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Kill Me Once, Shame On You

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Truthfully, Stiles shouldn’t have been driving. Not after everything that had happened. Truthfully, he should’ve still been at the warehouse. Tucked into a corner, breathing heavily. Shaking with a sick mix of terror and rage. But alas, he was driving. Even though he shouldn’t have been. There a lot of things he shouldn’t have been doing.

     Gerard was defeated, (see dead), and they were all going to live happily ever after. Jackson was now a full-fledged, properly functioning werewolf. Scott’s mom was no longer under threat. Chris removed his heinous father from power. And no more innocent people would die. Sunshine and puppies from here on out. Except, things are never that easy.

      For starters, the shit Scott had pulled was…atrocious. There were about ten-thousand things wrong with it. Actively, Stiles had no issue with just full-fledged, out and out, murdering Gerard. There was no moral hang-ups, or ethical concerns. Men like that didn’t stop until they were dead. That, and the guy was just completely unlikable.

      It was, however, inconceivably terrible of how Scott went about doing it. Firstly, poisoning the man with mountain ash. (Swapping out the cancer meds.) And then, forcing Derek, the only alpha in town, to bite the man that was, (probably in more ways than one), responsible for destroying Derek’s pack.

       Low and behold, the bite poisoned him, and he faced the horrible rejection. Dismantling his already frail body even further. To the point that he started instantly vomiting black goo. It was gross as hell. Stiles almost upchucked alongside him.

      Then, of course, before kicking the bucket, Gerard ordered Jackson, (still under his command), to kill them all. There was a fight. There was blood and tears and plenty of swearing. In the end, Lydia, (because of course), saved the day with the power of love. Or some equally ridiculous fairytale bullshit. Jackson was a wolf, everything was fine. Except, it wasn’t.

      He had been under the control of not one, but two murderous masters. And had been forced to assume a shape that allowed them to carry out their shitty ideals. Matt slaughtered the people responsible for his trauma. In turn, traumatizing Jackson. Who had, as of right now, no memories of any of that.

     Then of course, there was Gerard. The bastard. There were no memories of that either. Now, that he was an able bodied werewolf, he’d have to face the reality of all those things that he was made to do. Thankfully, Jackson’s parents were loaded. And could afford whatever therapist was keeping Kayne West out of the loony bin. Now the matter what finding one that specialized in werewolves.

      Lydia was another matter altogether. She and Stiles had gotten closer over the last few months. Now, their big secret was out. Werewolves were real, and a lot of other, horrible, terrifying shit that no sane person wanted anything to do with. He wondered how the young redhead was going to take all of it. Stiles was a different breed of human altogether, and his quick acclamation was to be excluded.

        He thought about all of this as he drove home. Wondering, if anything, what else would go sideways. There was still the matter of Peter being brought back to life. Using some nasty, unknown method that he performed through Lydia. Apparently, the dead could be brought back to life. Even if the person had been tremendously shitty.

     When he arrives, thankfully, his father isn’t home. He wasn’t in the mood, nor did he have the capacity for any questions. Melissa was on the ins and outs, (mostly), of what was going on with them. His father wasn’t, and he wanted to keep it that way for as long as possible.

      Stiles showers. Well, more accurately, he stands under the scorching hot water until it runs cold. It wasn’t really bathing. It was just something to do. Shock was a hell of a drug, and he wasn’t one to drink, so, standing under running water would have to do.

      He doesn’t bother putting on any clothes. He just collapses into bed with a towel wrapped around him. Too tired and too strung out to do much of anything else. Every muscle in his body had released the tension he’d been holding. And now, that he was finally in the comfort of his own room, he could sleep. Well, it wasn’t so much sleep as it was his brain going into emergency shutdown.

     He dreams in fractions and pieces. A swipe of claw there. A spurt of blood there. It was horrible and entrancing in the same moment. He can feel himself sweat. He can feel himself twitch. There’s roaring somewhere in the background. He knows that he’s going to die.

     When he wakes, it’s in stone still shock. And he stares at a black ceiling as the world he was dreaming of fades, and reality, much to his displeasure, comes crashing back in. His dad still isn’t home, despite it being nearly two in the morning. He sends a short text, and throws his phone back towards the nightstand. He doesn’t bother to see if needs to be charged. He doesn’t really feel like bothering with anything anymore.

    When he falls back asleep, he doesn’t dream. It’s a still, frozen sleep. When he wakes up again, he knows that he hardly moved. Every muscle in his body screams with exertion. That, coupled with all the name brand fuckery that came with yesterday’s events, and he was sufficiently exhausted. There was a nap in his future later today.

     His father is asleep. Silently slumbering, no wiser to the supernatural shenanigans of Beacon Hills than he was in the previous months. Stiles, as much as he wanted otherwise, would keep it that way. He hated lying. He hated the half truths. He hated the sneaking around. The deceiving. All of it. But his dad was all he had left. And he would cling to that with the veracity of iron.

      Breakfast is more of an affair than it should’ve been. On most days, he just popped some bread in the toaster, and maybe fried an egg. Today, being a Saturday, he decided to treat himself. Bacon, actual, fatty pork bacon, scrambled eggs with tomatoes, and pancakes made from scratch. Under most circumstances, he would’ve avoided all the starch and fat for his father’s health. But there was a lingering guilt, crawling under his skin. Something that said to do this, because of everything else he’d already done.

      The bacon had just done crisping when the doorbell rings. Stiles already knows who it is before he even answers it. Scott, the bastard, doesn’t look any worse for wear. As if he had the most wonderful sleep of his life, and wasn’t wracked with nightmares over the shit he did. Except, it wasn’t quite that simple.

     There was an edge at the corner of his eyes. A terrible thing. A small thing. Some part of him was hurting. He looked at Stiles’ with the quivering eyes of a man desperate to say something. To spill his guts. To lay bare the deepest reaches of his soul. Stiles doesn’t give him the chance.

      Scott’s mouth opens to speak, and whatever it is, Stiles doesn’t give two shits. He slams the door in his friend’s face. Hard. Locking it as he headed back towards the kitchen. He made a mental note to line all the doors and windows with mountain ash when he got the chance. That way, Scott wouldn’t be tempted to pull a Derek.

     His phone is ringing, and Stiles denies the call. Sending it straight to voicemail. For good measure, he blocks Scott’s number. That way, he doesn’t have to keep silencing his phone. Or listening as he sends text after text. There was a part of him, a darker part, that took a certain amount of joy in the action.

      He wonders how long his on-the-rocks best friend will keep at it before he gives up. Stiles hopes it’s quick. Another hopes it’s for hours. Maybe give him a sense of how pissed off he really and truly was. He wondered is Scott had visited any of the others. And he wondered what the others reactions would be when he showed up at their doorstep.

     Breakfast is just finished when his dad enters. Looking disgruntled and somewhat perturbed. Stiles silently hands him a cup of coffee, with actual caffeine, and a smile. The sheriff looks surprised and shocked, but accepts it nonetheless. They both sit down, and stuff their faces.

      “Did someone come to the door?” The man asks between mouthfuls of bacon.

“Scott.”

     “What on earth could he have wanted this early in the morning that couldn’t be solved with phone call?” The man was still eating bacon. Stiles was keeping up with how much.

“Don’t know. I kinda slammed the door in his face. And then I blocked his number.” His father raised an eyebrow, but made no further comment.

      Over the years, the sheriff had come to know his son in ways that most parents never would know their own children. After the death of his mother, like any child, Stiles had to adjust. This came in ways that were both expected, and unexpected.

     The crying. The screaming. The sleepless nights. The nights with too much sleep. The therapists. That, that was standard. What wasn’t, was the anger. No one ever really expected an eleven year old child to have a propensity for violence. But after the initial surge of grief and mourning past, Stiles was left with just that, anger and violence.

      His father had to be called several times. And then several times more. It was hard on both of them. He was lashing out in school, and his father could only sleep after a healthy amount of whiskey. And there were of course the nights where the whiskey did more than just help him sleep.

      After they first two years, many hours of therapy, and several breakdowns, they had worked at a rather effective system. Stiles would make an active effort to vent negative feelings in a way that didn’t harm those around him. And the sheriff wouldn’t resort to whiskey in order to stamp out his.

      Did Stiles’ particular course of action hurt in an emotional way? Most certainly. He was sure that Scott was running around in circles, trying to figure out what to do next. It hurt, and he wanted it to. But the agreement that he made with his father was that he wouldn’t react physically. And he hadn’t hit Scott.

     They don’t discuss the matter any further. And Stiles eats the rest of his breakfast in silence. Not wanting to stir up his already volatile state. His father indulges him, and Stiles hands him another piece of bacon. They could always have salad for dinner.

    Not having much else to do, Stiles opts to switch between cleaning, and doing what little homework he had. Given recent events, he had been, to some degree, falling behind. Not that it would take him very long to catch up, but regardless, he didn’t want his dad to have to worry over anything. He was in the dark, and in the dark he would remain. For as long as possible.

      Stiles runs out of housework, and decides to mindlessly watch tv. It was one of the few times that he and his dad were in the house together. For any extended period of time. The sheriff was due to return to work later in the evening, but for now, they could at least pretend to be a functioning family.

       His phone buzzes an hour in, and he sees that it’s from Allison. Part of him wants to read it. Part of him wonders if Scott had reached out, and was trying to speak to him through her. He knew that they were on the outs, in a big way, even before the showdown with Gerard. So, in all likeliness, the possibility was rather low. Regardless, he ignored it. He wasn’t in the mood to talk with anyone today.

       He ends up falling asleep on the couch. Waking up with a blanket across him, and his father gone. There was a note on the tv saying that he’d be home in the morning. Stiles smiled, the sense of familiarity ringing softly in his chest. It was the closest he’d felt to normalcy in a while. It was nice.

      His phone had several text messages. All from Allison. All of them he deleted without opening. He had never been all that close with her. Mainly being the third wheel whenever she and Scott were together. They were barely acquaintances. And after the derailing that she performed in murderous fashion, he wasn’t keen on getting to know her any better.

       Stiles understood grief. He understood pain. He understood hating the world so much, that the only thing he wanted was to watch things break. But even when he lashed out others, he certainly didn’t behave as violently as she had.

     He understood that her mother was dead. He understood the reason behind it. Hunters didn’t live after being bitten by an alpha werewolf. They killed themselves, or, at least, that’s what he’d heard offhandedly. He wondered if Allison had known that. Had known that, or if Gerard neglected that little faucet of information.

     Regardless, shooting arrows into innocent people, or as innocent as they could be, didn’t serve any purpose. Neither did kidnapping them, tying them up in the basement, and hooking them up to electric cables. Which she had participated in. Gerard may have been the mastermind, but she was the acolyte that carried out his orders.

        He tries to steer his thoughts elsewhere. Not wanting to shame and anger. It doesn’t work. Because now he wonders about Erica and Boyd. He wonders if they were okay. He wonders about whether or not if they were with Derek, or if they’d ditched and skipped town.

      He’s in his Jeep before he thinks about it. Driving, for once in his life, the speed limit as to not attract any undue attention to himself. When he arrives at the railway station, it’s Peter that greets him. The smug bastard smiles that vicious smile of his. As if he’s pleased about something. Stiles flips him off as he walks by. There’s nothing that they need to say to each other.

     Derek is in one of the derelict cars. Sulking and brooding in that old Hollywood way that only he could manage to accomplish. Stiles had always wondered at the man’s sense of self-entrapment. And while they certainly didn’t get along, and would’ve rather been in different states, they could at least tolerate each other for five minutes at a time.

     The alpha doesn’t acknowledge him in any way. And Stiles doesn’t say anything. He had originally come to check on Erica and Boyd. Who, as of right now, were nowhere to be seen. Neither was Isaac. Stiles didn’t get along with any of the three, but he at least was, on some minute level, concerned for their wellbeing. He’d seen what the world of werewolves and hunters had to offer.

     “Is there a reason for your visit, or were just bored?” Derek finally speaks. And does so with a sarcasm that would give Stiles a run for his money.

“I didn’t know what he was doing. I didn’t know what his plan was, and if I did, I certainly wouldn’t have approved of it.”

     He doesn’t know why he says it. But he does. Stiles was angry. He was lost. But most of all, he was guilty. In their last, great fight against whatever shit storm rolled their way, he was practically useless. And it showed. Then Scott had to go and fuck things up royally. Yeah, they won. At the expense of nearly everyone’s sanity.

     Stiles, to a degree, knew what the Argents had done to Derek. More specifically, Kate Argent. He knew that she had used Derek, intimately, to set fire to his house, killing just about everyone inside. The only survivors where himself, Laura, and Peter. The latter of whom went on an insane, revenge fueled rampage. Killing his niece, the people involved in family’s murder. Who was then promptly killed by Derek. The level of fuckery was otherworldly.

      He knew that Derek had turned Isaac, Erica, and Boyd because they’d accept. The three of them each had their reasons for wanting to be a werewolf, and Stiles respected that. He even understood why Derek trained and taught them the way that he did. Because he’d seen what letting your guard down accomplished. In his mind, it left you broken, your loved ones dead, and your sanity hanging on by a thread.

      “How very noble of you. Regardless, Scott’s little stunt worked, regardless of its shocking ethical concerns. Even by my own standards.” Peter’s comment sent Stiles’ vision to a dark tinge of red. And for the first time, in a long time, he lashes out with violence.

     His fist connects with the man’s face. And there is a satisfying crunch to go with it. The man hadn’t been expecting Stiles to hit him. As his now bloodied face was struck in shock. Stiles’ breathed in and out, like a man who’d gone ten rounds with Mike Tyson.

     There was a lot of reasons behind his anger. What Scott had done. What Gerard had done. What Allison had done. But most of all, he was royally pissed at Peter. He had killed his own niece for power. Randomly decided to turn Scott. Sent out on a warpath that brought the Argents to the door, leading to the fuckery they had now. And then, when he’d finally met his end, used Lydia, who’d been traumatized enough, to revive himself in a sick, perverted ritual.

     All the anger he’d held was unleashed in a single moment. Right across the bastard’s face. Even if it did heal in the blink of an eye, Stiles still found himself rather satisfied with the sensation. Derek didn’t make any comment, and he was too pissed off to say anything else. So, he left. He left without another word, wondering just when his life had gotten this fucked.

    

 

 

Chapter Text

It had been a month since the shit with Gerard was finished, and Stiles was still stuck at an emotional impasse. He and Scott still had spoken, and Stiles was keen on doing so. The latter had tried several more times, each ending with the door being slammed in his face. One time, he pressed against it with his hand. To which Stiles responded by kicking him in the shin as hard as he could.

      Lydia and Jackson were…something. The young woman had texted him saying that she…fine. It was an out and out lie. Through and through, Stiles knew damn good and well that Lydia Martin was not fine. In any conceivable way. He may not have liked Jackson, but there wasn’t much he could do about his particular brand of trauma. Stiles anguish was of a different breed. And besides, it’s not like he would’ve accepted help anyway.

      Allison had stopped texting him after the third day. The young woman must’ve realized that Stiles really didn’t want anything to do with her. And while it was a certain brand of fuck you, Stiles still didn’t feel any guilt over the matter. There was plenty more that he had to feel guilty over.

     When he saw the missing person’s posted around town, he’d nearly tumbled over. There, stapled to the front of a telephone poll, were the faces of Erica and Boyd. Both neatly printed in color, with their age, names, and last known location. So on and so forth. He hadn’t known. And his father hadn’t said anything. Nor asked him any questions.

    The bigger concern was that Derek hadn’t said anything. Not that Stiles expected him to. They weren’t friends. And Stiles wasn’t going to pretend that they were about to start weaving flower crowns for each other. That being said, part of him still hurt at the realization.

     He didn’t bother asking Scott anything. Even if they were speaking, he didn’t care about either of them. As given example when he exploited Derek and ignored the peril that the rest of them faced. Stiles was still too pissed off to even think about talking to him. He knew it would end badly.

     School was fast approaching. And Stiles had plenty of idle time to think. Which wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Because when left alone with his thoughts, he often got into trouble. This time, however, he decided to utilize his innate talents for a more productive purpose.

     Finding information was rather easy if you knew what you were doing. Which he did. Stiles had a curious mind on principal. He liked knowledge for the sake of knowledge. Which made him excel in certain areas. And fault in others. Sometimes his assigned coursework veered off into unnecessary territory. Coach Finstock was well versed in that arena.

      Thumbing through news reports, among other things only got him so far. So, he decided to head to the station. With three dozen mixed donuts in his arms when he arrived. The deputies were more than happy to see him. His father as well, if a little suspicious. Any time Stiles showed up with sugar, he was wary of whatever he did next.

     Thankfully, it was a somewhat busy day. Giving Stiles ample opportunity to do exactly what he needed to do. Which was steal confidential information and files. Technically, he made copies of them. Which wasn’t really stealing. But it certainly wasn’t legal either.

      All in all, it took him over an hour. He made idle small talk in-between. Carefully moving through whatever computers he could get his hands on. Being the type of person he was, he’d found that he had a natural disposition for sleuthing. His gut clenched in guilt as he thought about lying to his father. Even if it was a lie by omission. He ignored it as he left.

    When he got home, he was careful not to get his hopes up. Statistically, there was a good chance that these two were flying way under the radar. They weren’t stupid. Not by any consideration. And it had only been a week since the posters had been put up.

     When Stiles looks through the files he is, in fact, disappointed. There was barely anything. Little better than nothing. Neither of them had any credit cards to trace. There were no debit cards either. If they had their cellphones, the location was turned off. And they weren’t calling or texting anyone.

      Their parents had no news or sign of them. Just some empty drawers, and desperation to flee. Stiles knew that neither Erica’s or Boyd’s parents knew the truth. In the fact that they were werewolves. Which made perfect sense. Even if Derek didn’t hammer secrecy into them, it was just common sense.

       His dad had decided to expand the search into the next county over. Despite neither of them having a car, and that was a long way on foot. Being werewolves, it would’ve been easy. But the police didn’t know that. And Stiles certainly wasn’t going to tell them.

     Beyond that, there wasn’t much to tell or much room to go from there. All that could really be done was to keep update statuses, circulate their photos, and keep contact with other departments. Stiles wanted desperately to tell his father. Wanted to tell him, and help find the two missing wolves. But there was a part of him that knew that it would’ve caused more harm than good.

       But he did know someone who could use the information. Even if he wasn’t welcome. Even if they were barely above acquaintances. And more often than not, enemies in one form or another. Derek. The alpha had to have been looking for them. Isaac as well.

       He had the rest of the day to do anything he wanted. The good thing about summer was that he had a relatively large amount of freedom, and his father had long since given up on tracking every single thing that he did. Being the son of a cop tended to be a bad thing, as Stiles had learned ways to skirt around the general overbearingness.

      When he gets to the door, Allison waits for him on the other side. She had looked better. There are dark circles under her eyes. And lines around her mouth. The young huntress hadn’t been sleeping. Whether due to stress or trauma, Stiles didn’t know. But she certainly wasn’t doing well. There was a part of him that cared. But not every much.

      “Hi, Stiles.” Her voice was as lovely as ever. But it was softer now. More worn down.

“Hi, Allison.” There wasn’t anything else he wanted to say. Not right now. And not anytime in the near future. But unlike Scott, he was angry at her in offhand way. And didn’t have it in him to slam the door in her face.

      He waves her inside, sitting her down in the living room. She crosses her hands on her lap. Nervously looking around. As if searching for some unseen threat. As far as Stiles knew, the only threat was karma. The universe balanced things out. And it wasn’t always nice about it.

      “I’ll go ahead and ask the obvious, but why are you here?” His tone was malicious, but it certainly wasn’t welcoming either.

“I wanted to talk. I wanted to talk about what happened.”

      “Is there really any need to? Because, let’s be honest, we weren’t friends. You were just my friend’s girlfriend. I was there by association. You don’t owe me an apology, and I don’t owe you one. So again, why are you here?”

     Allison turned her eyes towards her lap. As if she was ashamed to look at him. Which made sense. She had been manipulated by Gerard, and subsequently committed several atrocities in the name of her misguided vengeance. Stiles had every reason to tell her to leave. But he, at the very least, would hear what she had to say.

     “I…I was wrong. What I did was wrong. I want you to know that if knew what I know now, I wouldn’t have followed Gerard. I wouldn’t have followed any of it.”

“So your dad told you the truth, and you listened. Good for you. You still shot arrows into two innocent people, who had done nothing to you. And plunged daggers into the back of another. I’m not the one who you should be talking to.”

      He was angry now. There was a moment in the back of his mind where he wanted to say every terrible thing on the tip of his tongue. Stiles resisted it, namely because it wouldn’t have solved anything. And would’ve only brought a temporary satisfaction. This wasn’t a Hallmark movie, where people cried and shouted for three minutes, and suddenly everything was better.

     He knew that she didn’t have the courage to go and speak with Derek. Not after everything she’d done with Kate. Not after everything she did with Gerard. Out of everyone who got caught up in the fuckery, she was the one that had the most to apologize for. Aside from Scott that is. Stiles was still working on his.

     “I…”

“You don’t have anything else to say to me. What you did was wrong, but I’m not gonna be some offhand salvation. You wanna make amends, you know who you need to talk to.” Allison looked at him like he was the worst person in the world.

     She leaves without saying anything else. Stiles, despite his abundant sarcasm and quick wit, did have his limit. And it had already been reached, with it spilling over several times. He was angry, and while it may not have been with Allison, he certainly didn’t want to see her.

    Part of him wondered if she was going to actually going to go and talk to Derek. To, in whatever way she could, apologize. He wondered if Derek would even listen. Or just simply banish her without a second thought. He wondered what Isaac would say if he was around. He wondered what snide comment Peter would make.

      He also wondered how the three of them were doing. As far as dysfunctional went, the three of them took the goddamn cake. Derek had murdered his uncle, and taken the mantle of alpha. Stiles didn’t know if it was a moment of anger. Or a chance to seize an opportunity.

     Derek didn’t waste time in choosing those who he wanted as his pack. He was, at that particular moment, the only Hale remaining. And he didn’t have any one to teach or guide him. So, Isaac, Erica, and Boyd were the best options he could find.

     Isaac was….to say he was abused would’ve been an understatement. His father did unspeakable things to him. And he was well within his rights to flee, becoming a werewolf and joining someone, who, at the very least, wouldn’t treat him like a piece of trash.

      Erica was even simpler. Epilepsy was a bitch. And hers in general was devastating. It wasn’t occasional. Or infrequent. It was actively killing her, in the slowest, most horrible way possible. It was only a waiting game. Waiting until she had the one that would deep fry her brain.

      Boyd was less complicated and less tragic than the other two. He was just lonely. Stiles understood that. Being a teenager sucked enough as it was. Being a teenager that had an absent set of parents, and no friends to speak of? Even worse.

      Stiles didn’t exactly approve of Derek’s methods, nor did he understand why he was so desperate to have a pack made as quickly as he did. Stiles didn’t understand. It wasn’t his place. It wasn’t his place, and he wasn’t going to make it so. Yet…

     He was gone and in his Jeep before he’d even realized that he made the choice. Derek may not have even been at the depot. Not during the day. It didn’t matter. He drove regardless. Not really thinking about what he’d do until he actually had to.

       Isaac is there when he arrives. The young beta stares at him with inquisitive eyes, but says nothing. Peter is absent, much to Stiles’ relief. He wasn’t in the mood to deal with a walking corpse. Or whatever the fuck he was these days. He knows Derek is somewhere. Stiles can sense his brooding. It was just a thing.

     The alpha is asleep. Or he was. But maybe he heard Stiles. Maybe he caught his scent. It didn’t really matter. He was upright, with a sour look on his face when Stiles stepped closer. The man had looked better. Like Allison, it was obvious the stress was taking its toll. Having his recently revived uncle hanging around certainly didn’t help anything.

       Stiles just tosses the files at him. Not really having anything to say. He wasn’t here to make small talk. Wasn’t here to make friends. Wasn’t here to try and apologize for all the horrible shit that happened. He was still angry. He was tired. And he wanted to forget the world was as awful as it really was.

      “Where did you get these?” Derek thumbed through what little was there.

“I’m the son of a cop. Since when does the law stop me from doing shady shit?”

      “I’m impressed. Though I think the sheriff would be missing these.”

“Which isn’t likely, given that they’re copies.” Stiles can feel Peter standing behind him. smiling like the devil.

      “It’s not much, but it’s better than having nothing. If they’re moving, they doing it at night, away from populated areas. And conveniently, either out of reach of cell phone towers, or with their phones turned off. I’m assuming they have little to no cash to speak of?”

      Derek doesn’t answer his question. He just eyes Stiles with a pointed look. As if he was at a loss for words. He can still feel Peter smiling behind him. Isaac is still lurking in the background. He wants to leave. Wants to get of this place that smells of rust, decay, stale air, and dried blood. But he can’t. Not until he knows more.

      “Thanks, but we already have an idea of who took them.”

“Hunters?” Stiles felt his gut clench. Fear swarmed into his belly, twisting it like ragdoll.

     “Worse.” Peter’s voice was as smooth as ever. And Stiles had the urge to punch him again.

       He didn’t want to imagine what was worse than hunters. There was werewolves. Monstrous, insane werewolves. (See Peter.) Kanimas, as well as their murderous masters. Stiles had seen enough of what this kind of world offered. He didn’t want to see any more of it. There was enough to last a lifetime over.

      “I’m gonna regret this, but what in the fuck could be worse than Gerard and his merry band of murderous hobbos?”

“Something that comes out of a nightmare, and one that we’re wholly unprepared for.”

     “And something that’s none of your business.” Derek put the file down beside him. Eyes glaring red at Peter, who promptly retreated. Those eyes than turned towards Stiles. He was not afraid.

      There was a time, even before Derek became an alpha, that he would’ve been intimidated by such a thing. Now, after everything…After watching his best friend ditch him for a pretty face. After setting Peter’s insane ass on fire and letting him burn. After watching the girl he’d loved get bitten and mauled. After all of it…the world had very little left to offer that he would’ve feared. Shame Derek didn’t get the message.

      “You’re right, it’s none of my business.”

“Then why are you still here?” Derek’s eyes were still red.

      “Because I’m about the only one, aside from Isaac, who hasn’t actively tried to kill you. Framed you for murder, yes. But I also held your ass up in a pool, for literal hours. We’re not friends. We don’t like each other. But we can at least agree that they need to come home.”

    There really wasn’t anything else he had to say. He’d come, delivered the information he’d gotten, (see stolen), and was more than ready to leave. Derek, as per usual, was a man of few words. Stiles didn’t fault him for that. He could fault the alpha for a lot. Not knowing what to say next….It didn’t really matter.

      He turned round, not saying goodbye, and departed. Just like when he came a month ago, Peter was smiling. Once again, Stiles flipped him off. Isaac stood as still as stone, not wanting to move, or not caring enough to. Stiles wasn’t his friend. In fact, they were on worse terms than with the others. or rather, they hadn’t bothered to even try and better them.

    The drive back home was spent in silent. Stiles didn’t even play the radio. His brain buzzed in a thick fog. A low anger tingling in his fingers. He wanted to punch something. There was also the fact of what Peter had said. That there was something even more dangerous out there. That there was yet another shit storm they had to look forward to.

      When he gets home, he knows something is wrong. Because the place mat is askew. And the top lock wasn’t locked. Which he had made sure of before he left. Under most circumstances, the average person would’ve been afraid of someone breaking into their home. Stiles didn’t need to be, as he already knew who it was.

      Upstairs, in his room, was one Scott McCall. This time, his face was sunken. There were lines in new places. And his eyes seemed to be off in the distance. To a place that Stiles didn’t want to follow. He knew why, and honestly he wasn’t in the mood.

     “Hi, Stiles….I”

“Get the fuck out of my house.” He grabbed the wolf by the shirt, hauling him up and out of the room.

     “Wait! Stiles!”

“No. Fuck.You. You don’t get it. There’s nothing you get to say to me. There’s nothing you get to do. I don’t want you here. Get that through your crooked ass jaw, and leave.”

       Scott looked like a kicked puppy. Stiles was sure that he looked like a serial killer. The low grade anger that had been building in him was flaring now. It went from the top of his head, to the bottom of his feet. But he wasn’t going to hit Scott. It wouldn’t have solved anything. And besides, his face was lopsided enough.

      “I miss you.”

“You can miss me from afar. You can keep missing me until you realize what you did was wrong. And you clearly haven’t, because like I told Allison, I’m not the person you should be talking to.”

      Stiles could see that it took every ounce of Scott’s willpower not to mention Allison. To ask why she’d been here. Why she was wanting to talk to Stiles. Any of it. To his credit, the wolf didn’t ask about his former girlfriend. Color him impressed. He still wanted Scott out of his house.

     “What you do want me to say?”

“For starters, how about that you recognize what a colossal asshole you are. There were ten thousand ways you could’ve stopped Gerard, and you chose the one that had the most fucked up end result.” Stiles was breathing heavy now.

      “I had to make him think I was working with him. Otherwise we…everyone would’ve gotten hurt.”

“You used Derek….In the worst way. You made him bite that awful son of a bitch, with no regard. You could’ve shot him. Stabbed him. Goddammit Scott, you’re a werewolf. You could’ve ripped his throat out.”

     “I had to…” Stiles cut him off.

“You had to protect your own pious sense of self. Your own damn ego. You chose a way that you felt was offhand, and therefore, absolved you of responsibility. It didn’t. I can fucking assure you of that.”

     Stiles felt his face flushed red. It was the most dangerous type of anger. The one where you on the verge of crying. Because everything had piled up. Every last scrap of shit and horribleness that could be counted. He wasn’t even angry at Scott breaking into his house. He was angry that he thought he had the right to be here in the first place. He didn’t, and Stiles wanted him gone.

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek was wondering just what the hell had happened, who he pissed off in a past life, for his current one to come to this. As of right now, his pack consisted of himself, one turned beta (Isaac), and his recently revived uncle. Which he still had trouble figuring out. Because there wasn’t any part of that in what his mother had taught him when he was younger.

     There were plenty of nights now where he regretted some of his choices. Not that there was much else he could’ve done differently. Given the circumstances. Laura had been killed. And he had no idea had been responsible, and when he learned the truth….

     There was a moment of rawness. A moment where all the pain of the fire, their absconding from Beacon Hills. Leaving Peter in long term care. Spending six long years belonging nowhere. Only to end back up in the place where it all began. It coiled in the deepest reaches of his gut. Boiling him down to his bones. Then, there was the anger.

      Peter had been defeated. Stiles had thrown the firebomb, and Allison had ensured its effectiveness. Derek watched as his uncle burn for a second time. He felt something close to pity. Then, he felt anger. It roiled in his lungs and made the world seemed tinged with madness. Peter had been right, he’d already decided what he was going to do.

     It came at the expense of Scott. Which, in reality, wasn’t an expense at all. There was no magical cure all. Killing the wolf that turned you did absolutely jack shit. All it would’ve lead to was Scott becoming the alpha, and then going insane because he couldn’t control himself. And a lot more people would’ve died. Even then, plenty of people still died.

     Derek had expected one of two results of biting Jackson. One, turn to a werewolf, and spend many months carving out the young man’s arrogance. Making him into a fit beta. Second, he would’ve died. He was somewhat expecting the second.

     What he wasn’t expecting, was the young man to turn into a kanima. Furthermore, having a master that was that intent on murdering, well, a lot of people. There was a lot he didn’t know. And a lot he couldn’t know.

     What he could know, was who he turned next. Isaac, Erica, and Boyd all had their own appeals. Isaac was abused, and needed a stable home. Erica was ill, and most likely on death’s door. Boyd was lonely, craving any connection he could get his hands on. The three of them fit perfectly together. The only real problem was that he needed to learn and he needed them to learn quickly.

     His chosen methods weren’t kind, nor did he intend them to be. Humans that were turned took longer to acclimate. Longer to train. Longer to learn what it meant to be a pack. Derek didn’t have months to teach them. He had weeks. Because of course, along with the kanima, there were hunters. He was still dealing with Peter’s shit, even after having put him in the ground.

     Turns out, there was plenty more shit to deal with. Scott, the ignorant idiot, trying to play the hero. Derek wanted him in the pack, and not for purely altruistic reasons either. Partly because he disdained the idea of having a werewolf in his territory that didn’t have some connection to him. Another, because Scott could’ve been good. He could’ve been really good. But the issue was, he had no fear. And almost no control.

     There were of course, a myriad of other problems. Biting Victoria Argent was only one of them. Her suicide lead Allison down the rabbit hole. Joining her psychotic grandfather on his crusade. Which was in no way impeded by Chris. They were being hunted while trying to hunt the Kanima. There wasn’t enough time.

      When Erica and Boyd went missing, Derek knew that he’d lost. That the endgame had been taken out of his hands. Working with Peter, (who had no revived himself via Lydia), was worse than learning that he was responsible for Laura’s death. And the whole shit show that followed.

       Jackson was beyond reproach. Especially in the hands of Gerard. Scott’s idealistic principal of ‘save him’ wasn’t going to work. Derek only pretended for his sake. There was enough death as it was. Between Matt and Gerard, Derek had lost count of the bodies. There wasn’t any more room.

       But there was plenty of room for more plot twists. As it had turned out Scott, the bastard, had a rather interesting approach to ending Gerard’s life. In so that he used Derek to bite him after extensively dosing him with mountain ash. Brilliant. And also cruel.

      He wasn’t going to pretend that he was hurt. The two of them didn’t trust each other. They didn’t like each other. They actively worked against each other. Derek had long since given up on trying to pacify Scott’s stubbornness and sense of self-righteousness. They had made their choices. So had Stiles and Allison. The four of them were now dealing with the fallout of those choices in the own way.

     For Derek, that meant Erica and Boyd departing. He hadn’t expected them to stay. Not after everything that they’d gone through. He tried to convince them that leaving would be dangerous. That few alphas gave quarter to wayward omegas. That their lives would be at risk the moment they decided he was no longer their alpha. They left regardless.

     Isaac was crestfallen. He only two friends in the world, gone. Peter hardly counted. He was different now. Same dubious morals, and snarky attitude towards literally everything. But Derek knew. His uncle was weaker now. He smelled like dead things. Rotten leaves and cold wind over a gravestone. He couldn’t be pack in the same way that he was before. Still, he was all he had left.

       Which, given what came next, may not have been a bad thing. His previous experience with Deucalion and his lot had not been good. Old memories came back. And disturbed the temporary peace he’d managed to scrounge up.

    Now, they were back. And a full formed, monstrosity of a pack. It was disgusting. A horrible abomination of everything being pack meant. Derek didn’t need to be genius to figure out why they were here. Neither did Peter. They wanted a new addition, and he was the best fit.

      He explained things to Isaac the moment their symbol appeared on his door. What it meant, and who was coming. And that they most likely had possession of Erica and Boyd. The young beta didn’t take it well. Was ready to go to war, fang and claw to get his friends back.

      Derek admired his spirit. But also explained that he would be dead within seconds. Go against one alpha was bad enough. Going against a group of five of them, all powered with the murders of their betas was impossible. They had no chance. Not in a front on assault. So, he strategized. Or, at least, he tried.

     It was difficult to form a strategy when you didn’t have the manpower to back it up. They were one alpha, a bitten, hardly trained beta, and a recently revived beta that was at half-strength. Not exactly a battle ready force.

       Things came to a standstill, and then they didn’t. He hadn’t expected a visit from Stiles. Nor did he expect the admission that he had no part in Scott’s plan. Derek, again, couldn’t be angry. Even if he disliked the two of them, they had all made questionable choices. Stiles, decidedly, among them.

     The young man was something of an enigma. A human, trapped solely in the shenanigans of the supernatural world. Unable to leave. But wholly invested in retaining his humanity. It was a surprising. He lacked any common sense, or instincts for self-preservation. Derek was astonished that he was still alive. The young man was also uncommonly talented.

      It wasn’t often that Alan Deaton’s attention was caught. The man was cryptic, and repetitive. Derek hated him on principal. But he showed a vested interest in Stiles’ apparent latent talents. Manipulating mountain ash was common for anyone practiced. But the way Stiles seemed to do it was rare.

     There was also his innate tenacity. Holding Derek up while he was paralyzed in a pool, (he was still coming to terms with that), was one thing. But the young man also had an interesting perspective. Scott had refused Derek’s help, time and time again. Yet Stiles’ methods, however crude and crass, were effective enough to keep him from becoming completely unhinged.

     It was an interesting pair, the two of them. One that Derek now sensed was fractured. He wondered how long the rift between the two of them would last. Not that it mattered. Scott had shown that he had no interest in helping Derek with anything. Not that he was a skilled enough fighter to do so anyway. And Stiles….A human against a pack of five monstrous alphas only had one outcome. That being said…

      Every man had the capacity for violence and anger. Stiles, nine times out of ten, was a happy go lucky, if slightly spazzed individual. But there was a glimpse, Derek had seen on occasion, of something much darker. Not bad in any way. But Stiles knew anger, and he also knew how to use it. Which was given evidence when he decked Peter across the face without a second thought.

      Even at half strength, Peter was still a born werewolf. One with immense combat experience, and plenty of fighting instincts. It wasn’t that he let Stiles hit him. It was that no one expected him to become violent. Certainly not physical. Peter had been tickled pink afterwards.

     Derek didn’t know what to do with either Scott or Stiles. The former was worthless in that he had no interest in Derek or his pack. The latter because he was, for all intents and purposes, untested and untrained. Yet solely willing to face danger when pushed. Which would’ve been useful had he been a werewolf.

      But he wasn’t, and Derek was stuck with a heartbroken beta, and an uncle that continued to scheme even when thought that Derek wasn’t looking. A strategy was pretty much out of the question. The only bonus that he’d found out of all of this was the Chris had called off the hounds.

      Victoria’s death spurred Gerard into overdrive, and Allison joined him in her fury. Derek was angry at that one. He had bitten the woman in self-defense, saving her ex. The wound itself was far from lethal. It would’ve healed, and she would’ve lived. But she chose suicide, she chose death out of some misguided sense of honor. She chose to leave her husband. She chose to leave her daughter.

     And Allison, whether informed of this or not, chose to take her anger out on anything and everything non-human. Erica and Boyd had suffered the most. Derek wasn’t going to contest the young woman’s grief. But her reaction to it was uncalled for.

     There was also now the matter of Jackson. The former kanima was now a full-fledged werewolf. Derek and Peter had sunk their claws into his spine, which should’ve killed him. It didn’t, and now the young man to live with the guilt of all the death that stained his hands.

     Derek had tried, only once, to reach out. The young man had refused. Which was a perfectly understandable reaction. But now, he had to adjust to not only the fact that he was used as an instrument for murder, but that he was a werewolf, and all that came with it. Like Scott, there was a misguided sense of pride that would be his downfall. And he didn’t have a Stiles to help him.

     It was all one clusterfuck after the other. And Derek didn’t know which way to move or what way to think. Isaac had no reason to input, and Peter was more concerned with his games than anything else. Derek had long since made a note to sleep with one eye open. He had no delusions that Peter wouldn’t try anything.

     The real issue now, was where to move forward. He had no information. None that he could gather without putting himself or Isaac at risk. Peter certainly wasn’t going to be of any help. So far as in to where he could get the power back that Derek had taken from him.

    There was also the matter of Derek’s control. An alpha needed betas. They helped to ground the power and keep it in control. Without them, Derek faced slipping further and further away from himself. And if it came to the point of his death, Isaac would inherit that mantle. And the young wolf was far from equipped to deal with it.

     The information came in the form of Stiles. Who had, somehow, stolen confidential files from the police. It had all the standard information Derek would’ve expected in a missing persons report. Given that he’d filed one for Laura when they were still in New York.

     There wasn’t much, as he had expected. But it was certainly better than nothing. And Stiles had taken a rather profound risk to obtain it. There was a certain tinge to that sentiment. Derek didn’t understand as to why he’d done it. He didn’t like the alpha. And he certainly wasn’t friends with Boyd or Erica. They barely got along.

       It was yet another part of the mystery that comprised the young man. Derek tried not to think too much into it. And worked on finding more about where Erica and Boyd were being held. They couldn’t have been taken far. The alphas were already here. And they’d want to keep them close by. Derek knew as to the reason.

     Their abysmal pack had formed after each of the alphas had killed their own betas. Taking their power for themselves, and forming the monstrosity they now faced. He knew Deucalion, Ennis, and Kali. The other two, he didn’t have any information on. Which made them all the more dangerous.

    Part of him considered asking Stiles for more information. Another part realized how stupid of a thought it was. The young man was barley invested as it was. And had already taken steps to get information to Derek at personal expense.

     Peter suggested an even more radical idea. In that Derek offered to turn Stiles. Which was, of course, ridiculous. The young man had shown absolutely no interest in being a werewolf. But at the same time, there were some notable points to the idea.

     Namely, Stiles had already demonstrated a remarkable resilience towards the adversity and dangers that came with the supernatural world. And was more than willing, on a multitude of occasions, throw himself in the line of fire. He was smart. He was loyal. He was also lethal beyond reproach.

       Scott’s sense of self-righteousness was perfectly countered by Stiles’ sense of practicality. Morally, he existed in that strange grey space. He did, not was always right, but was the easiest and most pragmatic action. After, he was the one that had launched the Molotov cocktail that ended Peter’s life. Derek may have slashed the man’s throat, but Stiles threw the bomb, and Allison had set it off.

      He knew that, while Stiles would’ve made an excellent wolf, he would not have been good beta material. On some level, betas had to submit to their alpha. Stiles wasn’t the type to submit to anyone. Derek, least of all. In fact, he probably would’ve been repulsed at the idea of being turned by him.

      It was entirely irrelevant to begin with. Derek needed manpower. People who he wouldn’t have to train or drill. The only real options on that front where Chris and Allison. Which was absolutely out of the question. Even if they weren’t trying to kill each other, that didn’t make them allies or friends by any stretch of the imagination.

      In the end, instead of searching for ways to survive the oncoming assault, he looked into finding a new living space. Wherein he purchased an entire building of apartments. Peter smiled. It was a Hale tradition to invest. Peter, in expensive cars and clothes. Laura, in stock. Derek decided his would be real estate. It was the most practical, and they weren’t hurting for money. Not after all the life insurances were cashed out.

      The loft he chose was essentially barren. But more than adequate for three werewolves to have a living space without being on top of each other. The entire experience was cathartic, in a strange kind of way. For a brief, blissful moment, Derek could imagine building a life. Leasing out to people for cheap. Well, cheap by the standards of California. It was a pipe dream. Something that would never come to pass. Not with the way things were as of right now.

     He knew that there were few options, and not a single one was any good. All of them were dangerous, and borderline stupid. Half of them would most likely end in failure. The other half would most likely end with his death. Followed shortly by Isaac.

      Dealing with Deucalion’s machinations would be complicated enough as it stood. Backed by Ennis’ raw power and Kali’s fierceness, and Derek didn’t exactly have winning levels of confidence in the matter. There was also the fact that his best chances at allies were all literal high schoolers. But he, in retrospect, had only himself to blame.

     The phone felt like a hot coal in the palm of hand. There were less than ten numbers programmed. And he already had an idea of what he wanted to do next. Texting would’ve been impersonal, and somewhat detached. So, he dialed the one number he was sure would pick up.

     It rang and rang and rang. The tone of it droned in his ears like a death march. Like call to execution. Or to war. He didn’t really know. It rang and rang and rang. Even if it was the most likely person to pick up, Derek still hadn’t expected him to. When Stiles answers, he says nothing.

      “We need to talk.” It’s short, sweet, and simple. Stiles still says nothing. Then, he hangs up. Derek receives a text seconds later. It makes him smile.

    

 

 

Chapter Text

White. Everything, everywhere, white. Up. Down. Left. Right. Forward. Backwards. In all possible directions and senses, white. Stiles had dreams before, but none like this. He didn’t like the feel of it. It was a void. A void that was void of anything. Or anyone for that matter.

    There was no air. Yet he didn’t feel the intense panic of not being able to breathe. It didn’t seem to be required here. Wherever here was…That’s the part that seemed to be messing with him the most. That the reality of whatever dream world this was didn’t make any sense. Especially given that it was in his own head.

      Time didn’t seem to exist here either. That, or like breathing, it didn’t really matter. Because one second who was thinking, and then, he was moving. Each step was the same distance in front of him. The same weight as he moved ever forward. What was more distressing….Was that he could hear that there was footfall with each step he took. Like he was going down a narrow hall.

      Here, time didn’t exist. That, or its rules were so bent and warped that they didn’t make any sense. He didn’t feel the urge to breathe, nor the distress from the lack of oxygen. But, oddly enough, he could hear each and every one of his footsteps. Despite that there was no air to carry the sound waves. Nor any surfaces for them to bounce off of.

     Regardless, Stiles kept moving forward. He walked. And he walked. And he walked some more. The white void seemed to flow and stretch around him. Almost as if he wasn’t really moving at all. Then, he noticed it. Out of the corner of his eye. In the farthest reaches of his vision. Something small and shapeless. Something foul and fetid.

     A shadow. Formless and without construct. Its pitch was a stark contrast the white void surrounding them. Because it felt like a person, as opposed to a shadow. Almost as if it was alive. If the clicks and hisses were anything to go by. It seemed to speak. In its own horrid, twisted language. If one could call it that.

     He didn’t turn his head. Didn’t acknowledge whatever it was that was creeping beside him. From the shape and position, it was not his own shadow. The dimensions were wrong. That, and there seemed to be no light source here. Just an endless nothingness of white. As far as the eye could see. He did, however, notice something interesting.

     Whenever he moved, the shadow moved. He watched, out of the corner of his eye. If he stopped, the shadow stopped. If he took a step, then retreated, the shadow did the same. Despite not being his own. Which was another thing to add to the strange things to this dream world. Stiles was getting rather despondent, and somewhat annoyed. He was ready to wake up.

      His attention is diverted to what lies ahead of him. Which is the half formed shape of what he assumes is a person. There is fuzziness at the edges. Just out of reach of what he could see. Just out of reach. His eyes seemed to have trouble even comprehending it. The dimensions of the whiteness gave him a headache.

       The figure gets closer as he moves. And even when he isn’t moving, it seems to move ever forward. The shadow in the corner of his eye hisses even louder, almost as if it is displeased. As if it is angry. As if it is afraid. Stiles ignores it and moves forward still. Not that he’d acknowledged it to begin with.

      Time still seems to stretch and stretch and stretch. He imagines that one painting of the melting clocks. Where the rules of the world became a puddle of madness. As if struck down by the capricious hand of God. It almost makes him laugh. What doesn’t make him laugh, is the figure that he sees when he can finally make it’s visage out in a more clear way.

      It is him. If a horrid, absolutely wicked and disgusting version of him. Its eyes are the color of an abyss. Unforgiving, and consuming. They drew in any and all sense of light or hope. They were deepest pits in which one was led to hell.

     This version of him was pale beyond reproach. Almost to the point where it seemed to blend in with the whiteness surrounding them. What stood out in stark contrast was the tar. Black, oozing filth poured out of his chest. The hole from which it spilled would be where his heart should’ve been located. It seemed to flow in time with what would’ve been its heartbeat.

     The nightmare version of him smiles. Mouth full of rotten, jagged teeth. Putrid yellow, and Stiles knew that if he had a sense of smell in this world, he’d be retching. The figure laughs and laughs and laughs. But there is no sound coming from its mouth. Regardless, its breast heaves with the weight of it. The shadow is screaming now. More tar pours from its chest.

     Stiles cannot move. His entire body is locked in fear and cold. The shadow writhes and lashes in the corner of his eye. Screaming like a madmen trapped in a cell. The terribleness of it resonates down to his bones. He still cannot move. The nightmare world of white and screaming shatters just as the figure tears off its own head.

     Stiles wakes from the nightmare, covered in a sheen of cold sweat. His gut twisted in terror. He doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out what happens next. He’s in his bathroom and over the toilet in record time. Puking his guts out, trying his best not to wake his father. The questions that would’ve followed…He didn’t want to answer.

     This wasn’t a new experience for him. After his mother died, nightmares became a staple in his sleeping routine. Everyone talks about the depression. Everyone talks about the anger. The lashing out. The not eating. Or any number of other things. No one ever really talks about the nightmares. He’d long since learned to avoid the subject. The return of them made his temper flare.

      It was a dangerous thing. It was a terrible thing. For the most part, he was a happy go lucky, if overly energetic, young man. But there was more than a few scars engrained on the deepest reaches of him. Where the world could not see, nor where anyone was willing to go. Where the vestiges of his anger, so long ago, threatened to emerge. He wondered how Scott handled it.

     The two of them, while differing in experience, had similar traumas of their own. Stiles, dealing with his mother’s death. And everything that lead up to that moment, and everything that came crashing down after it. Scott…His father was another matter towards dealing with shitty parents.

      Stiles was well versed in drunkenness. Having seen his father spiral, on more than one occasion. And, unbeknownst to most people, having sampled cheap liquor on several occasions. Scott’s father took that shit and ran towards the cliff’s edge. Stiles’ father worked in law enforcement. Scott’s worked in a similar field, but on a federal level.

     Perhaps it was more stressful. Perhaps the things that he saw were more horrific. But the manner in which the man drank threatened not his job, but his family. That came to a head the night his drunkenness caused Scott to fall down the stairs.

      He didn’t remember it, but Stiles had overheard his father speaking to Melissa. And after that, the man left. And with him, came Scott’s sense of despondence and detachment. It was something that the two of them shared in. Stiles understood anger. Anger born from trauma and loss. Anger born from the glimpsing of how shitty the world could really be.

     It was part of the reason he was angry to begin with. It was easier….It was easier to focus on the things that other people had done, the wrongs that they had committed, than to ever admit any of his own. Because if he did, if he acknowledged that his anger was real and present, he’d open old wounds. And with them, even darker things would threaten to come forward.

      He’s snapped out of his disturbing train of thought by the sound of his phone ringing. Whoever it was, obviously didn’t know how vicious Stiles could be when he was disturbed. Given that he’d just been jolted out of a nightmare, he wasn’t in the best of moods. That changed, somewhat, when he saw the caller ID.

      He and Derek hadn’t spoken since he’d dropped off the files he’d taken from the police station. There wasn’t any real need to. His actions had been done, in part, to assuage his own guilt. In another, to try and salvage something good in this whole situation. After that, Derek could’ve chosen to do whatever he wanted with what Stiles had given him. He answers the phone regardless.

We need to talk.” In terms of what the alpha had ever said, it was more than he’d expected. Derek was only ever loquacious when he wanted to make a point. This was rather clear. Stiles hung up the phone, and sent a short, comical text.

“My place or yours, sourwolf?” Stiles laughed at the nickname. He had given it to Derek the first night they had ever really tried to confront, (at the time), the alpha. It had simply stuck after that. The man never refuted or told Stiles not to use it.

      The alpha text him an address. One that did not lead to where Stiles knew him to be currently staying. After a quick Google search, he saw that it was in the old industrial district. There had been multiple efforts to revamp it. Old apartment building and living complexes. He wondered if Derek was squatting.

      There was a certain level of stealth that Stiles had developed over the years. Being the son of a cop. At this point, his father was going to know that he’d left in the middle of the night. He made a list of excuses as he drove. When he arrives, he knows what’s about to follow isn’t going to be pleasant.

     Scott’s new motorbike is there. Along with Jackson’s Porsche. At the very least, the two of them would be here. After the nightmare, Stiles wasn’t in the best frame of mind to work on his issues with the two betas. That being said, Derek never asked for help. Never contacted him after Jackson and Gerard, and all the other messed up shit that happened. He had called for a reason.

       Derek had text him to come to the top floor. Stiles doesn’t trust the elevator as it ascends. It smells of rust and something faintly chemical. He wondered if someone had died in here. When the ancient mechanism finally delivers him, the people present all turn their heads towards him.

     Apparently, he was the last one to arrive. Derek is fumbling with a book, which he has now returned to. Peter chats idly with him. Scott stands and then pauses. As if wondering what to do. Jackson pays him now mind apart from looking his way. Lydia has seen better days.

      Stiles had long since acknowledged that his crush was one sided. That being said, he didn’t want to give up hope. After the events with Gerard, any shred of that hope had evaporated. She is stunning, as she always is. Hair falling in loose waves. And even when summoned to a sudden, secretive meeting, is dressed to the nines. But Stiles can spot the lies. He can spot the stress.

     The areas where her makeup didn’t quite cover up the dark circles. Or the lines on the sides of her mouth. Chipped nail polish. This was not the Lydia Martin that he’d known. She was recovering. The shock of what was real and what was dangerous…That there were indeed things that went bump in the night.

      She gives him a quivering smile. He can see the stress behind it. He can also see the anger. It wasn’t hard to guess as to why. Peter was less than twenty feet from the young woman that he had horribly mangled and hospitalized. Stiles had been particularly satisfied with the man’s death, for a number of reasons. What he had done to her being only one of them.

      Stiles did indeed seem to be the last one, because after he closes the doors behind him, Derek stands. Moving towards the center of the room. Arms crossed in front of him. Stiles knows that stance. It’s one of nervousness. And maybe a little bit pissed off. He didn’t want to do this. He didn’t want to have anyone called here. But something had happened, there was something bad enough that he was desperate enough to call them.

       “Thanks for being here. I know it’s late. But this wasn’t something that we have the benefit of waiting.”

“What Derek is trying to say, is that we have a new enemy. One that requires our full attention. Even if we can hardly stand each other.” Peter smiled as Derek shot his uncle a murderous look.

      “Moving on, I know who took Erica and Boyd.” Stiles was hesitant to even come. But now, his attention was had in full. Because he had been paying attention to police scanners, (again, son of a cop), and there had been no new information. Nothing. Zip. Nada.

    “So which dickwad group of hunters is it this time?” Stiles was hoping that it was hunters. Hunters were human, and could be bound by human laws. And he’d already framed Derek. Framing a bunch of asswipes with a vendetta wouldn’t be that difficult.

      “It’s not hunters. It’s something worse. Much, much worse.” Derek still had his arms crossed. In fact, if anything, his posture had become more rigid. Stiles may not have been a werewolf, but he could certainly tell that, whoever these people were, they were indeed dangerous.

      The alpha calmly, carefully explains the situation. Who these people are. Why they were here. There were five. He knew three of them. Deucalion. Ennis. Kali. The other two, he knew nothing about. Only that there were here for the same reason as the other three.

     A pack of alphas. That was a thing. That was a real, horrible-to-think-about thing. Stiles had seen plenty of shit in the last year, but a pack of alphas? That seemed to violate the laws of everything that meant to be a werewolf. Five alphas seemed like a goddamn nightmare.

     There was plenty that Derek wasn’t saying. From the way he spoke, there was a history with these people. Something had happened, and not recently either. From the way his eyes quivered, it wasn’t something pleasant. In fact, it seemed rather traumatic. Whatever happened with these people, it had hurt Derek in a way that made Stiles cringe.

      “So, a pack of alphas. Is there a particularly reason they chose you? I mean, no offense, but you’re not very people friendly.”

“The Hales have a lineage. We produce outstanding wolves. And our alphas all have stories. We make an intriguing addition to any pack. Even if the so called ‘pack’ is an abomination.” Derek spat out the last word.  

      “Why Erica and Boyd? Why not just target you directly?” Scott had finally chimed in. And, surprisingly, he had asked a relevant question.

“This pack formed when they killed their betas. And their emissaries. They stole their power and made it their own. Their plan is simple. Make it to where I kill one of my betas. They’ll hope I’ll kill the rest after.”

     Stiles felt his stomach turn. Turn and roil and cramp. The idea that these people made a ‘pack’ out of murderers….It made his head spin. From the way Derek talked about it, being pack was almost a sacred thing. A thing of bonding. A thing of unity. A thing of family.

     This alpha pack had taken those notions, and twisted it to the point that it was unrecognizable. He could see why Derek hated these people. Their past involvement aside. Peter didn’t seem to be very fond of them either. Stiles could also see the gears turning in his head.

     The man was a schemer, through and through. He had plotted his revenge, and made it to where Laura would come back to him. And when she did, he slaughtered her without a moment’s hesitation. Taking the alpha power for himself. Setting out on a path of murder, madness, chaos, and mayhem.

      He knew that the man was working on a way to use this situation to his advantage. Peter had found a way to bring himself back from the dead. In the most disgusting, dreadful way imaginable. So, suffice to say, Stiles had absolutely no reason to trust him. What-so-fucking-ever.

      “So, what do we do now?” Jackson had taken his attention away from Lydia.

“Be on guard. Keep a look out for anyone suspicious. Take note if someone is following you. They have Erica and Boyd. But they’ll target anyone they think that they can use to get to me.”

     “Then I’m telling Danny.” Jackson stood up, daring Derek to argue with him. Daring him to tell him no. Stiles understood.

     Derek understood well enough the consequences of humans being involved with werewolves. Jackson, having been through what he had been through, was well versed in the matter as well. Danny had been caught up, more than once, in their supernatural shenanigans. Stiles could see from Jackson’s standpoint rather clearly.

       Jackson, the entitled prick, was friends with Danny. For longer than Stiles could remember. He was probably the only real friend that Jackson ever had. Everyone else just hung around for the same reasons as ever high schooler. Because Jackson was popular. Danny was the only true human connection he had. That, and Lydia. 

      “Fine. But you’ll accept the consequences for that truth.”

“This is your problem as much as it is ours.” Jackson’s eyes were blue now.

     “I’m informing you of the alphas because they might target you. That’s a curtesy. But you’re not part of my pack, and as such, I’m not required to help you beyond warning you.”

      Stiles had to bite his lip. This had gone south rather quickly. Jackson, like Scott, had no intention of submitting to anyone. Least of all Derek. He’d only taken the bite because of his raging insecurities. The guy had never intended to follow Derek. Had he never turned into a kanima, he would’ve been an omega regardless.

     “If you want my help, I’ll give it. But not as an omega. You’ll join my pack, officially, and behave like a beta. If not, you’re on your own.”

“Seriously, this is where we’re at. Can you idiots can it for five minutes and realize that we’re all in danger?” Stiles was angry now. His mood was already shot because of the nightmare. As well as everything else that had been going on. Now, watching these two dumbasses knock heads had fried his last nerve.

      “And what would you suggest? Because I’m not interested in helping someone who has no intention of being a part of this pack. I’ve lost enough.”

“We’ve all lost something. And in case you forgot, you and Peter tried to kill him. So, maybe give Jackson a little leeway in not trusting you. Hell, none of us trust each other right now. And given that we have a literal pack of murderous alphas bearing down on us, maybe stow the ‘I’m the alpha’ bullshit for later.”

      Derek’s eyes flashed red. Peter smiled like a madman. Gleeful and full of mischief. Stiles wanted to punch him again. Scott, thankfully, hadn’t chimed in with his attitude towards Derek being his alpha. Lydia hadn’t said anything. This was a moment where they decided where they moved forward.

      There was, yet again, another threat. And this one had the potential to be the worst one yet. These alphas weren’t here for a damn tea part. Derek needed to pull his head out of his ass. Jackson needed to put his pride in the backseat. Hell, everyone had attitude problems that they needed to work on.

      “So, now that the matter of your egos is settled, how the hell do we kill these bastards?” Peter was still smiling. Stiles made a note to punch him later.

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

They had been at Derek’s loft for two hours now. Things had barley calmed down. Jackson was in the corner, sulking. Like a damn child. On the one hand, it made it difficult to make a plan of any kind. On the other, at least he was quiet. Stiles really didn’t want to deal with the former kanima’s melodrama.

       Lydia stayed by his side. Partly to keep him calm and from making a scene. The other, to keep as much distance between herself and Peter as she could manage. Stiles was seriously considering punching the man again. If only for her sake. Plus the other hundred things that he deserved it for.

     Derek had given the more information. Which, truthfully, wasn’t all that much. He didn’t know where they were held up. If all of them were here. And most importantly, he didn’t know where they were keeping Erica and Boyd. Only that they were indeed keeping them.

      Mostly, he and Peter talked amongst themselves. Isaac occasionally chipped in. the young wolf was determined to find his pack mates. To find his friends. Stiles felt a part of his chest twinge. He hadn’t really thought the effect that all of this would have on Isaac. He was alone in a room full of people. And unfortunately, one of those people had walked over.

      Stiles knew that he would have to talk with Scott. It was either that, or have their friendship determinate further and further. There was only so much stress it could take before it broke. Truthfully, they should’ve talked sooner. But Stiles was a stubborn person when angry. And he had been pissed.

      “You ready to talk now?”

“Not really. But I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of waking up, not knowing what the day is gonna be like. I’m tired of being tired.”

     Stiles wasn’t expecting their reunion to be lovey dovey. He had said things, hurtful things. In no way did he regret them. Because they had been the truth. He only regretted that he kept Scott cut off for as long as he did. In reality, he missed his best friend. He missed the lives they used to have.

     Scott hugs him, and he does it fiercely. Burying his nose into Stiles’ neck. He only hesitates for a moment before reciprocating. It was good. Better than good. It felt familiar in way that soothed the dredges of his anger. It felt like home.

     “I apologized to Derek. Even though he hadn’t apologized for anything that he’d done. And he didn’t after.”

“We all did fucked up things. And I’m sorry. But we can’t….Like I said I’m tired of being angry. I don’t want us to fight. And I’m sorry that I took my mistakes out on you. I’m sorry that I made you suffer alone.”

      Stiles wasn’t going to cry. Not today dammit. Scott did. If only for a minute. Things were better. A long way’s from being fixed. But at the very least, they had a stepping stone to move forward. And given what was coming, or rather, who was coming, they needed to try and work together.

      Scott was still firmly against being in Derek’s pack. To having to answer to the alpha. At least, in principal. If the man could work on his own attitude problems, then maybe he’d join. Jackson was another matter. Stiles didn’t even know how to approach that one.

       Part of him knew that Jackson wouldn’t listen to anything he had to say. Even if they weren’t at each other’s throats anymore, they were by no means friends. He also knew that he would listen to Lydia. All werewolves had to have an anchor. Stiles knew that Jackson’s, in part, had something to do with Lydia.

      It seemed wrong to try and use her as a means to get the beta’s head out of his ass. She had been through enough. There was also the part where he hadn’t repaired his relationship with her either. Not that they really had one to begin with. They were…something. He didn’t know what. It wasn’t friends. But it was something.

      Stiles didn’t waste any time. After he and Scott had their emotional reunion, (which still had plenty of work to be done), he made his way over to Derek. The alpha was speaking lowly with Peter. Away from the prying ears of Jackson and Scott. His eyes flitted over towards Stiles. The other man needed a better way to convey himself other that stunted silence.

     “You need to apologize to Scott.” Stiles felt the tips of his fingers go numb.

“And why, pray tell, would I need to apologize to him?”

     “Listen, what he did was fucked beyond all recognition. But you’re here, chatting up with murder pants over here. Who also used you and an innocent teenage girl in some messed up revival ritual. So let’s not pretend that you can’t swallow your pride for three seconds.”

      Peter, the bastard, was smiling yet again. Stiles was itching to hit him. In the nuts this time. Just to get the damn point across. Isaac, for some odd reason, actually shrank away. Almost as if he was afraid. Which didn’t really make any sense. Given that he could eviscerate Stiles in the blink of an eye.

      Derek’s face pinched in that way that let Stiles know that the man was irritated. He had, at one point, been deathly afraid of Derek. Even before he became a power hungry alpha. He was well past that now. Past that and moved on to not-so-green-pastures. Derek may have been two-hundred pounds of brawny werewolf, but Stiles knew that, when push came to shove, he was in no danger. Had he been, Derek would’ve already snapped his neck.

     The alpha doesn’t say anything. Instead, he shoots up from where he had been sitting. Jolting across the room towards Scott. The two of them talk. Stiles, not having wolfy hearing, can’t make out what they’re saying. He’s half tempted to ask Isaac. And he’s fully tempted to ignore Peter.

    They talk and talk. And at the end, to literally everyone’s surprise, they shake hands. At the very least, they reached some kind of agreement. What kind, he didn’t know. Hopefully, it meant that they could be allies. And eventually, alpha and beta. Before both of them lost their marbles. What was left of them anyway.

      When the dust from that whole debacle had settled, they went back to strategizing. What little they could do anyway. The alphas had only appeared long enough to snatch Erica and Boyd. That, and paint some weird symbol on the front door of the old Hale house. Stiles didn’t ask. It didn’t seem all that relevant.

      Peter, unsurprisingly, suggested a sneak attack. That when they gathered enough information, they launch a preemptive assault. Stiles could see the result of that from a mile away. In which Peter would skulk around, and let them do all the fighting. Waiting for a chance when one of the alphas was weak enough for him to strike.

     The man wanted his power back. Stiles had his suspicions, but he figured coming back from the dead had some pretty steep consequences. Normally quippy and overly full of himself, Peter was shockingly reserved in those regards concerning Derek. Almost as if he knew that he couldn’t heal or would be in danger if his nephew decided to snap.

      Stiles made a note at the back of his head. Research was something that he was rather skilled in. he could, given enough time, find damn near anything that needed finding. There was also the matter of Allison. Who had a handy, English translated version of the Argent bestiary. He wondered what he’d have to do to get ahold of it.

      Derek threw out any ideas of attacking them outright. Stiles agreed. They had one alpha. Three bitten betas with shitty combat skills, and even shittier control. What was essentially a zombie wolf who was scheming behind all their backs. And two humans. Only an idiot would strike with those odds.

      Basically, if it came to a fight, if the alphas came for any of them, they were to run. Run far and fast and hard. And maybe find some way to call the police. They were here for a specific purpose. That purpose being adding Derek to their circus show. As such, they would want as little attention drawn to them as possible.

      That, of course, made it damn near impossible to actually track them. They had been careful of showing themselves. And only did so, on one occasion, by craving that symbol into Derek’s door. That, and abducting Erica and Boyd. Beyond that, Derek, Peter, and Isaac hadn’t been able to get a definitive lock on any of them.

      It seemed that this Deucalion was clever. Cleverer than they were used to. The alphas, according to Derek, had left half-ass scent trails throughout the woods. Some leading into town, then vanishing. Or towards the interstate, only to disappear. Stiles didn’t know how to track a werewolf. Given that he wasn’t one. But he did know how to track a wanted criminal.

       Being the son of a cop, he had, over the years, learned the ins and outs of what it meant to work in the business of law enforcement. Given that knowledge, they could, in theory, circulate their pictures. Get traction going. And make it difficult for them to move. That actual part of getting them out into the county was going to be the tricky part.

      Derek, surprisingly, wasn’t opposed to the idea. It would make it difficult for them to move around freely. And given that, would make their locations easier to pinpoint. Jackson had the wonderfully idea of involving Danny. Given his past experience, however brief, in cybercrimes.

       Stiles didn’t like the idea of wrangling someone who had nothing to do with any of this into the fray. But that being said, he knew how smart Danny was. And he knew, if the guy agreed to actually help them, (once he got past the whole werewolf thing), he would be an invaluable asset.

      Scott, bless him, had an even more radical idea. In where they contacted Allison and tried to set up a meeting with her father. Just about everyone, save for Stiles and Lydia shot the idea down with extreme prejudice. Derek eyes flashed dangerously red. And Peter, for once, wasn’t smiling.

      Stiles had to admit, it was in fact a terrible idea. Allison, however broken and grieving from her mother’s death, still worked with Gerard. Still attacked Derek, Isaac, Erica, and Boyd. Shooting arrow after arrow. Chris wasn’t much better. Even if he did abandon his father in the end. They had still done as considerable amount of damage.

      That being said, there were some merits to the thought. Namely, two highly skilled hunters, for once, actively working with them. Instead of trying to kill them. They were well armed, with caches of wolfsbane weapons, among other things. Another perk about being the son of a cop, Stiles already knew how to use a gun.

      His father, from the time he entered the force, drilled gun safety into Stiles. That they were not toys. That they were not things to be played with, or used for pranks or jokes. And when he was fourteen, he took him to the gun range. Showing him the proper method of handling a basic firearm. Stiles had hoped he’d never, in his life, have to use a gun.

     But given that he was now firmly implanted into the world of werewolves and hunters, it seemed to be an option that he had to consider. As for Lydia…She was always a quick learner. The young woman was smart beyond anyone’s, (save for Stiles’) knowledge. And if she could actually stomach the process of handling it, she would be the best marksman in Beacon County by the end of the month.

      Derek didn’t seem to care all that much about any of the potential benefits. Given that Allison and Chris had done more than enough damage. To say nothing of what Kate did. The Argent name was one that sat bitter in his mouth. And Stiles didn’t blame him for rejecting the idea outright. Peter…..The man would only work the Argents if the apocalypse were to befall them. And even then, he’d consider other options.

      Lydia had the brilliantly sadistic idea of trapping the forest. The alphas were likely to keep going there, hoping to catch one of them off guard. Given that they were unfamiliar with the territory, and that their attention wouldn’t be focused on it, the idea was a sound one. Peter smiled that smile of his. And Lydia recoiled like a woman who’d seen the devil.

      Derek, while displeased with the idea of such underhanded tactics, but he did acknowledge the soundness of it. The matter of getting the materials was another matter. Which of course could be supplied by Deaton. Their local vet was a little more than well stocked. Given when they had worked to trap Jackson in the rave.

      Speaking of, Jackson contributed a surprisingly sound idea. Wherein they never travelled alone. School would be starting soon, and that was one part of the day that they wouldn’t have to worry. Unless the alphas intended to walk into a high school, and expect people not to notice them. Derek firmly agreed with that one.

     The alphas were intent on finding anything that they could exploit. Given that they had two humans involved, they would no doubt be prime targets. The one disadvantage to that was that Stiles’ father was the sheriff. And if they did make a move on him, they would regret it rather quickly.

       Jackson, of course, would stay with Lydia. Given that they were back ‘together’, no one would question it. Scott would stay with Stiles. And Isaac was living with Derek, so that issue in of itself was resolved. No, the other three-hundred that they had to deal with.

        Finding them. Finding Erica and Boyd. Working on the best way to fight them. There were five alphas, all juiced up on the murder of their betas. Even Derek, an alpha himself, would have a hard time fighting any one of them. Let alone five at the same time. There was also the fact they didn’t know what two of them even looked like. Which only made things even more complicated.

      Derek hadn’t heard any news or information about them. Only that they were the most recent additions to the group, and the youngest. The grapevine had been quiet. And he hadn’t heard anything else since the alphas first arrived. Stiles didn’t quite like that notion.

       He made a note to talk to Deaton. The man knew far more than he let on. His problem was that cryptic, Obi-Wan shit that he had going on. The vet often, (and probably gleefully) restricted himself in what he told. Stiles figured that he’d known about Scott being a werewolf as soon as he was turned. Among other things. Of which he knew there were plenty.

         Derek disliked the man, and Stiles didn’t blame him. The irritation that they all felt towards the man was damn near universal. The only two exceptions were Jackson and Lydia. As they had yet to even meet the man. Pray for the day Stiles had to deal with that fallout. Jackson would wring his neck. Lydia…he didn’t want to think about what she’d do.

     After their eyes started to droop, Stiles decided that they had enough planning. They were going to be in enough trouble when their parents discovered that they had snuck out. Stiles could already imagine what kind of lecture his father was going to prepare for him. He had the idea of telling him that he and Scott met up. Which would make sense, given that they were on the rocks.

      Derek exchanged numbers with everyone. Even if he did look like a man being tortured the entire time he did it. Jackson gave his number to Stiles and Scott. After which, he swiftly exited. With Lydia in tow. Stiles still wanted to talk to her. Still wanted to discuss all the things that needed discussing. Of which there were plenty.

      But tonight had been eventful enough. It had been stressful enough. And Stiles didn’t want to make her stress levels rise any higher. He really couldn’t care less about Jackson. The beta had no intention of subjecting himself to any psych analyzation. Especially not from Stiles. And certainly not from Derek.

      Scott promised that they’d hang out tomorrow. If they hadn’t been grounded by then. Which would’ve been on the lesser side of the punishment spectrum. Isaac waved an awkward goodbye. Derek just nodded. Peter, once again, smiled. Stiles didn’t want to know what was behind it. Given that he’d seen what the man was capable of.

       The elevator, once again, moved slow as a damn snail. He almost fell asleep on the way down. He made a note to talk to Derek about it. Stiles certainly wasn’t about to climb all those freaking stairs. He may have been on the lacrosse and track teams, but he did have a limit.

      The night air was cooler than when had arrived. It felt good and seemed to pull some of the stress from Stiles’ bones. The anger that had been eaten away at him felt subdued. It was soothing and relaxing. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t notice it. Perhaps it’s why he didn’t hear the footsteps coming up from behind him.

      Just as he fumbled his keys out of his pockets, there was a hand wrapped around his mouth. Another around his throat. It was a classic choke hold. One that Stiles knew well, given that he’d taken self-defense. And he knew how to counter it. Which was by jamming his keys into the attacker’s leg. He felt the squelch of flesh, and hot blood ran over his fingers. They grunted in pain, and tightened their grip. Stiles felt himself get dizzy as the blood flow was restricted to his brain. The world span in dizzying circles, and his feet went numb. He wondered if he was going to die just as black ate at the edges of his vision.

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Wherever Stiles was, he was cold. At the very least, he had enough consciousness to know that he was laying on the floor. But his brain wasn’t aware enough to actually move. The world seemed far away and detached. Where his senses expanded and contracted over and over again, across infinity. Having the blood cut off to your brain tended to do that to a guy. Or, he assumed it was that way. Given that it was Stiles’ first experience.

       Time seemed to break and bend. He had no idea how long he had been unconscious. He didn’t even know who was behind it. His thoughts scrambled and ran about. Coming in fractures and pieces. Everything in his mind’s eye seemed small and out of proportion. He didn’t know if he was able to move. All he knew was that he was cold. Cold and afraid.

     Flickers of light flash across his closed eyes. They aren’t warm or the right shade for sunlight. So, at the very least, he knows that he isn’t near a window. Or, at the very least, it wasn’t one that got decent sunlight. Or it was night. There were too many things to think about. Which, as his thoughts cleared, he realized that being put in a choke hold wasn’t enough to do this. He had been drugged.

     Whatever it was certainly was strong. Even as he shouted…Commanded his limbs to move, all he could manage was a twitch of his finger. Or turning his head a few inches to one side or the other. Whoever had taken him had wanted to ensure that he was pliable. And unable to resist. Which made sense. Given that he would have punched, kicked, screamed, spat, and bitten at the first available opportunity.

      There are noises now. Disconnected sounds that came in pieces of pieces. At the very least, he could tell that it was voices. Footsteps. Something clanging along the floor. Along the walls. Stiles’ head began to hurt. The temples of his skull throbbing like a bass drum played by a deranged court jester. Time continued to stretch and break.

     When he can finally open his eyes, it wasn’t much help. Given that it was almost completely dark. The only light coming in was from a window several feet above. Silver streaks slithered through the iron bars, illuminating what little it could. And now that Stiles thought about it, that should not have been enough light for him to see anything.

     As more and more of his senses came back to him, the world began to scream. He could feel the texture of the floor beneath him. Smooth, with little grains that his fingers could identify. The sounds of breathing, his own, were like a jet plane taking off right next to his ear. He could feel his heart leap into his chest. And thrum like that of a hummingbird.

       Panic swelled in his spine, locking him into fetid fear. Preventing him from moving. He wanted to scream. Wanted to claw out his eardrums. But even as he was finally awake, no part of his body wanted to listen to him. His brain was locked in terror, yet wholly unable to respond to it. This time, he did manage to shout. Choking out a broken screech that sounded more like that of a cornered beast, as opposed to anything that could be considered human.

     It last for a fraction of a second before his throat locks back into stone. Whatever they gave him, it certainly was strong. Now that he was fully aware of what had been going on, he felt his limbs twitch ever so slightly. His body wanted to move. And he was damn determined to make it so.

      It feels like hours, or maybe it had only been minutes. But he’s finally able to sit upright. Which doesn’t really help much. As he still can’t see that much. His eyes feel misplaced in his own skull. Like they didn’t belong there. As if that somehow made any sense.

     At the very least, he could tell that he wasn’t underground. There was enough light to tell that. The dimensions of the room were wrong. That, and the kind of material he was sitting on wasn’t suited for underground construction. Too difficult to set. The air had to be the right temperature and humidity. Sometimes he really did read the most interesting things on Google.

       Stiles closes his eyes to try and stave off the panic that was threatening to rebuild. There was no use in panicking. Whoever took him had kept him alive, and apart from drugging him, had done nothing else to harm him. At least, he didn’t feel anything that could be considered an injury.

     His entire body ached. A bone deep throbbing that pulsed upwards to the surface of his skin. Which made sense. Given that he had been immobile and in the same position for an extended period of time. For how long that time was, he didn’t know. From how he felt, it seemed like at least a day. Maybe more. He wondered if the others knew that he’d been abducted.

     It wasn’t hard as to guess who. The answer, given everything that he’d learned, was obvious. The alpha pack. Or, someone in their employ. Someone that they had control over. Whoever it was, certainly knew what they were doing. Given that they had immediately covered Stiles’ mouth to prevent him from screaming.

      That, plus the choke hold. It was a quick, effective way to render someone unconscious in a matter of seconds. When preformed correctly. Had it been performed incorrectly, he would’ve been dead. Which he wasn’t. What he was, as of this very moment, was a hostage. The very thought of which made his head spin.

      Derek had said that the alphas formed after they murdered their betas. Taking their power and making what now was the pack of deranged murderers. Taking that information, Stiles figured they would’ve taken someone else. Scott, Jackson, or Isaac. Killing Stiles wouldn’t have put Derek any further in joining their circus show.

     He wasn’t a werewolf, so he had no power to steal. He also wasn’t an emissary. So he had no power in that regard either. So, he was rather confused on why he had been their chosen target. It just didn’t make sense. Until it did.

      There was a reason that he had felt so out of it. Part of it was because he had been drugged to the nines. The other….He felt the throbbing beneath his left shoulder. It felt hotter than the rest of the pain that was coursing through his body. It felt…wrong.

     Stiles’ skin crawled and squirmed. He didn’t have to be a genius to figure out, now that the drugs had worn off. There was a reason that the world seemed to be warped as he tried to regain consciousness. Why time seemed to never make any sense, or why his body didn’t respond, even as the drugs had started to wear off. One of the alphas had bitten him. He was a werewolf now.

       The realization came less as shock and more of an ‘oh’. Stiles had been running with werewolves for a year now. He’d faced Peter’s deranged ass. Derek’s eternal grumpiness. Scott’s bullheadedness. The betas shit eating grins, and general shenanigans. At this point, he was honestly amazed that he hadn’t been bitten already.

       Peter had offered, and for brief, godforsaken second, he had considered it. Then, the logical part of his brain kicked in, and remembered that it was Peter. The man who had murdered his niece. The man who was willing to impale his nephew, (to the point of coughing up blood). All for the sake of revenge. Most of all, the power that an alpha inherently had over any person that they turned. He didn’t relish the idea of surrendering any part of himself, to anyone.

        Now that the realization had sunk in, he tried to use the new found wolfy powers for something useful. Like finding out where the hell he was. It was not a successful effort. The slightest sounds drew the attention of his hearing. A fly caught in the spider’s web, over in the corner. Buzzing for dear life. A slow water drip, somewhere out of sight.

     Smell wasn’t much better. Wherever he was had poor ventilation. The air was stale and cold. But there wasn’t the telltale sound of an AC unit running. So wherever he was, it was at least well insulated. Given that they were in the middle of a Californian summer. The only thing that he could smell was cold air, old stones, and something that….smelt wrong.

    He couldn’t exactly identify what it was. There was a lot of new information that was bombarding his brain at the moment, and none of it was coming in its entirety. All he knew was that his body was telling him to run. Run far and fast. Even though he was currently locked in a cold, stone floored with no way out.

       In answer to his many, numerous questions, the lights in the room came to life. The sudden influx of brightness made him flinch away. The door that he hadn’t noticed screeched open. Causing him to cover his ears. It was like nails on a chalkboard, but a hundred times worse.

     When the bombardment on his newly enhanced senses eases just a fraction, he’s able to see who’s entered the room. He had been wondering what the alpha pack would look like in person. They had been described as mad, unstable, and murderous. They kind of fit the bill actually.

     The first one was easily pushing six-five. And weighed no less than two-sixty. Just a mountain of muscle. Closely cropped hair, and skin that was just slightly too dark to be the result of a tan. His eyes were crinkled in displeasure. As if the mere sight of Stiles angered him.

     The second one was even more terrifying. Even though she was barley past five feet tall. It was the smile. In a way, it reminded Stiles of Peter. There was a certain kind of violence to it. Straight edged, and full of teeth. It wasn’t an expression that belonged on a human face. The woman’s brown skin crimped at the sides of her mouth, and in the lines of her forehead. Stiles had no doubt that she had murdered her pack.

      The twins were a surprise. And were most likely not that much older than him. A similar build to Derek, but dirty blonde and looking like they belonged on a magazine cover more than anything else. If they were here, they had killed their packs all the same. Which, twin alphas? That was a bitch to think about. Though, they seemed decidedly less slashy than the other two.

     The last one was the one that disturbed Stiles the most. He was the oldest. With graying edges to his oak brown hair. He smiled a certain smile. It wasn’t the smile that Peter or the predatory woman wore. It was meant to be inviting. As in to let someone think that they were safe. It was similar to how a cat might grin before pouncing on a mouse.

    The oddest feature, was the sunglasses. That, and the seeing eye cane. A blind alpha was something….Stiles didn’t want to think about it really. He knew this was Deucalion. He knew because of the way the others behaved. All of them gave a wide birth to the man, and did not move until he moved. Didn’t seem to breathe unless he breathed. It was a horrifying thing to watch. Stiles’ senses kept telling him to run. He was too afraid to move at the moment.

     “It seems like the little one is awake. I was beginning to worry.” A British accent was the last thing he expected out of this guy. It felt out of place, given his murderous aura. Stiles still wanted to run.

“I really appreciate the hospitality. But can we skip the pleasantries and you tell me why I’m here?” It was a front. Everybody in the room could see that. Including himself. But he wasn’t going to let these people use fear to control him.

    The one he knew to be Deucalion smiled ever wider. It made Stiles’ spine tingle. And not in a good way. The big growled lowly in his throat. The twins just stood still. The woman did nothing. He wasn’t liking this already.

     “You’ve got spirit. I can see why Derek likes you. Imagine our surprise when Ethan and Aiden reported seeing a human hanging around. Well, every alpha has a soft spot for someone.”

“Dude, no. Wrong. Sourwolf and I can barely tolerate each other. And have actively plotted against the other. Many, many times.” Deucalion was still smiling.

      “Sourwolf? What an adorable adage. I can assure you, if a werewolf, especially an alpha, cannot stand you, you wouldn’t be standing for very long.”

      If it were anyone else, Stiles would’ve been inclined to agree. Derek had, on more than one occasion, proven his immense disdain for general social interaction. Werewolf and human alike. Stiles tried to imagine him as a full functioning human person, and it damn near gave him a stroke.

        “So, are we gonna keep bantering, British Mr.Magoo? Or are you gonna tell me why I’m here? Cause honestly, I’m hungry and I have to pee. A bathroom would be-.”

     He couldn’t see which one of them moved first. But one second, he was employing some key, snarky banter. The next, a fist connected across his face. The force of the impact sent him back at least a foot. Stars dotted across his vision and his head screamed. He could taste blood in his mouth.

      “Now, Ennis. There wasn’t any need for that.” The big one, the one who’d punched Stiles. Flinched back. Actually flinched. Stiles smelt something sour. Given his new senses, he couldn’t exactly identify it. But he figured it’s what fear smelled like.

“Nice welcome, Caveman Joe. Is Brown Lizzy Borden next? Or maybe it’ll be Tweedledee and Tweedledumb.” Stiles spat a gob of blood to the side.

      “So full of spirit. On any other day, you’d make an excellent wolf. But for now, you’ll serve our purpose well enough.”

 “Yeah, the whole ‘biting me against me consent’ thing? Not cool. Kinda rapey dude.” Deucalion laughed softly. As if the vulgarity of Stiles’ comment amused him.

     “I really do wish we could have you join us. But for now, we’ll be using you and the other two as a means to an end.”

      Stiles felt a stinging in his mouth. And it wasn’t from being punched in the face by a dude twice his size. No, this was anger. And he remembered Derek saying something about anger and the shift. He figured this was what it felt like to have his fangs descend. He wondered if his eyes were golden.

      “My, my. Baring your fangs at five alphas without even flinching. Truly remarkable. Are you worried about your friends? Don’t fret. I assure you, they’re alive. for now.”

     Stiles didn’t like the implication of what Deucalion was saying. As if the end game was to kill Erica and Boyd. Which, in part, didn’t make any sense. Given that the alphas became what they were by killing their betas. Derek couldn’t be a part of their deranged pack if two of his four betas were dead. so there had to be some other kind of play here. He just wasn’t seeing it.

      “I can see the little gears of your brain turning. Perhaps that’s why two separate Hale alphas were so enamored with you. You’re that type, aren’t you? The one that’s frighteningly intelligent when everyone else underestimates them.”

“I’m flattered. But complements will only get you so far. If you really want to get into my pants, at least take me to dinner first.”

     Deucalion smiled even wider. As if that was even possible. Then, Stiles felt a sharp pain his shoulder. The alpha had leapt forward, plunging the tip of his cane into his arm. Pinning him to the floor. He moved to swipe, hit, anything to get the man off of him. He easily caught the swing, and proceeded to snap Stiles’ wrist beneath his fingers. He didn’t bother trying to muffle his scream.

      “So much energy. Breaking you will be a challenge. But the end result will be the same. I wonder if Derek will hesitate when he’s what you’ll become. And what he’ll be forced to do next.”

       Deucalion removed his cane, and plunged it into Stiles’ gut with merciless precision. He hadn’t hit anything vital. At least, Stiles didn’t think that he did. He was too busy screaming. The alpha above him smiled so wide that his face nearly split. Stiles felt his skin grow cold, and his mind turned to ashes.

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek had slept in three days. Neither had anyone else really. They’d all been too damn terrified of what they’d find. Or what they wouldn’t. Stiles had been missing for three days. And in those three days, not one of them had found any trace of his whereabouts.

     They’d found the smear of blood in the parking lot only minutes after Stiles had left. It wasn’t his. Whoever had taken him, he’d seen that they were injured. The young man’s fight never cease to amaze Derek. He’d followed the scent trail as long as he could. Along with Peter, Scott, and Isaac.

     It tapered off into the woods, vanishing near a back road. They’d gotten into a car. After that, there was no way to trace him. At that point, drastic measures had been taken. Jackson, surprisingly, enlisted Danny’s skills in the matter. The only issue at hand was the truth of the matter.

     Derek had been present when Jackson told his friend the truth. It was a fairly one sided conversation. The beta had left out the parts involving him being a kanima, or his temporary death. Danny, for all that he was worth, sat in still silence the entire time. When Jackson was done, he’d only asked what he needed to do.

     Stiles had been clever in suggesting that they used the guy’s computer skills. He was a genius. And had a tracking program in Stiles’ phone in less than two hours. If it pinged off any cell tower, Danny would get a notification, and they would be able to narrow down their search. So far, they had nothing to show for it.

       As a result, the entire pack was on edge. Scott, most of all. His best friend had been taken. And they had no idea where to look for him. Jackson, having decided to pull his head out of his ass, helped as much as he could. But there were plenty of complications.

     Namely, his and Lydia’s parents had no clue to the truth of anything that had happened. Jackson’s father barely let him out of the house. Lydia’s mother nearly had her sent to a psych evaluation. Their ability to move freely was restricted. Thankfully, Scott’s mother was in the full front of their particular situation. And allowed him to move and do as he pleased.

       The other problem was the sheriff. Stiles’ father, being a high ranking law enforcement official, obviously had plenty of power. And had Stiles picture circulated in less than twenty four hours. Which was good, given that if the alphas had any decisions to move him, they’d have a damn hard time of doing it. The problem was the sheriff was still very much in the dark on why Stiles had been taken to begin with.

      Derek couldn’t understand the decision. Deucalion was a madman masquerading as an alpha. After what had happened to him, he went off the rails. And dragged Ennis and Kali with him. Forming his so called ‘perfect pack’. Now, he wanted Derek to join in his madness. Only, taking Stiles didn’t make any sense.

     He wasn’t a werewolf. And Deucalion’s methods involved killing the betas of a pack, stealing their power. Stiles wasn’t a beta, he wasn’t even pack. So it made no logical end to why he had been taken. Unless it was to taunt him. To smear in his face how weak he was. Deucalion had his method.  That didn’t mean he didn’t want to take his enjoyment in employing it.

      Peter wasn’t much help in the matter. He had been going on patrols, just like the others. But beyond that, the man hadn’t done much of anything. Derek was ready to strangle him. Isaac was at his wits end. Given all that was going on, the alpha was doing everything he could to placate his beta.

     He and Stiles had never been friends. More than once, they’d worked against each other. Hell, even been hostile to each other. But it was just another thing that they had to worry about. Another thing that Derek had to work to fix. Among everything else.

     Scott was becoming intolerable. Derek could, to a point, understand the young beta’s panic. His best friend had been taken by a group of people who had no respect for life. Especially a human’s. That, Derek knew. He knew that Stiles was a piece in Deucalion’s game. And he treated his pieces like a demented toddler. Smashing them more often than not. Just to see what would happen.

      He of course, kept this information to himself. Deucalion’s methods were barbaric. Scott and the others did not need to know the extent of that. It would’ve only made things worse. All the while, they had been trying their best to keep a track of things. Stiles’ cellphone, realistically, could only remain charged for so long. They probably had less than twenty four hours before it was dead. And that’s if he wasn’t using it.

        There were no breaks. There was no new information. Deaton had been doing…Something. The man had, when it suited him, helped Derek and Scott. It was always along the lines of elusive. And he never revealed more than he felt he needed to. It was an infuriating habit of his. Derek wanted to strangle him. More than once.

      The sheriff was getting worse. Scott had been able to check on him, sporadically. The man, as everyone expected, was on the verge of a mental break. Derek, as much as he didn’t want to admit it, was pretty close to losing control himself. He had felt his wolf coming closer and closer to the surface. Scott wasn’t far behind, if not worse. If they didn’t find something, and find it soon, they were all going off the deep end.

    Funnily enough, it happened to be one of the calmer parts of the day when it came. Derek had closed his eyes for a little over an hour. Peter had known better than to disturb him. Isaac, the poor guy, had collapsed after the third day. Scott was running on fumes. Then, Derek’s phone pinged. It pinged with a message. It was from Stiles.

     “They have me.”

The words came into Derek’s mind and sliced into the calm that he’d managed to gather. However brief it may have been. His entire brain bled into a mindless, void of nothingness. Where all of time seemed to come to a grinding, screeching halt. Then, his phone pinged again.

     “I don’t know where I am.” Derek had no time to respond before the next message popped up.

“There’s five of them.”

“It’s somewhere built of concreate.”

“I can’t tell you much more.”

“Please don’t tell my dad who has me if you can.”

“Tell Scott I love him.”

     Derek read every one of the messages that rang in in rapid succession. Then, he was dialing. Part of him knew that if the alphas knew Stiles had a working phone, they’d move him. Another part of Derek wanted to hear the young man’s voice. Wanted to hear him and know that he was okay. The call went to voicemail. Derek felt his stomach drop.

      “PETER!” Derek’s voice boomed through the loft. His fangs tore into his bottom lip and he didn’t feel anything other than a small twinge.

     His uncle was downstairs in the span of a breath. Looking, for all the world, like it was about to end. He didn’t have to shout for Isaac, as the beta leapt into the room without having to be prompted. The both of them stared at Derek. Afraid to do or say anything. They could feel the anger radiating off of him.

     “Call everyone here, now. No exceptions.” Derek felt like his skin was about to vibrate off of him.     

“I don’t think that…” Derek cut his uncle off, throwing the phone at the man. His eyes blew wide when he saw the messages. He didn’t have anything to say after that.

      Scott, obviously was the first to arrive. Jackson and Lydia were next, followed shortly by Danny. The last to arrive, was the sheriff. Derek had thought long and hard about whether or not to involve him in this. It was the man’s son. That being said, he had no knowledge of the supernatural. He had no knowledge of the people they were up against.

     In the end, he decided it was for the best. They needed to find Stiles. And Danny still had the tracking program active. By some miraculous happenstance, the cell tower was still within Beacon County. The alphas had not taken him far. According to Danny, Stiles could be within anywhere between to twenty to forty five miles.

     That was further narrowed given that the buildings and terrain made it harder for the signal to travel over. If nothing else, they had a start. They had somewhere specific they could look. Derek would take that and run. And when he saw Deucalion, he’d rip the man’s head off with his bare hands.

     The more difficult part was explaining to the sheriff why everyone here was, well, here. Derek didn’t bother wasting time with mincing words, or skirting details. He just shifted in front of the man, and dropped the word ‘werewolf’ like it was going out of style.

     Thankfully, he didn’t end up shot. And neither did any of the others. He just stood there, dumbfounded beyond comprehension. Derek and Scott have the bare minimum of details. The sheriff was certainly going to have questions. As to why Derek and Peter were involved, certainly. And how far Stiles was involved with the extent of their supernatural shenanigans.

       For now, they had to make a plan, and part of it involved swallowing his pride and his anger. His phone felt like a glowing piece of iron in his hand. It almost hurt to dial the number. When Chris Argent answered the phone, Derek had to make an active effort to not just hang up the phone. Instead, he just asked the man if he was ready to go hunting. When he got his answer, Derek was ready. He hoped Deucalion was. Because the man wouldn’t be alive for much longer.

***

Stiles was tired. More tired than he’d been in a very long time. Being tortured tended to do that to a guy. And he had been. Tortured that is. Deucalion seemed to have a system in mind. A path that he wanted to take. There was only a small part of him that actually enjoyed it. The other part had a purpose behind his cruelty.

      He had been, between the screaming and breaking, listening to their conversations. It came in pieces and broken words. Apparently, their goal was simple. Drive Erica and Boyd insane. To the point where they went completely feral. And there would’ve been no other choice but for them to be killed. Needless to, the one that would’ve been doing the killing would be Derek. That of course, now included Stiles.

    Deucalion had decided that adding Stiles to his demented plan would be, in some horrible way, beneficial. He had tried, several times, to explain that he and Derek were not friends. That they were barely able to tolerate each other on a good day. And that turning him, and then proceeding to torture him, would not yield any results worth talking about.

     The man smiled that dreadful smile of his, and kept on torturing. It was a relatively simple set of procedures. And in the process, Stiles learned just how effective a werewolf’s healing factor was. Deucalion had started with breaking his bones. The simple application of pressure was enough. Even though werewolves tended to have a great deal of resilience, the odds were not in Stiles’ favor.

     He was freshly turned beta. And Deucalion was an alpha that had murdered his entire pack, and was the leader of four other alphas. He was, of course, several times stronger than Stiles. Also, he learned that injuries inflicted by an alpha took twice as long to heal. He’d also heard that from Scott.

      Deucalion didn’t do any more damage than was needed to brink Stiles to the brink of insanity. Wherever he was certainly muted his screams. The concrete walls were not conducive to channeling sound. Broken bones hurt, and Stiles wasn’t going to waste time in pretending that he was a tough guy. Even when the slashes came.

     Sometimes Deucalion would use his claws. Which sliced through Stiles like butter. Or, he would use the tip of his cane. Which, for some absolutely terrible reason, had a bladed end when the cap was taken off. It was razor sharp, and was even more effective at cutting Stiles than the alpha’s claws were. It still hurt no less.

      Deucalion was the only one of the five alphas that ever saw to his hospitable reception. The others either observed, or were ordered to clean the mess that was left of Stiles when the madman was done. Ennis just threw a bucket of water on him and left. Kali threw a sour smelling rag at him, nose wrinkled in disgust. The twins, who Stiles learned were Ethan and Aiden, actually, to some degree, cared for him.

     They were by no means compassionate or friendly. But they took the time to actually wipe the blood off of Stiles. Albeit roughly and quickly. Before discarding him back to his isolation. There was a small, deranged part of him that actually appreciated it.

     He hadn’t been given anything to eat. And after being tortured, and then healing, his body was running low on, well, everything. There was, by some small grace, a toilet and a sink. So, at the very least, he was able to stay hydrated and was able to go to the bathroom.

      It was two small comforts in an otherwise shitty situation. The other that he had, was his cellphone. Which was surprising. Either none of the five alphas who took him didn’t bother to check, or they didn’t think it was of any importance. Regardless, he had one small advantage. As well as one whopping disadvantage. In that there was no service here.

      Every time he tried to send a message, he had zero bars, and didn’t even bother typing anything. Out of curiosity, he turned on his Wi-Fi receiver to see, if by some chance, there’d be an open network that he could use. There was not.

       He always made sure to keep it well hidden. And out of sight from any of the alphas. If they noticed it, the device would surely meet a smashing. Or, Deucalion would torture the passcode out of Stiles, and use his phone to torment those in his contact list.

        On the third day, when he was just ready to break, he decided to take a chance. Deucalion had just got done with torturing him. It was more taunting than anything else. But there were plenty of physical elements as well. The idea was brief, stupid, and likely fail. But it was an idea all the same.

      Stiles typed out a series of messages. One after the other. All of them unable to go through. With his phone saying that they’d be sent when a network was available. After which, he chucked his phone through the iron bars of the lone window in the room. He didn’t know if it lead outside. Or to another part of the building.

      He hoped for outside. He hoped somewhere that the signal could be picked up and his messages received. Stiles didn’t tell Derek all of what had been going on. Or what Deucalion’s plans were. He had a feeling that the alpha had an idea of why Stiles was taken. So, he didn’t waste any time.

      Stiles just hoped that one, just one, of the messages would go through. And if it did, that they’d be able to get some idea of where he was. Of where they were keeping him. That’s all he had at this point, hope. That, and the idea that, once Derek found them, he’d find a way to kill every last one of them.

      It was a strange thought. Imagining the death of five complete strangers. They’d gotten to know each other in the worst possible ways. Deucalion knew which methods elicited what reactions from Stiles. Knew how to break and bend and snap him to the point where he was ready to die. But always knew when to draw back.   

     Ennis and the others….Stiles knew that they were cruel people. Knew that, even as they saw him being torn apart, felt nothing for him. Some part of him wondered what they were like before. What they were like as alphas that actually had betas. If they were like Derek. Cold and detached. And somewhat dickish. Or if they had fun, and lived like a pack of werewolves should. As a family.

     He wondered what twisted ideology Deucalion had concocted to seep into their minds. To make them crave power so much that they murdered their own betas to get it. That they destroyed everything that they had built to follow a man who desired nothing beyond his own ego. He wondered and he wondered. Even as time thinned into incomprehensibility. And the world seemed to detach itself from Stiles. Or perhaps, Stiles had become detached from the world. It didn’t really matter. He just wanted to sleep. He wondered if he’d ever get to see his dad again. These were the questions he asked as his eye sockets seemed to turn to lead.

    

    

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

There was an array of people in Derek’s loft. Some werewolves. Some humans. And some hunters. He didn’t exactly like the arrangement. Given that some of these people, including his uncle, had actively tried to kill him. More than once. But they had their first lead since Stiles had been taken. And they were ready to run into the unknown, claws out, and guns blazing.

      Scott had been the one to call Allison. Even if Derek had any of the Argent’s numbers, he was still too keyed to have a civil conversation. Not without venting months of repressed rage and impulsive desires for vengeance. The two hunter were, more than likely, harboring similar sentiments. Derek understood as to why.

     Victoria Argent had tried to murder Scott. It wasn’t an attempt. She had hit him with her car, and was trying to poison him with aerosolized wolfsbane. A slow, torturous death. By no mean compassionate or cruel. In the ensuing fight, he had bitten her. There wasn’t really any guilt on his part. The woman was a murderous bitch.

      The choice she had made next was her own. The twisted, messed up code that Argent hunters lived by. Which was to commit suicide before they full turned. To them, living as a werewolf was a fate worse than death. It was dishonorable. It was disgusting. It was something that they would’ve never wanted. That’s how they had been raised. And Victoria Argent, being the steadfast woman that she was, had been no exception.

     She had chosen to end her life. To leave her husband. To leave her daughter. To leave all of it behind, and take no responsibility for any of the horrible things she’d done in her life. Derek didn’t care enough to even send flowers. Especially not after what Chris and Allison did next.

     The former passively abided his father’s insane crusade of killing every werewolf in Beacon Hills. And Allison had joined him. Directing her anger and fury at people who had nothing to do with it. Derek had made plenty of mistakes. And he was still atoning for them. One of which being trying to have Lydia killed.

     It was a decision that, at the time, had been made with a somewhat irrational judgement. All he knew was that there was a kanima running loose. Killing people left and right. With no idea who the master was. And no idea what their true motive was. The test he’d had the betas run with venom was the only accurate way of measuring potential suspects. At the time, he had thought it to be accurate.

      He had apologized to the young woman at the first opportunity. She had said nothing, staring at him blankly. Eyes quivering with something he didn’t quite recognize. Then, she smacked him across the face with the fury of a harpy. Like with Peter, he hadn’t expected it. Lydia Martin was fierce, intelligent young woman who didn’t seem to be intimidated by anyone or anything. And in that moment, she certainly wasn’t afraid of the alpha werewolf that was standing in front of her.

     Their relationship hadn’t really progressed in any way since then. Save for when they had learned Stiles had been taken by the alphas. Whatever animosity had been between them…It seemed trivial in comparison to what they now faced. To what laid ahead of them. There were plenty of things to be angry over. They could work on the rage particular to the two of them when they had time for it.

     Lydia was a key figure in getting Allison on their side. She and Scott were still on the outs. And had something of a broken relationship. Lydia was the mediator. Lydia was the one who explained and talked everyone down. She had a way with words. And Derek couldn’t thank her enough.

    The plan that they had formulated was simple enough. Search the area where Danny had pinged Stiles’ phone. Search it from top to bottom. Derek and the other wolves would be handling the bulk of the search. Allison and Chris would be handling scouting and reconnaissance. They knew how to move without being detected by werewolves. And as such, would be instrumental in staying under the radar.

      The area was large. And Derek knew it could take them several days, if not a week to do a proper search. He and the betas worked overtime. Hardly sleeping. The sheriff had his own channels. And used his position to help in whatever way that he could. When they got their first solid lead, everything came together.

      Derek made it a point that Danny and Lydia would not be joining them. Under any circumstances. They had no training, and no way to defend themselves. Even if Chris did offer to give them guns. They had no idea how to use them. And even still, Derek couldn’t, at this point, guarantee anyone’s safety. It was enough of a risk going against the alphas. Having two humans in the fray would have only distracted him.

      They had found where they were keeping Stiles. Or, at the very least, it was the most likely place. Given that the surrounding area was saturated in the alphas’ various scents was the best possible indication. Derek didn’t bother trying to tell the sheriff that he was going to stay out of things. These bastards had his only child. And while Derek may not have been a parent, he could well enough understand the grief and rage the man felt. The opportunity to shoot something, or rather someone, was not going to be one that the man passed over.

     The building itself was a disused bank. Which made perfect sense when one thought about it. Banks, in any country, were made to be fortresses. Built of sturdy concreate and reinforced several times over. Not to mention the actual vault. And every other secure room. There would be no way out, even for a werewolf, through that much concreate and steel. As much as Derek hated to admit it, even with as clever as Stiles was, there was no way that he’d be able to break out of there.

       None of the alphas are in sight as they approach. Chris had doused them all in a special cocktail that was meant to hide their scents. Even these monstrous alphas wouldn’t be able to detect them. The matter of being silent as another issue entirely.

    As born wolves, Derek and Peter had a long list of experiences that enabled them to move like the predators that they were. The others…they needed some work. Scott, surprisingly was the best of them. Followed by Isaac, then Jackson. At the very least, their experience as athletes would give them better agility and reflexes. Which would keep them alive.

      Derek had gone over the basics of the plan. No one was to engage solo. If they encountered any of the alphas, they were to run. Run far and fast. And then regroup with the others. It would takes at least three of them to even hope to come close to killing one of them. But that wasn’t the goal. The goal was to rescue Stiles, Erica, and Boyd. Killing the bastards could wait until later.

     They enter in the front, and Chris and Allison enter through a side entrance. Derek didn’t want them lining up like ducks. Just in case that Deucalion had anticipated their arrival. The sheriff stayed behind one of them at all times. Chris had been kind enough to supply an off the books Desert Eagle. Which of course was amply supplied with potent wolfsbane ammunitions. Derek pitied the poor alpha that the sheriff came across first. Actually, when he thought about it, he really didn’t.

     The inside is dark and musty. Thankfully, most of them were werewolves, and thusly, were accustomed to seeing in the dark. The sheriff, however, was not. And as such, had to rely on one of them at any given time. Turning on a flashlight was out of the question.

    There were traces of the alphas scents everywhere. Derek could detect any stronger point among the entry hall. Failing that, he turned towards his ears. Trying his damndest to make sure that no one was able to take them by surprise. As it turned out, they didn’t have to wait.

    Ennis was just as large and imposing as he was the last time Derek saw him. When he had bitten Paige. There was a flicker of rage at the back of his mind. One that sparked to life and consumed him entirely. He was shifted and charging before anyone else had even realized what he was doing. A bullet sailed past his head. Heading straight towards the other alpha. The sheriff had fired a round. Derek roared as the bullet met its mark in the man’s arm.

 

***

Stiles mind was a rather ungraceful pile of mush. Days’ worth of torture and no food had left him in a retched state. Unable to do little more than sit up and trod his way over towards the sink to get some water. At the very least, he wouldn’t have to worry about death by dehydration. Which he had heard was a rather terrible way to go.

    Deucalion had made it a point to ensure that he was as miserable as possible. Torture aside, the only time Stiles ever saw anyone was when they threw a bucket of water on him. Or some other horrible equivalent. He’d long since stopped feeling his hunger. After the third day, it was just a dull, irritating ache in the pit of his gut.

       Drinking water helped. It helped a lot. He remembered reading something about it in biology. That damn near any organism could survive without food for a rather extended period time. But without water, any given creature could only last about three days. Well, as far as humans were concerned anyway. But Stiles was human anymore. Deucalion had seen to that.

     Even with his mind clouded by intense hunger, and emotional detachment, Stiles wondered what exactly was out in the world. Should actually be able to escape and or be rescued. He wondered how he’d fare as a werewolf. If he’d struggle as much as Scott did. If he could actually find a place in the life he had before all of this.

      Part of him wondered if Derek would even want him in the pack. Stiles was a rather….interesting individual on a good day. Being a werewolf probably wasn’t going to help any of his problematic character traits. He wondered about a lot of things. Even more so when he heard the roar.

      Even though he’d only been a werewolf for a few days, and most of those days were spent being tortured and taunted…there was a part of him that knew. Knew that the roar was that of an alpha. And it didn’t belong to any of the ones that had kept him prisoner. Derek was here. Derek had found him.

      There were other sounds. Other roars. None that were like Derek’s. He wondered who all had come with. Scott, certainly. Jackson….Lydia probably coerced him into it. Isaac was going to follow wherever Derek went. Especially if it gave them a chance to find Erica and Boyd. He wondered if they were even still alive.  

      There were gunshots now. Loud, banging concussions that sounded like cannons in his ears. Even though they were so far away. There were humans here. His dad was here….Stiles felt his mind snap back to reality. Snap back to a full awareness. Despite every part of him being utterly spent and exhausted.

      His legs moved of their own accord. He was standing before he even realized it. Moving towards the door. It seemed like papier-mâché as he pulled at it. The hinges screeched and screamed. And finally, gave way. The sound it made as he flung it into the opposite wall was rather satisfying. What wasn’t, was who awaited him when he’d finally found his freedom.

     Deucalion was still smiling that horrible smile of his. This time, sans sunglasses. Stiles had seen alpha red eyed twice. Once, with Peter’s monstrous, demented self. The second, Derek’s boisterous, over confident, cocky alpha stereotype. Deucalion’s was like neither of them.

     He may have been blind as an ordinary human man, disguised amongst the world. But shifted, even partially, as a wolf, he could see plain as day. His eyes were the color of blood spattered on rusted steel. Horrid, ghastly, and spine chilling. Stiles felt himself shift, really shift for the first time. Even if he knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that he had absolutely no chance of winning.

     Deucalion smiled even wider. Revealing fangs that didn’t belong in anyone’s mouth. Human or werewolf, or literally any other creature on the face of creation. Stiles didn’t have time to react. He was struck squarely in the chest. Stiles felt something break as he as slung backwards, into the wall. Deucalion had hardly moved at all.

    The pain of his ribs snapping, as well as hitting the wall, snapped him back to being human. He struggled to breathe as the air was knocked out of him. The world span in and out of focus. And before he knew it, Deucalion was standing over him. Smiling that terrible smile of his.

      “I must say, your particular brand of spirit has been most entertaining.”

“Glad you enjoyed the circus, asshole. But it’s time for me to punch out.” Stiles could barely get the last word out. He really was having trouble breathing.

      “Oh, no. Dear boy, it’s time for the grand finally. I was expecting a little more time to prep you, but the plan is the same. Only this time, I’ll be giving you a much bigger shove.”

        Stiles didn’t have time to even attempt to get up. Didn’t have time to catch his breath. Deucalion had shifted, and roared directly into his face. The sheer force of it made his head spin. That’s when the pain started. His entire face felt like it was being stung by hornets. His gums burned like fire. His fingertips alive with pins and needles.

      He remembered Scott saying something about this. The night Peter forced him to shift in the school. When Peter tried to make him kill his old ‘pack’. This was exactly the same thing. Stiles felt his gut tremble and constrict at the idea that Deucalion had been the one that bit him. That this monster of a man was, by definition, his alpha.

      Stiles curled into himself. Trying desperately to find anything to keep him human. To keep himself from, in any way, shifting. It didn’t work. He felt his body change against his will. The more he tried to fight against the shift, the more it hurt. The greater the pain was. Deucalion chuckled through his suffering.

      “Truly, under different circumstances, this would’ve been an amusing transition. But the time for games is over. Especially now that your little friend is here as well. Derek was one matter. Scott is another. I wonder which one of three of you will come out on top?”

       Stiles felt his vision go blurry. Then shift into an angry, pulsing scarlet. Every last nerve ending he had was alight with one thing and one thing only. Bite. Maim. Claw. Rend. Kill. Deucalion had forced him to shift. Forced him to shift for the sole purpose of attacking Scott and Derek. And, more than likely, everyone else that had arrived to rescue him. But he wasn’t going to. He wasn’t going to let this go Deucalion’s way. Even as he felt his human mind slip further and further away.

      The man was still chuckling. Amused and positively tickled pink at Stiles’ resistance. At his pain. So much so that he had not expected him to leap. Wasn’t expecting him to do anything other than what he had commanded. A beta was to follow their alpha. Was to obey. Stiles was never one to listen to anybody.

       One moment, Deucalion was having a ball. The next, Stiles had wrapped himself around the alpha. With his fangs buried firmly and savagely into the man’s neck. Deucalion may not have been expecting it, but he certainly reacted fast enough. Slicing into Stiles’ side with his claws with an untamed fury. Roaring a beastly command to get off of him. Stiles continued to ignore him.

     Instead, he latched onto the man’s head. Claws burying into his temple. He could feel blood run down his fingers. Deucalion roared again. Stiles wrenched his head to the left, a sharp crack breaking through. The man’s roar was cut off as he fell. Stiles crumpled on top of his twitching body. He shuddered once, then went still.

      There was a small, indescribable moment. Where all of creation came a violent, screeching halt. Then, Stiles was in pain. Fire burned through every vein in his body. The world expanded and contracted and snapped out of proportion. He didn’t know if he was screaming. He was certain that he was. He couldn’t tell. It didn’t seem to matter all that much. Nothing did.

     Deucalion’s torture was nothing compared to this. The breaking. The slashing. The starvation. The isolation. Each and every inch of his body hollered in explicit agony. Time was broken, and the universe seemed to sneer at him. Then, it was over. Just as he thought he would crumble, all that which consumed him, was gone.

       The sudden vanishing left him dumbstruck. Unable to move. Barely able to breathe. Barely able to even comprehend his own existence. Stiles had killed Deucalion. He had killed the man who had kidnapped him. He had killed the man who turned him. He had killed the man that tortured and tormented him. He was an alpha now. He had taken the power of that demented, court jester of a werewolf. He was alive. Now the questioned that remained was, were the others?

    

    

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Things were not going well. Not as bad as Derek had expected going against five alphas. But they certainly could have been going better. Ennis was as monstrous as he’d remembered. And as ruthless. But Derek wasn’t some frightened little pup anymore. He was an alpha. Not the kind of murderous bastard that stood before him. But an alpha all the same.

     He had charged without thinking much after the fact. Ennis didn’t have time to fully shift before Derek had thrown him clear across the room. Peter snapped in, rushing towards the downed alpha to take a cheap shot. (Derek knew exactly why.) His uncle was met with a clawed fist across the face, and was sent careening past the others. Derek only laughed a little.

        That was not the only problem they faced at present. The other, as a start, was that they had an entire disused bank to search. Three people, who were probably being held separately. And they had to do it while fighting at least one enraged alpha. Which quickly became three.

     Derek had no information on who the other two alphas were. He only knew that Deucalion had recruited them the same as others. And that they had, like the others, murdered their alphas and their packs. What he hadn’t expected, was for them to be twins. Nor for them to be so young.

     They were either Derek’s age, or just slightly younger. He hadn’t been expecting that. He also had not been expecting them to fuse. Literally, they fused. Two bodies morphed and bent and twisted. Remerging as one, monstrous creation that somehow made Ennis look like a simpering puppy. Now, Derek was really worried. As if they needed anything else.

      Chris and Allison had appeared, having heard Derek’s roar. He had lost track of who was fighting who in the cacophony of gunfire and slashing. There were too many noises. Too many scents. All he could see was Scott. Standing with Isaac on the sidelines. Unsure of who to fight with, or what to do next. He already had an idea of would be the best course of action.

      “GO! FIND THEM!” He figured that his voice carried. As the two betas ran off, darting out of the way of flying rubble and disconnected shouting.

      Peter managed to regroup himself, and wisely decided not to charge Ennis again. Derek knew that his uncle was here for his own purposes. More than likely, to try and deal the killing blow to one of the alphas. He was always a man adjacent to power. Born to serve and never to lead. His revenge had been fueled by that standing, as well as legitimate anger. It was why he was able to kill Laura so easily.

      Derek didn’t have the time to delude himself. Peter knew that he wouldn’t survive if he killed his nephew. The betas would never let that stand. And even if the managed to fight all of them off, Chris would’ve emptied an entire clip into his head at the first given opportunity. Only part of it would’ve been because of Kate.

       Ennis charges, fully shifted. Eyes blaring red, like that of a hellhound. He truly wasn’t a person anymore. Just a man, consumed with power he obtained from murder. He could see that there was hardly a trace of his humanity left. If not for Deucalion, the man would have been off the rails completely.

      Derek knows that he’s at the disadvantage. Ennis had nearly half a foot, and more than forty pounds on him. To say nothing of his power that he’d taken from his betas. As pissed off as he was, there wasn’t any way that he could approach this rashly, and expect to last longer than five minutes. He had Peter backing him up. And while his uncle would be duplicitous at the best of times, Derek at least knew that the man wanted him alive.

     Jackson, as odd as it was, came in backing up Chris and Allison. Derek had to actively try and keep his attention focused on Ennis. The man was an atrocity, and he didn’t have the spare worrying about his beta. He had to trust that he could take care of himself, and the two hunters on his flank would keep him, and each other alive.

       There’s a lot of yelling. Derek hadn’t yelled this much in a fight since he was a pup. He chocked it up to his anger. There wasn’t really any reason to hold back against these bastards. As long as they could take out at least one of them, they’d have the advantage. Chris’ bullets and Allison’s arrows were all tipped with lethal strains of wolfsbane. And that meant, even if it didn’t kill them right away, whatever alpha got shot would be drastically weakened.

        Derek goes at Ennis like a madman. Aiming each and every time for something vital. The other man isn’t really trying anything strategic. He knows that he’s stronger than Derek. Knows that he has greater stamina. So he just resists Derek’s and Peter’s slashes. It, on any other occasion, would’ve been a viable strategy to fight. But the other alpha greatly underestimated Derek’s anger. And was surprised when the wounds actually started to pile up.

     Within just a few minutes, Derek as well as Ennis were both bloody, snarling messes. Peter was in rags, and not fairing much better. By any stretch of the imagination. Derek slips a sideways glance towards Jackson, Chris and Allison. They are all smeared in blood and dirt. Jackson favors his right side, which means something, somewhere is broke. Neither Chris or Allison have bite marks.

      The twins merged form is…Doesn’t look they’ve taken all that much damage. But Derek can see several bullet wounds. As well as at least three arrows sticking out of them. Their form was breathing heavily, and sweating. The poison was starting to work. And it wouldn’t be long before they were down for the count. The problem now was on whether or not the three of them could survive that long.

     Another problem came crashing in, literally, and barreled into Peter. Sending him into the adjacent wall. Derek had a quick eye on his uncle one second, and then, he was being slammed into concreate and plaster. Derek doesn’t need to be a genius to figure out that his uncle now has multiple fractures.

     Kali is as vicious looking as the last time Derek laid eyes on her. She is every bit a predator and a fighter. She may have been a petite woman, but she was by far the deadliest out of the alphas. Speed. Agility. Dexterity. Accuracy. Ennis may have been a near-feral powerhouse, but she was designed, by years of experience, to be a killer.

     Given that she’d juiced herself up on the murders of her betas, Derek had no doubt that she’d be even deadlier now. Ennis was exhausted, and so was he. Kali was fresh faced and smiling like a deranged clown. Eyes a cloudy red. Like milk dropped into blood. It was a disgusting color. One that made Derek’s stomach churn.

      She charges him. Or, more accurately, leaps at him. He braces himself for the impact, but it does not come. There is a clear, well fired shot that rings through the air. It nails the woman right in her left leg. She misses the mark, collapsing to the ground in pain. The sheriff had not followed Scott and Isaac. Instead staying behind to fight. Derek admired the man’s courage. He also cursed his stupidity. Because now, Kali was pissed, and her eyes were trained straight towards the man.

     He didn’t, however, have time to move. As there was an earth shattering roar that plowed through the building. All the werewolves present shot their hands over their ears. The sheer force of it seemed to shake Derek’s bones. It physically hurt to listen. And it wasn’t from Deucalion.

      Much like Kali had done, Stiles came bounding into the scene. Smeared in blood and smelling of pain. Derek nor the sheriff had time to call out to him. He ignored all of them. And headed straight towards Ennis. The man didn’t know what was going on. Only that there was a new threat, and someone new to kill.

      Stiles seemed to be deranged. Not caring the other man swiped a clawed hand directly at his chest. In fact, he didn’t even seem to feel it. And went straight into burying his fist into Ennis’ gut. The other alpha staggered back just as Stiles moved to strike again. Derek moved to help, and found himself knocked on his ass.

      Kali had her claws buried in his side and had no intention of letting go. The only reason she did was because the sheriff fired off another shot. It sailed past her head. Which was more than enough to scare her off, and force her to retreat. However temporarily. The real issue now was Stiles. Who was still firmly engaged with Ennis. The two of them were ripping into each other. Quite literally.

      Derek knew that the young man had only a few minutes before Ennis managed to kill him. The fact that he was now a werewolf took a backseat. He’d process that whole shit show later. Except, it didn’t seem that he had all that much to worry about. Because Stiles was holding his own against the other alpha. And that’s because he was an alpha himself.

     It Derek a moment. The two of them weren’t still long enough, but he managed to see it. Just a glimpse. It was enough. There as a red tinge to Stiles’ eyes. He was an alpha. He had killed Deucalion. That alone was enough to make Derek’s blood run cold. What happened next, even more so.

       Stiles, being a newly turned werewolf as well as a newly minted alpha, did not have any practical combat experience. What he did have, was years of lacrosse practice and a metric shit ton of rage. Ennis wasn’t expecting either. Because when Stiles leapt atop the other man, wrapping his lithe body around the other alpha, he was at a loss. Ennis struggled for all he was worth. Stampeding around, trying to throw Stiles off of him. It didn’t work. Especially when Stiles grabbed his throat, and ripped out the man’s larynx barehanded.

      Ennis gargled horrendously. A torrent of blood spilt over Stiles as the alpha collapsed into a lifeless heap. There was a brief, silent pause. The guns had stopped firing. Allison had stop letting loose her arrows. Everything went still. And then, Kali was roaring. Derek didn’t know if it was because Stiles had killed Ennis, or it was something deeper than that.

     Regardless, the woman charged him. The sheriff fired off the rest of his bullets. Half of them made their mark. Kali didn’t seem to notice. And if she did, she was too enraged to actually feel it. Regardless, she’d been dead in the next few minutes. Even if any of them did nothing.

      When she collides with Stiles, the two of them go flying in a heap of snarling, biting, and clawing. It honestly did sound like two animals trying to kill each other. Human beings didn’t make these kinds of sounds. They smash into the wall, Kali atop of Stiles. Ready to rip his throat open. Much like Derek did to Peter. Kali didn’t get the chance.

     Even with how off hinge, and borderline feral Stiles was, he had a sensible amount of awareness. Given that he had noticed a piece of pipe that was laying on the ground. Given that it was a disused, disrepair bank, it wasn’t unthinkable. What he did with it…That was a little off the charts.

      Kali was too focused on killing Stiles. Too focused on rendering him into pieces. She had no clue that there was sixteen inches of lead pipe about to make its way into her skull. The sound of it fires off like a cannon. Stiles had made a perfect strike. The woman goes down. A twitching, incoherent mess. The right side of her head caved in.

      For good measure, Stiles plunges the thing into her chest. Driving right through her breast bone and into the concreate beneath them. Kali twitches once more, then goes still. Stiles is breathing to the point of hyperventilation. Derek can see his legs trembling. But he does not collapse.

     Instead, he stands on wobbly legs. Smeared in sweat, dirt, and pain. Matted, blackened blood veils his mouth. His eyes burn with an intensity that would outshine the sun. Derek feels himself moving before he can think about anything else. The sheriff is faster than him. Given that he was injured, it wasn’t that much of surprise. He can feel something creak when he walks.

      The sheriff cradles his son. Cradles him in shaking arms. Wondering just how the hell any of this happened. That’s how Derek assumed the man was thinking. He was also afraid. Stiles was a newly turned werewolf. One that had just killed three of the strongest alphas in California. He had done so in blind, unhindered rage. Carefully executing each of them with precision brutality.

      Derek was afraid that he’d still be going mad. That he’d perceive all of them as an enemy. That they’d have to take drastic, terrible measures. But his fears are unfounded. Because Stiles seems to deflate. His entire body releases the tension he’d been holding. Bright alpha eyes fading back into his honey amber.

     “Stiles….It’s okay. We got you.”

“Dad…Daddy!?” Stiles’ voice breaks and breaks and breaks some more. Derek can feel the pain of it as he starts to weep. He cries fat, heavy tears. They run down his face. Smearing further the blood and other filth stuck to him.

     Derek honestly doesn’t know what to do from here. He hadn’t gone into this expecting that they’d killed any of the alphas. Just getting Erica, Boyd, and Stiles out was enough of a task. Now, three of them were dead. Killed by Stiles in a bestial rage. The twins, still merged, had taken the chance to run off. Derek had no intension of pursuing them.

       They’d seen exactly what happened to those who went up against Derek and the ones who followed him. Stiles, most graphically, had pounded the example that they were not be messed with. Now, they had to assess the wounded and how to move forward from here.

      Peter was slumped against the wall. Pain rolled off him in waves. There were enough broken bones that he still was unable to move. In fact, it seemed he was having trouble breathing. It wasn’t life threatening. But he’d have to have his bones properly set before they healed wrong. Which would only lead to them having to re-break them.

      By some miracle, Derek was still able to not only walk, but stand. He was in a shit ton of pain. But he powered through, wanting to check on Jackson, and, at some point, regroup with Scott and Isaac. He wondered where the two betas were. Given that they would’ve know doubt heard Stiles’ roar, and the subsequent fighting that came after it.

      Chris and Allison were slashed to hell, and the both of them had lost a concerning amount of blood. Nothing that endangered their lives. But they’d would need to rest for several days. And avoid anything strenuous or stressful. Jackson, who’d gotten up close and personal, had significantly more extensive injuries.

     The young man’s face was lopsided. Given that, Derek assumed that the twins had broken his jaw. He helped the young man snap it back into place before it set. There was only a small yelp when the bone met back together. He’d been attacked by two merged alphas. Derek didn’t have a handle on how long it would take for him to heal. A few days probably.

     Peter was standing now. There was less wheezing whenever he breathed. So, at least there was that. The man was still in a tremendous amount of pain. Derek shouldered him as best as he could. There wasn’t too much weight he could add to either side of his body at the moment.

     “That's something.”

“Disappointed you didn’t get your chance?” Derek’s words made Peter laugh. Which quickly ceased as he winced in pain.

      “Not at all. But this does beg the question. What in the hell do we do with him now?” Derek didn’t have an answer to that.

       Deucalion had turned Stiles. Derek didn’t know exactly as to why. More than likely, some twisted scheme of his. Regardless, the young man was freshly turned, and from the looks of him, fresh out of torture. Derek knew that look. It was the same he had when Kate had chained him and strapped electrodes to his stomach. Deucalion hadn’t just turned Stiles. He had used his newfound healing to physically torment him.

      It seemed to have driven him over the edge. Which would’ve, more than likely, been the man’s intention to begin with. But rather than attack Derek or the others, Stiles had gone on the war path against the alpha pack. Killing three out of five. Derek wondered how the fuck he was still alive.

      A newly turned wolf was bad enough. A newly turned wolf that now had the power of three monstrous alphas coursing through him…Derek didn’t want to think about what Stiles would be like when the full moon came. Which, now that he thought about it, was two weeks away. They had two weeks to, somehow, train Stiles to be a werewolf. To get a handle on not only his senses and shift, but the massive amount of power that now lived inside of him.

      Another matter came to head as Derek heard footsteps stampeding their way over. Isaac, Erica, and Boyd were all huddled together. Supporting each other’s weight. The latter two were injured, and in pain. But they were alive. Scott came to stand beside them. Eyes a deep scarlet. Which was another fuck all mystery together. Including the young woman standing next to him.

     “Cora?”

    

    

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Stiles hated hospitals. He had hated hospitals ever since his mother died. She had spent her final months of life. Trapped in cold, sterile hallways. Unable to know or even realize why she was there. Why the world seemed to close in and restrict her. Why the child she’d raised for eleven years was suddenly a demon. He hated hospitals.

      There wasn’t all that much that he remembered. The first thing that came to mind, was hearing Derek’s roar. Followed by the realization that they were here. They had found him. They were here to rescue him. That, and Deucalion had forced him to shift. A horrid command that Stiles had no power to refuse. The one that came after that was even worse.

       The man, if he could be called that, had intended to use Stiles. Use him as a pawn to incite Derek into killing him, then, presumably, Erica and Boyd. The idea itself was dreadful enough on its own. But it lit an anger in Stiles. Old demons resurfaced, now enhanced by him being a werewolf. What he did next is where things went downhill.

     Deucalion hadn’t been expecting him to fight back. At least, not the extent that he did. He certainly didn’t expect Stiles to kill him. The action was something fueled by primal, bestial rage. When the man died, Stiles felt it. Because in his rage, in the storm of red that consumed him, he forgot what happens when a beta kills an alpha.

      After that…everything blurred into incoherence. All he knew was that he could smell the threats. He could hear their heartbeats. And he went on a rampage. Slashing. Biting. Tearing. And roaring through them. When he finally managed to resurface…when he came through the storm of it all…He broke in ways he didn’t think was possible.

     The first thing he noticed was the scent of blood. Spending several days being tortured by Deucalion had gotten him well acquainted with it. But this time, it wasn’t just his. The scent of blood, from multiple people, saturated where he was. It pounded into his sinuses like a strike of lightning. There were some he didn’t recognize. Some, felt familiar. Felt like something he should’ve known.

       He didn’t have time to succumb to the panic building in his chest. His father had him in his arms. The violence of what he had done lingering on his skin. He could feel the blood drying on it. The realization made him collapse. Collapse into his father’s eyes. It was the first time, in a long time, that he’d cried. He cried and cried and cried.

       After that, everything turned to blurs again. He didn’t have to be a genius to figure out as to why. Shock and torture were enough to destabilize anyone. When he woke, when he really woke up, he was alone in a room. A hospital room. Various tubes were connected to his left arm. A machine steadily beeping away. Giving proof to his signs of life. The only thing was, Stiles didn’t feel alive.

     Everything felt disconnected and ten thousand miles away. The only proof he had to his own existence was the pain he felt. Every nerve ending seemed to be alight with agony. Even breathing caused him extreme discomfort. Panic swelled in him. The machine he was hooked up to started screaming.

      He was out of the bed and pulling at the tubes before he even realized what he was doing. They were evil, terrible things. He didn’t want them. They reminded him of his mother. He screamed at their purpose, at their very presence. He wondered if he’d gone mad.

     The door opens, and several people file in. Stiles is too panicked to tell who they are. It didn’t seem to matter all that much. They restrain him as best they can. He starts to cry again. Screaming even louder than before. There was a sharp jab in his side, and the world began to spin. Round and round and round. Right until he hit the floor. Things went black again.

      The next time he wakes up, his father is in the room. Nestled in a crappy chair, head tucked down. Snoring ever so softly. Had it been under better circumstances, Stiles would’ve been pleased at the sight. But these weren’t better circumstances. These were the worst possible circumstances.

      His father, be it because Stiles moved too loudly, or just instinct, awoke. Eyes flinging wide and alert. As if there was a threat. The only threat in the room was Stiles. Regardless, the man’s arms find their way to him. And it was honestly the best hug Stiles had ever had.

      He doesn’t panic this time. Doesn’t scream. Doesn’t pull at the tubes. For the first time since he’d been kidnapped, Stiles feels safe. Now that he was a werewolf, his father’s scent came more clearly to him now. It was warm and full of life. He nestled his nose in the crook of the man’s neck. Things felt like they were going to get better.

         No one told him what had happened. Or what he had done. Or how long he’d been in this bed. It didn’t seem to matter. Stiles was an expert at burying his own trauma. He could afford to wait a few days before he took the time to deal with the latest batch.

        They discharge him two days after he woke up. Giving the all clear. Stiles had the sneaking suspicion that Melissa had something to do with it. He was a werewolf now. And thus, had accelerated healing. He needed leave before anyone grew suspicious. His father seemed to agree on the matter.

     The drive back to their home was spent in silence. Stiles didn’t say anything about what had happened to him. And his father did not ask. When they arrive, it feels like a dream. Being locked in a desolate room shattered his sense of time and reality. Being back in his own house felt like something out of Wonderland.

      When he gets to his room…things are different. It was exactly as he’d left it the night he went to Derek’s loft. But it was an entirely new experience. Now that he had the senses, his own scent bombarded him in waves. And it honestly made him sick to his stomach. He really needed to clean.

      When he sleeps, it comes like it was the most natural thing in the world. After everything…He had expected nightmares to plague him left and right. But it was the best, most restful sleep Stiles had had in years. The strangeness of it was not lost on him. The fact that he was so easily able to go back to his ordinary life.

       It was two days before he heard from anyone else. Scott was the first. He had called. Stiles stared at his phone with a blank feeling stretching through his mind. The sound of the ringtone was like that of a war cry. Threatening to send him back over the edge. Threatening to send him back to what he’d turned into when he’d killed Deucalion.

       Scott tells him everything. Or rather, an abridged version of it. Stiles had gone berserk. Killing Deucalion, Ennis, and Kali. His friend, thankfully, did not give him the details on how. He felt that the specifics would’ve only made him feel worse.

     That wasn’t the only shocking event to happen. As there were two more to accompany their already stacking levels of fuckery. Scott was an alpha now as well. He and Isaac had split up to find Stiles, Erica, and Boyd. They had found the latter two. But they had been imprisoned in room sealed with a line of mountain ash. Which effectively stopped any rescue attempt. Until it didn’t.

      Scott had heard the roars of the various wolves. Knowing that they were running out of time, he had pushed through. Breaking the line and the barrier, freeing Erica and Boyd. It had nearly killed him. After the fighting had died down, he had gone to the hospital as well. Where he’d spent at least a day in what was called the shortest coma ever.

      The other shocking development that no one saw coming, was Derek’s sister. Like every other member of their family, Cora Hale had been presumed dead. And they buried an empty casket like the others. As there wasn’t all that much left to bury of the ones they did find. Apparently, Deucalion had found her in South America. And decided to use her as bait as well.

     There weren’t too many details beyond that. Apart from that the twins had escaped in the madness. Or more accurately, they had run the hell away when Stiles systematically slaughtered three alphas. It wasn’t that big of a concern. Stiles felt like they weren’t the type to seek revenge. There definitely wasn’t any attachment to any of the alphas that he’d killed.

     Scott hangs up the phone, telling Stiles to call him tomorrow. He doesn’t. He stays in his room, only leaving to eat. And even them, some days his father had to bring him something. The world didn’t need him right now. And he didn’t need the world. That was just the truth of it.

      By the end of the week was when he received his first visitor. Alan Deaton was as impeccable looking as the first time Stiles met him. The man never seemed to have anything out of place nor a solid care in the world. He hated him on principal. His usual evasiveness aside, the man could’ve solved a lot of problems had he been more forthcoming.

      Derek was standing, a considerable distance behind him. The alpha was a good six feet away from the front door. Almost as if he was afraid of something. Stiles knew that it was him. He had gone on a rampage and killed three alphas singlehandedly. It didn’t take a genius to figure out that he was a monster now.

      Stiles very nearly turns them away. It took everything he had just to get out of bed. Just to come and answer the door. Part of him snarled at Derek’s presence. There was a primal urge to bear his fangs at the man. He ignored it in favor of letting the two of them inside.

     His father was at work. An unavoidable circumstance. Given that they still had to draw some form of income. Stiles still wondered what he’d told the public when it was revealed that he’d been kidnapped. It didn’t really matter. It was Beacon Hills. People had accepted stranger things than this.

      Derek and Deaton sit down. Making themselves comfortable. Stiles stays standing. It feels odd, having the two of them here. Almost like an invasion of sorts. He can’t help but feel uncomfortable. There were ten thousand things that his new senses were screaming at him. He didn’t know what any of them meant.

       “Hello Stiles. I hope you’re doing well.” Deaton’s voice is as soft of velvet. And carries about as much weight as a feather.

“Been better, Doc. I’ve been better.” It wasn’t meant to sound as facetious as it did. But it did regardless.

      “That’s what I’ve come to talk with you about. Your transition…It raises concerns. Namely, what will happen on your first full moon.”

“You mean you’re worried that I’ll go insane and kill everyone.”

      Deaton doesn’t answer. Stiles doesn’t really need him to. He remembered. He remembered what Scott was like, right after the change. Right after Peter turned both of their lives upside down and inside out. Even before the full moon, his best friend had been going downhill. He had just refused to see it.

      After the first time, it became clear that Scott needed to be restrained, in one form or another, during the full moon. He was out of control and frequent to outbursts. Even when perfectly human. It had taken him literal months to get a handle on his newfound wofly powers.

      Stiles was an alpha. One that had barely been a werewolf for two weeks. That, and he’d killed and taken the power of three of the most dangerous wolves to ever walk the earth. By rights, he’d not only have to be restrained, he’d have to be chained to a slab of concreate. Those were things that Deaton was wanting to tell him. But he didn’t have the words to do so.

      “I get it. Newly turned werewolf went on a rampage, killed three alphas, and now is a threat to the entire county.”

“Stiles, it’s not….” Derek, having spoken for the first time, didn’t seem to have very many words either.

      “Let’s not pretend that this isn’t a fuck of a situation. Let’s not pretend that I won’t have to be chained, sedated and guarded for the entire night. Please. For the sake of what remains of my sanity.”

      Derek flinches. Actually flinches back. Deaton’s face turns sour. Like he’d smelled something foul. Stiles understood well enough. It was the first human interaction he’d had, aside from his father, and he’d botched it. A part of him was sorry. The rest of him couldn’t care less.

      “Aside from my impending experience with bondage kinks, what about Scott? Anyone care to tell me how the hell that happened?”

“Scott’s case is the type to happen once or so a century. The records that I have refer to it as a True Alpha. One who does not inherit or kill for the power. But achieves by sheer force of will.”

       “Well, that’s just dandy. Now we have three alphas. Two of whom can barely wipe their own asses as werewolves. Any suggestions, apart from long term membership to a BDSM dungeon?” Stiles wasn’t even trying to hide his sarcasm now. Not that he’d ever done so to begin with.

“The most practical solution is to have you and Scott at the loft. It has the most space, and there aren’t too many people. Deaton can set lines of mountain ash for the both of you.” Derek was being absolutely, one hundred percent serious.

      “Great idea. What about the Three Stooges? They gonna be able to pass this over?”

“Isaac, Erica, and Boyd have been practicing their control. Right now, our main concerns are you and Scott. We’ll take the rest as it comes.”

      Stiles hated to admit it, but the plan was solid. Save for the part about encasing Scott in mountain ash. Given that he’d broken a line of the stuff to get Erica and Boyd out. Derek amended that, saying that there would be multiple layers of ash rings. And therefore, unlikely that Scott could break all of them. The same, in the off chance, went for Stiles.

        It was an arrangement that made as good a sense as any. There weren’t really any better options at hand. And truthfully, Stiles didn’t relish the idea of being chained to something. He’d much rather be able to sit on a couch, in the AC, and watch Netflix. That’s if he didn’t lose his mind went the moon rose.

      Derek gave the details and made sure that Stiles understood what time he had to arrive. That he had to be there, on time, to ensure that all the proper preparations were complete. Stiles nodded and dismissed the other alpha. Deaton had already left. For some reason, he hadn’t.

      Derek had a look of a man who wanted to say something. Who wanted to say many somethings. Stiles didn’t know why he didn’t. He had certainly never held his opinion to himself before. Not once since they’d met. It had been an interesting year for them. But for the two of them….Stiles didn’t know.

     He and Derek had been through the ringer, time and time again. From Stiles framing him for murder. From Derek taking shelter in Stiles’ room as he was a wanted man. Working together to track down the alpha, and discovering it had been Peter. There were plenty of things between them. Plenty that had been done, and plenty that needed to be said. It’s just the both of them sucked at emotional intelligence and had no desire to actually improve upon the matter.

      “I’m sorry.” Derek’s words are plain and simple. But loaded with subtext. Stiles didn’t feel like trying to decipher all of it.

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry for, sourwolf. You didn’t kidnap me. You didn’t turn me. You didn’t torture me. And you certainly didn’t drive me insane and make me kill three people.”

     “Stiles….”

“Stow the martyr complex for thirty seconds, and listen. What happened sucks. What happens next is also going to suck. But let’s not pretend that you or Peter or anyone else could’ve prevented what happened to me. Because that was on them, and no one else.”

     Derek’s mouth snapped shut and his shoulders slumped down like a man defeated. Truthfully, Stiles wasn’t actively trying to be an asshole. Not really. But the stress of the upcoming full moon, and everything he now had to deal with….He wasn’t trying to be mean. Or be insensitive towards Derek’s feelings.

      Stiles knew, however illogical, Derek believed himself to blame for what had happened. For once, he was attempting to take some form of accountability. If anything, Peter should be nailed to the wall. Given that it was his revenge driven assholelery that started all of this. But even as satisfying as it would’ve been to do so, it wouldn’t have solved anything.

        Derek moved to leave, having nothing else to say. Stiles didn’t blame him. But there was a part of him that startled awake. Something that made him move without really thinking about. He latched onto Derek’s jacket, (that ridiculous leather one), and pulled him close. When he buries his nose into the other man’s neck, neither of them move beyond that. Stiles just stays there for a few seconds. Trying to understand that scent that was Derek Hale. And imagined what it meant for the both of them to go from here. As it turned out, it wasn’t entirely awful.

     When the other man leaves, Stiles makes sure that the door is firmly locked behind him. it wasn’t until he was back in his room that he noticed it. That his dick was rock hard and leaking. Well, that certainly was something new. Oh well, he’d have an existential crisis later. Right now, he just wanted to sleep. He wondered if he’d also want to wake up.

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek was trying his best to understand, out of everything that had happened in the last two weeks, what the actual fuck was going on. When he’d gone over to Stiles house, the intention, however shaky, was to find some form of common ground. The guy was a newly turned wolf with the powers of three murderous alphas coursing through him. There needed to be something of a countermeasure in place.

      He had brought Deaton, (even though he still disliked the man), to act as a buffer. Derek had no idea how Stiles would react to another alpha being in his home. Hell, he might decide to charge out the door and rip Derek’s head off the moment that he caught the man’s scent.

     Surprisingly, that’s not what happened. Instead, Stiles had answered the door. Looking weary, and sleep deprived. Dark circles under both his eyes, and he seemed to have lost weight. His skin lacked the usual luster. His paleness was…sickly. Derek didn’t have to ask as to the reason why.

        Stiles stares at the both of them. Eyes darting back and forth. But they don’t flash red. He doesn’t bare his teeth. Werewolf or otherwise. He doesn’t even growl. Completely from how Derek expected him to react. If anything, he just looks…irritated.

      He welcomes the two of them inside, and Deaton takes three seconds for small talk, and then gets straight to the point. Stiles is callous about the matter, but understands nonetheless. Part of Derek wonders if the newly minted alpha had been planning his own restraint. He knew why. It was rather obvious.

     Stiles had went on a rampage and killed three of the deadliest alphas in the country. With no one’s help and in a spectacularly brutal fashion. Derek wouldn’t pretend to know what that experience was like. He knew what being of control was, yes. But not the point where he killed or even harmed other people. Save for himself.

        Stiles agrees to the idea and Derek already knows that Scott will have no arguments. The young man was terrified of being a wolf. Of losing control. He could only imagine what he felt like now, as an alpha. The two of them were still lingering the lives they had as humans. Derek wanted to make sure they didn’t lose anything else.

     Before he leaves, Derek tries, (operative term ‘tries’), to make so manner of an apology. Stiles cuts through it without a single ounce of mercy. Derek doesn’t blame him. But he did blame himself. Deucalion would’ve never come anywhere near here. Stiles….Erica…Boyd. They would’ve been safe. They wouldn’t have had to go through that madman’s machinations. Derek doesn’t try again.

      But he didn’t leave without something a goodbye. Wherein Stiles pulled him closer, and shoved his nose into his Derek’s neck. It was a bone chilling, heart racing moment. For one, part of Derek thought that Stiles might actually try and kill him. That he had given into his new alpha instincts and was about to remove a threat. Instead, the young man scent marked him.

       It was not uncommon for unfamiliar wolves to scent mark each other. It was not an action that was exclusive to being pack. But the way Stiles did it was…intimate. Alphas did not bare their necks to each other. Unless they were a mated pair. Which they weren’t. Regardless, Derek could smell the spiciness of the young man’s arousal start to peek through.

      On any given day, Stiles reeked of horniness at every possible second. Given that he was eighteen, that wasn’t entirely unusual. What was unusual, was for the scent to spike when he had his nose shoved into Derek’s neck. The other alpha didn’t seem to notice. Pulling away without so much as another word between them.

      Derek drives back to the loft, feeling light headed and somewhat out of focus. Stiles was one thing. His arousal was another. He makes no comments when he walks inside. Even when Peter’s eyebrows go up into his hairline. Derek snarls at the man. Wordlessly commanding him to be silent. He had enough to deal with.

     The alpha doesn’t even have the chance to sit down before his bombarded by his betas. The three of them pile atop him like overexcited children. He indulges them only for a few seconds before removing them. It was getting difficult to breathe.

      He had formally accepted Erica and Boyd back into the pack. And saved the lecture while he was at it. After all that they’d been through, that was the last thing that they needed. Derek understood well enough why they were behaving the way they were.

     Betas need an alpha. Given that he’d bitten the three of them, they shared a connection that most people would never experience in their lives. Derek had, on more than one occasion, attempted to explain it to them. That they should not be ashamed of their desire to be close to not only him, but each other. Pack comforted each other. That’s how it worked. Given that Cora was here, they saw firsthand the effect pack had on one another.

     He’d spent the last six years under the assumption that his baby sister, along with so many others, was dead. When it turned out that she was alive, and in the hands of Deucalion, Derek had experienced a rather tumultuous roller-coaster of emotions.

     The first of which was, of course, anger. He didn’t ask what Deucalion had done to her, and she didn’t say anything on the matter. Regardless, he stayed partially shifted for several hours. The next was an immense sense of relief. As much as he and Peter fought, as much as they had clashed, he was family. Cora was here, and she wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

      For the first time in six years, Derek shared his bed with another person. They slept together just like when they were pups. Cora nestled into him. She had filled out and was a rather built young woman. Derek had grown nearly a foot, and put on sixty pounds since the last time they saw each other. It was an awkward fit. But it felt like the closest thing to home he’d had in a long time.

      It takes them a few days to reach somewhere where they’re comfortable. Namely because of Peter. Cora did not take the news of Laura’s death very well. In fact, Derek had to restrain her from trying to kill their uncle. Peter offered a meek apology, and swept himself off somewhere where Derek couldn’t be bothered to follow.

     The other issue was the betas. The six years that Cora had spent by herself had hardened her. She wasn’t the bubbly little girl that Derek remembered so fondly. The idea that, not only was most of their family was dead, that she now had to share the loft with three strangers was not one that she relished in.

     He had left out all the details of what had happened before Deucalion, as well as after, for the sake of everyone’s sanity. Now that things were finally coming to a head, he gave her the parts he thought the most important. Namely that they were now sharing Beacon Hills with two other alphas. One who was some mythical True Alpha. The other who had went berserk and killed three of the people that had been holding her captive.

     Cora seemed amendable to the idea of training Stiles and Scott. Namely because if they went berserk, and weren’t able to control themselves, they’d have a damn hard time of stopping them. Especially Stiles. Given that he was now, by definition, the most powerful alpha in a three hundred mile radius.

     Peter had been right to question what they were going to do with him. In theory, he should’ve been dead. Deucalion, Ennis, and Kali were barely sane as it was. Relentlessly bloodthirsty. And had little to no regard for the life of anyone beyond the purpose of entertaining them.

      Stiles was a newly turned werewolf who had killed all three of them, and taken their power. It should’ve killed him. But it didn’t. He didn’t go insane either. For a moment, Derek worried about the possibility. But he snapped back to reality as soon as he was in his father’s arms. His humanity had returned with just one person.

      It seemed like a good place to start for an anchor. Derek would expand on that after they endured the guy’s first full moon. Which was sure to be a shit fest, the likes of which none of them had ever before seen. Deaton was currently stock piling mountain ash in bulk. And if Derek’s gut told him anything, it was that they would definitely need it.

      The loft was big enough to contain Stiles and Scott. And even if the two of them had difficulty in adjusting to each other’s presence, (given that they were now both alphas), Derek owned the whole damn building. There was plenty of other spaces they could be contained in. Should the need arise.

      He had been drilling the betas non-stop on their control. Having to lock up two newly made alphas was enough of a problem. Derek needed the three of them in top shape when the full moon came. Jackson, to no one’s surprise, resisted the idea of being trained by Derek. But he came regardless.

     The young beta made no comment regarding Stiles or Scott. Saying only that he wanted Lydia and Danny present for the next full moon. Derek assured him, if that was to be the case, then Jackson would have to help them with what was to come. And not just half-assing it either. He agreed and went back to the training.

     Peter stuck on the sidelines, never making any comments. Snide or otherwise. The man was intent on just existing the space, and little else. Derek assumed that his uncle was still aggrieved. There was little doubt as to why he really joined the fight. He wanted the chance to kill one of the alphas, and take back the power he’d lost. Stiles had stolen that from him. Even given how fucked the situation was, Derek was at least a little bit amused at that fact.

     With the betas all exhausted for the evening, Derek tells them to go to bed. They had a lot of work to do, and not much time to do it. First and foremost, preparing the loft for Stiles and Scott. The full moon would be upon them soon enough. And they couldn’t afford to be lax.

     When the room was clear, Peter finally made his way over. Face stretched in a manic grin that meant nothing good. Derek considered slugging him just for good measure. He decided against it. Even if it would’ve made him feel better, he didn’t want to give his uncle the satisfaction.

     “So, I take the meeting with Stiles went well.”

“He understands the situation. Even if he isn’t happy about it.” Derek wondered exactly what Stiles was happy about these days.

     “Well, he seemed happy enough when he scent marked you.” Derek turned towards his uncle, eyes screaming red, and fans barred. The message wasn’t lost.

“Keep your bullshit to yourself. You’re pissed that Stiles stole you chance, I get it. But he isn’t a piece in your games, and given that he’s got the power of three alphas running through him, I’d suggest backing off.”

      For the first time, ever since Derek became an alpha, Peter was afraid of him. He had always played off Derek’s threats. Always played off Derek’s anger. Hell, he even played it off when he became physically violent. But now, his uncle was certain. Derek wasn’t mincing words, or pulling punches. If he wanted to screw with Stiles…If he wanted to take advantage of him and regain what he thought he had a right to, Derek would put him back in the ground. And this time, he’d make sure that he stayed there.

     His uncle retreated without any further commentary. Derek didn’t want anything else to do with the man. Cora comes in behind him just as he vanishes around the corner. Her eyes flash yellow when she catches Derek’s scent. He doesn’t have to guess as to why.

      “You stink.”

“Be nice, he doesn’t know. He’s…adjusting.” Derek didn’t have the words to explain why Stiles had scent marked him. He figured that Stiles didn’t either.

      “What kind of alpha scent marks another alpha?”

“One who was human for the first eighteen years of his life, and is now coming into an entirely new worldview.” Derek looks at his sister as he speaks. She is lost. She may be among her pack, her family, but she is lost.

      She didn’t talk about the years after the fire. When she lived under the assumption that she was the only remaining Hale. Or rather, if there were survivors, she didn’t know how to get ahold of them. Cora was twelve when the fire happened. Derek doesn’t ask how she managed to survive on her own for six years. Nor how she ended up a literal continent away.

      He doesn’t ask about the years she spent god knows where. He doesn’t ask about who she lived with, or how she managed to stay sane without a pack. He doesn’t ask what happened to make her so different from the little girl he remembers.

      Instead, he talks about Laura. Their big sister. How she became the alpha, and about their lives after the flames became smoldering misery. He explained the part that he had played in the fire. About how he had been deceived and used by one Kate Argent. About the guilt he felt every waking moment of his life. Cora says nothing.

     She just buries her face into his shoulder. Shamelessly marking over where Stiles had left his scent. Not even caring that it was, in a small way, an indirect challenge. Derek smiled and let his sister be content for the first time in over half a decade. She had more than earned it.

     They stay like that for what felt like hours. These days, time seemed to have a strange effect. So much had happened so quickly. And Derek truly didn’t know how to make sense of any of it. There was too much happening all at once, and not enough space for him to process it.

      In light of that, he chose to stay still and calm with the sister he’d thought he’d lost. The one that seemed to be a memory within a memory. He had her, his betas, and one occasion, when he could tolerate the man, Peter.

      The pang of loss still rang in his chest when he got too far in his own head. But now, he had people to help pull him out of it. He had a pack, and he had two young werewolves that needed his help. Because if he didn’t, if he left them to their own devices, there was no telling what would happen.

       Cora actually starts to fall asleep on his shoulder. Just like when they were kids, Derek picks her up, and carries her to her bed. She was currently cohabitating with Erica, and the two of them were a menace together. He deposits her, covering her still form with a goose down blanket. The way she sleeps makes his heart sing. It was the best thing he’d seen in a while.

      Back in the den, the betas are piled on the couch. Haphazardly atop each other. Watching some nameless movie they’d all seen a thousand times. Even Jackson had decided to finally acknowledge how pack worked, and joined in on what Erica called a ‘puppy pile’. Derek sits on the floor in front of them. Comforted by the scent of his pack. Enjoying the shred of peace that they had managed to find. He knew that, come the full moon, it wouldn’t hold for very long.

 

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

The morning that was to be the day of the full moon, Stiles woke up and he was…irritated. Not angry per say, but certainly irritated. The entirety of everything seemed to annoy him. To no conceivable end. From the birds chirping. The streaks of sunlight streaming in through his windows. Every. Last. Thing. The world seemed intent, on this day, it aggravate him to no conceivable end.

      And, to top off that emotional turbulence, he woke up hornier than he’d ever been in his entire life. Seriously, the first thing he did wasn’t go to the bathroom. He didn’t take a shower. He didn’t brush his teeth. What he did do, was jerk off three times in a row. Back to back to back. Which was absolutely ridiculous. Which of course, led to the next predicament.

      Stiles had been masturbating ever since he had learned what that meant, and the many ways in which people did it. He had become rather acquainted with his dick. Which is why it came as a surprise to how much he, well, came. Which was rather a lot, actually. He was usually pretty good at not making a mess. The morning of his first full moon, and he damn near had to burn the sheets.

       He wondered if being a werewolf was the source of this. And perhaps being an alpha as well. There was a lot of things, despite exhaustive testing and research, that he didn’t know about being a creature of the night. There were, of course, two people close by that he could ask. But he dreaded that idea. For varying reasons.

      In an ideal world, Stiles would never, ever have to interact with Peter Hale. In an ideal world, that deranged, self-absorbed sociopath would’ve stayed dead. In an ideal world. Stiles certainly wasn’t going to ask the man about matter where his dick was concerned.

     Derek….Derek wasn’t a much better option. Given any consideration of the matter. They had, since the two of them first met, been on exceptionally awkward terms. Ever since Stiles’ kidnapping, subsequent torture, and follow up rampage, things between them had no improved.

       There was a tension that had been exacerbated. Now that Stiles was an alpha, he found Derek…alarming. Not in a bad way. But it was a sensation he didn’t really have words to describe or lay out. There weren’t any terms that made sense. Things were not made any better by Scott being an alpha now as well.

     He hadn’t seen his friend since he’d been rescued. A small part of him was annoyed at that fact. But for the most part, Stiles understood. They were both bitten werewolves, with iffy control, and freshly made alphas at that. The two of them meeting could’ve spelled disaster. And Stiles didn’t want any more blood any on his hands. Literally or metaphorically.

      He had yet to tell his father about the extent of what had happened. Or how he had trouble sleeping. Or that there was a perpetual sense of dread looming over him at any given moment. There were a lot of things that he hadn’t told his dad. Namely, and most chiefly, that he would be spending the full moon at Derek’s loft.

       His father was, for the most part, a practical, understanding man. But, like Stiles, his history with one Derek Hale was not the best. The idea that his only child would be spending the night in his loft was sure to be an uncomfortable conversation. Stiles had already started to go over the selling points when he got in the shower.

        When he was washed, and had his sheets discreetly tucked into the washer, Stiles went about making breakfast. Given the circumstances, he didn’t bother trying to make a single thing healthy. His father deserved a full spread, given what was to happen while they were eating.

        Deaton had, to an extent, given his dad some sparse details of what was going to happen to Stiles. What it meant that he was a werewolf. And what it meant that he had killed Deucalion, Ennis, and Kali. That he had taken their power as a newly turned wolf. That he would need to be restrained until he could learn control.

      His dad, even with the few specifics he was given, understood. But he had been working under the assumption that Stiles would be somewhere familiar. Perhaps at home, or somewhere out of the way. Deaton had made no mention that they had already planned the full moon to be done at Derek’s loft. He’d left the telling of that little detail to Stiles, the slick bastard.

      By the time the first half of the bacon is done frying, his dad is already shuffling his way into the kitchen. Rubbing, as he always did, the sleep from his eyes. Being the sheriff, even from a moderate county like Beacon Hills, was tough, unforgiving work.

     The hours were terrible and inconsistent, and so were the people he had to deal with. Stiles, as a child, often resented his father for his absences. Now that he was older, he had a better view of the world. Along with the way it worked. He couldn’t hate his father. Not after everything they’d been through.

    He hands the man a cup of searing hot, black coffee. Of which his father then proceeds to absentmindedly blow on. Surprisingly, given his propensity for fat, carbs, and whiskey, the man never was one for sugar. At least Stiles could be grateful for that small comfort.

  For the most part, they eat in silence. There are a few tidbits of conversation between mouthfuls. And Stiles knew that it was now or never. He had to tell his father what was happening tonight. And he was fully planning on doing that. As soon as the man had some more bacon that is. When he swallowed that last clump of greasy salt, Stiles spoke.

       “I’m spending the full moon at Derek’s.” The words passed over his tongue smoothly, and without an ounce of fear. His father looked at him like a man who’d seen the devil.

“That’s news to me.”

     “If I’d told you earlier, you would’ve been able to say no.” Stiles wasn’t able to look at his father when he spoke.

“I still can, son.”

      Stiles swallowed the words that were building in the base of this throat. He stamped them down with untampered fury. There was so much that he wanted to say. So much that he wanted to explain. That he wanted to let his father know. But there was a time and a place. This wasn’t it.

      “Dad, I went berserk, and killed three people. Three alpha werewolves, and it wasn’t even a full moon. What do you think could happen tonight?”

“You were defending yourself, and your friends. You don’t need to feel guilty about that.” His father’s eyes quivered with something horrible.

     “My guilt aside, I am a threat. I had to do the same thing with Scott when he was first turned. And he was only a beta. Imagine the kind of damage I could do.”

       Stiles knew exactly the kind of damage that he could do if left unchecked. Deaton had explained part of it. Of what could happen during his first full moon. That he could go insane. Bitten or born, wolves weren’t meant to have this much power. And the fact that Stiles was so newly turned didn’t help anything. It certainly didn’t help that he had a father that trusted these people about as far as he could throw them.

      “That vet guy said you’d have to be restrained. What exactly was he talking about?”

“It’s nothing bad. Deaton’s gonna set up some mountain ash barriers that will keep me contained. Unable to hurt myself or anyone else.” Stiles was trying to sound confident in the explanation.

     “And this mountain ash, it’ll be able to hold you?” Stiles didn’t have the time or the patience for a long, drawn out explanation. He gave his father the basics. Of how the material worked, and how the three layered rings would be the safest method of keeping him contained, and that the other options were…unpleasant.

     They finish eating with scattered conversation. And Stiles does his best to answer his father’s questions without giving too many details. Given that he was already in the world of the supernatural, he didn’t want his father in any further.

        Stiles cleans, without being asked. Like he always did. His father was preparing for yet another long day. He didn’t need anything else to worry about. The sound of dishes clanking together, coupled with water running, was oddly soothing. It didn’t really help though.

     The afternoon arrives quicker than he would’ve liked, along with a second round of unnecessary horniness. This time, Stiles ignores it, and thinks of ancient, withered nuns. He doesn’t have the time, or the patience to clean up another round of alpha werewolf masturbation mess.

      It eventually goes away on its own, with only a lingering arousal at the back of his brain. And his groin. He wonders if it would only get worse once the full moon came. Which wasn’t exactly pleasant to think about. Given that he’d be in the same given space as a bunch of other werewolves who could literally smell it.

     When the time came to leave, he had his bag packed and ready. The drive to Derek’s loft felt…disconnected. As if what was happening wasn’t actually real. That it wasn’t really happening. Like it was all some kind of dream. Stiles knew it wasn’t. But it certainly didn’t help his extreme levels of dissociation.

      The elevator is as slow and irritating as it was the last time he was here. At that time, he had still been human. Still worrying about very human things. And not much else. Trying to come to terms with who he was, and what was to come. Nothing had really changed since then. Except, everything had.

      He pauses at the massive door, not wanting to open it. Because if he did, everything, all of it, would come crashing down on his head. Smacking him in the face that this, life as an alpha werewolf, was now an indisputable reality. He can hear the heartbeats behind it pick up in pace. They knew he was here.

      When Derek answers the door, Stiles feels his entire body tense. Not in a bad way, but he certainly was on alert. Aware, very much so, that there was another alpha standing in front of him. He knew his eyes were red. Derek’s were that mysterious hazel green. The one with little flecks of gold at the edges.

      The two of them don’t say anything. They just stare and stare. And then, just like last time, Stiles has his nose in the man’s neck. Just like last time, Derek didn’t move or say anything. He smells of musk and forest spices. It was an intriguing scent. And just like the last time, Stiles could feel his dick start to get hard. He pulled away as soon as the realization hit him, hoping that no one, Derek most of all, had noticed.

       “Come on inside.” Derek steps aside, and Stiles walks inside. Trying to hide the blush in his cheeks. And the fact that he now had a massive hard on.

     Peter is in the corner with a book, and surprisingly, pays Stiles no mind. Isaac, Erica, and Boyd were tucked onto the couch. Watching a movie that they weren’t really paying attention to. Stiles didn’t blame them. The closer it got to nightfall, the harder he found it to concentrate.

      Jackson and Lydia were in their own world. Everyone else in the room was of no consequence. Danny sat beside them, idling thumbing through his phone. But his eyes were trained to Stiles. Keenly aware of his presence. Aware that what was going on. Stiles didn’t bother to question as to why he was here. He already knew. He was here for Jackson.

      There was one person that Stiles didn’t recognize. She was Lydia’s height, but with a stern build. Dark hair framed her face, and she looked at him like something out of nightmare. Stiles didn’t have to be genius to figure this one out. This was Derek’s sister, Cora.

      He didn’t know anything about her. Save for that Deucalion had held her captive, along with him, Isaac, Erica, and Boyd. He didn’t have the gall to ask any questions. Not only because it was wildly inappropriate, but also because it looked like she would eat him alive. A fear that was given further form when she started walking directly towards him.

      Derek’s eyebrows went into his hairline, and Stiles froze in place. Cora stopped in front of him. Pupils blown wide and nostrils flaring. Stiles wondered if he smelled bad. Or worse, that she could smell his arousal. The arousal that peaked when he had shoved his nose into Derek’s neck.

      “You’re the one that killed Deucalion?” It was a simple, blunt question. Stiles gave an equally blunt and simple answer.

“Yes.” He wondered why he felt so afraid.

     “Thanks for that. Guy was a major asswipe.”

      Cora didn’t say anything else. She walked away, and Stiles felt all the tension leave his body. Almost like a balloon that had been leaking air. He needed to sit down. But he didn’t know where. The entire space felt wrong to him. As if he wasn’t supposed to be here. Despite that he very much needed to be.

      The when he gets closer to the others, he feels his body tense again. Every part of him was uncomfortable. These weren’t his betas. This wasn’t his pack. It felt….wrong to be here. But he endured the discomfort. Sitting down on a lone recliner that didn’t smell like anyone. He didn’t have much time to relax though. Because he hadn’t been seated for ten seconds before Erica leapt atop him. Giggling like a goddamn school girl.

     “Relax, batman. Full moons aren’t so bad once you get used to them.”

“Given everything that happened before this point, relaxing is a bit of an issue at the moment.” Stiles knew his eyes were red. The urge to smear his face into Erica’s neck was overwhelming. But he didn’t know exactly why he wanted to. It just felt like the right thing to do.

     He didn’t have the chance to struggle with the urge. As Derek had come over, and plucked her off of him, singlehandedly, and deposited her back onto the couch. The other alpha’s eyes were red. A low growl emanating from his throat. Erica shrunk down, and didn’t dare to speak back.

         “We’re keeping Scott on the floor below. Deaton figured it would be better for the both of you to get through your first full moons as alphas separately.”

“Okay. And who’s watching who, exactly?” Stiles wondered just how prepared they had come.

      “I’m up here with you. Along with Cora, Jackson, and Isaac. Erica, Boyd, Peter, and Deaton will make sure Scott is secure. That way, all of our manpower is divided evenly.”

       Stiles had to admit. It was a sound enough plan. Though, he was still irked that he could see Scott until after the full moon. Which was just a few short hours away. According to Derek, Deaton would encircle Stiles in the mountain ash first. He didn’t have to ask as to why.

       When the man in question finally arrives, he looks like had seen better days. There are lines under his eyes. And Stiles knew that he wasn’t sleeping. Stress was a hell of a thing. He’d been preparing all the necessary materials to contain two alphas on the full moon. No wonder he looked wrecked.

       Derek was, at least, amendable to Stiles being able to sit in the recliner. And then being encircled with the mountain ash. At least he’d be comfortable. And hopefully, he wouldn’t shred the thing once the moon rose. Even if he did, Derek could always get another one.

     Stiles managed, somehow, to settle himself in a comfortable position. He had a pair of headphones, and a Netflix subscription. Given all of the supernatural hijinks they’d been up to lately, he was way behind on his watch list. Hopefully, he wouldn’t smash his phone in a fit of moon rage. Or whatever they called it when a werewolf couldn’t control themselves.

       As the night grew later, and the outside grew darker, he could feel the effects of the moon start. Even before it was even in the center of the sky. His entire body felt like a live wire. Brimming with energy. He had the intense, and uncharacteristic desire, to go running. He felt like he could’ve broken the world record for the Boston Marathon.

       This translated into him tapping his feet up and down. Trying his hardest to focus on the episode of Supernatural he was currently watching. He was behind a few seasons, and really wanted to know what happened. The smells were harder to ignore. Given that he didn’t have any nose plugs.

      The smell of the betas was the first thing that he noticed. He could tell that they weren’t his. He didn’t know how, but his wolfy nose did. Like with Erica, there was that intense desire to rub himself all over them. Make sure that they carried his scent. It was his brain’s way of trying to make him even more uncomfortable.

     He could also smell Lydia’s perfume. Something French and expensive. Floral, but not overly so. She smelled of a tulip field with a slight breeze. Warm, and inviting. If this is what she smelled like to Jackson, he could understand why they guy didn’t want to be separated from her.

     Danny was another problem altogether. They guy smelled…..good. Like really good. Stiles felt an itch behind his gums, signaling that his fangs wanted to come out. He had learned to recognize that particular alarm bell early on. He wanted to bite the guy. To turn him. To make him his beta. There was also the matter of, once again, his dick.

     Stiles had always possessed a healthy curiosity when it came to the human sexual experience. And on more than one occasion, may have delved into certain categories when browsing porn. It was brief, and never more than once or twice. But now, here, with the full moon, his dick had decided otherwise. Thankfully, Danny wasn’t a werewolf, and therefore, was unaware of his less than demure reaction.

      Derek was another matter entirely. If Danny was enticing, then Derek was goddamn overwhelming. Stiles had his headphones in, and the volume turned all the way up. And he still had trouble focusing on the show that was playing less than a foot from his face. At one point, he turned on his side. As it was the only way to hide his erection from everyone else in the room. Now if only he could do something about them actually smelling it.

      “Stiles, are you okay?” Derek’s voice cut through. Somehow, Stiles had managed to hear it over his episode. Which was weird. And at the same time, it wasn’t.

“Yeah, I’m good. Well, a little hungry. But other than that, I’m sitting pretty.” Stiles tried his best to sound carefree. When all he really wanted to do was go to the bathroom and jerk off for the next twelve hours.

         “Are you sure? Because you seem…”

“Dude, I promise you, I’m fine. If you’re this worried, I can’t imagine what you’ll be like when it’s show time.”

      Everyone in the room looked at Stiles like he had a second head. Literally, everyone. Every last pair of eyes in the room were trained on him. It made the whole situation of trying to hide his hard one even more embarrassing. He hoped against everything that no one had noticed. And maybe, if he was really lucky, none of the werewolves would’ve been able to smell it either.

      “Stiles, the full moon has been out for the last two hours.” Derek’s words seem to be fuzzy and in the distance. Also, complete bullshit. Because Stiles was perfectly fine. Sure, he was wound up and horny as hell, but otherwise fine.

      There were no murderous urges. No desire to rip flesh from bone. Or anything like that. Hell, he didn’t even have his eyes shifted. He was in complete and total control over himself. Save for his dick. That was the only real problem. And apparently, the fact that he was in control, was yet another. Or at the very least, it was curious. Because Derek was already on the phone with Deaton. Oh well, Stiles still had episodes of Supernatural to watch.

      

 

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Derek, much like he had been lately, was very fucking confused. He had come into the day of the full moon prepared for the worst. The loft had been checked, over and over. Finding any and every escape route should Stiles somehow manage to get loose. The same was done with the floor below, where they were going to keep Scott. Everything was secured. The plan was in place. And then, the full moon actually came.

     When Stiles arrived, everyone was on edge. So far, Derek had been the only werewolf that he’d encountered since he became an alpha. And that had been…strange. To say the least. Stiles wasn’t aggressive, territorial, or even angry. If anything, he had been irritated at Derek’s presence. And little else.

       The strange part was when he had scented Derek. Not even knowing what he was doing to begin with. Rival alphas didn’t behave that way. Though, they were hardly rivals. They were, if nothing else, uncomfortable allies. Derek was doing his best to help Stiles transition in his life as an alpha werewolf. That was it.

      He could hear the Jeep pull into the parking lot for the building. It sounded like it could’ve used some work. Derek made a note to give the sheriff a feasible sum of money after the coming shit show was over. Stiles didn’t need to know where it came from, or who it was from.

      When he opens the door, Stiles’ eyes turn scarlet in the span of half a second. But he is not demonstrating or trying to challenge. It’s the scent of a pack werewolves that evoked the reaction. Derek would’ve known if Stiles was on the verge of attacking any one of them. But it was quite the opposite.

      Just like the last time, Stiles shoved his nose into Derek’s neck. Holding himself there. Taking in his scent, and little else. Save for the purring. Stiles was actually purring. Like he was pleased. Derek knew that the young alpha didn’t even realize that he was doing it.

       He separates himself after a few seconds, stepping back. Face flushed, and reeking of an intense amount of arousal. That was an entire problem in of itself. Which Derek had neither the time, nor the patience to explain.

     Being a werewolf, for the most part, was exactly like being a human. Emotionally at least. Werewolves had, of course, physical differences. That, no one could dispute. But they felt and lived as humans did. They had the same emotional process as humans did. Lust was one of them.

      Things were not helped with the fact that Stiles was eighteen, and in a sexual prime. And would’ve already been a walking ball of horniness to begin with. Given that he was now a werewolf, and an alpha at that, that horniness was amplified several times over.

      It was the basic instinct for any werewolf during the full moon. Born or bitten. The desire to breed. Among other things. Derek wasn’t exactly concerned with Stiles bedroom desires. He was more concerned that the young alpha might decide that he wanted to go hunting.

      Werewolves were predators by the very nature. That wasn’t something that any self-respecting wolf could ever deny. The desire to run and hunt and chase came to every wolf. Especially during the full moon. Even if Stiles wasn’t aggressive, or territorial, he still had the same base instincts as every other wolf.

     When they get him secured, Derek tries to ease his worries. Given how easily Stiles managed to settle himself in for the night. Apart from Erica acting a fool, and literally leaping on top of another alpha with no warning. Which could have ended very badly, and with many broken bones. Thankfully, Stiles hadn’t interpreted it as a sign of a challenge. And simply sat, dumbfounded.

        The rest of the betas steered clear. Especially Cora. Apart from a cold thanks for killing Deucalion, she had avoided Stiles like the plague. At one point, retreating upstairs. Derek, unfortunately, knew why. It had been the same reason as to why she crinkled her nose the first time she smelled Stiles.

     As the night grew later, and the moon came closer to zenith, Derek kept a firm eye on Stiles. For the most part, the young alpha had been engrossed in whatever he was watching on his phone. Then, he started to fidget. Derek took that as a sign that the moon was truly beginning to affect him.

      Even though Stiles was thoroughly entranced in whatever he was watching, he could not keep still. Derek could smell his lust from across the room. At one point, the young alpha had turned on his side. Very obviously trying to hide an embarrassing erection. Thankfully, he was the only one that seemed to notice.

     When the time finally came for the moon to peak, everyone stopped pretending that they weren’t watching, in some form, of what Stiles would do. Everyone was holding their breath. Waiting. Waiting for the moment when the power of the moon took ahold of him. And their worst fears came to light.

     Except, nothing happened. Not one damn thing. Every wolf in the room could feel the moon. Could feel its brightness in the sky. The betas all grew ridged and tense. Lydia’s hand tightened around Jackson’s. Keeping him grounded and away from the edge of his control.

      Isaac’s eyes flashed gold, but every other part of the shift was in control. Cora wasn’t the least bit fazed. Being a Hale wolf, she had extensive training her entire life on controlling herself during the full moon. What worried Derek was the presence of another alpha. It bothered her, but not for the reasons he thought. No one really wanted to be in the same room as an unbearably horny alpha werewolf.

        Stiles seemed utterly unaffected by the presence of the full moon. The only real, noticeable change was that he was twitching and fidgeting even more. Well, that wasn’t the only thing. Derek, against his will, could smell the precome beading at the head of the young alpha’s cock. In the style that his mother had taught him, he dutifully ignored the presence of such a thing.

      Another hour went by, and Stiles was still grounded and in control. Hell, not even his eyes were shifted. Every last part of him was human. Which should have been impossible. Given that it took months and months for bitten wolves to learn control. And that was just during their everyday lives. To master the full moon took at least two years.

      This was not the case for Stiles. The alpha sat in comfort, watching whatever show he’d decided to put on. Paying none of them any mind. When in reality, the presence of werewolves that weren’t pack should have driven him close to madness. Given how newly turned he was. Even if Stiles knew them from when he was a human, his wolf should’ve been howling.

       Deciding that this was way above his head, Derek called Deaton. Apparently, Scott was having a somewhat tougher time. He wasn’t out of control or snarling. But his claws were out and he was desperate to be outside. Derek pitied the guy.

      Deaton was keenly interested in the fact that Stiles was in perfect control of himself. And arrived in the loft only minutes later, with Peter in tow. Derek eyed his uncle with unveiled suspicion, but didn’t otherwise keep him from coming inside.

    The only reaction that Stiles gave was briefly looking up to see who’d come inside. He paid Deaton absolutely no mind whatsoever. To Derek’s immense satisfaction, gave Peter the stink eye to an intense degree. As did just about everyone else. The only exception being Cora. And that’s just because she wasn’t in the room.

      “I must say, this is unexpected.” Deaton always did have a penchant for stating the obvious. Derek wanted to smack him.

“Got that, thanks. Now I need to know why.” Derek was annoyed, afraid, and a little tired. Definitely not his favorite full moon that he’d ever experienced.

      “Stiles, are you okay?” Deaton’s voice is soft, and unthreatening. Derek knows to be threatened anyway.

      The young alpha removes his headphones. Diverting his attention away from his phone, looking at Deaton like he was a puzzle to solve. Which, given the man’s personality, was rather fitting. His eyes were red now. Be it from the new arrivals, or the intensity of the moon. Derek didn’t know, but Stiles hadn’t moved from the recliner since the moon rose. Staying firmly put.

       “So far, so good Doc Holiday. To be honest, it just feels like I took too much of my Adderall. Other than that, peaches and cream, dude.”

“Truly interesting. You don’t feel any, well, unfortunate urges.” Deaton couldn’t have chosen worse words to use. Stiles’ faced flushed a deep scarlet, and Peter snickered. Derek elbowed him in the ribs.

     “Just…Restless. Like I need to move. That’s about it.”

Stiles wasn’t bothering to try and lie. He didn’t skirt around the question. In typical style, he only have half of an answer. Deaton didn’t need to know that his libido was through the roof at the moment. It wouldn’t have helped anything if he did.

      The man looked at Stiles like something out of Wonderland. He was a puzzling enigma that had them all stumped. For all intents and purposes, Stiles should have been fully shifted. Eyes frighteningly red, and snarling at the lot of them. For some reason, he wasn’t. And that scared the hell out of Derek more than anything else. It was the astounding amount of control he that had that was do damn scary.

      “I have a few plausible theories. But the most prevalent one, or at least, the one that makes the most sense, is Stiles’ spark.”

“My what now, Doc?” Stiles cocked his head to the side like a cat.

     “As I told you when you created the mountain ash barrier. It can be laid by anyone. But it can only be ignited by a spark. You had a latent, inborn talent for such things. Now that you’ve been made into a werewolf, and an alpha, I suspect that that talent is now being used another way.”

       Derek vaguely remembered Deaton saying something along those lines. They had planned to trap Jackson in the club during the rave. Stiles, being the only human at the time, was the only one who could set the barrier. Which he had successfully done. With exceptional ease.

      “So this spark thingy or whatever….The thing that let me use the mountain ash, it’s keeping me from going cuckoo for cocoa puffs?” As always, Stiles had such an elegant way of phrasing things.

“That’s one way to put. Your latent talent was in controlling and manipulating different forms of energy. The power of an alpha is one among many, much like mountain ash. I suspect, had you not had this talent, this full moon would’ve been far less tolerable.”

      Derek’s mind flashed back to the night that they found Stiles, Erica, and Boyd. The smell of blood plastered seemingly everywhere. Stiles’ horrible, rage filled howl. His tattered, broken form tearing through the entryway. Ripping Ennis’ throat out barehanded. Crushing Kali’s skull with a pipe. Then using that same pipe to run through her heart.

      It was a grim, terrible reminder of what Stiles had been through. And what he’d been pushed to do in a fit of rage. Derek had, even with all sense of practicality, expected the worst. That Stiles was fly into a rage when surrounded by strange werewolves.

       Regardless of all of his fears, Stiles had shown, one way or the other, that he was never one to meet what anyone expected of him. In all honesty, Derek didn’t know where to go beyond this point. He expected to have to train Stiles. To help him find an anchor and tether himself to his humanity. To help him control his wolf. That, it seemed, wasn’t going to be the case.

      “How’s Scott doing?” Stiles’ question knocked Derek out of his train of thought.

“He’s faring better than expected. But still struggling. I expect it’ll be two or three full moons before he’s starts to have some semblance of calm.” Deaton’s eyes brimmed with ten thousand questions. None of which Derek wasn’t going let be answered. Stiles wasn’t a guinea pig.

     “So, do you think this is a one off, or am I good? Cause I kinda have to pee.” Stiles, again, wasn’t telling a lie. But he was concealing part of the truth. Derek didn’t need to ask what part, as he already had a fairly good idea.

    Deaton turned towards Derek. Eyes quizzical and intrigued. The alpha didn’t even need to give an answer. All the betas gathered to one side of the room. Behind Derek and Peter. Stiles stood up from the chair. And Deaton broke the three ash lines.

     For the span of a breath, everyone stayed perfectly still. Wondering, now that Stiles knew that he was free, what he’d do. Which was stretch and yawn like he’d been asleep. Derek pointedly ignored the trail of hair that was exposed when his shirt rode up.

      Stiles’ features were perfectly, and completely human. Eyes. Hands. Teeth. Derek was truly amazed that he was able to keep himself this composed. Though, it wasn’t exactly the case. Given what he did next. Which was walk straight towards Jackson, and bury his face in the beta’s neck.

      To his credit, Stiles wasn’t trying to be domineering. But Derek had suspected that he’d been wanting to scent mark the betas since he had walked in. And had, in the nature of propriety, had actively resisted doing so. Now that the moon was out, the instinct to do so must have been overwhelming. Jackson wasn’t even fazed. He seemed more annoyed than anything else.

     “Sorry…I just…I don’t know why I did that.” Stiles’ face was flushed pink. Not with arousal, (thank god), but with embarrassment. Derek, like Deaton, had a theory.

     Stiles had, in one form or another, been involved with the pack since Derek had turned Jackson, Isaac, Erica, and Boyd. By extension, he was a part of them, but wholly separate. Now that he was a werewolf, as well as an alpha, he was seeking pack. Apart from turning someone, (see, absolutely not), this was the best option.

       A werewolf’s instinct was to make sure that pack smelled of each other. Derek had explained that in detail. More than once. Their relationship was casual and offhand touches and embraces. Stiles, not having any teaching in restraint, had completely discarded that entirely.

     Isaac accepted his embrace with the same level of enthusiasm as Jackson. It was slightly awkward and a little too long. But the beta took it with grace, and Stiles, like with Jackson, apologized after he was done scent marking him. That of course, left Lydia and Danny. For that, Stiles wasn’t as intimate. He simply hugged the redhead briefly, burying his nose in her hair. Danny didn’t seem to mind that Stiles was in his collarbone. (Though the alpha’s arousal spiked again. For which Stiles quickly retreated.)

      He had expected the alpha to scent mark Deaton. At least, in passing. Stiles firmly ignored the man like was a barrel of radioactive waste. Peter decided this was an opportunity. As he stood in front of Stiles, head turned to the side, neck bared in submission.

      The entirety of the room seemed stunned. Stiles with them. Then, his eyes turned that beautiful scarlet color. His fangs descended. A low growl in his rumbling in his chest. For a moment, Derek was actually afraid for his uncle. Especially when Stiles clamped his teeth around Peter’s throat.

      There was a few brief seconds, and then, Stiles released Peter. Face smeared with confusion and, again, embarrassment. Derek had just witnessed his uncle swear loyalty to Stiles without blinking an eye. He didn’t bother to question the man’s motives. He had served no one but himself since Derek had come back to Beacon Hills. Now, he’d be under the authority of Stiles. Which would be interesting.

     Lydia looked at Peter like he was rat, and sauntered off, with Jackson in tow. Danny followed behind them. Probably wondering what the hell just happened. Derek was still trying to make sense of it himself. Given that they still had Scott to look after. Even if he was doing better than when he was beta.

        Though, he did have a thought. One, single, radical thought. Wherein he had his nose buried in Stiles neck. Enjoying the same space that the other alpha had enjoyed with him. Derek could hear the young alpha’s heartbeat pick up. It sounded like a bass drum. He had to resist the urge to smile.

      Stiles smelled like wind over evergreen trees. Bright. Clean. With something that was just on the verge of musk. Derek found himself enjoying it. Maybe not to the extent that Stiles was currently enjoying it. As he could smell the other alpha’s arousal. Along with the precome that had started to leak from his cock again.

      Stiles endured the embrace for a seconds. Then stormed off towards the bathroom. Derek didn’t have to worry about him going outside. There were no windows. He had a rather clear idea of what Stiles intended to do. He’d get the bleach later.

       “That wasn’t very nice of you.” Peter smiled like a cat that caught the canary.

“Coming from the man that took advantage of greenhorn alpha, who instinctively accepted your submission without thinking about it.” Derek didn’t bother to hide his annoyance. They had plenty of other things to worry over. Namely, how the hell they were going to have a pack with two alphas.

      

 

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

Stiles had never been this hard in his goddamn life. Ever. His dick was so hard that it actually hurt. He now understood why doctors said never to take Viagra without a prescription. Because if this was even a tenth of what it was like, he didn’t ever want to experience it. Because now, he was so fucking horny, that his dick was leaking like a faucet.

     He had been dealing with his arousal since he’d woken up. When he’d gotten to the loft, things had intensified. He’d had reached his absolute limit when Derek put his nose into his neck. Which he hadn’t been expecting. At. Fucking. All.

      The man had pointedly ignored the action when Stiles did it. For the second time at that. When he did it, Stiles felt himself pop a boner in a matter of literal seconds. The leaking started right after that. When Derek pulled away, Stiles tore himself away. Running towards the bathroom. Not even bothering to hide the reason as to why.

      He managed to strip his clothes without injuring himself. And was in the shower seconds later. The water was ice cold, and exactly what he needed. It helped only slightly. The sheer shock of it made his hard on deflate by a small margin. Giving up on avoiding the matter, Stiles jerked himself off. Repeatedly. Five times to be exact.

       Trying to be as courteous as possible, he made sure the stream of cold water washed it down the drain. Leaving no trace that any wolfy noses would be able to detect. After which, his entire body deflated along with his dick.

       There was no overhead heater in the bathroom. So when he stepped out, Stiles was already shivering. At the very least, the towels were soft and fluffy. He dried himself off with quick, angry strokes. Trying his best to not make it look like to conspicuous. Which, at this point, was probably a moot effort.

     When he manages to dress himself, and rejoin the others, all eyes were on him. Which made everything worse. Ten thousand times worse to be exact. Stiles wanted nothing more than to crawl inside a hole and die. Die and never come out. Ever.

     He takes a seat back on the recliner, and puts Netflix back on. With the volume on his headphones to maximum. It doesn’t work. Even with the Winchesters shooting things, his brain can’t help but torture him. Running through every possible reaction to people detecting his….enhtusement.

      At one point, when the night grew into early morning, Derek had apparently, enough of his anxiety. As he came over, plucked Stiles from where he was sitting, and dragged him upstairs. The last thing Stiles saw was Peter’s smirking face.

     The inside of Derek Hale’s bedroom was as exactly as Stiles had imagined it to be. (Which he didn’t do often.) Sparsely decorated. Nothing that was overly embellishing or lavish. Save for a series of bookshelves lining the back walls. Each of them was stacked with countless volumes. From the smell, most of them were old. With just a few new ones. But that wasn’t the only thing that Stiles was smelling. He was smelling Derek. He was in a space that Derek slept in. so there was no escaping the man’s odor.

      He eyed Stiles with a sense of exasperation. There were a hundred things looming in the back of his eyes. Some good. Others, not so much. Stiles wanted nothing more than in this moment to flee. To run far and fast and to never, ever come back. He knew that it would have been pointless. As Isaac and Jackson would’ve pinned him to the ground in the blink of an eye.

     “We need to talk.” Stiles swallowed the lump in his throat, and tried desperately to keep from getting hard again.

“Okay. Anything in particular?” he was, in effect, trying to play it cool. When in fact, everything was not cool. Stiles actually felt a little hot.

      “I need to you understand what you’re doing. And what it means. Because if you don’t, the road ahead is going to be very unpleasant.”

“And what am I doing exactly, sourwolf?” Stiles smirked at Derek’s indignation.

      “You scent marked Jackson and Isaac. Which means you consider them to be your pack, but they aren’t your betas.”

       Stiles was trying his best to ensure that he understood what Derek was trying to tell him. Which he didn’t. At the most, Stiles knew that there was a hierarchy of werewolves. Alphas stood at the top. Then betas. Then omegas. He knew that alphas marked their betas by scent. And Stiles had done that to Jackson and Isaac.

     Not because he thought that they were his, or that they belonged to him in any way. Rather…it was something of a comfort. It was a sense of feeling welcome. Of being allowed to exist in the space that he was in. that he was allowed to be here. With them. With the pack.

      “I…It made me feel comfortable.”

“You’ve decided that we’re your pack. Even though I’m the alpha.” Derek seemed less perturbed.

      “I…Can a pack have two alphas? Not like what Deucalion had. But two alphas who just kinda chill, maybe?”

“Theoretically, yes. There’s a hierarchy to werewolves, but we aren’t bound by any one set of rules. It also helps that you decided to scent marked me.”

       Stiles felt his face grow hot. A blush creeping down his neck. He wanted to run again. Away from Derek, and what remained of this conversation. Because he didn’t feel like he could handle much more of this. He had already embarrassed himself enough for the night.

        “You laid a claim that this was your pack, but that isn’t the problem.”

“Then what, pray tell, is? Because I can see a lot going on.”

       “Stiles, you need your own betas. That isn’t going to change. There were always be an inborn desire to make one of your own. But for now, we need to focus on integrating you into the pack structure.” As Derek, Stiles though he saw the man’s shoulders slump. Ever so slightly.

“Okay, and what about Scott? We still have another alpha that needs dealing with here. And I don’t think he’s going to be as lovey dovey as I have.”

     Derek pinched the space between his eyebrows. So much so that Stiles thought the skin was going to split. It was one of the many, (see, a fuck ton), of issues that they had ahead of them. Stiles hadn’t seen Scott since he’d been turned and made an alpha. There was a reason for that. Namely, because Stiles was afraid.

     He had been trying his best to deal with the massive amount of changes that came with being a werewolf. To say nothing of being an alpha. Which included, but was not limited to, the idea that he didn’t belong in the world anymore. Because, even though he’d buried that particular brand of trauma, it didn’t make it any less irrefutable.

       He had been the token human in the supernatural shit show for the longest time. Now, he was the biggest freak of them all. The others had looked at him like he something out of a freak show. They had expected him to go insane. To froth at the mouth and snarl and howl. In retrospect, Stiles had expected that to. For all wounds to open, and even older anger to come forth.

      That’s what he was worried about with Scott. They were friends. Best friends. And he didn’t want anything else to change between them. Because enough had already changed. Given that they were both alphas now….Stiles didn’t want to imagine what could go wrong. Because if he did…Then it just might actually come true.

     “We’ll have to be careful. You and Scott are both newly turned wolves, coming to terms with instincts you weren’t ready for. But if you react even a fraction as well as you did with me, I think will be fine.” Derek didn’t realize the unsaid meaning behind his words.

     For what felt like the umpteenth time, Stiles felt his face turn pink. With a blush running down his neck. It was difficult to even look Derek in the face at the moment. Stiles was still coming to terms with that particular reaction. And what that meant for the near future. He would rather jump off of a cliff than react, in any way, like that towards Scott. Even still…

     There was a part of him, call it his inborn ‘wolf’, that desperately wanted to see Scott. Wanted to see him. Wanted to hold him. Wanted to know that he was okay. Derek didn’t exactly seem amendable to the idea while the full moon was still going on. So, he made a note to ask later. And try to avoid any more of this conversation. At any and every possible cost.

      “You’re thinking too much. Again.” Derek said flatly.

“It’s one the many traits that make me, me. I thought you were used to it by now, sourwolf.”

       “You don’t have to be embarrassed, Stiles. Everyone has a sex drive. As an alpha yours is just…enhanced.”

“And, goodbye.” Stiles turned on his heel. Making a beeline for the door. Desperate to remove himself from this space. Derek didn’t give him the chance.

     The other alpha snatched Stiles’ arm, pulling him away from the door. Eyes burning crimson. Stiles knew that his were scarlet. For the first time, since he’d become an alpha, he felt threatened. The urge to bare his fangs weighed like a sack of bricks. He could feel his claws start to try and pop out. But he was determined, above all else, to remain human.

       Part of him thought that’s why he had such an easy time with his first full moon. Not because he had stellar control already. (See, ADD and tendency towards Adderall abuse.) Or because he had practiced some kind of intense meditation. It wasn’t even because he was afraid. In truth, it was because he was angry.

      Deucalion had been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The final piece on the board that had driven Stiles past a point that he could never come back from. And now, after everything, he just wanted his bed. He wanted to be home. He wanted his friends. He wanted his life back. Because even if he didn’t go insane during the full moon…He still wanted to be Stiles.

     “You can’t run from this, or any other part about being a werewolf. It won’t help, and it’ll only put others in danger.”

“Do tell, sourwolf. How does my bone put anyone at risk?” Stiles was annoyed now.

      “It’s got….Dammit, Stiles. You can’t pretend that you’re human anymore. I’m sorry, but you’re not. I’m trying, as best I can, to help you.”

       Stiles had to bite his tongue. There were more than a few choice words that he had for Derek. But none of them would’ve been very helpful. They would’ve been said in anger, and would’ve caused more problems than they would’ve solved. He was trying, and so was Stiles. The problem was it didn’t seem to be enough.

      “Okay, is there a way to solve my full frontal situation? One that doesn’t involve violence against my dick?”

“The most traditional way, is to find a mate.” Derek was being dead serious. Stiles hated him for it.

      “Yeah, not really into that whole idea. I have enough going on without having to drag someone else into it.” The thought of someone to sleep with was, in fact, enticing. But that was Stiles’ dick doing the talking.

“Then, for the time being, maybe increase the frequency in which you have your ‘private’ time. Until then, let’s just focus on getting you settled into the pack.”

     Stiles wasn’t really in any position to argue. Like, at all. So, he kept his mouth shut and followed Derek back downstairs. Where the others were waiting. For some reason, Peter was still smiling like a damn maniac. And it made Stiles want to hit him. Not because he was angry, but because it felt…Like Peter was trying to provoke a reaction towards him. Like he was trying to see if Stiles would rise to the bait.

     The alpha flashed his eyes at the older man. Who then, to Stiles’ surprise, retreated back. Eyes trained towards the floor. Which was a very, non-standard reaction. Normally, Peter enjoyed riling others up. Like it was a game. But one look from Stiles, and the man cowered like a simpering puppy. And he didn’t exactly look pleased about it.

    The others in the room, this time around, didn’t pay any attention to Stiles for which he was thankful for. At least he could avoid that awkwardness. The only real difference was Erica being present. Her eyes flashed beta gold, and Stiles found himself moving towards her before he even realized it.

    She smelled like apples when he presses his nose into her hair. The she-wolf doesn’t say anything as he instinctively scent marks her. She just chuckles softly, like a breeze over a still lake. Stiles finds it oddly soothing. Among everything else, he could just add it to the list of weird things that had happened tonight.

      “Aren’t you cuddly. Boyd’s gonna be pissed, but he’ll get used to it.”

“Sorry, I just…” Stiles didn’t know how to finish the sentence.

     “It’s okay, Batman. But we’ve got other we’ve got something a tad more important. Scott wants to see you.”

      Stiles completely disregarded his wolfy instinct in regards to making Erica know that she was pack. He whipped his head around towards Derek. Who, once again, was pinching the space between his eyebrows. This time, Stiles really did think he was going to draw blood.

     The alpha doesn’t say anything. Instead, he just waves a hand towards Deaton. Who wordlessly complies with the man’s equally wordless command. Stiles felt his skin start to buzz. He knew what was happening. And it made him nervous. Given that, he retreated behind Derek, who acted a wall between him and the rest of the room.

      The other alpha seemed to understand what Stiles had intended. And seemed to have no issue in acting as a barrier. In the event that Stiles had an unfortunate reaction to Scott’s presence. Of the violent variety. He was praying to god that he didn’t react the same he had to Derek.

     Time seemed to stretch and bend into unimaginable proportions. Waiting was the absolute fucking worst. What even worse than that, was what happened when Scott actually arrived. As Stiles had started moving the moment he’d heard the alpha’s heartbeat. Which was weird, given that it was behind a solid steel door.

      Stiles was moving before anyone could even realize what he was doing. Including Derek. The other alpha was a second delayed in noticing that Stiles was moving. Having been too focused on the door. When it opened, Stiles had already tackled Scott to the ground. Arms wrapped tightly around him. Purring lowly in his chest. Yes, actually purring. Like a damn cat.

     Scott seemed equally enthused. As he wrapped his arms around Stiles. And they just stayed like that. On the floor, like two kids who hadn’t seen each other in forever. The sentiment of it made Stiles’ breath hitch in his chest. He had feared the worst. And he had expected the worst. This couldn’t have been a better outcome.

       It takes a few minutes, but the two of them manage to separate. Standing back up, smiling like madmen. Scott’s familiar goofy, lopsided grin made Stiles’ heart skip a beat. In the best way possible. The others in the room smelled mildly of anxiety. Which reminded Stiles of something close to a cleaning product.

    “Well, that was anticlimactic.” Lydia’s tone was droll, and full of boredom. But Stiles could tell that she was nervous and afraid. She had expected the worst as much as the rest of them.

“So, now we have two cuddly alphas, and no fucking clue with what to do with them.” Erica’s input wasn’t helping anything.

      “May I be the one to remind everyone that we start school back next week. And that we have no idea of what we’re going to do about that absolute travesty.” Isaac, the scarf wearing bastard, had a point.

      Being around the pack was one thing. Being around his father was one thing. But he had no idea how he’d react to being everyone literally anyone else. There had been numerous attempts to figure out what had happened to Stiles in the days that he was missing. The public wanted information.

      What his father had given them was an elaborate, but refined fabrication. The people that had kidnapped him, (see, the alphas), we associated with people he had arrested, and who were subsequently incarcerated. And as such, wanted revenge. And like the cliché villain story it was, went after his son, rather than the man himself.

     There wasn’t much evidence to the contrary. And the pictures that they had circulated were proof, at least to everyone else. It was easy enough to follow, and after a week, and after that, no one really seemed to care. Things had been quiet. But that’s because Stiles had been in the hospital, or at home. And nowhere else. Now, he was set to go back to school. The idea of which terrified him.

     “If this pack is going to work, we need to work together. You all need to work together. You can’t be fighting over petty squabbles anymore.” Derek’s arms were crossed as he spoke. Back tight, and rigid with tension.

“Okay, but we have three alphas. Who the fuck is actually in charge here?” Jackson’s question was a surprise, given that he had no respect for authority.

       “I’d say Derek, by means of seniority. That seems fair. Out of the three of us, he’s the least likely to lose his marbles. Well, what’s left of them anyway.” Stiles’ comment made the room chuckle. Well, most of the room. Among them, was Derek.

      Stiles didn’t know exactly where the other alpha fit into all of this. He didn’t know where any of them fit into this, really. He had never wanted, truly wanted, to be a werewolf. Certainly not an alpha. Now, he was, and there wasn’t any changing that. But he did have his friends. Even as the world had conspired against them, even as the unseen forces of nature conspired against them, Stiles had his friends. He had his pack. Now, he would just have to wait and see if it was enough.

    

 

      

 

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

The day that Stiles was slated to go back to school, he had been wide awake for hours. Yet, at the same time, felt no sense of tiredness. Having gotten no sleep whatsoever. The young alpha had been holed up in his room, switching between the same five apps on his phone. All the while, listening to his father breathe in and out just down the hall. In and out. In and out. In and out. Despite how creepy it inherently was to think about, there was something oddly therapeutic about the whole thing. Something that made him feel safe knowing that his dad was safe.

    He had, for the first time in his life, obsessed over what he was going to wear. Stiles had always been, in one form or another, self-conscious. He knew that he wasn’t the best looking dude at his school. Lacrosse and track kept him fit and agile. But he didn’t have six pack abs or a chiseled chest. Didn’t have bulging biceps or ripped calves. He didn’t come from money like Jackson or Lydia. So, he often wore whatever was comfortable and cheapest.

     Now, given everything that he been going on, his brain still had room to cook up its usual levels of anxiety. There was enough he had to worry about. And he didn’t want to bother anyone with it. Even if he did, this wasn’t the kind of thing that one went to therapy for. Being tortured and made to be broken and despaired was one thing. That, he could, to an extent, manage on his own.

     The real issue now was being a werewolf. Even if he wasn’t an alpha, Stiles had always been their token human. (The jury was still out on Lydia, and Allison was a huntress.) He had lived and done everything that he did under that assumption. The assumption that he would always been human. That that one factor would, under any circumstances, ever change.

     There were a few brief, dread filled moments where he had considered it. Where the darkest parts of him wondered. Wondered if anything would change if he took the bite. If things would’ve gotten better for him. If things would’ve improved and he could live a happier life.

     Then he thought about all the shit they had to go through with just Scott being turned. All the terrible things that Peter did in the name of revenge. All the drama that Derek had caused by turning a bunch of desperate teenagers simply because it had been the easiest option at the time. Stiles thought about Gerard and Allison’s crusade. How much misery their anger and blind prejudice caused. Stiles thought about it. About all of it, and he had decided, apart from impending and unavoidable peril, he would stay human.

     That option had been ripped away from him with extreme violence. And the violence he had caused afterwards was even worse. There was no doubt in his mind that Deucalion, Ennis, and Kali deserved to die. There were countless lives and endless amounts of blood staining their hands. The problem was, that Stiles now had it on his own.

      There were some nights, the worst nights, were it smacked him across the head. Mercilessly reminding him of what he had done. The three people he had killed. Even while half crazed, still had a vague recollection of what he had done. How he had killed them. It made his stomach turn. His anger was one thing. Succumbing to it, being blinded by it. Killing those three in the way that he did…he didn’t want to imagine a world where he was capable of those kinds of things.

     He was eighteen. And had so many other things that he had to worry about. In this instance, the most pressing, was his dick. Because as if the full moon spent with Derek hadn’t been embarrassing enough, he now had to worry about the entire student body spotting his hard on.

      Partial to the other alpha’s suggestion, Stiles had increased the frequency of his happy time sessions. To a degree, it helped. But it took at least three before his dick would deflate all the way. And at least five before it stayed soft for any significant amount of time. He was at his wits end.

     Every guy, at one point, had gone to the bathroom and busted one out. That’s just how it was sometimes. But he couldn’t keep asking to go take a piss, and have to relieve himself. That, and he was in a pack of werewolves that could literally smell it. And would no doubt rip into him for it. Without so much as an ounce of mercy.

      Given that, he decided to wear the loosest, most comfortable pants he could find. That, and a hoodie that he could stretch over his front if needed. After all his self-consciousness, he had decided on practicality. With that decided, he had obsessively gone through the contents of his backpack. Over and over and over again. And the one more time to be certain. Just for good measure.

        The kitchen is quiet when he makes his way downstairs. His dad is still asleep, and Stiles had no intention of changing that. At least, not intentionally. If the man continued to sleep, then so be it. He wasn’t going to go in his room and wake him up. More than likely, he would wake up on his own once he smelled the coffee and bacon.

      The task of actually cooking full unfulfilling. Stiles feels numb as he goes about chopping onions and potatoes. Like this static spreading through his arms, hands, and fingers. The sensation is uncomfortable, and he nearly slices himself more than once. At one point, he smacks his hand against the counter to try and wake it up. It does not work.

      The stove has all four burners going, for one reason or another. He pays dutiful attention to each and every one of them. One for pancakes. One for bacon. One for potatoes. (He was disregarding his double starch rule.) And one for eggs. The kitchen smelled heavenly. It smelled like home. It was enough to wake him from his own thoughts.

     Enough that he can hear someone at the door before they even knocked. That was another part of being a werewolf that he was getting used to. Having a super sense of smell was one thing. Being able to hear people in ways he didn’t know how….there was a part of him that was still creeped out by it.

     Derek Hale is dressed much like a comfortable mountain man. Stiles can feel the texture of his shirt without even touching it. Soft, and somewhat fluffy. His beard was shorter now. Neater around edges. It made him look a little bit younger. Less troubled by the world. Stiles wondered why he was here. Another part of him didn’t really care.

     He scent marks the other alpha. This time keeping it to a more conservative tone. Simply giving the man a loose, brief hug. Derek smelled like clean body soap, and something faintly spicy. Stiles felt what he assumed was his wolf demand that he stay there. Ignoring that, he backed away. And thankfully, this time, his dick minded its business and saved him from embarrassment.

      “Good morning.” It was an oddly casual greeting. Given all that the two of them had been through. But Stiles didn’t know what else to say.

“Good morning to you to. Is the sheriff awake yet?”

     “No, but he’ll come stumbling in once he smells that the coffee is done.” Derek smiled brighter than the sun. Like it could illuminate a room. Stiles wanted to see him smile like that more often.

      He leads the other alpha inside. Wordlessly setting him a place at the table. Derek doesn’t protest the matter, and sits down as Stiles starts pilling plates high with breakfast foods. There is an odd feeling in the pit of his stomach. One that he doesn’t quite recognize. It is not entirely unwelcome.

     Just as he thought, his father makes his way into the kitchen. Rubbing the last vestiges of sleep from his eyes. Instinctively making his way towards the coffee pot. Stiles suppresses a laugh. It never did get old, watching his dad struggle with the mornings. He wasn’t a morning person, and neither was Stiles. But now that he was a werewolf, he found himself oddly okay with being up early.

     The sheriff sits down, not even noticing the presence of Derek. Who had yet to say anything. He simply sat still as stone, waiting for someone else to speak. The sheriff was halfway into his coffee and breakfast before he even noticed that they had a guest. His eyebrows quirk up, eyes going to attention. Stiles shoves a forkful of potatoes in his mouth to avoid answering the imminent question.

      “Hello, Mr.Hale. What can I do for you this fine morning?” The sheriff never looked at Derek. Instead, his eyes were trained solely on Stiles.

“Derek, please. And I came to give you these.” The alpha produced a legal envelope. Which the sheriff politely took from him.

      The man, being sheriff for several years now, had quite an experience in paperwork. So it didn’t take him long to read through the papers that Derek had given him. Stiles watched his father’s expression change several times over the course of just a few minutes. He could feel the gears in the man’s head start to turn. Stiles could feel his as well, and dutifully threw a wrench in them to shut his anxiety up.

     “These are adoptions papers for Isaac Lahey.”

“That’s correct.” Derek’s posture suddenly turned stiff.

      “You’re going to be formally adopting Isaac Lahey. And, you’ve given me these because….Why?”

“I’ve already been vetted by social services, and gone through all the interviews and so on. Isaac’s talked to them as well. All the normal formalities have been completed. But it wouldn’t hurt to get a recommendation from an accomplished law enforcement official.”

      Stiles knew that the California foster care system was overloaded, understaffed, and under regulated. Kids got thrown into places that were worse off than a state run boys home. Isaac was one of the rare cases where someone not only wanted to sponsor him, but legally adopt him as well. Given that Derek was his alpha, this was an ideal situation.

      The problem was that Derek was once a considered murder and hadn’t officially lived in Beacon Hills that long. He and Laura had moved way after the fire. And since a permanent address of a certain time period was crucial….Stiles understood the challenges he faced.

      “I’m assuming this has something to do with that whole pack thing you told me about?” His father took another sip of coffee as he spoke.

    Stiles wondered how much his father and Derek had really talked. What they had talked about. Stiles had been kidnapped, and had been missing for four days. Derek had only revealed their big secret out of necessity. Stiles wasn’t mad about the alpha spilling the beans. He was upset that it was needed.

       It seemed that his father had a somewhat vague understanding of what being a werewolf was like. Or, at the very least, he understood how werewolf packs operated. He hadn’t asked Stiles anything about it. For which he was grateful for. Even if he did have the necessary knowledge to tell him, he wasn’t entirely comfortable talking about it just yet.

      “What about the other two? Erica Reyes and Vernon Boyd?”

“Both still have their parents. And unless they wish to emancipate themselves, they will live with their families until such a time comes. Isaac has nowhere to go to. I’ve already purchased a building in the old industrial district. And I plan on buying more.”

         Stiles didn’t know where Derek got that kind of money. Part of him considered that amount of life insurance polices that got cashed after the fire. The amount of money that was paid for each life. The amount that Derek had held on to for the past six years. The money that reminded him of everything that he had lost.

        “I can’t exactly say that I oppose the idea. But I need to know that this young man will be safe. That there aren’t any other alpha packs roaming around, or something of a similar nature.” His father took the last dregs of his coffee.

“When I told you the truth, I promised full disclosure, and I fully intend to keep that promise. Isaac will be safe living with myself, Peter, and Cora. And I will inform you of any trouble should it arise.” Derek’s posture seemed to grow even tighter as he spoke. Stiles knew that he was being dead serious.  

     “I can respect that. But if I sign this, then you accept all the responsibility that comes with being a guardian. Regardless of him being a werewolf.”

        Derek nodded his head and curtly, and the sheriff signed the papers. The alpha gets up and leaves, without having hardly touched the food that Stiles had given him. They don’t say anything to each other. But there was a lot that Stiles wanted to say. But he didn’t seem to have the courage to say it.

        When Derek is gone, Stiles finishes his breakfast. Trying his best not to think about the days that are to come. Particularly today. Wondering how well he would fair going back to school. It wasn’t the being an alpha werewolf part that concerned him. That, he had a modicum of control over. It was literally everything else.

       People were going to ask questions. People were going to want to look into what had really happened to him. What the people who had taken him had done. How he survived and how he was found. These were questions no one had the right to. But they would ask them regardless.

      When the plates are stacked in the dishwasher, he grabs his backpack and heads for the door. His hugs his father before he leaves. They stay like that longer than most people would consider normal. Stiles doesn’t care. Even if he didn’t have the urge to scent mark his father….

      It was the most normal moment they’d had since he came back home. Since his father learned that there were indeed things that went bump in the night. That his son was now one of them. That there was no going back from here. That the only way was forward, and a prayer to a god neither of them really believed in.

       The drive to school was mundane. It felt oddly relaxing though. Stiles enjoyed the simplicity of it. His parking spot was the same. The people who greeted him were just a little different. Scott, of course, was the first one. They hugged each other without an ounce of shame. Even if they hadn’t been werewolves, this was just how they were as friends.

       He isn’t separated from the alpha for more than a few seconds before someone is jumping on his back. Erica giggled in the crease of his neck. Laughing like a schoolchild. Giving no concern to how inappropriate it looked. Boyd gave him a look of distaste and Stiles apologized.

      Isaac was nowhere to be seen, and Stiles understood well enough as to why. Derek was officially processing the papers to adopt him. Even if they were alpha and beta, Isaac would be leaving the last pieces of his old life behind. That was enough to shake anyone up.

     Lydia kisses him on the cheek and Jackson brushes past his shoulder in the most nonchalant way possible. Danny…For some reason Stiles can’t entirely resist the urge to bury his face in the other man’s neck. Resting himself there. If only for a few seconds. He smells like the Armani aftershave his likes so much. To his credit, Danny just smiles and makes a joke. Jackson looks at Stiles like he’s something out of a horror movie. They head inside, ignoring the growing number of stares being directed towards them.

       Stiles had expected the stares and the whispers. Surprisingly, he did not expect how unaffected he was about the whole thing. Given that he never liked being the limelight, he found the entire experience to be utterly blasé. It helped that the pack was there. And he had classes with at least one of them throughout the day.

     None of teachers asked him to stand up and introduce himself. They had known better. None of his non-pack classmates ask any questions. But he can feel the eyes burning holes in the back of his head. Little whispers of what really happened, according to the rumors. Which were wild and somewhat funny. He chose to ignore them in favor of actually doing his school work for once.

      It wasn’t until lunch time that things got irritating. The sound of clanking silverware and clanking plates. The sounds of chewing and talking. The din of school time chaos. The ritual of eating. It bombarded him to the point of lunacy. They sat at the back this time around.

       For the most part, Stiles had no issue. So long as he focused as hard as he possibly could. Tuning out all the small, sounds of life. Of maddening and confusing and intoxicating. It seemed to be easier as the lunch period dragged on. He was still having trouble with the smells.

       Things got interesting when the same seven or eight people kept walking by. They would pause, stare, and then trot off again. Then, they would repeat the process. None of them actually approached the table they were sitting at. The one or two that did, were sent packing.

      Stiles had never expected Jackson to be the one that came to his defense. But he had. In the form of a pointed, completely human glare that scared even the other lacrosse players off. Stiles laughed the loudest he had since coming back home. The others joined him. Even if he and Jackson weren’t friends. They were pack, and pack, according to Derek, looked out for each other. Which was why Stiles was the first to notice it.

       Given the surge of sensory input, he had been actively trying to suppress his new found senses. Which he had been practicing on. The hardest was his sense of smell. Which was many multitudes stronger now. The smell of food was overwhelming. But there was something else under it. Something that made his hackles raise in alarm. He knew this scent. He knew it because he had been surrounded it for the better part of a week. His eyes scanned the room as he tried to keep them human. In the corner, at the very far end, away from where anyone else would notice them, were the twins.

    

 

Chapter Text

Derek had not had to deal with this much paperwork since the fire. His parents had the foresight to have a multitude of insurance policies. As well as their extended family. They had fought for months and months for the various insurance companies to pay out. Even after the fire was officially declared an arson. (Which he and Laura both knew was false, but otherwise had no way of proving it.)

      The amount they ended up with totaled in the millions. Derek never touched it. He let it sit in various accounts over six years, and little else. Now that he was back in Beacon Hills….Things were different. Slumming it in a train car wasn’t going to work. The first building he had purchased was the simplest matter.

    Given the number of years it had been abandoned, it was in relatively good shape. The estimate that Derek had to completely bring it to a desirable living space was only a fraction of the cost of purchase. There were plenty of floors that were completely habitable already. And he moved the pack in as soon as he could.

      Cora opted to stay with Derek. As did Peter. (To everyone’s annoyance.) Isaac took the space one floor below and the alpha had no room to argue. His beta had been sneaking away from his foster family for months now. And dealing with the ensuing consequences. Having an entire floor to himself wasn’t an issue.

      The real issue, was his formal adoption. To the outside world, Derek was a former wanted criminal and therefore, unfit to be a guardian. He realized this, and proceeded regardless. The amount of paperwork involved was even more than purchasing a building. There were a multitude of interviews. Classes. Certifications. So on and so forth. He nearly went mad by the end of it.

     The sheriff signing the letter of recommendation helped tremendously. Having the approval of an elected official was always a good thing. Especially when that elected official formally arrested you on the suspicion of murder. Derek didn’t really need to question the man’s decision. There was enough of that going around.

      Stiles had been as awkward as ever when Derek arrived on his front porch. He scent marked the other alpha and proceeded inside. The meeting was short and to the point. He had left before even taking three bites of the food Stiles had prepared. He only felt slightly guilty about that fact.

       Isaac didn’t speak to him when he arrived back at the loft. Derek wasn’t stupid enough to ask if he was okay. His mother and brother had died years ago. His father, for the years after, abused him horrendously. Even still, his death had been nothing close to a relief.

     There was a point, a time when Isaac’s father loved him unconditionally. It was the source of his beta’s anchor. Derek didn’t question it. He took the best memories of the man he had, and he used them as the foundations to retain his humanity. That was good a choice as any.

       He informs his beta that the paperwork will be finalized by the end of the week. Isaac nods his head curtly, and makes his way over to the couch. Nestling in with Cora. His sister was surprisingly amendable to all of the betas. Which saved Derek a lot of time, and a lot of headaches. At the very least, he didn’t have that to worry over.

        The one thing he did, and was still worrying over, was Stiles. Well, Stiles and Scott. They’d proven that, as far as controlling themselves around pack, they were on the right track. That was another matter entirely when around crowds of people. Even if their control was at a stable level, Derek knew that everyone had a breaking point.

      Scott seemed to have better control when it came to people. Perhaps because he’d been a werewolf longer. But he and Allison were no longer together, and that left him without a solid anchor. And that worried Derek. His concerns for Stiles were of another level altogether.

       The young alpha had a frightening level of control. To the point where it seemed unnatural. Deaton had said that Stiles’ ‘spark’ was the main reason. The innate power he had within himself. Now, as a werewolf, it was helping him keep his humanity. Even still, the ease in which he handled the full moon was astounding in its own right.

        He was still coming to terms with how such a newly turned wolf, a newly minted alpha had such control over his instincts. Derek had struggled with control for years. Especially after Paige died. After the fire. He had latched on to the only thing that kept him rooted in place. Anger. Pure, unhindered anger. It was the only thing that he felt beyond the numbness. For Stiles, he suspected it was something similar. Only, rather than anger, he used fear.

       The fear of losing control. Stiles had always been about one thing, and that was being the master of his own person. He submitted to no one. Followed his own path and made his own way. Despite the multitude of spastic, incomprehensible behaviors, he was frighteningly intelligent. Fiercely loyal. And steeped in the greyest areas of morality.

       Derek had the hunch that his fear was what kept his humanity. He’d lost control once. And in the process, killed three alphas. Surviving horrendous torture before that. Derek didn’t want to ask about it. And Stiles didn’t want to talk about. He had his fear, and it kept him human. Because, that’s all Stiles wanted. To be human.

       Things were slowly getting better, even if there was plenty more to come their way. As if to remind him, Peter came sauntering over. That goddamn smirk spread clean across his face. There were days, more than he could count, where Derek thought about putting his uncle back in the ground. If he ever did, he made a note to remove his head first. There wasn’t any coming back from that. At least, Derek hoped there wasn’t.

       “I see you paid our resident alpha a visit. How’d that go?” The question was genuine. But for no reasons that could be considered benevolent.

“I went to see the sheriff, not Stiles. I need to finalize this paperwork, and he agreed to sign the letter of recommendation.”

     “Come now, nephew. You know better than anyone else that he needs a close eye on him. Especially given who’s going to be coming.” Derek threw a stapler at his uncle. Which the man neatly dodged.

       There were ten thousand things that they had to worry about. The whispers of others was not something that he had any time to spare for. Deucalion, Ennis, Kali, and the twins were the most notorious alphas on the west coast. And Derek knew it. He knew that their deaths would raise questions. Which was why he was trying to keep a lid on it.

       They had killed their own packs. Their own emissaries. Stolen their power, and formed a pack that defied and defiled everything that the word meant. And it didn’t stop there. Other packs, before they’d made their way to Derek, felt their bloodlust. Suffered murder and death and madness. There were plenty of people that had a reason to want them dead. And it wasn’t just werewolves.

      Several hunter families would be moving now as well. The idea of a newly turned werewolf with all that power would not sit well with any reasonable person. And Derek knew, firsthand, that hunters were many things. Reasonable was not one of them. Stiles’ life was in danger from a multitude of angles. Scott as well.

       News of the alpha pack’s demise was one issue. The emergence of a True Alpha was another. They all had targets on their backs. Derek as well. Namely because he was the one giving them shelter. Teaching them. Keeping them safe. Or, at the very least, he was trying to. Beyond making sure Stiles and Scott learned and kept their control, there wasn’t much else they could do.

       “If you’re so concerned, why haven’t you gone to see him? You’re his beta after all.”

“Try not to sound so jaded, Derek. As I always have, I serve my self-interest.” Peter was shockingly transparent in the matter. His honesty disgusted Derek to no end.

       “And what interest is that. You can’t possibly be thinking of usurping him. He’d snap you in half with one hand tied behind his back.”

“The same could be said for you dearest nephew. The same could be said for you.” Derek bit his tongue to keep from saying something that he shouldn’t have. He tasted blood.

       He, once everything settled, had explained to Stiles what it meant to be an alpha. a werewolf was already many times stronger than a human. An alpha, even more so. An alpha that had the power of three wolves like Deucalion….By all rights, Stiles should’ve died. That amount of power wasn’t something that could exist in a person. Not without serious consequences.

        Even if he wasn’t in a blind, unbroken rage, Stiles, with the proper training, could easily fight off an entire pack singlehandedly. Which was a terrifying thing to think about. Derek had tried to explain it to him as best as he could. The young alpha had said that he understood. But Derek really wondered if he did.

        “He doesn’t need to know exactly how many people want him dead. Right now, they’re hundreds of miles away. And we have better things to be concerned with.”

“Which is why he needs more betas. Or, as so you casually suggested, a mate.”

     Derek cursed himself for ever letting Peter hear that conversation. Stiles’ reactions to…well…people were understandable. Any reasonable man of his age had a sex drive. Werewolves were the same. Just more…intense. Alphas, most of all. Stiles had the power of three pack coursing through him. There wasn’t any real gauge for this kind of thing.

     Mates weren’t the romantic bullshit trashy novels like to spout off. But they weren’t something to be taken lightly either. Werewolves bonded bit deeper than humans. And a wolf’s connection with another person or persons in that regard, was to be respected. Stiles’ instincts to breed were….strong. But there wasn’t any way he was going to tell him that. Nor why he seemed so affectionate with Derek to begin with.

     Wolves showed and displayed dominance in a number of ways. Sex was one of them. Stiles may have been genuinely attracted to Derek. Or his wolf may have just wanted to bed him to prove who was more the alpha. it didn’t matter. The matter wasn’t important enough to warrant concern. Stiles wasn’t forcing anything. And Derek wasn’t either.

      “He can barely manage himself. Turning someone isn’t going to help him if he can’t even function without teetering on the edge.”

“Speaking of the edge, I think we’ve just about reached ours.” Derek didn’t have time to wonder what his uncle meant. Because he figured it out rather quickly.

        Time flies when stress wraps round the brain. Derek didn’t realize how late into the afternoon. Or that Stiles and the others were here. And that they had brought guests with them. The loft doors slam open, and two figures are thrown into the entryway.

     Covered in matted blood, and smelling of pain, were the twins. Stiles’ eyes were dangerously red. Derek recoiled from the amount of anger coming from the younger alpha. His claws and fangs weren’t out. But Derek didn’t need to be a genius to figure out that Stiles wasn’t that far from it.

       The entire room was stone silent. Until it wasn’t. Cora had heard the door open, and of course came to see who it was. When she did, Derek didn’t have time to restrain her. As she shifted at the drop of a hat, charging towards the twins. But it turned out that Derek didn’t need to intervene.

      Stiles growled once, low in his chest. A clear sign. A clear threat. And surprisingly, Cora listened. Stopping dead in her tracks. Lowering her had in a clear state of submission. Which made absolutely no sense. Given that Stiles wasn’t her alpha.

     “We have visitors.” The voice came from an unexpected source.

      Allison Argent was the same as the last time that Derek laid eyes on her. Regal. Poised. Lethal. Her presence was an irritation and a concern. Even though she and Chris had helped with the rescue, he wanted their involvement to end there.

     She had a small crossbow pointed at the twins. No doubt laced with something deadly. Scott stood a few apart from her. But ready to be by her side should a threat appear. The same for Jackson and Lydia. The same for Erica and Boyd. The lone one was Danny, who was also here for some reason.

      Stiles was at the front, breathing heavily. No less calm than when he’d first arrived. The twins had made no move to stand up. No move to attack or run. They knew perfectly well that there were three alphas here. All with a reason to kill them. And even if they spared their lives, a few broken bones wouldn’t hurt anybody.

     “They asked for the werewolf equivalent of a ceasefire.” Stiles breathed even heavier as he spoke.

“And your response was to…what? Break half their bones?” Derek wasn’t mad. Only concerned.

      “Barely a quarter. But no less than what they deserve.”

       No one could find any fault in Stiles’ anger. It had been the twins that trailed the pack, and reported back to Deucalion. Telling them of the humans that hung around with werewolves. That action led to Stiles being kidnapped, turned, and tortured for nearly a week. He had every right to kill them. Horribly and painfully. Derek knew why he didn’t.

       “I think we can agree that whatever they have to say, it doesn’t matter. They kidnapped Cora, Erica, Boyd, and Stiles. Plus killed god only knows how many people.” Lydia’s words were sharp, cold, and merciless. Derek was actually a little afraid of her.

“I can agree, to a point. I’m more concerned with why they took the risk to reveal themselves. And why now? If they wanted something, they could just attacked one of us when we were alone.” Scott was sound, and Derek didn’t have an argument.

      He looked at the two alphas who were still ass flat on the ground. Wondering what he should do. The most obvious choice would’ve been to kill them. They held his sister and his betas captive for months. And facilitated in Stiles kidnapping and torture. They had every right to be killed. By any one of them. But Scott had a point, and it terrified Derek more than anything.

       “Why are you here?”

“We came to talk to the alpha.” It was eerie that their words were in sync. Like something out of The Shining.

      “Well, that’s all fine and dandy. But there are three of us. So, like I said before I beat you to a pulp, you’ll be needing to elaborate on that.”

        Both of the twins looked towards Stiles. Ignoring Derek and Scott entirely. Which meant one thing and one thing only. They had recognized Stiles as the alpha of highest rank. Which, given the circumstances, made sense. Seeing as he had killed Deucalion, who lead the alpha pack. To their sick, twisted view, Stiles was the alpha that they needed to talk to.

       “Uh, yeah, no. Move along dudes. I am an alpha, but I’m not the alpha. That’s murder-brows over there. I’m just a long for the ride.”

“You killed Deucalion. That means you took his position.” The one on the left said.

       “I took his power in a fit of blind rage after he told me that he was gonna kill my friends. I don’t lead murderers. Get lost.”

     As Derek suspected they would, both of the twins lowered their heads in submission. But it wasn’t of their own volition. They didn’t do it out of respect, or even instinct. They did it out of fear. They were afraid of Stiles. Derek wondered just what Deucalion had done to them to make them behave this way.

        “I’ll ask again, why are you here?” The both of them seemed to understand that Stiles wasn’t the one to answer to.

“Deucalion taught us how to use our powers, how to overcome our pack. But he also made sure that we knew that we belonged to him. We made…enemies. And now that the word of his death is starting to spread….”

       “Basically you want us to save your asses.” Erica’s eyes burned gold. She hadn’t said what the alpha pack did while she was in their hands. Derek hadn’t asked. But he knew that she wanted them dead.

       Derek didn’t know where to go from here. Two alphas that were involved in his pack’s abduction, and confinement were right in front of him. They were asking for help. They were asking for help, and they knew that there was a very good chance that they were going to die here. But they took the risk anyway.

      “They’re here because of you, Stiles. They’re here because they want your protection.”

      The other alpha looked at Derek, then at the twins, and then back to Derek. His eyes were still an angry red. Stiles looked towards the betas. Towards Scott. Towards Allison. Towards Danny. Everyone. Derek could see the gears in his head turning and turning and turning. Over and over. Thinking and wondering what the right thing was. What the correct choice was. Derek couldn’t help him. If he wanted to be an alpha, he had to learn to make such choices on his own.

     Stiles walks into the loft, eyes no less red than when he had arrived. The twins keep their heads down. Stiles growls, and not lowly. The twins get the message, meeting his eyes, and not daring to look away. Derek wonders how much longer they have to live.

       “Let’s hear what you have to say. If I don’t like it, Allison’s gonna put a crossbow bolt in both of your asses.”

    

 

      

 

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Stiles was angrier than he’d been in recent memory. Killing the alpha pack notwithstanding. He hadn’t been expecting to see Ethan and Aiden on his first day back to school. Not in the slightest. He figured they would’ve been a hundred miles in the opposite direction within the first twenty four hours. By now, he figured they would’ve been in another country. But they weren’t. They were here. And he was fucking pissed.

      Much to his own surprise, he hadn’t killed them. Even though he really, really wanted to. Even if they didn’t torture him, or treat him like shit as Ennis and Kali did. They still helped facilitate in his kidnapping and confinement. Not to mention Erica and Boyd. He had every reason under the sun to rip their spines out. But at the back of his brain, he knew that it wouldn’t end well.

     He already had the power of three murderous alphas. Adding them to the roster wouldn’t have helped anything. In fact, it would’ve made things worse. His control was tenuous enough as it was. That being said, he still went ham on their asses. Keeping it simple. Broken bones and maybe a mild concussion. Beyond that, they’d stay alive. For the moment.

      There was a vicious kind of satisfaction in that. A darker part of Stiles that he tried to ignore on any given occasion. That wasn’t the only problem. Scott was less than enthused to see the twins. And he had always been about peace and non-violence. Even then, they had to calm him down. Stiles had seen to it that the twins weren’t going to get away free of charge.

      The other surprise was Allison. Stiles hadn’t seen her since they managed to rescue him. There was a certain twinge that came with that realization. The young huntress had risked life and limb to bring him home. She was here now, and there was the business end of a crossbow pointed at the twins. Stiles knew that wherever she shot, it wouldn’t be pretty. The matter now, was what the hell to do with them.

    In hindsight, they should’ve called Derek first. That would’ve been a good idea. They didn’t, mainly because they were all too pissed. Stiles in particular. When they actually arrive, there isn’t any decorum. Stiles just throws them inside. Still beaten and battered.

      There wasn’t much room for interpretation. Everyone didn’t want them here, but everyone wanted to know why they were. Stiles wasn’t expecting the answer he got. Which was that Ethan and Aiden wanted his protection. That they viewed him as successor to Deucalion’s position as leader. Which he wasn’t.

     Deucalion was a madman masquerading as an alpha. He was barely even human. The same could be said for Ennis and Kali. The only redeeming qualities that the twins had was the fact that they didn’t actively torture Stiles. The cleaned him after Deucalion’s torture sessions. And, at the very least, made sure he wasn’t completely miserable.

     They were still responsible for his kidnapping. Along with Erica, Boyd, and Cora. And Stiles didn’t even know what the three of them had gone through. It didn’t matter. But he was done killing. He was done with adding to his trauma. He had enough of that to last a lifetime.

       The twins kept their explanation short and simple. According to them, their pack didn’t treat them as pack. They were omegas, and therefore, treated horrendously. Stiles didn’t bother to ask for details. He could tell that they weren’t lying. And that’s all that mattered.

        Deucalion had, in one form or another, stumbled across them. And in doing so, taught them to use their unique ability to merge. And when they learned, the implemented it. After which, they systematically slaughtered their entire pack in one foul swoop. Which explained why the both of them were alphas.

      After that, it was the same as with Ennis and Kali. They had joined the alpha pack. Following Deucalion wherever he went. Not that they were given much choice in the matter. In doing so, they ruffled more than a few feathers. Namely, hunters.

      Some families didn’t take kindly to a pack of alphas running around with free reign. Needless to say, they killed anyone who was stupid enough to come after them. And it wasn’t just hunters. Anyone who stood in Deucalion’s way was murdered. Human, hunter, and werewolf alike. Now, the twins were running with their tails between their legs. Stiles understood well enough. Now the question was simple. Would he actually help them?

       The general consensus was no. at least, that’s what he figured it would be. There was no love lost between anyone present and the twins. About the only one who didn’t have a reason to hate them was Danny. And even then, he disliked them by association. They wanted Stiles’ protection, but he wasn’t the alpha here. At least, not the alpha in charge. That was Derek, and Stiles was more than happy to hand that decision off.

       “Well, apart from murdering them, any suggestions?” The question was genuine. Stiles didn’t want anything to do with them. But he didn’t want them killed in cold blood either.

“I think your father would love to hear that the remaining two people responsible for his son’s kidnapping have been found. A few non-wolfsbane bullets and a prison cell sound like a tremendous idea.” Peter’s voice was laced with malice. Stiles flashed his eyes at the man, and his beta fell silent. Which was still a weird thing to think about.

      “Depends on what’s coming. Hunters, we can work with. We’ve got Allison and Chris. Plus, you dad. Humans can be bound by human laws. Werewolves, not so much.” Scott for the win. Stiles liked that idea.

       Hunters often got lost in their own hatred and prejudice. Not thinking about the consequences. Not that his dad was in on all their supernatural shenanigans, they could use the law to their advantage. An added bonus was hunters often operated with illegal weaponry. Which was a rather steep offense in the state of California.

      “That’s all well and dandy. But how we are going to be able to trust them? Not exactly prime material for pack.” Lydia wasn’t wrong. Stiles didn’t know what to do about that.

      He had already claimed Derek, (he was still coming to terms with that), as well as Scott as pack. Despite the two of them also being alphas. There was a certain level of trust that came with that. As well as the acknowledgment that Derek was the actual leader of their ramshackle arrangement. The twins had less than no trust. And he didn’t know what to do from having less than nothing.

        “Derek, any ideas? Cause I’m not sure how this one works. I don’t really like them. I certainly can’t trust them.”

“You could always fuck them.” The blasé nature of Peter’s comment stunned the entire room into silence. The reactions varied from shock to disgust. Stiles’ was both.

     “Peter…..” Derek pinched the space between his eyebrows.

“What? Sexual dominance is a valid form of submission between an alpha and those beneath them.” Stiles growled low in his throat, and Peter, surprisingly, shut up in a fraction of a second. He was still getting used to that.

     The idea of sexual submission wasn’t one that he relished. Despite his dick’s eagerness and enthusiasm to, well, everything, Stiles didn’t exactly care for that idea. The twins, at least according to their own stories, had been abused. And didn’t need any more trauma piled on top of what they already had. He may not have liked them. He may not have trusted them. But he wasn’t in the business of torturing or hurting people for the sake of his own ego.

     Rather than taking Peter’s suggestion. Stiles simply walked towards the twins, knowing that his eyes were red again. He was still having trouble with that one. Fangs and claws were easy. But his alpha eyes were all too eager to flash when he was upset or unstable. The twins shrunk even further down as he approached. He made them stand.

     Like with anyone not looking for a fight, they wouldn’t meet his eyes. He forced them to. He made them look at him. Then, in a move that didn’t entirely make sense to him, he placed his hand around the center of their throats. After few seconds, he turned their heads to the side. And that was that.

     The entire room let out an entire breath of relief. Some in annoyance. Stiles knew that his decision wasn’t exactly well received. Given that the twins had been involved with kidnapping not only him, but three other members of the pack. But he was an alpha, and he had to own up to that. Even if he wasn’t the top alpha.

      Erica stomps into the loft, Boyd behind her. Both of their eyes are glaring gold. And Stiles feels that he needs to go and apologize. Cora still wants to take a piece out of the both of the twins. The acrid stench of her rage was making Stiles uncomfortable. But he wasn’t here to kill anyone. Not unless there really was no other option. He’d had enough of that kind of violence to last a lifetime.

       He’s so lost in his train of thought, that he didn’t notice Peter coming to stand next to him. The man scent marks Stiles casually, and he returns the favor. It’s a comforting thing. He hadn’t exactly gotten used to the idea of Peter being his beta. Or that the man would even want to be in the first place.

     Their relationship was tumultuous at best. Given that Stiles had, quite literally, set his sorry ass on fire. It wasn’t the most painless of demises. (Which was swiftly concluded thanks to one Derek Hale.) There was a part of him that felt guilty about what he had done. But for the most part, he had no intention of apologizing to the man.

      Even if he hadn’t decidedly to randomly attack Scott. Forever changing the course of his life. Involving him in a twisted scheme of revenge. And placing him in unquestionable danger. If he hadn’t killed all those people. (Even if they deserved it.) Even if he hadn’t attacked Lydia and left her a battered, unstable mess. The man lured his own niece into Beacon Hills for the sole purpose of killing her. That was the cornerstone to his revenge scheme. Murdering his own family in cold blood.

        It was still something that he was coming to terms with. All Stiles had after his mom died was his dad and Scott. He couldn’t even imagine the thought of harming them. Peter had done so to Laura without any ounce of mercy. Then tried to blame it on the trauma of the fire. Tried to play the insanity card. When in fact, he had coldly calculated every last part of his plan.

     “You handled that well. But be cautious, mercy can come back to bite you in the ass.” Peter was still standing next to him.

“Be kind where it is needed. Be without mercy where it is required.” Stiles doesn’t remember where he read that. But it seemed apt to fit the situation at hand.

      “I knew there was a reason that I chose you.” Peter was smiling now. It was that smile.

“I don’t know why you did. But I’m sure you already know that I’m not Scott. I don’t have that same sense of cut and dry morality. So if you even think of using the twins to try and become and alpha again, I’ll break every bone in your body. Twice.”

       Stiles and Scott had always had their disagreements. Particularly when it came to how to handle situations that posed a serious threat. Stiles had always been a fan of lethal force. Especially given that the people that they were dealing with murdered and destroyed as easily as breathing. He wasn’t proud of it. He had easily thrown that Molotov cocktail at Peter without so much as a moment’s hesitation.

     Scott was the more righteous one. And always wanted to find a way to save people. Even if it meant placing others, his own friends at risk. Stiles wasn’t so bland and complacent that he trusted Peter not to pull a power play. The man had a taste of power, and had used it to devastate and kill with impunity. Men like that didn’t stop because they wanted to. They stopped because they were forced to.

      “Believe me, my days of being an alpha are over. But I will say, my choice was rather simple. You’re simply the best option. People will fear you on instinct. Other alphas. Hunters. Hell, with that much power, even humans will fear you on some level. Even if you don’t want them to.”

“And you want to stick with me because of that fear? That makes sense.” Stiles didn’t bother to try and hide the sarcasm in his voice.

     “I’ve died twice now, Stiles. Once in that fire. Where I sat for six years in a silent hell, unable to scream. Unable to do anything. Then again, when you and your merry band set me alight, and Derek slashed my throat. Third time isn’t the charm in this case. I have every intention of staying alive. And if that means following a bumbling alpha such as yourself, then so be it.”

    For the first time since he’d met the man, Peter sounded sincere. Stiles, even still getting used to his new senses, couldn’t detect a lie in his heartbeat. Which was a shock, given that Peter thrived on deception and madness. Regardless, Stiles didn’t trust him as far as he could throw him. Not yet anyway.

      His beta saunters off towards parts unknown, and Stiles lets him. The twins were still standing perfectly still. The matter of where they would stay had yet to be settled. Certainly not here. They wouldn’t last the night without someone trying to attack them. There was a laundry list of people with that urge. Stiles didn’t blame them. Even still, he made sure that they knew not to go far.

       The tension in the room had dispersed. If only a little. There was a lingering pressure between them. Stiles’ choice to listen to the twins, and grant them a temporary stay, had met with mixed reviews. He stood by it, even if he’d have to explain himself. At the very least, there wouldn’t be any murder and mayhem. For now, anyways.

     Scott and Allison were still standing next to each other. There was a certain brand of awkwardness between them. They still hadn’t had a chance to talk things over. Which the both of them now opted to do. Taking a small corner, away from prying ear. Jackson and Lydia sat down on the couch next to Danny. The former both glaring daggers at the twins. Even if they weren’t exactly friends with Stiles, not entirely, they still cared for him in their own way.

       Derek took Peter’s place. Standing next to him, resting his hand on the small of the alpha’s back. He felt all the tension in his body vanish. It took everything he had to stay upright. He didn’t want the embarrassment of collapsing. It had been a stressful enough day already. The other alpha’s touch was oddly therapeutic. Stiles would have an existential crisis at a later date.

      “You did good. Even if the others don’t agree.”

“Yeah, can see that. Kinda feel like a dick. I think Erica doesn’t like me anymore. Not that Boyd ever did.” Stiles wasn’t going to pretend that he had a complete right to whatever with the twins, given what they had done to them. There were three other people here that had been through the same thing. Or at least, something similar.

       “You one of three alphas here, and that means you make hard choices. This was one of many. You can’t question yourself at every turn. Or you’ll lose yourself. Not everyone can be happy. But we can be safe.”

“Not sure how that’s going to work. All we know is that people want them dead. Where the hell do we go from there?” Stiles was worried. It showed in his voice. He quivered as he spoke.

      “We find allies. There will be plenty of alphas that want to be in your good graces. The man who stopped the alpha pack. Scott as well. True Alphas draw attention whether they want to or not. We just have to be patient.”

       Stiles wasn’t entirely opposed to the idea of making friendly with other packs. In fact, it seemed like the best possible course of action. Given that he had offered, however tenuous, asylum to the twins. The only problem was, he didn’t know any other werewolves. Hell, he didn’t even know if Derek did. That whole plan would have to be his doing. Stiles would just be there to look pretty. Beyond that, he didn’t really know what else to do.

      After a while, the twins leave. They don’t say where they’re going. They don’t say what they’re going to do. And Stiles doesn’t care. As long as they’re close, and don’t try anything funny. He situates himself down on the other end of the couch. With Scott joining him not long after. His friend smells of sadness, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out as to why.

      Allison leaves without a word to anyone. Her eyes still shiny with tears. Stiles doesn’t know what to feel. Isaac comes and sits down with them. The three make an odd trio. But they’re content to just be here. Casually leaned against one another. They don’t need to say anything. Not right now. it wouldn’t have done any good anyway.

    

 

      

 

     

 

    

 

 

Chapter Text

It had been nearly a week since Ethan and Aiden had showed up, asking for protection. Well, Stiles’ protection. After many broken bones, plenty of threats, and some finer details, Stiles had reluctantly agreed to the idea. With some rather stiff and strict stipulations. One both of their ends. As of right now, things were okay. And that was about all he could ask for.

    The main concern he had, amongst everything that he had, was Scott. Stiles hadn’t asked for the details. He only knew that Scott and Allison had talked. And at the end of the conversation, they had decided, mutually, to take a break from each other. In that they were, definitively, no longer together. Which basically meant that they were through for good.

       Stiles had never been in a relationship. Only spent his days, (see years), pining over Lydia from afar. He didn’t exactly have any experience to relate towards Scott. The only thing that they could do was be there for each other. And given all that had happened in the last few months, that was actually the best possible thing.

      He’d long since abandoned the notion of feeling awkward or uncomfortable. At home or at school. He needed his friends. He needed his pack. That wasn’t going to change just because he decided to try and ignore it. He was a werewolf, and werewolves needed other werewolves. Even if they didn’t always get along.

       For the most part, he split his time between hanging out with Scott, and learning how to be an actual, functioning alpha werewolf. Which entailed a lot. Much more than he previously thought about. Derek wasn’t the best teacher, but he made sure that Stiles understood what it meant to be a werewolf and an alpha. His lessons weren’t the kindest.

    As far as control went, Stiles was leagues ahead. At least, in terms of time. The full moon aside, his day to day life was something of a concern. Mainly, he was doing things without realizing it. Namely, scent marking. His father hadn’t said anything, yet. Stiles was honestly trying his best to behave like a civilized human being. It was an ongoing effort.

     Derek had an interesting way making Stiles train himself to be aware of his own behavior. Namely, scent marking the betas. To where they only smelled of Derek and no one else. Stiles felt himself moving before he could even realize what he was doing. The urge to cover the betas in his own scent was an intense thing. And Derek denied him. Repeatedly.

      It was almost painful. But the lesson was that Stiles needed to not only be aware of himself, but to restrain himself. Even without the issues of consent and pack dynamics, he was acting conspicuous. And that would draw unwanted attention in public places. He still hated it.

     The next part, which he really hated, was learning to hone his newfound wolfy senses. Hearing wasn’t that bad. He had learned to slip into quiet corners and eavesdrop since the time he was eight. It was his sense of smell that he disliked. The entire world was comprised by means in which one communicated. And smell, for a werewolf, was the most aggravatingly intense one.

      Emotions aside, a person’s own unique scent said a lot about them. Their diet. Their hygiene habits. Even how often they washed their clothes, and how it affected their own scent in turn. Stiles got a headache after the first hour. And it didn’t stop there. Tracking was a thing that werewolves had to learn. And Stiles absolutely sucked at it.

      Maybe it was his ADD. Maybe he was still too new. It didn’t really matter. The world around bloomed in vivid color. In countless smells that he had to decipher, piece by piece. Trying to locate one person in all of that was a challenge to say the least. After a week, he’d only managed to find Derek once. And it took him three and half hours to do it.

       The full moon came and went without much of a fuss. Like last time, they had all gathered at the loft. Only Stiles and Scott weren’t restrained by any means. And they had fared surprisingly well. Stiles was still wound and jittery. But there was a distinct lack of a desire to maim and maul. Which was good. What wasn’t, was that he was, once again, inconsolably horny the entire goddamn time.

     It was embarrassing, but thankfully, none of the pack mentioned it. He just did his best to keep his erection hidden, and act like everything was normal. As normal could be anyways. For the most part, they just spent the night watching movies. Or some other mindless activity.

      Derek said it would be another few months before he could trust Stiles or Scott to run. To expend their energy the way most wolves did during the full moon. He didn’t have any arguments against that. Stiles may not have been an out of control monster during the moon, but he didn’t fully trust himself either.

      This time around, his father was there. Thumbing through a newspaper, trying not to be noticed or make a fuss. Peter was, unsurprisingly, out of sight the entire time. Stiles had told his father a lot about what had happened over the last year. But certain details he kept to himself. Namely, Peter’s involvement in several vicious murders. And the involvement in the Argent’s attempts to systematically slaughter a bunch of teenagers.

        Derek didn’t say anything on the matter, and neither did anyone else for that matter. His father had been brought into their world by means of necessity. And beyond that, Stiles wanted him to stay in the dark as much as possible. There were some things the man was better off not knowing. Thankfully, the rest of the pack agreed with him. The other choices he’d made, not so much.

     He was still on the outs with Erica. As well as Boyd. Not that he’d ever really been in with the latter. They still were angry with him, and he understood well enough why. Ethan and Aiden had been part of the alpha pack. The ones that had kidnapped them, and kept them locked up for months. That wasn’t the kind of thing that was easily forgiven. It wasn’t easily forgotten.

      Stiles still hadn’t forgiven Ethan and Aiden. Not by a longshot. But he didn’t approve of killing them in cold blood. No matter how much he or anyone else in the pack disliked them. They had come asking for protection, so, at the very least, they weren’t a threat. What was a threat, was what followed them. And Stiles grew nervous as the days passed by.

     Between Chris and Peter, there was an entire network of information at their disposal. Not that they needed it. Even without Ethan and Aiden, people were going to start asking questions. The most dangerous pack of wolves on the west coast was dead. Even without the bodies, (Derek and Peter had taken care of that), people drew the right conclusions.

     There were a slew of rumors that came in. All of them ridiculous. The most plausible one was that one of the alphas turned on the others. Killing them for their power, and then vanishing. Another was that another alpha pack had formed. And killed Deucalion and his lot. Yet another was hunters. No one could decide on what made the most sense. Only Stiles and the others knew the truth.

     The general consensus among other packs and the hunters was that the alpha pack was dead. Dead and gone. Their curiosity would continue to grow. But for now, Stiles had better things to worry about. Namely, trying to be a functioning alpha werewolf, and a full time student at the same damn time.

       Lydia was a godsend. What little Stiles didn’t understand, she picked up. And the same for her. Not that there wasn’t anything that she couldn’t do. If she really put her mind to it. But they were both in AP classes and had less than no free time these days. Being a member of a werewolf pack was tough, consuming business.

       She and Jackson had found their stability. And, honestly, Stiles was happy for them. Lydia had been through enough. Jackson certainly had. Being used as a weapon for murder, not once, but twice. Dying, then being brought back to life as a werewolf…Even as much as they detested each other in the past, they detested each other a little less now.

      Danny had adjusted as well. And Stiles was making a keen effort to keep a considerable distance between the two of them. It was like with Derek, but somehow even worse. Danny just smelled…Nice. Like he belonged. Stiles always felt an itch behind his teeth when he was near. Derek had said that it was an alpha’s urge to make their own betas. And Danny, being both young, fit, and intelligent, was a perfect fit. At least in Stiles’ eyes he was. So, whenever possible, he kept his distance. For his sanity, and to save himself from Jackson’s fury.

    Things were going well, until they weren’t. Stiles, effectively, knew that being the kind of alpha he was, didn’t come without risks. Once he had healed and started learning, he knew. He just didn’t expect things to move quite as quickly as they did. Derek said he would find allies, and Stiles believed him. He just didn’t expect it to be right away.

     There was an alpha wanting to meet with them. The details of that meeting, and who would be there were left to interpretation. Stiles knew that it meant that the alpha would be bringing their entire pack. And that meant it was all hands on dark, fully armed.

     Chris and Allison were more than willing to attend. They weren’t allies. They weren’t friends. They just had a basic understanding that there had been enough death. At the very least, all of them could agree on that matter. Be they hunter, werewolf, or just an average civilian. Stiles still didn’t feel any better.

       Peter, being Stiles’ second by default, gave him drill after drill after goddamn drill. There were a lot of etiquettes involves when two alphas met for the first time. And Stiles was wholly ignorant in all of them. Derek was the, quote, ‘official’ alpha. But Stiles and Scott were a part of his pack, (despite being alphas themselves.) that was a bridge they’d have to cross when they got to it. Another was the matter of Ethan and Aiden.

     They weren’t pack. Not be a freaking longshot. No one considered them to be that status, and no one was in the position to consider it. Stiles had, with what little authority he had, offered the two of them asylum. That was the extent of their presence. He had demanded submission, but only for the purpose of their obedience. Not accepting them into the pack itself.

      Derek and Peter had, not so kindly, informed the pack that it could turn out to be a problem. Ethan and Aiden had enemies, and while this particular alpha may not have been one, that didn’t mean anything. Even if Stiles had granted asylum, they weren’t pack. And any other alpha could challenge that. That would be considered the worst case scenario.

     When the day actually came, Stiles was surprisingly calm. As was Scott. They had received numerous lessons, and had a great multitude of information drilled into their heads. There wasn’t anything else they could really do. Even if they wracked their brains thinking about it.

      Stiles can feel the alpha arrive before she even ascends in the elevator. It was not a comfortable sensation. The back of his teeth itched. But unlike when he was near Danny, this was much, much worse. He didn’t want to bite turn, he wanted to bite to kill. Derek placed a hand his in the small of his back.

     When the elevator doors open into the loft, there are less people than he expected. There was the alpha, standing at the front. And barely a dozen of her betas. Stiles knew better than to be fooled. Whoever this woman was, she was strong. Strong enough to walk into a loft with five alphas and not be even the slightest bit afraid.

       The introductions are short, but formal. Stiles, as well, as Scott, breeze through it. The woman, Satomi Ito, is regal and composed. Her betas, not so much. All of them stink of anxiety and Stiles can feel it start to rub off. He can feel his leg getting ready to twitch. Regardless, Satomi doesn’t waste time, and begins asking questions straight out of the gate. The first, and most predictable, is about the alpha pack. They don’t bother lying.

     “You really expect me to believe that?” Satomi’s face was a blank slate as she spoke.

“You knew my mother, and my family, before the fire. Do I seem the type to needlessly lie or deceive a visitor?”

       “Tragedy changes a person, Derek Hale. I’ve experienced that firsthand. I suspect you may have your reasons for concealing the truth from me, or others for that matter.” Satomi threw low, and Stiles felt his skin grow hot with anger.

        Derek moved to say something, some manner of retort. Stiles didn’t give him the chance. Instead, he walked straight up to Satomi. His path was blocked by three of her betas. Which wasn’t that much of a problem. He flashed his eyes, growling low in his throat. After which, all three of them retreated. With their tails tucked between their legs. For the first time since she’d arrived, Satomi seemed surprised.

       “I’ll only say this once. Pull that shit again, use that again, on Derek or Peter or Cora, and you will no longer be welcome here.”

      The entire room held its collective breath. Stiles had been working on the whole anger thing. But the fire, and subsequent damages from it weren’t something that someone mentioned lightly. No one but Derek, Peter, or Cora knew the full breadth of the story. But it didn’t matter. Satomi had swung low to see how far she could get. Stiles stopped her dead in her tracks.

      “You made my betas submit with barely a glance. That shouldn’t be possible.” Satomi was paying attention now.

“Good on you for noticing, now ask yourself why that is. And why they didn’t just try to attack me instead.”

       The answer was right in front of her face. But the story itself was absurd. Absurd to the nth degree. Because, unless they were there, no one in the world could believe it. That an eighteen year old human had been kidnapped, turned, and tortured by the alpha pack. After which, he then proceeded to go on a rampage and killed three of them.

    “It’s hardly believable, but after seeing that…You have the power to make the betas of other alphas submit. The only way you’d have that, is from killing the alpha pack. Well, most of them anyways.” Satomi’s eyes ventured towards Ethan and Aiden as she spoke.

      “They asked for my protection, I gave it.” Stiles’ knew his eyes were still red.

“Strange, given what they did to you and yours. But I’m not here to question your judgement. Only what you seek from me.”

      “An alliance would be nice. Maybe, at some point down the line, we could even be friends.” Stiles was still angry. But he was being truthful.

     Satomi silently studied him. Stiles could see the gears turning in her head. As well as the betas. They were at a loss of what to really think. That there was an eighteen year old alpha in front of them. One with the power of three murderous alphas flowing through him.

      Satisfied that Satomi wouldn’t press the matter of the fire again, be it casually, or a means to push, Stiles returned to Derek’s side. The other alpha returned his hand to the man’s lower back. It felt heavy, but comforting in the same moment. He didn’t know what to do from here. Only that there was something.

      “You scared the shit out of us. For a second there, I thought you were going to challenge her.” Derek’s skin looked pale.

“Nope. Not that dumb. But what she said was a low blow, and it pissed me off.”

      “I don’t remember asking you to defend my honor.” Derek smiled, looking Stiles right in the eye. And Stiles felt his heart stop.

“Don’t remember me having to ask for permission.”

      They stay like that for a while. Letting Satomi talk amongst her betas. It was tense, and altogether unpleasant. But Stiles behaved himself. Derek had taught him to reign in his senses, and to not eavesdrop on them while they were talking across the room. It was bad manners.

     Peter was absolutely giddy. In fact, he was positively delighted. Like, Joker levels of mania. Stiles reminded the man that they were having an adult meeting, and that his giddiness wasn’t professional. He only smiled at the alpha, and slunk towards the back of the room. Cora followed him. Stiles just breathed.

      After an hour, Satomi seemed to reach a consensus with her betas. The woman stood, nodding once towards her betas. Making her way over, with no one following her. Stiles was still somewhat mesmerized by the woman’s presence. She was….well…old. Old and strong. He wasn’t sure which one of them would actually win if it came to a fight.

      “My betas agree with me in saying this. But others will come. Not just wolves, and not just hunters. Others of our world. How do you plan to deal with it when the time comes?”

“Depends on who comes and what their intentions are.” Derek’s hand was still on Stiles’ back as he spoke.

      “Is that your actual plan, or is there something better?”

“We’ve got five alphas, and six betas. With room to grow. There’s also the fact that my father is the sheriff of Beacon County. Which gives us a literal police force that we can utilize. Oh, and two veteran hunters who want peace as much as we do.”

     Satomi pulled a Derek, raising one eyebrow in response. Stiles hated people who communicated with their eyebrows. It annoyed him. He was verbal and expressive, and always had something to say. Though he did somewhat regret mentioning his father. And the fact that he may have overstated the amount of the police that they could actually use. Hopefully, it would pan out.

      “And what do we get in return for this alliance?”

“I mean, five alphas at your disposal, ready to kick ass at a moment’s notice?” Stiles was concerned that she’d want something more.

      “Then I assume the twins are sworn to your command. And will respond when ordered.”

“They asked for protection, and intend to make them earn it.” Stiles looked towards Ethan and Aiden. The both of them nodded.

      “I can accept that. Now, the matter of sealing the alliance is to be settled. I figured the old fashioned way would be best.”

“And what’s that? A document written on cotton paper, officiated by a magistrate?” Stiles couldn’t help the sarcasm.

      “With a child.”

    Well, fuck.

 

 

    

 

      

 

     

 

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry, what now?”

     “Traditionally, a formal alliance, a cemented alliance, is made by a member of both packs having a child together.” Satomi was being dead serious.

      “This isn’t medieval Europe, and we’re not securing the alliance with France.”

Stiles really didn’t know what to do from here. Of all the things he expected with this meeting, this was the farthest from them. Not in the slightest way did he imagine the mention of a child. For any freaking reason. But here it was, being so casually suggested by the alpha in front of him.

      “You have three desirable male alphas. And there are more than five times the number of women in my pack that long for a cub. If it comforts you, I don’t expect marriage, nor for the chosen male to be involved in the child’s life.”

     Well, that was just a whole ass level of fucked. Randomly having a child with a complete stranger was bad enough. Keeping the whole thing anonymous was just too damn much. Stiles couldn’t even imagine the thought of it. Even if he wasn’t eighteen and in high school, his dad would kill him. Literally kill him. Scott’s mom would crucify him, then kill him. Then, resurrect him, and do it all over again.

     He looked towards Derek for…well…something. Stiles was at a complete loss at this point. He had figured that Satomi would want some kind of good faith. Something that would prove their allegiance. He just wasn’t expecting for her to expect a goddamn baby out of the deal.

      “Stiles and Scott aren’t the type to have random woman’s child, and then have nothing to do with her. Neither am I for that matter.”

“Then what would you suggest? Because if I’m to risk myself and my pack, then I want assurance that you will do the same.” Satomi wasn’t backing down.  

     “A child is out of the question. This isn’t the old days. And we can move out of that mindset. What I suggest, is that you take Beacon Hills as your home. For as long as we are aligned, you will have a place here.”

       Stiles hadn’t thought of that. Derek, apparently had. Because as he suggested it, Satomi’s eyes lit up like a string of Christmas lights. They had a winner. A real winner. Because her betas started talking amongst themselves. Quite feverishly actually. They had her hooked.

      “You would offer us a home here, directly in your territory?”

“I have three other alphas in my pack, and two more who were given sanctuary by one of the aforementioned. I also own this entire building, and am planning on buying more. Between myself, Peter, and Cora, there’s enough money for your pack and more to live peacefully here.”

      Goddamn, Stiles felt himself go red in the face. Now was not the time to get turned on by Derek. But he couldn’t freaking help it. Regardless of whatever witchery the man’s scent brought out in him, he was unreasonably attractive in this moment. More so than he usually was. Stiles would have to excuse himself soon. Especially given that Peter’s smirk could pain the wall.

      “I find these terms acceptable. I’ll handle the arrangements of moving my pack here. Though I can’t exactly guarantee that they’ll be comfortable sharing a space with this many alphas.”

“If they want this alliance as much as you, and a safe place to live, then they’ll learn to get over it.” Derek wasn’t backing down.

     Satomi simply nodded her head, leaving without further comment on the matter. As soon as the other alpha and her betas were gone, the entire room deflated. Stiles especially. He had gone into the day somewhat at ease. But with Satomi’s arrival, his entire body was wracked with nerve. He could finally relax. Or at least, he thought he could. Turns out his dick had other ideas.

      Over the last few weeks, he’d gotten pretty used to being around Derek and not having a raging hard on the entire time. But for some reason, all that progress had been thrown out the goddamn window. With the entire pack still here, there wasn’t any room to ‘handle’ the situation.

     Peter kept smirking. He kept smirking and Stiles flashed his eyes at the man. Who then promptly retreated away. Snickering as he went. Cora let out an exasperated sigh. Stiles cursed himself. Scott looked like he had smelled something sour. The whole thing was mortifying.

       After the other alpha’s departure, Stiles learned what had made Derek’s suggestion so enticing. Satomi had been an alpha for a while, and over the last two decades, her pack had grown. Rather a lot. More so than was feasible to maintain. They had mouths to feed, and not enough room. Plus, Satomi had a habit of taking in strays.

     Orphans who’d lost their packs to other alphas. Or even worse, hunters. People who were lonely and desperate, and had nowhere else to go. Satomi took all of them. Most of them weren’t that much older than Stiles. Some were younger. Her pack had grown beyond a sensible proportion. That’s part of the reason Derek had contacted her. He knew that she had as much to gain as they did.

    It seemed reasonable enough. Certainly better than pairing off with a random woman, and conceiving a child. Stiles may have had some issues where his libido was concerned. But he wasn’t so desperate to get laid that he’d shack up with a stranger. He’d die of blue balls first. Which, at this point, seemed like a distinct possibility.

     Thankfully, the pack seemed to have gotten used to his bursts of horniness. And were more than in kind in never, ever mentioning it. Or how it only seemed to happen when he was either near Derek, or during the full moon. At other times, it was just sort of low burning thing at the back of his mind. He had always been a horny dude. But as Derek said, since he was a werewolf, it was just…amplified.

     Though, as the thought about it, even the embarrassing parts, he found himself thinking with his brain, instead of just his dick. Like how when Derek smiled. When he really smiled. Not that cocky, ‘I’m the alpha’ bullshit. When he smiled because he meant it. When he smiled because Erica had, yet again, made another inappropriate comment. How he smiled when Isaac talked about his plans for college. Or, best of all, when he smiled at Stiles. Even if it was just for the simplest thing in the world.

      Those were the moment’s when Stiles questioned himself. Well, more so than he usually did. He and Derek had…well…They’d been through a lot, really. Between them actively hating each other. To sort, kinda of working together. To actively keeping each other alive. (See, holding up two hundred alpha werewolf paralyzed in pool.) There was a whole slew of shit to process. And now, as Stiles thought and thought, he didn’t dislike Derek. Not even a little. In fact, he kind of liked him.

     That, in of itself, was a problem. For a great number of reasons. Namely, they were both alpha werewolves. Which didn’t seem like the ideal compatibility. There was also the fact that Derek was, well, straight. Stiles was…not straight. But not gay either. He had always had lingering glances in the locker room. Seconds long and then gone. But never anything beyond that. And maybe he looked at the dudes a little closer than most when he browsed porn.

         There was also the given fact that the both of them carried a lot of baggage. Derek, with the betrayal of a woman he though loved him. The death of his family. His uncle’s rampage. And then subsequent reunion between him and his long lost sister. As well as trying to reform his own pack.

     Stiles, while not as intense, had his own variety. Namely, as a start, the death of his mother. Which sort of screwed him up rather nicely. As he left him with some serious abandonment issues. The never ending terror that he may one day lose his father unexpectedly. How he always played third fiddle to literally everyone else. How the world seemed to so easily forget and overlook him. As if his existence didn’t matter. He was hyperactive, insecure, clingy mess. Which wasn’t exactly boyfriend material.

        The whole situation was fucked. Fucked nine ways to Sunday and back again. Stiles didn’t really let it bother him. He’d spent literal years pining after Lydia. Desperately trying to get her attention by any means he could conjure. Dealing with his fleeting horniness towards Derek, (see intense infatuation), would be easy by comparison. The trick was to just make sure that he didn’t think on it.

     Which was all well and dandy. As Stiles had long since mastered the art of ignoring a problem. Ignore it until it goes away. That’s how he had operated on for most of his life. Given his short attention span and tendency towards extreme anxiety. It was a shame that someone had to go and fuck it all up. And Stiles should’ve known it was going to be Peter.

***

Things had gone well with Satomi. Derek had gone into the meeting with the other alpha with moderate hopes for the outcome. He had expected the woman to show up with more of her betas. To try and make more of a show. Part of him had anyway. The other part considered the truth of the matter. Satomi was older, wise, and stronger. But much like anyone, there was far more to her than one could see with the naked eye.

      Satomi had been an alpha longer than Derek had been alive. Which meant that she had both experience and knowledge. More so than he could ever hope to have at his age. But she also had one notable weakness. In that a great deal of her pack had once, at some time or another, been omegas. Wolves that had been displaced through various circumstances. Who had tasted death and suffering and loss.

     Derek had little doubt that Satomi wanted to keep them from experiencing such things again. She was strong. Her betas followed her and trusted her. That didn’t mean she would take advantage of that. Especially given that they had not one, but five alphas on their side. And one of them had been the man who had taken down Deucalion, Ennis, and Kali. Who had, effectively, ended the most dangerous pack on the west coast.

      Derek relayed the story in its entirety. Not sparing even one of the gory, horrible details of what had happened. Stiles had been taken, turned, and tortured. And in the end, that had worked against the alphas. Because when he was shoved, when he was pushed against the wall, he had gone berserk. Killing three of the most lethal people ever to walk the face of the earth. And had done so with a particular brand of cruelty.

      Satomi had been hesitant to accept the story. Until Stiles proved it himself. Wherein he made three of the woman’s betas submit and turn tail without lifting a goddamn finger. Derek had seen it first hand when it happened to Cora. Who didn’t even submit to Derek. He was her alpha, yes. But the young she-wolf was beholden to no one if she so chose. That was just the type of wolf she was.

    Which made it all the more surprising when she actually submitted to the other alpha. Even if it was only for a moment. Derek had been wondering just how strong Stiles truly was. How much more he could do. At the very bare minimum, he knew Cora. Even if it was in an offhand way. He did not know Satomi’s betas in any form. Yet, they had cowered away all the same. Surprising Derek and Satomi, as well as everybody else.

      Part of Derek was concerned. The other part of him was impressed. Namely because of how well he had handled Satomi. The alpha was by no means a greenhorn. And could more than easily injure all of them rather severely before they even got a shot on her. But Stiles didn’t react with violence. Instead, on his, Peter’s, and Cora’s behalf, told Satomi to watch her comments. Derek wondered just when Stiles got that brave. Or when he started to care that much about them. Any of them actually.

      And as he thought, he realized that Stiles had always cared. In some form or another, Stiles cared. He had not once used his status as an alpha abusively. Hadn’t overstepped his power or his position. When he very easily could have. Physically, with that much power, he was stronger than Derek, Scott, Ethan, and Aiden. It would take the four of them to do any real damage. The only reason Stiles had won against the alphas was surprise, their underestimating him, and sheer, boiling rage.

     It had been one of Derek’s many, many concerns when he first started to train Stiles. That the anger he felt in that dreadful moment would rear its ugly little head. That the rage that led him towards killing those three would be a problem. But much to his surprise, Stiles had stayed firm and in control of himself the entire time. Not once shifting and losing himself to the wolf. Save for the occasional flash of his eyes.

     The whole thing was rather astounding. Deaton had said that Stiles’ natural ‘spark’ had been part of the reason. That natural inborn power that had allowed him to manipulate the mountain ash. Now, as a werewolf with an absurd amount of power, it was being used to keep him human. But he knew that wasn’t the only reason. It was because Stiles was afraid. He was afraid of losing control.

     The alpha had seen, firsthand, just how terrifying werewolves could be. He watched his friend lose himself to the full moon. Watched as Peter slaughtered people, left and right. Creating a symphony of murder and madness. Stiles had been there for it all. And he had been terrified of becoming that. Killing the alphas instilled that fear. That he lost control and that he might again. Ever since then, he had been impeccable.

       Derek admired that about him. His sense of self. His certainty. The way that he tried and tried and tried. Even when the world seemed to want to push back against him. Derek had been there. He had experienced it for himself. So the fact that Stiles was still standing tall and proud….

      He didn’t exactly want to think about what that made him feel. What it made his wolf feel. That wasn’t a desire he’d had for a long time now. Wasn’t something that he had given any thought to. Even without Kate ruining his life, and Peter destroying what was left of it, Derek was deeply flawed. Underneath all that swagger was someone broken and afraid. He hated it. He hated every second of it.

      Stiles made him feel…something. Safe. Comfortable. Like he was home when he was away from home. Despite all that they had been through, despite them actively hating and working against each other, they worked. It was out of necessity for certain. But they worked regardless. And Derek didn’t know what to do about it.

       “Quit brooding before you get age lines.” Cora had come up from behind him. Resting her shoulder on his head. She smelled like apples.

“I’m not brooding. I’m…thinking is all.”

       “Well your thinking is loud and annoying. He’s horned up for you. Either talk to him, or take care of it yourself. Whatever, I don’t care. But I’m tired of smelling it in the loft.”

Derek had to resist the urge to throttle his sister. Their parents had taught them which smells were the ones that they were supposed to ignore. Even if Stiles wasn’t an alpha werewolf, he was still at the age where sex was on the brain. More often than not, whether or not he actually desired it. Derek couldn’t fault him for that.

       “I couldn’t even begin to tell you the many was as to why that’s a bad idea.”

“You like each other, and you’re both alphas. You could fuck for literal days without stopping.” Cora was annoyed now.

      “If you’re so concerned with the state of his sex drive, then why don’t you bed him up?” Derek thought his comment was witty. His sister did not.

“Not my type. Even if he was, I’m not the one he has eyes for, and you know it.”

      Derek did know it. He knew it every time Stiles was in his general vicinity. But there was a rather large difference between being sexually attracted to someone, and actually wanting a relationship. As much as it pained him to admit, Stiles would make for an excellent mate. Strong. Clever. Loyal. Protective. And unafraid of what lied ahead of him. Derek’s casual suggestion that he find a mate was more for his own sake than for Stiles’. The problem was, the more that he thought about it, the more he didn’t like the idea of Stiles mating with someone else. And that’s what terrified him the most.

      He wondered and he wondered and he wondered some more. About Stiles. About Satomi. About everything they had done, and everything that they had left to do. A relationship seemed so trivial and unimportant to him. That it was the last possible thing that he needed. Derek hadn’t had a relationship for nearly seven years. And there wasn’t any reason to change that. Even if Peter and Cora were dead set on seeing otherwise.

 

 

    

 

      

 

     

 

Chapter Text

Stiles was going to murder Peter. Like, actively, vindictively, horribly murder him. He didn’t know how, but there were a great many ideas came to mind. Flaying seemed like the best possible option. Slow. Intimate. Intentional. There was a certain kind of message that it brought. The only reason he hadn’t, was because the man was right. And he absolutely fucking hated him for it.

     There were several moments that came to mind when he desired the man’s demise. Namely, and firstly, his manipulation of Lydia to resurrect himself. Which was ten levels of fucked that most people that couldn’t even possible imagine. That was reason enough. Peter just had to on and add to it. It started when Stiles was dumb enough to follow him to the back of the loft. A ‘private’ conversation he said.

     That private conversation turned out to be VERY private. And Stiles had tried to flee more than once. Peter, the bastard, was better at the whole werewolf thing. And expertly blocked his path each and every time. Apart from crippling the man, there wasn’t really much else choice but to sit still and listen.

      Listening was worse than he had imagined. Because Peter, again, the bastard, detailed the exact details of what he called an ‘alpha’s needs’. Which, according to him, were all very sexual in nature. And that conversation about sent Stiles off the rails. His dick’s conspicuous shenanigans were already embarrassing enough. Having his only beta educate him on them was somehow even worse.

      And if that weren’t enough of a shit topped sundae, Peter had to go and reveal Stiles’ ultimate humiliation and talk about his reaction to one Derek Hale. Which was when he was really ready to bolt. Peter snickered through the whole damn thing. Kindly explaining that their resident brooding alpha was, indeed, partial to one Stiles.

     That in of itself was something that bordered on unbelievable. Stiles had known Derek for almost two years now. And, to say the least, the romantic type wasn’t a trope that he fit very well. It baffled to think of the man showing up with flowers and chocolates. That being said, the idea didn’t entirely bother him.

     There was also the matter that Stiles had all the courage of a tumbleweed. Which wasn’t really a conducive attitude when wanting to ask someone out. Or even acknowledge that you have feelings/lust for them in the first place. He had absolutely no freaking idea where to move. Peter, thankfully, wasn’t keen on telling him anything else. The rest would be guess work combined with trial and error.

     The rest of the pack had settled in after Satomi’s departure. Scott and Isaac were nestled on the couch. Tangled together and watching some nameless movie that no one was really paying any attention to. As Stiles walked inwards, he could’ve sworn that he heard purring.

     Erica and Boyd were playing cards with Lydia while Jackson sat on the sidelines. Stiles pitied the betas as much as he could. Lydia was a certified genius in mathematics. And counting cards came to her as easily as breathing. He watched as he nibbled on potato chips, seeing the faces of the other two players repeatedly fall. Over and over and over again.

      The air seemed to still and settle. And Stiles felt himself falling asleep. Not really meaning to. He feels his body swarm with heat. Nestling him down into an unwitting slumber. When he wakes, he smells Derek. Well, the blanket over him smells like Derek. And for once, since becoming a werewolf, he doesn’t have a raging hard on.

    There was a certain brand of sentiment that came with that. And Stiles didn’t really know what to do with it. On one hand, he had furiously jerked off with Derek on the brain. On the other, he really just kind wanted to cuddle the dude. And never let go of him.

        There was always that hormonal, teenager in love trope that he hated. It polluted movies and tv series time, after time. He hated it. The thing he hated more was that being a werewolf was difficult in ways he hadn’t expected. Namely, the way he felt things. And he hated feeling. Feeling never led to anything good.

      There were a myriad of insecurities that came with being Stiles. It would’ve taken too long to list them. Becoming a werewolf, as well as an alpha, didn’t fix any of them. At all. In fact, it definitely made things worse. In the sense that he had new levels trauma to deal with. (See, bury.) All in all, he had no idea how to approach the matter. Except he did. And it came to him two days later.

     Lydia Martin was never one for an unexpected visit. She hated people barging in on any part of her life. Despite being the social center for so many years. It was her center. And she dictated the rules. Stiles hadn’t planned to show up unannounced, it just happened that way. Thankfully, she was amendable to his presence. Making no fuss on the matter.

     Jackson was, of course, there. Idly thumbing through his phone. He accepted Stiles’ passive scent marking and he went about his business. Lydia was the same. Though she was pointedly curious as to why Stiles was there. Her face said that in of itself. Years spent pining after the same girl, and Stiles could read her like an open book. He didn’t bother trying to lie or deceive as to the nature of his presence.

      “I need you to make me pretty.”

There was a brief, terrible moment of silence. Lydia looked at him as one might look at a bug crawling along the sidewalk. As if there wasn’t anything better than to step on him. For a brief moment, Stiles considered that this was a terrible idea. That he had made a rather horrendous mistake. That Lydia was just going to laugh at him.

     “Give me ten minutes, don’t move.” Lydia hopped up from her seat. Leaving a despondent Jackson in her absence.

     Some part of Stiles regretted not following the strawberry blonde. As he wasn’t exactly on speaking terms with Jackson. They accepted each other’s presence as members of the same pack. And that was essentially it. They weren’t friends. And he figured it would be some time before they even approached that particular avenue.

       “So you’ve finally decided to make a move on Derek. Congratulations.”

“Let’s go back to where we didn’t talk about it, and go about our merry little lives.” Stiles could feel his face turn pink as he turned away from Jackson.

      “There’s nothing merry about any of this shit. We just finally hit calm waters. Let’s see how long we can stay there.”

       Stiles, (damn his werewolf hearing), could sense that Jackson’s heartrate just shot through the roof. There were a myriad of things that he felt. The one he decided to act on probably wasn’t the best. But he did it anyway. Which was to sit down next to the other wolf, and rest his head on his shoulder. Much to Stiles’ surprise, Jackson did not move away or resist the embrace.

     There were a number of things that came with being a werewolf. Stiles had always been an awkward, semi-unstable individual. He had long stretched out limbs and a personality that left some things to be desired. But he tried. Being an alpha werewolf didn’t help any of that.

     There was a certain point where he had to try. To make an active effort to be better and to do better. He and Jackson weren’t friends. But this was a moment that he had decided on. That he made a choice to do something that he never would’ve done had he still been human. Sometimes, being a werewolf wasn’t all that bad.

      “You’re upset. You wanna talk about it?”

“I’m not good at that. And why the hell do you care anyway?” Jackson’s deflection was weak, and somewhat comical.

      “We’re pack.”

Stiles didn’t fully understand the depth of that word. Not yet anyway. Derek had talked, on and on about it. Tried to explain, in detail what it meant. He was trying to comprehend the idea of it. The idea of what it was. And what it could be. For the most part, Stiles had some semblance of what it was. it was like a family. But one that you chose. One that you had to really work for and keep working for. Jackson, as much as they didn’t get along, was a part of that. And it wasn’t going to change unless he wanted it to.

      “I don’t remember, what I did. Killing those people. But I remember what happened after. Washing the blood off of me. Wondering what the hell was going on. What was happening. And how I could stop it.”

“What you did…What Matt and Gerard made you do…that’s shit is on them. All of it. Every last, little bit of it.” Stiles, probably better than anyone else, understood where Jackson was coming from.

      “My eyes say otherwise.”

Jackson looked at Stiles with a cold blue gaze. Sharp, and all consuming. Derek hadn’t talked much about what that meant. Only that blue was wolves who had knowingly taken an innocent life. Which made no sense to him. Jackson didn’t know anything about what he was doing. What he was made to do. So it didn’t make sense for him to have that color. Then again, nothing really made sense these days.

      “What happened to you was horrible. What happened to me was horrible. But it was done by other people. Even still, I hate it. I hate every minute of it. That what I am now is because of what they did to me. And what I was forced to do. And that, even though they were the worst kind of people, I can never, ever forget it.”

“Guilt is a fuck of a thing, isn’t it?” Jackson looked like he was on the verge of tears as he spoke.

      “You got that right. But what we do with ourselves next doesn’t have be.”

“God I hate it when other people are right. When the fuck did you get so smart, Stilinski?”

      Stiles smiled. He smiled for what felt like the first time. Where there was a genuine moment where all the world faded to nothingness. And he could release the tension in his body. Where the horrors of what was, and what had happened, seemed entirely irrelevant.

      They stay like that, the two of them, for what feels like eternity. Stiles was still getting accustomed to the whole lovey-dovey thing that came with being a werewolf. Tactility wasn’t an inherent part of him when had still been human. But now, it was a part that he’d never lose. It felt good. It felt right.

      Lydia came back, seemingly perfect as always. Slightly exasperated and tapping her heel. Stiles shot up from the couch, following after her. Jackson actually whined as Stiles got up. Which he took as a good sign. At the very least, it meant that they had gotten closer. He may not have been the guy’s alpha, but they were getting better about it. They were getting better about each other.

     The inside of Lydia’s room was the same as the last time Stiles had been in there. Surprisingly un-girly. For a woman of her type, Lydia wasn’t one to be extravagant or embellish. Or at least, when it came to her room anyway. Stiles had always wondered as to why. The woman dressed and primped and primed. Literally, every single day. He had never seen her without at least the bare minimum of makeup on. And in nothing less than a stellar, coordinated outfit.

     She orders him to sit in front of her dresser. Where there are about tent thousand makeup lights turned on to a brightness that was almost painful to bear. There was an array of things across its surface. Makeup brushes. Pencils. Scissors. Pallets. Everything that he knew, and even more of what he didn’t. The idea of what came next isn’t one he found himself enjoying.

     “You interrupted The Notebook. Therefore, you’re not going to have any complaints about what I do.”

“I have drag queen friends. I guess I can handle this.” Stiles swallowed the lump in his throat.

      Lydia smiled that smile. The one that was full of teeth, and more of a threat than anything else. Stiles swallowed the lump that had suddenly formed in his throat. He was a werewolf. An alpha at that. He could handle this. But as it turned out, he really couldn’t.

     Sitting still had never been his strong suit. Ever since he was seven, he had been a wiry little ball of endless, spastic energy. Staying put while someone poke, primped, puffed, primed, and god knows what else, was easier said than done. Easier given that he still had a primal fear of one Lydia Martin. That certainly helped a lot.

     For as long as he was seated, there wasn’t actually an extensive amount done. But each part of Lydia’s process was meticulous, and without fault. Stiles honestly saw the difference when she was done. He looked exactly the same, except…enhanced. Whatever witchery she had done had made his features, well, prettier.

       “So, what all did you do exactly? Cause it didn’t feel like that much, but I can see the difference.”

“Primer to brighten the skin. A neutral eyeliner in the waterline to enhance the color your eyes. A translucent powder to give emphasis to your moles. Sculpting the eyebrows to be more masculine. And the barest touch of mascara to make your bambi eyes really pop.” Lydia looked exhausted as she spoke.

      “I’m not Bambi.”

“Right, you’re a fearsome werewolf who needed my help in peacocking for your would be boyfriend. Now that my work is done, let’s get to work on the clothes. No sense in doing your face up if you still drown yourself in flannel.”

      Stiles was beginning to regret his decision. This was turning into something out of an episode from Queer Eye. Lydia, thankfully, didn’t make him try anything on. Rather, she instructed him on what to wear with what. How to wear it. And how to accessorize it. So on and so forth. After which, they talked about shoes. Which seemed irrelevant. But Stiles kept his mouth shut, and listened.

     At the end of it, she handed him small bag of makeup items. Mostly things that she hadn’t used or decided she wasn’t going to. And drilled him, again, on how to use them properly. He had always absorbed information well. That, plus he was afraid of making a fool out of himself, as well as pissing Lydia off.

       When he leaves, Jackson is asleep on the couch. The credits for The Notebook rolling along the screen. Stiles wonders if he’ll ever really be okay. If the horrors of what was done to him will ever really pass. If it will pass for him. For Scott. For Erica. For Boyd. For Cora. For Derek. For any of them. He thinks about it as he drives home. He thinks and he thinks and the thinks until he has a goddamn headache.

       Washing his face doesn’t take long. He doesn’t bother with a full-fledged shower. He just rinses all of Lydia’s products off, strips, and falls into bed. He could always wash the sheets tomorrow. The last few days had been trying enough. His own anxiety working his nerves. There was some small found confidence. The only question that was left, how the hell did he ask one Derek Hale out for a date?

 

 

 

    

 

      

 

Chapter Text

Things were going better than Derek had expected. For the most part anyway. The main concern was the adjustment of having another pack living directly in their territory. He and Satomi were on favorable terms. Scott was a non-issue, given his own sense of innocence and general stupidity. The issue that he’d had since the beginning was one Stiles.

     Satomi’s pack had fully integrated itself into Beacon Hills. There were more than sixty of them. Which was a lot of people to both house and feed. Each of them needed a place to stay, a bed to sleep in, and food to eat. Barely half of them were adults. The rest were children between the ages of five and eighteen. The adults worked, and had their own assets, which did make things easier. What didn’t make things easier, or rather who, was Stiles.

        The main reason Satomi was so eager to accept the arrangement was because she had overburdened herself with such a large pack. There were very few alphas that would accept such a large number of wolves living anywhere near their territory. Let alone directly in it. There would’ve been a myriad of trust issues and boundaries. Which was what they concretely ran into within the first week.

       Derek helped Satomi enroll all of the kids into either childcare or school. The paperwork was simple and easy to process. Peter helped the adults who needed work find jobs that tailored to their skill set. Everything was going well. Until the kids started school. That’s when Stiles’ unique situation came to a head. In the most awkward way possible.

       Scent marking was a vital part of any werewolf pack. Born werewolves knew that from a young age. And bitten wolves took a lifetime to learn the intimate dynamics of it. Derek had his pack, and Satomi had hers. Even though she was technically living in his territory, they stood as equals. And did not, in any way, submit to each other. That did not account for Stiles.

       The real problem was that he didn’t realize what he was doing. Which made things even more difficult. While they were at school, he had a tendency to scent mark Satomi’s betas in an offhand way. Nothing that screamed dominance and that demanded submission. But, by definition, he was the strongest alpha in the territory. Actually, he was the strongest alpha within a three hundred mile radius. Possibly on the west coast.

     His actions weren’t malicious, or crude, or even lewd. In his mind, they were an extension of the pack that he already had. That they were here, in their territory, and, in some part, belonged to him. Not as alpha and beta. But as pack overall. Which was a very confusing thing to actually think about. Stiles was the strongest alpha out of six. But behaved in a way that was…uncommon.

    There was also the matter of the females in Satomi’s pack. Who were beginning to aggravate Derek to no end. The older alpha had said that there were plenty of women in her pack that wanted a child. Stiles, by all considerable options, was the most desirable choice to sire a child with. Alphas bred alphas. As the old adage went. And given the amount of power he had as an alpha….Derek didn’t want to imagine what it would’ve been like had Stiles actually been aware of what was going on.

      Any competently trained werewolf could detect arousal in other people. That was just a given. Derek had been raised by his mother to ignore such things. It was considered wildly impolite to acknowledge or point such things out to other people. Stiles had never found any issue in keeping that realization to himself. Even if the women in Satomi’s pack smelled of arousal, he would kindly ignore it in his usual awkward fashion. What he didn’t have any clue about, was their presenting.

        Werewolves were not animals. And certainly did court and display the way wolves in the wild did in the wild. But they certainly did have their own way. Low cut shirts. Even shorter skirts. Perfumes specifically tailored to enhance their scents. They weren’t being subtle by any stretch of the imagination. Stiles, the poor bastard, was utterly clueless to the whole thing. Derek, decidedly, was not.

     More than once, the shooed the ladies away from Stiles. They happened to only ever drop by when he was here. And paid a rather large amount of attention to him. Satomi laughed every time she heard Derek complain. It wasn’t a bad thing. But Stiles was in no way ready to have a child. With anyone. Especially not with a gaggle of women nearly twice his age. It also irritated Derek that they were around Stiles for that purpose.

      The realization that came with that notion made him somewhat uncomfortable. That he was…jealous. That he wanted them to go away, and then smother Stiles in his scent. So that no others would dare approach him. Peter got his jollies off of Derek struggling to be an emotionally competent human being. There was also the matter of Stiles himself.

     It started off in ways that weren’t really noticeable. Things that were hard to notice unless you were really looking. It started when Stiles stopped wearing flannels. Ever since Derek had met the young man, he’d drowned himself in layers. At first, he had assumed that he was anemic or something else along those lines. Now, Stiles wore the same style of nonsensical graphic tees but without the excessive layers that went with it.

     There was also the matter of how tight they were. Derek was no stranger to well fitted clothing. Stiles…it seemed the damn shirts were damn near painted on him. There was always the running joke of how lithe and slender he was. That wasn’t the case now. Years of lacrosse practice and track had given him ample muscle. That, and being an alpha. All those edges had filled out. Broad shoulders. Rounded biceps. Derek had to turn away more than once. Especially when he started wearing those damn pants.

      The shirts were bad enough. Truly, they were. The pants had to fucking go. When Stiles walked in the first time wearing those form fitting jeans, Derek nearly lost his mind. And so did any of the betas that were present from Satomi’s pack. Stiles had always been an awkward, somewhat stumbling person. He had a newfound confidence. Derek didn’t fault him for that. But this was….well, ridiculous.

      Peter was in stitches the entire time. Silently laughing to himself. Derek nearly smacked him. More than once. Cora huffed in derision and left the room in a fit of annoyance. He didn’t blame her. She had enough to deal without the emotional crisis of her brother. There was also the matter of Scott. Because he may have been a little bit more clued in than Stiles, but was no less oblivious to the actions of the other wolves. Stiles was clueless to the woman. Scott was not.

     Therein lay another problem. The young alpha graciously turned their advances away. Politely telling them that he had no interest in a child. Let alone a baby. The women took it with a certain measure of disappointment. But otherwise understood. The issue was Isaac.

      Derek did not pretend to know everything about his betas. To know everything about every part of their lives. He was their alpha. But just like anyone, he respected their privacy and their agency. They were a pack. And a pack functioned as a whole, as well as its individual, autonomous units. His betas were free to make their own choices. Which was what concerned him.

     Ever since Scott and Allison had definitively called things off. Where they had, for sure, ended their relationship, Scott had grown closer to Isaac. They had been antagonistic towards each other before. After the mess with Gerard, they had started to become friends. Now…they were something else. Wolves were more causal and intimate than humans. But the two of them weren’t behaving like pack, or alpha and beta. They were more like young lovers if anything else.

      He didn’t really have any intention of interfering with them. Even with the risks of two pack members getting involved with each other. Which always came with its own complications. They both capable of knowing what they wanted, and if they wanted to pursue it. That was their choice to make. Derek wasn’t about to lecture anyone on their romantic choices.

     Things really came to head the first full moon that Satomi’s pack spent in Beacon Hills. That was what Derek, as well as everyone else, had been dreading. They had gotten on rather well. But the full moon brought out the worst in people. And attitudes would be amplified several times over. Leaving raw, emotional wires that flung sparks at a moment’s notice.

     Derek and Satomi agreed that none of the presented juveniles would be allowed to interact outside of their pack. That way, those with the thinnest control would be kept safe from themselves. They also agreed that some of the adults could interact with each other. That way, they could at least try and get along and endure the full moon together.  

      The arrival of the betas was a tense moment. Derek felt that the adults were nervous to the fact that five alphas, (Stiles had decided to include Ethan and Aiden), would be sharing the same space as them. Once the actual arrival of everyone was settled, things calmed down considerably. Derek and Satomi split the cost of food, and everyone was full and happy. It was only afterwards that things became…uncomfortable.

    When the moon finally rose to zenith, the entire atmosphere in the room changed. Everyone grew tense again. Wondering and waiting. For the most part, nothing happened. Except, several things happened. Namely, Isaac buried his face into Scott’s neck. Placing himself in a position of comfort that the alpha did not deny. Derek knew it wouldn’t be long before they actually tried something further than that.

     The other thing that happened was that Ethan and Aiden actually tried to find tactile contact with the pack. Namely, Stiles. Since being granted asylum, the two alphas had done their best to stay out of the way. Did as they were instructed, and even helped with the moving of Satomi’s pack. Derek was rather impressed. But they weren’t pack. At least, not officially. That changed in a matter of seconds.

      Like with Peter, the two of them bared their necks to Stiles. Actually, truly bared their necks in a blatant display of submission. And like with Peter, Stiles accepted. Latching his fangs around both of their throats. Letting them know, from that point on, they belonged to him. That they were, effectively, his betas. Despite being alphas themselves.

      Derek didn’t really know what to do beyond that. Stiles was an alpha, and had to make his own choices with what kind of alpha he wanted to be. If he had decided to forgive Ethan and Aiden for what they had done, that was his business. He would also have to deal with how Erica, Boyd, and Cora felt at that display. It was the display that came after that that caused some real concerns.

       Stiles had long since accepted how tactile and physical werewolves were. It was an integral part of their being. No pack could properly function without it. That being said, he did not always have the best way of communicating it. As he was still learning what meant what. And had scent marked every one of Satomi’s betas after their arrival. That wasn’t what concerned Derek. What concerned him, is the way Stiles scent marked him.

      Perhaps this moon was different. Perhaps Stiles was a little less in control of himself than he normally was. It didn’t seem to matter as the other alpha came to sit down next to Derek. Placing his head on the man’s shoulder. Content to stay there. Derek had barely run his fingers through the other alpha’s hair before he felt fangs around his neck.

      It wasn’t a show of dominance nor a demand for submission. No, this was something else entirely. This was a claiming. Stiles was claiming him. Not as a beta. But as a romantic interest. Derek wanted to remind him that they were in front of over a dozen people, and this wasn’t the time or the place. He didn’t get the chance, as Stiles ran his tongue over the alpha’s pulse point. Lavishing it with an obscene amount of attention. Derek felt his face grow hot as a shudder ripped through his entire body.

       Peter had just begun to laugh when Derek hauled Stiles off the couch. His hand with a firm grip around the alpha’s wrist. Nearly dragging him upstairs. Away from Peter. Away from everyone else. Away from any prying sets of eyes that had no business seeing what was about to happen. Which was a lot actually. Because for the first time in a long time, Derek felt out of control during the full moon.

    When they manage to get upstairs in his room, Stiles moves to say something. Probably something stupid or some manner of apology. Derek didn’t want to hear it. He just pins the other alpha against the wall. Effectively restraining his hands above his head. There was a tense moment where all the air seemed to leave the room. The both of them huffing like they had just gone done running a marathon.

      Derek buries his face into Stiles’ neck and just breathes. He breathes like it was the last breath he’d ever take. The other alpha was stone fucking still. Derek savored his scent. There was, of course, arousal. That spicy tang that made his nostrils tingle. There was also the scent of fallen leaves. And wind over green things. Stiles smelt like safety. Like he belonged.

        “You can’t do that shit Stiles.”

“I take it you’re mad then?” There was a tremor of fear in his voice. Derek whined.

      “Not mad that you did it. Annoyed that you did it in front of Peter.”

He wasn’t lying. His uncle had more than enough to say on any given day. Stiles may not have fully realized what he was doing, and Derek wasn’t going to fault him for that. But such things were done in private. Away from prying eyes. Such as what Derek did. Delicate wrapping the other alpha’s neck with his fangs. Holding him there. Just holding him. And like with what Stiles did, Derek ran his tongue along the man’s pulse point.

      “Fuuuuucckkkk. Derek.” Stiles’ body went rigid and tense. With just the tiniest shiver. Derek purred like a damn cat.

“Nothing less than you deserve. With all that damn peacocking.”

      “I wasn’t peacocking. I was…I was trying to be more confident.” The shade of pink that creeps onto Stiles’ face is adorable beyond words.

      Derek felt his heart pick up. Stiles had taken a chance. He had taken a chance because he wanted to impress him. Goddamn if that wasn’t the hottest thing. He was presenting. Trying to get Derek’s attention. Trying to catch his eye. That said a certain something that made the alpha’s spine tingle. There’s an absurd amount of tension in his toes. Like he was about to leap through the goddamn roof. He’s a hair away from Stiles’ lips. He can taste him.

       “Tell me to stop, if you want.” Stiles doesn’t. Instead, he closes the minuscule distance between them. His lips taste like star fire. Hot, bright, and endless.

“For the record, I fully would like to continue, but I did actually want to take you on a date.” Stiles smiles into Derek’s mouth. His boyish honesty is both pure and amusing, but Derek didn’t want to stop. And from Stiles’ reaction, he didn’t either.

        He kissed the other alpha again, slower, trying desperately to keep himself from shifting. They just stood there, embracing. Sweat beaded on the base of Derek’s neck as he gripped the other alpha’s front. Which earned him a satisfied grunt from the other man. The alpha took that as a good sign.

    There was absolutely no pretense or reason to restrain himself. So, he didn’t. Rather than calmly, gently shimmying Stiles’ pants off, he simply rips the front of them open instead. Buttons fly and fabric tears. Derek can feel his fingertips burn.

       “Goddammit Derek, those were expensive.” Stiles found himself silenced by another kiss.

      Much like the rest him, the alpha’s cock was beautiful. Flushed and hot. He was uncut, like Derek. The barest hint of the head peeking out from under the foreskin. He wraps his hand around the man, gently pulling it back. A goddamn river of precome oozes out. Drenching Derek’s hand and wrist. He just uses it as lube to give Stiles several smooth strokes.

     The other alpha is breathing heavily again. Ragged. Tortured. Derek knew exactly what he wanted. What he needed. He didn’t bother wasting any time, and dropped down to his knees. Burying his face in the man’s sack. Reveling in the hot musk of his balls. Stiles hisses sharply as Derek licks his sack, all the way up to the head his cock. He tastes sweet and willing.

      When Derek takes the other alpha in his mouth, there wasn’t anything graceful or romantic about it. He just sucks the man down to the root, burying his nose at the man’s groin. Stiles hisses again, hips bucking forward. Thrusting his cock to the back of Derek’s throat. He gags, briefly. The alpha was big, and Derek’s enthusiasm got the best of him.

      He doesn’t stop, working the alpha until his a mewling, incoherent mess. Stiles has to actively restrain himself from fucking Derek’s mouth. The alpha grabs to handfuls the man’s ass, encouraging him to do so. He doesn’t resist, and gives in to the temptation. Thrusting to the back of Derek’s throat, burying his cock. When he comes, Derek holds firm, swallowing every last drop. Which there was a lot of.

      Stiles shudders like someone pressed an ice cube to the back of his neck. Derek’s back to his feet in the blink of an eye, kissing the other alpha with an unrestrained fury. It’s hot, it’s messy. It damn near perfect. Stiles cards his fingers through Derek’s hair, pulling just to the point of pain.

     They don’t stay that way long. The alpha turns Stiles around, pinning him against the door. Ripping down the back of his pants, further ruining what was left of them. The great swell of his ass was enticing. And on any other day, Derek would’ve loved to bury his tongue in the man’s hole. But his dick was achingly hard, and he needed relief.

     He wraps one hand around the front of Stiles’ throat, applying the barest hint of pressure. A silent command to keep still. With the other, he somehow manages to strip himself of his pants, and free his own cock. Much like Stiles’ was, he was already leaking without even having to touch himself.

     The first slide of his member along the cleft of Stiles’ ass makes him shiver. The delightfully torturous friction made him purr. The other alpha pressed his ass backwards into Derek’s cock. Enticing him to go further. And there was a brief moment where Derek considered where. The idea of fucking Stiles lick this. Against the door, hard, fast, and rough. The other part knew it would be a bad idea.

       “I’m not fucking you like this, Stiles. Just…Just keep still.” The other alpha whines, bereaved at Derek depriving him. He does his best to hurry, fucking the cleft of Stiles’ ass with increasingly sharp thrusts. Rutting against him.

     When he comes, it feels like lightning in his veins. His whole body feels like it’s lit up like a Christmas tree. Derek can feel his legs start to loose feelings as all the tension he’d been holding is released. He presses his face into the back of Stiles’ neck. Tasting the salt on his skin, and savoring the smell of their sex.

       “Fuck, that awesome. And we didn’t actually even have sex.”

“Stiles, shut up and get in the shower before this dries.” The other alpha perked up at that idea. Possibly because he had the idea of fucking in the shower. Derek didn’t really care. He was more concerned of what the rest of the pack was going to say. But as he watched the globes of Stiles’ ass bounce as he walked, all of those concerns seemed to vanish.