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The Shadows and Monsters

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“Sooooo,” Lydia drawls, her mouth making a perfect O as she leans back in her chair and crosses her arms and legs. “You guys spent the last five days getting chased by a pack of werewolves from New York that was actually hired by Peter Hale to draw out Derek so Peter could use him as bait to steal the flame of life from THIS guy who just happens to be Mother. Fucking. Peng.”

She stands abruptly. “Stiles had eight broken fingers, Isaac had a shoulder broken in two places and still has a concussion -in case you didn’t notice his mismatched pupils, all of you almost died several times and even though you’ve spent the last two days healing up with Deaton at no point during any of this did ANY of you think to call me?”

Stiles opens and closes his mouth few times but nothing comes out. Scott shifts from foot to foot. Isaac stares blankly at the wall. Derek stares at Stiles. Alex smiles at Lydia. Kira lounges on the couch and mumbles, “whatever Lydia, you left me with my mom.” Lydia makes an annoyed noise with her mouth.

“It’s not like I don’t think you guys can’t handle yourselves. This wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the fact that the last I heard you were just stuck in a stupid tree, when really you were in mortal danger. I mean, it’s not like I’ve been here for five days wondering why I’m nonstop screaming!” Lydia stomps her foot on the last word of her tirade.

“It’s a good thing we sound proofed this apartment so the wail isn’t as loud, otherwise my neighbors would be deaf.”

Stiles winces, “Lydia, oh my god, I am so sorry. Everything just happened so fast-”

“Does ‘everything’ and ‘so fast’ include getting your bone on with Derek?”

Lydia steps around her desk to stand in front of the boys. “Next time there’s a life-threatening ordeal going on, please check your phones. I called and texted each of you about 80 times.”

Scott opens his mouth to speak but Lydia raises a hand, effectively ending the conversation. He dejectedly walks to the couch and stands before Kira, who is able to stay angry for a total of 8 seconds before allowing him to sit down with her and hug him. He kisses her cheek after she whispers “I’m glad you guys are ok.”

Lydia makes her way over to Alex, looks him up and down, and lifts her eyebrows in a show of approval.

“Hero of the hour, I hear.”

“A shared title,” Alex says, still grinning.

“And modest, too.”

“Just honest,” he concedes.

“Did you kill Peter Hale?”

“I very much wanted to.”

“So?” Lydia says and quickly turns away, “Everyone who’s ever met him has ‘wanted to’.”

Alex leans toward Stiles and whispers “this is the card with the banshee on it, yes?”

“Uh. Yeah…”

Alex leans away making a responsive sound that Stiles can’t parse as positive or negative.

Lydia addresses them all again, “Since you’ve been with Deaton I’m going to assume then that all bodies have been taken care of and you all have done damage control. Did anyone talk to Satomi to see if this extended beyond our pack?”

Derek perks up then and Stiles listens to him and Scott fill in the rest of the gaps for Lydia. Scott’s never been known for his intelligence but the smartest thing he ever did was make Lydia his second. She has the kind of tenacity and a big picture mentality to keep all their heads above water when Scott tries to drown them all in idealism.

While the management has a meeting and Isaac lets his brain heal, Stiles motions for Alex to come with him to the other side of the room.

“You uh, you mentioned at the house…” Stiles begins, scratching his chin nervously, and then he stalls out knowing the wolves in the room will hear him. Alex slowly raises his eyebrows and waits.

“You said you and my mom uh. Hung out with Deaton.” And then Stiles mumbles something else into his hand.

“Speak, Stiles.”

Stiles throws his hands up, “Deaton dated my-my uncle?”

Alex tilts his head and then nods, “Ahh. You did not know he favored men.”

“Yeah well um …no. But that’s not the issue. The operative words here are ‘my uncle’. Are we talking figuratively? Like a really good friend of the fam or like my mom’s cousin that she was really close to or something? Because I don’t have any uncles.”

Alex lifts the side of his mouth into a small smile, “but you do.”

“Stiles.” Derek motions him over to where he, Lydia, and Scott have congregated. Stiles makes an exasperated flail in Alex’s direction and walks over.

“Lydia’s made a good point about us bringing the Argents in on this,” Scott says. “Especially since Chris already had dealings with Ivan’s pack. We don’t know if Ivan was working with Peter too and we need to find out.”

Stiles nods through the conversation but only half listens. Instead he’s thinking about the telephone conversation he needs to have with his father about this “uncle”.

***

It is day two of project Oh My Fuck We Need to Fix the House Before Dad and Melissa Get Back from Their Honeymoon and all is surprisingly well on that front. The scorch marks have been scraped and painted over, the beams for the roof are in, Stiles’ replacement bedroom furniture has been ordered with 2 day priority shipping, and the house finally stopped reeking of burnt everything (the smell was really fucking with Derek and airing out the house was at the top of every version of Stiles’ To Do list). The happy couple will be returning in six days, which is thankfully two days more than he needs according to the contractor. Derek, despite the smell, has come over both days to intimidate make sure the contract workers stay on schedule. In fact, the whole Stilinski House Reboot is thanks to Derek and his bottomless pit of insurance money that Stiles is recognizing Derek really does not like to spend on himself.

But that is a scab to pick at later. Right now, he needs answers about his mom and this mystery uncle.

After staring at his phone for a good fifteen minutes, Stiles realizes that he can’t call his dad about this. Bringing up his mom during his father’s honeymoon is a dick move, no matter how seemingly important this is. It’s been six years of non-stop hell. Dad and Melissa deserve at least these two weeks of, well, not that.

Stiles pockets his phone and hops in the jeep. Ten minutes later he’s pulling up at the vet clinic. He hasn’t really thought about what he’s going to ask Deaton, just that he might go into a berserker rage if Deaton pulls his typical enigmatic non-answer answers about this. He stops at the door and takes a couple of breaths then reels back in terror as Alex’s upside down face comes into focus. He absolutely does not scream (it was more of loud squeak).

Alex, who was perched on the lip of the building like a goddamn bat, flips right side up and sort of drifts to the ground.

“Stiles.”

“Jesu- I had an actual heart attack. Thanks. Thank you for that.”

“You’re welcome,” Alex says and saunters over to where Stiles is standing. “I thought you could use some assistance. You’re here to question Alan about your family, yes?”

“Forever weird that you call him Alan but yeah. I figured he could give me some answers. Feel free to chime in with some info yourself, especially if you’re gonna be my hypeman in this.”

Alex nods assent and they enter the clinic together. Deaton, for all his omniscience, seems surprised to see them, though not nearly as surprised as when he laid eyes on Alex two days ago. It was the first time Stiles had ever seen the man lose his composure. When Alex entered the room, Deaton dropped the glass jar of herbs he was carrying, narrowed his eyes, and breathed out a deeply accusatory “you.” Something bright and shiny appeared in the vet’s right hand as he advanced. Stiles almost wishes Derek hadn’t stepped between them and yelled “we’ve got it all worked out now!” Thanks to the darach, they only have an inkling of the power an emissary has. It would have been informative to see if Deaton could hold his own against someone who’s considered a god. It was telling that he seemed to think he could.

“Stiles,” the doctor says, turning back to the feisty cat on the examination table, “what brings you here?”

Stiles notes how Deaton intentionally disregards Alex’s presence.

“I need to talk to you about my mom …and my uncle.”

Deaton goes very still. There’s a pop of bright blue light under his hands. The cat looks up at the vet suddenly, makes a sad little meow, and then goes limp. It’s creepy as all hell. Usually Stiles gives very few fucks about whether it’s the right time to say something but the tension in the examination room is too thick to cut with a machete. He has an overwhelming suspicion that saying the wrong thing right now might find him in a similar yet possibly more painful state as that poor kitty, so he fidgets in his spot but keeps his mouth shut. After a long moment, Deaton picks up the cat and puts it in a kennel. He spends an inordinate amount of time making sure the animal is comfortable. When he turns toward them again it’s Stiles’ turn to be snubbed by the doctor.

Deaton levels a murderous glare at Alex, “You. Have no right. To speak to him of such things.”

Alex nods, “Yes. So why have you not done it?”

“That is none of your concern!” Deaton slams a hand down on the counter, splitting the granite top from lip to backsplash. That’s second time he’s lost his chill. Maybe Alex being here is a bad idea…

Stiles steps forward, “Look, obviously, you two have an old beef. My unsolicited advice is that you guys get that sorted out AFTER one of you answers my questions. Deaton, you know I’m not here to make trouble for you. I just …I just need to know.”

Deaton’s icy stare remains on Alex for another moment while he mumbles something and taps the counter repeatedly. As he taps, the granite hems itself back together. His eyes slide to Stiles. His zen-like calm returns.

“He leaves. Then we’ll talk.”

Deaton turns back to the wall of kennels.

Fuck, Stiles thinks as he rounds on Alex. “Dude. Get the hell out of here.”