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Derek heard the knock on the door, but he ignored it. Cora was in school, and Peter was at college getting ready to take the bar exam again so that he could practice law. Columbia had been more than happy to let him sit in on a few classes to learn a few changes to the law that had happened since he had gone into his coma. There was no reason for anyone to be at his apartment, except for neighbors that didn't know how to take no for an answer.

The knocking took on a frantic tone, and Derek turned to look at the door, shocked at how frantic it was. He closed his laptop and stood up. He stretched, even his body protesting him, sitting the same way for the last four hours while he wrote. As he got closer to the door, Derek stopped. His brain was fucking with him. There is no way that Stiles was on the other side of that door, but the smell of his fear was strong. It was the one smell that Derek knew well on him. He had smelled like fear after finding out he was the Nogitsune. Derek almost didn't want to open up the door.

It was Stiles on the other side of the door. He looked like shit. He was black and blue and smelled of more than just fear. He smelled of wounds and blood. Derek reached out and pulled him inside of the apartment before shutting the door and locking it. Stiles fell right into Derek's body, sobbing and clutching at him. Derek wasn't sure what to do. Stiles had nothing with him except for a backpack that Derek could smell clothes and a laptop in. It was very lacking compared to what he should be traveling with in coming across the country.

Derek backed them up toward the couch, sitting down with stiles still clutched to him. Laying down, Derek settled Stiles on top of him. It was over half an hour before Stiles cried himself out or cried himself to sleep. Derek fumbled for his phone that was on the coffee table and found the contact that he wanted. He called the direct line to the Sheriff's station.

"Stilinski," Noah said when answered the phone. His tone was normal. Did he not know that his son was across the country?

"Sir, it's Derek Hale."

"Do you have him?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Thank God. He was supposed to message me when his plane landed, but he didn't. I was worried, but it wasn't long enough."

"What happened?" Derek asked. He looked at Stiles' face, if it wasn't for the bruises that were on it, Derek would say that he looked peaceful.

"New kid showed up in town, a werewolf. He fed Scott some story about hearing about him becoming a True Alpha and wanting to be in his Pack. Stiles didn't believe him, and I helped him look into him. Before we could get anything on him, Theo, that's the kid, accused Stiles of murder. Now, just for full disclosure, Stiles did cause the death of someone, a mutant thing of some kind that had been a man named Donovan who had it out for me. He tried to kill my son in the library of the school. Only Stiles called me when Donovan attacked him. We were there in time to see Stiles climbing a bit of scaffolding, and then he grabbed something that gave, and Donovan died with a pole through his body. That's the murder that Theo told Scott that he did in cold blood. Then Theo killed his parents and blamed it on Stiles. We were able to clear him of that because Stiles was in the station at the time having dinner with me."

"And?" Derek asked because it didn't seem like that was the end of the tale, not by a long shot.

"Seems that there are Hunters out there who Hunter people who kill supernatural families. Theo contacted them, and now they are out there hunting for Stiles. I got him out of Beacon Hills, the rest is up to you."

"New York City has a large concentration of Supernaturals, and this is where our governing body is if you can call it that."

"Stiles has all of the files on a drive on his person. He can prove his innocence. He just needs to be alive to be able to do so."

Derek knew then that Stiles was seeking. He cupped the back of Stiles' head and sighed.

"He'll be safe here. What about school?"

"He started online stuff. I have no clue what's up with most of what he does with that other than talking to a few of the teachers when they are out and about and see me. I think he can actually get the credits needed to graduate at the end of the year if he pushes, which I think is what he's going for. Last time he talked about it, he was going a mile a minute, and I got a little lost as he kept on jumping topics."

"Adderall?" Derek asked.

"It should be in his bag, but there is also a new script in there for him. The rest of his things are on their way, the majority of his clothing. It's going through a few people, so it might be a week or so. It's going through the hands of Parrish's Army buddies to get to you. They have the address, the last person, and they will deliver it themselves. A man named Dorian. Where is he?"

"He on the couch. He started to cry as soon as he saw me and didn't stop. He cried himself to sleep. He looks like shit. Who beat him up?"

"A Hunter came across him on the way to the airport. Roscoe is fine. I put Stiles into a cab and paid for it. Your Uncle left us with some funds to deal with issues that came up that needed money thrown at them. I used that."

"Peter will be happy. He likes Stiles, more than anyone else left there in Beacon Hills. We will protect him. I promise. I work from home so he'll never be alone. I can make sure that Peter is here when I go shopping."

"Good. Just...have him check-in. His phone is probably dead or something. I got worried when I hadn't heard from him, but since he's an adult, I couldn't do much other than check to make sure the plane didn't crash."

Derek nodded his head. He knew that Stiles was eighteen and would be turning nineteen before the end of his high school education.

"I'll take care of him, Noah," Derek said.

"Thank you," Noah said before he said his goodbyes and hung up.

Derek texted both Peter and Cora and told them to get home as soon as classes let out. Peter's last class ended just before the high school Cora went to let out. He would be able to pick her up before heading home. Derek wasn't sure what to do about Stiles. There was room for him, the extra bedroom that they used when one of the Pack stayed over. The Pack was small, just the three Hales and a few other strays that Derek had picked up after a random Alpha had attacked him, and he had been forced to kill him or be killed. Chris Argent had ended up dealing with that since it was a group of Hunters going against the code, and attacking the Pack had made the Alpha go feral.

He sent the next message to the rest of the Pack, telling them that there was a meeting that night at eight. Only one couldn't be there, and she was a very level headed woman who had been born a wolf. She would be able to stop by and see Derek in the morning, though. That would work.

Derek closed his eyes and let himself drift off to sleep with the smell of Stiles around him and the feel of him on his body.

The sound of a key in the lock had Derek waking up before the door opened. The door jerked but didn't open. The keys rattled as the two deadbolts with different locks were opened so that the door could actually open.

"What's with the-" Peter stopped as soon as he took a breath.

"What is Stiles doing here?" Cora asked.

Then the two of them got a look at Stiles, who was still dead asleep on Peter.

"Who are we killing?" Peter asked.

"So far, no one. I need to get ahold of Chris and figure out what is going on in the Hunter world. The men who did this will be paying, even if it's just in money. He's been framed, and his father sent him to us to protect. He's seeking asylum."

"Fucking hell," Cora said.

"You deal with asylum since you are the Alpha." Peter turned to Cora. "You clean the guest room. Get the kit we have for humans in there so he can deal with his own injuries if he wants."

"What are you going to do?"

"Take him to the hospital so that we have evidence for the council to give them on the Hunters treated him. He'll get you to capitulate even if I am the best to deal with getting his asylum. I won't give in."

Derek nodded his head. He looked down at Stiles and knew that Peter was right. Since Derek had been a kid, Peter was the one that forced him to do the things he didn't want to do when his own mother couldn't make him.

"Stiles," Derek said as he started to shake him a little. He was afraid of where to put his hands to hurt him, so just shaking his body was good.

"Five more minutes, Pops," Stiles said. He turned his head to face the other way and rubbed his cheek on Derek's chest.

"Stiles get up, or I'm going make you," Peter said.

"Ugh," Stiles said, but he didn't move.

Peter came closer, and just as he was about to touch him, Stiles rolled over and glared at him for a few seconds before he fell back into the space between the couch and Derek.

"Back off, Bad Touch," Stiles said.

"Good. You are awake. That means we can leave. My car is not far."

"I ain't going anywhere with you."

"You are going to get checked out at a hospital.":


"Yes," Derek said.

Stiles turned his face to where he was looking at Derek. He frowned at him. Stiles opened up his mouth and looked like he was about to say something but then closed it and frowned. Derek looked at Peter to see that he was glaring. It looked like they just might have Stiles cowed on that issue.

"Why Creeperwolf?" Stiles asked.

"Because he actually gets you to do things. You stopped being scared of me after you held me up in the pool for two hours. You saved Cora's life, she's not gonna be able to make you do anything. You are scared enough of Peter to do what he wants."

Stiles grumbled, his words were not understandable even to Derek's ears, but he got up off him and slipped off his backpack. He handed that to Cora. "Anything in here goes missing, I'll make you pay. That's my life."

Cora nodded her head and looked at Derek. Derek didn't like the way that Stiles' body was radiating unease at giving up that bag. Derek knew he was on the run, but what was in there that Stiles felt he needed to protect it with his life?

Peter heard the light beep of the machine that was telling him that Stiles' heart was still beating. He didn't need it, but it helped. He looked down at his phone and sighed before sending the text. Stiles was going to be in here for a while. Peter had already called his professors to tell them that his nephew had been mugged and was getting emergency surgery to correct a slow bleed into his abdomen.

The surgery had gone fine. Peter figured that Derek was going to stab him once he read the text. Peter had told him that the lines were long at the ER, and he wasn't sure when Stiles was going to be seen, but in fact, they had been ushered in because Stiles had passed out in the car on the way over. Peter had carried him in. Now he was out of surgery, and Peter was just waiting for him to wake up.

Peter turned his phone to silent to wait for the call that was sure to come. Instead, he got a long text that told him that Derek was not happy but that he understood why he had done it.

Derek had mellowed out a lot as Alpha when he didn't have the Alpha Pack breathing down his neck and a murder lizard killing people. He was a good Alpha, better than Peter could ever have been.

Peter had gotten revenge for both their families and for Derek. Peter was actually really glad that he had been able to. When he had thought he killed Kate the first time, he hadn't known what Kate had done to Derek. Derek's hands were clean if he ever gave up his Alpha powers again, and Peter didn't regret it. He only regretted what he had done in his madness after years of being alone and in pain.

"Derek?" Stiles asked.

Peter looked at his face to see that he was looking at Peter with a frown. Like he knew he was wrong, but it was better than nothing.

"It's Peter," Peter said as he stood up. He dropped his phone down onto the chair he had been sitting in and settled on the edge of Stiles' bed. "Do you know where you are?"

"New York, whatever hospital you brought me to. How did it go?"

"They found the bleed and took care of it. It wasn't very fast at all. They don't think you'll have any issues. You'll be tender, but they didn't have to open you up all the way." Peter lifted up the gown that Stiles was in to show him the incision. Stiles' eyes looked at, and then the fact that he had underwear on and not a catheter.

"Why-" Stiles swallowed.

Peter grabbed the ice chips that were mostly gone but spooned some into his mouth.

"Why no catheter?"

"I talked the doctor out of it. He's supernatural, and he agreed with me on that for at least now. A wolf, if you needed to know. He understands that I won't want you here long term at all. I'm going to call the nurse to have them come in and check you out, and then I'll help you to the bathroom. Unless you want her to?"

"No. You." Stiles relaxed back as Peter lowered the gown again. "Underwear?"

"That's for your dignity. Cheap pair, so I'm sure it'll give you hives."

"You mean it would give you hives."

"Isn't that what I said?" Peter was glad when Stiles rolled his eyes.

Stiles moved around a little, pulling himself up a little. He hissed in pain, and Peter looked at the machine that was giving him stuff. He knew that it would be upped when someone came to see him. Peter patted Stiles' shoulder and then slipped out of the room. He stayed out while the nurse checked him out, staying out when the doctor went in too.

Derek found Peter standing outside of the hospital. There was a woman with him that Peter had never met before. She looked pissed.

"Is Mister Stilinski up for visitors?" the woman asked as she stepped up to Peter.

"Yes. He was being checked out when I left him alone. Why? Who are you?"

"I am Celeste."

Peter looked at Derek and then back at Celeste. He swallowed.

"Follow me."

Peter turned and headed back into the hospital. Celeste was one of the highest known Hunters in the United States at the moment. She had come from France to take over everything when Peter had emailed her what had been going on. He hadn't known that she was in New York.

"Last I knew you were in LA," Peter said.

"Yes, then I followed Mister Stilinski here. Despite him being injured, he was able to give my team and me the slip. I was following up with those here to try and figure out who he was coming to when Derek called. I wasn't aware that he knew of the Hales. Though I have half outdated information that doesn't put him in Beacon Hills but just in Beacon County, I really should have guessed. Does he have insurance?"

"No," Peter said.

"Really?" Derek asked.

"Okay, fine. I didn't give it over. I didn't want them to track him by it. I was just going to pay for his bill out of pocket with the pay in full discount."

"The Hunters council will be covering it. Make sure that I get it. Now, can you two keep your mouths shut?"

"Yes," Derek and Peter said at the same time.

The door to Stiles' room opened up, and Peter saw the doctor and nurse leaving. He eyed Peter and then saw Celeste. The look that she got told Peter that he knew exactly who she was. The doctor waved her into the room.

Stiles was sipping at a cup of water, and he smiled at Derek and Peter, glancing at Celeste before looking back at Peter. "He said that you could help me with therapy to make sure I don't hurt myself too much, and if I can go to the bathroom on my own in the morning, I can leave. I mostly did just now anyway. The nurse helped me off the bed, and then I went on my own into the bathroom. She came behind with the IV stand, but other than that, I'm good there, so he sees no reason to keep me."

"That's good. Now, Mister Stilinski," Celeste started.

"Who are you?" Stiles asked. He was glaring at her.

Peter wondered just what was going to be done with Stiles because there was no way that he wasn't going to keep on being interrupted.

"I was trying to tell you that."

"Yeah, see my interactions with people over the last while means I don't trust people who don't get right to the point. So tell me your name or get out."

Peter covered his face with his hands.

"He's medicated," Derek said.

"Are you saying that he's not always like this?" Celeste asked.

"Well," Derek said.

"I thought so. There are several layers to who I am, Stiles. Two of them are a little more important to you, though than the other. One, I have taken over the whole of the country as far as Hunters go. The Hales have shown us just what we have left here to run amok. The one you care little about, probably, is that I am more than a Hunter. I have magic in my bones that allows me a leg up on hunting those whole kill humans. You are here because of Hunters. That means that we are going to be taking care of you."

"I mean awesome you are finally taking over the shit show that was made of Hunters in this country but...I really don't give a shit about any of that other than you paying for my medical bills so that Peter won't do it on the sly."

Peter laughed.

"Now, who are you? What is your name?"

"Celeste Gajos," Celeste said.

Peter wasn't sure what that name meant to Stiles, but watching him and seeing how his heart monitor skipped a few beats and then smelling the pure fucking anger that was coming off him meant that it wasn't good. Peter stepped closer but stopped when Stiles looked at him.

"Why did you bring her here?"

"She needs to talk to you about Theo," Derek said.

"She can call my father and talk to him. You might want to pick a different name or have someone else do it. I don't think you'll get the kind of welcome that you want. Leave now before I decide to call security and throw a fit that will make even my doctor actually throw you out.

"Mieczysław," Celeste said.

That made Peter look at her. He had no clue what the hell she just said. The scent of pain had Peter looking back at Stiles. He was sitting up, gripping his side where he was injured. Derek tried to move forward to stop him, but the glare that was sent Derek's way had him stopping.

"Don't you dare ever say my name again. Only my mother and father get to call me that. Leave now, or you will wish that you did."

"I'll escort her out," Peter said. He didn't touch her, but he made it plain that she needed to leave. He made sure that the door was shut behind them. "What is going on? You are from France."

"Poland, actually. My family is from Poland. I've worked a long time to get rid of all traces of accent and only speak with the one that will get me what I want. I had a sister. Mom and Dad divorced, and my father moved to America while my mother stayed in Poland. We were close friends up until then. My sister didn't come back when she turned eighteen. She went to college, and I tried to get her to come to me in Poland. Then she met a man, married him, they had a kid. Then my sister got sick. She never told me. I didn't know how ill she was the last time that she called me. She talked about her son, like he was the best thing in the world. I called her a few times but never got a call back, so I came to visit. First time setting foot on US soil. I found the town she was settled in and her with her husband and son."

"This is a very fascinating story-" Peter stopped speaking when Celeste glared at him.

"My sister's name was Claudia," Celeste said. She looked at her hand and then at Peter again. "Claudia married a name named Noah, and she named her son after our father. Mieczysław Genim."

Peter looked at the room where Stiles was. Mieczysław was the name that she had said.

"He used to go by Mischief, but then he liked Stiles better. I saw her in the hospital, but she was already beyond the help of a werewolf bite or magic. She was dying from a disease that takes the mind."

"Yes, we had an issue last year, and for a short while, we thought that Stiles had it as well. It was found to be wrong. I wouldn't suggest calling the Sheriff at the moment. He's pissed off that his son is being targeted and so maybe send someone else to get the story from Stiles about what happened in Beacon Hills."

"Protect him, Peter Hale. Like he is your own."

"He is my own. He's done more to protect my family than anyone else has done since the fire was set, and my family nearly fully wiped out."

Celeste nodded her head and turned to leave. She stopped at the desk to talk to the doctor for a few seconds before Peter went back into the room. He wasn't shocked to see that Derek was in bed with Stiles and holding him while Stiles sobbed. Derek was confused. His eyebrows held nothing but confusion.

"I'll tell you more later," Peter whispered, knowing that Derek could hear him. Derek nodded in answer.

Peter didn't want to, but he needed to make a call. He slipped out of the room again and found an empty waiting room. He shut and locked the door before calling Noah. He put it on speaker as soon as it started to ring.

"Who is this?" Noah demanded.

"It's Peter."

"Oh, sorry. I've been getting calls from Another blocked number.

"I forgot I had that turned on. I'll text you this number. Stiles is fine. There was a slow bleed, and it's taken care of. As long as he eats in the morning, he'll be fine to go home. I'll set up the computer so you can see him and he can see you. There is a slightly bigger issue."


Peter rubbed his hands over his face. "We have a new Hunter throwing her weight around the arena as it were. And she's going to be dealing with Theo and probably Scott as well. I have a feeling that the Hale Pack will be going back to take care of Beacon Hills before this is all said and done. ="

"And that's the issue?"

"No. That's not the issue. Sorry, my head is spinning. The issue is that the new head will have trouble getting anything out of Stiles about what happened. Oh, and by the way, a name like Mieczysław should be considered child abuse."

"You said it mostly right. How did you hear it?" Noah asked.

"When Celeste Gajos called him that."

"What is she doing there? I don't want her around him."

"He threw her out. She's the head Hunter now. She will be heading your way at some point, to get the information down on Theo and to take him and whatever he's doing out."

"Fucking hell. I'm coming out there. I refuse to let him deal with her alone."

"We have him, Noah. We aren't going to let her touch him. I promise you that. I do. Cora's already working on making sure that he can go to school with her if he wants. Even if it's just for a few months. I'll be escorting him if he does, and she will not be alone with him. I'll have someone else talk to him. I know a Hunter here who is a good guy. The last werewolf that he was put on the path of, he ended up married to him. Trumped up charges, by the way. I don't want to see anything happen to him, even if that means keeping his aunt away from him."

"She wanted to take Stiles away before Claudia died. Celeste always thought that Claudia should move back to Poland and, at one point, with Stiles and without me. I never understood what the issue was, and it seems that I figured it out. She's in the world that we are now a part of, and Claudia didn't want us to be. I have books of hers here. They are in the attic. I'll go up and find them. I'll get one of the kids to help scan stuff and send it if I need it."

"Danny is there in town, somewhere. He stayed at home and did homeschooling after Jackson left, but I've seen him around."

"The hacker kid?"

"Yeah, him. We will protect Stiles here, I promise. No one will get to him, not even Celeste."

"You had better keep that, Hale, or I will show you how much Argent taught me before he left again."

Peter didn't even pout at Noah hanging up after that. It gave him an idea, though. He dialed Argent and waited for the man to answer.

"I don't have a lot of time, Hale," Chris said.

"Neither do I. I'm here in New York with Celeste, and we have a minor issue."

"Which is what?"

"Stiles refuses to talk to her, and given what little I can get, I understand his reasoning. So we need a Hunter here who he can talk to that Celeste will trust."

"You want me to come here? Give me a good reason?"

"Stiles just had surgery to repair the blood vessel that was damaged that was bleeding into his abdomen. He nearly fucked that up, trying to prove to Celeste that he wants nothing to do with her."

"Those Hunters hurt him that much?"


"I'll be there as soon as I can be. I might not be able to leave until morning, though."

"That's fine."

"Why does he hate her? He shouldn't have a single thing against her. She's never killed a supernatural creature."

"Her name is Gajos, yes?" Peter asked.


"So wasn't Stiles' mother's maiden name."

"I see. I..." There was nearly a minute of silence. "I'll try and get there quickly. I can get what you need out of him and not have someone think that you and Derek are causing an issue. One a scale of one to ten."

"I think that he hit orbit with numbers," Peter said.

"I'll be there as soon as I can be."

"See that you do." Peter hung up the phone. He rubbed his face and felt like he had done that more today than he had in a long time.

"Are you Peter Hale?" a voice asked.

Peter looked up. The door had been locked. He stood up, grabbing his phone in time to see Cora behind the man in the door. "Yes."

"I wanted to be sure before leaving this minor in your custody. She picked the lock, and I caught her doing it."

Peter realized that the man was a doctor of some kind, and he was glad that he hadn't called the cops.

"Yes, I forgot to unlock the door. She's pretty good, huh? Uncle is a cop, teaches her things that he shouldn't."

The doctor nodded and left Cora with him.

"How is Stiles?"

"Pissed off, hurt, angry. Three million emotions at once. I'll tell you everything once we go home. I think that Derek will be the best bet to stay with him tonight."

"I want to see him."

"We can see. He had a visitor that left him a little raw emotionally. I don't know if he will want to see anyone, but we can check." Peter walked to the door and drew Cora along with him. He opened the door to Stiles' room to find him asleep. Derek was still on the bed with him. The room smelled of anger and grief, Peter could barely swallow because of it.

"He okay?" Cora asked.

Peter shut the door after pushing her into the room more.

"He's as good as he is going to get. She's why he doesn't have contact with his mother's family. He didn't want to ever see them again. His grandfather on that side was already dead, died when Stiles was still in the womb. From what I understand, there is a large group of them in Europe. Stiles figures they are Hunters. His mother wanted away from that life and didn't want it around Stiles or Noah."

"She chose the wrong city to live in then." Peter knew that Claudia probably didn't know anything about the Hales at first and nothing of the Nemeton, but she had stayed. The family could have moved to anywhere, Beacon City even, and Noah could have stayed a Sheriff's deputy and then become Sheriff. The Sheriff didn't have to live in Beacon Hills, despite it being the county seat. Beacon City was close enough.

"Yes, but then hindsight is twenty-twenty. Stiles didn't know about magic. He and his father assumed that the alternative cures that Celeste was talking about were like the miracle cures that cults talk about or religious fanatics. Now he's thinking about magic and the bite. The only thing is that Claudia was sure that they wouldn't work."

Peter nodded his head at Derek's words. It wasn't a stretch to figure out the truth when confronted with it. At least Stiles wasn't obtuse about it all.

"They are going to be bringing him dinner to see if he can keep it down. Are you staying, or am I?" Derek asked.

"You. He needs comfort more than anything, and he won't want it from me. Cora and I will head home and take care of some things."

Derek nodded his head and looked down at Stiles.

"And nephew, do be a good boy and make sure that he knows your feelings before I clue him in. I'll do it in a way that will embarrass you to death as well as him."

Derek scowled, and his eyes flashed red. Peter took that to mean that he needed to get out of there as soon as possible. Which he knew anyway. He tugged Cora along with him, who was giggling. Peter kissed the top of her head, remembering a time not too long ago really that she was in the hospital. Unlike her, though, Stiles could be cured by doctors. Cora hugged Peter tight like she knew what he was thinking. They were all too attuned to each other.

"Ready to go?" Peter asked.

"Yeah, let's stop at the store and pick up the kinds of things that Stiles can easily grab on his own to eat and makings for that pasta dish of Derek's that he likes."

"Sounds good." It would be good to care for Stiles like that. They could feed him, and Derek could take care of the rest. It's what any good Alpha should do.

Derek rubbed at his eyes as he marched up the stairs to the floor his apartment was on. He stopped when he saw someone standing at the door, hesitating it seemed. Derek was ready to attack when the man turned, and he saw that it was Chris Argent.

"Your family is either not in there or asleep, so they can't hear me."

"Probably asleep. They went on a shopping spree last night that ended up with them in seven different stores to get things for Stiles' bedroom and then for food. They probably stayed up even longer, putting things into Stiles' room. I have a couch you can nap on if you need it. Stiles got the last guest room."

"No, I'm fine. I slept on the plane, actually. Got first class just so that I could. I'm good to go."

"I'm showering and eating something. Stiles threw me out until I did those two things. Then I am going back and getting him. His doctor will be in first thing in the morning to check him out to make sure he's good. He ate like a horse last night and went to the bathroom with me, watching like a hawk so he should be good. They will be doing a scan on him to check to make sure that no more bleeds have happened."

"Celeste is a good woman. I've met with her a few times as she took control of people my father let run wild. But I can understand that the family makes issues hard. I'll do whatever I can to make this easier on Stiles."

"Celeste granted him asylum, no matter what. Well, she's not fighting me giving him asylum and has given me leave to kill anyone who would touch a hair on his head. She had done that before I gave his name. I should have known when I said Stiles and her eyes lit up. I just figured that she had heard of him and was wanting to meet him. I didn't think that she was his aunt."

"I didn't know that the Gajos had people here in America already. So how much of this stuff did Stiles know before?"

"None, his mother wanted out of that life from what they figured out. They thought it was some kind of cult family before, but then to outsiders, Hunters and werewolf Packs kind of look like that anyway."

Derek opened up the door, and he found that Peter had fallen asleep on the couch with his laptop in his lap. Thankfully, he wasn't going to school for the rest of the week. His professors didn't know that it wasn't Derek, but Peter had a huge soft spot for Stiles.

"Dead asleep," Chris said.

"Yeah." Derek looked around to see if he could see Cora, but he couldn't. "I'm gonna shower and see about breakfast. Try not to wake him up unless you have to."

Derek slipped into his bedroom. He stripped naked and got into the shower. The water warmed up quickly, and it felt good. Derek let it run over his body, washing away the grime of the day. He had gotten some sleep in the chair beside Stiles' bed, but he was worn out mentally.

Showering took little time after Derek finally felt like getting himself clean. He dried off and rubbed his fingers through his hair, messing it up the way that Stiles liked. Anything to help Stiles feel better.

Derek was going to make sure that Stiles knew that he wasn't alone.

Cora was up by the time that Derek left the bedroom, dressed for the day. He was wearing a sweater and made sure that the one he picked had thumbholes. Stiles loved him in those shirts for some reason. Stiles had watched Derek more when he was in them. Derek felt a little bad about the manipulation, but it wasn't for anything other than Derek knew that Stiles liked it.

"He's already texting," Cora said.

Derek walked back to his room and grabbed his phone. He found a few messages from Stiles that were not in the Hale Family Chat as Stiles called it. He also found a few messages to just him. Derek backtracked to the room that was to be Stiles' and pulled out the pillow that was stuffed down into his backpack. He carried it to the living room and laid it on the couch. Peter was in the kitchen, drinking from a cup of coffee.

"That Stiles' pillow?" Cora asked.

"Yes. He has issues sleeping without it, and he's gonna wanna nap, so he wanted me to bring it out. He's approved to head home. The doctor was in early, and his urine output was fine, and he ate enough to make him happy overnight, and this morning. So I'm going to eat and head in to get him. His scripts were filled by the in-hospital pharmacy, so we won't need to head about and get those."

"I'll cook lunch," Peter said.

"I'll handle dinner." Derek looked at Chris, who was set up in the living room with a laptop on his lap. "Let him handle what he wants to tell you and when. If he's too tired when he gets back, leave him alone."

"I promise I will. He'll sleep if he needs it, everything will be fine. I don't plan on hurting him. Not even for the fact that you all would hurt me and tell his father but just because he's the innocent in this. I was pissed when I found out what Scott did."

"What did Scott do?" Peter asked.

"It's less what he didn't do, which was trust, Stiles. Stiles didn't like that Theo was randomly showing up like he did. He found a few things that made everything suspect, but all that Scott did was tell him that he trusted everyone because Stiles trusted no one. Looks though like Stiles' thoughts were correct. Theo is a sociopathic piece of shit, and that's saying something considering the family I grew up in. Theo has Scott believing that Stiles killed Theo's parents because he was jealous of the fact that Scott was spending time with Theo and not him. No matter what, when Scott's got a girlfriend, he drops Stiles like a hot rock. If that were the issue, Stiles would have killed me and my wife and Kira's parents. By the way, Kira's parents are forcing her to not see him. Like more than Victoria and I did. She's at school with her father or home with her mother, and that's it. They don't like how Scott has treated Stiles and that it's all come out about Theo and the Hunters that Theo sicced on Stiles. Beacon Hills is a shit show right now."

"Scott's made too many adult decisions without facing the consequences because he's not an adult," Derek said.

"That's how Noah feels, and he's going to be making sure that Scott's held for every single decision that he makes."

"Good," Peter said.

Derek nodded his head. He looked over at Cora, who was wearing headphones and doing something on her laptop. He wasn't sure if she was going to be going to school or not. She had perfect attendance so far, and missing a few days wasn't going to be an issue. Derek walked over to stand in front of her. He tapped her foot with his.

Cora looked up at him and took her headphones off. "Yeah?"

"School? Need me to call you out?"

"Nah, I called the school and told them that my brother had major surgery after being mugged. My teachers will email me my assignments and anything I miss in class. I stayed out for the week."

"Okay, just make sure you stay up on your stuff."

"I will."

Derek turned back to head into the kitchen to get something for breakfast but found Peter pulling a muffin tray out of the oven. He saw that it was some of the egg casserole things that Cora loved to make. He was glad of it. It would be good food for them for the morning. Stiles could even eat one or two if he got hungry.

"There are three each for us. Christopher said he already ate. Then that will leave three for Stiles to snack on. His has the cheese he likes already in them instead of cheddar."

"Thanks," Derek said after Peter pointed out the three.

"Cora made them. I just pulled them out." Peter used a fork to get his three out before he pulled out three more. He handed that plate to Derek and waved at Cora.

After dropping off Cora's food, Derek found that Peter had gotten his out and made Derek a cup of coffee.

"So, plans?" Peter asked.

"Well, the couch will be pretty much Stiles'. He can lay down as he wants, sleep, or sit up. I'm sure he'll want the TV on to entertain himself. Chris will want to talk to him. We can go away during that or stay, depending on what Stiles wants."

"I have to go and pick up a few things. Our first aid kit for humans lacked a few things I know we will need with his incisions and the care of them. The preferred store for that doesn't open until ten."

"You mean the fancy one," Cora said. She carried her plate into the kitchen and grabbed a cup of coffee. "I'm going to try and talk to him to transfer here. He's eighteen, he can do it. Then he can go to school with me and not be stuck here all day long. Once he's cleared to go back."

"We shall see. I don't want to force him into something that he doesn't want. From what I understand, he probably doesn't even need to go any further than the end of this year."

"Like December end of the year?" Cora asked.

"Yes. So don't push too hard."

"I won't." Cora pouted a little bit.

Derek rolled over in bed. He wasn't sure what woke him up, but as soon as he dropped his arm down over a body, he figured out what it was. He pushed his eyes to see and hoped the red glow didn't wake up, whoever was in bed with him. Cora had slipped in his bed a few times after they had landed in New York. Nightmares of her death or his fresh in her mind.

This wasn't Cora, though. This was Stiles. It had been a month since he had been released from the hospital. Celeste had been in their life for a little while, and then she was gone, back to LA, and then to Beacon Hills to deal with everything there. Derek didn't know why Stiles was in his bed at the moment.

Derek looked beyond the bed to see Peter holding up his phone. Derek nodded, and Peter shut the door. Peter had been listening for Derek to wake up. Grabbing his phone, he opened it up and saw a long series of texts from Peter.

It took five minutes for Derek to read them because he read a few two times to make sure that he wasn't reading too deep into what Peter was saying. Derek had gone to bed early after an early morning wake up that had him tired long before he normally was. It seemed that afterward, Celeste had called Stiles to discuss what was being done. Derek was pissed about that right up until he read the last message. Peter wasn't sure exactly what happened, but it seemed that Stiles might have been offered a job once he had training. What training, Peter wasn't sure.

Derek looked down at Stiles again before he set his phone down. He could guess what was going on with the way that Stiles was sleeping in his bed. Nightmares were a bitch, and Stiles got them when he thought about Gerard. He had done it a few times before Derek had left Beacon Hills after Kate had been finally and fully dealt with. Derek had never told anyone. He hadn't wanted Scott to get upset about it and make Stiles stop it. It was understandable that Stiles would want to feel safe when he slept and that sometimes when his father was not home, that meant Stiles went to Derek. The Sheriff had been more than aware after one time checking on Stiles while he was on patrol.

The Sheriff had called Stiles' phone, and that had woken up Derek. Noah had been happy after everything that had happened that Stiles felt safe with him. Derek was glad that Stiles had headed toward him when all of this started.

Derek pulled the blankets up their bodies and got closer to Stiles, who felt cold. He hoped that Stiles slept better now that he was in Derek's bed. He let himself fall asleep with the sound of Stiles' beating heart and breaths in his ears.

Morning came, and Derek woke up again, he found the bed empty, but when he looked at the time, he saw it was a little past when Stiles seemed to wake up lately. Derek got ready and slipped out to find that Stiles was on the couch with his laptop on his lap and a pair of headphones in his ears. Peter and Cora were finishing out the week's classes, and then they were both on winter break. Derek had been looking forward to that for a while now. They were headed back to Beacon Hills to spend the holiday with Stiles' father. Thanksgiving had been something that had bummed Stiles out as he wasn't ready to go back, and his father wasn't off long enough to make the trip out and back worth it.

Stiles' leg was bouncing up and down, but the rest of his body was pretty still outside of the hand scrolling. Derek knew that Stiles had taken his medication; otherwise, his body would be hard to sit at all. He was just antsy. Derek figured that when he was ready to talk about what was going on, Derek would know about it.

"Columbia has a hidden school, did you know that?" Stiles asked a little while later.

Derek was sitting at his computer, working on what he needed to do for the day, which was very little. He had been working more than he normally did since Stiles worked on his computer for long hours for school. He was officially done, though, and had graduated. He would be getting his diploma from Beacon Hills High School soon and be able to apply to whatever schools he wanted to start soon.

"No. I didn't know that. What is it?"

"For supernaturals and Hunters. Normally the main line is all sent. Gerard went to a school on the West Coast. Yale and Harvard have hidden schools as well. I applied to get into all three."

"Really?" Derek got up from his desk chair and settled down in the comfortable chair that he liked to sit in and watch TV.

"Yes. The Gajos family will pay for me to go. I'll be able to go to any of them."

"For what?"

"Becoming the head of the Hunter families in America."

"What?" Derek looked up at him and was shocked. He thought that Stiles would maybe lead the arm of the Gajos here in America but every one of them? Every single Hunter group that wanted to work in the US?

"Yeah. I guess the decision over the past month is that they need to be together under one banner. There will still be the families, and they can do what they need, but before a kill is made, I have to be contacted. I don't know if I want that."

"You wouldn't be allowed to be in a Pack," Derek said.

"Oh, no. I would be. Celeste is married and mated to a werewolf, she's an Alpha Mate. The best Hunter families overseas are, I guess, paired with a Pack. I would officially be part of the Hale pack. Celeste told me that it would be better if I was mated to a wolf in the Pack. She suggested Cora. I laughed at her. She now thinks I have the hots for Peter, which is just..." Stiles laughed. "He's got that UST thing with Chris going on and then Chris likes Dad. Dad asked a lot about Peter. I guess when they were working together to get Kate thrown in prison, they bonded. I'm now just waiting for the train to crash. I have a bet with Parrish about who is going to be the first to suggest a three-person relationship. I really hope it's Peter. Parrish thinks it's going to be Chris."

Derek thought about that, and how about Stiles' father was more than accepting of things, and he figured that it would be him. "What's the bet?"

"Two hundred bucks. Parrish has my money. We did a thing with it being in a drawer there at the station. Why?"

"I want in on your father being the first," Derek said. He had the money and could give it to Parrish when they made it to Beacon Hills. He could see Noah doing it. Derek had plans to leave Peter in Beacon Hills to act as the Hale Pack for now. Derek planned to move back when Cora was in college. He wondered if he could talk Cora into applying to and accepting places at the schools where Stiles wanted to go. It would be better for Derek since he couldn't really follow them anywhere but Columbia. Harvard and Yale both had ties to very strong Packs, and those Packs would look over them both and protect them while there, but they wouldn't like Derek there for long term. Visits would be fine.

"Sure, that sounds good. I'll text Parrish." Stiles picked up his phone and did just that. He laughed at something on his phone and dropped it down again. "I've got a good chance at any of them, given what I'll be applying as. There will be a normal degree, but a few of those classes for it will be handled by other things. I think that I can do the whole seven years. I need to get what I want done in five. It'll be really easy to do it in five for me, given how I do school as it stands now. I just need to figure out which school.

"If you get in for January, you'll have to go alone if it's Yale or Harvard."

"Oh, I know. I've talked to Cora already about college, and she'll be able to and willing to follow me to any of them. I know that I'll get into Columbia. They would bend over backward to have me."


"Because of Mom's family. Columbia has a long history of being the main school to teach most Hunters in the country. They were upset to learn that none of the Argents would go there after Gerard's generation. Gerard's brother was taught there, but then he died. It seemed hella weird to me, but hey, what do I know of the ways that Gerard's mind worked?" Stiles closed his laptop and looked at Derek. "What do you want me to do?"

"I want you to get the best education you can. I want you to be happy. If you want to run the Hunters, do it."

"Do you know the only reason that I would? To know about all of the Packs that are out there so that I can stop people like Kate and Gerard from ever touching another Pack like they did. I would kill anyone to be able to do it. I think I would like being a Hunter. It would be nice to actually have people look at me as someone to look up to. After a few years of no one believing me when I'm right kind of makes me wanna look at the idiots and tell them that they are stupid and no matter what they think, they are going to do as I say. It would be really, really fucking nice."

Derek nodded his head at that. It did sound like something that Stiles would like. It would also elevate the Hales.

"Why did my mom never do anything like that?"

"Well, I asked Celeste about that last night, and it seems that your mother was rather isolationist. She hoped that it would keep her and hers from Hunters instead of making you all a prime target. It seems weird as hell to be, but I can see it. I mean, it's fucking wrong, and I know you loved your mother, but I have issues, dude. So many issues."

Derek snorted. He and Peter had talked a lot about a lot of things. He knew that things had been a lot different for Talia's kids than it had been for Peter and Talia growing up. Peter had been so much closer to the kids in age than Talia, so it had been hard for Peter to remember much before she had taken over as Alpha when their parents wanted to retire from the life. Then they had died in a car accident, and Peter had been raised the rest of the way by Talia.

"How do you feel?" Derek asked.

"Good. God, I've been good for a while now, Derek, you don't need to keep on asking me time and again." Stiles didn't say it mean, though, and he kind of smiled as he looked at Derek. He looked like he was making a decision. He got up and walked over to where Derek was sitting. He placed a knee on one side of Derek, and when he didn't move to shove him away, Stiles settled his other on the other side of Derek.

Derek reached out and pulled Stiles closer by his hips. He held onto him tightly and smiled as the scent of Stiles changed from hesitant to happy. Derek slipped his hands back to wrap around Stiles' waist. He held him close as Stiles pressed his forehead to Derek's.

"I don't want to leave you, but I have to," Stiles said.

"It's just a few years, and I can visit at least monthly. We can call. You won't be long without me."

"There are schools out west that I can go to, but none of them have the prestige that I need to take over, and I want to if you want me to."

"I do. I want to make sure that no one will ever be able to come after us again."

"All of the Hunters in the country would have to come and help if I ever came under fire by rogue Hunters. We would be safe in so many ways. We can make friends with other Packs, we can offer them safety and someone to contact if they are under attack by anyone."

"What about those in Mexico?"

"They would be unable to cross the border without infringing on my rights. I can't and would not claim Mexico, but it would mean that their areas in the south would have to be handed over. The Hunters could stay and join us or go back south. I would make sure that there was a Hunter family in every single state or at least a group of them. It would be better for us all if I have fewer to deal with. At the moment, there are only forty families, but a few have cadet branches that would be willing to move a state over and cover."

Derek listened as Stiles talked for a long while about what he had learned from people who had been emailing him about things. He had been working on that on his computer after getting his last school things mailed in. The scent of Stiles was nice as he talked. The fear that had driven him to Derek's bed was leaving him. Derek hoped that it was just the thought of Gerard that had him worried. He seemed to be better now, so Derek hoped.

When Derek couldn't take the scent of him anymore, he leaned up and brushed his lips over Stiles'. Stiles paused and looked down at Derek, his eyes were but happy. Derek was about to lean in and kiss him again, but Stiles ducked down and brushed their lips together first. Stiles didn't do more than that, so Derek kept one arm wrapped around his back and lifted the other up to cup the back of his head to hold him in place for a kiss. It was a good kiss, slow and closed-mouthed but it was still really, really good.

"I wanna do that more," Stiles whined as Derek pulled out of the kiss.

"So do I, but the couch would be better." Derek stood up, making Stiles grip him tight so that he didn't fall. Derek walked them over to the couch and settled Stiles down on his back. He looked down at him with a smile on his face. This was where everything had been leading over the past month, and Derek loved it. He loved the slow build of it, but he figured that slow had gone out the window with kissing, at least for tame sexual acts. Stiles tried to pull him down, but Derek resisted.

"Aw, come on, Sourwolf," Stiles begged.

"I will, but I want to savor this. I've dreamed of this longer than I would like to admit."

Stiles blushed, but he stopped trying to tug Derek down on top of him. He smiled up at Derek, watching his face as Derek drank in the sight of him under Derek.

A few minutes later, Derek was content with the sight, he would see it more, but he wanted to make a memory out of the first time. Just like he would probably do the same the first time that Stiles was naked under him. There were a lot of firsts left for them, and Derek wanted to do them all.

The End