‘LYDIA! Lydia, oh God, Lydia. We got her. Lydia. Thank God. Thank all the Gods. Lydia..’
Stiles ran a litany through his brain of gratitude to whichever Deity was listening. They had Lydia back. Back where she belonged, in the warm embrace of the Pack. Her Pack. Scott might be their official Alpha, but without Lydia there was no brain to his brawn. Or, well, half a brain. Stiles isn’t crazy, he knows he counts as a brain as well. But he likes to play his ideas off of Lydia, and together they are the Brains of the outfit. Kinda like the Maximoff twins from the last Avengers movie, where Lydia is Wanda, (she even looks like the single Olsen twin) and he is Pietro. Without the dying, thank you very much.
Stiles feels overwhelmed with relief. Lydia is very important to him. Not only because she’s half of his think-tank, but because she was his first long-time love. Not that anything ever came from it, but it shaped him. And through her he is now ready for another long-time commitment. One that will last a lifetime.
“Stiles saved me” she says to her mother. Her mother, erstwhile very opposed to any interference from the Pack, is now grateful they have rescued her from that Hellhole. And, trust him, he knows what he’s talking about. In a way it is funny; he chased Lydia for years, and she never acknowledged him in any way, shape or form. Now they are best friends -dare he say even closer than he and Scott?- and as her mother is dating his dad, almost his sister as well.
Natalie cries a little, and hugs Lydia a lot. Then comes over to Stiles; hugs him too. “Thank you. Thank you so very, very much…” she whispers in his ear, her voice breaking on the last word.
He hugs her back, a little awkwardly perhaps. “Yeah.” It is all he can say without breaking down himself. All he has to say, really.
They are not there yet. His friend still has a hole in her head, through which the strength of her Banshee-powers concentrate a hundred- (if not a thousand-) fold. Deaton put a stop-gap solution of mistletoe on it (pun definitely intended), but they need a better and more permanent fix. Even if it means they won’t find the Beast. But that is a discussion for another time.
He knows that as soon as Scott will hear that Lydia can find out through her augmented powers, he won’t be able to stop himself from wanting to use that to find the teenager who is the Beast. To stop him. But also to beat Theo. Because that is Scott. He wants to protect those around him, but he also wants to win. And to take revenge on those who have wronged him. And he blames everything that happened in the last months on him. Theo.
And while that is mostly correct, some of it is also Scott himself. And that is something he will never be able to see. Liam. Kira. Stiles himself. Theo was a catalyst, sure. But the discontent was already there. Slumbering below the surface. Liam is his direct beta, and will forgive him and look back up to him as his Alpha. Kira loves him, and will come back to him period. Stiles? He is not sure yet.
He is not the same as he was pre-Void Stiles. He doesn’t follow his buddy gung-ho into the sunset anymore. Allison’s death killed something inside him. A sort of basic trust in humanity. Or in any creature, supernatural or otherwise. A basic trust in himself. He needs people around him who can solidify that trust in himself. Who don’t undermine it, however unintended that may be.
And he has got them. He has Lydia, who is amazing and vibrant and totally no-nonsense. Who doesn’t tolerate failure, or incompetence, or any self-doubt whatsoever. He has his dad, who supports him 1000 percent. Even when he KNOWS Stiles is not infallible. He has Parrish, who even with his own life out of control (being the Hellhound and all), has known him forever and tells him to be his own person and that this is good enough. Spaz and all. Strangely enough he also has Jackson. Who has started e-mailing him from London. Calling him out on shit. Basically verbally abusing him in each and single one of those mails. Who knows why he started doing that, it wouldn’t surprise him if Lydia (again Lydia, always Lydia) is still pulling those puppet strings. But it is weird, and great and it helps keeping him real. And he writes back, telling him all the crazy things he’s done, weird stuff he’s gotten into. His ideas and theories that he needs a no-nonsense and brutally honest touchstone for. And it works. Maybe they need this distance, but their new and tentative -dare-he-say-it- friendship works.
And he has Derek. Who still resides in Beacon Hills. Who still wanders the preserve in actual wolf-form. How cool is that, by the way? To Stiles, Derek has always been the real and final Alpha. And he believes Derek will be Alpha again. Probably sooner than later, even.
Derek is his friend, his Alpha, his…..lover. Yep. He said it. Or thought it. Whatever. Ever since Mexico they have gotten closer. He sought Derek out, even though Derek didn’t really want to be found. But Stiles did, as he usually does, what he wants anyway. He went to the preserve, found Derek’s favorite spot to hang out as a wolf (by the lake in a cove-like cushiony hide out) and spent all his free time there. Talking to him. The wolf him. When he first talked about the Pack, the wolf left. So he talked about other things. About school. Life. Friendship. Girls. The illogicality of girls. The weather. Parents dating (the horror!). All the little, inconsequential things. The wolf stayed. In the beginning he would leave after an hour or so. But each day he stayed a little longer until he just plain….stayed. Little by little Stiles began to weave his concerns about Theo and everything else in the never ending stream of speech.
One day, when Stiles lying back on their mossy little inlet near the lake, where they always met, his eyes closed, his mouth going mile a minute, he was interrupted “If you think something is wrong with Theo. Something is wrong with him” The voice was growly and grumpy, but, there! “You actually have some good people instincts, unfortunately. So do something about it, and don’t bother me with it.”
Stiles remembered jumping a mile, turning and not being able to talk for a whole minute. Probably the longest he had been speechless his entire life. He recovered, albeit a little shakily “Yeah, well, easy for you to say Sourwolf. You are not the one who has been discredited step by step by the shiny new boy next door. And, oh, he is so nice and helpful and he only wants to help!” Stiles knew the sarcasm had been thick as molasses on that last part, but hey, as the Vulcans say: Kaiidth !
Derek had looked at him grumpily, his expression clearly saying ‘Stiles you’re an idiot. Fix this’. It had almost brought a tear to Stiles’ eye, so much like old times. Except that Derek had been a wolf for forever, and had only temporarily turned human to say those few words to him. Which had meant he had been naked. Clothes did NOT shift back and forth with the body. Which only made sense to the boy, but still. Naked Derek. Yeah. Then Derek had shifted back into the wolf and turned his back to Stiles again. But Stiles had been unable to wipe the wide grin of his face all day after. His dad had remarked on it, that he was glad to see his son happy again. So had Scott. Scott wanted to know what there was to be happy about, as life was fucked up with the Dread Doctors and didn’t Theo mention something about Stiles being in trouble?
Lydia had taken one look at him and lifted a brow. Then during AP Calc she had started doodling wolves in the margin of her notebook. Stiles (who sat next to her in class) had taken her pencil, then drew a growly faced man next to the wolf. Then back to Lydia who had drawn an arrow between the wolf and the man with a question mark. And finally Stiles who crossed out the question mark, but drew a corresponding arrow back to the wolf. Lydia had nodded, focus completely back at being the number one in class again. But she had rested her hand on Stiles arm for a bit, and the light in her eyes had turned up a notch or two.
Stiles was unsure when the silent communication that he and Scott had been known for changed over to him and Lydia, but there it was. Too bad that he didn’t feel anything for her anymore but the strong affection of an almost twin-like bond. If he had still had romantic feelings for her, he could have totally cleaned house here! Metaphorically. He had sure. Almost sure. Probably. Okay, maybe. But he would have had a chance! Unfortunately these days he was more invested in wolves who sometimes turned into naked hot dudes. So, so, so…. scorching…..hot.
From there on wolf-Derek turned back into to dude-Derek more regularly. The times increasing slowly from once every week or so, to every day for a minute, to the whole time Stiles was there. Stiles had brought sweats out to their inlet. Derek had worn those (damn..).
When Theo had told Scott that Stiles had murdered Donovan, Scott had believed him no questions asked. Their Alpha, Stiles’ Alpha, had not even asked for the other side of the story and Stiles had been done. He had gone to the inlet, Derek had found him there shortly after and Stiles had cried in Derek’s arms for the death of one of the most important relationships in his pre-adult life. One thing had led to another (amazingly so), and Derek and Stiles had ended up kissing. They had made out for about an hour when Derek told Stiles he had to go home. That there would be other times. That night Derek actually ended up showing up in Stiles’ bedroom again. Nostalgia aside, their nights had definitely gone uphill again! Although Derek, annoyingly adult and all, refused to actually sleep with him (well, sleeping, yes. Intercourse -to channel his dad-, no.) Derek had insisted on coming clean to the Sheriff. His dad, in turn, insisted on Sunday dinners with the family, and Wednesday lunch with just Derek and him. God knows what they talked about. Stiles feels cold fingers running along his spine just thinking about it. And both Derek and his dad refuse to talk about it, anyway. Which is juuust fine with him!
So that part of his life has settled somewhat, weirdly though how it may be.
Then Lydia fell catatonic, and her mom moved her to Eichen. Aka Hell Hole of the Ninth Circle of Hell. Stiles hates that place to the very depth of his soul and with the fiery fires of Hell. And it has proven -again- how much of a Hell Hole it really, really is.
Scott tried to take them on by himself, which of course failed miserably. The Beast came onto the stage, that was a fun surprise. Malia had mommy issues, Kira had foxy issues, Liam is just so young , Mason also young (but surprisingly realistic). No surprise Stiles doesn’t trust any of them with his Derek-shaped secret.
Stiles had taken it upon himself to sort of re-shape the pack. He channeled his inner Deaton and drug Scott and Liam together again, with Malia and Kira added after. Still with the mommy and foxy issues, but they managed to focus enough to make the break-out work. Theo and his band of misfit chimera’s did not work, however. The kids more like stumble through all of Theo’s bad intentions, forever unclear of what the actual motives of their ‘Alpha’ really are.
And here they are. Lydia is here and safe. Thank goodness. And thank his think-tank. The two people that helped him brainstorm this plan. Speaking of which, it was time for a last (for now) hug, and then go home and report the good, no, amazingly wonderful outcome.
“Lydia. I gotta go home, my dad is waiting for me and with him being just out of the hospital I don’t want to leave him too long.”
Yeah….yes. Of cou- course.” Lydia still sounds a little out of it, understandably so. “Will you, will you talk to-” She stops abruptly. “Thank you. Thank them .” She is no fool, their Lydia.
Scott looks confused. “You are most welcome, we are all here.” Oh, Scott.. Lydia looks at him, says nothing. Then looks at Stiles. He nods at her, gives her a half-smile. She lies back on her bed, closes her eyes. “I’m tired, mom. I think I need to rest.” Lydia’s mom rushes into action, shoo’s everyone out of her room.
Once outside, Natalie pulls Stiles aside for a second. “Please tell your dad I am sorry. I should have listened to him, to you. I hope he will find it in his heart to forgive me, I really felt I was doing the right thing. To keep Lydia out of all this mess. Keep her safe. Instead I failed, I got her into a bigger mess.” She looks sad and determined at the same time.
Stiles looks at her. “I get it. I understand the reasoning. I don’t understand the decision for Eichen. I never will. But she is home now. She is safe. I also don’t understand why the woman my dad was dating, which was getting pretty serious according to both of you, didn’t show up once when my was in the hospital. Almost dying from poison. But in the end it isn’t about me. It is about my dad. I don’t know how he feels, you should ask him. Not me.”
Natalie looks back at him, a little defiant, a little ashamed. “I will.”
Stiles nods and turns to walk away. After driving home in his faithful Jeep, he looks in on his dad. His dad is on the couch asleep behind the menu-screen of a movie. He turns of the TV, covers his dad with a blanket and goes upstairs.
Sitting behind his laptop, he checks his G-chat. Stiles smiles.
[Sti] Hey! We’re done, we did it! Not quite without a hitch (when does it ever), but we got her. She is home.
He doesn’t have to wait long.
[Jax] Wow. Almost fucked it up again, right? Congratulations. Knew you couldn’t do it.
[Sti] Ah! But I did! We did. Isn’t the result the most important?
[Jax] Important? Yes. Of course. Most important? Probably. Even I can’t argue that. BUT. Almost equally important is the fact you put too much trust in those losers you hang out with. STOP THAT.
[Sti] Jeez, Jax. Chill. It wasn’t that bad. Isn’t London supposed to make you lighten up more? They’re a good bunch, and you know Scott. A bit misguided, sure. But his heart is in the right place.
[Sti] We all worked together, and the plan worked. OUR plan. The one you worked on with me. It was Theo’s idiots who threw in the wrench. Stealth and misdirection obviously NOT something they ever heard off.
[Jax] Scott is an idiot. An idiot who will first and foremost will think of himself. And his girlfriend. But outside that he is blind for what is going on around him. As long as you are going in his direction he will take a little redirection, but if you are talking change, talking taking another way, he will ignore you. He will do whatever he wants to do anyway, and he will fail. Because he is an idiot. A true idiot.
[Jax] And Theo. He is dangerous. I know you know. He will do anything to get what he wants. I told you that. Derek told you that. You lived it. And one of the things he wants is Void Stiles. Don’t give him any opening to get him. Or I will come back to Beacon Hell and kick your ass .
[Sti] He is. I promise I am not underestimating him. He says he wants to find the Beast, to stop him. But I doubt that. I think he wants to use him for his own agenda. And that will kill the innocent teenager who it is hiding in. I will not let that happen. Over my dead body.
[Jax] Sure. Whatever. I’m sure Derek would prefer you alive, but hey, your cup of tea.
[Sti] Careful there, Jax, you’re showing your new Brit roots! Hahaha.
[Jax] Screw you. I’m off.
[Sti] Jax, come on.
[Sti] Okay, sure. Talk to you tomorrow, dude. Bye (I know you’re still reading this)!
Stiles closed his laptop, smiling to himself again. Jackson. The weirdest friendship in his life. And that was saying something. Even though Jax himself would deny that there was a friendship to speak off at all.
“So what do you think.”
He turned around to his bed, to the wolf who had creeped silently through the window while he was talking to his friend-not-friend.