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That Creeper, the Zoo Keeper

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To: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

Can you work today? Isaac called in sick

Derek Hale
Head Keeper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
From: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

Sure :)

Stiles Stilinski,
Menial trainee and Poop Scooper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

Thank you. But please change your signature, it's unprofessional. 

Derek Hale
Head Keeper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
From: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

Hahaha no

Stiles Stilinski,
Menial trainee and Poop Scooper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

Change it. 

Derek Hale
Head Keeper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
From: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

Make me :D :D :D

Stiles Stilinski,
Menial trainee and Poop Scooper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

I will smother you in gravy and lock you in the enclosure.

Derek Hale
Head Keeper, Wolf Enclosure

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To: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
From: R.Stilinski@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: (No Subject)

I love Passive-Aggressive death threats in the morning. It really makes coming into work voluntarily that much more fun. 

Stiles Stilinski,
Menial trainee and Poop Scooper, Wolf Enclosure

-

Derek rolled his eyes and typed out a 'Just shut up and get here.' , mashing the Enter key with a resounding clack. He didn't dislike Stiles (much) but the kid really, really irked him. It was like Lupa and Romulus, two of the Grey Wolves; Lupa would follow Romulus around, yapping and nipping at his heels until Romulus would snap and deal out a swift - and bloody - reprimand, and yet Lupa would keep prodding and poking, seemingly oblivious to the beatings. 

His computer pinged 'on my way, grumpy pants'  


 

Derek hadn't meant to take on Stiles. After Rosa, a Mammology student, left for college, he'd been fine with the one Trainee - Isaac - and was perfectly happy looking after the pack as things were. He had other staff, such as night keepers and the keepers from other exhibits would always lend a hand with grunt work. 

And then the newly promoted Security guard said he'd turn a blind eye to Derek's little habit of sneaking in the enclosure after hours, providing 'his kid Stiles' could snag the spare trainee poisition to gain experience before he left for college to study Animal Science. 

In retrospect, Derek thought the deal was probably a bad life decision. 

Isaac was a handful as it was, but having two inexperienced keepers running around wasn't something Derek was a huge fan of. On Stiles' first day, he'd miraculously broken the visitors gate, (twice) fallen down the rusty metal stairs that led up to Derek's office and made an enemy out of a young Beta Wolf named Carl.  

To give the guy some credit, however, he was pretty good at picking up skills as he went along. Even if acquring these skills meant a lot of bruising and medical forms for Derek to fill out. 

As if aware he was being thought about, Stiles poked his head around the door and grinned in a far too cheery manner for a man who had been threatened with grievous bodily harm not one hour ago. 

"Good Morning!"

"Yeah."

Stiles waited for an elaboration, shook his head and snorted, "so who pissed in your cornflakes? Or you know, on your leg. Damn wolves."

Derek's lips twitched, "Carl again?"

"He won't stop! Do I look like a fire hydrant or something?"

"Or something."

Stiles yanked a handful of tissues from the box on Derek's desk, gagging slightly as the putrid smell grew with every scrub of his leg."Hilarious dude. Now, what's on the agenda today?"

"I need to finish this and then move Laura from Isolation ... You need to take round the Field Trip coming in at nine with Allison," Derek dug out a pack of unscented wet wipes and slid them along to Stiles, "but clean yourself off first, you stink of piss."

Stiles saluted with the wipes, rotated one one leg, and marched from the office. Derek watched the bizarre display in intrigued confusion, not at all comforted by the fact there was still 10 months left of the kid's employment. 


 

"Next we have the Grey Wolf exhibit. This pack have been established at Beacon Zoo for ten years and consists of 19 wolves - it is currently managed by Derek Hale who unfortunately could not spare the time to talk to you today, much to his sadness," from his refuge in the office, Derek could hear the tiny smirk in Allison's voice, "so instead we have Trainee Keeper, Ru - "

"ahem - Stiles! - ahem."

"Stiles Stilinski, who is going to tell us lots about wolves. Stiles, everyone!"

There was a totally unwarranted round of applause.

"Hey kids! I've only been working here for a few months, but I like to think the Wolves and I get along and there's a definite feeling of 'pack' with - oh, young lady in red coat, do you have a question?"

A girl's voice wavers up. "Can you do a howl for us?"

"Ha! Can I fuuuu - uh, no, I can't, sorry."

Allison's voice sudden drifted up, sickly sweet, "do a howl for the 5th graders." 

"I'm really not good at it."

There was a sudden babbling of high pitched pleas, the children all voicing an opinion and attempting their own piss-poor howls. After a long whine of protest, Stiles warbled something which may've have been a howl, but also may've been an impression of a dog being castrastrated. Allison snorted in amusement, not even trying to make it sound like a cough. 

" ... Thank you, Stiles." 

Feeling oddly exasperated, Derek kicked his wheely chair so it scooted along the floor, flung open the window, leant out and let out as loud a howl as he could muster. Immediately the children began squealing in excitement, something which increased tenfold when the Pack began to howl back. Derek returned to his paperwork, smirking as a small grunt of 'Show off' could be heard from below. 


 

The isolation pen was depressingly sterile and hospital like. It was usually for pups being bullied by its siblings, or bitches about to have litters and yet Laura was there alone -  and unwell. Butt as soon as the gate to the pen was unbolted, she trotted up to Derek, spry as anything and snuffled into his leg. He ruffled her ears affectionately.

"Are you going to eat today?"

She flopped onto the floor, baring her belly shamelessly in reply. Despite every protocol the Zoo had taken, Laura had become somewhat domesticated and had formed a perculiar attachment to Derek. It may've been because he'd been working with wolves for most of his life or it may've been that he'd shown blatant favouritism to this particular wolf. What could he say? When he helped Deaton deliver the litter she'd been part of, the tiny female runt had become an instant favourite. She was probably the thing he loved most about his job.

Clearly offended by Derek's distracted state, Laura began nudging at his hand with her dry nose. He chuckled and scratched her muzzle.

"If you eat today, I'll spend the whole of tomorrow playing with you. Is that a deal?"

Unfortunately, wolves aren't great at bargaining. Laura merely scrambled to her feet and stretched, totally ignoring all food Derek presented her with. After an hour of waving bloody morsels about, Derek flopped against the wall in defeat, letting Laura nose affectionately at him. Suddenly there was a rattling and clatter as the door to the pen was opened, and Stiles appeared, a 'I had an awesome time on the Beacon Zoo tour!' sticker stuck firmly to his uniform polo. He watched Laura snuggle happily into Derek and laughed.

"She's like a dog!"

"Wolf," Derek corrected. Though he had to admit, she wasn't a prime example of one.

"So? Dogs and wolves are related. I mean, they have little thanksgivings and everything! And there's always this one uncle that gets drunk but it's okay because, y'know, he's family." 

Derek likes to think he has perfected the 'what the fuck are you going on about, Stiles' face. Stiles likes to smile innocently in response to said face. 


 

The sun had barely breached the trees when Derek began unlocking for the morning, flicking on his computer and pouring a cup of murky coffee. The first hour of the day was almost the most tedious - the boring, menial tasks needing doing before he could tend to the pack. Email first. Then paperwork. 

It was only when he'd replied to all the emails did he realise something was wrong. Derek scowled as the problem - which seemed to have started overnight - refused to be resolved by the usual means. Someone had hacked his account and he could only think of one viable culprit. The only person that good with technology. 

-

To: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: Change it

Change it. Now.

Derek Hale,
Gotham's reckoning  

-

To:  D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com 
From: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com 
Subject: RE: Change it

 ... You wake me up at seven in the morning for this? It wasn't me. Do it yourself

Danny Mahealani,
Staff Admin

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To: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: RE: RE: Change it

I can't.

Derek Hale,
Wolfman Extraordinaire

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To:  D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com 
From: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com 
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Change it

 ... Does it change everytime you send a new message?

Danny Mahealani,
Staff Admin

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To: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Change it

Yes

Derek Hale,
Single, flirty, dirty!

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To:  D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com 
From: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com 
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Change it

This is the best thing ever.

Danny Mahealani,
Staff Admin

-

To: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com
From: D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Change it

No it isn't

Derek Hale,
Bootylicious 

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To:  D.Hale@Beaconzoo.com 
From: D.Mahealani@Beaconzoo.com 
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Change it

Oh god, I'm crying

Danny Mahealani,
Staff Admin

The temptation to punch the screen was fast building, but a short bark of laughter from the door slowly drew his gaze away from the offending email. Stiles stood in the doorway; arms folded and proudly smirking. Derek scowled.

"You're. Dead."

He lunged over the desk. Stiles yelped and scrambled for escape, only to be pinned against the wall.

"Change. It. Back."

"I can't!" Stiles huffed. "I put in a certain amount. It won't change back until you've used every one of them." 

"And how many did you put in?"

Stiles bit his lip with an ill-disguised giggle, "a lot. I spent hours coming up with them. That's dedication."

Derek grit his teeth. "Stiles."

"Oh come on! It's funny."

"I've sent an email to the Director of the Zoo with 'Bangin' Slammin' sexy chick' as my signature!" He hissed. Stiles made a strange, garbled noise and at first, Derek thought he was strangling the kid - but then Stiles started laughing. Hysterically.

"Oh my ... Oh my g-god!" Stiles slid onto the floor, cackling maniacally. "You sent - ahaha! This is - you sent an - oh my gooood! -" He choked another laugh at Derek's glaring. "Don't worry, I'm sure Gerard will be very impressed by your self confidence ... he probably thinks you're pretty bangin' slammin' too." Stiles broke off into further giggles and scrubbed away tears from his eyes, peering at Derek. 

"You're going to kill me, aren't you?"

"Yep." 


 

As it happens, Derek was feeling merciful that morning. He settled for subjecting Stiles to the unhappy duty of hacking up a sheep's carcass for the feeding time. 

"To be fair, that's not even the worst practical joke I played - you know Scott?"

"The Veterinary student?"

"Yeah. We use to play Lacrosse together, so I thought it would be funny to replace his energy drink with prune juice because - well, hilarious consequences - only I discovered something ... Yeah, fun fact: Scott is extremely allergic to Prunes. And I'm talking face swelling, twitching on the floor, can't breathe allergic." He slapped Derek's arm playfully. "So what I'm saying is that it could be worse, and you could be lying in a hospital bed with a tube stuffed down your throat. Though that would be the world's most extreme overreaction to a stupid email prank."

"Do you ever shut up?"

"Your charm and sunny disposition is definitely my favourite thing about this job." Stiles wiped a smear of blood from his cheek, hefted the sheep on his shoulder and went to throw it to the pack. Derek scrawled down the times of feeding in the Log book. 

Stiles squinted into the distance, poised at the entrance to the enclosure. "Hey, is Romulus trying to mount Lupa?"

"Dominance," Derek grunted, not looking up from the book. "Probably showing him who's boss."

The sheep dripped red as Stiles leant on the fence. "Nah, I reckon he's just got the hots for him. All that snapping and snarling? Come on. Unresolved Sexual Tension everywhere. Wouldn't be surprised if we have a little Wolfy Wedding on the horizon." 

Derek ignored him. According to the log book, Laura had all but abandoned her mate, Remus, in favour of skulking on the very outskirts of the enclosure and was still not eating. 

"Hey," Stiles' voice suddenly grew soft, breaking Derek's reverie. "You okay?"

"Fine."

"Just thinking - because, well, Laura's not been getting on so well since we moved her back from isolation." 

"Mmm."

"Think we should call in Deaton again?"

Derek licked his lips, "wondering whether to put her down, actually," he muttered.

He hadn't admitted it to himself until now - he'd avoiding even thinking about it, really - but it may've been the only humane option. Stiles nodded slowly.

"Your call," he said, "I was going to suggest putting her back in Isolation and hand rearing until the end. Make sure she goes in comfort."

"She's not 'comfortable' anywhere. She's not eating, not happy," he massaged his temple. "I'll tell Deaton to come by tomorrow."

Stiles, for once, said nothing. He just squeezed Derek's shoulder and disappeared off into the enclosure, sheep dragging in tow.