Stiles rolled over in bed and groaned as he tried to figure out what woke him up. He saw vibrant red eyes standing in his bedroom door. Stiles laid on his back and waved the Alpha into the room.
"You are hurt," Derek said.
"Yeah, tends to happen with crazy geriatric fuckers take you as a warning to someone who can't even care that you are hurt," Stiles said.
Derek's finger traced his split lip before touching his cheek. Stiles felt the draining of pain from at least those wounds.
"I don't want to take more much, but that should help you sleep. What happened?"
"Which part?" Stiles asked.
"From the moment you were taken from the lacrosse pitch," Derek said.
"So they took me. They covered my mouth before stuffing something inside that tasted disgusting. I was taken to the Argent household and tossed down into the basement where Erica and Boyd were. I screamed enough that it drew the attention of Chris after he had seen Gerard leave. Erica and Boyd had their mouths taped shut. He was...fucking livid that I had been taken. He at least holds to the whole don't touch humans. He got all of us out of there while Gerard and his men were busy with other shit. Well, I paid that back by calling Dad from my cell and having him come and get us. My blood was in the basement, and there was only Chris there. I made sure that I said when I was taken through the house that I didn't hear Chris. They stormed the house and found my blood as well as the shackles that were used to keep Erica and Boyd hung up and their DNA on those cuffs. Well, they probably got more than that." Stiles hissed as he tried to grab the water bottle that his father had settled down on the beside for him. There was a deputy in the living room and another outside, just in case, since Gerard was a missing person at the moment. "What happened at the warehouse?"
"The Kanima had paralyzed me, and I was about to forced to give Gerard the bite when the cops stormed the place. Kanima got the hell out of there, and all that was seen was me on my knees in front of Gerard being held there by Scott. How did they find us?"
"Chris. When he showed back up after that, releasing the three of us. I told Dad everything. He drove us home since he couldn't really take part in anything other than advising. He had Tara running everything while they waited for the Beacon Hills cops to show up. Erica shifted for him after he got us in here while we waited for one of the off duty guys to show up to watch us."
"Deputy Roberts," Derek said.
"Yeah. He and Wilcox came back a few months ago. Well...not a few months ago like a month ago but it feels like longer. They used to work for Dad, and then they left in 2005."
Derek opened the water bottle and produced a bendy straw from somewhere and held it to his lips. "They are good people. I"m glad that they weren't working the night that Matt killed the other deputies."
"Yeah, same. I hated that anyone died, and it sucks to feel happy that someone didn't die, but that's the way that humans are. So how did you sweet talk-" Stiles stopped when Derek turned his head to the side. He knew that from Scott. He was focused on something else.
"Breakfast sounds great," Derek said in a normal tone of voice.
"Breakfast?" Stiles asked. He tried to sit up, but Derek just pushed him down again into the bed, gently, but it was still there.
"What do you want for breakfast? Wilcox called Roberts, and he's coming over to take over, and he's gonna bring breakfast for everyone. Erica and Boyd are awake, and no one has really eaten since everything started. Your father is on his way home as well and is gonna pick up drinks for everyone."
"How did he hear...Roberts is a werewolf?" Stiles asked.
"Yes. They were part of my Pack until the fire. They didn't want to leave, so Laura got them into another pack. They asked to join mine again last night. I told them that I would. So I now at least have two older Betas."
"So, why are you here?"
"Your father called me and told me that he wanted to talk. He called me Alpha Hale, so I assume that Wilcox gave him some kind of rundown on things after you talked to him."
"I...didn't want to lie anymore, and we needed someone else's help. You were doing your best, but Scott. Wait, why did Scott have you on your knees in front of Gerard?"
"Gerard wanted the bite. He was dying of cancer. He escaped in the chaos, but the whole state is now looking for him after I was drugged by him. The venom showed up, and you had been found with it on you, and it was the body of the guy at the mechanics. So there is a small connection to everything with that. Matt might not fully go down for everything, but the rest will get put on Gerard. Probably even all of it through manipulation and then the murder of Matt."
"Well, at least creepy grandpa is gonna be the one going down. I gave my statement. Erica, Boyd, and I worked on it while we waited for Dad to come and get us. We used 'I don't know' and 'I don't remember' a lot. I mean, they were strung up by their hands. I was being beaten by an older man. We were all afraid about what could happen."
"Yeah," Derek said. He set the bottle down.
Stiles was shocked that he had drunk that much of it. It looked like he had drunk over half of the bottle in sips between talking. He settled down again and let the warmth of the bed pull him under into sleep now that his face wasn't aching.
"I'll wake you when food is here." Derek gave him a smile, and Stiles nodded his head. He pulled the blankets up a little to tuck himself in, and Derek helped.
Stiles thought that he felt fingers on his forehead as he drifted off to sleep.
Derek entered the kitchen at the same time that Boyd and Erica did. He frowned as he saw the cake that was sitting off to the side in the same kind of shell casing that all store-bought cakes were. He walked over to see that it proclaimed happy 17th. He looked at the two of them. Erica shook her head no, and Boyd just looked a little gutted.
"What?" Derek asked.
"Yesterday was the eighth, right?"
"Yes," Derek said.
"Then yesterday was Stiles' birthday."
"Seventeen though? Well, I guess he's been driving, so I figured he had just turned sixteen."
"Stiles was held back a year after his mother died. It stuck him in the same grade as Scott," Roberts said as he entered the kitchen. He looked tired, but then he had just gotten off duty when the call had come out to get everyone who could work to help with something. "At least that's what Noah told me that following year."
Derek nodded his head. Stiles was seventeen. He had been beaten to hell and back on his birthday after helping to win the lacrosse game. He should have been able to have a good night on his birthday.
"Why...why didn't Stiles say anything?"
The smell of coffee had Derek looking up. It was the Sheriff with a tray of drinks in each hand.
"Stiles doesn't really like to celebrate his birthday since his mother died. Is he asleep?" Noah asked.
"Yes," all of the wolves answered.
"He's not really wanted to celebrate since his mother died. That spring, we had a big party planned for him. It was a bad day for him, and the kids all left after she freaked out about all of them being impostors."
"I remember that," Erica said as she dropped down into a chair as the front door opened and shut. "He lost pretty much most of his friends."
"He did. He really didn't care, though. He was more worried about his mother."
"What was wrong with her?" Derek asked. He had never felt like he should ask that. Stiles never asked too much about Derek's family unless it was needed to be known. Derek thought it was Wilcox who had come in, but a second later, Jackson was shoved into the room. His clothes were bloody. It seemed that Peter had been able to kill him to save him. Peter came in seconds later.
"Gerard is dead," Peter said.
"For fuck's sake, Peter," the Sheriff said.
"I had nothing to do with it. I was chasing this one and caught up with him. I saved him from the Kanima curse with the help of Lydia. He and I followed the scent of blood, and we found him with a group of Hunters. I guess they heard what he had been planning on doing and came to take care of the newly turned wolf." Peter looked at Roberts. "I guess that's from you?"
"As soon as I heard what the scene looked like and I knew Derek was the Hale Alpha, yes."
"Beta Roberts, as always, you are smarter than those around you. I have missed having someone like you around. Where is your shadow?"
"So he's not the Kanima anymore?" the Sheriff asked.
"No. He's just a wolf with a few Kanima traits like tail, and he still has the ability to create the venom. I'll make sure to train him up. He'll make a good replacement for Left Hand when I'm ready to hand it over." Peter shoved Jackson down into a seat and then looked up. "Stiles is waking up with a nightmare."
Derek was about to move when Jackson burst out of his seat, and he was gone from the room. Derek ran behind him, but by the time he caught up with him, Jackson held Stiles in his lap and shushed him. Derek wasn't sure what the hell was going on. Jackson and Stiles hated each other. Stiles was clinging to Jackson and let out a soft sob.
A hand tugged him back, and Derek saw it was the Sheriff. He frowned at the man, but he was just smiling.
"Jackson and Stiles used to be friends. Then Stiles was diagnosed with ADHD, and his parents didn't want him around Stiles. I think that most of their antagonism toward each other is that bond of friendship not having a safe place to go. Any attention is better than none."
"I smelled you on him, your blood, fear," Jackson said.
"Are you, you?" Stiles asked.
"Yes, Peter saved me," Jackson said.
"Wait...Peter? Peter, who?" Stiles asked as he rubbed at his eyes to get rid of the tears before he looked at Derek and his father. "Dude, how did he become a zombiewolf?"
Derek could smell Peter behind him, but he didn't react.
"I'll have to apologize to Lydia more. I already did once, and I have a spa day for her and Prada figured out. Maybe even a clothes shopping trip." Peter pushed forward a little, and Derek stepped to the side. "Also, I forgive you for your part in what happened. Fear makes someone do something that they would never normally do. I don't figure if you weren't afraid for your life, you would have set a victim of a house fire and burns on fire."
"No," Stiles said. He looked at his father. "I'm hungry, Pops."
"Wilcox is on his way. We have a few more wolves here, so I'm going to get the cereal out. We were not expecting Jackson and Peter." The Sheriff held out his hand, and Stiles got out of Jackson's lap. He rushed forward and nearly knocked the Sheriff over. Derek and Peter both steadied the two of them.
"I'm sorry that I lied to you since January," Stiles said.
"You are forgiven. You knew when you were totally over your head. While I'm not happy about the stuff at the station. By the time that you could have done anything about it, it was all over. That night would not have been the best time to reveal that all to me without good proof that they weren't all dangerous. I mean, humans have done more to them right now than they have done to others."
Jackson made a noise.
"Son, you were being used. It would be different than if the man had groomed you to do that. You were not in control of your actions. Roberts, Wilcox, and I will be working on getting everything set up to where you don't even come up. I'm sure your blood is there somewhere. It will help with playing you as a victim. He was your fucking principal, and we can play with that."
The Sheriff sounded so sure of that, and for a few minutes, at least, Derek was sure that he finally had someone who wasn't going to turn their backs on them.
"Wilcox is here," Derek said as he heard the vehicle pull up.
"Good, I could eat a horse," Stiles said.
"Ugh," Jackson said, but he got up off the bed and walked toward them. "And me, sir? The human part with the faked death?"
"You had a bad reaction to the same poison that we found in the others, and it mimicked death. Your principal will be found to be part of that as well. I'm going to make sure that everything that we can't place the blame on someone else, for a variety of reasons, we put it on him. I just wonder where the former principal is."
"I'm sure that Christopher will be the one to find him. He and his little traitor of a daughter."
"She's the one who kidnapped Boyd and Erica and delivered them to the torture basement. She flipped her lid after her mother died. I'm sure that Gerard was part of that, but she's not welcome in my Pack," Stiles said.
"Your Pack?" Derek asked, but he felt a blossom of hope.
"Well, our Pack. I'm in it, and I refuse to stay in it if she is. Scott will have to make a choice on all of that. Maybe we can ship him off to his asshole father."
"You really want to subject Scott to him?" the Sheriff asked.
"Duh, he needs a correction course on necessary killing. There are enemies that you don't leave alive to come at you from behind."
"I may have to change my idea of who is going to replace me," Peter said.
"Who said you are even the Left Hand anymore, Zombiewolf?" Stiles asked.
Derek listened to the two of them bicker as they went down the stairs. Jackson was right behind bitching about Stiles taking his job from him. Derek looked at the Sheriff, and he saw a look of such relief on his face.
"I'll protect him. Better than Scott. I trusted that Scott would protect him. I should have known when he got it on with Allison instead of keeping an eye on Jackson, and he got away that his priorities were fucked up."
"Hindsight is 20/20, son. Now, where are you staying? I think that Stiles talked about a train depot? The only one we have is shut down."
"I was working on a loft, and I got the okay to move in two days ago. There were a few details to work out with the money in the trust account that Laura had control of. My trust can only be touched for school. I have already deferred this semester, and I'll start classes again in the summer, doing them online. They are working with me as I deal with my poor lost uncle," Derek said.
"Good. A good plan. A good goal, really."
"It's my final semester, I'm just glad I can take the classes this summer and then I have one to do in the fall, and again I can do it online."
"What did you take?"
"Criminal justice. Haven't figured out what I want to do with it yet."
"How do you feel about becoming a Deputy? I could use more on the force. I need some, and while I would have to wait for you to graduate, you can take the course at any point. There is an accelerated one. You could do it, graduate, then do your summer courses, and do both while you do your final one."
Stiles was enjoying his summer for once. He turned his head just as Jackson took off running and jumped into the pool. The vibration of his phone had Stiles checking it. It was from Scott who was still not happy being shipped to live with his father for the summer and especially not happy when Peter had been the one to escort him and dropped him into the lap of the Pack there. Stiles had been reading Scott's messages but not replying. Scott was in summer school there as a favor to his father. It was a lot of whining.
Allison was in France with the actual full arm of the Argents. Gerard's brother and his wife ran it, and they promised to fix what was wrong with Allison and the rest of the Argents that were in the US. The woman who had arrived to take over as Matriarch was someone that Stiles had a minor bro-crush on. She was a badass and was teaching Stiles how to defend himself.
"Who is going to pick up the pizza?" Lydia asked.
"Not it," several people yelled.
"I'll do it if someone else calls it in." Stiles stood up and snatched up his shirt to toss on. He had just gotten out of the pool a little while before and was mostly dry. Everyone started to call out their orders to Lydia, who had a tablet in front of her. She typed it all in, combining some that were close enough. They were all used to it by now. It was all Pack here, none of the adults, but then they were all old enough they didn't need an adult with them at all times.
Stiles grabbed his wallet and keys from the top of his lacrosse bag that had all of the swimming stuff in it. It was the offseason, and while they were going to be running in cross-country come the start of school, they didn't need to do training for it at the moment.
The drive to the pizza shop was quick, and Stiles knew he was there long before the pizzas were ready. He sat in the driver's seat and played a game on his phone.
Stiles jerked when the driver's side door opened on his Jeep, he turned to yell at whichever Deputy thought it would be funny to scare him when he took in the woman's red eyes and fangs before a fist connected with his face, and he knew nothing.
The room he was in was mostly dark, but it wasn't too dark that Stiles couldn't see. He groaned and tried to sit up, but he was pretty sure that he had a concussion from the Alpha werewolf knocking him out.
"You took someone that I told you not to take." The man had a cultured accent, and Stiles was pretty sure that meant he was full of himself.
"He's a Human, the Pack will come for him. We can delight in making Derek kill him before we make him kill the rest of his Pack or die." Stiles figured that it was the woman who had punched him, given the context.
Stiles looked around the room he was in and saw that a girl about his age was across the way from him. She wasn't chained up, but the line of Mountain Ash powder told him that she was a werewolf.
A door slammed shut, and Stiles couldn't hear anyone anymore. He looked at the girl and grinned as he moved. He was handcuffed to the bars, and he frowned at the set but wiggled some to get his feet under him. He made sure the lump of the tracker was still pressed into his shoe. He had one in every single pair of his shoes now. Only his father could access it. He figured that it wouldn't take long for the signal to be traced. It might not be traceable with him being in a bank vault, but he was pretty sure it would be with the door open. They could be on their way now for all Stiles knew. He kept moving his fingers, finding the other bit that he had slipped into all of his tennis shoes. He pulled the metal pin out and worked on getting himself uncuffed.
"So my name is Stiles. Don't worry, my Dad will track me down."
"Cora," the girl said.
"Cora, pretty name. Well, I'm just gonna-" Stiles broke off as the first cuff popped open. He worked the second open quicker since he was able to turn around and get a better angle. "Do that."
"Cop's kid. It's something I learned early on. So Cora, what has a pretty girl like you in a place like this?" Stiles looked at her and stopped when he saw the look she was giving him. He knew that face, that shape of the eyebrow. Cora Hale. Derek's little sister and Stiles' one time savior when a new kid had tried to make fun of him for his ADHD. "Well, shit. Now I know why they have you. Alpha Pack wanted to get their hands on a Hale to stop Derek from doing anything stupid. Well, too bad for them, they left you with me."
"It's really Derek?" Cora asked.
"Yeah, Cor it is. So I'm going to break the barrier and then slip inside with you. I'll close it again with my own bit of Mountain Ash powder, and then whoever did that won't be able to break it. It's kind of special, just like me."
"I remember how special you are, Stilinski." Cora was smiling, though, as she said it.
"I've missed you," Stiles said.
The roar of an Alpha had Stiles looking. He felt the pull to defend and protect.
"That's Derek," Stiles said.
"How do you know?"
"I'm Pack, and I'm pretty sure that I'm your brother's mate, and he's not told me since I'm underage." Stiles rushed over and broke the barrier before he pulled the small vial of his own blend out of his pocket. It was a habit for him to carry it and it was always with his wallet, so he didn't forget it.
The door to the vault was opened, and there was a man striding in. He had sunglasses on, and the way that he moved told Stiles he was blind. A blind werewolf was interesting. Behind him was the woman who had punched him. The woman growled and tried to get through the barrier.
"He closed it again."
It wasn't long before Miss Morrell came in, and she couldn't break the barrier. Stiles grinned. He had met her as she was supposed to be taking over as the guidance counselor and French teacher for the school in the coming year. Stiles had met her as he was required with his ADHD and his issues in the past to talk to the guidance counselor a few times year. Stiles had known she was something else as soon as he had met her. Now he knew—emissary for the Alpha Pack.
"Miss Morrell," Stiles said.
"Mister Stilinski, what would your father say about you being here?"
"Oh, don't know, he's pretty okay with the stuff I get up to as long as I tell him. I mean, he's the reason I was found today. He chipped me. Tagged me. Whatever you want to call it." Stiles put himself in front of Cora. They were safe for now.
"I can't get through, he's used a special blend of Mountain Ash."
"Then you are useless to me," the blind man said. He advanced on Morrell, but just as he did, Derek ran into the room. He was focused on the blind man, but he glanced at Stiles, who nodded.
"You don't have an Emissary," Morrell said.
"You are right that I don't."
Morrell looked at Stiles with a confused look on her face.
"I'm too bloodthirsty to be an Emissary. I'm more for burning shit down than listening to prattling about how it should be changed or bartered. You came onto my land."
"Deucalion," Derek said, trying to draw attention back to him.
Before anything else could happen, the sound of a gun going off echoed in the bank. Stiles grinned. He knew the sound of his father's personal gun. Chris had made sure that he had bullets for it that would take down a wolf.
"Do you know the nice thing about having a cop for a Dad, Deucalion? They know how to aim at the heart. It's easy for the wolfsbane to travel into the heart when it's already there. I wonder which one that was."
"Let us leave, and we will never come back," Deucalion said.
"Nice try, but you've killed your last. I wonder how the FBI will like my Dad taking credit for taking down a pack of serial killers?"
A second shot rang out, and there was a roar that cut off in the middle.
"Two down. Three to go."
Deucalion looked at Derek and then at Stiles before he just turned and left. Another shot rang out, and Stiles watched Deucalion fall. It was in his gut, a very painful way for a human to die, much less a poisoned werewolf.
"You are going to surrender, and you'll face human justice," Derek said as he kept his eyes on Morrell.
"Of course," Morrell said. She held out her hands, and Derek pulled a pair of cuffs from his back pocket. Stiles had made sure that they couldn't be affected by magic.
Stiles loved the look on her face when she realized she was trapped.
"Magic is hella fun, BTW. I enjoyed the hell out of making sure that every single pair of cuffs, the Beacon Hills Sheriff's Department, could hold a magic-user. Unless you can pick locks the old fashioned way."
"You are no druid."
"Nope, I don't believe in balance if it means that murders and rapists go free without facing justice just because they think they are doing something good by ridding the world of things they don't like. Most Hunters are fine, but there are a few who are basically racists."
Stiles waited for Derek to escort Morrell out of the vault before he broke the Mountain Ash barrier. He held out his hand, and the powder just swirled up into a ball before he produced the vial. He held out his hand, and Cora slipped her hand into it, and they started for the door.
"How did that all fit in there?"
"It's a special vial. Think like it's a bag of holding. It holds exactly as much powder as I want it to. Let's go and see the damage." Stiles walked out of the vault first, Cora behind him, still mostly hidden.
Kali and Ennis were dead on the floor, their bodies ridding itself of the black goo from the wound. Stiles would have to clean up that mess before the rest of the deputies came to them.
"Derek," Stiles whispered. Derek looked at him. "Get rid of everyone, but Dad, please."
Stiles didn't focus on the Pack leaving, but he did realize that Peter wasn't there. He was still working on getting his body and strength back after coming back, so he was probably on the lookout. Stiles texted him to get his ass inside.
Then it was just them. Cora was tucked into his back, and while Derek and Noah kept looking at them, they didn't try and force him to let her be seen.
"What's going on?" Peter asked.
Cora let out a little sob and ran around Stiles to launch herself at him. Peter barely caught her, and he nearly fell over for it.
"Surprise?" Stiles said.
"Who-" Peter cut himself off, and he took a deep breath. "Little Bit."
Derek made the worst sound in the world. He sounded so broken. He glomped into the hugging pair and wrapped his arms around them both.
"Well, I know that Deucalion was in area six, almost seven years ago, around the time before the fire. What do you think the chances are of having him kidnapping and keeping Cora Hale captive all that time would work?"
"Cora..." Noah looked at the three Hales.
"And Spencer," Cora said.
"What?" Derek sounded even worse about that.
"I got into the area about a month ago with him, but I was here scouting, and he was told to run and hide if I didn't come back. He sought out his friends, but he didn't tell me who because I was worried if I was caught by Hunters. You know the Argents would use him against me."
"The Argents aren't a worry. So how are we supposed to find him?" Stiles asked.
"I can howl when I get out of here. He'll come to that."
"You grew up very pretty," Derek said as she finally turned around to face him. Derek cupped the sides of her face and rubbed his thumbs on her cheeks, finding the tears there.
"I'm sure we can figure out a good story. Cora, you need to tell them that you were the one in cuffs," Stiles said.
"There is a second pair in there. We can get my DNA on them easily." Cora wiped at her eyes when Derek let her go. "I can say whatever is needed to make sure that they go to jail for a long time."
"Well, only Marin is going to live," Stiles said.
"What? Deucalion, though, you can give him the cure."
"Not really. I made that strain up myself. It's a potent mix, and it has yellow wolfsbane in it. It can be burned out the same as the rest, and there is no real cure for it. Enemies left standing only come back to bite you in the ass."
Derek smelled Spencer before he saw him. He didn't make noise, though. Spencer could bolt away with ease and lose Derek. He had been good at it before, a human raised with wolves meant that he knew them just as well as he knew himself.
Spencer was sitting on top of the Nemeton. He had a book in his hand. Stiles was closer to him, so Derek hung back.
"Spencer?" Stiles asked.
Spencer's head shot up, and he looked at Stiles. It took a few seconds for Spencer to recognize him. Derek had never hung out much at home after he had gotten into high school, so he hadn't met the new friend that Cora had made, and Spencer had attached himself to. The name had been familiar when Derek had met Stiles, but he hadn't known it was the same kid. Stiles had never said.
"Stiles!" Spencer launched himself off the Nemeton, and his book fell to the forest floor.
Stiles caught Spencer easily and laughed as the teen was hugging him tightly.
"I wanted to go to you and your father, but Cora made us run. I tried to run away three times before I stopped because it was hurting her. I told her she was crazy about coming back, but I didn't know if I could find you anymore, and I was scared. I heard people talking about an Argent."
"His name is Chris, and he works with your brother and i."
"Then Cora wasn't crazy, there is a Hale Alpha?" Spencer asked.
"Yes," Derek said as he stepped into the clearing. Spencer's eyes grew huge, and he let go of Stiles to run at him.
"Where is Cora?"
"Here," Cora said.
Derek had made her wait and stay back as they didn't want to scare him. She looked better but not the best after being in the middle of the vault for so long. It was the full moon tonight, and Derek had been afraid. She had controlled it well enough, though. Cora was there, hugging them both.
The sound of a twig snapping had Spencer startle, but he stopped when there was a low growl. It was Peter's growl and one that all of them knew well. It had usually been followed up by Peter pouncing on them and starting a playful fight. Peter, though just moved to them and hugged them all. Derek held out his hand, and Stiles grabbed it.
Derek had his family back, and a strong Pack and a lot of that was down to Stiles. Stiles who had been injured but no one had seemed to care that he hadn't shown up anywhere. Or cared that he was missing. Derek had known how that felt, so he had gone to try and fix what he could, and he was glad that he had.