Stiles was tired. He just wanted to go to sleep and stay like that for days. His body was demanding more sleep than he currently wanted to give it. If he stayed in one place too long, they would find him. Fucking Hunters, who had paired up with the McCall pack to hunt down Stiles after framing him for the murders that Theo had done. Stiles knew that he had a few people he could go to, and they would protect him, but he didn't want to put them at risk. He'd already cost his father his job.
After the murders had been pinned on Stiles, Noah had lost his job. Stiles hadn't contacted him in over two years. He mailed a postcard from the cities he was in on the last day of each month as a way of proving that he was alive. But the calls had stopped after two years. When he couldn't take hearing his father begging him to come. Noah just didn't get that Stiles going back was going to be the death of him. Theo wasn't going to stop until he was dead, with Scott right on his heels.
Stiles figured that his father didn't care anymore. He'd seen the look in his father's eyes when he told him to run, giving him the cash that he had on hand. Stiles wasn't sure that his father didn't think that he had done it. It started with Donovan's death, and then Theo had gone on a killing spree and had set Stiles up for it all.
Finding a nice tree, Stiles settled down at the base of it to eat the food that he had bought one town over before he had left. He had stayed longer, working the ranch as he had learned how to do from other places. The ranch was remote, and no one cared enough to talk to him. It was summer, so there was plenty of day work that he could do. They even had a bunkhouse that he was allowed to stay in. He'd been able to clean all of his clothes and stock up on a lot of the staples of his walking life. He had mailed out the postcard in an envelope to another friend he had made a year before. They would postmark it from their city in northern California.
"Mick?" a voice called out.
Stiles reached down for the knife at his hip and looked at the direction from which the voice had come. It was Steve from the ranch. Stiles had stuck around long enough to learn it. He frowned. No one should have been able to track him here. Yeah, he had walked, but there was a good section of it where he had hitched down the highway before being let off before the truck had gone in a direction Stiles didn't want to go.
Making sure to not make a noise, Stiles drew his knife out. He would stab Mick with it if he acted like he was going to be a threat.
"There you are," another voice said as a man stepped around a tree and put himself into Stiles' line of sight. "I've got him, Steve."
Stiles stood up slowly, keeping his eye on the other man.
"Just let me leave," Stiles said.
"No can do. I've been paid a pretty penny to grab you. Thanks, Steve."
Stiles looked at Steve, who looked a little worried. Like he was just now figuring out that he might have done something that wasn't good.
"Stiles, you are going to make a lot of money for me."
Stiles knew then that he was going to have to kill to escape. He had stopped caring about that three years ago. The men who were after him were going to kill him. There was no courtroom for him. He was going to die for crimes that he hadn't done. He refused to take it lying down, though. Hence why would kill anyone.
"Steve, I like you. I know that you didn't mean for this to happen. Get the hell out of here and never speak of me again to anyone."
Stiles watched as Steve took off running, and he turned to face the Hunter that was after him. He grinned at the man and drew his other blade out. He wasn't the weak boy that he had been four years before. His body was covered scars, and he had more muscle than fat. Though not all of that was from the training that he had been doing.
"Do you really wanna fight, boy?" The man looked ready to fight, and given how he was pristine on the scarred front, Stiles was sure that the man hadn't lost a fight in a very long time.
Stiles crouched to get ready to fight, but then he heard the crunch of someone else. He spun around and saw two other men there. One of them had a taser, and before Stiles could move, he fired it. Stiles tried to dodge it, but then another man grabbed him, holding him right there. Stiles couldn't move, his body seized with the pain of being shocked with electricity. Then just when it stopped, Stiles tried to move, but before he could, he felt a prick of pain on his neck. He knew that he was going to be knocked out.
The world turned on its head, and darkness crept in. Stiles' only thought was that if they wanted to kill him, they should have just done it there.
Stiles woke up to darkness. He didn't move as he took in the sounds of his surroundings. There were the sounds of cars, but those were distant. It didn't sound like Beacon Hills, so he hadn't been brought there to die. It took a few seconds for Stiles to realize that he was on something soft. He moved his hand just a little and found that it was a bed. He opened up his eyes and looked to see that he was in a normal bedroom.
It was stupid as hell to not have him in a cell of some kind. He listened to the room to see if there was the sound of someone else in the room. There wasn't. Stiles moved, and his body protested that movement. He had been still for too long. He figured maybe twelve hours or so. He got to his feet and looked around the room. It was not very secure at all. He found the window that had a fire escape under it, and the window was unlocked. He lifted the window and slipped out. His backpack was there by the window, and he slipped back inside and grabbed it.
It didn't take long at all for him to get to the street level. He looked at the cars that were passing by at the end of the alley and found that they were on the wrong side of the road. Countries who drove on the left were few now, and while there were some, none of them were in the time that it had been since he had been taken. He looked at his watch and confirmed that he had been out of it around sixteen hours. Given time to get him to and from the airports plus time to wake up, there was no way that he had been taken to New Zealand or Australia. He could only be in Great Britain.
Stiles had no clue why he had been brought here. If the Hunters wanted him taken care of, he would have been taken to France. He wasn't sure what the hell was going on, but he wasn't going to just stick around. He had no clue what he could do to get to safety. He didn't know how this place worked. His wallet though, hadn't been touched. He had American money, but he could find a place to change it in. He hoped, at least.
It wasn't fully dark, so Stiles was able to slip away from where he was. He found a pub and slipped into it. It was pretty full, but Stiles was able to find a place to hide. He dug around in his backpack and found that his phone hadn't been taken either. He really wondered at the smarts of the men who had taken him captive. He debated calling someone, but he had no one to call.
The doors to the pub opened up, and two men entered.
"How in the hell could they lose him?" one of the said. Stiles kind of recognized the voice.
"It's Stilinski, they didn't even try and lock him up," the other said and that voice Stiles knew.
Stiles wasn't sure what the hell Jackson was doing here or why he was part of the men who had taken him captive.
"He was here. There are too many people, and I can't tell if he's still here," Ethan said as he looked around.
"You are the one that sent a Hunter after him who kidnapped him instead of asking him to come along."
"Stilinski was never going to go with anyone, and you refused to let me go after him. He would have come with me. So I went with someone who would never harm a soul. He said that Stiles would have killed him to get away, so he went with the best option. Stiles was mostly unharmed. Whatever they gave him wore off before it should have."
Stiles picked up the straw that was lying on his table and threw it at Jackson. It hit him right on the cheek. He turned, and his eyes locked onto Stiles.
"There you are!" Jackson looked happy to see him.
There was never a day where Stiles thought that Jackson would be happy to see him. Ethan and Jackson slipped into the booth opposite him.
"I'm sorry," Ethan said.
"Jackson was supposed to be there when you woke up. The dosage of medication given to help you sleep to make sure you didn't hurt anyone was incorrect."
"Why am I here?" Stiles asked.
"It took us two years to find you, a location, anything that allowed us to track you well enough. Your postcards to your father were hidden well. It was a random sighting that let us figure out where you were."
"But why?" Stiles asked.
"Peter and Derek have been looking for you for two years as well. Derek is the one that called me. When they heard about what happened to you. After you got Peter out of Eichen, he felt bad for not being able to protect you on that front."
"What about..." Stiles swallowed.
"Your father got his job back. The FBI invaded Beacon Hills with McCall's father at the helm. Scott's in jail, Theo is dead, the FBI is well aware of the supernatural. It's quite interesting to see the shit that was rained down on that town. Theo had his parents held hostage in their own house. It's a fucking shit show that the FBI is pinning on the former Sheriff who your father took over for once it was found that he was allowing murders to happen in his town."
"I-" Stiles inhaled. It felt like he couldn't breathe.
"What's wrong with him?" Ethan asked.
Stiles tried to answer, but he couldn't. He heard movement around him, and then there was a hand on his chest. Stiles was pulled into Jackson's arms. Jackson kept on hand on his chest, talking to his softly, telling him that he was safe and just breathe.
"Name five things you can see," Jackson said after a few minutes.
Stiles listed five random things in his line of sight.
"Okay, four more," Jackson said.
They went through the whole routine, and by the end, Stiles' chest felt tight, but he could breathe easily now.
"Do you wanna get out of here?" Jackson asked.
Stiles nodded his head.
"Ethan, go drop a tip off at the bar and tell them that everything is fine."
Ethan slipped out of the booth and headed to the bar. Stiles watched him go, seeing Ethan talking to the man who was standing there. The man looked at Stiles, and Stiles smiled at him. He looked around to see that many of the staff were checking on them. Wherever they were, these people knew that something was wrong with Stiles ad they were making sure that he was going with Jackson and Ethan willingly. It was a strange occurrence for Stiles, who had been treated like shit in Beacon Hills before he left. No one would have lifted a finger piss on him if he was on fire.
"How are you doing?" Jackson asked as he slipped out of the seat and held out his hand to help Stiles up and out.
"Really fucking tired," Stiles said.
"Well, we walked here so you'll have to walk back. Ethan will grab your bag."
Stiles debated that for a few seconds. It was his life. Everything that he owned was in there. He looked at Jackson to see that he looked calm and centered in a way that he had never been before. Stiles nodded his head. He laughed when he saw Ethan moving to grab it before following when with a grin on his face. Stiles felt safe, and he hadn't felt safe for a long time.
"What's going to happen now?"
"Well, the FBI wants to talk to you, and I'll set that up."
"The local Alpha that we have been living under has taken you under his wing. He's high enough in the British hierarchy that no one is going to tell him that he has to give you up. So you are going to do a Skype meeting with the FBI. He's downright fucking pissed about what the Hunters have been allowed to go unchecked in the United States."
Stiles let his mind go over that. It seemed like things were very, very different in at least England. He wasn't sure, though. He hadn't trusted anyone in a very, very long time. Jackson and Ethan didn't make him talk as they headed back to the house that Stiles had woken up in.
There were a lot of people in the living room when Ethan let them into the building. Stiles looked at all of them, memorizing their faces and making sure that he would know them if they came into his room to kill him. Jackson and Ethan stayed between them and Stiles as Jackson introduced him around.
"Gareth will be here in a little bit to introduce himself."
"And who is that?" Stiles asked.
"Our Alpha," Ethan said.
"Ah. Does someone want to show me to my room?"
Ethan snorted a little but waved his hand toward the stairs. They went up three floors. The place looked like it used to be apartments.
"Flats?" Stiles asked. He was glad he at least knew that term.
"Yes. Alpha bought. Most of the Pack lives here, but the Alpha's in secure housing due to his job. The bills are all divided by how many of us live here at the time. Shit's super cheap then, even food."
Ethan showed Stiles into the room that he had slipped out of earlier.
"If you wanna nap, go ahead. We can wake you before Gareth leaves."
Stiles nodded his head. He wasn't going to, but he wasn't going to insult Ethan.
"So, just...don't run off again, okay? Jackson freaked the hell out, and a few of the Betas are still healing. Someone was supposed to be outside your door listening, but they went to the bathroom without someone replacing them. They've never had to deal with this kind of stuff. The worst they have is taking in an Omega and finding a Pack for them if they don't like us."
Stiles nodded his head again, and Ethan slipped out of the room, shutting the door behind him. No lock was clicked into place. Stiles dumped his bag onto the bed and went through it fully. There was nothing missing, and nothing was even an inch out of place. They hadn't even gone through his bag.
Jackson's Alpha had paid money to have Stiles brought to him. It had been fucked up a little, but Stiles could see where Ethan was coming from. He never would have gone with anyone who he didn't know with the carrot dangled at the end that Jackson and Ethan were who he was being taken to. Hell, Stiles hadn't even known that Ethan had ended up in London. Stiles wondered if that was where Derek had sent Jackson to. He knew that Jackson's parents had talked to Derek before moving to London.
There was a phone in the room, and Stiles wasn't sure if he wanted to call his father or not. The FBI was probably listening in on his phone calls. He looked at his cell. He had paid for an international plan for it just because he had been heading toward Mexico for a while. He thought that maybe he could head further south and hit where Cora was.
Stiles dialed a number he hadn't ever called a lot. His original cell phone had been left behind in Beacon Hills. No one had this number even if he had everyone's numbers programmed into it that he cared about.
"Hale," Derek said.
Stiles bit his lip to stop the gasp from coming out.
"Hello?" Derek asked again, his tone softer, not angry.
Stiles could hear voices in the background, and he nearly hung up.
"Stiles?" Derek asked, his tone even softer.
That broke Stiles. He sobbed and laid down on the bed, curling around himself as much as possible.
"Oh, Stiles." The sounds around Derek were getting less. He was going somewhere where others weren't. Stiles was probably interrupting something Pack related.
"Son?" another voice said, and it was his father. That made Stiles sob even harder.
"It's Stiles," Derek said.
"Stiles?" Noah asked.
"Daddy," Stiles said back. He sobbed harder, listening to his father's soft words as he tried to calm down Stiles.
Stiles wasn't sure how long he cried, but his throat felt raw, and the bed was soaked before he could calm down enough.
"Are you safe, Stiles?"
"I'm with Gareth's Pack in London, along with Jackson and Ethan."
"Jackson?" Noah asked.
"I thought you two hated each other."
"I'll go with anyone if they saved me," Stiles said. He rolled onto his back and looked up at the ceiling.
"Hold on, Son. Derek wants me to put it on speaker."
"Okay." Stiles listened as the sound on the other end went from hearing stuff in the background to it being front and center.
"Have you met Gareth yet?" Derek asked.
"No, he is on his way, though."
"Gareth is a good man, a good Alpha. He's the Pack that I had Jackson get in contact with in London. He'll protect you."
"He's already working with the FBI for me to talk to them over the computer. Jackson and Ethan said that he wasn't going to give me up."
"No. Rafe's in control of the case, and he made sure that the order of kill on sight was stopped."
Stiles felt fear at that. He was glad that no one had found him.
"And the Hunters that Scott sicced me?"
"They are all in jail. Using files that Gerard Argent had left behind helped everyone find just enough to throw in jail nearly every Hunter that Scott had turned loose on you."
"And Scott's in jail?"
"Yes. Supernatural prison. It's one of the off the books ones. The place is pretty swanky. Each cell is made for whoever needs to be held there. Deaton is there as well."
"Deaton?" Stiles had felt weird about the guy since it was known that he was the Emissary for Talia Hale. The little bit of learning that he had done it, meant that Deaton had failed at his job several times when Derek was a teenager.
"He had a list of crimes against him, normal and Supernatural. Beacon Hills is safe, Stiles. I promise you. You can come home. Derek and I have made it safe for you."
"Who is the Alpha?" Stiles asked.
"There isn't one right now. Derek and Peter are operating as the second and third for the Alpha that will be taking over."
"Some fucking random Alpha is going to take over Beacon Hills? Who the fuck allowed that?" Stiles sat up, and he saw Jackson standing there at the end of the bed. He nearly hit his head on him. Jackson's eyes glowed red in the darkness of the room. "Holy shit. How in the hell did you become an Alpha?"
"Gareth found one for me. After we figured out the hell that Beacon Hills had gone to, Derek and I talked. Derek doesn't want to be Alpha. Peter is happy in the shadows. It's better if a Hale bitten wolf becomes Alpha. Cora doesn't want it either. So Gareth found me an Alpha who was abusing his Pack. I killed him, and the rest of the Pack went where they wanted. I've been an Alpha for a year and training under Gareth. He tells me I'm ready to go back to Beacon Hills and protect my home. You'll come with us."
"Who all from this Pack is going?"
"Just Ethan. Malia and Liam are bound to Derek, and other than getting a crash course in being Shifters, they are ready for me. Satomi Ito has been training them."
"And what about everyone else?"
"Like Lydia? She's dating a Sheriff's Deputy...Parrish?" Jackson asked.
"Did we ever figure out what he was?" Stiles asked. He saw the door open again, and a man in a suit stepped in. Stiles swallowed and knew that this was Gareth. He wasn't built like Derek, there were muscles under that suit, but he wasn't a tank. He still put off the waves of energy that let Stiles know that he was an Alpha. Stiles looked at Jackson and tried to figure out why he didn't feel like that.
"Hellhound," Derek said offhandedly like he knew that Stiles was paying attention to something else.
"Ah. I think that Gareth is here now. I'll call you back, Dad."
"No one is tapping my phones so you can call me. I'm at the Pack House, so if you want to call over the landline, you can. Jackson has the number. I love you, Mieczysław."
"Fucking hell, I love you too, but fuck you for using my name."
Derek was laughing in the background. It sounded like he was laughing more, it didn't sound so strange and weird out of his mouth. Noah was laughing as well, and it sounded just as good. Stiles could be happy. He could be free. He just had to get home.
"Love you, Dad. So much. I'll see you soon, okay." Stiles hung up after his father said goodbye. He swallowed and looked at Gareth.
"Alpha..." Stiles realized that no one had said his name.
"You can call me Gareth, Mister Stilinski, but my name is Gareth Mallory." Gareth held out his hand, and Stiles stood up to shake it. He felt the snot still on his face but kind of ignored it.
Jackson disappeared into the bathroom and came out a few seconds later with a wet and dry cloth. Stiles wiped his face and then dried it.
"Sorry," Stiles said.
"Do not be sorry for an outpouring of emotions after the life you've lived for the last four years. I need to have someone meet me here, but I wanted to ask you before I allowed her into the house."
"It's your house, dude."
Stiles heard Jackson snort at that, and Gareth's eyebrow kind of raised up, but Stiles wasn't backing down on the dude. Nothing else was said, so Stiles figured that Jackson and Ethan had told Gareth all about Stiles' way of acting.
"Yes, but from the family history, I think that it's up to you. I would like her to explain what is going to happen in the States as she will be the one in direct control of that, but she will send someone else if you want."
"Dude, I don't know anyone from over here. I mean, I have some extended family, but I've not seen them since I was a very young child. Mom refused to see them when she was sick."
"Like your Aunt Celeste?" Gareth asked.
Stiles hissed at him. Gareth didn't even flash his eyes when Stiles got into his face. "Don't ever fucking say her name!"
"I have my answer then. Jackson, give her a call and tell her to send someone else."
"Wait? You are serious...she's here in London?"
"She wanted to see her nephew for herself, but I told her that I would never allow it unless you wanted it."
"What does she have to do with this?"
"The Gajos family is the head of Hunter operations in Poland and the surrounding areas."
Stiles sat down on the bed again. It made sense. Hearing his aunt plead for his mother to take a cure. Stiles had thought they were some crackpots. His mother and her father had moved to the Beacon Hills area when she had been a child. Her mother had gotten custody of Celeste. That side of the family was never really talked about. His mother had never said a damned thing about the Supernatural. She had to know that the Hales were in the area. Did she think that Stiles would never have gotten involved in it? How many times as a kid, had he gone into the Preserve? He could have stumbled upon the Hales and their werewolfiness at any point in time.
"Stiles?" Jackson asked.
"I just...need a few minutes here. You don't have to leave just...let me think."
Gareth nodded, and Jackson sat down on the bed, a few inches away from Stiles.
His mother's family was Hunters. Stiles wasn't sure if he wanted to know what kind of Hunters they were. Chris had gotten better, been less of an asshole, and more of a help, but he had a lot of sins to deal with on how he had let his family get away with murder for years because he was too stuck up his own ass to see.
"Are they good?" Stiles asked.
"The Gajos is one of the best Hunter families. The European branch of the Argents can have their rotten eggs, but the Gajos has never had one."
"I heard my mom talking about my aunt's husband. How she didn't like him."
"That's because Sven is an asshole. He's hypercritical of everyone. He's the enforcer for his Pack, and he has been well aware that he will never be an Alpha. He hated your mother for reasons that I've never been privy to."
"You'll make her leave if I don't want to talk to her?"
"Yes," Jackson said.
Gareth nodded his head.
"Then I'll meet with her."
Stiles looked at the woman who came into the house. He vaguely remembered her from when he was a kid, mainly because she looked a hell of a lot like his mother. Claudia and Celeste could have passed for twins, except there were a few years between them.
"Mieczysław," Celeste said.
"What do you want?" Stiles asked.
Jackson, Ethan, and Gareth were the only ones in the room. It was Gareth's office in the building. Gareth though was sitting in a chair off to the side, and Stiles had been pushed down into the chair behind the desk. Celeste was sitting across from him.
"Down to business then." Celeste sounded like she was very upset at that. She hadn't tried to contact them at all since Stiles' mother died.
"You are just like your father," Celeste said.
"There are worse men that I could be like."
The look on Celeste's face said that she thought that Noah was the worst.
"Your mother wanted you raised ignorant. I have to wonder what would have happened if you hadn't been."
"You mean if I had gotten ahold of other Hunters? I've not met a single one that I could trust. I don't know you, and while you are married to a Werewolf, that means jack shit to me. Kate Argent regularly raped underage werewolf teenagers to be able to kill their families. I mean...there is a lot that one can do to get close to the enemy."
"What do you get out of meeting with me then?" Celeste asked.
"I wanted to see what you spewed at me. So spew it so I can get some sleep and more food."
"You could technically start up a branch of Hunters in California. You have the Gajos bloodline in you. You could help protect."
"I give little care for anyone that's not in Beacon Hills. It's going to take a long time for anyone in the United States to trust Hunters. I'd rather be aligned with a Wolf Pack and do good from there."
"You could do more as a Hunter."
"Lady, you don't understand what Gerard Argent did to the country. Even the fucking Calaveras overstepped and did shit that they were allowed to do. Because there was no one checking them. The FBI knows about the Supernatural. They will do well at taking that over. I would rather see the FBI take it over anyway. You can sit on high and pass judgment, but you haven't been there. Gerard Argent killed good deputies by firing into a police station just so he could take control of a Kanima. He didn't care about protecting anyone. He wanted to become a werewolf so he could live. Then he got bit and was going to kill the Alpha that bit him so that he could be the Alpha. There is nothing good about Hunters in the United States. I'd rather see them all crash and burn. None of them are worth saving in my eyes. Those that held to the code still allowed others to break it. Good men doing nothing and allowing evil to reign is done with."
Celeste looked like she had sucked on a lemon, but she said nothing.
"I told you," Gareth said.
"You did. And I hoped that he had some affection for me."
"The lady who never visited my mom until she was dying? The lady who screamed that she was killing herself."
"She wanted nothing to do with the family."
"I heard her tell Dad once you know. That she had told her mother that she wanted nothing to do with the family business. Not the family. In the end, the only family that Mom had left was Dad and me. Yeah, she wasn't going to do what you wanted. You had shown no care for her before that. You want me to take over? Fuck that. I'd rather see it all burned. Go."
Celeste stood up and left the room. Stiles knew that he was too emotional. When he calmed down, he would make sure that Celeste knew that he wanted nothing to do with the Gajos family business but that she and her husband were more than welcome to visit him and his father in Beacon Hills.
"I'm done talking to anyone. I want to go to sleep. I need to sleep. I don't think I've slept more than four hours in a go in four years unless I was unconscious from pain or blood loss."
"Tomorrow morning, Ethan is going to take you to the doctor. We have one that works for the Pack. He'll check you over for anything and everything. I'm sure you are deficient in a lot of things. Blood work will happen, as well."
Stiles nodded as he wasn't going to fight with the Alpha Werewolf. He was so fucking tired.
A week later, Stiles was sitting and looking at the report that the doctor had mailed to him here at the Pack house. He wasn't actually as bad off as he thought he was. His weight was well under where it should be, but he'd already put on a few pounds eating protein-filled food with the rest of the Wolves. He was taking vitamins with every single meal, laid out by what the doctor wanted him to do after the first meeting. There were few changes to that with the new information based on his blood work.
Stiles was now clear to fully resume working out and training as long as it was light. He had been given every single scan to check his muscles and various things, and all of them were stressed in horrible ways, given his diet.
"How is everything?" Jackson asked as he dropped down to sit beside Stiles.
"Better than the doctor thought. I'm not nearly in as much of a downward spiral as he thought. I need to eat more fruit and vegetables, but that shit was hard to transport, and in the Midwest, gardens are hard to steal from."
"Dinner tonight. I'm taking you someplace fun."
Other than the visits to the roof and going along with someone from the Pack when they went out to do errands, Stiles hadn't left the house beside the doctor's appointment. He didn't feel safe. When he was home, the doctor wanted him to talk to a therapist. Stiles figured he'd talk to his father and then just bury it all. Mental healthcare wasn't cheap, and it wasn't like Stiles had a job or was going to college. He wasn't covered under his father's insurance since he wasn't in college.
Stiles grabbed the book he was reading on Pack hierarchy and slipped into the chair he had pretty much claimed. Jackson thankfully left him alone. Stiles liked the chair because it was in a corner, and he could see all entrances to the room from it. No one questioned him on his whole PTSD. Stiles had known that he had it for just under four years.
"Ready?" Jackson asked.
Stiles looked up at him. He didn't think that much time had passed. He swallowed and looked around, no one else was in there. He was sure that there were other people inside the house, but they weren't in the room.
"Do I need to change?" Stiles asked as he looked at his clothes. He was in jeans and a T-shirt with a long-sleeved flannel shirt over it. He wasn't dressed up at all. Then Stiles looked at Jackson to see he was just in jeans and a T-shirt. The shirt had some kind of logo on it, but it wasn't anything that Stiles knew. He figured it was a local band or something. He had heard the other wolves in the building heading out to places to see local bands.
"No. I have a perfect place for us for dinner."
Stiles nodded his head and stood up. His body protested because he had been sitting for too long. His body was used to being on the run, and it wasn't adjusting well to this more sedentary life that he was living now. He didn't want to go back to running for his life, though. He snagged his wallet and phone from his bedroom before meeting Jackson at the door. He looked at the way that Jackson looked worried.
"No, nothing is wrong. Just thinking about too many things. I haven't been out without at least a few members of the Pack in a long time."
"We don't have to do this," Stiles said. He trusted that Jackson would protect him if something happened to him. Jackson just had to trust himself.
"No, I want to. I've just gotten really used to Pack."
"I get that. I do."
"Gareth thinks that I need to get used to it. I didn't trust myself after I came here. I was...afraid. I had a tail, I had a toxin in me that makes people lumps on the floor. I was afraid that I would have another person take over as my master, and then I would be a murder a whole bunch of people. So yeah, I went everywhere with Pack. We did a lot of bonding. About the only time, I'm alone is walking to and from classes I don't have with anyone."
"Dude, you are going back to Beacon Hills...why?"
"I have no want of staying here. I feel drawn home, and I have since I became an Alpha. I can do my degree anywhere. Beacon University has a good law school. It's not the best, but it's good enough for me. I just want to get my degree and work in Beacon Hills or Beacon City. I haven't decided which direction I want to go, private, family, criminal, or civil. My mother and father like London, so they are staying. They are not happy about me going back, but they can't stop me. I have my money, and I'm well over eighteen years old."
Stiles nodded. He looked around the block but realized that they were going to be walking where they were going. He had gotten used to that even over just a week. Everything that the Pack did was in walking distance, or they took a bus or the tube and then walked. He followed Jackson for a few minutes before he got up even with him. Jackson looked at him with a smile on his face.
Jackson had never smiled at him like that. Stiles didn't think that anyone had ever looked at him like that. He wasn't sure what to think about it. Stiles bumped his shoulder into Jackson's. Jackson laughed. They went further away from the house than Stiles had gone. He had settled into his skin of being with Jackson, and he was happy that Jackson was letting him get settled.
"How hungry are you?" Jackson asked when they stopped outside of a building.
"Um, not that hungry."
"Good. Let's get our dance on."
"Umm..." Stiles followed Jackson inside when Jackson entered without waiting for him to stop speaking. A door was opened in front of them, and the pounding of the bass filled Stiles' body. Jackson snagged his hand and drew him along into the weird club. Stiles saw that there was the main entrance and they hadn't gone in it. There weren't a lot of people inside, and it didn't take long for Stiles to figure out that every single person in there was some form of Supernatural. There might be a few that were like him that were just adjacent. Stiles took off his long-sleeved shirt and hung it on a hook where others had their coats and a few umbrellas hanging. Stiles figured that there were few issues with people who took what wasn't theirs, considering the person who had been stolen from could be tracked by the scent of the item of clothing.
Stiles let Jackson pull him onto the dance floor. The music was good and let himself go. He danced with anyone who got around him, but it didn't take long for everyone to learn that no one was allowed behind him. He stayed on the edges of the floor, but it was still a lot of fun. He danced for what felt like the rest of the night, but when his stomach growled, Jackson was there, pulling him off the floor. He was covered in sweat, but he didn't care.
"Hungry?" Jackson asked with a smile just seconds after Stiles' stomach growled again just after they got outside again.
"Gods above yes," Stiles said. He gripped Jackson's arm and let the man guide him through where he wanted to take him to eat. The smell of greasy, fried food filled his nose, and Stiles just groaned in want of all of it. Jackson was laughing as he pulled Stiles into a large restaurant. There was a hostess, and she took them right to a table that was in the back of the restaurant. She seemed to know Jackson and didn't seem to be upset about putting them into a corner table. It was busy but not horribly so. It was later in the day, so most people had already eaten.
Stiles was okay with that. He liked it not being packed.
"So everything here is good. The Pack eats here a lot, so everyone is used to us. Order what you want. If you don't finish it, I'm sure someone at the house will when we take it back. There are always leftovers unless more of us come out."
Stiles nodded his head. He had made dinners like that before. The Pack all eating together. Dinners at diners or places like that where they just crashed after a fight to refuel. It had stopped not long after Derek had left Beacon Hills, though. There was a lot that had changed for them all after Derek had left. Stiles didn't blame him, though. Derek was hunting Kate. He was trying to take someone dangerous out of where she could hurt someone else again. It was his best way to cope with everything.
The dinner was something that Stiles never thought would happen between them. There were a few biting remarks from Jackson on a few things, but mostly it was just them getting along and learning more about each other. It was nice, and despite the fact that Stiles was on edge most of the time, he enjoyed the hell out of him. Jackson paid. He never accepted a single bit of money from Stiles for meals, and the rent wasn't something that he needed to pay. No one pushed him on that. Stiles didn't have a lot of money, but he had money. He laughed as Jackson made a face as soon as they were outside. Then the wind whipped around Stiles, and he shivered.
"So when are you formally asking me to join your Pack?" Stiles asked.
"When we are home in Beacon Hills, and you've had time to adjust to being home. I will still think you are in the Pack, but the bonds can come later."
"Well, Jackson, my boy, you've not exactly been keeping up on how you feel, do have you?" Stiles asked.
Jackson stopped walking and looked at him. He pulled Stiles into a small alcove made by a shop that was closed.
"What do you mean?" Jackson asked.
Stiles pressed his hand to Jackson's chest, just over his heart, and he found that little thread that linked them. He felt it resonate inside of him, so Jackson had to feel it as well.
Jackson's eyes widened in shock, and he just looked at Stiles.
"I didn't want you to feel pressured," Jackson said.
"And I must have formed this on my own. It's hard for humans to create accidental bonds, Jackson. We both had to want it. I feel safe here, and yeah, I know that it's mostly because this is the first time I have felt safe in four years, but Jackson, you have given me that without asking for anything in return. So far, you are a good Alpha. You will continue to be a good Alpha. You have two members who are interested in helping you with that when you get home. You have a Pack."
Jackson nodded his head. His eyes darted down, and it took Stiles a few seconds to realize that Jackson was looking at his lips. Stiles had learned about the relationship that had been between Ethan and Jackson but that Ethan had broke things off when he realized that he loved another. It had been a kick in the pants for Jackson when he found out it was Danny. Danny, who was waiting for them to come home so he could formally join the Pack. Jackson being at least bisexual, if not fully gay, was something that should have been shocking to Stiles, but it really wasn't.
"I was jealous," Jackson said.
"Jealous?" Stiles asked.
"You crushed on Lydia for so long but never even looked at me. I didn't realize it until Gareth made me go to therapy. My therapist was brutal as hell about the way that I acted before. I realized that I was getting your attention in any way that I could. I never thought one thing about it until Derek finally got a hold of me. I realized that I needed to protect you. That I wanted to."
Stiles nodded his head. He could understand that. He looked into Jackson's eyes before pushing the Alpha into the wall behind. He had about an inch on Jackson, and it felt a little weird given that Jackson was an Alpha. Just before he pressed his lips to Jackson's, Jackson shoved him into the other wall and kissed him hard, taking control of the kiss. Stiles let him. He couldn't deny that the spark was there and had been for years. Before Stiles had accepted that he was bisexual. Before, he had learned what feelings really were for someone. He wanted to learn about a relationship, and maybe Jackson could be the one to teach him about it.
"I'm not ready for more," Stiles said when Jackson finally broke the kiss.
"I know, and that's fine. We can take this very, very slow. You have to heal and get used to living again instead of surviving. It might be too soon, but I think we can both do well with this."
Stiles nodded his head. He brushed his lips over Jackson's feeling happy for the first time in a long time. He was ready for whatever came next.