Stiles had actually never been to a wedding before. All the adults in his life had already been on their way out of it, so to speak, rather than just jumping in like his dad now with Sarah. The situation with his dad was of course different than say, with Scott’s parents, seeing as his marriage had ended when Stiles’ mom died and not because they didn’t get along anymore.
Scott had once said he wished his own dad was dead like Stiles’ mom so that thinking about him wouldn’t hurt so much. Stiles hadn’t taken it very well. At the time, he would have given anything for his mom to just be back. Anything. Even if she’d really hated him.
”It’s not her that’s talking Stiles. It’s the illness. Never forget that. Your mom loves you.”
That had been years ago, but Stiles hadn’t forgotten.
Is it better to love the memory you have or hate the reality you live in? He never really found the answer. Plus there was the fact that Scott’s dad – the jerk of the month 12 times a year – had returned to Beacon Hills and actually taught himself how to behave again. There was no reunion marriage-wise, but there was peace. Understanding.
Scott had a dad again.
Stiles’ mom would not be coming back.
Still, when he stood by the altar beside his dad and saw the way he was looking at Sarah when she finally appeared...yeah. He just knew his mom would be happy for them both. She would want his dad to be happy again.
The ceremony was short and simple – sadly, Miko was not involved in it in any way ’cause the pastor had allergies (oh, if only he knew) – and nothing even remotely peculiar happened. Other than Derek sneaking in in the middle of the ceremony, silent as a ghost if not as inconspicuous.
Might be it was just Stiles who noticed him, seeing as he was the only one up there not looking at the pastor at that precise moment. Derek did this weird little dance step when he realized he’d been detected. It almost looked like he’d suddenly decided to flee but then just as suddenly decided not to.
”Now repeat after me”, the pastor said. ”I, Noah John Stilinski..”
So, instead of leaving or, like, sitting down, Derek just stood there, frozen in place.
”..take you Sarah Rhea Tucker, for my wedded wife..”
Stiles had no idea what was going on in the man’s head, but there was something weird about the way the he was staring at him now.
”..to love and cherish..”
It was Sarah’s turn.
”..for better or worse..”
Stiles tried to keep his eyes on her, but Derek still hadn’t moved, he was still looking at Stiles and Stiles couldn’t help glancing at his way.
”..for richer or poorer..”
Something cold ran down his spine.
”..in sickness and in health..”
And there was something in Derek’s eyes, flash of anger unlike he’d ever seen on the man’s face. Directed at Stiles himself.
”..till death do us part.”
Stiles blinked and looked again, but whatever he’d just seen was gone now. Derek gave him a quick nod and joined the people standing up from their seats, applauding the newlywed couple.
There was one person who didn’t manage to stand quite as effortlessly as everyone else, though Stiles was too busy hugging his dad to take notice. Lydia was standing now, clapping her hands together in overly faked excitement that did nothing to cover up her deathly pale face.
When the ceremony was over and done with, everyone headed back to the place of the actual party, where all the lovely food was. It was convenient to have such a good relationship with Chris Argent (thank you, Melissa) that he’d so willingly given his newish downtown house and its big front yard for their use.
Stiles thought there might be some sort of age-crisis going on there, but what did he know?
”I can’t believe your dad got married again”, Scott told him after dinner and a few glasses of champagne. ”We used to think it’d be cool if he’d married my mom. Remember?”
”Yeah”, Stiles said, leaning back on his lawn chair, balancing on its two legs and drinking his soda with quick little gulps. ”I can’t believe you just waltzed with Derek Hale.”
Scott buried his head in his arms and let out a loud, miserable whine that made Miko raise his head and look up at him with perked ears. The dog had been lying on the grass between their chairs, licking his paws with admirable concentration, only now and then looking around if someone had accidentally dropped something eatable in his direction. Now he was looking intently at Scott and gave a little ruff.
Stiles started to laugh. ”It’s okay, Miko.” He said, scratching the dog’s ear. ”Scott’s just having a little moment with himself and his lost and gone dignity.”
”I can’t believe I waltzed with Derek Hale in your dad’s wedding!” Scott muttered, voice muffled and hard to understand.
”If you can call that dancing”, Lydia said, playing with her own untouched drink. She had been sitting with them for a while, but hadn’t really said much until now. ”Derek was fine, sure, but you my dear alpha had two left feet. I’m surprised you didn’t step on his toes.”
”More than you did”, Stiles joined in and clinked glasses with the smirking girl. Scott sighed and straightened on his chair.
”Doing the girl’s part was harder than I thought”, he said. ”At least it’ll all pay out in the end. Though I’m pretty sure Dean knew how to do it already, he just wanted to make me miserable. Since when has he wanted to dance with guys anyway? I thought he and Polly were still a thing.”
”They are, but Polly’s been thinking of a major life style change as of late and Dean’s just trying to be supportive. It’s adorable.”
”Oh yeah?” Scott asked. Stiles was pretty sure he didn’t really get what Lydia was hinting at either, if the confused head scratching was anything to go by. ”Not as adorable as Derek laughing at me behind my back, that’s for sure.”
”Nah, Derek doesn’t do that”, Stiles said. ”He doesn’t do that whole back stabbing thing. He’d laugh straight at your face.”
”Well, he did that, too.”
”That was a smirk, if anything.” Lydia said. ”We could all see he was proud of you for stepping up like that for your beta, even if it wasn’t so easy for you to do it.”
”It would have been easier if Derek had let me lead. Hmph, proud my ass. He made me look like an idiot.”
”There’s Malia now hunting for a new dance partner”, Lydia was looking over Scott’s shoulder and waving her hand. ”Go and show them you actually can dance, then, if it bothers you so much.”
”You know what?” Scott stood up, face in a determinate frown. ”I’m gonna do just that. I’ll dance Derek off the floor if it kills me. Or him. Preferably him.”
”Go get ’em wolf boy”, Stiles shouted encouragingly after him. It was okay to shout. Everyone in the party was more or less on with the whole supernatural thing, Sarah’s folk included. ”That’s mah boy!”
”He’ll be disappointed when he realizes that Derek’s not dancing anymore.”
”What? He Who Walks Behind the Rows took off already?” Stiles asked, trying for nonchalant. He hadn’t really thought about what had happened during the vows and he wasn’t going to start now, thank you very much.
Lydia thought for a minute. ”Children of the corn?” She asked.
”That’s mah girl.”
It had taken some time and effort but he had actually managed to get Lydia to watch some movies with him, once upon a time in Beacon Hills. Even if she didn’t always stay awake all the way through, that was beside the point. As was the fact that she didn’t care enough to ask where the comparation came from, now.
”Did Derek actually leave?”
Stiles kind of hoped that he had. Would save the akward follow-up conversation for phones only. If there even had been anything weird to speak about. Nothing had really happened, after all. Derek might not have even noticed. And that look he’d given him...Stiles could have imagined it.
”What? No, I just meant that he’s not dancing”, Lydia said, rolling her eyes. ”That thing with Scott was for the boys, I think. I for one didn’t even know he could dance, let alone that well.” She downed her drink on one go – Stiles could almost feel his eyes bulge out of his head when he saw this - and carried on. ”But that’s just Derek, right? Perfect at everything, as usual.”
”Uh...you okay there, Lydia?”
”I’m fine. I just…” Lydia was silent for a long while and when she finally looked at Stiles again her eyes were sad, terrifyingly so. ”Do you know someone called Hunter?”
”When the time comes, look upon the autumn sky, Mieczyslaw. You’ll know what to do, then.”
”Do I know-? No. Why, who is he?”
”No one. I think”, Lydia licked her lips. ”Are you sure you don’t- because I got this feeling the other day. This- you know, feeling. The day you came back to Beacon Hills. And I heard a voice.”
Stiles put his own empty glass down on the table and returned his chair to its proper position, all four legs on the grass.
”What did it say?”
”Something about angels”, Lydia said and Stiles tilted his head, honestly confused.
”Angels”, he repeated, not really knowing what to think. ”Are we supposed to be worried about angels, now?”
Lydia was shaking her head, frantically. ”No”, she said. ”Yes. I don’t know. He’s telling me to watch out for the angels. Maybe it’s metaphor or something, but whatever it is, it all started when you came back. So, no, I don’t think it’s about that thing in the woods, if that’s what you’re going to suggest now. It started with you, Stiles and what ever it is...it’s bad.”
It was Stiles’ turn to have minute of silent thinking. He didn’t want to tell Lydia about Hunter, and seeing as some frigging angels didn’t even have anything to with him, Stiles didn’t even feel he should. But why would she even know the name, then? It didn’t make any sense. Hunter had nothing to do with Beacon Hills.
Then again, it could be something else, entirely. Like that thing in the woods, whatever it was. Yes, Lydia, I did go there, sue me. He’d heard even Peter was wary of actually looking for it.
But then again, that was Peter. He wouldn’t go running after something potentially dangerous unless there was something to gain from it and so far there really wasn’t.
”Have you talked to anyone else about this?” Stiles finally asked. He noticed he was biting his fingertips and forced himself to stop, tugging the hands under his armpits. The sun was still high up in the sky and it was a warm day, but he felt cold. He hated being cold. He hated it.
Yet. Funny little word, that one. Haven’t told, but will tell soon, just you wait, little one. Damn, had his head started to hurt.
”Don’t say anything to my dad.” Stiles wanted to have this one little thing, at least. ”Not today. Not until...not until you really have to. If you have to.”
”We’ll figure it out”, Stiles grabbed her hand, gently, wrapping their fingers together. He felt like a parasite feasting on the warmth her body offered through that one little touch. ”Like we always do. You, me, Scott. We’ll figure it out.”
Lydia didn’t look so sure - the opposite, really - but finally, finally she nodded in agreement, clasping his hand tightly between both of her own. She wouldn’t say anything to others either, she would let him do it himself, when he was ready.
He just had to leave before that happened.