They don’t tell him about the house on Reserve Road until the call comes over the dispatch.
He’s been Sheriff for two weeks and volunteered for graveyard shift just to become familiar with the streets the cruiser patrols every night. It’s embarrassing enough getting lost on his way to the local grocery store at this point.
And when Beacon Hills is a pretty small town- where everybody knows everybody- they all seem to know exactly when he ends up at Denny’s instead of the corner store for a roll of toilet paper.
He gets it. Small town, small minded people. He’s just pleased they haven’t started sharpening any pitchforks or enacting a revolution in the form of a nineteenth century musical number. But nobody new has ever really invaded the comfortable multigenerational rhythm they’ve got going so he understands, really, he does. They are not familiar with the concept of fresh meat.
That is until two weeks ago. Cue his rocking the boat, disturbing the peace, beating the drum of full scale warfare, arrival.
He’s not planning on fighting anyone for it. Stiles is more the passive aggressive- you don’t let them know they’re beat until they’re underfoot and you’re getting stompy- kind of guy. So when he gets transferred as the new Sheriff of Beacon Hills he doesn’t come in and dominate the precinct like most alpha males would. He does his job and he does it right and sets the example for others to follow. Just like his Dad would've.
He knows it’s going to take some time to adjust. For them to maybe start to consider that he might not be the new inspiration for a lifelike rendition of Eric Clapton’s I Shot The Sheriff.
Nobody will be shooting the Sheriff, thank you.
But it’s really not as bad as he thought it would be. They’re not rude or anything. Don’t actually give him any lip to his face. It’s only the smaller things that he notices, the short communicative glances between deputies, the slightest hesitation when he requests something out of the blue. It’s almost like they’re not quite sure what to do with him just yet. He understands the feeling. He's still working out the kinks of new job, new town, new life.
Stiles has never been conventional. And it’s even more noticeable in his police work.
So when he hears dispatch mention something about a domestic disturbance on Reserve Road and he actually remembers how to get there- seeing as he literally passed the street sign five minutes ago- he thinks what the hell.
“10-4 this is Sheriff Stilinksi,” he says into the police radio. “Responding. I’m on my way.”
There’s the crackle of radio chatter as response and he makes an illegal u-turn at the next traffic lights. The silence tells him it’s another local Pandora box that he doesn’t have the right to open. Or the key. But the fact that they obviously don’t want him to go, is pretty much the biggest form of written invitation Stiles is going to get.
“Be careful Sheriff,” Deputy Lahey- Stiles probably is least concerned about being pitchforked by this guy maybe it’s the curly hair that makes him seem innocent- warns. “Residents may be hostile.”
Stiles isn’t sure how to respond. He’s not in the mood for country bumpkin hazing and he didn’t think Lahey would ever take part in it. His fingers grip the steering wheel convulsively.
“10-4,” he grunts out and then pulls into Reserve Road.
What he sees has him laughing to himself uncomfortably. The houses look sinister, almost guarded by the fringes of Beacon Hills reserve and Stiles doesn’t even want to think how many of the residents have unregistered firearms on their properties.
The deputies mentioned something about mountain lions but he’s pretty certain they were just screwing with him. He really hopes they were.
Plus there’s fog.
Like an entire shroud of fog descending over the street like it should be some kind of ominous vision of supernatural fog distribution. His fingers drum impatiently on the wheel before he pulls into the driveway of the house in question.
He double checks his gun is still there in case there really is unregistered weapons on the property and kills the cruiser’s engine before stepping out. He doesn’t bother with the flashing lights or anything- it will probably wake up the entire street.
So instead he walks up to the door and tries not to act like his hand isn’t itching to draw his weapon because of the major heebie jeebies the house is giving him.
He takes a deep breath, steels himself and knocks.
The house is oddly silent and he prays that doesn’t mean they already stabbed somebody when the door swings open and this total serial killer is descending upon him.
Stiles backs off but the dude keeps coming at him like he doesn’t understand personal space and Stiles makes the mistake of tipping his gaze up to meet the man’s eyes as he backpedals.
They’re empty. Dead.
“Derek!” the voice is tipped into a laugh but there’s an edge of tension to it, a not quite hidden spike of fear and a slender, gorgeous blond woman is edging cautiously through the doorway and onto the porch to greet him.
“We’re being visited by the new Sheriff, honey where are your manners?” she says but her husband doesn’t even acknowledge the sound of her voice, eyes not looking away from his own. The intensity of his gaze has Stiles’ heart pumping frantically within his chest.
He doesn’t speak for a moment, observing the couple before him. The woman has a strained smile on her face but the man named Derek merely hunkers down like a bombs about to go off, the bulk of his shoulders going taut like he’s coiled to attack. His face completely shuts down, expressionless and calculated and Stiles knows immediately who the problem is.
It’s not hard to notice the cut features of his face, the perfectly arranged sinister edge to his stubbled jaw and the tightness around his blank, almost soulless eyes.
It’s always the handsome ones.
He’s dressed in typical denim jeans that shape and cling to his body in a way that took no effort to create and his fingers are caked with grease.
He’s either a mechanic or a heavy motorcycle gang enthusiast. Stiles is already putting his money on both.
And it shouldn’t be ironic that he’s wearing a wife beater that displays all the right amount of skin, the promise of unbridled strength in his arms which could probably crush somebody. It really shouldn’t.
“I’m Sheriff Stilinski,” Stiles tells them slowly, trying to get past the intuitive feeling that something is terribly wrong here. The husband’s expression doesn’t waver, unimpressed. “And we recieved a call several minutes ago about some raised voices and potentially violent domestic behaviour.”
The woman tenses, face frozen on that fake smile and Jesus, Stiles knows he’s definitely got the right house. It’s not even a very nice house. There’s something wrong in its general make up like it’s been designed by someone with their eyes closed. Everything about them is off putting.
He understands why Lahey warned there could be hostiles. The size of Derek’s menace seems to be taking up the whole damn street. And he doesn’t believe this domestic disturbance call is their first either.
“I’m Kate Argent,” she manages shooting the man beside her cautious glances but subtly keeping her eyes on him when she speaks. Stiles has definitely seen this before and it has all of the right markers for spousal abuse.
“This is Derek. We got a bit carried away. Everything’s fine, really. We’re sorry.”
Stiles’ eyes narrow at the edge of denial in her voice and the way she forces her fake smile into something brighter but it still doesn’t quite reach her eyes. Suddenly he wishes Derek wasn’t looming all over them so he could get Kate alone to talk privately. He’s filled with the urge to help her and he thinks if he has more time he might be able to locate some signs of ill treatment.
Derek makes no move to appear contrite or even look a little concerned about what's happening and it makes sweat pool in Stiles’ lower back and his neck starts to prickle with the realisation.
He doesn’t even care that Stiles is the Sheriff. The gun at his hip holster may as well be a toy in this dude’s eyes.
Stiles knows he can’t take him in a fight. And from the way his muscles bulge over his folded arms he’s not certain any of the deputies could either. This man is dangerous. It’s oozing off him like a perfume. Eau de danger.
He knows it’s probably best that he back off. There’s no proof of anything just yet. He needs more time and he needs to confer with his deputies about this. But that doesn’t stop him from trying.
“Would you mind if I came inside for a moment?” he questions watching for Kate’s reaction, wondering if she’s trying to signal him somehow to let him know that she needs help.
Surprisingly it’s not who he expects that reacts.
“No,” Derek snarls and it’s, it’s- he sounds hungry like he wants Stiles to tell him otherwise like he’s begging for an excuse to show him who’s boss.
Kate’s eyes widen and Stiles’ is momentarily shocked by the vehemence in his tone before he calms himself down. Everybody here is a least a little friendly- even the town drunk. Stiles brings that guy coffee in lockup every morning to help sober him up.
Derek’s behaviour may as well be a flashing neon light.
“We’ve got something to do.”
He’s gruff, short to the point and Kate manages a disarming smile before Derek goes to encourage her into the house like he’s going to place a hand on her. It’s barely susceptible but Stiles can see the way she moves forward to avoid it.
To avoid him laying a hand on her.
“Wifebeater,” Stiles mutters and Derek jerks his head back like he screamed it in his ear with a novelty sized megaphone.
“What did you say?” he demands but he doesn’t crowd Stiles like he thought he would. He blocks the doorway as if to keep him away and his stance is both threatening and possessive like he’s created a wall of muscle between them both.
Stiles doesn’t flinch at the tone or attempt to deny it, just stares into Derek’s face long and hard like he’s letting him know that he’s figured him out and there’s no way in hell he’s letting this go. Not until he’s made sure that this woman is safe and Derek is behind bars.
“Nice shirt,” he mutters eventually already making his way off the porch. He doesn’t hurry, takes his sweet time doing it like Derek’s an animal that can smell fear and to run off like he’s got his tail between his legs isn’t going to put the fear of God in him. “Y’all have a good night now. And if anything else happens…”
He trails off intentionally and concentrates on giving his best impression of his father’s stern look. Derek tips his chin up, stares him down but doesn’t back off. He folds his arms like a challenge.
“You know where to find us.”
As soon as Stiles finishes his patrol and makes it back to the precinct he calls Lahey into his office. He's one of the few deputies placed on the night shift and Stiles probably trusts him above the rest. The curly haired deputy almost ducks through the doorway and he resists the urge to laugh at his expression as he does it.
“I want to know about the house on Reserve Road,” he tells him and Lahey pauses, his entire body going motionless as he thinks of something to say.
Or thinks of a lie to tell him. But Stiles isn’t having that.
“How many disturbance calls have been made?” he asks over the rim of his coffee, drumming his spare hand against the wood of the table. He likes his desk. It’s a total disaster at the moment because he let paperwork pile up in favour of learning the town first so there’s barely an inch of room to place anything except his fingers.
He’s planning on getting around to it. After he sorts out Reserve Road first.
Lahey frowns as he thinks about it and that gives Stiles no confidence whatsoever but it confirms what he’d thought all along. There is definitely something wrong on Reserve Road.
“You mean this week Sheriff?”
Stiles jerks the cup and tips hot coffee all over his shirt but barely pays attention to it aside from the minor scalding he receives to his nipples. “This week?” he hisses patting at the centre of soaking coffee distractedly with a stray napkin. “Why have no arrests or charges been made?”
Lahey shrugs but his eyes are zoned in on the blossoming coffee stain on Stiles’ uniform as if he can’t believe that he literally just spilled coffee over himself. God, Stiles doesn’t have time for this. He exits his seat, wrenching his shirt off and retrieves the spare he keeps for emergencies or in case of deputy hazing.
Lahey is silent while he changes his shirt but when Stiles’ is done he looks at him, waits expectantly so that he has no choice but to answer because he might still be getting used to everything but that doesn’t mean he won’t expect them to do their jobs.
“There’s never any proof of mistreatment,” Lahey admits shifting his feet like he’s ashamed about that. Or that maybe he believes that’s his fault. “And although we offer help continuously neither have approached us about their situation.”
Stiles finishes buttoning up his uniform while he mulls that over. It’s not that he doesn’t trust Lahey’s word but he needs the actual evidence to give him a clear picture of the situation. He remembers Kate flinching away from Derek’s massive hands and his expression hardens.
“Until now,” he mutters and goes to retrieve the file on Reserve Road, the eyes of all the men and women in the precinct following his movement as he marches determinedly towards the filing room.
It’s been going on for three years. And in that time there have been nearly eight hundred and sixty calls to police regarding Reserve Road. The entire town appears to know about it and if that doesn’t stump Stiles for a second the fact that nearly only half of the time these domestic disturbance calls are followed up with a deputy sent to the house is enough to make him sick.
Only half of the time. What the hell have these deputies been doing? He takes the file home to his empty apartment and re-reads it again, perched on the couch and using one of his many unpacked boxes as a footrest, another box to nurse his beer and steadily cooling Chinese takeout.
He’s not too hungry at the moment. In fact he can’t quite seem to find a way to forgive his men for their ineptitude. If the third time is a pattern eight hundred and fifty domestic disturbance calls from fellow neighbours has to be a desperate cry for help. He doesn’t understand how they could have let it go on for so long without doing something about it.
It doesn’t really matter anymore because now he’s going to. And he doesn’t plan on dropping it until Derek Hale out of the picture.
The calls all come from those who live next door to Derek and Kate or further down the road within hearing distance and that must mean that they get loud, extremely loud. He figures his best bet is to approach them and ask further questions.
He doesn’t feel the need to let his deputies know that he’s opened up an investigation but it’s certainly clear what he’s doing when he doesn’t bring the file back the next day and sets off for Reserve Road again by late afternoon.
They don’t try to stop him, but there are whispers and exchanged glances which he studiously ignores as he walks out of the main doors towards his cruiser. He made a few calls in order to find out that Derek works at Beacon Hills garage and Kate is a teacher at the local primary school.
Neither of them will be home so he has plenty of time to question the neighbours without alerting Derek to what’s going on. He doesn’t believe he has enough proof to let Kate know what he’s investigating and he’s not sure he can trust her not to go running off to Derek.
Domestic violence victims often return to their spouses even if they know the abuse will start again.
And that’s another thing. They’re not listed as married like he’d assumed they were. Derek’s role in Kate’s life is only that of the abusive boyfriend but the thought makes him optimistic. The separation will be a lot easier and not as messy without a divorce to go through as well.
That is, if this all goes well and Kate actually decides to separate from Derek.
The first house he stops by on Reserve Road is number eleven directly opposite Derek and Kate’s house, number eight and dials out the cops when things get heated most frequently. He knocks and waits patiently for the door to open.
He’s more confident now that he’s gotten a feel for the street and knows what to expect so naturally when the willowy, gorgeous woman with the innocent brown eyes answers the door holding an assault crossbow his hand darts to the holster at his hip immediately.
“It’s for hunting,” she explains with a roll of her eyes. “I have a permit.”
“I’d like to see it ma’am,” he asks politely with an edge of hardness to his words so that she knows he means business. “After I’ve asked a few questions about your frequent calls to the station regarding spousal abuse at number eight.”
Her grip slips on the crossbow and she glances at the house opposite for a moment, eyes widening for a fraction of a second.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” she snaps, bluntly to his surprise and then shuts the door in his face.
He blinks a couple times, wonders for a moment how in the hell she thought shutting the door on the town Sheriff was a good idea before he realises he in fact didn’t actually introduce himself.
So he sighs, double checks his gun is still safely nestled in its holster before he knocks again, preparing himself for some resistance like he’s some little kid come to ask for the ball back after it smashed her front window or something.
This time she barely opens the door wide enough to reveal her face, crossbow absent and eyes narrowed in deep mistrust. He smiles and tries again.
“I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself,” he says watching her eyes dart around the area not even looking at him. “My name is Sheriff Stil…”
She slams the door again before he can finish the sentence.
He grunts in frustration. Once, he could forgive as an honest mistake. He is new to town after all, not many people know him yet and she might think he’s a drifter. But twice seems a little personal which has to be presumptuous because he’s never laid eyes on the brunette before in his life.
Now he’s starting to get pissed.
He unclips his gun at the holster but doesn’t remove it, feeling comfortable in the conclusion that the woman should be treated as hostile. He lifts his fist to knock again but a car door slams nearby and his head whips around automatically in reaction to the sound.
A man is walking up the pathway to the front porch balancing several containers of takeaway Chinese in his arms and nearly walks directly past Stiles without saying a word.
He pauses at the door, fumbles with keys and quickly drops them with a curse of irritation. Stiles doesn’t know why he bends down to scoop them up, must be a serve and protect civilians from dropping their keys sort of thing, but he does.
“Thanks man,” the guy says, finally looking at him. Considering Stiles has never seen this man before either it mystifies him greatly when the man’s eyes suddenly alight with recognition and he shifts a rebellious takeout container in the crook of his elbow so he can reach out to shake his hand.
“You’re the new Sheriff,” he says when Stiles automatically slips a hand into his own. “Bilinski.”
He winces. Yet another welcoming gift from his deputies. Nearly half the town have been calling him Bilinski since Monday.
“Stilinski,” he corrects. “But call me Stiles.”
The man blinks once at the name, but shrugs and quickly adjusts the takeout in his arms again. “I’m Scott McCall.”
The name sets something off in Stiles’ head and he tries to remember if McCall is one of the names he’s meant to be looking out for like Hale or Argent.
“I own McCall’s veterinary clinic downtown,” McCall says sensing his confusion.
Right. He’d driven past the sign four times last night when he'd tried to go out for a late night coffee run.
“Oh,” Stiles says and hesitates glancing at the front door again. “You live at this residence Mr McCall?”
“Um yeah,” he says, frowning slightly. “If I can ever get through the front door.”
He pushes his elbow forward and uses that to knock instead. He doesn’t say anything like he’s forgotten Stiles' presence already but he isn’t ready to let this go without a fight.
“Would you be able to shed some light on the numerous calls to the station regarding number eight directly opposite you?”
McCall’s elbow suddenly pounds against the door harder than necessary and he lets out a jumbled curse, nearly dropping the takeout in his arms all over the front porch.
“Baby, open up,” he begs loudly nearly pressing himself up against the door. “I got Chinese.”
Stiles opens his mouth to repeat the question again only McCall is already turning to him, expression closed off and hard, no longer possessing the friendly enthusiasm that Stiles had first seen as promising.
“Sorry man,” he tells him abruptly. “I can’t help you.”
And then his wife is opening up the front door, relieving him of half his heavy burden as he crosses the threshold. They share a communicative look as couples sometimes do when they know exactly what each other are thinking before McCall goes to close the door on him for the third time that night.
“Wait,” he says reaching out toward them and the woman stiffens like she’s about to pull out the crossbow again. “Your keys Mr McCall.”
The woman shoots McCall a sharp look and he manages to look sheepish when he doubles back to grab them out of Stiles’ hand.
“You seem like a good guy,” McCall admits. “Let me give you some advice, okay? Stay away from number eight.”
And then his wife is pulling him in by the elbow and slamming the door in his face again. Stiles stands there motionless for a moment, exhales an angry, frustrated sigh before turning to leave their front porch.
For a moment he sights the briefest of movements across the road, the flicker of a drifting curtain swaying behind a window someone had been watching him through a moment ago.
He can still feel eyes on his back as he makes his way to the cruiser.
He tries some of the other neighbours in the street just to get a feel for the situation and by the end of it, Scott McCall and the mystery woman seem like the most welcoming couple in Beacon Hills by comparison.
At the fifth house he starts to get real tired of the door being slammed in his face. And by the sixth things get a little weird. An old man opens the door, with sharp eyes and a sly mouth that doesn’t fit the whiteness of his hair and when Stiles finally gets over how much that creeps him out and asks about number eight and spousal abuse, the old man laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the world and shuts the door in his face.
Original. He gives up soon after that. And he figures Derek has somehow intimidated all of his neighbours from speaking out against him. The thought makes Stiles angry enough to slam his hands against his steering wheel when he gets lost on the way back to his apartment. Again.
He feels better, although his hands don’t and when he finally makes it home after the seventh wrong turn he reheats left over take out, nurses a lukewarm beer and re-reads Derek Hale’s file for the nth time.
The calls stop almost immediately after Stiles tries to question the neighbours. He thinks Derek might have threatened them. He knows the domestic abuse is without a doubt continuing right under their noses but none of the deputies offer to shed any light on the matter when he brings them into his office one by one to question them.
Lahey probably gave him the most to go by considering all of the half hearted shrugs, ambiguous answers and deflective statements he gets from the rest. Not one deputy admits there is anything wrong with number eight on Reserve Road.
Stiles starts to get a little obsessed.
He hasn’t approached Kate or Derek yet, preferring to get as much of the facts as possible before he makes a life damaging move. He doesn’t want to endanger Kate by spooking Derek. Or risk getting her hurt by being stupid and impulsive.
Half of the time abusive partners will pick up their lives and run, taking their spouses with them and falling off the map entirely. Stiles wants to do this right, minimise any collateral damage.
Only that’s not how it works out.
He goes home for most of his lunch breaks now after the chilli powder sandwich incident but when he makes it to the apartment door, thoughts already on the food awaiting him in the fridge he pauses and stares at the open doorway he definitely locked that morning.
He withdraws his weapon, takes a calming breath and enters the room slowly. After a quick search he realises that the place has been empty for several hours after they came in and trashed the place.
He puts away his weapon and figures now is as good day as any to finally try the local diner for lunch. He leaves the mess for when he feels capable of cleaning it and heads back outside without bothering to lock the door.
He doesn’t believe it’s hazing this time. None of the deputies would go this far except maybe Whittemore or Martin if he pissed her off enough but even Stiles knows they're not that stupid. His place looks like it’s been pulled apart while somebody searched for something.
He retrieves the file on Reserve Road from his laptop bag and figures he has some idea what that might be.
After a few minutes of getting lost. He makes it to the main diner in town. A blonde beauty is standing behind the counter, but Stiles isn’t in the mood for trusting appearances today so he slides into a booth and ignores her.
She makes her way over to him almost immediately even if the place is filled with a fair few judging townsfolk who are blatantly staring in his direction.
“Stilinski,” she says, the first person to get his name right all week, extending a manicured hand as she pours his coffee with the other. He shakes it and is surprised by the warmth in her voice. “Erica Reyes, Welcome to Beacon Hills.”
It’s literally the only welcome he’s received since he arrived and it's puzzling while he tries to understand what her motives are.
“Thanks,” he manages eventually and then she disappears to get his order ready.
He takes greedy gulps of his coffee, ignoring the other patrons in favour of looking out the window. The street is relatively busy but each person that walks past does a double take when they spot him sitting in the diner, eyes widening or whispering to the person next to them so eventually he stops looking.
A heavy set, dark skinned man approaches the booth, snapping Stiles from his thoughts of Reserve Road. He’s got the heavy overalls of a trucker and despite his expression his eyes are warm.
“You’re in my booth,” he points out calmly as Stiles glances up at him.
“I’ve got a gun,” Stiles retorts, not in the mood for the humiliation of being scared out of his booth in front of half the town when they obviously want to scare him way out past the town limits.
He expects a fight but the trucker shrugs, mutters, “fair enough,” and takes a seat opposite him. Stiles feels an odd sense of camaraderie as the man’s eyes follow the pretty blonde while she makes her way around the diner.
He leans back and smiles with the knowledge the trucker isn’t in this Podunk town for the great coffee.
“I’m Boyd,” the trucker tells him grabbing Erica’s attention with a blinding smile.
She descends upon them quick enough to fill his mug with coffee. Stiles watches her gaze linger on the muscles of Boyd's arms as he leans forward to reach for the sugar.
“Thanks darlin,’” he murmurs, not once looking at her. Erica’s lips purse but she keeps the smile plastered to her face.
“Sure thing, Boyd,” she says turning towards Stiles. “Did you want salad or curly fries as your side today?”
“Curly fries,” Stiles admits. “Just no chilli powder.”
Erica smirks like she knows exactly what that means and disappears into the kitchen for a moment. Boyd grins at him.
“Call me Stiles,” he says. “Or Sheriff, whatever you prefer.”
Boyd smiles again. “So Stiles, Deputies giving you a friendly welcome?” he guesses smirking into his coffee before he takes a sip.
Stiles frowns. “My apartment getting trashed seems about as friendly as it gets,” he mutters and Boyd’s expression shifts into confusion when Erica returns with Stiles’ lunch. Boyd is saved from a reply when Stiles thanks her and then starts to eat his burger.
He saves the curly fries, the best part, until last. Boyd watches him eat, expression thoughtful but he’s not one to endlessly prattle on like Stiles can when he’s on a role so they sit there in comfortable silence until Erica brings out Boyd’s food as well.
He must be a regular because she never took his order. The sexual tension between them is stifling, even with Boyd determinedly avoiding her gaze. She’s not married, Stiles saw the naked finger and she’s single because Stiles had already asked at an attempt of half hearted flirting when he arrived. He doesn’t see why Boyd won’t make a move.
It’s only after he’s dug into his curly fries that the notion of making a move really starts to earn its appeal. He’s barely finished, taking one last gulp of coffee before he rustles out some bills to place on the table.
Erica wanders over to ask if he wants anything else but he shakes his head and puts his empty mug on the table.
“Nice chatting Boyd,” he says. “Thanks Erica.”
Erica nods and retrieves his money while Boyd goes back to pretending he hasn’t been watching her the entire time he’s been in the diner. Stiles nearly goes without saying anything, nearly.
Instead he doubles back to the table where Erica is purposely stalling so she can not so subtly stare at Boyd for a little longer.
“For godsake,” he barks. “Boyd would like to take you out sometime, Erica in case the staring hadn’t already tipped you off.”
Boyd’s head finally snaps up to glance at her in horror before he looks at him.
“Stiles,” he hisses but it’s too late to take it back and he knows it.
“Yes,” Erica says immediately, then flushes at her over enthusiasm and Stiles rolls his eyes. “I mean, I’d love that, sometime.”
Boyd smiles at her directly this time and Stiles can’t believe how ridiculous people can be before he waves his fingers in their direction and departs without another word, feeling satisfied someone at least in this godforsaken town is going to get some.
It only takes him five minutes to find the local mechanics where he knows that Derek works, only because he’s been driving by it whenever he can to try and catch a glimpse of him.
Obviously he’s not going to find him doing anything untoward at work but Stiles likes to know that he’s there, working and not anywhere near Kate who works over the other side of town.
The distance is comforting and he doesn’t want Kate anywhere near this once he steps into the garage.
“I’m looking for Derek,” he announces to the rows of cars being worked on.
Several heads snap up and he’s met with complete silence. One of them points to Derek's work station. He edges over toward it. Quickly expecting the area, surprised not to see any photos of Kate there. He spots an picture pinned in the bottom corner and is puzzled to see a little girl grinning back at him.
He doesn't remember seeing a little girl anywhere.
Someone clears their throat nearby and Stiles' head snaps up. The other mechanics stare at him with an intensity that makes him realise there’s someone standing behind him.
He turns, and there’s Derek, expression thunderous and closer than Stiles expected so that he nearly runs into his chest. He doesn’t reach for his weapon like he’s itching too but he stares him down unflinchingly.
“What do you want?” Derek grunts, wiping his grease laden hands that seem like they might wrap around his throat any minute.
He’s still in the wifebeater, dirtied with grease and a slight sheen of sweat that shouldn’t be so distracting but it totally is.
“Just to ask you a couple questions,” Stiles says watching Derek’s eyes flicker over his face. His shoulders are tense but his face relaxes into this blank, uninterested expression like the Sheriff coming to visit him at work bores him somehow.
“I’m busy,” he mutters, pushing forward as if to coerce Stiles into stepping back only he doesn’t so the space between them narrows suddenly so that Stiles can feel the warmth of Derek’s breath against his face.
For the moment Derek pauses, like he’s surprised Stiles didn’t back off when he clearly has the advantage in muscular density, even his presence seems larger than Stiles’ and he’s the goddamn Sheriff.
“It’ll take two minutes,” he insists calmly not letting any fear show on his face because he knows Derek will just lap it up and any dominance he’s asserted will be for nothing. He’s sweating in his uniform though and his heart is pumping loudly in his ears but he keeps his face a blank as Derek’s.
They stand that way for several seconds until Stiles begins to notice the intimacy of it, the crackling tension between them that can only be explosive. Derek reacts, fingers tightening their grip around the greasy rag before he backs off, steps away and Stiles can’t even see the victory in it for a moment.
He leads Derek into the main office, the secretary darting out from a mere look from Derek in her direction. Stiles’ clenches his jaw but lets it slide as he turns back to face him.
Only suddenly he’s rushing him, crowding him up against the desk and caging Stiles with arms. He lets out a squeak of surprise when his lower back hits the edge of the wood but Derek is too close for him to reach for his gun.
The fact that Derek doesn’t do anything more than that stops Stiles from fighting back from calling out for help, from doing anything but stare up into Derek’s face.
“What are you doing?” he hisses, voice low, rough and somehow panicked. “You shouldn’t be here. People will talk.”
Derek glances around them as if they might be seen through the office blinds.
He didn't seem as paranoid the other night. Stiles just can't seem to get a read on the guy. And he might have literally no idea what Derek is talking about but the edge of fear in his voice is enough to get him thinking fast. What does a buff guy like Derek have to fear? Because it certainly wasn't the law standing on his porch several days ago.
“What people? What don’t you want anyone to find out?” he presses, just as he pushes at Derek’s chest so he’s forced to back off. “That you trashed my apartment?”
A flash of anger flutters briefly across Derek’s face before he schools his expression back into blank disinterest.
“For a Sheriff, you’re a dumbass,” he snaps, turning away like Stiles no longer exists. He’s already at the door by the time he glances back, expression hard and dangerous.
“Don’t let them see you here again.”
Stiles doesn’t know what to say to that. Who exactly is 'them'? But by the time he comes up with a reasonably snarky response, Derek is already gone.
He’s cooking pizza in the crappy oven of his apartment, humming along to the radio when the doorbell rings. He goes quiet for a second, retrieves the gun from where he’s hidden it the nice hole in the wall behind the fridge that his landlord never bothered to patch up.
He doesn’t click off the safety, but gingerly steps over the mess in his living room to make his way to the front door. He’s planning on starting a clean up of his trashed apartment after he gets some food in his stomach.
There’s no peephole at the door, so he’s cautious when he finally turns the handle. It’s Boyd and to his surprise Lahey and McCall. He frowns for a moment, watches their faces for any intent for physical violence.
He tucks his gun into the waistband at the back of his jeans and manages an interested smile.
“Um, hey,” he says eventually. “What’s up?”
Boyd grins and Stiles finally notices the pack of beer in his hands. “What’s up is that I owe you for my date with Erica tomorrow night and we figured watch the game on your crappy TV and drink beer.”
Stiles is both impressed and offended. “My TV isn’t crappy,” he says but Boyd is already pushing past him and McCall is sniffing at the air delicately.
“Is that pizza?” Scott says and Isaac grins at Stiles’ wounded expression because he sure as hell wasn’t planning on sharing.
He only ends up eating like two slices. He would be more annoyed but it’s nice to have company for once. Nice to not sit alone in an empty apartment thinking about the house on Reserve Road. Plus they help him clean up the rest of his ransacked apartment which he’d been putting off doing since he discovered it.
It’s only after a few more beers that Stiles has loosened up enough to open up about what’s been going on with him, primarily what he’s been investigating.
“So I went and saw Derek today,” he admits out of the blue when the games only at half time.
Isaac chokes on his beer, Scott pauses with a slice of pizza lifted to his mouth and Boyd clears his throat.
“You should stay away from him,” Isaac says eventually.
“And Reserve Road,” Scott tells him.
Stiles knows they all know something, but nobody's talking. Nobody in this damn down is talking and it’s going to drive him insane.
“But,” he protests.
“It's safer for them if you just drop it, Stiles,” Boyd mutters gruffly, turning back to focus on the game again.
Stiles has so many questions. Who does Boyd mean by them? The same them that Derek thinks is watching him? He doesn't know why but he trusts Derek's fear. It was very real. And not from threat of the law's investigation. Clearly this is not the cut and dry typical abuse case he was expecting.
There’s tension between them all now and the relaxed atmosphere he was enjoying so much is gone.
So he drops it.
He stays away from Reserve Road. For about a week.
He’s sitting in his office when the call comes in and he immediately jumps to his feet, scoops the keys out of the hand of the young deputy who’s on the graveyard shift for the night and ignores the looks as he makes his way out the door.
Isaac follows him, but he doesn’t say anything. Not until Stiles is climbing into the front seat.
“This is a bad idea Sheriff,” he says, then lowers his voice. “I mean it Stiles, you could get hurt.”
He doesn’t reply, only starts the engine.
When he knocks this time it’s loud enough to wake the whole street. He knows he’s being bold, making a declaration of war but he’s past the point of caring. There have been too many phone calls to let this go anymore. Whatever it is that is really going on.
Derek answers, blinking rapidly and looking a little confused, like Stiles has just woken him up and he’s still drifting between the state of awake and sleeping.
He seems more alert once he realises it’s the Sheriff at the door. His mouth tightens into a thin line and he moves to pull the door back, shielding the house with his body.
“Stiles,” Derek snaps and for a moment he’s shocked that he knows him by the nickname. Has Derek been doing a little research of his own? “I thought I told you…”
“Honey?” comes the hesitant, uncertain sound of Kate from the doorway and Derek’s grip tightens on the door like he’s trying to prevent Stiles from seeing her. He has this look on his face like he knows that Stiles has caught him.
Maybe Derek left visible marks this time. Stiles enjoys the tension in his shoulders, the slight fear in his gaze. He is ready to throw this man behind bars. If he thinks he's responsible for this. Derek's fear is starting to make him second guess that though.
Which is why he needs proof.
A pale hand reaches out, curves around Derek’s shoulder and he twitches under the touch, lowering his gaze like Kate somehow has managed to get him in control of himself. Stiles is momentarily grateful when he relents and pushes open the door to reveal her.
There’s fear in her gaze as she glances at Derek but from what Stiles subtly observes, not a single mark on her, not even the hint of a yellowing bruise. Derek has hidden them well. Too well, considering the nature of the call put into the station.
Stiles was expecting blood and lots of it.
“Oh hello Sheriff, I’m so sorry about the noise,” Kate gushes with a forced laugh. “We’re refurbishing the kitchen I accidentally broke some of the tiles.”
The lie seems hollow but Derek only stands there, blinking, and remains silent.
Stiles looks between them, wishing he could understand how they could remain together after so long.
“Is that what happened all of those other times?”
Kate’s expression wavers for a moment like she might be on the verge of revealing all but Derek is suddenly there blocking him from getting closer.
“She doesn’t have to talk to you,” Derek growls and the expression on his face is so troubling that Stiles actually backs away before his brain can kick in.
“Have a nice night,” he snaps, shepherding Kate back into the house as she manages a weak, almost embarrassed smile.
It’s only when Derek turns his back that Stiles notices the blood matting his hair.
He thinks about it on the drive back. Kate’s fists had been clenched, like she’d been hiding something. The broken tiles could have been a half truth, something jagged might have cut her hands. It’s instinctive to place a hand first if you’re pushed or fall onto something.
She could have grabbed at his hair in order to pull him off of her. The thought makes Stiles sick, makes acid churn in his gut.
But he still can't shake the feeling that he's missing an important piece of the puzzle.
He goes to see Kate the next day. He’s put if off too long, too afraid to spook her or push too hard that Derek might figure it out.
She teaches the third grade. He’s nearly barrelled over by an eight year old as he makes his way into the classroom.
“Laura!” Kate calls in what she probably perceives as a stern teacher voice. “No running in the classroom.”
Laura nods but she’s not looking at Kate, her eyes are on Stiles who stares down at her in bemused interest. The girl seems a little familiar.
He's startle to realise he's looking at the girl in Derek's photo.
And then he notices the fading yellowish bruises on her upper arm.
“What’s that Laura?” he asks gently crouching down to her eye level.
For a moment she looks surprised, then fearful. “I fell,” she says tone enough to put an end to the conversation.
He’s never heard that kind of tone in an eight year old before.
“Ms Hale if you’d like to take your seat,” Kate calls out softly, having already reached them and Laura slinks away without another word.
Hale as in Derek. Stiles tries not to react but when he climbs to his feet he’s shaking with fury. How dare Derek think he can get away with hurting his own family?
“May I speak with you privately?” he asks her.
The bell rings, interrupting them and signalling recess. The kids go out running, of course. Kate smiles at them and waves them on without protest.
“I think you know what I want to talk to you about,” Stiles says sitting on the edge of one of the tables.
She glances around them, like she expects to find Derek hiding in the classroom somewhere and Stiles needs to take a deep breath to keep his temper under control. He doesn’t understand how she’s let this go on for so long.
“Maybe we should do this some other time,” she says, the smile never leaving her face. “More privately. I…” she glances around again, licks her lips nervously.
“I can’t talk here,” she whispers. “But I… please.”
Her voice wavers and God, why has he been wasting time frightening Derek when he should have been helping her?
“It’s okay,” he murmurs placing a hand over her own, she tenses like she no longer remembers a human touch without violence. God, this is killing him. He pulls a business card out of his pocket.
‘Here’s my private cell,” he tells her gently. “You can call me anytime, Kate. I promise I will help you.
She doesn’t say anything more. But she does take the business card.
He wakes up in the middle of the night and Derek is hovering over him.
At first he thinks he’s dreaming but then he feels the bed dipping under the extra weight, the warm press of Derek’s thigh against his own and he loses it.
“Fuck,” he swears and tries to move only Derek is already pinning him down, hands pushing against Stiles’ bare chest and the warmth of his fingers force the air out of his lungs like he’s been punched.
Derek is completely unconcerned by what he’s doing, breaking into the Sheriff’s house at ass o’clock to loom all over him like some kind of psychopath.
“You went and saw Kate today,” Derek whispers voice shaking with fury. “Laura told me.”
Stiles bucks underneath him but Derek’s muscle makes him weigh a freaking tonne. “Is that after you hit her too?”
Derek actually pauses, grip loosening as he leans back onto Stiles’ thighs. “You think I hurt my little sister?”
The stunned shock in Derek's voice gives him pause. Stiles has known that something has been off from the beginning. He knows Derek is good at intimidation. By making himself big enough to fill the space in a room. Thinks he can be dangerous if he wanted.
But the sincerity in his tone actually gets Stiles to stop struggling. He’s pretty good at picking a liar but Derek is definitely telling the truth and he doesn't understand.
“I told you to stay away,” he hisses. “I couldn’t have been more clear.”
“I’m persistent,” Stiles retorts. “You need to get the hell out of my apartment. I can get you for breaking and entering.”
“The door was unlocked,” he says.
Stiles scoffs. But he can't back down now. "If you're trying to convince me you're not a scumbag you're going about it the wrong way."
Derek stares down at him, thinking hard. "But you're not sure are you? You don't know what to think about me."
"I-I," Stiles huffs, eyes narrowing. "I can't get a read on you. I believe you when you say you haven't hurt your sister but when I see Kate-"
Derek flinches. "I've never laid a hand on her."
That's the thing. The real problem at hand.
Because Stiles believes him.
Then what the hell has been going on at the house on Reserve road then?
He feels it when the tension shifts. The moment when they both realise Derek's sitting on top of him. In his bed. And he's leant forward again, right back into Stiles’ personal space, fingers resting on the skin of his bare chest. It’s both harmless and not. Stiles heart isn’t beating fast out of shock anymore.
Derek hesitates before oh so carefully sliding his fingers up to cup his jaw. Stiles swallows heavily, trying his best not to react to the touch. It's kind of fucked actually knowing somehow throughout all of this he's wildly attracted to Derek. Even when he's not entirely sure of what going on.
But then again, he hasn't really seen any proof of anything except the blood and really that could've been anybody's blood, Derek's even...
Suddenly it clicks.
"It was your blood the other night wasn't it?" Stiles asks softly.
Derek's eyes are wide, alarmed. Like Stiles has figured out his big secret. He thinks, that he might be getting there.
"What do you think?” Derek asks and his voice cracks on the last words, the question in his voice a little desperate.
"I don't know," he admits. But he's starting to get an idea.
"What's your gut telling you, Stiles?" Derek presses and he realises that he's no longer being pinned. Derek's position is very non-threatening. And highly distracting.
He doesn't understand why but he trusts Derek. Trusts a guy who pins a picture of his little sister at his work station and nothing else. Who's horrified at the accusation that he might've hurt her.
Stiles is beginning to think that he's got this all wrong.
Derek’s gaze is burning right through him and he seems to know when Stiles has decided. And for a second uncertainty replaces his face as if he doesn't know if he can trust Stiles. And then his gaze drops to his mouth. And he licks his lips.
Stiles doesn’t know how it happens. But he knows they both move in at the exact same moment; Derek leaning in as he surges up to capture his mouth.
It’s all heat and burning intensity but there’s no aggression to it, no sense of fear or violence behind it only searing attraction.
Stiles has never felt like this before and his fingers are greedy with touches, reaching for every inch of Derek he can find. The response is explosive. They both pull harder, Derek yanking off Stiles’ boxers while he tugs at Derek’s shirt.
He barely gets a moment to breathe before they’re completely naked and he gets a brief second to enjoy the view before Derek’s thigh slots between his legs and he can suddenly feel everything that Derek’s got going on below.
There’s friction that has him gasping and out of breath. Stiles rolls his hips and the rustling of bed sheets and the sound of their panting fills the silence as the heat builds between them.
Derek mouths along the sensitive skin of his neck, sucking gently and the press of their bodies is too much. Stiles orgasm hits him quickly, shooting messily between them as Derek pants brokenly into his neck.
Stiles brain slowly reboots but by then Derek is already pulling away.
"I need to go before they notice I'm gone," Derek whispers and the warmth of him disappears as he moves to put his clothes back on.
Stiles' brain is foggy from the orgasm but Derek's words make him alert.
"Who is 'they' Derek?" he demands, pushing up on his elbows. "Look, you need to talk to me so I can help you."
Derek sighs. Runs a hand shakily through his hair as he swallows. "Trust me, Stiles. No one can help me."
And then he's gone.
Leaving Stiles to think of what he plans to do next.
Stiles spends all day going through the police reports and trying to find clues of what he's missed. Anything that mentions Kate or her behaviour. He quickly realises that every statement is very careful not to announce who is the victim on Reserve road. They don't discern between Kate or Derek.
It's a flashing neon sign of his stupidity.
God. He'd been blind.
Derek returns again that night. So late its nearly morning. And Stiles had actually left his door unlocked in the hopes that he would.
Stiles wants to say he's sorry. For stereotyping and assuming the worst. But it's clear Derek isn't there to talk when he kisses Stiles hard before taking his hand and leading him to bed.
Stiles has to ask though. "Wait. Are you sure that this is-"
Derek's hand is warm and his pupils are wide and Stiles isn't smart enough to deny him this when he wants it just as much.
They undress quickly and once they're on the mattress Stiles reaches for the lube on the nightstand, offering it to Derek who takes it without a word, cock hanging heavily between his legs as he leans over him. He coats his fingers, slicks them easily like he’s done this many times, before reaching past the sensitive skin of Stiles’ balls and sliding across his perineum before thumbing gently at his entrance.
Stiles grunts in surprise at the feeling, it’s definitely been too long and he tips his head back, shutting out the warning that this is a very bad idea. Derek is probably traumatised by what's happened to him. The last thing he should be doing is being intimate.
Then Derek slips a fingers inside and begins to stretch him and Stiles loses his train of thought. Derek preps him quickly and efficiently, but carefully so that by the time he passes Derek a condom he’s hard and more than ready. Derek is covered in a sheen of sweat by this point and his fumbling with the packaging in his haste to rip it off has Stiles chuckling against his mouth.
Stiles watches him struggle and can’t resist reaching out to touch his cock, gripping loosely, teasingly while Derek grunts out a strangled, desperate sound. He finally covers up, quickly slicking himself before pushing deeply inside.
God, it’s been too long. But the achy feeling sets Stiles’ toes curling so he nudges forward, pushing Derek deeper as he has time to adjust. The angle is perfect and Derek thumbs one of his nipples as he pulls slowly out before working his hips forward and thrusting back in.
For a brief moment of insane clarity Stiles wonders at how someone so perfect could have this happen to him but then Derek is lifting his legs so that they’re pinned against his chest as he thrusts and the angle deepens enough that Stiles can feel him everywhere.
It’s overwhelming and his mouth falls open uselessly as he tugs Derek closer, holding onto the taut muscles of his arms for support as he rolls his hips with him. They move together effortlessly, finding a rhythm through the silent communication of open mouths and heady gasps and before long Stiles is tipping over the edge and dragging Derek with him.
Afterwards as Derek pulls away and Stiles’ brains have been thoroughly fucked out they lie there together, close enough that Derek is still pressed against his body and not crushing him.
He wants to ask more questions but he doesn't want to push until Derek is ready and he's not exactly thinking straight anymore. His eyelids flutter and droop with the satisfaction of really good sex before he reaches out to tug Derek by the neck again to seal his mouth over his. It’s filthy, deeper and he reaches up to slide his fingers into Derek’s hair only Derek winces in pain and accidentally bites his lip.
“Ow,” Stiles mutters licking the blood clean just as Derek apologises and tries to pull away.
He presses a hand to the back of his neck to keep him there and this time when his fingers slide over his skull they’re much more gentle, probing the area curiously. Derek’s expression is tight, but he doesn’t protest when Stiles feels the gigantic lump against the back of his head, the scab of a recently healed wound.
Stiles knew of course. But the unmistakeable evidence has him gasping
Derek’s already pulling away and tugging his jeans back on. “I have to go,” he says bluntly not meeting his eyes.
“Kate,” Stiles whispers and Derek’s face crumples for a moment, the agony written all over his face. “She’s the reason your house get so many calls…”
“Don’t say anything,” Derek barks, crowding him onto the bed again, anger flashing wildly. “Don’t you dare say a word about it.”
He stares at the fear in Derek’s eyes with confusion. “But why do you stay with her? If she…”
Laura’s yellowish bruises swim before his eyes and the way Kate’s eyes had narrowed when he’d asked about them. “Because she’ll hurt Laura if you won’t do what she says,” he guesses starting to sit up. “Shit, Derek.”
He doesn’t speak and suddenly his behaviour is much more clear. Standing between him and Kate whenever Stiles went to their house like he was preventing her from escaping when he was keeping her from coming out. Trying to keep the door half closed so she wouldn’t hear them talking. Jesus, why hadn’t he noticed before?
“You need to come down to the station with me and make a formal statement,” Stiles tells him and Derek laughs, shoving his left boot on with unnecessary force.
“Right, and then she breaks all of Laura’s fingers again,” he scoffs and Stiles gaps in horror at his words. “You don’t think I tried all of this before? She’s threatened half your deputies into silence. Her, her father and their little crew. The whole town won’t speak out against them.”
Stiles thinks quickly.
“Then you gotta run,” he says and Derek’s expression widens as the idea takes root in his mind. “You have to grab Laura and get the hell outta dodge.”
Derek moves towards him, reaching out to trace his mouth with his fingers.
His touch is still new and hesitant. “Come with me,” he murmurs softly, desperately. And Stiles realises that he doesn't feel strong enough to do this alone. Not when the whole town's been against him for so long. “We’ll go anywhere.”
Stiles swallows heavily and doesn’t even consider saying no, realising that he’s already gotten dressed while they’ve been talking.
“We’ll go to my dad,” he corrects before he thinks about what a life changing decision he’s just made. “He’s in law enforcement in California. He can help us.”
Derek tugs him in for another kiss and they make their way outside, Stiles stopping to retrieve his weapon from behind the fridge as he goes. Derek admits that he didn’t drive for fear of waking Kate and it’d be too conspicuous for the police cruiser to park on Reserve Road so they start moving, glad it’s only a fifteen minute walk.
“So where does Laura live?” Stiles whispers as they walk side by side along the sidewalk with nothing but the light of the moon to guide them. He knows for certain he's never seen her at Derek's house before.
Derek takes his hand without asking but Stiles doesn’t argue in favour of the rush of heat that licks it’s way up his arm in response. Derek's jaw tightens, as if thinking about it makes him angry and Stiles feels his fingers tighten around his automatically.
“She lives with Gerard. Kate’s dad. To keep me quiet. It’s just a couple houses down from mine.”
‘Why does Kate need to keep you quiet?” he asks nearly tripping over the curb as they cross the road.
Derek turns to look at him through the darkness and the sharpness of his cheekbones is highlighted by the light of the moon.
“Because she killed my family,” he mutters. “And I saw her do it.”
They fall silent for a few more minutes until Stiles can’t help himself and has to ask the thousand questions he’s been dying to since Derek spoke.
“Um, so how did she kill your family?”
Derek sighs and looks down at their entwined hands as if they hold the answer to all of life’s questions. “She’s a pyro, ever since she was a little kid. And eventually forest fires weren’t enough? I don’t know if she knew that my family were inside but she sure as hell knew what she was doing when she used chemicals to start the blaze.”
Stiles inhales sharply, wondering how this wasn’t in his file when Derek begins talking again.
“I caught her when she came out, bringing the rest of her posse with her. She’d wanted me for a while, since high school so she didn’t want to kill me even when Gerard showed up.”
His eyes narrow and his face shuts down again into that blank expression as he gets his emotions under control. “Gerard was the one who came up with the solution. Laura had been in kindergarten then and Gerard was principal so when no one came to pick her up he’d driven her to our home. Or what was left of it.”
He clears his throat a little. “She was the only one I had left. The only one. It’s pretty simple after that. Gerard said I keep my mouth shut or he’d kill Laura and make me watch. Then he applied for custody because I was too young to get it for Laura and he forced me to live with Kate.”
Derek finally turns to look at him. “Those calls into the station? Are only when Kate punishes me for not being good enough.”
It's probably the worst explanation Stiles would have expected. Stiles hates to ask but considering they’d just screwed like wild rabbits he feels he kind of needs to.
“And have you and Kate ever um, you know?”
Derek actually laughs at that. “She’s tried a couple times,” he admits, sliding a hand over Stiles’ ass. “But she knows I’m not interested. That doesn't mean she can't force me, if she wanted. She has Laura, I'll do anything to protect her.”
They sober up the closer they get to Reserve Road and by the time they arrive at the street sign, Derek is biting his lip with worry.
“It’ll be okay,” Stiles whispers, reassuringly. “We’ll get Laura.”
What he really wants to do is call it into the station. Get some backup. But he knows Derek spooks easy.
And he's not sure which deputies are on Kate's leash. He thinks mostly all of them.
Derek leads him in silence past all of the houses. When they pass number eight Stiles doesn’t look away from the house, keeps his hand on his gun the entire time. It’s a tense couple of minutes until they reach number sixteen.
To Stiles’ everlasting surprise it’s the house of the creepy old man who laughed at him when he questioned and when they sneak over the fence into the backyard until they’re standing under a two story window Stiles turns to tell him so.
But that’s when he notices that the house a couple rows down has it’s lights on.
Holy shit. It’s number eight.
“Derek, Derek!” he hisses, nodding behind them when Derek goes to start scaling the vines climbing up the side of the house. He blinks and stops with a questioning look in his eyes.
“Her lights are on, Derek,” he whispers. “Kate fucking knows your gone!”
For a second there’s nothing but pure panic in his gaze and Stiles shakes him to bring him back. He needs to focus right now.
“Go back,” he says hurriedly keeping his voice low. “Make up some bullshit excuse and I’ll get Laura okay? We’ll meet up in fifteen.”
Derek nods and Stiles is fully prepared for the awkward goodbye wave or something only Derek literally lifts him up by his legs, and Stiles’ arms automatically lock around his shoulders before pushing him against the wall of the house and thoroughly ravishing him with his mouth.
Stiles is so swept up in it that he senselessly ruts against him for a few good minutes before his brain kicks back into gear. He pushes Derek off him, adjusts his pants and resists the urge to lick his lips because he knows Derek will be all over him again.
“Jesus, Derek,” he pants. “Focus buddy. Now go stall her.”
Derek nods, kisses him again, chastely this time, before taking off into the darkness towards the house lights. Stiles turns back towards the house Derek practically screwed him against and tries to will his erection away before he climbs into a little girls bedroom at three in the morning.
Because the erection part is clearly the biggest problem with that image. He sighs, presses against his kiss swollen lips, dazedly before he starts the climb. It doesn’t take him too long. The window, thank God is unlocked and it’s shockingly easy to gain access to Laura’s bedroom.
He wanders silently over to the sleeping form, trying to keep his footsteps light before he gently shakes her awake.
She rubs her sleep deprived eyes at him before her mind kicks in and she opens her mouth to scream. His hand muffles it just in time and he manages to shush her in desperate, terrified whispers.
“Laura, honey, it’s me, Sheriff Stilinski,” he whispers slowly removing his hand as a sign of trust. “Remember me from school? I’m a friend of Derek’s and we’re going to get you out of here.”
“Oh thank God,” she replies in a whisper, throwing the covers off to reveal she’s already dressed. Stiles is dumbfounded for a moment and she uses that opportunity to dart over to her closet and retrieve a backpack hidden expertly among the mess.
He’s seen it in runaway victims before, a runaway kit for whenever you need to get the hell out at a moments notice. Something tells him that Laura’s been ready for quite some time. She shoves shoes onto her feet and she’s already at the window by the time he’s recovered himself.
Jesus what a precocious child.
“You coming?” she whispers at him. “Unless you want to live with some weird old asshole?”
He's almost tempted to lecture on her language but figures after the hell she's been through she entitled to it. He pulls himself together quickly and gestures at the window.
They sit in the woods behind Kate’s house for a least fifteen minutes before Stiles accepts that something’s gone wrong.
“I can’t believe you made him go back,” Laura whispers at him. “That’s got to be the stupidest thing I ever heard.”
“I needed time to get you out,” Stiles shoots back. “Show a little gratitude, kid.”
“I will,” she huffs. “But only when my brother is safe.”
Stiles agrees and they decide to move in closer for a better look. He can hear raised voices but not loud enough to be dangerous so he decides he’d better go in. He’d feel more comfortable in his uniform but jeans and a sweatshirt are going to have to cut it for now.
“Okay here’s my cell phone,” Stiles says pushing it into her dainty hand. “If I don’t come out in ten minutes call the cops, then my dad and he’ll come get you.”
She takes the phone but then reaches out to wrap her arms around his middle. “My brother really likes you, you know,” she mumbles against his midsection. “That’s why he got into so much trouble with her lately.”
“Uh cool, I guess,” he says not sure how to respond. But he does know how to hug so he lets his arms wrap around her and gives her a quick squeeze.
“Stay safe,” he whispers as she darts further into the woods and out of sight.
Then he climbs over the back fence and keeps low, hurrying towards the back door. It’s unlocked because apparently nobody locks anything in this godforsaken town and he slips inside, silently keeping close to the walls as he moves through the house.
He locates the voices fairly quickly and the first thing he spots is Derek’s boots on the floor. And the blood. He doesn’t stop to think, just ducks out from his hiding spot and tackles Kate to the side, getting her off Derek who’s just lying there and taking it like he always does. To protect Laura.
He gets one look at Derek’s hopeful face, manages a quick jerk of his head as a nod and the tension in Derek’s shoulder melts out of him as he breathes out his relief that Laura is safe. Kate is already up kicking Stiles hard in the ribs as she slashes at him with a kitchen knife.
He manages to duck but just barely and she nicks the tender flesh of his arm while he slides out of her range. He doesn't even have time to draw his weapon.
“You stupid fuck,” she snarls at Derek who's trying to get up off the floor. “I told you to stay away from the Sheriff!”
Stiles swings a chair from the dining table and aims it for her legs. She twists out of the way with surprising agility and an animalistic sound of rage that completely transforms her face into something terrifying.
Stiles cannot believe that he ever thought she was the vulnerable, abused lover. Derek clambers to his feet and tries to pull Stiles back behind him.
“I’m placing you under arrest,” Stiles mutters and she cackles, full on laughs hysterically at him, her entire body shaking with the effort.
“I’m going to kill you,” she promises. “Slowly. And I’m going to enjoy it.”
She launches toward him but Derek pushes him out of the way and all three of them go down, Kate’s knife slashing at open air.
He hears Derek’s grunt of pain, gets a knee to his balls when he tries to get to his feet and all is confusion, fear and panic for a moment when he tries to realise where the knife and the hand attached to the knife is.
Kate appears again, hovering over him this time and he can see the knife raised in the air as it comes dangerously close to slashing his throat.
And then the gun goes off.
Kate gasps and goes limp immediately, the blood warming Stiles’ shirt and he pushes her off reaching for his gun only to find it’s no longer where it’s supposed to be.
It’s in Laura hand where she fired it all of two seconds ago.
That sneaky kid. Derek hauls himself up and rushes over to her first which Stiles tries not to be offended about when he cups his sensitive balls and looks down at Kate.
The shot is clean, pretty damn good for an eight year old and Stiles can’t help the relief he feels when he checks for a pulse and doesn’t find one.
Derek helps him to his feet, arm still wrapped around his sister and pulls him in for a ferocious hug. They stay like that for what feels like hours, all of them wrapped around each other.
Until the police arrive.
Gerard goes to jail for aiding and abetting in the murder of eight of Derek’s family members where Stiles hopes he plans to rot. Derek applies for sole custody of Laura now that he’s over twenty one which he gets almost straight away and they all move into Stiles’ shitty apartment.
Anything to get as far away from Reserve Road as possible. The deputies round up the rest of Kate’s crew, half of which worked in the garage with Derek to keep an eye on him and a lot more townspeople come forward with incriminating evidence, acknowledging all of the threats that have kept the Hale murders swept under the rug for so long.
Including Scott and Allison McCall, the latter it turns out is actually Kate's niece. And Kate threatened to kill her husband if Allison tried to intervene. The corrupt deputies who let Kate and Gerard get away with it for so long are either fired or suspended.
The town stops treating Stiles like a pariah but he is the subject of major gossip for shacking up with Derek Hale and practically adopting his little sister.
Stiles’ dad visits twice. And he loves Laura to pieces. Derek takes a little bit more convincing but that’s normal for overprotective dads. He's taken on a big job.
He wanted to take things slow with Derek. Help him adjust to the idea of a healthy relationship before jumping headfirst into one. Derek is very against his thought process. But agrees to see a therapist every week and communicate as much as possible about what happened to him. And that it was not his fault.
It turns out he's hard to convince.
Laura helps a lot. They're survivors together and she's good at bringing Derek out of himself when the guilt gets too much. She probably hates therapy as much as Derek.
Stiles always makes his famous family lasagne after their sessions so they're willing to compromise at least. Because of his awesome cooking.
But even she gets cagey sometimes. She still has nightmares about killing Kate. She wakes up screaming almost as often as Derek has trouble falling asleep. He's been in a state of hypervigilance for so long it's hard for him to relax.
They talk about Laura killing Kate. She understands it's not her fault and tells them she doesn't feel bad about it. The nightmares are just her fears plaguing her. Gerard had also shut her away a lot so it's an adjustment for her to know she can go outside whenever she wants. It's hurts Stiles to see her like that. Not able to be a real kid.
He knows it kills Derek.
But he's patient with her. The therapy does help as well as being able to play with her friends and see Derek more frequently. It's a few months before she packs away the run away kit for good. Stiles is glad to see it go.
The hazing finally stops at the station and he starts to actually enjoy driving into work every morning- it’s much quicker now that Derek bought him a GPS.
God, and the sex is just fantastic. Stiles tries not to push for it. Understands why Derek came to him like that beforehand, using intimacy as a crutch to avoid his problems. But Derek is insatiable after so many years alone. And he convinces Stiles that he's ready for that step with him. He tells Stiles that he just wants Laura and himself to be happy and that he helps with that.
After that Stiles doesn't hold out for long. It’s surprising how much they can cram into their Laura free moments and Stiles is way beyond satisfied in that department.
The game night at their apartment becomes a thing. Only now Boyd brings his girlfriend Erica who is ridiculously happy and Scott brings his wife Allison who is actually capable of smiling now that her Aunt is out of the picture and Isaac brings nearly half the guys from the station.
They have friends who care about them.
And the town's guilt is so apparent at letting Kate and Gerard torture them that Stiles always sees people trying to give them free stuff. The grocer, the butcher even little old ladies.
Derek doesn't trust so easy. Hasn't forgiven them yet and accepts nothing from them.
Laura isn't so stubborn. The endless supply of candy keeps her up for a week before Stiles puts his foot down.
But game night is always an awesome time; because there’s so many people that he always ends up plastered all over Derek’s heavenly muscles or perched comfortably in his lap to make more room. And if they sneak away every now and again to make out heavily in the kitchen under the pretence of grabbing beer from the fridge, well, it happens.
Laura always catches them, rolling her eyes and pretending to barf every time.
By then Stiles is really starting to fall in love with Beacon Hills and a whole lot of other things.
And they finally stop calling him Bilinski.