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Much Ado, Like You Do

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The Beacon Hills Herald.

June 3, 2012.

The Rotkappchen Festival is a month-long festival. It is a celebration in honor of the woman known as Rotkappchen, one of the first magic wielding humans, who became the mate of the werewolf, Halebourne.

It was started in 1946 by Alpha Selena Hale when the Hale Pack was in severe decline.

The Festival is held the first month of summer and is one of the largest in the United States. Though Alpha Anthony Stark-Rogers's Beltane, in New York, is the closest second. It is in fact where Beacon Hills own Alpha Talia Hale met her mate, Sheriff John Stilinski four years ago.

And coming up third, in Texas is Alpha Kouri Arashi's Searching Ceremony.

The Chosen or Reds as they are more commonly known as are humans with the undertones of Were/Shifters in their scents. But they can also be humans with magic like Witches, Druids, or Sparks. Kitsune, Banshee, Dragons or other Supernaturals that a Were, or Shifter finds compatible.

The Reds are also encouraged to wear the color red, as an article of clothing. It is so that all will know the Reds on sight. Hair ornaments are a popular trend this year for the female chosen as are bandanas for the males.

All participants must be seventeen years old or older to participate in any of the festivals four main elements.

There are four main elements to the Festival are as stated:

The Meeting : It's a meet and greets gathering on the first week of the Festival. It's held at the Reddington Youth Center. It is where the Reds and Were/shifters can meet in a relaxed social setting and get to know each other.

The Courtship: This is when the Were/Shifters would court their chosen Red with dates and gifts. Usually, it starts at the end of the first week, up until the middle of the festival. It is based on the story that Halebourne offered gifts to Rotkappchen during his courtship of her in which he gave her a cloak, a dagger, and a conversation.

The Chase: Is held on the last week of the festival in the Beacon Hills Nature Preserve, the Reds run and hide from the Were/Shifters. The Were/Shifters chase or hunt down the Reds they were courting. The more complicated the hunt or chase is? The more kudos go to the Were/Shifter who has courted the Red in question. The more difficult pursuit is always the most prized one. Although it has been known that a Were/Shifter during the Chase have ended up mated to a completely different Red than the one the Were/Shifter was initially courting.

The Marriage/Mating Ceremony : Is the legal ratification of the Were/Shifters bonding or mating with their Red by, Justice of the Peace Maria Harris with Alpha Talia Hale and Sheriff John Stilinski as witnesses.

And remember those Were/Shifters and Reds who do not find mates this year? That there is always the Winter Solstice hosted by Lady Morgana Lafayette and her brother Alpha Arthur Penn in England in two months.

Samuel Emerson tossed the newspaper aside onto the bench next to him. He glanced around the busy street with a wary eye. Samuel was sure they had left most of their troubles behind them in England and again in Los Angeles, sometimes he still couldn’t shake the feeling that the other shoe was going to drop. That they were still being hunted, even if it was only by memories of the past. Shaking the mud from themselves hadn’t been as easy as Samuel had hoped it would be for them.

“What do you think?” Samuel asked he and his brother, Beckett, had been in town less than a month long enough to get a feel for the small town that was a melting pot for the supernatural. Samuel liked the feeling of Beacon Hills; he loved that he wouldn’t have to hide what he was here. After the death of their father, Warren, at the hands of a mafia affiliated loan shark. Barely escaping their landlord, Roman, who had turned out to be a hunter and not just a creepy asshole. After shooting Roman, who Samuel was sure, hadn’t wanted to kill him but wanted Samuel in his bed, it ended in a blood bath that almost got Beckett killed.

They stole what was left of the counterfeit money from Beckett’s mafia want-to-be girlfriend and disappeared. They had pulled themselves out of the mud of that life and were in the process of remaking themselves. It had been a slow with a lot of backsliding, mostly by Beckett. Getting rid of the counterfeiting money plates was the first thing they did, Samuel had dropped them off at a police station on the way out of Los Angeles. Though not without a lot of whining on Beckett’s part. They had slowly spent or traded out the fake money for the real thing until it was gone.

Coming to this town had mostly been an accident, they had gotten lost on a back road, Halo, named after his favorite comic book character, the purple 1973 Chevrolet Nova, that had been the means of their escape, radiator blew and… they found themselves in Beacon Hills. Samuel knew they had enough money to last them for the next couple of years if they were careful with it. Beckett was not allowed near their stash as he had proved, (Buying a Bentley of all things when they didn’t even have any food?) that he didn’t make the soundest choices.

Samuel had fallen in love with Beacon Hills and the small-town mentality. He liked that everyone knew everyone and cared about their neighbors like they were family. He still did some street performing, but had gotten a job at the local theater, and had small part in the last play they had put on. Samuel was hoping to get a bigger part in the next one he auditioned for, the theater was going to be doing one of Shakespeare’s plays. If that didn’t work out there was the Triskele Garage that Samuel had rebuilt Halo’s engine by himself.

The newspaper article had been informative and explained why Beacon Hills was decked out in red. Every business on Main Street had a red sign, or banner or some window display that had some red in it. The town bakery, Baked Bagged End, had Red Velvet Cake, Cherry Cheesecake and Strawberry Shortcake in the window all at the same time! The Comic/Book Store, which was called precisely that, had Flash, the Scarlet Witch, Cardinal Cornet, Daredevil, Deadpool and Spiderman comics on display. Samuel wondered what their selection of Phantom Halo comics were like he’d have to wander in and check them out, he hadn’t had the time yet. The Expresso Pump, the local coffee shop had red table cloths on all the tables. And the Blue Moon Diner was giving away free cherry pie with every meal! That had been something that Beckett took advantage of; the cherry pie was his favorite.

“I think this is an opportunity,” Beckett said, pacing back and forth in front of the bench.

Samuel watched him amused, “Really?” Samuel said, perking up. “Are you thinking about taking a mate, then?”

“What? No, of course not!” Beckett said, with a small glare at Samuel. “With this festival? People being distracted by finding a mate? They are asking to be fleeced of their money.” Samuel sighed he should have known. Every time he dragged Beck from the mud, his brother dived…right…back…in. “But you,” Beck turned to look at him, “little brother, are at the age where you need a mate.”

“Excuse you?” Samuel muttered, “I’m only nineteen, you are almost twenty-three, of the two of us? It’s you who would benefit from a mate.” Someone else who could keep Beckett and his larcenist ways out of trouble, would be nice.

Beckett sighed, whispering, “Puck,” the nickname Samuel had picked up during his time as a street performer, because of the Shakespeare monologues, their father had all but beat into him, that Samuel would perform to make money while Beckett would work the crowd pickpocketing from them. “We were always so worried where our next meal was coming from because of Dad, that bringing a mate into that was unthinkable. We are more settled now. We deserve nice things, Sam. You deserve nice things!”

“And a mate is a nice thing?”

“So, I’ve heard. If nothing else? This festival would allow you to meet people your age and make some friends. Those comic books won’t keep you warm at night.” Beckett told him.

Samuel glared, “Neither will money, Beck!”

“No, but money makes life easier!”

There wasn’t much Samuel could say to that. It was the truth. Samuel sighed, “When you get caught? I’m not bailing you out of jail this time, Beck.”

His brother nodded, “That’s fair.” Beckett grinned, “Let’s go get you signed up at the Youth Center.”

***

Stiles stood in front of the cell, watching its occupant with a blank gaze. It wasn't the person he had initially come to see, but Stiles had recently learned that Lydia had died. Though he didn't believe the directors of Eichen House when they told him how she had died.

" Stiles, if you had one opportunity to change everything, would you? This is the only way left. You must decide if this is the course of action you wish to take. You'll need the full moon for this," Peter said, pacing his prison cell, his hair was unkempt and wildly mussed up. Eichen House had been the only place for Peter after... well after. Derek had died. After Peter had tried to kill Chris Argent after..."You're right, you know; the banshee didn't kill herself. There was a foul stench in the air the night she died. Of wolfsbane, gun oil, and feline..."

Kate Argent, it always came back to that murderous bitch.

"Of course, there was," Stiles muttered staring at the papers in his hands, "This looks like some crappy spell you could get off the internet."

"Yes," Peter said, waving a hand around at his barren cell from behind the Plexiglas, with air holes in it, "Because I obviously have WIFI access in my new abode," He came up and leaned his forearm on the glass, "Your lack of faith in me is hurtful, Stiles. When have I ever steered you wrong?"

Stiles gave him the evil eye, "You really want me to answer that?" Stiles shook the papers at Peter, "Will this work?"

Peter nodded, "But you have to be careful. Do one step wrong or get interrupted? And you could end up in the stone age or an alternate reality or both, really." At Stiles bland look, Peter sighed, "The pack is dead, Stiles. Only care about your survival. Besides, what do you really have to lose at this point?"

What Stiles hated the most was that the werewolf, was right? Stiles slammed his fist into the glass by Peter's head, causing the werewolf to jerk back in surprise, then he saw the spidery crack the boy’s fist had left behind in the glass.

"The Huntress going to come for you, Peter. You're a sitting duck here," Stiles reached into the pocket of his jeans and dropped an MP3 player that had a recording of Lydia's scream on it, into the slot where Peter normal got his food tray, "When you get out of here? Kill Her. For Derek, for our pack." Stiles told him before turning and walking away down the long corridor, the lights flickering as he passed them.

Stiles Stilinski slowly blinked open his eyes; it had been a while since he’s had that dream. He sleepily smacked at the annoying thing kept poking him in the side. When that hadn’t worked, he let out a low growl. Stiles heard a giggle and kittenish noise back, prying his sleep crusted eyes opened he saw a little boy sitting on the bed next to him. The boy couldn't have been any older than four years old, looking at Stiles with wide brown eyes and a wild mess of almost black hair. Stiles growled again more playfully this time, and the boy clapped his hands as he shifted into a beta wolf form. Glowing yellow eyes, mutton chops, and no eyebrows it was the most adorable thing ever.

I want one, Stiles thought but asked the child, like he did every time the boy woke him, "What is your name, pup?"

"Kon!" he said, throwing up his arms, "rad!"

"Kon, huh?" Stiles said, poking the little boy in the stomach, making the kid laugh," Are you rad, little guy?"

"Me rad!" he shouted.

"Konrad Hale!" A male voice hissed from outside of the bedroom. "Hide and Seek time is over. It's time for breakfast," the door to Stiles room opened, and a teenage boy, a little younger than Stiles suck his head into the room. He gave Stiles a lopsided but wolfish grin; he had chocolate brown hair and matching eyes.

"Ander!" Kon said brightly.

The boy sighed and stepping into the room, "It's Lander, kiddo?"

"Said that?" the toddler asked, confused, causing Stiles to snicker.

Lander walked up to the bed, mock glaring at Stiles and tickled the boy, making Konrad laugh loudly, "You always forget the 'L,'" then to Stiles, "breakfast will be ready in twenty minutes," his expression turned sad, "Derek’s going to court her at the Festival.”

Stiles could the unspoken We ‘re disappointed you and Derek didn’t work out.

Stiles thought, me too.

When Stile arrived last year during the Rotkappchen Festival in this reality after doing a spell that was supposed to send him back in time, yet, failed to do that. Last time he would ever trust Peter Hale, any version of Peter Hale, when it came to magic, Peter couldn’t be trusted to know his shit.

Derek courting him during the festival, the relationship they had shared with each other for the last year, everyone thought they were on the course to bond in a permeant way. Then four months ago Derek met Dawn Summers, who had just taken over as head librarian at the Beacon Hills Public Library. It was over so fast between him and Derek, Stiles still isn’t sure what it happened.

Derek was happy with Dawn in a way that he hadn’t been with Stiles. Stiles had no doubts that Derek had cared for Stiles and deeply at that, but Stiles knew Derek always compared himself to the Derek that had died in Stiles original reality. Driving both himself and Stiles crazy doing so because no matter how many times Stiles told Derek that his relationship with the other Derek had never been a romantic one, Derek never truly believed that. Derek’s disbelief had led to more than one fight because of it

Stiles sat up in the bed, the covers slipping down his chest. Lander told him. "Cool, tattoo." Stiles looked down at his chest over his heart where a black panther snarl at the world with glowing gold eyes as a purple and blue aura surrounding it. Stiles rubbed at the tattoo absently; it had appeared during the time with the Dread Doctors in his old reality. Stiles still wasn't sure what it meant, if it meant anything at all.

Lander picked Kon up, "Breakfast should be soon. So, if you want to shower.”

Stiles had gotten in late; the Nemeton had been attacked by Sprites. Stiles hated Sprites. They had ended up tearing up the clothes he had been wearing.

"Oh, well, I'll tell everyone you are awake." Lander said, throwing Kon up in the air making the boy laugh again, "Except for Derek. He’s a dumbass." Lander left Kon in tow.

Stiles sighed and got out of bed. While it was great that the Hales didn’t blame Stiles for the break up between him and Derek, Stiles was getting tired of the way some of them were badmouthing Derek. It hadn’t been Derek’s fault that he had found his real mate and that it hadn’t been Stiles. He was slowly becoming more okay with this fact. Stiles hadn’t had any real choice concerning he lived in the Hale House and had seen Derek every day since the break-up, of which Stiles had been a mature adult about it. Though the trees in the Preserve might have a different opinion. Because Stiles had vented his spleen to and on the trees in the forest which was how he met the Spirit of the Nemeton. It hadn’t been happy with the destruction of the trees in its forest.

Stiles showered quickly and got dressed. Stiles put on his red hoodie over the light blue long-sleeved Henley shirt and a dark pair of jeans that were a little big on him, but the ornate metal belt fixed that. He hadn't gone anywhere without the sword-belt since he stole it from the Sheriffs station’s evidence room after Noshiko Yukimura had sent the Skinwalkers after her daughter in his old reality. The sword had saved Stiles life more than once since he had been in this reality; he was keeping it close.

Stiles ran a hand through his overly long hair; it almost came to his shoulders, I should get it cut, he thought before leaving the room, he walked down the hall. He leaned on the railing and looked down at the foyer. Stiles could see that the room was full of brightly wrapped packages, flowers, gift bags, and baskets. Stiles walked down the stairs just as John Stilinski closed the front door. His adopted father looked at the package in his hand then walked it over to one of the smaller piles of gifts that were arranged around the room.

"What the hell is all of this?" Stiles asked. Though he knew perfectly well what they were, he didn’t want to think about what it meant.

John grimaced, "Courting Gifts. They started to arrive early this morning. For all the Hales of mate-able age. This," holding up the package, " happens to be for Malia. I don't think she's even going to look for a mate this festival, but Gloriana is hopeful for her step-daughter."

"How long was your Malia an actual coyote?" Stiles asked, curious if anything that happened to his Malia had happened to their Malia. Strangely it was something that had never been brought up before and Stiles wondered if he should bring it up now?

"About three days. From what I was told. It wasn't surprising what that Coyote did to Malia's adopted father after the accident. The man never should have been behind the wheel after drinking. Malia's adopted mother and sister died in it. Coyote isn't one who let's harm come to her/his children. I'm just glad Talia and Peter found the girl as soon as they did. I can't imagine how Malia would be if it had been for longer." John told him.

"I can," Stiles whispered, remembering that his Malia had spent almost eight years of her life as a full shifted coyote because of guilt.

John didn't like the sad look Stiles got, so he changed the subject by pointing to the biggest pile of gifts in the foyer, "Those are for you."

"What? Why? What? B-but- I'm not a Hale!" Stiles exclaimed, glaring at the grin, John got at Stiles reaction.

A snort of disbelief came from the doorway where Peter was leaning against it, "You may as well be. My dear brother-in-law claimed you as his cub. Besides, people saw you protecting the town's beloved Sheriff and saved his step-daughter from a mad-Wendigo last year. They saw the interest Derek had in you when he courted you and the relationship you shared with each other. Then the Nemeton choose you as its Guardian. People notice things like that, el zorro.”

Stiles made a face at the nickname that Peter called him fox in Spanish. It didn’t help that he’d put on a mask and a black cape one time and had a sword. (It had been for a dare, okay!) Before Stiles could respond to Peter, Stiles saw Derek, barefoot dressed in pale jeans washed so many times they looked white and a gray wife beater, he yawned widely, and tripped over thin air, almost braining himself on the mahogany banister. Like he had every morning that since Stiles had known this Derek Hale.

"What is all of this stuff?" Derek asked, sleepily, when he got to the bottom of the stairs.

"Why, Nephew, you act as if you've never seen a courting gift before," Peter said, as to be a pointer to the slightly smaller pile next to the ones John had shown Stiles, "Those are for you." Peter didn't bother to hide his glee.

Derek rubbed at his eyes, looking like he was hoping he didn't see what he was, "What? No! Why? I thought the Were or Shifter was supposed to do the Courting? Besides I’m asking Dawn to do the Chase with me,” he blinked and blushed when he saw Stiles.

Stiles just ignored the werewolf, ignoring Derek it had been the only thing Stiles could do since Derek tore out his heart and stomped on it. Yeah, Stiles wasn’t over it, almost but not yet.

Peter sighed as if he thought Derek was very stupid, which knowing Peter? He most likely did think Derek was as ridiculous as the younger wolf acted, "Derek, you know that the Chosen or Reds court the Were or Shifters as much as they are Courted. Most of these gifts, if I were to guess? Are to get your attention, useless gesture that it is, so that you will Court one of them."

Lander appeared just behind Peter, "Aunt Glory said to get your asses to the table if you want to eat. My sisters and cousin will be taking you shopping, Stiles. Something about you needing a look in order to find a mate at the festival," he paused, making a face, "Lydia’s going as well." Before going back into the kitchen.

Stiles grabbed Derek by the arm and tried to drag him back up the stairs.

"What are you doing?" Derek asked eyeing Stiles because, this was the first time Stiles had touched Derek that didn’t include life-saving as a circumstance, since the break-up.

"I'm taking you up on your offer from last year? To hide under your bed, you are coming with to play guard dog-wolf. I'll even let you hide with me." For a moment, Derek looked like he was considering before shaking his head and snorted, "No," as he shoved off Stiles hand off his arm, then pushed past Peter going into the kitchen.

"Shopping hurts me, Derek!" Stiles shouted after him.

"Somehow, I think you will survive!" Stiles’ Ex yelled back.

Stiles grumbled, "I’m surrounded by assholes," when he noticed John and Peter laughing at him.