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tracing patterns on your skin

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Soulmates. The very idea that there was someone else in the world perfectly suited for you, someone so well attuned to all your desires, fears, and needs had felt more like a cruel joke than a blessing. At least to people like Stiles. And to a few others. Things worked fairly simply; if you injure yourself in a way that leaves a scar, then corresponding scars appear as a mirror image on your soulmate's skin. These help identify one another. If you're lucky, your soulmate is nearby and you will one day meet them. If you're unlucky then you live in New York City while they live in Beijing, your chances of ever meeting one another being extremely low. It would be possible to go an entire lifetime, a body being littered with scars that aren't theirs and giving others in return, to only die without ever meeting them.

Death – now that was something they never tell you the full consequences of once your soulmate has been found and you've bonded. Your bodies become linked at almost every base level. If they are nervous, you feel it. If they're happy, then so are you. When they die, you soon follow. Stiles's parents were soulmates. Their love was pure and almost blinding. It was all Stiles could ever hope for. But then his mother died in a car accident when he was 6. His dad died at home not even an hour later.

That idea of soulmates drove some people mad. Others scoffed at and rejected the idea of soulmates. Happiness could still be found. There were also, of course, this old idea of 'platonic soulmates.' This particular idea began circulating in the late 1800s. Men started finding other men bearing their soul marks, women with other women. Instead of embracing this the government decided these were platonic bonds. There was strong vocal resistance to that decision. The government continued to argue that it simply went against the biological imperative to breed. Obviously, they failed to account for people who didn't want children. They also failed to account for creatures that were not human coming into play. In 1902 a man in England found out that his soulmate was a selkie. In 1907 a woman found her soulmate was a werewolf. In 1918 a woman found her soulmate to be a female banshee. All of the couples lived very happy lives together, some even had children. Eventually the 'platonic soulmates' campaign dwindled, but some hung onto it with iron grips.

There were behaviors that developed over time, ones that made Stiles cringe. He saw it happen for the first time when he was 12. There were 3 girls in his first class all wondering who their soulmates could possibly be when one girl came up with a "brilliant plan." They opted to make small cuts on their arms and try and seek out anyone who found a new scar that day. It was not a good plan. Only once did anyone find their soulmate with that tactic. The self-harming behaviors prompted by the longing for the soulmate launch a new campaign about valuing your person and doing your best not leave anymore scars on your body or the body of your soulmate. The campaign had some success, at least no one was openly harming themselves in an effort to find their mate. All Stiles did was pull his sleeves down more to cover his hands, tug up his collar or dawn his hood. Unlike most of his classmates, he didn't have a small scar here or there. He was covered in them. By the time he turned 16 he had enough scar tissue snaking along his skin that comparisons to Wade Wilson were apt. His adoptive mother, Melissa, held him tight after each new one popped up. She spent hundreds of dollars on clothes. She didn't think there was anything wrong with them, but if he felt more comfortable covering them up then she would help him. Scott, his adoptive brother and best friend, help him too. Along with his other best friend Lydia. If it weren't for her he would have no idea how to properly accessorize with a scarf. Practicality meets fashion. 

Looking at his scarred body every morning he wasn't sure what to think of his soulmate, whoever they were. Were they reckless? Were they being abused? Were any of these on purpose? The first one he noticed happened when he was 5. 3 lines on his arm. His mom said they looked like cat scratches, but much bigger. Maybe a dog. Stiles was happy about it, at first. But more scars came. They piled on and littered his skin. Then his parents died and the word soulmate became more bitter in his mouth. He didn’t know if he ever wanted to find them. But he did often wonder if they were alright. He sort of hoped one day he never saw a new scar, not that it was easy to tell anymore. If they scars stopped then maybe it meant any suffering they had endured was done. Now, at 16 years and 3 months old, he hasn’t seen a new scar (that he could notice) in over 6 weeks. But he'd be lying if he said he kept looking.

 

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                Stiles was making his way through the preserve towards where Scott said he'd be. They were trying to navigate a very new situation. Lucky for Scott, Stiles was incredibly knowledgeable in a variety of areas.  Scott was bitten by a werewolf 3 weeks ago. He didn't know who it was. He didn't know where they went. He knew there were rules. He knew he needed an alpha. Stiles had been told there was one alpha werewolf in their town. He had no pack because they had all died several years ago. He lived alone in the old, burnt out cabin in the woods.

               "Hello?!" Scott shouted out in front of the building. He was nervous. He almost wished he made Stiles come with him instead of staying back, but he didn't want Stiles in danger should this werewolf be...less than welcoming. He was ready to turn tail and leave when the door swung open.

              "What are you doing here?" A tall man with dark hair asked.

              "I – I need your help," he stammered. The man flared his nostrils and glared at him.

              "You've been turned. When?" He demanded.

               “3 weeks ago. Please help me. The full moon is coming and I’m afraid I’ll hurt or kill someone, like my mom or brother,” Scott was rambling in a panic.

                “Calm down,” he growled, “How did you find me? I masked my scent so no other wolves or creatures could find me.”

                “My brother found you for me,” he answered.

                “Your brother?” he barked.

                “Stiles. He’s not really my brother, but he is my best friend. My mom raised him. With me. Since we were little. He somehow just knows everything. Said you were an alpha and could help me get control,” he revealed hurriedly. The wolf seemed to consider this information but only found himself getting more upset. Someone found out about him despite all the work he had done to hide. He was about to step forward and shove Scott right off his property when a new smell assaulted his sense.

                “Who is that? Who came with you? They smell like cloves and…agitation?” he huffed.

                “You can small agitation?” Scott quirked a brow.

                “Yes,” he stated. When he looked up he could see a man in the distance. He was wearing a dark red, thumbhole sweatshirt with the hood pulled up. Sunglasses on with a clove cigarette hanging from his lips. Smoke was billowing around him as he waltzed, without a hint of fear, into the wolf’s territory.

                “That’s Stiles,” Scott mumbled.

                “Hey, wolfie. Glad Scott here managed to find you. He has a habit of wandering off course,” he drawled. The wolf continued to glare.

                “Not feeling hospitable? That’s fine,” Stiles stamped out his cigarette on the bottom of his shoes and put the butt in his pocket. “So, Derek Hale. Of the infamous Hale pack. Nice to meet you.” Derek growled and moved right into Stiles’s space. Scott growled at Derek, eyes flashing blue for a second.

                “Don’t worry, Scott. You know I’m not afraid of much,” Stiles interjected, “Besides, if he tried anything I have enough mountain ash on me to leave his housebound for a week.” The warning was clear and Derek’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline.

                “Mountain ash?” Scott asked.

                “How do you know about that?” Derek demanded.

                “I’m a man of many talents. Plus, Lydia has an extensive library,” he remarked.

                “You both need to leave,” Derek grunted.

                “Not so,” Stiles smirked, “Scott is one of 4 teenagers who have been bitten by some random werewolf alpha. In your territory. I know it wasn’t you but whoever did the biting is not sticking around to make sure no dies or gets hurt. So you need to step up and fix this.”

                “There are others? Why didn’t you tell me?” Scott gaped.

                “First off, I didn’t know right away. Lydia is the one who figured it out. Second, I wasn’t so sure it would be a good idea for all of you to get together in one spot without an alpha to keep you in check,” Stiles explained.

                “He’s not entirely wrong,” Derek said.

                “How did Lydia know?” Scott pressed.

                “Nu huh, not my secret to tell,” Stiles deflected, “The others are on their way here too. The new moon is too soon for them to be without leadership.”

                “What?” Derek flashed his eyes at Stiles.

                “Don’t try to alpha out on me. It won’t work. They’re all entering from different areas of the preserve. So just hang tight,” Stiles pulled out another clove and lit up, “So glad you kicked the asthma, Scotty. Though, I suppose it would’ve been nice to have been consulted on this whole werewolf thing.” The cigarette nestled gently between Stiles’s soft lips and Derek stared for a minute before focusing in on the sounds of others approaching.

                “Who are they?” Scott directed at his friend.

                “Vernon Boyd, Erica Reyes, and Jackson Whittemore,” he listed.

                “Jackson?!” Scott grimaced.

                “Yep. Gonna be a real fun time,” Stiles saw Erica stepped out from behind a tree and motioned for her to come forward, “You guys have a nice and wolfie time. I’m going to go research some more stuff with Lydia. Scott, I’ll see you at home.” Stiles lifted his sunglasses and winked before smiling and walking back off. Jackson and Boyd found their way into the clearing as well. Derek found himself facing 4 recently turned, teenage werewolves with no guidance. He tensed up and took in each of the people standing before him. As much as he wanted to walk away and ignore this problem he knew he had to step up. His mother would have so he should too.

                “Not gonna hang around, Stilinski?” Jackson taunted.

                “Nah, I’m going to go spend time with a cute redhead. You can run around in the woods with tall, dark, and broody over there,” Stiles quipped. Derek bit the inside of his cheek to fight the small smile that threatened to break across his face. He might find that kid to be annoying, but he also found him to be fearless and clever. Scott and Erica were laughing softly while Jackson scowled. Once Stiles was out of eyesight Derek moved to claim his new pack.

                “I’m Derek Hale. From this point on I will be your alpha. We will find who turned you and I will punish them for doing this without your consent. We will train and work on helping you control your new abilities. The day of the full moon you will come here. We will run together and we get through it. Do you all understand?” he barked as he flashed his eyes at them. All 4 of them looked between one another before nodding in agreement.

 

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                Stiles was perched on the windowsill of Lydia’s bedroom while she busied herself with trigonometry homework. She had her hair pulled up in a loose bun, revealing the 3 scars in the back of her neck. When she was in school she generally kept her hair down to conceal the marks. She knew who the scars belonged to and it was better to keep everything under wraps.

                “When are you going to tell him? After he sorts out all this werewolf business?” Stiles asked, blowing smoke out into the night.

                “When he’s ready. Certainly after he gets control. He barely values himself, he’s not ready to have his soulmate around. Plus, he’s a jerk most of the time. It’s easier to knock him down a peg when I’m just a random girl,” she hummed.

                “You’re hardly a random girl, Lyd,” Stiles laughed.

                “Such a charmer,” she affirmed, “Did they all seem ok when you left them with Derek?”

                “Yea. They were all nervous but it will be good. The alpha instincts will take over and he will gather his pack. I’m glad we could utilize your fun creature powers to find him,” Stiles flicked out his cigarette and made his way into her room.

                “You didn’t tell them about me, right?” Lydia narrowed her eyes.

                “Of course not. You know I keep all your secrets. No one needs to know you’re a banshee. Especially when there are still so many hunters keen on eliminating you and people like Scott for old and absurd reasons,” Stiles reminded.

                “Good. So, how are you feeling?” Lydia turned to really look at him.

                “I’m fine. A little tired but,” he shrugged.

                “You know that’s not what I mean,” she scoffed.

                “I’m fine,” he stressed.

                “No new scars?” she sought.

                “I stopped looking. I don’t want to find any new evidence that my soulmate sustained another injury. Whoever they are, I just would like for them to be ok. If I’m lucky, they died and we never have to worry again,” he droned. Lydia moved to place her hand on his and he flinched away. He wasn’t sure when it happened exactly, but sometime right about the time he turned 11 he began to avoid human touch. It wasn’t that he didn’t want it, because he did, but something inside him quietly whispered that he didn’t deserve it. Melissa continued to give him affection despite his compulsion to withdraw, but Scott stopped touching him and no one else had ever tried in the first place, save for contact during lacrosse practice. Lydia, like Melissa, still wanted to give him comfort.

                “Stiles,” she frowned.

                “I know. Sorry. It’s just…I don’t know,” Stile lamented.

                “Maybe if you actually meet your soulmate you’ll let them touch you,” she offered.

                “Oh yea, because I’m all sex appeal under here. I’m sure they’ll want to get their hands all over me,” he countered.

                “You realize they will have the same scars as you. They’ll think you’re beautiful,” she soothed.

                “Yea, well. It is what it is. I’d much rather focus on what is happening with Scott right now. He’s afraid to tell Allison,” Stiles redirected. Scott and Allison were soulmates. They found out on her 2nd day of school after she transferred. He was coming around the corner in a hurry since he was running late for class. They collided in the hallway and she accidentally stabbed him in the hand with one of her pens. She panicked and tried to help him clean up the wound. As she was wiping the blood away she noticed a corresponding mark appear on her hand. Once they realized the injury was forgotten and they ended up making out in the girl’s bathroom before a teacher found them and broke them up. Stiles was happy for him, but also a little jealous.

                “It’s complicated. I think Allison will be fine with it. They’re soulmates. That means accepting things like that. I mean, I know they haven’t mated or anything yet, but she probably has an idea something like this has happened. She can sense the change and she will stick around after she gets used to the idea,” Lydia put forward.

                “But what about her family? Her dad might keep the code, only killing creatures who kill others, but we know they had some rogue agents in the past. What if they find out?” Stiles argued.

                “And risk Allison dying? Are you kidding?” she practically cackled, “It’s mutually assured destruction. Keeping him alive keeps her alive.”

                “Or they keep them apart. If they don’t consummate or anything, then she’s safe from untimely demise. Maybe they’ll take her away and just kill him,” he pointed. When you found your soulmate the bond wasn’t complete until you consummated it, or mated, had sex, whatever verb you preferred. A lot of people put it off for fear of potentially ending their lives. People who had dangerous professions generally waited, like people in the military, firefighters, police officers, or just those engaging in dangerous behavior regularly. When teenagers found their soulmates and parents were informed they usually had to have several uncomfortable conversations about chastity for the sake of safety. Not that it kept teenagers from having sex.

                “You’re catastrophizing, Stiles,” she breathed.

                “Or you’re under-reacting,” he crossed his arms over his chest.

                “How about you just relax. Allison is definitely on board with fucking Scott silly. It’s just a matter of time. If her family finds out about him and she reveals their roll in the sheets, then we will have nothing to worry about. Let’s just cross the ‘hunters maybe killing Scott’ bridge if we come to it,” she huffed.

                “Fine. But if he dies then you and me are going on a rampage,” Stiles sprawled across her bed.

                “Agreed,” she turned back to her books and saw her phone buzz, “It’s Jackson. The introductions apparently went well. He still hates you and Scott, but is glad there’s someone to show him what to do. Also, he intends to use his werewolf speed to embarrass you on the field.”

                “Great,” Stiles rolled his eyes, “I’m gonna go. Scott will be home soon and will probably be full of questions. Or complaints. Whatever. As long as it isn’t him waxing poetic about Allison’s hair again.”

                “Night, Stiles. I’ll bring you breakfast tomorrow,” she waved as he climbed out her window and crawled down the trellis, “You can use my door.”

                “But everyone loves this trope,” he laughed once his feet hit the ground. He climbed into his jeep and made his way home. He knew he’d find an exhausted Scott who would need coaxing into bed. But Stiles would stay up for at least half the night to research more into werewolves.

Chapter Text

                The next morning Scott and Stiles approached the front of the school. Scott’s face broke out into a goofy smile when he saw Allison chewing on a pen as she looked over her notes. She hadn’t noticed him yet and Scott snuck up on her, wrapping his arms around her waist and burying his face in the nape of her neck. She giggled and they quickly fell into kissing. Stiles, however, beamed when Lydia handed him a 20 oz coffee with a large, blueberry muffin.

                “Aww, you sure we aren’t soulmates?” Stiles teased as he sipped the beverage. Lydia rolled her eyes and give him a playful shove.

                “She’s lucky she’s not. Otherwise she’d look like you do,” Jackson taunted from behind them. Stiles bristled and took another drink before turning around.

                “Stop being a jerk, Jackson,” Allison chided.

                “If the shoe fits,” Stiles shot.

                “You should be nice and you know why,” Lydia narrowed her eyes at him. Jackson deflated and mumbled an apology under his breath before moving forward into the building. He grabbed Lydia’s shoulder and pressed his face to the side of her neck quickly as he ushered her along. Jackson’s best friend Danny was with them and he was usually the voice of reason when Jackson was being foolish or an asshole. He kept glancing around nervously before grabbing the strap of Stiles’s bag to get his attention.

                “Hey, can I talk to you real quick?” he asked quietly.

                “Yea. Here,” he led Danny into the bathroom and found he was quickly being smiled at like he had just given Danny a million dollars.

                “I seriously need to thank you. Jackson was a mess after he got bit. He thought he was going crazy or dying. When you figured it out and led him to Derek you gave him hope. Jackson might never really thank you, but I am. He’s my best friend and I was so worried for him until now,” he admitted.

                “Oh. Ok. Thanks. It was for the good of us all that he get some form of control over his new wolfiness,” Stiles flushed.

                “Yea, well. I still really appreciate it. And I promise to make sure he doesn’t really use his new abilities to hurt and/or humiliate you,” he snickered.

                “Aww, I knew I could count on you,” Stile laughed and followed Danny to class.

                The rest of the day moved forward without incident. Stiles nervously tugged down his sleeves several times, Scott was caught making out with Allison 3 times, Jackson only tripped Stiles once, Danny hit Jackson for it once, and Erica ended up joining the rest of them for lunch that day. Because Scott still hadn’t told Allison about his new werewolf status then everyone agreed to remain silent about it until he was ready. They had told Melissa, however, because she noticed the change in Scott almost immediately. Since she was a nurse she worked with other werewolves somewhat regularly. Once school was out Scott, Stiles, Jackson, and Danny all went to lacrosse practice. Allison went home and Lydia watched practice as she did on occasion.

                Derek was approaching the field where he could smell 2 of his betas in action. He smelled Stiles too, the clove smell clung heavy to his skin and hair. He had actually been watching them all most of the day, needing to keep an eye on his pack as they acclimated to their new roles. When he got closer a different scent lingered in the air and it seemed to be emanating for the redhead in the stands. She smelled a bit like violets and rain. As soon as he got close she turned and looked him square in the eyes and motioned for him to come over. As soon as he was only a few away it became apparent what she was.

                “Banshee,” he said in an almost accusatory tone.

                “Wolf,” she replied, sounding bored, “Alpha wolf. Alpha to some awkward teenagers.”

                “I assume you are the ‘cute redhead’ Stiles was referring to,” he grunted.

                “I am adorable, so yes,” she grinned, “I’m Lydia.”

                “Derek. But you know that. Are you the one who found me?” he asked.

                “I am. I’ve known about you for a long time. I was glad to realize you were back once my friends were bitten. They need you and people were going to die without your help,” Lydia revealed.

                “How long have you known about me?” he cocked a brow.

                “About 6 years. The first…dream of death I ever had was about the fire at your house. I didn’t know who you were or anything about you. I was only 10 at the time. The fire was in the news the next night. I cried for days and my mom had to take me to a witch to explain to me what was going on. Both my parents are regular humans so my being what I am was a bit of a surprise,” she explained. Derek gave her a look that she couldn’t decipher. He was trying to handle the weight of her words but decided to move past them. There’s nothing he can change.

                “Are you also the one who told Stiles about mountain ash?” Derek sighed.

                “Mountain ash? No. That’s all Stiles. He pretends not to be, but he’s very smart and he is a skilled researcher. Everything he knows about werewolves he learned on his own,” she chuckled.

                “The things about Mountain ash are not well-known,” he grumbled.

                “He has his sources. I don’t ask. Stiles is a bit of an enigma most of the time,” she hummed.

                “So what is he? I couldn’t entirely tell the other night, too many smells. And his cigarette kept masking everything else,” Derek perplexed.

                “He’s human,” she said, confused.

                “But he smells different. Sort of like fire and electricity…wait,” Derek stood up.

                “What?” Lydia stood next to him.

                “Scott and Jackson,” Derek’s eyes flashed for a second, “They’re wolfing out. Something is wrong.” When both scanned the field and players they found Scott and Jackson barreling at each other. If it weren’t for their helmets and masks the rest of the team would know about their status. They were emitting low, rumbling growls and shouting at one another. Derek was prepared to stalk onto the field and break them up, but before he gets a chance he sees Stiles standing between them and glaring at both of them. He was saying something to both of them and it wasn’t in English. Derek expected both of them to continue to fight but they seemed to be submitting to Stiles. They stood back and Stiles waved them both off, Danny shoved Jackson and admonished him for attempting to fight Scott.

                “That shouldn’t be possible. They don’t have that much control yet and someone other than their alpha wouldn’t be able to bring them out of that level of aggression so close to the new moon,” Derek mumbled. Lydia looked just as shocked. Stiles was then waltzing towards both Lydia and Derek, ripping off his helmet he started scowling. It was the first time he had gotten a clear look at Stiles’s eyes, they were fierce and intense with honey-colored irises that made Derek’s expression soften. He also noted the small scar on his right eyebrow. It was a soulmate scar and looked nearly silver against his pale flesh and dark hair.

                “On musi opanować swoje bety! (He needs to get his betas under control!),” he hissed pointing at Derek.

                “Dlaczego walczyli ze sobą? (Why were they fighting?),” Lydia replied. Derek seemed confused as they words spilled from their mouths.

                “Z powodu powszechnej młodzieńczej agresji zwiększonej przez zwierzęcą wściekłość. (Your average adolescent aggression compounded by animalistic rage.),” Stiles huffed and shot another glared at Derek before stalking into the school with Jackson and Scott looking remorseful and ashamed as they approached the pair on the benches. The rest of the practice broke up and the coach called it.

                “What did you two do? You made him go full Pollack,” Lydia raised a brow and stared both boys down.

                “Jackson started it,” Scott piped, his voice squeaking a bit as he shrank a bit beneath the gaze of Lydia and Derek.

                “I did not,” Jackson murmured and shrank in kind.

                “You did,” Danny appeared between them, “You tripped Scott and fouled him at least 4 times. Then you got Stiles with your stick and Scott defended him. Then you got all…wolfy.” Danny waved his hand between them in an animated gesture.

                “The full moon is on two days. If you can’t keep your shit together until then you need to skip practice. It clearly makes both of you too aggressive and dangerous. But I need to know how Stiles got you to back down. That was impressive,” Derek admitted.

                “I don’t know. He was between us and yelling. But obviously it wasn’t in English and I only picked up half of what he was saying. Even so, there was this fluttering in my chest and I felt guilty. I wasn’t going to listen to him but the fluttering got harder,” Scott began.

                “Yea. It was like I broke my mom’s favorite thing. I felt bad even though I don’t actually feel bad about what I did,” Jackson rolled his eyes. Danny slapped him on the back of the head.

                “That fluttering is…it’s your wolf. It’s hard to explain. Your wolf is you but can also feel separate from you. The more you attune yourself with it the better. Apparently your wolf respects Stiles,” Derek explained.

                “Ok…” Scott furrowed his brow.

                “Who are you?” Derek looked at Danny.

                “I’m Danny. Jackson’s best friend. And I assume you’re Derek,” he nodded.

                “I am,” he stated in reply.

                “You need to go apologize to him,” Danny turned back to Jackson.

                “What? I am not apologizing to Stilinski,” Jackson gaped at Danny.

                “Yes, you will. Hurting Stiles apparently ruffles Scott so you will stop. Now, both of you apologize and wash up. Then meet me on the preserve to train,” Derek flashed his eyes at them and they bowed their heads. He watched the three of them walk off and grumbled to himself about teenage bullshit.

                “Did his parents really name him Stiles Stilinski?” Derek tilted his head at Lydia.

                “No,” she laughed, “Stiles is a nickname. Very few people know his actual first name and he doesn’t let people call him by it.”

                “Hmm. Ok. And the language you two were speaking?” he followed up.

                “Polish. His mother was Polish and they spoke both languages in his house when he was young. So he’s bilingual. Well, multi-lingual. He also knows some Spanish and Latin,” she hummed.

                “Really?” he asked surprised.

                “Yep. Stiles is pretty smart,” she said as she reapplied her lip gloss.

                “And you know Polish too?” he continued.

                “I learned. Sometimes he gets really in his own head and will just mumble to himself in Polish. So I might have taken a class online. Plus, he gets all fuzzy when you speak Polish to him. Reminds him of his mom. If he’s ever super upset for any reason you can usually bring him out of it with some of his mother tongue,” she smiled.

                “Where are his parents?” Derek questioned.

                “Dead. His mom died in a car accident when he was 6. His dad died just an hour or so afterwards. They were soulmates. You know how it goes. Scott’s mom adopted him right after,” She frowned. Derek did know how it went. His parents were soulmates as well. When their house was burnt with his family inside Derek and his older sister Laura were away from home with their mother. As soon as the fire took their dad she began to clutch her chest and scream. She died within a few minutes while her children panicked around her. They sprinted home to see the blaze and smoke from a mile away.

                “Sometimes I hate that aspect of soulmates,” Derek sighed.

                “Now you sound like Stiles too,” she smirked, “So, full moon this weekend. Stiles, Danny, and I will be there to watch, by the way. It will make Jackson feel better. Erica too.”

                “No,” he snapped, “it’s not safe.”

                “It’ll be fine. Besides, Stiles has a plan,” she sassed.

                “I said ‘no’. And I doubt very much that Stiles has a plan that can account for full-shift wolves experiencing their first full moon,” he growled.

                “You’re underestimating both yourself and Stiles right now,” she rolled her eyes and he flashed red at her, “Don’t go alpha on me, mister. You aren’t my alpha and I don’t have to listen to you.”

                “You’re awfully mouthy for a small banshee,” he grunted.

                “And you’re a bit too grouchy for my tastes. Go see your betas. I’ve got work to do. And I need to distract Scott’s mate so you can train without her getting suspicious,” Lydia grinned.

                “Scott has a mate already?” Derek quirked.

                “Yep. Allison. And don’t worry, they haven’t consummated their bond yet. After Scott got bitten Stiles told Scott to get better at oral sex to keep her satisfied. Plus, less likely to get them both killed or her pregnant,” she laughed.

                “Well, Stiles isn’t wrong,” he breathed out.

                “He’s usually not,” she shrugged and climbed down from the bleachers. Derek felt annoyed but made his way towards the school. He tuned his ears to his pack inside and heard annoyed conversation. He’d go in but knows that it would be extremely foolish to enter the locker room to speak with them, with him being an adult and them being under 18. He’s their alpha but he’s not an idiot. He could hear Stiles mumbling in Polish while Scott kept cutting in with random Polish words. Jackson kept trying to interrupt but Danny silenced him and he could practically feel Stiles glaring at everyone.

                “Everyone leave so I can shower,” Stiles demanded.

                “Seriously get over yourself. No one wants to look at your scarred ass anyway,” Jackson shot back.

                “Stop it,” Danny swatted him, “Stiles’s ass is lovely. Be nice.”

                “Aww. That’s why you’re my second favorite, Danny,” Stiles laughed.

                “Second favorite?” Danny pouted.

                “You know that Lydia hangs the moon,” Scott joked.

                “Now, out. I feel sweaty and gross,” Stiles finished and Derek heard the rest of them leave. The water kicked on and steam filled the room surrounding Stiles. The clove smell dissipated and now Derek could only detect the soap Stiles uses and lingering sadness. He shook it off and refocused on his approaching pack.

 

                Stiles was tossing an unlit cigarette up in the air over and over again as he waited for Scott outside the vet’s office. Deaton had locked it up and said Stiles could wait inside, but he couldn’t smoke in there so he opted to wait near the door. The moon was high above them so close to being full and the stars alit the sky wonderfully around it. As much as he hated the small time life of Beacon Hills, there was nothing better than the night sky without all the light pollution. He looked towards the woods when he heard the sound of twigs breaking and leaves rustling. From the darkness he saw one set of blue eyes and another set of red eyes. At first it was startling but he soon realized with was Scott and Derek.

                “Are you trying to scare me or is there another reason you’re both creepily hovering in the darkness?” Stiles asked aloud.

                “Apparently I’m bad at sneaking,” Scott lamented.

                “Yes. You are. I heard leaves and everything. Better gussy up that footwork, Scotty,” Stiles teased.

                “Yea, yea. Did you get what you needed from Deaton?” he asked.

                “I did. Everything is all squared away and I’m now prepared for your first full moon,” he grinned.

                “How are you prepared?” Derek pressed.

                “So nosy,” Stiles chuckled, “I have what I need so don’t you worry. Maybe just focus on your betas.”

                “If you intend to be there with an audience it concerns me very much,” Derek half-growled.

                “All you need to know is that you nor the others will be able to get within a foot of me or the other two tagalongs,” Stiles stared directly into Derek’s eyes. The wolf had green and silver eyes that caught the moonlight in a magnificent way. Derek leaned in closer and continued to glare before conceding to Stiles’s will.

                “Fine,” Derek grunted. Stiles smirked victoriously and looked back over to Scott, but before he could step closer he found Derek pushing him back against the wall of the clinic with both his hands on Stiles’s shoulders, “If you plan shit like this involving my pack without consulting me again, I will rip your throat out.”

                “Back off, sour wolf. I’ll make sure to ask permission from the over-controlling alpha next time,” Stiles sassed back and pushed passed Derek, foregoing Scott and walking towards his jeep. Scott waved to Derek and bounded over to Stiles’s vehicle as well.

                “Dude,” Scott groaned.

                “What?” Stiles asked as he started up the jeep.

                “Derek touched you. Like, forcefully. And you didn’t even flinch,” he expressed.

                “Oh,” Stiles furrowed his brow as he recalled the past few moments and realized he hadn’t reacted to the touch like he usually would, “Must’ve took me too much by surprise.”

                “I guess…” Scott trailed off as he rolled down his window and smelled the night air. The two boys drove in comfortable silence for awhile before Scott told Stiles all about his training. Derek was patient when working with him but generally grumpy all around. Jackson got his ass handed to him at least 3 times that evening and Stiles smiled at the thought. When they got home the boys separated and stole away to their own rooms. And, for the first time in years, Stiles slept with his window open so he could smell the night in his sleep.

Chapter Text

                Derek was pacing angrily as he waited with Scott, Stiles, Lydia, Erica, and Boyd for Jackson to arrive. The moon was getting higher on the horizon and they would be shifting soon. The fact that Jackson was running so late only put the more anxious Derek on edge. If Jackson were to shift without his alpha to keep him in check, then others could get hurt and Danny was with him.

                “Where the hell is Jackson?” Derek growled out for the 5th time in the past 45 minutes.

                “Clearly still running late,” Stiles hummed.

                “You might as well get set up while we wait,” Derek grumbled. Stiles rolled his eyes but get to work anyway. He had a small pouch of a blue powder that he poured in a circle around the ground. He also pulled out 4 candles that went around the circle as well. He gestured for Lydia to stand in the middle of it as he lit the candles and handed her a silver necklace.

                “So, how are guys gonna stay safe while we wolf out?” Erica perplexed.

                “My darling, Miss Reyes. I would love to illuminate you. So, this powder is a combination of mountain ash and mistletoe along with some dye to make it stand out on the ground. These candles are made with oil from monkshood and we are all going to be wearing silver necklaces. Even if you try to make your way past the candles you won’t be able to step over the powder. The necklaces are just an added measure,” he prattled off proudly.

                “Will that work, Derek?” Boyd cocked his head.

                “Yes,” Derek hissed in reply. As much as he wanted to be upset that Stiles had bested him he was also secretly pleased that this human knew so much. He was about to start pacing another round when he sensed Jackson nearby, “Finally.”

                Soon enough Jackson and Danny were rounding some trees. Lydia stood up and motioned for Jackson to come over a greet her. They weren’t dating but they were…something. Lydia knew Jackson was her soulmate but she wasn’t ready to tell him for all the reasons she had explained to Stiles. But even so, they were still drawn to one another without him having that knowledge. He got closer and wrinkled his nose when he got near the candles but seemed to ignore it and tried to take another step. He found himself nearly immobile against an unseen force.

                “What the…?” Jackson mumbled.

                “My cleverness is keeping you away,” Stiles taunted.

                “Ha-ha, Stilinski. How do I get passed?” he demanded.

                “Get un-bitten by a werewolf,” he drawled and Danny stepped past Jackson into the circle.

                “It’s old magic. Basically,” Derek added.

                “And that terrible smell?” Jackson winced.

                “The candles have monkshood in it. Also known as wolfsbane. Keeps our kind away. When you are in full shift it will smell even worse and you will want to be miles away from it. So it’s a good thing to have around the rest of the circle,” Derek finished as he refused to look at Stiles and give him the satisfaction of the praise.

                “So, when does this start?” Danny inquired as he took a seat and put on the necklace Stiles had handed him.

                “In about 5 or 7 minutes,” Derek replied looking up.

                “Do we…have to get naked in order to shift?” Erica tested.

                “Um, yea. Unless you want to ruin your clothes. We can look away while you strip if you want. But eventually you’ll get used to it. Even prefer it. Growing up in my house full of wolves we rarely walked around fully clothed,” Derek explained.

                “I promise to close my eyes,” Stiles smiled.

                “And I am only attracted to men so your lovely form will do nothing for me. But I’ll close my eyes as well,” Danny added.

                “You’re gay? What if your soulmate is a woman?” Boyd perked.

                “Then she will probably be very disappointed since I want nothing to do with ladyparts. But my mate is probably a guy,” Danny shrugged.

                “You guys don’t have to shut your eyes or anything. I’ll just try to get used to it. Really,” she sighed.

                “You sure?” Scott checked. She simply nodded and started unbuttoning her sweater. With no preamble Derek pulled his shirt off over head and in doing so both Danny and Stiles dropped their jaws on the forest floor.

                “Holy shit, are you made of marble?” Stiles gaped. Derek just continued to glare at him and then he got distracted by Lydia’s whistle. Derek flared his nostrils and then rolled his eyes.

                “Hey, you have three people sitting here who all love attractive, nude men and you have an impressive physique,” Lydia giggled.

                “Stilinski is gay too?” Jackson sneered as he pulled off his own top and toed off his shoes.

                “Stilinski is bi, but feel free to continue mislabeling me,” Stiles remarked.

                “So, McCall. Where does Allison think you are?” Jackson observed.

                “Oh, umm, she has some family dinner to go to so she’s busy. I didn’t have to come up with much of an excuse,” Scott shrugged as he pulled down his pants.

                “Then I guess it’s good that you were busy and she didn’t invite you because half her family is creepy,” Stiles complained.

                “They aren’t that bad,” Scott scoffed now entirely nude and hiding his dick with his hands.

                “We are not having this argument again. I think they’re creepy. So that’s that,” he stuck out his tongue.

                “Such a child,” Derek sighed as he turned to unbutton his pants, his shirtless back now to the three seated in the circle.

                “You’re what? 20? You’re barely older than us,” Stiles argued.

                “I’m 22,” he sighed.

                “Nice ink, Mr. Alpha. What is it?” Danny raked his eyes up and down Derek’s back.

                “It’s a triskelion,” Stiles answered for him. Derek turned to look at Stiles in surprise before twitching. His shoulders rose and his fangs dropped. All his wolves fixated on him as their fangs dropped too. Jackson fell to his knees first and his face became hairier, as did his back. His face elongated and arms lengthened. After a minute Jackson was now a fully-shifted, white wolf.

                “Oh my god. He’s so pretty,” Lydia whispered. Jackson sat on his back legs and stared at Lydia before looking back to Derek. Soon Scott and Boyd both shifted and became nearly solid black in color, Erica was soon to follow with her fur being a tawny brown with red undertones. Derek was last. He roared and shifted in second, his paws hitting the ground with a dull thud. Derek was darker than all of them, his fur so black he almost appeared as a void, with only small smatterings of white along his spine with a larger cluster in the center of his chest. His eyes flashed red and all his betas circled him. The three surrounded by magic watched as the wolves settled in the shadows before taking off into the night after Derek.

Jackson wolf Scott and Boyd wolf Derek wolf Erica wolf

                “Wow. That was really cool,” Stiles admitted.

                “Yea. I’ve never seen werewolves shift before. It was amazing,” Lydia smiled.

                “It really was. Who knew Jackson would be a pretty, white wolf? I mean, that was surprising,” Danny added.

                “I think Derek was the prettiest. Sure, Jackson was stark white, but Derek looked like starlight. Did you see those spots on his fur?” Stiles recalled with a dreamy look on his face.

                “He was bigger than all of them too. Is that because he was the alpha or is he just bigger?” Danny wondered.

                “It’s because he’s the alpha. And because he is a born wolf. They tend to be larger when wolfed out,” Stiles answered.

                “Will they be in wolf form all night?” Danny wondered.

                “Maybe? I’m not sure. I brought us provisions on the off-chance they’re wolfy until dawn,” Stiles opened his bag, pulling out blankets, bags of candy, an electric lantern, and a fully charged laptop with the first season of Supernatural uploaded. Lydia settled onto Danny’s lap and Stiles propped himself up with a stamp and they all comfortably began to watch the show while Stiles shoved gummy bears into his mouth. After 3 hours Stiles was restless. He had forgotten his Adderall and was extremely tempted to step out of the circle and stretch his legs. He definitely considered it since the wolves seemed to be nowhere in sight and he actually trusted Derek to keep them on point. He stood and was prepared to step out before a growl drew all their focus. Just to the east of where they huddle in the circle was a light brown wolf flashing red eyes. It wasn’t Derek. It wasn’t any of the others either. It crept closer and puffed out air through its nostril, extinguishing the candles one by one. It continued to circle them and moved even closer. Suddenly Stiles realized that the wolf was dangerously close and was capable of blowing the dust away.

                “Derek! Scott!” he screamed.

                “Jackson! Help!” Lydia panicked and clung to Danny. The wolf froze right in front of Stiles as Lydia and Danny cowered behind him.

                “Get out of here, mystery wolf. We all have an alpha,” Stiles spoke. But the new wolf just growled and took another step closer.

                “Is that the wolf that turned the others?” Danny whimpered.

                “Probably…” Stiles swallowed.

                “Jackson!” Lydia called out again. Stiles flashed the blade he had tucked up his sleeve and dropped into a defensive stance.

                “If it charges and somehow gets in I want you two to run. Ok? I’ll hold it off for as long as I can,” Stiles ordered.

                “But Stiles, No! We can – “

                “No,” Stiles cut Lydia off, “You will run and get away.” Before anything else could happen they heard another growl and suddenly saw Derek bounding in wolf form at the interloper. There was a clash of teeth and fur with blood spilling on the ground. The other wolves fell upon them and Scott bite and clawed at the enemy. The fight was frenzied, but quick. Soon the other wolf fell as a heap on the ground, his body slowly becoming human. When he was shifted back all the teenagers recognized the wolf as their former history teacher that disappeared the year before.

                “Oh my god. We all thought he died,” Lydia gasped.

                “I guess he was…was he a werewolf then too?” Danny perplexed.

                “Fuck,” Stiles muttered.

                “Can you guys shift back so we can talk this out of are you guys stuck like this for awhile?” Lydia pestered. Derek shuddered and shifted back to his human form, the rest followed suit one at a time. The others stepped out of the circle and handed off clothes and blankets. Erica was the quickest to get dressed. Derek was hovering on the edge of the group, his torso still exposed as he eyed the knife Stiles still has grasped in his fist.

                “You going to re-sheath that silver blade any time soon?” Derek interjected.

                “Oh. Sorry. You can’t ever be too sure,” Stiles shrugged and fiddled with it for slipping it back under his wrist, or he would have if Derek hadn’t snatched it first to examine it.

                “What are these markings in the metal?” he raised a brow.

                “Incantation in Polish. It was my mom’s. It’s for protection,” he explained.

                “Your mother seems to have been very skilled,” Derek added as he delicately held the knife’s handle.

                “She was,” Stiles grabbed the knife back and put it away.

                “We can talk about that later. What do we do with the very dead body slowly decomposing in the woods?” Danny interrupted.

                “He looks like he just died in an animal attack. Can’t we leave him like that?” Scott asked.

                “No,” Derek, Stiles, and Lydia all replied in unison.

                “Ok…so then what?” Jackson asked with annoyance dripping from his tone.

                “We can’t make it look like a wolf killed him. Hunters will notice and might look for us. It wouldn’t be the first time some found werewolves and killed them. This death needs to look like something else. We could dismember him and bury different parts in separate areas of the town,” Derek began.

                “I have a better idea,” Stiles tossed his keys to Danny, “Get the big, blue bag out of the trunk of my jeep.” Danny took a moment to give Stiles a look which prompted a “Please,” before Danny eventually left.

                “Stiles?” Scott raised a questioning eyebrow.

                “Chemistry, Scotty,” Stiles grinned. Lydia seemed to understand and started rolling up her sleeves. Together they shifted the body into position and waited for Danny.

                “Is he the wolf that turned us?” Boyd stepped up.

                “I don’t think so. He smells…feral. Like he was an alpha without a pack. If he had turned you he would have tracked you. I think he was in the territory but not himself. It looks like he’s been in his wolf form for a long time,” Derek observed.

                “I think I might need you to explain how a wolf becomes an alpha and how there were more than one in this territory,” Scott pressed.

                “You become an alpha a few different ways. If you’re a born wolf, like me, you become one when your alpha dies or hands the power over to you. Mine was my father. Or you can kill an alpha; making you one. There are also different spells, but the first two are the easiest,” Derek reported.

                “So I could kill you and become the alpha?” Jackson demurred.

                “You could try. But you would likely be killed. By me,” he punctuated. Jackson bowed his head and retreated. There was no threat in his question but Derek knew how to shut down any thought of those actions in the future. Danny was back with the bag and Stiles was pulling out a large bag of white powder and a tub of draino.

                “What are you going to do?” Erica looked to Stiles.

                “Lye and draino. It will dissolve the body. Then we bury any leftover residue. DNA will degrade so if anyone manages to dig up the nonsense left behind there will be no way to make an identity,” Stiles started pouring the lye over the body while Boyd, Jackson, and Erica looked on horrified.

                “What kind of serial killer shit do you have going on?” Jackson snarled.

                “First off, clearly not a serial killer. I am incredibly conspicuous, Second, these are things leftover from a chemistry project Lydia and I had to work on a few weeks back. I had supplies leftover and literally forgot they were still in my trunk until just now. My memory is contextual,” Stiles explained.

                “It’s a good idea. Thank you,” Derek nodded. Stiles felt the tips of his ears turn pink and warmth spread through his chest. The corner of Derek’s mouth quirked up for a second before his face fell stoic again and he refocused on the task at hand. Scott and Boyd helped to dig a hole nearby the body so they could put him in it. Jackson stood to the side and continued to eye the scene with a pensive mood. Erica sat nearby with Danny while Lydia and Stiles measured out the compounds to dissolve the body. After he was positioned in the trench they got to work. It took several hours and the sun was coming up as they tossed dirt over the pool of chemicals and putrefied flesh. Everyone was exhausted and Lydia practically had to drag Jackson to her car with Danny. Erica and Boyd drove off in silence, leaving Scott, Stiles and Derek to awkwardly hover on the edge of the Hale property.

                “So, all of that was illuminating. And I am exceedingly glad that Scott and I got to bury a body together, something to scratch off the bucket list. But, fuck, am I tired. Please tell me you don’t have any more wolfy business to do?” Stiles whined.

                “No. You guys can leave. I need to go home and rest before work,” Derek sighed.

                “You have a job?” Stiles doubted.

                “You don’t live here?” Scott sought.

                “Of course I don’t live here. I have a loft downtown. And yes, I have a job. I’m a firefighter medic,” Derek confessed.

                “Please tell me you have those cute, firemen suspenders,” Stiles practically drooled. Derek just glared and rolled his eyes. Scott even scoffed and tugged on Stiles’s sleeve to lead him back to the jeep. They watched Derek climb into his black Camaro and speed off.

                “Your alpha is so mysterious,” Stiles snickered.

                “You kept looking at his ass,” Scott groaned.

                “It was perfect; why would I not look at it? Danny was more brazen about than I was anyway,” Stiles defended.

                “Do you want to have dinner with me and Allison today? With so much of her family in town she wants a break from them. We can go to Carrie’s Diner, I’ll buy you all the curly fries you could want,” Scott bribed.

                “Promise?” Stiles grinned.

                “Of course,” he relaxed into the seat. Stiles’s cravings for junk usually got him on board with most things. When they were younger Scott bribed him with cookies or nachos in exchange for completing chores or lying to Melissa when Scott would sneak out to see Allison. Of course, not that Stiles would admit it, he would have done almost anything for Scott. Without Scott or Melissa, he would have ended up in foster care or worse.

                When they got home Scott went to his own room and Stiles went to his. Melissa was working 3rds and wouldn’t be home for another hour or so. A shower was Stiles first planned task. He had dirt under his fingernails, more dirt in his hair and on his face, and who knew what was on his clothes. His bathroom was a room with which he had a complicated relationship. He loved relaxing in the steam with hot water cascading down his back after a long day or night. Whenever he felt sick he usually spent the bulk of his time curled up in the bathtub either submerged in warm water or a dry tub with pillows, blankets, and books. But he usually covered his mirror. He knew what he looked like, long jagged lines running down his chest and torso, splotches that looked like burns, bite marks, and many others that could be stab wounds or whip marks. He was a walking Jackson Pollock painting. The only bit of luck he had was that, whoever his soulmate was, protected their face enough that he only had one scar on his eyebrow. His chest and sides seemed to take the bulk of damage, his back had some too, but not nearly as much. Seems his soulmate confronted whoever or whatever left these marks instead of running away. But he hasn’t examined his body much in the past year. He’s sure there might be more scars on his back now, or any other parts of his body he doesn’t regularly see, but he stopped counting them or seeking them out. God, he hoped his soulmate was ok. Honestly, he knew he looked like Deadpool under his clothes, but hoped someone would find something to like about him. But he doubted it. He knew he wouldn’t be lucky enough to find his soulmate, the only person who would think he was beautiful. They were probably in Latvia or Argentina and he would never find them. Which is why he kept most of his mirror covered. He’d rather not dwell on his appearance or the loneliness that was etched as deeply as the marks his mate gave him.

                He stepped into warn shower and let himself disappear into the curtains of steam. He scrubbed the dirt and muck from his body and relaxed against the tiles while he watched the filth swirl down the drain with the water and soap. He let his fingers dance down the taut panes of his stomach, his body firm and toned from years of lacrosse and running around after his best friend. That was one thing he had going for him, he often thought to himself. As his hands moved lower he gripped the base of his hardening cock. Biting his lower lip, he started to lightly stroke himself while conjuring up images that generally aroused him, but all he could think about was tanned skin on a muscled form with a tapered waist. The dark ink etched on a firm back with a beautifully curved spin that traveled down to a deliciously round and pert ass that Stiles desperately wanted to bury his tongue in. Fuck. He knew he was thinking about Derek now. He wanted that beard running along the skin of his neck and chest. He wanted those hands holding him down while being filled. He pictured Derek biting his neck as he came hard all over his fist. Stiles wasn’t going to give himself time to feel guilty about his little fantasy. He rinsed his cum off, toweled dry, and pulled on dark red sleeping pants, a dark t-shirt, and a darker hoodie before pouring himself into bed. Again, he left his window open to let the cooler air fill his room as he pulled the blankets over his head and fell into a deep sleep.

Chapter Text

                Meeting Scott and Allison at their favorite diner downtown was something he both looked forward to and was apprehensive about. He was moving quickly down the sidewalk smoking a clove cigarette and the diner was in his sights. He found himself anxious when he was out in the public for long periods of time, just in general. When he took his medication it wasn’t nearly so bad. But he accidentally skipped a few doses so he has to build it back up in his system. Needless to say, he was feeling twitchy. He also felt like he was being followed.

                “Hey, Stilinksi!” turned out he was. Stiles pinched his brow to brace for the oncoming frustration and turned around to see who was shouting for him. Then he was facing Jake, a boy from a few of his classes as well as the lacrosse team.

                “What do you want? I have a dinner to get to,” he sighed.

                “Aww, Scarface has a date?” Jake taunted.

                “Oh yea, I have this poly thing going with Scott and Allison,” Stiles winked and moved to keep walking.

                “That’s right. You like boys and girls. Trying to maximize your chances since you’re just a mess under your clothes?” he continued, trying to get under Stiles’s skin as much as he could.

                “You know, I am perfectly happy being a cuckold,” he sassed. With that, Stiles turned around and kept walking away from Jake and his smug face. He only made it 3 steps before something hard hit him in the back. He found a plastic, takeout container on the ground at his ankles.

                “Dude, what the fuck?” Stiles snapped, trying to keep his composure.

                “Maybe I don’t like it when people walk away from me when I’m talking to them,” Jake shot back.

                “Maybe you didn’t have anything worth listening to,” Stiles sneered.

                “Awfully cocky for someone who looks like you do,” Jake pressed on.

                “Fucking – just leave me alone. I’m leaving,” Stiles turned again but quickly found himself being pushed hard, tripping, and falling onto the concrete sidewalk. His palms were scrapped up and bleeding now and his right knee hit the ground with enough force to make Stiles wince.

                “McCall might put up with your shit but I won’t,” Jake warned. He bent forward and grabbed the hood of Stiles’s jacket and tugged on it, trying to pull it up. For a moment a strip of skin above his pants was exposed to the air and Stiles shouted in protest. Before it could be pulled up anymore he found there was no longer any pulling and he was free to push his shirt back down and scramble away. He turned back and saw Derek grabbing Jake by the back of the neck and shoving him into the brick wall. Stiles could see Derek’s eyes red and firm, boring a hole into the back of Jake’s head.

                “Touch him again and I will rip your throat out. With my teeth,” he threatened.

                “Let go of me, asshole,” Jake squirmed and tried to push off the wall but Derek was much, much stronger.

                “I will when you promise to leave Stiles alone,” Derek said with finality. He relinquished Jake who looked over his shoulder to see an angry Derek glaring at him.

                “Fine. Just let me go,” Jake pled, his eyes refusing to look at Derek or Stiles. Derek finally skulked away not looking anywhere but his feet. He disappeared around the corner and Stiles sighed in relief and annoyance.

                “Um, thanks, Derek. You really didn’t have to help,” Stiles offered with a small smile.

                “It’s fine. You seemed like you needed help, which is surprising considering you were ready to fight a feral wolf yesterday but didn’t raise a hand to that guy,” Derek reasoned.

                “You can’t really reason with a wolf. But I could arguably reason with that jerk. And I like to avoid physical conflicts if I can. I was trying to walk away. Besides, with the feral wolf i just wanted Lydia and Danny to be safe, I didn't have anyone else to protect right now,” Stiles shrugged and pulled at his sleeve over his bleeding palms. Derek saw them and grabbed both his hands.

                “Here,” Derek placed his fingers over the wounds on Stiles and deadened the pain.

                “You don’t have to – “

                “Just let me,” Derek tensed and Stiles felt pain free within seconds.

                “Thanks,” he mumbled. Derek’s hand lingered on his wrist before Stiles gently pulled away. He finally examined the werewolf and realized he was wearing his work uniform, the dark blue shirt practically painted on with tight, blue pants and boots. Stiles took in the whole package and filed that image away for later.

                “I was just picking up some coffee for work. What are you doing?” Derek sought.

                “Oh, just meeting Scott and his mate for dinner. She has a bunch of family in town and feels overwhelmed. I’ve met some of them and I don’t blame her for avoiding them. Her aunt creeps my out the most,” Stiles reported and shuddered when he thought about the last time he interacted with her.

                “Hmmm,” Derek hummed, “I’ll let you get back to that then. Next week we’re having a pack meeting. Are you going to be coming?”

                “I don’t know. Hadn’t really thought about it. I’m not a wolf or anything,” Stiles shrugged.

                “You should come. You’re smart and you seem to know more about werewolves than any of them do. Besides, packs have human members. My old pack had a few,” Derek smiles briefly.

                “O-ok. Yea. I can come with Scott,” Stiles fought his blush and nodded. Derek waved and turned towards the nearby coffee shop. Feeling calmer and having almost completely forgotten the aggravating incident that occurred before Derek intervened, Stiles walked into the diner.

                “You’re late,” Scott huffed.

                “I fell. Got hurt,” he held up his wounded palms, “Now I hope you feel guilty.”

                “Are you ok? Do you need me to get you some bandages?” Allison asked.

                “Nah. Ran into Derek on the way and he helped me out,” Stiles began, “Because he’d a medic. What with all his medic skills.” Stiles recovered and Scott seemed relieved.

                “Whose Derek?” Allison smiled.

                “Oh, umm. He’s…a new friend?” Stiles searched for an answer and looked over to Scott.

                “We met him when we were running on the preserve. He was running too. He was nice,” Scott added.

                “Ok. Guess you were lucky then,” Allison seemed unphased and the boys decided to shift the conversation.

                “So, Allison, how long will your family be hanging around?” Stiles tilted his head and perused the menu.

                “Well, my grandpa was only here for the 2 days. My aunt will be here for at least 2 weeks. Maybe more,” she groaned, “She wrecked her car on the way here and the repairs will take awhile.”

                “I’m glad our feelings seemed to be aligned,” Stiles laughed.

                “She’s not that bad…she’s just – I don’t know. She irks me sometimes,” she grimaced.

                “Hey, don’t even worry about it. I practically loathe her. She is a creep and predatory and always – “

                “Hi, Aunt Kate!” Allison exclaimed in a panic and she watched the blonde walk through the front door of the restaurant.

                “Of course,” Stiles grumbled under his breath.

                “Hi, kids. How’s your Sunday night going? We missed you at dinner, Allie. We were all hoping to meet your boyfriend,” Kate grinned and stood at the head of the table. She placed both her hands on the edge and leaned forward. Her eyes raked over all of them but spent a little more time on Stiles.

                “Sorry, Kate. We just wanted a chill dinner before school tomorrow. Midterms this week,” she smiled, “This is Scott.” Allison gave him a small kiss on the cheek and he blushed.

                “Well, at least he’s a cutie. Look at those brown eyes,” Kate chuckled.

                “And this is Stiles,” Allison added.

                “Ah, yes. Stilinski. I remember you. When you were 5 you kicked me in the knee,” she replied.

                “Yea, well. I was a scamp,” Stiles deflected and still felt Kate’s heavy gaze on him.

                “Of course, last time I saw you – you were, what? 13? So surly. Your hair was shorter too. This looks much nicer,” Kate observed and brushed her hand back through it. Stiles flinched away and Kate seemed pleased by that reaction. Scott, however, had to stifle a growl.

                “Stiles lives with Scott. They’re basically brothers,” Allison interjected, hoping to settle the tension that suddenly erupted.

                “Oh yea. I think I had heard that. After your parents passed. I was sorry to hear that,” she feigned sympathy.

                “Thanks. Ya know, had plenty of time to deal with though. No need to apologize,” Stiles gave a tight smile.

                “Well, I’ll get out of your hair. Enjoy the rest of your night, kids. And Allie? Invite your friends for dinner sometime this week. It’ll be nice to get to know them,” Kate leered and went to the counter to pay for whatever order it was she had put in for and promptly left. Stiles shuddered and Scott stifled another growl.

                “Wow, you two really don’t like her,” Allison snickered.

                “Yep,” Stiles droned, “I’m cashing in on those curly fires you promised.”

                “Fine. But no eating my mozzarella sticks,” Scott laughed.

                “Deal. But if Allie gets a dessert I’m stealing at least one bite,” Stiles countered.

                “I reluctantly agree to these terms,” Allison rolled her eyes.

                The rest of the evening went well, they were comfortable and Stiles was able to forget both negative interactions he had that evening. His mind would continuously drift back to Derek and his unexpected kindness and invitation. Thinking about him made Stiles decide to test the waters some with Allison. Regarding her feelings about werewolves. Her answer surprised both him and Stiles when she blushed and revealed she actually had a great deal of fascination with them. One of her favorite models is a werewolf, but because her family has such a tricky history with them she tends to hide it from them. But she loves them. Scott fought his blush with and visible excitement with a determination Stiles had the greatest admiration for. Later that night, when they were back home, Scott decided to tell Allison he was a werewolf before the new next moon.

Chapter Text

                Stiles was feeling unsettled. He had felt on edge since the night before Scott’s first shift and he was still itching under his skin. Something was off and he couldn’t place it. He was consistently compelled to go out into the woods behind their house but kept back. While he now had friendly werewolves at his disposal he was still worried about the possibility of another rogue. Monday after school he decided to actually walk through the forest close to his home There was a highway that ran along the backside of it about a half mile out. So he figured he would just walk there and back. With lacrosse practice cancelled and Scott out with Derek he headed out alone.

                It was getting colder, which Stiles appreciated on multiple levels. He actually loved the cold; his breath hanging in the air and leaves crunching under his feet, it made him feel at ease. The cold weather meant he could also wear long sleeves and layers without discomfort. Summer was hell and he had come close to heat stroke more than once. Sometimes he thought he should just get it over with and stop feeling self-conscious about his skin, but he wasn’t ready. He had walked less than halfway through the woods when he heard a small whimper. He looked around and wondered if it was a wounded animal. He quietly shuffled further and heard another cry that was definitely human. Possibly a child.

                “Hello? Is someone there? Are you hurt?” Stiles called out. All he heard was another whimper and followed it. After pushing past some brush and a fallen tree he saw a little girl covered in dirt. She was wear a torn shirt and roughed up pants. It also looked like there were small bits of broken glass in her hair. She was crying and curled up on the ground with her back to a stump.

                “Hey. Hi. Are you ok?” Stiles took a step closer and the girl flinched.

                “Oh, no. Hey. I’m not going to hurt you. I promise. My name is Stiles. What’s your name?” he spoke softly. She said something into her legs that he couldn’t quite hear.

                “Couldn’t hear you, sweetheart. Can I come closer? Is that ok?” he tested. She nodded tentatively and walked closer. When she was within arm’s reach he could see she was more than filthy, she had been injured at some point, dried blood on her clothes. He wished he could see her face but it was shoved right up against her knees.

                “Where are your parents?” Stiles quizzed.

                “Don’t have parents,” she cried. That hurt to hear.

                “I don’t have any either. It’s ok. You’ll be ok. How did you get here?” he pressed. She just tightened her arms around herself and shuddered and then froze. He just wanted to wrap her up in warmth and make her feel better.

                “If you’re hurt I can help you. Are you hungry? I bet you are. I have some snacks in my pocket,” he took out a granola bar and held it out. When she peaked over her knees he saw eyes that flashed gold and a scrunched nose. She was a werewolf. And one that was stuck mid-shift. Or at least that’s what he thought. He didn’t know much about child wolves.

                “Aww, you’re a cute wolfie. My brother is a wolf too,” he smiled at her. She stared at him with a look he couldn’t read and she took the bar from his hand, “So, can you tell me your name?” She must have been a born wolf, no one would turn a kid that young. He’d hope.

                “Mika,” she whispered.

                “Mika. That means starlight. It’s pretty,” he soothed.

                “I didn’t know that,” she mumbled.

                “Well, it’s true. Wanna know a secret?” he grinned.

                “Yea,” she gave a tiny smile.

                “My real name isn’t Stiles. Its Meonenim. But I don’t let anyone call me that. My mom used to call me Nim, which I liked. It means ‘charmer.’ Which is funny because no one has ever accused me of being charming,” Stiles laughed.

                “I like Nim,” she gushed quietly.

                “You can call me that if you like it better than Stiles,” he nodded. She nodded in kind and greedily ate the granola car. “Hungry little thing. Will you let me take you somewhere to get some food and get cleaned up? I’m afraid you’re hurt.”

                “No one will hurt me? Right?” her eyes got wide.

                “No. I promise. You’ll be perfectly safe. In fact, I can take you to see this super cool lady named Melissa. She’s really nice and makes the best cookies,” Stiles offered and anxiously hoped she would agree, there was nothing like dragging a scared child kicking and screaming to the hospital.

                “Ok. But you can’t leave me alone. Ok?” she whimpered.

                “I won’t. Now how about you stand up, we can go to my car and I’ll take you there. It’s a big building with lots of windows. Smell kinda funny though,” Stiles gestured and stood. Mika slowly rose up and kept looking up at Stiles. She was tiny, not much taller than his hip. He guessed she was around 6 or 7, maybe. After they got to the hospital they would put out a missing person report and get her looked over. She wouldn’t have any wounds but he was sure the dried blood was hers. Werewolves healed unbelievably fast and never had scars to show for it. Any wounds or breaks were healed by now, but it didn’t mean she didn’t need a doctor to check her out.

                The drive to the hospital was tense. Mika hummed softly to herself where she sat in the back. Stiles knew she needed a safety seat but since he didn’t have one he just strapped her in the best he could and drove very slowly. She had shifted out of her half-wolf face and looked like a regular, little girl. She had dark green eyes and dirty blonde hair with lightly tanned skin. She was lovely and adorable. He wished he had a comb to work the glass and dirt out of her hair, but he knew the nurses would probably do it. He knew there was one night nurse on staff that apparently gave the kids there the best bubble baths and he was sure she’d appreciate it. When they pulled up to the hospital she got scared again.

                “Will you carry me, Nim?” she pled, her eyes watering. He hesitated. He still didn’t like being touched, only Derek had managed to, as of late, without his body being thrust into anxiety. But he could do it for her. He knelt down and she climbed right into his arms. But Stiles didn’t flinch, not once. She felt warm and comforting. Maybe it was a wolf thing. They walked through the front doors and he made a beeline for Melissa.

                “Stiles? Wha – “

                “This is Mika. I found her in the woods. She needs help and she is being very brave,” Stiles interrupted her.

                “Yea, she looks like a brave girl,” there Melissa kicked right into mom mode, “Sweetie, where are your parents? Can you tell me what happened?”

                “Don’t got parents. I was in an accident and got scared so I ran to the woods. That’s where animals go,” she divulged.

                “Ok…that’s ok. We can work with that. Will you let me take you to a room where I can check you for injuries?” Melissa stroked the girl’s hair and smiled cautiously.

                “Yes. Can Nim come too?” she tested.

                “Nim?” Melissa grinned at Stiles for a minute, “Of course he can. You’re very lucky he told you his real name. He doesn’t tell anyone that.”

                “He said I could. Said my name means starlight. It’s pretty,” she let Stiles continue to carry her as Melissa guided them into an empty exam room. As they passed the nurse’s station Melissa signaled to a few that she was checking someone out and to call the police about a lost and hurt kid. They were, unfortunately, well-versed in communicating these things. Stiles set Mika on the table and Melissa shut the door.

                “So, I can see blood on your clothes. Can you tell me where you’re hurt? Show me?” Melissa pulled on some latex gloves and waited for the girl to answer.

                “They’re all better now. I’m a wolf,” she answered with wide eyes.

                “Oh! That makes things a little easier then. But we will still need to check a few things. And I can call a werewolf doctor to talk to you. My son is a wolf, not as cute as you though,” Melissa lightly tapped the end of her nose.

                “I’m telling Scott you said that,” Stiles gasped and laughed.

                “Well, it’s true,” she giggled, “So, tell me what happened before you got to the woods. I just want to get a clear picture of what you’ve been through.” Mika fiddled with her fingers and looked up to Stiles for anything and he nodded at her.

                “I woke up in the back of the car. Aggie was driving. I said I was hungry but she said we were almost there and we would stop soon. But then a car hit our van super hard. I don’t know what happened after that. There was lots of blood and broken stuff. Aggie was gone and I was scared. So I ran into the woods to hide,” she started crying and Stiles let her hug him again, “I heard yelling later and thought there was a gun sound.”

                “Its ok, sweetheart. You’re safe now,” Stiles brushed back her hair and felt her shake as she cried.

                “Who is ‘Aggie’?” Mellissa continued.

                “She’s my doctor. We were gonna go see a different doctor. I don’t know why she left me there,” Mika was full on sobbing again and Stiles pulled her up into his arms all the way. A police officer and doctor came in, Melissa giving them sad smiles as they approached. Mika saw them and squeezed Stiles tighter.

                The officer spent time talking to both Mika and Stiles. They were able to find out she was raised by this Aggie and had no parents to speak of. Her doctor took blood samples from her a lot and seemed to give her shots that always made her sleep and weak, which made them quickly suspect this person was no doctor. She had never been to a formal school and she wasn’t even entirely sure how old she was. They were able to convince her to let them take a small blood sample so they could see if anything was still in her system. Stiles told them all about how he found her and helped with the information for the police report. Melissa was able to coral Mika into taking a bath in one of the suite bathrooms in the children’s ward. Since they had no idea who she was or anything else about her bloodwork they decided to keep her overnight. Stiles had to go home but he promised to stop by in the morning before school. He was worried about Mika. Really worried. And he was more worried that no one else cared enough to worry for her either.

 

 ==================================================================================================================

                Scott was in complete shock when Stiles told him about what happened the night before. The fact that Stiles had found an abandoned child who was a werewolf in the woods was bad enough, but knowing that she was possibly abused and neglected made his stomach turn. Scott went with Stiles to visit her in the morning before school and everyone was in agreement that she was the cutest thing they’d ever seen. Scott even let her scent mark him. She did the same to Stiles too. Before they left Melissa told them the child psychologist and a CPS worker would be interviewing her and she’d keep Stiles up to date. Hopefully they’d get some good news.

                “She was lucky you found her,” Lydia smiled.

                “She’d have been luckier if she hadn’t been in a car accident or potentially raised by a psycho,” Stiles grunted.

                “She’s in good hands now. So just be grateful about that,” Lydia added.

                “So she was a werewolf?” Allison asked.

                “Yea. She was sort of mid-shift when I found her. And she’s an omega, so that’s something to consider. When she sees the shrink today I’m sure they’ll talk about it,” Stiles sighed, he was still all worked up and worrying about her.

                “I bet it was cute. Did she have a little scrunched up nose and all?” Allison grinned.

                “Yea. It was super adorable,” Stiles laughed.

                “What’s adorable?” Danny asked as he and Jackson joined them.

                “This little girl Stiles found lost in the woods. She’s a werewolf and the cutest. She’s at the hospital now though, getting looked over and all that,” Allison answered.

                “Wow. Where did she come from?” Danny gasped.

                “No idea. All we know is that she was driving here with a doctor and they got in a car accident. The girl got scared and ran into the woods. I’m guessing instincts took over,” Scott put in.

                “But she’s ok?” Jackson pressed, seeming oddly concerned.

                “Yea. I’m going to see her after practice today. I should make some muffins for her too,” Stiles smirked.

                “The cranberry ones?” Lydia mused.

                “The one and only,” Stile beamed.

                “Make like 4 dozen because I’m going to want some,” Lydia giggled.

                “Me too!” Danny and Allison affirmed.

                “Good thing none of us are capable of getting fat then,” Scott rolled his eyes.

                “Ugh. I gotta go. I have to meet up with my project partner for history,” Allison stood, “See you after school?” Allison leaned down to kiss Scott.

                “Of course,” he gave her another kiss and watched her walk away, eyes glued to her ass, without shame.

                “Both of you are gross,” Stiles fake gagged.

                “Just jealous,” Jackson taunted.

                “Anyway, can I get Derek’s number from you? I have questions about born-wolves,” Stiles redirected.

                “Yea. I’ll text it to you. Mom wants him to come over for dinner sometime. She wants to meet my alpha,” Scott sighed.

                “Mine too,” Jackson grumbled.

                “Boo-hoo, you have parents who care,” Danny mocked them both.

                “When are you going to tell Allison?” Lydia asked.

                “This weekend, I think. She’s been so open and positive about werewolves so I feel encouraged. It’ll be ok. Might tell her with my mom. Maybe. Haven’t decided yet,” Scott breathed out.

                “It’ll be fine. I promise she will like it,” Lydia revealed.

                “Good,” Scott blushed.

                The bell rang and everyone parted ways. Scott sent Derek’s number to Stiles. Stiles still felt anxious and was hoping talking to Derek might help. Lydia sat behind him in literature class and he tried to pay attention, he really did, but he was worked up. He pulled out his phone and hid it behind his book to send off some texts.

Stiles : Hey Derek. It’s Stiles. I have some questions about born-wolves for you if you’re willing to answer them. Thanks.

Derek : What do you want?

Stiles : Umm, a few things. First, how long could a child wolf survive in the wild if they were lost? Second, would they be able to track their family down if separated from them?

Derek : Why are you asking this?

Stiles : I found a lost girl in the woods. Her name is Mika and she’s a wolf. I have no idea how long she was there but she’s at the hospital now and I just wanted some background.

Derek : Well, depending on how old she is and how much training she had she could reasonably survive for a week or so. And she could track her family down if they weren’t too far away.

Stiles : ok, thanks. She said she didn’t have parents but I was hoping we could find whoever it was she was with. Or who raised her. Can I contact you for more questions if they come up?

Derek : yes.

Stiles : Great.

                That was helpful. It made him feel a little better but his inability to focus was worse than usual. He ended up reading comics on his phone and scrolling through Tumblr before actually paying attention to his text. He ignored the class discussion for the most part but eventually joined in. They were reading Kafka’s short stories and he actually enjoyed them. Lydia supported most of his arguments and class was over before he knew it.

Melissa: I need you and Scott to stop at the store on the way home to get some groceries and other supplies. Mika is coming home with me and I am going to serve as her temporary foster parent until they can figure out something more permanent. Since I already have one werewolf child they seemed comfortable enough handing her over to me. Plus, she was very vocal about wanting to see you. I’ll send you a list of what we need.

Stiles : That’s great! Anything else we need to know?

Melissa : she is going to be weak for a little while. Apparently, whoever was raising her, had kept her on a steady, low-dose of wolfsbane to keep her under control. The doctor said it’ll all be out of her system in a few days. She’s also pretty malnourished so we need to make sure she gets lots of calories.

Stiles : I fucking hate whoever raised her.

Melissa : me too. And we couldn’t get any other information on whoever that person was. Police are going to be on the lookout.

Stiles : I assume we need to get her clothes and stuff?

Melissa : yea. Can you get Lydia or Allison to help with that?

Stiles : do you not trust my fashion sense?

Melissa : you’ll get her nothing but things with Marvel characters on them.

Stiles : and she’d be adorable in them. 

Melissa : probably. But get a wide range of stuff, ok?

Stiles : promise.

Melissa : see you tonight, sweetheart.

                Stiles was now in an excellent mood. Mika was safe and he had someone adorable to dote on. He also wouldn’t admit that it gave him another excuse to bother Derek. Nope. That didn’t occur to him at all.

Chapter Text

                That night Stiles walked into his house only to find Mika launching herself at him. She was happy to be home with them and to have a big, cozy bed. Melissa set her up in the guest room. She had lots of pillows and blankets and had eagerly ate up everything they put in front of her. She had never had pancakes before, much to everyone’s shock. So Stiles made her the biggest brinner (breakfast + dinner) he could. Now that she was all clean and wearing new clothes Stiles got a much better look at her. She was tiny, very tiny. Pretty much skin and bones. But she had this button nose and lips the color of bubblegum and he knew she would be a heart-stopper when she got older. Melissa pulled her hair back into a French braid and Mika seemed endlessly pleased about her new hairstyle. Scott called Derek and asked him to come over and help with a few things. The doctor told them that a child wolf without an alpha would have a hard time through full moons so Derek agreed to serve as her alpha until she was able to find her own pack. Stiles was finishing up his batch of bacon when the doorbell rang.

                “Hello! You must be Derek! Welcome to our home,” he heard Melissa at the front door. Mika was hovering at Stiles’s side as he cooked but her nostrils flared when Derek came in the house. She recognized an unfamiliar wolf, and al alpha at that, and she seemed conflicted. Thankfully, Derek followed Melissa and Scott into the kitchen so she didn’t have to make a decision. She did, however, cling to Stiles’s leg and press her face to his pants.

                “No need to be afraid, sweetheart. Derek just looks meaner than he is,” he teased. Derek fought a glare but softened his face.

                “That is Mika,” Melissa giggled.

                “Hi,” Derek nodded coolly.

                “Very comforting,” Stiles rolled his eyes, “Come here.” Stiles took her hand in his and brought her closer to Derek, who kneeled to the floor to be at eye-level with her.

                “This is my alpha,” Scott informed.

                “They told me you were lost in the woods and that you don’t have a family or pack. So I’m going to help you for awhile until we find them. Ok?” Derek asked softly.

                “Ok,” she smiled, mumbling against Stiles’s leg.

                “Good. I promise we’ll all take good care of you,” Derek comforted, his face was warm and Stiles couldn’t help but stare.

                “You can come with us on the next full moon too. It’ll be fun,” Scott grinned.

                “Can Nim come too?” Mike tested.

                “Nim?” Derek furrowed his brow and had a brief faraway look before shaking back to the present.

                “She means me,” Stiles started, “And yes, I’ll be there. I was there last time Scott had his.”

                “What did you do during your last full moon?” Derek sought.

                “Dunno. Doctors always put me to sleep when they happened,” she shrugged like it wasn’t a big deal at all. Derek growled and Mika flinched, but he apologized right away and asked to speak to Melissa. Stiles couldn’t hear them talking in the dining room but he could tell from body language alone that Derek was fucking pissed about what he was being told. Melissa explained about the steady doses of wolfsbane she had been given and the fact that she hadn’t been to school or around any other wolves. Derek’s fists were clenched tightly at his sides and Mika kept looking at him and sniffing the air. When Stiles and Mika brought in the food Derek tried to relax his body.

                “You smell funny,” Mike scrunched her nose.

                “Sorry. I was just upset. You’re smelling me being angry. Over time you’ll be able to know what different feelings smell like. And you’ll be able to smell other things too,” Derek gave a slight smile.

                “Like how Melissa smells like flowers!” Mika burst out, “And that Nim smells like grass and trees.”

                “Exactly. You’re a smart girl,” Derek pat her head. She blushed and giggled.

                “You smell good now,” she revealed.

                “Good. I’m glad. Now let’s get some food in you,” Derek gestured to the table. They all sat down and talked easily. Melissa and Derek had apparently spoken on the phone before when working, which made sense since they worked in similar fields. Scott talked about his plans to tell Allison and Stiles didn’t have much to add, he mostly made faces at Mika. After dinner they all went into the living room to watch a movie but Mika seemed somewhat unsettled and had trouble getting comfortable.

                “You ok?” Stiles asked Mika.

                “I feel fuzzy. Everything is too far away,” she complained, but Stiles didn’t understand.

                “She wants a pack cuddle,” Derek sighed. He moved to sit on the floor and held his hand out to Mika, “Pack cuddles are good for pups like you. Makes them feel safe. Come on, Scott. You should learn. Chances are we will do them again.”

                “Nim too,” Mika said in defiance.

                “Ok, sweetheart,” Derek deflated. Stiles and Scott were both a little taken aback at Derek’s utterance of ‘sweetheart’ as it seemed very much out of character. Stiles sat next to Derek and Mika crawled right into his lap. Scott sat on the other side of Mika and nuzzled her for a second. For once Stiles didn’t feel like moving away from physical touch. With Mika settling into his lap with a wolf on either side he felt completely at ease. They all watched the film and Mika ended up sprawling across all of them. It was precious. She scent marked Derek and Scott and let them scent mark her.

                “Will you scent mark Nim too?” Mika whispered.

                “Only if he wants. We don’t scent mark people without asking, ok?” Derek expressed.

                “Can we?” Mika looked up at him.

                “Like I could say ‘no’ to that face. You’re worse than Scott,” Stiles laughed.

                “Yay!” she cheered and pressed her face right against Stiles’s chest and ran her nose up and down.

                “I’ll nuzzle you later, dude,” Scott laughed at Mika’s sloppy attempt to scent Stiles.

                “Your turn,” she looked at Derek. He shrugged and moved closer to Stiles. Derek pressed his face right into the crook of Stiles’s neck and lightly ran his nose up and down from collar bone to jaw. Stiles shuddered with pleasure, never having experience that sort of touch before. Derek paused for a second and took a deep breath at the base of Stiles’s neck before moving back, he could feel Derek’s lips ghost gently across his skin as he pulled away. Stiles bit his lip and looked back at the television and felt Mika settle further onto all of them. Stiles and Derek caught each other’s eye a few times but eventually remained focused on the movie. Melissa, of course, took several pictures of the evening, including the impromptu scent marking.

 

                It had been a few days and things were settling. Melissa switched to swing shifts (4pm to 2am) 4 nights a week so she could be home with Mika. Scott and Stiles took turns watching her while Lydia and Allison pitched in. Mika loved Lydia. Probably because Lydia started buying her lots of gifts and was always playing with her hair. It was Thursday evening and Lydia was watching Mika while Stiles made a quick run to the store. He was fulfilling his promise to make muffins and was making his way through the grocery store for ingredients. He was actually looking forward to teaching Mika how to bake. He made a quick turn around an aisle and collided with a brunette woman. Both dropped what they were carrying and she stumbled back against a shelf while Stiles fell on his ass.

                “Oh my god, I am so sorry!” Stiles apologized in a panic.

                “It’s ok,” the woman laughed, “I promise. Calm down.” Stiles was definitely panicking a little but her smile settled his nerves. Both bent over to pick things up and the woman paused for a moment after taking a deep breath.

                “You smell like my brother,” she raised a brow.

                “Ummm, who is your brother?” Stiles asked hesitantly.

                “Derek Hale,” she smiled.

                “Oh. Yea. I know him. Quite familiar with his broodiness and grumpy face,” Stiles offered.

                “I’m his twin sister, Laura,” she offered her hand but Stiles didn’t take it. He just stared at her.

                “Are you..?” Stiles tested.

                “A werewolf? Yes. He is older than me by exactly 3 minutes. So he is my alpha. I take it you’re one of the humans is the pack?” She began.

                “Ok…” Stiles was still a bit unclear about how to go about answering any of her questions. Especially because Derek had failed to mention he had a twin sister or that she was here.

                “He told you absolutely nothing about me. Right?” she sighed.

                “Nothing at all,” Stiles answered.

                “He’s the worst. Ugh. He has told me all about you guys. I’m visiting from Oregon. I’m living up there while I finish my masters degree. So, are you Danny or Stiles?” she pressed.

                “Stiles,” he told her.

                “Stiles. It’s nice to meet you. So you found the little Mika in the woods. Derek told me about her the other night. It was amazing luck that you found her,” she praised, “He’s talked about you plenty, actually.”

                “Was Derek gonna tell us you were in town since you’re part of the pack?” Stiles diverted and fought his blush.

                “I think he planned on surprising you, but not in the fun way,” she laughed, “Oh! You should let me scent you so when he sees you next he gets really confused.” She exploded.

                “Oh my god, yes!” Stiles fist pumped and nearly fell over laughing with her, “I’ll be seeing him tonight actually. He’s going to show Mika some things. Scott too. Is he going to get extra grumpy?”

                “Possibly. Derek exudes tension most of the time,” Laura chuckled.

                “Well, scent me, woman,” Stiles grinned. And she did. She didn’t scent him like Derek had. Instead she brushed her arms up and down his. He hardly flinched when she touched him, but the reaction was still caught by her.

                “Are you alright?” she tensed.

                “Yea. Sorry. Sometimes I don’t do so well…with touch. I’m getting better,” he nodded.

                “I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I never intended such,” she smiled apologetically.

                “It’s fine. I promise. All you wolves or so tactile. I should probably get used to it,” Stiles shrugged.

                “It’s true. We really are. But if you tell Derek he won’t touch you. He’s very big on consent and all that. He’ll keep everyone in line for you,” she offered.

                “Oh. No. Really. It’s fine. Besides, him and Mika are the only people who touch where my body doesn’t freak out,” Stiles smirked as he revealed that truth he hadn’t really spent much time thinking about.

                “Good. I need to get home and based on your basket you need to go bake something,” she winked.

                “You bet I do. It was nice meeting you. And I guess I’ll be seeing you this weekend. I’m bringing muffins,” Stiles beamed.

                “Excellent. I love muffins. So does Derek. Not that he’ll admit it. Ever. Please tease him about it endlessly,” she droned and rolled her eyes.

                “I plan on it. Maybe I can make him scowl so hard his face breaks,” Stiles mused. They parted ways and Stiles made his way home after checking out at the front of the store. He was surprised by Laura, to say the least. While she certainly looked like Derek’s twin, they were virtually nothing alike. She was vibrant and all smiles. Not that Derek wasn’t vibrant in his own way, because he was. Derek was fierce and protective and had this fire in his eyes that knocked Stiles on his ass. Not that Stiles spent much time thinking about Derek’s…anything.

 

                When Stiles he expected to find Lydia and Mika cuddling on the couch, they were, but Derek was there too. Stiles didn’t take more than 3 steps into the house before he found himself pressed up against the wall with Derek’s face in his neck.

                “Hi there, Derek. Long time. Like my new cologne?” Stiles joked.

                “You,” Derek narrowed his eyes and glared at Stiles.

                “Me? Me, what? Do I smell funny to you or something?” Stiles teased.

                “You conspired with her. I knew this would happen,” Derek huffed, it was almost adorable.

                “What?” Lydia cocked a brow as Mika climbed out of her lap.

                “Nim smells like another wolf,” she sniffed him.

                “Yea. He smells like my sister. I bet this was her idea. She would think its hilarious,” Derek rolled his eyes.

                “It is hilarious. Obviously,” Stiles snorted.

                “You have a sister?” Lydia approached them.

                “He does. A twin. She’s all giggles and joy. The opposite of our sourwolf, here,” Stiles pointed.

                “Sourwolf,” Mika repeated with a laugh. Derek glared at Mika for all of half a second before scooping her up and tickling her. Stiles’s heart might have jumped in joy at how cute the scene was.

                “When do we get to meet her?” Lydia asked.

                “Saturday at the pack meeting. She is pack and is visiting for a few days. And she really wanted to meet this little pup here,” Derek squeezed Mika and she squealed with delight.

                “I promised her muffins too. It’ll be a good meeting,” Stiles moved past his friends into the kitchen, bags full and heavy at his sides.

                “Hell yes!” Lydia cheered.

                “You’re awfully excited for muffins,” Derek chuckled.

                “You haven’t had Stiles’s muffins. You have no idea. Are they the orange cranberry ones with the drizzle? Pleeeease tell me those are the ones you’re making,” Lydia was leaning over the counter peering into the bags.

                “Of course. That’s how I buy love from people. I’m bringing some tomorrow night when Scott drags me to Allison’s for dinner. I mean, the mom is a lost cause but we can get the dad to like him. And I will tolerate the other family members to the best of my ability,” he finished.

                “Can I help you bake, Nim?” Mika gazed up at him from under her long lashes.

                “Of course! Who else would help me stir the bowl?” Stiles teased. Mika did join him in the kitchen and they spent at least 2 hours cooking and cleaning their mess back up. Derek had stood on the edge of the kitchen watching them the entire time. Once they were ready to pop out of the oven it was Mika’s bedtime. Lydia helpfully put Mika to bed and she left shortly thereafter. Derek remained behind.

                “You don’t have to help babysit, but thanks. I know Melissa appreciates it and Mika loves you. At least her cuteness makes up for what I’ve got going on,” he laughed in self-deprecation.

                “She’s a doll. Its not like it’s a hardship to watch her,” Derek started, “And you’re not…whatever negative thing you’re implying.”

                “Aww, well now you’re just a sweetwolf,” Stiles smirked.

                “I take it back. You’re insufferable,” he countered.

                “Too late. It’s in my brain now. Its locked,” Stiles sighed, “Now, you’re free to stick around but I’m actually going to hit the hay. It’s been…a long day.”

                “I need to head out anyway. I have night shift in a few hours,” Derek stretched and pulled on his jacket.

                “Then, good night, my wolfy friend. I’ll see you this weekend for the pack meeting. I’ll bring some of these muffins and my winning smile. Go save some lives and junk,” Stiles waved Derek off. Derek remained still for a minute and gave Stiles a long look. He lingered on his eyes and the younger boy held his gaze. He swallowed roughly and blushed before looking away.

                “Goodnight, Stiles,” Derek nearly smiled and walked out the door.

Chapter Text

                Stiles was nervously bouncing his knee as him and Scott drove to the Argents. Scott didn’t seem overly concerned about it at all, but Scott didn’t have any bad experiences with anyone in that family yet. Allison was one of the sweetest people he met but the rest of her family was a toss up. Her father was distant and cold, but not overly bad. Her mom was as sinister as they came. But her aunt Kate – she was someone that made Stiles’ skin crawl, which wasn’t easy to do. Kate didn’t live in Beacon Hills, not anymore, but every time they crossed paths Stiles was on edge. He didn’t want her anywhere near him.

                “It’s gonna be fine, Stiles. Kate is harmless,” Scott soothed as they pulled up.

                “Says you. I promise to be nice though,” Stiles sighed.

                “That’s all I ask. Ready?” Scott asked as they climbed out of the car.

                “I guess. At least your girlfriend is the perfect barrier,” Stiles smirked and stood nervously at the door as they knocked. It wasn’t more than 30 seconds before Allison was pulling the door open with a blinding smile.

                “Hi, guys!” she greeted warmly and gestured for both of them to come inside. They stepped over the threshold and toed off their shoes after Allison pointed to the pile of shoes by the doorway. The house smelled nice, like roasted chicken and butter. It was inviting and deceptive. When they followed Allison into the kitchen they found Chris helping his wife place food on the dinning room table while Kate leaned against the counter drinking wine.

                “Welcome, kiddos,” Kate smirked.

                “Hi,” Scott waved.

                “Aww, nice to see you again, brown eyes,” Kate purred in a near predatory gaze.

                “Hi,” Stiles tensed.

                “Nice of you guys to finally join us. Can I take your jackets or anything?” Kate was eyeing Stiles’ hoodie.

                “No. I run pretty cold,” Stiles said through gritted teeth.

                “We can warm you up,” Kate leaned forward and leered.

                “I’m good,” Stiles turned away from her and came to look at Chris and Scott, both giving each other uncomfortable looks while Allison fidgeted nervously.

                “Its nice to see you again, Mr. Argent. Its been awhile,” Stiles nodded.

                “It has. I’ve only seen you in passing. You remember my wife, Victoria?” Chris gestured to his right. She smiled and nodded her head.

                “We’re glad you invited us to dinner. Thank you so much,” Scott smiled.

                “It is a pleasure to have you all in our home,” Victoria replied. The table was all set and everyone gathered around. Victoria sat at the head of the table with Kate at the other end. Allison sat on one side with her dad while Scott and Stiles sat on the other. They mostly spoke about school and the small world that is expected for teenagers. Chris spoke to Kate about some new weapons shipments coming in and Victoria asked Scott about his mother, wanting to know a bit more about his family.

                “Your mother raises you two alone, correct? That must be so difficult,” Chris questioned.

                “Yea. My dad…didn’t stick around. Still don’t know why and I’m not going to track him down to ask. If he didn’t want us in his life then we don’t need him. We’ve been doing great,” Scott answered.

                “Were your parents soulmates?” Kate added.

                “No. She met him when she was finishing school. He was one of the students on a werewolf rotation. He was a werewolf and wanted to go into medicine for them. But after my mom got pregnant he took off. My mom started studying werewolf medicine after that, just in case. But I was born human. Now that’s just knowledge she has. I’m sure her soulmate is out there somewhere though,” Scott explained.

                “She’s lucky she didn’t have a werewolf soulmate,” Kate sighed.

                “Kate,” Chris hissed.

                “What? It’s true,” Kate rolled her eyes, “They’re animals.”

                “They are not,” Stiles glared.

                “Of course they a – “

                “No. No they are not, “Allison interrupted, “They’re people just like everyone else. They work, they go to school, they fall in love, and have families. How can you think they’re just animals?!”

                “Calm down, sweetie. They just have an aggressive nature. It’s something to look out for. They can hurt people and they sometimes resort to just using baser instincts. Hell, Scott’s dad just abandoned them. I’ve met others who used to beat their partners up, scratching and clawing at them all the time,” Kate pressed.

                “Regular, non-wolves do that too!” Stiles glowered.

                “But wolves – “

                “I’m tired of all the anti-wolf rhetoric I hear around here half the time,” Allison spat, “Scott could be a werewolf and I wouldn’t care.”

                “Really?” Scott spoke up.

                “Yes. Really,” Allison smiled softly.

                “I agree with Allison. While it has been our job to hunt down and eliminate dangerous and murderous werewolves, not all of them are something to fear,” Chris interjected.

                “Fine,” Kate huffed.

                “Thanks, dad,” Allison held Scott’s hand under the table. The rest of dinner was somewhat free of issues. They avoided sensitive topics and remain civil. Though, Stiles’ opinion of Kate was entirely reinforced. He kept feeling his phone buzz in his pocket, but avoided checking it in order to make a decent impression, at least for Scott’s sake. But after about 5 minutes of it he decides to check. When he slips it from his pocket and looks down he sees about 6 missed calls from Lydia and several unanswered texts.

                “Um, my I use your restroom?” Stiles stood.

                “I’ll show you where it is,” Kate stood as well and Stiles gave a forced smile as thanks. He followed her out of the kitchen and down a hall, “There’s a bathroom right off the guest room here. I’ve been using it, but feel free. Just don’t rifle through my intimates.” She was teasing him and Stiles just wanted to slip into some privacy. He moved towards the door but she boxed him into the wall.

                “I don’t really need your help in the bathroom. I’m not 4,” Stiles pushed.

                “Oh, I know. Just didn’t want to give you the wrong idea at dinner,” she brought her hand up to gently trace a line on Stiles’ jaw. He flinched, as she seemed to hope and expect, “I’m not so bad. Promise.”

                “Personal space. I tend to like it. Thanks for showing me to the bathroom,” he ducked under her arm and she chuckled as he closed the door behind him. He heard her retreating footsteps and deflated against the counter. He quickly called Lydia back and was greeted by loud breathing and grunting noises.

                “Please tell me that you did not answer the phone during sex,” Stiles groaned.

                “Yes and no…” Lydia managed to get out.

                “Ewww, why did I need to be called during this?” Stiles asked.

                “Don’t be mad. Or judge me,” Lydia started.

                “What did you do?” Stiles tensed.

                “Promise,” she whined.

                “Fine. I promise I will not judge the darling Lydia for whatever it was she has gotten herself into,” Stiles intoned and pinched his brow.

                “Ok. So, I need you to come over to Jackson’s. Which is where I am. There’s a bit of a situation. I need your help,” she breathed out quickly.

                “Oh my god,” Stiles rushed.

                “Please!” she begged.

                “Yes. Alright. I’m coming. Just…hang tight or whatever,” he hung up the phone and made his way back to the kitchen, Umm, Scott. There’s been a bit of an emergency with Lydia and I need to head over there.”

                “Is everything alright?” Allison tilted her head.

                “Not sure. She was vague, but desperate. Can you give Scott a ride home, maybe? I’d hate to pull him out of dinner,” Stiles requested.

                “Of course. Allison can give him a ride after dinner,” Chris calmed, “Sorry you have to leave so soon. We can do this again. Maybe at yours with Melissa home.”

                “That would be great,” Stiles smiled.

                “Bye bye, Stiles,” Kate waved at him. Stiles just nodded at everyone and made his escape quick. He started u his jeep and practically peeled out of the driveway. Thankfully, Jackson didn’t live too far away. Jackson’s house was enormous, of course. He had to punch in the code to open the gate and rang the doorbell. He waited, only to be confronted with silence. Soon his phone rang and it was Lydia.

                “Just come in, it’s unlocked. We’re upstairs. Last door on the left. 2nf floor,” she hung up before Stiles could ask anymore questions. He pushed his way inside and headed up the stairs. He gently rapped on Jackson’s bedroom door and heard a disgruntled, “Just come in,” from Jackson. When he entered he found both of them on the bed. Lydia was astride Jackson, nude. The blanket was pooled around her hips, covering Jacksons’ legs and she was covering her chest with her arms.

                “I’m not really up for a three-way, you guys,” Stiles joked. Jackson looked pissed and Lydia turned red.

                “We’re stuck,” Jackson grunted.

                “Stuck?” Stiles inquired.

                “We – his – his penis swelled or something and he is stuck inside me,” Lydia exasperated.

                “No way,” Stiles stood, mouth agape.

                “Yes. It is – ah – very sensitive and I don’t know how to stop it,” Jackson squeezed his eyes tight and he was fisting the blanket.

                “Please, just help. I called you because I thought you would know what’s going on. This has to be a wolf thing. It never happened before when we were dating last year,” Lydia whimpered. Stiles bent down and handed Lydia her bra and then Jackson’s shirt. She slipped them on and thanked him quietly.

                “It is a werewolf thing. I had found it once during my research. It’s a knot,” Stiles began.

                “Like what dogs have?” Jackson winced.

                “Um, sort of. It ties you together. From what I have read they usually only last about 30 minutes or so. But they only happen between – “ he cut himself off before diving into the whole soulmate thing.

                “With soulmates. We know. That’s sort of how this all started,” Lydia revealed.

                “So, you told him?” Stiles sat in Jackson’s desk chair and made himself comfortable.

                “She didn’t want to,” the blonde sneered.

                “Because I didn’t think you were ready,” she countered.

                “Not really your decision to make,” he exulted.

                “No fighting. You can’t possibly think this is the time to argue,” Stiles laughed.

                “Ugh. This is embarrassing,” Lydia buried her face in her hands. Jackson was soothingly tracing circles on her thigh and his eyes seemed to soften when she sniffled.

                “How long have you been stuck together?” Stiles asked nicely.

                “About 20 minutes so far,” Jackson sighed.

                “While we wait for the swelling to go down, how about you tell me how this,” Stiles gestured between the two of them, “started. Because I was fairly certain you two weren’t fucking anymore.”

                “You have to promise to continue not judging me,” Lydia looked over to him.

                “Scout’s honor,” he leaned forward on his knees. Both Lydia and Jackson took a deep breath and Lydia pulled her hair up.

                “So, he saw the scars on the back of my neck,” she began.

Chapter Text

                Jackson was pouring Lydia a glass of sparkling water while she sorted through all the notes she was lending him for their chemistry class. He was being bratty and she was barely tolerating his attitude. All day he had be complaining about this and that. She only agreed to lend him her notes because he would have fallen behind otherwise. Becoming a wolf had put him on edge and he wasn’t coping very well. He was more withdrawn than usual and Lydia couldn’t pretend like she wasn’t concerned. He set the glass down next to her and took several steps away to leaned against the counter. He kept flaring his nostrils and grimacing. She cocked her head and watched him carefully as she sipped the water. She flipped her hair and he let out a low growl.

                “What is your problem today?” she sneered.

                “Everything. And you. You and your damn perfume. And whatever the fuck you wash your hair with. Jesus!” Jackson hissed and stalked to the dining room. Lydia was completely taken aback.

                “What the hell are you ever talking about?” Lydia snapped.

                “You smell. It’s like rotten flowers. It reeks,” he glared.

                “I smell? Am I assaultive to your new wolf sense of smell?” she spat, “I’ll leave. I’ve had enough of your god damn attitude any way.”

                “Fine. Fucking leave!” Jackson shouted. Lydia reached for her bag and coat. She pulled her hair up as she slipped it on so her hair wasn’t trapped under the collar. Jackson kept his eyes fixed on her as she moved. That’s when he saw it. As soon as he hair was lifted up he was able to see the three marks on the back of her neck, the ones that exactly matched his. He dove forward and grabbed her wrist, wrenching her back towards him. With his other hand he pulled her hair. She slapped at him and shouted but he was stronger and didn’t stop. He needed to make sure about what he saw. When she wasn’t struggling as much he was able to really look at them. They were a mirror image. She knew. She had to know. And she hid it from him.

                “You conniving bitch,” he snarled and turned her around. She was giving him the most heated look she could muster, “You knew and you didn’t tell me?!”

                “You weren’t ready to know! You just got turned. I wasn’t going to distract you with this,” she huffed. She wanted to slap him for the insult but thought better of it.

                “That was not your decision to make,” Jackson cursed. He was fisting his hands and leaning into her space.

                “Like hell it wasn’t,” she argued.

                “Oh, really? In what universe was this 100% up to you?” he countered.

                “The one where you only call me when you want to get laid or need something from me! Then you became a wolf and I didn’t see any change in you. If anything, you pulled away even more and treated us like dirt. Why would I ever tell you that we are soulmates when you had other things to worry about?” she rattled off. Jackson flinched and actually look hurt. Both were locked on each other.

                “You think I only want to be around you because sometimes we fuck?!” he questioned, voice raw.

                “What else did you expect me to think? If you aren’t with Danny then you’re by yourself or some other girl. You only seem to call me when no one else picks up. I accepted it for a long time but it got to be too much,” she revealed, her voice was firm and she wouldn’t budge.

                “That. Is the worst thing I’ve ever smelled,” Jackson stepped forward.

                “Oh? My deception? My cowardice? My damn perfume or shampoo? Or is it my laundry soap?!” she screamed in his face and tugged off her sweater. She threw it at him and fumed.

                “No. How fucking sad and hurt you are,” he said this softer. He put his hand on her arm with a gentle touch. She bit her lip and tried to stay mad. He bent down and kissed her firmly. She gasped at the contact and deflated. She kissed him back and their movements were fluid and searching. They hadn’t kissed like that in a long time. Possibly ever. She pulled back and flashed his eyes at her. He picked her up and hoisted her right over his shoulder.

                “What are you doing? Put me down,” she hollered.

                “No,” Jackson practically chuckled as he carried her upstairs. She didn’t really fight him but she squirmed in his grasp. As soon as they were in his room he put her down and pressed her right up against the wall. He kissed her again, just as roughly as before and he began to pull at her dress. Her breath hitched and she let him pinned her to the wall, not that she could have possibly overpowered him anyway. He moved to kiss her neck and slowly kissed down to her collar bone and then sternum. He pressed his face between her breasts, palming one and licking between them.

                “You smell good here,” he breathed out and gave her a squeeze while pulled her dress further apart. He kissed her ribs and kept moving down her stomach to her hips. He dragged his nose across her hip bones and lifted her dress higher and nudged his body between her thighs. Jackson stared at her panties and saw they were slightly saturated and smiled. He leaned forward and licked her clothed mound. She moaned and he trailed a finger where her legs met and toyed with the fabric.

                “You smell the best right here,” he moaned in kind and tore her panties right off her body. She gasped and found he was immediately licking up into her sex. Her almost clamped her thighs closed on his head but he used his arms to forced them apart and dipped his tongue into her before circling her clit again and again. She grabbed at his hair and tried not the scream out. He had never been so attentive with her before. One hand began to stroke her slit and two fingers slid in. He worked them in and out as he continued to work her over with his mouth. She was breathing heavy and so close to cumming.

                “Jackson!” she shouted as he pressed against her g-spot and she almost fell to her knees. He caught her quickly and pulled her over to the bed. He removed every last stitch of her clothing and pulled off his shirt. He pushed her back against the bed and slotted himself between her legs. She spread them wide and her ground against her. She was completely pliant and submissive beneath him. Usually she would be dominant or at least more active. She wasn’t scared. She just wanted him and she wanted him to take her like he really needed her. He unbuckled his pants and shoved them down enough for his cock to spring out. He growled when she sat up and he pinned her arms above her head. Using his other hand, he pressed his fingers back into her and used her wetness to click up and down his cock before just pushing in. He bottomed out right away and Lydia moaned before biting her lower lip. He pulled back out before thrusting in again, hard. She gasped and his eyes flashed again and he get driving into her. She was being fucked into the bed like he had never done before. He was ferocious but still focused on her. He was looking into her eyes and he bent to kiss her neck, the biting when her shoulder began. She practically purred and clenched around him. He was fucking her so hard that she knew she would be sore the next morning, but she didn’t care. She was writhing and moving her hips to meet each thrust. Lydia shouted out once more and came suddenly. She tightened around him like a vice and he almost howled as he came in kind and spilled inside her. He thrust hard once more and then slowed down with thrusts that were not as hard, he was becoming more gentle. He moved to pulled out, but he couldn’t.

                “Wait…what?” he mumbled as he attempted to pull out again.

                “Ow,” Lydia hissed, “That hurts. Don’t do that.”

                “Don’t do what? Pull out? I was just – I – I’m stuck,” he panicked.

                “What?!” she sat up, or tried to, but it pulled on something and both grumbled in pain.

                “My dick, like, swelled. Or something. I can’t pull out,” he spat out and looked at her with a small level of fear.

                “What do we do? Has this happened before?” she demanded.

                “No! This has never fucking happened to me before,” he furrowed his brow.

                “Is this a wolf thing?” Lydia tested.

                “It – I don’t know. You’re the first and only person I’ve been with since the change,” he sighed.

                “You’re going to hate this, but we should call Derek or Stiles. If this is a wolf thing then they’ll know what to do,” Lydia suggested.

                “Fuck, no. I don’t want to talk to any of them about this!” Jackson glared.

                “Then we’ll what? Just stay like this?” Lydia wiggled and Jackson groaned. It felt both pleasurable and painful.

                “Call Stilinski. Not Derek,” he deflated.

                “Roll us over. I can reach my phone, it was in my dress pocket,” Lydia grabbed onto his shoulders and he put a hand under her back to lift her. When she was flushed with his chest he paused and kissed her quickly. She blushed at the sudden gesture. Once they were rolled over entirely she was firmly seated atop him and she reached for her phone. They both sighed as she dialed Stiles’ number.

 

**

 

                “That was a lovely story. A romantic tale for the ages,” Stiles sassed.

                “You promised not to judge,” Lydia pouted.

                “I’m not, Lyds. Really. Jackson just sounds uncharacteristically warm and loving in your retelling,” Stiles grinned.

                “When we’re unstuck I’m gonna hit him. I swear,” Jackson threatened.

                “Do it and I’ll throw mistletoe in your face. It’ll burn like a bitch,” Stiles narrowed his eyes, “Has the swelling gone down at all?” Lydia moved her hips and shook her head in the negative. Jackson bit back a moan and Lydia giggled.

                “Hold on. I’m gonna make Jackson really mad,” Stiles grabbed his phone and made a call.

                “Yea?” Derek answered.

                “That’s how you answer the phone?” Stiles laughed.

                “I do when it’s the person who was supposed to relieve me from babysitting duty an hour ago,” the wolf grumbled.

                “Wait, Scott hasn’t come back yet? Allison said she’d give him a ride home,” he replied.

                “You’re not with him?” Derek questioned.

                “Oh, yea. Sorry. That’s actually why I called. I’m with Lydia and Jackson. They had sex and he knotted or whatever. They’re stuck together. When will it go down?” Stiles explained and was answered with silence.

                “Derek?” he chirped.

                “Umm. Say again?” Derek murmured.

                “Lydia and Jackson are tied together. When will they not be?” Stiles repeated.

                “I’ve…never done that to anyone. It only happens with mates. Laura has a mate who is a wolf. She told me once that her mate was like that for an hour. Which seems to be the average,” Derek breathed out and Stiles could practically hear the annoyed expression he was making.

                “Could be an hour, guys,” he called out to the pair and both huffed, “Need me to come back now to take over for you? Is Mika ok?”

                “No. It’s fine. She’s asleep. She was good all night. Asked for you at bed time though,” he informed.

                “Well, I do tell bedtime stories better than you,” Stiles chuckled.

                “Apparently I don’t do the voices right…” Derek trailed off and Stiles started laughing.

                “You do the voices? That’s so cute. I wanna hear,” he teased.

                “Dude, flirt on your own time,” Jackson huffed and Stiles flipped him off.

                “Thanks for the info, alpha wolf. I’ll be home soon. Promise. I think these two can resolve the rest,” Stiles sighed and spun in the computer chair he’d been perched on.

                “Ok. Have Lydia call Laura or talk to her at the meeting tomorrow. She can give more advice on that…issue,” he finished.

                “Good talk. Be home soon,” Stiles hung up and looked back at the still stuck couple, “You two can take it from here. I’ll be on my way.”

                “Thank you, Stiles. I owe you for being so good about all of this,” Lydia smiled.

                “Anything for you, Lyds. Text me when you have all your parts back,” Stiles waved them off and made his way home. The drive was longer and quiet. He didn’t feel like drowning out his thoughts with music. Jackson and Lydia…that was a development. He saw it coming, of course, he was just surprised by the timing. About as surprised he was by the phone call. The pangs of jealousy settled in his chest on the drive, however. He knew they would and he had braced himself for it. Didn’t necessarily make it any easier. He hadn’t loved Lydia in years, the jealousy stemmed from simply being alone and feeling unwanted. He acknowledged that he had a soulmate somewhere and they might want him. But they might not. Soulmates rejecting the other has happened.

                When he pulled up to the house he was greeted by a Derek sipping tea on the porch. He looked comfortable and warm. Stiles relaxed at the sight of him. When he moved up the steps he found Derek holding out a mug for him.

                “Awww, how did I earn tea?” Stiles accepted it and sat down opposite Derek on the steps.

                “Figured you’d want it. Scott texted that dinner went poorly with Allison’s family or whatever. Didn’t really give me details. Then you got to witness Jackson knotting Lydia. Seems like you had a somewhat rough night,” Derek lightly chuckled.

                “Yea, well. I tolerated the knotting duo well enough. It was Allison’s aunt that ultimately ruined my night. She’s a…bitch. Bitch is the best word. Yea,” Stiles relaxed against the railing as he slowly drank his tea.

                “Well, hopefully the tea at least puts you in a better mood,” Derek shrugged.

                “Only curly fries can gloss over the disgusting taste Kate leaves behind,” Stiles intoned and Derek flinched. He noticed how the older man tensed up and glared, his eyes flashed red and he turned to look at Stiles.

                “Kate?” he growled in question.

                “Yea. Kate Argent. She’s been a fucking thorn in my side since I was kid. Always messing with me, picking on me, and just in my space even when I tell her to not touch me and leave me alone,” Stiles offered.

                “Kate Argent is here?” Derek demanded.

                “Yea. Visiting. She doesn’t live here. She’s Allison’s aunt, though it appears that only Allison’s parents like her. Allison barely tolerates her. We all got into a fight over dinner. Kate and Victoria hate werewolves. Chris seemed more indifferent than anything, talking about codes and stuff. But Allison likes wolves and made that fact known to her family. I agreed. Scott is going to tell her he’s a wolf this weekend. So, there’s that,” he finished off his tea in large, hot gulps.

                “Stay away from Kate Argent. Stay away from that whole fucking family if you can. Obviously Allison is attached to Scott and that’s tolerable. If Kate bothers you again, tell me,” Derek was only a few inches from Stiles’ face now and very insistent, but his eyes were soft and pleading.

                “I will. Scout’s honor,” Stiles replied quietly.

                “I need to leave. I’ll see you at the meeting tomorrow,” Derek was up abruptly and walked swiftly to his car. Stiles watched him in confusion as he drove off.   

Chapter Text

                Stiles was humming to himself in the kitchen as he pulled muffins from the oven. Mika was perched on the counter and gleefully smelling all the food he had made. She had been sunny and excited about the pack meeting. She woke Stiles up almost at the crack of dawn by just bounding into his room and tackling him in bed. He playfully shoved her away, but she persisted by burrowing under the blankets and poking him until he got up. He made her breakfast and watched cartoons with her until Scott and Melissa were awake. Melissa had worked until 4am due to some serious accident on the highway. He intended to let her sleep as much as possible.

                “These smell super good, Nim,” she giggled as he mixed up the vanilla glaze for them. She kept trying to dip her fingers in the bowl but he swatted her hands away.

                “They are super good. And you’ll get one when they’re ready and the pack is here,” she pouted and he touched some drizzle to her nose. He had made some muffins the night before and ended up burning all of them when he lost track of time. The do-overs were going to phenomenal. He was letting the glaze rest when Mika shot up and bolted towards the living room. He saw Derek enter the dining room and scoop her up with a playful growl.

                “It smells amazing in here,” Derek greeted with Mika wrestling in his arms.

                “I am the muffin man. Welcome to my muffin laboratory,” Stiles laughed. Derek rolled his eyes and finally set Mika down.

                “Nim made me breakfast and we watched cartoons all morning. He said I had to be super good today for the pack meeting. Are we gonna get to have more pack cuddles?” Mika asked.

                “Sounds like you have a good morning. I’m glad you have Stiles to take care of you,” Stiles’ back was to them and he blushed over the muffins he was working on, “We will have some pack cuddles, probably. My sister really likes them.”

                “When are they coming?” she implored.

                “Soon. Really soon. In fact, Laura is already here,” he whispered, “She’s sneaking around.”

                “Really?” Mika’s eyes widened in excitement.

                “Yea. She really likes to sneak up on people,” he chuckled and Mika turned around quickly to find Laura right behind her.

                “Boo!” Laura jumped and Mika just laughed. Mika stepped forward and scented Laura a bit.

                “You smell like cookies,” Mika informed.

                “Oh? Cookies? That is the best thing to smell like. You smell like waffles to me, Laura snickered.

                “Absolutely precious,” Stiles laughed to himself. Lydia was on her way with Jackson, Scott was rambling around upstairs, Erica and Boyd would be there any minute. The dining room table was set up with drinks, some fruit and vegetables, as well as the muffins Stiles made. He finished organizing everything when Lydia waltzed through the door. She spied the table and made a beeline for the muffins. But Stiles just slapped her hand away.

                “Nuh huh. Gotta wait. Just like everyone else,” he teased.

                “And here I thought I was special,” Lydia narrowed her eyes.

                “He let me lick the bowl,” Mika announced as she climbed onto the chair next to Derek. Scott entered the room and eyed Laura before taking his seat. They made some quick introductions and got started as soon as the other two arrived. Stiles was rather excited about how things had progressed. Scott was growing into being a wolf and he was forming quite the attachment to Mika. She climbed into his bed when she had nightmares. He didn’t flinch when she touched him. If anything he just melted. Derek seemed to be fonder of her than anyone. He bought her more clothes, more books, more toys, and paid out of pocket for the best therapist they could find. That girl would want for nothing.

                “Ok, now that Laura is here there are some things we need to discuss. First being the Argents,” Derek began.

                “What about them?” Scott chirped.

                “I know you’re dating Allison and that she is sympathetic to our kind. Even Chris isn’t so bad. But the others…they’re dangerous,” Derek darkened his gaze.

                “How would you even know?” Scott asked, some heat behind his tone.

                “I’m not going down traumatic memory lane with everyone here, but they have some people in their family who tried to kill mine. I will not take any risks with them again. You can continue to see Allison. Stiles explained that she isn’t someone we need to worry about. But I want you to be on your guard. Especially around the aunt and grandfather. They’re…manipulative. And cruel,” Laura cut in, “Just trust us. We don’t want anyone getting hurt.”

                “Allison wouldn’t hurt anyone. Even I know that,” Jackson added.

                “We know. But the history we have with the family is less than ideal. All we ask is that you be careful,” Derek pressed. Scott opened his mouth like he was going to say more, but he just shut it again and nodded.

                “The other thing we need to discuss is the other secret pack member in Beacon Hills,” Laura hummed.

                “What?” Stiles’ eyebrows shot up.

                “We have an Uncle. Peter. He’d been in the hospital for a long time. There was a fire and he didn’t recover. At all. Until recently, anyway. He’s awake but not…super communicative. We will be relocating him to my place for a time. Chances are there will be little interaction with him for quite some time but I wanted everyone to be aware. Once he does become fully aware he will be involved in the pack,” the alpha continued.

                “Really?” Lydia cocked her head, “He survived?” Her eyes were wet and she sat up straight.

                “Yes. Barely. He was trapped on the highest level trying to help some of the younger pack members, but he got knocked out and badly burned. It’s a miracle he didn’t die with everyone else,” Derek offered.

                “I’m glad he’ll be joining us then,” Lydia half smiled and fiddled with the hem of her skirt sheepishly.

                “Ugh. Fine. Eat a muffin if it will lift the mood in here,” Stiles sighed and fell back against his chair. Lydia wasted no time lunching for the basket greedily, not a hint of sadness lingering. Scott was next and then Mika. Stiles never got over this part. He knew they were good; his mom’s recipe passed down a few times. He had managed to retain most of what he taught her. She left him all her books and that’s when he toyed with herbs and magic, not that he was much good. Muffins were his symphony, though. He made them for the Beacon Hills Police Bake Sale every year and would raise money in his dad’s name. Derek and Laura each took bites of their own muffins before both letting out nearly obnoxious moans.

                “Claudia,” she said in unison with childish grins on their faces. Stiles froze. As did Lydia.

                “What did you say?” Stiles asked quietly.

                “Claudia. These taste exactly like Claudia’s muffins,” Laura beamed and inhaled the food before grabbing another.

                “Claudia?” Lydia repeated, more confirming what they said than anything. Because she knew Claudia too and she needed to know what Stiles was afraid to ask.

                “She was best friends with our mother. Even came to pack meetings a few times. Always brought muffins or cookies. But these were the best. Derek would’ve gotten chubby if it weren’t for how active we all were,” she giggled, “Oh god! Remember her baby, Derek? You were always playing with him. What was his name?” Derek smiled and thought about it.

                “I can’t really remember. Something with an ‘M’ I think. I never said it right,” he almost blushed. Almost, “Claudia called him something else, though.” He just shrugged like he hadn’t said something completely monumental in front of Stiles.

                “Mew Mew! You called him Mew Mew. I remember. Every time she brought him Derek would hog him and literally toss him around in the backyard,” Laura teased. Stiles was still frozen. Scott’s mouth was hanging open and Lydia had an equally shocked expression, Jackson even had taken pause. Mika just leaned against Stiles and pressed her nose to his shoulder.

                “Nim?” she whispered.

                “I – uh – “Stiles abruptly got up from the table and walked to the kitchen before almost sprinting out the back door.

                “What’s wrong?” Erica wondered, her brow furrowed.

                “You – I – Lydia?” Scott looked to her to explain.

                “I don’t even know where to start,” Lydia laughed in disbelief, “So, Stiles’ mom…Claudia. His mom was named Claudia. This is her muffin recipe. And Stiles real name does start with M. She called him Nim in front of others though. Because no one could ever say his name right. I tried to master Polish and I can’t even manage.”

                “Holy shit. Is Stiles Mew Mew? Did that just happen?” Laura was flabbergasted.

                “Do you have any pictures of her?” Derek tested. Scott was up right away and brought over a photo of Stiles and his parents. He could not have been more than 2 in the photo, he was happily sitting in his mom’s lap with his dad’s hand on his head.

                “It’s her. Oh my god…Derek. Stiles was – when Claudia died mom was heartbroken. We didn’t see him again after that. Remember? You shifted into your wolf form for 3 weeks and tried to go find him,” Laura’s throat was tight and Derek was fisting his hands in his lap. Mika kept looking towards where Stiles left but then moved to climb into Derek’s lap.

                “You should go find him,” she mumbled into his chest.

                “You should,” Lydia agreed, “He is probably about as shocked as you are.” Lydia plucked Mike from him and pointed Derek towards the door. Not that he needed guidance. He could smell Stiles clearly, the smoke from his cigarette practically leading the way. The fresh information was heavy in his chest. He remembered Mew Mew – Stiles – little boy with big, brown eyes and always laughing. When Claudia brought him over for the first time after he was born Derek was immediately enraptured with him. Talia and Claudia would always joke about how Derek was a second mom. He remembered watching the baby crawl around in the grass and swiping bugs away. Laura would always try and take Stiles away from Derek. But Stiles belonged to Derek. He had announced it very sternly when he was 7. He doesn’t even remember why.

                He found Stiles fighting back tears under an old willow tree. The smoke was billowing up around his face and he kept pressing his eyes into his palms. Sadness was radiating off him in waves, it was almost suffocating. That possessiveness Derek had been feeling under his skin welled up. Without even stopping to think about it he moved to pull Stiles up from the ground, wrapping his arms tight around him. Stiles grabbed the fabric of Derek’s shirt, the cigarette falling to the dirt, the moisture extinguishing it. He fell apart and started sobbing into Derek’s neck. He pressed his own nose into Stiles’ hair. He wanted to calm and soothe him. He wanted to run his hands up and down his skin until he completely relaxed against him. He wanted to undo every single bad thing that has happened since Claudia’s car crashed into that wall.

                “You still have the same eyes. I don’t know how I never noticed,” Derek whispered. Stiles snorted and buried his face harder against the wolf.

                “I’m not exactly flashing them at everybody,” he mumbled in reply.

                “I – I don’t know what to say about this,” Derek tried.

                “Don’t say anything. Nothing is different. Nothing changed. I’m still an orphan. I’m just an orphan you knew from a long time ago,” he could feel Stiles’ tears on his shirt collar.

                “No. I’m not going to pretend like you aren’t the same baby who always tried to eat my hot wheels,” Derek chuckled.

                “Not like I remember any different,” Stiles took and deep breath, “You’re the first person to hold me. In a long time. And I cried all over you.”

                “I recall you being very cuddly before,” Derek gently pushed him back and got a better look at the boy. His eyes were rimmed red and his cheeks were flushed, “I’m sorry all of this came up and upset you.”

                “It’s not like any of you could have possibly known,” he sighed, “Were our mom’s really best friends? Why don’t I remember her? I had to have seen you before my mom died but after I was old enough to make memories.”

                “Last time we saw you was when you were about 4 or 5. I can’t remember. It’s all really blurry for some reason. But you got your first soulmate mark on your arm. Or maybe your leg. I don’t know why, but things got weird after that,” Derek tried to remember, but he was literally stumbling across blank spots in his memories. Stiles tugged at his sleeves.

                “Yea, well. That mark was one of many. I look like a Pollack painting under here,” Stiles rolled his eyes and crossed his arms over his body.

                “For some reason I doubt you look as bad as you seem to think,” Derek gave him a pointed look. Stiles scoffed and pulled out a new cigarette. He was back, his demeanor and everything shifted into the defensive and he stepped further away from the alpha.

                “Well, then I guess it’s lucky you won’t be seeing me without clothes anytime soon. Though, to be honest, I haven’t actually looked at my body for a long time. Maybe I actually look like a Pollack painting now. I know my back has a fun series of ridges I haven’t bothered to investigate,” he leaned against the tree and watched Derek step closer.

                “Could I say that the silver lining is that your soulmate will be immediately recognizable?” Derek smirked. Stiles smiled and laughed harder than he had in a while.

                “Assuming they’re alive, yes. Because I look like they were sent through a wood chipper,” he took another drag of his cigarette. Derek tugged on his arm and pulled him close again. He rang his nose along Stiles’ jaw and neck, scenting him gingerly.

                “I think you look fine,” he stated and Stiles just gave him a blank look.

                “We should probably go back inside. Lydia will have questions,” Stiles shook away his goosebumps.

                “Yea. We should. Do you need anything? Want me to make you some more tea?” Derek asked.

                “I might like tea later,” he smiled softly.

                “Ok,” he followed Stiles back into the house. Everyone did have questions, but they decided to discuss it another time. Mike climbed onto Derek’s shoulders and demanded a big pack cuddle. Seeing and smelling Stiles being so sad made her antsy. Everyone pulled out all the blankets and pillows and practically made a nest in the living room. Derek leaned against the couch with Laura on one side. Mika made Stiles sit right next to Derek and she practically draped herself across them. Scott and Lydia moved near him with Jackson curling on to Lydia’s stomach. Erica and Boyd nestled up against the other side of Laura. They watched Lilo and Stitch until it began to get dark, and Stiles didn’t once complain when he felt Derek’s hands splay against the small of his back.  

Chapter Text

                The entire pack, plus Lydia and Stiles, were in the preserve to get ready for everyone’s shift. Mika was overly excited as she had never been able to shift before due to her keepers having always drugged her. Stiles and Lydia sat inside their mountain ash circle and watched everyone get ready. Derek was being very attentive and playful with Mika. He kept tossing her around and chasing her. Laura leaned against a tree and watched before approaching Stiles.

                “You know, he hasn’t been this…happy, in a very long time,” she informed.

                “Well, it looks good on him,” Stiles laughed.

                “Do they really have no idea who Mika’s parents are?” the older wolf asked.

                “No. Derek got her the best therapists and they tried some memory recovery stuff, but all they could manage was some very scant details of the people that were holding her, a woman and much older man, and a description of the house. They had to have gotten her right after she was born. But they weren’t abusive to her – well, they didn’t beat her or anything. Obviously they were abusive. There were moments, like on her birthday, when they might give her something sweet, but usually the older man would say nasty things to her. The woman was more cold and dismissive. She doesn’t even know what their names were, I guess they used nicknames or code names. I’m just glad she apparently got in a car accident and I found her,” he watched Mika giggle and tackle Scott and Derek to the ground. They both pretended she was very strong and the cowered in fear.

                “So, is she just in foster care with you guys until they find a next of kin or what?” Laura pushed.

                “We would be lucky if we ever found a next of kin. There’s nowhere to start looking. I mean, they took a DNA sample and they can run it against the database, but they only people in there are criminals or unidentified others whose DNA they have. We’re hoping we can get them to access some blood drive information or something. It’s not like I can go up to every man or woman on the street who looks a little like her and ask for a cheek swab,” he sighed.

                “Well, she’s safe here,” Laura smiled.

                “She is,” he grinned. The moon was high above them and it was almost time. Mika looked uncomfortable but Derek seemed to calm her some.

                “How do I do it?” Mika looked up to Derek as he took off his shirt.

                “We’re all going to show you how. It’s not too hard. You just have to relax and let it happen. Jackson will go first,” he nodded. Jackson stepped in front of her. Though she was hiding his crotch with his hands. His face shifted first, teeth elongating and eyes changing color. Then hair began to sprout across his body and his bones popped. In a matter of minutes he was a white wolf. She pet the top of his head and he almost purred.

                “Oh. Will I look like that?” she wondered.

                “Don’t know. I guess we’ll find out,” Derek smirked. Laura stepped forward and shifted next. She was black like Derek was, but had no white spots, she did, however, have white paws. Scott followed suit, as did Boyd. Scott crouched in front of Mika and shifted much more slowly than the others. Apparently he had been working on his control and could ease into it.

                “Ok, your turn now, sweetheart. Just relax and do what everyone else did,” Derek was kneeling next to her. She took several deep breaths. Her eyes changed color first, then her hair got longer. Her fingernails became claws and she gasped. She moved an arm and shrieked.

                “It hurts,” she cried.

                “It might hurt the first time. But it’s ok,” Derek tried to soothe.

                “No. It hurts really bad,” tears started pouring down her cheeks and Derek tried to calm her down. Laura and Scott were gently nudging her but she was getting scared, “Nim!” she sobbed. Stiles didn’t think twice before bounding out of the protective circle. He sat right in front of her, Derek to his right, and put both hands on her shoulders.

                “Mika, sweetie. Breath with me. I know it hurts and I wish it didn’t, but I promise it’ll be over so soon and then you’ll be a cute little wolf. We can play, you can chase me and catch a rabbit,” he tempted, hoping it would calm her down. She made a wet cough and pressed her face to Stiles’ chest. She was crying less but still stuck mid-shift. He ran his hands down her hair and let her just cry it out. Derek looked completely lost. When he first shifted as a kid it had been easy, but Mika was much older and had been denied any guidance until now. He was going to need to change his approach. She took another shuddering breath before looking back up at the two of them.

                “There’s my pretty girl,” Stiles smiled, “Now, can you try one more time? Just do what Derek says. I’ll be right here.” She nodded hesitantly and looked back to Derek. He held her hand and guided her through it more slowly, telling her about how she should feel the change in her fingertips and toes. Then she would feel in spread throughout her body. She closed her eyes and focused, seconds later she shifted into a wolf pup. She was fairly dark with tiny, white spots on her back.

                “Aww, you did so good,” Derek praised, “She looks like she’ll be dark. Once she’s older we will have a better idea of her coloring.”

                “She did so good,” Stiles was scratching behind her ears and cooing. Derek gave Stiles a playful shove before shifting himself. Soon he was between a large, dark wolf and a small pup who kept making tiny barks at him. In the next second Mika was trying to tackle Stiles. He played along as Lydia laughed from her circle. She took several pictures of the play. Mika then ran through the woods with the rest, but eventually she broke away and came back to Stiles. Scott joined too and gave playful nips to Stile’s shoulders. Scott might have been taking advantage of his wolf form a little bit, he knew Stiles really was more touch starved than he let on and he knew this was one of the few ways he would accept any affection. Derek didn’t hesitate to join. Soon Stiles was being scent marked by 3 wolves. Boyd had tackled Erica and they were definitely nuzzling under a tree. When Stiles lost sight of Mika he assumed she was taking a break from playing, but that was woefully incorrect because she came bounding out from the darkness to tackle him hard. Unfortunately, he ended up tripping and stumbled down a short hill and landing on some rocks.

                “Stiles!” Lydia stood up and jumped out of the circle. Scott scrambled down after him. Mika unshifted and was frozen above them. Derek shifted back to being a human too and scooped her up.

                “Hey, it’s ok. It was an accident. He’d going to be just fine,” Derek soothed, knowing she was seconds from a breakdown, “Just wait for Lydia to check on him.”

                “But I – “

                “No, you just tackled him and he tripped. Stiles always trips. He’d got two left feet, remember?” he flicked the end of her nose.              

                “Ok,” she whimpered and buried her face in his neck.

                “How is he?" Derek yelled down to Lydia.

                “I’m checking!” she shouted back. Stiles was gingerly sitting up. His back was killing his where he fell against the boulder.

                “So, you’re going to hate every second of this, but I need to lift up your shirts and look at your back,” Lydia tested.

                “What? No, you – “

                “Stiles. I need to make sure nothing is broken and that you don’t have any super serious injuries. Do not argue with me on this,” she almost growled.

                “Fine,” he whispered. Lydia swallowed and carefully lifted up the back of his shirt. They were both facing everyone else so no one but her could see his skin or body. Lydia was shocked. Not because his skin was scarred, but because it wasn’t as bad as she had always suspected. There was scratches and cut marks here and there, but nothing so drastic. She noticed the bruising by his hips first and some closer to his spine. She lifted the shirt higher to check between his shoulder blades and froze. There, right between them, was a very particular scar. An intentional one. A familiar one. A triskelion. It looked exactly like Derek’s.

                Her mine was racing a mile a minute. Suddenly every scar on his body made sense. The way he could let Derek touch him, the affinity he had towards wolves, and a million other things. She swallowed and took a shallow breath, “When was the last time you looked at your back?”

                “Why? Are there new scars? Did my soulmate carve a giant dick into their skin?” he tried to joke through the discomfort.

                “No. Just…curious. The bruising isn’t too bad. But you will need to take it easy for a while,” she couldn’t tell him here. Now. She needed to think. Stiles didn’t know. Derek didn’t know. How else were they going to find out with Stiles always covering his body? Werewolves have the lovely distinction of never being able to scar themselves. However, if their soulmates gets one then they will have a mirror of it. So, all of these scars were ones Derek has been getting his whole life. He probably has a few from Stiles, but there would be no way for him to ever compare.

                “Is he ok?” Mika sobbed.

                “Yea. He’s fine. We’re coming up to you and you can give him a gentle hug,” Lydia answered.

                “It’s really ok, Mika. Just some bruises. Scott has hurt me way worse,” he teased, Scott just barked at him.

                “Thank god,” Derek deflated. He was worried, he heard a crunch that he thought might have been bone. They slowly crept their way up and Mika apologized a million times while very carefully petting and hugging Stiles.

                “It’s ok. You just gotta be super nice to me tomorrow morning. Maybe let me sleep in,” he laughed, “You’re a very pretty wolf. Just so you know.”

                “I am?” she squeaked.

                “The prettiest. Even prettier than Jackson,” he flicked her ear, “Now, shift back and go find me something weird and gross.” Mika giggled and managed to shift much easier than before. She took off after Laura and tumbled through some bushes.

                “You’re really ok?” Derek asked quietly.

                “Yea, I am,” Stiles tried not to tense up or wince.

                “Want me to look?” Derek reached for his shirt hem but Stiles stepped back.

                “Nah. Lydia checked. Besides, you don’t want to see the weird topography I got goin’ on,” he defensively folded his arms over his stomach.

                “I’ll have to take your word on that. But I bet you look fine,” Derek smirked before shifting into a wolf again. Lydia was perched back in the circle and she was brainstorming the best way to approach this. All she could think was that Laura would know what to do. She knew Derek better than anyone.

 

                After a few hours everyone was back at the McCall house. Jackson left with Erica and Boyd. Scott ran to take a shower. Laura, Derek, and Mika were on the porch while Stiles and Lydia sat on the steps.

                “Der, will you give me a bath before bed?” Mika pressed her face to his leg.

                “Really? Me? Not Stiles? I thought I gave the worst bubble beards,” Derek gave a faux pout.

                “You do, which is why I will have to show you the proper way,” Stiles plucked Mika up and carried her inside. Derek followed slowly and watched Stiles’ walk for any limps. He put his hand on the small of Stiles’ back to drain the pain. Stiles stopped for a minute and looked at him.

                “Uh, thanks,” he blushed slightly before adjusting Mika on his hip. Lydia watched them enter Melissa’s bedroom to go to the master bathroom. As soon as they were out of ear shot she reached for Laura.

                “I have to tell you something important,” Lydia mustered.

                “Is it a banshee thing? Is someone going to die?” Laura gaped.

                “No. Nothing like that,” Lydia grunted, “When I was looking at Stiles’ back…he has a scar between his shoulder blades. It looks exactly like Derek’s tattoo. Same size. Same location. Everything.”

                “Are you sure?” Laura narrowed her eyes.

                “Positive. You think I would lie about something like that?” Lydia hissed.

                “No! It’s just – that’s huge!” Laura gasped, “I mean, if they’re mates then…it would mean…oh my god. It all makes sense. The way Derek was so territorial over him when he was little. His instincts must have been working overdrive…”

                “How do we tell them? Do we tell them? Should we let them figure it out?” Lydia rambled.

                “I think…there’s no good way to do this. Stiles won’t exactly flaunt his body,” she hummed.

                “And he barely looks at his own skin anymore. He has so many scars,” the redhead sighed.

                “Derek was careless when he was younger. He didn’t think about it because he didn’t scar,” she rolled her eyes, “I think he just assumed his mate would be a wolf too. But he barely developed any scars. Stiles, despite his clumsiness, seems to have been pretty good at not roughing himself up much.”

                “What’s the plan?” Lydia pressed.

                “We are going to have to tell them. But I have no idea when or how. How will Stiles even react? I understand he has some issues with the whole soulmates thing? And Derek, he could either reject the idea or he’s just going to dive right in,” Laura revealed.

                “Maybe…” Lydia trailed off, “Maybe we just tell Derek.”

                “If he’s the only one to know he can control how it progresses. He can be gentle with Stiles or he can ignore it. Derek has good judgement,” Laura gave Lydia a reassuring look.

                “I just don’t want Stiles to ever get hurt. He’s been through enough. I don’t want Derek to step in and make himself known, for Stiles to get attached, but for Derek to change his mind and leave,” Lydia was firm.

                “He wouldn’t do that. He knows loss too,” she settled a bit, “I’ll talk to him.”

                “Good. I’m going to go say goodnight to the little princess and go to Jackson’s. Thanks, again, by the way. For explaining the whole…knotting thing,” she blushed, “I mean, Stiles was sort of a life saver. He knew more about it than either of us did.”

                “Stiles is impressive,” Laura smiled.

                “That he is,” Lydia breathed out and made her way up the stairs. She could hear laughing before she even reached the top of the stairs. Entering the bathroom, she found a bathtub with more bubbles than necessary. Stiles was fashioning a bubble Mohawk. Stiles’ sleeves were pushed up to his elbows and his scars were on display. That was highly unusual for him, he must’ve felt comfortable. Derek was perched on the edge of the tub scrubbing down Mika’s back. When he was distracted Stiles piled some bubbles onto Derek’s beard.

                “Look, he’s a wizard now,” Stiles laughed and Mika just added to it.

                “And Stiles is about to become Pinocchio,” Derek warned playfully before swiping some suds onto the end of Stiles’ nose.

                “This is the best thing I’ve ever seen,” Lydia covered her smile with her hand as she laughed at all of them.

                “Come to join us?” the spark waved soapy hands at her.

                “Nope. Just came to say goodnight to the little one. I’m going over to Jackson’s for the night,” she answered.

                “Will you come back tomorrow?” Mika asked.

                “Of course. Stiles still has some of those muffins left. And Allison is coming over tomorrow to hear some very big news. We need you at peak cuteness. I’m going to give you the best French braid,” she bent over slightly and kissed Mika’s forehead.

                “Oh, I should make the honey cake then. Smooths all bumps,” Stiles chuckled.

                “Yes, yes you should,” Derek said sternly.

                “You remember it?” Stiles murmured, cheeks pink.

                “I do,” Derek coughed and started to rinse off Mika so they could dry her off and put her to bed.

                “Night, boys. See you in about 8 to 12 hours,” Lydia winked at the trip and left. Mika was very agreeable. She wanted to sleep in Stiles’ Spiderman shirt and black leggings. Stiles was tucking her in and she gave a very big yawn, which only prompted Stiles to give one too.

                “Story?” she asked sleepily.

                “Like I could say ‘no’,” he climbed under the covers next to her while Derek hovered in the doorway.

                “Derek? Can you read it too? You guys can do different voices,” her large eyes were wide and pleading.

                “Fine,” Derek toed off his shoes and climbed in on the other side.

                “So, want my revised version of Little Red Riding Hood?” the teenager suggested.

                “Yes!” Mika excitedly snuggled between them both.

                “You made a revised version?” Derek cocked his head to the side.

                “Duh. In my version the wolf isn’t the bad guy. He’s a friendly and helpful guide who keeps little red safe from other baddies. Like the hunter who I always thought was a bit too convenient,” he answered.  

                “That’s…that’s really nice, Stiles,” he praised. Stiles bit his lip and opened the book. Derek dimmed the light and watched Stiles begin. They read quietly, Mika drifting off as she pressed her face to Stiles’ shirt, fisting her small hands in the fabric. Derek was a bit moved by all of it. For the first time in a long time he was content. He was actually happy that Stiles forced him into this alpha role. He had a pack now. Soon, both Stiles and Mika were asleep. He was ready to actually fall asleep with both of them before his phone buzzed in his pocket.

Laura : Come downstairs. I need to talk to you.

Chapter Text

                Derek quietly stepped onto the porch where Laura was sipping tea and watching the skyline. He plopped down next to her and nudged her shoulder.

                “What’s up?” Derek raised a brow.

                “How are they? Stiles recovering fine?” she started.

                “Yea. I think he’ll be sore tomorrow. But he’s a fighter,” Derek sighed.

                “He’s very interesting. And I think he’s brilliant. With training he will be a powerful emissary. Have you considered doing that? Asking him to be your emissary?” she pressed.

                “I have…actually. I was going to talk to Deaton about that,” the alpha smiled.

                “You like him, right?” she leaned against him.

                “I do. He’s strong. Stronger than he thinks he is. And he’s amazing with Mika. She needs that,” he fiddled with his fingers.

                “Do you think he’s attractive?” she chirped. Derek’s ears turned bright pink and he straightened up.

                “Why do you ask?” he tensed.

                “Don’t even try to lie to me, Der. I can hear your heartbeat,” she gave him a look.

                “I – he’s handsome. His eyes look like honey or whiskey. He smells nice and he’s vibrant. But I’m not going to make a move on a teenager with as many emotional issues as I do. Mika and the pack are my priorities right now. Not finding…a partner,” he deflated.

                “What if he were your soulmate?” she tested.

                “What do you mean?” he paused.

                “It Stiles were your soulmate would you feel the same way? Would you avoid him?” she cocked her head to the side and listened carefully. Derek furrowed his brow as he considered that possibility.

                “That – but he’s not. Why would I think about that?” he argued.

                “Just humor me. Please?” she sighed. Derek rolled his eyes and turned to face her.

                “If  he was, I think – I would…Stiles is defensive. He needs someone he can rely on. And, despite how much he pushes back from it, he needs touch. If he were my mate then I would give him everything he needed,” he answered honestly.

                “What if he pushed you away?” she pressed on.

                “I wouldn’t go anywhere,” he was definitive and solid, “Why are you asking?”

                “When Lydia was looking at his back to check for injuries…she found something. He has a triskelion scar between his shoulder blades. Identical to your tattoo. And a lot of the other scars, scratch marks. Bite marks. Things other werewolves would have if we scarred,” she presented the information and waited for his response. His heartrate did speed up and his breaths were quicker. He fisted his hands and twitched.

                “I – really?” Derek gasped.

                “Yea. We think you’re his soulmate. It makes sense now that I think about it. The way you were with him when we were little. The way he lets you touch him. It even explains him briefly controlling your betas that one time. If he’s an alpha-mate then their instincts would bend to him,” Laura gently rubbed Derek’s shoulders. He was silent and lost in thought.

                “Are you going to tell him?” she whispered.

                “Eventually. I – we – I need…” he had no idea what to say.

                “Alright. Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to treat him like your mate. You are going to care for him and tell him when you think he’s ready. Maybe that’ll be tomorrow. Maybe it’ll be a month from now. Just know that you’re going to be perfect. Soulmates. Stiles in your soulmate,” she squeezed his hand and watched Derek fight a smile, his lips curving slightly.

                “Ok,” he breathed out.

                “So. You found your mate. He’s a feisty high schooler who yells in polish when he’s angry and makes amazing baked goods. I should congratulate you,” she giggled.

                “Oh my god,” Derek sharply inhaled, “he’s a high schooler.”

                “Whoa. Hey, I know where your mind is going. You’re not Kate,” she moved to crouch in front of him, “He’s younger, but you aren’t going to take advantage of him. You’re not a predator. At least not like she is.”

                “I don’t want to hurt him,” he shuddered, memories of Kate filtering through.

                “You won’t. You know what he needs. Just trust your instincts,” she kissed the top of his head, “I need to go back. My mate is getting a little antsy and I might be missing him too. Do you think you can handle the rest of this?”

                “Yea. Call me when you get home, ok?” Derek relaxed.

                “Of course. Now go upstairs and cuddle your mate,” she winked.

                “Oh my god, leave,” Derek groaned. She drove away and Derek paused at the front door. He smiled to himself, repeating the word mate in his head. He went back to Mika’s room. Stiles and Mika drifted to the middle of the bed, Stiles spooning her small body. He was snoring quietly and Derek smirked. He eased into the bed behind Stiles. He wrapped his arm around Stiles’ waist and nuzzled the back of his neck. Stiles whimpered and melted into Derek’s body. He had never fallen asleep quicker.

 

                Stiles felt comfortably warm when he slowly woke up. Mika was tossing a bit in front of him, but he tensed when he felt a firm body against his back. Glancing slowly over his shoulder he found Derek asleep, face resting against Stiles’ shoulder. He had no idea how to react. He wasn’t uncomfortable with the touch like he normally would be. If anything, he wanted more of it. He wanted to relax into the heat of his body completely. He thought about how chiseled and smooth his body was, but then remembered there was a child on the other side of him and stamped down all of that.

                “Mika, stop kicking,” he grumbled. She rolled off the bed and stumbled to the bathroom. Stiles moved to get up too, but Derek pushed him back down.

                “Sleep,” the wolf mumbled and plastered his body to Stiles’.

                “I would if I wasn’t being crushed,” he laughed. Derek tensed for a minute and lifted his head. Stiles was now on his back with Derek halfway sprawled on his front. He had never slept this deeply before and certainly had never maneuvered a sleeping partner this much.

                “Sorry,” Derek mumbled before slowly sitting up.

                “That was cute. You’re like a cuddle machine when you’re asleep,” he yawned.

                “I hope I didn’t make you uncomfortable,” Derek looked at his hands.

                “Nah. It was…fine. Weirdly, I don’t freak out when you touch me,” he rubbed his eyes and both men looked up when Mika, bed head and all, came back to bed.

                “Hello, sunshine,” Stiles teased.

                “Tired. Go back to sleep,” she breathed into her pillow before pulling the blankets up over her head.

                “You were up way past your bedtime. Derek and I are gonna leave you be. I’ll make you breakfast later,” he informed before climbing out of the bed with Derek. Stiles was still wearing his jeans from last night, but now he just had a t-shirt on top. He looked more closely at his arms and Laura was right. All those scars were reminiscent of fights Derek had as a child. Guilt washed over him when he thought about how Stiles thought of himself. How he hated those scars and thought he was ugly. But Derek loved them the more he thought about it. Those were his scars on his mate. But he had to be 100% sure. He needed to see the triskelion.

                “How are you feeling this morning? Any pain?” Derek sought.

                “Some. I’m really stiff too. I hope I didn’t bruise any vertebrae,” he winced when he stretched.

                “Want me to check? I am a medic,” Derek offered and braced himself for a response, one likely that was a defensive refusal.

                “I – no one – only a few people have seen my body,” he said quietly.

                “It’s ok if you don’t want me to look. I just want to make sure you’re ok. And…it’s not like I am going to be judging you or anything. I’m a professional, after all,” he joked, trying to lighten the mood.

                “Ok, yea. Might as well. Melissa would probably demand to look at it anyway…” Stile made Derek follow him to the bathroom. He stood in front of the mirror and closed his eyes. He leaned forward on the sink and left his body open for Derek to inspect. Derek was slow about it. He hovered behind him for a few seconds before making any sort of move. He was nervous. He couldn’t decide whether he wanted Stiles to be his mate or if he wanted the girl to have been wrong. He swallowed and started lifting the hem. He saw some bruising right away and clicked his tongue. Inching the shirt up more, his eyes followed along the spine. There were more scars, quite a few. He found 2 more large bruises where the rib cage began and made a note to have Stiles apply ice to that area later. He just needed to push it up another inch and he’d be able to see between the shoulder blades. He mustered the courage and rucked the fabric up higher.

                He had to hold his breath. There, against Stiles’ pale skin, was the silver triskelion. It looked exactly like Derek’s. He brought his finger up to it and traced it gingerly. Stiles’ heartbeat somehow managed to increase 3 fold as soon as skin touched skin. Stiles’ breath hitched and Derek looked up to the mirror. Stiles was staring at him, eyes very wide, pulse racing.

                “Derek?” his voice cracked.

                “I – you’re…” he didn’t know what to say. He didn’t know if he should tell him or not. He knew, from Laura, that Lydia had hidden it from Jackson for a while. It worked out for them, but he didn’t know if he felt comfortable lying to Stiles about something to huge and about both of them. Even if Stiles were to push him away and reject the idea of them, he wasn’t going anywhere. “Stiles…your scar –“

                “Which one?” Stiles’ voice was rough and vulnerable. He looked down at the sink, his shoulders tightening.

                “It matches mine,” Derek whispered. Stiles eyes shot back up to Derek’s in the mirror.

                “What?” Stiles’ voice was even tighter. Derek stepped back and took off his shirt. He grabbed Stile’s shoulder and turned him around so both of their backs were to the mirror. The boy turned his head and looked at their backs. He swallowed when he saw the shared mark; Derek’s black and solid, Stiles’ silver and faint. He even saw 3 smaller scars by Derek’s hip, silver as well. Stiles had the same ones.

                “I –“ Stiles choked and covered his mouth with his hand.

                “We don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to,” Derek kept staring at the matching marks.

                “What the fuck would need to be said?” Stiles flustered, “All it means is that we’re soulmates. What’s to figure out?” He turned back around to face Derek. His eyes were dark and fierce, there was fire behind them.

                “Stiles?” Scott was pounding on the door, “Are you ok? You smell terrified and Mika is out here whining.” Stiles shook his head and reached for his shirt. He pulled it over his head and pressed his palms to his eyes.

                “One second,” he called out. He locked eyes with Derek again and he saw the fear and recognition. Stiles flung the door open, moving past Scott and Mika to his room. He shut and locked the door. Scott looked back at Derek, who was still shirtless.

                “Mind telling me what the hell just happened? Why are you not wearing a shirt and what did that have to do with Stiles reeking of fear?” Scott almost growled out the last part.

                “We need to call Lydia,” was all Derek could manage.

 

                Stiles still hadn’t left his room. But they could hear him pacing back and forth. The three of them kept following him with their eyes on the ceiling. Mika was still in her pajamas and sitting in Scott’s lap. Lydia said she was on her way, but it felt like hours had passed since then. Derek’s wolf was running in circles, he kept trying to get Derek to go upstairs.

                “Still waiting for an explanation,” Scott grumbled.

                “We need Lydia,” Derek snapped. They didn’t have to wait long because Lydia practically barreled through the front door. She looked at the three of them and dropped her bag in Derek’s lap before storming the stairs up to Stiles’ room. They heard her knocking and Stiles trying to send her away. But she made a vague threat. He slowly opened the door and she entered his room.

                “All of you stop listening,” Lydia demanded. Derek rolled his eyes and shifted his focus. Scott did the same, but Mika didn’t seem too keen on following directions.

                “Do you need me to cover your ears, pup?” Derek grabbed her but she just laughed.

                “Will you tell me what’s going on?” Scott gave him a pointed look.

                “I’m-Stiles’-soulmate,” he rushed out as if he had been holding his breath all morning.

                “No fucking way,” Scott gaped.

                “Bad word, Scott. You gotsta put a quarter in the jar,” she stamped her foot. Melissa had erected a swear jar as soon as Mika had moved in. Scott, without breaking his gaze on Derek, dropped a quarter in the jar from his pocket.

                “Say again?” he narrowed his eyes.

                “I’m Stiles’ mate. We have – he has my scar – it’s – so my tattoo – “

                “Oh my god, you’re worse than Stiles right now. How are you more nervous about this than you were about the other legitimately dangerous things?” Scott wrinkled his nose.

                “Because Stiles hates soulmates and the entire idea of them. That’s why,” Derek threw his hands up and sat down. Scott silently sat down in the other chair and Mika seemed perplexed by whatever was going on. She just sat in the other chair and looked between the two of them.

 

                Upstairs, Lydia was giving Stiles her own stare-down. He kept fidgeting and avoiding her eyes. She tapped her foot repeatedly until finally she was forced to do something, anything, to make Stiles do something other than internally panic.

                “What? Are you afraid you’ll be a bad bottom or something?” she drawled.

                “Wha – what?!” Stiles flabbergasted.

                “Good, now you’re paying attention,” she rolled her eyes, “So. Derek is your soulmate. Tell me why that means you are freaking out at least 12 different ways.”

                “Because soulmates…they – I’m not the biggest fan. I have, just, a multitude of mixed feelings about this,” Stiles revealed.

                “You think Derek won’t like you? Afraid he’ll reject you? Afraid you’ll both die? Jackson could die tomorrow and I’d follow right behind him. This is the universe we live in,” she sat down next to him.

                “But he…I’m not…”

                “He what? Why are you so conflicted?” Lydia raised her voice a little.

                “You know exactly why,” he glowered.

                “Then say it. Say it if it’s so obvious,” Lydia tensed.

                “Ponieważ jestem ohydna! Bo pali jak komin. Mówię za dużo. Nie jestem zgrabna i mocna. Nie jestem wystarczająco dobry dla kogoś takiego jak on. (Because I’m hideous! Because I smoke like a chimney. I talk too much. I am not graceful or strong. I am not good enough for someone like him),” Stiles choked out. There was the other unspoken fear he had, the fear that developed when his parents died. The idea that his fate was linked to someone else’s was enough to give anyone an existential crisis. He wasn’t sure why more people didn’t have one.

                “Kochanie. Jesteś najmądrzejszym i najodważniejszym osobą, jaką znam. Myślisz, że nie można zobaczyć? (Sweetheart. You are the smartest and bravest person I know. Do you think he can't see that?) she lowered her voice and wanted to reach out and soothe him, but she knew he wouldn’t be able to handle it. She knew Stiles was loud enough that everyone probably heard him, not that they would know what he was saying.

                “He saves people,” Stiles buried his face in his hands.

                “So do you. You probably saved Scott, Jackson, Erica, and Boyd. And we know you saved Mika. I don’t know why you underestimate yourself so much,” the red head frowned.

                “This is too much. I can’t really deal with this right now. Besides, we need to support Scott today,” Stiles redirected.

                “Stop trying to change the subject,” Lydia huffed.

                “I’m not. It’s just more important,” he breathed out.

                “Like hell,” she muttered, “Scott! Send Derek up here!”

                “What? No!” Stiles argued.

                “Yes,” she flung the door open and Derek was standing there looking both bashful and nervous, “You will talk to him. Neither of you can leave until I am satisfied this has been handled. I’m going to get Mika ready and Scott is going to stand guard.”

                “I can climb out my window,” Stiles countered.

                “You think I didn’t plan for that? I moved the poles,” she raised one of her brows in challenge and Stiles just squeaked. He had two poles wedged under his windowsill, he usually shimmied down them when he was trying to sneak out. She stepped out of the room and shoved Derek in, the door shut behind him. Stiles sat back on the bed and just stared at the floor.

                There was a long silence. Derek took his time to scent the room and really examine it. Stiles’ room could have been a library. He had 2 full bookshelves, more on his desk, and more on the floor around his bed. There were about 5 empty Red Bull cans at his computer desk and a coffee maker next to it. He took a deep breath and felt a heavy calm settle in his chest. Stiles was sitting on the edge of his bed, body rigid. All Derek wanted to do was pull him under the covers and soothe his worry, whatever those particular worries were.

                “If you don’t want me, I understand. I’ll still be around for Scott and Mika. Don’t feel obligated to be with me just because we’re soulmates,” Derek assumed.

                “Are you kidding me?” Stiles gaped. He stood up, his eyes furious.

                “What? It seems like you really don’t want this. I’m not going to force it on you,” Derek frowned.

                “Oh my god,” Stiles rolled his eyes, “I’m not rejecting you, you dumb wolf. I’m being realistic. I’m a spaz on my best days. You’ll hightail it out of here once you get fed up with me and I’m not about to make it more difficult for Scott and Mika. Because I know – I know – when I get attached and you leave I won’t be able to handle it. And Scott will hate his alpha. I’m not risking anything. Not for them.”

                “Why do you assume I’ll leave?” Derek paused. Stiles didn’t say anything. He just sat down in his computer chair and turned away. Derek didn’t really need the answer; he already knew it. He felt defeated but knew what the best course of action was.

                “Allison is going to be here soon,” he started, “Why don’t we just table this for awhile. We can deal with it whenever we feel ready to. I’m not going anywhere. I'll prove it to you.”

                “Really?” Stiles asked, not turning around.

                “Yea. Really,” he sighed.

                “Ok. I can work with that,” Stiles nodded. Derek just backed out of the room and went downstairs. Stiles watched him leave over his shoulder and leaned back in his chair, fighting not to smile. 

Chapter Text

                Allison was knocking on the door, but Scott was answering it before she could pull back her hand. She beamed when he greeted her with excited, puppy dog eyes.

                “Hi,” he grinned.

                “Hi, yourself,” she hugged him tight and stepped into the living room. Lydia was sitting on the couch next to Jackson, Derek was in the armchair. Mika was sitting on Stiles’ lap on the other side of the room. Allison paused when she looked at Derek, clearly somewhat confused by his presence.

                “So, Allie. Scotty here has something important to tell you and we would like it if you took a seat. I baked some muffins. Eat one. Bask in the delicious glow of it so you can fully absorb the information you are about to receive,” Stiles started. Allison just rolled her eyes and sat down as she picked at the muffin. She smiled as Scott paced and kept opening his mouth to speak, but nothing came out.

                “Let me guess. You’re here to tell me that you’re a werewolf now and that Derek is your alpha?” Allison hummed. Scott froze and Stiles just laughed.

                “How did you know?” Scott gaped.

                “The giant bite mark on my back was the first clue,” she raised a brow, “The rest sort of fell into place over time. I figured you would tell me when you were ready. You know I have no problem with wolves like some of my family does. One might say I happen to love them.”

                “Really?” Derek stared at her.

                “Duh. I love Scott and I’m not going anywhere just because he gets a little extra hairy on the full moon,” she joked. Scott was across the room and kissing her all over her face. She giggled and soon they were curled up on the couch. Mika was laughing from her spot on Stiles’ lap and Lydia came out from the kitchen to see them and she just rolled her eyes before sitting in the chair.

                “Told you it would be fine,” Lydia hummed.

                “Before we celebrate too much, there are some things I need to know,” Derek interjected.

                “About my aunt?” Allison replied.

                “Yes?” Derek was surprised.

                “Kate hates wolves. So does my mother and my grandfather. I’m not an idiot. I put a few things together after going through some old documents they had. I know things between our families were tense. And that is putting it lightly. I do not share their ideologies. Nor does my own father. I won’t be telling them anything because I want to be assured that everyone is safe. You can trust me,” Allison offered.

                “I’ve trusted an Argent before. It got most of my family killed. So pardon me if I am not immediately trusting,” Derek glared.

                “What?” Stiles looked at him, eyes full of worry.

                “Not discussing it right now, but I’m not an Argent fan. However, I will accept Allison’s pairing with Scott. I can tell she isn’t lying and has no ill intent,” Derek sighed.

                “Thanks, Derek,” Scott smiled.  

                “Well, we managed to sidestep a tremendous amount of drama. We all deserve a round of applause,” Stiles smirked.

                “I suppose I could throw a fit if you wanted some excitement,” Allison teased.

                “No. Noooo. We’ve had enough excitement,” Lydia groaned.

                “What’s exciting?” Melissa asked as she walked through the door with a bag of groceries. Mika ran up to her and eagerly reached out her hands to help carry things to the kitchen.

                “Scott just telling Allison he’s now a much hairier sort of person,” Stiles answered.

                “Oh! I take it that everything went well? Given Scott and Allison morphed into a single person again,” Melissa shot her son a pointed look.

                “Yea. It doesn’t bother me,” Allison answered for her boyfriend.

                “Well, now I don’t need to brace myself for his incessant whining,” she laughed and walked to the kitchen with Mika right on her trail. Derek looked down at his watch and sat up.

                “I need to go get ready for work. Everyone good here?” Derek looked around. Mika yelled out ‘yes’ from the kitchen. Lydia and Jackson merely nodded. Allison smiled and Scott seemed to be distracted by her hair. Stiles was staring at him as he watched Derek move across the room.

                “I’ll…text you later. Ok?” he spoke to Stiles.

                “Yea,” he blushed for a second before calming himself. Derek bit the inside of his cheek and slowly left the house. If he didn’t need to get to work he would probably try to convince Stiles to have another conversation with him, anything to convince him to exploring their bond at least a little bit. He had no desire to force him into anything, but he wasn’t going to pretend he couldn’t feel his wolf whining and trying to get back to him. He shook it off and drove back to his loft. He needed to rest, shower, make some food, and head to work. He was working an overnight and part of the morning, mostly finishing up paperwork.

 

                “Stiles, sweetie!” Melissa called out, “I got a call from Officer Parrish today. About your dad.”

                “About my dad?!” Stiles was up in a flash and jogging into the kitchen.

                “Yea. Apparently, they were going through an old store room and found a lock box with your dad’s name on it. They opened it, concerned maybe there might have been information pertaining to an old case. It turned out to be keepsakes and things like that. They said you can come by any time to pick it up,” she turned and gave him a soft smile.

                “Oh…I – wow,” Stiles furrowed his brow, “I guess I can head over in the morning and pick it up.”

                “I can come with you if you want,” she put her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it gently. Mika grabbed his shirt and just gazed up at him.

                “Nah, I can handle it myself,” he brushed them off.

                “You sure?” Lydia asked from where she was listening in the doorway.

                “Yea. I think I’d rather do it on my own anyway. You know, go on some sort of personal or spiritual journey surrounding my unrelenting grief,” he snarked.

                “Har-har,” Lydia rolled her eyes.

                “Are you gonna tell Melissa about Derek?” Mika beamed.

                “Uhhh – “

                “Derek and Stiles are soulmates!” Mika shouted, cutting off any attempt Stiles had to redirect. Melissa froze and dropped the apple she was holding.

                “Well, that’s bruised now,” Stiles winced.

                “Honey, that is so good,” she slowly smiled.

                “I’m not entirely sure,” Stiles looked down at his feet.

                “I know that soulmates scare you. Hell, they scare me. But Derek is strong. And he’s also not going to pressure you into anything. I don’t want you pushing him away or running from this. You found your soulmate and that is something to celebrate no matter how much it might scare you. Just take it slow and trust yourself,” she turned on her mom voice right away and Stiles could only nod.

                “She’s right,” Lydia hummed.

                “Now, everyone go relax while I make dinner. Then I expect some solid bonding time before we put this munchkin to bed. I’m making enchilada casserole and churro cheesecake. Everyone out of my kitchen,” she waved her hands so they all crowded out. They all ended up eating dinner while watching movies, even Jackson stayed and played some with Mika. Stiles tried to enjoy everything and stay in the moment but his mind kept drifting back to Derek and thoughts about what to do. Before he knew it they were nearing 10pm and Mika was passed out in his lap. He put her to bed while everyone said their goodbyes. Melissa said goodnight and Scott did too. Stiles was relieved to have some time alone finally.

                He was lying on his bed and fiddling with his phone in his hands. He knew he could text Derek any time, but he wasn’t sure what he would even say. He just kept thinking about the moment in the bathroom when they were staring at the mark between their shoulder blades. A shiver ran up his spine as he thought about Derek touching it, touching him. He was suddenly desperate to feel Derek’s hands all over his body. He wondered how he would touch him if they were alone in bed. He had pinned Stiles down in his sleep that morning. He started fantasizing about waking up with Derek curled up around him, back to chest. He thought maybe Derek would keep his hand on Stiles’ hip. Would he trace circles on his bare skin? Would he kiss the back of his neck? Suddenly, he realized that he was shirtless in this fantasy, scars and all. He had never had a fantasy, real person or fictional, where he had clothing off. All his thoughts about Derek that drifted anywhere towards R rated territory involved him being more on display than he’d ever imagine before. With that, his resolve broke.

Stiles : how’s work?

Derek : no one has injured themselves or lit something on fire, so it’s dull. I’ve just been prepping kits.

Stiles : oh. I was just getting ready for bed.

Derek : How are you feeling?

Stiles : still a little weird. Never thought it’d be someone like you.

Derek : I have no idea how to take that.

Stiles : it means you’re pretty great and I always thought that my soulmate was either dead or some sort of criminal, based on all the scars. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that it could’ve been a werewolf who doesn’t get to scar up like I did.

Derek : I wish I could apologize for all the scars on your body and how they made you feel. If it means anything, I like the way you look.

Stiles : be careful there, Derek. You can’t be sexting with a teenager.

Derek : I wasn’t going to, but I can see where your mind was going.

Stiles : shut up.

Derek : How about you go to sleep and I’ll talk to you tomorrow?

Stiles : this is a bit early for me.

Derek : you rarely get enough sleep and you’ve had a long day.

Stiles : are you trying to dad me?

Derek : that’s not a kink I have. No. Just go to bed.

Stiles : oh my god.

Derek : go to sleep and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Stiles : fine, but don’t complain if I’m even more of energetic than usual. I’m used to no more than 4 or 5 hours a night.

Derek : that’s terrible. You need to sleep more.

Stiles : Yea well…I do me just fine.

Derek : I gotta go on a call.

Stiles : stay safe. I guess.

Derek : I usually do. I learned how to manage fires.

Stiles : don’t sass me, Mr. Hale.

Derek : Oh, call me that again.

Stiles : you’re terrible. Go save some people.

Derek : goodnight, Stiles.

Stiles : goodnight, wolfman.

 

                The next morning Stiles decided he was going to the station. He was going to swallow his apprehension and get whatever his dad left behind. He imagined it was probably photographs he hadn’t seen or maybe all the valuable things he didn’t want to lose on the job. Stiles knew that he took his wedding band off when he was at work, a safety measure so no one could trace him back to his family, specifically former people he arrested. They never did find it.

                The drive wasn’t long, not really. It felt like it dragged out as the landscape crawled past him. He wondered how Derek’s night went and what he was going to do after work. He briefly toyed with the idea of maybe visiting him before squashing that down. He wasn’t feeling like himself ever since discovering all these things about Derek, their past and soulmate status. He was feeling a pull he had been ignoring, but now it was impossible. By the time he got to the station all he wanted to do was drive right back home. He pulled his hat down and tugged his collar up before climbing out of his car and going inside.

                The station was busier than he would’ve expected on a Sunday morning. There were a few paramedics around and a few drunks in the holding tank. He just looked forward and made his way towards his dad’s old office where Parrish now resided. He was only a few steps away before someone called out his name.

                “Stiles?” he heard. When he turned around he saw Derek standing there in his medic uniform, tight, dark blue shirt and blue pants, and there was soot smeared on his cheek.

                “Derek? What are you doing here?” he tilted his head.

                “Work,” he stated.

                “Very descriptive,” Stiles huffed.

                “Well, I’m here a lot for work. Why are you here?” he crossed his arms over his chest.

                “Parrish said he found some stuff of my dad’s and I’m just here to pick it up. I’ve never actually met Parrish, so I have no idea what he looks like,” Stiles sighed.

                “He’s over there talking to my chief,” he pointed.

                “Ok. Good. I’ll just…wait here. I guess. Anything I need to know about him?” Stiles looked back at Derek.

                “Not really. He’s alright. I haven’t spent a lot of time talking with him. Some of my coworkers don’t care for him. He can be a bit of a flirt,” Derek mumbled.

                “Then I guess I’m safe,” Stiles chuckled. Derek just cocked a brow when Parrish walked over.

                “Stilinski?” the man stared.

                “Uh, yea. That’s me,” Stiles waved. Derek nodded at Stiles and walked back over to where he had been working before, he eyed the pair as he sorted through the paperwork he had.

                “It’s nice to meet you. I’ve heard a lot about your dad. He was a great man,” Parrish offered.

                “Thanks. I’m – uh, inclined to agree,” Stiles swallowed and let Parrish guide him over to a desk with a lockbox on top.

                “We went through it, sorry to say. We found what looks like his wedding ring, some photos, and letters. The bulk of the pictures seem to be of you and your mom. You were a cute kid,” he smiled.

                “Weren’t we all?” Stiles laughed.

                “Sure. You’ve grown into a pretty cute young adult,” Parrish winked.

                “I…” Stiles trailed off.

                “What? Can’t a guy just recognize how cute you are? Your soulmate must feel pretty lucky, assuming they found you,” Parrish raked his eyes down Stiles’ chest and back up to his face. He bit his lower lip and cocked is head to the side, “They did find you, right?”

                “Yes,” Derek spoke up from where he was standing off to the side and briefly flashed his eyes at Parrish. He held his hands up in a defensive gesture and backed into his office. Derek was watching Stiles and trying to process that little display. Parrish had always been very forward, but this was new. Parrish came back out and gently handed Stiles a box along with the key that unlocked it.

                “Here is everything, except for the gun. We obviously couldn’t give that to you. But we can hold onto it for you or give it to Melissa,” he nodded and Stiles held the box close to his chest, “And…I apologize for my flirting. I had no idea you were taken. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been so flirtatious. Do let me know if I can do anything else for you.” He winked and Derek bristled. Stiles had barely stepped away from Parrish before Derek grabbed him by the elbow and led him out to the jeep. Stiles was confused as Derek manhandled him against the jeep, the box being tossed into the passenger seat by Derek.

                “Umm, grabby much?” Stiles gaped.

                “Parrish wants you,” he growled.

                “He was flirting. While that doesn’t exactly happen to me very often, he doesn’t want me,” Stiles maintained.

                “I could smell it. You forget that I’m a wolf. He wanted you and didn’t seem to care that you found your soulmate. If I hadn’t been there he could have tried to make you his,” Derek backed Stiles up further to the door, bracing his hands on either side of Stile’s shoulders. He leaned in closer, the tips of their noses touching. Stiles swallowed and closed his eyes.

                “I guess that means he could’ve taken me off your hands,” Stiles joked, eyes still closed.

                “Don’t want anyone else touching you,” Derek’s chest was now pressing against Stiles’. He felt his wolf at the surface, wanting to dominate his mate after seeing the presence of the other man. He could feel and hear Stiles’ quickening heartbeat.

                “Oh yea?” Stiles asked.

                “Yea,” Derek moved forward to gently press his lips against Stiles’. He had wanted to wait to kiss Stiles, maybe after more time to talk and maybe even go on a date. But having Stiles’ lips against his made all rational thoughts fly out of his head. One of his hands wrapped around the back of Stiles’ neck while the other moved to settle on his hip. Stiles moaned against Derek’s mouth and grabbed at his shirt. Their lips moved together and their breath grew ragged. Derek’s entire body was now pressed against Stiles’ as pushed him even harder against the jeep. His tongue swept across Stiles’ lower lip and slipped into his mouth. Stiles to took a sharp intake of breath once he felt Derek’s tongue against his own. He let Derek plunder his mouth and felt every inch of the hard body against his. But, no sooner than it had begun, Derek was pulling back. Both had dark eyes. Derek looked Stiles over before dragging his nose along Stiles’ jaw and pressing a small kiss to his neck.

                “I need to finish my work. Text me when you get home,” Derek spoke before slowly backing away and walking back into the station. Stiles was frozen for a minute as he watched Derek walk off. He brought his fingers to his lips and traced over them gently before smiling and climbing into his car.

Chapter Text

                He was sitting on his bed and staring at the box. Melissa, Scott, and Mika all agreed to give him some space so he could go through it in private. Mika slipped a little note under the door with a heart on it and took off down the stairs before he worked up the courage to open it. The box was heavy and slightly old, worn around the edges. He took a deep breath and opened the lid. The smell hit him first, the musky smell of his dad’s old cologne and the trace of gun powder. There was a small notebook on top with a book of photographs below that. There had been a gun in there, but the station would hold onto that for now. There was also a letter filled out to Stiles. He figured he’d bite the bullet and start there first. He unfolded the old paper and immediately got teary-eyed seeing his dad’s handwriting.

                Dear Stiles,

                If you are reading this, then it means myself or your mother died and the other followed. I can only hope you’re reading this as an old man and you got to live your whole life with us and watched us get old and grey. If not, I can only hope you can forgive us for bringing you into a world where losing one of us means losing both of us. Your mother was my whole world until you were born. You were the most beautiful baby and your mother was so proud. I was proud. We’re still proud. Just yesterday you read your first whole book. Your mom cried about it to Talia for almost 20 minutes on the phone. God, I hope I get to write an updated version of this letter when you’re older and I have to give you warnings about the dangers of underage drinking and unsafe sex. I want to see what sort of man you grow up to be. Even if I don’t, just know that you could never disappoint me in a million years. You are going to be so powerful, you have no idea. Just stick close to the Hales. You don’t know it yet, but that family is going to be very important in your life. Their boy Derek is going to be your biggest protector. We have to pry you two apart as it is. I love you kiddo. I love you so much. Be as amazing as I know you can be.

                Stiles was crying big, wet tears by the end of the letter. He knew he missed his parents but he had no idea his dad was so proud of him from such a young age. He needed to prove him right. He wiped his eyes and started flipping through the photographs. The first one he saw was of his parents right when they started dating. His mom was drinking a chocolate milkshake while his dad snuck curly fries off her plate. That was probably the least surprising thing he could imagine and it certainly explained his fixations. The next picture was a wedding photo followed by a few more family photos. Then there were pregnancy photos. His mom was glowing and his dad looked happier than he could remember. Then there was a picture of his very pregnant mother sitting next to a small boy with dark hair and green eyes. His hand was on her stomach and she was smiling at a mom standing off to the side. That kid had to be Derek. There were more and more pictures of Stiles as a baby with his family. He was so small in his dad’s hands. There was one humorous picture of Derek holding him with, a girl who had to be Laura, teasing him. There was another with Derek tickling Stiles on a picnic blanket. The last photo was of him and his mother on his first day of first grade. He looked so happy with his Captain America lunch box and Spiderman t-shirt. His mom was kissing the top of his head. He held the contents to his chest and willed himself not to cry again.

                “Stiles?” he heard a small voice from beyond his door.

                “Yes, Mika?” Stiles sighed.

                “Are you ok? You smell like burnt marshmallows and vegetables,” she explained. Stiles snorted at that because that was a weird thing for sadness to smell like.

                “I’m just a little sad, ok? I need to be alone and maybe take a nap,” Stiles replied.

                “Ok. I hope you feel better soon,” she said and he heard her scamper away. He fell back on his bed and just let the sadness wash over him. He was feeling emotionally overwrought and wasn’t sure what to do. He missed his parents every day and this didn’t change anything, but it did give him more connections and more memorabilia to hold with him. He placed the box on his side table and curled up on the bed. There was still the notebook in the box. He wanted to read through it but wasn’t sure whether or not he could handle any more right now. He probably should have taken a break between the letter and photographs. He just took a deep breath and let his body fold into his bed.

                Roughly 10 minutes later he heard his window slide open and shot up in bed. He was ready to reach for his baseball bat when he realized it was Derek.

                “I do have a front door…” he mumbled.

                “I know. But Mika called and said you smelled funny and I decided to come see you without rousing the others,” he was hovering in the window and looking nervously at the boy. Stiles deflated and pat the bed next to him. Derek peeled off his jacket, toed off his boots, and climbed onto the bed. “How are you feeling?”

                “Sad. Overwhelmed. Tired. I should have known the box would only contain angst,” he half-joked.

                “Anything I can do?” Derek asked.

                “Go back in time?” he shrugged and sniffled. Derek’s wolf was whining at the clear distress his mate was in. He wanted to wrap his arms around him and keep him safe in the bed, “Oh, found these though.” Stiles reached into the box and pulled out a few of the pictures, namely, the ones where Derek had baby Stiles in his arms. Derek took the pictures and smiled so brightly Stiles had to blink.

                “I forgot about this…” he examined them carefully and he sounded briefly like he was purring.

                “Guess you’ve been on Stiles-duty for awhile,” the boy snickered.

                “I don’t mind,” he rolled his eyes and turned to kiss Stiles lightly on the cheek. Stiles blushed and bit his lower lip, “Are you tired?”

                “Very,” Stiles even yawned in reply.

                “Then how about we take a nap, then I can make you some dinner,” Derek suggested, already manhandling Stiles under the covers.

                “You already slept with me last night,” Stiles reminded him.

                “Are you complaining?” Derek smirked and tugged the boy’s body flush with his chest, blanket over both of them.

                “No,” Stiles mumbled quietly.

                “Then you’ll let me take care of you,” the wolf murmured to the back of Stiles’ neck.

                “I don’t need you to – “

                “I know you don’t need it,” he cut him off, “But I want to.” Stiles didn’t say anything, he just burrowed deeper against Derek’s large and warm body.

                “Ok, sourwolf,” Stiles yawned again and found himself drifting off very, very quickly. He could have swore he felt Derek kissing his shoulders as he fell asleep.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0

                Two hours later Stiles felt himself slowly waking up. He was still being spooned by a warm body and he happily relaxed back into it. Derek’s hand was flat against chest and the other arm was under his neck. Stiles hummed in contentment and wiggled a bit in the embrace. He felt pleasure shoot up his spine when Derek’s mouth descended on his neck. He moaned and gripped the blanket in front of him. He could feel Derek’s tongue tracing patterns on his skin. The hand at his chest moved lower until it was settled on his hip. Teeth grazed his skin next and arched his back, finding hardness against his ass.

                “Derek?” he groaned and turned his face. Derek took a shuddering breath and kissed his jaw. He could feel Derek’s fingers dip below the waistband of his jeans and hover above his briefs.

                “Fuck,” Derek breathed out.

                “I – oh god,” Stiles ground his ass against Derek’s groin and he swiftly turned over to face his mate. Stiles pressed his lips to Derek’s and sought out a deep and passionate kiss. He cupped his hands to Derek’s cheeks and let the man pull his body as close as possible. They kissed hard and he felt Derek bite his lip. Derek rolled them so Stiles was flat on his back and he settled his body between Stiles’ splayed legs. They rocked against one another and Stiles found his hands tugging at Derek’s shirt, wanting to see all the skin underneath despite having seen all of him before. But he didn’t know they were soulmates before. He didn’t give himself a chance to appreciate the body with the gravity it deserved. Derek wasted no time in stripping off his own shirt and then pulling at Stiles’. He froze for a second, looking into Stiles’ eyes for permission. Stiles swallowed and nodded. Derek pulled the shirt over his head and started kissing Stile’s collar bone the second his chest was exposed. Stiles clawed at Derek’s back. He was falling apart at all these touches, needing more. Derek rolled his hips against Stiles’ and found the boy moaning again, followed by a whimper as Derek continued to move against him.

                “Love the sounds you make,” Derek growled and bit down Stiles’ nipple and kissing up to his neck.

                “You feel so good,” Stiles breathed. Derek was essentially humping him and it felt like heaven. He wanted to see what Derek’s face look like when he came and Stiles wanted to be the one to get him there, “Don’t stop.” Derek growled and fucked against him harder. Even though he wanted desperately to strip off every inch of clothing and take Stiles apart entirely, they weren’t ready for that. They needed to discuss all the ramifications that came with consummating their bond. For now, he just wanted to bring Stiles the pleasure he deserved. The smell of Stiles’ arousal was filling the room and it was heady. He smelled like apple pie and Derek wanted to devour it.

                “Want to make you cum, Stiles. Can I do that? Can I get you off?” Derek moaned and bit the column of Stiles’ throat.

                “Please,” Stile whimpered. Derek began to hump vigorously and holding Stiles’ hips roughly. The boy was breathing heavily burying his fingers in Derek’s hair. Derek’s teeth were worrying his lower lip and every sensation was building intensity. His chest filled with warmth and his body was buzzing. Everything felt perfect and he wanted the moment to drag out forever. He had never had this before; hands all over his body with another humping him like the teenager that he was. He at least appreciated Derek taking him through each phase of sexual exploration that most people his age were going through. When he looked back to Derek’s eyes they were glowing red and piercing. Stiles gasped and felt his orgasm rip right through him. Derek stole his shout with a kiss and he felt wave after wave of pleasure pump through him as he spilled into his pants. Derek stuttered in his movements and growled in his chest, eyes flashing a bright red in the dim light of the bedroom and let his cheek rest against Stiles’.

                “That was something,” Stiles grinned.

                “Yea. Yea, it was,” Derek was steadying his breathing and trailing gentle fingers across Stiles’ chest and stomach.

                “That – uh – was a first for me. And it was incredible,” Stiles was smiling and kissing Derek almost chastely.

                “I’m glad it was me,” he gave a soft smile in return and slowly sat up, “We should probably clean up though. Then I can make you something to eat. Maybe we can watch a movie with Mika and Scott. I don’t work tonight.”

                “I’d like that,” Stiles kissed him again. The more they touched the more he wanted it. Needed it, even. He wanted his lips on Derek’s every chance he could get now.

                “Ok. I’ll use the bathroom and head downstairs. I’ll be waiting for you,” he pulled Stiles up so their chests were pressed together again and both were reluctant to part. Derek kissed him once more and slowly pulled away and slipped into the bathroom. Stiles just fell back onto the bed and was grinning like a maniac despite the semen slowly cooling and becoming uncomfortable in his underwear.

                After several minutes Derek left the bathroom with a bashful smile and Stiles went in, taking his time cleaning up. He knew from Scott and Mika already that they would easily smell what Derek and him had just did, so he wanted to wash the scent away as much as possible, though, he didn’t dare touch his neck. He wanted Derek’s scent there for as long as possible. He stared at his body in the mirror, the scars still as present as ever. However, there were now bite marks and hickeys all over his neck and his lips were red. He didn’t try and look away and it was clear Derek wanted him to have a better look at himself as he had removed all the covering Stiles put over the mirror years prior. His body was marred and still somewhat difficult to look at, but he looked over each scar and thought of how Derek was the reason it was there and the anger he used to feel faded, replaced by acceptance and hope.

                When he went downstairs he found Derek cooking in the kitchen with Melissa. Scott and was playing with Mika at the kitchen table. The house was filled with more laughter than it had been in years. Derek turned around and wrapped his arm around Stiles’ waist to plant a kiss on the top of his head. Melissa beamed and kissed Stiles’ cheek right afterwards. The rest of the night was perfect as they all had dinner together and settled in the living room. Mika fell asleep in Stiles’ lap as they watched a movie, the night quiet and calm – until Lydia woke up screaming in the middle of the night, waking every wolf within a 4 mile radius.

Chapter Text

                “Lydia!” Stiles shouted into the phone as soon as she answered, “Scott and Mika heard you. Even I swear I heard you.”

                “Stiles,” she whimpered, he could hear her struggling to catch her breath. He heard some fumbling followed by Jackson.

                “She had a nightmare. Dreamt of some kid getting beaten to death or something. I sprinted here when I heard you scream. You guys on your way?” he asked.

                “Yea. On my way with Scott and Derek,” he informed.

                “Good. She keeps asking for you any way. Her parents are gone, so just come through the front door. Erica called, she’s coming with Boyd,” he added.

                “Great. Thanks. See you,” Stiles hung up and looked to Scott in the back seat. Derek was focused on the road as they raced to the banshee’s house. Stiles was worried, Lydia hadn’t had a nightmare like this in a long time, about 2 years. They couldn’t save that man either. He was reported dead in the newspaper about a month later. She beat herself up about it for a very long time, her moods following prompted the break up with Jackson that had only recently been undone.

                “Did you call Allison?” Stiles asked out loud.

                “I sent her a message. She said she can’t leave but she’s going to pick Lydia up for school tomorrow,” Scott shrugged.

                “Fuck. School. Can’t we get excused for supernatural shenanigans? We are going to be exhausted tomorrow,” Stiles fretted, “You’re my soulmate, Derek. Can’t we just get married so you can be my guardian and excuse me whenever I want?”

                “Sure, Stiles. Because convenience would be the reason I’d marry you,” the wolf deadpanned.

                “So you’ve thought about it,” Stiles laughed and Derek rolled his eyes. Scott did the same and looked back out the window. They were pulling up to Lydia’s large home. Stiles was first  from the car as he bolted through the front door. He sprinted through the entryway and found Lydia sitting on the couch next to Jackson. Her eyes were puffy and her hair was a mess. Stiles didn’t think twice before practically diving onto the couch and wrapping his arms around her. Lydia gasped at the contact and Jackson gaped a bit, even he recognized how unusual their touching was.

                “Stiles?” she questioned, voice muffled by his shoulder.

                “How are you feeling?” he asked as he sat back. Lydia was staring at him like he grew two heads.

                “…disturbed. How are you…?” she furrowed her brow.

                “Oh. Yea. So, it doesn’t bother me as much with the touching,” he flapped his hands, “Derek had his dirty way with me and it think it cured me.” Lydia laughed and Derek turned red before looking pointedly at the ceiling.

                “Dude,” Jackson grimaced and Scott gave his shoulder a shove.

                “Calm down. I still remain mostly virginal. Back to the current situation. Lydia. Nightmare. Go,” Stiles held her hand gently and waited for her to speak up.

                “So…I saw a boy – he had to be our age, had a Beacon Hills jacket on too – he was crying and begging for this man to stop. He was hitting his in the chest and side of the head. The boy fought back at first, but then he got pushed down the stairs into a basement. The man then came at him with a pipe. Telling him that he wasn’t going to put up with him anymore. The boy cried more and just hung his head. The man beat him with it over and over until he just stopped moving. Then he pulled out a gun. It was horrible,” she recounted. Jackson already had his arms around her and was smoothing down her hair. Derek was tense and Scott had sat on the edge of the armchair. Erica and Boyd were scrambling through the front door. Boyd stood next to Derek while Erica came to the other side of the couch with Lydia.

                “We can figure out who he is and save him before that happens. It’ll be easy knowing he goes to our school. Just gotta keep a look out,” Scott interjected.

                “He’s right,” Stiles nodded. This could happen in a week. We have time.”

                “But what if it’s happening right now? Or it happens in the morning?” Lydia argued.

                “Then there isn’t anything you can do,” Derek announced, “Being a banshee doesn’t mean it’s your duty to save people. You just have the unfortunate task of knowing when it’s coming.”

                “Then what is the god damn point if I can’t do anything about it?” Lydia snapped.

                “What is the point of me turning into a wolf once a month?” Derek countered, “We are what we are. It doesn’t always mean anything.”

                “I just want it to stop,” she whispered. Erica rubbed her shoulders and Jackson gave a pleading look.

                “Maybe we can talk to Deaton,” Derek spoke.

                “What can he do?” Stiles cocked a brow.

                “He can do a lot of things. We just have to ask,” Derek sighed. Lydia seemed to accept that, as did Stiles.

                “I’m gonna stay with her tonight. Tomorrow we’re going to school with Allison. I’d prefer it if she wasn’t alone at any point,” Jackson looked at everyone.

                “We have practically all our classes together. Allie has P.E. with her. We all have the same lunch and I am perfectly willing to skip lacrosse practice to hang,” Stiles started.

                “I can stay the night tomorrow, if you want,” Erica tested.

                “If you keep rubbing my shoulders like that then I am on board with all of these plans. Not that I need looking after,” Lydia hummed.

                “I’m glad we worked this all out,” Boyd yawned and remained nearly stock still by Derek.

                “You all didn’t need to come,” Lydia looked up.

                “You’re kidding, right?” Scott snorted.

                “Always gonna come help you, Lyds,” Stiles gave her a knowing look and squeezed her hand once more, “Did you wanna watch a movie and calm down? I can make you some tea.”

                “I’ll make her some tea. I got the kind my grandma makes. Has valerian in it,” Jackson murmured.

                “Look at you, Mr. I-can-take-care-of-my-soulmate,” Stiles grinned.

                “Get outta here, Stilinski,” Jackson huffed.

                “We can take the hint, wolfman,” Stiles shook his head and got up from the couch. Everyone said their goodbyes as Derek gave Stiles and Scott a ride back home. It was near 2am when they finally arrived. It was dark and cool, the stars barely peeking out from behind thick clouds in the sky.

                “Thanks for driving us,” Stiles said before he climbed out of the car, Scott already making his way across the porch.

                “I wasn’t letting you race over there in that death trap of a jeep,” Derek stated.

                “My baby is not a death trap,” Stiles gaped.

                “I beg to differ,” Derek mumbled.

                “I’ll show you. That car will outlive this monstrosity,” Stiles tapped on the dashboard.

                “I’m sure,” Derek rolled his eyes.

                “Will I see you tomorrow?” Stiles swallowed.

                “I’m working swing, so I won’t be off until close to 11pm. But…I could come over after that. If you leave your window unlocked. And if Melissa is ok with it,” the older man mentioned.

                “I would very much like that,” he bit his lower lip with a grin. Derek grabbed his chin and tilted his face up. He pressed their lips together gently.

                “Goodnight, Stiles,” he stroked his jaw and Stiles very reluctantly climbed out of the car. He waved at Derek and made his way into the house. Derek waited until Stiles was safely inside and heard the deadbolt lock into place.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

                Everyone looked a bit ragged when they met up at school. Lydia was fresh-faced without a stitch of makeup on. Alarming Stiles and Scott. Danny was forcing coffee down Jackson’s throat and Allison had a few more to hand over to Scott, Stiles, and Erica. They caught up Allison and Danny about everything from Lydia’s dream and were given very basic of the boy they needed to look for, but only Lydia had a clear picture of him in her mind. Lydia was also taking advantage of Stiles’ new found ability to tolerate touch as she clung to his arm most of the day, feeling particularly vulnerable. Lydia searched the hallways every second and scanned heads in the classrooms. Stiles could see her getting more and more tense each time she never spotted him. Weight was heavy on her shoulders, fear that this boy was already dead racing through her thoughts.

                Stiles felt like he needed more to go on. All he had was “tall, wavy, blonde hair. Light eyes. And thin lips.” That simply wasn’t enough. And what was he supposed to do if he found someone who fit this description? Go up to him and say “hey, we think you’re going to die?” He couldn’t imagine that going over well. They made it through all their morning classes and a very tense lunch that was comprised of each person taking turns eating while trying to examine every student. They didn’t spot him. By the end of the day Lydia seemed like a frayed nerve.

                “It feels hopeless,” she sat on the curb outside of the school, defeated and overwrought with emotion.

                “It’ll be ok. We will find him. Just try not to get too worked up,” Stiles soothed. Lydia was watching the parking lot where Allison was talking to someone in a truck. She was talking into the passenger window before waving unsteadily and walking off. Lydia shot up like a rocket after that. The truck slowly drove away and Lydia was staring with wide eyes. Allison approached them with a confused look on her face.

                “Lydia?” Allison questioned.

                “Who were you just talking to?” she demanded.

                “My project partner for history class. Isaac. I was asking him if he was free to go over everything sometime this week. His dad said ‘no’ and I got a little huffy,” she answered.

                “That – they – we need to follow them,” Lydia was dragging both of them across the parking lot to Stiles’ car. Allison and Lydia climbed in and Stiles didn’t wait another second before throwing the car into gear. The truck was still in sight and they followed at a reasonable distance. Lydia pulled out her phone and was launching up a series of texts, probably to Jackson and the others, about what was happening. They travelled roughly 4 miles before pulling up to a somewhat dilapidated looking house. Stiles parked just 2 houses down and they all watched. The boy, Isaac, slowly crept out of the truck and his father shoved him to the door. They opened it and it slammed shut behind them.

                “That was them. Isaac. His dad kills him. We need to get in now,” she was pulling the taser out of her purse and ready to run form the car.

                “Whoa. Hold up,” Stiles grabbed her arm, “Are you positive?”

                “Yes! It was them. We need to get in there and stop it!” she pled.

                “We should call 911,” Allison interrupted.

                “And tell them that I had a vision about a death? I’m sure they’ll rush right over,” she scoffed. Lydia was already wrenching the door open and making her way to the house. Stiles grabbed the baseball bat he always kept in the back and followed, Allison right behind with her bag, most likely containing a knife. They all sort of hovered by the door, waiting for any sound.

                “Do we knock?” Allison asked.

                “Maybe?” Stiles twisted up his face, but then they all heard a loud bang. Lydia flinched. There was another loud bang followed by shouting. They could hear Isaac, briefly, try to calm his father down, but he wasn’t hearing it. He told Isaac he was worthless and a waste of space. Slap. Allison grit her teeth and Stiles tightened his fist around the handle of the bat.  They heard more shouting and what sounded like another slap or possibly a punch. Then a door slammed hard against a wall.

                “Now,” Lydia hissed and Stiles kicked the door in. They all clamored into the house and looked around for anyone. There was no one on the main floor but they found the door to the basement open in the kitchen. Isaac was crying and his dad was still yelling.

                “I am not going to put up with your bullshit anymore!” they heard echo up the stairs.

                “Hey, asshole!” Stiles shouted.

                “What the fuck?!” the man shouted back and looked up the steps. He saw Stiles standing at the top, bat in hand. Lydia was next to him with her Taser, fire in both of their eyes. Allison was off to the side with her knife unsheathed and hovering by the door. Her phone was sitting on the counter next to her, 911 already dialed and listening to the conflict over speaker phone.

                “Lay a hand on him again and I will happily shove this bat down your throat,” Stiles warned.

                “Get out of my house you, fucking kids,” he snarled.

                “That won’t be happening,” Lydia spat.

                “I’ll throw you out myself,” he grunted and started up the stairs. Isaac, behind him, grabbed at his ankles to stop him, only to have his dad swing the pipe he was holding back against his face, breaking his nose. Blood was running down his face and he pressed his body back to the wall. Stiles had his feet planted firmly in the ground as the man launches at him. He got Stiles in the leg first but he hopped back and Lydia was pulled back by Allison. The man eyed all three before lunging at Stiles again. He got him hard across the chest before Stiles punching him in the throat.

                “Not sure why you thought you were going to get away beating your kid. You were going to kill him,” Stiles declared.

                “Why the fuck do you care what I was going to do? He’s a piece of shit. Been nothing but trouble since the day he came out of his ma and she took off. She knew what I didn’t. Death is the best thing I can give him,” he was fuming and Stiles found rage filling his chest and every last inch of his body.

                “Your son is amazing and nice. You don’t deserve him,” Allison cut in and brandished her knife openly.

                “Aww, little girl got a knife? Watch it before I gut you with it,” he took a step towards her and grabbed for her arm. He didn’t get far as Stiles’ bat made a hard connection with the side of his skull. The man hit the ground hard didn’t move before he stumble to his feet.

                “Fuck. You,” he flung at Stiles again, managing to knock him into the shelf. Stiles hit his head hard enough to break the skin behind his ear, blood starting to trickle down his neck. Lydia was at the stairs and was making her way down to Isaac. Allison kicked the back of the aggressor’s knee in and he howled out in pain. He punched Stiles in the side of the neck before the boy scrambled away. He was back on his feet and stood in front of Allison. The man rose up once more, blood pooling below him and his shirt soaked in dark red.

                “I will kill you,” he reared back, but Stiles was faster. The bat got his right across the side of his face, practically knocking his jaw right off. He didn’t move after he hit the ground. Stiles didn’t move as Allison checked for signs of life. He wasn’t breathing. He had no pulse.  She looked up at Stiles and nodded. He took a deep breath and slid to the floor. No one said anything. Even Lydia and Isaac were silent in the basement as the gravity of the situation washed over everyone. A man was dead; Stiles and Allison having dispatched him. Not a minute later were police flooding the home. The officers moved around the teens as they took in the scene. One checked Isaac’s dad, confirming to another what they seemed to already know. Another grabbed the crook of Allison’s arm and slowly eased her away from the body.

                “Downstairs,” she managed as two more officers went down the steps. Stiles felt dizzy as the pain in his head increased.

                “We need a medic now!” one officer from downstairs yelled out. Stiles’ vision was getting blurry and he could no longer sit upright.

                “Need another in here too,” said one officer who was now eye-level with him and trying to keep him upright.

                “Stiles?” he heard and slowly turned his head.

                “Der’k?” he stuttered before losing consciousness.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

                He had no idea how long it had been, hours maybe. He knew immediately that he was in a hospital if the starchy sheets were anything to go on. The room was dimly lit and he could hear the quiet buzzing machines working. He turned his head to find Derek asleep in one of the chairs, still in his work uniform. On the other side was Melissa, awake, and looking none too pleased.

                “I thought we talked about you playing hero,” she raised an eyebrow, unimpressed.

                “I didn’t really plan on it,” Stiles winced, the bandage caught on the pillow.

                “You should have called,” Melissa continued.

                “He would have been dead by then,” Stiles pressed on.

                “I feel like you could have managed not to get a concussion,” Derek finally spoke as he woke up from his spot.

                “How is Isaac? Allison?” he asked.

                “Isaac is fine.. Allison is fine. Isaac’s dad…” Melissa trailed off.

                “Is dead. I know,” Stiles stated, “Am I – what’s going to happen to me?”

                “Nothing,” an officer in the door cut in.

                “What?” Stiles quirked.

                “We heard the entire 911 call. He threatened all your lives and attacked you. You didn’t have much of a choice. And the death was unintentional from what we gather so far,” he finished.

                “Oh – I – ok…but…what’s going to happen to Isaac?” Stiles inquired.

                “He’ll be under my guardianship,” Derek answered.

                “Why?” Stiles pressed on.

                “Because there was way more to what was going on with Isaac than you could have known,” Melissa frowned.

Chapter Text

                When Derek had stepped inside the house and found Stiles bleeding and near unconscious on the floor with a dead man just a few feet away he felt as though he stepped into an alternate universe. He was about to panic before Allison rushed to calm him down.

                “What the hell happened?” Derek demanded and he was quickly at Stiles’ side with another medic to his right. He growled at the other man and examined Stiles himself.

                “We just – Lydia’s dream. We figured out who the boy was and followed him. We heard him threaten to kill Isaac from outside and we broke into the house. He attacked Isaac and then attacked Stiles. But he defended himself. But then he tried to attack me and Stiles just finished it,” she rushed out.

                “Why would you guys come here alone? With no back up of any kind?!” Derek hissed as he motioned for his aid to get Stiles get him stabilized and onto a stretcher. They needed  to get him to the hospital and figure out the extent of his head injury. He was ready to leave with Stiles in the van before an officer stopped him.

                “We need you downstairs,” the man implored.

                “I need to go with him,” Derek kept his hand on Stiles’ shoulder.

                “The boy downstairs is a wolf. He won’t let anyone near him. He’s freaking out. He bit at someone already,” the officer explained. Derek rumbled in his chest and flashed his eyes. As much as he wanted to go with Stiles, he needed to assess the boy downstairs who was almost murdered by his father. He needed another wolf around if he was going to be remotely compliant in this heightened state. He followed the officers down and found a boy growling by the back wall, dried blood all over his face, neck, and shirt. Derek stepped in front of all the officers trying to better gauge the situation. Lydia was near Isaac, hovering quietly. Derek flashed his eyes and Isaac froze. He got even closer and motioned for Lydia to go with the officers.

                “You need to calm down and listen carefully,” he growled. Isaac dropped to his knees and almost shivered. His eyes flashed yellow and he bent his head down. The boy was an omega and there was almost nothing about this home that indicated more than one wolf was ever inside. Isaac whimpered and Derek moved to crouch.

                “Do you have a pack at all? Any wolves you are connected to?” Derek asked calmly. Isaac just shook his head. That surprised him. Wolves without a pack were weak and the boy’s father wasn’t a wolf. So, either his mother was one or he was turned at some point.

                “You need to come down to the hospital or station to give your statement and get assessed. Your father is dead now and we need to make a plan for you,” he explained. Isaac sat down fully and his shoulders were shaking. We he looked up Isaac was crying while also laughing. He seemed hysterical.

                “I couldn’t even lift a hand at him and either Stilinski or Allison killed him. I’m so fucking pathetic,” he managed. Derek just tightened his lips and reached out his hand. Isaac took it very tentatively and the stepped aside from the group and moved towards the stairs. There was a door slightly ajar near the steps. There was a strong smell that made Derek stop in his tracks. He pushed the door open and gasped. The room was bare, nothing but a hard wood floor and a mattress pad on the floor. The walls were torn up, claw marks everywhere and dried blood was scattered around. There were chains on one wall and the door seemed to be enforced. Derek just turned to look at Isaac who had shame plastered across his face.

                “It’s where he put me…,” he trailed off and Derek just shook his head. Everyone went upstairs and Derek stepped into the kitchen to find medical examiners working on Isaac’s father Allison, however, was arguing with her dad.

                “Mr. Argent?” Derek glared. He didn’t need to be there. He wasn’t with the police and, parent or not, they wouldn’t let him enter a crime scene just because Allison was there.

                “Derek,” he paused and took a deep breath.

                “Why are you here?” Derek took a step in front of Isaac instinctively.

                “I was called as soon as one of the officers realized Isaac was a wolf. You know I have to come and investigate whenever there is a wolf involved in the killing of a human,” Chris reminded him. This was true. When werewolves became known a very long time ago there were also people, much like those in Chris’ family, who feared wolves. They established investigatory groups whose sole job was to determine if the wolf was the culprit or what role they played. It was archaic, but the wolf’s ability to withstand an overwhelming amount of brutality without death made them all the more frightening to the average person. Werewolves also tended to be charged harsher if they did go to trial for an attack of some kind. Chris, at the very least, was one of the better investigators and was not likely to pin anything on a wolf without sufficient evidence.

                “He didn’t do anything. He was downstairs the whole time. Stiles was the one – “

                “I know, ok? I can tell, just be looking at the kitchen, that this boy wasn’t involved. But I have to be here and I have to talk to him,” Chris interrupted Allison’s worry.

                “He doesn’t have an alpha or any parents. He’s a minor and needs representation of some kind. A guardian,” Derek reminded him. Most wolves had their alpha present, if they weren’t the alpha, for times such as this.

                “We can wait until one is appointed to him. Or you can be there,” Chris suggested.

                “He wants to get to the hospital, dad. To see Stiles,” Allison said quietly.

                “To see Stiles?” Chris raised a brow. Derek exhaled and waited.

                “His soul mate,” Allison stated. Chris might be good at training his facial expressions, but even Derek could hear the uptick in his heartbeat. The history his family had with the Hales and the idea of soulmates was heavy.

                “We don’t have to do it now. We can wait until tomorrow. We need to wait until we have the medical examiner’s report anyway,” the hunter finished.

                “Ok. Good. We can get some of his things. He’ll stay with me for the time being,” Derek announced.

                “I will?” Isaac perked.

                “Yes. You need an alpha, even a temporary one. And I can help anchor you,” he soothed Isaac, whose heart rate was much faster than before.

                “It’ll be ok, Isaac. Derek is a good alpha,” Allison touched Isaac’s hand and squeezed it gently.

                “You have a pack?” Chris stared.

                “I do. Me, my sister, my uncle, and some other betas,” he listed, tentatively.

                “Your…uncle,” Chris swallowed.

                “He’s still in treatment. Vegetative. Unresponsive. But…it feels like he won’t be much longer. I’m ready for him either way,” Derek nodded.

                “Oh. Ok. That’s – I hope he is able to recover,” Chris stiffened and turned back to Allison, “I’ll need to head to the office to start some paperwork and make some calls. You let me know when you’re coming home, ok? Your mother will worry. I’m sure Scott will need you around any way.”

                “Thanks, dad,” she hummed and he nodded to the boys before departing. Derek and Chris always had a very unusual relationship. His sister…well, she didn’t make things less complicated by any means.

                Officers around them were still taking pictures and collecting evidence. Oddly, not a single person said a word to Isaac, no one tried to block his view of his father’s dead body. Derek wondered if this was the sort of situation where they all knew what kind of man he was. People stepped around him and Isaac, Stiles’ bat was bagged, so was Allison’s knife. Derek could smell Stiles’ blood all the easier now and he just wanted to leave the house.

                “Do you want to grab some stuff and meet me out front?” Derek looked to Isaac. The boy was frozen, so Allison held his arm and led him towards the hallway. Derek made his way outside and ran his hand over his face. He didn’t know why this happened or needed to happen. His wolf both hated and was proud of how brave his mate was. Selfless, clumsy, brave, and irresponsible boy that was his perfect other half. Not 5 minutes later, Isaac and Allison joined them outside. Lydia exited the house too and he drove them all to the hospital.

0o0o0o0o0o0o0

                “I had to look over Isaac’s medical records after he arrived. Neither of his parents are a werewolf. He was turned at a young age, just around 10. His mother had him turned on purpose to cure his cancer. But she couldn’t handle everything after the change and she left. His dad took it out on him from what we can gather. His parents weren’t even soulmates. So, she is still alive somewhere,” Melissa revealed.

                “What the fuck?” Stiles gaped.

                “We were all surprised,” the officer sighed, “It isn’t the first time we found something like this though; a parent abusing their werewolf child. There’s never any physical evidence left behind to catch them.”

                “But he’s going to live with you, right? He’ll be taken care of now?” Stiles implored.

                “He will. Right now he’s with Lydia, Scott, and Allison. They’re keeping him calm and moving him into my place,” Derek stroked Stiles’ hair.

                “Should I be upset that they’ve all been to your place but I haven’t been there yet?” Stiles narrowed his eyes.

                “You’re ridiculous,” Derek rolled his eyes.

                “I’ll be checking in with you later, Mr. Stilinski. You’ll need to sign some things, but we are going to wait until you’re fully healed and can be assured there are no issues surrounding your mental state after receiving a head injury,” the officer gave. Stiles just gave a thumbs up and fell back on the pillow. He tipped his hat to Melissa and waved to Derek before leaving.

                “Wait. Where’s Mika?” Stiles startled.

                “Surprisingly, with Jackson. He is doting on her. Took her to get ice cream and then to see a movie,” Derek answered.

                “Really?” Stiles confirmed, confused.

                “Yep. You should see his Instagram,” Melissa snorted.

                “I definitely have to,” Stiles reached for his leg before remembering he was not wearing pants. He was wearing a hospital gown. He immediately became despondent at the thought of people undressing him and seeing his body. Derek was grabbing his hand and diverting his attention.

                “It’s ok. It’s fine,” Derek attempted.

                “Ugh. This is what I hate about concussions,” Stiles lamented.

                “Yea. This part,” Melissa sighed, “I need to check on other people now. You’re lucky it was me working in the emergency room when you were rushed in. Otherwise you might’ve been cathed.” Stiles squeaked and crossed his legs, causing Derek to laugh. Derek handed over his own phone to Stiles.

                “You can look through Instagram on my phone,” Derek smiled. Stiles seized it and started scrolling through his screen.

                “Derek. You can’t be serious,” he flailed.

                “What?” he cocked a brow.

                “You have, like, no apps on your phone! You only have messenger. And you’ve only texted me, Scott, and Melissa on it. Oh my god. Are you 22 or 62?” Stiles was aghast.

                “Hitting your head did nothing for your attitude,” the wolf grumbled.

                “You love my attitude,” Stiles snarked.

                “Maybe,” Derek chuckled and simply let Stiles take control of his phone.

                Melissa had been right. After Stiles downloaded Instagram to Derek’s phone and set-up an account for him. Jackson had posted a series of selfies with Mika and plenty of her by herself. It was a stark contrast from earlier posts, most of him mugging for the camera with Danny or Lydia, shots of him at the gym, or absurdly expensive clothing. These new pictures made him look much softer. Probably showing people what Jackson was really like, the Jackson Lydia mostly experienced.

                Soon, nurses came and went. A doctor ruled out serious head trauma and he was cleared to go home, but he had to stay awake for the next 8 hours. Which he was fine with, as it gave him the perfect excuse not to go to school the next day and it meant that Derek was going to spend the entire night keeping him awake and entertained. Stiles wasn’t going to pretend he didn’t want that to translate to lots of gentle making out. Derek certainly delivered on that.

Chapter Text

Hey guys.

I've started working on this again. Buckle in.

Chapter Text

The following week primarily resulted in Stiles being laid up in bed. He didn’t bounce back quite as easily as he had hoped, but he found it to be far more enjoyable than he expected. Derek was there every day to dote on him; leaching pain, feeding him and giving him gentle kisses - refusing to do much beyond that while Stiles slowly healed. Mika had been sleeping in his bed a lot and Stiles didn’t really mind. 

Aside from helping to take care of Stiles, Derek had been getting Issac initiated into the pack. He was quiet and skittish but got on like fire with Mika. Derek made a room for him at his home and Issac slowly settled in. Apparently, he didn’t have much of his own space at his dad’s place. He had a room, but it was small and his dad used it for storage. He had little to no control over his shift. His dad had actually kept him locked up, wouldn’t let him find an alpha, and otherwise held him hostage in his own home. Derek was patient with him and he knew it would probably have struggled as time went on. 

Chris checked in with regularity and there was some tension going on there that Stiles didn’t have answers for. He hadn’t asked Derek about it yet and Allison didn’t know anything. He assumed it had to do with Kate, but there was something else. Chris had been nicer to Scott, which was a godsend as far as Stiles was concerned. Victoria was as cold as ever.

“So, when do I get to spend the night?” Stiles asked where he was sprawled on Derek’s sofa. Issac, Mika, and Scott were all puttering around the kitchen while Derek showed Stiles one of the family’s old bestiaries. 

“Probably once you turn 18,” Derek sighed.

“Come on,” Stiles whined, “We’re soulmates and everything. Don’t we get to skirt the rules?”

“Of course not,” Derek muttered, “There are rules for a reason.”

“I think the law isn’t as strict with soulmates, though,” Scott cut in.

“See,” Stiles grinned.

“Stiles…” Derek warned.

“Fine, sourwolf,” Stiles lamented, “But I am going to get an appropriate sleepover before the year is out.”

“Sleepover!” Mika shouted as she barreled into the room.

“I bet Derek would have the best sleepovers,” Stiles replied to Mika’s excitement, “I bet he knows how to braid hair.” Derek did know how to braid hair, he had learned from his sisters. 

“I can braid hair,” Issac mumbled as he joined them in the living room.

“You can?” Mika beamed at him. He outstretched his arms and she practically jumped into them for affection and intricate braids. Derek and Stiles watched them together and was glad that Issac blended so easily. Stiles’ joy was interrupted by his phone ringing. He saw Laura’s name flashed on his screen and answered it without much of a delay.

“Hey, there future sister-in-law,” he chuckled.

“Put Derek on. Now!” she ordered. Stiles thrust his phone into Derek’s hand with wide eyes.

“Laur?” Derek started.

“Why don’t you answer your damn phones? Jesus. You need to get to the hospital. Peter woke up!” she demanded.

“What?” Derek stood.

“They kept calling you and you never answered so they called me. You need to get over there,” she continued.

“Shit. Ok,’ Derek hung up on her and started gathering his jacket and shoes, “I need you guys to watch Mika.” He was getting ready and heading for his keys.

“What’s going on?” Stiles was on his feet and following him.

“My Uncle Peter woke up. I need to get to the hospital,” he was already out the door with Stiles right on his heels.

“Whoa,” Stiles huffed and got to Derek’s car the same time as him.

“I need to go Stiles,” Derek started climbing in the car and didn’t entertain what Stiles was doing.

“I’m obviously going with you, Derek,” he rolled his eyes.

“What? No, Stiles I - “

“No. I’m coming. I’m your soulmate. We are in this until we literally die. I’m going to come support you while you see your uncle who has been in a coma for like 6 years,” he was firm in his delivery. Derek clenched his jaw and flared his nostrils before he relented. Both climbed into the car and Derek sped off. 

The ride was quiet in tense. Stiles drummed on his knees with his fingers and kept stealing sideways glances at Derek. He was rigid and gripping the steering wheel, practically denting it. Stiles frowned and snuck his hand over to Derek’s leg, attempting to ground him. He felt the muscle relax under his touch. He was sure Derek was worried. He knew that Peter was the only other survivor of the fire, but he didn’t heal. Unlike most wolves, he was stuck. Derek and Laura had no idea why, no doctors did either. There had to be a supernatural reason and no one was able to figure it out. 

By the time they pull up to the long term care section of the hospital, Derek looked like he was going to crawl out of his skin. He simply tugged on Stiles’ hand and led him to Peter’s room. It was a well-walked path for Derek. He had visited monthly, even when he didn’t live in California. Stiles hadn’t gone with him to see Peter yet but had planned on it. Derek wanted to wait a bit longer, especially after his own altercation. The entire hospital, even the section set up for weres, smelled strongly of disinfectant. Derek hated. 

When they entered Peter’s room they were greeted with a site Stiles wasn't really ready for.

p

“Peter,” Derek whispered.

“Derek?” Peter croaked, his voice hoarse from disuse and eyes misty, “You’re so...big.” 

“I - its been 6 years,” he managed. 

“Jesus,” Peter’s head fell back against the pillow. Stiles watched them with fascination. Peter’s burns hadn’t healed even though he was awake. He wondered what would do that to a werewolf. 

“I can’t believe you’re finally awake,” Derek finally went to Peter's side and pressed his face against Peter’s, their foreheads touching. There were tears and quiet words. They spoke in hushed tones of the dead and loss. Peter gently stroked Derek’s cheek in forgiveness. He told him about Laura and her living in Oregon. He said she would be flying down soon to see him. Then he turned to Stiles.

“And this...this is my soulmate,” Derek nodded. Stiles simply waved awkwardly. 

“Stilinski, I take it,” Peter cocked a brow.

“You knew?” Derek flummoxed.

“Of course I did. I was there when the first soul marks were discovered. And you never put the boy down when he was around,” Peter recalled. 

“But - I don’t remember any of that. Not really,” Derek gave.

“You wouldn’t. When Claudia died Stiles was traumatized and couldn’t be around us for a while. Stiles had an...episode. Deaton cast a spell to help ease the separation for a time. We didn’t get to reverse it before the fire,” Peter explained.

“An episode?” Stiles stared.

“Your spark. You practically brought down the house,” Peter frowned, “I’m guessing your powers have been dormant this entire time,” he continued.

“I - what the - how many fucking secrets got buried with that fire?” Stiles threw up his hands in frustration.

“Quite a few,” Peter said with a tone of finality. Derek was stone-faced as Peter started climbing out of the bed. He shed the hospital clothes and searched for something else to change into from the dresser near his bed, “I assume I get to leave?”

“I’m not sure,” Derek shrugged, “You still have scars. You didn’t heal and no one knows why.”

“I have theories, but I need to be removed from this hospital for them to be looked into. Besides, the burns are already starting to fade,” he pointed. And they were. His ear was looking better and some hair had returned. He was healing rapidly. 

“What the hell is happening right now?” Stiles gaped.

“Escape,” Peter hissed. Derek didn’t ask anymore questions and simply followed his uncle’s lead.

Chapter Text

They returned to Derek’s apartment and by the time they landed, Peter was almost entirely healed, save for some redness to his jaw and above his eye. Stiles was fascinated with what has happened, but it was clear there was something more going on. It seemed there always was. He had come to terms with the fact that things would be complicated with his soulmate and his family. Between hunter attacks, spells, and all these secrets he was spinning. He didn’t know what to think about these developments.

“The old house is still burnt. But I have been thinking about rebuilding it,” Derek told Peter as they took the stairs.

“We should. It’s been here for generations,” he added.

“I had been gone…” Derek trailed off.

“I know,” was all Peter said in reply. They entered the apartment and were greeted by nearly the entire pack.

“Oh,” Peter paused in the doorway.

“Scott, did you just invite everyone over?” Derek tilted his head.

“We figured you guys would need pack support,” Scott shrugged.

“Pack?” Peter looked around at each of them, not a single face he recognized. Issac was sitting in the armchair with Mika. Scott, Erica,and Boyd were all on the couch. Jackson was leaning by the kitchen with Lydia. 

“Yea. I have a pack now. We do,” Derek nodded. He gestured to everyone. Peter observed them all individually. Mika peaked his interest - a wolf so young. She had wild eyes that were so familiar. 

“Well, who does the little one belong to?” Peter crouched down to her eye level.

“Um, to the pack,” she shrugged.

“She’s one of the several resident orphans,” Stiles chirped.

“I’m Peter,” she smiled.

“I’m Mika,” she gave a toothy grin.

“She is sitting on Issac,” Stiles began, “On the couch, we have Miss Erica and Boyd. That is his last name, he gets really upset if you call him by his first name, just like I do. Then there’s Scott. And of course, Jackson and Lydia. Lydia is a banshee.”

“Quite the collection, dear nephew. Could you find no one else over 18?” he teased.

“It wasn’t exactly the plan,” Derek sighed, “They were all bitten by a rogue, save for Issac and Mika. I stepped in as their alpha.”

“Did you find the rogue?” Peter took pause.

“No. I was never able to track his scent. I don’t think he stuck around. Probably feral,” he explained.

“Do local hunters know?” Peter tensed.

“Chris is aware,” Derek gave.

“The Argents still doing well then?” Peter cocked a brow.

“More or less,” Derek looked away and Stiles felt everything in the room grow heavy.

“How about we figure out dinner?” Stiles interjected.

“God, yes,” Scott groaned, “I’m so hungry.”

“We could order Vitelli’s?” Erica suggested, “I mean, we could just get like a dozen pizzas.” 

“Vitelli’s is still around?” Peter smiled, “I’m game.”

“Great. I’ll place the order,” Stiles rubbed his hands together before pulling out his phone, “Gonna use your card, Der.”

“When did you get my card?” he raised a brow. Stiles just winked. 

“I’d like to shower,” Peter hummed, “It’s apparently been sponge baths for the better part of a decade.”

“You can use my shower. Or you can use the apartment next door, I keep it vacant. I had planned to let you have it whenever you woke up,” Derek offered.

“You rent 2 apartments?” Lydia asked.

“I own the building,” he provided, unphased.

“You own the fucking building?” Jackson gasped.

“Swear jar!” Mika stood and marched over to the bookshelf. 

 

===================================================================

 

Peter settled in quickly. He got to know everyone and had a great appreciation for Stiles. He was happy to have a pack again, even if it was the result of a disaster. He felt settled. But what he was fixated on since waking up was figuring out why he was in a coma for so long. Something wasn’t adding up. He was pleased to find out that Melissa could access the log for anyone who had visited him and Deaton was quick to begin researching what could manage to keep Peter sustained mid-healing for such a length of time. More than anything, he was looking forward to the next full moon. He had been entirely disconnected from his wolf and was itching to run. He didn’t need to wait for the full moon, technically. Being born he could shift whenever he wanted, but there was something about the full moon he craved. 

He was in the apartment next to Derek’s and ended up housing Issac with him as well. It wasn’t that Issac didn’t like living in the same apartment as Derek, it was simply that Issac felt drawn to Peter. He explained it a bit like recognizing a deep loneliness that he was carrying himself. He understood having been isolated for so long. They had been isolated for the same amount of time. Plus, Issac said he also liked to escape the smell of an aroused Derek and aroused Stiles whenever they were having their weird moments of staring longingly into each other’s eyes - Stiles was still getting over his touch issues and Derek was patient with it. 

Issac enjoyed waking up slowly in a warm home with his alpha next door and a packmate just down the hall, even if that packmate was often broody and keeping to himself. There were only 2 things he didn’t enjoy about his current set up. The first being constantly bombarded by either Erica and Boyd making out, Lydia and Jackson making out, Scott and Allison making out, or anything Derek and Stiles were doing. It reminded him that he was still without his soulmate, wherever they were. He had hoped they would have been easy to find. His dad used to whip him, his back a gnarly mess of jagged marks before they healed. He was sure his soulmate had the silver counterparts. 

The 2nd thing he disliked was the weird check-ins from Chris Argent he was going to have to endure. Apparently, according to laws from the 80s, previously omega werewolves involved with a crime had to be routinely interviewed until they were deemed appropriately ingratiated into a pack. He remembered this as soon as he heard a knock at their door. Peter had set down his book to answer the door before Issac recalled who it might be. 

Before he even opened the door, Peter knew who it was.

“Christopher,” he practically growled.

c

“Peter,” he stared, eyes narrowed, “I didn’t realize you were...awake.”

“Of course you didn’t,” Peter rolled his eyes, “Why are you here?”

“To see Issac. I have to check in on him per the bylaws,” he sighed.

“Ah, yes. The bylaws. The ones written by your kind. Those have certainly never been idiotic,” Peter snarled.

“Peter. Just let me do my job,” the other man pressed, jaw clenched tight.

“By all means,” he sneered, stepping back to let Chris enter the apartment. He looked around and was unsurprised by how it was set up. There were bookshelves from wall to wall, more books than really should be on each one. He saw Issac standing in the kitchen, sheepishly pulling at his sleeves.

“Lahey,” he nodded, “I’m just here to check-in with you. It’s pretty informal.”

“Ok. That’s fine,” he nodded.

“Honestly, kid? I only need to know if you’re vibing with the pack. If you feel like Derek is your alpha and feel control with him, that’s what is most important,” he explained.

“I mean, it hasn’t been long, but I feel more settled than I ever have before. Like, I wouldn’t need to be chained up. Like I can breathe,” Issac expressed. It was true. Every word. He could feel a strong connection to his wolf, one he hadn’t let himself have before. He needed Chris to understand that. He didn’t want to be locked up in Eichen House with all the other creatures deemed too dangerous to remain in society. He heard the stories.

“Sounds good, kid. Once you get through your first full moon together we will check in again. I won’t need to check in all that often after you’ve established stability,” Chris gave, “I’m not all that concerned about you. You never once hurt your father despite having every reason to.”

“Turns out wolves have self-control. Who knew?” Peter drolled from where he perched on his chair.

“I know that Peter,” Chris groaned, he really didn’t want a fight but knew it might be inevitable. 

“So...I pass?” Issac checked.

“With flying colors,” Chris gave a tentative smile.

“Great. So you can leave my home now,” Peter tried to usher the hunter from his apartment.

“I’m leaving. You don’t need to harass me,” Chris hissed as he finally stepped back over the threshold into the hallway. He glared at Peter who glared in kind.

“Tell me, Christopher. How much did it cost you to hide the truth?” the elder wolf sneered.

Chris simply gave a tired frown before turning and leaving.

Chapter Text

Stiles was sprawled on his own bed, the sunrise still 2 hours away. He was in a deep sleep when his window slid open and a figure crept quietly into his room. He was silent and sure-footed, toeing off his boots and shedding his jacket. He watched Stiles breath in and out, his body lax on the bed. He climbed slowly onto the bed, moving between the boy’s legs to suddenly press him against the mattress, face buried in the back of his neck. He growled deeply before Stiles finally awoke.

“Sourwolf?” he mumbled sleepily into his pillow.

“Yea,” Derek breathed out as he let his entire body align with Stiles’. 

“Mmm. Why ‘ya wakin’ me up?” he asked sleepily.

“Missed you,” Derek answered honestly as he got himself under the covers along with his mate, “I just wanted to fall asleep with you. I haven’t been able to.” He did struggle being apart from him. His wolf would pace and whine knowing his mate was somewhere other than with him. He was still trying to figure out his own boundaries along with Stiles' to find a balance with their physical relationship. What he knew was that he often craved Stiles. 

“Awww. So cute. I like to sleep with you too,” he yawned. It was true that on the occasion they did fall asleep together it was always a deep and satisfying sleep. He had come to realize that his reluctance and aversion to touch that had built up over the years led to quite the case of being touch starved. He hadn’t realized until Derek touched him as often as he did. All the wolves were tactile but gave Stiles space. He could tell when Derek was itching to touch him.

“Do you have anything important to do today?” Derek asked as he pressed light kisses up the back of Stiles’ neck. It was a Sunday and Derek didn’t work until the evening. He very much wanted to spend a lot of time with Stiles.

“Nope,” he sighed, “Just wanna sleep in with you.”

“We could do a lot in this bed,” Derek whispered, still being extremely cautious about anything sexual. While it was true that soulmate status tended to make certain laws null and void, Stiles being 17 and his own history with Kate made him wary. 

“Derek,” Stiles smiled, “Are you suggesting wanting to do something untoward with my young and supple body?”

“Why do I like you?” Derek rolled his eyes and moved his hands under Stiles’ shirt.

“Universal interference,” he snorted.

“Whatever,” Derek grinned. His hands were happy to dance across Stiles’ taut stomach. One hand traced down his happy trail before sliding below his boxers. He was teasing the younger man, happy to feel him squirm.

“Der,” he groaned.

“Shhh,” he hushed him, the other hand sliding up to his neck. He pressed his body against Stiles’ and rubbed against his backside. He let his hand dip lower and found Stiles hard beneath his palm.

“Do you want - “

“Oh my god, yes,” Stiles hissed, “Do you have any idea how much I think about this?”

“I can smell it. I know exactly how often you think about this and me,” he spoke against the shell of his ear.

“Can everyone?” Stiles froze.

“Yes, but they don’t know what it is they’re smelling. I know what it is,” he licked his neck, “It drives me insane.”

“Mmmm,” was all Stiles could manage when Derek’s hand wrapped around his dick entirely. He stroked him slowly at first to get used to the feeling. He hadn’t touched Stiles’ dick before and he wanted to take his time with it. He was warm in his hand and wanted to see how long it would take to bring him off. He wanted to get his mouth on him. He needed to get him alone to make him scream. He continued to thrust against Stiles’ clothed ass and stroked with the same rhythm. He twisted his hands around the swollen cockhead and pulled Stiles closer.

“When you come I have every intention of cleaning you up with my tongue and then we can go back to sleep,” Derek smirked, feeling Stiles shudder in his arms.

“Jesus,” Stiles whimpered, biting against his pillow. Derek grinned and continued to jack Stiles off slowly. He thought about how the smell of him would be all over Stiles and vis versa. He couldn’t wait to formally claim him and be with him always. While he was utterly terrified of a lot of things associated with soulmates, he was glad Stiles was his.

“Rollover for me,” Derek growled and got the younger man flipped over. He tugged the boy’s briefs down and pulled his cock out entirely. He stroked him off quickly and pulled out his own. He let his erection hang there while he jacked Stiles off, his other hand keeping the boy pinned to the bed by his chest.

“Come on, let me touch,” Stiles reached out.

“Not yet. I have plans,” he bit his lip and stroked Stiles with a firmer hand and lined his cock up with the v of Stiles’ hip. He rolled his hips slowly and pushed Stiles further over the edge. He loved Stiles all spread out like this, chest flushed pink and eyes screwed closed tightly, his hands fisted in the sheets. Derek could tell he was going to cum any second and was eager to see it again. He was desperate for it. 

“Oh my god,” Stiles breathed out and came suddenly - the quickness of it almost biting. Long streams of cum painted Stiles’ stomach and coated Derek’s hand. Derek quickly brought his hand to his own dick and got himself off extremely quickly, his own cum joining Stiles’. Stiles’ was breathing deeply and watching closely when he saw Derek dip his face down to lick up Stiles’ torso.

“Holy shit,” Stiles whined, “So fucking hot.” Derek licked him nearly clean before kissing Stiles warmly.

“Want a fresh pair of underwear?” Derek teased.

“Mmmm. Yea. Probably a good idea. Then I think I just need you to stay right here. In my bed,” Stiles mumbled, a bit cum drunk and still sleepy.

“I had no intention of leaving,” Derek replied as he fished through Stiles’ dresser.

“Good. Then I don’t have to trap you here with mountain ash,” Stiles yawn and made grabby hands at his mate.

“Wouldn’t really need to,” Derek climbed onto the bed and pressed a kiss to Stiles’ forehead.

“Good,” he sighed, “Now, sleep. Then, breakfast and making sure I get homework done. Believe it or not, the school doesn’t care that I have supernatural shenanigans to worry about.”

“Ok. We can have a lazy, study day before I go to work,” Derek agreed.

“You’re the best,” he yawned, “Also, so much permission to wake me up by touching my dick in the future. Also, can I smoke in here or would it kill your wolfy nose? I've always wanted to smoke after sex stuff. Looks cool in movies.”

“You’re not smoking in bed,” Derek laughed. 

Chapter Text

Monday morning was not what Stiles would thought it would be. Not that he thought it would be anything. His Sunday had been perfect. Derek spent the majority of the day with him. They did homework, Derek took all of them out to lunch. Mika got to experience her first-ever greasy-spoon, dinner breakfast with a giant stack of pancakes, eating more than she probably should have. It was a wonderful day. Which made Monday morning entirely awful.

“I don’t want to be here,” Stiles groaned as Scott guided him into the crowded hallway.

“Neither do I. But, as mom has said a few times, we are not allowed to get called to truancy court again,” Scott reminded him. It only happened one time but Melissa reminded them pretty regularly. 

“I feel like, given recent events, we have a valid reason not to be at school,” Stiles hummed. He was referencing the many floating theories around the Peter Hale mystery. Deaton assumed either poison or magic was behind Peter having been in suspension for so long. He had also mentioned to the wolves that it could not be ruled out that a threat wasn’t still around. Derek and Peter obviously mentioned Kate, but given her long absence prior to his waking up, they could not conclusively link her. 

“Hey, pack mom,” Erica’s voice was heard from down the hall. Stiles whipped around to see Erica, Boyd, and Issac all approaching him.

“What did you call me?” Stiles cocked a brow.  

“Pack mom,” the blonde grinned, “Derek is like our pack dad. Which makes you out pack mom.”

“I - no,” Stiles huffed.

“I mean, you kind of are,” Scott cringed.

“Just because I can sort of make you guys listen to me sometimes…” Stiles trailed off.

“You’re the alpha mate. Duh. We kind of have to listen to you,” Erica crossed her arms over her chest.

“It’s true,” Lydia interjected as she approached them from behind, Jackson in tow, “It’s a bit of a rule for packs.”      

“Pack mom though?” Stiles pressed.

“It fits,” Issac shrugged.

“You’re the alpha’s second. Even before Peter. It’s just how it is,” Lydia expressed. 

“Unlimited power!” Stiles pumped his fist.

“You’re just the 2nd,” Jackson scoffed.

“Still your boss,” Stiles poked.

“Anyway,” Scott cut in, “Are we all ready for the state testing tomorrow?”

“No,” Stiles, Erica, and Issac replied in unison.

“What are we all saying ‘no’ to?” Allison asked as she approached the group to hug Scott. 

“Being ready for the test tomorrow,” Issac grumbled. 

“Oh yea. I tried to study last night but words stopped making sense,” Allison breathed out. 

“We could all study together tonight?” Stiles suggested to everyone.

“That sounds like a good idea,” Boyd agreed, “We can study at Derek’s. He has the most organized space.”

“Shouldn’t we ask first?” Scott quirked.

“Nah. It’ll be fine,” Erica smiled, “Stiles will make it happen.”

“Yea. Just give him a good suck job and we’re golden,” Jackson pointed out.

“Gross,” Scott wrinkled his nose.

As they were all conspiring to take over Derek’s loft a brunette boy stumbled into the pack of them. He tripped over his own shoelaces and fell into Allison and Lydia. He clutched Allison’s arm and nearly took her down too.

“Oh my god. I’m so sorry,” he flailed, “I trip over my own feet all the time.”

“Its ok, man,” Stiles laughed, “I think I fall over myself every day.”

“Never seen you before,” Lydia observed.

“Oh, uh. I’m new. Name’s Matt,” he announced. 

“Nice to meet you,” Allison smiled warmly.

“Thanks. I - uh - I’m trying to figure out where some of my classes are. Would any of you be able to help?” he tested.

“Of course,” Allison nodded, “The school isn’t so big that you get lost easy.” She looked over his schedule and began giving directions. While this was a mundane task and not something that required great effort; Stiles felt anxiety rising in the back of his neck and in his chest. He wasn’t sure what it was. His heart rate sped up and he felt a bit dizzy.

“Stiles?” Boyd spoke up.

“Are you ok?” Issac whined, “It feels weird.” He grabbed at his own chest.

“Momma, your anxiety is moving through the pack,” Erica pressed her lips together as she whispered it to him.

“It's not mine…” Stiles trailed off. He felt it in his fingertips. He felt fear, but it wasn’t his own, “I need to call Derek.”

He stepped away from the group and rang Derek. He felt like this was something outside of them within the school. He had felt it a couple of times before, but not to this degree. The first time he felt a wave of fear come through him that was pack-related was when Derek was at the scene of a fire when a building began to collapse while people were trapped inside. He ran into the building and had a bit of a reaction when walking into the smoke. Stiles felt that in his bones.

“Stiles?” Derek answered the phone, terse and tense.

“What’s - what is happening? We all feel anxious?” he managed.

“It was Mika. She had an anxiety attack,” Derek answered.

“What?! Is she ok?” he panicked. 

“She’s fine. We’re fine. We’re getting some hot cocoa and then we’re going to go back to the loft where she can take a nap,” Derek explained.

“Ok. Uh - yea. That would be good. Will you tell me what happened later?” he worried.

“Of course. She will want all of you guys here after school,” the alpha suggested.

“Good. We were going to come over to have a study party anyway,” Stiles laughed.

“Of course you were,” Derek replied, a hint of a smile in his voice.

“Gotta go, sourwolf,” Stiles said as the bell rang, “Give her a big hug for me.”

 

0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0oo0o0o0o0o0

 

...Earlier that morning…

Derek decided to use his day off to spend the day showering Mika in affection with Peter asa tagalong. He forgot Peter was so good with kids until their outing. Peter carried her with joy radiating from every motion. He tossed her in the air, held her close, and scented her constantly. She giggled ferociously every time Peter throw above his head and caught her from the air. Derek felt deep contentment settle in his chest. He missed this and never thought he could have it again. He sometimes hoped they never found Mika’s family - he wanted to keep her.

It was a chilly morning, but Mika wanted to go to the park and play. Without other kids, she could run around as fast and rough as she wanted. She wasn’t enrolled in school formally yet due to them worrying about her social skills. She had been essentially in captivity for since birth, as far as they knew, and her therapist suggested taking things slow. She had a tutor that came to the house a few times a week to introduce education in small doses. She loved art and learning to read. She hated everything to do with math, but excelled at dance. He had a feeling she would do well once she got into school, it was the socializing that was the missing piece. 

Peter was chasing her around some trees when he heard her stop and start to whimper.

“What’s wrong, sweetheart?” Peter kneeled down.

“It’s a smell. I don’t like it,” she mumbled.

“What smell?” the older wolf asked as he flared his own nostrils. He didn’t smell anything amiss or unusual. He smelled cedar and pine, earth and cold. He smelled people who had been there before or on the street nearby. He smelled the strong scent of coffee and cinnamon from the nearby cafe. Whatever she smelled, it wasn’t something he had immediately recognized as strange or upsetting.

“It smells like my old room,” she shivered. Her heart rate picked up and she was breathing quickly. Derek ran to her side and tried to scent the area. He didn’t know what her old room smelled like. He had no idea what she was picking up.

“Your old room?” Peter tested. He knew about her life before the crash and he knew it was unpleasant, but he couldn’t fathom what from her room she smelled at the park. Before they could ask anymore she began to cry and tried to run away.

“Mika!” Derek called out after her, both he and Peter took off after her as she raced down the block. Her pulse was through the roof and she was surprisingly faster than both of them.

“Come back!” Peter huffed and picked up speed. He rounded the corner so sharply Derek could’ve sworn he defied physics. By the time Derek go to them, Peter had her wrapped tightly against his chest. He was whispering soft words into her hair and rocking back and forth.

“Come on, darling. It’s alright,” Peter soothed.

“Little wolf?” Derek approached slowly.

“Alpha,” she sobbed, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s ok, honey. You got scared. It happens,” Derek calmed, his hand settling on her back.

“I don’t know what happened,” she sniffed.

“Anxiety attack, my dear,” Peter hummed.

“Wanna get some cocoa and go home?” Derek ran his fingers through her hair. 

“Yes, please,” she breathed out and looked up from where her face had been in Peter’s neck. They each held her hand as they walked down the street and worried quietly. Neither of them could pick up on a scent that would’ve spiked a lot of anxiety for them. It must have been something she didn’t know how to name.

“I’ve never seen you go so fast,” Derek observed, staring at Peter.

“She - she needed me,” was all he replied.