Eventually they would have to talk about it. Eventually being the operative word. Ignoring problems until they went away was something Stiles had no shame in doing. He's pretty sure he's mastered it at this point. So when Scott pulls him aside after the bell rings, signaling the end of Chem with Mr. Harris (Who spent the class explaining why certain theories were incorrect and lecturing on why the economy is declining with the new generation), Stiles has no issue with pretending he's confused.
"Stiles, you know we can't ignore this."
"Well, not with that attitude we can't. You actually have to try Scotty boy" The light tone in his voice made Stiles feel that much better. He was proud to say the least. Hell, he deserved some sort of you made it through hell and back and
sorta survived lived to tell the tale (not really) award.
"Stiles... I'm trying here. I know you think it'll be better if we ignore it, but nothing good can come of keeping our lips sealed. We will just keep getting worse without any help or support from one another and we won't be able to go back to normal. Nothing will get fixed." Scott argued and to be fair, it wasn't a ludicrous argument. But Stiles wasn't sure what normal meant anymore nor if they had the means to return to it.
"Guess we won't know until we put the whole ignoring thing into action. I don't know about you but I'm starving."
And then Stiles did something he hadn't done in... well, ever.
He walked past Scott as if he wasn't there.
* * *
"How are you?" Was the first thing that Derek had said once Stiles showed up an hour early for the pack meeting (Are they still calling it that even without Erica and Boyd, and Isaac and Jackson, and Aiden and Ethan?)
"Perfect" There was no reason for him to lie. There really wasn't. Lying, Stiles had figured was the most useless tool ever invented especially when the action is being applied to a supernatural being who could literally distinguish every syllable from fact and fiction. It also didn't help that Stiles just wasn't a natural born liar. Then again, he's been lying to his dad for months, does that count?
"What's wrong?" and Derek is now on the offense. He's gotten into the habit of being ready to attack since... Well, since that. But he also knows better than to ask Stiles because as far as Stiles is concerned, the whole pack (Does he seriously need to keep calling it that ) is already aware of Stiles' game plan.
It can be broken into two steps so it's easily executable in any situation.
STEP ONE : State the problem
STEP TWO : Ignore it
Pretty solid if you ask him. But no one seems to ask him anything other than "What's wrong" or "When can we talk" these days.
"Nothing." Another lie, sue him.
Derek seems to have a string of words in his mouth, but they all fall short in a way that almost physically hurts Stiles. But after taking a second to rethink that, he realizes that it isn't really possible to hurt him anymore. Derek says nothing so he figures he's choosing to ignore the problem and cheers to him for being the first to hop on the fuck no train to the fuck that vile that is being conducted by a very eager Stiles.
"Why'd you come so early?" Derek goes to ask instead of the original ideas he had and Stiles thanks the lord that this a question he can answer honestly.
"To grace you with my presence." Stiles smiles, well, the closest to what he can do now a days.
And Derek huffs a little at that and he sends back a grin, a grin that does things to Stiles that Stiles find completely unfair (and illegal), but Stiles takes it in stride and takes that as his key to sit his ass on the recliner. Specifically the one he made Derek buy when they had first begun to remodel the loft. Each and every last object was picked out by someone in the "pack" So he decided it deserved quotations which made him smile a little if only for the memory of those days. Derek had moved here with really no possessions except a couple of books and photo albums. All of which no one was ever allowed to touch, and to this day, Stiles believes that that was the only demand Derek had ever really made that everyone respected.
"How blessed am I." Although the sarcasm was heavy, there was no sting in his words so Stiles decided Derek didn't hate having him here.
Derek had been grinning, but just as quickly as it was shown, it disappeared and even Stiles could tell the expression wasn't right. Derek's face just looked... wrong. Like something was wrong, and shit, something must be wrong. As if to hear his suspicions, Derek yanks Stiles' arm in a heart beat and lifts him up from the chair with face in dire emergency.
Stiles says nothing.
He doesn't know how to voice his confusion, his worry, his fear. And if he could, Derek looks too far gone to even hear him. Derek pulls Stiles hand and begins to run upstairs and Stiles thinks that this is it. There's something wrong, something so wrong that he can feel Derek's heart beat pounding even by only his human hand. And damn it Stiles, say something.
"Derek..." is all that comes out, and it sounds so broken, so fear ridden that Stiles internally kicks himself.
"Don't say another word" Derek orders, eyes red and Stiles can't figure out what the look in Derek's eyes means, but he figures it's in both of their interests if he follows that command. Stiles nods, feeling stray tears at his eyes. His last words to his dad were "I couldn't tell you even if I wanted to." That's what he'd leave his dad with if this is as serious as the look of Derek's face. No I love you. No I'm sorry. Just a bunch of lies, ignorance and a couple more lies by omission. God Stiles is a horrible son.
They turn into Derek's bedroom and Stiles has never been more afraid. He doesn't know what's happening, but Derek does and he seems not to want to inform Stiles at the moment on the account of not talking. The slow tears continue and Stiles nails dig into his knee.
Keep it together you human.
Stiles doesn't know when he began to use human as an insult, but it seems to fit the cause. Derek's hand covers his and Stiles' grip loosens. Derek only nods head and Stiles doesn't know if that's a "we will be okay" or "good bye" nod and Stiles stomach clenches. There is a sudden noise and it takes Stiles a moment to process that it did not come from either of the only two people in this room.
Someone is here.
Stiles breathing only gets quicker and eventually, Stiles can feel the onset of a panic attack and he prays to who ever the fuck to just let him be able to tell his dad he loves him one more time. To hear Scott laugh one last time. To see Derek with any other expression than the one he has right now. This couldn't be... it just couldn't.
Derek's eyes remain the same for what seemed to be an eternity, the noise dying out slowly over time. But they change from blood red to those amazing green and Stiles can't breathe.
"They're gone." Derek confirms and Stiles still can't breathe.
Someone was here. Someone was in his safe place. Someone was in the place he runs to and Stiles can't handle the thoughts that follow.
"Stiles, breathe." Derek demands and Stiles chokes.
"It's not safe here anymore. No where is safe." Stiles cries and he wishes he could drown.
* * *
Stiles awakes startled, eyes crusted by tears he assumes and he realizes he's in his bedroom with no memory of getting there. He breathes in and it hurts in a new way and Stiles slowly draws out the memory of what happened before here. And it comes back ten times as worse as it felt the first time around.
He was supposed to be fine. Safe. He was keeping himself out of non-human shit and it was supposed to keep him safe. Derek was supposed to be safety. Where the hell does that leave him now? Breathing getting heavy, it takes him a while to notice that he is not alone and that Derek is there. Sitting in his computer chair, head on his hands with eyes closed. And as if he sensed Stiles weariness, he lifts his head up in a heart beat and looks for any sign of danger and looks only a little bit consoled with the fact that there was none.
"What happened?" Stiles asks, voice hoarse.
"You had a panic attack and passed out. I brought you back here after making sure your dad went out for his shift."
"Who was it?" Stiles asks after a series of awkward silence passes.
"We don't have to talk about that right now." Derek dismissed and Stiles is off.
"I think we sure as hell need to talk about it. Someone was in your house Derek!" Someone was in my safe place.
"We can talk about it later Stiles." Derek says more firmly this time and it pisses Stiles off even more.
"Derek. We will talk about it now." The voice doesn't sound like his and Stiles ignores the heavy feeling he has at the expression Derek has. He looks... trapped. Stiles made him feel cornered and that wasn't what he wanted to do. He just wanted to know what was wrong. To know who invaded the only place he had left.
Derek sighs. "It's not it, it's them."
"There was more than one alpha." Derek admits and Stiles doesn't process it, or he tries not to, neither way, Stiles does not understand.
"There was what?"
And Derek looks defeated. As if admitting it out loud the first time was all he was capable of doing and asking a second time would just be useless. But Stiles needs to hear it again. He needs to know he isn't having some kind of delusion or he isn't still passed out somewhere and his mind is projecting his worst nightmare. Cause that's what this was really. His worst nightmare.
"A pack of Alphas Stiles."
"A pack. A werewolf pack. Of Alphas." Stiles sputters stupidly because he still can't process it. "H-h-how... how, j-just how the hell? What the hell!? How is that even possible? Should that even be a thing? Doesn't that go against so many ethics?" Stiles' head is spinning and he can't help but wish he had listened to Derek because he didn't want to know this. He didn't want this.
Derek looks like he regretted telling Stiles as much as Stiles regretted asking.
"How many? Why were they there? Did they come looking for you? How did they even know of the loft? How long have they been in Beacon Hills?" Stiles spits out questions quicker than his mind can think, but he keeps one to himself. They were werewolves, alphas even. There's no way they didn't... Stiles feels like he is going to be sick, right here, on his bed. They knew. There's no way they didn't feel the heart beats, hear the heavy breathing, smell the scent of a werewolf and a human.
Why didn't they do anything then?
"There were four from what I could tell. I've heard of rumors from old allies in the East sides... but I didn't think they'd ever be here. They must have not been here for long because packs tend to notify when other's are near and none of the packs in California have put word out. I don't know what they're purpose is. I don't know why they're here."
"Derek, what are we going to do?"
Derek has no reply and Stiles would be lying if he said he expected to hear one. The silence is heavy and Stiles just repeats the same question over and over and each and every last time, he comes up with nothing. If they wanted to kill them for some sort of territory dispute, they would have done so right away. The Alpha with only his average human against four Alphas does not sound in any way to be an advantage for the Hale-Pack. Derek was alone basically considering how easily they could snap Stiles' neck and remove him from the equation all together. Four against one, Derek would never stand a chance. And that's what bothers Stiles because he's slowly understanding what this all adds up to. And it only makes him feel sicker.
He didn't want to think about it anymore, because if he did, Stiles is sure what he would realize. If the pack of Alphas hadn't wanted to kill him, if the pack didn't go upstairs to face the two heartbeats, that means their purpose wasn't to kill. And if they didn't want to kill... what did they want?
Stiles takes a breath, then another and looks at Derek, who has long since gotten up an sat on the end of Stiles' bed, facing him with a look of anger yet sadness and Stiles just knows what he's thinking and he want's it to stop.
"It's not your fault. Them being here... it's not your fault so stop blaming yourself."
"Yes. You are. So stop it. We, we can make it through this. We've made it through the Kanima, Dread Doctors, the Darach, the Onis. We'll be fine." Stiles knows he's lying. But jut for once, he hopes Derek can't tell. Prays that Derek hears his words as they are without encrypting it, savaging for the lie because Stiles has come to believe that's what Derek does. He's come to believe that Derek excels over every other werewolf at distinguishing fact from fiction because he's always searching for it. Because he always doubts before given reason not to. And that hurts to even imagine.
All Derek does is nod and Stiles continues to pray that just this once, Derek let his guard down enough for the lie to flow through.