"Senior Bonding JUST started, and have you already heard about all the pairs?"
"Seriously! Lydia Martin and Allison Argent? I knew they were close, but damn if I wouldn't kill to be a fly on that wall!"
"Fuck that! McCall, Whittemore, and Lahey bonded together on Wednesday!"
"Get the fuck out, a polybond?"
"Heard that Finstock had to break them apart before they started fucking in the locker room, AND take them to McCall's place for their bonding week! They're all in the Hale Pack, though, so I doubt it'll be an issue"
"Speaking of the Hale Pack... Did either of the Hale Twins bond yet?"
"Laura did with some guy on the debate team, I think Derek's still waiting."
"Lucky bastard, whoever lands Derek. He's such a sweetie-cakes... I'd like a slice of that beefcake any day!"
"Oooh! Please tell me that Yukimura's still on the table! I'd love to have a shot at bonding with her!"
From the safety behind his locker, Senior Stiles Stilinski glanced back at the few people still actually attending school. While those in the 9th to 11th grade were all crowding up their hallways, the Senior Class had an exceptionally low turnout.
The gaggle of Seniors had been talking about Senior Bonding. For those of the werewolf species, meaning everyone attending Beacon Hills High School like Stiles, Senior Bonding was an event that happened for the entire month of September. A time where the now sexually-mature 18-year-old werewolves would find their soulmate, and bond through copious amounts of sex, cheesy mating dates, and family dinners to discuss potential pack mergers.
Stiles smiled, hearing a few familiar names. Scott McCall was a nice guy, and had been Stiles' lab partner in Chemistry back in the eleventh grade. Isaac Lahey was a cool kid he'd been partnered with in Family and Consumer Sciences, where they took care of a baby for a whole month. Lydia Martin and Allison Argent were the Queen Bees of the school, and very kind to everyone they met, even to someone as low as Stiles.
"Must be nice," Stiles thought to himself, sighing as he looked at himself in the mirror of his locker. He laughed at himself, knowing full well that there would be no "bonding" for him.
As far as werewolves went, he was the bottom of the barrel. Pale completion? Check. A skinny, lanky, "couldn't lift a boulder if his life depended on it" build? Check. Oh, and to top everything else off? Glasses. A fucking werewolf with poor eyesight. Yeah, because that was the stuff he came from. A wimpy-ass genetic pool, to be sure.
Well, not that he knew for sure.
Being the adopted son of the humans Claudia and John Stilinski, neither he, nor his parents knew where his bloodline came from. All they did know is that Stiles shifted into a full wolf on the full moons.
Shutting his locker, Stiles made his way down the hallways of Beacon Hills High School. As the only werewolf high school in the county, they were (as always) packed to capacity. Weaving in and out between the Juniors, Stiles finally made a breakthrough to the relatively abandoned Senior hallway.
"At least there's no traffic," Stiles thought, positively. He smiled, slapping his face with both his hands. "Come on Stiles... There are worse things than being unbonded and alone! You could actually bond with someone with a noble bloodline and totally humiliate yourself and insult someone! That would suck," he said to himself, laughing at the very thought.
Unfortunately, fate, as always, seemed to have just the perfect way of throwing Stiles a curve ball.
Just as he reached for the door knob to his English class, the door swung forward with a massive force. The door struck him in the middle of the face, nearly breaking his nose in the process.
Flying backwards, Stiles fell on his ass, clutching his bony nose and the shattered remains of his eyeglasses.
"Shit!" Stiles yelled, feeling blood pouring down his nose. He grunted, breathing in and out through his mouth while healing set in. Which, for a wimpy-ass werewolf like himself, would probably take hours. Just another reason why he made for such a shitty mate.
A pair of soft hands touched his shoulders, while a very warm sensation prickled up and down his body.
"I am... I am so sorry! I forgot my book, and I was rushing back to the lockers to get, and I sort of... Well, I broke your face, sorry!" a husky voice said, awkward and genuinely sincere.
Opening his eyes, Stiles could barely make out the flurry figure. He adjusted the snapped glasses with his free hand, as the world came into perfect view again.
Which, forced Stiles to quickly drop his glasses to pretend he didn't see what he thought he saw.
Senior Derek Hale. As in, the younger of the Alpha Twins, the brother of Laura Hale. The next co-leaders of the Beacon County territory, and possibly one of the well-respected noble lines in all of the world of werewolves. Stiles could probably fit three of his own body in Derek, especially with Derek's supernatural height bordering at 7 feet in height. A handsome man, Derek's punked up black hair, his curved butt, and his legendary leather jacket had been many the werewolf sexual fantasy.
"It... It's fine! It'll heal," Stiles said, scrambling up to his feet and trying to wipe up the pool of blood with his sleeve. Which really, only made things worse.
Derek rose an eyebrow. "Uh... You look like someone tried to murder you... Shit, you've got a black eye too... I am.. I am so sorry!" he said, gently touching the quickly bruising skin.
Mentally groaning, Stiles wanted to cry. He'd practically been taken down. By a door.
"It's... It's fine. Really! I uh... I've got to get to class," Stiles said, trying to brush past Derek.
Derek stopped him, grabbing him by the shoulders and effortlessly yanking him back. "No. Let me take you to the office, I think they have like... At least one or two first aid kits for when the humans come visit? That could at least get the blood off," he said.
Oh, great. Stiles' face burned. Now not only had he been taken down by a door, but he was wasting the time of a Hale. A fucking noble bloodline, wasting their time with... Whatever the fuck Stiles was.
"Seriously! I'm fine! See, it's already stopped bleeding!" Stiles said, pointing to his nose. A fresh stream bubbled out of Stiles' nose, the traitorous bastard.
Derek did something odd with his eyebrows. Something which seemed to say "bullshit" in the most facially elegant way possible.
Stiles rose up a finger to argue further, to bring up that Derek didn't need to bother with someone like Stiles, only to feel a burning, stinging, horrifically painful stinging feeling on his neck. Clutching it, Stiles hissed in pain. "What... What the..." he said, writing in the pain, as he fell to his knees. "Ah! Ow! Ow!" he shouted. The scent of burning flesh hit his nose, and Stiles' eyes blew out.
"No. No. No..." Stiles begged, as he saw Derek fall to his knees as well. While not as much of a baby as Stiles was about the pain, his face cringed at the sensation, grabbing a wound on the same part of his neck.
The something worse than being bondless? Well that was happening.
Stiles felt his lungs burn, as the world around him began to spin.
He saw Derek's red eyes glowing, his body slowly shifting into his half-form, somewhere between human and werewolf. Derek's hand rose up, revealing a branded mark, still sizzling with tender red burn marks. A mixture of tribal art, shaped into a sword now appeared on Derek's neck, with sharp curves twists, and a rough hilt.
Derek's pain ended, as he slowly stood back up to his feet. Students had gathered around, including several teachers. Hushed whispering, and even a little applause echoed around them, as the town's Alpha had bonded.
Yet Stiles stayed perfectly still in his spot. He crawled away from Derek, hiding the mark on his neck, cringing at the still-sensitive wound.
Stiles couldn't see Derek's face without adjusting his glasses.
"Do... Do you have it too? The mark?" Derek asked softly.
Flinching away, Stiles couldn't fight against or stop the Alpha's hand, even if he wanted. Instead, Stiles watched Derek pull his hand away, revealing the marking on Stiles' neck. Just like Derek, Stiles' neck had been marked with the same tribal sword bonding mark. Same shape, same design, and same placement. In a flash, the last of the bonding process started.
Stiles watched in horror as “Aleksander” wrote itself on Derek’s blade. A hiss of burning on Stiles’ neck also added “Derek” to Stiles’” mark.
Then, like that, it was done.
Stiles stood on the floor, shaking like a leaf.
Derek stood overhead, with a soft smile.
“I... I have a soulmate. I... I actually have a soulmate!” Derek said, practically purring the words out in an excited breath. He reached out his hand to Stiles, practically glowing in joy. “What’s your name? I... I don’t think we’ve met before. I’m Derek Hale, and I’m with the Hale...” he said, before his face darkened.
For in a flash, Stiles dropped his school bag scrambling up to his feet, and sprinting past the circle of students that had gathered around him.
Stiles ran, dropping his glasses in the process, leaving them behind in the middle of the hallway.
Stiles ran, bypassing his Jeep in the parking lot, and instead letting his claws erupt out of his feet.
Stiles ran, bounding on all fours, crying the entire way home, several miles away.
Doing what any self-respecting werewolf would do after completely humiliating himself, Stiles hid under his bed. Which, wasn’t so bad. His face had finally healed three hours after being attacked by the asshole door, and he had a blanket. A soft blanket. Hell, he even had a pillow. More than he deserved, really.
Yep, Stiles was content to stay there the rest of his life. The rest of his organized, tidy, book-covered room? Didn’t need it. He also didn’t need the rest of the two-story classic American home in the human neighborhood of Beacon Hills, California. Nope, he’d just stay under the bed and slowly starve to death. Maybe he could get his mom to throw him a cracker or two on her way to work.
Because, really, that was his only option.
Burying his head into his pillow, Stiles curled up into a ball, snuggling under the blanket and hiding as far away from the world as possible.
“Really?! Really, Fate, God, whatever the fuck magical being decides these fucking mate bonds!? You had to pair me with an Alpha Twin?! With the Hales?! Why?! Why would you do that?! Do you WANT to see me humiliated? Do you WANT to see the Hales lose any respect they’ve got!? Fucking assholes, the lot of you,” Stiles said, for the hundredth time that day.
Nothing about that day was fair, for anyone. It wasn’t fair that Derek Hale had been stuck with a bonding partner like Stiles, and wouldn’t ever get another one for the rest of his life. It wasn’t fair to Stiles that he now had to endure the pain of being rejected, even worse than being bondless.
Stiles felt a low whine emanated from his nose, as he tried to curl even further into a ball.
“Stiles?” a soft voice asked, accompanied by a knock.
Slamming his eyes shut, Stiles gulped, ,hearing his mother’s footsteps slowly come inside the room. Without hesitating, Claudia Stilinski bent down under the bed, knowing good and well where her son’s hiding spot was. In her violet medical scrubs from the local ER, she slowly wiped her soft brown bangs out of her eyes. “Stiles? Can you come out, please?” she asked softly.
Shaking his head, Stiles huffed through his nose. There would be no leaving from under the bed ever again. He could totally home-school from there.
A frown crossed Claudia’s face. “Stiles, please come out. The school called me at the ER, as well as Talia Hale. Did... Did you really bond today?” she asked soft.
Without even meaning to, Stiles felt an overwhelming, overpowering whine leave his nose. Worse than a crying puppy at the pound, the noise even caught Claudia off-guard.
Because... Talia Hale. Talia Hale had to take time out of her busy schedule to call Stiles’ mother?! THE Talia Hale, who’d worked with the Hunter clans to create the first international werewolf treaty?! THE Talia Hale, the only alpha daughter of Gregory Hale, the man who’d single-handedly brought werewolves and all of the supernatural out of the shadows and into the human world? THAT Talia Hale, whose blood had changed the world itself?!
“Oh... Oh Stiles, please come out, baby, you’re scaring me,” Claudia said, as she reached her hands out, trying to pull Stiles from out under the bed. A rather simple task, given Stiles’ weight, but ultimately futile as Stiles locked his claws into the carpeting, letting loose another whine.
Claudia grunted, tugging at Stiles with all the strength she could muster. “Stiles Stilinski! You... Get... OUT OF THERE!” she said, yelling in triumph as she finally managed to get Stiles out from under the bed, and into the middle of his room. Huffing, she shook her head, wiping sweat from her brow.
In half-shift, Stiles’ pointed werewolf ears were both flat against his head, his golden eyes distant and far-off.
“Okay! I win werewolf wrestling today. Out with it, kiddo,” Claudia ordered, as she and Stiles slowly situated themselves on Stiles’ bed.
Holding onto his pillow for dear life, Stiles shook his head. “You wouldn’t understand. It’s... It’s a werewolf thing,” he mumbled quietly.
Claudia huffed. “Stiles, today a patient came into the hospital missing three organs. A druid emissary came in and used magic to make imaginary, illusion organs to keep this person alive until they could get a transplant. There’s a LOT I don’t understand in this world with all this supernatural stuff, but I roll with the damn punches and learn to understand it,” she said, putting her arm around Stiles and pressing a kiss into the side of his head. “Now come on... Tell me what’s wrong, and what made you skip half a day of school, and apparently run away from your Bond Mate?” she asked.
Dropping his head in shame, Stiles pushed back tears. His vision was already blurry without his glasses, he didn’t need it any worse.
“I uh... I told you I wouldn’t probably bond, right?” Stiles said.
Claudia nodding, gently rubbing circles into Stiles’ back.
“Well, that’s because of my blood. Humans measure value in money and economic status. Werewolves? It’s all about the bloodline,” Stiles said, holding up three fingers. “There’s the Noble Bloodlines, or werewolves that did something to make them a step above the rest. The Hales are Noble Blood, for everything they did to make the world aware of us, and do it peacefully,” he said, ticking off one of his fingers. “Then there’s the Common Bloodlines. Those are werewolves who aren’t Noble, but also aren’t Tainted. About 90% of werewolves are Common Bloodlines,” he said, leaving the last finger risen. “Then... There’s Tainted Bloodlines. These are the werewolves who are either mentally insane, murderers, have done some horrific crime, or... Are physically inadequate,” Stiles said, looking down the bridge of his recently broken nose. A nose that was broken by a door. A door.
“Oh...” Claudia said, looking Stiles up and down. “You... You think you’re Tainted!?” she asked, her eyes and jaw dropping to the ground.
Stiles nodded, chuckling. “I know I am. I mean, I can’t prove it because I don’t know who my parents are, but... I mean, look at me,” he said, raising up his t-shirt, revealing a thin, almost skeletal build. “I can’t gain weight or muscle. My eyes don’t work right. All I’m good for is hearing and running. Which... Yeah, that’s Tainted Blood, mom. Blood nobody is going to want to mate with. Werewolves with Noble Blood aren't going to want me meddling up their families. Actually... That's probably why my folks abandoned me. Figured I wasn’t worth having as an heir,” he said, sighing.
Claudia scoffed, standing up and cupping Stiles’ head in her hands. “Stiles, that’s nonsense,” she said, with a weak, pained smile. “You’re a bright boy, and you’re at the top of your class! You’ve got scholarship offers for Colleges next year, and have your pick of any of them!” she exclaimed, shaking her head. “You’re the sweetest young man I know! You volunteer at the hospital, you babysit for all of our neighbors, and EVERYONE on this block loves you during hunting season, when you feed all of these mouths. Stiles... You’re amazing!” she boasted.
Shrugging, Stiles shut his eyes. “To a human, mom. To a werewolf? Yeah, I’m a reject Omega,” he admitted, shaking his head. “Derek Hale deserves better, mom. I can’t be his bond mate, I’d just embarrass us both. If Talia wants to do a formal rejection, then... I won’t object, I understand completely. They’ve got magic to remove the bond mark,” he said, flinching as he touched the sword design on his neck.
Her eyes and face lost in the mess of all of this talk, Claudia shut her eyes to hide the tears.
“It’s not that big of a deal, mom,” Stiles said, trying to smile. He didn’t mean to upset her. “I mean... Like you said, I’m pretty cool to humans. I.. I don’t have to be part of a pack, or have a bond mate. I... I can just live with humans. It’s fine. I can be happy like that,” Stiles said, grateful that his mother couldn’t read lies as well as werewolves.
Claudia sighed, shaking her head. “Stiles...” she said, taking her son’s hands in her own. “All you ever talked about as a little boy was wanting to have a soulmate and have a pack. You couldn’t wait to bond when you were a big boy, and make a pack big enough for all of your family, werewolf and human. Then you wanted more room to adopt werewolves, just like your new mommy and daddy did,” she said, with a pout. “So I know that’s bullshit, young man,” she said assertively.
Stiles didn’t respond. How could he? It'd just hurt to say it aloud.
Claudia stood awkwardly beside her son, until finally pulling him into a tight bear hug.
“Oh Stiles... Everything will work out, I promise. We’ll get through this and everything will be fine. Talia Hale is going to call me later tonight after she speaks with her son. We’ll all figure this out,” Claudia said, in her same soft tone.
“Yeah, right,” Stiles thought to himself, keeping that sentiment to himself.
Instead, he did smile, at the... The one fact.
“They named me Aleksander,” Stiles muttered.
Claudia lifted her head up, her face in shock. “You... You saw your name!? Oh Stiles, I’m so happy for you!” she said, with an excited glow on her face.
Stiles nodded. Even if the rest of the world crashed around him by this time next week, at least he knew...
“Yeah... I guess you were right all along,” he said, with a little warmth in his stomach. “My biological parents loved me enough to name me. Aleksander...” Stiles said, chuckling to himself.