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Lazarus Awakens

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 (Voice over)      

"The secret things belong unto the Lord,our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us. Death is not an easy thing to accept. Even under the best of circumstances, death is a terrible thing. Nature has it’s seasons but death can come to anyone, at anytime, in any place. Truly we know not what a day may bring forth. We come here today with sorrow in our hearts and questions on our minds as to why these things happen. Can we really know? There are many unexplanable sorrows in life and we must simply leave these in the hands of God who know all things." 

The Sheriff, Scott, Isaac, Derek, and the twins all helped carry the coffin onto the lot. Grief was clear in both Scott and the Sheriff's face, but the Sheriff managed to control it better. Scott would let out a sob every so often. The Sheriff cried silent tears. Derek's eyes were glossy with tears, but that's as far as they got. The rest were solemn, but they held it together. 

The coffin was laid down slowly. Everyone in attendance then took a turn to drop in a rose and a fistful of dirt. 

They all gather around the grave. Derek moves to stand towards the back with Cora and Isaac on either side of him. Though near the end of his life they might have been closer to Stiles, it wasn't the reputation that was known. 

Derek looked around and noticed that neither Erica, Boyd, or Peter were around. He saw the McCall's, including Scott's father. They stood next to the Sheriff even though there was a notable gap between them. The Sheriff finally got the story of what happened to his son. Derek's sure there were some details spared for the man's mental and emotional health, but he knew now. He was angry about being kept in the dark. Angrier still about how everything ended. 

Derek saw Allison next to Scott, holding his hand and helping him remain in control in public. Who he didn't see at first was Chris Argent. Scanning the crowd a moment he saw him on the other side, opposite where he, his sister, and Isaac were standing. Looking back where Scott and Allison were, he then saw Lydia's unmistakable red hair. She was wearing a hat with a bit of a veil on it. Focusing his hearing he was able to zero in on her soft sobs in contrast to the rest of the crowd. 

Because there was a crowd. The Lacrosse team was behind the Sheriff and McCall's. The coach just about losing it, and even biting down on a handkerchief, he sobbed and babbled, every so often a 'Bilinski!" could be heard. Other than them there were people Derek didn't recognize. Other teenagers that he's crossed by and recognized slightly from Beacon Hills High. Others who at the moment wore jersey's of other schools and Derek couldn't fathom how Stiles knew them. There were also drag queens who gained a look or two, but the main focus remained on Stiles's grave. 

 

 

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. "

Once the grave was filled, everyone placed their flowers and offerings on the freshly placed dirt. Derek walked up behind the twins and placed down a rose. 

The preacher finished speaking and the crowd remained. It was time for others to speak. With all honesty all Derek wanted to do was run. Run and keep running and try to catch any sense of normality he could, but he remained still and listened. As much as it was torture to listen to the broken sobs as Scott told everyone how he met Stiles at the sandbox when he was four. How he was being bullied and out of nowhere came this funny looking kid with a batman shirt and blanket wrapped around his neck and pushed the bully away and got Scott his inhaler back.

Some of the older deputies spoke as well. All stories of the trouble Stiles used to get into at the station. It was heartwarming and heart-wrenching at the same time. 

The Sheriff's was possibly the most heartbreaking as he talked about how much regret he held in his heart for his and Stiles's final moments. He admitted it was hard looking at Stiles sometimes because he looked so much like his mother, and how that's been a mistake. Stiles looking like Claudia hadn't been a curse, but a gift. Part of his beloved wife lived on even after she'd gone. He wished he could have relished more in the moment when it was just them. He thought he had plenty of time left before Stiles would leave the nest...he advised everyone present to turn to their loved ones, get really good looks at them, hug them tight, and most importantly of all.

"Tell them you love them. Even if you said it the day before or even an hour before...hold them in place, look them in the eye and you let them know...let them know you love them with all your heart...that...that's my biggest regret that I have."

People dispersed and those who remained where just those that Derek could actually name. 

Derek's one of the last to leave. He wants to stay, but forces himself to leave. As much as Derek may be one of the few people the Sheriff tolerated at the moment, he didn't want to push his luck. 

As he leaves the grounds he spotted a few figures leaving as well. When the wind changed direction he caught a whiff of familiar scents. He supposed it wouldn't be too weird for Stiles's pack to show up after all. 


 

"All packed?"

Peter closed the trunk of the car he was using before turning to the speaker of the voice. He gave Morrell his signature smirk before nodding slightly. "And ready to go."

She studied him for a long moment, and Peter to his credit didn't squirm under the critical gaze. Whatever she was looking for, she must have found because Morrell smiled. It was slightly creepy, but Peter would be more creeped out if it wasn't. 

"We worked well."

Peter rolled his eyes with extra dramatic flair before sighing, "Please don't. If Stiles didn't let Derek join and he wanted to bone my nephew, what makes you think we'd accept you?"

"Stiles isn't here." she stated.

"More reason for the no. The rest of us aren't all the welcoming to new people. We actually do bite."

"So you're sticking together." the way she said it she seemed pleased by the idea. Like it was the right thing to do.

Peter raised an eyebrow at her but she was...unreadable. "We've come accustomed to our usual brand of sarcastic wit. Finding others who tolerate it, let alone match it, is a rarity."

"Chris Argent asked me if you've left yet." she stated next. 

Peter had a feeling that all of this seemed connected to her and made sense. To him though, it was all so random. Shaking his head, not bothering to try to understand the councilor. "Tell him not to fret, we'll be out of his hair soon enough."

"He didn't ask for your pack. Just you." then she gave him a pointed look. 

He stared back before throwing his head back and laughing. "That is...that is quite the not so subtle hint, Sabrina." Peter leaned against the car and crossed his arms over his chest. "I think we both know what happens when a werewolf and a hunter get mixed up together...it ends in blood. Or should I say ashes?"

"Scott and Allison are doing fine."

"Let me rephrase...nothing good can ever come from an Argent and a Hale."

"But maybe something great can. Giving the chance by the right Argent and and the right Hale." 

Peter rolled his eyes. "We killed someone. Happens every day."

"Deucalion. Nyctimus...it isn't something taken lightly. There are whispers of what happened."

"Rumors and hearsay...just as I need to be. Or have you forgotten? I'm 'dead' too." Peter shrugged. 

"This isn't the last we'll meet." Morrell stated.

"Is that a threat or an invitation?"

She smirked at him and gave him an amused look, "See you around Peter." 

  


 

"What do we do now?" Erica asked.

They were at Refuge, having just finished packing up anything that they wanted to take with them. It wasn't much. Traveling with Stiles taught them to travel light and with just the necessities. 

They went to the funeral, and watched from a distance. With Peter being dead and Erica and Boyd being runaways, their options were very limited. Given their actions against Deucalion in Stiles's body, they weren't probably all that welcomed anyway. 

It wasn't even a question of whether or not they'd stick together. Stiles had told them that they work well together, but it was also clear as day to all of them. More than that, the last few months, the last few weeks, have made them family. They wouldn't abandoned each other now when it was when they needed each other most. 

Peter was oldest and Stiles's second in command, they've followed his orders before in Stiles's absence. Doing it now was simple. It was instinct. 

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"Isn't it obvious?" Peter replied. When the two shared a look but didn't reply, Peter restrained from rolling his eyes and stated, "We bring our Alpha back." 

 


 

 

 

 

  

 

  

 


 

"What are you doing here?" Derek demanded as he finally caught sight of Scott, though he could smell him from outside. 

Scott looked up from his place on the couch, he looked as comfortable as someone could be on the old thing. 

"Checking in on you. You weren't at your loft. Cora said you might be heading this way."

 

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"Well..." Derek opened his arms to motion around. "As you can see, I'm fine."

"You're in the wreckage of your old house that hasn't been in your possession in...how long now?"

Derek growled, "That's none of your business."

"Okay, fair enough. But you are." Scott stated.

"I'm really not." Derek turned away from the young Alpha. 

"Derek!"

"WHAT?" He turned and snapped at Scott, eyes flashing blue. "What do you want from me, Scott? Want to know what I had for breakfast? Eggs and beacon! And you can ask Isaac since he was the one who picked it up from the diner on Main. What did I do after that? I went on a run and did a few drills with both Isaac and Cora! We're. Doing. Fine!"

Scott remained silent through Derek's outburst. As much as it hurt for Scott to see the man hurt like this, he let him process through that hurt. To help him get it all out. After the initial denial and then somewhat acceptance of Stiles's....death, Derek shut down. He wouldn't eat, wouldn't leave his bed, wouldn't talk at all. 

It took a lot of work, and Scott's Alpha power, to break him out of his funk. In the last month and half there's been real progress, but Scott wanted to be really careful. What he saw from Stiles as Alpha, no matter how short that time was, he saw what a true Alpha should be. He had been too busy trying to maintain a normal teenage life, he ignored many of the threats that imposed on his loved ones daily lives. He needed to be more than just someone who was there when things were bad. He needed to be there when thing were normal and still be the Alpha. 

With Stiles being gone, he was the only Alpha around. 

Peter, Erica, and Boyd left soon after Deucalion was dealt with and haven't been seen since. Derek and Cora weren't technically pack, but they still fell under McCall Pack jurisdiction. 

Scott tried to be as good as Stiles in handling his own pack. Try to use his Lacrosse Captain experience help him lead a pack. It helped, but there were still plenty of glitches. Though he was tempted to ask Mr. Argent for help in the matter, he was still pissed at the hunter for his hand that he played. At first he wasn't sure how to deal with that and his feeling with Allison. Then he saw how much she felt betrayed by her father's actions herself. She stayed with Lydia...is staying with Lydia. 

Isaac has moved in with him and his mom, but he does spend a lot of time with Derek and Cora. He's sort of become mediator between the McCall Pack and the Hales. But mostly it's to help Cora keep an eye on Derek. While everyone else had other things to help them through the grief, Derek didn't, and let the despair nearly eat him alive. 

Deaton told him that being an Alpha in a crisis was like being a parent during the rebellious teenage years. It was hard and required a lot of patience. 

"I know you're not the most people person out there, and I'm really glad you're letting Cora and Isaac help you, but I want you to know that there are others. Whether you think of it or not, you're pack."

Derek just scoffed and turned his back to Scott.

Scott ignored the coldness and kept trudging through. "It's not about power. It's not about that. Stiles would-"

"You can't say what Stiles wanted when Stiles isn't here!" Derek barked as his shoulders stiffened. Scott knew very well how Stiles's name made Derek...tense. 

"Maybe not with all the right, but he was my best friend. I think I knew him well enough to guess what he may have wanted." Scott argued.

"Maybe when he was human. He was different as a wolf...as an Alpha..."

"He was possibly the greatest one I've ever seen." Scott commented. 

Scott had no idea what the hell happened between Derek and Stiles. What he did know what that Derek now held Stiles up in a very high light and complimenting Stiles was always a good way to...appease the older wolf. 

Derek's shoulders lost some of the tension before he sighed and turned back to face Scott. "I'm fine..."


 

"He is so not fine." Lydia rolled her eyes as soon as Scott finished giving them his report. 

Scott sighed as he sank back into the couch. "I know...but I don't know what he's doing...or not doing. I mean...he's eating...he leaves the house...he...yells angrily. That's basically how Derek normally is."

Allison smiled sympathetically as she joined him on the Martin couch. She practically moved in there and with Mrs. Martin mostly out doing whatever it is she does, gives them plenty of free space to talk without a filter. 

"For now I think the best we can do is keep an eye on him. We all grieve in different ways. And it takes us all different times to get through things." Allison reminded them. They all went to Ms. Morrell for counseling...even if they didn't want to at first. She was as professional as ever, ignoring anything supernatural and focusing on the teens all losing a friend. 

"I just wish he'd join us more often..." Lydia sighed from the love-seat. "Losing Stiles wasn't easy...even to those who hardly knew him. But we have school and practices and pack training to keep us busy...he...what does he do?"

"I dunno...but I'll leave him be so long as Cora and Isaac don't think I need to intervene. If and when they do, I'll order him with Alpha eyes and well...force him to..."

Lydia smiled sadly at him, "You can't force someone to stop hurting when they lost someone they love, Scott."

Scott tilted his head in confusion, but Allison just nodded in agreement.


 

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Derek grounded the herbs, set it aflame and mixed with water. The herbs produced a vapor that he took big whiffs of as he closed his eyes. 

"Twice in one day..."

Derek snapped his eyes opened and sought out Stiles. When he saw him he let out a breathless chuckle before nodding and smiling slightly as his eyes swelled with tears. "I missed you. Needed to see you."

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 "Again." Stiles stated as he sat next to Derek. 

Derek smiled. "There's very little time that goes by when I'm not thinking about you. I just...I needed more than a mind's picture. Needed you to talk to me."

"If Scott finds out what you're doing he's gonna be pissed." Stiles stated casually.

Eyes flashing blue, Derek turned away with a glare, "He doesn't need to find out! How I choose to cope is my business!"

"Are you coping?"

"What do you call this?"

"A hallucination..." Stiles said, then looked around with that sarcastic pout of his, "A quite aware one at that."

Derek chuckled as he turned back and absorbed all of Stiles that he could. "I had a dream about you..."

 

"Yeah?" Stiles coaxed gently. It was like that. He'd get Stiles cynical sarcasm at first. The outer layer that he carried around. Then he got the more sincere, caring layers. 

Derek nodded and began to recount the events of his dream. "I arrived at the school in time. I barged in on Deucalion just before he...did whatever it is he did. I lunge at him and I tackle him down. But then the scene changes. We're not at the school anymore, but by the Nemeton."

"Nemeton?"

"Yeah. The old tree...can't really recall the stories of it, but there were plenty. It was sort of like...a sacred ground between packs. Peter and I used to use it as hiding places when we were in real trouble."

"What happened next?" Stiles asked.

"It's the same. Always the same. Deucalion's angry at me. He's about to kill me and I accept it. I deserve it."

"You don't. Derek, you deserve happiness." Stiles said with conviction.

Derek turned to Stiles with glassy eyes, "I wish I'd deserved you..." he and Stiles stare into each other's eyes before Derek clears his throat and continues. "It never takes too long. 

  

  

 

"I turn around and you're running towards me. I look back at Deucalion, preparing myself for whatever is going to happen...to keep him from you, but he's already gone. I turn and you're still running towards me. Something...something always brings me back to you..."

 

"But as soon as I try to run towards you...I can't. I wake up...I always wake up, Stiles. I always wake up and it's not fair!" 


 

He was talking with Stiles when he blinked. 

It always happened like this. 

Eventually the effects wear off and he's brought back to reality. A reality he can't deal with. But he knew that was his last batch of ancient psychotropic herbs. If he wanted to see Stiles again he needed to get more. 


 

 

"I'd ask if you're alright, but if your appearance wasn't obvious, the stench that is surprisingly not coming from the mold infested rotting house but from you, is."

"Go. Away." Derek growled.

Peter made a hissing noise shaking his head, "Can't do that."

"I'm not in the fucking mood!"

"When are you ever?" Peter drawled.

Derek began to storm off when he heard Peter sigh.

"I need your help."

"What the hell makes you think I'm going to help you?"

Peter chuckled, "You're talking to a man who came back from the dead who lost a beloved Alpha, that's why."

The older Hale saw Derek tense and he smirked. 

"Caught your attention, did I?"

Derek turned to stare Peter dead in the eye. His own widened and wild, full of anxious desperation, "Can you bring Stiles back?"

Peter rolled his eyes, "What do you think I've been doing these last four months?" 

 

Chapter Text

Previously on Nyctimus Rises :

"I did need your lack of morality and empathy for life. I need you to be selfish and want to keep your life and let me go knowing that I'm walking to my death. The life I'm asking you to not empathize with is mine, Peter."

Peter shook his head, "You're stronger than this...smarter than this..."

"Yeah...I am. And that's the problem. Guys with my mind who also have the power I've obtained...they don't know peace. It's just one fight after another, trying to keep the crown as king. But there is always someone else who wants to be king, that you can never let your guard down, because if you do...you die. I have to do this...alone."

"How many heroes have you heard say that, only for them to be wrong?" Peter asked.

"...I'm not a hero."

"You're not the one that decides that."


 

 

"Derek, look at me." Cora said softly, but firmly. 

   

They were in his loft, Derek seated on one of the benches lying around while Cora and Isaac remained standing. Derek disobeying Cora's request as he thought over his conversation with Peter. His emotions were all over the place, his mind was worse. It was all too chaotic and just gave him a huge headache. 

"What did Peter want?" Isaac asked. He tried the same tone of voice he and Cora have been developing over the last couple months to help deal with Derek. They knew they needed to be gentle and understanding, but Derek was stubborn, so they'd need a bit of strictness as well. 

"His scent is still lingering. We know he's back. We know he came to see you. What did he want?" Cora took a turn in asking. 

"To talk to me." Derek mumbled. 

Cora and Isaac shared a look. They were used to this. As frustrating as it was, they knew they had to be patient. They knew they needed to take baby steps. 

"About?" Cora coaxed. 

Derek refused to look at either of them as he decided how much to tell them. He was aware of their fear regarding how he was handling everything with Stiles. Even if they knew Peter's story, how would they react to his plans? Cora hasn't ever really taken a shine to Peter at all after she learned what he did to Laura. Isaac was basically Scott's second wolf in command and did what the True Alpha asked of him. Scott didn't trust Peter and didn't like him. Considering how Peter once threatened his mom, attacked his friends, and had a big hand in going for the kill instead of holding back and finding a way to save Stiles...no, Scott didn't like or trust Peter. Isaac wouldn't either. 

They would be blinded by hate and loyalty to other parties to see what Peter could do for Stiles. 

Peter could bring Stiles back. He would bring Stiles back. 

Derek finally looked up and met his sister's eyes, "He was having trouble accessing some of his funds. What with being dead and all. You know how posh he can be. He wanted money."

"Is that everything?" Isaac demanded. 

"It's Peter." Derek tried for his usual brand of snark. "When is it ever everything with him?"

Cora and Isaac shared a look, but didn't press any further.


 

"They don't buy it." Stiles stated casually as he sat in front of Derek.

Derek scoffed, "Think I don't know that?" He paused for a moment, getting lost in just staring at Stiles. He knew he's never been good with words, and on a deeper level he knew this was all just a dream. But it was his dream! It wasn't enough, but he took all he could get. He needed this. He had a hard time remembering how his family looked and sounded like. Derek couldn't let that happen with Stiles. He wouldn't.

Shaking his head from those thoughts he continued, "I don't need them to buy it. Thankfully Peter's natural creepy vibe won't make them question me too much. I just...we just need time!" 

"To...bring me back?" Stiles cocked his head to the side and rose a skeptic eyebrow at Derek.

"Yes!"

"Derek you do understand the seriousness of that right? It's not natural. What dies should stay dead."

"NO!" Derek's eyes flashed angrily before he rubbed his face with both hands. He took deep calming breaths before he settled. Licking his lips, he let his eyes shine with the emotion he felt inside. 

"I...I miss you..."

 

 

 

Stiles looked a bit surprised by the sheer honesty and emotion in Derek's voice. Derek didn't let him say anything and continued before he could lose his courage. "I love you, Stiles."

"Derek-"

"And I'm going to bring you back! I don't care what I have to do. I don't care what rules I have to break, what deals I have to make...I...I tried to deal with it, okay?! You'd think I'd be used to it by now, but it's not something you get used to! It wears you down, it breaks you and I...I can't!" Derek gripped his hair, shut his eyes tight, and shook his head fiercely. The tears that made his eyes glossy finally had enough power to fall free. "I can't do it again! You think I don't know this isn't healthy? You think I don't know this is weighing down on Cora and Isaac and Scott? I do, but the need to see you is stronger!"

Derek takes a few deep breaths while taking his time to wipe the tears away. He swallows down some of the emotion he had and squared his shoulders. "You...there was promise with you. What you did with Peter, Erica, and Boyd...made them a family. I wanted that. I still do. But it can only work if you're there too..."


 

Derek blinked and the illusion faded. He was alone again. The breath he let out was visible on this chilly night. Though the temperature didn't bother him and it had little to do with his naturally higher werewolf body heat. Ever since losing Stiles, the world just seems a bit colder. 

"I'm going to get you back. I promise." 

 


 "Take the wheel." Peter yawned as he and Erica approached his car. 

"I don't have a license." she stated even though she easily slipped into the driver's seat. 

Getting into the passenger seat, Peter adjusted it to he could lay down better for a short nap. "You're a runaway and I'm dead. I think if we got caught with you driving, you not being licensed would be the least of our worries."

Erica started the ignition and began to drive. For a few minutes the hum of the engine was dominating before the silence annoyed Peter.

"What?" he hissed. 

Erica gave a one shouldered shrug. "Nothing. I just don't like being back here. It's creepy."

Peter scoffed, "Considering everything we've seen and done these last four months?"

Pulling up to a stop at a red-light, Erica turned to look at Peter. She wanted to say something but decided against it and turned her head forward and waited for the light to change. 

"You know, as good a poker player as I am, I'm not really a mind reader. You want to tell me something, say it."

This time it was Erica who scoffed. The light turned green and she started driving again. They drove in silence for another few blocks before Peter let out an overly dramatic sigh and set his seat upright again. He turned to her, but this time asked with more genuine concern. "What is it?"

She licked her lips before sighing and coming up to another red light. 

"I never thanked you. Even with my pride and attitude, I should have." Erica said quietly. 

Peter raised an eyebrow as he looked at her with a funny look. He wasn't used to being thanked. 

"Boyd and I accepted the Bite because we were tired of being at the bottom of the food chain. We...we wanted what Derek promised us. To not feel weak or alone. For a while it was like that...all eyes were on me. I was Queen Bee and even Lydia Martin's light seemed dimmer in comparison to mine. People bowed at my feet and I had people I could spend time with..." she looked at him with a helpless expression, eyes shining with emotion, and she shrugged her shoulders as she felt vulnerable and unsure how to find the words she needed. 

The light changed to green, but it was late and the roads were empty, so it didn't matter. 

"Then things began to get ugly. We...we were just teenagers. We didn't sign up for any wars! But we were taken and tortured and...I nearly died!" she angrily shifted the handle and placed the car in Parked. She sat up straight and looked forward again. Taking a few deep breaths, she continued. "Stiles saved us. In more than one way though...he took the promises Derek gave us and made good on them. He showed us the good we could do. Yeah, our lives may have sucked, but we had no right to make other's lives miserable. It wouldn't make us happier. But we were so angry with the world before, that we used to think it would. Stiles helped us through the anger...helped us see that humanity wasn't a sickness. That it can be beautiful and possible, even when you're not human anymore! He helped us embrace our wolves while maintaining our sense of humanity...

"He helped us find our true pack. Our true family...when we lost him...I..." her voice began to shake. "I was afraid. I was afraid we'd lose it all...that we'd break up and go our separate ways and we'd end up just like the first time." Tears were rolling down her cheeks, messing up her make up, but she didn't care. She tried not to sob uncontrollably, but didn't stop from crying. She sniffed and wiped away a few tears, "Part of me thinks it's...foolish. Even though I know magic is real, bringing someone back from the dead? Feels like...a fools errand. A crazy dream we're all chasing. But I'm glad...I'm thankful...that we're chasing it together." 

Peter knew he could ruin the moment by saying something rude or sarcastic, but he didn't. Because he understood all of it. He reached over and grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze. 

The light changed to red again and he didn't let go until it turned green again and Erica began to drive.

"I'm going to bring Stiles back...he'll be there with celebratory cupcake when you finally do get your license. Just like he promised." Peter swore as he adjusted his seat back into a laid back position. 


 

"Maybe some people don't realize what those herbs are, but I do. And I just have to ask, man...seriously?"

"This is my way of coping! No one asked you for your opinion!" 


 

Boyd sighed and lowed his gaze for a moment. "I know it hasn't been easy..."

"Easy? Easy?"

Boyd flashed his eyes in warning, "He was my Alpha! My friend! I lost him too!"

Derek turned away in shame. It was one thing when he used to talk about his family. That type of loss was something only Peter and Cora could understand since they lost the same people. They had memories of the fallen Hales. 

Many others knew Stiles. Many others cared for him on different levels and were hurt just the same as Derek. He ran a frustrated hand through his hair before sighing. "I'm sorry..."

"Don't worry...I get it. Erica, Peter, and I have all had our moments in the last four months. It wasn't easy for us and we haven't accepted that he's really gone. It's been hard for us and we've been trying to bring him back."

Derek perked at that and turned to raise a questioning look at Boyd. "And? How's it been going?"

Boyd looked around the room before his eyes landed back on Derek. "I can't go into specifics." When Derek cocked his head to the side, Boyd pressed one of his fingers against his lips in the 'be quiet' gesture, and tapping his ear with his other hand. Derek was immediately reminded of how Scott's dad had been following him to get to Stiles some months back and had been using special equipment to hear from the building across the street. 

Derek grabbed his jacket and donned it on. "Where can I be filled in?"

"Come on." Boyd said as he led Derek out and towards the car he 'borrowed'.


 

"And here I was beginning to worry you'd gone and got yourself some sanity, dear nephew."

"Can't you just greet people with a simple hello?" Boyd asked as he walked in with Derek. They weren't at Refuge, but it was some place Peter made sure was secure and remote enough for their purposes. 

 

"It's part of my charm." Peter smirked. 

"So, I'm here...what's the plan? How are we going to get Stiles back?" Derek butted in before they could continue their banter. It was still hard to fathom Peter in a working and functional pack with Boyd and Erica. 

 

"Patience, Derek. I do very much have a plan. And as I suggested just now, it's a bit...insane. " Peter shrugged, "Well, more so unorthodox really."

"I don't care. Will it get Stiles back?" Derek demanded. 

"Where's Erica?" Boyd asked.

"On an errand. She'll be back soon. In the mean time we're going to explain to Derek what we've been doing the last four months. Our plans, like any plan Stiles himself has ever planned out, needs it's time. Every move will have three counter moves. Nothing will be left up to chance. We do this, and we do this right...we will see our Alpha again." 

Chapter Text

Previously On: Nyctimus Rises

"So it's true...you really are Nyctimus." Chris spoke up. He was looking at Stiles with an expression that was both wariness and caution, but also a hint of awe. 

Stiles smirked, next to him he could see that Erica was too. He nodded, "That's the name that seemed to have followed me."

"Nyctimus?" Scott repeated, tilting his head to the side, confusion obvious in his face.

"In Greek mythology, Nyctimus was one of the fifty sons of the Arcadian king Lycaon, who is where we get the word Lycanthropy from. Nyctimus's role in the death of Lycaon varies from source to source. One version tells that he was killed and served up as part of a feast to Zeus; and was later brought back to life. Another story claims that he was the only son of Lycaon to survive the wrath of Zeus as a result of the interference of Gaia. In both versions, Nyctimus succeeds his father as king of Arcadia. His rule was short lived, however, due to floods in the age of Deucalion, which some speculate was caused by the impiety of his brothers." Lydia recited professionally.

Stiles smiled at her and she smiled back warmly. Though his feeling for Lydia weren't what they once were, he wouldn't deny that he still admired her and her intellect greatly. 

"It's was all just a play on words that eventually stuck." Stiles finished. 

"You have hunter families from all over the globe coming into the States trying to get you. Then you just vanished out of the blue." Chris said.


 

 

"Resurrection...is considered a dark art." Peter began. 

The older Hale was standing in front of Derek and Boyd as he explained to Derek what he and his pack have been doing the last four months. Peter reached into his pocket for his phone to check the time and to see if he had any messages. There was one from Erica. 

"Erica will be here soon. In the mean time, lets continue shall we? As I was saying...Resurrection is a dark art. Regardless of where you go. Like many creatures and myths there is a version to it in just about any country with any origin. Slightly or hugely different depending on where you go."

"But resurrection seems to be bad anywhere since it's unnatural to bring back the dead." Boyd cut in. 

"All that is dead should stay dead." Peter stated with a tsk at the end. The he rolled his eyes and motioned to himself, "But as we all know that's not really true."

"Well-" Boyd piped in but shut up with a grin at the glare Peter sent him. 

"How exactly does this help us bring back Stiles?" Derek demanded as he crossed his arms over his chest and glowered. He didn't need to stand here and listen to Peter and Boyd banter. He needed to know what he can do to bring Stiles back!

And like that Peter and Boyd lost whatever playful bantering they had and turned to Derek with very stern expressions. 

"If resurrection were something easy to do then a lot more people would be doing it." Boyd said. 

"As it stands, only the desperate and foolhardy are the ones who are willing to play this game." Peter drawled as he began to circle Derek very much like a predator would do. "You once accused me of playing games. I lashed out in anger, but the truth was...this is like a game. A very serious game. This game has rules, Derek. Rituals...and very...high...stakes." Peter circled Derek completely before standing before him again. He looked him dead in the eye then spoke. "If you're going to be a part of this you're going to have to play by our rules. Do what we say. Understand?"

"Yes." Derek nodded eagerly.

Peter eyed him up and down before sighing dejectedly. "No, I don't think you do."

Panic flared in him before he reached out and insisted, "I do!" 

He needed to be part of this. He needed to be involved and help bring Stiles back! He would go insane if Peter kicked him aside. He had to be useful to Stiles and prove he can be part of his pack!

"Calm down. We wouldn't have brought you in this if we weren't planning on using you." Peter stated is a calm, yet strict voice as he grabbed Derek's arm. 

Derek's heart was still beating like a jackhammer as he pulled his arm free from Peter's hold. 

  

Boyd watched from the side as both Hales locked down in a stare down. Peter was trying to show and establish dominance while Derek searched for answers. 

"This place reeks of testosterone. Peter showing off again?" 

All three turned to face Erica who just smirked in greeting before strutting over to Boyd and kissing him. 

"You get it?" Peter asked. 

"Yup. Now, shall I tell Derek what you've been trying and failing to tell him?" Erica asked. 

"I'm doing just fine." Peter snapped. 

"He's really not." Boyd chimed in.

"I need to work out any doubts out of him from the get go. The plan won't work if he chickens out half way through. Once we start, our time window will be limited. If we fail to bring Stiles back by the next full moon we'll-"

"Have to wait until the next great celestial, cosmo, sign of destiny mumbo jumbo. We know...if Derek is now part of that we, he should know too." Erica stated in a bored tone, though her eyes showed a fierceness of the seriousness of the situation. 

Derek watched the exchanged with narrowed eyes. Then he locked on Erica and demanded. "Explain."

Peter scoffed before wondering off. They let him as Erica walked over to one of the metal chairs and took a seat, crossing her legs in a way that shows them off. She was as much the Queen Bitch as Derek remembered her when she was part of his pack. But the differences now were also visible. He looked down in shame as he remembered when they left. They chose to leave because he didn't make an adequate Alpha to lead them. Then they were captured and tortured and nearly killed, had it not been for Stiles. 

"That's a discussion for another time." Erica reassured. When Derek looked up with a raised eyebrow, she rolled her eyes. "We've had plenty of days where all we've been able to do is sit around and watch Dr. Phil. Once we have Stiles back we'll buy tubs of ice cream and dish out our emotions and work things out and blah-blah-blah..."

"Right..." Derek muttered.

"Look...yeah, we didn't leave on the right foot. A lot has happened since then. A lot more is going to happen from here on out. This is part of Peter's test. Can we work together? Maybe not as a full on pack, but can we at least agree on the goal we're fighting for? Can we put aside any petty and serious differences and put all effort into bringing back Stiles?"

Erica and Derek locked eyes for a long moment before nodding. Boyd let out a sigh of relief and Peter walked back in with a book.

"Good. Now, that little monologue about resurrection is important. The last four months Boyd, Erica, and I have been traveling through the US, Mexico, and Canada. We've been talking to covens and packs and anyone we could reach really." Peter explained. 

Derek seemed to want to ask questions, but he held his tongue. Peter nodded at Boyd as he passed over the book. Now that Derek had a better view he noted that it was old looking. With parchment looking paper and things sticking out of it like pieces of parchment paper, regular notebook paper, sticky notes, ribbons, and book marks. The cover and sides also had runes and sigils engraved on it. 

"At first it was mostly to gather intel. To sort out fact from fiction. To some covens who wouldn't even look at anything remotely gray, we didn't find anything more than rumor about resurrection. But other covens had fully detailed descriptions of rituals that have successfully and not so successfully been done. All within the last century too."

"Taking into account of what I know from the time I had Lydia help me come back from the dead...we've had a good start." Peter said.

Derek furrowed his brow. "Couldn't we just do the same thing you did in the first place?"

Peter shook his head. "When I bit Lydia, in a way I left part of me behind. Not only that, but Lydia was a Banshee. A creature with close connections to death."

"And no, we can't involve her in this." Boyd said.

"Technically we can, but we don't want to. Letting you in on this is just a necessity rather than a want." Erica stated matter-of-factly. 

"Dark magic...it unsettles the nerves. The less people we have to worry about, the better." Peter added. Then he pointed to the book in Boyd's hands. "Those are all the notes we've managed to collect on resurrecting. Whiles Erica, Boyd, and I prep everything else, you will read that and anything else we give you. You will have as much of an understanding of resurrection as we have gained. If anything is fuzzy or unclear, ask us. If we don't have an answer, we will find one. The clock is ticking. The next Full Moon is also a Blue Moon. The power of two Full Moons is as good as any Celestial Event we'll have in a while." he tapped the book. "Start reading. Make yourself comfortable. Until I make sure any of our places are 110% secure, this is where we'll live, meet, and train."

 


 

 

"-riff? Sheriff? Sheriff!"

The Sheriff snapped out of his memory and looked towards the door of his office where Parrish stood. He sat up straight and adjusted his mug and keyboard before clearing his throat. "Yes?"

"You alright?" the deputy asked. Immediately regretting it as the Sheriff spared Stiles's picture a glance and the sadness he tries to hide shows itself. Parrish cleared his throat awkwardly before speaking. "There...uh...there's been a call. You're needed." 

The Sheriff looked down at his phone and noticed the calls and texts. Nodding, he stood up and grabbed what he needed before heading out. Before he left Parrish stopped him.

"Uh...I know I probably have no right, but...if you wanna talk? You know where to find me and when my shifts end."

He nodded in silent thanks before making his way to his cruiser and drives towards the scene.

Ever since he arrived to the place where he tracked Stiles's phone and was told by Chris Argent what happened to his son, he hasn't really talked to anyone. People leave him alone for the most part. He shows up on time, leaves on time. Doesn't smile anymore, but doesn't raise any of the typical warning bells of alarm either. He's sadder, and considering everything, people think he's handling things better than expected. 

And he has. 

As much as he would want to wallow in his pain with a bottle, he doesn't. Every time he reaches for it he just pictures Stiles's disappointed look and he can't stomach it. There are moments when he wants to give in. To just surrender to the horrifying silence and emptiness he gets at home when he's there. To join his family on the other side and just be done with it. 

But he can't. 

Something about Chris Argent's story didn't add up. Something about the way he said things kept him up at night. 

He's made camp in Stiles's room. He's read every note and book regarding the supernatural that he could find. He looked through Stiles's computer and read articles on different monsters and their weaknesses and strength. He found a copy document of something called 'The Beastiery' and read through that too. He wants to confront Chris Argent and demand answers. Wants to talk about this other world his son was in that killed him. What's to finally know what the fuck was actually going on. 

But Chris Argent was damn good at avoiding him. 

So imagine his surprise when he sees the elusive hunter at the crime scene. 

"What are you doing here?" The Sheriff asked. 

 

Chris Argent looked around and once he was sure no one could overhear them he responded. "I was just making sure this case wasn't in need of...extra assistance."

The Sheriff looked around before turning back to Argent. Honestly he was surprised he hadn't pulled a Batman already. "Yeah? And why would it? It's been rather quiet since you and others decided to kill my son."

Argent's lips thinned out and he shuffled his feet a bit. "As a father I  can only imagine what you're feeling. But as someone who upholds the law and defends the safety of this town, I hope you understand."

"How can I? I was kept in the dark until the last minute! And the response I finally got was complete crap! Everything I've learned about the supernatural since then has been through the remains of my son's room and I'm not sure what the hell is true and what's made up Hollywood shit!"

"I know...that's another reason why I'm here. I think it's time you got the whole story."

The Sheriff eyed him for a moment before nodding. Chris Argent handed him a piece of paper with his address on it before heading off in his truck. The Sheriff inspected the scene and once it was processed and he was free to go, he headed straight towards Argent's place. 


 

Melissa let out a sigh as she entered her house and placed her bag and keys in their usual place. Rotating her neck to crack it after a long day of work helped release some of the tension she had. But it quickly came back when she heard sniffs and hiccups. Her heart clenched when she recognized it as Scott crying. It took her no time to find him on the counter, head resting on his arms as his shoulders shook. She moved silently and hugged her son. 

Scott only startled for a moment before leaning into his mother's comforting hold and continued to cry. His muffled whimpers slowly grew to heart wrenching sobs. Melissa saw Stiles's number 24 Lacrosse jersey on the table. Her throat thickened with emotion and she bit her lip from crying out. Scott needed her to be strong right now. She hugged him tighter as they both cried.


 

 "How are you feeling?" Cora asked him as she combed her fingers through his hair. 

 

"Fine..." he grumbled. 

"You hungry?" she asked.

He looked at her then closed his eyes and strained his ears. They were alone. Turning to her he asked. "Isaac with Scott?"

"Probably." She replied curtly. 

He scoffed with a grin. "We're horrible at talking."

She returned the grin, that to others would look like a smirk. "Yeah. Not that you've been very inclined to share these last few months."

Derek sighed. He loved Cora, but she had as much tact as...well, him. 

"You know why-"

"Actually, I don't. Isaac's pretty sure Lydia and Allison think you're in love with Stiles, but that can't be true."

Derek turned to her and his eyes flashed. 

"Don't look at me like that. Derek, though I admit you may have strong feelings for Stiles, it's not love. At least not romantic love. You saw what he did with Peter. After what happened to our family, I understand wanting it back. Stiles has been the first to probably show you a glimpse of what you had before since Laura. But Der...you've been deluded and tricked so many times because of your emotions-"

Derek let out a warning growl as he bolted up and paced the room. 

Cora's face was determined as she carefully watched her brother prowl like a wild animal. 

"You don't know what you're talking about!"

"I think I do." she rebutted. 

"Why the hell tell me that now?" Derek demanded.

"Because I'm not stupid or naive. I know Peter's back and that can only mean trouble. And I'm sorry to say this to you but you're easy to manipulate. It's a Hale Achilles heel. We're all slaves to an emotion and fall easily victim to the need of it. Mine's anger, Peter's ambition, and yours is love."

Derek turned away from her and began to storm off.

"He'll try to use the love you think you have for Stiles against you. It's not about you and what you want. It's about what Peter needs!"


 

"Don't you have some 'Raising the Dead for Dummies' to read?" Stiles asked sarcastically as soon as Derek inhaled the fumes. 

"Please don't. It's bad enough Cora thinks I'm becoming Peter's personal devoted dog." Derek sighed tiredly as he rubbed his face.

"Well, maybe you are."

Derek looked up sharply and glared at Stiles. "I know what I'm doing!"

"And so does Peter." Stiles said evenly. 

"Why don't you want me to bring you back?" Derek questioned in a dejected voice. His eyes began to shine with tears of sadness. 

"Because we both know it's wrong!"

"How can it be when it'll bring you back to your father? And to Scott? And to...to..."

"You?" Stiles finished. Stiles sighed and sat next to Derek. His tone was gentle as he spoke. "Derek...listen to Cora. She's family. She understands. She has your best interest at heart."

"My best interest is having you back!" Derek insisted. 

"Why!?" Stiles demanded.

"Because you're my anchor." 

   


 

"What are you doing here?" Allison asked as she opened the door to reveal her father.  

She's been avoiding him since the morning they found out what he, Peter, Boyd, Erica, and Ms. Morrell had done. Allison had seen it as a personal betrayal. She wanted to be strong and to be able to protect her friends and loved ones. While Stiles was merely missing before, she got a better view as to who he was, what he meant to Scott and Mrs. McCall and even Lydia. She was shaken deeply by his sacrifice. As a hunter she was told all these horrible stories of what it was to become a monster. Stiles had been human. Someone she and her family were supposed to protect and failed. Stiles had shown her what true sacrifice was. It wasn't like what her mother had done. She doesn't blame her mother the way some of her friends do. It's hard to erase years worth of believing. But Stiles had given up so much for the safety of not just those he knew and cared for, but for those he never even met. A true hero. 

Allison had wanted to save him. 

Stiles had added her and her father to his team. No more secrets, finally!

And then things happened the way they did and she couldn't look at her father in the eye. It took an eternity to prove to Scott she had nothing to with it. 

So seeing him right now was hard, even if it wasn't the first time he's tried reaching out.

"I want to talk...please?" he quietly begged.

"I don't know what there is to talk about." she said crisply.

"I spoke with the Sheriff."

That surprised her. She gave him a look that said 'go on'.

"I told him everything. Answered any of his questions. It...it was a long night. I know he didn't get closure, but he got the truth. Which he deserved. Just like you did." Chris said.

Allison nodded as she crossed her arms and looked away. This...this was a good opening to have a talk.

"I know...I know we don't always have the same way of seeing the world. We were brought up differently. I'm...I'm thankful that you see things with a more open mind." Chris paused as he thought over his next words. "I'm not going to give up. I know trust is important. In an army, in packs...in family. I know ours has been tested over and over again. We've lost a lot of people, so I don't plan on going away any time soon. I spent the night explaining the dark horrible world that stoles the Sheriff's son to him. And I learned that their last face to face encounter was a fight. Allison...you're my baby girl. You always will be. There will never be a day where I don't wish I could keep you safe and protected from all evil things. But the fact of the matter is that you're strong. And I know where you'll be when things get dangerous. You'll be where you're needed...and that won't be hiding away in the safety of your room."

Allison's throat clogged up with emotion and her eyes blurred with tears as she listened. 

"You're a strong and beautiful woman who is loyal and passionate and protective. And I am as proud as I am afraid of that it means for the future. It's selfish, but I want to have what Stiles couldn't have with his father." He reaches out his hand in hopes that she'd take it. "I want to be there at your side when you fight your battles."

Allison took his hand and pulled him into a hug. Chris held on to her tightly.

Neither let go for a very long time. 

    


 

 

"Boyd?"

"Yeah?" he answered.

They were at their hide out, the one they had shown Derek, while Peter was off doing more preparations. 

"What if it doesn't work? We can end up killing Derek..."

"Peter know what he's doing." Boyd replied automatically.

"That's what I'm worried about..." They shared a silent conversation before she sighed and continued. "I hold a lot against Derek, but I don't want him to die. It is because of him that we're wolves. That we're together. I love Stiles and for how he kept us together, but..."

"The chances of this working are 50/50 and the danger to Derek's life is very high." Boyd supplied. 

Erica scooted over until she was resting against him and took his hand and interlocked their fingers.

 

"I don't want to lose anyone anymore. I'm tired of losing people..."


(Link to pic in case pic is unavailable)

Peter stood in front of Stiles's "grave". He scoffed at the word. There wasn't anything buried there. It'd been an empty casket since there wasn't a body to bury. Still...

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair and still tried to remain aloof and cool in front of a rock with Stiles's name on it.

"You'll probably be pissed when you see this. You'll blow a full tantrum for the emotions we made everyone go through...that is after you're done being mad at me for bringing you back and risking all our lives in the process. But hey," he shrugged. "It's who I am. Others...they don't get that that's not a bad thing. I have skills that can be used....you...you were the only one who knew how to use them in a way I would be happy and no one else got hurt. It's why we need you...it's why I need you. I'm no Alpha." he shook his head and laughed. "Listen to me...all I wanted was to be an Alpha. I thought it was my birth right. But under your leadership and how I saw you shape us into a true pack when you didn't really want to. I..." he clenched his mouth shut and kicked the grave, "Damn it Stiles! I need you to be alive and tell me what to do! To give me a sense of direction! I'm sick of the chaos! I need order and and...I'm bringing you back damn it, and you better appreciate all the emotions I'm going through because of you! Not to mention the damn emotions of those damn teenagers!" Peter ranted and yelled at Stiles's marker.

He sighed before standing there for a while.

He was gone before the groundskeeper did his nightly round.  

 


 

 

 

(Link to pic in case pic is unavailable)

"Matheson."

"Neville."

The two hunters greeted each other as Miles Matheson held a knife to Tom Neville's throat, and Tom Neville had a knife pointed at Miles Matheson's chest while keeping the knife from touching his neck. They locked gazes for a long minute before letting go and giving each other space.

"I can only imagine what this means if you're here." Neville spoke. 

"As always, I have no idea what you're talking about." Matheson drawled as he kept his eyes open for any more hunters. 

"Relax, only me. I'm on patrol."

"That is the opposite of what you say to someone you want to relax."

Neville scoffed. "Go back to your bar, Matheson. Keep out of trouble. In case you haven't heard...Nyctimus's pack is trying to revive him. There are at least five Hunter families in the state right now out to corner them and kill them. And anyone who gets in the way."

"Heh, sure are vocal today, ain't ya?"

"This is a warning. A threat if need be. Stay out of this and don't complicate matters." Neville said coldly.

"Me? Wouldn't think of it." Matheson drawled as he moved to leave. He got to his car without much problem, but he noticed how it wasn't exactly how he left it. With a sigh he threw his phone on the road and ran over it as he pulled out and drove away. Making it to the next place where he could get a disposable phone he called Chris Argent's secure line. 

"Hey, it's me. Don't got long so listen. You were right. It's happening soon. And you've probably got shadows and flies. Be careful. I'm about to go dark." 

"Understood. Thanks." 


 

Chris hung up before throwing his phone out the window. He drove over it as he turned his truck around and made his way towards his house. 

Chapter Text

Derek stared at his reflection in the bathroom. Tonight was the night that he and Stiles's pack will try to bring him back. He was anxious and nervous and a bunch of other things. His reflection showed everything, not bothering to be kind whatsoever. He looked gaunt and haunted. Looking really close he saw what he supposed his sister, Isaac, Scott and everyone else saw too. He's thinner, his muscles aren't as defined, his eyes have dark bags under them. 

His eyes flashed blue for a moment. Closing them he took a deep breath. 

He and the others have already experienced the full moon once already this month. Having a second moon in the same month has his wolf restless. More so because in a few hours he'll be doing whatever needs to be done to bring Stiles back. 

Due to this being the first Blue Moon for a lot of the teenage werewolves, Cora isn't in his loft. She's with Scott and the others helping them understand what to expect differently tonight as opposed to any other full moon. From what he managed to remember from their talks, Chris Argent and Allison will be helping, as is the Sheriff. 

Scott's control didn't used to be a problem, but the grief of losing Stiles has affected him. It wasn't like before Stiles helped him find his anchor, but the slip ups were still present in the last full moon. Because he was an Alpha, they just wanted to be extra careful. Due to his helping Cora take care of Derek, Isaac's control was better. He seemed to have settled better into his werewolf role. But again, because this was their first Blue Moon, everyone was being careful. 

He was doing all he could to keep busy, but he was driving himself a little mad.

Finally, he left his loft and went for a little jog. It was better that way, he decided. With Peter back, Cora was really worried about Derek falling victim into whatever Peter's plotting. As much as Derek loved his sister, and knew that Peter was more that comfortable with using him for his own personal needs, he went along with it. Peter and him wanted the same thing. They wanted Stiles back. 

Derek was fully aware of what he was risking. He read all of the notes and all the books, and even did a bit of research himself. What they were doing had a huge chance of failing and killing him. But he couldn't not live without Stiles. 

Doing this, Stiles would have to let him join his pack. Be it from gratitude or pity, he was sure of it. Derek was alright with either. He just needed a pack. He needed to be part of Stiles's pack to be precise. 

Should he die trying, he's alright with that too. 

The guilt of his family and Laura have always weighed down heavily on his soul. The failure of not being able to maintain or protect the pack he set out to make, also laid heavily on his conscience. 

Derek never wanted to believe anything the hunters said about being a werewolf. He wanted to prove it to someone, anyone, that werewolves were good. He'd seen it and experienced it a lot when his family was alive and he wanted to see it done again. 

He and Peter failed at being Alphas miserably, but Stiles...

Stiles got it right!

The werewolf world needed Stiles. 

They needed to see what he could do for their kind outside of Deucalion's hold. He wasn't just some mindless, murdering monster. Given the time, and the right wolves, Stiles could have built a werewolf empire, Derek was sure of it. 

Bringing back Stiles was more than just his desires, though his desires were plenty and fueled him fiercely. 

The way he was going, if he died along the way, he didn't really see that as a loss. 


 

"You know...I don't not care about you." Peter said after a while of silence as they prepped the warehouse they were using. 

Erica and Boyd were around the property placing the proper herbs and crystals were they belonged. Peter gave him a list of sigils and a spray can and told him where each one belonged, while the older Hale did his own list. 

They were nearly done when Peter said that and it honestly caught him off guard.

"What?"

"Remember when you told me Deucalion had taken over Stiles's body and I said something clever about your opinion on me not changing much?" Peter asked while turning to look at Derek. 

Derek turned away from the wall he was spraying and turned to Peter with a nod.

"Well, it's true. You still think of me as the psycho murderer who killed Laura and bit Scott. And I get it. It's a hard image to get rid of. But the fact is that I have changed. Because of Stiles. I've found my pack and my family...but you're still my family." Peter crossed his arms over his chest and looked away. It was always hard for him to be sincere since in recent years, he's thought of sincerity as a weakness. 

Derek also knew that and didn't know how to reply. 

"Stiles did more than train us physically. He talked to us. Helped us reach the core of our problems. Our guilt, our regrets, our sorrow..." Peter scoffed a bit. "It sounds stupid. Probably ridiculous to think of all of us having therapy sessions, but...they did help." Looking up and meeting Derek's gaze Peter said, "We're messed up people. Lots of demons. One by one, we exorcised them all. Learned to forgive ourselves and move on..."

"H...how is this relevant?" Derek asked with a raised eyebrow. 

"Because this is serious! Your life...we could end up killing you. People may think I'm more than perfectly happy with letting that happen so long as I get what I want. But the thing I want taught me better. And also, we're family! It actually does count for something!"

"What are you saying?"

"This gets dangerous...we stop." Peter said seriously. 

Derek froze and his eyes widened in shock. "But...but you said--"

"That this is our window, I know. But there'll be other celestial events. We could always go anywhere we need to. I'm 'dead', Erica and Boyd are run-aways, what do you have that's keeping you here? We could always look more closely at other cultures and rituals, more effective and less dangerous spells..." Peter paused for a moment. 

"If I bring Stiles back at the cost of your life...he'll never forgive me. You dead and Stiles rejecting me? I'd break..."Another pause from Peter before he shrugged, "You know...In case you're wondering why I'm being considerate of your life and all."

Derek eyed Peter, unsure of what to really make of him. 

Silently, they go back and finish all their sigils and symbols. 


                                                                                   

The moon rose higher in the sky with each hour until it reached it's peek. By then everything was as well prepared as they could manage. Aside from the sigils and symbols that littered the walls and floors, there was a tub that Boyd and Peter had dragged in. It was full of ice water and even as Derek simply held his hand just above the water, he could feel the coldness. 

Standing his full height, he turned to Peter who began to go over the plan once more. And this time he filled in about his role in said plan.

"Stiles sent Deucalion to the Other Side while he was still alive. When Deucalion took possession of Stiles's body, it was like switching souls in a way. Stiles should be 'alive' still."

"Should be...but we're not sure." Boyd said seriously. 

"But hopeful." Erica added.

"We went to plenty of different necromancers and psychics and just anyone with legitimate credit of having contacted the dead by some method. Hell, we even used the Ouija  board ourselves.  No luck from any source." Peter said. 

"Stiles left a lot of his notebooks and journals from his own magical journey, and how he learned how magic works in a more...scientific design. And all in a place we were able to access and retrieve them. He explained how a spell and ritual is typically created from scratch." Boyd explained.

"Like a math formula. We've gathered as much information as we could, given the time frame, from very experienced magic users. But it's still just something we've created."

"Basically...on paper it's perfect. In practice though?" Peter left the question hanging in the air.

Derek looked towards the tub, then back at Peter. "So explain to me again why I'm the one going in there?"

"We need an anchor." Peter replied. 

"An anchor?" Derek echoed. 

"Yeah. If Stiles really is on the Other Side, then he's lost. Stuck. He needs a guide...something sturdy. Something solid to weigh him down back to the land of the living. An anchor." Peter explained.

"Why me? Don't get me wrong, I want to do this. But...wouldn't the deeper the connection, the better the results would be?" Derek asked. He was aware that his feelings for Stiles so far have been one-sided.

"Typically yes, it would have made more sense to ask the Sheriff since he was Stiles's blood. Or Scott who was Stiles's best friend, or even Lydia who he once loved so much." Derek growled a little at the reminder, but Peter ignored it, though he did smirk slightly. "But not in this case. This...is complicated. Not only does the link of this anchor need to be two sided...it needs more than emotion."

Derek cocked his head to the side. "I don't understand."

"Anger no longer helps you control your wolf. Not like it used to. Stiles is your anchor now, isn't he?" Peter asked. Derek nodded. "When Deucalion first took over Stiles's body, that was still Stiles's magic he was using. Before he could rein it...taint it...it was Stiles's pure, raw, magic. And he blasted you with it. Magic like Stiles's? It lingers..."

"That, will act as a guide. A...beacon, if you will. Your emotions about Stiles will only strengthen the bond and hopefully be enough to pull both of you back." Peter then frowned. "That's where some of the tricky part begins. The Other Side is like a limbo, so we can't kill you, but you can't be alive either. We need to get you as close to death as possible without you actually dying."

"Which is where the ice bath comes in. We'll hold you down and slow your heartbeat down. Once you're nearly dead...we begin." Erica stated. 

"As much as I hate to say it...you don't have to do this, Derek." Peter muttered.

Derek looked at all of them. They were all as haggard and run-down looking as him. All the work they've been doing since Stiles 'died' was so clear tonight, Derek wonders how he could have missed it before. Taking a deep breath, he began to strip until he was in his boxers and tank top. He stood in front of the tub for a moment before getting in. 


 

Derek wolfed out a few times while in the ice water. It took both Peter and Boyd to keep him down, but after a while he stopped struggling too much. Peter kept his fingers on Derek's pulse point and once he decided Derek's heart was slowed down enough, he nodded to Boyd and Erica and they pulled him out. 

The circle they placed Derek in the middle of reminded the pack a lot of the Da Vinci sketches, and they even placed Derek in a similar position. Arms and legs stretched out, each reaching out to a particular stone that already began to glow because of the moon light and the herbs Peter had mixed earlier that they were dusted in.

Reaching into one of the boxes that they brought with them, Peter pulled out a syringe full of a concoction he spent a week preparing. He shared a look with Erica and Boyd before stepping into the circle and injecting the needle into Derek's neck. Pushing down on the plunger, the three watched as the liquid entered the younger Hale.

They waited for something to happen. When nothing did, the younger wolves looked at Peter exactingly.

"Give it a moment!" He cried.  

They turned back to look at Derek's motionless body. Had it not been for their super sense of hearing that let them know Derek's heart was still beating, they'd think he was dead. But he was alive...barely. 

"I guess we'll have to-"

"AHHH!" Derek's body spazzed and he writhed in pain as he yelled. 

"Erica, hold down his legs! Boyd, his left side!" Peter barked out as he held down Derek's right side. 

The three held Derek down as he thrashed and tried to escape their grasps. His heart went from barely beating to hammering like a jackhammer. He began to sweat profoundly, the winds picked up from the outside, the stones they could see around them were glowing with brightness and the candles they had lit had an unnaturally tall, raging flame, opposed as the small, calm flame they had when first lit. Not even the raging winds that were swirling inside could put them out. 

"AAAAAHHHHHHHH!" Derek continued to cry in agony. 

 


 

Derek took in a gasping breath. Bolting up he spun around and tried to get as much of his surrounding as he could. He was in a fogged, forested area. It didn't look like either dusk or dawn, there weren't any insect noises, or birds, or other animal noises of any kinds that are typically heard. His chest was still heaving as his breathing regulated. That's when he noticed that with every breath he could see the white puff of smoke. It didn't feel cold, but it also didn't feel warm. 

"W-where...?"

He straightened his posture and braced himself. He tried his best to focus his senses. Listen or see anything that'll help him figure out where the hell he was. But nothing came to mind. 

Absolutely nothing.

"Hello?" He called out. 

There was no reply. Looking in the direction that seemed to have the most 'path looking' way, Derek headed that way. 


 

"Well...he calmed down some." Erica muttered as she watched Derek with concern. 

His body was still thrashed every once in a while, but not like before. Boyd and Peter were kneeling at his sides just in case Derek began to thrash violently, seeing as his claws and fangs came out as a reaction to the moon being full. Looks like being used to travel to Purgatory didn't stop the shift of the full moon. 

"He should be there...but it's his human psyche." Peter said.

"So that means that's what's left in his body right now is his wolf?" Boyd asked.

Peter grabbed Derek's swift moving arm as it slashed at the air around him, keeping him from accidentally hurting himself or others. The older Hale sighed, "Looks like it..."

"How long before we pull him back?" Erica asked.

"Until the moon begins to go down...or something happens." Peter ominously said. 

Though they wanted to hope for the best, they were all feeling the extra abundance of power from the month's second full moon. They wanted to run around and be wild, like they usually are, but knew they had to sit still and keep an eye on things. They were all fidgety and anxious as they watched over Derek. 

Erica sat up suddenly and the turned her head towards the entrance.

Peter groaned, "What?"

"I...I think I heard something." she answered.


 

Derek walked for a long while before he felt something. 

He didn't hear or see or smell anything, he felt it. It was like a pull that he's never felt before. 

Before knowing what he was doing, he was running towards...towards...towards whatever was at the end of this impulse! 

 

As he ran, making instant and snapped decisions and sharp turns, something inside of him began to buzz. Something warm was blooming and it kept getting warmer and then hotter as he got closer. 

He was running full speed, even as a werewolf, he was feeling the burning of his lungs as he pushed himself beyond the limit. 

Then he blinked.

The forest disappeared and he was engulfed in darkness. 


 

"-erek? Derek? Derek!"

He groaned. 

He couldn't open his eyes and everything felt fuzzy. Someone was calling out to him. He knew that voice. It was an important voice. But...who...? Who was it?

"Derek?"

Derek forced his eyes to open, and they did so in a flutter. His head hurt, and then his whole body did. Like he was ran over by a truck, had a house dropped on him, and he was drugged with some sort of Wolves-Bane that made him sluggish. 

But he finally blinked into somewhat focus. Said focus was coming and going, but he knew that face...even if blurred.

"Stiles?"

"Derek?"


 

Derek groaned as he sat up and clutched his aching head. 

A chuckle made his head snap up. Looking towards where the sound came from, his eyes landed on Stiles holding a glass of water out to him. 

His throat hurt as it clogged up with emotion and his vision blurred when his eyes filled with tears. Before Stiles could speak, Derek bolted out of bed and lunged himself at Stiles, tackling him into a tight embrace. 

"Is it really you? Please be you..." Derek murmured. 

When he felt a pair of arms wrap around him and return the hug, he felt his shoulders shake as he let out a sob. "Yeah...it's me."

Stiles held on to a crying Derek for a while. It was a long while, but still rather short at the same time. Finally, and reluctantly, Derek pulled back. He held Stiles at arms length and noticed his eyes.

"They're brown..."

Stiles blinked before he grinned, "I was in the land of the dead...undead?" he shrugged, "I was in Purgatory for some time. Having parts of me stripped away little by little. Alpha powers...wolf powers...you're above me in the food chain again, Sourwolf."

Derek furrowed his eyebrows, "What? How?"

Stiles shrugged. "Honestly? I don't know. I just...I was losing myself. Didn't you feel it too? Like...nothing?"

Derek remembered the feeling. He didn't know where he was. He couldn't hear, see, or smell anything other than the forest. And even then he couldn't smell or hear what normally came when being in a forest. He knew he had to find something, but while he was there....his mind was a blank. 

Then his eyes widened, "Peter! Erica...Boyd..."

"All safe," Stiles smiled and led Derek to the bed. Looking around, it was then that Derek noticed that he was in a motel room. It was lit by the lights from outside, so it must be day. Mid day by the brightness coming from behind the blinds. 

"Where are they? Where are we?" Derek asked.

"In a motel outside Beacon. I...well, half of my pack is 'dead' and the other half are considered run aways. Can't really, you know, lurk around there forever." Stiles answered. 

Something was...weird, but Derek couldn't pinpoint what. Shaking his head, he pushed those feelings aside. He grabbed Stiles's hands in his and brought them to his lips and kissed his knuckles. "I've missed you. Gods, I've missed you. I've been a mess...I..." Derek closed his eyes. "I...I know you don't remember this. Because it wasn't you...it was a hallucination. I...I didn't take it well. I...I was jealous of Grant, okay? We've always had this underlining tension, you and me. And trust. We may not have always gotten along, but we trusted each other. We saved each other so many times...and...and then I saw what you did as a wolf...what you were like as an Alpha! We can get it back for you Stiles, or not! Whatever you want...just..just let me be part of it. Let me be in your life!" Derek begged. 

"Derek?"

Derek looked around when he heard his name being called by someone other than Stiles. But there was no one else in the room. And he knew that voice. It sounded really familiar. 

"Did you hear that?"

Stiles looked towards the windows, "Probably just came from outside."

Derek began to make his way towards the door but Stiles grabbed hold of his wrist tightly. Derek raised an eyebrow and looked at their hands. Stiles reached lower until their fingers were intertwined. 

"Derek!"

Derek snapped his head toward the windows. The voice sounded distressed and very familiar. Cora? Derek tugged Stiles along with him towards the door, but Stiles held his ground and pulled Derek away from the door and windows. 

"Stiles?"

"I'm not ready..."

"W-what? What does that mean?" Derek asked confused. 

"Don't leave me yet..." Stiles's grip on his hand tightened as he looked down and quietly begged. 

Derek frowned. He stepped into Stiles's personal space and cupped his chin. Lifting it up, he forced Stiles to look into his eyes. They locked stares for a long moment before Derek leaned in and kissed Stiles. It was tender and sweet and everything he's needed for the last few months. 

Everything was right. 

Everything was perfect. 

"Please...don't leave me yet, Derek. I'm not ready." Stiles said and he sounded tired. Like he hadn't slept in days. 

"I'm right here, Stiles. I'm not going anywhere." Derek promised. 

"You are though..." Stiles said sadly. "You have to."

Derek shook his head, "I'm not going anywhere!"

"DEREK!"

"Please. Don't leave me." Stiles voice sounded far away and fuzzy. 

 

Stiles was fuzzy. 

Derek blinked but he wasn't in the motel anymore. Stiles was gone! 

Everything was gone. 


 

"COME ON! WE HAVE TO GO!" Cora cried as she shoved another table to cover them from the gun fire.

"WE CAN'T! NOT YET!" Peter yelled back.

"PETER! WE'RE SURROUNDED BY HUNTERS! MORE ARE ON THEIR WAY! WE HAVE TO GO!" Cora screamed as more bullets and arrows barreled through the walls and windows in an attempt to get to them. 

Once Cora was sure Scott and Isaac would be alright during the blue moon, she went to look for Derek. She knew Peter was up to something and wanted to make sure her brother was alright. When she couldn't find him she feared for the worst. And though she didn't want to bug Scott, she knew if she wanted to save her brother, she'd need his help. With him, Isaac, the twins, Lydia and Allison, they set out in search of Peter and his pack. 

Chris Argent texted her and told her he found a lead. Together the two managed to get to the pack inside the warehouse just in time to yell at them to take cover before the firing started. 

"WE HAVE TO WAKE HIM UP FIRST!" Peter yelled. 

Cora and Boyd were with Derek. Chris, Erica, and Peter were forced at the other side of the room and stuck there since firing hasn't stopped. 

Cora shook her brother and called his name over and over. Finally, not knowing what else to do, she slapped him as hard as she could while yelling his name. 

"DEREK!"

He groaned and blinked his eyes open for a moment. 

Then the crystals littered all over the room began to glow brighter and hum while vibrating. When they exploded simultaneously, a pulse of power was unleashed that shoved everyone and everything off balance.

The firing stopped.

Cora looked over at her brother and called out to him in a small and scared voice, "D-Derek?"

Derek's head fell to the side as his body went lax.  


 

Allison and Lydia stuck together to search the preserve while Scott, Isaac, and the twins searched different directions, hoping to cover as much ground as possible and find Derek quickly. 

Lydia felt a pulse of power suddenly and walked off in a trance like state. 

"Lydia?" Allison called out. 

Lydia paid her no mind as she walked towards a clearing. She stepped into the center of it before letting out a loud, high pitched, piercing scream. 

Chapter Text

"What the hell were you thinking?! Were you even thinking? Huh? Of course you weren't! You're selfish and cruel and don't give a shit about your own family! I should have known, you killed Laura for gods sake, your niece!" Cora ranted. 

Derek's heart had actually stopped for a moment but Chris acted and pulled out a syringe full of concoction that worked like pure adrenaline and got Derek's heart pumping again. They made it a few feet into the woods before the hunters seemed to get their bearings together and chase after them. Boyd told Peter to get Derek to safety while he and Erica distracted the hunters. Peter didn't want to leave his pack to the mercy of hunters, but he had little time to think things over. He and Chris carried Derek with one arm slung over each of their shoulders. Derek was in and out of it, the adrenaline working, but because he was a wolf, it was working through his system fast. They managed to get to Chris's car, Cora in the back with Derek while Peter rode shot gun and Chris in the driver's seat. Not being sure Derek's loft was safe, Peter directed them towards Refuge

After making sure every one else was safe and secure, they settled in. Derek was placed in the master bedroom where Stiles used to sleep. For the first hour Cora was by his side keeping an eye on him. 

Chris called Allison to make sure she was alright. She relayed what had happened with Lydia. They'd taken her to the Martin residence and were met some time after by Scott, Isaac, and the twins. Allison was overly freaked out about the scream Lydia gave but Chris tried to reassure her that it must have been Derek and that they brought him back. Over the speaker phone they told each other what happened on both sides while they waited for Boyd and Erica to arrive. They did about half an hour later. 

Cora couldn't sit still anymore, seething in too much rage. She stood up and stormed up to Peter and began to berate him. 

To everyone else's surprise, Peter took every insult and criticism without complaint. At the last bit he even had the decency to look down, ashamed. Then he mumbled something that no one could really hear.

"What was that?" Cora demanded.

"I said," he looked up at her, his eyes flashing for a second, "I had it under control."

Cora scoffed as she crossed her arms over her chest and huffed.

"I did! At least until those damn hunters showed up and ruined everything." Peter growled.

"Those hunters showed up because you're actually insane enough to try that sort of magic." Chris told him, his tone was that of fatherly disdain. 

Peter growled and glared at the hunter, "Don't any of you chide me as if I didn't know what I was doing! I knew perfectly well what I was doing! Or in case you forgot, after your family burned mine to crisps and left me in a burnt out shell, I died and came back!"

Chris took a step back and his mouth thinned out into a fine line. He looked like he was just slapped, and he felt like it each time he was reminded of the cruel act his family had done to innocents. Werewolves or not. 

Cora though stepped in and glared at Peter, "You knew what you were doing? I bet you did, you asshole. You knew Derek would do anything for Stiles because you've manipulated him into thinking he's in love with him!"

Peter's face darkened and his eyes flashed again. He scoffed and smirked darkly at Cora, "Is that what you tell yourself? That it was me? Granted, a lot of it was me. I bit Scott. I killed people and tried to get Derek into my pack when I was Alpha. But don't forget the time he became Alpha. The decisions he made are very much his own. Good or bad. And there were a lot of bad. He, like you and like me, miss the way things were. When there was order and peace and Talia was in charge and knew how to properly handle anything. Stiles has been the closest thing Derek has seen of that since our pack's demise. He may have jumped the gun, he may have fooled himself into believing what he was feeling was more or something else...but I didn't influence his feeling over Stiles. Like it or not...Derek loves Stiles. It may be demented and unfounded, but he loves him and was willing to die for him. And yeah, I knew that. I'm pretty sure we all knew I knew! Knew I'd use that...but give me some credit! I don't want Derek dead!" Peter roared.


 

"Any luck reaching Deaton?" Isaac asked Scott as they camped out in the Martin living room. 

The twins stayed until they got word that all of Peter's pack had returned and made sure everyone was alive. Afterward they decided to do a round and check up on parents of the pack members. Which were basically Mrs. McCall and the Sheriff. The Martin's were away on a trip still. Aiden and Ethan managed to check in on Mrs. McCall who was bored on a slow night at the hospital during the night shift. The Sheriff was sound asleep in his own bed. They tried to check up on Deaton, but he wasn't anywhere to be found. 

After Chris stressed all of them to stay inside because hunter families were passing through, Scott was worried. 

"No...but he can take care of himself right?" Scott asked the blond.

"Yeah. And if he needed help I'm sure he's clever enough to send an emergency message if he needed to." Isaac said in reassurance. 

Scott nodded and looked up at the ceiling. Upstairs the girls were in Lydia's room and Scott knew they weren't asleep. 

"So...Banshee." Isaac said as he tried to bring up the subject Scott really didn't want to bring up.

"Chris said they lost Derek for a moment. But they got him back."

"Lydia's done as much research as she could before Stiles died. She wanted to be useful to him and his pack...no offense." Isaac said sheepishly. Scott didn't mind. He knew that he had some in his pack out of automatic default, and when Stiles showed up with what he had done with Peter, Erica, and Boyd, a lot were interested in what Stiles had done. Like Derek. And Lydia and Stiles have always worked well together, so it made sense she'd want to join his pack. 

"She said she felt Sti-"

"He's gone!" Scott hissed.

"But what if he isn-"

"Isaac please!" He screwed his eyes shut. 

He didn't fully understand all that happened between Stiles and Deucalion. He didn't really understand what Peter, Erica, Boyd, Mr. Argent, and Ms. Morrell did when they fought Deucalion in Stiles's body. It was magic and things that just were not his area. All he knew was that his when his best friend needed him, he wasn't there. When his best friend was forced to become a monster against his will, Scott couldn't do anything because he had waited too long on a foolish attempt to hold on to normality. 

Now Stiles was gone. He was gone and it hurt like hell. 

His mom told him it would never stop hurting because he loved Stiles so much, but she promised it would get easier. But in order for it to get easier he had to mourn properly. And what meant accepting that Stiles was gone and not holding on to some foolish hope that he was still alive somehow. It was hard. With knowing they killed Peter but he had come back, but still Scott had to try. 

Peter was a tormented soul who had spent years in his own hell. From what he did know about bringing people back... it was never without a price. He didn't want Stiles to end up like Voldemort. 

"I can only hope that Stiles has found peace. He deserves it. And though it sucks, we have to find peace with him being gone." 

Isaac sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "I know how much it hurts you, man. I can sense and smell it."

"Then why are you still bringing it up?" Scott demanded, red Alpha eyes flashing for a moment in his anger. It wasn't the first time Isaac's brought it up. He made plenty of points to Peter's resurrection. He also told them about Erica and Boyd, he having known them better when they were a pack, and he was sure they would try to bring Stiles back. At first Scott would entertain the ideas but after a while it just got painful.

"Because Scott...this is Beacon Hills! Normally I would be on board with moving on. Hell, I'd like to remind you I used to work in a cemetery, so I know full well about saying goodbye to the dead. But this is our group and I already told you what I know about Stiles's pack. It may not be what you want, but it is what it is...and tonight? What if-"

"What if what? What if Stiles is back? I'm pretty sure Cora would have mentioned that, but no! All she mentioned was that they were under heavy fire from hunter families. Not just the Argents but other hunter families, we don't even know exactly how many are in Beacon now, who would gladly kill any of us just for existing! She didn't say anything about Stiles but I did hear about Derek! Had Mr. Argent not been there, he might be dead too! So no Isaac, I don't want to hear it and that is an order!" Scott cried as he flashed his Alpha eyes once more. 

Isaac looked down and bared his neck in submission. 

Scott headed outside to check the perimeter. Isaac watched him go with a frown. He knew Scott told him to drop it, but he had this gut feeling he couldn't ditch. But he supposed he wasn't going to get anywhere with Scott. Which left the next course of action. He headed upstairs to see if Lydia was willing to talk a bit more about what she experience. 


 

The gas station night shift worker wiped down the Slurpee machine before beginning to mop up. It was late at night and his last costumer was about an hour ago for a guy filling up his truck. He knew that for the rest of his shift it was going to be pretty quiet so he fished out his ipod from his pocket and placed his headphones in his ears. He swung to the beat as he mopped, using it as a microphone when he got really into it. 

When the song he was hearing ended, he heard the monitors beep, alerting him someone had entered the adjacent bathroom. He didn't make it in time to see who had gone in and didn't see any cars parked outside other than his own. With a sigh, he headed out there and knocked in the bathroom. It wasn't weird to get drunks or stoners or homeless people using the bathroom. It was just annoying. 

Knocking three times on the door he called out, "Hey! Bathroom's for customers only!" When there was no response he knocked again, harder. "Come on dude! Don't make me call the cops!"

"I have money, just...give me a few minutes!" a voice called out.

It sounded sober and clear. The gas station worker didn't look too convince, but it was better than dealing with another pot head. He shrugged, "Just don't make a mess in there dude." Then he walked back inside. 


 

A...alive?

He was alive?

Stiles stared in disbelief at his reflection.

He actually made it out of Purgatory!

Not only that but his eyes weren't Alpha red anymore. Was he even a wolf anymore? He looked down at his hands and his nails turned to claws, so yes, he was still a werewolf. He took a moment to collect his thoughts. He closed his eyes and counted to twenty. Then he took a deep breath and stared at his reflection once more, willing his eyes to flash to see what color they would be. 

     


 


 

 

"What is this place?" Chris asked over a cup of coffee as morning broke out at Refuge

"We call it Refuge." Peter replied as he took a sip of his brew. He had a flashback to when he first found Stiles. "When Stiles first left Deucalion's clutches he didn't want to alert the rest of the Scooby Doo gang that he was back. I had been searching for Stiles long before with only Derek and Cora knowing about it." At that Chris gave him a raised eyebrow in question. "I was tracking the sudden and unexpected deaths of powerful Alphas. It was a bit of a Hale family hobby for a while. But then Stiles came to me and didn't want anyone involved. So we used this place."

"You have two apartments?" Cora asked as she came into the kitchen to serve herself some coffee. 

"Yes. Since you and Derek would waltz into my other one whenever you wanted, I needed some place I could get my privacy." Peter retorted. 

After their fight last night, they have been very cold to each other, but now it's been toned down. 

"After we rounded back here after training with Stiles for a while, it became our den." Boyd supplied as he joined the others for some coffee. Erica was watching over Derek who seemed to be getting better as the hours pass by. He was still passed out due to exhaustion. Boyd suspects that the drugs Derek's been using to hallucinate Stiles have given him insomnia as a side affect. His body was finally crashing. 

"What are you going to do now?" Chris asked. 

Everyone turned to look at Peter. The oldest Hale was staring at his cup intensely before he replied. "We'll leave."

Though that was all he said, the finality in it was crystal clear. 

They were leaving and not coming back. 


 

"You weren't lying." Deaton said as he saw Stiles lying on his sister's couch. 

"It may come as a shock to you, big bro, but I am capable of the truth." Ms. Morrell said as both stood a few feet away from Stiles, observing him. 

"I suppose every blue moon brings it's miracles after all." Deaton deadpanned. 

Ms. Morrell simply rolled her eyes. "He called me from a gas station. He was covered in dirt and some blood...not sure whose."

"Is he...him?" Deaton asked as his gaze turned skeptical. 

"Yes. His magic register's as Stiles's and when he called he was pretty lucid." 

"Deucalion could-"

"I'm Stiles's councilor. And a well practiced Emissary. This is Stiles, Alan. He's back." Ms. Morrell said with a hint of a smile on her lips. 

"Stiles died..." Deaton replied solemnly as he looked at the teen with a saddened expression. 

Even if he was back from the dead, the whole town had heard of his death. Plenty had gone to the funeral. The school held a memorial service and to this day the Sheriff receives an abundance of condolences. 

"Yes...that is something we'll have to deal with." Ms. Morrell agreed with. 

They shared a silent conversation before they simply watched Stiles sleep. He looked better than when they last saw him, possessed by Deucalion. He looked less haunted and actually full of life. In that moment they could pretend that Stiles was still the awkward human kid who tried to keep up with werewolves. 

"Derek..." Stiles mumbled as he stirred a bit in his sleep, but didn't wake.

"That's another thing we'll have to deal with I suppose..." Ms. Morrell stated. 


 

When morning officially arrived, the others didn't bother going to school and instead met up with Cora, Derek, and Mr. Argent. 

Scott was tense and rigid since Stiles's scent lingered in that place. It was stale now, but the strongest second to his room in the Sheriff's house. This was Stiles's den and it was empty and without his pack. 

They shouldn't be here. But they were. For Derek. 

"How is he?" Scott asked. 

"You could ask me yourself." 

Scott, Isaac, Lydia, and Allison looked up to see Derek emerging from one of the rooms. The True Alpha narrowed his eyes a bit, "Or I could scold you for being an idiot and trusting Peter. But I'm sure Cora's done enough of that."

"And then some." Cora promised as she sat in the arm chair. 

Derek sighed as he dragged himself into the living room area with the others as everyone claimed a place. "I know I was stupid, but I don't regret it...I'd do it all over again."

"Well you won't. Derek I have tried to be supportive. I have tried letting you handle this on your own but I see that that's not enough." Scott said sternly. 

Derek glared at him. "Scott you-"

"If you tell me I don't understand, I swear to god I'll smack you stupid! I get it, okay! Stiles was my best friend. My brother! Before I got all this, before I got all of you, he was all I had! So I understand how much it fucking hurts that he's gone, but damn it Derek, what were we supposed to do if we lost you too? You think we wouldn't care? That it wouldn't hurt us? You, who has lost so much, think we wouldn't give a damn if you died too? You're wrong! We're a pack! A family! Every loss...we all feel it!" Scott cried as tears of anger and pain swelled his eyes and fell down his cheeks. 

Derek looked taken aback by the admission, then he lowered his head in shame. He swallowed back the emotions and acted on his own as he went and embraced Scott. Isaac soon joined the hug, followed by Allison and Lydia. Cora and Chris were forced to join too. 

Everyone let out their emotions and grief they've been holding on to for the sake of seeming strong in front of everyone else.


 

"We don't know how you're back, but you are..."

"A lot has happened since..."

"Just received a text from Chris...your pack left Beacon this morning. Where? Didn't say....seemed to want to disappear for good."

"There were too many witnesses of Deucalion's defeat. People think you're dead. Even your father. Even Scott."

Dead. 

As far as the world was concerned, he was dead. 

Back when Deucalion was still an issue he was forcing himself to get used to the idea of it. Of never coming back. But in the mind it was always easy because he could come back...one day

But now everyone thought he was dead. They buried him. They mourned him. 

What was he going to do now? 

Closing his eyes he could still see all that Deucalion made him do. He could still see all the damage he's caused. All the lives he's taken. 

Emotions of agony and misery rocked him with excruciating physical pain. 

He was dead and he was broken. 

He couldn't burden anyone with himself like this. No one deserved the shattered remains of what he's become.  


 

"Where are you going to go?" Deaton asked Stiles as he tried to convince the other to rest more.

They were now at the clinic as Deaton gave Stiles as much of a medical exam as he could. There were so many questions to be asked but they all needed their time for Stiles to adjust. Deaton wanted to know how Stiles's magic was feeling, as well as ask about his werewolf status. 

"I don't know, doc, but I'm sure as hell getting out of here. I...ghost shouldn't haunt their homes, they should move on." he said sadly. 

Deaton was about to reply when he heard the front door open. 

"We're not open yet." Deaton called out. The he turned to Stiles, "I know there is nothing easy about this situation, but I think we need to take a moment and just breathe. Make an actual plan. If you want to leave, given the circumstances I'm not blaming you, but let us help you."

"Help who with what circumstances?" Scott's voice rang out as he and Derek came into the back room. 

When they caught sight of who Deaton was talking to both of their eyes widened. Derek's breath left him and his eyes shined bright as he looked at Stiles with a hopeful expression, but at the same time fear filled his gaze. Was this some sort of hallucination? Side affect of the ritual or dying? Some cruel joke by some of the hunters who might have actually captured him and had him subdued. 

He and Stiles stared at each other for a very long time without saying anything. 

  

It wasn't until Scott's broken, emotion filled voice broke through the silence. "Stiles?"!

Unknowingly, Scott flashed his red Alpha eyes. As Stiles turned to look at his best friend, his own werewolf abilities reacted, flashing his friend bright blue eyes in response. 

 

Chapter Text

"H-how?" Scott asked him, voice broken, after hugging Stiles tightly for a solid three minutes, then held him at arm's length. 

Stiles gave him a watery smile as he shrugged. "I...I'm not sure."

Scott whimpered before pulling Stiles into another tight embrace. The young Alpha shut his eyes as he inhaled Stiles's scent and locked into his heartbeat. "You're alive...you're actually alive!" He held Stiles at arm's length again and smiled like a mad man. "You're alive, dude!" 

Stiles chuckled as he wiped his eyes, "I...I guess I am." 

"S-Stiles?" 

The former Alpha turned to the speaker and smiled softly at the older wolf. "Hey Derek..."

Derek's throat clogged up with emotion and he felt frozen in his place. All of the dreams, fantasies, and hallucinations never really prepared him for this moment. It was always too much of a fool's errand to actually think it'd come true. Considering how things ended with the ritual, he never dared to think Stiles would ever stand there before him again. He lifted his hand a bit, tried to step forward but he couldn't...he simply couldn't. 

Stiles decided to act on his instincts and embrace Derek. When Stiles's arms were around him, it was like whatever barrier was preventing him from acting accordingly, vanished. He returned Stiles's embrace and like Scott he buried his nose in the nook of Stiles's neck and inhaled deeply. 

"I hate to cut this reunion short, but we should consider relocating." Deaton's voice snapped them out of their states. 

Scott and Derek looked over to him with a confused look but Stiles nodded. 

"Peter has an apartment we used to use-" Stiles began but then Derek cut him off.

"Refuge."

Stiles looked at him with a surprised expression. "You know about Refuge?"

"It's a long story. We'll tell you on the way." Scott said. 

"Scott, you may want to bring Derek's car around the back...Stiles can't risk being seen." Deaton said. Scott assumed it was because as far as Beacon was concerned, Stiles was dead. Derek thought that too but then he caught Deaton giving Stiles a certain look and the older wolf was guessing that there was more than that. 


 

"The number you have dialed may be out of reach or is no longer in service."

"Damn..." Stiles hung up and passed Derek his phone back. 

The two were in the back of Derek's car while Scott drove. Derek pocketed the phone before looking over to Stiles sympathetically. He placed a hand on Stiles's knee and tried to be reassuring. "I'm sure they're just passing through a very wooded area."

Stiles sighed, and somewhere deep down Derek worried Stiles would get angry at him for being too close and touchy-feely. But that wasn't it. Stiles looked over and smiled sadly. "No. They tossed their phones." 

"You don't know-" Scott began but Stiles interrupted him. 

"I do. I taught them. Deaton gave me the basics. The think they failed. Either they'll accept it and move on or try again somewhere else. But they're done with Beacon and want to cut off ties. Losing their phones is 'on the run 101'." 

"We'll find a way to get to them." Derek promised. 

"Oh don't worry about that. I have a few tricks." Stiles promised in turn. 

"But they'll wait until you've rested properly." Scott sternly said. "I can smell the exhaustion in you. You'll eat, shower, and sleep. Alright?"

"I'm guessing that long story will have to wait?" Stiles asked, but he was already leaning back to rest his head. 

On instinct, Derek wrapped his arm around Stiles's shoulder and instead of pushing away or trying to sit up and hide his tiredness, Stiles rested his head on Derek's shoulder and nuzzled up to his side. 

Liquid warmth ran through the older wolf at the action. He smiled happily at Stiles before meeting Scott's worried eyes in the rear-view mirror. Derek mouthed, 'What?'

Scott just shook his head before mouthing back, 'Later.'

Derek didn't really like it, but given the last couple of days, he knew he didn't really have the right to argue against Scott. Not that it mattered anyway. Stiles was back! He was alive and in Derek's hold!



"The pack's been here? And not just mine..." Stiles commented as he entered Refuge.

 "Your pack spent a long time researching ways to bring you back. They found a ritual and spent a while preparing it. When it happened...well, we thought it failed. Derek was hurt, Hunters were everywhere, and well..." Scott shrugged.

Stiles's eyes snapped to Derek, silently inspecting him. Derek frowned at Scott before turning to Stiles with a soft expression. "I'm fine." He reassured. "But yes, we all rendezvoused here."

"Is everyone alright?" Stiles asked.

"We're all shaken up. Trying to find a way forward. Before Deucalion took over, you were training us. You opened our eyes and showed us a path to greatness. We all liked what we saw because it was what we could be with practice and time..." Scott spared Derek a side glance before continuing. "It was like what the Hales had. With you being taken from us like that, so soon after barely getting you back...well, there were different sides of losing you. The great amazing Alpha you became that was showing the wayward teens of Beacon Hills how things are done. And then there was our friend and brother..."

Scott's eyes watered as he looked at Stiles with a mesmerized look. Stiles caught scent of blood and he looked down at Scott's hand and saw his claws digging into his palm. He reached over and made him stop. He pulled away some of the pain in Scott's hand, even if there wasn't much and Scott's Alpha healing sealed up the wounds quickly. Stiles pulled Scott into another tight embrace that Scott returned. 

All the while since he's been back, Scott has been brave and strong but with each passing moment he was breaking down. His legs gave in and let out a sob as he clutched on to Stiles as if his life depended on it.

"Pl-please don't let t-this be a d-dream...Please be h-here...I...I can't do this...not w-without you Stiles...not without you..."

Stiles held on to Scott tightly. He himself was crying too, but silently.

Derek felt like an outsider. A selfish onlooker as he saw Scott break down. All this time he's been so wrapped up in his own feelings and misery and delusions. He hadn't paid attention to how much others who were closer to Stiles for many years before he even met him, were suffering.

But as much of an intruder he felt, he didn't leave. He didn't dare. Derek feared if he left, Stiles would disappear forever.  


 

"You still have magic, then?"

Stiles closed his palm as he turned to face Derek. 

"Seems like it..." Stiles muttered. 

Scott had gone off to fetched the rest of the pack. It was agreed that everyone needed to come to refuge but Stiles addressing the hunter threat, he decided it would be best to not be out unless absolutely needed. Derek stayed behind to keep an eye on Stiles. If when he first met Stiles when Scott was bitten and someone told Derek he'd be so emotionally invested, so in love with the idea of Stiles, that it caused him to be awkward around him, Derek would have clawed that person's throat out. 

But that's the situation he was in. 

After Scott's eye opening revelation that his life wasn't as worthless as he used to think, Derek took into critical consideration what Cora told him. Part of him still violently argued that he was in love with Stiles, but even his hallucination of Stiles tried to get him to see what Cora was trying to tell him. 

Derek accepted, ever slightly, that Cora was right. A little bit. Maybe he wasn't in love with Stiles, but he could easily fall in love with him given the opportunity. But that didn't mean he didn't love Stiles platonically. 

Stiles was amazing, brave, clever, witty, and so many other things. Derek tried to keep in mind that he shouldn't let hero worship make him forget all that Stiles has done. That lesson came from Stiles himself. Even though Derek, and plenty others, wanted to argue that it had been all Deucalion's doing, it was still Stiles's claws that were dripping with blood. And from the blue eyes presented to them, innocent blood at that. 

"I want to help you, Stiles." Derek said in a pleading voice. 

Stiles sighed as he flopped onto the couch. "It's not that I don't want to accept your help Derek..."

"But?" Derek prompted.

"I'm not really all that sure what I need help with!" Stiles exclaimed as he draped an arm over his eyes. 

Derek eyed him sympathetically, and it was weird to think that now he had so much in common with Stiles than any other wolf. Though different in circumstances, Stiles was probably feeling the same thing Derek did when he lost his Alpha powers. Even if Scott thought of Stiles as part of his pack, Stiles had his own that wasn't there and couldn't be reached. 

Without power, packless, and unsure of what the next steps should be? Yeah, Derek's been there. 

He took a seat next to Stiles and reached over to grab Stiles's hand. That made Stiles sit up straight and look over at Derek.

"We'll figure it out. All of it. You're...dead, as far as anyone outside the pack is concerned. It's gotta hurt, I know, but it can be the breathing room you need to get back on your feet. Just focus on the better things." Derek told him.

Stiles scoffed lightly. "Like what?"

"For one, you're alive." Stiles rolled his eyes slightly at that, which had Derek gripping Stiles's hand tighter. "Trust me...it'll mean a lot to others, even if it doesn't to you."

Stiles sighed, "I'm sorry...I can't imagine what it must have been like."

"Horrible would be an adequate place to start. But don't focus on that. Focus that Deucalion is gone. Your pack will be reached and will be thrilled to know they succeeded." 

"And now left without an Alpha." Stiles pointed out. 

"We can change that..." Derek said quietly. 

There was a pause as they stared into each other's eyes. 

"I'm so sorry..." Stiles whispered, voice full of regret and pain.

It confused Derek, "For what?"

"You never really felt like you were part of Scott's pack. You held out for me, but it never happened. Isaac, Lydia, Allison, and the twins made up Scott's pack. Cora held a connection to the pack she found and who raised her after what happened to your family. Peter was part of mine. You...you never...you never really..."

"Had a pack?" Derek finished for him. Stiles nodded once before looking away in shame. Derek was becoming more confused by the minute. "I...I don't understand. That was my fault, not yours. You had bigger things to worry about."

Silence reigned for a while before Stiles could look up and meet Derek's gaze again. "I noticed it a bit while I was back. I didn't want to say anything because...I wasn't sure what would happen. I didn't want to include you in my pack out of pity. And also knowing soon they may disband and be Alpha-less." When Derek didn't say anything or seemed to be getting what Stiles was saying, Stiles finally said what he was hinting. "You were turning into an Omega, Derek. The obsessive state? That was you going feral...or at least the first stages of it. Desperate to-"

"Find an Alpha." Derek finished for him. It never occurred to Derek, being always surrounded by wolves and making up some sort of pack. But Stiles had a point. He never really acknowledged Scott as an Alpha. But he assumed with with Cora there at least...

Derek shook his head, "I don't think that's what-"

"Maybe not. But it's a possibility." Stiles said.

"You're not an Alpha anymore." Derek stated.

"I'm not..." Stiles agreed.

"What will you do?" Derek questioned. 

Stiles sighed deeply. "To be honest...I'm not completely sure. Ideally, I'd join Scott's pack, but I don't think I can."

Derek's breath hitched and he looked at Stiles with a hurt expression, demanding answers. 

"I can't be seen in public. Not if I want to remain in the shadows and that is best. That is key! You all may understand that the things I did while in Deucalion's hold weren't really me, but the people affected by my actions then, won't. They will be out to avenge their loved ones, their homes, their way of living...me staying will only place you all and the innocents of Beacon Hills in danger."

"Whatever you do, I'll go with you." Derek told him.

"Der-"

"I have money. Okay? The Hales were well off before the fire and after it, because of the insurance, I have more money than I know what to do with. I want to help you, Stiles. Plus, Peter is my family and this money is partly his as well, but he can't access it because he's dead. I can give you all the comfort you want. You don't have to run, or worry, or anything else!" Derek promised. He interlocked their fingers, he wasn't sure exactly why he felt like he could but Stiles wasn't pushing him away, so he didn't stop. "I can buy us a plot of land anywhere you want. Here in the States, or on some island...we can build a house with a room for everyone and then some. We can create something amazing. Away enough from humans to have our privacy but still close enough to interact every once in a while and get supplies. Please...let me help."

"I...I'm not an Alpha." Stiles argued.

"I don't need an Alpha. I need you."


"Are we gonna need some smelling salts, Chris? You look like you're about to pass out." Stiles said in a sarcastic tone, trying to lighten the mood. 

The pack arrived, Chris coming too, but being the only other adult to do so. Lydia and Allison hugged the hell out of him, their make-up smudging as they cried with happiness. The twins one arm hugged him, and as surprising as it was to him, Isaac hugged him properly. 

Cora was the only one who didn't come near him, and was actually glaring. From what he pieced together, she wasn't really too happy with the obsession Derek had developed because of him. It wasn't really his fault, but Cora wanted to blame someone. With Peter gone, and not wanting to blame Derek, Stiles became the target of her hate. 

Chris didn't hug him but he did come near to inspect him. Stiles nearly felt awkward but he's been on display in far more awkward positions while Deucalion's puppet. 

"You are...just something else." Chris muttered. "But...how?"

"His pack succeeded. But the details can wait until we reach them." Derek piped in, coming in with a water bottle he passed over to Stiles. 

Cora's glare narrowed at the action and Stiles was beginning to feel awkward, but he fought it down. It'd be easier if Derek wasn't acting as his personal guard and spokesman. But Stiles was feeling tired, so he allowed it if it meant he didn't need to speak too much.

"He's tired, so let's not badger him with questions he doesn't have the answers to." Derek said.

"What does he know then?" Cora demanded.

"I did die." Stiles brought the attention back to him. He flashed his eyes, "I'm not an Alpha anymore." There was a murmuring among them before Stiles spoke again. "I know I had a funeral and the town thinks me dead. It's going to stay like that."

"What? Why?" Lydia demanded. 

"As I explained to Derek, though most of you will forgive the actions I've done while in Deucalion's clutches, not everyone will. It's safer for everyone involved if everyone continues to think I'm dead." Stiles said.

"Then we may have a problem." Chris stated. 

Stiles stiffened, "Why?"

"Word about what your pack was going to attempt got out." Chris said.

"Those that attacked you?" Scott asked.

Chris nodded. "Those were just some members of some of the families. Many were making their way to the States when they heard about the actions Nyctimus was causing. They calmed down some when they heard he died. When there were whispers heard about his pack trying to bring him back...it left plenty of families unsettled."

"Hunters are still here?" Stiles inquired.

"Yes. And they have eyes and ears everywhere. So every one of you needs to be careful. These are the kind of people who see things the way Gerard did. They will not be merciful just because you're kids. They won't care if you haven't bitten anyone Scott...they know you. They know you were close to Stiles, or Nyctimus, as they called him. They'll be keeping an eye on you and your pack. It's best if you lose contact with Stiles for a while until the heat dies down." Chris suggested.

"What? We just got him back!" Scott cried.

"He's right, Scott. It's too dangerous to be around me..." Stiles said.

"No, it's not. We'll find another way!" Scott insisted.

"Not before someone innocent gets hurt. Please Scott...I'm tired of having blood on my hands. I'm alive, I'll keep contact, and I'll be back. But things are too hot and we need to be careful." Stiles pleaded with his friend to understand. 

Scott and Stiles were locked in a heated stare before Scott sighed and looked away in surrender. 

"You're not at 100% yet. At least wait until you get a hold of your pack." Scott argued.

Stiles frowned. "The hunters know my pack. I don't want to risk them coming too close and getting caught."

"We'll find out where Peter and the others are and then I'll escort Stiles there." Derek announced.

"And then you're coming back, right?" Cora demanded.

Derek stared her down and when she saw his determination she flared her nostrils in anger.

"You died for him once! You're seriously going to risk your life again for him?" She demanded.

"Yes." Derek replied easily enough and without hesitation. 

She growled, flashed her eyes, before turning around and storming out of the room. 

Stiles looked sad and smelled of guilt. Derek placed an arm around him and pulled him into a hug, "Don't. I'm an adult. This is my decision. She has to respect it. Maybe not like it, but respect it."

"Still...I hate to think I'm the reason for you and Cora to be fighting." Stiles admitted. 

"She'll be fine once the heat dies down. Which will be sooner when we get you out of Beacon." Derek told him. Memory of their conversation before the pack arrived running through both of their minds. Derek believed it to be a promise he'll make good on. Stiles thought of it as a dream that was so close he could almost taste it, but wasn't complete yet and was taunting him. 

"Before anything...we need to reach Peter." Stiles replied.

"How? I've tried contacting Peter before. None of their phones are working." Chris said.

"Maybe not theirs. But mine should still be working." Stiles said.

"Yours?" Scott asked.

"Not the one you all kept calling me on while I was with Deucalion. I got another one after I made my pack. It was the number my contacts for certain things could get a hold of. People who were allies, informants, clients...that phone is to always be on. If Peter doesn't have it anymore, he'll have given it to someone he'll have a weekly to bi-monthly meeting with."


"This number is out of service. Don't call again." Peter gruffed out.

"Then why keep paying it if you're not going to use it. Makes the device obsolete doesn't it?"

"...whoever this is, it's a cruel joke and I will find you and tear your throat out with-"

"Your teeth? Peter, that's Derek's line. He won't like you stealing it and quite frankly I'm disappointed with the lack of originality. But more so I'm kind of pissed that you idiots did something so fucking dangerous! What the hell were you thinking!?" 

"..."

"Peter?"

"S-Stiles?" Peter asked, voice laced with disbelief and heavy with emotion. 

"It worked...It was stupid and very dangerous, but it worked." Stiles replied, and Peter could hear the gentle smile on his Alpha's lips. 

"Oh my god..." Peter breathed out. Then he snapped to attention. "Where are you? Are you alright? Does anyone know?"

"In order? I'm in Beacon, for the most part, and Scott's pack, including Derek and Cora and Chris, plus Morrell and Deaton."

"Okay...um, stay in the shadows, keep a low profile. I'll be there in a few days-"

"No!"

"No? Stiles, I'm coming after you!"

"It's too dangerous."

"I was willing to move heaven and earth to bring you back, you think I care about whatever Beacon has to throw at me?" Peter demanded with a scoff.

"Not Beacon...but the Hunters that followed you there aren't something to scoff at. Look, I'll rest up a few days. Then I'll head out to a rendezvous point using some of the channels and back-roads I taught you. And I won't be alone...Derek's coming with me." 

"Derek?" Peter questioned. 

"Yeah...I don't think I'd be able to otherwise. Look, don't question it and just tell me your locations!" Stiles ordered.

A small grin appeared on Peter's lips. "Yes sir."

They discussed locations and rendezvous points for an hour before they agreed on a decision. They didn't talk too long since they didn't like keeping calls too long, out of paranoid habit. Stiles promised to check in every few hours though, to see how Peter and the rest of his pack was doing. Stiles himself began to pack. There weren't many things from Refuge he had to take, but there were a few things that'll be useful. 

While Derek was napping, resting for the road, Stiles took a shower. He made sure to close the door behind him and locked it before he shedded his clothes. He spared his body a glance in the mirror, but he only lasted a second before he turned away. 

Littered in scars and rune tattoos that reminded him too much of things he wishes he could forget. All of them laced with fear, pain, and regret. 

He stood beneath the spray and relaxed a bit. Hot showers were a luxury he'll never take for granted again.

Chapter Text

 

“Where is he?’ Scott asked as he entered the apartment.

Derek pressed his index finger against his mouth to tell Scott to be quiet. “He showered for a long while and after that he laid down. He’s been asleep ever since. He reeks of exhaustion. Best to let him rest. We don’t know how long the road is going to be.”

“Are you sure you’re not also smelling your own exhaustion?” Scott asked, quieter tone than before, but still holding a bit of irritation.

“Drop it, Scott.” Derek warned.

“No. And not because you think I’m against you being with Stiles or anything.” Derek seemed about to protest but Scott gave him a warning look to not even bother to try to lie. “It’s not really about that. I would like to set aside a time later to discuss that part of my irritation, but this is about something else.”

“There’s nothing else to discuss.”

“But there is. Stiles is still weak, which you know. You keep trying to make sure people don't overexert him. Which I’m grateful for but you keep acting as if you’re completely healthy.” 

“I am.” Derek said with a strict look.

“You were a overly grieving mess not that long ago, then you became secretive and paranoidinly obsessed, and then you died!” Scott exclaimed.

Derek covered Scott’s mouth because he felt Scott was being overly loud. He looked over to the master bedroom and could see Stiles from where he stood in the living-room. Stiles was still sleeping. Good. He didn’t want him to overhear and worry.

“I’m fine!”

“You’re not. But you’re going to try to convince him that you are. And I can’t say I’m overly thrilled that you’re the one that’s going to be taking him to his pack.”

“What do you want from me Scott?” Derek demanded.

“I’m not trying to stall. Yes, I want Stiles to stay in his home and to be able to come home and have his father know that he’s not really dead, but I know I can’t have that. I know I can’t have my best friend back. But I need him to stay alive. I cannot lose him again!”

“What do you want Scott?’ Derek asked again.

“Don’t take him alone. Take someone else with you. Someone who can be an extra set of eyes and muscle on your journey.”

“Like who?”

“Cora.” Scott answered simply.

Derek scoffed. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Cora isn’t exactly Stiles biggest fan.”

“But she’s your sister. She wants to keep you safe. And you want to keep Stiles safe. Who wants to keep Beacon Hills safe. I’m sure you can all work together and stay alive until you can reach Peter and find a safe place to call home for a while.”

“I’ll think about it.” Derek told him. He honestly didn’t really have any intention for it though.

“Good.” Scott said a bit awkwardly.

He was getting better at being a leader and discussing uncomfortable topics, but it was always a bit more awkward with Derek. He was the one who more or less introduced him into the supernatural. There was a lot of stumbling with Stiles, sure, but Derek was that mentor figure he had in his head when he thought about his earlier days as a werewolf.

Remembering Derek’s reasoning’s as to why Scott hadn’t gone feral after rejecting Derek’s invitation on becoming back, Scott raised the one of the questions that was bothering him.

“Have you guys at all began to acknowledge what you’re going to be doing about the alpha status?”

“It hasn’t really come up…”

“Derek.” Scott said his name with disappointment.

“He just rose from the dead! He’s not even fully sure how. He’s very confused and-“

“And you don’t want him to worry. But take it from me…he is worried. All Stiles has done since his mother passed is worry. About his dad, about his future, about me and my mom…and then everyone else he became close with. Look, I know you want to protect him. Shield him from bad stuff. But that’s not protecting him. Not really.” Scott took a moment and Derek saw the vulnerable teen that had to grow years behind his age in a few short months. “If you don’t’ want to have my failures then follow my advice. Talk to Stiles and really listen to him. Before, he would always know or have a hell of a lead in the right direction. But after he was taken, he’s grown. He’s more worldly and experienced. He’s not a little kid that needs to be protected.”

“I know that.” Derek said somewhat lamely.

“And yet you still want to protect him as if he were one. And I get that. I do too. Trust in Stiles.”

“But what if he doesn’t trust me?”

“Why wouldn’t he?” Scott asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Trust isn’t something Stiles had a lot of. Even his pack was kept in the dark about a lot of stuff. And after what happened they were the ones he trusted more.” Derek told him.

Scott thought about it. He wanted this to all go smoothly. For Derek and Stiles to be safe. Logically, sending Cora was a smart move. She came and went and wouldn’t seem odd if she suddenly left. The rest of them had established lives. But Scott had caught a glimpse of her feelings about Stiles considering Derek’s reaction and actions to losing Stiles. It wasn’t healthy. She could see it and it was part of why he wanted her to go with them. To help them keep things in perspective.

Stiles had once accused him of being too trusting though. Cora was a Hale and Scott more or less trusted the Hales since he was bitten by one and sort of trained by one. But what did he really know about them? Cora might be the only living Hale without blue eyes but would that change? Could her anger be so strong that she’d become blinded herself?

“You guys need to rest up. I get that and I agree on it. I know we want to get distance between the hunters and Stiles, but rushing things leaves room for mistakes. So take time to plan things out accordingly. And don’t be afraid to really talk about matters that…you know, matter.”

“Fine.” Derek didn’t look too happy with the order, but it was more like a serious suggestion. Plus, Scott’s never really known Derek to be happy so he’ll settle for being in agreement.

“I gotta go, but I’ll be back later to see where you guys are in your planning okay?”

“Where are you going?” Derek asked because he was sure Scott would want to wait until Stiles woke up.

“I’m meeting with Argent to see exactly the dangers he thinks are most important to focus on, hunter wise.”

“Huh…smart. Look, Scott…this might seem out of place and random but…you’re getting better at this. You really are being a true alpha.”

The comment caught him off guard but it was genuine. It also sounded a bit of a goodbye. They would part soon. Scott knew Derek carried a lot of guilt about failing Erica and Boyd, as well as Stiles. Scott had been another failure in some respect and was apologizing for it.

Scott gave him one of his sunshine smiled and patted him on his shoulder. “Thanks. I’ll see you soon. Try to get him to eat something.”


 

“Shouldn’t we be helping somehow?” Lydia asked before taking a sip of her coffee.

Allison and Chris shared a look before looking at here and in unison replying. “No.”

“Plausible deniability. Hunters might sooner or later try to talk to us…and that’s the best case scenario, and we don’t want to actually know something because that gives them a better chance at not getting chased and caught.” She answered her own question.

Chris pointed at her in a way to tell her she was right while simultaneously reading the paper.

“But we can’t just do nothing.” Lydia insisted with annoyance in her voice.

“We’re not.” Chris answered.

“We’re not?’ Lydia asked.

“Yeah, we’re not?” Allison echoed the red-head.

“It is best that we don’t have any details about their travels, but that doesn’t mean we can’t help. I’m going to be supplying them with one of my best jeeps. State of the art, all terrain, bullet proof windows, reinforced frames, and fully stocked with weapons and survival gear. Adding some cold, hard, cash from some of my reserves.”

“The Hales have money, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.” Lydia commented.

“Maybe not eventually once they get to a safe place and Stiles finds a way to access the money without it being traced. But right now I’m not sure if Derek isn’t just using plastic and in that case-“

“It’s traceable.” Allison finished his sentence. “So we’re supplying transport, weapons, and cash…still does feel like we should be doing more.”

“We can but it takes time and patience.” Chris told them.

“What does?” Lydia inquired.

“We want to lead these hunters away from Beacon, but not send them towards Stiles. Though we can’t know where Stiles is really going, we can send out decoys or fake rumors, doused with a bit of the truth.” Chris began.

Allison, having been trained by her father was quickly catching up to what they were doing. “Hunters out looking for info will take in everything we say or do. Not completely at face value but enough to read between the lines. They think we’re harboring them, but hunters also do research. Once they learn what Stiles was like in character they’ll guess that he won’t put his home at risk and will try to meet up with his pack somewhere else.”

“So we send them fake locations. But we can’t do it too fast or they’ll think it is just a decoy. So…things like random money transfers and long distance calls made from payphone or something.” Lydia added.

“Exactly. Right now Stiles, or rather Nyctimus, is their main target. They’ll ignore everyone else here in Beacon and go after him. So we have to do this right. Which is why we cannot tell the Sheriff. Eventually maybe we can…but right now we can’t.” Chris told them. It was one major point they were all arguing. The Sheriff had taken it the hardest probably, and was still a mess to this day. It took a lot of work from Melissa and Parrish to keep him from going under, but they managed.

They all knew that if his son were alive he’d not care about anything else but getting to him, but they couldn’t risk that.

The girls nodded, and then the doorbell rang.

“That should be Scott. We’re going to plan out our first decoy.” Chris informed them.


 

Stiles gasped awake. It took him a moment to realize and remember where he was, but once he did he tried to breathe normally.

“Stiles, you okay?” Derek asked, coming into Stiles’s room after hearing his heartbeat speed up.

“Uh..yeah. Yeah, just…waking up is still a weird thing for me I guess.” Stiles answered before getting up and stretching.

“Right…of course.”

“What is it? What’s wrong?” Stiles asked him.

Derek thought about everything Scott told him, about everything he himself thought, but also what he felt. He thought about what Stiles told him, and every decision and choice he’s ever made. It seemed like he could never make the right one no matter how hard he tried. He was always going to end up hurt or hurting someone.

“Derek?” Stiles asked with concern.

Derek just continued to stare into Stiles’s eyes before cupping his face and kissing him with everything he had.

“I don’t know if you believe me or not…but I’m choosing to love you.”

Chapter Text

 

“I don’t know if you believe me or not…but I’m choosing to love you.”

Stiles had not been expecting that in the slightest. But once he was fully awake and aware of what just happened he took a step back. “Derek…”

“No. I get it okay. I’ve had enough fucked up relationships to know that I am probably more in love with the idea of you than actually you. That maybe I am hero worshipping you. The fact that you can turn someone like Peter around and make him useful, somewhat good, and part of something…part of a pack, yes I want that. And I want you. I’m your type…I know I am. So…give me a chance. Please.”

Stiles stared at him with an almost pitying look, but having died and given up so much because of Deucalion, it made his selfish decision easier. He grabbed Derek by the shirt as he pulled him back for another kiss.

Derek didn’t need any more invitation than that to push Stiles against the wall, much like old time, but for a different and better reason. He pressed his body against Stiles as they kissed with vigor. Derek placed his hands on Stiles’s side and then began to let them wonder. They massaged and groped Stiles’s ass, which caused Stiles to moan and rut against Derek. Arousal filled the air and Derek felt like he was drowning in it.  Pulling back he was panting, rosy cheeked, and very happy.

How many times had he dreamed about this?

So many times that he wasn’t fully sure if this wasn’t just another dream.

He dove back in for another kiss while his hands lifted up Stiles’s shirt and he tried to caress and touch Stiles’s upper body, but Stiles pulled back then.

“Don’t.”

“What? But I thought-“

“I want this. It’s selfish and not right, but I want it. I want you.” Stiles let out in a breathless response.

“Then what’s the matter?” Derek asked, confused.

“I…I need to leave my shirt on. Please.” He asked while he closed his eyes. No matter the power he’s gained, the confidence, all of the runes carved in by Deucalion and the scars that he gained that never healed, were horrible reminders of his forced survival. He didn’t have the magic at the moment to cover them with glamour, and didn’t want Derek to see him like that.

Derek studied his face, trying to reach every line, every wrinkle, every twitch. He nodded before kissing Stiles but more gently this time. “We can leave our clothes on.”

Stiles opened his eyes, looking almost shyly. After seeing all that he could do, it was almost absurd but that was just what Derek could do to him.  “Thank you.” Stiles told him before kissing Derek again.


 

“We should be heading to Beacon Hills!” Erica complained.

Boyd didn’t say anything out loud but Peter’s gotten very good at reading his facial features, and agreed with his girlfriend. Though that was almost always the case, so Peter tended to ignore it. Today was no different.

“You were all there when we were all nearly killed by those hunters.” Peter said calmly as he packed up their stuff. It wasn’t much. They always packed light, and with things that could easily be replaced.

“Yes, and we were stupid and reckless but it paid off!” She exclaimed, as if Peter wasn’t as ecstatic as they were that Stiles was actually back!

“Stiles isn’t an Alpha anymore.” Peter stated.

“That doesn’t matter. He’s still is one to us.” Boyd spoke up for that.

Peter sighed, “Look…I want to go to him as much, if maybe not a bit more, than you guys. But I can’t. Why? Because it’s a direct order from Stiles himself. So as much as it sucks, we have to meet him half way.”

“What sort of state is he in? Can he even leave Beacon? As you said, there are so many hunters around…and if he’s not an alpha…does he even have his magic?” Erica demanded.

“I don’t know, we didn’t talk about that.” Peter answered.

“What did you talk about?” Boyd asked.

“Where to meet up, which channels we decided we safe enough to use, and when we would be calling in to check in.” Peter told them.

Erica and Boyd shared a silent conversation. This was something that Peter was used to, and he knew they trusted Stiles’s decisions. Sometimes they didn’t understand them, but they all eventually worked out in their favor.

“Where are we meeting him?” Boyd asked.

“The safe-house in Blackwell, South Dakota.”


 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Derek asked Cora as they packed things into the Jeep Chris got for them.

“Be stuck for who knows how long with your unnerving crush on a guy you’ve been obsessed with? Can’t say I am but you’re my brother. I have to try to look out for you.” Cora replied.

Derek sighed and then looked at Cora with an apologizing look. “I’m sorry.”

Cora crossed her arms and looked at him expectantly. “For what?”

“For…everything. For seeming like I had given up, or not given up. I know it seems so weird to you that I’d be so obsessed with Stiles and to be honest…I can’t really explain it.”

She looked at her brother before turning away and leaning against the jeep. Crossing her arms, she looked up at the sky and asked, “Try.”

“What?’

Try, Derek. Because for as long as I’ve known you, before and after the fire, you were strong. Strong and independent and I really need to understand why this guy.”

“I wasn’t. I pretended to be because I wanted to be but I wasn’t strong. Not in the ways that really mattered or would have made the right difference.” Derek began as he matched her stance against the Jeep.

Derek’s been thinking about this for a long time. After his confrontations with Cora in the past, with Isaac and Scott as well. Their past interactions before shit hit the fan, and then afterwards.

“I felt this guilt, so heavy and constricting, because it had been Kate who burned our home down. But we were on the run, trying to survive and Laura never knew…she was all I had left and I didn’t want to lose her. If I told her…I thought she’d hate me and abandon me. So I was too scared to properly grieve. After we came back and she was killed…all I could feel for so long was anger.”

“Your obsessed grieving wasn’t just for Stiles. It was for our pack too?” Cora questioned.

Derek nodded. “I kept up an appearance that I knew what I was doing since I was a teenager. Truth is I didn’t know where the hell my head was most of the time. I was just barely keeping my head above water through it all. Stiles always had an answer, even back when he was human. I was jealous of him then…if I had been as smart or skeptical, so many things could have been avoided…but I was stupid. And then when he became a wolf, and we saw all that he had done…it reminded me of mom’s reign as Alpha.”

They stayed silent like that for a while. Each taking in the speech, thinking back on their memories and feelings.

“I miss them.” Derek said, for the first time out loud…ever.

“Me too.” Cora added.

“Lone wolves never survive long.” Derek said.

“You talking about me or you?”

“Both. We need a pack. We need each other.”

“And you need Stiles.” She added. There was some bitter tones to her voice, but not as much heat.

“And I need Stiles.” Derek confirmed.

“You do realize that Peter is his second in command, right? That if we get him to his pack and asked to join and are accepted…Peter will have higher rank than us right?”

“I know that.” Derek told her with a small smirk. They somehow switched from heated arguments to their sibling bantering. He missed this. He never thought he could have it again.

She sighed a bit dramatically before leaning off of the Jeep. “Alright, let get things started. How are we going to make sure we’re not immediately ambushed and attack the moment we leave Beacon again?”

“Scott’s got that handled.”

“Oh joy...” Cora deadpanned.


 

There were high pitched screeches coming from different places in the woods. It brought a lot of attention to any hunters near by. More so when someone radioed that werewolves were being chased through the woods.

The biggest and most armed hunters ran towards the hustle and bustle thinking it was Nyctimus trying his escape and one of the families caught him on his way out.

They gave chase for what seemed like hours. Sonic devices going off, guns being fired, arrows swirling through the air.

It was chaos.

But it was too late for the real hunters to learn that it was an elaborate distraction.

They’d been chasing shadows and their own tails. By the time enough of them could piece two and two together…it was too late. And with the assumption that Nyctimus was gone from Beacon Hills.

Most hunters left immediately, hoping to catch him on the road.

Some stayed. Those who stayed, some stayed in their designated places with intent of following their previous orders. The others stationed themselves outside of the Stilinski home, the sheriff’s station, the McCall home, and the animal clinic.

For now, those were the problems the McCall pack plus Chris would have to deal with. Slowly and surely make sure those that remained didn’t cause trouble for Beacon, and then fool them into thinking Stiles really was gone.


 

Stiles drove through the dirt roads and intentionally bumped the Jeep into some trees and rock formations because he wanted the Jeep to look used, old, and beat up. Driving through town in a very new looking vehicle was a way to draw attention, which he didn’t want. But with his weak state, and Derek’s exhaustion, he didn’t want to abandon the very safe mode of transportation.

They stopped in one of the towns after driving for ten hours straight. The diner they chose had a lot of tourist coming in to stop so the cars and people varied from all over, so they wouldn’t stand out. Cora went inside and ordered something for them while Stiles looked for a payphone to call both Chris in Beacon and Peter in whatever location he was in. Derek stood outside of the payphone, acting as both a boyfriend and a protector.

As the phone rang and Stiles waited for someone to answer, he looked through the glass and caught Derek’s stare. He smiled a small smile which was returned. Derek moved so that while Stiles talked and held the phone with one hand, his other was holding Derek’s hand.

“Hey…yeah, we made it to our first stop. We got another one before we make it to the Dog House.”

“I hate that name.” Peter told him, Stiles could practically see the frown.

“I know.” Stiles replied with a chuckle. “See you soon.”

“You better.”

Chapter Text

“Should we find a motel to stay in for the night?” Cora asked once they were back in the Jeep.

“I’ll feel better being on the road.” Derek said then looked at Stiles. “What do you think?”

“I’d like to see my pack sooner rather than later. We can divide the work into intervals. One person drives for some time while the person riding shot gun keeps them company and navigates. The person in the back can rest up and sleep. We rotate clockwise at every…three to four hours? Each time we have to refuel.” Stiles replied while he looked at the other two to see if they agreed. This was different for him. He had gotten used to being alpha despite not really like it. Got used to just giving orders and having people obey them.

He wasn’t an alpha anymore. Though his pack would still treat him as if he was one, Derek and Cora were not part of his pack.

“Seems reasonable. Cora?” Derek looked back to his sister.

She couldn’t find any fault in it, so she agreed. Derek took over driving while Stiles navigated. Cora had barely gotten comfortable in the backseat and was about to really doze off when she heard Stiles yell.

“DEREK LOOK OUT!”

“FUCK!”

“WHA-“ But Cora couldn’t finish her sentence as Derek swerved to avoid the in coming vehicle heading straight towards them. It ran them off of the road and they crashed into a tree. Even with being a reinforced metal, the engine was still badly totaled and smoking.

Cora groaned in pain. She had rolled into the floor and that somehow secured her so she didn’t go flying out of the windshield by the force of the impact.

“C-Cora…you…y-you okay?” Derek managed to get out.

“Y…yeah…you?”

Derek just groaned loudly in response. Then his head snapped over to Stiles as he tried to reach him. “Stiles! Hey….S-Stiles…hey w-wake up!”

Stiles’s body was limp in his seat, head leaning against the window. Derek could smell blood from all of them, but more from Stiles’s side where the impact had been harder.

Stiles!” Derek cried out as he frantically grasped for his hand and tried to take pain away.

“Awe…what’s the matter Der-bear? Your little boyfriend got huwt?” Kate said in a pleased voice as she leaned appeared by Derek’s window.

“K-Kate? No! No, leave him alone!”

“Aww, sweetie…haven’t you learn? I’m going to destroy everything you hold dear.” Kate told him with an evil smirk.

Stiles’s door was opened and Derek looked over to see hunters pull Stiles out of his seat.

“NO! NO, LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Derek yelled and tried to get out of his seat but he was stuck. His leg was pinned down by something, his physical health wasn’t the best as Scott had pointed out, and in this panic he didn’t have enough to snap out of a simple human made seatbelt.

Kate just laughed at his pathetic attempts to get free. “What did you think was going to happen, Derek? Did you really think you could just up and leave with your new boy-toy and not suffer and pay for his crimes?”

“I’m going to kill you.” Derek seethed, at least having enough power for his eyes to glow blue.

“Awe, so cute. But you are surrounded Derek. I’m going to finish what I started and kill you and your sister…I’m going to use that pretty boy however I want and lure your creeper uncle into my mitts, torture him for a while, let him watch us kill Stiles, and then finally starve him to death…won’t that be fun?” She finished with a big smiled.

“You sick bitch!” Cora yelled from her place in the backseat.

Kate just smirked at her. “That’s top bitch to you, sweetheart.”

“Kate, stop playing with those mutts.”

Kate turned around and pouted, “But it’s so much fun.”

“We’re here to do a job. Be professional.”

“Yes daddy.” Kate relented with an eye roll. She smirked down at Derek. “You two sit tight. Fire’s about to get started!” She then looked at her hunters and barked at them, “Get it started!”

Derek tried to force himself out of the mess the crash created, but he wasn’t healing fast enough. He was in so much pain. He could hear the cackling of the fire the hunters had started. He would smelled the smoke in the air mixed with his own panic. He was doing everything in his power not to have a panic attack.

“Derek…I’m scared.” Cora admitted.

Derek fought back tears. He thought he’d lost her to fire once, he couldn’t bare that pain again. He couldn’t see what happened to Stiles, and that was another heartache in itself. “It’s okay…It’s okay to be scared. Can you move?”

“Y-yeah…”

“Are your doors jammed?” Derek asked.

Cora did her best to assess the damage to the Jeep from her sides, “The door near my feet too most of the crash…it’s banged open…why?”

“I…I’m going to break free. I will. And when I do, I’m going to go for Kate. I…I need you to run.”

“What? NO!” Cora shook her head violently a the suggestion.

Cora! I will not lose you again! Not like this…not to another fire! I…I can’t!”

“Derek…I can’t lose you again either…” Cora cried, letting the tears that formed in her eyes fall.

“You have to, Cora. I know it’s hard. I know it seems impossible. But you have to make it…get to Peter. I know it doesn’t seem like it but he will take care of you. You are family and it has to mean something…it has to.”


 

“Human, werewolf, witch…so many more have died because of you. And yet so many are willing to die for you. What makes you so special?” Gerard asked Stiles.

“He’s not dying for me…” Stiles gruffed out.

“Are you blind or stupid?” Gerard asked him. When Stiles didn’t answer, Gerard shoved him to the ground. He had his hunters make a circle of mountain ash around Stiles to keep him locked in. “I know you weren’t the blind one so make sure to enjoy this.”

“Now boss?” One of the near by hunters asked.

“Make the call.” Gerard said.

The hunter grabbed his walkie-talkie and radioed Kate. “It’s a go.”

Gerard reached in and grabbed Stiles by his hair and made him face he direction of the Jeep. “Watch them burn.”

“No…” Stiles raised a weak hand towards the Jeep but was stopped by the mountain ash. He forced himself to his feet and banged on the force field. Gerard had let go in favor of taking a step back to enjoy the full view.

To be the hunter who took down a wolf as notorious as Nyctimus, at his age, well it was worth bragging rights. And it was just a bonus for him to be able to deliver such a devastating blow using the remaining Hales.

Stiles banged harder on the force field, though it was clear it did nothing. He growled and tried to force himself to push through, but it was too painful. He slumped down, feeling of agony and defeat course through him. A sob broke out thinking about how Derek and Cora were going to die…because of him. He couldn’t protect them. He couldn’t get back to his pack that was waiting for him. He wouldn’t be able to go home and hug his dad.

All of that pain and misery boiled inside of him in the pit of his stomach. His inner wolf was fueled with the rage of his inner magic. Before it was like soft embers that were struggling to remain lit. But now it was a burning inferno of emotions, fueled not by hatred and misery he realized…but by love. Cliché but real.

He didn’t want to die again.

He didn’t want to lose any more people.

He wanted to go home!

“What’s happening?” One of the hunters asked.

“What are you doing? Stop it, it’s pointless!” Gerard ordered.

But Stiles wasn’t having it. He began to push again. His eyes were flashing between golden orange and bright blue. He thought about his pack that grew from strangers forced to work together to becoming a third family to him. Because his second family was Scott and Melissa and the deputies at the station that helped his father raise him. His father who was probably struggling thinking he was left alone in this cruel world. He thought about the unfairness that the hunters had caused innocent families just for what they were. Thought about all the pain and misery the Hales have been through.

He thought about Derek and his future.

Stiles thought about their future together.

‘Magic is really quite simple. It’s a force or nature that some are able to tap into. A gift. All you have to do is imagine it…and let yourself have it.’ Grant explained.

‘Being a wolf is a sacred honor. It has meaning. You’re part of a pack and you stand for something. As an alpha especially. You protect and guide those who are lost and in need.’ A werewolf elder once told him.

‘The point of family is that they’re there for each other. Through good and bad times, it means you’re not alone. You’re not alone, kid. Even if it feels like it sometimes. And no matter what…you can always count on me.’ His dad told him some time after his mother passed.

“AAAARRRRRRGGGGG!” Stiles yelled as he pushed through, his glowing eye colors flashing back and forth until the hue began to change entirely.

With a loud, piercing howl, Stiles broke free of the mountain ash! He looked pale and haunted, but he was smirking at Gerard and his hunters. Eyes? Glowing a bright red.


 

“What the hell happened? You never checked in after the first call!” Peter yelled at them as they arrived.

“Something happened along the way.” Stiles replied as he made his way up the stairs to the cabin.

“What?” Peter asked.

In response, Stiles let his eyes flash red.

Peter’s eyes widened. “How?”

“Long story. Derek and Cora can use a rest though.” Stiles said and opened the door and let Cora inside. Derek hesitated for a bit, looking t Stiles questionably. Stiles leaned in and kissed Derek. “I’ll join you when I can. Promise.”

Derek nodded and followed Cora inside.

“So…that’s a thing now, huh?” Peter asked and accepted it as soon as Stiles gave him a nod. “Alright then. Erica and Boyd should be back soon. I sent them to get a few things before going back to Beacon after you didn’t call back.”

“I’m sorry again that we couldn’t call.”

“Is it a good story at least?” Peter inquired.

“Interesting, I think.” Stiles stated plainly.

“You need anything?” Peter asked. He felt a lot of emotions coming to the surface. Relief and joy being some of the top ones. He had Stiles back and apparently as an alpha as well! Their pack was going to be okay. But he held back because he could see how tired Stiles looked.

Stiles hugged Peter tightly. After all the insane ups and downs that they’ve been through, he knew he had a brother in arms in Peter. And he would always be grateful to him.

“Don’t think you guys are off the hook. I’m going to lecture you all so hard…but first I need a phone.”

Peter gave him a questioning look before merely pointing inside. The office had their land line that was made secure.


 

When the phone rang, Sheriff Stilinski didn’t even bother looking at the number.

“Sheriff’s station, Stilinski speaking.”

“Hey dad.”