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The Thrilling and Dramatic Saga of Stiles' Love Life (also people are being eaten by monsters)

Chapter Text

“So, explain it to me again…” Scott was perched on the arm of the couch while Allison absentmindedly stroked his thigh sitting to his right. Scott had been paying attention, he really had, but at some point in the meeting, while Derek was discussing their latest big bad, Scott’s mind had drifted as he looked around at the pack. Everyone was sprawled about the huge living room, some on the couch – others sitting crisscross on the floor. Derek stood in front, in the view of everyone while Stiles stood to his right, ready to interject if Derek had missed out on any information.

Technically Scott was meant to be Derek’s right-hand man, and Stiles, as the emissary, should be left to deal with matters of diplomacy exclusively. However, Scott accepted that his being second in command to Derek was reserved for the battlefield. With everything else, Derek turned to Stiles. He took a moment to appreciate how strong their pack had become in the last couple years. How seamless it was now, how natural it felt, how every person had their place. They had all grown together and even when things got scary or rough (like these last two weeks when bodies were being found half eaten and mangled – see he was listening) they stood together and figured everything out, every time.

Scott figured it was because they had agreed to all stay local for college once they finished high school. He remembered the look on Derek’s face the day of graduation. Derek was happy they had all made it out of high school alive, but Scott knew he was terrified of losing his pack again. Derek would have never asked anyone to stay, he was too selfless for that. Once they had made the decision on their own though, Derek went to work rebuilding his old house. Scott figured knowing the pack was sticking together was motivation for Derek to get things in order.

The renovated Hale house was huge and every year since high school, more and more of the pack took up permanent residence. It started – of course – with Peter and Cora but soon enough Boyd, Erica, and Isaac joined too. After two years of dating, Kira moved into Cora’s room. Which led to Allison and Scott, then Lydia and Jordan, and once Lydia was on board, Jackson and Danny were not far behind. The last to move in was Stiles. He always claimed it was because he needed his personal space and living with a bunch of werewolves and other supernatural creatures was not likely to grant him the privacy he needed. But Scott knew it was mostly because he wanted to keep an eye on his dad, and he still spent a few nights a week in his childhood home even though most of his stuff was properly moved in.

Derek looked at Scott with a deadly glare and everyone seemed equally as put out by Scott obviously not having paid much attention. He smiled sheepishly at everyone before shrugging his shoulders.

“Remember how you guys noticed an unfamiliar wolf smell nearby?” Stiles spoke up, tone irritated and speaking slowly like Scott was 6. Scott did appreciate that Stiles was reexplaining for him though, since Derek had no intention to. Scott nodded. “Well… we found him.” Derek huffed when Stiles finished speaking.

“And?” Erica spoke up, “Was he the fucking psycho that was leaving half eaten people all around the preserve?” Everyone turned to Derek expectantly, faces hopeful but skeptical that it could’ve been that easy. Derek huffed again.

“No.” He didn’t elaborate. He looked to Stiles urging him to speak on his behalf.

“We think he was just a lone wolf, probably looking for a pack to join…” Stiles paused and looked over to Derek briefly. Scott could see Derek was upset about something and Scott could guess where this was going.

“He’s dead, isn’t he?” Scott interrupted and Stiles snapped from Derek’s face to look Scott in the eyes. He nodded slowly.

“The good news is, like 3/4ths of the body was left this time. Whatever this thing is that’s eating people doesn’t seem to like the taste of werewolf that much… so you know… you guys are safe at least?” Stiles coughed into his hand awkwardly when every member of the pack seemed to simultaneously shoot him a glare. “Just trying to lighten the mood…”

Peter chuckled softly from where he was leaning against the window on the far wall. “I mean, I’m pretty happy to hear that.” Derek leveled a look at Peter, Peter put his hands up in surrender and winked at Stiles but kept his mouth shut. Stiles smiled in return which only seemed to foster more tension in Derek’s shoulders.

“The point is, whatever this thing is, it’s strong. It took on a werewolf and just about tore it to pieces. We need to start patrolling at night. Stiles and I created a schedule. It’s double the patrol on the weekends when people are out later but otherwise we’ve kept it as tight as we can. I know you guys have finals coming up.” Derek looked sympathetic but his voice was firm and commanding. “Keep your phones on loud. If any of us run into this thing while on patrol, we call for back up. Understood?” Everyone nodded somberly.

This thing had killed five people so far, six including the lone werewolf. There were rumors of a serial killer at the station and the pack was hoping to take care of the problem before the public started to catch on. The last thing they needed was the FBI sticking their necks in. They had thought they had it sorted when they first smelled the unfamiliar scent of wolf near the Reservoir a week ago. They all figured some werewolf had gone crazy and was tearing people apart and they were ecstatic. Well, not ecstatic, but relieved. One rouge and dangerous werewolf they could handle easily enough but not knowing was what was killing them. Now they were back to square one – no leads, no clues, and now six dead bodies.

Stiles clapped his hands together and everyone jolted out of their thoughts. Stiles smiled brightly, “Okay, who’s hungry?”

Chapter Text

Dean had had a hell of year. Fuck, he’d had a hell of a life if he was being honest. He counted his blessings while chomping down on the burger Sam had just brought back for him. They were taking some much needed R&R on the coast of Southern California. It had been Sam’s idea. After defeating Dick Roman, Castiel gave them some bull-crap about needing to clear his head and atone for his sins. They hadn’t seen him since. Bobby and Kevin had sauntered off to do their own thing as well, and so Sam suggested that some time off might do them both some good.

Of course, Sam was now hunched over – head dipped low and eyes wide reading the newspaper he had just brought in. Dean knew that look.

“What’s up?” Sam jumped at the interruption but smoothed his hair out and looked at Dean a moment later.

“Do you remember Beacon Hills?” Dean thought it over for minute, but his mind came up blank, he shook his head. Sam looked annoyed.

“Dad wrote about it a lot in his journal. Said he’d gone there to investigate this house fire like 15 years ago or so. He thought maybe it had some connection to mom’s death.” Sam paused and Dean nodded his head signaling that he remembered that much. Sam continued, “Well when he was there, nothing came out of it. The survivors had moved on and no one could tell him anything useful, once he realized multiple people died in the fire he figured they weren’t connected but he always kept an eye on the place just in case.”

“Did he ever find anything?” Dean asked, mouth full of food.

“Yeah, like five or six years ago right before he went missing and he’d been hunting on his own, he went back. Wrote that he was sure something strange was going on there. Kept hearing rumors from other hunters of a werewolf pack wreaking havoc or something.” Sam stopped and Dean looked at him expectantly.

“And??”

“And nothing man, he didn’t write any more about it. I always assumed he took care of it but check this out.” Sam turned the newspaper towards Dean and Dean squinted his eyes to make out the words.

Local girl found mangled in Beacon Hills, 5th body found in 2 weeks.

Underneath was a picture of a young girl, pretty and blonde smiling at the camera, it looked like a school photo.

“Mangled huh?” Dean shrugged his shoulders pointedly, “No better way to jump back into the swing of things.” He jumped up and began packing up his bag. “What do you say Sammy? Let’s go hunt ourselves some werewolves.”

Chapter Text

Isaac watched as Stiles commissioned helpers to fix lunch for everyone. Usually they would barbeque on Saturday afternoons and hang out all day in the impressively large back yard, maybe go for a swim in the pool that Stiles INSISTED they needed to install even before he moved in. However, it was gloomy and rainy outside and so they had to make do. Isaac sighed as Stiles looked in his direction.

“Come on Isaac, you’re helping too.” Isaac had a suspicion that Stiles had a running tally in his head of who had helped recently and who hadn’t. He always picked about three people and never the same person in a row. Suspiciously fair. After all, Isaac hadn’t been one of the unlucky few in quite a while, so he got up without a fight.

As Isaac, Erica, and Lydia followed Stiles into the kitchen, Derek, Peter, and Scott trailed after them. Isaac wasn’t surprised they were being followed. Everyone sort of broke off in different directions after the meeting was done and Stiles had told them it would be a few minutes before lunch would be ready. Most everyone went back to their rooms or went with Boyd to the store for some beer. Plus, Derek, Peter, Scott, and Stiles were a unit these days. Especially with everything going on.

For the most part, Isaac loved to listen in on the four of them. They were all leaders – each in their own right. Isaac felt safe and protected in this pack. Knew they could weather any storm. Derek was their Alpha, and Scott his right-hand man and second in command. If anything ever happened to Derek, the pack would not be left leaderless. Peter was Derek’s advisor, as the eldest member of the pack and the most knowledgeable about pack politics. And Stiles was their emissary. Although, he was much more than that and everyone knew it.

“Issac, can you start toasting enough bread for everyone?” Stiles was taking out the cutting board and getting all the ingredients out of the fridge while he started giving orders. “Lydia and Erica, as he takes those out can you plate them and put chips on each plate please?” The girls nodded and they all got to work. Isaac heard Derek offer help as Peter and Scott sat down at the small breakfast table in the corner of the kitchen. Stiles shook his head as he began cutting tomatoes into perfectly thin slices. Derek huffed and went to lean against the counter, watching them all work.

Yup, the leaders of the pack were strong. Strong leaders equal a strong pack and Isaac felt content. There was only one problem. One issue. One hiccup. One crack in their otherwise perfect puzzle of a pack where each piece seemed to fit perfectly. And everyone could see it, and everyone ignored it – or at least TRIED to.

“Shit, fuck.” Isaac smelled blood and he turned to the source immediately. Stiles had accidently sliced into his palm while trying to cut a particularly juicy tomato. The whole thing was quite a scene though Isaac could tell it wasn’t a terribly deep cut. Derek jumped to attention and in a flash was at Stiles side helping him to the sink to wash the wound out. At almost the same speed, at the same moment, Peter appeared on the other side ready with a paper towel to dry Stiles’ hands. “Fuck, stupid tomato. I need new knives; these are too dull if they can’t even cut through a freaking tomato. Seriously? Fuck. How long have I been saying I need new knives!” Stiles was rambling.

Without thinking or paying attention, Stiles gave his hands to Peter to dry – and turned his back on Derek in the process. Stiles’ eyes were glued on his hands while he, no doubt, was fighting the urge to faint from the sight of his own blood. So he missed as Peter gave Derek a cheeky wink and Derek growled low in his throat in response. The noise snapped Stiles out of his trance, and he looked behind him at Derek for the first time.

“Okay, fine! No new knives but I’m buying a sharpener.” Derek looked confused and then seemed to catch on to the miscommunication that had just taken place before him. Isaac noticed the moment black started swimming up Peter’s veins. Stiles took a moment to look back at Peter and he scoffed as he smiled. “Thanks dude, but it’s just a scratch. There’s no need.” Stiles pulled his hands away from Peter but no one in the room missed the way his cheeks went from sickly pale to as red as the tomato left forgotten on the counter. Derek certainly didn’t miss it, and he stormed out of the room mumbling under his breath about going to see what was taking Boyd so long with the beer.

Isaac shared a look with Erica and noticed that Lydia and Scott were doing the same. Peter grabbed the first aid kit from the bottom cabinet and was bandaging the cut for Stiles skillfully. You didn’t have to be a werewolf to know what the proximity was doing to Stiles. His cheeks were still flushed, and he let out a breathy laugh at something Peter had said that Isaac missed.

You see, this all started in high school. Depending on who you asked. Peter had always been a bastard (and a creep), at least according to Lydia. And back when Peter was hellbent on revenge, he had expressed interest in killing everyone in the pack at least one time or another. Basically, referring to all of them as disposable – except for Stiles. Isaac didn’t know the whole story, but apparently Peter has always had a fondness for Stiles. Apparently, he’d even offered Stiles the bite back when he was Alpha and even backed off when Stiles said no.

It wasn’t until the pack had begun spending more time together and really finding their footing with the whole Scooby gang thing that Isaac noticed the flirting firsthand: the winks, the lingering touches, the crude and inappropriate jokes. Now, Isaac wasn’t one to judge but it did seem a little creepy that this 30-something year old man would be flirting with a Junior in high school. I mean Stiles was only 17 at the time. Although, Peter also creeped on Lydia back then so obviously Peter didn’t mind the age difference.

Derek definitely minded though and back then there was enough tension to work through and trust to be built and earned back. So no one can say for sure why Derek would constantly snap at his Uncle during pack meetings, even going as far as telling him to get lost for weeks at a time. And while Isaac did not want to be a gossip and make assumptions, it did seem a little suspicious that each time Derek snapped it would happen after a particularly crude joke or intimate touch was directed at Stiles.

After a particularly nasty argument with Derek, Peter learned to behave himself – after all, every time he would make advances, Stiles would give him weird looks and brush him off with forced laughs. Peter must’ve stopped trying because he wasn’t getting anywhere. But obviously something changed. It was a gradual thing at first. No one really noticed when the dynamic started shifting. As the elder member of the pack, Peter spent a lot of time with Stiles after graduation. Peter was teaching Stiles about pack diplomacy and customs. Once Stiles turned 18, Derek had expressed interest in him becoming the pack emissary. Stiles accepted emphatically and had spent the last four years growing into the title. But that meant he’d also spent the last four years spending plenty of time alone with Peter.

Isaac thought it was a little weird at first and remembered all the times that Stiles seemed uncomfortable with Peter’s flirting. However, Peter and Stiles grew close and it became obvious to everyone that Stiles wasn’t uncomfortable anymore. They had the kind of comradery that only comes from four years’ worth of late-night research sessions and hour-long talks about folklore, magic, and werewolves. They were good friends – there was no denying that. No matter how odd it was to the rest of the pack.

All of this would be fine and dandy albeit super freaking weird and cringy. Cause the problem wasn’t that Peter was into Stiles or that Stiles was maybe interested back. No… the problem arose on Stiles 20th birthday: They had all gathered at the Hale house for a pool party. It was nighttime, and Scott and Allison had spent the day putting up fairy lights and decorations all over the back yard. Isaac helped too… a little. Most of the pack was sitting around the fire pit, the others in or around the pool. Isaac remembered having a heated debate with Erica and Boyd about the latest Marvel movie when every wolf stilled and fell silent. Maybe they should’ve been used to it, but it came out of nowhere. One moment – nothing, and the next - every wolf was hit with the strong and adamant scent of arousal.

With so many couples in their pack, it really shouldn’t have shocked them as much as it did. Isaac remembered looking around trying to find which horny duo was causing such an intrusion on his senses. He expected to see Cora and Kira canoodling in the corner, Kira having just moved in and them being in the honeymoon phase and all. But then he realized Cora was sitting to his left and Kira was in the pool on the other side of the back yard. He looked at Cora’s face then and found it twisted in a grimace, she looked green and like she might actually puke at any moment. He followed where she was looking and saw Derek leaning up on a pool chair, face beet red and glaring at something in front of him. Isaac could tell immediately that the arousal was coming off his Alpha in waves and that’s why it had been strong enough to silence all conversation, except by the few human members of the pack who didn’t realize how lucky they were to be ignorant of every time someone got horny. Isaac found himself following Derek’s eyeline then to see what, or rather, who was causing this kind of reaction from his Alpha.

Isaac had never really seen Stiles with his shirt off and could’ve sworn that when Stiles had entered the pool, he’d been wearing a white undershirt with his bathing shorts. However, at some point – in his drunken stupor, Stiles must have decided to take it off. Isaac is not gay or bisexual or anything but even he was taken aback by the sight. Stiles was not their scrawny, pale, boyish token human anymore. He had grown into his body and his training sessions with the rest of the pack had paid off, granting him with defined muscles. His chest peppered with hair and a dark happy trail sneaking into his shorts from his navel. He had a couple of tattoos, some magical for protection and some personal. The most intricate was just over his left peck, a pentagram surrounded by flames. Apparently, Peter had found it in a book and told Stiles it protected against possession.

Every wolf was staring at Stiles as he stretched innocently making his way over to the towels stacked on a pool chair… right next to Derek. Isaac cringed internally when he watched Derek panic, glaring at all the wolves for their prying eyes and promptly tripped over himself trying to head inside. Stiles looked after him curiously and seemed to notice the tension for the first time.

“Uhm… everything okay?” Stiles asked as Allison and Lydia snapped out of their conversation to look around at everyone, question evident in their eyes. Every wolf shook their head quickly and turned away from the birthday boy. Isaac had kept watching and saw Peter laugh and walk over to hand Stiles a towel from the pile. Stiles smiled and accepted it but still looked wary at every one else’s behavior.

Thus, began the thrilling and dramatic saga of Stiles’ love life. A saga that Stiles, himself, seemed to be completely oblivious of. Every pack member, even the non-wolves became invested in the drama. Constantly throwing each other looks when the peacocking and pissing contests became too much. As Derek’s temper tantrum out of the kitchen just displayed.

A loud sound from the other side of the kitchen shocked Isaac out of his trip down memory lane and he glanced over towards Stiles once again. At some point, Derek had returned and was attempting to put the beers in the fridge. While Derek was crouched down lining the bottom shelf with the beer, Stiles must have attempted to reach over him to grab the mayo. Stiles lost his balance and fell directly onto Derek causing the beer in Derek’s hand to fall to the floor. Derek chuckled privately and stood to steady Stiles again, grabbing the mayo from him to put on the counter. Stiles smiled shyly and whispered his thanks. Isaac was hit with the smell of arousal as Derek slid his hand down Stiles’ arm, letting his fingers linger on the bandage on Stiles’ palm.

Isaac couldn’t be sure which one of them the arousal was coming from but if Stiles’ red face and racing heartbeat was anything to go by… Isaac had an idea. A scoff pulled Isaac’s attention from the couple and he watched Peter roll his eyes, grabbing the beer off the floor and nudging Derek’s back in order to put it back in the fridge. It broke the spell, and Stiles freed himself of Derek’s hands to grab the mayo and finish the sandwiches. Derek glowered at Peter, who smiled innocently in return.

Isaac sighed, the three of them were idiots.

Chapter Text

Luckily, they weren’t far and before they knew it they were driving past a sign: Welcome to Beacon Hills! The day was ending though and since it was close to a new moon, it was going to be a pretty dark night.

Although Dean once again counted his blessings, considering it would be much worse to deal with weres on the full moon – even if it did brighten the skies. He looked over to see Sammy reading Dad’s journal, expression focused and serious. He cleared his throat. Sam looked up then and rubbed his face roughly.

“Nothing, I don’t even know where to start.” Sam looked defeated, but as if on cue, red and blue lights shone brightly into the Impala from somewhere off the road to the right. Sam and Dean shared a look as if to say - worth a shot. And Dean turned with flourish.

As they got closer to the cop car, they noticed several other vehicles and crime scene tape being suspended by the surrounding trees. On instinct, they grabbed their fake FBI ID’s and smiled at each other knowingly as they got out of the car.

The sheriff approached them first, his face tired and irritated as he took in the two men before him. But Dean didn’t miss the way the sheriff took the briefest moment to admire the Impala behind them.

“Can I help you boys?” The sheriff spoke up.

“Agent Angus and Agent Young sir. We’re with the FBI.” Sam flashed his identification and Dean followed suit. “What’s going on here?”

“Well, not gonna lie boys. I was hoping we’d have this taken care of before the feds came knocking.” The sheriff was eyeing them suspiciously, he didn’t trust them but wasn’t making a move to get rid of them either. That was a good sign. When they said nothing in return the sheriff sighed and unconsciously shrugged his shoulders before motioning for them to follow him back.

Dean knew there was another body waiting behind the crime tape. He’d seen so much death, man he’d seen hell. Literally. But you never get used to seeing a corpse. Someone’s life completely over and the shell of who they once were limp on the floor. Dean shivered but forced himself to stand a little straighter.

The body was definitely mangled, like the others had been. Whatever werewolf did this obviously didn’t take too kindly to this meal though. There was plenty of this guy left over. Nothing like the bits and pieces of the other victims Sam and Dean had seen when they looked up the crime photos.

“This is the sixth body found. As far as we can tell it’s happening around the Reservoir exclusively. Every body we’ve found, we’ve found here.” The sheriff shook his head.

“Is this man local too?” Dean asked remembering the blonde girl’s school photo.

“No, we have no clue who he is. Must’ve just came into town. No one really makes it in without us hearing of it.” Sam nodded and looked to Dean to see if he had any more questions for the man. Dean didn’t think there was anything else the sheriff could tell them that they didn’t already know.

“Alright, thanks sheriff… sorry we didn’t catch your name.” Dean pressed. The sheriff’s eyes went wide and he ran both his hands through his hair and smiled.

“Sorry boys, long night. Its Stilinski, Sheriff Stilinski. Nice to meet you.” He extended a hand and Sam and Dean engaged in the pleasantries.

“Thanks Sheriff Stilinski, we’ll be in touch.” Sam said as they made their way back to the car. Once they were driving back towards the road, Dean spoke up.

“This werewolf is crazy. Have you ever seen a were maim someone so brutally?” Dean heard the skepticism in his own voice. Sam shook his head. They rode the rest of the way to the motel in silence.

Chapter Text

Peter was tired and irritated. How were they meant to research when they had nothing at all to go on? If Derek and Scott would do their part, then he and Stiles would have NO problem finding a solution.

Peter would have preferred calling it an early night, accepting they were back to square one and trying again tomorrow. But Stiles had given him that look. The one that said – I need to feel useful and that means research until dawn and I could do it alone but I’d rather not. Well maybe it didn’t say all of that, but that was the gist.

And how could Peter say no? He loved these late nights with Stiles, watching as he turned each page of the books with long, slender fingers. How he would stick his tongue between his teeth to force himself to focus on the words in front of him. How when he started to doze off, he would pace around the room to keep himself awake.

Peter ought to feel guilty that when they were doing research, he only spent about 45% of the time actually paying attention to the pages in front of him. The other 55% was reserved for watching Stiles sort out the puzzle. He liked it better that way.

Tonight, Peter was guilty of probably a 20-80 split but he’d never admit it. Anyway, there was nothing to go on and no one knew where to start. Peter wasn’t even sure what information Stiles was so engrossed in. They didn’t even know what kind of creature they were dealing with.

He looked over at his research partner. Stiles had finally fallen asleep. He laid delicately on the love seat situated right in the middle of the Hale house library room. One foot on the floor, the other comfortably inclined on the arm of the couch. His one arm positioned over his eyes, while the other still clutched at the book left forgotten on his chest.

This was Peter’s other favorite part of researching with Stiles. The part where he didn’t need to be reserved about his staring. Not that he was particularly good at being subtle in the first place. But he loved these private moments, when Stiles looked so peaceful and beautiful. When Derek wasn’t around to growl pathetically and there were no calculating and knowing eyes of the pack glued to his expression.

He moved as slowly and quietly as he could until he was beside the love seat, kneeling to be closer. He reached up and moved Stiles’ arm gently off his face and placed it with the other on Stiles’ chest. He watched as Stiles eyes moved back and forth beneath his eyelids in REM sleep.

He remembered the first time he’d ever saw him. He had been so unstable and angry but when he walked out of that hospital room and saw this scrawny, buzz-cut wearing teen something shifted in his chest. Peter could see the spark in Stiles. Knew the teen was destined for greater things than being made to feel like some sidekick.

Even in the height of his rage and his vengeance, he could feel a part of him screaming to keep an eye on this one. Not to make an enemy of Stiles, because the boy was more than he seemed. He didn’t particularly care about societal customs or the judgments of others. He let himself be fascinated with the boy and couldn’t help that his flirtations arose naturally as a result.

Stiles wasn’t particularly welcoming to his advances, and he supposed he understood why. Eventually he backed off a bit, tired of dealing with Derek’s attitude. But that didn’t mean he was giving up. No – he’d played the long game before. He could do it again.

Peter wasn’t even resentful when Derek asked Stiles to be the emissary. He was more surprised that Derek could see what Peter could. Even if he didn’t show it much. Obviously, a part of Derek could sense the spark in Stiles too. And at first, Peter was glad that Stiles was getting the credit he deserved. But then things changed.

As if on cue, Derek crossed the threshold into the library. Peter watched as Derek took in the scene in front of him and had to suppress a laugh that would threaten to wake Stiles from his sleep.

“What are you doing?” Derek whispered angrily, his red Alpha eyes shining brightly in the dim room. Peter rolled his eyes in response. Was that really necessary?

“He fell asleep.” Peter responded shooting Derek a duh look. “How was the patrol?” Peter took a moment to caress the back of Stiles’ hands as he removed the book to put it on the floor. He looked up to see Derek had gotten closer and his face angrier.

“It. Was. Fine.” Derek said through clenched teeth. Peter removed his hands from Stiles so Derek could get his words out quicker. It seemed to work. “Jackson and Danny are out now, said the cops have found the lone werewolf’s body.” Derek huffed and pointedly jerked his head towards the chairs sitting opposite the couch. Peter rolled his eyes once again but obliged. Once they were both sitting, Derek continued. “We’ve got a problem though.”

“I’d say we have many, wouldn’t you?” Peter snarked. Derek did not look amused.

“The FBI are here. We should’ve expected it, but it’s still going to make things that much more complicated.” Peter and Derek sighed simultaneously.

“Can’t be helped, I guess.” Peter was too tired to give anything else to the conversation. Derek shrugged but nodded his head eventually. “I’ll take Stiles up to his room.” Derek grabbed Peter’s wrist before he could even take a step.

“That’s not necessary. Just let him sleep here.” Derek growled out. Peter ripped his wrist out of Derek’s hand.

“It’s no trouble, he’ll be more comfortable in his own bed. Or mine.” Peter smirked and Derek’s eyes flashed red once again.

“His room is closer to mine, I’ll take him.” Derek went to move towards Stiles lightening fast, no doubt using his Alpha speed.

“Really Derek, it’s no trouble. It wouldn’t be the first time I had to whisk him off to bed after a night of research together.” Peter’s words stilled the Alpha where he was about to dip down and pick Stiles off the couch. Derek turned, and it seemed like Peter was about to get an earful.

“STILES, GET UP.” The shout shocked Peter and Derek out of their fight and they were too stunned to stop Erica as she pounced on Stiles aggressively. He woke with a start and she pinched his ears hard. “Hey stupid, wake up.” Stiles seemed lost for a second but then smiled at Erica affectionately, even as she had a hold of his ears.

“Alright, alright. I was just resting my eyes, I swear.”

“MMhmmm,” Erica teased, and Stiles was pushing her off to stand up. Once he was up, he stretched obscenely and made eye contact with Peter.

“Sorry I passed out man, did you find anything?” Peter shook his head but smiled warmly at how Stiles was the only person who could make sleep-deprived look cute. Stiles patted Derek on the back as he left the room. “Night guys.”

Peter and Derek were so focused on Stiles that they almost missed the way Erica was looking at them. Her eyes full of mischief and her lower lip between her teeth, fighting a laugh.

“Fuck you.” Peter said simply, but there was no heat behind it. They went to bed.

Chapter Text

“Did you sleep at all last night?” Dean’s voice carried over from one of the double beds to the small desk in the corner where Sam had been sitting most of the night.

“A little, just doing some research on the area.” Dean came to lean over Sam’s shoulder and look at the laptop screen before sitting down opposite him.

“Anything interesting?” Dean was rubbing at his tired eyes.

“Yeah, I can see why Dad came back eventually. There are tons of red flags. Missing persons, kidnappings, a frantic woman claiming she saw a life-size lizard man with a tail leaving the high school one night.” Dean raised his eyebrows at that. “But then it just stops, or at least the weirdness became less frequent over time.”

“Well, that’s a good thing, right?” Sam tried to hide his frustration at the fact that Dean didn’t seem all that interested in the conversation.

“Yeah but Dad wasn’t here for that long.”

“Think there’s other hunters here?” Dean questioned.

“Maybe.” Sam was trying to ignore the gut feeling he was having that something bigger was going on here. Something they were missing. He shook it off and tried to focus on the case at hand. “Regardless, I was thinking we’d go to the Reservoir tonight.” Dean finally seemed awake enough to engage. He leveled Sam with a skeptical look.

“That’s your plan?” Dean chuckled, “You just wanna offer ourselves up to the man-eating werewolf?” Sam shrugged.

“Flush ‘im out. All the bodies were found there Dean, that’s the hunting ground. Gotta be worth a shot.”

“Fine, fine. I’m in. Get some sleep though, could be a long night.” Dean smacked Sam across the head as he headed towards the door. “Gonna get breakfast, want anything?” Sam shook his head and clicked on another interesting Beacon Hills article.

He had no intention of sleeping.

Chapter Text

Danny loved his boyfriend, like a lot. But that didn’t mean he wanted to be out all night with him while the two grew crankier by the minute. Danny figured Derek thought he was doing them a favor by letting them patrol together, but honestly Danny could’ve focused much better without his other half.

“Dan, do I have dirt on my back?” By the time they arrived back at the house, Danny was pretty much ready to strangle Jackson. To death. With love. “Dan??” Danny was struggling to find the right key to open the front door, the exhaustion making him a little loopy. “Danny seriously, stop ignoring me, I fucking like this shirt.” Danny finally turned to Jackson.

“Well that makes one of us!” Jackson had an affronted look as he scoffed and pushed Danny aside. Jackson found the key easily enough and opened the door in but a moment. It annoyed Danny immensely.

“You know, you’ve got a shit attitude.” Jackson fell clumsily onto the couch and yawned obnoxiously. It was 8am and they had only just finished their scheduled patrol. Danny prayed they wouldn’t get stuck with the overnight shift again. Though Derek and Stiles were usually pretty fair about that stuff.

“Well you are annoying, so match made in heaven, I guess. Or in hell. Whichever. I’m just so tired.” Danny fell on top of Jackson on the couch and let his bothersome boyfriend pepper kisses on his neck before snuggling in closer. They knew they would not get a full night’s rest before the rest of the pack would be up and making all kinds of noise – but Danny hoped they had at least an hour.

His hopes came crashing down not ten minutes later, only a moment away from dozing off fully, when he heard Boyd and Jordan chatting loudly as they blitzed down the stairs.

“Hey guys! How was patrol!” Jordan’s enthusiastic voice reached Danny and he groaned as he leaned up on the couch to look at the intruders. It shook Jackson awake.

“Night shift sucks guys. Don’t worry, think Cora and I are the unlucky ones tonight.” Boyd spoke up and came to sit next to Danny on the couch.

“I need coffee.” Jackson grumbled and stretched his arms out wide, accidently smacking Danny in the face. Danny gave Jackson the best evil eyes he could muster but got up to accommodate regardless.

“I’ll help ya.” Jordan followed Danny into the kitchen. About 30 minutes later, it seemed most everyone was awake. Sleeping in was sort of hard when you lived with 11 other people. They gathered in the living room in groups, each person going to the kitchen to secure the rest of the pot of coffee or having to remake it if it’d run out.

Stiles was the last one down. Danny noticed that he looked tired and figured he’d been up with Peter all night trying to suss out their recent feature creature. Derek stood as Stiles reached the bottom of the stairs and Danny laughed internally. It was like a scene out of Pride and Prejudice.

Stiles looked expectantly at Derek, and Derek handed him a cup of coffee he’d just got from the kitchen. Stiles smiled gratefully and took a long gulp – all the while Derek’s eyes glued on the man in front of him. Danny had so had it with the pining. Though… he’d been pining for Jackson for so long, he really had no room to judge.

Danny couldn’t help himself and knew he ought not to get invested in the ridiculous love triangle that centered around Stiles of all people. However, he didn’t have the strength to resist glancing at Peter – perched on the leather recliner in the corner. And boy was he glad he did.

Peter was digging his unclawed (thank god, they all chipped in on that chair) fingers into the arms of the recliner and was glaring, very openly at his nephew. Danny could see the wheels turning in Peter’s eyes and watched excitedly to see his next move.

Sometimes Danny felt that the pack was observing a game of chess. Every one of them total suckers for it, even if they claimed to be above it all. Jackson, in particular, liked to pretend not to be captivated in the game but one glance to him now and Danny could see he was waiting eagerly for Peter to make a move as well.

“Hey Stiles!” Peter spoke up with a friendly smile interrupting the light conversation Stiles had been making with Derek. Here we go! Danny made eye contact with Kira and she winked to signal she was watching too. “I actually forgot to tell you last night, but I found something interesting you might want to look into.”

Stiles’ face lit up and he skipped over excitedly to Peter, leaving Derek without a word. Danny saw the look of disappointment cross Derek’s face before it was replaced by annoyance directed solely for his uncle. Stiles sat on the arm of the recliner, ignorant of how close he was now to Peter.

“What’d you find?” Peter snaked his arm on the other side of Stiles and placed his palm firmly on Stiles’ thigh, holding him more securely in place and helping him keep balance more comfortably. Danny was surprised Stiles didn’t notice. Usually Stiles was much more responsive than this. Danny chalked it up to Stiles’ overtiredness or maybe his excitement to hear the update. Too bad it was probably a total lie.

Danny ignored Peter’s answer in favor of watching Derek fume, still standing near the stairs. Danny really shouldn’t enjoy this all so much. He felt marginally ashamed. He tuned back in to hear Peter say, “So that’s why I’m not sure if they are actually being eaten.” Stiles looked disappointed and rightly so. Danny wasn’t even paying attention the whole time and even he could tell it wasn’t a very good lie. Peter’s usually good under pressure. He must’ve been tired too.

“I don’t know about that.” Stiles eyed Peter suspiciously before turning to the room to get everyone’s attention. Danny could see Stiles’ surprise at realizing he already had it. Danny laughed out loud without meaning to. Stiles was just so oblivious sometimes. Most of the pack was already staring at Stiles, spectators of the silent tug-of-war going on. “Hi everyone,” Stiles chuckled nervously and gave Danny a weird look. “Good morning.”

“Morning Stiles.” Jordan supplied helpfully, Stiles seemed grateful and moved on.

“So, I have something to run past you guys, I thought of it last night but I wanted to sleep on it.” Everyone remained silent, waiting. The few members of the pack that hadn’t been paying attention, like Cora and Allison, turned in anticipation to hear what Stiles was about to say. “I think we need to draw this thing out. We know where it’s been hunting so far, the bodies haven’t been found that far from each other so it must be hiding close to the Reservoir.”

Danny could see where this was going and apparently, so could Derek. He chanced a look and found Derek already smooshing his eyebrows together in an impressively deep scowl. Stiles noticed.

“Wait, just hear me out.” Stiles put his one free hand up towards the Alpha and almost lost his balance. Peter tightened his hold on Stiles, his other hand coming to grab at Stiles’ waist – holding him steady. Stiles gave him an appreciative smile. Little did Stiles know; he was not improving his chances on getting Derek to listen. He scowled deeper. “It’s a safe bet that all the victims had been lost or, at least, weak and scared right? All of them were young and alone, the wolf was alone and in a new territory. This thing doesn’t want a fight. It wants a quick meal. You guys won’t be able to draw it out! You’ve got too much confidence and badass wolfy powers.”

“You’re hardly a weakling Stiles.” Erica spoke up and rolled her eyes.

“Well thanks for that,” Stiles beamed at her. “But I’m sure as shit the only one of us that can pass for one.”

“I don’t know; I feel like McCall has always sorta looked like a pussy.” Jackson muttered under his breath. Danny elbowed him just as Scott chucked a pillow directly at Jackson’s head. Jackson huffed but kept his mouth shut.

“It can’t be Scott anyway. We don’t know what this thing is. If it’s got an enhanced sense of smell, it won’t be coming after another wolf. It didn’t like it.” Lydia spoke up. Danny could tell she didn’t like taking Stiles’ side, probably not alright with him playing bait, but she unsurprisingly was the voice of reason all the same.

“Exactly! It’s gotta be me. I’ll go to the Reservoir tonight, act lost and frightened and when the thing shows itsel-”

     “Absolutely not.”

     “Out of the question.”

     “I don’t like this.”

Everyone froze as Scott, Derek, and Peter instantaneously interrupted Stiles’ train of thought. They all looked at each other, Scott looked amused as if he wanted to scream out jinx even though they hadn’t said the same thing. Derek and Peter did not seem as entertained. Stiles looked agitated.

“You guys don’t get a vote. You never want me to be bait. I think this is our best shot at figuring out what this thing is. We don’t even have to engage. I just want a good look at it.” Stiles was pleading, “It’ll show itself, you guys come in and whisk me away to safety and we book it the hell out of there. No muss, no fuss.” Stiles could tell he was getting nowhere with Derek and so turned to face Peter exclusively. “If I can even get one look – at how it moves, how it hunts – it’ll give us something to go on.” Peter didn’t look happy, but Danny could tell he couldn’t argue with that logic.

“He’s got a point.” Derek growled as Scott glared at Peter, undoubtedly feeling betrayed.

“It has to be me. The only way I can get the info I need to figure out what this thing is, is if it’s coming at me firsthand. You all know I’m right.” Danny could tell everyone was warming up to the idea. Even Scott, though the worry was evident in his eyes. The pack nodded and agreed. Derek left the room in a huff and Stiles rushed after him. Peter and Scott gave it a moment before following them out of the room.

Danny turned to Jackson and gave him a quick kiss. At least they had the rest of the day to rest – cause it was going to be a long night.

    

Chapter Text

Dean could tell Sam didn’t follow his advice to get more rest. He counted how many times Sam yawned on the way to the Reservoir. Dean couldn’t help but be quietly irritated at Sam for not listening to him. Now Sam was not at peak performance and Dean made a mental note to keep an eye on him as the night went on.

When they arrived, Dean took a moment to appreciate how beautiful the woods around Beacon Hills were. The trees were abundant, and their wide trunks gave a clue to how old the small town really was. When he was finished admiring the view, he realized how easily one could hunt here. The branches were thick with leaves and the pathways surrounding the Reservoir were left in complete darkness, shielded from any moonlight.

“Plenty of places to hide here.” Dean commented. Sam just nodded as he opened the boot of the car.

“Wolfsbane bullets.” Sam handed over a loaded gun to Dean. He took it and reached in to grab a silver blade as well. Sam looked at him curiously.

“Just in case.” Dean clarified. Sam shrugged his shoulders and they headed into the preserve.

For the first hour or so – Dean wasn’t sure, it seemed like forever – nothing happened. They walked around the circular Reservoir and even took some narrow pathways off the beaten path to lure the thing out. They were not having much luck.

“Maybe we should split up?” Dean could feel, more than see the incredulous look on his brother’s face at the suggestion.

“Yeah, man-eating wolf hungry for flesh. I definitely want to take that on alone.” Sam snarked.

“I’m just saying man, the things not taking the bait.” A faint sound shocked Dean out of his thought and he placed a hand on Sam’s shoulder to get his attention. “Did you hear that?” Dean whispered as low as he could. Dean followed the direction of the sound, ignoring Sam’s frantic hushed words telling him he was heading off the paved paths and into a thick patch of woods.

Dean looked back and saw that Sam was following him regardless. He couldn’t hear anything anymore, but he was sure the sound had come from this direction. When the woods split open for a small clearing, Dean stopped before he exposed their location. Waiting at the edge of the clearing, he glanced around trying to catch a sign of movement anywhere.

Soon, his eyes landed on a young man sitting on the ground, not quite in the clearing, but close enough that it was obvious he wasn’t trying to hide like Sam and Dean were. Dean’s mouth dropped at the sight of him. His hair was disheveled and his clothes dirty as if he’d accidently tripped into a pile of mud. But even looking the way he did, Dean could tell he was the prettiest man he’d ever laid eyes on.

Without giving it a second thought, Dean entered the clearing, having enough sense to make sure his weapon was concealed before he walked towards the man.

“Hey.” Dean called over to him and the man went wide eyed, his panic evident. Dean put his hands in the air to calm him and tried to make his voice as soothing as possible, “Whoa, hey sorry. Do you need some help?” The beautiful man eyed them suspiciously, he stood slowly but made no attempts to meet Dean halfway. Dean closed the distance, not sure if Sam was following but not caring enough to look behind and find out.

“Hi.” The man finally said, Dean noticed that the man was looking him up and down. Dean wasn’t sure if the man was merely checking if he had any weapons or if he was appreciating the view. But God, did he hope it was the latter. Dean waited for the man to say something else, but both were staring at each other in silence. Finally, Sam appeared at his side. The man’s gorgeous honey colored eyes turned to Sam when he approached.

“Hey kid, are you lost? It’s not safe out here. Haven’t you seen the news?” Sam’s words hadn’t come out harsh or rude, but the pretty man narrowed his eyes at them anyway.

“Haven’t you?” He quipped back and Dean smiled widely before letting out a quiet laugh. Sam turned to give Dean an annoyed look before pulling out his fake FBI ID.

“I’m Agent Angus, this is Agent Young. We’re here investigating the murders.” Dean didn’t bother reaching for his ID, not wanting to take his eyes off the man in front of him. The man narrowed his eyes even further before a mischievous smile appeared on his face. Dean’s heart might have skipped a beat. This guy was too pretty to be real. He put Sam to shame, and Sam totally rocked the pretty boy thing.

“I’m a Led Zeppelin man myself, but you do you.” Dean felt his stomach fall. Shit – they really needed to stop trying to be clever. “So, who are you guys really?”

Dean was shocked to see the confidence emanating from the man. Not five minutes ago it seemed like he was in distress, worried and scared. And now he was standing tall, hands on his hips, demanding the truth from two strange men who stood taller and wider than him. Dean was impressed.

“Alright, alright. We’re from the Beacon Hills University paper. We’re trying to get the inside scoop on the murders happening here.” Sam lied without a hiccup. Dean watched as the man considered this information. Wheels turning in his gorgeous eyes, undoubtedly deciding whether or not to believe them.

“Pretty stupid to potentially get yourselves killed for a fucking University newspaper.” The man’s shoulders fell slightly, the tiniest bit of tension leaving them as he elected to believe their lie.

“Or pretty brave.” Dean made sure the teasing edge to his voice was noticeable just in case the darkness blurred his flirtatious smirk. Sam elbowed him firmly, but Dean ignored it. Dean could see the man’s eyebrows raise and Dean did a mental fist pump when he could see the man fighting back a smile.

“If that’s what you need to tell yourself big guy.” The man started brushing off the dirt from his shirt and looked around suddenly as if he was expecting someone to make an appearance. “You guys really should get out of here though. Take your own advice – it’s not safe.” Dean scoffed good-naturedly.

“And leave you here alone? What are you even doing here?” The man was not as good a liar as Sam, and Dean could tell he was searching for an excuse.

“Uhm… lost. I got lost.” Dean and Sam must’ve been giving the man matching doubtful expressions because he quickly explained, “I was here to meet someone, but I think they gave me the wrong directions. Or maybe they stood me up, who knows?” The man chuckled nervously and looked around again. Dean almost believed that, except –

“Now that definitely can’t be the truth. Can’t imagine who’d be dumb enough to stand up a gorgeous guy like you.” Dean winked and hoped desperately that the man could see it through the darkness. The man’s eyes widened again and Dean liked to believe that if there was light enough to see, he would witness red flush to those pretty freckled cheeks.  

“Well… y’know, uhm…” The man stumbled over his words, Dean enjoyed every minute. “Boys suck, what are you gonna do?” The beautiful man let out a breathy laugh and ran a hand through his soft-looking hair.

“Yeah, that’s why you gotta get yourself a man. They-”

“Ooookay, how about we all head out together? Did you drive here? If not, we’d be happy to give you a ride.” Sam interrupted, a pained expression etching across his face. He shot Dean a look as if to say: Really man, not the time. Dean rolled his eyes but stayed silent waiting for the man’s response. The man looked concerned and panicked. Which confused Dean greatly.

“Uhh… I’m okay. I should really find my friend; I mean if he did show up – I don’t want him to be out here all alone.” Dean considered this and it was good point, annoyingly.

“Why don’t we help you find him?” Dean offered, not wanting to leave anyone alone in the woods where a man-eating werewolf threatened to make an appearance any moment. The man shook his head but said nothing. Dean and Sam waited and finally the man sighed.

“I guess… that would be okay. I haven’t checked back this way.” Dean couldn’t shake the feeling that the man didn’t actually want them to tag along, but there was no chance they were leaving him alone and so he nudged an irritated Sam in the direction where the man had pointed and they walked out of the clearing side by side.

Chapter Text

Derek felt his canines extending without his consent. He bit down the urge to growl and tried to control his shift. These fake FBI agents were ruining everything. If the creature attacked now, they had three times as many people to save from danger. Though Derek had no problem leaving the strangers for dead if it came to it.

Derek was between praying that the creature wouldn’t show itself to a group of three – since Stiles said that it didn’t want a fight – and hoping that it did so they didn’t have to plan another night out here with Stiles in the center of danger.

“So, what are your real names?” Stiles asked. Why did he even care? Derek suppressed his jealousy and listened to their reply.

“I’m Dean, and that’s my brother Sam. What’s yours gorgeous?” Derek was going to kill this man. Stiles huffed; embarrassment clear on his face.

“It’s Stiles.” He smiled shyly.

“Beautiful.” Derek rolled his eyes. This Dean guy was really laying it on thick.  

The pack was separated into groups of three to four, positioned perfectly around Stiles and at any given moment ready to attack or protect or block an exit if this thing showed up. As Stiles and the stupid, fake FBI agents moved around the Reservoir, Derek knew each of the units were moving along with them.

When the men had first shown up in the clearing, Derek felt a shiver run down his spine. Fear that maybe they were dealing with human serial killers after all and Stiles was about to come face to face with them. Then he remembered that the thing had taken down a wolf and so couldn’t be human, and he calmed down a fraction.

That was until the shorter of the two men starting staring at Stiles like some sort of meal offered on a plate. It made Derek’s hackles rise and he growled low enough that only Boyd could hear. Derek’s enhanced eyesight allowed him to see Stiles face well enough, and he had listened intently to their conversation, ready to interject if these men proved to be a danger: “I’m Agent Angus, this is Agent Young. We’re here investigating the murders.”

Derek saw Stiles smile brightly at that. And Derek knew that look – Stiles had caught them in a lie. Derek couldn’t fight his own smile as he thought of how shrewd Stiles was. Just another thing that Derek admired about their capable emissary.

He could only feel pride for a moment before the scent of arousal and interest reached him. He glared at the shorter man then, his face open and Derek didn’t need to guess where the scent was coming from. Derek listened to the man’s heartbeat and felt his claws grow when he heard it skip a beat.

Boyd had clasped a large, firm hand on his shoulder. Derek had torn his eyes away from the scene and saw Boyd shaking his head aggressively. Derek hadn’t realized he’d taken a step forward, threatening to barge into the clearing. Derek could read Boyd’s expression: Not yet, let Stiles handle this. Derek sighed; he knew Boyd was right. Stiles wasn’t in any danger. To blow their cover so soon would've been unwise.

And so that’s how it happened that the pack became slaves to following around the trio as Stiles managed to keep up the charade that he was desperate to find his friend. Derek was growing more and more agitated and he could tell that Stiles was running out of excuses and time.

“I’m sorry to break this to you hot stuff, but I think you might’ve actually been stood up.” The shorter man – Dean – his brain supplied to him, put his arm around Stiles’ shoulders and shook him playfully. Derek tasted blood as he bit his cheek to control himself. Boyd flashed him a sympathetic look. It made him angrier.

He heard Stiles giggle and saw red when he heard Stiles’ heartbeat quicken at the friendly embrace. It was awful enough knowing that Peter was able to produce these types of reactions from Stiles, now some out of town fake agent was trying to cozy up as well.

Derek knew he had no right to be jealous. No right to be possessive. No right to snap at Peter the way he did. At least Peter and this guy were able to be honest, express their interest with flirtations and gentle touches. Derek didn’t know how to do any of that and even if he was granted with the skills of courting, he wasn’t sure he’d have the confidence or bravery to do it. Derek made a great Alpha, but somehow, when it came to Stiles, he still felt like a coward.

Derek was heading down a dark and self-deprecating train of thought when a familiar sound rang clear and thunderous in his ears.

A howl. Cora’s howl.

He looked to Stiles. Stiles had heard it too – which meant so did the strange men. Derek didn’t have time to worry about it as he took off towards the sound, yelling for Boyd to stay with Stiles and the fake FBI agents. He shifted fully into his Alpha form and ran as fast as he could towards his sister.

This creature didn’t know who it was messing with.

Chapter Text

A howl. That was a howl. A werewolf howl. Sam racked his brain for the next move to make. They couldn’t very well drag this kid in the direction of a bloodthirsty werewolf, but this was their chance to catch the damn thing.

“Take Stiles in the other direction, I’m gonna check out what that was!” Sam attempted to leave in a rush, only to be stopped by a strong hand to his chest.

“No! You guys get out of here, I’ll take a look.” Sam scoffed at Stiles and narrowed his eyes.

“I’m not asking Stiles, it could be dangerous. You need to get out of here.” Sam yelled back and Stiles rolled his eyes, his lips pulled back in a sneer.

“I’m not looking for your fucking permission dude. My friends might be over there, I don’t need your help.” Had Sam not been so panicked, he might’ve focused on the way Stiles said ‘friends’ and not ‘friend’ but he couldn’t think of anything beyond getting this annoying kid to safety. He pulled out his gun, previously hidden in the back of his jeans.

“You got a weapon? No? That settles that then.” Stiles eyes were wide with concern. Sam watched the kid weigh his options, but Sam didn’t have time to waste. “Dean take him.” Dean looked unsure and Sam cursed internally at his brother always thinking with his dick.

Before anyone could make a move, an ear-shattering and infinitely more terrifying noise erupted from the same direction as the howl. The three of them simultaneously jumped and immediately sprang to action, no more words needed.

Sam knew they didn’t have any more time to waste arguing and cursed as they all three ran towards the danger as fast as they could.

Chapter Text

Peter liked to believe that had he not been tuned in to this Dean hitting shamelessly on Stiles, that he would have smelled this thing before it revealed itself. It appeared human – long brown hair and piercing, angry eyes stared at him for a moment before the thing cracked a smile.

Peter could smell the death on it though, and knew it was no where near human, even if it looked like it. A part of him was screaming not to underestimate her. She stood several inches lower than him – couldn’t be taller than 5’2’’. But her smile was deadly, and Peter reminded himself of the mutilated werewolf they’d found not a day ago.

He fought the urge to glance to his right where he knew Scott would be waiting for the right moment to attack, out of view. Cora and Isaac were watching from the cover of the trees as well. Of course, they’d all managed to hide since they weren’t distracted by some guy putting the moves on Stiles. Peter cursed Dean to hell internally.

“It’s not a full moon you know.” The thing spoke up, “Just how many wolves should I expect to run into?” She asked politely. Her voice was soothing and beautiful, but Peter wasn’t fooled.

“Don’t know what else you expected; wandering into a pack’s territory and killing people.” Peter made the threat evident in his voice. The thing just shrugged and smiled wider.

“Girl’s gotta eat.” Peter growled low in his throat as a warning. The monster cracked her knuckles and took a step closer.

“I think that’s close enough.” The thing shrugged her shoulders again but didn’t take another step. A second later, Peter watched as her entire face transformed into a gaping mouth with jagged sharp teeth. Her tongue now as large as her hands, forked and covered in a sticky saliva.

Peter didn’t hesitate, he charged forward on instinct. Wanting to gain the advantage in the fight before the thing could make the first move. Her human-appearing face returned, and she grabbed a hold of his arm as he was about to land the first blow. Peter went flying into a thick tree trunk and felt his arm break before it began to heal itself.

Through the pain, he could hear Cora howling for the rest of the pack. Before he could join her in the call for help, he felt the thing crouch down to him and lift him from his throat. His face inches from her forked tongue. She licked his face once and he managed to claw at her abdomen hard enough that she dropped him back to the ground.

He made it a few steps before he felt two rows of serrated teeth embed themselves into his side. He let out a noise he was sure could be heard from miles around. Before the thing had a chance to snap its jaw shut and take a proper chunk out of him, something was pulling her off. Peter fell to the ground again, the drop sending excruciating pain throughout his body. He was trying to heal, but the wound was deep.

He looked up and saw Derek had been the one to pull the monster off him, along with Cora and Scott who were helping to bring the thing down. Isaac was kneeling in front of Peter, the panic clear on his face while he looked at the gash in his side.

The monster wasn’t smiling anymore, she was side stepping each wolf trying to avoid being held by all three. She wasn’t as quick as the wolves though. Scott sprung forward and the monster easily threw him back into Cora, both of them snarling at the thing’s strength.

Peter watched Derek find an in, he leaped onto her from behind – and put her entire head into his huge muzzle. He snapped his jaw shut without a second thought and black goo, instead of blood, burst onto the thing’s clothes. Cora and Scott attacked the thing’s arms then. Tearing into the flesh for good measure.

“Oh my god!” Peter heard Stiles’ voice and tore his eyes away from the gore, only to find Stiles pale-faced, his hands over his mouth and the two men from before holding guns pointed in their direction.

Chapter Text

Dean wasn’t sure what he expected as they ran onto the scene. It was even darker in this area of the woods, but Dean could make out a few things easily enough:

First, there was a werewolf in his beta form laying wounded on the ground, as a young kid – also a wolf – kneeled next to him, an expression of panic and worry clear on his face.

Second, that there were two beta werewolves and an Alpha wolf covered in a sticky substance that Dean assumed was blood from the mutilated body of the young woman at their feet.

Dean could see that Sam was taking in the scene in front of them as well, but both had their weapons drawn. Ready to take out the first person who dared to move. Surprisingly, the first person to move was Stiles. He crossed to the injured wolf too quickly; Dean and Sam hadn’t had the chance to stop him.

Stiles fell to his knees and put his hands on the wolf’s shirt, lifting it upwards gently trying to gauge the severity of the injury. The wolf lifted his still clawed hand up to Stiles and placed it comfortingly on Stiles arm.

“Stiles, get away from that thing!” Dean heard a dangerous growl in response to his warning and looked around to find the source. The large, black-furred Alpha was staring daggers at the two of them. His Alpha eyes glowing a dangerous crimson red. Dean cocked his gun and pointed it towards the Alpha determinedly. The growling intensified.

At the sound, Stiles looked up and noticed the direction that Dean was pointing his gun. Stiles went wide-eyed and jumped to his feet, standing directly in front of the gun, his hands up in surrender.

“Don’t shoot. Put the gun down now.” Dean hesitated, lowering the gun just slightly before he felt Sam nudge him and so he raised it back to attention.

The Alpha moved quicker than Dean’s eyes could follow, and before he knew it, Stiles was out of view. Hidden somewhere behind the giant wolf which had moved dangerously closer.

Dean heard Stiles yelp and run around to put himself between them again, this time his hands placed up towards the wolf. Dean chanced a look at Sam and they both shared the same expression. One that said – fuck, this kid has definitely got a death wish.

“Derek, please come on. This is a huge misunderstanding.” Stiles pleaded.

“Maybe they should put down the fucking guns then.” The injured wolf spoke up, his voice sounding rough and broken – though the anger in the words shone through well enough.

“There’s wolfsbane in the bullets.” Dean jumped at the sound of a new werewolf joining the group. Dean watched in terror as multiple wolfs entered the area, all shifted into their beta form and watching with glowing eyes. Waiting for the right moment to defend themselves or their Alpha.

“You’re fucking hunters? You’ve got to be kidding me.” Stiles rounded on them once again. Betrayal visible on his face. “For God’s sake, put the fucking guns down!” They didn’t move a muscle. Stiles was looking more agitated than worried. “You’re outnumbered guys and in case you hadn’t noticed – we’ve already taken the thing down so like I told you before, get out of here while you still can.” The Alpha snarled for emphasis and Dean was thoroughly confused.

“I would listen to him boys, Stiles can only hold Derek back so long.” A young woman with luscious red hair and a smirk spoke up. Dean realized then that not every person present was shifted in beta form and felt sick for a moment thinking that these apparent human pack members just stood by and let the wolves tear other humans apart and eat them.

And Stiles was one of them.

Dean turned back to Stiles and leveled him with a glare. He was pissed that he’d found this man so beautiful and now he stood in between Dean and the murderers they’d been looking for.

“How can you defend them Stiles. Look what they did, what they’ve been doing. How does that not make you sick?” Dean spat out as he pointed to the mangled body. Stiles looked over his shoulder at it. When he turned back to Dean, he looked confused – any sign of anger fallen from his face. He looked at Dean like he was an idiot.

“What the fuck are you talking about?” Before anyone could attempt to dissect what was going on, one of the werewolves wailed urgently and everyone’s attention was directed back to the mutilated woman on the ground.

Dean felt his heart turn cold as pieces of the body began inching back towards each other. The arm that had snaked its way around the foot of the yelping werewolf, began reattaching itself to the thing’s torso.

“What… the… fuck…” Stiles moved slowly over to the injured wolf, who had apparently healed enough to be able to sit up and watch the show along with everyone else. Stiles helped him stand and they backed away slowly.

It was then, as everyone backed away from the body, that Dean noticed the liquid on the beta wolves' clothing was not red like he’d previously thought, but black and thick and still drooping off their claws like molasses. Dean looked to Sam, who had noticed it too.

It’s a Goddamn Leviathan.

Chapter Text

Even in his Alpha form, Derek could tell how foul and disgusting the black goo in his mouth felt and tasted. When Derek had torn the thing apart, he’d only had a moment to feel victory before feeling sick to his stomach at the taste of death threatening to make permanent residence between his fangs.

Which is why it was even more disappointing to see the monster trying to put itself back together again. No way was he going to have the nerve to bite its head off a second time. He watched his entire pack back away from the thing, and only had a moment to be annoyed at the fact that Stiles was helping Peter keep his balance with an arm around his hip before one of the strange men spoke up.

“Don’t let it finish healing you idiots, tear it apart again!” The shorter man – Dean – yelled urgently.

“You don’t want to wait to bring it down again, it’ll be angrier this time.” Derek listened to the taller man – Sam’s – heartbeat, and it was steady. He wasn’t lying. Annoyingly, Derek couldn’t argue and flashed his Alpha eyes at Scott, silently ordering him to help Derek finish the job once again.

Luckily the thing was still headless when they approached. Derek was forced to receive another mouthful of death-goo as he ripped the woman to shreds. Scott taking the pieces and holding them down far away from the bulk of the body. When the job was done, Derek shifted back into his human form and begrudgingly went to make sure the head had no chance to move any closer.

He looked around to make sure everyone was okay, his gaze landed on Peter. He was healing, albeit slowly. Stiles had placed him back on the ground but was still crouched low and holding onto one of Peter’s hands. Derek narrowed his eyes at the touch but then shook it off. More important things to attend to Derek. He reminded himself mentally.

When he finally looked to the two men, he made sure his expression was anything but friendly.

“So, what do you suggest we do now?” He bit out harshly. Dean leveled Derek with a nasty look, but Sam looked calmer than he had before. They both had finally lowered their weapons.

“Don’t suppose you’ve got a bone of a righteous mortal washed in the three bloods of the fallen on ya.” Dean replied sarcastically. Everyone stared at him in silence. “Yeah, didn’t think so.” Before Derek could respond in kind, Sam spoke up.

“We need to keep the head away from the body, or it’ll keep trying to heal itself.” Derek looked down at the head beneath his foot. He thought of the locked cellar near the Hale house. Not that he wanted to keep a creepy decapitated head so close to his house, but he didn’t have much choice.

“How do you know that? You know what this thing is?” Stiles had left Peter and was now standing in front of Sam and Dean. Derek motioned for Boyd to come and take his place holding down the head so he could position himself next to his emissary.

“It’s called a Leviathan. They’re nasty bastards.” Dean began,

“They’re a race of ancient, primordial monsters, not too long ago they escaped Purgatory –”

“A nice little jail cell that God created to lock scary monsters inside.” Dean specified and Sam continued,

“Yes, and when they escaped, they were hellbent on turning humans into livestock. Basically, trying to harvest the human race as their primary food source.” Derek felt a little flip of his stomach at the thought.

“But we took down their leader, Dick Roman. And without a leader, we knew some of the fuckers were still wandering aimlessly –”

“Course we didn’t consider these attacks might’ve been caused by one considering we knew a wolf pack resided here.” Sam shrugged and Derek would’ve felt annoyed by the action, had Sam not been wearing a slightly apologetic expression.

“You thought we were responsible for the attacks?” Stiles squeaked out; disgust written clearly on his face.

“Why?” Derek interjected for the first time.

“Our dad had come here before, wrote about some weird police reports and supernatural events happening here. There were rumors of a werewolf pack being responsible.” Sam kept his voice even, unaccusatory. Derek was glad Sam was doing most of the talking. Somehow, he knew Dean was incapable of being as cordial.

“More like we’re the ones that have been taking care of everything here. Nice to know we’re getting zero credit in the hunter community. Appreciate it guys.” Stiles scoffed loudly and even looked at Derek with an expression of can you believe these guys?

“Well you can’t really blame us for thinking the worst. Plus Mr. Death-Glare over here was covered in what looked like blood, fully shifted bent over what looked like a dead woman. It wasn’t a far leap.” Dean smirked in his direction. He couldn’t help the warning snarl that escaped as a result.

Stiles reached over and placed a calming hand on his shoulder, it helped. Derek looked back to the men and didn’t miss the way Dean was watching the interaction with curiosity. Dean’s eyes met Derek’s and they shared a moment, understanding in both of their less-than-friendly glares.

“I suppose that’s that then. Do you have someplace to lock that thing up?” Sam interrupted the moment and Derek nodded his head sharply.

“There’s a cellar beneath our house. We can keep the head there. I’ll have the pack disperse the other pieces of the body as far as they can run.” Derek heard some sighs and gave sharp looks in the direction of his pack. They all stood straighter in attention and began to make moves to discuss which direction they would all run.

 Except for Scott and Allison who were walking towards him, looking as if they had something important to say; and Peter who still sat patiently by the tree stump.

“Allison and I were thinking,” Scott began, glancing to Sam and Dean to make sure they were paying attention. “Perhaps you guys should join us tomorrow for the debrief. We like to hold a formal pack meeting when a case is closed and discuss any loose ends that need to be tied, things like that. Since you guys know so much about the creature, it might be useful to have you there.” Derek stared daggers into Scott, his displeasure undoubtedly a tangible thing in the air between them.

“If you’ll excuse us.” Stiles pulled the three of them away from Sam and Dean. Before Stiles spoke, Derek could hear as Sam said, ‘I don’t think this is a good idea.’ to Dean in a hushed voice.

“Now, Derek.” Derek focused on Stiles then, “I know you don’t love the idea of having strange hunters in your house and with totally good reason… But these guys seem to believe we aren’t a threat and there’s no harm in hammering the point home, so we don’t have to worry about them in the future. The more hunters fighting in our corner the better.”

“Stiles is right, Derek. Alliances with other hunters is always a good thing and it wouldn’t be the first time we played nice to avoid future inconveniences.” Allison placed a hand on Scott’s back emphasizing her point.

“And it’s just for the debrief. We’ll tell them everything we know; they’ll tell us everything they know and we’ll all part ways. It’s the easiest way to keep them sweet and assure them we’re the good guys here.” Scott finished, and the three of them looked expectantly at Derek.

Derek knew they were right and trusted his emissary and his second in command with utter surety. He glanced to Peter to make sure he’d been listening. Peter gave him a curt nod, which meant he agreed with the argument that’d been laid out. He took a moment to place Cora, who’d also been listening. She shrugged her shoulders and nodded her head, signaling that she was okay with it too.

He felt the fight leave him and his shoulders fell on a sigh. As much as he hated the idea, he had to do what was best for his pack.

“Alright.” He ground out before turning on his heels to march back to the hunters. “Tomorrow at 10:00 am. Scott will give you the address. Don’t be late.” He put as much authority as he could muster into the words, knowing from experience that one didn’t have to be a wolf to feel intimidated by Derek.

Sam, for his part, looked at least slightly taken off guard; Dean, however, just leered mischievously in response.

“Sounds like a party.” Dean grinned wider as he looked somewhere behind Derek and winked suggestively. Derek didn’t need to guess who his attentions were directed at.

Derek had often wondered if his death glares could actually kill a man like Stiles always joked. He knew now that they couldn’t, because if they could, this Dean would not be graced with another breath. As if sensing the hostility, Scott appeared and began reciting their address for Sam, who typed it into his phone.

Derek noticed the rest of the pack waiting for the order to leave with the body parts, and he motioned for them to take off. Each running in different directions. Boyd picked up the head, years of fighting monsters eradicating any squeamishness. And Derek saw Peter able to stand on his own, healed enough now that he didn’t need any support.

As the remaining members of the pack began to walk out of the woods, towards the beaten path of the Reservoir with Sam and Dean, Derek spoke up.

“Stiles, with me.” Stiles looked up and nodded, following Derek as he took the back way out – towards the private parking lot that Derek had parked his Camaro in. He easily could’ve ran to the Reservoir with the rest of the pack earlier in the night but he liked the feeling of driving better. “You hungry?” Derek could see Stiles perk up at that.

“Ugh, starved.” Stiles beamed widely. They’d already eaten dinner, but Derek knew excitement usually left Stiles with a craving for curly fries. Stiles hopped into the passenger seat excitedly.

Derek let himself feel smug for a moment when he thought of Peter wondering what was taking the two of them so long to get home. But as Stiles began rambling about how he’d read that exciting and terrifying situations often made people feel hungry – all Derek could feel was content.  

Chapter Text

Scott usually woke up pretty early. There were birds that lived in the woods right outside his and Allison’s bedroom window. Their morning chirps and songs were particularly shrill to his enhanced werewolf hearing, and made it difficult to sleep in. He was always careful to leave the bed as soundlessly as possible, as to not wake up Allison.

Scott made his way downstairs to make coffee. The oven clock told him it was 6:42am, which meant there was plenty of time to get everyone up and ready before the hunters would show up for the debriefing. Before the coffee was finished brewing, Peter walked into the kitchen dressed for the day.

“You’re up early.” Scott regarded coolly. Peter shrugged and took a mug out for himself, ready to steal some of the pot Scott had just made. Scott let him.

“I was thinking we should get the four of us together to talk before the pack meeting.” Peter spoke up as they sat at the table.

“I can go wake up Stiles, if you wanna get Derek.” Scott suggested. Peter nodded, but Scott knew who he would’ve preferred to wake up. Scott had warmed up to Peter exponentially over the last couple years, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t still protective of his best friend.

Plus, no way was he okay with starting the day with a fight – knowing full-well that Derek would be pissed the moment he’d realized his Uncle had gone into Stiles’ room to fetch him from sleep.

They all needed to remain sharp and focused. Scott laughed as he made his way to Stiles’ room at the thought of Danny and Kira’s disappointment that they would not have time for Stiles’ love life drama today.

He opened the door slowly and stuck his head in, “Stiles, hey! Wake up. Peter wants to have a pre-meeting meeting.” Scott watched his best friend stir in the covers and heard his quiet grumble. “Stiles?” He prodded verbally; voice raised a fraction.

“Yeah, yeah. I’m coming.” Stiles raised from the bed, wearing nothing but an undershirt and boxers. He mumbled to himself: “Pre-meeting meeting, you fucking kidding me.” He walked towards Scott and waved his hand as if to say, move out of the way, stupid. Scott raised his eyebrows.

“Don’t you think you should put some pants on?” Stiles scoffed and pushed the door open, effectively making enough room for Stiles to enter the hallway.

“Alright judgy, since when were you such a prude? We’re all friends here.” Scott cursed under his breath. They couldn’t afford this today. He whined internally as Stiles made his way down the stairs – he was already failing miserably at Mission: Avoid Tug-O-Stiles Drama at ALL COSTS.

Derek and Peter were already in the kitchen when they made it downstairs. How could Scott tell? Easy: Stiles entered first and Scott immediately could smell the scent of not one but two interested parties emanating from the room.

Scott wished desperately he could just turn around, walk up the stairs to Allison and ignore the rest of them for the rest of eternity. But with great power comes great responsibility and he had a duty to make sure Derek and Peter would not kill each other. At least not today… when they needed to appear strong and capable to their new allies. He held his breath and entered the kitchen.

Stiles was reaching to grab a mug from the cabinet when Peter appeared next to him, holding two mugs full of coffee. He offered the fresh one to Stiles, having obviously prepared it when Scott and Stiles were still making their way down the stairs.

One point to Peter. It’s all tied up folks, since Derek made Stiles’ coffee yesterday. Scott teased in his head and almost laughed out loud at his own joke, but then he willed himself to focus. No! No time today, Scott.

“So, what did you want to talk about, Peter?” Scott interrupted the intimate moment before Derek could get himself too riled up. They all sat at the breakfast table. Derek and Peter sitting on either side of Stiles. God they were idiots.

“I just think we need to be wary of these hunters today. I agree with what you all were saying yesterday about forming alliances, but that doesn’t change the fact that they were here to hunt us. I think it’s vital we keep that in mind.” Peter took turns looking each of them in the eyes, before settling on Stiles and placing a hand on his shoulder softly.

Derek tensed his own shoulders at the touch and Scott was losing his will to live.

“I don’t disagree, considering they had their guns pointed at you guys most of the night, I’m not inclined to trust them blindly either.” Stiles spoke up.

“But that doesn’t mean we should appear that way. We gotta be friendly. They’ll notice if we’re being stand-offish.” Scott knew trained hunters would be able to pick up on those kinds of things. He didn’t want Dean and Sam to think the pack was hiding something.

“I don’t think that’s what Stiles was saying.” Derek spoke up and patted Stiles’ hand in reassurance. “He was saying they didn’t exactly give us a reason to trust them just yet, so we need to keep our guards up.” Derek finished his thought but left his hand resting on top of Stiles’.

Peter stared at the pair of hands intently. “Actually, dear nephew, that’s what I was saying.” Derek narrowed his eyes dangerously; while Stiles, for his part, yawned obnoxiously – evidently not noticing a Single. Fucking. Thing.

“Guys, we need to stay sharp today. This meeting is important.” Scott meant for the cautioning to be directed at Peter and Derek, who were glaring at each other perilously. However, Stiles the Oblivious Wonder, took it to be directed at his yawn, an implication that he needed to wake the hell up.

“I know Scotty, don’t worry. A few more of these and I’ll be golden.” Stiles waved the coffee mug around as he yawned the words.

“Sorry for keeping you out so late, Stiles. I hadn’t even realized the time until we got back.” Derek patted Stiles’ hand again and Stiles smiled up at him with tired eyes. Derek’s heart skipped a beat and Scott could see the moment the sound reached Peter’s ears.

“You knew the debrief was early, maybe next time allow our emissary a good night’s rest before an important pack meeting.” Peter growled out and Derek returned it. Stiles jumped at the sound and leveled Peter with a suspicious look.

Scott thought for a millisecond that Stiles had finally noticed something, finally caught on. Until he laughed happily and put his arms around Peter and Derek’s shoulders in a friendly embrace. He shook them slightly.

“You guys are so cranky in the morning.” He chuckled again and stood up from his chair, coffee back in hand. “So, we are all basically on the same page here. Keep our guard up but be as friendly as possible. Seems easy enough.” He stretched sleepily. “If that’s all, I’m gonna sleep another hour. My alarms on so don’t bug me.”

Derek and Peter watched as Stiles left the room. Their gazes lingering a moment on the door, as they usually did, before Peter looked back to Scott.

“I didn’t exactly get the chance to bring up everything I’d wanted to talk about.” He huffed out, annoyed.

“Maybe you should’ve kept your attention on the matter at hand then, Peter!” Scott ground out furiously. He snatched the mini packaged donuts that Derek had just picked up from the bowl in the middle of the table, receiving an incredulous look from Derek in response. “I meant what I said. Keep your focus today guys.”

Scott was up and walking out of the kitchen before either of them could respond. He didn’t want to hear it. He threw one of the mini donuts carelessly into his mouth. “For fucks sake.” He mumbled as he chewed.

When he made it back to the room, he noticed Allison still sleeping soundly. At least she looked peaceful.

Chapter Text

“I don’t feel so good about this.” Sam was concerned, extremely concerned. He was directing Dean to the pack house for the early morning meeting. They were running a few minutes behind; he had his brother to thank for that. Sam was not fooled at all; he knew Dean was doing it on purpose to goad the Alpha on.

Which reminded him:

“Can you attempt to be less of smartass during this meeting, please?” Dean flashed him an indignant look. Sam rolled his eyes at it and continued, “And less of a flirt, for God’s sake.”

“Ah but he’s gorgeous though.” Dean commented nonchalantly.

“I’m serious Dean, don’t tell me you didn’t notice the reactions you were getting from the Alpha.” Dean laughed and Sam could see the mischievous glint in his eyes, “It’s not a joke, man, come on. He looked at you like you were one snarky comment away from getting your own head bitten off.” Dean laughed again and Sam was feeling tired. Extremely tired.

“I know, but hell. It’s not my problem if the Alpha is too much of a pussy to make a move. Stiles is snarky, smart, gorgeous – dude must’ve realized someone else would eventually wanna snap that up. Ya snooze, ya lose.” Sam was speechless.

It’s not as if they were sticking around much longer now that the Leviathan had been dealt with. What was Dean hoping to achieve by thoroughly pissing off this deadly werewolf pack? Other than successfully abolishing any chance at procuring powerful allies for the future.

“Three of them were able to take down a rogue Leviathan, Dean.” Dean looked at Sam in question – not understanding the relevance of the statement. Sam sighed noisily. “You think maybe you want to put self-preservation over your own carnal desires?” Sam tried a different approach.

“Nah.” Dean winked. They pulled up to the huge house – mansion more like, he thought as they took the building in. The wolves would’ve no doubt smelt and heard their arrival. No going back now.

Sam prayed Dean would take some of his warning seriously but had no real faith in the thought. He didn’t know how he felt about trusting supernatural creatures enough to leave a town like Beacon Hills in their hands.

He knew this meeting was meant to put their minds at ease but somehow, as they walked up the porch stairs, each step brought a wave of nervousness that sat like bricks in his stomach. Dean lifted a hand to knock on the front door, but it was pulled open abruptly, leaving Dean’s hand in mid-air.

“Hey boys.” One of the beta wolves with dark long hair and hazel eyes stood in front of them. Sam thought she looked a little like the Alpha and wondered briefly if they were related. “Touch anything, Derek will kill you. Steal anything, Derek will kill you. Break anything, Derek will definitely kill you. Other than that, make yourself at home.” She gave them a smirk before stepping aside to welcome them in.  

“That’s nice of you.” Dean stated good-naturedly as he walked on in, a subtle hint of sarcasm buried in the words. Sam took a deep breath.

Here we go.

Chapter Text

Erica woke up feeling uneasy. Though she supposed she understood why Derek hadn’t looked to her for permission the night before when inviting the hunters to the meeting. She wasn’t family like Cora and Peter. Undoubtedly, the Hale’s had lost more to hunters than any other member of the pack.

That being said, she had definitely had her fair share of run-ins with hunters, and wasn’t ecstatic about two of them being invited into her home. She knew that she wasn’t alone in that regard. Everyone was scattered around the living room, similar to the morning before. Every wolf focused on the front door, waiting to hear the sounds of a car approaching.

Her eyes landed on Allison. She looked relaxed as she waited, chatting to Lydia about something Erica didn’t care about. It was no wonder why Allison was at ease, her own family being filled with hunters. Some of which had tortured Erica before, but… bygones.

It’s not that Erica had an issue with Allison. In fact, years of being in the same pack had led to the two of them being friends… more or less. Erica liked her well enough, she was just envious of the stress-free look to Allison’s shoulders, the smile on her face – while Erica was freaking out. Erica felt a hand on her knee and looked up to see Boyd giving her a reassuring smile.

They’d be fine.

They all heard it at once, the sound of an old car approaching. The faint noises of the hunters arguing inside of it. Cora was the first one to stand, winking at Kira in a show of playfulness. She waltzed over to the door and waited for the perfect moment to open it.

Cora had got it right; there was Dean, the shorter of the two, hand in mid-air waiting to knock. After Cora had thoroughly warned the two of them from breaking anything, they walked in. Dean waved happily to the room at large.

“I’m Dean, this is my brother Sam. Reporting for the meeting.” Erica got the feeling Dean’s formality was a slight to his brother. She looked to Sam and saw him staring daggers at Dean. The worry clear in his eyes and in the acceleration of his heart.

“You’re late.” Erica would’ve expected Derek to speak the words, but she was surprised to hear them spoken in a friendly tone. She saw Stiles enter the room, Derek in tow – brooding impressively. No one missed the way Dean seemed to perk up at Stiles’ entrance.

“Sorry gorgeous, this one needs to blow-dry his hair in the morning.” Dean leaned towards Stiles and mock-whispered, intending on Sam hearing every word, “Takes hours.” Stiles laughed into his hand, sending Sam an apologetic smile.

“Why don’t we get started.” Derek finally spoke up – his tone serious and commanding. They had saved two spots on the longer couch for Sam and Dean. When they made their way to it, Stiles followed. Dean scooted over until Sam was sandwiched uncomfortably between his brother and the arm of the couch. Dean patted the spot next to him towards Stiles, who gratefully accepted.

All the while, Erica turned her attention to Derek and Peter. The former standing at his place in front of the group, and the latter sitting in his signature leather recliner in the corner. Their expressions revealed nothing for once, but their anger rang clearly in their heartbeats. Erica huffed a laugh and saw Issac giving her a knowing smile in return.

Surprisingly, Derek was able to get through the meeting, Scott occasionally taking the lead – as he usually did with the debriefs. Other than a few minute pauses on Derek’s end when Dean would lean over to ask a question or make a comment in Stiles’ ear, nothing especially interesting happened.

Which more than a couple members of the pack were pretty disappointed about. Erica caught Danny’s bored expression. Danny was the worst of all of them. He was way too invested in Stiles’ affairs.

When the meeting was over, Scott and Allison asked the brothers to stay for lunch. Derek didn’t seem to like the idea but didn’t really get the chance to object before Stiles was insisting they did.

“Unfortunately, we are ordering pizza today so you won’t get the chance to try my wonderful home cooking, but you should stay anyway.” Stiles joked, and Dean smiled brightly at him.

“We’d love to.” Dean agreed, eyes not leaving Stiles. Erica noticed that Sam looked like he had been about to reject the offer and felt almost bad for the guy being dragged into this situation by his brother.

When they all settled to eat, the conversation followed easily. As you’d expect it to, with 16 people around all finding their own rhythm and groups to converse. Erica and Boyd were eating in comfortable silence. Erica wanted to keep a keen ear on the hunters. She couldn’t be sure if that was Boyd’s motive also, since he was usually on the quiet side to begin with.

“My dad is a hunter.” She heard Allison speak up. Sam and Dean were still sitting on the long couch, Stiles now sat on the floor in front of them alongside Scott and Allison.

“What’s his name?” Sam asked.

“Chris Argent. He’s been doing it his whole life, but the last couple years we’ve stuck here.” Allison snuck in a bite of pizza, “No more traveling around, and there’s plenty of big-bads here to keep us entertained anyway.”

“Us? So, you’re a hunter too?” Sam smiled down at her and she nodded. “Family business. We know all about that.” Sam continued. 

“If you guys want to meet him, I’m sure we can grab some lunch tomorrow? Or coffee? Share some horror stories.” Allison chuckled and Scott joined in. Erica was fighting her urge to cringe. Yes, let’s introduce all the hunters in the area. That’s a great fucking idea. Her thought was interrupted by Sam’s reply.

“We’ll probably head out of town tonight, unfortunately.” Dean and Stiles caught each other’s eyes and Dean began to shake his head fervently.

“Actually Sammy, I was thinking we might stay a couple extra days. See the highlights of Beacon Hills.” He flashed Stiles a hungry grin, “The nondeadly kind.” Erica could hear Stiles’ heart skip a beat and noticed his cheeks growing flushed. Erica could also hear a scoff and knew it was coming from the direction of the recliner.

Erica turned her attention back to Sam; she couldn’t suppress her laughter at his expression. Like he was a deer in headlights, desperate for any way out of the situation.

“I’m glad you guys are sticking around. I would love a chance to pick your brains about that Leviathan.” Though Stiles was speaking to both of them, his gaze never left Dean’s. Derek whined from somewhere in the kitchen, where he’d excused himself earlier. Peter stood but then sat back down and huffed angrily. Erica wasn’t sure what Peter had been about to do.

Erica nudged Kira, who was now sitting to her right. They both shared a laugh. This was finally getting good.

Chapter Text

Sam wanted to scream at his brother but knew that he would not even be able to get away with an angry whisper with this many wolves around. Dean had upped his game and was following Stiles around like a little lost puppy.

Usually Sam would just laugh it off when Dean found himself struck by a girl or guy. When they would stick around a town, just so Dean could spend more time with them. But this time was dangerous, and Dean knew it.

Sam could also see the pack knew well enough the drama that was unfolding before them. Each one of them paying close attention when Dean would cozy up to Stiles and the Alpha would glare or leave the room.

Probably the most terrifying part was the older wolf who’d been hurt in the fight the night before. Sam hadn’t noticed then, but he was growing more agitated each time Dean would flirt with Stiles as well.

So not only was Dean tempting fate by hitting on the object of the Alpha’s affections, but the object of the eldest member’s affections too.

Sam wished the Leviathan had just killed him.

Chapter Text

Isaac didn’t really like pizza. He was lucky because he wasn’t the only one, otherwise he would be forced to suck it up and eat it – lest he go hungry. He found himself in the kitchen with Derek and Lydia while Derek prepared a caesar salad for the three of them.

Isaac had been glad to leave the living room. Listening to Dean flirt with Stiles was getting old and he was extremely hungry. He watched from the breakfast table as Derek expertly grated the parmesan into the elegant glass salad bowl Stiles had bought from Pier 1. He’d been annoyingly proud of that purchase.

As Derek was tossing the salad with the dressing, Dean and Stiles entered the kitchen – followed by Sam and Allison. Stiles was carrying plates collected from the pack and was making his way to the kitchen sink to wash them. Dean followed closely behind and offered to help.

“So, Stiles, what are you up to tonight?” Isaac heard Dean speak as lightly and quietly as he could, probably knowing full-well they all could hear him anyway. Stiles' hands stilled in the soapy water as he looked up.

“Uhm… I mean nothing really…”

“Great! What do you say you let me take you out tonight, for dinner?”

Isaac jumped at the sound of glass hitting the floor. He looked to see Derek, who’d been making his way to the table with the salad the moment Dean had asked Stiles out. The salad all over the floor amongst the broken glass. Isaac’s stomach growled – upset and disappointed.

Though not as upset as Stiles.

“Derek! That’s my favorite bowl, you clumsy oaf!!!” Stiles rushed over to Derek, helping him pick up the broken pieces. Leaving Dean stunned for words.

“Sorry.” Derek muttered. Once it was clean, Derek muttered an apology towards Isaac and Lydia as well and began taking back out the ingredients to make a new salad.

Stiles was still wearing a distressed expression on his face when he made it back to the sink. Dean stayed silent for a few minutes, letting the awkward moment pass. Isaac could see Derek glancing nervously in their direction.

“So?” Dean finally pressed.

“Huh?” Stiles looked up again with his brow furrowed. God he really is an idiot. Isaac couldn’t help but think.

“Dinner tonight?” Dean smiled shyly. It was the first time Isaac had seen the man look anything but cocky. Stiles blushed a deep red and glanced around the room, unquestionably embarrassed, knowing the wolves could tell how much Dean affected him.

“Yeah… guess so.” Dean beamed and Stiles gave him a friendly shove. “Keep drying the dishes though, we aren’t done yet.”

Isaac chanced a tentative glance in Derek’s direction. Isaac was surprised to see the disheartened frown on his Alpha’s face. He didn’t look angry or like he was about to murder someone. He looked hopeless.

Isaac would be lying if he said he didn’t feel for the guy. How could Stiles not realize how in love Derek was with him? Derek caught him looking and his face became hard. He slammed the finished salad on the table and left without another word. Isaac and Lydia shared a look.

They had to do something, and fast.

Chapter Text

Stiles had been through his entire closet, and realized with despair that Lydia had been right all along… He did have terrible taste in clothes. As if summoned by the mere thought of her, Lydia appeared in his doorway. Well she is a banshee… can banshee’s read minds? Stiles narrowed his eyes at her.

“I can’t read your mind Stiles.” Lydia rolled her eyes for emphasis.

“How did you know what I was thinking then?”

“You’re really not all that complicated.” Lydia sat herself on his bed and started pulling up some of the shirts he’d thrown there as a veto pile.

“That one’s not bad.” Isaac appeared suddenly, commenting on the shirt Lydia was holding up and glaring at. Lydia turned her glare to Isaac and threw the shirt back down. Isaac made his way to the closet and began sifting through what Stiles called his 'fancy shirts'.

“Are you guys helping me get ready?” Stiles was suspicious, albeit grateful since he couldn’t pick an outfit to save his life.

“Of course!” Lydia hopped from the bed and skipped over to Isaac, who was holding a satin black dress shirt that Peter had bought for him last Christmas. “Oh, I forgot about this… sucks that it came from Peter, but damn if that man doesn’t have good taste.” Lydia cocked her head to the side before throwing it towards Stiles. “Put it on.”

Stiles knew better than to argue with Lydia, so he quickly shed the yellow polo he’d been considering and began buttoning up the shirt. When he’d buttoned it halfway, Isaac stopped him.

“Leave like three buttons undone.” Stiles raised his eyebrow at him but did as he was told. He walked over to the mirror.

“You guys don’t think it’s too…” Stiles struggled for the word but was interrupted before he got a chance to find it.

“No, it’s perfect.” Lydia was nodding appreciatively. “Good call on the buttons, Isaac. I’m impressed.” She smiled at Isaac who preened in response. “Now for pants. I’m thinking those light blue-ish grey capri-cut slacks.”

“Slacks? What if he’s just taking me to get a burger. I don’t want to be overdressed.” Stiles squeaked.

“Stiles. Stiles. Stiles. We dress for the date we deserve. If he takes you to get a burger after seeing you in this…” She gestured to his revealing satin top, “Then he should be the one that feels stupid. Not you.”

Stiles hadn’t considered that. Although, he would be perfectly happy picking up a burger and just having a chill night with Dean, but he did not want to admit that to Lydia. When Isaac located the slacks and threw them in his direction, he made his way to the bathroom to change and brush his teeth.

Once he was back, Scott and Cora had joined Isaac and Lydia in his room. He walked in, hoping to make a grand entrance. Unfortunately, he tripped over some of the clothes he’d tossed on the floor before, and his audience laughed at him.

“Ha. Ha. Yes, very amusing.” Stiles hated all of them, “How do I look?” Stiles put his arms out wide and made a little turn to show off the entire ensemble.

“Isn’t that the shirt Peter got you for Christmas?” Cora spoke first. Stiles looked down and shrugged.

“Yeah, so?” Stiles shrugged again, “He’s got good taste.”

“You’re gonna wear a shirt… that Peter got for you… on a date?” Cora took her time finishing the question, pausing at several intervals. When she was done, Scott elbowed her hard in the ribs. “Hey fucker, that hurt.” She elbowed him back. Stiles was lost.

“Why are you guys being weird?” Stiles eyed them all suspiciously, “Also, why are you here?”

“We wanted to help. We could tell you were nervous.” Scott smiled comfortingly at him. Stiles loved his best friend.

“I hate living with a bunch of werewolves.” Stiles teased, and Isaac threw a pillow at him from the bed where he was sitting. “But seriously, the outfit? Too much?” Stiles tried again for feedback.

“I think you look great.” Scott offered.

“Maybe we should get Derek’s opinion?” Lydia suggested and Cora’s head snapped up in surprise.

“Why?” Cora and Stiles said at the same time. Lydia shrugged.

“He’s got great taste too. Remember that number he wore to the frat party we dragged him to.” She whistled as Isaac was fervently nodding his head.

“Oh yeah, that outfit was something else. Didn’t you think so Stiles?” Isaac questioned excitedly.

Stiles remembered the outfit all right. Derek had worn a tight burgundy knit sweater and black jeans. It had been chilly that night and so he’d sported his best fitted leather jacket as well. Stiles had nearly died when he saw him. Derek hadn’t wanted to go to the party, but once Stiles had begged him to – Derek gave in.

Stiles had not dressed appropriately for the weather, and so only an hour into the night – while Stiles stood out in the backyard of the frat house nursing a beer – he was freezing. Stiles remembered how embarrassed he’d been when Derek had offered him his leather jacket. As Derek placed the jacket on Stiles' shoulders, Stiles couldn’t help the wave of want that had washed over his body. I mean… it was a very romantic thing for Derek to do. Stiles had thought to himself.

He’d had to excuse himself into the frat house where he had locked himself in the bathroom and reminded his reflection that hopeless crushes on straight men only equaled pain. Of course, Stiles was no good at listening to himself. So, he’d pathetically turned his head to the side to take in the smell of Derek’s cologne.

Stiles could feel his face heating up at the memory, and cursed Isaac and Lydia for reminding him of that embarrassment. He looked up at his friends all taking residence on his bed and noticed that four sets of knowing eyes were glued to him. Stiles coughed and turned to his shoe rack in the closet to busy himself.

“Stiles?” Isaac prodded. It was then that Stiles realized he had not answered the question.

“Uh. Yeah, he looked handso…” Stiles coughed again and started over, “He looked good. Yup, very stylish.” Stiles was definitely red. Very red.

“That settles it then! Let’s go get his opinion!” Lydia chirped as she made her way to the door, Cora at her heels – looking displeased. What’s her problem?  Stiles thought to himself while he watched them leave.

Chapter Text

Dean was torn. He wasn’t sure if Stiles was the kind of guy that liked to be wined and dined. Or if a simple burger joint and maybe a walk through the park would be preferable. Sam and Dean didn't travel with many clothes, so Dean kind of hoped for the latter.

He looked down at the nicest pair of dark-wash jeans he had, and the black T-shirt that he was wearing under his unbuttoned brown flannel. He figured that would do. He walked out of the bathroom and saw Sam standing in front of the motel room door – looking angry as per usual.

“What’s up Sammy? You know if you keep frowning like that all the time, your face is gonna get stuck like that.” Dean patted his brother’s chest before grabbing the keys off one of the bedside tables.

“Dean.” Sam stopped him from leaving and leveled him with a serious look. “Please be careful. I don’t know what game you’re trying to play here but it’s dangerous. Stiles is a nice kid; I don’t want him to get caught in the middle if this is just some kind of pissing contest for you.”

“Thanks for that Sammy, I’ll keep that in mind.” Dean laced the words heavy with sarcasm. Sam stopped him again.

“I’m serious Dean.”

“I’m not trying to have some pissing contest. He’s a nice man. A smart and snarky man who can hold his own. I like him.” Dean pushed his brother aside. Sam just exhaled loudly.

“Well you’re not the only one.” He huffed under his breath.

“Yeah? Well I’m the only one trying to take him out for a good time and from what I’ve seen, he could use a night out. So, if you’ll excuse me.” Dean opened the door and let himself out – glad not to hear another word out of Sam when he made it to the car without being stopped again.

As he drove away, he could see Sam standing outside shaking his head. Dean smirked and winked at him before leaving the parking lot.

He’s such a worrywart. Dean shook his own head as he made his way to the Hale house.

Chapter Text

We’re geniuses!

Isaac waited eagerly for Lydia to come back with Derek. No way was Derek going to be able to resist Stiles in the outfit they’d picked out for him. They had it all planned out: Step one – make Stiles look irresistible. Step two – remind Stiles how attractive he finds Derek. Step three – get Derek in the room and make themselves scarce when Derek jumps Stiles.

Isaac was grateful that Lydia could hold her own against Cora. When Cora had left with Lydia, Isaac could hear them arguing as they made their way down the stairs.

I’m not stupid Lydia,” Cora had hissed under her breath, “I know what you guys are doing and it’s not fair to drag Derek into it. He’ll figure this out on his own.

Lydia had just scoffed and laughed in response. Isaac didn’t need to be there to know that that had probably pissed Cora off more. “Cause he’s done a great job so far, right? The rest of us are tired of the pining and of Derek taking it out on us when Stiles unwittingly gives him the cold shoulder. Just trust me. I know what I’m doing.

Isaac didn’t hear another word out of Cora and so assumed she must’ve begrudgingly agreed. He took a moment to appreciate Lydia’s and his work. Stiles actually looked good. Stiles caught him looking and went to nervously button the shirt one more button.

“No, no. It looks good.” Stiles smiled shyly and Isaac thought for a moment that he could see the appeal. Course... Isaac wasn’t gay, but he could appreciate a good-looking man all the same. Stiles was smart, cute, and funny. It was no wonder he had all these guys fawning over him.

Before Isaac had a chance for a sexual identity crisis, he heard Lydia and Cora coming back to the room. Another set of footsteps joined with them this time. When they’d made it closer, Derek spoke up:

“What did you guys need my opinion on? I’m busy.” Lydia and Cora entered the room, but Derek stood in the doorway. When Derek’s eyes landed on Stiles, his mouth fell open a little. His eyes trailed down the entire length of Stiles and Stiles fidgeted once again.

“Yeah, I know, I told them it was too much. It’s too much right?” Stiles sounded frantic as he reached up to the buttons of the shirt. For a moment, Isaac thought maybe he’d take it off, but Derek stepped forward and Stiles stilled his hands. It looked like Derek might reach out, Isaac watched as Derek took another step forward and the hand at his side twitched.

Everyone in the room was dead quiet, waiting long-sufferingly – undoubtedly feeling as creepy as Isaac did – watching the intimate moment. Stiles didn’t smell aroused like Isaac had expected, he smelled nervous and embarrassed.

Did Stiles really think that Derek didn’t like what he was wearing? Isaac wanted to throttle the both of them, or maybe just grab both of their heads and force them to kiss already.

Derek reached up with his hand, and Isaac could hear Stiles’ sharp intake of breath – his heart racing. Isaac could see everyone leaned forward in anticipation, eyes glued to the couple as if Derek and Stiles were a nerve-wracking scene in an action movie.

“STILES!” Time began moving again, and Stiles and Derek blinked back into reality at the intrusion. Isaac heard Cora groan, as Lydia let out an annoyed grunt. The yell had come from downstairs. Stiles panicked as he looked at his watch. “Stiles come here!” They heard Peter’s voice again.

“Gotta go.” Stiles whispered as he racked his fingers through his hair. “Wish me luck!” And just like that, Stiles was gone. Derek was left speechless, frozen in place, staring at the ground. Derek turned on his heels suddenly and Cora followed him out of the room, hand on his shoulder. Isaac looked at Lydia, who stood furious in the corner.

“So. Fucking. Close.” Lydia seethed through her teeth.

“And now he looks gorgeous for his date with Dean.” Isaac supplied unhelpfully.

“Fuck.” Lydia had obviously not thought of that.

We’re idiots.

Chapter Text

Stiles was so grateful to leave the room. The timing couldn’t have been better. Even if Dean was a little early. Stiles couldn’t have stood another minute under Derek’s gaze. Maybe his outfit was too much. Would it have killed Derek to have at least told him that outright instead of just staring like Stiles was some sort of freak.

He wanted to dress nice for his date. Dean was a very gorgeous man who, for some reason known only by God, wanted to take him out. Just because a certain man is straight and brooding and hotter than fire didn’t mean that that certain man had a right to make Stiles feel like he was dressed over the top.

When Stiles found Peter, he was in the kitchen. The moment Peter’s eyes met his, they grew wide in surprise.

“You look amazing.” Peter grinned and let out a whistle. Stiles could feel himself blushing. Sometimes it shocked Stiles how close the two of them had become. Stiles almost felt as though Peter was his best friend (behind Scott of course). “Is that the shirt I got you?” Peter’s smile fell only slightly as he cocked his head to the side like Lydia had done.

“Oh,” Stiles looked down at the shirt nervously, “Yeah, uhm… Lydia picked it out. Does it look okay?” Peter’s smile grew wide again.

“Yeah it looks stunning on you. I knew it would.” Stiles beamed at Peter. See Derek – this is how a true friend responds. Even if they aren’t into dudes. Big brooding jerk. Stiles’ internal monologue was interrupted when he noticed the brown bag in Peter’s hand.

“What’s that?” Stiles pointed to it and Peter seemed to snap out of whatever he’d been thinking about.

“Oh! It’s why I called you down here. I know you always bring your dad dinner on Monday nights. I bagged some leftover rice and chicken for him.” Stiles' heart fell into his stomach. He’d totally forgotten what day it was. With all the excitement of the Leviathan and getting asked out by a super hot hunter guy, it had slipped his mind.

His dad hated Monday’s, especially the late Monday night shifts he usually got stuck with. Every Monday, Stiles would prepare him a healthy dinner and hand deliver it to his dad at the station. Stiles was sure if a person could make heart eyes in real life, that would be happening right about now while he looked appreciatively at his new number one best friend.

“I totally forgot; you have no idea how much this means to me.”

“Well since you’ll be busy tonight, do you want me to bring it? I mean… I’m sure your dad would much rather see you.” Stiles considered it. He didn’t want to break tradition, but he didn’t want to cancel on Dean either. “I’m sure Dean would understand.” Peter spoke again. Stiles shook his head.

“No thanks, I’ll just get Dean to stop by the station before dinner. I’m sure he won’t mind.” Stiles was taken aback by how disappointed Peter looked. Why does he want to deliver the food to my dad so bad? Stiles shrugged his shoulders. Peter was so weird sometimes. “Thank you for putting it together though, I would’ve totally forgotten and felt awful about it for weeks.”

Stiles heard a knock at the door and grabbed the bag out of Peter’s hand. He patted Peter a few times on the shoulder before leaving the kitchen. Isaac, Lydia, and Scott were waiting in the living room. Stiles caught Lydia’s eye while he anxiously smoothed out his shirt with his free hand. She gave him a reassuring smile and his nerves calmed a fraction.

He gave them all a thumbs up before opening the door. 

Chapter Text

Dean didn’t like to boast. Well… actually he did like to boast. The thing is, he’d been on plenty of dates, with guys and girls from across the country. Hunting wasn’t exactly a glamorous job, and if Dean wanted to stay an extra couple days in any given small town to get his kicks – well who could blame him?

But when Dean had picked up his dates, he’d never felt as stunned as he did now, standing in front of the Hale house front door. Stiles looked unbelievably beautiful. It was easy to overlook the toned muscles Stiles usually hid underneath layers of clothing. But they were on full display now, underneath his half-buttoned satin black dress shirt.

Dean got a good look at how formfitting Stiles’ slacks were when he’d turned towards the living room to wave a final goodbye to his friends. Before Dean knew it, the front door was closed, and Stiles was waiting expectantly in front of him.

It took a moment or two for Dean’s brain to come back online. He noticed Stiles’ smile fading as he fidgeted with the buttons of his shirt. The self-doubting look on Stiles’ face was enough to snap Dean out of his trance.

“You look incredible.” Dean reached out and grabbed Stiles by the waist. Stiles yelped a little in surprise but smiled encouragingly at Dean a second later.

“Is it too much? I told them it was too –”

“You’re gorgeous.” Dean purred as he turned them around to walk towards the Impala, one arm still wrapped securely around Stiles’ waist. Dean opened the passenger side door for Stiles, and quickly made his way to the driver’s seat in order not to miss a single minute of the blush creeping onto Stiles’ pale skin. “Gotta admit though, I’m feeling a bit like a scrub in comparison.” Dean chuckled.

“No! No, you look great. Super great… Hot. You look hot.” Dean watched Stiles get impossibly redder and had to bite his lip to stifle his laughter. “Shut up.” Stiles laughed along with him. “So, where is it you’re taking me?”

“Where would you like to go?” Dean kind of felt like an idiot, he should have put more thought into this. Stiles deserved a decent night out.

“You know, I’d actually love a burger.” Stiles suggested. Is it possible to fall in love with someone so soon? Dean could feel his face brightening at the thought, and Stiles seemed relieved that Dean was getting behind the idea.

“Just when I thought you couldn’t get sexier.” Stiles scoffed at that.

“There’s an incredible burger place around the corner. If you trust my taste, that is.” Stiles smirked at Dean; his eyes playful.

“Well you’re on a date with me, aren’t ya?”

“You’re very sure of yourself.” Stiles teased. Dean loved a challenge. He placed his hand flat on the leather seat between them and leaned against it until his face was only an inch from Stiles’.

Dean hadn’t prepared himself for how beautiful Stiles would look from up close. He’d been trying to prove a point about how irresistible he was, but he found himself captivated by Stiles’ honey brown eyes instead.

Stiles licked his lips and Dean’s gaze was drawn downward to track the movement. For a minute, Dean thought he’d give in and kiss him – but he owed it to Stiles to at least take him out first.

So, with all the strength he could muster, he straightened back up before putting his arm around Stiles’ shoulders and pulling him closer. As Dean put the car in drive, Stiles spoke up again.

“I do have a favor to ask.” Dean raised his eyebrows. Honestly, he’d grant this gorgeous man anything.

“Ask away.”

“I totally forgot what day it was, and I usually bring my dad dinner on Monday nights. Think we could stop by and drop it off for him before our date?” Stiles shook the brown paper bag he’d been holding for emphasis.

“No problem, where’s he live?”

“Thanks,” Stiles angled his head to shoot Dean a grateful smile, Dean’s heart stuttered in his chest. “He’s actually at work. Just turn here.” Dean did as he was instructed. Following Stiles’ directions easily, only occasionally getting distracted by Stiles’ beauty. “Just up here.” Dean pulled into a parallel parking spot in front of the Sheriff’s station and turned to eye Stiles suspiciously.

“Your dad’s a cop?”

“No,” Dean felt marginally relieved. “He’s the Sheriff.” Stiles snickered loudly at Dean’s flabbergasted expression. Dean composed himself and smirked right back at Stiles.

“Your dad may or may not think my brother and I are FBI agents.” Dean raised his eyebrows at Stiles, who seemed to consider this.

“Huh…” Stiles was rubbing his chin thoughtfully.

“What’s up?” Dean prodded.

“I’m trying to decide if he’ll be pissed or impressed that I bagged an FBI agent.”

“Well, for my part, I’m sort of hoping it’s the latter.” Stiles let out a breathy laugh that sounded judgmental to Dean’s ears.

“Are you telling me that Dean Winchester: hunter extraordinaire, slayer of monsters, Leviathan, and the like is intimidated by the Sheriff?”

“No.” Dean shook his head, “I’m saying Dean Winchester: the greatest and sexiest hunter that ever lived is intimidated by his date’s father, who possibly has a loaded gun on his person.” Dean grabbed Stiles by the chin and shook his face playfully.

Dean’s eyes fell to Stiles’ lips once more and he was fresh out of strength and self-control at this point. He must’ve only been a millimeter from pressing his lips against Stiles’ when a knock on the window caused Stiles to pull back abruptly.

Dean turned to look at the intruder and his smile faded for the first time since picking Stiles up. He rolled the window down a fraction.

“Sheriff.” Dean nodded in a way of greeting.

“Agent Young.” The Sheriff nodded back, “I see you’ve met my son.” Dean chuckled nervously in reply.

“Uhm, yes.” Dean once again felt like an idiot. He removed his arm from around Stiles shoulders and scratched at his head anxiously.

He’d welcome a monster, a Leviathan, or the like right about now. 

Chapter Text

Stiles had the worst luck in the world. He had not wanted to introduce Dean to his dad. Little early for that Stiles. He nagged himself internally. Of course his dad had been outside the moment they’d pulled up and it’s not as though Dean’s striking car was at all inconspicuous. He couldn’t blame his dad for coming over to investigate.

However, he could be disappointed. Because he was pretty sure he was about to get kissed. Kissed by a fit, sexy hunter who, by divine intervention, was as interested in Stiles as Stiles was in him.

“Hiya dad.” Stiles smiled sheepishly at his dad, who had not taken his eyes off Dean. “Brought you dinner.” Stiles lifted the brown paper bag and shook it from side to side.

“I see that.” His dad finally turned his unrelenting gaze from Dean to Stiles.

“Yeah… I’d stay and eat with ya, but we sort of have plans.” The Sheriff raised his eyebrows in question. Stiles explained quickly, without further prompting, “Date plans. Dinner date. We’re going to dinner.” Stiles finished and smacked at Dean’s thigh when he let out a small laugh.

“How old are you Agent Young?”

“Dad.” Stiles couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the question. It’s not like Dean looked old, and for fucks sake Stiles was 22, he could date a 40-year-old if he wanted to. Not that he wanted to but still. Also, was his dad really so gullible? How had he not seen through the fake FBI agent ruse?

“I’m 28 Sir.” Dean responded anyway, a respectful smile on his face.

“Huh.” Stiles’ dad looked Dean up and down, assessing one last time. “Alright then. Stiles, you call me once you get home. Have a nice night boys.” And with that, the Sheriff hit the top of the car a few times before reaching into the window and grabbing the dinner Stiles had brought for him. Once his dad made it back into the station, Stiles started chuckling.

“I can’t believe he fell for the whole Angus and Young phony names thing. I’m never gonna let him live that down.” Dean blew out a small breath but smiled as he put his arm back around Stiles’ shoulders.

It felt nice and Stiles hadn’t realized how much he’d missed the contact until he had it back. In fact, from the moment Dean had picked him up, he’d been pretty physically affectionate. But in a good way – it felt incredible to be doted on by a person as confident and free about their feelings as Dean. It helped also that Dean was stunningly attractive (not that Stiles was shallow).

“You’d be surprised how much we get away with.” Dean spoke directly into Stiles’ ear, his lips brushing Stiles skin gently. It made Stiles heart stop beating for a moment.

“I don’t want to know.” Stiles hated how out of breath he sounded. Come on Stiles, you aren’t some virginal 16-year-old anymore. Dean let out an entertained scoff.

“Yes, you do.” He purred in Stiles’ ear once again. Stiles unconsciously looked to the air conditioning in the car to make sure it was still on. It was and yet the car felt very, very hot. As much as Stiles was desperate to not interrupt the moment they were having, he didn’t exactly want to get caught by his dad a second time canoodling with an ‘FBI agent’ in front of the station.

“Yeah, I really do.” Stiles scratched at the back of his head, and the movement caused Dean to lean back and look him in the eyes. “Maybe we can talk about it over that burger?” Dean seemed to catch on, and he winked as he put the car in drive.

Stiles directed Dean to the burger joint near the Hale house, the pack’s favorite. The best part was that the restaurant was near some outdoor picnic tables, a semblance of a patio, and was located next to the Beacon Hills community park. When they made it there, Dean beamed at Stiles.

“You read my mind.” Stiles could only assume that Dean had planned to take him to the park after dinner and Stiles was pleased that they had had similar ideas.

Dean got out first and quickly made his way over to open the passenger side door for Stiles. Stiles wanted to laugh at Dean’s over-the-top gentlemanly behavior, but he also didn’t want it to stop – so he kept the teasing to himself.

They found a picnic table, semi-private and far enough away from the crowded patio so they could talk freely. Stiles watched eagerly as Dean took his first bite. Dean moaned agreeably into it.

“Good, right?” Stiles interrupted the obscene noises before they drove him to the edge.

“Best burger I’ve ever had,” Dean nodded excitedly, “and that’s saying something. I’ve had a lot of burgers, a lot of places.” Dean pointed towards Stiles like a professor emphasizing an argument in a lecture. Stiles just shook his head mockingly and began eating his own delicious burger.

“So, you guys travel around a lot?” Stiles asked in between bites, “To hunt, I mean?”

“Yeah, Sammy and I have spent our whole lives on the road. Following sketchy news stories and red flags. Anywhere something supernatural might be happening.”

“And then you stop it?”

“Try to, we don’t always get it right.” Dean smirked then, “Though most of the time we do.” Stiles rolled his eyes good-naturedly at Dean’s cockiness.

“So, you follow news stories of people being murdered, show up in the area, illegally impersonate FBI agents, figure out what the thing it, and kill it?” Stiles summed up while counting the steps on his fingers. Dean nodded along.

“Pretty much.” Dean shrugged his shoulders meaningfully, “But what about you? How does a human end up in some weird crime-fighting werewolf pack?”

“How does a human end up traveling the country and fighting supernatural creatures with his brother?” Stiles shot back. Dean’s eyes lit up exponentially.

Stiles loved that Dean seemed to welcome his snarkiness, rather than being put off by it – like most of the pack. It reminded Stiles of Peter, who treasured nothing more than the fact that Stiles could hold his own in a battle of wits. A fact that Peter retold Stiles constantly.

“Fair enough.” Dean finished his burger with frightening speed, Stiles thought he was a fast eater – but Dean had put him to shame. Once they finished eating, they decided to take a walk around the park. It was a nice enough night, and the park was well lit by streetlamps and the residual light from the restaurant patio.

They walked a ways into the park before coming across a small bridge over a man-made stream. It had lights shining from below, bulbs lined in the wood where the walls met the base of the bridge. Dean had a hold of Stiles’ hand and Stiles couldn’t help how attractive he found the roughness of Dean’s hand against his own.

“The Alpha just chooses the emissary? Like you don’t have to battle it out or something?” Dean was asking. Stiles had just finished explaining the pack dynamics – how Scott had the capability of being the Alpha if need be, how Peter acted as Derek’s advisor, how he was the emissary.

“No, no battle or anything,” Stiles chuckled, “the Alpha just picks the person in the pack who can be the most diplomatic, secure alliances and peace within the pack. That kind of thing.” Dean gave Stiles a disbelieving look. “Hey, hey. I know I can be a bit…”

“Fiery?” Dean supplied. Stiles took back his hand and shoved Dean good-humoredly.

“I’m good at what I do. Derek wouldn’t have picked me otherwise.” Dean put his hands up in surrender before sauntering over and pinning Stiles against the wall of the bridge, his hands placed firmly on either side of Stiles – leaning against the railing. The swift movement produced a gasp from Stiles, and the sudden proximity ensured that that gasp was the last breath Stiles was able to make.

Dean grinned at Stiles’ surprise. Stiles was sure that even in the darkness, Dean could see the flush creeping its way up his neck and onto his cheeks. Stiles was dumbfounded, frozen in place by Dean’s beauty.

From up so close, Stiles could see that Dean had light freckles peppering his nose and cheekbones and just the hint of stubble underneath. His eyes were impossibly green, they mimicked the lush woods surrounding the Hale house and around the preserve. Dean’s smirk was fading, but his perfectly shaped lips parted slightly, and Stiles was sure he was about to pass out from lack of oxygen.

Stiles had a moment to worry that he’d been staring too long, that he’d made the moment uncomfortable by openly gaping at Dean’s prettiness. But soon he realized that Dean was doing the exact same thing. Which was insane, because Stiles was no where near as beautiful as the man standing in front of him.

As if Dean could read his mind, What’s with all the mind readers?  Stiles quickly thought to himself as Dean spoke up.

“Stiles, you’re gorgeous.” It wasn’t the first time Dean had said it, but the implication was heavier now with his body pinned by Dean’s and his face completely under Dean’s scrutiny.

“Not as gorgeous as y–” Stiles words were stolen by a kiss.

Dean’s lips were unbelievably soft, a direct contrast to the roughness of his hands – one of which had moved from the railing of the bridge to lay delicately upon Stiles’ cheek. Stiles never thought himself the type to melt into someone, but he felt his muscles relax and his entire body tilt into Dean from head to toe. Dean’s other hand snaked its way behind Stiles’ back, gently pressing them that much closer.

Stiles’ body seemed to move instinctively, since Stiles’ brain was definitely not firing on all cylinders. He wrapped his arms around Dean’s Goddamn, super muscular shoulders. and let himself be lost in the embrace.

After so long hanging around with smoking hot werewolves – Peter and Derek – his brain intrusively supplied for him, telling himself he could look but not touch because he didn’t want to ruin their friendship, it felt surreal to be able to have what he wanted. To be the person that someone else wanted.

Stiles could never be sure if Dean felt similarly, but the way he was kissing him now made Stiles think there was a deeper longing in Dean that went well past simple desire.

Dean deepened the kiss, and Stiles happily obliged. Dean’s rough hand had moved to the back of his neck, and he was angling Stiles’ head upward for easier access. Stiles heard himself whimper and would’ve been embarrassed had the sound not caused Dean to tighten his hold on Stiles’ waist.

Dean took a step forward and Stiles was forced backward as a result. The railing of the bridge dug into his back. Stiles gave a little ‘oof’ but otherwise the pain did nothing to hinder Stiles from carrying on as they were.

Just as Stiles was beginning to think that they might want to relocate somewhere that was not a public park – and beginning to think he might be a bit of a slut considering this was their first date – he heard the familiar ringtone programmed in his phone specifically for his dad. The sound broke the spell they were under but the shock was not great enough to cause Dean to let go of Stiles completely.

Dean looked as wrecked as Stiles felt but was beaming and laughing softly. Stiles joined in before reaching into his back pocket for his phone. He’d thought he’d put it on do not disturb but remembered as he turned the painfully bright screen to his face that the setting allowed calls to go through if the same number called enough times. Dean must’ve noticed Stiles’ anxiety, because he stepped back, giving Stiles space to answer the call.

“Dad?” Stiles braced himself for whatever it was that his dad might have to tell him. Whatever was important enough for him to call multiple times.

“Stiles,” His dad was out of breath, concern heavy in his voice, “They found another body.”

Chapter Text

“Sammy, we’re coming to get you. They found another body.” Dean was holding the phone between his shoulder and ear in order to have both hands on the wheel as they raced towards the motel. Stiles was typing urgently on his phone, texting each member of the pack the update.

“Shit, alright.” Dean hung up once he heard Sam’s response and looked over to Stiles. There was a look of frustration on Stiles’ face, and Dean couldn’t tell if it was a result of the news or if it was due to their date being cut short.

For Dean’s part, he was more than a little put out by the interruption – not that he wasn’t sympathetic to the fact that someone had just died. If anything, this just made it much more personal. When they found the thing responsible, Dean was going to destroy the cockblocking motherfucker.

“Derek’s going to meet us out front, he said the cellar is still locked but he’s gonna wait until we get there to check.” Stiles ran both his hands through his hair in irritation, the action causing the locks to stick in different directions. Dean couldn’t help but admire how cute it made Stiles look. He reached over and grabbed Stiles comfortingly by the back of the neck.

“Check what?” Dean asked absentmindedly as he appreciated the feeling of Stiles’ soft hair at the nape of his neck between his fingers.

“On the head.” Stiles looked at Dean like he was an idiot but leaned into the touch anyway. Dean hadn’t thought of that. He was, after all, a little distracted. Dean would be pissed if the Leviathan had managed to heal itself, but mostly he’d be pissed at Derek for assuring them that the cellar had been a safe place to store the head.

When they pulled up to the motel, Sam crawled into the backseat without a fight. Dean was silently grateful.

“Did Derek check on the head?” Sam asked once he'd shut the car door. 

“Not yet, he’s waiting for us.” Stiles began biting his nails nervously, and Dean gave a little squeeze to the back of his neck to calm him. It didn’t seem to work.

When they made it to the Hale house, Derek, Scott, and Peter all stood outside waiting for them. Dean hadn’t been paying much attention to anything but Stiles before, but he realized now that in the face of danger it was those three and Stiles who would take the front lines.

Stiles didn’t wait for Dean to open his passenger door this time – he jumped out as soon as they came to a stop and approached Derek. Dean didn’t catch the first thing Stiles said, but as he walked nearer, he heard Scott asking, “You ready?”

Stiles nodded, and the group made their way over to the exterior cellar door. Dean reached for Stiles’ hand and was pleased when Stiles let him. They waited as Derek took out the key for the padlock. Dean noticed Peter’s gaze trailing down to their linked hands – his eyes growing dark.

Peter must’ve felt Dean watching, because he looked up and smiled dangerously at him. Dean didn’t shy away from a challenge and held the eye contact until Peter’s expression shifted completly.

Dean could see Peter’s eyes grow infinitely softer and his smile genuine. It took a moment for Dean to realize that Peter had turned his attention to Stiles. Dean looked to his right to see that Stiles was smiling back at Peter, and he had to fight not to roll his eyes – Stiles must’ve completely missed the death glare Peter had been giving Dean a moment before.

The sound of the heavy cellar door being pulled open put an end to the silent interaction between the three of them. Derek stopped Scott from entering first and made his way through the narrow entrance. Once they were all down the few steps, Derek opened a beaten-up metal box.

“Well?” Stiles asked impatiently. Derek reached inside and lifted the head out of the box for all of them to see.

“It’s still fucking here.” Derek threw the box back down, and the sound of the metal hitting concrete was piercing to Dean’s ears.

“Shit.” Scott cursed and everyone seemed to share the sentiment.

“Scott, Peter – grab Cora and Boyd and head to the Reservoir. If there’s another Leviathan, it’s not getting another meal on our land.”

“You don’t think the thing will have made itself scarce by now?” Stiles scoffed disbelievingly, “Considering we tore it’s friend apart yesterday.” Derek glared at Stiles, a fact that annoyed Dean immensely. Derek's glare turned harsher when he noticed the two were holding hands. Dean couldn't help but feel that much more irritated at Derek for his reaction. Just because the dude was jealous didn’t mean he had to take it out on Stiles.

“Well what would you have us do? Just sit around and wait for it to tear someone else apart?” Stiles leveled Derek with a serious look, and he seemed to deflate a little. The nonverbal communication between the two telling Dean that Derek often needed reminding that he couldn’t turn his vexation on those around him.

“Scott, go get Cora and Boyd and get a head start to the Reservoir. Peter, help me get the ingredients for that locator ritual. You know, the one you found when we were hunting that wendigo hiding in the preserve?”

“You guys took out a wendigo?” Sam interrupted.

“A story for another time.” Stiles sent Sam a quick smile before turning back to Peter. “Do you remember?” Peter was nodding approvingly.

“Smart, smart man. Of course I do.” Peter and Scott looked to Derek. Dean assumed they were waiting for his approval to follow Stiles’ orders. Derek gave a curt nod and they both set off.

“I’ll be right back.” Stiles squeezed Dean’s hand before following Peter, leaving Dean with Sam and Derek in the dark, muggy cellar.

After a long silent moment, Derek headed out and Sam and Dean followed suit. They all stood patiently outside the cellar door. Dean wished desperately for Stiles to hurry up. Dean wasn’t ignorant of the fact that Derek wasn’t their biggest fan. He also wasn’t ignorant of the fact that it was mostly his own fault. Not that he was sorry.

When Peter and Stiles returned several minutes later, Stiles was wearing a backpack and a pendulum crystal hung from his neck. They stopped a few feet away from where Dean stood and turned towards each other.

Dean watched as Peter reached up and placed his hand over the pendulum, his other hand rubbing over Stiles collarbone underneath his halfway unbuttoned satin shirt.

“Peter.” Derek’s voice was raised, the command in it clear, even to Dean. “Get to the Reservoir.” He growled out. For once, Dean was thankful for Derek’s jealousy.

Not that Dean had any reason (or right, for that matter) to be bothered by Peter’s behavior, but it did feel a little like Peter was trying to make a point by waiting until they were outside to get all touchy with Stiles.

God, I sound like a child. Dean thought to himself and felt marginally ashamed for being so immature. Peter let go of Stiles and found time to send Derek a deadly look before taking off at a sprint towards the woods. Stiles seemed to be completely unaware of what had happened but was unconsciously turning the pendulum back and forth in his hand.

“Alright, I got everything I need. You guys ready?” The question was undoubtedly directed mainly at Dean and Sam, but it was Derek who responded first.

“Yeah. Stiles?” Derek held up his car keys and jerked his head towards the Camaro parked not far from where they were standing.

“Why don’t you just drive with us? We’ve got an extra seat.” Sam offered. Dean glowered at his brother and noticed that Derek had turned an identical expression to Sam at the same time.

Stiles approached Derek tentatively and placed a hand on his shoulder. Derek’s eyes turned soft and open, and suddenly Dean felt like he was invading on a private moment. Which pissed him off greatly.

“I think we should go with Sam and Dean. They know these creatures better than we do and I need to fill you in on this ritual Peter found.” Dean expected Derek to put up a fight, but his guard fell completely and for a second Dean actually felt for the guy. Man, he’s got it bad. Stiles patted Derek’s stomach a few times before leading them all to the Impala. “Come on, big guy.” Stiles teased and Derek growled warningly.

Dean was close to making a ‘no dogs in the car’ joke, but Derek had a murderous look to his eyes, and he didn’t want to make the state of affairs any harder on Stiles. So, he kept his mouth shut.

He did, however, make sure to open the passenger side door for Stiles, to ensure that he sat in the front with Dean. Stiles seemed a bit embarrassed that Dean had done it in front of Derek and Sam but climbed in regardless.

As Dean made his way around the car to the driver’s side, he made eye contact with Derek - who was narrowing his eyes perilously at him. Dean ignored the Alpha and hopped in the car.

Once Derek and Sam piled into the back seat, Dean sped down the private driveway and raced in the direction of the Reservoir. Stiles was once again biting his nails in concentration and anxiousness, and Dean reached over to grab his hand. Stiles blushed self-consciously, but let Dean intertwine their fingers.

Dean felt Sam kick his seat, and he glanced at the rearview mirror – catching the worried expression on his brother’s face and the fuming expression on Derek’s. He let himself smirk slightly before pulling Stiles that much closer to him on the seat. Dean let go of Stiles’ hand in favor of putting his arm around Stiles' shoulders.

Dean was distantly aware that he was meant to be making the situation easier on Stiles, but – well… he wasn’t perfect.

Chapter Text

Derek wasn’t a bad person. He did want Stiles to be happy. At the end of the day, Derek was not just in love with Stiles – he also loved him like a friend, like family, like pack. He would never want to do anything to hurt him.

However, Derek was sure Dean was no good for Stiles. After all, Sam had implied on multiple occasions that they would be leaving town eventually. Obviously, Dean had no intention to stick around.

Derek knew he was being possessive, but he was mostly being protective. Stiles was going to get hurt, and all because Dean wanted to use him for a good time. Had it been Peter that was taking Stiles out and parading him around Derek… well Derek would still be pissed, but he’d also know that Peter’s intentions were genuine. As genuine as Peter is capable of, that is.

Derek had to mentally shake himself out of his thoughts – he could deal with Dean later. Right now, there was another monster on the loose and they had to focus. Dean was at least driving with haste, attempting to get them there as quick as possible. It was a good thing too, because Derek was very close to losing it.

Derek felt his claws extending, and he kept his hands in tight fists so Sam would not see his control slipping. Dean had his arm around Stiles’ shoulders, while Stiles was running his fingers over a map of the Reservoir that he’d taken from the house.

Dean was trailing his own fingers down the length of Stiles’ neck. Derek would’ve thought Dean was doing it on purpose, but the action was so light, and Dean’s eyes were so focused on the road – Derek knew it was instinctive rather than deliberate. And somehow, that made it worse. Finally, right as Derek was desperate for a distraction, Stiles spoke up.

“Derek, do you remember how many weeks we were hunting for that wendigo last fall?” Derek nodded, he remembered how tirelessly the pack had patrolled the woods. How Jackson had failed his Intro to Psych course because of all the late nights out and how he had never let anyone forget it. “Well, Peter found this locator ritual back then. It’s pretty simple magic, we thought it might be just the thing we needed but it required us to have something from the wendigo. Like it’s blood, it’s skin, even just a piece of its clothing. So, we moved on since the thing didn’t leave any kind of crime scene to peruse.”

“But the Leviathan does.” Sam interjected.

“Exactly. The day we found the body of that lone werewolf,” Stiles turned and looked sympathetically at Derek. Stiles knew how guilty Derek had felt that they hadn’t been able to protect the kid. After all, he’d been looking for protection by trying to find a pack. “I found the ritual again when Peter and I were researching that night, but by then the police had already gotten to the scene and tampered with all the evidence.”

“So you came up with the whole bait idea instead?” Dean asked, his tone impressed. Derek felt the residual worry fester in his gut for having agreed to let Stiles be bait.

“Yeah, which would’ve worked beautifully had we not been interrupted.” Stiles smiled cockily at Dean, who gave a little half smirk in reply.

“I’d say it worked out pretty well, wouldn’t you?” Dean winked at Stiles and removed his arm from around Stiles’ shoulders to squeeze at Stiles’ thigh. Dean then wrapped his fingers around Stiles’ leg above his knee and left his hand there to rest. The smell of Stiles’ arousal was like a smack to the face in the cramped car – coming off in waves, incredibly strong.

Derek hadn’t missed the way the two of them smelled when they’d first arrived at the Hale house. He knew something had happened between them, because Stiles was covered in Dean’s scent. Dean smelled woodsy, like campfires and the lingering smell of leather from his car. It was shockingly overpowering to Stiles’ own intoxicating scent – the smell of roses, and the underlying fragrance of sage from the stash he had under his bed.

He’d had to bite his tongue when he’d noticed it. What’s more, he was sure Peter had been running his hands on Stiles’ chest and neck for the purpose of erasing Dean’s scent from Stiles’ skin. And Derek couldn’t really blame him. He’d wanted to do the same exact thing.

That being said, it was one thing to suspect something had happened, it was an entirely different thing to be breathing in the smell of Stiles’ arousal and knowing it was being caused by someone else – not being able to escape like he normally would. Luckily Sam seemed to sense the tension in the car and coughed pointedly. Derek figured it was probably uncomfortable for him as well. Just because he couldn’t smell what was happening, didn’t mean he wasn’t aware of it.

“So, you think the Leviathan might’ve left something behind with the body? Something you can use for the ritual?” Sam leaned forward to force Stiles to meet his eyes. Stiles seemed to snap out of it and turned in his seat to face the backseat properly.

“I hope so.” Stiles replied.

“So you think it’s another Leviathan?” Derek spoke for the first time, his voice sounding rough and deep.

“I mean it’s possible,” Sam was scratching at his long hair, “Ever since we took out their leader, they’ve hardly been sticking together like they were before but that doesn’t mean two of them couldn’t have ended up in the same place.” He looked to Dean for back up. Dean shrugged; his eyebrows furrowed.

“Somethings not right about it, but what are the odds that there’s an entirely different monster tearing people apart in the same location the day after we took out the Leviathan.” Dean turned his eyes on Stiles, who laughed coldly.

“In Beacon Hills?” Stiles sneered at no one in particular, “Pretty freaking likely.”

“Well just in case, we brought the Borax.” Sam sighed, the bags under his eyes a clear indication that he’d not slept well in a while.

Derek had been shocked when the hunters had explained that Borax could temporarily injure the Leviathan. It seemed like a joke, but Derek had listened to their heartbeats throughout the morning debrief, and they had not told a single lie.

Course, Derek preferred to use his claws and teeth to fight the nasty creatures, but he supposed it would be helpful for the non-wolf pack members to be able to injure the fuckers too considering how wicked strong they were.

After what felt like an entire lifetime went by, they arrived at the Reservoir. Derek jumped out, and opened Stiles’ door for him. Stiles seemed taken aback but thanked Derek anyway as he climbed out. Derek counted it as a win when he heard Dean huff angrily under his breath.

Dean and Sam made their way to the trunk of the Impala and began grabbing several water guns that Derek could smell were filled with liquid Borax. They also took out handguns. Dean walked over to Stiles and handed him one of the water guns, as well as a silver knife with carvings on the side.

“This is a demon-killing knife, but it’ll work just as well on any monster. Just in case.” Dean whispered to Stiles as he placed the knife in his hands.

Just as it seemed Stiles was about to speak, Peter and Cora appeared in the parking lot.

“Finally.” Peter wasn’t fully shifted but his eyes were still glowing blue, “Scott and Boyd have been running along the perimeter but nothing yet.”

“The cops are still with the body, the forensic van just arrived.” Cora chimed in.

“Stiles, can you ask the Sheriff to stall them?” Stiles gave Derek a questioning look but nodded his head and began typing away at his phone.

“Said he can give us 30, nothing more.” Stiles read from his texts a moment later.

“Okay. Cora, Peter, take the east. Stiles, text Scott and tell him and Boyd to cover the north. Dean and Sam, you’ve got the south. Stiles, you and I will cover the west.”

“Whoa, what are you talking about? I thought Stiles was doing the ritual.” Dean glared at Derek, even as Sam was nodding.

“We use magic as a last resort. It’s unpredictable.” Derek could feel his Alpha eyes glowing as he crossed his arms menacingly. “If we have 30 minutes, we can afford 20 searching for the thing first.”

“After 20, we’ll meet in the clearing. The one from yesterday. The body isn’t far from there.” Cora spoke up again.

“Sounds like a plan.” Sam nudged at his brother’s arm and gave him a look as if to say stop arguing. Derek was glad one of them had a brain. As Sam and Dean seemed to be having a silent conversation, Peter approached Stiles.

“You sure you’re up for the ritual if it comes to it?” Peter grabbed Stiles’ upper arm, and Stiles reached up to place his hand over Peter’s.

“Yeah. You’re with me, right?” Peter chuckled softly and leaned forward to whisper in Stiles’ ear. Derek wasn’t sure why Peter bothered, considering he knew full well that Derek and Cora could hear him clear as day.

“Always.” Stiles laughed as though Peter had just told a funny joke, and Derek was astounded that Stiles could think so little of the devotion his Uncle constantly showed him. It was no wonder that Derek was getting nowhere being coy with Stiles, the man was completely clueless.

When Peter and Cora left to head to the east side of the Reservoir, and Stiles had texted Scott the new plan – Derek got Stiles’ attention.

“Let’s go.” Stiles nodded and began walking towards Derek. Derek watched Dean stop Stiles with a hand to his arm. Stiles looked up at Dean and smiled shyly.

“Be careful.” Dean spoke roughly, the worry evident in his voice. Stiles just scoffed mockingly.

“Don’t you worry. I can take care of myself.” Stiles patted Dean’s chest a few times. “But you too. Be careful.” Stiles tried to turn away, but Dean grabbed a hold of his face.

Before Derek could even blink, Dean was placing a chaste kiss on Stiles’ lips. Derek’s heart sank into the ground. Dean didn’t linger – a quick stroke of his thumb on Stiles’ cheek and he was gone. Walking in the direction of Sam, who was standing wide-eyed at the beginning of the path. Derek felt stunned, frozen in place. It seemed Stiles was feeling the same, albeit for a completely different reason.

Stiles moved first, shaking his head and chuckling nervously.

“Uh, yeah. So west. West is…” Stiles was stumbling over his words, pointing in the direction of the north before shaking his head again and pointing west. “That way, definitely that way.” Stiles walked towards the woods, but Derek was still paralyzed.

Derek felt Stiles grab a hold of his hand and it was enough to cause Derek to turn and look in Stiles’ eyes. There was confusion and worry in them.

“You coming big guy?” Stiles asked cautiously, now looking thoroughly confused. “You okay?” Derek nodded quickly.

“Yeah, let’s go.”

Chapter Text

Sam knew his brother well. You don’t spend 24/7 with a person on the road for years and not end up knowing that person better than you know yourself. Dean had a scowl threatening to make permanent residence on his face. As they walked in silence and Dean was left with his thoughts, the scowl grew deeper and deeper.

“Dean?”

“What?” Dean didn’t even grant Sam with a glance in his direction.

“You okay?” They had just walked into a thick patch of woods, and Dean was moving faster than was possible for Sam.

“Fine Sammy.” Sam caught up with him and grabbed him roughly by the shoulder.

“Dean, stop. Okay?” Dean glared at Sam but let himself be stopped. “What’s going on man? You’re acting crazy. First, you take every opportunity to piss Derek off, then you kiss Stiles right in front of him like you got a death wish. Now you are throwing some kind of hissy fit. The hells going on with you?”

“Don’t worry about it.” Dean shook Sam off, but Sam wasn’t ready to drop the subject just yet.

“No, screw you. I am going to worry about it. Where’s your head at? There could be another Leviathan ready to attack at any moment, and you’re all over the place.”

“I don’t like the way he bosses everyone around. Thinks he knows best.”

That’s what this is about? I knew this was a pissing contest for you. Come on Dean, really?” Sam rubbed at his eyes tiredly. When he was done, he noticed Dean had rounded on him.

“It ain’t a pissing contest Sam.” Dean shouted.

“Then what the hell is it?” Sam made his words come out softer, less accusing and he saw Dean’s shoulders relax slightly.

“I get he’s the Alpha. I understand how that’s meant to work, I’m not an idiot.” Dean rolled his shoulders attempting to appear casual as he muttered the next words, “I don’t like how he bosses Stiles around, it’s obvious how he feels about him. It’s not right for him to use his leadership to force Stiles to always be at his side. It’s fucking transparent.”

Sam stared at his brother for a long moment, the longer it lasted – the irater Dean appeared. Sam tried his best to hold it back but before he could help it, he was laughing boisterously. Dean swiped him hard across the head before walking away.

“I’m – I’m sorry.” Sam was speaking between laughs, “But you’re jealous. I mean properly jealous. Dean Winchester is hopelessly jealous. You’re like a schoolboy with a crush.” Sam was lost in a fit of amusement. He was distantly aware that Dean was looking like he might turn his gun on Sam any minute.

“I like the guy, alright? That’s all. I don’t want to see him bossed around like that.” Dean was fuming.

“Riiight,” Sam drawled out the word teasingly, “So your frustration has nothing to do with the fact you wanted to be paired with Stiles for the search, but Derek called dibs?” Sam mock pouted at Dean, who pushed him so violently that Sam almost lost his balance among the tree roots. Sam just laughed it off.

“Bitch.” Dean flipped him off.

“Jerk.” Sam gave it right back. Sam let the subject lie for a moment before commenting on the elephant in the room: “You know we can’t stick around though Dean.”

“For fucks sake Sam. I just like him. It’s not like I’m turning into a white picket fence guy. He knows we’re leaving eventually. We’re just having some fun in the meantime.” Sam raised his eyebrows disbelievingly.

“Okay…” Sam blew out a breath and ran a hand through his hair, “It’s just – don’t get too attached okay? I know you and you’ve never acted this way about someone before.”

“He’s not that irresistible Sammy.” Dean scoffed meaningfully.

“Lie.” Cora suddenly appeared in front of them, crouched low as if she’d jumped down from the trees. Dean and Sam had drawn their weapons but lowered them just as quickly when they realized who had interrupted them. Peter suddenly appeared from out of the darkness, the flashlights they were holding in front of them illuminating his mischievous expression.

“It’s a nice little trick. Probably one of the most useful things about being a werewolf.” Peter tapped at his ear, “We can hear your heartbeats. If you lie…” Peter walked forward and placed a finger against Dean’s chest. “We can tell.”

“Fascinating.” Dean sneered as he swatted Peter’s hand away. “You guys find anything?”

“Trying to change the subject?” Cora smirked but shook her head, “Nothing, the fucker has definitely slunk back into it’s hole by now.”

“Not to worry though. Stiles and I will be able to locate it easily enough.” Peter leaned coolly against a tree trunk.

“What have you got to do with it?” Sam cringed as Dean’s jealousy reared its ugly head. Sam would laugh if he wasn’t so irritated at Dean for continuously goading the wolves on. Peter sauntered over to Dean again and invaded his personal space.

“It’s a pretty intimate ritual. Takes two.” Peter lifted two fingers before smiling widely.

“Alright Peter, let’s keep looking. We’ve still got ten minutes.” Cora wrapped a hand around Peter’s arm. Peter winked at Dean before turning and walking away with her.

“See ya later boys.” They heard Cora singsong as they took off into the night. Sam looked at Dean expectantly.

“Shut up.” Dean commanded. Sam let it go. For now.

Chapter Text

“Apparently in their true forms, Leviathan have the ability to fly.” Stiles was tripping over the tree roots while they walked through the woods, babbling on about the Leviathan, “Can you imagine that? It’s like seeing a cockroach and then realizing it’s actually a palmetto bug when it flies towards you. Makes it that much scarier.”

“You’re comparing a flying insect to a primordial man-eating monster?” Derek huffed fondly.

“Nooo,” Stiles dragged out the word for emphasis, “I’m comparing flying cockroaches to primordial man-eating monsters.” Derek couldn’t help but laugh, which caused Stiles to look back and smile brightly at him.

Derek didn’t laugh much; he didn’t like being the brooding Alpha, but it was a hard habit to shake. The only time when he felt free enough to laugh was when he was with Stiles and every time he let out a chuckle, Stiles would look at him with pride. As if it made Stiles just as happy to see the weight lifted from Derek’s shoulders – if only for a moment.

“And apparently they can shapeshift.” Stiles continued, “Don’t feel so special now, do ya?” Stiles teased and Derek made a grunting noise. “You could pretend to be interested in the monsters we’re fighting, you know?”

“Technically we don’t know what we’re looking for yet.” Derek reminded him, and it was Stiles' turn to grunt in response.

They walked in silence for a few minutes. They spent some time on the beaten path to give Stiles a break from all the tripping. For someone so incredibly strong and capable, Stiles had absolutely no grace. Once they veered off the path into the woods again, Stiles spoke up.

“So… are you okay?” Derek’s head jerked up at the question, he felt his brows furrowing in confusion, “You’ve been kind of… extra sulky lately.”

Derek’s heart was pounding, he hadn’t realized he’d been so obvious about his mood. Not that he was actively trying to conceal it – but Stiles had never been observant before. Stiles stopped walking and turned to face Derek head on.

“Stiles, I –”

“Is it about the werewolf?” Stiles interrupted him. Derek cocked his head to the side.

“Huh?” Was all Derek could get out.

“The lone werewolf. The kid.” Derek felt relief wash over him, yup, he’s still clueless. “Look, Derek. You can’t save everyone. Y’know? I know you and Laura were left without a pack, and I can’t even imagine how that felt but you can’t feel guilty that this kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time. If he’d made it to us, you would’ve helped him. That’s all that matters.” Stiles’ hand grabbed Derek’s and he intertwined their fingers. Stiles squeezed at Derek’s hand and smiled comfortingly at him.

Derek allowed himself to stare in silence. Stiles’ eyes were kind and unjudgmental. There was something about the way Stiles would speak. The wisdom that went well beyond his years. The fact that he would stop at an inconvenient time like now just to make sure someone he cared about was mentally alright.

Derek’s heart swelled in his chest. Occasionally the love he had for Stiles would overwhelm him and it usually happened at a time like this. The only difference was now there was competition. And not competition like Peter, who was no closer to making his intentions known than Derek was (though not for lack of trying).

This was real competition – the type of competition that felt the privilege and the right to kiss Stiles, to touch him. What Derek wanted seemed so much farther away now, and it made the swelling of his heart a painful experience, rather than a liberating one.

For the first time in years, Derek’s insides urged him to relieve some of the frustration. To speak his thoughts out loud. To stop relying on the idea that Stiles would one day notice on his own the way Derek felt.

Derek was a man of instinct, and up until then his instinct had been to hide – to lock everything behind the walls of stone and pray that someone, someday would care enough to break them down.

But as he looked at Stiles now, he felt his chance slipping away – his instinct shifted an incredible feat. He removed his hand from Stiles’ and his body wrapped Stiles into a hug on its own accord. He felt Stiles hug him back, it wasn’t the first time they’d ever shared an embrace, but it felt monumental because of what Derek was going to do next:

“Stiles, I have to be honest with you –” A scurrying sound from the bushes a dozen feet in front of where they were standing caught both of their attention. Stiles pulled away from the hug and grabbed the knife from his belt where he’d placed it carefully when Dean gave it to him. Derek placed a hand over Stiles’ chest and made his way over to the bush faster than Stiles’ could act.

When he was a foot away, a fat racoon looked up at him. Derek let out a groan of annoyance. He looked back to Stiles who was hurrying over as fast as he could. Derek noticed the moment Stiles’ foot got caught in an impressively large tree root and Derek darted over preternaturally quick.

Derek made it to Stiles before he could fall on his face; and the knife made a thud as it hit the forest floor. Derek had caught Stiles with one hand under his armpit, and the other grounding against his shoulder. Stiles smiled guiltily at Derek and let out a small ‘oops’. When Stiles’ had lifted his head to do so, Derek had been leaning forward to make sure he was alright.

The result was that their faces met only an inch apart. Stiles exhaled a little puff of air at the proximity, his face growing red and embarrassed. Stiles’ breath caressed Derek’s lips and Derek inhaled deeply. The smell of Stiles’ excitement was electrifying. Derek moved ever so slightly to close the small distance, and he saw Stiles’ eyes widen in shock.

Stiles’ expression halted Derek for a quick second, the space between all Derek had wanted to do for years as small as the width of a piece of paper. Then both of their phone alarms went off. The sound was soft, as they had their phone volumes set low. They stood as still as statues letting them ring.

“20 minutes.” Stiles breathed. “We gotta…” Derek nodded his head but neither moved a muscle.

“The clearing.” Derek added. Stiles finally took a step back and silenced his phone. Derek helped him find his balance again, and Stiles bent to pick up the knife he’d dropped.

When Stiles stood back up, Derek noticed his expression was still bewildered. His eyes were unflinching, and his mouth parted. Like he was frozen in an expression of astonishment. Derek began to feel guilty – liked he’d done something unthinkable and Stiles was paying the price.

He reached out to Stiles again and grabbed him by the elbow.

“Stiles?” Derek spoke softly. Stiles eyes met his, and he shook his head before speaking.

“Uhm, the ritual. We gotta – my dad can’t stall them so long. Let’s…” Stiles turned and began walking back towards the path. Derek followed.

They walked in utter silence. The sound of crickets and cicadas insulting to Derek’s ears. He’d rather hear Stiles. Stiles telling him he wasn’t disgusted or horrified by what had almost happened. As they walked, Derek was catching Stiles glancing in his direction.

Thankfully, Stiles’ expression didn’t seem freaked out or grossed out either. In fact, Derek could’ve sworn that Stiles’ eyes were cycling through different levels of inquisitive and doubtful. Derek didn’t know what to make of that. They didn’t have time to dissect what happened and Derek felt regret wash over him for choosing the worst possible time to lay it all out on the line.

Once they made it to the clearing, everyone was already there waiting. Scott must’ve called the rest of the pack for backup. Dean placed Stiles immediately and met them halfway. Derek had to suppress his urge to throttle Dean as he reached out to Stiles.

“You find anything?” Dean asked Stiles privately as he stroked his fingers against Stiles’ cheek. It made Derek grind his teeth painfully. Stiles shook his head and turned to look at Derek out of the corner of his eye.

Derek saw guilt there and wanted to throttle himself  for putting Stiles in this position. Stiles seemed to shake himself and Derek could see determination cross over his face. Soon, Stiles was standing taller as he walked over to the pack.

“I’m gonna ask my dad if there’s a chance he can get everyone to clear out, away from the body. It might be difficult, but I need to get a look at it and find something we can use to track the bastard. Forensic’s not exactly going to love if I just waltz on in and start poking around.” Stiles grabbed his phone out of his back pocket.

“Wait,” Sam raised his voice and Stiles paused, “There might be an easier way.” Sam revealed his fake FBI badge from his front pocket. Stiles smiled at him, impressed. “Dean, you got yours?”

“You know it.” Dean winked at Stiles before digging his own badge out.

“Let me just warn my dad that you guys are with us.” Stiles typed on his phone quickly, when he was done, he leveled Dean with a stern look. “You need to be sure that whatever you grab definitely belongs to the monster and not the person, okay? We can only do this once.” Dean smiled at Stiles warmly before patting him a few times on the cheek.

“Don’t you worry.” Dean mimicked Stiles’ words from before. Stiles pushed at Dean playfully before turning to Sam.

“Make sure.” Stiles pointed a finger in Sam’s direction before turning back to his phone. “Okay, the Sheriff’s ready for you. Just keep up appearances. As far as anyone else over there knows, you guys are FBI.” Derek watched Dean slide a hand down Stiles’ back before jerking his head towards Sam. The two walked out of the clearing towards the crime scene.

Stiles looked once again in Derek’s direction and there was a sense of knowing about his expression. Whatever Stiles had been battling with on the walk over, he had made his decision – at least for the time being. Derek furrowed his eyebrows and Stiles did the same. Before Derek could think too much about what any of that meant, Peter stole Stiles’ attention.

“Let’s get set up.” Peter commanded. Stiles grabbed the backpack off his back and nodded.

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Dean and Sam approached the crime scene slowly, badges in hand, trying to place Sheriff Stilinski in the small crowd of cops. Before a deputy had the chance to ask what they were doing there, the Sheriff seemed to appear from out of nowhere.

“Agent Young, Agent Angus – this way,” The Sheriff made a point to raise his voice so everyone could hear. The deputy gave them a tight smile before they followed the Sheriff to the body.

Dean felt sick when he saw it. It was impossible to know who it was this time, as the victim was almost completely devoured. An area of what Dean assumed was the torso was still there, with a gaping wound that was jagged and unsettling.

Dean looked up at the cops taking pictures, and saw the forensic team waiting impatiently nearby, their gloves already on.

“Sheriff, there any chance you can get these guys to back off for a minute.” Dean jerked his head in the direction of the photographers.

“Guys, give them a minute.” The cops backed off. That was easy, Dean thought before mentally kicking himself – best not to tempt fate.

Dean crouched to get a better look, the officers had set up lights over head but there were still shadows making it difficult to differentiate between the flesh, blood, and dirt on the body.

“Sammy, hand me the flashlight.”

Flashlight in hand, he focused on the area of the torso with the defined teeth marks. There was a translucent, thick liquid clinging to the flesh. It wasn’t puss or water. In fact, if Dean had to guess – he’d say it was definitely saliva. “Check this out.”

Sam bent over next to Dean, leaning closer to the body than Dean had wanted to. The light from the flashlight illuminated the saliva abnormally. Another clue that it belonged to the creature and not to the person.

“Spit?” Sam asked, his face scrunched up.

“That’s what I’m thinking.” Dean responded, he took a minute to look at the ground around the body, but the dirt, blood, and dead autumn leaves made it impossible to search through. “I don’t see anything else, do you?”

Sam was shaking his head as he stood up and walked up to the Sheriff, who’d been standing a few feet back – waiting for them to finish.

“Can you get me a vial or bag of some kind, and some gloves?” The Sheriff looked wary.

“Yeah, hold on.” Dean watched the Sheriff proceed toward the forensic van and he exchanged a few words with one of the men. The man looked at the Sheriff annoyingly but disappeared in the truck and came back with what he’d asked for.

Dean grabbed the materials from the Sheriff and was putting on the gloves before Sam could complain.

“I got it Sammy.”

The man had also given the Sheriff a long stick that had a plastic spooned head on one side and a cotton swap head on the other. Dean carefully picked up the saliva with the spoon and placed it into the small glass vial. A few more scoops and then Dean screwed the cap of the vial back on.

Dean stood when he was done and removed his gloves carefully. He held the vial up to the light and saw the unnatural glow once again – this was definitely not human spit.

“Got what you needed?” The Sheriff drew nearer and looked at the vial skeptically. Dean and Sam nodded. “I’ll see ya out then. It’s all yours guys.” The Sheriff said to the forensic team, they all collectively sighed and got to work.

Once they were safely away from the other cops, the Sheriff grabbed a hold of Dean’s arm.

“Tell Stiles to be careful. I know he knows what he’s doing but all that pagan magic crap…” The Sheriff released his hand and shook his head before smiling sheepishly, “Well, I just don’t trust it. Just – tell him to call me when he’s done.”

“Will do Sheriff, and thanks for this.” Dean held up the vial before they nodded their heads in goodbye and headed back towards the clearing.

“Poor guy.” Sam said once they were out of earshot. “His son’s thrust into a world he can’t possibly understand. Must be worried sick.” Dean just hummed in response.

When they made it back, the pack had all taken seats on the ground at the edge of the clearing, huddled in little groups, whispering to one another. Smack dab in the middle of the clearing, Stiles and Peter were sitting opposite each other – and Derek, Scott, and Lydia were stood looking down at them.

Dean noticed there was a map laid flat on the ground between Stiles and Peter, the same map that Stiles had been reviewing on the way over. When they approached, Stiles looked up anxiously.

“You got it?” Stiles asked as soon as Dean was close enough to hear.

“Yeah, think so.” He handed the vial over to Stiles.

“You think so? What part of ‘we can only do this once’ did you miss?” Peter spat bitchily. Dean narrowed his eyes at him but Sam interjected before Dean could speak a word.

“It’s undeniably supernatural.” Sam squatted next to Stiles and turned the flashlight to it. Stiles’ eyebrows raised when the contents glowed brilliantly.

“Saliva?” Stiles asked while turning it back and forth in the light.

“Think so.” Dean spoke up again.

“This’ll work.” Stiles said to no one in particular, his eyes not leaving the vial in his hands.

Chapter Text

Stiles was struggling. He was staring at the vial of spit like it could give him all the answers. He was willing himself to focus. Is there a focus ritual?  Stiles shook his head at the thought. To everyone around him it must’ve looked like he was mentally preparing himself for the spell. He was grateful he had that thought to rely on so no one would suspect he was a wreck for a completely different reason.

He looked up to see Peter waiting patiently for them to begin. Dean and Sam were still standing to their left, also waiting for Stiles’ next move. He could see Lydia and Scott pacing, Scott occasionally making his way to the edge of the clearing where the rest of the pack were resting and reserving their strength. And then his eyes found Derek. Derek was also pacing, but he was doing so behind Stiles’ back. Making it difficult for Stiles to make eye contact with him if needed.

When Derek’s gaze met his, they were filled with concern and… regret?  Stiles couldn’t tell. He couldn’t afford to be concerned about this now. He’d already resigned himself to deal with it later. He’d already made the decision to deal with it later. He needed to concentrate.

But how in the world could he? Derek had tried to kiss him. Did he try to kiss me?  Maybe that’s not what happened. After all, Derek was straight. Is he straight?  And even if he wasn’t… they were friends, completely just friends. Derek wasn’t interested in Stiles like that. Is he interested in me like that?  Stiles was going around and around in circles in his head and it was making him dizzy.

Stiles needed to be at 100% to pull this off. It was simple magic, but it was still magic. Any straying of mind was risky. He looked away from Derek and over to Dean. Dean must’ve felt his eyes on him, because he looked up and smiled in his direction. Stiles’ heart skipped a beat.

It’d felt like years since they’d been making out at the park, and it’d literally only been an hour, maybe two. Stiles remembered the passion behind it, the way Dean felt like he’d been longing for something greater for a while. Like Dean’s world was cold but it could grow warmer in Stiles’ arms. It felt nice to be wanted like that.

But the moment he’d looked up at Derek in the woods… his face only a breath away from Stiles’. Derek had looked so raw. His moss-colored eyes, which always looked weighted and guarded, were alight with something new, free. Stiles had always loved Derek. Always felt for him. Constantly tried to fight against his old pathetic teenage crush on him. But more than anything, he’d always wanted to tear away the pain from Derek’s past and leave only happiness. Because Derek deserved it. But was he in love with Derek? What’s the difference?

As if Stiles had no control over his body, his eyes carried their way behind him again, back to Derek. Derek was not turned towards him this time; he was facing the pack – listening in on their conversations. Stiles took in the view. Derek was a handsome man. Stiles had always known that at least. Always thought it. Of course Stiles was attracted to him. I’m not blind. Stiles laughed at himself mentally. Who wouldn’t look at Derek and think yeah, I’d climb all that in a heartbeat.?

Stiles felt a hand on his forearm, and it startled him forward. He turned to see Peter looking at him curiously. Stiles felt his face turn beet red. He prayed Peter didn’t know him well enough to know what he’d been thinking. But Peter did know him well enough. Peter knew him better than anyone. Peter’s head cocked a little to the side, and his eyes grew soft.

“You okay?” Peter’s thumb began rubbing softly on Stiles’ arm and it did wonders for Stiles’ nerves.

Stiles couldn’t help but feel his body warm at the gentleness Peter continually showed him. He smiled warmly at Peter, who returned it in kind. Stiles loved when Peter smiled at him like that, and he felt his heart skip yet another beat at the sight.

And that’s when it hit him: Oh my god, do I have feelings for Peter?  His heart had never skipped a beat with Scott, with Isaac, Erica, or Lydia. But here he was, practically swooning because Peter, one of his best friends, was being kind to him. He found Peter attractive. I mean obviously, look at him. Stiles’ brain supplied unhelpfully. But he’d thought that hadn’t meant anything though. After all, he found Derek attractive too.

And a skipping heartbeat didn’t equal love, right? He wasn’t in love with Dean after all, but the man put butterflies in his stomach all the same.

Stiles didn’t realize it was possible to feel this confused.

At least he didn’t have to worry about Peter. After all, Peter was straight. And it’s not like Peter was the kind of guy to get weirded out if Stiles did have feelings for him. Not that Stiles did. But Peter was one of his best friends, and he was always fake flirting with Stiles – so if Stiles had developed more than friendly feelings for him… well he couldn’t really be blamed, could he? Could I? Stiles felt himself stand at the thought.

Suddenly every eye was on him. They all looked at Stiles expectantly.

“I need a minute.” Stiles scurried away like a coward. He made a dash in the opposite direction of the pack and exited the clearing in record speed. When he was under the darkness of the trees, he took a few deep breaths of fresh air. The smell of nature grounded him. He’d never be able to do the ritual if he couldn’t clear his mind. After a few moments of peace, he heard a twig snap and he jerked his head towards the sound.

Peter had his hands up, palms facing Stiles and a teasing expression on his face. Stiles let out a breath he’d been holding. Peter moved closer until he stood right in front of Stiles.

“Hey, I can take the lead on this is you need me to.” Peter’s voice was impossibly quiet, as if he’d be able to shield the conversation from nosy ears if he tried hard enough.

“No, no. It’s more likely to work if I do it.” Stiles whispered back. Peter ran his hands up and down Stiles’ arms.

“Well. Yes, this is true. I don’t exactly have your talents.” Peter smirked at Stiles, “But if you’re not up to it, I’d be willing to try.”

“I just can’t clear my head.” Stiles admitted, though he had no intention of revealing why it was he couldn’t.

Peter leveled Stiles with an inquiring look but said nothing. Stiles wanted to kiss him for not prying. Wait, I want to kiss him?  Stiles closed his eyes at the intrusive thought. It’s a figure of speech. He yelled to himself internally. Peter placed a hand on Stiles’ cheek and Stiles’ eyes flew open at the touch.

“What’s going on inside that head of yours Stiles? Your heart is racing.” Peter looked unbelievably troubled and Stiles couldn’t help himself – he threw his arms around him. Peter rubbed at Stiles’ back consolingly. Stiles stepped back and took another deep breath.

“Got any tricks to clear my mind?” Stiles chuckled self-deprecatingly.

“I can think of a few ways.” Peter winked suggestively at Stiles, and surprisingly the lame attempt at flirting sent Stiles into a fit of giggles. The tension in Stiles seemed to lift, and he realized how non-earth-shattering his situation really was. He didn’t need to figure anything out right now.

Maybe Derek hadn’t actually tried to kiss him. Maybe it was just a misunderstanding. Maybe he didn’t have to analyze whether or not he was in love with Derek because Derek was probably straight, and Stiles had just imagined the whole thing.

And maybe he did have some sort of feelings for Peter. Maybe something grew in Stiles’ heart all those late nights spent together. And he’d probably have to get over it, because Peter didn’t think of him like that.

Fuck, maybe he didn’t love either of them, or maybe he loved both of them and it didn’t matter anyway because neither of them would ever think of Stiles like that.

Shit, maybe Dean was actually the one and Stiles’ hopeless crushes on the Hale men were getting in the way. Or maybe Dean was just meant to be a little bit of fun. Fun that Stiles deserved. Totally deserved.

But… Shit Stiles, focus!

Either way, it didn’t matter right now. Nothing mattered right now except for finding the monster. Solving the case. Saving people. That’s what mattered.

“Stiles?” Peter’s voice tore Stiles away from his urgent thoughts.

“I’m good. I’m ready.” Peter’s eyes glanced down to Stiles’ chest, undoubtedly making sure Stiles was telling the truth. Peter seemed convinced and beamed excitedly at him.

“Alright then.” Peter put an arm around Stiles’ shoulders as they walked back to the clearing, and Stiles felt content.

Chapter Text

Derek didn’t need to guess what had caused Stiles to freak out the way he did. He’d noticed the way Stiles had looked at him. Like Derek had just torn the ground from under him. Derek was selfish. Completely selfish. He knew Stiles had to have utter concentration to perform the ritual and he’d all but ensured it an impossibility for Stiles.

Why did he have to do it now? Why couldn’t he have waited until a more appropriate time? When Stiles had run out of the clearing, Derek felt guilt eat away at him. He took a step forward to follow Stiles out, and noticed, to his chagrin, that Dean had done the same. In the end, it was Peter who ran after him – sneering at the others to give him a moment.

Derek could hear Stiles’ heartbeat. Knew that Peter’s presence was calming him exponentially. And for the first time, he was appreciative rather than irritated that Peter could do that for Stiles. Derek knew how unsafe magic could be. If it took Peter  to talk Stiles down, so be it. As long as Stiles was safe.

When they made it back, Stiles looked confident again. Yet another decision made inside his own head – and Derek longed to know what Stiles had come up with. What answer he’d given himself… but Derek had to be patient.

Stiles stood in front of the pack.

“Okay, this ritual is tricky. Not complicated, but tricky. We can’t be interrupted. I need each of you at attention, making sure to stop anything that could interfere. I’m talking even a bunny rabbit. Got it?” Everyone nodded and stood to place themselves around the misshapen circle of the clearing. Stiles turned to Derek.

“It’s a blood sacrifice, alright? Don’t be surprised.” Derek’s eyes flashed red unwillingly. Derek already hated this, but he knew from the set of Stiles’ shoulders, there was no way out of it. He nodded curtly.

Stiles' eyes went back and forth between Scott and Dean and he gave them both pointed looks. “Goes for you two also. No interruptions.” Stiles didn’t wait for them to reply.

Derek watched Stiles sit back down on the ground facing the map, Peter already sitting opposite. Stiles reached up and removed the pendulum from around his neck. He placed it in his left hand and gave his right hand to Peter. Derek felt his hackles rise as Peter took Stiles’ hand in his and brought it to his lips. Peter kept eye contact with Stiles while he kissed the palm of Stiles’ hand gingerly. Derek was almost certain that the ritual didn’t call for that.

Before Derek could get too worked up about it, Peter was lengthening his claws and slicing a clean cut down Stiles’ palm. Similar to the cut Stiles had accidently given himself when he’d been chopping tomatoes for lunch. Stiles only flinched slightly when Peter cut him, but the smell of blood was thick in the air. Derek had to fight his instincts to stay still, he wanted to rush over. He looked up and saw Scott stop Dean from taking a step, though both of their faces showed equal amounts of worry.

Derek returned his attention back to the ritual in time to see Stiles douse the pendulum with his own blood. Once the entire crystal was covered, Peter held out the opened vial to Stiles. Stiles carefully opened a small latch on top of the crystal before grabbing the vial from Peter. Derek watched in fascination as Stiles poured the saliva into the crystal with absolute precision.

Stiles threw the empty vial to the side and reached out his right hand to Peter again, who grabbed a hold of it like a lifeline. Stiles held the end of the pendulum directly above the map of the Reservoir that laid between the two of them.

“Revelare.” Stiles’ command was strong. Final.

Derek felt the shift in the air – the weight of magic entering the clearing around them. The pendulum started spinning, slowly at first but it gained speed quickly. Soon the turn of the pendulum caused the blood to fall towards the map.

Derek could see a bright light emanate from the crystal, forcing Stiles and Peter both to look away. When the light faded, all of Stiles’ blood had been splattered onto the map. The blood had created a small circle around an area on the north side of it.

Derek didn’t need to see the map any closer. He could see from where he stood that the circle was surrounding the caves north of the Reservoir. He knew exactly where it was leading them.

Chapter Text

The moment the ritual was done, Dean pushed at Scott to make his way to Stiles. By the time he fell to his knees next to him, Peter was already bandaging Stiles’ palm up with the first aid kit Stiles had brought in his backpack. Peter shot Dean a cold look as he finished with the wrappings, making eye contact with Dean as he gave another kiss to Stiles’ hand when he was done.

Dean narrowed his eyes angrily, what a child. Dean looked to Stiles but saw that he’d not looked away from the map. His expression was angry and accusing. As if something on the map was taunting him.

“Stiles?” Dean tried to get him to look up. Stiles looked to Scott instead.

“None of you went to the Kissing Cavern? Not once? It didn’t come up on a single patrol?” The sentence seemed to shock every member of the pack, except Derek. Who stood with his arms crossed against his chest like a disappointed father watching mom discipline the children.

Dean caught eye of Sam, who looked as lost as Dean felt.

“Well?” Stiles asked again, Scott – who was taking the brunt of Stiles' accusatory glare – spoke up.

“I mean… we did.” Scott shrugged.

“We didn’t exactly go in, but like…” One of the younger looking wolves, Isaac - Dean thought he was called, whispered hesitantly.

“You didn’t go in? Do you have any  idea how deep that cavern is? Are you guys genuinely so ignorantly confident in your abilities, you honest-to-god  thought you’d be able to tell from the outside  if something was hiding in there?” Stiles was fuming. Dean actually kind of felt bad for the pack.

“Sorry…” Sam interrupted, and Stiles turned his glare on Sam before realizing his mistake. “What’s this about?” Stiles seemed to calm a fraction and he rubbed at his wrapped palm as he explained.

“Kissing Cavern, it’s a local urban legend. It’s this deep cave north of the Reservoir. Kids in the 50’s used to meet there to do the dirty but then this huge earthquake hit, and two kids were killed from falling rocks. After that, everyone said the cavern was haunted by their spirits.”

“So, there’s a spirit there?” Sam looked pointedly at Dean. Stiles laughed while shaking his head adamantly.

“There was. Took care of that when we were still in high school after two of our classmates got crushed by falling boulders.” Dean smiled brightly at Stiles. He couldn’t help feeling damn impressed.

“It wasn’t an easy fight, as I’m sure you guys can imagine. Danny almost died…” Allison stepped forward to defend the pack, Dean had to give her credit for that. “So needless to say, the place still leaves a bad taste in all of our mouths.”

“That’s no excuse.” Derek voice was raised, and it caught everyone’s attention. “If it made you all so uncomfortable, you could have told me. I would have taken one for the team.” Dean watched them all look away and down at the ground, ashamed.

“Well… I think that’s enough chastising for one day.” Dean laughed and ignored as Derek sent him a death glare. “Why don’t we go ahead and pay Kissing Cavern a little visit?” Dean winked at Stiles, who rolled his eyes jokingly in response.

“Not everyone has to go in.” Stiles gave Derek a quick confirming look, when Derek nodded in agreement, Stiles continued, “A few of us will enter the cave, the others will be positioned along the entrance outside. We’re not giving this thing a chance to escape.”

“Any volunteers?” Derek eyed his pack meaningfully.

“You know we’re in.” Sam raised his hand lamely and Dean and Stiles shared an amused look. Peter got up and went to stand by Derek, Dean assumed that meant he was in too. Cora, Erica, and Boyd made their way over a moment after.

“Stiles?” Derek stared down at them intensely.

“Obviously.” Stiles stood up, wobbling only a little. Dean figured Stiles’ legs were probably asleep from sitting on the ground too long. “Alright, that’s half and half. Let’s do this.” Stiles was absentmindedly rubbing at his bandage again, and so Dean took a hold of his hand to stop him messing with it. Stiles let him link their fingers together and Dean grinned as he spoke,

“Lead the way.”

Chapter Text

Peter was itching for a fight. They didn’t run to the Cavern; Derek had told them all to walk and conserve their energy. Peter assumed Derek had also wanted the entire pack to be together when they went inside. Some of the human pack members had no chance of getting to the cave as fast as the wolves.

So that’s how it happened that Peter was dragging his feet in what felt like slow motion to the caves. Watching the pretty boy Dean hold Stiles’ hand as if they were an actual couple. If only Stiles knew Dean had no intention to stick around. Peter had heard the two brothers talking before.

No way was Peter going to allow Dean to string Stiles along, make Stiles think that Dean actually cared about him. If anyone was going to be taking advantage of Stiles for a good time it was going to be Peter. Not that Peter would ever take advantage of Stiles… but still. It was the principle.

But Peter was smart and patient and not nearly as obvious as his nephew. He let the frustration build in his stomach. Let the warmth spread through his body until he was vibrating with fury. He channeled all his complicated emotions into power he could use when they faced this monster head on.

By the time they reached the Kissing Cavern, Peter was itching for it. Peter had always liked the caves, even after the ghost adventure they went through years ago. The mouth of the cavern was huge, the darkness making the whole scene look way more ominous than it really was.

The woods shadowed the opening of the cave, making the stalactites that hung like icicles around the arch look like the teeth of a huge gaping monster. Peter could see some of the pack shudder at the sight. He noticed Danny’s heart racing out of fear, and Jackson must’ve noticed it too – as he was rubbing circles on his boyfriend’s back.

Derek turned to them all and put on his Alpha face.

“Okay, the entrance is huge. So those of you not coming in with us, you each need to cover about 15 feet. Find a position.” They all nodded in response and made their way around in the darkness, finding a good place to hide and wait. Peter took a moment to glance at Sam and Dean and noticed them doing their own sort of preparations.

Dean was adjusting his handgun in the back of his jeans – the water gun full of Borax was more accessible, fitting easily into Dean’s deep front pockets. Sam was checking once again that the handgun he was holding was fully loaded, and he cocked it preemptively before checking on his own water gun placed haphazardly in his back jeans pocket.

Peter turned to Stiles who was watching Derek bark orders with a faraway expression on his face. Something was going on with Stiles, and though Peter could hazard a guess – he dared not so as not to disappoint himself. Play the long game. He reminded himself dully.

He could smell it on Stiles the moment he’d arrived at the house. Of course Peter felt jealous. Of course a part of Peter had wanted to rub out any lingering scent of the other man who’d gotten a chance to taste Stiles. The jealousy was eating away at him, but something was eating away at Stiles now and more than his own selfish needs – he didn’t want to overcomplicate things for him.

Peter walked over to Stiles, who had taken the moment to examine the knife in his hands once Derek stopped talking.

“You alright?” Stiles looked up at him suddenly, his cheeks going red. Peter had noticed how flushed Stiles had become in the woods before the ritual. He still couldn’t quite figure out why Stiles had reacted so strongly.

“Yeah. Totally cool. Ready as I’ll ever be.” Stiles let out a few awkward laughs and Peter narrowed his eyes at him.

“Let’s go.” Derek ordered.

They entered the cave.

The entryway of the Kissing Cavern was stunningly beautiful. Even in the dark, Peter could see the sloping lines on the ceiling of the cave. Covered in glowing stalactites and echoing the dripping of water. There was moisture on the ground of the cave, and further in, the moisture turned into a proper little stream.

There was something otherworldly about the Kissing Cavern. It wasn’t just the fact that there’d been ghosts here before. There was something older about these caves that didn’t deserve to be insulted by the follies of a few teenaged poltergeists. Peter let his hand run along the edge of the cave wall. He could feel magic there.

His eyes searched for Stiles. When he’d placed him, he could see Stiles’ eyes were wide and his aura was pulsing. Stiles felt it too.

“There’s magic here.” Peter moved towards Stiles and whispered the thought in his ear. Stiles sent Peter a private smile. One usually reserved for moments when the two were alone. One that meant they were both as excited as each other, discovering something thrilling.

Peter had been distracted but he was torn out of the trance as soon as he heard Derek’s hushed voice.

“Do you guys hear that?” Derek met Peter’s eyes. He was asking Peter in particular, as Peter had the best hearing other than Derek. He listened intently. There were voices coming from down the multiple tunnels of the cave. The vibrations against the walls made it impossible to discern just how many of them there were. It also made it impossible to make out what they were saying.

“Some of us are human here.” Dean whispered irritably.

“There’s voices in the tunnels.” Peter shot Dean a put-upon expression, as if answering him was a hardship. Honestly it was.

“Voices? As in more than one?” Stiles anxiously looked around them at the dark corners of the cave, as if he could physically see the voices Peter was talking about.

“Shh.” Derek had his head cocked and his eyes closed. Peter hoped he was using his Alpha power to hone in on the sounds, attempting to make sense of at least one of them. “They’re moving.”

Before any of them could act, there were hands on each of their bodies. Peter rounded his attacker easily enough. Clawing roughly against the face of whoever’d grabbed at his waist. He had time to place Stiles and saw that he’d not been as lucky.

Peter was a solider before anything else. He shoved his emotions aside and took in the sights around him - assessing how much of his team had been taken down. He saw Erica and Boyd wolfed out and crouching, ready to attack anyone else who dared touch them. Cora and Derek were back to back, having taken care of their own assailants.

Annoyingly, he sought out Sam and Dean and saw that they’d both drawn their water guns and the monsters who’d attempted to seize them were clutching at their faces in agonizing pain. So they are Leviathan. Peter thought briefly before turning his attention back to Stiles.

Stiles had not had the chance to grab at his water gun, since his hand was injured, and he’d entered the cave with only Dean’s knife at the ready. The knife was now in the hand of a tall man with blonde hair and blue eyes, who was holding it against Stiles’ neck threateningly. Everything seemed to still abruptly as each of them realized Stiles was caught.

Such a flurry of action only to be stunted the way it had, left each of them catching their breath.

“Three humans and five wolves walk into a cave.” Peter heard the high-pitched voice of a woman reverberate mockingly off the cavern walls. “You guys don’t know this one?” She taunted. Suddenly the cave grew brighter, some kind of spell lightening the ceiling like fluorescents.

Peter could see the five Leviathan who’d just pounced on each of them standing behind Stiles and the blonde man. They weren’t outnumbered. Not really. It was seven Leviathan against eight of them. Well seven of them, since Stiles was currently being held captive. When none of them responded to the woman, she came into view – a pout on her striking face.

“It’s no fun if you don’t play along.” She waved her hand with a flourish motion and the blonde Leviathan nicked at Stiles’ neck with the edge of the knife, a droplet of blood falling down his throat. The sound of Derek’s growl echoed off the walls in a deadly warning. “There we go, now that I’ve got your attention.”

Peter stayed perfectly still. Not trusting his own instincts. If he dared a single step forward, he would spring towards Stiles’ captor in a show of claws and fangs. He couldn’t risk it. He had to wait it out, see what happened next and try to stay one step ahead. One look in this woman’s mischievous, gleaming eyes, and Peter knew this was a fight of the mind, not of the fist. Peter hoped Derek would catch onto that too.

She made her way around each of them. Evaluating them like they were statues in a museum. Once she’d reached the hunters, her expression was positively beaming.

“Dean and Sam Winchester?” She exclaimed, “Well I never!” She made her way in front of the two of them. They held their water guns forward for protection. It did look incredibly ridiculous. “How often do you get to meet two such famous hunters… Honestly put those down – they can’t hurt me and even if they could, they couldn’t do as much damage to me as that knife can to your little friend over there.”

Peter watched Sam and Dean look to each other warily before lowering their weapons.

“That’s better.” She walked back to the front of the group, directly to the left of where Stiles was fuming being held tightly by the Leviathan. “Honestly, you walk into our home unannounced, weapons drawn. You’d think you were raised by wolves.” She exploded into a fit of giggles. The sound of it shrill to Peter’s ears. “So you’ve got two hunters,” She pointed to Sam and Dean, “An Alpha – oh that’s exciting,” She leveled Derek with a delighted look, “and four beta wolves.” The woman was shaking her head, putting on the appearance of being unsettled.

She walked over to Stiles and leaned in close to him. She rubbed her sharp nails against his face.

“Where exactly do you fit in, precious?” She spoke directly into his ear. It caused Peter’s blood to boil, and he wasn’t the only one. He could feel the rage coming off Derek in waves.

“Tell your little henchman to let me go and you’ll find out.” Stiles gritted out between his clenched teeth. Peter had to stop himself rolling his eyes. Not that he didn’t absolutely love Stiles’ fearlessness but for god’s sake, he could stand to have a little more self-preservation.

The woman roared with laughter. Her eyes were dancing crazily around the room, she looked at each of them with an amused expression as if to say: get a load of this guy.

“Funny.” In a quick motion she grabbed ahold of Stiles’ bandaged hand. “Ah.” She turned it back and forth before tearing off the wrappings. “Locator ritual. So that’s how you fit in… and here I thought you were just a pretty face.” She placed Stiles’ hand in the free hand of the blonde Leviathan before grabbing a hold of his face once more.

“Are you gonna monologue all night or have you actually got a point here?” Stiles sneered. The woman smiled at him obligingly.

“Snap it.” She whispered as light as a feather. The blonde Leviathan fastened his hand treacherously around Stiles’ wrist. Peter felt Stiles’ scream of pain down to his very soul, as if it was a physical thing worming its way into Peter’s body. He saw Dean take a step forward, his jaw clenched tightly. The woman caught the movement as well and clasped her hand around Stiles’ other wrist. “Think wisely Dean Winchester. I can easily break the other one.”

“What the fuck do you want.” Derek’s voice was frightening, Peter didn’t think he’d ever heard Derek sound so lethal.

“To live in peace of course.” She stated matter-of-factly, as though they were the idiots for not understanding something so simple. “You see, when Dick Roman was murdered.” She looked meaningfully at Dean and Sam as she paused, “These poor Leviathan were left leaderless, roaming aimlessly. Someone had to take them in – give ‘em a purpose if you will.” She patted the blonde Leviathan like a puppy, Peter was disgusted by the action. “But Leviathan gotta eat too. So, we found a nice little town with a beacon of magical energy. Of course… we didn’t realize the neighbors would be so unwelcoming.”

It seemed liked the woman was lost in her evil guy monologuing, like Stiles had said, and so Peter took the opportunity to inch forward. Once he was close enough to Derek, he made his voice as impossibly soft as he could manage.

“The captive plan.” Peter was worried he’d only mouthed the words, as opposed to actually speaking them out loud. The captive plan was something Stiles and Scott had created. It was a tactical plan of attack, pre-organized and taught to the pack should one of them ever end up held against their will. Derek gave a barely-there nod. Peter looked to see Erica, Boyd, and Cora watching him in understanding.

When Derek gave the signal, Boyd and Erica sprang from their crouch in the direction of the five Leviathan waiting in the back. While Cora jumped on the woman, her words cut off in a surprised huff. Derek and Peter moved lightning fast and took out the man holding Stiles as he was distracted by the action.

Dean and Sam were suddenly behind them, Dean grabbed a hold of Stiles just as Peter was forced aside by the blonde Leviathan seeking retaliation. They all heard a yelp of pain come from where the woman had stood. Peter could see that Cora had been bitten on her leg by a Leviathan who’d not been standing with them before.

“Sam! Get Cora and get out!” Dean yelled as he held Stiles close to his chest. Peter and Derek managed to take out blondy and Peter could see Boyd pulling Erica out of the way of three more Leviathan, mouths agape and ready to devour.

Peter watched in horror as more and more Leviathan showed up, like cockroaches appearing from out of the darkness. Sam had gotten Cora out, and Boyd and Erica had abandoned mission as well, on Derek’s orders.

Sam came back into view and Dean pushed Stiles in his direction.

“Get Stiles out of here. Now!” Sam nodded and had to force Stiles to leave. Peter could see Stiles arguing, even as his strength faltered. Peter felt relieved when Stiles and Sam were able to make it past the Leviathans – with any luck, out of the cave and in the hands of the pack outside.

Before the rest of them had a chance to escape, the Leviathan were closing in and blocking the exit. Peter saw an opportunity and took it, nothing left to lose. He charged towards a group of four Leviathan, attempting to clear a path for Dean and Derek to get out.

The Leviathan threw him easily against the cave wall, and he fell violently against a pile of rocks. A giant boulder gave way against the harsh weight, and Peter fell into a hole in the ground. At least 30 feet down; when he hit the bottom, he felt his leg break before it began to heal itself.

“Fuck!” He screamed in pain. Unexpectedly, he heard a shout of agony next to him and he looked to see Derek writhing from his own broken bones. Peter looked up towards the hole they’d both fallen through and saw Dean jumping in willingly.

Peter was unable to move out of the way, as his leg was still healing and so Dean fell directly on top of him. “Fuck!” Peter uttered again and he pushed Dean off him aggressively.

Peter looked up once again. They were trapped in a hole in the ground. The only exit far enough away from them that they couldn’t jump, but close enough that they’d not died when they fell. The woman’s head appeared in the light from above and she smiled at them sweetly.

“Well isn’t this cozy?” She shouted to them before winking and disappearing out of view.

Peter looked to Derek, who’d almost finished healing. Derek was already looking around the cave hole desperately, trying to find a way out. Peter turned his eyes to Dean, who was holding onto his knee, probably deciding if he’d be able to walk.

Peter looked back and forth between his two rivals. He was stuck in a hole with them. With an untold number of Leviathans blocking the only exit – which they were unable to reach regardless. Peter began laughing coldly. It made both men snap their attention to him.

Peter could tell from their expressions that it was then that Dean and Derek realized who they were stuck in a hole with.

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Dean ground out.

Somehow their realization just made it that much funnier.

Chapter Text

Stiles thought he’d be used to this by now. It wasn’t the first time he’d been injured and it sure as shit wouldn’t be the last. He seemed to have the worst luck of the lot of them, tie that with his lack of healing ability – and well, basically, Stiles should be used to the pain.

His wrist was throbbing excruciatingly. When Sam dragged him out of the cave, the entire pack was at attention, having noticed that Cora, Erica, and Boyd retreated. Scott ran up to him at astonishing speed.

“Stiles! What happened?” Scott wrapped a protective arm around Stiles’ shoulder, pulling him from Sam’s grasp. Scott grabbed a hold of Stiles’ wrist tentatively, pulling the pain from him and gasping at the severity of it.

“We have to keep moving, we don’t want to be here if they decide to follow us out.” Sam urged to them all in a frantic voice.

“What are you talking about? We can’t leave! Derek, Peter, and Dean are still fucking in there!” Stiles fought to get his wrist back from Scott and attempted to ignore the ache. Sam gripped him tightly by the shoulders and forced Stiles to look him in the eyes.

“There’s dozens of them in there, Stiles. Dean can take care of himself and from what I’ve seen; Derek and Peter are just as capable. It’d be suicide to try any kind of rescue mission. We have to regroup.”

“Preferably somewhere far away from here. I don’t trust those bastards to stay put for long.” Erica spoke up, her hair dirty and wild from the fight.

Stiles’ eyes met Scott’s. Stiles turned his eyes pleading, because in Derek’s absence, the next move was all down to Scott. But they couldn’t just leave. If there was no chance that the pack would be able to take down dozens of Leviathan, then what the hell kind of chance did Derek, Dean, and Peter stand?

Scott’s eyes fell to Stiles’ wrist, his face twisted in apprehension. He turned and nodded to Boyd and Cora before barking out the order.

“Head back home, everyone stick together.” Stiles let out a groan of irritation before he felt Sam leading him away from the cave forcefully.

“I’m not sure the house is gonna be good enough, the Leviathan won’t quit. We need to hide until we can think this through.” Sam was obviously working out a puzzle in his mind, trying to come up with their next move – their next plan of action.

“There are protective spells surrounding the house, I can activate them when we get there.” Stiles grumbled while cradling his wrist close to his chest. “It’s the safest place we can go. Nothing can get in or out once they're initiated. Not even us.”

Stiles caught Sam looking over to him pitifully, and it made Stiles furious. He knew Sam and Scott were just doing what they thought best, but every step away from the caves felt like a betrayal, a betrayal to each of them.

“They’ll be fine Stiles, I promise.” Sam told him in a hushed voice.

“They better be.” Stiles warned.

Chapter Text

Dean’s knee was shot. He could probably walk on it, but as far as being any use in a fight – no chance. He glanced upward at the hole; it was at least 30 feet high. He supposed he was lucky Peter broke his fall or it could’ve ended much worse.

Dean looked over to Derek and Peter, whose special werewolf healing powers meant they were walking around easily. Dean envied them marginally as he forced himself to stand and the pressure of it sent agony shooting through his leg like electricity.

Peter had finally stopped laughing, just in time too, because the sound had been grating on Dean’s nerves. Now Peter was pacing with a serious and considering expression, one that reminded Dean of Sam when they were on a particularly troubling case. Derek was gliding his hands against the walls of the crevice they were stuck in, as if he could place a weak point and miraculously find a way out. Dean scoffed uncouthly.

“You’re not going to find anything.” Dean couldn’t help but speak out loud, Derek rounded on him with narrowed eyes.

“So you’d like us to just sit here and wait? Not even try to escape?” Derek spat out. Dean noticed Peter raising his eyebrows at Derek’s outburst. Dean pulled his cellphone out of his pocket instead of responding.

He looked at it and though he expected as much, the disappointment when he realized he had no service was heavy. Peter blew out an amused laugh.

“Who exactly would you call anyway?” Peter rolled his eyes and went to lean against the cave wall. “Your brother already knows we’re here, so does the pack. Doesn’t do us or them much good with 20 plus Leviathan keeping guard.”

Dean shoved his phone back in his pants angrily.

“Why the hell did you jump in here anyway?” Derek asked accusingly, Dean couldn’t believe he was being interrogated.

“Well both my back-up got themselves tossed in a fucking hole and I couldn’t very well take on all those sons-of-bitches myself, could I?” Dean crossed his arms over his chest and leveled Derek with a tiresome look. “They blocked the fucking entrance. I didn’t have any other choice.”

“Useless.” Peter muttered under his breath and Dean was about to blow a fuse.

“And what help were you up there, huh? Considering you were thrown down here first, really don’t think you’re in a position to be placing blame.” Dean was seeing red, the throbbing of his knee forgotten as his fury rose.

Peter chuckled humorlessly; he looked from Dean to Derek and rolled his shoulders casually before speaking.

“I was trying to give you both the opportunity to get out, but it’s alright – I don’t expect gratitude. A lifetime being in a family with this one has got me accustomed to bad-mannered behavior.” Peter jerked his chin in Derek’s direction, “And in case you forgot, it was Derek and I who devised the plan to get Stiles out of harm’s way, you and Sam just bumbled along.”

“No, yeah. Great plan guys, really excellent work. Now it’s just the three of us stuck in the hostage situation.” Dean could feel a headache coming on, and he rubbed roughly at his temples. He watched Peter shrug nonchalantly.

“Better us than Stiles.” Peter replied coolly.

“Oh, so that’s what this is really about? Both of your desperate attempts to woo Stiles by – what? – sacrificing yourselves for him?”

“Watch yourself.” Derek breathed, the words echoing creepily off the walls – his eyes a bright red. Dean let out an incredulous huff and felt the strong desire to be petty. His frustration was building and he couldn’t seem to control it. Dean wondered to himself mildly if one could get cabin fever so quickly.

“You know – just a thought – but Stiles might be more impressed by you two if you both weren’t so utterly and pitifully incompetent. Contrary to what you might believe, getting yourselves captured in place of him, doesn’t exactly win you brownie points.” Derek was suddenly in Dean’s face, crowding him against the damp cave wall.

“You’d know all about earning brownie points, wouldn’t you? The way you’ve been trailing after him pathetically, making Stiles believe you’re planning on sticking around when we all know you’ll head out of town the second Stiles gives you what you’re looking for.” Derek’s sharp canines were extending, his control evidently slipping with each word sneered dangerously into Dean’s face.

“At least I’m not pining pathetically from the corner, growling at any man who tries to show Stiles a good time.” Dean raised the demon-killing knife that he’d managed to pick up from the ground before jumping in the hole after Peter and Derek. He held the edge to Derek’s throat intimidatingly – warning him to back off.

“Yes, yes. You’re both pathetic, there’s no need to fight over it.” Peter mocked and laughed lightly at his own joke. Dean couldn’t help the mimicking laughter that rose in his own throat, but his was less than genuine. He could hear the edge of it with his own ears.

“And then there’s Peter. Tell me, just how long are you going to play up this whole best friend charade? Hmm?” Dean pushed himself off the wall and surprisingly, Derek let him go – his eyes now fixed on his uncle, awaiting his response to Dean’s question.

Peter didn’t look fazed, and it began to eat away at Dean. The satisfaction came from the reaction; Dean needed to blow off steam. He needed it and Peter was giving him nothing. It was driving him mad.

“As long as it takes.” Peter shrugged half-heartedly. Dean approached him fearlessly and leaned into his personal space, the way Peter had done to him in the woods.

“I wouldn’t hold your breath.” Dean spoke softly, his eyes challenging. Peter’s own eyes flashed blue for a brief moment before he smiled wide. Whatever Peter had been about to say was interrupted by Derek snarling loudly.

“This isn’t helping.” Derek insisted violently, as though he hadn’t just had Dean pinned up threateningly against the wall. “She could’ve killed us by now, why hasn’t she?” Derek tried to divert the conversation, but Dean wasn’t feeling so gracious.

“If you’ve got a death wish, I can oblige.” Dean mumbled before backing off of Peter and weighing the knife in his hands. Derek shot Dean a death glare that rivaled Sam’s.

“She’s not like the other Leviathan, she’s calculating. She’s enjoying this. From what I’ve seen, the Leviathan are just monsters – they devour and move on. It’s like she gets a kick out of the game.” Derek was scrutinizing out loud, Dean couldn’t believe Derek was so stupid.

“Of course she’s not like them. She’s not a Leviathan.” Dean spoke the words, leaving the duh off the end, but making sure the inclination was there.

“What?” Derek let out. Wow, he really is more brawn than brain isn’t he? Dean thought to himself.

“Weren’t you paying any attention? She told us the Borax wouldn’t hurt her. She’s just controlling them.”

“How?” Peter spoke up finally. Dean ran his fingers down the length of the knife, his residual annoyance ebbing away slowly.

“Can’t say for sure, but in my experience, magic is the only thing that has any kind of affect on the fuckers. They’re as impenetrable as they are invulnerable.”

“She’s a witch?” Derek looked disbelievingly at Dean, who shrugged in response.

“Very good boys.” The woman appeared from thin air, standing with them at the bottom of the cave hole, her grin lethal and cheery. “Though I was hoping for a little more fireworks before you solved the riddle. You sure you don’t want to take a few swings at each other before negotiations?” She cocked her head in apparent sincerity. When they stayed silent, she continued, “No?.. Alright then. Let’s get started.”

 

Chapter Text

When they made it back to the house, Sam followed Stiles purposefully. The locator ritual had fascinated Sam, and there was something about magic that drew him in. When the rest of the pack disappeared within the house, Stiles stayed close to the door.

Sam hadn’t noticed before but there were sigils carved into the crown molding. Stiles spent a few minutes placing his hand on the sigils one by one, chanting a few Latin words each time. As Stiles would move on, each symbol would burn into the wood – creating a dark brown charring left in it’s place.

When that was done, Stiles walked over to a dark cherry wood chest that was placed against the living room wall. He began grabbing what looked like poultice bags from the chest, pilling them up in his hand. Suddenly, Stiles hissed loudly when he’d moved his wrist too quickly grabbing them all. The poultices dropped to the floor.

Sam ran up to him from where he’d been observing from a respectful distance, so as not to get in Stiles’ way.

“Let me grab these Stiles, you’re hurt.” Stiles was clutching a hold of his wrist and closing his eyes in a grimace. “We should really tend to that before you do this.” Sam jerked his head in the direction of Stiles’ injury.

“You said we didn’t have much time. I’m not risking all those Leviathan showing up here, they could’ve followed us.” Stiles spoke quickly and began picking up even more poultice bags out of the chest – even though Sam’s own hands were full with them.

“What are these for?” Sam followed Stiles out the front door, a little afraid to pass through the threshold since Stiles had mentioned they would not be able to leave once the spells were activated. The smell of burnt wood and brilliant glowing from the sigils led Sam to believe the spells were pretty freaking active already.

“We bury them around the perimeter of the house, then I enchant them.” Stiles dropped to his knees in the dirt and then paused when he realized the fault in his plan.

“I got it.” Sam insisted before digging into the ground with his own hands, creating a tiny hole just large enough for one of the bags. Stiles plopped it in and blessed it before Sam covered it up thoroughly with the dirt.

They continued like this as quickly as possible, encircling the entire property until they reached the front once again. They had the perfect number of bags, finishing with none left over. Sam figured Stiles must have planned for this meticulously, measuring out just how many bags he would need for 360º coverage.

Sam stood and wiped his hands on his jeans. Stiles stood and looked back into the house, where Sam could see Scott and Lydia waiting patiently.

“Can you go wait with them?” Stiles commanded more than asked of Sam. Sam accommodated and went inside to wait with the others. Stiles turned towards the front door, and shed his satin button down shirt. Sam had a moment to realize the same anti-possession sigil that was tattooed on his and his brother’s chests was also etched into Stiles’ skin just over his heart. And there were other tattoos gracing Stiles’ pale torso, but before Sam could study each one, Stiles raised his arms to the sky.

“Dea.” Stiles called out, “Protego.” Sam watched in captivation as light green smoke emerged from the ground, starting from where they’d buried the first poultice and snaking it’s way around until the circle was completed. The same green light materialized from a tattoo on Stiles’ ribs. It was an outline of a woman, her arms raised in a similar fashion to the way Stiles was standing now. There were two crescent moons fit into either side of her, and a spiral graced on her center.

The green light seemed to erupt faster from Stiles’ flesh and Stiles winced at the sensation, Sam was taken aback at the concentration Stiles must have needed to not move from his stance while ostensibly being burned by the smoke. The light from the ground created a dome around the house for a brief moment before everything fell dark once again.

Stiles fell to the ground, holding onto his tattoo with his good hand and panting roughly. Scott and Lydia ran to him and crouched low to check he was alright. Sam meandered towards them as they fussed over Stiles.

“What the hell was that?” Sam asked once Stiles seemed to get back his bearings.

“Protection spell. It’s old religion magic.” Stiles let out as he was sweating profusely, more than was reasonable for the cool night.

“Are you okay?” Sam kneeled low, alongside Lydia.

“Yeah. Just requires a sacrifice of the flesh…” Stiles touched the woman tattoo tenderly. Now that Sam could get a better look at it, he recognized it as one of the thousands of Goddess symbols he’d seen in his time hunting.

“Another one?” Sam laughed tightly as he remembered the slash in Stiles’ palm, the crystal doused in his blood.

“Yeah, well… you know those old priestesses. It’s all about balance. You can’t get something for nothing.” Scott and Lydia helped Stiles stand and they made their way back into the house slowly.

A few of the pack members were sat somberly on the couch, they looked up in expectation when Stiles arrived back inside. Scott sat Stiles carefully on an empty seat and ran to the kitchen. Sam took the opportunity to sit opposite Stiles.

“Let me see your hand.” Sam requested prudently, Stiles gave him a wary expression but handed it over a moment later.

Stiles’ wrist was swollen and a bruise was already forming on all sides. Scott appeared to Sam’s left with a first aid kit and Sam grabbed it from him without asking. Scott looked for a moment like he might object but Stiles spoke up before he could.

“It’s fine.”

Sam began wrapping the wrist as expertly as he could manage. Plenty of time in the battlefield and needing to mend his and Dean’s own wounds made him proficient enough at the task. Sam also took the time to disinfect and re-bandage the slash on Stiles’ palm before covering it with the wrappings.

“Thanks.” Stiles said when Sam was done. Lydia had grabbed Stiles a glass of water and Stiles chugged it down inelegantly.

“So what’s the plan?” Cora broke the silence, and they all looked to her.

She was pacing, the worry and anxiety clear on her face. Kira – Sam recognized – was trying to follow along with her, hand consolingly placed on her back.

Sam understood, he felt his own nerves being pulled apart and it was only his brother in danger. For Cora, it was her brother and uncle being held captive by a shit-ton of Leviathan.

“I don’t know,” Stiles responded first, “That woman, the leader, she wasn’t a Leviathan. And she had magic. I could tell.”

“What does that mean?” Cora ground out; Sam could tell she was trying her best to be patient.

“I don’t know,” Stiles repeated, “That she’s not just a killing machine? That Derek, Peter, and Dean are still alive right now? That she’ll want to torture them first. I mean, who fucking knows?” Stiles scratched at his hair crudely with his good hand.

“Stiles is right,” Sam decided it was time he step in, “I was thinking the same thing. It was like she was instructing them to wait. I mean that many Leviathan in one place and we all made it out alive?” Sam shook his head pointedly, “There’s no chance they’re acting out of their own volition. If they were –”

“We’d be dead right now.” Stiles interjected.

“Definitely.” Sam nodded, “Magic is one of the only things I’ve seen that can affect a Leviathan that way… but to control that many of them… She’s got to be one powerful witch.”

“Will the protection spell be able to hold against her?” Scott squeaked out, his eyes traveling to the door as if someone was about to break in any minute.

“I’m confident it will and I’ll be able to feel if it doesn’t.” Stiles rolled his eyes at his best friend’s lack of faith in him.

“She’s probably not gonna be too happy about that.” Sam thought out loud, worrying his bottom lip with his teeth.

“You better hope she doesn’t take her frustration out on my brother.” Cora’s eyes flashed gold as she shifted slightly, losing control. Erica stood in front of her immediately, her own eyes flashing in a show of dominance.

“Don’t turn on Stiles, Cora. You need to cool down.” Cora visibly shook herself before exiting the room hurriedly, Kira at her heels.

“She’s not wrong.” Stiles spoke in a hushed voice, his expression grave.

“No Stiles, we had to protect ourselves. This witch, she obviously wants something from us. That’s the only reason she’d keep you guys alive.” Lydia reasoned, “If Derek can’t give her what she wants, she’ll come after us. Try and use us as leverage.”

“If she can’t get to us, it’ll be nothing but empty threats.” Sam finished for Lydia, smiling in her direction. He was impressed by her intuition.

“But then she’ll just kill them and wait us out.” Stiles huffed in exasperation.

“They just have to stall. Dean will figure it out. And then we’ll figure out a way to get them out of there, Stiles, I promise.” Sam grabbed Stiles’ shoulder.

“It’s a shame Derek is better with his fists than he is with mind games. Cause I have a feeling that bitch thrives on toying with her hostages.” Erica kicked at the ground, and crossed her arms menacingly.

“Yeah, unfortunately Dean’s strengths are in line with Derek’s. He’ll figure out the score, but he’s easily pushed.” Sam sighed obnoxiously.

“At least they’ve got Peter.” Stiles beamed as he said the words. “He’ll give the witch a run for her money.”

Stiles abruptly screamed out, and Sam jerked backwards at the sound in surprise. He looked down and saw the Goddess tattoo smoking again. Stiles looked down at it too, his expression pained. Stiles stood and stumbled towards the window, Sam followed.

Outside, Sam could see three Leviathan standing behind the protective circle, which was emanating the same green light from before in warning. One of them had a hand pressed against the invisible shield, unable to push in. When he took his hand back, the smoking ceased – and Stiles’ tattoo faded back to normal.

“Fuck.” Stiles let out as he grasped at his ribs. “Well, that fucking hurt. But at least we know it works.” Sam regarded Stiles with an astonished look, if Stiles was this connected to the spell – Sam worried for what might happen to him if the witch came knocking. He swallowed down the thought, what’s done is done.

Now they just had to figure out a way to rescue Dean, Derek, and Peter, while also figuring out a way to kill a crazy powerful witch and dozens of Leviathan all in one go.

This should be easy. He thought to himself sarcastically.

Chapter Text

Peter could tell Derek was in no mood to negotiate. Everything about his body language was warning the witch not to come any closer. Dean wasn’t much better. But Peter could tell that this woman wanted to be entertained. This wasn’t about brute force or intimidation tactics. This was about fun.

“Okay, so we’re not feeling quite up for negotiations either are we?” The woman spoke up when they all stayed silent for a second time. “I totally get it. So what do you all want to talk about?” She waited patiently for a response, and then an elongated smirk appeared on her face. “Ah, we talking boys instead? I like mine honey-eyed and breakable.” The sound of her laughter reverberated off the cave walls in a poisonous echo.

Derek crouched low as he growled, as if he was about to pounce. Peter moved to grab him by the shoulder, a soft shake of his head to encourage Derek to calm down. All the while, the woman watched amusedly.

“Hilarious.” Peter spoke up, moving to stand directly in front of her. A nonverbal signal that he was planning on taking the lead in this conversation. Dean and Derek made no objection. “What are you here to negotiate?”

The woman looked Peter up and down, her smirk turning hungry.

“Our truce, of course.” Peter heard Derek scoff, Idiot! Play the game. Peter looked towards Derek and tried to make his eyes portray his inner thoughts.

“Look. I can tell you’re dying to talk about yourself.” Peter drew back the witch’s attention, “So the floor is yours.” The woman beamed at Peter before placing a hand on his cheek.

“Well at least someone knows how to treat a lady.” She slapped her hand against his face a few times before turning back to Derek. “Where to begin… I’m sure you’re all aware that every witch has a spark. A tiny, little flicker of magic within our souls that helps us accomplish the impossible.” Derek gave her no response, so she continued, “But what most people don’t know, is that the spark is like a battery. Use it up all at once and you need time to… recharge.”

Peter knew all this. Stiles had performed spells that had put him out of commission for days – his weak human body feeling the effects of drawing all that magic from within. Peter could feel the burning on his ribs, and was sure that Stiles was attempting to recover similarly now.

“You can imagine that keeping up a binding spell for my lovely Leviathan is not an easy task. Certainly doesn’t come cheap in the spark department. If I run out of magic, and the binding spell doesn’t take… well… I lose control of the buggers. Therefore, I don’t have time to recharge. So..?” The woman spun in order to face Peter, her expression expectant. Peter could hazard a guess, but getting it wrong would put her in the lead. He needed to stay ahead, so he just raised his eyebrows challengingly. She gave him a half smile and rolled her eyes. “I’ll keep it simple for you. Basically I suck the energy I need from magical beacons. Loading up on power, like plugging into a charger. And boy does your pathetic little town have one powerful supply.”

“The Nemeton.” Derek stated plainly, his tone unimpressed.

“Very good Derek. Between the Nemeton and your pack, you’ve got yourself a nice little center of hell here. The absolute perfect place to recharge.”

“What’s with the security detail anyway?” Dean joined the conversation, arms crossed defiantly against his broad chest.

“What is a beacon?” She answered his question with a question. Dean huffed indignantly.

“A signal, usually a light serving as a warning to those at sea or in the air.” Dean answered like a soldier. The woman clicked her tongue as she shook her head.

“Yes, but it is also a magnet, drawing in whoever sees it. The supernatural is drawn here by your Nemeton. The beacon shines outward until every beastie comes a-knocking.”

“What’s your point?” Dean urged, Peter could tell he was growing impatient with the riddles. Course Peter knew riddles could become annoying to those without brains and so he couldn’t blame the dumbass. The witch sighed.

“When I take in the spark of the Nemeton, some of its magnetic power transfers into me. I become a beacon for the supernatural as well. No matter where I go, I’m followed by monsters. So I need monsters to fight them off.” The witch shrugged as if her reasoning was as sound as anything. “The Leviathan weren’t the first. Had a few witches, some hunters, even a wolf pack once – if you can believe it.” Peter heard a low snarl erupt from Derek, “But the Leviathan are the strongest and most capable protectors I’ve had. They’re invincible. But having strong guardians means needing an even stronger binding spell. Which also means…”

“Needing a stronger beacon.” Peter finished for her; she placed her finger lightly on her perfect nose.

“Precisely. And this Nemeton is the strongest I’ve come across. It’s perfect.”

“But why keep pulling the energy from the beacons, if it puts you in danger? If you just stopped sucking the energy from the damn thing, you wouldn’t need to control the Leviathan, because you wouldn’t need protection.” Peter wanted to slap his nephew. Most of the time he found Derek’s naivety amusing, this was not one of those times. The woman seemed to be thinking the same, because she looked at Peter with a disbelievingly expression.

“Is he serious?” She pointed a finger in Derek’s direction for emphasis. Peter shrugged pointedly. When she turned back to Derek, her eyes were bored.

“For power, dear.” Derek looked like he might say more, but the witch put a hand up to stop him, “The point is that this beacon, this Nemeton, is incredible and I dare think I will not be able to find another like it. So I don’t want to leave it. Your pack has not been very welcoming Derek, and I’m here to come to terms with you.”

“Why are you even pleading your case? Why not just kill them all off?” Peter took a moment to send Dean a death glare at the suggestion, but didn’t speak. As he was just as eager to hear her reply.

“I’d rather have allies than bodies that need explaining.” She waved the question off with her hand, as though that too should’ve been obvious to the trio. “I’m growing more powerful by the day. That amount of power will get noticed. A pack of Leviathan and a werewolf pack watching my back will make me untouchable. Plus the Hale pack is large, killing all those wolves at once would draw attention from local authorities,” She grinned cheekily in Dean’s direction, “and real federal authorities too. There’s no way we’d be able to stay here with so many investigators sweeping the area. A truce is the only solution.”

“Well you can say whatever the hell you like, but it’s not happening. Did you really think we’d ever give you permission to kill innocent people on our land?” Peter could hear the finality in Derek’s words. He was sure the witch could feel it too – Derek would not be swayed.

“Of course not. In fact, I’d expected quite the opposite. I’d already sent a few of my boys to the house to gather some… incentive.” The woman dragged a finger under Derek’s chin seductively, her eyes shining. Peter felt a shiver snake down his spine, Stiles.

He would’ve been more worried if the burning of the flesh over his ribs wasn’t incessantly reminding him that Stiles had protected the Hale house. He had buried the charm bags and pled to the Goddess for protection. He was safe. They were all safe.

“Of course… the incentive had gone ahead and invoked a rather powerful protection spell on the house.” The woman’s tone was a mixture of irritated and impressed, and Peter thought that perfectly summed up most people’s reactions to Stiles in general. The woman turned ever so slightly, and smiled knowingly at Peter a moment later.

“But you knew that didn’t you handsome? I have to say, your poker face is exquisite.” The woman stepped forward and lifted Peter’s shirt in one swift motion. Peter grabbed her wrist tightly and his eyes flashed at her forebodingly. He looked down and could see the Goddess outline, the moons and spiral etched into his skin burning, a light green smoke emerging from it sporadically. “A flesh sacrifice! Well you guys don’t do things by halves do ya?” Peter pulled away from her roughly, his shirt falling back down over the tattoo.

“But you’re just the anchor aren’t you? Yes… a secondary. Stiles has the spark.” She considered Peter carefully before placing her hands against his biceps and rubbing down his arms in a romantic fashion. “Don’t you boys know how dangerous it is to play with magic you don’t understand?” She snapped her fingers and Peter felt his skin burn more violently than before. He couldn’t help the yell that escaped his throat.

The witch looked pleased and she pressed her hand into Peter’s ribs to amplify the hurt.

“See, the Leviathan are pressing against that shield of yours with everything they’ve got.” She pressed harder, leaning into Peter to whisper in his ear, “And while you are healing spectacularly, I worry if dear, dear Stiles is coping just as well? He is, after all, the primary on the spell and he’s human. Every bit of pain you feel Peter, he feels tenfold.”

“What do you want?” Peter screamed through the agony. The witch snapped her fingers again, and the burning ceased almost immediately. Peter took the moment to catch his breath, still seeing stars in his vision.

“Now that’s more like it.” She kissed Peter’s cheek and Peter wanted so desperately to tear her face off… with his teeth. “Agree to my conditions, break the enchantment, and make a truce with me. That’s all.” She turned back towards Derek, who’d been watching the entire scene with confusion and rage.

“No.” Derek replied simply. Only Peter could see the uncertainty in Derek’s eyes, for his voice was unwavering.

“Fine.” For the first time, the woman let slip a bit of emotion other than amusement and folly. She ground the words out angrily, through her clenched teeth. “I’ll go ahead and press against that shield until that little spark is on the brink of death, and chooses to break the enchantment himself.”

“Stiles would rather die than disable the spell. Good luck.” Peter mumbled out, still regaining his strength. He saw the words sink in on the witch’s face. She knew he was right – believed the sentiment 100%. Peter also caught the moment she knew she had to change tactics.

“He’d break the spell for you all, wouldn’t he?”

“Stiles knows not to trade the pack’s safety for our lives.” Derek raised his head in the air, looking down at the witch in condescension. She traveled the short distance to Derek and put her face as close to his as possible, unflinching even as Derek’s eyes flashed crimson.

“Never underestimate me Alpha. It’ll be the last thing you ever do.” The witch turned abruptly and waved her hands in a flourish before three men appeared in front of her.

Peter felt his world crash down around him when he realized what he was looking at. Standing in front of the witch were Dean, Derek, and himself. Perfect duplicates standing rigid and awaiting orders. Peter had a moment to wonder if that’s really what he looked like to other people before snapping himself out of the trippy thought. He glanced at Dean, whose expression was betraying him. Dean looked terrified. He knew something they didn’t.

“Stiles will never fall for that.” Peter huffed in exasperation. The woman didn’t bother turning to face them when she spoke.

“Do you want to explain it to them, Winchester? Or shall I?” Peter looked to Dean, who was rubbing his face anxiously.

“The Leviathan are shapeshifters. They can take on almost anyone’s shape as long as they’ve come into contact with that person’s DNA. Could literally be a hair.”

“And..?” The woman prodded.

“And they absorb every memory of the person they’re shifted into. They know every secret, every mannerism–”

“They know everything you know. And thanks to my extremely effective binding spell…” She turned finally and her smile was deadly. “I know everything you know.”

Peter felt betrayed by his own mind. He began sifting through his memory, trying to think of anything that could be used against them. Against the pack. He was drawing blanks left and right.

“Now let’s see here.” The witch paced in front of their facsimiles, rubbing her hands on their chests. “Can’t very well send you all. That’s highly unrealistic. If I’d wanted to send a message, I’d send one. Or if it was a matter of escaping, surely only one of you’d be able to manage it.” She rationalized to herself. “So who shall it be?” She scratched at her chin in thought.

Peter could see Derek and Dean frozen in place. They all understood what was happening, and Peter would bet that the others felt the same overwhelming fear building in their guts. The woman then decided to turn her affections to them. Starting with Dean. She put her hands around his neck, and pressed her chest into his.

“You’ve not known Stiles long. So how likely is it that he’d break the enchantment on your counsel alone? That being said, there’s less room for error with your copy. Stiles doesn’t know you mind, body, and soul like he does the others.” She hummed while resting her head on Dean’s chest. Dean was clutching tightly to the knife in his hand, Peter was sure he was weighing the consequences of just stabbing the bitch. “Hmm, but that juicy kiss on the bridge, surely that’s gotta count for something, no?”

Peter felt jealousy curl in his chest, and cursed at himself internally. There were more prevalent emotions to be feeling right now. Anger, worry, disgust. Peter could stand to pick a more appropriate response to the situation. The woman shook her head before moving down the line to Derek. She didn’t cuddle up to him at first, favoring assessing him from afar, cocking her head to the side.

“Should we send the Alpha? Ultimate protector and fearless leader? Stiles would no doubt be responsive to an order from you.” She approached Derek slowly, wrapping her hands around Derek’s neck and forcing him to keep eye contact with her. “Endlessly pining after the only person who brings you pure joy. The only person who can make you smile after everything you’ve lost. Who relieves some of that guilt you carry with you every day.” The witch grabbed her own head, scratching at it frustratingly. “Damn, I love a tortured soul as much as the next guy, but being inside your head is exhausting. And for fucks sake Derek, get a grip. You think anyone wants to be with someone so needy?” She lowered her voice slightly for the remainder of her monologue, but Peter could hear her clear as day. “If I were Stiles, I’d run a mile.”

Suddenly, Derek pushed the witch back brutally. She would’ve fallen but fake Dean caught her easily and steadied her while she laughed boisterously.

“Touchy, touchy.” She smoothed out her long, curled hair before continuing, “All the same, it seems like Derek is the obvious choice, right? After all, a good emissary listens to his Alpha. Even if he doesn’t know the extent of his Alpha’s feelings.” Peter watched a thought pass the witch’s mind, her expression brightening. “Derek, you naughty thing. I mean, that timing. Trying to lay one on your emissary before an important ritual? It’s like you wanted him to fail.”

“What?” Peter could kill himself for letting the word pass his lips. He usually had more control, but the news had caught him off guard. The woman turned to him enthusiastically.

“Lover boy here tried to kiss Stiles in the woods before the ritual. Poor Stiles was in a state of absolute shock. Saved by the bell, eh Derek?” Derek was refusing to meet his gaze, his eyes shifted in the opposite direction of Peter. The woman giggled at the interaction. “This is too good.”

Peter was still staring at Derek when the woman approached him. She grabbed the back of Peter’s head, tugging at his hair harshly until he met her cold eyes.

“But it’s got to be you, hasn’t it?” Peter imagined letting his claws rip into her chest, pulling out her heart and sinking his teeth into it. As if she could read his mind, she took his hand and placed it on her chest before speaking again, “The best friend, his partner – his right-hand man in magic. His second. You’ve loved him the longest. The passion in there just waiting to come out. All that patience…” Peter could feel her heart skip a beat underneath his hand, could hear it as well. She was feeling everything Peter felt for Stiles. “And for what? For these two to get more of that sweetness from Stiles while he turns to you for comfort amidst his confusion?”

It would be a lie if Peter said those words had no affect. He could feel the resentment in his body pulsing with every heartbeat fluttering under his hand.

“You watch him walk, watch him talk, watch him sleep. You’re filled with him. It’s almost intoxicating.” She breathed Peter in, Peter wasn’t sure what the purpose was, as she wasn’t a wolf, but the action set him on edge regardless. “Yes, yes, it’s gotta be you. And once the sparkling tears down that spell for you, and I hold his life in my hands, we’ll see how deep your morality and convictions run.”

And just like that the three of them were left alone in the hole in the ground – the witch and their clones having disappeared from sight. Leaving each of them torn apart, broken, and emotionally bare on the cave floor.

Chapter Text

Isaac was reaching his limit. The pain rushing into his body from Stiles was almost too much to bear, and Isaac couldn’t imagine what would have happened to Stiles if the wolves weren’t there to take the brunt of it. It started shortly after the first few Leviathan arrived. Suddenly, there were dozens of them pressing against the shield – and Stiles had collapsed on the floor in a fit of agony as a result.

Lydia and Scott were buzzing. They’d crowded around Stiles, and pushed Sam frustratingly out of the way. Scott drew some of the pain from him, but the sensation must’ve been too strong, because it was evident that Stiles still felt something.

Isaac panicked; he couldn’t very well destroy the source of what was attacking his pack emissary. After all, it was Stiles’ own spell that was technically causing the affliction. He could see equal panic in Lydia’s eyes, though she was remaining silent – but Isaac knew her well enough to read that look. Stiles was in mortal danger.

And they couldn’t do anything about it.

After a moment, the Leviathan backed off; long enough, at least, for Scott to leave Stiles in Isaac’s hands, and commission Lydia and Sam upstairs to do some research. To find the solution that this Sam guy was promising they could find, in order to save their pack.

Cora and Kira had long disappeared, and Isaac prayed that Cora would see sense. They couldn’t afford to be turning against each other in a time like this.

Jackson and Danny were sitting on the couch in the quiet living room, watching Stiles intently. Isaac joked to himself inwardly that someone had to be close to death to receive any kind of sympathetic look from Jackson.

Isaac looked back to Stiles then, who was still lying awkwardly on the floor. He looked paler than usual, and his eyes were closed. Isaac would’ve thought he’d fallen asleep – but his eyebrows were crinkled in concentration.

His hair was sticking to his face that was damp with sweat. He was still shirtless, and Isaac took a moment to appreciate the intricacy of the Goddess tattoo that was smoking lightly over Stiles’ ribs.

Stiles opened his eyes. There was a strength and wisdom in them. Even in a moment like this, Stiles looked sure and confident. Stiles glanced down at where Isaac was holding his hand tightly, and where the black was passing ominously up Isaac’s veins. Stiles smiled warmly at him.

“How ya doing buddy?” Stiles’ voice was weak and broken. Isaac huffed a laugh.

“You’re asking me?” Isaac looked at him incredulously.

“Good point. Here, help me up. I think they’ve stopped.” Isaac did what he was told, sitting Stiles down gingerly on the leather recliner near the door. Peter’s recliner. He thought sadly. Isaac prayed once more that Peter and Derek would be okay.

“How does it feel?” Isaac heard Jackson ask from the other side of the room. Isaac might’ve shot Jackson a really? look if Danny wasn’t already doing it for him.

“Feels great.” Stiles deadpanned before wincing as he moved himself to a more comfortable position, “No, uh, I don’t know how to explain it. Feels like it’s burning, I guess. Even now when they aren’t pressing against the thing, it still feels warm.”

“Hm.” Jackson hummed in reply.

They all sat in comfortable silence for awhile. The calm before the storm, Isaac thought to himself. He could hear the others upstairs, arguing over which books to use, fingers on keyboards – as if one could Google ‘how to save your alpha from a cave protected by man-eating monsters, oh and a witch too’ and come up with any suitable results.

As Isaac was zoning out on the sounds of the others, Stiles twitched violently and turned his attention towards the window. Isaac followed suit and couldn’t believe what he saw.

Standing completely alone outside the shield was Peter, clutching his ribs with one hand, and knocking carefully against the shield with the other. Isaac scented the air, but couldn’t smell Peter at all. Then again, he hadn’t been able to smell the Leviathan either when they’d been poking around outside.

Isaac looked to Stiles, who was gaping at the sight. Before Isaac could say anything, Stiles was standing up from the chair. Isaac jumped up with him and wrapped an arm around his waist to steady him. Though Isaac remained wary, he helped Stiles make his way out the front door, shouting to Jackson and Danny to stay behind and keep watch.

Isaac didn’t miss the way Peter’s eyes fell to his arm around Stiles’ waist. Isaac rolled his eyes, they were in the middle of a crisis – couldn’t Peter save the jealousy for a more appropriate time?

“Peter?” Stiles whispered softly and somehow found the strength to hobble quickly across the lawn to the edge of the protective circle. “Are you alright?”

“I’m fine, though that spell is a bitch huh? Barely made it back here cause I had to stop so many times to steady myself against the burning.” Peter sounded pained, his eyes scanning Stiles for injuries.

“Wait, you can feel it too?” Isaac spoke up.

“Yeah, Peter’s the secondary. If I die, the shield gets weaker but it doesn’t completely disappear.” Stiles waved off the question and turned back to Peter. “I know, tell me about it. Even with Isaac and Scott’s help, I’m dying here.”

“You did brilliantly. I was waiting to feel the effects when we got stuck, so I’d know you were safe. You okay?” Peter ignored Isaac pointedly, an action that Isaac was pretty much used to by now. Stiles nodded his head slowly.

“How in the world did you get away?” Stiles was leaning most of his body weight onto Isaac, and Isaac could tell standing was becoming a hardship for him.

“I didn’t, she let me go.” Peter shook his head and glanced around, as if someone was about to jump out at them.

“The witch?” Stiles questioned, his voice slightly higher pitched.

“Yeah, apparently the bitch wants a fucking truce.”

“Seriously?” Isaac interjected.

“Derek’ll never go for that.” Stiles exclaimed at the same time.

“Well he didn’t at first, said there was no way he would agree to any truce if innocent people were being eaten.”

“And she agreed?” Stiles scoffed and winced at the energy it took to do so. Peter shrugged.

“She was just doing it to keep the Leviathan happy, but they can live without it apparently.” Peter spat the words like each one of them disgusted him on a personal level.

“And you guys believe her?” Stiles eyed Peter suspiciously.

“Heart remained steady the entire time. She wasn’t lying.”

“So why are you here? Why didn’t she let you all go?” Isaac asked hastily, attempting to get a word in edgewise.

“She sent me to collect the emissary. We can’t come to a binding agreement without you Stiles. Pack rules.” Isaac focused on Stiles and watched in fascination as Stiles digested the information.

“I’d have to break the enchantment, remove the shield.” Stiles uttered each word slowly, considering the implication of them carefully.

“She assured us that no one would be harmed during negotiations, she even sent the Leviathan away from the house in the meantime.”

“Peter.” Stiles looked sideways at Isaac and Isaac could tell that he wanted to talk to Peter alone. However, considering Stiles was incapable of holding himself up – it wasn’t really a possibility. “I don’t like this, I don’t trust her. She’s sadistic and calculating. You don’t think it’s suspicious that she sent you – my secondary – the one person who she knew I’d break the spell for? She wants me to do it and then she’ll pounce.” Peter was shaking his head.

“There’s no one around, the woods are empty. I made sure –”

“Doesn’t mean they aren’t going to show up while the defenses are down.” Stiles interrupted. “While we’re negotiating.” Stiles said the word with a sneer.

“We’ll invoke another after you leave the circle. Won’t be the same – not nearly as strong as this one, but we’ve got more prepared.” Stiles whined thoughtfully.

“This won’t be easy.” Stiles took a step forward and almost fell, Isaac grabbed him with his other hand.

“I know, but we don’t have any other option. Derek agrees.” Stiles looked taken aback by that. He narrowed his eyes and grabbed a hold of Isaac’s forearm to help him keep balance.

“How do I know you aren’t being possessed to say all this?” Isaac hadn’t thought of that and shuddered at the thought of an evil Peter. Or rather, the reminder of an evil Peter – since they’d more or less seen one before.

“Stiles, you know I have the anti-possession tattoo, same as you.” Stiles nodded, though he was obviously waiting for something more and Isaac could not imagine what. “I’m not doing it.” Stiles raised his eyebrows expectantly. “Seriously?” Peter ground out. Stiles did not budge, his expression set as hard as stone.

“I need to know it’s really you.” Stiles said, finality clear in his voice. Peter sighed, utterly put-upon.

         “God above, and earth below,

         You know more than what I know,

         Prove to Stiles I’m still free,

         Or make an eunuch out of me.”

Isaac couldn’t help the laugh that escaped his throat, and Peter sent him a deadly look in response.

“You do realize that’s not a real spell, and definitely doesn’t prove anything, right?” Peter crossed his arms and stared daggers into Stiles, who had joined Isaac in laughter.

“Yeah but it’s funny.” Peter clearly wasn’t amused and so Stiles snapped himself out of it. “Alright, alright. I’m on it, okay?” Stiles looked to where one of the charm bags had been buried before. “Take me to that one, Isaac.”

“You sure about this?” Isaac murmured under his breath as he assisted in sitting Stiles on the ground next to dirt pile that held the first charm bag. Stiles looked back to Peter, who was watching the two of them with an unflinching gaze.

“Gonna have to be.” Stiles used his one good hand to dig up the charm bag and remove it from the hole. He placed it on the grass to the left and hovered his hand over it. “Ignis.” Stiles commanded, and the charm bag caught fire. “Bring me to the edge of the shield again, quickly.” Isaac followed the directions easily, and soon, he held Stiles in front of Peter again. “Dea, gratias tibi.”

Stiles’ body lurched forward, the force of the motion making him flush with the shield. It looked as though the green smoke from before was reentering his body through the tattoo on his ribs. Each charm bag hole was emanating a terrible green light and it was blinding.

In but a few seconds, Isaac was so dazed with sensory overload that it took him a moment to dissect everything that happened.

First, Peter had been wrong about being alone. There were scents in the forest, the smell of death and wrongness. Isaac hadn't been able to tell when the shield was up but he could tell now. The Leviathan were there.

Second, Peter smelt wrong too. He didn’t smell like anything, which was wrong. Something or someone was masking his scent. Just in case the shield hadn't.

Third, Peter was moving forward and catching Stiles in his arms – pushing Isaac eagerly out of the way to do so.

Fourth, that a woman was laughing off in the distance, hidden in the lushest area of the woods next to the Hale house. Isaac could hear the snap of her fingers from the same direction just before…

Five, Peter was kissing Stiles harshly. Grabbing the back of his neck and snaking an arm to hold him off the ground and flush with his body. Stiles let out a grunt of surprise, before wrapping his arms around Peter’s shoulders for leverage and leaning into it. Isaac was about to make himself scarce when he noticed Peter was moving his hand around to the front of Stiles’ neck and grabbing a hold of it brutally.

Peter escaped the kiss before whipping around to hold Stiles from the back, hand still grasping dangerously at Stiles’ delicate throat – while he used his other arm to shove Stiles into his body callously. Peter thrusted obscenely into Stiles' backside before licking at his ear. When Stiles made a move to leave the embrace, the hand on his throat tightened and Stiles gasped for breath. 

Isaac was about to pounce when two strong hands grabbed a hold of his shoulders. He looked from side to side and was met with hot, smelly breath and shining sharp teeth from both.

Isaac watched as Lydia, Sam, and Scott rushed out the front door, before they were all flung backwards, catching air and being thrashed around by an invisible force. They landed solidly and unforgivingly on the ground.

“Now, now children. Let’s not be rash.” Isaac looked to see a woman walking towards them, patient and calm as anything. She was licking her fingers like she’d just had a tasty meal. “Party’s just getting started.”

Chapter Text

Derek was throwing himself against the cave wall destructively – with everything he had, causing his skin to break, bleed, and heal each time. But still nothing would give, it was solid stone and there really was no way out.

“Derek, would you give it a rest?” He heard his uncle’s exasperated words from the other side of the cave.

“No actually I can’t –” Derek gave another slam into the stone with his shoulder, “Not. Until. I –” Another slam and a nasty cracking sound made him yelp until the bone began to mend itself. “Shit!”

“Derek, seriously? I’m getting tired of listening to your fucking bones break. It’s disgusting and I’m trying to think.” Peter sneered and Derek saw red.

“In case you forgot, that bitch is on her way to my house to murder Stiles. So excuse me if I’m having trouble keeping my cool right now.” Derek’s vitriolic words were thick with sarcasm.

“And in case you forgot, the fucking bitch is using my face to do it. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re the only one panicking here Derek.” Peter’s words were filled with malice as well. On any other occasion this might’ve placated Derek but tonight was a different story.

“I think we’ve all been made pretty aware that I’m not the only one panicking about losing Stiles.” Derek took a moment to look to Dean who was sitting on the ground rubbing at his injured knee. Dean met his eyes and rolled his shoulders.

“Don’t invite me to whatever pissing contest you’ve got going on over there. I’m not a part of this.” Dean shrugged and looked away again. Peter scoffed.

“Well that’s not exactly true is it Dean? At the very least we can all be honest with each other, at this fucking point.” Peter drawled sardonically. Derek noticed Peter was clutching at his ribs, which reminded him of yet another thing he was pissed about.

“Honest? You want to talk about honesty? How about we talk about the fact that you used Stiles as some sort of – what was it? – sacrifice for some bullshit spell? How could you let him mess with magic that dangerous? And not even tell me about it?” Derek was striding across the room and into Peter’s face. Peter’s responding smile was cold.

Let him? He’s a big boy Derek, he makes his own decisions –”

“I’m the alpha.” Derek could see his crimson eyes reflected in Peter’s irises.

“And you made Stiles the emissary because you’re perfectly aware of how capable he is. He’d do anything to protect this pack. Your feelings shouldn’t get in the way of that Derek. Mine don’t.” Peter pushed Derek out of his face bitterly before taking a few steps forward to crowd Derek of his own accord. “And while we’re on the subject of honesty, why don’t we have a little chat about your blunder of an attempt at making a move. Do you have any idea how dangerous it could’ve been for Stiles if he hadn't been able to calm down before that locator ritual?”

Derek turned himself abruptly and walked in the opposite direction of Peter. He didn’t have to answer to him; he didn’t have anything to answer for. It was bad timing, he already felt bad enough for it. He was beating himself up enough for the two of them.

“Wasn’t my intention.” He said simply, but a hand on his shoulder turning him roughly made it clear that that wasn’t going to be good enough.

“So you accidentally tried to kiss him, am I getting that right?” Peter spat the words in Derek’s face.

“You sound like a child.”

“You both sound like children honestly. The witch was trying to stir things up here, and you two are making it a damn easy job for her.” Dean spoke up from his place on the ground, “No chance of us getting out of here if we can’t work together.”

“You’re not exactly making any moves to be useful. Especially not with that busted knee.” Derek snapped, though he did step back and out of Peter’s reach.

“I’ve got a plan, but I need you two to shut the hell up. Think you can manage it?” Dean looked dubiously at the two of them.

When Derek and Peter remained silent, albeit huffing angrily and wearing matching expressions of displeasure, Dean moved to lean on his knees – in a praying position. He let out a whine of pain at the newfound pressure on his hurt knee, but he put his hands together and bowed his head in concentration regardless.

“What the hell are you doing? You’re going to pray us out of here – are you serious?” Peter broke the silence, and Dean looked up to narrow his eyes at Peter in warning. Peter put his hands on his hips but kept quiet.

“Hey Cas, I know you’re off doing whatever the hell you feel is necessary to relieve some of that guilt – and believe me man, I understand that. I don’t mean to interrupt your little Angel atonement thing you’ve got going on but we’re in trouble here. Serious trouble. Cas? Do you read me? I need you.”

Everything went still in the cave hole. Derek looked around and could see Peter rolling his eyes exaggeratingly. Dean was looking around the room too and with every passing moment, it seemed Dean’s eyes were growing heavier with disappointment – the tension in his shoulders falling in hopelessness.

That was, until a man with dark brown hair and beige coat appeared in front of him suddenly. Derek and Peter growled at the unexpected visitor, the shock of his appearance eliciting a deadly response from both of the wolves.

“Dean?” The man said, his voice raspy and deep. “Why did you call me here?”

“Aw man, am I happy to see you. First off, a little help?” Dean pointed to his knee. Derek watched in confusion as the man reached down and touched Dean’s face with two fingers. After which, Dean stood with ease and pulled the man into a hug, his knee apparently magically healed.

“Mind offering up some introductions?” Peter’s tone was unfriendly, his eyes distrusting. Dean let go of the man and turned an equally unfriendly glare on the two of them.

“Cas, this is Derek and Peter – couple of ungrateful sons-of-bitches. Oh and they’re also werewolves. Derek, Peter – this is Castiel. Angel of the Lord.” Dean clapped a hand on Castiel's back.

“He’s an… Angel?” Derek eyed the man critically, he didn’t seem like much. His suit was crinkled and his coat dirty. His hair was sticking up in different directions, and he had dark circles under his eyes like he was in desperate need of sleep.

“Shit.” The muttered curse stole the attention, and they all turned to Peter. He was looking down at his chest and he had a fearful expression on his face.

“Peter?” Peter looked up at them and Derek had never seen his uncle look so broken.

“We’re out of time. Stiles broke the spell.” Peter lifted his shirt, and Derek could see that the Goddess tattoo had stopped smoking, it was normal, black, and the worst sight he had ever seen.

The theological panic that Derek had been feeling vanished instantly, and it seemed Peter felt the same. Suddenly, they were all in a flurry of conversation, struggling to pull a viable plan from thin air. All but Castiel, who stood still, looking lost to the world.

“Dean, why did you bring me here? This town is filled with Leviathan, I can feel them.” Castiel interrupted their frantic deliberating and Derek could see a light bulb go off in Dean’s mind.

“Cas, can you feel where most of the Leviathan are right now?” Dean inquired in a rush. Castiel cocked his head to the side and seemed to look at nothing for a moment before nodding.

“Yes, they’re gathered around a house, near the woods, not far from here. Why?”

“I need you to teleport us all there.” Castiel’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline and Derek could sense that he was not terribly enthusiastic about running head first into the lion’s den.

“Dean –”

“Cas, please. This is life and death, alright?” Dean pleaded, Castiel looked like he had so many questions, but he resigned and nodded his head quietly. “Alright,” Dean repeated, “There’s a man I need you to find once we get there. You teleport us there, find him, heal him, and get him the hell out of there, okay?”

“What does he look like?” Derek didn’t hesitate; he grabbed his phone out of his pocket and opened up his photos immediately. He had an album just for pictures of him and Stiles, and some just of Stiles. He chose one at random and shoved the screen in the Angel’s face. Castiel examined it briefly and gave a curt nod.

“I have a better idea,” Peter spoke up, and tore away his judgmental and knowing stare from Derek’s phone, “Bring Stiles and me to the attic. We have an ancient rune carved there. It’s not nearly as powerful as the flesh sacrifice spell but it should blast anyone with malevolent intent away for fifteen, maybe twenty minutes tops? It’ll give us some time to regroup.”

Derek felt his blood run cold; he didn’t want Stiles to perform any more spells. How many more sacrifices could Stiles give before his body couldn’t take it anymore?

“You got that Cas?” Dean looked at Castiel expectantly, and they all seemed in agreement – all but one.

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea. We don’t know what state Stiles will be in, you heard the witch before, Stiles was taking the brunt of –”

“Cas will heal him, he’ll be fine.” Dean interjected.

“And if not, I can take the lead on the activation. It’s not powerful magic.” Peter finished.

“Alright. We're flying blind here, but we gotta make sure two things happen for certain: one, that Cas gets Stiles out of danger and heals his wounds and two, that Peter and Stiles make it to the attic as quick as possible and blast those motherfuckers out of there – as far as anything else goes, we’re winging it. Agreed?”

Derek could feel himself nodding, but the rest of his body was numb. He knew the plan was sound but as far as he was concerned he only had one goal: to keep Stiles safe. And he’d do anything to make sure that happened.

“Cas?” Dean prompted, and Castiel instructed them all to clasp hands.

A flashing white light traumatized Derek’s senses and for a few seconds – time and space didn’t exist.

Then he was breathing in the familiar scent of his house, of his pack, and of Stiles. Who smelled thick with anxiety, Derek placed Stiles’ soft brown eyes in a flash – saw what looked like Peter pressed up against his back and a hand squeezing at his throat.

Castiel and the real Peter blocked Stiles from Derek’s view. He could see only Castiel’s hand pushing the Leviathan off of Stiles in a motion faster than the speed of light. Then, in under a millisecond, the three of them disappeared. He had no time at all to be grateful before he felt two sets of teeth embedding themselves into his shoulders.

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Idiot, idiot, idiot. Stiles had been repeating the word in his mind like a mantra. He should’ve known better. Shapeshifters. They’re shapeshifters. He screamed internally. He’d told Derek only a couple hours ago. Of course, a lot had happened since then.

Still, it was no excuse. He was smarter than this. Peter had seemed off. He knew Peter better than anyone. How could he have been so stupid? Peter trusted him to not break the spell for anyone. Not even him. A few hurried lies was all it took? Seriously?

Stiles felt pathetic, and also worried because there was a fake Peter standing behind him choking him to death – not that he didn’t deserve it for putting the entire pack in danger by being a naïve fool.

And he’d kissed him. The Leviathan had used Peter’s face to kiss him. And Stiles had kissed back. He’d enjoyed it. But it wasn’t even Peter. He felt sick to his stomach. Peter would be disgusted if he knew what Stiles had done – what the Leviathan had done – with his face.

His inner dread had distracted him, and he’d missed the first few words the witch had said. He barely had enough clarity to remember how it was that Scott, Lydia, and Sam were lying injured on the ground outside the front door. He willed himself to calm down and focus.

“Let’s none of us be heroes, right? There’s no point anyway.” The witch approached him and ran her hands down his bare torso. He wanted to barf. “Stiles. Stiles. Stiles. I gotta say… I don’t really get it.” She raised her hand to his cheek and rubbed her thumb against it. “I mean… you’re cute to be sure but worth all the trouble?”

She hummed enquiringly and looked behind him to the Leviathan wearing Peter’s skin.

“Is he at least a good kisser?” She sneered and leaned forward, lips disgustingly close to Stiles’ own. He felt, more than heard the vibrations of Peter’s familiar laughter against his back.

“He’s fine. Definitely enthusiastic.” Peter’s voice rang teasingly in his ears and he had to remind himself: it’s not him, it’s not him. Still, the taste of bile was creeping up his esophagus. The hurt and rejection felt real enough.

Stiles didn’t think he’d ever in his life felt so relieved when the witch backed off and made her way to Isaac. He would’ve needed a lifetime of therapy if she’d smooched him. Stiles also didn’t think it was possible to feel relief with a hand clutching lethally at your neck but… here he was.

“Mm you’re cute.” Stiles heard the witch say dully to Isaac, who was half wolfed out and snarling at her dangerously. She didn’t seem fazed. Stiles was watching her harass Isaac when a bright light stunned his vision.

When his eyes regained focus, he was staring at Derek. He couldn’t tell whether or not to be relieved. After all, this could be another Leviathan playing tricks on him. Though, Derek did look shell-shocked to see him.

Abruptly, a man that Stiles had never seen before and Peter – real Peter? – stepped in front of him, and faster than he could keep up – they freed him from the chokehold.

Without a chance to catch his breath, he was being pulled into the same white light from before. His body felt weightless and he wondered idly to himself if he was dying.

He landed on the floor of the attic; he recognized it immediately. All of the ache from his wrist, his hand, his ribs… his throat, hit him all at once. He could feel his body shutting down. He felt two fingers against his forehead. Warmth spread through his body and into his veins like a pain reliever.

He looked up into the eyes of the man from before and from this angle, the man looked holy. Stiles could just make out the man’s aura:

It was a pulsing white light and heavenly glow. Now he was sure he was dead.

When the man removed his fingers, all the pain was gone. Stiles felt strong again. He looked down at his broken wrist and twirled it in circles carefully.

“God?” He felt himself utter softly and the man laughed at him. Then he saw Peter, who was falling to his knees and pulling Stiles into a hug. Stiles felt fear for a brief moment before the undeniable, unmistakable scent of his best friend filled his nostrils.

“I’m so sorry Stiles.” He heard Peter mumble into his skin. Which was just silly. Peter had nothing to apologize for; it was Stiles who’d let himself be so easily fooled.

“Excuse me gentleman, but I was made to believe that time was of the essence here.” The holy man pointed to the rune on the floor and Stiles could kick himself. Of course!

Peter pulled away from the embrace and looked at Stiles in the eye sternly.

“Are you able?” Any other time, Stiles might’ve been insulted, but with everything that’d happened so far – Stiles could forgive Peter this once.

“I think I got one left in me.” Stiles winked and stood effortlessly, feeling even better than he did before the night began.

The man stood away from the rune and watched as Peter and Stiles stood on either side of the circular carving. Stiles opened a velvet drawstring bag that had been placed purposefully in a desk drawer near his side of the circle. Inside, he pulled out a jar of sap, extracted from a sacred tree – specified by the same Germanic paganism in which they’d found the symbol.

Peter and Stiles warmed the sap with their hands before pouring it generously onto the rune together.

“Lass hier kein Uebel gedeihen.” Stiles wanted to cringe at his horribly American accent as he spoke the German words. Although the sentiment seemed to be enough, because soon a wave of energy exploded outward like a bomb, knocking all three of them to the floor.

They scrambled to their feet and out of the attic as speedily as possible. When they’d made it outside, the Leviathan were nowhere in sight and, perhaps most importantly, neither was the witch.

Dean was near Sam, who was still lying injured on the ground, and Stiles could see the holy man rushing over to heal him. Then he saw Isaac, who was crouching over Derek. Stiles ran to his Alpha, as if on instinct. When he’d made it to him, he could see the teeth marks already healing on his shoulders.

Stiles would never stop being grateful for the wolves’ healing ability. Though, the gashes still looked pretty painful. He kneeled low over him, pushing Isaac delicately out of the way.

“Isaac, go check on the others.” Stiles instructed and Isaac nodded his head before ducking out gracefully. “Hey big guy, you all good?” Stiles knew Derek hated the nickname, but he had to take advantage of his weakened state.

Derek smiled up at Stiles warmly and it made Stiles’ heart flutter in his chest. He loved when Derek smiled, when Derek laughed, when Derek looked content. He could see Derek was checking over Stiles briefly as well – to make sure nothing nasty got a chunk of him.

“I’m good. God over there healed me.” Stiles jerked his thumb in the direction of the holy man. He glanced over and saw that Sam was healed and standing, and that Peter, Dean, and Scott were looking expectantly in their direction. He could almost make out Isaac gathering the rest of the pack inside the house, making sure everyone was accounted for.

When Stiles turned back to Derek, he was sitting up. And without so much as a breath, Derek grabbed a hold of Stiles’ shoulders and pulled him into a kiss.

It was nothing like what had happened in the woods. There was no hesitation, no uncertainty – just Derek’s lips on his.

It wasn’t anything like the harsh kiss that fake Peter had stolen from him, and it wasn’t like the chaste kiss Dean had given him before they split up in the woods; it definitely wasn’t like the passionate kiss he’d shared with Dean on the bridge during their date.

No, it was unique. It was wholly distinguishable and wholly Derek. Stiles didn’t have time to think about the implications: all of his conclusions from before falling completely and utterly short. None of what he’d rationalized could make sense anymore but, somehow, it didn’t panic him.

It should’ve felt weird but it didn’t at all. Stiles’ hands found Derek’s face and he kissed him back eagerly. Was this just the adrenaline? Derek moved his hands from Stiles’ shoulders to pull at his waist. The intensity of the action caused Stiles to lose the balance he had on his knees, and he fell forward.

Derek caught him and pulled him charmingly over his body. Stiles felt his hands catch themselves on Derek’s chest. The hard muscle having the same effect on his wrists that falling on a concrete ground would have, and yet it was the sexiest feeling ever.

“Uh…” Stiles snapped away from Derek as if he’d been burned. The sound of someone else’s voice rained down a cold shower of realization of where they were, who they were around, and just how many eyes were glued to them while they reenacted some cheesy Casablanca scene.

He looked back and his entire body ran hot with embarrassment. The entire pack had made their way outside. But more than that, Dean – the man he’d had a date with, the man who he’d been kissing this very night – and Peter – his best friend who he’d just immorally enjoyed kissing his doppelganger – were stood in the very front of the group.

Both of their expressions were blank. Though Dean was clutching at his knife, and Peter’s wolf eyes were flashing a brilliant blue. Stiles couldn’t understand any of it.

“We have fifteen minutes and counting to come up with a plan to destroy the bitch and all her pets.” Peter said through his teeth before turning on his heels and entering the house.

Shame joined Stiles’ embarrassment and he scrambled to get off of Derek’s lap. Derek helped him up and tried to grab a hold of his hand when they both made it on their feet. Stiles took his hand away and rubbed at his neck indecisively.

“We don’t have much time, that rune won’t hold them back for long.” Was all Stiles could get out before following Peter inside. He didn’t look back and was hustling up the stairs to the library when he felt a rough hand on his still incredibly bare hip.

It was Dean.

“Look, I don’t actually know what to say –”

“I just want to help with the research. We know all about these fuckers, remember?” Stiles looked over Dean’s shoulder and saw Sam and the holy man in tow. He blushed at his mistake and shook his head.

“Yeah, uh… yeah, of course, let’s go.” Stiles led them to the library where Peter was already sifting through the bookshelves.

Soon, Lydia, Danny, and Allison joined them. Stiles had felt guilt wash over him when Scott walked in, Derek nowhere to be seen. He brushed it aside, though. Eight minutes and counting.

They were running out of time.

Chapter Text

As more of the pack joined the brainstorm, the conversation grew more and more convoluted. Too many of them were shouting out ideas blindly and they were wasting time trying to dissect each one.

“So the witch is using the Nemeton for power right? So why don’t we just destroy the Nemeton? No Nemeton, no power, no control over the Leviathan?” Boyd was speaking directly to Peter, which was a rare occurrence. Peter was shaking his head before Boyd even finished the thought, but it was Sam that responded.

“Then we’ll just have a bunch of rogue Leviathan on our hands, most likely pretty pissed off about being used. We can’t take them all on.” Stiles could see that Sam wasn’t really reading the pages of the book he was flipping through, too stressed to focus on the words.

“Plus the Nemeton is an integral part of this town and of the magic in it, as in anyone with magic would be affected.” Lydia walked to Stiles’ side to run her fingers over his Goddess tattoo, physically showcasing her point, “And even if we could destroy it, we have no idea what the repercussions would be. For all we know, destroying it could rip open a hell mouth here.”

“Exactly.” Peter agreed but refused to even glance in their direction. Ever since Stiles had made it to the library, Peter had been giving him the cold shoulder. It felt especially icy at a vulnerable time like this, and Stiles wanted nothing more than for Peter to shoot him one of his comforting smiles. He really needed it. Stiles couldn’t help letting his mind wander from the problem at hand to why in the world Peter was angry with him.

“Alright fine, so this ‘binding spell’ she’s doing. Can Stiles just like… intercept it? Take control?” Erica had her hands on her hips in a judgmental stance.

“Thanks for the vote of confidence Erica, but that’s seriously powerful magic, like stronger than anything I’ve ever attempted. Even the bitch can’t do it without sucking the power from somewhere else. I don’t think I could do it even on full charge, and I’ve been doing spells all night. I’m running low here.” Stiles waved a hand over his chest; he could feel his spark petering out. It felt like crashing after drinking a lot of coffee.

“Alright fine, but the binding spell is the only reason she’s untouchable, remove the fucking guard dogs and she’s nothing, she’s human. We need to break the binding spell.” Erica huffed exhaustingly. It’d been a long, long night.

“Erica, without the binding spell, the Leviathan have free will. We can’t do that.” Stiles hadn’t heard Allison sound so frustrated since high school. The stress of time ticking by was getting to all of them.

“So we can’t get to the witch because of the Leviathan, and we can’t kill the Leviathan because they’re too powerful. What the fuck can we do?” Danny spat out while he threw a useless book on the coffee table.

“This is fucking useless.” Erica concurred.

They sat in silence for a moment. An idea was slithering into Stiles’ mind – a long forgotten memory that’d been itching to resurface ever since he found out about the witch’s abuse of the Nemeton.

“We can’t cut the power supply, but we might be able to redirect the circuit.” Peter finally looked at Stiles, but his expression was still hard.

“What?” Peter asked dully.

“There are some texts about Druids using personal connections as conduits for sucking up power from magical beacons. Kind of like what the witch is doing but more concentrated. They used people or things that had a connection to the beacon so the power would be directed through them and right into the Druid. Like…” Stiles fought for a metaphor to explain the spell and landed on one a second later, “Like using an Ethernet cable instead of a Wi-Fi router. The Internet gets connected directly to the computer instead of branching off in waves to anyone nearby.”

“So using this conduit ensures that all the power will only be directed to one person, and it’ll cut the connection to the witch?” Peter summed up and was scanning the bookshelves for the Druid volumes Stiles was talking about.

“Yeah, I mean the Druids wanted to make sure that their sacred sites weren’t being exploited by witches and warlocks that didn’t follow the Old Religion. So they created spells using members of their faith who had intimate links with the beacons, so they could will the power away from those who were unworthy.” Stiles explained at a million miles a minute, pacing and waving his arms around wildly.

“And you think you can replicate that?” Scott’s words would've seemed incredulous, if his tone wasn’t filled with worry, “I mean, that’s a lot of power Stiles. I know what you’re thinking; I know you want to be the one to do it. But if you can actually pull it off, you’d be taking on everything the Nemeton has to offer. Can you even imagine how much power that is?” Stiles shrugged.

“Scotty, who the hell else here can do it? I’m the only one with a spark. If one of you tried it, you’d die instantly. We don’t have any other choice.” Scott looked to the ground, and Allison placed a hand on his shoulder lovingly. Stiles unconsciously looked to Peter, who was still attempting to put as much space between the two of them as possible. It was tearing Stiles apart.

Does he know? Stiles worried internally, but how could Peter know? How would he have found out that Stiles had kissed the Leviathan that’d looked like him? But what if he did know… What if someone had said something and now Peter couldn’t stand to even look at him?

Stiles shook himself out of his inner thoughts and back to the conversation, “Once I suck up all the power, I’ll have the ability to bind the Leviathan to my will, and the witch will be left defenseless and powerless.”

“Once you have control of them, you can kill them all in one fell swoop.” Dean joined the conversation, smiling at his brother as if they’d both just had the same idea. “Their leader, Dick Roman, was a nasty son of a bitch. If his subordinates didn’t follow through on an order, he would force them to… well, to eat themselves.”

“They called it ‘bibbing’, the Leviathan have the ability to consume their own bodies whole. Ultimately killing themselves.” Sam continued.

“You get control of the fuckers and force them to commit mass suicide. Bye, bye Leviathan.” Dean finished.

“And once they’re taken care of, it’s bye, bye to the little witch.” Erica cracked her knuckles, an evil glint to her eyes. God, Erica is scary. Stiles thought to himself lightly. “Sounds like a plan.”

“Wait, you said someone or something with a personal connection to the Nemeton. How are we going to find that in,” Sam looked at his watch, “Shit – five minutes?”

Stiles was able to meet Peter’s eyes briefly. Peter looked at him meaningfully, they both knew exactly who the Nemeton would recognize, who the Nemeton would trust.

Stiles.” Cora sneered his name accusingly, as if it was his fault that there was only one person who could successfully act as the conduit. Kira placed a hand on Cora’s thigh and squeezed.

“Babe, what other option do we have?” Kira whispered, her words soft as though she was approaching a wild animal. Cora seemed to deflate.

“Sorry, are we missing something here?” Dean interrupted the intense interaction.

“Derek was forced to kill his girlfriend on the Nemeton.” Peter sounded bored, and it confirmed Stiles’ suspicion that something was very wrong with him. Peter had not sounded this apathetic about his nephew’s pain in years. “He unwittingly awakened its full potential with the sacrifice.”

Shit.” Sam looked pained, and Stiles could only assume that he’d also lost someone he loved, either that or he was just especially empathic to other’s emotions. It was a shocking foil to Peter’s current feigned indifference.

“I’ll do it.” Derek appeared dramatically in the doorway. Stiles knew he’d heard every word.

“You sure?” The word escaped Stiles on impulse.

“You said it yourself. We don’t have any other choice.” Derek took a step into the room, and he looked like he might make a beeline for Stiles, but then thought better of it. Instead, he looked at the pack – who were all watching the two of them in interest. “The rest of you need to get prepared for a fight.”

“We only have a few more minutes before the spell diminishes. We won’t be able to finish sucking up all the power from the Nemeton before they are able to attack us again. So you all need to get in defensive position.” Peter leveled a stern look at Scott, who nodded in understanding.

“Dean, Sam – can you stay here and fight?” At their confirmations, Stiles moved his attentions to the holy man. Who he’d learned was in fact, not God, but an Angel, “Would you be willing to teleport Derek, Peter, Lydia, and me to the Nemeton?” The holy man looked to Dean, who gave a curt nod.

“Sure.” The holy man agreed.

“Wonderful.” Stiles turned to the pack, “You’ve all got one minute to sort yourselves out, and then you need to be in position.” They all dispersed, “Lydia, you know the Pagan Rites and History text? The leather bound one?” She nodded, “I think it’s in the attic, grab it, find the reference, and grab all the ingredients. Derek, help her alright? We don’t have much time.” Derek hesitated at the door as Lydia walked out, “I just gotta talk to Peter really quick before we go.” Stiles explained, Derek’s eyebrows furrowed but he left the room without a word.

When they were left alone in the library, Stiles closed the distance between them. Peter had his back to Stiles, futzing with the books on the shelves.

“What is it Stiles?” Peter spoke quietly, giving nothing away. “You should prepare yourself. This isn’t going to be easy.”

Stiles grabbed Peter by the arm so that he was forced to face him. Though, Peter had definitely let Stiles move his body, as he could’ve resisted easily if he’d wanted to.

“I know we don’t have time for this but I also know that I’m not going to be able to focus if I don’t get this off my chest now. I can tell that you’re angry with me and I think I know why. I mean I have no idea how you know but I can tell you know and –”

“Stiles!” Peter interrupted loudly, “What the hell are you talking about?”

“You’re off. There’s something bothering you and I… I’m not going to be able to focus if we aren’t okay.” Stiles grabbed Peter’s hand; Peter let him. Stiles had been praying that Peter didn't know about his kissing the doppelganger, but there was no other explanation for why Peter would be acting so strange. “You’re my best friend… and I know that it might be… uncomfortable for you to know that I… Well… that I… think of you like that. I didn’t mean… Uhm, well I thought it was you but I would have never done something like that if you didn’t… well obviously it wasn’t you but -” Stiles’ words were cut short by the look on Peter’s face. He was completely lost. “You don’t know what I’m talking about do you?”

Peter sighed heavily, “No Stiles, I don’t.”

“When the Leviathan came here, pretending to be you. He… uhm… well he kissed me, and I kissed him back and I thought maybe you could tell or someone told you. I don’t know. I didn’t mean to make things weird.”

“You think… Stiles, you actually think,” Peter was shaking his head and taking deep breaths to calm himself down, “We can’t do this now Stiles. I’m not Derek, it’s not a good time.”

“What? What does Derek have to do with this?” The memory of his kiss with Derek passed Stiles’ mind and only added to his utter confusion. Peter was walking away and Stiles rushed to block his exit. “No, Peter. Hey, you big jerk, I’m trying to apologize here!”

“For god’s sake Stiles, seriously? Seriously?” Peter was yelling and the sound of his irritation had Stiles taking a step back from him in surprise. “You seriously think I’m uncomfortable with the fact that you kissed me? Or that you wanted to kiss me? What the fuck is wrong with you? How fucking dense can one person be?” Peter knocked a folding chair on its side and Stiles knew better than to say anything, though he didn’t understand Peter’s words. “Fuck Stiles, come on. I’m in love with you, you fucking idiot.”

Stiles' world went quiet – the type of quiet that threatened to make you go insane, the type of quiet that came with a moment of clarity, when all the pieces fell into place. Though, usually, a sense of peace and absolution came with the completion of a puzzle. Stiles wasn’t at peace, not in the slightest.

Was this a joke? Surely this was a joke?

“Stiles I’ve been in love with you for years. I flirt with you constantly. I follow you around like a goddamn puppy constantly. Derek and I fight over you constantly. I’m off because I had to watch as he kissed you. In the middle of everything going on, and he chooses now to make a move. I’m not as selfish as he is Stiles but then you come in here and you think I’m upset because you wanted to kiss me? What the hell am I supposed to do with that now Stiles? Huh?”

Stiles couldn’t think. His mind was blank. He had so many thoughts yelling and clawing their way into his psyche that they were all turning violently into white noise before he could analyze each of them separately.

“Fuck Stiles, I just –” Stiles couldn’t talk, but he could act. He cut Peter’s words off with a kiss. If Stiles had done this before, he would’ve known Leviathan Peter wasn’t the real Peter immediately, because kissing the real thing was entirely different.

Peter wasn’t rough; he was soft – teasing and magical. Kissing Peter was like a dance. Every move that Peter would make, Stiles would follow along seamlessly. Peter grabbed at Stiles’ hips and moved him until his back was against the wall next to the door.

Peter pushed into him, but it wasn’t painfully sexy like his kiss with Dean – it was tenderly sexy, intimately sexy. Stiles wrapped his arms around Peter’s torso, hands fisted in the back of Peter’s soft shirt. He was scarily aware of Peter’s hands on his naked chest, in a way that he hadn’t been when Derek had been the one clutching at his sides.

It’s like electricity was being passed back and forth between their bodies. Peter’s hands were leaving pleasant burns against Stiles’ skin. It’s like when they would do a spell. The connection they shared during those moments together had always left Stiles’ body tingling for something. Only now was Stiles aware of just how much his body yearned with desire to be touched by Peter this way.

Peter’s tongue was begging for entrance, and Stiles was frustrated that it’d taken so long for him to do so. Peter let out a carnal groan before grinding against Stiles unceremoniously. It elicited an embarrassingly lewd sound from within Stiles as well.

Peter’s hands were dropping to Stiles’ ass, and he squeezed at it eagerly. The action caused Stiles to gasp, and Peter took the opportunity to mouth at Stiles’ neck, giving Stiles a chance to catch his breath.

Peter… we gotta.” Peter leaned back to look Stiles in the eyes, but kept their bodies pressed together tightly. Stiles could see that his pupils were blown wide, “We don’t have time.” Stiles whined pathetically. He hated the sound of it, but was powerless against it.

The reality of their dire situation seemed to rush back cruelly into Peter’s mind. He placed his forehead against Stiles’ and breathed him in.

“I’ve been waiting so long for this.” Stiles closed the distance and placed a gentle kiss against Peter’s lips. He swallowed his guilt and watched as Peter stepped back. “Okay then, first things first, let’s go kill this bitch.”

And just like that, Peter disappeared out of the room. Stiles had no doubt they only had seconds remaining before they’d all be in the fight of their lives. Yet, he couldn’t stop himself from reaching up to touch his lips that were still stinging in reminder of the hole he’d just dug himself.

Kissing Peter hadn’t been better than kissing Derek; it had been… different. Peter was in love with him. Derek was obviously interested, at the very least. And he’d not forgotten about Dean either. How could Stiles be expected to make a decision on how he, himself, felt? He had no idea how he felt.

It was one thing when he was questioning if he had feelings for Peter and Derek when he thought they were straight and uninterested. It was a whole different animal to understand fully the extent of their feelings, and having to decide which one of them he loved. He loved them both, though, didn't he? But was he in love with either? What the hell’s the difference?

“Stiles.” He jumped backward at his name; it was Lydia, eyeing him suspiciously from the doorway. She had a bag full of ingredients and a large, familiar leather bound book in her hands. “It’s time to go.”

“Right.”

Chapter Text

That had been better than Peter could have ever imagined and he’d imagined it plenty of times. His skin was still tingling from the memory of touching Stiles. Actually touching Stiles.

And Stiles had kissed him; he didn’t need to feel guilty because Stiles had been the one to do it himself. Peter was grabbing some essentials from his room before they had to leave, he took a moment to sit down on the bed and gather his thoughts.

He ran a hand over his burgundy silk sheets and imagined the way they would look sliding over Stiles’ body. The sounds Stiles would make under his hands, while Peter made good on the promises he’d made to himself over the years about what he would do to Stiles given half the chance.

A shiver ran hungrily down his spine and he had to snap himself out of it – all in good time. He grabbed the rest of what they might need, and headed out, only to be stopped by Derek outside his bedroom door.

“Shouldn’t you be helping Lydia?” Peter made his way around Derek, but was stopped by a hand enclosing his wrist tight enough to break.

“So that’s how this is going to be? All this crap about me being selfish, and you go and throw yourself at him right before, what is probably, the most difficult spell he’s ever attempted.” Derek was seething and Peter looked at him in mock innocence to fuel the fire.

“Dear nephew, I did no such thing.” Peter was shaking his head. Derek was having none of it. He threw Peter violently against the wall, not letting go of his hand on Peter’s wrist.

“I just heard you two Peter, don’t play dumb with me.” Derek kept his yell as hushed as possible.

“Ah, that. Yes, that was actually the sound of Stiles throwing himself at me. Though, I guess you wouldn’t be able to tell that from hearing alone.” Peter winked and smirked at Derek wickedly.

Derek looked like he’d just been slapped, and Peter couldn’t help but feel satisfied by the reaction. Though, it didn’t take Derek long to recover and return to his furious scowl.

“Whatever, Peter. Congrats at getting Stiles to kiss you by acting like a jealous child. You feel pretty proud about that?” Peter felt like this whole thing was a joke. Derek was criticizing him for being jealous, the audacity.

“You’re lecturing me on jealousy?” Peter looked pointedly to his wrist, which was still bruising in Derek’s grip.

Almost in perfect unison, both of their attentions were drawn to the end of the hallway. They were both hyperaware of Stiles’ scent and the second he’d rounded the corner from the stairs, they’d noticed. Though they had not had enough time to put distance between them or even attempt to make it look like they hadn’t been fighting. So Stiles’ expression turned wary and concerned.

“What the hell is going on here?” Peter opened his mouth but Stiles put a hand up, “Doesn’t matter. Lydia and the holy man are waiting downstairs; we have to go now. The Leviathan and the bitch will be here any minute, and we gotta be long gone.” He turned on his heels and Peter and Derek followed at a swift pace.

When they made it downstairs, Peter could see the pack was ready for war. Each of them were positioned perfectly around the house, the non-wolf members holding their weapons at the ready. Dean and Sam were standing near Castiel, muttering words of warning to each other.

Once they approached, Dean made his way to Stiles, and it took everything in Peter to stand still and not distract from the mission by picking a fight with the man.

“You be careful alright? I don’t know anything about magic but, y’know, if it’s between the spell working or losing your life… well there’s always a plan B, yeah?” Dean was whispering in Stiles’ ear, brushing his hand down Stiles’ lower back. Stiles was flustered, and he looked worryingly over to where Peter and Derek stood.

“Yeah, of course. I’ll be fine, promise.” Stiles whispered back and Dean gave him a quick peck on the forehead before rounding on Sam and barking orders to Scott.

Surprisingly, Scott listened and the pack rustled anxiously, ready for the fight. Castiel put his arms out and the four of them grabbed him before they were thrust into the light.

The night was still dark, but Peter was sure that it was reaching dawn. It certainly felt like it. Castiel had brought them to the right place; not that he was surprised. The way Castiel was placing his hand gingerly on the stump made it clear the Angel was as drawn to its power as any supernatural creature.

Peter could see the aura of the Nemeton. It was a dark, dark red – almost black. It wasn’t evil, but it wasn’t good either. The Nemeton owed alliance to no one. It was the decision of the person seeking power how to use that which was given.

And boy did it have a lot to give. For the first time, Peter felt apprehensive about this plan. He looked to Stiles, his beautiful spark. He was strong, but he was also human with a lean body and breakable bones. He was walking towards him before he could stop himself.

“Stiles, I don’t –”

“Peter, we’re not backing down now. I can see the aura too, okay? I know how much power there is here. I can handle it.” Stiles dropped his head low and looked at Peter beneath his eyelashes.

Stiles –”

“I. Can. Handle. It.” Stiles let each pause emphasize his surety. Peter nodded once before squeezing Stiles’ hands quickly.

“Alright, Stiles – you need to be positioned directly in the middle of the Nemeton. Derek, get up there too.” Lydia was holding open the book, her eyes scanning the words and instructing each of them as she went. Peter noticed Castiel had put distance between them, observing from afar. “Peter, those candles. Place them in a circle on the stump surrounding Stiles.”

Peter went to work, making sure to form a perfect pentagram, each candle placed appropriately in the directions of east, west, north, and south. He handed the last candle to Stiles, who was sitting with his legs crossed in the center of the Nemeton. The last candle signified the unity of the pentagram, the spirit that holds the balance of life together. It was suitable in Stiles’ hands.

Peter took out the lighter he had grabbed from his room earlier and began lighting the candles one by one, saving Stiles’ for last. He made eye contact with Stiles as he lit his candle and smiled encouragingly at him.

Derek was standing awkwardly behind Stiles, not sure where he was meant to be placed. Of course Derek didn’t know what to do, it was usually Peter who was Stiles’ support in their spells and rituals. Derek didn’t belong in this sacred place.

But even as he thought the jealous thought, he knew it wasn’t true. The Nemeton knew Derek intimately – trusted him.

“Okay so earlier, Derek and I discussed the possibility of combining some of what it says here with more common rituals we’ve performed before, so that it’ll be more likely to work. In the text, it says Derek need only be touching you Stiles, and touching the Nemeton. But we think... well we think he should embed his claws into the back of your neck, and for good measure, he’ll embed his other hand’s claws into the bark of the Nemeton as well.” Lydia wasn’t looking up from the text at all. She was clearly having a hard time translating the words and so needed to keep her concentration unflinching.

Derek kneeled behind Stiles, and allowed his claws to extend. He leaned forward to talk directly in Stiles’ ear.

“I’ve done these types of rituals with werewolf claws before, with my mother’s. It’s extremely painful.” Derek sounded distressed and hesitant, and Stiles reached a hand back to pat his thigh.

“I’ll be fine. If anything, the power will kill me, not the claws thrust into my neck.” Stiles’ laugh sounded more nervous than it did amused. Derek made an indignant noise.

As Derek moved back into an upright position, he took a second to rub his face against the back of Stiles’ neck. His lips dragging their way across the, no doubt, sensitive skin there. Stiles’ breath hitched and he blushed a deep red, his lips parted.

Stiles’ eyes met Peter’s and the fresh scent of arousal and anxiousness, became arousal, anxiousness, and guilt. Peter was choking on it.

Before the moment was granted the right to pass, Derek jerked forward and dug his claws into Stiles’ flesh. He had looked away to do it, probably the only way he could muster the strength to. Stiles’ screamed in pain but didn’t move a muscle.

Then Derek implanted his other hand’s claws into the bark, the action causing Derek to be the one to howl in agony.

“Peter, start burning the sage to ward off unwanted visitors while the rift is opening. Stiles, repeat after me.” Peter lit the sage and began walking in slow circles around the Nemeton, keeping his mind focused on expelling the area of any evil. Lydia continued, “Goddess, I ask you.”

“Goddess, I ask you.” Stiles’ voice was strained, he was fighting against the sting of Derek’s claws in his neck – and Peter was fighting the instinctual urge to throw Derek off of him.

“Tie this sacred site to my soul.”

“Tie this sacred site to my soul.”

“And no longer allow those who are not so tied,”

“And no longer allow those who are not so tied,”

“to feed from your earth.”

“to feed from your earth.”

“Derek, after me.” Lydia commanded; Derek nodded. “Goddess I ask you.”

“Goddess, I ask you.” Derek’s voice sounded almost more strained than Stiles’. Peter realized then that if his own instincts were willing him to remove Stiles’ pain, he couldn’t imagine how difficult it was for Derek to be the inflictor. His nephew was probably giving everything he had to ignore the compulsion to keep Stiles safe.

“I am the conduit.”

“I am the conduit.”

“Use me to tie this worthy man to your sacred site,”

“Use me to tie this worthy man to your sacred site,”

“and no longer allow those who are not worthy,”

“and no longer allow those who are not worthy,”

“to feed from your earth.”

“to feed from your earth.”

There was a loud crackling noise coming from deep within the ground. It slithered closer to the surface, and soon the Nemeton was splitting in several places – the red aura from before now tangible and hovering ominously in the air through the cracks in the wood. Derek was watching the spectacle wide-eyed, but Stiles’ eyes were empty, his blank stare focused on something far, far away.

Peter watched in horror as the dark red cloud entered Stiles’ body through his eyes, his nose, and his mouth. A final gust of wind blew out the candles, and Stiles fell back into Derek, his eyes closed. Derek was quick to tear his claws from the bark, and wrap his arms around Stiles’ limp body.

“Stiles?!” Derek screeched frantically; Peter’s heart fell deep in the earth as he looked at Stiles' apparently lifeless form.

But suddenly, Peter's heart returned to him as Stiles’ eyes opened. They were glowing a bright green – the same color as the smoke from the protective ritual, the same color as Stiles’ own aura. Stiles had managed to cleanse the Nemeton’s impartial nature and transform it into his own essence. Stiles had actually managed to harness it perfectly for his own will.

God, I love you. Peter didn’t know if he’d said it out loud or only in his head but as Stiles lifted to his feet, his eyes still glowing and his hands emitting sparks of green lightening, he just couldn’t care either way.

Derek was still kneeling on the Nemeton, the spell had taken its toll on him. He looked as though some of his life force had been sucked dry by it. Peter may be a jealous fool, but Derek was still family.

“Derek? Are you okay?” Peter asked, concerned when Derek made no response or movement to the words. “Derek?”

Stiles looked back at Derek, his eyebrows furrowed, and he snapped his fingers. A single spark danced from his hands and towards Derek’s chest. When the spark made contact, Derek gasped and seemed to take a few deep breaths after the shock.

But he looked strong again, and Stiles beamed at his success.

The celebration was short lived, though, as a familiar shrill chuckling reached their ears.

“Well someone has been a naughty, naughty boy.” Peter turned to look behind him and could see that the witch was alone, walking towards them calmly.

Peter looked to Stiles, who was still smiling, though it had turned mischievous. Stiles shot his hands in the air, and green lightening descended from the sky and into his fingertips. He seemed to will the bolts outward through the trees. If Peter had to guess, he’d say they were headed straight for the Leviathan.

A single bolt made its way to the witch, who deflected it easily.

“No fair.” The witch pouted. “If you think all my power was coming from the Nemeton, then you’re dumber than you look little sparkling.”

“Let’s see how sharp-tongued you are while your precious Leviathan are eating themselves whole.” Stiles snapped his fingers and Peter could see the hiccup in the witch’s otherwise meticulously controlled demeanor. She flinched ever so slightly as – somewhere off in the distance – her pack of Leviathan were killing themselves.

“You know what?” The witch grinned despite her fury, and she turned her gaze on Peter. “I get it now. I really do. He’s hot.”

A snap of her fingers and Peter felt heat envelop his body.

Chapter Text

Dean couldn’t help but admire Stiles. He’d watched intently as Stiles paced around the library, still shirtless and gesturing wildly as the pack bounced ideas back and forth to each other.

They were in quite the pickle. And Dean had found himself agreeing with Erica, the blonde wolf, that all their ideas were seemingly useless. Of course it had been Stiles who came up with the ultimate solution.

Dean had brought up the bibbing, and could see that Sam had had the same thought. All in all, they had a pretty solid plan.

Admittedly, after hearing about Derek’s screwed up past, Dean had felt marginally guilty about goading him on so much. Only marginally, though – especially after witnessing Derek’s grand statement on the front lawn. Dude picked a great time to make his intentions known.

It grated slightly on Dean’s nerves when he thought about the fact that his date with Stiles had been going so well before the Sheriff had called. Dean took a moment before leaving the library to look over Stiles’ toned body. He was sure the night would’ve turned out very different had the Leviathan chosen tomorrow to find another human to munch on.

He let out a longsuffering sigh and followed the rest of the pack out of the room to prepare for battle.

“I have an idea.” Sam muttered to Dean and Cas as he raced down the stairs and caught Allison by the shoulder, Scott standing at her side. “Allison, you’re an archer, right?”

“Yeah, Scott was just saying I should be positioned on the balcony upstairs, try to get some shots in as they’re approaching the house.” Allison was speaking quickly, the wolves readying themselves around her giving her a heightened sense of emergency.

“Why?” Scott asked, his tone void of any accusation.

“I have an idea,” Sam said again, “If we dip the ends of the arrows in liquid Borax, it’ll definitely slow them down.” Dean clapped a hand on Sam’s shoulder. His brother was a genius.

They went to work helping Allison ready her arrows. By the time they made it back downstairs, almost everyone was twitching with anticipation. Dean could relate; being in the front lines of war was a sensation he was all too familiar with.

They made their way to Cas, who was standing idly in the middle of the living room.

“You sure you’re alright taking them to the Nemeton, Cas?” Sam spoke up and Cas simply nodded.

“Just be careful. And look out for Stiles, if any Leviathan are around when you get there or if it’s not safe, just get them the hell out of there, alright?” Dean was speaking in a hushed voice, though he knew all the wolves could hear him.

He looked up to see Stiles making his way downstairs, Derek and Peter in tow – looking like children who’d just gotten yelled at by their parents.

Dean made his way to Stiles almost on instinct. He placed a hand on Stiles’ back and leaned forward to whisper directly in his ear.

“You be careful alright? I don’t know anything about magic but, y’know, if it’s between the spell working or losing your life… well there’s always a plan B, yeah?” Dean shocked himself at how much he meant the words. He’d rather be forced to fight each Leviathan individually than risk Stiles’ life.

“Yeah, of course.” Stiles whispered back to him, “I’ll be fine, promise.” Dean wanted so badly to press his lips against Stiles’ one more time, but one look over to Derek and Peter and he could tell it wasn’t a smart move. They didn’t have time to fight over this now. So he placed a quick kiss to Stiles’ forehead before turning his back to the group.

“Scott! Put Boyd to my right and Cora to Sam’s left. I can tell they’re your strongest fighters.” Scott nodded and Boyd and Cora got into position. When Dean glanced back, Cas, Stiles, and the others had already disappeared.

It was but thirty seconds later when the Leviathan came into view.

Dean and Sam had armed themselves with water guns full of liquid Borax to stun the Leviathan that Allison missed, so that the wolves would have a better chance at tearing them apart while they were recovering.

Dean watched in awe as Scott tore a smaller Leviathan to pieces singlehandedly. He could see Allison shooting the arrows at astonishing speed, never missing her mark. Everywhere he looked it was an orchestra of black goo, fangs, claws, arrows, smoke, and blood.

It was truly a battlefield.

Dean was also using a machete to try and take the heads, arms, legs, or any part really off as many Leviathan as possible.

Suddenly, he heard the terrifying whimper of a wolf, and was distracted by the sight of a Leviathan getting a healthy helping of Isaac’s flesh before Kira sliced the thing in half with her impressive blade.

One of the Leviathan took advantage of the diversion and knocked Dean to the ground. It moved to sit on top of him. Dean looked to Sam for back up, but saw that he was fighting two of the fuckers at once and getting his ass handed to him as well.

He scrambled to grab a hold of his weapon, but it had fallen just out of reach. He could see from his position on the ground that every wolf was paired, fighting for their lives, against one Leviathan or more, even Allison had disappeared from view. There was no one who could come to his aid.

He met the eyes of the Leviathan that had taken him down and realized with a start that it was wearing Stiles’ face.

“Hi lover.” The Leviathan sneered. Dean had to roll his eyes at that.

“Aren’t you guys bored of the games by now?” Dean would rather the thing just bite his head off than start another round of make-believe.

“Not a game, sexy. Boss wanted to know what your little Stiles was up to, when we realized he wasn’t here.” Dean felt his heart fall to his stomach, before it began to race in fear. He prayed that Stiles would have time to complete the spell before the witch showed up.

The Leviathan dipped low and licked at Dean’s face. Dean opened his eyes to find Stiles’ face a mere inch from his. God, he’s pretty. Dean was fighting to get his body to understand that this thing on top of him was definitively not Stiles.

The Leviathan helped him out with that by revealing its gaping mouth and sharp, saliva covered teeth. It was a wonder how that sight was preferable in Dean’s mind, at least for this particular moment.

He saw his life flash before his eyes – not for the first time sadly – as the Leviathan went in for the kill.

But then a bright green light was pushing the Leviathan back. Dean was stupefied for a moment. It looked like a tiny shock of electricity had stunned the Leviathan and it was frozen in place, sitting up, and staring forward blankly.

Dean managed to wiggle his way out from underneath it, and could see that every Leviathan had been shocked into submission as well. They each stood as still as statues.

It took a moment for the wolves to catch on, Boyd and Erica were still viciously tearing one of the Leviathan limb from limb – even as it stopped fighting back.

Abruptly, each Leviathan began opening his mouth wide, impossibly wide, and Dean witnessed a sight that he would have never guessed could bring him so much joy.

The Leviathan were bibbing – each and every one of them. They all were raising their hands to their mouths and chopping down on their own bodies. Black goo was splattered all over the landscape and had landed disgustingly all over the pack too. All of their faces were frozen in an array of shock, happiness, interest, and disgust.

Stiles did it! He thought to himself in amazement and he started laughing boisterously. The wolves caught on and joined in on the laughter. They were euphoric from the adrenaline.  

The euphoria was part of the reason Dean was sluggish to realize he was being torn from reality. He’d been teleported before, with Cas’ help. But this was nothing like the bright, blinding heavenly light that appeared when Cas took him somewhere.

This was dark and foreboding, and in a hellish minute, he was ripped from his place among the wolves, pulled into the darkness, and found himself standing in a scorching circle of fire.

Chapter Text

Peter would give anything to say that the kiss of fire against his skin was a new sensation. However, he was all too acquainted with how it felt to be burned alive.

Except, he wasn’t burning. He was merely trapped within a circle of flames, just high enough that with one wrong move – he'd surely perish.

He tried to take in the scene around him and could barely see through the blinding light of the flames that Derek was trapped in his own fire cage. A slight turn to the other side and he could see Dean was there too somehow, and he was also encircled by flames.

“Dean!” Castiel yelled in panic, making his way towards the witch, just as Lydia was flipping through the pages of her book to find a spell that could be useful.

The witch uttered a few hushed words under her breath that Peter couldn’t quite make out over the sound of the fire cracking and blazing around him. Peter had his werewolf hearing to thank for being able to hear anything at all, he was positive Dean couldn’t make out a word.

A strange bright red symbol appeared in front of the witch and after she placed her hand upon it, Castiel yelped out and a bright light made him disappear from view. The witch laughed and snapped her fingers and then Lydia disappeared from sight in the blink of an eye as well.

Stiles’ smile faded, and he looked murderous. The clouds above him were thundering, brewing with power ready to be used at Stiles’ command.

“Don’t be hasty handsome, do you really think you’ll be quick enough to stop me before I can burn the three of them alive?” The flames grew and danced with her threat. Stiles hesitated and the thunder ceased, but his hands were still twitching with electricity. “That’s better. Now let’s settle this one-on-one, yeah?” The witch winked suggestively.

“What did you do to them?” Stiles ground out through his teeth. The witch looked exasperated.

“Relax, I just relocated them for a bit – they’re fine.” The witch approached their flame cages, looking pleased. “I didn’t want any… interruptions.”

Peter watched Stiles intently, trying to see through his poker face and figure out Stiles’ next move. The witch’s demeanor was calm and it was setting Peter’s teeth on edge. She knew she had the upper hand.

“You know what’s the best part?” The witch turned to Stiles again; Peter could hear the excitement in her voice. “I chose this spell at random, first thing that popped in my head really.” She cackled and Stiles flinched at the sound, “But how fitting.”

“Fuck you.” Derek yelled out over the flames, the witch merely raised an eyebrow and let out another lighthearted chuckle.

“Did you know, Stiles, that Dean’s mother was burned alive in a house fire? Then of course there’s Derek – whose bad decisions caused his own family to be burned alive as well. It’s a shame they can’t get along really, considering how much they have in common. Though we know the reason for that don’t we Stiles, dear.” Peter looked to Dean, but his lack of reaction at the mention of his mother confirmed Peter’s suspicions that he couldn’t hear a thing over the roar of the fire. “And let’s not forget Uncle Peter! This bringing back any memories Petey?”

The fire around Peter raged and some of it danced along his arms. He smelt the familiar scent of burning flesh before he felt the pain of his skin being scorched.

“Enough!” Stiles commanded, a lightening bolt landed dangerously close to where the witch was standing – where she'd been watching Peter being burned with a satisfied expression etched on her face.

The fire backed off and Peter had to fight not to focus on the recognizable feeling of his body healing burnt off flesh.

“Sorry, got a little carried away.” The witch giggled. “Alright – back to business. Are you going to stand up there the entire time?” Peter could see Stiles consider, he was still standing on the Nemeton, his shoulders back and rigid in a powerful stance.

After a moment, he descended from the tree stump and onto the forest floor. The witch closed the distance.

“What do you want?” Stiles met Peter’s eyes briefly; Peter gave him a quick nod to let him know he was fine.

“Let me out of this town alive and I won’t kill your entire pack. How’s that sound?”

“Sounds like you expect me to just turn a blind eye to how many people you’ve already killed in your pursuit for power.” Stiles snapped back almost instantly.

“Technically I never did any of the actual killing. My hands are clean, love.” The witch placed her hands out, palms facing up, as if to show Stiles physically that she was not to blame.

Stiles’ eye twitched and he flicked a finger towards the witch minutely. Suddenly blood covered her hands, pooling in her palms, and falling in droplets onto the ground.

“Hardly.” Stiles said calmly. The witch, for her part, actually looked irked. She shook her hands in a flourish and the blood vanished.

“Creative.” She sneered. “Look, I’m not actually looking for forgiveness here sweetums. If you didn’t notice, I have an advantage.” She waved in the direction of the three of them held hostage.

“If you hurt any of them, you’ll never make it out of here alive. You must know that.” Stiles gave a little half smirk. His confidence would’ve eased Peter’s nerves if the heat of the flames weren’t driving away any emotion other than fear within him.

“If I’m going down anyway, you better believe I’m taking them with me.”

They stared at each other a while, neither of them getting anywhere close to backing down. Peter took a moment to look at Derek and Dean. They were watching the confrontation unfold, their expressions wary and dreadful - they were useless.

“You bound yourself to my Leviathan.” The witch spoke up abruptly; Stiles narrowed his eyes at the statement.

“Yes.”

“So you have memory of everything they knew.” She cracked a smile so wide, Peter could imagine her cheeks splitting open at the action. Stiles glanced over to the three of them, his face falling slightly.

“Yes.” Peter could only imagine what stolen memories were plaguing Stiles’ mind, taken from the three tortured men who were in love with him.

“Delicious.” The witch snapped her fingers, and the flames lowered until they were a mere inch tall. The chilly breeze felt like heaven against Peter’s sweat-covered skin. Derek and Dean seemed to enjoy the relief from the warmth as well. The witch smiled cordially at them, “Don’t get excited boys, if you leave the circle you’ll be burned alive immediately. So stay put.” She shook a finger at them before turning back to Stiles.

“What the hell are you playing at?” Dean spat as he rubbed at his ears; they were probably ringing from spending so long surrounded with the blaring crackling sound of the fire.

“Actually, Stiles and I are going to play a little game.”

“Says who?” Stiles scoffed indignantly, “I’m getting pretty fucking tired of games if I’m being honest.”

“Well I’m not, and if you want this to end nicely, you’ll play along. You’ve got much more to lose.” The witch sighed and ran a hand through her long hair, “Look – whether you want to admit it to yourself or not, we have got to come to some sort of agreement here. If I let your suitors go and leave, you will never stop hunting me regardless. If you kill me now, I’ll kill them too… which, as much as it’d be a pleasure to kill three of your loved ones, that would mean I’d die also. So that’s a less than preferable option in my book. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation Stiles. Unless… we can duel it out, fair and square.”

“Fucking witches.” Dean muttered under his breath, his expression furious. Peter felt similarly.

Peter could see Stiles’ jaw clenched tightly, the sky above head still looked apocalyptic.

“How?” The witch looked positively delighted at Stiles’ words, elated that he was considering it.

“Play the game. If you win, I’ll accept the consequences of my actions gladly, you can even kill me if you so choose. I won’t put up a fight” The witch shrugged, seemingly unworried at the prospect of losing.

“And if I lose?” Stiles questioned. He was looking at the witch incredulously, as if he didn’t believe a word she was saying.

“I leave town unharmed and a blood pact will be made so that your pack will leave me alone for good. I’ll even agree to never come back to Beacon Hills. Sweeten the deal for you.”

“That’s all?” Stiles had a right to be suspicious. Peter didn’t miss the way that in both outcomes, the well-being of the pack was left unmentioned – there had to be catch. “What’s the game?”

The witch stayed silent and shrugged her shoulders, her smirk playful and eyes wild again. She reached out her hand and spoke a few hushed Latin phrases. Slivers of tangible darkness escaped her lips and wrapped around her hand.

“Binding agreement to the conditions.” She explained simply.

Stiles looked to Peter; he could read the look in Stiles’ eyes: they were at her mercy as much as she was at theirs. There were going to be no winners tonight. Stiles spoke his own incantation, and green sparks escaped his lips instead of darkness.

“Back at ya.” He clasped their hands together once the sparks encircled his palm and the agreement was sealed.

In a flash, Stiles was standing only a few feet in front of them, as opposed to the several yards or more he’d been standing away only a second before. The fire was still burning low to the ground. Stiles was searching each of their eyes frantically. Peter could tell that Stiles was unsure why he’d been moved closer to them, and the panic in his expression only grew when the witch spoke back up.

“Time to choose.”