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Den of Iniquitea

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Derek Hale looked at the address on the business card that this father had given him, and then at the street, he was standing in front of. He was pretty sure that he could live in New York City and never fully know everything about it. He could see every single Pride flag he knew hanging off the sides of the buildings, and then there were many that he didn't know any only knew what they were from the context of the rest. He looked at the business card again and then the map on his phone. He was in the right place. He just wasn't sure why his father had ever come here before. This area was so very different from the life that his father lived as an ADA for New York City. Hell, this place wasn't even his kind of place to be. It was more Cora or Spencer's kind of place, possibly Uncle Peter as well.

There were a lot of businesses on the block that he was starting down. He wasn't sure what kind of place he was looking for as the name was kind of telling but not. He figured that it was a tea shop since he was picking up his father's tea order, and the name Den of Iniquitea, kind of lent to the tea thing. But nothing here looked like it normally would for a business anywhere else in the city. He stopped when he sensed that he wasn't alone. He looked around and saw that a few of the people who were shopping across the street were looking at him. They nodded their heads and smiled at him before going back to their shopping.

Suddenly the block and why his father went there made a hell of a lot more sense. This wasn't just an LGBTQ+ friendly area, it was also a supernatural friendly area and used that to hide a lot of things. Derek looked at a few places with a different eye now. He could see some runes placed on the bricks that made up the building. He walked with a little more freedom as he made his way to the shop that declared that it had bubble tea. He looked at the outside of it and cocked his head to the side as he took it in. It looked like any other tea shop that he had ever been in, besides the neon sign proclaiming bubble tea. It was in rainbow colors to fit the theme of inclusivity. He sighed and opened up the door and slipped inside. He inhaled deeply the scent of tea that was everywhere, and it helped to calm him down. He listened and found that there was only a single person inside the shop. They were not visible, but the direction of the heartbeat told Derek that they were behind a shelf.

Walking around that way, Derek stopped when he took in the backside of the person working there. Their ass was quite nice and the skirt that they were wearing. Given the area that he was in, Derek wasn't going to assume a single thing that it was a girl who was wearing that. He waited until the person stood up and set whatever they were digging out of the box on the shelf before he cleared his throat.

The guy spun around, and his eyes were wide in shock, and his hand was over his heart.

"Fucking Hales and their ability to sneak up on me even if I know they are in the shop." The guy looked Derek up and down. He was wearing a tank top that he would bottom someone so hard and had hipster glasses on his face. The whole thing really worked for him. "You here for your father's order?"

"Yes?" Derek said. He wasn't sure how the guy knew that he was a Hale. This wasn't like back in Beacon Hills, where everyone knew the Hales. He narrowed his eyes at him.

"Dude, your father showed me so many pictures of you and your three siblings. I could probably pick you out of a lineup at this point in time. Especially you and your big degree and all of that shit."

"Don't call me dude."

"I call everyone dude. There is no gender in dude. So my name is Stiles. Welcome to my Den of Iniquitea. I need to finish this display. Have a look around. Try a few teas. Stay away from the one by the yarn tea cup. That one will get you drunk."

"You sell tea that can get people drunk?" Derek asked.

"No, dude, I see tea that can get a werewolf drunk. So just don't drink it. I'll send you home with a sample if you want but don't even think of drinking and doing anything else."

"Eh, no thanks. I don't like tea."

"WHAT?" the guy spun around again, where he had turned to set something else on the shelf. He looked at Derek like he had just said that he hated puppies and rainbows.

"It's too bitter and usually way too sweet. I sometimes make iced tea at home, but even then, I don't like it all that much."

"How are you your father's son?" the man asked.

"Do I really need to answer that?" Derek asked.

"Oh, wolf's got jokes? How about this. I make you a cup of tea, and if you hate it, truly hate it, I'll leave you alone, but if you like it, you have to take home a few other things and brew them to try. Your father has all of the stuff, so I'm sure that you don't need to invest in anything too expensive, just a few samples."

Derek looked at the man. He seemed like someone who wasn't going to take no for an answer. "Fine."

"Okay, just a few questions about your taste habits." The man went into a five-minute question asking tirade.

Derek wasn't sure what this guy was, but he wasn't fully human. There was a buzz from him that got louder and louder as he got more excited.

The man bounced over to the wall of teas that Derek had noticed but hadn't paid any attention to. It was small canisters, and he pulled down two different ones and scooped out some of each before putting them into two different steepers. Those Derek recognized as his father had them. He walked over to watch the man work. He turned on two different kettles, and Derek saw that they were set for two different temperatures.

"Why two?"

"Oh, one is for me. I need a little pick me up. If you wanna try what I am making for me, you can, but it's not part of the bet." The man was eyeing Derek like he knew that Derek would try and get out of the bet.

"That's fine." Derek inhaled to smell the teas, and they smelled really good, just like his father's, but he had never tried them before.

"So, you work with your father, right?"


"My dad's the Sheriff back home. At least for now. He's thinking of retiring and moving here to live with me."

"And you are okay with that?"

"Dude, I would love it if Dad lived here. I could rope him into helping in the shop while I do stuff in the back. I miss him, but this is where I needed to be for my education."

"In tea?" Derek asked.

"Oh, my Gods! Did your father send you here without telling you anything other than to pick up his order?"

"Well, in his defense, he tried, but Peter kept on interrupting."

"Ah, yeah. Creeperwolf would be like that. Okay, so the name is Stiles, and I'm the local voodoo doctor."

Derek raised his eyebrows at that, and Stiles just laughed. He looked pretty when he smiled. Derek swallowed around the rising feeling of attraction. This guy was full of laughter, and Derek hadn't had that in a long time. Despite the therapy that his father had forced him into as soon as Derek had spilled the beans about Kate and what he was sure she had done, Derek hadn't really dated. He had gone to bars and clubs to find someone for a night but always went to their place and always left right after.

Stiles didn't seem like the kind of guy that you did that to, but also his father loved this tea, and Derek figured that he would be disowned if he made it so that his father couldn't get his tea.

"So he didn't tell you much about me, and this place did he?"

"No. Nothing."

"Ah, well..." Stiles looked down, and then when he looked up, he looked everywhere but at Derek's face. He smelled on edge and almost guilty. "So what has your father told you about the case against Kate Argent and what she had done?"

Derek narrowed his eyes at Stiles. Yeah, he figured that it was something that had been brought up. Even though it had happened in California, the rantings and ravings of Kate Argent as she screamed that Derek and his family were monsters, and that was why she burned the family alive and used Derek to do it had made it all over the country. Thankfully with the beard, no one recognized Derek as that kid anymore.

"I know that the Sheriff dug into it, even after it was ruled an accident and he found the trail leading back to the Argents. No one ever told me why the Sheriff thought that it was a crime instead of an accident. I could tell he was kind of lying on the stand, but I never did figure out what it was about."

"Yeah, that's because I snuck over to the house and found the Mountain Ash powder line. Dad started to look into it more."

"Your father is the Sheriff of Beacon County?" Derek asked.

It was a small fucking world.

"Yeah. When I came out here for my magical education, Dad asked your Dad to watch over me. Though, of course, Peter started to as well." Stiles pulled down a to-go cup and slipped the sleeve on it before filling it with tea by settling the steeper on top of the cup. Stiles handed that cup over to Derek after slipping a few ice cubes into it. He did the same for the second, but it was in a tumbler of some kind, and he added enough ice to make it an iced tea. He pulled his tumbler close and inhaled it before putting on a lid. "Drink up, Derek."

Derek inhaled his though the small opening on the lid. It smelled good. Spicy and a little fruity, but there was something else there. He gave Stiles a glare but took a sip. It wasn't so hot that it burned his tongue, but it still had good heat. The taste kind of exploded on his tongue, and he took a longer sip next. Stiles was grinning at him. Derek felt like he wanted to flip him off.

"So, how many do you want to try?"


Stiles nodded and set about grabbing a few canisters down off of the shelf. He weighed out a little of each, and it went into foil bags that then got labels put on them. Derek smelled each one as he did it, the canister being held out so he could. They all smelled wonderful.

"Now your father has a kettle, but you are going to have to program the time and the temperature into it for each one. These have the instructions on them already. Each one is set to how I like it, but don't feel like you should stick with that if the first one it's up to what you want. There is enough for four cups in each one of these so you can try them iced or hot and play a little. My hours are on the website, and you can place orders on there for pick up here if you know what you want."

Derek nodded his head at all of that and looked at one of the little packages. There were very detailed instructions on how to brew it on there. He was glad as he didn't want to have to ask his father. He saw there was a caffeine level guide on there as well. All of them that he had been given here high in caffeine.

"Anything without caffeine?"

"Oh! Yes. I have lots. Do you want fruit herbal or not fruity?"

"One of each."

Stiles grabbed two different canisters and doled out what looked like more of the one that had what looked like fruit pieces in it. Then the other he pulled out a little less, but the grains were so very fine.

"The first is just fruits, and spices so use more of it. Again four cups worth. Then the other is a rooibos, and so you don't need as much. Your father has the correct spoons for each, and if I remember correctly from Peter's rantings, they are labeled. Anything else?"

"What tumbler you have there. Do you sell those?"

"Uh, no. I can pick one up for you, though, and send it along to your office. It's actually from a chain store, and I have to go pick up something else for someone else there anyway. I can charge it to your account if you want. Here." Stiles grabbed a sheet of something from under the register. "There are the ones they currently have."

Derek looked at them, and he saw the price, and he looked at Stiles.

"Dude, they are well worth it. Keep the lid shut when not drinking, and you'll have hot as the sun tea when you want it. Or iced tea that would feel good dumped on you in the heat. I swear by these, and if I could sell them here, I would."

Derek really wasn't sure what to make of Stiles, but he looked at them. There was a black one with what looked like glitter on it. "Is there a better picture of this one?"

"Oh, I can do you better." Stiles dropped down so far that Derek was sure that the floor had cracked open. He leaned over the counter to see that Stiles was reaching for something. Derek wasn't sure that his heart could take this. Stiles came up with one of the tumblers and handed it over. It was sealed in a bag.

"You just happen to have this on hand?"

"I bought it and then lost it and bought another. I've just had that one under there in case someone else wanted it."

It wasn't as horrible as it could have been and the glitter like stuff on it was smooth. It was black and grey, with the flecks making rainbow colors in the light. He kind of liked it. It was simple but also not.

"I'll take it."

"YAY!" Stiles pumped his fists in the air and then set about ripping apart the wrapping on the cup. He walked over to a sink and proceed to wash it out and then dried the outside. "Straw in or out?"

"" Derek asked.

Stiles laughed, and he turned around. The lid and straw were in one hand and the tumbler in another. "There is a hole here to slip the straw through, but I have no clue if you plan on drinking it hot or want it to cool down more before drinking. No straw means it'll stay hotter longer."

"Oh, yeah, cooled down is fine." Derek watched as Stiles took the cup he had set down and poured it into the tumbler. He added a little more ice to it to fill it up and then dropped the straw in. He fed it through the hole and secured the lid before handing it over. "I need to pay."

"Nah, I added it all to your father's tab."

"Stiles," Derek said.

"Don't worry about it. Peter and Spencer add stuff to his all of the time, and Peter drinks more tea than he breathes air."

Derek nodded his head at that. He took a sip of the tea and nodded his head. Stiles went to the back of the store and then came out with a huge bag of stuff. It had to be his father's order. Derek took it and then snagged the smaller bag that had his tea stuff in it. He wasn't sure that this was going to be a good thing, but he at least liked this tea that he was drinking.

It wasn't until he got home that Derek realized he had no clue what the tea was. His father was sitting in the den on the first floor with his leg propped up, and Peter had his hand on his leg, drawing the pain out while they watched a TV show.

"Did Stiles make a tea man out of you, Derek?" Peter asked as he looked at the mug.

"You sent me into that place with no warning," Derek said as he looked at his father.

"Well, Stiles is better experienced instead of warned about. So...he found you a tea that you like?" Greg asked as he held out his hand for the bag.

Derek handed over the bigger bag and watched as his father pulled out stuff that was not tea. In fact, it was the stuff that he used to keep the building warded against Hunters and all other manner of beings that wanted to do them harm.

The name of Stiles' shop was making a lot more sense now to him. It wasn't just a tea shop. He wondered exactly what Stiles did sell.

"I can see, based on that look, he didn't show you the stuff in the back?" Peter asked.

"No. I just saw the tea stuff."

"He's a Spark," Peter said. His eyes flashed red as he lifted his hand away from Greg's leg. The break was healing just at a normal human rate, given that Derek knew that his father had never wanted the bite from Derek's mother. Which at this point, Derek was happy and had been happy about it.

Spencer had been in New York with their father when the fire happened. He had been living with him since the start of the year, which made things really stressful between everyone. Spencer didn't like not being around their father, and after a huge fight several years before, Gregory had divorced his wife and went home to New York. He came back every few weekends to spend with the kids, and they all went to New York to see him during the summer, but it hadn't been the same.

When Laura and Derek fled Beacon Hills when they were legally able to, Derek had gladly gone to his father. By the time that they got there, they found Cora with him; she had run and hadn't stopped until she found another Pack that helped her get to New York City. She thought that no one else had survived. That Peter was alive had been a shock to her. Greg had immediately set in motion getting Peter transferred to New York, and with the Pack around him and Greg's friends healing him up, he came back to near full health in under six months.

The Hale Pack was slowly being built back up, and Derek was glad of that.

Derek hesitated as he got near the block again. He hadn't been back to the shop since his first and only visit. He had been going through all of the teas that his father and Uncle had in the apartment. Which was a lot. He had never paid too much attention to what Peter called the tea cabinet, but there was enough tea in there to last them all years. There were small bags of almost every single tea that Stiles sold, or at least Derek assumed that. And then there were teas from two other places that Derek recognized as places that his father ordered from online. Then there was the tea from the place that Stiles had bought the tumbler from and those teas, Derek loved.

The shopping list for the day was finished. Derek had already dropped off his stuff at the apartment complex and had gone out to just spend the day outside. It was a Saturday, and Derek was not working on anything, which was good considering that he wanted to spend time at Stiles' picking his own teas to take into work. He had his tumbler with him, which he pretty much used all of the time now. He had given up coffee and had swapped to tea. His father found it funny as hell, and Peter just mocked him for it.

Stiles wasn't in the front of the shop when Derek entered but the sound of a chime from somewhere deep in the store when he opened the door and then again when it shut let him know that Stiles would be out soon. Derek grabbed the item that his father told him that he would want to use to make tea in his office, two of them so that he had one for the teas with mint in them and one for everything else. Peter had warned him of that part even after his father had.

"Oh, I was afraid I would never see you again, but Peter told me that you have been trying all of their stuff. So what can I do for you today, Derek?"

"Peter told me about some teas that they don't like that he thinks that I might."

"Ah, you tried my S'mores tea, didn't you?"


"I make my own smokey tea as the standard for tea is just too much for me. Okay, so I have a line of teas that I think you might like." Stiles turned and started to pull down a whole bunch of canisters.

Derek looked at the singles in small clear bags with the same label on them on the larger bags. He looked at the one tea tumbler that came with a strainer attached. That would be nice if he was out and about. He grabbed one of those that was in black and added it to his steeper pots on the counter.

"Come and smell the one you like the best, I'll make you a cup of it." Stiles opened up each of the canisters so that Derek could get a good scent on each of them. He could smell the smoke in them, and it was subtle and kind of nice. The scent didn't smell anything like a burning house like he thought that it would.

Derek found the one that he wanted to try, and Stiles set about brewing two cups. He made a grabby motion at Derek, and he handed over his tumbler. Stiles washed it out after dumping the dregs of Derek's morning cup. He filled it with ice and then did the same to a matching tumbler that was purple. His own, it seemed. Derek watched as Stiles let the tea flow out when it was time into the two tumblers. He did Derek's first and set down the steeper before putting the lid on it and handing it over. Derek swished it around to get the ice as melted as it was going to get.

The first sip was like Derek had just taken a drink of his father's whiskey after smoking a cigarette. It was a nasty habit that he had, but it didn't harm him at all, so he didn't care. The subtle notes of the flowers in the tea hit him at the back of his mouth, and he loved it. Derek nodded his head as he took a second larger sip.

Stiles's smile was blinding. He had just finished putting the lid on his tumbler. "It reminds me of kissing guys in the club but better because they always want more than a fun dance."

Derek nodded his head even though he was one of those guys. He wondered if he had danced with Stiles before. Stiles grabbed the travel tumbler that Derek had picked out and returned it to the shelf, then he walked down a little and opened up a cabinet and pulled out something else. Derek glared at him. Stiles opened the box and showed Derek that it was kind of the same but not.

"This one is for iced or hot. It's metal, which, believe me, is better for you. Your uncle broke four of the plastic ones. Just go for metal every single time. This was the last of this, and I kept it back for you, just in case." Stiles smiled at Derek, and it looked so endearing.

"Thanks. I do like the metal of this one. So are you going to show me how it works?" Derek asked.

"Sure. We can leave yours in the box. I'll show you mine. I use it even here cause it does iced tea perfect for me." Stiles beckoned Derek over to where the sink and stuff was and pulled out a matching tumbler in purple. Derek watched him as he got the tea ready in the bottom of the tumbler and then poured in hot water from the pot until it was to the line. He set the timer. Stiles turned to look at Derek with a grin on his face. "How about them Mets?"

Derek laughed because he had no clue what else to do with the look that was on Stiles' face with what he said.

"Well, I have no clue. I mean, I watch it on TV some, but I haven't been to a game in years. Dad used to take us, but after the fire, we kind of stopped."

"Yeah. I get that. We used to go as a family whenever the Mets would play anywhere we felt like driving for the weekend. Mom was a big Mets fan, and I go every year to a game in her honor. I'm going to one this weekend. They are playing the Dodgers here. I have a second ticket, wanna go with me?" Stiles asked.

"Sure. It's been years, and Dad can't go."

"Oh, that reminds me!" Stiles turned and ran into the back of the store. He came back out seconds later with a tub of cream. "That's for your Dad. It'll help with the swelling and help the bone heal faster. He refused to come in for a normal healing session since he hurt himself at work and can't hide it. That will help him heal at a much faster but still mostly human rate."

"Thanks. I'll make sure he uses this." Derek read over the handwritten instructions and smiled as he saw the notes that were for his father about doing stupid stuff as even he couldn't fix stupid.

The timer went off on the tea, and Stiles waved Derek closer. He filled up the inner tube with ice and then pushed it down.

"Now, you'll notice a lot of water when you dump this when you are done with it, but don't worry about that. If you have teas that get bigger or have bigger pieces, you'll need that room. So this is pretty easy." He put the lid on and handed it over. "Shake it some and get it all cold."

Derek did, and then he popped the middle so he could take a drink. It tasted pretty darn good to him. Nice and iced but still strong. "Yeah, I want this."

Stiles took it back and took a drink. He grinned before he closed the lid on it and slipped it up near the register. "So anything else?"

Derek handed over his list of teas that he wanted to have at his office.

"Oh, your family loves these. Do they need more?"

"No, this is for my office. That's why I'm getting two of the steeper pots."

Stiles laughed and worked on getting him the amounts of the other teas that Derek wanted. Stiles moved with efficiency and got everything ready. He didn't take money again on this, telling Derek that he would just add it to the tab that was now running for him. Stiles told him that it would be handled when it was time and not before.

Derek left with a bag of tea and Stiles' number in his phone, so they could figure out how they were going to meet up when it was time for the game.

Derek looked at his phone. Stiles hadn't responded yet to his message about having to take a rain check on the game, and he hoped that maybe the next one he buy the tickets. That had been three hours ago. Derek could see that Stiles had read it. He shook his head and looked at the Cora across the table. Laura was there and so wasn't Spencer. It was rare that they were able to meet up. Derek turned the screen off and flipped his phone over so that he didn't have to worry about why Stiles wasn't texting back.

Other than when he had been sleeping, Stiles hadn't gone two hours where he wasn't texting him. It was something that Derek had thought he would get tired of. Yet he hadn't. Stiles wasn't horrible, and when his stuff wasn't answered, he didn't just constantly text. He waited until Derek had texted back before sending something else. It was something that Derek kind of liked about him. He waited to be told that he had Derek's attention.

"So I heard a rumor that you have a date with Stiles," Spencer said as he sat down beside Derek.

"No," Derek said.

"You aren't going to a Mets game with him? He doesn't invite just anyone out to them."

Derek looked at his three siblings as they all looked at him. He stood up and looked at the time. There was enough time to get to the park if he rushed.

"Wait, the Met's are playing home tonight before they start an away set," Cora said.

"Yeah. I have to go." Derek grabbed his phone and texted Stiles that he was coming. He wasn't sure that he was going to make it, but he wanted Stiles to know that he was coming.

The lines were long, but Derek couldn't see Stiles. He rushed to Will Call and found someone who announced to Stiles that he was there. He waited, and no one showed up. Derek looked at his phone. Stiles had read the message and not replied, he didn't know what to do. He looked at his phone again and debated calling Stiles, but just as he did, someone came up to the woman he had been talking to. She grinned and nodded. She typed in a few things on the computer, and then she was printing out something that she handed over.

"He said to tell you to find him if you can."

Derek nodded and took the ticket. He was waved over to a quick entry area, and then he was inside. He wasn't sure what Stiles was going to be dressed in. He didn't seem to hold to any gender roles when it came to his clothes. Stiles could be dressed wholly in women's fashion, wholly in men's, or some mix of the two. Then Derek looked around and realized that Stiles would probably be dressed head to toe in Mets gear. He looked to figure out where he needed to go. There was still time before the start of the game, and Derek figured that he would find Stiles somewhere near the seats that they were supposed to be at. He found the section and looked at the people who were milling around near the field, and there was no one that jumped out that they were Stiles. Derek looked at his phone when it vibrated, and he saw that it was a picture of him from behind. He looked up and behind him to the rest of the sections above, but there was no Stiles there. He looked around more to try and spot him, and he saw someone from behind that had blue and orange hair. It was just about the length that Stiles' was. The jersey that the guy was wearing was interesting looking, it was a custom of some kind with the name Mischief on it.

Decision made, Derek headed toward that guy. He was talking to two girls and a guy. They were all older.

"Stiles?" Derek asked.

Stiles turned around and smiled at him. There was apprehension in his eyes, and Derek didn't like that.


"We will talk after we get some food." Stiles turned back to the people he had been talking to and said his goodbyes to them. They left, and then it was just them.

"I wanna talk now."

"Fine, we can while we walk. I want a hot dog and a beer before the game starts."

Derek nodded. He held out his arm. Stiles looked down at it before looking up at Derek's face. Stiles smiled and slipped his arm through Derek's and tucked himself close as they headed for food.

"I didn't realize it was a date. It's not the first time. I'm not good at reading things like that. Peter loves to make fun of me for it. I've had one girlfriend, and she died. I don't count Kate, not anymore. It was a relationship that should never have happened. I've tried to date, but I don't have a lot of time for it, and I tried to make it a priority, but the last person got really pissed when the court would run long, and I would be late to dates."

"Idiots. So what clued you in?"

"My siblings asking about my date with you and then Cora pointing out that the team is starting a swing of road games after this. I realized and bailed on them. It's been a while since we've all four been around at the same time with all of our lives, and I jumped at the chance, but I didn't want you to think that I was blowing you off. I am sorry about that. Just...make sure I know it's a date from now on."

"I can do that." Stiles was smiling, and his scent changed a little, and Derek kind of liked that scent.

Derek let Stiles pick where they were getting the food from, and they settled into a line. Derek let people move past them, and when one bumped into him, he used that as a reason to tuck his nose into Stiles' neck. The scent of Stiles was stronger there, and Derek could smell how happy he was. There was a faint tinge of his anger and sadness, but that was rapidly fading due to Derek being there.

"What do you want?" Derek asked directly in Stiles' ear.

"For us or for food?" Stiles turned his head a little and rubbed his cheek on Derek's. It was a blatant scent mark. Derek loved it.


"Hmm, hot dog with sauce and onion and the largest beer they got."

Derek nodded, and he pulled his arm from Stiles', and he heard the little noise that Stiles made, but it changed to a happy noise when Derek wrapped his arm around Stiles' waist to tug him in close.

A guy made a noise behind them, and Derek turned to look at him. He looked a little disgusted, but Derek just raised an eyebrow.

"You shouldn't be doing it in public," the guy said.

"You know that's funny," Stiles said as he turned to look at the guy.

"What's funny?" the guy asked.

"Well, they do kiss cams here and in a lot of sports and no one ever makes a comment about the guy and girls who kiss for it. Or the ones that walk around and hold hands or cuddle like this. They used to say it for white and black couples too, why does it need to be public. If one kind of relationship is allowed to have public displays of affection, all should be able to as well as long as the couple is of age and everyone can consent. Or would you like to have to hide who you are married to as well?" Stiles asked with a pointed look at the guy's wedding ring on his finger.

The guy looked at Stiles like Stiles had blown his mind, and he closed his mouth and just looked away. At least he wasn't going to get angry about being called out like that. Derek pressed a kiss to Stiles' forehead, and he hummed in happiness.

Derek learned two things about Stiles and many other things, but those two were the top ones. That it took little to get Stiles drunk, and it was something to do with his magic, and the second was that when Stiles was drunk, he liked to touch. It wasn't bad touches, he just liked to hold Derek's hand and pull him in closer.

Despite the win for the Mets and the happiness of the crowd, Stiles stayed seated when the game was over. He kept his legs draped over Derek's and his head on Derek's shoulder. Derek really didn't mind it. They were center of the row, so that meant no one needed to get up and go past them to get out. Everyone else went either direction.

"So, now what?" Stiles asked.

"Well, we can leave," Derek said.

"I meant after that. I took the subway here. Did you drive?"

"Only way I was going to make it on time."

"So, are you hungry? Drinking always makes me hungry."

"I could eat. What kind of place are you thinking of?"

"Tacos. I want tacos and more alcohol. My magic makes me get drunk quicker, but it also burns that out quicker as well. I'm already pretty sober. I wouldn't drive or anything, but yeah."

"I know a really good dive place that has good alcohol and even better food."

"Yeah? Take me there," Stiles said, and he finally started to move like he was getting up. Most of the crowd was gone, which was a good thing for Derek to get out of the lot.

Derek checked his phone as they made their way through the ballpark to get out. He had a shit ton of messages in the family chat and groaned when he saw his father and uncle starting to chime in that they would be pissed if they lost their tea. Derek showed those to Stiles who laughed.

When they were heading toward the Camaro, Stiles let go of Derek's hand, and then right when Derek unlocked it, he was shoved into the car, and Stiles kissed him. Derek grabbed his hips and pulled Stiles in closer to deepen the kiss.

They kissed until Stiles' phone started to ring.

"Hey, Daddio!" Stiles said.

"Son, do we need to have a conversation?" the Sheriff asked.

Derek said an eyebrow at Stiles, but Stiles kept him where he was. Stiles had to know that Derek could hear him. Stiles just gripped Derek's shirt tighter and kept him pressed to the door of his car.

"I haven't done anything that is worth anyone calling you all week," Stiles said.

"Ah, I see. Well, that's good, but I mean what you did tonight."

"I went to a baseball game?" Stiles asked.

"With Derek Hale? You had your legs draped over his. The camera caught you two when they were showing off other fans. I know how long it takes you to get out of the park. So did I get your before or after you kissing him against the car?"

"I kind of hate you right now, and it was in the middle. It's our first date," Stiles said.

"Ah, that would be why you've not told me. Well, I'm in town next weekend, as you know. I expect to have dinner with him. I want to meet him."

"You've met him."

"Not as your boyfriend, I haven't."

Derek blushed at that. He liked the Sheriff. The man had been so kind in the aftermath of the fire. When Laura had told him that they were leaving, he had looked gutted that they didn't trust him to keep them safe. Everyone had kind of forgotten about the fact that they had a father. Talia might have had full custody, but they had a father. It was something to do with Pack laws that the Alpha of the pair got the kids, but Spencer had proven that it wasn't always best.

"Ugh, fine," Stiles said. He was grinning as he said it, though. "First night here, you can take my boyfriend and me out to dinner. You can even get as much steak as you want. If you let me check you out to make sure you've been sticking to your potion regime."

"I have, and I'll prove it. Have a good night, Son. And Derek?"

"Yes, Sir?" Derek asked as he leaned in closer so that Noah could hear him.

"Take care of my boy."

"I will, Sir."

The Sheriff hung up, and Stiles was looking at Derek with a strange look on his face.

"What's that for?" Derek asked.

"You didn't run screaming when I called you my boyfriend."

"We've been on a very successful date; we have dinner planned after this. It might be a little early, but I don't care."

Stiles grinned at him and leaned in for another kiss. Derek held him close until he was sure that someone was going to stop them for public indecency. They could move that part along later.

Derek groaned as the smell of tea filled his nose long before he was ready to wake up. He wrapped his arm tighter around Stiles' waist and buried his nose into his neck. Stiles still smelled mostly of them, sweat, and sex. It was a good scent on him.

"You aren't fooling anyone," Peter said.

Derek didn't even open his eyes, but he moved the arm under Stiles' head to where he could lift his hand and flip off his uncle. It was his tea that was pulling him toward being awake. It was a few seconds of Derek laying there before he remembered that they had fallen asleep on top of the covers and naked. He felt down Stiles' chest and found that someone had covered them up. Probably Stiles when he got too cold.

"We have a surprise visitor," Peter said.

Derek opened his eyes to look at his Uncle. He could see that Peter looked upset.

"Who is it?"

Peter looked at Stiles with a very significant look on his face. Derek wasn't sure that he wanted to know now. He tightened his arm around Stiles like it was going to keep him safe from whatever happened.

"Get him up and get him downstairs. I left a cup of tea for him on the nightstand." Peter's eyes darted to it, and Derek saw that it was Stiles' favorite mug.

Getting Stiles dressed and downstairs was hard without making it known that something was wrong. Derek could smell Noah in the house. There was a layer of pain over the top of that scent.

Stiles stiffened up, and for a few seconds, Derek was sure that Stiles could smell his father, but then Stiles was running. Derek didn't grab him in time, and he made it all the way into the living room, where Noah was sitting on the couch with his leg propped up on the cushions. His face was black and blue, and his arm was in a cast. He looked like shit.

"Dad?" Stiles asked, his voice timid. He was starting to shake, and Derek wrapped his arms around him from behind. His breathing was picking up.

"I'm healing, and I have a full recovery ahead of me."

"They didn't...why didn't they call?" Stiles asked.

"I made sure that no one did. Parrish escorted me here and is asleep in a room upstairs before he flies back home. I needed to be with people to help, and I knew you would drop everything and fly home, but I didn't want you to. I was cleared to fly, and Greg got me a first-class ticket so that I had the room. I wasn't above taking that to make sure I was comfortable. My doctor back home is aware of the supernatural, and he's not going to be shocked if I'm healed up quickly."

Noah held out a hand, but Stiles wasn't moving. It took Derek a few seconds to realize that it was that Stiles couldn't move, not that he didn't want to. Derek pushed at him, making Stiles walk. Stiles dropped to his knees in front of his dad and buried his face into his stomach. Noah cupped the back of his head and mouthed a "thank you" at Derek.

Derek nodded his head and was happy when Peter pressed a cup of something into his hand. He took it back to his favorite chair and settled there. He tried not to listen as Noah reassured Stiles that he was fine. That he would be fine, that everything looked worse than it actually was.

This was Stiles' biggest fear that his father wasn't going to come home one day. Derek was glad that Noah came out here instead of having someone call Stiles. He would have been a wreck the entire flight home and could have easily lost control of his magic and done something to out him.

"We'll get the guest room on this floor cleared out of the junk from it," Derek's father said.

"I'm just glad we actually went through the renovations to the whole building to make it one large kind of house instead of several separate apartments."

Derek nodded his head. Stiles' apartment wasn't going to work for Noah. The kitchen was on one floor, the living room above that, and the bedroom above that. It was a weird converted, very small place that Derek hated. Stiles made do with it as it was in his price range and close enough to the block that his shop called home. Stiles slept at the Den at least once a week and lately had been here more.

"We can get a serviceman out to get the elevator running," Derek said. Derek had been one of the ones to delay getting it worked on. He hated someone being inside of the place that didn't belong. Even when his father's leg had been broken, he had been able to go up a flight of stairs from the communal areas to his floor, which was right above. Derek could tolerate it if it meant that Stiles' father was going to be able to leave the communal area.

"Yes. We can even get some of the Pack to move Stiles onto your floor," Peter said.

Derek looked at Peter and then at Stiles. He glared back at his Uncle, who just laughed.

"Yeah, I'll take it," Stiles said loudly.

Derek looked at him, and Stiles turned his head to look at Derek.

"What? You kind of mentioned me leaving stuff three months ago and you've been talking me into more and more stuff. Dude, I could live here for three weeks and not need to go home for anything or do laundry. I know everyone hates my apartment."

"Yes," everyone but Stiles said. He stuck his tongue out at Derek.

"See. Might as well just move me in."

Derek watched his uncle and father get into a non-verbal discussion. The second to top floor of the building wasn't in use at the moment. Peter had the top floor. Once the elevator was up and running, Noah could easily take over that one. Despite being in Beacon Hills, everyone thought of him as Pack. At some point soon, Noah was going to be retiring and coming to live in New York, and they had space for him. It would be better for all of them if he stayed here and could go home and take care of things.

"I'll be heading home in a month, working strictly from the office while I finish training up the interim Sheriff until someone can be elected. Everyone figures that Parrish will be a shoo-in on that. Then we can move me out here. My leg will heal up enough for everyday life but not enough to stay active as Sheriff. So they are giving me a good package for retirement since it was a line of duty injury that put me out."

"What happened?" Derek asked.

"Perp got the drop on me when I was following him. He was able to get above me on the roof of the one flower shop."

"I told you that the idiot there likes to leave his fire escape ladder down!" Stiles nearly yelled.

"Yes, yes. We've been fining them, but now I think that something more is going to be done. The Mayor of Beacon Hills is not happy. No one is happy."

"They are lucky I don't live there. I would make all of their roses die in a few hours."

Derek tried not to laugh. The situation didn't call for laughter, but that line was so Stiles that he couldn't help it.

"Oh, no, Son. You weren't there for the great gardening disaster of 2009." Noah laughed a little and rubbed on Stiles' head.

Stiles stood up and marched over to Derek and dropped down into his lap. It looked like he was pouting.

"I couldn't help it!" Stiles started to laugh, though. "So Miss Mable of Green Street started to steal cuttings of flowering bushes from around town. No one knew she was doing it or how she was doing it. Then it was found out that not only was she doing that but she was selling them: heirloom plants, prize-winning. So I might have accidentally cast a spell on her garden that made it all bloom and die in a single day. Like she came out that morning, and it was lush and beautiful, but as the day went, everything just slowly died, and she had to watch it. I guess it went to everything that she had sold as well. Only with that, it was just the cuttings and not the whole gardens. It was the day before the garden club went around to vote on the best garden. There were holes in gardens or if the person hadn't noticed yet dead plants. There were a few that were fine."

"Mabel, though, cried sabotage and tried to get the Sheriff's department into it once the Beacon Hills Police Department chose not to look into it." Noah shook his head as he looked at Stiles and laughed a little. "We actually did a DNA analysis on the plants but found that it was just rot, however when we checked all of the plants around town that were dead, all of the DNA matched what was in Mable's garden. So we called a few people. Got some plant guys from the closest University that had a good horticulture department, and that's how it was found that she had been stealing cuttings. One of them knew it was magic, though. And that's how we found out that Stiles was magic and that it was mostly want and belief based."

"Through him killing a garden stealer's whole garden?" Peter asked.

"I'm sure there are most hilarious ways that someone found out that they have magic."

"Not that Peter had heard, and he hunts that kind of stuff down." Greg stood up and stretched. He looked at Noah. "It's time for breakfast, and then you Sir are going to go to bed. Derek and Peter can carry you up to the floor above to sleep while we work on cleaning out the guest room on this floor for you."

"I'll go in there now and work on the runes for healing. Call me when breakfast is ready." Stiles got off Derek's lap with a kiss to his cheek before he walked over and stole Peter's cup from his hand.

Peter didn't fight him much on it, so Derek didn't figure that a fight was going to break out. It wasn't like there wasn't a hell of a lot more tea to make. The first night that Stiles had stayed, he had brought over a kettle and tea stuff for Derek's bedroom. Derek thought that Peter and his father were addicted to tea, but at least they didn't have stuff for their bedroom.

Derek had learned to live with it. It wasn't like it was that bad, really. So far, he hadn't found Stiles making tea while he was asleep, which had been his first fear.

"I'll make more," Greg said. He started for the kitchen. "Peter, you get breakfast started. Derek, get your siblings up. Spencer can help Stiles with stuff, and the girls can get a list from Stiles of things that are the most important from his place. Cora can run the Den today as well."

"Sure." Derek knew that today was the day that a lot of people came to pick up their orders for things that were no sold in the front of the shop. Cora had been training with Stiles to help run the shop. She enjoyed the hell out of being out front. It would give Stiles the help that he needed while taking care of his father.

Derek wondered if Spencer would mind helping some on the weekends if needed. He could easily sit in there and work on the various assignments that he needed to do for college. Derek hoped so. Stiles was going to be scatterbrained for a while.

"We can see about getting things set up in the basement as well once the elevator works again. I'm sure that we can set him up with a potions lab of some kind," Peter said.

"As long as you don't start to make it like Snape's classroom, you will be fine," Noah said.

Derek snorted as Peter wrinkled his nose.

"We don't talk about Harry Potter in this household," Greg said before he disappeared into the kitchen.

"Fuck you!" Stiles yelled from where he had disappeared to.

Noah looked at Derek.

"He and Peter got into a seven-hour discussion on Harry Potter and almost got into a fistfight. Dad's ixnayed all talk of that certain magic-user."

"Tossers!" Stiles yelled.

"And I'm going to go and deal with that. Peter, can you..."

"I'll get your siblings up and send them on their tasks. You take care of our pissed off mage. Just remember that I didn't start it."

"This time." Derek waited for Peter to head up, and he went to find Stiles. Stiles was in the room where they were going to put Noah. He was already smearing some blood on the walls. When he finished the rune, the blood disappeared. Derek didn't want to know what else there could be all over the walls. He never wanted the cops to check the walls in this place. Stiles' blood was all over a few walls, and there was going to be more when Stiles was done warding this place to hell and back.

It would be a good house then. It would protect the Pack in ways that they couldn't. Stiles would be a good emissary if he cared anything about making nice. He didn't. He only cared about protecting what was his, and right now, that was the people inside of these walls along with a few others.

Derek had never asked him what had happened back home that sent him away from here. He never asked about the reasons why Stiles never went home. Why the Sheriff flew out to see him. He never asked about the calls from a woman named Melissa and the way that he closed every single conversation by asking about a 'him' that was never mentioned any other time. Derek didn't ask because it wasn't his place. It was Stiles' past before Derek, and the relationship that Stiles had with his father told him all that he needed to know about the man that he was now.

Stiles was good for Derek. He was good for the Pack as a protector. A good man who didn't need to be built on his past.

Derek heard someone enter the shop, but he didn't get up from where he was sitting in the back. Stiles was out there alone, but it wasn't like they had that many people in there at once. Unlike other tea selling stores, Stiles sold a good bit of tea, but it was the stuff in the back that he sold more of. People who wanted tea did come in on occasion, but Stiles never needed help.

"No, get out. I refuse to serve you." Stiles' voice raised up, but it wasn't in anger. It was like there was nothing in it. Derek had never heard him talk like that before.

Derek got up from where he was sitting and looking through one of Stiles' books on magic. He stepped out from behind the curtain to see a group of four people standing there. Derek stepped up behind Stiles, who was looking at the four of them.

"Stiles just listen to us," the first guy said.

There was another guy behind and then two girls. One of the girls was kind of familiar, but Derek didn't think that he had ever seen her before. The other girl was a redhead. She was beautiful.

"We need to talk," the familiar one said to Stiles.

"We don't need to talk. We haven't needed to talk since the day that I found you in bed with him," Stiles said to the woman.

"Stiles, do I need to call anyone?" Derek asked.

"Yes, your uncle and your younger sister. Only them. I'll close the shop." Stiles looked at the four of them as he walked around, flipped the sign, and then locked the door. It had a phone number on the sign that someone would call to set up a different time to pick up their stuff. It worked well from what Derek had seen for the days that Stiles needed to close up early. Derek texted

The red-headed woman tried to say something, but Stiles just waved his hand, and it was like the words died in her throat. Stiles dropped down into a chair behind the counter and stared at the four of them. None of them said a thing, and Derek wasn't sure that it was a good thing. He looked at the red-headed woman who was staring at Derek like she was trying to figure him out. He wondered what she saw.

"What can his uncle and sister do with us?" the one guy asked.

"I can't do anything with you without him present. I am in his Pack."

"You joined his Pack and not Scott's?" the familiar girl asked.

Stiles laughed, and it wasn't a good laugh. It was a fucking sad as hell laugh.

The back door opened, and Derek heard three heartbeats. He really hoped that it wasn't Spencer.

"Well, well, what have the cows dragged in." Peter's voice was his lawyer voice, full of promise and also hatred. At least that was what Derek heard. What everyone else heard was seduction. He was good at what he did.

"Who are you?" the first guy asked.

"My name is Peter, and this is my niece Cora. I'm sure you know the man behind us."

"Sheriff Stilinski," the guy said.

"Scott, I thought I told you that you weren't welcome here," Noah said as he came to stand beside Derek

"Oh, that's where I know you. Scott McCall and Lydia Martin. I don't know you two."

"Liam Dunbar and Malia Tate," Stiles said.

"Ah, yes. Malia cheated on you with Scott before you left. That's right. Well, you are going to deal with me now. My name is Peter Hale, this my niece Cora, my Left Hand, and my nephew Derek, my right hand. Who are you?" Peter asked.

"We don't hold to that old pack stuff."

Derek wondered what the man meant by that. There was no Pack that would treat or work with him without a standard hierarchy.

"Scott thinks that anything to do with the way that things were done. He holds that he can do what he wants with his Pack. He didn't like it when I forced an issue and brought in other people. He threw me out of my home, and now he shows up here."

"What do you want, Scott?" Peter asked.

"I want him to come home and fix what he did to the Nemeton."

"I healed it, Scott. I healed the Nemeton. I made sure that the fucked up shit that happened while we were in high school wasn't going to happen again. I healed the whole fucking land."

"No, you didn't," Scott said. He took a step toward Stiles.

Derek moved, putting himself even with Stiles while Cora got to where she was just in front of him.

"You need wolves to protect you?" Liam asked.

"Actually, they are there for your protection," Noah said.

All four of them looked at Noah, shocked.

"How are they there for our protection?" Malia asked.

"Well, right now, they are keeping you from getting any closer. Stiles already has at least three spells ready to make sure you guys don't do anything stupid, and with those two between you guys and him, he won't fire them. Stiles did heal the Nemeton, the High Druid of North America oversaw it. Are you telling me that one of the world's highest magical users didn't make sure that it was healed? What happened did your power drop?" Noah sounded angry, and it was a tone that Derek had never hear him use before. It was quite interesting that these four people pissed him off where no one else ever had.

" the Hales from the Hale fire?" Lydia asked. She was looking at Peter when she did.

"Yes. Those Hales."

"But Cora died," Lydia said.

"Nah, I got out and ran for cover. My not death was dealt with after I had been declared dead. It took me a little while to make it across the whole of the county with the help of other Packs."

"I was right, Scotty. They were targeted because they were werewolves."

"Then they must have done something wrong," Scott said.

Stiles laughed. He shook his head and stepped forward. Derek didn't like it, but he let Stiles move past him and Cora to where he as facing the four of them alone.

"There were two human children in the fire, Kate also thought that the Alpha's human child was there because her informant hadn't talked about how his little brother wasn't living there anymore as it still hurt. There was another under age werewolf child who was ten, Scott. What in the hell did any of those children do to deserve dying like that? I proved to you time and again that most of the Argents didn't follow the code, but you were and probably still are their lap dog. It's why you are never going to be anything more than a bit rate True Alpha."

Derek startled at that and looked at Peter. Peter's eyes were raised in shock. The legend of True Alphas was something that Derek had only heard in passing. It had been a long time since one had come around. The legend was that the first Hale Alpha was a True Alpha, protecting their Pack from something that had never been seen since. Derek wasn't sure how Scott had become one, but usually, it was when a Pack had no Alpha for various reasons.

"But then you aren't, are you Scott? You aren't a True Alpha, but you never believed me on that either. Your Alpha died, finally. A manhunt across California for him after he attacked you and a few other kids in Beacon Hills. I checked it out when Dad told me. You became an Alpha a few minutes after he had been shot after he refused to let the cops take him. Human bullets can do a lot of damage, especially if they rip through a wolf's heart. It's not done a lot, but it happens. I guess maybe you were the most worthy of the Betas that Alpha had made. I mean, the others had issues, and then there was Jackson."

Derek looked at Peter, and Derek could tell that none of this was new to Peter. He had known at least that part, and Derek wasn't sure how he liked that. He looked at Noah next and saw that he still looked really angry. With all of this, Derek understood why Stiles didn't talk about his past. Why he acted like he did about a lot of things.

"So, Scott, you have two choices. Leave now and never come or get taken to jail."

"Jail? There is nothing to hold him on," Lydia said.

"That restraining order that I got in Beacon Hills? The one that is still active to this day with how Scott goes off on me in public whenever someone mentions me? Yeah, it was put into effect here in New York, and Scott knows it. He was given it, served to him by a US Marshal. Every single time it's renewed in Beacon Hills, it's renewed here. Especially after that video two months ago that was put on Facebook. He punched a wall."

"You weren't supposed to leave!" Scott yelled.

"I wasn't supposed to leave a place where every single friend I had made since childhood turned their back on me after I defended myself against a guy who was going to kill me? Why the fuck would I stay?"

"So you could repent!" Scott yelled.

Derek wasn't sure what the hell was wrong with Scott, but it was fucking stupid to think that someone would ever repent about killing someone who was going to kill them.

"He talked about eating my legs and then killing me in front of my father so that my father would know what it was like, Scott. How in the hell would I ever feel bad for killing him? Am I sorry that I ended up having to take a life? Yes, I am. Am I sorry that I actually did? No. You can feel guilt for actions but still feel like they were the best decision at that moment. The courts cleared me of all wrongdoing. I sat there in the library until the cops showed up. Dad couldn't be part of it, but Parrish was and other guys. There was a video of him chasing me and me already bleeding from where he had attacked me. The courts cleared me, but my best friend in the whole world wouldn't let it go. He thought that I had to do something to prove that I knew I should never have killed him. I would never leave my father alone like that. I'm all he has in the world."

Derek looked at Scott, he and Liam looked affronted while the two ladies looked at least a little shamed.

"Yeah, that's what I thought." Stiles looked behind Scott, his heading darting that way. Then the door opened, and two cops walked in.

"Scott McCall?" one of them asked.

Scott turned around to look at him. He growled a little, and Derek wanted to slap him upside the head.

"Yeah, put the fangs away," the second cop said.

Derek didn't move.

"You are under arrest for violating a restraining order again. Come with us peacefully, and we won't have to use wolfsbane to knock you out."

Derek wondered if they were going to have a brawl happen. The first cop flashed his red eyes at Scott and the trio, and the second just looked bored.

"You can't arrest me!" Scott said.

"The state of New York says that I can. The newly formed Council of the Supernatural says that I can."

"I don't follow them!" Scott said.

"And that's fine, but you just growled and flashed your eyes at two people you thought were human. You brought your barely restrained IED with you." The second cop stepped forward as he spoke and held out a pair of cuffs. Derek could see the purple glow on them.

Stiles snorted at that, but Derek didn't quite get it. He hoped that Stiles did explain.

Liam stepped forward and lunged at the cops. The second one pulled out a taser and dropped Liam to the ground. Malia moved like she was going to attack but stopped when Lydia put her hand on her shoulder.

"So the hard way it is," the second cop said. He dropped something on the floor, and Stiles threw out his hands. A barrier shimmed into place just as something exploded out of the thing on the floor. Derek watched as Scott and Malia dropped to the floor, and Liam went limp. Lydia was still standing there looking.

"Ma'am. Are you going to do anything?" the first cop asked.


"Good. Be thankful that I didn't shoot first. My gun is loaded with wolfsbane bullets. Now you are going to have to be the one to make sure they get a lawyer. Well, the two men. She'll be left here, and Stiles can revive her with no issues."

"That's fine," Stiles said as he dropped the barrier.

No one said anything while the cops got Liam and Scott out of there. Derek wasn't sure what he was going to say.

"So, Lydia. Malia will wake up on her own in about fifteen minutes. I wanted to talk to you. I learned something in the Hale library the other day that I wasn't sure I believed, so I went to talk to some people from other Packs and even the council. Did you know that the ability to full-shift is contained to the oldest shifter line?"

"Really?" Lydia looked down at Maila.

Derek looked at Peter. He didn't understand, it looked like Peter didn't either.

"You would both be welcome here. I would make sure of it. Or you can go home and never come back."

"You know who her father is? It's the one thing she was never able to get out of Corrine," Lydia said.

"I'm pretty sure I know who the father is. I know we never found another Coyote shifter, but I found out that you take the shape of what you are. It's why Jackson became the Kanima. I know we saved him before anyone could use him for ill but still. Her father is a wolf, and I know where the family lives. She has to make a choice, though. She stays, and I tell her or she never finds out."

"Why not?" Lydia asked.

"Because that knowledge could be used against her. To harm her and to harm others."

"Can someone move her outside? I want to talk to her. She regretted it, you know. That she let Scott twist her up inside about it. She stayed as penance. You are still her anchor."

"I know. I left clothes for her so that she could have something to help her with the full moons. Cora, can you take them outside and then watch over them?"


Derek watched as Cora picked up Malia, and then the three girls went outside.

"She's a full shift coyote with a mother named Corrine?" Peter asked.

"Yeah. I found out about the Hale line's ability to full-shift, and I started to dig."

"That's why you asked me if I had any kids."

"Yeah, then I asked about a lover named Corrine, and you said that you two met and had some good post kill sex when you were working on some pack threats of her's that had crossed into Hale territory. I assumed that someone took the memories. She never told Malia who her father was. Said he was dead. Then I found out that it was the rumor for a while, and she had been off the grid long enough that I'm sure she never heard."

"She hurt you."

"She spent nearly a decade trapped in coyote form. How my relationship with her started wasn't the best, but we were both young and stupid. I care for her a great deal, and she hurt me, but Scott hurt me worse. I guess I kind of hate him more for it than her. I'll explain everything to her at a later time. Or dad can. So yeah. I hadn't figured out how to tell you, and I wasn't going to drop it on her, but I haven't talked to her since I left."

Derek finally reached out and pulled Stiles to him. Stiles went willingly, and he smelled so fucking sad that Derek wanted to take him away and not let him come back. Noah caught Derek's eye and waved for Derek to take him out.

"I'll stay and take care of this. You go home. Get him in bed and build a blanket fort. He really likes those."

"Derek makes the best ones," Stiles said, lifting his face away from Derek's chest long enough to say it, and then he buried it again.

Derek reached down and coaxed Stiles to jump up and wrap his legs around his waist. Stiles held on tight as they made their way through the shop.

Stiles' past was just as rocky and emotion-filled as Derek's was. No wonder they latched onto each other. Derek was gonna protect him, just as much as Stiles protected Derek. He would make sure that their lives were happy from here out. They could be happy forever if they just had each other.

The End