Stiles jolted awake to the sound of something crashing downstairs, flailing as he nearly fell out of bed in his surprise. Mind foggy, he untangled himself from his sheets, stumbling out of his room. He knew his dad was supposed to be home and was growing more and more worried by the second that he'd managed some sort of accident with one of the many appliances. As handy as his father was with household things, anything technology related was not his strong suit, and that included appliances.
“Dad? Everything okay?” he called, heading down the stairs and running a hand through his hair sending it up at even odder angles. “Dad?” He reached the bottom of the stairs and found his gaze drawn automatically to the fact that the front door was open, though only just. A wave of precaution immediately swept over him and just then he heard the door to his fathers room open upstairs.
“Stiles? Why are you awake?” in the living room doorway a dark figure appeared and Stiles was immediately scrambling back, the figure darting after him.
“Dad! Break and enter!” he found himself shouting, trying not to stumble as he hurried back up the stairs, but whoever was chasing him was faster, grabbing his ankle and jerking his foot out from under him. He fell with a crash, head hitting a stair and making him see stars. He cried out, and his dad was immediately there, gun in hand.
“Step away from my son!” he shouted, gun aimed and ready to fire. Rather than let him go, whoever had grabbed him just pulled him closer. Stiles managed to focus long enough to see another dark figure dart past him and whoever was holding him, grabbing his dad and smashing his head against the wall with a sickening crack.
“Dad!” he shouted, reaching for the power he knew resided inside of him, fear squeezing his chest, but the figure who'd knocked his father out rushed back down and after a blinding pain Stiles slipped into darkness.
It was his turn to patrol and Isaac loped through the neighbourhood at an easy pace. Stiles' house was the last on the list tonight since the sheriff was home, but he never skipped, knowing not only that Derek would be pissed if he found out, but Isaac also liked knowing Stiles was safe. The human was his pack mate, but he was also his friend, and Stiles was the one he counted on whenever he got low, because Stiles understood those lows. He reached the house and felt a sudden wave of unease, leaping up to Stiles' window. The moment he did so he noticed the bed was empty, bedroom door wide open. Though a bit worried because of the nagging feeling, he leapt back down, moving around to the front of the house. That was when he noticed the door was open and the worry crashed over him. Rushing forward, he pushed the door open, other senses now straining. He could hear a single heartbeat and rushed towards it, feeling the briefest flash of relief at the sight of the sheriff accompanied by the thought 'Stiles will be relieved', until he realized that there was no other heartbeat in the house. His phone was out as he dashed up the stairs, easily rolling the Sheriff over before he tried to rouse him. Derek answered on the third ring.
“Everything okay, Isaac?” Derek asked, knowing that the youngest wolf in his pack never called on his patrol, and the first words he heard were panted and not directed at him.
“Sheriff! Mr. Stilinski, can you hear me? Mr. Stilinski!” Derek's grip on his phone tightened at the words. Isaac was with the sheriff, did that mean something had happened? Where was he?
“Isaac.” he barked, and could almost feel the switch in Isaacs' attention.
“When I got here the front door was open. I could only find the sheriff. Stiles isn't anywhere.” Isaac paused, taking a deep breath of air through his nose. “Something here smells weird, but I've never smelled it before.” at that moment the sheriff stirred, opening groggy eyes to look at Isaac. Well aware of the nature of this particular young adult and all of Derek's pack, he wasn't surprised to see him in his house, only accepted the offered support as he stood.
“Did you see them? Did you see Stiles?” were the first words out of his mouth, and Isaac could only shake his head, still holding the phone. The sheriff sagged against him. “I don't know what those people were, but they were fast. Faster than I could see, and pretty damn strong too.” Derek listened to it all with growing apprehension and he was already in the car, tearing away from the curb.
“I'm going to be there in five, Isaac. Secure the house, got it?” Isaac gave an affirmative and hung up, leaving Derek with a silence that pressed against his skin with an itchy feeling he couldn't scratch away. Stiles was missing. The phrase twisted through his thoughts and his hands tightened on the steering wheel. Stiles had been taken before, much to Derek's continued anguish, but they usually knew who it was and what they wanted. It also rarely took long for them to be hunted down and killed because nobody hurt pack, and Stiles was definitely his pack. Mate. His wolf reminded him with a satisfied hum at the reminder. It wasn't a secret that Stiles was his mate, but they hadn't pursued it as far as they could. Derek was nervous about a relationship and Stiles agreed that they should remain more or less how they were until they were both ready to take that step forward. So at the moment they were more or less a platonic friendship – aside from the searing glances and near kisses – but they were managing. Well, Stiles was managing. Derek on the other hand was realizing that it was time to take the next step. His mind went back to the fact that Stiles was missing, and his wolf whined. Where was he? Who could have taken him? He arrived at the Stilinksi household and froze the moment he stepped through the door, a familiar and horrifying scent meeting his nose. He heard Isaac whine from where he'd appeared down the hall.
“What is it, Derek?” the beta asked softly, and Derek couldn't even hide his wide eyed disbelief when he looked up to see both Isaac and the sheriff.
Stiles came to with his head pounding, knowing almost immediately that he was trapped down to a chair. A fleeting thought told him that it shouldn't be such a common occurrence that he recognized it so easily, but he pushed the thought away. He remembered waking up once before in the back of a car, only to be jabbed with something that knocked him right back out. Before just moving as he would've once done, he mentally gave himself a once over, checking for pain and injuries. The only significant pain was in his head from where he'd been knocked out, and what felt like a bruise on his thigh from where he'd been jabbed. His wrists hurt a bit, shoulders a bit achy, but that was due to being trapped in the chair. Mindful of his head, he opened his eyes, careful not to move to suddenly, taking in his surroundings. He was on a chair in the middle of a plain room with a dirt floor, stone walls, and a heavy looking metal door. Beyond the small window at the top covered with bars, he could see a faint light, but it was no brighter than the pale yellow light in the room he was in. Pulling a little on his wrists, he felt the sharp bite of cuffs, and craned his neck back to look at them. They were infused with something, and he tentatively reached for his spark, not really surprised at all when it met the cuffs and just hummed under his skin. He could break the cuffs, but it didn't seem worth the effort yet, so instead he focused on reducing the pounding in his head. When it had faded to a manageable ache, he changed his focus. Tilting his head, he tried to stretch his natural senses as far as they could go. He might still have been human, but being an alpha mate enhanced his senses – it didn't make them werewolf good, but much better than most. Straining to hear anything, he held his breath, and that's when he heard it. Three voices were arguing, about what he couldn't hear, but he could hear three distinct voices. Two male and one female. That had him pausing. He recognized the female voice. In that instant, it clicked.
“Elena?” he shouted, unable to hide his disbelief, and the immediate silence was blaring. A single set of footsteps immediately rushed down a set of stairs and he looked up again just as the door swung open, revealing the familiar round face, brown eyes, and straight brown hair.
“Stiles?” she was clearly as surprised as he was, and so he lifted a brow, letting his irritation be known.
“You know, if you wanted me to visit, you could've just given me a call.” Elena frowned, stepping inside the room and towards him even as a man appeared in the doorway. Stiles hadn't heard him coming which made it clear that this was one of the vampires that had grabbed him. He'd realized what they nearly the moment his brain had managed to catch up with the events and he scanned the mans appearance. Tall, black hair, bright blue eyes, and a sardonic smirk that reminded him of Peter. Elena moved around behind him but Stiles kept his eyes on the vampire, wary.
“Since when have you been friends with vampires, cuz?” Stiles asked, watching the vampire lift a brow.
“It's complicated.” she mumbled, then, “Damon, keys.” It wasn't so much a request as a demand, and Stiles watched only a little surprised as the vampire sped over, obviously trying to scare him, and unlocked the cuffs. As they fell from his wrists, another man appeared in the doorway, this one with the perfectly coifed hair and the martyr frown gracing his features. Smiles couldn't help but smirk.
“Do all supernatural groups have at least one broody member weighed down with guilt and perfect hair?” The one called Damon snorted, and the one in the doorway rolled his eyes.
“Why are we letting him go?” It was Damon who asked, and Stiles looked at Elena. Though it was no secret he loved to talk, he also wanted to see how she'd handle this.
“Stiles is family.” was all she said, and both men looked at him. Elena waved for him to continue so he shrugged.
“My lines older than the Petrova one. In fact, the Petrova's are descendents from my ancestors. They just moved to Bulgaria two generations before Katherine.” Everyone tensed at the name but Stiles ignored it, turning to Elena instead. “Like I was saying though, if you wanted me to visit, you could've just called.”
“I didn't know you were being brought here. In fact,” she turned a glare on the two vampires. “I didn't know anything about you at all.”
Instead of answering her, the darker haired vampire, Damon, spoke again instead.
“How did you guys meet, exactly? You just happened to decide to research the family tree and stumbled across Elena's name?”
Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Are you normally such a jackass or is this special treatment?” he asked, rather than answer, and for the first time, the man in the doorway spoke.
“He's always like this.” He came forward now, walking up to Stiles and offering his hand. “I'm Stefan. And this is my brother Damon.” Stiles accepted the offered hand easily, though cautiously.
“What kind of name is Stiles?” Damon asked, and Stiles slid his gaze back to the other vampire, cocking a brow.
“What kind of vampire can get in without an invitation?”
Damon gave a sharp smile meant to put Stiles on edge, but he was used to way worse.
“We compelled your dad.” at that, Stiles stiffened, and Elena moved right over, putting a hand on his arm.
“Let's go upstairs, okay?” she took Stiles' hand, tugging him away, “I'll get you something to eat.” he allowed himself to be pulled along, but his thoughts were still on the vampires. He still had no idea why he was here, and he now knew here meant Mystic Falls. The brothers followed them up and once in the kitchen, Stiles settled to lean back against the counter, foot tapping a rapid rhythm.
“Will you stop that? Kids these days.” Damon said in exaggerated exasperation. “They don't know how to sit still.”
“Know what else we don't do? Take kindly to being kidnapped out of our own home.” Then he remembered something; the most important thing. “So, which one of you was the one that grabbed me?” he asked, and though neither responded, he caught the flicker of Stefan's eyes. He turned to Damon, a too bright smile on his face. “So you're the one who hurt my dad then.” It wasn't a question, but Damon just looked over, unimpressed.
“He'll be fine.” he said with a shrug, and the too bright smile widened a bit.
“Damon.” Elena hissed, but Stiles waved off her worry.
“Don't worry, Elena. I got this.” he told her, giving her arm an easy touch of comfort. He was used to tactile comforting, and knew Elena didn't mind. They'd grown up visiting each other after all. His mother had been good friends with Elena's adoptive parents, and though he didn't tell them about their shared heritage until after all of their parents had died, it didn't change the ties for him. At his words though, Damon just scoffed.
“I'm sorry about your daddy.” Damon said, voice dripping with condescension, and that was the last straw. It took no effort to grasp his spark and he flicked out the fingers of one hand, listening to the sound of bones shattering. Damon groaned in pain, collapsing, but before either of the other two approached him, Stiles warned them off with a single glance. He moved forward easily, crouching in front of the vampire, new bones shattering every time he tried to move. “What the hell are you?” Damon growled, and Stiles gave a wicked grin.
“You've never heard of me so what I am makes no difference. What does make a difference though, is that this is only a fraction of what I can do.” Damon's disbelieving gaze met his, and with a tilt of his head, Damon was writhing again. “I don't care who you are, or if you're a vampire, but you compelled my dad, broke into my house, and then you hurt him. If it was anyone else, I'd let it go, but that's my dad, dude. Nobody hurts him. I've killed people for less.” of course that was only a partial lie. He had killed people, but for less – he'd have to think on that. “So for future reference, touch my dad again, and I will end you.” he stood and Damon stilled, the pain gone, bones healing themselves back together. Stefan moved right in to help him up, and Elena just watched with a shake of her head.
“Did you know about this?” Damon asked her, and she shrugged.
“Not exactly.” Stiles just tossed her a grin, moving over to swing an arm around her.
“You know what, I'm starved. Does the grill still serve curly fries? I'd kill for some.” Elena rolled her eyes but smiled.
“Yeah, they still have curly fries, but you might want to change.” Stiles looked down at the thin cotton t-shirt he was wearing and plaid pyjama pants hanging low on his hips.
“Huh,” he ran a hand through his hair and nodded. “Yeah, that'd be good. Got anything that'd fit?” he asked with a cheeky grin. Elena just looked at Stefan, and he sighed.
“Come on. I'll lend you some clothes.” He glanced down at Stiles' bare feet. “And some shoes.”
“Thanks man, I really do appreciate it.” Stiles followed him out of the room, glancing back to notice Elena now carefully approaching Damon. He filed that away, turning back to Stefan. “You know,” he began, “Elena and I have known each other most of our lives, and we email fairly regularly, but I don't really remember her mentioning either of you, though by the looks of it, she should've. Does she live here with the two of you?” Stefan tossed him a wary glance, as if expecting the monumental pain any second, and Stiles just grinned at him. “Don't worry, dude. I don't have any interest in breaking all the bones in your body.”
“Is that what you did?” he asked, and Stiles nodded, following the other into what was clearly his bedroom.
“Yup.” he fidgeted as he looked around the room. “I hear the brain aneurysm thing is common for witches around here so I wanted my own signature. Something a bit more dramatic.” Stefan just lifted a brow. “Wow, again with the eyebrows. You guys must be like supernatural species twins.” at that, Stefan frowned.
“Who are you talking about?” Stiles grinned again but changed the topic. That was his pack. He wasn't giving away any information that could be of any importance.
“So when did you come into town anyways? Last I heard it was a Zachary Salvatore living here or something. Isn't that right? Oh, actually, now that I think about it, Elena may have mentioned he died.” he cocked his head at Stefan. “If I had to guess though I'd say it was your crazy, overzealous brother though who ended him.”
Stefan was just staring at him with that same frown, finally tossing him a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt. Wow, even their fashion sense was similar. Stiles grinned wider at the thought.
“Back to Elena though – she still friends with Bonnie and Caroline? Oh and how's Jeremy doing? I heard he was working at the grill for a while, I wonder if he could get me extra curly fries. I love those things, dude, they're the best. Oh and when did vampires start coming back to Mystic Falls? I mean I know about the whole thing around when you and your brother were turned-” he broke off at the look on Stefan's face, superior look flashing across his features briefly. “I know you're the Salvatore brothers Katherine turned. Wasn't exactly hard to figure that out. Know what is hard to figure out though?” he asked, switching pyjamas for the borrowed clothes, “Why two vampires showed up in the middle of the night and kidnapped me. I'm still stuck on that. I mean, I know I'm awesome, and quite a catch, but it doesn't really make any sense. It wasn't a power grab since the two of you were completely clueless that I even had abilities, and there's no way you'd be doing it to set off the pack because that would be the stupidest thing you could possibly do, so why am I here?”
“Do you ever shut up?” Damon asked, walking into the room, Elena on his heels, and he shook his head.
“Not if I can help it.” he walked over to Elena, knocking into Damon on the way by with another mocking grin. “Well come on,” he said, linking arms with Elena. “You two are coming. I have questions I want answered. If you're lucky, I'll answer a few of yours in return.” as the two humans wandered down the hall, Damon shared a glance with his brother.
“He mentioned a pack.” Stefan murmured, and Damon nodded, no longer smirking, but frowning as well.
“And he smells like dog.” Stefan's own frown deepened.
“Werewolf packs don't keep humans though.”
“I don't think he's completely human.” Damon countered, and to they're mutual surprise, Stiles shouted back.
“Nearly 100% human.” his voice rang out, followed by a snicker, and Damon gritted his teeth.
“I don't like him.” he stated, turning a pointed glare on his brother, and Stefan just huffed out a sigh, leaving the bedroom.
“Come on. Won't find out anything standing in here.”
They arrived at the Mystic Grill and Stiles found it looking much the same as it had the last time he'd been there. Once he was settled with curly fries and a large milkshake courtesy of Jeremy (his current favourite Mystic Falls resident, Elena was awesome but still hadn't managed to get him an explanation on why he was there), he gave his three table mates another once over. Elena was beside him in the booth, watching him worriedly and shooting dark looks at the two vampire brothers. The Salvatore brothers on the other hand had different reactions. The perfectly coifed hair Stefan looked guiltily towards Elena and curiously at Stiles, while the sexier Damon on the other hand just spent all his time giving Stiles a dangerous smirk. Stiles just ate a big mouthful of curly fries before speaking.
“Alright so I'm getting a little tired of asking,” he said in a cheerful voice, but there was a hardness to his tone. “Why am I here?”
“We have a werewolf problem and sources say that you're the one with all the info.” Stiles laughed.
“While I'm flattered, all you would've had to do was come for a visit. This is far too extreme a measure for this to be just a problem. Plus the only werewolf known to the area was the Lockwood, Tyler, wasn't it? And he was an omega so not really a threat.” there were shared looks, and Stiles just lifted a brow. “What, are you saying he actually gave you trouble? You vampires are weaker than I thought.” Damon looked immediately pissed off and Stiles just wiggled his fingers in his direction. Of course he wasn't actually planning on doing anything, but Damon leaned back warily, and this time it was Stiles who smirked. “Anyways, Tyler's out of town, but he was also packless. And the only pack that came through here pretty much got slaughtered.” he stuffed a bunch more fries in his mouth. “I'm not really seeing the problem.” Again there was an exchange of looks.
“How do you know all this, Stiles?” Elena asked tentatively, and Stiles just grinned again.
“Your sources didn't tell you I was fountain of information for no reason. Who are your sources by the way? Most people don't know about me unless I introduce myself. I tend to be kept on the down low. Safer that way.”
“You are only human.” Damon scoffed, and a dangerous edge entered Stiles' smile.
There was a moment of silence and finally it was Stefan who broke it, leaning forward on his elbows.
“Look, our problem isn't just a run of the mill wolf. It's-”
The doors chimed and Stefan went instantly silent, all eyes turning towards the door. Stiles reacted slower, turning his head to see the lanky man who'd just wandered in. He had closely cropped blond curls, shorter than Isaac's, a nice mouth (if Stiles did say so himself), and sharp cheekbones. His eyes were everywhere at once, finally zoning in on their table. His blue eyes rested briefly on Stiles before he gave the table a nod and a knowing smirk and sauntered towards the bar. The guy just screamed power, and from where Stiles sat, he could hear the welsh accent when he spoke.
“Interesting.” Stiles noted, smiling again, and pretended to ignore the newcomer even as he felt his attention. He knew he shouldn't be drawing the attention of whatever supernatural entity was obviously the problem of his abductors (and distant cousin), but he'd never payed much attention to that. Stefan visibly winced, and Elena fidgeted beside him, while Damon smirked and sat back as if getting ready to enjoy a show. Stiles stuffed the last of the fries in his mouth before scooting Elena out. “I'm going to see Jeremy about some more fries.” he said, standing and wandering over to where he could see Jeremy. With his back to the group, he pulled Damon's phone from his pocket where he'd slid it when he'd pick pocketed it back at the house. Typing in a number he'd memorized years before, Stiles sent out a text and then slid the phone away, doing just as he'd said he'd set off to and asking Jeremy for an extra order of fries. He stayed a few extra minutes, dodging questions and telling the younger Gilbert to swing by later before making his way back to the table. At that point, he slid Damon's phone back across the table, smirking at the disbelieving expressions all around, and then Damon's murderous one.
“Why you little-” he went into his sent text messages and then shoved Stefan out of the booth, grabbing Stiles none too gently and pulling him out. “Come on. We're leaving.” he snarled, and Stiles just rolled his eyes. The whole snarl thing really wasn't impressive without the teeth and furriness. Right before they stepped out, he glanced back at the man in the bar, noticing his eyes following their little group. Stiles tossed him a wink and a wave, and enjoyed the flash of surprise he got before they disappeared from view.
Stiles had been missing for just over two days when Derek's phone buzzed with a text mid afternoon. The pack meeting in the Stilinksi living room had just come to a close and he pulled the device from his pocket. Not recognizing the number, he opened the message anyways and then went still as he read it.
I'm alive. In Mystic Falls. Apparently there's a werewolf problem and they abducted the best rumoured source. They being vampires. I know. I'm with my cousin so you know where to find me. Stiles
His grip tightened around the phone, and he was calling out without hesitation.
“Everyone pack your bags. We're going on a road trip.” Ten people appeared in the doorway, but only one spoke.
“Where are we headed?” Scott asked, and Derek turned to give him a dangerous smile.
“To get Stiles.”
“Hey, hey, careful with the human. Just because I'm not zapping you with special powers doesn't mean you don't have to be gentle.” Stiles grumbled from where he was shoved onto a couch, but Damon just sneered.
“Who did you text?” he demanded, and Stiles lifted a single brow, and wow he really was learning the whole brow speak from Derek. He supposed years and years of exposure would do that to a person, but it still amused him.
“A friend.” then he paused, frowning. “Wait, did we drive here? Like, all the way here?” he asked, and Stefan gave an affirmative before Damon could cut in. Stiles stood, unamused once more. “Are you telling me you kidnapped me from my home over forty-eight hours ago?” he asked in a low voice, and Damon just narrowed his eyes.
“Damon.” Elena cut in sharply, and came to stand in front of Stiles who now stood, hands clenched in fists. She handed him her cellphone. “Call your dad. I'm sorry, I didn't even think. He's probably worried sick. Call him.” then she turned a look on Damon. “And anyone else you need to call.”
“Seriously? We can't just let him call anyone. What if he calls his 'pack' or whatever into town?”
Stiles just scoffed, already dialling his home phone.
“Dude, my pack's already on the way. They would've left the second they got the text.” he watched Damon's hands clenched in fists, but before he could taunt him further, his dad answered the phone.
“Stilinski residence.” He could hear the stress in his dads voice, but hearing his voice was a relief as if was.
“Stiles!” the exclamation said a lot, and Stiles just smiled, turning his back on the other three in the room for the semblance of privacy. “Are you okay, son? Derek said something about you being in Mystic Falls with your cousin? Stiles, something tells me Elena Gilbert would not be involved in your kidnapping. She would've called.”
“That's what I said!” Stiles exclaimed, but then he hurried on. “Thing is, dad, she wasn't involved in the kidnapping part. Apparently Mystic Falls has a vampire problem.” A strangled sound of disbelief was made behind him but he ignored it. His dad had known about the supernatural since he was 18, and so now, at 22, he held no qualms whatsoever about keeping his dad in the loop. “And a werewolf problem? Though I don't really believe they know what a werewolf problem is.” Stiles laughed at his own implications before returning to point. “Anyways, I'm totally fine. How's the head?”
“Melissa made me sit down for a check up so I can say with one hundred percent surety that I am fine.” it was huffed, but Stiles knew his dad was grateful for Melissa's attention. He tried not to think too much about that.
“Good to hear. Are you coming with?” he asked, though he knew the answer.
“No, but I called Liz. She said she'd check up on you.” Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Really, dad? Calling in favours from the sheriff?” again he snickered and heard his dads long winded sigh.
“Derek and the rest should be there within the day.”
“Plane?” Stiles asked, and his dad confirmed.
“Awesome. I'll call you again soon, okay?”
“Alright. Take care. Love you, son.”
“Love you too, dad.” with that he hung up, tossing his phone back to Elena. Stefan looked thoughtful while Damon looked about ready to take a chunk out of his neck. Before he could though, the door flew open, and a speeding rush of blonde curls was jumping him.
“Stiles!” he was knocked back from the force of vamp speed, caught completely off guard, yet recognizing the voice instantly.
“Caroline?” he asked, surprised, and she loosened her grip on him, leaning back with a smile.
“It's so good to see you!” she said with her usual cheer, and he grinned. Even though she'd obviously been turned, that had stayed the same.
“Same goes. How'd you know I was here?”
“Oh, Stefan texted me. Said you knew about the whole vampire thing. Pretty cool, right?” she asked, and Stiles burst out laughing.
“Something like that.” he said wryly.
“How come your in Mystic Falls?”
“Apparently you guys have some sort of werewolf problem.” He noticed that Caroline instantly took a step back.
Stiles shook his head.
“Nope, still human. Still fragile.” he assured her, ignoring Damon's snort. Caroline relaxed, though she frowned.
“But then why are you here?”
“I'm still waiting to find that out. Guess Stefan didn't tell you the part where he and Damon literally kidnapped me from my home in the middle of the night.” Caroline spun a glare on the two brothers, a protective arm sliding around Stiles' shoulders. Though she didn't move towards them, Elena was watching them too, waiting for an explanation.
“You'd better sit down.” Stefan suggested, and everyone sat except for Damon, who stayed where he was, still looking majorly pissed off.
“Come on, grumpy. Sit down. Unless you want to take over the role as the broody one,” Stiles amended, “But in that case you'll need new hair.” Damon rolled his eyes but conceded, dropping into an armchair. “So, what's the deal?”
“The 'deal',” Damon air quoted, “Is that we have a hybrid on our hands.” Infinite possibilities began zipping through Stiles head and he leaned forward, excited.
“Awesome! What kind of hybrid?”
“If you interrupt again I'm going to snap your neck.” Damon said pleasantly, but again Stiles just rolled his eyes.
“If that was your attempt at a threat, I've heard way worse.” he said easily, and Damon just gave that tight smile that seemed to be customary when he was trying to decide how best to kill you. Stiles just smirked and turned to Stefan to take over.
“You saw him in the bar, Nicklaus Mikaelson, half vampire, half werewolf. He was born a wolf but turned into a vampire.”
“That's not possible.” Stiles muttered, but he recognized the name Mikaelson, and something was setting off alarms.
“That's the thing, he isn't just any old vampire-”
“He's one of the originals.” Stiles acknowledged in awe ignoring Damon's glare about the fact that he was interrupting again, the name clicking. “That makes sense. But I don't know what you expect me to do. He might have been born a wolf but he's a vampire now.”
“No, that's the snag. He's both. His father had his mother, a powerful witch, bind his werewolf nature, but he broke that curse.” again his mind was spinning with possibilities.
“Sacrifice and the power of the full moon.”
“Sacrifice?” he was well accustomed to such a thing, but it only brought up bad memories, and therefore made him angrier.
“A witch, a werewolf, a vampire, and the doppelganger.”
Stiles was caught on the last and turned to Elena.
“But you're alive.”
“How did you know she's the doppelganger?” Caroline asked, voicing everyone's surprise, and Stiles made a face that screamed as-if-it-wasn't-obvious.
“I know pretty much everything there is to know about her family history just like I know almost everything there is to know about my own branch. I know that the first Petrova doppelganger was Katherine and she killed herself and turned herself, and that Elena was next down the line. I also know that there was two before that. The original face and then the one who bred the vampire curse.”
“Original face?” Elena asked, but Stiles waved off the question because it wasn't important.
“Point is, how are you alive?”
“My birth father. He tied his life to mine. That way, when I died, I'd come back as a human and not as a-”
“Vampire. You had vampire blood in your system. Gotcha.” there was a moment of silence. “I still don't see what you're hoping I'll be able to do.”
“Turn him back into a wolf. Werewolves aren't immortal. They can be killed.” Damon snapped, and Stiles just shot him a look.
“Yeah, thanks, captain obvious. I know what immortal means.” he stood again, pacing the room, and then there was a flash and Damon was slamming him up against the wall.
“Stop. Pacing.” he just looked into Damon's eyes, unimpressed.
“Man, you're really bossy, anyone ever tell you that? And claws off. I'm already spoken for.” Damon was blinking in surprise, and he was getting odd stares all around. “What?” Stiles finally demanded, and it was Caroline who answered.
“You can't be compelled.” There was a moment of pause and then another knowing grin spread across Stiles' features.
“Yeah, I knew that.” Still pressed against the wall, he shifted to lift one of his sleeves, showing a collection of twisting tribal looking marks that slid over his shoulder and continued under his shirt.
“What's that supposed to be?” Damon snarked, and Stiles smirked at him.
“A tattoo, dumbass. Point is, there's about a dozen different plants mixed into the ink. One of which is vervain.”
Damon grimaced but the rest exchanged glances.
“That's really clever. Unless you're turned. And then you're burning your own skin.”
“Thing is, I don't plan on being turned. And my pack doesn't plan on such a thing happening either. If I'm turned into anything, it'll be a wolf.” finally he shrugged his way out of Damon's grasp. “You know dude, if you keep on like that, people are gonna think you're swinging team Stiles.” he said with a wink, and Elena laughed out loud, the first nice sound Stiles had heard all day. He tossed a grateful smile in her direction before shifting so he could see the entire group.
“Alright, well seeing as I can't remember everything I read, and my bestiary is back at home, you'll have to wait for my pack to get here before I can give you any answers. If Danny's along, I'll get him to hack into my computer for the extra access. Until then,” he rubbed his hands together. “I want to meet this original.”
When Stiles walked back into the Grill the night life had started, and the original still sat at the bar, as if he'd been waiting for them. Stiles was with Caroline, and followed her over to where he sat. At first, everyone had been against an introduction, but when he'd finally brought them around, it was decided that since Caroline was the originals' favourite, she could introduce him.
“Klaus.” her voice was clipped and Stiles looked over at the blonde, noticing that her dislike seemed to be aimed more towards herself than towards the original. Interesting.
“Evening, Caroline, love.” Was the pleasant reply as he turned towards them on his stool, lounging back against the bar. “Here to introduce your friend?” he asked, giving Stiles a slow once over. Stiles on the other hand just rolled his eyes. How much of a stereotype was this guy?
“This is Stiles.” He gave a mocking solute and kept the smirk, watching the original take it all in.
“Stiles. Odd name. Polish?”
“Something like that.” He slid into the stool next to him, ordering a beer and showing indifference and certainly no fear. “So, what brings an original to Mystic Falls?” he asked nonchalantly, ignoring Caroline's surprised gaze behind him. Klaus just smirked.
“And who told you about that fine detail?” Klaus asked, and Stiles wasn't embarrassed to admit that his voice was really attractive.
“All I needed was your name; Mikaelson. I may have heard of you from an older relative. Katerina Petrova.”
Caroline squeaked out a “You know Katherine?” Behind him, but again he ignored her, focusing on Klaus.
“Interesting.” he said mildly, and Stiles grinned.
“If you say so. I'm more interested in what you're doing in Mystic Falls.”
“I have a feeling the merry trio of Elena and her two Salvatore’s have filled you in.” and was that an almost bitter edge to his tone? So Stiles winged it and gave a shrug.
“You never get the full story when you only ask one side and I don't make any judgments based on only half a story. It's a waste of my time.” he said firmly, taking a sip of his beer, and noted that Klaus' gaze was now appraising. Good. “Hey, Care? Why don't you head back and tell them I'll be back later. Oh and tell Damon that if he pulls any shit I'll stake him myself.” he gave a pleasant smile and Caroline just nodded, wary of this new side of Stiles, and gave his arm a quick squeeze before she left.
“Many have tried and failed to kill Damon Salvatore.” Klaus noted, and Stiles shrugged.
“Many would say the same about me.” it was said easily and it was very true. Of course, to the original, this was news.
“Is that so, and just what would you know about such things? You're obviously not a vampire,” Klaus noted, moving closer, “But you're not a wolf either though you smell like them. I would be able to tell. Could you be a witch, by chance?”
“Definitely also not a witch.” At this point, the original frowned.
“Not a witch, not a vampire, not a werewolf. Just what exactly are you?”
“Human. 100%.” he realized in that moment that he'd probably overused that phrase in that day alone and therefore should probably never use it again lest a certain sourwolf threaten to tear his throat out with his teeth, but it couldn't be helped. And damn, just thinking about him gave Stiles an ache. He missed his pack. When he focused back on Klaus, he realized there'd been a flash of surprise, followed by suspicion.
“A human.” his voice was deadpan, and that alone told Stiles something was off, not to add the slow smile that then stretched across the other man's face. Again, it screamed danger, but Stiles, as usual, ignored the warnings.
“Human. Me. Really, I thought you were supposed to be way better at making these connections.” Klaus laughed, actually laughed, and Stiles just blinked, taking it in. This was genuine amusement. Good to remember.
“I like you.” Klaus noted, waving the hand that held his glass in Stiles' general direction. “As to why I'm in Mystic Falls, I was under a curse. I wanted it broken. I broke it.”
“Makes sense, I mean most people under a curse want to break it and congrats! You managed. Still doesn't explain why you're still here though.”
The hybrid gave a hum, smirking again, but Stiles felt as if he was being tested.
“You seem quite clever, Stiles. Why do you think I'm still here?” His mind had been spinning with the possibilities since he'd been told a hybrid existed, but having that very being sitting in front of him with that cocky smirk put a whole new level on things. Of course, with his thoughts running wild, his mouth ran along with it.
“Well if I was a one of a kind supernatural creature created by two races known to recreate their species by their bites, well, my guess would be that you'd want to create your own species. Problem with that would be, who would you turn? Logically it couldn't be vampires because it would take a hell of a lot of power to bring something back to life – but maybe a werewolf. Wouldn't there be rules though? Now that I think about it, there would be. It's sort of like if a horse and a donkey breed – result is a mule and its infertile. You can't make more of your kind so you want to find a way – for that all you'd need is-” he broke off, thoughts still running, and he smacked his hands against his temples, mouth going wide with a realization. He ran his hands through his hair as he stood, turning in a quick circle as his eyes went wide and he looked back at Klaus. Then all amazement snapped from his features and he moved closer, leaning in speculatively, too busy being curious to notice the surprise Klaus had at Stiles lack of personal space boundaries. “Does it look different? When you turn? And that whole thing about probably not being able to turn a vampire – have you actually tested that yet? But if you can't turn them, what would biting them do? Because I heard that werewolf bites were fatal cause they got all nasty and fester and stuff. Heard it's pretty disgusting. Is it the same deal with you or is that only with normal wolves? OH!” he did another turn, hands flailing as he thought, having forgotten the rest of the customers in the bar who were now staring towards his exaggerated gestures, though none could hear his mumbled words. “Even if your bite didn't have the same poison, could it heal? Since vampire blood has healing qualities but it would be mixed with the werewolf venom so would you naturally produce antibodies? Dude!” he turned back to Klaus again, “You're like a geneticists wet dream.”
“He certainly has a way with words, this human.” a suave voice said from behind him, and Stiles spun, hands flailing out again. He was surprised that when his foot slipped and he nearly stumbled back that it was Klaus who steadied him. Another weird point towards the original. Stiles took in the crisp suit, the accent, and aura of power and took a wild guess.
“I'm thinking – I'm thinking – Elijah.” Elijah bowed his head and Stiles grinned. “Knew it! The suit and the voice, and the whole brotherly tone you've got going. Totally gave it away.” There was a slight curl of Elijah's lips, but it was so slight, and so quick, that Stiles barely saw it. Then he realized he was effectively in the company of two very powerful supernatural people and found himself fidgeting nervously.
“Stiles, isn't it?”
“Yeah, how'd you know?” he asked, and there was that slight smile again.
“I caught wind of a human member of a werewolf pack being kidnapped, and then all of a sudden there's a new human in town, one related to Elena Gilbert, albeit very, very distantly, and not even wearing your own clothes. Now either Stefan has pursued a personal relationship with someone other than Elena, or you don't have anything of your own to wear, leading to the idea that you may very well be the victim of said kidnapping.”
“You seem to like talking almost as much as I do,” Stiles chuckled, but his eyes were watching them both warily. “How'd you hear about the werewolf pack though?”
“I have my sources.”
“You know,” Stiles muttered, pushing off from the bar, “I'm getting really tired of this whole 'sources' thing. I had enough on my plate before being knocked unconscious for forty hours and dragged to this small town which apparently is as bad at attracting unwanted supernatural attention as my hometown, and now with all of this 'sources' bullshit? I'd really like a straight answer because this is getting really old, really fast.” This time Elijah chuckled, and Stiles could only blink in surprise. He'd thought the other original to be far too serious, and yet now it was Klaus who appeared more curious, no longer smiling but staring at him as if he wanted to dissect him, something Stiles was very opposed to.
“I am more than ready to offer you the answers to any questions you may have,” Elijah offered, and Stiles frowned, the offer was far too generous. “However,” and there it was, the catch. Stiles braced himself for it, wondering if the vampires he'd ditched for the originals were close enough to help him get out if things went sour. Of course, he wasn't counting on it. “I would like to be able to ask the same privilege of you.” Stiles cocked his head, taking in not only appearance, but surroundings and sincerity. He had a pretty good nose for the truth now (pun definitely intended, and boy would Derek kill him for that) and it seemed like Elijah was telling it, but he had to be sure. There was curiosity there, but no animosity, and Klaus looked to be in agreement with his brother's proposal because he just watched on, waiting for Stiles' answer.
“Before I answer, what happens if I say no? Cause we know what happens if I say yes, we leave this lovely little establishment for somewhere more private where nobody can pry into our conversation and play twenty questions like middle school girls. But what if I say no? We all know that I'm here because the Salvatore's brought me here and they were hesitant enough just letting me come to the Grill to meet Mystic Falls' newest thing that goes bump in the night. I'm sure they'd be thrilled if I just went off with you guys. Not to mention that Elena would start freaking out, probably call my dad, who'd call Liz,” he groaned at the thought.
“Do you mean sheriff Forbes?” Klaus asked suddenly, and Stiles nodded.
“Yeah,” he thought it was better not to mention his dad again, he already felt like he'd given away too much.
“In that case, it's no problem. We can compel her to let us do whatever we want.” At that Stiles winced.
“You vamps use compulsion way too freely. It's totally going to come back and bite you in the ass one day. And I don't necessarily mean that figuratively.” he realized he'd gotten way off track and waved his arms around to bring them back on point. “Anyways; what happens if I say no?”
“Elijah and I could compel the answers out of you,” Klaus suggested, but Elijah put up a hand for peace.
“We would allow you to leave. For now. Either way, it is a conversation to be had, now just may not be the right moment.”
Stiles just grimaced. “Wow, that sounds like something my high school teacher would say about homework. It's inevitable. Sounds really, super lame.” he paused, clapping his hands together. He glanced at his wrist and then realized he wasn't wearing a watch, and he didn't have a phone. “Either of you have the time?” he asked, and they exchanged glances before Elijah checked his watch.
“8:47 p.m.” he shared, and Stiles nodded, wondering where his pack was. If they'd left immediately it was still a nine hour flight if they were lucky, so they wouldn't arrive till well after midnight. That was already feeling like too long of a gap. He was getting jittery and he realized it had been two days now since he'd had any adderall.
“Is there a drug store around here that's still open?” he asked next, mind totally off track from the conversation they'd been having, and watched the originals exchange glances.
Stiles shook his head to clear it. He was beginning to feel panicky, he needed his pack, and he could feel the spark in his chest reacting to his discomforts. In an order to try and calm himself, he tried to focus.
“Sorry, off track. Right. Question and answer session. Lets postpone that. I agree it's necessary, and will willingly participate, but postpone. I wonder if the drug store is still open that would be really handy. Otherwise I'll have to convince one of the minions to do a break and enter.”
“Minions?” Klaus was amused again, and Elijah thoroughly confused.
“Hmm? Oh. The Salvatores. They're like Elena's little minions. Stiles is handcuffed, she orders them to un-cuff Stiles, they do so. Stiles is hungry, she orders a food run to the grill, they comply. Stiles needs clothes, she gives Stefan the pouty eyes until he lends Stiles clothes. I'm talking in the third person, I need to stop that. Back on track. Salvatores are her minions.” Klaus was laughing again, but Stiles was inching away. His brain was moving too fast for him to keep up and his body was beginning to react to the poor treatment of having been knocked out, then drugged, then being fed only curly fries.
“Know what I need right now? Meat and veggies. And a bed. And a phone. God I hate not having a phone. Or my jeep. God is this was normal people feel like all the time? This sucks.” he looked between the two, trying to gauge which one he should ask to borrow a phone from when he saw the bartender. Leaning between them and leaving himself vulnerable to attack, he leaned nearly across the bar.
“Mind if I borrow the phone? I need to call for a ride.” he said, and was immediately passed a cordless. He stared at it a moment before giving a huff. Once again he looked between them and finally decided on Klaus. “What's Caroline's number?” he asked, and Klaus lifted a brow.
“What makes you think I have it?” Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Because you got positively blushing bride when she walked in the room, and she looked guilty enough to tell me she speaks to you and her friends wouldn't approve if they knew. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the breaking the norms, but I just want to call her for a ride, so number, please.” Klaus put up a mocking hand for patience before reciting the number. Caroline answered almost immediately.
“Hey Care, it's me... Yeah, I miss my baby too.” he agreed when she referred to his jeep. “You have no idea.” Stiles paused during which both Originals looked at each other, both trying to convey their impression of the boy without speaking. They both went still when Stiles spoke again. “He did what.” it wasn't a question but a statement, and it sounded nearly furious. An anger neither had ever expected to hear in the seemingly clever but scatterbrained human. They both watched, fascinated, as Stiles tensed, knuckles white around the phone. Stiles took a deep breath and relaxed as suddenly as he'd tensed. Both strained to hear what the vampire was saying but Stiles cut her off. “I'll go outside the second I hang up and you can tell me about it.” there was a pause where Caroline gave a time line for her arrival, and Stiles nodded brusquely. “See you in a minute.” he hung up, took another deep breath before turning a disarmingly charming smile on the two originals. “Sorry about that, better head out now though. Apparently there's trouble with my name on it.” before either could say anything he was sauntering out leaving the brothers staring.
“What do you make of him, Elijah?”
“There's something very odd about him.” at that, Klaus turned to his brother.
“Did you say he was the human member of a werewolf pack?”
“Indeed I did.”
“Care to explain?”
With a sigh, Elijah undid the single button of his jacket and sat at the bar next to his brother. With a wave for a drink, he began to explain.
Stiles was fuming with rage. He stepped outside only to be faced with Damon, who'd apparently been there the whole time, listening to the conversation.
“So, human member of a werewolf pack, spastic teenager, and mind numbingly stupid.” he had that smirk on his face that Stiles had to say, while sexy, was extremely annoying.
“Oh, please enlighten me with your vampire superiority complex.”
Damon snarled and appeared directly in front of him.
“Unless you plan on taking their side, I suggest you shut your mouth before you give them any other scheming ideas.”
“If you seriously think that your hybrid original wasn't already considering the possibility, you're an idiot. He's a vampire – vampires are notorious for creating new baby vampires to tear up the country. He's also a werewolf – a supernatural creature who craves and needs companionship to properly survive. If you think for even a second he hasn't been considering this since the moment he turned, you need to get your head out of your ass and start thinking clearly.”
Damon made a face like he was going to tear Stiles head off, and seemed to settle for strangling him because his hand appeared around Stiles throat, cutting off his air as he lifted him off the ground.
“You're really lucky I don't just snap your neck, but seeing as it would hurt Elena, and I don't particularly feel like seeing what a werewolf pack is like minus their token human, I'm curbing my temper.” there was that smile again, and Stiles was beginning to hate it. “This is your last warning. Behave. Or I might just change my mind about snapping that pretty neck of yours.” he dropped him the instant before Caroline appeared, and she was by his side in an instant, helping him up as he sucked in air.
“What the hell is your problem, Damon?”
“Why don't you ask your little friend here? He was about to go have a nice Q and A session with the eldest two originals.” Caroline looked at Stiles in surprise.
“Is he serious?”
Shooting a glare at the elder vampire, Stiles nodded.
“He is, and before you snap at my throat like he did, hear me out.” he paused, “Actually, I'll save this till we get back. Better to explain to everyone at once. Also, Care, mind stopping by the drugstore? I need you to compel me some adderall.”
“Seriously? Your on meds too? Christ.” Damon rolled his eyes, leaving them behind, and Stiles glared daggers at his back. His spark flared up but he pushed it down. No, he would not act on self righteous anger, that could only lead him towards bad things. His father being hurt was one thing, but self injustices were another. He didn't want to tempt himself into using his gift for the wrong purposes.
When Stiles returned to the Salvatore mansion with Caroline, he'd taken his dose of meds and felt much calmer which was good considering the waiting party he found himself in front of the moment he walked in the door.
“Bonnie!” he exclaimed with a huge grin, wrapping her in a hug. “It's good to see you.” he stepped back, and grinned. “And not a vampire. I'm impressed.” There was a huff of indignation from Caroline, but he tossed her a wink and she rolled her eyes but relaxed.
“Nope, not a vampire, but definitely a witch.” Stiles' grin just widened.
“Came into your powers then, did you? A new Bennet witch, wow you guys must get up to some crazy stuff. Whats the coolest thing you've done?” she thought for a second then shrugged.
“I've done some pretty awesome stuff. Saved every single person in this room, yourself not included,” she added with a smile, “At least once.”
“Impressive. I'm super impressed. I want to see a totally cliche witch trick later.” he said with a wave of his hand as he moved farther into the room. “And Jeremy, didn't realize you were a part of all the crazy supernatural mumbo jumbo.”
“I'm a hunter.” Stiles went completely still, switching directions completely.
“A hunter?” he frowned, and everyone else noticed instantly how his attention was, for the first time, singularly focused. “What kind of hunter?”
“Vampire. Originally. Now anything supernatural that crosses our paths. Got these cool tattoos with the gig.” at that Stiles' eyes widened.
“Oh.” the single syllable spoke volumes, but even with everyone's questioning gazes, he didn't elaborate. “We'll talk more later. And compare tattoos. Betcha mine are cooler.”
“Betcha they're not.” Matt's face was also surprising.
“Now you I know are human.”
“How can you tell?” he asked, and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Because you've got this look of disdain. You want to be kept out of it but keep getting pulled back in.” then he turned to the only other person in the room that he had yet to speak to, and this time, it was a face he didn't recognize. “Who are you?”
“Alaric Saltzman. I teach history at the high school.”
“Well that's not creepy in the slightest. Though I suppose considering that while these two look really young and hot, they're actually over a hundred years old. Which is way creepier. You are no longer creepy.” then he tilted his head, curious as he shook the older man's hand. “What I am curious about is how an history teacher ended up here.”
“I'm also a hunter.” Stiles huffed at that.
“Not like Jeremy. My wife was killed by a vampire so I became a vampire hunter so I could track down her killer.” there was a tense silence for a moment before he sighed. “Turns out she wasn't dead, only turned, and that it was Damon,” all eyes turned to the older Salvatore, “That turned her.” after a moment of silence Stiles let out a low whistle.
“And now your best buds, bromancy even. I can see it.” he shrugged, clapping the man on the shoulder. “That's okay. My best friend was turned into a werewolf by a psychopath who then tried to kill us all. We killed him, he came back to life, and now all is merry because he's part of the pack.” Stiles clapped his hands together with an odd sort of grin this time, waving everyone towards the living room. “Point is I know the whole enemies turned bros thing goes.” he waved everyone into seats but remained standing, waiting for the questions but also knowing he'd have better focus standing. He may have taken his meds but he could physically feel his pack getting closer, as if there was an elastic band between them. They were still far, but the tension was loosening slowly.
“I think it's pretty clear what we all want.” Damon said without further ado, but he didn't stand, and that much Stiles was grateful for because he didn't think he could handle anymore of that particular vampire in his face.
“Right, a play by play of how things went with Klaus.”
“Well no, I already have that, I was there. I want an explanation of why you were so buddy buddy with them.”
Stiles shot him a withering glare but then turned to the rest of the group.
“Right, explanation. Okay well it's clear what Klaus wants, to create more of his kind, though if I had to guess from our short meeting, it isn't for the usual reasons.”
“The usual reasons being?” Bonnie asked curiously, and since there was none of the condescension Damon had used, he answered easily.
“Vampires tend to make more of their own so they don't feel lonely. That's a given. Look at you. You've created this codependent family, which is totally cool, but its a way to cope with the years. Now, being an original vampire, he's probably sired many, many vampires, but of course, some stay, some don't. You move on, make more. It's all good. Werewolves on the other hand, are different. Werewolves need others; need pack. They can't be alone because alone they're weak. A strong werewolf is a pack werewolf, and that's all there is too it. Now imagine being the only one of your kind with that werewolf need for connections-”
“You'd want a pack.” Caroline finished for him, understanding, and he nodded.
“Exactly. Problem is, he doesn't know how. From what I heard about that Tyler kid, he had a werewolf gene, am I right? First kill sets it off?”
“Yeah, and every full moon he was forced to turn. Every single bone in his body broke and realigned. It was horrifying.” Caroline murmured, and Stiles watched as Matt reached over to squeeze her hand and yet Bonnie hesitated. Another interesting factor to keep in mind.
“Wow, that's rough.” was all Stiles said, and received more curious looks.
“Shouldn't you already know that?” Stefan asked curiously, and Stiles shrugged and waved it off. They'd find out soon enough. The thought had him smirking but he moved on. “Alright so we're going to assume that Klaus is the same. Werewolves transfer by genetics, vampires by bite. How does one get both? This is his struggle, but it's going to be constantly on his mind. I think that's part of the reason he's in Mystic Falls. What I don't think, is that it's the reason you guys are so worried about him.”
“He's invincible now.” It was Jeremy who spoke this time. “The originals are nearly invincible, but Klaus? He's the real deal.”
“When you say nearly, you mean..?” he trailed off, and it was Elena who spoke up.
“White oak stakes. There was this white oak tree that was the only thing that could kill them. They burned it down thousands of years ago. Of course, thousands of years later, it grew back, and the wood was used to make Wickery Bridge, but when it was rebuilt, they collected all the wood and burnt it.”
“So there's nothing that can stop them?”
“There are these daggers, they can put the originals down if they're dipped in the ash, but they have to be left in and only humans can use them. If a vampire uses them, and we assume a werewolf, it kills them.”
“That's interesting.” he paused for a moment, “But completely illogical.” there were frowns all around. “If they killed the supernatural entity that used them, they'd be long dead by now.”
“What do you mean?”
“You're kidding, right? Klaus was notorious for daggering his siblings whenever they irritated him and carrying them around in coffins for decades, sometimes centuries.”
“He's still notorious for that.” Elena admitted, but now they were all frowning.
“It could be because they're invincible to the power, being on the other end. Or it's like being staked with regular wood, doesn't really work.” Alaric put in but Stiles shrugged, he'd think it over later.
“Anyways, that's basically what our talk was about and why Damon threatened to snap my neck, so.” he trailed off, stepping back from the group, eyes already roaming the shelves of books. “If you guys don't mind, I can tell you're about to have a little conference thingy, so I'm going to start going through your sources.” he put up a hand to stop Damon before he could complain. “And to stop you from complaining, this is payback for being kidnapped.” Damon opened his mouth to snapback, but curiously enough, one look from Alaric shut him up. Stiles decided to keep that in mind for future blackmailing reference. He chuckled to himself, going off to study the volumes of books the Salvatores had while keeping an ear on the conversation. In truth, it had a similar feel to pack meetings. There were self sacrificing ideas from Elena which were adamantly opposed, ideas to strong arm them from the hunters, big surprise there, and then the all knowing, all judging responses from the two oldest supernatural beings in the room, who while arguing were clearly forming their own plan that may or may not include the consent of the rest of the group. Stiles tuned out about the point where they were arguing whether to go the passive or aggressive route in gaining more information, his attention being drawn into the book he'd found. It was all in latin, and while Lydia was a much faster translator, he was more than capable. The book seemed to be almost like a bestiary, but focused mainly on vampires and the kill-gene werewolves. There were mentions of the originals, and a few magical objects, and Stiles found it fascinating. He paused when there was a mention of something called 'travellers' and frowned. Were they like gypsies?
“Stiles!” his head snapped up from where he was sprawled on the floor and he found everyone staring at him.
“Sorry, what was that?” there were curious stares at him then the book, and then Stefan was raising an eyebrow.
“You can read latin?”
“Yeah,” he shrugged cause he'd been doing it so long now it was no big deal. “Comes in handy. What was the question?”
“We were wondering about the difference between werewolves.” Bonnie provided, “You mentioned that Tyler was a certain strain? That implies there's another one.”
Stiles frowned, glancing back down at the book. He wondered if there was anything on witches and mind reading abilities. He knew Bonnie wasn't capable, and if she was he'd be safe from it, but the thought had him wondering about it and wondering how to protect his pack from it.
“I did say that.” he agreed, but didn't elaborate.
“Will you tell us more?” Elena asked, and he knew why she was the one asking, because they all knew he was closest with her. They were trying to appeal to the relationship they had. When he didn't respond right away, Elena continued. “The reason we ask is because there could be the possibility that Klaus is the same kind, and that would change things, wouldn't it?”
“It would and it wouldn't. Again it would depend. Thing is, if I tell you about werewolves, I'll be telling you about my pack, and that's something I won't do.” It had been made clear that he was a part of one, and that was enough information. “When they get here, you can ask your questions, but I'm sorry, you won't be getting those answers from me without them here.”
“You're very loyal to them,” It was Alaric who said it, and Stiles just stared, wondering where this was going.
“Why is that?”
“They're my pack.” it was that simple, but of course, how would a self proclaimed vampire hunter ever understand? He knew now that he was also the legal guardian for Jeremy and Elena, their aunt Jenna having been killed by Klaus as the vampire in his ritual to break the curse on his werewolf half. He'd found it sad cause he'd always liked Jenna, but there'd been no time to mourn, too much else was going on.
“But you're human.” It was Matt, clearly at odds with the idea of being human and fully integrated into the supernatural, but at his words, Elena looked over, and he looked away, embarrassed. Stiles watched it all curiously before answering. This group was such a bundle of raw nerves, it was fascinating.
“I am, but that doesn't mean anything. They're my family. That's all there is too it. Fuck with them, and I fuck with you. End of story.” there was silence then and it made his skin itch so he stood, heading to the kitchen to begin raiding the fridge. He found chicken in the freezer and rice in the cupboard as well as a few vegetables in the fridge. Obviously the humans were here often enough to stock the kitchen, and for that he was grateful. Without really thinking he started cooking, making enough for everybody without even a thought. It was what he always did, so he didn't give it any thought. It took a good thirty minutes for everything to cook properly, and he searched the kitchen for a serving bowl, finally finding one and dumping the chicken fried rice into it before serving himself a large bowl. There was enough here for an army, but he assumed with three young men, a full grown adult, and two young women, they'd probably eat most of it. He wandered back into the living room juggling the giant serving bowl and bowls for the humans, tossing each of the vampires a blood bags, much to their surprise. The humans all dug into the fried rice, but the vampires continued to stare at him.
“What?” he finally asked, irritated. “Just because one of you is a giant asshole and you have an extreme diet doesn't mean I'll ignore your feeding needs.” he grumbled, shoving his face full of food and glaring down at the book. Caroline just reached over to run a hand through his hair, Stefan gave a quick thank you, and even Damon smiled, though of course he hid it from Stiles. After everyone had eaten, the Mystic Falls band fell back into discussion and Stiles back into his book, finally reaching the fleshed out section about werewolves. All of the information was based on the kill-gene type, but it was still fascinating. They didn't have beta and alpha stages, they just turned into a full wolf, and it wasn't a ridiculously large wolf like the alpha wolf was, just a regular old wolf. Of course, it had some of the extra speed and strength as well as the poisonous bite, but Stiles actually found it disappointing. He'd definitely choose his packs breed of werewolf over this one. Mind you, he figured most of those wolves would too.
Stiles woke up with a jolt. He hadn't realized he'd fallen asleep, but he found himself in a bed, and the clock on the nightstand read 5am. He wondered how he'd ended up here, and if the rest of the gang were still around, but then he felt it again, and realized what had woken him up. His pack was near. Derek. He scrambled out of bed and tripped over his own feet to get out of the room. He found his way to the door and managed it out past the front step before he was stopped.
“And where do you think you're going?” Damon asked, appearing in front of him.
“Seriously? Get out of my way.” Stiles demanded, too anxious about seeing his pack to think about what he was saying, not that he'd think about it much anyways, but this was different. He needed to see them.
“Get back inside.” Damon stepped closer, obviously trying to intimidate, but Stiles didn't move, instead cocked a brow.
“I'll make you.” and there was that smirk again.
“Touch him and I'll break your arm, vampire.” And there was the voice he'd been longing for.
“Derek.” In Damon's moment of surprise he sidestepped around him, but the moment he made to move past him, Damon's arm shot out, not touching but blocking the way. A low growl rang out, followed by many more, and Stefan suddenly appeared beside Damon.
“What's going on?”
“My pack's here and Damon's standing in my way. Tell him to move before he loses the chance.” Stiles said pleasantly, and he looked up and met Derek's eyes. They were alpha red, and Stiles knew his heart was racing, but he didn't care. They were there, all of them, standing at the end of the driveway. He was so relieved they were all here.
“Damon, come on.” the moment Damon moved Stiles was off, dashing forward. He was met halfway by the puppies; Isaac, Erica, Scott, Jackson, and Boyd all crashing into him. He burst out laughing, knocked off his feet but kept steady, reaching out to touch all of them even as the breath was squeezed out of him in fierce hugs.
“Good to see you guys too,” he wheezed, hugging back just as fiercely.
“You smell funny. Like rotting flesh and strange cologne. And stranger humans.” Isaac mumbled, which got mumbles of agreement, and there was a huff from the doorway.
“We aren't rotting, fyi.” it was Damon who snapped it but he was answered only with growls as the puppies proceeded to scent him, rubbing away the offending smells. And then they were letting him go and he was being hugged quickly by the three human members.
“Good to see you in one piece, man.” Danny told him with a smile, and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“As if they could ever get a piece of me.” Allison rolled her eyes but hugged him next, tighter than necessary, and he knew it meant she'd been worried too. Lydia of course hugged him, but glared all the while.
“Do you have any idea how worried we were? And how much we had to listen to Derek bitch and moan about you being missing?” Stiles snickered at that and sidestepped the redhead, heading straight for Derek. He didn't wait or ask for permission, just wrapped his arms around the alpha. It wasn't until that moment that he finally relaxed and Derek wrapped his arms around him in return.
“I did not bitch and moan.” he grumbled, and Stiles snickered again before giving a playful pout.
Derek blinked in surprise, earning snickers from the rest of the pack. It was then that he noticed Peter. He was standing a bit behind Derek, watching Stiles with that little smile on his lips, and Stiles heaved a sigh.
“Alright, come on. I know you want in on this.” Stiles jabbed, but it wasn't nasty like it would've been in the past. He stepped away from Derek, and over to Peter, hugging him as well. It didn't surprise anyone; if anything they were more surprised by the fact that it hadn't happened already. The older man of course heaved what they all knew was supposed to be a hard done by sigh, but instead was just affectionate, and he too rubbed his scent off on Stiles, rubbing his cheek against his hair. When he was done, Stiles stepped back to Derek, keeping close, and finally turning his attention back to the vampires.
“Guys, these are Stefan and Damon Salvatore, resident vampires of Mystic Falls and-”
“The ones who kidnapped you.” Derek growled. Stiles blinked in surprise. Though he hadn't forgotten the fact, it had paled in comparison to everything else going on.
“Yeah, well, about that-” and then, of course, Scott spoke up.
“Hey, Stiles, what's that on your neck?” Sometimes he forgot how easily he bruised, and this was one of those cases. Derek immediately had his chin in his hand, tilting his head back to get a look at the bruises forming from the evening before when Damon had thrown his mini fit. Without releasing his grip, Derek's eyes lifted from the bruises to Stiles' eyes, that same question burning there alongside anger.
“Ah, that, well, if I told you, you'd threaten to tear somebodies throat out with your teeth, so,” he tried to brush it off but Derek wasn't having it. Somebody had hurt Stiles, somebody had marked his mate, and that was unacceptable.
“So you're going to tell me who did it so I can threaten to rip their throat out with my teeth.” Derek growled, and it was much more impressive than when the vampires tried it, it really was.
“It was me.” Damon cut in, and Stiles gaped in surprise. Was he insane? Derek's eyes went red but Damon didn't even react, though he did seem wary of the whole eye changing thing. “Before you threaten me though, you should probably know that your human cuddle buddy went in unarmed to a meeting with not only one, but two original vampires, and didn't just meet them in a public place but offered to meet with not only one, but both of them, somewhere private. Oh and did I mention that he was unarmed and went alone? So forgive me for being a little upset that he risked his life multiple times when we need him alive.”
“You did what?” Derek growled, even as the wolves whined at him and Lydia rolled her eyes.
“Guys! Guys! There's a story behind this, I swear! Let's all just go inside and talk this over.” he shot a glare at Damon before he could protest and Damon just shrugged. Looked like they were making progress. He ushered the wolves inside, but noticed that Derek didn't stray from his side. Though they'd become much closer since acknowledging they were mates, this was a little new. Stiles supposed it was because of the whole having been missing thing, but he wished it wasn't.
“Hey, is everything okay?” Elena's voice coming towards them broke the tense silence. “I went to check on Stiles but he wasn't there.” At that moment she appeared only to find them all in the entry hall. “Oh.” she broke off, eyes passing over the pack with a nervous smile, and finally falling on a familiar face. “Scott,” her smile relaxed, “So, werewolf?” he grinned at her.
“Hey, 'Lena, and yeah, werewolf.” her smile softened and she looked to Stiles.
“This is your pack?” she asked, and he nodded an affirmative, unable to wipe the grin from his face.
“Yup. Guys, meet Elena Gilbert, very distant relative of mine. Elena, this here next to me is Derek, on my other side with the curls is Isaac. Next to him is Erica, then Boyd,” he moved to point to Derek's other side. “You already know Scott, so next to him is Jackson, Danny, Lydia, and Allison. And there in the back is Peter.”
“Nice to meet you, Stiles has been really anxious for your arrival.” all eyes turned on him but he just rolled his eyes.
“Don't look at me like you all didn't feel the same.” when nobody argued, he grinned again. “So are we going to do this whole meeting thing now or in the morning?”
“That depends.” Damon drawled, and Stiles rolled his eyes again.
“How much you want them to know before you have to go meet Elijah.” everyone went still, and Stiles frowned.
“Well he may have called. Wants to meet with you sooner rather than later.”
there was another moment of silence before Stiles stepped forward.
“And so you agreed on a meeting? Between him and I? Without maybe asking me about it first?”
Damon shrugged, but he was looking at the wolves now, clearly gauging their reactions.
“You were going to do it anyways.”
“That isn't the point.”
“Stiles.” he spun when Derek growled his name, and gave a defeated sigh.
“Alright, talk now then. Looks like there's a lot of explaining to do.”
An hour later, Stiles, with the help of the two Salvatores and Elena (everyone else had indeed gone home), had explained the arrival of the originals in Mystic Falls, the breaking of the curse which created the hybrid, and what Stiles had assumed was Klaus' reason for staying.
“There's another type of werewolf?” was the first question asked, and it was Scott. Stiles looked towards Derek, and when he nodded, Stiles explained.
“Right, so, lesson time. There are two known breeds of werewolves. The older and more common type being your kind, either born or bitten, with all the lovely perks of being a wolf. Then there's the second kind. They're only born, and they pass down a gene, triggered when the werewolf, while still human, kills somebody. Once they've killed, they automatically make the transition. Then they transform once every month without choice on the full moon.”
“Well we sorta do that,” Scott pointed out, but Stiles shook his head.
“No, not like this. First of all, these wolves don't have beta/alpha stages. They just have one shape other than the human one, and it's full wolf. Not like the alpha wolf, just regular wolf sized wolf. And they literally have no choice. You guys can control it, they will never be able too. Also, they're in severe pain during the whole transition. From what Caroline said earlier, it sounds like they literally feel every change their body makes to make the switch.” Every wolf visibly flinched at that. Stiles glanced back at the three non pack members.
“Do they often shift when it isn't the full moon?”
“No, I don't think they shift at all if they can help it. They're still faster and stronger, but they're at their best around the full moon.” Stefan provided, then frowned. “Is it different for you?”
Erica grinned, trading a look with Isaac.
“Wanna see?” she offered, and Isaac shared her expression.
“Now? Really?” Damon grimaced, obviously imagining the disgusting transformation that the werewolves he was used to had to go through, but the two just laughed, shifting in front of their eyes. The eyes went the golden beta yellow, hair grew down the sides of Isaac's face, and both sets of canines grew. Hands stretched into talons and they both stood, crouching low. The transformation took seconds, and Damon and Stefan were on their feet, Elena watching curiously from her seat. She rose slowly, moving over to Erica, reaching carefully for the girls hand, she looked up, but Erica didn't move, and she ran her fingers along the other girls claws.
“Wow,” she said, and it was clear she was amazed. Erica shifted back, Isaac right after, and she grinned.
“That isn't the best trick we've got, hun.” Erica winked, and Elena's smile just widened. She glanced back at Stefan and Damon, who looked about ready to lunge forward and yank her away, and rolled her eyes but moved back towards them. There was a pause, and Stefan sat back down, but Damon stayed standing, eyeing the wolves carefully.
“Alright, well, moving on. We know about Stiles' weird bone snapping magic trick but he's otherwise human. You folks are obviously the new freaky wolves, but what about those three? Humans. What part do they play?” Everyone looked at Stiles when Damon mentioned the trick, and Derek reached out, running a hand down his back. They could all see the tension in Stiles' stance, and could only guess at what put it there.
“Bone snapping trick?” It was Peter who spoke up, sounding bored, and yet lethal at the same time. “Ah, you must be the one that hurt the sheriff.” it ended on what was nearly a growl, but still soft enough to have that almost bored tone. Damon tensed once again, and for a second it looked like he'd merely become off balance because suddenly he was falling. Of course, then it became clear that Jackson had hit him from behind by the way he slid back towards the pack. Stiles was always impressed at how adept Jackson had become at the whole werewolf thing. It suited him, now that he'd stopped being a complete douchebag. He still acted it sometimes, but it was more for show now than anything.
“Why you little-” he made to move towards Jackson and Scott growled, jumping to his feet, and there was the click of Allison's crossbow being set. Surprising everyone, Elena stepped between Damon and the pack, which had Stiles on the move, separating her from them as well. As much as Damon may deserve an arrow through the chest, Elena did not need to be caught in the crossfires.
“So you're a hunter,” It was Stefan who broke the silence, and everyone seemed to relax. Damon even stepped back, though he continued to shoot glares at Jackson.
“Yes, I am.”
“Oh!” Stiles exclaimed, drawing the attention and clapping his hands to his head. “I almost forgot! They've got two hunters here. One's a self proclaimed vampire hunter who actually started hunting for Damon before they became bros, and the other – wait for it – is one of the five.” there were gasps of surprise, and the Mystic Falls residents looked at them in shock.
“You know what that means?” It was Stefan and Stiles turned on them, gaping.
“Seriously? You kidnapped me for my wealth of knowledge and then think I won't know a myth as famous as that? Seriously?” he gave an annoyed huff. “So not appreciated around here.” he grumbled, and Derek smirked, he'd missed Stiles. Even though it had only been three days, it had felt like forever.
“What kind of hunter are you?” Allison frowned, as did the rest of the pack.
“What do you mean, what kind?” Allison asked, and the two vampire exchanged glances. Again it was Stiles who answered.
“What sort of sheltered lives do you live?” He jeered, “She's an Argent. One of the most powerful hunter families in history. Hunters tend to work in groups. Either by family name or by associations, but the oldest ones are family run. How do you not know this?” Stiles demanded, and it was Elena who answered before Damon could have a chance to get snarky.
“I think we've been so wrapped up in vampire business it hasn't really come up.” she stated, and Stiles waved that off.
“I understand why you wouldn't know, but them? How old are you now? At least 165 each. How is it that you've never come across hunters?”
“We were busy.” Damon snapped with that smirk again, and Stiles just took a deep breath to calm himself. He felt a hand on the backs of his shoulder, rubbing gently, and glanced back to see Isaac. He was always the first to comfort. Stiles offered him a smile before turning back to the others.
“Moving on. We've covered hunters now. Next there's Danny, here for general awesomeness and insane tech skills, and then there's Lydia, brilliant and – well,” Stiles cut off, malicious glint in his eyes, “Wouldn't want to spoil all the fun.” The pack was shocked by the omission, Stiles wasn't the sort to usual point out he had information and then not give it, he usually either denied it all together, or volunteered it easily. They didn't question him though, they knew better than to do it here and now. Derek just watched his mate carefully. Something was bothering him, and he wanted to know what. His thoughts were cut off when Stiles yawned, stretching up and revealing a strip of skin along his back that had Derek's mouth going dry. Then he tilted slightly, and it was Scott who caught him, being closest.
“You okay, Stiles?” he asked, and Stiles nodded, though there was a frown marring his features.
“I'm good. Tired though.” he glanced at Damon. “What time did you set up the meeting?” he asked, voice dripping with acid, and Damon's eyes narrowed.
“Noon.” Stiles nodded, turning away.
“Right then. Bed time.”
“Oh, I can show you rooms,” Stefan began to offer, but Stiles waved him off.
“We'll all be sleeping in the same room, but thanks.” Derek ignored the vampires, moving over to Stiles and reaching out, fingers brushing against the back of his neck. Stiles glanced over, slightest smile on his lips.
“I'm okay. It's good to see you.” He led the way back to the room he'd stumbled out of and crawled into the bed, glad it was a king size. They all crawled in around him, forcing him to the middle of the bed. Derek lay beside him, pulling him back flush against his chest so they were spooning, Derek's nose pressed to the top of his spine. Isaac curled up in front of him, face pressed against his chest, giving a soft whine. Stiles carded his fingers through the blonde curls to soothe him. Erica was curled up behind Isaac, but higher, hand reaching over Isaac so it rested on his hip. Boyd's hand was above them, tangled in Stiles' hair. Behind Derek was Jackson, pressed against the alphas back, arm under Derek's where it was wrapped around Stiles so he could reach the human in question as well. Pressed behind him was Danny, the two of them practically taking up the same space. Across the lower half of the bed, splayed across their limbs, were Scott and Allison, tangled in each other, but Scott's head was resting on Stiles calf. He realized the only ones missing were Peter and Lydia, and Stiles opened bleary eyes to find them.
“We're right here, Stiles.” Peter said softly, and it was then that Stiles noticed him and Lydia were behind Jackson and Danny, with the older werewolf's limbs curled easily around the strawberry blonde. Stiles just gave a content hum at knowing they were all there and quickly drifted off to sleep.
The next time Stiles woke up it was with a scream stuck in his throat. The wolves were all still fast asleep around him, obviously exhausted from the trip, but he was wide awake, the images from his nightmare burned behind his eyelids. The clothes he'd fallen asleep in were drenched in sweat and he managed to disentangle himself without rousing his pack. He went first to the bags they'd brought, praising Derek for thinking of him and bringing him his backpack full of stuff. The first thing he did was dig out a new set of clothes before he went off in search of a shower. He needed to wash off the sweat, hopefully losing the images along with it. He also wanted to calm himself down before the wolves woke up. He didn't need them smelling his fear. Of course, he was nearly jumping out of his skin when he turned the corner to the washroom and came face to face with Damon.
“Holy shit.” he hissed, slapping a hand to his chest, and Damon smirked, leaning against the wall, arms crossed in front of his chest. This smirk wasn't the nasty one Stiles was used to though, it was one of genuine amusement.
“Are you always so jumpy?” Damon asked, and Stiles gave a half hearted glare in answer. The smirk just widened ever so slightly, and Stiles felt his eyes widen at the same time. Was he getting a real smile from Damon Salvatore?
“I was just heading for the shower.” Stiles said easily, not even bothering to hide the fact that he was trying to send the vampire off. “Something I can do for you real quick?”
“I heard your heartbeat. It was racing. Pulses don't race like that unless you're afraid.” he paused, and gave an irritated sigh, hands running through his hair. “Look, I know we kidnapped you and stuff but it was only because we didn't think we had another option.” he lowered his voice, moving closer to Stiles, eyes pleading and more serious than Stiles had ever witnessed before. “I think he may need Elena's blood. I think that because she was the key to the transition for him, she became the key to creating more. If that's the case and he figures that out, he'll either take her away so that we'll never see her again and use her as a living blood bag, or he'll drain her dry.” there was panic in his eyes, and it was a panic he understood, it was one he'd felt before. Damon took a deep breath to calm himself though they both knew he didn't technically need it, and leaned back. “I just wanted to tell you that you don't have to be afraid. We aren't going to let you die. Despite the fact that you're an annoying little bastard, I like you. And Elena considers you family.” he shrugged, turning to walk away, obviously having said his piece. Of course, now Stiles' head was spinning again, and his mouth spun with it.
“I was having a nightmare.” Damon turned, frowning.
“That's why my pulse was racing. I was having a nightmare.” he paused, raking a hand through his hair that was already sticking on edge. “I want to beat Klaus as much as you do now, and not just because I understand your motives but because of my theory. He can't turn vampires into hybrids because they'd need to come partly back to life to handle the werewolf aspect, so he needs wolves.” he waved a hand behind him, a clear indicator of his pack, and Damon went completely still.
“Shit.” he finally managed, and Stiles nodded.
“I should probably mention that I get extremely vivid dreams and nightmares, so with the hybrid problem floating around in my head along with my pack being here, you can understand my fear.” Damon opened his mouth to speak and then shut it with a frown. He stared at Stiles a moment before finally speaking.
“Your pack is different, that may mean their safe from this.” he paused again, obviously struggling. “But the help we want isn't one sided. We'll stick by you too.” another pause and another frown. “Shouldn't you be more worried about yourself though?”
At that it was Stiles' turn to frown.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, Klaus and Elijah have taken an awfully big interest in you. Elijah is fairly harmless unless he needs something or you've gotten on his bad side; he's all for the manners. But Klaus? He takes what he wants when he wants it. He doesn't wait or ask permission. It looks like he wants you, and you should be worried. Last time he wanted something, there was a sacrifice, and it was only luck that Elena came out of it alive. Luck and very powerful magic. You need to be careful.” When Stiles only shrugged, Damon just glared.
“Don't you have any self preservation instincts?”
“Honestly, not really. I protect my pack. I would die for them without hesitation. Pisses them off sometimes,” he said with a chuckle, “But they would do the same. We protect each other.” he moved towards the bathroom door before he paused, tossing Damon a grin. “I'll admit though, you aren't the first person to ask that question.”
Damon rolled his eyes but didn't comment. He hadn't been lying when he said he liked this kid. He had spunk. As if Stiles had read his mind, he winked.
“Told you you'd end up team Stiles.” he shut the door, leaving Damon gaping and shaking his head in disbelief. Stiles had sass in spades. Right before he could walk away though, Stiles' voice came through the door, soft, but firm. “But Damon?” he paused in his step, cocking his head to listen. “If anything happens to them because of this, I'll never forgive you.” Though he knew Stiles couldn't see him, he nodded, understanding the sentiment. If anything ever happened to either Stefan or Elena, he'd feel the same way in Stiles' place. Even still, he kept an ear on Stiles' heart rate. Though he would never admit it, he'd grown fond of the strange human with his weird ability, and the idea of vivid nightmares in which, he was only imagining, but assumed that most of his loved ones had been taken from him – he shuddered. The idea was horrifying, and for that reason he kept an extra ear until the werewolves woke up. The werewolves; now that was another problem. They were an unknown. Seemed honest enough, but so were lots of devious enemies. There was also the eyes thing. The one Stiles had called Derek had red eyes, and everyone seemed to defer to him, even Stiles, which seemed odd since Damon didn't think that particular human would ever defer to anyone. He remembered what Stiles had said about alphas and betas, and the brief comment he'd made about Tyler being an omega. Could it be that these werewolves had dynamics like a regular wolf pack? Still listening out for Stiles, Damon decided to do some research of his own.
When Derek woke up, Stiles was gone. He'd fallen asleep with the human tucked safely in his arms but now said human was nowhere to be seen and there was a chill where his heat had been. Derek sat up quickly, eyes scanning over the rest of his pack. They were all accounted for, and the room they were in was definitely the one Stiles had led them too, but where was he? He strained his senses until he heard the familiar heartbeat alongside the thrum of a shower and immediately relaxed. Stiles was safe. The reminder had relief shooting through him. He'd been on edge since Stiles had gone missing, and it was a relief to finally be able to breathe around the weight that had been on his chest. He listened to Stiles' pulse, letting the sound soothe him, the rush of water just another soothing sound – that is until he imagined the water running over Stiles' skin, intimately. His imagination ran wild with the idea, imagining following the path of the water with his hands; his tongue. He shuddered and got out of bed. Thinking like that would drive him crazy so instead he dressed, going in search of the vampires. He planned to have a chat with them regarding everything without Stiles' presence there to moderate him. As much as he understood Stiles' forgiving nature when the wrongs were done to himself, that didn't mean Derek had to be as forgiving. He found Damon in the same room they'd convened in the night before, pouring over a book in his lap.
“If you're looking for Stiles, he's in the shower.” he announced as soon as Derek entered the room, and Derek just raised his eyebrows.
“I know. I was looking for you.”
Damon looked up but even as he did so Derek was in front of him, yanking him out of the chair, baring his teeth.
“I don't like you.” Derek growled, the hands fisted in Damon's shirt holding him above ground. The vampires hands were gripped tightly over his, but he ignored it. “You dragged him into this mess, and he won't be able to leave until he's cleaned it up. Even if he has to die trying. If anything happens to him because you dragged him into this, I will kill you.”
“Funny, he threatened something very similar. I see the connection.” Damon said easily, and Derek growled, yanking the vampire closer and Damon tensed but didn't flinch at the eyes that had now gone red. Before he had to figure out how to avoid a fight and a possible bite, another force stepped in.
“Derek, put him down.” Damon was dropped to the ground instantly, both turning to look at Stiles, only half dressed with his shirt in his hand, other hand using a towel to dry his hair. Damon noticed the tattoos now, almost tribal, that ran over both of Stiles' shoulders, over his collarbone and spaced along his surprisingly toned torso. His shoulders and arms were also nicely corded, and Damon had the sudden desire to see the kids back (cause hey he could call anyone under the age of one hundred a kid), wondered what tattoos were there, spread over the finely built young man. Of course it would seem that Derek noticed his appraisal, and hey it couldn't be helped, because he growled again.
“What?” Damon snapped, though he had that mischievous sparkle in his eyes that said he knew exactly what, but wasn't going to do anything about it. There was another growl and then Stiles was standing there, shifting so he was between them. Derek immediately wrapped a possessive arm around his waist, but surprisingly enough to Damon, Stiles just looked amused.
“If you're coming with me to meet the originals, you better clean up.” he teased, and Damon gaped.
“You're kidding right. You made them a deal to meet alone.” Stiles gave a dry laugh.
“And you're going to tell my alpha that he can't come with?” Stiles laughed, and this time it was more mirthful. “Dude, I dare you to try. I have. Doesn't go well.” it was said fondly, but Damon was shaking his head.
“It's dangerous. For both of you. They could see it as a threat.”
“They should.” Derek growled, and Stiles rolled his eyes, patting the arm wrapped around him as he shifted to pull on his shirt, without even bothering to try and move away, as if he was used to this sort of thing. The whole thing was surprising to Damon, and then he realized what Stiles had said.
“Alpha? So it is like a regular wolf pack.” Stiles hummed in agreement, finally managing to slide the shirt on properly. Derek huffed, giving Damon a murderous look before finally releasing Stiles.
“I'll go shower,” he took Stiles' towel for him, “If you really want to stay here and deal with this, you should probably explain how we work. That way he won't screw it up.” It was biting and cold but Derek left with that, leaving Damon and Stiles alone.
“They're really protective of you.” Damon muttered, and Stiles' smile wasn't cocky but fond and soft.
“They are. I love them.” it was said with such ease that Damon envied him. But then the intimate smile left his features and he gave Damon a smirk that he found much easier to handle. “That's why Jackson hit you yesterday, by the way.” he waved the thought away before Damon could comment though, lifting the book he'd been reading off the ground.
“C. Lupus, reading up on wolves are we?” Stiles smirked, handing him back the book, and he shrugged.
“Seemed logical since that's how you guys seem to function. It would be easier if you just explained it though. That way I don't to guess what's the same and what differs. And since you're alpha just gave you permission...” he trailed off, the words a taunt but also a test, and it relieved him a bit to see the sharpness enter the youths gaze. Good, so he wasn't a mindless lesser – he'd been unusually bothered by the possibility.
“First of all, I didn't need his permission. If it were up to me, In my opinion, the more you know, the bigger threat you pose, so the less information you had, the safer you actually were.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes, because now if you screw up, it won't be a mistake, it'll be with full knowledge of just what you've done.” Having received his quota of threats for the day Damon just waved a hand.
“Message received, moving on.” he motioned, and Stiles dropped onto the couch, laying across it on his back.
“Alright, I'll start with the basics. The pack is just like a regular pack of wolves in the sense of hierarchy. There's the alpha, Derek, and it's the red eyes that show his status. Then there are betas, and that's the rest of them, and most of them have the golden beta eyes.”
“Most of them?” at that moment, the curly haired blonde that Stiles had introduced the night before as Isaac wandered in, still half asleep.
“Right, well,” as Stiles continued speaking, Isaac moved over to him, leaning over him to rub his nose against Stiles' throat before settling on the floor by his hip. “Peter and Jackson both have blue eyes, but they're still betas.” his long fingers found there way into the blondes hair as if unconsciously, and Damon watched it all curiously. What did this mean? This whole touch thing? He'd noticed that this particular wolf seemed to be more touchy feely with Stiles, but was he the only one like this?
“What do the blue eyes mean?” even as he asked the question another one of the wolves wandered in, the one who'd hit him, Jackson.
“Means we killed someone innocent.” he grunted, moving to the couch and lifting Stiles' feet only to sit down and put them back in his lap, hand resting easily on the humans calf. Damon lifted a brow at the words rather than the action, but noticed how Stiles sat up momentarily to run a comforting hand over Jackson's shoulder.
“I don't actually know Peter's situation, isn't really an appropriate thing to ask, but Jackson here had no choice. He was quite literally forced into it.”
“It speaks something of the innocence of the perpetrator as well.” Peter said as he walked in, smirking down at Stiles. He settled into the chair closest to the boys head, reaching out to run a hand through his hair before leaning back. “We have to be innocent ourselves when the act occurs. Many innocents have been killed by werewolves and it won't affect their eyes. It's a sign of innocence lost on both ends.” Damon watched Stiles reach out a hand for the other man, and didn't realize he was frowning until the older man released the hold, and smirked at Damon. The vampire of course pretended not to notice.
“Okay, that all makes sense for the most part. But what about the humans? What about you?”
“Well, Danny will probably be turned once he's ready because he's Jackson's mate.”
“Mate?” it was said with such disbelief that Stiles laughed, but Jackson growled and Damon put up hands of surrender.
“Sorry, but that all seems a bit too wolfy to me.” Isaac snorted, opening his eyes to pin Damon down.
“You're just jealous.” he said easily, closing his eyes again, and before Damon could snap at the boy, Stiles was speaking again.
“Right, so mates. Someone's other half. It doesn't have to be romantic, it can be a totally platonic friendship, simple companionship. It can be love without the physical desire, though that can be included as well obviously.”
“Can a mate be human though? Doesn't that defy the whole mate thing?” Damon frowned, and Stiles looked to Peter who picked up the explanation even as the blonde girl and her tall black companion settled down beside Isaac in reach of Stiles.
“It doesn't matter if their human, wolf, or other; a mate is a connection of souls. Often if the mate is human, they will be turned once they are ready, but there have been many cases of a human mate remaining as such; human.”
“Huh, okay, well that explains the one kid. What about the hunter, the redhead and Stiles?”
Peter smirked, and Stiles snickered at Damon's annoyed glance. He'd known Peter would annoy the vampire, if only cause they had that same, irritating smirk.
“The hunter is Scott's mate.” Damon nodded, remembering Scott from when Elena had singled him out with recognition.
“Handy.” Damon commented, and Peter chuckled at that.
“Indeed. That leaves the lovely Lydia and our sweet Stiles.” Stiles rolled his eyes at that but didn't object.
“Did I hear my name?” The girl in question appeared looking perfectly put together, much like Peter, while the rest still looked half asleep. She moved first to Stiles, fingers brushing over his cheek before she gravitated towards Peter, an odd sight to Damon, but he could tell by the looks shared between them there was a messy history there. She settled on the arm of his chair, ignoring the werewolf's touch on her back, but not moving away from it Damon noticed. “I'm immune.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means exactly what she said, she's immune. To everything supernatural.” in a flash, Damon was in front of her, and though she didn't even bat an eyelash, she'd been pulled into Peter's lap who let out a low growl. Damon didn't move away though, and stared directly into Lydia's seemingly bored but completely aware gaze.
“You're going to let me drink from you.” he said, pupils dilating with compulsion, and though not only Peter but all the wolves growled this time, Lydia just rolled her eyes.
“As if.” satisfied, Damon moved back, but not before meeting Peter's murderous gaze. He wondered briefly if that meant the immune Lydia was his mate, but shrugged it off.
“Alright, that leaves you, Stiles. Just who are you in this pack?”
“Pack mom.” It was the blonde, Erica who said it with a giggle, though it was said kindly, and Stiles moved his hand to touch her briefly.
“He's the alpha mate.” It was a new voice and Damon turned to see the last 3 members to rise wander in. The one who'd spoken, Scott, was in the lead, flanked by the two others. The human guy, Danny, immediately moved to sit in front of Jackson, leaning against the others legs, while Scott and the hunter settled on Isaac's other side. Damon barely payed them any mind though, he was too focused on Stiles and what he'd just heard.
“No way. You're the alphas mate? She wasn't kidding about pack mom.”
“Nope.” Stiles agreed, popping the 'p', but there was something behind that, something lurking behind his gaze, and Damon wanted to know what it was.
“What else does it mean?” Stiles' gaze warmed, approving, and something about it made Damon feel strangely younger.
“It means I get cool perks like better hearing and vision.”
“Is that it?”
“It also means he's mine.” it was said in warning as Derek reappeared and Stiles sat up and scooted forward enough so the alpha could slide behind him. Stiles leaned back into him when he was settled, his strong muscled arm caging him in.
“Bit possessive there, are we?” Stiles just grinned, understanding it as a joke.
“It's cause you saw me shirtless. Even though I am a fine piece of ass, nobody is allowed to agree with the sentiment.”
“Hey, I never-” Damon protested, and Stiles was leering now.
“Didn't have to, your eyes said it all.” That earned a snicker from Jackson and Erica, and Damon found his gaze drawn to the one on the other side of the curly haired blonde. He was so quiet, and Damon couldn't help but wonder about his story. There was a moment of silence before Scott piped up.
“Hey Stiles? When's breakfast? I'm starving.”
Stiles burst out laughing.
“Breakfast is out this morning. I'll grab Elena and get her to take me to the grocery store later.” Scott made a noise of complaint but didn't argue, and Stiles glanced at his wrist before remembering he didn't have his phone.
“Oh yeah, here.” Derek reached into his own pocket, passing Stiles his mobile, and the teen gave a sigh of relief.
“Oh thank god.” he glanced at the time and sighed.
“As it is, looks like I'll be skipping breakfast.” he disentangled himself, standing up. “Alright, probably best if Scott and Isaac, you do the food run.”
“Alison, go with them just in case.” Derek added, and Stiles nodded in agreement. “Peter, you can answer whatever questions he has left, at your discretion.” Peter nodded and then Stiles remembered what he'd wanted from Danny since he'd woken up.
“Danny!” He exclaimed, and then pulled the boy, stepping away from everyone else. With the super hearing in action, he pulled out his phone, tilting it towards Danny. It was common knowledge that he wanted the info from his computer, but that wasn't all he wanted. When Danny nodded after reading the screen, Stiles grinned, deleting the text and slipping the phone away. He clapped him on the back before moving back to Damon and Derek.
“So, where's this meeting being held?”
“At the Mikaelson manor.” Stefan announced as he walked into the room, shrugging his jacket on.
“Where do you think you're going?” Damon demanded, and Stefan gave him a snarky grin. So he wasn't only the broody type, Stiles noted.
“Got myself an invitation. We didn't want Stiles going alone, and we know Klaus and I have that weird on again off again bromance thing, so I put it to good use.” Derek was giving the younger Salvatore an appraising look, and Stefan was smart enough to just offer him a smile.
“Come on, I'll show you my car. It's pretty sweet.” Derek lifted a brow, and with a glance at Stiles, followed him out. Stiles just looked around at his pack for a moment, before heaving a sigh.
“No destroying the town, okay guys? Dad's friends with the sheriff of Mystic Falls.”
Jackson just rolled his eyes. “Get lost, Stilinski.” he muttered, and Stiles grinned, taking that as his cue, hurrying to follow the other two out, leaving Damon in a room with what could possibly become a hostile situation. Deciding it was never too early for a drink, he poured himself a glass of scotch before he settled back in with his questions.
Stiles, Derek, and Stefan arrived at the Mikaelson manor right on time, and while Stefan walked ahead, Derek held Stiles back.
“You know you don't have to do this.” he murmured, and Stiles just smiled.
“You know I do.” Derek frowned his customary frown, but didn't argue.
“Do you have some sort of detail I don't?” he asked finally, and Stiles nodded, but instead of answering glanced up at the house, and then tapped a finger to his ear. Derek nodded and so leaned forward instead, wrapping the younger man in a tight embrace, rubbing his nose against his pulse point and listening to the pleasant jump. When they heard Stefan knock on the door, Derek released him, allowing him to lead the way up the front steps. The door opened as they reached the top, Elijah opening the door.
“Stefan, Stiles, Derek.” he greeted, and Stiles found his jaw dropping when Derek responded in kind.
“Elijah.” he greeted with an incline of his head. When he noticed his mouth was hanging open he snapped it shut, struggling to make it work.
“You two know each other?” Stiles demanded when he got his voice back, and Derek smirked.
“The Hale pack has been a prominent werewolf pack for a very, very long time. It would be rude of me not to acquaint myself when a new alpha is recognized by the whole of the supernatural community. Your new pack has made quite a name for itself.” Stiles' mind was spinning.
“Wait so, is that how you knew I was the missing human member?” Stiles asked, and Elijah just smiled as he opened the door wider, waving them inside.
“Perhaps.” Stiles scowled at that, but the expression quickly disappeared as he admired the entrance hall.
“I'm glad you find it to your liking.” it was Klaus' voice that rang through the large room and he looked up to see the man in question descending the stairs, eyes bright as they fell upon Stefan. “Stefan! Glad you could make it, mate. And Stiles. We have many questions for you.” his eyes slid past him then to give Derek an appraising look. “And you must be Derek, the infamous alpha. I've heard quite a bit about your pack of wolves passed down along the supernatural grapevine. You've made quite a name for yourself, though surprisingly, much of it is shrouded in mystery.”
“And we like it better that way.” Klaus smirked and Stiles recognized the danger in it now that it was aimed at someone other than himself.
“Alright well we're here to gossip right, so lets get to it.” he shifted just the slightest bit in front of Derek, but it drew Klaus' gaze back to him, smile widening.
“Of course! Of course.” he turned and led the way out of the main hall, and Stefan made a show of rolling his eyes as soon as Elijah too had begun to walk away. The three of them followed, Stefan remaining curiously quiet, but Stiles was too busy gaping to pay much attention. They passed one particular painting that caught Stiles' eye and he didn't notice when the others left him behind, approaching with a growing frown. It was all in dark colours save for the one bright snowflake, but it seemed so dark, so alone and empty, that it sent an ache through Stiles' chest. This felt like loneliness and it made him shudder.
“Do you like it?” he hadn't realized Klaus was behind him until the other man spoke, and he jumped, flailing a bit as he spun around. Derek was right there to catch him, tugging him ever so slightly away from the original, but that only seemed to amuse the original further.
“No.” Stiles answered, and the amusement fell.
“It's dark. Lonely. Too lonely. Looking at it feels like I've been abandoned and don't expect anyone to ever find me.” he shuddered again. “So no, I don't like it. I don't ever want to feel that emptiness.” There was a shocked silence and it was a female voice who broke the silence.
“Oh look, Nik, someone who finally seems to understand your art.” it was a pointed remark, and Stiles turned his head to see a tall, gorgeous blonde strutting towards them, bored expression on her face. That is, until her eyes fell upon the three visitors.
“Hullo Stefan,” she greeted, eyes hungry, and Stefan just nodded, obviously trying to contain another eye roll. Then her gaze turned to Stiles and he slid unconsciously closer to Derek, grateful for the hand that rested on his back.
“And you must be Stiles. My brothers have been speaking of you since you had yourself introduced. Seems you're not the average human.” then her gaze went to Derek and she sniffed in disdain.
“Who allowed the mutt in?” Derek didn't react but Stiles did.
“Rebekah, isn't it? Seems you're just like the rumours said.” Stiles commented pleasantly, and she seemed to preen.
“And what do they say, darling.” she pressed, expecting a compliment.
“That you're an elitist bitch.”
She snarled but before she could react Klaus was laughing, head thrown back in his mirth.
“Oh, I really do like you.” he announced, eyes still sparkling with laughter, and he stepped closer, waving Stiles further into the house and leaving Rebekah fuming.
“Brother, you know if left to her own devices our sister will devise some sort of method of retribution.” Klaus just hummed, clearly still amused.
“Well perhaps you can dissuade her then. Promise her a new pair of shoes or some such.”
Elijah gave a long suffering sigh but continued to walk with them. Obviously he thought this conversation was of higher importance, and that was slightly concerning to Stiles. He knew Elijah had presented the idea of a meeting under the pretence of answering all of Stiles' questions, but in return he would have to answer questions as well which, with his pack in town, made him uneasy. They were led into a cozy drawing room with a lit fireplace and Stiles settled down onto the couch with Derek on once side of him, and Stefan on the other.
“So, Stiles, before we begin, I have a very important question for you.” Klaus began, and Stiles, to his credit, remained quiet. “You said you were human, but to be honest, I don't believe you. So tell me, what are you?” Stiles smirked at that, because he didn't even have to lie to answer, and anyone listening for the signs would know he was telling the truth.
“I'm human. Through and through. Have I been propositioned to be different supernatural creatures? Of course. Everyone wants a piece of team Stiles. But I am completely, and absolutely human. I'm just also completely and absolutely awesome so I can understand your confusion.” Stefan gave a snort of amusement, and he glanced at Derek out of the corner of his eye to catch his amusement as well. No one who didn't know him would notice, but there was just the slightest upturn of lips even while the rest of his expression remained stoic.
“Interesting, as it would seem you are telling the truth, but-” one second Stiles was sitting between Derek and Stefan, the next he was across the room, tossed into a chair with Klaus leaning over him, eyes burning with intensity. Both Derek and Stefan were on their feet, but with a single glance from Stiles, Derek stood down, glancing at Stefan to do the same.
“You really should be more gentle with me. I am quite fragile in comparison to yourself, and I take weeks to heal.”
“Perhaps we'll test that theory,” Derek growled, but Klaus didn't move. “Though not today. No, today, I want to know what you are.” he grabbed firm hold of Stiles' face, making sure their gazes held, and Stiles watched his pupils dilate and contract as he tried to compel him.
“Tell me what you are.”
“I'm human.” he said it in the flattest voice he could manage, knowing that's what people usually did when compelled. Klaus gave a hum, leaning back.
“It would seem he's telling the truth, brother.” Klaus announced, but he didn't move from in front of Stiles, making it clear that he wasn't free to get up yet.
“Alright I think that makes it my turn for a question. Seeing as I'm pretty sure compulsion was supposed to be off the table.” Stiles' voice was sharp, but unyielding. “Why are you still here? And I already know I'm clever enough to think of dozens of reasons on my own. I want to know your reason.”
“Very well then,” Klaus allowed, far more amused than Stiles liked, and he turned to Elijah. “Would you like to tell them, brother?”
“We're here because Niklaus would like to be able to make more hybrids, as you said.”
“Alright, but there's no reason to do that here rather than somewhere else so you still haven't answered my question.”
“Patience, Stiles.” Klaus was behind him now, a hand on his shoulder, and once more he just looked at Derek, watching the other man fight the urge to leap across the room.
“We're here because Niklaus thinks that what he needs to complete the transition is here. That what he needs is the blood of the doppelganger. The thing that bound him, and the thing that unbound him.” It was exactly as Damon had feared. Stefan was gaping.
“You're joking.” he finally spat. “If you think for even a second we'll let you anywhere near her-” In an instant Klaus was there and there was a sudden snap, leaving Stefan to crumple to the ground with a broken neck.
“Really brother, you must work on your diplomacy.” Elijah complained mildly, but Klaus just shrugged.
“I don't like being told what I can and can't do.”
“Then I hate to break it to you, but I'm not going to let you drain her dry either. She's my family.”
“Distant family,” Elijah reminded him, but he waved that off.
“What difference does it make? The bonds you make are what connect you, not only whose blood you share.”
“Are you saying that your distant cousin is more important to you than your father? The closest living relative you have?” Stiles felt the rage building up and this time it was Derek who calmed him, returning to his side and laying a hand on his shoulder.
“I'm saying you'd have to be suicidal to go near my dad, but that isn't the point. The point is, you can't just take someone's blood because you feel like it. You're lonely? Make some friends. Don't drain someone's blood against their will to suit your needs.”
“You've basically argued against vampirism, love.” Klaus reminded him, and was there fondness in his voice? Stiles just rolled his eyes.
“That's need. That's different. You would desiccate without blood to drink. This is a completely different situation. Why do you need her blood? Why not someone else's like every other transitioning vampire. If you could use anyone, then you wouldn't need to kill them, and so it would be fine. If you use Elena, she will die. Or worse, she'll end up turned or something to escape it. Just like Katherine. Interesting, isn't it? That every time you see this face you end up destroying them? First there was Tatia, who died for you to become vampires. Then Katherine, who you would have sacrificed, and turned herself in order to not be forced to die against her will. Not to mention that you slaughtered her family as punishment for not allowing her throat to be slit like a good little lamb. Then finally Elena, who lived only because there were people who loved her enough to trade their lives for hers. But you destroyed her family. Literally every bad thing that has ever happened to her began because you backed Katherine into a corner for your own selfish need. Why did you need to release the wolf part of you? Why couldn't you be satisfied as a vampire? An original vampire? You're already practically immortal, why did you need more?” He was on his feet at this point, Derek close by his side.
“Are you capable of keeping any of your opinions to yourself?” Elijah asked after a moment, and Stiles just leaned back into Derek, letting himself be anchored.
“No, he isn't. Never has been. Don't think he ever will be.” Derek answered for him, and Stiles allowed the vibrations of the older mans voice travelling through his back to calm him further. He closed his eyes, trusting Derek to react to whatever happened in the brief moment.
“You still haven't answered my question.” he reminded the two originals. “Why?”
“Brother,” Elijah scolded, and Klaus waved his arms.
“Fine, fine.” Stiles opened his eyes to see Klaus take a sip of whatever alcohol was in the glass he carried. “Because it is as you say. I long for family. One who is loyal to me and only me.”
“So you want slaves.”
“You're far too dramatic, Stiles. I want family. Respect. Loyalty.”
“I don't know about you, but Elijah seems pretty loyal to me. Seems like the type to stick by you even when you stab him in the back.” Stiles smirked, “No pun intended.” Elijah smirked, but Klaus just stared in what seemed to be disbelief.
“You know what, I've changed my mind.” Rebekah's voice announced as she appeared lounging on the couch beside where Stefan still lay, momentarily dead. “I do so like your new human.” Derek's growl tipped him off that this was not a thing to let slide.
“Wait a second. I am not your human. I am my own human.” Klaus took a step forward and Derek's arm hooked around his waist from behind, pulling him back and flush against him.
“Mine.” he growled, and Stiles grinned. He always not so secretly enjoyed these possessive displays from his alpha.
“Alright, yours too.” Stiles agreed easily, amused by the surprise on Rebekah and Klaus' face, though it was not on Elijah's.
“You can let go of your boyfriend,” Rebekah turned up her nose. “We aren't going to hurt him.”
“Though you do know if we wanted him, we could just compel him to stay.”
“Yeah, about that.” Stiles cut in, not pulling away from Derek because with the two originals staring at him like he was a piece of meat, it felt safer. “Elijah did promise that if things weren't mutual, I would be free to go.” he looked at Elijah. “Right?”
“I did.” he agreed.
“Right, and being 'free' to go, means of my own free will. Which means, no compulsion. So compelling me would be breaking that little rule. Which,” he looked at Klaus, “You've already broken.” he did step away from Derek now, but only to prove a point. “So answer my questions and we'll all get along fine. Break the rules again, and you'll have made new enemies. Are we clear.”
Elijah looked impressed, Rebekah too though belligerently so, but Klaus was torn between amusement and annoyance.
“I do not take well to threats.” he noted, and Stiles shrugged.
“Me either. Looks like we're similar, you and I.”
Klaus gave a non committal hum.
“What happens if you break a werewolf's neck?”
“I dare you to try.” Derek growled, and with the threat of violence, Derek's eyes flashed the alpha red and Klaus actually took an involuntary step back.
“What. Was. That.” Klaus hissed, moving away further, and Rebekah was on her feet as well, moving back towards Elijah.
“Oh, didn't I mention? Derek's an alpha.”
“And?” was the bit out reply.
“And, to get another answer, you have to tell me why your own flesh and blood isn't good enough.”
“Because there is strength in numbers. I do not have to justify myself to you.”
“No, you don't. But I'm not asking for justifications. I'm asking for answers. I'm asking why you can't leave my distant cousin alone and instead need to drain her of all her blood. Why don't you find the cure? Take it and become a werewolf? Join a pack if you crave that kind of community. Otherwise, you have a perfectly loyal family, considering they're here even though you've daggered them and stuck them in coffins for decades at a time. I hear it does awful things to the complexion.”
“Why are the interesting ones always so impertinent?” Klaus asked his siblings, but Stiles answered.
“Because we wouldn't be interesting otherwise.” Klaus turned back to him.
“What is this nonsense you say about a cure? About joining a pack? Do you think I would allow another to rule me?”
“It isn't like that, but if you don't want it, don't ask.” The glass shattered in Klaus' hand but he ignored it, flashing towards him. Before he could so much as touch Stiles, Derek had moved him, and himself out of the way, fangs bared, eyes once more alpha red as his claws extended.
“Do not touch him.”
“Do not presume to tell me what to do werewolf. ” but Stiles was noticing something, Klaus wasn't coming any closer.
“Then don't attack what's mine.”
“Perhaps he won't be yours much longer.” at that moment, forgetting how dangerous it was, Stiles stepped between them.
“Alright. Enough of that.” they were so close that he had a hand on each of their chests, and it felt like he was almost holding them apart. He turned his head to look at Klaus. “First of all, I will always be his. Nothing will ever, ever , change that.” then he turned to Derek. “Second. This is supposed to be civil. If he wants to act uncultured, let him. It is his house.” Rebekah snorted out a laugh at that, but Stiles watched Derek's eyes fade back to green, though they were still angry.
“I am not uncultured.”
“Says the hybrid still practically pushing against my hand to start a fight. Aren't you supposed to be like thousands of years old? You all look really good for thousands of years, though. And I mean really good.” Derek growled and Stiles grinned at him. “Come on, you can't tell me they aren't super hot for being thousands of years old.” Finally he got an eye roll out of his alpha and he backed off. Klaus leaned back as well, but still stayed closer than Stiles expected.
“What is it about you that draws us all to you?” he mused, and Stiles kept himself relaxed. He knew the answer to the question, but it was his secret. When Stiles didn't speak, Klaus continued. “All of us are drawn to you. Usually Rebekah would have found better things to do by now, probably plotting your death considering your insult, and Elijah would usually at least take a moment to calm our enraged sister.”
“What about you?”
“What about me, love? Ah yes. I would have killed you by now for your impertinence.” Stiles just laughed.
“I don't think I believe you. Caroline has a bad habit of being painfully honest and I've been on the wrong end of that a few times to know. Seeing as she's your favourite of the Mystic gang, I don't think I believe you in the slightest.”
There was silence in the room, nobody willing to be the one to break the test of will that seemed to be occurring between Klaus and Stiles. Stiles knew that Klaus bowed to no one, but his mind was spinning with possibilities. Though his words had said one thing, his body had reacted to Derek's command, and that, to Stiles, was an important piece of information. He on the other hand, wouldn't bow, because the only one he'd submit to was Derek. That's just how it was.
Elijah was the one to finally speak, breaking the stare as all eyes turned to him. He'd seen his brother's anger growing, and did not yet want the human dead.
“Perhaps we should discuss the answer to Niklaus' question, because he is not wrong in his assumption. We have all be drawn to you, desire to be in your presence. Damon is rarely so protective of humans, nor so angry for them disregarding their own well being, and Stefan would not usually have made such an insistence to join this meeting. Not when he would have known Derek would not allow you to go alone anyways.”
“I don't have an answer to that question.” but it was a lie, and his body betrayed him. Normally he was much better at dancing around the truth, but normally he wasn't surrounded by three originals, one of which who seemed to have a genuine interest in hurting Derek. Not that he didn't think Derek was capable of taking care of himself, but it made him nervous none the less.
“Lie. Shall I compel you again?”
“Why does it matter?” Stiles asked in return, and it was Elijah who frowned.
“Because knowledge is power, as you seem to be well aware of.”
“And knowledge of this is my power. You would have to give me something of equal value in return, and I don't think you know anything I want to know bad enough to trade this secret.”
“Perhaps I will compel your werewolf then?”
“You can't. He can't be compelled.” all three originals frowned, and behind them, Stefan began to stir.
“Why is that?”
“Try if you want to. But don't blame me if you get injured in the trade.”
“Ah, so you just think he's capable of avoiding it?”
“No, I know it won't effect him even if you did manage to try. I also know I might enjoy watching you be knocked down a peg.”
“You really are very cocky.”
“Not as arrogant as you though, Nik. At least he has that in his favour.” Rebekah sniped.
“Is that so, dear sister. Please, enlighten me on how his arrogance is any different than my own.”
“Perhaps because he has not flaunted it for over a thousand years. Or perhaps it is because he does not feel assured of his own capabilities but of those belonging to someone he loves.”
“Love is weakness.”
“Shall I stake Caroline then?” Klaus snarled, focused on his sister as she was on him, but Elijah was still staring at Stiles and Derek, everyone ignoring Stefan, even as he shifted subtly to see what was going on. Stiles glanced back at Derek, and when the older man met his gaze, he nodded. It was time to go. He turned back, meeting Elijah's gaze, watching from the corner of his eye as Stefan returned Derek's look.
“We're going to leave now.” Stiles announced, and all eyes whipped towards him.
“No.” Klaus growled, and Stiles just looked at Elijah.
“Those were the terms, brother, that was our deal.”
“Then I'm changing our deal.”
“No.” Derek said flatly, “You're not. If you're lucky, we'll conduct another meeting, but right now we have to leave. Stiles needs to eat something, and I've had enough of-”
“Of me being so jittery, yeah, I know,” Stiles said with an easy smile, cutting Derek off before he offended Klaus further. “Plus, the pack will be getting nervous. They don't like me staying gone for too long after I've been missing for three days. They'd be really unhappy if they found out I wasn't allowed to leave, since I'm assuming you'd let the other two go. And really, we've been getting along so well. Don't really need the politics of everyone thinking you've kidnapped me now.”
“Do you get kidnapped often?” Elijah asked, and Stiles shrugged.
“I used to. At the beginning when things got started. But that was mostly my fault. I was often in the wrong spot at the wrong time. It hasn't happened in a long time, in all honesty. And luckily for the Salvatores, they had Elena on their side. If it weren't for Elena, well.” Stiles let the thought hang, meeting each originals gaze. “So, we'll be on our way.” with that, Stefan was off like a flash, disappearing from the room, the front door banging as it flew open and he practically flew off. Rebekah looked irritated, Elijah unsurprised, and Klaus chuckled.
“You can leave as soon as you've answered the question you've been avoiding.”
“No, he'll be leaving now. With me.” Derek began pushing him towards the door. “He gave you his terms on sharing that information and you can't meet them. Let it go.”
“I've had about enough of you, wolf.” he scowled, and Derek just did the thing with his eyebrows that Stiles knew meant 'as-if-I-care'. Klaus made to move towards them, but Elijah put a hand on his arm.
“You may go, but we should meet again. If you are not satisfied with Klaus' need for Elena Gilbert's blood, provide us with a feasible alternative. We will collectively decide if there is information that may be deemed worthy enough to trade for the reason behind your influence.”
Stiles nodded, grateful for the words. “You know how to reach me.” he paused. “Actually,” he put a hand on Derek's arm to stop him, wandering over to Elijah and handing him his phone. “It'll be easier than having you text or call the Salvatores. I don't really know if I like them as middle men. I never feel like I'm getting all the facts and its too much of a hassle to argue with them about it. This way will be easier.” Elijah looked amused but within moments was handing Stiles back his phone.
“Don't worry, I sent myself a text message.” Stiles just grinned, moving back to Derek and away from the hungry gazes of Elijah's younger siblings.
“Awesome. You know, it's pretty impressive how quickly the whole grasp of technology thing has been so easy. I mean, as far as I know, Rebekah had been in a coffin since, what was it, the twenties? And she's already texting and calling people as if it were natural. And yes, that does mean I noticed the texting you thought was so secretive. Come to think of it, shouldn't Bonnie not be able to properly use technology?” Stiles asked as Derek herded him towards the door since he was no longer talking to anyone in particular. “Wickens, once they've done the whole, search for water trick, can't use time pieces, they break. And technology like cells and computers tend to go caput after not long. I should ask her how that works later.” the three originals could hear Stiles speaking all the way back to the car, and Rebekah looked at her brothers in disbelief.
“Does he ever stop?” she asked, and they shook their heads.
“It would seem not.”
They made it outside and the moment Stefan saw them he was tossing Derek his keys and disappearing in a flash of movement. Stiles didn't have to look over to know it meant Derek must look murderous. They climbed into Stefan's car in silence but when Stiles glanced over, Derek's knuckles were white on the steering wheel. Once they were safely out of the supernatural hearing range of those they were leaving behind, Derek finally spoke.
“You won't be meeting them again.” It was not a question but a statement. Stiles just sighed.
“I have to. I'm the only one they seem to have no interest in hurting.”
“That's because they want to claim you.” Derek growled, and Stiles just rolled his eyes.
“That's a werewolf thing.” he reminded, and Derek snarled again.
“Well the one is part werewolf.”
“I have to meet them again. I can't just let them drain Elena dry. She's family, distant or not.”
“Did you ever think that is isn't your responsibility? They brought this upon themselves. We belong in Beacon Hills where we have our own supernatural disasters. We don't need theirs too.”
“Derek.” it was a sharp reprimand and it had Derek swerving to the side of the road. He practically threw himself out of the car and Stiles undid his seatbelt in order to go after him. What he didn't expect was his own door being torn open and to be yanked from the car and shoved against the side.
“I won't let them steal you, even if I have to lock you up in order to keep you safe.”
“Derek,” Stiles reached up and put his hands on the front of Derek's shoulders, easing him back a bit. “It's going to be fine. Nobody is going to steal me. I'm a human not a possession. Plus, you know well enough I can't let this go.” he paused, not nervous yet but not sure what Derek's reaction would be. “You know, when I say I'm yours, I mean it. There's no one else for me. You don't have to worry, I'll always find my way back to you.” Though the words had always been there, Stiles felt the nerves of saying all but the three most important words, but he didn't look away from Derek's gaze. What he didn't expect was for Derek to make the next move, lips slamming against his own fiercely. Stiles was shocked into stillness at first, but when Derek began to pull away he wrapped his arms around the older man, pulling him back in and kissing him back with equal amounts of energy. Derek actually groaned, and it pulled a matching sound from Stiles.
“Oh my god.” Stiles finally managed, gasping and leaning his forehead against Derek's, and Derek actually cracked a smile that widened easily into a grin at Stiles' gaping expression. “Now you're definitely not getting rid of me.” Stiles muttered, kissing him again. Finally it was Derek who pulled away with a content smile.
“You can go back on one condition. You never go without me.” Derek finally said, but Stiles shook his head.
“Next time I go it will be just with Elena. That way we don't pose a threat.” before Derek could protest, Stiles pushed on. “You guys can all be close, close enough to break things up if they go sour. That'll make Elena's gang happy too since they won't want Elena far.”
“I don't like this. Especially since you still don't seem to have a plan.”
“That's where you're wrong.”
They arrived at the Salvatore mansion to find everyone outside waiting for them. Lydia was inspecting Stefan's neck, having never been friendly enough with a vampire to satisfy her curiosity on how their healing worked, while Elena was hovering beside him worriedly, Damon watching from a few feet away. The rest of the pack was scattered across the porch, but this time the Mystic Falls gang was there too. Alaric and Jeremy were talking to Danny and Allison about what Stiles was assuming was hunter stuff, Matt switching from their conversation to the one Caroline was having with the other pups. They all looked enamoured which amused Stiles greatly because it came at no surprise. Peter, of course, was surveying the whole scene, eyes falling on Derek and Stiles the moment they appeared. Peter pushed off the wall and as if they'd practiced, everyone looked over at the same time.
“Hey guys. How were things while we were gone?”
“Stefan tells us Klaus wants Elena's blood.” Peter prompted in order to avoid small talk, and shrugged when Stiles shot him a glare. Everyone had tensed at the words and Stiles just heaved a sigh, hands rubbing together nervously.
“Yeah, he does. He thinks her blood is the only way to create hybrids. I figure that means he's tried other ways before and they failed.”
“If that would stop him from hurting anyone-” Elena began, gaining sharp looks.
“No, look, I had an idea. I was thinking, well what's the best way to do this? You wanted to turn him fully werewolf but I'm not sure how to do that,” Though he was beginning to get an idea. “So next best option is a fair trade. He wants your blood? Ask for an equal amount in return.” there was silence for a moment before Damon spoke.
“He'd never agree to it.” Damon frowned, and Peter spoke up.
“Why not? It's not like he can say his blood is rarer.”
“It is rare though,” Caroline put in, “It's the only thing that can cure us after a werewolf bite.” Stiles grinned.
“I knew it. I totally called that. Okay but the point Peter and I are making is that he's immortal. Draining him dry wouldn't kill him, just make him really thirsty. Elena on the other hand is human. Once she dies, or if anything happens to her, her blood becomes useless. It's rare and short lived, and so holds much more worth.”
“Okay, but why would he agree with it?”
“Because we'll take the offer to Elijah first. He's smart and less invested so a bit more of a neutral party.”
“What if he doesn't agree though?” Bonnie protested, “He doesn't usually like having to give something in return. He takes what he wants and that's all there is to it.”
“Bonnie's right, we need to be careful. Klaus can't be trusted.” Jeremy agreed, and this time Lydia cut in, sounding bored.
“Weren't you listening? He never suggested you trust Klaus, only his brother.” Again there was silence and so Stiles spoke again.
“Elena? What do you think?”
“I think we don't need anymore hybrids around.” Damon snapped, stepping forward, and it was Alaric, Stiles noted once more, that moved to put a hand on his shoulder to ground him.
“I don't think Damon's wrong. Klaus is dangerous enough. We don't know what other hybrids would be like. What it would change about those that were turned. It's a big risk.”
“Isn't it a bigger risk to not at least try and meet him halfway?” Elena asked, and everyone looked at her. “I mean, like Bonnie said, he's going to try and take what he wants anyways. At least this way we get something in return.”
“I think Stiles here has an idea about turning him into his full wolfy self that he isn't willing to share.” Damon snarled, but before he could even take a step the wolves had converged, making a wall between him and Stiles.
“Guys, it's fine.” was the youths immediate response, and though hesitant, they stood down.
“Is that true?” Stefan asked, and Stiles ran a hand through his already messy hair, glancing at Derek. The older man only frowned, knowing that the glance meant he wasn't going to like what Stiles had to say.
“I have a vague idea. Emphasis on the vague. So vague in fact, that it would be like trying to catch smoke with your bare hands.” he finally answered, but of course that wasn't good enough.
“Well then make it more concrete.” Damon snapped, and Stiles was really having enough of being told what to do.
“If you want this done your way, do it yourself. Otherwise, back the fuck off.” it was a statement, not a request, not a frazzled remark made by someone scared. This was a command, leaving no room for question. Damon blinked, visibly leaning back, seemingly shocked, and the others exchanged glances. Of course, his pack was used to this, but the others weren't, the others didn't understand what this meant.
“It's Elena's life at risk here.” Jeremy finally said, though tentatively, and Stiles heaved a sigh.
“I know that. But you have to understand, any idea we can come up with will risk someone's life. The only thing is deciding whose.” he saw multiple people go to argue and put up a hand. “It isn't something you can volunteer for. It's either something that can be done or can't be. Elena has value so it would be easy to try and trade her blood because they want it already. The offer to have it given without a fight would be tempting. That is something worthwhile.”
“What you're saying is no matter what, it has to at least seem like we're giving them something. At first.”
“Something like that. No way to get close enough to do anything otherwise.”
“Stiles, no.” much like Stiles' earlier words, this was a command, and Stiles winced, looking back at Derek. “Don't even think about it.”
“Think about what?” Scott asked, looking much like a lost puppy, and it was Lydia who answered, eyes narrowed.
“Stiles wants to go in her place.”
“No way. That's too risky.” Isaac voiced immediately, and it was met with a round of nods.
“Wait, why would they want Stiles anyways?” Elena asked, and when Stiles opened his mouth to answer, a hand was clamped over his mouth.
“Because he's special.” Erica purred, and Caroline shot a dark look at the girl.
“Seriously? That's it? How are we supposed to help if you won't tell us the truth.”
“Because the truth gets you killed, sweetie, and unlike you, we actually can protect him.” Caroline's gaze darkened to a glare, and there was a wave of discontent that passed over the Mystic Falls gang.
“You make it sound like we want him to get hurt.” Bonnie said with a frown. “He's our friend too. Most of us have grown up with Stiles visiting on holidays. We don't want anything to happen to him anymore than you do.” before any more catty remarks could be made, Stiles shook off Erica's hand and slipped around so he stood in between the two groups.
“Alright everyone needs to calm down.” and a wave of calm passed over everyone. “I hadn't made a decision, hadn't even made the plan. Like I said, smoke, hands.” he made grabbing motions with his hands. “As I've already demonstrated for Damon, Stefan, and Elena, I'm not exactly a useless human. And as I'm sure, with the exception of Alaric and Matt, all of you have wanted to be around me.” he gave a grin and waved his hands before anyone could argue. “Don't argue, cause we'll all know you're lying. It's part of me. It's just how it is. All supernatural creatures want to be around me. Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah, noticed this. Thing is, I can do more than just break bones.”
“Stiles,” it was a warning, but Stiles just gave Derek a look pleading for trust, and all Derek could do was give it.
“I might be able to make the change you want.” he finally admitted after a long, drawn out silence, and the Mystic Falls residence were immediately curious.
“Really? How?” Elena was asking, even as Bonnie asked about the logistics.
“Are you a witch? Would you need an event like a comet or a full moon?”
“Would you have to be alone? Would it affect everyone or just your target?” Stefan was asking.
“Is it safe?” the question came from the least likely source, and everyone went silent at Damon's question.
“ Stiles. ” the younger man turned to face Derek, clearly annoyed.
“What, Derek? We wanted a solution that didn't include possibly having Elena drained dry. I have one.”
“The problem with your solution is that it could get you killed.” Derek growled back, and there was a sharp intake of a group breath, but neither man noticed, too focused on the other. Stiles waved the worry away with a sharp flick of his wrist.
“Please. I haven't died yet.”
“That's because you haven't tried anything quite this level of suicidal yet.” Stiles just shrugged, but his amber eyes flashed in annoyance.
“Do you have a better solution?”
“Yeah, present Elijah with the blood trade. That way everyone's happy. I'm sure having some werewolf bite healing liquid would benefit everyone more than your death would.”
“Stiles,” Elena tried to cut in, and both he and Derek turned on her.
“What?” they demanded at the same time, and Elena took a step back, the Salvatore brothers taking a protective step forward. Stiles took a deep breath, shooting Derek a we'll-talk-later look before turning back to Elena.
“Look, Derek isn't wrong. From what I've gathered, this whole death by werewolf bite has been hanging over your heads for a while, so having a cure for it on hand without having to grovel would probably be nice for you. It would keep us out of it, and it would keep Elena relatively safe because they'd want to keep her alive. Not that they don't already, but it would sweeten the pot a bit, you could say.” he took a deep breath. “But if you don't want to risk it, I can try my plan.” there were discontent growls from his whole pack but he ignored them. Elena looked around at her friends, and there were reluctant nods all around. It seemed they were equally as good at reading each others thoughts as his pack was.
“Let's try the deal first.” Everyone watched as Stiles released a unconscious breath, showing everyone he'd clearly been more wary of his idea that he'd previously let on, a worrying thought in and of itself. Then he smiled.
“Alright. We'll figure out logistics later. I am starved.” with that he disappeared into the house, leaving everyone else exchanging glances. As everyone else filtered inside, the two Salvatore brother's lagged behind, and they were met by Derek and who they'd soon figured out was his uncle, Peter.
“Do you think he'll still try it?” Damon asked, and Derek frowned.
“That will depend.” he said, but when the other's waited for him to continue he stayed silent, leaving his uncle to role his eyes and fill in the blanks.
“Stiles has a bit of a complex. Cares little for his own safety, and far too much for the safety of others. He's human, but acts as if he's indestructible. Chances are, he'll make a meeting with Elijah with only himself and Elena present, and if seems like Elena will get hurt-” he broke off with a shrug. “He'll do whatever he can to stop it.”
“Is he as powerful as he thinks he is?” Stefan asked, clearly doubting Stiles' ability to protect anyone, and Peter gave a dark chuckle.
“Oh yes, and more. He's far more powerful than he realizes.” The brothers exchanged a glance.
“How powerful is that exactly?” Damon ventured, and this time, it was Derek who answered.
“The better question is how much can he use before it changes him.”
“What does that mean exactly?” Damon demanded as Derek started to pass him, reaching a hand to stop him, but with a single glare Damon was pulling his hand away.
“It means there's a limit on how much he can use before it harms him. His abilities come with a price, and not like ours. He can lose himself.”
“Things that get lost can always be found. That's why it's lost and not gone.” Derek spun back with a growl, annoyed with Stefan's little regard for Stiles' sanity. He grabbed the younger Salvatore brother by the front of his shirt, yanking him in close.
“This isn't like your humanity switch that you turn off because you have the choice. You will always have that choice. He doesn't. If he pushes himself too far he will be gone. And we might all die.” Stefan blanched at that, stumbling when Derek tossed him back.
“Why would we die?” Stefan asked, but Derek was walking away, and Peter just gave a sad shake of his head. Stefan looked up at Damon who just cuffed him over the head.
“You of all people should understand.” he noted, and Stefan frowned, causing Damon to roll his eyes. “Think about it, ripper .” Stefan stilled, watching his brother go inside, and was reminded of Stiles' bone breaking trick. If that was him in control, he didn't think he wanted to see him out of control. With a shudder, he followed the others inside.
When everyone was busy with their food, Stiles looked at Elena, glancing towards the doorway. He wanted to talk to her, and her alone. She nodded, slipping out of the room, and moments later, Stiles followed.
“Wh-” he put a finger over her mouth to silence her and then pulled out his phone, moving to stand beside her and tilting the screen in her direction.
We need to be able to speak to Elijah without the safety brigade following us. Elena nodded in agreement, a frown coming over her features. Then she looked like she had an idea.
Grocery shop. You said you wanted to go, we could use that as an excuse. She typed back, and he shook his head.
There's no way they'd let us go alone.
She took the phone, a smug smile on her face.
We'll ask Alaric and Jeremy to come with.
Don't you think they'll find that suspicious? Stiles typed back with a frown, and Elena shrugged.
Any other ideas? She asked, and Stiles thought a moment before grinning.
Caroline and Erica. He typed, and Elena gaped.
They didn't exactly seem to like each other. She noted, and he nodded emphatically.
Exactly! That way, they can get into an argument and we can slip off. Elena stifled a laugh and nodded, agreeing to the plan. Stiles just grinned and they slipped back into the room, without anyone the wiser. Derek of course was watching Stiles suspiciously, but the younger man just grinned, sidling over so they're shoulders brushed, trying to comfort in the tactile motion. In reaction, Derek relaxed, and without even thinking had turned to rub his cheek against Stiles throat.
“What is it with you wolves and your touchy thing?” Damon finally asked, and Stiles burst out laughing.
“It's a scent thing. That's why they were all over me when they got here.” Stiles provided. “Pack smells like pack. That way when other packs come along they know you belong to someone. Scents fade though obviously so the touchy thing is sort of like touching it up.” then the smile turned impish. “Plus, who doesn't like being felt up by a pack of hot werewolves.” there were rolled eyes and snorts of amusement from the pack and Stiles grinned.
“That reminds me, we still need to do a grocery shop. Otherwise we're all going to starve. Elena said she'd take me to the grocery store,” he watched everyone get ready to argue and powered on through. “So I thought Erica might want to come along? That way you guys don't freak out at us for going alone.” there were grumbled agreements all around and Erica stood up with a stretch.
“Fine with me.” she glanced at Derek who nodded, and Stiles shot Elena a look.
“Caroline, do you want to come to? Double the supernatural back up is always helpful.” she noted, and Caroline agreed readily. Obviously this wasn't her first time being called on for security.
“Awesome. Let's head out.” before he could walk away Derek grabbed his wrist and started tugging him from the room. “In a moment. Be right back.” Stiles called, allowing himself to be dragged out of the room. “Derek, what's with that, we're bringing back up so you don't wolf out on us.” Stiles muttered, but Derek just kept pulling him along. “Jesus, Derek, what's you're -” before he could finish the sentence he was being shoved against a wall, with a very annoyed alpha kissing him. All complaints immediately fled his thoughts as he responded by hooking his fingers in the belt loops of Derek's jeans and yanked him closer before sliding his arms around him so he couldn't pull away.
“You're thinking of doing something stupid.” Derek finally breathed, and Stiles pouted, earning another good minute of kissing and man he was going to have to pout more often.
“No I'm not, because I know you'd lock me up and never let me out if I was. Which I hope you know is impossible.”
“I'm sure I could convince you to stay in.”
Stiles sucked in a breath, not used to this openly flirty side of Derek, and yet loving it all the same.
“Tempting,” he managed, “But no can do. Grocery shopping is necessary. Unless you want to starve. Plus I'm bringing back up even though we both know I don't need it.”
“You do need it because the chances of you using your abilities to protect yourself are so slim they might as well be non-existent.” Derek growled, but he didn't move away like he may have previously done, instead it seemed like he moved impossibly closer. “When you do try and do whatever stupid thing you're going to try to do, just-” he frowned, and Stiles just kissed him again.
“I won't let myself or the others get killed. Don't worry. I will protect myself if necessary. Nothing will go wrong though.” he lied smoothly, it was a skill he'd gained, learning to lie properly, and his abilities helped it considerably. “I'll even bring you back steak.” Derek rolled his eyes and he grinned, quelling his nerves. He knew what he had to do, and he knew it had to be without Derek there. Derek was now seen as a threat, and if he was there, any enemy would go after him first. Though Derek was fully capable of holding his own, Stiles knew he would give up anything if it were to keep Derek safe, and that would anger the alpha more than if he was just stupid on his own in the first place and figured things out before anyone got hurt. Or seriously hurt anyways. Unable to resist he kissed Derek again before gently pushing him back. Derek was smirking and Stiles just narrowed his eyes.
“Why are you so god damn attractive?” Stiles grumbled, sliding by so he was no longer caged against the wall. “And such a good kisser?” he waved his hands in the air at that to show he really didn't want the answer. “I'm going for food. Stop stalling me.” of course, he should've expected Derek to grab him and spin him back around, yanking him forward so he could kiss him one last time. Stiles gave a playful struggle and finally managed to escape, darting back down the hallway with a heartfelt laugh at Derek's disbelieving expression. He didn't even stop in the living room just ran straight for the door. “Are you three coming?” he called, and was soon join by the other three outside. Erica took one look at him and grinned.
“Finally.” she exclaimed, and Stiles snickered as they climbed in the car.
“Right? I wondered if he'd ever make a move.”
“Well it was about damn time.” that got a full laugh and quizzical stares from the two others as they drove to the store.
“What are we missing?”
“Oh just that Derek only dragged Stiles off for a quick make-out session.”
“I thought you two were already a couple?”
“In all but the one sense of the word, we were.” Stiles agreed, smirking at the confusion on their faces.
“I don't understand.” Elena finally admitted, and Erica rolled her eyes.
“Our Derek's had bad luck in the love department, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. He was afraid of screwing up with dear Stiles here so it took him forever to take that step. Looks like your two vampire boyfriends kidnapping our Stiles made him realize he'd waited long enough.” Erica reached over to ruffle Stiles' hair. “Good thing too. The sexual tension was driving the rest of us crazy.” at the admission both Elena and Caroline blushed and Stiles just laughed. Noticing their discomfort, Erica gave a cat like smile. “I'm sure he's just waiting for the chance to get Stiles naked so he can-”
“Oh look! We're here!” Caroline exclaimed, and Erica and Stiles just burst into satisfied laughter. It was so easy to embarrass teenagers.
“Alright. Erica, you're on snacks.” Stiles delegated immediately because he knew Erica could handle it from there. She immediately headed off. “Caroline, cereal; cheerios, frosted flakes, lucky charms, and probably four bags of milk. Oh and yogurt and granola. With no almonds. Lydia isn't eating almonds at the moment.” Caroline frowned but was off, leaving only Stiles and Elena. He pulled out his phone, typing as he talked. “Elena, you're going to help me with meat and veggies.” he said, even as he texted Elijah he wanted to meet him alone down the street from the grocery store, tilting the screen so Elena could read as he typed. She nodded and he grabbed a cart, leading her towards the meat and vegetables. When she frowned, he just smiled. He was used to this. “Alright so, steaks, no fish, ground beef, chickens? Maybe. But we'll need about four pounds of potatoes, two bags of carrots, leeks, onions, zucchini. Oh! I should make spaghetti. Erica; noodles, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste. Caroline; two dozen eggs.” he ordered without even changing the tone of his voice. Though it surprised Elena, she found it cooler than she found it weird.
“Eggs in pasta sauce?” she asked instead, and Stiles made a face.
“Ew, no. That's disgusting. What kind of pasta sauce do you eat? I just decided I wanted to make eggs as well. Which means we'll need english muffins since those are the best bread with eggs.” he kept up the chatter the whole time and when everyone finally made it to the cash they had three loaded carts. Caroline was making a face at all the food, but Stiles and Erica didn't even bat an eye, loading all the food into bags and paying for it on a credit card. Then they took their purchases out to the car, loading it in. Elena had the keys and Stiles motioned for them, so when their two supernatural escorts got in the car, he locked it, grabbed Elena's hand, and started to run. He could hear the two blondes cursing but ignored it, hitting the lock button as fast as he could as he pulled Elena along. They made it to the corner and Elijah was already there, turning towards them with a raised brow as Stiles paused to take in a breath and grin.
“Ditching the escorts. We should probably move though.” he said, and Elijah nodded. Without even a word, Elijah had caught hold of them both, and Stiles let the keys slip from his fingers even as the world seem to flash by. Next thing Stiles knew, the three of them stood in the forest.
“Will this do?” Elijah asked, and Stiles nodded. “So what is it you wished to speak to me and me alone about?” he asked, and Stiles looked at Elena who stood there nervously, stepping slightly in front of her.
“We wanted to talk about a trade. Elena will voluntarily provide Klaus with her blood, provided that he does the same.”
Shocked, Elijah could only stare a moment before a smile of disbelief curled his mouth.
“You believe Klaus would agree to such a thing?” he asked, amused, and then looked to understand. “Ah, you think I will be able to convince him of this plan.” the amusement grew. “I would have thought you would have realized by now that my brother is not likely to provide you with one of the main sources of his control.”
“See that's the thing.” Stiles wagged a finger, his own smile forming. “His power stems from his hybrid/original status. The werewolf bite healing blood is an added side benefit. The thing about that is, it won't ever run out. His blood is literally available in infinite amounts.” he waved at Elena. “Elena on the other hand is very human, and we have very short lifespans in comparison to you lot. So the amount of blood that he can take from her is limited, to say the least. That being the case, out here in the real world, her blood is thousands of times more valuable because it's limited. When that runs out, there won't be anymore, unless you're extremely lucky and you get another doppelganger, but how long would you have to wait? Another 500 years? Another few thousand? Is it worth it?”
Elijah stared at him in consideration, his words having made their desired effect. Feeling Elena's hand nervously grasping his own, he linked their fingers, giving a squeeze of comfort. He'd promised Derek that everyone would be safe, and he would keep that promise, even if he knew it had been about himself more than anything else.
“You make a fair point.” Klaus' voice rang out of nowhere and Elena moved closer, other hand gripping Stiles' arm. Stiles in turn just looked at Elijah, disappointed frown forming.
“So much for just the three of us.” he commented, and Elijah seemed to nearly wince.
“Don't blame Elijah, love. It isn't his fault. My curiosity got the better of me, and I must say, it was worth it.” he came into view, moving to stand next to his brother, and Stiles ignored how painfully tight Elena was gripping his arm.
“Does that mean we have a deal?” he asked, keeping his expression neutral now and not letting an ounce of his emotion loose. He needed all the calm he could muster if he was going to need to create an active escape for Elena.
“I do find your point valid, and it isn't a bad idea,” Klaus admitted easily, “But there's just one problem.”
Stiles snorted in contempt. “And what's that?”
“Her blood is not the only thing I want.”
Stiles just rolled his eyes, acting as if he hardly cared at all even while his mind whirled and his body stood tense.
“And what's that?” Stiles finally asked, putting every ounce of exasperation he could manage.
“You.” though subconsciously he'd known that would be the hybrid's answer, it had him wincing all the same.
“Unfortunately I am not something that can be owned or traded. Will you agree to the blood trade or not?”
Klaus just laughed.
“You think just because you say such a thing I cannot still keep you if I wish?”
“Brother,” Elijah warned, but Klaus ignored him, he hadn't seen the flash of darkness in the young man's eyes that Elijah had witnessed at Klaus' words.
“I will accept the exchange, but only if you stay. She may go, return back to her merry little life until whenever we choose to exchange blood, but you, you will remain with me and my family.” though rage seethed through him at the idea of anybody trying to own him, Stiles remained outwardly calm.
“No.” he finally said, and Klaus looked taken aback.
“No?” he growled, and Stiles decided that nobody but full werewolves should be allowed to growl. Elijah was growing increasingly wary of the situation but he remained silent, prepared to intervene if, though more likely when, necessary.
“No. You will accept the exchange, or there will be no deal.” he paused, giving a sharp smile. “In fact, there won't be any further deals either. This is your only option. Take it or leave it.” when the silence stretched, Stiles turned his back, gently pushing Elena ahead of him. “Come on, let's go. Better get back before they really start to freak.” Stiles said easily, acting as if the originals weren't even there. He could feel the hybrid seething at being ignored, but continued to do so anyways. It was when they really started to leave that either of them spoke.
“Do not think that you can just walk away.” Klaus snarled, and flashed towards them, but Stiles had had enough, and he'd made a promise after all. Elena had to stay safe. He spun in an instant, hand splayed, and Klaus flew back.
“No, you can't just claim things that don't belong to you. You can't claim me.” He pushed Elena in the opposite direction. “Go, you need to get back.” he ordered, and his tone warned her not to argue. Afraid, she just stared at him, obviously torn between running and staying. Understanding, Stiles pulled the cord from around his neck, revealing the wolf charm that had been hidden beneath his shirt. “Take this. It'll keep you safe. Now go.” His voice seemed to make the ground shake and now afraid not only for him but a bit of him, she took the necklace and ran. Klaus growled at the sight but Stiles just turned towards him, hands clenched in fists. “I knew you had a big ego, but I didn't realize you were quite so arrogant.” Stiles snapped, and Klaus fell to his knees in pain. “You think you're so clever and so powerful that you never even considered that someone would actually be capable of standing against you. I am and I won't be claimed by you or anyone else. I will kill you before that can happen.”
“I. Can't. Die.” Klaus snarled against the pain, but he couldn't rise from his knees, instead dropping to his hands as well.
“That's where you're wrong.” in that instant the pain stopped and Klaus looked up to see Stiles crumpled on the ground, Elijah behind him.
“What took you so bloody long?” Klaus demanded, and Elijah shrugged, fixing his jacket.
“I wished to see if he was capable of actually stopping you. It would seem he is.”
Klaus glared but didn't argue.
“Did you find Elena while you waited?” Klaus snapped, and Elijah shook his head.
“It would seem the pendant Stiles gave her acted as a shield. It was as if she'd never entered the woods.” Klaus opened his mouth to snap at his brother again but closed it again in a frown, looking down at the boy on the ground.
“Just what is he?”
“You did what ?” Derek demanded, and Erica flinched back though her expression remained defiant.
“Stiles had obviously planned it. He got the drop on both me and the vampire.”
“That isn't good enough.” Derek growled, and Caroline glared from where she stood beside Erica.
“Seriously? This isn't our fault. If you were so worried why didn't you escort them? Clearly you're the only one that can get any say in edgewise when it comes to Stiles. If you knew he'd do something, you should have done something about it. Standing here blaming us won't get us anywhere.” Derek's eyes flashed red and Erica actually put a hand on Caroline's arm, easing her back.
“Alright, as worrying it is that Elena and Stiles are gone, we need to figure out where they are and why they ran.” Stefan tried to jump in and placate, but to no success.
“That part isn't hard to guess.” Lydia snapped. “Stiles wants to try and make the deal with Elijah so that everyone can get along. Of course the chances of him getting what he wants are fairly slim in this case, but he's an optimist. He has to try.”
“Right, and so he probably set up a meeting.” Alison concurred, following Lydia's line of thought. “That means one of the originals, most likely Elijah, had to be close by.”
“With two humans in his care, he probably didn't go far.” Jackson pitched in. “Just far enough to be out of earshot.” when everyone looked at him he gave a self conscious shrug, but Peter agreed with him.
“Jackson's right. He would want to go somewhere Stiles and Elena would feel at ease, but not somewhere they could be overheard.” he tilted his head towards the Salvatore's curiously. “Anywhere come to mind?”
“It could be anywhere in the woods between here and the Mikaelson manor.” Stefan said with a frown, and Peter glanced over at Derek who nodded.
“Let's go.” he decided, and his pack immediately began to follow him out.
“Go?” Damon cut in, “Go where?”
“To comb the forest.” That was the only response he got, but he grabbed his coat, Stefan and Caroline following.
“You're staying here.” Damon ordered as Jeremy tried to follow them, and when he balked, Alaric put a hand on his shoulder.
“We're both staying. Bonnie too.” he cast a warning glance at the witch but she didn't argue. Matt had already left to work at the grill so that had them covered. “It's safer this way.”
Though unhappy, Jeremy agreed, and watched the rest of them leave.
They'd been combing the forest for hours and darkness had fallen when Isaac heard the noise. It was the sound of something frightened moving through the woods, and cocking his head, he recognized the steps as human. He glanced over at Scott who he'd been paired with for the search, and the other wolf nodded. He'd heard it too. Moving slowly, the two made towards the sound, and moments later Elena skittered out from between the trees, eyes wide and frightened, mud and blood smudged across her skin, hands clamped around something, hair wild. She nearly ran directly into Isaac and he caught her easily, setting her back on her feet and keeping her steady as she struggled initially.
“Hey, hey! It's just us. Isaac and Scott. You know Scott, right?” he waved Scott forward and Elena's eyes landed on him.
“Scott.” her gaze moved back to Isaac. “Isaac.” she seemed to slump, knees giving out, but Isaac caught her easily, supporting her.
“What happened?” Isaac asked,
“Where's Stiles?” Scott asked simultaneously.
“Elijah brought us to the woods but Klaus was there too. He said-” she let out a shuddering breath. “He said he'd only accept the deal if he could have Stiles as well.” Both werewolves growled and she trembled but kept on. “I don't know what happened but suddenly Stiles was saying no and telling him he wouldn't get anything, and Klaus went flying when he tried to stop us from leaving and Stiles told me to run. He threw this to me and said it would keep me safe.” she finally opened her hands and both recognized Stiles' wolf talisman. “Then he told me to run and it was like the whole world shook.” the wolves shared a worried look and Elena noticed. “What is it? What does it mean?”
“That isn't important,” Isaac said, trying to guide Elena forward a step, but when her knees gave out again he just swept her into his arms, one arm across her back and the other under her knees, her arms looping weakly around his neck. “What is important is that if he didn't catch up with you, it means they have him, and that won't end well.” Isaac looked at Scott and once more they exchanged nods. Then Scott was howling, and the pack howled in response.
“What was that?” Elena asked, voice soft, and Isaac glanced down at her half lidded eyes, nearly closed from exhaustion. He wondered how long she'd been running scared, but shook the thought off. It wasn't important.
“He told them we found you.”
“Oh. Thank you.” Isaac just looked back down at her in surprise, which only grew when her arms tightened a bit.
“Finding me.” he realized the talisman was still clutched in her hands and could just nod.
“Of course.” The older Salvatore appeared first, and Isaac looked back up.
“Elena!” he exclaimed, flashing over and pulling her into his own arms.
“Damon,” she murmured, head falling against his shoulder even as her hand reached for Isaac briefly, and Isaac was surprised to catch the flash of panic in the bright blue eyes of the vampire he faced. When Elena pulled back her hand and closed her eyes, he looked up at Isaac.
“Thank you,” he said softly enough that Elena wouldn't hear, and Isaac blinked in surprise, only able to nod. As quickly as he'd appeared, Damon was off, and Scott just shrugged when Isaac glanced over. It seemed Elena was as central to their group as Stiles was to their own, and that was something Isaac could understand. He knew they all felt panic at the idea of Stiles being gone, an idea they'd all had to face multiple times. It never became easier. He realized then that Elena had left Stiles necklace in his hand, and he felt his unease grow. If Stiles had given Elena the charm it meant he'd believed she'd be in real danger because he never took it off otherwise. It had been a gift from Derek that Stiles treasured above most things, and if he'd taken it off, the danger he'd assumed to face must have been great. Derek and the others appeared, and Isaac wordlessly handed his alpha the necklace. Derek froze, but after a brief moment slid it on, and howled into the night sky. They all howled with him, knowing what it meant. They were coming for Stiles. Tonight.
Stiles woke up with a jolt, sure he'd just heard his pack howling. When he fully came back to himself though, he heard nothing but the crackle of a fire. With a groan for the pounding in his head, Stiles tried to shift, and found himself chained to a chair once again. Opening his eyes he tugged on his bonds.
“This is familiar.” he noted, tone lighthearted. “Even the symbols look the same. Do you guys all get your stuff custom made at the same place?” he wondered out loud, finally looking to see not only the two brothers, but all three of the originals he'd met before.
“Only the best for you.” Klaus mocked, stepping closer, brandy sifter in hand. “That was quite the impressive show of power back there.” Rather than answer, Stiles just glared, noticing that sometime in between the forest and this chair, his shirt had been removed.
“You know, it's more than a little bit creepy to wake up without a shirt on when I know for a fact I was wearing one earlier.” he glanced around at the room and shook his head in disappointment. “I thought you guys would be smarter than this.” he noted in mock disappointment. “Your house? Really? As if this isn't the first place they'll look for me.”
Klaus just shrugged, settling into a chair directly in front of him.
“They can find us if they wish, but they can't beat us.”
“Without a white oak stake, right?” Stiles rolled his eyes, and they all stiffened.
“What do you know about that?” Came Rebekah's icy voice, and Stiles just gave her a bland stare.
“You really think I wouldn't figure out how to take you down in case you guys decided to turn on me and my pack? God how stupid are you.” Rebekah snarled, and a slap rang out, Stiles' head snapping to the side, cheek red from impact. She'd actually managed to slap him hard enough to split his lip, something he found impressive, but he just stared impassively as he licked the blood from his lip. “You can hit me all you want,” he told her, voice bland, “But it won't change how stupid this decision was.”
“You-” Rebekah began, but froze when both brothers chastised her at once.
“That. Is. Enough.” Klaus cut in when Rebekah finally made to argue, and though her glare was poisonous, she moved away. Klaus turned back to Stiles. “Curious. Your blood smells human, but it also smells like-” he broke off, searching for the word, and Elijah provided one.
“Home.” Rebekah muttered.
“Family.” Elijah finished. The looks the three siblings exchanged were almost wistful, but Stiles didn't want himself to empathize. Not when he was sitting chained to a chair – but dammit, he did anyways.
“So what does that mean then,” Stiles shrugged, the chains clinking. “I smell like what you want most? That's also kind of creepy if you think about it.” he informed them, but none responded, still each lost in thought. It was Klaus who finally broke it.
“We noticed the lovely tattoos you've covered yourself in when we were bringing you back here.” Klaus said, and Stiles lifted a brow, not willing to reply until Klaus had explained his interest in his tattoos. He knew what they meant, and what they did, but he didn't want to accidentally give anything away that the originals wouldn't know. “I found it particularly curious that there are some that none of us can touch.”
“Niklaus came the closest, but some of your tattoos seem to be particularly vampire repelling.”
Stiles grinned, knowing exactly which ones they were talking about.
“Neat, isn't it?” he crowed, and there were frowns all around.
“Why can we not touch them?” Klaus asked, and Stiles just rolled his eyes.
“I'm not going to tell you that. I'm chained to a chair. If you think I'm going to willingly give you information that could in any way harm myself and those I care about while in a position where you could harm both them and me, then you're sorely mistaken.” Klaus just flashed closer, catching his chin in his hand and forcing their gazes to meet. Of course, Stiles hadn't resisted. He knew it was time to give up the fact that he couldn't be compelled.
“Tell us what they mean.” he ordered, and Stiles just rolled his eyes, surprising the originals once more.
“Yeah, about that, I can't be compelled.”
“No, I let you think you had. I will tell you what one of the many tattoos you can't touch does, just because it amuses me.” he made it clear in his tone that he still thought he had the upper hand, chained down or not; that he was giving them information not because he had to, but because he found it entertaining. All three bristled at the idea. “In the ink is a mix of vervain and a couple other things, which makes it impossible to compel me. Good job trying though. You get points for effort.”
“Is that where the source of your powers are? In these markings?” Klaus demanded, and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“Well perhaps we should burn them off of you,” Klaus snarled, patience clearly thin, “Then you will have no choice but to answer our questions.”
Stiles just shrugged.
“You can try. But you won't like the results.”
“And why is that?”
“Because one of us will get hurt.” he turned a sharp, maddening grin in Klaus' direction. “And I would hate to ruin that pretty face of yours.” Klaus had a sudden and firm grip on the back of Stiles' neck, leaning over him from behind.
“You are not nearly as smart as you think you are, but you're still very human. I could kill you without even a thought.” he snarled and Stiles just let out a bark of tight laughter.
“But you won't.” the sound he heard next was almost feral.
“Brother, he's right. We do not want him dead.” Elijah cut in, voice soft, and Klaus released him angrily.
“Then what would you have us do? He refuses to tell us anything of any use. All we know is that we are drawn to him, but why?” Elijah could only shake his head, but eased his brother back, moving closer to Stiles, obviously trying to be the friendly face of reason. It just made Stiles angry. He was testing the chains for weak links, and every time he found one he pressed it with his spark, corroding the links, breaking them down. Soon enough he'd be free, and so would his power.
“You came up with the deal for Elena, but why? What did you stand to gain from bartering such a deal?” Elijah asked, and Stiles just cocked his head at him, all of that sarcastic amusement fleeing his expression.
“You think you're so clever.” Stiles noted softly, and felt all three gazes on him. “But you aren't. You thought I would just let go of the fact that you couldn't even respect a simple request?” his amber eyes flashed dangerously, and all three saw it this time, the darkness lurking behind those whiskey coloured eyes. “The deal we offered was one everyone would prosper from, but you didn't even wait the moment to consider it, did you? You're so greedy . So selfish, and arrogant. The lot of you.” he focused on Elijah then. “You were supposed to be the noble one. You were supposed to be trustworthy enough to at least follow through with the agreed terms of our meeting.” he finally looked away from the eldest brother, ignoring as he nearly stumbled back a step. “All three of you are cowards.”
“I am not afraid of anything.” Klaus argued, but Stiles just turned his gaze on him, and that sharp smile returned.
“Aren't you?” the hybrid stubbornly shook his head and so Stiles complied. “You hide behind your anger, arrogance, and violence so that nobody sees the truth; you're a vindictive soul because you've been wronged. Betrayed. Deemed unworthy of anyone's love and affection. And so to protect yourself you become just that; you betray people, hurt them, kill them, and act as if nothing can touch you. That isn't the truth. Everything touches you, and you hate yourself and everyone else for it. But most of all you just want to be loved, accepted, and respected.” Klaus just stared at him and he stared right back, knowing he was right, and wondering what would happen now that he'd stripped the defences away for even his siblings to now see the truth.
“Leave us.” Klaus finally said, voice no longer angry, or threatening, just soft, surprising everyone.
“Brother, are you-”
“I won't kill him, Elijah.” was all Klaus said, in that same soft voice, and Elijah just nodded, taking Rebekah's arm and leading her out of the room. There was silence until the front door closed, and Stiles realized they'd probably gone to keep anyone looking for him away from the house.
“So what now?” Stiles asked, breaking the silence as he grew uncomfortable under Klaus' stare. The look he was receiving now wasn't something he was prepared to handle.
“How do you know such things?” Klaus finally asked, and Stiles shrugged.
“Because I pay attention.”
“That's all?” Klaus asked with a small disbelieving laugh, but it still wasn't angry, something Stiles' didn't understand. He just nodded, knowing he must look guarded now, but he couldn't focus enough to hide it. It just didn't make sense. “I suppose that makes sense. Observation can tell you a lot about an individual.” Klaus allowed, and Stiles frowned. Where was this going? “Until it comes to you. You don't make a lick of sense.”
“And I like it that way.” Stiles agreed, but Klaus frowned, and there was an expression he knew how to deal with.
“Yet that's what got you into trouble in the first place.”
At that Stiles managed a laugh.
“No, my insatiable curiosity is what got me in trouble in the first place. And really, my friends know me quite well.”
“And Derek Hale?”
“He knows me even better.”
“Because you belong to him.” Klaus clarified, moving closer, and it made Stiles' skin itch uncomfortably.
“We belong to each other.” Stiles countered, and Klaus cocked his head, moving close enough to lean forward and take a deep breath.
“You smell of wolves, but you smell mostly of him. Is that because you're partners?”
“Mates. It's called mates. Partners works too, but that word doesn't go deep enough.” Stiles knew he wouldn't normally give this information away for free to the person who had him chained to a chair, but the look Klaus was giving him compelled him to prove a relationship that could very well protect him from the very look currently aimed in his direction.
“It's a soul bond. The wolf part chooses the mate, human or otherwise, and the mate is usually drawn to the wolf in return. It's a bond of someone's very essence, tying them together.”
“And a wolf only has one mate?”
“For life. Yeah. And no, before you ask, they don't share mates. Unless there's like a three way mate thingy going on, but that's super rare and super complicated. Basically all three would be mates with each other. But like I said, otherwise, they don't share.”
“It can't always be romantic though, can it? That seems unlikely, and a bit fairytale.”
“I can't speak for anyone else, but it's romantic for me.” Stiles said firmly, and Klaus just hummed, spinning the chair he'd used earlier around so it faced Stiles before he sat down. They were level now, but it gave Stiles no comfort. It wasn't hard to guess now what Klaus wanted, though what he didn't know was what the original would do about it.
“Tell me something else about your mate.” Klaus said suddenly, and Stiles went absolutely still, feeling as if his chest was constricting. What about Derek? He wondered, having seen Klaus' desire for violence clearly enough before. “Being an alpha, does that change anything for you? Being his mate?” he asked, and it wasn't a question Stiles had expected.
“Yes,” he admitted, knowing it wasn't something worth lying about.
“What does it change?”
“My hearing's sharper. So is my vision. Sense of smell is a bit better I suppose. And I think I'm actually a bit faster if I think about it, but I've never really payed that much attention.” he was so lost along that train of thought that he didn't notice Klaus lean in.
“So you gain some of his traits.” Klaus confirmed, and Stiles shrugged.
“No. My own senses are just increased. Doesn't really have much to do with him, other than that it's being his mate that makes the change.” he shrugged again. “In a way its based off that then, but not really. It's complicated and it's a werewolf thing anyways.”
“You say that as if it's an excuse of something being complicated.” and it was clear that Klaus was amused by this.
“That's because it is.” then he took a risk and tugged on his chains so they made an audible clank. “These are really uncomfortable though, and it's chilly in here. I'd really like my shirt back.”
“Sorry, love. Can't have a repeat performance of the events earlier.” then he cocked his head, examining the chains. “These chains have runes against all sorts of things, half of which I've never heard of,” he moved closer, too close in Stiles' opinion, and started studying the markings. “Which one are you?”
“You won't find out based on these chains.” Stiles said easily, because it was true, he wouldn't, but while he might usually allow someone to waste their time searching, he didn't like having Klaus so close, it made his skin itch.
“Do your strange tattoos protect you from that as well?” Klaus asked, and Stiles gave him a hard stare.
“Unless you're trying to say that my tattoos suddenly make you unable to read runes, then no. But what I am isn't like anything these runes describe so you can stare at them all you want, but you won't find a thing.” Stiles' temper was becoming more and more impatient, and he was also growing worried. Where was his pack? If Elijah and Rebekah had found it necessary to patrol, it must mean they were close, but where? And would they be alright in the face of the two originals? He knew they were fast, and strong, and certainly capable, but they were still his pack, and he was alpha's mate, they were his to protect as much as they were Derek's. On top of that, it was also his job to protect Derek, and the reckless things his alpha could get up to when someone wasn't there to help were enough to send Stiles into a panic. Of course, he did know that Derek probably felt the same way about him, but that wasn't the point. He began to take in more about his surroundings, leaving the chains and their weaknesses to his spark. It didn't like being contained any more than he did, but was much more violent about changing it. Though his mind was spinning with these possibilities, he'd barely paused a second while he spoke. “You know, it's really chilly in here. So if you're so keen on solving my tattoos, take a picture, but I really would like my shirt back and I don't think I should have to quote on how inappropriate this is, considering i am so a minor for you. Like so much of a minor that I'm like practically worth like a couple dozen life sentences in jail kind of minor.”
“I can't be put in a jail, love. To begin, how would they even catch me? And even if they could manage that near impossible feat, how on earth would they figure out how to keep me locked away?” he gave a smile as if he were charmed by Stiles' youth and lack of knowledge, which Stiles found more than a little irritating. “That is, if they can't be compelled to forget why they'd come in the first place.” Klaus continued speaking but Stiles' attention slipped away, turning to his surrounding again. He was trapped in a chair, but he needed to know more than that. There were no doors in the doorways, that was important. Not only would it make running easier, but it would mean a lack of barriers to throw in the way. He could smell warm metal, but considering how he was in chains and despite his complaints at being cold, he was actually quite warm. He dismissed the metal. Second thing of importance to note; they were on the main floor because he could see level with the outside in the closest window. He could also see the forest beyond that, so if he could make it to the forest, his pack might be able to get to him before he was caught again. Once again, Despite his complaints that it was cold, he wasn't actually cold due to the fire burning: as a tool, he could use it to burn the house, add fuel to make it larger, or simply spread it.
That's when he noticed the smell again. Something metal was burning so hot, and his eyes finally zeroed in on the flames and he saw it. There was a thin metal grate red hot in the flames, and Stiles felt the instant wave of fear that crashed over him at the sight. It seemed the hybrid was capable of using some of his wolf abilities, because his nostrils flared and he was suddenly going pale.
“Smell my fear. Yeah. I know. My emotions, if I don't reign them in, smell about 100 times stronger than humans etcetera. So yeah. You were just hit with my fear because you've shown an awful lot of interest in my tattoos and its no secret then that having at least some of them removed would be in your interest. Pair that with the red hot grate in the fireplace and I'm sure you can figure out why I smell like fear.” He said it so sarcastically, and with such a snarl, that Klaus seemed taken aback a moment. Then he glanced at the fire and stood, removing the metal from the flames, much to Stiles' agitation, only to rush it out of the room, returning empty handed but along with the distinct sound of steam as cold water hit a hot surface. Stiles nearly gaped at the unusually kind action, but instead turned his attention back to the chains. His spark had broken down nearly half of the magical properties surrounding them, but part of him was now curious, despite how furious he was, to learn what was provoking the unusually careful actions of the hybrid.
“Though I won't say that isn't a weight off my mind, I'm a bit confused.”
“I don't want to hurt you – but there's just something about you. I need you here – we all do. I cannot understand why and you refuse to tell me. And yet I also hate weakness. In myself for the most part, and you provide a curious one. Were it necessary, would I be able to properly harm you?” Klaus mused, and Stiles narrowed his eyes.
“I'll be happy not to find out.”
“And yet,” Klaus continued, as if he hadn't heard Stiles' response, “Your blood sings to me. It is as if every cell in my body screams for your blood on my tongue.” he stepped forward, suddenly back across the room, sitting back in the chair opposite Stiles. “Perhaps you would be willing to tell me if that is a regular occurrence as well? Because I can assure you, despite the centuries of knowledge I have collected, this is the first time I've lusted after a specific person's blood, and not just blood in general.” he paused, “Though it isn't as if I feel a need to drink it necessarily, just desire to be around it.” he paused again, giving an almost arrogant smirk. “Which brings us back to the question of why I so readily share this information with you.” The idea of Klaus or any of the vampires drinking his blood made him want to cringe, but Stiles knew better, so instead he distracted with words as he seemed an expert at.
“To be honest, the supernatural have always been drawn to me and I won't say I don't know some of the why, but I certainly don't know all of it. As for the bloodlust, I can assure you, I don't taste nearly as good as i smell. Sort of like eating flowers. They smell very pretty, but taste vile.” he grinned at the arched brow. “Yes, that does mean I've tested the theory.” he tilted his head, giving a smirk of his own. “As for why you tell me everything, I'm assuming it's my sparkling personality.” Klaus just gave a hum, and suddenly the veins around his eyes appeared, his eyes turning beta yellow. Stiles wondered briefly if that meant he was actually a beta, of if it weren't for the veins that they would be the gold of an omega. Without warning, Klaus was moving and grabbed him from behind. Stiles felt the shock of pain as the hybrid's teeth pierced the skin on his throat and gave a strangled gasp of pain. His body tried to react to push him away but he was still restrained by both magical and physical bonds. He felt his vision become spotty and unable to get away no matter how much he struggled, he could do nothing but succumb to the darkness.
When he felt Stiles slump in the chair, unconscious, Klaus released his hold, licking the blood from his lips. Amazed, he just stared at the boy in disbelief, until he heard the weak pulse, and then he flashed into action, biting into his own wrist and pressing it to Stiles' mouth. Then he stood straight again, looking around in shock. Something about this blood felt different , but he wasn't sure if it was good or not. The initial taste was exactly as he'd hoped; but for some reason, it sat like lead in his stomach. Shaking the thought away, he heard his siblings returning and moved to greet them.
Elijah slid through the forest, quiet as the midnight breeze, listening to the wolves that combed through the forest towards the mansion slowed by the many vampires Klaus had turned in order to use them as guards before he'd become a hybrid. He could hear the Salvatores and Miss Forbes as well, but ignored them. They weren't what he needed. He found what he needed in the form of a young man with curly blonde hair and blue eyes that flashed gold when he caught sight of the original.
“Yes, you'll do nicely.” he said as he rushed the werewolf, knocking him unconscious and then lifting him easily.
“You truly think we need hostages?” Rebekah asked, appearing beside him, voice a whisper, and Elijah nodded.
“I think the only thing Stiles cares enough about to give himself for is his family. These wolves are his family.” He paused, expression serious so his sister wouldn't misunderstand. “We do not need to harm them; we just need them there to convince Stiles to accept a bargain so we can release them once more.” Rebekah nodded, and was off in a flash. There was a soft growl, which the other wolves replied to, but the original source of the growl never responded, and soon Rebekah reappeared with a curly haired blonde she-wolf in her arms.
“This should do.” she said, and Elijah nodded. Together, they returned to the house.
Klaus met them at the door, eyes appraising the young wolves in their arms.
“Stiles should wake back up momentarily.” he ignored Elijah's sharp look. “Make sure the little wolves are awake too, but keep them quiet.” he glanced behind him at the man on the ground that was shaking his head as if dizzy. Elijah lifted a brow and Klaus smirked.
“I thought I might need a minion.” he joked, and flashed over to crouch in front of the man. “Hullo there Jeffrey. And if that wasn't your name, it is now,” his pupils dilated and contracted with compulsion. “Now then, you're going to be a good little servant and follow my every order. You're going to stand in this doorway, silent but stoic, until I nod. When I nod, you're going to go down to the dungeon where those two young wolves will be, and torture them. Not too badly, mind you, don't need Stiles going into a frenzy. But just enough to catch the boy's attention up here.” the man nodded, unable to do anything but agree while under compulsion, but when he opened his mouth to ask a question, Klaus tsked him. “You won't be asking any questions, Jeffrey. Just following orders. Is that clear?” Jeffrey nodded again, standing in the doorway slightly unsteady, and Klaus picked up the empty blood bags that had been on the ground beside him. “Toss these out, will you? Then come straight back here. There's a good lad.” he said as the vampire flashed off. Elijah was frowning.
“Don't worry, Elijah. It will be fine. I only drank some of his blood.”
“Enough to make him unconscious.”
Not wanting to get involved, Rebekah hailed the new vampire, getting him to take the male wolf from Elijah's arms and leading the way downstairs. The brothers paid them no mind.
“Really, he'll be fine as soon as he wakes.” Klaus lowered his voice conspiratorially. “I've never tasted anything quite so divine, Elijah. As if his taste is the epitome of goodness.” Elijah looked startled, especially by the look of ease in Klaus' eyes, but he finally nodded.
“Very well. Do be careful though. We already know how strongly he reacted when it was only Elena that seemed threatened, as we had not actually threatened her yet when he attacked you. Imagine what his reaction could be when he finds we've taken members of his pack.”
“I hope that he is still bound enough by the chains to feel obligated to bargain with us.” Elijah heaved a sigh but again conceded. Though he did not necessarily agree with the means, he too wanted to assure that Stiles would remain with them indefinitely.
“I will leave you to your devices then, brother. Rebekah and I will return outside. We do not wish to interfere.” he turned, then looked back briefly. “You will call for us when you are finished?” Klaus nodded and Elijah was off in yet another flash. Klaus was joined moments later by Jeffrey, and patted the man on the shoulder.
“Back to work then.”
When Stiles came to, his head was spinning, and he could feel the stickiness of his own blood on his throat. He no longer felt lightheaded, and wondered if Klaus had given him his blood to heal him and replenish his strength. When his senses focused, he found himself still in the chair, across the room from Klaus once more, but this time there was a new vampire there as well, standing in the doorway as if waiting for something. Stiles focused back on Klaus, on the sharp gaze of the hybrid watching him.
“That was rude.” he finally snapped out, and Klaus let out a bark of laughter.
“I suppose it was, and I supposed an apology is owed, but you must admit, neither of us expected your blood to taste quite like that .” Stiles just glared and Klaus shrugged. “No matter. That is not of importance right now. What is, is the bargain I wish to make with you.” Caught off guard, Stiles could only blink as Klaus spoke. Bargain? Since when did Klaus want to present a bargain? His brain scrambled to keep up as Klaus continued to speak. “The bargain is this; we will release you, as long as you promise to remain with us.”
Stiles just scoffed, having expecting something more reasonable or at least more likely.
“Fat chance. As soon as I'm out of these chains,” he trailed off, giving a sharp smile that promised bloodshed.
“You'll do as I wish, because if you don't, I'll have to find a way to persuade you.” Stiles just continued to smirk, and Klaus nodded at the man standing in the doorway. Moments later he heard a pained cry, and Stiles stiffened, smile dropping from his lips. Klaus not only had him, but Isaac as well, and as soon as the shock faded, Stiles snarled, fighting against the chains.
“Let him go.” he demanded, and Klaus smirked, recognizing that he'd finally found one of the youth's weaknesses.
“You think he's the only one we have?” there was a growl and Stiles recognized it as Erica. He closed his eyes. The hybrid must have caught them when he was unconscious from having his blood drained, but it made him want to raze the building to the ground, and his spark agreed.
“If you don't let them go, I will destroy you.” Klaus chuckled, clearly disbelieving, and Stiles heard another sound of pain from Isaac.
“I don't think you're in a position to threaten, love.” Stiles opened his eyes again and could feel his spark burning under his skin, lashing out against the magic in the chains to get at this creature who thought he could use his pack against him and survive, but Stiles knew it was never as simple as his spark seemed to want to it be. Isaac cried out again and Stiles snapped.
“Okay! I'll do whatever you want. Just let them go.” Klaus' grin was a look of someone who knew they'd won, and Stiles gritted his teeth.
“How do I know you'll follow through?”
Stiles' lips pursed in a thin line.
“Get me a knife.” Though he lifted a brow, Klaus was gone in a flash, reappearing an instant later with a blade. “Okay, gently cut a line on my palm.” though it surprised him, Klaus was as gentle as he could be. “Now you.” Klaus followed suit, and guessing Stiles' next words, clasped their hands together, their blood mingling. “I vow to stay with you, as long as you and those connected to you let my friends go and swear to never harm any of them again. In any way.” though he'd been grinning earlier, Klaus now looked solemn.
“Jeffrey.” the vampire who'd disappeared in order to torture his friends reappeared, and Klaus nodded.
“I accept your vow.” they both felt the snap of power when Stiles' spark locked the vow in place. Stiles winced and Klaus watched curiously before releasing the youths hand, unlocking the chains and allowing them to be removed. Stiles stood slowly, expression pained. He grabbed his shirt, shrugging it back on, and then nodded at the doorway.
“Let them go now.” his voice was steel and Klaus nodded, disappearing. Stiles closed his eyes, pained. I'm sorry Derek. He thought, before looking over at the one Klaus has called Jeffrey. In a flash of movement he threw his arm out towards the other before clenching his hand into a fist. In an instant, the internal organs of the other were all simultaneously crushed into dust, sending him to the ground, skin desiccating. Klaus reappeared moments later, glancing briefly at Jeffrey before lifting a brow at Stiles.
“He hurt my friends.” Stiles said, and Klaus said nothing, instead changing the subject.
“How would you like your friends to return to the others?” Klaus asked, and Stiles stiffened.
“I'll send them.” he walked stiffly towards Klaus, following him down to the dank dungeon that seemed to exist below all of the houses belonging to creepy vampires in this town, and Stiles was faced with Isaac and Erica. He quickly stepped towards the cage they were in, swinging the door open and moving towards them quickly, gathering them both into his arms and ignoring the curious gaze of the hybrid standing in the cell opening.
“You can't stay here, Stiles. You can't.” Erica ordered, though her voice sounded heartbroken as she pressed her cheek to his. Isaac had his face tucked against Stiles' neck. He let out a whine of agreement and Stiles felt the tears in his eyes. God, how was he supposed to manage without them? Without his pack? Without Derek? He shook the thought off, releasing both of his friends and putting a hand on each of their cheeks.
“I have to. This is how I'm keeping you safe, okay?” he kissed Erica's forehead, and felt his spark wrap around her, prepared to take her where it thought she'd be safe, and Stiles knew that would mean with Derek. Before she could disappear she turned a sharp glare on Klaus behind Stiles, gaze full of rage and hate.
“If you hurt my batman, that fear you felt for your father won't even compare with what you'll feel when you face what I've got planned for you.” she disappeared in the wake of his shock and Isaac lurched forward to cling to Stiles again. Stiles felt his cool tears against his skin and the burn of his own that still wanted to fall, but again he blinked them back again, turning to breathe words into Isaac's ear. The beta looked surprised when he leaned back, but then he gave a smirk that matched the danger level of Erica's. He nodded and Stiles pressed a kiss to his forehead as well, watching as he too disappeared to where his spark knew was safest. When they were both gone, he just stayed where he was on the cage floor, wondering if Klaus would leave him there or try and force him to move. Instead, the hybrid spoke.
“What words did you say that gave the boy such courage?”
Stiles stood, turning to face the hybrid.
“Just because I agreed to stay with you doesn't mean I'm going to suddenly jump to answer all of your questions.” he stepped closer as if to move pass, but Klaus didn't move. “And now you're going to show me to a room unless you want me to assign myself one, because once I do, I won't be allowing anyone else in.” without warning, Klaus caught him up and flashed upstairs, stopping in front of a closed door.
“This can be your room, but you can't hide in there forever, love.”
Stiles just gave a deadly look.
“I'm going to take the next 24 hours to myself. I don't want food, or company, or anything. Just leave me completely alone.”
“That's a tall order, love.” the look only grew darker.
“You just forced me to give up my pack; my family, my friends, my mate . I think I deserve some time to myself.” the words suggested Klaus could disagree, but the tone did not.
Stiles turned to face the door, but the moment he touched the handle he felt the needle slip under his skin, injecting something into his system. It hit him immediately, dizzying his vision and making his limbs heavy.
“What've you done?” he slurred, and Klaus shushed him.
“Just making Elijah's job easier, love. It's time to leave Mystic Falls, and making sure you can't warn your pack will make it easier to get you out of here before they realize we're gone.” Panic spiked through Stiles, but he couldn't do anything about it.
“I can't l-” he tried to protest, but his eyes slipped closed and he slipped into darkness, panic wrapping around him. The boy went limp and he lifted him into his arms easily.
“Your turn Elijah; Rebekah. I'm going to start the trip. Meet us there when you're done.” he started for the back door, prepared to run back to the small town to collect the car he'd left there. “Oh, and try not to get bitten.”
“He's always such an ass.” Rebekah grumbled as they heard Nicklaus leave the house, and Elijah sighed, fixing his jacket.
“Let's get this over with so we can join them.” he lead the way out of the house, not having to travel far to reach the pack. They came to a stop in front of the two originals, and the originals did not bother to hide their interest in how the wolves aligned themselves. Both of the curly haired wolves they'd taken were there, but they were both guarded by other betas. Derek stood in the very front, flanked on both sides by his pack, but there was a clear notion of where Stiles belonged, in the slightest of spaces to Derek's right.
“I am glad to see the two members of your pack have been returned to you in good fashion. I always worry that Nicklaus will change his mind about that sort of thing.” understanding what her brother was doing, Rebekah relaxed, drawling out an agreement.
“He's never been very good at following rules or answering demands, has he?”
“Where is Stiles?” Derek demanded, ignoring the banter, and Rebekah huffed out a breath.
“And here I thought you were here to visit us.” she returned with mock disappointment. It only got her growls in reply.
“He's not here.” Stefan interjected, appearing on the other side of the originals with Caroline, opposite the wolves.
“Neither is Klaus.” Damon added, appearing seconds later.
“This is quite the predicament then, isn't it?” Peter mused aloud in that dangerously calm voice. “Where would the dear hybrid have taken him?”
Elijah brushed invisible dust from his sleeves, acting as if he hadn't heard the threatening tone of the older Hale's voice.
“My siblings and I are of like minded opinions that if we were to stay in Mystic Falls it would create unneeded conflict. We've decided to withdraw.” there was only a moments breath before all hell broke loose. Derek roared in anger and his whole pack lurched forward behind him as if to attack. Before they could move, a shrill whistle pierced the air and complete silence fell as the wolves stilled.
Elijah watched as a petite red head stepped out from behind the wolves, moving to stand in front of them.
“I think you're confused.” she provided, voice patronizing as she faced Elijah, and he didn't miss how the eldest Hale moved to flank her protectively. “We aren't really asking that you tell us where Stiles is. We are informing you that telling us is in your best interest.” she gave a razor sharp smile. “You see, we know how to hurt you, and we know how to kill you.”
“We are immortal. You cannot kill us, stupid girl.” Rebekah snapped, but Elijah shushed her, watching the girl carefully. Noticing his gaze, the young woman smiled, this one no less cutting than the last.
“That's where you're wrong.” she tossed her hair and with the motion Elijah heard a faint click. In an instant he caught hold of Rebekah and pulled her back, just in time. A wooden arrow stuck out of the ground, and from the angle it could very well have been fatal. In an instant, the arrow was in his hand, and he watched the human huntress land as she leapt from the boughs of a tree, moving to stand amongst her pack.
“This is white oak.” he noted softly, looking back at the redhead, and Lydia nodded primly.
“How did you get this?” though the news was threatening, he kept a cool exterior.
“Stiles informed you about how we only enter a situation prepared, didn't he?” Lydia inquired, and Elijah nodded. “Well. This is us being prepared.” The smile dropped, replaced with an icy glare. “So give him back to us. Or we will kill you.”
The ground began to shake and everyone went completely still, the pack exchanging glances.
“What the hell was that?” Damon demanded, knowing for a fact that Mystic Falls hadn't had an earthquake maybe ever.
“That was Stiles panicking without an anchor.” One of the betas said matter-of-factly, and Elijah and Rebekah exchanged glances.
“Stiles is able to control and manipulate immense amounts of power. Creatures with that sort of strength need to have anchors to keep them from losing control.” Derek snapped.
“But can an anchor not be anything the bearer of such power chooses?” Elijah asked, and Derek narrowed his eyes.
“Sometimes. Sometimes you don't really have much of a choice.”
“And what is his anchor?”
“It isn't so much a what as a who.” Peter snapped, gaze leading them to look back at Derek.
“I see.” With a glance at Rebekah, both Elijah and his sister disappeared, leaving the pack alone with the three vampires. Furious and worried, Derek howled, and immediately the ground stopped shaking. Rather than relieving him though, it just made Derek more worried.
Elijah and Rebekah reached the car along the highway just as Stiles was waking up. He gasped for breath as if he'd been drowning and just finally managed to break the surface, and Elijah flashed into the backseat, checking the humans vitals as Rebekah slammed the doors and Klaus screeched off again, watching Elijah in the mirror curiously. Stiles was just watching him in shock, still gasping in breaths.
“How are you feeling?” Elijah finally asked when he was satisfied with his own checks, and Stiles blinked to focus.
“Um,” he swallowed, throat dry, though he didn't realize it was from screaming. “Thirsty.” he seemed to grimace, looking around. “For water. Just to clarify.” Klaus chuckled, and nodded towards the glove compartment. Rebekah pulled out the bottle of water and tossed it back and Stiles dived on it like he hadn't had a drink in week. He drank the bottle down all at once, giving a breath of relief. “I really needed that.” he finally managed, twisting the cap on and off the now empty bottle in a repetitive motion. He glanced out the window then between the three originals. “So where are we headed? I mean, since you dragged me out of Mystic Falls.”
“Stiles, focus, please.” Elijah reprimanded, and Stiles turned a frown on the eldest sibling.
“Focus? On what?”
“How you feel.”
The frown deepened, and again he looked between them.
“Hold on a sec – how should I be feeling?” he seemed to loose all his colour all of a sudden. “Did something happen while I was unconscious?”
“If by 'something' you mean you created an earthquake and screamed nearly loud enough to make even me deaf, then yes, love, something happened.” Klaus informed him, and Stiles looked almost sickly as he slumped back into the seat.
“I was afraid of that.” he muttered, and Elijah frowned at him.
“The vow I took, it sort of semi severed me from my anchor. As long as I was in the same general vicinity, so basically as long as we were both in Mystic Falls, it was fine, but I was afraid that once the distance got bigger, there would be complications.”
“And does this effect Derek as it effects you?” Klaus asked, and Stiles shot him a dark look.
“If you're asking whether or not leaving makes you break your end of the deal, the answer is no. Derek will be pain free. I would never have done something that would have caused him harm.” his tone dripped with disgust, but Klaus just shrugged. Elijah chose that moment to step in.
“What will it do to you?”
“Oh, nothing too bad; Just make it so that every time I sleep things will get wild while my – whatever you call it – reaches for its anchor.”
“Despite your words, I care little for the effect it will have on the surrounding areas. What I do wish to know, is what it will do to you .”
Stiles shrugged, looking worn.
“Honestly, I have no idea. I've never separated myself like this before. I never planned on doing it either. I didn't particularly feel like losing control any more than I felt like losing him.”
“You couldn't have always had Derek as your anchor though,” Rebekah argued from the front, “After all, you haven't known him your whole life.”
Stiles rolled his eyes just to irritate the blonde.
“I only needed an anchor once I got to the point of needing to be anchored. Basically the stronger I got, the greater the need.”
“Can you survive without one?”
“On?” Rebekah grated out, and Stiles smirked, though he couldn't keep the sharp, nervous edge out of it.
“Need to know only.” She snarled at him but he just smirked, crossing his arms as he sat back. The three originals shared a look but none argued with him, only waited for the boy to inevitably start speaking again.
“So,” Stiles began again moments later, as they'd known he would. “Where are we headed?”
“New York, huh?” Stiles noted, trying not to sound impressed, but he couldn't help himself. New York was impressive. He looked around, trying to take in as much as possible. “What are we doing here?”
“Elijah seems to think there's a witch here powerful enough to help with your little problem.” Nicklaus informed him as the two of them wandered down the bustling street. Stiles turned a raised eyebrow on him and Klaus shrugged. “I'm not sure if I believe him, and even if he could find a witch he deemed powerful enough, how on earth would she even know where to begin when you won't tell anyone what you are?”
Stiles burst out laughing, and the sound relieved Klaus, despite his worry about the ever present dark circles that had been under the boys eyes since they'd left Mystic Falls. He'd asked them not to let him sleep, and they'd complied, though it went against their wishes to keep him unharmed.
“Any witch worth their salt will know what I am without having to ask. And they'll be wary.” he paused, giving Klaus a shrewd look. “How does Elijah plan on solving my anchor problem?”
“He wants to see if a new one can be made.” Stiles went still, freezing mid-step, and Klaus had to grab him quickly before he could get pushed over, bringing him carefully to a spot where they could stop. “You alright there, love?” Klaus asked, and Stiles gave a rueful smile.
“I think it's kind of funny.” he noted, and Klaus frowned.
“Yeah, that despite the fact that you literally tore me away from everything I care about and everything that kept me sane, you seem to be genuinely worried about my wellbeing.”
“That's because I am genuinely worried.” Klaus snapped irritably. He hated it when Stiles made him feel vulnerable like this.
“Hey, I'm not criticizing. Whatever keeps me alive, right? But I find it odd. History hasn't exactly painted you as a saint.”
“Sainthood isn't all it's cracked up to be. Ask Elijah.”
Stiles snorted out a laugh, but before Klaus could move away, Stiles slumped forward, his forehead hitting Klaus' shoulder. Klaus just moved in closer, keeping Stiles on his feet, and Stiles wondered for a moment if this would be okay. If he could be given a new anchor and had to stay with the originals for the unforeseeable future, would he be able to manage this? He leaned into Klaus, allowing the original hybrid to support him as he tried to keep himself awake, and though he hated it, he figured he could manage. He knew his pack was safe; no vampire could hurt them now because if they did, he'd be free. Not that Klaus knew that, mind, but since all those associated with Klaus couldn't do his pack any harm, that meant no vampires since every vampire could be traced back to this original family, and since even if they weren't a descendent of Klaus, they were descendent of someone who shared his blood. Man, did Stiles ever love those vaguely worded vows that provided such loopholes. Of course, he also knew that until now, the pack hadn't faced that many hostile vampires, in fact, he was fairly certain they hadn't faced any now that he thought about it, so it was likely he'd be remaining with present company for a while.
“Perhaps we should get you off the street.” Klaus suggested, softly, touch gentle as he pulled Stiles away from the wall he was leaning against. Stiles shook his head, managing to stand.
“Better to keep going.” he finally managed to say, though his face was drawn. “If I sit down I may fall asleep. I'd rather just continue avoiding that if we can.” Klaus frowned, but knew better than to argue. Of course, he was surprised when Stiles turned a beaming grin on him. “How 'bout compelling me some caffeine pills?” he asked brightly, and when Klaus sighed indulgently, Stiles finally answered his own question with a resigned yes. He would be able to deal with this just fine.
An hour later and Stiles was eating a mint chocolate chip ice cream, caffeine pills tucked safely away in Klaus' pocket since he was sure that if left to his own devices Stiles would take too many. He wasn't wrong, so Stiles didn't bother arguing.
“Is this what having a sugar daddy is like?” Stiles asked with a smirk, and Klaus found himself nearly moved to tears with laughter.
“Only for the ones that are any good.” he replied, and Stiles rolled his eyes but grinned.
“So what your saying is, yes, this is what it would be like for me.” he said it with a shit-eating grin that just worked to drive Klaus mad, and the hybrid smirked, looking away from what had become a very suggestive display of ice cream eating. Stiles burst out laughing, accidentally dropping his ice cream as he gripped a hand to his side. Klaus caught it in an instant, not a mess to be had, and Stiles stared in shock before beaming like a child. “Dude, good catch.” he accepted the cone, leading the way outside again. “Elijah's taking forever .” Stiles complained, and then looked at Klaus. “And where's Rebekah anyways? She disappeared awful quickly.”
“Probably tired of the constant switch between your griping and picking on her. I'm sure she probably thinks you're worse than Kol at the moment.” Stiles rolled his eyes.
“As if. Nobody could be worse than Kol.”
Klaus blinked in surprise, pausing a step and having to quicken his pace to match Stiles' again.
“How do you know of our youngest brother?” he asked, and Stiles shot him a look that screamed are-you-serious?
“You know. Legends. Histories. Rumours. The like. And you know, had a little sort of chat with your mother the witch on the other side. She's awful loud, for a witch whose been dead for centuries.” Klaus had gone pale and Stiles frowned at him. “What? Did you not think she'd be in the void?” Klaus shrugged, unsure of what he'd expected.
“To be completely honest, I'm caught on the fact that you said you had a sort of chat with her?”
“Yeah, indirectly. I have a friend who can hear the dead. She passed along the message.”
Klaus gave a hum before turning away from the subject. Speaking of the members of his family that weren't with them made him uncomfortable.
“Rebekah's probably shopping,” he said instead, and Stiles rolled his eyes.
“She's worse than Lydia.” he muttered. “I don't understand why they think they need so many clothes. It isn't like they'll ever actually wear it all.”
“Actually, darling, I wasn't shopping for me, I was shopping for you.” Stiles jumped at the sound of Rebekah's voice, nearly falling over, and Klaus caught him easily, though when Stiles leaned ever so slightly into him, he didn't move away. The boy was growing weaker by the hour.
“Why were you shopping for me? There's nothing wrong with my clothes.” Rebekah looked as if he'd staked her.
“You must be joking. You stink. You've been wearing the same clothes for the whole trip. It's vile.”
Stiles just glared.
“I am not going to be treated like a life size ken doll by you, barbie. If I want new clothes I'll get them myself. Who knows what you'd make me wear.” Rebekah just scoffed, tossing a bag at him. Klaus caught it before it could hit Stiles, and glanced inside.
“Surprisingly enough, love, I think this will be to your liking.” Obviously suspicious, Stiles looked into the bag, and then managed a grin.
“Alright, I've changed my mind. Continue buying me clothes.”
They ended up checking into a hotel so Stiles could shower and get dressed in some of the new clothes Rebekah had bought him; jeans, a minimalist Captain America t-shirt, a brand new red hoodie (how had she known?), and outdoors clothes; a lovely black peacoat and a red scarf. He wasn't sure if the red was a joke on how he'd been in a pack of wolves, or if it was some sick vampire joke, but either way, he liked it. When he'd showered and dressed, he looked in the bathroom mirror, wiping it clear of steam. He looked terrible; darks circles very pronounced under his eyes, though at least now he looked clean. He looked pasty too, the moles and freckles that dotted his skin stark against the almost sickly pallor. Elijah needed to find that witch, and soon. He stepped away from the counter and cursed as he felt his knees give up. His head spun, eyes going out of focus, and he waited to hit the ground. Before he could, strong arms caught him, lifting him off his feet. His mind no longer able to focus, he forgot momentarily where he was.
“Derek, I'm so tired.” he mumbled, curling towards the one who carried him, and he sighed happily when he was set down on a bed. Surprised that the boy had confused him for Derek, Klaus frowned, not sure whether or not to speak and break the illusion or allow the boy his comfort. When he began to drift to sleep though, Klaus had no choice but to speak.
“You asked me not to let you sleep though, love.” he prodded gently, and Stiles opened exhausted eyes.
“I can't stay awake any longer.” he breathed, clearly pained by the idea.
“How can I wake you if begin to lose control?” Klaus asked, and Stiles winced, but closed his eyes again.
“Pain. You'll have to hurt me.” before Klaus could argue, the boy was asleep.
Elijah arrived at the hotel later in the day and found Klaus pacing the bedroom, watching the sleeping boy.
“He finally succumbed to exhaustion?” Elijah asked, and Klaus just frowned at the sleeping figure, pausing from his pacing beside Elijah.
“Yes. He nearly fainted in the washroom and seemed to decide enough was enough. It's been four hours now though, and nothing has happened.”
“Don't speak too soon.” Elijah warned, but after a moment of watching Stiles sleep in silence, nothing happened, and Klaus spoke again.
“Did you find the witch?” he asked, and Elijah nodded.
“I did. He's very curious to meet our guest. He wishes to conduct a meeting after supper. He told me it would be best if he was as strong as he could be for the process so suggested a healthy meal first.” Klaus nodded, deciding it was time to leave the room and allow Stiles to rest without his nervous energy. There was still a couple hours until they would have to prepare for dinner, and he thought they might as well let the boy sleep until then. He certainly needed it. He and Elijah left the room, closing the doors behind them to find Rebekah flipping through a magazine on the couch.
“Finally decided to stop hovering like a mother hen, did you?” Rebekah teased, and Klaus ignored her, moving to poor himself a drink. Before he'd even reached for a glass though, they all heard Stiles begin to toss, the uneasy energy building again. Klaus rushed back to the room, Elijah on his heals, just in time to see Stiles open his mouth to scream. Quickly as he could, Elijah sped forward, clamping a hand over the boys mouth to stifle the scream, and they both moved to hold him down from thrashing. Remembering what Stiles had said about pain, Klaus motioned for Elijah to hold him steady before grabbing his wrist. Wincing at the need to do so, he held his breath, and quickly snapped the bones.
Stiles' felt the pain through the darkness, and it yanked him back into the light. His eyes flew open, tearing with the pain, and instead of screaming he looked at both the originals with wide, pained eyes.
“Would one of you mind?” he croaked, and Elijah immediately bit into his wrist, offering it to Stiles. Though he hesitated, he looked at Klaus who still held his wrist gently. “Set it first.” he asked softly, and Klaus did so, watching as Stiles bit back a scream before grabbing Elijah's wrist with his uninjured hand and bringing it to his lips. He took but a taste before he pulled away, relaxing as his wrist healed.
“Thanks, both of you.” he said, and Elijah raised a brow.
“You asked to be injured?”
“I knew it was the only way I'd be able to wake up.” he shrugged, but then he shivered, curling in on himself suddenly.
“What is it, love, are you cold?” Klaus was immediately asking, moving to push him under the blankets, but before he could do any such thing, Stiles grabbed hold of both him and Elijah, pulling the strangely close as he turned so he was sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Sorry.” they heard him mumbling, but neither moved, not wanting to break whatever fragile hold Stiles had gained back.
“Since when have we become a cuddling family?” Rebekah asked from the doorway, and Stiles gave a huff.
“They're humouring me.” he said, and both originals were surprised that he didn't deny her taunt. When Rebekah didn't respond immediately, Stiles continued, clearly teasing now as well. “If you're jealous, feel free to join. There's plenty of love to go around.”
Rebekah scoffed, but stepped tentatively closer.
“I only ask because I do not understand – why?”
Because she'd finally asked politely, Stiles finally sat up, releasing both the original brothers in order to stand.
“I may be human, but I'm still part of a pack, and more than that, I'm the alpha's mate. I need physical contact and casual intimacy about as much as I need food and water.” he paused, giving her a wink. “It's a wolf thing.” he wandered towards the door, stretching as he gave a yawn, oblivious to the stares he was receiving from all three originals. “Man, I'm starving. I would really love a steak. And fries. And probably a salad just to soothe my conscience.” he glanced over his shoulder, giving them all a surprisingly cheerful smile. “Which one of you lovely folks is buying?”
They ended up at a steakhouse, watching Stiles eat what seemed his fill and then some. By the time he was full, he'd eaten at least double of what they'd thought he could, and looked the healthiest they'd seen him since they'd met. After dinner, the three originals guided him to the home of the witch, able to recognize it now when the youth went on alert.
“Do you think it will be safe?” Rebekah asked Elijah in a whisper as they followed Stiles and Klaus up the front steps, and much to her surprise it was Stiles who answered.
“It's going to be painful, so you guys are going to have to do your best not to interfere.” At the mention of him being in pain, Klaus scowled, moving to stand between him and the door.
“Why what? Will it hurt? Because I'm still anchored to Derek. He's my true anchor. I'm literally going to be tearing the part of me that's linked to him away. It's like ripping my soul.” the look he levelled at them then was dark and cold. “I suggest you keep any further thoughts on the matter to yourself though, because this pain is all your fault. So just stay quiet and stay out of the way.” he brushed past Klaus at that, moving to knock on the door. Klaus caught his wrist before he could make contact, and Stiles lifted a brow at the surprising action. What was the hybrid thinking? Before he could ask, or Klaus could explain, the door swung open and a middle-aged man appeared, smiling brightly.
“You must be Stiles. It's nice to finally meet you. When Elijah told me he had an unusual type of magic user on his hands I must admit I expected one such as yourself. Of course, seeing you now, I never would have guessed how young you are from everything Lucian's told me about you.” Stiles blinked, and then gave a smile of his own.
“You must be Calum! Luc told me he had a friend in New York, I just never figured that I'd end up running into anyone that actually knew specifics about me.” he offered his hand, smile widening when the older man accepted it. “It really is a pleasure. Lucian said most of what he taught me about teleportation came from you. Gotta say, it comes in real handy.”
Calum led Stiles into his home, keeping firm hold of the younger boys hand. The instant they'd made contact he'd felt Stiles' slowly slipping control, and so he kept the contact in order to aid the young man in staying in control. What he'd also felt upon contact was the message Stiles wished to convey.
“Tell the wolves I'm okay.” Had been the message, whispered into his thoughts alongside an image and the feel of the mind he would be searching for, and it made Calum angry. Stiles was clearly separated from his pack against his will, and he decided to get to the bottom of why.
“Not to be rude,” Calum drawled, pulling Stiles further into his home, and the originals followed, aware of how powerful the witch was by how the house moved around them without the witch breaking conversation with Stiles. “And not to pry, but Lucian did say you ran with a pack of wolves. Imagine my surprise when you appear on my doorstep with the original vampires instead.” Though he said vampire, his eyes lingered on Klaus, and Stiles just shrugged.
“I do – did.” Stiles corrected, and Calum frowned.
“But I was told you were anchored to them.” Stiles slumped, and though Klaus moved to step forward, he was forced back with only a glance from Calum. Calum put his hands on Stiles' shoulder, not ignoring how the youth winced.
“I did mention before that this was the reason we were here.” Elijah noted, but there was something of a warning in his tone.
“I do not recall asking you to speak.” Calum intoned slowly, and Stiles looked up at the witch in surprise. He'd been able to hear the power the witch held, and he was impressed. When the witch looked back at him it was with soft reprove. “Why have you separated yourself from your anchor? You know what it does to you.” Stiles nodded, taking a breath. He was good at sharing thoughts, but in his state, he had to use all of his focus.
“It was safer.” he said out loud, but in the witches mind he said “If I didn't they would've been hurt.”
“But now you're being hurt.” was the reply, and Stiles gave a mental shrug.
“Better me than them.” Calum spoke next aloud.
“I will help you. But it will not be easy.” Stiles swallowed, giving a nod.
“I'm ready.” Calum gave a laugh though there was a worried tone to it.
“Though I am glad for it, I myself still need to prepare.”
“What do you need?” Elijah asked, though more cautiously this time.
“That will depend.” Calum looked back at Stiles. “I'm assuming you want a new anchor?” Stiles nodded and so Calum continued. “Had you thought of material?”
“I was thinking onyx. Though I'll have to shape it.” Calum frowned.
“Would it not be easier to pick something already formed? Like a jewel – even jade I could form on my own.” Stiles gave a tired smile, and though he was grateful for the offer, he shook his head.
“It'll be steadier and sturdier if it's something I shape. And I like onyx.” Calum just nodded, looking towards Elijah. Giving a nod, Elijah disappeared. Calum moved next to the kitchen, gently guiding Stiles with him. He sat Stiles on a bar stool in his surprisingly modern kitchen and moved to the cabinet to pull out a bottle of milky looking liquid. He handed it to Stiles.
“Drink this. Then you can sleep in the spare room.”
“If you say fine, you'll be lying and I don't need you unstable for such a dangerous casting. Do not argue with me since we both know I am capable of making your life much more difficult.” Stiles hadn't even realized Klaus had reacted until Calum's power momentarily thrummed through the room. “Do not think you can threaten me, hybrid. I am trying to keep him alive which is more than can be said for either of you.” Stiles stood, drawing all attention to himself, and feeling the tension drain when the two powerful beings were no longer facing off.
“I think it would be best if I took this at the hotel.” he waved at the air so Calum knew he meant it was to release the tension. “Any suggestions on what to do for this to be the most affective?” though Calum frowned, he was glad for the suggestion. He had work to do.
“Just make sure you are not alone while you sleep.” he looked at the Mikaelson siblings. “Stiles needs the energies of other people around even in his sleeping hours to feel stable. Being without them would set him on edge and therefore breed further instabilities.” Stiles gave another tired smile, finally accepting the bottle.
“I told them about the intimacy thing.” Calum nodded and led them to the door, not missing how Stiles passed the bottle to Klaus and the hybrid made sure to steady the young adult. He found it curious that while all of the originals desired to be around Stiles and his spark, it was the hybrid who kept the closest; seemed to care the most; be the most affected. When they moved to step out the door, Calum once more put a hand on Stiles.
“Do you wish to return to them?” he asked, and Stiles thanked him aloud even while he replied in his thoughts.
“Of course. But I made a vow.” he let the vow itself flow into the witch's mind, and the witch gave his shoulder a squeeze, allowing him to move outside and back into the care of the originals. Calum closed the door behind them and then set to work, blocking his home off from the outside world with a wave of his hand. It was time to do what needed to be done.
Derek was searching the Mikaelson manor for the fourth time when he heard it. It was a whisper on the wind, a whisper that soon turned into a shout before it became a voice in his mind. At first, all he could see was images; he saw Stiles, almost sickly looking and exhausted, looking what could only be described as resigned. Behind him were the originals, but they clearly weren't who he was dealing with.
“Tell the wolves I'm okay.” Stiles' voice said, but it was a lie; he could see Stiles and knew the words were a lie. He wasn't fine, he was falling apart at the seams. He heard another voice in his head, this one deeper, older.
“Lucian did say you ran with a pack of wolves. Imagine my surprise when you appear on my doorstep with the original vampires instead.”
“I do – did.” Stiles corrected, and the correction tore Derek apart.
“But I was told you were anchored to them.” he watched Stiles slump through the other man's eyes, and then the hybrid try to step forward, but he was forced back with only a glance from whosever eyes he was watching through. Stiles winced when a hand was put on his shoulder, and Derek wanted to reach out and touch him but couldn't.
“Why have you separated yourself from your anchor? You know what it does to you.”
Stiles replied, but once again his voice reverberated, and Derek realized it meant he was speaking in thoughts.
“If I didn't they would've been hurt.”
“But now you're being hurt.” was the reply, and Stiles gave a mental shrug.
“Better me than them.” Derek wanted to howl in argument, but he knew it was fruitless, Stiles wouldn't hear. Then the male voice he didn't recognize was speaking, and this time it was to Derek.
“The originals plan on forcing him to gain a new anchor. Stiles' mentor, Lucian, is a good friend of mine, and because of that I am sending you this message. If Stiles goes through the process of trying to change his anchors and is too bonded with you to manage, he may not survive.”
“How am I supposed to help if I don't know where he is?” Derek growled out loud, and the voice in his mind scoffed.
“I thought you were an alpha and he was your mate. You shouldn't need directions. You should be able to feel him.” Derek panicked at the thought that that's all the stranger would give him, only to hear the voice sigh in his thoughts. “Very well. For the boy's sake.” an address appeared in his mind and Derek gasped as the map formed itself from his location to New York. Not wanting to waste a single moment, he shifted into his wolf form, racing back through the forest, howling to collect his pack on the way. He arrived at the Salvatore manor and shifted back, waiting as his pack and the Mystic Falls gang gathered around him.
“I think the originals contacted a witch for help with Stiles, and luckily, the witch was feeling helpful. He told me what's going on – but we have to get there fast.”
“What did he tell you?” Scott asked, worried for his best friend, and Derek's expression darkened.
“They're trying to get him to create a new anchor.”
Calum pulled back into his own mind, satisfied that he'd done his job as a helpful citizen and went back to the work he'd promised to do; helping Stiles create a new anchor. Though he'd given the wolves time to save the boy, he also wouldn't allow the boy to drive himself mad because he was without the crucial thing he needed to survive. Resigned to a long night, he began to prepare.
Stiles walked into the hotel room warily. He was nervous to take any sort of potion, but he wasn't about to argue with someone who was on equal standing with his mentor. He was cheeky, not stupid. He moved through to the bedroom, glancing at the two originals in exhaustion. Elijah still hadn't returned, but Stiles figured he'd probably be gone till morning.
“You didn't happen to buy me pyjamas, did you?” Stiles asked, and Rebekah rolled her eyes.
“Of course I did.” he gave her a pleased grin and she flashed away and back with pyjamas and a fresh t-shirt.
“I'm beginning to reconsider my opinion of you.” he told her sagely, and she cracked a smile before leaving him be. Tired and achy, Stiles changed into the pyjamas, finally looking at Klaus who had remained silent in the room the whole time. “Want to pass me the potion? I might as well just take it and get it over with.”
“He said you shouldn't be alone.” Klaus informed him, watching the younger man's face carefully though his own was blank, and Stiles nodded.
“Yeah, I figured you guys could just move furniture and watch TV or read or whatever in here. This potion will knock me out so I won't be able to hear you anyways.”
“Fine with me.” Rebekah said from the other room, and a moment later she had the couch set up at the end of the bed and was sprawled across it, flipping on the TV. Klaus just remained standing where he was though, and Stiles frowned at him.
“Contrary to popular belief I'm not actually telepathic, so if you want me to actually know why you're staring at me like that you'll have to say it out loud.” he was tired and frustrated, but he knew the angrier he got, the less likely the original was to answer.
“I do not think you are telling us everything.” Klaus said slowly, watching Stiles carefully, and neither noticed Rebekah tense as she listened, slowly sitting up.
“Well that's probably a safe thing to think since I've never told you everything.” Klaus glowered.
“About changing your anchor – the witch seemed to think it wasn't a good idea.”
“That's because it isn't really, but it's the only option.”
“I'm pretty sure you've already been informed that powerful people need anchors.”
“Yes, but that does not explain why you have to do something so dangerous.” Stiles lifted a brow, and really he was getting very good at expressing things with his eyebrows.
“I don't want to deal with this right now. I cannot deal with this right now.” he snapped, and his power snapped through the air with his voice. Both originals grew wary as the boy too a deep breath to control himself. “Keep your guilt to yourself. This. Is. Your. Fault. So back off or release me from the vow.” the bottle flew from Klaus' pocket into Stiles' hand. He then wandered to the couch and dropped down next to Rebekah. “You're the only one whose stayed quiet so you're my current favourite.” he announced, then he drank the potion and laid back, pillowing his head in Rebekah's lap. The effects of the potion were almost immediate: his body went limp, breathing evened out, and the energy in the room relaxed. The bottle fell from his fingers but Klaus didn't let it shatter, examining the bottle with a frown.
“What was in this?” he mused and Rebekah shrugged, looking at the boy asleep in her lap.
“What does it matter?” she asked, fingers thoughtlessly moving to card through his hair. “He's finally able to sleep.” Klaus didn't respond, frowning down at them.
“Do you think – perhaps – it was a mistake bringing him with us?” Klaus posed the question in a voice so soft that Rebekah wasn't even sure she heard it. When she looked up at her older brother, however, she realized she hadn't misheard. She saw, for the first time in centuries, the brother she'd known and loved as a child. This boy, whoever – whatever – he was, was bringing out Niklaus' soft side; he was bringing out his humanity.
“No,” she responded, reaching out to pat her brothers hand. “I don't think it was a mistake.” the longer the boy was with them, the more Niklaus seemed to change, and Rebekah liked the change she was seeing. It was good for Nik, and it was good for them. This sort of change could never be a mistake.
Derek was restless. They'd decided to drive to New York, because even if it was a seven hour drive, at least they hadn't had to deal with all the airport crap. On the slightly brighter side, they were only an hour out of the city. The phone rang and he was glad when Scott picked it up and answered it, hands tightening on the wheel as he heard the vampire on the other end.
“Alright, since we're nearly there, we thought it would be a good idea to decide on the final course of action when we get there. What happens if Stiles already has a new anchor? What then?”
“We have to get there first.” Scott replied, as if there wasn't another option, and Lydia rolled her eyes from the backseat, looking at Peter who reached forward to pluck the phone from Scott's hand and place it in Lydia's.
“If Stiles already has a new anchor, we're going to hope that at least he's still Stiles. If Isaac and Erica heard correctly, neither Klaus or his family can hurt any of us, so the moment they lay a finger on someone, the vow should technically be broken.”
“Seems easy enough. All we have to do is pick a fight.”
“No.” The pack all looked towards Derek, and a voice answered through the phone.
“No? If the vow is broken, he can come back. Problem solved.”
“That won't be the problem if we get there too late.”
“Then what will the problem be?”
“If he even wants to come back.”
Stiles woke up feeling rested, but uncomfortable. His skin was itching as if a tiny little pinpricks of energy were crawling over his skin. He was on his feet in an instant, flailing only to be steadied by Rebekah who hadn't moved an inch the whole time he'd been sleeping. He gave her a grateful nod, trying to steady himself, and ran his hands through his hair, closing his eyes, taking a deep breath. He could feel what the potion had done; allowed him focus; but that focus only showed him how little time he had left until he would lose control.
“Is Elijah back yet?” were the first words out of his mouth, and the original in question appeared looking curious.
“Just making sure everyone's around. We need to go back to Calum's now. I can see why he forced me to rest.” he felt the surge of power and stamped it down, hands clenched in fists. “I need a new anchor, and fast.”
They arrived at Calum's in record time and the witch had clearly been waiting for them.
“Do you have the onyx?” wordlessly, Elijah put a large round piece of onyx in Calum's hand. Without wasting a second, Calum waved Stiles forward into the centre of the room facing him. He dipped the onyx in a dark liquid, words in latin flowing off his lips before he carefully passed the stone to Stiles. None of the originals missed how the witch was careful not to make contact with Stiles directly. Then the witch began to hum, a single syllable at a single pitch, and the room began to vibrate with power. They watched as Stiles lowered gently to his knees in front of the witch, onyx cradled in his hands. He bent his head over it, shoulders tensing, and then suddenly his hands were moving. Flying across the stone, Stiles hands began to move and the stone seemed to become malleable under his fingers. It bent and twisted, pieces slowly being scraped away. It only took ten minutes for a sharp smell to hit their senses, and it took barely a second to realize it was Stiles' blood they were smelling. Focusing on the boy, they all noticed now how his fingers were bleeding from the work he was doing, blood smearing across the onyx. Klaus made to move forward but Elijah held him back with a hand on his arm.
“Look,” he prompted, and all three looked back to the piece in Stiles' hands that was taking form faster than should be possible. The round chunk that had been the size of a human skull was now small enough to fit in Stiles' palm. It held a very distinct shape, and was no longer black but a deep rustic red. The shape it had taken as Stiles cradled it in his hands though was unmistakeable. It was in the shape of a wolf. Calum stopped humming and looked at Stiles. He said a few hushed sentences in latin before kneeling down as well amongst the scattered shards of onyx.
“Are you ready?” he asked, and Stiles gave a sharp nod. With a nod, Calum put the same liquid he'd put on the onyx on the palms of both of his hands. One then pressed against Stiles forehead, the other against the onyx. Calum waited a beat, feeling the pull of the wolves as they grew closer, and decided to do something other than he'd promised. Though he knew the original's would be unhappy if they found out, he knew that Stiles, if he remained as himself, would thank him. With a deep breath, he began chanting again, and with great effort, blocked out all other sound as Stiles began to scream.
Derek felt the tug as the magic to change Stiles' anchor began. Derek, Peter, Scott, and Stefan had gone towards the witches home, but the others went in another direction, following Lydia's intuition. He paused, hand pressing to his chest, and Scott immediately moved right in beside him, hand on his shoulder.
“Are you okay?”
“It's happening.” he gritted out. “They're changing his anchor.”
“Then we have to go!” Scott urged, tugging the Alpha forward. Derek followed the motion and then paused. He could feel the shift, but he didn't feel disconnected.
“The witch did something different. He didn't break the connection.” Derek broke into a run, but even though he was relieved to still feel the connection to Stiles, he had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach. It couldn't be this easy. It never was.
Damon along with Lydia and the rest of the pack arrived outside a warehouse and Damon looked around in curiosity.
“Why are we here oh psychic one.” Lydia raised a perfectly unimpressed brow.
“I'm not psychic.” she informed him, motioning at the warehouse door. The wolves immediately moved to open it and she stepped inside. “Allison.” the huntress pulled a stone out of her pocket, handing it to Lydia. The instant it made contact with her skin, it shone like a beacon of light.
“What the hell?”
“Stiles made it for me.” was all she said, leading the way fearlessly into the warehouse.
“That doesn't explain why we're here.” Damon snapped, but he bit back an insult as he saw what was in the building. There were coffins inside, and Damon knew exactly what the original hybrid liked to hide in coffins. Damon whistled and everyone looked at him.
“Why are these here?” Erica asked, glancing at Isaac and Boyd, but it was Damon who answered.
“Here you go, pups, meet the rest of the Mikaelson family.” He looked at Lydia next, lifting a brow. “So, why'd you lead us here?” Lydia just gave him a glare, moving towards the coffins, look of concentration on her face. She wandered towards one, then another, before finally stopping before a coffin decidedly.
“This one. We need whatever is in this one.” they all gathered around the one coffin and Damon threw the lid open, gaping in surprise.
“This is Kol . Are you nuts? We don't want him! He's a psycho. If you wake him up, we're all going to end up dead.”
Lydia just shot him a cool look.
“Clearly you don't actually know anything about the originals. Kol might be the most bloodthirsty and malicious behind maybe only Klaus, but he is the most knowledgeable on the occult. If there was going to be an original who would understand the danger of Stiles, it would be Kol.” Damon looked at her in disbelief and she reached for the dagger, perfectly manicured fingers wrapping around the hilt and pulling it loose. She handed the dagger immediately to Allison and then stepped back.
“We're going to wait around here? Christ. You're crazier than I thought.” Again, he was just shot a look of disdain from the redhead.
“You are free to leave at any time.” her lips formed a smile that was razor sharp. “After all, I'm sure you're just dying to call and check up on Elena.” her voice dripped sweet, sweet poison, and Damon just gave an irritated smile.
“You're lucky I like you.” he told her, and she rolled her eyes.
“No, you're lucky you like me.” The coffin shifted ever so slightly and Damon looked inside, noticing that the original was now gone. Lydia's expression went from tormenting to practical.
“Kol Mikaelson, sorry to wake you on such short notice but your siblings are causing trouble. As long as you don't try and kill any of us, we'll give you blood. I'm sure you're hungry.” she paused, giving that dangerous smile once more to the distance. “I should warn you though – the trouble your family has gotten themselves into, and by extension you into, is all based around a spark.” Kol Mikaelson appeared in front of her at those words, looking severely angry.
“A spark ?” he demanded, and she gave a bored look.
“Yes, didn't I just say that?” she looked around at the wolves and they all gave nods of agreement. The original however was not amused.
“This is not a game, girl. A spark is-”
“I know what a spark is. This specific spark happens to be my friend.” she gave Kol a once over. “I'm sure you can understand then why not trying to kill us is to your benefit.” she paused, glancing at Damon. “Not to mention the fact that if any harm were to come to us, my friend has direct access to your family and the power to end each and every one of them.”
“Clearly you've mistaken me with my other brother – Elijah? He's the one who cares for family.” Lydia just rolled her eyes, glancing at Allison. The huntress immediately provided a knife and Lydia slid the blade across her wrist, gently.
“I don't make mistakes.” she offered her wrist to the hungry original. “What I do make, are smart decisions. You know that if my friend wanted to, he could completely wipe vampires off the face of the earth and he'd need only the blood from one original to do it.” Kol was watching her carefully, considering, but that didn't stop him from taking her wrist and bringing it to his mouth. She didn't even falter a beat as his teeth sank under her skin. “Now, let me tell you why you should be worried about this option; your family has separated him from his anchor and are at this very moment trying to force him to take a new one.” Kol froze, eyes widening in disbelief. He released her wrist, her blood staining his lips.
“They would never be so foolish.” Lydia shrugged.
“They don't know what he is, so of course they would be.”
Kol went from angry to considering in the briefest change of expression, regarding her carefully.
“If they've captured him, how can they still not be aware of his nature?”
“Because they were only able to keep him captive by using hostages. He had them released with a vow, the vow protects his friends from being so much as touched, and keeps us safe as well as his identity. That is until your brother Klaus decided to leave town unannounced and not only separated him from any romantic relationship with his anchor, but separated them geographically as well. Of course, you know what happens to a spark who loses their anchor.” Kol just nodded, still regarding her. Then he glanced at her wrist.
“As delicious as your blood tastes, I will need more to sustain myself. I'm assuming the vow was only kept intact because you volunteered without coercion and I'm assuming your little pack of wolves would not do the same.” Lydia gave a sharp smile.
“You would be correct. Luckily, we did, in fact, think ahead.” she nodded at the wolves and Jackson pulled off his backpack, revealing it to be filled with blood bags. “We'll leave this here and wait outside.” she reached forward to grab the handkerchief out of his pocket to wrap around her wrist, ignoring his look of amusement. “You have ten minutes.”
Stiles opened his eyes and felt the whole world grind to a stop. For a moment, absolutely nothing moved. He was frozen in a pocket of time as his powers were tethered once more, but he didn't miss the fact that Calum hadn't done exactly what he'd promised; he hadn't made the anchor a permanent one, but a functional one. Of course, now that he could notice such a detail, he could also notice the other, much more important detail. Derek and the pack were close; in New York at the least. He knew he should be happy, but he felt detached, distant, as if somehow switching his anchors had put a sheet of glass in between him and the rest of the world. He stood and was relieved when his body complied without any extra thought, but when he tried to take proper control, he hit the glass. He realized suddenly that he was a full version of himself, within himself, and the complicated nature of the thought stunned him for a moment. Did a conscience really look like a miniature version of the body it belonged to? He shook the thought off almost immediately. It didn't really matter. What did matter, was that he was only in partial control of his body. Even as he thought it he realized it wasn't true. No, this was different. He focused this time and with a jolt that sent him stumbling back, realized what was going on. His conscience, or his soul if you believed in that sort of thing (he was still deciding), was trapped. It was like he was himself, but without his better half telling him not to do the horrible things he wanted to do when he first thought them. He wondered if having no conscience would make him impractical, and he figured he'd still be smart and careful, just less careful about who he hurt on his way to get something he wanted. He felt a spike of fear – would it mean he wouldn't want his pack anymore? But he realized how ridiculous that was. They were a part of him too; what he felt wasn't conscience, it was raw emotion, so chances were he still had that function intact. He looked out of his own eyes and down at the wolf held carefully in his bloody hands. He wondered how linked his locked up conscience was to this new anchor, and wondered what it would take to break down the glass. Even his conscienceless self probably realized how dangerous it would be for someone with his personality to stay alive if they didn't have their conscience telling them not to be stupid. He just hoped his stupid mouth wouldn't get himself or the ones he loved in trouble, because even if he was still capable of loving them, it didn't mean he was capable of the empathy required to pay for the mistakes he may force them into, or to be willing to take those mistakes as his own. He didn't think guilt was much of a thing he would feel without a conscience either.
Klaus was watching it all with a frown, watching how Stiles stood slowly, new anchor cradled in blood covered hands.
“Stiles? How do you feel?” The witch asked, and Stiles looked up at him.
“Good. Though I don't think any of you really care either way.” he paused, smirking, “Wait, I have that wrong. You care, Calum, because you fear what would happen if my power got loose, and because your friends with Lucian so his apprentice is yours and all that.” he turned, and Klaus was hit with a chill where the warmth had once been in his whisky coloured eyes. “Them on the other hand.” he paused, smirk growing dangerous. “They don't care. Well – it's complicated, isn't it?” he stepped forward, pacing towards them and then hitting a wall of energy before he could reach them. Though he looked irritated, he stopped moving and spoke. “Elijah is curious. He is drawn to me but more because of his desire for knowledge. Rebekah is drawn to me out of a desire for kinship – but Niklaus.” the name rolled off his tongue as if Stiles could speak the language it was derived from. He broke off, giving a short laugh. “Klaus is drawn to me because he is the only one who genuinely cares. I must say, it's almost flattering to be cared about by the famous Niklaus Mikaelson known so well for caring about no one, but I think the ability to feel flattered got locked away with those other pesky emotions.” The originals all stared at him, taken aback, and looked immediately to the witch.
“What has happened to him?” Klaus asked, voice low, and Elijah spoke in slightly skewed agreement.
“Yes, what is wrong with the boy?”
“Wrong?” Stiles demanded, before the witch could answer. “There's nothing wrong with me. Oh except for the fact that I have nothing against killing you all, but hey,” he grinned savagely. “That's how the game goes.” The witch gave the boy a sharp look before speaking.
“I warned you there could be consequences. He managed to survive the process, but it would seem as if his soul is locked away.”
“Soul? Are we then, to believe, such a thing exists?” Elijah mused, and the witch shrugged irritably, watching the pacing youth.
“You don't have to. Call it his conscience if you'd like. Either way, I'd assume it's disappearance is tied with the new anchor. He did say locked up rather than gone.”
“God, you're all so boring, with your pacing and your fretting. Can't we just go have some fun?”
“I don't think it would be safe for you to leave yet, Stiles.”
“Oh, right. Yeah, that pesky little voice is shouting at me that I should stay put, but I would really rather not.” he touched the barrier and this time it seemed to shatter, allowing him to walk right through. “Now then,” he looked over the three originals then gave a feral grin. “All three of you are welcome to join me. I'd heard that the Mikaelson's throw a mean party. Let's see if the rumours are true.” he breezed out without even a backwards glance, Rebekah immediately on his heels with a nod to her brothers.
“Is there a way to fix this?”
“You have two options.” Calum said quickly, eyes watching the door. He knew the wolves were close and didn't want the originals running into them. “One, reunite him with his original anchor. No matter what, he'd always be drawn back to him and that would probably set him back in sync. The second option is to break the anchor and release it's hold over him. I think when he created it, knowing it was removing such an integral part of his life, he locked the part of him away that cared so it wouldn't hurt him anymore.” Klaus cringed but nodding, flashing away to follow the youth and his sister.
“Are there any other options?” Elijah asked, and Calum gave the original a solemn look.
“Not that I am aware of, but I plan on contacting his mentor to ask if he knows anything on the subject that could help.” he paused then huffed out a breath. “I can call you, if you wish, if he knows anything useful.” Elijah nodded, grateful, and then followed the others.
They were in a club and Stiles was dancing as if he was born to do so. He moved with more grace and allure than the original's had thought it possible for him to possess; eyes half hooded, body swaying with the rhythm as if it was made for him to move to.
“As much as I love the feel of your eyes on me, I think it would be much more fun for all of us if you just gave in and danced.” the words were taunting and suggestive, and Rebekah was the first to move, glancing only briefly at Klaus before she made her way into the crowd, moving to dance with him. Stiles moved intimately close, dancing with her as if she were the only other person in the room, and Klaus felt the spike of jealousy. As if sensing it, Stiles looked up and met his eyes, the nearly unfamiliar whiskey eyes flashing with wicked amusement and invitation.
“Niklaus,” Elijah warned as he pushed away from the bar. Klaus looked at his brother for only a pause. “Be careful. This is but a game to him.”
“I have much more experience with such games.” Klaus soothed with a wave of his hand, but he knew that the boy put him off balance. He made his way through the crowd until he'd reached where the two danced, and Stiles shifted so he was all but pressed between Rebekah and Klaus, dancing as if the contact only gave him more ways to move instead of fewer. Stiles laughed, but it was edgier than Klaus knew it should be.
“This is what I need.” he informed them, head tilting back as he glanced at Klaus. “I told you casual intimacy was all I needed, but this, this is better.”
Rebekah stopped first, slipping easily away, she pressed a quick kiss to Stiles' cheek before escaping and Stiles just turned all his attention to Klaus, ignoring how she went straight to Elijah and how they looked towards where he danced as they whispered to each other. Stiles moved subtly so his neck was bared to the hybrid and Klaus didn't even notice how he was drawn in, or the wicked look in Stiles' eyes as the boy watched him.
“Niklaus.” Elijah's voice was sharp and directly behind him, and Klaus realized suddenly that he'd allowed his appearance to change, eyes yellow, black veins protruding around his face. Stiles pouted as Klaus pulled back, appearance changing back to normal.
“You ruined my fun, Elijah.”
“I do not think having your blood drained would be fun.” Stiles laughed, but again it was with an edge.
“No, I meant my fun.” the rush of power around them made the originals suddenly aware of how Stiles' power filled the club, lust and carelessness the prevailing emotions in the room.
“Stiles,” Elijah warned, and Stiles eyes flashed as he turned a look at Klaus.
“Are you going to tell me you weren't having fun?” Stiles asked, and Klaus hesitated, watching as the grin spread across Stiles' face.
“Depends on your definition of fun, love.” he finally said, and Stiles heaved a dramatic sigh.
“Come on guys, I'm just enjoying the atmosphere.” he gave an almost hysterical laugh and Klaus reached for him, instinct telling him to soothe. Energy crackled under his fingertips but he didn't pull away.
“Let's continue to enjoy it then,” he allowed, wishing only to distract the boy, and the grin immediately brightened. He moved right into Klaus, and Klaus sent a look at Elijah. They had to find a way to get him out of here and get him back to normal. Elijah nodded, motioning for Rebekah to follow him. They made it to the bar again and Elijah leaned towards his sister, eyes trained on Stiles and Klaus.
“I think it's time we return him to Derek.”
“I don't think Niklaus will find that agreeable.” she argued, and Elijah gave her a sharp look.
“I don't think what Niklaus wants is all that important right now. If we aren't careful, the boy and Niklaus will both end up dead.”
“Is there no other way?” Rebekah asked, looking longingly towards the boy, and Elijah sighed.
“We could break his anchor, but it would return him to how he was. He was dangerous, unstable.”
“More dangerous and unstable than he is now?”
Klaus and Stiles were dancing intimately when suddenly Stiles went still, turning a raised brow on Klaus.
“We have company,” he informed the hybrid, and Klaus looked around, eyes sharp as they scanned the crowd. He didn't have to look for long, because 'company' appeared right in front of them.
“Well hello there brother, it would seem you've got a new toy.” Stiles eyes flashed and he stepped away from Klaus and towards the newcomer.
“Kol, isn't it?” he asked, smile sharp as he prowled forward. With a flick of his wrist the youngest original's knees buckled, jaw clenching in pain. “I'm nobodies toy.”
“Stiles.” the female voice was sharp and Stiles froze. He knew that voice, it was a voice he didn't want to know. He felt the glass between his conscience and his body shake and his soulless self, as you will, knew that it was also the wall between him and pain.
“Lydia.” his voice was soft as she appeared from behind the original, lips pressed in a thin line, perfect eyebrow raised.
“What do you think you're doing?”
“What are you doing with him?”
“Looking for you.”
Stiles sneered, but inside, he was beating on the glass.
“I didn't want to be found anymore.”
She rolled her eyes as he moved to turn his back on her, and he froze.
“Liar.” he spun back but she didn't even flinch even though both originals did.
“You don't know what you're talking about.”
She smirked, flipping her hair back.
“No? Then tell me Stiles, what are you doing in this club if all you were trying to do was hide? As if we didn't know this was the first place you would go.” he just stared at her, head tilting to the side. Then he was speaking to Klaus, eyes never leaving Lydia.
“I want to leave.”
Klaus frowned, looking at his youngest brother who glared right back.
“Now? Isn't it a bit early, love?” Stiles' gaze flickered towards him and he sighed. “We can leave if you wish. But where will we be going?”
“I'm tired.” was all Stiles said, and Klaus nodded. “Goodbye Lydia,” before he turned away, he reached for her wrist, the power snapping between them. Stiles twitched but didn't move away. “Stay away from them, and stay away from me. This is your only warning.” the serious tone became dangerous as the grin returned. “That part of me that won't spill your blood is locked away.” he said it in a sing song voice before he turned, hooking his arms around Klaus. In an instant, they disappeared, and Lydia found herself facing Elijah and Rebekah.
“The witch who helped him create a new anchor told us that it was his soul, or conscience, that has been locked away inside himself. He told us it was probably to block out the pain he'd been feeling.” Lydia's gaze was vicious when it turned on the eldest original present.
“We warned you to give him back to us.” she told him softly, but the rage was apparent in her voice.
“It would seem you've made a mistake, Elijah. Did you hope that you could keep something as powerful as a spark away from it's anchor? Do you really forget everything we've learned in all these centuries?” Kol mocked angrily, and Rebekah paled.
“Did you say he was a spark?”
Kol nodded, deadly smile gracing his handsome features.
“I did. Do you remember, dear sister, what happened the last time we came across a spark?” she seemed to lean away, and Elijah steadied her with a hand on her arm.
“If the boy is as you say,”
“He is,” Lydia interjected haughtily.
“Then we would be best to return him to his original anchor before he kills somebody.”
“Good choice.” Lydia noted, smoothing down her skirt. She looked at Kol expectantly.
“Well then?” the curve of his lips was more amused than irritated, and it surprised his siblings.
“You treat me as if my only purpose is to serve you.”
“At the moment it is.” Lydia informed him, and the smile widened. In the next moment they were gone and Rebekah and Elijah exchanged a glance.
“What is it about these children that attracts our family?”
“Their courage, perhaps.” Elijah offered as he hurried to follow, but he knew there must be more to it. Stiles is a spark. The thought twisted through his mind like a fast acting cancer. That made the boy extremely dangerous, especially now without his moral code to guide him. Elijah cursed himself and his family for being so blinded by their desire that they did not consider such a dangerous possibility.
They arrived outside the hotel and found themselves with the rest of the werewolf pack as well as the Salvatores. Lydia moved instantly towards Peter, and the older Hale allowed his eyes to flash blue as they watched the youngest original's gaze following the redhead.
“Quite the pack the little spark has collected.” Kol noted, eyes flitting over each member of the pack, lingering on Lydia. Then his eyes turned to Derek.
“But you – you're his anchor.”
“How can you tell?” Elijah asked, and Kol shot his brother a deadly glare.
“How could you not tell?” Elijah's face tightened as it did when he was irritated, and this time it was Rebekah who reached out to comfort him.
“Are we going to stand here all night or are we going to go and get Stiles?” Derek demanded, and all three originals looked towards him. Elijah reached to his pocket for his room key but Kol held out a hand to stop him.
“Are you prepared for the fact that we may not be able to help him? To change him back? We may have to kill him.” Derek growled, his eyes flashing red. Kol just smirked.
“The alpha eyes don't scare me, Derek Hale. You are not nearly as dangerous as that creature upstairs.”
“He isn't a creature. He's human.”
Kol laughed at him making it clear he thought he was dull.
“That thing that's up there is not human right now. He's the worst of what he could be, and he hungers much like a beast. For intimacy mostly, and I can guarantee you he's currently getting said intimacy from my brother Niklaus.”
“You know, we still have that dagger on hand. Unless you want it back in your chest, I suggest you stop talking.” Lydia said sweetly, and much to his siblings surprise, Kol gave a bow in respect to her words.
“As you wish, darling.” Peter growled at the pet name and though Kol smirked, he did not provoke the older wolf, instead only watched curiously as Lydia moved closer to the wolf without a thought.
“How does the anchor wish to proceed, then?” Kol asked, and Derek looked up at the building, emotion burning in his chest.
“I'll go in first. Make sure you're ready if he doesn't listen. If we can't snap him out of it ourselves, then we have to break the new anchor. That's everyone's goal. Find and break that anchor.” he looked towards Elijah expectedly and the eldest present original spoke up.
“It's shaped as an onyx wolf.” Derek briefly touched the wolf pendant around his neck before nodding, looking around.
“Everyone ready?” when he received affirmatives all the way around, he took the offered room key and started into the building. It was time to get his mate back.
Behind the wall in his mind, Stiles was furious, and that fury was aimed mostly at himself. How could he have let this happen? Why had his subconscious been so afraid that it had locked him away? Why couldn't he have been strong enough to face the pain? The thought made him scream and bash at the wall between himself and his body. He could see himself, see what he was doing, and it's not what he wanted, no matter what his body thought it craved. No, being intimate with Niklaus Mikaelson was not on his list of people to be intimate with; right now there was only Derek, and Klaus certainly wasn't the alpha. Even as the original hybrid bent to kiss him again, he heard the roar, and they both stiffened. Stiles felt the smile-that-wasn't-his-smile spread across his lips, and turned his head against the doorframe to look towards the elevator.
“Looks like we've got company.” he heard himself repeat the words from earlier, and Klaus nodded, barely glancing away from Stiles.
“Indeed. Perhaps we should make for the exits.” Klaus finally replied, and though Stiles nodded, he could feel the licks of panic that were beginning on the other side of the wall. He felt triumphant that his guiltless self was panicking, and almost hoped maybe feel regret. He'd threatened Lydia – he would never have threatened Lydia. Of course, he would've ordered her away from the original, but that was different, and he was surprised that Peter hadn't been there.
“Stiles, isn't it?” the voice of Klaus' youngest brother caught his attention and he turned, that same uncomfortable smile on his features.
“That's me.” he cocked his head, and he knew he probably looked half mad. He wished he had control; if he did, he would reach inside his pocket and take his anchor, smash it against the floor, but apparently that wasn't an option. He could see the threat this original posed, see that he thought death was probably the safest way to deal with one such as himself, and it should be scaring him, but instead his other self just let out a cackle. “If you're here to kill me, I think the one you've handed your leash to will disapprove.” the youngest original's grin just widened.
“You certainly are cheeky.” he noted, and Stiles gave another crazy sounding laugh.
“That's one way to put it.” the smile dropped as he studied the original. There was no way he was here alone. His conscienceless self didn't want to see Derek because it actually felt fear for what would happen and that could only make Stiles wary. “I know why you're here.” his darker self noted, and Kol lifted a brow. He was seeing the resemblance now; the expression was definitely Elijah's. His self that was in control reached into his pocket where the anchor should have been and then froze. The piece was missing. He whipped around immediately to see Klaus, looking sad as he gazed at the onyx in his hand.
“You aren't yourself, Stiles. You're going to get yourself killed as you are now.” his body snarled, a feral sound, and leapt at Klaus, but he was caught from behind by Kol.
“Now!” the youngest shouted, even as his spark pulsed in reaction, throwing the original off. He could feel them now, feel his whole pack coming, and he shuddered at the feeling. The fear from his conscienceless self was hitting him in waves and in turn scaring him. His darker self was terrified of the pain it would feel by destroying the new anchor and letting down the wall. He spun, facing Klaus now who still had his anchor.
“If you break that,” he heard himself say, “You're going to put me in so much pain that I could die.” his voice hissed, and watched Klaus hesitate. “Give it back to me. I know you don't want to hurt me.” he voice was pleading now and it was cracking away at the original. Inside, his darker self was gloating. Manipulating people was just so easy. “If you don't give it back they're going to hurt me. They want to hurt me. They want me to change back so I can kill you, because now you're a threat.” as his pack approached he could feel the glass getting thinner and it was making his darker side edgy. Klaus reached to hand it over but then Kol was back on his feet, darting forward and stealing the anchor away.
“Who knew you were so gullible, Nik?” Kol asked, eyes cold, and Klaus glared. Of course, now Stiles' darker half felt like it had no choice. With a flex of his fingers, the window shattered outwards and he was standing on the sill.
“Break it and I'll be out this window before my conscience can come back into play. The other me will wake up just before his skull shatters on the concrete.” Stiles could feel the maddening grin on his face and it only made himself fight harder. When had he become this sort of suicidal? He'd never been self serving like this. Where did this come from? He pounded harder and when the originals watched him skeptically, he leaned back, taunting them. And then his voice slammed into him.
“Stiles!” Stiles watched the glass in his mind shatter at the single syllable, his vision shaking as if two sets of eyes were becoming one. “Stiles stop!” he vaguely heard the sound of his temporary anchor fracturing and as the glass shattered in his mind, the pain poured in. There was a disembodied scream that he realized was probably his own and he clapped his hands to his head. He pushed past the pain, trying to see Derek, but even as he caught sight of Derek another wave of pain hit him. His vision focused and finally his tongue was his own.
“Derek?” he called, and he was so relieved he was finally back in control, but even he could hear the fear and his own voice. He saw the relief in Derek's expression, but then he was hit with more pain, and his balance wavered. Before he knew it, he was tipping backwards, limbs flailing for purchase. He watched the relief turn to panic as Derek lurched forward, but then Stiles was faced with the New York sky and he was falling.
When Stiles opened his eyes, all he could feel was panic. The only thing he could see was white, and though he could feel his limbs, he was fairly certain he was dead. He remembered the hotel, he remembered pain, unbearable pain, and he remembered falling, but beyond that, nothing. He gasped for breath, wondering if the need to breath meant he was alive or if it was habit, and called out for the one person he always counted on to anchor him back to reality.
“Derek! Derek!” he was shouting the name as a mantra he realized, right at the same time he realized he was hooked up to a whole bunch of hospital machines. Hospital? Before his mind could run with the new information, Derek appeared, rushing towards him, and Stiles' first reaction was more panic.
“Are you dead too?” he squeaked, and Derek blinked before letting out a sharp laugh of disbelief.
“Dead? Stiles, you aren't dead.” Stiles just stared at him a moment, and then the tears filled his eyes. He'd been sure he was dead. He launched himself at the alpha, hugging him as if the moment he let go he would disappear. “You aren't dead.” Derek repeated, and then there was a huff of resignation. “One of the vampires saved you. You fell out the window.” and there was the annoyance at how stupid it had been to stand in the window in the first place. Stiles smiled.
“Which vampire?” he asked, and a cocky voice replied.
“The one and only. We thought you might try something stupid, so we waited outside.” he turned his head to see Damon and burst out laughing.
“Of course it was you.” he muttered, but they could all hear how grateful he was. “Why don't I remember?” he asked when he finally leaned back, fingers linking with Derek's.
“You passed out from the pain.” there was a pause as Derek squeezed his hand. “He told us that you'd blocked it all out because of how painful it would be, so in order to break it, looks like you still had to feel that pain.”
“Well that's lame.” he winced at just the memory, and felt Derek's grip tighten. Then he realized that it was just the three of them in the room and his panic began to rise again.
“Stiles, relax. Everyone else is here.” Derek soothed, thumb brushing across his knuckles as if he'd read his mind, and Stiles just nodded.
“Call them in. I want to see them. I don't care if it was just a day this time.” Derek nodded at Damon who immediately left, and Stiles turned to Derek. “What happened to the originals?” he was loathe to ask, but it seemed odd that they'd just let him go.
“When they found out you were a spark they were a lot more wary about keeping you. Plus, by hurting you, they hurt us, and I could actually feel it when you got your temporary anchor. So the vow was broken.” Stiles blinked and guilt washed through him.
“I'm sorry. I didn't want you to have to feel it.”
Derek squeezed his hand and looked like he was about to shout at him to stop being stupid, but instead he just leaned forward, forehead resting on Stiles' shoulder.
“You terrified me, Stiles.” he admitted. “And I think you scared them too. Which, in this case, is a good thing.” he lifted his head and smiled even as the pack began to file in only to leap on his bed, all the pups reaching for him and also reprimanding him.
“You should know that Klaus accepted the blood trade. As an apology. Though I feel like it was more of a concession since an apology would be directed at you, but whatever.” Damon informed him, and Stiles blinked in shock. It had been that easy? If he'd known all along all he'd had to do was state what he was, he would've done so right at the beginning. The realization had him groaning. Of course he hadn't even considered such an option. He'd been too stubborn at keeping all his cards hidden. It certainly showed him. When the noise settled down he finally took the moment to look around.
“Where are we?” he asked, and it was Lydia who answered.
“Still in New York. Even though Damon managed to catch you before you hit the ground, you were still injured, and we didn't want you drinking vampire blood in case something went wrong.”
“Fair enough. I certainly don't want to become a vampire. Can you imagine?” he shuddered at the thought.
“So that's it then?” he asked, and everyone just looked at him. “Does this mean we can go home?” nobody missed the hope in his voice and Derek smiled at him, that soft smile again that made his stomach do flips.
“Yeah, we can go home.”
“And no more vampires for at least a year!” Scott piped up. The pack laughed, despite the protests of Damon and Caroline. Stiles just smiled, looking over at Derek. He was with his anchor again, his mate, and by the way Derek was gripping his hand, he wasn't planning on letting go anytime soon. While the pack argued with Damon and Caroline about the perks of being their own supernatural species, Stiles leaned towards him, shifting so they were sitting together rather than touching only with their hands.
“I'm glad you guys managed to catch up.” he murmured, and Derek hummed in agreement, nose rubbing against the pulse in his throat. “And I'm sorry for bargaining my life away.” again Derek just hummed, continuing as he was. “I missed you, you know.” he continued, and there was that hum again. Scowling, Stiles turned to complain about the responses he was receiving only to have Derek kiss him. When Derek pulled back it was with a smug grin, and Stiles was staring at him in surprise.
“Next time, I'm locking you up in a cellar.” Derek threatened, and Stiles managed a laugh.
“I guess I deserve that.” Derek lifted a brow that said he deserved a lot more and Stiles felt his cheeks heat in embarrassment.
“Hey, this isn't all my fault. If Damon and Stefan hadn't kidnapped me in the first place-”
“Whoa! Don't drag me into your relationship drama!” Damon complained, and Derek rolled his eyes.
“As if we'd want you in our relationship drama.” Stiles burst out laughing, unable to stop until his sides ached.
“Wow, it's only been a day and I'd forgotten you could snark as well as I can.” Derek just moved his brows in one of his many expressions and Stiles smiled. He recognized that look. “Yeah, yeah. I'm the idiot. But I'm your idiot. And you're stuck with me for life.” Derek made a face and Stiles, in a brave motion, reached over and flicked him on his forehead. Derek just gaped and Stiles fell back on the hospital bed in fits of laughter. Yes, this was his life, Stiles realized, and this was how he liked it. With his grumpy sourwolf and his mix-n-match pack. Vampires weren't part of their world, and it was better that way. Carefully, he climbed out of bed, Derek helping him stand. He looked around at the faces in the room and allowed himself another smile.
“Let's go home.”
Stiles didn't know whether to be happy or disappointed that Beacon Hills was exactly as they'd left it. Of course, he was glad no supernatural drama had broken out in their absence since nobody would be around to stop it, but part of him was wary that maybe the drama had been waiting for them and would start as soon as it was sure they were back. When they made it back to the Hale house, because Derek had finally renovated it in Stiles' last year of high school, and on the way back from the airport had suggested that Stiles should stay there more permanently, Stiles finally relaxed. He was home, and he could officially call Derek's house home now, and he'd never felt happier. He turned when he felt Derek behind him, and frowned at the nervous look on Derek's face. Derek never looked nervous.
“Something the matter, Derek?” he asked, and Derek frowned at him.
“Then why are you looming in the doorway?”
“I'm not looming.” he argued, and Stiles just rolled his eyes.
“Call it whatever you want, but it's looming.”
“He's right, you know. You are looming.” Isaac provided easily before he slipped past and made his way upstairs to his own room. They heard the music start to play before the door closed and brought silence with it, and Stiles was still amused that Derek had sound proofed most of the rooms. Derek just glared after Isaac and Stiles lifted a brow.
“Alright, well if you're not going to just tell me whatever's on your mind, I'm going to take my stuff to my room.” he said, turning towards the stairs, but before he could get far, Derek stopped him by wrapping his arms around him from behind, a sure way to hide his face, and Stiles just smirked, putting his hands over Derek's.
“That's what I wanted to talk to you about.” Derek mumbled, and Stiles twisted a bit so he could see Derek's face.
“Are you trying to tell me I shouldn't put my stuff away?”
“Yes – I mean no. Stiles.” he growled, and Stiles just grinned.
“If you're trying to ask me if I want drawer space in your room, you're going to have to use words, big guy.” and Derek growled again.
“Shut up, Stiles.”
“Make me.” and Derek did just that, turning him around and slamming him into the wall before kissing him senseless.
“I don't want it to by my room, I want it to be our room, okay?” Derek snapped, and after catching his breath, Stiles gave a wicked grin.
“Why didn't you just say so in the first place?” he teased, grabbing his bag and darting up the stairs. He gave a laugh when he heard Derek on the stairs behind him, and darted into Derek's bedroom. He just managed to drop his bag when he heard Derek close the door behind them, and he was grabbed and pushed up against the door with Derek kissing him again. Derek broke the kiss just to lean his forehead against Stiles, and for the first time since he'd fallen out the window, he recognized the panic in Derek's expression.
“Don't ever do that again, okay? Isaac and Erica were devastated that you gave in just because they were in a little pain.”
“Derek, I couldn't listen to them being hurt. You of all people should understand that.”
Derek let out a breath. “I do, I get it, but they said they could feel your spark, could feel how close you were to breaking free. Why didn't you focus on that? Why did you leave me instead?” Stiles reached up to cradle Derek's face in his hands.
“I wish I could explain to you what it felt like to be in that chair. I'd just been knocked unconscious from having my blood drunk. When I woke up, I was being offered my freedom from the chains that had allowed Klaus near enough to drink from me, and all I had to do was save my pack mates. It wasn't a choice, Derek. And really, the whole thing could've been solved much quicker if you'd just picked a fight with Damon.” Derek let out a sound of disbelief.
“This isn't a joke, Stiles.”
“I know, and that was serious by the way. All any of you had to do was be injured by a vampire and poof, broken vow. But that isn't my point. You can't honestly tell me that if you heard Isaac and Erica being tortured you wouldn't automatically do everything in your power to free them and ensure their future safety.”
“Of course I would.”
“Then don't question why I did the same thing.” Derek shook his head, but he didn't pull back.
“I was terrified when I felt the tug of your anchor shifting. I have never been so terrified in my life. I thought I was going to lose you, and I couldn't bear the thought.”
“Aw, look at you, Derek. Such a romantic.” he teased, but before Derek could snap at him, Stiles kissed him. “I love you, Derek.” he said, and any and all harsh words died in Derek's throat.
“I love you too, Stiles.” he paused, “And I wasn't kidding about locking you in the cellar if you ever try anything like that again.” Stiles laughed, the tension from the moment before lost, and grinned at Derek. Everything was back to normal, and it was a pretty damn good normal, if Stiles did say so himself.