The neon lighting and the darkness of the night made a lot of things apparent. It may seem weird for some people because one may think only the light of the sun on a clear day could expose evil and wrongness. Unfortunately, it left way too much of halftones to see clearly.
It was bright blue and pink lighting of this rundown ‘motel California’ signboard, that really made Peter pause that one time. He was up for some kinky sex with Corinne, she felt dangerous, edgy, just the person Peter wanted at his seventeen. But in that lighting she felt just outright monstrous, so Peter stepped back and run.
He wasn't the one to be scared of the danger, but his guts told him, he might not survive the consequences of that one night.
Next time it was a bar almost on the edge of Beacon Hills, it had neon lighting inside. It tried to fit some sort of eighteenth feeling, even though this hole of the town would do great with anything. Peter was here with his friends when he overheard some blonde woman talking to completely drunk Harris. This idiot was happily telling all the things you shouldn't really use the chemistry for if you didn’t want to end up in jail.
The woman was outright murderous and psychopathic in this green and blue light. So Peter did his research and it prevented his family from being burnt alive by Kate Argent.
This time it happened in the middle of the town. There was this diner, right in front of the administration. For whatever reason, its name was misspelled as 'dinner', and both 'n' and 'r' always stopped working at some point. So the red lighting coming off the signboard hugged rare silhouettes with the burning intensity.
Neon lighting didn't leave any halftones. There were only red light and the darkness of the night. Everything became eerie and lucid.
There was something disturbingly wrong with Sheriff's son, Peter couldn’t put a name on before. The guy stood still, even though he was all motion and flailing in the day. His eyes seemed to be pitch black, they didn't even reflect the light. Like he was dead.
The worst thing was that he looked directly at Peter, and his gaze seemed just empty. It was kind of ironic, that Peter worked with sheriff department and criminals and never felt anything akin to anxiety next to them, but the kid in the bright hoodie gave him chills.
He was the prey in the middle of the empty main street, and nobody would rescue him.
The door to the diner opened, some clumsy teen looked at Stiles and asked what took him so long. Even the small amount of more natural lighting brought halftones back, and so Stiles once again became the usual – the lanky young adult just off the college with a lot of movement and the loud voice. He went inside, and his lively voice drowned in the music.
Peter felt like he could finally breathe again.
Even though the air felt way too cold and wet. The mist would hug the town in less than an hour, and Peter preferred to be back home by that time.
He would close all windows, shutters, and doors. Maybe, he would drink, just to forget the emptiness he felt.
The lack of something scared him more than the presence of anything concrete. He didn’t have clearance on the topic of how Stiles could be dangerous to him, his pack or the city, but there was something. Something they could possibly not survive this time.
Neon lighting never lied.
Night dreams were cold and filthy. It was full of neon. The lithe male body on top of Peter, moving with the broken music. It sounded from everywhere outside the room, humming noise with something else. Peter couldn’t listen to it for too long, it hurt his ears.
Slim fingers creased along his chest, down and down. They left black goo and Peter couldn’t see the face of a guy. Neon lighting from the window and half-open door didn’t show anything certain. Maybe he didn’t have a face at all. Just a formless mass, dripping down his shoulders and chest.
But it never felt so good with anyone else in his life.
Peter woke up in a cold sweat on a spine and wet pants. He was too old for these.
Whatever supernatural Stiles had, he definitely got it from Stilinskis bloodline. Peter wasn’t sure what exactly – the umbrella term for all creatures like him was ‘supernatural humans’. Witches, voids, banshees, druids, et alii, sometimes boundaries between one another were too blurry to distinguish.
Sheriff Stilinski didn’t really smell of anything, but something told Peter – he was just old and knew how to hide marks. Stiles’s scent was of magic and nothingness. It seemed to be mutually exclusive, and somehow it fit what Peter saw in neon lighting along with what he saw in the daylight.
“Mr. Hale,” the voice made him stop on his track when he almost left the sheriff station.
It was late evening, so the darkness outside hugged streets. It seemed like even lights were a bit dimmed, like the world outside the station didn’t exist. It felt like something was coming, and this time it would be hard to save his skin.
Stiles called him, that shouldn’t be surprising. He leant over the reception desk. Deputy Parrish, who was supposed to sit here, was absent for whatever reason. Peter had a feeling, it was somehow staged.
“Stiles,” Peter said and smiled. He seemed completely normal in the light of a lamp, maybe a bit pale. Plaid shirt made him a bit off in this place. Eyes still too dark for the comfort. “Do you need anything, or just want to be the delight in my otherwise deadly boring day?”
Stiles huffed and tapped his fingers on the reception desk. Uneven rhythm sent chills down Peter’s spine. “Flattery won’t get you far, wolf.”
Ah, right, that’s what Stiles saw in the neon light. Or maybe it was this perceptiveness that he showed a lot, just with the supernatural knowledge. Peter only smiled.
“Well, then,” once over. Stiles didn’t pose a threat, but the scent was too ambiguous to get right, “not becoming the delight of the day, that’s a shame. You are finally not a minor anymore, and only want to talk business, aren’t you?”
“I doubt I’ll ever become the delight of anyone’s life.” He was serious and his heart didn’t miss a beat. Ouch. “But you are right, I’m an adult now, and so I’ll deal with my coven’s problems from now on.”
Coven. Of course, supernatural humans tended to stuck together at some point in their life, like packs. But they had it easier, it happened naturally, they just gravitated toward each other. They weren’t territorial like werewolf packs were, easily let people in and let them go. They probably had some sort of an alpha, and now Stiles became the one.
“Do you want to meet my alpha?”
He probably already knew it was Talia. So Peter wondered why he came to him.
“That’s useless, your emissary ,” the amount of bitterness in Stiles’ voice was astonishing, “won’t allow us to do anything. I came to propose a deal. We kill both him and your alpha, you become one, and we take care of the clusterfuck they left behind.”
Peter had amazing self-control, so his face didn’t even flinch. They were under the cameras, so it must be staged. Peter didn’t know if this one had the sound, probably, it didn’t. The light flickered, and Peter got a glimpse of that person, he saw in the neon lighting. Cold, calculating and a bit amused.
“Aren’t you too cocky to talk murders in sheriff station?”
“You didn’t answer,” he shrugged. “I’ll find you tomorrow, you just need to decide.” Stiles took the manila folder laid on the reception desk and gave it to Peter. “There is an answer to why we want to do it. We may just take the Hale alpha spark and give it back to the void.”
Coven, but not a witch coven. That’s interesting. Though, Peter didn’t really know a lot about witches. He also needed to research this void thing. There was a rumor, some supernaturals believed all magic came from nothingness and would go there again. He took the folder and waved it. It felt heavy but didn’t smell of any magic.
“Aren’t you afraid I tell my alpha?”
Stiles made this ridiculous thing with his face and body, either asking ‘will you’, ‘go for it’ and ‘do I look sane enough to be afraid of something like that’. Deputy Parrish came back and Stiles began talking to him, obviously fond of him.
Peter came to his car and looked through the folder. On the surface level, it was neatly organized – obviously not what Stiles would do, he seemed to be too messy – divided by date and severity of Hale pack misdoings. It also had a few paragraphs on why they are willing to leave alpha spark in the Hale bloodline and also how they are planning to make everything work once it’s over. The last page was more interesting. It was certainly signed by Stiles with some message like ‘still wanna expose us to your alpha?’ and a freaking smiley face.
Peter rolled his eyes and ignited the car. He would read at home. Somewhere, where it wasn’t that dark.
Dreams were bright. Neon lighting was everywhere. That night it didn’t just come from the window or the door, it just was. At the same time, there was the darkness that couldn’t let go of the room’s corners. It was some run-down motel, too low for current Peter’s standards.
The sound. Stiles tapped this rhythm earlier.
The guy sat on his knees in front of him, licking and sucking him. This time the lithe body also had a lower part of his face. Cupid bow lips and moles.
Peter blinked, and when he looked up, the black goo was flowing down the walls, resonating with his bones. Something was very wrong, and he didn’t know what to make of it.
Once again, he woke up in a cold sweat and wet pants. The open manila folder was on the bed next to him.
Stiles did find him the very next morning. The coffee-shop next to the court, where Peter usually bought his coffee. Now he was pretty sure Theo, the usual barista, was some sort of supernatural human.
“So, what’s your decision?” Stiles sat next to Peter, lulling the cup.
“Not even a good morning?” Just to tease.
“Good morning. What did you decide?” He seemed sleepy and groggy. Well, he was what, twenty-one? And so not the morning person. It seemed amusing how the lack of darkness and neon along with a soft light changed him.
“Why act now?”
Stiles didn’t answer for some time, thoughtfully looking ahead. The morning was misty and grey, the lighting inside almost nonexistent as well. Dimmed would be the right word.
“When my father moved here, he couldn’t find or create a coven, because of how your emissary acted. Every nemeton needs a healthy supernatural society. Werewolf pack and righteous druid aren’t enough to sustain it.”
“That’s what you or whoever wrote in the folder.”
“And that’s the only reason we have,” Stiles huffed and waved his hands.
“Why now, Stiles.”
“And why not?” He half-smiled.
“Right,” Peter shook his head and took a sip. “The pack wouldn’t be happy, though.”
“Wouldn’t they?” Stiles tilted his head and narrowed his eyes. “Cora, who practically run away as soon as she could? Or Derek, who just wanted to date this darach girl? All other pack-members, who run away? Do I need to remind you of the Paige situation?”
Well, the coven did their homework. Peter watched over Stiles, also not leaving his eyes from Theo who leaned toward red hair girl about their age. She gave off the vibe of a person, who wasn’t exactly human as well.
“In court, you are more self-confident, Mr. Hale.”
“That’s not the lack of my ego that makes me reluctant to say yes right away, Stiles.” Now that he thought of it, he had no idea what’s his real name was. “But more like my self-preservation instincts.”
“Do you still believe the alpha who messed with your memory?”
And yet, Stiles somehow made his way in Peter’s dream. They were too short sequences, but looking at his moles and lips now Peter became quite sure. Probably because the memory of those lips on him was too fresh.
The redhead girl started tapping the same rhythm he heard in dreams. Certainly one of the coven. Peter wondered how many supernatural humans he missed out. And how did they affect him to get their way.
“We are against the idea of emissaries, by the way,” Stiles said. “Whatever the pack does, that’s only their business. We will provide any necessary information, though.”
Deaton certainly was an eyesore. He changed Talia, and also affected Laura. Peter also knew the coven couldn’t just remove him, and leave the vacant place.
“Do you plan to hurt Laura?” She was too much of mother’s daughter to let it go so easily. She would fight, and probably would try and hurt Peter for the alpha spark.
“Only if she attacks us. If she attacks you – she’s your problem. But I doubt she will.” Stiles sounded way too sure. Peter wondered if that had something to do with Deputy Parrish scent on her lately. Maybe he also was the part of a coven.
Stiles smiled coldly. “You won’t regret it. You also won’t have to do anything, we’ll take care of it.”
“Sounds too good to be true.”
Stiles didn’t answer and went directly to the redhead. Peter finally put down what she was: a banshee. And Theo smelled somehow like a wolf, but not a werewolf. Warlock, probably. Peter would have to do his own homework eventually and learn just how many supernatural humans lived in Beacon Hills.
This was the first dream they weren’t in the room. Peter laid on the great stump. The Nemeton. The song was humming with power and danger. The rhythm was resonating in the core of Peter’s being.
This time he saw Stiles’ face clearly. He was on top of them, naked, black veins and red marks. His mouth was half-open, fingers slowly making its way down his cheeks, neck, and torso. The neon halo of the red moon seemed to circle around his head.
They weren’t alone. About a dozen people were around. Naked. Both old and young. Faces – a mere black mass that was waiving like they were underwater. Trees a few steps behind colored in red and covered in black human figures were muddy, barely there.
Peter raised his hand and tried to touch Stiles. For the first time in a very long time, he had a chance to move before he woke up. Slim and bloody fingers intertwined his own.
Stiles looked at him, and his eyes reflected the neon circle, that was supposed to be behind his head, high in the sky.
Neon lighting never lied. And Stiles held neon lighting inside.
Peter woke up alone, wet and cold. He knew his eyes burned red.