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Hope is a House

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Stiles just ran. He wasn't sure where he was running, but anywhere was better than where he was. He was thankfully stripped down out of his work uniform and was in his regular clothes. Though that wouldn't help if the Pack tried to track him. He inhaled as he stopped and exhaled, calming himself down. If he kept up freaking out, they would smell him from miles away. He needed to calm the fuck down. He pulled out his phone, seeing missed calls and a bunch of texts. He shut it off so that Scott couldn't talk his father into tracking it.

If Stiles had been in his work clothes, he probably would have tased Scott. The fucker was itching for it. He had acted so high and mighty when he had kicked Stiles from the Pack when he had gone to GWU for a Pre-FBI program. Stiles had ended up not going into the FBI because he didn't trust the Pack around his father without him there. So Stiles had gone straight to training for being a Deputy and then right back to living with his father.

When he was calm enough, Stiles headed toward where he wanted to go. He was hopeful that no one would look for him there. The empty lot where the house used to be wasn't really visited by anyone. Stiles knew that someone had bought the land but hadn't done anything with it. It wasn't part of his patrol, so Stiles hadn't been there Derek had been de-aged.

The thought of Derek nearly had Stiles crying. Despite the darkness, Stiles could see lights up ahead. Something was going on near the site of the old Hale house. It was bright like there was a house there, but there shouldn't be. Stiles worried it was a fire and gripped his phone tight so he could turn it on and call it in.

Stiles braced himself for whatever he was going to be seeing when he heard a dog barking. It wasn't a frantic call of "Oh my God, help me!" It was more of a call of "Hey, someone is here!"

The sound of a door opening had stiles ducking behind a tree even though he knew that no one could see him since he couldn't even see the house anymore.

"Scooter!" a voice called out, and it drove a spike through Stiles' heart. He was imagining things.

Stiles slid down the tree, drawing his knees to his chest. He could be passed out somewhere. Maybe he fell down a ravine and knocked himself out. Whatever it was, Stiles wasn't here. He couldn't be because that was Derek, who yelled at a dog at a house that didn't exist after being killed by Hunters.

The sound of thunder peeled through the clearing, and Stiles heard the dog's barking lowering. It was going inside. Stiles remembered the weather report of evening thunderstorms. Seemed like they were actually rolling in for once.

Stiles wasn't sure how long he stayed there, but the thunder and lighting was a good companion to his mood. He could feel the freezing cold water hitting him as well as the wind whipping by him. He didn't care. He didn't care if he died right where he was.

When the storm was at its peak, Stiles tipped over onto his side. He curled in a ball and hoped that he didn't wake up.

The feeling of warmth woke Stiles up, he felt warm and safe. He didn't know what he wanted, for him to be home in his bed or to be in his mother's arms. He really didn't want to leave his father alone, it might kill him, but Stiles was ready for the pain of everything to be over. He loved his job and had a good enough life, but he hadn't been happy since Derek left.

Stiles remembered his mother telling him about soulmates. About how he would know when he met whoever it was. Stiles had tried to deny it, but he had known when he had been drawn to the Hale house the night of the fire and then again to the Sheriff's station. He had settled into his father's office when Laura and Derek had been brought into there. He had seen Derek and knew that it was the guy he was going to fall in love with.

When Derek and Laura left Beacon Hills, Stiles had tried to make himself like anyone else, but Lydia had been a shallow one, and it hadn't taken long for Stiles to realize that he had chosen her because he would never love, he never could.

Stiles didn't want to do anything that would tell him where he was. Right now, his Schrodinger's fate was better than knowing.

"I know you are awake," Derek said, and the warmth at his back moved.

Stiles was dead, he knew that he was. Why did Derek have to break that news to him? Why couldn't he just let him live in denial? He liked to just ignore shit until it went away.

"Stiles," Derek said, and this time he shook Stiles.

"Go away," Stiles said. His voice sounded horrible, even to him. Which shouldn't really be. If he was dead and with Derek, he should be in like perfect health. Stiles moved, reaching up to touch his neck, but his hand hit someone. There were two people with him. Why the hell was there someone else in bed with him and Derek?

Stiles opened his eyes to see the back of a head. The man was pressed to him just as tight as Derek was. The scent that he gave off, the expensive but good aftershave, told him that it was Peter. Peter was dead as well it seemed, or maybe not. There was the sound of movement beyond them. He frowned.

Peter rolled over and looked at Stiles with a grin on his face, but it fell as soon as he looked at Stiles fully.

"Stiles, what's wrong?"

"Where are we?" Stiles asked.

"My new house," Derek said.

"I'm not-" Stiles broke off the words as Derek rolled him over. Stiles felt the warm bed on his back and realized that he was mostly naked. He had a pair of boxers on that were not his. Derek or Peter had stripped him down. He didn't smell like anything, so he had been cleaned up as well. He wasn't dead. Derek wasn't dead.

Stiles launched himself at Derek, nearly tackling him off the bed. It was only Peter grabbing his legs that stopped them. Stiles started crying again. He latched onto Derek so hard that he was sure if Derek was human, there might be broken bones.

The bed dipped as Stiles and Derek were pulled across it. Stiles assumed that Peter had got up.

"Stiles, tell me what's wrong? Why were you out in the storm? Why were you crying?"

Stiles shook his head; he didn't want to talk about it. He just wanted to hold onto Derek.

The bed shook, and something warm and furry jumped up with them.

"Scooter, go," Derek said, but his tone wasn't all that stern.

Stiles turned his head to where he could look at the dog. It looked like a husky with blue eyes that reminded him of Derek so much.

"What is he?"

"Husky. I found him on the side of the road a year ago, he had been hit by a car. It was the middle of nowhere, so Peter and I assume that his owners dumped him, and he got hit by a car freaking out. I took him in and got him back to health, but we bonded. He loves running with me, in human or wolf form." Derek's hands were moving up and down Stiles' back. It calmed Stiles down a good bit. He was happy to be in Derek's arms.

"You rebuilt? How did I not know that?" Stiles asked.

"Well, I asked your father not to tell you, and the people who set up the permits and such were very happy to keep it quiet for us. I mean, we are still Hales, and everyone knows what happened the last time I was in town. Getting accused of murdering my own sister."

"You built a house, are you staying?"

"Yes, I'm staying. Cora's moving back as well, and it'll be us three in the house. I've got a friend I made coming to set wards on the house. Hunters will never set fire to the house again."

Stiles sat up on the bed, he was sitting on Derek, and he looked down at him. Derek looked softer, even softer than when he had left with Braeden after dying and coming back as Werewolf, who could do the full-shift. He looked around. The bedroom they were in was pretty spartan looking, but he could also tell that no one lived in this one. The bed was huge, Stiles was sure that it was bigger than a normal king bed. It was made for cuddling.

"This is our sick room. For humans or wolves who had been injured. The bed is big enough for more than one person to cuddle with the injured or sick person. My one aunt was human for a few years before she took the bite after getting injured. She had the flu every winter. She got the shot, but she almost always still got it. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been without it, but she was still down and liked to cuddle. All of the wolves would spend a little time with her. She liked how warm we ran. I remember cuddling with her before school. When you are up to moving around, I can show you the room we have for you and my room."

"I have a room?" Stiles asked.

"I know you live with your Dad, but none of us would mind if you wanted to live here. And of course, I would have a room for you. Stiles, you are Pack."

"Scott told me that you were dead. He told me that a Hunter tracked you down and killed you. That he had seen your head, and it was delivered to him."

"Well, that's good to know. That means that someone has been speaking out of turn. Yes, that was the rumor spread, but it was spread to attract Kate, who did take the bait, and she was caught by the FBI. Peter and I have been working with the FBI to track her and her father down."

"Gerard is dead," Stiles said.

"Well, he is now, but he wasn't. He was put into a care facility by Chris, but he escaped from there, and Chris started to hunt him down. He holed up with Kate, and they were trying to figure out what to do. So then the FBI faked my death and kept my body in a place they could study. They broke in because, for some reason, they wanted me. If Scott heard about my death, it was someone in the FBI speaking out of turn. Especially the head part as that was only spread directly to Kate and Gerard. I'm sorry that you heard that and I'm sorry that it affected you like that. I'm here, and I'm alive. I don't want to leave Beacon Hills again unless we go on vacation."

Stiles nodded his head, and then he realized that he was mostly naked and basically sitting on Derek in a very suggestive manner. He tried to move but stopped when he realized that their cocks were kind of touching. He swallowed and looked down. It was mortifying. Worse than waking up between Derek and Peter.

"It's okay," Derek said, and he smiled before he reached up and cupped the side of Stiles' face. "Come on."

Stiles followed Derek's hand as he pulled him down. Stiles settled on his side with his head over Derek's heart and Derek's arms around him. Feeling safe, Stiles let the lure of sleep pull him under.

The next time that Stiles woke up, he was still in bed and still on Derek, but Derek looked like he was reading on a Kindle. Stiles smiled as he took in the way that Derek was trying not to wake him up. He laughed when he saw an image pop up on the next screen. It was a book with very nicely drawn images inside, even if it was on the greyscale from the Kindle not being in color.

"I'm hungry," Stiles said.

"Good. Peter's about done with breakfast. We can head down. I've got clean clothes for you."

"I'll swim in your stuff, and I don't want to wear Peter's."

Derek laughed and rolled off of the bed as soon as soon as Stiles rolled off of him. Derek grabbed a bag and dropped it on the bed. Stiles recognized his go-bag that he had packed so he could head out to other parts of the county for long stays if another hub of the Sheriff's office needed someone else to help cover. He wondered how Derek got it when he remembered that someone else was in the house that wasn't Derek or Peter.

"When did dad get here?"

"As soon as his shift ended after I called him and told him that we had you and found you crying in the Preserve and soaked to the bone. He said that a few people reported you and Scott fighting, and then you took off. I told him that you were safe and fine. Though I think Peter told him the rest of what you said. He was listening in. This room isn't soundproof, given you know sick humans."

"So Peter is a snitch. Why didn't anyone ever tell any of us that Gerard was alive?"

"I think that Chris hoped that his father would just die and he wouldn't have to. However, the FBI has found out from Chris that Scott knew he was alive as well. He's known since the Alpha Pack was here."

Stiles didn't think that he would ever be shocked at the stuff that Scott had done or wanted to do. Or how two-faced he was.

"Why is the FBI interested in him?" Stiles asked.

"Well, he's kind of wanted by the division that handles everything Supernatural. Yeah. I was shocked when I met them as well. He's being looked at for allowing Deucalion to run free. He was under the age of eighteen, but they figure if they watch him long enough, they will catch him in something else."

"Yeah, he's too stupid, and he allows idiots to reign in his Pack. Everyone smart left."

"I heard your father talk about Malia. Is she really dating him?"

"Engaged. Started...before high school ended. I wasn't shocked really. Allison and Kira are the only girls that he's ever gone after that haven't been someone I've tried to date before. Malia was the first that I had ever dated, so I'm not shocked."

"Yeah, Peter is not happy at all, but then he cut her off when she refused to listen to him and only listened to Scott."

"Dude, your uncle did some shitty shit, but outside of the Janitor, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he never killed anyone that didn't deserve it. He went on a fucking killing spree to avenge his family. He tried to trap Kate into getting her caught, but she caught on too quickly and ran for the hills. She's too wrapped up in him. I've tried, but she's...She's trying too hard to make up for what happened to her family that she doesn't realize that it's not her fault. There are two people to blame in that situation, and neither of them is her."

Derek looked like he wanted to ask but then stopped. He knew exactly who the other was, and while Derek loved his mother, Stiles knew that he didn't like all of the decisions that she had made before she had died. They didn't need to talk about it.

Stiles kept Derek's boxers on and found his sweats and a T-shirt in the bag. He was about to check to see if the one pile of clothes in there had a long-sleeved shirt as he was still a little cold when something soft dropped on his head. He pulled it off and found that it was one of Derek's sweaters. He gladly pulled it on. It was a little wide in the shoulders but was warm and soft.

Derek snagged Stiles as he walked toward the bedroom door, dragging him along. Stiles settled into his body. Derek was softer than he had been before, he was gentle with Stiles in a way that he hadn't been unless Stiles was already injured.

The smell of bacon had Stiles pulling away from Derek, and the smell of really good coffee made him want to just drink an entire pot.

The Sheriff was sitting down at the table with the newspaper in hand. Stiles wrapped his arms around him from behind and held on tightly. His hands came up and held on tight to Stiles'.

"You had me worried, Son," Noah said.

"I know, Dad. I'm sorry." Stiles let his Dad turn around and pull Stiles into a real hug. He wasn't sure how long he stood there like that, but when he was let go, he really didn't want to let go. The slight depression he had been feeling lately was gone.

Stiles looked at Derek to see that he was setting down two plates of food while Peter was setting down the other two.

"Tuck in while I get the coffee," Peter said.

Stiles grabbed the glass of orange juice that was on his side of the table. Peter carried back the carafe of coffee Stiles just about took off his hand, grabbing it. Stiles didn't pay attention to them at all but just poured himself a cup of coffee. He added a little sugar and then took a sip to check the temperature. He down the coffee and set the cup down to fill up more.


"I'm just really cold still. I don't feel like I have a fever, but I'm cold."

"Your body is still fighting being out in the cold. You were dead asleep and shivering when I found you. Well, Scooter found you. He escaped after I put him in the house and ran right to you."

"I heard him barking when I was heading toward the house. I didn't know it was there and thought that something was on fire. I was getting close to check it out and then heard the dog. I thought I was dreaming. I hid behind the tree and then just slipped down it."

"Well, other than looking a little tired, you look better than you have in a long while."

"I feel better."

"I was getting worried about you."

"I know, Pops. I was getting worried about myself. I think I'll be fine now, though." Stiles risked at a glance at Derek, who was eating. He didn't look up at him, but he was smiling.

"The Hales will take over Beacon Hills again," Peter said.

"Who is going to be the Alpha? How are you going to become an Alpha?" Stiles asked.

Derek did finally look up, and his eyes flashed red.

"Damn," Stiles said.

"I woke up one day with it. It was when I was still hunting Kate with Braeden. I don't know what happened, but Peter found a few stories about former Alphas becoming Alphas again after giving up the spark to save someone. I did that with Cora, so we assumed that it came back."

"Speaking of Cora, when is she coming home?" Stiles asked.

"She'll be here next week. Her Pack in South America is sending her off with some things, books, and such, so she's taking a drive from there to here. She's gonna take her time, she said so it might be longer. I have no clue, but she's checking in every single day."

"It'll be nice to have you all back home where you belong," Noah said.

Stiles looked at his father. He wondered what Noah had done to make them come home or make them able to come home. He knew that his father hadn't been the happiest with Peter in the aftermath of finding out everything that he had done, but after reasoning with him, Stiles had got him to pull Peter out of Eichen for what amounted to thought crimes. Scott had been against it, but Peter had left the area and so far had not cropped up as doing anything. He was living under his own name and had moved to a small suburb just outside of San Francisco. Now it seemed he had moved back.

"So, what are the plans for today?" Stiles asked just second before his phone went off.

"Stilinski," Noah said, and it took a few seconds, but his face did something weird, and then it was impassive. It was his stern Sheriff's face. "Call his father and see how long it will take for him to get here and have one of the humans lock him in the Mountain Ash cell."

Stiles looked at Derek and Peter to see that they looked pissed off. Stiles arched an eyebrow at Derek, but he shook his head. Noah turned to look at Stiles, catching his eye when he moved to look at him.

"Stiles has been at the Hales since the storm started last night. He ran away from Scott right to the Hale property and crashed Derek's surprise that he was coming back. I'm sure that they will gladly take him down to the station to give their statements."

Stiles swallowed. Something had happened, and now Scott was blaming it on Stiles. This could be what was needed to break everything open. If Scott kept things up, the FBI would look into him. Oh, hell, his father had whoever was on the line getting ready to call Rafe on him. Stiles looked at Derek again, and he started to eat a little quicker. Stiles also dug into his food. It wasn't going cold of anything, but he wanted to get into something else.

"I need to change," Stiles said.

"No," Peter answered.

"What?" Stiles asked.

"McCall will be pissed off that you are wearing Derek's clothes. The only way to make it better was if we could get you in something of mine as well. The claim that we would have on you will make sure that he knows not to touch you. He already thinks that we are dead."

"You have that scarf, and it's pretty chilly outside. The forties I think," Derek said.

"Sure, let's dress me in Creeperwolf's clothes."

"Well, it's that or one of his V-Necks," Derek said with a grin.

"One, fuck you, and two fuck you very much," Stiles said. He looked at his father as he hung up the phone.

"Scott's accusing you of killing a hiker in the woods last night. I guess he saw the Deputies pulling the body out and said that you had gone into there last night. The thing is that the Deputies hadn't told him how she died. Which was getting struck by lightning. I mean, unless you have learned how to call down lightning, this one will be ruled a real like fucking accident, and I don't have nearly enough of them in my town. And it's also not in the section of the Preserve that would get you where you were around the time that Derek said he found you if you had been there long enough to cry yourself to sleep."

"Thanks, Dad, I feel much support. I guess I'll go get my shoes on."

"Your boots are by the door. Your shoes from last night are still soaked," Noah said.

"I should say that I am shocked that McCall tried to pin this death on Stiles, given he's a Deputy, but I really can't say that I am," Peter said as he stood up. He started to grab plates and rinsed them before sticking them into the dishwasher. He looked pleased with himself when he was done.

Stiles grabbed his coffee cup and drained it before doing the same for his juice. He had two more days off after working for days in a row of doubles. He planned on staying here. He didn't want to be at home where Scott could get to him.

Stiles watched his father as he frowned as Rafe entered the station. They had decided to wait to talk to Scott at all until he had gotten here. Scott would be the one to not realize what he was saying around him. Stiles laughed as he saw the look on Rafe's face. Rafe looked at Stiles, who was still in Derek's sweater with Peter's scarf hanging around his neck, not wrapped around it anymore.

"What's going on?" Rafe asked.

"Well, your son is accusing mine of murder. I was hoping that me and you talking to him together will clear things up."

"And how did the victim die?" Rafe asked.

"Lightning strike."

Rafe rubbed his hand over his face and frowned. "You know he was smart at one point. His mother tried to blame everything that he did on Stiles. After I found out he was a werewolf, Scott griped about you and how you kept trying to stop him from having fun and stop seeing Allison. He didn't like that I took your side in it."

"Well, I was a little shit when I was trying to get him to stop doing stupid shit, but he was the one who was more set on doing things the way that he wanted without a care for anyone else around him. Even when he was facing his first full moon. I admit the dog bowl with his name was a little overkill, but he had just spent the afternoon making out with the girl that I had a crush on."

"He never told me that."

"Ready?" Noah asked.

"Sure," Rafe answered.

"Stiles, listen in but do not enter that room. He's behind the Mountain Ash cored bars. He's not getting out of there unless one of us opens the doors. Derek and Peter are already in the room, ready to listen to him."

"You got it, Dad," Stiles said. He turned to head into the room where Derek and Peter were indeed already sitting in. He smiled at Derek, who pulled him over to sit in his lap. Sometime soon, they were going to have to talk about everything but not right now."

"Dad, what are you doing here? Are you here to arrest Stiles?" Scott asked.

"Have you been read your rights?" Rafe asked.

"Yeah, Dad, I have."

"Good. Do you want a lawyer?"

"It's just you and Stiles' Dad. I don't need anyone."

Stiles laughed at that because the family was the worst to talk to. One forgot themselves around them.

"So, what happened?"

"I told Stiles that Derek was dead, and I had the proof, images of his head away from his body and shit. He ran off into the Preserve, and then that woman ended up dead. He was the only one who could have done it. He's killed before you know."

"As, Donovan Donati, who was chasing him after attacking him and the man fell to his death after being knocked off the scaffolding that he had been going up to get to Stiles, right?" Rafe asked.

Scott turned to look at his father. Even on the poor quality image that was on there, Stiles could see the look of shock on his face.

"Or maybe you are talking about the ones who were killed by the Nogitsune who had invaded his body. We pinned those murders on a random man who was found to have killed a woman in a manner just outside of Beacon County. He was dead from his standoff with the cops, and it was easy so that we could call it done since the Nogitsune wasn't going to kill anyone else."

"What?" Scott asked.

"Do you think that the Nogitsune murders, the blowing up of the station, would have just gone away, Scott?" Noah asked.

"Well, yeah. The Nogitsune was gone."

"Yeah, and we had murders and everything going on, and it was easier to pin them on someone who couldn't fight it." Noah looked at Rafe and then at Scott. "So you saw him kill her and waited until this morning to tell anyone? You know, until someone else came across the body and called it in."

"Well, no. I just...who else would be in the Preserve with that storm going on? It just fits. He was worked up over Derek and probably took it out on her. He's been really weird since he went away to college. I bet you could even find assaults and stuff there."

"You know, I remember when he was younger, and I thought that he and Stiles were brothers," Rafe said.

"He's a murderer, and you two are just standing around here like it's nothing. He's wanted to kill a lot of people, and I stopped him."

"Like Deucalion?" Noah asked.

"He didn't need to die," Scott said.

"Even after he had killed so many other people?" Rafe asked.

"What about Peter Hale?" Noah asked.

"Derek took my cure from me. I should have been able to kill him and become human again."

"Your ability to think that if it serves you means you can kill, but others can't is just funny. Deucalion killed so many, and when your best friend accidentally killed a man who was trying to kill him and had already injured him, he's a monster."

Scott shot up and tried to grab the bars, but he was shoved back by the Mountain Ash. "HE'S A KILLER!"

"So, if I told you that she died from getting struck by lightning?" Noah asked.

"He made it look like that."

"Well, this will help," Peter said, startling Stiles out of his thoughts of his former best friend.

"Yeah, I just...I don't know what I did. I don't know what I could have done that was enough to make him hate me that much."

"Your face was what directed the Oni to kill Allison. He probably can't pull you apart from the monster that was wearing your face."

"Yet, others are better? Theo? After all that he did to everyone in this fucking town with those Chimeras and the Dread Doctors who were going to let the Beast run around?" Stiles turned and buried his head n Derek's neck. "Take me out of here. Take me home."


"I'll stay and answer any questions that they have."

Stiles didn't do anything but wave at his co-workers as they slipped out of the station, Derek carrying Stiles. Stiles didn't care about what the other Deputies thought. Those who knew what was going on with Stiles and Scott could understand the depression that Stiles had been going through in waves. Stiles didn't like it, but he felt like this was the last thing. The find tether that Stiles had to his former brother.

The ride to the Hale house was quick, even for Derek, but Stiles was sure that he blanked out some. Derek picked him up and carried him into the house and all the way up to a bedroom. Derek stripped their shoes off before cuddling with Stiles on the bed. Thunder picked up a while later, and Stiles fought out of Derek's hold to walk over and open up the huge double doors that led out onto a balcony. It overlooked the Preserve behind the house but also the huge backyard that looked like it was recently turfed. He kind of wanted to go down there and feel the grass between his toes. It looked like it was soft.

Derek came up behind him, wrapping him in his arms.

"What are we?"

"Well, given your reaction to you thinking that I died, I'd say we are more than I thought we were when I left the last time. I hope that we are friends, but I want more. If I had my way, you'd not move into your room and just into here."

"Yeah, I think I could do that, but...I want to go slow. Dates and other things. We are both different from how we were when you were around the last time, but I've missed you like a hole in my heart. I want more, I want forever."

The wind picked up, and Stiles laughed as he felt the chill on his skin, but it wasn't getting inside of him as everything had for such a long time. He laughed and turned around to where he was able to press his face to Derek's neck as the wind picked up more, carrying a mist from the lightly falling rain onto them. He didn't want to let go long enough to take the sweater off, so he hoped that he didn't ruin it by getting it wet. Derek held him as the rain picked up and never once tried to pull him into the house and out of the rain.

They stood there like that until the sound of Peter and Noah returning had them getting out of the weather. Stiles changed into dry jeans, and Derek found him another sweater. He smiled at Derek as they both headed down to the ground floor. He nudged into Derek, and Derek just wrapped an arm around his shoulder and held him close.

This, Stiles could live with.

The End