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50 Shades of Creeper

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This is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down. And maybe it's not as fabulous as Will Smith's, but I can assure you that some crazy shit did go down. I'm talking monumental, awe inspiring, slightly psychotic shit! The kind that lands most people in the psych ward. I'm talking Twelve Monkeys, Fight Club, and every other Brad Pitt nineties movie crazy. Of course starting at the beginning would probably be more helpful than babbling on and on about how insane my life is. Although, I should probably warn you about the werewolves first.


 

“No.”

“Stiles, come on!”

“I said no.”

“But-”

“No!”

“Ple-”

“Do I need to say it in a different language? No, non, nie, nyet!”

“It could be fun!”

“Scott, I swear to God if you ask me one more time I am going to neuter you.”

As soon as the words were out of my mouth, Scott’s face broke out into his patented Kicked Puppy Expression of Doom. “Things have been really quiet since the whole Peter thing and Allison is going to be there and I would really love it if my best friend was there too.”

“That was a run on sentence.”

“Stiles!”

“Fine, fine. If you’ll quit your whining, I’ll come with you to the stupid party. It’s not like Lydia is going to wake up while I’m gone anyways. Unless she does, in which case I’m some sort of a bad luck charm for her. I mean it’s my fault-"

“What happened to Lydia wasn’t your fault. You weren’t even with her when it happened. She was looking for Jackson.”

“I know that. I just can’t help but think I should have been with her helping her look, then maybe Peter wouldn’t have done his psychotic alpha thing.”

“I’m sure she’ll wake up soon.”

“Thanks, buddy.” I heaved a deep sigh looking around the empty hospital waiting room before turning my attention back to Scott. “Let’s get out of here before I change my mind. I know you’d be hopeless without me and I would hate to subject Allison to that horror.”

“I’m not that bad.”

“You once set your microwave on fire because you wanted to see what happens when you put foil in it. Clearly you can’t be trusted to make rational decisions by yourself.”

“Mom wasn’t too happy about that.”

“I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t be happy about receiving a phone call from my dad letting her know that the damage to her house was thankfully minimal and her son was perfectly fine. I’m pretty sure the natural response is to feel panic and worry.”

Scott sent me a sheepish smile as he finished buckling up his seatbelt. “I can’t help that I was a naturally curious kid. It seemed like a good idea at the time!”

“You say that about all your terrible ideas. I thought poking that cat with a stick was a good idea at the time, I thought jumping off the roof with a towel as a cape was a good idea at the time, and my personal favorite I thought dancing on top of your car while you were driving was a good idea at the time.”

“I’ll admit that that last one wasn’t one of my brightest moments, but I saw it in a movie and just had to try it out.”

I shook my head fondly at Scott’s antics glancing over at him for a second before focusing my attention back on the road. “I’d say you need to stop thinking you can do all these crazy stunts actors do in movies, but with your wolfie powers you could probably pull most of them off. Well, you won’t get seriously injured at least. Maybe a few broken bones, but it’s not like you won’t instaheal like freaking Wolverine.”

“It still hurts.”

“Poor, Scotty. Having supernatural healing powers must be such a burden.”

“It is a burden that I must bear.”

“Alright then.” I drew out the last syllable while giving Scott the side eye. “Where exactly are we going? As the driver of this vehicle, I feel as though I’m entitled to know these kinds of things since they’re sort of imperative.”

“I figured you’d want to go home and change before we headed over to the party.”

“Is that your way of telling me that I stink?”

“You don’t stink!” Scott sent an indignant look my way before continuing. “I just thought you might like to change into something more party appropriate.”

“Party appro… I don’t know what to do with you sometimes.”


If the loud thudding music wasn’t an immediate indication of the wild high school party going on at the two story house that belongs to one Danny Mahealani, the obnoxiously drunk teens running around the street made it a no brainer. With a sigh I pulled my car into the first available parking spot that wasn’t so close to the house it would get puked on in the event one of the drunken idiots lost control of their bodily functions. I turned to Scott in the passenger seat to find him typing away on his phone with a consternated look on his face. Probably trying to figure out what his most recent text from Allison meant about their relationship or lack thereof.

“I know I said I didn’t want to come, but if you don’t get out of this car right now and go talk to Allison face to face I’m going to throat punch you. You two aren’t going to solve your problems over some exchanged text messages with a few emoji thrown in here and there.”

“You’re right. You’re totally right.”

“I’m always right, Scott. It’s one of my defining features. Now are you going to get out or am I going to have to drag your furry ass out of my car.”

“I can do this.”

“Yes, you can. Now out of my car.”

As soon as I opened the door, a slight breeze hit my exposed skin making me shiver and pull down the sleeves of my signature red hoodie. Scott and I walked up to the house in silence trying our best to avoid the people running around playing what seemed like tag, but could very well have been something else entirely. The door to the Mahealani household was thrown wide open and the only thing I could see was a huge mass of gyrating bodies in what I could only assume was the living room.

“Allison said her, Jackson, and Danny are all hanging out in the kitchen.”

“Well lead the way. I don’t know my way around this monstrosity that Danny calls a house.”

“I think it’s through that door.”

Quickly I made my way to the door Scott had pointed to and practically fell through it when someone bumped into me from behind. “Why did I agree to this? I think someone tried to grab my ass, but they may have been aiming for something else if you catch my drift.”

“Everybody knows what you mean Stilinski and I can assure you no one wants to touch you.”

“Always a pleasure, Jackson. Tell me, have you been scheduled for surgery yet?”

“Surgery?”

“To get the crosse removed from your ass.”

Jackson narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off by Danny. “It’s great that you and Scott could come. I know you’ve been waiting for Lydia to wake up, but you could probably use the break. Get some fresh air.”

“I’m not sure I’d call this fresh air, but thank you Danny. It always nice to see your sunshiny face.”

“It’s my face scrub. Does wonders for my pores.”

“Someone’s feeling sassy tonight. Where’s that new boyfriend of yours?”

Danny let out a deep sigh and looked around the room with his lips pursed. “He seems to think he’s above coming to a silly high school party. His words not mine.”

“What an asshole. You’re such a nice guy. I don’t get why your boyfriends always seem to be utter douchebags.”

“Thank you Stiles, but I’m still not answering that stupid question.”

“Oh come on, Danny!” I increased the volume of my voice in an attempt to be heard over the loud, thumping music as Danny began to walk away. “You’re going to have to answer me one day! I don’t care what it takes. I’m going to get my answer. I always do!”

“You’re such a freak, Stilinski. Try not to make a complete fool out of yourself. I don’t want people to think that I associate with… people like you.”

“Why did I let you talk me into and now I’m talking to myself because you’re probably with Allison in some dark corner making out. Fantastic. I wonder if I could make a break for it… No. No. I can’t ditch my best friend like that. Bad Stiles. I should probably stop talking to myself now.”

Glancing around the kitchen I noticed the only other occupants were two girls making out in the corner, although the movement of their bodies seemed to suggest that something more was going on. There was no way I was going back the way I came to join into the throng of bodies dancing the night away without a care in the world. The only other options seemed to be a pantry that no doubt held another couple being far less subtle about their amorous activities or the back door which led out onto the spacious patio and pool area. The choice was clear: to the great outdoors it is!


 

The noise outside was substantially lower than it was inside making me aware of the pounding headache that had probably been building up from the time I first walked in the front door. Unsurprisingly, all of the places to sit were occupied by at least one person, with most of them housing multiple occupants ranging from couples to giggling girls undoubtedly gossiping. Rubbing my temples I made my way to the low wall lining the side of the patio that seemed to be too far away from the rest of the party to be a suitable place to sit in the eyes of the other partygoers.

As soon as I sat down, my head thunked against the wood that made up the railing around the patio causing it to give an unforgiving throb of pain. With a groan I slid down so my head rested against the cool stone of the wall sending shivers down my spine. The sharp stabbing pain quieted down to a dull pounding allowing some semblance of relief to flood through my body. Just as I was beginning to relax, a vibration ran down my leg signalling that I had just received a text message more than likely from Scott.

Scott

Left w/ Allison. Hope u dont mind.

Stiles

No problem. I was getting ready to leave anyways.

Stiles

Glad things are working out finally.

Scott

Thanks man. GTG.

Just as I was about to push myself up the sound of someone clearing their throat above me startled me to the point that I flailed around like a fish out of water. Of course my graceless flailing led to me falling off the stone wall and onto the firm grass below so I was now looking at a pair of dingy shoes. Slowly I rolled over until I was in a push-up position and heaved myself off the slightly wet grass. As I brushed off the front of my jeans, I looked up to meet the eyes of the person who had snuck up on me.

“Sorry about that. Didn’t mean to scare you.”

“No problem, Matt. It is Matt right? Matt Daehler?”

“Yes and you’re Stiles. Stiles Stilinski.” Matt was smiling broadly at me making the hairs on the back of my neck tingle.

“That would be me. Although, technically my name isn’t actually Stiles Stilinski. My real name is kind of difficult to pronounce so I just go by Stiles to make it easier on people. I mean my dad can barely say my real name. Which would probably be sad if it weren’t for the fact I was named after my mother’s father and you probably don’t want to know this. So… What was it you wanted? Not to be rude or anything.”

“I saw you over here and I just wanted to make sure you were doing okay. A few people have already passed out.”

“Well I can assure you I’m perfectly fine. I don’t have an ounce of liquor in me. In fact, I was just about to leave when you came over here. All this noise is giving me a headache.”

Matt gave a nod of understanding. “It is a little loud in there and the music isn’t exactly calming in nature.”

“No, it really isn’t. I should really get going before my headache comes back with a vengeance.”

“Look, I know this might seem weird, but there was something I’ve been wanting to ask you. If you don’t mind that is.”

“I can’t promise I can answer, but go ahead and ask.”

“It’s just… I know you’re friends with Allison and I was wondering if her and Scott were still a thing or if she’s single again.”

I cleared my throat uncomfortably and looked anywhere, but directly in Matt’s eyes. “Things between Scott and Allison are kind of complicated. They’ve been trying to work things out after the whole misunderstanding that caused their breakup.”

“So she’s not single then.”

“I honestly don’t know. If you want an answer to that question, I would go and ask Allison. She’s not at the party anymore, but ask her at school on Monday.”

“Thanks for the advice. I’ll just go back to the party. Have a nice night, Stiles.”

“You too.”

I gave Matt a weak smile before high tailing it through the back gate and across Danny’s front lawn to where my car was parked. The entire time I walked I felt a prickly sensation on the back of neck and when I finally turned to unlock the driver’s side door, I could see Matt still standing where I had left him with his eyes trained on me. As quickly as possible, I buckled myself in and gunned it down the road so I could get far away from Matt and his prying eyes. It wasn’t until I pulled into my driveway that the tension bleed from my shoulders and the pounding of my heart began to slow.


 

After several deep breathes, I managed to get my body enough under control that I could get myself out of the Jeep and into the house. The sound of my father bustling about in the kitchen greeted my ears allowing all the remaining tension to dissipate in exchange for the familiar feeling of safety I always felt around my dad. Calmly I hung up my hoodie by the door and kicked off my shoes so they rested side by side with my dad’s pair of worn work shoes.

“Hey, dad.”

My father turned from where he was bent over the stove to give me his typical once over before smiling. “Hey there, kiddo. How were things at the hospital? There haven’t been any changes have there?”

“Same as always and she’s the same as always. I stopped by Danny’s party for a little bit before I came home. Scott wanted me to go with him.”

“That’s good. You’ve been spending too much time in that hospital. How’s Scott doing? Are him and that Argent girl still having relationship problems or whatever it is you kids call it these days?”

“What else would we be calling it? Being on the outs? Stuck in the doghouse? He’s doing fine, by the way, and I’m not even sure what’s going on with the two of them anymore.” I popped a few of the pomegranate seeds I had pulled out of the refrigerator into my mouth before continuing. “In fact, I wouldn’t touch their relationship with a ten foot pole if you paid me a million dollars to do it. Whatever Romeo and Juliet thing they’ve got going on can stay between the two of them.”

“Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t realise it was that bad.”

“I don’t think they’re in danger of committing double suicide in the name of their epic romance, but I still don’t want to get in the middle of that particular mess.”

“Smart man. It’s always better to stay out of other people’s romantic problems.”

“I’m sure you’re an expert in that department so I’ll take your word for it. Speaking of which, how were things at work today?”

“Nice and quiet and before you ask I’m not giving you the details of any of my cases. No matter how much you beg.”

“I resent that.”

My dad sent a raised eyebrow my direction as he moved to sit down at the table with his plate and a motion for me to join him. “It wouldn’t be the first time, son.”

“My natural curiosity may have led to me asking about your current cases on a number of occasions, but I have never begged for information. Now I’m not above bribing you with a nice, greasy piece of bacon, but begging is beneath me.”

“Last week you dropped down on your knees and begged me to tell you information about the Milner case.”

“I think your age is starting to show. Hallucinations are never a good thing. Maybe I should get you an appointment with a neurologist.”

“I raised a comedian. When can I expect to see your self entitled show on Comedy Central?”

“How proud of yourself are you for that one?”

“Immensely. Now I’m going to get a shower then head to bed. I’m pulling another double tomorrow so I won’t be home, but I want you to get plenty of sleep. You’ve been spending some late nights at the hospital and I don’t want a call from one of your teachers telling me you’ve been sleeping in their class.”

“Promise I’ll be in bed by a decent hour tomorrow.”

With a nod my dad made his way upstairs and it wasn’t long before the sound of the shower turning on could be heard. I ate several more seeds before replacing the lid and putting them back in the refrigerator where they belong. Groaning I plopped back onto the small couch in the living room turning the TV onto the CW in the hopes that a Supernatural or Arrow rerun was playing. It seemed to be my lucky night when the ramblings of Felicity Smoak met my ears and before long I was comfortably sprawled with mind numbing television to distract me.

Chapter Text

There are three things I’m absolutely sure of at this moment in time:

  1.        It was going to take the best of my cleansing products to get all of the dirt and grime off of me when I finally get home.
  2.        The forest surrounding Beacon Hills is ten times more terrifying at night when you’re alone and naked.
  3.        Even though I wasn’t consciously in control of my body when I left the hospital, I had managed to grab my fully charged phone from the bedside table.

The cold night air bit at my skin causing me to shiver and wrap my arms tightly around my upper body, but this did little to help protect my freezing skin from the chill. After taking another look around the woods in all directions, I pulled my phone out from where it was tucked under my armpit only to find “no service” scrolled across the top. With a scream of frustration I held my phone out in front of me and began walking forward in the hopes that I was walking towards and not away from civilization.

Ten minutes later the first bar appeared, but it disappeared just as quickly giving me no time to send even the simplest of SOS text messages. Several minutes later the bar appeared again and after holding steady for several minutes, I deemed the signal strong enough to attempt a phone call. Quickly I began to scroll through my contacts list trying to find someone who wouldn’t act like a total tool and would actually answer their phone. Allison. Nope. Danny. No. Jackson. Definitely not.

My finger hovered over the contact labelled Stiles as I weighed the pros and cons of going with that particular contact over the others. He would definitely answer if he wasn’t already asleep. He wouldn’t make a big deal out of coming out to find me or the whole being naked thing. If anything, he would probably be embarrassed on my behalf. He wouldn’t tell his dad if I asked him not to, especially since he is smart enough to find me on his own. On the downside, he would probably ask me a million questions as soon as he felt I was comfortable enough to answer them.

The ringing sound coming from my phone filled the silence as I waited for Stiles to pick up the line on his end. As the second round of ringing started, I began to worry my bottom lip with my teeth hoping beyond hope that the signal didn’t cut out before I got the chance to speak with Stiles. The third round was just coming to an end when the clicking sound associated with someone answering the phone met my ears.

“Hello?”

“Stiles!”

“Lydia? Is that you? I didn’t even know you had my number. Guess you’re awake then.”

“Obviously. Look I don’t know how long I have to talk, so for once I need you to be quiet and listen rather than doing that rambling thing you’re so fond of. No questions until I’m done got it?”

“Alright, I can do that.”

“I’m not entirely sure what happened, but I seem to have walked myself out of the hospital and straight into the middle of the woods. I currently have…” I pulled my phone away from my ear to glance at the bar running across the top. “Two bars and my battery is at eighty-seven percent, but I have absolutely no idea where I am. I really need you to find me before somebody else does because I’m not really in a presentable state at the moment.”

“That’s not surprising if you’ve been walking around in the woods after being in a coma for the past two weeks.”

“It’s a bit more complicated than that. It would seem that when I unconsciously decided to take a stroll through the woods I had enough time to take my cell phone, but not enough time to properly dress myself.”

“And by properly dress yourself do you mean you didn’t wear long sleeves or…”

“I’m naked, Stiles! I’ve been walking around the wood naked and now I’m lost. I need you to come and get me. Please.” I could feel tears beginning to prickle at the corner of my eyes, but I refused to let them slip no matter how frustrated and emotional I was getting.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can, but I don’t know how I’m supposed to find you.”

“Just do that Sherlock thing you’re so good at and come riding in your blue Jeep to my rescue like the valiant knight you are.”

“As flattering as that is, I can’t really use that to help find you. Is there anything around you that could be used as a landmark?”

“There’s nothing. Not a river or some sort of rock formation or anything else that isn’t forest.”

“Damn it. Unless… Do you have GPS on your phone? If you’re getting two bars, then I should definitely be able to pull your location up on GPS.”

“Yes, I do. The user is my name with no spaces and the password is capital A, 7, exclamation mark, lowercase g, lowercase y, 8, 6, asterisk.”

Stiles gave a snort that covered the sound of his fingers typing away on the keyboard. “If I’m Sherlock Holmes, than you’re a regular Veronica Mars. Why is it you didn’t call Logan Echolls to pick you up this evening?”

“We’re in the off-again phase of our relationship again and I wouldn’t think you would want to talk about Jackson.”

“You’re right I don’t. I should also apologize. Logan Echolls doesn’t deserve to be compared to that jackass.”

A strong breeze caused my entire body to shudder and my teeth to click. “As stimulating as this conversation is, I would really appreciate it if you could hurry up.”

“I know. It’s almost done loading. I’m packing some clothes for you and grabbing my keys now so I can head right out the door just three more percent.” The line went silent for several seconds before Stiles let out a sound of triumph. “You’re not far from Baxter Bridge. I can be there in ten minutes maybe less. Just stay where you are and I’ll call you when I reach the bridge.”

“Thank you, Stiles.” I didn’t wait for a response before ending the call and tucking my hands back under my armpits to try to keep warm.


 

In the seven and half minutes it took for Stiles to reach the bridge, the wind had picked up to the point that no amount of rubbing or hopping could warm up my cool skin. The silence of the forest seemed deafening after hearing the sound of another person’s voice for the first time in what could have been hours. My mind couldn’t help but go to the anechoic chamber in London where they were able to achieve a soundless environment to the human ear. Just as my mind was beginning to recall one of the many case studies done on those who spent time in the chamber, the phone in my hand started going off.

“Finally. I’m freezing. How much longer is it going to take?”

“It shouldn’t take long. Just stay on the line and keep talking to me.”

“Talking is more of your area of expertise.”

“Very true, but I’m sure you can think of something to talk about considering you’ve got a genius level IQ and endless knowledge.”

“Or I can start coming up with questions to ask you about what happened at the Winter Formal because I know whatever happened that night wasn’t normal. What I saw doesn’t make any sense and I know you know exactly what’s going on around here.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about. Don’t think you can get out of telling me what’s been going on around here. I know that you and Scott and Allison are all in on it and I’m pretty sure that Jackson knows about what’s going on too. Plus, your boyfriend is in on it.”

“My what!” The sound of Stiles stumbling and hitting a tree came through the phone, then echoed several seconds later. “What do you mean my boyfriend? I don’t have a boyfriend!”

“I must admit having Allison make me come to the dance with you threw me off, but clearly nobody knows about this torrid love affair you’re having.”

“Torrid love affair? Who says stuff like that?”

“Who keeps their secret leather clad boyfriend in the closet?”

“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait.”

“Why am I waiting?”

“You think… You think I’m dating Derek Hale?”

“I don’t think. I know.”

“What would possibly give you the idea that I’m dating him?” Stiles now stood in front of me with his hand pale white where it was gripped around his phone. “In what universe am I dating Derek Hale? Why would you think that?”

“Clothes first, then I’ll answer your questions if you’ll answer mine.”

Pink flooded into Stiles cheeks as he held out the bag he was carrying making sure to avert his eyes as he did so. “Obviously I didn’t have anything that you would normally wear so I just grabbed a pair of sweats, a t-shirt, a hoodie, and a pair of shoes I wore when I was nine. I’m not sure if any of it will fit, but it’s the best I could do.”

“It’s fine. Better than freezing to death. So are you going to start talking about all the stuff that’s been going on around here or are you going to keep leaving me out of everything?”

“Look I want to tell you, I really do, but even if I did I don’t have any proof and I can’t have you telling people what I tell you because you think I’m psychotic.”

I zipped up the black hoodie before looking Stiles dead in the eyes. “Whatever I saw that night wasn’t normal. I don’t know what it was and I don’t have an explanation for it. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s not knowing things.”

“Fine. What if I told you everything that’s been happening recently stems from the Hale fire? That all the people that have been murdered, besides Laura and Peter, were directly connected to starting the fire.”

“Allison’s aunt?”

“Orchestrated the entire thing.”

“So all of the murders were for revenge, but why would Allison’s aunt want to kill the Hales and why were Laura and Peter murdered?”

“Do you know what Allison’s last name means?”

“Silver. What does that have anything to do with it?”

“Have you ever noticed the necklace Allison always wears?”

“Yes. She told me it’s her family crest.”

“And I know that you probably looked into it the first time you saw it so let’s put the pieces together and see if we can come to the same conclusion. The Argents with their French last name and well established crest. A family that lives out in the woods and, while they were well liked, they kept to themselves. Strange deaths, mountain lion attacks that make no sense.”

My mind whirled as I started putting the pieces together adding in things that I had noticed. “You can’t be serious.”

“I would love to say that I am.”

“Werewolves?”

“Believe me I know it sounds insane, but it’s the only explanation. You saw it that night at the video store and again at the Winter Formal. It wasn’t a mountain lion, that’s for sure.”

“So the Hales are werewolves and the Argents are werewolf hunters?”

“Yes.”

“That doesn’t explain how you and Scott fit into all this.”

“So you believe me then?”

“It’s the only explanation and no matter how insane it sounds, it has to be the truth.”

Stiles ran a hand over his head before gesturing with a jerk of his shoulder for me to follow after him. “You remember when they found out Laura Hale had been murdered? They only found half of her body and being the Sheriff’s son I overheard where they were going to look for the body, so I drug Scott out to the woods with me to find it. He got bitten that night.”

“And I’m assuming that you’ve been helping him out with coming to terms with his new found abilities?”

“What kind of best friend would I be if I didn’t? That’s not what you want to know though is it?”

“Kate Argent may have been crazy, but she wouldn’t have killed off all the people who had helped her set the Hale house on fire. Who’s been doing all of the killing?”

“Who has the motive?”

“The Hales obviously, but Laura was murdered and so was Peter. Plus Peter has been in a coma since the house fire. He couldn’t have done it.”

“You’re forgetting that Peter is a werewolf. They have supernatural healing abilities.”

“But why would he have killed Laura? She was one of the only family members he had left, unless Laura had something to do with the fire, but I highly doubt that’s true.”

“There are three different types of werewolves. The alphas are the most powerful and the only ones with the ability to turn humans into werewolves. Betas either follow an alpha or risk becoming an omega who, as I’ve come to understand it, don’t last long. After the house fire, Laura became the alpha and left for New York with Derek leaving Peter behind at the hospital.”

“Peter murdered her for the alpha powers, but why didn’t she look like the rest of them?”

“He was trying to make it look like hunters did it.”

“He murders Laura to get the power to kill all the people responsible for starting the Hale fire, so why did he bite Scott? It would seem like a liability to have a new werewolf running around who could get in the way of his plans.”

“Alphas are more powerful with a pack.”

“Peter attacked me the night of the Winter Formal…”

“I know.” Stiles opened his mouth to speak once more, but stopped when the sound of a stick snapping rang out. Without thinking I moved to grab the arm closest to me, trying to see something in the dark shadows as I did so. I could see Stiles’s Jeep several feet away, but nothing seemed to be moving around in the trees where the sound of the snapping had come from.

“Stiles, come on we can make it to the Jeep. Let’s go.”

“If I really wanted you dead, you wouldn’t be able to make it to the Jeep.”

“Derek! What have I told you about doing that? It’s creepy and doesn’t help your miscreant reputation to be following teens around in the woods late at night.”

A smirk played across Derek’s lips for a second before his face fell back into his normal stony expression, his eyes locked on Stiles. “What have I told you about wondering around the woods late at night? It’s not safe.”

“If I listened to every command you gave me, you’d be one arm short.”

“There are new hunters in town and they don’t go by the Code. You need to be more careful.”

“Well thank you for the concern, but I don’t make it a habit of traipsing around the woods at night so you can go back to your brooding or whatever it is you do when you’re not threatening me.” Stiles started nervously moving from one foot to the other before throwing his hands up in the air nearly hitting me in the face when he did so. “Go ahead, start yelling. I know you heard what we were talking about.”

“You told her.”

“Yes, I told her. She deserves to know after what happened to her and we still don’t know what the bite did to her. Plus she would have figured it out eventually.”

Derek looked at me for the first time since he had appeared from the darkness giving me a once over before turning his attention back to Stiles as he moved closer. “I agree. The bite didn’t take and from my knowledge it either takes or the person dies.”

“So your parents never mentioned anything like this happening before? Could Deaton know?”

“As much as I am enjoying standing around in the cold discussing the supernatural happenings of Beacon Hills, I would like to get home and take a shower before trying to figure out what’s wrong with me because clearly something is wrong.” Stiles turned to look at me with a calculating look in his eyes. “What are you thinking?”

“You told me you have no idea where you are and you weren’t in conscious control when you woke up at the hospital earlier.”

“Get to the point before I take your keys and leave you here.”

“It just seems strange that out of everywhere you could have gone, you ended up on Hale territory and not somewhere closer to the hospital. I mean this is the opposite side of town. It’s a long ways to walk.”

“You think something is controlling my mind and brought me here to do what exactly?”

“I don’t know, but I think some research is in order if we’re going to figure this out and research just so happens to be my area of expertise so you’re in luck. And you!” Stiles rounded on Derek with one hand on his hip and the other waggling a finger in Derek’s face. “No running off and getting yourself captured by hunters. The last thing we need is to have to stage a rescue party to save your sorry ass from another psychotic Argent. Also keep me informed on what’s going on, I don’t want to be blindsided because I didn’t have all the variables in my equation. I know you and Scott are still having this “mines bigger than yours” battle, but contrary to popular belief Scott and I are not tied at the hip so keep me informed if something’s going down.”

“I turned Jackson.”

There was a beat of silence where Stiles blinked his big, round doe eyes at Derek, then Stiles simply turned away and started heading for his Jeep. “Fantastic. Just what I needed. Another teen werewolf running around making a mess of things. You better teach this one how to control his temper because I don’t think Jackson is going to willingly let me throw lacrosse balls at him in an attempt to teach him control. Your beta, your problems. I’m out.”

“Well this has been extremely enlightening, but he’s my ride.” With that I turned on my heels and flounced over to the idling Jeep not bothering to so much as wave at the brooding werewolf.

Chapter Text

Contrary to popular belief I, Scott McCall, do not and have not ever hated going to school. Sure I’ve never been like Stiles, half paying attention to all the teachers then passing each and every test with flying colors. School has always been a little more different than that for me. Even when I did give a teacher my undivided attention, I would still get lost and confused, but never so much that I was in danger of failing. Until the whole turning into a werewolf thing happened at which point making sure I completed my homework and read the assigned readings for classes seemed trivial compared to keeping a psychotic alpha from murdering everybody. Needless to say, my grades were terrible last semester and if it weren’t for Stiles I would probably have failed all of my classes.

This semester though, this semester would be different. If I was going to play lacrosse, I would need to keep my grades up and while being a werewolf made it more difficult to kill me, I’m sure my mother would kill me with pure disappointment alone if I failed any of my classes this semester. So priority number one this semester is, even over getting back together with Allison, grades. Absolutely no failing.

After checking my bag one last time to make sure I had everything I needed, I closed my locker and looked around the hallway for Stiles. Normally Stiles made it to school before me, but he’d been known to run late from time to time if he had stayed up late the night before. Just as I was about to give up hope of seeing Stiles before first period, he came sliding down the hallway and to a stop right in front of his locker with a small squeak of his shoes against the floor.

“Morning!” Stiles quickly spun the dial on his lock around before throwing the door open with a loud bang as it hit the locker next to his. “How are you doing on this fine day?”

“Well, I woke up on time so that’s a plus.”

“That’s good. Wouldn’t want you to be late to your first day of the new semester. Makes a bad impression. We need to talk.”

“Are you breaking up with me?”

Stiles slammed the door to his locker shut as he sent a bright smile my direction. “You wish you could get rid of me that easily. No, I need to tell you about what really happened with Lydia. I’m assuming you heard that she woke up from her coma confused and stumbled her way out of the hospital before making it home?”

“I’m guessing that’s not really what happened.”

“Nope.” Stiles glanced around the hallway before lowering his voice and continuing on. “The first part is true. She woke up from the coma and walked right out of the hospital, but the thing is she wasn’t really in control of herself when she first woke up.”

“What do you mean she wasn’t in control of herself?”

“We’re not entirely sure, but when she finally had conscious control of her body she was in the middle of the wood out on Hale property by the old bridge.”

“Why would she be out there?”

“No clue. We’re looking into it and possible explanations for why she’s not on the same monthly cycle as the rest of you. I also wanted to tell you that some new hunters have rolled into town including grandpa Argent who doesn’t go by the Code so you need to be careful when you go sneaking around on rooftops.”

“How’d you find that out?”

“Derek told me.”

At the mention of Derek, the alarms in my mind started going off. “When did you talk to Derek?”

“Saturday when I went to go find Lydia. He was wondering around the woods like he’s been known to do from time to time.”

“You were with Lydia and Derek Saturday night out in the woods?”

“Yes. Where else are we supposed to meet up for our weekly ménage à trois?”

“Your what?”

“It’s French for a polyamorous relationship with a sexual component.” Lydia’s voice cut through the little bubble Stiles and I had fallen into. “Normally, I would be insulted to be included in someone’s threesome fantasy, but I might actually find this one to be enjoyable.”

“A threesome that includes me?”

“Have you seen your fingers? I’m sure with the proper guidance you could become very adept at some particularly enjoyable foreplay activities that many men fail to even consider.” Lydia wrapped her arm around Stiles’s waist and leaned further into his side when his arm came to causally wrap around her shoulder. “So besides telling Scott about our midnight escapades, what were you two talking about before I decided to insert myself into your conversation?”

“Just some plans for this weekend. Stiles wants to go to that new Marvel movie that just came out last weekend.”

“Really? So when are you two planning on going to this movie? Maybe Allison and I can tag along. It could be fun.”

“Sunday morning!”

Lydia raised a perfected sculpted eyebrow at my loud outburst. “You must be pretty excited about this new movie. What was the name of it again?”

“It’s… The Avengers.”

“The Avengers doesn’t come out until May so why don’t you tell me what you boys were really talking about?” The sound of the warning bell going off sent a wave of relief running through my body; no more Lydia Martin interrogation. “I guess we’ll have to finish this conversation later. Come along, Stiles, the fall of Rome isn’t going to teach itself.”

Stiles sent me an apologetic smile before walking side by side down the hall with Lydia to their first period AP World History class. I glanced around the emptying hallway to see several other students watching the pair with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity. I couldn’t help but wonder when this new found relationship developed between Lydia and Stiles. The answer to that particular problem would have to wait until after my lesson on trigonometry that would probably lead to more confusion on top of the Stiles and Lydia thing.


 

If I thought this day couldn’t get any stranger, I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I finally walked into lunch after three periods of mind numbing, but surprisingly understandable learning, the first thing I saw was Lydia and Stiles sitting next to each other with their heads close together huddled around an open laptop. Cautiously I made my way across the cafeteria before taking the seat directly across from Stiles who barely glanced up before going back to reading whatever was pulled up. Before I got the chance to ask what it was the two of them were looking at, Lydia snapped the lid of the laptop shut and put it into her bag.

“Scott. I see you’ve finally managed to make your way to the lunchroom. Where’s Allison?”

“I think I saw her talking to someone on my way here.”

“How are you and Allison doing? Is the fact her family is trying to kill you because you’re a werewolf still putting a damper on your relationship or have you two finally gotten through that little bump in the road?”

“How did…” I stared at Lydia with wide eyes not believing that she actually said what just came out of her mouth. “What are you talking about?”

“Don’t be an idiot, Scott. I know all about what’s been going on around here right under my nose. Stiles and I had a little pow wow this weekend where information was exchanged so you can stop trying to lie. You’re horrendous at it anyways.”

“Welcome to the gang?”

“Charming.” Lydia’s face screwed up in distaste at something over my shoulder before turning her attention back to me with a flip of her red hair. “Are you going to answer my earlier question now?”

“What question?”

“You get distracted easily don’t you? Kind of like a puppy. I asked you what was going on between you and Allison.”

“I would think that Allison would be telling you all about it.”

“Allison doesn’t know that I know all about the supernatural mayhem going around all over town so her version of what’s going on between you two is full of holes. Why don’t you tell me what’s actually going wrong between the two of you? I’m sick of both of you moping around and staring longingly at each other from across the hallway. It’s absolutely disgusting and needs to stop now.”

“We are not starting longingly at each other! Or moping!”

“Dude!” Stiles leaned back in his chair and rolled his eyes. “All you ever do now is mope around about how you’ve lost the epic love of your life and as for the longing looks… You nearly ran into a door because you couldn’t take your eyes off her long enough to pay attention to where you were going.”

“But I didn’t.”

“Barely. You barely managed to get out of the way of the door in time not to be knocked on your ass like an idiot.”

“Do you think she noticed?”

Stiles and Lydia turned to look at each other with identical looks of disgust. “Even if she saw you, I doubt she would have said anything or think any less of you for it. I’m sure you running into a door would have been the most romantic thing in the world.”

“You’re such an asshole.”

“Yes, yes I am. It keeps you grounded. It’s why we’re perfect for each other. You’re the naïve puppy and I’m the snarky wise guy.”

“You make us sound like cartoon characters.”

“You didn’t realise we’ve been transported into a two dimensional world where you and I are in the center of all the hijinks going on?”

“I must have missed that.”

“That’s unfortunate. You’re missing out.” Stiles seemed about to say more when the sound of a phone buzzing distracted him.

“Back to the original topic at hand, I think that you two need to take some time apart and decide if what you have is worth pursuing. The two of you have been attached at the hip ever since you got together and even now the two of you can hardly stay away from each other. You two are messing with fire.”

“How are we supposed to stay away from each other? We sit next to each other in several classes.”

“Just because you sit next to each other, doesn’t mean you have to talk to each other. In fact, I hardly acknowledge half of the people who sit next to me in class.”

"But you're Lydia Martin. Most of the people in school are terrified to even look it your direction."

"That's true, but we're talking about one person not multiple and your ex on top of that. Face it Scott, you're not going to win this argument against me."

"I know. I just..." I looked up to see Allison, Jackson, and Danny all making their way from the lunch line to our table. “I think staying away from both of our exs is going to be difficult considering they’re heading over here right now.”

A wicked look crossed Lydia’s face moments before she nonchalantly curled into Stiles’s side snatching the phone right out of his hand as she did so. Stiles let out a strangled whining noise and attempted to get his phone back only to come away with bright red claw marks from Lydia’s manicured fingernails. When Stiles sent me a desperate look, I shook my head vigorously, there was no way that I was going to try to get between Lydia and something she wanted. Stiles sent a scathing glare my way then mouthed ‘I hate you.’

Before I got the chance to make any sort of retort, the sudden sound of a tray being slammed onto the table and a chair scrapping against the floor caused me to nearly jump out of my chair. When I turned to look, I wasn’t at all surprised to see that Jackson was plopping into the chair next to mine with a pissed off expression on his face as he watched Lydia and Stiles. Danny sent an apologetic smile in my direction as he calmly slipped into the chair on the end of the table between Lydia and Jackson. That left either the open seat next to me or Stiles for Allison to sit at and I couldn’t help but think of Lydia’s words when Allison gracefully slipped into the seat next to mine.

“So how was everybody’s break? Anyone do anything interesting?” Allison was looking around the table waiting for someone to start talking and break the uncomfortable silence starting to settle over our group.

“I went to visit my family in Hawaii.”

“How was it? I’ve always wanted to go and see-”

“What about you, Lydia? Looks like you were busy.” Jackson’s voice was hostile, but that didn’t seem to faze Lydia in the slightest who was still tapping away on Stiles’s phone.

“As I’m sure you’re well aware, I spent all of my break in a hospital bed because I was mauled at the Winter Formal. Most of that time was spent unconscious so I don’t know why you would possibly think I was busy during break.”

“Maybe it’s the new boy toy you’ve got hanging off your arm like a trained puppy.”

Lydia slowly lowered the phone in her hands, giving her full attention to Jackson. “First of all, his name is Stiles and unlike you he came to visit me while I was in the hospital. Secondly, Stiles respects the women in his life and that's why he does what they ask him to. Third, whether I'm dating someone or not is none of your business because if you'll remember: you broke up with me."

"Well..."

"Very articulate of you." Lydia stood up grabbing her bag with a flourish. "Now I'm going to the library to get started on my English essay. Have a fantastic day."

Everyone at the table was silent for several minutes after Lydia's sudden outburst and departure. Danny opened his mouth several times, but he couldn't seem to come up with anything worth while to say. Allison looked like she was internally debating whether or not to follow after her friend.

It wasn't surprising that Stiles was the one to break the silence as he stood up swinging his backpack onto his shoulders with a smile. "I would love to stay and chat with all of you lovely people, but Lydia still has my phone so I'm going to go."

For the second time that day, I watched Stiles walk away from me and follow Lydia like she was his new best friend.


 

It wasn't until lacrosse later that afternoon that things returned to normal. Coach Finstock was as loud and obnoxious as ever, yelling at anyone in a thirty yard radius including random students he'd probably never seen before. Practice started with the standard warm-up that included running and stretching, before moving into technique drills. Finally, we moved onto scrimmaging which meant getting to take out all my pent up frustration on other people.

"Nice one, McCall! That's how you dish out a hit!"

I couldn't help but smile to myself as I sent the ball sailing past the other team's goalie and right into the back of the net. When I went to jog back to my starting position, I noticed the person I had knocked down was still on the ground, unmoving. Quickly I pulled off my helmet and dropped to my knees next to the player. A groan sounded from whoever I had knocked to the ground, which was a good sign considering the alternative was them being knocked unconscious.

“How are you feeling? Does anything hurt? Can you feel your toes?”

“Ca-can I feel my toes?” The person who was still unmoving on the ground sounded completely confused as to why I would ask such a question.

“My mom’s a nurse and she says that one of the main signs of a neck or back injury is tingling in the toes, so can you feel your toes?”

“Yes, I can feel my toes and I don’t have any pain in my back or my neck. I’m just a little dizzy.”

“You might have a concussion. Maybe you should go to the hospital and get it checked out.”

“You know what I’m actually feeling a lot better.” The boy moved to sit up, but the quick movement must have made him dizzy because he immediately slummed back down onto the ground. “I think I just need a few minutes.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?”

“I’m sure.”

“Hey, Scott, is everything okay over here? Coach is about to go flying off the handle and I’d rather not listen to one of his tirades.” Stiles’s voice came out muffled through the helmet he still had on, but I could tell he was concerned. “Isaac, is everything alright? That looked like a pretty hard hit.”

“Everything’s fine. Just a little bump to the head. That’s all it was.”

“Do you need some help standing up? Coach probably won’t mind if you need to sit out the rest of practice if you’re not up to it.”

“Thanks. I think that would probably be a good idea.”

“Let’s get you up then. You going to help Scott or just sit there looking pretty?”

“Lift on three? One, two, three.” I easily lifted the guy, Isaac apparently, off of the ground, but made sure to give enough weight to Stiles that it didn’t look suspicious. “Do you want some ice or do you want us to call someone to come and get you?”

“No, thanks. I’ll be fine. Just need a little rest.”

“If you’re sure…”

“I’m sure.”

“Alright then.” I jogged back onto the field and started play again, but I couldn’t help glancing over at Isaac every so often to make sure he was still fine. There was something strange about how adamant the guy was that he not be taken to the hospital, despite the fact he could barely sit up by himself. Something was going on there and while I might not have the investigating skills Stiles inherited from his dad, I’d been around the Stilinski family enough to know how to look for clue and put the pieces together to figure out the case. Now all I need to do is find some evidence as to what was going on with Isaac so I can start to draw up a possible explanations for his behaviour.

“Scott, what’s going on buddy? You’ve got your thinking face on.”

“Just… something going on with Isaac and I’m going to figure it out.”

Chapter Text

Ever since the fire, I have had difficulties sleeping no matter where I am or if anyone is sleeping next to me. For the first year and a half, I couldn’t even get through the night without waking up at least once screaming from the nightmares that haunted me as soon as I closed my eyes. There had been many times that I would fall asleep only to have Laura shake me awake because I was whimpering and thrashing around in my sleep. Over the past couple of years, I had started to get better only to come back to Beacon Hills because someone had murdered my sister leading to new nightmares intermixing with the old ones. Needless to say, I take advantage of all the sleep I do manage to get and don’t appreciate it when someone decides to interrupt it.

Groaning I flipped over pulling the pillow over my head as I did so in an attempt to keep the annoying ringing noise from completely waking me up. I let out a sigh of relief when the ringing finally stop and I was just about to fall back to sleep, when the sound started up all over again. Blindly I reached over the side of my bed in search of the phone I knew I had left plugged into the wall somewhere in the vicinity. Finally, my hand closed around the still ringing object and I couldn’t help, but let out another groan when I saw the name that was glaring up at me from the bright phone screen.

“What do you want Stiles at…” I pulled the phone away from my ear to look at the time. “three-thirty in the morning?”

“I have a question.”

“A question. It better be an important question if you’re waking me at three-thirty in the morning.”

“I heard you the first time, you don’t need to repeat yourself. I’ve been thinking and something just occurred to me.”

“Hurry up and ask your question so I can get back to sleep.”

“Come on now, Sourwolf. Don’t be like that. I’ve been told I have a very soothing voice. You’ll be back to sleep in no time for sure.”

“The point, Stiles!”

“Right. So there’s this kid on the lacrosse team that Scott knocked down the other day and he obviously had a concussion, but he refused to get any help. He couldn’t even sit up by himself. It got me thinking, because I know I’ve seen behaviour like that before, but I couldn’t remember where I’d seen it until tonight. I used to spend a lot of time at the station with my dad when I was younger and there was this lady he brought in because of a domestic disturbance call. Turns out her husband had been physical and verbally abusing her for a while and Isaac, that’s the kid’s name, acts the exact same way she did.”

“I still don’t see how this has anything to do with me.”

“I’m getting there. So this kid is obviously getting abused by one of his family members and like I said earlier it got me thinking. You need a pack in order to become a stronger alpha and this kid needs a way to defend himself. What if you offered him the bite? I mean I know having an abused teenager as a beta is probably going to be difficult, but I think it’s a good idea.”

“And what does Scott think of this plan?”

“Well, I haven’t actually told him about it yet considering the first thing I did after I thought of it was call you, but you and Scott aren’t exactly on the best of terms anyways so he’ll probably hate it just because you’re involved.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“Great. I’ll let you get back to your beauty sleep then.”

Without uttering so much as a goodbye I closed the phone and threw it off to the side where it would hopefully remain silent for the rest of the night. I settled back into bed trying to get back to sleep, but the information Stiles had given me was rolling around in my head. Taking on a new beta when there were two others running around Beacon Hills without an alpha wasn’t the best idea, but it sounded like the boy could use it. Being taken advantage of and feeling hopeless was something I could understand, but could I really take on a beta when my attempt with Jackson had failed so miserably?


 

While I’ll never admit it to him, one of the things I look forward to the most when dealing with these annoying high schoolers I’ve found myself surrounded by, is messing with Stiles by freaking him out in some form or fashion. For someone so observant, it is surprisingly easy to catch Stiles off his guard, especially when he’s in his room typing away vigorously on his laptop or reading something with eyes scrunched and his lips moving along in an attempt to keep his concentration focused. More often than not all it takes is the clearing of a throat for Stiles to be out of his chair and flailing around while he attempts to locate whoever made the noise. Of course pushing Stiles around and threatening to rip his throat out works just as well, but watching him flail around was just so much more entertaining.

It had been three days since Stiles had called me about Isaac, but I still couldn’t make up my mind on whether to turn him or not. Three days of weighing my options only to end up outside Stiles’s window with no idea what I was planning on doing. Stiles was sitting at his desk typing away on his laptop stopping only to glance at the book cracked open next to him or to read out loud whatever he had just typed to make sure it sounded right. I pushed my fingers under the sill of the window and began to slowly slide it up making sure to remain as silent as possible. As soon as the window was open far enough, I slipped in and closed the window behind me all without making any sort of noise.

I made my way across Stiles’s room, surprisingly clean for a teenage boy with ADHD, and glanced over his shoulder to see what he was so focused on. It became immediately obvious that Stiles was working on some sort of English essay meant to be detailing the effect of one of the prominent symbols of the book he had opened next to him. Unlike a lot of people I went to high school and college with, I always enjoyed picking apart literature and trying to determine why an author would write the things they wrote about in the way they did. Upon further inspection, I noticed that the book Stiles was writing about was Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Perfect.

“You could mention the way the clothes not only make the gender roles throughout the play distinct-” As soon as the first word was out of my mouth, Stiles let out a surprised noise and promptly fell out of his chair. “but the differences in socioeconomic classes as well.”

Stiles blinked up at me with large amber eyes a few times before sliding back into his chair with a thoughtful expression on his face. “Thanks, I’ll have to add that in later. What are you doing here besides trying to give me a heart attack?”

“Isaac.”

“Isaac? Oh, the thing I called you about! Right. What about him?”

“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

A frustrated growl worked its way out of my throat. “I don’t know.”

“You don’t know what you want me to tell you?”

“Yes.”

“Alright…” Stiles got a calculating expression on his face as his eyes flicked restlessly over my face trying to figure out what it was I couldn’t put into words. “I’m assuming you can’t decide whether or not it would be a good idea to turn him or not. Well it might help if you actually meet Isaac. Kind of like an interview before deciding whether to give him the job or not.”

“Okay.”

“Okay? Okay as in you want to meet him before you decide or okay as in you’ll take my advice into consideration?”

“First one.”

“A man of many words. I’m not sure how to best go about this so I guess I’ll bring it up to Lydia and get back to you with whatever we come up with. My guess is you’ll have to come to one of our lacrosse games and we’ll stage some sort of meet and greet type deal. Although, that kind of makes it sound like you’re this big and famous rock star. You do have the leather jacket thing going for you.”

“Stiles, shut up.”

“Right. I’m just going to go back to what I was doing and you can climb back out the window like a criminal or a love-struck high school boy. Take your pick.”

Naturally I couldn’t resist banging Stiles’s head against his desk in retaliation before making a quick exit out of his window.


 

Even when I went to high school in Beacon Hills, I made a point of staying away from the lacrosse games because of how intense the town got about supporting the team. After being away for six years, nothing has changed except the names that all the supporters are chanting and have written across the signs they are holding. The original plan was to stand off to the side so I wouldn’t have to be squished into the crowd with the rest of the fans, but as soon as Lydia showed up that plan was thrown out the window. Stiles wasn’t lying when he talked about Lydia like she was forced to be reckoned with and it didn’t help that she reminded me of Laura every time she got that bossy ‘I know better than you’ look on her face.

“You’re coming with me and don’t worry I brought a sign for you to hold because I knew you wouldn’t think to bring one for yourself.”

“I don’t want one.”

“Listen, since you’ve been back in Beacon Hills you’ve been wanted by the Sheriff’s Department for murder not once, but twice and while you’ve been cleared, people are still uneasy about you. This isn’t helped by the fact you wear all black and drive around in that Camaro of yours, which is great for your bad boy image, but not conducive for seeming like a contributing member of society. Ergo, you will be holding this sign when appropriate and you will be clapping for our team when they do something positive.”

“Fine.”

“Excellent.” Lydia turned her attention from me to lacrosse field with a flick of her hair like my presence bored her and she couldn’t be troubled to try to hold a conversation with me any longer. “There’s Stiles. Stiles, over here!”

One of the helmeted players in maroon with a large twenty-four printed across his chest started jogging over with the lacrosse stick still clutched loosely in his hands. “Lyds and Sourwolf, don’t you two look just super-duper excited to be here. How are things?”

“As long as you hold up your end of the plan, everything will be fine.”

“I’m a perfectly amicable and persuasive person. I’m more than capable of doing what I’ve been tasked with so don’t worry a single hair on your strawberry blonde head. I see you’ve coerced Derek into carrying around one of your signs for you. How’d you manage that one?”

“Derek needs to stop looking like a potential murderer and will therefore be participating in tonight’s comradery by holding that sign up when necessary.”

“And what exactly does that sign say?” Lydia sent a smirk my direction before taking the sign from my hands and flipping it around so we both could see it. “Stilinski for the win, twenty-four puts ‘em in. That’s very clever of you, but I don’t think Derek will have to worry about being seen holding this sign up.”

“You don’t give yourself nearly enough credit. Maybe if you played with more self-confidence, you’d spend more time off of the bench and on the field scoring goals.”

“Don’t chastise me about my low self-esteem when you’ve been faking mediocrity for years.”

“Don’t sound so smug.”

“I think I deserve to be smug. What do you think, Derek?”

“Your coach is looking over here.”

“Shit!” Stiles turned so quickly he nearly hit me across the head with his lacrosse stick. “I should probably go before Finstock starts going crazy.”


 

Five minutes left on the clock and I was dying to get away from the crowd that kept pushing against me as they bounced up and down cheering. Lydia had spent the entire game cheering for whichever player had the ball at the time, except for Jackson who seemed to be growing increasingly frustrated at this as the game wore on. The only bright side to spending my Friday night at a high school lacrosse game, was that it was actually a good game. Both teams were playing hard and neither seemed able to get ahead of the other for long, so the score reminded close with Beacon Hills currently up by one.

I didn’t need my werewolf senses to tell the other team was growing increasingly frustrated and desperate to get another point. Their hits were becoming more and more aggressive and many of them came well after the Beacon Hills player had gotten rid of the ball. A particularly hard hit left one of the players groaning on the ground in pain after what sounded like the snap of one of the bones in his arm breaking. The coach was instantly yelling about how stupid the ref was for not doing something and that he should pull his head out of his ass. When he had finished his long and impressively loud rant, he turned to look at his bench where three players were sitting.

Stiles was sitting with his elbows on his knees spinning his lacrosse stick between his fingers as he bit his lip with a worried look on his face. The one Lydia had informed me was Isaac Lahey, was sitting perfectly still like a deer trying not to be seen by a predator or in this case an overenthusiastic coach. The only other person on the bench was bouncing his knee up and down in anticipation, but he still clutched his helmet tightly in his hands like he didn’t actually expect to be put into the game no matter the circumstances.

“Bilinski! Get out there!”

Stiles stood up so fast he nearly trip over his own feet in his haste. “Well would you look at that? And his dad’s not even here to see it.”

“I’m sure if Stiles doesn’t get the chance to tell him all about it Melissa will be more than happy to.”

“That’s probably true.” Lydia gave an excited cheer as Stiles made his first play of the game managing to dodge a hit aimed at him by a split second. “Way to go, Stiles!”

It wasn’t until the last fifteen seconds of the game that Stiles got an opportunity to make a play that required more than taking a few steps before passing the ball off to one of his teammates. Naturally, Stiles stood there in shock for a second after looking down the field and seeing that there wasn’t anyone between him and the goal. After another second and a scream of encouragement from the crowd (Lydia and Melissa somehow managed to raise their voices loud enough to be heard over everyone else), Stiles started moving down the field with several players from the other team moving to follow after him. The bright red numbers on the clock showed three seconds left on the clock, when Stiles wound up to make what would be the last play of the game. The ball went flying through the air straight into the back of the net just as the buzzer went off and one of the players who had been trying to stop Stiles hit him in the back. Lydia gripped my arm in worry, but before she could make a move to get off the bleachers Stiles popped up throwing his arms up in the air in triumph like he hadn’t been taken down by a guy twice his size.


 

Twenty minutes. Lydia and I have been standing here for twenty minutes waiting for Stiles to complete his part of the plan, namely convincing Isaac to come with him and his friends to do something. I wasn’t entirely sure how Stiles planned on getting Isaac to talk to me, but if anyone could talk someone into doing what they wanted it was Stiles. Jackson had come out several minutes earlier with another one of the players and upon seeing Lydia had stormed away in a huff.

“Derek! Lydia! You guys ready to go?” Stiles was striding across the field with his bag thrown over one arm and the other one thrown over Isaac’s shoulders who looked unsure of what was happening to him. “You don’t mind if Isaac joins us for dinner at the diner do you? Us bench boys need to stick together after all.”

“I’m sure after your performance tonight you’ll be a starter in no time and as for Isaac joining us, Derek and I don’t mind in the least. In fact, Isaac can go with you in the Jeep and I’ll go with Derek in the Camaro that way we don’t have to come back here when we’re done and you don’t have to talk to yourself.”

“You know me so well. Come on, Isaac. If we don’t leave now, Derek will leave us in the dust.” Isaac gave a nervous wave before following behind a rapidly chattering Stiles to the parking lot where his precious Jeep was parked.

“What do you think so far?”

“I think Stiles is right about the abuse thing.”

“And as for the other thing?”

“I think he’s a good candidate.”

“There’s a but in there.”

“He needs to know the risks and I’m not sure he’ll agree to it after he knows. We can’t run the risk of telling him, only to have him say no then go and tell the Argents or something like that.”

“I’m not so sure. I think he would say yes and so does Stiles, but the whole point of this meeting was for you to get to know him.”


 

“I’m just saying that I'm happy Ms. Garson is getting back out there and dating, but I don't need her new found confidence right in my face. She looks great for an older woman and all, but I don't think slipping out of your top when you lean down to talk to a student is very professional of her." Isaac gave a snort of laughter that nearly landed the milkshake he had been in the middle of drinking all over Lydia.

"I would think you'd find that enjoyable."

"Lydia, I may be a horny teenage boy, but women my dad's age aren't really my cup of tea. If anything, I was seconds away from sending my dad after her on public indecency charges."

"So cougars don't do it for you?"

"No. What do you think, Isaac?"

Isaac gave a little shrug. "I don't know."

"So you are into it."

"I didn't say that!"

"Then you aren't into it?"

"I don't know. Objectively she's kind of hot for a teacher, but she seems..."

"Like a dominatrix?"

"Yes."

"Thank you!" Before Stiles could throw his free arm up, I managed to grab it and pin it to the table so he didn't hit me for the third time. "Scott says he doesn't see it and now I have proof that I'm not the only one who thinks that."

“She does that thing where she always boxes you in when she wants to talk to you.”

“Exactly and I know for a fact my dad uses that tactic in the interrogation room because it makes it clear to the suspect that he’s in charge. Plus there’s that thing she does with her hips.”

“What thing?”

“She does that swish thing with her hips like she’s trying to hypnotise you or something.” Everyone at the table stared at Stiles. “What? You’ve never noticed that? Really? I thought it was obvious.”

“Maybe it’s because you meet people, then assess them like Sherlock or Shawn Spencer.”

“You know who Shawn Spencer is?”

Lydia rolled her eyes as she dipped one of her fries into Stiles’s chocolate milkshake. “Of course I do. That shows is genius and I love Juliet. She’s the perfect combination of intelligent badass and girly girl in a perfectly tailored suit.”

“That I agree with. Although, Shawn is my favorite.”

“What a surprise.”

“Don’t sass me.”

“I’ll do as I want. I always do. So Isaac…” Lydia turned to give her full attention to the boy sitting next to her who shrank back into the seat a little at the attention. “How are you?”

“Are you trying to be his friend or starting a psychotherapy session?”

“How would you like me to say it?”

“Not the same way my old therapist started every single one of our sessions. That phrase always drive me crazy now. Isaac, is everything going okay? With school, your other friends, home?”

“How’d you figure it out? Don’t try to deny it because I know you know.”

“Look.” Stiles put his laced fingers on the table and got his ‘I mean business’ look on his face. “I know that you love your dad and you don’t want anything to happen to him because he’s the only family you’ve got left. I get that, I really do, but that doesn’t mean that he has the right to do whatever it is he’s doing to you.”

“I know.”

“I’m not going to try to get you to go to my dad or give you some sort of ultimatum, but I just want to ask you one question. If that’s alright with you?”

“Yes.”

“If you cou-could learn how to defend yourself, would you?”

“I wouldn’t want to hurt him, but if I could stop from getting hurt I wouldn’t say no.”

Stiles turned to look at me with one of his eyebrows raised in question. “We should probably talk then.”

Chapter Text

Out of all the crazy, outlandish, wild things to be going on around Beacon Hills, never for a second did I think that werewolves would be an actual… thing. Werewolves and the people who hunted them. Werewolves and hunters and Stiles. Stiles who came up with the idea to ask Derek to give me the bite in the first place after he figured out that my dad has been abusing me. The bite. How is that even a legitimate phrase? How can considering whether or not to become a werewolf actually be an option in real life?

An option that three people are waiting for me to give an answer to: to be a werewolf or not to be a werewolf. Derek had made it clear that, as with everything in life, becoming a werewolf had both its pros and its cons.

Pros: Super healing, super strength, super hearing, super smelling, claws, fangs

Cons: Control issues, hunters wanting to kill me for being a werewolf, anger management issues (Stiles’s words not Derek’s), weakness to wolfsbane

So that begged the question, did the pros outweigh the cons? Did I really want to be roped into all this supernatural stuff that had been going on around here? It would make dealing with my dad easier, but getting murdered by hunters didn’t seem like an enjoyable experience at all. Then again, there were still pictures somewhere of the Halloween I decided to dress up as a werewolf because it had been my favorite animal at the time. I loved watching old cheesy werewolf movies and being a werewolf would probably be really, really, ridiculously cool.

“So what do you think?” It wasn’t even surprising that Stiles was the one to interrupt the silence considering he never seemed to be able to stop talking for long. “I know it’s a lot to take into consideration.”

“Why haven’t you become a werewolf?”

“What?” Stiles’s eyes were wide and innocent looking like he wasn’t sure why I would ask him that question.

“How come you’re not a werewolf? Your best friend is one and you two seem to do everything together. Plus you’ve been mixed up in all this from the beginning so I would think becoming a werewolf would be something you would want.”

“I like being human. Don’t get me wrong, the super healing would be great every now and then, but I’m of more use just staying me. I’m more of the researching type than the muscle and I’m not sure an ADHD werewolf would be a good idea. All those enhanced senses would probably drive me crazy.”

“And the bite will either take or I’ll…”

“You’ll die, yes, but I’m sure you’ll make it! You’re young and strong and capable of bearing fangs. I’m sure.”

“And what happened with Lydia again exactly?”

“We’re still not exactly sure what happened with her.”

“So let me get this straight: Derek, Scott, and Jackson are all werewolves, Lydia is some sort of immune werewolf person, the Argents are a family of hunters, and you’re just being you.”

“Pretty much.”

“And all those crazy attacks that happened were Derek’s psycho uncle trying to get back at the hunters who murdered his family.”

“Yes.”

“And now you think the new Argent in town is looking for revenge because Peter murdered Kate?”

“Correct.”

“And you think I would make a good werewolf?”

“I think you’d be a perfect werewolf.”

“Well… werewolves have always been my favorite supernatural creature.”

“I’ve always been impartial to leshy.”

Lydia’s face scrunched up in annoyance and I couldn’t help, but notice I wasn’t the only one confused by what Stiles had said. “What is a leshy?”

“It’s a Slavic woodland spirit that protects animals and the forest. According to the legends, they can imitate people’s voices and occasionally they kidnap people and tickle them to death in their lair.”

“That’s nice?”

“Well if I could pick a way to die, I don’t think laughing to death would be that bad considering some of the alternatives. But leshy aside, we were talking about whether or not you wanted to become one of the fanged moon creatures of the night.”

“If I do this, will I have to put up with you doing dog jokes all of the time?”

“That’s a give in.”

“I think that I want the bite.”

“Alpha, my alpha. Looks like you’re up.”

Derek stepped up to me with a hard, unemotional look on his face (something I’ve come to understand is a normal occurrence). “This will be painful, but when it’s over your senses will be heightened and you should feel stronger than you’ve ever felt.”

“Let’s do this then.”

“If you’re sure.”

“Positive.”


 

Painful was a bit of an understatement. As soon as Derek’s fangs broke my skin, it started to feel like my blood was boiling and an itch I couldn’t scratch was starting to take over inch by inch. A fire was building, trying to burn me from the inside out. My head was starting to pound and I’m almost a hundred percent sure I’ve been screaming in agony for the past five minutes at least. I was vaguely aware that someone was attempting to talk to me or calm me down in some way, but it wasn’t helping any.

Just as I thought the pain was going to be too much and the bite wasn’t going to take, the burning sensation began to fade. The pounding in my head stopped and was replaced with what sounded like three strong heartbeats. A wave of power seemed to surge through me, making all the muscles in my body tense in anticipation. After taking stock of the new changes that becoming a werewolf had made, I opened my eyes to see three faces bent over looking at me.

“How are you feeling? You don’t have the strong urge to eat me or anything?”

“Why would I want to eat you?”

“Ask Scott.”

“Scott tried to eat you?”

“It only happened once, but I think he was more interested in ripping me to shreds than making me into a meal. Luckily Derek was around to throw him around a bit.”

“Well I don’t feel the need to maim you or eat you so that’s a good sign right?”

“I’ll call that a win. How are the heightened senses?”

“It’s strange. I can smell everything and I can hear what sounds like an insect’s wings beating, plus all of your heartbeats. Why does your heart keep doing that weird skipping thing?”

“What weird skipping thing?”

Before Stiles could say more Derek cut in. “I’m pretty sure it’s because of his hyperactivity. Can you shift?”

“I’m not sure. I can try.”

I took a deep breath trying to calm down and forget that there were three people crowded around me waiting for me to do something I’ve never done before. I tried to concentrate on feeling fangs and nails growing, but after several minutes of nothing happening I let out a sigh of frustration. Maybe the key to this shifting thing was to not think about it at all and just let it happen naturally. Or maybe shifting is the most frustrating and impossible thing on the face of the planet.

"I can't do it."

"I have an idea!"

"Wha-" Before I could finish pain blossomed across my face where Stiles had decided to throw a punch. "Stiles!"

"There it is!"

I reached my hands up towards my face in confusion only to be met with what were unmistakably fangs when they reached my mouth. When I pulled my hands back away from my mouth, I was pleased to see claws instead of my typical short, stubby fingernails. Before I could ask, Lydia was holding up a compact mirror in front of my face letting me see exactly what I looked like all transformed. Besides the fangs and claws, I now had glowing gold eyes and facial hair spurting out of the sides of my face.

"Wow."

"Welcome, to werewolf club. The first rule of werewolf club, is we do not talk about werewolf club."

"Stiles." Derek's command came out more like a growl than a human voice. "With time you'll be better able to control your shift. It will take time for me to teach you. You should probably get home."

"Any questions for the all mighty poobah before we go?"

"Stiles."

"Yes, Sourwolf?"

"Just take him home. Lydia and I are going to look through your research."

"Aye, aye captain." Stiles threw Derek a cheeky grin as he started walking towards his Jeep. "Come along, Isaac. I would hate to keep you out past your bedtime."


 

By the time Stiles came to a stop outside of my house, the lights were all off and it was obvious my dad still wasn't home yet considering his car was missing from the driveway. This was a good thing considering I was coming home so late, but on the downside it would probably mean him stumbling in drunk at some point during the night. Hopefully, I can be asleep long before he even steps foot through the front door. That or I'll get to test out my brand new werewolf powers.

"Thanks for everything."

"No, problem-o. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call me or Derek or Lydia. We'll be by our phones all night."

"Alright. Thanks again and good night."

"Night!"

I watched Stiles pull away from the curb with a wave and disappear down the street corner before heading inside. As soon as I walked through the door, I was greeted by nothing but silence and darkness confirming what I had already assumed to be true. Without bothering to turn on any of the lights I headed upstairs and straight to my room wanting nothing more than to collapse onto my bed and slip into unconsciousness. My bed looked so very inviting from where I was standing, but I knew that I would regret not taking a shower before I went to sleep so instead of relaxing I grabbed my clothes and headed to the bathroom across the hall.

Ten minutes later I was heading back to my room for what would hopefully be a long night’s sleep, when the sound of the front door opening caught my attention. Groaning I quickly slipped into my room making sure to close my door as quietly as possible before crawling into bed without bothering to turn off any of the lights. With any hope my father would be so drunk he wouldn’t notice my light on or he would open the door and think I was already fast asleep.

The sound of footsteps coming up the stairs made me involuntarily stiffen, even though I knew he couldn’t hurt me anymore. If anything, Derek made it sounds as if I was in danger of hurting my dad because of my lack of control of this new strength I have. I took a deep breath and forced myself to relax so I could keep the possibility of having a confrontation with my dad as low as possible. This hope was dashed when the sound of glass breaking and something falling down the stairs rang in my ears loud and clear like it happened right next to me. I could either leave my dad sprawled on the bottom of the stairs for the rest of the night or I could go and help him to bed.

I slowly slipped out of bed and made my way down the stairs where I could see my dad trying to sit up on his own and failing miserably at it. When my dad finally saw me heading down the stairs towards him, he sent a glare in my general direction, but didn’t say a word. Upon reaching the bottom step, I could see the bottle of whiskey he had been attempting to bring up to his bedroom only to drop and break it before he could make it up there. Even without the new werewolf super smell, I would be able to tell that my father had already thrown up at least once tonight.

“Come on, dad.”

I reached down to help my dad up, but he slapped my hands away before using the wall to stand up to his full height. “Don’t treat me like a child. I am the adult in this relationship and you will treat me as such.”

“I was just trying to help.”

“Trying to help? You’ve always been a pain in my ass.”

“I just wanted to help.”

“Don’t raise your voice at me!” My dad’s words were slurred to the point they were almost completely incomprehensible. “You need to show me a little respect.”

“Dad, please just let me help you up to bed.”

“I don’t need your help. Now get out of my way!”

“Dad, I really don’t think you should try to go up the stairs by yourself.”

“I’m not some sort of invalid. Now get out of my way!”

“I’m not going to watch you hurt yourself.”

“I said move!” Before I had any time to react my dad shoved me onto the stairs with a vicious snarl that I had thought came from him until I saw the fear on my dad’s face. “What the hell! What the hell are you? Isaac! Isaac, you better start talking!”

I stood up in a panic and ran up to my room to grab my cell phone and my pre-packed bag before glancing around my room for a way out. From the sound of it my dad was managing to make his way up the stairs so there would be no way that I could get back out that way. Obviously that left my window as the only getaway option. Without a second thought I opened the window and threw my bag out before climbing out onto the sill and jumping to the ground. I could feel a bone in my right ankle snap, but I didn’t have time to stop and worry about it now so I just picked up my bag and took off running down the street.


 

I didn’t stop to rest until I knew I was at a safe distance away from my father and his drunken escapades that would undoubtedly end poorly for both of us. My choices at this point were pretty limited considering it was well after midnight and I didn’t have any other family I could go to even if I wanted to. Of course it was at that moment, when I could literally feel the bone in my ankle knitting itself back together, that I remembered what Stiles had told me before he had left. There was no guarantee that any of them would answer considering the time, but it was worth a try.

One ring. Two rings. Three rings. “Hey, Isaac. What’s up?”

“Something happened with my dad.”

“What happened? You didn’t hurt him did you? He doesn’t need to go to the hospital or anything?”

“No, I just…”

“Where are you?”

“The park off of Mitchell.”

“Alright, I can be there in ten minutes. Just don’t move.”

“Thanks.”

“Don’t worry about it. Just try to stay calm.” The beep that signaled Stiles hanging up the phone sounded over the small speaker.

I let out the breathe I had been holding in ever since I had pressed the call button and lowered the phone from where it had been pressed against my ear. It was then I noticed that my hands were shaking violently and I could feel my claws trying to push their way out. Biting my lip I opened and closed my fists several times trying to get control of the building anxiety that was making the werewolf in me stir. I was just beginning to worry that I wouldn’t be able to wait for Stiles, when the sweep of a car’s headlights caught my eye. Relief filled my body when I saw the car belonged to Stiles.

“Get in we’re going back to my place. Derek said he would meet us there.”

“Thank you for coming to get me.”

“It’s not a problem. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to come get someone late at night.”

“I feel like there’s a story there.”

“A great one too. Maybe I’ll tell you someday. If I tried to tell you while I’m driving, I would probably end up killing myself.”

“What about me?”

“You would probably live. I wouldn’t worry about it.”


 

“Your dad saw you shift?”

“Yes.”

“And he freaked out.” Stiles tapped his fingers nervously on his thigh then spun around his chair with his head tilted up towards the ceiling. “We can deal with this. He was drunk, which is a plus. If he tries to ask you questions about it, you can just tell him it was a trick of the light or something he made up in his drunken state.”

“What if he tells someone else?”

“If he was as drunk as you say he was, then no one would believe him. They would write it off as drunken rambling.”

“Are you sure?”

“If a drunk person stumbled up to you and told you their son transformed into some sort of fanged monster, would you believe them or pat them on the back before slipping off?”

“The second one.”

“You don’t have anything to worry about. There’s even a chance he won’t remember what happened last night.” Stiles stopped spinning and turned his focus directly onto me. “How are you feeling? Still shaken up?”

“I feel a little antsy, but it’s not as bad as it was early after you hung up.”

“The werewolf part of you was feeling threatened so it tried to respond the only way it knows how.” Derek made the whole werewolf thing sound so simple. “It will take a while for you to learn to control that part of you, but you’ll be able to in time.”

“How did Scott learn?”

Stiles let out a choked chuckled. “I threw lacrosse balls at him while watching his heartbeat until he learned to control his aggression. It didn’t really work that well but, then we figured out that Allison calmed him down.”

“That’s what you were doing? I thought he did something and he was letting you take your anger out on him because of some sort of best friend apology thing.”

“I wish. I did handcuff him to a radiator once and then poured him water into a bowl labelled Scott.”

“You don’t have much self-preservation do you?”

“Why do people always seem to ask me that?” The sound of a phone going off made Stiles scramble for his phone nearly falling off his chair in the process. “Dad! What’s going on? Need my help on any cases?”

To my surprise I could hear Stiles’s father reply from where I was sitting on Stiles’s bed. “Everything’s fine and you know I can’t talk about my cases with you so stop trying. I was just wondering if you were still out with that Lahey kid. You said you were going to the diner with him right?”

“We did, but I dropped him off at home a while ago. Why do you ask?”

“I can’t tell you that. Look, if you hear from him, I want you to tell me alright?”

“You got it. Now go back to protecting the community.”

“Go to bed, Stiles.”

“Well that’s not good at all. The opposite of good. Shit.”

“What?” I could tell how anxious Stiles was and it was starting to put me back on edge. “What’s wrong?”

“My dad never calls me while he’s on duty unless there’s something wrong. Something must have happened if he’s calling me about it. I don’t know what though and he took my last police scanner and I haven’t had time to get another one. I think you should go with Derek in case my dad comes back and I’ll text one of you as soon as I know something.”

“Are you sure? If your dad is looking for me, then maybe I should just go back home or you could call him back and tell him that I’ve contacted you.”

“The last thing we need is a brand new werewolf in interrogation if something’s happened. This wouldn’t be the first time I hid a wanted person from my dad.”

Chapter Text

“Stiles. Stiles. Wake up.”

“Mrpf.”

“Stiles, you need to get up. There’s someone here to see you and I need to ask you a few questions about last night.”

“Wha’ ‘ime is it?”

“Seven. Now get up before I’m forced to pull you out of bed and down the stairs.”

“Fine, I’m going.” I forced open my eyelids to see my dad’s face bent over where I had mine pressed into a pillow causing me to nearly fall off of my bed in alarm. “Why do you do stuff like this to me? I thought you were supposed to love me? You’re just a cruel, cruel person.”

“Don’t be such a drama queen.”

“I’ll do as I wish. Now leave me! I must prepare myself.”

“Whatever you say. I’ll just go tell your visitor that.”

“Thank you, Alfred.”

“You’re not Bruce Wayne.”

“I always knew you loved Batman. You can’t hide it from me now!”

“Just get dressed.”

Yawning I rolled out of bed still trying to wipe the sleep from my eyes, but not really accomplishing anything besides making my vision blurrier than it already was. When the blur had finally cleared, I moved to my dresser looking for something comfortable to wear because if at all possible I didn’t plan on leaving the house today. Supernatural problems be damned Stiles needs his R & R! Wait. Isn’t talking in third person to yourself a sign of insanity or something? Oh, well. Point is, I need a break and I’m going to get it.

I finally decided upon a pair of sweatpants, a t-shirt that was maybe a bit tight but comfortable from wear, and a hoodie that I brought with me to the bathroom for my normal morning routine. Step one, go to the bathroom because who didn’t have to pee as soon as they woke up in the morning? Step two, brush teeth so I don’t get cavities or some other mouth related health issue that would end painfully. Step three, wash face (a.k.a. splash cold water in my face so I can finally wake up and not spend the rest of the day in a zombie-like state). Step four, dress…

Of course the problem with waiting to dress until after I’ve actually woken up, is that half the time I think I’ve brought my clothes with me when I’ve really only managed to grab pants. How the hell did that happen? I know I picked up a full set of clothes. With a frustrated sigh I threw open the bathroom door and walked into my room only to find three pairs of eyes looking at me instead of the emptiness I was expecting. My eyes went wide as I realized I was still half-naked. Standing there. With three people looking at me.

“Why didn’t I know about this?” Lydia was sitting cross-legged on my bed with her head cocked to the side and a sly look in her eyes. “You know you should stop wearing those baggy shirts. They don’t do you nearly enough justice. Although, I must say it’s a pleasant surprise to get when I had to get up early on a Saturday.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Now please hand over my shirt.”

“You don’t know what I’m talking about? I’m talking about the one, two, thr-”

“Alright, I get the point now shirt.”

“I don’t know.”

“Lydia.”

“Fine. Take the fun out of my morning. I didn’t even have time to pick up coffee.” Lydia held out my shirt to me in a fashion where I would have to lean over to get it from her. “You wanted it. Now come and get it.”

“I hate you.”

“I don’t have to be a werewolf to know that’s a lie.”

Rolling my eyes I grabbed my shirt from her hands and tugged it on as quickly as I could manage without making a fool out of myself. “Speaking of werewolves, why are there two in my room right now? I’m pretty sure my dad said there was only one person here to see me.”

“Well I told Derek about my plan to come get some information from your father about that call last night and he thought it would be a good idea to listen in to see if your dad is less than truthful about anything.”

“Good plan. He did say he wanted to talk to me about last night.”

“Lead the way.”

“Don’t think I don’t know what you were doing. It’s not going to work.”

“If you say so.”


 

“Wait, wait, wait.” My dad folded his arms and leaned back in his chair with his Strictly Business Interrogation look on his face. “Let me get this straight. Isaac’s dad was found murdered in his car and Isaac is the only suspect because someone heard yelling from their house and then saw him running from it?”

“That’s exactly what I’m saying, Stiles.”

“You can’t possibly think that Isaac killed his dad. I mean he was running away from the house not the scene of the crime.”

“That doesn’t mean that his father didn’t catch up with him at some point. This may be hard for you, but if Isaac gets into contact with you-with either of you-I need you to tell me.”

“We will, dad. Now get some rest. You look exhausted.”

“I mean it, Stiles. If you hear anything at all.”

“Don’t worry, dad. I will.”

“Alright. I’m going to go to sleep so don’t get into any trouble.”

“Me? In trouble? I don’t know why you would say such a thing.” My dad rolled his eyes at me, but it lacked any heat and left the room without another word. “We have a serious problem. A colossal, ginormous, gargantuan problem. Shit, come on.”

Lydia and I quickly made our way up the stairs to find Derek and Isaac waiting for us with identical looks of worry on their faces. “So boys, what are we going to do?”

“Let me begin by saying that I’m not harbouring another fugitive right under my father’s nose so you can take that card right off the proverbial table.”

“Noted. So what are we going to do? We know for a fact Isaac didn’t kill his father, but unless you want to tell him about the supernatural, Isaac doesn’t have any sort of alibi.”

“That’s not an option either. What we need to do, is figure out exactly what happened to Isaac’s dad because my dad made it sound like it was pretty bad.”

“You’re thinking there could be another werewolf involved?”

“We haven’t exactly been subtle with what’s going on around here. It’s a wonder that no one besides Jackson figured out what was going on with Scott, especially considering he wasn’t right in the first place and still managed to figure it out.”

“So another werewolf comes into town and tracks Isaacs since he just got turned, but when he couldn’t find him he kills his dad and makes it look like he did it? Why would they do that?”

“Maybe they were going after the weakest link. If you were moving in on another werewolf’s territory, wouldn’t you go after the one that had just been turned?”

“Stiles has a point.” Derek ran a hand through his unruly hair. “If this is another werewolf, they would have gone after Isaac first. I need to check out the crime scene. Their scent should still be there.”

“And what exactly is Isaac supposed to do? I already told you he’s not staying here so unless you’ve got a secret condo I don’t know about, we still need somewhere for him to stay.”

“I’ve got a place in mind.”

“Care to share with the class?”

“Don’t worry about it. Come on, Isaac.”

“Derek Hale, I thought we talked about this! You are not leaving me in the dark again. Don’t you dare go out that window! Or just ignored me. That’s cool too.”


 

“Stiles!”

“Scott!” I finished stuffing the rest of my belongings into my bag and headed to lunch with Scott following behind me. “What do you got for me today?”

“There’s something going on.”

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. I’ve just got this nagging feeling that something is going on.”

“Well Isaac’s father was brutally murdered this weekend and he is currently the main suspect in my dad’s investigation.”

“What?”

“Also, Isaac’s a werewolf now. Surprise!”

Scott stopped right in his tracks looking dumbstruck before the cafeteria door smacked him square in the face sending him to the floor. “Are you kidding me?”

“Why would I be joking about that?”

“How? Why? When?”

“Get off of the floor and come to the table, then we can talk.” I held out a hand for Scott to grab then headed off to where Lydia and Allison were already chatting away, although it looked more like a heated argument now that I could see them better. “How are you two beautiful ladies doing on this fine winter’s day?”

They both answered “fine” at the same time, but if their body language was any indicator they were most definitely not fine at all. On a positive note, they weren’t sitting on the same side of the table which meant they couldn’t jab elbows at each other like Scott and I are prone to do to each other when we’re in an argument. Another positive note! Scott and I would have to sit on opposite sides of the table so no bruises for me when he finally hears the story. Maybe I should capitalize that to make it more effective: The Story. Much better.

“Well this is delightfully cozy, but Scott wants to know what happened this weekend so if you two are done arguing about whatever it is you two are arguing about can we get onto that?”

“I’m done talking to Allison so please explain away.”

“Did you already tell her?”

“That’s one of the reasons we were arguing. One of many.” Lydia sent a scathing glare at Allison that she promptly returned.

“Before you start I just want to say that I disapprove of what you all did, but I’m not going to tell anyone in my family.”

“Duly noted! Now Scott, Scotty, where to begin?” I tapped my finger thoughtfully on my chin several times before deciding it was probably best to start from lacrosse practice. “So you remember when you told me you thought there was something up with Isaac at practice?”

“Yes…”

“Well I started watching him and I realized he had the signs of an abuse victim considering the bruises and his clear aversion to being taken to the hospital. Which of course got me thinking, because he obviously didn’t plan on turning his dad in, but I couldn’t just let him keep getting hurt like that. So I called Derek and pitched him the idea of giving Isaac a ‘gift’ and he told me he would think about it. He couldn’t make up his mind so Lydia and I set up a little meet and greet. One thing lead to another and boom! New kid on the block!”

“Hold on a second. It was your idea!”

“That is what I just said.”

“Why would you even suggest that?”

“Because it was the best option and it’s not like we didn’t explain everything to him.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“Anyways! We dropped Isaac off at home only for him to call me later and say something had gone wrong and he needed me to pick him up. So I went to pick him up, but then I got a call from my dad later asking if I knew where Isaac was. Of course I said I didn’t and he didn’t tell me anything else. Saturday morning my dad sat Lydia and I down to ask what happened the night before then told us that Isaac’s dad had been found murdered in his car and the only suspect was Isaac.”

“Isaac killed his dad!” Scott looked furious clearly already blaming Derek for the recent turn of events.

“Don’t be an idiot. It wasn’t Isaac. Which brings us to our newest problem. We may or may not have a rogue werewolf in town that wants to take over.”

“You think a rogue werewolf strolled into town and just decided to kill Isaac’s dad.”

“We think that the werewolf was targeting the weakest link and when he couldn’t get to Isaac he took the next best thing.”

“So now we have another werewolf to worry about.”

“We don’t-”

“Stilinski!” Jackson’s obnoxious voice sounded somehow pisser than it normally did. Wonder how he managed that.

“Jackass! What do you want?”

“I know you talk to Derek so I want you to tell him that what he did didn’t work and I expect some answers. He can’t keep hiding from me.”

“Did you ever think that he’s not hiding from you, you’re just really bad at looking?”

Jackson shoved a threatening finger in my face accompanied by a snarl. “Just do it, Stilinski.”

“This isn’t a Nike commercial and you can’t tell me what to do. What a douchebag!”

“You should tell Derek what he said. It’s one thing for me not to get turned into a werewolf, but for Jackson not to either. It’s too much of a coincidence.”

“I know that. I was planning on doing it, despite the fact Jackson is an arrogant jackass. This is definitely something Derek needs to know.” As if he knew we were talking about him, Derek’s name flashed up from where my phone was now vibrating on the table. “Speak of the devil. Sourwolf! Why am I being blessed with you calling me in the middle of the day? You are aware I’m at school right?”

“Yes, I know. Something’s happened and now we have a huge problem.”

“Huge problem. What do you mean huge problem?”

Derek let out a deep sigh. “I went to go take another look at the evidence and while I was gone Isaac managed to get himself arrested.”

“He got… But the full moon is tonight. I practically grew up at the station and I can tell you without a doubt that those holding cells won’t be up to the task of keeping a newbie werewolf locked up. My dad is working all night tonight. This is… Damn it Derek!”

“There’s more.”

“There’s more! Are you trying to give me a heart attack? What more is there?”

“The Argents know.”

“What? How would they know?”

“They saw the pictures from the crime scene and that he was your father’s first suspect.”

“Alright. So Isaac is now in custody with a full moon tonight, the Argents are going to be gunning for him, and on top of that Jackson says your little bite didn’t work.” A small hand squeezed my thigh gently as a reminder to take a deep breath. “I’m fine, I’m fine. New plan! I am going to break Isaac out because I know my way around the station. You and my buddy Scott are going to poke around Isaac’s house and see if you can pick anything up because this new threat may have gone around there first.”

“And what exactly will I being doing?”

“Lydia.”

“I’m going with you.”

“Fine, just no heels.”

“Deal.”

“Derek, Scott?”

“I don’t like it but fine.”

“Derek’s on board! Scott?”

“No.”

“Excuse me.” I raised an eyebrow at Scott who looked like a petulant child with his arms folded tightly across his chest. “Need I remind you what happened last time you didn’t listen to me? No. Excellent. So you and Scott will meet at Isaac’s house after school and Lydia and I shall break Isaac out of the station. Allison, Allison will try to keep the Argents off our back as long as possible. Great. Go team.”


 

Whoever invented the concept of time was the King of the Assholes and Dicks and Other Crude Insults because it’s supposed to be a constant, but always seems to speed up and slow down. For instance, time seems to slow down when you’re waiting to sneak through a station where your father works to break out a suspect for a murder they didn’t commit, but might actually kill everyone there if they don’t get out of there in time. Having to sit through an English class instead of going to execute the plan was killing me, but Lydia won’t leave and I knew it would be more than a little suspicious.

So here I am, listening to our teacher talk on and on about our current reading like it’s the most interesting thing in the world. One day I’m definitely going to stab my eyeballs out with my pencil just to give myself something more interesting to do in class. Although, they would probably make me clean up the mess and that would just take way too long for my taste. I could feel my brain starting to go into overdrive making my leg bounce up and down while my fingers played idly with the pencil in my hand.

A note landed on my desk just as I was beginning to drum out a random beat on the top of my desk with my fingertips. My nose scrunched up in confusion at the little folded up piece of paper sitting there so innocently like it was supposed to be there. I turned to look at Lydia in confusion, but she simply shrugged and went back to listen to the teacher and taking notes. Sighing I looked around the classroom for whoever had thrown the note on my desk in case they had missed their intended target, but found no one looking in my direction. Guess I might as well open the thing.

Are you okay?

Am I okay? What the hell? I looked up again to see Matt staring at me from two seats away with a strange look on his face.

Yes. Why?

You seem to be bouncing around a lot more than normal. Just wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong.

Well everything’s good. Didn’t mean to disturb you.

It’s no problem. I actually wanted to tell you that you were really impressive in the game on Friday. That goal you scored was amazing.

Thanks. Bet you got some pretty nice shots with that camera of yours at the game.

Maybe a few.

The sound of the bell ringing nearly made me jump right out of my seat making Lydia laugh at my pain because she’s a cruel person like that. I picked up my bag giving the note another once over as I did so trying to figure out why Matt had sent the note in the first place. It didn’t make any sense considering I had only had one conversation with the guy and that had more to do with my best friend’s ex-girlfriend than anything else.

“What does it say?” I handed over the note to Lydia who kept her face perfectly blank as she read through it. “This is very cute.”

“Cute?”

“He’s totally flirting with you.”

“He is not! You know he came up to me at Danny’s party and asked about Allison?”

“Really that’s interesting, but he’s still flirting with you.”

“No, he’s not.”

“He really is.”

Chapter Text

On a scale of one to ten with one being loathe entirely and ten being absolutely adore, wearing sneakers ranks somewhere in the ballpark of two to three depending on how cute they look. Let’s be totally honest here, it’s difficult to look both completely alluring and deceptively dangerous when you don’t have footwear that makes your butt look perfect. Of course I could probably fix that problem by wearing a nice pair of yoga pants, but my collection of cute dresses is too hard to pass up. Even when one is dealing with the supernatural, it is possible to look cute while also being sensible.

“You’re sure you want to do this? If I get caught I can always pull the ‘I’ve always messed around the station since I was little,’ but if you get caught we could get into some serious trouble.”

“I have faith that you can get us through the station without being seen. Now lead the way so I can hurry up and get out of these terrible shoes.”

“I don’t get why you hate them so much. How are they not more comfortable than those heels you normally wear all the time?”

“It’s not about comfort, Stiles.”

“I will never get girls.” Stiles shook his head before slipping something out of his pocket and crouching down so he couldn’t be seen. “Just follow my lead. This shouldn’t take long. Hopefully we can get in and out without running into the Argents, but with our luck we’ll probably run right into them.”

Just before we were about to make our way in, my phone buzzed in my pocket giving me pause since Stiles had been the only one texting me recently. I quickly dug the phone out of my pocket as I slipped up behind Stiles and gave him a tap on the shoulder. He turned to look at me with a questioning expression on his face, but simply nodded when I pointed at the cell phone I had clutched in my hand. We both leaned over to read the text and stiffened when we read the short text:

Allison

Tried to slow down. Already there. Move quickly.

Without a word Stiles hurriedly opened the door that would get us to the holding cells as soon as possible without attracting too much attention. Stiles didn’t bother crouching anymore, but instead full out spirited down several short hallways before coming to a stop in front of a door that had an unconscious cop lying in front of it. I bent down next to Stiles who had two of his fingers pressed to the cops neck with a worried expression until he found a pulse. Stiles looked at me before turning the handle of the door and slowly opening it so he could peek around the corner to see what was inside.

“Damn it. The hunters already here and Isaac is out of his cell.”

“Stiles, I don’t think we should go in there.”

Of course Stiles didn’t listen to me, but instead preceded to go stumbling into the room with what I could only assume was a half cooked plan that would end with him getting injured in some way. That left me with two choices: I could either go in there after the lovable idiot or I could run and get some help from someone who could actually provide it. The sound of a pained yelp reached my ear and my decision was made for me because, while it could have been the hunter, it was quite possible that Stiles was the one being hurt and I couldn’t let him die at the hands of a feral werewolf or crazy hunter. Before I could move a step, Stiles came running from the room where a low growl was coming from and grabbed my arm without any sort of preamble.

“Run!”

We were only halfway down the hall when the door behind us came flying open. From the sound of it the door was flung straight off its hinges, but there was no way I was looking back to check. Stiles was just about to turn the corner, when he gave my arm a hard tugging sending me past him just in time. Isaac slammed into Stiles’s back sending him flying into the wall with a loud thud that made me wince in sympathy. A scream worked its way out of my throat when my mind finally caught up to what I was looking at. Isaac was towering over Stiles, who was still unmoving on the ground, with his claws and teeth out and a wild look in his gold eyes. Blood was splattered across his clothes, that I was sure had once belonged to the hunter the Argents had sent to kill Isaac.

Just as Isaac was about to bring one of his clawed hands sweeping down, one of the doors behind me burst open and a loud roar echoed through the hall. An immediate reaction was pulled from Isaac who had transformed back into his regular human self except for the dazed look in his eyes. When Stiles let out a loud groan, Isaac looked down at him in horror then quickly moved away, his hands trembling violently at his side. I was about to crawl over to where Stiles was still pressed against the wall when a dark figure crossed my field of vision and kneeled down by Stiles.

“Anything broken.”

“I don’t think so, but that might be because my head got smashed into the wall and now I’m a little bit out of it. I didn’t think I hit my head that hard though. You’re supposed to be with Scott.”

“Allison sent Scott a text to tell him what happened so she went with him and I came here to help you two.”

“That’s good. Good plan. Go team.”

“You might have a concussion.”

“I’m fine! I get knocked around all the time. We have bigger problems. Like the dead body in the room. That way.” Stiles tried to point finger in the direction of the holding cells, but his arm kept making jerky movements.

“We should get him out of here. Both of them. We can’t do anything about the body. We need to go.”

Derek nodded at me then hauled Stiles up until he had one of his arms around Stiles to help him walk. “Isaac, come on.”


 

“So that was a complete bust.” Our little group was now sitting around in an abandoned subway station about to exchange stories that would probably mean more problems than we had before. Stiles was sitting with his back pressed against a wall and an ice pack held gently to the bump that had formed on the side of his head. Derek, Isaac, and Scott were all broodily standing around with grumpy looks on their faces because, as I’ve come to understand it, that’s a werewolf’s default expression, especially when the full moon is involved and killing was involved. Allison was nervously fiddling with a knife from her perch on a low wall leaving me to either go and sit by her or Stiles. Well I wasn’t mad at Stiles so…

“I wouldn’t say completely. We did manage to get Isaac out, even if he did try to kill you. How many is that now?”

“Three. Surprisingly Derek is the only one who hasn’t tried to kill me. I think I need to reevaluate my life choices. I’m pretty sure it’s not normal to hang out with people who have tried to kill you.”

“You’re only friends with two of them.”

“That’s true. At least I’m not completely insane.”

“I never said you weren’t insane.” I clapped my hands together in a brisk, teacher-like manner that my mom had always used on me to get my attention. “I guess Stiles and I will give our story first since the rest of you don’t seem too eager to share. You want to do the honors?”

“Talking is my thing. Our story is pretty simple. Lydia and I showed up at the station and were about to go in when Lydia got a text from Allison saying the hunter was already there. We rushed in just in time to see the hunter opening the cell to kill Isaac, but that went wrong since it’s a full moon and all. Isaac chased us down the hall, I got thrown around some more, and I’m pretty sure Derek showed up and did his ‘I’m the alpha’ thing with Isaac. Then we left. The end. Who’s next?”

The other four people in the room looked at each other, but they all remained reluctant to go until Isaac finally cleared his throat. “Sorry about almost killing you.”

“Like Lydia so nicely pointed out: it wasn’t the first time a werewolf tried to kill me.”

“I guess I’ll go. The Sheriff picked me up and took me into interrogation, but when I wouldn’t give him anything he locked me up in a cell. I was sleeping when I started feeling this weird pulling sensation then that hunter came in saying he was going to kill me before I could kill somebody else. All I remember after that is seeing red until Derek howled at me.”

“I’m assuming Derek’s is pretty cut and dry? Allison sent that text to Scott after you guys got to the house then you headed over to the station to help us.”

“Yes.”

“Good talk, buddy. So which one of you is talking or are you going to do that digesting thing where you finish each other’s sentences?”

“I guess I should go.” Allison looked at Scott for confirmation before continuing. “When I figured out what the plan was, I used an arrow to take out one of the car tires, but I was too late. The hunter was already in place so I sent a text to Scott and Lydia telling them and got a reply from Scott saying Derek was heading to the station. He also told me that I should meet him at Isaac's house since Derek was supposed to be with him. When I got there, Scott was already inside and he was starting to feel the effects of the full moon. We searched around some, but Scott asked me to lock him up after the pull started to get too great. I had just locked him in when something attacked me."

"You didn't see what it was?"

"All I saw was a tail."

"So whatever this new threat is, isn't a werewolf. We're going up against something else."


 

Research is officially going to be the cause of death written on my tombstone if the sharp stabbing sensation I’m currently experiencing continues for much longer. At least I wasn’t the only one going through this eminence suffering considering Stiles is currently banging his head against the wall behind him with his eyes squeezed tightly shut. Derek, who had been pacing back and forth the whole time, kept looking over at Stiles with a barely concealed look of worry on his face. The other three occupants of the room were talking quietly amongst themselves only glancing over every few minutes or so to see how things were going on the research front.

“That’s it!” Stiles slammed the lid of his laptop shut then ran his hands over his hair in frustration letting out an impressive growl as he did so. “I can’t do it anymore. I’m going to go insane.”

“What have you got?”

“Allison, you’re sure the tail was scaly?”

“Yes, I’m sure.” Allison was looking at Stiles with what I referred to as her Disney Princess Eyes-eyes that conveyed how sorry she was even though she did nothing wrong.

“Well then I’ve got dragons, but unless dragons have started murdering people just for shits and giggles that’s a bust. In reality. I have absolutely nothing. Most of the stuff I can find that have scaly tails are water dwellers which is useless. All of it! Useless!”

“What about you, Lydia?”

“Other than dragons, I’ve got the lizard people from Skyrim, but that’s a fictional land so that’s not exactly helpful.” Stiles turned to look at me with wide eyes before shaking his head slightly. “What?”

“You’re my new best friend. It’s official. I’m making it official as of right now.”

“Hey!” Scott looked like a kicked puppy complete with huge, innocent eyes and little whiny noises included.

“I’m sorry, but you refuse to play Skyrim because the cat people freak you out and you don’t like the idea of things coming back to life. It really puts a dent in our friendship. Lydia, gets me.”

“I get you.”

“Scott, please it doesn’t have to be like this. Just accept this for what it is.”

“I don’t even know why I like you.”

“My outstanding wit and charming personality. Now back to the problem at hand. I don’t think we’re going to be able to figure out what this is until we actually get a look at the thing. For all we know, it has wings and a parrot beak.”

An image blossomed in my mind that I couldn’t help but laugh at. “I would pay to see that. Although, I think we can pretty much guarantee that the thing, whatever it may be, has claws. We looked at those crime scene photos and claws are the only think that could have done that.”

“It also has to have super strength too. The car door was practically ripped right off of its hinges.”

“It doesn’t have a scent.” The comment was made so low that I almost missed it, but the words stuck in my head for some reason.

“What was that, Derek?”

“It doesn’t have a scent. I went to the crime scene twice and I was at the house. There wasn’t any sort of scent in either of those places.”

“So you won’t be able to track it.”

“Not by scent.”

“In summary, what we’ve got so far is scaly tail, sharp claws, and no traceable scent. What’s the chance that whatever it is, is just going to go away and leave us alone?”

“Always the eternal optimist.”

“You two can flirt later. I want to go home and sleep.” Stiles simply gaped at me as I took the keys out of his pocket and started walking towards the exit.

“Lydia! What have I told you!”

“Right. You’ve got Matt vying for your affections now.”

“Matt is not interested in me! I already told you that and on top of that, he’s super creepy.”

“Whatever you say. Just drive me home.”


 

In my short experience, I have found that some of the best things in life aren’t appreciated until they’re gone, which makes getting them back one of the most amazing things ever. Sleeping in, for example, is one of the most glorious things in the entire universe and I have sorely missed it. Getting up early every morning and staying up late researching every night can be really difficult on a girl, especially under the eyes and bags are unacceptable. Needless to say, I more than fully intended to sleep in as long as possible on Saturday. I went so far as to shut every blind in my room so there would be absolutely no chance that the sun would wake me up before I’m ready to be up.

Everything was going according to plan, until an annoying ringing noise broke through my perfect sleeping bubble. It didn’t take long for the ringing to finally stop and I was just about to slip peacefully back to sleep when the horrid noise started up again forcing me to accept that I could sleep no more. With a frustrated growl I forced my eyes open and looked around my completely dark room for the source of the sound. It didn’t take me long to find the offending object shining brightly from the pocket of the jacket I had worn last night then dumped on a chair when I got home.

“This better be good. I was planning on sleeping all day if at all possible.”

“My dad kidnapped me.”

I pulled the phone away from my ear to make sure I wasn’t imagining things, but Allison’s name and picture were in fact displayed on the screen. “Your dad kidnapped you?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“He found out that I took out one of the tires during their operation and now he’s planning on officially starting my hunter training. He gave me this whole speech about the women being the ones in charge in our family so it’s important I learn my role.”

“That could be potentially problematic. So what else did he do? He wouldn’t have kidnapped you if he was just going to give you a talk.”

“My training officially started after he was done explaining everything to me. I was tied to a chair and told that the other hunter there helping my dad was going to be timing me then my dad just left me there.”

“How long did it take?”

“Two and a half hours. According to the guy that was timing me, that was pretty impressive since it took him three hours his first time."

“It sounds like you had a fun morning then.”

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. If I start training as a hunter, I'll be expected to do what my grandfather tells me to do and that might include hurting my friends."

Sighing I leaned back against my headboard taking Allison’s problem into careful consideration as I did so. “Look I know that you and Scott are still flitting around each other and that’s not going to stop any time soon. That being said, you can’t go against your family traditions without being seen as suspicious which would undoubtedly draw unwanted attention to the rest of us. You’re just going to have to grin and bear it. It probably won’t be enjoyable, but I don’t think you’ll be able to find a way out of it.”

“You’re right.”

“Of course I am.”

“There is one good thing that could come out of this.”

“And what is that?”

“If I’m being taught how to be a hunter, that means I’m going to be learning all of their favorite tricks and they might let me in on their plans.”

“Devious. I knew there was a reason I wanted to be friends with you.”

“Lydia, I… I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you about everything. You’re the best friend I’ve ever had and lying to you, especially after what happened, was a really terrible thing for me to do.”

“Apology accepted. Now go becoming the next Katniss.”

Chapter Text

“This is Stiles. Either I can’t come to the phone right now or I’m ignoring you. Leave your name and a message and I might get back to you.”

I pressed the end call button on my phone for the fifth time trying not to let the fact that Stiles wasn’t answering my calls get to me. It used to be that Stiles always picked up when I called, even when he was doing something important or somewhere that the use of phones wasn’t allowed. Now it seemed like Stiles was too busy spending time with Lydia and Derek to pick up the phone whenever I called him or maybe I’m just making too big a deal out of it. He could be sleeping. Stiles has been known to sleep like a rock if he goes to sleep completely worn out and last night he seemed about ready to fall over.

Suddenly I remembered that Stiles had been thrown into a wall by a werewolf last night and had hit his head hard enough that it left a huge bump. My mom had taught me enough about head injuries that I knew a hit like that was likely to cause a concussion. If Stiles went straight to sleep and didn’t set any alarms to wake himself up, then he could be in real danger of falling into a coma. At least I think that’s why you’re supposed to wake them up every two hours. Pretty sure that’s right.

I stood in the middle of my room biting my lip for several minutes before deciding to just head over to Stiles’s house to make sure he’s not in any danger. It not like the Stilinski’s aren’t used to having me show up uninvited, sometimes when they’re not even home to let me in. Plus Stiles has a key to my house so it’s only fair that I get to go over there whenever I feel like or when I want to check on my best friend. Why am I even acting like this is a big deal? Friends go to see friends. All this werewolf stuff has really changed things.

Just as I was about to walk out the front door, I Can Talk started blaring from where my phone was in my pocket which meant only one thing. “Stiles!”

“Scott, are you dying?”

“No. Why would you ask that?”

“You called me seven times and sent me seventeen text messages while I was in the shower.”

“You were in the shower?”

“Yes. I’m a little bruised up from yesterday so I thought taking a hot shower would help. I didn’t realize you would miss me so much.”

“I was just worried. You could have had a concussion and you’re supposed to wake people with concussions up every two hours so I just wanted to check to make sure you’re still okay.”

“That’s so sweet of you! No need to worry though. I’m kind of an expert at the concussion thing so I turned on my alarm before I went to sleep last night. Was there anything else you wanted besides reassurance that I’m still alive and kicking?”

“Well if you’re not doing anything, we could always spend the day lazing away, playing video games, and eating junk food.”

“I like the way you think. Get here as soon as werewolfly possible! I’ll be timing you.”

“I’m not even dressed yet!”

“Better get moving. The clock starts now.”


 

“I’ve been thinking.”

“This can’t be good.” Lydia was currently using Stiles as a human crutch, her sunglasses still over her eyes even though we were inside. “Your plans tend to end with you getting hurt.”

“I have great ideas and my tendency to injury myself has no correlation with my plans. I’m simply prone to dangerous situations and self-inflicting injuries due to my natural clumsiness.”

“I’d like to see the data that lead to this conclusion you seem to have drawn.”

“I can’t tell if you two are flirting or being serious.” Allison tried to hide her laugh at my comment behind her hand, but failed miserably. “I shouldn’t have said that. You two are going to plot my death now aren’t you?”

“Scotty, my boy, if I wanted to kill you I would have done it already and Lydia has better things to do with her time than murder you. Plus murder is bad for the cuticles and if there’s one thing Lydia Martin can’t have, its poor cuticle care.”

“You two are lucky I’m hung over or I’d be killing you with my patented death glare.”

“When did you get that look patented? I didn’t even know you could patent a look. That must have cost you a fortune.”

“Stop being so sarcastic. It makes the headache worse.”

“Have you tried hanging upside down?”

“Why would hanging upside down work?”

“I don’t know. Just thought I’d make a suggestion.”

I could tell that Stiles’s mind was starting to wander, despite the fact he’d only been up for a couple of hours. “Did you forget to take your Adderall?”

“My prescription ran out and I haven’t had time to go pick more up. I’m lucky Lydia was in the car with me this morning or I might have gotten a little too distracted and driven into a tree or something.”

“Why don’t you just have Derek pick it up?” Lydia had a devilish grin on her face and seemed to be more than a little bit pleased that Stiles was bright red at the moment.

“Would you cut that out! There is no way that I’m asking Derek to go to the drug store to pick up my medication. We’re friends not a married couple.”

“You know there’s an adage about that, but I can’t remember it right now.”

“Maybe if you didn’t drink so much, you could remember.”

“Don’t take a jab at my drinking habits. Sometimes a girl needs a little something more than a glass of wine to relax.”

“Call it what you want, it’s still bad for you.”

Before Lydia or Stiles could say anything else, I decided to cut in and save everyone from their argument. “Weren’t you going to tell us something?”

“Right. Things have been hectic recently and I have a feeling it’s not going to get any better any time soon so I think we should go out and do something fun. Something normal teenagers would do. Nothing involving the supernatural or lacrosse or any other school functions. Just a normal teen outing.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. Ice skating?”

“You can barely walk straight on a flat surface. How are you going to ice skate?”

“No idea, but I’ve never done it before and it could be fun.”

“Well if Allison and Lydia want to do it, then I guess I’m in.”

Lydia and Allison turned to look at each other, but didn’t say a single word. The two seemed to be having a completely silent conversation with their eyes and the occasional noncommittal shrug. There exchange was like a foreign language to me, but when I turned to look at Stiles he looked as if he was following right along with what they were saying-or not saying I guess. After a few more eyebrow lifts and a strange noise from Lydia that apparently meant the two girls had finally made up their minds, Lydia spoke up.

“Allison and I are in. We can do it tomorrow night. You two are in charge of arranging everything.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You’re driving.”

“I’m always the one driving. Why would I expect that to change anytime soon?”

“Wouldn’t want you to forget it. Now take me to class.”

“I’m a person not a pack mule.”

“Keep telling yourself that.”

“Fine. I’ll see you in gym, Scott, Allison. It’s climbing day!”

I let out a loud groan as soon as Stiles said ‘climbing’ knowing that would surely mean torture in the form of Finstock yelling. “Can’t wait.”


 

Stiles was just finishing tugging down his shirt when I finally made it to the locker room after getting held up by my math teacher. Apparently my sudden improvement in her class has piqued her interest to the point that she wanted to know what I’ve done to better understand the subject matter (her words not mine). It took nearly five minutes to convince her that the only thing I’ve been doing differently is actually studying rather than glancing at the notes I took five minutes before the test. Despite the annoyance of having to explain this simple fact, it was nice to know that my grades were actually improving.

“What took you so long? I know you weren’t making out with Allison in a closet somewhere because she came in with me.”

“Mrs. Howard wanted to know what I was doing differently. She kept questioning me about what new resources I was using.”

“The wonders of studying. I always find it endearing when teachers think everyone studies, even if they aren’t doing well in the class.”

“Hopefully she actually believed me.”

“I bet she calls your mom to ask her if she’s placed you in any outside learning centers.”

“Probably. I think the worst part is, I can’t even be mad at her because she’s such a sweet, old lady.”

Stiles shook his head fondly. “You’re like old women catnip. It’s the eyes and the head tilt.”

“I can’t help that my eyes look this way. It’s not like I do it on purpose.”

“I know, buddy.” Stiles slung an arm around me as he started heading towards the locker room door. “Sometimes we can’t help the things we do and that’s okay. You’re just going to have to accept that old ladies will flock to you. You can’t keep them away. Just smile through it.”

“At least I’m not a little kid magnet.”

“I’d take little kids over old women any day of the week. Little kids don’t pinch your cheek or tell you how much you’ve grown or make judgmental faces when you tell them something they don’t approve of.”

“But they take your candy.”

“It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”

“Alright, settle down! I said settle down! Greenburg would you cut it out!” Finstock was striding back and forth in front of the line of students like a drill sergeant. “Today we will be doing the rope climb. I’ll be putting you into pairs; boy-girl pairs to be exact. Everyone is expected to participate, unless I’ve been notified otherwise and since that does not apply to any of you, all of you will be taking a turn. Now are there any of you who would like to volunteer to go first or should I just start picking. No? Well then let’s go with… McCall and Argent! You two are up first.”

I turned to look at Stiles who was giving me an encouraging smile and sent a thumbs up to me as I started making my way over to where the two ropes hung from the ceiling. Allison was already standing in front of one of the ropes with a soft smile on her beautiful face. Her hair was perfectly braided away from her face and her workout clothes fit her flawlessly. How was I supposed to focus on climbing a rope when she would be beside me looking like that?

“Long time, no see.”

“It’s only been an hour.”

“An hour can be a very long time depending on your point of view.”

“How many times has Stiles used that line on you?”

“Too many times to count.”

“Not surprising.” Allison flipped her braid over her shoulder with a contemplative look on her face. “I have an idea.”

“Now who’s the one sounding like Stiles?”

“Funny. We’re going to turn this into a little competition. Whoever gets to the top first wins.”

“I don’t know. That doesn’t seem very fair.”

“You don’t think your werewolf powers will be enough?”

Before I could make a retort Finstock broke in with his loud voice. “Are you two going to climb the rope or keep flirting? I don’t have all day.”

“I don’t know, coach. I don’t buy you having a social life.”

“Shut it, Bilinski! You’re up next.”

“Always a pleasure.”

“Go on you two!”

Allison turned to give me a smug, challenging smile before she started climbing up the rope without any trouble at all. Without thinking I quickly grabbed hold of the rope in front of me and started hauling myself up as fast as I possibly could. There was no doubt in my mind that Allison looked far more graceful than I did climbing up the rope, but as long as I made it up to the top before her that didn’t matter. Three-quarters of the way up I finally managed to catch up with Allison who merely turned to look at me for a second before continuing on.

“You know I don’t think cheating counts.”

“I didn’t cheat. He said go and I went. That’s perfectly legal. I’m sure Lydia and Stiles would both agree with me.”

“Stiles would not agree with you. He’d side with me!”

Allison gave me a pitying look, but didn’t stop her progress up the rope. “If that’s what helps you to sleep at night.”

“Well I guess you couldn’t help that you needed a head start in order to beat me.”

“Excuse me?”

“The only reason you would need to start early was if you didn’t think you could make it up to the top before I did without the extra help. It’s not your fault that I’ve got these werewolf powers and you don’t.”

“Is that what you think?”

“I don’t know what other reason you would have to do that.”

“That’s enlightening.” Allison stopped to look at me for a second before reaching out a hand and giving me a hard shove. I was so shocked that I lost my grip on the rope and went flailing down to the mat, which I hit with a hard thud. My vision blurred for a second and a ringing sounded in my ears before both cleared up letting me see that Allison had reached the top and hear the rest of the class laughing at me. Allison gracefully half-slid, half-climbed down the rope before coming to stand over me. “Need a little help up or can you handle that yourself?”

“I’ve got it and just so you know that was definitely cheating.”

“We’ll just have to have a rematch sometime. We can have official rules set beforehand and have a few judges.”

“Deal.”

“Good job, Argent. I expected better of you, McCall. Next up is Bilinski and Reyes! Hurry up you two. There are still a ton of you that have to go.”

“I think your definition of ‘a ton’ is a little off.”

“Don’t start with me.”

“Sir, yes, sir!” Stiles gave an over exaggerated salute before grabbing a hold of the rope and starting to make his way up.

Unlike Allison and I, Stiles and Erica Reyes didn’t seem overly concerned with who made it to the top first. In fact, Stiles kept looking over at Erica and was talking to her in a calm, comforting voice that I’d only ever heard him use when I was injured or sick. They were halfway up the rope when both of them stopped. Neither of them moving an inch, even though Finstock was yelling at them to get a move on. From here I could easily see that Erica was beginning to shake violently making the rope she was clinging to swing back and forth slightly.

“Erica, look at me. It’s going to be fine. Everything will be fine. Just take a deep breath and close your eyes. I’m going to get you down. Do you trust me?” Erica opened her mouth to reply, but simply snapped it shut when nothing came out and nodded instead. “Alright, close your eyes.”

“What are you two doing up there! You’re supposed to be climbing, not stopping to have a chat.”

Allison broke away from the line to stand next to Finstock. “She has epilepsy. She needs to get down from there before she has a seizure.”

“Why does nobody tell me these things? Stilinski, get her down from there!”

Stiles let go of his rope with one hand so he could place it around Erica’s waist and used his grip on her to drag her closer to him. “Erica, put your arms around my neck.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Trust me.” Erica slowly placed one arm around Stiles’s neck then quickly wrapped the other managing to wrap both of her legs around his waist at the same time. “Here comes the fun part. Just close your eyes and you’ll be on the ground before you know it.”

Stiles let go of the rope so he fell straight back on to the mat with Erica clinging tightly to him, her face pressed firmly against his neck. The two laid perfectly still for several seconds before Allison ran over to help Erica up, checking to see if the other girl was alright as she did so. Allison steered Erica towards the locker room talking to her in a hushed voice about needing to get her to the nurse to be checked over. As soon as the two were out of sight, I moved onto the mat to help pull Stiles up.

“What happened up there?”

“She started freaking out about the height. She thought it wouldn’t be a problem.”

“She’ll be fine though.”

“Yes, she will.”

Before Stiles could say anything else, Finstock broke through the loud talking that had started up. “Well there’s no point trying to get more of you to go up there. Go change and get to your next class on time. Don’t let me catch any of you making out in a closet somewhere.”

“There go our plans, Scott. I guess we’ll just have to find something else to do.”

“I love you like a brother. There is no way I would ever make out with you.”

“Your loss.”

We fell into silence as we quickly changed out of our gym clothes and back into our normal clothes. “There’s something I wanted to talk to you about.”

“What’s that?”

“I’m really worried about Allison’s grandfather. I mean this is the man who raised Kate and she was insane.”

“Don’t forget that he probably taught her everything that she knew about hunting, which means he probably knows even more than she did. Plus there’s the fact he has a league of hunters at his disposal and he doesn’t go by the code. I mean he cut an omega in half just because he caught them.”

“Very reassuring, Stiles.”

“I’m just stating facts. Look, I know you don’t like that Isaac was changed, but I think we need to look at Erica as a new possibility.”

“Why? Why turn her into a werewolf?”

“Scott, she wants to be a normal teen, but can’t because she has epilepsy so she can’t always do what everyone else can. This could be her chance to have that. Yes, there are some draw backs just like with any medication she would take, but it’s ultimately her choice to make. We just have to give her the chance to make it.”

“I don’t think the solution to our problem is to have more werewolves running around for the Argents to hunt down.”

“It’s not just the Argents we have to worry about. Don’t forget that.”

Chapter Text

“Derek! Derek Hale! Derek! Isaac!” Stiles’s voice bounced off the walls causing an echo to ring out after every word he said. “Isaac, have you seen Derek? Scott and I have something we need to talk to him about and Lydia and Allison are coming over later.”

“The last I saw him, he was going out for a run to get rid of some of his pent up energy or something like that. I didn’t really bother to ask.”

“Well I guess I’ll just wait for him to get back.”

“As long as you don’t touch anything, I’m sure he won’t mind.” Isaac paused. “How was school today? Anything interesting happen?”

“That’s actually what we wanted to talk to Derek about when he gets done with lurking around in the shadows.”

My options were either to go in and deal with Stiles now or slip away and deal with Stiles later. “What do you want?”

“What have I told you about doing that? Make noise. We don’t all have supersonic bat hearing.”

“Just get to the point.”

“Scott, do you want to take this one or do you want me to?” Scott sent Stiles a look that clearly said ‘I’m just going along with this because of you.’ “Well then I guess it’s up to me. We’ve found someone else that might make a good addition to the pack, if you’re still looking.”

“I’m listening.”

“Erica Reyes. She’s in our gym class. She’s got epilepsy so things have been difficult for her. I was doing some research at lunch and it looks like she’s currently a loner, despite her efforts to fit in. I really think the bite could benefit her. Give her some of the confidence and hope she needs to be the person she wants to be.”

“Don’t they have medications for that?”

“Sure, but normally the side effects are so bad that actually taking the medication can make things worse. The side effects range from acne to episodes of paralysis in certain conditions.”

“And Scott thinks this is a good idea?”

Stiles turned to look at Scott with an expectant expression on his face, which Scott sighs at before finally speaking. “I don’t like the idea of you getting more power by adding another beta or the thought that we would have another new werewolf running around when we know the Argents are trying to hunt us down, but… Stiles has pointed out that Erica could really benefit from taking the bite and there’s still something out there that we haven’t even seen, but has killed a person. So I guess it’s a good idea.”

“You two are sure she would want this?”

“She just wants to be a normal teen. Sure this won’t make her normal, but it’s the closest she’s ever going to get.”


 

Of all the places I’ve been, hospitals have always been my least favorite for several reasons. The fake clean smell always makes my nose burn and despite their obsessive cleaning the stench of death is always there. On top of that, almost every hospital uses florescent lights that never fail to give me a headache. Plus there’s the cloud of pain and misery that immediately hits you as soon as you walk in the front doors and wraps around you like a blanket refusing to leave until hours after you leave. Basically the last place I want to be is at a hospital, but there was no way around it.

After Allison and Lydia had shown up, it was decided that Erica should be offered the bite as soon as possible considering what happened to Isaac at the full moon. As Lydia had pointed out, the more time to learn control the better. So here I am driving Scott and Stiles to the hospital because Scott still doesn’t trust me and Stiles seems to think I’ll give the poor girl a heart attack if I be my ‘usual self.’ Every time I looked in the rear view mirror Scott was glaring at me, while Stiles sat in the front seat tapping away aimlessly on the door.

“So do you have a plan on how you’re going to do this or are you just going to seduce her to get what you want?”

“I did that once.”

“Yes, I remember it well. That’s when I learned you’re actually capable of smiling.”

“Of course I can smile.”

“Well excuse me for thinking you couldn’t considering I had never seen you smile before and I’m a professional at getting people to smile.”

“How is that a profession?”

“I’m clearly exaggerating for effect. It’s called a hyperbole.”

“I know what it’s called.” I pulled the car into a parking space turning off the engine with a sigh. “Get out of my car now. We’ve got business to attend to.”

“You make it sound so erotic.”

“Get out or I’m going to rip your throat out with my teeth.”

“No need to get violent. I’ve got plans tomorrow night.” Stiles let Scott out of the back seat then led the way through a side entrance into the hospital. “Scott, do you have any idea where Erica would be?”

“Not really, but I could probably find her if you can stay quiet long enough.”

“It might be difficult, but I think I can probably manage to be silent for the time it takes you to sniff her out like the good little police dog you are.”

“Just because your dad is the sheriff, doesn’t make me your police dog.”

“A boy can dream can’t he?”


 

“I can’t believe we’re lost.”

“We’re not lost I just got confused.”

Stiles looked at me then at Scott before rolling his eyes so hard that he nearly tripped over his own feet and into a wall. “Well do you know where you’re going now because I don’t want to be here all night?”

“She’s just around the corner and it doesn’t sound like anyone is in the room with her. That will make things easier than we were anticipating.”

“Things are looking up! Go team.”

“We need to hurry or her nurse is going to come check on her while we’re in the middle of doing it.”

“You better be right about this room or things are about to get extremely awkward.” Stiles pushed open the door and entered making sure Scott and I were both in before closing the door. “Hey, Erica. How are you feeling?”

“Stiles? What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to check in on you to make sure you were feeling better.”

“This isn’t the first time this has happened to me so I’m used to it by now. Who is it that you’ve brought with you?”

“Scott and Derek.”

“Derek as in Derek Hale?” Erica had lowered her voice to a whisper not knowing that Scott and I could still hear her. “How do you know him?”

“We ran into each other out in the woods and then I got him arrested a few times. Then one thing lead to another and we became friends. Now that I say that out loud, it sounds absurd.”

“You two are really only friends?”

“Yes, why?”

“I heard Lydia talking to Allison-”

“Don’t listen to anything Lydia says. She’s a liar and she can’t be trusted.”

“If you say so…”

“There’s actually another reason I came here.”

“That’s what I was expecting. What else are you here for?”

“I’ve got an offer.”

“Will I be able to refuse?”

Stiles let out a chuckle as he slipped into the seat at Erica’s bedside. “You’ll have the option to refuse if you want, but I have a feeling you’re going to want to say yes.”

“Now I’m interested. What is this offer?”

“First, I need to tell you some precursory information such as werewolves actually existing and how my boy Scott and Derek are both werewolves.”

“Werewolves?”

“Yes. Which one of you wants to do the party trick?” Scott gave me a hard look then went straight back to glaring at the wall silently leaving it up to me to show Erica what we looked like when we shifted.

“That’s impressive. What does this have to do with me though?”

“Well for starters you can either be born a werewolf or you can be turned into one by an alpha. I should also mention that werewolves are like Superman, but with claws and fangs and no flying abilities or heat vision. Plus more anger management problems, but we’re working on that.”

“Are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”

“That you should become a werewolf? Yes.”

“Was a werewolf responsible for all those deaths that happened last semester?”

“Yes, but you should know that the werewolf responsible for those deaths was psychotic because hunters burned his family alive and he was burned so bad he was stuck in a wheelchair for a while. He was looking for revenge.”

“You said was, so he’s dead then?”

“We took care of that particular problem. Of course there are downsides to becoming a werewolf like the hunters I mentioned earlier and occasionally having the urge to kill people.”

“What about Isaac’s dad? Did werewolves kill him?”

“No. We actually don’t know what killed him. We’re still trying to figure that out.”

“Who is the alpha exactly? You did say alpha right?”

“Yes, it’s alpha. That would be Derek.”

“And the bite would get rid of my epilepsy?”

“I don’t know if it will completely go away, but your health will be vastly improved.”

Erica seemed to be mulling over the information Stiles had given her for several minutes. “So the only thing I would have to worry about are hunters wanting to kill me and not being able to control myself?”

“Pretty much. Oh, and the bite either takes or you die.”

Erica bit her lip thoughtfully. “Well, then I guess my answer is yes. How do we go about doing this? Does he just bite me or what?”

“Derek will bite you, there will be lots of pain, and then you’ll be a big, strong badass werewolf that will probably develop an attitude problem.”

“Are we doing this here then?”

“We should probably go somewhere more private and without nurses that come to check in on you every hour on the hour.”


 

Erica was thrashing around on my makeshift bed in the train depot as the werewolf bite worked its way through her system. Isaac, Scott, and I were all watching her carefully for any signs of weakness, while Allison, Lydia, and Stiles were bent over some books that Allison had managed to sneak away from her house. I could feel the restless energy swirling around the room as we all tried to wait patiently for Erica to wake up. Erica was just starting to come back around when Stiles jumped up from where he had been sitting and began pacing with a book clutched tightly in his hands.

“What happened? Where am I?” Erica’s voice sounded groggy. “Why do I feel so tingly?”

“That’s an after effect of the bite. Do you feel anything else?”

“Stronger. I feel stronger like I could bench press Stiles.”

Stiles stopped pacing and pulled the book he was reading away from his face so he could give Erica his full attention. “Are you trying to emasculate me on purpose or was I just the first person you thought of? The first one would offend me while the second one would make me feel special.”

“How can I emasculate you after what you did for me today? Very Batman of you.”

“Well it’s Batman’s job to save Catwoman when she’s in trouble.”

“I would look good in spandex and leather.”

“You’ve even got the claws now to complete the ensemble.”

“What are those thumping noises?”

Stiles turned to look at me and gestured for me to start talking when I just stared at him. “Heartbeats.”

“I can hear people’s heartbeats? That’s super cool. What else can I do now?”

“You have an increased sense of smell.”

“So I’ve got a super sniffer now?”

“Excellent reference! Anything else feeling different?”

“I feel like I could run for miles and I definitely think I could climb that stupid rope in gym class.”

“That’s good to hear. The bite definitely worked then.”

“There was a time it didn’t work?”

“Lydia was bitten by Peter, but she didn’t turn and Jackson was the first person that Derek bit-”

“Gross. Why would he do that?”

“That’s what I said! Anyways, Jackson’s been all pissy because apparently it didn’t work for him either and now he’s throwing one of his temper tantrums.”

“Are you looking to add more people to this… pack?”

“Why do you ask?” Stiles crossed his arm and tilted his head sideways.

“Well I can think of one more person who could benefit from the bite.”

“And who would that be?”

“Boyd.”

“I happen to have meeting with him tomorrow during lunch. Maybe I can suggest that he have a meeting with you. Could you handle that on your own?”

I glared at Stiles’s as soon as he got the question out of his mouth. “Yes.”

“You know glaring at me like that isn’t instilling me with any level of confidence in you and don’t threaten to rip my throat out with your teeth. That one is just getting old. You need to work on your threatening skills.”

“I’ll try to work on that.”

“You’re actually taking my advice? I’m shocked.”

“Isaac and Erica.”

“Point taken. Now I’m going home because I have homework to do and my dad is actually supposed to get home at some point tonight.”

Scott followed Stiles out of the depot, while Lydia and Allison came to stand next to where Erica was still resting in my bed. “Now that you’re a part of our little supernatural fight club, you’re going to need a serious wardrobe change if you’re going to be hanging out with me. I’ve given up on Stiles, but you I could definitely work with.”

“You want to play dress-up with me as the Barbie?”

“If you want to put it that way, yes that’s exactly what I want to do.”

“How exactly do you plan on doing this?”

“You’re coming with Allison and I right now so get up and let’s get going. We don’t have long before all the good stores close for the night.”

“You’re okay with this, right?” Erica looked at me with wide pleading eyes.

“It’s fine.”

“Awesome. Let’s get going then!”


 

Stiles

Just talked to Boyd and he’s agreed to meet you and Erica tonight.

Derek

Where?

Stiles

You’re secret lair obviously.

Derek

It’s not a secret lair.

Stiles

I’m pretty sure it is. It’s got all the qualification.

Abandoned

Dark

Off the grid

Derek

Cut it out.

Stiles

Just make sure you’re ready for him and don’t scare him too much. If he starts to get uncomfortable, let Erica take over the talking. I’m pretty sure he’s got a major crush on her.

Derek

 

Stiles

I always love these conversations we have. There’s just so much back and forth.

Derek

Do your school work, Stiles.

Stiles

Actually I’m at lunch so there’s no work to do although Lydia keeps giving me the side eye. I think she’s planning to steal my phone again.

Derek

Have you two gotten anymore ideas about what she could be?

Stiles

No, we’ve been so busy trying to figure out what this new thing in town is that we haven’t had the chance to keep looking into it.

Derek

Just let me know if you find anything.

Stiles

Will do. Now I really do have to go do school work. Actually it’s more likely Harris will spend all of class yelling at me then give me detention, but I digress.


 

Isaac was starting to drive me absolutely insane, not that I could blame him considering he had to spend all day inside so the police didn’t arrest him again. Despite the fact Stiles and Lydia had managed to get a copy of all the work Isaac had missed, he still seemed to run out of things to do well before lunchtime every day. Occasionally Isaac would work out or practice lacrosse with the equipment Scott had brought him as a form of entertainment, but that never lasted long. This would ultimately lead to Isaac complaining about being bored or hungry or just generally complaining about how unfair it was that he was stuck inside while everyone else got to go out and have fun.

When Erica finally showed up after school was let out, I couldn’t suppress the sigh of relief that passed through my lips. Isaac quickly swarmed Erica and started asking questions about what had happened at school that day, going so far as to demand she tell him every detail. The two spent the next two hours talking about everything from school to comic books to what sounded like the various crushes they had had over the years (I’m pretty sure Stiles’s name came up at one point). The sound of an approaching heartbeat made Isaac and Erica fall silent and turn to look at me for direction. I stood up and leaned against one of the pillars off to the side and waited for Boyd to finally come into the depot.

Erica jumped up when Boyd cautiously walked into the middle of the room looking around with curiosity as he did so. “Is anyone going to tell me why Stiles told me to meet you all here? Wait, isn’t Isaac wanted for murder right now?”

“Erica thought it would be a good idea to bring you into the group.”

“What group is this exactly?”

I looked at Erica to see if she wanted to be the one to tell Boyd since it was her idea and the smirk I received was an obvious answer. “You could say it’s more of a pack really. It’s got its disadvantages, but I’m sure you’ll find that they’re worth it.”

“A pack? Like wolves?”

“More like werewolves actually. What do you say Boyd? You want to join the supernatural club? We’ve got leather jackets.”

Chapter Text

Here are a list of things that are currently pissing me off:

  1.        Stilinski
  2.        Werewolves
  3.        Stilinski
  4.        Twelfth Night
  5.        Stilinski
  6.        Derek Hale
  7.        Stilinski

Normally I wouldn’t think twice about the stupid twerp, but ever since I broke up with Lydia she’s been hanging all over the obnoxious little twig like he’s a high end retail store and she’s got her daddy’s credit card. At first I thought Lydia was just using him to make me jealous, especially at the dance when she actually danced with him, but the two of them have gotten closer and closer ever since she got out of the hospital. Right now the two of them are cozied up at their lunch table laughing at something McCall said looking for all intents and purposes like the perfect couple. Stilinski has his arm thrown casually across Lydia’s shoulders so she can curl up against him while she plays around on his phone. His phone. Why in the world would he even let her do that? That’s just asking for trouble.

Of course I have more important things to worry about than who my ex-girlfriend choses to downgrade to, like the fact Derek’s stupid bite didn’t work. The footage I had taken with Matt’s camera had proven to be absolutely useless. I was really hoping that whatever aftereffect the bite had had on me was manifesting itself subconsciously so it was a matter of simply not remembering that I was transforming, but nothing. A full moon and absolutely nothing happens in the eight hours of video footage I had managed to get on Matt’s camera. What a waste! Maybe it was about time I went to visit Derek at that decrepit house of his.

The only reason I hadn’t gone to see Derek yet was because I didn’t plan on letting Derek use his alpha powers to control me like he probably wanted to. Now though, I couldn’t see any other option since Stilinski either hadn’t delivered my message or Derek had blatantly ignored it. Derek had promised to give me exactly what McCall has and I intended to make him follow through on that promise one way or another. The one problem with that is that the bastard lives out in the middle of the woods and my Porsche isn’t exactly meant to be driven on all those bumpy back roads.

“Would you stop staring at those two?”

“What?” I turned to look at Danny who must have slipped into the seat next to me at some point.

“It’s noticeable that you’re sending death glares toward Stiles and Lydia. I’m surprised they haven’t burst into flames yet with the intensity of the glare you’re sending their way.”

“Why would I feel the need to glare at the two of them? If Lydia wants to downgrade to that annoying kid, far be it from me to stop her.”

“If you really want to convince people of that, you should stop looking at Lydia every chance you get.”

“I do not watch Lydia.”

“I’m your best friend. You can’t hide anything from me.”

“I’m not hiding anything from you.”

Danny heaved a huge sigh. “Fine, but just know that when you’re ready to talk I’ll be ready to listen. Well if you’re not going to talk about your problems, I guess I’ll take the opportunity to talk about mine. There’s this new guy that’s been going to The Jungle recently and I’ve been thinking about asking him out. Thoughts?”

“I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve never met the guy.”

“That’s excellent advice.”

“I don’t know what else you want me to say. Ask him out.”

“I think I will.”

“Just be careful.”

“I always am.”


 

“Jackson.”

Great just what I needed today, that freak Matt coming to talk to me. “What do you want?”

“I want my camera back. You said you needed it for a few days and now I want it back.”

“You’ll get it back when I’m done with it.”

“No, that wasn’t the deal.”

“You should go sit down. Class is about to start.”

“I’m not giving up on this, Jackson. I want my camera back.”

Matt stormed away nearly knocking over a girl’s purse in the process which earned him a scathing glare in retaliation. The teacher bringing the class to order gave me the perfect reason to turn my attention away from Matt, who was still staring at me, and to whatever it was that we were doing today. After several minutes of droning on and on about the major points of something, the teacher put on a video and moved to the back of the room to make sure everyone was paying attention and not messing around on their phones. The quality of the video was subpar at best leading to my mind drifting away from the video and back to my problems.

It was sitting in that disgusting classroom that I realized something I should have caught on to much sooner. Lydia was found out in the middle of the field at the Winter Formal looking like she had been mauled and bitten by a mountain lion, which meant she was bitten by a werewolf. More specifically Lydia was bitten by Peter when he was still an Alpha werewolf meaning she should have been turned. Funny thing is I’m pretty sure Lydia is as human as she’s ever been, despite the fact she should be feeling the effects of the full moon like every other werewolf out there. I know for a fact that if she had claws right now she would have used them by now to ruin the perfect paintjob I have on my car as revenge for dumping her.

By the time the bell rang, I had worked myself into such a state that I was moments away from throwing a punch at the closest wall. Quickly I grabbed my bag and practically ran out the door making a beeline for the classroom I knew Lydia would be leaving without any of her little gang surrounding her. As soon as her head came into view, I could feel a growl working its way out of my throat in a fit of anger. Before she could get very far, I grabbed a hold of the arm closest to me and hauled her to the first remotely private area I could find.

“What did you do?”

“Let go of me.”

“What did you do!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about now let me go.”

“You must have done something. I went to Derek and he said it would work, but it didn’t and I know Peter bit you. Now, what did you do to me to make it so I can’t be what I want?”

“I didn’t do anything.” Lydia’s words were spat out venomously. “It sounds like you’re having performance issues. Maybe you should go see a doctor about that. This problem that you’re having is clearly personal. Now let me go.”

“You’re starting to sound more like Stilinski every day.”

“Wow. You’re jealous of Stiles. That’s absolutely rich. In case you’ve forgotten, you broke up with me so stop trying to butt into my love life.”

“I’m not jealous of Stilinski.”

“Really because it sounds like you are.”

“I didn’t come over here to talk about Stilinski. Tell me what I want to know.”

“Leave me alone!”

A hand gripped onto my shoulder forcing me away from where I had Lydia pressed into a corner and caused me to stumble. “I suggest you leave her alone.”

“Why am I not surprised? Her knight in tin foil comes to save the day.”

“Cut it out, Whittemore!”

“Are you going to make me?”

“That’s not childish at all.  Come on, Lyds. We should get to class.” Stiles slipped an arm around Lydia’s waist as he started to lead her down the hallway.

“Thank you.”

“It’s not a problem.”


 

“Son of a bitch.” The sound of the bottom of my car scraping against the dirty forest road leading to the Hale house was fuelling my rage further. “Why does this idiot still live in this ruined house? What kind of a moron stays where his family was killed? He can’t do anything right.”

It took twenty minutes and a ton of scraping sounds that I knew was going to mean taking my car in for repairs to finally get to the Hale house. Before getting out I looked around to see if Hale was lurking around in the shadows around the property waiting to take me by surprise. Derek’s Camaro was nowhere to be seen, but that didn’t mean Derek wasn’t hiding somewhere inside that ugly house of his. I slowly got out of my car, but when no dark figure appeared I took that as a sign to make my way up to the house. Although, I did slam my car door for good measure.

The closer I got to the house the more the hair on my arms began to prickle with anticipation and something else, but I couldn’t bother to stop and think about what it was. The door that lead to the house was barely hanging on by its hinges so I didn’t even worry about knocking and instead burst straight inside. I was about to start the rant I had been thinking up ever since Stilinski had swooped in to save Lydia from giving me the answers I wanted, but something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. At first I just thought it was the glint of the sun off a broken piece of window, but when I turned to look it was actually the gleam of a firearm.

Four men were standing over a table looking at something that I couldn’t see, all of them armed with wicked looking guns. They seemed to be fighting amongst themselves about some sort of plan that involved using a distraction, but none of them could agree on what that distraction should be. One of the men looked vaguely familiar to me, but I couldn’t figure out why until one of the other men brought up using Allison as a decoy and the man shut the idea down instantly. What was Allison’s dad doing with these guys?

“We know some of them are going to school with your daughter. She would be the perfect bait.”

“My daughter has just started her training as a hunter. There is no way we are using her as any sort of bait.”

“She’s the perfect candidate.”

“We’re not using my daughter. There are plenty of other ways we can find what’s been killing those people.”

“It got one of our own. This is personal now and it’s all hands on deck.”

“Allison is not considered one of us until she completes her training. Come up with some other way to catch the creature.”

“Stop calling it a creature. We all know it was one of those werewolves that you’re allowing to run around, despite the fact they’re dangerous.”

“We can’t know that for sure. I’m having one of my associates look into it.”

“Who? Alan Deaton? Like he can be trusted.”

“He’s never given me reason to doubt him.”

“Everyone knows Deaton worked with the Hale family for years. He obviously can’t be trusted if he willingly associates with werewolves.”

“Deaton is good at what he does and he’ll give me the information that I want.”

“You better be right about this, Chris. If this thing kills another person, I’ll have to go to the head of the household for this.”

“Fine, but if you try to involve my daughter in any of this, you’re going to have to deal with me.”

“You’ve got me shaking in my boots.”

The man who had been arguing with Argent stood up to his full height and looked as if he was about to start heading for the door. I quickly backed away until I reached the door and then bolted to my car hoping that none of them came out before I could get out of here. Throwing the car into reverse, I managed to turn the car around before gunning it down the path I had come in on. Bottoming out would probably be a terrible thing to have happen considering those guys are probably on my tail by now, but I wasn’t about to slow down.

I didn’t slow down until I hit Main Street, at which point I was sure none of the guys that were hanging around at the Hale house were following me. My mind was going into overdrive as I tried to process everything that I had overheard. Those men were obviously hunters looking for whatever had killed some people, including one of the other hunters, but none of them had actually seen the thing. Although, that begged the question: where exactly was Derek Hale hiding out now?


 

“Do you know Derek Hale?”

Danny looked up from where he was messing around on his laptop. “What?”

“Do you know Derek Hale?”

“I know that he was wanted for murder.” Danny looked up from his laptop thoughtfully for a second before going back to whatever he was doing. “He was in Stiles’s room one time while I was there. He called him Miguel and made him give me a strip show after I saw some blood on his shirt that he claimed to be from a nosebleed. Plus he wanted me to trace a text for him.”

“Derek was hiding out in Stiles’s room?”

“Yes, why do you ask?”

“I’m looking for him and he’s not at the Hale house.”

“Why would Derek be living at the Hale house?”

“Don’t ask me. I just know that he’s not there anymore.”

“Well if I were you I would ask Stiles. I’m pretty sure him and Derek are dating so if anyone knows it will be him.”

I looked at Danny in confusion at his comment. “Stilinski is dating Lydia.”

“No he’s not.”

“I’ve seen the way those two act around each other. They’re dating.”

“No they aren’t. I always overhear Lydia talking to Stiles about him and Derek during first period. She’s either trying to get them together or already has. Either way, Stiles would be the one to ask about Derek.”

“You’re sure Lydia and Stilinski aren’t dating?”

“A hundred percent positive. I can’t blame Stiles though, Derek is gorgeous.”

“He can’t be too intelligent if he’s going out with Stilinski.”

“I don’t know about that.”

I nearly fell off of the chair I was sitting on, not believing that those words had just come out of my best friend’s mouth. “You can’t be serious.”

“I’d never say it to his face, but Stiles is fairly attractive and extremely intelligent. I’d never go out with him, but I could see why someone would. You’d just have to be able to get over the whole constantly talking thing and since Derek doesn’t seem like he talks much. It’s kind of a perfect match.”

“Well that’s as much as I ever wanted to know about Stilinski’s… would you even call it a love life? So onto a new topic. How did things go with that guy you were talking about the other day?”

“We went out on a date, but he was boring so that won’t be happening again anytime soon. I’m thinking it’s time to play the single game for a while. The last couple of dates I’ve had, have been complete failures.”

“Take a step back then. We should be focusing on lacrosse anyways if we want to make it to the state final this year.”

“You should probably think about taking your own advice then.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’re still hung up about Lydia. I heard you cornered her in the hallway yesterday and started yelling at her about something until Stiles got there and pulled you away.”

“She had some information I wanted.”

“Information? You make it sound like a police investigation. What is it you think she knows exactly?”

“Just some information, but I’ve got other places I could get answers from.”

“Very cryptic.”

“It’s not a big deal.”

“If you say so.”


 

Sleeping has become more and more difficult ever since Derek Hale stuck me with his werewolf claws on accident. First, it was just bad dreams, but then the nightmares had come until those disappeared leaving me with complete darkness that always left me feeling unrested. What was the point of sleeping if I’ll just wake up in the morning feeling as though I had just closed my eyes a second before? The whole act seemed entirely pointless now, especially since sleeping didn’t hold the key to whatever Derek’s bite had done to me.

Despite this fact, I’ve continued to do my nightly routine before going to sleep even though sleeping did absolutely nothing. I was nearly done with brushing my teeth when the sound of my phone going off echoed through the bathroom. I considered ignoring it when I saw that Lydia’s name was the one glaring up from my phone screen, but I thought better of it. If Lydia was calling me, she probably had information she was finally willing to share with me. On the other hand, she could be calling to yell at me about what I did to her, but that’s the reason hanging up was invented.

“Listen, I don’t want to talk to you, but I’ve heard that you’ve been asking around for Derek and no one else is willing to talk to you.”

“Danny seems to think I should ask Stilinski for Derek’s location.”

“Really now? Why did he think that?”

“He mentioned something about the two of them dating or being close to dating. Not that I care.”

“That’s excellent news. Back to the point, Derek is at the abandoned train station. Come by whenever and I would suggest not acting like a total dick.”

“So you do care?” I couldn’t help the sneering tone from slipping into my voice.

“Don’t get carried away.”

Before I got the chance to make a snappy retort Lydia hung up the phone leaving me standing in the middle of my room like an idiot. I let out a yell of frustration and fought the urge to throw my phone across the room. The one upside to that conversation was that I now had a way to get into contact with Derek that didn’t involve voluntarily speaking to Stilinski. I gracelessly flopped onto my bed and stared up at the ceiling, contemplating what my next move should be. It wasn’t long before a dark cloud spread across my vision and all consciousness with it.

Chapter Text

“Explain to me what happened one more time.” Derek was leaning against my desk with his eyebrows scrunched together in worry (shocking I know).

“We were at the ice skating rink and everything was going perfectly fine. Allison and Scott went off to the photo booth to take pictures, while Lydia and I kept skating. One minute everything was normal and the next Lydia was on her knees in the middle of the rink pawing at the ice and screaming her head off.”

“I was not pawing. I don’t paw.”

“Anyway, when I went over to see what she was trying to get to there was nothing there and the screaming. Something about it wasn’t human.”

“What was it that you saw, Lydia?”

“Some sort of purple flower. The petals were falling off of it and when I went to wipe them away there was someone frozen in the ice. A face.”

“You didn’t know who it was.”

“If I did, then I would tell you.” Lydia leaned back so she rested against the headboard of my bed. “I know what I saw. It was so real and then it just disappeared.”

“We’ll figure this out. We were already researching all of the possibilities and this just narrows the field down further.”

“Your external optimism is starting to show, Stiles.”

“Someone has to be optimistic and I know neither of you are going to do it so it’s up to me.”

“I can be, I simply chose not to.”

“I’ll believe that when I see it.”

“Are we done now? I want to go home and you two probably want to have-”

“Don’t you dare!”

“Extremely loud, hot monkey sex.”

“I hate you.”

“I’m leaving.” Derek pushed off from where he was leaning against the desk and headed towards the window instead of the door like a normal person.

“Use the door, please. My neighbors are going to start thinking I’m some sort of trollop that let’s men in and out at all hours of the night.”

“You can’t be a trollop.”

“That’s very sweet of you to say, Der-bear.”

Derek glared at me from where he now stood halfway out of the window. “A trollop is a sexually promiscuous woman and last time I checked, you’re not a woman.”

“That’s very true. Never mind then. Carry on.”


 

“You have got to be kidding me!” I threw my arms up in the air in frustration while the mechanic continued to ignore me. “There is no way that I’m paying this much. You’re screwing me over. Just because I don’t know everything there is to know about cars, doesn’t mean I don’t know when someone’s trying to overcharge me.”

“I’m not overcharging you.”

“Really? You’re not overcharging me? So I can call up my friend who knows all about cars and he would say the same thing?”

“If you have a friend who knows all about cars, why don’t you have him doing this instead of me?”

“My friend doesn’t own a hydraulic lift.”

“Then think of it this way: the extra money is for the hydraulic lift and my own personal service fee.”

“Exactly how much do you think your service is worth?”

“You’re right. I should probably think about increasing the fee. What do you think?”

I ground my teeth together in frustration, but knew that arguing would just make it ten times worse. “I think your fee is completely reasonable. I’m just going to go wait in the waiting area then.”

“Smart decision.”

“What an asshole.” I turned around and headed away from the mechanic who was still busying himself with my Jeep and conning me out of my money while he was at it. Sighing I reached out to turn the doorknob leading to the waiting room and let out a disgusted yelp when my hand came away sticky. “That’s absolutely disgusting. You’ve got great sanitation here! It’s a wonder more people don’t want to spend time waiting for you to finish scamming them out of their money.”

Shaking my head I made my way into the room making sure to wipe off the sticky whatever it was that was on my hands on my pants as I went. There wasn’t much in the room besides a couple of chairs, a small table, and a picture of one of the past Beacon Hills Lacrosse teams that, upon further inspection, I found included the mechanic in full uniform. It was clear that there was nothing in this room that was meant to keep those who were waiting entertained so time to play on my phone. All of my flailing earlier must have kept me from noticing that I had received a text message from the local brooding alpha.

Derek

Meeting tonight. 8. Don’t be late.

My nose wrinkled in confusion as I read through the message for a second time. What could have possibly happened between the time I got out of school and now? If Isaac got arrested again, I swear to all that is holy I’m not going to help them break him out again. Nope. They can take care of that themselves while I treat myself to a night of doing nothing at all except enjoying the peace and quiet. Maybe get in a little quality time with the padre, make sure that he’s still sticking to his diet like he’s supposed to be.

I went to type out a message to Derek asking him what exactly this meeting would entail, but my fingers didn’t seem to want to work. My brain was telling them to move, but all I could get out of them was some jerky, uncoordinated movements. After several more attempts at trying to get my fingers to work properly, my phone slipped out of my hand and landed with a clatter on the floor. I couldn’t make sense out of what was happening to me right now.

Shakily I let out a breath then looked up from my shaking hands to see some sort of lizard creature crawling down the side of my Jeep. A lizard creature that had to be the one that Allison caught a glimpse of the night of the full moon. The creature we had been trying so hard to identify was suddenly right in my line of sight not even caring that I could see it. One thing I now know for sure is that it wasn’t a dragon or anything else I had come across in my research.

The lizard thing was staring down at the mechanic as it continued to crawl along the side of my Jeep towards where the mechanic was working. A shout worked its way out of my throat as I tried to warn the mechanic about his impending doom, but just like my fingers my vocal cords seemed to fall short. No matter how hard I tried to yell, I couldn’t get my voice to rise above a normal talking volume. All I could do was watch in horror as the lizard thing raked its claws across the back of the mechanic’s neck causing him to instantly drop to the ground.

I expected the creature to drop to the ground with the mechanic and use its claws to finish off the job the way it had with Isaac’s dad, but it continued to crawl along the Jeep instead. The intentions of the creature weren’t clear until it reached out its claws towards one of the lines that kept the hydraulic lift up. Horror rushed through my body as the creature’s claws easily sliced through the line causing the lift to make a loud screeching noise. The lift started moving down and all I could do was watch as the lift got closer and closer to the unmoving body on the ground until it finally crushed the helpless man underneath.

The air in my lungs felt like it was stuck and when I tried to move out of my chair my legs won’t work either. I fell to the ground without being able to use my hands to catch myself, which led to a painful throb as my head smacked into the hard surface. When the fireworks that had erupted when I had hit the ground decided they were finished sending mind numbing pain, I felt something small pressed against my left hand. My phone!

Gasping I started forcing one of my fingers to press the nine then the one then the one before pressing the call button. Relief flooded through my body as the sound of the call connecting with whoever was at the station filled the waiting room. A small voice came out of the phone, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying and I knew that they wouldn’t be able to make out anything that I said either. All the relief I was beginning to feel, was slowly leaking away as I realized the person would probably hang up thinking it was a prank call. Luckily, because my life is insane, the lizard creature suddenly appeared at the door in front of me causing me to let out a startled scream as it hissed at me before disappearing from sight.


 

“Stiles!” I could feel the pressure that had been on my chest alleviate at the sound of my father’s voice over the noise of all the chaos around me. “Stiles! Thank god. What happened? Dispatch said they got a call from you and they thought it was weird you weren’t mouthing off right away, then you screamed. What happened?”

“I… I was in the bathroom. There was this weird noise and when I came out I saw the lift wasn’t where it was before I went in. When I looked closer, I saw the body. The mechanic under the lift. I managed to get the call through, but my hands were shaking so bad that I dropped my phone then I tripped over my feet to try to get it back and then there was this banging sound. I thought it was whoever did that to the mechanic. I panicked. I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t see anyone?”

“No. No, I-I didn’t see anyone.”

“Are you hurt?”

“I hit my head, but that’s nothing new.”

My dad gently ran his hand over the small bump on the side of my head before pulling me into a tight hug. “You know I’m going to have to impound your Jeep for evidence, right?”

“Don’t spoil the mood, dad. You better wash it off before you return it.”

“You drive a hard bargain.”

“I learned from the best.” I pulled back from my dad with a huge smile on my face. “You’re going to take me home now right?”

“You know I have to stay here and make sure the crime scene is in order. I’ll have one of my deputies take you home.”

I was about to protest when my phone started going off. “Hello?”

“Stiles, where are you?”

“At Armor Tire and Service Center, why?”

“The meeting.”

“Right.” I glanced up to see my dad looking at me with one eyebrow raised in question. “I totally forgot about that. Something happened.”

“Something happened.”

“That’s what I said. In fact, I need someone to come pick me up because my Jeep is going to be off limits for a while.”

“Stiles.”

“Be here in five? You’re the best.” I hung up without bothering to wait for Derek to give some sort of reply that probably would have had to do with me receiving bodily harm.

“Who was that?”

“Oh, you know just a friend.”

“A friend.”

“I have friends. As in multiple. As in not just Scott.”

“Good for you.”

“Don’t sound so patronizing.”


 

It only took Derek five minutes to get to the service shop and in that time my father had refused to leave my side until he knew I was in safe hands. For some reason, he was under the impression that if he left me alone while he went to investigate I would get into trouble. When I tried to protest, my dad started listing off all the times he had caught me wandering around one of his crime scenes, even though I knew better than that. So of course when Derek pulls up my dad is standing next to me watching as the sleek, black Camaro parks.

“Is that Derek Hale?”

“Yes.”

“What is he doing here?”

“About that…”

“Stiles.”

“I’ll see you when you get home! Love you!” Before my dad could say another word, I booked it across the parking lot and slipped under the police tape before sliding into the passenger’s seat of Derek’s car. “Drive. Drive like your life depends on it.”

“What happened?”

“I didn’t tell him you were coming to pick me up.”

“The police, Stiles.”

“Right. I’ve kind of had a monumental night. That thing that we’ve been trying to find decided to show up tonight.”

“You saw it?”

“Yes. It’s this giant lizard thing like Kurt Connors in Spider-Man. You don’t know who that is. Point is, I saw it and it killed the mechanic. Its claws must have some sort of paralytic on it because he scrapped them across the back of the guy’s neck and he went down.”

“A paralytic.”

“Yes. I think it smeared it all over the door handle to the waiting room because when I touched the knob there was this sticky stuff on there and the next thing I know I can’t control my body. Where was I? Oh, so the mechanic fell down and I thought the thing was going to finish clawing him up, but instead it cut one of the lines on the lift and let it crush him to death.”

“It didn’t touch you though?”

“No. The closest it got to me was when it hissed at me from where it decided to press its face up against the door. I did hit my head though, but I’ll be fine.”

“We need to tell everyone about this.”

“How about you take me home so I can take a nice hot shower then sleep and you fill everybody in on what happened? You can’t argue with me. I saw a man crushed to death.”


 

“I met the weirdest boy today when I was waiting for Ms. Morrell.”

“Hello to you, too, Lydia. It’s good to see you again. How are you? Anything interesting happen today?”

“Don’t be sarcastic. He kept trying to talk to me about why we were waiting for the councilor and then he said I was cute, but narcissistic.”

“Sounds to me like you found a worthy adversary. Did you get his number?”

“Definitely not. There was something else I wanted to talk to you about though. Something happened again last night.”

“What happened?”

“I woke up this morning and my hands were covered in blood from break my mirror, apparently.”

“You don’t remember breaking it?”

“No. I did it in my sleep.”

I bit my lip at this newest turn of events. “That’s definitely not good. We desperately need to figure out what is happening to you.”

“I couldn’t agree more, especially now that one of us has gotten a glimpse of what killed Isaac’s dad and the mechanic.”

“Don’t remind me. We still don’t know what it is though.”

“We know more than we did before. The paralytic toxin is definitely something we’re going to have to worry about.”

“I’m well aware of how much it sucks. Scott, Allison, nice of you two to decide to join us.” The two had the decency to look sheepish considering they didn’t exactly look put together. “If you want to keep Allison’s parents from finding out about you two, you’re going to have to do better than that. You are aware there are two Argents running around the school looking for werewolves to slip up.”

“I know. That’s why we’ve been having you deliver messages between us.”

“About that. It has to stop. Being the messenger is starting to get really awkward since all you guys want to do is wax poetically about each other. I can’t keep telling you two that I love you it’s weird.”

“It probably makes his boyfriend jealous.”

“I’m choosing to ignore that because Scott had something that he wanted to tell me.”

Scott looked confused for a second before realization dawned on him. “I did! So I talked to Dr. Deaton yesterday about us trying to figure out what this lizard thing is and he said that most hunter families have a book of creatures. If we could get our hands on that, then we might be able to find out more about it.”

“A bestiary. Why didn’t I think of that?”

“I think you mean bestiality.”

Lydia let out a snort of laughter and I had to fight off the urge to bang my head on the table in frustration. “No, I mean bestiary. It’s like a dictionary, but for mystical creatures. Have you seen anything like that Allison?”

“I think I might know what you’re looking for. My grandpa has this leather book that he says is really important to him. He probably keeps it in his office.”

“Well then we’ll just have to go in there and get it.”


 

Getting into Gerard’s office was going to suck with a capital ‘s,’ especially if I end up getting caught by one of his hunter friends. Of course I had to be the one to actually do the breaking and entering, despite the fact I don’t have super hearing that could tell me if someone was coming. Curse Scott for having to play lacrosse so that no one would be suspicious and curse Allison and Lydia for being the only ones who can keep Gerard away from his office. Speaking of Allison that would be the signal to come get the keys as nonchalantly as possible. Bless that girl’s sticky fingers.

As soon as I got the keys in my hands, I made my way across the school parking lot and into the empty school making sure to check for people following me. The silence was disconcerting since I was used to the hallways always being full of talking and laughter bar that one incident when Peter locked us in after hours. It didn’t take long for me to make it into Gerard’s office and I couldn’t help, but let out a sigh of relief that I hadn’t met anyone on the way. Step one of my part of the plan was a total success and now for the even harder part: finding the bestiary.

Channelling my inner Veronica Mars, I started snooping around for any place that would hide an old leather book full of monsters. Drawers, behind books, in cabinets only to come away with abso-freaking-lutely nothing at all. Maybe he wasn’t stupid enough to leave the book in an office that many a high school student had probably broken into before. I was about to just give up and leave when the clicking of a door opening made panic flood through my body as I dropped behind the desk. The sound of heels clicking on the ground closer and closer to my hiding spot made me tense up in anticipation for whoever would probably find me.

“This is the most clichéd hiding place, Stiles.”

“Erica! What are you doing here?”

Erica rolled her eyes in exasperation, but held out a helping hand anyways. “Derek wants to talk to you. He thinks he might actually know what the thing is, but he needs to ask you a few questions. He sent me to come and bring you to him.”

“Let’s get going then.” I followed Erica out of the room and back down the main hallway towards the pool.

“Did you find whatever it is you were looking for?”

“No. I don’t think Gerard keeps the bestiary in his office. I’ll have to text Scott and let him know that we’re going to have to come up with a plan B.”

“He probably has some sort of safe at home. I mean that’s where people normally keep something they don’t want anyone else to steal.”

“This is Gerard we’re talking about. He’s cleverer than that.” I hit send on the message to Scott only to realize I had forgotten something. “Shit! I left his keys in the office!”

“I’ll go and get them while you and Derek figure out what exactly this thing is.”

“Thanks, Catwoman.”

“Always happy to help.”

I held the door to the pool open for Erica before walking inside to see Derek in all his leather clad glory standing casually by the poolside. “You just can’t get enough of me can you?”

“I need to know something.”

“I told you everything the other night, Derek. I don’t know anything else.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. It’s got paralytic claws, looks like a gigantic lizard with a smashed up nose, and these weird orange-yellow eyes.”

“You’re sure it was hissing at you.”

“Yes, I’m sure! Who else would it have been hissing at?” A loud thudding sound echoed throughout the room. “What was-”

“Move!”

Derek pushed me out of the way causing me to drop my phone in a combination of shock and an inability to keep a grip on my phone on a good day. My blood ran cold as I realized Derek had pushed me out of the way because the creature that I had seen at the shop had crept up behind me. I barely had time to register that Erica must have been the thud I heard earlier, judging by her unconscious body on the floor, before the creature took a swipe at Derek. Its claws easily sliced through the side of Derek’s neck causing him to fall straight into the pool.

Without thinking I jumped in after Derek and pulled him back up to the surface of the water, both of us gasping for air. I expected the creature to come in after us, but when the lizard thing went to put one of its claws in the water it pulled them back instantly. Instead of leaving, the creature started to pace up and down the edge of the pool making sure to hiss at us every so often. Derek was dead weight at my side meaning until this thing decided to make an exit I would have to hold both of us above water.

“Derek. Derek?”

“Stiles.”

“We’re going to be here a while aren’t we?”

“I can’t move.”

“I figured that out for myself, thank you. Why do you think it won’t come in the water?”

“Not sure.”

“Here’s to hoping Scott, Allison, or Lydia realize we haven’t left the school yet.”

Chapter Text

Typically I don’t find myself in uncomfortable situations, mainly due to the fact I’m not one for letting other people make me feel uncomfortable, but there was something about Allison’s grandfather that made my hair stand on end. Sure he seemed perfectly nice, asking about the different players and cheering whenever our team made a good play, but there was something fake about it. It probably didn’t help that I knew he made a habit of cutting werewolves in half if he managed to get a hold of them. I could also feel that he kept looking over at me when he thought I wasn’t looking causing shivers to run down my spine.

“Which one is the boy your parents were saying you used to date?”

“Scott? He’s number eleven.”

“He’s doing pretty well correct?”

“Yes. He’s actually one of the team’s co-captains.”

“Very impressive. That one boy on the other team is quite large.”

“He’s going to be a problem.” Allison and I both winced as the player Gerard had just mentioned slammed into one of our own sending him to the ground. “I don’t think he’s getting back up from that.”

“We don’t have any more players on the bench.”

“What are we going to do?”

Finstock was yelling at no one in particular and when he looked down the bench to see nobody uninjured there, his yelling only increased. He started looking at the crowd until his eyes caught someone. Someone that happened to be Boyd. Even though I couldn’t hear a word Finstock was saying, I knew he was trying to get Boyd to get in uniform and play for him. It didn’t surprise me one bit that Boyd ended up on the field, despite the fact it was probably the worst idea ever. If Boyd shifted out on the field, Gerard would be right here to see it then Boyd was as good as dead.

“This one might be able to handle that larger one.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he could.” Allison gave her grandfather an innocent smile as Boyd laid out the player that had been injuring our players the whole game. “We might be able to win this game after all.”

“You know I didn’t think I would enjoy this sport, but I find it quite entertaining. There’s something so elegant about it.”

“It is fun to watch.”

“That it is.”

The three of us fell into silence as we continued to watch the game that was now tipping into Beacon Hills’s favor. Boyd was easily handling the largest player on the other team and when Scott went to talk to him down, he kept doing it anyways. Everything was going fine until the last few seconds of the game when Scott made an impressive shot into the back of the net breaking his leg in the process. Allison and I both turned to look at each other before sprinting onto the field after Ms. McCall who was bent over Scott’s already healed leg.

“I was sure I heard it break. Are you sure it doesn’t hurt?”

“It’s fine, mom. It didn’t break. I just twisted my knee a bit.”

Ms. McCall looked uncertain, but helped her son up off of the ground anyways. “Make sure you put some ice on it then.”

“I will.”

“Scott, is it?” Gerard’s voice sounded from right behind Allison and I, nearly causing me to start. “I think you should join Allison and I for dinner tonight. It is the least I can do after such a spectacular performance.”

“Of course, sir.”


 

“How are things with you, Lydia?”

“Fine, I suppose. What about you?”

Danny munched thoughtfully on one of his French fries before answering. “Everything’s going well. Jackson wouldn’t want me telling you this, but he asked me to fix up some footage for him and there were two hours missing from it.”

“Footage?”

“Of him sleeping. I’m not really sure why he took it, but it seemed strange that some of it was missing.”

“That is strange. Although, you must know that he probably taped himself because of his narcissism. He wanted to make sure that he looked hot even when he’s sleeping.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me, but that still doesn’t explain why there was so much footage missing.”

“I’ll admit that part is weird. Anything else going on in your life besides weird requests from your best friend?”

“Not really. I’m taking a break from dating so there’s nothing new on that front.” A cheeky smile broke out across Danny’s face. “There is something I’ve been meaning to ask you about. What is going on with Stiles and Derek? Rumor has it they’re dating. A rumor you started.”

“Well they’re not dating yet, but I can assure you that I am working to make it happen. Those two are perfect for each other.”

“Really now?”

“Just think about it. Stiles talks too much and just by looking at him you can probably figure out that Derek isn’t much of a talker. Derek has that bad boy look going for him, while Stiles looks like the innocent little, dorky virgin that he is.”

“That's kind of what I figured.”

“Plus there’s all that sexual tension between them.”

“You could cut that with a knife. How do you stand being around them?”

“It can be difficult at times.”

“Do you have any sort of plan to get them together?”

“Right now I don’t. I just keep bringing up how they would either make a good couple or how they’re already a couple. If they don’t get their act together soon though, I’m going to have to come up with something.”

“Well if you do end up having to plot to get them together, I’ll be more than willing to help you out.”

“Really now?” I raised one of my eyebrows in interest, but before I could ask Danny just how willing he would be my phone started going off. “Stiles. How can I help you?”

“Derek and I are stuck in the pool. The lizard monster is here and Derek is paralyzed. Get Allison and Scott and get down here. I have to go before Derek drowns. Hurry!”

“I have to go. I’m sorry.”

Danny sent me a look that was a mixture of concern and curiosity. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“No, I can handle this myself. I’m sorry about having to run out on you like this, but rain check. Shopping this weekend?”

“I suppose I could make some time for you.”

“I’ll get back to you with the details.” I quickly made my way out of the diner dialling Allison’s phone as I went. “We’ve got a problem.”

“Lydia, I can’t talk right now.”

“Yes, you can. You can because Stiles and Derek are trapped at the school in the pool with the lizard creature trying to get to them.”

“What?”

“You heard me the first time.”

“Scott and I will try to get out of here as fast as possible. The bestiary wasn’t the leather book that I thought it was, but we think we know where it is.”

“Just hurry up. I’ll be waiting at the school for you guys.”


 

I had been waiting for fifteen minutes when Scott finally came running up to the school looking completely flustered. “Sorry it took me so long. Where are they?”

“The pool.”

“We should hurry.” We were just starting to head inside when a roar sounded through the school. “We should really hurry.”

“Allison said she might know where the bestiary is?”

“There’s a USB drive on her grandpa’s keychain. She thinks he probably keeps it on there so he can have it with him at all times.”

“Stiles should still have the keys, but the drive might be destroyed if he has them in the water with him. Knowing Sties he probably left them in Gerard’s office.”

“That sounds like Stiles.” Scott threw open the door to the pool just in time to see Stiles making his way over to the diving platform.

Scott sprinted silently across the room and vaulted onto the diving platform just in time to grab a hold of Derek, but Stiles slipped through his fingers. Before Scott could reach back in to pull Stiles out of the water, the creature tackled Scott to the floor. The two continued to roll around on the floor trying to get a hit on the other, but barely missing at the last second when their target would move. Derek was lying uselessly on the floor, while Stiles was still sinking to the bottom of the pool.

Without thinking I pulled the shoes off of my feet and dove into the water hoping that I could reach Stiles before he ran out of air. When I finally reached Stiles, his eyes were shut and he gave no indication that he knew I was there even after I grabbed his arm. I tightened my grip on Stiles’s arm before pushing off the bottom of the pool floor as hard as I possibly could. After several kicks, I managed to bring both of us to the surface right next to the edge of the pool where Derek was beginning to move jerkily.

“Can you help me get him out?”

Derek moved closer to the edge of the pool reaching out with both of his hands to grip Stiles’s shoulders. “You’re going to have to push. I’m not going to be able to lift him out by myself.”

“Just tell me when.”

“Now.” I gave a hard shove on his lower back and let out a sigh of relief when Derek fell back with Stiles securely in his arms. “Stiles. Stiles.”

“Is he breathing?”

“Yes. I think he just passed out.”

I pulled myself out of the water and helped Derek maneuver Stiles so he rested on the ground. “You should go help Scott. I’ve got him.”

“You should try punching him.”

“That was one time.” Stiles opened his eyes groggily. “Lydia’s here. Look at that. Where’s the lizard thing that was trying to eat us?”

“It wasn’t trying to eat us.”

“Not the point. Where is it? Is it going to come out of nowhere and kill me because I don’t think I could move to defend myself?”

“Scott.”

“Scott’s here? That’s good. Excellent. I need a nap and a warm shower.”

Scott was suddenly standing over the three of us looking confused. “We should get you out of here. Where are Gerard’s keys?”

“I left them in his office.”

“Guess you were right, Lydia.”

“You guys are the absolute worst. I don’t even know why I’m friends with either of you. Derek is officially my favorite.”

“I’m sure there’s more than one reason for that.” Stiles made it way too easy to comment on his relationship with Derek. “We’re not talking about you two right now though. We have more important things to worry about.”

“What about Erica? The thing knocked her out.”

“Scott and Derek can worry about that. We are going to get that USB drive before anything or anyone else can.”


 

Stiles was busy pulling up the bestiary on his laptop when Scott and Derek finally came out of the school with Erica in tow. Erica said something to the other two werewolves before disappearing off to where ever it was she was going, not bothering to say anything to Stiles or I. Derek and Scott were talking quietly amongst themselves and while Scott looked worried, Derek was keeping his face perfectly blank. I was so busy watching the two interact in a nonthreatening way that I was shocked to hear Stiles let out a triumphant noise that quickly turned into a groan.

“You have got to be kidding me!”

“What?” I turned to look at the screen and couldn’t help, but let out a derisive snort. “Oh, please this is nothing. I can translate this for you easily.”

“Really? What language is this anyways?”

“Archaic Latin.”

“You read Archaic Latin?”

“I get bored. You learn about the male circumcision and I learn Archaic Latin.”

“Fair enough, but there’s over a hundred pages. It could take you ages to find the right one. We don’t exactly have a name for it!”

“Actually, we do.” Derek was now standing right next to Stiles. “It’s called a Kanima.”

“When did you figure that out exactly? You couldn’t have told me while I was busy holding your heavy ass up!”

“I didn’t figure it out until Scott mentioned it was confused by its own reflection.”

“So it doesn’t know what it is?”

“It’s a shape-shifter like a werewolf, but something goes wrong. For whatever reason it can’t fully transform into what it’s supposed to be.”

“Like an abomination?”

“Yes.”

“What you’re saying is we’re looking for an emotionally stunted person that supposed to be a shape-shifter, but for whatever reason is stuck being a Kanima instead? Sound like anyone we know?”

Stiles was giving me a pointed look that I couldn’t ignore. “Jackson.”

“He fits the bill.”

“Danny told me Jackson took some video of himself sleeping and two hours of it was just missing.”

“Two hours during which Jackson could have turned into a giant lizard boy.”

“Yes.”

“I think we should work with the Argents on this.” Scott was worrying his bottom lip between his teeth as he looked between the three of us.

Derek raised his eyebrows at Scott’s statement. “You want to work with the people who want to kill you?”

“They only want to kill the thing that’s been killing all of those people and it doesn’t sound like it’s even in control.”

“They don’t follow the Code. They can’t be trusted.”

“We all want the same thing. We should work together. It’s not like we can track it. It’s got no scent and it’s faster than us.”

“Going to the hunters with this information would only make things worse.”

“I agree with Derek on this one.” Stiles was looking wearily at Scott like he wasn’t sure how he was going to react to his words. “Gerard doesn’t follow the Code so there’s nothing stopping him from killing you as soon as he has the chance. Even if they did agree to work with us, they would probably end up using it as a chance to figure out your weaknesses so they could later exploit them.”

“You’re siding with him.”

“It’s not about sides, Scott. Working with the hunters is dangerous.”

“I can’t believe this! You’re supposed to be my best friend.”

“I am!”

“Then why does it feel like you’re always picking Derek over me?”

“What are you four? Ever since you’ve been bitten all I’ve tried to do was keep you alive. I handcuffed you to a radiator knowing you could have easily ripped my throat out because I didn’t want you to be killed, despite the fact you were acting like a raging jackass to me!”

“I apologized for that!”

“I know that and I forgave you for it, but that doesn’t make it any less true.” Stiles closed his eyes and took a deep breath before continuing. “I don’t trust the Argents. Allison is fine, but the rest of her family is still questionable in my books. It’s not a risk I’m willing to take.”

Scott opened his mouth like he was about to say something, but quickly snapped it shut and stormed away. I could feel Stiles tensing up next to me as he watched his friend storm away into the darkness that swallowed him up. I rubbed his arm soothingly and gave him a soft smile as I helped him pack away his laptop that now hopefully held all the information we needed to help Jackson.


 

By the time I got to economic the next day, Stiles and Scott were still not talking to each other leaving me with the honor of sitting in between the two. Stiles had practically moped all throughout first period and I had hoped that they would have made up by now, so much for that hope. What surprised me more was Jackson sliding into the open seat next to Scott like he sat there everyday and started talking to him like the two were best of friends. When I turned to look at Stiles, his face was uncharacteristically blank, but his hands seemed to have a mind of their own as they bent his pencil to a threatening degree.

“You’re going to break that.”

“I could pretend its Jackson’s spine, but I can’t be mad at him right now. Not after what he did for Isaac.”

“What do you mean?”

“I forgot to tell you.” Stiles looked at me apologetically for a second. “My dad told me this morning that Jackson came to the station last night and told him that he lied about seeing Isaac fleeing from the house before his dad died.”

“He cleared Isaac’s name?”

“Bingo. He’s back at school today. I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it before now. Everyone seems to be talking about it.”

“I try to avoid the gossip mill.”

“Unless you’re the one spreading it.”

“Of course.”

Stiles gave a light chuckle, but was soon cut off by Finstock’s booming voice yelling at Greenberg just for existing. It didn’t take long for me to completely zone out everything he was saying in favor of doodling aimlessly into the corner of my notebook. It’s not like I didn’t already know everything he was trying to teach us anyways so what was the point of giving him my attention? The sound of scrapping on the chalkboard made me look up, but instead of seeing Finstock making some sort of crude drawing meant to represent an economic concept a familiar looking man stood there.

Something seemed to be tugging at the back of my brain like I was supposed to know exactly who this man was. There was something so familiar about him; his eyes, the shape of his face, the way he seemed to move with such predator like confidence. For several minutes he kept writing equations in a swirling spiral pattern, until he stopped and turned to look directly at me. My breathe caught in my throat as the nameless man made his way towards me like I was his prey that he was done simply playing with.

He came to a stop directly in front of me, but instead of attacking me like I thought he would,, he simply stared at me. The hand that still held the chalk he had been using earlier came up until it was level with my face then easily crushed the white stick into powder. Leaning down the man gave me a cocky smirk before blowing the fine power right into my face catching me by surprise. My eyes snapped shut at the sudden onslaught and when I opened them back up I was no longer in my seat.

The chalk that had just been blown in my face was now clutched tightly in my hand where it was poised directly over the chalkboard. I sucked in a deep breath as I took in the phrase I had written backwards several times without even knowing I was doing it in the first place: Someone Help Me. Laughter began to trickle through the white noise that had been filling my ears ever since I had come back to my senses. When I finally got the guts to turn around, it was to find nearly the entire class laughing at me including the boy I had met outside Morrell’s office the other day.

Quickly I made my way back to my seat making a point to ignore everyone that tried to get my attention by jeering at me. Stiles was giving me a concerned look as I leaned down to pick up my bag, but he didn’t have a chance to say anything to me before I was out the door. My entire body was shaking like a leaf as I made my way out of the school and to the secure confines of my car. Whatever was happening to me was getting worse and there didn’t seem to be any answers in sight.

Chapter Text

The sounds of fighting echoed through the large, abandoned industrial warehouse that we had managed to corner the kanima in. Derek was currently trying to fend off the kanima that was attempting to sink its paralytic claws into his skin. I was hoping the Kanima would get a good swipe in, but it didn’t get the chance to since Chris Argent showed up and fired several bullets into its chest. The bullets didn’t even slow it down, which seemed to catch Chris off guard leaving him open to the hit that sent him flying into a wall.

The kanima looked at where Chris Argent was slumped against the wall then turned its attention to where Gerard was standing by the door. It slunk over to Gerard, but when it reached him it made no move to hurt the old man in anyway, but instead stared at him. When Gerard made no move to attack the creature, I decided to take matters into my own hands and launched myself at the kanima. The force of my hit sent the two of us tumbling to the ground, but I never got the chance to take a swipe at it because the next second it was gone.

“Thank you for that, Scott. I should get my son home to get his head checked out.” Gerard gave me a friendly pat on the shoulder then helped his son out of the warehouse.

“We need to hurry if we’re going to catch up to it.”

“I think I can do this on my own.”

“Neither of us can fight this on our own. We need to work together if we’re going to catch him.”

“Fine, but I’m only doing this for Jackson. I’m sure if you had it your way, you would just rip his throat out and be done with it.”

Derek let out a sigh as he moved towards the door. “I was the one who agreed to turn Jackson. Whatever is happening to him now is my fault and I plan on fixing it.”

“Let’s just get going. We don’t have all night.”


 

The nearly non-existent trail that the kanima left behind lead to a nightclub that had Jungle scrawled across the top of the door. Derek and I looked nervously at each other as the sound of thumping music reached our ears, despite the fact the doors to the club were shut. The kanima could do some serious damaged in a dark night club with plenty of drunk people that probably wouldn’t even put up a fight (not that they would stand a chance if they did). The sound of shoes hitting the pavement and a familiar erratic heartbeat made me turn away from the club and to where Stiles was running towards the two of us.

“This is where the kanima is? It seems a little strange that it would want to go clubbing.”

“What are you doing here, Stiles?” My voice came out cold and I couldn’t help, but feel bad when Stiles stopped dead in his tracks looking like he had just been struck across the face.

“Looking for the kanima just like the two of you are.”

“We don’t need your help.”

“I beg to differ. How exactly do you plan on getting inside of there? You can’t just walk through the front door.”

“I don’t-” A familiar smell caught my attention and I turned my nose towards the scent until I caught sight of Danny standing in line to get into the club. “I think I know why it came here.”

“Why?” Stiles spun around to see what I was looking at. “Shit. Of course Danny is here tonight. You think the kanima is going to try to kill him?”

“I don’t know why else it would come here.”

“If that’s the case, we need to get in there and find him before he gets the chance to. Come on. I know a back way in.”

Stiles headed towards the left side of the club and looked both ways several times before slipping into the side alley. I turned to look at Derek who simply shrugged his shoulders and followed after Stiles leaving me to bring up the rear. The only light in the alleyway was the small light given off by the phone Stiles had clutched in his hand like a flashlight. Stiles had his other hand pressed against the wall and let out a sound of triumph when his hand caught a hold of whatever it was he had been looking for.

“Now which one of you strong werewolves would like to break into this door?”

I moved around Derek and broke off the handle to the door causing it to swing open. “How did you even know about this?”

“All of the buildings in this part of town have a side door.”

“How do you know that?”

“I get bored. I looked up construction plans for the town one time.”

“You’re not normal.” When Stiles pushed open the door that lead to the main part of the club, I couldn’t help but widen my eyes. “This is a gay club.”

“Yes. Yes, it is. Why did you think Danny was here exactly?”

“Danny can go to a regular club.”

“All the people in the line outside were men.”

“There were some women.”

“Those were drag queens. Speaking of, here come some now.” Several drag queens were in fact making their way over to where the three of us were standing and I couldn’t help, but feel like a deer in headlights.

“Hello there cutie!” The one who had just spoken winked at Stiles. “I haven’t seen you or your friends around here before.”

“Well, we’re not exactly clubbing people.”

“That’s such a shame. You look like you like to have a good time.”

“I never say no to a good time, but I’m actually looking for one of my friends. You might know him. His name’s Danny.”

“We know him. He’s such a nice boy.”

“Have you seen him yet tonight? I swore I saw him standing in line behind me.”

“I haven’t seen him, but I’m more than happy to help you look. For a price of course.”

Stiles crossed his arms over his chest and jutted his left hip out in what I could only describe as a sassy manner. “And what is this price exactly? I think I could find him myself.”

“Just a name for that pretty face. We could exchange if it makes you feel better.”

“What’s in a name? I’m Stiles.”

“Phoenix.” The drag queen looped her arm through one of Stiles’s arms and they started making their way through the club. “Come along, darlings. We wouldn’t want you two to get lost.”

“They’ll be fine. So how is your night? Anything interesting happen?”

“Aren’t you sweet? You know I could give you a little makeover if you want. These clothes are not doing you justice.”

“No, thank you. I’m good. I think I’d break my ankles if I tried to work heels the way you do.”

“Pity. If you ever change your mind-” Phoenix reached into Stiles’s front pocket for his phone, typed something into it, and then slid it back in. “You can call me. If I’m not mistaken, your boy is over there at the bar. Have a nice night.”

Phoenix spun around then strutted away in what looked to be the direction of a group of dancing drag queens. Shaking my head I turned my attention to where Danny was leaning against the bar talking to the bartender with a dejected look on his face. I looked at Stiles hoping that he had some sort of plan to convince Danny to leave, but if the look on his face was anything to go by he didn’t. My mouth was open to make a suggestion when the bartender pointed in our direction causing Danny to swivel around so he was looking directly at us. Stiles gave a wave and motioned for Danny to come to us, which he surprisingly did.

“What are you guys doing here?”

“Looking for you. I need to talk to you.”

“Why are Scott and Derek here? I thought you guys were fighting.”

“Our friendship is on the backburner right now. They’re something really important we’ve got to talk about.”

“Look, Stiles, no one cares if you’re gay. If you want advice, look it up on the Internet. You and Derek seem happy.”

Stiles let out a loud groan as he scrubbed his face in frustration. “Stop talking to Lydia. We’re not dating!”

“But you do admit to being gay?” Danny was giving Stiles a crooked grin that made his question seem so innocent.

“I’m not gay. I don’t see the point in limiting myself, now will you come talk with us?”

“I guess.”

“Somewhere we can actually hear each other?”

“Fine. I was getting bored anyways. What the hell is that?”

I spun around so fast that I could hear the bones in my neck creaking in protest, but it still wasn’t fast enough to catch more than a glimpse of the kanima’s tail. Derek and I shared a look before taking off after where the kanima had disappeared into the darkness. The flick of a scaly tail in front of me made me lunge, but I came up empty and without any indication as to where the kanima had disappeared off to. When I turned around, Derek was no longer standing behind me and Stiles and Danny weren’t where we had left them making me curse under my breath as screaming filled the air.

Through the panic I was able to see Derek’s claws sink into the kanima’s throat before he was sent sailing through the air. I rushed over to where Derek was slumped against the bar and helped him get back onto his feet as quickly as possible. The smell of blood filled my nose making me turn my head towards the direction it was coming from revealing a trail. With any luck this would lead us straight to either the kanima or Jackson still alive. Derek followed behind me silently as we made our way out of the club and to what looked like Danny’s car with an unconscious Jackson next to it covered in blood.

“We’ve got to get him out of here. Stiles brought his Jeep. We can put him in the back.”


 

By the time Derek and I had finally managed to shove all of Jackson’s body into the Jeep, the police and EMTs had arrived. It took what seemed like ages to find Stiles and Danny in the crowd that seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. The two appeared to be in deep conversation, which warranted Stiles waving his arms around frantically in an attempt to get his point across better. From his body language Danny seemed to be taking the information that Stiles was giving him well, but his frustration was building.

“That’s all I can tell you right now. I promise I’ll explain better later, but this isn’t the place to have this particular conversation.”

“Can you at least tell me what happened to all those people in there?”

“A paralytic. They’ll be fine in a few hours.”

“At least one good thing came out of this.”

“No better way to get over an ex then to see them paralyzed from the neck down.” Stiles bounced on the balls of his feet as he looked around the crime scene. “Scott, there you are. What happened to you two?”

“We got caught up in the crowd. Ran into someone we knew on the way out. We left him in your Jeep.”

“That’s good to hear.” Stiles sucked in a deep breath and turned abruptly around with wide eyes. “Please, don’t see me. Please, don’t see me. Please, don’t see me.”

“What are you talking about?”

“We need to leave like last year.”

“Stiles!” Stiles groaned and turned around to face his dad. “Why does it seem like you’re always at my crime scenes now?”

“Actually, I was here before it turned into a crime scene this time.”

“You were here? At a gay club?”

“Well now that you’ve mentioned it, I’ve been meaning to tell you something.”

Sheriff Stilinski rolled his eyes in exasperation. “You’re not gay.”

“I could be!”

“Not dressed like that!” It was times like these I could easily see the similarities between the two Stilinski men; their sense of humor, their tendency to avoid uncomfortable situations, their posture. “What are you really doing here Stiles?”

“Danny here, just broke up with his boyfriend so we thought it would be a good idea to take him to the club. Maybe find him someone new.”

“You were helping Danny pick up a new boyfriend.”

“I will have you know I am an excellent wingman. I helped Scott get together with Allison.”

“Go home, Stiles.”

“Got it. I’ll just leave you to your sheriffing.”

“Go!”

“Going. Going.”

“You better be at home when I get there.”

“You got it, daddy-o!”


 

Danny was looking between Allison and I with a shocked expression written across his features, clearly not believing what I just told him. I looked at Allison for help, but she simply shrugged and went back to watching Danny as if she was waiting for him to explode. Maybe it would have been better to have Stiles talk to Danny instead of having him watch over Jackson who probably wants to punch Stiles in the face right about now. Stiles had always been better at explaining things to people, despite his tendency to let his mind wonder.

“You’re telling me werewolves are responsible for all the weird things that have been going on around here?”

“There’s also the kanima.”

“And Jackson is the kanima?”

“Yes. Derek gave him the bite, but something went wrong and now instead of becoming a werewolf, he’s a kanima.”

“Which is the giant lizard thing that I saw crawling around the club last night?”

“Yes.”

“And where is he now? He doesn’t know that he’s been killing all those people, right?”

“He’s with Stiles in a prisoner transport van and we’re pretty sure he had no idea.”

“Can I go see him?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“He’s my best friend. If something’s wrong with him, then I need to be there for him. What would you do if it were Stiles?”

“I would do anything for him, but there’s nothing you can do to help Jackson right now.” Danny opened his mouth to argue, but I knew if I gave him the chance I’d fold so I cut him off. “Please, trust me on this one. We’re not going to do anything that could hurt him or put him into any serious danger.”

“You’ll let me see him as soon as you can?”

“Of course. We should probably get going. Stiles won’t be able to hold Jackson off if he turns into the kanima.”

“Just keep me updated.” Danny turned to leave, but seemed to think of something else he needed to say. “Is there anything I can do to help? I don’t want to just sit around on the sidelines waiting for something to happen. I want to help.”

“Lydia has been working on translating the bestiary we managed to get from Gerard. She could probably use some help with that.”

“I doubt that, but I’m sure she could use the company. Take care of Jackson, please.”

“I will.”


 

“We could kill him.”

“We’re not going to kill him.”

“Why not? It would solve all of our problems and we’d have the added bonus of never having to look at his smug face again.”

“He didn’t do anything wrong! He helped us fight Peter and he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He doesn’t have anybody looking out for him the way I did when I first turned. Plus, I promised Danny that I would keep him safe.”

“Fine. If you insist on making my life miserable, I guess I’ll just have to live with it.”

“I’m not making your life miserable on purpose. You’ll be able to get back to Derek as soon as we’re sure Jackson is safe.”

Stiles narrowed his eyes at me. “What exactly are you implying?”

“I’m not implying anything.”

“Really, because it sounds to me like you’re ready to pick back up that argument from the other day. I know you don’t like Derek, I’m well aware of that fact, but I don’t understand why you’re taking your hatred for him out on me.”

“It has nothing to do with Derek.”

“If it has nothing to do with Derek, then why do you keep bringing him up? I just don’t understand what it is you’re so pissed at me for.”

“You never talk to me anymore!”

“What are you talking about?” Stiles had his head tilted to the side in confusion with his eyebrows scrunched together. “We talk all the time.”

“Sure we talk, but not like we used to. You’re always spending time with Lydia and Derek. It’s never just the two of us anymore. That night you were stuck in the pool you called Lydia. When you figured out what was going on with Isaac, the first thing you did was call Derek.”

“Alright if we’re going to have this fight, let’s talk about all the times you’ve either ditched me for Allison or spent all of your time talking about Allison. I have spent the last few weeks acting as a messenger between the two of you. I can’t even count on my fingers the number of times we’ve had plans only to have you cancel because Allison wanted to do something.”

“What?”

“You want to know why I called Lydia instead of you that night? I called her because I knew she would pick up and listen to what I had to say instead of just hanging up.”

“I didn’t know. I’m sorry.”

“Clearly we’re both in the wrong here. I should have told you how I was feeling and you should have said something about your feelings instead of just blowing up at me out of nowhere.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

“And I’m okay with whatever’s going on between you and Derek.”

“What.” Stiles was looking at me with a stony expression.

“Whatever’s going on between the two of you doesn’t bother me. If it makes you happy, then it makes me happy. I’ll kill him if he hurts you though.”

“As sweet as that sentiment is, Derek and I are not a thing. You’re pulling my leg aren’t you? It’s not funny!”

“It kind of is. I will try to work better with Derek. Even though I still think…” The sound of a door being ripped violently off its hinges made me turn my head in the direction of the van that was now empty.

Chapter Text

It probably says something that I now expect high schoolers to appear in the train depot while I’m out on a run or at the grocery store. Currently all the people in our little ‘pack,’ are sitting around talking like it’s perfectly normal for people their age to be hanging out in dark buildings. The three betas were debating fighting strategies, Scott and Allison were either talking in hushed whispers so no one else could hear them or making out, and Stiles, Lydia, and Danny were typing on their laptops. At the sight of Danny leaning into Stiles’s space to point at something on his laptop, I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck standing up, but the feeling quickly went away when Stiles looked up with a bright smile.

“Derek! Just the alpha we were looking for.”

“Stiles.”

“I’m sure you’re wondering why we’re all here today.”

“The point.”

“Lydia finished translating the kanima part of the bestiary and Scott and I now have a restraining order against us.”

I couldn’t help, but raise my eyebrows at the blunt way Stiles announced having a restraining order against him. “Do I even want to know?”

“Well you know we planned on keeping Jackson secure until we could figure out how to keep him from killing people. He kind of broke out by turning into the kanima and before we could tell my dad, Jackson was already there with his vying for a pair of restraining orders.”

“That complicates things.”

“Yes, it does, but now we’ve got Danny on our side and information on the kanima so there are some positive things to take away.”

“Let’s hear it then.”

Lydia stood up with her laptop balanced on one of her arms. “We already knew about the paralytic claws and that the kanima is a shape-shifter that is stuck for whatever reason. From what I’ve read, it’s normally because of some sort of past tragedy that they never resolved. There’s also this really disturbing part that says the kanima looks for a master.”

“So these aren’t random killings. Someone is controlling Jackson and making him kill these people. How is that even possible?” Stiles was now standing so he could look at the translation over Lydia's shoulder.

“The kanima looks for a master and once it finds one, the master has complete control over its actions. It looks like the kanima is only supposed to be used to kill those who have already killed.”

“It’s some sort of vigilante?”

“It’s more like a trade-off. In return for taking care of it, the kanima protects its master and by proxy all those that its master loves.”

“So we’re looking for someone who would want Isaac’s dad and the mechanic dead.”

“One of my dad’s hunters was killed too.”

“Alright so a hunter, Isaac’s dad, and a mechanic. I’m not seeing a pattern here.”

“Maybe there’s not supposed to be a pattern.”

“There’s always a pattern. Also, I’m pretty sure the mechanic didn’t kill anyone. As much of an asshole as he was, I don’t think he murdered anyone.”

“Just because the kanima is supposed to be used to kill those who have murdered, doesn’t mean the master has to use it that way.”

“Well then we’ve got to figure out who would want Isaac’s dad and the mechanic murdered and assume that the hunter was more of a spur of the moment kill.”

Lydia snapped the lid of her laptop shut and grabbed her bag. “I’ll leave that part to you. I’m going home. Come on, Danny.”

“Don’t forget to email that to me!”

“I don’t forget things.”

Lydia and Danny were soon followed by Erica, Isaac, and Boyd who had been talking all week about seeing some new movie. Allison and Scott seemed less inclined to leave. Although that probably had something to do with Allison’s family not knowing about their secret relationship, than actually wanting to spend time anywhere near me. Stiles was so busying with whatever he was looking at on his laptop that he most likely had no idea what was going on around him.

“Are you just going to stand there like a creep?” Or Stiles is more perceptive than I give him credit for. “You can come sit next to me. I swear I don’t bite.”

“I can’t say the same.”

“Was that humor? I think that was supposed to be humor. You’re like a real boy now.”

“A Pinocchio joke.”

“I was never really a fan of Pinocchio. He kind of freaked me out.”

“I know what you mean.”

“Puppets are creepy. Animated and real.”

We fell into a companionable silence that was only broken when Stiles would quietly murmur whatever he was reading under his breath. Allison and Scott started to wind down their session to the point that the two were only cuddling now, which I was grateful for. It got exhausting listening to the two swap spit like it was a new Olympic event that they were determined to get the gold medal in. I shook my head at that thought realizing that that seemed like the type of comment Stiles would make.

“We’re going to go. Are you going to be alright?”

“I don’t see why I wouldn’t be.”

“Just making sure.”

“Good night, Scott. Allison, have a wonderful evening.” The two gave a disgusting synchronized ‘bye’ as they slipped out of the door. “They are so cute it’s gross.”

“Agreed.”

“I don’t understand how they can act that way all the time. I get wanting to have a cutesy aspect of your relationship, but acting that way twenty-four seven seems so boring.”

“You mean you don’t want to be in a relationship that makes everyone around you want to vomit?”

Stiles gave a soft chuckle and closed his laptop as he turned to look at me. “Absolutely not. I’d rather be that couple that people look at and wonder, why the hell are those two together.”

“You just like to mess with people.”

“I don’t see what’s wrong with that. I think the point of life is to defy people’s expectations of you, while doing as little work as possible.”

“How has that worked out for you so far?”

“Pretty well. What about you?”

“What about me what?”

“What kind of relationship do you want to be in? You strike me as the type of person that just wants something simple.”

“As long as they don’t try to burn down my house, I’ll probably be happy.”

“I’m not sure if that was supposed to be funny or not. Am I allowed to laugh at that?” Stiles was already starting to laugh before he even got his question out. “You have a very dark sense of humor, don’t you? That’s what you’ve been hiding from us.”

“I don’t have a sense of humor.”

“You can’t fool me now. I know your secret.”

“One of many.”

“Going back to your dark and mysterious thing now I see.”

“I never stopped.”

Stiles let out a ridiculously loud laugh and slumped down so he forehead pressed against my shoulder. “I have no idea why I found that so funny. I think I need sleep. I should probably go. My dad will be so mad if I’m not there when he gets home. He’s already pissed at me for the whole restraining order thing. ”

“Be careful.”

“I always am.”


 

 

It’s not often that I find myself desperate for a cup of coffee as a means of either waking me up or keeping myself awake, but after a restless night all I could think about was getting my hands on a cup. Isaac had come in around midnight practically dead on his feet and had immediately passed out on his mattress. Normally the sound of Isaac’s calm breathing would be enough to settle my restless mind, but last night it seemed intent on running on over drive. At some point, I fell into a sort of trance like state that did little for the exhaustion that was now running through my body.

As soon as I had rolled out of bed this morning, I got dressed and headed for the one coffee shop in town that I could actually stand. The smell of bitter coffee and sweet pastries assaulted my nose as soon as I walked through the door managing to wake me up a little more. At least seven people were in front of me in line making me want to groan in frustration and bang my head into the nearest hard object. I was sure that I would end up falling asleep before I got the chance to order, but someone saying my name then tugging on my arm made me wake back up some.

“Derek. Earth to Derek. You in there somewhere? Good morning, sleepyhead.”

“I couldn’t sleep last night.”

“I can see that.” Stiles ran a thumb under one of my eyes and let out a 'tsk' sound that reminded me of my mom. “What kept you up? The hunters didn’t find you did they?”

“No. My brain wouldn’t shut down.”

“I know how that goes. It normally ends with me staying up all night researching the most bizarre information and then falling asleep in one of my classes the next day if I don’t have at least three gallons of coffee.”

“Isn’t your medication supposed to help with that?”

“Not really. It’s supposed to increase the functioning of my neurotransmitters so I can focus better, but it doesn’t really calm my brain down or anything like that. Do you come here often? Wow that sounded less like a bad pickup line in my head.”

“I don’t like any of the other coffee places in town.”

“Me either. The others are always so busy and commercialized, plus the pastries here are amazing.” I let out a grunt of agreement instead of trying to form words. “You’re really talkative right now. I always knew you could be a stimulating conversationalist. I’m envious of your loquacious personality.”

“Your words are too big for this early in the morning.”

“You must be dead on your feet if you’re admitting that. How did you get here by yourself?”

“I drove.”

“Very funny. Isn’t it too early for snark?”

“Never too early.” Stiles tried to cover his laugh with his hand, but was distracted when someone called his name. “Matt. How are you?”

“I’m good. You disappeared from the last lacrosse game. I was hoping to see you play again.”

“I had something I had to take care of.”

“You’ll be at the next one though?” Matt was staring avidly at Stiles as he waited for his answer and something about the look on his face made me want to get in between the two.

“Unless something else comes up, yes.”

“Good and I’ve decided to take your advice.”

“My advice?”

“About Allison. I think I’m going to ask her out. Try my luck.”

“Well best of luck to you then.” Stiles shifted uncomfortably towards me and reached tentatively for my hand like he thought I would pull away instead of letting him slip his fingers between mine for comfort. “Allison’s a nice girl.”

Matt’s eyes zoned in on our hands causing his body to stiffen. “Yes, she is. You know I think I left my homework on my bed. I should probably go get it. Wouldn’t want to let all that work go to waste.”

“See you at school.”

“Can’t wait.” The door to the coffee shop dinged shut behind Matt’s retreating back. “He is so creepy! There’s something not right about him. I don’t know what it is, but it’s definitely not good news.”

“Has he been at all your lacrosse games?”

“I’m not really sure, but I think so. He normally has his camera with him so he can take pictures of, whatever it is he takes pictures of.”

“You should be careful around him.”

“Believe me, I try not to be around him unless I can’t help it.”


 

 

Over the past few weeks I’ve begun to notice a disturbing pattern that doesn’t seem to be coming to an end anytime soon. Every week I seem to end up in the stands, or at least in the general vicinity of, that week’s lacrosse game. It’s gotten to the point that I expect either Lydia, Allison, Erica, or a combination of the three to come and drag me down to the field to watch a bunch of padded up boys smash into each other. Luckily Lydia appears to have forgotten the sign she had brought for me the first game she forced me to go to and instead only had one sign with all the boys’ names and numbers on it.

“Look who I managed to get out of their hidey hole!” Erica’s voice easily carried over everyone else drawing the attention of several people including players on the other team. “He didn’t even put up a fight. He just sighed and grabbed his keys.”

“Careful, Derek. If you don’t scowl more, people are going to think you actually enjoy being here.”

“Someone’s starting to sound more and more like Stiles.”

“Well I spend so much time with him it’s hard not to pick up a few of his quirks.” The sound of a particularly violent hit cracked through the air only adding to Lydia’s already sizable smirk. “He knows how to keep a girl entertained.”

“It’s that big… brain isn’t it?”

“That definitely has something to do with it.”

Erica cackled-literally cackled-as she moved to take her place next to Lydia in the stands. “You think he’ll get the chance to play tonight? Impress everybody with his awesome skills?”

“If he doesn’t, I’ll be thoroughly disappointed.”

“I’m sure you won’t be the only one.”

“I’m sure. Allison, look there’s Matt. I think he’s heading this way.” The kid from this morning that had put Stiles on edge was, in fact, making his way towards Allison with his camera in hand

“He keeps trying to get me alone to talk to me. It’s getting extremely annoying.”

“He wants to ask you out.”

“What?” All three girls whipped around to look at me at the exact same time. “He mentioned it to Stiles this morning.”

“What were you doing with Stiles?”

“We ended up going to the same coffee shop.”

“You just happened to end up at the same coffee shop or you two had a date to meet up there?” Lydia had her arms crossed and a serious look on her face. “There’s a big difference between the two.”

“We happened to end up at the same coffee shop.”

“You two are hopeless.”

“Allison! How are you?”

“She’s fine. Are you going to move out of the way? You’re blocking my view of the field.”

“Sorry, Lydia. I’ll just…”

“You can stand on the other side of Derek.” Lydia waved her hand dismissively and it wasn’t at all surprising that Matt followed her orders.

“Aren’t you that guy that was with Stiles this morning?”

“Yes.”

“Nice of you to support your boyfriend like this. You’re kind of old to be coming to high school lacrosse games though, aren’t you?”

“He’s twenty-one now be quiet, unless it’s to cheer for our team.”


 

Everything was going perfectly fine, despite the fact Matt kept trying to engage in a conversation with me only to be shut down immediately by Lydia. Beacon Hills was completely destroying the other team to the point I almost felt bad for the visitors who were getting absolutely no where, best efforts be damned. For once Finstock wasn’t spending the entire game yelling at his team or the referees, but was instead sitting on the bench deep in conversation with Stiles. After the third quarter, Stiles was put in the game which was of course when things went to absolute hell.

“Come on, Stiles!” Lydia was bouncing up and down enthusiastically every time Stiles had the ball. “Put it in the back of the net!”

Stiles either couldn’t hear her or didn’t choose to listen to her advice and instead passed to Jackson who simply watched the ball sail past him. The other team quickly took advantage of the free ball and managed to get a point amidst all the confusion. Danny was now yelling at Jackson to pay attention, but Jackson didn’t seem to care what Danny thought about his performance and kept ignoring Stiles. That was until Stiles received the ball with a clear goal scoring opportunity and Jackson went barreling into him. The crack of something breaking filled the field making the crowd suck in a deep breath in unison.

Jackson was quickly back on his feet and standing over Stiles who was still lying perfectly still on the ground. Without so much as bothering to help Stiles up, Jackson made his way back to where he was normally positioned ignoring questions from his teammates as he did so. Scott was just sliding to the ground next to his best friend when he started to move, which must have caused him a considerable amount of pain if the scream he let out was anything to go by. Melissa McCall had managed to make her way onto the field, still in her hospital scrubs, and was pulling up everything that covered Stiles’s upper body. Even from where I stood, I could see the dark purple bruise covering a majority of the left half of Stiles’s body and where he lung wasn’t working right.

“He’s got a punctured lung. We need to get him to the hospital immediately.” Melissa gave Finstock a pointed look before turning her attention back to Stiles who she gently eased out of his helmet. “Stiles, are you with me?”

“Yes.”

“Did you go unconscious?”

“Don’t think so.”

“How many fingers am I holding up?”

“Thursday?”

“That’s not funny, Stiles.”

“Two.”

“Good. I’m going to palpate your left side to assess the damage.” Melissa gently moved her hands along the left side of Stiles’s bruised up body making sure to quickly let up whenever Stiles hissed in pain. “You’ve got four broken ribs to go along with that punctured lung. Are you still breathing alright, honey?”

“Yes. Hurts.”

“I know. Just relax. We’ll get you to the hospital and patch you up.”


 

 

“I can’t believe Jackson did that!” Scott had been pacing the length of the waiting room since he walked in the hospital and was told by his mom he wouldn’t be able to see Stiles for quite a while. “Why would he even do that? He knew I was with Stiles the whole time the other night, so why didn’t he go after me too?”

“He’s jealous that Stiles and Lydia are spending time together.” Isaac kept trying to calm Scott down, but nothing seemed to be working. “Stiles will be fine. Your mom will make sure of that.”

“I know that, but-”

“Would you be quiet? We know the two of you have been attached at the hip since birth, but there’s nothing you can do for Stiles so drop it.”

“Well maybe if you weren’t all over Stiles all the time, this wouldn’t have happened!”

“Stiles is a big boy and can make his own decisions. He hasn’t exactly been complaining about the time we’ve been spending together. He’s allowed to have friends other than you.”

“That has nothi-” The sound of familiar footsteps made Scott whip around so he was facing his mother. “Mom! How is he? Did everything go okay? Can we see him?”

“He’s fine. The procedure went off without a hitch and yes you all can see him. He was just starting to come back from the anaesthesia when I left.”

Scott was the first one into Stiles’s room and practically jumped right into the bed next to the injured boy, but was stopped by his mom’s hand on his elbow. “Stiles! Stiles!”

“Why are you yelling at me?”

“You’re awake!”

“No, I’m talking in my sleep this is my subconscious coming out. You want to play a game?”

“How do you feel?”

“Like I’ve been hit by a car or a ton of bricks or an enraged teenaged boy.”

“He shouldn’t have done that.”

“Obviously.” Stiles slowly opened his eyes and scanned the room until his gaze fell on where Lydia and I were still standing by the door. “You know you two are allowed to come in the room right? You don’t have to just stand awkwardly by the door like Buckingham Palace guards?”

“They’re called the Queen’s Guard.”

“Don’t correct me. I’m injured. I get to be wrong all I want.” Stiles winced as he pushed himself a little further up on the bed. “You should distract me from the pain.”

“Alright. I have the perfect question.”

“And what would that be?”

“Why was Matt under the impression that Derek is your boyfriend? He was quite sure of himself when he brought it up tonight.”

“Veto.”

“Denied. Answer the question, Stilinski.”

“He saw us getting coffee together this morning.”

Lydia raised her eyebrows at the ambiguous answer and scoffed. “I’m well aware of that, but friends go to get coffee with each other all the time so why did he think you two were dating?”

“I plead the fifth.”

“This isn’t a court of law and I don’t care what you plead. Answer the question.”

“I may have… reached to Derek for comfort when Matt made me feel like he was violating me with his eyes.”

“Could you be any more elusive? Just spill.”

“There might have been mutual hand holding.”

“Intertwined or not?”

“Does that make a difference?” Lydia gave Stiles a look that clearly said it made a big difference. “Intertwined. Why?”

“You’re totally dating.”

“Are not!”

“You clasp hands with a friend for comfort not intertwine.”

“I refuse to abide by your societal expectations! Scott, come hold my hand!” Stiles threw out his right arm towards Scott who rolled his eyes, but did what Stiles told him to anyways. “See. It’s not even weird.”

“It’s a little bit weird.”

“No, it’s not. In fact, I think I have to tell you something. I love you!”

“You’re such a freak.”

“You know you love me too.”

“Yes, I do. You’re like my brother.”

Stiles beamed at Scott and removed his hand so he could ruffle Scott’s hair. “You’re gonna make me blush.”

“What you need to do is sleep. I’m going to give you some more painkillers to help you do just that. Your dad said he should be here in about an hour. You’ll probably be fast asleep by then.” Melissa ran a comforting hand through Stiles’s buzz cut after she pushed a syringe with painkillers into his IV. “By the way, it definitely means you’re dating.”

“Mom!”

Chapter Text

“Lydia and I think we know what’s keeping Jackson from transforming all the way.”

“Really and what is that?” Stiles looked up from the open book in his lap to where I was sitting at the foot of his bed. “I’m assuming it has something to do with his parents?”

“Yes, but the only problem is his parents are already dead.”

“Fantastic. We need a guy with the emotional range of a teaspoon to get closure and the people he needs to get closure with are dead. That should be easy.”

“Lydia and Danny are trying to come up with something since they know him best, but that’s slow going as you can imagine. Lydia wanted me to ask you if you’ve come up with any ideas as to who could be controlling Jackson.”

“Matt.”

“Matt? The creepy guy that keeps hitting on Allison?”

“That would be the one.”

“You’re just saying that because you don’t like him.”

“I don’t like him because he creeps me out.”

“That’s not proof that he’s the one that’s doing this.”

“No, but we’re talking about a guy who makes it his business to know what other people are doing at all times and he doesn’t exactly scream mentally stability. I just have to figure out how to connect him with the people who have been murdered.”

“I think you’re stretching here.”

“Think what you will.” Stiles winced as he moved to get comfortable only to end up jostling his broken ribs. “I thought having a broken arm was bad, but this is ridiculous. I can’t move without causing myself pain.”

“You just need a distraction.”

“Like what?”

“Well you and your boyfriend could-”

“Not you too!”

I couldn’t help, but laugh at the exasperated look on Stiles’s face. “I don’t get why the two of you keep denying the beautiful love between the two of you. You’re like Elizabeth and Darcy.”

“I don’t want to be Elizabeth!”

“But you would look so good in a dress.”

“I’m sure that’s very true, but that doesn’t mean I want to be in one.”

“The only gay couple I can think of off the top of my head is Alec and Magnus.”

Stiles seemed to consider that one for a second. “I don’t know if I could pull off the skin tight leather pants look.”

“I’m sure if you asked Lydia she could give you pointers.”

“I think I’ll just stick with my jeans and hoodies, thank you very much. Although, I feel the need to remind you, once again, that Derek and I are not dating.”

“Even Melissa agreed that you two are dating. I don’t understand why you’re so against the idea. I’m pretty sure it’s not the guy thing.”

“Of course it’s not the guy thing. Gender isn’t an issue for me.”

“Then what is it?”

“It’s just… It's Derek you know? The first time I met the guy he’s was all ‘get off my property!’ Then after that he showed up in my car dying and then there was all that threaten to kill me between saving each other’s lives.”

“Sounds like a Lifetime movie to me.”

“It sounds more like Stockholm syndrome than a Lifetime movie.”

“Derek has never held you hostage. Besides, when was the last time Derek threatened you with bodily harm?”

Stiles pulled a face as he stopped to think over the question. “I can’t really remember, but that doesn’t mean we’re suddenly like Jack and Sally. All simply meant to be.”

“Come on, Batman! Can you really tell me you’ve never considered being in a relationship with Derek?”

“Not really! I mean everybody brings it up, but I’ve never actually sat down and thought about it like it could actually happen.”

“How about we start there? Can you see yourself with Derek? Kissing, talking, dating, killing supernatural creatures together.”

“We’ve done the last one together so I can definitely imagine that one. The rest of it though… I don’t know. Derek isn’t exactly the type of guy that screams romance.”

I moved up Stiles’s bed so I was sitting right next to him and placed a gentle hand on his. “That might be true, but think of all the passion! You two will probably fight all the time and then have really hot make-up sex.”

“That’s probably really accurate, but after what happened with Kate I can’t really see Derek getting into another serious relationship.”

“But what about true love overcoming all obstacles!”

“Moulin Rouge? That’s the best you could do?”

“You recognized it didn’t you! My point is you’re nothing like Kate and Derek is nothing like the Derek that dated Kate. You’re one of the most loyal people I know. Derek would be an idiot not to realize it.”

“When you put it like that.” Stiles turned to look at me with a soft smile. “Thanks, Catwoman. I’m not saying Derek and I are dating or will date, but I guess I can see where you guys are coming from.”

“We just want you to be happy. Both of you. Plus the sexual tension is ridiculous. You’re worse than Dean and Castiel.”

“That’s a bold faced lie!”


 

 

Some days I feel like Beacon Hills High School has more in common with Arkham Asylum than other high schools in America. To be fair, other high schools in America probably aren’t full of newly transformed werewolves with a crazed hunter for the principal along with a kanima roaming around killing people, but that’s beside the point. Sometimes a girl just wants to go to school, reject a few boys, and then go home to take a nice nap to make up for lost sleep. Apparently, that’s too much to ask for when supernatural beings are involved (i.e. Scott and Jackson).

If I would have known I would end up in detention today, I would have brought my nail polish instead of notebooks. Despite the fact I had absolutely nothing to do with the two fighting idiots, Harris is making me sit here in silence while he smirks down at a book I’m pretty sure he’s not even reading. Jackson and Scott look like they’re either trying to kill each other with their eyes or about to jump each other’s bones in a moment of passion. That would definitely make things more interesting and maybe some good old fashion hate sex would do them some good.

The other two occupants in the room, Allison and Matt, were sitting next to each other with their eyes glued to their tablets. At this point watching paint dry would be more interesting than anything else in this library. Sighing I leaned back in my chair so it was on two legs instead of four and looked up only to slam my chair back down when I got the perfect view of the disgusting water-spotted ceiling. I was starting to think I would die of boredom long before detention ended, when a text message popped up on my phone.

Stiles

Derek wants to know where you are. He’s doing that Grouchy Eyebrows of Doom thing.

Erica

Scott and Jackson landed me in detention.

Stiles

How? Scott’s not supposed to be anywhere near Jackson. It’s part of the restraining order.

Erica

Jackson went all zombie mind controlled on Allison and Scott went to defend her honor or something like that. Matt and I were walking by when Harris showed up and he gave us all detention.

Stiles

Matt’s there too?

Erica

Yes. Why?

I’m not asking him any weird questions for you if that’s what you’re thinking.

Stiles

You wound me. That would be much too obvious. Just keep an eye on him.

Erica

It’s not like I have anything else to do.

Stiles

Poor thing. It’s not like I’ve spent all day cooped up in my house unable to move.

Erica

Stop bitching and be a man.

Harris snapped his book closed and started making his way towards the door to leave. “I’m sure you all would like to go home. Unfortunately, for you, that’s not possible yet. These books must be reshelved before any of you are allowed to leave.”

“What an asshole.” I murmured under my breath before climbing to my feet and making my way over to one of the carts stacked with books.

Stiles

I reject your premise of what makes a man, a man.

Erica

Harris is a dick.

Stiles

You didn’t know that? I thought it was common knowledge.

Erica

He left us here to put up books.

Stiles

Two werewolves, a kanima, a huntress, and a psycho get stuck in a library.

Erica

You’re not funny.

Stiles

The faster you go the faster you get out of there.

I shook my head as I put my phone into my back pocket and gave my full attention to putting away the large stack of books next to me. The repetitive motion of the task had me quickly zoning out to the point that I wasn’t even aware of the people around me. The others could be doing a ritualistic sacrifice and I wouldn’t even care. I had just placed the last book in my stack on the shelf, when an odd prickling sensation on the back of my neck made me freeze up and when I tried to turn around my whole body crumpled to the ground.


 

“Erica, can you hear me? Erica, squeeze my hand if you can hear me.” The male voice sounded familiar, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get my spasming hand to do what he said. “Erica, I know this doesn’t help, but I need you to breathe. Derek, we have to do something.”

“I can trigger the healing process, but it’s going to be painful.”

“How? How can you trigger it?”

“Breaking a bone would be easiest.”

“You have to break a bone to jump start the healing process!”

“Yes.”

“Your werewolf logic is so screwy sometimes. Fine, just do what you have to. Erica, hold on a little longer. You’re going to be fine. Just focus on my voice.”

“I’ve got to do it now. Are you sure you can hold her?”

“I’ll be fine. Erica, try to breathe. Try to match me.” I could feel strong hands taking hold of my arm gently before they gripped tightly and bent in opposite directions causing my bones to easily give way. “I know it hurts, but I need you to breathe through the pain. That’s it. Deep breathes.”

“I can bleed the venom out of her to speed up the healing process further.”

“That shouldn’t even surprise me at this point. Hurry up and do it. No use putting it off.”

“She’ll be alright.”

“Not if you don’t hurry your ass up.”

“Stiles, you need to calm down. You’ve got your own injuries to think about.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’m not the one in the middle of a seizure!”

“It will stop soon. You just have to be patient.”

“When have you ever known me to be patient? Patience is a virtue I don’t have.”

“I’m aware of that.” A firm pressure broke through my skin making my body attempt to squirm away in protest, but I only managed to push further into whatever solid object was behind me. “She’s already starting to get color back.”

“Good. That’s good.”

“How are your ribs?”

“Do you want me to answer that question honestly or with my usual deflective tendencies?”

“Honestly.”

“They’re killing me.”

“Give me your hand.”

“I need both my hands, thank you very much. I’m not a fan of that inflicting pain somewhere else to distract from the original pain.”

“I’m not going to cut off your hand.”

“Promise?” The question went unanswered, but I could feel the solid object, that I’m now realizing is a person and not an object, shift around jostling my arm in the process causing me to gasp and open my eyes. “Erica? You’re finally awake! Well, your eyes are open. You could have been awake this whole time and we wouldn’t even have known it. How are you feeling? Do you need something? Water?”

I tried several times to speak, but nothing came out until I finally cleared my throat allowing me to give a raspy reply. “Water. You make a good Batman, Stiles.”

“You make a pretty good Catwoman.”

“Derek totally wants to hold your hand.”

“Are we seriously back on this topic? You just had a seizure. A really bad one at that.”

“Which is why I need a distraction.”

“Oh, I’ll give you a distraction, but you’re not going to like it.” Before Stiles could make any more of a threat, Derek walked back into the room with a glass of water in hand and a disapproving look on his face. “Are Scott and the others still loitering around downstairs?”

“Everyone. but Lydia. No one can get in touch with her.”

“That’s definitely not a good sign. Shit!”

“I told you you would end up hurting yourself.”

“Yes, yes I know. Now come over here and help me.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Despite his protesting, Derek crossed the room and helped the two of us maneuver so I was now sitting up by myself on one side of the bed, while Stiles rested against the headboard on the other. “Meds?”

“I’ve already taken them recently. I just need a few minutes to relax.”

“Hand.”

“You could ask nicely.”

“Now.” Sighing Stiles held out his hand to Derek who took it in his own, his veins turning black as soon are he did so. “I’m surprised you’re not asking questions about what happened.”

“My head’s still a little foggy. What did happen?”

“Jackson happened. Or more accurately, the person controlling Jackson made him tear up the library. Scott found you paralyzed on the floor. He said he tried to wake you up, but all he managed to do was send you into a seizure.”

“How badly did he react?”

Stiles gave a light chuckle. “He called me in hysterics. It took Allison and I reassuring him that you wouldn’t die to get him to calm down enough to bring you here, while Allison stayed behind with Matt.”

“What happened to Matt?”

“He got paralyzed too.”

“There goes your theory.” I moved the arm that Derek had broken around experimentally. “I can’t say having my arm broken has ever been a tactic to stop a seizure before.”

“How does it feel?”

“Brand new.”

“Lucky.” I couldn’t help the smirk that appeared on my face. “Suck it up, Stilinski.”


 

“How are you feeling?”

“I should be the one asking you that.” Stiles looked exhausted where he was slumped against the couch half on top of Derek. “The point of you becoming a werewolf was to keep you from having to have seizures and you just had one. Those aren’t exactly relaxing and tranquil experiences.”

“That kanima venom clearly does something to disrupt werewolf healing abilities, but I still have them unlike you. There’s no way I didn’t throw an elbow or two right into your broken ribs.”

“That’s beside the point.”

“Really? So if I lightly poked you right now, you’d be perfectly fine?”

“I would say yes, but I know I’d just end up regretting it.”

“Admit defeat, Stilinski!” Stiles got halfway through a throaty chuckle before gasping in pain only to relax a second later when Derek shoved a hand up Stiles’s shirt. “Werewolf pain sucking is the best thing ever. Better than morphine and hydrocodone combined.”

“You sound high.” Isaac was smirking at Stiles from his spot on the floor next to Scott.

“I would flip you off, but that just seems like too much effort. The costs totally outweigh the gains. My mouth feels funny. Like it’s full of cotton balls.”

“Maybe you’ve got a rabbit in it.”

“That’s stupid. You’re stupid. Your hair looks like a rabbit’s tail. It’s all fluffy and floffy. Is floffy a word?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s not. I’m thinking of asking someone out. Do you know any good pick-up lines?”

“Depends on your definition of good.”

“I want to hear one.” Isaac was grinning from ear to ear like messing with an out of it Stiles was the best thing to happen to him all week.

“Fine. You must be the square root of two because I feel irrational around you.” Everyone in the room stared at Stiles in shock, except Derek who seemed to be having trouble controlling his face. “What? Did you want a dirty pick-up line? I wish I was your derivative so I could lie tangent to your curves.”

“Are those math pick-up lines?”

“Yes and?”

“Math. Pick-up. Lines.”

“Yes. Why is so hard to comprehend about that?”

“I think you’re the most coherent high person I’ve ever met.”

“I’m not high! I’m just floaty like I’m in water.” Stiles dropped his head back and looked confused when his head landed against Derek’s shoulder with a thunking sound. “That’s definitely not water. Look, it’s a Derek.”

“Maybe you should go to bed.”

Stiles was about to protest when Scott stood up. “I know exactly what to do.”

“Don’t you dare!”

“You need to go to sleep before you end up saying or doing something that you regret and I know exactly how to do that.”

“Worst best friend ever.”

“You’ll take that back when you wake up.”

“I hate you.”

“How are you not jealous of the bromance between them?” I looked at Allison who was reading the translated pages of the bestiary on her tablet again.

“I think it’s sweet. They always look out for each other. It’s nice.”

“You’re not even a little bit jealous?”

“Nope. I think they’d rather cut off their own testicles than sleep with one another.”

“Well, that is certainly comforting.”

Scott came bounding back into the room with Stiles’s laptop in his hand and a look of concentration on his face. “What do you want to listen to?”

“Chopin!”

“No. Chopin always makes you hyper.”

“Buzzkill.” Stiles turned his head to look at Derek. “What do you think? Chopin is already out, which is stupid.”

“Chopin makes you hyper! You’re supposed to be going to sleep.”

“Fine, just put on the Classical Essentials playlist.”

“Deal.”

“Start with Four Seasons. Vivaldi.”

“I will.”

“We still haven’t dealt with the whole Lydia missing problem. Just thought I’d point that out.” Stiles yawned and settled further into Derek with his eyes closed. “Acting weird. Not good sign.”

“Stiles has a point.” Boyd’s deep voiced filtered through the sounds of classical music coming from the open laptop on the table.

“Lydia has been acting strange recently. The other day we were over at her house talking about the kanima and she just zoned out. It was like I wasn’t even there anymore.”

“Where do you think she is now?”

“That’s the problem. I have no clue. She could be anywhere.”

“I think the more important question is: why she is where she is.” I looked around the room at everyone’s confused faces before continuing. “Knowing where she is would be great, but I think we should be more concerned with why she is where she is. If Lydia isn’t acting like Lydia, then that means someone is controlling her and if they know what she is, they could be making her do who knows what.”

“Well that just successfully added to the feeling of impending doom. Anybody else have something to add? I’d like to go wallow in despair now.” A beat after Isaac was finished talking, Stiles let out what could only be described as a mewling sound that made his nose wrinkle up and Scott bust up laughing. “I don’t think Stiles is human. Allison should start looking for something in the bestiary."

Allison tipped her head to the side as she studied Stiles. “He kind of reminds me of a fox.”

“Can I be the one to tell him that?” I raised my hand in earnest earning me a weak glare from Derek who obviously agreed with Allison, despite his protests. “I bet he’ll be so happy to find out he reminds us of an adorable woodland creature.”

Chapter Text

Broken ribs can easily be described with one word: ass. That could, of course, be my new found Tourette’s problem, but the sentiment still stands. Broken ribs suck and they’re even worse when you’re also healing a punctured lung. Having supernatural pain soothing friends helps, until they start making fun of you because they’re jerks. Jerks with superpowers. My life has officially turned into Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

“Somebody’s looking foxy today. Nice to see you out of your den.” “

"Ass!” See I’ve developed Tourette’s. “That’s it. I’m going home. You guys can figure this out without me.”

“Don’t be like that, Stiles. Let me make it up to you. I can brush out your fur.”

“I’m out.”

“Last one, I promise.”

I took in the faux innocent look on Isaac’s face that promised many more fox related jokes in the future, but knew I couldn’t leave the planning up to the others. “Just take me to your leader already. For the record, I don’t look anything like a fox.”

“Whatever you say.”

“I am never going to live this down.”

“Nope!” Isaac threw open the door with a smirk over his shoulder. “Stiles is here! All bright-eyed and bushy tailed.”

“Damn it, Isaac!”

“You know Allison is the one who brought it up.”

“What?” I sent Allison a glare that she returned with a bright smile from where she stood by Danny. “I thought we were friends and you betrayed me!”

“You do kind of look and act like a fox. Plus, you made that cute little sound and I just had to point it out.”

“Wait what? I made a sound. What sound? On a scale to one to ten how embarrassing was this sound?”

“It was like a mewling, whining sound.”

I let out a strangled sound that made Scott and Isaac roll around on the floor in laughter, while Danny, Allison, Erica, and Boyd sent me half smiles that barely concealed their amusement. “Cut it out.”

“And Derek comes swooping in to save the day.” Erica was now openly laughing at me; the traitor. “What a surprise!”

“I don’t need saving. I’m perfectly capable of saving myself.”

“Sure you are.”

“I’m not some damsel in distress. I am the leading man of my own life!”

“I know, Batman.”

“Now that that’s dealt with, can we please get to the two issues we have hanging over our heads?” I took a seat on the floor letting out a grunt when my ribs jostled painfully. “Has anybody heard from Lydia?”

“No.”

“And no one knows where she is?”

“No.”

“Right then. What about the Jackson thing? Did you come up with anything Danny?”

Danny shook his head. “Jackson isn’t exactly an easy person to reason with. Every time I’ve brought up his parents in the past, he’s shut me down right away.”

“We need to come up with something soon. There were two more deaths and one of them wasn’t Jackson, which means the master is getting antsy. He wants to finish whatever it is he’s started and sooner rather than later.”

“If we could find the master, we wouldn’t have to worry about finishing Jackson’s transformation.”

“I’ve already given my theory on that.”

“It can’t be him.” Erica was rolling her eyes and judging me with her everything. “He was paralyzed just like I was in the library.”

“Just because he was paralyzed too, doesn’t mean it’s not him.”

“That doesn’t even make any sense.”

“What if he knew we were on to him? What would you do if you were in control of a giant supernatural lizard and the local supernatural were about to find out your squishy human self was killing people with it?”

“You think he made Jackson paralyze him so we would stop considering him a suspect?”

“If I were a creepy lizard wielding psychopath, that’s what I would do.”

“Should we be worried about you going off on a killing spree?” Isaac was looking at me with what could only be concern.

“Haven’t you ever read The Art of War? ‘To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.’ It’s all about perspective.”

“I liked it better when you were doing math pick-up lines.”

I opened my mouth to ask what he was talking about, but quickly snapped it shut and shook my head. “I don’t want to know. We’re just going to have to keep an eye on Matt and wait for Lydia to show back up.”

“I can follow Matt around.”

“So Scott is on Matt duty and the rest of us will just do nothing. I guess. I liked it better when it was Peter killing people. He didn’t even try to hide who he was after he was fully healed.” I could feel everyone staring at me while I kept my eyes firmly on my shoes. “Don’t judge me.”


 

“How are you feeling?”

“Peachy keen.”

“You’re not wearing pink.”

An undignified snort left my mouth as I turned to look at Derek who was staring avidly at the coffee shop menu. “I’m not worried about being pregnant either. Even if that was physiologically possible for me, that would require sex, which I’m not having.”

“Why do you have to use big words this early in the morning?”

“Because you find it irksome?”

“Bastard.”

“That wasn’t very nice.”

“Wasn’t supposed to be.”

“You wound me. You can’t fool me anyways. I’m totally your favorite.” Derek raised an expressive eyebrow nearly to his hair line. “Don’t even try to deny it.”

“Whatever.”

Silence fell between us, which of course made me feel like I needed to fill the space with words. “I’ve been thinking…”

“Continue.”

“Maybe we should do more stuff like this.”

“Like what?”

“This!” I gestured widely around almost hitting the woman behind me in the process. “The two of us just going out for coffee and talking about things other than what’s trying to kill us at the moment.”

“Why?”

“Well I’ve recently come to the conclusion that our friends might be right about there potentially being something between us. We’re a little bit more than platonic friends, don’t you think? You had your hand up my shirt to pain suck my ribs. You let me hold your hand in public. It just seems…”

“Dating. You’re talking about dating.” I could feel the skin on my cheeks heating up under Derek’s piercing gaze. What in the world convinced me this was a good idea? Stupid Erica and Lydia. I hadn’t even planned on bringing this up. Curse my inability to think before I start rambling.

“Screw it. Yes, I’m talking about dating. I’m talking about going out for coffee and telling you about all the stupid things that pop into my mind. I’m talking about dragging you out to the newest must see movie and then listening to you complain about how stupid it was. And I don’t know if this will work because we spend half our time fighting and the other half trying to save each other’s lives, but I think it’s worth a try. Nothing good in life ever comes easy.”

“I know.” Derek seemed so intent on looking anywhere, but at me that I wasn’t expecting him to speak again. “I think your right.”

“Excuse me. What?”

“We should try.”

“Dating?”

Derek rolled his eyes as he stepped up to the counter to order. “Yes, Stiles. A black coffee and a caramel macchiato.”

“Wait. Did you just order for me? How did you even know what I wanted?”

“It’s what you got last week.”

“You remember that?”

“Caramel macchiato isn’t exactly a difficult order to remember.”

“You’re lucky it’s the same day. My coffee order depends on the day.”

“Of course it does.”

“Just because you don’t like to jazz up your life, doesn’t mean other people don’t. I’m all about experiencing life to the fullest.”

“Nearly getting killed isn’t enough for you?”

“Is it bad that I want to point out that nearly getting killed is kind of the new normal for me?”

“Probably.” Derek handed me my cup of coffee and started heading towards the door. “Makes things more interesting though.”

The sip of coffee I had just taken got spit up all over my hand as I busted out laughing. “You did that on purpose. You’re such a dick.”


 

“Stiles!”

“Scott!” I slammed the door to my locker shut and turned to see Scott running up to me with his bag swinging wildly behind him. “What in the world is wrong with you? Did you have pure sugar for breakfast this morning?”

“No. Why do you ask?”

“You’re running around the hallways like a madman. I’m pretty sure you took out a couple freshmen back there.”

“My bad. I’ve got to tell you something. It’s good. Really good.”

“Can it wait until lunch or do we need to hide out in a closet? If that’s the case, I’m not letting you make out with me.”

Scott got a thoughtful look on his face, but eventually shook his head. “It can wait. It would probably be better. We could tell everyone at once.”

“Then shoo. Go to class like a good little boy.”

“Lunch.”

“Yes, lunch Scott. Now go.” I couldn’t help, but smile as Scott practically sprinted away from me clearly excited to tell his news to our little group. From Scott’s mood I could only assume that whatever Scott had found out was going to be a good thing, rather than something else to worry about. Hopefully Lydia would show back up today and make my life even easier, but I had a feeling I wouldn’t get that lucky. I hadn’t seen the slightest hint of strawberry blonde hair and she hadn’t answered any of the text messages I had sent her this morning.

“Stiles!”

Maybe I should have had Derek buy me two caramel macchiatos this morning. “Matt! How are you this morning? I heard something weird happened the other day in the library. Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. I actually wanted to ask you how you were. I was at the game the other night and I couldn’t believe that Jackson did that to you.”

“My ribs still hurt a little bit, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.”

“That’s good. Do you know when you’re going to be able to play again? The championships are coming up.”

“I’m not really sure yet. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment today to see how things are healing so I guess I’ll find out then.”

“That’s good.” Matt shifted like he was adjusting his backpack and somehow ended all up in my personal space. “It would really suck if you weren’t able to play.”

“I ride the bench. Not exactly an important position.”

“You’ve played in the last couple of games. I mean you scored the winning goal in that game a few weeks ago.”

“That was pure luck.”

Matt placed one of his hands on my left upper arm and gave a firm squeeze. “You really shouldn’t sell yourself short.”

“Thanks…” I looked around the hall desperately for one of my werewolfy friends, but the ringing of the warning bell would work just as well. “I should really get to class now.”

“I guess I’ll see you around then.”

I started walking down the hallway as fast as I could without appearing suspicious and couldn’t help, but sarcastically whisper. “I bet you will.”


 

“I, Stiles Stilinski, now call this lunch session into order. Scott has something he wishes to share with us and then I want to complain about how creepy Matt was to me this morning. That’s definitely happening.” Boyd, Erica, Allison, Danny, Isaac, and Scott were all looking at me with mixed levels of interest ranging from Boyd’s stoic indifference to Scott’s happy puppy smile. “He touched me. It was weird. We’re definitely talking about it.”

“Wait. Can we do your thing first because I’m definitely more interested in what you have to say than what Scott has to say?”

“You don’t even know what I have to say.” Scott was now glaring at Erica for openly dissing his exciting information. “Stiles already said I could go first anyways. Last night I managed to catch Matt’s scent and he was waiting in line to buy tickets for some sort of secret dance-concert thing.”

Scott smiled widely as he looked around at the rest of us. “Is that it?”

“Yes. Now we know what he’s going to be doing tomorrow night. We just need to get tickets and come up with a plan to catch him and Jackson. It’s perfect.”

“Not bad.”

“Deaton could probably help us figure out a way to catch them both.”

“You should text him and tell him what you’ve just told us then ask if we can meet up at his practice after hours. I’ve got dinner with my dad tonight, but I could meet you all there after.” I turned to look at Danny who undoubtedly had connections with whatever was going on. “Do you think you can score us some tickets to this thing?”

“It will be difficult, but I might be able to come up with a few.”

“Knew I could count on you Danny. Should I even bother asking about Lydia or is it safe to assume that no one has seen her today?” Everyone stayed silent. “Fantastic.”

“You still haven’t told us what happened with you and Matt this morning. Did he touch you in your no-no square?” Erica was leaned forward onto the table with an excited look on her face like my pain brought her immense pleasure.

“If you’re talking about my penis the answer is no, but if you’re talking about something else entirely I don’t even want to know. He did, however, severely invade my personal bubble and then grab my arm in one of those platonic, but not really platonic holds. Plus he kept asking me when I was going to be able to play lacrosse again and then complimenting me. It was weird.”

“He’s got a big fat lesbian crush on you.”

“While I appreciate the Mean Girls reference, I’m fairly certain that’s not the case. He keeps asking me about Allison.”

“I’m pretty sure Erica is right about this one.” Allison placed a comforting hand onto mine and gave a gentle squeeze. “He’s always watching you at the games, even when you’re not on the field.”

“You’re insane. He doesn’t have a crush on me and he’s not in lesbians with me. He’s creepy and clearly doesn’t understand the concept of personal space. He’s a space invader.”

“He kind of acted a little jealous of Derek at last week’s game after he found out you two were dating. I mean, after he thought he found out you were dating.”

“After all this mess is sorted out, I’m taking a vacation. A long and well deserved vacation away from all of this nonsense.”

Erica perked up as soon as the word vacation slipped out of my lips. “We should go to a spa. Pamper ourselves.”

“Normally sitting still for long periods of time isn’t my thing, but that sounds wonderful right about now. I could definitely go for a massage.”

“You, me, Allison, and Lydia will be spending a day at the spa when all of this is over.”

“I won’t argue with you. Sign me up.”


 

“Papa, padre, oh father of mine. How are you on this lovely day?” My dad had his head bent over a file so far that his nose was practically pressed up against it. “I don’t think your proximity to the paper will in anyway alter how you assimilate the information.”

“Thank you, for your valuable input. Is that food I smell?”

“Yes, it is. Healthy, good for you food that you will eat every bite of and be happy about it.”

“Whatever you say. Just hand over the goods.”

“I’m pretty sure you taught me to say please.” Despite my protesting, I handed over my dad’s food and was instantly distracted by the wall of information behind him.

“Don’t even think about it. Avert your eyes.”

“You’ve clearly got a theory going. Sometimes it helps to talk through our thoughts with someone else. They might have something else to bring to the table.”

“I’m not discussing this case with you.”

“Come on, dad. I can help!”

My dad shoved a bite of food in his mouth and took his time chewing it before he said anything. “They’re all twenty-four except for Mr. Lahey.”

“So we’ve got four murdered people and three of them were twenty-four. That’s definitely a pattern, but we know that whoever killed the other three killed Mr. Lahey too.”

“At first I was thinking that his death might have been something else entirely, but then I realized that Isaac isn’t his only son. He had an older son named Camden and guess how old he would be if he were still alive?”

“Twenty-four. That’s absolutely a pattern then.” I focused in on the photos and could practically feel the gears turning in my head until they finally clicked in. “They would have all been in the same class. We should check the 2006 yearbook and their class schedules.”

Without a second thought my dad started messing around on his computer until he finally let out a sound of triumph. “Tucker, Sean, Jessica, and Camden were all in intermediate chemistry with Adrian Harris. Looks like I’ve finally got someone to bring into questioning.”


 

Meeting up with werewolves at a veterinarian’s office would probably be considered weird by most people, but over the past few months my life has strayed from ‘normal.’ Going to a veterinarian for help with the local supernatural problems is pretty much at the bottom of my weird list at this point. In fact, it’s gotten to the point that it would be weird if this wasn’t happen and by this, I mean standing around while Deaton explain ways he can help us capture the kanima and his master. Just a typical Thursday night if you ask me.

“I don’t have anything that can counteract the paralytic effects that the kanima possesses, but I do have something that should be able to slow down Jackson long enough for you to capture him.” Deaton held up a small clear bottle with a white label on it. “This is ketamine. It’s an anaesthesia used on dogs for surgery.”

“How much should we use?” Isaac was holding the small bottle in his hand and twisting it this way and that like he expected it to be some sort of illusion.

“I can’t be certain. You might only need a syringe full or you might need the whole bottle. There’s no way of telling until you use it. I’ve also got something here for Mr. Stilinski.”

At the sound of my name my head snapped up and my limbs would have gone flailing if Derek hadn’t have had the forethought to pin them firmly to my sides. “Me? What could you possibly have for me?”

“After Jackson is sedated, they will need a way to contain him and only you will be able to do that. In these bags is something called Mountain Ash. It’s what I use to keep werewolves from making trouble during business hours. It works as a barrier against the supernatural like werewolves and should work to keep the kanima confined.”

“So what, if I circle the building with mountain ash, then the kanima wouldn’t be able to get out?”

“Precisely and because I believe the kanima and the master are linked, I do not think the master will be able to leave the ring either.”

“How am I supposed to do this exactly? It seems like kind of a monumental task and I’m kind of known for screwing things up.”

“For the ash to work, you must have faith in yourself and the ash. If you believe it will work, then it will work. You are the only one who can do this.”

“That can’t be true. I’m sure there’s someone much more qualified out there, like you, for example.”

Deaton shook his head and set his firm stare on me. “You must be the one to do it. You have a spark that no one else here has.”

“A spark?”

“Yes and a spark is meant to ignite, not to fade away. All you need to do is believe.”

“I… Alright then. I’ve got mountain ash duty.”

“Excellent, Mr. Stilinski. This is all I have to offer you. You are welcome to continue your planning in my office. Scott, you have a key. Lock up behind you when you finish.” Deaton swept from the room with his normal enigmatic demeanour, but no one spoke until the sound of the front door closing echoed through the small building.

“My dad and I went through the list of victims so far and realized that they all had Harris for chemistry together.”

“My dad-”

“Camden.” Isaac’s mouth snapped shut so quickly I could hear the sound of his teething clicking together. “My dad plans on bring Harris in for questioning.”

“You still don’t think it’s him though.”

“No, Erica. I don’t. I still think it’s Matt. What I need is a copy of the 2006 yearbook so I can do some further digging.”

Silence fell once again, but this time it was Allison who broke it. “Matt asked me to go with him tomorrow. I said yes. I thought we could use it as a way to keep an eye on him. If I’m with him all night, then he won’t be able to slip away while we’re in the middle of trying to capture him.”

“Good idea. Be careful.”

“I will.”

“Anyone else got anything to contribute or are we done here?”


 

Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to be like my dad when I grow up. Catching bad guys and solving crimes for a living seemed like the best career choice and I knew I had an amazing role model to base myself off of. I’ve always been proud to call the Sheriff of Beacon Hills my father, even when people refused to talk to me because of it. He’s good at what he does and nothing could ever change my opinion of him. Apparently, the people of Beacon Hills don’t feel the same.

“Dad…” My dad looked up from where he was sitting badge less and gun less on the couch. “What’s going on?”

“It’s been decided that having a Sheriff with a son who’s stolen a police vehicle and has a restraining order reflects poorly upon the town.”

“But that’s not-”

“It’s only temporary. There’s nothing to worry about.”

“Dad, I’m-”

“I think I’m going to head to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Dad! Dad!” The sound of my dad’s door closing reverberated off the walls and made the last of my resolve crumble. Tears started pouring down my face as my breathing came out in shuttering gasps and my trembling hand fumbled with the doorknob to my room. After several mishaps, I finally managed to push open the door to my room far enough that I could stumble in.

The beginnings of a panic attack were starting to surface when a pair of strong arms wrapped tightly around my torso so I was pressed against the owner’s body. “Stiles, calm down. You’re working yourself up. You need to relax. Deep breaths.”

“Right. Breathing is good. Need to breath to live.”

“That’s it. You’re doing good.” The arms around me moved slowly up and down my back making me shudder and press my face into the firm shoulder attached to one of those arms.

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You’re probably going to have tear stains and snot all over your shirt now.”

“Won’t be the worst thing I’ve gotten on a shirt.”

“Funny. Really funny. Although, I suppose that black blood you throw up when you get wolfsbane poisoning is a bitch to get out.”

“It’s easier to just throw it away.”

Sighing I picked my head up from its comfortable resting place and came face to face with Derek. “It might be easier to throw this shirt away too. In fact, I insist. We don’t need a reminder of the time I cried all over you.”

“I like this shirt.”

“I’ll buy you a new one.”

“Fine.” Derek rolled his eyes, but I could tell that he was laughing on the inside. Very, very deep inside. “You need rest.”

“Probably right. I might be a little stressed. Sleep would probably be a good idea.”

“Get changed then get to bed.”

“So bossy.”

“I’m the alpha.”

A chuckle bubbled out of my throat at the serious look on Derek’s face. “Yes, you are. Now get out of my room. This isn’t Twilight. No watching me sleep.”

“Don’t insult me.”

“What you don’t like being compared to perpetually nineteen, angst ridden, sparkly vampire?”

“No.”

“Fair enough. She totally got the shirtless thing right with the werewolves though.” Derek hit me none to gently on the head for that comment.


 

Here’s the thing about being told you’re some sort of spark boy who is capable of doing great things: it sounds great in theory, but in the moment it’s not really enough. It’s one thing to be told “you’re a wizard Harry” and another to actually believe that the person who told you that wasn’t talking out of their ass. Magical ash meant to hold in the supernatural seems just a bit too good to be true, especially when all it takes is making a pretty circle out of the stuff. Of course making a circle around a building that people are walking in and out of, is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.

Fifteen minutes and several awkward glances later, I was nearly done with my Magical Ring of Wonder when reality came crashing in. In my hand was the last of the ash with nearly fifty feet in between where I stood and where I had started the circle. There’s no way I would have enough mountain ash to reach the other side, which meant our plan was pretty much shot to hell. My mind was starting to reel as I looked around desperately only to stop when my eyes landed on a small bumper sticker.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I looked down at the small pile of ash in my hand. “Who am I to argue with Albert Einstein? Please, let this work.”

I took a deep breath before closing my eyes and beginning to walk forward letting some of the ash slip between my fingers as I did so. In my mind I imagined the ash stretching out to cover the distance I wanted it to. A thick black line snaking its way across the ground until it finally connected to its self like it was meant to. When the last of the ash finally trickled out of my fingers, I didn’t want to open my eyes and find myself short of my goal, but knew it was better to just get it over with.

Slowly I peeled open my eyelids and felt a of rush of excitement when I caught sight of the completed circle I was standing on both sides of. Laughter spilled out of me as I spun around in circles like a dog chasing after its own tail so I could look at my handy work. After several minutes, I finally stopped my spinning when my dizziness nearly landed me on my face.

“I can’t believe that actually worked. That’s awesome. I’m never doubting Deaton again.”

“Stiles!” Erica’s voice broke through my happy rambling causing concern to replace my excitement.

“Erica, Isaac, what’s wrong? Aren’t you supposed to be with Jackson?”

“We were. We used all the stuff Deaton gave us, but it didn’t work. It barely did anything. We tried talking to him to see if the master would answer us.”

“Did it work?”

“Well he told us that all the people that have been killed are murderers and when we asked who they murdered, it said that they murdered him.”

“Murdered him?”

“Yes. After that he turned into the kanima. We tried to keep him from getting out, but he busted right through the wall and killed a girl.”

“Damn it. He’s still trapped though. We have that going for us. At least, I’m pretty sure this thing works.” Isaac stuck out a hand, but came up short when he tried to cross the circle. “That is so cool!”

“Good job, Batman.”

“I thought I was going to run out, but I just closed my eyes and imagined it working. I need to buy Deaton a fruit basket or something.”

“You can worry about that later. Derek, what’s going on?”

Derek came to a halt right next to me with a frustrated look on his face. “What’s wrong? I hate that face. Why do you have that face?”

“The hunters are here. They shot Boyd with wolfsbane bullets.”

“We need to get him to Deaton then.”

“I managed to get one of their guns. I told him what to do and gave him a lighter. He should be fine.”

“He needs to get somewhere safer.”

“I gave him the keys to the Camaro and told him to get somewhere safer before he did it.”

“That’s good. Did you hear what they said about Jackson?”

“Yes.” Derek’s head whipped around suddenly like he was listening closely to something before turning to me with a look of panic. “Break the line.”

“What?”

“I need you to break the line!”

“But… Fine.” I leaned down and ran my hand over the ash; imaging the tiny pieces fluttering away. “Derek what’s wrong?”

“It’s Scott. Get the Jeep ready.”

Chapter Text

“What are you doing?”

“Sitting.”

“I can see that. Why are you sitting here?”

“Thinking.”

“What are you thinking about?” The boy who had been asking me questions sat down next to me with a little sigh. “It’s nice outside. Calm and peaceful.”

"Yes.”

“What are you thinking about?”

“Why are you following me? I keep seeing you. It’s like you’re everywhere.”

“Maybe I am. Maybe you’ve just never noticed me before.”

“There’s something strange about you. I just don’t know what it is.”

The boy nodded his head thoughtfully before standing up quickly and extending a hand. “Come with me. I want to show you something.”

“How do I know I can trust you?”

“You’ve trusted me so far.”


 

“ You’re lucky I’m letting you out this late. You could be eaten by a werewolf or something. Go on, Prada.” I nudged my dog lightly in an attempt to get her to do her business faster than usual. Ever the drama queen.

A light breeze blew by making me wrap my arms tightly around my upper body as I tried to maintain my body heat. The last time I had had to do that, Stiles had to come save me from being the naked laughingstock of the entire town. Stiles. Now that was someone my mind had been going to a lot more recently. There had been several times this week I had found myself typing out a message to Stiles about something I thought was interesting before I even realized what I was doing. Somehow, Stiles had managed to wiggle his way into my heart and set up shop without even trying.

I slipped my phone out of my pocket and looked at the bright little screen thoughtfully. Stiles had texted me earlier to ask how I was, but I had been too busy painting my nails to reply. My fingers started to type out an answering message only to delete everything and lock my phone back up again. It’s not like Stiles would make fun of anything I had to say, even if it was ridiculous or complicated. There was something at the back of my mind stopping me though and I couldn’t figure out what it was.

Sighing I placed my phone back into my pocket and looked around the backyard for wherever Prada was doing her business, but at first glance I couldn’t find her. My eyebrows scrunched up in concentration as I took a closer look around the yard only to come to the same conclusion. There was no way Prada was hiding in one of the rosebushes she had learned her lesson the hard way and hadn’t done it since then. A feeling of terror started to gnaw at my stomach as I started to make my way off of the porch and further into the yard.

“I think this might belong to you.” My heart jumped into my throat at the sound of a deep male voice breaking through the darkness.

“Do you make it a habit of stalking people or am I special?”

“So this isn’t your dog then? It’s a shame. She’s kind of cute.”

“Yes, that’s my dog and I’m well aware of how cute she is.”

“You really shouldn’t let her run around by herself. She could get run over or eaten by a mountain lion.”

“If you haven’t heard, the mountain lion problem has been dealt with. I think she’ll be fine.” I stuck my arms out hastily and motioned for the boy to hand Prada over. “I’ll take her back now, if you don’t mind.”

“It’s considered rude not to say please. I get the feeling you’re not one to say please though.”

“Please, hand over my dog before I call the police and have them come pick you up for stalking. I’ve got the Sheriff’s son on speed dial.”

“Well if that’s not an ‘I know people in high places’ comment, than I don’t know what is. Here. Take your dog back. I don’t fancy getting thrown in the clink for the night.” The boy carefully placed Prada into my arms, but made no move to leave.

“Was there something else you wanted or can I go back inside now? It’s getting late and I need my beauty sleep.”

“I think you’ll be fine.”

“Flattery? If that’s all you have to offer, then I’m going inside.”

“Here take this.” In the boy’s hand was a simple purple flower that gave off a slightly sweet smell. “I could put it in your hair if you prefer.”

“No, I’ll take it.” The boy gave a soft smile as I wrapped my fingers around the small flower and brought it close to my nose to smell. “What is it?”

“Aconitum.”

“Wolfsbane?”

“That is what some people call it. I think it’s too pretty to be considered a curse.”

“Do you go around giving wolfsbane to every girl you meet?”

“No. Definitely not.”


 

“This is the old Hale house.” The charred remains of the once gorgeous house stood out starkly against the healthy forest growing around it. “Why would you bring me here?”

“I think it’s hauntingly beautiful, don’t you? The flames engulfed it and yet it’s still standing. It’s almost defiant.”

“It’s a tomb. A crypt.”

“Yes, but not everybody died. A shell of what it once was, but still very much alive. I imagine that’s probably how those who survived the fire felt.”

“Maybe.” I could feel the boy’s gaze on me, but I refused to turn to look at him.

“Do you want to go inside? I promise to keep you safe.”

“I don’t know. It seems… wrong. Like disturbing a grave.”

“I’m sure it’s fine. Come with me.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure. Don’t you trust me?”

“I’ve trusted you so far.”


 

The sound of crunching leaves beneath my feet was the only noise echoing through the empty woods I’ve started to feel drawn too. Ever since I’ve gotten out of the hospital, my mind has wandered to the woods and this isn’t the first time I’ve found myself strolling through the woods with no destination in mind. With everything going on my mind has started to feel cluttered and it was during the times when the chaos of my mind was too much, that I would find myself here. It’s like the external calm would radiate inwards and put my own mind at ease.

“You’ve got your thinking face on. Must be important if it warrants so much concentration.”

“How is it you always find me?”

“Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe you’re the one always finding me.”

“You showed up outside my house.”

“I was going for my nightly walk when I noticed your dog slipping out of the gate. I was only doing the polite thing.”

“It was pretty late to be going for a walk, don’t you think?”

“It’s never too late to go for a walk. I’m not scared of the things that go bump in the night.”

“Maybe you should be.”

“Are you worried about my safety?” The boy had a smug smile on his face. “I’m touched really. I think I should be honoured. Maybe I’ll get a plaque.”

“Normally when people go out into the woods alone, it’s because they want to be alone, not annoyed by weird boys.”

“Why would a pretty girl like you want to be out here all alone?”

“My looks have nothing to do with my desire to get away from everything.”

“You make it sound like you’re running from something. Should I be concerned?”

“It’s nothing you could help with.”

The boy moved closer until he stood inches away from me with a sly smile. “How can you possibly know that if you haven’t even asked? I’m more perceptive than I look.”

“This isn’t exactly your typical problem. It requires a specialized knowledge.”

“Try me.”

“Do you ever give up?”

“Not really. I don’t see the point. I always get what I want eventually. It’s only a matter of time.”

“Well, then I’ll be the first person to tell you no.”

“Sometimes it helps to talk out your thoughts.”

I had started to walk away from the boy, but I found myself quickly turning around to look the boy dead in the eyes. “What did you just say?”

“I said it sometimes helps to talk out what you’re thinking. Is there a problem with that?”

“No… You just reminded me of someone.”

“Not an ex-boyfriend of yours I hope.”

“No, he’s just a friend. He has a habit of talking people’s ears off.”

“You wouldn’t happen to be talking about Stiles would you?” The alarms in my head started to go off as the boy moved closer to me. “I’ve met him a few times. Interesting boy.”

“How do you know Stiles?”

“Let’s just say he’s a friend of a friend.”

“I’m supposed to believe that?”

“What would you believe? All of you seem to be quite protective of him, but I can’t imagine why.”

“Who are you? You keep appearing everywhere I go, but I still don’t know your name.”

“My name isn’t important.”

“That sounds like a cop-out to me.”

“I thought we were talking about that friend of yours.”

“Stay away from Stiles. He has enough on his plate as it is.”

“You’re very protective of this boy.” The boy started walking away from me backwards, somehow managing to not trip over tree roots as he did so. “Should I be jealous? He’s such a skinny, pale thing. It would be so easy to accidentally slip up and hurt him.”

“Leave him alone.”

“You know I gave him the chance to have power. He’s quite clever and would have been the perfect asset, but he refused me. Such a shame really. He’ll probably end up dead. Human life is so fragile.”

“What are you talking about? Give him what power?”

“So slow on the uptake. I was hoping you would have figured it out by now. It would make things much more interesting.”

“Make what much more interesting?”

“You’ll see. It will happen soon enough.”

“What will happen? What do you have planned?”

“In time, Lydia. All in due time.” I closed my eyes in frustration and by the time I opened them back up the boy was gone. “Stiles. Need to tell Stiles.”


 

The door to the old Hale house swung open with a loud squeak, but somehow managed to stay on its hinges, despite the sound of protest. Black marks marred the parts of the walls that weren’t already missing to the point that the infrastructure of the house could be seen. From where I stood. I could see several areas where the floorboards were missing either from falling debris or someone’s hands ripping them up. The stairs looked like they couldn’t hold a small furry animal let alone two full grown people.

“Can you imagine it? Being stuck as flames start to slowly engulf everything around you.”

“That sounds horrible.”

“They were all innocent you know.” The boy seemed to almost caress the banister of the stairs like it held some sort of bittersweet memory.

“What do you mean?”

“I know, you know why the house fire happened. It wasn’t some sort of electrical short circuit like they claimed it to be. The hunters planned it perfectly.”

“I know.”

“Some of them were human. They could have made it out, but it was already too late by the time the werewolves realized what was happening. There were babies and children who wouldn’t have been able to defend themselves if they tried.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“It’s important you understand. You have to understand.”

“Understand what?”

“I’m going to ask you to do something for me and it will be easier if you understand. So much easier.”

“Understand? Understand what?” The boy ignored me for several minutes, choosing to look at the remains of the house instead, before taking my hand and leading me into what must have once been a large living room.

“Do you know what it’s like for a werewolf stuck in a fire? The fire burns off the skin, but because of their healing a werewolf’s skin starts to grow back almost instantly only to be burned right back off. And the pain… The nerves are so exposed that it feels like the pain is multiplied. Like getting alcohol in an open wound. Eventually the healing process starts to slow down and the fire finally starts to eat away at everything underneath. It’s slow and painful.”

“Please stop.” Tears were beginning to form in the corner of my eyes and I could feel them trying to make their way down my face. “Why are you telling me all this?”

“Do you know what it’s like to sit and watch as the people you love most in the world slowly die around you?”

“Stop!”

“To be so close to death, that you can feel yourself literally slipping from its grasp when they drag you out of the flames.”

“Stop it, please!”

“Can you possibly understand what it’s like to watch literally everything you love go up in flames in one night?”

“No more. No more.”

The boy released his tight grip on my arm and brought his hand up to gently brush away a strand of hair that had fallen onto my face. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell, but you have to understand because I need a favor from you.”

“What favor?”

“You’ll see.”

Without warning the boy leaned forward until his lips captured mine in a kiss, causing my eyes to flutter close as I took in the sensation. His lips were soft yet unyielding against my own; pressing just the right amount. Curiosity began to creep into my mind until I couldn’t hold it back anymore and I opened my eyes only to let out a small scream when I saw the man in the mirror across from me wasn’t the young teenage boy that had been following me, but someone older. His face was burned and covered in blood, but something about him was eerily familiar.

“You’re not real. Neither of you are real. You’re…” Something in my mind clicked into place causing me to let out a gasp. “Peter Hale. You’re Peter Hale.”

“I suppose they’ve told you all about me. All those things I did. I knew you were immune when I bit you. You were the perfect backup plan. It was like you were handed to me on a silver platter. There’s something very important I need you to do for me. You can’t tell your little friends about it though. They wouldn’t understand.” With one last snarky grin Peter disappeared, leaving behind only a single wolfbane flower in my hands.


 

Hot water pounded on my back allowing the tense muscles to loosen up and finally give me relief from the aches of the day. Slowly I covered my hair in conditioner before rubbing my scalp by applying a firm pressure with my fingertips. As soon as I stuck my head back under the spray, the conditioner started to wash out until I was only left with silky feeling hair. I would have been content to stay under the shower head for a while longer, but the sound of someone calling my name made me pause. I reached for the handle to turn off the water before pulling the shower curtain back.

Shock ran through my body when I was greeted with the Beacon Hills lacrosse field and not the light peach walls of my bathroom. The people in the stands were chanting my name and holding up signs that said “We love you, Lydia” in large red letters. After several seconds of staring, I found myself moving forwards towards the large crowd like I was in a trance. When I looked down to see my traitorous feet, I was distracted by the sight of my winter formal dress brand new like it had never been covered in my own blood. This distraction didn’t last long though when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Peter Hale making his way across the field and towards me. Before I had the chance to run, he was already on me dragging me down and pulling me under him.

The scream that started in my dream woke me up to a bed full of dirt and a lazing Peter beside me in bed. “Nightmares? Those are never fun.”

“What do you want?”

“Now that’s not very nice. You could at least pretend to be happy to see me.”

“What do you want?”

“Relax. I’m almost done with you. My plan needs to be completed on the next full moon in order to be successful. It will be a Worm Moon, which marks the last moon of winter and is when the worms crawl from their frozen homes in the ground. Fascinating isn’t it?”

“That’s disgusting.”

“Life is a beautiful thing, Miss. Martin.”

“Wait, you said the next full moon? That’s on my birthday.”

“Yes. Funny how that worked out. It’s perfect really. It gives us an excellent setup to accomplish my task.”

“What is it that you want me to do exactly?”

“It’s quite simple. You’ll use your popularity to draw in a large crowd, including your new little cliché. Erica, Boyd, and Isaac will probably be holed up at that repulsive train station with Derek, but I’m sure you can get Scott, Allison, Danny, and Stiles to come.”

“Why do you need them?”

“I don’t need them so much as want them out of the way. I have a very limited window of time and I can’t afford to let those little brats get in my way.”

“How am I supposed to keep them out of the way? Scott’s a werewolf, Allison is a training huntress, Danny is twice my size, and what Stiles lacks in physical power he makes up in cognitive ability.”

“All you’ll need to do, is place these-” Peter held out a handful of wolfsbane flowers letting them slip onto the bed next to me. “Into the punch or whatever it is you kids have these days.”

“Won’t that hurt Scott?”

“The funny thing about wolfsbane, is that it has different effects depending on the way it is taken into the body and the form it is in. When it’s whole like this and placed in liquid. the result is quite interesting.”

“What if I refuse?”

“You need my help whether you like it or not. I know more about kanimas than your little bestiary.”

“Tell me.”

“That’s not how it works. Do this for me and when I come back, I’ll help you turn your pet lizard into a real boy.”

“Fine, but I have one more question.” Peter gave a go on motion with his head. “The last time we talk you said I was immune. Immune from what exactly?”

A predatory grin took over Peter’s face making me sink further into the bed in fear as his eyes shifted to the deep alpha red they had once been. “From me.”

Chapter Text

The sound of my blood pumping loudly in my ears was the first thing I noticed when consciousness started to come back to me. My mind felt fuzzy and clouded like it was full of cotton balls or the stuffing that comes out of teddy bears. Bit by bit the fog began to slip away leaving me to wonder how I could possibly still be alive. After several minutes of wondering, the sound of voices started to filter through what little hazy was left.

“Stiles.”

“Scott! Holy crap you’re awake! Can you open your eyes? How are you feeling? Does anything hurt?”

“What?”

“I’m talking too fast aren’t I? Sorry. We’ve just been worried about you. Everyone’s here by the way. Well not back here, but they are here.”

“Here?”

“We’re at Deaton’s. Do you remember what happened?”

“Mrs. Argent. She had some sort of vaporized wolfsbane. Said it would look like an asthma attack. How am I still alive?”

“Derek.” My eyes cracked open to see Stiles leaning over me with a soft smile on his face. “He made me break the circle because he heard what was going on.”

“So Jackson and the master?”

“They got away and there’s worse news, unfortunately.”

“What?” I tried to sit up, but Stiles quickly pushed me back down before my arms could give out. “What happened?”

“Derek had to fight Mrs. Argent to get you out. The wolfsbane effected him too and when he was fighting her… He bit her Scott.”

“What!”

“It wasn’t his fault.”

“There must have been some other way.”

Stiles got a stubborn look on his face and pressed his hand harder into my chest. “Would you have preferred him leaving you there to die, because that was the only other way Scott!”

“But Allison…”

“Already knows. She’s knows what her mom did and she knows what happened because of it. It was an accident Scott, but the hunters… They have rules about this kind of thing.”

“What do you mean?”

Stiles looked down at his hands nervously. “If a hunter is bitten and they begin to turn on their first full moon, they kill themselves so as not to become the thing they have hunted.”

“Suicide? She’s going to commit suicide because Derek-”

“She’s going to commit suicide because of some archaic rule and poor judgement.”

“Why are you always protecting Derek now? It’s like you’re blind to all the terrible things he does!”

“I’m getting tired of having this argument with you, Scott. Derek is not a bad guy. You need to work together with him.”

“He destroyed my one chance at being human again.”

“Do you really think you could have done it? Could you have really ripped out Peter’s throat like that? I know you, Scott!” Stiles was now standing, his face turning a violent shade of red in his anger. “You’re a lot of things, but a killer isn’t one of them. You can blame Derek all you want, but you and I both know that you wouldn’t have been able to go through with it. It’s not in your nature.”

“I am a killer, Stiles! How many times have I almost killed you?”

“But you haven’t! You haven’t killed anybody. Peter tried to make you when he had alpha control over you and you still didn’t do it. What does that tell you? You’re a good person, Scott. Werewolf or not a werewolf, you’re a good person. It took you a while, but you’ve got a handle on your instincts. Can you really imagine not being a werewolf? Can you honestly tell me you could see yourself ever being able to go back to being who you used to be?”

“You’re still human.”

“Yes, yes I am. Nothing gets past those keen werewolf senses.”

“You’re still human and you’re a part of the supernatural world.”

“So are Allison and her father and all the other hunters.”

“Yes, but that’s the point. They’re hunters. They’ve trained to be able to keep up with the supernatural world.”

Stiles rolled his eyes and leaned against the metal table I was lying on. “I have a bat, plus you know my skills with a gun could rival Allison’s with her bow and arrows. I am the Sheriff’s son after all.”

“You’re insane.”

“Yes, I am. That’s why you love me so.”

“I still don’t like Derek.”

“Well you’re going to have to get over it.”

“Why? Just because we’re working together, doesn’t mean I have to like him.”

A mischievous light sparked in Stiles’s eyes making me shift uncomfortably. “No, but I would appreciate it if you got along with my boyfriend.”

“Your what!”


 

Stiles

Dude, you’ll never guess who I just saw!

Scott

I’m still not talking to you.

Stiles

I may not be a werewolf, but I can still tell when you’re lying.

Even if you really weren’t talking to me, that would be irrelevant.

Scott

Fine. What is it?

Stiles

Lydia’s back and acting like she didn’t just disappear for almost a week.

She’s even handing out invitations to her birthday party tomorrow night.

Scott

Tomorrow night is the full moon.

Stiles

Yes, yes it is. You’re a genius.

Scott

You’re such a dick.

Stiles

Very, very, very true.

Scott

Stop alluding to the fact you’re dating Derek now. I don’t want to think about that.

Stiles

I’ll give you some advice: get over it. Back to the original topic at hand. Are we having another lunch meeting or waiting until tonight?

Scott

I’ve got test corrections to do during lunch.

Stiles

Got it. I’ll text the others and let them know.

Including Derek.

My boyfriend.

Scott

I’m choosing to ignore you.

Stiles

Telling me you’re ignoring me, isn’t really ignoring me.


 

“Hey, Allison. How are you doing?” Allison was slumped against the wall with her head resting on her bent up knees ignoring everyone else in the train depot.

“As well as I can be, I suppose. My family is acting like nothing’s wrong because they don’t want me to know about it yet.”

“Shouldn’t you be home spending time with your mom?”

“My mom and I don’t really spend time together. It would look weird if I suddenly decided to out of the blue.”

“You should be able to spend time with your mom if you want to.”

Allison gave me a sad smile before going back to staring off into the distance. “I just don’t understand why she has to do this. There are plenty of bitten werewolves out there that learn to control their shift and lead normal lives. It’s like she’s just giving up.”

“I don’t know. Sometimes people do things we don’t understand because it’s what they think is the right thing to do.”

“The right thing to do would be to stick around and take care of her daughter like a mother is supposed to do.”

“Stiles doesn’t have a mom and he’s grown up fine.”

“But she didn’t have a choice, did she? My mom does. She doesn’t have to do this, but she’s going to anyways and what’s worse is I’m pretty sure Gerard is going to use her death as a way of convincing me that his view on werewolves is the right one.”

“What are you going to do if he does?”

“I’ll have to go along with him. If I don’t, it will look suspicious and he might start to take a closer look at the rest of you. I can’t let him do that.”

A wild rabbiting heartbeat made me and the rest of the werewolves in the room look up at the door which was thrown open seconds later by a manic looking Stiles. “It’s the 2006 Beacon Hills swim team!”

“What are you talking about?”

“The murders. They were all on the 2006 Beacon Hills swim team or in the case of Mr. Lahey, the coach of the swim team. That’s the pattern!”

“Why would Matt want the old swim team killed?”

“I haven’t figured that part out yet, but on my way over here I realized that the kanima is afraid of water and Jackson is the captain of the swim team. Maybe the kanima takes on the fears of the master.”

“So you think Matt is afraid of water and is killing the old swim team because of it.”

“What? No, of course not. That’s stupid.” Stiles ran a hand over his buzzed hair and dropped his bag to the floor. “My point was the two facts could be related. It’s like I’ve gotten most of the pieces, but I just need to figure out where they go before I can get the whole picture. Also Harris was brought in for questioning and they plan on arresting him because the tracks at one the crime scenes they found match his car.”

“Why was Mr. Harris at one of the crime scenes?”

“I’m pretty sure Matt planned this from the beginning. The first thing any good cop does is look at a way to connect the victims. Three out of four of them were in Harris’s class and then his tire tracks show up at one of the scenes. Naturally the cops are going to think it was Harris that did it, when in reality Matt is just throwing them off.”

“And you’re still convinced that Matt is the one behind this?”

“You keep asking me this question like the answer is going to change. I’m positive that Matt is the master of the kanima.”

“Weren’t we going to talk about Lydia?” Danny broke through the potential argument with his usual charisma. “She seemed a little strange today.”

“It was like she wasn’t really there mentally. Almost like she was off in her own little world.”

“She seemed strangely adamant about people coming to her party tomorrow night.”

“Lydia is always serious about her parties.”

“This was different though.”

“You think whatever’s wrong with Lydia might make itself known at the party?”

“It’s possible.”

Stiles leaned on the table with his hands and a thoughtful expression on his face. “If that’s true, then we’re going to have to divide and conquer. We can’t risk Erica, Boyd, and Isaac out among the general population on the full moon yet. Lydia will expect you and Allison to be at her party and where Allison is Scott is and where Scott is I am, which leaves Derek with the betas.”

I didn’t need my werewolf senses to tell that Stiles was anxious since he was worrying his lip between his teeth. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t like it.”

“Don’t like what?”

“The full moon is when you all are at your strongest, but it’s also when you’re at your weakest.”

“That doesn’t make sense.”

“Physically you all are stronger right? Mentally you’re not.” My face must have shown my lack of understanding because Stiles stood more rigid before he continued talking. “Think about it this way. Strength is one aspect of a warriors skill set. It’s important because you have to be able to hold your own, but if you don’t have a strategy than you’re relying on getting lucky. If you’re not all there mentally, you could make mistakes you wouldn’t otherwise.”

“What does that have to do with our plan?”

“We would be leaving Derek, who still feels the effects of the full moon might I remind you, with three other people who won’t be all there mentally. It would be the opportune time for someone to attack.”

“Why would someone come after us on the full moon?”

“It’s just… a feeling I have.”

“We’ll be fine.” Derek laid a comforting hand on Stiles’s shoulder that made me want to gag when Stiles instantly relaxed. “The hunters will be too busy with their own… issues to worry about us. Lydia is the one we should be worrying about.”

“Fine, fine. We’ll just stick with my plan then. Everybody needs to have their phones on just in case we need to get in touch. Got it?”

“Relax. Everything is going to be fine.”


 

“This is going to turn out horribly. I just know it. This is a bad, bad idea.”

“Stop saying that, Stiles! Nothing bad is going to happen.” Stiles had been telling Allison and I how terribly things were going to go tonight the entire car ride over to Lydia’s house. “You’re worrying too much. We just need to make sure nothing’s wrong with Lydia.”

“I don’t think it’s going to be that easy.”

“Everything will go perfectly fine. Calm down.”

“I am calm. I’m the epitome of calm. If you looked calm up in the dictionary, there would be a picture of my face beside it. Calm is my middle name.”

“Stiles, stop it.”

“Okay, okay, but if something happens tonight I get to rub your face in my ‘I told you so’s’ until I get bored.”

“Whatever makes you happy.”

“Like Derek?”

“No.”

Stiles let out a loud sigh and turned to look at me from his place behind the wheel. “We’re going to have to talk about this eventually. You can’t just keep avoiding it.”

“Why not? It’s working out so far.”

“Dude, you’re my best friend! This is the first relationship I’ve ever been in and I want to talk to you about it. I can’t do that if you’re pretending it’s not even happening.”

“I don’t want to hear about what you and Derek get up to.”

“You think I want to hear all about your and Allison’s relationship? No offense, Allison.” Allison gave Stiles a smile and a small shrug in response. “But I listen to you ramble on and on about how perfect her hair is and how amazing her smile is anyways because I’m your best friend and that’s what best friends do. I mean we’re closer than best friends. We’re practically brothers.”

“But Stiles-”

“Look I’m not saying we have to talk about this right now, but you need to start getting over your problems with Derek so we can talk about this. Eventually. Plus all we’ve done so far is go to get coffee together.”

“You went on a coffee date?” Allison had poked her head forward so she was leaning over the central console instead of resting it on her head rest. “What happened?”

“Well it wasn’t actually supposed to be a coffee date, but I kind of asked Derek out while we were waiting in line then Derek ordered and paid for my coffee so it turned into a date.”

“He ordered your coffee for you?”

“Yes! He remembered my order from the week before.”

“I can’t wait to tell your fan club!”

Stiles slammed to a stop outside of Lydia’s house and quickly unbuckled his seatbelt so he could fully turn his body towards Allison. “My fan club?”

“You and Derek’s actually. Lydia has been trying to get the two of you together and since she’s Lydia she roped together a group of followers.”

“Who? Who is in this group?”

“Lydia, Danny, Erica, and me.”

“I feel like a TV show character. Please, tell me you don’t have one of those ridiculous couple names for us.”

“No, of course not.”

“You’re lying to me. Oh, my god! You’re lying to me!”


 

Thirty minutes into Lydia’s party and half of the party guests were already well on their way to being completely wasted. Stiles had managed to disappear within seconds of walking through the front door, while Allison stayed with me until Matt came to talk to her in private. This left me standing awkwardly by the punch bowl watching the other party goers mingle amongst themselves. The only person I hadn’t seen yet was Lydia Martin herself.

“Scott.” Speaking of Lydia. “I hope you’re enjoying yourself.”

“Of course I am. You’re great at throwing parties.”

“That’s very true. Have you tried the punch yet? I made it up myself.”

“I’m sure it is, but I really shouldn’t have any. I promised to drive Stiles and Allison home.”

“Come on, Scott. I know your werewolf powers keep you from getting drunk. It’s only one cup anyways.”

I hesitated for several seconds before sticking out a reluctant hand and talking the cup from Lydia. “One drink can’t hurt. I’m sure I’d be missing out if I didn’t.”

“That’s very kind of you. I would like to stay and chat, but as the hostess it’s my job to make sure everyone is taken care of.” With that Lydia spun around on her heels and disappeared into the crowd.

“That was a little strange.”

Shrugging I took a sip of the light pink drink in my hand before deciding to go inside where there would hopefully be less people making out on furniture. This hope seemed to be for nothing and if anything the inside couples were worse than the ones outside. Unsurprisingly it didn’t take me long to finish off the drink Lydia had given me, but before I could grab another one something up the stairs caught my attention.

I blinked my eyes slowly in disbelief at the couple making out on the small window seat without a care in the world. When Allison ran her hands through Jackson’s short hair, I could feel the claws on my hands starting to elongate. Rage started to build in my gut as the two continued to run their hands up and down each other’s bodies as they kissed passionately. For a second I managed to tear my eyes away from the two, but I couldn’t help looking back up and was shocked when the kanima had replaced Jackson.

“Scott! Scott!” My head quickly snapped to the side at the sound of Allison’s voice. “There’s something going on.”

“How did you get down here?”

“What?”

“I saw you up there with Jackson and then the kanima.”

Realization dawned in Allison’s eyes. “You must have been having a hallucination. I had one too.”

“We need to find Stiles.”

“I think he’s still outside.”

“Let’s go then.”

After several minutes of frantic searching, Allison called my name from where she stood by a pillar near the pool. Stiles was sitting hunched in on himself with wide unseeing eyes as he mutter something indistinguishable under his breath. Allison tried to gently talk him out of it, but Stiles didn’t move an inch or acknowledge Allison in any way. I crouched down in front of Stiles and tried to gently shake him back to reality, only to get the same non-response as Allison.

“You’re doing it wrong.” A girl’s voice caused Allison and I to both jump before turning to look at her.

“What do you mean?”

“If you’re trying to get him to sober up, that’s not going to work.”

“What do you suggest we do?”

“Watch and learn!” The girl easily managed to drag Stiles to the edge of the pool and then dunked his head into the water until his limbs were flailing around. “You’re welcome.”

“What the hell!” Stiles was blinking rapidly against the water pouring down his face. “What was in that punch?”

“What do you mean?”

“Something in that punch had hallucinogenic effects or did that just happen to me?”

“It definitely wasn’t just you.”

“We need to go check that out. Where is Lydia?”

I scanned the pool area quickly, but didn’t see Lydia anywhere among her guests. “I have no idea. She talked to me for about thirty seconds before going to talk to some other people.”

“She needs to be found. Now!” Stiles weaved his way easily through the drunken party goers until he found one of the many punch bowls which instantly made him swear under his breath. “Wolfsbane. The punch has wolfsbane in it.”

“Why would Lydia put wolfsbane in the punch?”

“I have no idea, but-”

Stiles trailed off as the sound of a screaming voice started up. “Put me down! Put me down! I don’t know how to swim! Let me go!”

Horror washed over me at the sight of three burly guys carrying a struggling Matt towards the pool as they laughed. I was so shocked at the sight that I didn’t even think to move to help Matt until after he was already dumped into the water. Before I had the chance to move, Jackson was beside the pool hauling Matt out of the water with a glare at the three boys responsible. As soon as Matt was back on his feet, he sent a glare in our direction then disappeared out of the back gate.

“Well, now we know for sure Matt can’t swim.” Stiles pulled out his ringing phone that he quickly answered and put to his ear. “Isaac, what’s wrong? Slow down. What do you mean Derek’s gone? You’re sure it smells like Lydia? We have no idea where she is. She disappeared from the party, probably while we were all too busy hallucinating to watch her. We’ll be right there, just don’t move. I don’t want you three getting caught by the Argents. We’re going to try to find Danny and tell him what’s going on before we head out. Alright, see you soon.”

“Lydia took Derek?”

“It would appear so. We need to get out of here.”

“I don’t see Danny anywhere, but I can call him. It would probably be faster that way anyways.” The sound of police sirens sent the remaining party goers scattering (which would have made finding Danny nearly impossible). I quickly made my way towards the back gate with Allison and Stiles trailing closely behind me. We had just made it onto the sidewalk, when I stopped at the sight of Matt standing next to the kanima still dripping wet. Matt stood glaring at us for several seconds before disappearing into thin air like he hadn’t been there in the first place.

Chapter Text

The last time I had been in my old family house was the night I killed Peter and then attempted to turn Jackson. Needless to say, it was the last place I wanted to wake up after being knocked unconscious by a small redheaded girl with wolfsbane powder. I could feel Lydia moving me around so my arm was dangling into a hole in the floor and then move away to a different part of the room. After several attempts to try to move my arm away from the hole, I gave up the endeavour and decided to just lie still instead.

For several minutes nothing happened, leaving me to wonder what exactly Lydia had brought me here for, when a bright light flashed across the room. Groaning I pried my eyes open so I was looking at the charred living room ceiling. The same living room where I had buried Peter after I had brutally slashed open his throat. Just as I was beginning to turn my head to the side to look at where my hand was dangling, a sharp pain ran up my arm causing my eyes to flash their bright alpha red. I could feel the power surge fading from my body into the one that was gripping my arm tightly from its place beneath the floor.

What felt like hours later, the hand released its grip on my arm and all was completely silent for several minutes. This silence was broken by the sound of claws scrapping against floorboards as Peter started to pull himself out of his grave. My eyes were beginning to slip shut again when Peter finally managed to make his way out of the floor and onto his own two feet. Smirking, Peter moved until he was standing directly over me with Lydia looking dazed at his side.

“I heard there was a party. Don’t worry. I invited myself.” With that Peter was gone, leaving Lydia looking completely confused and the darkness to take me over again.


“Derek? Derek! Derek! Would you hurry up and wake up? I’m about two seconds away from punching you right in the face again. You really need to stop getting yourself into these situations. First, it was that stupid wolfsbane bullet when you wanted me to chop off your arm and now, it’s your dead uncle back from the dead. I mean zombie psycho werewolves? Like I didn’t have enough on my plate already. That’s it. I’m punching you now.”

I opened my eyes just in time to see Stiles balling his hand up into a fist with his arm cocked backwards in preparation to bring it forward. “Shut up.”

“Really? You get knocked unconscious and then dragged back to your old house so your uncle could bring himself back to life and the first thing you say to me is shut up?”

“Get off me.” I sent Stiles a glare that he rolled his eyes at before sliding down to the side so he was no longer straddling my waist.

“How are you feeling? Any lingering effects? You’re still an alpha right?”

“I’m fine and yes.”

“Are you sure? You’re not just trying to be all macho and say you’re not hurting, when in reality you feel like you’re about to keel over.”

“I’m fine.” To prove my point I pushed myself off of the floor until I was sitting up on my own. “See.”

“Yes, very impressive. In other news, Lydia seems back to normal and we now know for certain that Matt is the one controlling the kanima. We saw him standing with it outside of Lydia’s house.”

“Where are the others?”

“Allison is with her dad. Her mom committed suicide last night so we might not be hearing from her for a while. Erica, Isaac, and Boyd are with Scott trying to keep themselves in check since their wolves got a little antsy after you were taken last night. Danny is trying to distract Lydia from what she did last night. She feels really bad about it.”

“It’s not her fault.”

“That’s what we told her, but she’s being stubborn. She probably won’t go back to being her normal devil-may-care self until she’s apologized to you and she’s certain you don’t blame her.”

“We should call a meeting then. I need to get back to the betas.”

“Hold up there! You’re not going anywhere until I’m sure you’re completely fine.”

“Stiles.”

“Don’t Stiles, me. I just want to make sure that you’re really okay.”

“I am. Let’s just go. I don’t want to be here anymore.”

“Alright, alright, but if you feel like you’re going to pass out again you better tell me. Can’t have you falling on that handsome face of yours.”

“Shut up, Stiles.”


 

"Derek!" Isaac had a happy grin on his face that made him look like even more of a puppy than he normally did. "How are you feeling? I still don't understand how Lydia managed to sneak up on us like that."

"I'm fine. That's something we'll have to ask Lydia about."

"Danny told me they were leaving about ten minutes ago so they should be here soon. I still can't believe Lydia would do something like that. Didn't Peter attack her?"

"Yes."

"I think it's pretty safe to assume that Lydia was being mind controlled." Stiles pushed me until I was sitting on the ground then flopped down beside me. "So don't bite her head off as soon as she walks in. Got it?"

My three betas nodded in agreement, while Scott continued to type away on his phone. "They wouldn't try to bite off her head."

"Whatever you say. Beside Lydia coming to steal Derek away in the night time, how was your night? The full moon didn't make you all too crazy, did it?"

"I managed to get control of my shift! Erica and Boyd are still having trouble, but they did pretty well. I definitely did better than last full moon."

"Well you didn't try to kill me this time so I would call that an improvement."

"Sorry about that."

"It was one time. There's nothing to be sorry about."

"I still feel bad."

"Don't. Nothing brings two people together quite like experiencing a near death situation together. Right, Derek?"

“You’re an idiot.”

“Such a sweetheart. What did I do to deserve your kindness?”

Before I had the chance to make a snappy retort, the sound of a car pulling up with two people in it reached my ears. From where I was sitting, I could make out the sound of a male voice and a female voice meaning Danny and Lydia had finally made it to the train depot. Stiles waved a hand in front of my face and cocked his head to the side until I motioned towards the door with my head. Seconds later, Danny opened the door and motioned Lydia through before shutting it firmly behind him.

“Lydia, how are you feeling today?”

“Tired. Can we hurry up and get this over with so I can go home and sleep? Just ask whatever questions you have.”

“Why don’t you tell us what happened? It would be easier than trying to ask questions.”

“Fine.” Lydia let out a heavy sigh and slid down the wall across from where Stiles and I were sitting so she was watching the two of us instead of everyone in the room. “You remember I told you about seeing some kid our age a few times? Turns out that he was Peter when he was younger. Peter bit me knowing that I was immune to the bite as a backup plan.”

“How could he have possibly known that?”

“I don’t know. He never told me. He didn’t even tell me what he was planning to do. It was like I didn’t even have control over my own body. He knew that you would have to split up the night of the full moon so he put the wolfsbane in the punch knowing it would distract you long enough to get to Derek.”

“How did you even manage to get that much wolfsbane?”

“I’m not sure. In my hallucinations or whatever you want to call them, he would bring me it, but I don’t know where I could have gotten it from. The only place I could have gotten the powder that I know of would be Deaton.”

“We’ll have to ask Deaton if any of his supplies have gone missing.”

“Most of that night is a blur. I remember little snippets here and there, but a majority of it is a fog.”

“Do you have any idea where he might be right now?”

Lydia shook her head. “No. He didn’t tell me what he planned to use me for, let alone what he planned to do after he was done. He’s probably hiding out somewhere.”

“With any luck he’s already far away from here.”

“I don’t think so. He likes drama. What better place than Beacon Hills?”

“Well here’s to hoping he gets run over multiple times by an eighteen wheeler before we have to see him again. In fact, I want tickets to that show.”

“I’ll join you. You bring the popcorn.”

“I like how you think. Did they tell you that we are one hundred percent positive that Matt is the one controlling Jackson?”

“Yes. We need to figure out some way to break the connection between the two.”

“Unfortunately we don’t know how to do that, but we know for sure he’s the one who has been murdering all those people which means I can tell my dad.”

“You still don’t have motive though. How are you supposed to convince your dad he’s guilty if he doesn’t know about the kanima?”

“I have enough to connect him to what has been going on, plus there’s some evidence that we might be able to prove that it was Matt.”

“Like what?”

“Matt had to be the one that murdered the girl in the hospital. If he was there, then there is more than likely video evidence of it.”

“You could put him at the scene of the crime.”

“Exactly.”

“What about the hunters?”

Stiles turned to look at me with a raised eyebrow and motioned for me to speak. “We’ll worry about them later. One problem at a time.”

“Gerard will be even more ruthless than he was before. He’ll have more hunters behind him now.”

“I know, but there’s nothing we can do.”

“I’ll try to stick by Allison and send you any information that I can.”

“Good idea, Lyds.” Stiles shifted his focus from Lydia to the rest of the occupants in the room. “Everyone should go home and get some rest. There’s nothing more we can do right now, especially with how exhausted we are. Scott and I will try to convince my dad that Matt is the one responsible for these murders. The rest of you should be on the lookout for the hunters. We might not be going after the hunters, but that doesn’t mean we can afford to forget about them entirely.”

Everyone in the room headed for the door except for Lydia and Stiles, who rested a comforting hand on my thigh. “I’m sorry about what I did to you.”

“It wasn’t your fault.”

“Maybe not, but it still couldn’t have been easy for you.”

“I’m fine.”

“I’m glad.” Lydia fell silent for several seconds before a bright smile lit up her face. “At least something good has happened during all of this nonsense.”

“Don’t even try to say I told you so.”

“What are you going to do, Stiles? Make me walk home?”

“Maybe…”

“Very convincing.”

“Don’t look so smug.”

“I told you that the two of you were a perfect match. Now look at you. You’ve already settled into being a couple. It’s very sweet.”

“What are you talking about? We’re just sitting next to each other.”

“Really?” Lydia raised an eyebrow then looked pointedly down at Stiles’s hand.

“Oh… Stop looking at us like that. Let’s get out of here. I’m sick of coming to this place. It’s dark and smells weird. I don’t know how your enhanced werewolf sniffer can take it. You need to get an apartment, Der. Pronto.”

“I’ve been a little too busy to look.”

“Well that’s going to have to change. I can help you if you want.”

“Fine.”

“I knew you would see it my way. Now let’s go. I wasn’t joking about leaving.”

“Then go.”

“Oh, no. Absolutely not. You’re not staying here by yourself. You feel alright now, but if whatever Peter did to you has slow lingering effects you would end up being all alone which is unacceptable. You’ll be staying with me tonight.”

“Stiles-”

“You can try to fight me on this all you want, but you know I’ll eventually wear you down to the point that you say yes so why don’t we skip all that and you come quietly. We still need to drop off Lydia.”

“Yes and I need to take a relaxing bubble bath so hurry up.”


 

“You know you’re kind of a pushover when it comes to the human members of your pack.” Stiles was lazing on his bed with The Maze Runner obscuring most of his face from where I was sitting against the headboard. “Don’t get me wrong, I like it because it means I get to boss you around sometimes, but I thought the alpha was supposed to be all supreme overlord.”

“I’m an alpha, not Darth Vader.”

Stiles dropped the book so quickly it ended up hitting him in the face. “I can’t believe you just said that. You know you keep surprising me.”

“Good.”

“Not to my face apparently.”

“Your face is fine.”

“Yes, it is.” I rolled my eyes and was about to go back to trying to get some sleep when Stiles spoke up again. “You still haven’t explained the whole letting the humans tell you what to do thing.”

“You’re telling me that if I tried to control you or Lydia, it would actually work?”

“That’s a fair point.”

“Plus you’re better at explaining things than I am. It’s easier on everyone to have you telling people what to do. If I wanted something different, then I would have corrected you.”

“So you’re really just pawning off your responsibilities onto me. I see how it is.” Stiles sat up so he was now sitting cross-legged next to me. “Typically, when you give your responsibilities to someone else you’re supposed to provide some form of compensation.”

“Compensation?”

“Yes. Nowadays monetary exchange is the norm, but in the past the barter system was quite effective.”

“Are you proposing a trade?”

“I just think we might be able to come to some sort of agreement.”

“What is it you would be wanting?”

“I might have to think about that. I’m sure I can come up with something.” Stiles leaned forward slowly until his lips pressed gently against my own for several seconds. “Any ideas?”

A smirk worked its way onto Stiles’s face, but before I got the chance to pull him back to me Stiles had settled himself back into his position from before with his book covering his face once more. “What is that book about anyways?”

“A group of boys who can only remember their names are trying to figure their way out of a maze. Up until now they’ve lived by these strict rules, but the new guy that just showed up is breaking all the rules.”

“That sounds idiotic.”

“It’s actually pretty good. Thomas, the main character, sounds like he would be pretty cute in real life.”

“How can a fictional character be cute?”

“The same way anyone else can. The only difference is its left up to your imagination.”

“So you imagine he’s cute? Should I be worried?”

“Of course not. Now if Newt decides to jump from this book and into the real world, you might have to prove your worth to me. Just know that you’ll always be my first love.”

“You’re an idiot.”

“You know you kind of remind me of Alby. I could totally see him going all ‘I am the alpha’ on all of the other boys.”

“Alby and Newt?”

“I’m pretty sure they’re supposed to be named after famous scientists. Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton.”

“Why would they be named after famous scientists?”

“I don’t know yet. As you can see, I’m not finished with the book yet and there’s two more after this so that might not even be answered in this one.”

“Why are you even reading this?”

“For fun. People still do that you know.”

“I didn’t think you were capable of sitting down and reading a book for fun. Normally you’re bouncing all over the place unless you have to focus on something.”

“I am more than capable of focusing on something if it interests me enough, but now that you mention it I’m kind of getting bored of reading. How about we watch something? You know I think you might like Lost Girl. There’s a certain broody werewolf that reminds me of you.”

“Does every broody character you know remind you of me?”

“Let’s see. Oliver Queen; yes. Dean Winchester; checkmark. Damon Salvatore; definitely.”

“Am I supposed to know who those people are?”

Stiles stopped what he was doing on his laptop and turned to look at me with wide eyes. “You have got to be kidding me! I thought you lived in New York not under a rock! How have you not heard of at least Dean Winchester?”

“Laura and I didn’t watch a lot of TV.”

“Well now I don’t know which one to start with. I could do it by the smallest number of seasons which would mean doing Arrow first, but I’d really like to see your face during the werewolf episodes of Supernatural. Then again, I’m pretty sure you and Damon could swap fashion tips with one another.”

“Fashion tips?”

“He has the same obsession with black leather jackets that you do.”

“I don’t have an obsession.”

“Are you sure you know the definition of obsession?” I flashed my eyes at Stiles, but that only got me a snort. “That’s it. We’re starting with The Vampire Diaries.”

“So who is Damon’s love interest in this show?”

“Elena Gilbert. Why?”

“Just trying to figure out who you’re supposed to be.”

“Wait what?” Stiles turned to look at me with wide eyes as the first episode started playing on the laptop screen. “I’m nothing like Elena!”

“I’ll be the judge of that.”


 

“How many episodes of this have we watched?”

“I think we’ve watched like nine episodes. What time is it?”

“I have no idea, but it’s dark outside now.”

Stiles looked up from where his head rested on my shoulder to see out the window. “Holy crap, when did that happen? We should probably eat dinner or something like that.”

“Probably.”

“I’m so lazy though. We could order pizza or are you one of those people that only puts natural things into your body.”

“I eat pizza.”

“Thank goodness. I’m ordering pizza then.”

“Meat lovers.”

“Obviously.” I rolled my eyes, but kept my mouth shut while Stiles placed the order with a teenage boy who kept asking if he had his order correct or not. “I’m pretty sure that guy is high. It is not that difficult to understand a large meat lovers pizza.”

“Maybe he knows you and wanted the chance to annoy you as much as you annoy him for once.”

“Jackass. What do you think of the show so far?”

“It’s really cheesy and dramatic, but it’s not terrible.”

“Do you feel a deep personal connection to Damon?”

“No.”

“You’re jealous of his jacket though aren’t you?”

“No. I can definitely see the similarities between you and Elena though.”

“Liar.”

“The one human among a bunch of Supernatural friends until the local nice guy finds out about everything.”

“Matt doesn’t know about the supernatural.”

“He’s obviously going to find out about it eventually.”

“That might be true, but that’s all I’ve got in common with Elena.”

“She’s clearly prone to getting into accidents just like you and she has a habit of picking fights with people who could kill her. Sounds pretty familiar to me.”

“You’re the worst. The actually worst.”

“Press play already.”

“You’re addicted now. I’m slowly dragging you into my web of fandoms. Soon you’ll be trapped and then you’ll never be able to leave my clutches.”

“I can stop whenever I want.”

“Sure you can.”

Chapter Text

“Dad, exactly the person I wanted to talk to. Actually, I should say we because Scott is here with me so really it’s we want to talk. To you. That is.”

I looked up from the bills I had been reading to see my son waving his hands around wildly as he talked to me. “What is it you need to talk about? I’m kind of busy at the moment. I need to pay these.”

“Trust me. You’re going to want to hear this.”

“And why is that?”

“We know who’s been killing everyone.”

“Excuse me.”

“We know who the killer is.”

I set down the papers that had been in my hand with a sigh and turned to give my full attention to my son and his friend. “How exactly do you know that?”

“Research and things. Put two plus two together to get four.”

“Really? And what resources do you have that the police don’t?”

“Well I go to school with the person who’s been doing it, so there’s that.”

“The murderer is a teacher at the high school?”

“No. He’s a student.”

“A student?”

“Yes. It’s this guy named Matt Daehler. He’s a total creep.”

“A total creep?”

Stiles rolled his eyes as he slid into a chair across from me and slapped what looked like a yearbook on the table. “Yes. He’s creepy, but that’s not how I know he’s the one who has been committing all these murders. See this picture right here. It’s the 2006 Beacon Hills swim team.”

“All of the victims were a part of the team. I’m aware.”

“Well did you know Matt can’t swim?”

“No. Why would I need to know that?”

“I’m ninety-nine point nine percent certain that Matt almost drowned at one of the swim team functions and now he’s taking his revenge.”

“Why would he want revenge for that?”

“I’m not sure, but I think if we take a second look at the footage from the hospital we would be able to place him at the scene and I know for a fact he was at the scene of the last murder.”

“You know that how?”

“Allison was there with him.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“You really think this Matt is the one who has been killing people?” I ran one of my hands down my face in frustration. “Even if that was the case, you know I can’t do anything about it.”

“Sheriff Stilinski, we know for a fact that Matt is the one doing this we just can’t tell you how, but you’ve got to believe us. There were more people on that swim team. What if he goes after another one?”

“Dad, please! You have to believe us on this one. Matt isn’t going to stop until everyone in that photo is dead. We need solid evidence.”

“We can’t do this by ourselves. We need your help.”

“I know you don’t trust me anymore. I know that, but I’m not lying to you. We know that Matt is the one doing this. We just need your help to prove it. Please.”

My son was looking at me with wide earnest eyes that always reminded me so much of his mother. “You know I’m on suspension right now so whatever we do we’re going to have to be sneaky about. I can’t legally look at this evidence right now.”

“I know that dad, but we’ve got to do this. We need proof.”

“Then you two come with me.”


 

Sneaking into my office was a lot easier than I expected it to be and from the way my son easily slipped through the hallways it was obvious he had done this before. Whenever I get my job back, I’m definitely going to have to take a look at rectifying that obvious flaw. As soon as I had ushered the two boys into my office, they started closing the few blinds that were still open. I quickly crossed the room and pulled the security footage from the hospital up while the two boys leaned over my shoulder.

“That’s him!” Stiles pointed at a boy in a brown jacket with his back turned towards the screen. “Look, he’s talking to your mom.”

“Call her. Ask if she remembers talking to him. There’s some evidence that I want to pull up.”

Scott nodded his head and pulled out his phone so he could call his mother. While he waited for Melissa to pick up on the other end, I started pulling up the evidence I knew I would need for the other murders. A foot print had been found at the scene of trailer murders and from the size of Harris’s shoes it couldn’t have been his. Matt on the other hand, could be another case entirely. The foot print, video, and Allison’s testimony would put him at all, but two of the murders. Now I just need to get a hold of his financial records and we might be able to narrow it down to one.

“Mom, hey I know you’re busy, but I’ve got an important question to ask you. You know Matt right? Good. Do you remember if you talked to Matt on the night Jessica Bartlet was killed? He was? That’s great, thanks. Do we need you to come to the station?” Scott sent me a head tilt that I shook my head at. “Not right now, but we might later. Just be careful. Love you too, mom.”

“Matt was definitely there that night then. I think I might be able to place him at two more of the crime scenes. One of you two wouldn’t happen to know what shoe size he wears would you?”

“No, but he normally wears converse.”

“That could be a positive match then. Now we just need proof that he was at the mechanic’s shop before the murder.”

“Can you look for a receipt? There has to be some sort of financial trail that would put him there the day of the murder.”

“That’s what I’m looking for.”

“He might not have paid with a credit card. It would probably be easier to go through the shops records rather than his. That’s assuming that jerkoff actually kept records of his scamming.”

“You’re not supposed to speak ill of the dead. Were you raised by wolves?”

“You do prefer your meat a little on the raw side.”

“Very funny.” I scrolled down the long list of receipts until the one I was looking for finally popped up on the screen. “Got it. Call your mom back Scott and tell her we need her to come down to the station. We can place Matt at four of the five crime scenes now.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Stiles, can you go tell one of the officers what we’ve found?”

“On it. Be back in a few.”


 

Scott had gotten off the phone with his mom several minutes ago and Stiles still hadn’t gotten back from talking to whatever officer he had decided to go to. Knowing my son, he had probably managed to get side tracked and started talking their ear off. Alicia had just gotten back from maternity leave so he could be nagging her about showing him pictures. That boy could probably wheedle information out of a plant if he talked long enough.

It had gotten to the point that I was about to send Scott out after him when the door to my office opened up to reveal Stiles and Matt with a gun in hand. “You’re Matt right?”

“Don’t act like you don’t know. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that your son has already told you that I’m the one responsible for all these murders.”

“That might be true, but that doesn’t mean you have to do this.”

“Actually, that’s exactly what it means.”

“Son, you don’t-”

“Don’t son, me! You and your son think you’re so good with words. That you can talk your way out of any situation, but that’s not going to happen this time so Stiles be a good little boy and put these on your father.” Matt held out a pair of handcuffs that Stiles took reluctantly before slowly walking over to where I was sitting behind my computer. “And don’t try to do anything sneaky. Put them on nice and tight. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to him.”

“It’s okay, Stiles.”

“No, it’s not, dad. Alicia’s dead. She’s… She just had a baby and now. It’s not okay.”

“I know. I know. Do what he says.”

“I’m assuming this is the part where you tell me not to be sassy.”

“Stiles, hurry up. Don’t want you two planning something.” Matt pressed the gun hard into my son’s back as he finished putting the handcuffs on. “Now you two destroy all the evidence there is on me and I would stop texting whoever it is you’re texting Scott before I decide to shoot someone here. You two put your phones on the desk. Now!”

Scott and Stiles quickly placed their phones on the desk while Matt watched over them, making sure they didn’t try to do anything. As soon as the phones were where Matt could see them, Scott started to shred the physical evidence while Stiles deleted the digital evidence. The entire time the two were working Matt hovered over them with his gun kept in a tight grip at his side. When they finally finished, Matt motioned for the two to stand up before doing the same to me.

“I think it’s time we take a walk. You all go first. Where I can see you.” Matt held the door open and waited for the three of us to leave then closed the door behind himself. “Head towards the front of the building. No sudden moves or I’ll shoot first and ask questions later.”

“You mean you’re not just going to have your little guard dog take us out.” My heart sped up as the sound of Stiles’s voice filled the hallway. “He seems to have taken care of everyone else.”

“It would be simple. All I would have to do is think about it happening and he would do it, but I’m not done with you yet. There are still some loose ends to take care of.”

“Those people that you killed had families and friends. Loved ones. What did they do to deserve this?”

“Sometimes people are in the wrong place at the wrong time.” I looked down at the three dead deputies lying in a pool of their own blood and felt grief start to pool in my stomach. “Sometimes bad things happen to innocent people. I would think you could understand that.”

“Understand murdering people?”

“No. Having your innocence taken away from you. Being helpless to do anything.”

“What did you mean when you said they had killed you?”

“They pushed me into that pool! They thought it would be funny. Some sort of joke to watch the kid who can’t swim flail around. They sat back and watched me drown. After they finally decided to resuscitate me, Coach Lahey told me there would be hell to pay if I told anybody. Like I hadn’t just died and been brought back to life.”

“What a tragic story. That doesn’t mean you had the right to kill them for it. You could have gone to the police.”

“Like they would have believed me. My word versus all of theirs. I would have been laughed right out of the station.” Stiles shook his head, but remained silent as the sound of a car door slamming came from outside the front of the station. “Looks like someone’s here.”

“Please, don’t hurt my mom. She doesn’t know anything. I can just tell her it was all a misunderstanding and then send her away.”

“Open the door.” When Scott didn’t make a move towards the door, Matt let out a loud sigh and pointed the gun at Stiles. “I’m not going to ask you again.”

“Alright, alright.”

Scott slowly made his way to the door which swung open easily after Scott undid the lock to reveal a distinctly masculine figure. Instead of Melissa McCall standing in the doorway, Derek Hale stood rigidly with a grim expression on his face. For several seconds Derek just stood still in the doorway like a statue, before falling to the floor with an audible thud. Behind him was Jackson looking strange, but from what I thought I was seeing it had to be a trick of the light.

“Derek!” My son went to move, but quickly stopped when he seemed to remember the gun pointed at him.

“You really think I’m going to let your alpha run around here. That’s right. I know all about what’s been going on around here. Does your dad know? Does he know why you’ve been showing up at crime scenes?”

“Don’t you dare.”

“You know I’ve had the biggest crush on you for so long. When I met you, you were just so bright and energetic and the more I got to know you, the more I liked you. I mean who wouldn’t like a guy that’s smart and funny and attractive and not a complete asshole. The only problem was you’ve been hung up on Lydia for the longest time and even when you looked at other people, it was always girls. I thought you were straight and there was no way I had a chance so I decided to ask you about Allison. Give it one more try before I tried to move on.”

“Wasn’t a very good try. You kind of came off super creepy.”

“Very funny. I actually felt a little better when it looked like you were dating Lydia because it just proved the fact you’d never be interested in me. Only that wasn’t so true was it?”

“Well I can’t really help the fact you had the wrong information.”

“Does you dad know about your boyfriend or are you keeping that from him too? What do you think he’d have to say about that?”

“I don’t know. Why don’t you just ask him. You seem to be heading in that direction anyways.”

“You should get off your high horse. In case you’ve forgotten, I’m the one in charge here. How do you think your boyfriend would feel if I just shot you and let you bleed out right in front of him? What’s one more death?”

“Do you even feel any remorse?” Stiles moved closer to Matt, completely ignoring the gun pointing at his chest as he moved forward. “Killing those people? Do you feel anything at all or are you really that heartless? You orphaned a child. You’ve killed people who had dedicated their lives to saving others. You think you’re the only one who’s ever felt like it’s hopeless. To feel like nobody cares?”

“Shut up!”

“Why? Because it’s true? You’ve killed innocent people. That’s innocent blood on your hands and you wonder why I wasn’t interested when you tried to come onto me. News flash: Twilight had it wrong! No one likes the stalker vibe!”

“I’m not a stalker.”

“Really? So if I went through that little camera of yours, I wouldn’t find anything remotely stalkerish?”

Matt ground his teeth firmly together in frustration. “I think it’s time daddy found out about the town secret, don’t you?”

“Don’t.”

“Sheriff Stilinski, are you aware of the werewolves running around town?” My eyes went wide as I looked between Stiles and Matt. “I know it sounds crazy I didn’t believe it at first either, but it’s remarkable what you can learn when no one notices you’re there. Your son is neck deep in all of it.”

“Shut up.”

“How many times have you nearly been killed because of the little werewolf problem in this town? I know Scott has almost killed you before. Have the hunters gone after you yet?”

“I wouldn’t worry about me when it comes to the hunters. What do you think they’re going to do when they find out you’re the one controlling the kanima?”

“I’ll be long gone before that happens.”

“You don’t think they’re already headed here right now? If we figured it out, I’m sure they’ve figured it out.”

“And all they’re going to find is your boyfriend, who I’m sure they would love to get their hands on, and what is it they do? Cut them in half?”

Stiles looked down at where Derek was lying uselessly on the floor and what Matt had been alluding to the whole time finally clicked. “A mad man helping another mad man. How poetic of you?”

“Jackson.”

Before Stiles could turn to look Jackson ran a clawed hand across the back of his neck causing him to fall right on top of Derek. “Bitch.”

“Watch your mouth, Stiles. Your father is present.”

“Bite me, asshole.”

“You know I didn’t really see it before, but you two do make the prefect couple. You’ll destroy each other. You’re so perfect and yet, you purposefully put yourself in these situations that will ultimately end in heartbreak or something far more permanent.”

“You’ve clearly never had your heartbroken if you think that pain ever goes away. Real heartbreak stays with you.”

The sound of a car door slamming for a second time made Matt look up at the door. “Scott, open the door.”

“No.”

“Open the door.”

“No. My mom doesn’t know about anything.”

Matt gave a slightly hysterical laugh as he leaned down to roll Stiles off of Derek and then pressed his foot against Stiles’s throat. “Do you know how long the human body can go without oxygen?”

“Matt, please stop this.”

“I thought Stiles was supposed to be your best friend?”

“I can tell her to go away.”

“Bargaining for your mom’s life while your best friend is slowly dying. I can tell you it’s not fun.” I could feel tears starting to build up in the corner of my eyes as I watched my son gasping for air desperately. “Tick tock.”

“Fine. Fine, I’ll do it.”

“Good choice.” Matt lifted his shoe off my son’s windpipe causing him to gasp and splutter as he took in large lungful of air.

Scott crossed the room once again to open the door, this time revealing Melissa McCall still dressed in her light blue hospital scrubs. Melissa looked at her son curiously before turning her attention to Matt who now had his gun pointed at Scott. Her gaze then fell to where Stiles and Derek were still lying motionless on the ground and finally moved to meet my eyes. Before she had the chance to say anything, the sound of the gun going off filled the room.

“Scott!” Melissa moved to rush to her son’s side, but Matt made a noise that stopped all movement. “You have to let me treat him.”

“He’ll be fine.”

“He’s not going to be fine!”

“You don’t know as much about your son as you think you do.”

“Please, let me treat him. Please!”

“How about we take this to the cells? I need somewhere to keep you from causing any trouble. Jackson, if you could get those two.” Jackson moved from where he had been silently standing to grab Stiles and Derek by their jackets so he could drag them with him. “Don’t any of the rest of you try anything. I came here for something and I plan on getting it.”

Chapter Text

Being paralyzed is officially my least favorite thing, especially when a psychotic teenage boy with a gun has my father in handcuffs while I’m dragged along the floor by a partially lizarded out Jackson. The only upside to this new arrangement is being able to actually see my father rather than simply being aware of his presence behind me. Although judging by the look on my father’s face, he’s not all here at the moment (not that I can blame him). Learning about werewolves can do that to a man. Then again, the boyfriend thing probably didn’t help any either…

Luckily my father isn’t the only parent that’s going to be learning about their son’s involvement in the supernatural tonight. Maybe my dad and Scott’s mom can make some sort of supernatural parents support group. They’ll probably need therapy by the time the night’s over with. Mrs. McCall will definitely need it if the completely freaked out expression on her face is anything to go by. The only thing that seems to be keeping her quiet is the gun pointed directly at Scott.

It didn’t take long for our little group to make it back to the jail cells where Jackson unceremoniously dropped Derek and I on the floor. A groan slipped through my lips as my head thumped onto the hard, unforgiving floor. Maybe I should start wearing my lacrosse helmet everywhere I go. At this point, I’m surprised I still have functioning brain cells.

“McCall, lock your mom in that cell over there.” Scott took his mom’s arm gently in his hand and led her over to the open cell then closed the door with a loud clink. “Excellent. Now if you could handcuff the sheriff to the wall, we can get this started.”

“And what is it that you want exactly?” I could feel everyone in the room turn to look at me-most with disapproving looks if I had to guess.

“You three have something I want.”

“I’d say sanity, but you’re the only one here lacking that.”

“Shut up before I decide to shoot you next. I know for a fact you won’t heal the same way Scott does. Being human and all.”

“You say that like it’s a bad thing. Last time I checked, you’re human too.”

Matt narrowed his eyes at me, but instead of continuing our lovely conversation he turned his attention back to Scott and my father. “Take these handcuffs and cuff him to the wall. Hurry up.”

Scott looked over at me nervously before taking the pair of handcuffs in Matt’s hand and moving over to where my father stood rigidly. For a moment I thought my dad was going to refuse, but instead he walked over to the wall Matt had been motioning to so Scott could cuff him there. I could tell that Scott was trying to be gentle when he locked the second cuff onto my father’s left wrist, but chaffing is inevitable at this point.  When he finally finished, Scott stood up and turned to face Matt with a defiant look on his face. This could get worse before it gets better.

“I did what you wanted. What do you want?”

“Maybe he wants a pony.”

“What I want is the bestiary.”

“What could you possibly want with the bestiary? You’ve already got your own murder machine to carry out your revenge.”

“Don’t act stupid. I know you’ve already read it. I could just get the information out of you.”

“I’m going to need you to get off the crazy train if you want me to have even the slightest clue as to what’s going on in your head.”

“This is what I’m talking about!” Matt pulled the hem of his shirt up revealing a patch of scales decorating his side. “I know there’s something in the bestiary about this. There has to be.”

“That’s disgusting.”

“How do I get rid of it?”

“How the hell would I know? Last time I checked, I don’t have a PhD in Kanimas.”

“You’re the one who does all the research. You know exactly what is happening.”

“I really, really don’t and I can tell you that there’s nothing in the bestiary that can help you. I’ve read the section on kanimas a hundred times and there’s nothing about getting kanima herpes.”

“You think this in a joke?” I really shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was when Matt crossed the room quickly so he could press his gun against my stomach. “Tell me how to get rid of it.”

“I don’t know anything that can help you.”

“You’re lying.”

“I’m not. I have no idea what’s happening to you or why.”

“Well you’re smart. I’m sure you can figure it out given the proper motivation.” Matt clicked the safety off the gun and pressed it harder into my abdomen. “Let’s start simple. Why is this happening?”

“I don’t-don’t know.”

“Think harder.”

“Shit. I... Give me a second.” I squeezed my eyes tightly shut hoping that would help me block out everything going on around me so I could focus on the problem at hand.

“I’m waiting.”

“I’m thinking!”

“Five, four, three, tw-”

The gears in my head had just started to turn frantically when it finally clicked. “The kanima’s only supposed to be used against murderers.”

“I already know that!”

“Yes, but you’re not following the rules.”

“Everyone I’ve used Jackson to kill has deserved it.”

“Did they? Did all of them push you in the pool? One of them had to resuscitate you, which brings up the point that: they didn’t actually kill anybody. You’re still alive.”

“They deserve what they got!”

“No, they didn’t. Plus you murdered one of them with your own hands. You’re going against nature. You’re killing people who didn’t deserve it and now everything is trying to balance itself back out. You’re becoming the kanima so someone else can right your wrongs.”

“You’re lying.”

“Do you have a better explanation because it makes sense to me? Why else would you become the kanima? The kanima is supposed to be a tool for justice and you’ve gone against that. Now you become the tool.”

“Scott you’re going to come with me so you can send a text to Allison. I know she’s a hunter so she has access to the bestiary.” Matt stood up while Jackson moved to grab a hold of Scott’s arm, but didn’t start to make his way towards the door. “I’m really sorry about this, but it’s for the best.”

“What are you-” The rest of what I was going to ask got stuck in my throat as a searing pain exploded through my body. I could feel my body trying to arch off of the ground like I would somehow be able to get away from the intense radiating pain. My blood was pumping loudly in my ears and something sticky was beginning to soak my shirt.


 

“-iles! Stiles!” A familiar, worried voice was the first thing to break through the rush of blood that had pooled in my ears. “Stiles, talk to me son! Stiles!”

My mouth opened and closed several times before a strangled sound managed to make its way out. “Papa.”

“You’re fine. You’re going to be fine. Where did you get shot?”

“What?”

“Where’s the wound, son?”

“I-I don’t know. I don’t.”

“His abdomen. There’s a lot of blood. His heart rate is elevated.” I turned to look at where the new voice was coming from and was met with a pair of green eyes and stubble. “Can you move any?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Can you try?”

“Yes. I think. I can move my fingers.”

“What about your arm?”

“No.”

“How are you feeling?”

“Numb. Everything’s numb.”

“That’s the adrenalin.” A female voice-Mrs. McCall my mind supplied- came from the same direction as my dad’s voice had. “It’s going to start to wear off soon, then you’ll be able to feel the pain. Derek, can you move yet?”

“I’m starting to be able to move my arms. It shouldn’t take much longer.”

“You need to get pressure on the wound and try to lower his heart rate back to normal. When the pain hits, it’s only going to get higher and the longer he stays stable the better. We don’t want him going into shock.”

“Do you have your phone on you?”

“I didn’t even think of that. Yes, I’ve got it. I’ll call an ambulance.”

“The hunters are probably on their way here already. We need to get somewhere safer.”

“How are we supposed to get out of here? Matt has the keys.”

“I can break you both out as soon as I can move.” Derek had turned his attention back to me for all of five seconds before a look of pain appeared on his face. “Still feeling numb?”

“Yes. What’s wrong?”

“Speeding up the healing process.”

“You’re breaking your own bones.”

“They’ll heal. We need to get you to the hospital.”

“Right. Hospital. How’s my dad?”

“I’m fine, Stiles. We’re worried about you.”

“What have I told you about worrying about me?” I could feel pain starting to slowly seep back into my consciousness making my breath hitch as I remembered the pain from earlier. Had I lost consciousness?

“Keep breathing. You’re doing great.”

“I liked it better when you were telling me that during our evasive manoeuvres lessons. I’m sorry.”

“For what?”

“Everything. For not telling you, for getting you suspended, for being a horrible son. I’m so sorry.”

“You’re not a horrible son.”  Before my dad could say anything else, Derek was up and moving towards where my dad was cuffed to the wall. “Get her first. She can help him.”

Derek gave a firm nod and made his way over to the cell bars that Mrs. McCall was pressed firmly up against. As soon as Derek reached the door, Mrs. McCall took a step back and watched curiously as Derek’s hands gripped the bars tightly in his hands. A grunt sounded from Derek as his muscles strained to pull the cell door right off its hinges. Mrs. McCall looked like she wanted to ask Derek how he had done that, but her eyes quickly moved to where I was still on the ground.

“I’m going to lift up your shirt so I can see where the bullet went in. It might sting a little.” The feeling of my shirt slowly peeling off my body made me realize how absolutely disgusting I feel-not that I should really be worrying about that at the moment. “None of your vital organs have been hit. You’re still conscious which is a good sign. I need you to tell me if you start to feel light headed. You’ve lost a lot of blood but you’re not endanger of bleeding out yet.”

“Yet? That sounds promising.”

“You’re still being snarky so it can’t be too bad.”

“We need to get out of here.” My dad and Derek were now standing over me with identical looks of concern on their face.

“I can’t exactly move right now.”

“Don’t worry about that.” I definitely don’t like where this is going.


 

“Do you have to carry me?”

“Unless you want me to drag you along in a rolling chair this is the only opinion.”

“Does it have to be bridal style though? I feel like a blushing bride on her wedding night.”

“You’ve got a gunshot wound.”

“Yes, yes I do and it hurts like a bitch.” Just as the words were coming out of my mouth a spike of pain shot up in my abdomen. “Shit. I’m starting to feel light headed.”

“We’ve got to move quicker.” My dad and Mrs. McCall turned to look at us before speeding up their pace to the point they were nearly running. Several times my dad stopped to look around a corner then would motion for Melissa and Derek to keep moving. It didn’t take long for the three of us to be out of the station and where the sounds of an ambulance could be heard making its way towards us, but that wasn’t the thing that caught my attention. The two black SUV parked off to the side so as to appear inconspicuous were the things to catch my attention.

“Derek, the hunters are here. Scott’s still inside.” Derek looked from me to the building with a torn expression on his face. “You can’t do anything for me. Help him. Please.”

“Allison is with them.”

“Even more of a reason to get Scott out of there. They’ll expect her to treat him like any other werewolf and you know that she can’t do that.”

“Alright.” Derek gently lowered me down to the concrete then shrugged out of his jacket and handed it to Melissa. “Slow the bleeding. I’ll get Scott out.”

“Be careful, Sourwolf! No getting shot.” Derek opened his mouth to say something, but instead just rolled his eyes and headed back through the door we had just come out of.

“What happened to you just being friends?”

“Circumstances changed.”

“He asked you out?”

“Why do you automatically assume that he’s the one that asked me out? I’ll have you know that I was the one that asked him out.”

“Good for you.”

“Tha-” A shock was of pain and cold suddenly rippled through my body causing my mouth to snap shut and my eyes to squeeze closed.

“Stiles!”

“He’s heart rate is dropping.”

“What happened?”

“His body must be going into shock. He’s lost a lot of blood.”

“I thought you said the blood loss wasn’t that bad yet.”

“It wasn’t! He was just in the hospital for broken ribs and a punctured lung. The stress on his body is probably starting to take its toll.”

“What do we do to stop it?”

“We can’t. We don’t have the equipment we need. The ambulance is almost here.”

“Will it get here quick enough?”

“I don’t know, John. We need to keep him awake. The longer he’s conscious the better chance his has at making it through this.”

“Stiles, open your eyes for us.”

“Stiles, sweetheart, I need you to stay awake.”

“Son!”


 

A beeping sound was the first thing that broke through the strange dream I had last night, although I don’t remember falling asleep or setting my alarm. Wasn’t it Saturday anyways? Why would I have turned on my alarm if I didn’t have school today? I must have been absolutely exhausted when I finally decided to go to bed. That’s the only thing that could explain that horrid alarm waking me up on a Saturday morning; unless my dad thought it would be funny.

Groaning I slowly opened my eyes and turned to look at the offending object on my bedside table that wasn’t there. Wait what? I blinked my eyes slowly expecting what I was seeing to be some sort of sleep induced illusion, but nothing changed. It was then I realized I wasn’t even in my own room, but a hospital room and the beeping wasn’t an alarm clock, but a heart monitor. A heart monitor that was connected to me along with the two bags of clear fluid next to the monitor. What was I doing back in the hospital?

“You’re awake!” A face attached to a head of curly hair-or was it curly hair attached to a face-was suddenly right in my personal space. “How are you feeling? You had us all really worried.”

“Why?”

“You don’t remember what happened?”

“No. Should I?”

“You were shot.”

“I was shot?” My brain throbbed painfully as I tried to remember being shot, but nothing came to mind. “I don’t remember. That’s bad right? Was I shot in the head? Do I have brain damage?”

“No! You were shot in the stomach. Melissa mentioned that you might be disoriented when you woke up. She said something about temporary amnesia because of shock or lack of oxygen to your brain or something like that.”

“I know this might be a stupid question, but who shot me exactly?”

Isaac shifted uncomfortably in his chair then looked towards the closed door to my room like he was expecting someone to walk through it. “Maybe your dad should tell you what happened. I wasn’t actually there.”

“You don’t know who shot me?”

“No, I do. It’s just… It might be easier to hear the whole story.”

“I’m going to start listing off names if you don’t tell me.”

“Leave the poor kid alone.” Lydia came strolling through the now open door with Scott trailing closely behind her. “You’ve had us all worried sick.”

“All? Where’s everyone else?”

“Boyd, Erica, and Danny are all at school keeping up appearances. Your dad, Melissa, and Derek are banned from your room for another five minutes so they’ll probably be here any second now.”

“I thought it was Saturday.”

“It’s Tuesday. You got shot on Saturday, spent pretty much all of Sunday in critical condition, and were unconscious all of yesterday.”

“And who shot me again?”

Before Lydia had the chance to tell me to stop asking, the door to my room opened again this time with my dad, Mrs. McCall, and Derek behind it. “Thank god. You’re finally awake.”

“Dad, you’re crushing me.” My dad pulled back a little bit, but kept his arms tightly around me.

“How are you feeling? Are you in any pain? Do you need me to get the nurse for you?”

“I thought I was the one with the rambling problem. You don’t need to worry. I can’t feel anything. I didn’t even know where I was hit.”

“You don’t remember?”

“No and I had the craziest dream. It was weird.”

My dad looked at Mrs. McCall who smiled and moved to stand next to my dad. “We knew this might be a possibility. You flat lined a couple of time and there were some points when your brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen. It should come back to you.”

“Well until that happens, is one of you going to explain to me what happened?”

“What’s the last thing you remember?”

“Let’s see…” I looked between Scott, Lydia, Isaac and Derek thoughtfully as I tried to rack my brains for the last memory I have. “Scott and I were planning to talk to you tomorrow or I guess Saturday.”

“Well you two did and you convinced me to take you to the station so we could take a look at the evidence. We found what we were looking for to convict Matt, but when I sent you to go tell one of the other officers you came back with him.”

“With Matt?”

“Yes and he was holding a gun to your back. He had you handcuff me and then had you and Scott get rid of all the evidence. Scott had called his mom to give a statement proving that Matt was at the hospital the night the woman in the hospital was killed so Matt took us to the front of the station to get to her first.”

“Just skip to the end. What did I say to make Matt shoot me?” A snort from my boyfriend made me turn to glare at him. “What? People are always threatening to shoot me for talking too much! I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that’s what happened.”

“He got mad at you after you told him he wasn’t using the kanima to carry out justice and that’s why he is turning into one. There was also something in there about not liking your boyfriend.”

My eyes went wide in horror as it became clear that my dad didn’t just know about the supernatural, but that I was dating Derek Hale as well. “About that…”

“We’ll talk about it later. Just the two of us.”

“Can’t wait.” I glanced nervously at Derek then looked down at my hands until something popped into my head making me look up at my dad. “Hold on. What happened to Matt?”

“We don’t know. The hunters showed up and Derek barely managed to get Scott out. No one has seen Matt since.”

“What about Jackson?”

Everyone looked at each other until Lydia finally stepped up. "He was at school on Monday."

"Well shit."

Chapter Text

“Maybe Matt gave him a sock.”

“He's a kanima not a house elf.”

“My theory still stands. Just because Matt was the master of Jackson, doesn't mean he's still telling him what to do. He could have left Jackson behind at the station to cover for him while he skipped town.”

“You think someone else has control of the kanima now?” I shifted around until I was more comfortable on the small space at the end of Stiles's bed that I had claimed for myself. “Who do you think is in control of him now?”

“I don't know. We're right back where we started. Not knowing anything. You put out a missing person's alert on him right?”

“Yes, Stiles. I've got the entire state of California looking for him. We'll find him.”

“When are you going to go through his stuff? I know you asked for a warrant.”

“I should be getting a response from the judge any time now. Stop stressing out. You know what Melissa told you.”

“Stress is bad, don't do it.” Sheriff Stilinski glared at his son, but all he got for his effort was a shrug. “That was the jest of it and I'm not stressing. I’m just asking logical questions. Not knowing the answers would stress me out.”

“You've done nothing, but worry since we came in.”

“I'm restless! I can't help it!”

“Don't quote The Nightmare Before Christmas at me and don't you dare sneak out of your window.”

“I couldn't even if I was physically capable. You've got your newest police dog with me at all hours of the day and night.”

“He's your boyfriend.”

“Not when he's working for you. Don't even try to deny it. I'm on to the both of you.”

“I won't apologize.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, but seemed to be giving up arguing with his father for the time being. “Did anything interesting happen today? I've been stuck in this bed for way too long. I'm going to go crazy.”

“I talked to Allison today.” I could tell that Stiles's interest was automatically peaked at this newest development.

“Really? What did she say?”

“She was with the rest of the hunters the other night and Gerard is starting to trust her more. He let her go off on her own that night in the station.”

“That could work out really well for us. They’ll probably start letting her in on their meetings which means we’ll have inside information.”

“Are you thinking of switching your focus to them?”

“Well we’re kind of at a standstill when it comes to the Jackson-kanima front so the hunters seem like the thing to turn our attention to. I’d kind of like to get rid of the sword wielding geriatric, if that’s alright with the rest of you.”

“I want my shopping partner back so feel free to get rid of him. He’s taking up all of her time. Do you know when the last time Allison got a manicure was?”

“Why in the world would I know that?”

“It’s been two weeks. No one should go two weeks without getting a manicure.”

“Thank you for that information. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.”

“You know I could do your nails.” I grabbed one of Stiles’s large hands in my own and inspected the short cuticles closely. “They’re surprisingly clean for someone who spends so much time running around in the woods. I could do a nice clear coat on them. It’s important to maintain proper nail care.”

“No. That’s not happening. Not even a little bit.”

“I have a full kit. I’m sure you would like the hot rocks. It’s very relaxing. It could take your mind off of having a bullet wound.”

“It’s not happening, Lydia. If you want a gay best friend ask Danny.”

“Don’t drag me into this. I’m all for personal hygiene, but I draw the line at mani-pedi sessions. It would be pointless anyways. Lacrosse would destroy anything done to my nails.”

“That’s a good point. I’m going to steal that. Lacrosse would ruin all you hard work and I know your time is precious so I won’t waste it.”

I let out a sigh at the two boys, but decided not to push the subject since I would get my way eventually; probably while one of them is drunk. “Fine. I won’t do your nails, but you’re going on a shopping spree with Allison and I when you get out of this hellhole. It will be good exercise and you can finally get some clothes that fit. Your wardrobe is severely lacking.”

“My clothes are fine thank you very much.”

“Your clothes are a lot of things, but fine is not one of them.”

“Your closet could do with some updating.” I sent a grateful smile to Sheriff Stilinski who sent me a subtle thumbs up in approval. “Some of the things in your closet are starting to look a little ratty and bloodstained.”

“That settles it. I’m thinking this weekend? We can watch the lacrosse game on Friday then you can spend the night at my house and we can get up nice and early on Saturday to hit the good shops before everyone else does.”

“You want me to sleep over at your house? You’re planning to paint my nails while I’m sleeping aren’t you.”

“I was thinking of just tying you to a chair.”

“Why am I friends with you? I’m pretty sure friends aren’t supposed to tie other friends up to furniture.”

“You’ve never done things normally Stiles and I wouldn’t have to tie you up if you would just let me give you a manicure.”

“No. The answer will forever be no. No to the infinite degree. In fact, I suggest a topic change. Did you guys know that Derek likes The Vampire Diaries?”

“Stiles!”

“You going to finally leave me alone now?”

“No.” Stiles let out a loud groan and dropped his head so it landed on the stack of pillows behind him.


 

“Lydia! Don’t walk away from me!” Jackson’s voice rang through the crowded hallway and managed to instantly piss me off. I had been having such a nice day up until now. Why did this asshole have to go and ruin it? “Lydia, talk to me!”

“What? What is it that you want?”

“I need to talk to you. Now.”

“Well now doesn’t really work for me. How about I pencil you in for a later date? How does the thirty-first of April sound to you?”

“Don’t blow me off like that, Lydia.”

“Why not? You’re not in charge of me. You never have been and you never will be.”

“This is serious.”

“Then I suggest you seriously consider the next words that come out of your mouth because if they are in anyway a command for me to do something, you definitely won’t be getting whatever it is you want from me.”

“Why do you assume I want something from you?”

“It’s a mystery.” I let out a huge sigh then turn to look at Jackson as I came to a stop outside of my next classroom. “Look I don’t have time for this right now, but if what you want to talk about is so important then I’m sure you won’t mind coming to the hospital after lacrosse practice.”

“Why would you be at the hospital?”

“Do you really need to ask that question? From what Danny told me it was the talk of the school on Monday.”

“Right your little boyfriend is in the hospital.”

“I don’t think his boyfriend would appreciate that comment. Either way I’ll be at the hospital all night if you decide whatever you have to ask me is important enough to warrant the drive out there.”

Jackson shook his head with a snort and looked away for a few seconds before turning back to me. “What room number?”

“Room 286 and I expect you to be on your best behavior. Melissa was very specific about Stiles not being put under any stress. It’s bad for his health.”

“I’ll try my best.”

“You should get to class. Don’t want to be late.” I spun around dramatically and strutted into the almost full classroom just as the warning bell started to go off.

“I’ll give you a nine out of ten for that performance.”

“You and I both know that was a full ten out of ten.”

Danny shook his head with a smile. “If you would have gotten a door slam in I would have given you a perfect ten, but you didn’t. What did Jackson want anyways? He looked pretty serious about whatever it was. Is he trying to get back together with you?”

“I don’t know what he actually wanted. All I let him say is that he wanted to ask something before I shut him down.”

“Showing him who’s in charge?”

“I let Jackson decide who I was last time and if we do end up getting back together, I’m not going to be the pretty little trophy like before. I’m done dumbing myself down to make guys feel better about themselves.”

“Look at you, all grown up. I’m proud of you.”

“Don’t be so patronizing. You sound like Stiles.”

“Out of the three of us, which is the one with the hot boyfriend?”

“Don’t remind me. Remember this time last year?”

“You mean when we didn’t have to worry about all this supernatural stuff?”

“Things were so much simpler then, but not nearly as fun.”

Danny let out a short laugh and turned to face the board. “No, not nearly as fun.”


 

“Derek wants Boyd and I to patrol the woods tonight and tomorrow. He thinks he picked up on the scent of a couple of wolves and he doesn’t want to take the risk of them catching us off guard.” Erica took a large bite out of the carrot in her hand making a loud snapping sound as she did so. “We’re going to end up missing the last game of the season. You and Stiles better keep me updated.”

“Why isn’t Derek the one trumping around the wood looking for the wolves?”

“The Sheriff officially obtained a warrant for Matt’s house today so he plans on getting something Derek can use to track Matt.”

“He thinks Matt is still in town?”

“That or he wants to make sure that Matt isn’t in town anymore. You can’t really blame him after what he did to Stiles. I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t decided to lock Stiles away for the rest of his life.”

“I’m pretty sure the only reason he hasn’t done that is because he knows Stiles would find some way to sneak out when he wasn’t looking.”

“Very true. Have you talked to Stiles at all today?”

“Not yet. I’m shocked he hasn’t sent me a text telling me how bored he is.” I looked down at my phone thoughtfully and sent off a quick text to Stiles.

“Maybe he’s busy sucking face with that new boyfriend of his. The two are all alone in his hospital room.”

“With Melissa checking in on them every ten minutes. I highly doubt they have had the opportunity to make out. There’s also the fact Stiles is supposed to be keeping his heart rate down as much as possible and kissing isn’t exactly conducive to that plight.”

“That’s unfortunate. Stuck in a room all day with a hot boyfriend and not allowed to do anything about it.”

“I’m not going to disagree with you there.” A buzzing noise alerting me to a new text message made me look down at where my phone was resting on the table.

Stiles

Nothing much. Just trying to finish up The Maze Runner. Why do you ask?

Lydia

Erica and I were talking and I’d thought I’d see what you were doing.

Stiles

Talking about me I assume?

Lydia

Of course.

I should also mention Jackson might be stopping by later.

Stiles

Why?

Lydia

He tried to ask me something earlier and I told him if he really wanted an answer then he could meet me at the hospital later.

Stiles

I thought we were friends?

I don’t want to listen to Jackson beg for you to take him back.

Unless you make him literally beg on his knees. I wouldn’t mind that.

Lydia

I don’t even know what he wants to ask me.

Stiles

Sure, sure. He wants you back. Everyone knows.

“So what did Stiles have to say? Is he having more fun than we are?”

“He’s reading a book.”

“What a waste.” Erica let out a sigh after shoving the rest of her lunch into her mouth and picking up her bag. “You would think he would be doing something fun instead of reading while he doesn’t have to be in school like the rest of us. Although, I know for a fact that there aren’t a lot of opinions in the fun department when you’re stuck in the hospital.”

“You and me both.”


 

“When is Jackass supposed to get here again?”

“Stop calling him that.”

“Why? I think it’s a fitting name and he answers to it.” Stiles turned a page of the book he had been reading on and off for the past two hours. “You still haven’t answered my question. When is he supposed to be here?”

“I told him to meet me here after lacrosse practice.”

“So he’ll probably go home to shower, style his hair, pick out a nice outfit, and put on some expensive cologne first which means we’ve got a good hour before he gets here.”

“Are you jealous that your boyfriend doesn’t use that much effort for you?”

“Please. I like my men scruffy and not smelling like they’ve bathed in sandalwood.”

“Sandalwood?”

Stiles rolled his eyes and turned to give me his full attention. “I was trying to make a point. I like Derek’s scruff and natural scent. So much better than anything artificial. I’ve always hated colognes.”

“But not perfumes?”

“Perfumes are normally lighter and more floral while colognes have a heavier, musky smell. It’s more of a distraction.”

“Interesting.”

“Way to make it sound like you’re observing me for some kind of case study.”

“Maybe I am.”

“And here I was thinking we’re going to be BFFs forever.” Our laughter was cut short by the sound of knocking coming from Stiles’s door. “Come in!”

The door slowly opened to reveal Jackson with his hair perfectly gelled and dressed in a nice cream sweater with a nice pair of jeans. I could feel Stiles’s silent laughter shaking the bed making me roll my eyes. There’s no doubt in my mind that Stiles is going to make a joke about Jackson’s appearance at some point in the evening. When I turned to look at Stiles, I was met with the cover of his book instead of his face like he was actually trying to give us privacy.

“Jackson.”

“Lydia.”

“Are you going to ask me whatever it was that you thought was so important or what?”

“Do we have to do this here?” Jackson looked pointedly over at Stiles who kept his eyes glued to the page in front of him.

“Yes. I’m in charge of making sure Stiles doesn’t do anything he’s not supposed to so I can’t leave.”

“He needs a babysitter?”

“You’re telling me you would sit in bed like a good little boy if you were the one lying in a hospital bed with a gunshot wound?”

“Well-”

“Alright, that enough.” Stiles slammed his book shut and placed it on the table in front of him. “Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time I think you’re a complete douche that is incapable of actually feeling anything. That being said I know for a fact that the only person who’s opinion you actually care about is Lydia’s and you don’t just want to get back together with her, you want her to forgive you. We both know that’s not going to happen tonight so what you’re going to do is sit here and have an actual conversation with her. You’re going to ask her how she’s been, how she’s feeling, if she bought that thing she mentioned to you a while ago. You’re going to make her realize that yes you do care and you understand that breaking up with her was a terrible mistake. Then after you tell her good night, you’re going to go home and start thinking up ways to prove how serious you are. Are we clear?”

Jackson open and closed his mouth several times before clearing his throat. “Yes.”

“Excellent, then get to it. I’m just going to sit here minding my own business until my boyfriend gets here with food at which point I might join into your conversation.” Stiles picked up his book and started reading again. “You’re supposed to start talking now.”

“So… how was your day?”


 

Stiles gripped my arm tightly as he started trying to make his way up the bleachers without falling over or hurting himself more. The pain medication Melissa had managed to get him had been working so far, but she had made it clear that Stiles shouldn’t push himself too hard. I had been watching Stiles closely since we had left the hospital and I could tell that Stiles was starting to get annoyed by it.

“Lydia, I’m fine. Still standing and breathing and doing all those other things needed in order to stay alive.”

“I know that, but your dad and Derek have trusted me to take care of you so I’m going to make sure that you make it back to them in the same condition that you left them in.”

“You know my dad is supposed to be here by the end of the game right?”

“I remember. Stiles, just sit down and rest until the game starts.”

“Alright, but only because I know this is you asking nicely and I don’t want to know what you’ll do if I don’t.”

“Good.” I looked up the bleachers to see Gerard Argent watching the two of us closely. “Stiles, you need to stay close to me tonight.”

“I heard you the first time.”

“Gerard is here without Allison and he’s watching us.”

“Shit. He’s not going to be able to do anything in a crowd like this and my dad will be here before the end of the game. There’s nothing to worry about. Focus on the game.”

“You need to relax.” I slipped my hand into Stiles’s hand and squeezed it lightly in the hopes that he would calm down some. “You know what Melissa said.”

“You, my dad, and Derek won’t let me forget it.”

“We just want you to be careful. You still haven’t completely healed from what Jackson did to you and you were shot on Saturday. I think we have the right to be worried about you.”

“I know, I know. It’s just frustrating and I have this bad feeling.”

“So do I. It’s like this pressure building up in my throat.”

“Wait. Say that again.”

“It’s like a pressure building up in my throat.”

“Like you’re about to scream?”

“Yes.”

“I think I know what you are.” I could feel my eyes going wide as I turned to look at Stiles who ha d a grim expression on his face.


 

Stiles was glancing from the field to the parking lot for what seemed like the millionth time and his antsy mood was starting to rub off on me. This wasn’t helped by the fact our team is currently down by one with the clock quickly heading towards zero. Isaac had showed up late, but had quickly gone out of the game because of an injury that probably healed in seconds, but with Gerard here there was no way Isaac could go back in. At this point it’s going to take a miracle for us to win this game.

“My dad’s here. Thank God.”

“Now will you stop fidgeting? You’re making me nervous and I don’t get nervous.”

“Sorry. I don’t like this though. Something’s going to happen and we’re not ready for it. We need to get together. Group meeting needs to happen ASAP.”

“Until the game is over we can’t do anything.”

Stiles gave a huff and turned to look at his dad before turning back. “Have you heard from Erica or Boyd? I thought you said she wanted you to keep her updated.”

“I have been, but they’re out in the woods. She might not have service right now.”

“That doesn’t really make me feel any better.”

“They’re the only two that have been unaccounted for so far. As soon as the game is over, we can find a way to get in touch with them.”

“Alright.” The crowd erupted into cheers as Jackson sent a ball sailing into the back of the net with so much force the entire goal shook. “He’s playing well. He’s probably trying to impress you.”

“I think he took your advice.”

“He’d be stupid not to. Oh, wait.”

“Don’t be rude.”

“I’m not being rude. In fact, I think Jackson is about to win this game for us.”

The words had barely left Stiles’s mouth when the crowd burst into cheers once again because of Jackson scoring. The game had barely started up again when the referee blew the final whistle signaling the end of the match and with it a Beacon Hills win. The celebration was just starting up when Jackson fell to the ground causing the teams on the field to crowd around him in confusion. Everyone was starting to move around in the stands when all the lights surrounding the field went out. Screaming filled the air and before I had the chance to grab onto Stiles someone bumped into from behind making me fall to the ground.

The darkness persisted for several minutes during which the bustling and screaming of the crowd didn’t die down any. When the lights finally came back on, I looked around frantically for Stiles, but couldn’t find him anywhere. My eyes locked with Sheriff Stilinski who must have come to the exact same conclusion that I had. Stiles was nowhere to be seen and Gerard Argent had disappeared from the crowd as well.

Chapter Text

“Stiles is missing?” I looked at Lydia in disbelief then at Sheriff Stilinski who looked completely strung out. “What do you mean Stiles is missing? I thought you two were supposed to be with him the whole time!”

Lydia sent me a scathing glare. “I was with him the entire time, but when the lights went out somebody shoved me to the ground. I lost track of Stiles and when the lights came back on, he was gone and so was Gerard.”

“You think Gerard took Stiles?”

“He was staring at us before the game started and then he disappears at the same time Stiles does. It's more than a little suspicious don't you think.”

“But... Gerard wouldn't hurt Stiles, right? I mean he's human.”

“Gerard doesn't follow the Code.” Derek had been standing in the corner with his eyes bright red saying nothing until now; although, it was more of a growl than human speech. “He wouldn't have a problem hurting Stiles if it meant getting what he wants. He'll treat Stiles as a means to an end.”

“Allison could-”

“If Allison did anything, her cover would be blown and I wouldn't put it above Gerard to use his own granddaughter if he had to.”

“So we find him before he has the chance to do anything.”

“And if he's holed up somewhere in the Argent house? What then? It's crawling with hunters who have wolfsbane bullets. We'd be dead long before we got to Stiles.”

“So we just have to sit here and wait?”

I looked desperately at Sheriff Stilinski who let out a sigh and ran a shaking hand through his hair. “I'm not legally allowed to declare this a missing person’s case until he's been gone for forty-eight hours. My hands are tied.”

“There must be something we can do!”

“Stiles wouldn't want us to sit around bickering about ways to help him when there's a body in the morgue and Erica and Boyd haven't been heard from.” Lydia looked around our little group as if she was looking at an equation that needed to be calculated. “You, Isaac, and Danny should all go to the hospital to look at Jackson's body. Your mom should be able to help get you three in. Derek and Sheriff Stilinski should try and find Erica and Boyd. If you give me a key Sheriff, I'll head over to your house and wait for Stiles while I go through some of his research. There might be something in there that could help.”

“So we're just going to wait around for Gerard to let go of Stiles?”

“We don't have a lot of options. Unless you can come up with something better, this is the plan.”

“Fine. We keep in contact though.”

“Obviously. The last thing we need is another one of us to go missing.”

“I’ll call my mom then.”

“Excellent, then we’ll meet in an hour at the Stilinski household. If something happens, you call me. The quicker we know something the better.”


 

“I hope you three realize I could be fired for this.” My mom opened the door to the morgue and ushered the three of us in before slipping in after. “I’m glad you called. I was about to call you myself. There’s something… supernatural going on with the body.”

Isaac looked at my mother curiously. “What do you mean there’s something supernatural going on with the body?”

“There’s a strange ooze that’s started to incase the body.”

“An ooze?”

“Yes. It would probably be easier if I just showed you.”

My mom walked over to a black body bag on the table and pulled the zipper down until Jackson’s face could be seen. A strange filmy goo was covering Jackson and was starting to slowly drip to the floor making a small pile of the stuff. Isaac let out a disgusted gagging noise, while Danny wrinkled his face at the sickening sight and pulled out his phone.

“I’m going to call Lydia. She’s definitely going to want to hear about this. Someone should call either Derek or Sheriff Stilinski. They’ll want to know about this, too.”

Isaac pulled out his phone and dialed a number before pressing it to his ear. “Derek, we’ve got something here.”

“What is it?”

“Jackson is covered in some sort of goo. It’s almost like he’s creating a cocoon.”

“We’ve got another problem then.” I listened closer to the call and could just make out what sounded like typing. “We ran into Peter while we were out in the wood. He said he had his own bestiary so we decided to take a look. If what you say is happening, we’re in a lot of trouble. You need to get him out of that hospital now.”

“What’s happening?”

“Don’t worry about that right now, just get him out of there without getting caught.”

“Lydia’s not picking up her phone!” Danny looked at the rest of us with a worried expression. “She said she would be sitting by the phone. Do you think something-wait. Lydia, why weren’t you answering your phone!”

“Stiles is back.”

“What? How is he? What happened to him?”

“Stiles just showed up. He hasn’t said anything about what happened to him. He’s a little beaten up, but he’s alive.”

“That’s at least in our favorite. Something is happening to Jackson and according to Derek whatever it is, isn’t good.”

“Where are Derek and the Sheriff now?”

“I don’t know. Let me give you to Isaac. He’s got Derek on the phone right now.”

Danny handed his phone to Isaac who took it and pressed it to his open ear. “Derek and the Sheriff are with Peter looking at his bestiary.”

“Tell them to bring it to the house. We need to come up with a plan.”

“He says they can be there in fifteen minutes.”

“Good. I think Stiles is having a bit of a freak out. Derek might be able to calm him down and get information out of him. How long will it take the rest of you to get here?”

“It depends on how long it takes us to get Jackson out of here.”

“Boys! You might want to look at this.”

I turned around quickly to look at whatever had freaked my mom out and was more than a little confused at first. When I looked closer, I couldn’t help but gasp at the sight of Jackson starting to wiggle around. His eyes snapped opened and an awful hissing noise started to come from his direction, but his mouth didn’t open at all.

“Zip it up! Zip it up!”

My mom sent me a look that clearly questioned my sanity, but started to zip up the bag anyways. “It’s stuck. It won’t zip all the way. Got it.”

As soon as the bag was completely closed, the wriggling started to increase to the point it looked like Jackson might end up falling off the table and to the floor. “What do we do?”

“The Lowell Warehouse! Everyone meet at the Lowell Warehouse!”

“Stiles?”

“Yes, it’s Stiles. We don’t have time to talk just. Shit. Meet Lydia and I at the Lowell Warehouse. I know what we have to do and I know Gerard will look for us there.”

“Stiles, are you sure you should be-”

“For once, would you just do what I tell you to without questioning my judgment! Meet us at the warehouse. Period. End of story. Bring Jackson with you.”

“Alright, alright. We’ll get there as fast as we can.”

“Get there faster.”


 

“Why won’t he stop moving?” Isaac tried to tighten his grip on Jackson’s legs, but ended up almost dropping them in the process so he tightened the grip he already had. “I thought he was supposed to be dead. Dead things aren’t supposed to move around this much. I would know. I used to work in a cemetery.”

“Even when he’s dead, he makes things difficult for us.”

“What is it that Stiles always calls him? Jackass?”

“That sounds about right. Stiles and Jackson have never gotten along. Even in kindergarten the two were always at each other’s throats.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

“Because Jackson is rude and Stiles has no problem telling people his honest opinion of them. That’s how we became friends actually. Jackson was picking on me because of my crooked jaw and Stiles started listing off all the things wrong with Jackson. They got into a fight over it.”

“Who won?”

“Stiles did. Stiles doesn’t fight much, but when he does he doesn’t fight fair. He uses everything at his disposal. It’s kind of terrifying actually.”

“I can’t really imagine Stiles fighting.”

I was about to say something when Jackson thrashed violently making me lose my grip on his shoulders. His head thunked against the pavement with a large crack. Isaac gave me a little shrugged when I looked at him with concern and I have to admit I don’t really feel bad about it.

“You two should probably hurry. Danny is waiting and your other friends will need your help.”

“Mr. Argent.”

“Scott.”

“What are you doing here?”

“I figured out what my father is planning and I can’t let him go through with it. I’m worried about Allison. Gerard turned Kate into a mindless killing machine. I wouldn’t let him do the same to my daughter.”

“You don’t really have to worry about Allison.”

“You and I both want what’s best for her and being around Gerard isn’t it. He’s corrupting her. She’s going along with what he wants all because of her mother’s death.”

“She’s only going along with what he says because we asked her to. We needed to know what the hunters were planning. Lydia came up with the idea.”

Chris let out a small chuckle. “Why doesn’t that surprise me? You all are a lot smarter than my father gives you credit for. We should really get going.”

“How do you know where we’re going?”

“I’ll explain on the way. We don’t have much time.”

As if to prove Mr. Argent’s point, Jackson suddenly stopped moving around and hissing so he instead lie silently on the concrete. “That’s not a good sign, is it?”

“No, it’s not. We need to hurry.” Mr. Argent leaned down to pick up Jackson’s shoulder and started moving to where Danny had the car parked at the curb.


 

The Lowell Warehouse wasn’t empty when we got there and the tension in the air was more than a little bit obvious after we got out of the car. Peter and Sheriff Stilinski were deep in conversation about something on a laptop, while Derek stood off to the side. His shoulders were completely rigid and the rim around his eyes was glowing slightly red. The three men in the room all watched while Isaac and I pulled Jackson out of the back and set him down on the floor in the middle of the room.

“Where are Stiles and Lydia?”

“The last we heard from them they were just leaving the house.”

“Did they tell you anything more than what they told us?”

Peter let out a laugh that reminded me of the Mad Hatter. “Stiles was just as illusive when he talked to us. Lydia didn’t give us anything to go off of either. I have a feeling she was trying to keep someone from freaking out about his little boyfriend.”

“Shut up, Peter.”

“I have to say I’m proud of you. He’s the only person you’ve dated that I actually approve of. There was that nice girl in high school, but she couldn’t have handled all of this. Stiles, on the other hand, is more than capable and he’s much cleverer than the rest of you.”

“What are you planning?”

“I’m not planning anything darling nephew of mine. I am simply appreciating the fact that I’ll finally have someone on my intellectual level in the family.”

“We’re not married.”

“Yet. If you two do end up breaking up for whatever reason, just know I’ll take his side over yours.”

“Can we not talk about my son like that?” Sheriff Stilinski looked extremely uncomfortable and ready to drop the laptop his was holding and run for the hills. “Aren’t we supposed to be worried about Jackson growing wings?”

A look of horror twisted Isaac’s face. “Jackson is going to grow wings?”

“That what this little video showed. It’s what did you call it? The second stage of the kanima.”

“It was hard enough to fight this thing before and now it’s going to be able to fly? How are we supposed to fight him?”

“Stiles says he has a plan.”

“That’s terrific, except for the fact Stiles isn’t here right now. What are we supposed to do if Jackson grows wings sooner rather than later.”

“I don’t know. My son is the expert on all of this not me.”

“So we’re stuck waiting for Stiles to show up in that beat up Jeep of his?”

“That’s quite unfortunate for all of you.” I looked up in surprise at the sound of Gerard’s voice echoing off of the walls. “I was so hoping that Mr. Stilinski would be here for all of this, but I’ll take what I can get.”

“What do you want?”

“Time.”

The sound of ripping plastic filled the air and before I had the chance to look around Derek was thrown across the room and into a wall. A partially shifted Jackson moved his attention to Mr. Argent who has started firing off live rounds which only enraged Jackson to the point that he completely shifted. A scaly tail whipped out and slammed into Mr. Argent’s arm sending his weapon flying and giving the man no choice, but to dive out of the way of the kanima. Isaac and I both rushed at the kanima at the same time and got the same amount of success as Mr. Argent. Isaac was immediately flung across the room and after I managed to get a swipe in, I was knocked to the ground by his tail. More gun fire filled the room and I turned just in time to see the kanima take a swing at Mr. Stilinski who grabbed his arm in pain before falling to his knees.

The kanima lifted up its arm to strike a final blow, but was taken off track when a body collided into it so both of them were sent to the floor. Derek got in several hits before the kanima got over its confusion and landed a few of its own on Derek’s legs and chest. Isaac moved to help Derek, when an arrow came out of nowhere and embedded firmly into his thigh. Two more arrows came flying one right after the other into his stomach and shoulder until Isaac had fallen down to his knees in pain. Gerard smirked at the shadows where Allison appeared from seconds later with her bow at the ready.

“You didn’t think I came alone did you? I may be old, but even I’m not that senile. I must say, I’m very disappointed in you Christopher. I thought I raised you better than this.”

“What you’re doing is wrong and I want no part in it.”

“Have it your way then.” Gerard turned his attention from Mr. Argent to me making my pulse race in anticipation. “You know what I want and I know you’re going to give it to me. You know exactly what the stakes are.”

The kanima moved so quickly that I could barely track its movement from the center of the building to where Allison was standing off to the side. “I said I would get it for you and I will. I know you don’t have much time left. I could smell the cancer on you that night you threatened me at the hospital.”

“People don’t give you nearly enough credit, Scott. The bite is such a curious thing. It turns you into a monster at the same time it heals the things in your own body out to get you.”

“After you take the bite, what are you planning? You’re not just going to leave are you?”

“Of course not, but you already knew that. Why would I settle for being a second rate werewolf, when I can simply take all the power I could possibly need? Alpha is a much more fitting role and when I become the alpha you and Allison will be free to do as you will. You will no longer have to live out this Romeo and Juliet tragedy. Young love will once again be your undoing, Derek. You simply cannot compete with it.”

Gerard moved to stand in front of Derek and motioned for me to take my place behind where Derek was kneeling on the ground. Slowly, I moved my hand to grip the back of Derek’s neck so I could force his mouth open. Gerard placed his arm in the space between Derek’s fangs and smiled when I moved Derek’s lower jaw so his fangs broke the skin. Gerard let out a loud laugh as his pulled back from Derek and tilted his head back as the bite started to course through his veins. Confusion crossed Gerard’s face as black ooze started to seep out of the bite mark and then started to come out of his nose and eyes.

“It didn’t take me long to figure out that you were going to ask for the bite to cure your cancer so I went to Dr. Deaton for help. He came up with the idea to switch out your pills with pills filled with mountain ash. It wasn’t hard to make the switch.”

Gerard’s body shook violently causing him to fall to the floor at the same time he started to vomit up more of the black ooze. “Kill them all.”

I looked over at Allison just in time to see her slam her elbow into the kanima’s faces, but before she could move out of the way the kanima threw her to the floor. It was starting to advance on her when Stiles’s Jeep burst through the crumbling wall behind it and hit the kanima at full force. The kanima stayed down for barely a second before jumping up onto the hood of Stiles’s Jeep and hissing at the two occupants. Stiles and Lydia both climbed out of the Jeep, but it was Lydia that moved towards the kanima.

“Jackson.” The kanima lifted a clawed hand, but stopped when Lydia pulled out something from around her neck. “Do you remember when you gave this to me?”

All movement stopped and silence filled the air as the kanima’s eyes glazed over until they weren’t reptile eyes anymore, but Jackson’s human eyes. The scales began to fall away slowly and the tail disappeared entirely. Jackson was left standing half-human and half-kanima with a look of realization on his face as he takes the key from Lydia’s hand. His eyes squeezed shut just as Peter and Derek made their move, slashing up Jackson’s stomach before letting him fall to the floor.

“Did you still…”

“Yes, of course I do. I love you, I love you, I love you.” Lydia continued to repeat the words into Jackson’s hair until his body went limp and the key in his hand fell to the floor. With a completely blank look on her face, Lydia moved Jackson’s body until it was resting flat against the hard concrete. I could see tears starting to make their way down her face as she turned from Jackson’s body to Stiles who held her tightly in his arms.

“I know. I know, Lyds. I know.” Stiles ran a comforting hand through her hair, but suddenly stopped at the same time his eyes went wide. “Lydia. You might want to look at this. Lydia, look.”

“Stop it, Stiles.”

“Lydia, I promise you you’re going to want to turn around. Please turn around.”

Lydia pulled back from Stiles with an angry look in her eyes and seemed seconds away from slapping Stiles when a noise behind her made her whip around. “Jackson?”

Jackson’s face began to morph into one of a werewolf: hair began to spurt from the side of his face, his eyes changed to a bright blue, and fangs appeared in his mouth. Jackson threw his head back and let out a loud howl that shook the unstable walls of the warehouse. As soon as he was finished howling, Jackson turned back into his human form and wrapped his arms around Lydia when she launched herself at him. Lydia pulled back from Jackson just enough to press her lips firmly against his for a few seconds and then buried her face in his neck.

Chapter Text

Everyone was standing around watching as Jackson and Lydia had their little reunion, but after the initial shock of seeing Jackson alive my eyes went to where Stiles was still standing by his Jeep. From here I could see that there was a bruise staining one of Stiles’s cheeks and a small scrap on his forehead. There was probably other damage underneath the clothes he wore, but it didn’t look as if the stitches on his bullet wound had torn.  When my gaze finally returned to his face again, I found his eyes looking directly into mine and a small smile on his lips. I quickly made my way across the room until I was standing right in front of Stiles.

“Hey.” Stiles slipped his hand into mine and squeezed firmly. “So my night sucked. How was yours?”

“Awful. My boyfriend went missing and then I had to work with my uncle.”

“The one you killed? I bet that was awkward. Do you think there’s a Hallmark card for that? Sorry I killed you. Let’s have family dinner this Friday?”

“I don’t think they do.”

“That’s unfortunate. You'd think they would have something like that. That seems like something people would need. I’m sure having a relative you’ve killed come back from the dead is a normal thing at least that’s how Supernatural makes it seem.”

“That’s a TV show.”

“I knew there were brains along with that beauty.” Stiles pulled his hand out of mine and wrapped his arms around my waist instead. “I’m so tired. Take me home?”

“I came with your dad.”

“My Jeep is like two feet away from you.”

“You want me to drive you home in your Jeep?”

“Yes. I think I would fall asleep behind the wheel if I tried to drive home right now and I’m not leaving my Jeep here. Please, please, please, please.”

“Fine.”

“You’re the best. Now help me to the car.”

“Are your legs hurt?”

“No. I’m just sore and I think if you let me go right now I would just melt into a puddle on the floor. I don’t want to be a puddle on the floor. This floor doesn’t look comfortable. It looks gross.”

“If you’re so tired, why are you talking?”

“I talk more when I’m tired. How have you not figured this out yet?”

“I was hoping.”

“Please, you love to hear me talk. You find my constant babbling enduring and interesting.”

I snorted and moved my arms from where they were around Stiles’s shoulders to his waist. “I wouldn’t call it enduring.”

“Liar. You’re a lying liar who lies. Now take me home. I need a shower and sleep.”

“Gerard-”

“Chris can take care of Gerard. Where are Erica and Boyd though? I haven’t heard from them for a few hours and I thought you guys were supposed to be finding them.”

“We tried to trace their phones, but that didn’t work and when we went to look for them we couldn’t find them.”

“Damn it. Maybe we should go look for them. Sleep can wait.”

“No. You need rest. You just got out of the hospital. The last thing we need is for you to go tripping around in the woods.”

“I do not trip that much!” I gave Stiles a stern look that made him let out a breathy laugh. “Alright, I might not be the most graceful on my feet and I would probably end up doing more harm than good. Unless you carried me. Piggy-back ride?”

“No.”

“You’re no fun.”

“I’m taking you home and then I’ll go out and look for them some more.”

“No, no. We’re all exhausted. It wouldn’t do them any good for us to go looking for them like this. We should all sleep and then reconvene in the morning. We can divide up the woods and spilt off into pairs to look for them.”

“Alright then. Let’s get you home. I’m not carrying you.”

“How did I get so lucky?”

“It’s a mystery.” Stiles chuckled into my shoulder as I started to move him towards the passenger’s side of his car.


 

“You’re still here.” Stiles threw the towel he had been running over his head onto his chair then gently eased himself down onto his bed. “I am sore all over. Luckily, I still have some amazing painkillers that will take me so out of it that I won’t even be able to register how my body feels.”

“How are your stitches?”

“They’re all still intact and nothing is bleeding so I call that a success. Has my dad come home yet?”

“No. He sent you a text telling you he’d be at the station all night. He’s trying to clear up the Jackson dying and then coming back to life situation.”

“That should be fun. I do not envy him right now. What about Gerard?”

“No news about him.”

“That doesn’t bode well. Is it too optimistic to think that he’s crawled off to some cave so he can die?”

“Probably.”

Stiles sighed loudly then started pushing at my side. “Go get my laptop.”

“No.”

“I can’t get it. I’m injured and I can’t feel my legs. I think they went to sleep.”

“Shouldn’t you be going to sleep?”

“I can’t now. My head is starting to go into hyper drive. I need something to distract me.”

“Fine.”

“Take your shoes and jacket off while you’re at it and if you don’t want to sleep in jeans, I have sweats you can borrow. Or you can stay in your boxers. I don’t really care either way as long as you’re comfortable.”

“What?” I turned around with the laptop in my hands to look at Stiles. “What are you talking about?”

“You’re joining me. I don’t trust that you’re not just going to go trapesing around in the woods all night instead of sleeping so you’re going to keep me company. Plus, I don’t really feel like being alone right now.”

Stiles sent me a bright smile as I slipped out of my shoes and jacket and headed towards the dresser in the corner of the room. I opened the drawer Stiles had pointed to and pulled out a pair of well-worn grey sweatpants that I took to the bathroom to change into. When I got back, Stiles was lying on his side with the covers pulled over his body and the laptop resting on the bed. I grabbed the covers on the other side and slipped under them picking up the laptop as I did so it rested on my lap instead of the bed. As soon as I was settled down, Stiles moved his legs to tangle with mine and then rested his head on my chest so he could see the screen.

“You’re going to love this episode. It’s the first episode with one of the originals in it. My favorite original in fact.”

“An original?”

“One of the original vampires. They can’t be killed the same way as other vampires can. Well they can, but it’s more specific. It can’t just be any wooden stake. It has to be a wooden stake made out of white oak. You’ll see what I mean.”

“Why would the original vampires be different than the other vampires?”

“I don’t know Derek. Don’t question their logic.”

“It just doesn’t really make any sense. If they sired all the other vampires, shouldn’t the other vampires be exactly like them?”

“Shouldn’t betas be exactly like alphas?” Stiles tilted his head up to look at me and must have found something amusing about my facial expression based on his laughter. “They’re like the royalty of the vampire world. Something has to set them apart and make them more powerful than their subjects.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“Of course I am.”

“Idiot.”

“Slander. You’re supposed to be watching the show not me.”

“You’re not watching either.”

“I’ve already seen all of these episodes at least three times each.”

“Go to sleep, Stiles.”

“No good night kiss?” I was about to say no, but the look in Stiles’s eyes made me lean down and chastely press my lips against his. “Good night, Derek. Now watch the episode and let me try to shut down my brain.”

“I don’t know why I put up with you.”

“Because I’m awesome.”


 

A knocking sound broke through my sleepy mind, but did little to actually get my brain to the point that it was functional. It wasn't until the sound of a door slowly being opened reached my ears that I realised I wasn't in the train depot. Instead, I was laying on a soft bed with a warm body covering up half of my own. A body that belonged to the Sheriff's son. A Sheriff who was probably checking in on how his son is doing after last night. Hopefully Chris hasn't had the time to give the Sheriff any wolfsbane bullets yet. After several seconds of waiting, I opened my eyes to see the Sheriff standing in the doorway with a soft look on his face.

"Did he have any nightmares?" I looked down at Stiles's sleeping face before looking back up at the Sheriff and shaking my head. "Good. That's good. Are his injuries bad?"

"None of the stitches were ripped and there's nothing bleeding."

"How much has he slept?"

"Not sure."

"Alright." The Sheriff silently watched his son for several seconds. "I'm going to take a shower then head to bed. Try to let him sleep as much as possible. He needs the rest."

I nodded to the Sheriff and watched as his quietly shut the door behind him. "He likes you."

"What?"

"He likes you."

"I don't think-"

"Trust me. If he didn't like you, he would have pulled out his trusty gun and ran you out of the house, but he didn't because he likes you."

"He just didn't want to wake you up."

Stiles pushed himself up so he could look me in the eyes with a serious expression that was partially ruined by the patch of bright pink that decorated the cheek that had been pressed against my chest. "My dad likes you. He was a little put off at first by the whole being arrested twice thing and the age difference, but he couldn’t really talk. He was six years older than my mom. He gave up fighting my dating you pretty quickly. Plus you two have now bonded over your mutual desire to protect me from the things that go bump in the night. He trusts you."

"I'll admit he likes me, but he doesn't trust me."

"He trusts you to protect me." The look in Stiles's eyes was so intense that my chest tightened in response. "He trusts you with me. His only son and family member. He trusts you."

I tried to turn away from Stiles, but his hand came up to cup my face and prevented me from looking away. For several minutes we stayed like that, just looking at each other. It was the stillest I had ever seen Stiles when he wasn’t asleep or unconscious and it was only broken when he leaned down to kiss me.

"I trust you too. Now go back to sleep. It's still dark outside."


 

“Where are we meeting the others at?” Stiles was standing at the stove in his sleep clothes making pancakes in different shapes. “Have you talked to any of the others? Are they even awake?”

“I don’t know, no, and I don’t know.”

“Is my dad awake?”

I listened closely for the sound of the Sheriff moving around upstairs and was greeted with the sound of drawers opening. “Yes.”

“I think my dad might be part werewolf. He always manages to smell when I’m making breakfast, even in his sleep.”

“It smells good.”

“They’re just pancakes. It’s not anything complicated.”

“Still smells good.”

“Thank you. Can you get my phone for me? I want to try to call Scott. He probably won’t answer though because he probably spent all night having marathon sex with Allison, but I should try anyways.”

“Fine.” I quickly went up to get Stiles’s phone and then brought it back down to Stiles who held out his hand for it.

“Where is Isaac? Hasn’t he been staying with you?”

“He’s been staying at his house until the city finishes the paperwork that will give them control over the house.”

“Must be lonely. Living in that house all by himself.” Stiles moved his focus from me to his phone and messed around on it before pressing it to his ear. “Hey, Scott it’s me. Call me back as soon as you wake up. Bye. I suppose we could call that an exercise in futility.”

“Call Isaac.”

“You could ask nicely.” Stiles smiled, but pressed his phone up against his ear after dialing Isaac’s number anyways. “Good morning, sleepyhead. The earth says hello.”

“How are you so awake?”

“It’s nearly ten. How are you not?”

“Because I’m a normal teenage? Are you a vampire or something?”

“Why would I be a vampire?”

“You act way too old to be a normal sixteen year old.”

“Who’s there with you?”

“I went home with Danny last night.”

“Oh, really!” Stiles’s mouth broke out into a wide smile and he grabbed the plate of pancakes on his way over to the table. “That’s an interesting development.”

“There is no development or anything developing. We’re just friends.”

“Let’s think about this logically. Scott and Allison either went home together or met up at one of their houses to have sex. Jackson and Lydia more than likely didn’t even make it to one of their houses before having the first round of their sexcapade.”

“So what about you and Derek?”

“I got shot last weekend and then kidnapped by a crazy ass hunter the other night. I could barely get out of bed this morning. Sex is out of the question.”

“Just what every father loves to hear.” The Sheriff grabbed a plate and a stack of pancakes that he was about to put syrup on, when Stiles’s hand reached out and took the bottle from him. “Stiles give that back to me.”

“I know if you get to pour the syrup on your own pancakes, you’re going to drown them in it so I’m going to pour it for you.”

“You do realize I am the parent and you are the child.”

“I am well aware, but I’m still pouring it for you. Isaac, are you still there?”

“Yes. Was there something else you wanted?”

“We need to meet up somewhere so we can figure out a plan to look for Boyd and Erica.”

“Your house?”

“Sure. Can you have Danny call either Lydia or Jackson? I don’t want to hear anything scarring. I’ll try to get in touch with Scott and Allison. Again.”

“I’ll tell him. See you in a bit.”

“Bye.” Stiles set the phone down long enough to put some syrup and blueberries on his pancakes then picked it back up and pressed it against his ear. “Scott, answer your damn phone before I send Derek to drag you out of bed.”

“I’m not going to find him.”

“I know that, but he doesn’t. Allison, hi! Is Scott there with you? Really? Can you ask him why he’s incapable of answering his phone?”

“He says he’s sorry.”

“I’ve heard that before. Anyways, I just wanted to inform the two of you that we’re meeting at my house to figure out how we’re going to look for Boyd and Erica.”

“We’ll head right over.”

“I’ll see you both in a bit. Oh, and remind Scott to go home and get a change of clothing first. It will look suspicious if he shows up wearing the clothes he wore yesterday.”


 

The Sheriff had left shortly after finishing his breakfast, getting changed into his uniform, and promising Stiles he would be home that evening. The others had started to show up not long after that and when the kitchen grew short of places to sit, Stiles had them relocate to the living room. Scott and Allison were the last two to arrive to the Stilinski household and the first thing Scott did when he walked through the door was ask why he didn’t get pancakes like a petulant child. Stiles had simply wacked Scott over the back of the head and told him if he wanted pancakes, then he could make his own.

“Now that everyone is here, we need to figure out a way to find Erica and Boyd.”

“They were walking around the woods. We’re going have to divide them up and search them by sections.” Lydia was sitting next to Stiles on the couch looking at a map of Beacon Hills with a pen in her hand. “If we divide it into four sections, then we can go in groups of two.”

“Well then we’ll have to decide on who will be in the four groups. We’re not doing couples because that will end in disaster. You, Jackson, Allison, and Scott would undoubtedly find something else to do besides looking for Erica and Boyd.”

“Allison and I can go together, Danny can go with Jackson, and Isaac and Scott can look through a section together.”

“Why does Stiles get to be with Derek?”

“Stiles and Derek don’t act like two horny teenagers when they’re left alone together. Stiles is also injured so he’ll probably have to be carried at some point and unless you want to be the one to do it, he’ll be going with Derek. Unless you have some other objection.”

“If you two are done arguing, we need to figure out who’s going to take what section. This area has a lot of tricky spots and streams running through it so I think we should send Isaac and Scott. They’re the only all werewolf pair and if they get hurt, they’ll heal quickly. This section is mostly Hale property so I think Derek and I should go through it. Derek knows the land really well, which means we’ll be able to get through it faster.”

“Allison and I can take this section. I spent a lot of time in that area when Peter was messing with my mind, which leaves Danny and Jackson with this one.”

Stiles looked up from where he had been bent over the map to the rest of the occupants in the room. “Search your section in the most systematic way possible. I don’t care how you do it, just make sure you cover every inch of it. We meet back here by six whether you’ve finished your section or not. If you find something, try to get into contact with one of the other groups. I know there’s not a lot of cell service out there, but just try. If all else fails, get a picture. Whatever you do, do not separate from the person you’re paired with. We don’t want someone else to go missing.

“What are we supposed to be looking for?”

“Anything that will give us even the slightest hint of what happened to Erica and Boyd. A dropped cell phone, signs of a struggle, blood, anything.”

“And if we don’t find anything.”

“We’ll think about that if we have to. For now focus on finding something. Everyone clear on what the plan is?”

A chorus of affirmatives came from around the room and people were starting to head towards the door when a knocking broke through the chatter. Stiles looked at me curiously and nodded his head to the door with the question clear in his eyes. I listened closely, but only managed to pick up a single heart beat and sent Stiles a shrug in response to his question. Stiles raised an eyebrow at me, but processed to open the door anyways revealing Peter.

“Oh, look. Uncle Bad-Touch has graced us with his presence. I don’t remember inviting you.”

“I’m a werewolf, not a vampire Stiles. I don’t need to be invited in.”

“Very clever. I was actually referring to the fact that most people realize when they aren’t invited, it means they are subsequently not wanted.”

“Feisty. I knew I should have turned you while I had the chance. You remind me of your mother.”

Stiles’s body stiffened, but he didn’t back down from Peter. “Why are you here, Peter? We’ve kind of got something to do so unless you start talking, I’m going to leave you standing dumbly on my doorstep.”

“You know what they say about all fun and no play.”

“I don’t have time for games right now, Peter. If you want to play chess, just get on your laptop and play the computer.”

“Fine, I’ll get to the point. You shouldn’t waste your time looking for your friends, you won’t find them.”

“And you know that how?”

“I took a trip out to the Hale house last night to collect some of the belongings I had hidden there and I found something on the door that will explain exactly what happened to those two betas.”

“Show me.”

“With pleasure.” Peter had a sly grin on his face that immediately set me edge.


 

By the time we reached the burnt up shell of my old house, Peter was already sitting on the front steps with a bored expression on his face. The moment I put the Jeep into park, Stiles was out of the car and heading to the front door without bothering to say a word to Peter. Two other cars pulled up next to where I had parked and the sound of six doors slamming shut shortly followed. Lydia and Danny both followed Stiles’s lead and made their way to the door while Scott, Isaac, Allison, and Jackson hung back.

“I’ve seen this symbol before.” Stiles’s voice sounded distant like he was trying to remember something. “It’s in all sorts of ancient texts, especially Germanic if I remember correctly.”

“A plus. What else do you remember?”

“It was used as a warning or a show of power. Normally the person who does the mark leaves it somewhere of meaning or a place where everyone would see it like a door.”

“Correct.”

“So the question is who would leave it? Another pack wouldn’t leave something like this if they just wanted the territory. They would have started killing, especially since we were so weak. Whoever did this wants something and this is their way of letting us know they’re going to get what they want one way or another.”

“Keep going, Blondie.”

“Unless they are a pack only different from normal packs.” Stiles whipped around to look at Peter with wide eyes. “An alpha pack? It’s an alpha pack isn’t it?”

“We have a winner.”

“Why would an alpha pack be here though? What would they want? We’re a newly formed pack who, up until recently, had a kanima and a hunter problem.”

“That is the one answer I don’t have.”

“The Alpha Pack took Erica and Boyd as what, collateral? If they were going to kill them and leave them for us to find, wouldn’t they have left them here with the mark?”

“That is also a very good question. They’re obviously keeping them for some reason.”

“But for what?” Stiles ran a hand over his head in frustration and slumped down onto the stairs next to Peter. “They’re messing with us. They left behind their scents knowing Derek would pick up on it and send his betas out to look into it. Now they’re going to make us sweat.”

“It does seem that way.”

“They could be dead or they could be keeping them alive. It’s Schrodinger's cat.”

“Schrododger’s what?” Isaac had his head tilted to the side in confusion.

“Schrodinger’s cat. He put a cat in a box with a vial of poison and then shut the box. You didn’t know when the vial of poison would break so you could think of the cat as being both alive and dead. The only way of know the truth was to open the box and look inside. It’s psychological warfare.”

“So what do we do?”

“Nothing. We have to wait for them to reveal where the box is so we can open it.”

Chapter Text

“I am so ready for school be out.” Stiles slammed his tray down on the lunch table so hard the entire thing shook and squeaked in protest. “My level of caring has reached an all-time low when it comes to my studies and I’m exhausted. Did you know Gerard managed to break one of my fingers? Only one!”

“Isn’t that a good thing?”

“Of course it is Scott, but I don’t understand how he only broke one of them. It’s not like he took one of my fingers and snapped it to send a message. I didn’t even know it was broken until your mom did that ridiculous full body examination on me.”

“She wanted to make sure you were really as okay as you said you were.”

“I know that, but that doesn’t make it any less embarrassing.”

I sat down next to Stiles who now had his phone in one hand and a French fry in the other. “Texting Derek?”

“Yes. He’s looking for an apartment and he wants my opinion because he doesn’t know what he wants and Peter is being Peter, which is to say completely unhelpful.”

“Moving in together already?”

“No. He just wants a second opinion and he doesn’t trust his uncle.”

“Has your dad gotten any leads on where Matt could be?”

“Nope. All he’s gotten are a series of deeply disturbing photos and a journal that one of his deputies had to read because it made him sick.”

“He had pictures of you?” I looked at Stiles with concern and was surprised when Stiles reached into his backpack to pull out several laminated photos.

“And these aren’t even the worst ones. Apparently, he found a perch outside my bedroom window to take pictures from. There were some he photoshopped himself into.”

“Your dad let you have these?”

“No. I swiped them off of his desk while he was out of his office talking to someone. He’ll probably ask for them back by the end of the day. I’m trying to figure out where he took these from.”

“Could he have done it from the house across the street?”

“Maybe if he was on the roof. He did have one of those high resolution, long-range, ridiculously expensive cameras.”

“Has Derek seen these?”

“No and I don’t plan on showing him. He’ll just get even angrier and then he’ll probably do something stupid like track him down and kill him. I can’t even imagine what he would do if he found out about the shrine in his closet.”

“He had a shrine dedicated to you?”

“Yes and it was extremely creepy.”

“On the bright side, you finally got that answer to the question you asked me.” Stiles turned to me with a look of utter confusion on his face and I couldn’t help the grin that spread across my own. “The one about whether you were attractive to gay guys.”

“I wish I could hate you, but you’re so freaking nice.”

“It’s all part of my charm now go back to texting Derek. I’m sure he’s lost without you. Wouldn’t want him to get a lousy apartment because you weren’t available to help him out.”


 

Derek ended up buying an apartment before we got out of school for the day which lead to Lydia demanding Stiles tell her the address so she could see it for herself. Jackson inevitably got roped into driving her and Allison was asked to help Lydia assess the space causing Scott to get dragged into going. Stiles had planned on going over there anyways and had promised to take Isaac with him since he would be living with Derek from now on. Needless to say, my plan to go home and do my homework got turned into what could only be described as pack bonding at Derek’s industrial style apartment.

“We’re obviously going to have to do some deep cleaning if we want to really make this place suitable for human habitation. You werewolves might have impenetrable immune systems, but the rest of us have to worry about getting ill if we breathe in something harmful.”

“Part of the deal was that the owner had to pay for a deep cleaning from a professional service. They’ll be here tomorrow morning.”

“Excellent. One less item to check off of my to do list. While they’re cleaning, we can do some furniture shopping. You’re going to need a couch, a loveseat, and a few chairs depending on the size of the couch you pick. If Stiles is going to spend any amount of time here, you’re going to want a TV, a Blu-ray player, and a table that he can either do homework or research on. You’ll also need kitchenware like cups, bowls, plates, and utensils. You’ll also need a bed and a dresser. How large is your closet?”

“Lydia, this is not your apartment. Remember?”

“I will still be spending time here Stiles and I refuse to sit on the floor.”

“Put in whatever you want. Don’t pick anything gaudy.”

“I’ll make sure whatever I pick maintains your bad boy image, but I refuse to make it look like a bachelor pad. You and Stiles act like an old married couple.”

“We do not!”

“You kind of do.” I turned from looking out of the wall of windows to an indignant Stiles. “You two have those silent conversations and have breakfast with your father.”

“One time.”

“Your dad let him spend the night in your bed with the door closed.”

“Also one time, but since we’re the old married couple I guess we should go hit up the early bird special at the local diner and then go back to my place for old married couple activities.”

“That’s disgusting, Stiles. I don’t want to hear about that!”

“Because I want to know about how velvety Allison’s-”

“Stiles!”

“Scott!”

“You promised you wouldn’t talk about that.”

“And you promised to be more open minded about my relationship with Derek, but you’re still not. Do we need to have another talk?”

Scott looked down at his shoes and then looked up at the ceiling. “No.”

“Excellent. Glad we cleared that up. So Danny, how is the swearing off men thing going?”

“I’m not swearing off men. I decided to take a break from dating. There’s a difference.”

“Right. So how is that going?”

“It’s surprisingly easy when you spend all your time dealing with the supernatural.”

“It is kind of time consuming.”

Stiles leaned against the window next to me and watched Lydia and Allison arguing about the decor with a smile on his face. “It’s working out well for you. All the supernatural stuff going on, I mean.”

“Yes, it is. Definitely wasn’t what I was expecting the night I dragged Scott out into the woods, but it never gets boring now. Although, I could use some downtime right now.”

“What did Melissa say?”

“Gerard managed to break one of my ribs that was almost done healing and I got another concussion, but my bullet wound is healing nicely. She said she should be able to take the stitches out sometime next week.”

“That’s good to hear. You know what you need?”

“What?”

“A date night.” Stiles’s loud laugh caused the other occupants in the room to turn to look at us making it so I couldn’t help, but laugh along with him. “Seriously though, you need a date night. You spent most of last week in the hospital and then you spent the weekend at home researching. Go out and do something with Derek. It’ll calm you down.”

“Maybe your right. Couples are supposed to do stuff like that right?”

“Yes. Part of a having a healthy relationship is spending time doing something that doesn’t include one of you being in imminent danger.”

“Really? I thought the imminent danger was required. What are we supposed to do if our lives aren’t in danger?”

“Eat pizza? Go see a movie? Picnic in the woods?”

“Sounds boring.”


 

School the next day went by like any other day with Finstock making a fool out of himself and Harris being a complete dick to Stiles. Jackson and Lydia were back to being the power couple of the school while Scott and Allison continued to be as vomit inducing as ever. I had spent most of lunch talking to Isaac and Stiles because the other four at the table were too absorbed with their significant other to realize there were other people in the room. I had just gotten the books I needed for the weekend out of my locker and was making my way out of the school, when something out of the corner of my eye caught my attention.

Stiles was standing perfectly still in front of his locker with his backpack sitting open on the floor by his feet. As I moved closer, I could see bright red decorating the inside of Stiles’s locker door and several pieces of paper on the floor. I placed a hand on Stiles’s shoulder causing him to jump in surprise and nearly drop the phone in his hand.

“Danny, you scared me. What are you still doing here?”

“My teacher kept me after to ask a question and then I had to get some books. What happened?”

“It might be easier if you just look for yourself.” Stiles bent down to pick up the papers on the floor and handed them to me.

“Matt’s back in town?”

“Apparently and I have no idea how he managed to get in here to do this. He’s still wanted for murder. He couldn’t have just walked into a school.”

“What does your locker say?”

“I’ll always come back. So nothing creepy or anything.”

“Have you called your dad?”

“No. I got a little bit distracted.” Stiles looked down at his phone to dial a number then pressed it to his ear. “Hey, dad. If you’re not too busy, you should probably come to the high school like right now. Matt may have left a note and some new pictures in my lockers. Alright, I’ll see you in a few minutes.”

“Do you need me to wait with you?”

“No, I’ll be fine. You can go home. I’m sure you have plans.”

“All of my friends are in relationships. My Friday nights are pretty clear for the foreseeable future.”

“Isaac isn't dating anyone. You two could spend some time together. Get to know each other better. Didn't you two have a little slumber party after the whole Jackson turns from kanima to werewolf thing?”

“What is your point?”

“You and Isaac could make a cute couple. He's got that curly hair that's kind of adorable and he's a werewolf so it's not like you would be dragging him into anything.”

“I don't know. He's cute and all, but...”

“But?”

Sighing I looked from Stiles down the hallway and then back again. “I don't know him very well.”

“That's why you get to know him. Nobody knows anyone very well at first. That's why first dates are always depicted as being extremely awkward.”

“I'm just not sure if I want to start dating again. The last few relationships I've had have been terrible and I think I need to take a step back to figure out what I want.”

“There's nothing wrong with wanting to figure out what you want, but what if you miss what you're looking for because you're too busy trying to figure it out.”

“Very philosophical.”

“I try.”

“I'll consider all my options. Happy?”

“As long as you are, I'm great. Besides the whole being stalked thing.”

“Stiles!” Sheriff Stilinski was running down the hallway with a cute looking deputy following closely behind him. “Are you okay? Did you see him?”

“No, he just put this stuff in my locker. I didn't even know he had been at the school until I saw this stuff.”

“I'm going to have to take pictures for evidence and then take these pictures.”

“I know. Do you need me to make a statement or can I go?”

“If you didn't see him, then you can go and if I need something, I'll call you. Did you look at the pictures?”

“Yes, they're all new. It looks like they're from this weekend.”

Sheriff Stilinski ran a hand through his hair and gestured for his deputy to take the photos from Stiles. “Have you told Derek about this?”

“You were the only person I called.”

“Alright. Go ahead and head home. Call Derek and tell him to meet you there. I don't want you by yourself until we find him. We don't know what he's planning.”

“I will, dad.”

“Thank you for staying with him, Danny.”

“It wasn't any problem, Sheriff. I was already here.”

I followed Stiles out of the school and to where his car was parked. “Do you need a ride somewhere?”

“My car's in the shop so a ride would be great. I could call Isaac while you call Derek. We could do a movie night to take your mind off of things.”

“That actually sounds like a great idea. Humans Pick the Movies Night?”

“Works for me, as long as you answer a question for me.”

“Shoot.”

“Who was that deputy back there?”

“Deputy Jordan Parrish. I don’t really know much about him. He’s one of the new guys. I’m assuming you saw something you liked.”

“Just drive.”


 

“This is the first movie night I've had in a while that hasn't included The Notebook.” Stiles's collection of movies was so varied I wasn't sure where to start looking. “I have no idea what I want to watch. Nothing horror. I'm not in the mood for that.”

“I've had enough horror so I'm not going to argue with you there. Something funny maybe? I have The Wedding Crashers and Office Space.”

“Or we could do Tim Burton. You have an impressive collection here.”

“I'm fine with that as long as we don't watch the Batman he did. I hated that one.”

“You hate something Batman related? I'm shocked.” Stiles shoved my shoulder playfully as he leaned down to start pulling out movies.

“I didn't like Danny DeVito as the Penguin and the way he did the movie wasn't to my taste. It was kind of boring.”

“So what's your favorite Batman movie? Batman Begins?”

“Batman Forever. I loved Jim Carrey as the Riddler and Val Kilmer played a great Batman.”

“I don't think I've seen that one.”

“What!” Stiles whipped around so fast he almost fell over. “I know what we're starting with tonight.”

A knock came from the door drawing Stiles attention away from where he had gone back to looking at the movies. “I'll get it. You keep looking for the movie.”

“Thanks.”

“Don't mention it.” I made my way over to the door and was greeted with the sight of both Derek and Isaac standing behind the door. “Come on in. Stiles is in the living room picking out movies.”

“How is he doing?”

“He's putting on a brave face, but I think he's a little shaken up by it. He wasn't expecting it so it threw him off.”

Derek nodded and made his way towards the living room while Isaac stayed where he was. “So Matt’s back in town?”

“It looks that way.”

“And he put pictures into Stiles’s locker?”

“Yes, along with a spray painted message on the door. Stiles was just standing in front of his locker when I found him.”

“What did his dad say?”

“Not much. He took the evidence and told him to go home.”

“Derek was practically breaking his steering wheel in half on the way over here. He’s been trying to pick up Matt’s scent since he disappeared and he hasn’t found anything.”

“Is there some way he could be masking it?”

“I’m not sure. Derek or Deaton would probably know. You think he might be masking his scent?”

“It would explain why none of you knew he was at the school today and why Derek hasn’t been able to pick up on any trace of him.”

“You should bring that up with Stiles and Derek. I’m sure that’d be interested in that theory.”

“I’ll be sure to do that, but for right now we’re having movie night.”


 

“How can you possible think any Disney movie is more adorable than this movie? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re wrong.”

“I can’t be wrong. It’s my opinion.”

“An opinion that is wrong.” Stiles was glaring at Isaac from where he was leaning against Derek on the couch and Isaac was doing the same from his place stretched out on the loveseat. “First of all, no Disney movie has the talents of Bill Hader, Anna Farris, Neil Patrick Harris, Andy Samberg, and Bruce Campbell all in one movie. Second of all, having a giant food problem far surpasses any Disney princess or prince’s problems.”

“That may be true, but-”

“No.”

“Disney movies-”

“La, la, la, la, la. I refuse to hear your argument because it will undoubtedly be flawed and make me what to punch you in the werewolf face.”

“Fine, but I still think Disney movies are better than Cloudy with the Chance of Meatballs.”

“And I still know you’re wrong.”

“Stiles!” I nearly jumped out of my seat at the sound of the Sheriff’s voice coming from the front hallway, but judging from Derek and Isaac’s reactions they both knew he was there.

“We’re in the living room!”

“Who is we?”

“Me, Danny, Isaac, and Derek.”

“Have you had dinner yet?”

“No. We’ve been watching movies. Did you know these three had never seen Batman Forever? What kind of existence doesn’t include having seen that movie?”

“Not everyone is as obsessed with Batman as you are, Stiles.”

“So? This movie is awesome whether you love Batman or not.”

“Whatever you say, son. What do you want for dinner? I can order something.”

Stiles gave his dad a dubious look. “Are you just asking because you want to eat something that’s full of MSG and other food additives?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about. Chinese or Pizza?”

“I could make something. I think we have turkey burgers in the freezer.”

“You eat turkey burgers?” Isaac was looking at Stiles like he had grown a second head. “Why would you eat turkey burgers when you can have real burgers?”

“Turkey burgers are just as good as regular burgers, plus they’re better for you than regular burgers if you’re someone who eats too much red meat.”

“I don’t think one night of bad food is going to kill me.”

“Fine, but tomorrow night we’re doing something healthy and you’re not allowed to complain.” Stiles slumped back down onto Derek in defeat. “I want Chinese. Chicken lo mein and eggrolls!”

“Of course you do. You get the same thing every time we order Chinese. What about the rest of you?”


 

“Rise and shine.”

“What time is it?” A groggy voice questioned from across the room.

“Six-thirty.”

A loud groan came from somewhere closer to me. “What is wrong with you? It’s Saturday. We’re teenagers. We’re supposed to sleep in until noon. Our bodies are actually telling us to stay up later and sleep in longer.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have let you buy that children’s developmental psychology book.”

“You were fostering my knowledge. You couldn’t have seen it coming back to bite you.”

“What are your plans for today?”

“I don’t know. Staying inside with all the blinds closed so my stalker can’t take any more creepy photos of me? Let Derek protect my virtue from the horrors of the outside world while you go out to ensure that all those who dare cross you end up in the clink?”

“Stiles, this is serious.”

“I know that, dad. I didn’t have any plans for today. I’ll just stay in the house and binge watch Netflix while I do my homework.”

“Alright, just promise me you’ll be careful if you do decide to go out and make sure you have someone with you at all times.”

“Don’t worry about me. I’ll make sure to have constant vigilance. Derek probably doesn’t plan on leaving my side until Matt is dealt with anyways.”

“That’s the plan.”

“You know if you keep treating me this way, I’m going to start to think that I’m a princess doomed to stay locked in her tower until the end of time.”

“Maybe if you didn’t have a stalker who has shot you before coming back for you, we would feel more comfortable leaving you alone.”

“Can’t you guys argue about Stiles’s maidenhood somewhere else? I think I speak for myself and Danny when I say go away.”

“I’m already awake. I won’t be able to get back to sleep now.” I finally opened my eyes and sat up to find Sheriff Stilinski, Derek, and Stiles leaning against the wall connecting the living room to the kitchen with cups of coffee in their hands. “There’s coffee?”

“It’s in the kitchen. Cups are in the cabinet above the coffee pot if you want some. You know if we started now, we could finish the first two seasons of Veronica Mars today.”

“Normal is the watchword.”

“Danny, I’ve never loved you more than I do now.”

“If you really loved mem you wouldn’t say that in front of your alpha werewolf boyfriend.”

“You’re right. I should save that for private.” A low rumbling made Stiles laugh and press a kiss to Derek’s cheek. “Calm down, Sourwolf. Danny is swearing off men, there’s nothing to worry about.”

“I’m not swearing off men.”

Sheriff Stilinski pulled himself off of the wall quickly. “Well I’m going to leave before this conversation gets into dangerous territory.”

“Dangerous territory?”

“Yes. Stay out of trouble and be sure to call me if anything happens.”

“You got it dude.”

“Have a good day all of you.”

“So Veronica Mars?” Stiles moved to the cabinet he had pulled the movies out of yesterday and grabbed a thick box that reminded me of the boxes that VHS tapes used to come in. “Please tell me you like Veronica with Logan and not Duncan.”

“Duncan is a jerk that is incapable of taking responsibility for his own actions.”

“Thank goodness. I would have hated to take back my friendship with you.”

“What do you think of Piz?”

“I like him as a character, but hate him with Veronica. She needs passion and excitement in her love life and Piz is not that guy.”

“I don’t know. I kind of-”

“Stiles, I need you to come to the station.”

Stiles looked up at his father in confusion. “What? Why? Did something happen? Did one of the deputies find something?”

“I realized you hadn’t gotten the mail yesterday so I went to check it and found this in the mailbox.” The Sheriff was holding up a small package tied with packing twine. “It has a note with your name on it and wasn’t delivered by the mailman.”

“You think Matt dropped off a package for me?”

“It’s his handwriting. I did read some of those journals he wrote.”

“Great, so a day at the station then. Can’t wait to find out what special surprise he sent me. Maybe he pulled a Van Gogh and sent me his ear as a way of showing me his affection.”

“Go get dressed. We need to get to the station so I can add this to the evidence and then start working on a way to find Matt.”

“Hopefully sooner rather than later.”

Chapter Text

“Stiles, what are you doing?”

“Not you, too!” I seriously considered slamming my head into the nearest available hard surface at the sound of Jackson’s annoying voice in my ear. “I thought you would be the one person I could count on to not give a shit. For the last three days, I haven’t been able to have more than two seconds alone to myself. I know I seem like the kind of person that wouldn’t mind the constant attention because I’d get to talk non-stop, but even I need space.”

“Look I’m not any happier about this than you are. In fact, I find the whole thing hilarious. Unfortunately, I’ve got orders from a worried alpha to keep an eye on you and I’d rather not piss him off. I like my face the way it is and so do other people.”

“What other people? Lydia’s the only one who’s been able to look past it.”

“I’ll have you know I’m everyone’s type. Guys and girls are lining up to get the chance to be with me.”

“Wow. I’m not sure what to comment on first: your striking display of narcissism or the complete inaccuracy of that statement. I can think of several people who are decidedly uninterested in your ugly mug.”

“Not possible.”

“Derek, Danny, me, Scott, my dad, Deaton, Boyd, Isaac, Erica-”

“You’re all in denial.”

“Or we just have a little something called taste.”

Jackson glared at me, but quickly looked away with a strange head tilt. “Do you hear that?”

“No, because I don’t have supersonic bat hearing. What is it? It’s not Matt is it because I really don’t feel like dealing with his madness today.”

“I’m not sure. I know I’ve heard it before, but I can’t place it. It’s like…”

“A grinding, a scuffing, a scratching?”

“A scratching noise. Definitely a scratching noise.” Jackson screwed his face up thoughtfully and I would have made comment about not thinking too hard, but something about Jackson’s demeanour made me hold back. “Metal on metal I think. Somebody keying a car maybe?”

“Son of a bitch!”

Before Jackson had the chance to take in my outburst, I was already running down the hallway and towards the first door that would lead me to the parking lot. Several students gave me dirty looks when I bumped into them and I’m pretty sure one of the teachers tried to yell at me, but I had already made it around the corner. When I finally reached the door, I practically slammed into it in my attempt to get it to open while still maintaining my speed (bad decision by the way). The parking lot was completely devoid of any students and Matt was nowhere in my immediate line of vision unlike my Jeep. My precious Jeep that now has a busted up windshield and if I had to take a guess, writing carved into the side.

I looked around the parking lot several times before making the decision to risk checking on my baby. The closer I got to my car the more damage I could see marring it. There were several dents in the hood, probably from a crowbar, and the back windshield had also been knocked out. The cover of my gas tank was now hanging off and while I can't see any damage, I'm sure Matt did something to it. With a sigh, I finally turned my attention to the word that had been etched into the driver side door: promise.

“What in the world?” I barely had the chance to get the words out of my mouth before I was being spun around and slammed into the door.

“Did you get my other messages? I wanted to make sure you would get them so I put them somewhere you would look.”

“You mean the stuff you left in my mailbox and locker?”

“Yes. I wanted to prove to you that I'm serious because I've been doing some thinking and I realised where I went wrong. I never showed you how much I cared, but this time I'm going to do it right.”

“So you destroyed my Jeep?” I could feel Matt's grip on my shoulders tighten slightly, but I knew I had to keep him talking someway. “It's just that this Jeep belonged to my mom before she passed away and it's one of the only things I have left of her. I thought you would know that. I thought you would understand how much it means to me.”

“I know and I'm sorry, but I had to do it.”

“Had to do it?”

“They'll find us if we take it with us. It had to go.”

“What do you mean take it with us?”

I was just about to get an answer when Jackson appeared out of nowhere and yanked Matt away from me. “I would stay away from him if I were you because if you touch him again I’ll rip your head off. After your limbs of course.”

Matt went flying into a parked car and stayed down on the ground without moving for several seconds. Jackson casually made his way over to Matt and moved to turn him over at the same time Matt flipped himself around. Something was clutched tightly in Matt's hand and it wasn't until Jackson howled in pain, I realized it was a weapon.

Jackson fell to the ground clutching at where the thing had entered his stomach while Matt made his way back over to me. “Soon we'll be able to be together. I promise.”

With that Matt ran off, disappearing between two cars in the direction of the forest. My attention quickly diverted from where Matt had disappeared to where Jackson was still on the ground. The only thing that would be able to keep a werewolf down for this long was wolfsbane, but there was no way Matt had gotten his hands on that. Right?

“Let me see.”

“I'm fine.”

“No, you're not. If you were fine, you would be up and running after Matt right now so let me see.” Jackson glared. but let me move his hands away from the wound and lift his shirt up. “Damn it. Wolfsbane.”

“He stabbed me with a wooden stack covered in wolfsbane?”

“Looks like it. Normally I would be going on about how brilliant that is, but we need to get you to Deaton. I've seen what this can do to you guys. Give me your keys.”

“No way! Why don't you drive your car? Or better yet, I can drive mine.”

“Matt trashed my car and there is no way I'm letting you drive. I have no idea what kind of wolfsbane this is so I have no idea when you're going to start to go unconscious on me. I'm not about die in a car accident because you're too stupid to let me drive. Now hand over the keys.”

Jackson seemed ready to argue some more, but what looked like a stab of pain changed his mind. “If you scratch the paint job-”

“You'll rip my throat out with your teeth. I get it. You werewolf. Me human. Call Derek and tell him what happened then call my dad. I'll try to break the speed limit in all the right places, namely where my dad's deputies aren't patrolling.”


 

“How's Jackson doing?”

“He's fine, Lydia. Deaton said whatever strand of wolfsbane that Matt used to soak the stake in was weak. It was only meant to keep Jackson down so he could make a get away. It never would have killed him.”

“That's good. Next question then, how are you?”

“I'm... Alive.”

“Matt attacked you in the middle of the day in the school parking lot with three werewolves in the building.”

“I am well aware of that.”

“And you're not the least bit concerned? What did he say to you? He wouldn't have risked it if it wasn't important and I saw what he wrote on your Jeep.”

“He seems to think that you guys are holding me here against my will and soon we'll be able to run away together. That's why he trashed my Jeep. According to him, people would be looking for it and we can't have that now can we?”

“Matt is going to seriously hurt you if you aren't more careful, Stiles. He's insane. I'm sure he has more on his mind then you two just running away together.”

A deep, growling sound started up from where I knew Derek was leaning against the wall behind me. “Please don't start that because if you start getting angry, then I'm going to start getting frustrated because I don't know what to do. I always know what to do. I always do my research and prepare. It's my thing and if I can't do that… If I don't, then I start to panic and if I start to panic, I don't think I'll be able to stop because I'm terrified. I'm terrified of not knowing. And I-“

“Calm down.”

“Did you just use your alpha voice on me?” I stared at Derek in shock and watched as he realized what he had just done. “I can't believe you just did that.”

“You were panicking. Your heart rate was starting to pick up and so was your breathing.”

"I know I was about to have a panic attack, but you stopped it. That's never happened before. Once it gets that far, I just have to get through it which pretty much sucks. I’d much prefer you snap me out of it before all the air leaving the room, everything spinning, and potential vomiting starts.”

Lydia scoffed and rolled eyes. “You two are disgusting. You could have just kissed him. Much more fun that way.”

“Kiss me? What would kissing me have done?”

“The body’s natural response to being kissed is to take in air. Your body would make you breathe without you having to think about it.”

“That makes so much sense. Why didn’t I think of that?”

“I’d say because you think with your dick, but that would be the opposite in this case. You simply think too much which is probably why you have panic attacks in the first place.”

“Thank you for that. If I need another psychotherapy session, I’ll be sure to give you a call.”

“Next time I expect you to pay me to do it.”

“Like that’s happening. You would pick apart my every insecurity and have fun doing. I like my brain the way it is thank you very much.”

“I wouldn’t completely destroy it. I need someone on my intellectual level to have conversations with and Peter is completely out of the question so that leaves you.”

“I suppose now you want me to tell you how honored I am to hear you say that.”

“Moments like this make me wish you were still in love with me. I much preferred when you were showering me with complements.”

“Sorry to disappoint.” I crossed the room and sat down in the chair next to Lydia then rested my head on her shoulder. “You’re still my girl. Who else are you supposed to complain to about Jackson or bug about wanting the details of their relationship or research the supernatural with?”

“I guess that will do. We still haven’t had that shopping trip.”

“Damn it. I thought you forgot about that.”

“Getting kidnapped is not an excuse to keep from fixing your atrocious closet.”

“Maybe I should run away with Matt.” Lydia hit me hard on the shoulder making me yelp from surprise rather than pain. “What was that for?”

“Say that again and I’ll really make you hurt.”


 

Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Boredom.

I am bored. I am bored. I am bored. I am bored.

Alone and bored. Bored and alone.

Where the hell is my father? I looked at the clock next to the TV for the millionth time tonight and let out another long sigh. My dad was supposed to be back from work two and a half hours ago, but no. Nothing even remotely like the sound of the cruiser pulling into the driveway had reached my ears and I had started to get antsy over an hour ago. Now I’m about ready to climb the walls and nobody is answering their phones. It must be international Ignore Your Phone Calls Day!

Groaning I pushed myself off of the couch and started to pace back and forth hoping that the movement would help to settle my mind. After several laps around the living room, I gave up and decided to go upstairs to grab my laptop instead. A research binge is exactly what I need to take my mind off of the fact everyone is leaving me completely in the dark. I pulled up a Google page and watched the cursor blink in the search box as I tried to think up what to binge on this time.

A knock on my front door pulled my attention from the bright webpage to the window next to the door where I could just make out the shadow of a person. The knocking came again and the person outside moved to stand right in front of the window so they could peer in. I quickly slammed my laptop shut and slid down from my seat on the couch to the floor. Slowly I crawled to the kitchen doorway and didn’t stand up until I was in front of the knife block.

As I pulled the chef’s knife out of its slot, the knocking turned to a loud pounding that made me tighten my grip on the handle. I began to edge my way around the kitchen to where the other kitchen door connected to the front hallway. I looked around the side of the doorway and could just make out the shaking of the door from the force being applied to it. I took in a deep breath before starting to slowly walk down the hallway and towards the door. Just as I was reaching for the knob, the pounding stopped causing me to yank back my hand.

“Stiles? I know you’re there. Aren’t you going to let me in? I know you’re alone.” I pressed my back against the door and slumped down to the floor. “You know I didn’t want to hurt Jackson, but he didn’t leave me any choice.  You believe me, don’t you? Please let me in, Stiles. I just want to talk. Soon we’ll be out of here and you won’t have to worry about any of them anymore.”

“Beacon Hills is my home. Everyone I love is here. My dad is here. My mom is here.”

“We can make a home somewhere else. Just the two of us. We could be happy without all those other people around to take you away from me.”

“I don’t want to leave Beacon Hills. I’m not in love with you. I’m with Derek and maybe I don’t love him, but I think I could. I could never love you. I will never love you. You shot me. You left me for dead.”

“I already apologized for that. You know I realized what I did wrong, but I’m changing for you. Derek doesn’t have to control you anymore. We can be together.”

“No, we can’t because I hate you. I genuinely hate you. Derek isn’t controlling me and none of my other friends are either. I want to be here and if you try to take me away, I will fight you tooth and nail.”

“You’ll see it my way. You just need time. I’ll be back soon, I promise. Have a good night, Stiles.”

Tears began to prickle in the corner of my eyes and when I squeezed my eyes shut, they started to fall down my cheeks. I could feel my throat starting to tighten making my breath come out in short bursts rather than its normal smooth release. I dropped my head down between my knees and sucked in as much air as I could possibly fit in my lungs, then slowly released it. A sob ripped through my lips as soon as I tilted my head back against the door. All the pressure and stress that had been building up over the past few weeks suddenly slammed into me, making the tears fall faster and the sobs come harder.

“Stiles, open the door! Stiles! Stiles! Open the door! Son, I need you to open the door!”

“Stiles, please open up the door. We can’t come in until you move. Stiles, please?”

Blinking owlishly I finally managed to wrap my head around what I was hearing and got enough control over my limbs to open the door. “Matt was here. He was banging on the door and no one was answering their phones. I didn’t know what to do.”

“Stiles…” Derek hesitated for a second then moved to wrap his arms around me. My arms immediately circled around Derek’s shoulders tightly while my face pressed into his neck. Derek gently ran his hands up and down my back in comfort. “Are you alright? He didn’t get in the house, did he?”

“No, he just talked to me through the door. Why weren’t any of your answering your phones? I called all of you and I mean all of you.”

“We just got your messages.”

“How is that possible? I’ve been calling you all for the past hour.”

“Danny thinks he must have managed to tap into your phone somehow.”

“Fantastic. That’s… awesome. I’m going to bed now because I’m exhausted and I have school tomorrow. Good night.” I turned away from my dad and Derek and headed up the stairs wiping the tear tracks that marred my face as I did so.


 

“Wake up. Come on it’s time to get up.” A hand shook my shoulder in an attempt to get me to open my eyes, but I knew better than to admit defeat. “I know you’re awake, Stiles. I can hear your heartbeat.”

“Go away.”

“Your dad sent me up here to wake you up. I’m not leaving until you’re out of bed.”

“Or you could join me and we could both go back to sleep.”

“Don’t make me pull you out of bed.”

“Derek!” I reached my hand out quickly and managed to pull Derek onto the bed obviously not thinking it completely through since Derek’s weight immediately crushed me. “Do you eat bricks? You’re outrageously heavy.”

“If I get up, will you?”

“Maybe. I’m sure I can think of someway you could convince me.”

Derek shifted so he was holding most of his own body weight instead of letting it crush me. “You say stuff like that a lot.”

“Stuff like what?”

“Implying you want me to kiss you.”

“I could be more straightforward if you prefer. I just enjoy watching that thing you do with your face whenever I say that stuff, as you so eloquently put it.”

“What face?”

“Your face gets all adorably scrunchy. It’s like when you go wolf mode, but with eyebrows and no fangs. What does happen to your eyebrows?”

“I don’t know Stiles, but if you don’t hurry up and get out of bed, your father is going to come up here to see why you’re not downstairs.”

“Fine, but first…” I wrapped my arms around Derek’s neck and pulled him down so his lips met mine in a tender kiss.

Our lips moved lazily against each other until my smiling got in the way. “Stop smiling.”

“Sorry. Can’t help it.” I pecked Derek on the nose then pushed on his shoulders. “Move. I can’t get up if you’re on top of me.”

“I’m about to come up there if I don’t hear you moving in the next minute.”

“Just in time. Hold your horses, old man! I’ll be down in ten minutes tops.” It didn’t take long for me to go through my morning routine and head down the stairs to where my dad and Derek were sitting at the kitchen table. “Look at you two. You’re the model of domesticity. Should I be worried?”

“Sit.”

“Can’t I get my-”

“Derek already got your banana and Cheerio’s, now sit down.”

“Oh, honey you shouldn’t have.” Derek glared at me, but I could tell there wasn’t any heat behind it. Old habits die hard I guess. “What’s on the docket for this morning’s discussion?”

“I should be getting your Jeep out of the impound today. Forensics went through it and already got everything they needed. I’ll have it towed to the mechanics as soon as I can.”

“Awesome. While I thoroughly enjoy being driven to school in the Camaro, I miss driving. Did you figure out what he did to the gas tank?”

“Not yet. They took samples, but they haven’t run any tests on them. We should know by the end of the day. Next thing on the agenda. You haven’t seen or heard from Matt since he showed up at the house two days ago, correct?”

“Yes. He hasn’t shown up at school or outside my window or lurking in the bushes.”

“Have you thought about going to Deaton to ask him why it is the werewolves haven’t been able to pick up Matt’s scent?”

“I already call him. He said there are two ways to mask your scent: a druid or a magical artifact. Since I’m ninety-nine point nine percent sure Matt doesn’t know any druids, I’m going to go with the magical artifact option.”

“Magical artifact?”

“Druids normally work for werewolf packs, but there have been times in the past when the werewolves would hunt down the druids. To protect their family they would craft magic into objects to mask them from the werewolves in case anything happened to them. Normally it was some kind of jewelry, like a ring or a necklace.”

“You think Matt managed to get his hands on one?”

“It’s the most plausible explanation, unless…”

“Unless what?”

“Well Matt was at the station that night because he wanted answers for his spontaneous lizardfication right?” I looked between Derek and my dad and waited for them both to nod before going on. “If Matt was starting to display aspects of the kanima in his human form, that might explain why the werewolves can’t smell him. It’s not that he’s covering his scent, it’s that he doesn’t have one.”

“Do you think he has any of the other perks that come along with being the kanima?”

“Only one way to find out.”


 

“I hate this plan.”

“I heard you the first hundred times, Scott.” I pushed my cart around the corner then skipped a few aisles before finally reaching the one I wanted. “It will all work out I’m sure.”

“You’re counting on Derek to-”

“One day, I’m going to force you two to sit down and deal with your trust issues. Preferably someplace without pointy objects or wolfsbane.”

“My point still stands. This is a terrible plan.”

“Actually it isn’t and might I remind you, that I was the one who came up with it in the first place. Lydia completely backs me up on this. She thinks it’s a great idea.”

“That’s because Lydia is just as insane as you are when it comes to plans. She let you drive through a wall with her in the car and then stood up to a kanima that was about to take a swipe at her. Jackson could have killed her!”

“Need I jog your memory about that particular plan? Namely, that it worked flawlessly. This plan is going to go just as well. It’s not even that dangerous. Think of it more as recon.”

“You want to lure Matt out so you can figure out just how much like the kanima he is.”

“Jackson threw him into a car and he got back up like it was nothing. Aren’t you the least bit curious at how he managed that?”

Scott looked from me to the cans of soup letting out a sigh of frustration as he did so. “That doesn’t mean I want you to put yourself at risk to figure it out. One of us could do it.”

“Matt is only interested in me. He has made that abundantly clear so I am the only one who can do this. Plus I’ll have two people watching over me.”

“Lydia and Derek? Derek’s at least a werewolf, but what is Lydia supposed to do if you’re in trouble?”

“If she is what I think she is, then we’ll know before I even get into trouble.”

“You still haven’t told the rest of us what you think she is.”

“That’s why we’re having a pack meeting later. I mean look at all this food I’m getting. We’ve got a lot of things to talk about and I’m preparing for it.”

“Why can’t you tell me before you tell everyone else? I’m your best friend.”

“This isn’t my information to tell. Lydia is the one you should be asking. It’s not up to me to tell you what she is. She’s the one who will be telling everyone not me.”

“But you know what she is?”

“Think. I think I know what she is.”

Scott grabbed a package of cookies and threw them in the cart grumpily. “Fine, don’t tell me. I want a bag of Doritos all to myself and chocolate milk.”

“Whatever you want, Scott.”

Chapter Text

“You know we could wait. We don’t have to tell everybody right now. We’re not even sure that you’re a you-know-what.”

“I want to do this, Stiles. No one will understand the plan if we don’t tell them what we think I am. I can’t say that I love the plan, but I know you need to do this and we may be able to figure out what I am in the process.”

“Scott doesn’t like it at all and you probably know exactly what Derek thinks about it.”

“How big of a fight did you two get into because of it?”

“I don’t really know if I would call it a fight, per se.”

“What would you call it then?”

“We had a lengthy discussion wherein we both explained our point-of-view on the situation and how we were feeling about it. Or more how I was feeling about the situation, while Derek sat there with his usual look of consternation.” Stiles opened the oven and pulled out the pre-made pizza he had been cooking for Scott and Isaac. “I’m trying to get Derek to open up more, but every time he starts to he just closes right back off. It’s like one step forward and then two steps back.”

“Maybe you two just need to find a way to connect emotionally.”

“And how would we go about doing that?”

“Find something you two have in common, that both of you feel strongly about, and use that as a starting point.”

“I can think of something, but I’m not sure how Derek would react to it. I don’t want to freak him out or upset him.”

“What are you thinking?”

“Cemetery.”

“That would be good for both of you. How long has it been since you’ve visited her?”

Stiles leaned against the counter and crossed his arms thoughtfully. “I can’t even remember. Way too long obvious. Everything has been so hectic that I haven’t had time to go.”

“You should take Derek with you when you go. I think he’d appreciate you including him in that. It would show that you trust him.”

“I’ll mill the idea over. I’ve never taken anyone with me. Not even Scott. It would be a big step for me. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that. Going to see her has always been really difficult for me.”

“That’s why it will show that you trust him. He makes you stronger and you make him stronger too.”

“I feel like most of the time we spend together now is made up of you acting as my own personal love guru.”

“Derek’s your first boyfriend. You need a little help that I am more than happy to provide you with after all that time I spent trying to get you two together.”

“All you did was drop hints about how perfect Derek and I are for each other! How did that take up so much of your precious time?”

“I had to recruit other people to help me.”

“You mean Allison, Erica, and Danny. I’m sure that took ages to accomplish.”

“We had group meetings sometimes.”

“Liar.” Stiles picked up the cutting board he had put the pizza on and started towards the door leading to the living room. “Come on. Time to throw ourselves to the wolves.”

“You’re not half as funny as you think you are Stilinski.”

“But only half as funny as you deserve.”

“Unless you’re going to put on your ring and disappear, sit down so Lydia can talk.”

“Knew there was a reason I’m dating you.” Stiles put down the cutting board then took his place next to Derek on the couch after pressing a kiss to his temple.

“Go on, Lydia.”

“Stiles came up with a plan to lure Matt out so we can determine how much of the kanima he has access to in his human form. Part of the plan relies on me using my powers or at least what we think my powers are.”

“And what does Stiles think your powers are?”

“No one said you could talk, Peter. Be quiet.”

“Only for you, Stiles.”

“Stiles had a theory about what I might be and after some research I think he might be right. It would explain why I was able to do what I did with Peter and some of the strange feelings I’ve been having.” I looked directly at Stiles who gave me an encouraging smile. “We think I’m a banshee.”

“What’s a banshee?”

“Someone with a deep connection with death.”

“So what are your powers?”

Stiles stood up and moved to stand beside me before speaking. “Haven’t you ever heard of a banshee scream? In myths and TV shows and movies, a banshee screams when death is nearby. They’re able to predict when someone is about to die.”

“What does Lydia have to do with your plan?”

“I’m going to play bait and at this point there’s a fifty percent chance that Matt kills me in the name of love and if Lydia’s a banshee, she’ll know.”

“You’re just going to lure him out and then what? Wait until he wants to kill you. Shouldn’t take long if that’s all there is to it.”

“Helpful as always Jackson. There are actually two plans. It just depends on what Matt does.”

“And what are the two plans?”

“All you need to know is that the plan involves me, Lydia, and Derek so the rest of you are free to go about your day like normal.”

“Why won’t you tell us both plans?”

“Because one of them will be undeniably painful for me and other one is way too embarrassing to bring up unless it actually happens.”


 

Derek was practically crawling out of his skin with worry as he watched Stiles sitting lazily on the park bench, a book in hand. Stiles was looking pointedly down at his book, but I could tell he wanted to look up every time he flexed his fingers against the pages. Derek moved for the millionth time since we had reached our hiding spot among the trees so I reached my hand out to still him. Red eyes flashed in my direction causing me to raise my eyebrows and Derek to shake his head in response. Clearly Derek still isn’t a hundred percent on board with this plan, even though he’s letting Stiles go through with it.

“Is that Matt?” I pointed at a hooded figure heading straight for Stiles. “He looks about the right size, don’t you think?”

“Yes and I can’t pick up any sort of scent on him.”

“Well it looks like he’s going to go talk to Stiles. Step one of the plan is going according to plan then.”

“I hate this plan.”

“I figured that out. Why did you let him go through with it? You’re the alpha. I’m sure there’s something you could have done or said to him.”

“Stiles isn’t one of my betas and even if he was, I wouldn’t do that to him. When Stiles gets an idea stuck in his head, he goes through with it one way or another. Stiles is stubborn. I’d rather be around in case something starts to go wrong.”

“We’re dealing with Stiles here. Of course something is going to go wrong.” Stiles had put down his book and turned his attention to Matt. “What are they saying?”

“Matt’s telling Stiles about all of the things he’s gotten together for them so they can leave Beacon Hills and go somewhere. He’s saying that soon they’ll be able to leave this place far behind and never come back. Stiles is telling him he’s nervous about leaving. He’s never been outside the state of California. He doesn’t know how he feels about leaving everything he’s ever known behind.”

“Stiles is a good actor. I believe him. His body language is particularly convincing. This might go in his favor if he keeps this up.”

“Matt is saying Stiles doesn’t need to worry about anything. He has everything taken care of it’s just a matter of time. Soon Stiles won’t have to worry about anything. Stiles is saying that maybe he should learn to trust Matt after everything he’s been doing for him and because it’s clear he only wants the best for him.”

“Pushing it, but it will probably work since Matt is psychotically in love with him. He’s probably eating up every word of it.”

Stiles stood up and turned away from Matt at the same time he wrapped his arms protectively around his chest. He opened his mouth to say something, but quickly closed it and simply looked up at the sky instead of saying something to Matt. For several seconds the two stayed that way, close enough that it was obvious the two were at the park together, but far enough away that the gap separating the two spoke volumes. Matt finally stood up and placed a hand low on Stiles’s waist causing him to jump slightly before turning to face him.

“Matt’s reassuring Stiles about his plan. He’s saying that it’s full proof and once they’re gone, they’ll never have to look back again. He’s reminding Stiles that he made him a promise and he’s going to follow through on that promise. Stiles says he knows Matt will keep his word, he just hopes nothing happens to him before he gets the chance to. The police are still after him and if they find him, they’ll never be able to leave.”

I placed a placating hand over one of Derek’s hands when Matt moved both of his hands to cup Stiles’s face gently between them. Stiles’s eyes stayed focused on the ground until Matt leaned down so Stiles had no choice, but to look him in the eyes. Matt’s lips moved, but Derek had his jaw clenched so hard there was no way I would be getting a translation for that. Seconds later, I realized I wouldn’t need one. Matt pressed his lips firmly against Stiles’s partially open mouth causing Stiles’s eyes to go wide in shock and probably disgust as well. Stiles squeezed his eyes shut and moved his hands to Matt’s waist then started to run his hands up Matt’s sides underneath his shirt. From here I could barely make out Stiles moving his hands all along Matt’s ribs and back. Stiles pulled back from Matt and smiled softly at Matt before turning away and heading in the direction of his house.


 

“Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Oh, my god. Toothbrush. Mouthwash.” Stiles high-tailed it past everyone sitting in the living room and headed straight up the stairs to his bathroom. Sheriff Stilinski was looking at Derek with a raised eyebrow, but all he got for his troubles was a dark scowl. Of course Derek had spent the entire car ride back to the Stilinski’s house scowling at the road while Stiles kept shuddering and rubbing at his mouth.

“Is anyone going to tell us what happened and why my son was just talking about a toothbrush and mouthwash?”

“Well the plan worked. It just wasn’t the plan we were expecting to work.”

“Which plan was that?”

“I’m sure Stiles would much rather tell you himself. After he’s done sanitizing his mouth, that is.”

“Sanitizing his mouth? He didn’t.”

“He’s not happy about it either. I had to convince him not to gargle bleach on the drive back here.”

“I wasn’t actually going to gargle bleach.” Stiles plopped down into the only open seat available. “I’m going to need a new toothbrush. I threw mine away. And more mouthwash. I finished it all.”

“You had half a bottle of mouthwash.”

“Yes I did, but I used it all so I need more now.”

“Was that really necessary?”

“Did you have a half-lizard, half-human tongue stuck down your throat? I don’t think so. Believe me. It was completely necessary.”

“You made out with Matt?” Jackson moved to sit on the edge of his seat in interest, despite Danny’s attempts to pull him back and keep him quiet. “That was the embarrassing plan. Making out with Matt.”

“I’m sure making out with you is just as disgusting for Lydia. It wasn’t that long ago that you grew scales and a tail whenever Matt told you too because you were his lizard bitch.”

“I was not a lizard.”

“A kanima is a glorified lizard so yes you really were.”

“Now boys, there’s no need for that.” Stiles glared at Peter who smiled back in his normal creepy manner. “How about we give Stiles the chance to tell us what he figured out? The point of this whole endeavour was to collect intel.”

“Thank you Peter, for creepily making your point. He’s definitely still stuck in between turning into a kanima and staying human. I think the scales have spread since the last time we saw him, but I can’t be too sure. He’s also stronger than a normal human. I don’t think he realized it, but he had a really firm grip. Not anywhere near a werewolf’s strength, but it’s definitely enhanced.”

“What about the paralyzing venom?”

“Well he didn’t claw me or anything like that so that’s a bit of a grey area. If he grows claws, I would think he has the venom to go along with them.”

“What was the point of doing this? Who cares if Matt has some kanima capabilities?”

“Maybe if we would have known the full extent of Matt’s capabilities, you wouldn’t have gotten stabbed with a stake soaked in wolfsbane.”

“Maybe if you hadn’t have been stupid and gone into the parking lot by yourself, it wouldn’t have happened.”

“I’m not going to stop living my life because some creep has it in his head that we’re going to run away to Neverland together. I need my space back and this was a way for us to come up with a plan to deal with Matt once and for all. No more crazy notes hidden in my stuff or destroying my things.”

“What’s the plan then? You’re the one always coming up with the plans right?”

“I don’t know yet. I’m still working on it.”


 

I looked disdainfully at the small doorbell in front of me covered in a small layer of grime before pressing it decisively for several seconds. The window above my head filled with light and started to open at the same time the blinds were pulled up. A head covered in dark hair popped out then went straight back in just as quickly. The door was pulled open not long after that revealing Stiles with a stoic looking Derek standing right behind him.

“Lydia, what are you doing here? I thought you had plans with Jackson tonight.”

“We did and then when we were finished, I had him drop me off at home.”

“Did you need something or…”

“I just didn’t feel like being alone. My mom is somewhere probably getting drunk and Prada is at Deaton’s.”

“Come on in then. I was just debating whether to start Derek on Supernatural or Arrow. We just finished Vampire Diaries.”

“Supernatural. The werewolves in there will make him cringe.”

“Did you see this past season’s finale?”

“Don’t remind me. Although, purgatory might do Dean and Castiel some good. With any hope those two will finally get rid of that UST.”

“Unlikely, but we can hope. The eye sex those two have is unbelievable.”

“It almost rivals you and Derek.”

“Dean and Castiel have twice as much sexual tension as Derek and I have ever had!” Stiles screwed his face up thoughtfully. “Wait. I’m not sure if that came out right or not. I think I confused myself.”

“It doesn’t matter. Have your boyfriend put on the first season and get us ice cream. We need to talk.”

“Oh, that’s why you came over. What did he do? Do I need to get some mountain ash from Deaton and trap him in the locker room shower?”

Stiles looped his arm through mine and guided me over to the couch so we could sit down. “It’s nothing bad. He’s just acting different.”

“Different how?”

“Like he’s terrified to do something wrong. He used to challenge me. Of course he never won, but I miss that. It always led to fighting.”

“Which led to make up sex. Have you considered the possibility that Jackson is scared if he does something wrong, you’ll dump him like week old potatoes?”

“Yes, so I sat down with him and had a conversation about where we stand. I made it very clear that couples fight and I don’t expect him to be perfect. He’s still walking on eggshells around me.”

“Could something be going on at home? I mean he did die out on the lacrosse field and then mysteriously come back to life. He’s parents might not be the most involved people, but they may be a little concerned after all of that.”

“I don’t know. He won’t talk to me.”

“So you came to me for advice? You’ve met my boyfriend right? Talking about his problem isn’t something he does unless he has to. Getting Derek to talk about his feeling is like convincing a child to go to the dentist to get their teeth pulled.”

“That’s exactly why I came to you instead of Allison. Scott probably tells her everything. You understand my frustration.”

“This might sound strange coming from me, but you just have to be patient. Forcing him to talk won’t do you any good. He’ll just get angry and you’ll get even more frustrated than you already are, then you’ll blow up at each other and I’ll have to put up with your crying and then I’ll have to get back at Jackson for making you cry.”

“You’re right.” I let out a heavy sigh. “I’ll just have to wait until he’s ready to talk about it. I just have this really bad feeling.”

“Banshee feeling or normal teenage girl worrying feeling?”

“I’m not sure. Where’s your boyfriend hiding?”

“I didn’t have ice cream in the freezer because I know my dad will eat it so he probably went to go buy us some. He’ll more than likely text me soon to ask what kind we want.”

“You two are gross.”

“We’re gross? Who was the couple that broke through the kanima curse by acknowledging their true love out loud? It was like Beauty and the Beast.”

“Derek almost broke his jaw grinding his teeth together while Matt was kissing you. I thought he was about to blow your cover so he could bash in Matt’s face.”

“My hero!” Stiles clasped his hands tightly next to his cheek and batted his eyelashes flirtatiously. “What would I do without him?”

“Fall flat on your face while walking over a flat surface.”

“Very funny, Lydia. I don’t think Derek and I are gross. I’ve never wanted to be that couple.”

“You’re not that couple. You’re not the sickeningly cute, incapable of being without each other, always off in your own world couple. You’re the couple that’s in sync.”

Stiles groaned and fall back against the couch dramatically. “What does that even mean?”

“You’re aware of each other. You know how he’s feeling, what he’s thinking, what he needs. The two of you gravitate around each other. Halfway through the meeting earlier, you moved to sit by Derek so you could put your hand on the back of his neck and he instantly relaxed under your touch. I don’t know if it’s because you’re the most loyal and caring person I’ve ever met and Derek is hyper attentive, but you two fit together.”

“Like two pieces of a puzzle?”

“Yes, like two pieces of a puzzle.”

“How disgusting!”

“I couldn’t agree more.” Even without werewolf hearing, I could just make out the sound of the front door opening up and then closing. “He has a key to your house?”

“My dad gave it to him and now that I’m saying it out loud, I’m realizing that it’s kind of twisted.”

“That or your dad is wholly aware of the fact you two aren’t going at it like bunny rabbits.”

“Is everyone painfully aware of the fact I’m still extremely virginal?”

“Yes and we all take great pleasure in it. It’s nice to know we have a sacrifice ready just in case we need to chain you to a rock.”

Chapter Text

Scott

Stiles what are you doing?

Stiles

Macking with my super mega awesome foxy hot boyfriend.

Nothing. What did you have in mind?

Scott

That’s disgusting. Want to go to the movies or something? I know you want to get out of the house and I’m bored.

Stiles

Feeling the love here buddy.

I actually don’t feel like going out today. My stomach hurts really badly right now. Lying in bed is painful. I don’t think I could sit in a movie theatre.

Scott

Do you not have any more pain killers?

Stiles

I’m trying to ease off of them.

Scott

Are you sure you should be doing that? Have you talked to my mom about it?

Stiles

Yes, Scott. I talked to your mom about it when I went to my appointment to get my stitches taken out. She said it would be fine.

Scott

Isn’t Derek there to take away some of the pain.

Stiles

You are aware that Derek doesn’t live with me right? He has his own apartment in town now and everything. It’s all very adult.

Scott

I know that but he always seems to be with you now.

Stiles

To protect me from the big bad Matt.

I just realized Derek climbs in through my window like I’m freaking Rapunzel.

Scott

I’ll be over in thirty minutes.

With Tangled.

Be prepared.

Or just lie there so you don’t end up on the floor curled up in pain.


 

“Why did I agree to this?”

“Because you can’t resist singing along to every song in this movie. Even the one that the mother sings about how she knows what’s best for her.”

“Normal teenage boys do not spend their weekend watching Tangled while lying in bed together because they have nothing better to do. Most people would consider this weird. More than weird actually. It’s super weird.”

“We used to do this when we were little.”

“Yes, but we were little and we were cute. Now you have a girlfriend and I have a boyfriend and we’re developing into young men. It has reached the point that it’s weird now. Not because society says it should be, but because I actually feel like this is weird.”

“I don’t feel weird about it.”

“You should feel weird about it. You’re resting your head on my chest.”

I turned my head so I could look up at Stiles who had his head tilted down so he could see my face. “But it’s so comfortable and I can’t see the movie if I use one of your pillows.”

“How is my chest comfortable? I’m skin and bone.”

“There’s some muscle here. Just the right amount actually.”

“Did you really just squeeze my pec?” Stiles grabbed a hold of my wrist and pulled it away from his chest then let it drop to my side. “That right there. One of the reasons this is weird. You’re feeling me up while a children’s movie is play.”

“I thought it was weird because we’re watching the movie together in your bed.”

“Don’t try to use my previous argument against me. The point is this is weird.”

“We’re best friends. We’re supposed to be weird together.”

Stiles started laughing causing my body to move along with his. “That’s very true. You’re my person you know that?”

“I know. You’re my person too.”


 

“What are we doing here? I have things to do tonight.”

“A date with your right hand does not count as having things to do tonight, Jackson.” Stiles was sitting upside down on the far side of the couch with his legs lazily kicking in the air. “Although, you could probably go home if you really wanted to. It’s not like you really contribute anything at these little meetings. You’re like the mascot.”

“Aren’t we here because you’re being stalked by some psycho that’s in love with you? You’re probably the reason he’s so crazy.”

“Correlation without causation. I feel like I should bring up the fact you used to be his little pet.”

“You’re never going to let that one go are you Stilinski?”

“Like you’re going to let the me getting stalked by Matt thing go. I’m a fan of fighting fire with fire and if I have to, I’ll play dirty.”

“Please don’t.” I moved to sit next to Stiles with Allison folding herself neatly onto my lap after I sat down. “Things never go well when you decide to play dirty. Someone ends up getting hurt.”

“It never ends up being me though so I don’t know why I wouldn’t do it. I’ve got plenty of dirt that I can pull out on Jackson.”

“You don’t have anything on me, Stilinski.”

“Really? What about that thing that happened two days before Christmas last year.”

Jackson’s face paled dramatically and his mouth fell open in shock. “How do you know about that?”

“I make it my business to know everything I possibly can. Also I was shopping for something to get my dad. You really should mind your surroundings.”

“If you tell anyone, I swear-”

“You’ll rip my throat out with your teeth. Heard that one before. You werewolves should come up with some more original threats.”

“How about I just tear your intestines out?”

“Disembowelment. Definitely more interesting than the throat tearing out. The only problem is you’ll have to go through Derek and that will probably end with you being disembowelled instead of me and then my dad will have to deal with it. It would just end up being a huge mess.”

“Hiding behind your boyfriend, Stilinski?”

“No, just telling you how it is.”

“He’s right. I would disembowel you.” Derek thunked down the spiral staircases and headed to where Stiles was on the couch. “What are you doing?”

“Talking to Jackson?”

“Why are you sitting that way?”

“Do you have a problem with it? Do you have some sort of rule I wasn’t aware of about sitting on your couch? Am I only allowed to sit one way on it?”

“Don’t be a smartass.”

“But that’s a pivotal part of my personality. You’re not asking me to change for you, are you?”

“Stiles.”

Stiles let out a loud sigh and flipped off the couch so he could sit back on it properly. “Happy, Sourwolf?”

“I don’t care how you sit on the couch Stiles. I don’t understand why you were sitting that way.”

“It’s fun. You’re telling me you never used to do that when you were little?”

“No.”

“Lame. You were a grump as a child too weren’t you? All grouchy and refusing to play pretend with the other kids. You know make-believe play is an important part of child development.”

“Whenever you two are done doing your weird flirting thing, the rest of us are ready to start the meeting.”

“Keep your pants on, Jackson. Lydia was the one who called the meeting so it’s up to her when it starts. Isn’t that right, Lyds?”

“Correct. I’m almost done.” Lydia’s fingers were flying across her keyboard while Danny read over her shoulder silently. “There. Finished.”

“So what have you got for us?”

“I’ve come up with some possible places Matt could be hiding. Some of the places he was known to go to that don’t include school or his house along with any places I think he might be hiding out in, but hasn’t gone to.”

“You want to go after Matt directly?”

“Matt doesn’t expect us to be able to find him. He’s been in control so far just like when he had the kanima working for him. If we flip the tables on him, he might make a wrong move he wouldn’t otherwise.”

“It’s worth a shot. What if he’s not staying in Beacon Hills?”

“He must be. He’s taken more pictures of you and he didn’t show up long after you did at the park. He must be staying close by.”

“Alright. So we go out looking for him and what’s the plan when we find him? Are we going to let my dad handle it or what?”

“Your dad will want to be brought in on this. Once we find him, we’ll give your dad everything he needs to know to bring him in.”

“Let’s hear this list then.”


 

I stepped carefully around the large puddle of water sitting in front of the door that opens into an empty cabin on the outskirts of town. Lydia had made it clear that this cabin was the most likely hiding place for Matt and had insisted that Derek and I go to check it out. I had been about to argue when I caught Stiles giving me a look that made me stop before I even started. Now I’m sneaking around a dirty, old cabin with Derek bringing up the rear. We hadn’t said a word to each other the entire drive over here so I have no idea what we’re going to do if Matt does end up being here.

“Do you hear anything?” I looked back at Derek who had his head cocked to the side as he listened closely.

“No. There’s no heartbeat or any other noise.”

“We should probably go in just so we can tell Lydia that we did. She’ll probably yell at us if we don’t.”

“Is there a backdoor?”

“No idea. We could check.” Derek turned around and slipped around the cabin until he came to the back of the cabin where a door slightly off its hinges was hanging open. “This looks like something out of a horror movie.”

“I’ll go in first.”

“You still want to go in there. What if he set up some sort of trap knowing that we’d come looking for him here?”

“We won’t know if he has, until we go in there.”

“You want to purposefully go in there to see if there are any traps? You’re just as insane as Stiles is. No wonder the two of you are dating.”

Derek turned to me with a huff and a raised eyebrow. “That’s the first time you’ve acknowledged Stiles and I dating to me.”

“Yes well, I’m still not very happy about it. Stiles has given me several talks about it. He keeps telling me that I need to be more accepting of your relationship because you’re not breaking up any time soon. Is he right about that?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.” I looked off into the distance to collect my thoughts before turning back to Derek. “I know you’re an alpha and because of that you’re stronger than me, but I want you to know that if you hurt him, I will come after you. I don’t care what it takes, I will hurt you if you hurt him.”

“Noted. Are you coming or are you going to keep threatening me?”

“Yes, I’m coming. Weren’t you going in first?”

Derek rolled his eyes, but started to the door without making any comment about my telling him what to do. Maybe he’s a bigger pushing over than I originally thought? He did watch over Stiles while he was in the hospital and bring him everything Stiles asked him to. Plus he watches all those crappy TV shows that Stiles likes.  The sound of Derek grunting brought me out of my thoughts and made me aware of the smell of blood starting to fill the air.

“Derek?”

“Don’t come any closer.”

“What is it?”

“There’s a trap in here, but it wasn’t set up by Matt.”

“How can you be sure?”

“I’ve seen these traps before. They’re hunter’s traps. Gerard must have had his men put them down here in case any rogue omegas running through the area decided to stay here.”

“If you already set it off, why can’t I come in?”

“Knowing Gerard there’s probably more than one. It’s safest if you don’t come in.”

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Go and get the others. Deaton, too.”

“Why do you need Deaton?”

“The trap was coated in wolfsbane.”


 

Stiles pushed Derek back down onto his bed as he attempted to sit up after Stiles specifically told him not to. “You’re an idiot. A complete idiot. I hope you’re aware of that.”

“I just wanted to be sure Matt wasn’t staying there and hadn’t just left to go do something.”

“So you just casually waltzed on in?”

“I’m fine, Stiles.”

“You’re still an idiot. Next time, think before you go barreling into an abandoned cabin in the woods. Can you do that?”

“Yes.”

“Don’t get grumpy with me.” Stiles played with the neckline of Derek’s shirt then exhaled and moved his eyes to look at Derek. “I get that you’re the big bad alpha and everything, but I would really appreciate it if you didn’t put yourself in the line of fire all the time. I know you’re self-deprecating and I’m not asking you to change just… Be careful. Please.”

“I will.”

“Thank you. Now that we’ve covered that how about we talk about your little mission together. Did you two get along? No fighting each other? No threatening?”

“We just talked.”

“You and Scott talked? Like an actual conversation with words? A conversation where you both talked like normal human beings?”

“Yes.”

Stiles nodded and turned to look at me. “Why’d you threaten him?”

“I didn’t-”

“Please. I wasn’t born yesterday. Why’d you threaten him?”

“All I did was tell him that if he hurt you, then I would hurt him. That’s it, I swear.”

“You pulled the big brother ‘hurt him and I’ll smash your face in’ shtick?”

“I just don’t want him to end up hurting you! You’re like my brother and I hate it when you’re upset.”

“I love you too, buddy.” Stiles wrapped his arms tightly around me until I returned his hug just as enthusiastically. “Just know that in the event Allison breaks your heart, I won’t be able to defend your honor because she would kick my ass.”

“I know. It’s the thought that counts.”

“You better not use that excuse to not buy me a Christmas present this year. I fully expect you to buy me the greatest gift ever after that terrible one last year.”

“It was funny!”

“No, it wasn’t! What best friend buys their male best friend women’s underwear for Christmas?”

“It was funny!”

“No, it wasn’t! I bought you those awesome graphic tees and your favorite season of Buffy. What did I do to deserve that?”

“Promise I’ll take Christmas seriously this year.”

“You better or I’m finding a new best friend.”

I made my eyes go wide and blinked them innocently at Stiles knowing he wouldn’t be able to resist the look. “You can’t really mean that. We’ve been best friends since kindergarten. You wouldn’t just ditch me like that, would you? You’re like my brother.”

“Stop doing that. You think I don’t know what you’re doing, but I do. You’re trying to look like an adorable little puppy, but it’s not working this time. I refuse to fall for your evil trick.”

“Stiles…”

“I hate you so much right now.”

“Liar. Shouldn’t you be waiting on your boyfriend hand and foot?”

“You have jokes now, do you? Last time I checked, you’re still wrapped around Allison’s little fingers. You don’t have any room whatsoever to talk.”

“You two are loud.”

“I’m sorry. Are we disturbing your beauty sleep? I wasn’t aware you were actually going to listen to my suggestion and rest.”

“I’m tired. Go away if you’re going to talk.”

“Yes, you’re highness. We’ll just take our leave now. If you need us, just ring your little bell and we’ll come running.”

“Stiles.”

“It amazes me how much exasperation you can manage to fit into my name.” Stiles leaned down to press a kiss to Derek’s forehead then stood up. “We’ll be in the living room. Text me if you need anything or if something feels off. Do you need water or anything?”

“I’m fine. Thank you.”

“Come along, Scott. Derek just bought a fancy new TV that I've been wanting to break in.”

“We're not going to watch Vampire Diaries are we?”

“No. I was thinking How I Met Your Mother. I need something funny.”


 

Stiles had fallen asleep with his head on my lap right after the theme music for the second episode finished playing. Not long after that, Peter and Isaac had shown up with several bags of groceries in each hand. The two quickly put all the groceries away and then joined me in the living room to watch a few more episodes of How I Met Your Mother. We were halfway through the first Slapsgiving episode, when I could just make out the sound of Derek moving around upstairs.

“So Scott. Where’s your hunter girlfriend this evening?”

“She’s packing. Her dad wants to get away from Beacon Hills by spending the summer in France. They’re leaving the day after school gets out.”

“How unfortunate.”

“Don’t act like you care.”

“On the contrary, I care greatly. I love hearing that the last two hunters in town are planning on packing up their bags and leaving for two months. Nothing brings me greater joy.”

“Don’t you have someone else you can go and bother?”

“Why would I do that, when I can bug you? Plus two of my three favorite people are here. Why would I be anywhere else?”

“You have favorite people?”

“Of course. Everybody has people they like.”

“Who do you like?” Isaac was looking at Peter with great interest. “I didn’t think you were capable of liking people.”

“Why would I just tell you?”

“Do you want to do twenty questions? I’m pretty good. I’m sure I could figure it out.”

“How juvenile.”

“Is one of the ones here Derek and the one not here Lydia?”

“You kids nowadays, really are geniuses. However did-”

“Don’t be rude Peter.” Derek walked slowly down the stairs and over to where Stiles’s feet were resting on the couch then moved them into his lap so he could sit down. “How long have I been out?”

“A little over three hours.”

“How long has he been asleep?”

“About two and a half. I don’t think he’s been sleeping very well. He’s starting to get bags under his eyes like he did after…”

“If you’re going to talk about me, you should make sure I’m actually asleep. Although, I should probably point out it’s rude to talk about someone behind their back period.” Stiles sat up and looked around the room sleepily. “When did Isaac and Peter get here?”

“Not long after you fell asleep on me.”

“I fell asleep on you? I don’t remember doing that.”

“What do you mean you don’t remember falling asleep?”

“I mean I don’t remember falling asleep. What about that is difficult to comprehend?”

“Have you been sleeping at night?”

“Yes.”

I listened to Stiles’s heartbeat and didn’t hear any jumps in it so I decided to let the sleeping thing go for now. “Did you come up with any plans to catch Matt while you were sleeping?”

“Nope. I’ve given up on that.”

“Given up? Since when do you give up?”

“Since I decided we’re not going to be able to find Matt. Lydia came up with an extensive list of places that Matt could be and he wasn’t at any of them. Matt is going to be the one to find us. We just have to be prepared for when he does show up. Boy Scout Code and all that.”

“You just want to be prepared for when Matt decides to take you away?”

“Exactly.”

“You’re just giving up?”

“He’s being smart.” Peter moved so he was sitting closer to the group instead of on the outskirts. “Matt is playing cat and mouse with him. He assumes he’s going to get him backed into a corner and once he’s trapped, he’ll give up. The only problem with that is Stiles isn’t a mouse. He’s a fox. He’s much cleverer than Matt is making him out to be. He won’t really be backed into a corner with no escape. He’ll have Matt right where he wants him.”

I looked from Peter to Stiles then back and realized something. “Stiles is one of your favorite people isn’t he?”

“Ten points to Gryffindor.”

Chapter Text

“Derek, what are you doing?” Stiles laughed loudly and nearly fell off the couch, but managed to grab a hold of my arm at the last second. “What are you doing? You’re such a freak. I don’t even know why I talk to you.”

“I’m not doing anything.”

“You’re such a liar.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“There you go lying again. What am I going to do with you?”

“Still don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“I reiterate: you’re such a freak.”

Stiles pushed me until my back was pressed against the arm of the couch then adjusted himself so he was sitting over me. “There’s plenty of space on this couch for two people.”

“But I like this spot better. Why would I sit somewhere else if this is my favorite spot?”

“So you wouldn’t mind if I got up and moved?”

“Well I didn’t say that.”

“Just wanted to clarify.”

“Isn’t this supposed to be a date night? You should be wooing me and making me feel like I’m the prettiest boy in the whole wide world.”

“Why would I do that?”

“To try to get into my pants obviously. What other reason would a guy have for being nice to the person they’re dating?”

“I thought the socially acceptable answer was for love.”

“Sure, if you’re into that kind of thing, but who has time for that!”

“I thought I was the cynical one.”

“We’re both a little cynical. It’s what makes us so perfect for each other obviously!”

“Obviously.”

Stiles chuckled and leaned forward to press a light kiss against my lips. Slim fingers started to run through my hair making the skin of my scalp tingle at the gentle sensation. My hands moved to grab a hold of Stiles’s hips to keep him from rolling off the couch and hitting his head on the table or something else equally painfully for him. Stiles’s tongue probed playfully at my lips for several seconds before he pulled away to rest his forehead against mine.

“I should probably go home now. It is a school night after all.”

“You look like you could use the sleep.”

Stiles pulled his forehead away from mine so he could raise an eyebrow. “Am I supposed to take that as a complement because most people don’t?”

“That’s not how I meant it.”

“I know. I don’t even know why I’m having trouble sleeping. After my mom died, I started having nightmares, but I haven’t had any in a while. The past couple weeks though I’ve been… restless. I guess. I go to sleep and when I wake up, I still feel tired. Not as tired as when I went to sleep, but still tired.”

“It could be stress.”

“Maybe. We’ll have to wait and see. With any luck Matt will be dealt with by the end of the week and all this stress will be gone along with finals. Summer couldn’t get here sooner.”

“Try to relax tonight.”

“I will. Promise.”


 

By the time Friday rolled around Matt hadn’t been seen at all and Stiles had spent all week alternating between studying and worrying. Wednesday night Stiles called me at midnight then talked for two hours because he couldn’t get to sleep and Thursday wasn’t much better. Lydia had sent me a text message telling me she’d be keeping a close eye on Stiles after he ended up falling asleep halfway through one of his tests. Tonight Scott and Lydia had decided to throw Allison a going away party at the bowling alley for some reason I wasn’t paying attention to. What was clear, was the fact Lydia expected me to be there and would be extremely pissed off if I didn’t show.

“Leaving for the party I wasn’t invited to nephew?”

“Yes. You might have been invited if you hadn’t have killed her aunt.”

“Does anyone really miss her? It’s not like she was a nice person. She did murder our family after all.”

“That doesn’t mean you should have killed her in front of her niece.”

“I did everyone a favor.”

“Don’t you have your own apartment?”

“Yes, but I like yours better. It’s quite homey and those floor to ceiling windows are a nice touch. Maybe the Alpha Pack can bust through them while you’re sleeping and kill you.”

“Those are hurricane grade windows. Not even an alpha could break through them.”

“If you say so.”

“What do you really want?”

“How is Stiles doing? Still not sleeping?”

“What do you know?”

“Why would you think I know something?”

“You always know more than you let on.”

Peter pushed himself away from the door and moved to stand by the window instead. “You don’t know what it’s like to die. What it’s like on the other side or whatever you want to call it.”

“What does that have to do with Stiles?”

“How many times did he die that day on the operation table? Two, three times? What do you think happened to him while he was dead?”

“You think Stiles went wherever you did when you died?”

“No, but I think we need to consider what effect dying could have had on him.”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. I’m simply saying we should be on guard. A lot of power comes from death. That’s why sacrificial rituals are considered some of the most powerful rituals that can be performed.”

“I’ll be sure to keep that in mind.”

“Good. We wouldn’t want anything to happen to Stiles because we were negligent now, would we?”

“What’s your interest in Stiles?”

“He’s clever. He also has the guts to run around with werewolves all the time. I think there’s more to him then he lets on or possibly more than he even knows.” I watched as Peter walked over to the table pushed against the far wall and picked up his laptop. “Shouldn’t you get going? I’m sure your boyfriend hates it when you’re late. Lydia wouldn’t be too happy with you either.”


 

“Come on, Scott!” Stiles cheered loudly making several other patrons in nearby lanes look at him strangely. “You can do it, buddy! You think he would be better at this with his enhanced abilities.”

“Becoming a werewolf does not make you better at bowling.”

“Yes, I can see that. Everyone can see that actually, even if they don’t know he’s not a real boy.”

“He got better last time when I helped him out, but that was obviously a temporary fix.” Allison let out a sigh as Scott’s second chance went into the gutter just like his first.

“What’d you do last time?”

“Gave him a little advice. That’s all.”

“You told him to imagine you naked, didn’t you? Well that won’t work anymore. I think we’re screwed. Jackson, Lydia, Danny, and Isaac are winning this.”

“We could make a comeback.”

“You’re eternal optimism, while cute, is severely out of place in this instance.” The three of us watched as Lydia put another strike up on the scoreboard with ease. “I’m going to go get something to drink. Does anyone else want anything?”

“I’ll take a Coke and Scott will want one too.”

“Two Cokes. Derek?”

“No, thank you.”

“You sure?”

“Yes.”

“Alright then. Two Cokes it is. I’ll be back. Don’t let Scott take my turn for me.” Stiles rubbed my shoulders lightly then headed towards the snack bar located in the back of the building.

Scott plopped down into the now empty seat between Allison and I. “Where is Stiles going?”

“He’s getting us drinks.”

“Coke?”

“Yes, he’s getting you a Coke.”

“Do you think he needs help bringing them back?”

“He’ll be fine. They’ll probably give him a tray to help carry them on.”

“Derek, you’re up!” Isaac practically dropped my bowling ball into my lap making me grunt in a combination of surprise and pain. “My bad.”

I glared at Isaac, but picked up my ball all the same and headed towards the lane our group had been playing at for the past hour. I could hear Jackson and Isaac catcalling me while Allison took over Stiles’s job of loudly giving out encouragement. I looked down the lane and pulled back the ball before letting it go straight into the standing pins. All the pins went spinning to the ground then got swept into the collecting bin in the back of the lane.

“Good job, Derek. Think you can get ten more of those.”

“There aren’t ten rounds left.”

“Then we’re definitely losing.”

I watched Danny, Allison, and Jackson bowl before the rotation got to Stiles who still hadn’t got back from going to get drinks. “Where did Stilinski go?”

“He went to get drinks a while ago. He should be back by now, shouldn’t he?”

“The line isn’t that long.”

“Maybe he went to the restroom?”

“To do what? Fix his hair and makeup.”

“Don’t be an asshole, Jackson. It was just a suggestion.”

“Shut up all of you! Do you hear that?” Lydia was looking at the side door with a glazed look in her eyes. “What is that?”

“Lydia, what do you hear?”

“I don’t know. It’s like a whispering sound. Like someone’s trying to tell me something.”

I looked from Lydia to the door then back. “Scott, call the Sheriff and tell him to come to the bowling alley. Lydia come with me.”

Scott said something that I assumed was an affirmative to my demand, but I didn’t stick around to listen to what he had to say. Instead, I took a hold of Lydia’s arm and guided her through the small crowd of people between us and the side door. The closer I got, the more I could hear what sounded like Stiles’s heartbeat elevated in what I could only assume was panic. By the time I reached the door, I could just make out the sound of two voices: Stiles and Matt.

I quickly pushed open the door and lead Lydia through the door then closed it quietly behind me. Matt had Stiles’s back pressed up against the wall of the bowling alley with a desperate look on his face. Stiles glanced over to where Lydia and I were standing for a second then looked back at Matt who hadn’t taken his eyes off of Stiles at all. I watched curiously as Stiles shifted his feet slightly so one foot was between both of Matt’s and the other sat just outside of them.

“We could leave now. While they’re all busy in there. They haven’t even noticed you’re gone yet. They don’t really care about you. They don’t love you the way I do. None of them could possibly love you as much as I do.”

“Matt, I am sick and tired of you popping up out of nowhere and telling me you’re going to take me away to some sort of made up paradise. I don’t love you. Hell, I don’t even like you. This has got to stop one way or another.”

Lydia, who had been gripping my arm tightly, fell to the ground screaming so loud and high pitched I had to cover my ears. I looked from Lydia to Stiles who had taken Matt’s distraction at Lydia’s scream to make his move. His knee came up to nail Matt at the same time his pushed at his shoulders causing Matt to stumble and fall to the ground. Stiles pulled back a fist and drove it straight at Matt’s face only to be stopped just short of his mark by a hand.

Matt stood up and threw his own punch that smashed into Stiles’s nose making a loud crunching sound fill the alleyway. Stiles stumbled back dizzily, but managed to stay on his feet facing the wrong direction as Matt continued to advance on him. I didn’t have time to say anything before Matt had his arms wrapped around Stiles's waist and chest tightly. Blood was pouring down Stiles’s face and I could see him looking straight at me with a smile on his face.

“You should have come with me willingly. I didn’t want to have to do this.”

“I’m so sick of you people assuming I’m a weakling because I’m not blessed with supernatural powers that give me super strength. You can go to hell.”

Stiles brought down his foot hard onto one of Matt’s and then smashed the same foot into Matt’s knee making him howl in pain. Stiles threw his head back into Matt’s face causing him to let go of Stiles in favor of clutching at his face instead. Quickly Stiles turned around and hurled an elbow right at Matt’s throat with so much force Matt nearly fell over. Matt was just starting to get his bearings again when Stiles grabbed a hold of Matt’s left arm and the back of his neck and pressed him front first into the wall of the bowling alley.

“If you try to move, I will break your arm. All it takes it a little more bend and your humerus will slide right out of the glenoid socket and let me assure you, nothing will bring me greater pleasure.”

“Stiles!” Sheriff Stilinski was running around the corner with his gun ready in hand and a worried expression clear on his face.

“You should probably get your cuffs out. You’re going to need them.”

“Are you alright, son?”

“Just a broken nose. Nothing to worry about. I’ll go see Mrs. McCall as soon as I finish giving my statement to whomever I’m giving my statement to.”

“Maybe you should go to the hospital first. That’s a lot of blood.”

“I’ll be fine. The sooner I get my statement in, the sooner this whole thing can be over with.”

“Why don’t you go sit with Lydia and Derek while I cuff him and do all the legal stuff that needs to be done?”

“Be careful.”

“Don’t worry. We’ve got him now.”

 The Sheriff moved to place the cuffs firmly around Matt’s wrist and started to talk to Matt in a professional tone. Stiles watched his father carefully while he cuffed Matt and then turned to where Lydia and I were still in front of the door on the ground. I helped Lydia stand up and watched as she launched herself right into Stiles’s waiting arms. One of his arms wrapped tightly around her waist, while his other ran up and down her back in comfort.

When Lydia finally pulled back, she pressed a kiss to Stiles’s cheek then pushed Stiles towards me with a small smile. Stiles chuckled and wrapped his arms around my neck tightly so my head was pulled down into the juncture of his neck and shoulder. I returned the hug as firmly as I could without squeezing Stiles too tightly against my chest. A hand ran through my hair several times before Stiles finally pulled back to look at me.

“You’re not going to give me a kiss? I think I deserve one after that impressive display of my masculinity.” Stiles smiled wide making the bright red blood stand out against his white teeth.

“I’m going to pass for now.”

“Rude. You better make it up to me later.”

“When your nose is so swollen it’ll be twice its normal size and bright purple?”

“War wounds are sexy. I’m going to rock this broken nose.”


 

Melissa was carefully wiping away all the dried up blood around Stiles’s mouth and nose while Stiles kicked his feet back and forth like a little kid. “How does it feel? Can you breathe through your nose at all?”

“A little. It’s kind of throbbing, but it’s not too bad.”

“How is it you always manage to end up hurt?”

“I keep asking myself the exact same question. It’s not like I do anything to encourage it.”

“Uh huh.” Melissa shook her head fondly at Stiles and went to throw away the blood soaked gauze in her hand. “For the pain you can take aspirin. When you get home, put ice on it in twenty minute intervals. Try not to do anything that would cause you to bump your nose on something hard.”

“I can’t help my natural clumsiness! It’s not like I run into walls and doors on purpose. It just sort of happens.”

“You know that’s not what I’m talking about Stiles.”

“No playing lacrosse. Got it.”

“You shouldn’t have been playing lacrosse before your nose was broken. Your body is still healing from the other two times you were in the hospital.”

“I promise you, I haven’t been playing lacrosse.”

“Good and just so we’re clear no making out with your boyfriend.”

Stiles sighed dramatically and hopped off the examination table he had been sitting on. “Fine, but only because I know it will be extremely painfully if I hit my nose.”

“I think you’ll live not kissing your boyfriend for the few days it takes the swelling and bruising to go down. I’m sure you can find something to distract yourself like reading.”

“Why would I spend my time reading when I could be making poor choices like every other high schooler out for summer break?”

“Stiles.” Melissa gave him a disapproving look, but ruffled his short hair affectionately anyways. “Just promise me you’ll keep out of trouble for a few weeks. I don’t want to see you in this hospital again for a long while.”

“What if I wanted to stop by and visit you? You would deny me that?”

“Unless you’re bringing me food, I don’t want to see you here.”

“Fine. I know when I’m not wanted. Come on Derek. Let’s go.”

“Don’t be so dramatic.”

Melissa pulled Stiles into a tight hug that he returned with just as much enthusiasm before pulling back and letting her kiss him on the forehead. Melissa ran her hand through Stiles’s hair one more time before ushering him out the door and to the checkout station. I waited patiently while Stiles dealt with the paperwork the nurse behind the computer gave him. When he finally finished filling out the paperwork, Stiles bid the nurse good night then bounced over to where I was standing with a small smile on his face.

“Please, tell me you’re as hungry as I am. I could definitely go for some curly fries right about now and a chocolate mint milkshake.”

“Is that your way of telling me you’re pregnant?”

Stiles scoffed and rolled his eyes. “Please. If I was pregnant, I would find a much more creative way to tell you. My goal would be to surprise you to the point you’d cry.”

“I would not cry.”

“Sure, sure.” Stiles let out a loud sigh and entwined his fingers with mine. “Just buy me some fries and a milkshake before I pass out.”

“If you feel like you’re about to pass out, I should take you home.”

“Derek! Food. I need food. You wouldn’t deny me that would you?”

“Fine, but after that I’m taking you home. You need sleep.”

“Deal!”


 

“Ouch.” Stiles glared at Jackson, but didn’t move from his spot on the ground. “If you throw one more stick at me, I’m going to shove it somewhere you won’t like.”

“You’d have to be able to catch me for that to be an actual threat.”

“I never said I was going to do it right now. You have to sleep some time and you know Lydia will let me borrow your house key.”

“She would not.”

“You don’t sound so sure of yourself.”

“Will you two ever get along or are we going have to always deal with your constant bickering?” Lydia pushed Jackson until he was sitting the way she wanted him to and then sat in his lap. “My best guy friend and my boyfriend should get along.”

“Actually that seems to be a common theme in our group. I think I’m obligated to keep the trend going.”

“Hey! Derek and I are getting along now.” Scott shoved Stiles playfully causing his face to knock into my shoulder. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine Scott. I know you didn’t mean to and I know you and Derek are starting to get along. I’m so proud of you both. You grow up so fast!”

“You’re like two months younger than me!”

“That is a true statement.”

Silence fell over our little group for several minutes while everyone watched the sun starting to set over the ridge. “It’s so beautiful. How did you know about this place?”

“My mom used to take me out here when my dad had the late shift and I didn’t feel like staying inside anymore. She would tell me all these amazing stories while we watched the sunset.” Stiles’s face was highlighted by the dying light and his smile was easy to see. “Her favorite one was about this boy who would wander through the forest looking for something, but even he didn’t know what it was he was looking for.”

Isaac moved to sit closer to Stiles and rested his head sideways on his knees so he could look Stiles. “What was it he was looking for?”

“I don’t know, but that was the point. We’re all looking for something, even if we don’t know it and sometimes we won’t know what it is until the thing we’ve been looking for is right in front of us.”

“What other stories would she tell you?”

“The usual ones I guess. Stories about monsters and people and life. The monsters weren’t always creatures though. There were a lot of stories where the people ended up being the real monsters.”

“Do you think she knew? About all the supernatural stuff going on in Beacon Hills.”

“I’ve never thought of that.” Stiles’s eyebrows scrunched up in thought. “There’s always the possibility she could have. She never told me about it if she did. Unless her stories were her way of telling me.”

“They were probably just stories. Your mother’s family moved here from Russia. She was probably told those stories when she was younger.”

 “How do you even know that?”

Lydia looked up from where she had been drawing in the dirt with a stick so Stiles now had her full attention.  “Your mother worked at the library I spent most of my time at when I was younger. We used to chat.”

“You used to chat? What kid chats with their local librarian?”

“Even I needed help finding the books I wanted to read when I was younger, especially when they were on the higher shelves. I wasn’t going to be rude and ignore her after she helped me.”

“She was nice.” Stiles looked at me with wide eyes that seemed to glow in what little light was left.

“You knew my mother.”

“I may have been raised by wolves, but we did go to the library. I spent most of my childhood in my room reading the books your mom recommended to me.”

“Why did I not know this?”

“I don’t know, but we should get going. If we stay out much longer, you’ll break your ankle on the way back to the cars.”

“You mock my pain!”

“I’m not carrying you back, princess.”

Stiles jumped up and wrapped his arms around one of mine. “You’ve seen the Princess Bride? Inconceivable.”

“I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

“I know what we’re watching when we get back to your apartment.”

“Gross. Can’t we watch something with action in it? I had to watch The Notebook last night. I don’t think I can take another night of romance without my balls falling off.”

“That’s because Lydia’s hold on them is so tight you’re not getting any blood to them.”

“Screw you, Stilinski.”

“I’ll pass. You’re not really my type. I prefer my men dark haired and clad in leather not blonde and wearing a cream colored sweater.”

“There’s nothing wrong with this sweater.”

“I don’t know who told you that, but they were lying to you.”

“You don’t really have any room to talk when it comes to fashion. All you wear is plaid and t-shirts. You’re not a lumberjack.”

“We always seem to come full circle when we spend time together.” Everyone turned to look at Danny who had spent most of the night talking quietly to Isaac. “Stiles and Jackson start fight and then someone breaks it up. We all talk to each other for a little while and then Stiles and Jackson start fighting again. It’s a cycle.”

“It’s all Stilinski’s fault.”

Chapter Text

Our hands ran up and down board shoulders clad with leather in comfort several times before stopping the movement and squeezing gently instead. Our head moved down to place a kiss on top of the other man’s black hair then we moved to stand in front of the man. Arms wrapped around our waist while green eyes bore into our own. A small smile danced along the man’s lips and his arms tightened when our arms wrapped around his neck.

“I thought you were going to spend the day with your dad.”

“He got called in at the last minute to do some interviews. They’re still trying to replace everyone that Matt killed.”

“People aren’t lining up for the jobs?”

“For some inexplicable reason, they aren’t. That new deputy that helped my dad deal with Matt. Parrish, do you remember him? I was at the station the other day dropping off my dad's lunch and there was something… strange about him. I’m not really sure what it was.”

“You think he might be one of the Alpha Pack?”

“No. It wasn’t an evil strange, just different. He might be something supernatural, but I don’t think he’s part of the Alpha Pack.”

“Did you tell your dad?”

A wave of frustration ran through our body. “Yes, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. My dad might be watching him closer, but if he does end up being a problem and we don’t know what he is, that doesn’t help my dad any.”

“You have good instincts. If you don’t think he’s bad, then he’s probably not.”

“You’re just trying to make me feel better, but I’ll take it.”

“Still not sleeping?”

“Not really. I mean I am sleeping, it’s just I’m having nightmares which makes it feel like I’m not really sleeping at all.”

“Have you told your dad?”

“I didn’t have to tell him.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I’ve woken up a couple of times screaming bloody murder and thrashing around in my bed like someone’s trying to kill me.”

“Why didn't you tell me?”

“It’s not like you can do anything about it. They’re nightmares. They happen inside of my head which just so happens to be a place you can’t go.”

The man let out a heavy sigh and pressed his lips against our forehead. “I still want to hear about it. Deaton might know something or, as much as I hate to suggest it, Peter might know something.”

“I’ll ask Deaton about it, but I refuse to go to Peter with this. I might be comfortable talking strategy with him, but I don’t trust him with my mind.”

“Alright. Whatever makes you most comfortable."

"Thanks, Der. I don’t know if Deaton can help, but I’ll go talk to him tomorrow."

"Do you want to talk about the nightmares with me?"

"They're just your typical nightmares: the night my mom died, my dad getting shot, Matt. There is something though..."

"What?"

"I keep having this weird dream. At first I couldn't remember when I first had it, but then I remembered the other day. It was after I got shot, right before I woke up."

"What happens in the dream?"

"That's the thing. Nothing happens. I end up in this white room with columns and in the middle of the room is this tree stump. The really weird thing is I feel like I've been to the stump before."

"You think the stump is a real place?"

“I’m not sure. It could just be my imagination, but it feels so familiar and I don’t know why. I can’t for the life of me think of where I could have seen it before and even if I had, it was probably one time. Why would it feel so familiar if I only saw it once?”

“Are you sure you didn’t used to play around on a stump when you were younger? It seems like something you would do.”

“Not that I can remember. I guess I’ll just have to keep thinking. Maybe it will spontaneous come to me while I’m in the shower or something.”


 

We moved through the shadows watching as the three men went into the store that provided groceries to those who paid for them. The three did not speak much to each other unless it was a command to grab something that they needed. The bigger of the three men kept sniffing at the air like he could smell something, but couldn’t figure out if it was a threat or not. A smile spread across our face at the thought and our mind began to whirl with possibilities.

Our body walked across the small parking lot and headed towards the door designated for those entering the building. We pushed the door open and made our way to the aisle that the three men would walk down next. Boxes of different types of noodles filled the shelves along with different sauces in glass bottles that could go along with them. Our fingers ran over the labels tapping off an irregular beat as we waited for the men to finish arguing over what type of bread to buy.

The sound of three rolling wheels and one squeaking one starting to roll down the aisle we were in reached our ears. We glanced over our shoulder to find the three alphas-two identical men and one burlier one-walking down the aisle. They passed by us without so much as a glance in our direction and instead continued to argue amongst themselves.

“Deucalion specifically said we were only supposed to spend fifteen minutes in the store. He doesn’t want us leaving behind any trace for the Hale pack to be able to pick up on.”

“We’ve almost got everything. I don’t think five minutes is going to make that much of a difference.”

“Deucalion wouldn’t have been so adamant if that was the case. It’s not like we need to have any of the other stuff on the list. We got all the important things. Let’s just get out of here.”

“It will be worse for us if we leave behind a trail than if we don’t get all the stuff on the list. We had to put up with being an alpha’s chew toy before, we’re not eager to experience it again.”

“What was the point of you two becoming alphas if you’re just going to do every little thing Deucalion tells you to do?”

“The point was not to get our asses handed to us for fun every time one of the pack members felt like having a werewolf punching bag. Not all of us were used as the muscle for our alpha.”

“Maybe if you two weren’t so weak, you wouldn’t have been in that position in the first place.”

“Maybe you should keep your mouth shut. We’ve got some new tricks up our sleeves that will leave you cowering like a child.”

“Stop arguing so loud. People could hear you.”

“Like who? It’s midnight on a Monday. No one comes to the store at this time unless their wife makes them.”

“There was a teenager in the aisle we just went through. What if he decided to go through this one next?”

“Then we’d kill him or we bring him back with us and let those betas play with him. I’m getting bored of watching them fight among themselves. We should just kill them already.”

"Deucalion knows what he's doing. He has a plan and we need them alive if the plan is going to be successful."

"Whatever. The only reason I'm here is because I owe Deucalion a debt for helping me out a few years ago. Once I've fulfilled my obligation, I'm leaving."

"You want to form your own pack?"

"I haven't decided what I want to do yet, but I'm tired of listening to Deucalion bark orders. Maybe I'll start my own alpha pack."

"He'll rip you apart before you get the chance."

"I'd like to see him try."

The three alphas slammed the doors of the car they had come in shut and took off down the street the same way they had come from. We watched the taillights get smaller and smaller down the road until they finally disappeared into the dark. The sound of a car honking made us turn around and look at the car waiting for us to move out of the road. We tilted our head thoughtfully at the car, but decided to ignore them and head back home instead.


 

"Hey, dad. What are you up to?"

"Dealing with a breaking and entering that happened last night."

"Where did it happen?"

"The hardware store."

"Do you know what was taken?"

"I asked, but when the owner went to get the inventory list he couldn't find it so I'm going on nothing right now. He told me he'd look for it and get back to me."

"How do you lose the inventory list?"

"Whoever broke in must have taken it with them to cover."

"You would think they'd have a digital copy though."

Our father leaned back in his chair and rubbed his face in frustration. "You would think that wouldn't you. I'm thinking it's one of the employees. They snuck in after hours, took what they wanted, and then took the inventory list with them to cover their trail."

"There wasn't any sign of forced entry?"

"None what so ever. No fingerprint. No evidence at all. It's either an inside job or a professional. I don't understand why a professional would rob a small town hardware store, but I've seen crazier things."

"I suppose you're just glad it's not another stalker looking to steal me away from you."

"That's putting it lightly. The more I think about it though, the more I realize it was only a matter of time."

We spluttered at our father's words. "What do you mean it was only a matter of time?"

"You were bound to talk someone into psychosis eventually."

"I do not talk that much!"

"You spent all of dinner last night telling Derek and I about the history of harems."

"Harems are interesting! Men were castrated and their genitals were hung from the ceiling as a reminder not to touch the concubines! How is that not interesting?"

"For about five minutes it is, but thirty minutes on the subject is too long."

"Derek thought it was interesting."

"Really? Did Derek tell you that or are you speaking on behalf of Derek?"

"I'm not dignifying that question with an answer."

"My point rests. Now help me with dinner. I think I've done everything I possibly could with this case."


 

Our body watched the stump from where we stood in the middle of the white room. The lights above our head shined brightly and reflected off the floor creating a small glare. The columns filling the room all looked the same; flawlessly white without any of the paint chipped. The only color in the room was us and the stump sitting there so innocently.

We started to move towards the stump, but no matter how far we walked it never got any closer. Our frustration grew as the stump seemed to get farther away and not closer. Letting out a loud huff we stopped walking and simply looked at the stump. We were about to start moving again when something in the corner of our eye, made up whip around.

We turned this way and that looking for whatever had moved just out of our line of sight, but we couldn't find anything. There were no shadows for anything to be hiding in and anything hiding behind the pillars would cast a shadow. Sighing we turned our attention back to the stump that was still sitting in the middle of the room. A strange scratching sound made us falling to the ground with our ears covered.

When the high pitched noise finally stopped, we stood back up and looked around again. "Who's there? Is anybody there? Would you just show yourself already!"

"Stiles. We're right here."

"Who? Who's here?"

"You'll see soon."

"What's soon? What are you talking about? Where am I? Hello? Where am I? Why do I know this place? Where am I!"


 

"I had the dream again last night."

"The one about the white room?"

"Yes. This time there was something different, but I can't remember what it was."

"Most people don't remember their dreams when they wake up. You told me that."

"I know, but I hate it. Something was different last night and I feel like it's important, but I can't remember what it was. Guess it doesn't matter then does it."

"Did you go see Deaton?"

"Yes. He said he didn't know what it could be other than PTSD from getting shot. He suggested I write down my dreams and nightmares as soon as I wake up to help me remember."

"Have you been doing that?"

"Yes, but so far it hasn't helped any. The nightmares are so vivid I can recall them easily and the dream is normally exactly the same. Last night was the first time something different happened."

"Did you try taking your mind off of it?"

"What do you mean?"

"You go to bed expecting to have a nightmare or the dream. Have you tried going to bed not expecting that to happen?"

"I haven't thought to try that. Clearly I'm more exhausted than I originally thought." We moved to rest our head on the man's chest and pulled the blanket off the back of the couch so it was on top of us instead. "How about we watch some mind numbing TV and just forget about all the nightmares and dreams?"

"Sounds like a plan. What do you want to watch?"

"Did you get a Blu-ray player like I suggested you to?"

"Yes."

"Then hand me the remote so I can sign into my Netflix. I'm thinking watching Dean and Sam's problems will make me feel better about my own."

"You're not secretly a sadist are you?"

"Of course not. I don't like inflicting pain on others."

"Just checking. It's not a big jump from liking to watch people in pain and liking to inflict the pain on people."

"Well I can assure you, I'm not a sadist. I'm just one of those people that starts to stew in their problems and sometimes it helps to get distracted by someone else's problems. It really helps when they're problems are worse than mine."

“If you say so.”

“How about you just sit there and let me use you as a human pillow? Right now I think I could use it.”

“A human pillow?”

“The warmth. Comfort. Familiarity. Take your pick.” We shifted our body around until we were facing the man instead of the TV screen. “There’s one obvious thing we haven’t thought of to help stop the nightmares from coming.”

“You think sleeping with someone there will help?”

“Why do little kids run to mom and dad when they’re scared or frightened by something? It makes them feel safe having another person there. Somebody they trust to take care of them from all the things that go bump in the night.”

“We can try it.”

“You sure you won’t mind being stuck here while I drift off into dream land? You might have to deal with some yelling and kicking and screaming bloody murder if this idea doesn’t work out.”

“I’m sure.”

“Thanks for doing this.” The man started to talk, but we placed our hand over the man’s mouth to keep him quiet. “I know I keep saying it, but I mean it. These last few months have been stressful and you’ve been really patient with me when I need to vent about it so thank you for that. People have this tendency to stop listening to me after a while because they think I talk too much, but you always listen to what I have to say.”

“Everyone needs someone to vent to.”

“And who do you vent to? I don’t think internally venting counts as venting. Most people call that bottling it up and typically it’s frown up by psychologists. It’s considered unhealthy.”

“I’m trying to. I’m just not good with words.”

“You don’t have to be. Venting to someone else isn’t for them, it’s for you so even if they don’t understand what you’re saying, you’ll still feel better. I’m pretty sure people don’t understand what I say half the time, but I feel better all the same.”

“If you say so.”

“All I’m trying to say is it’s a two way street. I feel comfortable talking to you and I want you to feel comfortable talking to me. If you want to talk to me about something.”

“I know that.” We bit our lip and averted our gaze to the TV only to have our head pulled back by the man so we were looking in his eyes again. “What is it? What’s bothering you?”

“I’ve been wanting to ask you something, but I don’t know how to do it without it coming out wrong or insensitive. I... It’s kind of personal and I don’t want you to feel obligated to say yes because this is a big step for me. One I’m not even sure I’m ready to make, but something’s telling me that I should do this. That I need to at least try.”

“Stiles.”

“Rambling right, sorry. Will you come with me to my mom’s grave? It’s not exactly a romantic day out or anything, but it’s been a while since I’ve been and I want you to come with me. You don’t have to say yes.”

“Of course I’ll go. I haven’t been able to bring myself to go to the cemetery since their funerals. I know I should.”

“Everyone deals with death a different way. You don’t have to go see their gravestones to morn.”

“Why do you go then? If you don’t think the gravestone is important.”

“For some reason it’s easier if I’m there to talk to her. As morbid as it sounds, it might be because her body is there. I feel closer to her when I’m there. Like I’m actually talking to her instead of a piece of stone.” The man ran a hand over our head then laced his fingers with ours. “What do you think happens? When you die I mean.”

“I don’t know. Peter keeps hinting at it, but he won’t give me a clear picture.”

“I’ve read all the lore. The different versions of the afterlife that cultures have come up with over time. Mesopotamian cultures believed death was a place where your body went to rot. It’s dark and dank. Greeks had a version similar to Christian beliefs. Romans were a kind of mix of Mesopotamian and Greek. Honestly I don’t know what frightens me more: the idea of there being nothing or being judged.”

“Hey, look at me. Even if death was a judgement, it wouldn’t matter. You’re one of the most kind and loyal people I’ve ever met. You would be fine.”

We shook our head as tears started to fall out of our eyes. “Maybe before, but now… Now I don’t know. I feel this darkness surrounding my heart and I think it’s spreading. Through my veins and arteries. Taking me over and I don’t know what to do. I feel it creeping in and I don’t think there’s any way to stop it. There are times I feel like me. Like who I am, but more and more often I feel like I have something weighing me down. Like something is trying to pull me under.”

“Stiles, you need to relax. You’re going to have a panic attack if you don’t calm down.”

Our breath came out in a shuddering gasp one minute and the next was perfectly under control. “I am calm. I don’t know what came over me just now. I think I need some sleep before this gets out of hand.”

“Are you sure you’re alright? We could go see Deaton. He might know something about the darkness you’ve been feeling. It’s more to go on than just the nightmares and dream.”

“I’m sure, Der. We’ll be fine.”