A week before Stiles’ eighteenth birthday, he woke up still feeling tired and run down. Not something he was entirely used to, or hadn’t been until the supernatural had slammed into his life. The last few times he had felt this bad, he had spent the night running around town and the preserve followed up by little to no sleep. A glance at his alarm clock had him shooting up into a sitting position with his mouth open in shock, before he groaned and pressed one hand to his forehead and the other to his stomach when both complained at the movement.
“What the hell…?” He muttered, before letting out another groan as the sound of his own voice grated harshly in his ear.
Stiles was pretty sure that he hadn’t gotten drunk the night before, but he really felt like he had one hell of a hangover, one that usually arrived after the few times he had shared a bottle of Jack with Scott. Something, he had to admit, they hadn’t done in a while because for one Stiles hated feeling like this and two, alcohol was kind of really wasted on Scott now.
Confused, Stiles thought back to the previous night. He had been doing research for the pack but had started getting tired around midnight. He had all but passed out as soon as he hit the bed and there had definitely been no alcohol involved. He squinted at the clock again and it definitely read noon, so he didn’t have some kind of weird hallucination a second ago. That meant over twelve hours straight of sleep without any liquid or pharmaceutical assistance. No wonder he felt so shitty. On a normal, good night, he was lucky if he got five hours straight tops.
The realization that he had indeed slept for twelve hours was enough to kick start his bodily functions into gear mainly through his bladder screaming at him. He yawned and let his eyes droop close in his exhaustion, even as he began scooting towards the edge of the bed. He swung his legs over and had an idle wonder about if he was even going to make it to the bathroom in time because his legs burned. He had a slight feeling that standing up was going to be a chore all on its own, let alone walking.
He pressed his hands into the bed and pushed up, eyes clenching as he grunted through gritted teeth, his entire body screaming in pain. Jesus, this was worse than a hangover. The last time he had felt even remotely like this was a few years ago when he caught a pretty bad version of the flu. Once he was steady on his feet, he held a hand to his forehead. He was definitely burning up, that was for sure.
“Son of a bitch,” Stiles whispered to himself. He grabbed his phone off the desk and shuffled his way across the room as he pressed the quick call button for his dad.
“Stiles? What’s wrong?”
“Pretty sure I caught the freakin’ flu,” Stiles said, in a voice just loud enough to be heard.
There was silence for a moment before his dad said, “We don’t have anything in the house besides aspirin. Take a couple of those for now and I’ll stop at Mike’s pharmacy and pick some stuff up for you.”
Stiles, who had finally made it to the bathroom, quirked the side of his mouth up, “Thanks dad. The cherry flavored Nyquil if…they…have it,” Stiles trailed off as he caught sight of something at the peripheral of his eye on his way to the toilet. He frowned and took a step back to the mirror and turned slowly to look. His eyes widened before he let out the most pathetic squeak ever and pointed at the mirror, “Blue! I’m blue! Oh my God, this is not a good color for me at all. I look like a blueberry,” He groaned, forgetting in his shock just who he was on the phone with.
Stiles suddenly had a terrible thought and grabbed the waist of his sleep pants. He pulled at the elastic and looked down before whimpering, “Everything is blue.”
To say that Stiles was confused would probably be the biggest understatement. This was quite obviously supernatural related but he couldn’t figure out the cause. The pack’s last supernatural encounter hadn’t been anything with advanced magic and what he had been researching were some pretty docile pixies that certainly weren’t capable of this, so unless something just randomly decided to attack him last night, Stiles was stumped.
“Oh Stiles. I’ll…well, I’ll be home in a few minutes.”
Stiles clacked his teeth shut on another whimper over being the color of a berry and straightened up at the reminder that it was his dad who was on the other end of the phone, his dad who was not quite in on the whole werewolf and pack and supernatural thing, “I…uh, look dad…”
“You’re fine Stiles. I’ll explain when I get home. Just stay calm.”
“Stay calm?” Stiles replied, suddenly feeling a bit hysterical because seriously, what?
“Dad, even my hair is blue! Well, sort of blue. Actually, it looks kinda neat. Hey dad, when this is straightened out, can I give myself blue tints?”
His dad sighed, “I’m five minutes away…and eat something. It will help.”
Stiles jerked the phone away from his ear when it beeped to let him know the call had disconnected. His dad knew what was going on? That was...well…to be honest Stiles didn’t know what to think. So, he was going to do what his dad said and eat…as soon as he used the toilet first.
Seven minutes later, Stiles was sitting on the couch, morosely gumming away at a bowl of oatmeal. He wasn’t the biggest fan of the stuff, but even the thought of toast made soggy by butter caused his teeth and jaw to throb in agony. The pain reminded him of his trips to the orthodontist to get his braces tightened and he wasn’t exactly happy to be reliving that.
Stiles was debating getting up to get something else, anything else, when the door opened and his dad walked in. John took one look at Stiles and his face crumpled up in an old grief. It answered one of Stiles questions of where this affliction, because at this point it wasn’t anything but, came from. Everything about his father’s demeanor screamed that this came from his mom.
“Oh Stiles,” his dad whispered, shedding his jacket and hat before walking over to the couch.
Stiles just scooped up another spoonful of oatmeal to gum at with a grunt, a heavy frown on his face. He had been the only token human in the pack since Allison left and he had been slightly proud of that fact-that he could still help the werewolves out without the need for anything supernatural to help. Now, well, now he wasn’t sure what to think. It was a lot to take in, especially since he just hurt too much to think.
John sort of just dropped onto the couch, like he had had strings holding him up and they had just been cut. He sighed and pulled Stiles into a sideways hug. Stiles leaned into his dad in acceptance of the hug but didn’t raise his arms to hug back.
John gave another little sigh before shifting and pulling his wallet from his back pocket, “Your mom was, well, she was a fairy.”
Stiles eyes widened because that was the last thing he had been expecting to hear. He turned to look at his dad, “What? She was?”
John nodded as he bent the wallet back to reveal a hidden slit. He slid a photo from it, small and corners cracked with age, “Wings and all. I took this picture the moment I first saw her. I was out in the preserve, practicing with a camera for one of my classes at the academy and had accidentally zoomed in on her. If I hadn’t, well, I probably still would have met her because she had known I had taken the picture and she wanted to see it, but there was less of a chance she would have told me what she was.”
Stiles looked at the photo and gasped. It was certainly his mom, just as beautiful as he remembered, but she was glowing and had wings extending from her back. She had been wearing a strapless golden dress that made her waist length blond hair shimmer and was probably accentuating the glowing of her tanned skin. Due to what must have been wind, a cape or something similar was visible behind her, fanning out slightly. She had her hand up to shield her eyes as she looked towards the camera.
“That was the day your aunt and uncle got married,” John said, touching a finger to a lily blossom attached to the hip of her dress, “Claudia was just taking a break from the festivities.”
It wasn’t her clothing choices that had caught Stiles’ attention though. It was the wings. They were pearl white and slightly opaque, with pure white and silver veins streaking and swirling through. The edges were shaped much like a bats, but looked so much more fragile, “Could she fly?” Stiles asked softly.
“She could and did. She even took you for a few midnight flights before you got to the age where you would start to remember them.”
“You were never going to tell me about her, about that, were you.” It wasn’t a question.
“No, but it wasn’t my choice. Not at first. When you were born, you looked like a human baby. There weren’t many half human fairy children around and none in Beacon Hills or even California that we were aware of. So, we just figured that you took after me and left it at that. Your mom, well, she didn’t want you to be jealous or upset because of what she was and you weren’t. She said that it wasn’t fair to you. So, she used her magic to hide that part of her away. And when she died, well, I just kept it up. Never saw the point of it, even after you started running around with those werewolves.”
Stiles heart stuttered in his chest, “W-werewolves?”
John rolled his eyes, “Don’t even. I’ve known Derek since he was in diapers and what he is just as long. Your mom was best friends with Talia Hale and had been since they were in diapers.”
“So…it wasn’t cancer that killed her then.”
“Mom,” Stiles looked up at John with narrowed eyes, “She didn’t die of cancer. I’ve done enough research lately to know that. Fairies don’t have the same kind of diseases humans do. Her magic would have snuffed out any signs of cancerous cells as soon as they developed.”
“You’re right, she didn’t. She died because of the Hale fire,” John said, turning his gaze down to the photo clenched in Stiles hand, “Like I said, she was best friends with Talia. Their two families, the Hale pack and the Vista family had been allied in Beacon Hills for over a century. Because your mom was so close with Talia, it was decided that they would be the…” John trailed off, “Crap, I can’t even remember what she called it. They were like the very center of this allegiance, bound through the Vista family magics. Your mom said they were chosen not only for their friendship but because they were the youngest and the magic is always the strongest when cast on the young. The allegiance was supposed to be passed on to you and Derek, but with you thought to be fully human, your mom and Talia decided it would be safer to keep the allegiance between them until your aunt had children. Then the fire happened.
“When Talia died in the fire, something in your mom…broke. We told you it was cancer but it had something to do with her magic and the death of Talia. That was the point that she just…started to waste away. The allegiance was never reformed, mostly because nearly all of the Hale pack perished in that fire. It was the weekend that Laura graduated high school, so everyone had come to town, the entirety of the pack, werewolf and human alike.”
Stiles eyes widened, “Derek told me that Laura and Peter had gone to get food in town because Talia didn’t want to cook for so many people after the graduation and that Peter had tried to get the people out of the house when they got back, which is how he ended up in the hospital. He never said where he was at the time but…now that I’m actually thinking about it, I kind of remember Derek…”
John nodded, “Derek was spending the night here. For some reason, he got a kick out of you and your mom thought it was adorable. We were going to go out to the dinner as well, but…you kicked up a fuss; a huge tantrum that we had never seen come out of you before. We waited it out but by then we just decided it was too late to go. Then your mom collapsed into herself and a few minutes later, Laura showed up on our doorstep, zoned out and covered in smoke and soot.”
“Christ…” Stiles rubbed his forehead with his hand, thinking about how the whole thing was a bit of a mess. As he was doing that, he caught sight of his skin and pulled his hand away, “Hey, I’m not as blue.”
“You looked like this when I came in. You mean you were worse?”
Stiles nodded, “Yeah, like a shade or two darker.”
“Well, that’s good then. I wish I knew more about this kid. It may be a good idea to think about calling your aunt.”
Stiles nodded, before his mouth formed an O, “Dad, I can’t go outside like this and there is a pack meeting tonight. If I give you a flash drive, can you drop if off with Scott and tell him I caught the flu?”
“Pack meeting? Scott?”
“Uh,” Stiles opened and closed his mouth a few times, “We’ll talk later. You really should get back to work.”
John rolled his eyes again, “Just get me the drive.”