Stiles presses a hand to his abdomen. He feels like his guts are going to fall out but he knows the cut wasn't that deep. It feels it though. All the cuts feel too deep.
He's lost a lot of blood. He knows that, like he knows water is wet and the sky is blue. There's nothing he can do about it but try in vain to stop the continued flow.
He's dizzy. Weak. Stumbling.
The rain is wet on his face. It soaks through his clothes, making them heavy, another weight dragging him down, trying to force him to the dirty concrete.
He doesn't know where he's going, just that he has to keep moving.
There was somewhere he was going. There was somewhere he needed to go.
Stiles stumbles. He's kept from falling by the help of a brick wall.
He lets out a shaking breath and pushes off the wall. His vision is blurry. It's dark in the alley. He can barely see with the rain in his eyes.
He uses the wall for support, leaving a trail of blood behind.
He feels like he's floating.
Where was he going? It was important. He has information. Important information. Information someone would kill for.
Kill him for.
He stumbles. Falls. Tries to get up. Can't.
He has to keep moving.
His eyes close.
He stops moving.
"Derek!" Isaac's voice echoes through the train depot, his desperation bleeding through into his tone. "Derek!"
Derek looks up from his book and then immediately drops the book as he sees what – or more precisely who – Isaac is carrying. Stiles is a bleeding mess in Isaac’s arms. "What the...?"
Erica and Boyd untangle themselves from the armchair next to Derek's as Isaac pounds down the stairs. He’s caught between hurrying and trying to be gentle. Stiles is in a bad shape, bad enough that he doesn’t even seem to register the jostling as Isaac moves.
"He was outside," Isaac says. "I didn't do this. I swear."
"I believe you," Derek says, because while Isaac's heart is racing, there's no hint of a lie in his heartbeat.
Isaac sets Stiles down on the couch. There's too much blood. It's all Isaac can smell. Derek’s claws rip through clothing, exposing the shredded flesh of Stiles's stomach. Derek reaches forward, his fingers stretching to hover over the slashes on his chest. They’re irregular, not grouped like claw marks and too thin.
"A human did this." Derek looks up at Erica. "Find me a first aid kit."
"Shouldn't we take him to a hospital?" Isaac hovers close, looming over Derek. He probably should have taken Stiles there right away but his first instinct had been to bring Stiles to his Alpha.
Derek shakes his head. "If the someone did this, they may come after him again. There has to be a reason he came here and not to Scott or the hospital."
"We don't have a first aid kit," Erica says, breathless from running.
"He doesn't look so good," Isaac adds, unnecessarily. Stiles is barely breathing. His skin is cold to the touch. Isaac finds himself holding Stiles’s hand, as if that will keep Stiles here with them. Isaac had never really considered them friends before, but he had never wanted anything particularly bad to happen to Stiles, not like this.
"Shit." Derek picks up Stiles's arm and half-shifts, baring his wolf teeth. Isaac’s eyes widen. There’s no way Derek’s going to do what Isaac thinks he is. No way.
Stiles wakes slowly. He thinks he's dead, because this kind of clarity only happens when he's dying or when he's taken too much Adderall. The world's slowed down and focused in hyper-clarity. He can hear four people breathing, hear the blood pounding in four sets of veins. There are mice scrabbling across metal. A car passes in the distance, but it sounds at once close and far away.
He sits up slowly. His body feels strong and weak. His head spins. Hands steady him.
"How are you feeling?"
He turns and finds Derek kneeling beside him. "Like I should be dead."
"Isaac found you."
Stiles stares down at his bared chest. The cuts he knew were there are almost gone, healing. "It's a little more than that, isn’t it?" He should be freaking out but he's not. In a way, he's almost glad.
Derek shrugs, like turning Stiles is an everyday thing. "You were dying."
Stiles nods. He can see that as extenuating circumstances. "Thank you for not letting me die."
"I owed you one," Derek says, meaning the pool.
"You owed me more than one, but I'll consider us even."
"What made you drag your bleeding self all the way here?" Isaac asks, reminding Stiles that there are, in fact, other people in the room besides Derek.
"Right." Stiles sits up further, self-conscious of the shredded remains of his shirts. "The kanima. Jackson. I know who's controlling him. Matt Daehler. He's in our class. He's killing the old swim team, starting with Isaac's father who used to be the coach."
"You're sure?" Derek asks.
Stiles nods. "Positive."
Derek squeezes his shoulder and then pushes Stiles back down on the couch. "We've got it. Stay here and rest. We'll be back."
"We will." Derek says it like a promise, and Stiles will hold him to that.
He lays there, staring up at the ceiling and trying to adjust to his newly heightened senses. If he concentrates, he can focus on the cars outside – that’s Derek’s Camaro taking off – or the creaking of the metal around him. He can feel the blood pulsing in his veins, stronger now than it’d been before. He’s stronger now. Faster. Better.
He’s enjoying the clarity in his brain, like he’d taken too much Adderall but without the hyperactivity that comes along with it.
He remembers a little of what had happened. The kanima had appeared when he’d been snooping around Lahey’s house. At first he’d thought he was dead for sure, but the kanima hadn’t done anything. It was like it refused to, and then Matt had stepped in and gone berserk at him with a butcher’s knife. He’s not sure how he made it from the house to the warehouse but he’s glad for the pack’s intervention, even if it does mean he has a whole new set of problems to deal with.
If he’s honest, it’s a set of problems he’s all too familiar with. Scott’s problems have always been his problems. Derek’s problems keep becoming his problems. So now he’s got those problems himself – the hunters, wolfsbane, the kanima. He’s got the benefits too – strength, healing, pack. Maybe he’ll actually make first line in lacrosse now.
He stares at the ceiling and wonders what it will mean now that he’s part of Derek’s pack. He could renounce his Alpha and go Omega like Scott but he doesn’t really want to do that. Derek’s cool, mostly. Stiles has saved his life more than once and Derek has saved his. That kind of bond doesn’t just get tossed aside.
Then there’s the rest of the pack. What would it be like working with Isaac, Erica, and Boyd instead of against them? If they got Scott in the mix too, they’d be unstoppable.
The idea sticks with him. It kind of rocks.
The door opens again what feels like hours later and Stiles sits up. He’s feeling better. Less torn apart. His eyes catch on Derek as he walks in the door and Stiles can’t help but stare at him. He keeps staring as the Betas follow him in.
The word has a nice ring to it.
“Matt?” he asks.
Derek’s eyes flash. “Dealt with.” Stiles assumes that means dead. He’s surprisingly okay with that.
As if summoned by Stiles’s words, the kanima slithers in through the doorway. Stiles jumps back with a start. That thing will never not be creepy.
“Hey.” Isaac drops down onto the couch next to him and squeezes Stiles’s hand. “It’s cool. He’s on our side now.”
Stiles stares at the kanima warily. “Does he even know what he’s doing?”
Derek shakes his head. “I don’t think Jackson is aware of his kanima side yet, but the kanima seems to accept me as its Alpha.”
“Peachy.” Stiles can’t help but shy away from the kanima as it crawls across the floor. Next to him, he can practically feel Isaac trying not to laugh at him. “Now what?”
Derek shrugs. “Now we try and teach Jackson to control his form and train you.”
Stiles scoffs. “Who was it that trained Scott? I’ll bet I’m a natural at it.”
Isaac and Erica laugh. Derek just raises an eyebrow. “Alright, then shift.”
Stiles pulls his hand out of Isaac’s, belatedly realizing that they’d still been holding hands. It’d felt kind of nice. He holds his hands up and concentrates on claws coming out. Nothing happens. He flexes his hands, willing them to change. Nothing.
He knows he’s different. He feels different. There’s the heightened senses, the new clarity, the fast healing. All the marks of the wolf are there but deep down he doesn’t feel like a wolf. There’s no urge to claw and maim things, no sudden sense of the moon. He can feel a presence, though, a strange sort of energy pooling in his belly. He concentrates on that, focusing his attention on the way his stomach feels too heavy, and imagines pulling that power up.
A ball of fire explodes in the air in front of him and Stiles jumps over the back of the couch with a shriek. Isaac lunges away, sliding to the far end of the couch. The fire is gone when Stiles peeks over the couch but everyone’s staring at him.
“What the hell, Batman?” Erica sounds impressed.
Stiles just shakes his head because he has no idea. Derek looks just as clueless.
Stiles kicks his legs against Deaton’s examination table. “So, what kind of freak am I, doc?”
Deaton rolls his eyes but doesn’t respond to his question in favor of mixing a series of powders together on the counter. Once the mixture forms a reddish paste, he wiped a swath of the mixture across Stiles’s forehead and down the inside of Stiles’s wrists. The mixture fizzed and flashed gold before melting into Stiles’s skin.
“Was it supposed to do that?” Isaac asks. Derek stands next to him, arms crossed and a scowl on his face.
“That was one of many possible results,” Deaton says.
Stiles resists the urge to sigh dramatically. “Which means…?”
“You’re more than just the faint spark I suspected.”
Stiles rolls his eyes. “Well, that certainly clears things up.”
Deaton chuckles and claps Stiles on the shoulder. “You have magic inside of you. Strong magic. Remember what I told you about the mountain ash, that you have to believe in it for it to work? All magic runs on the same principles. You’d be surprised what a little belief can do.”
“Oookay. So if I clap my hands and believe hard enough I’ll keep Tinkerbell from dying?”
Deaton’s lips twist like he’s trying to hide a smile. “I suppose that’s an accurate analogy. Your magic is limited only by your belief in it.”
Stiles’s eyes widen. “Seriously? Like, anything I believe in will happen?”
Deaton nods. “With enough power and belief behind it, yes.”
Stiles’s brain short circuits trying to think of all the things he could do. “Coool.”
Isaac groans and turns to Derek. “We are in so much trouble, aren’t we?”
Stiles tries to make the door open behind them. It catches fire instead.
As soon as Stiles gets home just past four in the morning, he calls Scott. “Derek bit me.”
In retrospect, that was probably not the best opener. “What!? I’m going to kill him.”
Stiles chuckles. “Relax. I’m fine. Not a werewolf.”
“What?” There’s a pause on the other end of the line. “You’re immune?”
“Better. I’m magic.”
Scott groans, because Scott is Stiles’s best friend and he knows the kind of havoc Stiles will wreck with magic. Stiles grins, gleeful, as he imagines what’s going through Scott’s head.
After a moment of silence, Scott speaks hesitantly. “So, wait, did you, like, ask Derek for the bite?”
“No.” Stiles shakes his head, even though Scott can’t see it because really, that thought is just absurd. “I was snooping around Lahey’s place and the kanima showed up, but it was just staring at me, refusing to approach. That’s when Matt Daehler ran in and started screaming at the thing – calling it Jackson - to obey him. Only it wouldn’t. So he grabbed a butcher’s knife and started attacking me.”
“Shit. Are you alright?”
“I am now. I wasn’t before. He cut me up pretty bad before I managed to get out of there. You should have seen him. He was seriously crazy, dude. Like, off his rocker. He kept screaming that they killed him.”
Scott pauses for a moment, likely taking all of that in. “So, he’s a ghost?”
“Felt pretty real to me.”
“Who killed him?”
“I think the old swim team? I found some photos back from when Isaac’s dad was the swim coach. The guy from the auto shop was in them, and I’m pretty sure the other victims were too.”
Silence settles between them and Stiles spins in his desk chair. “So what are you going to do now?” Scott asks. “Are you, like, part of Derek’s pack?”
Stiles hesitates. He knows how much the admission is going to hurt Scott but he can’t exactly keep it from him. “I think so, yeah. I mean, I feel like I’m connected to them.” Even now, when he closes his eyes, he has this sense of pack, far away but lingering like a stray thought in the back of his mind. He knows they’re alright, that they’re calm, likely just chilling at the train depot.
“I’m not becoming part of Derek’s pack.”
Stiles can’t help it. He laughs. “No one’s asking you to, dude. It’s okay.”
Stiles leans back in his chair and stares at the ceiling. He knows what Scott’s trying to say without him saying it. “We can still be friends even if I’m part of Derek’s pack. This is a good thing. It means we have more ammunition against the hunters and maybe I can get Derek to work with us instead of against us for a change.”
Scott snorts. “Good luck.”
Light flashes across his window as Stiles’s dad pulls into the driveway. “I’ve got to go. My dad’s home. See you at school tomorrow?”
“Yeah. Good night.”
Stiles ends the call and drops his phone on his desk. He hurriedly shucks his clothes and jumps into bed so that his dad doesn’t find out he’s been out all night. That would just lead to a whole bunch of awkward questions that Stiles isn’t ready to answer yet.
Stiles can’t help but stare at Jackson every time they pass in the hall. There’s something different about Jackson, or maybe it’s just a difference in the way Stiles is perceiving him. It’s like there’s something off about him, something that makes Stiles’s stomach churn just looking at him.
After about the third time Jackson catches Stiles staring, Jackson starts staring back, obviously confused and maybe a little bit hostile, his hostility growing the longer Stiles stares. Every time Jackson starts to take a step towards him to do something about it, one of the pack is there, grinning at Jackson and just daring him to make a move. He wisely doesn’t.
Stiles is not at all surprised when Isaac, Erica, and Boyd join Scott, Allison, and Stiles at the lunch table. What’s more surprising is that Lydia, Jackson, and Danny still take the other end of the table. Scott’s somehow stuck in the middle, with Stiles and the pack on one side and Allison and Lydia’s friends on the other. Scott doesn’t seem to know what to do with the situations and Stiles feels about the same.
“What are those losers doing here?” Jackson bites out.
“They’re with me,” Stiles says, his hand shooting to Isaac’s shoulder as he starts to rise from his seat next to Stiles.
Jackson snorts. “Since when did you have friends besides McCall.”
Stiles looks wounded. “I have other friends, right, Scott?” Scott just shakes his head, because really, Stiles doesn’t have any other friends.
“Since now,” Erica says and bites into her apple with a loud crunch.
“Whatever,” Jackson says, turning his attention pointedly away. “Losers.” Stiles has to keep his hand on Isaac’s shoulder to stop him from lunging across the table.
“Not worth it,” Stiles mutters, knowing the werewolves can hear him.
Isaac doesn’t look happy, but he shrugs off Stiles’s hand and turns back to his lunch. “Derek wants you to come with us after lacrosse practice,” he says, voice low for just Stiles to hear.
Unfortunately, it’s not low enough to keep Scott from overhearing. “Are you sure that’s-“
Stiles elbows Scott in the ribs to shut him up. “Sounds great.” He can practically feel Scott’s disapproval radiating off of him.
The disapproval lingers around Scott the rest of the day, but once they hit lacrosse practice, Stiles no longer cares. It’s like everything’s easier for him suddenly. He can run sprints without getting winded and when they line up to practice shooting goals, he actually catches the ball without fumbling it. He runs for the goal, stepping around Greenburg like he wasn’t even there and the ball just slides right into the net past Danny.
It’s awesome. Stiles may have danced a little on the field.
“What the hell Stilinski?” Jackson’s rage comes out of nowhere. The locker room is mostly empty but Stiles always takes a while getting changed. He hates being undressed around other people, especially when they’re all way better looking than he is. Well, most of them. Definitely not Greenburg.
Jackson slams Stiles back into his locker and gets right up in his face. “You did it, didn’t you?”
“What?” He can see Isaac and Scott stepping towards him but he waves them off. He wrinkles his nose. This close, it’s like Jackson smells, like there’s something putrid just wafting off of him but it’s not a tangible scent, more like a feeling.
Jackson lowers his voice and bites the words out. “You took the bite, didn’t you?”
“Oh. Yeah. Sort of.”
Jackson growls and for a second Stiles has no idea what he’s so mad about. Then he remembers. Jackson doesn’t know. Jackson doesn’t think he changed at all. Stiles reaches up to push Jackson away, because really, the not-stink is starting to make his head swim, but as soon as his hand touches Jackson’s chest, something inside of him surges. Power rushes through him and out of him. It feels like a lock turning, like tumblers clicking into place, and then Jackson is staggering back. His skin shimmers green for a second and he falls to his knees, hands going to his head. His fingers end in talons and when Jackson looks up at him, his eyes are slitted, like the kanima’s.
Scott and Isaac are next to Stiles in seconds and Jackson stagers to his feet. “The hell?” There’s something in Jackson’s eyes as they shift back to human, a certain way he looks at Stiles and Stiles just knows.
“You remember now?” He asks.
Jackson nods and swallows. His hands fall to his side, human once more. He looks like he’s going to be sick.
Stiles looks at Scott and Isaac, and then back at Jackson. “You should probably come with us. You have questions. We’ll answer as best we can.”
Jackson just nods and it’s like a puzzle piece slotting into place. Jackson’s in the pack.
Isaac is surprised when Scott follows them to the warehouse. He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even come all of the way in, just sits on the steps and watches as Derek divvies them up for training. Derek’s focusing on teaching Jackson to control the shift while Erica and Boyd spar, leaving Isaac to work on defense with Stiles.
Stiles shifts awkwardly on his feet. “So, how do you want to do this?”
Isaac grins and launches himself forward. Stiles goes down with a squawk. Scott’s trying not to laugh, but it gets harder for him as Isaac repeats the tackle minutes later. For all Stiles was showing improvement on the lacrosse field earlier, he’s still nothing against a werewolf.
By the fifth time Isaac gets Stiles pinned under him, he starts to notice how good it feels. Stiles smells good, like pack and honey and rain. The weight of him under Isaac feels right, like he belongs there. Isaac’s mind starts to wander to what to he could to Stiles like that. His eyes linger on the exposed skin of Stiles’s neck. What would it be like to leave a mark there, where everyone could see it?
Isaac isn’t quite focused on attacking so much as pouncing so he legitimately is taken by surprise when he launches forward, only to be thrown back into the wall by nothing. There was nothing there and then suddenly Isaac had gone flying.
Isaac blinks and picks himself up off the ground. Everyone’s looking at him for a second before Stiles cheers. “Woot! I did it.”
Isaac can’t even find it in himself to be mad. It didn’t hurt too much. In fact, it had been kind of fun. Isaac jumps up with a roar and flings himself at Stiles, only to be thrown back a second time. They’re both laughing when Isaac rolls to his feet.
Isaac’s eyes catch Stiles’s and he can’t help but think Stiles makes a pretty good addition to the pack.
Stiles startles awake as cold air washes over his face. Someone’s climbing through his window. At first he thinks it’s Scott or Derek, but when he fumbles the lamp next to his bed on, he’s kinda surprised to find Isaac there.
Stiles sits up. “Hey.”
Isaac slides the window shut and glances over at him. His eyes rake down Stiles’s form and there’s a strange sort of heat in his gaze that makes Stiles’s stomach do backflips. “Hey.”
Stiles twists the edge of his blanket in his fingers. “What’s up?”
“I just…” Isaac glances at the closed door, then around the room as if he’s trying to look anywhere but at Stiles. “I just… Oh, hell.” Isaac moves forward, leaning over Stiles and pushing him down on the bed. Stiles opens his mouth in surprise, starts to say something, but then there are lips covering his and a tongue in his mouth and he forgets all about words.
Isaac crawls onto the bed, pushing them until Stiles is pinned under him. Like he hadn’t gotten enough of that earlier. Maybe he hadn’t.
There are hands pushing under his clothes and cool fingers on his skin. Blunt nails rake up his sides and he shivers. He’s so glad his dad is working overnight because Isaac pulls away just a little bit and Stiles moans, the sound filling the silence of the room and practically echoing off the walls with how loud it sounds.
Isaac moves, his lips moving to Stiles’s neck and sucking, drawing out another loud moan from Stiles’s lips. He’s going to have a bruise there tomorrow, he’s sure of it, and then he feels Isaac shift and there are fangs on his neck. Fangs pressing down, not breaking skin, just applying a little pressure as Isaac growls and that really shouldn’t be as hot as it is, but it is and it makes Stiles’s dick jump to attention.
“I want…” Isaac says, the words muffled by Stiles’s skin. His nails are sharper this time as they run along Stiles’s sides but he’s careful, gentle. One of his claws catches the rim of Stiles’s boxers and skims along the fabric, silently asking permission.
“Okay,” Stiles says. He lifts his hips and the fabric’s being pushed down, off of him.
Isaac pulls back and his eyes are yellow, blazing. His hands fumble with his jeans for a second, claws getting in the way of unfastening them and Stiles sits up, pushes Isaac’s hands out of the way and does it himself. It doesn’t even register what he’s doing until Isaac pushes his pants down and there’s his cock, hard and heavy and springing free of his pants to dangle in the air. Stiles licks his lips. He’s not one-hundred percent sure this is really happening, because stuff like this only happens in his dreams, but it feels real as he reaches out tentatively to take Isaac’s cock in his hands.
Isaac groans and rolls his head back, staring at the ceiling for a second as Stiles’s fingers explore. Then he’s moving, hands pushing at Stiles, rolling him over. Isaac’s weight presses against his back, pressing him down into the mattress. He rolls his hips and his cock brushes over Stiles’s ass, sliding between his cheeks. He does it again, more forceful this time, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where this is going.
“Lube,” Stiles gasps out. His hand flails towards the bedside dresser. Isaac pulls the drawer open and pulls out the tube.
Stiles shifts onto his knees, squeezes some lube onto his fingers, and presses his fingers inside. He’s only done this a few times and never with an audience. He shivers as Isaac’s claw press lightly against his ass, pulling his cheeks apart and holding him open for Isaac to see. He risks a glance over his shoulder and is struck by the way Isaac is watching, fascinated, as Stiles’s fingers work their way into his body.
Isaac shuffles closer. The tip of his dick brushes against Stiles’s fingers, dripping wetness onto his skin.
Stiles gasps and he has to turn away, head falling onto the pillow as he sucks in a deep breath of air. He’s got two fingers inside of himself and he knows it’s not enough but Isaac’s dick is right there, pressing against him and he wants.
“Wait,” Stiles gasps.
Isaac’s dick slides against his cheeks, bumping against his fingers.
He can feel the tip of Isaac’s dick pressing against his hole, pressing between his fingers, insistent. He wants. It’s not enough. Isaac is pressing in and Stiles pulls his fingers out. His hands fist against his pillow and he groans as Isaac’s dick punches into him, knocking all the breath out of him. It feels so damn good, so much better than his tiny fingers.
Then Isaac moves and Stiles is damn certain he’s going to lose it. He can’t hold on, not like this, not when Isaac is holding him open and fucking him deep, and oh, dear god, there’s someone inside of him for the first time ever and it feels so, so good.
Stiles comes embarrassingly fast. He gasps and stutters on half-formed word as his seed spills out of him and makes a mess of Stiles’s sheets.
Isaac doesn’t seem to care. He growls a little, claws digging in and then he’s fucking Stiles, going agonizingly slow as he takes his time taking Stiles apart. Each push feels like it’s winding Stiles up, cranking him back towards a second release that his body can’t handle. He buries his face in the pillow and whines because it’s so good, too much but so good. God. He can’t.
Isaac groans behind him, breath coming sharper, faster. His hips kick up a little, each thrust shifting Stiles forward on the bed until he has to press his hands against the wall to keep from colliding with it. He cries out, belatedly realizes he’s babbling, begging, not really sure what he’s begging for but he just needs.
Then Isaac’s coming inside of him and Stiles feels himself letting go in response, not quite an orgasm but close enough.
They collapse onto the bed. Stiles rolls them to the side to avoid falling in the wet spot and Isaac is a heavy weight behind him. His chest is heaving and it feels too hard to breathe, but also really good and really satisfying. Would do again. Ten out of ten.
“Thanks,” Isaac says, and Stiles has to chuckle because he feels like he should be the one thanking Isaac.
“Anytime?” He’s not sure there should be a question on that, but that’s the way it comes out, because he’s unsure if there will ever be a next time but he kind of wants there to be.
They lay there, catching their breath and just reveling in the post-coital languor, when all of a sudden a sharp pain pierces Stiles’s chest and he gasps. His body spasms and his vision goes black, his attention distant. He’s on his back when he comes to, with Isaac hovering over him.
“Derek,” Stiles gasps out. “We have to go. Derek.”
Isaac nods and they scramble for their clothes before pounding down the stairs and into Stiles’s Jeep. The howl comes seconds later, reverberating deep in Stiles’s bones.
Derek is in trouble.
Stiles drives without really knowing where he’s going, but he’s not surprised when they end up outside the Hale mansion. There’s a commotion in the distance, coming closer. Stiles and Isaac get out of the Jeep just as three figures break through the tree line. Erica and Boyd stumble forward with Derek hanging between them. Stiles is running forward before he even realizes what he’s doing.
There’s a bullet wound in Derek’s chest and he knows wolfsbane when he sees it. Hell, he can smell it before he’s even ten feet away. It makes his nose wrinkle.
Erica’s eyes widen and she drops Derek. “Did you two just…”
“Later,” Stiles says as he drops to the ground next to Derek. His hand hovers over the wound and he can feel the poison inside like heat from a fire. He closes his eyes and imagines drawing it out. There’s a faint hiss and a sort of lifting sensation inside of his chest. Derek groans. When Stiles opens his eyes, the bullet remains are sitting on top of Derek’s healed chest.
“Thanks,” Derek grunts as he sits up, only to duck as a bullet whizzes past them.
They all take off running for the house only to stop short as another group of hunters appear from the other side of the clearing.
“You’re surrounded, Derek,” Gerard Argent says as he steps out from the Hale house. Chris Argent and two more hunters flank him.
Derek growls. His eyes blaze red as he starts to shift. Stiles puts a hand out to stop him and turns to the road. There’s a car coming, moving fast down the rough road. He’s not at all surprised to see Jackson’s Porche slide into place next to Stiles’s Jeep. He is surprised to see Scott’s car behind him, with Allison in the passenger seat, but not as surprised as Chris and Gerard seem to be.
Allison has her crossbow out and pointed as she steps from the car. Scott’s already partially shifted and Jackson is turning green.
Chris steps forward. “Allison, get out of here. This isn’t your fight.”
Allison doesn’t even flinch. “These are my friends.”
“They’re animals,” Gerard snarls.
“Says the old man pointing guns at a bunch of teenagers,” Stiles spits out.
“You don’t have to be a part of this,” Chris says. “Go home. We just want Derek.”
Derek’s eyes fix on Gerard. “That’s a lie. He won’t stop until we’re all dead.”
Gerard’s gun never wavers from where it’s aimed at Derek. “You killed my daughter.”
“She killed my family.”
“Enough!” Gerard yells.
Three things happen at once. Gerard fires. There’s a twang as a crossbow bolt fires. Stiles pushes Derek out of the way.
Stiles stumbles back, staring down at the hole in his chest at the same time as Gerard stares down at the crossbow bolt in his chest.
He falls to his knees. There’s a strange sensation in his chest. He doesn’t feel like he’s dying. He’s been through that once before and this feels different. There’s no pain, just a strange sort of buzzing that rising in pitch until it’s all he can hear, drowning out the cacophony of voices around him. There are hands on him, holding him up. He’s vaguely aware that he’s bleeding but it’s not bad. His body has already started healing the damage.
Something stirs beneath him. It feels like an earthquake far away but getting closer. The wind kicks up, stirring the grass around them. There’s a deep rumbling inside the earth, growing louder with each passing second. The hunters stumble on their feet.
The earth cracks open and swallows Gerard whole. When the trembling stops, there’s nothing left where Gerard was but a smooth patch of grass.
Stiles pushes himself to his feet, Derek and Isaac supporting him on either side. Chris Argent gapes at them. Stiles is pretty sure some of the hunters have run away.
“So,” Stiles says, “about that code? I think it applies both ways.”
Chris stares past him at his daughter as she joins ranks with the werewolves. Stiles is pretty sure he doesn’t want to be in that household when they both get home. “I think we can work something out,” Chris says. He makes a gesture and the rest of the hunters slink off into the woods. His gaze lingers a second on Allison. “I’ll see you at home.” Then, he too is gone.
Stiles slumps against Isaac. His chest is starting to hurt now, but only faintly. He feels like he’s gone running for miles. “Let’s never do that again, okay.”
Derek smacks him on the back of the head and flashes his Alpha eyes. “Yes. Never do that again.”
“Now, on to more important matters,” Erica says. She pins Stiles with a look. “You two hooked up?”
Stiles groans. Isaac laughs. He has a feeling things are going to be pretty good from now on.