoided meeting Derek’s intense gaze. “Well I’m a senior, 18. Uh, I don't really do much, not much of a sports guy. My best friend Scott, who was the dark-haired guy sitting across from the girl Lydia you met at lunch, made me try out for lacrosse with him freshman year but I didn’t make it. They told me to try again next year but I never did as the lacrosse team started treating me like shit. Didn’t really wanna be rubbing elbows every day with people who hate me, ya feel? Sorry, I ramble on when I’m nervous.”

“Why are you nervous Stiles?” Derek said smugly and leaned forward more into Stiles’s space. He knew exactly what effect he had on the boy.

“What?” Stiles squeaked out. He was sure he was the color burnt tomato now. His palms turned extremely sweaty, and he rubbed them up and down his pants nervously.

“Am I making you nervous Stiles?” Derek was even closer now, and Stiles found a new favorite color in his eyes. The guy smirked as he put one arm across Stiles’s desk to give him leverage.

“Yes-I mean no! No...not at all, I’m completely c-cool.” The tightening of Stiles’s pants said otherwise.

“Ok class, now let’s discuss what you talked about all together!” Stiles was saved by the teacher standing up at the front of the classroom.

Derek gave him a wink and leaned back to his original spot. Stiles found himself feeling colder with the lack of body heat that used to be so close to him. He stared forward in slight shock as he wondered to himself what the hell just happened.

“Let’s have Stiles give us a summary since that’s what he shared with Derek here!” the teacher singled him out, causing Stiles to freeze.

“Um…” he started. Stiles could see Derek's cocky grin in the corner of his eye. “Can I go to the bathroom?

Chapter Text

“Calcium hydroxide is treated with hydrochloric acid to produce water and calcium chloride. Write a balanced chemical reaction that describes this process.”

Scott tipped his head back and groaned as Stiles read out another chemistry problem from their textbook. “We’ve been studying for hours! Can we take a break?”

Stiles gave his friend a pointed look from his spot on a beanbag in Scott’s room. “Dude, you need to get your chem grade up. The test next week is your chance.”

“He’s right, Scott,” Allison piped in who was seated next to Scott on his bed, their notes spread out amongst them. Lydia was also there and occupied Scott’s desk chair. She was already deep into solving the problem Stiles gave.

“Come on,” Scott whined and slumped back against his pillows, causing a few papers to fly up. “Just a 20 minute break. My head hurts.” Allison mockingly pouted at him and playfully rubbed his head.

“Fine,” Stiles said and closed his textbook. “That means you too Lydia.”

The redhead didn’t look up from her paper, her pencil moving a mile a minute. “Just a second, almost...done!” She put the pencil down with a satisfied grin.

“We get it,” Scott said jokingly. “You’re a genius at chemistry.” Lydia just shrugged with a smirk.

The four friends all put their school supplies away to take a needed brain break. Scott and Allison started whispering to each other and giggling, causing Stiles and Lydia to simultaneously roll their eyes.

“I can’t stand this anymore,” Lydia spoke up and stood from the chair. “You two are so sickeningly adorable it’s driving me crazy, and if you’re not together after your date this weekend you’re both stupid.”

The lovebirds on the bed blushed as they avoided eye contact. Stiles couldn’t contain a snort from his seat and applauded Lydia’s bluntness. It was about damn time.

“And you Stiles,” Lydia turned to point a finger at him.

Stiles was taken back and put a hand up to his heart. “Me? What about me?” he said defensively.

“You need to make a move on that Derek guy! He was so obviously making eyes at you at lunch. I’m tired of you complaining about being single forever.”

Stiles turned as red as Scott and Allison. Lydia could be terrifying when she wanted to, but she always meant well. Stiles knew she had a point, he had complained for so long without doing anything to try and fix his dilemma. If Derek’s behavior during English earlier was anything to go by, maybe Stiles could work with that. Either the guy was flirting and possibly interested, or he was a gorgeous prick who liked to fuck with homosexual dudes’ emotions as some sort of sick joke. Stiles really hoped the latter wasn’t true, but Derek was way out of his league and he was sure to have a lot of competition in school.

“So I thought he was hot!” Stiles retaliated. “So did everyone else Lyds, I don’t exactly stand a great chance.” Lydia rolled his eyes and smacked Stiles on the head, drawing a loud “Ow!” out from him.

“Shut up,” said Lydia. “You stand just as good of a chance as everyone else. You need to give yourself more credit.”

Stiles pouted and rolled his eyes when he saw Scott and Allison nodding in agreement. “Whatever, the guy’s probably straight.”

“You never know, bro,” Scott said, and he had a point. Even if Derek liked guys, though, Stiles probably wouldn’t be the one he’d go for, not when there’s dudes like Danny walking around.

Lydia started to pack up her things on the desk. “Just trying to help, because you all clearly need some relationship advice. My phone’s always on me!” She flung her perfect hair over one shoulder. “Gotta get home for dinner, see you guys.” They all said their goodbyes as she walked out of Scott’s room.

Stiles loved Scott and Allison, but didn’t really feel like third-wheeling tonight. He was a good friend too, as he knew Scott’s mom wouldn’t be home from the hospital until super late, so he decided to give them some alone time. “I should probably dip too,” Stiles said with a wink towards Scott. He scurried to his feet and put the chemistry textbook in his backpack. “We aren’t done studying though, Scott. You’re only getting out of it tonight.” He dapped up his friend and playfully shoved him, earning a laugh out of Scott.

“Whatever dude,” Scott said. “See you Stiles.”

Allison said goodbye too, and Stiles made his way downstairs through his second home. He basically lived at the McCall’s too as he was over at least every weekend. Stiles went out the front door and walked to his jeep parked on the other side of the road. Lydia’s car was long gone, and the far distance of the nearest street light made the darkness of the night unsettling.

Stiles hopped in and threw his stuff into the passenger seat. He turned the key in the ignition, but was met with the frustrating sound of his car refusing to run. “Goddamnit,” Stiles muttered. He tried over and over again but had no luck, so he hit the steering wheel in anger. Stiles took out his phone and texted Scott he issue, but he got no response as he waited. Stiles didn’t want to go back into the house, as he knew Scott’s silence meant him and Allison were probably occupied with something that included chemistry in a whole other way.

Stiles knew he’d have to walk. The trek to his house from Scott’s was only about ten minutes with a shortcut through the backwoods. It was probably stupid considering the mysterious murderer on the loose who burns peoples’ eyes out, but Stiles was confident the guy wasn’t in a small patch of the forest in the middle of suburbia, so he started the journey.

Stiles sent Scott another text saying he’d pick up his car tomorrow when his dad would be home to drive him over, but still not response. He was happy for his friends to finally figure their shit out, but being a great bro came at a price.

The path seemed darker and colder than usual as Stiles ducked under low-hanging branches and narrowly avoided tripping over raised roots. The springtime trees were so dense that soon Stiles couldn’t see Scott’s street anymore, only surrounded by the forest. As if there were some god up above who hated Stiles, it started to downpour. Stiles cursed the spring weather as he sped up the pace, now having to navigate almost blindly through the windy storm.

The sound of sticks cracking in the distance caused Stiles to pause in fear. It was such a cliche, being alone in the forest and hearing footsteps in the distance. It was probably an animal, but Stiles couldn’t ignore the feeling creeping up the back of his neck that someone was out there.

Stiles started running for his life, sticking his hands out in front of him as navigation in the rain. The storm was loud in his ears, but the feeling on his neck never disappeared. He looked behind him as he was running to see if anyone was following, and when Stiles turned back around he ran smack into a hard wall.

After falling to the muddy ground, Stiles looked up to see that the wall was in fact not a wall, but a person. The figure was dressed in dark clothing, and that combined with the darkness of the woods and the torrential downpour made it so Stiles couldn’t see any features of the stranger. He scurried to his feet and started running backwards, but the person only came at him with inhuman speed.

As a reflex, Stiles put his hands up in fear of a strike, but the movement brought a large wave of water from the wet ground up with it, forming a shield-like barrier between Stiles and the figure. It took them both by surprise.

“What the hell,” the stranger exclaimed, and Stiles instantly recognized the voice.

“Derek?!” he yelled over the loud pounding of the rain. He lowered his hands, lowering the wave of water as well. “What are you doing out here?!” Derek was now right in Stiles’s face, and he could make out the guy’s impeccable facial features that made Stiles weak in the knees.

“What am I doing out here? What are you doing Stiles?!” Derek yelled back. “How’d you do that?!”

Stiles froze in fear again as his brain overthought everything. “You’re not...the killer are you?” he asked nervously.

“What?” Derek said in confusion. “No! I’m not the killer. You shouldn’t be out here with him on the loose though.”

“Why are you?” Stiles fought back and crossed his arms. “You can’t yell at me about it when you’re strangely in the forest at night too!”

“I’m trained to handle him,” Derek said, only confusing Stiles even more.

“Trained?” asked Stiles. The rain was slowing down now so he could see Derek clearer. “What are you, some undercover cop?! You know, I thought you looked a little old for high school-”

“No Stiles, I’m not an undercover cop,” Derek said with an eye roll. “Before I answer any other questions, though, I want you to tell me how you did that with the water.”

A large lump formed in Stiles’s throat. Maybe he could play it off, act like Derek was seeing things in the storm. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Shut up Stiles,” Derek scoffed with another impressive eye roll. “You’re a terrible liar.” He leaned forward and grabbed Stiles’s hand, pulling the boy along as he started walking down the path.

“Woah there buddy,” Stiles said but Derek’s grip was too strong for him to break free. “Are you kidnapping me?”

“No,” Derek said with a grunt. “I’m getting us out of this dark forest, where there may be an actual murderer.”

“Good point,” Stiles responded and let himself be nearly dragged off the path and onto a lit street. Derek kept pulling him over to a black camaro parked on the side. He unlocked the door and threw Stiles in.

“You know, “ Stiles spoke up when Derek hopped in the driver’s seat, “this really feels like a kidnapping.”

Derek rolled his eyes for the millionth time and started the car to get the heaters going. When the air started blowing on him, Stiles noticed how cold he was from the rain and started shivering. Derek reached into the backseat to grab something and came up with a large black sweatshirt. “Here. Put this on.” He handed it to Stiles. “And I’m not kidnapping you.” Stiles cautiously took the sweatshirt and pulled it over his head, trying not to react to the overwhelming scent of Derek surrounding him. The guy smelled good too, what was not to like?

After a couple minutes Derek spoke up again. “Tell me how you can do that Stiles.”

Stiles avoided the guy’s intense gaze and fiddled nervously with the strings of the hoodie. What was he supposed to do? Confess and maybe get locked up to be experimented on? Get exposed to the whole school? Sold for money? He knew he couldn’t lie anymore, Derek didn’t believe anything.

“I...I don’t know,” Stiles said quietly. “It happened recently. I found this trident in the ocean and now...I can just do these crazy things with water-”

“A trident?” Derek asked with wide eyes, like he knew something Stiles didn’t.

“Uh, yeah,” Stiles looked up at him confused. “Some magical trident that apparently belonged to Triton or whatever. Why...are you gonna lock me up? Tell the whole school what a freakshow I am so they can have something else to make fun of me for?” He ducked his head again, nervous of Derek’s response.

“I’m not going to do any of that Stiles,” Derek said. He forced Stiles’s head up and stared into his eyes. “You’re right.”

“About what?” Stiles’s voice came out shaky as he felt small under Derek’s stare.

“I am too old for high school.”

“What?” Stiles was the one with wide eyes now, shocked at what he was hearing. Maybe Derek was lying and he really is the killer, disguising himself as a high schooler to get on the inside. “Who are you?”

Derek sighed and gripped his steering wheel despite the car still parked. “Let’s just say I’m here to protect you.”

Stiles couldn’t help the snort that escaped him as he pulled the sweatshirt closer to his body. “Protect me? Are you sure you’re not an undercover cop, here to protect the school from some impending danger?”

“I’m not here to protect the school from danger Stiles,” Derek said, pinching his nose in frustration. “I’m here to protect you, only you...the trident's chosen one.”

“How do you know about that?” asked Stiles. He remembered Scott reading that people believed the myth about the trident still being out there, but Derek didn’t seem like a mythology nerd.

“There are a lot of people who want to get their hands on the trident,” Derek said with a heavy sigh. “Erica, Isaac, Boyd, and I have been tracking one guy who’s going crazy trying to find it, killing anyone in his path.”

“The guy who’s burning people’s eyes out?” Stiles asked. He was having trouble comprehending all of the information Derek was throwing at him, but it made sense. He should’ve known that if he was given all this power, there would be others out there who knew about it, but Stiles was in shock at the revelation about the new kids.

Derek nodded, confirming Stiles’s suspicions. “He’s tracking the trident and he’s narrowed it’s location. We never expected it to find the chosen one...I mean, one person out of 7 billion can wield the trident and its powers, and that one person is you Stiles.”

“Holy shit.” Stiles realized that this all just got a lot more serious than messing around with Jackson and a mop bucket. Now he was a target for psycho killers. “So...you guys are trying to protect me from this guy? How do I not know you’re just trying to beat him to me so you can have it first?”

“I knew you’d probably think that,” Derek said, “but I’m asking you to trust me Stiles. Right now, we’re you’re chance at survival.

As Derek looked deeply into his eyes, Stiles found himself believing the guy’s words. There was something buried in the deep green that was reaching out to Stiles, telling him to trust Derek with his whole mind, heart, and soul.

“I trust you,” Stiles said. He had just met the guy, but Derek was a comforting presence. Stiles knew he’d be safe with him. He stared in awe at his protector. “Who are you?”

Derek broke his gaze and looked forward, turning his key all the way to start the Camaro’s engine. “You’ll find that out in time,” Derek said as he put the car into drive. “For now, let’s get you home.”

Chapter Text

As Derek pulled up to Stiles’s house to drop him off, a strange feeling settled in the pit of Stiles’s stomach. He didn’t want to leave Derek after learning so much. He had so many questions and wouldn’t mind spending a few extra minutes with the hottest guy at Beacon Hills High right now.

“Hey,” Derek said as he put the car into park. “Don’t tell anyone about this Stiles, not about me, not about you. There are dangerous people out there who want what you have, and you never know who they could be.”

The speech made Stiles grow nervous. “Um...yeah sure. My lips are sealed,” he said uneasily. “Do you maybe...want to come in for a little? I still have a lot of questions.”

Derek stared at him for a few seconds before shrugging and turning off the ignition. The pair made their way into the empty Stilinski household, and Stiles thanked the heavens above his dad wasn’t there. He didn’t need to be embarrassed by his dad threatening to run a background check on a cute guy he brings home.

Stiles led the way up to his bedroom, for some reason feeling kind of excited even though this was a completely platonic situation. It was just Derek, something about the guy made Stiles’s stomach do cartwheels a mile a minute.

“You can sit wherever,” Stiles said as he plopped down on his bed. Derek took the desk chair, turning to face him with a blank face. The guy really barely ever showed emotion. It was kind of freaky. “So…” Stiles started, cringing at his awkwardness. “Who are you guys exactly? Like, do you work for some sort of magical protection agency?”

Derek looked like he didn’t want to share, but fortunately gave in to Stiles’s pleading eyes. “We don’t work for anyone,” he said in a low and quiet voice. “We used to, and they’re the people we’re trying to stop.”

“Who is it?” Stiles asked, his curiosity now peaked.

Derek sighed and diverted his eyes to the floor. “An organization that conducts unethical experiments on people. They’re obsessed with trying to have the most power in the world. Getting a hold of Triton’s trident would just be the icing on the cake.”

“Unethical experiments? Like what?”

Derek tensed up, clearly not wanting to talk about that. Stiles swore he saw the guy’s eyes flash a golden yellow before they clenched shut, like he was taking a painful trip down memory lane. Stiles sat up and leaned forward, reaching out to place a comforting hand on Derek’s shoulder. Before he could, though, they were both snapped out of the moment by the sound of the front door opening.

“Shit,” Stiles said as he shot up. “Fuck! That’s my dad, this is not good.”

Derek stood up as well, furrowing his eyebrows at Stiles’s nervous pacing. “What’s wrong?”

“What’s wrong?!” Stiles repeated in panic. “What’s wrong is my dad is the sheriff of this town and is about to come up here any minute to see me in my room home alone with an incredibly hot guy who wears leather jackets and he will probably pull his gun on you or threaten to arrest you and later ground me till the end of time and I-”

“Stiles.” Derek was standing right in front of him, blocking his path so he didn’t pace anymore.

Stiles looked up into the gorgeous green eyes. “Yeah?” he squeaked out, sounding like he was a middle schooler going through puberty.

They stood there staring for a couple seconds before Derek smirked. “You think I’m incredibly hot?”

Stiles looked dumbfounded at Derek and threw his hands up. “Oh my God! That’s all you got out of that? Not the fact that my dad may actually murder you?!” He resumed pacing in a different direction. “Look, I’m not trying to get grounded or be witness to a murder, so how bout you sneak out the window. You know, like one of those old cheesy romcom movies.”

Derek looked towards the window and rolled his eyes. “This is not a romcom,” he said and walked over to it. “You’re 18, you’re an adult who should be able to have whoever he wants over.”

Stiles followed Derek and slid the window up, resting his hands on it as the guy shimmied his way through it and onto the roof. “Yeah well it isn’t that simple when you’re the son of Sheriff Stilinski. By the way, how old are you?”

Derek was starting to walk to the edge of the roof and he turned around to give Stiles another smirk. “23,” was all he said before jumping off like a ninja and disappearing into the night.

Stiles shut the window slowly. “23, right,” he said with a shaky voice. “Fuck Stiles you’re in way too deep.”

The knock on the door made Stiles jump out of his skin. “Stiles?” his father asked from the other side. “Who were you talking to?” Before Stiles could answer, the sheriff was striding into Stiles’s room like it was his.

“Um, no one! How was work pops?” he took his place back on the bed, glancing at the empty desk chair that his dad now walked over to occupy.

Noah Stilinski sighed as he rubbed his tired looking eyes. “This guy’s good,” he said with a groan. “We have nothing. The public’s starting to notice how long this investigation is taking and are criticizing the police department. I don’t know what to do!”

Stiles put a comforting hand on his dad’s knee. “It’ll be ok dad,” he said. “The guy’s gonna be caught and brought to justice. I just know it.” He left out the part about Derek and his squad being the ones to take the murderer down, but he didn’t need to bust his dad’s ego like that right this minute.

Noah smiled warmly at his son and stood up. “I’m going to take a long, hot shower. I’ll see you in the morning bud.” They said their goodnights and Stiles was left alone.

He looked back at the window, half hoping to see a certain brooding brunette standing out there, wanting to come back inside. Stiles had literally just met the guy, but Derek was there to protect him. They shared a powerful secret that now prevented them from not spending time together, and Stiles was very excited about that.

“You told him?!” Erica whisper screamed into Derek’s face. “Derek what the hell! You can’t just go around sharing our biggest secret with the first cute guy you see! Do you know what this means? We’re compromised, we have to get out of here. What if he tells, what if-”

“Erica shut up!” Derek said back. He had stood there in the hallway of the school letting the blonde unleash her wrath before he spoke up. She closed her red lips and crossed her arms, waiting for an explanation.

Stiles stood awkwardly to the side, feeling guilty for initiating the argument. He had arrived to school that morning and instead of seeking out Scott first thing like always, he found himself wanting to find Derek. He found the guy standing with Erica, Boyd, and Isaac and came bounding up, accidentally greeting them with, “What’s up guys? Hey if Derek’s 23, how old are you guys?” When Erica’s eyes grew wide with rage, he knew he probably should’ve let Derek spill that Stiles was in on it.

“I told him because he’s the one Erica,” Derek fought back.

Erica rolled her eyes. “Oh my God you’re pathetic! He’s the one? You guys are already in love after one day?!”

Derek looked at her confused before understanding how his words came out. “Oh God, no!” he retaliated. “Not like that E, he’s the chosen one. You know, like…” he trailed off and mimed a trident with his hands. Stiles couldn’t hold in his snort.

Erica’s eyes slowly grew wider as she caught on. “Oh...oh! Holy shit.” She glanced at Stiles and ran her eyes up and down his body. He shrunk under her intense stare, feeling very self conscious from it. “He’s the one? He doesn’t peg me as the type. I was expecting some sort of buff, Aquaman type.”

“He’s also standing right here,” Stiles said with a glare. Erica just shrugged and turned back to Derek.

“Sorry Der,” she said sheepishly. “Any updates on Deucalion?”

“Do what now?” Stiles piped in.

Isaac walked over to him and threw an arm around his shoulder. “Deucalion,” he repeated like it was supposed to make Stiles immediately understand. “He’s the guy your dear daddy is out there trying to catch.”

“The police don’t stand a chance, I don’t know how they don’t see that yet,” Erica said with a laugh.

Stiles looked between the two in shock. “Wait, you guys know his identity? I have to tell my dad, this could help!”

Stiles reached into his pocket to pull out his phone but had it ripped from his hands by an angry Derek. “Are you kidding me?” the guy exclaimed. “You can’t share any of this with anyone, not even your dad.”

He was up in Stiles’s face, and Stiles had to admit he kind of liked it. “Alright Derek calm down,” he said. “As much as I’m enjoying this hot, tough guy attitude all up in my bubble, I’d like my phone back. Don’t worry I won’t tell him.”

Derek looked taken back by Stiles’s subtle flirting but handed the phone back with a glare. The bell then rang for first period, and Stiles dreaded spending another block with Harris. Erica, Boyd, and Isaac headed down one hall, the first two hand in hand. Boyd was a man of few words, but Stiles had to admit the pair worked well together. He balanced out Erica’s loud personality. All that was left was Stiles and Derek.

“I didn’t mean to lash out,” Derek said with an eye roll. “This is serious, though, Stiles. People would ask questions how you got that information, and no one can know about us.”

“I know,” said Stiles. He really wanted to help his dad to take a load off of the man, but he feared what would happen to Derek more. “I have a ton more questions though, don’t think you’re getting off that easy.” He waved a finger in Derek’s face. “I have to get to chem, but want to sit with us at lunch?”

Derek looked taken back by the offer, but slowly nodded. “Sure, thanks.” With that, they both headed in opposite directions towards first block.

“You got the new kids to eat with us?” Lydia said excitedly. “As in, the hottest gossip of the school? This will look great for my social cred.” She bounced into the cafeteria in front of Stiles. They took their seats at the table where Scott and Allison already were sitting, hands intertwined. “Oh thank God,” Lydia said with a smile and sat across from her best friend. Stiles sat next to her, across from Scott.

“We’re gonna have to make some extra room today,” Stiles said. On queue with Scott’s questioning look, Derek, Issac, Boyd, and Erica walked up to their table.

“Oh,” Scott said. “Ok great! Take a seat guys.”

All eyes were on their table as Derek and Isaac sat next to Stiles, and Erica and Boyd next to Scott and Allison. Lydia relished in the attention as she made sure to talk animatedly with the new addition. Derek stayed quiet, but Stiles internally freaked out at the close proximity of their bodies. Derek’s arm was flush against his, and it was a warm and comforting touch.

“Wow Stilinski, I’m sure you’re loving this,” Jackson appeared at their end of the table. He laughed at Stiles then turned to Erica, winking obnoxiously. “Hi, Jackson Whittemore. I’m varsity lacrosse captain and soon to be prom king.” He smirked, expecting to make Erica swoon. The girl had other opinions, though.

“Cool,” she said with a sarcastic smile. “Erica Reyes, I don’t care and I don’t care. I know you’re expecting that line to work on every girl but not me sweetie. Plus, I don’t date guys under six feet.” As if on command, Boyd stood up with a scowl towards Jackson. He towered over the guy, having at least 8 inches on him. Jackson shrunk into himself and walked away embarrassed.

“Ah, you and I are going to become great friends,” Stiles said between laughs. Erica winked at him with a smile and went back to talking with Scott and Allison.

Stiles and Derek were the only two not involved in the conversation, so they turned to each other. Stiles tried to not let his cheeks blush red due to how close they were. “You never answered my question from last night,” Stiles said very quietly so no one else would hear. “What experiments?”

Derek froze again and looked up. His three friends were glancing at them as if they heard, but Stiles swore he spoke quietly. “Now is not the time,” Derek said in a warning tone that prompted Stiles to drop the subject.

After the final bell, Stiles walked out to his jeep in the student lot. He pulled out his keys but froze as he noticed the familiar black camaro parked next to him. What really caught him by surprise was the gorgeous man leaning against it, arms crossed like he was a T-bird straight out of Grease.

“I want to see something,” Derek said as he pushed off of his car to stand up.

“Woah there Derek, take me out to dinner first,” Stiles teased, earning one of Derek’s signature eye rolls.

“I want to see what you can do, hop in.” Derek opened the passenger’s seat and gestured for Stiles to get in the car.

“I have my own car,” Stiles pointed at the jeep and held up his keys.

“I’ll bring you back here to get it later, now get in.”

Stiles didn’t try to argue anymore, the guy kind of scared him. Derek pulled out of the parking lot and ten minutes later the two drove up into the hills of Beacon Hills. Derek parked on a gravel path in the middle of nowhere, hopping out. Stiles followed suit.

“You know,” started Stiles. “You say you aren’t a kidnapper but everytime I’m alone with you it really seems like it.”

Derek didn’t say anything, just started to walk into the woods and disappeared down a hill. Stiles looked around at the trees around him and ran to catch up. It was day time, but the forest was still eerily empty.

Once Stiles made it down the hill he gaped at the scene in front of him. They had entered through large rocks that hid a true oasis behind them. In front of Stiles was a small lake-type body of water surrounded by growth and rocks all around it. The lake led into a moving river whose movement matched the waterfall escaping from the rocks. The sound of rushing water filled Stiles’s ears like a beautiful symphony. He inhaled the crisp air and felt drawn to the crystal clear liquid in front of him.

“I know, pretty great huh?”

Stiles jumped as Isaac appeared out of nowhere. Erica and Boyd were close behind him. They were dressed down in lighter clothing compared to the usual leather due to the warm weather. Isaac wore ripped black skinny jeans paired with a white t-shirt. Boyd was casual in gym shorts and a thin hoodie that stretched around his huge arms. Erica flaunted short jean shorts and a low cut tank top that fit her body perfectly. Derek stripped off his leather jacket to reveal a tight grey t-shirt that hugged him in all the right places. Stiles couldn’t believe his luck.

“We’re here to help,” Erica said. “Now that you have these powers, you need to control them in case anything happens. We may not be able to do what you can do, but we know a lot more about your capabilities.”

“So this is like training?” Stiles said as he stripped off his sweatshirt. He didn’t miss the way Derek’s eyes lingered on his exposed v-line as his t-shirt rode up a bit before he pulled it back down.

“Somewhat,” Derek choked out, avoiding eye contact. “Let’s see what you’re capable of.”

Erica gestured him over to the shore. Stiles grew nervous with the four pairs of eyes staring him down. He didn’t want to embarrass himself, but he slowly raised his arm towards the lake to try anyways.

Stiles felt his connection to the water fill his entire body with power. He had felt strong in the raging waves of the ocean, but the serenity of the environment he was in now hit him differently. He could feel the emotions of the water, where it was angry at the bluff, now it was soothing and comforting.

Slowly a whirlpool formed in the middle of the lake. Stiles let out a holler as the water rose up with the movement of his hand. It felt like he was physically grabbing on to the stream, pulling it up inch by inch until a wall of water stood before them.

“Well shit,” Erica gaped behind Stiles. “Not bad.” Stiles turned to give her a smile, but lost control in doing so. The water came crashing back down, causing a huge splash that soaked the group completely. “We’re gonna have to work on that.” Erica glared in his direction as she wrung out the bottom of her shirt and Stiles smiled apologetically.

Stiles didn’t feel embarrassed about his slip up anymore though as it resulted in Derek peeling off his tight, wet shirt until he was standing there shirtless in all his glory. Stiles caught himself staring with his mouth wide open and quickly closed it. He daydreamed about what Derek looked like shirtless, but now it was happening right in front of him. The guy was incredibly fit with muscular pecs and a prominent six pack, and his tanned skin glistened in the sunlight streaming in through the trees. It was like Stiles was experiencing a fantasy in slow motion as Derek wrung out his shirt, his arms flexing in the process, then he shook his hair like a wet dog.

“Stiles? You good?” Isaac snapped him out of his gaping and Stiles felt his cheeks burn with heat as he nodded, not trusting his voice to come out without squeaking.

Derek then turned around to expose a black tattoo on his upper back. It was what else was on his skin that caused Stiles to narrow his eyes in concern. The guy was covered in pink and white scars that looked like someone had taken a whip to him over and over again a long time ago.

“What happened?” Stiles asked and immediately regretted his lack of a filter because Derek tensed up once he realized what Stiles was talking about.

Derek turned back to face him and avoided everyone’s eyes. Erica luckily stepped up to break the awkward silence. “Let’s get back to work, shall we?” She turned Stiles back towards the water. “You’re doing great.”

Stiles smiled as the warm sunlight embraced his skin. They were all sitting on some rocks along the water’s edge after a couple hours of working with Stiles on his water control. He was still getting the hang of things, but his new friends made him realize he has a lot of potential.

Derek had his shirt back on now and had been quieter than usual ever since Stiles brought up the scars. He was asleep on his back on another rock, one leg propped up while his chest moved slightly up and down with each breath.

“Did I overstep?” Stiles whispered to Erica who was sitting next to him while gesturing over to Derek. Boyd and Isaac had lost their shirts and were splashing each other in the water like little kids. Erica was looking at them fondly.

“He had to deal with things a lot worse than us from a really young age,” Erica said with a sad smile. “It’s just a really sensitive topic.”

Stiles stared at the sleeping man, feeling guilty for prying earlier. It was clear that Derek had a lot of baggage that emotionally and mentally affected him, and now Stiles knew that he bore physical scars as well. “What happened to you guys? If you don’t mind me asking.”

“I guess you deserve some explanation considering we’ll be getting a lot closer now.” Erica sighed and rested her arms on her bent knees. “My parents passed away when I was 12, I was so alone and forced into a foster home as I had no other living relatives. I moved from home to home, always causing trouble that made the families not want me staying with them anymore. After a couple months of doing that, I ran away from the foster system as far as I could go. I was so sick of being treated like a burden, like no one wanted me. So I was out on the streets as a little blonde girl, and you can imagine how that went. I was vulnerable and immature, so when a kind, sweet old man came up to me and offered a place to sleep and free food how could I say no? He took me in his car, gave me water and a blanket so I thought everything was good.

“When we got back to his house, though, I knew something was wrong. This guy lived in some sort of abandoned warehouse, and I was smart enough to know that wasn’t normal. I tried to run, but more people came out and caught me and stuck a needle in me that made me pass out. I woke up in some sort of cell. I could hear the screams and cries of other children around me. People came in and out, making me drink gross liquids and poking and prodding at me like the doctor’s office. The old man came back too, and when I tried to run out the door he beat me until I couldn’t move. He dragged me into a room and started injecting me with some sort of substance that shot pain through my body. After enduring weeks of the torture I was finally allowed to eat in some sort of cafeteria with the other kids. Their ages ranged from 10 to 18, and it was like we were all stuck in a prison with how we were treated. That’s when I met Derek, Isaac, and Boyd.

“We instantly became friends. Isaac and Boyd had come in when I did and received the same treatments. Derek told us that he had been there since he was eight, and he was three years older than us. He was there for five years by the time we got there, and he had suffered through injections his whole time. He told us what they were for.

“The bad guys were putting animal blood and other particles into us. They were trying to make powerful hybrids to build an army, raising these kids from when they were young to develop loyalty to their organization. Many experiments failed, tragically resulting in a lot of our friends and other kids dying. We were the lucky ones, we were successful.”

Erica trailed off as she started to grow emotional. Stiles placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder as he tried to wrap his head around everything that he was hearing.

“What do you mean successful?” he asked cautiously. “As in...you guys became hybrids?”

She nodded and tried to compose herself. Clearly Erica didn’t like crying in front of people. She turned to Stiles and flashed him golden yellow eyes. He jumped back in shock and thought back to the time in his bedroom with Derek. He knew he didn’t hallucinate.

“We became werewolves, and their weapons,” she continued. “They forced us to fight their battles, kidnap and steal, all to make them richer and more powerful. We finally escaped when we were 18 and Derek was 21. That was two years ago.”

“And now…” Stiles said as he caught on. “They’re after more power?”

Erica nodded. “Deucalion worked for them when we were there. He was evil, always beating us and taking pleasure in the fact that he got to inject us over and over again. We were their best, so to lose all four of us called for an even more powerful superweapon to get what they needed.”

“They injected Deucalion,” Stiles finished and Erica confirmed his guess.

“They gave him more power than anyone, not only making him a werewolf but giving him magical abilities. Once they heard about the trident possibly resurfacing, they sent him to find it and bring it back. They knew he wouldn’t let anything or anyone get in his way.”

Stiles froze in fear and wrung his hands together as it all made sense now. “And now he’s tracked it to Beacon Hills, which means he’s looking for me.”

Erica opened her mouth but a deeper voice beat her to it.

Derek was awake now with a determined look on his face, staring intensely into Stiles’s eyes. “And we’re not going to let him find you.”

Chapter Text

“Breaking news tonight, another horrible homicide takes place on the outskirts of Beacon Hills. The Police have yet to issue a statement on what is to be done about the killer, but the citizens of Beacon County are starting to protest in fear for their safety-“

Stiles clicked the power button on the remote to turn off the television. He rolled his eyes at the report, happy his dad wasn’t home to hear the criticism. It was a friday night and the Sheriff was out trying to catch Deucalion. Stiles wished he could offer his helpful knowledge, but he knew Derek was right. No one can know the truth of the bad guy’s motive or it may put them in danger. Looks like no ones safe, though, with him on the loose.

Stiles slumped up the stairs to his bedroom and plopped face-first onto the mattress with a grunt. He felt so helpless; his dad out there fighting a guy who wants what Stiles has; Derek and crew feeling the need to protect him like he was a fucking child who could run into the middle of the street at any second. He needed to do something.

Flipping onto his back, Stiles stared up at his ceiling and let out a long sigh. He let his eyes wander around his room as he was deep in thought. They landed on the trident, which he had placed on top of his desk to conduct more thorough research on its origin. Stiles started at the staff for a bit, furrowing his eyebrows in frustration.

“Why do I have to be benched,” he spoke to it as if the trident could hear him. “They have me practicing my power control, but for what? Just to be better at hiding what I can do? This is stupid.”

He threw a pillow at his desk, causing dozens of papers and a textbook to fall off with a thud, but the trident stayed. “Stupid,” Stiles repeated and resumed letting his eyes roam his room. This time, they settled on a poster situated on the wall next to his door. It was an epic action shot of the Avengers with the movie title for the first film in big letters across the bottom. Captain America stood tall in the front, shield out and eyes baring directly into Stiles’s soul.

The teen shot up from his bed and ran to the poster, tearing it down to stare even closer at it. A smile slowly started to spread across his face as he got an idea. Stiles grabbed his phone and car keys and ran out the door, leaving the poster to gradually flutter to the ground behind him.

“You wanna be a what?!” Scott questioned through the speaker phone of the device balancing on Stiles’s dashboard.

“A superhero, Scott,” Stiles said excitedly as he nearly avoided driving off the road due to the anticipation building inside of him. “I want to help my dad catch this guy, and I have abilities the cops don’t. I can help them.”

There was a couple seconds of silence on the other end filled with the sound of Stiles‘s blinker to turn into a parking lot.

“You’re crazy,” Scott finally said. “Superheroes don’t exist, Stiles.”

“Well neither do magical tridents that give you the power to breathe underwater and control it.”

Scott was silent again. “You have a point.”

“Exactly!” Stiles exclaimed as he put the jeep into park next to a familiar black camaro. He balanced the phone between his shoulder and ear as he opened the trunk to grab a suspiciously long duffel bag that looked like he was hiding a body.

“It’s dangerous,” Scott said with a nervous tone. “What if something happens to you?”

Stiles sighed. He knew his friend was worried about him but he couldn’t let Deucalion keep killing innocent people in his trek to find him. Stiles needed to bring the fight to the hybrid wolf in order to put an end to it all. “I’ll be okay Scott, I can take care of myself.” He said his goodbyes and hung up before his friend could keep trying to convince him it was a bad idea.

Stiles turned towards an ominous apartment building and made his way inside. He had texted Derek asking to see him, and all the guy responded with was an address and instructions to go to the loft on the top floor. Stiles wasn’t sure why he was expecting a nice, average penthouse, but now that he saw it the metal and stone structure in front of him weirdly suited the werewolf.

Stiles made it to the top floor by a rickety elevator and was met with a large door that seemed to slide to one side to open it. He lifted a fist to knock, but the door started to open before he could make a sound. Stiles jumped back in surprise and tried to ignore the butterflies in his stomach when he was met with a disheveled Derek clad in low riding black sweatpants and a tight white tank top.

Stiles’s intuition had been right, the guy was incredibly built with a prominent six pack and a muscular chest visible through the thin fabric. The pants swung low enough and the tank rode up to reveal a v-line that made Stiles’s pants grow tighter.

“Um, hi,” Stiles said and thanked the darkness of the building for hiding his blush.

“Come in,” Derek turned around to leave a flustered teenager in the doorway. Stiles scurried after him and closed the door.

Stiles took in the cold loft in front of him. It was all exposed beams and concrete floors. There was a large car-sized hole in one of the walls, leading to another room that looked the same. A single blue couch sat to one side with an old-looking coffee table. The only source of light were some dim lanterns swinging from the rafters and an exposed lightbulb.

“Where are the others?” Stiles asked and threw the bag down onto a metal table in front of a wall of windows.

“They went out to find some food,” Derek responded and stood on the other side of the table across from Stiles, eyes boring into him.

Stiles gulped. “Find? Like...hunting for food? What do you guys eat, deer? Bunnies? Stray cats...”

Stiles faded off as Derek gave him a big eye roll. “More like chicken,” the guy interrupted, “...from the Chick-Fil-A downtown.”

Heat rose to Stiles’s cheeks again as he realized how stupid he sounded. He still wasn’t totally recovered from finding out werewolves are real and Derek was one of them. Stiles never knew he had a werewolf kink...but he had questioned a lot about his life due to the crazy events of the past week.

“Now why did you urgently want to talk tonight?” Derek interrupted Stiles’s thoughts and crossed his arms, causing his arm muscles to flex. Derek knew exactly what he was doing, Stiles was sure of it.

Stiles tried to push those thoughts to the back of his mind as he unzipped the duffel bag on the table in front of them. “I thought if anyone saw me carrying this up here they’d get a little freaked out,” he said as he pulled out the trident and set it down. The object glowed when Stiles touched it, and he could instantly feel the powerful connection.

Derek’s eyes widened in shock. “Shit...this is it, huh.”

Stiles couldn’t help the shit-eating grin that took over his face. He ran a hand down the staff and relished in the amazing feeling it gave him. “I know right, it’s beautiful...but I brought it here for a reason.” Stiles sighed as he worked up the courage to tell Derek his idea. “Look, you’re probably gonna think I’m crazy but I have faith that this is a good plan. You’re probably going to try and stop me but I don’t really give a shit what you think but like I know you’re just trying to protect me and all and it’s really quite endearing-”

“The point Stiles,” Derek groaned.

“Right, right,” Stiles said sheepishly. “The point is...I want to train more using the trident. I think I have a lot more potential hidden by the fact that I’ve been practicing without it. I feel a connection unlike anything I’ve ever felt before, Derek. I want to use this trident and grow stronger to...well, to become a superhero.”

There was a solid 30 seconds of silence consisting of Stiles avoiding eye contact and Derek staring at him with the most surprised look Stiles had ever seen on a person.

“A what?” Derek finally said.

Stiles ran around to Derek’s side of the table and stood face to face with the man. He jumped up and down excitedly. “A superhero! I have these amazing powers now, Derek. I can help you guys, I can help my dad.”

“This isn’t a Marvel movie Stiles!” Derek retaliated with a huff. He took a step closer to Stiles. “It’s way more dangerous. This organization, you don’t know what they’re capable of. You don’t know what Deucalion is capable of.”

Stiles glared at the guy and crossed his arms to match Derek’s stance. “I don’t need babysitters. If this guy is killing people because of the power I have, it must be something special. I can help stop him.”

Derek was mere inches from Stiles’s face. Stiles could feel his warm breath and tried not to let his guard down by how much his stomach was doing somersaults. “Oh yeah? And what happens when he’s too powerful? When he just finally gets what he wants because you were stupid enough to run in guns flaring, making his job easier by showing him who in this town got their hands on the trident?”

Stiles broke eye contact first, trying to avoid the sting of Derek’s words. He hated being called stupid, he had heard that word enough times throughout his life from bullies, teachers, even sometimes friends. “I don’t need your permission,” Stiles said quietly and slowly met Derek’s eyes again. The guy held a softer look now, but his arms remained crossed in defense. “My dad’s out there trying to fight this guy, and by the looks of things so far normal humans don’t really stand a chance. Let me help you, help my home.”

Derek sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose in thought. After a few seconds he gave Stiles a worried look and stepped even closer. Stiles tried to ignore the lingering thought in the back of his mind that if he moved a little bit forward he’d be kissing Derek.

“Fine,” said the wolf, “but we help you train more first, this time with the trident. Then, you find a way to mask your identity. Deucalion will come after your loved ones if he knows who you are, plus if the town finds out the sheriff’s son is their new goddamn superhero that puts them in danger too.”

Stiles laughed and playfully hit Derek. “Please, I’m no amateur when it comes to this. That’s superhero 101 dude.”

Derek just gave him a frustrated, but playful eye roll. He stared into Stiles’s eyes without saying anything for a few seconds and Stiles noted how intimate of a position they were in. The loft was dark and quiet, no sounds but their breathing. Derek slowly rested a hand on Stiles’s hip, and the touch sent electricity through Stiles’s body. He didn’t know what Derek was going to do.

“I’ll keep you safe,” Derek said so quietly it was almost a whisper, then it seemed as if he caught himself and jumped back. The absence of his hand made Stiles’s hip grow cold. “I mean...we’ll keep you safe. We’ll be right there with you.”

Stiles softly smiled at him. “I know.”

They resumed staring into each other’s eyes and Stiles found himself wanting to lean in towards a guy he’d just met. He felt like him and Derek had shared so much together already, though.

The sound of the large door clunking open snapped the pair out of their daze. Stiles jumped back, putting a good couple feet between him and Derek and he didn’t miss the subtle sad look on the man’s face that disappeared as soon as it happened.

“We bring food!” Isaac called as he, Erica, and Boyd came tumbling and laughing into the loft. The three paused in their tracks and shared confused expressions when they saw Stiles.

“Stiles?” Erica said. “What are you doing here?” She set the food down on the coffee table, then her eyes caught sight of the trident. “Oh my God.” Erica ran over to inspect the ornate item. She reached a hand out to touch it, but as soon as a fingertip brushed the gold she jumped back with a yelp. “It shocked me!”

Stiles and the wolves gathered around the table to stare down at the trident. It glowed orange and teal, and Stiles found his hand reaching out for it subconsciously. His fingers wrapped around the staff like it was made for him and his company watched in awe.

“I get it now,” Isaac said. “The legend, the power, I get it.”

Stiles held the trident up next to him and the orange glow flowed through his veins. “I want to use this power to help you all.”

Boyd scoffed but remained silent. Erica stared open-mouthed. “What are you saying?” she questioned.

Derek stepped forward, arms uncrossed. “We’re going to help him train to become a superhero.”

It only took 5 seconds for the three wolves to break out into laughter. Derek quickly shut them up with a glare and furrowed eyebrows that would put any dog’s tail between its legs.

“Ha ha,” Stiles deadpanned. “Laugh all you want, but you guys need me. You’re all wolves, Deucalion’s a wolf, but with enhanced supernatural abilities. I’m your enhancement. We can take him down together so no one else gets hurt, especially my dad.”

After Stiles’s speech the group started to understand the seriousness of his proposal. Isaac nodded in agreement and Stiles gave him a grateful smile. “Okay,” Isaac drew out. “I’m all in.” Boyd stepped up next to him and gave a firm head nod to show he was in too.

They all turned to Erica, who was still wearing an apprehensive smile. Derek raised his eyebrows questioningly.

Erica glanced between all of them and let out a sharp laugh. “You’re being serious?” she asked and Stiles answered her with a sure nod. The blonde sighed and put her hands on her hips. “Fine! I’m in, but only if I get to help design the suit.”

 

They started that night, cooped up in the loft planning how to design Stiles an epic suit and what direction to take his training in. The wolves didn’t know what it felt like to control water, but they help Stiles control a powerful supernatural ability, something they’re all too familiar with.

Stiles wanted to go to the grove in the woods again, but Derek insisted it was too dangerous at night with Deucalion zeroing in on Beacon Hills. So they started with some glasses of water.

“You’re good at moving it,” Isaac said as he set a glass down on the table. “But you’re not good at sustaining it. You lose control too fast because you get out of the mental state you need to be in. You need to be focused on nothing but the power inside of you...or else it gets the upper hand.”

“You sound like you’re speaking from experience”, said Stiles as he took his place a couple feet from the table, trident in hand.

Isaac sighed and looked down. “When I first transitioned it was horrible. The wolf in me overpowered any control I had over myself. I could shift, but once I did I went crazy. That’s what you need to work on.”

Stiles nodded and gave Isaac a look of sympathy. He took a deep breath as he wielded the trident and aimed a hand towards the water. This felt different than before, when he had only used his hands. The trident gave him even more power, as the water exploded as soon as Stiles focused on it. Glass shards shot out from the overwhelming amount of power and flew everywhere. Stiles ducked, nearly avoiding a piece from sticking in his face.

“Damn,” he heard Erica say from behind him. Stiles turned to see the blonde plucking a shard of glass out of her cheek. Stiles cringed, but she seemed unfazed as she tossed the glass on the ground. He stared in awe as her cut started to heal instantly. “Yeah, that trident’s powerful.”

Stiles smiled apologetically and lowered he staff. “Maybe I should take a break.”

“You just started,” Derek piped in from his seat on a spiral staircase in the corner. He stood up and walked over to the wet table and started to clean the glass up. “Isaac, grab some more water. Maybe use plastic cups this time.” Isaac nodded and left down a hallway.

Stiles pouted like a little kid, only causing Derek to let out a laugh signaling that he didn’t care. “You want to commit to this Stiles,” Derek continued. “We don’t have any time to waste.” Isaac returned with more water and set it down while Boyd cleaned up the broken glass with a blank face. Stiles sheepishly thanked him then prepared himself for round two.

Stiles tried to use Isaac’s advice from before. He focused his mind on nothing but the power raging inside of him and the trident. He felt one with the scepter as he raised his hand. It glowed a familiar orange and the cups started to rumble. Fortunately, they didn’t break like last time, instead the water sloshed around as Stiles gradually lifted his arm up.

The more he focused, the more Stiles felt in control. He was already getting the hang of it as streams of water rose from each of the cups and wound together in midair. Isaac gaped, clearly impressed with the quick improvement.

“Yes!”

Erica’s loud shriek broke Stiles’s concentration and the water came crashing down like at the grove. Isaac glared through the water dripping off his floppy hair. “Really? Again?”

“Sorry,” said Stiles and he put the trident down on the table before turning to Erica. “What is it?”

The girl bounced over to him excitedly with a sketchbook in hand. “Whoops,” Erica said when she took in the wet mess covering the table and floor around it. “Anyways, I have a super badass design for your suit. I can run to the fabric store tomorrow and help you make it. That is, if you like it, which I know you will.” She turned the sketchbook towards Stiles to show him her design. Stiles fell in love right away.

The sketch consisted of a lean, but muscular model posed in an action shot. Stiles recognized his trident drawn in one of the hands. The outfit is what really caught his attention. Erica has designed a tight, dark blue suit. It was just a sketch, so Stiles knew there’d be improvements but he loved the dark detailing and texture shining through the drawing that really accentuated the muscles. The whole thing blended together like a one piece bodysuit, but below the knee she had colored it darker to symbolize boots. It was perfect for the water, and what Stiles loved the most was the emblem on the chest consisting of the top of a golden trident inside of a gold circle.

“It’s amazing,” Stiles said in awe. He couldn’t believe this was happening, he was actually fulfilling a childhood dream to become a superhero.

Derek appeared right behind him and leaned over Stiles’s shoulder to get a look at the drawing. Stiles hoped the guy missed the way his breath hitches by their close proximity. He could feel Derek’s warm breath on his ear.

“I like it,” Derek said. “It’ll look really good on you.”

Heat rose to Stiles’s cheeks as Derek wore a cocky smirk. Yeah, he knew exactly what effect he had on Stiles. Erica seemed to notice too as she matched Derek’s smirk and stalked off with a wink, leaving the two alone. Isaac had gone to help Boyd clean up the mess, the two of them disappearing into what Stiles suspected was a kitchen to throw wet paper towels away.

Derek walked around Stiles so that he was facing him. Stiles was holding Erica’s sketch, and the guy took it out of his hands to inspect it closer. Derek did a glance over the paper, then a once over of Stiles, eyes moving from his head to toes and back again. Stiles shrunk under the intense staring and suddenly felt very self conscious.

“I know, I’m not gonna fit into it as well as the model she sketched,” Stiles defended himself. “I’m not really that much muscle, more like just pale lanky noodle limbs, all skin and bones.”

Derek handed back the paper with an unreadable expression. “You’re right, you’re not going to fit into it like a drawing,” he started which only made Stiles shrink further into himself. “You’ll look even better. You’re athletic and lean, but clearly still have definition. Give yourself more credit Stiles. I for one, though,” he leaned in to whisper into Stiles’s ear, “can’t wait to see you in spandex.”

Derek walked away, that bastard, leaving Stiles to stand frozen in place which his mouth wide open in shock. He had thought at school it was all in his head, but Derek was clearly flirting with him a second time. Twice! Stiles hadn’t had someone flirt with him like this since...well, ever.

He snapped out of his trance and tried to stumble out words through his flustered state. “It’s not gonna be spandex!”

Chapter Text

Stiles trained all weekend, barely taking a break other than to pipe in on what he wanted added to the suit Erica was sewing. He had school off on monday for a student holiday so not a minute was wasted getting him prepared to fight crime. He had told his dad he was at Scott’s every day as it wasn’t unusual for the friends to spend every hour together. What was unusual was for Stiles to spend every hour with someone that wasn’t Scott, and Scott started to notice.

“You tell me you want to become a superhero, then proceed to ignore me for three days,” Scott whined over the phone.

Stiles sighed into the line as he leaned on the railing of Derek’s balcony and overlooked the more urban side of Beacon County full of taller buildings and heavier traffic. He could make out the beach about a mile down the road and yearned for the water, but instead he tried to make up an excuse for his best friend. “I haven’t been ignoring you dude,” Stiles said. “I’m just trying to figure things out you know, and I’m sure you’ve been getting busy with Allison.” He could picture Scott turning red and laughed as the guy stumbled over his words.

“Maybe…” said Scott excitedly. “There’s no label yet, but bro she’s amazing, like actually perfect. She’s sweet, funny, brilliant, athletic, not to mention great in b-”

“Okay okay I don’t need the details,” Stiles laughed, happy for his friends. “Just trust me though, Scotty. I’m finally making a dream of mine come true.”

“Don’t you need help though?” Scott asked, voice becoming more serious. “I’m your best friend, I want to help you fulfill that dream.”

Stiles’s chest hurt. How could he leave his brother out of something as monumental as becoming a goddamn vigilante? Scott knew Stiles was obsessed with all things superheros, and Stiles wished more than anything that he could be here, but Derek was adamant on no one finding out. “I know Scott,” Stiles said quietly. “It’s just complicated right now.” He hung up before Scott emotionally guilt tripped him into revealing every secret.

“Everything okay?” Derek appeared behind Stiles on the balcony, making the teen jump and nearly drop his phone.

“Jesus Christ Derek!” Stiles exclaimed and took a step back from the edge. “You scared the shit out of me.”

Derek cracked a brief grin and walked over to Stiles, leaning his arms on the balcony and staring down at Stiles’s chest. “I can tell, your heart beat is deafening.”

Stiles stared back confused. “You can hear my heartbeat? Dude that’s so cool.”

“Oh that’s just one of the few things we can do,” Derek said with a sly smile. He looked out over the city with a fond gaze, and Stiles looked at him, taking in every perfect detail of his face. “Hearing heartbeats allows me to know if someone’s lying. I can also sense intense emotions; grief, pain, anxiety, arousal…” Derek trailed off and turned to Stiles with a smirk. Stiles quickly averted his gaze and faced forward, trying to convince himself Derek didn’t notice the way Stiles’s face flushed with embarrassment when he totally did.

Derek’s coy demeanor didn’t last long as he turned serious and wrung his palms together. “I know it sounds cool, but I know Erica told you how this happened to us. It’s not always fun and games.”

The werewolf clearly didn’t want to talk about the experiments, so Stiles didn’t push. Instead he offered a reassuring hand on the guy’s shoulder, trying not to revel in the way the small source of contact sent warmth through Stiles’s body.

They stood there in silence for a while before Stiles spoke up. “I think it’s awesome what you guys have, your friendship.” Stiles turned around so he was facing the windows leading into Derek’s loft, his back resting against the bar of the balcony. Derek stayed facing forwards, but looked over his shoulder through the window with a soft smile.

“Yeah,” said Derek quietly. “I don’t know where I’d be without them, probably dead to be honest. We’re more than friends...we’re a family. I can’t help but feel responsible for them, call it overprotective but they’re all I have now. They keep me grounded.” The two watched Isaac and Boyd playfully shoving each other in the middle of the loft, Erica yelling at them from her place at the table surrounded by sewing supplies and fragments of fabric.

Stiles focused his attention on Derek, a warm feeling settling in his stomach at the guy’s look of admiration towards his wolves, his pack. “I get it now,” Stiles said.

Derek turned to look at him, eyebrows squinted in confusion. “Get what?”

A big grin came over Stiles’s face. “You’re their alpha,” he said. “You feel protective of them, and they remain by your side as support. In the wild, wolf packs have an alpha wolf, the leader of the pack. He feels responsible for every single wolf and in return they pledge their loyalty and stand behind their leader for guidance. You’re the leader of this pack Derek.”

Derek shot a quick glance back at his friends then looked at Stiles happily. “I guess you’re right,” he replied. “They’re my pack.”

Stiles smiled at the ground, watching his feet in attempts to avoid showing Derek how much the guy was impacting him. Seriously, he was gorgeous, ripped, brave, kind, and a family man. Stiles knew he was in too deep to swim back up to the surface. He was drowning in Derek, and even for someone able to breathe underwater he always seemed to lose his breath around the wolf. He knew he was developing a crush. There was instant infatuation and lust from the first physical glance, but now that Stiles was getting to know the inside of Derek--no innuendo intended--he was rapidly falling for the guy.

It terrified Stiles more than the threat of a magical hybrid werewolf trying to literally kill him and drain his power.

“Stiles?” Derek snapped him out of his thoughts. “You good?”

Stiles laughed it off and nodded. “Yeah I’m good,” he squeaked and cleared his throat. “I just...um, I get that...the family thing. That’s how it is with Scott. He’s my best friend, but he’s my brother. We’ve been super close since we were little and no matter how popular he’s gotten or who he’s friends with, he’s always by my side. I can tell him anything…” Stiles took a pause as it hit him, “...well, apparently not. He called me earlier and wanted to help me with this whole superhero thing so badly.” Stiles turned back around the same way as Derek and put his head in his hands. Now it was Derek’s turn to offer a hand on the shoulder.

“I don’t keep anything from him,” Stiles said with a groan. “He sounded so hurt that I’m not including him in basically my biggest childhood dream.”

Derek was silent in thought, just letting Stiles wallow in guilt before piping in. “It’s just...it’s dangerous Stiles.”

Stiles looked up at him. “You don’t think I know that? I do Derek, I don’t want him to get hurt. This is such a big thing in my life though. He’s been next to me through every up and down-”

“You can tell him.” Derek wasn’t making eye contact with Stiles anymore, instead sighing towards the city in front of him.

Stiles’s mouth dropped open. “I can?” He couldn’t mask the excitement building in his voice. “Like…everything?”

Derek groaned and pinched his nose. “Yes, Stiles. I would want to tell Erica, Boyd, or Isaac. I get it, I do. Now call him over before I change my mind.”

Stiles felt like a teenager whose dad was letting him finally go out on a friday night. He jumped up and down unable to restrain his elation and didn’t think before he threw his arms around the man in front of him.

They both froze, Stiles’s limbs wrapped around Derek’s neck and unable to unwind due to his state of shock. Derek was just as surprised with his mouth open slightly as if he was struggling to find words to say, but then his hands came up and settled on Stiles’s waist. Stiles’s breath hitched as the touch caught him off guard and the butterflies returned to his stomach.

“Thank you,” Stiles whispered in Derek’s ear. The man shuddered at the feeling, something Stiles took note of in the back of his mind. They separated, both smiling at each other without any more words before Stiles took his phone out and pulled up Scott’s number. Derek squeezed him on the shoulder before turning around and walking back inside. Stiles watched him go, the butterflies only intensifying until the sound of Scott’s voice snapped him back to reality.

“Stiles?” Scott said. “Thanks for hanging up on me earlier bro, but what’s up?”

Stiles inhaled deeply. “Hey I need you to come to where I am ASAP. Don’t ask questions yet, I’ll send you the address.” He hung up and followed Derek inside.

...

Stiles made sure to be the one to open the door when Scott got there. The guy was obviously confused as he took in his surroundings. Stiles smiled sheepishly and gestured for Scott to come into the loft.

“Where the hell am I?” Scott asked. “And why the hell are you here?” Before Stiles could respond, the wolves stepped out of the shadows. They kept their distance to not completely freak out Scott more than they were about to. “The new kids?” Scott gave Stiles an alarmed look. Stiles knew what it looked like, him alone in some run down apartment that looked like the skeleton of a torture chamber with four people Scott didn’t know. Stiles felt like he’d known the pack for years in the short amount of time they’d grown closer, and now he was ready to let his worlds collide.

“Alright Scotty I’m going to share everything with you because I trust you,” Stiles started and guided his friend over to the couch. “You know about my secret and haven’t told anyone, and now you can’t tell anyone about their secret.” He gestured to the group watching.

“Their secret?” Scott repeated, elbows leaning on his knees as he braced himself.

Stiles sighed and nodded to Derek. The man stepped forward and sat on the coffee table across from Scott. Derek looked towards the floor, then slowly raised his head back up. Both Stiles and Scott gasped, Scott definitely more freaked out, but it was the first time Stiles had seen the transformation.

Derek’s face wasn’t how it was ten seconds ago. His ears were pointed, his eyebrows invisible, and sharp fangs escaped from his mouth. Derek was a clear hybrid between wolf and man and his eyes glowed a brilliant gold.

“What the fuck,” Scott whispered under his breath as his eyes widened in shock. Then, his voice raised about ten octaves as he screamed out, “What the fuck!”

Scott jumped up and threw himself against the wall, trying to put as much distance possible between him and Derek. The wolf was back to his human state, his guilty look making Stiles feel bad for putting Derek up to this.

“Scott, Scott!” Stiles yelled as he put his hands on Scott’s shoulders to calm him down. “Look, I know it’s a shock, but he’s not going to hurt you! Trust me.”

Scott’s eyes were filled with fear and his chest was rapidly moving up and down as he struggled for breath. Stiles reached into his friend’s jacket pocket and pulled out Scott’s inhaler, shoving it into the guy’s hand. Scott trembled as he inhaled the medicine deeply, but finally he started to calm down. “What...the holy hell...was that,” Scott wheezed. Stiles guided him back down to the couch to explain.

“Alright so remember when my car stalled at your house? Well, I walked home that night and took a shortcut through the woods. I kind of ran into Derek and thought he was a murderer so I used my powers on him which totally exposed my secret, yeah I’m disappointed in myself for that one. Anyways, Derek knew about the trident and the chosen one and all that and I was like dude holy shit how? Are you some kind of secret government agent sent to kidnap me for experimentation-”

“Stiles,” Derek cut him off with a groan.

Stiles blew him a playful kiss and carried on, relishing in the way Derek’s eyes widened for a second. “Whatever. The point is that Derek, Isaac, Boyd, and Erica aren’t actually high school students. Well they are, but they’re kind of undercover. They’ve come to protect me-protect the trident actually, they just got lucky enough to get the package deal.” Erica chuckled. “There’s this secret organization that wants their hands on the trident to gain power.”

Isaac stepped forward to pipe in. “And we grew up in this organization. They experimented on us and dozens of other children to turn us into what you saw Derek turn into...werewolves.”

Erica picked it up for him, holding her self high as she spoke. “Now they’ve made a super powerful wolf named Deucalion who’s out to find the trident and bring it back to the lab, no matter what he has to do. We’ve been tracking him and keeping our eye on the organization in hopes of keeping them from becoming more powerful. We’re here to stop Deucalion.”

“And Stiles is going to help us.”

Stiles turned to Derek with a surprised expression and couldn’t hide the grin growing on his face from the man’s words. Derek was looking into his eyes proudly, and a warm feeling settled in Stiles’s stomach.

Scott still looked like he’d seen a ghost. “This is a lot more serious than we thought,” Stiles said to him. “I want to become a superhero to fulfill my dream, but to also save people, and myself, from Deucalion. Erica and I have even been working on my suit!”

Scott visibly relaxed thanks to Stiles’s lighthearted cheer and he glanced around the group. “Can I...see it?”

Stiles beamed and hopped off the couch, dragging Erica behind him as they ran to a back room. Erica held up a big mound of fabric and shoved it in Stiles’s hands, turning away to allow him to slip it on.

The suit was incredible, even more amazing than the drawing. The fabric was thicker than spandex, but hugged his body tightly in all the right places. Erica helped him settle into it and preened her hard work as the two stared into a mirror. “Wow,” Stiles breathed out as it all became real.

The stunning ocean blue of the suit was textured with navy blue detailing. Stiles had never thought he was that muscular, but even he had to admit his body looked great. He found himself wondering if Derek would think the same. “Beautiful, huh?” Erica said as she adjusted the fabric and smiled at him in the reflection.

“It’s amazing.” Stiles let out a holler and turned around to see every angle. “And my ass looks great!”

Erica laughed. “Hell yeah it does. I’m pretty damn great,” she said then turned around to grab something. She returned and reached her arms around Stiles’s head. “Now for the final touch.” Her hands covered his eyes for a second, and when they disappeared Stiles inhaled sharply. Erica had placed a dark mask over his eyes the same color of navy blue that was on the suit. He looked like a real goddamn superhero. Stiles hovered a gloved hand over the gold trident emblem on his chest.

“I...I don’t know what to say,” Stiles muttered breathless. “Thank you Erica.”

The blonde beamed at him and squeezed his shoulders. “Of course babe. You look so badass and so hot,” she lowered her voice a bit,” and I know a certain big brooding werewolf who’s going to swoon.” Stiles immediately ducked his head as he felt the blush come. Derek was flirty, but Stiles didn’t know if the guy actually found him attractive or if Derek was even into dudes, but Erica knew him better than anyone.

Stiles just ignored her comment and grabbed the golden trident to tie together the whole look. He was still in shock that this was actually real. “Time to go,” Erica said as she started to exit the room. She turned around and motioned for Stiles to come with a big smile.

“Boys,” Erica started with Stiles out of view. “I present to you the savior of Beacon Hills!” Stiles followed her in and stood tall and proud.

Stiles’s own shock at his appearance was nothing compared to Scott’s. His best friend went back to staring with eyes wide and mouth open, but Stiles could tell he was finally starting to get it.

“Dude,” Scott said, “You look incredible.”

As everyone cheered and looked Stiles up and down, the teen was only focusing on one reaction—Derek. The man’s mouth was slightly open as if he was at a loss of words and he swallowed hard as his eyes scanned Stiles’s body. Stiles felt the butterflies return as Derek’s eyes traveled up to meet his own and the wolf’s mouth twisted into a smirk.

“Really incredible,” Derek said quietly, not able to take his eyes off of Stiles.

“I know,” Erica piped in. “I did pretty great, huh?” She smirked proudly and crossed her arms as she inspected her hard work. Boyd nodded next to her and wrapped an arm around his girlfriend’s shoulders before kissing her on the side of the head. It was a subtle mark of approval, but Stiles felt warm by the friendly gesture from the silent wolf.

 

Later that night Stiles stood back on the balcony and closed his eyes as the bustling sounds of the town’s nightlife filled him with joy. He had lived in Beacon Hills his whole life, knew so many people yet there were hundreds he had yet to know. These were still his people, though. Stiles couldn’t let Deucalion hurt any more of them.

“Déjà vu,” Derek said as he appeared next to Stiles.

They stood in silence for a few seconds before Stiles spoke. “So what’s next wolf boy? I’ve gotta fight some crime.”

Derek scoffed and raised a furry eyebrow at Stiles. “Wolf boy? Really?”

Stiles held up his hands in mock defense. “What, I kind of like it. You need a nickname. You’re a very nicknameable guy if that makes sense, don’t think about it too hard just agree with me. But I can change it if you want. Big bad wolf? Fluffy? Moon puppy? Oh don’t look so sour Derek they’re fun names--ooh, Sourwolf! I like that one, it suits you and you’re angry eyebrows.” Derek just stared at him and shook his head in disbelief, but Stiles didn’t miss the small smile on his face.

“You’re cute,” said Derek.

If Stiles was drinking something he would have spit it all over the man in front of him. “I...um, I...thank you,” he stuttered and mentally cursed his awkwardness.

Then Derek was right in his face, one hand on Stiles’s cheek and the other settling on his waist. Derek gazed into his eyes before it quickly moved to his lips and back. Stiles internally freaked out as one hand came up and fisted Derek’s t-shirt. Was Derek about to kiss him? Oh shit, Derek was definitely about to kiss him. Stiles could feel his hot breath as he leaned in closer and closer.

They both jumped five feet apart when Isaac slammed open the balcony door and poked his curly head out.

“You guys better get in here quick, I think we have Stiles’s first gig as a superhero.”

Chapter Text

The group huddled around an old television in the middle of the loft, all eyes glued to the screen. Infamous reporter Jennifer Blake was holding a microphone in one hand while gesturing at a skyscraper behind her. She was in front of police tape with dozens of cop cars behind her flashing their lights.

“Good evening Beacon County, tonight we have breaking news. I’m here live in front of Policity Law Firm downtown where authorities have just informed us of a tragic hostage situation where gunmen stormed in about 35 minutes ago afterhours, taking control of a few employees still working, including the CEO Jay Murphy.”

Stiles inhaled sharply and crossed his arms nervously. “You want me to storm in on some armed criminals my first time?” The panic was evident in his voice and Stiles knew Derek picked up on the rapid beating of his heart from the worried look the wolf gave him.

“Yeah, I don’t know about this,” Scott piped in, sounding even more nervous than his friend.

Erica stepped forward and turned to the group with one hip popped out. “Oh come on,” she started. “If you think this is bad, Deucalion will be 10 times harder to handle. This is good practice Stiles. You’re not going to storm in, we’re going to help you.”

Isaac joined in as he started typing hastily on a laptop. “Erica’s right, we’ll have eyes on you at all times and Derek will be nearby in case you need help. You’ll have to sneak in out of sight from the gunmen and the cops, then I’m sure they won’t see someone who can bend water coming.”

The nerves started to fade as Stiles took a deep breath in, but not completely. “How will you have eyes on me? Are you all coming?”

Isaac grinned and turned his laptop around. “Nope, but I just hacked into every security camera in the building.” Both Scott and Stiles stared at the screen with mouths wide open. Sure enough, they were watching a live video of two gunmen patrolling a staircase in the law firm. “It seems like they disconnected the camera in the main office where they’re holding the hostages,” Isaac continued, “but this should be enough to get you into the surrounding hallways so you can get in undetected.”

“How do you know how to do this stuff?” asked Stiles.

The proud smile on Isaac’s face grew bigger. “You learn a few things having to be on the run and track down people.”

Derek turned to Stiles and put a hand on his shoulder. “If you feel too nervous you don’t have to do this,” he said quietly. “The criminals have issued a statement, though, saying they’re going to start killing off someone every hour they don’t get money, and the police haven’t come up with a safe plan. You’re their best chance, but I can go in if this is too much.”

Stiles stared into his eyes and composed himself. He stood tall and turned to the group with a confident look. “I can do it,” he said and smiled as the wolves cheered. Then Stiles turned back to Derek. “Just be close by in case I need you.”

Derek held his stare and gave a firm nod. “Always.”

"There should be a window on the south side of the 14th floor that's unguarded", Isaac said through an earpiece buried in Stiles's ear. The teen was fully suited up and hiding on the roof of a neighboring building, out of sight from a patrolling helicopter. Derek crouched down low next to him, them having to be flush up against each other in order to be fully hidden. Stiles ignored the way his heart raced because of it. He'd blame it on the nerves of the mission later.

"Copy that," Derek said back. The man was shifted into his half-wolf stage so that his face was unrecognizable as Derek Hale, but he still clad his signature leather jacket.

Stiles wrapped one gloved hand around the trident to allow more power to run through his veins. "How do we get there though?" Stiles asked as he stared across the gap between the skyscrapers. He tried not to look down at the bustling street hundreds of feet below them, instead counting up from the ground until he got to the 14th floor window he needed to go through. "I can control water, not fly!"

"Stiles, can you surf?"

Stiles made a confused face at Isaac's question. He turned to Derek but the wolf just had a questioning look on his face like he was waiting for an answer. "Umm, a little?" said Stiles, "Why is that important right now may I ask? I kind of need to go save some people not plan a surf trip with you Isaac!"

There was some commotion on the other line before Erica took over the comms. "That's not what he's asking! Look, you have an incredibly strong mutual connection to water. Ever seen The Incredibles?"

Stiles scoffed and turned to Derek. "'Have I ever seen The Incredibles', who does she think I am-"

"Great, so you have," Erica interrupted. "Basically you can surf water like Frozone surfs ice midair from building to building. I'm sure you can figure it out."

"I thought the whole point was to not get noticed by the cops, though," he responded. "Wouldn't that catch some attention?"

"That's where I come in," Derek said and started to stand up. Stiles grabbed his arm and quickly pulled him back down, their faces inches apart.

"What are you doing?!" he said. "They're gonna see you!"

Derek smirked at Stiles. "That's the point," he said. "I'm the distraction while you get in there. Don't worry Stiles, I've done this many times before. They won't see what I am or who I am, and I never get caught."

Before Stiles could say another word Derek was running with inhuman speed towards the edge of the building. There was a moment of panic in Stiles as he watched the man disappear over the edge, but he trusted Derek's words. The guy was a professional. Now it was Stiles's turn to step up to the plate and hopefully be able to make cool exits like that one day.

"Focus," Stiles whispered to himself.

"Good to go," Derek's voice sounded over the mic.

Stiles took a deep breath and followed Erica’s instructions. He slowly stood up and snuck over to the edge of the building after the helicopter was out of sight. Earlier he had confessed his worries over the fact that he wasn’t near a body of water. Isaac had assured him, though, that there’s water everywhere, and he’ll feel it.

Stiles grasped the trident tightly and stood proudly as he closed his eyes. All his energy and focus went into feeling every drop of water around him: the drip of a pipe, a puddle leftover from a past rainstorm, an abandoned bottle on the side of the street. Slowly, the water rose around him and seemingly doubled in quantity. It flowed in the air around him as teal and orange magic pulsed through it and himself. Stiles sighed as he focused in on the window. He had to act now as Derek wouldn’t be able to distract the cops on the other side of the building for long.

People always dream about how it feels to fly. Not in an airplane or with a parachute, but to actually have the control to fly through the air wherever you want. That feeling didn’t come to Stiles yet, as the moment he sprinted off the edge of the skyscraper was one of the scariest things he’d ever experienced. Stiles found himself freefalling for a solid five seconds before he gained enough control to focus on the task at hand.

With the trident in one hand and the other out to the side, Stiles started to surf the wave of water through the air. As he slid off of one wave, he moved his hands around to call on more water to catch him, bouncing off the sides of neighboring buildings before he made it to the 14th floor of the law firm. The whole stunt probably lasted 20 seconds at the most, but as Stiles crashed through the glass and rolled to a crashing stop he briefly wondered if he’d just wasted about five minutes navigating a freaking ocean in the middle of the air.

”Stiles? You in?” Isaac’s voice managed to snap Stiles out of his daze. The teen’s heart was racing like crazy as adrenaline pumped through his veins, accelerated by the magic that joined it.

“Holy shit,” Stiles whispered and gave himself a once over to confirm there were no injuries. He picked up his trident from where it dropped on the ground and couldn’t help the excited grin that spread across his face as he pumped it in the air. “That was awesome!”

Isaac chuckled on the other end of the line. ”Great job. Derek managed to distract the cops but you crashing in probably alerted the bad guys. You need to get out of their quickly. They’re on the 19th floor.”

Stiles agreed and surveyed the room around him. He was in a small, dark office only illuminated by the moonlight flooding in from the broken window. Glass was everywhere, and Stiles sent a mental apology to whoever owned the place. “How long do I have before they head down here?”

”I’m looking at the cameras now. The closest people to you are heading down the stairs from the 16th floor, and they’re moving fast. I’ve managed to pull up the blueprints of the building and there’s an air vent in a break room across the hall-”

“Oh hell no,” Stiles piped in and tightened his grip on the trident as he could make out distant voices coming from out in the hall somewhere. “This ain’t that kind of mission Isaac. No air vents, I got this.”

”Stiles, be care-”, but before Isaac could finish his sentence Stiles busted down the door to be met with two armed criminals.

He took them by surprise as the door came off the hinges and flew into them, momentarily knocking the men to the ground. They scrambled for their guns but Stiles managed to sweep one of them back off their feet with the trident. He was standing in a large open office space with many cubicles around him.

“Who the hell are you?” the other asked behind Stiles. He had a purple ski mask pulled over his face and a large gun aimed directly at the teen. Stiles started to panic, this was his first mission and he really didn’t want to get shot.

“Um Isaac,” he said quietly. “Think you can hack into the sprinkler system?” Not even two seconds later every sprinkler on the ceiling started to go off one by one. Stiles smirked at the bad guy. “Perfect.”

Using the sprinklers as a distraction, Stiles ducked down in the maze of cubicles and came up behind purple mask on the other side. The man had his gun up and searched around him for where Stiles had gone. When he turned around Stiles raised the trident up, bringing a bulletproof wall of water between them as the gun started to go off. Stiles pushed his arms forward and brought the wall down on the man with a force strong enough to pin him to the ground. The gun escaped from the criminal’s hands and Stiles used one hand to sweep it away in a stream of water.

With one man paralyzed to the ground, Stiles nearly avoided being shot by the other gunman. “Hey watch it!” Stiles called out amongst the sound of rushing water all around him. He threw the trident from one arm to the other and aimed it at the man whilst keeping his partner pinned down. Stiles twirled the staff above his head, a wave of water following his motion. As he swept his arm across the room the man was flung into a wall so hard it knocked him unconscious. “Whoops.”

Stiles just shrugged and turned to the other guy. He slowly raised his hand and the water wrapped around the man tight enough he couldn’t move. “What the fuck are you?!” the man cried out.

Stiles grinned as his eyes narrowed behind his mask. “Your worst nightmare.”

”Really?” Numerous laughs could be heard through the comms as Isaac scoffed.

Stiles rolled his eyes at his friends and fought back as he held one man suspended midair encased in water. “What! That’s what superheroes say sometimes, ok? I’m trying to make a lasting impression!”

After the small distraction, Stiles turned back to the criminal and brought the man closer. “I’m really sorry about this,” was all he said before he punched the man with his freehand and rendered him unconscious like his partner.

After the two men were dealt with Stiles headed for the stairs. “Air vents my ass,” he grumbled as he took the steps two at a time until he reached the 19th floor. He heard more voices on the other side and could barely make out their words.

“Please don’t do this!” a woman’s voice pleaded.

“Shut her up!” a deeper, angrier voice interrupted her. “Their times almost up for our first victim, and I think you’ll be an excellent first sacrifice.”

Stiles ducked down as footsteps walked past the door and he could hear his heartbeat in his ears. “Isaac,” he whispered. “What am I dealing with?”

”I can’t see the cameras but Derek’s nearby to let you know.”

Stiles turned around and almost screamed when he was met with a familiar wolf right up in his face. He would’ve blown their hiding spot if Derek hadn’t smacked a hand over his mouth before a sound could get out. Derek brought one clawed finger up to his lips as a signal to stay quiet.

“Five men, all armed,” he whispered and slowly took his hand off of Stiles’s face. “Two next to the hostages, two near the windows, one near the door.”

Stiles nodded. His nerves were eased a bit with the presence of Derek. He knew the man would protect him if things got too hard to handle. “So what’s the game plan?”

Derek shrugged and gave a slight smirk. “That’s up to you hero, this is your mission.”

Stiles gave Derek a wide-eyed look and shook his head. “What?” he whisper yelled. “No! No, I am not going to be responsible for that Derek. This is my first mission and we’re already dealing with a really dangerous situation where people could get hurt!”

Derek grabbed Stiles’s shoulders and stared deeply into his eyes to calm him down. “You’ve got this Stiles,” he said confidently. “I’ll be right behind you. It seems like all they really care about is the CEO. I overheard some of them talking about how the firm sent some of their guys to prison, so it’s a clear revenge case to get the money for bail. They’ll kill everyone else if they have to.”

“And they’re about to kill that woman!” Stiles panicked. “We need to act now.”

Derek nodded and squeezed his shoulders. “There you go, lead the way hero.”

...

Stiles definitely did not have a plan, but he wanted Derek to think he had a plan. Derek definitely wasn’t going to take the reigns, though, instead pushing Stiles to do as much as he could on his own before calling for backup.

Stiles had created another distraction by setting off some sinks in one of the bathrooms on the floor so that it started to flood. This caused the guard blocking the door to go and investigate, allowing the two to swiftly sneak through the door and hide behind some desks while they planned their next move.

“Don’t worry about the fucking bathroom right now, Allan!” one of the gunmen exclaimed. “Get back to the door!”

Stiles breathed a quiet sigh of relief that they managed to go unnoticed. He slowly got to his knees so he could raise his head and peek over the desk, but Derek forcefully shoved him back down. “Ow,” Stiles whispered with a pout but Derek sent him a panicked expression while signaling for him to be quiet again. Then Derek pointed up as one of the men walked past their hiding spot, oblivious to the two until Stiles turned and managed to smack his forehead on the underside of the table.

“Who’s there?!” the man stopped and cocked his gun while he slowly circled the desk. He got closer and closer to the pair and with an eye roll sent in Stiles’s direction, Derek shot up with claws and teeth out to wrap the man in a chokehold. The criminal attempted to shoot but his bullet hit the ceiling, causing tiles to fall as Derek shoved the man’s head into his knee in one swift movement to knock him out.

Derek turned to Stiles and gestured for him to go. “Isaac, sprinklers!”

By now all the gunmen had noticed the intruders and started shooting everywhere. Derek expertly dodged bullets left and right as the water started to pour down. The hostages screamed as Stiles leapt over and ducked under desks and copiers. As shot after shot split the wood of the tables, Stiles made the stupid (or brave, he’d decide later) decision to climb up on the desk and jump off it towards one of the men. He brought the trident down over his head, a cascade of water flowing all around him as it swept the man out with each movement.

Derek was working on freeing the hostages as he cut their ties with his claws. Stiles panicked as he saw one man aim his gun at the back of Derek’s head, so he shot one hand forwards so water rushed towards the criminal and threw him towards the ground. Derek gave Stiles a thankful look, but his eyes went wide. “Watch out!”

A man came up behind Stiles and shoved the butt of his gun into the teen’s back, causing him to lose his grip on the trident. Both Stiles and the staff fell to the floor and the trident got kicked away amidst the fight. “Not cool man,” Stiles groaned through clenched teeth as pain shot through his back. He reached for the trident but the man then stepped on his fingers. Stiles cried out as he felt bones snap, but somehow he managed to scurry onto his back only to be staring down the barrel of a gun.

“I don’t know who or what you are kid,” the man growled with a sinister grin as he held Stiles to the ground with a heavy boot. “Any last words freak?”

Stiles squirmed as the man came down on his diaphragm, but he managed choke something out. “Yeah, I don’t appreciate being called a freak, get enough of that at school.”

The criminal looked confused and opened his mouth to snap back, but he made the mistake of allowing Stiles’s hands to roam free. Before any more words got out Stiles brought his right hand up towards the man’s face, water blasting the guy off of him with a cry of pain. Stiles aimed for the face, but with the absence of his trident his control was a little off as the water ended up hitting the dude straight in the crotch.

Stiles winced as the man was paralyzed to the ground in pain. “Ooh, that’s gotta hurt,” he mumbled. “Sorry ‘bout that.” He glanced around the room. Three men were down. Derek was still working on sneakily calming down the hostages as the last two men were distracted with Stiles. They slowly walked up to him with their guns ready to shoot.

“Give it up kid!” one of them yelled. “You’re outnumbered.”

Stiles held his hands up in defense, but casted a side eye at his trident laying across the room. “Outnumbered yes,” he said while subtly moving a wave of water towards the staff, “but still stronger.” In one quick movement Stiles used one hand to move the trident to him while the other brought a wall of water up to deflect the bullets that started to go off. Stiles pushed the water forwards to stun the criminals while he knocked them to their feet with the trident. Then the teen used his powers to push the men against the wall, inabling them to move while water crushed them against each other.

“Everyone down the stairs!” Derek was yelling behind him while guiding the hostages towards the staircase door. “They’re all gone, you’re safe now.”

Stiles let out a sigh of relief as he collapsed to the floor and sat against the wall. His spine ached and he had a massive headache, but the success was worth it. He couldn’t believe he just took out seven gunmen.

Derek crouched down in front of Stiles after all the civilians were safe and gave him a beaming smile causing butterflies to erupt in the teen’s stomach. “You were amazing.”

Stiles gasped in deep breaths as he sent back a weak smile. “You were too.”

Derek shook his head with a fond look and slowly helped Stiles to his feet. “I was merely a distraction, you did this Stiles. You saved them.”

Before Stiles could get another word in he was being surrounded by big, strong arms holding him close. He stood shocked for a second before he melted into Derek’s embrace, feeling safe in the warmth of the man’s hug. Stiles wrapped his smaller arms around Derek’s waist and clung onto the leather like he was holding on for dear life. The smell of leather and musk filled his nose as he buried it into Derek’s shoulder.

“Thank you,” Stiles said quietly. Their moment was cut short by searchlights shining in from the windows and the sound of police charging up the stairs.

The pair jumped apart and Derek grabbed Stiles’ hand to pull them towards an exit. “Let’s get out of here.”

Thankful for late hours of the night to hide their identities, Stiles and Derek stumbled their way up to the loft where the rest of their friends were waiting. Stiles’s back had started to ache more and he itched to peel off his supersuit. He had one arm flung over Derek’s shoulder as the man slid open the door. Stiles’s other hand clung tightly to the trident.

“Stiles!” Scott yelled before attacking his friend in a bear hug. Stiles winced, causing Scott to back up with an apologetic look. “Sorry man, I’m so happy you’re okay, though.”

Derek guided Stiles over to the couch so he could sit down. Stiles peeled off the top half of his suit so his torso was exposed, the fabric hanging off his hips where his bottom half still remained covered. Stiles didn’t miss the way Derek’s eyes roamed over his body.

“For the most part,” Stiles groaned as he laid down across the sofa.

“You guys did great,” Isaac chimed in.

“It was all Stiles,” said Derek as he sent a proud smile in the boy’s direction that made the butterflies return.

Erica gestured for everyone to turn to the television. “You’re already on the news.”

Everyone turned their attention to the screen where Jennifer Blake was still in her spot in front of the law firm. Behind her, the individuals who were held hostage were sitting around talking to cops and firefighters. “Rest easy tonight Beacon County,” the reporter started. “All the suspected gunmen from tonight’s hostage situation have been caught and are being taken away as we speak. There were fortunately no casualties and no serious injuries besides the gunmen suffering from minor contusions. Police have just issued a report that there seemingly was someone else inside the building who detained the criminals, as they hadn’t made their way up to the floor yet. We’re waiting on more information but for now, we have the CEO of Policity here with us, Mr. Jay Murphy.”

An older gentleman with salt and pepper hair stepped up to the microphone with a cop standing right behind him. Despite the trauma he’d endured, the man held a professional composure and seemed generally unfazed. “It’s truly terrible what some people will turn to when a just trial does not go their way,” Jay Murphy said. “These men were filled with a desire for revenge and almost got me and my employees. We were saved, though-“

A woman who seemed to be one of the hostages judging by the small bandage on her forehead and her business attire jumped in front of Jay. “We were saved by superheroes! I swear, they busted in and one of them had claws and another was moving the water and…” she trailed off as an EMT guided her back to an ambulance.

Jennifer Blake turned back to the camera with a confused look but regained her composure. “Um, you heard it here. Could there be vigilantes in Beacon County? We’ll keep you updated. I’m Jennifer Blake-“ They turned off the TV before she finished.

“Well so much for going unnoticed,” Stiles said. Erica had brought him an ice pack that now balanced on his forehead, shielding his eyes from the light.

“Authorities didn’t see you,” said Scott. He took a seat on a chair near the couch. “Only some traumatizes hostages.”

Stiles slowly sat up with a groan of pain. Derek instinctively stepped forward with arms out to help him, but Stiles held up a hand in protest. “I’m fine,” he said and wobbled onto his feet. “What I need is a nice long shower.”

“Thank you,” Stiles said when Derek handed him a clean towel. The man had guided him upstairs and into a bathroom with an old, but usable shower. It was just the two of them crammed in the small room and Stiles was still shirtless. Derek was in his human state again and had lost the leather jacket, now just clad in a grey wifebeater that left his gorgeous arms on display.

The shower was heating up, causing slight steam to circle the bathroom. It grew stuffier, and that combined with Derek’s body heat made sweat start to roll down Stiles’s neck. He was pretty sure it was just the nerves of being so close to the wolf, though he’d never admit it.

Derek stepped forwards and didn’t say anything as his fingertips came up to settle on the middle of Stiles’s back. It was a ghost of a feeling, the touch so light it sent shivers down the boy’s spine.

“You’re bruised.” Derek was looking in the mirror at the reflection of Stiles’s back. His hand was cautiously inspecting the wound. Their faces were inches apart and Derek was staring intensely into Stiles’s eyes now with a worried look.

Stiles chuckled nervously and scratched the back of his head. “Not surprised, that hurt like shit. I’m okay now, though.”

“Really?” Derek stepped closer. “You were in a lot of pain on the way up here.” His voice dropped an octave and was so quiet now Stiles strained to hear it. “What’s made it better now?”

Stiles audibly gulped as goosebumps rose all over his body. Derek’s hand moved to rest on the counter behind Stiles, both of his arms now trapping the teen between them. “I...um,” Stiles stuttered. “I think you already know.” He quickly changed the subject before he embarrassed himself any longer. “Now, uh, don’t wanna waste water.” Stiles ducked underneath Derek’s arms to turn away towards the shower. He occupied his hands with fumbling with the towel in order to hide the red rising to his cheeks.

Suddenly a hand wrapped around his wrist, pulling Stiles back around to be met with lips crashing down on his. It lasted only a couple seconds, but left Stiles gasping for breath when Derek pulled apart. They were both panting, faces as close as they could get and hands clutched onto each other.

Derek then slowly backed up with a smirk. “You’re right, don’t want to waste it any longer,” was all he said before leaving the bathroom and shutting the door closed behind him.

Chapter Text

Stiles walked through the halls of his school the following Tuesday with a racing heart. When he left Derek’s loft that weekend, there were no more words shared. They hadn’t spoken since that day, but Stiles was restless every night thinking about the kiss they’d shared.

The thoughts bombarded his mind as he opened his locker. Was it a joke? A mistake? Was Derek some confused straight guy trying to test the waters? Or was it just a one time moment of intensity from being in a tight space after going through such a big event together?

He didn’t have time to answer questions as the subject of Stiles’s stress was walking down the hallway, looking gorgeous in tight jeans and a black long sleeve, head tilted back in a stunning laugh at something Isaac was saying. Stiles wasted no time sprinting around a corner to hide.

“Rude,” someone’s voice came from behind him, a familiar female one. ”What’s the rush?”

Stiles gave Lydia an apologetic look after bumping into her. “Sorry, just super excited to get to class!” He tried to sidestep and get around her, but Lydia blocked his way while crossing her arms.

Her intense stare made Stiles feel like a child caught with his hand in a cookie jar. “You’re never excited to get to class,” Lydia said, eyes narrowing. “You better spill later, but whatever.” She waved a hand in the air to dismiss the subject. “Did you hear about the hostages last night?”

Stiles tried to not choke on his words. Oh, he knew about it very well. “Um yeah, yeah I remember seeing it on the news.”

Lydia started walking and Stiles knew better than to not follow her. “Well did you hear about what the people were saying? All of them reported two vigilantes saving the day. Now I get it if one or two people imagined things from the trauma, but all of them?” Stiles just smiled and nodded along, trying his best not to reveal his shaky and sweaty palms. Lydia stopped in front of their classroom and turned around with a flip of her red hair. “I think Beacon Hills has its very own Batman.”

A forced laugh escaped Stiles’s mouth as they took their seats before the bell rang. “Batman, really Lyds?” he scoffed. “It was probably some cops who managed to sneak in.”

Lydia rolled her eyes, but before the conversation could continue Stiles was distracted by a godly human being entering the classroom. Amidst the panicking he forgot Derek was in this class too.

The wolf walked in looking like he ran the school, dark clothing meshing well with his dark hair and piercing green eyes. Stiles wasn’t the only one who noticed, as a gaggle of girls sitting on top of some desks eyed him up and down while whispering to each other. Derek locked eyes with Stiles and a smirk slowly spread on his face, but then a body blocked his view.

“Hey Derek.” It was Melanie Stone, captain of the girls varsity lacrosse team. She absentmindedly fixed her hair as she gave the man a suggestive smile. “I’m having a party this weekend and you and your friends are totally invited,” she said with a wink.

Derek gave her an awkward smile back and sidestepped around her. “Uh yeah, thanks,” he said, but his focus wasn’t on her. Derek’s eyes were back on Stiles, causing the teen to flush bright red as his heart beat faster and faster. The knowing look in Derek’s eyes told Stiles the guy could hear exactly what was happening. Melanie was still trying to chat up Derek, but the two guys held intense eye contact until Derek broke away and started walking straight towards Stiles.

Curses flashed through Stiles’s mind. Was he supposed to bring the kiss up? Would Derek? Did Derek forget about it?

But Derek didn’t say anything, instead just passing by Stiles with a wink before sitting down next to him and taking out his notes.

Stiles was surely as red as a tomato now, and he tried to slump further down into his seat as the teacher walked in. He made the mistake, though, of looking to his right at Lydia. The girl was gaping at him, a big smile forming on her face as her eyes went back and forth between him and Derek.

“Oh my God,” she leaned over and whispered. “We have a lot to talk about at lunch.”

Stiles disappeared into his hoodie with a groan.

Lunch rolled around and Stiles fortunately found himself sandwiched between Scott and Lydia, Derek across the table. He didn’t think his hormones could handle being flush up against Derek in a public setting.

An elbow was jabbed into his side as he settled in, and Stiles let out a quiet “Ow!” while glaring in Lydia’s direction.

The redhead smirked and scooted closer, turning her head away from their group when she whispered into his ear to avoid eavesdroppers. Little did she know the four wolves across from them would have no problem hearing them loud and clear. “You better tell me what all that eye contact was with Derek earlier.”

Stiles froze in fear as Derek was side eyeing him as he spoke with Erica. Stiles quickly shot up and grabbed Lydia’s hand to pull her all the way outside the cafeteria. “Hey don’t stretch my sweater, it’s vintage!”

They stopped outside the doors. Stiles hoped the loud chatter of the students would block the noise from the lunch table to the hallway so Derek wouldn’t hear them. Lydia yanked her hand back and stood with arms crossed, motioning for Stiles to get on with it.

Stiles smiled sheepishly and ducked his head down before glancing around to make sure no one would listen. “So, Derek and I were hanging out,” he said quietly, leaving out the part about how they were freakin badasses who took down a bunch of bad guys. “And you know, this leads to that...and he kind of kissed me?”

He’d never seen Lydia so surprised and she squealed as she grabbed Stiles’s arm. “OMG! Oh my God, what?!” Stiles had to shush her before they gained too much attention. She dropped her voice a bit but still remained extremely excited. “So are you guys like a thing now? Damn I knew he’d probably be gay, any guy that gorgeous is usually always gay. But holy shit Stiles how did you bag that? You?

“Lydia!” Stiles slapped a hand over her mouth. “I don’t need the whole school knowing! We’re not a thing. I mean I want to be, but it was just one innocent kiss that probably didn’t mean anything...and wait what do you mean me? I happen to think I’m pretty decent looking alright? Not Derek level but something.”

Lydia just rolled her eyes and dodged his complaint. “Not important. But Stiles, you can’t always wait for him to make the next move. You need to talk to him.”

Stiles couldn’t help the sharp laugh that escaped from his mouth. “Please Lyds have you met me? I get humiliated enough at this school.” He avoided her sad stare after he said that, instead just laughing it off.

“Well look what the cat dragged in,” Jackson sneered as he appeared behind Lydia, words aimed towards Stiles.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Look what the dog threw up.” He relished in the angry look that settled on Jackson’s face. Lydia put a hand up to her mouth to conceal a snort.

“Fuck off Stilinski,” Jackson said. He placed an arm on the wall behind Lydia and leaned over her with a smirk. “Hey Lyds, you going to Melanie’s party this weekend?”

Lydia glared at the guy and crossed her arms with a huff. “Only because I haven’t missed one of her parties, though just know I will be avoiding you at all cost.” She turned to Stiles and her eyes lit up. “And only if Stiles comes with!”

A simultaneous “What?!” came out of both Jackson and Stiles.

“I don’t do parties,” said Stiles. “I don’t get invited to parties.”

Lydia stepped next to him and locked their arms together, eyes glaring at Jackson while words were directed towards Stiles. “Well now you do, and anyone I invite is allowed.” Then she pulled Stiles with her back into the cafeteria, head held high as her ex stayed behind, still trying to process what just happened.

Stiles knew he couldn’t avoid Derek forever, but he thought he’d at least have the rest of the day to calm down a bit. He found himself at Derek’s loft that night, though, an armed robbery for them to stop at a bank on the far side of town. Fortunately, it was after hours so no civilians were in trouble.

“You need more practice, so this is good,” Isaac said as he monitored video cameras of the bank over a computer. “Well not good that it’s happening, but you’ll do great.” Derek would be patrolling the area, but this time Stiles was all alone in the bank because, as Derek reminded him earlier, “You’re the hero of Beacon Hills now, you don’t need a sidekick.”

A smoking hot sidekick wouldn’t be a bad thing, though.

“Stiles?” Isaac’s voice snapped him out of his internal thoughts and Stiles ducked his head to hide his embarrassment at zoning out. The guy held out his hands and in one of them was the folded supersuit, the other holding the trident. Stiles thanked Isaac with a nervous smile and grabbed the items, letting his fingers run over the cold material of the trident and the textured fabric of the suit. He could do this. Derek would be right there if he needed him.

Stiles walked back out into the main area of the loft all dressed for his mission the same time Derek came jogging down the spiral staircase, leather jacket stretching around his muscular arms. Stiles audibly gulped and immediately felt small under the intense stare the guy started to give him.

Derek looked Stiles up and down with a look Stiles wish he could decipher. “It’s never gonna get old,” he said, confusing Stiles even more.

“What isn’t?” asked Stiles.

Derek met his eyes with a knowing gaze. “How hot you look in the suit.”

“Time to get out there!” Isaac’s booming voice from the other side of the room fortunately saved Stiles from a having a mental breakdown at Derek’s comment. The man’s focus was elsewhere now, but Stiles couldn’t stop his eyes from darting over to Derek every once in a while as Isaac gave the low-down of what they needed to do.

 

”Only three gunment, two by the entrance and exit and one doing a sweep,” Derek’s voice crackled through Stiles’s earpiece as the teen crept quietly around the back of the bank building. ”Police are six minutes out, these guys only need five from what they’re saying.” Stiles thanked the skies above for werewolf hearing. It sure made stopping some criminals a lot easier, but he supposed so did supernatural powers of controlling water.

He tried to shove the events from earlier into the back of his mind. Derek’s comment had surely taken him by surprise and made Stiles’s stomach do backflips. Now was the time to be professional and on task, though.

The back door was hidden in a musty, terrifying alleyway that spooked Stiles more than the men inside. He knew one of them was on the other side, and all that stood between them was an intimidating padlock that looked like it could only be broken by the Hulk.

Stiles glanced around for anything to help him, and spotted a dirty pipe a couple feet away that was slowly dripping water into a smelly puddle below. “Are you kidding me?” Stiles hissed under his breath, but he backed up to hold his trident up. Stiles brought the water up and formed it in the air into a weapon that he brought down on the lock, shattering the thing into pieces and spraying the dirty water everywhere. “Oh my gosh,” Stiles whined. “Gross.” As the door flung open, he was prepared for the gunshots fired into the alleyway. He rapidly spun the trident around in front of him with one hand, forming a circular shield of water that took the damage as he moved forward into the building.

The man didn’t cease firing and Stiles could hear his friends calling to him down the hallway. “What the hell?” the gunman said as his bullets did nothing to slow Stiles down.

Stiles flew through the air on a wave of water and brought the trident over his head, a waterfall following his movements to come down on the man, knocking the gun to the ground. “Come on,” Stiles said as he pinned the man in mid-air to the wall, one hand aimed to keep the water in place. “That’s the only fight you got in you?” Another gunman ran towards Stiles, but the superhero used his free hand to wield the trident and shove the man back down the hall he came from with hands comically flailing in the air.

Sirens were blaring down the street, causing the remaining man to make a break for a window. Stiles swore under his breath as he quickly knocked out the man against the wall and sprinted towards the room the other man had disappeared into.

The criminal was halfway out the window when Stiles dropped his trident to aim both hands out. Water from a nearby cooler shot out and wrapped around the guy’s ankles, allowing Stiles to pull him back down. He hit his head on the windowsill on his way back in, rendering him instantly unconscious.

Stiles knelt down to pick up his trident and gave an apologetic look towards the guy laying unmoving on the floor. “Sorry dude,” he said with a wince. “That’s gonna leave a mark.” As flashlights started to surround the building, Stiles quickly surfed out of the building and up onto a nearby roof that Derek had been watching from the whole time.

“Well done,” Derek greeted him from his perch on the edge, legs dangling over it in order to get the best bird’s eye view of the bank below.

Stiles didn’t know why the simple compliment still made him weak in the knees. Maybe it was because hearing Derek’s voice only made his earlier comment continue to replay in Stiles’s mind even more than before. “Um, thanks,” he replied and sat down next to Derek.

Stiles set the trident down on the roof and let out a sigh of relief as they watched police come out of the bank with three men in handcuffs. A cool breeze hit them suddenly, and Stiles only now noticed how chilly the night actually was. Derek obviously noticed the subtle shiver, and like a cheesy Rom-Com, shrugged off his leather jacket to wrap it around Stiles’s shoulders.

“You don’t have to do that,” said Stiles quietly as he avoided Derek’s eyes.

Derek let out a small laugh and grabbed Stiles’s hand only to place it under his shirt, resting it on his abdomen. Stiles froze in panic, confused as to why Derek had done such a thing but so happy it happened. The man was ripped even sitting down.

“Feel how warm it is in there?” Derek said then took Stiles’s hand out. The boy protested in his mind. “Werewolves have higher body temperatures than humans, I’m nice and toasty right now. The jacket’s just for the look.” He smirked at Stiles and stuck his hands out to pull the garment tighter around the teen, their faces now inches apart.

They stared at each other for what felt like years. Stiles couldn’t see anything else besides Derek’s face with how close they were. He wanted to kiss the guy again so badly.

But of course, his mouth moves faster than his brain, so Stiles spits out, “We should go,” and hops off the roof.

Melanie’s party comes faster than expected. Stiles rolls up with Scott, Allison, and Lydia. Jackson is already swaying on the front lawn with his lacrosse friends and immediately tries to get back with Lydia in a drunken rant about how hot she looks in her mini skirt. She gives the simple reply of “Duh, I know,” then leads their pack into the house.

There are people everywhere. Melanie’s mansion of a house is hidden down a long driveway with no neighbors close enough to complain about noise levels. Everyone who is someone goes to her parties, and that doesn’t only include students of Beacon Hills High. Stiles recognizes some lacrosse opponents they’ve played from other schools.

Right as they walk into the large, but crowded foyer, Lydia turns to the three of them with her hands on her hips. Her tight shirt cuts low enough to leave nearly nothing to the imagination. Allison went a bit more modest, with tight jeans and a crop top. Scott looks effortlessly cool in dark jeans and an in-style shirt that Allison picked out for him. Stiles thought he was going to be left to fend for himself, but Lydia expressed clear distaste in his first outfit choice and shoved him into a pair of a black skinny jeans and a nearly sheer black t-shirt that hugged what muscles he had nicely. He thought he looked pretty good now.

“Don’t embarrass me, and don’t get arrested. That’s all the advice I have for you,” Lydia said to them. Her speech was definitely aimed at Stiles, though. She quickly faded into the crowd and started chatting and laughing with everyone. It was down to three, but Allison wasted no time in dragging Scott to get a drink then dance to the blasting music.

“Fuck,” Stiles said to himself as he was left alone with sweaty bodies shoving into him from every direction. The main lights were all off, but the house was lit up with colorful beams flashing all around and dancing along to the music. Stiles was just happy it was dark enough no one would notice his clear discomfort.

He made the executive decision to start walking in one direction, and found himself in a huge kitchen with cooler after cooler and keg after keg. Stiles didn’t really drink, but that’s mostly because he is barely ever given the opportunity to. Now here he was, a neverending spread of alcohol tempting his underage brain. Nearly everyone had a drink in their hand and were wasted, or well on their way there. He didn’t want to feel left out. Stiles grabbed a cold corona light and popped the cap off on the edge of the counter in one swift move. The cold liquid was an unfamiliar taste and didn’t necessarily taste good, but he wasn’t drinking it to enjoy it.

Soon Stiles was four beers in and swaying to the music in a corner of the kitchen. He hadn’t seen any other signs of Lydia, but briefly caught a glimpse of Allison and Scott making out on the dance floor. No one really paid attention to him, until a tall blonde occupied the empty space next to him.

 

“Hi,” she called out over the music, having to lean in so close that Stiles almost suffocated on the overpowering smell of booze on her breath. She giggled as she laid a hand on his arm. “I’m Kat! What’s your name? You’re hot!” Alcohol definitely clouded the filter on the girl as she continued to flirt with him.

“Stiles,” he said back. He had no interest in this girl (or any girls at all) but his drunk brain found her laughter contagious for no reason and he was soon joining in.

“Dance with me!” Kat grabbed his hand and started to pull Stiles out of the kitchen. He set his beer down on a counter behind him, having no willpower to say no.

The girl wasted no time in grinding on Stiles just like the bodies around them. She wrapped her arms around his neck and swung her hips side to side terribly off beat, letting one hand travel down his body. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want this, didn’t like the female body all over him, but he couldn’t form the words to say that to Kat. Then suddenly a warm mouth was covering his.

Stiles’s eyes widened as the wasted girl attached to him tried to make out, and he found the power to push her off. “Woah, none of that,” he said and kept his hands on her shoulders to keep her back. Kat had a hurt look in her eyes and looked confused, as if she wasn’t used to guys normally rejecting her. Stiles wasn’t blind, he knew she was gorgeous and definitely captured the attention of many guys-- straight guys that is.

“What’s wrong?” she said with a pout.

Stiles didn’t want to upset her, but he should probably confess before it was too late. “I’m gay,” he slurred out with a giggle he couldn’t contain. “Sorry! Not into girls.” Kat stood there shocked for a second then looked Stiles over. With a loud grunt, she turned on her heel and stumbled out of the room, leaving him standing still in the sea of sexual dancing.

He was being thrown around, mysterious hands grabbing onto him, shoving him side to side until two strong arms reached in and pulled him to the side of the dance floor.

Stiles’s eyes widened when he registered who was staring at him and gripping onto his arm tightly. “Derek,” he giggled out and felt his pants tightening as he gave the wolf a once over. He was unbelievably hot like always, but now Stiles’s drunken brain allowed the thoughts to overpower any others. “You’re...here?”

“You’re drunk,” Derek said. A group of girls walked past him, giving sultry looks as if he would follow them. Derek just rolled his eyes and turned back to Stiles. Stiles glared after the girls, his mouth forming a pout.

Stiles took a step forward to get closer to his crush, but it turned into a stumble and he ended up crashing against Derek’s warm chest. He laughed again, burying his face into the soft fabric of Derek’s shirt. “You smell good,” Stiles mumbled. “Dance with me.” He didn’t give the guy a choice and dragged him back into the crowd. Stiles was definitely feeling this more compared to Kat. He took her role in wrapping his arms around Derek’s neck and swaying to the beat. The guy was stunned at first, hands cautiously coming up to rest on Stiles’s hips.

“Stiles…” Derek started, but the teen cut him off with a finger to his lips and moved closer so that their bodies rubbed together with every movement.

“Just dance,” Stiles protested.

So that’s what they did. They became another addition to the sexually deprived couples grinding on each other around them. Derek dug his face into Stiles’s neck as they moved in harmony. This was so much better than Kat, no offense to her she was a nice girl. Soon it felt like Stiles and Derek were the only two people out there. They were consumed with each other, only hearing the loud music and only thinking about the way they fit together like two perfect puzzle pieces.

Derek’s ear was right by Stiles’s mouth, so Stiles took the opportunity to let his sober thoughts come free. “Why’d you kiss me?” he slurred, still dancing to the music.

Derek kept his face in Stiles’s neck but let out a deep sigh, the cool breath sending shivers down the teen’s spine. “Why’d you kiss me back?”

Stiles frowned. That answer didn’t satisfy the question that had plagued his mind for days. All he knew was that he wanted to kiss Derek again—really really badly. Derek didn’t let him respond though and instead spun Stiles around in one movement so he was facing away. Derek gripped his hips roughly and pulled the boy into his chest, and Stiles could definitely feel how their dance was affecting Derek digging into his ass, so he took the opportunity to move his hips back into the wolf. A confident smirk came over his face as Derek moaned into his neck, hands feeling up and down Stiles’s body.

“I want you,” Stiles whispered, but he knew Derek could hear it perfectly. The man froze, so Stiles turned back around to face him. Derek’s eyes were dark, a sign that the simple statement affected him more than Stiles thought it would. “Oops, that was a little forward.” Stiles chuckled.

Derek pulled him off the dance floor and into another room of the house, stopping once he got to a secluded corner. “You’re drunk,” was all he said. “You don’t know what you’re saying.”

Stiles giggled and grabbed onto Derek’s shoulders but he was brushed off. “Oh come on Sourwolf! I could feel it when we were dancing, could feel your-“

“There you are!” Erica bounced over to them, hand-in-hand with Boyd. “Hey Stiles, enjoying the party?”

Stiles nodded and took a step forward, but suddenly the world was spinning and the floor was getting closer. The last thing he saw before passing out was Derek’s arms quickly rushing in to save him.

Chapter Text

Stiles woke up in a bed that wasn’t his, in a room that was definitely not in his house. Sunlight was shining directly into his eyes from huge glass windows, and he groaned in pain as the sensitivity from his hangover started to hit him like a train. Then he registered where he was.

“Holy shit,” Stiles scrambled out of the bed and to his feet, only then noticing he was dressed in nothing but his jeans from the night before. “No no no no…” he started to stammer as he searched the very minimalistic bedroom for his shirt, finding it tangled up in the mass of black sheets he had kicked off and onto the floor. Right next to it was a very familiar looking leather jacket. Stiles froze and slowly picked the jacket up, hands trembling as he tried to remember what happened last night. It was all bits and pieces of him getting drunk off his ass, not liking dancing with this girl, and really liking dancing with this guy...Derek.

At the thought of his name, a bathroom door opened behind Stiles. He dropped the leather jacket and spun around, eyes wide with fear as he held his shirt up to his chest. “Derek!”

The man froze as well, one hand loosely holding up a white towel around his glistening, shirtless body. Stiles couldn’t help the way his eyes followed a water droplet down the perfectly sculpted torso before him. “Stiles,” said Derek. “You’re awake.”

“And you’re…” Stiles started. “Very shirtless, and wet, I..uh, I mean, did we--?”

Derek furrowed his eyebrows in confusion until he caught on to what Stiles was asking and a look of shock came over his face. “Oh, oh no! No, we didn’t sleep together. Well, you tried…”

Stiles let out a loud groan and plopped back onto the bed, letting his shirt fall to the floor once again. “I don’t even want to know,” he said while hiding his red face in his hands. “But whatever I said, I’m sorry.”

Derek chuckled and moved over to a dresser to dig for some clothes. Stiles noticed his tattoo and scars again, but knew this time to not bring attention to them. So instead, he admired the way Derek’s back muscles flexed and moved as the man picked out a shirt and pants. “Don’t be,” Derek said, then turned back around. “You passed out last night from definitely drinking too much, and I figured you didn’t want your dad seeing you that way. I was gonna give you to Scott but him and Allison seemed to have snuck out after having a few beers themselves, so I took you back here. You woke up long enough to strip off your shirt and crawl into my bed before crashing for the night.”

Stiles sighed in relief and plopped backwards onto the bed, staring up at the ceiling. Derek disappeared back into the bathroom and came out a minute later fully clothes, much to Stiles’s disappointment. If him and Derek ever slept together (and that’s a hard if), he definitely wanted to remember every second of it. “Thank you,” Stiles said then stood up again, this time pulling on his own shirt. “I’m gonna get going, though.”

Derek walked with him out the door and down the stairs. “I can give you a ride if you want,” he said and started to reach for his keys. At the same time, Erica came bouncing out of the kitchen in her pajamas with long blonde curls pulled into a messy bun.

She took in Stiles’s appearance with his clothes from the night before and a devilish smirk spread across her face. “Well, well, well, what did you boys get up to last night?”

Stiles glared at her and started towards the door. “Nothing happened!” he called, then turned back to Derek. “Thanks, but I’ll walk. I need to get some fresh air and clear my head.” Derek just nodded knowingly and let him walk out the door.

Once he made it outside to the sidewalk, Stiles started his long trek through downtown Beacon Hills and pulled at his hair in frustration. “Stupid,” he muttered under his breath. The air was crisp and wet with morning dew, so the thin material of his shirt couldn’t stop goosebumps from forming on his skin. Stiles glanced up at the sky, letting the slight warmth of the sun hit his face. A biker passing him waved hello, and a businessman gave him a dirty look after Stiles almost ran into him. The world was normal and buzzing, with people moving every which way to get to work. Stiles felt like he was on the outside, though, like his life was so far from normal he had been removed from society.

Three firetrucks sped past him on the road, blaring their sirens so loud Stiles had to put his hands over his ears. His head followed the vehicles disappearing around a corner. Then his phone rang.

“Isaac?” he answered right away.

”Really bad building fire, Rosa Street,” was all he needed to say before Stiles was running after the fire engines. ”Derek’s running to your house for your suit and trident.” Stiles knew the wolf would make it there and back by the time he made it to the scene of the fire with the man’s superspeed, so he kept running forwards after pocketing his phone.

Isaac was right, the fire was really bad. A small office building was completely ablaze with flames coming out of dozens of windows, dark smoke clouding the street and raising up into the air like a mushroom cloud. Firemen were trying their hardest to put as much of the fire out as they could with hoses and some were on ladders. One fireman came running out of the front door of the building, coughing like crazy despite his suit. “I can’t make it to the second floor,” Stiles heard him tell his colleagues. Their firehose towards the second floor didn’t seem to be helping much either.

Stiles was freaking out, eyes darting all around in panic until they stopped on someone in the distance waving at him. He realized it was Derek hidden in the alley of two nearby buildings and Stiles sprinted towards him. Derek shoved the suit and trident into Stiles’s hands. “You’ve got this,” he said encouragingly.

Stiles smiled back confidently as he quickly changed behind a dumpster. “I really gotta start wearing this all the time underneath my clothes,” he said before using a puddle nearby to launch himself into the air and towards the building until he came down with a splash right in front of the firemen. The men jumped back in shock.

“Who the hell are you?” one said as he took in the dark blue suit and glowing trident.

The water around Stiles disintegrated away. “I’m...Triton,” he said without thinking, then ran towards the building. “Keep that hose running!”

Stiles struggled to breathe as soon as he ran through the front door. He could faintly hear screams from the floor above over the roaring of fire around him. There was no water in the air, nothing for him to use to put the flames out. He needed to get to the second floor window where the firehose was coming in, so he located the stairs. The handle was scalding, so Stiles kicked down the already weakened door only to be met with flames engulfing the staircase. He coughed and cursed under his breath, but he didn’t have time to find another way up.

Stiles had never tried to use water he couldn’t see, but he knew then more than ever was the time to call on as much of his power as he could to get the water from the firehose into the staircase. He closed his eyes, holding the trident high above his head with one hand and raising the other with it. Stiles tried to locate the source of water, feeling its energy coming from outside. The strain started to hurt his head as he gritted his teeth to pull the water through the front door and towards his location. “Come on!” he exclaimed over the loud crackling of the building falling apart around him. Stiles let out a final scream as water crashed through the stairway door, flowing up the staircase and putting out the flames in its path. Stiles followed after the stream, wielding the trident to keep it flowing upwards and towards the second floor.

A man and woman were waiting for him on the other side of the second floor door, both huddled low and clutching onto each other for dear life with tears in their eyes. “Come on!” Stiles yelled and led them back downstairs as the fire of the second floor close in on them. “Is it only you two?!” The woman nodded as her friend held her close. They followed Stiles closely through a tunnel of water that blocked them from the heat and smoke around them all the way until they were out the front door and onto the crowded street.

Firemen instantly ran to help the pair over to the EMTs, and Stiles turned back around to finish his job. He took advantage of the immense amount of water pouring out of the hose and flooded the whole building, extinguishing flames left and right until all were out. The public cheered him on, watching in awe and crying to the heavens above how a miracle like this could be happening.

Stiles collapsed onto his knees once the deed was done, his hair plastered to his mask with sweat, the trident on the ground next to him. He was exhausted, having used an amount of energy he hadn’t used before to control that much water. A hand on his shoulder made him snap out of it and he quickly hopped to his feet, ready to run.

“Wait!” one of the firemen said as he held his hands up to stop the boy from running. “Thank you, whoever you are...Triton.”

Stiles relished in the way the name made him feel and just gave a firm nod before rushing out of there in his wave of water. Before he left, though, he didn’t miss the mysterious figure in a long, dark coat and sunglasses watching him intently from the sidelines. The stranger gave him a sinister smile, then seemed to disappear completely into the crowd. Stiles just shook it off, his lungs burning too much to want to stick around any longer.

“Yeah, you got some nasty burns,” Erica said as she wrapped a bandage around Stiles’s forearm. “Lungs probably aren’t doing that great either.” Stiles opened his mouth to respond, but out came another coughing fit that just made the girl give him a look that said ‘thought so’. He groaned in pain as he tried to get comfortable on Derek’s couch again, but this fight had taken a lot out of him.

Derek took Erica’s place on the ground next to Stiles’s face after she left to go get some pain medicine. He brushed a sweaty strand of hair out of Stiles’s eye and looked him over sympathetically. “You look awful.”

Stiles rolled his eyes and gave a sarcastic, “Thanks.” Derek laughed a bit and gave him a quick wink before allowing Isaac to help Stiles sit up and take a sip of water he brought for him. Stiles gulfed it down as fast as he could, and looked around confused as four pairs of wide eyes studied him. “What is it?”

“Your chest,” Isaac said. Stiles looked down at what he was talking about and gasped as he saw his skin glowing, orange veins of energy pulsing out of his lungs.

“What the hell,” Stiles said quietly. He took a deep breath, his lungs feeling instantly better as he felt no more urges to cough. “It...the water...it healed me.” A huge grin spread across his face and Stiles shot up to run to the bathroom. The group followed him as he leaned over the sink and ran his hands under the stream of water. The liquid coated his hands, but then it spread up his arms and soaked the bandages Erica had just applied. Stiles turned the faucet off, then unwrapped the gauze. The skin underneath was perfectly healed to what it looked like before he got burned. “Looks like we found another one of my powers!” The group of wolves shared in the excitement and they all returned to the main area of the loft, Stiles now standing with them energized and healed.

He started to gather his things. “Now after that eventful morning, I really need to get home,” said Stiles and he started towards the door again. Derek walked with him, following him out into the hallway while shutting the huge iron door behind them.

“Stiles,” he called out, making the teen stop in his tracks and turn back around. “About last night...you asked me why I kissed you.”

A lump formed in Stiles’s throat and his face flushed beet red. “I did?” he choked out. Derek stepped forward, making the space between him and Stiles smaller and smaller.

“You did, and I didn’t give a clear answer,” said Derek. He never broke eye contact from the teen, walking forwards until he had Stiles backed up against the wall. “But I think you already know why.”

Stiles didn’t know why. He didn’t know why a 23-year-old, experienced, God-like man wanted anything to do with him. Derek definitely has grasped the attention of many people, and Stiles wouldn’t be surprised if he had dated perfect models like himself. The wolf and his pack had become some of the most sought after, popular kids in school in a matter of weeks, and they weren’t even there as actual high schoolers. Stiles was an insecure, unpopular geek who lived in his friends’ shadows, unnoticed by anyone out of his league. But here was Derek, surely out of anyone’s league, yet he picked Stiles.

The man had an arm on each side of Stiles’s head, pinning him to the wall. Stiles let out a shaky breath that inspired a smug smile across Derek’s face. “Enlighten me,” Stiles managed to get out, and that was all it took for Derek to crash their lips together. The kiss was unlike any other one Stiles had had before. It was even better than his and Derek’s first kiss with it lasting way longer. They melted together and gained a rhythm that felt so natural, just making out in the hallway like teenagers sneaking around. Well, Stiles still was one.

After what felt like ages, they broke apart, panting into each other with big smiles across both of their faces. “Now,” Stiles started. “I really need to get home.” Derek laughed and backed off the wall to let Stiles free, but couldn’t stop grinning. It was infectious, causing Stiles to do the same. “I’ll see you at school?”

Derek swooped in for another hard kiss, taking Stiles’s breath away again. “Yeah, see you there.” They separated and walked opposite directions down the hallway, but kept looking back, both riding the high of the kiss.

If Stiles thought people were talking a lot about the bank heist, it was nothing compared to the fire. School was buzzing with people sharing links to news articles, watching videos bystanders took, and coming up with theories as to who this mysterious “Triton” is.

Stiles didn’t know why he said that was his name, but he wasn’t mad about it. The name sounded nice and went perfectly with his superhero backstory. Now he was Triton, the trident-wielding, crime-fighting superhero of Beacon County.

“Dude,” Scott appeared behind him with a shit-eating grin on his face. “Triton? I like it, has a nice ring to it.”

Stiles shushed him and looked around to make sure no one was listening. “I don’t know where it came from but me too,” he said. “And look, just to be prepared.” Stiles slightly pulled up the bottom of his sweatshirt to reveal to Scott a sliver of his suit underneath. Scott’s eyes went wide, hands reaching out to pull the shirt back down for his friend.

“What the hell? If someone saw that-”

“But no one did!” Stiles whisper yells and can’t help the smile growing on his face. “I’m a real undercover superhero now Scotty, my dream!”

Scott just laughed at his friend and they walked together down the hallway. Left and right, Stiles heard whispers of people freaking out about Triton. “He can control water!” “Did you see that suit? He’s hot.” “Do you think he’s one of us?” “No, he’s gotta be an adult.” Stiles felt proud of himself, and a bit smug. Here he was, strolling the halls like everyone else, but he was the one they were fangirling over. He could control water and fight crime and had the suit on right there.

Principal Thomasl had called a random assembly that morning, so the friends made their way into the gym to sit with the senior class. Once they entered, Allison and Lydia shot their hands up to wave Stiles and Scott over to sit with them. On the opposite side, though, the wolves sat in their dark clothing and Derek shot Stiles a wink while motioning him to sit next to him.

“Stiles? You coming?” Stiles snapped out of it at Scott’s question. The guy was already up the bleachers near Allison. Stiles looked between the two groups and gave Scott a sorry shrug.

“I’ll catch you after?” he said and headed towards Derek. Scott’s smile fell for a second, but he quickly slapped it back on to nod.

“Stiles,” Derek said in his smooth, deep voice that made Stiles weak in the knees. Stiles let out a shaky breath and sat next to the man. As soon as his butt touched the seat, Derek’s hand was on his thigh. The touch sent fire through Stiles’s leg up through the rest of his body.

Then the man leaned over and brushed Stiles’s ear with his mouth so lightly it made Stiles shiver. “I’ve been thinking about the kiss all night, just wanting to do it again.” Stiles was surely dark red now, but before he could respond their principal came up to the podium and tapped on the microphone.

“Thank you for all cooperating and allowing us to hold this emergency assembly. I wanted to address concerns that have been flying around school lately to ensure the safety of each and every student at Beacon Hills High. As you have probably been aware, recently out county and some neighboring towns have suffered horrible attacks. We tell you this not to scare anyone, but to make sure you are on high alert in case something was to happen here…”

Stiles, Derek, Erica, Boyd, and Isaac all looked at each other, sharing silent looks of worry that the public was concerned about Deucalion.

“He’s been weirdly quiet lately,” Erica leaned over and whispered to them. “It must because Sti-Triton is publically named. It should hopefully draw him out so we can get him though.”

As the wolves discussed Deucalion theories, Derek stayed rigid and looked forward with a cold stare. His hand was still on Stiles’s thigh, but it was gripping on as if he were afraid to let go. “Derek,” Stiles whispered to him and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

Derek shook his head and met Stiles’s eyes, then spoke so quietly Stiles had to strain to hear. “What if we can’t save you? He definitely knows about Triton now, and if it draws him out of the shadows he will for sure come after you, but what if he’s more powerful than we think?”

“We’ll protect each other,” said Stiles with a comforting smile. “You’re my guardian angel, remember? I’m stronger now than I was, stronger than he thinks I am. That on top of all of you protecting me won’t let him hurt me.” They held each other’s gaze and Derek gave a squeeze to Stiles’s leg.

“Guys,” Isaac hissed at them. He pointed to the principal so the pair turned their attention back.

“Let me address the elephant in the room, as well,” Principal Thomas carried on. He started reading off of a paper. “The police wish for me to relay this message: With Beacon County’s new vigilante roaming the streets, he has disrupted the routine practices of our trained police department. That being said, if anyone knows any information about the self-named ‘Triton’, please contact the Beacon County Sheriff’s Station and you will be graciously rewarded for your cooperation.” Loud chatter filled up the gymnasium, people looking around and pointing fingers as to who may know something. Stiles met Scott’s worried look across the seats and silently told him it’s okay.

Stiles was now jumping in his seat, the material of his suit growing tighter and tighter under his clothing. Maybe wearing the suit to school wasn’t such a good idea with the school resource officer scanning the crowd menacingly. He couldn’t get caught. He needed to stop Deucalion.

“Settle down,” Principal Thomas said into the microphone, but it was hard to control a crowd of hundreds of teenagers.

What did shut the crowd up was the deafening sound of the gym doors flying off their hinges. Everything grew silent as all eyes turned to a mysterious figure strolling across the floor, big boots echoing with every step.

“Hello there,” a deep British accent spoke loud enough to hear despite not having a microphone. “I’m looking for Triton, and I think he may be in this crowd.”