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I am f*cked up man

Chapter Text

     Stiles' alarm clock had been ringing for approximately one minute and thirty two seconds. He stared at the offending object until his father lightly tapped on the door. Noah had been worried about his son for a while now. He knew something was wrong but he didn't want to intrude in Stiles' personal space. He would come to him when he was ready. The father and son had never had a very sentimental relationship. Well, they had. But that was before Claudia, their beloved wife and mother, had died.
     "Do you want to stay in today?" Noah asked softly. This day was a particularly hard day for Stiles. For the both of them. It was the anniversary of Claudia's death. "I could call in sick," he continued.
     Stiles sat up and took a sip of water from the bottle on his bedside table before looking up at his father with a grin which didn't reach his eyes. "Dad, you're the Sheriff! You can't miss work and for that matter, you shouldn't be telling me to skip school! Do you want me to raise my children like that? Letting them skive off whenever they want to? You're a bad example dad. Very bad."
     Noah chuckled but the worry he was feeling earlier still gnawed at the back of his mind. Stiles may be as witty and sarcastic as ever, but there was still something off about him.
     "Alright. But if you don't feel good during the day, I'm only a phone call away. You know that."
     "I know dad. You tell me that at least five times a week." Stiles rolled his eyes but a fond smile played at his lips.
     Noah approached Stiles and ran a hand through his son's hair. "I just worry about you. You fight werewolves and other scary stuff everyday. I never know if the next time I see you you'll be in hospital, burnt to a crisp by a dragon."
     "A dragon? That's going a bit far now, isn't it?" Stiles grinned and moves towards the door. "I'll be fine dad. Who would feed you healthy things if I were in hospital?"
     Noah moved towards his son again and by the serious look on his face, Stiles knew he better listen. "You've already been in hospital too many times for a young, healthy person like you. I know you're not going to stop these… hunting expeditions, but I want you to be more careful. I can't lose you too," he gave a bittersweet smile. "I wouldn't be able to survive without you. Alone."
     The sudden image of his father sitting alone and heartbroken in the middle of and empty room made Stiles' heart plumet. He couldn't let that happen, no matter what. "I won't ever let that happen dad," Stiles smiled. "Come on! It's been, what, five years? And the worst physical injury I've ever had is a couple of broken bones and a bump on the head."
     Noah placed a hand on Stiles' neck, just above his shoulder and sighed. "But what about mentally, son? That Nogitsune and those riders, whatever they were… I know it's all taken a toll on you. I just- I don't know how to help you Stiles. How can I help you? Put you in therapy? Move away?"
     "There's no need for all of that dad," Stiles laughed. "No, seriously though. Just being there for me is enough. And staying out of all of this supernatural business so that I know you're safe.
     "Don't you get it Stiles? I'm the dad! I'm supposed to protect you, not the other way 'round!"
     "I know you don't like it, but in this father son relationship, I protect you. You, you have a gun and that's great, you can protect me from a burglar or something, but I have my Spark! I can protect you way better than you can protect me and you're just going to have to accept that."
     "What about the pack? Don't they protect you?" Noah asked quietly.
     Stiles' whole form seemed to slump and his brows came closer together. "Not anymore," he muttered.
     "Where have they been Stiles? I haven't come home from work to find a big puppy pile as you like to call it in weeks. They used to come over all the time and now they haven't been here for months and you haven't been galivanting around with them even though you're never home. What's happened to you Stiles? What happened to my little boy?"
     That was the moment Stiles knew he had to spill. His father just seemed so desperate and heartbroken, it tore his heart to pieces. They decided to skip school and work in the end and settled down in the living room with drinks - a hot chocolate for Stiles and a very strong coffee for Noah - and Stiles finally told his dad all about what had been troubling him for the past couple of months - how the Nogitsune affected him, how, for the first time ever, Stiles thought he and his friends wouldn't survive the Dread Doctors, how Derek and Scott had decided it was too risky for him to be part of the pack, how they ignored or growled at him whenever Stiles approached them or the rest of the pack. He told his father about the fact that he slowly sunk into a deep pit of depression and had a fling with Peter of all people, who ended up leaving without saying why or even a lousy goodbye, which eventually lead him to have trouble getting out of bed in the morning or feeding himself. Noah stayed silent the whole time Stiles spoke and Stiles realized it must be a lot to take in. When he looked back up, he was surprised to find tears in his father's eyes. Instead of rushing to his side like Stiles knew he should, he stared down at the floor and sighed. "You don't have to be sad for me," he said quietly. "I'll go back to uni when I'm up for it… It'll get better," I hope, he thought.
     "No. No- I-," Noah sighed and massaged his temples as if this conversation was giving him a headache. "I'm a crappy father," he stated. "I was a crappy father. Not anymore. I never thought it would come to this. Oh God no, I can't- It's a terrible idea…"
     "Dad? What are you mumbling about?" Stiles asked, a tint of worry in his voice. He had finally made his dad crazy. Stiles and Noah locked eyes and Stiles saw a determination in his father's gaze that he had never seen before.
     "We're going to visit your Aunt Nat."
     "Aunt Nat? We haven't seen her in, like, ten years," Stiles frowned. He didn't really remember his aunt but he did recall her holding him in her arms even though he could sense she didn't want to.
     "And there's a reason for that. She… had a troubled past. I hear she's much better now, better than when we last saw her anyway. But Stiles, there's something you should know. Her full name it Natalia Alianova Romanova, or Natasha Romanoff." Noah watched Stiles with apprehension while his son put two and two together. Stiles, leaned back, shell-shocked, and stuttered a bit before taking a deep breath.           "Holy Hell. Aunt Nat is Black Widow."

     Two weeks later, Noah had spoken with his deceased wife's sister, he and Stiles had packed up the house (most of it was going into storage) and they had found a nice temporary apartment that they would stay in until they found a house for sale.
     They day Noah went to turn in his badge and gun, Stiles- against his better judgement- drove up to the loft which was actually pretty nice now that Lydia had done it up. As he walked up the stairs, he heard the chatting and laughing die away. He could have sworn he heard Starwars playing in the background before they paused it. He was about to knock when the door swung open before he could even lift an arm. It was Derek who answered the door. He looked better- the dark circles under his piercing eyes had vanished and his skin wasn't as pale. Derek scowled at him and god Stiles had missed that scowl even though this one deformed his features more than usual and was more hostile than exasperated. Stiles glanced over Derek's shoulder and saw Scott hovering in the background, frowning. The rest of the pack was rushing up the stairs, only sparing him a glance. Stiles thought he felt his heart break a little more. He must have not hidden his hurt well because Scott seemed to open his mouth to say something before snapping it shut and crossing his arms over his chest.
     "What?" Derek's scowl deepened and for one terrible second, Stiles wished he had just stayed home and waited for his father before getting the hell out of this town.
     "I- I just- I'm leaving," Stiles muttered. "Just wanted to say goodbye."
     "We don't care," said Derek, and that was it. The werewolf slammed the door in his face and Stiles was left outside, feeling so stupid and hurt. Gosh he was so stupid. How could have thought they would realize they had done the wrong thing and take him back? He was so weak. Stupid, stupid, stupid! His breath was coming in short gasps and soon he was collapsing on the floor, hyperventilating. He faintly heard the pack asking what they should do but Derek just said: "Leave it."
     He didn't know how long it took him to come out of his panicked state but Starwars was playing again although there was no more laughter. Great, Stiles thought bitterly. Not only do they hate me even more now but I've also ruined their afternoon.

Chapter Text

     They had done it! They were in New York and had already unpacked. Noah, Stiles and Natasha had decided it would be best if Natasha came over to their new apartment instead of the Avengers tower or a coffee shop.
     "I have no doubt at least two of them idiots will follow me," she said over the phone. "I'll send you a text with one of my burner phones. Stark already hacked into my last three… Bastard," Noah heard her mutter.
     "I'm wounded Romanoff," Tony Stark called out in the background.
     "I'm sending you the text now." Noah could practically see Natasha rolling her eyes.
     "There. I sent the address," he said.
     "Nice apartment Noah Stilinski, age fifty-five and - heck, I can't say that - 'Stiles' Stilinski, age twenty-three. Still living with your dad, huh? Kinda sad."
     "For God's sake Tony!" Natasha screeched before hanging up.
     And so, Natasha ended up at the Stilinski's next next day. She and Noah were both tense when the ex-assassin first arrived. Natasha wasn't proud of her past, and Noah knew that but he was still weary. The tension amplified when Stiles walked into the room. He hadn't known his aunt Nat would arrive so early and had just gotten out of the shower. He was pulling his shirt on when he walked in and Natasha saw just how bad he looked. He was gaunt and pale, almost sickly. He didn't have the squishy cheeks she remembered, they were hollow. But the most noticeable features on his face were his eyes. They were red-rimmed and made him look as if he hadn't slept in days. Everybody knew Natasha wasn't sentimental and hated physical contact (unless it was her fist in someone's face) but in that moment, she forgot all of that and pulled her nephew into a hug. Stiles all but sunk into her warmth. He felt relieved somehow. When his aunt Nat took him into her arms, he felt like everything would be okay.
     "Hey there Mischief," she said softly but pulled away slightly when Stiles let out a strangled sob.
     "Sorry, no one's called me that since mom," he explained. For a moment, Natasha's strong face slipped as she remembered her caring sister, how even though they were several years apart, she would always let Natasha play with her and her friends. She let go of Stiles, stepped back and took a second to compose herself.
     "So," she said. "Gonna tell me why you left Beacon Hills in such a hurry?"
     Stiles sighed. He had expected this - she was an ex-assassin after all. He sat on the sofa and brought his knees up to his chin. When his father and aunt had settled down either side of him, he told her everything. There was no point in lying - she would know. He told her about the body that night in the woods, Scott being bitten, Peter, Jackson, the Darach, the Oni, the Nogitsune, Scott being kidnapped by Kate, the Dread Doctors, the Ghost Riders, the Nazi Alpha and all there was in between. He knew Natasha would believe him - she had a God for a co-worker for Christ's sake. All of that lead to what he had talked about with his father just weeks before. By the end, Natasha was reigning in her fury. She was an ex-assassin for fuck's sake, why did this affect her so much? He's my little Mischief, a small voice in the back of her head said. This was the little boy who had begged her to climb trees with him and had attempted to do a backflip without even know how to do a frontflip. He was fearless and so, so brave. Now though, he was broken and it made her heart clench. She was going to fix this and then she was going to kick some werewolf ass.
     "Come," she ordered and walked towards the front door. When nobody followed her she turned around and lifted one deadly eyebrow. Her's are much better than Derek's, Stiles thought bitterly.
     "Where are we going?" Noah asked.
     "I'm bringing you both to Stark tower and I'm teaching you both self-defense. After all you've been through, you need it and Stark tower has great training rooms."
     Noah turned to his son expecting him to jump up and run out of the door like an excited puppy going for a walk but he stayed curled up on the sofa staring at his feet. "You go," he muttered. "I'll stay here and get some sleep or something."
     "Stiles," Noah said slowly. "Did you hear what aunt Nat said? We're going to meet the Avengers."
     "I heard dad," Stiles whispered.
     "You love them Stiles! You have posters of them all over your walls!"
     "I don't."
     Noah walked over to Stiles' bedroom and opened the door. "Of course you-" Noah stopped short when he saw the room just as he had left it - a bed, a dresser, a wardrobe and a desk. Boxes littered the floor and surfaces. Only one of them was open and seemed to only be half unpacked.
     When his father turned to look at him, Stiles hid his face in his knees. He couldn't unpack. He couldn't bare to make his new room look like the one he used to have. It would just remind him of when the pack used to climb in through the window for puppy piles, of the research, of the panic attacks. All of the good and bad memories mixed into one and he couldn't deal with it. This place wasn't his home. The house back in Beacon Hills wasn't him home either anymore. He belonged nowhere. He had no friends. He missed the pack desperately but they didn't care about him anymore. They most probably never did. He was so stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid! He was so caught up in his thoughts that he hadn't noticed his father and aunt were in front of him now. There were hands everywhere. On his shoulder, on his face and head and knee and he felt claustrophobic. He needed them to back off. He must have backed up a bit because they understood and took their hands off of him. His dad was speaking but all he could hear was his voice and the pitter-patter of his heart. No words.
     When his gasping breaths eventually slowed to occasional hiccups, Noah and Natasha approached him again.
     "You okay big guy?" Noah asked softly. When Stiles nodded, still not trusting himself to speak, he sat down and took Stiles' hand in his. Natasha stayed hovering above them, not sure if she should leave them some privacy or not, but nobody asked her to leave so she stayed where she was, eyes fixed on her nephew. "Can you tell me why the thought of unpacking brought you to tears?" Noah murmured.
     Stiles felt his face and, sure enough, it was wet. How embarrassing. "I can't- Everything reminds me-" He took a deep breath and wiped the drying tears from him cheeks.
     "We'll get you new stuff. Can we set meeting the Avengers for an other time?" Noah asked, turning to look at Natasha.
     "Too late cause Uncle Tony's here to save the day!"
     Natasha grit her teeth and pulled Tony out of the door by his ear. Even though she shut the door behind them, Noah and Stiles could clearly hear what she was furiously whispering. "You need to leave night now Stark."
     "You only call me by my last name when you're mad at me. What did I do?" Tony asked jokingly.
     "What did you do?" Natasha hissed, her voice picking up. "You hacked into my phone, followed me here and barged into my sister's husband and son's place while my nephew is having breakdown!"
     Stiles rubbed the back of next as a blush spread from his cheeks to his ears.
     "Aw, come on! He practically a teenager. How bad can it be?"
     "Before you say anything more-" Natasha hissed. "-remember your shitty teenage years but a thousand times worse mixed up with them pesky panic attacks you have."
     Stiles had to admit, it was nice to have someone stand up for him even if it was humiliating. He didn't want Iron Man knowing about his 'breakdowns' as his aunt had said.
     "Go home Tony."
     When they were sure Tony had left (which was a surprise), they sat back down with some coffee and snacks and decided on what they would do next. Noah was going to see if he could get a job at the New York City Sheriff's Office. They decided together that Stiles would wait before going back to university. He would take time to heal and have defense lessons with Natasha and, if he felt like it, Clint Barton, the one person Natasha would trust her life with. Hawkeye. Stiles knew that if he wasn't in this situation he would be fangirling like crazy but for now, he just dreaded it. Noah had wanted Stiles to go see a therapist but considering most of his problems were supernatural, they concluded it would be a terrible idea. Instead of that, whenever Stiles was feeling especially down or whenever he wanted really, he was to speak with either Natasha or his father so that they could help him out instead of him keeping all of his problems and insecurities inside.
     "Now that all of that is settled: training," Natasha turned a 'don't argue with me' glare on Stiles. "Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Nine a.m. As you get better, we'll start earlier. If I can't make it or you can't, we'll text each other. If you're in a particularly bad mood… I'll rent a DVD with self defense in it and we'll hang out for the day, take it easy. Okay?"
     Stiles was speechless. His heart filled with love for this strong woman who could be kicking ass, saving the world but instead was helping the brother-in-law and nephew she hadn't seen in over a decade. "Thank you," he croaked, his throat throbbing as he held back tears. "For helping me."
     Natasha smiled and patted his head. "You're my little Mischief. I would do anything for you."

Chapter Text

     Obviously, the day Stiles was supposed to have his first defense lesson, he wasn't feeling good. He had had a nightmare. The Nogitsune had possessed him again and the pack didn't care about Stiles' life anymore, they only cared about killing the Nogitsune. No matter what. And so, Stiles had had to watch them through his and the Nogitsune's eyes ripping him to pieces, ribbons of blood coating his body and feeling every shred of pain. It had been so realistic and painful that when he woke up, Noah Stilinski was trying to battle down his thrashing arms to keep him from hurting himself. When he had gained consciousness and lost a little bit of folie, Stiles had noticed the scratch marks and bruises on his father's face and arms, although his arms would soon be covered by his Sherriff's uniform. Stiles had apologized profusely (and cried a little bit - only a little) but his father had brushed him off.
     "I've had worse," he had said. "And anyway, better me than you."
     Stiles hadn't wanted to cancel on his aunt but his father hadn't let him have a say in this matter. After calling Natasha and explaining that Stiles wasn't feeling so good, Noah left for his first day on the job. Stiles waited for the cruiser to drive out of the apartment building's parking lot before breaking down. Again. His aunt was going to be so mad. Stiles bet she already was. He was sure she was cursing him right this instant, sure she was ranting to the Avengers about how useless he was, how he had faked the nightmare just to get out of his first lesson. As his breath got more ragged, his brain started lacking oxygen and his vision darkened. Before long, he was on the floor, body curled up tight, protecting himself from the world around him, although he knew he couldn't protect himself from his own mind. With no one to help him, he passed out.


     Natasha had been anxious to see her nephew. She wanted to see how he was doing after a hard night. She had already picked out a film for them to watch and quickly messaged Stiles to ask him if he wanted her to pick something up on the way over to the apartment. After twenty minutes or so, she started to worry. When he hadn't answered straight away, she had simply supposed he might be in the shower or getting some breakfast. She knew Stiles was too scared and vulnerable to explore the city yet so she was sure he hadn't gone for a wander. He shouldn't be taking this long, she thought. And she didn't think he would go back to sleep after a nightmare either. She was really starting to panic when an insufferable voice broke her out of her thoughts.
     "What's up Shortcake?" Tony was sitting at the island in the middle of the kitchen sipping on his black coffee. How he had gotten there without her noticing, Natasha didn't know. Maybe she was too caught up with Stiles. He was going to be the death of her, she knew.
     "Shut up," she snapped and she strode over to the elevator. Tony hurried after her, the coffee forgotten on the island.
     "Come on Wid'! You have that deadly blank look which usually means you're in turmoil." When Natasha glanced over at him with a raised eyebrow, Tony continued. "I have Friday track your looks and emotions so I always know how everyone is feeling," he shrugged, eyes wandering just above Natasha's head. "I can take care of everyone then."
     "You really are a big teddy bear aren't you?" Natasha replied sarcastically.
     "If you tell anyone, I will blast your head off," Tony threatened.
     "Don't worry Teddy. Now, if you really must know, my nephew isn't answering his phone."
     "I'm guessing that's bad," Tony lifted a brow in question.
     "Yes, so if you don't mind-"
     "So you need backup."
     "No I don't."
     "Remember one thing Natasha Romanoff: I know what it feels like to have panic attacks."
     Natasha considered her teammate for a second before nodding her head in acknowledgement. "Fine. But you stay outside until I give you the okay."
     "Fine with me!"
     The ride to the apartment complex is silent and tense. When they get there, they rush up the stairs, too impatient to wait for the elevator, and are forced to pick the lock when Stiles doesn't answer the door. They find Stiles sprawled out on the floor by the far wall, next to the window, unconscious. Natasha doesn't move. She can't move. She's used to hurting and fighting people, not helping them. She realizes she doesn't know how to help, as she had only been taught to fight. She doesn't know what to do. Her nephew needs her and she can't help him. But it's okay because Tony's there and he swiftly moves forward towards Stiles' side, makes sure he's breathing and checks his pulse. He picks the underweight boy up and sets him comfortably on the sofa. After propping him up and laying a thick blanket over his still body, Tony gets a glass of water and straw and sets it on the table next to Stiles for when he wakes up.
     "He'll be fine." Natasha didn't make any sign to show she was listening but still, Tony continued on. "I suspect a panic attack. What the hell happened to this kid Nat? Look at him."
     After a long pause, Natasha replied quietly. "It's up to him to tell you if he wants to."
     "Should we call his father?" Tony scrubbed his hands over his face tiredly and watched the kid in front of him. He looked much older than a twenty three year old with his overgrown hair and rugged stubble. Where most people thought he didn't have a heart, what with his past job, he did and it plummeted when he thought of what had happened to his - dare he say it - friend's nephew. It can't have been good. From what he had heard and researched (yes, he looked Stiles up, so what?) the kid reminded him of himself - witty, sarcastic, too intelligent for his own good. He didn't seem any of that now. He just seemed feeble and vulnerable. Tony would have to change that.
     "It's his first day on the job," said Natasha, cutting Tony from his thoughts. "As long as he's with us, he'll be fine."
     "You're the boss."
     Tony and Natasha settled in some armchairs a couple of feet from the sofa Stiles was sleeping on peacefully, or so they hoped, and settled in for a long wait.

Chapter Text

     When Stiles finally woke up, it was mid-morning. He had a massive headache, his throat was dry and when he rubbed a hand through his hair, he felt a small bump - nothing serious, but enough to be sore to the touch. His moaning and groaning tore Natasha away from cleaning her pocketknife and Tony jumped up, ready for a fight, disorientated from sleeping.
     "Shit kid! Don't do that!"
     Stiles took one look at Tony and jumped off of the sofa and backed away towards the door, betrayed eyes going from Natasha, back to Tony and back to his aunt again. By then, Natasha was up and slowly walking towards Stiles, hands up in front of her, pocketknife forgotten on the coffee table.
     "Hey Mischief. This is Tony. Iron Man, remember? He's a friend." Natasha got in front of Stiles, blocking Tony from his view.
     "Why - Why's he here," he gasped.
     "Hey it's okay. When I called and you didn't answer, I got worried. He came over with me incase there was a problem. He made sure you were alive and well. You don't have to worry about him Mischief."
     Stiles peeked over his aunt's shoulder and looked at Tony with guarded eyes. He didn't seem to have any weapons on him, which was good, although he couldn't be sure there weren't any. He was looking at Stiles with a serious gaze, although his lips quirked upwards. He seemed to be trustworthy. He looked back at Natasha and nodded, though he didn't let his guard down. Although miniscule, the relief was apparent on Natasha's face (to Stiles anyway) - the slight lines around her mouth smoothing over where she untensed, the almost unnoticeable unfurrowing of her eyebrows. Yes, Stiles could see it clearly enough.
     "Hey kid," said Tony in a soft tone.
     Stiles shifted back and forth on his feet and looked out of the window behind Tony's shoulder. "Hi."
     "Do you want something sweet? I always feel better with some apple pie after a panic attack," he commented casually.
     Stiles' eyes snapped to Tony's, wide with shock. "You had panic attacks?"
     "Oh yeah. Used to have them loads, not as often anymore though."
     "Why? You're Iron Man!"
     "I'm still human kid. Saving the world is kind of a big responsibility if you hadn't noticed."
     "Oh. Yeah. Right - um, sorry," Stiles scratched the back of his head and looked down at his feet. "Um, I... used to get them a lot after mom died. They went after a while but they're back now."
     Stiles was surprised he had volunteered this information so easily. His father and aunt was one thing, but a complete stranger - even if he was Tony Stark... Tony moved to sit on the sofa and patted the space next to him. Stiles looked at his aunt as if to ask for permission and she nodded in response but she then remembered that Stiles was a kid, and a vulnerable kid at that so she gave him a reassuring smile. She stood at the door watching over the scene as Stiles sat hesitantly next to Tony.
     "After the battle of New York, I felt so guilty. So many people died and in a way, it was partly my fault. I used to have horrific nightmares but with Pep's help and the team, I got through it."
     "I don't have anyone though," Stiles voice cracked and Natasha rushed to sit on his other side.
     "You have me, and your dad. And even Tony now. And I'm sure the team would love to meet you," she soothed.
     "They would hate me!" Stiles moaned. "I don't even know why you're here. I'm so stupid and useless. They should have killed me when they had the chance."
     Natasha took Stiles in her arms and shushed him as he sobbed and Tony looked on, appalled. "We love you Stiles. We love you so much. No one's death was your fault. If you were dead, who would look after your dad? Who would have helped them so-called friends of yours? Huh? If you were dead, possibly the whole population of Beacon Hills would be dead too!"
     "But they hate me!" Stiles sobbed.
     "And they're morons! They are not your friends Stiles! They are horrible people who took advantage of you."
     Stiles was silent for a while, taking deep breaths to calm down. "I killed Donovan," he muttered, eyelids fluttering in exhaustion.
     "He fell, Mischief. And anyway, it was self defense," Natasha whispered into his hair.
     "But he died because of me," he croaked.
     "Kid." Stiles jumped. He had forgotten that Tony was here, next to him. "People have died because of me too."
     Stiles looked at him with bleary eyes. "But you're a hero."
     "So are you kid. So are you," Tony murmured as Stiles fell asleep.

     When he woke, Stiles was stretched out on the sofa, head on his aunt Nat's lap and feet shoved under Tony's thighs. He stretched a bit and snuggled closer to his aunt, sighing contentedly.     
     "Hey Mischief," Natasha whispered so as to not wake up a sleeping Tony. "Hungry?"
     Stiles hummed, too sleepy to reply, still. Natasha gently cradled Stiles' head in her hands and shoved a cushion where she had previously been sitting before depositing the head she was still holding on top and silently gliding out of the room. Stiles, instead of staying where he was, decided that his head was too low and changed sides, snuggling into Tony's side. Although he was still asleep, Tony unconsciously wrapped his arm around Stiles' shoulders and pulled him closer. Forgetting that he should be mortified (he was snuggling with Iron Man for Christ's sake!), Stiles fidgeted a bit, getting more comfortable and fell promptly back to sleep.
     Well this cereal is going to get soggy, Natasha thought ironically from where she was standing in the doorway between the kitchen and living room.

     When Stiles and Tony finally woke up, the group of three decided they would order Chinese takeaway as it was way past midday and watch the DVD Natasha had brought over - The Breakfast Club.
     "I thought we were only going to watch films with fighting in them?" Stiles questioned, feeling much better after his sleep. That was the best sleep he had had since he was sixteen despite being surrounded by near strangers. By how they had treated him during this very very short amount of time, he knew he could trust them. They would never hurt him. He hoped so anyway.
     "I thought since this was supposed to be your first lesson, we could take it easy," Natasha answered while setting the table.
     "I've never seen The Breakfast Club before."
     Tony stopped in his tracks and stared at Stiles in shock. "You haven't seen The Breakfast Club before?" he asked in an accusatory tone.
     "Well sorry," Stiles answered sarcastically. "I was too busy taking care of ungrateful mutts to watch much TV. And when I did, we all watched what they wanted to watch… Who cares about the weak little human and what he wants to watch…" he muttered.
     Despite Stiles being grumpy, Natasha was relieved. That was the moment she knew Stiles would heal, would be okay. He had gone from depression to denial and isolation and was now going to anger. All of this in a month and a half or so. Soon, he would accept what had happened and move on.
     "Luckily for you, I am the best person to watch a film with," Tony bragged.

     Tony was not the best person to watch a film with. He was worse than Stiles with his non-stop commentary and snarky remarks when someone (Natasha) told him to Shut up! When they finished watching the film, Stiles leaned back and took a deep breath.
     "What's up babe?" Natasha asked lazily. "Nothing. Just - Claire and Andrew remind me of some people back in Beacon Hills. I'm good. Don't worry. I'm not gonna have a 'breakdown' as you like to call them Auntie Nat," Stiles joked although he looked close to doing just that. To take Stiles' mind off of everything and make him feel better, Natasha and Tony decided to go rent some more DVDs (that had no supernatural events whatsoever in them) and watched TV for the rest of the afternoon. By nightfall, they were each happily stuffed with popcorn and sweet treats and ready to pass out, once again, on the couch together.
     "Will you stay the night?" Stiles asked quietly when they had finished their third film. "Only if I'm sleeping in with you," Natasha said in disgust. "I'm not sleeping on a sofa." Nobody commented on the fact that she had often slept in worse places than on a sofa. Stiles smiled at his aunt gratefully and turned to Tony with a significant look. "Both of you?" he asked with wide eyes, fearful that Tony would reject him just like pretty much everyone in his life had done so far. But Tony just grinned and ruffled his hair.
     "Hey," he winked. "I'm your Uncle Tony. Whatever you say, I do."
     Stiles felt such a huge relief in him, it was overwhelming. He had met this man less than twenty-four hours ago, yet he had never trusted someone so quickly. It was mind-blowing really. But then, it was also logical. If his aunt Nat trusts Tony Stark, then he must be trustworthy, right?
      Tony was struck with the most dazzling smile he had ever seen. Stiles looked like a child who had just learned Christmas would be every day of the year hereon out.
      "Thank you," he said breathlessly. Uncle Tony. It had a nice ring to it - Stiles liked it.

      Stiles had been living in New York for little over a month and he was out for the first time on his own. He was only going down the street but the previous times he had been out there had always been at least one person with him whether that be Natasha, Tony or his father, although it was always hard to go out with Noah with his line of work. But here he was, walking at a quick pace down the busy street, head down, biting his already bleeding bottom lip and heart pounding so hard, he thought it was going to explode. Through his panic, he made it to his destination and stumbled into the bookshop, graceful as ever. He was doing research on his spark and this particularly obscure bookshop was like freaking Giles' library in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, full of books on the supernatural and other weird shit.
     "What can I do for you today Stiles?" Gregory, the old owner of the bookshop asked in a raspy voice. Gregory was nice. He was always ready to help Stiles look for what he needed and offered him a free dring or piece of cake once in a while. Stiles had grown quite fond of him. The scar on his forehead and frown lines told Stiles why he owned such an obscure shop. Stiles was hesitant to trust him at first but over time, Gregory had proved to be a very nice, attentive and helpful man.
     "Sparks today," he answered airily, fingers trailing over the books in the magick section, eyes searching for anything that could even mention Sparks.
     "Ah, yes! Wonderful creatures Sparks are, wonderful! Met one myself back in the 70's. Much rarer now though. Hope you don't mind my asking, but why are you researching an almost extinct species?" Gregory raised his eyebrows in question, making his scar dig deep into his forehead.
     "Well-" Stiles glanced around the shop, making sure no one was eavesdropping and continued in a hushed tone. "-I would prefer if you kept this to yourself. Don't want it getting spread around you know? I'm a Spark. Figured it out not long ago. I've been doing research ever since."
     "A Spark? In my shop! My, my, I am a lucky man. Lucky for you, I have just the thing you need!" Gregory shuffled over to an other section of the store and flipped through a few books before shuffling back over and setting three of them on the table before Stiles. "Here you go then. I have more but I think these three are good for a start."
     "Thanks Gregory! How much?" Stiles asked enthusiastically, already flipping eagerly through the pages.
     "Nonsense. They're on the house," the old man answered with a stern look.
     "But-"
     "Now go. Read, research. I'm sure you'll find some rather useful information."
     "Thanks Gregory," Stiles answered with a grin before picking the books up and heading towards the door. "See ya later!"
     As he walked home, he flipped through each book. The first one was on the history of Sparks and how to unlock and embrace the powers that come with being one. The second was filled with tips, ingredients and objects Sparks commonly used in their works and the last one was on mind magick and belief - like creating a circle with mountain ash. Stiles was reading about connecting to your body and nature when he ran into something solid. As he fell, he spun to avoid damaging the books he was currently clinging onto like a lifeguard, but twisted his ankle instead. He fell on his side, smacking his head on the pavement as he went.
      "Shit!" he heard a deep voice with an accent say. "I'm sorry! I wasn't looking where I was going!" The man helped Stiles sit up and Stiles gently put pressure on his head where he hit it, feeling a damp bump.
      "That doesn't seem too good," he commented, dazed.
      "It really doesn't," the other man said in a rough voice. "Here, I'll help you up." The man took Stiles' hands in his and started pulling up but let go suddenly, making Stiles fall on his ass - again. "No! You need to stay put!" He groaned. "I don't know what to do! I'm sorry, my sister usually takes care of this kind of stuff."
     "It's fine. It's fine," Stiles wheezed. "I'll just-" Stiles let out a gasp of pain. He had tried to stand up but his ankle had protested.
     "Ah shit. Does your head hurt?"
     "A little bit."
     "Okay, er. Okay, I'm going to put your arm around my shoulders and I am going to help you to that coffee shop over there," the man explained.
     Stiles took a deep breath. "Okay. Yeah. I can do that."
     The man hauled Stiles up and did as he had said. He practically dragged Stiles to the quirky looking shop. Stiles was shoved into an armchair in the corner of the room and his savior rushed to the counter. "Do you have a first-aid kit?" he asked in a rushed voice.
     The girl behind the counter stared at him blankly, as if taken by surprise before responding. "Oh! Yeah, sure. Hang on a sec." The younger woman disappeared behind a door and came back in a matter of seconds, a white box in her hands. "Do you need help?" she asked hesitantly.
     The man glanced back at Stiles and looked him in the eyes before responding calmly. "This, I know how to do." He strode back to where Stiles had set up his injured ankle on an other chair and wrapped it with bandages. "It's swollen," he said. "But it's not too bad. Should feel better in a week or so." He then dabbed at Stiles' bloody head with a damp cloth the woman behind the counter had provided him with. "You should get that looked at."
     "I've had worse," Stiles said, remembering all of the times he had been shoved into walls, scratched and punched back when he lived in Beacon Hills.
     "Doesn't mean you shouldn't get it looked at."
     "Look, it's fine. Thanks for helping. You don't have to stay any longer than you want to."
     "But how will you get home?" "I can just call someone. Okay? Thanks a lot." Stiles made a dismissive hand movement and fiddled with his phone, just wishing the man would leave so he could freak out a little bit about the fact that he had just talked to someone new and it was scary as hell but felt so fricking good.
     "If you are absolutely sure… I'm Pierre by the way."
     Stiles looked up at Pierre and smiled hesitantly. "Stiles."
     "See you around Stiles."
     As Pierre left, Stiles leaned back in his chair and heaved a great, shuddering sigh. Pierre was the first new person Stiles had spoken to in weeks, apart from Gregory of course. The interaction had taken a lot of energy out of him and now, he just wanted to get home. He called Tony, knowing he would get here the fastest with his sports cars, and closed his eyes. He must have dozed off because he was jostled awake by Tony picking him up, bridal style.
     "How are you always getting into trouble?" Tony asked, fondly exasperated.
     Stiles mumbled something unintelligible and curled into Tony like a child. "I spoke to someone," he slurred. "He was nice."
     "Yeah?" Tony questioned as he sat Stiles in the backseat and buckled him in before getting into the drivers seat. "I'm proud of you. You get his name?"
     "Pierre."
     "Huh, I have a friend who goes by the name of Pierre," Tony chuckled. "Sounds fancy, he french?"
     "Don't think so."
     "Where do you think he's from?" Tony asked but when he looked in the rearview mirror, Stiles' mouth was wide open. He was sleeping, occasional mumbles and groans coming from his mouth.

     Tony had some music on low volume while Stiles slept. It wasn't his usual rock and metal. He had decided, for Stiles' sake, he would listen to something more peaceful. He tapped along to the music, lost in his thoughts when Stiles started moving about in his seat, trapped by the seatbelt wrapped tightly over his body. Tony pressed on the accelerator, trying to get home as soon as possible. Stiles was having an other nightmare and there was nowhere he could pull over. Stiles thrashed in his seat, talking, screaming. If Tony was in the car next to them, he would think someone was being kidnapped.
     "Come on kid. Just a couple of minutes," he muttered, then: "Stiles!" he called. "Stiles! C'mon kid, it's just a dream! You're okay, you're okay." Tony finally turned into the parking lot and jumped out of the car, rushing to the other side of the vehicle and slamming the door open. He pinned Stiles' arms to his sides and rocked him back and forth in his arms. "You're okay," he muttered again. "You're okay."
     Stiles woke with a final scream, eyes dashing frantically around the car and then to Tony's face, tears streaming down his face. He heaved a great sob and Tony cuddled him to his chest, hushing him. Around ten minutes later, Stiles chalked up all of his courage and walked up the stairs to the apartment, supported by Tony. Once Tony had sat Stiles on the sofa and gotten him a glass of water, he sat down next to him.
     "You wanna talk about it?" he asked in a quiet voice.
     Stiles sighed "I guess you're gonna fine out sooner or later." Stiles told Tony everything, just as he had told his father everything, just as he had told his aunt Natasha everything. "And then, dad and I came to New York," he finished.

Chapter Text

     It was an other few weeks later that Stiles was finally ready to meet the rest of the Avengers. During that time, he had concentrated on his new books. He had already come a long way and could do a few new easy things like manipulate mountain ash and energy. He could borrow energy from nature and other living beings around him and could even make himself as strong as a werewolf, maybe even more so. Other than that, he had briefly met Clint when Natasha had come over to drop off some donuts Stiles had been craving before going off on a mission. Since then, he had had a couple of training sessions with him where Stiles used his newfound powers, although he still hadn't found the courage to say more than a small 'hello' to the archer. He had also slightly fangirled over Steve Rogers (AKA CAPTAIN AMERICA!) from the window of his apartment when he had come to pick Natasha and Tony up. He had been out alone a few more times, becoming more confident with every outing and, thankfully, he hadn't bumped into anyone and toppled over again. It was only when his aunt had proposed to Stiles to meet the rest of the Avengers for the sixth time since he had been in New York that he had accepted.
     That's how he found himself in front of the Avengers tower in awe but also trying his best to not have a panic attack. After a slight shove in the back from Natasha, he stumbled through the glass doors. He came upon a receptionist who looked like she was about to tell Stiles off for even stepping foot into the almighty Avengers tower. Until she saw Tony and Natasha coming up behind him along with his father, that is. Noah set a hand on Stiles' shoulder and guided him forward. He leaned down to whisper in his ear.
     "You don't have to do this."
     "It's fine. I'm gonna meet the Avengers and it's gonna be fine. Right?" Stiles looked up at his father as if looking for confirmation.
     "Of course, you'll be fine," Noah responded with a small, reassuring smile.
     After the group climbed into the elevator, they rode up to the top floor - the common room, complete with living-room, kitchen and pool table, although Stiles had no idea why that would be there. The Avengers were waiting for them in a line. Friday must have let them know that they were coming up. Stiles look at each one in turn, growing more panicked at each time his eyes slid to an other person. They were really all there, except for Vision. Steve Rogers was the first one he saw in the middle of the group, a welcoming smile on his face. On his right was Pepper, looking exactly as Tony had described her, classy and elegant, Wanda Maximoff with Stephen Strange, Scott Lang and Bruce Banner. Stiles was surprised to see Doctor Strange and Scott, he hadn't known that they lived in the Avengers tower. On Cap's left were Bucky, looking grumpy as ever, Sam Wilson, Clint and Thor, who was staying close to his brother Loki, who was farther away near the kitchen, looking rather reluctant. Thor was probably making sure Loki wouldn't do anything rash. Stiles gave a timid smile but stayed silent.
     "Everyone-" Natasha started as she put a hand on the back of Stiles' neck and squeezed comfortingly. "-this is my nephew Stiles and brother-in-law Noah Stilinski."
     "Welcome," said Steve as he stepped forward. "I'm Steve. Steve Rogers."
     "I know," Stiles chuckled, embarrassed. "I know all of you. Hard not to, you know?"
     "Well, at least we don't have to go through an extremely long introduction. It's nice to meet you Stiles, and you Sheriff."
     Noah smiled as Stiles beamed up at him. "I see you've done some research. Please, call me Noah. I'm not on duty."
     "Noah then. We were about to order some snacks and cakes. Anything either of you would like?"
     "Stiles?" Tony questioned when he saw his surrogate nephew stare down at his shuffling feet. "Spit it out. They're not gonna bite."
     "I haven't had curly fries in a while," he muttered.
     "I love curly fries!" a voice from the back of the room exclaimed. Pietro had just gotten out of the shower and was late, as usual. His and Stiles' eyes locked and Stiles' mouth fell open.
     "Pierre?" he asked just as Pietro said: "Stiles?"
     "So this is the boy you've been talking about for the last few weeks!" Wanda cried joyfully, clapping her hands together and jumping on the spot in glee. She happily strode over to Stiles and grabbed his arms. She ignored the flinch and guided Stiles over to the couch. "You must tell me all about yourself."
     Stiles stuttered, shrinking in on himself, his breathing becoming labored. "I- I don't-"
     "Wanda," Natasha said sternly as Noah and Tony sat either side of Stiles. Wanda immediately backed off. Once Stiles had calmed down and his father and aunt had left to get him a glass of water and sweet treats, he slumped into Tony's side. He hid his face in Tony's shoulder, red with embarrassment.
     "I'm sorry," he muttered.
     "It's fine kid. We've practically all had panic attacks around here."
     "It's true," said Pietro quietly as he sat on Stiles' other side, where Noah had been seconds ago. Stiles looked up at each Avenger, who each had a slight trace of worry and sadness on their faces. Stiles straightened up, still looking vulnerable but with with a determined look in his eyes.
     "I don't want pity," he declared. "I want curly fries."
     The group cheered and went their separate ways, either going off to raid the kitchen or to order food in. Only Stiles and Pietro stayed seated. After a bit of an awkward pause, Stiles decided to speak up. "I didn't know there was a secret Avenger. Are you, like, a surprise attack or something, Pierre?" he asked sarcastically.
     Pietro laughed. "I don't like the spotlight. I actually faked my own death."
     Stiles gapped at the supposedly dead man next to him. "Yep, Wanda is legally an only child. Bet you didn't see that coming, huh? It's Pietro by the way."
     "You and Wanda are siblings?"
     "I tell you I faked my own death and that's what you think about?" Pietro asked with a laugh.
     "I think I need curly fries. Or booze. Booze would be preferable," Stiles deadpanned.
     "Curly fries it it!" Tony exclaimed as he shoved a bag of greasy goodness under Stiles and Pietro's noses.
     "Well, booze was my first choice, but this will keep my mind off of my misery for a little bit." Stiles enthusiastically grabbed the bag out of Tony's hand and shoved a few in his mouth.

     A few hours after eating, people started splitting up into different groups to speak of different things. Pietro and Wanda curled up together in a corner, arguing about who the best sibling was. Scott and Thor had their own, rather loud argument about whether it was better to be extremely small of extremely big, sounding like they had already had a conversation similar to this one. Bruce, Bucky and Natasha sat side by side on one of the sofas, enjoying watching Tony and Clint try to lift Thor's hammer, too tipsy to care about the fact that they both knew their attempts would be fruitless. Steve, Pepper and Sam enjoyed a glass of wine at the kitchen table, talking amiably, and Loki was nowhere to be seen. Stiles surveilled the spectacle from his spot on the armchair in the corner of the living-room. He jumped and definitely did not let out an unmanly squeak when Doctor Strange silently appeared in the chair next to him.
     "I didn't mean to scare you," he said with an apologetic smile.
     "Didn't scare me! Fine!" Stiles exclaimed breathlessly.
     "Of course," Strange smiled knowingly. "You have suffered," he declared after a pause.
     "What do you know," Stiles asked defensively.
     "Life is… unjust sometimes," the man said as he lifted his scarred hands up in front of his face, as if to inspect them. "I should know. I dedicated my life to saving peoples lives. I was a heart surgeon you see, but one night, I lost the use of my hands."
     "How did you win the ability to use your hands back then?" the young man asked gently, although still weary.
     "I got help. From a very wise and powerful woman." Stephen smiled, remembering the wonderful woman, who had not only helped him physically, but mentally too. "I'm confiding this information to you to prove to you that things do get better. People say you need time to heal. I say do something about it. I could have waited, accepted the fact that I wouldn't be able to use my hands ever again and move on with my life, but I did something about it and now-" Doctor Strange created a small portal and stuck his hand through. When he took it out again, he was holding onto a bag of curly fries. "-I can do that."
     Stiles smiled and thanked the man. The two men continued talking for a while. Although he was reluctant to speak of his own past, Stiles was happy to listen to Doctor Strange's stories. He was just explaining how he had made his first portal when the elevator beeped and the doors opened. A young boy, probably around fourteen of fifteen years old walked out, heading straight for the kitchen.
     "Hey everyone! Sorry I'm late. Ned and I were finishing up a science project." The boy got a bottle of juice from the fridge and gulped some down before going through the fridge again. "So this crazy thing happened on my way home! I'm walking down the street, right, and I see this guy running towards me with a baseball cap on and a handbag in his arms. I wait for him to pass me and I pull my mask on, so I'm running after this guy with my normal clothes on and my mask! And he looks back and sees me and get this! He starts screaming! Full on screaming! And I'm trying not to laugh but it's so hard! So I shoot him and tie him up by his feet and this guy starts crying and he's calling for his mommy! Anyways, after that I called the police and got the bag back to it's owner. It was so funny." Peter finally turned around with a cold slice of pizza in one hand. He was about to take a bite but stopped midway when he saw Noah and Stiles. "Oh! Er… Hi?" He set the slice of pizza down on a nearby plate and turned to Tony with a raised eyebrow, silently asking who their guests were.
     "Peter-" Tony strode over to where Stiles had stood up, panicking slightly. Who was this guy? A werewolf? He said he had hung up a full grown man by his feet and a lot of strength was needed to do that. He had to be supernatural. "-this is Stiles and his father Sheriff Noah Stilinski. Stiles here is Nat's nephew. Stiles, Noah, this is Peter Parker."
     "Is he a werewolf?" Stiles whispered not a discretely as he would have liked to be into Tony's ear. To Stiles confusion and shame, the people around him laughed. Great, they knew he was stupid and useless now and would soon want nothing to do with him. Stiles took a step back as if he had been slapped but of course, since he had the worst luck in the world, knocked the back of his knees on the sofa behind him and toppled over. The Avengers only laughed harder. With tears of shame and embarrassement threatening to stain Stiles' red cheeks, he hurried out of the first doors he saw, not wanting to embarrass himself more by waiting for the elevator. He heard people calling out his name and clenched his fists to stop them from shaking. He heard the door handle being turned behind him but no one came though. The door seemed to have locked its self behind him. After searching for an exit and failing to find one, Stiles decided to climb in the vents - they probably lead to an exit.
     He didn't know how long he crawled around for but after a hile, he stopped and sat back against the cool metal. He brought his knees up to his chest and lied his head on them. He had to try and get out of the Avengers tower without being noticed and get away from everyone. He couldn't go back to the apartment for that's what everyone would expect of him. It would be best for everyone if he left and never came back. He may have been overreacting but honestly, Stiles didn't care. He wanted everyone to be safe and to not be rejected (again). If that meant he had to extract himself from society, then so be it. He was still trying to come up with a plan when he heard a slight shuffling sound up ahead. Stiles froze. If he moved, the person would be alerted of his presence. If he didn't, he had a chance of being caught. Stiles made a split second decision and held his breath, hoping the person would miss him completely and venture down one of the other vents. Obviously, with his lousy luck, Clint Barton crawled up to him and sat down next to him on the other side of the vent. Stiles didn't bother to try and get away - he knew when a battle was lost.
     "Penny for your thoughts?" Clint actually held out a penny to Stiles but the young man batted it away, causing the penny to fall on the floor, making a big clanking sound. "Sorry," Clint said. "Everyone's worried about you. Your dad is going crazy. When I left, Nat and Tony looked like they were about to strangle each other. I think Cap was trying to talk some sense into them."
     The image of Nat and Tony at each other's throats made Stiles crack a smile.
     "I come here when I need to think," Clint continued. "Everyone knows the vents are my private space."
     Stiles apologized - he hadn't wanted to intrude on Clint's privacy. Clint waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. "Use them whenever you like. They're big enough for the both of us. Peter isn't a werewolf by the way. I don't know how that crazy idea go in your head." He scoffed before muttering. "Werewolves." He chuckled and continued. "He's Spiderman."
     Stiles looked at Clint in disbelief. "But he's like fourteen!"
     "Fifteen," Clint corrected him.
     "He's fifteen and he's a superhero?" Stiles asked, more to himself than to Clint who made an affirmative sound. "Werewolves are real by the way." When Clint raised an inquisitive brow at him, Stiles continued. "I... was part of a pack of werewolves. Although we weren't really a normal pack. Obviously, they had me, a human, but there as also a banshee, a girl from a werewolf hunting family, a half werewolf/half kanima, a werecoyote and a kitsune, although they left before I did… Well, before I was kicked out. Yeah… It was pretty crazy."
     "All of that exists?" Clint asked. "Well I guess with gods and aliens and the enhanced, I'm ready to believe all that's supernatural can exist." The archer paused for a moment, debating with himself about whether he should ask a possibly dangerous question. "Why did they kick you out?" he asked softly.
     Stiles let out a bitter laugh. "I'm human," was the simple answer he gave.
     "Why did you run off earlier?"
     Stiles eyes darkened and he seemed to shut down. "I would prefer not to answer that question."
     "It's not healthy to keep all of your thoughts and feelings locked up you know," Clint stated matter-of-factly.
     "I don't," Stiles snapped back.
     "Then you won't have any trouble speaking about them with me." Clint sat back and crossed his arms over his chest smirking triumphantly.
     Stiles huffed but spoke anyway. "When you all laughed-" Stiles paused, trying to gather his thoughts. "When you all laughed, I felt so stupid. I thought you would all reject me. And then I thought 'Huh they would probably die with me around anyway.' And then I wanted to run away…"
     "We weren't going to reject you Stiles. And we weren't laughing at you. Think of what we must have thought. I'm guessing only your father and Nat know about werewolves-"
     "And Tony."
     "-And Tony. The rest of us, we thought it was a joke or something and then you just got up and ran off. We didn't know what we did wrong!"
     "Sorry," Stiles muttered. "I was being stupid," he huffed out a laugh. "Aunt Nat would call it 'emotionally vulnerable'."
     "I get why you are. Just remember we are not going to reject you. I know for a fact everyone has enjoyed having you over this afternoon. And anyway, we trust Nat's judgement. She doesn't like people easily. You should have seen her when she met Scott. There was this big fight that kind of split the team into two. After everything settled and we were all okay again, Nat avoided him like the plague, she absolutely hated him. She hated him until she got food poisoning and Scott took care of her during the three days she couldn't get out of bed. We were all on missions and the only one who wasn't needed was Scott. He made her homemade soup, brought her a glass of water every hour cause 'she has to stay hydrated!' and he made them both an awesome pillow fortress in the middle of the living-room so that they could watch films together. We came back, sweaty and bloody and tired, expecting the worse, only to find them curled up together, both of them asleep in front of Finding Nemo. They haven't had a fight since."
     Stiles laughed. "I never thought of aunt Nat being sick. She just seems too mighty for that you know?"
     "Yeah." Clint chuckled. "Hey, are you ready to go back down? I'm willing to bet everyone is going out of their minds by now. Friday refused to tell us where you were. Not even your dad."
     "Yeah, okay… Did you really mean it? Do you really enjoy having me around, I mean?"
     "I don't lie Stiles," Clint said matter-of-factly. "Okay, I do but I'm not lying when I say we like having you and your dad around."
     Stiles smiled lightly. "Let's go back down. Don't want Tony and aunt Nat strangling each other."

     Everyone was relieved to see Clint return with Stiles in tow. Pietro had looked in every single room of the tower with his super speed and had found him nowhere. They were about to start looking around outside when they came back.
     "Don't you dare do that again," Noah said pointing his finger at Stiles. "When you don't feel good, you speak to us about it. We've talked about this Stiles. For all we knew you were out in the streets, passed out!"
     Stiles stared down at his feet in shame and muttered out an apology. Noah sat down and rubbed a hand over his face. Stiles shuffled from foot to foot in front of him before speaking quietly. "I didn't have a panic attack."
     Noah looked up at his son in surprise and relief. "You didn't?"
     "Nope," Siles popped the 'p' as he flopped down next to his father. Noah wrapped an arm around his son and pulled him close.
     "I told you you would get better."
     "It doesn't hurt as bad anymore. They kicked me out around three weeks before we left and we've been here for… two and a half months? I think, after three months, I'm finally getting over it."
     The two stayed like that for a bit until Clint and Pietro dragged Stiles off to play pool with them. Clint won of course. He was the best at aiming, the bastard. After that, Stiles opened up to the rest of the team. He spoke to Stephen and Wanda about their abilities, bonded with Clint in a quiet corner over the fact that they had both been controlled, had both done things they hadn't wanted to do. He and Scott raced Pietro, even though they both knew they had no chance in winning. He even got a few words out of Loki.
     "So," Stiles said as he sidled up to the god. "God of Mischief, huh?"
     "Yes." He looked at Stiles with a sneer, disgust clear on his face.
     Stiles paid no mind to it and continued speaking. "My mom used to call me Mischief. Aunt Nat does too. I used to get into a lot of trouble as a kid. Still do." Stiles laughed.
     "I doubt you could do the things that I can do lowly Midgardian."
     "I doubt I could. But I could have a chance at learning, I think. If I had a good teacher that is."
     "No one could do the things a god can do child."
     "But I'm no just any child. And I'm not a child thank you very much. I'm twenty-three," Stiles said proudly.
     "What do you mean you are no normal Midgardian? You are but a tenth of my age child. I am over a thousand years old. I have had over a thousand years of practice with magic. Do not fool yourself. You could never do as I can do," Loki told Stiles fiercely.
     "Wow! You're over a thousand years old?" Stiles exclaimed before remembering their original topic of conversation. "And, I'm a Spark. Although don't tell anyone. It's a secret."
     Loki hid his surprise by smirking. A Spark, he thought. Interesting. "I am the God of Mischief. What makes you think I shall not tell anyone?"
     "I don't know." Stiles shrugged before smiling and walking off to Steve to compare the Cap's strength with a wolf's strength.
     What a peculiar child, Loki thought as he watched Stiles walk away.

Chapter Text

     "Stiles this! Stiles that! It's like he's obsessed with him, I swear!" Peter ranted to Ned a few weeks later at school.
     "If I didn't know any better, I would think you were jealous," Ned snickered.
     "I'm not jealous!" Peter snapped. "It's annoying! Ever since Stiles came into his life we haven't done anything together. He's always trying to make Stiles happy! He even calls him kid. He's only ever called me kid-"
     "Because you were the only kid he knew," Ned interjected but Peter continued his ranting as if he had never heard him.
     "And anyway, Stiles is in his twenties. He isn't even a kid!" Peter huffed and slammed his locker door open.
     "Look," Ned tried to reason with him. "You said this Stiles guy has been through some stuff. Maybe Mr Stark is helping him out with that and then he'll come back to you."
     Peter sighed. "I don't think so Ned." He gathered up his books before closing the locker door and heading to his next class, leaving Ned to look after him as he left.

     "Warning. Level 5 danger. Mr Stark, a group of nine people, six males and three females, have knocked the door down in the lobby," said Friday.
     Tony clicked on a button and let his suit engulf him. "Give me some visual Friday." He brought his watch up to face level and watched a group of - were those teenagers? - climb up the stairs.
     "Oh my god," Stiles breathed from behind him.
     "You would need inhuman strength to knock that door down. It's made out of bullet proof glass and steel! Who the fuck are they?" Sam asked as he suited up, metal wings sprouting from the compartment on his back.
     "Language," Steve commented absent-mindedly, shield already on his arm.
     "Fuck," Stiles yelped.
     "Stiles-" Noah started.
     "Friday lock the doors," Tony ordered.
     "I'm afraid I can't sir. Somebody had disabled me. I can only speak to you."
     A few seconds passed. No one knew what to do. These were kids! Were they a threat? Who were they? Who was strong enough to hack into Friday? There were so many unanswered questions and so little time. Noah wrapped an arm around Stiles and tried to steer him away. The door banged open. In walked in, as Friday had said, six men - boys - and three girls. The first person to come through looked like he was the oldest, the boss. He was big and dark and the leather jacket he wore was worn and old. On his right was a curly haired boy with a crooked jaw and on his left a blond boy who was obviously a jock when he was in school, no doubt about it. Slightly behind them were the three other boys plus one of the girls. Two of the boys looked like kicked puppies. One of them was obviously a couple of years younger than all of the others. He was probably still in high school while the last boy was big and muscly with a stone cold face. The girl next to them had wavy, long blond hair and supported a smirk on her face. The two last girls were behind the entire group, off to the side. The brunette had a bow (that was probably why she was at the side, so she would have better aim) and the redhead held tightly onto an old book and her phone.
     Tony was the first to react. He shot at the angry looking boss man at the front of the group but it didn't seem to do anything to him. If anything, it made him more angry. He growled and claws shot out of his fingers.
     "Shit," Pietro and Scott, whose suit washed over his body, swore.
     The man locked eyes with Stiles and shot forward but Wanda held him off, a red aura surrounded him and he froze in place. The rest of the group transformed terrifyingly, except for the two girls at the back. Claws shot out of their fingers, their teeth elongated, their faces deformed and hair sprouted where it hadn't been seconds earlier.
     "STOP!" Stiles cried.
     "Stiles? Are they who I think they are?" Natasha demanded.
     "Not-" Clint started only to be cut off by Tony.
     "Werewolves," he growled. "What do you want with Stiles?"
     The man, Derek, ignored Tony and strode up to Stiles, or, as close as he could get to Stiles with the people creating an impenetrable protective circle around him. He scowled. "We need to talk."
     "Leave now Hale before I get my wolfsbane bullets out," Noah threatened.
     "Stiles," Derek growled.
     "How did you find me?" Stiles demanded. Whether he was shaking from fear or from anger, he didn't know. Maybe both.
     "You don't need to know," the wolf seethed.
     "Actually, all of us do, mutt," Pietro said as he stood in front of Stiles, successfully blocking him from view. "You are endangering our family and breaking and entering. It's our right to know how and why you have come to find Stiles."
     "Why do you care?" Jackson fumed, stepping forward. "You aren't his family!"
     Natasha was fuming. She would make these little bastards pay for hurting her nephew. "Meet his aunt Natasha," she hissed, stepping up to Jackson, accepting his petty challenge.
     "And his uncle Tony." Tony strode up next to her and held out his hand. "Hi. Iron Man," he introduced himself sarcastically. The threat was clear behind his smirking face: I'll tear you to shreds if you touch a single person in this room. When Jackson didn't shake his hand, he let it drop next to his body. "How rude," he muttered.
     "And I'm his fucking father," Noah placed himself between the two Avengers, right in front of Derek. 
     At the loss of his father's presence by his side, Stiles latched onto the back of Pietro's t-shirt, fist clenched tight around the fabric. He was probably creasing and stretching it, but he wasn't all that bothered about it at that moment. Pietro moved back a step, stopping next to Stiles and wrapped his arm around him comfortingly, holding him tight, letting him know that no harm would come to him. Derek, seeing Noah pull his gun out of his holster, growled and curled his clawed fingers around his neck. Stiles let out a strangled cry.
     "Dad!" he shrieked.
     Before anyone could do anything else, someone no one had really noticed before then spoke up. "Derek!" Isaac hissed. "Too far! You're going too far!" He grabbed hold of Derek's arm and tried to force it down. It was no use though. Noah's face was turning very red and he lost the grip on his gun which clattered to the floor. Stiles saw red. He felt power surge through him like fire and ice mixing together around his body before diving into his veins, making him sweat. He stormed forward, forcing Pietro to let go of him. He took a hold of Derek's arm and squeezed it so hard that the bone in his forearm  shattered in two. Derek grunted in pain and Stiles looked at his arm in shock before collapsing to the ground next to where his father had fallen, who was gasping for air. He felt lightheaded, his body ached, he was tired. Stiles refused to back down though. He stumbled back to his feet with help from his aunt Nat and Tony. He glanced at his father who was now being looked over by Bruce.
     "Get out," he said calmly, fury laced each word. "Get out before I burn your eyes out."
     "Stiles-" Scott stepped forward. Stiles snapped. Was Scott, the one who was supposed to be his best friend, his brother, really going to try to appease him after everything that had just happened?
     "GET OUT!" he thundered and the lights flickered on and off.
     "Derek?" Isaac whimpered. He had hated loud noises since his father. Stiles couldn't care less at the moment. Derek turned to look at Isaac's wide, frightened eyes, Erica's pale face, Jackson's fists, shaking with rage and finally, Lydia, although not human, still extremely fragile with no weapon on her. When he smelt the fear wafting off of the rest of his pack behind him, he backed down. He muttered something to Isaac who nodded and lead the rest of the pack out of the door leaving only the alpha, the Avengers and Stiles in the room. Noah had been brought down to the medical station by Bruce and Thor. 
     "We need your help," the wolf said quietly.
     "You need to get the fuck out. You should have thought about the implications before you kicked me out of the pack."
     "Stiles-"
     "No! You kicked me out. That means you don't need me anymore. Any problem you have is your pack's problem and since I'm not part of your pack you better step the fuck out of this room and never fucking come back."
     "I need to take care of them," Derek pleaded. He had lost his tough guy act now. He was desperate.
      "And why didn't you want to take care of me?" Stiles' voice cracked. "I'm done Derek. I can't take this pain anymore. Please leave," he said quietly.
     "I never meant to hurt you."
     "You took everything from me!" Stiles shrieked. "My friends! My family. Do you know how fucking depressed I was? I slept with your creepy-ass murderer uncle, that's how fucking depressed I was." Angy tears spilled down Stiles flushed cheeks and someone gently pulled on his arm.
     "Come on," Tony said gently. "It's time to go." Stiles let him lead him to a bedroom, Tony's one he was guessing from the electrical bits scattered around the room. Tony disappeared into the on-suit when Steve leaned against the doorframe.
     "You okay?" he asked.
     "Give it up Loki," Stiles sighed as he lowered himself onto the bed. "I know it's you."
     "My, my," Steve's body flickered, showing Stiles Loki's real body. "I'm impressed. You are the first person except for my brother to see through my disguise. How did you know?"
     "Steve's the Cap'. I know he'll stay downstairs until all threat has left. Also he doesn't stand like that."
     Tony reappeared with sweatpants and a t-shirt in his arms. "Get out," he ordered bluntly.
     "Touchy touchy," Loki mocked and wandered away to god knows where.
     Stiles got changed and crawled into bed. Tony came to sit next to him, leaning against the headboard. Stiles was exhausted and emotional and honestly couldn't give a damn about anything at that moment. So, he curled up on Tony's chest and cried himself to sleep. "Why couldn't he love me the way he loves them?" he asked before sleep overtook him.

     When Stiles woke up, the first thing he heard was shouting.
     "Tony?" he asked blearily as he looked up at the man. Tony just pulled him closer and sushed him like a mother would shush her crying baby.
     "Go back to sleep."
     "What's going on?" Stiles was confused. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't remember how he got into Tony's room or why.
     "Go back to sleep kid. It's nothing," Tony muttered as he pushed his hand through Stiles' hair soothingly.
     "Why is Pietro shouting?" Hearing a roar, he suddenly remember exactly what had happened and jumped out of bed. "How long was I out?" he asked frantically.
     "A few hours child," Loki answered from the doorway looking smug. "They left but came back not long ago. I would have cut off their heads had I known I wouldn't be sent back to a cage like an animal. Like your dogs. I would hurry down if I were you before speedy boy rips their hearts out," he commented casually, inspecting his fingernails.
     "Stiles!" The boy in question spun around to look at Tony who was just behind him now. "Don't go down there. You'll only get hurt."
     "I'm strong enough Tony. I can take them on."
     "I'm not talking about you physically kid. I've seen you when you have a nightmare. It's not pretty."
     "I wasn't talking about physically either," Stiles answered with a fierce determination in his eyes before sweeping past Loki.
     "This is going to be fun." Loki smiled innocently and followed Stiles out of the room with Tony rushing after them while cursing stupid gods.

     Stiles stumbled down the last few steps and burst into the living-room. Each person looked ready for combat. Thor was back from the medical station and was gently swinging his hammer. Natasha stood face to face with Jackson. Stiles had no doubt his aunt would win if they did end up fighting. Pietro stood nose to nose with Erica who was in her beta form. Pietro stood rigid, fists clench and looking like he was ready to pounce on the girl. Clint and Allison were having a stand off. Both of them had their bow draw and at the ready. The rest of the pack and the Avengers stood around the main group, not facing anyone in particular but standing at the ready all the same.
     "Stop stop stop stop stop!" Stiles screeched. "Stop! Can no one act like an actual adult around here? You don't need to fight every single person who annoys you!"
     "They're a threat Stiles," Natasha responded calmly, never taking her eyes off of Jackson.
     "We're in a room filled with the Avengers. World's Mightiest Heroes? Remember that? I hardly think they're a threat," Stiles scoffed.
     "They're a threat to you Stiles," Pietro  hissed.
     "I am not a child! I can look after myself thank you very much."
     "Stiles is right everyone," Steve tried to ease the situation. Put your weapons down. We need to speak about this calmly."
     "As if they could be calm Stevie." Stiles head snapped up. That was actually the first time he had ever herd Bucky speak.
     "Guys," Stiles snapped. Nobody really knew who he snapped at but it was enough to make everybody put away their arms, or claws. "Good," Stiles stepped up to Scott. "Where is your alpha?"
     "He's not here." Lydia strode up to Stiles and smiled grimly. "Allison and I banned him from here after earlier. He's out waiting in the car. Tell the Sheriff sorry, he didn't know what he was doing."
     "I'm willing to bet he did know what he was doing. How did you find me? And I want the truth."
     "Gregory," Lydia admitted. She didn't flinch when a vase flew past her hair and shattered against the elevator doors.
     "Stiles," Stephen called from behind. "You need to calm down."
     "He's right. If you don't you could do something you regret," Wanda supplied.
     "I am calm," Stiles hissed through gritted teeth.
     "Of course you are," Loki jeered. 
     "Who is this Gregory man? I shall knock his head off!" Thor thundered.
     "The guy I buy my books from."
     "Derek met him when he was in New York with Laura," Isaac told Stiles.
     "Stiles!" Scott pleaded. "Look man, we really need your help."
     "It's too late-"
     "Everything is back! I don't know how, or why, but it's all back! From evil Peter to Kate to the Nogitsune. Every single thing we have fought against is back. They're like copies. We saw evil Peter take on the less evil Peter!"
     Stiles was choking. It felt like someone had wrapped they're hands around his neck and squeezed as hard as possible. The Nogitsune was back. "I can't help you with that," he gasped. "Get the survivors out of there and blow the whole fucking shithole up."
     "Stiles! That's not how we do things! You know that!"
     "Well maybe you should."
     "Your mother's grave-"
     "Don't fucking try to guilt trip me Scott. I have people to hold me back," Stiles seethed. As one, the Avengers formed a tight circle around the young man. "Blow the whole fucking place up Scotty. Blow it up like a firework." 
     "Fine. Okay, fine. Stiles, if you don't want to help, we'll understand," Lydia glared around the pack. "Won't we?" she asked sternly. "But can we at least talk? Actually sit down and talk? We made a mistake when we pushed you out of the pack."
     "Lydia! This is not what Derek and Scott planned!" Jackson hissed.
     "I would like to talk to you too Stiles. Please?"
     It was really Isaac that pushed Siles to agree. He had probably been bullied into following that stupid idea by Derek. "Fine. Take a seat," he said gruffly. "On the floor." When Jackson growled, Stiles' gazed snapped over to him. "If you don't want to be here then fucking run back to your alpha."
     "Really Stiles, why such language?" Steve asked quietly as he guided Stiles over to his usual spot on the couch between him and Wanda.
     "I'm really fucking angry Steve." Although he was still ready to burn some eyes out, he grinned up at his idol. Steve rolled his eyes at him before shoving Stiles down on the couch.
     Silently fuming, Jackson left the building after no one backed him up. As the rest of the Avengers sat in their usual spots, the pack, except for Lydia who refused to sit on the floor, settled down close to each other on the carpet.
     "You wanted to speak? Speak," Pietro grumbled from his spot on the arm of the couch next to Wanda.
     "We shouldn't have kicked you out Stiles," Liam spoke for the first time.
     "How's that anger now Liam?" Stiles asked pleasantly although he wasn't fooling anyone. They could all see his tense shoulders, furrowed eyebrows and thin mouth.
     "Under control."
     "Good, I didn't bust my ass for you to go rabid after I left."
     "We're so sorry Stiles!" Isaac whimpered, unable to keep it in anymore. He looked up at Stiles with big teary eyes. What a puppy. Stiles curled into Steve and Wanda, tucking his feet under Wanda's thighs and pushed himself closer to Steve.
     "Stiles!" Wanda hissed as she shoved his feet out from under her. "You know I hate that. Come cuddle me and leave your smelly feet with Steve." Stiles huffed and rolled his eyes but did as he was told. He knew what Wanda had done. She had provided a distraction so that he could keep his composure together. He had been close to tears when Isaac had spoken, god he missed that guy. Isaac was probably the one he missed most. After he had gotten over his 'I'm a werewolf, I'm cooler than you' phase, he had become like a little brother to Stiles, along with Liam once he had gotten over his anger issues.
     "Did you actually want to force me out of the pack? Or did someone else bully you into it Isaac?" he asked quietly. Isaac looked desperately at his pack members, silently pleading them to help him. "The truth please Isaac."
     "None of us wanted you to leave! Derek and Scott said it was for your own safety!"
     "Do you want me back in the pack?" Stiles asked the whole pack after a slight pause. There were yes's and cheers from them but Stiles remained stone cold.
     "We're so sorry Stiles! You are coming back with us aren't you?" Scott rejoiced.
     "Okay." The Avengers froze. Was Stiles really going to leave? After everything? "I'll come back… On one condition. It's simple really. You kick an other person in the pack out. Isaac maybe." The wolf whined. "Or how about Erica? She is a real bitch, don't you think? Or how about Danny, the only human in the pack who doesn't know how to fight and who hacked into Friday?" Stiles stared calmly down at the shocked faced of the Hale-McCall pack. "Oh yes, I know. Who else in that god forsaken town is intelligent enough to do it? So go ahead. Throw Danny out. It's for his own safety isn't it? He is a human in a wolf pack after all." Stiles waited for an answer but got none. "That's what I thought." The boy stood, straightened out his clothes even though they were only Tony's sweatpants and t-shirt, and calmly walked out of the room and after being out of earshot, climbed into the vents.

     When Stiles climbed out of the vents a few hours later, he was feeling much better. Thankfully no one had bothered him, not even Clint and he had been able to just have some time to himself. When he walked into the kitchen, the pack had left and his friends , his family, was setting dinner on the table. Stiles groaned in pleasure as the smell of Chinese food and curly fries hit his nostrils.
     "That is almost orgasmic! You guys are the best! Hey, where's my dad? Is he still down there?" he asked worriedly.
     "Don’t worry," Bruce answered. "He's fine. I gave him some soup. He's asleep now. He won't be able to speak too loud for a few days though."
     "So don't piss him off!" Tony grinned.
     At that moment Peter walked out of the elevator. "Sweet!" he cheered. "Chinese!"
     Pepper slapped his hand away from the chicken. "Wait for all of us to sit down you brat," she scolded him.
     "Stiles is eating his curly fries!" Peter complained and glared at Stiles. Stiles froze and looked from Peter to Pepper, to Peter again before gulping down the rest of his curly fries.
     "Stiles has had a hard day honey. He needs some energy and fattening up now that I think of it."
     "Waiting five minutes won't change anything! And I had a hard day at school too! Flash pushed me into the lockers again and insulted me all day. He said I photoshopped you and Mr Stark onto the picture we took together when I made my first phone!"
     "It'll be fine kid. Just ignore him, he wants to get a reaction out of you. You have my permission to kick his ass!"
     "Don't swear Tony, he's a child."
     "Don't encourage him Tony! Peter, sweetheart, we will talk about this later okay? Let's eat first and calm down." Pepper ran her fingers through Peter's hair and smiled at him but he pushed away from the table and ran up the stairs.
     "I'll go see what's going on with him," Tony sighed. "Keep some for me! Don't wait up."
     While everyone continued talking and started serving up the food, Stiles followed Peter and Tony up the stairs. He caught up to Tony and stopped him by putting and hand on his arm.
     "Let me speak to him. I'll probably understand how he's feeling more than you old man."
     Tony gazed to where Peter's door had slammed shut and back to Stiles before sighing again. "Okay. I'll be down in the kitchen if you need me."
     Stiles gently knocked on Peter's door. He got no reply but still, he pushed it open. He found Peter slumped in his desk chair, arms crossed over his chest and tears threatening to spill from his eyes. "Hey kid. What's up?"
     "Don't call me that," Peter snapped.
     "What? Kid?" Stiles was so confused. He didn't understand why Peter was in such a huff.
     "Yes!" Peter cried. Stiles walked over to where Peter had curled up tighter in his desk chair and laid a hand on his shoulder but Peter jumped up out of his chair with an angry shout. "Don't touch me! I hate you! I hate you!"
     Well, that hurt. "And why do you hate me so much? Huh?" Stiles asked, crossing his arms over his chest.
     "Don't you get it? You stole Mr Stark from me! He's always talking about you, it's as if I didn't exist anymore! It's gone back to how it was before when I was just an annoying child for Mr Stark!"
     "Goddammit," Stiles hissed. He had stolen Peter's only father figure.

     Five minutes later, Stiles was back in the kitchen. He had convinced Peter to calm down and promised he would go get Tony.
     "You need to speak to him," Stiles ordered as he rushed around the room hastily grabbing his stuff.
     "What? What are you doing?" Tony asked getting up from the table.
     "Go see Peter, Tony. You're gonna wanna hear what he has to say. As for me, I'm going back to the apartment," he replied.
     "But it's movie night!" Pietro protested.
     "Are you sure you shouldn't stay here for the night honey?" Pepper asked. "After what happened today…"
     "I'm fine, really." I'm not. "I'll see you all later." I don't know when. I might stay in bed for a few days. "Make sure dad stays in bed and gets lots of rest. I'm trusting you with this Brucy." Make sure he stays here. I don't want to see anyone. "Bye!" Love you.


Chapter Text

"How is he?"
"I don't know. He hasn't been answering his phone."
"Do you think he's in danger?"
"No. Noah's been working but he checks in on him every night. He's always there. He hasn't been kidnapped by some crazy wolves or something."
"I wonder if it's about Peter..."
"What? When he rushed out the other day?"
"Maybe. I should go check on him, right Clint?"
"I'll come with you!"
"Where did you come from? Right… Super speed. I always forget…"
"Suit up Avengers. We got a mission."
"I'll go see him after then. Anyone staying behind Steve?"
"Just Bruce and Peter. Thor and Loki said something about business on Asgard. We still don't know where Vision is…"
"He'll be back sooner or later. Friday would have let me know if something bad had happened. Don't you worry about that Captain Jack Sparrow."
"Who is Captain Jack Sparrow?"
"Don't listen to him buddy. Come on, let's go suit up."
"I'll ask Bruce to check in on him. Come on, we've got some avenging to do."

Stiles stayed in bed for five days. He never wanted to see Tony ever again. Not if it caused Peter such distress. He should have know this newfound happiness wouldn't last. Nothing good lasts forever and, sadly, some things end sooner rather than later. A little over a month. That's how long he had known the Avengers for. Four months. That's how long he had known his aunt Nat and Tony. His uncle Tony. He was sad he would never see them again. Okay, he was more than just sad. He was depressed again. In the five days since he had been back at the apartment, he had had three glasses of water and a couple of cereal bars. He still hadn't showered though. At least the hunger mildly made him forget the pain. From time to time. He also slept a lot which helped a bit. But most of the time, he would lie on his back staring up at the ceiling, thinking of everything bad he had done in his life. Scott was bitten because of me. I got Derek arrested. I told Scott we should kill Jackson. I let the Nogitsune in. I let him kill so many people. I almost killed Allison. I killed Donovan. Didn't even need the Nogitsune for that. I stole Tony from Peter.
"Stiles?"
Stiles flinched. Here we go, he thought. Bruce was here to tell him they chose Peter over him, sorry. Oh and there was Peter, here to rub it in his face. Well, it was good while it lasted. He should have run away that day he was in the vents. It would have spared him all this pain.
"Stiles?"
Stiles didn't turn around. He didn't want them to see his tears. Maybe if he pretended to be asleep they would leave a note and leave him to be miserable. A tear escaped his eyelid. Shit.
"I know you're not asleep Stiles."
Stiles sighed and opened his eyes which coaxed more tears to leak unwillingly. Bruce rushed to the side of the bed.
"What's the matter? Are you hurt?"
Stiles seemed not to hear as the dam broke and his tears ran freely. "You all hate me don't you?" he sobbed.
"Of course not!" Bruce protested, not really knowing what to do. He was way out of his league here. "Why would you think that?"
"Because of me," Peter muttered.
"What? Why?"
"Because of the other day."
"Alright, here's an idea," Bruce declared like the intelligent man that he is. "Stiles, you go clean yourself up while Peter and I make some breakfast. Then, you two can explain to me what is going on."
"Honestly, you don't have to try and make me feel better about myself. I'll be fine. Just tell the others I'll miss them."
"Stop being ridiculous. Come on, get up."
With much effort, Stiles reluctantly dragged himself out of bed and trudged to the bathroom. He was taking his shirt off when his gaze came across the mirror. He was disgusted with what he saw. His hair was a long mess of greasy knots, his cheeks and eyes were hollow and dark, even darker with the light's shadow. His body looked like a corpse, pale and underweight with bright blue veins trailing up his arms. He sneered at himself and quickly got into the shower before he collapsed under the weight of self loathing.
Ten minutes later, Stiles got out of the shower. He thought about shaving off his five day old stubble but decided against it. He already looked like shit, a clean cut wasn't going to make them like him any better. He walked out of the bathroom barefooted and in a clean pair of pajamas. He would go back to bed after they left - no point in getting nice clothes on. The table was set and a fresh bowl of scrambled eggs was in the middle of the tiny table with a plate stacked with toast next to it.
"It's the only thing we knew how to cook," Bruce smiled apologetically.
Stiles shuffled on his feet. He didn't know what to do. What to say. How to act.
"Let's eat then shall we?"
Stiles nodded despite the nauseous feeling he had.

Stiles pushed his plate back. He couldn't eat anymore. He was going to vomit.
"Sorry… I'm not the best cook…" Bruce apologized awkwardly.
"No, no! I'm, uh, not feeling too well. Not hungry I mean."
"Right, well shall we sort out this situation we have going on here?"
"I'm sorry I stole Tony from you Peter," Stiles blurted out. "But you don't have to worry about that anymore cause after today, you'll never see me again. I swear."
"What?"
"You're leaving?"
"Where?"
"I thought I would go back to Beacon Hills. Help evacuate everyone. Blow it all up." Stiles shrugged.
Peter's eyes widened in understanding. "And blow yourself up with it!"
Stiles had the decency to look guilty.

"I need you to send Sam back right now," Bruce said urgently. "It's an emergency."
"What? What is it?" Steve shouted over the phone. A couple of explosions sounded near him.
"I can't tell you. You'll just get even more distracted than you are now. Just send him back to the tower."

"I didn't know what to do. I'm not really the best person to talk to about this stuff. I always end up saying something stupid."
"No no. You were right to call Steve. Where is he now?"
"Back at the apartment with Pete. I didn't want to tell Steve to tell you to go directly there. He would have worried. That's why I wanted to meet you here."

"I know why Bruce asked you to come back."
"Oh?"
"You were a therapist for army people or something like that."
"Something like that."
"I don't know why you're here though."
"Bruce told me what happened. What you said."
"I said I was going to save the people in Beacon Hills."
"And kill yourself in the process."
"It's either me, the one who has killed and deceived, or them, innocents."
"You could have let your pack do it."
"Ex-pack. And no. They're too stupid. The people who live in Beacon Hills… They're the people I grew up with Sam."
"We could help you."
"Look, I know you're trying to be nice and all, but I know that it's either me or Peter… And I know you're not going to choose me. And I get it! Honestly! I still have my dad and I'm an adult now. He's just a kid and the only family he has moved away cause of work. Just please don't drag it on."
"Stiles... It was never, never, you or Peter. It has always been you and Peter."

"He's not good. Noah… He wants to commit suicide."
"No... My son would never do that."
"What the fuck are you talking about Wilson? My nephew is far too strong for that so you better stop fucking lying right now."
"He thinks we're choosing between him and Peter."
"And he thinks we are going to choose Peter…"
"Exactly. He was planning on blowing up Beacon Hills with him in it."
"We need to get everyone together and explain to him that there is no choosing!"

"I'm sorry!" Stiles sobbed. "I never wanted to scare you. It just hurt so fucking bad. It was stupid of me. I'm stupid. I'll never think of doing that again. I swear!"
Pietro couldn't take it anymore. Stiles looked so scared and alone and small, almost childlike, sitting curled up and crying like that. Pietro rushed up to him and with his super speed and super strength, lifted him onto his lap and held him tight. Fuck what the others thought. Stiles needed him. Pietro was close to tears himself. It hurt so much to think that he could have lost Stiles. He could barely even remember what his life was like before the idiot arrived. How would he have survived without him?
Stiles didn't even flinch. He curled up into Pietro's chest and cherished the warmth and security and love he felt. Wait. He could actually feel the love. It felt like a bond had formed between him and Pietro. It was so strong, it almost hurt. But that might have been the pain he felt from Pietro as well. His head snapped up and he looked around the room in wonder and amazement. He could feel everyone's love for him. Everyone loved him! Even Peter! Suddenly, Stiles felt like he was going to pass out. It was all too much. He could feel everybody's emotions. The love, the pain, the sadness, the worry, the need to protect, the depression. Everything. It overwhelmed him and brought him to tears again. Well, this is new, he thought.

Chapter Text

"Stiles? What is it?" Pietro asked comfortingly, a tinge of worry in his voice and rubbing soothing circles on Stiles' back.

"I can- I can feel everything." Stiles curled in on himself, covering his ears and gripping his hair as he did so.

"Hey, hey. None of that." The silver-haired man untangled Stiles' fingers from his hair and held them tight. "Explain to me what you feel. How can I help?"

"Spark!" Suspicious eyes snapped to a certain God of Mischief. "I will be back," he said before striding out of the room before anyone could protest. All the while, Stiles was growing more and more distressed. Several people were crowding around him now, attempting to calm him down, too occupied to think about what Loki had said.

Thor stayed in his armchair, elbows on his thighs and supporting his chin, looking pensive. Was Stiles a Spark? Had Stiles told Loki he was or did his brother just assume? What was Loki doing? Before an other question crossed his mind, his brother stepped back into the room, a thick and old looking book open in his hands.

"What are you doing you fools?" he demanded when he saw everyone crowded around Stiles. "You're only making him suffer more you infectious fool-born jackanapes!" It was as if somebody had hit mute on a TV remote. Silence fell upon them, except for Stiles muffled sobs.

"What the hell did he just call us?" Tony muttered out of the corner of his mouth.

"I have no fucking clue," Sam muttered back.

"I, unlike you idiots, read. Shakespeare, you morons." Loki frowned when he heard muffled laughs coming around the room. "Well I have to do something semi-intelligent whilst on this plain planet. It's really rather boring down here. The only good thing about Midgard is taking it over and you spoilsports won't let me do that anymore. What else am I supposed to do?" he retorted. "Now, stop mocking me, unless you would rather not know what is going on inside the child's head." Silence. "Yes, that's what I thought. Now listen here you insolent brat," the god demanded as he turned his attention to Stiles. "I want you to listen to me very carefully because I shall not be repeating this twice. Imagine the sun raining down on you, creating a protection barrier around you. Imagine all emotions that are not your own bouncing off of it. Feel the warmth of the aura around you and cleanse your body of all emotions except your own."

It took some time, but eventually, Stiles felt immensely better. Better than he had felt since he was a teenager actually. He leaned back into Pietro in relief and exhaustion.

"Okay what the hell was that?" Noah demanded, moving back towards Stiles and stroking a hand through his son's hair.

"Your son, Sherriff Stilinski, is a Spark, an almost extinct species. When Gods and Goddesses discovered Midgard thousands of years ago, some chose to migrate down here… Insolent fools…" Loki muttered angrily. "The noble blood of these Gods and Goddesses and the blood of Earth's people mixed together created Sparks. Stiles has finally unlocked his abilities which means that for a while he will discover new things about himself and his powers. Sparks have a tendency of feeling emotions, whether it be human emotions, animal emotions of plant emotions. He has the ability of an empath, only he feels much stronger. Your son had God blood in him which means he has magic, and powerful magic at that."

"Fucking cool! I am so glad I didn't blow myself up." When multiple heads snapped to him in alarm, Stiles grinned sheepishly. "Too soon?"

Noah lightly tapped the back of his son's head and kept his hand there for a second. "I'm glad you're back kid."

"I am sorry," Stiles repeated for the hundredth time that day. "I'm sorry I doubted you all. I was in a dark place but I feel better now that we've spoken and smoothed things out. I love you all, you know, I was scared I would lose you."

"Stiles?" Peter asked uncertainly. "I'm sorry I made you feel this way. I really didn't-"

"Don't worry about it ki- child?" Stiles opened his arms up for a hug and grinned uncertainly.

"You can call me kid," Peter murmured as he climbed into Stiles' arms.

"I am so glad you two have made up," said a muffled voice. "But I am underneath you."

 

Natasha couldn't find Clint anywhere and she was getting real pissed off about it. They were supposed to have started training twenty minutes ago and here she was, looking all over the tower , cursing the idiot angrily under her breath.

"Oh for the love of-" she hissed, clenching her fists by her sides. "Friday! Where is he?"

"Where is who, Miss Natasha?" Friday answered and somehow, she sounded amused.

"The idiot."

"I am sorry Miss Natasha. I shall need more information to find who you are looking for. There are many idiots in the tower."

"Good one. The idiot I was supposed to be training with this very second."

"Mister Clint can be found in Mister Mieczyslaw's new room," Friday supplied.

 

"Over there. No! Over there!"

"Make your mind up Stiles! I don't have super strength like Stevie."

"You're the one who offered to help."

"I'm starting to think that was a bad idea."

"It sure was."

"Oh shit," Stiles and Clint swore together.

"You were supposed to meet me in the training twenty minutes ago," Natasha said accusingly, poking her finger into Clint's chest.

"Incoming!" A circle of sparkling gold appeared in the middle of the room and Steve walked through, pushing a dresser in front of him. "Is that all you wanted?" he asked as Stephen followed him through.

"Yep. That's it. And sorry Aunt Nat. I asked Clint to help." Natasha only glared before pulling Clint out of the room by his ear.

"Ow ow ow ow!"

"Well, this is it… My new room." Stiles glanced around him as if he couldn't quite believe this was happening. I mean, it's not everyday you move in with the Avengers now, is it?

"Are you sure you're okay with this? Moving here I mean. I know we just kind of sprung it on you but we think it's better for your safety."

"Yeah, yeah! It's totally cool. I'm living with the Avengers!" Stiles grinned up at Steve and Stephen. "I'm just gonna miss my dad I think."

"You'll be able to see him whenever you want Stiles. And he can come here whenever he wants. At least you won't have to spend the day alone at the apartment anymore," Stephen supplied.

"Yeah... Yeah. That's good." Stiles smiled as he flopped down on his new king-size bed.

"You need help decorating?" Steve asked. When Stiles shook his head, ungelled, floppy hair falling into his eyes, Steve placed a hand on his shoulder and squeezed.

"We'll be down on the common floor with the others if you need us."

Chapter Text

Stiles laid back on his bed and sighed. It had been a few weeks since everything had gone down. The pack had come back twice, begging for Stiles' help. He hadn't told them to blow Beacon Hills up again. He avoided using that phrase since his last confrontation with the Avengers; his family. Other than that, both visits had gone pretty much the same way as the first one, only with less strangling and more desperation.

After learning bout his heritage, Stiles had had a long talk with Thor and Loki about his powers and what he could and couldn't do, although they weren't very helpful seeing as they had never actually encountered a Spark before. They had only ever heard stories from their parents (or adoptive parents in Loki's place) and other Asgardians.

Scott and Steve had paid Gregory's bookshop a visit seeing as they were the two least likely to do something they would - or wouldn't - regret. They even ran in to a couple of the pack members there, eating cupcakes whilst chatting to the old man. One of them, Isaac, Steve had remembered, had had a rather strange reaction. Instead of glaring at the two Avengers like the other wolf was (Jackson?), he regarded them with hope and fear, eyes darting to the door and back as if hoping Stiles would follow them through the entrance. Upon walking out of the shop, a couple of old books for Stiles under their arms, they had agreed that they would not tell the Spark who they had seen, not wanting him to be more hurt than he already was, even though Stiles was getting better every day.

The unlocking of his powers had permitted him to grow mentally tremendously. His suppressed magick, Loki had discovered while skimming through the books, was what was making Stiles feel so down. His magick had a mind of its own, its own emotions. The fact that his powers were locked deep within Stiles had caused them to weaken, to make them feel like they were useless and worthless, letting Stiles think he was weak and unwanted. The unlocking of his powers and permitted him to bloom. And so, after lots of research, they had started training, and let me tell you; Thor, Loki, Stephen and Wanda all working together was not a good idea. Loki was insufferable, as usual. Stephen and Wanda were okay for the most part but Stephen had trouble with Thor's stubbornness. After that one unfortunate afternoon, they had decided individual training would be best with supervision when it was Loki's turn, although Stiles couldn't understand that. The God of Mischief seemed alright. Sure, the Battle of New York wasn't really cool of him but he didn't think Loki would intentionally harm him.

The first training session Stiles had had with Loki, they hadn't even thought about using magick yet. They just talked. Talked about Asgard, talked about possibly finding Stiles' ancestors but most importantly, they spoke about why Stiles' powers were only manifesting now when, according to their research, Spark powers came to Sparks during their teenage years, sometimes earlier.

"I cannot be sure, as I have never encountered a Spark before you, but my guess is that your pack of wolves made you think you were nothing special, nothing but a weak human. You believed them which caused your powers to metaphorically lock themselves into a box deep within your core."

"So I could have had powers years ago?" Stiles' features hardened as he frowned.

"Essentially, yes."

"Shit."

Loki leaned back on the sofa he was sitting on and smirked. "Well, you have the best to train you at least."

Stiles snorted in response but stayed silent. After a while of processing their conversation, Stiles perked up again. "You know, you're much kinder to me than before."

"And what, may I ask, has that got to do with our session?" the God asked, raising a brow in disdain but not denying the fact.

"Oh nothing," Stiles replied joyfully. "I guess I'm kinda proud I'm the only one you don't glare at when walking into a room." Loki rolled his eyes before abruptly standing and striding out of the room without an other word. "He would have insulted me if he didn't like me," Stiles whispered to himself and in turn, Tony rolled his eyes from where he was sitting in the corner of the room, a tablet in hand.

 

It was the same night that found Stiles and Stephen Strange alone in the common room. Not even needing to look at Stiles to know he was fidgeting, Stephen looked up from his book at the man and raised an elegant eyebrow.

"Something to ask me Stiles?"

"What?" Stiles jumped in shock and gnawed at his thumbnail. "No? I mean yes? I mean it can wait. It's like nothing important. Don't worry your pretty little head about it. I'm just gonna-"

"Stiles," Stephen cut in. "You can ask me anything."

Stiles paused, seemingly deliberating whether he should talk or not, before finally speaking, his voice high-pitched and panicked. "Well you see. It's kinda- I don't-" Stiles chuckled awkwardly. "I mean, I guess I'm not sure I wanna know, you know?"

"Not really."

"Well- you see- um, Tony mentioned you could… see parallel universes I guess you could say? Like what would have happened if someone had made a different decision and I was wondering, um…" Stiles scratched the back of his neck and brought his knees up to his chest, huffing in frustration.

"What would have happened had you not left Beacon Hills or had given them a chance the times they broke into the tower?"

"I guess, yeah."

"Stiles, everything happens for a reason. There is no point in dwelling in the past because you cannot change what has happened. You do, however, get to choose what happens in the futur." After seeing Stiles slump, he sighed. "There are a billion ways your life could have turned out, Stiles. It is not possible for me to tell you what would have happened."

"I get it," Stiles sighed. "I guess I just wanted to make sure I had made the right decision."

"Of course you did Stiles. We would have never met you had you not decided to leave Beacon Hills. Unless you regret meeting us, of course."

"God no! Meeting you and the rest of the team is the best thing that has ever happened to me! I just think… What if there was a way I could have both? The Avengers and the pack?"

"I know this is hard for you Stiles. You have depended on these people for a third of your life, but they do not deserve you. They do not deserve the kind-hearted, intelligent man sitting beside me."

Stiles gave a watery smile and thanked the doctor. After that talk, Stiles could officially say he was happy. Sure, he still felt down more often than most happy people but he was in a good place. He had a family, and a massive, goofy one at that. There was never a dull moment living with the Avengers. He had never been closer to his father and even though they didn't live in the same building anymore, they saw each other most evenings when Noah got off of work and every weekend. He got to spend his days with people he loved, doing the things he loved like research but not being forced into it by, let's say, a growly, angry werewolf. He went out for walks, alone and with other members of his surrogate family. Although when alone, he was more cautious, afraid he would see a pack member around the corner. Even though Scott and Steve hadn't told him about their encounter with Isaac and Jackson at the bookstore, he knew they were still in town. He felt them and despised the fact that he had to be cautious everywhere he went. Other than that, yes, he was happy. He was sure of it.

Chapter Text

Stiles stumbled into the elevator and repeatedly pressed on the button which would bring him to Tony's and Pepper's floor. His whole body felt like it was thumping and his brain beat painfully against his skull. He gripped the support bar tightly in his hands as sweat and tears dripped down his face. He had just been woken up by Friday from an other nightmare of the Nogitsune.

He had been facing it, the Nogitsune. He had been inches away from the creature that had taken on a copy of his body and he couldn't control his limbs. As the Nogitsune reached into his pocket to pull out a knife, Stiles did the same. He couldn't stop himself. He couldn't do anything. He was trapped and he was powerless. The intruder swiftly threw the knife and it landed in Scott's heart. Stiles screamed and did the same. The blade landed in Derek's heart. The Nogitsune and Stiles laughed uproariously while tears streamed down Stiles' pale face and strangled screams mixed with that deadly laugh tumbled from his mouth.

A ting broke Stiles from the prison that was his mind and let him know that he had arrived at his destination. He struggled back out of the elevator, his breathing heavy, and knocked on Tony's and Pepper's bedroom door, although he didn't wait for them to answer. He shoved the door open and crawled into bed with them. He knew the couple wouldn't mind; he had done it before when he had had nightmares. The first few times he had been scared and awkward, feeling like he was intruding in their personal space but he soon found out they thought it was sweet and even felt honored that he trusted them enough to see him in such a state.

It was only once he was comfortably snuggled up under the covers that he realized something was wrong. First of all, the room smelt different from its usual mix of perfume and aftershave and the bed was much smaller than he remembered. Also, Tony was there, but Pepper was absent which was bizarre seeing as Stiles knew for a fact she had gone up to bed and she never got up during the night unless she was preoccupied, which she wasn't, during the day anyway. But even Tony felt weird. He was more muscly and toned and, again, didn't have the same smell. It was only then that Stiles found out he had gone to the wrong floor in his haste.

"Shit," he hissed as he scrambled out of bed.

Although he was close to the Avengers now, he wasn't really touchy with most of them and didn't have the courage to initiate contact. He had his hand on the door handle when light flooded the room and Stiles froze.

"Stiles?" came a hoarse voice laced with a thick Sokovian accent. "What's wrong? Are you alright?"

Stiles cringed. "I'm sorry, Pietro. I woke up and I was going to Tony's and Pep's floor but I pressed on the wrong button in the elevator cause I was kinda panicking a little cause I had an other nightmare and now I've completely, like, intruded in on your personal space and I just literally crossed the line I got into bed  with you! I didn't know it was you I swear I honestly thought I was in Tony and Pepper's room. I am so sorry I'm just gonna go now so-"

"Stiles!" Pietro cut the man from his rambling. "It is okay," he said, sitting up. "I have had my fair share of nightmares, I know what it is like. You can stay here if you would like. I don't mind if you don't mind."

Stiles wrung his hands together as he thought about the proposition. On one hand, it would be nice to just crawl into bed right now instead of having to get back into the elevator, find the right floor and tell the right people why he was in their room in the middle of the night - again. On the other hand, he really didn't want to intrude. Then again, Pietro had said it was okay and he was one of the few people Stiles often cuddled with when he was feeling down or curled up with when watching a film (Pietro was also quite fond of tickling and poking Stiles although he had no idea why that was so appealing to him).

"Are you sure?" he asked uncertainly.

"Of course. Why would I offer if I was not?" Pietro responded as he pulled the covers down on the other side of the bed.

Stiles smiled and hesitantly walked over and crawled back into bed. As he lay next to Pietro, he forgot about his nightmare. He still felt the residual panic and his pulse pumping but he felt safe. Safe and warm.

 

When Stiles woke up the next morning, Pietro had already left. He didn't worry though, he knew the man was an early riser, or, earlier than him anyway. Stiles rolled over to the other side of the bed where Pietro had been and relished in the warmth of the sheets. He spent almost an hour like that, buried under the covers, breathing in Pietro's sent. Oh yes, Stiles knew he had it bad for the Avenger. He didn't try to repress his feelings as he had a couple of months ago anymore.

In the time he laid in bed, Stiles looked around the room, taking in every detail from the small pile of half-folded clothes on the wicker chair in the corner to the posters of films and TV shows and the pictures of Pietro with the Avengers. When he noticed the pictures, Stiles got up to get a closer look at them. Most of them were photos of Pietro with Wanda when they were younger with a few more recent ones mixed in. A few with various other Avengers surrounded them; Pietro with Clint and baby Nathaniel Pietro Barton, Bruce doing some experiment on Pietro, Thor having a thumb war with Tony while Pepper and Natasha rolled their eyes at the camera in the background... There was one picture that stood out more than the others. It was farther apart from them, as if it had only recently been added. It was a polaroid that had been taken in the common living room. It was dark as if the curtains had been drawn to watch a movie and Pietro sat slouched on the sofa and smirking, holding up a can of soda in cheers with Stiles' body curled up next to him, his head on his lap. Pietro had his free hand laced through Stiles' hair as if he was stroking it and Stiles wanted to cry. His heart melted and his breath was taken away. If he had had his phone with him, he would have snapped a shot. Sadly, it was still lying on his bedside table in his room. After a while of just staring at the polaroid, admiring the two of them lit up by the screen of the telivision, Stiles got himself together and made the bed (he wasn't just going to be rude, crash and run without at least one nice gesture) and took the elevator down to the common floor for some breakfast (or some lunch, he hadn't checked the time yet).

He was just having a nice conversation with Bruce about his past experiments over a bowel of cereal when he fell out of his chair in shock (keeping in mind it was a high chair seeing as they were at the kitchen bar).

"Hello. Has anybody seen Wanda?"

"A bit of warning next time?" Stiles screeched breathlessly, hand clutched to his chest. "You can't just float through a wall and scare a man like that!"

"He didn't scare me," Bruce interjected, smug grin on his face.

"You're the Hulk. I am a scrawny little man with no super powers and no strength!" 

But Bruce ignored Stiles in favor of greeting the newcomer. "Hey Vision. Good to have you back."

"It is good to be back. I have much information I shall need to relay to the entirety of the Avengers. Is this young man new?"

"I'm not new, you are," Stiles muttered childishly.

Bruce huffed out a laugh and shook his head in fond exasperation. "This is Stiles, Natasha's nephew. He moved in a couple of months ago."

"Even with my research, there was no sign of Miss Romanoff having family. You must have been a heavily kept secret, young Stiles," said Vision, turning to Stiles.

"Exqueeze me. From what I know, you were created a few years ago. I'm older than you! You can't call me young!"

"Grow up Stiles," Wanda said as she strutted into the room.

"You grow up," the Spark muttered in reply as the rest of the Avengers filed into the room.

"Come on kid," Tony said as he took Stiles by the shoulders, guiding him to the elevator. "Why don't you go play videogames with Peter? This is Avengers business."

"What? But- But I'm an adult! You can't keep me out! I can help you with my Spark!"

"No can do Sparky Boy," Clint replied. "And we can throw you out seeing as you aren't an Avenger, just related to one. And no, you probably can't help because you barely know how to use your powers yet."

"But I've been training with Stephen and Wanda and Thor and Loki! I've been getting better!"

"Stiles," Natasha warned. "You have three seconds or I call your dad."

"Fine," Stiles huffed and stormed into the elevator. As the doors closed, he smirked. "I'll just have to find an other way of finding out what they're talking about."

Chapter Text

"Are you sure this is a good idea?"

"Of course it is. Now shut up, we're getting closer!"

"But Stiles-"

"Peter! You're Spiderman, you're basically an Avenger, even if you are just a friendly neighborhood Avenger. You have a right to know!"

"And what about you?" Peter asked doubtfully.

Stiles hesitated in crawling through the vents. "Adult supervision," he muttered before continuing on down towards the common floor.

Peter humfed but followed Stiles anyway. What? Everyone knew he wasn't prone to following rules.

"I can hear them!" Stiles whispered eagerly.

"Ah fuck," he heard Clint swear. "A witch? Really?"

"I am afraid so," Vision replied solemnly. "A very ancient and powerful witch. While I was away searching for information, a source admitted she was after a Spark."

"Oh my God really? I can't get a break can I? Oh shit." Stiles had spoken louder than he had intended to and seconds later, Clint's head was poking through the entrance to the vents.

"Sparky Boy and Spider Kid. What a coincidence," he drawled sarcastically.

"Stiles!" Peter groaned.

"I have ADHD!" Stiles said in defense.

"That gives you no excuse man! Doesn't stop you from being quiet does it? I'm gonna be grounded for at least a week!"

"Try two," Tony called out. Peter banged his head on the side of the vent while Stiles smiled apologetically. "You're grounded too Stiles!"

"What?" Stiles spluttered. "You can't ground me! You're not my dad!"

"But I am your uncle and you're living under my roof." Stiles groaned loudly. "And I'm willing to bet Natasha and your father are on my side."

As he and Peter jumped out of the vents, Stiles grinned and shrugged at Peter. "At least they can't hide anything from us! I'm involved in this whole shit pile anyways," he said enthusiastically.

"No swearing in front of Peter," Pepper scolded as she cuffed his head.

"Owwwwww! Really Pep? We're on to physical abuse now? And I thought you were a kind-hearted, beautiful, amazing, talented-"

"Hey! No flirting with my woman," Tony cut him off with a devious expression.

"Oh I don't know. He can continue if he wants to," Pepper laughed.

"Excuse me for interrupting your banter, but we do have more pressing matters at hand," Vision intervened solemnly.

"Like the fact that Stiles is in danger," Pietro stated, accent thicker than usual with anger as he ground his jaw and moved to stand protectively by Stiles' side.

"Dude, I'm surrounded by the Avengers twenty four seven, two of which use magick and two that are Gods-"

"How do you know I won't give you voluntarily to this witch?" Loki interjected with a smirk.

"Because you love me too much," Stiles continued without missing a beat. He rubbed Pietro's arm comfortingly. "I'm not worried in the slightest."

That was a lie. Pietro could tell by his eyes dashing around the room as if the witch was going to jump out from behind the sofa and get him, his relaxed stance was tense under his layers of clothing and he cracked his knuckles anxiously. This was going to be annoying as hell.

 

It was a couple of weeks later. There had been no sign of the witch except for a bowl of fresh fruit rotting over night. A warning, Vision had said it was. She was near.

Stiles was sleeping peacefully on the sofa when he felt a sudden urge to wake up. He stretched as he rolled onto his other side and noticed the news was on. Stiles had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming. Or having a nightmare. They had done it. Beacon Hills was no longer. As of a couple of hours ago, it no longer existed. The pack had blown it up. A gas leak, the reporter had said, but Stiles knew better. There was only one casualty, a high school teacher who had been working late in his classroom. Fuck. Stiles hoped it wasn't one of his old teachers. Tears filled his eyes as he thought of his mother's grave, blown to pieces, his childhood home, gone. Fuck. He hadn't thought they would actually do it. He was hoping they were lying about everything to get him back. Turns out, they really didn't give a fuck about him. He was only ever good for research, and even Lydia was better at that seeing as she was the one who would translate everything from latin. As it was early morning, everyone was either still asleep or out. So, Stiles curled up under his blankets and quietly sobbed.

 

Stiles had finally decided to confront Gregory. He had Pietro and Wanda either side of him and he painfully gripped the witches hand. When they got inside the door, Stiles froze. He didn't know what to say, what to do. He even forgot how to breathe for a second there.

"Ah, Stiles. It's been a while. How about a slice of cake and-"

"What?" Stiles screeched out in a strangled tone. "You wanna just pretend you didn't sell me out? You wanna pretend you didn't make my life a misery for a couple of weeks there?" he asked angrily. 

"Stiles, I-"

"You what? Thought you would get rid of me? Thought 'Huh, I've had enough of this one. Let's send the people who hate and bully him to harass him!'"

"Of course not!" Gregory protested. "I have known Derek Hale since he was a teenager. He seemed so-"

"Angry? Mean? Pathetic?"

"So I'm pathetic now, am I?"

Stiles' breath caught in his throat as he  slowly turned to see the entire behind their Alpha. Instantly, Pietro and Wanda were in front of him. They had stayed back while he was having a go at the old man who was looking rather distressed now, eyes shooting between the two groups, but now that there was a threat, the twins were at the ready. Pietro stood not even an inch in front of Stiles, close enough to feel him, to make sure he was safe without even having to look at him, while Wanda stood in front of the both of them, red energy circling here hands, eyes as red as an Alpha's, although significantly scarier in Stiles' opinion.

Stiles visibly gulped before gathering up all of his courage for a one-worded reply. "Yes," he whispered and cleared his throat. "Yes," he said louder this time.

Pietro smiled slightly, proud of Stiles for defending himself. He reached behind him and took Stiles' forearm in his hand and squeezed slightly in support.

"I'm pathetic? When we asked for your help, you denied us. We had to blow up our town because of you! You're the only pathetic one here, along with your new family. Forgotten about us already, Stiles?" Derek's eyes flashed red and Stiles swore he saw fangs peeking out of the Alpha's lips.

Stiles let out a sharp laugh. "I- I can't even- You- You know what? I can't fucking deal with this," he said with a manic grin, shaking his head in disbelief. "Beacon Hills was the only town I had ever known and loved! My mother's grave was there! I put my life on the line time and time again for that town, for each and every one of you and you made me leave! I needed you, all of you, and you left me there, on the floor gasping for breath on the welcome mat outside your door having a panic attack! You threw me out. Abandoned me like an Omega! Like a stray dog, all because I was 'weak'. And no, I haven't forgotten about you. I think about all of you every single day and it just fucking breaks my heart because I thought we were pack, a family. Turns out I was just the research nerd no one liked and Dad had to whisk me away before I did something I would never be able to take back. Ha, depression? Check. Lying in bed all fucking day cause I couldn't even fathom to get out, to go and make myself food when I was just so sad? Check. Suicidal thoughts? Triple check. So yes. I left you all behind for my own sanity and found a bigger, better family. A family who cares about me the same way I care about them. Who would die for me even though they've only known me five months unlike you lot of ungrateful bastards who I had known for years. I bet you wouldn't even lift a fucking finger for me if I was in danger. Remember when I held you above water for two fucking hour,s Derek? Remember when I found out what you were and helped you through it, Scott? Remember how I saved your life when everyone thought you were the Kanima Lydia and wanted to kill you when they weren't even sure? Fuck, I gave everything to all of you and you never gave back. I'm tired. Just so fucking tired," Stiles' voice cracked. "And I can't get over the fact that I miss you all so fucking much even though all you've ever done is hurt me time and time again. I'm done. I'm abso-fucking-lutely done."

Chapter Text

Stiles stormed out of the shop surrounded by an angry whirl of wind, Wanda following closely behind with Pietro backing out, keeping his eyes on the pack until he deemed Stiles far enough away from them.

"Stiles!" Scott called out.

"Fuck off!" Stiles sing-sung behind him.

"Don't walk away from me Stiles. We're not finished here," Derek ordered, flashing his eyes and stalking out of the shop after him.

"We sure as hell are, asshole." Stiles stopped and spun around furiously, shoulders hunched and tense, his hands curled into fists by his side.

"Stiles!" Scott pleaded, moving towards Stiles with slow, deliberate steps as if he was walking towards a stray cat. "Please just listen to us buddy."

"Buddy? You listen here bud-" Before Stiles could even finish his sentence he was flung back into a dark alleyway.

"My, my," a honeyed, singsong voice whispered in his ear. "I see a Spark." Stiles jumped up and spun in a frantic circle, trying to see who, or what, had spoken. By the time Stiles had spun in three circles, Pietro, Wanda and the pack had followed him into the alleyway, the wolves growling menacingly, eyes flashing.

"Stiles?" Isaac asked in a quavering voice. "What was that?"

"I don't know Isaac," he answered lowly.

The voice suddenly gasped delightfully. "A Spark, a witch, a superhuman and a pack of wolves. Fate has looked down upon me today with great treasures. I shall use them wisely and gleefully."

"Where are you you crazy bitch?" Erica shouted.

"I am here, there and everywhere, wolf. I am beside you," the voice whispered in her ear. "I am above you," it called from a few feet above the group's heads. "I am in your head," it screamed in Erica's head and she doubled over in pain and gripped her head.

"Stiles," Pietro said anxiously from beside him. "We need to get you out of here."

"We can't just-"

"It's the witch Stiles. We need to go. Now!"

"But we can't just leave everyone here!"

Ignoring him, Pietro took ahold of Stiles and Wanda's waists and sped off to the tower.

"Pietro!" Stiles slammed his fists against the man's chest once they had arrived. "We need to go back!"

"Calm down." Pietro placed his hand on the side of Stiles' face in a soothing gesture. "Go inside with Wanda. Alert the others. I will return to get them."

"You can't go alone," Stiles cried desperately, but it was too late. Pietro had already left.

Stiles waited anxiously in the lobby. So far, Pietro had brought back Scott, Allison, Jackson, Lydia, Liam, Isaac, Erica and Boyd. They were up on the common floor calming down while Stiles and Wanda waited for Pietro and Derek, but they were worried. Pietro was taking a much longer time than he had with the others and even then he was carrying two people at a time. Derek had refused to leave until he knew his pack was safe, Liam had said. Stiles wondered if Derek would have done the same for him. Probably not.

"If they're not back in five minutes, I'm going after them," Stiles muttered, his knees pulled up to his chin.

"I will be right beside you," Wanda replied and gripped his hand.

Chapter Text

Pietro and Derek were backed into a corner with no way out. They had no visible injuries except for a healing burn mark on the right side of Derek's face and a slash that went from Pietro's left shoulder down to his elbow. They finally got a look at the person who was taunting them in all of her glory. She seemed to be a mix between a queen and a pauper, from her beautiful, sharp features and midnight black hair whipping across he face to her long, ancient looking, ragged gown that dragged along the floor, ripping it in places.

"How could you be so foolish?" she cackled. "He will obviously come back! Two people - excuse me - one mutant and one animal he would die for stand before me. He will be back to get you, and when he does, I will absorbe his powers and maybe kill him, if I'm feeling generous. If I'm feeling rather evil, I will let him be. He will most probably be paralyzed from the neck down, although I can't be sure. He might be horribly disfigured… Or both! How wonderful would that be!"

As the witch rambled on about how much pain Stiles would be in, a strong wind picked up, strong enough to know it wasn't natural.

The witches monologue was cut short by Wanda floating down between her and the two men.

"The Spark sent you? He did not come himself?" the witch asked shrilly.

"What do you think I am? A coward?" Stiles stepped into the alleyway, wind whipping his hair back and forth, palms open by his sides with what seemed to be balls of gold light floating mere centimeters away from them. His face was murderous as he surveyed the witch with golden eyes.

"Ha! A coward? No. I do think you are intensely idiotic though. There are only four of you against me. I could defeat you in a second!"

"Good thing there aren't four of us then." Stiles smirked as Tony, Natasha, Clint, Stephen and Loki joined him.

"I still don't understand why you wanted to bring the God of mean along kid," Tony muttered while eyeing the God of Mischief suspiciously and Loki waved back at him happily.

"Because even though he's evil, mean and definitely not trust-worthy, I still, for some reason, trust him."

"How sweet," the witch mocked. "Now, let's get down to business."

The witch muttered under her breath in latin and suddenly, Stiles had gone blind. Shouts, gun shots and cursing sounded around him but all he could see was pitch black. The sounds came to a stop and after blinking a few times colour slowly but surely came back to him, blurrily at first, then sharper and more defined. When he could fully see again, he saw Pietro, Derek, Wanda, Tony, Natasha, Clint, Stephen and Loki all lined up against the wall with the witch standing face to face with Stiles in front of the line. Although there was no visible sign of the group being attached, Stiles knew for a fact that they couldn't move. The witch had magically trapped them there. Their lips had also been sealed shut, so there was no way they could speak. He also discovered, when he tried to move, that the witch had done the same to him, although he could still talk.

"Now," the woman smirked. "Let's play a game. I am going to choose two people from the group. They will come forth and you, my dear Spark, will choose who I kill."

"No!"

"Tut tut. Naughty boy! No speaking while I am explaining the rules! Now, as I was saying, the same thing will happen with the three other groups and the winners will go against the winners. It's an elimination game, really." The witch turned back to the group and set a finger against her lips in thought. "Hm, how about… The wolf and the archer? Sounds good doesn't it? Oh, I forgot to say, if you refuse to choose, I kill all of them. There won't be a winner, only you, probably paralyzed, with nobody to help you. You wouldn't be found for at least a couple of weeks down here. Such a dump, isn't it? By the time you would be found, you would be slowly decaying, you're body would consume your fat first, although you don't seem to have a lot of that, don't you? It would then move on to your muscles and eventually to your organs. You would be eaten up by your own body. How sad."

"You stupid bitch. Someone will find us before your little game even begins. We have Banner, who put trackers in each of our phones and other places I will not say so you can't find them. We also have wolves tracking us by sent. They probably felt Derek's distress through their pack bonds so they're on their way to finding us. We have the Avengers and the Hale pack coming after us right this second and they won't hesitate in tearing you to shreds," Stiles said in a dangerous tone which sounded more confident than he actually was. Honestly, he was just buying more time for him to come up with a plan. The witch opened her mouth to say something but all that came out was a shriek of pain, and Stiles shrieked along with her. 

Chapter Text

"What the hell happened?"

"Where's Stiles?"

"What's that?"

Pietro, Derek, Tony, Clint, Natasha, Stephen, Wanda and Loki had just arrived back at the tower; bloodied, bruised and tired. The last thing they wanted was to be bombarded with questions and having to explain something they didn't even understand, but they had no choice.

"Where are the mutts?" Clint asked, shifting a hidden bundle in his arms.

"I sent them upstairs, Clint of Arrows," Thor bellowed.

"Shut up. No noise," Pietro hissed.

"Why?" Peter asked and frowned.

"Something happened," Tony sighed. "It's not pretty - well, it is. It's very cute actually. But you'll see what I mean."

Clint stepped forward, and pulled his jacket off of something no one expected: a child. A toddler was in Clint's arms. Snuggled into Clint's arms. A child.

"What the fuck," Peter breathed, only to receive a disapproving glare by Pepper.

"Peter," she warned. "I've told you you're not aloud to swear, especially around a kid."

"Can you blame me? A baby Stiles is in this very room. Last I heard, Stiles was not a baby."

"Can you quit calling me a baby?" Everyone turned to see Stiles, arms crossed over his chest and pouting comically.

"Ho-ly fuck. Ow! Pepper Potts, I am not underage, I can swear if I damn well want to, and I think I should be aloud to in this situation! Look!" Sam screeched pointing at Stiles. "We have a fucking baby Stiles who can make proper fucking sentences like an actual adult!" he barked.

"I don't care," Pepper retorted and moved forward to take Stiles out of Clint's arms. She hugged him close to her chest and cooed. "Let's go get you some food, huh? I bet your stomach's all grumbly." Stiles eyes lit up and he clapped his little hands together. Pepper kissed his cheek happily and flounces into the kitchen.

"She's taking this well," Tony muttered.

"I repeat: what the hell happened?" Steve ordered.

"We don't know exactly," Pietro answered. 

The group explained what had happened after Stiles and Wanda had rushed into the room, all in a tizzy, and had ordered the group that had set out to suit up, although nobody was really sure of what had actually happened to Stiles.

"We were like... glued to the wall," Clint explained.

"We couldn't move a muscle, couldn't even blink," Natasha added.

"And it hurt like a bitch," Tony muttered.

"Stiles..." Pietro whispered in a broken voice, sitting on one of the bar stools. "He-he was shaking. Like he was having an epileptic fit. He was screaming and screaming and then he collapsed."

Wanda walked over to her brother and snaked an arm around his neck, pushing their foreheads together. "It was horrible," she continued. "But the witch must have lost concentration. We broke free of the spell that was holding us there and attacked her. By the time we had finished the bitch off… Stiles was… like that," she waved her hand in the direction of the kitchen where Pepper and Stiles had disappeared to.

"We don't know why he's like that," Tony added. "We didn't even see it happen."

"I've told you morons a dozen times already," Loki chanted. "But you won't listen to me, will you? Because I'm Mister Mean."

"You are the God of Mischief, Loki," Steve stated.

"Duh," Loki smirked.

"I think-" Stephen declared as he stepped forward. "-that Loki could be right."

Shocked, the Avengers turned to stare at Stephen, dumbstruck. Except for Loki himself of course. Stephen turned to Loki and raised an eyebrow, urging the god to repeat what he had explained just half an hour earlier.

"I believe the witch created a vision and planted it in the child's mind. What the vision was, I can not tell you. Only the young one can tell us what she made him see, if he even remembers, that is. Obviously, this witch did not intend to embrace the child. She wanted to hurt him, hurt him enough to gain his powers. By making him see a traumatic scene, she was going to push his spark out of him and into her. Thankfully, we stopped her. You're welcome by the way. Yes, I am the one who set us free. Do you really think a baby witch could contain me? A God? Morons I say."

"Cut to the crap already Loki," Pietro growled.

Loki sneered at the silver-haired boy but continued all the same. "Stiles' spark, as I have said before, has its own mind. It sensed the danger and to stop any harm from coming to Stiles, physically and mentally, it protected him by turning him into a child. This way, Stiles didn't wouldn't understand what was going on in this vision and his spark would be locked away seeing as Spark's powers only manifest in their teenage years." 

In the kitchen, Pepper was feeding Stiles last night's leftover mashed potatoes.

"Do you know how old you are baby boy?" She smiled gently and laid a delicate hand on the side of his face, feeling a motherly need of touching the young boy constantly. Stiles, his mouth full, happily held up two sticky fingers. "You're such an intelligent boy, aren't you?" she cooed.

Stiles beamed at the praise. "I still have my old person brain," he slurred.

When Stiles heard someone huff out a laugh by the kitchen door, he whipped around only to find James Buchanan Barnes, the Winter Soldier himself, leaning against the doorframe and glancing over the mess on the table. "You may have your 'old person brain' but you still eat like a baby."

Stiles eyed the man suspiciously but his miniscule smile and gentle eyes told him Bucky had meant no harm. Stiles only pouted before turning back to Pepper, mouth already open and awaiting more food. Pepper grinned and obliged, spooning a big spoonful of the potatoes into the toddler's mouth.

After a couple of silent minutes, Pepper turned back to Bucky who had stepped further into the room and gestured to the mess Bucky had previously pointed out. "Do you mind finishing off feeding him while I clean up?"

Bucky, thoroughly alarmed, backed up a couple of steps, eyes wide and fists clenched at his sides. Pepper, who amazingly knew exactly what to do in situations most people would never dream of, made sure Stiles was tightly strapped into his high chair and stood up. (Yes, Tony often bought weird things, including baby supplies. Pepper sometimes wondered if it was his way of telling her he wanted a baby.) She moved towards Bucky and gently took hold of his warm hand.

"I can show you how," she suggested. "If you want." Bucky stared at Pepper, clearly in distress before glancing up at Stiles who was watching them with sad and worried eyes. Silently, Bucky nodded and let himself be pulled over and guided down onto the chair Pepper had been sitting on.

Pepper grabbed the plastic spoon and scooped up some food ("A little bit will do or he'll get it all over his face and it will dribble out of his mouth. Or he'll spit it out.") and guided it to the child's awaiting mouth. When Stiles' mouth closed around the spoon, she pulled it back out again and turned to Bucky.

"Easy," she smiled.

"Easy," Bucky muttered, more to himself than anything. He took the spoon Pepper was holding out to him and scooped up some mashed potato before glancing up at the woman, silently asking if he had the right amount of food. When she nodded, Bucky hesitantly placed the spoon into Stiles' mouth before quickly pulling it back out, half of the mash still on it and leaving a rather unhappy Stiles behind.

"You need to let him actually get the food in his mouth before pulling the spoon out," Pepper advised.

"I didn't want him to choke," Bucky muttered back, staring down at his boots.

"It's fine," Pepper assured. "Try again; slower this time."

And so, Bucky repeated his actions and after making sure he was fine feeding Stiles by himself, Pepper glided around the kitchen, making sure everything was spick-and-span. When Steve came to find Bucky later on, he was surprised to see him hesitatingly finger painting with baby Stiles and Pepper watching fondly over them.

Chapter Text

"How do we turn him back?"

Loki's murderous voice would have been scary had he not had a baby Stiles gurgling happily on his lap, pulling ferociously at the God's long hair. Loki flicked Stiles angrily on the forehead, pout firmly in place. It came as quite a shock to him when he was punched full on in the nose, Stiles' angry little fist sending his head flying back into Bucky's stomach, who was just bending down to take Stiles away from the mischievous man.

Since the day Bucky had fed him, the soldier had become very protective of Stiles. He cradled the young boy in his arms, the ever present fear of crushing his tiny bones with his metal arm keeping him from squeezing too hard.

"We might just have to wait for him to grow up," Stephen rubbed his face tiredly and slouched down in his seat. "We don't really know."

"Wait?" Tony exclaimed. "Wait? You're telling me, Wizard Man, that we have to wait twenty-one years? He's got to go through life all over again?"

At Tony's words, Pietro stood brusquely from his chair and hurried out of the room, head down and fists clenched at his sides. Wanda ran after him, but it was no use, he was already gone. She trudged back in the living room and sat back down next to Vision.

"Probably wants to be alone," she muttered, sad eyes looking down at her folded hands in her lap. Vision squeezed her shoulders and both turned their attention to the situation at matter.

Loki, in turn, stood from his designated armchair and strode over to the window. Hands folded behind his back, his usually relaxed shoulders tense, he gazed over the city, deep in thought. "We may not need to wait that long," he muttered.

"What?" Natasha jumped up and, hand on Loki's shoulder, spun him around, the hope and fear seen clearly by the entirety of the occupants of the room. "What did you say?" she asked roughly.

"His spark may… speed things up. Although there's no knowing weather this would get rid of his powers entirely. The intense use of it could disable it for life. We don't know what that would do for Stiles' mentality."

"So what you're saying, is that Stiles may have the same mindset as when he first came to us?" Steve asked.

"He might," Loki admitted.

"Shit," Wanda breathed.

"Yeah, shit," Clint repeated. 

 

Pietro's shoulders shook. He couldn't deal with this. He loved Stiles. As tears streamed down his face, he realized he never had some stupid crush. He realized love at first sight really did exist, and he had had the privilege and misfortune of living it. He had never felt this before, and it hurt so much. His heart wasn't just being crushed into a million pieces, it was being blowtorched, stamped on and thrown out of the top of the Statue of Liberty.

He couldn't deal with this. He knew it was cheesy as fuck, but Stiles was his soulmate. He knew it. Stiles and he were meant to be together and now, some stupid dead witch had gotten in their way. What could he do now? Run away until Stiles grew up again? Tolerate the fact that Stiles was a child, bare through it? Feel his heart crush each and every time he saw his chubby face?

Every time he closed his eyes, he saw Stiles' beautiful eyes. He imagined cradling him in his arms as they both slept, just as he had done many times before, kissing his forehead, making him breakfast.

This was killing him. Literally killing him. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't feel his arms or his legs, or any part of his body really. He knew he was falling into a deep hole he wouldn't be able to climb out of and it scared him, but that didn't stop him from falling deeper and deeper.

 

"I can't find him anywhere." Wanda drew in a panicked breath. "I looked everywhere. His room, the common room, his hiding places, even Stiles' room!"

"What about Stiles' hiding places?" Steve wondered.

Clint gasped excitedly and hurried out of the room.

"Where are you going?" Steve called out behind him.

"I know where he is!" Clint shouted back. He rushed down the hallway, a skip in his step. "I know where Pietro is," he chanted under his breath. He came to a stop and looked down the corridor, making sure no one had followed him, before gripping a crack in the wall and sliding his body up to the entrance of the vents. After pulling the gate out, he slid into the confined space and put it back in place. "I know where you are," he chanted again as he shuffled through the vent. "Pietro," he called softly, almost mockingly. "I know you're in here."

"What do you want," the sokovian grumbled, his voice thick with tears.

"Come on man." Clint sighed. "What's up?" he asked as he tucked himself into the corner of the vent.

"Nothing," was the gruff reply he got back.

"Nothing? Really? This is about Stiles isn't it? Look, we've got Stephen and Thor and Wanda, even Loki. We're going to find a way to turn Stiles back."

"I don't know what you are talking about."

"Sure dude. You can deny it all you want, but we all know you've got a thing for him. And we all know he has a thing for you."

"So what? Even if I did have a thing for him, I can't do anything about it now, can we?" Pietro replied, voice getting louder. "He's a child Barton! A child! I'll never be able to- to…" Fresh tears spilled down Pietro's cheeks and he roughly grabbed the hair behind his head.

Clint sighed deeply and laid a hand on his friend's trembling shoulder. "We're going to get him back. We're going to do something about this. I promise."

"How can you promise that?" Pietro asked, voice broken but still hopeful. In that vent, he looked younger, almost boyish. His red eyes showed complete trust in Clint and the man knew he would do anything to get Stiles back to the man who loved him.

"I will get him back for you, I'm telling you. Whatever it takes."

 

Chapter Text

Three weeks had passed and Stiles still hadn't grown. If the Avengers weren't worried before, they sure were now, as was the pack.

The group had come by every day to see Stiles, although they never succeeded in getting past the reinforced security Tony had installed. Jarvis was near impossible to hack now.

"What do we do?" Noah asked. "We can't wait any longer. We have to do something! Research? I don't know. There has to be something we can do." Noah looked at the baby boy in his arms and nuzzled him, a hand grasping the back of his fragile head.

Ever since Noah's wife had died, his heart had been heavy, and it only got heavier with time. Finding out about the supernatural was one thing, but coming home to see Natasha, Tony and Pietro squished onto his sofa, a bundle in Pietro's arms, and finding out that that same bundle was his son, was an other thing. His heart had plummeted when he heard what had happened. His boy… His poor boy had been through too much. Maybe him being a toddler again would be good. He wouldn't need to stress about anything. Depression wasn't even in his vocabulary. All he knew was hunger, tiredness and the need to poop. That wasn't so bad was it?

"I want to take Stiles home with me. I don't feel comfortable knowing he's here and I'm not," declared Noah.

"I'm afraid you can't do that, Sheriff."

"He's my son, Rogers-"

"I know," the super soldier sighed and laid a hand on the man's arm. "But we all know he would be much safer here."

"Yeah, that's what you said just before that pack broke in and strangled me," Noah retaliated.

"And now look. I've installed more security, not to mention there will be at least five Avengers with him at all times," Tony intervened.

"Noah," Natasha said gently. "I swear on my life, I will not let anything, anything at all, happen to my nephew. He's family. I'm going to protect him. We all are."

Noah looked around the room. He looked at each of the Avengers, who had all become Stiles' family during the last few months, and relented, although grudgingly. He knew Stiles would be safe here.

"Fine. Okay. But let me tell you," he threatened, pointing his finger at Natasha, but everybody knew he was addressing each and every one of them. "If even one bee stings my son, you'll all find yourselves in jail for a week, aliens be screwed."

"Copy that," Steve accepted. "Why don't you spend the day with Stiles while we search for something to do?"

"Yeah, that sounds good," the sheriff agreed.

Stiles, who had been listening silently in Noah's arms, perked up. "Daddy!"

"Yep, you're gonna spend the whole day with your old pops," Noah smiled. "Let's go get you dressed and we'll go."

When Noah and Stiles returned, Stiles was dressed and ready to go and Pepper was waiting by the elevator with his tiny coat in one hand and shoes in the other.

"Kisses!" Stiles exclaimed.

It had become a ritual in the three weeks that Stiles had been a toddler for him to kiss each of the Avengers goodbye when he was going out or to bed. Needless to say, they all found it endearing, even Loki, although he would never admit it.

And so, each of the Avengers got into line and one by one, got a big, sloppy kiss on the cheek, returning that kiss with a laugh and a grin.

Pietro always came last, and always got special treatment. He got a kiss and a hug. He claimed it was so he could brag about how he was Stiles' favorite, but everybody knew he just really needed it. They all knew he would sometimes crawl through the vents just to sit and think in silence. He would also sometimes be accompanied by Clint, who was always a welcome, calming presence.

After a long goodbye, father and son finally headed out, excited for a day to themselves. 

 

It was mid-morning so they decided to walk down to the playpark and stayed there for a couple of hours. The smile that made Stiles' face shine when he slid down the slide (held by Noah obviously) made Noah's heart soar.

After two hours of going up and down the slide, Noah decided it was time for lunch. Stiles huffed and puffed, wanting to go back on his favorite ride, but soon perked up when he found they were going to his favorite fast food restaurant which sold the best curly fries.

Father and son settled down, Stiles in a highchair, and Noah fed him his fries while he grudgingly ate his salad, without sauce, might he add.

It was mid-afternoon when Steve came to join them back at the playpark. He had his casual wear on with a cap and backpack to not be recognized. He looked harmless enough for the most part, except for the fact that he was buff as heck, but Noah and Stiles knew he had his foldup shield in his bag, just in case.

"How're things going?" Noah asked as they settled down on a bench.

"Slow," the captain replied. "We aren't finding much. Funnily enough, not many people turn into toddlers thanks to evil witches."

"I guess not," the sheriff replied as he slumped in his seat, the hope he had been carrying during the day vanished.

"We'll find something soon enough. We haven't even been searching for a day. Something'll come up." Steve smiled as he bobbed Stiles up and down on his lap, which the toddler must have found highly amusing from the squeals and laughs coming from his mouth.

"Back home, Stiles would search for weeks before finding what he needed to find."

"There you go. He always ended up finding the answer didn't he? We just have to keep faith."

"Yeah. Keep faith…"

The two men sat in silence for a while, Stiles still gurgling happily, when he suddenly stopped. Noah and Steve looked down at Stiles to find him staring off at something in the distance, eyes narrowed and cheeks flushed red.

"Stiles?" Noah asked.

"What are you looking at?" Steve continued.

Silently, Stiles lifted his chubby arm, finger pointing at the bushes.

Chapter Text

Steve passed Stiles to Noah and stood up, shield still folded up behind his back.

"What the hell does he want," he hissed.

Noah also stood and backed away, Stiles held tight in his arms. Eyes flashed red and a dark figure stalked towards them.

"Go away Derek. He's just a child," declared Noah, backing up a couple more feet as Derek approached them.

Steve's shield automatically unfolded, making a clanking sound, and he held it in front of them. The mothers and fathers around them gasped and gathered up their kids, running away from the scene.

"I need to talk to you," the alpha grunted.

"About what?" Steve demanded, not backing down, even before the murderous glare Derek sent his way.

"Look," Derek huffed. "I'm not here to hurt you or Stiles. Can we just go back to the tower and talk?"

"Why the tower?" Steve asked suspiciously.

"So we can talk without anyone overhearing us, dumbass."

Steve took a step forward, eyes narrowed. "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth, son?"

Unfortunately, Derek was quite sensitive when it came to his mother. With a roar, claws ripped out of his fingertips and his face transformed from human to wolf. Before attacking though, he howled. He howled so loud, Steve was sure the whole of New York could hear him.

"Shit. The rest of the pack," Noah whispered, but Steve couldn't worry about that now. He had a werewolf who wanted a taste of his blood.

With quick motions, he threw his shield at Derek's chest like a frisbee and it bounced off of his muscles, cutting his skin deep. He watched in wonder as the torn flesh knitted itself back together, not even leaving a thin scar behind. As he caught the shield which had ricocheted off of Derek's chest, he ran and jumped off of the bench, flipping over Derek's head and landing behind him. Well, that's what he was supposed to do. Derek caught him in mid air around the waist and slammed him onto the floor, digging him into the ground. Breathing in sharply, it took all of his strength to push the wolf off of him. He flipped him over and as he was about to hit Derek on the side of the head, howls resonated in the park.

"Damn, damn, damn," he chanted under his breath as he got up, kicked Derek hard in the ribs, cracking a couple of them and ran towards the sheriff and Stiles. "Run! I'll hold them off," he shouted.

"You run!" Noah shouted back. "They wouldn't dare hurt us, especially Stiles. It's you they're after!"

As Steve glanced behind him, he saw the pack of werewolves stalking towards them and Derek brushing himself off, sending the captain a murderous look.

"How about we run together?"

Noah glared at Steve.

"Okay then, get behind me." Steve brought his shield back up and crouched down, ready to jump at any moment.

With an annoyed grunt, Noah gave a shocked Steve his son and stood before the both of them, arms crossed and a determined look on his face. As one, the pack walked over towards them, humans at the back, as usual (or human, more like, Noah spotted Allison in a nearby tree, arrows pointing at them, but a no one in particular; she didn't want to hurt Stiles or Noah).

"Don't. Take. Another. Step," the sheriff demanded. The pack stopped and he smirked internally. He was sure they would listen to him. You're the real alpha, he could hear Stiles jokingly saying in his head. "What do you really want Derek?"

"I said I want to talk."

"About what?"

"Look," the alpha said as he looked around the park, checking there was no one there to eavesdrop. "We can't talk about it in the open. That's why I asked to go back to the tower."

"You're not dragging my son or his family into your mess. You said you didn't need him. You should have made sure of that before throwing him out of the pack," Noah hissed. Behind him, Stiles was sniffling in Steve's arms, who was trying to shush him, his wide, teary eyes set on his ex-pack.

"Can we please just go back to the tower and Derek can explain everything there," Scott pleaded.

"You don't get a say in this," the sheriff answered, finger pointing accusingly at Scott. The wolf's face crumpled and he looked up at Derek.

"You don't treat my pack like that."

"So I'm not aloud to but you are?" Noah was starting to feel murderous now.

"I treat my pack with authority and respect," said Derek.

"You do not."

"If you're talking about Stiles, he was never even part of the pack!"

At that, Stiles let out a loud wail of despair and gripped on to Steve's shirt.

"Stiles," Scott sighed.

Isaac, who had been standing silently at the back until now, glanced furtively up at Derek before making his mind up and walking determinedly up to the group of three. The sheriff stepped in his way, arms crossed and a disapproving frown on his face. As the pack watched in shock, Isaac stared up at Noah, desperate hope in his eyes, until the sheriff stepped to the side and let him through.

"May I?" he asked softly.

Steve glanced up at Noah who nodded and passed Stiles to the young wolf. At first, the toddler struggled, Isaac muttering so low into his ear that even the wolves couldn't hear what he was saying. He soon calmed down and sobbed in relief and joy into Isaac's scarf who cradled him tightly, a few tears slipping down his own cheeks.

"I missed you buddy," he whispered into Stiles' hair.

"Lo-ove you, 'Sa-ac," Stiles hiccuped.

Noah and Steve glanced at each other and nodded.

"Come on then," was all Noah said before he started back up the road, Steve and Isaac with Stiles still in his arms hurrying up behind him.

As they walked, Liam joined Isaac and Stiles at the front and the pack lingered behind.

"They're never going to help us."

Scott and Derek were all the way at the back, whispering back and forth.

"They will. I'm sure of it," Derek declared.

"How?" the beta asked.

"I'm sure of it because they'll do it to protect the city. And Stiles."

 

Chapter Text

"You're back early," said Pepper as she heard the elevator ding.

The Avengers were scattered around the lounge, heads buried in laptops, books and tablets. Pepper, being the lovely person she was, was passing around snacks like carrot sticks and dip. She jumped when she heard growls coming from the Avengers, and more animalistic growls coming from the elevator.

As soon as Natasha lifted her head and saw the wolves, she jumped up and snatched Stiles away from Isaac.

"You left my nephew in a wolf's arms?" she accused Steve, before turning an indescribable look at her brother-in-law.

"He's good," Noah grunted before turning to look at the rest of the pack. "The others though… Not so sure."

"Not so sure? They are cruel beings," Wanda spat.

"Look," Steve interrupted. "This isn't ideal. I know that. But they won't leave us, or Stiles, alone until they get they're say. So we're going to listen to them, and then we will decide what to do. Together."

"Fine," Pietro grumbled and took Stiles out of Natasha's arms. "But Stiles stays with me."

Natasha rolled he eyes as she let the twin take her nephew. Everybody was used to Pietro's attitude by now. He was always the one to hold, protect and care for Stiles, however much the others wanted to spend time with the toddler. Pietro, Bucky and Tony had had many a fight about who got to take Stiles for the afternoon. Pietro always won.

"Alright loverboy," Natasha teased, smirking at Pietro's blush.

"Loverboy?" Derek repeated.

Seeing a chance to taunt the alpha, Loki smiled mischievously. "Yes. Loverboy. They are cute together aren't they? It's just a matter of time before they start dating. We made a bet, you see. How long from when Stiles grows up again until they kiss? I said a day. No way could this idiot wait more than that before cracking," said Loki, waving a hand at the young man.

Catching onto what Loki was doing, Tony put his two pence in. "I bet a week! Although now that I think about it, Loki's probably right. For once."

"I bet zero seconds! If I know my brother,  he won't be able to wait!" Wanda laughed.

"Wanda!" Pietro exclaimed, betrayed.

"I'm sorry brother," she grinned. "I could win good money on this."

"I bet the same as Wanda!" Peter chimed in.

"Peter!" Pepper scolded. "You're too young to bet!"

"I'm almost eighteen Pep'!"

"Yes, you're still a minor. If you win I shall have to confiscate your money."

"What?" Peter gaped.

"Cause momma needs a new pair o' shoes," she muttered with a smirk.

"I heard that!" the teen sputtered.

"Enough!" Derek snarled. "We have more important matters at hand."

"Like what?" Tony smirked.

"Remember the monsters we blew up in Beacon Hills? They didn't blow up."

"What?" Noah gritted his teeth. This couldn't be happening. Beacon Hills was gone. The shitty wolves and doctors and bad druids should be too.

"I went to see a medium," Derek started.

Noah snickered. "A medium? Really Derek? We all know they're full of shit."

"I thought so too," Scott continued. "Until I saw Kate Argent scoping the place out a few blocks from here."

"Kate Argent the evil huntress aunt?" Natasha asked.

"Yes. My evil huntress aunt," Allison confirmed, looking miserable. 

"The medium said the only way to stop New York from getting destroyed, was Stiles."

 

During the next few weeks, the Avengers searched harder than ever for a cure or a spell or something that would make Stiles an adult again. Tony had reluctantly let the pack stay at the tower, on one of the lowest floors so they would be as far away from Stiles and the family as possible.

The Avengers would each take turns in taking care of Stiles for a day, how ever much Pietro wanted to babysit every single day.

The first one to take care of him was Scott. Scott, who had experience with his own daughter, knew exactly what to do. He had ordered a toy car set with an electric track and set it up that morning while Pepper was feeding the toddler. They played all morning with Stiles' new toy, just pushing the toy cars back and forth. Stiles' favorite game seemed to be 'try to break the very expensive toy'. When lunch time came around, a car had lost its wheel and on of the tracks was broken in two.

"You're a very violent child, aren't you?" Stiles just gave him a look as if to say 'What did you expect? I fought with wolves most of my teenage years.'

After lunch, they took a nap together. They settled down on the couch, and even though Scott wasn't planning on napping, sleep overtook him, even before Stiles fell asleep.

Seeing his opportunity to escape nap time (he wasn't really a kid, but the adults wouldn't stop babying him!), he crawled out of Scotts grasp and tumbled over the side of the sofa. He crawled quietly into the kitchen where the mix of people were working and pulled on Derek's trouser leg. When the wolf scowled down at him, Stiles, standing up on his wobbly legs, stuck his tongue out at the man and strutted off, baby style. He then toddled over to his uncle Tony, the one least likely to be mad at him for escaping Scott, and wrapped his chubby arms around his leg. Taking in a sharp breath of surprise, Tony looked down at the little monster and raised an eyebrow.

"And what do you think you're doing?" he muttered, bending down to pick the toddler up.

"No nap!" Stiles exclaimed. "I'm not baby!"

"Oh but you are, baby," Tony taunted.

"Am not!"

"Are too," he retorted. Before Stiles could answer, Tony tickled his belly, making Stiles squeal.

"Stiles?" his aunt Nat frowned disaprovingly. "Where is Scott?"

"Nap time?" Stiles answered with a cheeky grin.

"Yes, you should be napping. Not in here." She didn't say it aloud, but everyone knew she didn't want her nephew anywhere near these wolves, especially if none of their big, weird family knew he was there with them. Who knew what those mutts would do?

"I'm not sleepy! I help!"

"No," Natasha said. "You sleep. In there. With Scott." She brought him back into the lounge and looked at Scott. He had shifted around in his sleep and now had his legs over the back of the sofa whereas the upper half of his body was on the floor. Rolling her eyes, Natasha sighed in exasperation. "Fine. You can stay with us."

Squealing in victory, Stiles happily traveled back into the kitchen in his aunt's arms.