Actions

Work Header

Pretty Human Virgin Boy Comes to the Pond- Feed Him All the Best Heads

Chapter Text

Leaves cracked beneath their feet, twigs snapped in pieces and the moss gave way as each boy ran for their lives. Fear gripped the two of them, unsure if they’d survive or if they’d see another day, but for now, the instinctual drive of fear propelled them forward. There was no time to think, no time to do anything but feel and pray that they were headed in the right direction, anywhere out.

Something continued to smash behind them, the same thing that had ripped Danny’s head from his body, spraying the trees and their faces with blood. Or maybe that had been how the thing crushed Danny’s body, bones and fat all poking out from where his stomach used to be, Stiles didn’t know. But Scott and Stiles hadn’t stayed around to find out, hadn’t wanted to watch that blank face turn its gaze to them. They ran, ran and ran, somehow miraculously in the same direction.

Stiles didn’t even know where they were headed. All he knew was Scott ran beside him and the thing that had killed Danny still followed behind them, not loud like a wild animal and that made the fear worse.

They kept running.

The ground shook beneath them as if giant battering rams were slamming into the earth. Trees swayed and shook violently like a storm. At times the ground was far too soft, almost like liquid.

Next to him Scott tripped and fell.

Only because Stiles had turned to make sure they weren’t being followed did he notice. Immediately he ran back and hauled Scott up. Sheer luck.

“We’ve got to move, Scott, we’ve got to move, buddy,” he repeated quickly, wiping a little bit of bloody skin from Scott’s right cheek. “You got your inhaler?”

Scott nodded, his mouth panting. “Stiles, I, I-“ He reached for his inhaler.

Stiles looked behind them. The most violently shaking trees were further back, but certainly they had enough time for Scott to breathe. Besides, Stiles had gotten all of them involved, telling them to hit the forest after dark. All of this was his fault and if he could, he’d throw himself in front of the thing to ensure that Scott didn’t die. “Breathe it in, Scott,” Stiles informed him.

Hands shaking, Scott pulled out his inhaler and took a couple deep breaths. He’d probably puffed in more medicine than he needed to, but that was a problem for another day. Right now, Stiles was also breathing deep, trying to figure out their location. Maybe they should just keep running.

“What was that thing?” Scott asked, a sign he was okay.

The wind picked up. Hairs on the back of Stiles’s arm lifted and Stiles looked up at the trees lit by the moonlight, a pale gray color. They moved up and down almost angrily- the ground started shaking again. “Time to move,” he informed Scott, turning. Scott followed him automatically, inhaler in his hand.

They kept running uphill. In his heart Stiles knew they were fucked. They’d had to run uphill to find the thing. They weren’t getting any closer to the jeep or the entrance of the forest; instead they were going deeper, where nobody would be able to find the bodies. Did his Dad always tell him not to go into the forest? And now he’d gotten Danny killed. And probably the two of them.

Splinters suddenly assaulted his face from the right; Stiles stepped back only to discover a tree had been thrown in his direction. Blindly the boys fled left, hoping that just staying ahead of the thing would be enough. Maybe they could run until dawn. Stiles was banking on the idea that the thing slept at dawn.

Breathing sounded behind them, hot on their heels. Whistling pierced the air and Stiles watched helplessly as he tripped, his hands burning and then suddenly numb. He pushed himself upwards, launching himself to where Scott had already disappeared and behind him he felt a gust of air and the sound of stone hitting stone.

Scott was waiting up ahead, bless him. In seconds Stiles was moving with him and Scott moved more uphill, finding the crest. They took a breath, looking behind them, trying to gauge their danger again.

Nothing. There was nothing. The wind was silent; the forest no longer shook and Stiles felt like taking a giant dump in relief. Weird feeling to know, he realized.

“This way!” a voice called. The two of them reacted with relief, unable to believe another human had survived that thing. “Quickly!” the voice added. “It doesn’t come over here!”

Scott and Stiles looked at each other. It seemed true, at least. The thing had stopped chasing them. Stiles still hesitated, thinking their luck could be a trap. What the hell could stop that sort of thing? Then again, it hadn’t gotten out of the forest, so maybe it was a boundaries thing?

“Where are you?” Scott called, voice hopeful. Stiles attempted to shush him- that thing was still out there. It could be waiting, stalking them, listening for their voices.

“The lake,” the voice called.

Their cell phones had lost power long ago so there were no chances to use them as flashlights. In the moonlight they could make out only a reflection. There must have been a lake. As they approached, Stiles scoffed. “More of a small pond, really,” he noted. The thing was barely bigger than a king size bed, water black and inky. Still, if the thing behind them wouldn’t approach, Stiles wouldn’t mind and he and Scott held tight on the bank.

It was a strange clearing. The bank wasn’t sandy. Instead it was full of plants and dirt and about ten feet away, the grass seemed drier and higher and the trees lay just a body’s length away from that. And the trees looked odd, Stiles noted, trying to figure it out. Suddenly it dawned on him: all the trees seemed to point away from the pond. There weren’t any leaves underneath them, either, despite the leaves he and Scott had earlier crunched on their panicked run.

Stiles suddenly felt colder than he had before.

“You here?” Scott asked out loud. Too loud again.

Almost as if reading Stiles’s fears, the massive trembling started up, shaking the ground, though the rumbling didn’t seem to get closer. Scott didn’t seem to mind, though, focused on the pond.

Stiles minded. Stiles minded a lot. “Oh God, Scott,” Stiles breathed, liquid fire of adrenaline going through his veins, trying to use this time to at least apologize to his best friend about going after some legendary book. “I’m so sorry. I thought-“

“Shh, it’s okay,” Scott assured him with a smile that did calm Stiles down a bit. “This guy found a safe place, yeah?” He looked around. “Hey, guy!”

Only then did Stiles see a man floating upright in the middle of the lake. The mystery man waved his hand back. “Hey,” pond-man called out in a friendly manner. Not enough for a yell, but enough to get their attention. The two boys moved in closer, a couple steps from the water.

“Careful,” the man told them, swimming up the edge underneath them. “It’s deep.” He looked them over, examining them. “High school students?” he inquired. “Rarely see your kind here.”

While Stiles tried to figure out where that awful feeling of panic was coming from, Scott answered for them, pleased to make small talk and forget about Danny being squished to pulp. “We were out looking for a book,” he informed the guy.

Snapping to attention, Stiles whacked Scott’s arm. Nobody needed to know that; the book was legend, rumor. Looking for that book was how Danny died and now Stiles and Scott could be pinned for murder. But before Stiles could verbally object, Scott moved closer to the edge, trying to make up for his lack of volume with proximity. “But it got dark and right at dusk we ran into that thing.”

In the glow of the moon, Stiles watched pond-man’s eyes glimmer. Stiles took in his new companion: bright eyes, dark hair, and no clothing or at least none as far as Stiles could tell. The man was half-resting on the bank, arms crossed by Scott’s feet, so Stiles couldn’t see if the guy wore pants or not. Stiles looked back at the trees, noting how oddly one row in the back would shake, but the row in front didn’t move, still like death.

“Why are you here?” Scott asked, bending down. None of them were supposed to be in the woods after dark. Stiles didn’t join the conversation, mind still restless, looking for that feeling of terror.

“I come up here to hunt sometimes,” the man replied and great, now they were all telling stories.Though he hunted, pond-man probably didn’t kill a classmate. Stiles sighed as he listened, watching small pebbles jump with the strong shakes, wondering why he couldn’t feel those tremors. “Once we got caught by that thing- I jumped in this lake while it tore apart my friends. Apparently it doesn’t like water.”

Scott seemed to sag with the knowledge. “I’m sorry about your friends,” he replied, probably still thinking of Danny. Stiles was. He couldn’t stop thinking of Danny, how his guts oozed as his body squished. Stiles’s fingers shook with the memory. That thing would come back for them and all they had was some weird hobo-hunter man’s word that the pond was safe.

Scott took off his backpack, flinging it behind him. Stiles kept looking around, wanting proof that thing wouldn’t follow. So far, so good.

Cold, wet hands touched Stiles’s fingertips. Shivering, Stiles looked down to see the man holding his hand, thumb running over his palm in reassurance.  “It happens,” pond-man comforted. His impossibly green eyes drew Stiles in and Stiles believed him. The gaze was comforting and demanding, like Stiles was strapped into a baby chair and spoon fed assurance that all would be well. “You’re not the first guy to come out here and lose someone. Not your fault.” He shot Stiles a gentle smile.

Stiles looked down at the water, nodding as tears threatened to spill. He shouldn’t let himself be assured, the thought, as the vibrations started up again. He shouldn’t let himself-

Something was wrong.

“So all we have to do is get in the water?” Scott asked, already taking off his shirt.

The waves were off.

“As far as I know. If you get in, you won’t die from that.”

The water didn’t move.

“I’m Scott,” Scott introduced kindly.

The pebbles moved. The earth moved.

Stiles took off his own backpack, flinging it away. Something was off.

The man smiled again. “Derek.”

The water didn’t even ripple.

Scott stepped into the water right as Stiles started screaming. “No, Scott, no! It’s a trap! A trap!”

Something splashed. Derek held Scott down, his hands on Scott’s head. Immediately Stiles lunged for his friend, hoping to get under his arms and drag him to safety. He’d already lost one friend; he wasn’t about to lose another. Luckily he managed to get part of his hands under Scott’s arms before he noticed the claws poking out from Scott’s wavy hair.

Derek let out an angry snarl, his hands suddenly full of too-sharp claws and his mouth full of too-sharp teeth. Stiles nearly froze in shock at seeing them, but his instinct to preserve Scott was stronger. He pulled uselessly from the bank as Derek continued to push Scott’s body under, hands pushing at Scott’s neck now.

It was fierce competition; the water was cold and Stiles felt his fingers numb, but he couldn’t release his friend. His instincts wouldn’t let him let go. But that seemed to be the end of it. He couldn’t seem to pull Scott up to safety either, despite his struggles.

Scott had been under too long.

Derek had forced Scott down, using his bodyweight along with his arms, resting his face just inches from Stiles’s. The human looked up, into those eyes, glittering so angrily, so red-

“Fuck off!” Stiles bellowed, going for a head smash in desperation. Their skulls crashed together and Stiles managed to pull out his best friend. Hearing Scott cough was like hearing angels sing as Stiles dragged him beyond Derek’s reach, several feet away from the edge of the lake.

He turned Scott’s body to his side, helping his friend vomit.

The quakes grew stronger but not closer; they were safe for now. “It’s all right, buddy,” Stiles tried to assure Scott, but Scott didn’t respond. He vomited again, but Stiles couldn’t see any recognition in Scott’s lazy eyes.

Derek made a harrumphing noise, so Stiles turned to him, both in anger and in fear. “What the hell are you?” Stiles demanded.

Behind him, a tail smacked the water, curling up around Derek’s shoulder. A mermaid. And not the Disney kind.

A small tendril of water trailed upwards from the pond. Stiles watched in horror as it moved around his ankle, caressing it. He wondered if it could take him, but it didn’t. Instead just stroked his leg, as much of it as it could reach. As Scott gave another raspy inhale, Stiles jumped back and the tendril retreated to the lake.

Must have been its limit, Stiles decided. He checked over Scott, making sure his vitals were there.

Scott was breathing. Breathing well, even. His heartbeat seemed regular, though Stiles knew he might be missing something with his cold fingers. But Scott wasn’t awake. Even when Stiles slapped Scott’s face Scott wouldn’t wake.

Frustrated, Stiles looked up at the sky, reality sinking in. Nothing would go well. The odds of making it out were… nil. Stiles turned to Derek.

The ground kept shaking. “We’re going to die one way or the other, aren’t we?” Stiles asked, his voice cracking. It wouldn’t be bad if he died, but Scott hadn’t done anything to deserve this fate. Stiles had condemned him to this.

Moving back and forth in the lake, Derek answered. “I’ll kill you gently,” he soothed. “Watching your faces as you drown- you accept your fate. It’s glorious,” he continued. “Like an eternal orgasm, if you will.”

Stiles shuddered, the confirmation too much.

“Not like that thing,” Derek added as the ground stopped rumbling.

Stiles took a breath. He was safe from either for now. Maybe they wouldn’t die. Maybe the dawn would bring them hope or something. “You’re a mermaid,” he decided. “Or a nymph who drowns men.”

The man grinned again, with too-many teeth. “What I do,” he began, his voice smooth, his eyes glittering like jewels, “I command all water linked to this lake. I take sacrifices, when it interests me.”

Stiles blinked and realized he was now standing halfway between Scott and the water. He blinked again, tearing his eyes away. He didn’t move when he wasn’t looking directly at Derek’s eyes. “And you have creepy control-people eyes,” Stiles noted. “Gonna remember that.”

Derek shrugged, like he didn’t care.

Stiles sat down quickly. Maybe he’d not go so far if he sat. Pointedly looking at the lake and not Derek’s eyes, he kept asking questions. “So since we’re going to die, mind telling us what that thing is? With less job description and more… them description if you don’t mind there, Ariel.”

Derek rolled over, exposing his back and laying in the pool like it was his own personal hot tub. Luckily the fear kept Stiles from admiring the expansive back under the moonlight. “Ancient, old. Evil. We both stay clear of each other; we are not interested in hunting one another.”

That was good to keep in mind, Stiles supposed. If Scott and Stiles stayed within Derek’s territory but out of the pond, there was a good chance they might make it, or stay alive until help came. The trees rustled uncomfortably around them, but Stiles stayed put, safe.

In the safety came exhaustion and that was horrifying of its own accord. They might not really be safe; Derek could be playing them. There were a million questions going through Stiles’s mind; most of them about if Derek could be reasoned with or if he merely seemed able to be reasoned with. The tail stretched upwards again, the fins heading towards Stiles. Derek was not the size of a human, Stiles noted as those fins kept moving at him. His body froze in terror as the tail kept at him, finally touching his cheek lightly.

“I promise I’ll be gentle,” Derek promised calmly, looking up at the moon. The fin traced his lips fondly. “I’m not usually so rough.”

Stiles smacked the fin away, scooting backwards towards Scott. “Yeah, sorry dude. I don’t put out on the first date.” He moved back towards Scott, assuring himself that the breathing from his friend remained steady.

Minutes passed, or maybe hours, with the trees swaying. Each time Stiles looked to the black liquid of the pond, Derek’s eyes glittered at him from the darkness, just a head floating above the surface of the water. Stiles swallowed, using this time to rest just a little. Just a little, he noted, watching as Derek occasionally struck out his tendrils and none of them could reach the two.

Or maybe Derek was toying with them; maybe he could have already taken them both. Stiles looked back at the shape and swore all of Derek’s teeth glittered in his direction.

Stiles flipped him off, too tired to do much else. Derek wasn’t scary if he couldn’t get to them. And maybe he could, but Stiles wasn’t going to believe that; if Derek could get to them he would have already. That wasn’t Derek’s work. He breathed in, taking in the yellow light of dawn above them. The stars were already gone and he could see the moon through the clouds and-

Scott coughed.

Stiles rubbed his friend’s back. “We’ll get out of here buddy,” he promised. “We’ll go home and have a Big Mac and I’m going to have so much bbq with my dad,” he envisioned, not caring that Derek was probably eating the bbq all up yards away. He could already smell the smoke from the grill. “And we’ll use good hickory wood and the smell will get soaked into our clothes and we’ll-“

Stiles’s eyes opened wider as he looked up at the sky again. It wasn’t dawn giving off that light.

The forest was on fire.

“Shit,” Stiles swore, trying to assess the situation. Derek, now lit up by the flames, smirked at them. His tail flicked water around the pond, elbows out on the dry land. The thing couldn’t get them because of Derek, but that didn’t mean it couldn’t kill them in other ways. Stiles looked around, trying to figure which way the fire was headed.

The trees seemed engulfed in a strange orange light, their dark branches reaching up. They swayed with the wind, ash flying through the air, but there nothing to informed which way the fire was headed. Still, Stiles could be sure of one thing. It was headed towards them.

His breathing was heavier than before, Stiles noticed. The air was getting thicker with smoke and ash. Fire spread somewhere in the forest and it raced to the humans. They’d have to get to lower ground to escape the smoke. To escape the flames…

He glanced at Derek. The bastard still had a smug grin on his face.

Dry grass crinkled underneath Stiles’s feet as he shook Scott, trying to get him up. Scott’s body groaned and twitched, but it didn’t tense to attention. Stiles swore again and looked at the lake. It’d be difficult to drag Scott closer, but they needed to get to the safety of the clearing. And they’d need something to block out the smoke; it’d do no good to escape the flames if they breathed in all the smoke.

Already Stiles’s eyes were dry and scratchy; he didn’t have time. Glaring at Derek, he turned around and pulled Scott into the beach area. His arms screamed at him and Scott’s body slipped inch by inch towards safety or less certain death. Exhaustion pulled at his core while his head started spinning, but he couldn’t give up, not yet. Not until Scott was safe.

They moved maybe twelve feet, a room’s distance, now stuck that same distance away from Derek. It was still too far for Derek to grab them, Stiles knew, but far too close for Stiles’s liking. He glared as Derek watched him. “I don’t suppose you have any matches on you, do you?”

Derek merely smiled wider, those nasty sharp edges clicking together.

“Great. Got it.” Stiles shook his head, trying to find his lighter- there. In their backpack. He knelt over by the abandoned thing, desperately searching for his lighter. At least he could burn some of the leaves away and make the clearing bigger, get rid of the fuel for the other fire.

Lungs screaming, head stupid and cloudy, Stiles lit a patch of grass, hoping it would take. The stems curled and smoked and Stiles reached over to grab another handful, hoping they’d take. The stems withered and smoked and just when it seemed lost, fire sprung forth, ready to burn.

For once, it seemed like the world smiled.

Stiles sagged in relief. He watched the fire catch and burn, using up any fuel nearby. He made sure to dig an empty pit to encourage his fire in one direction, thrilled when it took off towards the woods. The other fire wouldn’t come towards them now. So burning to death was a possibility Stiles had defeated.

Death by smoke inhalation was still likely, though. Stiles took a breath, looking over at Derek’s pond. Derek didn’t bother to talk, just gazing up at him smugly. They both knew what Stiles’s next move would be.

Angrily Stiles searched through the pack for a knife. They’d carefully wrapped it in one of Stiles’s old hoodies, not wanting to cut their skin on the blade. It unwrapped with a lot less care, thudding onto the dirt. Derek looked interested as Stiles took it in his hand, probably wondering if Stiles would charge him with it.

Alas. Stiles wasn’t that stupid, thank you very much. The hoodie fabric gave way to the blade easily, the sounds of cloth ripping nearly drowned out by the flames of the forest. “Don’t suppose there’s a chance you’ll play nice, huh?” Stiles asked weakly, his throat sore and coughing. He glared, eyes watering as Derek seemed to pity him.

“I promised I’d be gentle.”

“That’s a no, then,” Stiles remarked, taking the knife in his hand. He didn’t have to cut the man; he just had to wet the cloth. That was all. His eyes scouted the different paths he could take, if there was a possibility of scaring the mermaid off. But no, Derek’s tail ensured no matter where Stiles went around the pond, Derek would be watching and grabbing.

Shakily he took a step forward, slowly, looking back to ensure again his fire burned in the direction he needed it too. Quickly he returned his eyes to Derek, cautiously watching for any lunge, any movement. Another step.

His grip on the knife was weak, his hands were shaking. Still, Stiles had to do what he could to save Scott. He took another step, ignoring the ice numbness of panic as a tentacle of water raised up and stroked his cheek.

Instead, he slapped the cloth onto the tentacle, watching as it moistened. Ha. The tentacles were made of water.

“Gotcha,” Stiles announced proudly. It’d worked. The cloth was wet and he’d tricked Derek and suddenly the tentacle grabbed the cloth and flung it-

Into the pond. The tentacle had flung the cloth back into the pond.

A litany of colorful language exploded from Stiles’s mouth. Derek flung himself backwards, tail dragging the cloth close to the edge, teasing. Stiles glared at him. “You make all the boys work this hard, huh?” he asked, trembling as he moved closer. He kept his legs taught and tight, ready to run in an instant.

Derek made no move to come closer, merely waiting on the opposite end of the pond. Not like he couldn’t jump forward and drown him anyway.

Stiles tried his best to not look at how he’d grab the towel. He’d need to get out of the way as soon as he did so. Derek would be lunging at him head on, so jumping to the side would be Stiles’s best chance at success. “You look like you want to eat me,” Stiles joked, his voice cracking just a little as he stopped a step from the edge of the pool, hands shaking. Maybe he peed himself a little.

Stiles’s suspicions on Derek’s motives seemed to be correct so far. Derek wouldn’t jump until Stiles bent over. The merman watched his movements, his muscles flexing and tensing, betraying his friendly demeanor. There wasn’t even an attempt to play on Stiles’s joke.

One last part of Stiles’s plan remained. “So, you know, do you often come out here, or-“ In a flash Stiles bent down, hoping Derek might be too distracted by his words to realize what was happening. Seconds were precious right now. His hands touched the cloth, grabbing them in his fist and-

Derek’s clawed fingers were around his hand.

With a burst of adrenaline, Stiles pulled his arm upright, feet kicking backwards at the ground. He fell flat on his ass, but at least the claws weren’t in his hand. He threw the wet cloth over towards Scott’s body, hoping it’d make it and-

Pain burst through his right leg. Stiles tried to move it, but the pain only increased. Gasping, he looked down at it, towards the pool, towards Derek.

Derek’s eyes were pulsing as he held onto Stiles’s ankle with one hand, claws digging into the skin. A whimper escaped Stiles; the pain was a thundering dull roar only softened by the cotton-like feeling of shock.

“I can feel your life,” Derek muttered, his fingers digging in deeper, blood dripping onto the ground. “Your blood, your warmth,” he continued, his breath panting. If demons got aroused, Stiles supposed it would look a lot like Derek right now, with his slippery body taught and his pupils blown wide.

Stiles tried to shake free, but Derek’s claws held fast like knives in his flesh. There wasn’t any way he’d make it to safety like this. He kept trying to think, but his mind was like wet wheels in the rain- no traction.

“You’re going to be so pretty,” Derek soothed, his eyes still like steel. “You’ll be full of the lifeblood, struggling to ignite it with your breath, a desperate fire pulsing underneath my fingertips. In the end, there is only my calm. My cool,” Derek finished, his voice now something singsongy. The fear hadn’t waned down, keeping Stiles’s senses sharp and looking for ways to flee, otherwise he might have given into the voice.

“I don’t put out on the first date,” Stiles snapped, folding over and hitting Derek’s wrist. Desperate it was, but Stiles had nothing else for him. What else could he do?

Derek’s other hand slammed out of the water and Stiles swung his left leg out of the way just in time to avoid it, twisting over to his right side. Fire seared through his leg but still Stiles ripped his right leg away, the air making the pain worse. Despite the pain he kept rolling, finally stopping when he noticed the flames inches away from him.

Glancing over at Derek, Stiles sat up, looking at the bloody gash in his leg. Maybe it was the shock, but it looked pretty bad; blood and denim mixing together and the pale firelight didn’t do much to give him a clear look. Trembling, he reached to touch it.

Bad idea.

Pain jerked his hand away. “All right, Stiles,” he spoked out loud, trying to figure out what he could do. Carefully he tried to stand up- no go. His body merely plopped back down onto the ground, unable to carry his weight.

Frustrated, he tried to hold back the tears at his eyes, mind reeling with what he needed to do. He needed to get that cloth to Scott. He needed to bandage up and then maybe the thing wouldn’t kill either of them.

With the smoke in his mouth he crawled his way over to Scott, thankful that at least the cloth had gotten somewhat close to Scott’s body. Tiredly he flopped the cloth over Scott’s mouth while scanning the fire, the smoke thick and heavy on his tongue. Things looked brighter and the air was hotter; their fire must be battling the smaller fire. Scott’s face looked peaceful, still breathing soundly like a fucker. Stiles felt a little bit betrayed; after all, he’d been here taking care of Scott, getting injured and Scott just slept.

Shit. Everything was shit. He looked up at Derek, who waved…something in his hands and then took a bite from it.

Strength disappeared from Stiles immediately as the urge to vomit overtook him. Derek’s eyes were fixed on him as he took small nibbles of the flesh and Stiles couldn’t move, trapped in that gaze as Derek ate… him.

Something behind them crashed and both jumped, breaking Stiles away. Right. He needed to figure out how to bandage himself up. He didn’t even care about the breathing at this point. It wouldn’t matter in the short run- being bloodless would kill him first. So he reached for the rest of the hoodie, thrilled that it was easier to tear it into pieces now that he’d taken a chunk for Scott. Gingerly he wrapped it along his leg, even though it didn’t feel very effective. He hissed as he lay his leg back down, hoping it would be enough and lifted his shirt above his head- it had to be wet enough. Slowly he took one last look at Derek, the creepy eyes never turning away.

Being terrified exhausted him. He closed his eyes, curling next to Scott, praying Scott would wake up. He prayed his father would see them, he prayed the fire would wash out and he

he prayed Derek would

should

 

***

 

Parched.

Dry.

His mouth was so dry, heavy with ash and dust. Before he could fully awake, though, something wet dripped against his lips. Instinctually he opened his mouth, seeking out those drops of precious water. The drops became something solid that entered his mouth and greedily he sucked it down, the water cool and soothing against his throat. The pressure never stopped, but it never suffocated him, always present in his mouth, but never choking him off. His tongue danced along the water, exploring the shape, trying to peel off bits and pieces to swallow. When his tongue ran up and down the water repeatedly, some would inevitably escape from his mouth, dribbling down his lips.

Parched, he kept sucking the cool water down, drinking his fill. The water seemed to have a life of its own at times, sometimes moving back, sometimes further down his throat, sometimes swirling around and around. But Stiles followed, never stopping his suckling.

Until he heard a groan.

His eyes darted open, aware that he’d been half-asleep. Stiles attempted to pull away, but the water followed him, finally exploding in his mouth as Derek groaned again.

Suddenly it was too much, too drowning and Stiles spit it out, coughing. The tentacle he’d been… fellating, for lack of a better term, came around and petting his hair, cooling him down. Automatically his eyes focused on tentacles. They were drying Stiles off, keeping him from overheating. The sky was darker again, whether through smoke or lack of fire Stiles couldn’t tell.

“Why are you letting us live?” Stiles asked, trying to fight the tentacle from entering his mouth again. Smacking it away did no good, but it didn’t seem like Derek could drag them to the pond. He looked back, noting the tentacles near Derek were thicker and wider. The ones next to Scott and Stiles were thin and weak.

Stiles had been right. They were safely far enough away from the water. Stiles wondered again why Derek kept them alive as he sucked down the water, but as his eyes drooped down and the tentacle withdrew, he realized Derek couldn’t feed if they died where they were. Keeping them alive for a little longer would be in Derek’s best interests.

 

*** 

 

He fell into slumber again, dreaming of mermaids and fish and had pictures of Derek as a tuna, flopping uselessly on land.

When he awoke, he sat straight up. The dream was crystal clear- he had to get Derek on land. Then Scott and Stiles would be safe. At least this was easier to realize than how to stop the unknown thing that had torn Danny apart.

Stiles breathed heavily, taking in his surroundings. The pool was empty and no tentacles floating from it. He glanced again, throwing a rock into the pond- no response. Derek wasn’t there. The sky was clear and the sun was near the horizon, both a sign of no more fires and daytime, two things that would aid them in their trip back.

He reached for his hoodie wrapped around his leg only to find it crusty with dried blood. Given that Stiles had woken up, the wound hadn’t been life-threatening. Or maybe Stiles managed to stem the bleeding inadvertently. Or Derek had on purpose, while Stiles slept.

Running a hand through his fingers, Stiles breathed again, trying to think of how to best escape. Derek wouldn’t be a threat if they weren’t in the water.

They…

Scott.

He turned to where he’d last curled up to Scott, hoping to find some form of life.

Instead, the spot was empty.

Fear pounding in Stiles’s chest, he looked around. A quick scan of the area showed no Scott in sight at all.

Chapter Text

“Scott! Scott!”

The words echoed uselessly in the woods, bouncing off of burnt trees. “Scott!” Stiles yelled out again, trying to stand, trying to make his voice louder. Surely Scott hadn’t been dumb enough to go into the water? Stiles hoped. His leg gave out in pain, not willing to support his weight and Stiles came crashing down onto the ground.

Something splashed behind him. Stiles groaned into the dirt, mind not quite able to realize the significance of what the splashing meant- not until he felt tentacles on his face. Stiles swallowed as he tried to bring back his bravery amidst tentacles wetting his lips and attempting to soothe him. “Where’s Scott?” he demanded, turning to see a pleased Derek halfway out of the water. The tentacles moved into one which reached for his face again.  Stiles attempted to bite it, teeth going through the thing as if it were air.

“That’s not nice,” Derek nearly purred. “After the sucking you gave it yesterday, I thought you’d want to be better acquainted with my tentacles.” He grinned again as Stiles turned his face towards the dirt, realizing what exactly had happened in his parched and confused state. He felt sick. He felt like vomiting. And Derek… Derek fucking knew.

“You always sexually assault teenagers dying of thirst in your woods?” Stiles snapped out of frustration.

Derek didn’t seem perturbed, but he did cross his arms over his chest, frowning. “I can’t eat you if you die,” he stated simply.

Stiles batted the tentacle away from him, glaring. That excuse seemed flimsy. Surely Derek could have given water without it being a sexual innuendo. Stiles opened his mouth to say so until Derek reached into the pool, pulling up a body.

A naked body. It looked pale and blue, hair floating lifelessly as it remained bloated in the water. Stiles raked his eyes over the form, but the face was still down in the water. Was it Scott? Hopelessness tore through him. He felt sick.

Stiles really did vomit then, though only bile hit the dirt. There wasn’t anything in his stomach left to give. Scott was… Scott was… “Why haven’t you eaten him?” He demanded, angrily glaring at Derek, mind trying to plan his demise. He’d kill Derek for touching Scott. He would end him.

Derek leaned up out of the water, his torso now on land as he lifted his body threateningly at Stiles.

That’s it, fucker, Stiles thought, his dream fresh in his mind. Come on out of the water. He turned over on his side, exposing his stomach, hoping he looked more like prey. Given how Derek’s body tensed and his eyes flashed while taking Stiles in, Stiles considered it a success.

“Saving it for you,” Derek answered, his chest heaving a little. Perhaps the lack of water did affect the demon. Maybe Stiles’s dream was right. Still Derek looked over him, eyes focused on running up and down Stiles’s body. “You’re hungry.”

The thought of eating Scott had his stomach rolling again. This time he sunk his nails into the dirt, trying to steady himself as he rolled onto his butt, sitting upright and facing Derek. “I’m not gonna eat my best friend,” he snarled, grabbing a rock and throwing it at Derek.

Derek’s face didn’t even register the rock. Instead a tentacle whipped it away, sending it flying into the woods. Instead Derek raised an eyebrow as he focused on Stiles’s statement. “Your best friend?” he inquired. “Scott?”

“Well, it’s sure not Lydia who came out here with us,” Stiles snapped. Angrily he continued to try and goad Derek out of the water, titling his body back. “And it’s not Danny, ‘cause he’s torn to pieces and-“

“Stiles!”

Stiles stopped. Immediately he turned to the voice, ignoring Derek. He scanned the trees for his best friend, heart soaring as he saw a form running towards them. Scott came running out of the woods, growing bigger by the moment. “Stiles! He’s a demon!”

Too happy to even respond with a witty retort, Stiles crawled his way over to Scott, though he couldn’t move far. It was alright, as Scott easily ran up to Stiles, crouching down next to him. Deliriously happy, Stiles wrapped his arms around Scott tightly as Scott dropped down on the ground next to him. Scott was alive. They were alive.

“I’m so sorry, Stiles,” Scott apologized. “I was taking a dump in the woods. I heard you calling and rushed back here.” He soothed Stiles’s hair, probably just as happy to have Stiles alive as Stiles was to have Scott so.

Eyes blurred with tears, Stiles kept his hands tight in Scott’s arms. “You were so passed out, dude,” he breathed. “I wasn’t sure you were ever going to wake up.” His hands kept roaming over Scott’s form, thrilled that Scott was breathing and alive and moving.

Patting Stiles back with assurance, Scott answered him. “I did. Had to rebandage your leg, dude.” He winced. “It’s pretty bad.”

Stiles laughed hopelessly. “Tell me something I don’t know.”

“It was tasty,” Derek helpfully added from the lake. He’d sunk back low, watching them as they embraced each other.

Stiles attempted to ignore him. Scott was here, Scott was safe and Scott was the only thing that mattered. “He… ate you?” Scott asked, dismayed and his eyes moved down to Stiles’s leg. The grip around Stiles tightened and Stiles didn’t care that they looked like long-lost lovers right now. He only cared that Scott was alive and he was alive. That was the most important thing in the universe.

Then Scott jumped and Stiles jumped right along with him. “What is it?” he asked, following Scott’s gaze. Scott’s grip tightened to the point of bruising, but Stiles didn’t mind.

“There’s a body in that pool, Stiles,” Scott whispered lowly to him.

Stiles turned to look, already knowing about the body. As he looked this second time, though, his mind cleared with the knowledge that it wasn’t Scott, which left a single question in his mind. “Who is it?” he murmured, his hands tightening their grip on Scott.

Noting their gaze on him, Derek’s tail lashed out as the mermaid shrugged and lifted up the bloated head. Scott turned around and vomited; Stiles felt curious now that Scott was safe. “Isaac Lahey,” Scott responded after emptying his guts.

“Isaac didn’t come with us, though,” Stiles murmured curiously, watching Derek as Derek pulled off one of Isaac’s limbs with a snap and began chewing on the bicep. The loose skin flapped as Derek tore through the muscles to eat it, blood trailing down his chin. “Where did…”

Scott pulled away, just slightly, wanting to face Derek head on. The humans’ shoulders still touched, Scott sitting a little closer, trying to protect Stiles. “Maybe he followed us. Maybe the other thing chased him-“

Derek scoffed, mouth full of flesh. “Sensitive skin,” he remarked disdainfully. “Rarely comes out in the day.” He paused for a moment before swishing his tail, eyes trained on Stiles. “Not like me, human boy. I’m always here for you.”

Stiles kept a hold of Scott, sarcasm coming to the forefront as his last line of defense. “I’m sure you say that to all the guys who suck your tentacles,” he joked. Scott gave him a questioning look, but Stiles shook his head. He’d tell Scott later. Right now, he was slotting the pieces of the puzzle together- Isaac hadn’t followed them, Derek could move around the pond and he couldn’t work out of water. But where had-

Scott swallowed. “You drowned him, though?”

Derek nodded,teeth crunching on bone now. “You want some? Still warm. Still sad, struggling. Given what his father did to him, it’s no wonder his blood sought me out.”

Sought him out, Stiles thought. But Isaac hadn’t come…

“You’re evil,” Scott announced angrily. “I won’t let you eat Stiles.” He glared his challenge at Derek, grabbing Stiles’s hand.

Derek’s eyes flickered curiously, like he’d just figured out Stiles’s name. “Stiles,” he said, running the name over his red teeth, tongue licking his lips to take in parts of congealed blood that had dripped out the front. “Stiles.”

Stiles shuddered; the name sounded almost sweet and fond coming from Derek’s voice. It’d taken an ethereal tone to it, one Stiles had heard Derek use before. It almost sounded like singing.

“Come here, Stiles,” Derek sang, snapping off Isaac’s head and holding it up. “And Scott. Aren’t you so hungry? Your bellies so empty? Come here, let me fill you up.” Isaac’s glassy eyes stared back at them.

Stiles felt the pangs of hunger in his stomach. He was hungry. Derek grinned, his eyes trained on Stiles.

Luckily, Scott wasn’t affected by whatever voice Derek had used. He held Stiles back, shouting at Derek. “No way! We don’t even know where that’s been!”

Okay, so it wasn’t the best line. Stiles would have argued it was a human head, but it served the purpose. He’d tease Scott about that later. Because Scott deserved to be teased about that line.

“It is a bit clorine-y,” Derek agreed, the lighthearted atmosphere dropped away.

The puzzle snapped together and Stiles took in a breath, hoping it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. Testing it out his theory, Stiles started his inquiry. “Derek,” he asked, trying to be cautious, not wanting Derek to figure out his reason for asking. “How deep does your pond go?”

Derek’s tail lashed as he tilted his head to the side, plucking out one of Isaac’s eyes with his claws. “You could find out,” he suggested. “I’ll drag you to the bottom.”

Closing his eyes, Stiles tried not to swear, tried not to let the fear encase him. Derek wasn’t attached to the pond. He was attached to the aquifer. He was attached to one of the largest underground systems in this part of California, able to go through backyard pools and ponds and streams and anywhere his water touched.

They were fucked.

As Stiles opened his eyes, Derek grinned back at him, fully knowing what Stiles had just realized. He chomped on the eye messily, not even bothering to close his mouth. “You can’t run from me,” Derek purred.

“I dunno,” Stiles shot back. “Death Valley’s looking pretty good, huh Scott?”

Scott looked confused, but he nodded. “Yeah.” He looked around again, probably trying to see if it was safe to run. “I don’t hear the thing.” He leaned over to Derek. “Do you think we can trust him about that thing?”

Stiles leaned back. “His end game is drowning and eating us, Scott,” Stiles replied. “He wouldn’t let us go to something that would get us killed.”

“True,” Derek agreed. “Go around and search, if you must,” he added. “But don’t get lost.” He finished with a painful grin, all sharp and dagger teeth. “You can’t get out of here by nightfall.”

Scott stood up, letting Stiles go. “You’re lying,” he decided. Reaching for the pack still on the ground, Scott picked it up and opened it. The band-aids and medical gauze were taken out already- Stiles looked at his leg again. The hoodie lay discarded somewhere else- he must have been really out of it. “I’m going to take this and see if I can’t get other food, or help,” Scott assured him, glaring at Derek. “Don’t go near him.”

“Don’t have to tell me twice,” Stiles agreed. “Good luck, Scotty. You’re my only hope.”

Scott nodded seriously, the Star Wars reference going over his head. Of course it did. “Be careful,” Stiles added as Scott moved into the unknown, walking away through burnt-out trees and over the hill, out of sight.

Derek kept snapping bones behind him. “Guess it’s just you and me, snapping turtle,” Stiles remarked, turning over on his side and laying down.

Derek swallowed whatever he was holding. “You want some?” he asked, free hand going for Isaac’s bobbing head, holding it up in the water.

The rumble in his stomach gave Stiles away, but he was still repulsed. “What a romantic date,” he snipped, shaking his head. “Flesh eating. You probably get all the ladies like that, don’t you?” Glaring, he waited for Derek to stop eating to continue. "Oh, no, you drown them.” Scoffing, he turned around, not wanting to watch poor Isaac’s body any longer. “Sorry for wanting more than a first date.”

The sound of flesh ripping off bone came from behind him, along with hearty groans and grunts at particularly chewy ligaments. Stiles found himself drifting to sleep with the strange noises, safe in his distance, until Derek spoke again with the sticky sweet tone in the air.

“But you’re so hungry, Stiles.” The voice practically purred in his ear, warm and deep and growly. Stiles’s stomach flipped in anticipation, his mouth opening again just like it had for that fucking tentacle.

At least the thought of that was enough to snap Stiles out of his trance. He sat up, suddenly afraid at how closer they were. He’d crawled closer to Derek at Derek’s voice and Stiles hadn’t even realized it. Shit. Derek could easily reach him at this distance.

Derek smirked, watching as Stiles attempted to scoot back. With a mighty push Derek lifted himself out of the water, muscles tensing and showing off as he pushed his torso out of the water and his tail still submerged. Derek was now close enough to Stiles that the mermaid could reach Stiles’s scalp. When he reached Stiles offered no resistance, too terrified to move.

Those claws moved their way through Stiles’s hair, gently caressing, never gripping or scratching. Derek didn’t need to grip him. Derek could kill him whenever he liked- this was all for show. “Shh, Stiles. Eat and rest.”

It felt like his mind was slipping, still struggling to figure out how to use this chance to force Derek out of the water. He wasn’t about to lose this game. “Wasn’t planning on dying a virgin,” his mouth supplied, buying him time. Slowly he leaned back, head just barely escaping Derek’s fingertips. “Thanks for the offer, though. I’ll let you know when I want to take you up on it.”

Derek looked as he had before, when Stiles rolled over on his side like prey- pupils blown, face hungry. His muscles (and there were many, many that could kill Stiles) tensed and relaxed, surging up with each deep breath Derek took. The demon looked even hungrier now and Stiles carefully scooted back up as Derek apparently tried to regain control of himself.

If Stiles peed a little at remembering the last time they’d been in this position, no one needed to know. Stiles planned to promptly forget about it.

“A virgin,” Derek repeated, his nostrils flaring. “Untainted. Unmarked.”

Stiles continued scooting backwards. “Yeah, your tentacle was my first experience,” he snapped, still bitter about the whole thing. “Maybe next time try something more romantic.”

Derek’s eyes raked Stiles’s body over, eyes almost completely black with ink or something, his face hungry, predatory. Derek licked his lips, inching forward into Stiles’s space.

“I have all the human heads you could ever eat,” Derek announced proudly, his eyes now black and arms shaking. Stiles let out a squeak as Derek’s arms moved forward, steadily, purposely, slamming on the ground to drag himself forward. “Pretty untainted thing,” Derek continued, hands big and clawed and continuing to slam onto the ground, continuing to help Derek crawl forward out of the water towards Stiles.

And there went all the piss in Stiles’s bladder, right onto the dirt.

Stiles kept trying to move, but his right leg kept slipping and dragging him down. At best he’d turn to his right side and at worst he’d not move at all.

“I have a cavern for virgins,” Derek continued, eyes black and mouth big and wet and hungry, teeth all the bigger to eat Stiles with. “With air. I take care of them there, spread their soft thighs and feed them only the best of heads.”

“Not really interested in the heads, thanks though.” Stiles slipped and fell down, eyes shutting quickly and cursing as he slid down the slope, right underneath the demon.

Game, set, match.

This was where Stiles died.

Even then, his mouth wouldn’t stop running. “Maybe some cheetos. Or a hoagie,” he suggested instead, feeling Derek’s breath upon his neck. It smelled of blood. Oh, god, he’d never thought of being intertwined with Isaac before and now they were going to be all up in Derek’s stomach together-

Derek pressed his lips against Stiles’s neck, his tongue licking up at down. “Pure,” he murmured. “Untouched.” His fingers ran down Stiles’s skin while Stiles shivered, trying to hide his neck. Derek hadn’t eaten him yet- was he taking his time? Testing the merchandise?

Even so, he kept talking, hoping for more time. “Yeah, until your tentacle-“

Derek’s hand moved lower, stroking over Stiles’s stomach. “I’ll take care of you,” Derek swore, moving to look deep in Stiles’s eyes. “I promise.” He paused, straining to think of something.“Stiles.” He added.

Stiles scoffed, trying to wiggle back upwards. Of course Stiles’s name wasn’t nearly as important as his virginal status. Though hopeless, his only plan to succeed right now was a sad one where he disconnected Derek’s body from the water, like the dream. And further like the dream, it wasn’t very well based in reality.

Stiles moved even a little more backwards, pressing his ankles into the dirt, hoping it would propel him forward.

Alas, Derek wiggled his hips, trying to get deeper between Stiles’s legs.

“What do you need?” Derek asked him soothingly, his right hand coming up to pet Stiles’s face. “Fingers? Eyes? I have the spleen of an old man hidden away,” Derek assured him, his black eyes staring deep into Stiles’s. Stiles still squirmed and tore his eyes away, body unused to bearing such weight. So long as he didn’t move downward, Stiles was happy.

Teeth sharp as knives kept flashing from their faces so close together. “Something more…carnal?” Derek asked and all those teeth flashed as Derek gave him a particularly dangerous smile. Stiles scoffed and turned his head away, not wanting to watch as Derek bit down on his neck.

Instead, Derek’s fingers grabbed his chin. Pain flashed as Stiles’s neck grinded against itself, finding himself forced to look at Derek. Expecting a snarl or an angry face, Stiles closed his eyes.

“Hand job.”

That was not at all what Stiles expected. Blinking his eyes open, Stiles confusedly looked up at Derek, sure he’d misheard something. But Derek’s face held deadly seriousness. “W, what?” Stiles breathed, hoping he’d misheard.

“Hand job.” This time the words were clearly meant to reassure Stiles of Derek’s gentleness. Nails gingerly raked themselves down the side of Stiles’s face. “I can take care of you, virgin. All your pent-up sexual frustration.”

Bucking his body to try and get Derek off of him, Stiles glared at Derek, getting a couple inches backward in. As planned Derek followed him, hands dragging the demon out of the water, closer to Stiles. Whatever this thing had for virgins, it would be its undoing.

Hoping to distract it some more, Stiles scoffed. “Not with those claws,” he remarked, dodging as they moved to stroke his face again.

Immediately, the claws retracted into fingertips. Stiles shuddered as the pruney fingers shakily reached to touch his face. “Better?”

Stiles swallowed, not wanting to suggest if it was better or worse. So instead he went for the next thing. “Hand-job? You’re not going to get any pleasure out of it and sorry dude, must have some sort of sexual organs to-“

The demon did something with his hips then, loosening something from the gils or the fins or wherever the fuck he had stored a flaccid penis. There wasn’t any doubt denying that heavy weight poking Stiles in the stomach. Stiles swallowed, another step back. He had not planned on Derek having a penis. Or rather, he’d not planned Derek having a penis and wanting to use it.

Another step towards safety, even with limp demon dick poking him in the gut. The first dick to touch him and it had to be attached to something that had just last night eaten his skin. He tried to eye how much tail Derek still had left, but the angle wasn’t good. Stiles whimpered as Derek crawled closer over him, dick rubbing against his clothing. Maybe Derek was mostly out of the water.

It was a wild chance, anyway.

“You are really forward, you know that?”

Derek laughed darkly and that was the weirdest feeling. Derek’s wet chest pushed into Stiles’s frail human one with each peal of laughter. “Not many people make it this far,” Derek responded, licking his teeth on the “far”. Stiles noted his breathing was still heavier, his muscles still tense- Derek tiptoed on the edge of pouncing. “Never had a virgin before.”

“Surely you’ve had some in random pools,” Stiles replied, meeting Derek’s eyes, still trying to scoot further away from the edge of the water. With Derek pressed against him, several inches became tenths of them, but Stiles wasn’t about to give up now. “Lakes. Waterparks, even.” He raised up his arms, trying to push Derek off of him.

Admiringly, Derek gave him a smile as he stroked his hand down Stiles’s arm. “Smart,” he allowed. “But none here, where it started,” he added cryptically. “So smart. So soft.” His fingers ran up and down Stiles’s weak arms trying to shove him off, body not moving.

Soft was not an adjective Stiles was sure he wanted. So he opened his mouth to protest, frustrated at the mockery Derek made of his attempt to control the situation when Derek made his move.

Derek dove onto Stiles’s upper lip, teeth grasping and dragging softly along Stiles’s flesh. Stiles flailed in panic but Derek held him down with his weight, pinning the weak little human beneath him. After a moment it became clear that Derek wasn’t eating him- he was kissing Stiles.

Stiles opened up his mouth, suddenly aware of Derek’s weight between his legs, his eager mouth exploring him like Stiles was the best food he’d ever had. Stiles’s body reacted, cock twitching with life, head going hazy as a tingling pleasure built in him. Even if Derek would eat him, this felt good.

Derek rocked his hips from side to side and Stiles gasped underneath the weight, the strength in his hands leaving, going from pushing to resting on Derek’s shoulders. Derek switched the direction of his hips and something wider and much harder than before rubbed against Stiles’s own erection.

Everything seemed so wonderful. Stiles was trapped, lost in a haze of both fear and pleasure, pure instinctual drive fueling him. Logic and rational thought had flown far away.A whimper escaped Stiles as Derek began rubbing circles into his hips.

Groaning, Derek took Stiles’s hand downward, pleading him across the planes of his stomach. Stiles couldn’t hide the fact that Derek’s muscles did something for him- his fingertips dug into him, testing their rigidity. All logic gone, Stiles attempted to trace Derek’s muscles while Derek’s tongue moved to licking the inside of Stiles’s mouth-

Everything hot and terrifying and-

Stiles was so lost-

Oh, that friction, that kind of thrust -

Blindly, Stiles lifted his hips up for more. He needed more. Eyes glazed over, he bit down on Derek’s lip, a whimper in the back of his throat.

“Yes,” Derek breathed against Stiles’s nose, a small hiss that Stiles could feel. “Mine, pretty virgin boy.” Derek moved back to peppering his face in kisses, sucking, licking. “Made for my cock, my ma-“

Stiles couldn’t hear, blood rushing through his head. Derek slowly led his hand down further to something wet and slippery. Unconsciously Stiles wrapped his fingertips around the tip of the appendage, fingers exploring in small circles.

“So big,” Stiles gasped, panting. He spread his legs, trying to get better access, trying to make Derek settle between them. His other hand reached up around Derek’s back, nails digging into his neck. At the back of Stiles’s mind he noted Derek move them closer to the lake, downhill-

Derek was shuffling them to the lake.

No.

Fear gripped him like a bucket of ice had been dumbed on him. Suddenly he was cold and lucid and aware. They were playing the same game, trying to lure each other to their doom with sexual frustration and Stiles was losing.

No. No. No.

As panic took over Stiles’s arousal died. “Derek, no,” he pleaded, removing his hands from Derek’s neck, back on his shoulders. Again he tried to push back on Derek’s body, but Derek only growled dangerously, his teeth flashing sharp.

Maybe Stiles could still turn this around. He rolled his butt upwards, in a half shuffle, hoping Derek would follow- success.

Derek moved with him, unwilling to leave Stiles’s mouth for long. Stile kept it up, darting away coyly, responding to Derek’s hunger with his own enthusiasm, something that only further drove Derek to madness. Stiles saved himself with Derek’s cock, too- his hands would pretend to be shorter unable to reach and Derek would thrust his hips forward, seeking Stiles’s hands. They inched their way back up the hill, Derek unaware of how little Stiles felt. Finally Derek grabbed onto Stiles’s wrists, pinning them to the ground.

“Just kiss me,” Derek spoke, his voice soft and sweet and frustrated and angry-

Stiles opened his mouth again, letting Derek slide into it, pulling on Derek’s bottom lip, sucking and biting down on it, a mimicry of what Derek had done earlier.

Derek gasped, growled, his claws suddenly digging into Stiles’s wrists. Stiles attempted to wrap his legs around Derek, in a move that seemed to please the other man, given how Derek grunted and picked up his favored pace, now humping Stiles.

But Stiles wasn’t a fool. It was his last ditch plan, an attempt to see how much tail Derek still had connected to the water- and Stiles might have finally caught a break. It felt really thin where Derek’s tail reached the water. “Pretty virgin,” Derek hissed, licking into Stiles’s mouth hungrily, rutting against Stiles’s crotch.

With that, Stiles moved.

A swift kick met Derek’s side. Stiles felt the tail give way, so he grabbed Derek’s arms, rolling with him away from the water. Even if he died, Scott would be able to kill Derek and that was enough. Stiles had done what he needed to do. Nothing reached him in this place- no sound, no sight, no heartbeat, no thoughts. Only the drive to roll Derek away from the water existed and Stiles obeyed that drive to a T.

When Stiles could roll no more he lay back underneath Derek, eyes taking something. Derek’s mouth hung wide open, his throat swollen and-

Derek was screaming. He’d probably been screaming the entire time.

Stiles had been so focused no sound had reached his ears; now he went to cover them up as Derek’s throat kept producing an unholy sound that vibrated his very core. It pierced and pounded and was high and low and Stiles’s brain wobbled because of it, vision going red. Probably everyone in Beacon Hills would be able to hear it.

Derek didn’t even looked at Stiles, face focused at the water. Instead he flailed around. Worried Derek might make it back to the water, Stiles clung to him, keeping the demon away from the pond as best as he could. “Shut up,” Stiles snarled, trying to roll over Derek one last time

Derek snarled back, none of the gentleness in his face. His lips suddenly twisted behind his teeth, his teeth became pointed and were already bloody from Isaac, but they weren’t what frightened Stiles. Derek snarled something and snapped his jaw and Stiles couldn’t hear a thing.

His hearing had gone. Yet Stiles had too much focus now to panic.

Suddenly something pushed Derek off of him and Stiles looked into Scott’s determined eyes as his friend dragged him away to safety. “Keep him out of the water,” Stiles attempted to say. “He’s weak without it. Can’t kill anyone.”

Scott’s mouth moved up and down but none of his words were able to reach Stiles. “Can’t hear,” Stiles informed Scott, watching as Scott angrily started mouthing words at Derek. Stiles turned his head too, hoping to see some sort of shock or dismay on Derek’s face.

Instead, Derek merely seemed amused, his tail thrashing angrily as he stared at Stiles, his lips twisted in a grin. Noting Stiles looking at him, he ran his tongue along the bottom lip right where Stiles had bitten him earlier.

Stiles glared back at him, noting he could hear the loudest of sounds now. He hit his ears a couple of times, thrilled when he could not just feel the pressure but hear the low ringing. “Try again, Scotty,” he suggested. “It’s like a lot of cotton in my ears.”

Scott turned to him. “Rescue people,” he announced loudly, but at least Stiles could understand. “I’ve heard them from far off. They’re headed this way, especially after…that.” Scott glared at Derek, who snapped his fangs angrily in return.

“Go get them, Scott. Lead them here,” Stiles pleaded, his breathing deeply. Fighting the disorientation seemed like too much effort right now, so he lay down, trying to steady himself on the ground. “He can’t move out of the water.”

“It’s cruel to leave me here,” Derek suggested from afar and Scott flipped him off, nodding at Stiles.

“Yell if you need anything, Stiles. I’m going to go look for them.” And then yelling, Scott tore off, looking for the voices that he promised were there.

Safety was coming. His dad was out there, looking for Stiles and he’d be safe. Stiles sighed, hands shaking. They hadn’t meant to kill Danny. They hadn’t meant to find these things. They just thought they’d be exploring, checking out mysteries. Stiles ran a hand over his face, trying to calm himself down. He could panic when he was safe.

“Human.”

Stiles ignored Derek’s words, trying to breathe and balance while on his back.

“Virgin,” Derek tried again. “Human virgin boy.” 

Stiles lifted a his middle finger in Derek’s general direction, not bothering to sit up. “Suck on that, mermaid demon man,” he snapped.

Derek growled and Stiles heard and felt thumping on the ground. There were more snarls and grunts, flapping around. Stiles turned on his left side to see a little better.

Derek flopped around on the ground, angrily as he tried to maneuver his way to the pool. It wasn’t working- his tail kept him moving in circles rather than in a straight line. When he noticed Stiles looking at him, he glared, his eyes flashing in anger for a moment before the emotion fled.

Stiles made sure to remember that anger. Everything else would be  lie now, he reminded himself. A sweet, saccharine lie that Stiles didn’t need to pay attention to.

Derek paused, his eyes looking up in the sky, thinking. Finally, he spoke. “Stiles,” he attempted. “Stiles.”

“Congrats,” Stiles offered. “You remembered my name.” He flipped over, looking back at the sky.

A growl came from Derek’s side of the ground. “Stiles. I need to go back in the water.”

“And that is why you won’t go back in the water,” Stiles replied, turning his head to grin at the demon. “Tough luck, buddy.” Success. All his plans, his dreams, had been a success. Maybe he’d even save the town by doing this.

Derek growled again, tail thrashing angrily. “I’ll trade you,” he offered, finally. “I’ll tell you everything about that thing that chased you down. Killed your friend.” He flicked out his claw, making a slicing motion.

Stiles swallowed. Derek probably did know all about it. He probably knew what it was, its strengths, its weaknesses.

Knowing he had a captive audience, Derek continued. “I’ll tell you how to end it. How to kill it. How to hunt it. Stop it.” His eyes had a faraway look in them, as if involved in his own private joke. He glanced back at Stiles, raising his eyebrows.

No way. While it was tempting, Stiles wasn’t born yesterday. Plus, he’d stayed alive this long by using his smarts. He wasn’t about to let Derek trick him now. “You could be lying to me. The moment you’re back in the water you’re free but if the information you gave me is shit, I die and you’re alive.”

Derek’s face broke into a grin. “Smart,” he purred. “Knew you were smart.” His tail flicked again as he withdrew his claws.

Stiles watched, transfixed as Derek’s claws sank back into his skin. Derek kept speaking. “A hand job this time? You’re probably still so riled up, pretty human virgin boy,” he hummed, his voice sweet. His eyes looked so black and wide and Stiles felt himself swallowed by them, like jumping into a pool of warm water, comforting and surround him, drowning in them-

His lips were wet-

Wait

Stiles struggled, trying to make sense of where he was. Derek was above him again, kissing him, licking at his mouth- that explained why it was wet. But they weren’t in the pond, nor were they close to it. “Not-“ Stiles struggled, but this time Derek grabbed his wrists, pinning them above his head. Stiles struggled again but Derek’s tail had wrapped itself around his good leg, holding him down.

Derek growled as Stiles came to his senses, trying to yell for Scott. In an attempt to absorb the sound, Derek smashed his face against Stiles’s. Fighting back, Stiles bit down on what he could: Derek’s bottom lip and dug his teeth in. Derek’s chest surged-

And then suddenly there was a loud thwack and the weight was gone.

Scott stood above him, breathing heavily, a giant tree branch in hand. Stiles stared up at him in shock, glad to see his friend. He chewed on the rubbery thing in his mouth out of instinct.

Scott turned his gaze to him. “Aw, dude,” he muttered. “Spit that out.”

Spit what out?

Stiles turned to look at Derek, who had landed back in the water. Derek grinned and something was wrong. His bottom teeth were bloody, too wide, too-

The realization hit Stiles like a punch to the gut. He watched as Derek’s bottom lip healed, the flesh moving upwards like clay to replace the lip Stiles had ripped off when Scott knocked Derek back into the water.

In the…

Water.

All the hope Stiles had of someone killing Derek disappeared like a puff of smoke. All of this was unfair. Stiles angrily chewed on the lip, glaring at Derek as he did so. At least he had hurt Derek in some way, even if he couldn’t kill him. Angrily Stiles reaching up and tearing a chunk off with his teeth, holding Derek’s gaze. He made sure to brandish the flesh, feeling the warm blood run down his lips and into the back of his throat as he chewed, tilting his head back so Derek could watch him swallow.

“Right back at you, asshole,” Stiles shouted.

But Derek’s grin only grew wider, his eyes black now and Stiles bet that he had his weird mermaid boner somewhere under that water. A chill came over Stiles as he realized taunting a demon might not have been a wise course of action.

Before he could think of that, though, the familiar voices of the sheriff’s department came towards them. “Over here!” someone called and Scott gave a yell back at the sound, distracting Stiles for a moment. When he looked back, Derek had disappeared.

The only proof he had ever been present was the bottom lip in Stiles’s hand.

Chapter Text

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Stiles could hear someone speaking softly through the beeps, hushed voices only to be drowned out by the harsh sound of electronics announcing his heart rate. Still, it could be worse, in Stiles’s opinion. At least it didn’t feel like his ears were stuffed with cotton.

After a couple moments of focusing, Stiles finally picked up something. “Goddamn it.” The male voice was rough and well worn, shaking like he had a dislike for hospitals. His dad. His dad was safe with him. Stiles’s eyes stayed shut, his body heavy, but inwardly he wanted to shout with joy. His father was alive. He was alive.

The sheriff still spoke at him, not aware of his son’s coming to consciousness. “We told you not to go into the forest at night. We told you.”

He couldn’t open his mouth. Tiredness engulfed every cell in his body and still Stiles celebrated even as his father worried. He and his dad were alive. Alive.

His body was so heavy, so heavy. The lights were bright even through his eyelids. “Sorry,” he slurred, hoping his dad would hear him. But his dad only reached over and grabbed his hand, sighing. Stiles couldn’t guess if he’d heard him.

He was about to try again to speak again when someone else came in. The heavy door shut with a loud thunk, footsteps coming closer to the edge of the bed. “Here’s a water, Sheriff.” Melissa McCall’s voice said softly.

“Thanks,” his dad replied sullenly.

Well, at least his dad wasn’t alone. Stiles remembered that memory all too well, at the edge of his mom’s bed, waiting for his father to show up.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

What an annoying sound. Maybe it was more for his father, something to assure him that Stiles lived, breathed, and existed still. He hoped it comforted his father when his words couldn’t.

Still Stiles clung to awareness, afraid that if he fell asleep he’d miss something important. How was Scott doing? Did they find Danny’s body? Did they find Derek?

“Scott’s cleared to go home,” Melissa breathed next. Good. Stiles relaxed. Scott was safe. Her voice didn’t sound happy, though. Instead it sounded broken and afraid.

His father cursed under his breath. “So soon?” Neither one of them was happy. But Scott didn’t have any problems, and that was a good thing, Stiles thought.

Maybe not good. Stiles focused again, listening while his father continued. “It’s been less than 24 hours, and all that smoke up there infected some of our men…” His voice trailed off.

Something on Stiles’s bed dipped with weight- Melissa had sat down. And when she spoke, her voice cracked, hushed, and whimpered like she feared something. “They looked at his lungs,” she began. “And… John, he doesn’t even have his asthma showing up on his x-rays.”

It felt like Derek watched him even now. Stiles wanted to shiver, wanted to scream at the idea.

John groaned. “What the hell did they get into?” he muttered. “But he’s all right?”

The bed shook and Stiles supposed Melissa nodded. “He’s giving his statement to the police now. Apparently their friend Danny went with them. He didn’t make it back. They met… something, a man in a pond. Somehow the man tried to drown Scott, Stiles pulled him to safety, and Stiles got injured that way. Stiles has all the signs of injury that match up with Scott’s story, just…”

“Scott doesn’t,” the sheriff finished darkly.

“There’s a day or two missing, as well,” Melissa added. “Scott couldn’t tell us when the events took place.”

At this, Stiles attempted to lift his arm. He only did so a little, before it flopped back down. But it did make a noise that seemed to get their attention. “Passed out,” Stiles attempted to speak but it came out as more of a breath.

It worked, though. Both Melissa and the sheriff startled up. “You’re awake, Stiles?” Melissa asked.

“Can’t open eyes,” Stiles said softly, the words heavy on his tongue. “Hurt.”

“Sounds about right,” the sheriff scoffed.

“But Scott passed out,” Stiles continued. “After I pulled him out of the water. He vomited and passed out.”

He felt his father’s fingers embracing his, holding them tightly. “You’re both alive, son. That’s all that matters.”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Stiles didn’t even bother to open his eyes. “I’m grounded, though?”

“Oh yes. We’re getting you a permanent babysitter. Erica Reyes, she has some good references.”

Stiles didn’t even bother to argue. Maybe with a babysitter he’d feel better, wouldn’t feel like Derek was watching him even from the hospital. “Scott’s safe?” He asked softly. All the speaking had tired him out.

Melissa’s soft fingers traced his skin. “Safe,” she assured him. “Thank you. Thank you for bringing him back to me.”

“M’ best friend,” Stiles slurred, and let the beeping take him under again.

 

***

 

The next time Stiles awoke he was able to open his eyes. There wasn’t any beeping to wake him up, but he did hear tunes and humming. Cracking his eyes open, he noted a blonde girl in a chair, texting while listening to music. Erica Reyes. She’d transferred out of their high school last year and spent her time doing online classes for her GED. Something about bullying, but Stiles couldn’t really remember much in his state.

Apparently, though, that left her plenty of time to watch Stiles during his father’s shifts. Stiles couldn’t blame either of them; it seemed like a good idea. Being alone was, for lack of a better word, bad for Stiles. He didn’t trust himself. He half expected to wake up and still be on the dirt, staring at a stupid chiseled mermaid who would drag him down the depths of a pool and eat him. Having someone there, someone not his father and not Derek and not someone he knew, that was good.

She looked back at him for a moment before she moved back to her phone. “He’s awake,” she said out loud, and Stiles had no doubt she’d just sent a text to his father with those exact same words.

“Baby sitting duty already, huh Erica?” He sighed, looking over at the IV. It continued to drip mindlessly.

Erica laughed, turning to face him in her chair. “Pays well enough, Stilinski,” she replied. “Glad to see you remember me.”

Stiles laughed. “Hard to forget the girl who dropped out of school so she could graduate before us all,” he replied. “How’re you doing?”

Erica seemed to blush a little at that, or it was a trick of the light, Stiles wasn’t sure. But she responded eagerly. “Really well. I’ve been hanging out a lot with Boyd, down at the ice rink. I study while he works.” She shrugged. “It gets so lonely not being in school and he doesn’t have many friends, so we just spend time together hanging out.”

Stiles smiled. “I’m glad,” he uttered. Erica’s face turned a little redder, and yes, Stiles wasn’t imagining it.

“Anyways, what happened to you?” she asked. “Your dad said you had a car accident? Scraped skin off your leg and inhaled smoke?” She tilted her head, curious, clearly not believing it.

“Sure,” Stiles allowed. “Let’s pretend that happened for now.” Given how she didn’t seem to believe it, there was no point in affirming his dad’s story. Then again, he didn’t have to say what did happen.

Gum popped before Erica spoke again. “Scott’s talking about it all. How you saved him from a mermaid.” Leaning across her chair, she reached over and smacked Stiles’s shoulder playfully. “What a hero, huh, Batman? Mermaid Rescue Stilinski. Sounds like a Barbie doll.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, glad Erica thought it was all a joke. Thanks Scott for ruining it for him. As dryly as he could, he stated, “mermaids.” He hoped she wouldn’t see through his ruse. Derek seemed to know what he was thinking. But this was Erica, and she wouldn’t believe the truth, and Stiles didn’t quite believe the truth, but here he was safe and not crazy and not staring at sharp pointy teeth and-

Hands were on his back, forcing him to sit up. “Whoa there,” Erica murmured next to him. “Breathe. Sorry, Stiles. I didn’t mean to set you off.” She rubbed his back, helping him come back to warmth. Vaguely Stiles remembered Erica had her own embarrassing blackouts and issues, so he was quite glad she understood how to help. She kept contact on her back, rubbing in little circles the way his dad would do when Stiles was younger. Though he never really felt safe in his bed, he did calm down a little.

When she was convinced he could breathe, she reached down under his bed and pulled out a cup of water. “Here,” she suggested. “Drink this.”

Stiles grabbed it with shaking hands, picturing Derek’s water, that black, unmoving thing. He swirled the water around, watching it move. Shakily, he drank the water, remembering the taste of Derek’s lips, the taste of blood in his mouth.

Erica didn’t even seem surprised when he spat it out immediately, using his thin hospital blanket to clean up the mess. “Here,” she offered, pulling out a bottle of water. “Scott mentioned you might have a bad reaction to an open cup.” She poured the water into the cup, and Stiles greedily drank it, knowing it was completely safe from Derek.

“Your dad gave me a list of things to tell you,” she announced Stiles as he drank down the precious liquid, handing over the bottle to Stiles and watching as he chugged it downs. “First and foremost, he’s sorry he can’t be here- he got called in for a murder. But he wanted to have someone here when you woke up.” She looked curious for a moment and then moved on; Stiles suspected his dad hadn’t told her yet about his guilt on not being there for Stiles’s mom.

“Secondly, when you’re released, you’re going to be on crutches for a while.” She pointed to his leg. “You’ll have to change the bandages a lot, but it’s healing nicely. I can help with that, but you should be able to do it on your own if you want.”

Stiles nodded, continuing to chug water down. He’d probably do it himself. He didn’t want other people to ask questions like, “What happened? Why does it look like claw marks? Was it eaten?”

Erica continued over his list, handing him another bottle when he finished the other one. “You’ll have to take a couple sponge baths. We can’t figure out a way to keep your leg out of the shower, given how your bathroom is set up,” she added. When Stiles lifted his eyebrow, she smacked his arm. “You can do that on your own,” she assured him. “I’m not hired to touch any dicks, Stilinski.”

Thank goodness. Stiles nodded, putting the water bottle down. “Okay,” he agreed, looking over at her list. “School?”

Erica bit her lip for a moment. No school, Stiles thought. “I think this is something to ask your dad,” she began, but when Stiles raised an eyebrow she shook her head, continuing to speak. “Like, Scott hasn’t been able to focus at school. One of the kids at school has gone missing and Scott kept talking about their head.”

Stiles paled. “Isaac,” he murmured. Clearly two people rambling about drowned bodies and severed heads would be disturbing to say the least.

Erica nodded. “So he’s in therapy now, and your dad wants you to go as well. He doesn’t want you to have to deal with that stress.” She patted his back again, and Stiles noted how tense he’d gotten.

Shit. If Scott was bad off, then Stiles must be, too. Maybe his own mind was playing tricks on him now. He wiped the water from his hand, leaving some water remaining in the bottle. “So no school.”

Erica shrugged. “I heard him talking to Miss Martin. Apparently Lydia’s agreed to tutor you for some extra cash. That way you stay on top of your assignments.” She patted him on the back. “I’ve got my own work to deal with at nights, so this works out for the best.”

Stiles couldn’t help but smile. Tutored by Lydia Martin, the best thing to happen to Beacon Hills? That’d be the best thing ever.

 

***

 

It was not worth it. Stiles cursed as he sat back in the house, trying to delicately clean off his legs. He found at least sponge bathing could be done in different spurts- standing made him tired. So many breaks it was, and it took time out of the day.

At least he could use the time to think of more pleasant things than the state of his leg. “Lydia, Lydia,” he sang to himself. “Gonna spend time with the Goddess Lydia,” he continued, humming. At least some good had come of this. He’d often talk to himself as he bathed, mostly about Lydia and how maybe this whole thing was a blessing in disguise and how they might end up together forever.

Wincing, he reached down, the skin stretching and tight around his wound. He’d seen it countless times- jagged lines that still shook him up in night, a reminder that Derek was real. He’d often press his legs together to assure himself of his safety. Derek couldn’t come get him here. Here he was safe, in his house.

That thought also crossed into different lines. It meant he was glad he didn’t have to go to school. As the days passed he still found himself too tired to go to school or outside; the terror he felt was too draining. Though he knew he was safe in his house, once the sun went down he often clung to whomever was around: Erica, or the Sheriff, or sometimes Boyd, covering for Erica when she couldn’t stay late at night.

Tonight would be a good night. His father was home tonight and the day after tomorrow. Deputy Parrish covered for the sheriff, for his dad to meet with Lydia and to go with Stiles to his first therapy. It’d been less than a week since Stiles left the hospital, so therapy was a good first step.

That and it seemed to be helping Scott, according to the phone calls from Melissa. He hadn’t seen Scott yet; his father seemed concerned about keeping them from meeting. Not wanting to push his father after Stiles had almost lost him, he’d let it go.

With that resolve in his mind, he finished his legs and threw the sponge in an old margarine tub filled with soapy water, pulling down his pant legs to covers calves and wobbling himself up. He didn’t need the crutch so much, really but it was nice to get around with it. It easily explained his limp (broken food), and it helped him if he ever went off balance. Which unfortunately, happened a little too often. “Hey Dad,” he called down the stairs, announcing both his descent and his exit of the bath.

“Hey,” his dad replied, looking up at him from the bottom of the stairs. “Can you help wash up? Ms. Martin is coming to supervise, so we have to look really fancy tonight.”

Stiles blinked, worried. Tonight was his first session with Lydia- he hadn’t thought they’d need to supervise with his father there. The Sheriff shook his head, face pulling into a grim line. “Scott kept hearing questions during their time together,” he explained. “He kept asking them.”

No wonder. Stiles suspected he’d to the same thing as Lydia’s mother if his daughter came home with that. Stiles waited for his father to say something more but the Sheriff continued looking him over. Before the sheriff could speak, Stiles realized he was being assessed. His dad had been watching his mental health like a hawk. “I haven’t heard anything,” he confessed honestly, sending him an air hug. “Thanks for worrying, though.”

The sheriff nodded. “Good,” he breathed, relief sinking through him. “We’re out of bottled water,” he added, knowing Stiles’s aversion to drinking anything but. It was the one thing Stiles expected him to put up a fight about, but the sheriff didn’t. “I’m going to head to the store while the casserole’s cooking. You mind washing?”

Stiles shook his head. Monotonous chores and cleaning helped him feel better about not being able to go to school. “Go, go,” Stiles assured his dad, making his way down the stairs step by step. “I’ll be okay here.” He smiled when he reached the bottom step, pulling his dad into a real hug. “I love you,” he whispered. He’d never get tired of saying that.

“Love you too kiddo,” the sheriff murmured into his son’s hair. He took a step back, not wanting to pull away. Stiles squeezed him harder. “Alright,” the sheriff relinquished, pushing his son off of him. “Going to go get a couple 24-packs.”

“Whoa there, big guy,” Stiles laughed, knowing he meant water but pretending otherwise. Jokes helped. He knew his dad was worried, but they’d be alright, and he could assure his father of that with his jokes. Stiles moved into the kitchen as his dad walked out the door, locking it behind him.

“Gonna have a supervised date with Lydia Martin,” he sang to himself. “Maybe we’ll get married~.” He sighed, shaking his head. If one could thing could go well for him, it’d be great. He would have earned it.

“We’ll be so great in love,” he continued, thinking about it. “And Erica will come by and it won’t matter because Lydia’s all over me, and she’ll help me get better and I won’t need a babysitter.” He kept dreaming, reaching into the water and picking up a plate.

“Huh,” he murmured, noting how cracked it looked. “I’ll have to ask Dad about that later.” He scrubbed it down, rinsing it off in the sink, adding to the water. “And Scott.” He wasn’t sure if he wanted to see Scott just yet. All his friends suggested that it sounded like Scott hadn’t had any problems; that he’d rebounded; that Stiles was the broken one. But listening to phone calls, to his dad, to Erica at times, that suggested Scott broke too.

He cursed himself, continuing to clean. It wouldn’t matter. He was safe here in the house, and nothing else mattered. Stiles would be better soon, once his leg healed. Scott was safe. Maybe he needed some therapy, but he was alive. All kids did something stupid in their youth, right?

A knock startled him out of his thoughts. Quickly Stiles rinsed off the last dish in the sink. “Coming!” he shouted, placing the dish down and grabbing his crutch, maneuvering his way to the front door. The lock easily parted way and Stiles managed to swing the door open, smile on his face.

Which promptly died. “Why are you here?” he asked harshly.

Jackson Whitmore huffed, rolling his eyes. He held a big bag of books. “Lydia’s coming,” he spoke, glaring at Stiles. “And I couldn’t pass up this chance to talk to the saner version of loserdom in our school.”

Stiles felt his stomach drop. Danny was Jackson’s best friend, the one who’d brought up the idea of the old book of Beacon Hills. Danny had done the research, found the papers that suggested the old town had been in the forest, had told them about the book.

And now Jackson stood before Stiles, waiting for answers as to why his friend was dead.

Stiles swallowed, unable to speak.

“Listen quickly, Stilinski,” Jackson hissed. “Whatever the fuck is going on with you and McCall, I’ll figure it out, okay? I’m going to get to the bottom of this. Danny was too smart to get killed by you two losers. And the only reason I’m here tonight is to help my girlfriend, all right?”

Stiles nodded, stomach acidic. He felt like vomiting. Danny might have hung out with an asshole, but he didn’t deserve to die in that way.

“I’m sorry,” Stiles croaked out, and Jackson shoved the books at him and once they’d thumped Stiles in the chest Jackson let go. Stiles stuttered under the weight, falling back on his ass. His leg smarted in pain as Jackson walked over him, moving over to the living area. Shit. This was not going to be a fun night.

Stiles scrambled to get himself up, the books falling off his body. Angrily he hauled himself up, wincing as his calf continued throbbing- Jackson might have opened up a wound or two with his stunt. He opened his mouth to yell at the bastard when the door opened again.

Lydia Martin glanced down at him for a second before huffing though Stiles was convinced it was really a I’m glad you’re all right Stiles dearest sort of huff. “If you damage your books, I won’t get you another set,” Lydia Martin announced, gracefully stepping over the piles on the floor. She looked around, eyes narrowing as her eyes rested on Jackson. “I’ll be fine,” she hissed at him. Her mother stepped in behind her, shaking her head at Stiles.

Certainly not the best way to be noticed. Bitterly Stiles swallowed his embarrassment, picking himself up. “Sorry, Ms. Martin,” he offered, hoping to convince Lydia’s mom that he wasn’t crazy. “Thought I could manage it on my own.” He smiled awkwardly as he bent over, trying to pick up the books one by one, awkwardly moving them over to the coffee table by the sofa. Jackson sat smugly.

Lydia, bless her heart, had collected the rest of Stiles’s textbooks and set them on the table. “Thanks, Lydia. You’re the best,” Stiles announced.

“I know,” She snapped, playing to not be affected by his praise. Or at least Stiles thought she was playing. He hoped.

“I’m… gonna make sure stuff doesn’t burn,” he offered weakly. “My dad went out to buy some water; we didn’t think we’d have this many people,” he added, glaring at Jackson.

Jackson scoffed. “Please. Everybody wants to invite me.” As Stiles moved into the kitchen, Jackson yelled, “What’s wrong with the tap?”

Stiles winced, turning around with what he hoped was a pleasant expression. “I don’t… like drinking the tap,” he stated, the room starting to spin. He could feel tremors under his feet, and he leaned more heavily on his crutch. Didn’t they notice the room moving? Didn’t they notice the lights flickering?

“Why not? Lydia’s got a pool full of local water,” Jackson retorted. “Nothing’s wrong with it. We just swam in it earlier.” He sat up while Lydia sat next to him, her mom somewhere else and-

Isaac flashed through his mind.

“No pools!” Stiles snapped, falling back on the wall. The room felt too cold. Too cold indeed, and wet and clammy even though there was an oven and Lydia was saying something to Jackson about thanks for coming and-

The doorbell rang.

Broken out of his stupor, Stiles straightened up. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Stiles hurriedly explained. “I just… we nearly drowned in a pool of water.” The explanation seemed hollow, but Lydia relaxed her grip on Jackson’s wrist. “I just have some weird reservations about water, that’s all,” he continued to explain.

The doorbell rang again. That must have been his dad. He began to limp over there, but Ms. Martin stood up instead. “Take a rest, Stiles dear,” she suggested. “And you two. You’re both here to help. If you’re going to continue to exasperate his condition, you can leave,” she added, pointing a finger at Jackson.

Stiles smiled weekly in her direction in thanks as she walked to the door. Jackson glared at him while Lydia pulled notes from her bag, already preparing on how to cover the topics with Stiles. She opened her mouth, then stopped, looking at her ashen mother.

Stiles also looked over at the door, fear building in his heart. Whoever was there was someone Lydia didn’t want to see, and that was scary.

Like he had done thousands of times before, Scott walked in as casual as you please, holding a medium box. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary, except that Scott looked like he had been completely drenched water. “Hello again, Miss Martin,” he greeted as his clothes dripped onto the floor. His flappy clothes hung to him as he made his way over to where Stiles sat. “Hello Stiles.” The tone was all wrong. The inflection was all wrong.

Stiles turned to Lydia, watching as she pushed herself as far back as she could. He turned back to Scott, the smile too wide. This wasn’t… Scott. No wonder his father hadn’t let Scott come over.

“Hello, Scott,” he uttered. “Looking a little wet there.” He swallowed as Scott bounded over to him, still dripping, a box in his hands. “How’ve you been?”

Scott grinned a little two wide, his eyes a little too black, the face painfully familiar. Gathering his courage, Stiles looked briefly at Lydia and Jackson before speaking. “How have you been?” he asked again, reaching out to touch Scott’s arm. “Scott?”

Scott jumped, his eyes losing that inky blackness and he tilted his head. “Hey Stiles,” he spoke, not caring of the fact that he was soaking Stiles’s carpet. “I got you a present. It really helps me to calm down, so I thought maybe you’d like one too!” He smiled as he moved the box around, setting it gently at Stiles’s feet. He kept smiling throughout the thing, like he’d just delivered Stiles’s puppies.

“Thanks, buddy.” Stiles gazed over to Lydia, her eyes calculating and turning between them. Miss Martin looked ready to pounce; Scott must not have been welcome. “Why are you wet?” he inquired, petting the box like it pleased him.

Scott puffed out his chest as Stiles patted the box. After a moment he cocked his head curiously, just processing the words. “Don’t you feel it? Don’t you hear him?”

Stiles paled, knowing exactly who Scott meant. “Derek’s not here, Scott,” he uttered. “He’s telling you to take baths in your clothes?” He ignored Lydia’s sharp gaze of inquiry. He could explain later.

“Oh, the bath,” Scott muttered, touching the soaked shirt. “Helps me drown out the unimportant noise, you know? “ Scott smiled at him, the inky black returning to Scott’s eyes. Scott turned to look at Lydia and Jackson, his head tilted. Then Scott turned to Ms. Martin, still at the door, her phone in her hand- Stiles suspected she’d called someone. Finally Scott turned back to Stiles, his face smiling just a little too wide.

Unsure of what was going on, Stiles decided to aim for politeness. “Thank you for the gift,” he stated slowly, not sure if he was speaking to Scott anymore. Scott’s chest puffed out, pride on his face. Stiles continued, noting Ms. Martin typing one-handedly on her phone. “You’ve been well?”

The grin went wider as Scott dropped to his knees, putting his head and arms in Stiles’s lap. “Yes, Mate,” he answered eagerly. “Hearing the song helps clear my mind.” Scott looked up at Stiles, his eyes translucent in their blackness, looking something like night water.

Stiles’s eyes flickered to Lydia, who was shaking her head, mouthing “not Scott”. Scott growled at his lack of attention, and Stiles placed his hand on Scott’s shoulder. He nodded to Lydia, making sure never to leave Scott’s face.

No wonder the Sheriff hadn’t wanted them to meet. “Why haven’t you visited until now?” He asked, unsure if he was asking Scott or… someone else. He swallowed, mind trying to put the pieces together.

This had to be related to Derek somehow. Stiles wasn’t sure if Scott was Derek, or if Derek controlled him, but Scott’s healing, his eyes, his disassociation with reality, all of this was Derek. God Damnit.

He wouldn’t let Scott die.

Scott smiled at him, face wavering. “You are sad, Mate?” he inquired cautiously. “Unhappy?”

Lydia squeezed Jackson’s hands while her mother kept typing. Ms. Martin mouthed something but Stiles kept his eyes focused on Scott, unwilling to look away. “Worried about you,” he murmured. “You haven’t been around before now.”

In an instant the inky blackness faded but a blue tint covered Scott’s eyes. Scott’s eyes widened as his grip tightened on Stiles’s leg. “Mom worried about me,” he said softly. “I want…”

For a moment, his eyes returned to their normal color: white and brown. “She’s so worried, Stiles, and I don’t want her to worry.” His voice cracked. “Something’s wrong with me. I-“ he stopped.

Fuck. Stiles had fucked this all up, and now he still had to solve it. Maybe he could drag Scott away. Maybe there were other supernatural people in town. Maybe he could plead with Derek.

No. Stiles’s resolve tightened. Derek wouldn’t accept anything less than eating the two of them.

“Why did you come here, Scott?” Ms. Martin asked gently behind them. “You were at home, weren’t you?”

Scott’s eyes darkened to blue again. He glanced around before settling on Stiles’s face. “Derek said you were hurt,” he murmured.

Of course Derek was behind this. Stiles felt the familiar sickness wash over him, his anxiety rising. Before he could ask, Scott continued speaking. “He couldn’t see you, so he sent me to check.”

Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Jackson pale. Okay. So this might be Derek’s doing, or this might be Scott having a mental breakdown and Scott had been following Stiles’s every move, and Stiles just happened to be imagining the eye color change. Given no one else had reacted to it, either option was on the table right now. “Thanks buddy,” he murmured softly. “I’m okay.”

Scott nodded happily. “He’ll be pleased to know.” He moved the box out of the way, settling closer into Stiles’s lap. Jackson looked horrified while Lydia sat still, unwilling to move. Stiles didn’t want to begin to guess at what Scott had said to her.

“Hey, Scott,” he asked. “Can you do me a favor?”

When Scott opened his eyes, they were the normal color again. “Sure, Stiles. What is it?”

“Can you send me a text? One everyday, about your day? I missed talking to you, man.”

Scott nodded eagerly; Stiles suspected this would placate whatever power that wanted to keep tabs on Stiles for now. He patted Scott’s hair, trying to ignore the odd looks Lydia and Jackson gave him while they waited for either his father or someone else to come. Ms. Martin stayed at the door, holding it open.

After a while, Melissa McCall came to the door, dressed in clean scrubs. “Goddamn it, Scott,” she uttered. “I’m so sorry, Stiles.” She marched over and thwacked her boy on the head. “You were to stay in your room when I leave,” she scolded. She sighed. Stiles guessed she’d been on her way to work when she got Ms. Martin’s text.

“It’s okay,” Stiles attempted to assure her. She was stressed enough as it is with Scott, he didn’t need to make it worse. He was the one who got them in this mess anyway. He shouldn’t have been all gung-ho about Danny’s project.

“What’s going on in here?”

His father was home. Stiles looked up at him from behind Scott and Melissa, trying to ignore how guilty Melissa looked. “It’s fine,” Stiles said quickly. “Scott was just leaving.”

“See you!” Scott stated happily, bounding out of his door and leaving Melissa to shudder.

“It’ll be okay, Melissa,” the sheriff murmured softly. She sighed and nodded and left the house and Stiles felt guiltier than before. If only he hadn’t taunted Derek. If he could figure out some way to save Scott, he could make things right.

“Well,” the sheriff muttered. “Anyone still up for dinner?”

Hollowly Stiles shook his head. He knew his dad had slaved over the recipe, even using one of his mom’s old favorites. But after seeing Scott, he just couldn’t eat. Tears pricked at his eyes, formed from the guilt he felt at not being able to eat.

Jackson scoffed. “I’m still hungry, Mr. Stilinski,” he assured his father, standing up. Stiles could barely believe it. Jackson was saving their family dinner. Ms. Martin also joined in. “I’ll help,” she assured his father, and Lydia shook her head.

“I’ll get started with Stiles,” she assured them, patting Jackson’s empty seat. “Save me a piece; I might be a lot hungrier after our lesson.”

“And I’ll certainly want one tomorrow,” Stiles assured his dad. His father sighed and nodded, motioning to the two standing people to join him in the kitchen.

So. Just him and Lydia.

Normally, it would be a dream come true. But after seeing Scott, he couldn’t really appreciate having Lydia Martin in his living room and it being just the two of them. The euphoria of being in love seemed empty compared to what he’d just seen.

Lydia patted the seat next to her again, more frustrated. Stiles moved the box out of the way, sitting next to her.

“Well then,” She began. “You don’t think I buy your car accident story, do you?”

Stiles scoffed. “I don’t buy it.” He was glad she didn’t; Lydia was many things, but stupid wasn’t one of them. Glad to have someone who didn’t buy the stupid cover story, Stiles relaxed. It made him feel less crazy.

“Tell me everything,” she demanded, tossing her pretty strawberry blonde hair behind her.

Stiles did. He started with Danny, with the book, what happened, and finished with his suspicions now. “I know it seems crazy,” he ended.

Her eyes narrowed, listening to the three people making small talk in the kitchen. “I don’t think you’re crazy,” she murmured. “Danny told me about the old Beacon Hills legends.” She pursed her lips together in thought. “I don’t know who Derek is, but I have Danny’s research. I can see if there’s anything about Derek.”

Stiles looked up. “You have his research?” that would help a lot. “Why?”

For a moment there was a break in the perfect shell Lydia showed to the world- her eyes sad and pitying. But in a moment she was back to her fabulous self with her mask back in place. “Anyway,” she dodged, and Stiles let her, “I’ll try to go through my stuff.”

This was hope. He hadn’t realized Danny had left anything at all. Danny had just said there was a book, not that he’d been researching it.

Reading his facial expressions, Lydia continued. “He found some things in the library. Old records, names,” she informed him. “You can look there and I’ll send you this stuff.”

For once, the idea of safety hung over Stiles’s head. “Property lines, genealogy charts, newspapers,” he agreed, excitedly waving his hands. “If we can find someone to break the possession-“ his voice trailed off, remembering Isaac. Shit. Maybe there wasn’t any time.

Lydia’s perfectly manicured hand reached to his wrist. “Hey,” she uttered. “Once step at a time. If we can stop this Derek, it’ll keep Jackson from getting killed.” She glared at her boyfriend, who continued to talk aimlessly about his car. Apparently she noticed Derek’s interest in what was happening and Jackson’s aggression- if the two met, well, Stiles’s money was not on Jackson.

“Yeah,” Stiles agreed.

 

***

 

“Goodbye again, and thanks for coming over.” Stiles waved as Jackson and Ms. Martin climbed into their cars (Lydia had already jumped into Jackson’s Porsche), signaling goodbye.

A warm hand pressed on his shoulder. “You did good, kid,” his father replied proudly. “Handled it well.” He pulled Stiles into a hug.

Stiles let the warmth reach him this time. Things would be good now. They had leads, they had action, and they had something. He had the brains of Lydia on his side. Maybe he could really save Scott.

His dad looked over at the box. “I’ll set this up,” he offered, a cautious suggestion that meant he’d check the box first to make sure it wouldn’t upset Stiles. Which was fine with Stiles, completely fine. If it was severed fish heads he’d rather not see it.

“I’ll clean up,” he offered, heading over to the sink. He turned on the hot water, gathering dishes as his dad went upstairs.

He placed the first plate at the bottom and-

Hands. Claws.

Claws were digging into his skin.

“Goddamn it,” he hissed. “This is enough water for you?” He struggled with the grip, his right hand going free. Quickly he looked around while pulling on the hand, noticing a big knife his father had used earlier to chop vegetables. It was long and sharp, not that Stiles really noticed. He noticed it would be good for stabbing something. So without any hesitation, he took the knife and stabbed it into the drain.

Red mixed into the soapy water, a laugh ringing through Stiles like a bell. Stiles had won, however, for the claws let go, retreating into the sink as the blood kept filling. The adrenaline shook through him, keeping him from feeling his hands.

Shaking he pulled his hand out of the water, checking it over and over again for injury, half convinced he’d just stabbed himself. But he had no wound, no tear of skin, nothing save for little dimples on his unbroken skin that would quickly heal. It wasn’t his blood in the water.

“Fuck you Derek,” Stiles snapped, wondering if Derek had been listening to their dinner the entire time. He thought back to Jackson- probably. Jackson had shoved him and Derek had heard but hadn’t been able to see, and so Derek pushed Scott into visiting.

Shit. No wonder Lydia brought it up.

At least his fears were founded, he thought. He badly hoped something Danny had left Lydia would help them figure this all out; either through ending Derek or through saving Scott.

Quickly the blood drained from the water, leaving behind soapy suds. Not one to be fooled, Stiles stabbed into the water again, using the knife to open the stopper, nudging it out of place. He didn’t move until the water finished draining with a suck and a pop.

After that, all the dishes went into the dishwasher.

His work done, Stiles headed up the stairs. It had been a long day, and he had plenty to do tomorrow. He crept into the bathroom and brushed his teeth.

“This is really useful,” the sheriff called out. “I had one of these in college. Helped me relax.”

“Good,” Stiles yelled back through a mouth full of toothpaste. He could use some relaxation.

Spitting out his toothpaste and flicking the facet on with his toothbrush, Stiles grinned. Fuck Derek. He’d deal with this. Derek couldn’t touch him in his bedroom; he couldn’t touch him where there wasn’t any water. He and his dad would be fine.

He stripped out of his clothes and into his boxers, giving his facet the middle finger, tossing his clothes into the sink. Derek reaching out now meant he was nervous Stiles would get away. It had to be the only explanation. Stiles grinned, convinced he’d have everything figured out.

Headed into the hallway his father smiled at him. “All set up for you,” he said. “Goodnight kid.”

“Night, Dad,” Stiles replied, pulling his father into a hug. So what if he’d been more touchy feely lately? He’d almost died. He deserved more hugs. The sheriff never rejected the idea, either, always responding by holding Stiles close. Sometimes just the physical affirmation was enough to keep the nightmares away.

His dad pulled away. “Long day tomorrow,” he uttered regretfully.

“Good,” Stiles replied. “I’ll keep plenty busy at the library tomorrow.” His heart rose with how proud his dad looked.

“Going out, huh?” the sheriff inquired with a smile, and ruffled Stiles’s hair. “Glad to see it.”

Stiles nodded, shaking off his dad’s hand playfully. “Go to bed, Dad,” he muttered. “I’ll still be here tomorrow.”

“You’d better be,” the sheriff warned, but instead of fighting Stiles only nodded. He couldn’t leave his Dad alone. He watched his dad enter the main bedroom, opening his door and turning on the lights, shutting the door behind him.

Everything looked the same, he noted, scanning the room for whatever relaxation thing Scott had brought him. The table, the desk, and the waterfall by his dresser-

Wait.

A waterfall.

Scott had brought him one of those miniature waterfalls, just like the ones he saw in Martha Stewart magazines. 

And it currently held water. Running water, since it was plugged in, and the trickle didn’t help relax him. All it did was point out that the bottom of the pot had water that wasn’t rippling.

“Thanks, Scott,” he lied, tight-lipped. So much for being safe in his bedroom. For a moment Stiles wondered about moving it. It looked a little heavy, and he didn’t trust Derek not to claw his arms out if he tried to move it.

Maybe it was an illusion of the light. Maybe it really was moving and rippling. Testing, Stiles grabbed his Lacrosse stick and poked it, hoping to knock it over on “accident.”

Instead, the waterfall didn’t move. At all.

Neither did the water.

Angrily Stiles flung the stick onto his bed before following it himself, tucking his feet near the headboard so he didn’t have to worry about Derek eating them. “We escaped,” Stiles hissed into his pillow. “We survived!”

It was unfair. Everything. Stiles shouted into the pillow, angrily frustrated at his situation. Derek wouldn’t wait for him to figure it out, wouldn’t take his time. There was no reward for surviving. Instead Derek found ways to barge into Stiles’s bedroom, making things exactly as terrifying as they had been a week ago. And Scott was running out of time, under some sort of thrall.

Why was Derek so instant to get in Stiles’s room now? Why did he want to listen and watch? Because they had escaped?

The questions spun round and round in his mind, gaining no traction.

Safe in home and yet Derek was still here. “Shit. So much easier when all I had to worry about was staying away from the edge of the pond,” Stiles breathed.

“Then go back,” a raspy voice spoke from the waterfall.

Cautiously, Stiles turned. He turned to see all of Derek materialized, hanging out on Stiles’s bedroom floor with only the tip of his tail in the waterfall.

“Not modern enough,” Stiles snapped, hugging the wall even closer now. He looked at his computer, wondering if he should turn it on, but he didn’t like the idea of having his back to Derek. For his part, Derek seemed content enough to stare at Stiles like Stiles was Derek’s personal movie.

This would be a long night.

His phone buzzed suddenly, still on silent for dinner instead of the normal voice announcing the sender. Glancing at the screen, Stiles read Scott had texted him. It’s not safe, Stiles. I’m not safe to be around.

Stiles looked back at Derek, who regarded him curiously, his head tilted. Maybe Derek had never seen a cell phone before. He probably didn’t know all sorts of electronic things because they died once they hit the water, and Derek only lived in water.

But why had Scott been able to text him now? It wasn’t just a text- it sounded like Scott was back in his right mind. But why? Stiles looked over at Derek, who seemed to be sitting on where his knees if he had knees, content to watch Stiles from the closet.

Immediately an idea sprung across Stiles’s mind. It wasn’t the best but it seemed pretty good to Stiles. With Derek this focused on him, he must be leaving Scott alone. If Stiles could keep Derek occupied for a little bit, Scott might have a normal time, just for a little while. He stretched out his legs, sticking his feet off the bed, closest to Derek, keeping his phone tucked into his chest.

I can give you 30 min without him, Stiles typed back, looking at Derek again. Derek’s eyes were focused on Stiles’s ass. Or so it seemed. Testing, Stiles tilted his hips left, watching as Derek’s entire face followed. He shifted them right, and Derek’s face followed again. That experiment proved a success.

Quickly Stiles sent off one more message. I think I’m attractive to gay guys.

“You wanna talk to me? Or just talk to my ass?”

Derek snapped up to Stiles’s eyes. “I want to bite it.” The clawed fingers shook as Derek’s chest muscles flexed. It looked like only the barest of things held him back. “Want to lick you there, taste how warm and pliant and red your flesh is-“

Immediately Stiles turned over to protect his precious ass, matching Derek’s gaze with a glare. “I’ll cut you off again,” he threatened, grabbing his Lacrosse stick and curling upwards.

Immediately tentacles burst out of the water, ripping it from Stiles’s hands. So much for that plan. Stiles huffed, trying to stay calm. He’d promised Scott 30 minutes of normality.

"So was that a gift from you, then?” Maybe Derek would be more responsive to small talk than he was threats. Maybe it’d be enough to keep Derek focused on Stiles.

Derek tensed, but the tip of his tail swished in the water uncomfortably. Maybe slutty would work. Stiles opened his legs a little, not missing how Derek’s nostrils flared repeatedly, how Derek’s eyes darkened. “I just want to be sure I know who to thank.”

Derek moved forward, hands taking Stiles’s ankles. “Stupid doesn’t suit you, virgin,” he snapped, suddenly dragging Stiles’s ankles down. Stiles’s body slid downwards to the edge of the bed. Stiles bit back a cry as suddenly Derek folded Stiles’s legs upward, forcing Stiles’s knees to come up to Stiles’s ribs.

Then Derek lurched forward, pressing their bodies together while still holding onto Stiles’s ankles. Stiles gasped as he was forced chest to chest with Derek, the strong grip never releasing. “Alright,” Stiles let up. “You got Scott to bring it so you could watch me.” He tried to wiggle backwards, but Derek merely leered at him, thrilled to watch Stiles struggle under Derek’s strength.

His head tilted in confusion. “30 minutes?” Derek mused. “How do you plan to keep me busy?” He glared at Stiles, waiting for an answer.

Dumbfounded, Stiles merely stared blankly. He didn’t follow.

“Oh,” Derek purred, his movements suddenly smooth. “I know.” He thrust his hips upward, teasing his crotch against Stiles’s. “That’ll keep me away from Scott, won’t it?” Immediately Stiles’s cock woke up, seeking out the familiar feeling of Derek’s dick rubbing against him. But it never came- Derek held back.

How had Derek- Stiles looked at his phone and back to Derek before he guessed. “He spoke out loud, didn’t he?” he asked, cursing Scott’s simplemindedness.

Derek nodded as Stiles swore up a storm underneath him. “So. Stiles,” he hissed the word. “Entertain me.” His face came closer, all sharp and wide and hungry. “Shall we kiss again? You were so eager last time-“

Stiles head butted him. “What do I get out of that?” he demanded, struggling to free his ankles, still, not thrilled about looking like a baby having its diaper changed. “Pretty sure it’ll be make outs until dinner. And I’m the dinner.” He shivered, all parts of him wanting to call for his dad. But if he did, he had no doubt Derek would eat him. Stiles couldn’t bear to see his father ripped apart.

“Greedy,” Derek murmured, licking up Stiles’s skin. “I told you I’d be gentle, virgin. I won’t tear you apart until you’ve breathed in my water, your lungs giving out. Warm lifeblood becoming cool, still.”

Stiles beat his fists against Derek’s chest, still trying to wiggle away. “Not interested,” Stiles glared. “Besides, you ripped up my leg. I don’t believe you’d be gentle at all.”

The words seemed to catch Derek’s attention the way Stiles’s struggling did not. Derek’s paused for a moment, mulling over what Stiles had said.

Finally, he spoke. “Let’s play a game.” He pushed on Stiles’s legs, hauling himself up and moving one of Stiles’s feet into Stiles’s line of sight. “I’ll massage these instead of singing to Scott.”

It wasn’t much of a choice, really. If something happened to his feet it could be explained easily, and he was limping around anyway. If he lost his feet, it’d be worth it to give Scott piece of mind.

“Alright,” Stiles agreed.

Immediately Derek’s happiness displayed across his face. “On your back for me,” Derek growled in commentary, eyes flashing. “Such a pretty mate.” Derek’s fingers massaged Stiles’s foot, running underneath the balls of his feet and pressing in. Stiles tried not to groan. The pressure felt too good, shooting all the way up to his groin.

Derek smirked, pushing Stiles’s legs farther apart. Stiles whined, glad for the clothes keeping him covered. With his legs spread like this and pushed back, body in nothing but boxers, he felt vulnerable and on display, completely at Derek’s mercy.

Which was probably how Derek liked things.

Derek’s fingers hit a particularly tender spot, and Stiles’s hands flew to his mouth, trying to keep his groan hushed and quiet. Derek only grinned wider, like a cat watching a mouse. “Does that feel nice?” he wondered, repeating the motion. Stiles bit on the hand, trying to distract himself from the sensations. Yes, it felt nice. He ached to feel those fingers somewhere else.

Maybe he could get Derek to- no. This was for Scott. All of this was for Scott. No questions. No extra favors, no bargaining.

Then a finger traced over his toes, pressing along each tip. Stiles couldn’t help the whimper that escaped his mouth, face flushed and embarrassed. Derek didn’t grin, but instead he looked serious, face still hungry but somehow… adoring? Stiles didn’t understand.

“Been so long since I’ve had these,” Derek reminisced to himself. “Bet they’re tasty, though.”

And at that, Stiles’s toes were engulfed in a sweet, sweet heat, warm and plush. A thick but soft muscle circled around his toes as Derek sucked. Stiles whimpered again, even more desperately this time, his cock strangely hot and heavy.

“Good mate,” Derek murmured around Stiles’s feet. “Such a beautiful song.” Derek pulled off of Stiles’s toe, licking each one intently, his sharp teeth never pressing down.

Stiles tried harder to resist, covering his voice, trying to stop whining and gasping. But Derek slowly moved Stiles’s legs even wider, tongue running up and down Stiles’s foot. There the warm contrasted with the cool air and Stiles felt even more out of it, stuck between the two sensations. His body ached to feel Derek’s mouth somewhere else on him, and had no problems verbally announcing this need without Stiles’s mind on board with the idea. The effort to keep his voice down was a futile one.

In a last ditch attempt to get free, Stiles wiggled around on the bed, hoping at least one foot might come with him. Instead he noted Derek’s gaze directly at his cock, and the traitorous appendage merely ached harder as it tented up in his boxers. Stiles never thought he’d been that hard before in his life. Knowing he was flushed he moved one hand to keep Derek from looking at him, trying to sneakily place it over his erection.

Derek didn’t seem to notice, and now Stiles had to keep from rubbing himself, his hand pressing against his erection lightly. It was torture; the worst kind because Stiles wasn’t in pain. Instead he fought losing himself to the mindless sensations, fought pleading for Derek to touch him.

When Derek looked at his face from behind his foot, Stiles groaned again, Derek’s hands pressing in all the right places. “Keep singing,” Derek commanded, and then popped Stiles’s big toe into his mouth, sucking on it. The touches were too much to comprehend. White hot pleasure rippled through Stiles who tried to keep his mouth shut and his cock covered. Instead a gasp leaked from his mouth and Derek grinned in victory, his hands coming down the inside of Stiles’s thighs, popping the toe from his mouth, keeping Stiles spread open and wide.

“Beautiful,” Derek murmured, looking over Stiles. “Pretty mate.” Stiles’s cock twitched again, his hand wet with precome despite his boxers, and instinctually his body stretched out, desperate to feel Derek everywhere.

Immediately Stiles recovered from his display. No, he thought. Stiles was no one’s mate, and certainly not Derek’s. He wouldn’t give in. He attempted to wiggle away, moving his legs, but Derek held him fast, teeth moving quickly around his left big toe in a warning.

“Derek,” he began, trying to reason with the demon. He’d only agreed to a foot massage and this…this was not just a foot massage.

“Shh, pretty boy. Just sing.” Derek suckled on his toes one by one, tongue licking up and down and in between them and Stiles couldn’t hold back his gasps and moans, even biting into his hand at points while the other fisted the sheets. This was all embarrassing, exposed to Derek like this and unable to control his cock or his body, feeling this good, leaking in his boxers. He tried to think of Scott to calm himself down, but his brain wasn’t working with him. Instead it short-circuited on wanting, needing more.

He felt like a tense bow, muscles tensing and taught as his back arched, body betraying his will and offering himself up to the merman like he needed to be eaten. A haze covered his mind. He needed to be touched, needed to feel Derek’s fingertips on his skin. And yet the fear of Derek eating him, terror from those sharp teeth kept him alert and aware of everything that was happening.

Suddenly something gripped Stiles’s wrists, forcing him away from his leaking cock. “Derek, no,” he begged. Humiliation washed through him; he didn’t want to be seen by someone who ate humans for breakfast. “No, please,” he added, watching as tentacles took his hands and pinned them above his head.

“Shh,” Derek comforted, letting go of Stiles’s right leg to run a clawed hand down Stiles’s inner left thigh. “So soft. So pretty,” he continued. His eyes trailed off on what Stiles knew to be his cock, smirking as he took in the wet patch on Stiles’s boxers. “I won’t touch you there, pretty virgin,” he cooed at Stiles. “We only agreed to your feet.” He took the toes into his mouth again.

“Then why all this sucking?” Stiles demanded as Derek suckled on his pinky toe harder than before, leaving away and sucking along the balls of his feet, nipping. Stiles helplessly let out a groan, his body still tense, cock leaking through his boxers. Whimpering, he struggled against Derek’s tentacles, trying to free himself, trying to cover himself. But nothing worked out. He laid bare, Derek looking up and down over him, appraising him.

It was too much, felt too good. And that brought shame. He should be fearing for his life, not waiting for Derek to keep touching him. Why did Derek affect him in this way? Guilt ate at Stiles as he remained ashamed at his body’s reactions.

Derek’s hand pressed into his left heel, a beautiful distraction from the thoughts inside Stiles’s head. Derek’s mouth followed his fingers, suckling at Stiles’s feet. Gasps and cut off breaths fell from Stiles’s mouth into the silence of the room. Stiles could see how much he was leaking, see how wet he seemed to be for Derek. And Derek never touched him, never focused on anywhere but his feet, and that drove Stiles mad. He wanted to be touched. He needed to be touched. The tentacles never let him go, never let him touch himself.

Body shivering, Stiles opened his legs a little wider, hoping Derek might relieve some of this heat and haze that had built up in his body. Instead Derek grabbed onto his other leg, pressing them back and forward, leaning his weight on Stiles.

The sensation of pressure and weight above him was enough to set Stiles off. With a cry he felt his balls tighten and release, come spurting on the insides of his boxers. He whimpered as the feelings became too much, too much shame at having come untouched, but Derek stayed above him, whispering sweet nothings in his ear. “So good, pretty boy,” he murmured. “Smells so good. So pure.” Derek licked at his cheeks, cleaning up what Stiles suspected were tears.

The tentacles unwrapped themselves from Stiles’s hands as Derek backed away. Stiles lay there for a couple moments, trying to figure out what had just happened. Derek had… Derek hadn’t even touched him there. And Stiles had come like some wanton slut, just from a stupid…

Shaking, Stiles sat up, noting the claw marks on his legs. If he hadn’t agreed, Derek would have taken him anyway. At least this way Scott had some free time, some sort of mental clarity.

“I hate you,” he breathed, his body still shaking and whimpering. He hated how scratchy and debauched his voice sounded. He hated how much he still craved Derek’s touch, how his body wanted Derek next to him, touching him, his mouth on Stiles’s skin. Trembling he glared up at Derek, unwilling to admit it.

Derek looked as if he knew better. He stayed back, eyeing Stiles’s crotch. “Let me taste it on your flesh,” he requested.

Stiles froze, staring at Derek for more information. Surely Derek could just wait until Stiles took a shower or something. He said as much.

“Not washed down the drain, lifeless and dry. I want to feel your lifeblood pulsing underneath,” Derek murmured. His fingers looked like Stiles’s body right then- trembling, shaking, though probably with excitement and not the aftershocks of adrenaline. “I’ll trade you,” Derek purred. “I’ll stay away from Scott for 24 hours,” he added, moving to sit next to Stiles on the edge of the bed. “Wouldn’t you like that, virgin boy?”

Stiles bit his lip, thinking of what he could bargain. He seriously doubted Derek to keep that promise, not without making sure there was someone else to watch Stiles. “My dad,” he rasped, thinking of his father. “You don’t touch him. Ever.”

Derek leaned into Stiles’s neck, breathing in his scent, nuzzling it. “Agreed,” he promised, his voice dark and husky and chiming. “I won’t touch your father.” Stiles chose to ignore the chuckle Derek gave off. If he grew unsettled at everything Derek did, there wouldn’t be much point to trying to brain with the man.

Stiles leaned into the touch, letting Derek’s tentacles slide off his boxers as Derek continued to press kisses into his neck, content for the moment that Derek wouldn’t eat him. “Okay,” Stiles murmured, leaning back, spreading his legs. Derek’s eyes flashed before he pressed kisses down Stiles’s stomach, licking up all the come that had smeared there.

Still sensitive, Stiles lay back, trying not to whimper or flinch whenever he felt the brush of Derek’s teeth against his skin. Derek hadn’t even gotten to his cock yet. With the eagerness of a puppy, Derek licked the come, nose dragging in Stiles’s pubes. “Maybe next time you can take me to a meal first,” Stiles suggested sarcastically, but there wasn’t much bite behind it. The afterglow made him too tired.

Derek growled into his crotch. “I offered you heads,’ he complained, like they were a valuable commodity, more precious than diamonds.

Stiles sighed, eyes closing as Derek began mouthing his pubic hair then. If Derek wanted to kill him, he would have done it by now. Cleaning him up was too much effort when he could have dragged Stiles to the waterfall and drowned him. “Eyes are pretty,” he mumbled, thinking of Lydia. She’d know what was going on. She’d know what to do. She wouldn’t have let Derek affect her this way.

“Hmm,” Derek murmured. “I see.”

Stiles grunted as Derek continued licking, tongue on his cock. Thinking out loud, Stiles asked, “What about your parents?” he asked, bringing the conversation back to sarcasm. “When will I meet them?”

Derek scoffed, holding down Stiles’s hipbones rather painfully. “Parents are for eating,” he scolded, exasperated. Stiles felt a bit like a little kid being lectured to. “Tastiest hearts, full of power and life.”

Stiles opened his mouth again, thinking of the sheriff and Melissa and their power to protect people, but Derek slapped a tentacle over his mouth. “Shh,” Derek instructed.

“But,” Stiles complained into the water.

“I’ll eat you,” Derek threatened, hauling himself upwards, face now over Stiles’s chest.

Stiles stilled for a moment. “No you won’t,” he replied, and the tentacle fell away. Derek looked up at him with wide eyes, an expression of surprise on his face. “You want something else.” Stiles paused, thinking. “You want me at the source so you can eat me, maybe. Tear my flesh from my bones, decorate your pond with my warm lifeblood. Unless you drink me up in the moonlight, or pull me down until your shadow catches over me and drains the last bit of warmth I can feel, until my flesh stills, my last gasp against your lips.” Stiles could picture it perfectly, the water around him, the need to feel Derek on him, tearing him apart-

A low gasp met his ears, one that sounded exactly like the same from the night with the tentacle. Eager to see what Derek looked like in orgasm, Stiles opened his eyes, focused on the brilliant expression as Derek released, covering Stiles in a wet, white liquid before covering Stiles with his body. Even his unguarded face looked terrifying and the idea that Derek could so easily pin him down despite his afterglow left little to reassure Stiles.

“I’ll clean it up,” Derek promised, licking his neck, sensing Stiles’s distress.

But Derek’s jizz hadn’t been the cause Stiles’s distress.

Rather, Stiles had no idea where the words and thoughts to describe his death had come from.

Chapter Text

Light fluttered through the window, a welcome reminder that Stiles lived. His body hurt all over, yet another, though less pleasant, reminder that Stiles wasn’t dead. And there was a warm, relaxed feeling that flooded through him, something that made him feel warm and loved and attractive. Stiles suspected it might be an oxytocin reaction to having sex with another person and promptly vowed to ignore the feeling when remembering who the other person was.

He slung his arm over his head in an attempt to stave off the light. Bruises and bite marks decorated his skin, like Derek had finished his licking and marking once Stiles had been asleep. Stiles certainly didn’t remember agreeing to be bitten. “Consent, dickhead,” Stiles shouted at the waterfall, only realizing there was a chance his father might be in. Quickly he checked the time with his clock- no, his father had left already.

The water fountain rippled and splashed behind him, more so than normal. Derek wasn’t there. “Couldn’t even watch me wake up,” Stiles groaned to himself, getting up.

Thank God, though. Stiles wasn’t sure he could last with Derek’s attention focused on him.

Groaning, Stiles checked his phone, turning the sound on. He had new messages from Lydia, some from Scott, and one from his father. He checked his father first.

Erica will be there at 10am. Behave. Thought I’d let you sleep in after Scott’s visit last night.

Good. His father hadn’t seen him- he might have thrown a fit if he had. Stiles read the text again- he had 30 minutes until Erica showed up. Not enough time to shower. Quickly he glanced at Scott’s messages.

Stiles no don’t do this

Stiles he wants you Stiles

Stiles I can hear him again

Protect my mom, please

Cursing, Stiles’s resolve renewed. No one else could suffer. He’d have to rescue Scott. He promised himself and Scott that he would, turning the phone to Lydia’s messages.

All of these things are in French. Older French. I’ll need sleep for this.

Stilinski, I feel I should share this with you. Danny didn’t ask me or Jackson to go because he said he cared about us too much. He was looking for guys he could “outrun” if anything went bad. So don’t blame yourself about his death.

I’m still not sure if Scott isn’t psychotic, but I’ll help you for now.

Well. That answered a bunch of questions- why Danny had bothered to ask them to go ahead and investigate the book. “Bastard,” Stiles breathed, thinking about it. Danny hadn’t talked to them before, nor had he ever been particularly kind to Stiles or Scott. Now that he knew some of Danny’s motives, he felt like he should feel better about Danny’s death.

But he couldn’t. Instead he just continued to feel empty and hollow as he thought about that thing ripping Danny apart. He and Scott had fled immediately, running for the hill as soon as the trees fell. Had Danny seen? In his last moments, did Danny curse them for being lucky enough to get away?

Groaning he got up, noting his side still felt a little sticky. He’d best take another sponge bath, especially on his stomach and thighs. In the daylight he felt weightless and upset at what he’d done. Scott knew what he’d sacrificed, though his father never would, hopefully.

None of it would matter, so long as he could kill Derek.

He got up to the bathroom, filling up his regular bucket in the tub, ignoring how it didn’t seem to ripple- just a trick of the light. He tapped the bucket, watching as it did actually ripple. Derek might be asleep or something. Or something.

He hoped.

He threw himself into his pants, grabbing pens and dragged himself down the stairs just in time for Erica to pull up.

 

***

 

Erica was glad enough to let Stiles hang out in the library. “Good studying environment. I’ll be upstairs,” she told him as he headed to the basement.

The full wall’s length of an aquarium greeted him, complete with a “Feed our fish!” sign above the open tank. Stiles ignored it in favor of other signs, like those that were about atlases or science experiments or legal agreements. Under archives- Old Beacon Hills he went, setting his papers and pens on a desk underneath the one of the many broken ceiling tiles in the place. How they didn’t fall down and crush the fish in the tank was beyond him.

Stiles got to work quickly, looking over old land maps and property lines. It wasn’t difficult now that he knew the geography of the place. There had been an old mansion to the north that belonged to the Hales, and another to the south that belonged to the Argent family, but given that none of those buildings existed in the current Beacon Hills, nor any of them matched up to current property lines, it was safe to say that both families were from the old town.

Apparently very few people had survived the old town. Looking into law books, Stiles discovered the old preserve curfew had started in April of 1889. Suspiciously, all the property in this side of the preserve started being sold two months later; almost as if people had known about what was there. And had moved.

Stiles swallowed.

There were other families- Dunbars, Tates, Deatons. Some of them had escaped, some of them had built new lives here. But all of them had soon died out.

Ugh. None of this helped Stiles figure out about Derek. It told him a lot more about that whole curfew about the preserve, and why the sheriff’s department went after them in the morning. Groaning, he moved to text Erica upstairs- he should tell her he’d be here all day.

He’d need to find genealogy charts. He clambered through the archives in hopes of finding something. Humming to himself, he noted a few lucky charts available. The Deatons in particular had a detailed line. In fact, Stiles noted a couple letters from someone named Alan to Talia in the file, talking about how things were going. It sounded like advice. None of it involved a Derek, though. Most of it was about wolves.

Still humming (it was better than yelling, which he desperately wanted to do), he continued looking through files. Nothing on the Argents or Hales. Or the Wincotts, either. Apparently any family that had died before the rule didn’t have anything to trace them, and those that did only seemed to have a couple generations.

So. Something bad had happened in 1889, the town had been moved.

Was Derek behind it? Had Derek been born, or woken up, or was it that other thing? The town hadn’t moved. They’d fled. They’d fled and Stiles couldn’t really blame them after being there himself.

His phone spoke. “Incoming Text from Lydia Martin”. She’d sent him a picture, along with some notes from Danny. Still checking the French. It’s all written in code.

“Beautiful, Lydia,” Stiles breathed, the first sign of progress he’d had in a long time. He opened the picture, noticing a blurry copy of a woman and a boy. Not too helpful. He looked through the notes, also pictures- they were taking a bit of time to load.

Do you know if he had hard copies of the notes somewhere? Stiles texted.

Instantly Lydia texted back. He said he had them in the Hale file. Said one of the men was super sexy.

Stiles opened the genealogy file for the Hales, hands trembling. “Certainly sexy,” he murmured. Derek was sexy, and Danny was looking for a book- maybe Danny had seen Derek before, and had been looking up information about him. Maybe that picture was him.

Well, the notes weren’t there, so Stiles moved to the last drawer- old newspapers and announcements. There were several announcements, and Stiles moved backward, looking through the newspapers-

The Hales Daily.

Stiles swallowed. This might be the one. He looked over them- simple things, like weather planning and moon phases, along with other announcements and news. Earlier Talia announced the birth of a child, Cora, to be added to a slew of other children, including a Derek.

This had to be the right file. It had to be here. He searched in the back, nearly crowing with success as he found a folder, pulling it out. Danny’s familiar handwriting was etched along it. Anything about Derek would be helpful right now. Anything to stop him would be great, but any sort of knowledge would be power.

Humming again, he opened the file, a picture falling out. Danny’s notes were etched along the side; it was a copy of a picture. “Derek Hale and Kate Argent playing by the Nemeton,” the notes read. Stiles looked at the young man and back at his phone- the picture had come in finally.

Definitely Derek.

Whatever Derek was now, he had once been human. Which meant Stiles might be able to undo his transformation, which would save Scott. Hope sprung in his chest again. Looking at the picture closely, he noted Kate had a book in her hands, and was reading to Derek. Derek seemed content, but Kate seemed a little… evil. Like she looked down on Derek.

And Stiles had seen Derek now. For him to say Kate was evil wasn’t even pushing it.

Blinking, Stiles realized he’d seen that book. It was the same book in the woods, the same they’d found. He swallowed; in order to get that book they’d have to go into the woods again. And if they weren’t lucky, that thing would find them again.

The thing seemed far less scary now with Derek watching his every move.

Shrugging he kept looking through the notes, seeing a sort of list. Several words were scribbled across the page. Water, Danny had written. Blood. Heart. Death. On the other side, A virgin? Really?

Frowning, Stiles pulled out another note- one that marked the aquifer. Another note was scribbled: Ethan’ll regret dumping me.

All of this was over an ex? Stiles swore, throwing the packet on the table. How the hell could Danny justify that? Was he planning to get that book so he could get back at Ethan?

Angrily Stiles scribbled his own notes, trying to make sense of everything. Danny had gone for the book knowing what it was, hoping Stiles and Scott would die instead. And Danny knew about Derek and Kate, and there was someone humming behind him, a kind of pleasant sound, and Stiles didn’t know about the book but he suspected Kate was the start of everything bad. In that photo Derek didn’t look like he could hurt a puppy.

Stiles still had to figure out how to free Scott. He kept humming, matching the voice, singing harmony to it-

A voice.

The aquarium.

Stiles wouldn’t give Derek the satisfaction of seeing his surprised face. “Hello, Derek,” he snapped. “Being my personal stereo? What greatness you’ve aspired to.”

Water sloshed behind him, and Stiles knew Derek was preening. He could practically feel it in the air as the song stopped. “Looking up information about me?” Derek asked, his voice light and airy. If that continued, Stiles knew, he’d be underneath Derek again.

“More about this book Kate Argent had, Derek Hale,” Stiles snapped, turning in hopes to see Derek’s surprise. Instead Derek continued to sit happily in the aquarium, leaning out over the top, water dibbling down his really delicious muscles, and okay, if there was a merman haunting him and following him around, at least it was an attractive sort of merman.

Derek’s face only grew more smug, smile more wide. Somehow Stiles had a suspicion that Derek didn’t care at all about his name. All of Stiles work seemed useless, and Stiles hissed as doubt crept into his mind. “I’m going to figure out how to free Scott. I’m going to figure out how to kill you,” Stiles continued angrily. “I’m going to return you human and then kill you in a thousand fucking ways, do you understand? You’ll beg me for death when I’m done with you. I’m going to fucking-“

“Such care,” Derek stated happily, tail thumping against the glass.

“You’re going to jail when you’re human again,” Stiles snapped. “And I’ll visit everyday to mock you.”

Derek only sighed. “Pretty human-“

“Stiles,” Stiles snapped. “At least use my name, for god’s sakes, if you’re going to do all this mate stuff.”

That seemed to surprise Derek. “What do you mean?”

Stiles turned around, not wanting to look at that curious face. “The gifts. Scott called me mate. You won’t eat me. Either you want to drag me at the source or you want me as your own.” They’d established part of this last night, that Derek wouldn’t injure him. “So you want me as your mate, and I’ll bring you back to being human-“

“Smart,” Derek practically breathed against Stiles’s neck and Stiles shivered, closing his eyes. With thinking about Derek this close, his anger drained away. “Smart, pretty virgin mate,” Derek spoke against his neck, fingers tracing stuff into his back. Maybe it was tentacles. “But I never was human. Kate knew that. She used that with her black magic book.”

So the book could help Stiles. “Is she the thing?” He asked, wondering if he’d turn into that. Would he become like that creature to save Scott, only to end up killing him?

Suddenly he felt wet and cold. A hand gripped his pen, writing over the picture. There was a leak, the hands wrote, hair all matted down and wet and cold. Of course there was, especially with Derek’s tail tapping on the glass. Stiles shivered, feeling water drip down his back. Slowly he looked down- water everywhere. At least an inch on the floor, even underneath his chair.

Well, it wasn’t like Derek was going to kill him. He’d just affirmed Stiles’s suspicious. So Stiles reached over Derek’s hand, fingers gliding over his wet wrist, trying to ignore how tense Derek became behind him. In the blink of an eye he grabbed the pen and slammed it deep into Derek’s forearm.

Immediately Derek’s teeth had sunk into the back of his neck, Stiles gasping as his grip lessened. Pain hadn’t registered yet, Derek’s teeth angrily biting him in warning. Stiles let the pen go, watching in horror as Derek’s arm healed immediately, almost like liquid as he solidified, pushing the pen out of his arm.

“Fool,” Derek snarled, unhinging his teeth and running his tongue along the back of Stiles’s neck. Stiles whimpered as Derek licked the blood away almost tenderly. “Don’t make me angry,” he warned, his claws pricking up Stiles’s arm, painfully pressing into his jaw. Stiles titled his head upward automatically, only to find Derek’s other set of claws were on his lips.

“You’re not going to kill me,” Stiles whispered, though it was more bravado than truth at this point. Derek could kill him. Maybe there’d be a less stupid, less risky person for a mate. After all, Derek had all the time in the world to wait. And Stiles didn’t want to be his mate at all. He started speaking again, but Derek caught Stiles’s tongue between his fingers.

“I can maim you. I’d love to taste this,” he emphasized with a squeeze of his claws, pain sparking through the organ. Stiles squeezed his eyes shut; he couldn’t die now, not before he’d saved Scott. “But that’s not what you fear, is it?” Derek murmured in his ear.

The heat of Derek’s breath felt odd against the cold of his skin and Stiles shivered. Derek’s claws tightened, his teeth pressing into Stiles’s neck again. “No,” Stiles stuttered.

“Good.” Derek let his claws trace along Stiles’s neck, his tongue, before finishing. “If you try and hurt me again,” he warned, voice like ice, “I will kill him. And then I’ll drag you down to the depths, screaming and kicking and struggling and I won’t be gentle.” His claws tightened one last time. “Do you understand?”

Stiles nodded, afraid to speak. His eyes looked up at an exit- maybe he could stumble through the ceiling tiles.

“Good,” Derek murmured, and the claws moved to traced down Stiles’s arms, almost sensually. “Now then, Mate,” he whispered, closing the folder of contents and running a claw down the middle, throwing the ripped contents onto the ground and erasing all of Danny’s work. “I want us to sing again,” he murmured, continuing to lick the blood off of Stiles’s neck. “I heard you humming earlier. What a pretty song.”

Stiles’s mind flashed back to the previous night, whimpering as Derek touched him, praying Derek wouldn’t find him anywhere else. Squirming, he felt Derek’s grip tighten, felt Derek’s muscles tense to keep him there. “I can break your legs, pretty boy,” Derek snapped.  “That’ll keep you from running from me.”

Slowly Stiles took in a breath. He needed to think. “No,” he pleaded, still struggling. He had to convince Derek he wanted this, had to convince Derek to let him go long enough to jump up onto the cabinets, had to convince Derek so he could to run. He didn’t doubt for a second Derek would break his legs if Derek thought it would help his case.

“No?” Derek teased, hands going lower. Desperately Stiles leaned his head back. Derek moved out of the way, curious as to what Stiles was doing. In a moment Stiles leaned up, hoping to convince Derek with a small, sloppy kiss on the side of his cheek.

Immediately Derek’s grip loosened. “Oh, pretty virgin boy,” he murmured, tilting his head just enough to messily kiss Stiles back, tongue running along Stiles’s lip. Stiles could taste his own blood in Derek’s mouth but he tried not to think of it, eventually giving up and whining again, hands tugging on Derek’s arms.

“Face to face,” he breathed against Derek’s skin, watching as it heated up. He watched a drop of water slide down from Derek’s hair to his cheek, watched as Derek pressed his lips together in consideration. Stiles stopped struggling, hands instead stroking Derek’s arms. “The chair is too awkward, Derek,” he tried to purr. He tried to make his voice full of that sing-songy energy Derek possessed. “Please.”

His efforts were rewarded with a full body shudder, Derek’s eyes blacking over quickly. His limbs loosened and Stiles climbed onto the table, kicking the chair out of the way as he turned around, drawing Derek to him.

Derek growled as he came closer, clearly pleased with this turn of events. “So needy,” he murmured, content to let Stiles wrap his legs around Derek’s waist. His mouth found Stiles’s neck, hands on the table as Stiles attached himself to the merman.

“Need you,” Stiles emphasized against Derek’s ear, noting the broken ceiling tiles up above. “So much.” He leaned back against the desk and moved his legs higher, swinging them onto Derek’s shoulders.

Derek nuzzled one of Stiles’s calves, the one he’d tore into, pressing a kiss against the same spot. Stiles shuddered, hoping his plan would come to fruition without Derek snapping off his cock. “You taste delicious,” Derek murmured. “Hot blood underneath the skin, full of arousal and fear. Needy.” His mouth parted widely into the grin Stiles had come to hate.

“Do need you,” Stiles breathed, reaching for Derek’s head. Derek folded him forward a bit. Stiles moved upward, little crunches. Derek coyly moved out of the way each time, avoiding his mouth.

But Stiles wasn’t after his mouth.

With a last movement, Stiles spoke. “Need your height,” he announced, using Derek’s head as leverage to lift himself up to sit on Derek’s shoulders. With a swift punch the tile broke, and it took all the fear inside Stiles to pull himself up into the ceiling.

Angrily Derek shouted, a chair bursting through the ceiling next to Stiles. Alright, then. Derek was totally willing to hurt Stiles to get what he wanted. Maybe Stiles wouldn’t die, but that threat of broken legs, Stiles completely believed that.

“Aggression isn’t the way to someone’s heart!” Stiles shouted, crawling to the staircase.

Another thing slammed to where Stiles had just been- a desk. “You sang,” Derek raged. “You sang, called, and I answered!” Another slam. Stiles kept crawling, praying he was in the right location. The worst part was Derek sounding so hurt, like Stiles was responsible for his anger instead of Derek manning up and acknowledging this was a very big disagreement in wants. Derek wanted Stiles, and Stiles wanted to live. “I can give you heads! My hunting grounds are huge! I can give you anything! Cancer ridden  old men! The arms of little babies! What more do you want?”

Stiles stayed silent, praying Derek wouldn’t find him. He slowed his breathing, trying not to panic.

“Incoming Message from Lydia Martin.”

Stiles stayed still, more in shock than anything else.

After a beat, Stiles could hear that sing-songy voice again. “Human boy,” Derek chimed. “Surely you want help coming back down? You want this thing?” Derek’s voice seemed to come from all over- Stiles wasn’t sure where Derek was. “Come back, pretty virgin- I’ll give you this talking mirror thing.”

Stiles focused his panic to keep him still- Derek didn’t know where he was.

“Fine,” Derek snapped. “If you won’t be my mate, maybe Scott will,” Derek snapped angrily. “And maybe he’ll take my offer of delicious heads- heads like your precious, beautiful Lydia Martin.” The sound of electronic equipment crunching sounded through the room.

Cold panic set through Stiles. “No,” he yelled in the ceiling, hands desperately trying to get the ceiling tiles open. “Don’t you dare! Derek! Derek!” Angrily he punched the tile out of the way, hearing it fall. The moment light burst through the hole Stiles stuck his head out, looking around for the merman. Though he noted he was successfully above the staircase, he couldn’t see Derek at all.

Cursing, he looked down at the water- it had pooled all over the floor, but Stiles could clearly see it rippling. Derek wasn’t here.

“No, no, no,” Stiles repeated, nearly panicking. Lydia was in trouble. Scott was in trouble. He had to warn them. He had to warn them and his phone was broken and he didn’t have a car and he was so fucked.

Underneath him the doors opened, Erica stepping in. “Holy fuck,” she uttered, looking over the thing.

“Erica, you’re an angel,” Stiles announced from the ceiling.

“Stiles?” Erica looked up. “Why are you in the ceiling?”

“No time,” he told his babysitter. “Quickly, I’ve got to get down and to Lydia’s house.” He pointed over to the furniture embedded in the ceiling. “That thing is after her.”

Erica looked over at it, then up at Stilinski nodding. “I’ll have to get Boyd to help get you down. He’s upstairs,” she assured him, running back up to fetch him.

“Thank God,” Stiles murmured. Maybe they’d get there in time.

Beneath him, the water continued to ripple.

Chapter Text

One thing Stiles appreciated about Erica was the way she sped like a madwoman. As he explained what was going on with Derek in her car she picked up her pace, not giving a damn about tickets or safety. Boyd sat next to her in the front seat and unfazed by her speed. “He’s a demon?” He asked. Stiles figured he’d be more skeptical but there was no way skinny little Stiles would be able to launch a desk at the ceiling, especially not once after he’d gone inside it.

Erica slid her car into the driveway, opening her door and leaving the car running. Screaming came from somewhere within the house, no less urgent than anything they had come across before. Stiles opened the door and stopped for a moment. Quickly he turned back to Erica. “Don’t follow me. Go home.”

Erica looked as if he’d grown another head. “Are you kidding?” She yelled.

Stiles shook his head. “Look, Erica,” Stiles replied, “Everyone involved so far has gotten injured, or threatened to be injured. Here, he doesn’t know you. He doesn’t think you’re important. Stay that way. Stay away, stay safe. Don’t come after me.”

Boyd grabbed her hand. It looked like the idea was killing him but Boyd knew sense at least. Stiles was grateful that asking her to leave pained Erica. She was a good girl, wanting to help. “Boyd,” Stiles snapped. “You don’t follow me either."

“Look,” Stiles murmured, pointing to his neck. Erica nearly gasped, clearly just noticing the bites and bruises for the first time. “Whatever issues you have, you don’t want to get involved. Lydia might be dead. Scott will be if I can’t stop him.” He shut the door, talking through the open window. “I don’t want you to die.”

Erica nodded. “All right, Stiles,” she agreed, slamming the door shut. Her car took off towards the driveway and down the road to safety. Stiles swallowed as he  watched her disappear, needing that one thing to go right for him today. Good. At least those people could be saved, good people who wanted to help.

There were other things to worry about now. Lydia. Derek. Scott. Not wanting to investigate inside the house, he looked at the garden leading to the back. No way but forward. Limping, he made his way to the back, hoping to find Derek in the pool Jackson had mentioned earlier. He had to be there. It was his-

Jackson.

In one of the hedges, Jackson held himself in a tight little ball, breathing, muttering. “Treat your girl the way you treated him,” he blabbed, rocking back and forth. A puddle of water lay underneath him as he rocked, water shaking off of him like a dog.

Slapping Jackson on the face, Stiles attempted to snap him out of it. Jackson kept rocking back and forth, oblivious to Stiles’s attempts at shocking him to normalcy. Stiles hit him again for good measure. Jackson wouldn’t remember.

“Gonna tear her up the way you threatened to do to him,” Jackson repeated to himself, rocking even harder now.

“Dammit,” Stiles breathed to himself, breaking into a crippled run. He rounded the house, the big pool coming into view. Lights strung up at the top where one rope had fallen into the middle, the pool surrounded by deck chairs and little fingers that had been tossed every which way.

The water wasn’t very red, he noted. Just a stain in the middle, followed by strawberry blonde hair and limbs torn apart and Stiles heaved, legs trembling, everything fuzzy.

He hadn’t been able to save Lydia after all.

Fear gripped him. What if Scott had the same fate? What if it was both Scott and Lydia?

Morbidly he needed to go closer, needed to make Scott wasn’t there too. He took a step closer to the water.

“Ah, so you did come,” Scott said from his left, coming out the back door. His eyes were blue. His face seemed twisted. His hands were covered in blood.

Stiles realized with a heavy heart he could no longer hear screaming coming from the house.

“Scott, no,” Stiles whispered, but Scott took his hand, leading him closer to the water. As Stiles turned to the pool he noticed Derek on the edge, eating something that looked suspiciously like well painted lips. Stiles glared at him, anger welling up in this throat.

“I was hungry. Jealous. Take your pick,” Derek answered curtly before Stiles could even ask why. Derek reached down and pulled out an eye with some of the muscle still attached. Stiles shivered at the display before realizing Derek was holding it out for him. “You said you liked them,” Derek continued, voice still curt and angry.

“The fuck, Derek!” Stiles shouted, angrily waving his hands around. “I was joking. You can’t kill people! That’s not something that’s attractive! And you know what, quit with this mate bullshit and just stop killing the people I care about because-“

Suddenly Scott’s hand gripped Stiles’s lower back tightly, fingers almost like little claws. Stiles’s anger faded immediately as he let Scott push him towards the edge of the pool, breathing once Scott stopped pushing. Stiles’s feet were right at the edge. Tearfully he looked over at his best friend only to find Scott’s eyes were dark and blue and inky. That thing wasn’t Scott.

“What did you do to him?” Stiles asked in a tight voice, realizing how outgunned he was. Maybe Derek had been offering the eye to Scott. Maybe Scott was the mate, and Stiles was the present, just like Derek had threatened. Either way, Scott leading him to the water would end in death.

Scott moved to the edge himself, squatting down and grabbing a foot that floated past. He sniffed it and nodded before offering it to Stiles with a big dopy grin, like Scott had just offered to play some Halo. Shaking his head, Stiles glared angrily at Derek. If this was the final showdown, then by God Stiles would go down fighting.

“Derek,” Stiles began, realizing how little of the boy in the picture Danny had found was left. Stiles wasn’t going to be a stupid optimist about it; Derek had lived too long and too often as a demon to return back to humanity. And after he murdered the woman Stiles loved, Stiles didn’t think he wanted to save Derek anyway. “What did you do to him? The same thing Kate Argent did to you?”

That got a reaction. With a splash Derek loomed in front him, tentacles holding him up in the water to be eye level with Stiles. “You think you know everything,” he snapped, slapping Stiles’s face with Lydia’s lips. “But you don’t, boy, so don’t ever mention that name again or I will tear this town apart, do you understand?”

Bleakly Stiles stilled, the world coming to a strange stop.

Lydia’s head rolled over in the pool repeatedly like a ball. Each roll gave Stiles a good look at her disfigured face. She was dead. Dead. Derek had killed her. Nothing could fix it; the world was a terrible reality.

The world turned again.

Spitting in Derek’s face Stiles pushed Derek’s chest and forced Derek to fall back into the pool.

Derek growled, swimming back a little.

“So what, you’re going to kill me?” Stiles shouted. “Tear me apart just like her?” Tears fell as the terrible situation dawned on him. This was the end, but he would go down on his own terms.

“No,” Derek growled angrily, his fins twisting and turning in the water, mixing Lydia’s blood and juices with the rest of the pool. “Scott will.”

Slowly he raised his clawed fingers up in the air. Scott’s hand tensed, and Stiles turned immediately. “No, Scott, no,” he begged. “No.” Not by his best friend.

Snap.

The snap rang through the air only to be followed by what Stiles saw as a deafening silence. But less than one second later Scott pushed Stiles into the water, stepping in after him. His hands held onto Stiles’s shoulders, keeping him down.

Desperately Stiles kicked and squirmed, frantically seeking the surface. He could hear Derek’s song all around him, teasing him as the words tore through the two human boys, commanding Scott to push Stiles deeper into the water.

Each movement felt weaker than the one before, Stiles’s lungs burning. He kicked at Scott, nearly shouting as Scott disconnected long enough for Stiles to reach the surface. Exhaling on the way up and taking in a breath of fresh, sweet air, Stiles kept moving, headed for the rope in the middle of the pool, knowing he could use it to haul himself up.

If Derek didn’t kill him first, that was.

The water felt like tiny little Derek claws around him, tentacles caressing him from every which way, but Stiles kept moving. He had to keep moving, had to keep going. Scott’s fingers dug into his skin, pulled and his clothes and took him down again, the water encasing over his mouth.

Cursing, Stiles struggled, trying to keep his feet perpendicular to Scott and kick him off. Scott reached for his stomach, punching him in the gut, and water filled his mouth. Instinctively Stiles swallowed, curing, somewhere in the back of his brain knowing that he’d be less buoyant now.

Scott moved up, apparently needing a breath. He pushed Stiles’s shoulders down to get it, feet kicking Stiles in the head, anything to get up and keep Stiles below the surface.

This wouldn’t do. Under the water Stiles spotted the shallow end of the pool. He’d have to get there. Fuck the rope; he could grapple with Scott if he had something to stand on. But right now he was floating and swimming and his mind was near bursting, let alone his lungs.

Doing the opposite of what his instincts told him, Stiles dove deeper, escaping Scott’s grip. He believed completely that Scott would kill him like this. Easily he sank to the bottom and crouched down, feet on the edge of the pool. Before he leaped he looked up, seeing Scott’s form up above him, Derek’s tail dipping in the water, and Lydia’s body floating lifelessly.

Even though he didn’t look like it, Stiles had no doubt Derek knew everything that’s going on. The water was his, after all. And then Stiles took a chance, hoped Scott was still too distracted by air and pushed forward, legs doing a dolphin kick to try and propel him forward, towards the shallow end.

Easily he brushed past Scott, underneath the torso but it wasn’t close enough before Stiles’s lungs screamed at him and he had to hit the surface. He pulled out gasping for breath, hearing Scott smack the water behind him. The chlorine and blood hurt his eyes but he forced them open anyway, back under the water where he tried to swim to the shallow area, back underneath Lydia’s buoyant blood and Scott’s flailing.

When he surfaced again he stopped, noticing the splashing has gone. Immediately he blinked his eyes clear, trying to find the ladder or an exit. The water was bad. Bad water, his mind screamed. He had to get out of death water.

And then he just…

The splashing had gone- where was Scott? Stiles looked back and immediately regretted it.

Scott hunched over Lydia’s body, fingers digging into her stomach. His hand took her flesh and stuffing it inside his mouth hungrily, like he starved for her taste. It wasn’t just once, either. Scott repeated the action several times before Stiles had the capacity to think.

“What did you do to him?” Stiles shouted, not even bothering at this point to beg Scott to stop. He knew better than that. Scott was under Derek’s thrall and nothing short of Derek dying would keep him that way. Still, better to hope Derek might be able to explain something- something that could help Stiles break his control.

Derek watched Scott intensely, almost proud as Scott stuffed fat and skin and muscle and organ into his mouth. “He’s under my control,” Derek explained, snapping again.

Immediately a horrified expression crossed over Scott’s face. Bloody mush fell out of his mouth as he took in the sight of Lydia, mind slowly figuring out what was going on. Scott looked up at Stiles helplessly and then Derek and then at the body again, hands shaking. He started kicking away from it. “No, No,” he repeated to himself, vomiting in the water with a harsh cry. Derek smirked and snapped his fingers again, and Scott’s eyes turned blue, looking at the undigested parts of Lydia’s body as if he wanted to eat them again.

“Stop it,” Stiles begged. “Get him out of your control.”

Derek laughed, turning to Stiles. Stiles met his eyes, unable to watch whatever Scott was doing with Lydia’s body and his own vomit. “I can’t. My source entered him. It can’t leave once there.”

Stiles shivered, thinking back. Scott must have swallowed some water when Derek first tried to drown them, and that’s how Scott could keep hearing Derek’s song. And… Stiles paled as he looked up at Derek. “Why haven’t you been controlling me?” he whispered, remembering the tentacle.

Derek laughed. “Who says I haven’t been?” he replied teasingly, fin splashing water towards Stiles.

Shit. Maybe Stiles had done something similar. Maybe Stiles had killed other people, too, unable to think, unable to reason. But Scott seemed to remember, given their texts, and that gave Stiles hope. Maybe some part of Scott was still there. Didn’t Scott mention Derek’s singing all the time?

Stiles’s jaw went tight. “I haven’t heard your song,” he countered. “Not the way Scott has.” He hoped it was the right move.

Derek ignored him in favor of rolling one of Lydia’s eyes around in his fingers, wrapping the muscle around his wrist, pointedly looking at how Scott was conducting himself. Stiles didn’t fall for it, refusing to look back at his best friend. Stiles thought back to what they’d done differently between them- Derek had eaten part of Stiles, but Stiles had also-

“Will he stop hearing your song if I feed him part of you?” Stiles inquired, looking around for something sharp. Maybe eating a mermaid’s flesh meant you got their immunity. Nothing sharp seemed to be around, but maybe in the house-

“Unlikely,” Derek responded, glancing back to Stiles as if he could read his mind. “What would you injure me with? Your teeth again?” He laughed as he gauged Stiles’s body for danger. Both of them knew Stiles was about as dangerous as breathing.

Before Stiles could speak, Derek dove into the water. Immediately tentacles gripped Stiles’s limbs, holding him tight. Stiles struggled and fought but none of it mattered. Derek swam around Stiles in a spiral, like a shark, before winding his way up around him. At least he wasn’t drowning Stiles.

“What a good mate he is,” Derek murmured into Stiles’s ear, arms taking place of the tentacles and holding onto his arms. Plus, a giant penis poked Stiles in the back, which only added to his uncomfortable situation. The idea that Derek was getting off on this was disconcerting.

Derek continued, hand wrapping under Stiles’s armpit and grabbing Stiles’s jaw, trying to get him to look at Scott. Instead Stiles squeezed his eyes shut. “Eating my gift to him.” His teeth chomped a little on Stiles’s ear and  something warm and wet trickled down from the bite. “I can get him to stop, you know,” Derek purred as he licked Stiles’s ear, his claws raking up and down Stiles’s chest, tearing away his shirt without regard to Stiles’s skin. Though nothing deep it hurt when exposed to the chlorine water.

Blood. Heart. Death. A virgin, really?

“He can’t be your mate,” Stiles shivered, figuring it out. “He was never able to be your mate.”

Derek moved his fingers down, ripping Stiles’s shorts now. His tongue stopped licking at Stiles’s ear. “Oh?” Derek breathed warmly, tail wrapping tightly around Stiles. Stiles still refused to open his eyes.

“Several parts,” Stiles continued as if unaffected by a hot breath in his ear, as if his body hadn’t found that delicious. “First, for a mate, you needed a virgin.” He swallowed. “At your source, probably where you started. It was just luck that you connected to an aquifer with this much reach, so that you could continue with the mating process.”

“Smartest,” Derek cooed into his ear, hands suddenly feeling good. Something brushed up around Stiles’s leg, his thigh, rubbing against his skin- a fin. Derek’s hands grabbed his hips, tentacles keeping Stiles’s wrists pinned to his side. “Smartest human virgin, the smartest best, bravest.”

Good thing that theory that had just popped into Stiles’s brain was accurate.

“And he hasn’t had your blood. That was more important than the lip. That’s why you grinned-“ Suddenly his neck was forced back. Stiles yelped as Derek kissed him, messy and incomplete as his hands dug into Stiles’s skin. He whimpered at the passion of the kiss, breathing heavily as Derek stroked all the places he didn’t know he needed while ignoring the place Stiles wanted to be kissed.

Then Derek grinned and pulled back, pressing something into his mouth- something round and squishy and gelatinous. It squished against into Stiles’s teeth. Immediately another tentacle rose from the water and wrapped itself around Stiles’s head, keeping the thing in place, keeping Stiles from spitting it out. Stiles struggled some more but though his shoulders and elbows could move Derek’s tentacles kept his wrists locked tight, strange shackles in the pool.

His hands left Stiles’s hip to move upwards. “You just chew that, smartest mate,” Derek purred, fingers tracing long lines across the gashes he’d left in Stiles’s chest. “Chew that while I touch you, while we celebrate our victory in this pool.” Away from them the sound of something snapping right before more vomiting.

Only to be followed by more slick mouth sounds.

Scott was still feasting. Stiles prayed he just vomited due to an overfull stomach and not that he was made aware again. He could feel Derek’s grin across his back, teeth and lips kissing his bare shoulders so sensually, like a long lost lover, like Derek was mapping him with his mouth. Each suck, each nip went straight to Stiles’s cock, the restraints only making his arousal worse without an outlet. Derek purred into Stiles’s spine- a deep rumble that had Stiles arching his back, whining and sobbing, not even allowed to speak without eating some part of Lydia.

“Our victory over the false love you had for this feeble woman; how her mate will never touch you again.” Derek nuzzled Stiles’s neck as if to encourage Stiles to be proud of him, mouth sucking and biting over Stiles’s tendons. “Delicious,” he purred, and Stiles felt something nudge against the crack of his ass- something wet and slick and big. Though Stiles hated it, his body reacted with more arousal at the idea of encouraging someone else’s. His skin felt like fire and his cock began to wake, all parts of him sensitive and ready.

Derek’s breath over his skin sent jolts through his body, straight to his now leaking cock. Even then Derek’s motions, between his mouth and his cock, weren’t enough torture to Stiles- no. Derek finished up by tweaking Stiles’s nipples, one in each hand, rolling the pert nubs through his fingers, tugging on them in the most delicious way. Stiles gasped and shut his mouth just a little in response.

The thing in his mouth squirted. No, no. Stiles knew what it was. He didn’t want it. He didn’t want it-

Oh. That breath on his neck felt too good. His nipples felt swollen, they felt magical, like direct lines to his dick. His mind went hazy as his body overtook him- pleasure was good. Derek was giving him pleasure. That was good.

“That’s it, mate,” Derek purred, continuing to lick the same spot on his neck and kissed it softly. Derek’s hands dipped lower, leaving his nipples puffy and swollen. He skimmed down Stiles’s skin, forcing Stiles’s body to buck against nothing, little patterns in his stomach. By the time Derek had found the patch of hair he’d previously enjoyed licking come out of, Stiles nearly wept at all the teasing.

Still there was no mercy. Derek’s hands continued more southward, easily holding Stiles’s attempts to rut into his hands back with his grip as he ran up and down the inside of Stiles’s thighs, never quite touching Stiles’s groin. “Sing,” he commanded as he spread Stiles’s legs apart ever so slightly.

No. Singing meant tasting the thing. Stiles trembled as he tried to open his mouth, but the thing wouldn’t leave- he couldn’t spit it out. Instead he remained helpless as Derek’s tentacles moved back and forth around him, touching all the spots Derek had touched earlier, as Derek’s cock pressed into his thighs and made a space for his cock between them.

Realizing what Derek was about to do, He arched a little, welcoming the feel of Derek’s dick against his ass. Derek bit underneath his shoulder again as he slid forward, just a little, using his precome as lube to slick his way, never stopping until he’d hit the edge of Stiles’s balls. It felt great. There was not enough reach for Stiles to be hurt by it no matter how Derek hit them, but the little pokes and proves Stiles knew would have him bucking  and begging before long.

Derek repeated the thrust, fingers settling on Stiles’s hips, holding Stiles steady. This time Stiles swallowed just a little. Both the instinct of something in his mouth and the desire built in him forced more drool than normal, plus the tentacle kept it in place. He swallowed again, knowing what he might have been swallowing each time. He felt sick. His gag reflex didn’t even trigger and all he really wanted was to feel Derek inside him, thrusting into him as mercilessly as he was, using Stiles like a toy for his own pleasure. Derek nudged Stiles’s balls again, pushing between his legs like Derek was pushing into him.

Stiles tried to plead but nothing came out and Derek only moved one hand to play with Stiles’s pubic hair, tentacles holding Stiles in place. Stiles grunted as his tongue adjusted to the strange taste in his mouth, as Scott’s sounds smacked in the background. Derek pressed more of his lips around Stiles’s neck, kissing the human softly as he kept thrusting, kept pushing, kept making Stiles mindless with all the sensations pouring over him.

A particularly sharp bite caused Stiles to gasp. More of the whatever pouring down his throat. Instinctively Stiles swallowed, his mouth empty and the tentacle went away, allowing Stiles to pant freely into the air. “Derek,” he protested, mewled, begged, Stiles didn’t even know. Derek only purred, wiping away at Stiles’s lip.

“Shh,” he breathed into Stiles’s ear, voice heavy and panting and Stiles’s body offered itself up again, arching and cock dripping. Stiles was too close.

“Didn’t want her heart,” Stiles admitted, hips stuttering as Derek rammed them again.

“You didn’t get her heart,” Derek replied, hands stroking Stiles’s cock in such a good way. “Not for you. Too weak.”

“Not…” Stiles stopped. But Danny had mentioned a heart. It…

Oh, that hand was distracting, his fingers dipping down. Stiles again tried to fight his arousal with horror, but his body bucked into the touch, back with a slam of Derek’s hips, the scales rough and scratchy against Stiles’s skin.

“Hear heart is weak,” Derek assured Stiles again. “Still a child, never worried or heavy with love.” He kept thrusting, licking, stroking. “But if you want it, you can eat it.”

Stiles gasped again, moaning, noting how good it felt. Desperately he opened his eyes, hoping to scare himself limp but whatever qualms he’d had died away. Scott breathed, heaved now on the side of the pool, trying to wash his hands in the blood stained water, washing his hands of blood with more blood. It made him giggle. “Why?” Derek demanded angrily, stopping.

Stiles whined, thrusting his hips back, noticing the slick substance dose than water that eased the way through his thighs. He needed more. He was so close, so deliciously close and Derek hadn’t let him touch himself. Stiles whined again in desperation. “Please, Derek, please,” he begged, trying to angle his hips wider, trying to present himself as enticingly as he could.

Kissing Stiles’s ear, Derek’s claws tightened on his hips, digging into the skin. “Why are you laughing?”

Stiles could hear the insecurity in Derek’s voice, like Derek had anything to be insecure about, not when Stiles felt better than he ever had in his life. He wiggled one hand out of the tentacle’s grip, reaching it upwards to Derek’s cheek and pressed Derek’s head closer to him. “Not at you,” he assured Derek, breathing heavily. “Feels too good.”

Derek puffed out a little at that, cock sliding back where it belonged- between Stiles’s thighs, big and forceful and hard. “Shut your hips a little,” Derek requested, and Stiles did so, trying to make it as tight as he possibly good. Behind him Derek shivered, and Stiles knew he’d done a good job. “What are you laughing at, then?” he grunted into Stiles’s ear, not unaffected by the weak little human.

Nice to know Stiles had some strength, even if it wasn’t particularly useful. He laughed again, a tentacle raising from the water and pointing in the direction of Scott. “Washing off blood with more blood. So desperate, like it changes anything.”

As soon as the fatalistic words left his mouth Stiles closed his eyes in shame and he heard the splash of the tentacle falling back down. But Derek kissed down his neck and started trusting again, the slick soothing the burns left by his dick, helping ease the way, forcing his way into Stiles. “Oh, pretty mate,” he breathed, letting go long enough to place something else against Stiles’s lips.

Pointless. It was pointless to fight. Derek would just tentacle it down again, so Stiles took it in his teeth, nipping at Derek’s fingers playfully before he chomped down.

Derek gasped loudly. Thrusting with abandon now, he kept moving and moving, scales on his hips scraping and slapping Stiles’s ass, balls swinging just as freely now and smacking their own punishing weight. None of it mattered. It all helped to further Stiles’s pleasure, helped Stiles hear as he joined in Scott’s screams and Derek’s bites. His song of pleasure welled up in his chest as he let out little cries, joining with the richer, deeper song of Derek’s, stuck in the same cord of ecstasy, their sounds in a beautiful union.

As Derek continued to thrust Stiles let himself slip into the sensation, stuck against Derek’s abs, tied to Derek’s body, wondering if when Derek did penetrate him it would feel anything like this. Maybe he’d be lucky enough to have all the heads and have Derek with him as they nipped and kissed and- Stiles cried out, teeth clenching and something squished again inside his mouth, exploding just like his come exploded all over the water.

Lydia Martin’s other eye, he vaguely noted.

Derek cried out in his ear, the song clear now- lonely, but mostly lustful, longing, sweet and ravenous. He came all over Stiles’s thighs, huge amounts of come dripping on the back of Stiles’s balls, gasping, claws digging into Stiles’s skin.

Stiles looked down to watch his blood pool, joining Lydia’s blood and her… head.

Her head had floated in front of them some time ago, given how marked she was with Stiles’s come.

Stiles had just come over Lydia’s face. Stupidly, terror stupid and orgasm stupid, he laughed again. He’d always fantasized about doing that, and now Derek had given him the chance. “Mate,” Stiles breathed happily, reaching for Derek’s head again, needing their lips pressed together.

Immediately Derek spun Stiles around, diving into the water with Stiles. He pressed their lips together and Stiles opened his mouth, letting Derek take and explore, tongue lapping at his cavern and cleaning it of all traces of Lydia. He encouraged Derek by messaging his tongue, arms reaching up on Derek’s head, comforted by the cool but heavy pressure of the water, body running along his mate’s, safe and secure and silent.

Derek was right. It was gentle here.

Under the water.

Where people drowned.

Stiles’s eyes shot open. Derek’s eyes were closed but his triumphant grin did not go unnoticed. Shit.

All of this was a ruse. None of the mates stuff was true. These thoughts danced around Stiles’s head as one more primal, urgent thought replaced them. Derek was trying to drown him. Right now.

This was not the time to be angry with himself. This was a time to figure out how to surface.

Stiles tried to wiggle his waist and free himself from Derek’s grip but it was useless. Derek had wrapped himself around Stiles, only gripping more tightly when Stiles attempted to get free. Two dark shapes were above the water and Stiles’s hands reached out for them, hoping they were human and that they’d see him. Lydia’s body floated somewhere along the way.

Shit. Shit. Stiles slammed his mouth shut, watching as Derek’s eyes opened and glowed black angrily, claws digging into his hips. He pulled back opening his mouth wide, full of sharp teeth, snarling.

This was it. The end. Good fight, Stiles.

Water pushed out of the way, something slamming down and hard, connecting with Derek’s’ skull with a thunk that Stiles could hear. Derek’s face immediately became blank as something leaked out the back.

And blissfully, two pairs of hands grabbed Stiles’s wrists, pulling him up out of Derek’s slack body. Stiles moved faster and faster towards the surface, feeling the delightful break of air, breathing in deeply and coughing- his lungs were too full of CO2 to take in anything more.

Two people roughly dragged Stiles to the edge of the pool. “Further back,” Scott commanded, voice tight. “Get out of Derek’s reach.” They kept tugging, dragging Stiles up a porch and into the safety of the hallway of a house.

“That thing still alive?” Stiles looked up to see Jackson, crowbar in hand. “Saw some of his brains escape with my hit.” Jackson swung the crowbar menacingly and towards the pool.

Stiles kept coughing, water dripping from his clothes onto the floor. Immediately Jackson set the crowbar down and knelt beside Stiles. In a strange Jackson way he tried to assist, patting Stiles’s back roughly, trying to help him expel anything. “Good call to head for the shallow end,” Jackson acknowledged. “Any deeper and we couldn’t have reached you.”

All of the images came flooding back, about Scott, Derek, Lydia- “Thanks,” he breathed, looking at Scott.

Was Scott… was he free? Was Derek dead? Had they done it?

Scott gave a small, sad smile instead and all of Stiles’s hopes fell away. “I can still hear him,” Scott confirmed. “He’s furious. Right now he’s moved. Back at his pond, trying to find us, searching for you- screaming.” Scott shivered.

No. They hadn’t even changed anything.

Stiles felt like crying.

“So stupid,” Stiles coughed again, sitting up. “I should have known the whole mates thing was a lie. Nothing but an attempt to drown me willingly.” Scott paled as Stiles sat in silence, beating up himself mentally. It took a moment to realize Scott wasn’t pale because of Stiles- something else was at play.

“What is it?” Jackson snapped, popping back up to his feet and reaching for the crowbar.

“Derek’s gone quiet. I’ve never heard that before,” Scott answered, looking panicked. “I might not have much time, Jackson,” he finished. “Can’t risk it.”

“No,” Stiles breathed. Scott was here. Scott was whole, sane. They’d done it. There wasn’t a Derek and this was all stupid PTSD or something- Scott would be fine. He would be. Hot tears pricked at Stiles’s eyes. “No, Scott.”

Stiles’s best friend knelt before him, pressing their foreheads together. “You know why I can’t stay,” Scott spoke softly.

Tears spilled over onto Stiles’s cheeks. No. This was his friend. They’d tried so hard to fix things. Why couldn’t they be fine now? “Derek’s dead,” Stiles pleaded. “He’s dead, Jackson killed him, and you’re going to be okay now, Scott. You’re going to be okay.” His vision went blurry. “Jackson killed him. You saved me.”

Scott huffed a bit, smiling. “Like you saved me, bro. And you’re going to save me.” His eyes also filled with tears. “But I can’t be here now. Can’t be with people.” He looked up at Jackson. “You got the story?”

Jackson nodded, grabbing the crowbar. “Got it,” he confirmed. “Stiles was too out of it, too in shock.”

They had time for a cover story, Stiles cursed himself, while he was enjoying himself with Derek. What a stupid fool Stiles had been. What an idiot. He’d just lost his chance for everything, really.

Scott stood up, nodded at Jackson, not looking back at Stiles’s crying face. “Don’t trust me again until Derek’s dead!” he called, disappearing into a red and blue light from the front yard. Stiles watched him go, trying to wipe away his tears. He could cry later. Right now he had to figure out what to do next.

“We’re gonna kill that murdering rapist bastard,” Jackson breathed. “Don’t you worry, Stilinski.” His fingers tightened on the crowbar, but he reached down to help Stiles up. Stiles followed automatically. That sounded like a good plan.

“I know where we have to go, too,” Jackson added. “Danny and Scott talked about-“

“Kate Argent’s book,” Stiles finished, hearing the police should from outside the house. “Only the daytime. There’s a different demon at night.”

“The one that got Danny,” Jackson muttered, flinging the crowbar to the ground.

“Yeah.” Stiles felt so tired. So, so tired.

“The door slammed open and police broke through. “Don’t move!” Guns pointed in their direction, unsure of what they would find.

“Stiles?” came a disbelieving voice. Stiles had to laugh- he certainly looked like a victim- scraped, bruised, naked and wet. Parrish must be panicking. His father-

His father.

Stiles swallowed, trying to think of what to say, but Jackson answered for him. “Scott tried to drown him,” Jackson announced quickly. “We’d just holed up in here, and Scott went to see the ‘Pretty lights’”.

“Jackson saved me,” Stiles added quickly, breathing. He needed to breathe.

Parrish gazed over the two evenly, studying them, before he reached for his radio. “Two unarmed, live victims. Going to escort them to the ambulance.” To the others he commanded, “Search the house.”  He looked back at Stiles. “You’ve given your father enough trouble,” he breathed. “Sheriff, Stiles is alive,” he added over the radio.

Someone responded with a “Thank God”.

It wasn’t the sheriff, though.

“Dad’s here?” Stiles practically yelled, shuffling behind the two men. When Parrish offered his arm Stiles took it, nicely sandwiched between Jackson and Parrish just in cause he fell. They led him out the door and into the cool night which was cold but not the warm cold of the pool and his father

Where was his father

He scanned the crowd but he couldn’t see him, couldn’t hear anything but the song for a moment, searching, desperate

Stiles jolted as them doors to the criminal transport van shut as Stiles came out. The deputy moved them towards the ambulance, two men looking them over and sizing them up, making mental notes of their injuries.

“Sheriff!” Jordan called. Immediately the sheriff got out of a car. No wonder Stiles hadn’t been able to see him. He probably hadn’t been able to do his police work when Stiles was involved. The sheriff walked towards them, face old and tired and Stiles wanted to cry.

“I’m safe,” he called. The words seemed to have some magical affect. His father ran over to him, looking him up and down for injuries or something. Stiles realized then he was naked- his ass chaffing in the air, his chest aching with the scrapes, but his father pulled him into a hug anyway.

“I thought we’d lost you,” the sheriff breathed. “We got a call about the library the same time an anonymous caller tired us off about the Martin house.” He breathed deeply, and Stiles rested his head against his father’s chest, holding steady. He let himself relax against his father’s heartbeat, strong and full of love for him, and

Oh.

That was why Lydia’s heart wouldn’t work. He thought back to Derek’s words, about tasty parents.

“Scott tried to drown him, Sheriff,” Jackson tattled.

The sheriff raised an eyebrow, disbelieving. Points to his father for not believing Jackson right away, even if it was the thing Stiles needed the sheriff to believe.

“It’s true dad,” Stiles agreed, taking in the safe scent of his father. Derek must have known there was no way Stiles would eat his father’s head, so he’d given up and tried to drown Stiles then. Or at least that’s what Stiles theorized. The mates thing had to be a lie. “Hit him with a crowbar and pulled me out of the water.”

“Sheriff,” one of the medics interrupted. “We need to check him, take him to the hospital.”

“Of course,” the sheriff allowed, though he didn’t move at all. Stiles snuggled deeper, tightening the hug. “You have a job to do, dad,” he allowed. “Its… brutal back there.”

Jackson’s jaw set. “Lydia is in pieces,” he informed, his tone suddenly not proud, not snobbish, just sad and heavy. Stiles felt for him just a little.

The sheriff swore under his breath but squeezed Stiles again before letting Stiles go into the ambulance. “Alright,” he agreed. “Let’s go.”

Stiles watched his father walk away. Pissed Derek’s endgame was his father’s heart, pissed his father would have been the next step, pissed he’d fallen into believing the whole mates deal, he let tiredness creep into his bones as the medics bandaged them both up.

They sat in silence for a while, letting the EMTs do their job. Stiles didn’t even have it in him to ask questions. “You boys are in pretty good shape,” the EMT replied. “I don’t even need to be in the back for this.” He let Stiles jump up on the stretcher, let Jackson sit back next to him. “You eat anything funny?” he asked.

Stiles looked down.

Jackson nodded and pulled the EMT to the side. He’d probably known what Stiles had eaten. The medic only nodded, not reacting at all, and helped them climb into the back.

“Lydia sent me some stuff,” Jackson reported as they climbed into the ambulance and the medics hoped in the front seat. “She couldn’t get to your phone.” He held his phone to Stiles who took it immediately, desperate to know anything that might help.

What a stupid puppy I have following me, Stiles read. The beast eats out of the palm of my hand…[L: Can’t read] an infestation, their kind.

Next text. This was Kate’s writing, translated.

Beast like that are monsters. But I could use a monster for myself- could keep him alive and feed him my enemies.

Holy shit. This woman was crazy.

Werewolves. He brought me a deer today, like I can’t bring one myself. I’m going for something bigger- a pack of beasts. The look on his face when he finds out will be priceless.

Stiles swallowed. “She planned to kill his family right from the start,” he murmured. Jackson rolled his eyes unhelpfully, clearly unamused by not knowing everything about the story.

How cute. After the fire I took him someplace safe, saying I’d hide him from my father. I handed him some cooked meat for energy. He cried, but said it smelled like his mother. But he ate it, haha. Some well place wolfsbane inside her hard and he couldn’t move… [L: can’t read] drowning him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

Wolfsbane. Werewolf. Derek never had been human, but maybe those same weaknesses could come into play now. He made a reminder in Jackson’s phone to get some wolfsbane.

The next text was a symbol, a picture of some sort of wolf. I think this is the Argent Symbol, Lydia wrote in the text. The last thing she had ever written, Stiles realized. Somberly he handed back Jackson’s phone.

“I don’t know about you, but I think her book has the key. I’m thinking I run in, grab it, run out.” Jackson looked at his phone again, thumb tracing Lydia’s last words. “Maybe kill a few bastards afterward.”

“Sounds like a plan,” Stiles agreed. “A great plan.” He breathed. “I need to look at maps, see where we were, try to figure out if Kate’s still haunting the place.” He had no doubt she was the beast. She’d probably turned herself into a monster. “Maybe take a week or so-“

Jackson shook his head in disagreement. “Two days, Stilinski. We’ll go the day after tomorrow. If Derek’s still alive, he’ll kill us if we wait any longer.”

Though he didn’t agree, Stiles nodded. Scott might kill them first. A week or a day, it didn't make a difference. They'd be killed when Derek wanted them dead.

 

Chapter Text

Something beeped. Again. Stiles hated that beeping, something annoying to signify his status of living. Surely there were silencers to quiet that beeping. Surely he didn’t need beeping all the time to show he was alive.

He groaned as he opened his eyes, noting a soft song somewhere in the room, tired and annoyed. It took Stiles a moment to realize his own song. Huh. It sounded nice, he thought. Something like his soul but in a melodic form. It was pretty cool. If that’s what he got from almost getting killed by Derek multiple times, he could live with that.

Only then did Stiles remember what had happened the night before: Lydia, Jackson, and Derek.

He breathed in to calm himself and his thoughts, hoping Derek was dead. He hoped Scott had been lying. Even if he knew better in his heart.

His stomach rumbled uncomfortably. “Hungry,” he announced out loud, patting his gurgling stomach to try and calm it down. Maybe he could ask for a sandwich or something.

Someone spoke from the doorway. “Well, you haven’t changed much.”

“Hey dad,” Stiles groaned as he took in the sight of his very raged father. “Did you bring food?”

The sheriff shook his head and walked into the room, sitting on the bed next to his son. “Sorry, buddy. I can go out to get food but…” The sheriff shrugged. “I’m here to sign your release papers and take you home.”

Oh. That was okay too. Stiles sighed, looking around at the hospital room. “No therapy today, huh?” he asked, scooting over on the bed closer to his dad.

In the pale hospital light his dad looked almost twice as old. Guilt ate at Stiles as he reached over and squeezed his dad’s hand. “Sorry to be here twice.”

The sheriff pulled him into a rough hug. “Not your fault,” he breathed into Stiles’s hair. “I know it’s not your fault.” He kept holding Stiles for a while, listening to the beeping from the monitor. “That thing is annoying,” he commented, reaching up and hitting a silence function. When he sat back down he seemed even older if that were possible. “I’m glad that thing didn’t get you,” he admitted.

His dad knew. Huh.

“Got to Danny though,” Stiles replied sadly, still processing the information in his mind.

“And Scott,” his father said softly. “But not you.”

Tears threatened to spill out Stiles’s eyes; his father was both right and wrong. He must not have known about Derek if he was saying stuff like that. Stiles squeezed his father back, thinking about Derek and everything Derek might still do. He remembered the previous night, of Lydia, of his father’s heart.

He had to speak. He had to do something. Knowing about Derek wouldn’t be enough to keep his father safe. They’d have to leave before they could have any semblance of peace.

He had to do it.

“Dad,” he started, looking up. His father looked down, waiting patiently.

Stiles inhaled. Either this was the right call to make, or he was about to ask his father to commit career suicide. Stiles swallowed. Derek hadn’t really been looking for a mate. He was just trying to let Stiles’s guard down while Scott watched, a mini sort of mermaid person-

Maybe Scott was the mate. Shit. This was all too confusing.

“Dad,” Stiles began again-

“I know Scott’s been turning into that thing,” the sheriff admitted. His eyes looked far away and haunted, his face pained. “We’d hoped, given time, it would reverse.” Guilty. The sheriff looked guilty.

Stiles paled. That sort of language meant only one thing: the sheriff’s department was planning to kill Scott. “But with what he did last night, and attacking you…” the sheriff trailed off. “He broke out of the prisoner transport van,” the sheriff revealed sadly. “I’m sorry.”

Shit. Scott was on the loose and they intended to kill him. Time was running out for everything.

“You’re cold,” his father mumbled, surrounding Stiles with his jacket, smelling of life and warmth. Stiles let it seep into his skin, cradling his father and listening to his powerful heartbeat that kept hoping, kept loving.

“Just in shock, I think,” Stiles laughed, cradling as close to his father as possible. “I understand, Dad,” he breathed, halfway on his father’s lap. “You don’t have any other options.” Neither did Stiles. He had to call Jackson as soon as his dad left. They had to get the book as soon as possible. They had to end this.

They sat in silence for a while, the scent of antiseptic and rubbing alcohol filling their nostrils, embracing one another. Previous memories floated to the surface though Stiles pushed them back under, not willing to remember his mother quite yet.

“That’s a nice tune,” his father remarked. “Where’d you hear it?”

Stiles hadn’t been aware he’d been humming. “I made it up,” he confessed. “Makes me feel better.” He squeezed his dad again.

“Whelp, enough time here. I’ve got to get you home and then I’ve got to head back to the station.” the sheriff confessed. “All this stuff means overtime.” He stood up. “Erica will watch over you, okay?”

Stiles nodded his okay. The sheriff nodded back, pleased at Stiles’s lack of distress. “Meet me down by the nurses’ station when you’re dressed.” He paused. “And if you see Scott…”

“I’ll call Tara,” Stiles assured him. “Go sign me out.” He smiled reassuringly as his father left, stomach still grumbling.

Humming to himself, Stiles moved for his phone resting on the chair. He dialed Jackson, but there wasn’t any answer. He tried again, and again, but still no luck. As he waited, a nurse came in to unhook him from the machine and his IV, starting up the sink to wash her hands.

The phone kept beeping. Stiles sighed, continuing to hum. Sloppily the nurse splashed around and Stiles tried Erica next- no answer. Just ringtones.

What luck.

The nurse seemed to be taking forever. How long did it take someone to wash their hands anyway? He pulled his own IV out, disconnected the monitor and put his clothes on, slipping the phone into his pocket.

Noting the nurse halfway in the sink, he clicked his tongue. “You taking a bath?” he wondered out loud, moving over her butt to find her torso smoothed into the sink, blood and fat and organs everywhere.

Oh. She’d drowned. Pulled down the drain. If Stiles hadn’t seen worse the other night he might have screamed and freaked out.

Oh well.

Stiles’s stomach grumbled.

She wouldn’t really need that lung, right?

And he was so hungry.

Nobody would miss a piece of her. They’d assume it escaped down the drain or something anyway. Like… they might be more looking for her head.

So he tore off a piece and popped it into his mouth. No one would be any the wiser, really. Leaning over her body and checking his appearance in the mirror, he decided he was presentable. He headed down the stairs, humming to himself, smiling as he noticed his dad by the nurses.

“Hey, “ he called, gravitating to the cool still of the water cooler. He leaned over the desk, showing how little he was injured.

“Looking good, son,” the sheriff breathed, nodded. It almost hurt how happy the sheriff looked- like a man whose torn heart had pieced back together again. Together they walked out of the hospital, the sun too bright and unhelpful, full of false warmth.

Quickly enough they found his father’s cruiser. “Listen,” the sheriff commanded, opening the door for Stiles. “I’ve been thinking.” Stiles climbed in, buckling up for safety. Not like Derek would let him die in a car accident, though.

If Derek was alive.

Stiles waited for his father to open his own door, getting inside, closing it and putting on his seatbelt- all normal things. All steady things. As he started the car, the sheriff sighed, grabbing the steering wheel. “You know, we have a lot of good memories here,” the sheriff began, pulling the car out of the parking lot. “Lots of good ones of your mom. Scott.” He paused.

Stiles squirmed awkwardly, regretting his thoughts earlier about asking his dad to leave. Of course his dad didn’t want to leave, of course his dad was happy here, with a job and friends and blood and a career. They continued in silence for a bit finally before his father blurted out, “We should move.”

“Oh thank God,” Stiles breathed immediately. “Yes. Yes.” He nodded emphatically. “Best idea ever.”

“Thank God,” the sheriff echoed. “Afraid you’d want to stay.”

“No way,” Stiles replied, shaking his head dramatically. “No fucking way, Dad.”

The sheriff didn’t even bother to scold Stiles for language. “I’ve, uh, I’ve already put in the paperwork at my job. The night you went missing, I filed it.”

Finally the universe was giving Stiles something good. If Scott couldn’t be saved (he could), at least Stiles and his dad could get out. “Best dad ever,” Stiles told him emphatically.

The sheriff, surprised by Stiles’s reaction, hummed pleasantly to himself. “Okay then. Let’s get you some food.”

Good. Stiles was still ravenous.

 

***

 

Stiles popped into the house to see not only Erica but also Boyd as they sat together on the sofa. “Thanks for coming, Vernon,” Stiles’s dad announced, hands full of ice cream and hamburgers. Boyd nodded respectfully, looking over at Stiles and then at Erica, but Stiles followed his dad into the kitchen.

“Hey,” his dad asked Stiles softly. “You know where the spare gun is, yeah?”

“And the ammunition,” Stiles added, smiling up at his dad as he put most of the ice cream in the freezer.

The Sheriff paused, clearly not expecting Stiles to know the second part, but sighed. This was not an important battle to have right now. “Okay. Good.” His dad put down everything, and Stiles shut the door to the freezer. “I’ve gotta get back now, but they’ll…. The gun will keep you safe, okay?”

“Okay,” Stiles echoed. Even if his dad didn’t know about Derek, given that Scott was free and Derek might still be alive (he wasn’t, he wasn’t, he wasn’t, it was Scott, his father said so, it was Scott), Stiles was a bit surprised that his dad didn’t have an army outside the house. No wonder he’d brought up the gun.

“Right.” They walked back into the living area, the sheriff visibly nervous. “I got hamburgers for you both as well. Thanks for doing this.”

“Beats homework,” Boyd answered bluntly. Erica nodded.

The sheriff seemed to relax. “I bet.” He pulled Stiles into another hug. “I’ll be back early tomorrow morning.”

“Got it,” Stiles replied. He watched his father leave the house from the window, watched as his dad got in the car, hoping Scott wouldn’t find him.

His dad moved off in the unknown, car disappearing along the road. Stiles noted how broken he probably looked, how broken he probably felt, how uncomfortable it must have made the two of them. Erica spoke in the silence.  “Jackson called us,” Erica explained once the door was locked. “Or other, we called him.”

Good. That was less he’d have to explain. “You’re going with us tomorrow?” he asked.

“Doesn’t seem to us like we have much choice,” Erica responded, getting up to get some of the fast food. “Stiles we heard screaming. We’ve got to do something.”

Boyd nodded seriously. Stiles looked between the two of them, so resolute in heir decision to die. Stiles felt too tired, too exhausted to see it any other way. “Everyone involved has gotten fucked up in some way,” he commented, taking a hamburger from Erica. “But first thing to know: There are two beasts out there. Derek’s only one of them.”

It didn’t seem to surprise them, Erica chewing on her fries happily, Boyd was sipping his coke. “I think…” Stiles swallowed. “I think Scott is turning into whatever Derek was.”

Erica swallowed a piece of her fry. “Jackson thinks that too, and he says Scott thinks that. Sometimes Scott says he hears Derek’s song a lot.”

“Where would he hear it?” Boyd wondered. “Does Derek follow him around?”

Erica waved a fry, letting Stiles retreat into silence. “Facets, pipes, plumbing- even heating and air conditioning units,” Erica replied casually, as if she’d thought about it a lot. “Sewers. Gardening hoses. Aquariums,” she finished, nodding to Stiles.

“Anywhere there is water,” Stiles added. He felt so hungry. So lonely.

Boyd looked a little more unsettled. Good. “So the other one?”

“I think that’s Kate Argent,” Stiles replied. “Angry, around Beacon hills. She owned the book that Danny was looking for.”

“That book can kill Derek,” Erica added, eating the last of her fries. She reached for Boyd’s coke.

“Can it, though?” Boyd asked, eyes narrow and curious.

Stiles paled, looking between them. There wasn’t any point in lying. Neither of them deserved anything less than the truth, even if it was shit. “I hope so,” he breathed. “I really hope so, Boyd.”

Boyd took this in, seemingly placated for now. “If it doesn’t?” he asked finally.

“Then I suggest you both do what Dad and I are going to do,” Stiles replied. “Get the hell out of town as soon as you can.”

The whole house seemed to pulse and tense, breathing, listening. Stiles ignored it, sighing. “Or shoot Scott, I guess. That’s what the sheriff’s department are aiming to do.” He unwrapped one of the burgers, not really hungry for it, but he needed to eat.

Boyd took his burger out of Stiles’s hands, popping it into his mouth. “Either way, worth a try, right?”

It didn’t even matter that Boyd had taken his burger; they didn’t smell right. Stiles nodded and let Boyd keep the crappy thing, heading for the freezer and getting some ice cream. At least ice cream didn’t really have much of a smell. He returned and sat with a spoon, digging into soft-serve.

The sticky sweet creamy substance left him even more unsatisfied. He looked at Boyd, so strong and tasty, full of delicious blood- and Erica, and these were not good thoughts to have right now. “I’m going to go grab some maps,” Stiles announced, “So you both can see the area.” Practically running, he moved upstairs with his ice cream, trying to put as much distance in between them as he could.

“Do you think he’s really going to do that?” Erica’s voice floated upwards.

“Let him sleep, Erica.”

Stiles shut the door to his room, focused on the papers, looking for the maps. He needed to do something. He hated being still. The ice cream wasn’t enough; he threw it in the trash. He should have taken more of that lung; he should have eaten something.

Groaning, he sighed. He could feel Derek’s eyes everywhere, though, whether part of Derek or whether Derek was dead and it was his imagination Stiles didn’t know. Would he ever stop feeling that way?

The room was empty, Stiles knew, and Derek wasn’t there since the waterfall moved, rippled, flowed. There wasn’t a song in the air, wasn’t Derek’s low voice or his built form waiting on the bed. Yet he could still feel Derek’s eyes everywhere.

Stiles looked back at his bed, remembering how Derek had pinned him down before, how he had seen him, exposed him in all the tenderest of ways- all while keeping Stiles pinned down and making him take it. Derek hadn’t even touched Stiles and Stiles had come, embarrassed, exposed. Stiles swallowed, remembering. 

Even more shameful than then, he guilty realized the memories were still arousing. He wanted to be trapped, to be forced to feel the sensations Derek thrust on him. Stiles wanted to be held down and bitten, to be… helpless. He cursed himself as he thought about it, looking at a mirror. 

Bruises still lined his body, and Stiles shivered as he poked them, gasping as he dug his fingers into old bite marks, remembering both the pain and the pleasure and the feeling of being wanted, of being consumed. 

Wrong. This was so wrong. Stiles could imagine Derek in his mind’s eye, rippling strong muscles and arms that could easily pin him or hold him down or rip his flesh yet he’d use tentacles or something to keep Stiles still, like a terrified little rabbit, knowing Stiles would always instinctually fight. 

His cock throbbed against his jeans. Stiles wanted… Stiles breathed in heavily as he realized what he wanted. He wanted Derek above him, trapping him, making Stiles take whatever Derek gave him. In his ears he could hear a song, but it was his own- pleading, begging, summoning. He wanted Derek. 

This was wrong. So wrong. He blinked back tears of shame but he couldn’t stop thinking about it, couldn’t stop wanting it. Couldn’t stop reliving those moments and craving Derek’s touch again. 

Surely fantasies were safe, even if they were fucked up? Nobody could really judge him. He wasn’t acting them out. And Derek was dead, he told himself. It helped a little; the shame and embarrassment were still present, but at least he could continue feeling vulnerable and not stop himself.

He slipped his fingers up on his skin, tracing the raised scabs of Derek’s claw marks. Each little pressure sent a thrill deep inside him, a reminder this had happened, it was real. Derek had wanted him, and Stiles had liked it, wantonly rutting back against him, too aroused to notice Lydia’s head, nothing more than a fuck-slut.

Stiles trembled, tears at his eyes again. Derek would call for him, summon him with those eyes. Stiles would be helpless, coming toward his form on the bed, shedding his shirt. 

Nothing wrong with acting it out, Stiles thought, and took off his shirt in response to the fantasy. Surely Derek would charm his pants off too, and he unzipped himself, tossing his pants to the side, unsure if he would shyly walk up to him or boldly walk up to him when captured by Derek’s eyes.

Stiles climbed on top of his bed, imagining Derek biting him on the chest again, gasping as his fingers pinched and clawed at his chest. His cock hardened and came to life, a little bit of precome beading at the tip. He didn’t touch himself- Derek would touch him only at Derek’s whim.

Maybe then he’d shove Stiles face first into the pillows, ass up in the air. Stiles could imagine Derek holding down his arms, biting his neck. Groaning into the pillow, he got into position, keeping his arms still with the weight of his head, speaking his legs to feel the cool air against him. His balls felt so heavy without anything to support them.

Maybe Derek would play with them, smack them around. Maybe he’d be preoccupied with Stiles’s asshole, fingering the little pucker. Maybe Derek would even slide into him from this position. Stiles thrust his hips into the air fruitlessly, keeping his head and wrists completely still, pretending there were teeth holding onto his neck.

It wasn’t enough. Guilty tears threatened to spill as Stiles let out a whine. His body craved more. Stiles craved more. For all he felt riled up and hard, he wasn’t even close to bursting or that sweet release. A fantasy wasn’t enough close enough, not enough to fill him, and it was so depraved, so terrible.

“No, no,” he cried, tears falling as he realized how desperately he needed Derek. “Please, please.” He cried, his song desperate, searching through the water in the waterfall for him.

Nothing. Though Stiles’s song stopped, his tears didn’t. He could try something else, he supposed, something not related to a manfish who had tried to drown him inside the water.

He reached under his pillow for lube when suddenly he heard the familiar song, all comforting and assuring. As it reached Stiles’s ears, Stiles shoved the guilt down in favor of release. Derek would help him. He wouldn’t leave him like this.

“Oh,” Derek’s voice drifted in. Derek stopped moving forward for a moment, and Stiles could feel Derek’s eyes taking him in, on his stomach, ass in the air, waiting for Derek to touch him. “Oh, pretty boy,” Derek finished, breathless.

Not bothering to look back, Stiles spread his legs wider, tilting his hips more enticingly. He tried to catch more of Derek’s attention, showing more of his vulnerable parts as they swung freely between him, the spark of fear more like a thrill of pleasure.

Derek had trained him to be like this. Shame washed through him, but it wasn’t his fault, right? Stiles believed. Tears of shame kept falling onto the pillow as he helplessly kept himself still. “Need…” Stiles choked off. He couldn’t quite say it.

There were words he could say instead, though. “Damn you,” Stiles cursed at him, openly crying as Derek didn’t move. “What have you done to me?” Stiles knew. It was conditioning. Derek had trained him, and trained him well to be his perfect little mate.

The sound of Derek clucking his tongue filled the room, but Stiles shivered as hungry hands ran over his calves. He didn’t need to see Derek to know Derek’s eyes’ he could hear the ravenous song well enough. “Pretty mate,” Derek almost whispered.

Only then did Stiles realize Derek’s hands were shaking. He swallowed, hoping Derek wasn’t as desperate to devour Stiles as Stiles was to… be devoured. Oh, God. Stiles was fucked.

Continuing, Derek felt up the back of Stiles’s thighs. “You need me so badly, don’t you?” One hand dipped inside Stiles’s soft thighs to cradle Stiles’s balls. So powerful, those hands, able to rip and tear Stiles’s balls off. Yet Stiles’s cock pulsed at the touch, twitching, delighting in the idea even if it meant Stiles would be consumed.

It pained Stiles about how badly he wanted that. “I, I shouldn’t,” Stiles gasped, still keeping his hips high. “You tried to- you tried to…” he broke off, gasping as Derek pinched his butt, still raw and sore from Derek’s scales the night before. The pain hurt, but it hurt in the best way, firing straight to his cock.

“I know,” Derek purred. “I know.” His hands tracked along Stiles’s lower back, coming from his balls and gliding over his asshole, hands poking and prodding muscles, digging into them, tenderizing them. Stiles gave out a soft cry. It felt too good- Derek over him, Stiles underneath. As he found his hands and legs were free, if he wiggled, Derek pressed down harder, keeping him pinned. Trapped.

“Tamed,” his mate corrected, chuckling, hands tracing over bites and bruises on Stiles’s shoulders. Derek leaned over pinning tiles with his heavy body. “Oh, pretty mate,” Derek praised, nose in Stiles’s neck, running all up against Stiles’s skin and through Stiles’s hair. “I never dreamed…” he kissed Stiles gently, fondly, as he ran his hands down Stiles’s arms and pinned Stiles down by the wrists. Stiles’s hips fell under Derek’s weight and his cock pressed into the mattress. “Smell so good, little virgin,” Derek breathed.

It felt so good. Their songs were beginning to intertwine now, though not completely. Stiles didn’t… he didn’t want to give in just yet. “Not little,” he petulantly protested. “And you tried to kill me.”

Derek stopped moving, the song gone silent. Shit. Something had changed. Stiles wiggled, attempting to turn around but Derek pressed his wrists down and his hips were heavy enough that Stiles’s flailing legs were useless.

“Shh,” Derek commanded. “Be still.” The voice carried harshness with the command, and Stiles obeyed, face in the pillow, cock painfully still interested. Derek breathed again before licking a long stripe down Stiles’s neck. Satisfied with the taste, Derek move to Stiles’s ear, whispering.

“Smelled so good, pretty mate. Covered in our scent. Sounded so good, song full and rich. Wanted to kiss you, in our den, our place, the cool water around us.” Derek licked his ear in what Stiles was sure was the only form of apology he would ever get.

Den. That sounded wolf like.

“You’re still part werewolf, aren’t you?” Stiles asked before he could think about it. Derek would figure out Stiles’s angle, how Stiles planned to kill him. He’d know Stiles knew and-

The song was delighted. “Smartest,” Derek praised, nibbling on Stiles’s cheek, peppering his skin with bites and kisses and nibbles, following Stiles’s jaw. “So smart, pretty virgin mate. My virgin mate. Mine.”

Those kisses only made Stiles more desperate, common sense abandoning him. He shifted his hips, needing something more than friction. “Derek,” he begged, shame forgotten in the wake of need. He wiggled his hips again underneath the wolf mermaid.

“Yes, yes,” Derek agreed. “Needy.” He moved up, torso no longer pressing along Stiles’s back. “I’ll help myself.”

Wait. Stiles blinked in confusion, tears forgotten.

“You,” Derek corrected immediately. “Help you.”

Oh, Stiles was an idiot. The slip up was enough for Stiles to think. Even if he couldn’t come again in his life, was it worth being dead? Derek was still Derek. Still hungry. Evil.

Derek lifted his hips up-

Stiles bolted, body headed for the door-

Immediately Derek slammed Stiles back down, flipping him over and teeth around Stiles’s neck. His song was furious, arms a punishing weight, grip tight and again Stiles squirmed, ignoring how good Derek’s abs felt against his leaking cock.

They stayed like that for some time, Stiles still struggling, Derek growling and holding him there. Finally Stiles went as still as a rabbit, giving up. Derek had him.

“Clever mate,” Derek praised, licking at the blood he’d drawn from Stiles’s skin. “But slow. Too slow.” His eyes looked dark and hungry, eyeing Stiles. “And still…” Derek purred, flexing his stomach and core, teasing the head of Stiles’s cock in a delicious way. “So needy,” Derek finished against Stiles’s lips.

“Greedy,” Derek agreed with himself, reaching down to hold Stiles’s cock.

Laughing as Stiles gasped against his lips at Derek’s touch, Derek kept speaking. “Greedy, needy mate. Mine. Needs me.”

Mindlessly Stiles rutted against him, Stiles’s song pleading and desperate. “Weak,” Stiles agreed against Derek’s lips, arching his neck. “But you’re so strong,” he added, watching Derek’s eyes darken. Yes. Two could play this game. If Derek wanted to talk about Stiles’s frail human form, then Stiles would get what he wanted by manipulating Derek’s mindset.

“Yes,” Derek agreed, hands on Stiles’s hips. “Made you this way. Made you need me,” he breathed, opening up Stiles’s mouth just a little, groaning as Stiles easily opened up, allowing Derek access.

Derek had made Stiles need him. Stiles hated himself for it but soon his hatred dipped under arousal, Derek investigating and claiming everything he touched, pinning down Stiles’s tongue and licking around him, sucking so hard Stiles felt like he couldn’t breathe. Then Derek (his mate, his strong, capable mate) pulled away, heaving along with Stiles.

Wet and swollen lips whispered against Derek’s strong ones. “Derek,” Stiles breathed, gasping as Derek’s strong fingers tightened around him. Stiles pushed his feet into the mattress, seeking beautiful friction. “Need you,” Stiles gasped against Derek’s mouth, not unaware of how Derek looked down on him, like an artist admiring his own work.

“Yes,” Derek replied, fingers digging into Stiles’s skin. “You do, don’t you?” he moved his hand up Stiles’s stomach, almost laughing as Stiles whined, seeking that pressure instinctively. “I can hear it in your song.”

Something was wrong. Derek wasn’t smiling.

“But last time you ran,” Derek hissed, his fingers tightening on Stiles’s skin, claws like pinpricks. Stiles cried out, unsure if he was scared or even more turned on. “And this time you tried to run.”

At least the pain seemed to give way to a clear mind. It took a moment for Stiles to find his way back to clarity, back to sense. But when he did his arousal took the backseat, anger spreading into every fiber of his being. Derek glared at him in response, knowing something had changed, knowing he’d lost some part of his control over the situation.

Both last times you tried to kill me,” Stiles snapped, snarling as he wiggled his hands free. “And you fucking killed my friend.” Stiles might not be able to run, but he was still a mammal, damn it, and even the smallest of those fought when cornered. His hands were free.

Lurching forward, Stiles wrapped them around Derek’s neck, angrily squeezing, trying to drain the life out of this man.

Derek arched an unimpressed eyebrow inquisitively, face unresponsive as Stiles squeezed harder around his neck. Damn him. Damn all of Derek, ruining everything, killing everyone. If only Derek hadn’t tried to drown Scott. Then Scott would be happy and Stiles would be happy and not a stupid human pretending to be a mate, not needing Derek to touch him, not having a song-

The room went red.

“Virgin,” Derek warned, suddenly reactive. “Stop.”

Was that fear in his voice?

Excellent.

Stiles,” Stiles hissed, cutting his tongue on his sharp teeth. “My name is Stiles, you fucking-“ he dug his right fingernails in, cutting into Derek’s throat deliciously. Crying in triumph he sliced his way through Derek’s throat, blood spattering onto Stiles’s face. “You fucking monster,” Stiles finished proudly as he released his hands, licking his claws clean of the delicious cool life that tainted them.

Almost immediately Derek’s head moved back, slowly, before snapping forward, eyes red with anger. His wound healed immediately, face snarling with those too-sharp teeth. “Bad mate,” he hissed, hand striking Stiles across the face.

Stiles cried out in pain, hands covering where Derek had slapped him. It hurt, the bastard. It hurt, red streaks as something dripped down Stiles’s face- blood.

Derek had drawn blood.

Stiles gaped at him, shaking. Derek hadn’t… Derek had done that before, he should have expected…

Derek sighed, taking both Stiles’s hands in his. Though his face didn’t show it, Stiles could hear the pleased tone in the song, something like triumph, but Derek had hit him, Derek had- where was the triumph? What was Derek triumphant about-

Waving Stiles’s hands around, Derek pressed his fingers closer to Stiles’s eyes. “Since you hurt me with these, you shan’t use them.” Stiles struggled in Derek’s grip, body pinned, trying to figure out why his blunt fingertips were so dangerous.

“Now then,” Derek continued, leaning forward and licking at Stiles’s cheek. Stiles hissed as Derek dug his tongue into the wound- teeth nibbling on some of the skin, cleaning Stiles’s face of blood. “What happens to naughty little humans?” he asked, voice light again, separating each of Stiles’s wrists and pinning them to Stiles’s side.

“They build nuclear bombs,” Stiles replied, struggling. At least his erection had died down, even if it hadn’t completely… Derek thrust his hips again, moving down to Stiles’s neck.

Nope, Stiles realized as Derek started sucking on his favorite spot, Stiles was still just as aroused as before. Warmth pooled into his gut as Derek kept sucking, kept licking.

Derek smirked, moving to a new- oh.

Oh, Stiles gasped, that felt so good, so good, there. Electricity tingled as Derek kept suckling, not bothering to fix Stiles’s cock as Stiles rutted against his abs. Oh, so close, so damn close and-

Derek stopped, a smarmy grin on his face. Tentacles slapped themselves around Stiles’s wrists as Derek trailed a hand up Stiles’s hip, up his stomach, pinching a nipple. Stiles gasped- it felt good. He hadn’t even thought he was so sensitive. “Now then, soft mate,” Derek pushed on Stiles’s stomach to prove his point. “What happens to naughty little humans?”

No, no, no. Stiles was so close. So close to coming and-

-Derek trilled something, something that went straight down stile’s neck and into his cock. Stiles gasped, so on edge, ready to spill, feeling Derek’s hand grasp his shaft. His hips bucked upwards, fucking into the fist, not quite able to achieve blissful orgasm.

No. Stiles thrust up, sure it would take one more.

No. Another thrust with a broken cry.

No. Derek had-

He had-

“Naughty boys get punished,” Derek finished, tightening his fist.

It still wasn’t enough. Stiles felt tears again, frustrated. “No, Derek, no, please-“

Derek’s hand covered his mouth, Derek grinning. “If you take your punishment, pretty mate, I’ll let you earn your reward.”

Earn his reward. Not get his reward.

Not that Stiles could think clearly in this position anyway. “Okay,” he agreed, desperate for release. “Okay.”

Derek grinned and backed up, off of Stiles who immediately missed the crushing weight against his body. The tentacles loosened, still holding onto him even though Stiles could move his body. “Turn over,” Derek commanded. “On your knees.” Just like Stiles had been before, Stiles realized.

Stiles turned over, the tentacles breaking for a quick second only to hold his wrists at his waist again. Derek guided his head into the pillow, and Stiles placed his knees up and far apart, raising his ass in the air, cock swinging.

“Now then. You be quiet. No words. Only the song.”

Stiles nodded, biting back his tongue as Derek’s hands trailed down Stiles’s spine, resting in the cleft of his ass. It took every effort to remain quiet, only a surprised grunt from Stiles as Derek spread his cheeks, breathing over Stiles’s hole. Stiles clenched his ass at the feeling, wanting Derek to fill him.

“Such a pretty hole on display for me.” Derek’s tongue ran over Stiles’s hole, lapping hungrily. Stiles cock angrily jutted out, more precome oozing from the tip, unable to get a good release. Stiles was blocked from that orgasm, desperately grinding back against Derek’s face, hands held back. He stayed quiet, silent, begging only in little hiccups or pants, never using words like Derek had asked.

Then Derek’s tongue pressed inside. Stiles whined little pleading whines that Derek only chuckled at. Derek’s tongue pulled away, and no, that was wrong too, Stiles needed something thicker and harder inside of him. He whined and used his voice as best he could, anything without words to plead for more. “Shh,” Derek soothed, sucking at Stiles’s thighs reassuringly. “Doing good, pretty mate. Doing so well for me.”

Stiles nodded, whimpering with each breath, trying to keep his thighs apart and high despite his shaking knees. Derek still held tightly to Stiles’s wrists, pulling Stiles’s shoulders back uncomfortably. He was doing good. Derek was praising him. He was good. Such a good mate for Derek. So needy. So weak, needed Derek.

“Hmm,” Derek purred again, licking lower, down Stiles’s balls this time, sucking and nudging them with his teeth. “Just a little longer, pretty.”

Tears poured down Stiles’s cheeks now, taking his punishment so prettily. He shouldn’t have clawed Derek like that. Shouldn’t have, Stiles gasped as Derek cradled one of Stiles’s balls in his mouth, sucking eagerly. Stiles trembled and shook but willed himself still.

Derek hummed around him, only making Stiles worse, only pushing him beyond that painful place. Stiles wasn’t sure anymore if he was in pain or in pleasure, just that he needed release. He needed it to be over. He needed Derek, needed Derek to end it, needed to-

Derek opened his mouth, letting Stiles’s heavy ball sack swing freely, moving back to Stiles’s open and wet asshole. “Good mate,” he assured again, hands patting Stiles’s ass. Stiles jerked forward but Derek didn’t seem to mind, tongue darting inside Stiles once again, tasting everything he could.

Stiles cried out as Derek tasted him again, tongue proving all his weaknesses and feeling for any rips or tears. Derek’s song grew into a crescendo happily, content, as suddenly he pulled his tongue out, pressing something along the tip of Stiles’s ass.

His cock. Derek’s cock was pushing inside his asshole.

Letting out a mindless cry Stiles pushed back against the tip. It was big and warm and wet and Stiles needed it inside him, needed Derek’s wetness inside him, needed to be marked, mated. The tip smacked against Stiles’s asshole once, twice, three times before it slipped a little inside, a quick groan escaping from Derek. Yes. Big and warm and hot and stretching Stiles in the most delicious of ways. Stiles clamped down on it, trying to drain the head of all the liquid it had inside of it- Stiles was so thirsty, needed-

Derek growled as he came, never pushing more in but spurting warm hot liquid deep inside Stiles. Stiles sighed, content at that. He’d pleased Derek- he’d done his punishment and now Derek would forgive him.

“So greedy,” Derek muttered brokenly, “impaling yourself on my cock.” He pumped himself a few times, letting Stiles drink in every last drop, pulling out with a quick pop. Immediately he leaned over Stiles, pinning him down onto the bed again, letting Stiles sink down against the mattress; his legs couldn’t bear Derek’s weight.

“You may speak now.”

Stiles murmured brokenly, words of want and need, all disjointed, all mumbled and slurred through delirium. Derek only laughed, chuckled, touching Stiles’s neck again, breathing it in, holding Stiles’s weakest spot.

“You took your punishment well, didn’t you, pretty boy?” Derek asked almost kindly.

“Ye, ye…” Stiles trailed off, unable to form the word. “If you say so,” he pleaded, looking over at Derek’s forehead with wide eyes. “Please, please, Derek, need, need, please…”

“All right. All right. You’ve earned a reward.” Laying his head down across from Stiles’s, he made eye contact and smirked.

“Stiles.”

Immediately Stiles climaxed, his name signaling the end, his release. Stiles came so hard and long he saw stars, couldn’t think, couldn’t be anything more than a shaking, sweating mess that clung to Derek desperately. The hard muscles of Derek’s body kept Stiles pinned, kept him safe and secure when Stiles felt like anything but, dancing along the darkness of bliss.

It took a while for him to come back, aware Derek was licking his skin again, Derek’s fingers messily rubbing their ejaculate together. It didn’t bother Stiles. If anything, Stiles was thrilled Derek had moved him from the wet spot.

“Perfect little mate,” Derek growled, face coming down to capture Stiles’s lips in a kiss. “So perfect for me.”

Stiles almost smiled into the kiss; he’d done a good job. He’d pleased Derek. He was so happy, so happy, and he was safe for now, Derek was pleased, Stiles wouldn’t die, and-

The growling of his stomach broke him out of his thoughts. Awkwardly Stiles looked away, but Derek’s fingers gripped Stiles’s chin and forced their eyes to meet. Stiles looked into Derek’s eyes, surprised by the concern they held. “Haven’t you eaten?” Derek asked.

“Not hungry,” Stiles lied. Still blissed out on the most intense orgasm of his life, Stiles continued. “Ate some of the lady at the hospital, but not too much. Didn’t wanna make a scene.”

Unsurprisingly Derek’s face relaxed a bit, and he began dragging Stiles closer to the edge of the bed. Stiles couldn’t find it inside himself to care. If this was how he died, so be it. He was tired of being terrified.

Instead once they reached the end of the bed Derek wrapped himself around Stiles, tail taking in all of Stiles’s legs, arms holding Stiles’s arms, head on Stiles’s shoulder. “Closer your eyes,” he suggested.

Mind sleepy and hazy, Stiles obeyed, closing his eyes and resting carefully in Derek’s embrace. Derek’s song surged, content and full of praise for Stiles. Awkwardly Stiles responded, his own song shaky and weak, with a couple squeaks and squawks along the way.

Derek’s song showed him a familiar house where Stiles could see a familiar shape, though he couldn’t quite see the face. A woman cried, hands around her neck, beautiful marks lining them, red pressure lines. Derek’s song pushed Stiles forward a little and Stiles felt the hunger.

This delicious woman was full of warmth, blood, and life. This woman was pulsing with fear, so shaky and afraid. Stiles could change that. He could easily tear her away from fear, give her the gentle song of silence and peace, dark and cool and everywhere.

Derek’s song hummed with encouragement.

And, Stiles realized, once he did so it was a win-win. She would have peace and no longer have to be afraid, and he would be able to eat her delicious insides, still warm with blood, still full of energy and spark.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that solution. Stiles hummed and summoned, trying to find the spot closest to her.

The bath, he realized. She was in the bath.

He cooed and called, trying to assure her it would be okay. He watched as her eyes turned over, no longer producing tears. Lips stopped trembling and she placed her head in the water, listening to his song.

Stiles kept singing, only occasionally needing assistance from Derek who proudly watched him, taking care of any slip of reassurance Stiles failed to give. Finally the woman breathed in and her life flickered.

Then her eyes turned a beautiful glassy color, and oh, Stiles wanted. Like a child in a candy store he reached out but Derek suddenly shouted, suddenly waking Stiles from their song.

Pain seared through Stiles’s fingers. Crying, Stiles started rocking back and forth, unable to breathe, unable to think. It hurt too much, worse than the scraping of his calf. “Derek,” he sobbed.

“Greedy,” Derek spoke. “So greedy.” He sighed and then reached into the water, pulling out two of Stiles’s fingers, shaking his head. “Let me see your hand.”

Stiles looked up at him with big wet eyes. “I-“

“Of course you would be that far along,” Derek muttered to himself, releasing Stiles long enough to take his hand. “Such a clever mate. Too clever.” He looked at Stiles’s right hand, to where Stiles had nothing but bloody stumps.

“Her eyes were so delicious,” Stiles whined.

Derek only smiled. “I know,” he agreed, placing the fingers back on Stiles’s hand. “I know, pretty boy.” He soothed Stiles again. Stiles only swallowed, willing to give them to Derek if they weren’t going to be any use to him anymore. He watched as Derek opened his mouth around the fingers, only to realize Derek was licking them.

The pain subsided, and sensations of Derek’s warm, wet mouth reached Stiles’s brain. He gasped as Derek let the fingers go, good as new.

Never had he expected Derek to fix him. “Thank you,” he automatically spoke, testing out the movements of his fingers, finding no fault with them at all. Derek only lashed his tail out, hand reaching back inside the waterfall.

“Don’t reach for them in the song again,” Derek warned. “You’re still weak. Still human.”

He pulled up an eye, handing it to Stiles.

The eye.

Hungrily Stiles took it from his mate, slipping it past his lips and wolfing it down. “Delicious,” he finished, unashamed. At least his hunger had quieted down somewhat. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, only to note Derek held up something purple and liver-shaped and probably was a liver.

“This will fill you up more,” Derek suggested. He tore off a piece and pressed the liver against Stiles’s lips. Stiles happily opened up his mouth, finally full.

Still orgasm-sleepy and song-sleepy and full-sleepy, Stiles yawned and settled down, next to Derek, Derek who was so nice to fix his hunger, so nice to fix his fingers.

 

***

 

He awoke to a knock on his door. Sleepily he sat up in bed. Bed?

Had all of that been a dream?

Erica poked her head inside his room.. “How you feeling?” she asked, stepping inside cautiously, not wanting to disturb him more than she had to.

“Groggy,” Stiles answered honestly, frowning as he tried to remember what had happened.

She had a sad look to her face. “Scott has been spotted nearby,” Erica reported, eyes not quite meeting Stiles’s. “I didn’t want to wake you, but that gun might be of good use right now.”

Shit. Stiles rubbed his head, nodding as he slid out of bed and began walking to the bathroom. Scott was nearby, which meant Stiles might have to shoot him. Scott might try to kill them.

Erica followed behind, standing above as Stiles reached under the sink for the small safe. “You’ve really healed,” she muttered. “Just yesterday we put your crutches in the car.”

Paying no heed to Erica’s words, Stiles grabbed the box and tried to remember the combination. Erica changed the subject. “Can I help?” she asked, kneeling down to Stiles’s level.

“Box under my dad’s bed has the ammo,” Stiles replied automatically, opening the box and slipping the handgun into his hand.

“Oh wow. Super safe,” she joked. Stiles cracked a grin more for her than himself; she was shaking from fear while he was too preoccupied with the idea of shooting Scott.

Scott. Stiles swallowed.

“Sorry,” Erica muttered, following Stiles into his father’s bedroom. “I’m just nervous. Scott’s one of the nicest people, you know?”

Stiles nodded, handing her the gun. He did know. They used to play in the sandbox and make mud pies. They used to talk about not having a parent together. Stiles knew damn well how nice Scott was. “That isn’t Scott right now,” Stiles informed, whether him or her he wasn’t sure. “It’s some creepy person who looks like Scott. Like a zombie.” He reached under the bed, hands successfully reaching the box of ammo. “And as much as I love Scott,” he continued, pulling the box out, taking the key from Erica, “He wouldn’t want to be like this.”

Scott had told him as much.

Erica swallowed. “Stiles,” she started, something important coming from her lips as Stiles took the gun back and started loading it. “I… If we die, I want you to know that I like you.”

What.

Stiles blinked up at her. That was… unusual. Not what he was expecting. His brain swam in confusion. “You like me?”

Erica nodded. “Like, maybe you and Boyd. Equally.” She shrugged. “You were always the smartest kid in school, always had good jokes, always fun to be around. I still have that crush,” she continued. She gave him a smile.

Stiles looked her over. She wasn’t anything he desired; she was blonde, curvy, soft. She looked delicious, sure, but Stiles couldn’t think of her sexually.

Derek had ruined him.

She patted his hand, eyes wet. “I know you’re not in a place right now to want anything or anyone. I just… I just wanted it off my chest.” 

Relief swept through him as Erica finished her statement. He didn’t have to respond- she wasn’t looking for his feelings. “Yeah,” he murmured. He wasn’t sure if he could return her feelings with all the trauma and dead bodies and with leaving Beacon Hills soon.

“I’m sorry I can’t,” Stiles apologized.

Erica shook her head. “That’s all right,” she assured him. “I wasn’t expected anything from you.”

Good. Stiles nodded. “Okay,” he breathed, relieved. “Okay. Let’s get downstairs.”

They shuffled down the stairs, Boyd keeping alert. Boyd stayed next to the window, looking delicious in the sunlight. Though Stiles felt worried, at least the meat he’d eaten stayed his nerves. “I’ve got the gun,” he announced. Boyd nodded, raising an eyebrow in Erica’s direction. She shook her head at him.

Stiles looked out the window himself.  “Any updates?” he asked.

“No sign of Scott, but he was last seen at his house.” Boyd checked his phone again. “Gonna be a long night, man,” he replied. “You have a good sleep?”

“Not long enough,” Stiles admitted. “But it was satisfying.”

Derek’s song chimed in laughter, working its way through the pipes. Suddenly Erica shook her head. “Oh no,” she breathed. “It wasn’t us he was after.”

Stiles looked at her curiously, as did Boyd. Together they looked at the phone she held up, with breaking news on the headline.

Mother Gruesomely Murdered at Home

Not a dream. Stiles felt sick.

Scott hadn’t killed her.

Stiles had.

He’d killed Melissa.

Stiles paled, looking out the window and praying he didn’t see Scott, holding the gun tightly in his hands. Just like Scott, Stiles wasn’t safe to be around anymore.

Chapter Text

Jackson wasn’t the prettiest sight that dawn, Stiles noted as he climbed out of Erica’s car. Rather, the two all terrain vehicles Jackson had brought with him were the prettiest metal and plastic things Stiles had ever seen in his life. While he appreciated them for speed, Stiles opened a backpack full of maps and water and a few sandwiches, handing a map to Jackson.

For a moment Stiles regretted leaving his gun at home, but as part of him hungered and thought about how delectable Jackson looked in the light of dawn, Stiles assured himself it had been the right choice. He didn’t need to make things more difficult by putting a weapon in his hands. Scott hadn’t shown up last night and the gun was needless, so he put it back away, not wanting to worry his father about a weapon being involved in any skirmish.

Where was Scott, anyway? Stiles had no idea, but he hoped Scott hadn’t gone home and seen the remains of his mother.

“I wanted something fast in case something bad happens,” Jackson explained, taking a map from Stiles and looking at it quickly. “I can ride with you, and Boyd and Erica can share.” He nodded as Erica climbed out of the car, followed quickly by Boyd. Each of them also took a map and tried to familiarize themselves again with the surroundings.

“Okay,” Stiles agreed. “Here’s the old town,” he pointed on the map. “It was a couple hours of walk for us before, so it’ll probably be an hour drive or something.” He noted gas tanks on the back of the ATVs. Luckily of them, Jackson had been prepared for everything. The feeling made Stiles content, safe. They might be able to do this, with all their planning and their fast ATVS. “I can lead the way. The big thing to know is this: if there’s a tremor or an earthquake, don’t second-guess. Get out. Go back to here, take your stuff and go back to the city. Don’t go back for anyone.”

Somberly the three took this in, realizing how fucked they might be. In the end they agreed, each nodding silently, giving in to Stiles’s authority. And Stiles knew if anyone died, he’d take the blame again, but better that than having them feel they’d failed someone else.

“Okay then,” he finished. He moved to hop onto the ATV, when Jackson cut him off. “I’ll drive,” Jackson huffed. “You lead, okay?”

Stiles didn’t have enough sleep to deal with this. “Okay,” he agreed, still swinging up first and sat back to make room for Jackson in front. When Jackson swung over, Stiles held onto him tightly, not caring that he looked like a spider monkey baby attached to its mom. He didn’t trust his ability to not fall off and trusted Jackson’s a lot more. Jackson started up the engine and waited for Boyd and Erica to get seated before driving forward past the broken fence.

Around them the trees passed them by, quicker than they had for Scott and Stiles. Stiles swallowed, listening for Derek’s song. It was there, though strangely out of focus, the ATVs too fast for Stiles to hear the song well. But if Derek was there, Stiles could relax- Derek wouldn’t let him die. He wanted to eat Stiles later.

Stiles simply listened to the wind and to the trees and the occasional snippet of song, not listening to Jackson mutter about getting even and fucking that guy over. He didn’t know how to even tell Jackson that there was no getting even. Derek would kill them all. Or Stiles would. Stiles would kill Jackson because Derek tricked him and Stiles was becoming a monster, too, knowing that humans were tasty and full of life.

Before too long the remains of a house appeared before them. Automatically Jackson slowed down, looking at Boyd and Erica. “This is the Argent house, right?” he yelled over the sound of engines and wind.

Stiles nodded, looking at the group. “Yeah. The rest of the town is down the lane, but the Hale house is further north. Kate’s book was in the middle of town.” He hoped Kate hadn’t heard them or that she’d stay asleep while they went for her book. “Hopefully, we can just take the book and run.”

Boyd nodded and took off for the center of town while Erica waved pleasantly. Jackson cursed and took off behind them, but Stiles was glad for the lighthearted display of competition. It was a welcome change from his somber mood, and he encouraged Jackson to go faster, to catch up.

He remembered coming here with Scott. Scott had been creeped out by what were dead bodies around them while Stiles had been convinced it was a prank, taking notes for Halloween. They’d joked and Danny had offered a reward to the one who found the book first, their last lighthearted moments.

He looked up at the sky, wondering where Scott was now. Did Scott know what he’d done?

The trees looked like they were bleeding, all red. This was the place. Stiles motioned for Jackson and Boyd to stop. They were surrounded by trees and posts, all that remained of a town square built about a hundred years ago destroyed by a fire. “It should be around here somewhere,” Stiles announced, letting Jackson slide off the ATV before following suit, looking around for anything. Stiles kept looking for the familiar open pages, but there wasn’t anything on the ground that matched his memory.

They all split up and headed in different parts of the clearing, looking for any source while staying within sight of one another. “Holy shit,” Boyd uttered. Stiles followed his gaze to see the skeleton lodged inside a tree, thrown there with such force and held together only by the old clothing it still wore. Stiles looked at him, shrugged, and kept searching for the book- it had to be around here. It had to be somewhere.

“There are the old houses,” Stiles heard Erica say, and he looked back, past the trees. Some houses could still be made out, having escaped the fire. Stiles suspected it was mostly due to how far away they were from the center of the town. Those people would have had time to run from the beast. It probably wouldn’t have bothered knocking down walls to empty houses.

He wondered how Derek would have made it, what Derek would have done if he had seen the beast. Would he have escaped, with his werewolf status, running faster than anyone? Would he have fought back with his powerful claws? Stiles had no idea, but listened to the song, needing a reminder that Derek was alive and well.

The song was curious, confused, but interested. Derek still existed.

Stiles looked around the rest of the group. Erica looked with Boyd at the houses, walking towards one. And Jackson-

Jackson was staring at two legs on the ground, dressed in modern Abercrombie jeans.

Though he had no words, Stiles felt he had to say something. “Shit, man,” Stiles began, “I thought that…” He swallowed. “I had hoped it wouldn’t still…”

Jackson shook his head, anger on his face. “There is nothing you can say, Stilinski,” he snapped, still focused on his best friend’s legs. “So let’s just get the book and kill that son of a bitch.”  His face grew angrier and tighter, eyes scanning the ground for anything. “The book isn’t here,” he snapped again, glaring at Stiles.

Stiles held up his hands to show he meant no harm. “I know. I think-“

Jackson wasn’t having any of it, too driven by rage to think clearly. “Where is the book?” he almost yelled.

Luckily for Stiles Boyd took over then, hand coming to rest on Jackson’s shoulder. “Chill,” he responded. “Book’s not here.” He looked at Stiles and nodded, reassuring Stiles he had it under control.

Stiles swallowed. “It might be at the Argent house,” he offered. “Or the Hale house.” He watched as Erica and Boyd steel themselves as they realized they might have to search in two still-standing houses for a book, something that could take hours.

None of that reason went through to Jackson, though. Jackson glared at Stiles, only held still by Boyd’s hand. “Oh? And why might you think that?”

Stiles gestured around the empty space. “The monster. I think it’s Kate Argent. I know she did something to Derek, and maybe it backfired and did something to herself.” Erica gave him a motion to continue, so he did so. “The shaking started from the North, and I think she stays at the Hale house as a trophy. She killed all of them but Derek in order to turn Derek into… what he is.” He then bit his lip, adding the second part of his theory. “But the Argent house is her house. I think it’s possible she stores her things there, and it wasn’t ruined or anything. So it’s likely she lives there.”

“We’ll go to the Argent house, then,” Erica piped up quickly. Stiles didn’t blame her for choosing the house that had no connection to the monster and was closer to the exit. “Boyd and I can search through quickly. We’ll call you if anything goes wrong.”

With that, they left Jackson and Stiles alone, jumping onto the ATV. Stiles waved them goodbye while Jackson huffed, displeased but unable to do anything about it. Before Stiles could speak to Jackson about his attitude, Derek’s song came through, still curious, cautious.

Jackson huffed and got on the ATV, nearly dragging Stiles up with him and breaking Stiles out of his trance. “Sorry,” Stiles apologized, but Jackson took off, having none of it.

“To the Hale house,” he snapped. “Let’s make this quick.”

Stiles didn’t want to go, not really. The Hale house was where Derek grew up, where Kate burned his family. Stiles wasn’t sure Derek could save him there. He hung on tighter as they got closer to the big house, Stiles squeezing Jackson. Surprisingly Jackson remained silent, and when they arrived and Jackson shut off the engine, Jackson was uncharacteristically quiet. “You okay?” Jackson asked, sliding off the four-wheeler. “You haven’t seemed quite like yourself.”

Was he not himself? Stiles frowned. He felt like himself. He felt tired and scared and helpless and he’d been tricked by Derek and he wasn’t sure what more he could do. “I feel like myself,” he answered honestly. He paused, waiting for Derek’s song before saying more, before going any further. Derek wouldn’t let someone else kill him.

But it would explain Jackson’s hesitation. If Stiles was changing, Jackson would want to put distance between them. Stiles couldn’t afford that. That would be a death sentence. So he offered a smile and hoped his excuse would work, shrugging. “Lots of bad memories here,” he added, trying not to think about how they were alone and how hungry he was. Bad humans eat other humans, he reminded himself.

It was a good enough excuse for Jackson. “All right then,” Jackson agreed. Together they stepped underneath the burnt-out doorway, into an empty floor standing in the middle of the woods. Stiles looked- there was a burnt out staircase leading upwards, and a couple rooms to the right, but most of it was burned. Some remains of furniture lay on the floor, along with a mummified body that hadn’t been torn apart by rain or rats or whatever helped decompose them.

There was blood underneath the body, Stiles thought from the dark stain on the floor. He crept closer, curious. As he looked he noticed it was a lady with her throat all gashed and torn. Stiles paused, looking at a familiar silver glimmer as his mind went back to the picture of Derek and Kate. A woman, a blonde woman, with a necklace…

Like Kate Argent’s.

Stiles swallowed.

The monster wasn’t Kate. Kate was dead. There wasn’t anyone Stiles could ask about Derek, there wasn’t any way to confirm what was going on, and the book probably didn’t exist anymore and he took a step back

Jackson huffed, looking around the room. “What is it?” he asked, looking under some dirk. “You’ve seen plenty of dead bodies-“

“Kate,” Stiles whispered.

Jackson stopped, slowly looking at Stiles. “What?” He paled. “Where?” He looked around, listening, feeling for tremors.

Stiles pointed to the mass on the floor.

Jackson hit him. “You said she was the monster!” he hissed, unhappy with this revelation. Stiles didn’t blame him. They had gone back to square one with the Beacon Hills beast.

“Well, she’s not,” Stiles replied, swallowing. “I saw her picture, man, and this is her body. It’s been here too long for her to be the monster.” He looked at her dead eyes.

Jackson frowned. “Then who is the monster?” he asked accusingly, looking around as if the monster might jump out at them any moment.

Stiles continued to stare at the body, trying to piece it together. Something that hated Kate Argent, at least, given her state. “I don’t know,” he replied finally. “I really don’t know.” He couldn’t believe she wasn’t the monster; it made him feel weak. What else was he wrong about? Was the book even helpful?

Jackson huffed, but he grabbed Stiles’s hand. “Come on,” he muttered, leading Stiles up the stairs. “We can at least search for the book.” Mutely Stiles agreed, hands grabbing charred furniture, opening up drawers and looking. Occasionally there’d be a charred body and Stiles would look underneath it, but nothing every happened.

Their search lead them back downstairs, underneath creaking floorboards and at one point Stiles touched a table that fell into a pile of ashes, but no book. Stiles swallowed as he looked back at Kate Argent’s body, determined to at least look to see if the book was there. He tilted her over, her body slimy but not smelly (thank God), but nothing. He let her body thump back on the ground.

Jackson came into the room again, temper flaring and patience lost. “Where’s the book?” he asked, though both of them knew it wasn’t there. Stiles waited, unsure of how to answer. Had the monster gotten rid of it? Had it not-

In the corner, Stiles noted something he hadn’t before. A red Lacrosse jersey lay in the corner of the room. Mindlessly he walked towards it, pulling up the back. “Scott,” he murmured as the “McCall” name aligned on the back. Jackson hurried over as well, looking it over.

Had that thing? Had that thing gotten…

Stiles couldn’t think.

“No blood,” Jackson remarked, looking over the jersey. “No rips. That thing didn’t get him.”

Stiles felt like breathing again. Scott was alive, in the woods. “He probably has the book, then.” He looked at Jackson, who only shook his head in bewilderment, nodding.

They stood in silence for a moment before Jackson’s phone rang, an annoying techno song that blurted out into the empty old house. Stiles winced and jumped as it started, calming down after realizing what it was.

Immediately Jackson grabbed his phone, both of them moving out of the lost cause of a house. “What’s going on?” Jackson asked into the phone, his tone a mixture of hopeful and panicked.

Stiles could barely hear words, but “seizure”, “come”, and “help” all made their way to his ears. He looked over at Jackson, waiting for the moment he put his phone down. Stiles checked the sky and searched around the ground again. If Erica had a seizure, they should take off. It wasn’t worth the risk of finding Scott or trying to search for a book that might be already gone.

Instead they should all put stock into plan B- fleeing.

Jackson looked at him when he shut his phone. Stiles inhaled before speaking his piece. “Let’s get out of here,” he suggested, and Jackson squared his shoulders, but Stiles kept talking. “Like, I know, man. I want to get even, too. I want to kill that bastard. But right now we’re hopeless without information, and if we stay we will die. We’ve got to run, get far away from here and regroup. Maybe we can find something else out there, in safety.”

Derek’s song stopped a little, anger pooling at the edges. Stiles ignored it, trying to be rational, trying to fight against his instincts that were screaming at him not to leave Derek. Derek was safety. Derek took care of him, fed him.

Stiles had to try and protect his father. Stiles had to try and remain human. It was a-

Jackson rested a hand on Stiles’s shoulder. “I understand,” he said softly, as if he realized how much Stiles was fighting with himself. “Let’s go home and get the hell out.”

Derek was screaming with him, the song angrily pushing at him not to run, telling him he couldn’t. Stiles closed his eyes and tried to black it out. “Yeah,” he agreed, keeping close and hopping onto the ATV, letting Jackson hop on next to him.

“Hold tight,” Jackson commanded, letting the ATV fly.

The road was bumpier than usual, Jackson taking the most direct route instead of the indirect. Stiles squeezed, glad the song had blurred out. At this rate, he didn’t want to try and make the trek to his house. He wanted to go to Derek. Derek kept him safe before. But he fought with his irrational mind. Derek wanted to eat him. Derek wanted to keep Stiles forever, and that wasn’t safe. Derek had hurt Scott and Lydia and everyone. That wasn’t safe. It wasn’t.

Jackson was logical. Jackson’s fear and rage and desperation- hadn’t Stiles been there himself once? Why was he now trying to figure out if Derek was safe or death? That shouldn’t have even been a consideration. Stiles hung on to Jackson tightly. “Thanks for looking out for me,” Stiles said, though the words were lost in the wind.

They pulled up to the Argent house in no time. It looked surprisingly well save for the skeleton out front tied to the tree with an arrow. But at least Stiles didn’t have to see flesh, so he still considered it a plus.

Boyd waited by their ATV, Erica upright and sitting at the edge. “Sorry,” she called out weakly.

“It was a pretty violent episode,” Boyd remarked, “But she doesn’t remember it.” He looked at her, concern and disbelief on his face, but he didn’t say more. Stiles thought for a moment they made a pretty cute couple.

“I never do,” Erica shot back, blushing and looking like the uncomfortable girl Stiles remembered from school. Jackson sighed, looking at all of them. “No sign of the book,” she offered pitifully. Stiles didn’t bother to explain he thought Scott had the book, because really, none of them knew. Maybe Scott didn’t have the book; maybe Scott was dead. Maybe the book wasn’t even anything more than a journal, given the excerpts Lydia had translated. Perhaps the demon thing had destroyed the book on accident, Stiles didn’t know. It didn’t matter now. There was no book.

“We have to get out,” Jackson remarked, echoing Stiles’s words. “Let’s retreat, get out of Derek’s reach and think about what to do next.”

Erica nodded, looking between Boyd and Stiles. “I wanna go with Stiles,” she commented, and Stiles ignored the angry look Boyd sent him. She scooted back on the ATV as Boyd gathered the rest of their things, Derek’s song in the background angry and then warning-

Something was coming.

“It’s coming!” Stiles shouted, looking towards the trees. Only the wind shifted the leaves, sunlight sparkling through the day. Jackson looked at Stiles curiously while Boyd flat out shook his head. Only Derek’s song suggested something was wrong, and the others couldn’t hear that.

“There aren’t any tremors,” he pointed out. Derek’s song grew louder, more furious and Stiles had to cover his ears.

“It’s coming,” Stiles pitifully argued. Jackson looked like he was about to slap him when suddenly the ground gave way, shaking beneath their feet.

Stiles couldn’t help the smug little bit of satisfaction that came from being right. Both men froze in terror for a moment before Boyd jumped on Erica’s ATV. He turned the engine and took off, heading for the entrance to the preserve. Stiles watched them go before turning to his own ATV, running in hopes he might be able to avoid the thing a second time.

Another tremor gave way and Stiles tumbled to the ground. Jackson didn’t hesitate swinging his legs over the ATV. He looked at Stiles, looked back at the now shaking trees, and back at Stiles.

No. Stiles knew exactly what Jackson would do, and as Jackson sneered, Stiles glared at him. Jackson started the engine and took off, leaving Stiles behind. That bastard.

Stiles gritted his teeth, knowing there was no way he could outrun the thing. The options left were only two: either run to Derek or die. Stiles was so tired of terror. So tired of being terrified. Derek would keep him safe, and if he didn’t, Stiles was too exhausted to give a fuck in that moment.

The song became worried and hurried. Derek thought he was on the ATV with Jackson. Angrily Stiles reached out with his song, trying to figure out where Derek’s pond might be. Up a hill, but maybe there would be a creek nearby, or something.

Derek’s song started to sound panicked, but it kept flowing from one direction, a clear sign letting Stiles know where he was. At least Stiles could depend on Derek to keep him alive a while longer. Stiles looked up the right hill this time and his feet took off for him, fear fueling his body. To his right he heard the sound of an ATV. Someone was coming back for him. He waved at them to run, waved at them to go, seeing a quick flash of Erica’s hair before Boyd turned them back around.

Stiles kept running. The burnt out trees looked different in the light, the hill twice as menacing as Stiles climbed higher, the shaking threatening to cause Stiles to tumble and fall. With unsteady feet he kept climbing, kept hauling ass the same way he had with Scott, noting little indents of where their feet had mashed into the ground weeks earlier.

Huh. There had been a stream a few feet away from them the entire time.

Not that it mattered. Stiles focused back on reality, back away from the stream on the crest of the smaller hill. He turned around to look if that faceless thing was still following him. Nothing. The trees further back shook and the ground still felt like liquid, but nothing seemed to be following him.

Still, he couldn’t take the chance.

“I’m coming,” he said loudly enough towards the stream, knowing Derek would hear. The song didn’t calm at all, though.

In the corner of his eye Stiles caught something flying at him. Only by using his Lacrosse instincts, did he doge the thing immediately, something heavy falling onto the ground while something metal smashed into a tree. Stiles looked up, seeing the charred remains of an ATV several body lengths away, away from the creek.

Shit. Shit.

He ran over to the impact, seeing Erica’s body somewhere in the dirt and he skipped it for now- there was smoke coming from the tree, a more pressing priority. The ATV had twisted around the trunk. On closer inspection Stiles could see…

Boyd hadn’t made it. Stiles didn’t need to see anymore than that.

Cautiously but quickly he moved to Erica, checking for a pulse. Her body fluttered and she opened her eyes, the best kind of reward Stiles could ask for. At least he had someone with him. At least she hadn’t died.

“Stiles?” she asked, sitting up. Stiles nodded, helping her and heading towards Derek’s pond. In the distance, the walkable distance, thank God, he could see the trees going the wrong way.

Almost there.

“It’s not the best,” Stiles admitted, “but it’s safer than in there.” Erica didn’t respond, following him blindly. To be fair, there wasn’t any time for small talk or pleasantries or more information and trying to figure out what Stiles meant. They were both focused on just surviving, and Stiles had survived, so she trusted him.

Something screamed and Stiles whipped around. Another motion. Stiles pushed Erica out of the way as something slammed into his leg.

The world went black as pain flashed through him, and when he found he could see, he saw Erica’s pained face, twisted in horror and agony and pity. He was on his back and he sat up, trying to move, but he couldn’t. He tried to stand, but he couldn’t.

His leg wouldn’t let him.

No time to figure out why yet, though he knew deep inside he knew why, and he couldn’t process it yet, not until Erica was safe. “The pond is on the other side,” he told her. “Run to it, don’t touch the water. Derek can’t kill you if you don’t touch the water.” He waved her on, but she wouldn’t move, determined to stay with him to the last. “Go, go!” he shouted. “Don’t fucking let someone else die!”

That seemed to do it. She took off like a frightened rabbit, leaving Stiles alone to check the damage. It was almost funny, the way Stiles had been so worried about Derek and yet it was the faceless thing that got him after all. So stupid. He turned and whimpered, face paling at the injury.

The ATV had crashed into his leg, some of it shattering on impact, some of it trapping his leg down underneath the twisted metal.

He wasn’t sure, but he did feel confident legs weren’t supposed to look like jelly. His bone must have shattered, and without bone he couldn’t work his muscles, couldn’t lift anything. The ATV was too awkward an angle for his arms to push it off and his leg wasn’t working, and his other leg was stuck under metal, too.

Well. Trapped like this, there was nothing more than hoping Erica had made it safely to Derek. And that Jackson had made it safely to the exit, though Stiles knew with a sinking feeling if Boyd hadn’t made it, than Jackson’s odds were even less likely.

As his eyes scanned the bottom of the hill, Stiles realized his theory was right. The faceless thing stood, form fire and darkness, hands behind its back. Slowly it walked, no, sauntered, its way uphill to Stiles, almost delighting in the way Stiles struggled with the ATV, trying to lift metal and plastic off of him.

Nothing budged.

The thing came closer, step by step.

Red enveloped Stiles’s sight, his mouth snarling as he showed his lack of fear. He might not have been able to lift the ATV, but he could go down fighting. He would go down fighting.

The thing merely… laughed, Stiles realized, as the ground shook again, and put its hands in front it, revealing what it had caught.

Jackson.

Other colors bled into Stiles’s vision as the thing held Jackson in two hands and cleanly ripped Jackson in two, tossing the torso in Stiles’s direction. Stiles flinched and covered his face, hearing Jackson’s body land next to him.

He looked over at where Jackson landed, torso bleeding. The head still worked and Jackson swallowed, eyes filled with tears. “I can’t feel my legs,” Jackson breathed, shaking. Broken hands reached out to Stiles’s, and Stiles took them, eyes filled with pity for the man who had no justice and fear that he might be next. “I can’t…”

“It’s okay, Jackson,” Stiles told him softly, ignoring the footsteps coming closer, ignoring how the ground shook beneath them. Shit. He’d like to know it was okay. But this far away from water, this far away from Derek, there wasn’t anything Derek could do to save him. Derek’s song remained in the background, now panicking, trying to find him.

Jackson was still speaking. Stiles tuned back in. “I’m going to where Lydia is,” he questioned, looking up at Stiles. “Right?”

So tired of being scared, Stiles thought again. He didn’t want to go like this, questioning and assuring and being afraid of death.

Blood pooled around them as Jackson kept bleeding out, reminding Stiles there wasn’t much time to answer. “Right,” Stiles agreed, squeezing Jackson’s hand. Though the eyes soon lost focus, Stiles could feel his heart still beat weakly, still try to cling to life and he turned to the thing-

The thing leaned over him, arms too long and fingers too sharp as it took him in, trapped, merely a head’s width away from Stiles. The fingers swung, just like they had for Danny, just like they had for Kate, for countless others-

Fear.

Stiles screamed.

He screamed with ever fiber of his being, a warning, a desperate plea to make things right. The scream consumed him and never before had such volume ever escape his mouth. Even the faceless thing took note, taking several shaky steps back, losing balance and centering itself using a tree.

Breathing, Stiles stopped screaming, looking at Jackson. His ears bled, but no life remained in him. Stiles looked back at the thing, the thing now standing and now coming towards him. Stiles snarled again, taking a deep breath-

The ground burst open. Spears of water dug themselves in the thing’s skin, keeping it pinned for a moment. Other tentacles lifted the ATV and Stiles knew Derek couldn’t do more. Derek couldn’t transport him because Stiles was still human. Stiles couldn’t travel through the song yet.

Stiles had to crawl his way up the last bit of hill and down to where Derek waited.

Better than dying, Stiles supposed. He started crawling his way uphill, hearing the thing stand only to get slammed back down, the sound of water gurgling and smashing what it could like a rapids.

Luckily his body was still numb, he decided, not feeling anything as he crawled on one good leg up over the hill. Lifting his head up he could see two people in the distance- a sobbing Erica, and Derek, who didn’t move.

Derek didn’t notice him, tentacles surrounding him and song focused, song aggressive and angry and fighting.

“Hey,” he called, but only Erica looked up, eyes wet with tears. He crawled closer and Derek snapped up at something Erica said, his face looking somewhat relieved.

Steps behind him. Erica’s face told him everything he needed to know. The thing was still behind him.

Another slew of needles came at the thing- water so pressurized and fine it was a weapon, though this time it came directly from Derek’s pond. Stiles avoided all of them, low on the ground, never stopping his crawl. He kept crawling to safety, kept crawling towards that bank that wasn’t sandy where the water didn’t ripple and where Derek controlled everything. Derek wouldn’t let anything bad happen. Derek would protect him.

“Is that any way to treat your uncle?” the creature yelled behind Stiles, but it had stopped moving forward. Stiles kept crawling, Erica moving slowly to his location help him. She reached him as Derek sent another pressurized wave of needles, helping carry Stiles to the edge of the lake.

The thing hissed again, arms swimming, but Erica pulled Stiles to the edge of the lake and sat down, still crying, returning to shock and fear. Stiles lay on the lakebed, looking at the ground, looking at the thing, and then at Derek.

Derek was safe.

The ground was not.

“You’ll keep away from my pretty one,” Derek snarled again, teeth wide and sharp and challenging. “You keep away from my mate.” He reached out for Stiles and Stiles took his hand, crawling towards the edge and falling voluntarily into the water. He used Derek’s arm to pull himself closer to Derek’s torso, tucking his head in Derek’s arm, the water already working and fixing his leg, Derek already helping and caring for him.

The faceless thing huffed but retreated, going back into the woods with stupid nonsense words like “loyalty” and “family” which didn’t matter anymore. Even as it disappeared, Derek stayed poised and ready while Stiles remained in his arms, feeling safe for once since the whole thing had started. Finally he felt Derek’s hand press against his head. “It’s okay now,” Derek soothed. “It’s okay, pretty mate.”

Stiles kept shaking, kept gripping Derek like a lifeline. “Derek,” he breathed, hands tight and face still pressed against the wet skin of Derek’s neck. “Derek, I almost died.” He held tightly.

“You didn’t. You didn’t. You’ll only die for me,” Derek replied, his tail wrapping around Stiles. He kept soothing the human. “I’m strong. I kept him away. I won’t let anything else touch you.”

“I know,” Stiles agreed, lips still shaking. Why was he shaking? Why couldn’t he stop? He thought back to everything, to the rush of emotions, to the fear, to the realization this wouldn’t stop. This would never stop.

Whimpering he looked at Erica, still lost in her own little world. “Derek,” he pleaded, and Derek tensed, listening. “I don’t want to be afraid again.”

Derek kept touching him, kept stroking his head and his tail kept stroking his leg. “You don’t have to be,” he replied, knowing what Stiles was hinting at.

Stiles felt glad he didn’t have to spell it out. He pulled back and looked into Derek’s eyes, seeing how dark and sharp and aroused they were. “I want you always there, always inside me and giving me strength, protecting me and providing for me. I don’t want to be afraid, weak like this.” He held out his pathetic, little human arm. “And you’ll be gentle,” he added, echoing Derek’s earlier words when he was first in this pool, when he first thought he could escape from this.

He watched as the realization clicked for Derek, as the weight of what Stiles was asking dawned on him. It wasn’t just asking Stiles to change; it was Stiles asking to be his mate. Derek’s eyes grew wide and his nostrils flared, body shaking with excitement. He fondly lay Stiles on the ground and covered him with his body, keeping his eyes focused on Stiles’s human ones, his face serious but pleased, Stiles’s dangers of the world melting away.

“I will.”

And with that, Stiles broke the dam of instincts growing inside of him and let the song take over, eyes falling shut.

Chapter Text

Stiles opened his eyes.

The singing rang in his ears, Derek pressing into his own song, pushing him forward. It felt so good, so good to hear Derek’s song, to have Derek inside of him like he would physically have him soon. It was promised. They were mates, after all. Even if Derek would have to kill him.

Mates.

With each breath Stiles forgot what worried him, what made him worried. All that mattered was Derek and hunger. All in the world was Derek and hunger. Stiles breathed in Derek’s scent, took in Derek’s song, felt Derek’s pulse beat as Derek lay on top of him, covering Stiles with as much of his body as he could, keeping him cool and safe and secure.

The air was cold, too bare and dry. Stiles hissed as Derek uncovered him, rolling to the side and showing Stiles the world again.

Stiles looked around taking it in. Erica was gone. He tried to listen for her, with some success: she lived. Somewhere.

Stiles hummed and reached out with the song. Derek grinned, song humming with praise and support while Stiles felt her deep in the depths of Derek’s water, alive with air but barely. She was screaming and crying while Derek’s water cooled her down from the burn of life. How lucky she was. Soon she would stop worrying, soon stop crying over everything. She’d calm down in the bliss of darkness.

Stiles looked up at the sky. He had to hunt, still. Erica was not a hunt- she was a gift, a donation. Stiles still had to prove his worth to Derek, and besides, Stiles was hungry,

 

***

 

Twigs and leaves snapped underneath his bare feet, more annoying than painful. Stiles’s body could now immediately heal any injuries they caused away, but it was still frustrating to feel them. He didn’t feel sure on where to go, but Derek sang, still inside him, still around him, watching him, protecting him.

Safe.

Derek was safe, and Derek promised Stiles would be safe.

So Stiles closed his eyes and listened.

The wolf-thing, Derek’s uncle, was sleeping off its wounds far away to the North. It wouldn’t bother Stiles again. To the South, more delicious songs sang out, all warm and loud and boisterous, crackling with electricity and communication and life.

It made Stiles’s mouth water.

So hungry.

He kept walking towards the human songs, his own wrapped around Derek, trying to keep him deeper inside. Derek only laughed and comforted him, occasionally pushing deeper, occasionally brushing against Stiles in a beautiful way.

Stiles couldn’t wait for real sex.

Empty trees, boring, quiet-lived trees turned away from him as he kept walking, following a creek, feet in the stream and closer to Derek. He could feel animals stream drinking the stream inside, animals tucked away bathing, and Stiles reached out in the song, wanting to cool off their heat.

When he passed, rabbits and fish were turned inside out, blood pooling underneath their bodies. Stiles didn’t stop to eat them- he wasn’t hungry for that. Something else called him, a beautiful song to satiate his hunger.

His feet kept on. Someone… someone hid from him. He had to find them, had to find that warmth and life and love.

Harder. Derek pressed harder inside his mind.

Almost like fucking, almost like the sweetest release, and Stiles wanted it. He craved it. He needed it.

Needed Derek.

“Whoa there,” came a man’s voice, in a beige uniform- a sheriff’s uniform. Not what Stiles hungered for, but similar. It would be a tasty appetizer. “What the hell happened to you?”

Stiles cooed. This man was shaking, so afraid, so upset. He could take that away from him. He could. “Nothing, officer,” Stiles spoke softly. “Shh. It’ll be fine.” He held up his hands to show how not dangerous he was, how he didn’t have a weapon.

The man- Parrish?

Was his name Parrish? Stiles couldn’t remember.

The man trembled, talking into his shoulder radio and summoning more people for Stiles to help. Or really, for more the people Stiles could eat. How kind of him. Stiles was really hungry, after all.

“We found your gun back at home,” the human spoke, taking a step back and body tense, defensive. So he knew Stiles was dangerous. “Your father’s really worried, Stiles.” He seemed to calm down for a moment, voice betraying his concern.

Oh good. Stiles could seduce this man. Derek cooed in his ear, showing him how to sweeten his voice, how to charm. “Me too,” Stiles offered, his voice laced with thrall. “Can you help me find him?” Stiles stepped back into the stream, calming his excitement with Derek’s song, smiling, comforting as Parrish’s eyes glazed over and the officer nodded-

Stepping closer-

Stepping into the water-

“That’s not Stiles!” came the shout, and Stiles snarled. He was so close, so hungry. Angrily he knocked Parrish’s gun out of his hand and threw Parrish into the water, Derek taking care of the rest, Derek helping him drown the bastard. Stiles snarled at the voice, another young human stepping closer, hands outstretched.

“I’m hungry,” Stiles snapped, his teeth sharp and voice angry. His fingers were claws, and he was ready to pounce. But Derek’s song held him back, not yet, not yet, don’t step away from the water.

The human in front of him was shirtless, dirty, holding a book in his hands. Stiles snarled as the boy set the book down, holding his palms open to show he was unarmed, but it didn’t matter. He’d tried to take Stiles’s food away from him, wanted Stiles to starve.

The boy continued to speak. “Stiles. This isn’t you.” The boy swallowed, taking another step forward. “It’s me, Scott.”

Scott. Scott. Stiles rolled the name around. Confusingly it sounded familiar. Why did Stiles seem to care so much about that name? “Scott,” he repeated for confirmation, head confused and fuzzy, Derek’s song still strong, his own strong, but something inside him screaming.

Apparently this was a good thing. The human- Scott- smiled. “Yes. Scott.” Scott watched uncomfortably as Derek took the police officer’s body, taking it down to the depths where Stiles and Derek could feed on it later. But soon his eyes went back to Stiles’s.

Maybe he could seduce the human into drowning. That was an option, right? Derek had seduced him with his body, with his abs and his biceps, and oh, a pleased Derek pressed inside his song again, oh, yes, yes-

He wiped away the drool from his lips, focusing on the material world. He began to unbutton his shirt only to realize he was shirtless. Was he wearing pants?

No.

Well. That would help with seduction. Maybe. Derek found him attractive, so certainly everyone else would have to find him attractive as well. Stiles smiled coyly, tilting his head back a little, stretching his spine. “What do you want?” he inquired, taking a step back into the deeper parts of the stream.

Derek practically purred with the display, grinding, grinding, and Stiles wanted-

Oh, he wanted Derek so badly-

So hungry-

Scott took a step back. “Stiles,” he commanded. “Get out of the water.”

Stiles. So the human did know his name, knew him enough to try and command him. “But it’s so cool here,” Stiles returned. “So comforting.” He smirked as his feet splashed some of the water towards Scott. “You know it, don’t you? Do you want to know it?”

This was not the right thing to say. “Stiles, please,” the Scott pleaded. He wanted something. Stiles wanted something. They could work this out, Stiles was sure. He put the thrall back into his voice, his throat sweet like honey.

“It’s okay. It’s okay,” Stiles replied, but the voice didn’t seem to work. The Scott creature continued to stare at him, shaking his head in disbelief. Too strong for Stiles. Stiles frowned. This wasn’t supposed to happen. How did this human fight his song so well?

“Oh, God, Stiles, you were going to try and save me, and this is what happened,” Scott breathed, dirty knees falling onto the ground, opening a book and going through the pages. “I should have realized you needed help, too.” Scott’s eyes were wet with tears, so upset as he looked back up at Stiles. Why didn’t he realize the water would make things better? Why wouldn’t he realize that coming into the stream and going to Derek was the best thing?

“I should have kept you away from him, we should have run far away from Derek-“

“No! No!” Stiles snarled, nearly screaming. “No!” He curled into himself, angry at his weakness. He couldn’t be separated from Derek. To be separated from Derek meant weakness, meant to be hunted, to be unprotected, to be unsafe. He had to stay with Derek.

“Stiles!” Another cry, with gunfire as another human came over the hill and into their sight.

Who was shooting? Who was being shot at? Stiles ducked down, afraid- Derek couldn’t protect him from bullets. He couldn’t transport yet, not like Derek could. He couldn’t heal quickly like Derek. So instead his mind hid in Derek’s song for a moment, not wanting to think, not wanting to breathe. He stayed in the water, hoping Derek would protect him in some way.

“Get away from him,” someone cried, angry and protective and his heart was so warm

So full of life and love

“No, the book! Don’t you see, it’s the book!”

So tasty

“Back away!”

So powerful

“No, you have to read it! You have to see what’s inside!”

So strong

Stay there!”

Stiles opened his eyes to see what he craved most in the world.

His father. Stiles licked his lips.

His father stood in front of Stiles, gun pointed at Scott. Scott remained kneeling, eyes down at the ground, hands with the book, not wanting to look up at the sheriff, not wanting to look at Stiles.

“Stiles,” the sheriff spoke, voice full of anger and protection and love, and oh, Stiles could hear the lifeblood warming, could hear it in his throat, could hear it in his toes, oh, Stiles hungered. “Did he hurt you?”

The sheriff couldn’t see his face, couldn’t see his grin as he stepped forward in the water, his claws extended as Derek stilled, ready to watch, ready to see Stiles make his hunt. And two birds with one stone- Stiles didn’t recognize this Scott creature, but he didn’t think Scott was up to any good, trying to break Stiles with Derek, trying to use such a strange book.

His grin widened as his teeth grew sharper. “Yes.”

The sheriff fired his gun.

Scott fell.

Stiles watched, curious about the human who knew Derek, about the human who knew his name. But Scott’s lifeblood went cold soon enough, and his heart stilled, blood spilling onto the book and soaking the pages. This creature would bother them no more.

“Jesus,” his father breathed. “Jesus forgive me.” The sheriff closed his eyes, turning to Stiles and pulling him into a hug.

Stiles reached his hand around the sheriff’s neck, into a hug, trying to get at the sheriff’s neck. His teeth were wide and sharp. “Missed you,” Stiles said to the lifeblood, to the heart, to the parent that had created him, to all the love. No wonder Derek didn’t offer him a silly little girl heart. Nothing compared to his father.

The sheriff reached around Stiles as well, hugging him tightly. “Oh, God, Stiles,” he said, his head against Stiles’s shoulder, his neck exposed. “I’m so glad you’re safe” He squeezed gently, his heart swelling with affection and relief.

Stiles almost laughed. “I’m glad you’re safe,” he replied to his father’s heart, licking his sharp teeth and moving closer to his father’s neck.

Then he opened his mouth and bit down into that delicious lifeblood.

 

***

 

Derek waited for him at his source, tail flickering excitedly. Outwardly he didn’t seem excited, but he his song had barely stopped moving as Stiles walked back, dragging his father along the forest floor. “Should have let me bring both bodies,” Stiles huffed, but Derek already had the Scott creature’s body in the pond.

“Nonsense. You did a fine hunt,” Derek replied eagerly, tail still flickering and body almost trembling with anticipation and pride. Stiles sighed and dragged the sheriff’s body to the edge of the pond, his nails ripping apart his father’s clothes and into the chest where he could see the beats of his father’s still-working heart.

His father gurgled something to add to their celebration, but he would stop breathing soon. Stiles wasn’t worried. He still had time to tell his father the important things.

“I’m getting mated, Dad,” he said, fingers digging into his father’s chest and trying to pull it apart. “I’m going to be with Derek forever.” He smiled as Derek swam up to the bank, kissing Stiles on the mouth for a moment before letting Stiles get back to work. “He’s going to take care of me, and I’m going to be safe. You’ll be so happy.”

Skin broke apart and blood gushed out of his father’s chest. With a heave Stiles reached inside and grabbed onto his father’s ribs, breaking them apart, trying to get better access to the powerful muscle he craved.

The sheriff yelled wetly in happiness for them. Stiles smiled and pressed another kiss to Derek’s mouth.

“I’ll always be safe,” he added, reaching for the beating red and purple muscle. He plucked it out, veins snapping as he pulled it towards his mouth, still warm, still caring, still so loving.

“Love you,” Stiles spoke, eyes to Derek’s, talking to them both. The heart was still so warm, still full of life, and Stiles took a big bite, the hunger finally abating and dying as he let himself feast, swallowing several gooey chunks.

Derek only grinned, wrists breaking bone as Stiles chewed and swallowed, his father finally satiating the hunger inside of him. “You were right, as always,” Stiles admitted to Derek. “It’s excellent.”

“I told you,” Derek replied, eyes big and wide and happy. “I told you parents were the best. We can have all the parents now. All of them, we can hunt together.” Derek shook as he reached out to Stiles. “Mate. My pretty mate.” He repeated the words over and over together, song soaring higher and higher.

Stiles patted him on the shoulder, flinging his feet into the cool water, not liking how he was surrounded by harsh, dry air. “Mate,” he agreed, laughing as Derek pulled him into the water, kissing him above air, chasing after little bits of heart.

“I’m going to do all the hunting from now on if you act this way when I come home,” Stiles commented, smiling widely and happily. He’d be safe forever, together with Derek who would be gentle, be rough, who always knew what Stiles needed.

Derek returned the stupid grin, kissing and biting Stiles’s jaw, taking off pieces that didn’t matter. Stiles didn’t matter. He could die and Derek would be safe, Derek would still protect him.

Nothing mattered.

“Alright,” Stiles said, finishing off the last piece of his father’s heart. His palms were shaking, scary, but Derek wrapped his arms around him, lips against Stiles’s.

“Are you scared?” Derek asked him.

Stiles swallowed, thinking about it.

He was going to die- Derek would have to kill him. But Derek was safe. Stiles trusted Derek. “Yes,” Stiles admitted. “But you’ll be gentle.”

“I will,” Derek replied somberly, tracing Stiles’s bleeding face before going for their last kiss.

Immediately they dove into the water, deeper than Stiles had ever been before. The cool liquid wrapped around Stiles like a promise, Derek pushing him down, deeper down, down past where Stiles had felt Erica, down into the bowels of the earth where the ground kept the water warm, where darkness reigned and Stiles only needed song to hear.

Derek’s lips stole from him his breath, and then Derek pulled away, his hands tracing Stiles’s legs before leaving. Only the water surrounded him here, Derek’s song too loud or too quiet to hear properly.

The water was life.

The water would never leave him.

Like Derek.

Stiles inhaled.

Immediately his mind went fuzzy, unsure of what to think as his greedy lungs demanded more air, his animal mind panicking. Far away from feeling something scratched at his legs. Stiles didn’t scream though they were torn to ribbons, something clawing at each leg, something tearing through his very bone. Stiles couldn’t feel enough to scream, instead warmed by the strength of his parent, his father’s love keeping him alive and fighting the pain for him.

His blood rushed into the abyss only to be cooled by Derek’s water, his lifeblood chilling and stilling and he felt so dark-

So dreary-

So tired and fuzzy and far away, the sound of emptiness like the womb, like he was being birthed again as his legs spun together and joined up, as his veins and bones twisted and healed. He sputtered as his eyes adjusted to the darkness, his ears now able to hear the quiet plea, prayer, reverence to an end for Derek’s loneliness.

He spun around, feeling strength surging within him, everything Derek had trained him for becoming second nature. He could feel- he could feel into the homes of all of California, underneath roads and inside houses, in water bottles being shipped across the country. All of it. Their reach was far and wide and Stiles could hunt anywhere.

Stiles breathed. His lungs spat out water with his laugh as he twirled around, eagerly looking into Derek’s adoring eyes, eagerly listening to Derek’s humming and purring with pleasure, knowing they would hunt and heal and never die until the end of time, together, and-

Stiles sang.