Stiles is fully aware of the fact that he is not actually part of Derek’s club of furries.
Unfortunately, his best friend, light of his life, and better half, Scott, just so happens to be a part of said club.
And the stubborn idiot had initially refused to join unless Derek let Stiles tag along, which is how Stiles inadvertently ends up a regular on Hale property. Despite spending the majority of his free time with the pack, he doesn’t hold any delusion that he’s a part of it or anything like that.
He’s just there for Scott’s sake.
Besides, he’s only human.
He’s not a ‘wolf like ninety percent of the pack. And although Allison is just as human as he is, she’s also not defenseless, what with her sick hunting abilities.
Stiles is still surprised Scott was able to weasel Allison into the pack, though he’s not overly shocked. Derek may not be the Argent family’s biggest fan (an understatement if there ever was one) but he’s not stupid, either. Having an Argent on his side is better than having one against him. He’s learned that the hard way, through experience.
Stiles is distracted from his train of thought when he hears a second howl.
The first he’d heard a couple of minutes ago, and though instinctively his feet had started towards the sound, he tells himself internally that he is not pack, and it is absolutely not the howl of one of his packmates that is drawing him in.
If he were smart he would turn around, jump back into his jeep and drive home.
Instead, he hears the first howl in the woods, stops the car abruptly, thanking his lucky stars the highway road is empty this time of night, and puts on his hazard lights before hopping out of his jeep to check it out.
The second howl sounds panicked and has Stiles running through the woods without another thought. Isaac his mind supplies absently, though how he knows that, he hasn’t a clue.
He’s on the ground, growling at the half-shifted werewolf looming over his prone form. The ‘wolf’s claws extend and he lifts his arm to strike another blow, and Stiles doesn’t bother to stop and ask any questions.
He swings the barbwire bat he keeps in his trunk right at the werewolves’ head with as much force as he can muster up from all the adrenaline in his system, and watches the sucker go down.
Isaac stares up at the human in awe. “Holy shit .”
Stiles eyes automatically veer towards Isaac, skimming his body for injury. He has a gash down the side of his shirt, it’s bloody but slowly healing, fortunately.
Stiles lets out a long breath, fingers still tightly gripping his weapon.
After a moment there’s a rustling behind them, and Stiles immediately raises his bat again, nervous as all hell, but ready to protect the blonde.
“Oh thank god.” he blurts out, when he sees that it’s Derek and Boyd and not another threat.
Derek glares at him, “What are you doing here?”
Stiles just motions at the still unconscious body on the forest ground. “Kicking ass, not taking names.” he shrugs.
Derek frowns but then turns his attention to his pack mate.
“I was on my nightly run when that asshole tackled me to the ground and just started attacking.” Isaac explains, his hand ghosting over the now fully healed wound across his chest.
“He didn’t even say anything, and, I don’t know, he had this crazy wild look in his eyes.” he shudders. “Stiles came outta’ nowhere and caught him on the side of the head with a bat before he could take another swipe at me.”
Boyd silently holds out his fist for Stiles to bump.
Derek doesn’t comment, and instead roams his eyes over Isaac. “Are you ok?” he steps over the body and kneels in front of the younger ‘wolf to inspect him.
Isaac nods, letting his alpha sniff him out for any other possible injuries, happy to be fussed over, for once.
When he’s sufficiently sure that Isaac’s healed up, he turns his attention to Stiles. “What were you doing in the middle of the woods this late at night?”
“Well, dad ,” the teenager rolls his eyes. “I was taking the back roads home from the library, when I heard your cub here howling. The rest Isaac already told you.”
Derek is back to glaring daggers. “You heard a ‘howl’ and ran right towards it? What if it had been an animal or someone from another pack, someone dangerous, calling for their pack, instead of Isaac? Did you even stop to think about that?”
Stiles points to his bat. “Well, yeah, why do you think I brought this thing with me?” he doesn’t want to tell the alpha the truth, which is that Stiles, somehow, knew it was a member of Derek’s pack, and not some lone wolf or other creature. He doesn’t know how or why he knew that, so he’d rather not say anything at all. “Anyway, you’re totally focusing on the wrong thing here. Who the hell is this guy?”
Derek looks like he wants to say something more, but instead he decides that Stiles is right. He turns the body so that it’s face up. The silver on the bat managed to make a nasty gash right across the ‘wolfs’ forehead. Derek is impressed, actually, but he won’t tell Stiles that. The kid’s got a big enough head as it is.
The werewolf is a man in his thirties, tall and bulky, without any real distinctive features. He smells like an omega. “The good news is, he doesn’t have a pack, so we don’t have to worry about any retaliation.”
“What’re we gonna’ do with him?” Boyd asks.
“We should take him back to the den. We’ll restrain him and then we can figure out why the hell he thought it was okay to attack anyone on my territory.”
They go in Stiles’ jeep, since Derek and Boyd came racing on foot. Isaac and Boyd have the unconscious ‘wolf sit between them in the back. Derek rides shotgun.
Once they’re in Derek’s driveway, Isaac and Boyd half-drag the ‘wolf into the house. Derek stops Stiles from unbuckling his seat belt. “Where do you think you’re going?” he raises a brow.
Stiles groans. “Seriously? I just whammied that guy and then drove all your butts back to base and I don’t get to see the interrogation? See how it ends? You’re really trying to leave me in suspense?”
Derek’s eyes flash red. “You got lucky tonight. This doesn't involve you. Go home.”
Stiles has long since stopped being afraid of Derek and doesn’t bat an eye. He is thoroughly annoyed, however. “Fine, be that way.” he starts up his car and barely waits for Derek's feet to touch the ground before peeling out of the driveway in a huff.
“Doesn’t involve me, my ass.” Stiles scoffs. He’s not pack, Derek has made that abundantly clear, but there’s no way in hell he can, with a straight face, tell Stiles that he’s not at least a little fucking involved.
Because he is absolutely involved.
He texts Scott when he gets home just to make sure he’s okay. When he gets a positive response and then a few question marks towards the end, he explains what happened, and tells him to keep an eye out.
On impulse, he sends the others a group text to tell them to be careful, just in case mister Derek ‘what is communication’ Hale hasn’t told any of them what’s up.
The next day at school Isaac tells him that they lost the werewolf that attacked him the night before.
“What?! How?” Stiles sits up at his desk.
“Well it was just me, Boyd and Derek watching him, so we were talking about taking shifts, just so we’d have an eye on him at all times, when he just...disappeared?” Isaac makes a ‘poof’ motion. “Like, out of existence.”
Stiles blinks. Scott makes a face next to him. “That’s not good.”
“Yeah, he wants everyone accounted for until we figure this out. He said to use the buddy system for now, and we gotta’ head to the den after school.”
Scott nods. “I’ll text Allison.”
By lunchtime everyone in the pack knows what happened and everyone’s a little on edge.
Stiles is still in the school library when the last bell rings. He’s in the occult and supernatural section in the back, taking notes on events even slightly similar to the event that took place the prior night, though he’s not having much luck.
Scott manages to sniff his best friend out amongst all the old books. “Hey, there you are! C’mon, we’re gonna’ be late.”
“Oh, uh, yeah, I’m not going, do you mind getting a ride from Allison?”
“What do you mean you’re not going?”
“I’m doing some research, trying to see if anything like this has happened before, but I’m not coming across anything, so I’m gonna’ stick around for a little and keep at it. Tell Derek he should talk to Deaton about this. He might know something.”
Scott nods. “Probably. Um, Derek’s gonna kick my ass if I don’t bring you, you know. We’re supposed to be doing the buddy system.”
Stiles waves his hand dismissively. “He meant for you guys, not me. He made it perfectly clear last night that I am not in any way involved. I’ll text you whatever I manage to dig up, though.”
Scott looks doubtful but he knows Stiles; when he’s like this, there’s no convincing the boy otherwise. He’s too stubborn. “Okay, but promise me you’ll be extra careful on your way home later.”
Stiles gives him a thumbs up and continues his reading, engrossed.
Scott rides to the den with Allison and Lydia.
Jackson arrives second, with the rest of the pack in his car.
Derek is stood outside, arms crossed over his chest, looking very much like a father waiting for his kids to come home, even though it’s way past their curfew. Grumpy, and dare Scott think it? Concerned.
“Where’s Stiles?” Derek’s eyes flash. “I said no one travels alone.” he growls out, once he sees that the clunky jeep isn’t anywhere in sight.
Scott grimaces. “He’s at the school library, doing research.”
“He can do his research here.” Derek grinds out.
“According to you, he’s not involved, so…” Scott clears his throat. “He did suggest we see if Deaton knows what’s up, though.”
Derek’s fists clench at his sides but he decides to let it go. Stiles is right, he isn’t involved; it’s best that he stays out of it right now. “Alright, Scott, take Allison, Boyd and Erica with you to the clinic and talk to Dr. Deaton, see if he knows anything and report back to me. Text me when you get there and when you leave.”
Scott nods and the four take off.
He turns to the rest of the pack. “No roaming the woods alone until we find the omega. For tonight we stay inside and wait, unless Deaton can tell us anything.”
Everyone agrees and they head into the house.
Lydia gets her laptop out of her bag and starts a digging expedition.
Jackson and Isaac decide to get a head start on homework. It’s Friday now but if paranormal baddies start a war over the weekend, they won’t have time for mundane work then.
Derek almost turns to ask Stiles what he’s planning for dinner--seeing that he usually cooks--but stops himself.
He shouldn’t have been so harsh with the human last night. Stiles may not be pack, but he’s certainly involved .
Derek wishes he weren’t. He doesn’t have the background and training that the Argent girl does, and he’s not a werewolf, which leaves him the floundering, defenseless, and very breakable human boy.
He’s grateful, of course, that Stiles was there to stop his beta from becoming lunch meat, but the whole encounter left too much to chance. What if there had been an entire pack of ‘wolves surrounding Isaac? What if the omega had been an alpha instead? The silver on the bat might’ve been able to stop the alpha in his tracks momentarily, for sure, but it would’ve only slowed him down.
With Isaac injured and Stiles’ human speed--would he and Boyd have been able to get there before something horrible and irreversible happened?
“Derek. Derek? Earth to Derek Hale.” Lydia snaps him out of his anxiety induced thoughts. “Are you alright?”
Derek nods. “Fine.”
Lydia doesn’t believe it for a minute but doesn’t push it any further. “So, Stiles sent me this article from 1945 detailing a bunch of random and sudden attacks from--well, the people were considered hysterical. A lot of them reported a half-man half-wolf creature.
“Those that survived the attacks, that is. The article makes it seem like they were all too traumatized by the incident, and writes it off as an animal attack. This happened several towns away, though.”
Derek purses his lips, thinking. “What makes Stiles think this is connected to our omega?”
Lydia raises a ‘let me finish’ finger. “One victim claims that she ran through the woods and it gave chase but got caught in a trap for bears. She said it wailed and promptly passed out. When she turned to see what or who had been chasing her, she swore the creature simply vanished into thin air.”
“That's ...unsettling.” Isaac says. “That was like sixty years ago or something, it can’t be the same omega. Ours is old but not like, old old.”
Derek does a thing with his eyebrows. “I wouldn’t say thirty is old…”
Jackson and Lydia guffaw at the remark, while Isaac tries to backtrack. Derek might only be twenty two, but he certainly acts like a grumpy old man most of the time.
The others come back after a while with disturbing news.
“Deaton says it sounds like a witch or warlock is behind the attack, but they’re using the omega to accomplish whatever their goal is, which means they’re controlling the werewolf, which means they can control one of us, just as easily.” Allison announces. “He gave us an address where we can go and get wards to protect ourselves from being charmed.” she hands the piece of paper to Derek.
The place is at least a three hour drive and it’s too late now to travel. “We’ll go first thing in the morning.”
Lydia says, “I’ll text Stiles to meet us here at the crack of dawn.” but she looks at her alpha for approval before hitting send.
Derek shakes his head. “Don’t. He’ll be fine. There wouldn’t be any point in a witch or warlock focusing their powers on him. He’s harmless.”
“Well, he did demolish that one guy with only a swing of his bat…” Isaac pipes up, albeit quietly. He’s still not used to voicing his opinion out loud without the consequence of a sound beating.
Derek nods grudgingly. “Fine.”
It’s early. Too early in the morning, the sun just barely peeking out from the horizon. Certainly too early for a Saturday morning.
Everyone is packed into three cars.
Allison takes Scott and Isaac in her car; Jackson takes Lydia, Boyd and Erica in his, and Derek and Stiles go in Derek’s, since the Jeep isn’t exactly made for long journeys, and Derek doesn’t want any of them traveling alone, just in case.
Derek can’t help but note how uncharacteristically quiet Stiles is during the ride. He fiddles with the radio a little but doesn’t say or do anything the werewolf has come to expect of the boy. Instead he listens to the radio and leans his head out of the open window.
Derek knows the silence has to do with their discussion two days prior. He’s aware of what a fuck up it was to tell Stiles that none of this involved him, knowing damn well that was a lie.
He’s surprised though, that the human isn’t using the opportunity to berate him for what Derek said. The silent treatment isn’t like him.
Two hours in, the pack unanimously agrees a quick pit stop is due.
Scott, Isaac, Lydia and Erica run into the convenience store to load up on snacks and drinks for the trip back.
Jackson and Derek take care of filling up the cars with gas while everyone else takes a bathroom break.
Allison’s grateful that there’s a men and a women’s restroom and she doesn’t have to deal with one messy gas station toilet.
Boyd and Stiles head to the men's side and Boyd tells Stiles he can go in first if he wants. “Thanks.”
Boyd cocks his brow at the one word response but doesn’t do anything more than nod.
It’s only a few minutes later when Scott joins Boyd in the line for the bathroom. “Has Stilinski mentioned anything uh,” Boyd doesn’t really know how to word his concerns but thankfully Scott knows what he’s trying to say.
“I think he’s still pissed at Derek.” Scott shrugs. “You know how they are.”
Boyd can’t help but agree with the sentiment. Those two are always in each other’s faces; he’s getting close to telling the pair to just kiss already. Half their “arguments” are just ridiculously blatant attempts at flirting. “Yeah, he’s just been ...I don’t know, quiet?”
Scott purses his lips. “That is weird.” Even upset, his best friend is anything but silent. “Umm, how long has he been in there, anyway?”
Boyd suddenly realizes it’s been well over ten minutes now. He raps at the door with his fist. “Stiles? You okay in there, man?”
The door swings open before he can knock again.
Stiles stands there, one hand gripping the door frame and the other holding a giant wad of napkins to his face. All of the napkins are absolutely drenched in blood. “Sorry, nosebleed.” he says, looking a little pale, but otherwise fine, if annoyed.
“Jesus, that’s a lot of blood.” Scott gapes.
Boyd grimaces. “Why can’t I smell you?” he should have been able to smell if Stiles suddenly started spouting blood. Especially at such close proximity.
Scott startles. “Yeah, I can’t either. How is that even possible?” he starts sniffing Stiles now, who’s so used to it at this point he doesn’t even blink.
“Are you guys coming or--what are you doing?” Derek would like to say he’s surprised but...he’s got a pack full of very weird teenagers, so. Then he sees the crazy amount of blood still dripping from Stiles’ nose and it clicks. He can’t smell it. “What the hell.”
Stiles raises a hand. “Don’t you start too.”
Derek holds himself back, but just barely. “This has to be magic.” he growls out angrily. “Damnit!”
“Maybe the witch we’re visiting will know how to fix it.” Boyd suggests hopefully, his inner wolf whining at the thought of not being able to smell Stiles.
Now that he’s focusing more on it, it’s not just the blood he can’t smell, it’s the human himself. There’s just this vague scent of…something? Not the familiar, and dare he say it--comforting?--scent he’s come to associate with the teen at all.
Derek practically breaks the napkin dispenser open when he reaches for clean ones to shove under Stiles’ still bleeding nose. “Tilt your head down.” he says, even as he’s already doing it for him, one hand at the back of the boys skull, the other holding the napkins to his nose with some light pressure. “How do you feel?”
Stiles tries to sigh, but it’s hard to do when he can barely breathe. “Think I’ll live.” It’s not as if this was his first nose bleed, but it is the first in a long time. He thought he’d outgrown them when he was twelve.
Derek has one of the teens go back into the store to get a roll of paper towels or two so that Stiles doesn’t bleed all over his interior and they discuss what this could mean.
Lydia frowns. “You haven’t had a nosebleed since the eighth grade. Did you feel, I don’t know, off somehow, before this?”
“I was carsick earlier, which, I guess now that I think about it, is kinda’ weird.” He’s gone on plenty of long road trips in the past without feeling anything but fine.
Derek raises a bushy brow. “You were? Why didn’t you say anything?”
Stiles blinks. “I thought you knew. I mean, you can usually sense if I’m sick. Like that time I ate too much cake and you put that waste basket under my face like five seconds before I barfed?”
Derek curses. “It’s not just your blood we can’t sense anymore. It might be you in general.” He hadn’t been able to tell for a whole two hours that Stiles had been nauseous in the car.
He had chalked up the silence to Stiles having been upset over their little tiff earlier in the week, but it’s not like he had sensed the emotion of anger or even sadness on the human, he had just assumed.
Scott’s eyes go wide. “Yeah, like, when you were a kid anytime you got a nosebleed I remember you panicking for the first few minutes before going to the nurses office, but I was standing outside the bathroom practically the whole time and I never felt your panic or even that anything was off.”
Stiles blinks again, albeit sluggishly. “M’getting dizzy.” His nose is still gushing blood steadily as it was when it first started maybe twenty minutes ago, now.
Allison opens the front seat of Derek’s car and makes Stiles sit down. “Any normal nosebleed should’ve stopped by now. A cousin of mine used to get them all the time when we were little. Fifteen minutes was usually the longest it took her parents to get it to stop.”
Stiles feels a little better now that he’s sitting down, but not by much. “Did some warlock or witch or whatever seriously curse me to die via nosebleed? God, that’s lame.”
Isaac clenches his hands together anxiously. “You’re not gonna’ die.” he looks to his alpha for some much needed reassurance. “Right?”
Derek squeezes his youngest pack members’ shoulder, wishing he could muster more confidence. “Let’s go. The place Deaton wants us to go is less than an hour away now; the faster we get there, the faster we solve this issue.”
He nods at Boyd, “You’ll come with us in my car, stay in the backseat with Stiles and try to stop the bleeding.”
They take off almost immediately.
In the backseat of the camaro, Boyd tries his best to staunch the bleeding, to no avail.
They’re less than fifteen minutes from the location on the GPS when Stiles says, “I don’t feel so good.” and promptly passes out against Boyd’s shoulder.
Boyd, usually the more cooler headed of the whole pack, is not ashamed to admit he freaks out instantly. “Stiles, Stiles wake up! Shit!” the boy remains limp and unresponsive, despite the older teens’ best attempts to rouse him.
In the drivers seat, Derek floors it, cutting those fifteen minutes down drastically.
The other two cars follow suit. They might not be able to sense Stiles’ condition, but it doesn’t mean they can’t sense their alpha’s.