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To Walk the Long Road Home

Chapter Text

Stiles was just packing to leave school when he got the text from Scott.

Scott: ‘Pck mt 2nit, dn’t B Late’. Sent 3:04

Stiles didn’t know what to feel. Within the last week, Scott hadn’t texted him once, and it had been nearly a week since they had talked. Not since after Gerard- the aching but fading bruises and cuts a stark reminder to him of that. The last Stiles could actually remember talking to Scott had been after dealing with the Kanima.

Stiles had stayed home for most of the previous week, but he felt like shit the entire time. With not only the literal torture Stiles had been put through with Gerard, but for lying to his dad about what happened too. During the whole deal with Gerard, Scott hadn’t texted him once, except to ask for him to bring Lydia to help with dealing with the Alpha Kanima.

He took a deep breath, tucked his phone in his pocket, and got in the jeep. His dad had a normal shift, but wouldn’t be home for a few hours still. Plenty of time to find out what was going on.

The entire drive to Derek’s loft, something felt off to him. Did the Pack need his help with something? Or was it just another new problem the Pack was trying to deal with, one that they has neglected to mention to him?

Arriving in the loft, Stiles could tell- something was definitely off. But hey, after not seeing or hearing anything about them, seeing Boyd and Erica safe and alive made him feel slightly better.

Stiles stood uncomfortably by the door, mouth dry. Everyone was here, except Uncle Creeper, but Stiles wasn’t super surprised about his lack of absence. Even Allison was here, sitting glued next to Scott on the couch.

Derek spoke. “Stiles.”

Derek was standing a few feet from him, arms crossed. Stiles swallowed nervously as Derek continued to glare at him. Stiles shifted uncomfortably under the weight of his gaze. Stiles tongue finally unstuck from the roof of his mouth and responded.

“Yeah?” God, the tension in the room was growing, and Stiles could feel it against his skin, pushing slowly in around him.

Then Derek said it. The words that brought him to a stand still.

“Stiles, why are you here?” Derek’s words shocked him like a slap to the face.

Stiles gaze sunk slowly from Derek to the floor.

Stiles couldn’t understand. Why was he here? Why was he here? Why was he here?

Stiles hated how weak his voice sounded when he stuttered out a weak, “W-what?”

This… This couldn’t be happening. Stiles couldn’t breathe, his lungs stopped working, full of the aching pain of disbelief. Why wouldn’t he come? He was asked to, and now… Now Derek was saying it. Those words he’d been fearing deep, deep down would come, the ones from the place he kept all his pain hidden. No. This couldn’t be happening, it couldn’t. Couldn’t.

“Stiles, we don’t need you here. Go.” And oh, there it was. Derek shattering what was left of his breaking heart. And in all his glorified bluntness too. Stiles backed away, forcing himself to take a deep breath, to shut his eyes and force away the coming tears. Derek's tone brokered no argument, and Stiles would be inclined to agree if he wasn't in the process of a mental- and emotional- breakdown.

No.

After all he'd done for them- this is what they did? Threw him away like some useless thing? He'd bled his own blood for them, and on more than one occasion. Before he was tortured, even. The bruises lingering on his skin could testify to that.

No, they wouldn’t see him break. He wouldn’t let them. He took one last stuttering gasp for air, and forced open his eyes. Stiles braced himself for a moment to turn his gaze up from the floor, to see the looks in their faces.

His ‘friends.’ His Pack. But not anymore. Maybe… They never had been.

And if that didn’t make him want to cry, hell, he didn’t know what else would.

Scott stared at the floor, refusing to look at him. Allison next to him, her face stoically calm, no emotion on her face, the type only those trained to could get. Erica and Boyd, varying looks on their faces, not holding his travelling gaze for more than a few seconds. Jackson looked concerned- a new look on him- and pained, glaring weakly at Derek’s back. Lydia looked much the same as Jackson, although her glare was far more intense than Jackson’s, but she too, remained as silent as the rest.

Isaac face was the worst. He looked… As pained as Stiles felt, but still, said nothing, sitting silently with his hands trembling from how tightly they clenched his pants.

If the pain wasn’t bad enough, a tiny voice whispered from deep down- finally. They finally recognized him for the weak, powerless human he was. They finally voiced his worst fear. They didn’t need him. After all, why would they want a defenseless, worthless human?

Stiles didn’t speak, couldn’t. Not really. It would no doubt surprise Derek, with how often Stiles knew he tended to talk and argue. But he couldn’t. Not now, not to them. So he nodded once, took one last look at their faces, and left.

In his jeep, he made it all the way to his driveway before the tears started. And once they did, they didn’t stop. Hiding in his room, sobbing from the pain and pressure of it all, time stopped having meaning.

From one pain to the next, all slowly draining from him in the form of numbing, aching, sobbing tears. After all he had gone through- from helping Scott, to being there for Isaac’s nightmares, saving Derek when the Kanima attacked at the pool, to enduring torture for Boyd and Erica. Nothing. He was still just… Stiles. Skinny, worthless, defenseless, human Stiles. And that was enough reason, despite knowing how hard he had tried to help them- to help the Pack- to throw him out.

Minutes or hours later, Stiles couldn’t tell, Stiles heard the front door slam shut. He had fallen silent not long before, the heart wrenching sobs and hiccupping fading to nothing but a tear stained face and pillow.

Stiles sat up and took a deep breath. Weary of breaking into uncontrollable wave of agonizing pain and tears.

Nothing. The pain was gone, locked once more away- now that he could feel nothing more than a heavy ache in his mind and body.

His dad must be home, so the time must be later than Stiles thought.

His dad. Oh god, what would he tell his dad? One thing Stiles knew for certain- he sure as hell wasn’t gonna stay here. Not when all Beacon Hills meant to him now was how much of a failure he was, how much pain he would be in from it all.

And, a perhaps a little to spite Derek. If he thought Stiles wasn’t his pack, then Stiles was sure as fuck not going to help him, and Stiles doubted Derek or the Pack wouldn’t ask for his help at some point regardless of kicking him to the curb. Stiles was just that good.

But if Stiles was going to leave, Stiles wouldn’t be able to protect his dad. And if Stiles couldn’t, then maybe it was about time to tell his dad what had really been going on in Beacon Hills.

His dad was the Sheriff after all.

Chapter Text

The silence in the kitchen was unbearable. His dad- sitting thankfully- sat staring at him. His dad hadn’t interrupted once, and sat through Stiles manipulating a handful of salt- which had been a fateful day when Stiles found that little tidbit of information out.

Mountain ash and salt both worked that way, apparently.

“Stiles…” His dad started, but trailed off. Stiles looked ashamedly down to the floor. Just another person whom he’d lied to about in the mess that had become his life. Looking down at the floor, Stiles missed the growing look of pain on his dad’s face.

Stiles jolted when a pair of arms wrapped tightly around him. It took him a few seconds to be able to hear what his dad was muttering into his shoulder, his dad’s arms squeezing tight around him.

“... I’m so sorry Stiles, I… How? How could I have missed this? Stiles, I thought you were safe… I thought I had kept you safe…”

Stiles wanted to cry. Again. He lifted his arms and wrapped them around his dad.

“N-no dad, I-I’m okay. We… We’re okay. It’s g-gonna be okay.” His dad pulled away from him, but only a few inches to look him in the eyes, his arms still around Stiles’ shoulders. The glistening in his dad’s eyes squeezing Stiles’ broken heart.

His dad gently shook his head. “Not now, but… But maybe someday.” His dad paused, a small pained smile on his face. “But this is a good start.”

Stiles smiled- his first genuine smile in a week, and wasn’t that joke?- at his dad.

“Yeah,” Stiles said, “It will be.” He might as well explain his desire to leave.

His dad listened as Stiles explained, still wrapped in his arms as he told him. His dad silently outraged.

How could they have treated Stiles like this? John felt anger simmering. He could understand Stiles’ desire to leave the people who’d caused his son to go through this pain. John felt another wave of agony crush his heart. Stiles, his only son, had gone through all this pain, and at sixteen- christ, he was only sixteen- he had seen more than most adults his age.

Dealing with Scott’s abandonment of his son would be another issue entirely. One he would deal with severely and without haste soon enough.

But if there was one thing he knew for damn certain, it was that he was proud. Stiles had gone through hell, and come out stronger. He might not be a kid anymore, but he was alive.

And that was enough for John.

Quietly he spoke, “If that’s what you want kid, I couldn’t care less. But listen,” he paused, moving his hand to cup Stiles’ cheek. And while John couldn’t see how much he’d gone through in his body, it showed deeply in his eyes. The maturity and hardness in his eyes that only those who’ve persevered can get. “I… I am so proud of you. So damn proud. You understand? If you wanna go, I’m not gonna say no to that.”

Stiles took a deep breath, and smiled, wider than before.

“You do know that I’m just going to call you all the time and nag you about eating burgers three meals a day, right?” He said jokingly.

His dad burst out laughing.

Stiles was surprised and quietly overjoyed at his dad’s easy acceptance of him, and felt immense relief from that. But there was one other thing that he needed to do before he left. And that would require visiting Deaton.

On the drive to the vet’s, Stiles thought through what he would do.

Stiles didn’t trust Deaton. But Deaton had made his own choices when it came to helping Scott deal with Gerard, and it hadn’t ended for the better. Especially not for Dere- nope, Stiles wasn’t thinking about him, or them. Definitely, totally not thinking about him.

And a lovely time to start ‘conveniently’ forgetting his not so small crush. Stupid attractive werewolf bodies and stupid attractive sourwolf. Whatever. Everyone made their ‘decisions’, and now Stiles was making his.

Stiles sighed. For what Stiles needed from Deaton he couldn’t hold his grudge against him- for now, at least. Later, however, might be a different story.

“Hey, Deaton, we need to talk.” Stiles says, walking into the vet’s. Best just get the whole thing over with right away. Deaton looks up from a sheaf of notes, his expression neutral and cryptic, as usual.

Stiles forged on, uncaring of his lack of formality. “You said I had a spark.”

Deaton looked unsurprised on both the lack of manners and the question. A moment or two passed before Deaton responded.

“Yes, that is correct.” He paused briefly before adding, “More or less.”

Great. Speaking for Deaton without revealing answers cryptically or answering a question without talking of half-revealed truths must be painful.

Stiles gestured with his hands. “And that means… What exactly?” Stiles trails off. Hopefully Deaton wouldn’t mind giving more than half of what was going on to Stiles. He wasn’t really in the mood for doing anything by halves today.

Deaton faced Stiles, a small look of contemplation on his face. After a few seconds he spoke.

“Spark is, well, a light term for your power. It was, and is currently, continuing to grow in strength. If it is easier to imagine, you are a well of magic. The well, with use and practice, grows deeper over time.” Deaton pauses, a small look of realization blinking in and out of existence on his face. “I take it you are here because you wish to know more.”

Stiles couldn’t really believe how emotional and straightforward Deaton was being, but hey, Stiles would take what he could get. Stiles nodded in response.

“I have a friend in New York that I believe you would do well with.” Deaton gave a minute smirk from the surprised look on Stiles’ face. “It would take me a bit to see if she is opposed, but I do not believe she will be.”

Stiles nodded again, anxiously. This was perfect.

“If you would come back in an hour after we are closed, I will most likely have an answer for you, if you don’t mind however, I do need to finish up for the day.” Deaton says, gesturing to the pile of papers he has in front of him.

“Okay. Uh, thanks Doc. See ya in a bit then.” Stiles said, bouncing out of the vet’s.

New York! Stiles was quietly freaking out. In a good way, though. He was going to the Big Apple, and he couldn’t believe it. A city to explore and a new life to begin, far, far away from here.

The hour couldn’t pass any slower that it felt like it did, but then again, Stiles couldn’t remember the last time he’d taken an adderall. Driving around town to pass the time, Stiles had texted his dad the news.

His dad had texted back, ‘Sounds great. Tell me more when you get home. Want to hear all the details.’ Sent 5:43

Once Stiles had circled back to the vet’s, he sat anxiously in the parking lot. Five minutes till the hour was up, and Stiles thought that he was close enough.

Apparently Deaton agreed. He waved at Stiles from inside, and Stiles took his cue to enter.

Stiles approached Deaton. In hand, Deaton held a phone. Stiles cocked his head to the side.

“Soooo… What’d she have to say?” Stiles asks, slightly nervous. Deaton gave a tiny curve of his lips in a smile.

“Yes, Stiles. She said yes.” Deaton says. Stiles does a victory dance in excitement. He’s going to New York!

“I have her contact information and current address, I believe she has more details about having a place for you to stay.” Deaton says, calmly.

Stiles waves his hand in a gesture to give. “So, give me the deets. Who’s this lady?”

Deaton’s face is neutral once more, but there is a touch of amusement in his eyes. “The ‘lady’ you speak of is a friend of mine from before I was emissary, when I was training for the position. Dorothea Rollins, is her name. We were well acquainted at the time, and kept in touch.” He gave Stiles a look of seriousness. “Now, while she is not a Spark, she would be well enough versed to teach you much of what you want to know.”

Deaton raises his hand as Stiles opens his mouth to ask, “She is a warlock. A magic- user borne from a demon father, and a human mother. They are often seen as evil because of their parentage- and the volatile strength of their magic. If you ask myself about that we could be here a long time- I myself know only half of such matters- I deal with the more… well, werewolf aspects of such related to magics.”

Woah. Many more things for Stiles to learn. Cool.

Deaton turns, grabs and brings forward an open cardboard box of books and file folders filled with papers.

“These are my parting gift to you.” Deaton says, patting the top of the pile in the box.

Gifts. From Deaton. Could Stiles’ day get any stranger? Probably not, at this point.

“An old book listing alchemical ingredients and their more- supernatural properties. A copy of both the Hale Beastiary, and my notes on the… Recent events occuring in Beacon Hills. My notes from when I studied as Emissary, both here in Beacon and my brief stays with other Packs in other states.” Deaton nods to the box. “All yours, Stiles.” Deaton says.

Stiles just nods numbly.

After getting both the warlock lady’s address and number- Dot, Deaton had called her- and Deaton’s- ‘If you ever need to give me a call, I will get back to you as soon as I can.’- Stiles takes his box and hauls it to the jeep.

Stiles gives a deep sigh, squeezing the steering wheel tightly.

Soon. He would leave soon.

Chapter Text

Stiles grabbed his favorite curly fries for himself and a veggie burger for his dad on his way back to the house. Texting Dot, he introduced himself and said he’d text again on his ETA to New York.

Driving in silence, he thought about what came next.

Now, Stiles knew that Green Point, Brooklyn was a long way from Beacon Hills, and Stiles didn’t know if he was going to fly to New York, or drive there. And while he loved his jeep with all his heart, it would also be really easy for someone- The Pack- to track him down in. Something Stiles didn’t want. At all.

Stiles texted his dad as he pulled into the driveway.

Stiles: ‘Brought food. Am in drive and need help with a box.’ Sent 6:22.

His dad comes out and helps him carry the box into the living room before they sit down to eat. They sit in a comfortable silence until his dad is halfway through the burger before he speaks.

“So, what’s going to happen now?”

Stiles pauses a bit before popping the last fry in his mouth and wiping his hands on his pants.

“I talked to Deaton, and we worked out something with a friend of his. I’m going to be her apprentice, to help me learn more about my magic. From what Deaton talked about there is so much more than what I’ve read about here that I don’t know, that I could learn about.”

His dad considered something before questioning, “I know about you being beyond smart in your grades. If you want to get your diploma on record before being done with school completely, I think that would be good for you to get over with, if you’d be interested?” He asked.

Stiles jumped up and hugged his dad tightly before bouncing back to his seat, flopping down into his chair. “You’re a freaking genius! I nearly forgot about that. I'll send an email about it and you could get the papers, if you wanted.” Stiles exclaimed.

Yeah, he was a genius. No point bragging about it. Lydia might be the queen, but Stiles could beat her easy any day. Stiles had stayed mostly for Scott and to try for a normal high school experience. Now, with both gone and leaving him behind, Stiles was done with that. He had his own life to live now, and he’d be damned if it didn’t go his way for once.

To begin with, at least. His track record for things going his way was abysmal.

“Sure thing. You mentioned New York, and that’s a long way for you to switch schools. Easier to get it done and good with here.” His dad says, before frowning and squinting suspiciously at his burger. “You got me a veggie burger didn’t you.” His dad says disappointedly after a few seconds of staring at the burger.

Stiles smirked evilly before breaking into victorious laughter. His dad hadn’t even noticed!

“See,” Stiles says, “It can’t be bad if you didn’t know the difference till now.” His dad just gives him a look of disbelieving uncertainty.

“Whatever. Back on track here please. You’re taking a plane there, right? I’d feel more comfortable with you flying than driving all the way across the country in the jeep. No offence to you or it, son, but that thing scares me sometimes.” He gestures placatingly with his hands.

Stiles smiles, not offended. How could he be? He worried about his dad, and it felt good to be worried about back sometimes.

Stiles smiles sadly. “Nah. I love it to pieces dad, but the trip is a bit long for it to take. I’ll figure something out for getting around when I get there.”

His dad nodded in agreement.

“I’ll call in tonight, get a late shift tomorrow. I’ll drive you to the airport in the morning. It shouldn’t be too big a deal for the station to deal with me being gone for the morning.” He says, thinking out loud.

Stiles felt like he was going to start crying again. From happiness, for once.

He nodded back at his dad. “Okay.” He says, voice wavering slightly. A thought occurred to him, straightening up in his chair. “You should talk to Chris Argent. He should get you in on the loop of what’s going on around here, get you set up with some bullets that could actually kick some butt of the more supernatural kind.”

His dad narrowed his eyes. “Oh yeah, I’ll definitely be having a chat with him. Soon.” His dad took a breath and sat back in his chair, smiling softly at Stiles. “I think that’s a plan we can work with.”

Stiles grins happily. Yeah, it sure was.

Chapter Text

After a night of no sleep gained and getting out of bed constantly to either grab something and put it in his carry-on or backpack, or worrying about whether or not he actually put it in his carry-on or backpack, Stiles was settling on getting a little sleep on his flight.

The few possessions he actually took with him just reminded him how much he worried.

The early- 4 am was early for Stiles, okay? When he actually was already asleep, at least- drive to the airport in Sacramento with his dad had been an overall success in that they both cried only once on the way there. But it was pretty close to twice for Stiles.

His dad found a one way ticket to LaGuardia for Stiles, where Dot had agreed to meet him when he arrived. The plane left an hour later, an hour Stiles and his Dad spent drinking coffee from airport vendors and trying not to cry again before finally hugging again at the terminal.

Promises exchanged between the two to call regularly, Stiles had boarded his flight.

An hour later and Stiles was sitting and staring blankly at the back of the seat in front of him, thoughts wandering.

He thought about how he would miss his dad, and Melissa. She may have been Scott’s mom, but he knew she tried her best to mother him after his own mom had died, and Stiles was grateful for that, and the comfort she tried to provide him.

Stiles wondered how long it would take Derek, or Scott, or any of the rest of the Pack to actually notice he had left, and who. Probably Lydia. She tended to notice things pretty quickly.

Which reminded him to block all of the Pack’s numbers from his phone. Him leaving was a done deal, and no begging or demands from them would get him back. Tough luck on them for throwing him out, and he wasn’t going to put up with them and whatever they tried to tell him.

Halfway through the flight and after the flight attendant asked him for the fifth time if he was sure he didn’t want something to drink, Stiles finally decided to catch his missed z’s and go to sleep.

He was asleep a few minutes later, said flight attendant carefully placing a blanket over his lap and walking away.

Chapter Text

Exiting the plane, backpack in hand and carry-on in tow, Stiles makes his way off the plane into the terminal.

Stiles makes his way out of the terminal and stops off to the side out of the way of the flow of foot traffic, looking around.

Dot said she’d meet him here, but Stiles didn’t even know what she looked like. Before he can make to reach for his phone to ask her where she is, someone approaches him.

A woman with a slightly timeless aged look stands beside him, looking at him curiously.

“Stiles, right? I’m Dot.” The woman- Dot, apparently- says, and offers her hand.

Stiles nods and shakes her hand. “Yeah, I’m Stiles. Nice to meet you.” He says, and Dot just smiles at him.

She claps her hands together cheerfully and asks, “Well, Stiles, are you hungry? I know a nice cafe not too far from here, and it’s on the way back to where we’ll be going. I know airplane food isn’t the greatest.”

Stiles nods again and Dot leans in as she whispers conspiritally, “Well I don’t know about you, but I prefer to portal myself.” She winks as she pulls away and starts to walk away, gesturing for him to follow.

Stiles blinks in shock. Portals?! Hell, yes! His day just got way better.

Stiles grabs his carry-on and runs to catch up with her.

A short trip later and his first portal trip taken, Stiles sits with her at the cafe, backpack and carry-on at his feet.

Dot and he with their own perspective orders- a latte and a danish for her, a pesto and turkey sandwich for him- and began discussing.

“So, you’ll be staying with me in my loft. I cleared out a room for you, and we can discuss the areas of study you need the most. Since you worked with Alan, I presume you have some knowledge of your spark, right?” She asks.

Stiles shakes his head and gives a so-so gesture with his hand. “A little bit. I know how to manipulate mountain ash and salt to make barriers. That’s all I’ve really had time to learn by myself. I've read more about creatures than magic, at this point.”

Dot gets a pinched look on her face.

“Yeah, we have a bit of work to do.” She shakes her head and sighs. “Alright, it’s a start. You in school? A friend of mine has a daughter your age, and she’s in school.” Dot asks.

Stiles shakes his head no. Dot looks a bit surprised, so he clarifies by saying, “No. Already graduated.”

Dot tilts her head in acknowledgement. “Alright, that makes my job a bit easier, then. I work during the day at a shop reading tarot and palms, do the more monetary related stuff for the shop, things like that. You could come with me and study books there, or stay by yourself at the loft. Whatever you feel would work for you. I would help you with the more practice and use of spells when I’m free to.” She says.

Stiles, regardless of knowing it’s going to be hours on end of reading and failed attempts at magic, nods eagerly.

“I think to start, I’ll stay… But I might change my mind and study with you later.” Dot just smiles.

“That is perfectly alright. Let's finish up here and go get you settled in. I don’t fly often, but getting used to time changes the mundane way can be a bitch sometimes.”

The two pay for their food and drink, and they make their way to an alley before Dot portals them again.

 

They arrive at a small but spacious loft filled with various shelves of books and trinkets. The place smells softly of lavender and rose petals, as well as some herbal incense.

Stiles gazes around, taking each detail and is delighted. Dot’s home, while appearing cluttered with seemingly useless and witchy objects, no doubt have some use to any practical magic user. Half of the titles of the books he sees are some he’s never seen before, and is eager to read them all.

Dot leads him through the loft, pointing out the different spaces.

“The kitchen is just through there, and my room is here.” She points across the hall father down from her own to a smaller room, the door open. “And this will be your room. As long as you stay here, anything you wish to keep private I ask that you store in your own room. Bathroom is through the kitchen.” She turns and walks back down the hall, calling, “Ask me if you need anything else. Otherwise, we start tomorrow!”

Stiles walks slowly into his room, putting down his backpack and parking the carry-on at the foot of the twin bed, looking around.

The walls were painted a deep mauve, and the trim on the window wasn’t painted, leaving the original metal from the paned glass window on display. The bedframe was dark stained wood with dark blue sheets, and felt amazing as he sat down on it. Several empty bookshelves, a dresser drawer, and a table and chair filled up the rest of the room.

It already felt both achingly unfamiliar, yet just like home.

Stiles had a small smile on his face the entire time he unpacked his clothes into the dresser. Plugging in his computer and phone, he didn’t forget to check if his dad had texted him. Which, he hadn’t.

Settling down on the bed with the notes Deaton had given him, Stiles began to read.

Deaton's notes are fascinating, and much more filled with details than Deaton ever bothers to tell in person. From pack etiquette to basic wards and spells, Stiles learns much from reading what Deaton gave him.

And Stiles promptly finishes reading at about five in the morning before falling asleep from exhaustion. About an hour later, Stiles is woken up by the smell of rich coffee wafting into his room.

Getting up and managing to only spill half his notes onto the floor, Stiles blearily makes his way to where the smell is coming from.

Dot is standing in the kitchen, quietly humming as she goes about before she sees Stiles and smirks.

“Ah. I didn’t take you for a morning person, looks like I’m right. There’s milk on the counter and sugar in that jar. Cups are in the cupboard above.” She says.

Stiles manages to grab a cup before pouring himself a straight black coffee, which he immediately begins to gulp down despite it being scalding hot.

He sits down at the table and Dot sits across from him, talking to Stiles.

“I usually start my day around six, and try to be at my work by 7. I don’t usually cook, but if you can, let me know and I’ll grab you what you want.” Dot says, pausing to sipping her coffee. “I have your lesson plan for today picked out already, but I don’t have the largest amount of resources here for in the future. We’ll figure something out after I get an idea of how fast you can go through the materials, but I think you’ll do well.” She says.

Stiles is hoping he does well, too.

Chapter Text

After a few weeks, Dot takes him out to meet a friend of hers, whom she says is also a warlock.

“I spoke with him about you learning from him. You’ve done well so far, and I am beyond impressed at how fast you are learning. But my specialty is wards and portals, and while they are useful, you can only get so far with them.” Dot says, walking down the sidewalk. They couldn’t portal too close to her friend, she explained, as he had large wards set around where he lived. “That, and I think you would like him. You have similar personalities.” She says with a smirk.

She stops them in front of a converted industrial building, and rings a buzzer, looking slyly back at Stiles.

“Who dares disturb I, the great Magnus Bane?!” A loud voice crackles from the buzzer.

Stiles blinks and snorts.

“Man, do all warlocks act like that? Or just the sassy ones?” Stiles jokes to Dot.

She snickers, before responding to Magnus by saying loudly, “Magnus, it’s Dot.”

You could literally hear him thinking in the silence before interrupting the static to say, “Ah. right. Well, you can come in, I guess.” The door opens and Dot leads them up the stairs to the top floor.

There, standing with the door open, in the most makeup covered he’s ever seen a man- outside of The Jungle, that is.

The man- Magnus- stands with a glass in his hand and a grin on his face. “Dot! Lovely to see you!” He says to her, turning to look at Stiles. “And who might this be?” He asks, grin turning to a leer.

“Magnus! No!” She goes up to him and smacks his arm, turning to look at Stiles, before holding up her fingers as she lists off, “One, we already talked about this. This is my apprentice I agreed to take on for a friend, remember? I’ve mentioned him several times when we’ve spoken. Two, Stiles is sixteen. No scarring him for life, please. Three,” she pauses, looking between the two males. “I expect some progress to have actually been made in teaching him.”

Magnus pouts and says, putting a hand over his heart, “Dot! You wound me! You think I can’t teach the kid right?” He exhales exaggeratedly. “Well, I don’t know if I can actually teach him anything, but I can try.”

Dot smiles at him. “That’s all I’m asking for you to do.” She says, before turning to Stiles as she goes to leave, grasping his shoulder and saying, “You’ll be fine. He’s being himself, and that means than he’s downplaying.” Magnus makes an indignant noise of complaint from behind her. “Have fun!” She pats his arm once before walking away.

Magnus squints at him before beckoning with a finger as he turns and sashays back into his loft. “Well, come on in. I have a library in need of sorting.” He calls out to Stiles behind him.

Stiles knew that this was going to be awful. He enjoyed every moment.

 

To say that Stiles and Magnus got along well was an understatement. Over the few weeks after they met, the two grew close to inseparable. If Stiles wasn’t at Dot’s he was at Magnus’ place, practicing or studying. Stiles was almost certain Dot refused to stay long in the room with the two of them because she couldn’t handle the amount of snark and sarcasm thrown between the two.

As part of Stiles’ routine, he would go the through the library and sort that for a few hours, then he and Magnus would either spar- you wouldn’t think for a magic user, he’d use hand to hand, but Magnus put him flat on his ass in just a few seconds the first time they fought- or practice magic.

From clave laws to summoning a demon to the T, Stiles found his knowledge of the ‘Downworld’ growing day by day. And most of his muscles were doing the same.

Magnus wouldn’t have originally thought it, but Stiles reminded Magnus of himself, in a way. The kid was strong and determined, and despite how little Dot told him of the kid, he could see that the kid had run from his past, making an effort to hide his pain in the study of knowledge. Magnus knew. He had done the same, once. Albeit Magnus’ coping mechanisms weren’t the greatest, but he had done the same.

That and Chairman Meow approved. The shy tabby kitten he’d found and kept a few months ago adored the kid, and Magnus couldn’t help but feel the same.

With some moderation, of course.

So when Magnus found the kid nearly asleep over one of his books in his library one evening, Magnus made another decision he wasn’t going to examine too closely.

“Stiles, while I know you love drooling over my books, I hadn’t thought it was in the literal capacity.” He clapped his together, gesturing for the kid to rise. “Now, up! We’re going out.”

Stiles stood and frowned in confusion. “Where are we going?” He asked, trying to hide his yawn.

Magnus just shook his head and subtly grinned at his young friend. “Out.” He said again. Magnus looked at the pair of black jeans and faded graphic tee his friend wore, and frowned in thought before a genius idea popped into his head. “Hmm. But first, we’re going to fix you up.” He says, giving Stiles a cheshire grin.

He grabs Stiles hand and drags him to his makeup vanity, pushing him into the seat. Starting from the base, Magnus set to work.

“I wanna see!” Stiles whined after a few minutes of being told what to do and being poked at with brushes, itching to turn and look in the mirror, but Magnus glared at him, waving a brush at him threateningly.

“No. Now hold still, I’m almost done, and if you mess this up I will be very upset.” Magnus says, gently dabbing the brush at the corners of his eyes.

Stiles sighs but listens, pouting. Which Magnus uses as the perfect reason to add gloss to his look. The kid is really just too adorable.

Magnus finishes with a flourish, gloss in hand. “Fine. You can look now.” He says, smiling.

Stiles turns and looks. And looks. And looks some more.

Woah.

Magnus grins and says, “Not bad, huh?” The kid looks in absolute awe, staring at his reflection.

Stiles sputters as he turns and says, “Bad? Dude, I look good!” He looks from Magnus back at his reflection.

Magnus had simply put emphasis on his features that needed emphasis. Shadow for his eyes, highlight his cheekbones, and accentuated his naturally pouty lips. His friend seemed surprised at how pretty he looked.

Ah. Another thing they had in common, then. Self esteem issues. Wonderful.

Magnus comes up behind Stiles and gently grasps his shoulders, making sure Stiles was looking at him through the reflection in the mirror and smiles softly at him.

“Let me tell you something. You listening?” He spoke softly. Stiles nodded slowly. “You looked good before I started, Stiles. And if I ever meet whoever told you that you aren’t, they will know my true wrath.” He says harshly, and Stiles’ eyes widen.

Magnus claps his hands on his shoulders and slips a grin on his face as he backs away, beckoning Stiles to his walk-in closet.

“Come,” He says, “I have the perfect outfit in mind.” Going through his jackets, Magnus searched for the jacket he had in mind. It was here somewhere… Aha! The blood red zip up hoodie, the one with black cuffs and zipper breast pockets that he bought but never wore. Perfect for what he had in mind for Stiles.

He holds the jacket up next to Stiles. Magnus has only a few inches on his young friend, and the jacket was a bit tight on him when he bought it, so it should be a perfect fit for Stiles. The black jeans he wore looked good, and were a nice fit to accentuate his ass, although he doubted that Stiles knew that.

A different shirt would definitely be in order, however. The faded batman shirt was an aesthetic, but not the one Magnus was going for. The black and gold versace tee hanging to his left was, however.

Shoving the shirt and jacket at his friend, he briefly examined Stiles’ shoes. Black converse. Acceptable. Magnus gives Stiles a shooing gesture.

“Alright, go get dressed my fine friend, I have to find something to wear.” Magnus says, turning back to look through his clothes, pondering a single question in his mind. What to wear? What to wear?

Chapter Text

Half an hour later, glammed up and rocking a fur lined jacket and smoky eyes, Magnus portaled the two of the them to the front of a club with a shadowhunter rune written into the name. Pandemonium.

The name makes Stiles give a snicker. “Cool name.” He says to Magnus. Magnus smirks, moving the two of them into the line.

“Yes indeed. The mundane and downworld mingle here pretty often.” Magnus gives an exasperated sigh. “Unfortunately, so do demons. They have a nasty habit of coming here in search of prey. Means that the Shadowhunters come here pretty frequently too, which can be damn annoying sometimes.” He gives a ‘what can you do?’ shrug.

The two make their way inside and Magnus drag Stiles to a back private room to talk, the bass thumping in the background.

“Alright, as the responsible adult that I am,” Magnus begins, before being interrupted by Stiles’ full on giggling at him. Magnus scowls at him and continues anyway, “I figure a few basic rules are in order.” He says, holding up his bejewelled fingers as he listed off, “No food or drinks from strangers. Not from Seelies, not from Faeries, and ESPECIALLY not from vampires. They’re the absolute worst to deal with, with the weird shit they put in people’s drinks. I’ve seen some stuff, kid, and I’ll tell you now it wasn’t fun.” He says. “Preferably no trying to take anybody home. I say that for both myself and for Dot’s sake.” He says, looking pointedly at Stiles.

“Look, while I may look awesome, most people aren’t gonna care for that when I open my mouth.” Stiles says, running a hand through his hair.

Now Magnus is the one trying not to laugh. Stiles realizes how what he said sounds like and smacks Magnus’ arm.

“Dude! Not what I meant, and you know it!” he says indignantly.

Magnus snickers at his young friend. “That doesn’t mean it’s not funny.” He points out, chuckling.

Pulling out his phone, Magnus ushers Stiles closer. “Come closer, I want a picture.”

Stiles moves in before asking, “Why?” Both smile into the camera as Magnus takes a photo.

“Because,” Magnus says sagely, “Posterity is important.” He puts away his phone, before shooing away his friend. “Now go have fun. If you see trouble, walk the other way and then come find me.”

So Stiles goes out to the dance floor and he starts to dance.

Song after song he dances, sometimes alone, and sometimes grinding bodies with another person. Girls, guys, mundane or not, Stiles was sure he was propositioned at least a dozen times, but none of them really caught his eye. The blond guy who looked as old as his dad with faintly glowing green eyes slightly concerned him, but Stiles ignored it and them and just kept dancing until they lost interest and left him to himself.

That is, until he started getting the same itching feeling he got whenever he felt something was off.

Stiles was certain he was being watched, but the weight of the gaze felt familiar. Creepily familiar. He danced until he turned around completely, practically running into another person as he turned.

Aaand that would explain why the gaze felt familiar.

Peter.

Literally just standing there and staring at him. While Stiles might have practically rolled his eyes out of his head at the typical creeper move, but internally he was freaking the fuck out.

Why was Peter here, at Pandemonium? To find him? Did the Pack send Peter to find him? If so, why now?

Peter rolled his eyes at Stiles and nodded his head towards the back rooms.

Oh great, he wanted to talk. That was so much worse.

Stiles stood warily apart from Peter, heart still pounding in his chest as he put on a brave front.

“What do you want Peter?” He asks calmly, his voice not wavering despite his silent and internal worrying.

Peter's previously conceited grin turns to a deep scowl, but not one directed at Stiles. “I came to clarify a matter I deemed rather important.” Peter barely paused before continuing on, “You see, I was out on one of my trips, wandering about and doing what I do, when I finally decide to go back and ‘visit’ the Pack.” He spits the word Pack like it was a curse. “But what do I find when I return? Oh, just that my idiot nephew has run off one of the most important members of his Pack, is all!” Peter rants, bristling with anger. “I was in half a mind to fight him then and there, but I decided to do something different when I found out what your father had done.” He says, smirking evilly.

Oh no. What exactly did his dad do? And Peter really thought of him that way?

Stiles voices the first question aloud, and Peter laughs.

“From what I heard from Lydia, Melissa yelled at Scott for several hours on end, and both her and the Sheriff voiced their disappointment of the Pack’s actions. From what I heard, there was more than a few tears involved in that, and at the end of it all your dad punched my nephew in the face.” Peter explained, an evil grin plastered across his face as he spoke.

Stiles eyes bulged at the last bit.

“Dad punched Derek?!” He blurts, and Peter nods joyfully.

“Yes indeed. It was why I didn’t feel as strong a compulsion to do the same.” The grin slides from his face as his tone becomes more serious. “What Derek did was inexcusable, Stiles, and I’m not here to ask for their forgiveness. My inaction on the matter didn’t help, either, but if I could I would have given Derek an earful right then and there on the matter.” He says, a sad but guilted look on on his face. “But, on to the point, then, of why I’m here.” Peter takes a deep breath and looks at Stiles, a small smile on his face. “If you’re not part of the Pack, Stiles, I refuse to be part of theirs.”

Stiles stands there in shock. He starts to stammer, “B-But the Pack b-bonds,” Peter interrupts him.

“I don’t want them. Stiles, as you’re not a wolf, I can only explain the feeling.” He says calmly. “But as soon as I found out what the Pack had done, their bonds started fading. Scott’s, the rest of Derek’s pups, even Derek himself. And I’ve had Derek’s since before he was born practically, for Christ’s sake! It was weak, but the bond with him and Laura was there even when I was in a coma.” Peter tilted his head before continuing, “But as their bonds began growing fainter, I felt newer bonds grow stronger.” He said.

Stiles didn’t know what to think, let alone to say.

“Stiles,” Peter says with a genuine smile growing on his face, “Their not Pack bonds. Their your bonds, Stiles. Three of them, besides yourself. I believe one is your father, but I am at loss for whom the other two are.”

Stiles begins thinking. A werewolf being able to feel another werewolf’s bonds outside of Pack would be one thing, but a werewolf feeling a human Pack members’ bonds outside of Pack? Unheard of. But if there was one thing Stiles knew for certain about Beacon Hills, it was to expect the unexpected.

And Stiles was damned if this wasn’t an example of that exact thing.

Stiles wasn’t exactly sure what to do next, but talking to Magnus seemed like a good place to start.

Chapter Text

Somehow, Stiles managed to get both Peter and Magnus to leave Pandemonium without argument from either party.

It surprised Stiles as well.

Back at Magnus’ loft, Chairman Meow in his lap purring, Stiles sits on one of the lounge seats in Magnus’ living room. Peter stood with his arms crossed to Stiles’ left, and Magnus was seated with a martini in hand to Stiles’ right, minus his jacket.

Both of the men stared at each other silently, both assessing the other. Stiles decided to break the silence before someone said something unsavory or the staring contest the two seemed to be holding became too painful to watch.

“So. Peter, meet Magnus. Magnus, meet Peter.” He stops. Both of the two of them turn their attention to Stiles, waiting for him to continue speaking.

He smiles softly at them, stroking the top of Chairman Meow’s head gently before he continues, looking at Magnus.

“Peter is from the Pack that I was from. It’s part of why he’s here.” He says, looking between Peter and Magnus.

Magnus waves his free hand. “Yes, as you said. But I would appreciate as much of the full story behind that as you can give me. What Pack, and why is he here now?” He asks, side eyeing Peter.

Stiles looks to Peter, who dips his head to Stiles. Oh, goody, Stiles gets to be storyteller.

Magnus sits through Stiles telling the same thing to Magnus as he told his dad - minus the explaining that the supernatural world exists- with Peter speaking up every now and then when he felt the need to add a comment to a particular part of the story. When he finishes with his surprise at seeing Peter and what Stiles was wondering about Pack bonds, Magnus looked a bit like a frozen statue.

A disgruntled frozen statue holding a martini, but still concerning enough to Stiles. Magnus didn’t sit still much more than he did- which is to say that he doesn’t.

Magnus was internally raging.

How DARE they treat Stiles like this?! Like he was useless?! If they couldn’t see the potential the kid held, then they really were just a bunch of fools. That at least, Magnus could agree with Peter on. That and wanting to punch them. He agreed with that sentiment too.

Stiles meant a lot to Magnus already, and he considered the kid to practically be his second son. Not that he spoke to his first, but Raphael had turned out alright.

“Hmmmm.” Magnus hums.

A few more deep breaths and he might not flip out. Stiles certainly doesn’t deserve that from him.

But Magnus knew exactly who did, and he had plans to make with that knowledge for a later date. For now though, his mind was wanted in the here and now.

“And that brings us here.” Peter reiterates, looking slightly put off, but not commenting further.

Stiles sits quietly, numb to the pain of talking about Pack. He left them, but he should have known better that he’d have to talk about this to someone. At least he told Magnus, and not some stranger. Magnus was calm, and had never pushed him on the matter of his past before. He was a cool guy like that.

“Well,” Magnus begins slowly, “I’ve yet to hear or read of such a bond appearing, but if it’s not hurting you,” Magnus looks to Peter, who shakes his head vehemently. “And you’re not bothered by the bond being there,” Magnus looks to Stiles.

Stiles slowly shakes his head no, looking from Peter to Magnus.

“Then I say we leave the bonds be, and just keep an eye on the two of you to make sure nothing happens.” Peter gives a genuine smile at Magnus’ words.

“Ah. Good, that gives me an actual excuse to come back and visit.” he says, seating himself next to Stiles.

Both the werewolf seated next to him and the cat on his lap eye each other warily, before giving the other a pass.

It was slightly weird to witness, but then Stiles had seen some weird shit in his life.

Magnus looked at Peter, raising a single, perfectly shaped eyebrow in question.

Peter smiles genially and says, “I am a wolf. Contact with bonds keeps them strong.”

Magnus tilts his head in acknowledgement before asking, “Who’s hungry for Chinese? I know I am.” He snaps his fingers and several boxes of Chinese to-go boxes appear on the coffee table in front of them.

Chairman Meow hops off Stiles’ lap and runs to the kitchen.

The three of them begin to eat, discussing what will happen next, until the three have a plan vaguely worked out.

“So, tell me if I’m wrong about this, but you want me to stay in Beacon Hills.” Peter states passively, before saying, “To keep an eye on the idiots, and to make sure your father is safe.” He says.

Stiles nods his head in agreement, mouth full of potsticker.

Peter nods, but was clearly not pleased at the idea. “I’d rather not be anywhere near those idiots, but knowing them, they’d get your father killed by trying to keep him out of the loop.” He snorts. “Like that would ever happen. Chris and your father came to an agreement of the information sharing kind. Anything suspicious rolls into town, and they’ll both know about it, regardless whether it's supernatural or not.” He says.

He sighs loudly, running a hand through his hair. “But, for you cub, I’ll do it. But don’t think I won’t complain about it either, because I certainly will.” He says, squinting at Stiles.

Neither Magnus nor Stiles comment on the nickname, but both take note of it for later.

Magnus says to Stiles, smirking, “Stiles, you should mention the new guard dog to your father so he doesn’t have to hear it from him.” He tilts his head at Peter.

Both Stiles and Magnus laugh when Peter scowls at the pun.

“Hmph. Whatever. Alright, I’ll be keeping in touch with you both.” He says, quickly hugging Stiles before getting up and slipping out the door.

Magnus smiles cheerfully to Stiles, rubbing his hands together. “Well, that wasn’t quite how I thought the day would end, but that was fun.” He says.

Stiles smiles contently back. That wasn’t how he thought the day would end either, but he couldn’t help but be pleased with the results. He had another person in his corner, and an ally that could help out his dad if needed.

No, certainly not what he expected.

Chapter Text

Time passed quickly in training for Stiles. Between studying with Dot and Magnus letting him help out with his simpler clients’ requests, Stiles kept himself very busy.

With the amount of books in Magnus’ library, Stiles had felt it necessary to expand his knowledge of language. Latin, Spanish, and several other languages- including the occult and demonic languages of Purgatic, Gehinic, and Tartarian- expanded Stiles’ understanding of the supernatural world vastly. Especially as it meant no more pesky language barriers for Stiles to have to deal with.

Stiles felt he was getting good enough to handle himself in the downworld. Not enough to go out on his own, yet, but he felt he was getting there. He had a plan in mind for after his training.

Peter comes and visits Stiles and Magnus a few days each month before slipping back off to Beacon Hills, or wherever it was that he goes back off to.

Little did Stiles know about the transference of a few select photos Magnus took taking place between the two. A plot between the two had been formed, one that they felt that Stiles didn’t need to know was taking place, with Danny helping the two out with the final step.

Needless to say, Danny had laughed his ass off when Peter had approached him and told him what they had in mind.

 

But before Stiles knew it, he realized that he had been gone from Beacon Hills for almost 8 months. 8 whole months away from home, away from everything he had ever known before.

He also realized it was his birthday today.

It had been a delayed realization, one which he hadn’t realized until he got a call from his dad wishing him a happy birthday, and that he wished he could be there in person.

Seventeen. Stiles was seventeen. One year older than he’d been before.

The difference for Stiles was a minimal one, but beyond his dad, Stiles wasn’t expecting much in the way of anything for his birthday.

Being friends with Magnus Bane, Stiles really should have known differently.

 

As Stiles had woken up slightly later than usual, he wasn’t surprised to find Dot already gone off to work.

He was, however, surprised to see Magnus in the living area. Magnus looked up as he entered and grinned. “Ah, good! Dot said you were asleep, so I waited for you.” He said.

Stiles squinted at Magnus. He had not enough coffee to be coherent enough to deal with his eccentric friend, blinking sluggishly.

Magnus seemed to hear his train of thought, as his favorite coffee suddenly appeared in his hand, and Stiles struggled not to spill before steadying the to-go cup and drinking half of it at once.

Magnus twirled one of his hands before saying, “Well, a certain someone tells me it’s your birthday today, and I found out as you didn’t have any plans for today, I took some steps for us to remedy that.” Magnus states, a delighted look upon his face.

Stiles blinked in surprise.

Stiles wondered who had told Magnus when it was his birthday? Stiles didn’t remember telling him, but he wasn’t too surprised that he somehow found out. The man used any excuse he could to throw a party. He even threw his cat birthday parties, for Christ’s sake!

“Yes.” Stiles says slowly. With Magnus, who knows what could be in store.

“Seeing as my last attempt to take you out somewhere did not end as spectacularly as I had hoped it would, I figured something… Slightly different was in order.” He says, tone light and cheerful.

Stiles really wished Magnus would just get to the point, but he’d learned from experience not to try and rush Magnus when he was on a roll. Not rushing greatness, and all that.

Magnus could tell, his young friend thought whatever he was going to do would be flamboyant and excessive. And while that was something he’s practically infamous for, it wasn’t what he’d planned.

Regretfully.

Magnus smiles and pushes himself off the seat, clapping his hands together. “Come along! We’ve got places to be, things to do!” He calls out, making a portal to his loft.

Stiles follows Magnus through the portal wearily.

The first thing Stiles noticed was how messy it was. While Magnus was a fairly good at keeping his home clean when not cleaning up after a party, or searching through his stored objects to find something, the sheer number of boxes piled in the living area was highly unusual.

The second thing he noticed were the people in the room.

His dad, Peter, and Dot were there, as well as another man he didn’t know, but whom he felt fit the descriptions of Magnus’ long time friend, Ragnor.

“Dad? What? Why are you here?” Stiles exclaims, going and hugging him tightly. John smiled at his son, hugging him back just as tightly.

“What, you thought I wouldn’t be here?” John jokes lightheartedly, smiling brightly at Stiles. John was certain he’d grown three inches in the time he had been gone. The kid was starting to grown into himself, especially since he stopped buzzing his hair.

John swore he couldn’t have been prouder of who he was becoming.

“N-not really.” Stiles stammers quietly, pulling gently back from his dad.

Peter comes up next to him, arms open and says sarcastically, “What, no hug for me?” Stiles just rolls his eyes at the man and pulls him into a brief hug.

You wouldn’t think it, but Peter was a hugger. Stiles wasn’t terribly surprised at the odd piece of information, and just went with the fact of the lack of contact the guy got. Stiles didn’t really mind it anyhow.

“What are you all doing here?” Stiles asks, looking between the occupants of the room.

The man- Ragnor, Stiles was almost certain of it- spoke up. “I would like it to be made aware of the fact, that I am only here because Magnus asked me to be.”

Both Dot and Magnus make a face.

Stiles nods his head in acknowledgement of him, before saying, “Well, you don’t have to be here, you know.” The man stares at Stiles in silent contemplation before turning to Magnus.

“I can see why you like the child, Magnus. He reminds me of you.”

Magnus squints his eyes at his friend and pouts. Peter smirks at the exchange, and Stiles snorts, amused.

“Fine. But, on to why I asked you all here today.” Magnus started, and there were collective groans from the ensemble.

Dot is the one who speaks up, saying, “Just tell him, Magnus. We’re not here for you to give an entire speech.”

Magnus glared at her, but it was fondly.

“Alright, fine.” He pauses, looking to Stiles. He continues by saying, “In this room, we’ve gathered to celebrate our young friend.” He smiles kindly, as do most in the room. “We know that you’ll soon be leaving off on your own adventures, so we’re here to remind you, Stiles,” Magnus says affectionately, “To remind you that regardless of where you’ll go, with these memories we’re about to make, that you’ll remember us fondly.” He finishes slowly, smile wavering slightly.

Stiles honestly felt like crying. He sniffs, looking at Magnus, “Why you gotta go and make me cry?” He whines, rubbing his eyes. A few chuckles are given at the comment, and more than just Stiles’ eyes are glistening.

Magnus slowly comes forward and wraps his arms around Stiles.

“Get over it, kid.” He says firmly, but not harshly.“If I have anything to say about it, I’ve got at least one more of those up my sleeve in the future.”

Magnus pulls away slowly from Stiles, grinning.

“Now, I believe there was mention made of gifts to me earlier?” He says, and the small group settles in, pulling down some of the boxes from the furniture to sit.

 

Overall, the gifts Stiles received were beyond amazing.

From Dot, he received a blank leather bound notebook, heavy with at least two hundred blank pages. A beastiary, one for Stiles to fill with his own notes and encounters.

Stiles couldn’t wait to fill it.

From Ragnor he received a ring, one made from copper with latin inscribed on the band. ‘Abscondere' was inscribed on the inside, and 'in aspectu’ was on the outside. To hide in sight, it translated to roughly. The ring looked several centuries old, but in good condition. Ragnor explained that the ring would hide the user from being heard or scented- an important tool when dealing with supernatural creatures.

Having dealt with werewolves personally and knowing how nosy they tend to be, Stiles couldn’t have been more grateful for it.

From Peter, he showed Stiles a website page, setup for future business interactions. From Danny, with Peter suggesting the gift. For Stiles’ future clients, he said.

Stiles was glad that despite not receiving a physical gift, Peter had made an effort to do something nice for him.

From his dad, he was given a small Jacinth pendant. John explained that he’d found the pendant when he'd looked through some stuff in storage room, and that it formerly had belonged to his mother. Jacinth, he explained, was believed to relieve insomnia, and help with spiritual connection.

Stiles put the pendant on immediately, and cherishes the gift wholeheartedly.

Magnus, last but certainly not least, presented Stiles with two seperate gifts. The first, was the same red jacket Stiles had worn when they had gone out clubbing. Magnus explained who he saw Stiles as with it. After meeting Peter and finding out about his past, he thought it was even more fitting.

Stiles contemplated the name and thought it fitting as well. A play on the name the Red Riding Hood, Stiles thought the name Red Hood suited him perfectly. The jacket merely completed the look.

The last object Stiles received was a key. A key to a car, to be specific. And not just any car. One Magnus had bought, and was gifting to him. A black, 1991, Dodge Ramcharger truck.

Magnus had bought him a useful, and nice- almost but not quite classic- looking car. When Stiles asked about it, Magnus said not much can beat traveling on the open road- sometimes, that is, but you can only portal so much and so far before you get tired- and it was a truck. A four seater, too.

Not to mention the amount of wards Magnus had enchanted the thing with.

Stiles was beyond happy, and could see himself using all of his gifts in the near future. He planned to get experience the same way most people did- first hand.

This was their way of saying to him that they hope he does well, and to not forget that they would always lend a hand to help, if he needed. They cared about him, and Stiles felt happy.

He couldn’t have asked for better friends and family to support him.

Chapter Text

When the time had finally come for Stiles to begin his own journey, he was nervous, but just as equally excited about it.

Stiles was thankful for all that Magnus and Dot had taught him, and for the knowledge that they willingly shared with him. With how often he’d helped Magnus with his clients in the last month or so before his leaving, taking over a few clents at his insistence, Stiles was given the money the clients had owed. Magnus thought it was only fair, as Stiles was the one to do the job, not himself.

It was plenty enough to start him off. The website Danny had made for Stiles had received a few clients, and they’d started him off on his own. A summoning or two here, a few warding spells there, and he slowly began receiving more clients.

Stiles traveled often to do the jobs for most of his clients, but that wasn’t his favorite part. It was that he was helping people from the supernatural world, meeting and seeing different species.

From learning the difference first hand about full mouth and canine fanged vampires, for instance. That was an interesting day. Not a great day, but an interesting one.

Or meeting his first Deer Woman. She and Stiles came to an understanding, and she left off killing humans. Even if they were cheating assholes and actually deserved it.

Stiles was also fairly certain that a Ravenstag was claiming territory in Maryland, and made sure to leave it alone. It’s rude to enter where you’re not invited, afterall.

His travels made him more and more renown, the name Red Hood being whispered more often in the supernatural world. Or that people thought he was a warlock. Stiles didn't discourage the rumors- he was trained by two of the greatest warlocks, in his opinion- and the magic he used from his Spark had developed to the strength of a fairly powerful warlock. It helped bolster his reputation, so Stiles didn't mind too much what people thought of him.

From helping a peaceful Clan kill off blood witches, from rescuing a feral werewolf from being hunted by some townsfolk in the midwest, his work had became heard across the States.

Even outside of the States, his name was being heard of.

Unfortunately, that also meant the Hunting community soon caught wind of him.

Sort of.

 

Stiles’ actual first run in with hunters had been about three months into going between jobs. He’d finished a job involving sending a trapped soul to the afterlife. That was normal.

What was not, however, was getting kidnapped.

Fortunately for Stiles, the hunters were idiots, thinking somehow that he was the Trickster- Stiles knew there was a Trickster in town, but he agreed with the concept of karma to those deserving it, leaving the Trickster be- and the hunters grabbed him instead.

 

Shortly after he ran into his first hunters- following his training, that is, can’t forget the Argents- Stiles also meets his first Pagan.

He was just sitting in a metal chair, with really poorly tied rope tied around only his hands- and really, were these hunters just asking to get their asses kicked?- and nothing else.

The two hunters honestly thought that he couldn’t beat them with his hands tied? Stiles almost felt bad for where this was going. Almost.

 

In the end, the two were knocked unconscious on the floor, bruised bodies and probably more bruised egos for being beaten up by a 17 year old. He hadn't even needed magic to kick their asses- he could hold his own against The High Warlock of Brooklyn with hand-to-hand only, so flattening these idiots was nothing.

Which apparently surprised the man who walked through the door of the warehouse- and a warehouse? Could they be more cliche?- Stiles had ended up in.

If not for the strange feeling he sensed about the guy, he would have probably thought it was another hunter. But Stiles could almost feel the chaos energy radiating from the guy.

He was a tallish sandy blonde dude, with glowing green eyes.

Also another sign that this guy was not a hunter.

So, this was the actual Trickster. Great.

Stiles grins at him and says, gesturing to the hunters, ”I believe these are yours.”

The guy looks at him in contemplation before smiling impishly back.

“Wonderful, then. Less to do myself.” He says smoothly. He looks at Stiles up and down. “May I ask who you might be? You seem familiar, somehow.” He asks.

Stiles quirks his lips. “I doubt we’ve met before, I’d probably remember you.” He says slyly. The man tilts his head in acknowledgement.

“Touche.” He says.

Stiles shrugs before saying, “Well, I been doing a bit of work here and there for the supernatural community. Been calling myself Red Hood.”

The man snaps and says, “That’s it! Really, then, your the Red Hood? I expected you to be… Older.” He trails off, gesturing a hand at Stiles.

“This is not the first time I’ve been told that.” Stiles sighs.

Seriously. It’s not like he wasn’t trained by the best of the best, or hadn’t literally done everything he’d done because he was only 17. And still, people continued to be surprised at how old he was.

Or how old he wasn’t, in a few cases, but Stiles had had other things to do at the time.

“Well then, Red Hood, it is a pleasure to meet you.” The man says, shortly giving a flared bow. “And thank you, for dealing with these inconveniences. Honestly, it’s as if a guy trying to deal out some justice to those deserving of it somehow don’t deserve it because I’m not ‘human’.” The man air quotes, huffing. “If I was human I would still be called a monster, so I honestly don’t see their point.”

The man did have a point with that.

Stiles nods. “If we’re good, I’m gonna go.” He says, pointing to the door. The man nods and walks over to the hunters before calling out to him.

“If you ever are in need of a Trickster young one, call on me. Ἑρμῆς- or Hermes, if it’s easier for you.”

Stiles nods his head in amazement.

Names have meaning in all circles of the downworld, and those who could be summoned like Pagans or demigods had to be very careful about handing out information like that.

Stiles was amazed that Ἑρμῆς felt him worthy of handing his name out like that. A real Pagan, and he had given his name to Stiles!

“Thank you, Ἑρμῆς.” Stiles pronounces clearly enough, ancient greek being one of the lesser languages he studied. Some of the texts Stiles had read in Magnus’ library were written in pre-hellenic, so Stiles felt sure enough of himself in his pronunciation.

The man grins before making a shooing gesture. “Now get, young warlock, the first one is waking.”

Stiles turns cheerfully out of the warehouse, deaf to the groans of the hunters.

Chapter Text

Stiles was just completing another job two months later- a Lansing Clan member was kidnapped by a mundane gang, and Stiles rescued the Vampire and returned him to his Clan unharmed- when he read an article about a dead professor and a supposedly haunted building in Ohio.

Stiles didn’t think that the haunting was real, but if it was, he felt he should, technically, check it out.

Little did Stiles know, he was not the only person to think that.

 

Showing up on the campus two days later, Stiles almost immediately knew who the culprit wasn’t- a ghost, that is. No, this was something else, and Stiles had just come into its- his, it felt like a he, for some reason, and Stiles wasn't certain why- territory uninvited. Stiles was planning on making a swift retreat when a pair of hunters rolled into town. Not good.

To make things worse, Stiles was approached by a man-drake. No, not the weird plant from Harry Potter mandrake, but an actual drake that turns into a human.

Stiles had read about Dragons and Drakes ravenously when he learned they existed, and grew saddened when he actually learned about them. Drakes were a subspecies of dragons- dragons preferred to hide in deep forested areas or high mountainous areas- that preferred to hide closer to civilization. There were few enough drakes left on the planet, and fewer dragons. There were barely enough to have a few breeding pairs across the planet, and that was in the four dragon species still not extinct.

So, Stiles was very surprised, to say the least.

The drake approached had approached Stiles a couple of hours after Stiles had seen the hunters roll into town. The Drake- who was about the same height as Stiles- came forward and spoke lowly to him while Stiles walked through the campus.

“You are the Red Hood, are you not?” The Drake asked from beside him, but Stiles could hear the hidden urgency in the Drake’s voice.

Stiles nodded firmly, but did not speak. The Drake looked uncertain, but relieved.

“Please. I… I need your help.” They said. Stiles slowed his walking and sat on a down on a nearby bench, gesturing for them to do the same. They look slightly relieved to being listened to, and their stiff posture softens a little as they sit. “You are aware who the hunters who’ve come here are?” They ask. Stiles shakes his head no but answers.

“No. But most hunters don’t care what they hunt- if they believe it to be dangerous even if it is not, they will hunt it down.” They nod their head at his words, but continue speaking.

“The hunters here, they are the most dangerous of their kind. Their skill is infamous, and they kill ruthlessly.” They give a shuddering exhale before speaking again, even more quiet than before. “My mate was killed not long ago- it was just a few weeks ago, really. I had not felt comfortable living here, in the heart of this city- and even less so, when we had our clutch.”

Stiles let out a soft gasp, but listened intently.

“When my mate was killed, I could not leave the clutch alone for long- I must return to them soon even now- but I am certain now, that I should leave this place. With the hunters here, it is not safe. And with whatever brought them here, they will no doubt remember it, looking for the return of trouble.” They whispered the last few words, and Stiles smiles softly, gently taking their hand.

“Yes, I’ll help. What do you need my help with?” He asks, and the two set to work. Stiles and the Drake set off to the Drake’s nest, and Stiles is in awe when he sees the clutch.

Seven tan eggs, all the size of an ostriches egg, sitting in a nest made of piles of blankets and clothes in a small apartment bedroom.

Between the two, Stiles and the Drake move the entire clutch out of the city and out towards an outskirt town that he passed in Michigan coming into Ohio, the two making several trips to get the Drake a remote cabin and to move the nest safely.

Before portaling back to Ohio, the two speak again.

“Thank you, thank you, warlock. You’ve saved my children’s futures and I cannot thank you enough for that.” They say, emotion thick in their voice. Stiles simply nods.

“No, thank you for coming to me for help. Your people’s future rests on you and your offspring, and that will be hard enough on your own without the added dangers.” Stiles says kindly.

The Drake nods, before reaching into their coat pocket and pulling out a single key, offering it to Stiles.

“My mate had a den of their own in Denver before we met. We moved to Springfield when we were mated, and they kept it for a safehouse, if we needed. With their death, I cannot bear to return there. They kept a few trinkets and old tomes- yours to do with what you like with, as well as the house itself.” They say, and turn to go.

Stiles nods once, taking the key and putting it in his pocket before portaling back to his hotel room.

Before Stiles had completed his training, Stiles would have no doubt refused being handed the key to a stranger’s house. But knowing that they were pained by the memories of their mate, and the experience of seeing loss first hand again and again over and over, Stiles gave no argument.

Stiles could really use a drink, and his fake I.D. was good, so Stiles decided to go to one of the bars on campus.

It would figure with Stiles’ luck, he’d end up in the same bar as the hunters.

The two were asking around about the ‘haunting’, and overall failing at not getting drunk. One of them, anyway. The other one just seemed irritated at his partner.

What was the name the Drake had called them? Winchesters? Something like that.

Stiles ignored them, sitting at the end of the bar and ordered a purple nurple when the bartender walked his way. Magnus was fond of his drinks, so Stiles had probably sampled enough drinks to know what he liked.

His drink arrived and Stiles simply sat, enjoying the indie music and savoring his drink.

Eventually, the taller of the two stomped past Stiles and outside, getting Stiles’ attention once more. He seemed upset and angry, probably at his hunting partner- brother? They looked like siblings- who was currently feeling up this lady at the bar, probably a little more than drunk from the look of him.

Which was when Stiles had a really bad idea of going after the younger of the two. Even as he flagged down the bartender, he was mentally berating himself.

Talking to a hunter- regardless of the type- was dangerous. If Magnus found out- or Peter, or his dad- he’d be given a talking to about stupid and dangerous ideas.

Too bad that was just how Stiles rolled.

“Hey!” He called out to the guy, who slowed down and looked back at him. Stiles catches up to him and smiles. The guy looks about to ask him something so Stiles beats him to whatever he was about to say by saying, “Look, you were the one at the bar, right? The one asking about what happened with the professor?” The guy looks confused but nods.

“Uh, yeah.” He says. “You know something about it?” He asks. Stiles rolls his eyes.

“Hmph, well whatever those college kids at the bar were telling you and your brother, they’re wrong.” He says contemptuously. Seriously, the whole 669 trash the college kids were talking about was so fake it was painfully obvious.

The man tilts his head and gestures for him to continue.

Stiles then goes and says something really stupid. “Look, you guys are looking for a ghost, and you’re not going to find one. This is different.” The man looks shocked and speechless for a short time.

“Uh, y-you know? A-about t-the,” He stutters, and Stiles interrupts him.

“About the supernatural? Yeah, dude, I do. And I know this isn’t a ghost. Or woman in white. Or a poltergeist. Or any of those things.” He says, and the guy looks surprised, then confused.

“Do you know what this thing is, then? If it’s not a ghost.” He asks slowly, looking unsure.

Stiles rolls his eyes again. “Firstly, IT is a HE. I’m fairly certain, anyhow. And It’s not my place to tell you.” The man looks confused at the first statement, and upset at the second.

“Why?” He asks, and Stiles honestly wants to roll his eyes again.

“Because,” Stiles says, “I’m supposed to avoid hunters, not be conversing with them.” The man looks a second from just asking ‘why’ again, but he pauses before trying to think of a better question to ask.

“Why aren’t you supposed to talk to hunters?” He asks, and Stiles bites back a snarl. ‘Why doesn’t a fox talk to a hound?’ Stiles thinks, before snapping at the man.

“Look, you seem less prejudice of the downworld than your brother, so I let you in on something. Life isn’t black or white, and neither is the supernatural. I fall into that, like almost every other supernatural being I know.” He spits, and the man honestly flinches back.

He stands back and looks at Stiles before taking a deep breath.

“Uhm, I don’t know if you’re not supposed to ask, but, uh… What are you?” He breathes out.

Stiles smirks at him, snapping. “There you go! Now we’re on the right track, hunter!” He says loudly. He then says, “I am what is referred to as a warlock, in the downworld.” The man squints, clearly trying to think.

“So, like a… Witch?” He asks, and Stiles grimaces.

“Eww. Uh, no. Warlocks are not the same as a witch. Witches take from around them, warlocks take from within themselves. Warlocks are honestly better. Most witches seek to extend their lives by sacrifice and rituals. Warlocks are naturally long lived, and don’t need to complete any rituals to try and extend their life. Ergo, no sacrifice or rituals necessary.”

The man looks honestly like Stiles is blowing his mind, and Stiles has a rather decent thought. Ish.

“Look, your brother looked like he was just about to go back to wherever your staying with that girl, so I have an offer for you.” Stiles gives the guy his nicest grin, and thinks the guy will probably agree with his offer.

“Wanna see a real Warlock’s library? There’s coffee.” He says, and the guy hesitantly nods. “Cool!” Stiles says. “What’s your name, dude? I’ve been calling you 'guy' in my mind, and I doubt that’s it.”

The man gives him a small smile, and Stiles kinda melts at the sight of it. He is pretty cute. And just plain old pretty. Ugh, back on track Stiles.

“Uh, Sam. Sam Winchester.” He says, and Stiles grins.

“Cool, I’m Stiles. C’mon, this should be fun.” He says, and his grin grows wider at Sam’s shock of the portal Stiles turned to summon.

Oh yes, this should be plenty of fun.

Chapter Text

Stiles portals Sam and himself straight to Magnus’ library, cautiously look around for the Warlock in question before deciding it really didn’t matter.

He had portaled a hunter into Magnus’ home, end of story. Speaking of said hunter, Stiles turns and sees Sam looking about in awe.

Stiles smiles. Good to know he wasn’t the only one to think that when he first saw it. “Pretty great, huh?” Stiles asks. Sam nods eagerly. He looks about before gently taking a book off a shelf, looking to Stiles in query.

“Uh, may I?” He asks, holding the book out. Stiles notes the book is one of the many Magnus has on vampires, and nods.

“Yes,” He says, “But I’m gonna ask you be super careful with these. They belong to a friend, and not one you want angry at you.” He says seriously. Stiles sighs. He was going to have a hell of a time explaining this to Magnus.

Well, just another thing for him to deal with while getting some coffee.

“Okay,” Stiles says, “I’m going to get coffee. If you see a cat, that’s fine. He probably won’t bother you. Enjoy free range roaming in the library, but I would stay in here for now.” He waves and calls out as he leaves, “I’ll be back with coffee in a bit.”

 

While Stiles worked Magnus’ espresso machine, he texted Magnus.

‘Are you at Pandemonium?’ He asks. Halfway through making his second shot for his latte, Magnus texts back.

‘Why? What did you do that requires my attention at this hour?’ He asks. Stiles rolls his eyes before texting back.

‘One, it’s still early evening for you. It’s only 10. Two, what I did was not the most brilliant of my ideas as of yet, but so far it’s going fine.’ He types. Finishing making his coffee, he starts making Sam his, going light on the milk and sugar.

Magnus types him back, ‘You saying ‘it’s fine’ is like saying the entire house isn’t on fire. Yet. What do you need help with?’

‘More like who.’ Stiles types, taking the coffees back to the library, and nearly spills both of the coffees when Magnus portals in front of him.

“What, exactly, did you mean by that?” Magnus glowers at him, arms crossed, and Stiles realizes how what he wrote sounded like.

“No! Magnus, I’m fine. We're fine. It’s, uh… I just…” He trails off. Magnus glares at him.

“You had better be." He says, holding a hand up with his fingers a few centimeters apart. "I was this close to calling your dad and Peter, and I don’t think either would be pleased.” He says.

Stiles winces.

Magnus sighs, running a hand through his hair. “Fine. If I approve of whatever or 'whomever' you brought back here, I’ll tell them. Otherwise you will be handling the two of them yourself.” He says, pointing a finger at Stiles. “Now. What, exactly did you mean when you texted me?”

Stiles decides to show rather than tell. Turning the corner, he goes up to where Sam is sitting on one of Magnus’ library lounge seats, enraptured in his reading, and sets his coffee down next to him.

Sam looks up at him, and then over behind him at Magnus.

“Magnus Bane, meet Sam Winchester, a hunter. Sam, meet The High Warlock of Brooklyn, Magnus Bane.” The two look at each other for a few seconds before Magnus sniffs in distaste.

“Well, he won’t be getting any bonus points for the hideous flannel, I’ll say that.” He says, and Sam smiles nervously.

 

Stiles decides that it went much better than he thought it would. Magnus threw a small hissy fit, but didn't blow anything up, so Stiles was certain he didn't disapprove of the hunter. Stiles was certain Sam had never met a person as flamboyant as Magnus, but Sam had been impressed at the size of his library, at least. Stiles and Magnus spent the evening answering Sam’s increasingly thoughtful questions, and overall the night ends well, Sam doing his absolute best to read through half of Magnus’ library in one night.

Stiles and Sam depart early the next morning, Stiles taking Sam back to where they had left.

Sam blinks tiredly but grins at Stiles.

“Well, that was not what I pictured spending the night doing. I mean....” He trails off, lost in thought.

“There is more to the supernatural than you ever thought? I felt the same when I first knew, but here I stand now.” Stiles says, smiling at Sam.

“I.” Sam pauses. “Would you help me with something?” He asks, unsure. Stiles raises an eyebrow at him.

Sam raises a hand in a calming gesture. “Look, I know what you said about whatever is here is what we’re hunting for.” Stiles takes a breath to argue but Sam continues. “Would you help me, uh, ask?” He says, and Stiles frowns in confusion. Sam says, “I want to ask whoever is doing this why. I mean, why the professor? There’s probably something we don’t know, and I want to know what it is.”

Stiles nods. “That’s a decent point to be making.” Stiles sighs. “Fine, I’ll help you. Where do we start?” He asks, and Sam frowns in thought.

“Dean and I were going to go check out the professor’s office, see if we could find any EMF. We could ask to see the office. It's not what we need to do now, but it would be a start. Maybe we could ask around as journalism majors?” He says, and Stiles nods again.

“Not too bad an idea. And, if we happen to get close enough to whomever did this, I could probably tell if it's them or not.”

So Sam and Stiles go to the campus building where the professor's office is, and Sam goes in search of someone to let them in.

 

Aaaaand comes back with the person they’re looking for in tow.

The man is short, dirty blonde with gold eyes, is radiating immense chaos energy, dressed in a janitor’s outfit.

Stiles looks at Sam and starts to slow clap. “Wow.” He says, looking from Sam to the man- Trickster, he has to be- behind him. “Are you sure you even needed my help? You found him just fine on your own, it seems.”

The Trickster looks warily between the two, as Sam realizes what Stiles meant, blinking in surprise.

“Uh....” He trails off. Stiles sighs. Looking over at the Trickster, Stiles smiled at him kindly.

“Look, I’m here because he wanted to talk to you.” He says, and Stiles gestures for Sam to stop staring at the guy and start talking. Yes, he was reasonably attractive, but that was not what Sam was here to do!

At least, it had better not be.

“Look, I don’t know what you two are talking about. I was told I was just opening an office, not answering questions.” The Trickster says, trying to back out of the conversation, looking between Stiles and Sam. Which was when Sam finally spoke up.

“Why did the professor deserve to die the way he did? Dropped out a window to the ground below… There’s another meaning to that.” He asks, looking directly at the Trickster.

The Trickster honestly looked about to try avoiding answering the question, so Stiles does something dumb.

Within a few seconds, he’d summoned his favorite blade- Silver, dipped in wolfsbane and mistletoe, blessed by a priest - and throws the blade precisely at the Trickster, aiming for his head.

Both Sam and the Trickster are shocked, as the Trickster catches the blade inches before it hits him in the face.

“Excuse you!” He exclaims, examining the blade, before saying, “This could have killed me!” The Trickster looks offended and irate. Stiles shrugs.

“Got your attention though, didn’t it?” He says, and the Trickster scowls. “You gonna answer his question?” He asks, nodding his head towards Sam.

The Trickster huffs. “Fine, I'll answer your questions, but I don’t want to talk here.”

He snaps his fingers, and the three disappear to talk.

Chapter Text

Reappearing in a massive living room, both Sam and Stiles curiously glance about, observing the expensive, but well decorated interior.

“So,” The Trickster huffs, regaining both Stiles and Sam’s attention. “What exactly happened? One minute, some hunters are rolling into town- which I was expecting- and the next thing I know, I’m talking to a hunter and a warlock- which is not what I was expecting.” He says, looking expectantly between the two.

Stiles shrugs before saying, “I wasn’t expecting this either. Moment I knew you weren’t some vengeful spirit, I was planning on leaving.” He gives a sigh. “Like I said, I’m only here ‘cause he asked me to be.” He says, looking to Sam.

Both the Trickster and Stiles look at Sam, waiting for him to say something.

Sam takes a deep breath and lets it out before speaking. “I just wanted know, why it is you killed the professor.”

The Trickster smiles widely, spreading out his arms. “It’s simple, big guy. He had it coming.” He snaps his fingers and unwraps the king sized Butterfingers he had made, taking a bite before continuing. “Most people know that the professor has had plenty of girls- say that he’s a womanizer, that he gets a lot of ass, things like that- but most don’t know the half of it.” He says, growing more serious as he continues. “You see,” He says, “It was more than him just being ‘in’ with the younger girls. Most of them were barely legal- the few that people knew of- but most of the girls weren’t.”

Stiles knew he wasn’t going to like this explanation. At all.

The Trickster continues, and Stiles knew he was right. “What really made me choose him is after I found out about the worst of it. This girl- a real smart girl, Emily, her name was- she graduated early from high school, was going to graduate college to be a counselor.” The Trickster takes a breath in pause, something dark flickering behind his eyes, “She had real big dreams. Her parents loved her, and she knew what she wanted. She was going places. But she had one of his classes, and I did my best to figure what happened.” He takes a breath and exhales slowly.

Stiles waited with wary anticipation. He felt he knew how this story would end, and it wasn’t going to be pretty.

“He’d dropped her grade to a low- she’d fail his class, and that would throw out her good credits- she couldn’t get the grade she wanted for the job she wanted- so she went and talked to him to see what she could do.” The Trickster looked furious- angered by the man he spoke of- the distaste evident in his voice. “When he tried to blackmail her- threaten he wouldn’t fix her grade unless she had sex with him- she refused. But when she tried to tell her parents what happened, they didn’t believe her. Said he was a ‘good man’ and they didn’t think that she would try to dirty his name like that by saying that about him. The police said the same thing when she tried to file a charge- they refused.” He said, his voice softening. “When people started talking about her, about her saying things about him, about her being ‘just another girl trying to get attention from people’, it was enough for her.” He said, almost whispering. He paused for a decent amount of time before continuing. “Emily Morris was 16 years old when she committed suicide.” He said.

Sam looked as depressed and surprised at the story as Stiles felt.

Stiles could honestly see why the professor was dead. Stiles had seen enough loss in others- don’t think of Derek, don’t- and had felt enough himself. His mother. His brother Scott, who’d might as well have left him for dead. Any of the relationships he had with those people he thought had cared for him- might as well have just told him he wasn’t a real person to them- those all hurt.

That pain was just as real as this.

The Trickster gave a sad smile. “So yeah. He kinda had it coming, Sammy.”

Sam looked saddened, then surprised. “Wait.” Sam says. “How do you know my name?” He asks. The Trickster looks as if he had just now realized he had actually said Sam’s name.

The Trickster smiled, but Stiles could tell he was slightly on edge.

“What? You think the supernatural community hasn’t heard of the Winchesters? You guys are the boogeyman stories that the supernatural world tells their kids at night. Be careful, or the Winchesters will get ya!” He laughs, but Stiles can tell it is not a true laugh.

Magnus was the king when it came to faking it, and Stiles had picked up some of his cues.

That and his sarcasm.

“Well, I hadn’t heard of them ‘till yesterday.” Stiles says, smiling genuinely at The Trickster, looking at Sam. Hopefully, whatever was putting The Trickster off would pass.

The Trickster looked uncertain, and Sam seemed to finally notice it too.

“Look,” Sam says, “I agree with why you chose to kill the professor- he deserved it, in my book- but my brother isn’t going to agree with that. He’s,” Sam sighs indignantly, “He’s too much like our father to ever back off from this, even if I asked.” He says, looking at The Trickster almost pleadingly. “What am I supposed to do? I just now was shown, for real, that not all ‘monsters’ are just that. Monsters.” He says, desperation growing evident in his voice.

The Trickster just smiles, pleased. “Why Sam, is that worry I hear?” He says, smiling. “I’ll be fine, kiddo. I was gonna fake my death anyway- it’s fun to see how long it takes hunters to catch onto me and then let them think they killed me.” He says, looking seriously at Sam, the smile still plastered on his face. “Just means we’re gonna find out how good an actor you are Sammy.”

And with that, Sam and The Trickster went off to the campus building, Sam calling Dean to meet him there.

Stiles took a deep breath and smiled, walking leisurely back to his hotel room. His phone was two numbers richer- Sam and The Trickster- he had his dagger back, and he had a house in Denver to investigate.

Chapter Text

It was actually several weeks later before Stiles even got a chance to check out the house in Denver. He’d ended up getting caught up in two jobs after leaving Springfield, and the last one ended up being almost a week long ordeal- some young warlock thought it’d be a genius idea to read a book of summonings out loud, accidentally summoning a half a dozen demons, almost killing himself and setting the demons loose in midtown NY, which was when Magnus told Stiles to handle it. The Shadowhunters didn’t need to think the Downworld summoned and set them loose on purpose. So Stiles hunted and killed the demons himself.

Needless to say, the young warlock had gotten a big talking to about the dangers of reading out loud.

As Stiles finished up with the last demon, he’d gotten a text from Peter, who was visiting Magnus over in Brooklyn. So, doing the most logical thing he could think of, Stiles asked Peter to come with him when he went to Denver.

Stiles absolutely did not think his idea through beforehand. Sitting in a car for over two days- Stiles did sleep sometimes, okay? He needed his sleep- with Peter was not his idea of a fun road trip.

Why? Because for practically the entire trip, he complained about Beacon Hills. He bemoaned for over half the trip the fact that Stiles had asked him to stay with what he called, ‘a literal bunch of idiots, Stiles, they truly are the peak example of dysfunctional.’ The other half explained how deeply he ended up regretting biting Scott- besides the fact that it made him even more of a literal puppy, he had very little common sense- which Stiles already knew.

Peter had said as much before, saying that even when he offered the bite, he knew Stiles would be a dangerous force to reckon with- he was right, of course, but Stiles was one of his own making now- regardless of the bite or not.

Stiles just put up with the chatter until they reached Denver, finding the address that matched the numbers on the key.

Parking his truck in front of a older tudor house, Stiles approaches, Peter behind him, and begins checking for defensive wards.

There are several barely there wards, fading as written runes tended to do with age. Stile easily first breaks the wards, then reshapes the ‘hide’ rune to allow himself- and others who arrive with him, and him only- inside the ward.

 

Mundanes will feel compelled to look away, to not notice the building, and downworlders will know the house is guarded, and likely not notice the house in the first place.

“Okay, we’re good to check it out now.” Stiles says to Peter, who nods and gives a small, pleased smile.

Stiles display of magic was beyond impressive, and Peter could feel the slightest discomfort from the wards, the compulsion to leave. Peter resisted, but it just proved how strong Stiles’ wards were, as he was in the wards as they were made.

Stiles leads them into the house, and the two examined the house room by room, checking for traps and for Stiles- resetting the wards.

Defense wards, a boundary ward, and all block runes for all sorts of downworlders. It would take a few times for the two to circle the first floor before Stiles accepts the amount of wards placed by himself, and the two do the same on the second floor.

Once he had finished with placing his wards, Stiles actually examined the rooms of the house. The first floor had decent sized, if a little outdated kitchen, with a dining room attached. The dining room needed a new table, so Stiles started a mental shopping list. A sitting room with a fireplace connected from the dining room to the library, which was large, despite being a quarter of the size of Magnus’ library. Stiles would take his time going through the books in the library later. The shelves were mostly empty, but Stiles could use an upgrade of space from storing his books in his old room at Dot’s. A bathroom connected to the washroom and into the main hall, and a staircase led to the second floor.

The second floor was empty rooms, but there were three bedrooms, a bathroom, and a master bath connecting to the master bedroom.

Stiles sighed deeply, planning his next steps for renovation. Three of the bedrooms upstairs would be converted to his room and guest rooms, and the last room would be made to an artifact/ingredients storage room. He was starting to need one. Potions were so much easier to make when you didn't have to go hunt down the ingredients.

A decent amount of work needed to be done to the house, and it was mostly replacing the furniture. It looked like the loft with how barren and spartan the furniture was, and Stiles didn’t need those reminders.

Over the next few days, he and Peter replaced half of the furniture, and all the wallpaper in the house was removed and the walls were painted. He went shopping for basic groceries- non perishables, canned goods- and smaller furniture for the house, taking up half of a day just driving from store to store, Peter in tow, grumbling about just being there to lift the heavy stuff- which he was.

When the mattresses and bed frames arrived at Dot’s from his online shopping, the two set up the remaining furniture, and Stiles moves the remaining objects of his from Dot’s to the- his, he’d have to get used to that- house.

When Stiles and Peter finish, Peter goes to leave, Stiles walking beside him to the front door.

“Well cub, while I had plenty of fun moving furniture about, I, sadly,” He says, giving an exaggerated sigh, rolling his eyes, “Must return to Beacon Hills. Despite the bonds not being there, Derek gets extra angsty if I don’t return within a month of being gone.” He finishes, turning to hug Stiles.

“Do expect me to visit, alright? I call dibs on the guest bedroom next to the bathroom.” And with that statement, Peter leaves.

 

Arriving Beacon Hills a week later, Peter stops by the High School, waiting for Danny in the parking lot after Lacrosse. Danny sees him and grins.

“Back already?” He asks, smiling at Peter.

When Danny was first approached by Peter, he was surprised by him. After Peter explained the Supernatural- what had happened to Jackson, why Scott was suddenly awesome at lacrosse- to him, he realized why things in Beacon Hill had been weird. Werewolves, apparently. And Miguel- Derek, Danny couldn’t believe Stiles, Danny had actually believed Stiles, for a brief time- was their Pack Alpha.

And Stiles was gone. He’d been gone for most of their junior year, and nobody knew why or where. Until Peter told him.

When Danny listened to what the Pack had done, his skin crawled. How could they think he was weak? Yeah, he was always different, but that didn’t mean he was weak! He was glad Stiles was out with better people, as Peter explained what he’d wanted Danny’s help with, showing him a few of the pictures he and the other guy- Magnus- had gotten for their plan.

And boy, was Stiles different! Grown out hair, frankly, clothes that were amazing, and- wait, was that makeup? Yes, it was. Danny could honestly say he looked pretty sexy.

He’d agreed with Peter's request, and Danny had set to work on his computer.

 

Peter smiled at Danny. “Yes indeed. Spent some quality time with my favorite people, then decided to come visit the rest. Any trouble while I was gone?” He asks, and Danny shakes his head no.

“Nah. All good with everything.” He says, breaking into a wicked grin. “In fact, I finished. Posted this morning, and left the link in all their lockers- I used the scent blockers like you asked- and I think now would be a good time for you to see how it’s working out.” He says. Peter, too, breaks into a wide grin.

“Ahh, I do enjoy the scent of teenage despair and anxiety on occasion. Yes, I’ll be off then.” Peter says, and takes off. Running across town, Peter reaches the loft and begins picking through the massive boiling pot of collected scents, leaning on the door outside the loft.

Scott- Sadness, anger, despair.

Boyd- Sadness, confusion.

Erica- Anger, despair, disappointment.

Isaac- Sadness, despair, shame, confusion, hurt.

Allison- Shame, despair, confusion, sadness.

Jackson- Anger, confusion, shame.

Lydia- Anger, disappointment, hurt.

And oh boy. Peter sighed, but this one was not surprising.

Derek- Anger, confusion, sadness, despair, arousal, jealousy, hurt.

Well, from the scents Peter was ables to discern, the Pack was suffering. Good. Then they can suffer some more as far as Peter is concerned, and Peter was going to see to it to happen.

“Well well, who died? It smells of misery and despair in here.” He asks when he walks in, making sure his scent and heartbeat are muted and calm. No point antagonizing them if they know he is.

Several muted- and some not- whines pass through the room, and the collective scents of the Pack flares up. Looking around the room, putting a face to their matching scents, most of the Pack looks confused and hurt. Several have out their phones, and Lydia is bent over a laptop, deeply immersed over what she’s looking at. Derek stands over the back of the couch behind her, looking at the screen as well. His hand is clenched at his side, and the very faintest hints of blood tints the air.

Peter raises an eyebrow and waits for someone to respond to his question. Eventually, Isaac whimpers and gives Peter his phone, going back to burrow himself into the couch next to Boyd and Erica, pulling the two closer to himself.

Peter looks away from them and sees the complete version of Danny’s efforts. Literally it’s just a facebook page. But pictures of Stiles and Magnus litter it, and anyone could tell the two are close. Pictures of Dot appear often too, and she looks pleased at the photographer, Stiles nearby or in the photos with her. Magnus, to anyone who doesn’t know him, would look like he and Stiles were together, with how close he was to Stiles at most times. Peter finds his favorite- the photo that began the revenge plot to begin with- the Pandemonium picture of Magnus and Stiles, the two smiling into the camera, both glammed up and looking fabulously gorgeous.

Peter slowly scrolls through the pictures, seeing Danny had perfected the posts to seem as if Stiles himself had posted them, most with small, energetic but well worded comments written with the posts. Much like how Stiles texted.

Pictures of Magnus shopping with Stiles, of Stiles sitting immersed in a book in Magnus’ library, a frankly adorable picture of Stiles, curled up and passed out on one Magnus’ lounge seats, a blanket over his lap and chest, and the short video Peter had taken of Stiles’ 17th birthday- of him receiving his gifts- with his surprise and happiness shining evidently on his face.

He sat, smiling widely at his father and Ragnor, whom were the others who were in the video. The two had varying in size but just as happy smiles on their faces.

Peter’s cub looked peaceful, happy, and content with his life, freed from his former life and completely at ease.

Peter looks up and around the room, raising both of his eyebrows.

“What exactly, am I supposed to be looking at?” He asks, knowing the question will both irritate and aggravate them immensely.

And it does.

“It’s Stiles.” Ah, so Derek has acknowledged his presence, then. Peter rolls his eyes at his blunt and obvious statement.

“Yes, I can see that. Why am I looking at this?” He asks, and Isaac whimpers again, hugging a pillow to his chest. Scott is the one who speaks up next.

“We found a piece of paper in our lockers, it had the link to this page on it.” He says loudly, and Peter sighs. Stating the plainly obvious was apparently another thing Scott tended to do, and it was rather annoying, in this case.

“Alright. That in no way explained why I am looking at this.” He says, continuing with, “Is there something I’m supposed to be seeing here?”

Internally, Peter is pleased that he’s able to drag it out this far. Boyd had sunken farther into the couch, and Scott and Allison are practically glued together, both looking different levels of discomfort. Jackson curls up by Lydia’s side, looking over at the photos.

“We need to find whoever did this.” Derek says, and Peter gives him a look.

“Did what, Derek? Make Stiles happy? He certainly looks better now than he did before.” Peter snaps, and Derek glares at him. Derek’s scent barely flares, a mix of anger and arousal. Peter huffs angrily.

Yes, Stiles was certainly attractive. That did not mean that Peter wanted to know about his nephew’s crush on his cub, and Peter was going to do his best to try make Derek regret everything he ever said. He deserves that much for what he did, at least. And sadly, he knew his cub had once felt something for his idiotic nephew- but that was before he’d crushed the poor cub’s heart.

Therefore Derek doubly needed to regret what he did.

Derek didn’t respond, but Scott spoke up again, saying, “We need to find him. He needs to come back home, it’s not safe.” He says and Lydia speaks up- well, not speaks technically, she shouts.

“You're damn right it’s not safe! Not safe here!” She yells, and her voice wavers on the edge of turning to a scream. And not the good kind, if screaming normally could ever be described as a ‘good’ scream. The entire Pack turns to look at her in shock. The banshee glares back.

Her voice lowers, but she continues to speak just as angrily, “How could you think that selfishly, Scott? He is so much happier now there than he’s ever been here. And you’d what? Go and demand he come back to Beacon Hills, simply because you say so?” She spits, and slams her laptop shut.

“I can’t do this anymore.” She hisses, running a hand roughly through her hair, and she gets up, laptop clenched in hand. Allison calls out to her.

“What do you mean Lyds?” She says, voice laced with confusion and hurt. Lydia glares at all them before speaking harshly to Allison, and the rest of the Pack.

“You all know damn well what I mean. Don’t talk to me, don’t approach me… I’ve had enough sitting around and not doing what I thought was right. I’m glad Stiles left, and I should have told him what I thought- I never agreed with you, Derek, and I never have about that-” She says, looking to Derek, staring him down before continuing, “-instead of just sitting on my ass and not saying anything. Goodbye.” She says, turning and walks out, heels clicking on the concrete.

Jackson shrugs in thought, before trailing out behind her.

Isaac whines as they leave, the sound of a car starting and leaving outside, fading as it gets further away. The Pack sits in shocked silence, and Peter claps his hands together once, snapping most of them out of their stony silence.

“Lovely. Anyone else plan to storm out in a fit of rage?” He asks, looking around the room. “No one? Alright then.” He says, looking back down at Isaac’s phone, leisurely scrolling through the photos. Peter waits for someone to speak up and say something about the highly irritating comment he just made.

Isaac, puppy though he is, gets up and retrieves his phone from Peter before dashing out the door.

Boyd and Erica look ready to get up and follow after him, but Derek growls to them to submit, to stay, his eyes glowing a harsh red.

Scott and Allison remain seated, looking hurt and beyond confused. Peter guesses they still somehow think what has happened wasn’t their fault. Idiots.

Realizing that Derek has no intentions to go after either of his betas, Peter turns and walks himself out. His work was done, and it was time to let them wallow in their suffering.

Isaac sits curled up outside, leaning against the concrete, head in hands. Peter scents that the beta is crying, tiny whimpers shuddering out of him as his shoulders shake.

Peter crouches down beside him, sitting next to the crying beta on the ground.

“What’s got you all like this, hmm?” He asks softly. He may be a pain in the ass and creepy to boot, but he wasn’t heartless, and the young beta is practically screaming for his attention.

Isaac leans into his side and continues to cry, minutes passing before he quietly whispers to Peter.

“I… Lydia’s right. I- I should have said s-something.” He quietly sobs, Peter remaining quiet but leaning closer to the beta. “He- I miss him. I miss him so much, I- he…” And the beta breaks into a fresh wave of tears, placing his head in the crook of Peter’s shoulder. Peter simply waits for the beta to continue speaking.

Despite him not saying anything before, if there was anyone Stiles would forgive first, it would be Isaac, Peter knew. Lydia would find her own way to speak with Stiles again, and Peter doubted she wanted his help in the first place. So Peter listened to the young beta.

“H- he was a-always there f-for me. W-with m-my nightmares. N-never really talked… But he always listened, he was always there f-for me. Stood beside me a-and I didn’t even do the same f-for him!” He cries out, hugging in on himself, still sobbing openly into Peter’s shoulder.

Peter gently pulls an arm around the beta, the beta curling further into his shoulder, allowing Peter to reach his phone in his jacket pocket. Tapping gently on the beta’s shoulder, he opened notes and began typing a message for him.

‘I have a little secret. Do you promise not to tell?’ He types, and Isaac looks at him curiously, before slowly nodding his head. Peter smiles gently as he nods, and pulls up his messaging, opening Stiles’ contact.

Isaac’s eyes widen, and he looks to Peter, bewildered and amazed. Peter goes back to notes and types again.

‘Let me ask him. I don’t doubt that he wouldn’t want to talk to you.’ He writes, and Isaac looks at him with disbelief and muted hope.

Peter texts Stiles. ‘Hey.’ Stiles responds quickly to his text, returning it within a minutes time.

‘Hey. Whatcha need?’ And Peter texts him back, Isaac reading over his arm.

‘I returned to BH, and it was rather eventful. Someone here wants to speak with you.’ He types, and hands his phone to Isaac. Isaac looks down at the phone and quickly types before he loses all his nerve.

‘Hey Stiles its me Isaac.’ He sends, and the two sit in complete silence until he responds.

‘Hi.’ Is all he sends, and Peter lets Isaac take his time to speak with him.

Stiles and Isaac text for a good 10 minutes, Isaac looking completely floored and absolutely relieved, his mood nervous but slowly calming, and even becoming relaxed, a smile spread widely across his face before he returns the phone to Peter, notes and not the messaging app open.

‘He forgave me. He wants me to stay with Derek though.’ He’d written, and Peter nodded in understanding, although the beta did not looked pleased at Stiles’ request. Peter hadn't been either, but Stiles was persuasive.

Peter wrote him back. ‘Stay. If you want to know how Stiles is doing, I talk often with Danny. He knows, by the way.’ Isaac looks completely baffled, but agrees with a nod.

Peter stands and offers a hand to the beta, helping him up from the ground. When the beta is fully up, Peter wraps him into a tight hug.

“Stay safe, Isaac. It’ll be alright.” He says, and Peter pulls away from the beta, waving goodbye as he walks away.

Isaac stands by the stairs, waving back.

 

Well, this was not quite what Peter expected to have happen today, but Magnus will certainly be pleased. Both him and Danny.

Peter smiles. Two betas and Lydia finally made the point of walking away from Derek as he’d made Stiles do, and Peter knew Derek was suffering in his own right. Just because he preferred to act like an emotionally constipated person, didn’t meant he didn’t have those feelings.

Hmph. No way in hell was Derek getting near his cub anytime soon. And if he tried, well then, oh boy was he going to regret it.

Chapter Text

It had been another few months of wandering the States doing work before Stiles heard more than a few simple texts from Sam, and when Sam finally did send something more to him, the news he had wasn’t good.

Sitting in his home, phone in hand, the two have a chat over text.

Apparently Sam had died- apparently not a big deal, to him- and his brother had sold his soul to get it back- which apparently was a big deal. Demons sucked.

A year was how long his brother had left, and Sam wanted to know about contract seals. Stiles told him the unfortunate news, checking in with Magnus before getting back to Sam a little bit later.

‘Checked with my contacts, and it’s not good, Sam. If you try finding whatever demon currently holds the contract, the contract will just go to the next in command until it’s collected. And it would be damn near impossible to even find out who holds the contract now.’ He hated to send such a disappointing text, but if he didn’t tell Sam right away that whatever he tried likely wouldn’t work, he knew Sam would have tried to get it.

He still might.

‘So basically there’s nothing I can do.’ Sam texts him back, and Stiles sighs. He could tell even over text how depressed Sam would sound saying those same words.

‘I know it’s not what you want to be hearing, Sam. But keep looking, alright? Ask more people about it. I could talk with a few other people, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to tell you something different.’ He sends, knowing he shouldn’t try convincing Sam to stop searching. It would only stop Sam trying to talk to him in the future, and Stiles didn't want Sam to cut himself off from everyone when the inevitable did happen.

‘I’ve already talked to everyone I know who might know something, and it’s useless! No one has told me differently from what you said, Stiles! But I can’t give up on Dean like that. I just can’t, Stiles.’ Sam sends, and Stiles has pain in his heart for his distant friend.

Stiles thinks of something, and sends it to Sam. ‘Have you asked Loki about it yet?’ He types out, and waits for Sam’s response.

‘No.’ Sam sends back, but Stiles can tell what he meant by the short text.

‘I have a feeling that was a ‘no, not yet’ no instead of just ‘no’. Why not? He’s bound to know something. At least talk to him about it, Sam! You know that he would tell you.’ He sends, and Sam’s reply seems rather upset.

‘Look, not to seem weird, but there are some things he’s not being honest with me about. And I know it too. He’s said some things that seem off to me. He mentioned once that he could see my soul, and I looked it up, and there is 0 mentions of a pagan or Loki ever being able to see a soul.’ He sends, and Stiles waits. Sam seemed to be trying to prove something, and Stiles would help the two of them settle their differences.

Sam never openly mentioned it to Stiles, but Stiles was completely certain the two were together. If helping Sam face Loki about this would help Sam feel better and get Sam to stop worrying, Stiles would gladly help.

Sam sent a text continuing text from the previous one. ‘And he’s slipped up in his speech before, mentioning siblings. More than one. ‘Mike- something’ and a ‘Lucy’. He’s mentioned a ‘Cassie’, too, in the same context as the siblings. Seemed more fond of the latter. I’ve tried looking in a few books at Bobby’s, but so far I’ve got nothing.’

Now that was definitely something important. Being a comics fan meant all the pagans he learned were real, Stiles had researched. Both the Greek and Norse mythologies. And Stiles remembers clearly the names of Loki’s siblings in mythology. Granted, it might not be the same for the real pagans as it was in the mythology, as he’d mentioned not having a wife and five kids.

So Stiles turns to google for help, searching the first name.

Michael- often used nicknames such as ‘Mikey’, or ‘Mike’- is a name from the bible, literally meaning ‘who is like God?’ Michael is the name of one of the archangels of God, along with several others.

Loki had mentioned several times being old in Stiles' presence. As in several millennia old, apparently. Old enough for Stiles’ idea to make sense, even if it is pretty crazy.

So, in reference to the bible, Stiles searches the other names in context. The nickname ‘Lucy’ could have very few other meanings other than Lucifer himself. The Devil, Satan, The Fallen Archangel, all titles for the matching name. Mentions of a cage, seals, and the apocalypse come up in context to his name.

So far, Stiles has found two for two on his crazy ass idea. If the last name matches, Stiles is going to have a hell of a time trying to explain that to Sam.

And it does. The nickname ‘Cassie’ easily matches matches up to the name Cassiel, another angel of the bible. Stiles looks at the mentions of the last name, and finds the translation from the original text to english to be wrong for the name.

Stiles writes out another text to Sam, telling him what he’d found.

‘Found it. The names all match to the bible Sam. Michael and Lucifer, the warring archangel siblings of God. The name Cassiel- not sure on the original translation of the name, it seems incorrectly translated to me- is an angel.’

‘So what, he knows them, or something? That doesn’t make any sense.’ Sam sends, and Stiles understands his reluctance to think it.

‘It seems that way to me. You won’t really know until you ask.’ Stiles goes and checks for any mentions of angels on earth, and Stiles find something useful a few minutes later.

‘When you talk to him, if you really think he’d try to talk his way out of it, try holy oil. Same concept as holy water, but acts as an impenetrable barrier when set on fire on the ground to demons. Might work on him.’ Stiles sends to Sam.

‘Fine. I’ll talk to him, and use your suggestion. Thanks for the help Stiles.’ Sam sends back, and Stiles smiles.

‘No problem. Hope it works out for you.’ He sends, and Stiles continues to look at the references of angels for Sam on his phone.

You never know when he might find something useful, and being over prepared is better than being underprepared, as far as Stiles was concerned.

Chapter Text

A few weeks after Sam got back to him about what had happened when he confronted Loki- Stiles’ guess had been right! Loki was actually an angel. But not just an angel, not even just a seraphim, no, he was the archangel Gabriel, the Messenger of God. Stiles was shocked and surprised, but he knew that things would be just fine. Stiles was sure that Sam would be alright once Dean was gone, as long as the two trusted each other from now on to tell each other those kind of important things.

So Stiles goes to visit Magnus. Magnus had texted and asked him for his help with something, but refused to say much more than that.

The loft is quiet, and Stiles does not see Magnus when he enters.

“Hello?” Stiles calls out, and Magnus pokes his head out from his bedroom, a relieved look coming upon his worried face.

“In here Stiles.” He says, waving his hand for Stiles to come over.

“What’s up?” Stiles asks, following Magnus over towards his walk-in closet. Magnus walks in, selects two suit jackets, and walks back out, holding them up for Stiles to see.

“Which would look better with this shirt?” He asks seriously, gesturing to the shirt he is wearing, and Stiles smiles. So he was asked here to give fashion advice.

Alright then.

The shirt Magnus is wearing is a dark grey silk with curlicue patterns, and the dress pants he wears are gentian blue, his belt shining with rhinestones. The two jackets Magnus holds up are both black based, but that is where the similarities end. One has metallic blue fleur de lis covering the jacket, and the other is light grey waves with a black trellis design over the waves.

Both of the jackets would look good with the outfit Magnus had chosen so far, so Stiles asks him a few questions.

“Got any accessories planned to go with your outfit here?” He asks, and Magnus gives him a look.

“Like I wouldn’t.” He says, rolling his eyes at Stiles. Honestly, it’s as if the kid doesn’t even know him. He points to his vanity. A selection of silver rings lay prominently on the dresser, most being large signet rings.

Stiles nods, then looks back to Magnus and the jackets. He makes his decision and points to the grey and black jacket.

“You should wear that one. Would look better with the accessories, don’t you think?” He says, and Magnus smiles.

“Yes,” Magnus says, “I thought of the two, that jacket would go better with the shirt. Thanks.” He says, and returns to the closet, hanging the blue jacket back up before slipping on the other. He walks backs out and strikes a pose, waving out a hand.

“So, how do I look?” He says, a small smirk upon his face. Stiles snickers at his flamboyant friend, grinning widely, giving him a thumbs up.

“Like you’re gonna turn some heads. You look great Magnus. Going to Pandemonium in a bit?” He asks, and Magnus nods his head, his over the top pose fading as he goes tense.

“Unfortunately.” He says, sighing. “It’s been a bit tough lately. So I’m hosting an event tonight, a vampires only to soothe the ruffled feelings.” He says, face twitching in anger. “Except half of the DuMort plans be there, and not the nice half, either.” He grits out, and Stiles grimaces in understanding.

“Yeesh. Need me to come?” Stiles asks, and Magnus shakes his head no, smoothing out his expression.

“No, I’m fine. You go, and I’ll call if I really need backup, alright?” He says, smiling at his young friend. “Thank you for offering your assistance.” He says, and pulls Stiles into a hug. A few seconds pass before Magnus pulls away.

Magnus has a smile on his face as he goes to the vanity, putting on his rings. “I’ll text you regardless of what happens, alright?” He says, before turning back to Stiles. “Besides,” He says, “I think Peter mentioned coming to visit and arriving this evening at your residence, and the two of you always enjoy speaking.” He says, walking out to the living area. Stiles follows behind.

“I think it’s more us enjoying throwing sassy comments at each other than actual talking.” Magnus lets out a small laugh at that.

“Yes, that is certainly true. Tell him I said ‘hello’, alright?” Magnus asks, and Stiles nods.

“Will do. I’ll talk to you later Magnus!” Stiles says, and portals himself home.

 

Peter is indeed there when he returns, waiting outside with greek takeout, and the two sit and talk together in his living room about things in Beacon Hills.

Isaac’s number had been unblocked in Stiles’ phone, and the two talked fairly often, falling into a comfortable long distance friendship over the phone. Isaac would talk to him later in the day, at night in Beacon Hills.

Isaac was apparently not very comfortable living with Derek for the way he’d treated Stiles, but it was better than his alternatives. Stiles did his best to comfort the beta, and told him to deal with it in whatever way worked.

Peter told him that for now, things in Beacon Hills looked fairly calm- besides the fact that Lydia still refused to speak to Derek, and Jackson and Isaac were fairly closed off to the rest of the Pack as well- for now. But it being calm for a few months wasn’t an assurance for the future, and things tended to turn sour soon enough in Stiles’ experience.

Stiles’ dad and Chris were having an easy enough time staying in the loop of what has been going on in Beacon Hills, and Stiles was getting a feeling that a certain creeper wolf had something for a certain hunter, from the way Peter spoke.

Stiles wondered how that was working out for Peter. Stiles should check a few of his contacts in the French hunting community to see what a certain hunter liked- other than hunting, of course.

And yes, Stiles had out of the country contacts. Many, many, many contacts. Surprisingly, the friends of the people he’d helped over time usually didn’t mind him asking them questions.

Even if those questions were related to a hunter’s love life.

 

Barely two hours passed before Stiles received a call, Magnus’ I.D. showing as he picked up.

“I was wrong you were right, I’d really appreciate your help right about now.” Magnus says hurriedly into the phone, not even giving Stiles time to speak.

“Where?” Is all Stiles asks, and both Stiles and Peter get up to leave, Stiles summoning his dagger into his hand as he stands, Peter’s eyes flashing blue.

“I’m at the loft.” Magnus says, and Stiles summons a portal to Magnus’ living room.

Little did Stiles know that he’d be walking face first into Shadowhunters.

The blonde and raven haired males pull weapons, as does the raven haired female. The last, a ginger haired female, stands, rather shocked at his appearance.

“Who are you!?” The blonde shouts, holding his blade towards Stiles. Peter growls at pushes his way past Stiles, shoving the young warlock behind himself in an effort to draw the Shadowhunters’ attention to himself.

“Look out, it’s a werewolf!” The raven haired girls yells, swishing around a whip, and the ginger haired female looks moments away from passing out in horror.

The raven haired boy notches and draws back an arrow and points it at Peter.

Magnus then decides it’s a good idea to show up, rushing over and pushing himself between the two groups, hands raised and shouting over them.

“Hey, woah, woah! Let’s take it easy and all put down the weapons. Alright?” He says, looking between the two, eyes almost pleading for Stiles and Peter to listen to him.

Stiles and Peter do listen, Stiles slowly sheathing his dagger in his thigh holster and Peter letting his eyes fade to their normal blue, claws and teeth shrinking to their normal length.

“What’s going on Magnus? Who are these guys?” The ginger haired girl asks, and Stiles instantly starts getting bad vibes from her. She reminds him thoroughly of Scott, and in all the ways- arrogant, selfish and self righteous, naive and inexperienced- that counted to Stiles.

“Magnus, you greatly exaggerated your endangerment.” Peter growls, glaring at Magnus, turning his glare to the Shadowhunters.

“These people, my dear, are dear friends of mine.” Magnus says to the girl, sensing the still remaining tension in the room, hands lowered to his sides.

“That doesn’t explain why they’re here.” The blonde says angrily, blade still drawn at Peter.

Magnus frowns at the Shadowhunter, looking from the raven haired boy- Magnus’ gaze seem to be drawn more and more often to the Shadowhunter, Stiles noticed- to the ginger haired girl.

“Stiles is a sufficient warlock, and a summoner almost as skilled as myself,” Magnus says, and Stiles snorts at the sort of-compliment Magnus gave him. “And Peter is essential in his own ways.” Magnus says, and Stiles snickers.

“Essential for maximum potential annoyance, you mean.” He says, and Peter rolls his eyes at the now giggling cub. Stiles may be a great warrior, but inside he very much still a child in his own ways.

Very much similar to another warlock Peter knew, in almost the exact opposite way.

“So you needed help with a summoning, then?” Stiles asks, sobering slightly, a small smirk still on his face. Magnus nods, but holds up a finger.

“Not just a summoning, no. We’re summoning Valak.” He says, looking pointedly to the ginger haired girl.

Stiles blinks in surprise, pointing to her. “She’s that one girl you were taking the memories from, isn’t she?” He asks. Magnus smiles at Stiles before turning around.

“Indeed Stiles. And we’re here now to retrieve them.” He says, going over to a cabinet and pulling out a chalk set, handing them to the ginger haired girl, holding up a finger. “I need you to draw something for me.” He says, and then looks back to Stiles, thinking.

“Ahh, I have just the thing for you two.” He says to Stiles and Peter. “Come with me for a moment?” He asks, and sashays out of the room.

Peter and Stiles follow cautiously along, keeping an eye on the Shadowhunters as they move past them.

Magnus turns to face them, face more calmed and soothed. “What I really need you to do is go look for someone.” Stiles nods slowly and Peter gives a curious head tilt, and the former gestures for him to continue.

“Clary came to Pandemonium earlier this week with some friends- mundanes, a girl and a boy- and that was on the first of the vampire centric nights I held- the DuMort and the Staten Clan were there about a confrontation between a Pack, and I invited them to stay and gave them a back room- and I noticed briefly that the one of the Clans- I am uncertain as to which- had a specific interest in the male mundane.” Magnus explains, and Stiles nods again.

“You want to make sure that nobody tried anything funny on her mundane friend.” Peter says, and Magnus nods.

“Yes, exactly that. Be cautious please, no need to start a feud between the Clans or Packs, or the Warrens.” He says, looking between the two before gesturing with his hands. “Now shoo. I have a summoning to do and a hunter to woo.” He says, and Stiles grins. He knew it! Magnus liked the raven haired boy, and he was clearly smitten, if the look on Magnus’ face said anything.

“Ha! Knew something was going on with you! Good luck with that, huh?” Stiles says, and Magnus gives him a so-so gesture.

“Yes, thank you, but you best be going.” He says with a small smile, and Stiles nods.

Well, judging by how much- how little, really, Magnus didn't really tell them much besides who and where to look- information they were given, his and Peter’s evening just got extremely long, if Stiles was going to hazard a guess. Oh well. At least Magnus would be enjoying himself…

Chapter Text

Stiles debated between going to hotel DuMort or the Staten Clan warehouse, and Stiles decided that he and Peter should go to the DuMort first, as it was closer to Magnus’ loft.

Stiles did not have anything of the mundane’s- Simon, Magnus said his name was, although he seemed uncertain about the name- to track him with, so Stiles decided to do certain spell he had learned from tracking a blood witch with a Kalman Vaki, which was a protector of those who suffer and to hunt those who would evade death- like a blood witch.

It was a spell that could detect a heartbeat over a certain area, and the strength of the heart. The spell would be perfect for finding a mundane in a Vampire den, and the spell didn’t have to be cast from a close range- it was meant for tracking a human heart in the middle of a forest several dozen kilometers in size, using it to find Simon in one hotel would be easy.

If Stiles would even find Simon there, as him not being there was a distinct possibility.

He didn’t know for certain, but he was getting a feeling that of the two, the DuMort was more likely to try something like kidnapping a human- or several- and the Staten Clan was smaller than the DuMort, and well respected throughout the city, much more so than the DuMort. Camille might be old and powerful, but very few in the downworld cared for the way she handles her Clan.

It’s near to one in the morning when Stiles and Peter finally arrive near the DuMort, cautious of any activity from the building. One in the morning is almost perfect darkness, and darkness means activity, when it comes to canine fanged Vampires.

Full mouths were active regardless of the time, but preferred darkness when feeding, as Stiles had come to understand.

Listening as he cast the spell from a few buildings down, Stiles leaned against the building and listened.

Sure enough, a faint thumping sound echoed in his ears, the sound of an inactive heart- it was likely that Simon was unconscious, then, for how slow but strong it was.

Stiles looked to Peter and nodded his head, his face growing grim, Peter frowning as he too listened for the heartbeat.

They knew he was there, but what could they do? Stiles thought back to all the accords and tried to think if anything would work. No line or clause came to mind for this type of situation, and Stiles was running out of ideas other than just marching in to the DuMort and getting Simon back, which would be rather high on his list of bad ideas.

The heartbeat suddenly speeds up from slow to fast, beating faster than someone running, sure signs of panic, and Stiles turns his attention back to it and listens. The beat fades a small amount from a surprised fast pace to a quick and fluttering panicked beat.

Shortly after, a boy runs out the front doors, painicked and clearly fearful, even from a distance. Another figure follows him, approaching Simon- it had to be- aggressively, chasing after him.

Stiles runs over, Peter's light footfalls behind him, and calls Simon by name, the mundane turning his and Peter’s direction, foolishly turning his back to the Vampire behind him. Stiles barely has reached Simon before he pushes the mundane out of the way, the Vampire missing the mundane as he lashed out, hissing.

“Leave! Do not return!” The Vampire hisses out, and blurs his way back into the hotel. Simon is clearly startled, and Stiles sees blood running down the mundane’s lip. Peter stands quietly behind Stiles, weary of the Vampire den in front of them.

“W-who are you guys?” Simon stutters out, and Stiles opens a portal- to his own home, not to Magnus’ loft, Magnus would need to focus for the summoning and trying to romance a Shadowhunter who was the epitome of being buried in the closet- and gestures for him to walk through it.

When Simon wavers, not moving, Stiles rolls his eyes at Simon. “Would you rather stay here?” He asks, and Simon finally moves to walk through. Stiles and Peter follow behind, the portal closing behind them.

Simon has shakily sitten down on one of the couches in Stiles’ living room, and Stiles turns to speak to Peter.

“I’m going to need a few things, would you go get them for me?” Stiles asks, and Peter nods, a small intrigued look upon his face. “Good. I’ll need my medical supply bag from my workshop room, a bottle labeled 'crushed wild rose petals', and a glass of water please.” Peter seems minimally bothered by his strange request, but goes to do what he was asked without complaint.

Stiles sits besides Simon on the couch and finally speaks to him. “Hi. Sorry it took a bit for that, what was it you were asking me?” He says, and Simon slowly speaks, his shaking from earlier subsiding.

“Who are you? Where am I?” He asks, and Stiles responds calmly, hoping to soothe the frightened mundane further by easing his mind.

“I’m Stiles, and my friend upstairs is Peter. You’re here at my house while we get you patched up.” He says, and Simon’s eyes widen, looking about in alarm.

“N-no, I’m fine. Can… can I go? I’m fine, really.” He says, and Peter calls out from the kitchen before walking into the living room with Stiles’ things and the water glass.

“No, you are not. You are bleeding from a split lip, you have likely got a bruised head, if not a concussion, and your heart still sounds like you’re still running a marathon bebe pajaro.” He says, and Stiles frowns at him, shaking his head at the presumptuous nickname. Simon frowns in confusion at the spanish, and Peter smirks at Stiles for Simon not understanding.

“Here are your things.” Peter says to Stiles, still smirking, and Stiles sets them down on the coffee table. He digs through the bag and pulls out a cotton swab and a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Dipping the swab in the bottle, he hands the swab to Simon.

“Here, wipe your lip with this.” He says, and Simon reluctantly does so. While Simon swabs his lip, wincing as he does so, Stiles pours a bit of the crushed petals into the water glass before handing it to Simon, who takes it but does not drink it, holding the glass in his hand.

“What’s this?” Simon asks, swirling the glass.

“An assurance, that’s what it is. Drink it, please, I’m going to check for any bruises on your head.” He says, and checks for bumps on Simon’s head as Simon tries to drink without vomiting.

The concoction is gross, but very few know what its true properties are. When mixed into a liquid, the crushed wild rose petals could help one determine if one was a Vampire, as both types of Vampires had mild to severe allergic reactions to ingesting the petals.

If Simon had even a minor reaction to the drink, it was a plain indicator of what was to come.

Simon finished all but the sludge at the bottom of the glass and grimaced. “That was just nasty. What even was that?” He asked, and Stiles moved away from Simon, his head examined and clear of injury.

“How’d you end up at the DuMort, Simon?” Stiles asked, ignoring Simon’s question for now. If nothing came of him drinking it, he’d explain that, but if Simon reacted, Stiles wasn’t sure what exactly he was going to tell him.

“Uh… I don’t know really. I woke up upside down hanging, and then there was this Vampire chick and she was talking, uh, she was kinda creepy, and then there was this Vampire dude and they were talking and then it was really weird, like, they argued and then they let me down, but uh, the chick kinda was, all over me, and uh, and not in a good way. And then the dude argued with her some more and then he started to fucking chase me out of the damn building! He was hissing at me like a damn cat, with his fangs out and everything! It was kinda scary, and then you guys showed up out of nowhere, and then he just left.” Simon explains, and Stiles can tell that Simon is similar to himself.

Pre-Supernatural him, that is. He had so much more energy for things like talking back then.

“Did ‘Vampire chick’ and ‘Vampire dude’ have names?” Stiles asks him and Simon pauses for a moment before nodding vigorously.

“Uh, yeah. Camille and… Raphael, I think. I’m not one hundred percent about the names, it was kinda hard to tell what was going on.” He says, and Stiles frowns.

Well, apparently he’d finally met the ‘Raphael’ Magnus talked of, and Stiles was pretty sure it didn’t count as a positive meet. Oh well.

And if Camille was the one involved with the mundane, the situation just went from not good to really bad pretty quick. Peter seemed to understand that train of thought and frowned.

“Do you know why you were taken?” He asks, and Simon jumps a little when he speaks, turning to look at him in muted surprise. Stiles notices Simon forgot that Peter was even standing there, which, okay, Peter had done that to Stiles before too.

“I don’t know, but uh, I think maybe it has something to do with Clary?” He says, and Stiles realizes that he is talking about the ginger Shadowhunter that was at Magnus’ place.

“Unlikely, pajarito. The downworld doesn’t want to attract attention from the Shadowhunters, which your friend is soon to be. No, I doubt it had anything to do with your friend.” Peter says, and Simon seems to have resigned himself to the nicknames. Simon instead concerns himself with what Peter has said.

“Then why would they be interested in me? I don’t know anything, and I’m not like Clary, or you guys.” He says, itching his arm.

Stiles was going to hate telling him that he was wrong.

“Like us how?” Stiles asks, and Simon looks both resigned and saddened.

“You know. Just, ah… different.” He says almost defeatedly, and looks down at his lap. Stiles can tell pretty easily from that small statement that Simon has some serious self worth issues, but then again, who doesn’t?

So Stiles talks to him.

“I was just like you Simon, once. You see, my friend got bit by a Werewolf, and that changed more than just his life, ‘cause it changed mine too.” Stiles says softly, and Peter moves from hovering nearby to sitting and leaning against Stiles, offering his silent support. Stiles leans gratefully against him, accepting.

Stiles takes his time before he speaks to Simon again, trying to find the right emotions that might let Simon to understand him. “It pained me, being the only human. I got hurt from that too, and more than once. I didn’t let that stop me, but it eventually just got to be too much, you know?” He says, and Simon nods in understanding.

“Yeah.”

They sit for a few minutes in silence, Peter curled quietly next to his cub, the air a faint tell to Stiles’ pain. Peter remains silent and simply enjoys sharing his presence with his cub, trying to ease the ache he feels before Simon speaks again.

“What was in that drink anyways? My everything itches.” Simon says, scratching his leg.

Stiles and Peter exchange a look before they explain the drink, Simon growing pale. Fitting, although a rather grim reminder of what was to come for the mundane.

Finally they finish, and Stiles offers quietly to take the mundane home, Simon numbly accepting, still in muted shock of what was revealed.

Stiles would probably just as shocked if someone told him the chances of him becoming a Vampire were very high.

The mundane is quiet the entire time it takes to go through the portal back to New York, and Stiles manages to get Simon's phone number before sending the mundane on his way in a cab from near Magnus’ place.

Stiles knew Simon would need someone for support in the near future, and Stiles doubted Simon’s friend would care about him much more than Scott ever did.

Besides, it seemed he’d come to collect a rather strange array of friends, and Simon could probably use a few of those friends too.

Chapter Text

Over the next few months, multiple things seemed to happen one after another for Stiles and his friends, leaving Stiles with little spare time in between each new problem that came up for his work.

 

It all started when Magnus had called him one night bemoaning the closeted Shadowhunter, and Stiles ends up sharing a drunken evening of reminiscing lost and unobtainable loves with Magnus, the two comparing tales of their respective pasts. The headache and hangover that followed the next morning was well worth it for Stiles however, who’d somehow encouraged Magnus to keep trying to earn Alec’s closed off heart.

Drunk Stiles advice was sound however, and sober Stiles completely agreed, leaving Magnus browsing through his closet to find something appealing to wear to the Institute later that day.

 

Gabriel had ended up calling him a few weeks after that, telling him that Dean’s contract had finally expired and that Sam was a mess, but trying in vain to hold himself together.

Sam had buried himself in going on rather dangerous hunts, and Gabriel was worried that Sam was going to end up hurt or worse, and it was more than just that. A demon had been sniffing around after Sam, but Gabriel couldn’t go after it while looking after Sam too, asking Stiles to stay with Sam for a little while to make sure he stayed safe.

Stiles had agreed, and when Gabriel came to take Stiles to Sam, Stiles was shocked for seeing just how much his friend had changed. Sam looked different, and Stiles can see what exactly Gabriel meant when he said he worried about Sam. The loss of Dean had clearly meant a lot to Sam, and although he hadn’t said anything it showed from the half-hidden pain on his face.

Gabriel left them shortly after, although it was clear from his face that he wished he didn’t have to. Stiles spent the time he was gone doing a hunt with Sam- a simple spirit removal, thankfully- slowly getting Sam to open up and finally talk more than a few words to him, Sam eventually breaking down and opening up with a few gently spoken words on Stiles’ part.

Stiles comforted Sam, letting the man break down only to help him back together as he needed, simply comforting the man with his presence and soothing the emotionally repressed hunter by not judging him for having feelings and showing them.

Gabriel showed back up on the fourth day after he’d left, and when he saw Sam he was clearly relieved to see Sam safe and his showing emotions, and that confirmed Stiles’ belief that Gabriel had been having trouble trying to talk with Sam about his brother’s death.

Stiles was glad when he saw the two begin talk, and left the two quietly entwined together in the hotel room. Later on the next day Gabriel had texted him and thanked him for caring for Sam, and that the demon following Sam was dead, his job completed.

Gabriel told him the demon’s boss was a high ranking one, and had trapped her in multiple planes of existence simultaneously, effectively killing her while keeping her alive at the same time.

Gabriel told him of the seals of the Cage, the plot of the Apocalypse, and the role that Dean and Sam were to have played. Trapping the demon- Lilith- without killing her had locked the last seal permanently shut, effectively putting a seal upon the seal.

But heaven and hell certainly hadn’t seemed to notice, and Dean would be freed from hell soon enough, for which Stiles was immensely relieved on Sam’s behalf.

Stiles’ gift from Gabriel for his help- despite protesting against needing one in the first place- was pinned and framed in his work room, the golden primary feather almost longer than his arm, radiating a faint shimmering hue than exudes warmth from it.

Stiles smiled whenever he saw it, pleased that Gabriel trusted him enough to gift him one of his feathers, which were not only unimaginably rare, but were a necessary component for no doubt numerous spells related to Gabriel himself.

In knowing that Dean would return eased Stiles’ mind, but it wasn’t too long after until his next problem came up less than a week later, in the form of a text from Simon.

Not surprisingly, Simon had finally been turned, but the culprit behind the turning surprised Stiles.

Raphael, and not Camille, was behind his turning, and Clary was the one who’d chosen the turn for Simon. Stiles seethed internally. The choice of being turned was one reserved for the one receiving, and the one receiving alone, not others! Another choosing your turning was much the same along the lines of rape in terms of consent, and had just as long physical and psychological effects upon a person in terms of trying to cope with something you didn't choose.

The fledgling Vampire was in the height of learning to control his bloodlust after his turning, and Stiles knew that having a new fledgeling to protect could very well push the limits in terms of the Clan accepting Camille’s ruling of the Clan. Fledgelings were some of the most protected and most cherished members of a Clan, and Camille clearly had no care for such members interrupting the way she ran things. It would come to a head shortly, as Raphael had no care for the way his leader tainted their Clan with her misdeeds and most of the Clan caring more about doing the right things than doing what Camille told them to do.

Unfortunately, Simon was the heart of the matter, and it was likely to go poorly for him if Camille got her way.

Clary’s mishandling of the situation had not made things better for Simon either, who was starting to doubt Clary’s loyalty to himself, unlike his own unwavering loyalty to her.

Good, was Stiles’ thought on the matter, who remembered thinking the same thing about Scott. The sooner he realized that his friend was just as toxic to him as Stiles’ own former ‘friend’, the better for him to focus on more important things than running around trying stop an insane man on her behalf.

That and telling Simon to research Vampire courting rituals on his own time. He would realize the evidence pointing to his rightful Sire soon enough once he got his head out of the bloodlust fog clouding his mind. Stiles nearly laughed out loud when he read Simon's concern about Raphael's actions towards himself, but Stiles wasn't worried. While Simon might have gotten in trouble for ruining one of Raphael's suits, it was practically a glowing neon sign that shouted 'I like you!' that he was even allowed to wear it in the first place. To another who could scent it like most in the downworld could, Simon wearing Raphael's clothes was a clear claim on the fledgling from the elder Vampire.

Eh, Simon would find out soon enough on his own. Or maybe he wouldn't. Either way, Simon had nothing to worry about when it came to Raphael's actions toward himself.

 

It was only a few weeks later when he got the call he’d always dreaded coming from Beacon Hills in the form of one Doctor Alan Deaton.

Deaton called him calling about a favor for him, and that the Hale Pack was formally calling to request aid from Red Hood through him. A creature of unknown origins had entered Pack territory and began killing humans, viciously rendering their bodies. The Pack had yet to find the culprit despite much effort to locate it, and were desperate for help. Deaton agreed not only to ask for his help, but to warn Stiles to prepare himself for dealing with the Pack if he agreed.

 

And Stiles agreed, preparing himself to deal them. He would suffer through facing the Pack once more if only to keep them safe, and more importantly, to help keep his dad safe. He had been hurt by them, yes, but that didn’t mean he wanted to see anyone get hurt.

So Stiles planned ahead by calling Peter and texting Isaac, telling them to expect him in Beacon Hills in a few days, planning to go by road from his home rather than just portalling himself back to Beacon Hills. It would give him time to put up his shields and gather himself together before facing the Hale Pack once more.

That and gather some gear together. Who knows what on earth the Pack had gotten themselves into now.

Chapter Text

Peter arrived to Deaton’s office minutes from when Stiles planned to meet up with them- most of the Pack already there waiting, most varying in emotions between nervous, anxious, or excited, awaiting the arrival of the Red Hood- little did the Pack know, of course, besides Isaac and himself know how little a difference between the two there actually was.

Stiles had changed much in the time he had been gone from Beacon Hills, and Peter was interested how Stiles would choose to interact with their former Pack, and how they would react to him. He was no boy facing down Death against all odds, no, now the odds were in Stiles’ favor and Death knew it, Stiles’ mentality of putting others above even caring for himself making him even more dangerous in that he cared so little for his own life.

Something that Peter hoped to remedy someday, but it would take time and a few helping hands of others before that could ever be dealt with properly.

Some of the intrigue Peter felt must have shown on his face judging by the way Derek was glaring at him. Hmph.

He had not seen his cub in almost two whole months, as Stiles had been busy helping out with his various friends and allies all over the States, and was eager now to see him again, anticipating with some glee Stiles’ arrival. The confrontation between the Pack and Stiles would be vicious for Derek and Scott, and the rest besides Isaac would likely fare no better with the verbal assault the Pack no doubt would manage to get from pissing off Stiles. It was practically inevitable that they would do so at this point, and Peter planned to revel in the aftermath of Stiles’ fury.

As it seems, forgiveness in this instance will be like that of trust- not freely given, but something carefully and constantly being earned.

And oh how Peter would enjoy watching them beg.

Bringing his attention back to the room, Peter sees Deaton as he stands stoic and quiet by one of the tables across from where Derek stands, but Peter can tell from what he’d been able to piece together that Deaton knew who the Red Hood was as well, although Stiles had never mentioned it to him and Deaton was not one to give away secrets he was willing to keep.

Something to be determined at a different time, perhaps. Those loyal to his cub must be careful about what they choose to divulge, or else deal with him. Deaton included.

Half the Pack including Scott, Isaac, Jackson, and Erica perk up at the sound of an approaching vehicle, and Peter identifies the sound as indeed being Stiles’ dodge truck rumbling closer outside the vet’s office. The others are curious, looking out the window hoping to see who is there, but Isaac is reserved and nervously glancing between Peter, Derek, and the floor, but Peter can tell he is equally as excited to be seeing Stiles in person again as he is nervous of what would happen, and Peter gave the beta a small smile in reassurance when he looked his way again.

Seeing as how Stiles learned from their eccentric Warlock friend, instead of just walking in the front door of the vet's office, he portals himself with as much flair as he can into the the room right behind Deaton, the man quickly moving away from the portal as Stiles walks through, going from crouched to standing as he walks, signature crimson hood drawn over his face low enough to hide his no doubt glowing eyes, small wisps of leftover magic slowly trailing away from his lowered hands, awed and the shocked scents of the Pack spreading slowly through the room, Derek and Deaton included.

Peter would roll his eyes at the overly flamboyant display of magic, but he knew Stiles enjoyed showing off as much as Peter himself tended to do on occasion, and couldn’t help but give a smile. If Stiles wanted to show off, who was he to judge? Peter for a fact knew there wasn't much the cub chose to divulge himself in, a little showing off perfectly natural for one with as real a skill such as Stiles.

Stiles slowly looks around Deaton’s office at the faces of his former Pack, of the people whom he once had cared for and had foolishly believed could ever have cared back. Allison too, was present, ever glued to Scott's side with her crossbow slung around her shoulder. Stiles fingers twitched towards his sheathed dagger in a small hindthought of reaffirming its presence, the iron and silver blade one of his oldest friends to himself, for the near seven months he'd had it. The blade was, well, a blessing.

The fresh squeeze of aching on his heart from seeing Derek alive and well again told Stiles that despite how much he’d tried to forget him and the heartbreak he’d suffered at Derek’s hands and words, he had not truly been relieved from his broken heart. He was immensely glad now for the ring Ragnor had given him, sure that his scent and heartbeat would be a dead giveaway as to who he was, and needlessly cause Peter to worry about him- Peter worried too much when it came to Stiles’ well being, and had coddled him unnecessarily when he visited- which was not warranted in Stiles’ opinion.

Isaac was looking at him with a more muted shock than the rest of the Pack, looking cautiously hopeful and with his head bowed like a puppy being scolded for breaking something.

Shock wearing off, Deaton clears his throat and begins speaking.

“Welcome, I am glad you accepted to help assist us, Senior Warlock, your aid is most appreciated.” Deaton says, and Stiles is surprised at his use of Stiles’ formal title.

While Stiles may use the name Red Hood as his alternate identity, Senior Warlock was a title officially granted to him by the Council of Magicks, of which all High Warlocks from around the world- London, Athens, Saint Petersburg, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Karachi, Cairo, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, Madrid, Toronto, Rome, Paris, Melbourne, Manila, Shanghai, Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Jakarta, Buenos Aires, Lagos, and of course, New York- met to confer with each other, or to give a formal statement of ‘retiring’ from their position.

Another thing the Council members did was to name a second in command, or essentially an assistant for each High Warlock, who could take over if a High Warlock needed them to for a period of time, or if they needed someone to assist them. Occasionally a High Warlock’s Senior Warlock would take up the High Warlock’s place when their mentor chose to ‘retire’ from their position. Magnus had officially requested that Stiles be named his second for the New York High Warlock, granting him the title of Senior Warlock. There were lower ranks than that Senior Warlock, but it was Magnus had wanted for him.

If even Deaton all the way out here had gotten wind of his position, it meant his official title had spread pretty far already, as the Council only met three months ago.

So he was surprised to say the least, that Deaton would even bother with formalities, but it was appreciated. Formality was something he could work with right now.

His voice had changed some in the past- it was almost two years that he had been gone now, he couldn’t believe it- few months, surprising the hell out of Peter and Magnus when they had called him up. His voice had taken a slightly deeper edge to it, different enough for most to not discern his age when he was hidden beneath the hood. Few other factors gave him away, and he hoped for a delayed reaction on the Pack’s part of recognizing him.

He knew as well that his scent had changed, with the magic flowing freely in his veins, and Peter had said as much to him on one of his visits. His scent apparently smelled strongly of cinnamon and vanilla, as well as whatever other strong smelling scents he dealt with in his work room on a daily basis. The scent of his now absent Adderall usage was a major change as well, Peter had noted out loud to him.

Not that the Pack could smell him while wearing Prezioso- the name Stiles gave for the ring Ragnor gave him- but that seemed to bother and surprise a few of them judging by the concerned or disgruntled glances he received from around the room, Isaac and Derek’s concern at his lack of scent chief among them.

Stiles begins speaking quietly, so that those around him have to actually listen, the wolves in the room showing him their attention.

“Thank you for contacting me. Why is it that you seek my help?” He asks, and Derek finally speaks up, a look of confusion on his face but speaking clearly to him.

“A pair of campers were found dead, we haven’t found what killed them.” He says, and Stiles nods once. Derek's voice hadn't changed since the last time that Stiles had heard it, the echoing of those brutal words ringing softly in his ears, and he speaks with as brunt and little words necessary to make his point.

“Do you know what killed them?” He asks, although Deaton had said they didn’t know when he had called, Stiles wouldn’t put it past Lydia to find out in such a short amount of time.

True to his train of thought, Lydia is the one who speaks up, and not Derek.

“No,” She says, shaking her head, “But the way they were killed isn’t like that of just any creature, but we don’t know what it could be.” She says frustratedly, and Peter speaks up next, with a smug ‘I-know-something-you-don’t-so-ha’ look on his face at the Pack, confusing all but Stiles at the look.

“The campers were missing most of their organs, and were split nearly in half down the chest,” He says to Stiles, and Stiles motions for him to continue, radiating an air of thoughtfulness and curiosity, “We searched the woods and haven’t found any signs of anything out of place, and there’s only one thing that could narrow down what this thing is, but as you were just told, it hasn’t clarified for us what it is we’re searching for.” He says, pausing. “Out in the woods while we were looking, we heard a noise, a rather loud one too. Similar to a bat flying, but much louder, almost painfully so. That was the only strange thing we heard, but the sound eventually just stopped, and we didn't find it again.” He says, and the idea he’d started to form of what it could be is clarified for Stiles.

The creature is likely a Wakwak, a relative of the Philippine monsters the Aswang and Manananggal, both of which preyed on humans. Aswangs preferred human livers and the fetus of pregnant women, and could often change forms at will. Manananggal consumed hearts, livers, stomachs, and the unborn children of pregnant women. The Manananggal would separate its lower and upper body, and grew large leathery wings on its upper half, hiding the lower half at night when it seperated. The Wakwak, the likely culprit in this instance, could fly like the Manananggal, but could not separate its body. The creature made sounds like a bats wings flapping- when it was farther from you it was louder, and the softer the sound was meant the closer it was. The Wakwak attacked from above, and would occasionally carry off people to eat. Their preferred meal was that of the heart, but would consume more the hungrier it was.

If this creature ate nearly all the organs of two people, it must have been absolutely starving, but what had made it choose here to attack, and why would it starve itself to such lengths as to nearly consuming two whole humans organs? Not to mention that the natural habitat of the creature in question was an entire ocean away.

“You are looking in the wrong place.” Stiles says to Peter. “At night, it might wander the forest, but this creature is a shifter. Human during the day, to hide itself.” Stiles says, and the Pack either nod in understanding or give him looks of confusion.

“What are they? Do you even know?” Scott asks, and Stiles frowns. The disapproval is evident in his voice when he finally speaks again.

“This creature may look human, but it is certainly not. It’s not born so much as it is created, and it’s certainly not raised to be human. This thing’s likely a Manananggal or a Wakwak, judging by the organs gone and the sounds you heard, but I'm leaning towards it probably being a Wakwak.” His former friend is displeased, not ready to believe something human in appearance could not be treated as such.

Hmph. Foolishly so, in his opinion. Scott’s view was simply too black and white of a lense for him to ever truly understand the world and its unique range of greys and colors.

Stiles supposes it would be like saying Kate or Gerard were ever human. Which, let’s be honest, they might have looked human, but like Hermes once said. Humans can be monsters too.

“How do we kill it?” Peter asks, and Stiles almost smiles. Right to the point then.

Stiles thinks back to when he studied Filipino translated texts, and remembers the several ways to kill the Aswang and related monsters, and comes to a conclusion.

“A blessed dagger would work, or a stake made from a tree in Bayawan might work too. Salt is definitely something you’re gonna want with these creatures, it’d burn them in an open wound.” He says, and Peter nods in affirmation. Lydia to his left looks frustrated but pleased.

“Damnit! I thought it was an Tiktik, or maybe a Harpy.” She says, giving a small huff, tapping her heel on the concrete.

Stiles shakes his head slowly.

“No, harpies have a very noticeable presence, you’d know if it was a Harpy. They’re loud, agressive- the females, anyhow- and they smell, like, really bad. They’re super territorial too, so they wouldn’t be afraid to get all up in your face.” He says, and Lydia nods in understanding, Jackson posturing close by Lydia’s side because of Stiles’ attention to her.

Honestly, Stiles could care less, but at least the Beta was showing that he was at least somewhat paying attention, Lydia’s own attention firmly on himself.

Stiles wonder briefly if this was going to be a consultation or if they were expecting him to hunt the Wakwak down himself, but thought better of himself. They would no doubt expect his help, and unless something of importance came up, he had every intention of doing so. Besides, he was going to be in town for a bit while he spent some time with his dad, why not do this as well?

It was practically amusing now how long it was taking the Pack to recognize him, and no one here besides Deaton, Peter, and Isaac knew, yet they hadn’t said anything to try and reveal who he was.

It just meant that his former Pack hadn’t known him well enough not to recognize him without his scent or his formerly, now absent non-stop talking and fidgeting.

Stiles supposed that thought might not be the most cheerful one, but it didn’t mean it wasn’t true.

Stiles decides on his exit strategy and begins to speak again, addressing the room. Well, mostly Derek and Deaton, but the rest of the Pack listens too.

“I’ll hunt your creature, but I ask that you stay out of my way while I do so. I don’t need to be looking out for someone who’s more likely to get in my way than actually help, and I don’t need you all screwing this up and getting anyone else killed. Am I clear?” He says sharply, and the several anxiously and nervously nods and ‘yes’s tell him that his warning will likely be heeded. But seriously, is it really asking too much for people to just let him do his work? It had taken several of his clients trying to ‘help’ before Stiles had added that little bit to his work policy, and things had gone just fine since then.

“Good. I’ll send you the bill when I’m done. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a monster to hunt.” He says, and walks through the door past everyone and gets in his truck, gripping the steering wheel until it creaks under the pressure from trying to stay calm as he drives out of the parking lot.

His heart had started to beat nearly out of his chest and was once again he was thanking Ragnor for his ring, fiddling with it as he drives to the station. His nerves have suddenly made their presence known again, and Stiles tamped down the beginnings of a panic attack as he drove.

Deep breaths.

Slowly he regained himself and Peter stood in the parking lot for the station, arms crossed as he pulled up. Getting out slowly, Stiles makes his way over to Peter, head low.

Peter says nothing, but pulls Stiles into his arms, and Stiles feels the tenseness he felt in his shoulders and the heavy weight on his chest fades back to its normal dull ache at the pressure around him. Peter speaks quietly in his ear, the tone soothing.

“Isaac asked if it would be alright to meet you later at your father’s house. He presumed if you planned to stay for a little while that you would be staying there, and he asked me to ask you. Would you be alright with that?” He asks, and Stiles nods into his collarbone.

Peter pulls back, but only enough to look his cub in the eyes. His scent still blocked, but looking at him finds Stiles is sincere in his opinions.

“Alright.” He says, and gently ushers Stiles to the station doors. “Say hello to your father for me, okay? I’ve gotta go talk with Chris.” He says patting Stiles on the shoulder, and walks away. Stiles smiles as Peter jogs off, looking up eagerly to the station doors.

Well, if there was one thing Stiles knew for certain, it was that his dad was going to sure be surprised.

Chapter Text

Walking into the station, the deputy at the front desk was Tara, who greeted him in surprise as he walked closer.

“Stiles! Is that you? It’s been a while! Where you been kid? We’ve missed you around here!” She says enthusiastically, and comes around the desk to give him a hug. Stiles hugs her back, a smile broadening across his face.

Tara had always been a kind but no nonsense kind of woman, and certainly one of the more positive influences on him when he was younger, and blessed the deputy for being able to put up with the kind of shit he pulled as a child. Half of the older deputies had looked after him as if he was one of their own kids, and didn’t mind his inquisitive and often troublesome mind.

Small mercies, he supposes. Life wasn’t always a huge dick to him.

“Ohh, those are some strong arms you got there kiddo, you been working out a lot lately or something?” She says jokingly, patting his forearm, and Stiles breaks into a grin.

“Yeah, something like that. It’s good to see you too, Ta.” He says, and Tara smiles at him fondly.

“And your voice is different too!” She snickers, before asking him, “You here to see your dad? He’s in his office still, I think.” She says thoughtfully, and Stiles nods.

“Yeah. He doing alright?” He asks her, and Tara nods, crossing her arms.

“He’s doing just fine kid, but it’s been hilarious to watch him try to keep that diet of yours you had him on. Either he ends up eating something he’s not supposed to and looking like someone told him a puppy died after, or the deputies tease him relentlessly about it until he gives up.” She says, looking like she is trying in vain not to laugh as she describes John’s efforts to diet.

Stiles snorts, picturing the deputies constantly reminding his dad of his diet and him trying not to break it, only to get upset when he did break it. At least no could ever tell him that his insistent nagging didn’t get him anywhere.

“That’s great. I might have time to talk later, I might not, I have a busy afternoon planned while I’m here.” He states, and Tara nods.

“Alright kid, but you try to stay out of trouble, yeah? No trying anything funny, alright?” She says with a smirk, and Stiles walks past her, calling out behind himself.

“No promises!” He calls, knocking on his dad’s door before opening.

His dad looks up from his papers in irritation and then surprise.

“Stiles! What are you doing here?” He asks, and Stiles goes over and greets him with a hug.

“Oh, you know. This and that, helping the ‘Hales’, generally being a pain in the ass.” Stiles says jokingly as he pulls back from his dad. His dad frowns at Stiles’ mention of the Hale Pack, but goes back to a smile after a few seconds.

“It’s good to see you.” He says with a tired sigh. “You’re here about the latest deaths, aren’t you?” He asks almost immediately, and Stiles spreads his arms in a ‘what can I say’ gesture.

“Yeah. Took me less than five minutes to figure out what killed them, and I’m already geared up to hunt this thing, but I wanted to stop in and say hi while I was in town so you weren’t surprised if you saw me. I think I’ll probably stay the night even if I do find it.” He says, and his dad smiles warmly.

“That’d be great, Stiles. Your room’s still free, and you’re welcome to stay anytime you want.” his dad says, and Stiles nods slowly. He knew that he hadn’t seen his dad recently, and talking on the phone just wasn’t the same as talking in person. Spending some time with his dad was harder to do than he wanted it to be because of the Pack, and Stiles wanted to be able to go see his dad whenever he felt without having to worry about them overreacting to his presence. Too bad that wasn’t really something he could do.

“Well, that and please try to be careful is the only other thing I have to say about that.” His dad says pointedly, drawing Stiles back into the conversation.

“I’ll try.” Stiles says, before remembering the conversation he had with Peter out front. “Oh! Right, so Isaac is definitely and Peter might be coming over for dinner too, just so you know.” He says, and his dad just shakes his head and smiles.

“Great. Can’t wait.” He says, and sits down and begins picking through his papers once more, giving Stiles a shooing gesture with one hand. “You know, the sooner you find it the sooner you can be done.” He says nonchalantly into his papers, and Stiles grins.

“I’ll pick up stuff for salmon in cream with mashed potatoes on my way home.” He says, turning and walking away, his dad groaning out in relief behind him.

“Dear God, yes. I love you, kid, you know that?” His dad yells out of the office, and Stiles shouts back his response.

“I know!” He calls, and Tara waves at him as he walks past, grinning at their yelling back and forth.

Feeling much better as he walks out of the station than he did walking in, Stiles plans his hunt as he goes to his truck.

 

It would be easier if he had something from the Wakwak to track it with, but he supposed that he would make do without, as a visit to Melissa in the hospital to get evidence from the bodies would have him on the Pack’s radar within hours, and even if Melissa meant well, the trouble of facing the Pack was something he didn’t want to deal with right now. It would be easier to hunt this thing down if he didn’t also have to actively avoid the Pack, but a challenge was something Stiles always looked forward to.

To the place they found the bodies would be the next best thing, then. Perhaps some clue remained as it was highly unlikely that the police managed to find everything. It’s not like they knew what it was they were looking for, only that two eviscerated and gutted bodies were found in the woods.

Wakwak were not exactly the most clean creatures either, so the odds of his finding something weren’t too bad.

 

Getting in the truck, Stiles sets off to the hiking trail near to where the campers were found.

On the drive to out of town to the trail, Stiles runs through a quick checklist of items he’s probably going to need.

Blessed dagger, check.

Salt, also check.

And with those two items, Stiles is pretty certain he has everything he needs for this hunt. Compared to some of his other hunts, this one was definitely going to be easier, at least price wise. Locating an object for killing some creature was not his definition of a fun time, but it was necessary on occasion.

Some creatures required the strangest and not easily obtainable objects too. Like needing something that literally could only be found in a museum. Colonial age ghouls in Massachusetts were a good example of that. That had been an interesting job that Stiles never wanted to repeat, ever.

Thankfully, that was not the case for hunting a Wakwak. Now all he needed to do was to find it, and his job would be complete. Tracking spells were fairly easy to do, so Stiles was sure that this would at least not be horrifyingly difficult.

And Stiles really should have known better by now than to test the strength of his luck. It was either one end of the scale or the other with him, and it was obviously not one of the good days.

 

Waiting near the trail as Stiles drew closer were Boyd, Erica, Jackson and Derek, the looks on their faces not pleased ones. Stiles took a breath and walked over to them, regardless of the unpleasant feelings swirling around in his head.

“You didn’t tell us you knew Peter.” Derek says, practically growling out the statement. Stiles felt both relieved and angered. They weren’t here because they knew who he was, but they had a problem with him knowing their known Omegan Pack member? It really wasn’t too big a stretch either, was the thing. Stiles knows Peter enjoys wandering between Beacon Hills and his and Magnus’ place, and Stiles didn’t question where he chose to spend the rest of his time.

And that statement also meant that someone had been watching him when he went to the station, and that was just a big no.

“I hadn’t been aware that knowing an Omega was disapproved of, in your Pack. I apologize for not consulting your Emissary for this shortcoming of mine.” Stiles says slow and smooth, his tone holding none of the provocation his words clearly did.

He had learned many things over time, but the one thing Magnus had taught him that always stuck was that when weapons and magic failed, one could always fight with words. It was easy then, to get what you wanted. All you had to do was say the right things and a response would always come. To get them to say what you wanted them to, all with them thinking the words they chose were their own, and not what you knew that they would say.

And it was true still now.

“Deaton’s not Emissary, Lydia is. And that didn’t answer the question.” Jackson says, and Stiles is not surprised by his input. Being Emissary was a difficult but fulfilling task, something Lydia would no doubt enjoy.

“The redhead? She seems well enough informed, despite her incorrect guesses. A good choice.” He says, and he means it. The choice of Lydia as the new Emissary was in fact a wise one on behalf of the Pack. “And question? What question, young Beta? If you recall, I was not asked one.” He says to Jackson, who frowns at realizing that he is correct. No question was addressed to him. If Derek’s statement was meant as a question, then he should of phrased it as such.

“How do you know Peter?” Erica asks harshly, her eyes flashing golden at her growing irritation.

“Not the way you do, obviously.” Stiles says, and Erica growls. Despite the short and aggressive temperament of the Beta, Stiles was no longer afraid of being on the Beta’s bad side. If Stiles could defeat a centuries old, trained in combat Warlock, a short tempered Beta was nothing.

“Answer the question!” She snaps, and Stiles can see she is moments from getting out the claws. Good. If she tries coming at him, she’ll figure it out soon enough that she’s gonna get her ass kicked. Probably after she embarrasses herself in front of both her Alpha and her mate.

“Beta, I’m here to do my job, not answer questions. If you wanted to know about me, there’s an ask box on my website. Go fill that out instead of bothering me.” He says dismissively, and that gets to her. Stiles watches almost uninterestedly as she launches herself at him, claws extended, and Stiles lifts two fingers.

Gasping and sputtering sounds escape from the floating Beta, anger being rapidly replaced by fear as she struggles to breathe from the glowing lasso around her neck, her hands scratching desperately at her throat. Boyd and Jackson both move forward, either to try to help Erica or to attack him, he doesn’t know, but one sharp head motion in their direction has them halting in their footsteps. His fingers twitched when Jackson took one last step towards Erica before he stops, the cry of the other Beta enough to stop him.

“Now, are you going to let me do my job, or am I going to have to make it more obvious why I asked not to be bothered?” Stiles asks Erica calmly, and the Beta struggles with her answer, sputtering incoherently. Stiles tilts one ear in her direction.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. What was it that you just said?” He asks, and Erica manages to roughly get out an answer.

“...Ye-s… I s-said… Yes!” She chokes out, and Stiles tilts his head as if thinking for a few seconds before dropping the Beta roughly on the ground.

Boyd helps her up from the ground and Jackson glares at Stiles, Erica’s huge gasps of air coughing fits filling the silence.

“I take it that you understand why I ask not to be bothered. Talking can be just so tedious sometimes.” Stiles says, and Derek finally speaks up, moving closer in a way that really could only be described as stalking, stopping inches in front of Stiles. Anger radiates from the Alpha, but Stiles is physically no more afraid to deal with him than Erica.

“If this is what you call help, we don’t need it. You threatened my Beta, and if you know Peter, then you'd know that we don’t trust him. I. Don’t. Trust. You.” He says, poking a finger in Stiles’ chest with each word.

Stiles gives a snort. If only Derek knew how true his words were.

“I know you don’t. You never did.” He says quietly, and the sharp gasps he receives when he draws back the hood say so much to Stiles. So, they hadn’t expected to see him again? Well too bad.

He would not break now. Not ever again.

Not for them.

Stiles refuses to lower his gaze, and Derek stares back into his eyes, confusion, hurt, anger- all are present in his eyes. Stiles hadn’t remembered Derek’s eyes being so expressive, his emotions so obvious.

“Stiles?” The quiet voice of none other than Boyd voices his surprise at finally seeing Stiles' face, and Jackson continues to stare at him, though now blankly. Erica says nothing of her surprise, only looking at Stiles in shock.

“I’m here to do my job. I don’t want your help, and I don’t need your trust. In fact, it’s better if you don’t. I find it works better that way. Now if you don’t mind, lives are still at stake, and this creature isn’t gonna hunt itself.” Stiles says slowly, enunciating each word as he backs away from Derek, feeling the eyes that follow him. No one moves to stop him as he goes down past them, following the trail until he is long out of their sight.

Back to a tree as he sinks to the ground, Stiles slowly takes one shallow breath. Then another, deeper breath. And another, and another, until the tears welling in his eyes, and the scream stuck in his throat, and the magic dripping from his fingers to wither the earth beneath him all fade to nothing but the hurt in his aching broken heart.

It could have been seconds, it could have been minutes. Stiles didn’t know. All he knew was the way his heart pounded in his chest and the way his lungs burned with each breath he took. The time it took to come back to himself was meaningless, as he pulled himself back into the person he knew he was, the person he was glad to have become.

Words of encouragement from Magnus joined those of Dot, of Peter and his dad. Of Isaac and Simon, both needing and giving so much love. Of snarky but sweet Gabriel, of thoughtful and fearlessly kind Sam. The echoing in his mind a mantra of soothing gestures, kind words and happy, bright tones.

His. The word firmly in his mind.

His friends. His family.

Those thoughts slowly brought him out of his shell and back into the real world. If he had to face those who would fight against him, or try to hurt with him with their words, he simply had to remember one thing.

He didn’t have to do it alone.

His fight was his, but it didn’t have to be.

And that was what got him to his feet to go, but he would be damned if the Pack would drive him away from this too. To fight with his last breath to have this victory. Not his last, not his first victory. But an important one, nonetheless.

That is what drove him while he followed the trail the magic drew him along, towards the cliff where the Wakwak hid, until he had made sure the creature was dead, salted and burned. Walking back to the truck to find it unbothered, Stiles hopped in the cab and began the drive into town for groceries.

 

Besides, Stiles thought rather cheerfully, the Pack couldn’t really bother him at dinner if he laid down ash and ward barriers.

Chapter Text

So laying down the barrier of ash ended up being the right thing to do, and boy was Stiles relieved when pretty much the entire Pack showed up literally seconds after he was done, still dusting the powder off his hands as they came closer.

“Stiles, I… Dude what?” Scott says, after running headfirst into the ash barrier. Shaking his head, Scott tried convincing him to drop the barrier. “Dude, c’mon. Let us in! We want to talk!” He says, gesturing to Allison at his side, and the rest of the Pack minus Jackson and Lydia, who were nowhere to be seen.

Stiles snorted.

“Yeah, no, not happening buddy, nice try.” Stiles says, waving his hand to shape a silence rune, Scott still rambling on and gesturing as he did, Erica and Boyd both backing cautiously away from his glowing hand.

“Stiles, man I…” Scott says, the words trailing off into a quiet and peaceful silence, Scott continuing to talk despite no longer being heard or hearing. Stiles turned and walked up the drive and towards the house, ignoring the gathering of people outside.

Peter standing in the doorway was giving him one of the widest grins he’d ever seen, and Stiles couldn’t help but smile back.

“The silence is a beautiful thing, I must say, but are you really just going to leave them out there for Isaac and myself to deal with later on?” He asks, and Stiles shrugs.

“I’ve literally had all I can deal with for interacting with them, at this point. Besides Isaac, I don’t care what the Pack has to say about me, and trying to deal with their expectations of me is not something I’m interested in. I’m hungry, I’m tired, I had to talk to people today, and I honestly would rather just be at home reading the new beastiary I was given. It was a hunter’s diary beastiary! The children’s book equivalent of real beastiaries, really, but it honestly didn’t look too bad!” He rambles on as he begins gathering cooking utensils in the kitchen, and Peter leans against a counter nearby to listen. “Did I mention that I’m tired? My motel last night sucked, and I don’t understand how Sam sleeps in them for most of the year! I mean, really? Who does that to themselves? It’s like a form of punishment for one’s self. I couldn’t stand it, all motels suck, pretty much."

“Speaking of Sam, how is he?” Peter asks, and Stiles switches from stress relieving rambling to following the conversation, hands busy with his ingredients.

“Sam’s doing alright, last I heard. Gabriel texted me a few weeks ago that he’s heard that the angels were starting to go all out on their rescue attempts, so Dean should be out any day now. I’ve actually been expecting a call from either on of them, but nothing so far.” He says, and he sees Peter nod out of the corner of his eye, his main focus on peeling the potatoes in front of him.

“That’s good to hear.” Peter says, before grabbing an apple from the counter behind him and taking a bite. “And I hear that things are doing well for our friend over on the other coast as well I hear. Something about a wedding? But I didn’t get the details on it, did he perhaps tell you anything about it?” Peter asks between bites, and Stiles gives a full, hearty laugh.

Boy did he! Stiles had heard practically every detail there was! Not only from Magnus, but from Simon as well, who had been attendance at the time. Full details of the whole scene, each event in a play by play action, and the obscure movie references that followed were all given in full to Stiles, who was just pleased that his friend had made some headway on romancing the young Shadowhunter. Albeit in his usual dramatic fashion, but it'd worked, hadn’t it?

That and from what he’d heard, Magnus and Alec weren’t the only ones who were finally going places with their relationship- Simon had finally realized that he too had feelings for the elder Vampire, and was now in the first stages of pining after Raphael, despite how Raphael had made several clear advances towards the younger Vampire- and Stiles was equally frustrated and amused at how obtuse the two were being.

“Hmph. Yeah, Magnus was being his usual drama queen self, and the young Shadowhunter was being obtuse for ‘the good of his family’s honor’ or something like that.” Stiles explains, and Peter nods his head in intrigue, humming for Stiles to continue, who was putting the cut potatoes in the pot of water as he continued to explain the story. “So Magnus walks on into the wedding just as it’s starting, he and Alec have a round of eye sex right then and there, and Alec just walks down the stairs, down the aisle, grabs Magnus by his jacket, and goes to town on his face! In front of his parents, half the clave and everything!” Stiles says, and incredulous look on Peter’s face is exactly how Stiles felt when he first heard it. Pulling the heavy whipping cream out of the fridge for the cream sauce, Stiles continues telling the story. “The lady he was supposed to marry was actually pretty understanding about the whole thing apparently. And that isn’t all the good news.” He says, knowing Peter would no doubt be interested in hearing about the two Vampires and their now mutual pining.

And he totally is, smiling and saying, “Do tell.” Stiles pours the split dry white in with the cream and stirs, looking in Peter’s direction, Isaac wandering silently into the kitchen at the growing smells.

“Simon’s finally realized that he likes Raphael.” He states, and Peter lets out a relieved but exaggerated sigh.

“About time! Really! I honestly thought poor bebe pajaro was going to be clueless forever!” He huffs, and Stiles realizes something.

“Why do you call him nicknames in Spanish? You don’t do that to anyone else, and you don’t usually speak the language on a regular basis.” Stiles asks, and Peter shrugs.

“I honestly don’t know, but I called him it as a joke, and it turned out funnier than I intended when I realized he didn’t speak the language. It’s incentive to learn though, isn’t it? Raphael has no doubt done the same to him as well, it’s his first language, isn’t it?” He says, and Stiles nods. Peter did have a point.

“Yeah, that’s true. Hi Isaac.” Stiles says, and Isaac gives a wave from where he leans occupying a different counter.

“Hey." Isaac says. "So, uh, I’ve gotten, like, a good dozen or so calls, and I don’t know what to do about it? I mean, I silenced my phone for now, but Derek’s pulling on the bonds pretty strongly as well.” Isaac says, and Peter answers Isaac first, so Stiles letting the older werewolf deal with it, busy with starting the salmon seasoning and maintaining the sauce at the same time.

“Well, I think you’ll be fine ignoring the bond for a little while. If it is any easier, I’ve always found that Stiles has a presence much like an Alpha does. He’s always been a Pack mother, like James- Derek’s father, that is- he was much the same way. Very much the mother hen, and someone you did not ever ignore.” Peter explains matter a factly, and Stiles is as surprised as Isaac at Peter’s explanation.

“I didn’t know that! Really? I… That’s… Wow. Um, not what I expected? That’s good to know, I guess.” Stiles mumbles, and Peter simply laughs.

“Well it’s true! We wouldn’t have chosen to lose the bonds if not for your singularly defining presence. It’s not hard to know who a Pack mother is, and the title is not a proper indication of the power the title beholds- the Pack mother is one of the most commanding figures of a Pack besides an Alpha, and almost all of the Betas look to them for guidance and comforting. An enormously important role for our kind, though few educate themselves on the roles of a Pack to such an extent.”

Stiles finishes putting the salmon steaks in the oven, and goes back over to the stovetop, deep in thought over what Peter had just said.

“Yeah, I mean, Stiles kinda was just… It felt right asking for his help, and whenever I had nightmares... Talking to Stiles about it just always made me feel better than if I tried talking to someone else, you know?” Isaac says softly and Peter nods his head.

“That is two things right there. While being a Pack mother often allows for Betas to put more trust in their Pack mother, it’s also just that Stiles himself is a naturally caring person.”

Stiles looks up and gives the two a smile before returning to the sauce and checking if the potatoes were soft enough yet.

Isaac nods. “Yeah, that’s true.” He says to Peter, before asking Stiles, “So Stiles, about what you said to Peter earlier.”

Stiles looks up to the young Beta. “What about it?” He asks, Isaac looking slightly nervous.

“Um, are you really just going to leave without trying to at least talk with the Pack? Look, I know that you probably don’t want to talk to Derek or Scott, and I understand that, but I know Lydia and Jackson both have been concerned about you, and they aren’t the only ones besides myself.” He says, and Stiles shakes his head slowly.

“No. Look, I know… I know that what was said probably wasn’t a well thought through, or even a collective decision on the Pack’s part. In fact, I’m pretty certain it wasn’t.” He pauses for a few seconds before continuing. “But that doesn’t change the fact no one bothered to argue against it.” He says, and the guilted looks on both Peter and Isaac’s face are almost enough to make him stop talking, but he know the sooner it’s said, the better. “And I know that neither of you had anything to do with it, and I’m certain that you’re right, Isaac, I’m sure that you aren’t the only one who objected over what was said.” He says, and pauses again to let his words sink in. “The point is, I’m not really interested in what they have to say. The fact that what was said even needed to be said, is clear enough to me, and what they have to say now is going to not going to change that.”

Isaac lowers his head and gives a small nod. “I understand. I just wanted to know.”

Stiles walks over to the Beta, stretching his arms out for a hug. Isaac practically runs into him for a tight hug, and Stiles stands with one arm curled around the Beta’s back, the other gently combing through his hair. Stiles allows the Beta to choose when the hug ended, running his hand through Isaac’s hair in a soothing motion.

After a little while, Isaac pulls back, and Stiles lets him, looking the Beta in the eye.

“Better?” Stiles asks, and Isaac nods his head vigorously in affirmation. “Alright. Now, dinner’s almost done, so let me finish before something starts burning.” He says, waving his arms widely in a shooing gesture. “Now both of you, get!” He says, and the two amble out of the kitchen to the dining room.

 

Dinner that night is a calm but pleasant, and talking with his dad again is a wonderful thing, talking with him about things at the station, his deputies, what he was doing in his spare time- which was repairing the Jeep, apparently.

Stiles also manages to get a bit of detail out of both his dad and Peter on how Peter was progressing with his romantic attempts, not surprised that only minor progress had been made. It would take time and effort to woo the hunter, but Peter was in short supply of neither.

Sometime before Stiles left for the night, he made an offer to Isaac to come and visit- school was almost out for Junior year, and he’d offered him to come stay for the summer if things became too unbearable in Beacon Hills. Isaac had accepted, giving Stiles a wide smile and another hug.

Coming out to the lawn a hours later to find that most of the Pack was still there, Stiles created a portal right next to his truck, breaking the ash barrier with a wave of his hand before pushing the portal forward over himself and the truck with a sharp flick of his hand.

And if he left the silence rune around the house, well, no one would know about that besides himself.

Chapter Text

For the next few months, Stiles did his best to forget anything related to the Pack by burying himself into working jobs in various places. Not the greatest way of coping, but it was usually something Stiles enjoyed doing, so he didn’t think about it too much.

From hunting an Itcuintlipotzoli terrorizing a town in southern New Mexico to a discovering a Quanlier in the forests of Minnesota, Stiles kept himself busy with traveling for work weeks on end.

 

After those two cases, Stiles was approached by the Senior Warlock of the London High Warlock while visiting Magnus in New York at Pandemonium, introducing themself as Anthea.

The High Warlock of London wanted his help- with what they wouldn’t tell him, only stating that it wasn’t too dangerous and that he would be paid well for his help.

Deciding that he hadn’t had anything else to do besides work from his website, and that Anthea seemed sincere if not a little disinterested in talking to him, Stiles agreed.

Arriving in London with Anthea, Stiles met and talked with the London High Warlock- who as before at the council meeting, carried on his arm an umbrella, dressed in well tailored suit.

Apparently, the Warlock had a brother- younger than himself by a couple decades, he’d mentioned, although Stiles did not find that fact strange, Warlock siblings and half-siblings often were spaced out by many years- and he’d gone and done something rather foolish, going off to fight quite a few dangerous people with nothing but his mind and his magic. He couldn’t interfere directly, but someone not directly hired by him or known to work with him could offer quite a bit of potential help. Discreetly, of course. His brother often became offended if he knew that his brother was interfering with his ‘work’.

So Stiles agreed to help him, and went to Brazil, doing as he was asked. For nearly a month, Stiles worked to assist the High Warlock’s brother, discreetly watching over the man, killing off a few rather nasty and unsavory characters- with permission from the Buenos Aires High Warlock, of course- and making sure the idiot didn’t die from a heat stroke. Brazilian summers were the worst, and the idiot was living in an a single room apartment that had neither cold running water or air conditioning.

Figures that a man of his intelligence would have zero self care or preservation skills.

And if a discarded letter addressed to someone by the name of ‘John’ found its way into his jacket one of those days, no one could claim it was him when it wound up at the address of 221B.

Overall, it ended up being an interesting experience that he didn’t really want to repeat ever again. The payoff was as explained, and with his help, the process of the High Warlock’s brother returning to London was sped up by several months.

So that was good. And the tan he got from spending a month in Brazil was nice too.

 

After that, Stiles found himself doing some more work in America, taking care to avoid Maryland- the same Ravenstag as before had appeared once again, this time leaving what Stiles believed to be courting ‘gifts’ for a mate, and Stiles decided to do the wise thing and not bother them.

In Texas, a family of Skin-walkers asked for his help to find a kidnapped member of their family, the young woman being used as bait by a hunter to try and lure her family to their deaths. Stiles rescued the woman and left the hunter unconscious, careful to not let himself be seen, the woman’s family overjoyed at her safe return.

After leaving Texas, Stiles goes up to Alaska for nearly a month to hunt an Amarok, the creature having killed several hunters from several different villages over a short period of time. Stiles hunts the monstrous wolf down, and gives the body to one of the families of the hunters killed by the creature, taking only a single tooth and claw from the creature as his payment. The families of the dead hunters would need all they could get to compensate for their missing family members.

Returning home, Stiles spends a few weeks with Isaac, who’d come to visit him- not because the Pack was unbearable, but that they were for the most part constantly asking about Stiles and how he was, and generally being overbearing to him and anyone who was associated with Stiles. Stiles was glad he was alright, but still had no interest in talking to anyone else from Beacon Hills that he wasn't already in contact with.

After Isaac reluctantly returns to Beacon Hills for the fall, Stiles spends some time for a while just doing work around his house. The electric stove top in the kitchen was replaced with a gas one, the washing machine and dryer that kept making funny noises were replaced, his work room was reorganized to fit more items- who knew he’d collect so much stuff? Half the room was just shelves full of ingredients, and the rest was either books, artifacts, or his rather large alchemic set-up.

 

It didn’t take too long until something came up again, because after coming back from visiting Magnus and Alec- Malec? It was easier to say, anyhow, when pairing the two together- in New York he finds Gabriel waiting by himself in his home.

Both Gabriel being in his house and that he was by himself were equally concerning.

“Hey Stiles.” Was what greeted him when he entered the living room, and Stiles became more concerned. Gabriel’s tone was that of a dejected and near despondent man- man? Celestial being? Trickster? Someone that was very depressed sounding, regardless- and Stiles immediately sits himself down next to him, quietly alert.

“Gabriel. What’s wrong?” He asks, and it only seems to make him shrink in on himself. Seeing the usually vibrant and energetic man upset enough to the point of not wanting to talk about the problem was definitely an issue, and only two things came to mind that could be wrong, which was either Sam or family issues. Stiles was going to bet it was the former, in this case.

“I… well, uh. Dean’s back.” Gabriel slowly gets out.

“That’s great!” Stiles says, except the look on Gabriel’s face says otherwise. “When did he get back?” Stiles asks, hoping to find some way to get him to finally tell him what the problem with that was. Sometime in the next few minutes, hopefully, but Stiles could wait longer if he needed to.

“... Over two months ago.” Gabriel says, and Stiles blinks.

“That long? Why didn’t you say anything about it?” He asks, and Gabriel looks at him a bit sheepishly before answering.

“Wellllll, I... I haven’t exactly talked to Sam in that time either.”

Stiles just gives him his best, ‘are you serious?’ face before even trying to come up with a response.

“Why not?” Stiles demands, and seriously what was wrong? His friends were like living in an episode of, well, Friends. Ross and Rachel ain’t got nothing on the relationship drama of the couples he knew. Seriously. It was crazy messy sometimes.

Scratch sometimes, pretty much twenty-four seven, with all the couples he knew. But that was besides the point, so Stiles focuses back to what Gabriel was saying.

“... And Sam’s worried about Dean’s opinion on… us. And Bobby’s opinion too. I’m worried about the fact that is pretty much always an angel- or several- watching the two of them. I… Kinda just… I don’t know what to do…” He huffs, and Stiles sits for several minutes in silence before thinking of an idea.

Stiles needed to meet Dean anyhow, and someone needed to tell Sam to stop being an idiot before he ended up breaking their relationship. Stiles was liking the idea the more he thought about it, although that's usually how his ideas went.

“Where are they?” Stiles asks, and Gabriel responds almost immediately.

“Connersville, Indiana. Why?” He asks, looking at Stiles worriedly.

“You might not be able to go, but I absolutely have no problems going and talking with Sam. Dean and I haven’t met yet, either, so he probably won’t try and stab me within the first minute of meeting him.” Maybe. Stiles certainly hoped not.

Gabriel gives Stiles a look. “That’s not exactly a good idea, and Dean’s got no problems with stabbing anyone, I’m sure you know that by now.”

“I know it’s not a good idea,” Stiles says, standing and double checking that he had his dagger- which he does, “But I’m going do it anyways.” He says firmly, looking at Gabriel.

“Fine! Fine, I’ll get you there, just… Give me a second.” He says, standing up and walking over next to Stiles.

Stiles smiles at Gabriel, gently touching his upper arm. “Hey. It’s gonna be fine.” He says, and Gabriel sighs.

“I hope so I… Thanks.” He says, and Stiles drops his hand. “Well, here goes.” Gabriel says, and with a snap of his fingers, Stiles is off to Indiana.

Chapter Text

Arriving in the backseat of the Impala directly, Stiles is more than a little surprised, taking in briefly the buildings passing outside in the morning sunlight.

“What the-” A voice cuts off, and seeing as Sam is currently passenger side in the front, Stiles assumes the shocked voice from in front of him is Dean, the car swerving slightly before returning to its lane.

Turning around to face him with a gun in his hand, Sam slowly lowers it away from Stiles, who sat waving at the shocked hunter.

“Hey Sam.” Stiles says quietly, and Sam continues to stare at him, slowly registering his presence.

“Sam, what’s going on?!” Dean asks, prominently colored green eyes flicking from the road to look at him in the rear-view mirror, uneased by the unknown presence.

“...Stiles what? What are you doing here?” Sam asks, ignoring his brother’s question, and Stiles can see that Sam is concerned. For him, or for his brother, Stiles can’t tell just yet.

“I’m here for several reasons.” Stiles says a bit angrily, and he has a feeling that Dean is listening carefully as to what is going on as Sam is. “One, apparently you need a reminder that you have responsibilities outside of hunting to contend with, which I was surprised to find. You are normally a very responsible person Sam, and I can’t believe that you could forget so easily of the people who care about you.” Stiles says, Sam’s eyes lowered in perfect understanding of what he means. “Two, that you didn’t even have the courtesy to at least tell me Dean was back! I was just as concerned for him as you about this, and you didn’t even tell me! I had to find out from Gabriel, and let me tell you Sam, I am not pleased about that either.” He says, and he can see clearly that his words are being heeded very closely. “Also,” Stiles says, addressing Dean now, his voice a bit more calmed now that he’d nearly finished ranting at Sam, “I’m pleased to finally meet you in person Dean, I’ve heard a lot of good things about you. Glad to see you back in one piece.” He says, and Dean seems to calm minutely at his unknown presence at the statement.

He probably supposes that if Sam knows him, that’s something worth considering, even if he just randomly appeared in the back of the Impala.

“You know this kid Sam?” Dean asks, and Sam slowly nods his head before he speaks up.

“Yeah, uh, Stiles is a friend of mine. I guess another friend asked him to check on us.” He says, and Stiles narrows his eyes viciously at Sam.

Friend? Is that really what he was going to call Gabriel? Just a friend? Oh, they were so going to have some words when Dean wasn’t around to hear them.

Dean huffed. “Well you could’ve said something about it Sam. Kid, frankly I’m a little concerned as to why you just appeared in the backseat, but whatever you’re here for, you mind helping us out with this hunt first? Whatever Sam’s got going on, I don’t mind him dealing with it, but this is a bit more important at the moment.” Dean says, and Stiles thinks that he’d rather just get Sam to go talk to Gabriel now, but it was an acceptable compromise.

“That’s fine Dean, I don’t mind helping.” Stiles says, before realizing something. “And quit calling me ‘kid’, you make it sound like I’m 13, or something, yeesh. I’m sure you wouldn’t want you calling you old man.” Stiles says, and it hits home just fine.

“I’m not that old!” Dean protests and Stiles just laughs as the Impala comes to a stop outside a hotel, getting out before turning to follow Dean and Sam to their hotel room.

“Well, you’re certainly no twink, that’s for sure. Although you could probably pull it off if you tried.” Stiles says impishly, and Dean just gives him a look of confusion, mouthing the word to his brother. Sam just gives him a look of ‘you don’t want to know’ while shaking his head, and Dean just shrugs.

“Alright,” Sam says, going over and handing Stiles a book. Stiles begins leafing through it as he listens to Sam and Dean talk. “So, there have been two deaths so far, Luke Wallace and Jennifer Nadoda. Wallace was found dead yesterday afternoon having choked on razor blades in some candy he’d eaten, and miss Nadoda drowned while bobbing for apples at a party very early this morning.” Sam explains, and Stiles begins to get an idea of what could be going on, flipping through the book for specific summoning rituals while Dean talks.

“Thing is, there were a few things that stood out about their deaths. See, Wallace had just eaten some candy his wife had bought at the store, and Jenny was found with boils on her face. She was drowned in boiling water, but the water wasn’t connected to any heater or anything like that. Just heated up with her in it, and her friend said something had been holding her down, that they couldn’t pull her out in time.” Dean says, and Stiles stops on a page that seemed to be in the right context for the situation, reading down it carefully as Sam speaks again.

“We found a hex bag in both of the locations, and the items in them were pretty rare. Extinct exotic herbs, infant bones, an old celtic coin. Stuff that you don’t find just anywhere. In fact, most of it you can’t find anywhere, at all.”

Stiles looks up at Sam at the mention of the coin. “This coin. You manage date it?”

Sam nods slowly, slightly confused at the random question. Whatever, Stiles had an idea where this could be going, so he just waited for the answer.

“Uh, yeah. Best guess? I’d say somewhere about the fifth to first century BCE. So it’s, pretty old.”

Stiles nods. That about fit with what he found. Items with meaning were more powerful the closer it was in meaningfulness to someone, and if it belong to a witch, it was likely pretty powerful.

“Well, I found something too. Seems like this witch is trying to summon a demon. Not just any demon either. Samhain, a celtic demon of death.” Stiles says, pointing to the ritual written in the book. “Three sacrifices, three days, the last on October 31st. Performing the ritual will release Samhain, but from what binding?” Stiles muses, thinking back to all the history books. Who took over most of Europe at the time? Rome. And with the Romans, you have Feralia, and All Saints Day. The latter was more likely to be the cause of the seal, although that was many decades later. “Samhain must have been sealed from crossing the veil about the time that Rome took over that part of Europe. They didn’t worship the same holiday, probably converted most of Samhain’s believers to their holidays. Probably caused a lot of people to lose faith in Samhain, stopped worshipping him. That’s what the day was originally for, besides harvest celebrations and Druids viewing the future.” Stiles says, and Dean looks shocked.

“You got all that just from what we told you and the book?” He asks, and Stiles grins.

“That and more. If I had to give a guess, I’d say that Samhain was trapped around when christianity showed up in the Roman Empire. Worshipping Demons surrounded by a religion that despised and feared anything remotely related to them? Not the coolest thing to do anymore. I bet a few worshippers hung on pretty strong despite of that, and if I had to guess, that’s what this Witch is.” he says, and Sam nods, impressed.

“You think she could be that old?” He asks, and Stiles shrugs.

“Yeah. A few ritual blood sacrifices to keep yourself alive, and age doesn’t really matter anymore.” He says, sighing. “What’s worse is that we don’t know how old this lady chooses to keep herself looking. Although, the younger she tries to stay, the more people she’s already killed just to keep herself alive.” He explains, and that little fact doesn’t surprise anyone in the room.

“Well great then. Now all we gotta do is find this witch and gank her before she tries to finish this ritual. No problem.” Dean says, and Stiles has a feeling that he might be being more than a little sarcastic.

“Well, what were you guys planning to do next?” Stiles asks, and Sam frowns in contemplation.

“Well, we were going to go ask around, maybe interview the students from the party tomorrow, after we’d researched, but since we already got that covered with your help, we could do it now, I guess.” Sam suggests, and Dean nods in agreement.

Stiles claps his hands together. “Well, what exactly are we waiting for? Let’s get this over with and out of the way.” He says, and hopefully just the one dagger he brought with him would be enough, because Stiles did not want to find out the hard way how well Dean could shoot the gun at his waist.

 

And while Dean and Sam interviewed the teachers about the dead student and any suspicious activity, Stiles finds another hex bag, this one hidden behind the bleachers of the gym. A hint as to who they are looking for is in the single strand of dyed bleach blonde hair Stiles finds at the bottom of the hex bag.

Dean’s mentions of Jennifer's friend Tracy seem to match, and Stiles has a feeling that she is who they are looking for.

His feelings are confirmed when Sam and Dean meet up with him to explain their findings, saying that Tracy attacked her art teacher for commenting on her masks that she’d made, the masks seemingly familiar enough to a demon’s to cause Dean discomfort. He hides it well, but Stiles can see the almost imperceptible motions and the well hidden look of fear and pain in his eyes. It was something that no one could hide from him. Stiles used to see that same look every time he looked in the damn mirror, it wasn’t that hard to see that look on someone else.

They know now at least who they are looking for, but not where. None of Tracy’s classmates seem to have an idea of where she lives, but Stiles manages to find out about a graveyard party the next night, keeping that fact in mind for later.

Another thing Stiles notices, and a rather important detail at that. No normal fire could cause the level of charring found on the bones in the hex bag.

Stiles immediately goes to find Dean and Sam, asking about the art teacher.

The two confirm that they had seen a kiln in the art room, and Stiles quickly wards himself and goes to his office, finding another hex bag in his desk.

Two Witches, not one! That explains so much. And it also meant that it was going to be impossible to find Tracy without leaving someone to watch the teacher, and one person wasn’t going to cut it without giving him ample opportunity to escape.

Well then, time for a little behind the scenes magic.

Stiles knew that Magnus just so happened to keep a pair of magic proof cuffs, so Stiles borrowed them. It was simply a matter of convincing the brothers and getting the teacher after school, taking mere seconds to smack the cuffs across his wrists.

The absolutely baffled look on his face when he couldn’t work any spell made Stiles laugh, the brothers pleased as they put the teacher in the back of the Impala.

 

Driving back to the hotel to find two strangers, Stiles stands with his dagger out behind the teacher, his eyes going wide at the strangers in front of them. Sam in front of him has his gun on them, but Dean comes through and stares in surprise at the strangers before recognizing the one dressed like an accountant, urging Sam to lower his weapon.

Stiles watches from behind the teacher, weapon still drawn and wary.

Stiles watches as the Angel- Castiel, Dean had said- embarrassed himself by saying something stupid, commenting on Sam’s sensitive Demon blood issue, although what he chose to say was strange. No Demon besides Azazel had gotten their blood in him, so what was it that this Castiel thought was going on?

Stiles says nothing as Castiel speaks to Dean about the deaths and Samhain- in which Stiles’ theory from earlier is confirmed- until the other Angel in the room decided to speak up.

“I see that you have found the source of the summonings, but why would you allow this creature to remain armed?” The Angel says, and Stiles realizes suddenly that the Angel is talking about himself, not the teacher.

So nice to see that Angels themselves are just as prejudice as the Shadowhunters, if not more. Lovely.

“I’m no more a creature than yourself, though we may call ourselves and each other by different names. I only ask the same as you- to have respect shown to my name, if not my kind as a whole.” Stiles says in Tartarian, both of the Angel’s eyes widening at the language Stiles chose to use.

Their own language was not much different, as Stiles learner much later, Enochian and Tartarian only having a few minor differences, mostly in verb placement in written sentences.

“Why do you align yourself with these monkeys? You know that your own death is not far behind when you offer them aid in hunting this Witch, yet you still chose to do so?” The Angel asks, and the second reprimands him, speaking sharply at his words.

“Uriel, do not speak of them so. They have shown promise, and it is his own choice to offer his aid, regardless of what is to come.” Castiel says, and Stiles looks at the Angel closely. He blinks as the energy coming off the Angel becomes recognizable after a few seconds, matching the faint energy that Dean himself gives off- although Stiles doubts Dean knows that.

“You are the one who claimed Dean’s soul!” Stiles says, and the Angel looks shyly away for a moment, and Stiles speaks again before the Angel can. “I thank you, Castiel. I can feel that it was no small feat getting Dean whole once more, and Dean may not be the same as he was before he went to Hell, but he is as close as he is going to get. The brothers are friends of mine, and if our paths cross again, know I look to you in hopes of a pleasant acquaintanceship.” He says, and the Angel looks at him with a tilted head before giving a nod of his head.

“I believe that your presence will hold no consequence to the future of Dean or Sam, but know that if harm comes to them-” The Angel starts to say, but Stiles interrupts him.

“Not if I can help it, they won’t. Although you know that I can say the same. If your intent changes even the slightest thing for the worse for the future of the brothers, you’ll find that you are not the only one willing to take up arms.” Stiles says firmly, and the Angel gives a stiff nod before turning towards Dean, Stiles noting that the Angels both looked bothered by something.

Looks like Stiles is going to have to double check with Gabriel what Heaven had in store for the Winchesters. Nothing good, if the looks on the Angels’ faces said anything.

 

Hunting the other Witch took very little time, and the Angels left after the two Witches were dead, one Angel leaving completely and the other following Dean discreetly to wherever it was the hunter planned to go.

Sam met with Stiles and the look on his face spoke of regret. Good. No one deserved to be forgotten, even if it wasn’t on purpose. Taking Sam from the hotel to his home where Gabriel was waiting, Stiles hoped that the two sincerely got their shit together.

The brothers were going to need Gabriel’s help rather soon, and Sam needed Gabriel like he needed air to breathe. The same could be said for Gabriel, but in a different context. The two deserved to be happy. Hopefully all would be well, and that his friends would no longer need him to personally intervene in their love lives, but Stiles had a feeling that he’d be helping out another Hunter-and-Angel duo soon though.

Chapter Text

Although Gabriel and Sam ask Stiles not to speak about their relationship to Dean unless they’d already talked to him- Stiles figures that wasn’t going to happen for a long time- he gladly watches as the two come to a resolve of their relationship issues, and ends up shooing them off when the two start to getting to making out on his couch.

In resuming his work in the field of magic as Senior Warlock and his work as the Red Hood, Stiles does several banishment jobs, a warding job on a house in Connecticut, and ends up assisting the High Warlock of Canada with tracking down a pack of Waheela that wandered a bit too far south for his liking and relocating them much farther to the north.

Moving about a dozen head eating giant wolves all the way back up to northern Nunavut from Montana was not fun, but both Magnus and the Canadian High Warlock appreciated his help on the matter, so it was worth the effort overall.

 

Stiles spent a few weeks after that just going through and rereading his spell books and beastiaries, a refresher and a reminder of what books he really needed to add to his own library. A few books- like the numerous Downworld law books Magnus kept- were added to his collection, while others Stiles had to find himself. It was an unspoken rule Magnus had to always be over prepared- and knowledge was one weapon that Stiles could always have on him, regardless of where he was.

Peter stopped by to visit him for a few days, updating him in person of the going ons in Beacon Hills. Nothing dangerous was happening, although Derek was finally starting to take his role as Pack Leader and Alpha much more seriously. A vast improvement, and long overdue, in Peter’s openly spoken opinion.

Chris was finally noticing Peter’s efforts, although Peter had made little progress in actually convincing the hunter of his intentions. Stiles understood that much, Peter could be lacking in some emotions, or a bit too much in others.

Isaac was well, suffering a little less from night terrors, although Peter didn’t know for sure that it would last. His triggers were still being found, and it took effort on all of the Pack’s part to not accidentally set him off.

The peace in Beacon Hills was a bit too calm, and it was bothering Peter- that Stiles could tell. A peace like that didn’t last long, and something was bound to break what calm had been present.

Stiles didn’t care all that much. Yes, he cared that people he cared about might get hurt, but was it really going to be necessary for him to intervene in their problems? No. It wasn’t, and despite how they acted towards himself, they were capable enough of handling their own problems. Usually.

 

Stiles himself seemed to have plenty. Stiles realized something that Gabriel had been explaining. Remembering why Dean had gone Hell was what started it. The Demons that Gabriel had killed and eternally trapped were essential to the goal Heaven wanted to complete, and because of God’s disappearance, the Apocalypse was being pushed forward, and killing Lilith was the last part to opening the cage.

Since Heaven hadn’t realized that Lilith wasn’t going to be killed any time soon, the realization had to be coming soon. It would no doubt send Heaven into a frantic mess, and not a pretty one. Dean and Sam were at the middle of it all, and Stiles was worried that they- along with Gabriel, if Heaven learned about his involvement- would be pushed into doing something that could hurt them. Or just outright hurt for interfering.

The passing comment that Castiel had made of Sam’s Demon blood was what cemented his thought that they didn’t yet realize that their actions had been stopped and nothing was actually happening. That they believed Sam was being affected in his decisions by anything other than Gabriel was clear. The Demon that Gabriel had killed was clearly meant to have gotten Sam and affected him while Dean was gone and Sam was emotionally troubled.

Too bad that love didn’t work that way. Sam wasn’t alone in any aspect, regardless of what he or anyone else thought.

 

And although Magnus wasn’t spending a lot of time with him, Stiles knew it was because he was busy with handling a madman, a madman’s daughter, and pursuing a stable relationship with a Shadowhunter.

Difficult on their own, even harder when you throw them all together. And Camille’s name had been muttered under his breath, so Stiles figured old flames were in the mix too, but hopefully Camille got dealt with properly for the deaths she had caused or encouraged to have happen. She was an awful person, an awful Vampire, and an even worse leader.

Simon hadn’t responded to his texts for a few days after he'd heard about it from Magnus, but eventually Simon responded to his texts. Nothing seemed off, but Simon refused to say what was wrong, and Stiles knew that something wasn’t right.

If Simon wasn’t ready to tell him what was wrong, Stiles was fine with that. If and when Simon wanted to tell him, Stiles would do his best to support the fledgeling in any way he could.

Stiles just hoped that the fledgeling Vampire wasn’t hurt in someway because of it.

 

Stiles had plenty of other things to worry about, as Magnus sent him out on the call of someone spotting and panickedly calling upon Magnus formally about spotting a Hellhound in California in the L.A. area, heading southwest.

Magnus suggested he speak to former Los Angeles High Warlock Malcolm Fade to learn lay of the land, and get himself going in the right direction.

 

Arriving in L.A. to the residence that Magnus had said, Stiles speaks briefly with the disinterested former High Warlock. The Warlock didn’t invite him in, but spoke frankly with him when he asked about the Hellhound.

“Try speaking with the owner of LUX. It’s a nightclub in between the Inglewood and the West Hollywood areas, and the owner is a rather well informed fellow when it comes to demons and the like. If he doesn’t know about the hellhound, he’ll know who will. Now if you’ll excuse me.” He says, and goes back into the building, door slamming shut behind him.

 

To Stiles’ surprise, LUX held quite a few similarities to Pandemonium, including the patrons being a variety of downworlders and mundanes. Once inside however, to his even greater surprise, the bartender was a rather discontented looking She-Demon.

Stiles slowly wanders over to the bar counter, observing the balcony above and the multitudes of dancing and grind bodies on the dance floor as he made his way there, pulling himself onto a stool seat.

The She-Demon ambles over, an almost bored look upon her face before shouting at him over the noise.

“What can I get you to drink?” She asks, and Stiles shakes his head politely.

“No drink, thank you, but do you know if I can talk to the owner? I was directed to speak with him about the business that brought me in town.” He asks, and the She-Demon looks at him with a scrutinizing gaze before pulling out a key and keycard and giving them to him, pointing to a door a ways down from the bar.

“Lock up when you’re done, and keep any funny business to yourself, am I clear?” She asks firmly, and Stiles nods in affirmation.

 

Once up the elevator, Stiles finds who he assumes to be the owner of place drinking and reading off a tablet in a lounge seat with one leg propped on a pillow, the bright city skyline visible in the background of the low light penthouse.

Confusedly, the man looks up from the tablet before settling a little and sending him a smirk.

“Business or pleasure?” He asks, and Stiles looks at him before answering.

“Business only, I’m afraid to say.” Stiles responds, and watches as the man- little though it might be for an appropriate term of describing him- pouts.

Perhaps Demon would be a better description for him, and that would certainly explain why Warlock Fade suggested him. But no, something wasn’t right about that either. He was much too powerful, the type of energy he was giving off almost similar to a certain deity that Stiles knew. But that didn’t make any sense either. Gabriel was an Archangel, and this guy wasn’t.

“Well, if you insist.” The man says, before giving a dramatic sigh. “The name is Lucifer, Lucifer Morningstar. What brings you around here?” He asks, and Stiles simply pauses a moment before continuing with his original train of thought.

Well, not an Archangel then, but perhaps a former one.

“I was recommended by a former High Warlock to talk to you. Someone’s upset about a Hellhound spotted on the loose, and it was seen by itself.” Stiles says, and the man frowns.

“Well that’s unusual, but what do you need to talk to me about it for? You seem to be doing alright with it yourself.” He says.

“You wouldn’t happen to know who summoned it, would you?” Stiles asks, and the man seems to contemplate something for a few moments before nodding.

“Yes,” He says, before quickly amending, “But not personally. I’d rather not be bothered to go find out myself, but if it is concern enough for you, I can help.” Lucifer pauses, before adding, “For a price.”

Stiles smiles. Obviously. “Exchange of information an acceptable term of payment?”

Lucifer simply raises an eyebrow.

“It depends on what you think it is that you know that would be worth my help.” He says, and Stiles hopes that Gabriel doesn’t mind what he’s about to say.

Probably not end-of-Stiles’-world angry, but pretty close.

“How about Gabriel.” Stiles says, and any air of friendliness and amusement in the room is gone in a second and Lucifer’s face goes from barely amused to deadly calm in a heartbeat.

“What about him.” A statement, not a question. As sensitive a topic to him as it was to Gabriel himself, and that was after several millennia had passed.

Stiles simply says, “Well, he’s not as dead as you think he is, for starters.”

Lucifer stares unblinkingly at him for nearly a minute before snapping his fingers and calling out. “Mazikeen!”

The She-Demon from the bar appears in a blink, and looks between Stiles and Lucifer with a mixture of concern and disinterest.

“Yes?” She asks.

Lucifer looks from her to Stiles before saying, “Find out who from downstairs sent the hound here in L.A.” He says, before adding with a wicked grin, “And if no one wants to talk, you have my express permission to make them.”

The She-Demon grins maniacally before disappearing again.

Lucifer simply stares coldly at Stiles, although Stiles can tell his look is mostly blank, no doubt thinking.

“You're quite strange, you know.” Lucifer eventually says, a curious look on his face.

“Oh really.” Stiles says, and Lucifer rolls his eyes at his mostly rhetorical question.

“Yes, but you see, when I told you who I was, you actually believed me!” He says almost excitedly, confusion and curiosity evident from his tone of voice. “You would be surprised at how few actually believe me.” He says, and he seems disappointed, as well as a bit lonely.

“That’s just depressing.” Stiles says, and Lucifer shrugs.

“What can I say? Fame comes with the name, and this face just doesn’t seem to do it for people.” He says, and Stiles snickers, biting his lip.

“May I ask what it is that you find amusing?” Lucifer asks, before Stiles blurts out his thought.

“I’m sure your face does it for plenty of people.” He says, and Lucifer merely grins.

“Cheeky. I think I like you.” He says, and Mazikeen chooses to reappear at that moment.

Lucifer leans his head over in her direction, before asking, “Well? What did you find?”

Mazikeen tells them with a small pout on her face, so Stiles assumes that she didn’t have any trouble with finding out who sent the Hellhound.

“Someone thought it would be amusing to send Juliet out after one of Crowley’s minions and she chased them halfway across the States before Crowley found out.”

Lucifer rolls his eyes. “Bloody idiots, that’s what they are. You dealt with them, I presume?” He asks, and Mazikeen nods.

“Good. That’s all, thank you.” Lucifer says, and Mazikeen disappears at his dismissal. Lucifer turns back to Stiles, a cool glare leveled at him.

“Now, I do believe that you owe me some answers.”

Chapter Text

Lucifer gazes frigidly at Stiles, and Stiles thinks of what he should say, and if Gabriel would be mad. Probably. It had sounded as if there was a lot of family drama between Gabriel and Castiel, and that wasn’t even mentioning Lucifer, whom Gabriel had known long before Castiel existed.

But Gabriel didn’t know that Lucifer wasn’t in the Cage, so it wasn’t like he knew and told him not to say anything about Gabriel, although his request not to tell Dean about him was implied for more people than just Dean.

Well, it was a bit late for that now.

“So, uh, you want the whole story, how we met, etcetera?” Stiles asks, scratching his neck. “Or do you want, like, the shortened version?” He asks, and Lucifer rolls his eyes.

“The whole story, if you don’t mind.” Lucifer says, and Stiles nods.

“Right. So, I met Gabriel almost ten months ago in Ohio, but I actually didn’t know he was Gabriel until just about five months ago. I met him as his alter ego, Loki.” He says, and Lucifer interrupts him with a question.

“The pagan, Loki? That Loki?” Stiles nods and Lucifer huffs out a laugh. “Well, at least some things haven’t changed, then.” Lucifer face flickers with the ghost of a smile. “My brother always did fancy himself a trickster. Continue.” Lucifer says, gesturing with a flick of his hand.

“I helped a Hunter who wanted to find him to talk to him about some of his choices as a Pagan, and they hit it off right away. I’ve been friends with them both since, and I’ve seen them both in person several times.” Lucifer eyes darken a little at that, and Stiles feels sorry for the shovel talk that Sam might have just earned himself.

That was gonna be a fun a time all around.

“So, then I found out who he really was, and uh, then some other not so great things.” Stiles mumbles that last bit.

If Lucifer no longer was in the Cage, did it mean he never was? Or was it that Heaven didn’t know he wasn’t in the Cage anymore, still trying desperately to free him? Either way, Stiles knew that the detail of Lucifer not being in the Cage meant he now knew a few more things that he didn’t know before.

“Like what?” Lucifer asks harshly, and Stiles winces.

“Well, Heaven thinks you’re in the Cage, for starters. There are more Angels on earth now than there has ever been before, and all are working towards trying to start the Apocalypse.”

Lucifer stares blankly at him, before blinking rapidly in succession.

“I’m sorry, what?” He asks, shock and anger growing, letting out a harsh breath. Lucifer scoffs. “You- you can’t be serious.” He says, and the tablet in his hands makes a creaking noise from Lucifer clenching his hands. Lucifer releases it with a look of surprise, putting it aside, turning more towards Stiles in his seat.

Lucifer shakes his head vehemently. “Damn my idiot brother! Michael knows as well as I that I am not the one who lives in the Cage! He should know too that Father nor Mother will be found unless they want to be- throwing a tantrum and breaking Father’s things isn’t going to change that.”

Stiles frowns. “If you aren’t the one in the Cage- well, obviously you’re not, but, then what is?” Stiles asks, and Lucifer lets out a sigh that sounds suspiciously like a hiss before responding.

“‘What’ is correct, you’re rather observant.” Lucifer remarks, before continuing on. “The thing inside the Cage is a disgusting shell of my former self. It thinks that it is me, and I’ve done everything I could and more to make sure it cannot escape, ever.” Lucifer says, disgust and hatred seeping into his tone. “That creature is a husk of myself and contains my rotted grace, the evil that possessed my mind when I took upon the Mark of Cain. When I split myself from it, I felt only freedom, and the utmost concern that a creature like that never be allowed free.” He says, a distant look of pain on his face before taking a shuddering breath back to the present.

“That Michael would even consider trying to free it only proves my brother’s arrogance and overwhelming ego. He either thinks that he would best that creature, or that freeing that creature would draw myself into the fight once I knew the Cage was open.” Lucifer says, and Stiles nods.

“Guessing that neither of those would end up going well.” Stiles says grimly, and Lucifer nods firmly in confirmation.

“No. Certainly not, but my brother is still doing it anyways.” Lucifer says, and frowns.

“Wait.” Lucifer says, squinting at Stiles. “You said, ‘trying to’." He says, pausing for a moment. "That the angels were 'trying' to start the Apocalypse." Lucifer smirks. “Well? What is it that you didn’t say?” He asks, and Stiles huffs out a laugh.

“Good catch. But, uh. Yeah. Gabriel trapped Lilith, and, well, she’s not going to be around for it anytime soon.” Stiles says, and Lucifer laughs.

“Ha! I’m not surprised there.” Lucifer smiles. “My brother was never one to follow any pesky rules that he could get around.” He says, and Stiles nods his head.

“Yeah, I figured that out myself, besides,” Stiles says, “Rules are there for a reason, but what reason other than for you to find a way around them?” Stiles says, and Lucifer nods.

“I wholeheartedly agree.” Lucifer says, and nods. “Those are some wise words from one so young.”

Stiles laughs. “Wise words from a wiser friend. Who’s a lawyer, amongst other things.” Lucifer nods, and then sits quietly, weaving his fingers together, thinking for a few moments before speaking.

“Tonight I was, well, surprised, to say the least.” Lucifer starts to say. “But I can’t help but be grateful. I… My brother is alive. Damn it, he’s alive, and kicking, and I wouldn’t know it if not for you.” Lucifer says, and then smiles.

“What does your heart desire?” Lucifer asks curiously, and Stiles thinks. Thinks of his friends, his family. His life and job, and finds…

“Thanks, but I got what I want.” Stiles says, turning to go. “Your website has a contact number listed for you, I’ll text you my number.” He says, waving as the elevator dings and opens. “See ya!” He calls out, and Lucifer nods.

How curious, he thought. The boy hadn’t lied.

So many claimed to have their hearts desire, yet, his words were the only that had rang true at the claim.

Even his dear detective had said it, though her words too rang flat besides that of the boy.

How curious indeed, Lucifer thought, and picked up his tablet once more.

Chapter Text

With the Hellhound problem dealt with and solved without him having to actually do that much, Stiles makes his way home, sending a text saying that the problem was solved to Magnus.

Magnus doesn’t send a reply until late the next day, but sends his thanks. Free to do his own work now, Stiles does, going through his list of things he liked to call, ‘things I should probably do soon’. Sometimes, the list was long. Other times, it had nothing at all.

Right now, he had several things he wanted to do, starting with his study. It was a complete mess, and needed plenty of things done to it, starting with picking it up from the last time he used it.

Who knew that preparing oneself for dealing with the supposed end of the world could be so cluttering? The number of books in his library on Judeo-Christian mythology had increased severely within the last month, and it had been Canadian folklore and mythology before that.

 

So, he chats with his Dad over the phone while reorganizing his notes in his study, noting what ingredients he’s getting short on as he labels and cleans his shelves.

Beacon Hills was doing alright, according to his Dad, but the amount of times he had to refuse talking to one of the Pack about talking to Stiles was reportedly ridiculous. He’d been gone for months, and thankfully they had paid the damn check for his work in Beacon Hills, after some convincing on both Peter and Chris’ part, for some reason.

Something about Hunter Code of Conducts and the Council, and boom! No more forgetting that Stiles isn’t the only one getting pissed at them not paying their bill for months.

It had apparently been an interesting conversation, according from the accounts of what was told to him, and sent Stiles his regards, his Dad saying Peter expected to stay in Beacon Hills a while longer, his mostly succeeding attempts at wooing Chris taking importance for now.

Good for him, was Stiles’ opinion, and his Dad’s, who cautiously agreed with him. Who knew truthfully whether it was or not, but it was another outlet for Peter and his seemly endless energy and ability to obsess over practically anything he wanted.

His Dad wished him well, and Stiles smiled as he finished cleaning and filing his notes, his desk blissfully neat. Not for long of course, but it was a habitually repeating cycle of messy or neat.

The altamisa and chamomile on his shelf of different herbal flowers and plants by the window needed repotting as well, the plants looking a little dreary in their too small pots.

A quick trip to the nearest hardware center solved that little problem, and Stiles buys clippers for finally trimming the now overgrown bushes in his yard, which he tends to later that afternoon.

Coming inside and sitting at the table in the dining room to drink a steaming mug of tea was wonderful, warming him and feeling nice to his chilled fingers. The days were once again getting shorter, the days again colder.

Soon enough, it would be his birthday again before he even knew where the time had gone.

Or perhaps the time wouldn’t pass so soon, dragging on slowly.

It seemed to be that way for Magnus anyways, and Stiles knew that any day now, Magnus would finally stop trying not to involve him in the upcoming fight against Morgenstern.

It was inevitable at this point, and Stiles was worried that someone was going to get hurt or killed before Magnus finally called him. Stiles hoped he called before then. If something happened to either Magnus or Alec first he would be simultaneously not surprised and super pissed.

Stiles sighed. Perhaps something to distract him for now would be helpful. Stiles knew quite a few things he could do to pass the time, he had several people who he should visit- besides Magnus, of course.

He could check in with High Warlock Holmes, ask him how his brother was. If the younger Holmes had finally finished his self-imposed task and returned to the impatiently waiting Doctor Watson, or if he hadn’t returned yet, unaware that Doctor Watson was now well aware that he was not as dead as he’d previously believed.

And as well as the Holmes brothers and Doctor Watson, Stiles probably needed to check in with the Winchesters.

It had been quite a while since he’d spoken to Sam in person, so it was probably best he checked that the hunter was doing alright. With the approaching war between the Planes of Existence and the Winchesters damn front and center, it was almost scarily necessary to do so.

So Stiles calls Sam.

A slightly muffled sound comes through the phone before Sam’s voice answers.

“Winchester here, what do you need help with?” Sam asks, his voice laced with exhaustion. Stiles chuckles.

“Sounds more like I should be the one to ask that.” Stiles says, and Sam yawns on the other end of the phone.

“Stiles?” Sam asks, and Stiles smiles at his tired friend.

“Yeah, it’s me. How you doing? I can almost feel your sleep deprivation from here.” Stiles says, and Sam sighs.

“I’m doing fine, except for the not sleeping part. It’s Dean who’s the one having trouble sleeping, so he keeps dragging me along on cases instead of getting help. We had a pretty rough case a couple weeks ago, but Dean is still a little out of it.” Sam says, and Stiles frowns in contemplation.

“Hasn’t Castiel been around?” Stiles asks. Sam is slow to respond to the question.

“...No.” Sam says, and Stiles remains quiet before Sam finally gets the hint to expand on his answer. “No, he uh, he and Dean had an argument and Cas hasn’t been back since. I tried getting Dean to talk to me, but he wouldn’t say anything beyond telling me he doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Stiles snorts. Yeah, for Dean, that sounded about right. Castiel being gone also explained most of the lack of sleep. Explaining why to Sam, or even to Dean wasn’t going to go over well.

Mostly just to Dean.

“Yeah, about that.” Stiles says, and the answering silence lets him know that Sam is very closely listening. Stiles blows out a breath.

“Your brother probably isn’t aware, but in order to raise Dean from Hell, Castiel had to try to restore Dean’s soul, which would have taken a lot of effort to repair, and not only that he rebuilt the entirety of Dean’s body. The handprint on your brother’s shoulder is essentially Castiel’s signature. But it’s more than that.” Stiles says, and Sam lets out a breath. Stiles continues. “Dean doesn’t know it yet, but the connection helps them both. And Castiel no doubt was blocking Dean’s nightmares, if only by request to do so. But him being gone would mean that Castiel is no longer doing so, and the connection wouldn’t reach Dean from Heaven.”

Sam hums. “So, basically Dean’s being a dick because Cas isn’t around and he’s sleep deprived?”

“That’s the gist of it, really. But their connection is more like the one between you and Gabriel than a familial bond.” Stiles says nonchalantly.

Sam sputters. “I… Wait what? How do you-” Stiles interrupts him.

“How do I know that you also have a bond mark?” Stiles says, before continuing. “You and your brother, you have this sense around you. It matches perfectly to the Grace that Gabriel and Castiel give off- and each Grace is unique, so it isn’t too hard to tell the difference.”

“I didn’t know that there was a difference between the different kinds of bonds.” Sam says softly, a hint of excitedness leaking into his voice, eager as always to learn something new.

“I didn’t either, but having friends with big libraries and fairly extensive time to study them helps.” Stiles says, and Sam yawns again. A door slams in the background, a muffled voice speaking in the background.

Stiles smiles, an idea forming. “Hey, where are you guys?” He asks, going about his house to gather things into his travel bag. Where was his overnight kit? Oh! Right, under the sink in his bathroom, next to the unopened box of bar soap.

“Uh, on our way to Bobby’s. I convinced Dean to take us there for a few days so I could look into the whole Apocalypse thing; Bobby’s always got something for us.” Sam says, and Stiles grabs his notes from the Apocalypse from his files. Where did he leave his favorite dagger? Not in the usual spot in his study. Not in his room.

“It’s Singer’s Salvage, right?” Stiles asks, phone against his ear as he scans the living room, and Sam answers, shock evident in his voice.

“Uh, yeah, how did you know?” Sam asks, and Stiles rolls his eyes, eyebrows pinched. Where was the dagger? He found the book: On Angel Pair Bonds on his coffee table, but where was his dagger?

“Sam, literally anyone in the Supernatural know for long enough in America knows about Singer Salvage. The man has got twenty plus years of hunting knowledge up his alley, who wouldn’t know about him?” Stiles says, and it was true. Well, he’d only found out about him after Chris had mentioned Singer to him once, but that was besides the point. Wasn’t it?

“Oh. Yeah, that’s true. You gonna come meet us there, then?” Sam asks, and Stiles grins. The dagger was in his truck, duh! He took it off before going shopping earlier.

Grabbing his keys along with his phone charger, Stiles heads out to his truck. Sure enough, the dagger was right where he left it, under his passenger seat.

Hopping in the cab, Stiles sits down, looking at the time. “Yeah. If I head out now, I’ll probably meet you guys there later tomorrow morning, so I’ll still have time to stop somewhere for a couple hours to sleep.”

Sam sighs. “Great. See you soon then.”

 

Heading out and driving for a good couple of hours before stopping at a motel for the night before heading out again, Stiles makes his way to Singer Salvage Yard, stopping for breakfast at a diner and grabbing a tall coffee and a big slice of apple pie to go- best to appease the sleep deprived Dean before attempting to talk with him; and the coffee was for Sam, of course.

And no, Stiles was not above bribery, especially if said bribery was food. Used sparingly, it worked on Magnus too.

Arriving at Singer Salvage he finds The Impala parked out in front of an older, but well cared for two story house, surrounded by numerous other older cars and trucks. Knocking on the door, Stiles is only mildly surprised to find himself face to face with a shotgun once it was opened, a disgruntled older fellow on the other end, staring at him in suspicion.

“Whatever the hell you are kid, you best get the hell out of here, before you find how well I aim this here gun.” The man- Singer, no doubt- growls at him.

Stiles frowns. Oh! He glances up and can see an impressive amount of wards cast about the place; on the house and the yard both. Most of which are just standard repulsion spells, but there is a impressive collection of alert and expulsion spellwork.

“Nice wards. You do them yourself?” Stiles asks seriously, and Singer looks alert while cautiously- and confusedly- answering.

“Yeah.” He says, and Stiles nods his head. For a person without a strong magical core, he’d placed fairly impressive wards. Stiles repeats his thought out loud and the man raises a bushy eyebrow.

“That so kid?” He asks gruffly, and Stiles nods.

“Yes, actually. I was trained by one of the strongest ward caster’s on this side world, and this is easily parallel with some of her works.” Stiles says, and Singer just looks even more confused.

“Kid, what is it that you want?” Singer asks, and Stiles smiles.

“Sam asked for some of my notes on the Apocalypse and for my thoughts on the matter. He told me to meet him here.” Singer grows tense at the mention of Sam.

“Is that so? Sam never mentioned you stopping by.” Singer says, gripping his gun a touch tighter.

“Well, I’m certain he wouldn’t, he probably fell asleep as soon as he got here,” Stiles says, taking a pause before continuing. “He did say that Dean was being an absolute horror ever since he and Castiel had fought.” Singer blinks at him.

“You know about that Angel that’s been sniffing around after Dean?” Singer asks, and Stiles snorts, holding in a chuckle.

“Well, I hadn’t heard it put that way yet, but you’re certainly not wrong.” Stiles says. “Castiel just needs to work on his people skills a little bit first, but I imagine he’ll do alright with Dean.”

Singer just squints at him.

Stiles sighs. “Fine. If I have to wait out here for Sam to confirm my visit with you, that’s cool. I don’t mind. But Dean’s pie is no longer going to be warm, and Sam’s coffee needs to be reheated anyways.”

Singer looks between him and the proffered to-go box and cup several times before speaking again.

“Shit kid, you’re really trying here. Does Dean know you ain’t human?” Singer asks, and Stiles smiles widely.

“That’s why I brought the pie.” Stiles says, and Singer chuckles.

“Fine. You can come in, but don’t touch nothin’.” Singer huffs, turning around and going inside.

Unsurprisingly, the inside looked like a mix of rustic librarian, lumberjack, and makeshift call center thrown together.

Singer goes to the kitchen, putting down the gun but keeping it within arms length as he moves about the cluttered kitchen, assembling ingredients to some kind of breakfast.

Looking around, Stiles sees the ward carved along the ceiling and the walls, and the runes themselves are an impressive sight to behold. Some older, and some newer, but all of excellent strength despite a few being rather crudely carved.

“Well, I’m surprised to see you here this soon!” A voice cheerfully calls, and Stiles turns in surprise. That voice is certainly not one he was expecting to hear, but a welcome one.

Gabriel stands grinning down at him from the top of the staircase, a wide grin upon his face.

“And I wasn’t expecting you at all!” Stiles responds, smiling back.

Gabriel walks down the stairs, eyeing the coffee and pie as he reaches Stiles. Stiles shakes his head, narrowing his eyes at Gabriel.

“No.” He says, moving his full hands away. “The pie is Dean’s, if you want some get your own.” He says, and Gabriel nods his head.

“Food bribery,” He says, “Why didn’t I think of that?” He huffs, and Stiles’ eyes widen.

“Wait. You told Dean about you and S-” Stiles pauses, looking over to Singer, who seems not to be listening too intently on their conversation before continuing much more quietly than before, “You and Sam?” He asks, and Gabriel nods slowly.

Stiles winces. “Did it not go well then?” He asks, but Gabriel just gives a so-so gesture with his hand.

“Not good, but definitely not too bad.” He says, sighing.

Stiles waited expectantly for Gabriel to continue. Gabriel sighs and shakes his head.

“Sammy and Deano argued a whole bunch after I showed up, and with old man Singer over there too, but a little backstory on top of that drama and poof!” Gabriel says, waving a hand, “Problem solved!” Gabriel says. “Not that Dean likes the idea of any Angels hanging around after his little spat with dear Cassie, but it didn’t take too much convincing.” Stiles nods at that.

“Yeah. I really hopes it doesn’t take them forever to make it up to each other, or I’m gonna have to intervene.” Stiles says with a frown.

Gabriel snorts, and Stiles turns to glare at him.

“What?” He asks, and Gabriel just smirks.

“Nothing, just… Picturing that in my head.” He says, and Stiles raises an eyebrow at him.

“I don’t why you think that’s so funny. I had to do that for you and Sam, if you recall.” Stiles says, and Gabriel sobers up at that for a few moments before breaking into full blown laughter.

“I know, that’s what’s funny! Just picture doing it for a couple that doesn’t even know that they’re a couple!” He crows, and Stiles rolls his eyes.

Although it was pretty funny.

But seriously. Of the several couples he knew were together- and the few who weren’t- he’d had to do something to get them to stop acting like dumbasses and to finally act on their feelings.

Or in some cases, realize that they even had feelings for each other in the first place.

Stiles had a feeling that Dean and Castiel were going to be in the latter of the two categories, unfortunately.

Singer comes out of the kitchen and calls out, “If you two are done gossiping out here, I’m sure the boys will want to be up and fed for whatever conversation it is you wanted to be having with them.”

Gabriel grins and snaps his fingers, and one near inhumanly loud shriek is let out, the sound of a body hitting the floor from upstairs heard clearly.

"GABRIEL!" Dean shouts, and Stiles chuckles.

As a Trickster, Stiles supposed, Gabriel had to find his amusement somewhere.

 

An hour or so passed after Dean had been calmed down from waking up about four feet above the bed and both Sam and he had been fed- the pie and coffee both helped hugely, in that matter- Stiles sits down with Gabriel, Sam, Dean, and Singer and pulls out his notes.

“Alright,” Stiles says, the table spread with various books and notes, “This is what I’ve got on what you asked me about, Sam.”

Sam picks up one of the pages of notes and reads through it, eyes widening a little as he goes farther down the page.

Singer picks up one of the books and examines it, looking over the cover and muttering to himself the Latin-English translations as he goes.

Sam looks up from his page, and Stiles looks back expectantly. Dean glares at Gabriel from across the table, and Gabriel ignores him by skimming through the book on Angel bonding, clearly unimpressed.

“Well?” Stiles asks, and Sam is clearly gearing up for a full barrage of questions, from the look on his face.

“I… I have several questions. Where did you even find half this stuff?” He asks, amazement in his voice.

Stiles smiles. “Warlock, remember? I get random thank you gifts from England, Brazil, and Canada now, and Magnus has one of the largest collections of books you could find of anything Supernatural on the east coast, if you recall.”

Dean’s head snaps in Stiles’ direction as Sam nods, looking back down at the paper again.

“Wait a minute kid,” Dean says, “You mean to tell me, you just been- what? Pretending to spy on us to help yourself? What is it that you want?”

Stiles sighs. “If you’ll note, literally no one here but you has a problem with me being not a human. And I’ve been over this multiple times with many different people besides you. Your brother has trusted me for a while now, and I didn’t have the faith he had at the time that you would as well, Dean. That’s why I didn’t bother telling you.” Dean looks furious at that, so Stiles continues. “I am worried more about whether or not you two are going to manage calming down the entirety of Heaven and probably several Legions of Demons or get yourself killed.” He says, and at that, Dean looks confused.

Stiles rolls his eyes. How could he not know this already? “You know, the Angels you keep encountering, the numerous Demons- they’re not just showing up because they feel like it. You are right in the middle of the battle waging between Heaven and Hell right now, and when they find out that the last lock of the Cage is already welded shut, you are going to find yourself in the middle of a damn bloody mess.”

Singer looks up at that, one bushy eyebrow raised. “The Cage is already sealed?”

Stiles nodded. “Thanks to Gabriel and a friend of mine, I know for a fact that the Cage won’t be opening anytime soon.”

Gabriel looks like he wants to ask who, but is interrupted when Stiles’ phone rings.

Stiles feels his stomach drop from dread, Magnus’ ringtone blaring, and Stiles digs through his pocket to grab his phone. Stiles stares down at the screen for a few moments before answering.

“Hello?” Stiles says, and the fact that Magnus doesn’t respond for a few moments immediately worries him. The quiet puffs of breath into the phone during that pause tells the same story.

“... I, Stiles I need your help.” Magnus says softly. “Alec’s gone after Clary and Jace…” Magnus trails off.

“... Stiles, he’s gone after Morgenstern to get them back.”

Chapter Text

Stiles looks up and around at everyone at the table before putting his phone on speaker.

“Tell me what happened.” Stiles says, and Magnus lets out a puff of breath.

“Clary and Jace had been taken by Morgenstern not that long ago, but I had not been concerned over Alec. We… We’d discussed often his desire to go after Jace, but I thought I had dissuaded him against it- it’s far too dangerous, and even if he convinced the Clave, he’d never get enough Shadowhunters to actually defeat Morgenstern.” Magnus sighs before continuing. “I know Isabelle had talked to Alec too, but she contacted me earlier to ask if Alec was here. She told me that he hadn’t been back to the Institute since the night before.”

“Let me guess, he hadn’t stopped by your place either.”

“No, he hasn’t been by in nearly three days. I can’t think of anywhere else he would have gone.”

Stiles hummed. “Did you perform a tracer?” He asks.

“Yes. The result was rather weak, but I know about where he is. He’s at the Harbor, although I’m not certain exactly where, although I would think it safe to presume Morgenstern is on a ship.”

“That’d certainly explain why no one’s been able to find Morgenstern.”

“Oh, most certainly. That doesn’t help that I can’t go after the fool by myself, and it would be unwise to involve Isabelle without a plan in place first.” Magnus says, and Stiles can’t tell if Magnus was referring to Morgenstern or Alec.

“Have you asked Simon or Raphael for help? I know Simon most likely wouldn’t mind, if Clary was taken along with Jace.”

The silence he receives is telling, in its own way.

“Magnus,” Stiles says, his tone sharpening at his annoyance, “What aren’t you telling me?”

“... Isabelle told me that Simon wasn’t at the warehouse where he was staying, and that there were signs of a struggle. She told me she thinks The Circle might have taken him for his connection to Clary.” Magnus says all at once, and Stiles doesn’t miss a detail despite his speed.

“Magnus.” Stiles says, his voice dropping lowly, something that happens when he gets extremely frustrated. “What do you mean Simon was living in a warehouse?”

Stiles found that the tone dropping worked in most situations to show his frustration, a thing he picked up from Peter. Not a growl, so to say, but something similar.

“Simon didn’t want to tell you, even though I told him you wouldn’t mind. Told me that he didn’t think he should bother you about it.”

“Magnus!” Stiles hisses. “Just tell me what in the hell happened that he thought wasn’t ‘important’ enough to bother me?!?” His frustration turning to anger.

“Simon went against Raphael and the Clan by signing himself over to Camille in order to get the book of White, saying that Camille bit him at his request and turned him because he asked to Change. Raphael kicked him out and he’s been hiding in a warehouse out by the Jade Wolf, since most of the New York Pack didn’t mind him being around in their territory.”

Stiles was fuming.

“He calls that not important!?! When we find him, I am going to feed him rose petals until he has induced Hanahaki!”

Gabriel chuckles at that.

Magnus sighs in relief. “You’ll help me get them back, then?”

“Yes, Magnus, of course. I’m gonna need you to call a few of the people I have favor with, I can’t call all of them in time. We're gonna need some help with this.”

“Of course,” Magnus says cautiously,“who do you have in mind?”

“High Warlock Holmes, if you call Peter, you can probably get him to convince Chris Argent to come, and the High Warlocks Abet and Pistas.”

“Anyone else?”

“No. I have a few contacts to talk to from around different places, but I think I can handle the rest. If you could convince the New York Pack to host, the Jade Wolf isn’t too far from the Harbor front, it’d be a better place than the Loft. Probably more spacey, too.”

“Yes, I think that might work. I’ll contact Isabelle when I’ve finished.” The tone of his voice still tense.

“Magnus, we’ll get them back. It’ll be alright.” Stiles says soothingly, and Magnus sighs.

“I hope so. See you soon.”

Magnus ends the call, and Stiles looks up between everyone in the room.

Sam looks concerned, Gabriel mildly interested, Dean uneasy, and Singer cautiously curious.

Stiles sighs.

“I could use your help on this.”

Dean looks about ready to start saying ‘hell no’, but Sam interrupts him by speaking first.

“Who’s this Morgenstern guy?” He asks, and Stiles sneers.

“The worst of the worst. He’s killed several hundred Downworlders, and he’s responsible for several thousand deaths more. Torture, tests, slaughter. All for some foolish ideal of race supremacy.” Stiles hisses, and Sam grows pale.

“What the hell is a Downworlder?” Dean asks.

“Another name for us of the Supernatural. And before you get off on some tangent about why anyone would care about the death of a Downworlder, Morgenstern’s main ideal is the death of anything he considered less than the Shadowhunters, and attempting to turn all mundanes into Shadowhunters using the Mortal Cup.”

“So he’s an insane and power mad douchebag.” Dean says, and Stiles nods in agreement.

“And if he has the Cup, an extremely dangerous one. More so than before. I’ll put it into perspective for you. Morgenstern and his followers- a small group of trained warriors called The Circle- once killed a small city’s worth of people in a single day. Imagine what he could do now if he has the Cup.”

“Alright, you’ve made your point. But what do you want our help with this for?” Dean asks, and Stiles sighs.

“Between the four of you here, you’ve got enough fighting experience to take down half of Morgenstern’s army yourselves. But it’s not just him and The Circle- he’s got plenty of Downworlders he’s either convinced or threatened into joining him on his side, not to mention probably a little more than a Legion’s worth of Demons.”

Gabriel’s eyes widened. “That many?” He asks Stiles, and Singer looks over at him.

“Why, how many’s that?” Singer asks, and Gabriel frowns.

“Anywhere between five hundred to five thousand. Five hundred being on the small side.”

“Christ, that’s a lot.” Singer says, and Gabriel nods vigorously in agreement.

“Yeah. That’s why I asked Magnus to call some of the High Warlocks I have favor with- they’re on the less cautious side, when it would come to a fight like this. But the more people we have going into this, the better our chances of getting everyone out alive.” Stiles says, and everyone nods.

“Alright kid, you convinced me. I haven’t been out in too long besides, I need some excitement.” Singer says.

Sam looks at Gabriel, communicating silently on their bond, before he nods.

“We’ll go too. I owe a lot to you and Magnus, I don’t think I would have been so calm about meeting Gabe when we first met.” Sam says, and Gabriel nods before speaking too.

“Sam’s right, and Morgenstern might be getting his own personal one way to Hell soon enough.” He says with an smirk, and Stiles couldn’t help but internally agree.

Dean sighs, the weight of the expectant gazes heavy upon him.

“Fine, but I don’t have to be happy about it. I’m not.” He says, and Stiles grins, clapping his hands.

“Alright! Get yourselves what you need, I have a couple calls to make.” Stiles says, shooing off them with a wave of his hand.

 

Gabriel wonders who it is Stiles might be calling, but he simply wanders off with Dean out to the Impala, Sam following behind old man Singer.

Dean notices him and growls. “What do you want?” He asks, and Gabriel leans against Baby, arms crossed, head tilted a little to convey his curiosity. Dean opens the trunk but keeps one eye perpetually on him.

“Wonderin’ when you’re gonna get off your ass and apologize to Castiel for being an idiot.”

Dean whips his head up, eyes bright from anger. “I did what I thought was right, Damnit! Anna didn’t deserve to die!” He shouts, slamming a hand down, back hunched from fury.

“And he doesn’t deserve to be treated like your Bond means nothing to you.” Gabriel says softly, tapping his finger over Dean’s Mark. Dean looks confused at the gesture, before his eyes flicker wider, looking up at Gabriel.

“The Bond is still young, you haven’t solidified it yet. But this… This not speaking to each other thing?” He huffs. “It’s only going to hurt you both, in the end. And you know it.” Gabriel says, and Dean looks down to hide his look of shame.

“Why? Why does he not see what this, this following blindly what he is told is not right? That what Heaven's doing is wrong?” Dean asks lowly. The emotion in his voice strong.

Gabriel smiles sadly. “It’s all he knows. Right now, he’s in the balance of doing what he’s always done, and doing what’s right, and at this point, he doesn’t know which is which. He will be forced to choose in the end, you know. Between you or Heaven. His love for you is too strong for Heaven to do otherwise.”

From the mix of emotions and surprise on Dean’s face, that wasn’t a word he would have normally associated with Castiel. Strange. To not see the love Dean and Castiel displayed for each other, however muted or downplayed they tried to make it was almost impossible.

Even Singer noticed the way Castiel acted around Dean for goodness sake, and he certainly wasn’t the pinnacle of displaying his emotions!

“Our chances are improved if he comes, and the sooner you two talk, the less the buildup is going to come to blows between you.”

Dean grits his teeth, then exhales, shoulders drooping.

“I know.” Dean says, his tone that of a defeated man.

“Good. If you’re aware, you’re more likely to do something about it.” Gabriel says as Dean closes the trunk.

Dean has an array of blessed blades in his arms, along with a rock salt shotgun. Dean heads off back towards the house, and Gabriel follows him.

Inside, Sam and Singer were strapping up, Stiles examining his blessed dagger with a scrutinizing gaze before tucking it neatly in an arm sheath.

Stiles looks up at them, watching as they gathered a few more weapons in their persons before looking to Gabriel.

“Nothing for you?” He asks, and Gabriel shakes his head.

“Nah, it only takes a second to summon my stuff. I’m all set.” He says reassuringly, and Stiles nods, taking a deep breath before opening a large portal behind them all, waving his hand in a manner, sending them all off through it and on to their destination.

Chapter Text

Stiles looks around, the Winchesters and Singer immediately taking in the surroundings. The smell of ocean, distant sounds of water, all familiar from the year Stiles lived and traveled around New York City.

The parking lot in front of Jade Wolf appeared busier than normal, several people milling about in the cold of the late and gloomy afternoon, including Magnus and Isabelle Lightwood. Stiles walked quickly over in their direction, ignoring the Winchesters for a minute to talk with Magnus.

Magnus spots him and turns, a small but genuine smile spreading across his face. “Stiles! It’s good to see you.” He says, pulling Stiles into a crushing hug.

Stiles hugs back for a few moments, before pulling back to look at Magnus. His eyes have deep dark circles, and the worry shows clearly on his face, his irises glowing a faint gold from the stress. “How are we doing so far?” He asks softly, and Magnus face becomes far more serious, cool demeanor dropping.

“Alright. I called Peter, and I believe Argent will be showing up as well, like you said.” Magnus says, ticking off names on his fingers as he goes. “Mycroft agreed, and said that he and his brother may both be coming, along with a few others. He didn’t say who, though. Felix agreed, although he had a few doubts, he was willing to come. Damien agreed too, although he didn’t need any persuasion on my behalf. And as you can see,” He gestures, both to Jade Wolf and to Isabelle, “There are more still arriving as we speak. I just hope that whomever you called will be enough.” Magnus says, and Stiles nods.

“They’ll be enough.” He says encouragingly, and Magnus face shows his doubts, no matter how brave a front he puts on.

Isabelle steps forward, head high and hand held out and introduces herself. “Isabelle, Isabelle Lightwood. Magnus tells me that you’re the one putting together this little rescue party. It’s good to meet you.”

Stiles takes her hand and firmly shakes it, a warm smile on his face. “Senior Warlock Stilinski. And I guess I am. Nice to finally meet you as well, I’ve heard only the best.” He says kindly, and the stress shows on her face, the overwhelming threat of losing her family looming over her head.

“Who are they?” She asks, gesturing with a nod of her head to the Winchesters, Singer, and the Archangel gathered behind him.

“Winchesters and company.” He says simply, and Isabelle’s eyes widen minutely. Well then, apparently there were very few people who didn’t know about the Winchesters, including the Shadowhunters. Surprising.

“Well, if you have more people like them you coming, we certainly might have a chance at this.” She says, and Stiles smirks.

“Oh, we’re waiting on quite a few people still, don’t worry.” He says, and intrigue shows on both Magnus and Isabelle’s face. Well too bad, the longer their additional guests went unnamed, the less chances anyone would have throwing a fit over it.

Mostly just the Winchesters, current company included.

 

At the sound of several cars getting closer, Stiles turns his attention to the new arrivals. Out of the cars pile quite a few people, Stiles noting their energies to be Werewolves, likely members of the New York Pack or nearby surrounding Packs.

A man speaks quietly to those gathered around the cars before comes towards them, a younger woman following behind him, recognition in the man’s eyes at seeing Magnus and Isabelle. Stiles recognized the movements, the way the man held himself to similar to his Dad as he drew closer, the manner of dress that many law enforcement officers seemed to pick up.

The man holds all the signs of being an Alpha, and a decent one at that, from the way he acts.

“Magnus, it’s good to see you.” He says, and Magnus nods amicably in return.

“And you as well, Lucian. Although I was expecting your arrival, I was not expecting your Pack as well.” Magnus says, and the man chuckles.

“I went to tell them I might not come back, and somehow it went from me to we.” He says amusedly, before turning to Stiles. “You must be Stilinski. It’s good to meet you. Word gets around, and the word on you is certainly good. Luke, Garroway.” He says, and Stiles shakes his proffered hand.

“Good to meet you. I know you have a lot staked on this, and we can use all the help we can get.” Stiles says, and the name certainly had clicked. Magnus had mentioned Garroway showing up to several of the Memory Wipe visits, placing him as the one with the most to lose. Almost an entire family’s worth of people, and he might lose them all to the greed and hatred of one man.

Which was so not happening, not if Stiles could help it.

“More than happy to offer whatever assistance I can. This one of my Beta’s, Maia Roberts.” Luke says, gesturing to the younger woman standing behind him. The determined look in her eyes was more than enough to know that she was most likely the one who had decided that Luke wasn’t going alone, and Stiles smiled.

“It’s good to meet you.” Stiles says, and she bows her head at him briefly before turning to Luke.

“I hate to seem in a rush, but I think it would be best if we got to the point quickly. A few people seem a bit… hesitant without a solid plan in place, and I agree. I want to know how we’re gonna do this.” Maia says, glancing back at the rest of their Pack gathered by the cars.

Stiles smiles.

“Well, I don’t mind. We have a bit before everyone else shows up, so let's get down to it.” He says, before shouting, “If everyone would come on in now, that’d be great and we can get this started!” Stiles waves, and those gathered around slowly head inside in their collective groups, not nearing each other, wary of the people around them.

A problem for later, but getting everyone to work together let alone stand in the same room without starting something wasn’t going to be easy.

 

Heading inside with Magnus and Isabelle following him into the restaurant behind the rest, collective whispering and glances bounced about the different booths, and the tension in the room wanted to make Stiles roll his eyes.

That ends now, Stiles thinks to himself.

Going to the center of the aisles, all eyes turning to him, Magnus sitting next to Isabelle in one of booth nearest him, both watching him intently. He nods to them, and they nod back.

“Alright, I’m gonna figure that most of you know why your here, but I’m gonna make it simple for those of you who don’t.” Stiles says, and most of the eyes show understanding, a few with a look of judgement, probably at the fact he was a Warlock. Well tough shit, if they didn’t like him, they didn’t have to come here, that was on them.

“Morgenstern has done enough. It took to this point where it took losing family, friends, loved ones. Pack, Coven, Clan, Flock, Hunter- whatever species you are. It doesn’t matter, because it shouldn’t have gotten to this point in the first place.” He says, his voice growing stronger as he goes along. Most people are listening, and damn, it takes this much for them to listen to reason?

“There is blame to be had, yes, but not any single person is exempt from this. There were all things we could have done before now, but this last few days were the last straw for most of you.” He says, and the few downcast faces and guilty looks let Stiles know his words were heard loud and clear. “And I’m damn glad to see it, every single person here in this room. I don’t care who you are and what you think that makes you. Death is senseless, especially the cruelty and madness that people like Morgenstern tend to breed with existing.” And that gets a few tense chuckles, and Stiles smiles softly.

“Well, I know we’re missing a few people still, so I’m going to let my friend here fill you in on what we know so far.” Stiles says, and Magnus stands and takes his place, no smile in sight, just the pain and hatred showing in his eyes.

Magnus begins talking, and Stiles half listens to the details Magnus had told him earlier while thinking the best way to pair off the different people to work best with each other.

Maybe a couple pairs of three, for the important things, like finding Alec, Simon, Clary, Jace, and freeing whomever they could find. And maybe a group to start a distraction, once on board. Probably best if those people were the more battle hardened ones, so Gabriel definitely.

Magnus was obviously going after Alec regardless of who he was paired with, but Stiles was certain that it was probably best if Isabelle wasn’t going with him. He trusted that she would put the same effort in finding either of her brothers, so she would work well with finding Clary and Jace.

Simon, well, it was unfortunate but likely that he was going to need immediate medical attention, so a Warlock was going to be needed on the team looking for him. High Warlock Abet was a renowned healer, so he was the best choice at the moment.

Stiles also had a feeling that a certain doctor might be showing up as well, but no way that he would separate Sherlock from the doctor if that was true. It was probably best to put them on a group looking for prisoners to free. And while he is a mortal, the doctor was certainly not someone to underestimate the abilities of.

Peter and Chris would make for a good pair, and with the amount of demons they would be facing, necessary. Both were brutal but sharply efficient when in combat. Peter’s more chaotic streak would be evenly balanced by Chris’ ability to fight from a distance.

The rest of the Hunters would get paired off, and it was probably best if-

At that moment, the doorbell rings as someone walks in.

Well, several someones.

In front of the group of people was Sherlock, who had clearly pushed in front of his brother to get in the door, if the disgruntled look on Mycroft’s face had anything to say about it. Behind Mycroft was unsurprisingly, Dr. Watson, with Anthea following behind him. They look calm and unbothered, almost amusedly observing the doctor being dragged away off towards an empty booth by Sherlock.

“Well, I’m likely the only one, but I’d like to apologize on behalf of myself and the others for our tardiness.” Mycroft says, a frown upon his face as he glared half-heartedly at his brother, who ignored him.

Stiles chuckles. “Not an issue, High Warlock, you certainly aren’t the last ones to show up, and there are still quite a few people who’ve yet to show up.” He says, which issues a quiet mutter of ‘told you so’ over from Sherlock’s direction.

“How many more people are there?” A voice Stiles hadn’t heard asks surprisedly, and Stiles glances to see one of Luke’s Pack had asked the question.

“Well, probably a few more than you’d think.” Stiles says, which surprises the Wolf who had asked the question. “What’s your name?” Stiles asks politely, and the Wolf suddenly looks shy, glancing down as if he hadn’t expected to be asked.

“Tyler.” He says, and Stiles smiles at him. The Wolf reminds him a little of Isaac.

“Well Tyler, I have a few more friends and a couple acquaintances who all agreed to show up. More too, if Dean would bother giving Castiel a call.” He says with a half teasing, half serious tone in Dean’s direction.

“Why do I always have to be the one call him? Is there some reason that people think I look like a one way phone booth or somethin’?” Dean huffs from in their booth, glaring at Stiles.

Stiles just grins at the Hunter. “Nah, I just asked because I knew it would bother you.” He says, before adding slyly, “That and Castiel likes you more.”

That makes Dean sputter, and Gabriel, Singer, Sam and Stiles all laugh at the disgruntled look Dean sends his way.

“Fine! Whatever. Should probably do it outside so I can explain what in the fresh hell is going on.” He grumbles, and scoots out of the booth to do just that.

“Dear father that man is oblivious.” Gabriel shakes his head, an annoyed but fond smile on his face, before looking over at Singer with a grimace. “No offense.”

Singer just sighs, bringing a hand up to his face. “None taken.”

Stiles smiles at the exchange before turning back to look at Tyler.

“See? Another person on their way.” He says, before thinking about who that leaves. “One down. Six to go."

“Seven people are gonna make that big a difference?” Someone scoffs, and Stiles smirks.

“They are when they’re a Hale, an Argent, Two High Warlocks, a Lilith Demon, an Angel of the Lord, and Lucifer Morningstar.”

Well that certainly grabs the attention of every person in the room, and Gabriel and Sam both pale drastically at the last name.

The room breaks out in conversation, and Stiles has to yell several times to get everyone's attention again.

“Sam, Gabriel, I met him in person, and he’s certainly the Angel you knew, Gabriel. Fallen, yeah, but nothing like the tainted grace-filled vessel that Sam is being bothered by.” He says, and both look surprised, although a little less tense than before.

“How did you know that-” Sam starts before Stiles interrupts him.

“That I knew that you were being bothered by it when you slept now? Well, not with Gabriel around, obviously, but the fact you believe that that vessel is Lucifer is what is giving it strength. And the fact that the real Lucifer doesn’t even know who you are.”

“Uh, quick comment.” The Wolf who had questioned who was showing up was once again posing rather rudely.

“So, uh, yeah, Angels aren’t real.” He says snidely, and Stiles just snaps.

“Really? So not only the fact that, one, Demons are real, two, Shadowhunters? Are like, a real thing? Do you think they made that shit up? No offense, but Jonathan Shadowhunter just doesn’t really sound like the kind of guy who’d be able to create a lie that big. Descended of Angel blood, man, what was he thinking?” Stiles growls, and that certainly grabs the Wolf’s attention, flinching back minutely, face still trying to put up a brave front.

“And would you like to repeat that to the fucking Archangel in the room, to his FACE that Angel’s aren’t real. Do it, I fucking dare you.” Stiles hisses, and the Wolf tenses, eyes flicking about the room, and finally lands on Gabriel, who looked like he was about ready to stab a bitch.

“Try me. I don’t bite.” Gabriel says smoothly, but his tone was pure disbelief and bitter rage. The entire rooms shrinks back except Sam as not one, but three pairs of wings flicker behind him, the lights dimming and fluttering at the silhouettes of the shadows behind him. His eyes glow pale blue with rings of bright green, and pair of horns appear above his head, not unlike a helm.

The lights stop flickering and the shadows disappear, but the Wolf looked seconds from pissing himself in fear, and Stiles grins.

“I think it's safe to say, we’re doing better off than you think.” He says calmly, and no one says a word, Gabriel sitting down once soothed by a touch from Sam, who looks both extremely pissed and delighted at the same time, leaning in closer to Gabriel.

“If anyone has a problem with working with Angels or Demons, its safe to say that you probably shouldn’t be here.” Stiles says.

No one says anything, until Gabriel says, “Well, this should be one hell of a family reunion. First Cassie, now Luci too. This is gonna be great. Thrown in a meet the parent, and between us three, we’ve got this almost down pat.” He grins, and Stiles shakes his head fondly.

Yeah, this was certainly going to be interesting alright. And possibly bloody.

Chapter Text

Stiles lets the people gathered register and sink in that, yes, Angels are real, and yes, there were several coming to help them.

Meanwhile, Stiles went to check in with the 'late' arrivers, walking over to the booth where Mycroft was sitting with his brother, the doctor, and Anthea. The doctor and Sherlock were speaking quietly together, and if the closeness was any indicator, then the message he had sent on Sherlock’s behalf had certainly been worth almost being discovered by Mycroft. Mycroft was sitting opposite to them, discussing something with Anthea, but stopped when he noticed Stiles approaching.

Stiles knew that many pairs of eyes were on him, and with the information he had just revealed to everyone in the room, he wasn’t too surprised.

“Well, it seems you have certainly been making all the right acquaintances since we last met.” Mycroft says with a small smirk, and Stiles shrugs.

“Mostly it was just trying to do my best. Somehow I end up finding more and more of em’ as I go along, it’s a little weird, to be honest.” Stiles says, and Mycroft tilts his head in understanding.

Stiles looks over to Sherlock, who had stopped conversing with the doctor and was now staring curiously at him. Stiles smiles at him.

“I don’t believe we have officially met. Stiles Stilinski.” Stiles says, but makes no motion to offer his hand. Sherlock wasn’t the type to respond to most common courtesies anyways, Stiles had learned.

Sherlock scowled, glaring at Mycroft as he spoke. “No, we haven’t, and I doubt we would have, if not for Mycroft’s endless meddling in my affairs.” Sherlock said.

The doctor huffed from besides Sherlock, rolling his eyes in fond irritation at the petulant tone of Sherlock’s voice.

“John Watson.” John offers his hand and Stiles takes it, shaking his hand before letting his own drop back to his side. “I don’t believe we’ve met, but Mycroft tells me that you are the one responsible for Sherlock still being in one piece.” He says, and Stiles grins when Sherlock starts sulking.

The tone of his voice conveys his gratitude as much as the look in his eyes, and Stiles knows better than to downplay his actions. There was a time and a place, and this was not one of those situations.

“Well I admit, it was certainly harder than it looked, but I did what I could at the time, and I’m glad to see that it worked out alright in the end.” Stiles says, and John smile tells him just that.

“It certainly is quite the job, but you did well. I appreciate what you did Sherlock, it means quite a lot to me.” John says, which Stiles also takes to mean, ‘I appreciate that you told me the truth.’ It hadn’t been on the specified list of things that Stiles was told by Mycroft that he wasn’t allowed to send the letter, only that he not have direct contact with either of them.

For the best, it seemed. Both men seemed much less miserable than before.

“I you’ll excuse me, we’re still short a couple people, and I need to remedy that ASAP so I don’t have to explain how we’re gonna do this more than once.” Stiles says curtly, and heads out of the diner.

 

Outside, Stiles takes a deep breath of the salty air and concentrates on his breathing, simple in and out. The entire group of people gathered here are counting on him to not fuck this up, and Stiles hasn’t felt this huge of a responsibility since… Well, since he’d been back in Beacon Hills. It was a lot, for sure.

It didn’t take him long to remember than Dean had come out here to have the long drawn out conversation he’d been avoiding having with Castiel, and found them easily across the parking lot.

Dean seemed- withdrawn almost, so Castiel had probably ripped Dean a new one for being a dumbass. From Castiel’s body language, it wasn’t over their argument, but over his safety and lack of contact with him, which came as no surprise to Stiles. Dean could be a little bit of an idiot sometimes, but he cared a lot more than people would think. Castiel too, come to think of it.

While it hadn’t been clear to most, Stiles had realized pretty quickly that Castiel was most definitely not on the side of Heaven, no matter how he tried to act in Heaven's interests for now. Dean was too important to him. And Stiles was glad. Neither Winchester was going to be alone, and Stiles hoped that they realized that sooner rather than later.

Bunch of emotionally suppressed dumbasses. If John Winchester wasn’t already dead, he had better start watching his damn back like a hawk.

Dean looked up from the ground and spotted him, speaking to Castiel and gesturing over in his direction.

Castiel turns to look, and both are soon walking his way.

“Hello again Warlock Stilinski, Dean has explained the situation as well as he could with what little information he has, and I am willing to offer what assistance I can.” Castiel says, and Stiles smiles.

“Thanks, I appreciate your help- both of your guys’ help. We’re gonna need people who actually know how to handle this sort of situation, and you both qualify in my book.” Stiles says, and focuses to create the portal for Chris and Peter, both no doubt getting a little anxious at the wait.

Peter walks through first, and Chris is almost right behind him, albeit more wary of the portal.

“Stiles! I missed you!” Peter says energetically, and Stiles finds himself wrapped in scary cuddly Werewolf. Not surprising- it had been almost a month since they’d seen each other.

“Missed you too. Hey Chris.” Stiles says with a small wave, a little crushed from Peter squishing him. Chris stands a little ways away, as loaded down with gear as both Dean and Sam had been.

“Stiles,” Chris nods, before continuing, “I wasn’t expecting the invite. The Council was pleased to hear action was being taken to deal with Morgenstern- but felt it best to leave this to your capable hands instead of sending unwanted help.” He says, and Stiles nods, Peter loosening his grip slowly from around his chest.

“I’m glad to hear they highly of me enough not to just send whomever they felt like.” Stiles says, and Chris takes a minute to just stare at him confusedly.

“Stiles, you already assembled most of the biggest names out there, what more could the Council do?” Chris asks, gesturing to behind him.

Oh! Right, Dean and Castiel were still standing there. Yeah, Chris did have a bit of a point there.

“Okay, fair point.” Stiles says, and Dean finally decides to enter the conversation.

“You’re kidding. Stiles, you know Chris Argent?!” He says in disbelief, and Stiles nods, while Dean whispers to Castiel about who he was when the Angel asked.

“At this point, is there anyone you don’t know?” Peter says sarcastically, Stiles wisely ignores him.

“Yeah, and if I know the rest of the people showing up well enough, High Warlocks Abet and Pistas will be here any minute now, and the others will be… How would he put it- ah, yes, fashionably late.” Stiles says, and Peter snorts.

“If it’s who I think it is, that sounds about right.” Peter says, no longer clinging to him, and Stiles nods, the sound of a car pulling up drawing heads.

 

Sure enough, Abet and Pistas both pile out of a taxi that pulls up, Abet handing the cabbie some money before heading over to Stiles with Pistas.

“Stiles! Good to see you again!” Damien says cheerfully, and Felix is beside him, looking almost critically over the small group gathered.

“I take it that Bane is inside. Why he would choose a place like this to meet is beyond me.” Felix says.

Damien shakes his head, rolling his eyes at Felix’s cold demeanour.

“Damien Abet, High Warlock of Toronto, and this cheerful guy beside me here is Felix Pistas, High Warlock of Buenos Aires.” Damien says, and Felix frowns, glaring at Damien.

Stiles snickers. “The ride here take a while?”

“An appalling amount of traffic for a Tuesday evening in a city like this.” Felix says, and Damien nods.

“Yeah, it was pretty bad. We made it though.” Damien says, looking back at the diner and then up to the darkening sky. His eyes widen, and he snaps his fingers.

“Oh! That's right! Stiles, I received a call on the way here from, ah, a miss Chen? She said for me to tell you that she would be arriving later. And to tell you that Raphael will not be. She said it was rather important that I tell you that part.”

Stiles blinked in shock, and then the anger sank in. Ugh!

Stiles was glad that Lily Chen, current Second to the New York Clan, took importance in the life of Simon, the Fledgling of their Clan, but that Raphael wouldn’t? Despite the perceived betrayal that Simon was forced to commit, Raphael wasn’t thinking clearly to just throw away the value of Simon’s life. Not with the months of listening to Simon talk to him about unknowingly be courted by the Vampire for goodness sakes!

Stiles was going to have a serious conversation with him when he next saw the older Vampire, and boy was he going to just tell Simon. What. Was. Going. ON! Throwing a book of Vampire courting rituals at his face would probably have more effect than all the progress Raphael had been able to make!

Stiles sighed.

“Thanks. I’m glad to hear that she at least, will be coming.” Stiles says, and Damien nods.

“Goody, well then, let’s get this show on the road. We’re gonna need a plan, I think.” Damien says, and Stiles leads them inside.

Chapter Text

Stiles quietly observes the group of gathered people, most speaking within their own groups, a few speaking to others around them. The sooner they got used to each other the better- this wasn’t going to end without bloodshed.

Damien was right of course, they were going to need a plan, and a good one.

Good thing Stiles had been working one out since Magnus called. And with Lily calling to say she would be helping, Castiel and Dean smoothing over their argument, and Mycroft bringing Sherlock and John as well as Anthea, they were well on their way to having a chance at this.

 

Stiles clears his throat before calling out. “Alright, eyes here everyone! We’ve got work to do!”

Stiles walks over to Magnus and Isabelle, who had been standing talking with Mycroft’s table. They are silent as he approaches, and he nods to them.

“Magnus, have you been able to get a clearer idea on his location? Anything helps.” Stiles asks softly, hoping to keep him calmer until there was something physical he could do to help.

Magnus tilts his head, eyes squinting. A few moments later, he looks to Stiles and nods, a small relieved smile on his face.

“Yes,” He says, waving a hand in concentration. A large map appearing across the open space of the diner. Glowing bright blue, the map appears as a large aerial view of the East River, a small red beacon flickering on the map just across the river from them.

“Here, this spot.” Magnus says, pointing to the red glow.

“Anyone know the area?” Stiles asks, and one of Luke’s Pack nods. A middle aged woman cautiously speaks up.

“It looks like the area north of Greenville train yard. It’s just a bunch of empty old industrial buildings now, but it had a port that could fit a decent sized cargo ship back in its day.”

Stiles nods gratefully to the woman before looking back to the map.

“An area like that would not only serve as a good place to escape prying eyes, but double as a place to keep some of his forces. This area is probably crawling with Demons and The Circle at the moment, with Valentine there.” Isabelle says to Stiles.

“Gabriel, Peter, Mycroft, and Chris, I want you four there first. Clear the way, make as little fuss as you can. Pick a decent spot- clear view, easily defendable. Send for us when you’re done.” Stiles says, and the four of them nod, aquessing.

Gabriel gives Sam a peck on the cheek before snapping his fingers, and the four of them disappear, the look on Mycroft’s face and startled squawk Chris gives as they go makes Stiles snort and shake his head.

“Alright. John, Damien.” Stiles says, the two looking to him. “You both are competent healers, and there are going to be plenty of wounded." And didn't that thought somber the mood a little more? There were plenty of people other than the few Stiles knew Morgenstern was responsible for taking. "I trust you to be able to do your best, and if anyone else here has experience in medical, we could use your help too.” He says, looking around the room.

A younger man- one of Luke’s Pack- nudges Tyler’s shoulder, causing the Beta to finally raise his hand and wave it shyly.

“I- well, I’m almost finished with my nursing degree.” He says, and Stiles nods with a smile.

“We could use all the help we can get Tyler. And no, I’m not referring to either of you.” Stiles says, squinting as he points a finger between Sam and Dean.

Dean just gives him a ‘who, me?’ gesture and Stiles rolls his eyes. Castiel is frowning at the exchange, probably concerned of what Dean had gone through to know enough about medical situations.

Hunters. Gotta love their unfortunate amount of situational skills.

“Tyler, I want you with John. We’ll be bringing the wounded out to you. Damien, I’m sending you with Isabelle. There are going to be those who need immediate medical attention, and I worry Simon is going to be one of those people.” Stiles says, and Isabelle glances to Damien before nodding, a determined look coming upon her face.

“You got it.” She says, and Damien nods in agreement.

“Sherlock, I know this is a bit of a stretch, but I want you with Damien and Isabelle. Hear me out.” Stiles says, raising a hand when Sherlock finally opens his mouth to argue with him. “I trust your judgement, and I know that your smart enough to know if someone is stable enough to move safely if there is something Damien or Isabelle misses. I need someone who wouldn’t mind going in between and taking people to John and Tyler for help. You think you can manage that?” He asks, and Sherlock frowns. With an elbow to his side from John, he finally responds.

“Surprisingly agreeable, but we are going to have trouble moving about as unnoticed as you are suggesting if that is all you have planned.” Sherlock says, and John rolls his eyes at him.

If John- an experienced military veteran- wasn’t arguing with his plans so far, why did Sherlock feel the need to?

“No. That’s where most of the rest of you are going to be.” Stiles says, before looking to where Luke’s Pack is gathered. “I need you all to be honest with me for a minute. Who among you has dealt with the least amount of fighting before?” Stiles asks, and most of the Pack looks between Tyler, Maia, and another younger Beta.

The three of them reluctantly raise their hands, and Stiles nods.

“Don’t think you get to try to keep us out of this. We came here to fight, we have every right to-” Maia says angrily, before Stiles interrupts her.

“You do, I’m not putting you out, I need to know so your ability so I can put you with someone I trust not to get you killed.” He says, and she huffs, but listens to him.

“Sam, Anthea, Singer- do any of you have a problem with being paired with them?” He asks, none giving argument.

Dean on the other hand, does. “Woah, hold on a damn second! You’re gonna pair Sam with a were-” He says, his tone asking for trouble.

Stiles interrupts Dean before he manages to offend anybody. “Yes Dean, just like I’m pairing you with Castiel. And with Lily Chen, when she gets here. And you are both going to manage to deal with it, as the bigger issue here is the buttload of Demons we are going to have to deal with, not that it should matter. If we are gonna not get killed, you are going to offer even a little trust to the people around you here. They want to help, you are the one who didn’t have to come when I asked.”

With that, Dean shrinks back, chastised at Stiles brutal put down to what would have been an insult quite a few of the people in the room.

“Fine.” Dean agrees, although he pouts childishly.

Stiles shakes his head, and Singer sighs from beside him.

“Magnus, I want you with the rest of Luke’s Pack. I don’t doubt that you’ll find Alec- and possibly Jocelyn- but I don’t think Clary or Jace will be too far from Morgenstern himself, and I want you to clear the way for Damien and Isabelle. Find who you can, make your way through the ship.” Stiles says, and Magnus nods weakly in agreement.

Luke leans forward and speaks quietly with the rest of his Pack, before he sits up and nods sharply to Stiles. “Agreed.” He says.

“Sam, Singer, and Anthea, and Dean and Castiel, I want you to stay topside- keep the way clear, and kill as many damn Demons you come across. You too Felix.” Stiles says, and the Warlock glares at him before sighing and rolling his eyes.

“Fine. But where does that leave you, young Warlock?” Felix asks blandly, and Stiles grins sharply.

“Making sure that Morgenstern doesn’t miss his one way ticket to Hell.”

Chapter Text

Stiles took a breath, looking around the building that Gabriel and Chris had chosen. The building had several others around it, but from what he could see, it had a perfect spot for long range shooting.

Peter walks up to him and grins widly at him.

“I think we should move soon. Chris is already getting antsy from his nest, I can tell.” He says, gesturing up towards the rooftop.

Stiles nods, turning to Gabriel as he approaches them.

“The rest will be here soon, Mycroft’s bringing the last of the group now.” Gabriel says, stopping beside him. The crowd of people nearby was growing larger, speaking together so that the sound of a distant murmur came from their direction. Dean and Castiel were there conversing with Lily to fill her in.

“Peter, I want you and Mycroft guarding us as we get onboard. We’ll need somebody watching our rear, and I trust you both to keep our way clear as we get injured off that ship.” Stiles says, turning to speak to Gabriel. “Unfortunately, your brother didn’t show while we were finishing up at Jade Wolf, so I’d like you with me until he finally decides to show up.”

Peter nods sharply, looking out towards the harbor.

Gabriel huffs. “Figures he’d show up late. He’s almost as bad as Michael that way; both are complete drama queens. He’ll be here, but not until we need him.”

“Great. Well, good luck Stiles, although I hardly think you need it.” Peter says, turning to go off back towards Mycroft and the crowd growing nearby.

“This should be fun.” Gabriel says, a smirk growing on his face. A twist of his hand and a flaming sword appears in his hand. Light colored leather armor and all, he looked fucking awesome! A faint after image of his wings wavered behind him.

“Yeah, this should be.” Stiles says, turning and pulling out his own blade.

 

Gabriel ducked to the left, twisting his sword around and drove it into the Shax demon, turning towards another as it hissed and growled from beside him.

It had been a haze of moves long since made into muscle memory, killing demons left and right. Stiles wasn’t far, Gabriel knew, and none of their own had fallen. A few were hurt, but not critically, and several of the freed had joined them, their rage channeled towards their former captors.

Another Shadowhunter had joined them once freed, falling in besides Magnus, the two fight together near flawlessly.

His baby brother and Dean were both towards the other end of the deck, having long since fallen into a steady rhythm of fighting the demons around them, both in increasing tandem as the fight went on.

Sam was not too far, Gabriel felt. From the thrum of their bond, Gabriel knew that Sam had been cut, but the sting of pain was minimal, and the pain only gave Gabriel a stronger focus.

Stiles called out to him and he turned towards him, making his way to him slowly, moving against the demons around them.

“I saw Morgenstern, he has the Cup with him, and he had Clary and Jace followed by guards!”

Gabriel nodded, reaching out and sensing for the dark foulness, he followed Morgenstern's soul, landing them right in front of him.

Morgenstern reeled back in shock and Stiles immediately went for the guards behind him, the blonde Shadowhunter lashing out alongside him, knocking out the guards.

Morgenstern gaze flicked around, and Gabriel grinned, showing off his sword. He felt darkness shift behind him and Gabriel’s face hurt from his smile. Faint footsteps landed behind him and Morgenstern's gaze shifted to behind him.

“Hey bro.” Gabriel says, and he hears a faint growl.

“It’s good to see you at last dear brother. Thank goodness for our mutual friend. Hello Stiles.”

Stiles waved from besides the Shadowhunter and the girl, knocking the last guard unconcious.

“You think this is the end? This is just the beginnin-” Morgenstern begins with a hint of hysteria, but Stiles cuts him off.

“Ah, no, no villain monologue for you! I want to introduce you to the people that you’re probably going to get to know real soon. This is Lucifer, your unfortunate name sake. Unfortunate him, not for you.” Stiles says, and the look on Morgenstern’s face makes Gabriel want to laugh.

Lucifer merely grins at the poor soul. His reign ended now, and he rather looked like he might soon piss his pants in fear.

“And this is Mazikeen, head torturer of Hell, who you will be getting to know pretty closely for the rest of your miserable existence.”

Mazikeen grins cruelly, and the shadows around her feet growl, her hounds making themselves known, claws shrieking into the metal deck, leaving deep grooves.

“Your unfortunate and miserable life ends now, Valentine Morgenstern. Let the souls of those you felled watch on in delight at your death,” Lucifer says, eyes gleaming cruelly. “Mazikeen, if you would be so kind.”

“You can start running, but it will do you no good.” She says, and before Morgenstern has even taken a full step she whistles.

Deep, chilling baying begins, deep growling barks emanating from the shadows. The shadows move to give chase, and demons soon disappear left and right, leaving on their own in realization that their king himself was not happy about this, or plowed down by the Hellhounds as the slowly drew closer to Morgenstern.

A scream begins, the sound of crunching bones reaching their ears, followed by the sound of the scream ending suddenly, quiet as Death.

Chapter Text

Stiles stands solemnly on the docks, watching the wounded and dead being brought off the ship slowly but surely, the cool chill of the night air blowing across his cheeks.

He doesn’t feel cold, his mind still rewatching all that had occured. What could have gone better. What should- but no, no lives were wasted that didn’t need to be.

Footsteps approach and Lily appears out of the corner of his eye, coming to a stop beside him.

She speaks after a few minutes of silence. “Simon is alive, but only just. I fear he will need help, and more than I can offer him. He deserves help, but I can’t. Not with Raphael still… Well…” She trails off, and Stiles nods.

“It’s alright. I appreciate that you’ve done this much, really. I’ll do what I can, but I think he’ll be alright eventually. He needs time away to heal, and that’s the least I can offer.” Stiles says, and turns to look at the river, opening eventually into the bay.

“Did you think that you’d- never mind.” Lily begins, but stops herself.

“That I’d what?” Stiles asks, turning to look at her. She looks at him questioningly, before beginning again.

“That you'd be here. Morgenstern defeated, the whole of the Downworld in your debt.” Lily says, and Stiles laughs.

After he stops he tells her, “I didn’t do it for fame, I did it because someone had to. I don’t need any recognition for that.” He says softly, and she seems contented with his answer.

The stand silently and watch the dark horizon.

“There is still so much left to do. All the wounded, all the dead that have families waiting endlessly, the minds of the broken, twisted beyond trust but not beyond hope.” Lily says quietly, and Stiles smiles sadly.

“I know that Magnus will do what he can, and I can recommend a psychiatrist in the know about the Downworld.” He says, “I’ll do what I can for now, help a few with nowhere to go get back on their feet. Perhaps it’s time to see if I can get Gabriel help me make my house into a halfway house. Goodness knows where I’ll find the space otherwise.” He says amusedly, and Lily nods.

“I hope to keep in touch, I’ll do what I can to help with Simon.” She says sadly, and Stiles smiles.

“That’s fine. He just needs time. They all do.” Stiles says, and walks to the buildings behind them.

To his friends and own family of misfits, to the future and next chapter of life.

Home.