Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by Jeff Davis et al. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: spoilers for s3 up to ep 11.
Derek felt somewhat bereft, because everyone was gone from his loft, well except Deucalion, but he didn't count. Stiles’ return seemed to have been the catalyst that meant things were going back to what passed for normal.
Everyone who had been sleeping on his floor during the search for Stiles had gone back to their own space, the alphas to where they had been staying and Peter to his apartment. There was school the next day so all the teenagers had headed home, including Stiles, who Derek missed more than he cared to admit. Deaton had departed hours earlier anyway, which just left Cora and she'd offered to go to the 24h market to pick up some things because they were out of anything edible again. Werewolves and teenagers consumed a lot of food.
Hence he was alone with Deucalion, because someone had to be there to watch the other alpha. He was just contemplating how much he had enjoyed having Stiles curled up again his side most of the early evening when Deucalion spoke: "You're little human is turning out to be a most interesting specimen."
They'd have to remove the gag to let Deucalion eat and Derek was suddenly regretting not having put it back again.
"Stiles is none of your business," he replied.
"Oh I think he's all of our business," Deucalion said in that usual patronising tone; "guardian of the nemeton; that's a lot of power. Do you think he even realises?"
He did not want to talk about this with anyone, but especially Deucalion.
"But you do."
Emissaries and druids and ancient power was all something his mother had dealt with when his family was still alive and not something he and Laura had really come across in New York, but he had an idea of what Deucalion was hinting at. The nemeton had been recharged by Jennifer, then Stiles had given it enough energy in one sacrificial act to completely rebuild itself. The power involved was scarily huge even for someone versed with the supernatural all their life. Beacon Hills would be living up to its name and Stiles was going to be right in the middle of it.
"I am not talking to you about this," he said with what he hoped was finality.
If there was anyone he would talk about it with it would be Stiles and no one else. His own part in the situation, being summoned as he was, was something they were definitely going to have to discus, because Derek knew it had not been random. What it did mean was something he hadn't worked out yet, which was why it needed discussion.
"But he's such a delightful young man."
The overtones on that were totally the wrong thing to use in Derek's presence at that moment and he was across the room in a second, inches away from Deucalion with his claws out. He brought himself to a stop by pure will.
"You should have killed me before now," Deucalion said and all but laughed at him.
Drawing a deep breath, Derek calmed himself. Deucalion seemed to revel in pulling people's strings even when it might be dangerous and he was not going to play.
"And my instinct is to do just that," he said, leaning closer so they were almost nose to nose and Deucalion would be able to sense him whether the alpha was using his abilities to overcome his blindness or not, "but I've discovered something recently that I choose to accept. There's a sixteen year old alpha out there whose instincts are better than mine."
Deucalion tried to scoff at that, but Derek caught the other's man's chin and held it.
"I know why he scares you," he said; "it's why he used to scare me too."
Those blind eyes couldn't see him, but Derek could see the fear buried in them.
"He's better than us, Deucalion," he said, slowly and purposefully. "Less than a year a wolf and he's already an alpha and he didn't have to steal anyone else's power to get there. He has done something none of us with our werewolf heritage can do. And do you know what I realised the real kicker is? He is what we are supposed to be."
"He's a boy," Deucalion said.
"And he's already more powerful than either of us," Derek replied. "You stole the power of your pack and some of your alphas, but it's slipping away isn't it. Now the others have abandoned you it's all just dripping out of you."
"I am stronger than you," Deucalion growled and he was the angry one now; they all had buttons to push.
Derek smiled to himself and just backed away.
"I know," he said and Deucalion's anger changed to surprise; "that's another thing I've realised. I don't have to be the strongest or the fastest, I have a pack and when I need it they will lend me their strength."
"No, Deucalion, how it's supposed to be. I had forgotten what it was like to have a pack, a family and I tried to make my own and failed because of what I had forgotten."
"I made a pack like no other."
"You made an abomination," he spat back; "something that was doomed to fail. What Scott is building will last; even you can feel that."
"His love will lead him to destruction."
"No it won't. Just because one man took your dream and turned it to ashes does not mean all dreams are wrong. And there is one thing you don't seem to have realised. If you just give up this bloody crusade, admit that you're wrong, Scott will let you share his dream. He won't trust you and he won't turn his back on you until you prove yourself, but he'll let you in because that's why he's a true alpha."
"Don't be ridiculous," Deucalion said; "his only option is to kill me."
Now Derek laughed.
"Still trying to make him a killer," he said and walked away.
It was all too clear Deucalion had no idea what he had put in motion.
"He's not like us," Derek said, stressing every word. "Think about it and you might live longer."
Stiles walked into his house and found his dad watching some really cheesy fantasy martial arts movie on TV. He walked into the living room and sat down on the couch next to his parent.
"That guy looks kind of like you," he said as his dad picked up the remote and turned it off.
"It was beginning to freak me out," his dad said with a grimace and then turned to Stiles. "No more brushes with the law today then?"
He gave his dad an apologetic smile for that.
"Sorry," he said, "Scott's dad is a dick."
"He's an agent of the FBI," his dad said in a resigned tone.
"He's still a dick," Stiles insisted and this time his dad did not argue.
"Yeah and I know you kept him away from the cellar," his dad said. "You are going to explain all that right, because the garbled mess you gave me before going out the door is not going to cut it."
He did feel a bit of an ass about that, but Scott had been texting him every ten minutes by that point. Antsy werewolves were not fun.
"It's okay," his dad assured him with another nudge in the side. "So how did things go with the pack?"
The stupid grin that Stiles felt form on his face was totally unavoidable.
"That looks like a love sick smile," his dad observed and Stiles cursed having a detective type for a father.
"What makes you say that?" he asked and realised it sounded defensive, because he really hadn't been going to bring up Derek.
"Because you've been wearing it around Lydia for years, kid," his dad said and nudged him in the side. "So did the fair maiden fall at your feet for your heroic deeds?"
Stiles snorted at that, because he couldn't imagine anything less likely than Lydia falling at someone's feet.
"Nope," he said.
"The Hale girl, um, Cora?"
He knew his dad, the guesses would not stop, so he decided to jump in with both feet.
"Wrong gender," he replied.
For just a moment his dad completely stilled and he could see the whole world view altering thing going on.
"Okay," his dad said after a few moments, "I can deal with that, but I would have sworn you weren't gay."
"No, you were right, it's called bisexual and I've been exploring the idea for a while, but y'know, Lydia, so never really been an issue until it suddenly was."
His dad appeared to consider this and then just accept it.
"So the Lahey kid?" was his father's first try at a new guess.
Stiles shook his head.
"Doing the horizontal mambo with Allison," he saw his dad open his mouth to ask the obvious question as he paused slightly, "and Scott," he added with what he thought was perfect timing.
His dad blinked.
"I really don't think I needed to know that."
"If you will guess at my love life I refuse to be responsible for what other information you learn that you did not wish to. We can totally stop now."
He was hoping his dad would say yes so he could delay the whole Derek conversation, but he doubted he would be that lucky.
"Good try, kid," his dad said with a grimace, "but no joy."
It was at that point Stiles resigned himself to the inevitable.
"Not one of those two alpha twins, the ones who can turn into one werewolf?"
"You know about that?"
"Melissa filled me in on a lot of things while we were tied up in that cellar," his dad explained.
"Oh and nope. Danny has the gay one tamed, that's Ethan and Lydia has the straight one on a leash, that's Aiden."
It was clear that in his dad's mind there were no other options.
"Is there someone in this scenario I don't know about yet?" his dad asked.
"No, Dad, you have all the players, which actually is totally the wrong choice of words. There are three names you haven't tried yet and two of them are just, ewww, so that really narrows it down."
His dad was frowning.
"I'm only coming up with Derek..."
Stiles just lifted his eyebrows before his dad could go on, at which point his dad's expression kind of closed down.
"Do not start," he said before his dad could say whatever his dad was thinking; "I know he's older than me and no, he's not taking advantage of anything because he already laid down the law about no sex 'til I'm eighteen. Which, by the way, is ridiculous, do you have any idea how much my chances of being ritually sacrificed for a third time go up because I'm still a virgin. None of my friends are virgins and I'm going to be seventeen very soon and I think that's plenty old enough to have sex."
"Maybe with someone your own age," his dad said. "I do remember teenage hormones, but Derek Hale is not your age; he's a full grown man."
"Yeah, and an alpha werewolf whose social skills are way out of practice," he responded. "I know all the reasons not to do this, Dad; I'm not as completely impulsive as you think I am, but when he touches me..." his dad's face changed again. "Dude, not like that, like normal, like you're doing now, I feel grounded. He also actually has a sense of humour under all the angst and he's loyal and sweet when he wants to be, and boy can he kiss."
Possibly he shouldn't have said the last part, but sometimes he and his mouth were not all together of one opinion.
"And this all happened today?" he dad wanted to know.
"I kind of cornered him and asked if I could kiss him."
That made his dad's expression shift yet again.
"You initiated it?"
It seemed to be an important point, so he nodded again very definitely.
"I put up this barrier thing so I could grill Scott about the whole Allison and Isaac thing, which I still haven't managed to do completely, but I will and Derek appeared all freaked out because he couldn't hear my heartbeat. It's a werewolf thing when members of the pack have been hurt recently," he explained before his dad could ask. "But it was kind of obvious that it wasn't just that, because Scott had the same instinct and I was not getting the same signals off him. Yeah, so I took the initiative."
"And he just said yes?"
He rolled his eyes.
"No, he said no, remember I already explained the whole too old thing; he pointed that out. I think he was weak because of the whole teleporting thing though, so I talked him into it."
His dad was beginning to get that pained little frown he sometimes got when Stiles talked too fast.
"Um," he said, reigning himself in, "are you sure you want to know now? I can just go upstairs and we can have this conversation tomorrow."
It looked like his dad was actually considering the out, after all the last few week had been a lot of strange shit already.
"Tell me," is what his dad said.
"Well you know I caught Scott's dad at the nemeton?"
His dad nodded.
"I didn't walk there. I sensed that it needed me and I teleported. Deaton says I'm its guardian, that's why I have these powers."
That might have been just a little too much for his dad to take in.
"You can teleport?"
"Yeah, but only to the nemeton, I think. That's why I had to get back to the pack because I just disappeared from Derek's loft and they were going crazy."
"You can teleport?"
Yep, he was sure now, definitely too much information too soon. This was going to take some time and possibly a large scotch for his dad. At least they'd moved on from the whole Derek conversation.
"Dad," Scott said as soon as he got through the door and came to a complete halt.
Isaac walked into the back of him.
"Scott," his father said and his mom gave him a slightly worried look.
"Are we interrupting, Mom?" he asked, because there was no way he was leaving his mom alone with his dad unless she was okay with it.
His mom did not need that stress on top of everything else.
"Actually I wanted to speak to you, Scott," his dad said and his stomach fell.
"What about?" he asked.
"Semi-official, I'm afraid," his dad said and didn't seem remotely sorry at all, "we're still trying to find Ms Blake and since you were in her class you might have information that could be useful. So far you've been rather elusive."
"I was avoiding you," he said bluntly, because it was at least half of the truth.
"Scott if you don't..." his mom started to say.
"No, it's okay, Mom," he said. "I know finding Ms Blake is important."
"Do you want me to..?" his mom asked.
"I think we'll be fine," he said and gave her a smile and then indicated to his dad that they should go into the living room.
He would have preferred never to have to talk to his father, but if he had to, so be it.
"Why were you at the residence of Derek Hale today?" his father asked almost before they sat down.
"How did you know ...?" he began to ask, then thought about it. "You followed Stiles."
He didn't think his respect for his father could get any lower, but, it seemed, it could.
"Derek Hale," his father prompted.
"What's that got to do with Ms Blake?"
"We believe Jennifer Blake and Derek Hale may have been in a relationship."
He made a mental note to warn Derek and decided to ignore the inference.
"We're friends," he replied, "and he has the biggest place where a bunch of us can meet up."
"Hale hosts gatherings of teenagers?"
Scott didn't like that tone at all.
"No, Derek hosts gatherings of role players, we're not all teenagers," he said, picking the first thing off the top of his head, "you know, D&D and things like that. That's why you might think he knew Ms Blake, some of us wanted to use some of the campaigns in an English assignment and Ms Blake thought it might be an interesting exercise for a class. They never got past talking about it though."
He was quite proud of the spur of the moment inspiration about the English class and he'd have to tell Stiles they were recycling the excuse about role playing.
"Role playing?" his father asked.
"Yeah, at the moment we’re doing a quest with werewolves and other supernatural creatures. It gives us something else to think about other than our English teacher being a crazy serial killer."
He wasn't about a little emotional manipulation.
"Derek Hale does not look like a role player."
"Dad, you can't tell a role player just by looking at them, well not unless it's live action and they're dressed up. It's a very creative hobby. We've done some live action in the woods before; it was cool."
That should also explain any strange sightings.
His dad didn't seem to know what to say about that.
"Your mother didn't say anything about role playing," was his dad's next gambit.
"Yeah, well when has mom ever understood anything like that?" he asked as if that was obvious.
It was a disservice to his mom, but he was sure she would forgive him. No doubt Isaac was listening in from the other room and hopefully texting people with the information.
"So if I call Derek Hale right now, he will confirm this?"
"Of course," he replied and made out he was exasperated with the questions.
"And who else is in this group?" his father asked.
Scott listed everyone off, because he didn't want to be caught in a lie and he had no idea how long his dad had to have been watching them.
"Dr Deaton, the vet, is a gamer?"
"Yes, he likes to play mysterious, wise characters who don't tell us everything," he replied. "He's often the games master."
It was funny how easy it was to slip people into certain roles.
"When did you last see Ms Blake?"
That was a much safer question.
"The hospital," he replied, because people were bound to have seen him there; "I was looking for Mom and met up with Ms Blake, Stiles and Derek. We didn't know she was the killer then."
And where did you go after that?
"Derek's," he replied, which was all part of the story they had created and what he had already told the Sheriff's deputies. "Derek was taking me home, but the storm looked really bad, so we went to his place and stayed there all night. I didn't know Mom was missing until the night after that."
"You didn't go to school?"
"It had been a really long night, Derek's couch is really comfortable and we didn't set an alarm. I didn't think there was much point with how late it was. I went home, got some things and went to wait at Stiles’ house, because I knew he'd have all the notes. It was when I met up with him I found out what was going on."
"And you didn't come to me?"
That tone was kind of betrayed and Scott didn't even bother to reply.
"Is that all?" he asked. "I have homework to finish before tomorrow, can I go?"
His father looked resigned and just nodded.