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Time, Pressure and Time (Are All It Takes to Blow the Mine)

Chapter Text

TV gets a lot about New York City wrong. Most of the streets are quiet for one. There is literally a pizza or coffee place around every corner for another, sometimes both in one store. And probably the thing TV gets the most wrong is that there’s very little murders actually happening. Stiles knows. He listens to the police scanners as a hobby. Stiles flicks off the scanner as the front bell chimes and he is forced out of the back room to greet the customer. He worked for a seemingly sweet Kitsune named Ms. Chu who was really sterner than a drill sergeant. Ms. Chu thought that Stiles needed a strong hand and direction and somehow that included ten mile runs every morning except for Saturdays. Stiles could now run close to fifteen miles without breaking a sweat so the training regimen seemed to have some effect.

“Welcome to Chu’s Bookstore. How my I help you?” Stiles asked the trio of large men. They looked very out of place in the small shop, each had at least three piercings on their face and were wearing leather biker vests. Stiles let his magic fan out and realized they were werewolves. Lovely.

“We’re looking for a bit of cash so be real nice like and open the till.” The leader said and spittle flew when he spoke. Stiles blinked but didn’t move away from the doorway to the back room. This pissed the wolves off and the one on the left snarled

“You deaf? Or just dumb?” He snapped and Stiles wondered if they even realized whose store they walked into. Sure, there was no security because Ms. Chu had no need for a security system. Not with Stiles renting the room upstairs.

“When is a box not a box?” The words slipped out of Stiles mouth and once again he wondered if the Nogitsune’s love for riddles had rubbed off on him or if it had just woken a latent love for riddles inside him. Either way it didn’t matter, riddles still slipped out of his mouth like water from a foccet.

“What?” The leader asked confused. Deciding to roll with it Stiles took a step forward.

“When is a box not a box? Answer correctly and the money is yours.” Stiles said calmly. The wolf on the right got a frightened look on his face and turned back to the door. Stiles was already ahead of him, locking it with his magic so the wolves couldn’t get out.

“What the hell man? Let us out!” The third wolf shouted

“When is a box not a box?” Stiles said as black smoke began to filter towards the floor from his hands. That was when the wolves realized how big of a mistake they had made.

“When it’s locked?” The leader tried and the black smoke struck, leaving him as nothing more than a dried-out husk. The second wolf screamed

“Wrong.” Stiles said calmly. The other two wolves began to claw at the door, then tried banging on it to get the attention of the people passing by outside. Stiles knew no one would notice, they couldn’t while Stiles magic was in effect.

“Would you like to try again?” Stiles asked and the two wolves turned to him wide eyed.

“When is a box not a box…” The one on the left muttered then his face lit up

“It’s an egg!” He shouted, “It’s an egg. An egg. A box isn’t a box when it’s an egg.” Stiles grinned and the door flew open depositing the two wolves on the concrete outside. They took off running like Stiles was going to chase them. Before the door could even shut the remains of the leader had disappeared as if it had never been there.

“Stiles? Did we have some customers?” Ms. Chu asked from where she had been tagging books behind several shelves.

“No ma’am. Just some tourists asking directions.” Stiles called back loudly. Ms. Chu was deaf and nearly blind so it took several minutes and lots of shouting for her to be appeased. Once she was back to organizing the books that had just come in, Stiles returned to the back room to listen to his scanner again. Standing beside the table where it sat was Braeden which didn’t shock Stiles in the slightest. She had her own ways of getting around unseen and Stiles’ magic liked her so it always seemed to help her get in without alerting him.

“Have a nice snack?” She asked uncrossing her arms and sending him a knowing smirk.

“Sure, if you call a wolf a snack.” He said sitting down in the metal folding chair and flicking the scanner on again.

“Brought you a new puzzle.” She said flicking the scanner off and Stiles sighed.

“You always bring me new puzzles. What’s this one?” He asked and she tossed him a wooden cube.

“When is a box not a box.” She parroted his riddle. He quirked an eyebrow and studied the cube. It had no visible seams which meant he would probably have to open it with magic. That was always fun. He traced the triskelion pattern on one of the sides. It was the only carving and when he put his magic into it the box pushed the magic back.

“Is this some sort of omen? I haven’t seen anyone from Beacon Hills in over three years.” Stiles said turning the box over slowly in his hands.

“Sort of. I pulled this out of a trap for wolves in Kansas. The hunters were headed towards California so they probably will find their way to Beacon Hills eventually.” Braeden said and Stiles clenched his jaw and felt the dark magic left behind by the Nogitsune swell under his skin. The multiple tattoos that covered his body glowed an eerie black light

“We can’t have that. I’ve protected them from afar for too long to let some measly hunters undo all my work.” Stiles said. He traced the triskelion before overpowering the box with his magic and watching it click open. Inside were several things that he would look over later but what caught his attention was the spell placed on the amethyst that took up the majority of the space. It would attract any werewolf beta in a five-mile radius right into the trap.

“Go get two plane tickets. We’re heading to Beacon Hills.” Stiles ordered. Braeden was out of the room immediately. Stiles set the box down on the table beside his scanner and flicked the scanner back on. Looking at his reflection in the darkened glass window he took in his appearance. Several tattoos lined his body, sigils and witch’s marks that kept his dueling power sources in control, making sure the light magic of his spark neither overpowered or fell away to the darker magic of the budding Nogitsune that he had almost become. His hair was just as long as it had been during the Nogitsune, Stiles had never had the time to keep it buzz cut short anymore and had given up trying. His eyes were the biggest change, where the eyeball had once been white it was now black, where he had once had brown irises they were pale green almost white circles around black pupils. His skin around his eyes were dark and bruised, testament to the fact that he never slept, while the rest of his skin was almost translucent it was so pale. He looked like a poor replicate of who he once had been. Slowly Stiles counted his fingers twice to make sure he wasn’t dreaming all this. Not that he thought he was sleeping but sometimes he got so caught up in a day dream that he forgot it wasn’t real. No, this was real. He was really going back to Beacon Hills to protect his pack. Stiles stood and headed for the spiral staircase that lead to his apartment. Might as well make sure he had everything he needed for the trip because knowing Braeden they would leave on the next flight to San Francisco.

 

Derek looked around at the pack who were curled up on every comfortable surface in the den. The flat screen TV was playing one of the Harry Potter movies, he thought it was maybe four or five but wasn’t sure. No one was really watching it. Like always, Derek did a head count. Boyd was sitting in the loveseat with Erica to his left, both of them wrapped around the other. Scott was in a puppy pile on the floor with Isaac, Cora, and Liam. All four of them were asleep. Lydia was reading something on her phone in the armchair by the window, the moonlight made her pale skin seem paler and Derek wondered if she had eaten enough today. Kira and Danny had gone to bed already but Derek could hear their steady heartbeats so he knew they were both okay. Last but not least the twins were finishing up their circle of the house, Derek could hear them talking quietly on the back porch about whether or not to mention something to Derek. Ethan was in favor and Aiden was saying something about not getting Derek’s hopes up. With a sigh, Derek stood and headed to meet them. If Ethan thought it was worth mentioning it probably was something important. Derek stepped out onto the porch and they both fell silent.

“What did you smell?” Derek asked and Ethan elbowed Aiden

“I thought I smelt something kinda familiar but I’m not sure. I mean, I hadn’t smelt it in close to four years and the smell was almost smothered in the smell of strong magic. I didn’t want to mention it in case it wasn’t him.” Aiden rambled. Aiden only rambled when he was nervous about hurting someone’s feelings or if he was trying to avoid saying something.

“What my brother is not saying is that he smelt Stiles.” Ethan cut in and the look Aiden sent his way was nothing less than scathing. Derek took a deep breath. No one had seen Stiles since right after everything went down with the Nogitsune. Stiles had not only gone off the grid but everything they had tried to track him had led them in circles. Peter was currently off following a lead on the east coast.

“Get inside. We’ll deal with this in the morning.” Derek said doing a scan of the surrounding trees. He didn’t see anything but that didn’t mean anything either. Something had been watching them, Derek could sense it even now. Something was coming to Beacon Hills. Something that may have drawn Stiles back. Derek followed the twins inside and locked the doors before drawing a line of mountain ash across the doorway. The three of them ushered everyone upstairs to bed. Derek didn’t go to sleep yet, still thinking about the goofy teenager who had disappeared all that time ago.

Chapter Text

Stiles looked over the weapons he had liberated from the few stupid hunters that had fallen into the traps he had set around the Preserve. So far, he had caught three, all dead by the time he arrived on scene so their weapons and gear were all he had to go on to figure out what they were planning. He had also set special wards around the pack house the first night they had arrived, nearly getting caught by Aiden and his brother who had been doing a perimeter check. He had kept his distance from the pack as much as he could though he had the suspicion that they had figured out that he was in town for sure after he had rescued Scott and Isaac from one of the hunter’s traps. Those hunters had learned quickly that bear traps worked both ways.

“Any luck?” He asked when he sensed the presence of Deaton. The Hale Emissary had always been Stiles’ secondary point of contact in Beacon Hills, the Nemeton being his first in a weird twist of events. Turns out playing Go on its stump with the Nogitsune had made the damn thing think they were friends. It would often send him apparitions when it thought he needed to turn his focus to Beacon Hills and fed him information on supernatural creatures that it knew about through their bond. It was actually pretty useful.

“No. How long can you keep the cloaking spell going?” Deaton said without coming any closer than the doorway. That was fine by Stiles, he wasn’t too happy with the vet since the vet had thought it wasn’t important to tell Stiles that there had already been hunters in Beacon Hills terrorizing Stiles’ pack before Stiles arrived. It would have meant that Stiles came earlier and dealt with the problem before it had grown to this magnitude. Stiles sighed and half turned to watch Deaton out of the corner of his eyes

“I will have enough and if I don’t you will get me what I need to renew it.” Stiles commanded in a cold steely tone. He watched as a shiver ran through the Emissary with pleasure. It was always good to remind Deaton that he wasn’t the most powerful magic user with interest in this town. Not anymore at least.

“Of course.” Deaton said before retreating out of the room. Stiles turned his attention back to the weapons. The first two sets were made to do damage to a wolf. The third would have done some serious damage to Stiles if he had been a druid. Being the magical mutt he was though, it didn’t do much more than give him a mild rash that was easily fixed.

“They’ve caught on that something magical is attacking them back.” Stiles mused to himself fingering the third crossbow. He was so lost in thought that he missed Deaton leaving the cabin until it was several hours later and his stomach was growling.

“Hmm. I guess I should go eat.” Stiles said turning away from the collection of weapons to go find anything that might have been left behind by the cabin’s actual owners. It was off season for tourists and campers so Stiles didn’t have to worry about anyone wanting to use the cabin and even if someone did show up a simple spell would easy their mind and send them away again. There was an open packet of stale Triscuits in one of the cupboards but nothing else. He munched on a handful as he surveyed his board that mapped out the frequent locations of all the pack members. Once the crackers were all gone, Stiles tossed the box into the trash can and grabbed his bomber jacket. He needed to really eat and that would require him to go to the preserve.

 

Derek wasn’t sure what had tripped the motion sensors that he had placed around the preserve until he reached the clearing. The once vibrant clearing was full of dead grass and even some of the trees on the edge were clearly dead as well. Standing in the middle was a lean figure that looked vaguely familiar. The person was male and had brown hair that was sticking up in every direction like he had been electrocuted. His skin was pale in the fading light. When the figure turned to face him, Derek felt like all the air had been sucked out of California. Stiles. It was Stiles. Derek took a step forward on instinct only for Stiles to hold his hand up to stop him. It was only then that Derek realized that he was almost at the edge of the circle of death. He stood there, not taking his eyes off Stile, until the human glanced back at him several minutes later and nodded. Derek rushed forwards, tackling Stiles to the ground and straddling his chest.

“Where. Have. You. Been?” Derek snarled. He was caught between wanting to punch Stiles and wanting to scent mark him. Scent marking won. Derek nosed into Stiles’ neck, breathing the smell of autumn leaves, cinnamon, clove, sugar, and something electric that he knew was magic. He rubbed his own scent on the human’s neck and shoulder, marking him as pack.

“Calm down big guy.” Stiles said, pushing lightly at Derek’s chest and Derek could hear the amusement in his voice. Derek straightened up but didn’t get off the human to look Stiles in the face. It was then that he noticed his eyes. They were so very different and Derek immediately recoiled away from the body that had been under him.

“You’re not Stiles.” Derek growled getting to his feet and getting ready to attack. Not-Stiles sighed and stood slowly.

“I’m not the Stiles that you remember but I am what’s left of him.” Not-Stiles said. Derek growled and moved to pounce on the imposter. He never made contact, Not-Stiles seemed to vanish from the spot he had been in and reappear a few feet to the left

“Please Derek.” Not-Stiles begged in the same way that Stiles always had. It made Derek even more pissed.

“I don’t care who you are. You’re not Stiles.” Derek roared, in full beta shift and close to a full wolf shift. Not-Stiles froze.

“I am Stiles, Sourwolf. I could tell you a million things that I’ve shared with you and no one else if I thought that you’d believe me. But I know you won’t.” Not-Stiles said softly. Derek roared, loud and menacing but Not-Stiles didn’t even flinch. He seemed to sag in on himself like a balloon that part of the air was let out of.

“I’ll rip your throat out!” Derek roared as howls sounded in the distance. The pack was coming to back their alpha up. Derek knew it would only take them minutes to reach his location. Not-Stiles kept glancing between Derek and the woods beyond Derek’s shoulder

“Please Der, it’s really me.” Not-Stiles said in a pleading way but Derek wasn’t going to fall for it.

“I don’t believe you. You’re an imposter.” Derek growled. Not-Stiles wilted even more, turning his gaze towards the ground. Derek could hear the pack approaching rapidly. It would only be a few more moments before the front runners broke the tree line and were able to assist him in taking this imposter down. Not-Stiles looked back up as Scott, Isaac, and Boyd broke the tree line and came to a halt behind Derek.

“I missed you guys. I’ll take care of the hunters, I promise.” Not-Stiles said softly and he sounded so sincere. Derek leapt forward but Not-Stiles was gone. Whirling around Derek didn’t see the imposter anywhere.

“Was that…” Scott began but trailed off in uncertainty.

“It wasn’t. Just another trick of whatever is after us.” He said between heavy breaths. Anger was pouring off him as he spun and headed for the pack house. The rest of the pack followed at a distance. He could hear them murmuring amongst themselves but didn’t care to listen. His mind was running through the different creatures that he knew that could the imitate scent of another person. He couldn’t think of any but thought that if a druid had Stiles captive they could probably create a scent that was close enough to Stiles’ natural scent to fool Derek initially. Derek knew he would have to get close to the Not-Stiles next time to try and figure out the creature’s real scent. That lead to the next problem. If the Not-Stiles had the real Stiles captive they would have to mount a rescue. Derek’s heart clenched at the thought of his mate being captive to such a vile creature. The creature had been a cruel twisted version of Stiles that Derek knew would have happened if the Nogitsune had taken over. He couldn’t get the way those pale eyes had stared at him or the way he had sounded just like Stiles when he called Derek Sourwolf. Slamming his way into the pack house, Derek made a bee-line for the basement stairs where there was a home gym for him to punch his anger away in.

 

Stiles collapsed onto the hard, stone floor of the cabin where he had been staying. Teleporting hadn’t taken much energy but the fact that Derek had called him an imposter. That he’d used that oh so familiar threat to rip Stiles’ throat out but the words had missed the playful edge that had told him Derek wasn’t serious. Derek had been dead serious with that threat. Stiles knew deep down that he would have to avoid the pack as much as he could from this point on, not only had they seen him but the didn’t believe that it was him. He would have to protect them from a distance and from the shadows. The cloaking spell would protect their home, no hunter would be able to follow them there, see it, or remember where it was if they had been there before. Any magical means of trying to find the pack house would result in a very nasty explosion and the same results. The pack would be safe for as long as he could keep the spell going. Wiping the tears from his face even though he didn’t remember crying, Stiles turned back to his web of connections and let himself think. It turned out, thinking was an incredible useful tool. His mind had improved dramatically when he had gained control of the magics inside him. Not that it hadn’t been pretty damn amazing already but now it worked as fast as a computer, finding connections through little details that most would have missed. It had helped him get through his undergrad in less than two years as well as the PhD in both mathematics, chemistry, and the third PhD he was working on which was biology. Stiles’ mind was a wealth of information and he never forgot anything, both a good and bad thing. He sat there all night, connecting a thin line of information that would hopefully lead him to where the hunters were staying. So far he had had no luck but there were only so many places for these bastards to set up camp and Stiles would find them. He wouldn’t lose the pack.

“Please, please G-d.” Stiles begged, choking on the holy name that he no longer could say. He needed to protect Derek Hale at any cost. He couldn’t lose his anchor, his Sourwolf.

Chapter Text

Stiles moved with a purpose. He had finally located where the hunters were staying and was now going to wipe them out and probably leave their corpses somewhere nasty for other hunters to find. They were staying in an old manor that had been long forgotten. The actual building had burnt down in the late nineteen hundreds but there had, like always, been a large system of tunnels that had survived. Stiles let the full force of his dark power slide to the forefront of his chi. His skin darkened into a greyish color that seemed to move like smoke under his skin. His hair darkened until it was void of color, not even black but just a pitch darkness like a black hole. His eyes flashed into an apricot color ringed with gold. As he moved towards the camp he could feel every life that was down there, all fifty-seven of them, and slowly began to snuff them out. He didn’t even need to enter their hiding spot to kill them, to absorb their life energy and feed on the pain, fear, and chaos that he was causing. As he finished his work he sensed someone behind him

“Well at least you saved me the time of killing them myself though my way of disposing of them would have been much more…chaotic.” A familiar voice said from behind him and he whirled around to see Him. The man whose mind he had once known as well as his own. Or, he thought he had. The last he had seen of this man had been close to six months ago when he had buried the other man in a collapsed building in hopes that it would have killed him.

“I should have known you were still alive.” Stiles said letting himself shift back to his usual form. The other man nodded and grinned a grin that promised nothing but darkness and chaos. Stiles stayed where he was as the man circled him

“I racked my brain for a way to draw you out of hiding after you picked up on my brand of chaos.” The other man said in an insane drawl. Stiles didn’t let him get any further

“Your brand of chaos is a ten-car pileup on the freeway because you dosed the first driver with a sleeping potion.” Stiles snapped and the other man laughed. It was high pitched and reminded Stiles of a joker laugh.

“But you know that is the best kind of chaos. You pretend not to be a Shadow Kitsune but you are. You need death as much as I do.” The other man said, his emotions rubber banding from laughing to suddenly dead serious. It unnerved Stiles like it always did, but Stiles didn’t let it show. Letting it show would mean the other man won as small battle and would have the upper hand.

“Conner, let me help you.” Stiles said and the man snarled.

“My name is not Conner! Conner was that weak little teenager that you poured dark magic into! I am Shade! I am a practitioner of the darkness! I am powerful!” The man shouted and Stiles felt his heart constrict.

“Please, I know you Conner, you still care about people. Hanna misses you still. She waits up every night hoping that you’d come back for her. She’s in a foster home because her big brother has abandoned her.” Stiles said and Shade was suddenly right in front of him

“She’s in a foster home because you couldn’t control your magic and killed our mother. She’s in a foster home because of you and I’m this twisted…thing because you couldn’t let me die.” Shade spat.

Stiles couldn’t deny the charges, it was his fault that Conner had become this twisted being. Conner’s mind hadn’t been able to handle the magic that Stiles had tried to use to save him. Stiles hadn’t been in control of his magic at that point in his life. Hadn’t meant to use the chaos magic to heal Conner’s broken body while his little sister screamed for their mother who would never wake up.

“Conner…” Stiles began reaching out to touch the dark man but the other man took a step back

“I know your weakness now. I may not be able to touch this Hale Pack yet, your protections are too strong at this point, but I will kill every single one of them while you are helpless to save them. I will have their lives and the last one I’ll kill is the one that made me this way. You hide that little bit away pretending it doesn't exist but we both know you crave it. Tell me, have you seen it lately? Do you even know where it’s hidden this time or did Braeden hide it again? She is such a good hider but unfortunately I’m good at finding things too.” Shade snapped and Stiles’ eyes widened.

Shade shouldn’t know about The Object. Stiles had always been so careful when it came to where he hid that precious thing. Had always had other people move it around so that even he didn’t know where it was exactly Shade cackled before disappearing leaving Stiles alone in the clearing. He wasn’t alone long, not but a few minutes later a pair of figures began to slip from the tree line as the Hale pack closed in.

“What was that?” Scott asked sharply

“It seems by trying to protect you I brought my worst demon right to you.” Stiles said softly. It wasn’t directed at any of them, more of a musing to himself than anything.

“Who are you?” Scott asked and Stiles glanced around to see that Derek wasn’t there.

“I am Mieczyslaw Grzegorz Stilinski. I have always been Mieczyslaw Grzegorz Stilinski and always will be.” He said and suddenly he was surrounded by Scott. Scott was hugging him.

“I missed you so much. Derek said it wasn’t you but only you would be able to pronounce both those stupid ass names.” Scott said pressing his nose into Stiles’ neck. Stiles was startled for a moment before returning the hug with fervor.

“Miss you Scotty. Miss your stupid ass easy name to say.” Stiles said and he didn’t realize they were both crying until they parted. Scott’s eyes flashed gold and Stiles frowned

“Weren’t you an Alpha?” Stiles asked. He hadn’t been told anything about Scott losing his Alpha-ness

“Um, yeah but about six months ago I decided to give it up to Derek. Give him more power because I was a shitty alpha and didn’t have a clue what I was doing most the time.” Scott said and Stiles smiled. The touching moment was interrupted when Stiles’ phone rang. He checked caller ID and answered it

“Braedon. I need you to move The Object.” Stiles said in leu of a greeting.

“Nice to hear your voice Stilinski. Shade is the one that set the traps and sent the hunters to Beacon Hills.” Braeden said and Stiles rolled his eyes

“Already figured that out. Bring the Object here, I’ll deal with Shade and hide it again.” Stiles said before hanging up

 “Why didn’t you come home sooner Batman? We were your family.” Erica asked moving to stand only a few feet away instead of the couple yards that she had been. Stiles shrugged

“It took a while for me to find a proper balance for the duel magics that I wield. Light and Dark are never supposed to exist in a sole body and that is what happened to me. I caused a lot of darkness while I was finding balance though; killed people, caused chaos, misery. I couldn’t bring that back here to Beacon Hills.” Stiles said and Scott punched him in the shoulder

“You are pack. Your problems are our problems and you shouldn’t have had to do all that alone.” He said and Stiles shrugged

“It doesn’t matter anymore. I left, I faced it alone and I matured because of it.” He said as a pull in the back of his head of someone getting too close to his cabin and setting off the minor wards he had put around it.

“I need to go. Stay safe, the hunters were just the beginning of this mess.” Stiles said before teleporting back to the cabin to find the door open.

“Please be some stupid human kid from town.” Stiles muttered to himself as he climbed the steps of the porch. There wasn’t anyone in the kitchen where he entered but he found the person standing in the living room.

“Fuck Sourwolf. You scared the shit out of me.” Stiles said letting the magic that he had been gathering under his skin slink back down into his bones to lay dormant.

“Where’s Stiles?” Derek snapped, arms crossed over his chest and a deeper scowl than usual on his face. Stiles sighed.

“I don’t have the time to deal with this shit again. I am not here to hurt you or your pack. I am here to deal with a problem that I unintentionally created. Once I’ve taken care of it I will be out of your town.” Stiles said and Derek frowned. He didn’t seem to be overly aggressive this time, something Stiles was grateful for.

“Why should I trust you? I don’t know what you are.” Derek said and Stiles shrugged.

“I’m a little of this and a little of that. A mutt of two different things.” He said and it wasn’t a lie. Derek grunted and pushed past him

“Next time I see you, don’t look like Stiles.” He said before he was gone from the cabin and into the woods. Stiles sighed. He had two choices, move all his stuff from this cabin and find somewhere new to operate out of or throw up a glamor every time he left the cabin.

“Looks like I’m brushing up on my glamors.” Stiles muttered to himself as he headed towards the basement. Derek had definitely been down there, Stiles wasn’t sure how he had gotten past Stiles’ wards but then again, Stiles never wanted to hurt Derek and all of the wards would recognize Derek’s aura, and Stiles wondered if he had scented out Stile’s small nest. When Stiles got to the bottom of the stairs he saw that Derek hadn’t only scented the nest, he had also spread his own scent around on the thin mattress and multiple thick blankets and pillows that Stiles had made into a place to rest. He may not sleep but he did go into a trance every few weeks where his body completely shut down for up to twenty-four hours. Stiles buried his face into one of the blankets and inhaled. Derek smelt like the woods, rain during a thunderstorm, and blackberries. Stiles sighed and slumped into the bedding, letting his body begin to shut down. He knew his trance was early but his body wanted to saturate itself in the smell of Derek. Up above, he heard the sound of footsteps. Unable to rise out of the darkness, Stiles hoped it was just Deaton or maybe even Scott.

 

Derek was about half a mile away from Not-Stiles’ cabin when he felt the back of his hairs raise in panic. Stiles was in danger and his instincts were drawing him back towards Not-Stiles. With a growl, Derek turned around and broke out in a full run towards he cabin. He burst through the door and watched angrily as a dark shape broke through a window to escape. The figure had been trying to get into the basement but seemingly couldn’t touch the handle. Gingerly, in case Not-Stiles had booby-trapped the door in the short time that it had taken Derek to leave and then return, Derek touched the handle. Nothing happened, no burning or stinging or anything so Derek proceeded down into the basement, the door swinging shut behind him but still opening when he checked it again, where his instincts were pushing him. The basement didn’t look different except Not-Stiles was laying haphazardly on the nest of sheets and blankets that Derek had found earlier.

“Hey.” Derek said taking a hesitant step towards the creature that was wearing Stiles’ skin. Not-Stiles didn’t even move so Derek frowned and took another step towards him

“Hey!” He said louder and yet again the creature didn’t move. There was the sound of movement upstairs, something sharp dragging across stone and a high pitch chittering sound that put Derek on edge. He moved instinctually between the stairs and the creature wearing Stiles’ skin. Derek reached for his phone as the sound of claws on the metal basement door tore through the air in a shrill scream.

“Derek! The guy you said wasn’t Stile is Stiles.” Scott answered the phone with the statement and Derek raised an eyebrow even though he knew Scott couldn’t see him.

“Get to the old Everston’s cabin. Now.” Derek said before hanging up. He turned to the Not-Stiles and crouched down beside him. He was still breathing, there was a steady heartbeat that was not quite slow enough for the creature to be sleeping but he hadn’t woken at the noise that whatever was upstairs was making. Derek rolled the creature onto his back and climbed into the nest beside him. Situating the creature so that it was laying tucked into his side, Derek felt his wolf settle for the first time since he had thought the creature was Stiles in the clearing. His wolf said that this creature was his mate, Scott said it was really Stiles but Derek wasn’t sure he wanted to believe them. Stiles had left, had left him, Sheriff Stilinski, the pack, everyone. There was the sound of a crash upstairs and then a familiar roar that told Derek Scott had arrived. The sounds of a fight broke out before things up there seemed to settle down.

“Derek?” Erica called from right outside the basement door

“Come on down.” Derek called back and there were a few moments of swearing

“We can’t touch the handle.” Scott called and Derek frowned. He had been able to get into the basement just fine.

“Alright, I’m bringing our little Stile problem up with me.” Derek said scooping Not-Stiles up into his arms and carrying him out of the basement. Not-Stiles was limp in his arms and Erica gasped at the sight

“What…” She said reaching out but not touching Not-Stiles

“I’m not sure. He came in and we spoke but then I left. I was about a mile away when I felt like Stiles was in danger and when I got back this dark shadowy creature was trying to get into the basement. He was down there like this.” Derek said and Scott was frowning

“We ran into Stiles in the woods, he was standing over the bunker where you thought the hunters were staying. Uh, he was talking to someone right before we got there and made a comment about bringing his worst demon to us.” Scott said and Erica chimed in say they had fought a shadowy creature when they had arrived at the cabin.

“What do we do?” Scott asked shifting his weight like he wanted to pull Not-Stiles from Derek’s arms.

“First we take this guy to Deaton. Make sure he’s who he keeps saying he is. Then we take care of the hunters.” Derek said. Scott and Erica shared an uneasy look

“What?” Derek barked making them both jump

“It’s just…” Scott began and Erica cut him off

“We think Stiles killed them all. They were all pale and their blood had been turned to ash literally.” She said and Scott sent her a sharp glare

“It could have been whoever he was talking to. We don’t know that it was Stiles for sure.” Scott said and Derek nodded.

“When he comes out of this we’ll ask him. If he truly is Stiles than he will tell us the truth.” Derek said and the matter was settled for the moment. Derek hoped that things would become clearer when they finally got answers.

Chapter Text

Derek laid Stiles down in his bed. Stiles looked like he was just sleeping, Deaton said he was in a trance and would hopefully wake up soon. Deaton had also refused to touch Stiles throughout the entire visit, saying that Stiles would not be pleased if he did. Derek wasn’t sure what was going on. Stiles wouldn’t wake up and Deaton refused to say anything other than riddles and that Stiles was going to be fine. Derek had finally given up and carried his mate out of the vet’s clinic. Scott had gone back to the Pack House ahead of Derek to fill the rest of the pack in on what was going on. Even though they really didn’t know anything other than Stiles had seemingly killed the hunters and some sort of shadowy creature was trying to do something to him. Derek knew Stiles would know more but Stiles was still unconscious and couldn’t tell them anything. The silence was making Derek anxious, the silence and how still Stiles was laying. Derek would have thought the other man dead if it wasn’t for the sound of his heartbeat, a sound that Derek was clinging to like a lifeline. He stroked a lock of long brown hair out of Stiles’ face and had a hard time pulling his hand back. Stiles was real, Stiles was real and he was laying in Derek’s bed. The part of Derek that was more primal howled in pleasure. His mate was back where he belonged and now Derek would have a chance to finally bond with him. The part of Derek that was more logical wondered how long he would be able to keep Stiles here before he disappeared again. Derek stumbled back at the thought of losing his mate again. The last time he had only survived because Cora had forced him to go on anti-depressants for close to a year and a half. Losing his mate a second time wouldn’t be fixable; it would kill him and destroy the pack leaving them vulnerable to all sorts of danger. Derek fled from the house, shedding his clothes as he went and shifting into his full wolf form as he hit the tree line. He ran for a long time until he couldn’t run anymore and the sun had both set and risen. He was drinking from a stream when he first felt it. It was like a cold finger had been run down the back of his neck and he was immediately alert.

“Stiles is such an idiot, don’t you agree?” A masculine voice asked from behind and Derek whirled around with a low growl. A man was standing there with his hands tucked away in the pockets of a denim jacket. He smelt off, like he was a wolf and coyote were and it only put Derek on edge. He growled again and the man pulled his hands out of his pockets and held them up so that Derek could see he meant no harm. Or that was probably what the gesture was supposed to mean

“Relax. Me and my pack work for Stiles. He told Braeden that he needed something and I’m the one who has it so I came to give it to him.” The man said smirking. Derek let out a soft rumble and began to advance. The man’s smirk fell

“I’m not lying. Listen to my heartbeat.” The man said taking a couple steps back. Derek paused before shifting back to his human form. He could tell the man wanted to rake his eyes up and down Derek but was refraining.

“God, I wish I had a pair of pants for you. Stiles is going to kill me for seeing you naked.” The man said with a groan. Derek chuckled darkly

“Good. What are you?” Derek asked as he started back towards the Pack House. It wasn’t a far walk, he had gone in a big circle through the preserve and had pretty much ended up at the house.

“I’m a Chimera. So is most of my pack though our stand in alpha for when Stiles isn’t being hands on is a full Kanima.” The man said falling in line a step behind Derek and just far enough to the side that he was still in Derek’s line of sight. Derek noted that it was instinctual for the man to remain in eyesight and Derek wondered if he even realized it when he had positioned himself.

“You didn’t say what your name was.” Derek said and the man shrugged.

“I’m Theo. Theo Raeken.” The man said and Derek grunted. They had reached the tree line that edged the back of the Pack House and someone had left him a pair of sweatpants. Derek pulled them on and started towards the back door. Theo didn’t move from the edge of the woods and so Derek stopped and turned towards him

“Get over here.” He snapped and Theo frowned

“Was that an invitation? Stiles put wards up that only your pack could enter the area unless you gave the outsider an explicit invitation.” He said and Derek raised an eyebrow.

“You are invited in. Now come look at your boss and tell me what’s wrong with him.” Derek said sharply and Theo finally stepped into the clearing. Derek led him into the house, ignoring the way that his own pack stared at the man following him. Once they were both in Derek’s bedroom Derek shut the door to keep the pack from listening in.

“Oh, he’s just in a trance.” Theo said sounding relieved. Derek growled

“I know that. Why is he in a trance is what I want to know.” Derek snapped and Theo shrugged

“Jacks would be able to tell you better. Or maybe Peter or Braeden, the three of them have known him longer. All I know is that he doesn’t sleep so about every two or three months his body shuts down into a trance to refuel.” Theo said. Derek frowned

“How long does it last?” He asked ignoring the mention of Peter. He should have known his uncle would have found Stiles and not told him, Peter wasn’t exactly pack and therefore didn’t feel the urges to report things back to Derek that the other did though it seemed he did feel the need to keep an eye on Derek’s mate. Theo thought for a moment before shrugging

“The last time I saw him go into one it only lasted for three days but Jacks has made comments about how long some of them are so I guess it depends. If he’s still running the wards outside through this trance it will probably take a bit longer than if he didn’t have any active magic running.” Theo said. Derek frowned and watched Stiles so that he wouldn’t have to look at the other man.

“I should probably go back to my pack. They will want to see Stiles and assure themselves that he’s really okay. The last time we saw him he was injured by Shade and had just dropped a building on the bastard.” Theo said and Derek could feel him inching towards the door.

“Who is Shade?” Derek asked, his voice low and dark. Theo’s heart picked up the pace behind him and Derek could taste the fear that was rolling off the Chimera

“If I told you that Stiles would kill me. I like living.” Theo said and Derek turned slowly to face the man

“If you don’t tell me I’ll kill you.” Derek threatened and he could see the man trying to decide who he should be more afraid of. Derek shifted into his beta form and growled menacingly and he saw Theo cave

“Okay. Okay. Just put the claws away. God this is going to be hell. I’ll try to explain what I know.” Theo said holding his hands out as if that would keep Derek back. Derek shifted back, triumphant and Theo slid down the door to the floor

“So Shade.” He began and Derek sat down on the end of the bed to listen. He had a feeling he wouldn’t like what he was going to hear.

 

Stiles woke to the smell of Derek. He was surrounded by it, enveloped in it, and it was all he could do not to never move again. Opening his eyes slowly he blinked in shock. He wasn’t in his basement nest but instead in a room that he had never seen before. It was spartanly furnished but Stiles could tell all the furniture was real wood that had probably been hand carved. The wood was a dark color and the walls were painted a light crème. Stiles would have been completely lost if he hadn’t noticed the view from the window. Derek had once taken him up into the shell of the old Hale house where his parents’ bedroom had been located and shown Stiles the breathtaking view that would have been out the window. It was the same view he was seeing now. Slowly, Stiles climbed out of the large bed and walked over to the window. He was in the Pack House. He could see his wards surrounding it now that he knew what to look for. A knock on the door startled Stiles and he turned

“Yes?” He called and the door opened to show Deaton

“I didn’t have a choice but to tell them what I knew, Sir. Derek still holds some authority over me as I was his mother’s Emissary and he believed that I was his as well.” Deaton said with a bow. Stiles raised an eyebrow. This was going to be a shitstorm. If Derek now knew that Deaton was only working as his Emissary in Stiles’ place he would question everything Deaton did, said. Stiles would have to reveal more of his hand than he wanted to. He would have to tell the pack about the fact that even though he had been away he had been acting as the Emissary, keeping most of the more dangerous supernatural creatures that might have been interested at bay by putting out the word that he was claiming Beacon Hills. Some creatures hadn’t listened at first but Stiles had been prepared for that. After all, to truly show power you have to break some heads and have some examples.

“Also, your Chimeras are here as well as Peter. We are just waiting on Braeden to arrive before everyone is here.” Deaton added and Stiles nodded.

“Thank you for your service Deaton. Make sure to contact me when Braeden arrives in town. It is important that I get something from her.” Stiles said and Deaton bowed again before leaving. Stiles sighed and turned back to the window. He wasn’t standing there long before he felt the familiar presence of Derek in the doorway

“Stiles.” Derek’s voice made his name sound like a prayer. Stiles shut his eyes and wondered for a brief second if he could wipe everyone memories of him being here. He could, had done it before in other places to other people.

“Hello Sourwolf.” He said softly turning towards Derek. Different emotions splashed across Derek’s face, anger, sadness, confusion, betrayal, before he fell back to his emotionless look.

“Where have you been Stiles. Where the fuck have you been for the past four years?” Derek said and the anger seem to have won this round.

“Here there. I traveled a lot.” Stiles said and he felt himself tense when Derek growled. The overwhelming urge to bare his neck washed over him but he just barely managed to resist.

“Why did you come back? After all this time, why bother coming back?” Derek said and Stiles flinched. He should have expected this reaction, should have known Derek wouldn’t want him back after everything he had done. Derek might not even know the extent of the lives that Stiles had destroyed but the list started with each and every pack member

“I needed to take care of a threat. Turned out the threat was just a ruse to get me here by a even bigger threat.” Stiles said forcing himself not to react. He kept his heartbeat steady and his voice uninterested. He turned back to the window so Derek wouldn’t be able to see the worry in his face.

“Your friend Theo told me about Shade. You led him here, it’s your fault the pack is in danger.” Derek said sharply and the words cut like a knife. Stiles shrugged. Tears were forming in his eyes but he forced them back.

“Yeah. It seems this is.” He said softly as he watched a flock of birds take off from their perches in the trees deep in the woods. Derek let out a low growl before leaving. Stiles didn’t stop him like he ached to do. Didn’t run after him and beg forgiveness. There was so much that he hadn’t told Derek, so much that he couldn’t tell Derek without fear of the other man killing him in retaliation. Stiles sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He could go downstairs and face the pack or he could stay up here and hide, something he wasn’t really good at it seemed. Instead he chose the third option, teleporting to his father’s house. His father’s cruiser was sitting out front and Stiles hesitated before climbing the steps and knocking on the door.

“One minute.” His father’s voice called and Stiles nearly turned tail and ran. The door opened and Stiles froze. His father looked older, worn even. Stiles felt tears prickle at his eyes again.

“Hi Dad.”

Chapter Text

Stiles looked around the room he had once called his own. It was like stepping into a memory, maybe a good one or maybe a terrible one. He wasn’t sure yet. There wasn’t any dust in the room but that was probably Melissa’s doing, his father wouldn’t have been able to enter without breaking down if the fifteen-minute hug when he had shown up had been an indicator. Sties ran his fingers over the stacks of books that sat perfectly straight on the bookshelves. Most of them were fantasy or collections of logic puzzles. He had always had to have something to keep his mind occupied when he was younger. Books had been good for that. Now he filled his time with learning new spells and potions and trying not to kill himself when he was fooling around with an experiment or two. The bed was stripped and Stiles dropped to his knees to fish a box out from under it. Inside was a old composition notebook, a jar of mountain ash, another jar of crushed mistletoe and a pendant that Derek had given him that he had imbue with protective spells. The charms on the pendant had kept everything else in the box in perfect condition Stiles noted as he flipped through the notebook looking at the research that he had collected on different monsters. Most of it was inaccurate or not complete but it was good for a measly human teenager’s mind. His measly human mind. He figured he had another five minutes before one of the pack showed up and knocked on his window. Ten at most. He doubted it would be Derek though, probably would be Scott or Isaac.

“Stiles, Stiles, Stiles.” A whispery voice that Stiles hadn’t heard in such a long time echoed around the room

“They didn’t.” Stiles murmured as he poured his magic into the room. There, hidden under a loose floorboard. Stiles pried the board up and pulled the wooden canaster out. So, they had decided to hide the Nogitsune in his room. It was smart to a point. Any supernatural creature would expect the pack to hide it near the pack house or on the preserve. Not one of them would think that the very human sheriff would be hiding one of the worst demonic spirits in the room where his son once slept.

“Stiles. Child of my soul. I knew you’d come for me.” The Nogitsune murmured into Stiles’ ear. Stiles chuckled

“I didn’t come looking though. I found you by accident.” Stiles said sitting down with the canaster in front of him. He cocked his head, thinking

“Oh, but Stiles, you alone know what we could do together. These others don’t know what sort of danger pouring magic into a human can do. It warps the mind. It corrupts.” The Nogitsune said and Stiles hummed in agreement

“Yes, I know. I learned it the hard way. Both by what you’ve done to me and what I’ve done to others. Do you know what I would have become if I hadn’t had a spark? Do you know that what you did to me would have lasting results? Did you know what happens to those who play better than they are. Play G-d?” Stiles choked on the last words and the Nogitsune laughed and laughed.

“You become better. You become something that demands control, respect, and power.” The Nogitsune said once it had stopped laughing. Stiles let a dark and dangerous smirk slip on his lips as he picked up the canaster and poured his own magic into it. The Nogitsune screamed in pain as Stiles slowly overwhelmed it with dark energy. The canaster shook and shuttered as the Nogitsune tried to escape the torment. Finally, after several moments of this the canaster went still and the wails of the spirit trapped inside fell silent. Stiles slowly unscrewed the top and poured the contents out. A dead fly fell onto the floor

“Wrong. Without a spark you become a Nogitsune. With a spark? You become something more powerful than a Nogitsune.” He said to the dead spirit. There was no reply and Stiles turned the dead fly into dust.

 

Theo knocked on the door that he knew belonged to the sheriff. The smell of Stiles’ magic was strong here and so Theo figured he had probably teleported onto the porch. The door opened and an older man stood there.

 “Can I help you?” The man asked and Theo put his best smile on

“Hi, I’m a friend of Stiles. I thought he might be here, no one knows were he is.” Theo said and the man grunted. There was a long moment where Theo knew the human was sizing him up before the older man stepped aside.

“He’s up in his bedroom.” He said and Theo moved into the house. It was like any other house in this town probably, pictures on the wall, wallpaper boarder that was peeling at the edges. It was so not what he had envisioned for Stiles’ childhood home. Maybe if the walls were painted a darker color than the periwinkle blue and the wood paneling was black instead of white. Quite honestly, the pack had been taking bets on what they thought Stiles’ childhood had been like. No one would win if this was what Stiles had grown up with. Small towns did not suit the head Chimera. Not anymore at least.

“Go on.” The sheriff said and Theo hurried to climb the stairs. He followed Stiles’ scent down the hall to a room that must have belonged to a teenager.

“Wow Boss, didn’t think you were into plaid.” Theo said raising an eyebrow at the shirt that Stiles was holding up. Stiles made a noise in agreement

“It doesn’t really suit me anymore, does it.” He said contemplatively. Theo grinned when Stiles turned to glance at him

“When will the rest of the pack be here?” He asked getting down to business. Theo stood at parade rest and gave his sit rep

“Me and my Chimeras are at the motel on the edge of town. Braeden is a day out. Roku said that he would be here at the end of the week with his clan. I have the jar of oni if they are needed but you know how they can be. Ransom said that she is unable to come due to some sort of trouble with the zombie population.  Peter’s still here despite me telling he to get the fuck out. Am I forgetting anyone?” Theo said and Stiles shook his head

“I would contact Monk Gyatso but I’m afraid that he would give me some bullshit about dealing with my inner demons first and right now our problem is an external demon.” Stiles said and Theo perked up

“The Nogitsune?” He asked. Stiles’ lips pulled into a wry grin

“Oh, he won’t be an issue anymore. I killed him. Didn’t want him to ever be release again.” The dark Chimera said with amusement. Theo felt a shiver of fear tickle down his spine and had to clamp down on the instinctive reaction to turn and run. Stiles was terrifying and Theo knew that if he stepped out of line Stiles would have no problems putting him down. Or any of those he worked with. Every one of them could be a threat to the world and Stiles’ job was to take down threats before they became a problem. It was why his ‘pack’ was spread out across the world, each with their ear to the ground for anything that might throw the balance out of whack.

“How is the mop up job in London going. Have we discovered who was making the Kanimas?” Stiles asked picking up a wooden canaster that had been sitting on the floor and screwing the top back on.

“Yes, Jacks has taken care of him and is in route. Mason and Corey picked him up an hour ago and should be arriving at the hotel soon. I’m hoping Jacks will let us stay at his place instead of the hotel. That place is disgusting and there is no hot water so I had to hear about it from Tracy.” Theo said with an exaggerated eye roll

“I’m sure your boyfriend will allow you into his house. The others? It would be a tossup on how good Tracy is at kicking ass or the puppy-dog eyes.” Stiles said. Theo laughed and was about to answer when Stiles cocked his head listening to something outside of Theo’s hearing range.

“Looks like Derek’s here with Isaac and Kira. Lovely.” Stiles said and Theo frowned.

“How…” He began but Stiles shook his head

“They arrived around back on foot. Probably Isaac and Kira were on patrol and Derek told them to meet him here. I didn’t expect you to hear them, they know how to move without making sound.” Stiles said clapping Theo on his shoulder and moving past him towards the door. Theo glanced around the room at the Dr. Who posters that were scattered across the wall and the bare mattress that smelt of dust and mildew. He contemplated taking a picture to have photographic evidence that Stiles had been human once but decided against it. Stiles seemed like he had always been a badass Chimera that had grown up killing monsters that went bump in the night. Theo didn’t want to ruin that image.

 

Derek was sitting with John at the counter when Stiles came down the stairs. Isaac and Kira stood behind him nursing their own cups of tea as the Sheriff filled Derek in on the cases that might have some sort of supernatural ties that had come in during the past two weeks that Derek had taken off for personal leave. Stiles paused at the bottom of the steps before stepping into the kitchen and brushing past Isaac to get to the fridge. Isaac couldn’t stop staring it seemed, his eyes followed Stiles around as he made his own cup of tea, pouring milk into the cup first, returning the milk to the fridge, pouring the tea leaves in and then the hot water. It was so domestic, so completely Stiles that it seemed odd to see this version of Stiles doing it. This version of Stiles would probably have looked more at home with a bottle of Jack in his hand than a cup of tea. He was wearing a black tee-shirt and a black leather jacket that Derek knew used to be his. His jeans were ripped and he had several different charms hanging from one of the front belt loops. Another figure clattered down the stairs and Derek recognized it as Theo Raeken, Stiles leader of the Chimera pack. Raeken wasn’t paying any attention to his surroundings, seemingly busy on his phone, and ran right into the counter before glancing up.

“Thanks Boss for letting me look like a fool.” Raeken grumbled and Stiles grinned a signature smile

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Theo. You did that all on your own.” Stiles shot back taking a sip of his tea. Raeken grumbled something that Derek didn’t catch but it made Stiles’ grin grow.

“Jacks is taking everyone over to his house. Apparently, and I’m only quoting what he said, that hotel is ‘not fit for a flea’.” Raeken said and Stiles snorted.

“That sounds like Jackson. Poor thing would be the first one dead if there was a zombie apocalypse.” Stiles said into his tea while stirring it with a spoon that hadn’t been there a second ago. Derek didn’t recognize it either so he wasn’t sure where Stiles had gotten it from.

“With Tracy right after him. Do you think we could ask that group from China for help? You know, the ones we helped with the river monster problem.” Raeken asked thoughtfully and Derek wondered if they were preparing to go to war

“No. It’s harvest season in China. They would have to lose crop to help and I couldn’t ask that of them. Do contact them though. They might be able to get us some of the ingredients that I need for my protection spell on the pack.” Stiles said and Raeken started to type something on his phone.

“How connected are you?” Kira asked, speaking up for the first time. Stiles glanced at her with a highly amused look on his face that told Derek the answer. Stile was well connected. Probably better than his mother had been when she had been still alive. After all, it seemed that Stiles’ connections spanned the globe rather than just the Americas. Tired of just sitting there, Derek raised an eyebrow at Stiles causing the younger man to sigh.

“Start asking questions Sourwolf.

“Deaton said that your pack ended with Peter, the Chimeras and him. Peter gave me the impression that that wasn’t true.” Derek said. It wasn’t exactly a question but it seemed Stiles was going to give him answers nonetheless.

“To say that I have a pack would be like trying to hold a handful of sand. Other than the Hale pack I really don’t have a strong connection to any of my followers. Well, the Chimeras come in a close second but they aren’t a true pack, more of a collection of mutts that band together to keep safe. I have many followers though. People who do things for me because they either respect me or fear me. I would consider Deaton one of those, not pack. He fears me because I told him in explicit detail what I would do to him if anything happened to my pack.” Stiles said setting his cup of tea down on the counter. He was only a foot away from Derek and Derek wanted nothing more than to reach over and grab Stiles’ hand.

“You just said that you didn’t have a pack.” Isaac said and Stiles shrugged

“I’m not sure actually. Deaton was only acting as my hands here but I’m not sure if my place as Emissary is still active. If I didn’t have the spot then by default my place would be the leader of the Chimera pack since I pretty much created it when I killed the Dread Doctors.” Stiles said. His voice was calm but Derek caught the whiff of fear that escaped Stiles as mentioned his position within Derek’s pack. Both Kira and Isaac glanced at Derek as if waiting for him to confirm that Stiles was still their Emissary. Derek kept his mouth shut. If Stiles was leaving after this he wouldn’t keep him as an Emissary no matter how that would hurt his wolf. Derek had learned a long time ago that if you truly loved someone you didn’t chain them down and Derek truly loved Stiles. If Stiles wanted to leave Beacon Hills behind then Derek wouldn’t stop him but he also wouldn’t wait for him with baited breath. He couldn’t, life didn’t stop and Derek had already grieved the other man when he had disappeared all that time ago. Three years, ten months, twenty-three days.

Chapter Text

Stiles watched the pot of pasta bubble. He was cooking for twenty-five people today since Derek had told him in no uncertain terms that Stiles was to bring all his people to the pack house so that the Hale pack could keep an eye on them. Stiles had found it amusing that Derek thought he was still that bratty little human who no one listened to and who couldn’t keep people in line.

“Need any help?” Corey asked stepping into the kitchen. Stiles smiled at his favorite Chimera. Not that he would tell Theo that but Corey had that air of innocence and didn’t have all the homicidal tendencies that Theo had. Stiles had to work very hard to keep Theo in line when he had first brought the Chimeras together and teach the other Chimera that he was in charge even when he wasn’t present. As far as the Chimeras went, Corey and Mason were his favorite and then it was Theo.

“Sure, start putting the pasta I’ve already cooked into the glass pans to about halfway up. Once this batch of pasta’s done I’ll get started on adding the cheese and sauce.” Stiles said gesturing towards the three large bowls of pasta that was sitting by several large glass pans. Stiles was glad for the three ovens that were stacked in the kitchen. Otherwise he would have never been able to cook enough of the easy baked ziti in time for dinner. He knew Derek was listening in from the office which was just beyond the bathroom. He had been both avoiding direct contact with Stiles when it wasn’t absolutely necessary while also keeping close enough to him to be there if Stiles needed him. The mixed messages were frustrating but Stiles knew he deserved them.

“You always told me that Hale was your soulmate. He doesn’t seem to like you much though.” Corey said after several moments of silence.

“I hurt him. I left without saying goodbye because I knew he’d follow. I couldn’t let him do that. And I guess I wanted to hurt myself by tearing myself away from the safety that he gave me. I thought that I didn’t deserve him. I still don’t at times.” Stiles said without looking away from the pot he was cooking.

“He’s quiet. Looks mad all the time. I can see why you two were good together. You both act like your tough shit.” Corey said and Stiles snorted in laughter

“I am tough shit and you know it. I’ve killed things, done things, that would make your stomach roll and you not be able to eat for days.” Stiles said and when he glanced at Corey the younger man was nodding his head

“I know. You killed the Nogitsune that was hidden in town.” Corey said and Stiles raised an eyebrow at the fact that he knew that. Before now the only other person that he had told was Theo.

“Theo tell you that?” Stiles asked checking the pasta to find that it was almost done but not quite.

“Yeah, I was afraid of going out into the preserve because I thought it was out there. You always told us that it was the darkest thing you encountered when you were human and I don’t really have much in the way of powers.” Corey said and Stiles turned to face him. Corey slowly turned to face him as well but wouldn’t look him in the face, instead focusing on Stiles bare feet.

“I killed the Nogitsune. That is true. I did it because I didn’t want anyone to become what Shade became when he had dark magic poured into him. Or worse, what I am. You have to remember that I will always protect you.” Stiles said tilting Corey’s face up so that they were looking at each other in the eyes. Corey gave Stiles a weak smile and Stiles pulled him into a tight hug.

“Me and Mason would never let anything happen to you Core. We care about you too much potomek.” Stiles said before pulling away to finish the pasta. It was done so he poured it into the collender and then into one of the bowls. Once all the pasta was in the cooking pans he began to mix mozzarella cheese and garlic pasta sauce together in one of the bowls and then dumping it on top of the pasta.

“Help me get these in the oven and then we should be ready to set the table.” Stiles said. Once the food was in the oven he put the egg timer on.

“I don’t think the table will fit all of us.” Corey said and Stiles frowned.

“I do believe you are correct. I guess we’ll have to eat elsewhere. Will you ask Derek where he wants us to eat.” Stiles said turning back into the kitchen.

“We’ll eat outside.” Derek’s voice was soft as he was several rooms away and not speaking loudly. Stiles rolled his eyes and started on the dishes. At that point Mason and Josh entered the room laughing

“What did you do?” Stiles asked when Mason gently guided him away from the sink and took over the dishes. Stiles leaned against the counter waiting for their response as the two boys started on the dishes without answering.

“Our lovely pranksters decided that it was a good idea to put itching powder in Mr. McCall’s undergarments. A relatively harmless prank that seemed to have a desired effect of making the rest of your pack laugh.” Peter said coming into the room at a sedated pace. Stiles rolled his eyes.

“Keep the pranks between our people. We don’t need to cause a fight amongst ourselves.” He ordered and every single one of them muttered some form of ‘yes Boss’. Stiles rolled his eyes again and headed towards the back door.

“I’m going out hunting. If anyone asks.” Stiles said meeting Peter’s eyes meaningfully. If any of them was going to tell the Hale pack what he was really doing it would be Peter just to get a rise out of Derek. Not something Stiles needed.

 

Derek frowned when he heard Stiles’ words and then the back door shut. He pushed away from his desk and rubbed his face with his palms. He was so confused. His instinctual wanted to pin Stiles to the ground and keep him there until he was full of Derek’s scent and sperm. His logical part knew Stiles was going to leave again once Beacon Hills was safe and that there was no point getting attached again. He still didn’t understand what Stiles meant by going out hunting. Maybe it had something to do with the Shade but that didn’t explain why Stiles would go right before dinner. Deciding he needed to know, Derek sent a quick text to Scott and Cora that he wasn’t going to be at dinner and climbed out of his window. Stile was nowhere to be seen but his trail was fairly easy to follow. Derek followed it deeper into the preserve until he came upon a sight that he thought he would never see. Stiles was a large fox, size of a great dane with  black fur and gold paws and tips of the five tails that waved behind him. A Kitsune. They stared at each other for a long time, neither moving until Stiles must have decided that Derek wasn’t a threat and tore into the buck that he had been pinning to the ground. Derek slowly edged over to a tree and leaned against it waiting for Stiles to finish his meal. The fox ate almost everything, including most of the bones, but left some of the more tener parts untouched. Derek waited until the fox took a step back from the carcass and looked at Derek expectantly.

“Did you leave that for me?” Derek asked slightly shocked. The fox nodded and nudged some of the liver towards Derek. With a sigh, Derek stripped and shifted into his full wolf form. He was larger than Stiles, about the size of a small horse, and was fully black. Derek settled down to eat what Stiles had left for him while the fox watched. Once the deer was gone Stiles pressed himself into Derek’s side. Derek wasn’t sure what to make of this more affectionate Stiles. When human, Stiles seemed to put space between them. As a fox he tried to get as close as he could. Derek pushed the thoughts aside and began to clean the blood off Stiles’ muzzle. Stiles leaned into the touch and Derek made the moment last as long as he could. Slowly Stiles shifted back and Derek could smell that Stiles was relaxed and content.

“Missed this Sourwolf.” Stiles murmured into Derek’s coat. Derek licked him across the cheek and then scented Stiles’ neck. Stiles let him, pressing closer to Derek’s side and sighed. Derek laid there, head tucked in Stiles’ neck slowly breathing in the scent of his mate. The sun starts to go down and Stiles finally pulls away.

“We should go back.” Stiles says as he materializes clothes for himself. Derek had asked all sorts of questions about Stiles abilities. The one that Stiles used most often was transmutation, usually by pulling on the water molecules in the air which made it seem like he was creating things out of thin air. Derek stood but didn’t move to shift back so Stiles gathered up his clothes. As they walked Stiles hummed a song that Derek didn’t know. They were halfway back to the pack house when Stiles froze, the gentle hum stuttering to a halt

“Oh Stilessssss. My lovely Stilesssss.” A high pitched voice called in a singsong voice. Stiles whirled to face away from Derek towards their left.

“Conner.” Stiles said and the way he said it shocked Derek. Derek didn’t know who Conner was but the way he was speaking Derek would have expected a bit of hostility in Stiles’ voice. Instead there was only sadness and regret.

“It’s Shade! Shade! Conner is dead you fucking nimwit. You killed him! I grew out of the ashes. Or should I say, bandages.” The speaker finally came into view and Derek’s hackles raised when he saw the shadowy creature. Stiles took a step towards the thing, Derek couldn’t really call it a creature now that he could really see it. Shade, or Conner as Stiles was calling him, didn’t have a form. He seemed to fade in and out of the shadows that surrounded them bits at a time.

“You’re looking for something that you cannot use Conner. My dark soul cannot give you the power you seek, it will only consume you.” Stiles said reaching out to the thing.

“Then I will use the source of your dark soul. The Nogitsune still remains trapped somewhere in this forest, I will find it and use it to gain the power I need. Then, when I am strong I will consume both of your souls. I will have all your power and finally I will be the most powerful thing in all the universe.” Shade and Derek snarled at it, pushing Stiles back so that he was between Stiles and the wraith. Stiles laid a hand on Derek’s head, rubbing small circles into the fur as he spoke

“I wish I could help you Conner but I fear you are right. I killed the human teen that bore that name. Seek the Nogitsune if you wish, you will not find it.” Stiles said sounding resigned. The wraith cackled

“Giving in so soon? I thought you had more of a spark in you Stiles. Or did you loose that when you were destroying lives? How many people have you killed Stiles? How much blood is on  your hands? Have you told your precious pack about them? Have you touched your precious mate with those bloodstained hands?” Shade moved closer and Derek could see bright gold eyes and a manic grin. He took a challenging step forward as well, low growls pouring out of his throat at the thought of this thing touching his mate

“Oh, Derek dear. Have you slept with him yet? He’s such a screamer in bed. Loves to be tied up too but watch out, he bites. Such a lovely fuck. I don’t remember how many times we’d do it in a night, seemed like we’d never sleep.” Shade said with a diranged grin. Derek lunged at the wraith but it was gone before he could rip its throat out. Quietly, Derek turned towards Stiles and shifted back to his human form. Stiles held his clothes out but Derek didn’t take them. He watched Stiles fidget slightly under his gaze before speaking

“Did you sleep with that man?” Derek asked, his voice didn’t rise above a low hum but they both knew Stiles could hear him still.

“Derek, I- You have to understand.” Stiles said and by not answering the question Derek had his answer. Taking his clothes from Stiles Derek turned away to get dressed before walking back towards the house. He didn’t bother to see if Stiles was following. He knew he was, a few paces back, with tears in his eyes. Derek was beyond tears. He had shed enough for a mate who didn’t even want him it seemed. Now Derek knew why Stiles hadn’t killed Shade. He was in love with him.

 

Shade watched Stiles trudge after the werewolf mate that Stiles so desperately desired. It had been so easy to manipulate the situation. Stiles couldn’t deny the charges of sleeping with him because they were true. To an extent. Stiles hadn’t exactly been willing when Shade had fucked him. Stiles had kicked and screamed until Shade had finally worn him down into a sobbing mess. And still Stiles hadn’t been able to fight back, Shade believed that by the end he didn’t want to. That he knew deep in his mind that he was a used toy that only Shade could love. Obviously the werewolf didn’t trust Stiles anymore from the way that he hadn’t even questioned Stiles further. A werewolf should know to ask more than one question when it comes to their lie detection abilities. There were so many ways to fool that little quirk by just planting the right seeds. Saying something the right way and stepping back to watch the show. Shade couldn’t wait until Stiles was his, his to hold, his to control, his to eat at the very end. When there wouldn’t be anyone coming to save Stiles, that was when Shade would eat his soul. After he was nothing but a broken, begging mess. Wanting the release of death without care for what his death would damn the world into. Shade had many plans for the world, so many plans for those in it. He would rule over them, human and supernatural alike. Stiles was the key though. The gear that brought the whole plan into motion. He just needed Stiles to put the dark part of his soul back into his body. The programming that Shade had beaten into Stiles would only take effect one that had happened. Stiles would only be Shade’s once both the light and the dark was within. Shade retreated to the labyrinth of caves that he had found deep in the woods, beyond the edge of the preserve. He would need to give Stiles a push, a push that required Shade to go into town during the day and be fully corporeal. That would take energy that Shade did not have at the moment. Not to worry though. He would take a rest and have it then. He sunk down, preparing for his trance state as he thought about which of Stiles little band of followers that he would kill first. The werewolf mate was the obvious one though he technically wasn’t a follower of Stiles’. Maybe the Chameleon or the large beast creature that had helped Stiles bring a building down on him six months ago. That had hurt and Shade had had to admit defeat, something he hated to do. Yes, he would kill the large beast in front of it’s Chameleon lover and then force Stiles to kill the Chameleon himself. It would reintroduce Stiles to the chaos side of life again and Shade knew that once Stiles had a taste of the poisonous wine he would never stop drinking. Stiles would return to the darkness where he belonged.

 

Stiles collapsed as soon as he made it to the room that had been given to him in the Pack house. It wasn’t the same one as he had woken in all those days ago. It was painted a hunter’s green with a apricot colored trim. The irony wasn’t lost on him and he wasn’t sure if they had given him this room as a joke or something darker. Dragging himself across the floor, Stiles pulled himself into the far corner, hidden behind the bed and the tall dresser from the door. Tears streamed down his face and he forced his fist into his mouth to stop the sobs from escaping. Derek thought...he was...it wasn’t fair. To finally start making progress with Derek only for it to be yanked so far out of reach that Stiles would never be able to find it. Derek would never want him now. Stiles knew he would never be able to stand back and watch Derek fall in love with some other person, male or female. It was inevitable. Derek was the last viable heir of the Hale line and werewolves believed in biological heirs. When Stiles had been sixteen he had thought that he and Derek could have just adopted a werewolf baby and had it been the successor of the pack. It had been one of the things that had originally drawn Stiles back home, gave him a reason to want to come back. A family with Derek was supposed to be a fairytale ending for Stiles. For Derek. It was only after Stiles had started really studying the supernatural world past the monster of the week that was attacking that he learned how packs worked. There would be no family with Derek. No sharing a bed and waking up in the morning like they used to. Stiles could be a concubine at most while someone who was able to bear Derek’s offspring got the title of mate. He heard someone pause outside the door

“Is he in there?” Isaac’s hesitant voice asked someone. Stiles didn’t wait for a reply, instead teleported to his bedroom in his father’s home. He laid on the bare mattress that smelt of age and wondered if he really even needed to stay. If he could possibly lure Shade out of town. Unfortunately as long as Shade was wearing the pendant, Stiles’ attacks would do nothing. He needed someone else to be the one to kill him.

 

Derek climbed the side of Sheriff’s Stilinski’s house and jimmied the window open. Stiles’ old bedroom was where he went to think. When he couldn’t make sense of the mess in his head he would come here and think about what Stiles would do or say to him. He silently shut the window behind him and traced his fingers across the books on the desk. The sound of someone breathing behind him caused him to freeze. Turning slowly he saw Stiles laying on the bare mattress facing away from him. From the sound of his slow heartbeat and the evenness of his breathing Derek knew he was sleeping. Derek was about to leave when Stiles jerked violently in his sleep, heartbeat picking up as something in his dream frightened Stiles.

“I don’t. Please don. Don’t touch me.” Stiles mumbled, jerking around as if trying to avoid hands that only he could see. He began to kick but that lasted for only a small amount of time as he suddenly went very still and he whole bed turned to black sand. Startled by the sudden change in consistency of the bed Derek took a step back and Stiles began to scream bloody murder. Derek could hear John thundering up the stairs, probably thinking someone was getting killed in the room. Spurred into action, Derek leapt onto the strange neverending bed of sand and gathered Stiles up in his arms.

“Hey, Stiles wake up.” Derek said lightly slapping Stiles on his cheek. Stiles thrashed in his arms, screaming for someone to leave him alone and for Derek to save him. It broke Derek’s heart to hear his mate call for him while being unable to help. Unable to save Stiles from the monsters that chased him in his head. John burst through the door, gun in hand

“Wha-” He began but Derek cut him off

“He’s having a nightmare.” He said and Stiles clawed across Derek’s chest leaving long bloody lines in the wake of his fingers. John rushed forward and helped Derek restrain Stiles

“Wake up son.” John shouted and Derek did the only thing he could think of. Without warning he shifted and roared an alpha roar. Stiles’ eyes popped open and the bed went back to being a normal bed. Stiles tore out of Derek and his father’s grasp, scuttling back to the corner with big unseeing eyes.

“What the hell was that?” Derek said climbing off the bed to give Stiles some space. John clapped him on the shoulder and gave Stiles a sad look

“I’ve only seen a reaction like that from one sort of crime.” John said and Derek turned to him for the answer

“Stiles was raped.” John said solemnly. Derek felt the rug pull out from underneath him as he turned back to the huddled figure on the bed. Stiles looked like a frightened animal rather than a human being.  ‘ Have you slept with him yet? He’s such a screamer in bed. Loves to be tied up too but watch out, he bites. Such a lovely fuck. I don’t remember how many times we’d do it in a night, seemed like we’d never sleep’ Shade’s words from earlier bounced around Derek’s head as he sunk to his knees. Stiles, his precious mate. Derek had failed him in thinking he could be unfaithful. If anything, Stiles’ actions proved the opposite and Derek had been his typical failwolf self and not even thought about it. Derek slowly crawled onto the bed, holding a hand out to Stiles as if the younger man was a wild animal. Stiles made a soft crooning sound and quick as a whip, had a ironclad grip on Derek’s wrist. Derek moved closer until Stiles was tucked away in his lap with Derek’s hand still clutched tightly in both hands. Derek let himself relax enough to create a soothing rumble in his chest and Stiles let out a soft content sigh at the sound. John remained in the room long enough to make sure both his boys were going to be alright before heading back downstairs to the ballgame.

Chapter Text

Stiles watched Derek as the werewolf paced around the small room in the police station. They had set up a mini camp with a map of the town and surrounding areas in one of the interrogation rooms that had survived. They, well Derek, had been brought in due to the fact that Shade had blown up the station in order to kidnap Stiles’ dad and apparently Derek was the fucking Deputy Sheriff and was needed to take the reins until they could get Stiles’ dad back.

“Why would he even want John? I thought his grudge was with you.” Derek asked. Stiles frowned. He swung his legs off the edge of the desk he was sitting on and began moving them like a small child would when bored, first in little circles and then back and forth

“He is insane. I don’t know why he took Dad.” Stiles said giving a half truth. He didn’t know why Shade took his father but he had a good idea. Derek’s pacing grew in frenzy until Stiles couldn’t take it anymore.

“Please stop. Please. If you keep pacing I’m going to start thinking of all the awful things that could be happening to my dad and I really don’t want to do that so please stop pacing.” Stiles said weakly and Derek stopped.

“I think you need to tell me everything Stiles. And I mean everything. No more of what you think I need to know. I want to hear everything about Shade and how he became so goddamn obsessed with you. And if you don’t I’m walking out of this room and taking my pack as far away from Beacon Hills as I can. I can’t have them be collateral damage in a fight where we don’t have all the information. It’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to me. ” Derek said moving to lean against the one way glass and Stiles ran a hand through his hair. He should have known that his half truths and little pieces of the puzzle wouldn’t be enough. Derek needed the full picture to be able to do what was needed. He needed to know why Stiles couldn’t kill Shade, why Derek had to do it. And Derek was right about Stiles keeping things from the pack. They needed to know what was going on so that they didn’t get blindsided in a fight by something Shade said.

“Shade’s real name was Conner O’Keefe. On December third nearly four years ago he was riding in his mother’s car with his seven year old sister on the freeway outside of Chicago when I lost control of my aura and caused the driver beside them to lose consciousness and swerve into their lane forcing them to go into the median. The other driver and their mother were dead on impact but when I arrived Conner was barely holding on to life. I was stupid and thought I could heal him even though I didn’t have control of my own magic.” Stiles paused and took a deep shuddering breath

“You were able to heal him though. He’s still alive isn’t he?” Derek said and Stiles shook his head

“I transformed him into a half alive half dead creature that should have never been allowed to exist. I took him with me once he was healed because I was smart enough to know that he wouldn’t be human anymore and would need guidance. We traveled together for a bit. I saw him as a son or a younger brother, he was so enamored with the supernatural world that I didn’t hide any of it from him. I didn’t see the darkness that had festered within him until it was too late. It was April when he made his move.” Stiles paused, trying to figure out how much he could tell Derek about the next part without Derek wolfing out and destroying something.

“He had me for a month. Learning what sort of tortures would leave what sort of damage. He had created a charm that he wore at all times. It allowed him to control me, leaving me powerless against him. By the end I was so close to begging for death. One day I woke up and I was no longer in my cell, your uncle and Braeden had found me and gotten me out of there. It took until October for me to heal mentally and that was about the time I started going into trances instead of sleeping. I...I was still connected to him though, still could feel his magic wrapped around one of my souls.” Derek cut Stiles off at this point

“One of your souls? How can you have more than one soul?” Derek asked sounding panicked and Stiles ushered him over. Once Derek was standing between his legs, Stiles took one of his hands and rested it on Stiles’ chest so that Derek could feel his heart beating

“I’m alive Sourwolf. I’m alive and once this is all over I’ll be okay.” Stiles assured pressing a chaste kiss to Derek’s jaw. Derek tensed up and Stiles wondered if he had taken it too far with the kiss. Ever since they had woken up in Stiles’ old bedroom tangled in each other’s arms Derek had been extremely careful not to do anything that could be even remotely sexual.

“I have two souls, When the Nogitsune left my body my soul was split into two separate souls. One called myrkr , or the dark magic that the Nogitsune had awoken from my latent Shadow Kitsune genes, and one called kynda , or the light magic that my spark consisted of. I researched my condition for a long time and everything I’ve read tells me that I shouldn’t have survived the splitting of my soul. But I did. And that caused a different problem.” Stiles said and Derek made a wounded noise, pushing his nose into Stiles’ neck. Stiles let him find comfort in his scent, knowing that the next part of his story wasn’t pleasant.

“If splitting my soul should have killed me I was playing with fire when I removed my myrkr from my body.” Stiles murmured. Derek pressed closer as if Stiles was going to disappear or crumble into dust if they stopped touching. Stiles pet his head, running his fingers through Derek’s wavy locks in comfort.

“I looked for a way to break the connection between my myrkr and Conner. The ritual he used was called svyazyvat' dushu s dushoy which is Russian for ‘bind soul to soul’. I learned a way around his control though. While the ritual cannot be broken the ownership of my myrkr can be transferred.” Stiles said and Derek pulled back to look Stiles in the eye

“How?” He asked and Stiles wondered how he could sound so broken yet hopeful at the same time

“The same way anything is transferred in this world. You have to kill him.” Stiles said and Derek took a step back away from Stiles.

“I have my own confession to make Stiles.” Derek said. Stiles opened his mouth to ask what it was when Derek spoke again

“I know he raped you. I know you didn’t sleep with him of your own free will.” Derek said and Stiles felt like the table he was sitting on was suddenly gone

“How...I…” Stiles stuttered scared of what Derek would say next.

“I should have never believed him in the woods. I should have known he was twisting the truth to fit his needs. I’m sorry Stiles, can you forgive me?” Derek asked and Stiles was floored. Derek was apologising to him? Slipping off the desk Stiles pushed his way into Derek’s arms, wrapping the taller man’s arms around his own waist before cupping Derek’s cheeks.

“I don’t blame you for not believing me. I haven’t given you much reason to believe me of late. I’ve kept my fair share of secrets because I thought that if I shared the darkness inside that you wouldn’t love me.” Stiles said gently. Derek let out a soft whine

“I will always love you Stiles. You are my mate, the sun, the stars, and the moon.” Derek said pressing his lips to Stiles’ forehead and cheeks a he spoke. Stiles relaxed against Derek’s chest

“What are we? To each other I mean?” Stiles asked, his voice muffled by the fabric of Derek’s henley.

“We’re together, boyfriends. Whatever you want to call us.” Derek said and Stiles made a humming noise

“Mates. We are mates.” He said and felt Derek rumble in agreement.

 

Shade watched the puny human man sleep. Had he been that weak once? It seemed so long ago. Soon he would have Stiles again. Shade felt his form flicker at the thought of Stiles screaming under his ministrations. Should he whip Stiles before forcing his way into Stiles’ untouched pucker? Should he use Stiles’ blood for lube? So many options. So many wonderful options. He pulled himself away from that line of thought. It was too soon to be planning what he would do to his pet. First he needed to send the message for the meeting. Having Stiles’ puny human father for bait would do no good if Stiles didn’t know where to pick the human up at. After all, Shade wasn’t a monster , he would let Stiles keep his father as a pet when they ruled the world. To be used as an example for where humans belonged in the world. Which was at the feet of the superior races. The human groaned and Shade watched in glee as he started to wake

“I hope you enjoyed your nap Sheriff.” Shade said once the human was conscious enough. It was amazing how fast the human went from being groggy to fully alert even with the head wound that Shade had given him.

“Who are you? Where the hell am I?” The human snapped as he tried to get to his feet only to fall back down. Shade blinked

“And here I thought my lovely mate would have told you all about me. My name is Shade. Your son belongs to me.” He said and if the human had fur it would have bristled

“You are the sick motherfucker who raped my son. I’ll kill you. No, Derek will kill you and I’ll let him.” The human said and Shade couldn’t help but cackle.

“Oh, Hale won’t be a problem after I have my precious Stiles back. You see, he chose me. Poured his own dark magic into me when I was but a wee human. Much like yourself. He made me strong and saved my life because he loved me. I won’t let him run back to that dog. In fact, the first thing I’m going to have him do is gut the filthy creature with a knife coated in wolfsbane. Let him watch as the light fades from the filth’s eyes knowing Stiles will always belong to me.” Shade said with obvious glee. The human had a look of horror on his face which only added to Shade’s delight.

“You’re insane.” The human said breathily. Shade frowned

“That wasn’t a very nice thing to say. I was going to leave you a light so that you could see but I think I’ll let you sit in the dark and contemplate how you speak to someone who’s clearly your superior.” Shade said before extinguishing the light. He faded away from the cell and back into his main chamber where he needed to finish getting ready for Stiles’ stay.

 

Derek was sitting on one o the several picnic tables that were scattered around the large back lawn for when the pack had barbecues. He heard someone approach and turned to see Peter walking towards him

“Hello Uncle.” Derek said turning back to face the treeline.

“I need to speak with you about Stiles, my dear nephew.” Peter said coming to stand on Derek’s left.

“Then speak.” Derek said. Peter sighed

“The first time I saw Stiles he was laying spread eagle on a bed with his hands and feet tied to the bedposts with ropes that had been soaked in mistletoe laced water. I couldn’t even see his skin tone under all the filth and blood that coated his body. He wasn’t healing either, still bleeding from both new and old wounds. I wasn’t sure if he would survive long enough for us to rescue him.” Peter said and Derek felt his insides clench at the picture his uncle was painting of how much danger Stiles had been in.

“Why are you telling me this?” Derek asked through grit teeth.

“Because you need to know why Stiles is terrified of Shade. He hides it well but he’s terrified of that thing. It doesn’t feel like we do and that terrifies your mate. He needs you to be there for him both to kill the fiend and to help him through all the memories that Shade’s death will inevitably dredge up. Stiles didn’t utter a sound for over two months after we rescued him. Selective mutism the doctor we consulted said.” Peter said and Derek lost control of his shift. Peter rested a hand on Derek’s shoulder

“Don’t let that bastard take him again Derek. He won’t survive it again.” Peter said before he walked away. Derek took several deep breaths before he was able to shift back.

“Sourwolf!” Stiles’ voice came from the house and Derek turned to see him hanging out of the living room window

“Lydia’s running to the grocery store to grab some things we need for dinner. Is there anything you need?” Stiles shouted when he saw he had Derek’s attention. Rather than shout back, Derek got up and jogged towards his mate. Stiles smiled shyly at him when Derek approached and Derek pulled him in for a kiss.

“I’ll take that as a no.” Stiles said when they parted. A blush colored his cheeks and Derek was proud that he could still cause Stiles to blush.

“Wanna help me make dinner?” Stiles asked pulling himself back inside. Derek didn’t answer, just climbed through the window and followed Stiles to the kitchen. Even amidst the chaos Stiles was his.

Chapter Text

Stiles hated the way the pack was looking at him. Like they were suspicious the he was still there and were just waiting for him to leave. Cora was the worst about the dark looks followed closely by Kira. Stiles knew he deserved it so he didn’t mention it to Derek. Derek who followed him with his eyes and who would check on Stiles at two in the morning like he expected Stiles to just vanish into the night again. Stiles knew he wouldn’t gain the level of trust back anytime soon, if ever. He had broken so much more than just Derek’s heart when he ran all that time ago. He had broken the pack.

“I knew I would regret it.” Stiles muttered to himself as he poured over the maps of the town and the preserve. He had several of both but there were so many places that Shade could be keeping his dad and that was if he wasn’t moving his dad around periodically, something Stiles would have thought of which meant Shade probably thought of it too. Shade had been his protege, his apprentice, and Stiles had taught him far to much without thinking about what the consequences would be. He had been blind to Shade’s true colors, so happy to find someone who seemed to understand him in a way that Braeden never had bothered to try. They had traveled together, Stiles had taught Shade how to avoid being found which the bastard was now using against him. Stiles straightened from his hunched position when he heard the sound of someone on the stairs.

“Find anything yet?” Lydia. So the banshee had finally decided that Stiles had been ignored enough. She hadn’t acknowledged him since he and his followers had moved into the pack house. Hadn’t even eaten the food he had made. Stiles would have been offended if he hadn’t known her so well. She was hurt. He was the cause. She was dealing with it the best she could.

“Nothing so far but I’ll figure it out.” Stiles said. Lydia made a humming noise before moving into the kitchen. He could hear her moving around, the kettle starting to whistle before she removed it from the burner, something being stirred. Finally she came back with two cups and set one down in front of him.

“Drink.” She ordered and Stiles frowned at the cup of tea that she had made him. It was chai, his favorite from so long ago.

“I can’t.” He said stiltedly. Lydia stared at him for a long moment demanding more than that. Stiles motioned to the tea with one hand

“I haven’t been able to keep anything that’s not raw meat or water down for more than an hour for a long time. I had a handful of stale crackers back at my last hideout and puked them up as soon as I had teleported into the preserve not ten minutes later. Even then sometimes I can’t even stomach the raw meat and have to absorb energy from my surroundings.” Stiles said and Lydia cocked her head

“Really? Do you know what caused this change in diet?” Lydia asked and Stiles could tell she thought it was some sort of puzzle that she could solve.

“I went nearly feral. When Shade had me prisoner. I nearly lost my mind and let the Shadow Kitsune take over. Ever since I haven’t been able to eat in this form and can only eat raw meat when I’m in my fox form.” Stiles said picking up his pen to play with. Lydia frowned. Obviously no one had told her about the fox form that he had. Stiles knew that she would no doubt share the information with Cora, her girlfriend, and then Cora would share it with the rest of the pack.

“I’m sure it was mostly psychometric. You don’t think you can eat or drink in this form because of what happened and now you’re too afraid to try.” She said and Stiles let out a small growl. He wasn’t afraid, he wasn’t. Still, he picked up the cup and took a small sip. The taste that burst across his tongue was like heaven. He had forgotten how good tea could taste.

“Drink the entire thing and if you still get sick then I’ll never bother you about eating again.” Lydia said smugly when he took a deeper sip. Stiles decided not to give her the satisfaction of a proper answer and instead turned back to the maps that were littered across the coffee table that he was using as a desk.

“Lydia, what happened to those old mines that used to run around here, the ones that we learned about in like, fifth grade, where they thought there was gold during the gold rush.” Stiles asked flipping through his maps. There weren’t any that had any mines on them but that didn’t mean that they didn’t still exist.

“Um...the entrance collapsed like a hundred years ago and since there wasn’t actually any gold ever found they never bothered to try and reopen them.” She said

“Yes, exactly. The perfect place for him to hide.” Stiles said triumphantly.

“But no one can get into there. The entrances don’t even exist anymore.” Lydia argued.

“Shade doesn’t need doors to get into somewhere. He only needs a dark spot to get into somewhere.” Stiles said turning to her. Lydia seemed to be contemplating his words.

“So how are we going to get in there and save your dad if we can’t get in?”She asked and Stiles shot her a wicked grin

“I taught him how to travel through shadows. I can get in and find my dad and get out if you guys cause enough of a distraction to get him away from those mines.” He said and Lydia raised an eyebrow.

“And how do you suggest we do that? We don’t even know what he wants.” She said and Stiles took another sip of his chai to hide the fact that both he and Derek did know what Shade wanted.

“You do know what he wants.” Lydia accused and when Stiles went to defend himself she cut him off

“When were you going to tell us?! When he was tearing out our throats? When he got whatever it is?” Lydia’s voice was growing louder and Stiles winced when he heard everyone wake up

“You selfish bastard! Does Derek know? Does your pack? Are we the only ones in the dark? God Stiles, you brought this threat to Beacon Hills and you don’t even have the decency to tell us what it wants!” Lydia was shrieking by the end and everyone was headed downstairs to figure out what exactly was going on. Stiles winced when Cora wrapped an arm around Lydia’s shoulders and pulled her away from Stiles. The look the younger Hale sent his was would have burned if Stiles wasn’t focused on the look of distress that was on Corey’s face

“He’s after the Object, isn’t he.” Corey said and Mason spluttered.

“What...that...not good. Not good at all.” Mason said, eyes going wide. Neither of them actually knew what the object was, other than him and Derek the only ones who knew what Stiles had done was Peter and Monk Gyatso who had both been there when Stiles had done the ritual to remove his myrkr.

“What exactly are you talking about?” Scott asked and Stiles sighed.

“Braeden, bring the Object here. I’ll try to explain what it is and why Shade wants it so damn bad.” He said waving his hand. Braeden disappeared upstairs for a brief time before returning with the box that held the object. Stiles felt the pull almost as soon as Braeden came back into view. The pull of his second soul calling for him to put it back in his chest. It felt like a ringing in his ears and as if he was underwater. How long had it been since he had actually been in the same room as it? Held it? Braeden passed the box to him and he traced the symbols that were carved into the top.

“What is that? Why does it feel like…” Isaac trailed off as he took a step towards Stiles

“It feels like there’s a second Stiles in the room. A darker Stiles.” Boyd said finishing the idea that Isaac hadn’t been able to voice.

“Everyone might want to sit down for this story. It is neither short nor pleasant.”Stiles said. There was some reluctant shuffling before everyone was seated either on the couches or on the floor. Derek had taken the spot on Stiles’ right with Peter bullying his way to Stiles’ left.

“Tell them as much as you can. If you need to leave I’ll finish the story.” Peter said giving Stiles a comforting squeeze on his arm. Stiles nodded without looking at the older man, swallowing heavily.

“When I left I was losing control because I did not know what was going on with my abilities. I learned that my soul had split during the time the Nogitsune had me in his control or shortly after when the genes that should not have activated did.” Stiles said. He paused to take a deep breath

“Conner, Shade, he was...he was a monster of my making and I did not see it at first. Maybe he was always a monster, a psychopath who hid amongst the human population but I am the reason he has abilities. I was captured by him for a while, it felt like forever. He had binded his soul to my myrkr, my dark soul and even after Peter and Braeden had rescued me I could feel is pull.” Stiles pushed magic into the box, unlocking it and felt the pack around him take a deep   breath in

“You removed your myrkr.” Braeden said in horrified awe. Stiles nodded, sealing the box again with his magic.

“What?! Wait, your telling me that Stilinski has two souls and that he took one out and put it in a box . You actually expect us to believe that.” Cora demanded incredulous. She scoffed and crossed her arms across her chest.

“Do you know what happens when you remove a soul, dear niece?” Peter asked, his voice cold and harsh.

“It’s not possible so no.” Cora said rolling her eyes

“You die. It’s not long. I was dead maybe five minutes.” Stiles said softly earning stares from everyone. He didn’t look up, just continued speaking in the same soft, dead manner

“I was dead for five minutes in the center of a pentagram that would keep my soul from leaving my body. Peter watched as a monk took my soul from my chest and cut all but a few of the strings that tied it to my body. If I had been alive for this it would have been excruciating. I would have begged for death. But I was already dead so it wasn’t and I didn’t. Once the soul was out of my chest and all but a few strings were cut they had to bring me back without destroying the other soul or my body. That is not easy. I was in recovery for two weeks. The process of taking my myrkr out changed my looks permanently. After removing the myrkr I lost the balance of light and dark that I had taken so much time to find so the monks and Braeden branded a balance rune on my chest. Braeden didn’t know why I suddenly lost my balance and I never told her. I just gave her my myrkr calling it ‘the Object’ and told her to hide it. Told her to use my other followers to move it around so that I wouldn’t know where it was. Because having it here in my lap? It’s like putting cocaine in front of a former addict.” Stiles said and Derek put a hand on his.

“We have a solution though. Once this is all over, you can put it back in.” Derek said softly, comfortingly. Stiles nodded and passed the box to Peter.

“Use this as bait to draw Shade out of the old mines. I need to check to see if my dad is down there and I don’t want him coming back if I’m still in there.” Stiles said. Derek let out a low growl

“I’m coming with you.” He said and Stiles let out a soft huff.

“Fine. I could always use some backup.” He said. The packs seemed not to know what to say so Stiles got up and retreated to the kitchen where he started on pancakes for breakfast. Isaac was the first to join him, Stiles could hear everyone else talking in the living room but didn’t focus enough to listen in.

“I’m sorry.” Isaac said pulling a cutting board out and beginning to chop up the strawberries and the bananas. Stiles was quiet. He wasn’t sure why Isaac was apologizing so he didn’t say anything.

“I’m sorry because no one else will say it. No one should have to go through that. The dying thing. And having one of your souls bound to that monster.” Isaac said after a few moments. Stiles smiled softly and brought Isaac into a hug.

“We both know the world isn’t perfect. Especially for good people.” Stiles said letting him go and ruffling his hair. Isaac grumbled good naturedly and went back to his work as Corey and Liam shuffled in.

“Can we help?” Corey asked hesitantly, eyeing Isaac carefully. Stiles nodded

“Of course potomek. Liam, start shredding some potatoes and Corey, if you would start on the eggs?” Stiles said. They both started on their appointed tasks in strained silence until Liam made the comment that Theo would probably try and shred the potatoes with his claws and Isaac had said that Cora would have done the same. With the tension broken the three pups seemed to fall into a light banter with Stiles playing referee when food started to fly.

 

John knew he was deep underground. The darkness around him smelt like dirt that hadn’t seen the light of day in years. He didn’t know exactly where he was, but he could hazard a guess to some sort of cave system that didn’t connect with the world above due to a comment the bastard had made the last time he had visited. John figured he’d been down here close to forty-eight hours, the psychopath that had captured him had only been down three times since his capture, once when he had first woken and left John in the darkness. The second and third time his captor hadn’t talked as much, just ranted angrily about how Stiles was his and ‘the stinking mutt mate’ had better keep his paws off Stiles. John knew that the bastard was talking about Derek and hoped that Derek kept Stiles safe, that he wouldn’t let this bastard touch his son again. The last time the bastard had come down he had brought burgers from the In-and-Out that was two towns over. John’s mouth had salvitated at the smell when the bastard had tossed them into his cell but he hadn’t touched them. Wasn’t sure if it was a trap or a trick and they were laced with something. John stared into the darkness past the circle the camping lamp cast waiting for the bastard to come back and finally tell him what he wanted from John. There was the sound of footsteps in the darkness. Two pair and John sighed, of course the bastard had a partner, because this could be easier for Stiles and Derek there had to be two psychopaths in town. The footsteps were getting closer and John sat up more to hide the fact that his back ached from sitting against hard rock and he was running out of energy. When Derek’s face surfaced out of the darkness John thought he was hallucinating. Then he saw his son appear beside the werewolf.

“Hey dad, don’t worry. We’re here to rescue you.” Stiles said and John passed out.

Chapter Text

Derek laid the Sheriff down on the cot in the back of the vet clinic. Stiles was a few feet away giving Deaton a stern list of instructions. There were a few threats in there that Derek wouldn’t have expected coming from the old Stiles but they seemed to fit the protectiveness of this new Stiles. Once John was settled Stiles turned to Derek

“We need to end this.” Stiles said and Derek nodded. He dropped a hand on Stiles’ shoulder and Stiles teleported them to the fight. Most of the pack was still standing. Cora had remnants of a cut that had been on her cheek and Isaac was popping one of Scott’s shoulders back in place.

“Those Chimeras are brutal.” Erica said and Derek turned towards Stiles’ pack who were patching each other up as well

“Where’s Shade?” Stiles asked and the girl in his pack shrugged. She had scales running down the side of her face and yellow eyes that made Derek uneasy

“He disappeared a few seconds before you arrived.” The one that Derek knew was named Corey said. Stiles nodded.

“He’ll be back. You guys deal with whatever little henchmen he brings. Derek will take care of Shade.” Stiles said and the Chimera pack nodded

“Course boss.” Jackson said with a toothy grin. He was half transformed and Derek could see that he was quickly slipping into full Kanima form to get ready for the next round of fighting.

“What are you going to be doing?” Cora asked accusingly and Derek snarled at her lowly

“Stiles is unable to attack Shade.”  Derek snapped and Cora scoffed

“Can’t or won't?” She said and Derek growled

“I don’t care what your problem is right now. Get your act together.” Derek said in warning. Cora bared her neck bot was still scowling. Derek turned back to Stiles who was watching with an amused look on his face.

“No doubt he decided to go get his errant captive and will-” Stiles was interrupted by an unholy shriek as Shade reappeared

“Oh, we were just talking about you.” Stiles said seemingly uncaring that Shade seemed to have lost all humanity. Derek rolled his eyes and turned towards the threat

“I will have you my pet! I will make you scream!” Shade shrieked and that was all Derek needed to charge the thing. One would think that a creature that had been causing so many issues would have been a better fighter. Once Derek was close to Shade it became very clear that Shade wasn’t used to close quarter combat. His dodges were weak and his swings were wild. Then again, Shade was so far gone into his rage and insanity that he might have just become sloppy from that.

“I think I’ll skin you mutt. Hang your pelt on the wall and let Stiles stare at it for days until one day I’ll burn it right in front of him and he’ll know that you were never strong enough to save him.” Shade taunted trying to force Derek into making a mistake. Derek didn’t. Instead he swung harder and dodged faster, getting in real close and slashing Shade’s throat open. The shadowy creatures the pack had been fighting faded into nothing. Shade stumbled back, flickering through being different levels of see through and solid. Stiles came to stand beside Derek and Derek wrapped an arm around Stiles’ shoulder

“St-il-s.” Shade said brokenly, eyes wide and fear prominent in his face.

“Goodbye Shade.” Stiles said as Shade reached out to him. Stiles didn’t move until the creature faded completely.

“Is he really dead?” Isaac asked sounding hesitant.

“Only one way to find out. Which one of you has the Object?” Stiles asked and Jackson pulled a bag out of a hole in a nearby tree

“Didn’t want to damage it in the fight.” He said passing it to Stiles. Stiles poured magic into the box and it opened. Carefully he reached into it and pulled out what looked like a human heart that was throwing off waves of blacklight.

“Are you sure he’s really dead? I mean, if he’s not you would be under his control, wouldn’t you?” The kanima girl asked sounding worried. Stiles glanced at her

“It’s going to be okay Tracy.” Stiles said before pushing the dark soul into his chest. Derek wrapped an arm around Stiles when he doubled over in pain. He tried to draw some of it in but couldn’t so he settled on simply holding Stiles up so he didn’t fall down. Stiles let out a pained groan before collapsing completely into Derek’s arms. Derek lowered him to the ground in time for him to start seizing. Erica sprung into action, lifting his head and pushing three fingers into his mouth so that he couldn’t bite through his tongue. Derek held him down so that he didn’t flail and hurt himself. All around them the pressure in the air seemed to shift, sometimes bordering on painful as it pressed down on them and sometimes feeling like they couldn’t breath because there was no oxygen. Finally Stiles fell still and the pressure seemed to return to normal

“Holy shit.” Jackson said rubbing his ears. Derek ignored him and focused on Stiles’ heartbeat. It was a little fast but sounded like it was slowing down. Stiles let out a soft moan and scrunched his face in pain

“Feel like I just had a heart attack.” Stiles mumbled rubbing his chest and squinting up at Derek

“You had a seizure.” Derek said as he helped Stiles sit up. Stiles made a soft noise

“Peter said there was a chance that could happen.” He said thoughtfully and Derek growled.

“I’ll string him up.” He muttered angrily and Stiles patted him on his cheek.

“Relax Sourwolf. I told him not to tell you because I didn’t want you to worry.” Stiles said and Derek rolled his eyes.

“This is all cool and shit but how do we know this worked?” Raeken asked. Derek and Stiles shared a look

“You have to tell me to do something Der, otherwise we won’t know.” Stiles said climbing to his feet. Derek stood as well

“I don’t want to take your control away.” Derek said and Stiles smiled gently.

“It doesn’t have to be anything big. You just have to mean it.” Stiles said and Derek frowned.

“Stiles. Kiss me.” Derek ordered. Stiles made a halting movement towards Derek with a pout

“Not fair.” Stiles whined before throwing himself at Derek and pressing their lips together. Derek deepened the kiss, pushing past Stiles’ lips with his tongue and mapping out Stiles’ mouth like they used to. Someone wolf-whistled and Derek pulled away.

“You’re a jerk.” Stiles said pouting. Derek grinned wolfishly and pressed a kiss to Stiles’ nose.

“Let’s go home.” He said and the pack cheered. Stiles stepped to the side to talk to his own group and Derek purposely walked slowly back towards the pack house so that he could listen in

“I need you guys to head down to Texas, the two warlocks I had tailing Her lost track of her there and I need someone to catch the trail again.” Stiles said and Raeken nodded

“I was going to stick around a bit longer.” Jackson said sounding sheepish.

“No can do. I need you back in New York keeping an eye on the assets there. Braeden is going to Europe to take care of any fallout there. I’m not sure how Shade managed to pull enough energy to do the fuck up that I’m getting reports of there. Anyone know what happened to the vampires that were supposed to be here two days ago?” Stiles asked.

“They got caught up in a turf war over the factory. As far as I know they won but they are still mopping up the mess.” Peter’s voice sounded bored and Derek didn’t hear what Stiles said next because he was out of range.

 

Stiles was tired, he ached all over, his chest felt like he had a bag of bricks settled on it making it hard to breath. It was late at night and he was sitting on the roof of the pack house watching as his two packs laugh and converse below. Two packs, both which he didn’t really belong to and each having their own view of him. The Hale pack saw him as a goofy human who came up with plans on how to defeat the monster of the week. The Chimera pack saw him as a dangerous leader who would do anything for his people and who wasn’t afraid of taking a life to make a point. Two facets. Two faces. Stiles wasn’t sure which he wanted to wear if either. He wasn’t the goofy human anymore, had seen and done too much to ever be able to go back to that level of naivety. And yet, he didn’t want to be the ruthless leader who everyone was a little wary of because of how powerful he was. It was the reason he had been looking for a way to bind himself to another when he had been traveling with Conner. It was the reason Conner had found that ritual. In a way Stiles had led him right to it.

Stiles flinched when someone sat down beside him. Glancing over he saw it was Jackson

“Hey Boss.” Jackson said lightly. Stiles turned back to the scene below. It looked like they were now playing football on the large lawn that sprawled out behind the Pack house

“We’re monsters, you and me.” Stiles said softly. Jackson made a noise of agreement. When Stiles had found Jackson again he had been cleaning the blood off himself after killing a rogue group of werewolves. Jackson had claimed a large part of London for himself, taking kickbacks from any supernatural creature that wanted to live in his territory. When Stiles had shown up Jackson had gotten smart and said he would work for Stiles rather than fight him. Stiles had gotten three quarters of anything Jackson got and in return Stiles had helped him expand his territory to all of London. They still held it too, a pack of werewolves had taken over the day to day stuff but Jackson liked to drop in from time to time to make sure everything was running to Stiles’ likings. If Stiles was a mafia boss, Jackson was his right hand and Peter was the invisible left.

“I miss it sometimes too. How things were when we were in high school. When we were just novices in this world. Dipping our toes in trying to get use to the cold water.” Jackson said and Stiles had to agree.

“I missed this place. Used to dream about coming back.” Stiles said wistfully. He shared a glance with Jackson who seemed surprised

“What stopped you?” He asked and Stiles frowned

“I knew it would be different. Things don’t stay the same. People grow up, move away, die. Businesses close, businesses open. Roads get repaved. Nothing is the same because it’s always evolving.” Stiles said simply. Jackson hummed

“We’re different too. I don’t think I could ever go back to the life in a small town and be happy.” He said and Stiles cocked his head

“Even if Isaac was in said small town?” He asked and Jackson blushed.

“Maybe then. I didn’t think you’d catch that.” Jackson said. Stiles grinned and leaned back against the roof so he could look at the stars.

“You guys would be good for each other. He would be the thing that keeps you human.” Stiles said and Jackson laid down beside him

“He’s always been the thing that kept me human. Just the thought of him is enough to keep me from drowning in the darkness.” Jackson said. They both fell into silence, listening to the cheers from below as someone scored a touchdown. Stiles reached out and grasped Jackson’s hand. Jackson squeezed back and Stiles grinned. Things weren’t perfect but they were getting better. They had reached home and found the lights on meaning someone was waiting. Derek and Isaac were waiting.

Chapter Text

Stiles wasn’t sure why he had an uneasy feeling.  He just did. He was currently laying in bed beside Derek pondering whether or not the Witch of the Waste was going to be a problem. The Chimeras hadn’t been able to catch her scent, the trail had led deep into the desert before he had called them off. Stiles didn’t think she would be able to pull anything off anytime soon though he was going to have to deal with her at a later date. The zombie outbreak in France had been dealt with and he had dispatched Braeden to the Middle East to deal with the venti that were threatening his holdings there. Jackson was going to be coming around for Thanksgiving next week and bringing Cory and Mason with him. Derek had extended the offer to the rest of the Chimeras but the others had decided to spend Thanksgiving in Monte Carlo gambling. Stiles had given them approximately two-hundred thousand each for their yearly salary and since he usually paid for all the travel and such that they did for him they got to spend that money on whatever they wanted. Cory and Mason were saving their money to build a house in the Hamptons on the beach. Stiles knew that whenever they finally had enough he would let them retire there, they deserved it. Cory had been a science experiment in the Dread Doctors’ labs when Stiles had rescued him, barely able to string together a coherent three word sentence due to the drugs they had been pumping into him. Mason had been a hunter’s pet, left strung up and dosed with wolfsbane when Stiles had taken out the hunters three months before raiding the Dread Doctors’ lab and finding the Chimeras. The other Chimeras hadn’t been nearly as addicted to the foul drugs that Corey had been and it was only because of Mason that Corey had gotten clean and stayed clean.

“G’ ta sleep St’les.” Derek slurred throwing on arm over Stiles and pulling him closer. Stiles tucked his head under Derek’s chin and closed his eyes. Sleep still took a long time to claim him.

 

Derek frowned as he listened to Deputy Rathaway cough

“You okay?” He asked and the woman shrugged

“It’s just a flu according to my doctor. I don’t have it as bad as others. Fifteen people have been admitted to the hospital for this strain.” She said and Derek was glad that his pack couldn’t catch the flu. He couldn’t imagine any of them getting sick. It would send Stiles into mother hen mode to the max probably. They roamed the streets in their cruiser with not much to do. It seemed that two days before Thanksgiving wasn’t a big time for crime. Rathaway’s cough seemed to be getting worse though and it worried Derek

“You sure you’re okay?” He asked and she smiled at him

“I think I’ll head to the doctors after my shift. I don’t want to put any more strain on the Sheriff, with Stiles being back and everyone worrying if he’ll disappear again.” She said and Derek clutched the steering wheel tighter. Stiles had visited the station at the beginning of the month, wearing a glamor that made him appear normal to everyone. He hadn’t returned telling Derek that he couldn’t but not saying why. Derek hadn’t pushed, hadn’t dared. It seemed that everyone was still walking on eggshells around Stiles. Well, everyone except Cora who was in an all out war with Derek’s mate. It had gotten to the point that Stiles had stopped asking her if she was coming to dinner because he knew she wouldn’t touch anything he made.

“Alright. I’m sure Stiles will stick around a bit longer.” He said calmly. Rathaway glanced at him

“If he leaves are you going to go with him?” She asked and Derek shrugged. He wanted to say yes, that he would follow his mate to the ends of the earth if that meant he could stay by Stiles for the rest of their lives. He also knew that he belonged in Beacon Hills and on the Hale land. That he was the protector of this place and that if he left then it would be a light for all the dark things in the world that said the town was unprotected. Stiles had explained to him one night that Beacon Hills sat on the convergence of not two or three ley-lines but five, which was pretty rare and only occurred in two other places with only one of those actually being on land. It explained why everyone was so hell bent of taking over the town. Rathaway made a soft noise catching Derek’s attention. He looked over to find her slumped against the door, a trickle of blood slipping from the corner of her lips. He flipped the sirens on and sped towards the hospital, listening closely to her rapidly beating heart as he drove to make sure she didn’t die on him. The rest of his shift was spent giving his statement to the doctors and then again to the sheriff.

“Go home son. There’s nothing you can do here. Stiles is probably worried sick, I was on the phone with him when the news came in.” John said and Derek nodded. He drove the cruiser back to the house, too tired to go back to the station and switch cars. As soon as he was out of the car Stiles was flying out of the house and wrapping his arms around Derek.

“I was so worried. All dad would say was that you were fine but at the hospital.” Stiles said burying his nose into Derek’s neck. Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles to give the younger man comfort.

“I’m okay. It was my partner who was admitted. She said that she had the flu but started bleeding from the mouth. The doctors said that all the coughing she has done caused the bleeding but that she was going to have to stay until they can get her fever under control.” Derek said stroking Stiles’ hair and rocking him gently. Stiles made a soft noise in the back of his throat and pulled away.

“I’m glad you’re home. You don’t have another shift until after Thanksgiving, right?” He asked as they moved towards the house. Derek could sense the pack waiting for them just inside the house and wasn’t surprised to find them all piled together in the foyer waiting for Derek and Stiles to enter the house.

“Good to hear it wasn’t you that needed the hospital Nephew.” Peter said coming into the foyer with a glass of what smelt like scotch. Peter held the glass out for Derek who took a small sip and was glad to find it laced.

“When did you arrive?” He asked and Peter shrugged

“Two hours ago. I got a taxi from the airport.” Peter said as if it was nothing. Derek suppose it wasn’t, he just hadn’t known his uncle would be coming. Stiles gave his arm a squeeze

“I didn’t know he was coming either.” Stiles said before moving away into the house. Derek followed as the pack dispersed knowing that their Alpha was fine. Stiles appeared to have been making cookie dough when Derek had pulled in and Derek smiled when Stiles offered him a bit on his finger. Derek took the finger into his mouth and sucked on it like it was another part of Stiles. Stiles pulled back almost immediately but Derek knew he was aroused based on the pheromones that were filling the kitchen. Still, Derek wouldn’t push Stiles into anything he didn’t want so he let Stiles return to his batter

“When are Mason and Corey arriving?” Derek asked once Stiles had put the first round of cookies into the oven

“Tonight. They aren’t getting in until close to one though so I don’t have to leave to pick them up until much later.” Stiles said and Derek hummed. He watched as Stiles pulled a cake out of the bottom oven and set it on a rack to cool. The entire kitchen had been designed for Stiles, Derek had always hoped that he would be able to see his mate cook in it and here was that hope coming true.

“What are you looking at so sappily?” Stiles asked and Derek crowded up behind him.

“Missed you so much. Watching you cook in the kitchen I designed for you makes me happy.” Derek murmured into Stiles neck. Stiles sighed and wrapped Derek’s arms around him

“I missed you guys too. You especially. I fooled myself into thinking that it was safer for me to stay away...and after my time in Shade’s grasp it was more of I fooled myself into thinking that you would be ashamed of me.” Stiles said and Derek made a wounded sound

“Love you too much.” He murmured, “Never think it was your fault.” Stiles relaxed back into Derek’s embrace.

“I’ll work on that.” He said with a content sigh

 

Thanksgiving was loud and Stiles couldn’t be happier. Everyone was sitting around the table talking and eating and finally Stiles felt like the family was whole. He sat at Derek’s left with Cora across from him. She wouldn’t look at Stiles but she was eating the food that Stiles had made and that was a small win. After the meal the group migrated to the den for a puppy pile and movies. It would have been a perfect day until Isaac started coughing. Stiles had noticed he had done it a lot in the past few days but this time was different. This time he was coughing up blood.

Chapter Text

Isaac woke to the smell of pancakes. Stiles must have been cooking again. Derek didn’t cook pancakes usually and no one else ever tried to go into the kitchen because that was strictly Stiles’ domain. He tried to get up but Jackson’s arms were wrapped around him in a tight grip

“Go back to sleep ‘saac.” Jackson muttered in his sleep. Isaac grinned down at his fiancé and pressed several kisses the other man’s face

“If you don’t hurry I bet Stiles will make all the pancakes chocolate chip.” Isaac teased and Jackson opened one eye at him

“He wouldn’t dare.” He said pouting and Isaac could hardly contain his giggles.

“I don’t know but you’d better let me up.” Isaac said happily. Jackson pulled his arms away and sat up himself. Isaac threw the thick covers back and swung his legs off the bed. The floor was cold so he hurried over to the in-suit bathroom where the thick bath mat would protect his toes while he pissed. When he got back into the bedroom Jackson was pulling on a pair of sweatpants. There was another pair on the bed and Isaac pulled them on

“Good morning babe.” Isaac said sweetly as he pressed a kiss to Jackson’s jaw. Jackson rumbled deep in his chest in pleasure, pressing a kiss at Isaac’s temple.  When they finally made it downstairs after a long make out/groping session Erica was setting the table. She wrinkled her nose at them but didn’t say anything. Jackson pulled Isaac towards the kitchen and Isaac knew he wanted to make sure that some of the pancakes would have fruit in them since he wasn’t allowed to have chocolate on his strict diet. Isaac followed docilely, planning on getting coffee anyways. As his lover hovered over Stiles, Isaac poured himself a cup of coffee into his favorite mug. It was one that they had gotten when they had gone to Disney Land and had a mouse tail for a handle. Cora liked to tease him about it but Isaac guarded the mug like it was actually worth something. Derek let him, making sure the pack left the mug alone.

“Is Papa going to be home soon?” Isaac asked and Stiles nodded

“He’s running a little late. Something about paperwork. You know how much of that he has to do with being the sheriff and all.” Stiles said and Isaac nodded. Derek had been sheriff for close to three years now.  He worked a lot but that was okay. Stiles kept the pack together for the most part. Even though he was human, Stiles made a wonderful Pack Mother and Isaac briefly wondered if he and Derek would ever adopt. The pack acted enough like children that they would have plenty of practice before they actually had children. The front door opened and Isaac heard Scott and Allison enter. Allison’s footsteps were heavy, probably because she was heavily pregnant with twins.

“Did we miss breakfast?” Scott called from the front foyer and Isaac rolled his eyes

“No, I’m just finishing up the pancakes!” Stiles called back and Isaac heard Scott mutter a ‘thank god’. Isaac rolled his eyes and took another sip of his coffee. It was nice to have a home as good as this one. When his father had been killed Isaac had thought he would go to social services but Derek had claimed him as his own and had always taken good care of Isaac.

“Come on pups, let’s get the food to the table.” Stiles said and Isaac and Jackson both helped him carry the pancakes, bacon, hash browns, and eggs to the large dining room table. Derek walked in as they were sitting down and pressed a kiss to Stiles lips

“Don’t start without me. I’ll be right back.” Derek said to his pack before going to put his gun in the safe. When he returned Stiles had already dished him out food and he sunk into his chair gratefully.

“I’m going to miss this.” Isaac said with a sigh. It earned him a few confused looks and Stiles took his hand

“Are you going somewhere Isaac?” He asked sounding worried. Isaac frowned. He wasn’t sure why he had said that. He had no plans on ever leaving, this was his home and these people were his family.

“I don’t think so.” Isaac said slowly and Stiles gave him a reassuring smile

“Just know that we love you. We don’t want you to leave.” Stiles said and Isaac returned it. Allison took the chance to chime in

“Yeah, if you leave who would be the twin’s godfather?” She said and Isaac blushed.

“I don't know why I said that. Just forget it, okay?” He said and it seemed like the matter was dropped. The pack ate with gusto and helped clean up like they always did. Cora and Boyd did the dishes while Stiles disappeared upstairs with Derek. Everyone knew that they were going to have sex so as soon as breakfast was cleaned up they left to hang out at the preserve. There was a small lake deep within the woods and they often hung out here on the weekends, going swimming in the summer and hanging out on the small sandy beach in the winter. It was getting too cold to swim but Jackson and Boyd were having a competitions to see who could make a stone skip more. Isaac would hate to tell Jackson but Boyd was winning. Erica and Lydia were talking about the latest fashions that they had seen at the mall and were trying to find a way to replace Stiles’ plaid with something that they deemed more fashionable. Malia and Cora were sitting not far off sharpening sticks with their claws and talking about different traps for the preserve that they could use in case of anyone wanting to cause trouble. Not that Beacon Hills had had much trouble but it was always good to be ready. Allison and Scott were sitting further back on the beach, Allison in Scott’s lap with his hands on her swollen belly and his nose pressed into her neck. Isaac laid back and watched the clouds. It was always going to be peaceful here. After all, it was just a dream.

The thought made him sit up and scan his surroundings. Was this just a dream? Something didn’t feel quite right about it. Too perfect. And Stiles didn’t look right, Isaac kept expecting him to have different eyes. And not be human. Isaac glanced around at the pack. No one seemed to have noticed his panic. He told himself that he was just imagining these things, he told himself that this was real. That this couldn’t be a dream.

 

He knew he was lying though.

Werewolves could hear lies, even one they tell themselves.

Chapter Text

“I’ll be back in a week.” Stiles said as he finished packing his suitcase. Derek was sitting on the bed watching him with a forlorn look on his face.

“I still don’t understand why you have to go at all.” Derek said and Stiles paused

“I need to look at some books that are in my London apartment.” Stiles said sounding exasperated. Derek made a soft wounded sound and Stiles paused.

“I’m not going to be gone long but Isaac is deteriorating. We need a fix soon.” Stiles said softly.

“I know. I wish Cora and Lydia were being more helpful.” Derek said with a sigh. Stiles rolled his eyes and thought about the two that were supposedly trying to help Isaac. They weren’t doing much, mostly arguing with each other and pulling up the same useless text that Stiles had already gone through. Derek had tried to get the two girls to help Stiles instead of being useless but they had fought him at every turn and Stiles had eventually told him to stop wasting his energy.

“Boyd will be going with you.” Derek said and Stiles rolled his eyes

“Boyd will not be coming. He needs to stay here and deal with whatever comes this way while I’m gone.” Stiles said. He made sure that the amusement didn’t seep into his voice even though he knew Derek would be able to smell it.

“I just want you to be safe.” Derek said pouting. Stiles laughed and straddled Derek’s lap

“Honey, I control London. I very much doubt that anyone will try to hurt me on my home turf.” Stiles said with a small smile. Derek frowned

“I didn’t know you controlled London.” He said and Stiles gave him a kiss on the cheek

“I do indeed. Most of Britain actually but not Ireland. That belongs to a very vicious pack of wolves whose current leader I respect greatly and will not disrespect by encroaching on his territory. His son? Not so much but McCarthy rules with both respect for the people and respect for the land. Not to mention Jackson would never admit but he respects him too.” Stiles said and Derek raised an eyebrow

“He had the audacity to bite Jackson and tell him he was a ‘fecking wagon’. It didn’t seem like much to me but Jackson was so offended because apparently, he called him a bitch. Didn’t care that Jackson was in full Kanima form either. So, we wrote up a treaty and when he dies I get Ireland because apparently he doesn’t care much for his son’s leadership abilities either.” Stiles said with a shrug. Derek rolled his eyes and Stiles climbed off his lap to finish packing

“Anything else I should know?” He asked sarcastically but Stiles decided to take the question seriously

“Technically when it comes to non-werewolves I control California too. Most of the packs that live in the state pay me a small fee for taking care of large threats for them but I don’t actually require it like I do in London. Britain was won, California was kinda just given to me.” Stiles said before adding

“And I have lots of enemies. Not a lot are powerful but some are and I keep them in check in different ways.” Stiles nodded.

“And you don’t think this is one of those enemies trying to get revenge?” Derek asked. Stiles fell back onto the bed with a loud exhale

“Honestly? I have no clue. Beacon Hills is one of my best kept secrets. The Chimera pack didn’t even know how important this place was for me until right before they arrived. Most people who work for me don’t realize where I’m from. There are rumors, of course, some say that I am an ancient creature that was asleep until recently, some say that I grew up in an orphanage in France. There’s even one where my parents were missionaries in China and they died and I was abandoned in the mountains.” Stiles said. Derek laid down beside him.

“You must have been lonely.” He said. Stiles shrugged

“I had Peter. And when Peter left then I had Jackson. I was never really alone.” Stiles said and he could sense Derek frowning at him

“You know what I meant.” He said and Stiles turned to face him

“I had people come and check in from time to time. People you probably didn’t even realize belonged to me because they were human and just passed through. And the Nemeton almost always was updating me on how you were specifically.” Stiles said with a grin. Derek spluttered

“You talk to the Nemeton?” Derek asked sounding shocked. Stiles nodded.

“I think we formed a bond when I was possessed. I’m not quite sure how it works because obviously the Nemeton didn’t think it was important for me to know about the hunters. It sometimes slips me information about different things in my dreams.” Stiles said with a small frown. Derek snorted

“SOunds like Deaton.” He muttered. Stiles sat up and Derek followed him

“Are you sure I can’t convince you to take someone with you?” Derek asked and Stiles decided to humor him

“I’ll take  the twins, how about that?” He said and Derek perked up like a puppy that heard it’s name.

“Alright.” He said and Stiles pressed a kiss to his cheek. Kisses and cuddling was as far as they had taken things though Stiles could sometimes smell the sexual frustration on Derek. It hurt knowing that he couldn’t have his mate like they used to, that he couldn’t have sex with Derek because he was still working through trauma. Derek told him it was alright but Stiles knew Derek would eventually grow tired of having to use his hand to get off and find someone else.

“Hey, where are you right now?” Derek asked softly, cupping Stiles’ face in his broad hands. Stiles let his eyes return to focus and gave Derek a small smile that didn’t reach his eyes.

“I’m alright. Just got lost in dark thoughts.” Stiles said gently. Derek ran a thumb over Stiles’ cheekbones and Stiles reached up to hold onto Derek’s wrist. It was comforting to be held like this. He would miss his mate while they were apart but he told himself he would return soon. He’d promised he’d only be gone a week after all.

 

Derek stood in the doorway of Isaac’s room. Isaac wasn’t in it, he was in the hospital but Derek hated hospitals, the way they covered his pup’s scent in chemicals. He prefered to visit Isaac’s room in the Pack house to ground himself. Stiles had been gone a week and a half but he was getting daily calls from his mate and knew the reason why the trip had been expanded.

Stiles had found the spell. Well a family of spells that the spell belonged to. Derek wasn’t sure how many spells were in that family and was a little afraid to ask. This was progress, Stiles had made progress in this and Derek knew that.

An itch at the back of his throat crept up and he cleared it trying to drive the sensation away. It had worked before. It wasn’t working now. Derek couldn’t allow himself to cough. To admit that something was wrong. If he did the pack would worry, Stiles would worry and come home and right now Stiles was finding the cure, a way to save not only Isaac but also Derek. The tickle in his throat grew and he swallowed thickly to try and smother it. That trick worked, the tickle sliding away and Derek sighed. The longer the pack was in the dark about his condition the better. Derek wasn’t sure how long he had until he was coughing up blood but he had snuck a glance at Stiles’ timeline for Isaac and the humans that had also gotten sick and it said that the coughing had just been the beginning. After coughing had come lack of appetite, then night sweats, then a fever that grew until most the humans ended up in the hospital. After that was a constant headache, dizziness, then coughing up blood.

Derek was only beginning to lose his appetite, finding it hard to eat what Lydia was cooking though that might have been because she was a terrible cook and most of the food that she made was half burnt or undercooked. Derek wasn’t sure how the pack had really survived without Stiles though Ethan and Aiden had done most the cooking when Stiles had left. Everyone else had been to deep in grief over Allison’s death or Stiles’ disappearance to want to cook and the two of them had been the least affected. Even after everyone’s grief had lessened the two had continued to cook and Derek had let them because he didn’t want to deal with going into the kitchen he had created with his mate in mind. Derek’s phone rang and he checked it to see that it was work.

“Hale.” He said answering it

“Hey Derek, it’s John. I hate to ask this of you because I know you have the next few days off but can you come in? We’re low in numbers because of the flu right now.” The sheriff said and Derek agreed.

“Yeah, I’ll come in for the night shift and can work tomorrow’s day shift as well.” Derek said and he heard a sigh on the other end of the line

“Thanks. Have you heard from Stiles today? He called me a couple of times yesterday but I only got to talk to him for five minutes once before a crisis pulled me away.” John said and Derek smiled. He was glad that his mate was keeping in contact with his father as well as Derek

“Yeah, I talked to him this morning. It was his lunch time but I think he’s making progress. Has anyone died from this yet?” Derek said

“One old lady who was in her nineties. It doesn’t seem to hit humans as bad as it’s hitting Isaac. No one else is in a coma at this moment.” John said and Derek sighed

“I’ll tell him. He’s the one that wanted to know. Most of what he’s researching is beyond me but if it was affecting humans the same way it was affecting us wolves it would mean that it was one branch of the family of spells or something.” Derek said and John made a wounded noise

“I hope the information helps. Has anyone else shown symptoms of getting sick?” John asked and Derek paused

“I don’t think any of my pup’s are sick but I’m keeping a close eye on them. We don’t want anyone to get sick so I’m not allowing them to visit Isaac when I go.” Derek said, being very careful to word the answer so he wasn’t lying. He didn’t think anyone was listening in but it was always better to be safe. His uncle was still around and Peter had a nasty habit of listening in on conversations.

“That’s a relief. When can you come in?” John asked and Derek checked his watch

“I’ll be there in twenty minutes.” He said leaving Isaac’s room and heading to his own to change

“See you then.” John said and Derek hung up.

 

Derek was put on desk duty when he got to the station since they had odd numbers and everyone was already paired up. He was also very good at paperwork and it looked like the entire office was backed up with the bureaucracy.

“Things have been hell around here. The flu has made everyone crazy and we’ve had so many people calling in false alarms due to hallucinations or shit like that.” Deputy Parrish said flopping down at the desk next to Derek's. Parrish had arrived a few months after Derek had become a deputy, the two of them got along well but Derek normally worked with his canine companion Roxy until she had been retired in the July that had just pasted. They were supposed to get a new batch in soon so Derek knew he wouldn’t be without a partner for much longer.

“I’m sure. Glad I’m doing paperwork rather than dealing with that shit.” Derek said and it was true, while he was one of the most well liked and respected Deputies in the force he still didn’t feel comfortable with the people in the town. Parrish laughed

“I’m glad because I’d rather be on my feet than sitting behind a desk.” He said and Derek was reminded of how young Parrish was. Derek nodded and they worked in quiet until Parrish was called away to deal with something happening at the grocery store

“Better not be another streaker.” Parrish muttered as he left and Derek snorted in laughter. The creeping sensation of needing to cough was back and Derek allowed himself to cough into his elbow this time.

“Hope you’re not coming down with the flu now.” Officer Thomas said sympathetically and Derek shook his head

“I’ve got an immune system like a steel trap. Haven’t ever been sick.” Derek said before adding, “And Stiles has me on so many vitamins to keep me healthy it’s not funny.” Thomas grinned and nodded

“My wife did the same with me. Tell Stiles I said hi next time you see him. I’m not sure when he’s going to be home from his work trip.” He said and Derek nodded

“Will do.” He said and Thomas moved on t the holding area. Derek shook his head and went back to his paperwork. He’d call Stiles later when he went to check on Isaac during his dinner break.

Chapter Text

Stiles returned to Beacon Hills to a quiet Pack house. Derek he knew was still at the station, he had called when they landed in San Francisco.

“Glad to be home.” Ethan said with a sigh and Stiles had to agree. It had taken him a week longer than expected but he believed he knew what had happened to Isaac. The problem was there was no direct cure. It was a spell and potion combination called Traumlandschaft, Dreamscape. It was an old german sort of curse where the person affected was put into a world of their own making, a perfect world that they would never want to leave. While their mind was trapped in this dream their body wasted away until it couldn’t survive and the person died. The only way to break it was to get one’s own consciousness into the dream and convince the person that it wasn’t real. Like all German based spells it relied heavily on illusions and what one’s own mind could twist.

“I’m going to take a nap. Jet lag is going to kill me.” Aiden moaned. Stiles smiled softly at the two

“I’m going to visit Isaac and then dig a little deeper into how we can get into the dreamscape.” Stiles said putting his suitcase down beside the door. The twins nodded and disappeared further into the house. Stiles listened to them and rolled his eyes. They were an interesting pair, trying to hide that they were more than just brothers to each other. Stiles wasn’t fooled by the fact that Aiden said he was straight while simultaneously flirting with Danny just as much as his brother. They both liked the Hawaiian boy but Ethan was the only one that actually made any moves due to the fact that they were already in a relationship with each other. Stiles figured if he pushed in his own subtle way he could get the three of them together by the new year. If he wasn’t too busy keeping the pack from falling into the spell’s grasp.

 

Isaac lay still in the hospital bed. Stiles hated it. He was thinner now, cheeks hollow in ways that they shouldn’t have been. Isaac hadn’t had the weight to lose anything before he had gotten sick, now that he was wasting away he looked fragile. Like a teenager again.

“Oh pup.” Stiles murmured stroking Isaac’s hair. It pained him to see his baby like this, his first pup.

“It’s just a dream love, you need to wake up.” Stiles murmured. Isaac didn’t move. Didn’t seem to react at all. Stiles sat with him for a while, reading aloud to the young man a version of Red Riding Hood that he had found in a German book auction in Germany. It was an unorthodox version, where the wolf was sort of a good guy and Red Riding Hood was an innocent confused girl that had caught the wolf’s eye. He was just getting to the part where the townspeople were tying Red to a post to sacrifice to the wolf when there was a blip in Isaac’s heart monitor. He summoned a nurse and she checked him over

“It’s just a false alarm. He’s been doing it at a more frequent rate lately. Usually after Mr. Hale visits. I’m hoping it means he’s waking but the doctor thinks it’s just a malfunction in the machine. We’ve got so many people who are sick we can’t give him a new one.” She said and Stiles nodded

“I think I’m going to stick around for a bit longer. Could you send me a text every time it happens? I know it’s a lot to ask but we’re all really worried about him and it would make me feel better if I knew.” Stiles asked and the nurse nodded slowly

“I’ll try. We’re packed full and still getting people in from the flu. If I’m the one that comes in when it happens I’ll send you a text.” She said and Stiles thanked her. Once she was out of the room Stiles sat down beside Isaac and grasped his hand

“It’s just a dream pup. My voice, follow my voice. You’re strong, the strongest I know but it’s time for you to come home.” Stiles murmured squeezing Isaac’s hand. He sat there quietly for a few moments before returning to his book and continuing to read. Isaac’s monitor blipped three more times in the two hours that he was there and the nurse said that it was the most frequent it had happened. Stiles hadn’t wanted to leave but Derek had shown up and Stiles hadn’t wanted to intrude on their time together. Instead he headed home and started on his research into how to get into Isaac’s dreamscape. While he was reading he started to record himself talking. It seemed to him that hearing their voices was helping Isaac, something that he would share with Derek when he got back to the house. If Stiles could play the recordings when they weren’t able to be there it might help lead Isaac out of the dream.

It couldn’t hurt at least.

 

Isaac was aware of static, static and the dark trees that surrounded him. The static was constant buzzing in his ear. Sometimes he could hear Derek or Stiles trying to break through the hum, like a radio station that was one or two frequencies away. There, but hard to hear and focusing on trying to make out words was hard. He would try and follow the sound only for it to fade after a while leaving him lost in the woods. He was looking for a door. Why he needed the door was unknown to him but he was looking for a door in these woods. He wasn’t even sure what a door was at this point, he knew he should know but it was like there was something keeping the knowledge about doors and what they were from his mind. He supposed that made this even more frustrating, knowing he was looking for something that he couldn’t picture, describe or recognize.

“...Lydia said...remember...Love you...school…” Stiles’ voice was back, a dull hum that wove in and out of the static. Isaac thought it was coming from the west so that was the direction he headed. He followed the sound, expecting it to fade completely after what might have been a few hours. It didn’t. Stiles kept talking, Isaac kept following the sound.

“We miss you pup...Derek’s working his...Even my dad is worried...find the cure...stay strong for us…” Stiles’ voice was getting stronger, coming in more clearly and Isaac realized he was able to hear more of the words. It gave Isaac hope and he broke out into a run until he reached a clearing. There was a table in the center sitting beside a rectangular thing that seemed to have no purpose. On the table was a old fashioned radio with knobs to change the frequency. Isaac didn’t dare touch it in case he lost Stiles’ voice. He didn’t want to lose his Tata , a word for dad that Stiles had taught him.

“We need you Isaac. We need you to come home.” Stiles’ voice said softly before falling silent. Isaac waited for Stiles to start talking again but he didn’t. So Isaac sat there in the clearing waiting for Stiles to come back.

 

Stiles wanted to scream at the new nurse who was supposed to be taking care of Isaac. He had left specific instructions that they were to keep the tapes running at all times. Had cited some bullshit about studies that had been done about coma patients being able to hear what was going on around them. Of course the nurse didn’t seem to have cared because she had let the tape run out and not bothered to switch it in the three hours she had been on duty. No, instead she was sitting at the nurses station playing on her phone.

“I’m here pup. I’m sorry my voice went away for a while but I’m here now. I need you to be strong. I need you to come back to us. Jackson’s flying in tonight. He was here when you first got sick but had to leave to finish a job for me. We fought about it. I won. He wouldn’t have done any good sitting here beside you and watching you sleep. I’ve got the book again, I’ll start where I left off last time. If I remember correctly the townsfolk were about to tie Red up to the post to sacrifice to the wolf.” Stiles said brushing Isaac’s hair out of his face. He sat down beside the bed and began to read to the comatose boy. Not more than five minutes in Isaac’s heart monitor started screaming and Isaac started seizing.

“Help!” Stiles shouted and two nurses rushed into the room barking orders. Another nurse ushered Stiles into the hall. With shaky hands, Stiles called Derek

“Stiles? What’s wrong. Is Isaac okay?” Derek sounded out of breath when he answered. Stiles let out a choked laugh

“I think he’s waking up.” Stiles said breathlessly. He heard Derek curse on the other end of the line

“I’m on my way. Call Jackson, he should know. I’ll be there in five.” Derek said and Stiles rolled his eyes. It normally took at least fifteen minutes to get from the station to the hospital even at breakneck speeds. Derek hung up and Stiles dialed Jackson

“You need to get a sooner flight.” Stiles said when Jackson answered with an angry ‘what’

“Is he okay?” Jackson asked worried and Stiles sighed

“I think he’s waking up. Just get here as soon as you can.” He said and Jackson let out a soft whine

“I’m looking at expedia right now, there’s a fight that leaves in an hour. I’ll be there in four hours.” Jackson said and Stiles made a noise of agreement. He hung up and turned back to where the nurses were coming out of Isaac’s room

“Is he okay?” Stiles asked and the head nurse sighed. There had been a lot of that going on Stiles mused.

“He’s stable. We’re not sure why he had the seizure but he doesn’t seem to have gotten worse because of it. We’ll keep an eye on him for now and run some tests later this afternoon. You can go back in if you would like.” She said and Stiles nodded. When he entered the room he collected his book from the floor.

“Derek’s on his way over pup. You gave us quite a scare there but I think it was a good thing. I hope you can hear me because we need you to come home. I’m not sure Jax would survive without you and I know I would never forgive myself for not doing everything I can to help.” Stiles said holding Isaac’s hand. Derek skidd into the room

“Is he…” He began but Stiles shook his head.

“Not yet. I have hope though.” He said and Derek defalated. He sat down on the other side of the bed and held Isaac’s other hand.

“Shall we get back to the book? We were getting to a good part where Red’s love interest, the one she thinks is the wolf, is trying to rescue her before the wolf gets there.” Stiles murmured flipping through the large book for the right page. Once he found it he began to read again, only stopping once or twice to drink some water and soothe his throat. Derek left at lunchtime and then Jackson arrived shortly after to hear the end of the story. Stiles smiled softly

“Alright. That was Red Riding Hood. I’ll be back tomorrow with another book but I think Jax is going to stick around to talk to you.” Stiles said standing. Before he left he pressed a kiss to Isaac’s forehead.

 

Jackson wasn’t sure what he was actually talking about. He just kept a constant stream of words flowing from his mouth as he gently held his mate’s hand. Stiles had left a couple of hours ago and there hadn’t been much of a change.

“Sweetheart, I understand if you prefer that world, Stiles said it would be your ideal place. I just hope that I’m there, at your side. I just hope that no matter what, you’re happy. Because I would take a wolfsbane bullet to the heart for you to be happy.” Jackson murmured. He pressed a kiss to Isaac’s lips before flicking the tape recorder that Stiles had set up beside the bed on. Stiles’ voice filled the air as Jackson headed towards the door but it wasn’t Stiles saying his name that made him stop halfway to the elevator.

“Jax?”

Chapter Text

Isaac fell asleep soon after waking, his body not strong enough to keep consciousness for very long. Jackson knew he was fighting sleep though, had seen the same fight in Isaac’s eyes that he had seen in Stiles’. Derek and Stiles had arrived shortly after Isaac had slumped over into sleep and Jackson hadn’t missed the flash of disappointment in Stiles’ eyes when he saw that Isaac was asleep. Derek hadn’t stuck around long, both because of the two visitors only rule and because the department was a madhouse dealing with the flu. Jackson and Stiles sat with Isaac until visiting hours were over and the nurses were forced to kick them out. He hadn’t wanted to leave yet, feeling like if he left it could be the last time he saw Isaac.

It wasn’t. Stiles was waking him at three in the morning with the news that Isaac had somehow escaped the hospital and was wandering around and that the Sheriff had told them to collect him and bring him back to the Pack house since the hospital was understaffed and overcrowded. Jackson got dressed and the two of them hopped into the Jeep to look for the missing beta. They drove in quiet, listening for any sign of Isaac. Finally, at five they decided that there was too much ground to cover for just the two of them, not to mention that he could be somewhere in the Preserve and they would need to search on foot for that, and headed back to the Pack house to get the others up only to find Isaac sitting on the steps to the front porch shivering

“Pup.” Stiles said throwing himself out of the car without turning it off or putting it in park even. Isaac met him halfway, pressing himself into Stiles’ chest like he could melt into it. Jackson slid into the driver’s seat in order to put the jeep into park and shut it off before climbing out.

“Let’s get him inside and get something warm in him.” Jackson said and Stiles nodded

“Come, Pup, let’s get some cocoa in you. How the hell did you get out of the hospital?” Stiles said wrapping one arm around Isaac’s shoulders. Isaac shrugged but didn’t say anything.

 

Stiles sat across the counter from Isaac. His pup had a large cup of cocoa in his hands and Jackson had brought the comforter that he had used that night to wrap around Isaac’s shoulders. Stiles didn’t miss the way Isaac pressed his nose into the fabric every once in a while, as if reminding himself of Jackson’s smell. Stiles had always found Jackson’s scent to be almost acidic, like sour lemons mixed with chemicals. He had gotten used to it, had to when he had been sharing an apartment with the Kanima. It seemed Isaac found the scent comforting. He was still wearing the hospital scrubs but Stiles knew that it would have to wait. Stiles didn’t want to let his pup out of his site for at least an hour to reassure himself that Isaac was truly awake and okay. It had been a little unnerving when he had arrived at the hospital to find Isaac asleep again. Like he hadn’t actually woke even though Stiles had known he it had probably taken all of Isaac’s energy just to wake once.

“I don’t have to go back, do I?” Isaac asked quietly. Stiles didn’t understand what he was talking about but it seemed Jackson knew

“You don’t unless you start to show symptoms again.” He said and when Stiles shot him a confused look Jackson mouthed the word ‘hospital’. Isaac didn’t want to go back to the hospital.

“You don’t have to go back Pup, promise. I doubt you’ll fall ill again. Your body has beat the spell once, it’s got magical antibodies against it now.” Stiles said turning to the fridge to start breakfast for his pup. Isaac needed good food so he started making homemade oatmeal, something his mother had often done when he had gotten sick as a kid. He figured he could make sausage as well so that Isaac would have protein and maybe eggs too but that could wait until the rest of the Pack was awake. For now, Isaac would have to do with the delicious oatmeal.

“That’s good. Would we be able to use them to make a cure?” Isaac asked and Stiles shook his head.

“It doesn’t quite work like that I’m afraid. From what I’ve read the only way to get the spell to go away is for the caster to break it or for the affected to realize it’s not real and fight it.” He said and Isaac deflated

“Oh. But I don’t have to go back there, do I? To that world?” Isaac asked and Stiles shook his head

“Like me, you’ll be immune to that family of spells from now on.” He said and Jackson cut in

“You’re immune to??” He asked and Stiles nodded

“One of the few good things about being possessed by a Nogitsune is that most illusionary magic is useless on me because I see right through it. This spell requires it’s victim to be susceptible to illusion magic.” Stiles explained and Isaac sighed

“Has anyone else shown signs of getting sick?” Isaac asked and Stiles shook his head.

“No one else in the pack has gotten sick yet. I hope you were just an unlucky one and that no one else falls into the spell.” Stiles said and Jackson snorted

“I wonder what McCall’s illusion would be.” He said and Stiles shrugged

“Probably something with Allison.” HE said and Isaac flinched

“Is everything okay?” Jackson asked putting his hands on Isaac’s shoulders. Isaac relaxed at the touch

“In my dream world Ally was still alive, pregnant with Scott’s twins. You were human Stiles and Jackson was a normal werewolf.” Isaac said and Stiles smiled softly

“In my dream world I think I would have stayed. Married Derek, had a few kids already.” He mused

“If I fell sick I would probably have a dream about staying with the pack as well. Maybe not being a real wolf like everyone else because I’ve accepted what I am but I would have stayed here instead of going to London.” Jackson said. There was a thump from upstairs and Stiles glanced at the ceiling

“Sounds like Lydia is up.” Stiles said scooping a bowl of oatmeal out of the pot and placing it in front of Isaac. Isaac dug into it hungrily and Jackson slid into the barstool beside him to watch him eat.

“You want some Jax?” Stiles asked and Jackson nodded so Stiles made him a bowl, drizzling honey onto it because he knew Jackson liked his oatmeal sweet. Lydia breezed into the kitchen half an hour later and began to make toast for herself, not even looking at the three in the counter until she realized that Isaac was there

“Isaac!” She screamed and Stiles heard half a dozen thumps from upstairs as the rest of the pack woke.

“Oh, Isaac we were so worried. How in the world did you get here? Derek said you woke but should you be out of the hospital? You look so thin, I’ll make you some breakfast.” Lydia said moving around the kitchen. Stiles could see that she was making Isaac uncomfortable since he clearly had a second helping of Stiles’ oatmeal still sitting in front of him with a spoonful on its way to his mouth.

“I’m good thanks.” He said and Lydia paused.

“You really should eat.” She said and Isaac frowned. Whatever he was about to say was cut off when the front door opened. Stiles smiled when Derek entered the kitchen before anyone else was downstairs and had his arms wrapped around Isaac. As the rest of the pack filed into the kitchen Derek checked Isaac over and fussed in a way that only Derek could pull off; glaring at everything in the way that said he wasn’t really mad but just really worried. Once he was sure that Isaac was okay he moved to kiss Stiles’ cheek

“I’m glad you found him. I was so worried when the hospital said he had disappeared and John wouldn’t let me go looking.” Derek said and Stiles grinned

“Didn’t actually find him. Me and Jax got back here to get the rest of the pack up to look and he was sitting on the porch steps.” Stiles said and Derek huffed. Lydia made her anger known by slamming two pots together unnecessarily

“Not like the rest of us deserved to know that Isaac was wandering about.” She muttered and Derek let out a low growl

“I told Stiles to only wake Jax because I didn’t want a mass search and I knew everyone had to work today.” He said sharply and Lydia huffed but didn’t say anything. Stiles considered it a win even though the tension in the air seemed to thicken.

“Come on ‘saac. Let’s get you into some comfortable pajamas and then some more sleep.” Jackson said helping Isaac to his feet and leading him away from the rest of the pack. Cora shot Jackson a dirty look and Stiles felt his anger at the girl’s immaturity boil over. He waited until he heard the shower start before speaking

“I’ve had enough. I know I left but I am back and I will not be treated like a pariah. I am Derek’s mate Cora. I’m not sure if you know what that means so let me spell it out for you. I outrank you. If I deemed it necessary I could kick you from the pack because I am one of the Alpha Pair. Stop playing like you have power over me because you are Derek’s sister. Grow up. The same goes for you Lydia. Don’t push me.” Stiles snarled before stalking from the room. As soon as he was out of sight he heard Cora start to whine to Derek about how Stiles was being an ass but Derek shut that down by saying

“He is correct. I won’t stop him if he chooses to dismiss either of you from this pack. He is my mate.” Stiles smiled at those words. Having his mate defend him felt nice.

 

Derek relaxed back into the bath that his mate had prepared for him. His back ached from leaning over paperwork for the last three days. Three of the officers who had been out sick had returned and John had told him to take a few days off. It was probably a good thing. He had been extremely dizzy for the past day. Not to mention the fever that kept him sweating all night and freezing all day. He knew he was past the point where he should have told someone but after seeing Isaac in the hospital and watching Stiles fight with Lydia and Cora about every little thing he was afraid of what being sick would mean for the pack. Would they follow Stiles like they should? Or would Cora take over because Derek knew she was making the rounds with all the pack members talking shit about Stiles. He suspected that Stiles knew too but not to what extent. Derek knew that Boyd and Erica would side with Cora, they didn’t trust Stiles anymore since he had explained that he was a creature of Chaos. The twins would no doubt side with Stiles, he had seen them look at his mate and saw blind loyalty due to the fact that Stiles saw past their past in ways that the rest of the pack never could. Or would. No doubt if Cora took over the pack they would leave to follow Stiles. Isaac would stay with Stiles too, that Derek had no doubt of. Isaac saw Stiles as a mother figure despite Stiles being male. He would stick with Stiles no matter who was in charge and would no doubt leave with Stiles if Cora too over and kicked the Shadow Kitsune out. Liam would remain in Beacon Hills no matter who was in charge. Danny would do the same though he might leave if Cora became to antagonistic. Lydia was just as bad as Cora an since she was Cora’s mate she would stay. Kira would stay with Scott and Scott was a hard one to figure out. He was deeply hurt with Stiles, didn’t like that Stiles had both stayed away for so long and he also didn’t trust that Stiles would stay. But he was also Stiles’ self-proclaimed best friend. It could honestly go either way.

That meant most the pack would side with Cora even if Scott decided to stay neutral.

 

Stiles snuggled into Derek’s chest and frowned. Instead of being like a furnace, Derek’ skin was as cold as the artic. Stiles was immediately awake and aware that something wasn’t right. He didn’t move but opened his eyes to glance around. He could see in the faint moonlight that there wasn’t anything out of place in the room, the door to both the bathroom and the hallway was still shut, the window was as well. There wasn’t anyone else in the room and it was really Derek that he was snuggled up to. Still, something was wrong. Derek was too cold and that could mean a lot of different things. The worst being Derek was sick. Wouldn’t have Derek told him by now though?

“Derek?” Stiles said sitting up and waking his mate with a light shake. Derek let out a soft groan in protest but sat up as well

“What’s going on?” He mumbled as Stiles flicked on a light.

“I should ask you that. You’re freezing.” Stiles said watching how Derek rubbed his head with a frown. Derek paused when he realized what he was doing and Stiles felt dread sink into him.

“Oh, G-d. You’re…Derek…Please tell me you’re not.” Stiles anguished, his heart picking up in fear as he thought of what this could mean. Derek reached out and grabbed his hand.

“Stiles, calm down. It’s going to be alright.” Derek said soothingly and tears slipped out of Stiles’ eyes.

“How long have you known?” Stiles asked softly. Derek stayed quiet for a long moment, rubbing circles into Stiles’ knuckles in a soothing manor.

“Since before you left for London.” He said and Stiles let out another anguished cry, pulling away from Derek to sit at the end of the bed.

“Stiles.” Derek said and Stiles let out a sobbing laugh

“When were you going to tell me? When I found your comatose body laying somewhere? Or when my father called saying you had collapsed while at the station? When did I get told Derek?” Stiles snapped. He was so scared now. How long did he have left with his mate? How long until Derek succumbed to the sickness and disappeared into a world of his own mind’s making?

Chapter Text

Stiles sat on the porch listening to the pack meeting that was going on inside. He wasn’t inside because he couldn’t stand to look at his mate, his mate who was falling ill and hadn’t told him. Stiles knew he shouldn’t be so angry, this was typical Sourwolf behavior. It still stung though. That he hadn’t been trusted enough to be told. Someone stepped out onto the porch but Stiles didn’t look up from the cup of cold coffee that he was holding.
“It’s going to start snowing soon.” Derek commented sitting down beside Stiles. Stiles nodded listlessly but he leaned into his mate’s chest. Even though he was mad he knew Derek would need the touch, Stiles wasn’t cruel enough to with hold it. And he needed the comfort as well, needed to feel that his mate was still with him.
“I should have told you. I know I should have. I didn’t want you to worry about me though, I knew you’d find a way to break the spell eventually.” Derek said wrapping his arms around Stiles.
“I can’t break the spell though. I can’t save you from this.” Stiles said softly
“Yes, you can. I believe in you and we both know how powerful belief is.” Derek said, stroking Stile’s hair. Stiles sighed but didn’t push the subject. Instead he allowed Derek to hold him.
“The pack’s going to go to shit when you’re under. Cora hates me and I think she’s been trying to gain support.” Stiles said and he felt Derek shift underneath him
“It’ll come down to Scott and Kira. If you can get them behind you then you should be able to snuff out anything Cora tries.” Derek said and Stiles realized that Derek had been thinking about this for some time now. Probably since he had gotten sick. If it all came down to Scott it would be a toss-up. Stiles had been playing it safe, letting Scott have space. Scott had been super clingy when Stiles had first arrived but that affection had cooled rapidly when Stiles had explained about Shade. Scott had been distant and Stiles had been allowing Scott to avoid him.
“I’m screwed.” Stiles murmured and Derek pressed several kisses to the top of his head.
“You’ll figure something out.” He said and Stiles snorted
“And if I don’t?” He asked. Derek pondered that for a moment before replying
“Well, you are my medical proxy.”

Isaac watched his Alphas sit on the steps of the porch from inside the den. He wasn’t allowed outside because it was snowing and Stiles was afraid that he might get sick. Stiles had been super protective of both him and Derek since Derek had admitted to being sick. That had been a week ago and the two Alphas had been spending a lot of time just the two of them. Derek had been growing weaker and Isaac knew Stiles would be beating himself up for not seeing it sooner. Isaac couldn’t imagine what it would be like to watch Jackson fall ill to this. What it must have been like for Jackson when he fell ill. He still hadn’t recovered, Stiles ran tests every day but the healing process was slow going. It would be many more months before he was completely healed enough to work again let alone fight.
“What’s going through your head ‘saac?” Jackson murmured wrapping his arms around Isaac’s waist. Isaac flinched at the name, a bolt of fear that he was still trapped in that other world flashed through him. Jackson picked up on the fear immediately and pulled him closer
“Shh, you’re alright. This isn’t a dream. Count your fingers.” Jackson murmured into Isaac’s ear. He slowly counted his fingers with Jackson following along. There was ten, not eight, not eleven. Ten. Isaac let out a breath of relief
“What triggered you?” Jackson asked. Isaac swallowed thickly
“The nickname. You called me that in the other world and I…’ Isaac trailed off, not wanting to say that he had been afraid that he hadn’t actually escaped. That he had fallen asleep and been sucked back into that world again.
“Alright, I’ll find something else to call you. Promise.” Jackson said pressing a kiss to the skin behind Isaac’s ear. It made Isaac melt and he allowed Jackson to lead him away from the window and back to their bedroom.

Stiles looked up from the book that was in his lap. Derek had been admitted to the hospital two days ago, his symptoms becoming to severe for the pack to be able to handle. Stiles had stayed by his side most of the time, prepping him for what was inevitable. Isaac was standing in the doorway, shifting uncomfortably
“What’s wrong pup?” Stiles asked softly. Derek was sleeping at the moment, he slept most the time now.
“I’m, uh, I’m supposed to keep an eye on you and Derek. Cora’s orders.” Isaac said softly. Stiles nodded. Things weren’t going all that well with the pack and Stiles honestly couldn’t care less. Ethan and Aiden had already left Beacon Hills, moving across the country to New York on a job for Stiles. Danny had followed days later without a word to the rest of the pack. Isaac and Derek were the only two things keeping Stiles here at the moment meaning that Stiles didn’t spend a whole lot of time around anyone other than them.
“And what is Cora doing that would require you to keep me under observation?” Stiles asked. Isaac made his way over to the other chair in the corner
“She’s been putting out feelers for the creator of the spell for a while now apparently. Someone got in contact with her a couple of days ago and she’s going to meet them.” He said and Stiles rolled his eyes. Cora was brash, reckless, and an idiot. No doubt it was a trap or someone who didn’t know anything about the spell. Even if it was the actual caster, what was she going to do? The spell would be permanent if the caster was killed, spreading across California and then the United States like a plague until there wasn’t anywhere that was safe from it. Cora was playing with fire and she was going to end up burned so bad that there wouldn’t be anything left to heal. Stiles had half a mind to go intercept her before she could do something stupid but in the end figured that this was her mistake to make. Stiles was so close to inventing a counter for the Traumlandschaft, something that once ingested would stop the curse from being able to infect a person. He would then use it to stop the spread of the Traumlandschaft before going after the creator.
“Stiles?” Derek murmured and Stiles turned to see Derek awake.
“Hey Sourwolf. How are you feeling?” Stiles asked, taking Derek’s hand. Derek gave him a dopy smile
“’m good. Mum’s going to love to meet you.” Derek slurred. Stiles frowned but Derek was already sliding back into sleep. Stiles let him, knowing that Derek probably wouldn’t remember anything he said long enough to explain it.
“What do you think Derek’s dreamscape is going to be?” Isaac asked softly and Stiles persed his lips
“I don’t know. It could be a lot of things. He has so many regrets that it’s impossible to know what the curse is going to latch onto.” Stiles said. Isaac frowned and took Derek’s other hand
“You know I’m with you no matter what happens. Right?” Isaac said and Stiles gave him a small smile
“I know pup.”

Cora stood in front of a tall man that she didn’t recognize. He smelt off too, like he was rotting even though he looked perfectly normal.
“We’re here to meet the Witch of the Waste.” Cora said firmly. The man didn’t say anything, simply turned and started to lead them away from the entrance to the warehouse. Cora and Lydia followed, leaving Erica and Boyd to guard the entrance. Their trip seemed to take forever even though the warehouse couldn’t have been that big. When they finally reached their destination they were met by the sight of a beautiful woman standing in front of a mirror
“I’ve been expecting you.” The woman said without looking at them. She didn’t have a reflection Cora realized, instead the mirror showed a scene of a hospital room. Derek’s hospital room.
“We’ve come to see what we need to do to get you to lift your curse.” Lydia said taking control. Cora bit back a growl at her mate’s hautiness, this wasn’t the place for a pissing contest after all. The witch didn’t seem to take any offence at Lydia’s tone
“I require one thing, a person to be exact.” The witch said turning to face them. She was fair skinned, her hair falling in perfect waves around a soft looking face. It was hard to believe that this woman has caused such a pandemic
“What do you want?” Cora asked and the witch smiled
“I require Stiles Stilinski, alive. Only once I have him in my grasp will I remove the spell from this town.” The witch said
“And you’ll release my brother?” Cora demanded. The witch let out a soft sigh
“Unfortunately, your brother is to far under my Traumlandschaft’s thrall to be released. Don’t worry though, he’ll not know he’s dying. Do you wish to know what his dreamscape would show?” The witch said stepping away from the mirror. The surface rippled like a pond and when Cora stepped forward, she saw her pack, her family. Her mother was smiling down at her in the fond way that she always had when Cora had done something that amused her. Peter was there holding a baby in his arms, his daughter Cora realized. She took a step away from the mirror and it went back to a blank screen again. Derek’s dreamscape was for their family to survive, for the fire to never have happened. Cora couldn’t take that away from him. She would let him pass on and take over the pack herself.
“We have a deal.” She said turning back to the witch. The witch smiled and the smile seemed to sinister to belong on such an innocent face
“Perfect.” The witch purred.

Chapter Text

When Cora reached her brother’s hospital room Erica was still sulking and she could still smell the anger rolling off Boyd. Cora didn’t really care, neither of them would dare leave the pack at this time, becoming Omegas like they had last time. They knew that there was no pack that would take them anywhere near here and that she was their best bet for stability And if they did leave Cora wouldn’t welcome them back like her brother had, they would be forced to beg or find another pack. Now that Derek was sick Cora was in control and when he died the Alpha power would be transferred to her. There was so much she wanted to implement in the pack now that she had power, rules that Derek hadn’t bothered with that she would enforce. No doubt her old pack in South America would donate some spare wolves for her to bolster her ranks and to help show those who were already here what it meant to serve a real Alpha.

“Guard the door.” Cora ordered Boyd who did as she demanded. Cora took a careful inhale, wanting to make sure the scent of her emotions wouldn’t give anything about what she had planned away. If Stiles caught on to her plans then he would put up a fight but if Cora could get close enough to Derek to use him as a shield then subduing Stiles would be easy. The fox had shown little interest in hurting Derek and with the fact that Stiles couldn’t physically hurt Derek anymore made him a wonderful shield. Cora wondered if that bond would pass to her when Derek died. She pushed the door open only to find the bed empty and no Stiles nor Isaac in sight.

“What…” Lydia said looking into the room behind her

“That damn fox.” Cora swore, stomping towards the nurse’s station, all her plans had revolved around there being everyone in the hospital room. Why hadn’t Isaac told her that they had left? Where had they gone? Derek was too weak to move much on his own or had that all been a trick by Stiles to weaken the pack? Had Isaac chosen to side with Stiles? Didn’t he know that would make him an Omega? Cora knew that Isaac wasn’t cut out for being without a pack, he would crawl back if he wasn’t killed first. In fact, if he had betrayed Cora she would be sure to sic hunters on him. She didn’t suffer traitors.

 There was a pretty blonde sitting at the computer that looked up when the approached. She was young, maybe a few years older than Cora with pale skin.

“Can I help you?” She asked seemingly unfazed by the scowl that was on Cora’s face, turning back to the computer and continuing whatever she was doing. Cora couldn’t believe the nerve of the woman. Cora was a predator, someone to be respected and feared.

“Where is my brother?” Cora demanded, slamming a hand down on the counter making another visitor jump at the loud noise. The nurse sighed and looked up at Cora unblinking.

“Name?” She asked and Cora gave both her own and Derek’s to her. The nurse typed it into the system and then scanned the information

“I’m sorry. Your brother was transported to another hospital two hours ago.” The nurse said, her voice showing no emotion.

“What hospital? Why wasn’t I informed? Who put in for the transfer?” Cora demanded. The nurse looked at them with a raised eyebrow and Cora could see the wheels turning in the woman’s head

“I cannot tell you that information as you are not on the medical proxy list?” The nurse said hesitantly. Cora let out a low growl

“Who is?” She demanded and the nurse frowned

“I can’t tell you.” She said as she slowly reached for the phone. Lydia placed a hand on Cora’s arm

“Come on, we should go.” Lydia said. Cora let herself be led out of the hospital before she let out a scream

“That goddamned fox! He stole my brother. How did he get the medical proxy? My brother would have never given it to him after all the shit the fox put him through. Stiles must have bewitched him into signing it over.” Cora snarled. She didn’t notice Erica or Boyd slip away into the woods nor when Parrish pulled up in his cruiser

“Miss Hale, I’m going to need you to vacate the premise. The sheriff’s office got several calls about you being a disturbance.” He said. Cora wanted to tear him to shreds, her anger was so great. With a strangled scream she rushed from the lot towards the woods leaving Lydia to deal with the man.

 

Stiles stroked Derek’s arm as they moved from the plane to the ambulance that would be taking them to the large beach house that Stiles had bought. He had gotten confirmation on who Cora had been meeting on his way across the country. The Witch of the Waste whom he had thought was further south. The Traumlandschaft made sense now, her greatest strength was illusions and mirror tricks. Stiles wondered if she used illusions to hide the terrible scars he had left her with the last time they had met, such painful acid burns across a face that had once been considered beautiful. Her and her brother had always been vain, it had been how Stiles had gotten so close to her brother. How he had been able to kill the man and steal the information he had needed. The Witch had taken offence of course and if Stiles hadn’t been so sloppy, he would have gotten away with killing her brother. Unfortunately, he hadn’t known about the desperado curse they had placed on themselves. That had allowed her to find him though he had done well until recently to keep her at bay.

“Almost home Love.” Stiles said softly as the ambulance pulled away from the private airstrip and started moving towards their destination. The trip was longer than Stiles had wanted but the house he had bought was very private and had plenty of space for everyone. Stiles was pulling his forces into one place and creating a base of operations. It was something he hadn’t bothered to do before, preferring to keep his forces scattered and thus harder to pin down. This fight would be different though, Stiles would need every piece on the board to be visible in order to take on the Witch of the Waste. He would need to draw her into his own trap. When they arrived at the house, he motioned for the two druids who had been working in the ambulance to move Derek into a bedroom on the ground floor. Once the paramedics were out of the house, he checked in on those who were already there. Jackson and Isaac were in the library, Isaac sitting practically on Jackson’s lap as they read a book together.

“Why didn’t we go back to London? If we wanted to draw her into turf that we know that would be the ideal place.” Jackson asked as soon as he saw Stiles in the doorway

“Because we’d never get her to follow us there. Everyone knows that the British Isle is one of my major operation points. Nobody knows that I’ve got a good hold over this part of the east coast, we’ve got home field advantage without anyone knowing it.” Stiles said before heading to the back of the house where the twins were sparing on the back terrace. They stopped when they saw him and Stiles grinned at them

“I’m going to need you two to keep an eye on security around here. You’re combined form will be good for keeping Derek safe. He’s still your alpha and right now he’s extremely vulnerable. The Witch knows he’s my weakness, she’ll look for him. As long he’s in this house she will not be able to scry for him with her mirror but she does have her spies everywhere.” Stiles said and the twins shared a look

“We won’t let you down. Danny set up a wicked security system already and has a new phone for you to use. Something about it being untraceable.” Aiden said and Stiles nodded

“Where is Danny?” He asked and both werewolves blushed

“He’s taking a nap.” Ethan said and Stiles grinned

“Make sure the next time you both fuck him he’s able to recover. I need him to be functional for the time being.” Stiles said turning away to find Mason and Liam when Ethan spoke up

“Wait.” He called and Stiles turned back to face them

“Yes?” He asked amused. He already knew what the werewolf was going to ask

“You’re not mad? Disgusted? You’re fine with the three of us?” Aiden asked and Stiles shrugged

“Love is love. If it was abusive or if you forced him into it then I would have a problem but since the three of you cannot reproduce and you’re all happy I see no reason to stand in your way.” Stiles said before leaving the two of them alone. He found the last set of people he was looking for curled up on the main balcony on the second floor fast asleep. They looked so peaceful, intertwined with each other that Stiles decided that he could come back later and talk to them. He made his way down to Derek’s room in time to meet with the live-in nurse who would be taking care of his mate.

“Alpha Stilinski.” The nurse said straightening from where she had been taking Derek’s vitals. Stiles smiled softly at her

“Has he awoken at all?” He asked and she relaxed

“No sir. I’ll be getting a portable MRI machine soon so we’ll be able to know when he slips from just being asleep into the coma.” She said. Stiles nodded.

“Alright.” Stiles said and she finished up her exam under Stiles watchful eye. She had been born into a wolf pack but was human meaning she was knowledgeable about the supernatural world but couldn’t do any damage. Stiles had made sure that she had been vetted and Danny was monitoring any communication she had with anyone outside the manor. As she moved to leave the room Stiles caught her arm

“If you need anything, ask one of the twins. You’re not to leave the house without someone going with you or your position in my household will be terminated.” Stiles warned. The threat was there, if she did anything to step out of line, he would kill her. If it came down to a choice between her and his family, he would choose his family every time. She nodded and left leaving Stiles alone with Derek.

“We’re safe for now my love. I’m almost ready to finish this, just a few more pieces that need to fall into place.” Stiles murmured as he stood beside his mate. He pressed a kiss to the corner of Derek’s mouth before taking his hand and giving it a squeeze. Derek didn’t respond, he was fast asleep and Stiles wondered if Derek had finally succumbed to the Traumlandschaft.

“I love you.” Stiles whispered fevered. Derek shifted in his sleep, making a soft sound of content and Stiles felt grief bubble up his throat. He fought back the tears that threatened to form and choked back the sob that wanted to slip from his lips. He couldn’t fall apart now. Not while the Witch was still coming after him.

 

Jessamine stood in front of her mirror watching the static. Another scrying session failed. Behind her two of her creations shambled into the room

“Find him.” She ordered them without turning away from the mirror. One let out a soft moan and she clenched her fist

“I don’t care what it costs. That rat cannot hide forever! I want this world torn apart if it has to be.” She shrieked, her anger getting the better of her. It had cost he quite a lot to infect the small town of Beacon Hills, she had thought that she would be able to infect both her prey and those intrepid wolves that he loved so much. However it seemed that her prey had been immune to her Traumlandschaft and those wolves hadn’t mean nearly as much to him as she had thought. Their pack was scattered though which was enough for her. They would not be able to help the fox that she was hunting if he needed aid. The pest who had killed her dear Edward. Turning away from the mirror she instead gazed longingly at the man who lay within a glass casket. Her brother was perfectly preserved, she had made sure that he would be in peak condition for when she brought him back. The damned fox would fuel the spell, his soul would be given in exchange for her brothers as it could neither enter heaven nor hell. Not with the mark her brother had placed upon it.

“I’ll bring you back my dear. We’ll be together again, I swear it.” She murmured placing a hand upon the cold glass.

Chapter Text

Hey! I am alive!

 

Truth be told, I had never really given up on this fic or my other Teen Wolf fic. I just needed to focus on an original work in progress that I'm still working on. It's never going to end.

 

ANYWAYS. Look for a new chapter of THIS FIC between after the new year starts (possibly sooner) and a NEW Chapter of 'The Boy Who Touches Death' sometime between Christmas and New Years. 

 

Also, note that this chapter will DISAPPEAR when the new chapter goes up so if your going to comment anything you don't want erased please do it on the previous chapter. "

 

Also also, thank my best friend Rhis who is watching Teen Wolf and got me inspired again. 

 

Zeg/adaydreamsdream/littleredroamingwolf