Stiles opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling, focusing on the glow-in-the-dark stars that he and Scott had attached to the ceiling when they were in 4th grade. He took a deep breath and reached for his phone off the nightstand and checked the time…4:17am…before putting it back down with a sigh. The last day was still pretty much a blur and now he was lying in his bed uncertain about what to do next. Yesterday they had talked in Derek’s loft until just after lunch when his dad’s yawning finally got too much to ignore. He hadn’t really been much better if he was being honest and neither was anyone else once the adrenaline from the battle and everything else had worn off. Not wanting to deal with everything anymore, Stiles and his dad had returned home and both had crashed for several hours sleep.
The first time he woke up he heard his dad in the other room on the phone. The sheriff had called to check in and Stiles had been willing to struggle out of his bed when his door opened and his dad was standing there in sweats and a t-shirt. He told Stiles that he had told the station he would out until the following morning before hanging up. Stiles sighed in relief but dragged himself up and they ate a simple dinner without saying much, just enjoying the quiet. An hour later and both Stilinski men were back asleep. Stiles had woken up several times since then but now it seemed he was finished sleeping even if he wasn’t exactly ready to face the world.
He was a bit surprised he had slept so well, but he supposes that the combination of the battle, all the bad guys being wiped out, and a near impenetrable force field on his house translated into a pretty worry free sleep. Finally tossing aside his covers he moves over to his desk and thinks about going online, but he is fairly sure that he isn’t going to be able to find the answers to his current questions there. Glancing around at his books he can feel the subtle hum of magic that resides with them and sighs as he realizes with a sharp pang of regret that he would never get to visit the Majestic Library again.
Dropping to the floor, Stiles decides that if he can’t sleep or research, he would try meditation. Closing his eyes he finds himself grounding faster than ever before as he reaches out and touches the ley line running under the house and suddenly it felt as if he had grabbed a live electrical wire as he receives a burst of energy. It doesn’t hurt, more like when he mixed coffee and red bull that one time he doesn’t want to ever mention again. No, instead he feels supercharged, excited, and connected like never before. There is a moment of welcome, a flicker of recognition that he recognizes as the heart stone he tied all his protections to. The warder was like a dog, acknowledging him, but not standing down from its appointed duties, and with a mental pat the teen passes it by and Stiles can feel his senses rushing along the line until it crosses another line and then that feeling of connection multiplies and he is racing in three directions. Each time he crosses a line, his awareness expands as if he was exploring a spider-web of connections spread out all around him. He pauses for a moment, reveling in the feeling of being connected but something catches his attention on one line and his mind leaps forward and in moments he is outside of Beacon Hills and moving fast along the line.
Stiles doesn’t try to control how and where he was going, instead he just lets the flow carry him along and he suddenly realizes that the line has taken him west where it touches the Pacific Ocean and he smiles at the feeling of connection to the water. He frowns when he notices several smaller irritations that are nearby and he focuses his attention on them and suddenly he can hear singing. It’s a pod of merfolk! Eyes widening, Stiles can feel the fourteen individuals swimming beyond the shore as they move closer, curiosity clear in their auras, as they search for the new presence they have sensed. Stiles pulls back and suddenly he is shooting along another of the lines, now heading north. He feels several wolves, both alone and in packs, and unlike the merfolk, it appears that most of them are unaware of any happenings to the south but Stiles can feel the energies of the land there shifting, becoming familiar like Beacon Hills, caressing him and welcoming him as an old friend finally come home.
He enjoys the warm glow of the feelings but he quickly realizes that the Alpha of one of the packs feels…‘off’ somehow, like they are sick or something. Stiles is suddenly pulled along the lines again before he can focus enough to investigate, moving west this time. He feels a flicker of awareness, a bright, shiny mind that is significantly surprised at the connection but very much aware of him. Stiles doesn’t feel threatened. No. Instead he feels a tentative greeting, an acknowledgement of Stiles that disappears as he moves past the feather-light touch. Had someone actually recognized his presence? He doesn’t have time to consider as suddenly he is rushing south, but this time he slows his movement until he comes to a connection point of three strong Ley lines that shines brightly in his mind. Stiles touches the node and feels of surge of power as the magic gathered there yields to his touch, acknowledging him as a friend and partner. He laughs at the feeling from the magic, like it knows him and likes him!
“Stiles?” he hears his father’s voice, tentative and distant but with enough concern to alarm the teen. With an effort he pulls himself back and after a moment is coherent enough to look over to see his father standing in the doorway looking worried.
“Dad?” his voice feels raw as he answers and notices that the room is bright with light as he stares at his father, his human and normal father who’s aura is calm, restful and peaceful to his eyes. He also notices that the sun is now up and that means that he must have been meditating for several hours.
Noah Stilinski however was anything but peaceful. Waking up with the sunrise, he had come out of his bathroom when he felt a hum, a vibration that was thrumming through the whole house. Moving quickly to his son’s room, he opened the door onto a sight that had stunned him. Stiles was sitting on the floor, legs crossed, with his eyes open wide and a bright white light shining out from them. Noah had seen his son’s eyes like this before, but what he hadn’t seen before was his whole body engulfed in a rainbow of light and color, sparkles coming off him and moving around the room like miniature stars.
His first impulse was to yell but something about it made him pause. The lights were almost…joyful? He realized that they were not just moving, but they were dancing and as he watched Stiles’ face, his son was smiling gently, the stress and worries of the last year smoothed away. Noah finally called out, gently, but it was enough for his son to glance over in surprise before the lights faded away and the light around his son dimmed until it was only in his eyes before that too faded away, returning to the warm amber that always caused a slight tremor when he saw Claudia’s eyes staring back at him from Stiles’ face.
“Dad?” Stiles repeated as he slowly stood up. “Are you okay?” he asked sensing his father’s confusion.
“I think I should be asking that son” Noah said with a shake. “You were lit up like a Christmas tree.”
Stiles freezes before he barks out a nervous laugh and looks embarrassed. The two men head downstairs as the Sheriff describes what he saw when he walked in and Stiles shares his morning adventures. They have just finished breakfast when a sudden knocking on the door surprises both of them. Noah opens the door and sees Isaac Lahey standing there looking half asleep. “Isaac?” the sheriff asks with his professional voice.
“Sir” Isaac says respectfully. “Lizzie wants to talk with Stiles but she can’t get in” he points to the street where the druid was currently standing and waving.
“I got it” Stiles yelled rushing past both of them to run over to Lizzie. Grabbing her hand he pulls her across the barrier with a sheepish look. “Sorry about that” he apologizes.
“Don’t apologize. Your protections are impressive” she says as Isaac heads back home to return to his interrupted sleep. “After I felt you riding the ley lines this morning I thought we should talk. I can only stay for a few days before I need to get back home, so I thought that maybe we could spend that time together” she offers.
Moving into the house, Stiles and Lizzie sit down while the Sheriff starts moving around the kitchen before returning with fresh coffee. “I’m still a bit confused about everything” he admits to the woman looking at his son with an apologetic glance. “But I’m afraid that I am going to have to deal with the FBI and everything that Blake did before I can even think about anything else.”
Lizzie nods in understanding and keeps things light until the Sheriff heads out to go to work. He advises Stiles that he will probably be late dealing with everything before leaving. “So” Lizzie says as the door closes “I think we should talk…Morgaine to Arcanist. I can tell you what I know about your powers and history, but I imagine that you will discover a great deal more through your own studies.” She smiles at his look of frustration “Besides, I think you could also use some intensive tutoring on Druidic magic and who better than me to provide it?” her eyes twinkle as she says it.
“You are going to teach me Druidic magic?” Stiles stammers but suddenly thinks about the texts he has been reading on Druidic magic and all of the questions he has. “I have so many questions!” he says with a gleam in his eye that causes the woman to laugh and settle down. She may only be able to stay a few days, but Lizzie plans to make the most of each one.
Derek jumps up from the push-ups to grab the bar for another set of pull ups as he moves through his morning workout. He needed to press as hard as he could, reveling in the physical strain and stress that allows him to stop thinking about everything that has happened in the last 24 hours. He had struggled after Stiles had left the loft with his dad, feeling out of sorts with the teen’s absence, but he knew he shouldn’t push or press too hard. Hell, they didn’t really know what it would mean…but Stiles had kissed him and Derek can still taste the other man’s lips.
“Oh god, don't you ever rest!” Isaac groans as he walks back into the loft. He had left earlier with Lizzie because she wanted to see Stiles. The bigger frustration was the conversation she had with Derek before she left.
“I will have to leave soon, so I am going to have to monopolize his time. Use it to get your head on straight Alpha. The rush and pressure of the fight are fading but the choices you both made are not something that you can change. You will need to figure out how to be in a partnership together and I think both of you need to think about what that exactly means” she had told him.
Derek had bristled at her words, however kindly they were delivered. “I am not going to try to get out of my promise but I won’t force Stiles to do anything he doesn’t want to” he had growled.
Lizzie had laughed at that and smiled at him with what he could only call sympathy. “Derek…he’s the Arcanist. If anyone tries to force him to do something he doesn’t want to do, they probably will not live long enough to regret it. I am more worried that you won’t push him when he needs it. You are going to face what basically amounts to an invasion of your territory by every supernatural being in range and probably by some that have been hidden for centuries. Heck, some that were thought gone forever might even show up. It affects you as the Alpha of this territory as much as it does Stiles. You are his mate. Other packs in his territory will be subordinate to you simply because you are his partner and he will not consider any other pack as being your equal. They will have to accept you as well.”
Derek looks lost at her words. “You expect other packs to come here?” he finally asks.
Lizzie smiles. “Derek, he was testing his borders this morning. He reached over a hundred miles in every direction. His territory is vast and will encompass the territory of several packs easily. Despite their previous independence, this land is now his and everything inside it will have to deal with that truth regardless of what it was yesterday. You are, for lack of a better word, the co-ruler of his territory and many beings will look to use you to get to him” she sighs as she looks at his sudden defensive posture. “Not all of them will try to use you like that. They will also appeal to you, entreat you, bribe you…all because you are the mate of the Arcanist and can support their positions to him. You are an avenue to power whether you want it or not. Some may seek to threaten you but I would not wish the fate that will land on those that threaten violence to what Stiles views as his.”
Derek froze for a second as he realized what she was dancing around. There would be those that would try to use him to get what they wanted. Derek was very familiar with that and he swore never again. He knew his eyes had flashed when Lizzie sighed again.
“Derek, please think carefully. Talk to your uncle. As much as there are those that want to use you, there are many ways you can help him. You can hear things he won’t and make sure he has good counsel. Think about it, just because there are those that will seek to use you doesn’t mean that you can’t turn it around to benefit your pack and mate” she smiles wickedly and Derek feels an atavistic shiver. “You two could truly be amazing.”
Derek had watched the strange woman leave on that note and had been left with his thoughts. Angry at the idea, he also sullenly realizes that she has a point. Peter had been his mother’s second and hadn’t hesitated to do anything that would benefit the Hale pack. His father had been the gentle one, the one the family would go to for reassurance. Could he be that for Stiles? Derek had never truly felt comfortable as the Alpha. He had always expected it to be Laura and he knows that he has not always handled things the way he should have but he likes to think that he has finally gotten to the point where he was starting to do a good job as Alpha, but he knows it will always be an effort for him, not like it would have been for her. But now? Now he could still be the Alpha, but in service to a greater Alpha? Stiles would ultimately have power over the territory and Derek could be his support without any loss of reputation or sign of weakness.
Watching Isaac return to his room Derek made a decision and reached for his phone. “Come over, I need to talk with you” he said into the phone without preamble.
Christopher Argent sits at the table in his kitchen, coffee in hand, and stares at his laptop, the empty document taunting him. He has been here all morning trying to think exactly what he is supposed to say to the family and the other hunters, but for the first time in his life he truly doesn’t know where to begin. Chris has dealt with magic before, you can’t hunt the supernatural and avoid it, especially if your name is Argent, but last night was something altogether different. What he saw the kid do…that was just not something he was prepared for.
When it looked like Stilinski might die, Chris had a flash of relief followed by guilt about it, but the fact was the kid was powerful and powerful had always equaled danger. But sitting in the loft, listening to the Morgaine speak, had been enough to rattle the foundations of Chris’s world. And what little stability had been left had been shattered when less than an hour after returning home last night he found the powerful druid knocking on his door and coming in as if she owned the place.
“Allison isn’t here” he had told her hoping that she was actually looking for his daughter while knowing deep down that she must be able to tell that with her magic.
Lizzie smiled at him as she walked into his kitchen. “Would you like some tea?” she asked courteously and Chris had watched, torn between confusion and irritation, as she pulled out the tea, mugs, and water as if this was her own kitchen and not his.
“I thought you were going to try to sleep?” Chris said remembering the woman’s words as everyone began leaving after the sheriff and Stiles had left.
Lizzie looks at him and suddenly Chris feels a chill run down his spine as her eyes darken with ‘knowing’ as she stares right through him. “I will” she promises “as soon as we have our chat. I think you need someone to talk with about all of this.” She pauses as she looks at him with sympathy “You seem a bit…overwhelmed?” she prompts.
Chris snorts. “Overwhelmed? That’s a good word. What I have seen tonight…” he trails off as he sits down “…I didn’t know that kind of magic existed” he finally admits.
“No you wouldn’t. Hunters rarely see beyond their obsession” she muses as she pours the water into the cups. She laughs at his affronted reaction to her words. “Please Christopher, even you must recognize that hunting is rarely a sane choice, but rather is often an emotional response to overwhelming anger, grief, and fear.”
Chris swallows at that description and wants to argue with her but he knows that there is some serious truth behind her words. His father and sister were consumed by anger about the wolves, the fact was that they always seemed more interested in killing the wolves than protecting their victims. Chris thinks that if it hadn’t been for his uncle, his mother’s brother, he would have turned out like Kate. But Mark Argent had been his famous hunter uncle and Chris would follow him around like a puppy whenever he visited. He was strong and brave and fierce and never shied away from danger, but all of his stories ended with the protection of the innocent, not blood and gore. It had seemed that he didn’t like the bloody parts of his job, not like Gerard did.
Some family blowup happened when Chris was only thirteen which ended all contact between Gerard’s family and Mark Argent and Chris had always mourned that loss. His father turned even crueler and drove Chris and his sister even harder than before but his Uncle had given Chris something to hold on to. Something noble and worthwhile about what they did. He never forgot and Gerard never truly managed to twist his son like he did his daughter.
“Fine” he finally admits after the silence goes on too long. “But people do need protecting from the supernatural” he reminds her.
Lizzie laughs. “Christopher, I am a druid. We are the keepers of the balance. Hunters have a role, just as werewolves do. Other hunters know this and I think you do too. But you are not worried about wolves right now are you? I think you are worried more about a teenager” she says looking at him carefully.
“And you are going to tell me I don’t have to worry?” he asks sharply and sees her eyes crinkle with laughter.
“Oh no. Stiles’ magic is an unknown. His presence will make Beacon Hills shine not like a fire in the darkness but as a lighthouse reaching across the world. There will be many challenges and tests of his mettle in the days, weeks, and years ahead” she sighs and smiles. “But he is powerful, like the others before him. I do not doubt that he will ultimately triumph in his tests and will bring peace to the lands he claims. My concern is that you add to the triumph, not the challenges.”
Chris’s face doesn’t give anything away. He knows she is asking whose side he is on and he isn’t willing to commit yet. She sighs again and stands.
“Christopher, take some time before you act. Think carefully of what you know about Stiles and what he cares most about. He is a protector, a defender. He will not suffer the monsters you fear any more than you would. The difference is he doesn’t automatically assume that everyone that isn’t human is monstrous” she says gently.
“I know what he is like” Chris admits slowly “but power…power can change you. It twists your view on things and allows you to assume that what’s good for you is better even when it’s not” he says slowly. “I don’t know what the power will do to him.”
Lizzie nods but when Chris looks up he isn’t seeing the mild mannered English woman, he is seeing the ancient Morgaine. “Then understand this clearly Hunter. Act or assist any to act against the boy without absolute certainty of some crime and you will be declaring yourself his enemy and for all your toys, you would not win against him” she warns. She narrows her eyes and Chris feels his guts tighten in fear “and you would be declaring yourself my enemy as well and that is not a safe thing to be.” Morgaine turns and leaves the house and Chris can feel his heart racing at the implications. She is the High Druidess and at her word, every druid in the world would turn on him and his family not to mention how many magical beings.
Leaning back in his chair he decides that he is going to actually take her advice. Take a few days to think about this and talk with Allison…and maybe Scott. Even if Stilinski wasn’t his first choice to have that kind of power, he is definitely not the worse. Thinking of his father he shudders and even the hint of the idea of what Gerard would do if he could get his hands on the boy.
Okay, just a fair notice, but this story will not be updated like it's predecessor. I had way more free time and no conflicts when I was writing part 1 and I also held off starting until I was over half done. This time, I am writing much closer to the story, so it will progress slower. I also struggle with WIPs so I have no problem if you want to wait till its done, but it may be a while.
Another note. I started this before Avengers IW and Endgame so they are not referenced. I am roughly placing it after Winter Soldier but before Civil War. Any errors in continuity are because...we are in the multiverse next door to the MCU, not the author's screw ups, so it must be intentional. (I totally see why you need whole rooms of writers to keep up with all the details!!!)
Thanks again for everyone who has enjoyed this story and asked for more.
Stiles tried to shake off the lingering traces of the morning as he and Lizzie walked into the clearing, passing the new stone monoliths surrounding it that somehow already looked ancient and worn. “Why did you want to come here?” Stiles asks the woman as they sit down in the center of the circle.
“This is a place of power for you Stiles. This is where you ascended and became something new, where you bound yourself to your land, where the Fae Queens’ Court came and wrought High Magics, and where the ley lines of this place have shifted to connect as a temporary nexus until you settle into your formal home as long as you don’t venture too far away” she told him. “You have taken in the power of the Nemeton, but you haven’t fully stabilized it yet. The Queens helped to tether the magic here but it is straining to return to you and until it stabilizes and settles, things are…in flux. For now, this place will shine to those with the gifts to see it and so we can use it to help you connect to nature more easily as it is already doing that naturally” she adds with a smile. Stiles feels more than a little nervous about that but nods knowing that he can’t really stop it so he needs to learn how to manage it.
The next few hours fly by for Stiles as Lizzie explains the tenets of Druidic magic and shows him how to tap into the powers of his Druidic Mark. For Druids, there is less spellwork and structure, instead its core lies in understanding the interplay of the various magics of nature. Lizzie explains the flows of natural energy and how they manifest in plants, trees, animals, and rocks. “Our magic is about understanding how energy and power manifests in aspects of nature and how we can amplify, use, and manipulate those forces to do our bidding. Take the Rowan tree. It is a defensive power, especially against the supernatural, so it is best used for protection magic; barriers, shields, and wards. Made into mountain ash, it creates a barrier to keep out many creatures, but its power comes from the combination of the druid who created it, the inherent magic of the wood, and the belief of the caster who uses it.”
“So…” Stiles pauses for a moment as he thinks “…so it is limited by the caster and the druid’s beliefs and magic? So could the ash be made to keep out even non-supernaturals?” he asks after a moment.
“Yes. If you have enough power and will behind it. Your potions will be more effective, your charms more powerful, and your spellwork greater the more you believe in yourself and the more connected you are to your power base. I can make mountain ash barriers that can stop a tank. I would be surprised if you couldn’t as well” she replies and chuckles at the look of glee on his face.
The rest of the day passes quickly as they move to discussions about the plants and herbs around them. Stiles talks about some of what he has learned from his books but Lizzie’s explanations are a hundred times better and clearer and he picks things up rapidly. Stiles laughs the first time a flock of butterflies comes to his call and that’s when he notices that they are not as alone as he thought. Deer, squirrels, rabbits, foxes, coyotes, and more birds than he can count have invaded the clearing to watch the two magic users at work.
“Nature recognizes me as its champion and you as the warden for these lands and so the beasts of the earth and sky respond to you. I imagine there are numerous insects and other burrowing animals that we are not seeing that were drawn here as well” she says with a gentle smile as a young fawn daringly approaches to nuzzle her open hand. “You will find that this sense of connection is going to grow every day as you become grounded. Soon even the trees will recognize and acknowledge you” she adds with a wink as she watches the teen gently petting several nervous looking rabbits.
“Why aren’t the foxes and coyotes…” Stiles pauses and gestures at the rabbits with a look that Lizzie supposes is supposed to be fierce.
She laughs. “Our presence creates a sense of peace and serenity that calms those near us, but also it is the magic of this place. I would bet that no normal animal will shed blood while we are here and probably not within the circle at all. In some places there is a…truce in effect” she explains.
They end up spending the rest of the day in the circle as Lizzie explains more about Druidic magic and nature and Stiles just absorbs it like a sponge, asking questions, and making leaps of intuition. Lizzie isn’t sure if it is because he is the Arcanist or not, but if he had been a Druid, he probably would have taken months if not years to comprehend and understand what he grasped in just a few short hours. The world was definitely going to have to adjust to this one she laughed silently.
“It’s not that big of a deal Lyds” Jackson said as he held open the door to Beacon Hills Beans as Lydia Martin walked inside the pack’s favorite coffee shop. “It doesn’t really mean anything” he adds with obvious frustration.
“Jackson” Lydia’s voice is calm, cool, and collected but it doesn’t fool him for one second…she isn’t happy. “You committed to the pack, that means you accepted Derek and Stiles as your Alphas. Even if you didn’t you would still have to submit to him if you want to stay here” she reminds him. Ever since yesterday Lydia had been considering what the Morgaine told them and though it galled her, she did understand that things had changed. Stiles went from just being a guy who used to have a crush on her to being the most powerful guy in town, literally. “We both do” she adds wryly.
Jackson snorts at the idea of her ever submitting to anyone but wisely doesn’t say anything. The fact was that during the fight Jackson had made the decision to be pack and he had felt the change in his connection to the others. He still had issues with them, but he could feel the pack bonds thrumming and he knew that things were never going to go back to the way they were. “Besides, aren’t you planning to go to MIT? That’s outside the territory” he reminds her.
Lydia glances at the line before responding. “I may, but Stanford is also an option. Either way, Beacon Hills is part of us and I don’t want to have to avoid the place. Besides, you heard Morgaine, things are going to start happening here.” Lydia’s eyes lose focus a bit and Jackson groans at the look in them.
“You are obsessed with the queens aren’t you” he demands with a knowing look and sees Lydia smirk back at him.
“Only a fool would ignore them and what they represent. Besides…Stiles is going to need people to be his eyes and hands that can travel. Being connected to that kind of power isn’t so bad” she adds with a toss of her hair.
“Oh, sorry!” a voice, cracking between a boy’s and a man’s, interrupts them as a shorter guy bumps into Jackson, narrowly avoiding spilling his drink.
“Watch it kid!” Jackson snarls but Lydia immediately pulls him back.
“Sorry, still getting over the jet lag. We just got to California this morning” the boy said. Lydia was startled at the intense green eyes under the jet black hair. He was close to their age.
“Are you new? I don’t recognize you?” Lydia said staring at the teen. “Where do you go to school?”
“Right…sorry” the teen replied looking away from Jackson to stare at the strawberry blonde. “Wow you’re pretty” he suddenly blushed and started choking.
“Oh man…not another one” Jackson whined and rolled his eyes. He had finally gotten rid of Stilinski and now here was a new stalker for Lydia.
Lydia merely raised an eyebrow at the blushing boy and waited. “Sorry, just…I mean…sorry. I’m Billy. Billy Dosonni” the teen stuck out his hand but pulled it back slowly at Lydia’s look. “My family just moved here and I am starting at Beacon Hills High. I’m a freshman” he adds with a stammer as he avoided meeting Lydia’s eyes.
“Well, I guess we will see you at school” Lydia says dryly and moves to the register to order. Jackson glares at the teen who quickly exits the shop after detouring widely to avoid getting any closer to the beta.
“Was that truly necessary?” Lydia asked him once they finally sit down.
“Necessary?” Jackson snorted. “No…but if he going to Beacon Hills High, he should know who to avoid and not piss off” he added with a smirk.
Lydia sipped her tea with a sigh. Jackson was an ass but he was hers and she took some comfort in the fact that most of Jackson’s arrogance was more habit than real now. He didn’t want to admit it but joining the pack helped settle him and she was hoping it would stick.
Noah walked into the station and he could feel the tension in the room like a palpable thing. He knew that his deputies wouldn’t be happy with the feds, but he was certain they would be professional. For them to be this anxious, something had to have happened. It took about ten seconds before his people saw him and he could see the relief on their faces. “Roberts” Noah says to the man at the desk “is Graeme in?”
“Yes sir. She is with Agent Jones in the conference room” he replies glancing in that direction. “The feds have set up in there” he adds and Noah can feel the disapproval rolling off the man as he delivers the line in a clipped voice.
Noah holds back the sigh he was feeling and heads into the station moving to the conference room and doesn’t pause before he pushes open the door to look around at the carefully controlled chaos in his station. Graeme and Parrish are both in the room and Tara looks like she is about to snap. There are four or five agents in the room but the older woman talking with Parrish surprisingly looks calm and professional. He doesn’t see why tensions seem so high.
“Glad you could bother to show up” a familiar voice says that makes Noah Stilinski’s skin crawl. He knew that voice. Glancing over he looks at the overtly smug look on Raphael McCall’s face. Noah sees both his deputies tense up and even the senior agent looks uncomfortable. “Sleep off your…‘condition’?” he adds in a suggestive manner with obviously false concern.
“You mean escaping from two serial killers, rescuing two civilians from them, and providing detailed descriptions of them. Killers that I might add have apparently been killing across the country without the Bureau even noticing? That condition? Yes. I got a good night’s sleep and had a wonderful meal with my son before coming back. I am sure you can appreciate how important it is to spend time with your family” he says with a completely innocent smile.
He ignores Tara’s choked noise and turns to the female agent, ignoring the tic on McCall’s face though he imagines that he can actually hear the man’s teeth grinding together. “You are the senior agent, I presume. I’m Noah Stilinski, the Sheriff” he adds knowing it wasn’t necessary.
“Larissa Jones” she says extending her hand for a quick shake. “I am in charge of our team as we try to find these targets.” Larissa decides not to address the obvious prior relationship between McCall and the Sheriff but she suddenly realizes that the man’s insistence on coming and being here was not about the case but something else. However she doesn’t plan on getting in the middle of a pissing contest.
“Have you been able to find anything since yesterday?” Noah asks moving towards the table as Agent Jones indicates that everyone should sit down.
“We have established that Jennifer Blake is an alias, her credentials and entire identity was faked, very well done, but it didn’t hold up to an intensive review” she says shuffling some papers. “The man we have identified by several aliases but the most common is Deucalion Leidolf. He is from Boston as far as we can tell though he travels rather extensively. We have evidence of him all over the US.” The agent looks unhappy before she continues “and in just about every place we have evidence of him…there were also multiple unsolved homicides.”
“How many?” Noah asks after a pause where everyone looked extremely uncomfortable. He could tell that she was unhappy about this.
“Nineteen that we have information on” she says and Noah leans back at the implications of that. The feds are going to be furious that they missed this.
“This is all preliminary of course. We have no evidence that any of this is related to this situation, it’s all supposition and circumstantial evidence right now” McCall says glaring at the senior agent as if he is furious that she is implying it was their fault.
“We had no evidence that either were potential suspects until they overreached” Noah says thoughtfully. “Have you been able to find any known associates?” he asks the agent.
“We are still running down info. We have several possible leads, but I am not sure how many of those will turn out” she admits glaring back at McCall. What was the man’s problem?
“Parrish. Pull traffic cams and any video we can get and see if we can spot the man on them. He should be easy to spot with his cane. If we find him talking to anyone we don’t know, we might be able to show their pictures to people in Agent Jones’ other cases. Maybe we will get lucky and get a hit” Noah says looking back at the Agent.
“Actually I can do you one better. Perkins!” she shouts and one of the Agents at a computer looks up. “Work with Deputy Parrish on his videos” she turns back to Jordan and the Sheriff. “We can use our facial recognition software to look through hours of footage in a fraction of the time. Once we have him, we can identify anyone he talks to.”
Jordan looks happy at the idea of not having to sit through all that footage. Noah nods and Jones pulls out another file. “We wanted to identify any pattern in their victims to see if that will help us. This is what we have so far” she begins and Noah settles in for a long meeting. He really wishes he could tell them that both of their subjects are currently buried in the Preserve but since that isn’t possible, he is going to have to put up with the agents until the false leads start coming in via the Argents.
Derek looks resigned as Peter opens the door to the loft and struts in looking entirely too pleased with himself. “Why are you so happy?” Derek growls at his uncle.
“Why my dear nephew” Peter drawls looking at Derek with a smile that did not bode well for anyone on the receiving end. “To get a call inviting me to speak with the Alpha of Alphas? I must admit I am overwhelmed with the honor of your attention.”
Derek growls at his uncle, his eyes flashing red and Peter’s responding automatically, his eyes that ice blue that Derek once saw in his own reflection. “This is serious Peter” he snaps and the other man drops the façade and rolls his eyes.
“Then perhaps you should try actually asking me to come over instead of snarling orders at me. I thought we were beyond all that” Peter says sitting down in the arm chair that Derek usually used.
Derek frowned but since he didn’t really want to sit down, he was content to let Peter stay there while he paced. “Lizzie told me some things about Stiles and how it would affect the other packs in his territory.”
Peter sat up looking interested based on the gleam in his eye. “Do you know how big his territory actually is?” Peter asks with a calculating look. Derek just shakes his head and Peter sighs. “There are a number of packs in this part of California, ones that used to have understandings with us before. Both Talia and our mother often entertained nearby Alphas to discuss issues or concerns.”
Derek looked surprised at that tidbit. “Grandma Abigail?” he asks while his mind tries to catch up. By the time Derek was born, his mother had been Alpha for several years and his grandmother was a strong and imposing woman, but it was Talia Hale who was the undisputed Alpha of the Hale Pack.
“You know that your mother wasn’t born an Alpha right?” Peter asks sarcastically and Derek glares without answering. “Our mother was Alpha for nearly 50 years before she passed it on to Talia. She inherited the mantle during WWII. There was some incident that she never fully explained that killed our grandfather, her father, so Abigail had to take over at a fairly young age. If I remember correctly, she was only sixteen at the time. Created her first ally with a werewolf named Satomi, whose pack was a friend until the…” Peter trailed off and both Hale men avoided filling in that detail.
“So they were respected?” Derek asks in a quiet voice.
“Very much so. At least among the non-hunters. Hales have always been connected to the land and the people here. Our family has been here even before the Spanish arrived in California. According to family legend, the earliest wolves were from the Miwok tribe. There was no explanation as to how they became wolves, but they were here when the Spanish arrived. A small pack, who came to California with a Franciscan monk named Junipero Serra, moved into the area and as these things normally go, the daughter from the Galvez pack fell in love with a young wolf from the local pack and the two packs merged. The Galvez pack got the connection to the land and the local tribe became Spanish citizens who managed the land” Peter intoned thoroughly enjoying himself.
Derek would like to pop his ego but the truth was that he was enthralled and moved to sit on the couch. “So how did the land become Hale territory?” he asked.
“Ah, again we look to our family’s history of powerful women. Mereen Hale was the Alpha of a Pack in the rougher parts of Scotland, though family rumor says the family originally came from Norway, and they had just fought a long and bloody battle. Mereen was left with only four surviving pack members and her Emissary so she decided to leave Scotland for the new world. After landing in the colonies, the Hales headed west and didn’t stop until they hit the Pacific and this was before Lewis and Clark so it was a rather impressive feat. Mereen had reported that she had a vision of a jet black wolf that led her west until they found the Galvez Pack. The Alpha from that pack was older and had lost his heir and son in a fight and was willing to offer the Hales asylum. A few years later, Mereen’s daughter married Galvez’s grandson and the packs were merged. Isabelle inherited her mother’s Alpha spark and Diego inherited his grandfather’s and the pack was led by an Alpha Pair for the first time.” Peter was surprised he remembered as much as he did from his time in the family library, he would have to be sure to write all this down now that it was fresh in his memory.
“But why are we Hales instead of Galvez?” Derek asks his uncle trying to restrain the eagerness in his voice.
“Ah. Well as I said, the family was fairly matriarchal at the time so when they wed, the new pack chose to become Hale. Apparently there was some mystical indications that appeared to Mereen about the need for a less Spanish name. Isabelle and Diego however were much more worldly than either of their parents or grandparents and invested heavily in a number of ventures that helped secure the family’s long term finances. In fact, it was a Hale who helped California obtain statehood, though he went by his father’s name who was human” Peter tossed the fact in absently. That reminded him he should probably reestablish contact with the various financial managers the family used.
Derek looked thoughtful as he considered Peter’s story. “What about magic? Magic beyond our innate magic I mean. I didn’t know about Deaton being our emissary but before things were messed up…did we have a different connection with them?”
Peter smiled, he was really enjoying this Derek. The one who asked Peter for help and information because he recognized the older man’s worth. “Well, before the incident with the witch Morgan, the Hale’s were fairly connected to magic. In fact I remember reading a number of stories where human born pack members developed significant magical abilities. Those that were druidic or witch in nature usually stayed with the pack since we had them as part of the family as far back as anyone remembered. There were a few enchanters and sorcerers as well, but they rarely stayed with the family but instead went to find others like them.” Peter wondered what happened to those lost Hales.
“You said druids were in the family before the Hales came? I thought Deaton said that the druids came over from Europe after helping the sons of Lycaon learn to control their shifts” Derek asks after thinking about what the vet had told them.
Peter smirked at that. “Well that is a matter of some debate. What we call druidic magic is most closely associated with the historical druids from the British Isles, but the truth is that druidic magic existed long before the Celts. They were simply the best known for using it, admittingly they were probably the most gifted in the world with it, but their view of history is a bit…slanted” Peter raised an eyebrow at his nephew’s snort. They had both had unsatisfactory dealings with the former emissary. “The tale of King Lycaon is only one tale about how werewolves happened. There is also the story that a magic user, not sure which kind, was the one who made it so that a man who drank water from the footprint of a wolf on a full moon would gain the power to shift.”
Derek looked less than impressed by that suggested origin. “What did mom believe?”
Peter looked thoughtful. “I am truly not sure. I know that she enjoyed the story that werewolves were actually created by the Goddess Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, to deliver her divine justice. The story goes on that she also created human hunters to balance the wolves, to prevent them from taking over. She apparently liked the idea of balance. There is also a story that the earth mother Gaia created all shifters to be guardians of nature” Peter rolled his eyes telling Derek what the man felt about that option.
“And you?” Derek asks with a penetrating stare. “I don’t believe that you haven’t thought about this and tried to figure it out.”
Peter chuckles. “True. I feel all of those options are possible, but I like to think that we are the descendants of Hati and Skoll.” Looking at Derek he sees the confusion on the Alpha’s face. “In Norse mythology, Hati and Skoll were the wolves that Odin bespelled to chase after the sun and the moon to keep them on time and moving in the sky. They were the sons of Fenris, the great wolf who was bound to a mountain in order to prevent him from eating the world. Fenris was the son of Loki, the god of mischief” Peter elaborated. “I always liked the idea of the mixed nature of duty, burden, and strength that story shows.”
“Not to mention power” Derek adds and shakes his head at the look of surprise on his uncle’s face. “You always felt we were more and the idea that we are descended from Norse gods would definitely appeal. And I remember Laura telling me about Fenris, the wolf who was destined to kill Odin and that he was restrained because of his lack of control. She always said that was why mom was so strict as we learned control” Derek sighed and stood up to pace. He paused for a moment before he looked at his uncle. “Do you think that Lizzy knows the truth?” he asks Peter.
The older man looks completely caught off guard. He had never considered asking, mainly because he never thought he would have the chance to meet the Morgain, let alone be in the position to question her. “I honestly don’t know” he finally admits.
“Okay” Derek says sitting back down. “Can you remember anything else about our family?”
Peter shrugs. He is sure there is but without something prompting his memory he isn’t sure. He has an idea “Actually…there may be some of the older, more valuable volumes in the Hale vaults.”
“Vaults? Plural?” Derek asks looking confused.
Peter nods. “The main family vault is here in Beacon Hills, but several members of the family created other vaults in other places over the years. I imagine Talia knew them all, but I know of at least four. There is one in Mexico that I am fairly sure hasn’t been touched in over a century. There is also one in Colorado and another in upstate New York” Peter looks amused but also thoughtful. “I was certain that there was one in Scotland, but I hadn’t narrowed its location down before the fire” he freezes for a moment before pushing on “but I might be able to recreate my work” he adds looking at Derek.
“If we can find out more of our history, I think that would be very valuable. If Lizzie is correct about how people are going to react to Stiles, then we need to be prepared for the attention as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if we have to deal with more wolves like Deucalion who feel that they would be better masters of this territory” Derek told his uncle.
Peter paused and looked at Derek in surprise. He hadn’t even thought of that! With the boy being so powerful, there would be Alphas who think that they could use him for their own purposes, especially as probably none of them truly understand the true fact of the boy’s strength. Peter has no doubt if he has made friends of both the Sorcerer Supreme as well as the Morgaine and the Merlin, the other masters of the domains will probably be coming by to size up the teen. That doesn’t even count the impact of the Fae Queens. Peter can’t remember any mortal affair that drew all four of them to the same place in this world in the last thousand years! There were stupid and arrogant wolves that would think Stiles was a powerful druid or something and attempt to dominate him and while Peter doubted that any of them would be too much for the teen, the constant fighting would get old fast.
“You see the problem?” Derek asks his uncle casually and the older man nods gravely. They need to deal with this before it becomes an issue.
“So how do we stop the fools?” Peter demands as he stands up and he sees the slight uptick in Derek’s lips, not quite a smile.
“I want to send you to Satomi. She is the closest Alpha and probably is already feeling the effects of Stiles’ power. I want you to invite her, politely, back here to talk” Derek instructs.
Peter nods. It’s a good idea. “Satomi is a good choice. Her pack is small so she is not a threat, but she has been an Alpha for a long time and is respected, at least by the respectable packs.”
“We are not going to be able to reason with wolves like Deucalion and Kali” Derek replies firmly. “Instead we are going to surround our territory with allies. If Lizzie is right, I bet packs will want to enter Stiles’ territory to benefit from the magical side effects. If we have enough of them around us…” his voice trails off as he watches Peter smile wickedly.
“They will keep out the idiots in order to preserve their own benefits” Peter finishes and nods his approval. It seems that his nephew is learning quickly. This is a plan that both his sister and mother would have thoroughly approved of. “I will set up a meeting with Satomi as soon as I can. The Delgado and Anderson packs are probably also in his territory based on what we know so far. They were Hale allies once, I will reach out to them after sending Satomi to you.”
Derek nods and they discuss other packs they might reach out to before Peter leaves to start making contact with the other packs. Since returning to Beacon Hills Derek has felt that he has been lurching from crisis to crisis with no chance to breathe. He is changing that. Beacon Hills is going to be his home and he is going to secure it from anyone: human, hunter, magical, or shifter. Smiling he reaches for his phone, it’s time to get the pack involved.
“So is this it?” Kira asks her parents as the pull up in front of the two story house in Beacon Hills. She is still pretty annoyed at having to move again but the town seems nice if a bit small.
“Yes. The movers will be here tomorrow, but I thought you might want to see the house and select your room” Noshiko answers absently as they approach the door. She and Ken have talked and he has agreed to take Kira to the school to finalize her paperwork when he goes to meet with the school staff.
After a few minutes in the house, Kira has selected her bedroom and is happy with it as it has a great view of their backyard and she can even see the woods from her window. Coming down the stairs she sees her father grabbing his briefcase as her mother gathers her purse. “We are leaving already?” Kira asks in confusion. They just got here!
“We need to get your school registration finished and I need to get my paperwork done. No time like the present” Ken says happily.
“So where’s mom going?” Kira asks looking at the older woman.
“We need groceries, so I will pick up some to tide us over” Noshiko says with a smile. The family heads out and they drop off Kira’s mother at a nearby store after she assures them she can walk the short distance back.
Ken smiles and heads out for the school as he asks Kira about her class interests. A glance in the mirror shows Noshiko heading for the woods, not the store, but Kira is too excited about her answer to notice.
“Welcome to Beacon Hills Mr. Yukimura” Natalie Martin said with a smile as they shook hands. “And you must be Kira?” she smiles at the blushing teen.
“Thank you so much for meeting us” Ken tells her and she smiles as she walks them back to her temporary office.
“Well I am sorry to say that things have been a bit crazy around here. Our Principal for the last few years left suddenly without notice and a new principal was appointed only to have him leave also without notice. Left between one day and the next” she said as they sat down. “I was on the school board and since I had taught before, I was asked to step in until we find someone, so I hope you are not too disappointed. I know I was very happy that you applied, you are truly a godsend for us” she says happily.
“Thank you” Ken replies looking embarrassed.
“I must admit I am surprised that you were even interested in the job. Your credentials are incredible. I am surprised that you are not teaching at a college” Natalie tells him.
“Well, my wife’s family business requires us to travel extensively so I found it is better to teach at the high school level” he answers happily.
“Well, we are very lucky to have you. Now Kira” she says turning to the teen “let’s get you figured out and then I can show you both around” Natalie Martin says smiling. There was a great deal of things that Gerard Argent ignored during his time at the school that she was still trying to fix but hiring Ken Yukimura had been a definite lucky stroke.
Noshiko moved into the woods, moving easily and quickly as she headed for the old tree where she had imprisoned the Nogitsune. Ever since that night a few days ago when she was awoken from a fear drenched nightmare, she knew something was wrong. She had called in several favors and had the family moving in no time thanks to her husband’s cooperation, even if he didn’t totally understand. Her failure so many years ago had caused too much death and she would not let that evil back into the world again.
She was surprised how easily she moved through the woods but she remembered the power that the great oak tree held, the nexus of ley lines in the area and a source of supernatural power. Noshiko thought about that night, when in her rage and grief she had summoned and unleashed the nogitsune upon those men. She had regretted it almost immediately and ultimately, with the help of her friend, the werewolf Satomi, they expelled it from Rhys’ body and captured it. Rhys died in the effort and Noshiko had moved on, but the pain was still there.
Moving silently through the trees, Noshiko noticed how lush and green everything was in the Preserve. The trees were vibrant with new buds and she noticed that the grasses, ferns, and flowers looked almost impossibly healthy. She paused to listen and heard a litany of birds, insects, and small animals, thriving and happy. It was as if they entire woods had been supercharged and not threatening which meant that maybe the beast was still caged. Shaking her head, she continued towards the clearing, hoping to confirm the security of the prison and put her fears to rest.
Finally recognizing her location, she sped up. It was only a short distance now that she had found the creek and boulder that she remembered. Moments later she stepped into the clearing and froze in shock. First the tree was gone. There was nothing there, just a field of green grasses and an abundance of wildflowers. The most shocking thing however was the circle of stone monoliths in the clearing that looked ancient even though she knew they couldn’t be. Noshiko had been to England and seen the circles there and this place reeked of that ancient magic.
Moving around the circle she spotted the spot where she was certain the Nemeton once stood but there was nothing there. Just more flowers and grass and she felt her heartbeat accelerating. She could not sense any trace of the nogitsune. Taking a calming breath, the kitsune extended her senses around her. As a celestial kitsune, Noshiko could see the nature of magic and when she opened her eyes she was nearly overwhelmed.
First, the Nemeton was gone! The nexus that once met at the tree centered in the stone circle like she expected, but it was moving slightly, like trees in the wind. Shifting back and forth like a boat tied to the dock, wanting to move away but held in place by some magic she did not understand. Second, there were signs of a terrible battle in this place. She could feel the darkness and the blood and her senses showed her that there were at least two werewolves buried here. There were also traces of a very dark power that had been defeated. In fact she could sense a considerable power laying over the clearing, declaring this place protected. Her eyes widening in shock she looked around and saw the aura of peace on this place. Blood would not be spilled here again.
Looking deeper she saw traces of other powers, several very old, far older than herself and one that was newborn. Something incredible had happened here and changed everything. The problem was she didn’t know what had happened to the void fox that she had left here. It was a thousand years old, crafty and powerful and Noshiko could only figure that during the battle, it had escaped and was now free. She needed help.
Shaking off her heavenly vision, Noshiko turned towards home. She would have to pick up some food to keep Kira from getting suspicious and then she needed to get help. She could summon the Oni, but before that, there was one other who could help her. Her old ally Satomi.
“Do you have to go?” Stiles asked with a guilty expression when he could hear the whine in his own voice.
Lizzie smiled. “I do have my own responsibilities that I need to get back to Stiles” she responded with a fond smile. “Besides, you have come far in the last few days and I am always just a call away.” Lizzie had given the teen both hers and Arthur’s cell numbers and email so that he could stay in contact.
Stiles frowned “But I can’t visit” he said with his best impression of Scott’s puppy dog eyes before he looked betrayed by the snort that came from his father at his efforts. “Traitor” he muttered looking at the highly amused man.
Lizzie laughed. “Stiles this isn’t goodbye. We still have things to show you, but you have enough to help you as you make some decisions” she reminded him and Stiles groaned. Lizzie had helped create a seemingly endless list of tasks that he needed to take care of, each apparently more important than the next.
The last few days had been hectic in their own way for Stiles and Lizzie. She had been serious about dominating his time and he hadn’t actually seen or talked to anyone except his dad since she had showed up at his door. He was up before dawn to trudge out to the circle with Lizzie to meditate and reflect until the dawn when she guided him in observing the forest awakening and the birth of a new day’s magic. Druidic magic was the green-gold magic of life itself and it was so much more than he ever suspected. Deaton, and even Morrell, had explained druidic magic as rituals and the properties of plants, herbs, rocks, and wood. The truth was that was just the beginning of true druidic magic.
Stiles learned of the natural energy that all life emitted, almost as a by-product of life itself. This magical energy flowed like water, collecting together and adding that energy until it became a river of power that flowed invisibly along the land. Originally he thought the ley lines were some structure, but in truth they were these power collections of the life energy of everything from the smallest plant and insect all the way up to animals and people. As this energy flowed across the land, it was available to those with the power to sense and direct it. It manifested in as many ways as practitioners could imagine.
Normal druids accepted the limits and inherent properties of the magic of nature without looking behind those assumptions. Mountain ash or Rowan had a magic of its own that users could easily call forth to create barriers against the supernatural but Lizzie showed him that he can expand on it so much more. By pulling the magic of the lines to draw on, Stiles was able to use mountain ash in ways he never imagined. Barriers using the energy of the lines could block anything almost like a magical force field. Lizzie had created a circle and it had repelled Stiles’ fireballs, wind gusts, even a blast of water. She had sit calmly inside while Stiles pounded at her barrier but he was not able to get through. Of course when he tried to sneak in a bit of sorcery she had magically “whacked” him upside the head and he looked guilty but not exactly chastised.
After a busy morning, they would return to Stiles’ house for a quick meal accompanied by discussions over some of the books that Deaton and Morrell had loaned him before their afternoon nap. Then it was time to study his territory and push his senses. He was able to sense magical and supernatural presences but he still had a long way to go. He had kept getting distracted by the pack and had zoomed in on Derek usually several times a session, the Alpha’s energies naturally drawing his attention. Lizzie had despaired ever getting him past it but on their last day he had finally managed to recognize the pack bonds and was able to filter them out. He was surprised by the number of supernatural and magical beings in Beacon Hills, not to mention in his full territory.
After dinner with his dad, Lizzie dragged him back to the Preserve to spend time with the energies of the night and they would stay out until midnight before heading home for a few hours’ sleep to start all over again. Truthfully, as much as he will miss her, he isn’t going to miss her crazy schedule for training. “Well, I suppose getting a full night’s sleep will definitely be a relief” he says with a heavy sigh.
Lizzie laughs. “I will send you those books I mentioned and I will also reach out to the others to let them know about you, though I am sure they felt your ascension.” They both snicker at that remembering Arthur’s furious phone call the day after when he lit into both of them for not telling him what was going on. “Not to mention, I bet that at least one or two may actually know about you from their own magic” she smiles.
A few more goodbye hugs with both Stilinski men and a promise to visit again soon and Lizzie gathers up her small set of belongings. Stiles straightens up and using his sling ring, opens a portal to her house and she steps through with a jaunty wave. Stiles watches for a moment before closing the fiery portal with a sigh. “Well…I have to admit I am going to miss her” Noah Stilinski says with a sad sigh.
“You mean you are going to miss her keeping me so busy I couldn’t keep track of all your runs to Claire’s bakery and the diner” Stiles replied with a snort at his father’s innocent protest. “It’s not just the supernatural I can sense, if I know someone well enough, I can sense them. I spotted you at Claire’s, Rocco’s pizzeria, and the diner at least twice a day. Now that I know how to use mountain ash better, maybe I will circle their businesses with a barrier that will only keep you out” he said with a dangerous glint in his eyes.
Noah frowned at the threat but then smiled. He had Lizzie and Arthur’s numbers and he was sure they would help. He hoped.
Derek froze when he heard it. The distinctive rattle of the jeep’s engine as it approached. Moving towards the window he quickly spotted the familiar blue jeep approaching the building. For the last few days he had been able to stay distracted for two reasons: first, Stiles was wrapped up with Lizzie in a cram course in druidic magic but she was due to leave this morning so that was apparently done and second, he had been keeping the pack running and moving. So he hadn’t had time to think about what he was going to say or do the next time he saw the teen but that didn’t matter anymore because he was on the way and Derek knew that Stiles was going to want to talk…endlessly.
A small quirk came to his lips as he thought that. The teen was incapable of silence and babbled more than enough for the two of them but he was certain that he was going to have to participate this time. Luckily the others were out so it would be just them. Derek spent a brief moment wondering if they were here whether or not that would delay things but in all likelihood the pack would scatter the moment Stiles asked. He groaned. The text that Erica got an hour ago! She had come into the room demanding that Isaac and Boyd come with her to go shopping. He should have known it was a ploy to leave Derek alone for Stiles.
Derek listened as the jeep came to a stop and as Stiles got out and headed for the loft. He heard the main door open and listened to his mate’s heartbeat as he walked the floor until reaching the elevator and he could still hear the nervous heartbeat over the sound of the elevator. He considered opening the door but decided against it, remaining by the large windows overlooking the town. A few moments later he heard Stiles pause outside the door and take several deep breaths before opening the door with a shove and stepping inside.
He didn’t know what he was expecting. He guessed it was foolish to think the teen would look any different than he had a week ago or even the morning after, but he was simply Stiles. It was like nothing had changed. Derek could see the tension in his face and would have laughed if not for the sudden impact of his scent. It hit Derek like a palpable force as he inhaled the intoxicating scent: mate, home, mine! The Alpha staggered at the force of the sensation never knowing it would be like this. “Derek?” Stiles tentative voice helped him regain focus. He was staring at Derek worriedly.
“Sorry” Derek muttered shaking his head and taking a step towards the teen almost involuntarily. “Did Lizzie get home okay?” he asks after an awkward pause.
Stiles nodded. “She had breakfast with me and dad before I opened a portal for her to go home” he smiles ruefully and Derek is hit with a quick blast of resentment and loss. “She offered to visit again if I want.” Derek could tell what the young man was not saying…that he couldn’t visit her anymore.
“I’m sorry…I know you didn’t want to be trapped here…” Derek says softly and sees the quick look of appreciation in Stiles’ eyes before it’s gone.
“Hey, not dead and really powerful, guess that’s a fair trade for being stuck here for the rest of my life” Stiles says with a shrug.
Derek took a deep breath “Stiles, we don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. I know you said you were okay with what I did but that was when things were crazy…” he faltered as he looked at the narrowed eyes on Stiles’ face.
Stiles let him sweat for a second before he spoke. “Derek. Nothing has changed. I know what the mate bite means. You can’t go back and I am not sure I can either” he sighs and moves to sit down on the couch. Derek remains standing looking guarded. “Our bond is part of my power. Lizzie and I talked about it a lot and the fact that we are not really…together yet, well it’s making it hard for me.”
Derek frowns in confusion and moves closer almost unconsciously, wanting to comfort and protect. “Hard how?” he asks instead.
Stiles looks mutinous but finally gives up. “I keep getting distracted by you. I will be meditating, trying to ‘feel’ my territory, and all of a sudden I’m locked in on you. I finally learned to dampen it a bit, but Lizzie was pretty sure as long as things were unsettled between us, my senses would be messed up.”
Derek finally sits down and sighs. “So how do we fix it?” he asks with a mix of apprehension and concern.
Stiles smirks and raises his eyebrows in a terrible attempt at what he probably believes is somehow seductive. Despite the absolute failure of the attempt, Derek still blushes a bit when he gets the point. Stiles snickers. “Yeah. Not quite an easy fix…well, I suppose it could be, but knowing us, I don’t think it would be that easy.”
“So…what do we do?” Derek finally asks after a minute. “We went from allies and friends to mates without having any chance to figure things out.”
Stiles’ head snaps up with a look of inspiration. “That’s it!” he crows and Derek looks wary at the glee in his eyes. “We just need to do the stuff you would normally do before you decided to mate someone!”
Derek raises a single eyebrow and stares for a moment as he watches Stiles process what he just said and manages to hold back the laugh at the sudden flush on his mate’s face. “I don’t mean that!” he exclaims flushing even more. “I meant dating. You know? Going out, spending time together, getting to know each other better. That kind of thing.”
Swallowing down his amusement Derek nods in agreement. “I think we can do that, but we have something else we have to do as well” he says in a somber voice. Stiles looks confused at the change in tone but before he can ask Derek continues “You dad invited me to dinner tomorrow at your house.”
Stiles pales and gulps nervously. Dinner with Derek and his dad? Oh…this was not going to go over well. Stiles had managed to avoid any conversations with his father about Derek over the last few days and it now appears it wasn’t Stiles’ ninja-like verbal skills, the old man was playing the waiting game and outmaneuvered him. Oh lord!
Noshiko steps out of her car and sees her old friend standing outside her pack house. Satomi has definitely aged since the last time she saw the alpha. Of course forty years will do that, even to a werewolf. She herself started showing age signs when she got pregnant with Kira, but she still looked young enough to be the werewolf’s daughter instead of being over 800 years older than she was. Walking up to Satomi she gave a terse smile and the woman turned and walked inside sure that the kitsune would follow.
Neither talked during the time that Satomi prepared tea for her visitor and herself. The ritual was both calming and familiar and Noshiko could see that the werewolf was also disconcerted, her normal serenity absent and instead a tight control that barely held in her emotions. Taking the first sip Noshiko smiled at the familiar taste. It had been too long.
“What has brought you to my home old friend” Satomi finally asks the other woman as she sets her cup down. “I was not expecting you.”
“I sensed a great disturbance in Beacon Hills several days ago and came back to investigate. I feared that our old adversary might have gotten free and I needed to know” she tells the woman. Satomi waits for her to continue, sure in the knowledge that the kitsune would tell all eventually. “We arrived yesterday and I went to the Nemeton, but…” she pauses as she seeks to put her words in order.
“But…?” Satomi asks with nervous tension in her voice. “I have felt something off these last few days and it feels as though it is coming from Beacon Hills, but I was uncertain of the cause.”
Noshiko looks surprised. She would not have expected the woman to sense anything about the nogitsune. Wolves, while powerful, were not in touch with the more subtle magics of nature and the universe. “The Nemeton was destroyed” she answers simply.
Satomi’s serene countenance breaks and the woman leans forward “What do you mean it was destroyed?” she demands, a hint of a growl in her voice and the barest flicker of crimson in her eyes.
“It was gone…entirely. There was no trace of the stump or the cellar beneath it. Instead there was a circle of stone monoliths in the clearing. I could not detect the nogitsune or find any trace of where it might have gone but what I did find…” she trails off.
“What? If the beast is free, we must understand what happened in that place to free it” Satomi says with certainty.
Noshiko pauses but then she starts. Satomi doesn’t interrupt her old friend as the kitsune describes finding the signs of a battle, the dead wolves, and the presence of ancient, powerful magics. She listens as Noshiko describes the aura of peace on the clearing and her certainty that blood would not be spilled there again. She suspects non-human magic.
“The only wolves in Beacon Hills that I know of were the Hale Pack” Satomi finally says. “I haven’t spoken to the boy or his new wolves, but I did hear that Peter Hale, once the Left Hand of the Hale Pack, was alive and had returned. They may be young, but the Hale name still has respect among many of our kind. Perhaps it was omegas who trespassed?” she suggests.
“The power that was there…no, it had to be an alpha” Noshiko reasons “or even more than one” she adds in a concerned tone.
Satomi pulls back with a touch of fear. If Alphas were killed, it could be that young Derek had been taken down. Laura’s death last year had touched Satomi who knew the woman as a child. She remembered Derek, but he was younger than Laura and not in line to be alpha the last time she had seen him. If he died, then perhaps the omega that killed him was defeated by his pack allowing another to rise. She knows it is possible that a foreign Alpha could have decided to attempt to wrestle the territory away from the young man, but she thinks she would have heard about it…unless it was Deucalion! That man was a menace and a danger to everyone. He had surrounded himself with defective, crazed alphas and if they set their targets on Beacon Hills then the once proud Hale Pack were most likely no more. Deucalion killed and destroyed wherever he went, a poison on the very land. She would need to find out immediately or else her small pack might be in danger from them.
“Will you help me?” Noshiko’s question caught her slightly off guard but Satomi nodded. She might not be as strong in a fight as she once was, but her wolves were young and eager to test themselves. They were up to a scouting mission and she could reach out to several contacts that she knew. There was an older witch, nearly her own age, who had retired in Beacon Hills that she could contact for more information. Besides, it will give her the chance to investigate her own feelings.
Noshiko had shared when she sensed the disruption and that aligned with the night she was woken abruptly. She had woken feeling disoriented and confused but it didn’t last for too long. She would have written it off except for the nagging feeling of wrongness that seemed to grow over the days since. She felt like she was in another’s wolf’s territory which made no sense. She had been here for decades but she couldn’t deny it. Something had changed and all signs pointed to Beacon Hills.
IN THE PRESERVE
“Remind me again why we are out here?” Erica complained to Boyd again even though she knew the answer. Derek had ordered the pack to run the borders pretty much full time since the morning after all the craziness, but seven days of vigilance was tough to maintain, especially when nothing was even the slightest out of the ordinary. She was almost hoping for something to attack them just to end the boredom!
Boyd didn’t respond beyond a raised eyebrow that clearly replied ‘you know why’ and she huffed. He smirked as he turned them to head to the northern part of the preserve and added just enough speed that she had to react and her growl only increased his speed. She felt a rush as it suddenly shifted from running together to a chase and she had to admit that chasing after the silent beta was fun. She remembered the pack meeting the day after Stiles did his light show.
FLASHBACK TO THE LOFT
“Okay, we are going to need to be prepared for trespassers” Derek had said once they had all gathered for dinner. Stiles, the Sheriff, Melissa, and Chris were all absent, but the rest of the pack had gathered in the loft.
“Didn’t we just stop them?” Scott asked looking confused. “I mean we stopped the Alpha Pack and the Darach only yesterday!” there was a hint of a whine but Erica saw agreement on most of the pack’s faces except Derek and Peter.
“Yes we did, but that almost makes it worse” Derek had told the confused teens who all appeared lost except for Allison and Lydia.
“You think their defeat will have repercussions” Allison stated as she leaned forward, clearly understanding the situation. “By defeating two major foes, people will take notice.”
“Not to mention Stiles’ new power” Lydia added looking thoughtful. “Lizzie told us some things while we were creating the crime scene.”
“What did she tell you?” Isaac asked the red head looking very uncomfortable.
Lydia paused and glanced at Peter who only nodded for her to continue. “She told us that Stiles’…transformation…would be felt, well, everywhere. Magical beings would have felt something and the more powerful ones would have felt it more strongly. She warned us that the Nemeton had been acting as a Beacon for the supernatural world, but with Stiles becoming what he has, well she compared it to the difference between a campfire and a lighthouse.”
“So it’s an even bigger beacon and we are about to be invaded?” Erica demanded in surprise looking around and seeing the concern on Derek, Peter, Allison, and Lydia’s faces. “How bad is it going to get?”
“She couldn’t say for certain” Peter said into the shocked silence. “Not all who would be drawn will be harmful or a threat, in fact the more secure our dear Stiles becomes in his power, the less the threat will be. There might be some who seek to test themselves or challenge him for the glory, but most magical creatures will recognize his power.”
“She said it would be like it is with her when she is fully the Morgaine” Lydia added. “Beings recognize her and only the truly foolish or desperate would challenge her power, but inevitably some will. Especially since very few will truly understand what Stiles is. Some more ancient powers will remember the last Arcanist and may come to evaluate him for themselves.”
“What kind of powers?” Jackson asked his girlfriend.
“She didn’t know for certain, just that we should be on guard and prepared” Lydia said with a frown. She had pressed the other woman but Lizzie still managed to put Lydia more than a little off balance though she hated to admit it. Her new status was still uncertain but the overwhelming nature of the Queens and the Morgaine was enough to make even the formidable Ms. Martin pause.
“The fact is that we have a warning from someone we can trust that others will come for one reason or another and we need to be prepared” Derek said cutting off the side conversations. “While not everything that comes will be a threat, we still need to know what we are dealing with.”
“Isn’t Stilinski supposed to be able to sense them?” Jackson asked and several of the pack looked at him in surprise. “Didn’t Lizzie say that he was sensing another pack this morning? I mean shouldn’t he know if something comes?” he asked again and Lydia looked at him proudly.
“He will, eventually, but things are too chaotic right now” Lydia clarified. “Until things settle down and he learns about his new abilities, he could easily miss things.”
“How long until then?” Isaac asked before anyone else.
“At least a year” Peter provided and smirked at the shocked looks of the rest of the pack. “I don’t think you truly grasp how much everything has changed” he said shaking his head in disappointment.
“But why so long?” Scott asked, his concern for Stiles clear in his voice.
“His territory is not settled. Lizzie said that he currently has reached over a hundred miles in every direction, but she would not be surprised if he didn’t expand several times that. The historical Merlin’s territory encompassed all of Britain and Wales. That is nearly half the size of California, so figure something close to that.”
Everyone looked stunned at that. “So if he keeps adding territory, then the people and things in those spaces…” Scott trails off looking nervously at Allison.
“They will feel it and have a sense of where it’s coming from. Some packs or creatures may not appreciate it either” Derek tells them.
Everyone looks determined after that. The rest of the meeting is spent coming up with a patrol plan rotating among the pack. Derek immediately rules that couples, while being allowed to patrol together, are not going to be exclusive. He wants everyone to get experience patrolling with other pack members. Erica was disappointed but after some maneuvering she was with Boyd every fourth or fifth patrol, so it wasn’t too bad.
RETURN TO PRESENT
“Okay fine” Erica finally admits as they stop at the top of a rise that looks over Beacon Hills. Boyd had managed to evade her while running patrol for the last couple of miles but he had stopped at the rise to admire the view. “I know why, but shouldn’t we have sensed something? I mean there has been no trace of anything” she complains.
Boyd is about to respond when the wind shifts and all of sudden he smells something. Something he doesn’t recognize but that makes the hairs on his body stand up. He is being watched! Glancing at Erica he can see that she is reacting the same and he catches her eyes and glances behind them. She turns around, inhaling deeply, but she shakes her head sharply. She didn’t recognize it either. “You asked for something” Boyd whispers and smiles at the sudden flash of golden eyes from the she-wolf as she fully shifts into her beta form, Boyd following suit immediately after.
“This way!” she growls and takes off in the direction of the scent. Boyd races after but he is struggling to keep up. He realizes that she must have let him win earlier. While he was stronger than she was, it seems that the blonde was faster, maybe as fast as Isaac or Jackson, both of whom usually won the various races they did for training.
Erica however was focused. She feels her fellow Beta behind her, protecting her from that direction, and allowing her to direct all of her energy and attention to attempt to find out where that scent was coming from. She knows that she is moving quietly, they both were, but there was definitely something making noise ahead of her so she narrows in on that sound and accelerates.
The smell increases for a moment before the rhythm of its movements increase as well and it starts pulling away from them. She snarls. What the hell was this? She tries to push harder but she is nearing her limits when she senses Boyd moving off to the right. Understanding his plan instantly she moves left as they attempt to flank their prey.
Boyd ran as fast as he could. He had chosen the slightly easier path knowing he needed it to keep up while Erica was able to dodge the trees and roots faster than he could. He had picked up the noise as well, but it made no sense. One moment it sounded like one person running, the next it was two, and then back again. And the sound varied as well. He could hear the solid impact with the ground, but there was nothing else. No broken twigs or leaves, no sound that something running should have made. Even Erica and he were making more noises than it was right now. They had sacrificed silence for speed.
As he makes another turn, he finds himself dropping down a sharp incline as the ground dropped around him. He slows to find his footing and growls in inspiration. Rearing back he lets out a howl. Loud and long, as he calls to his pack. He hears Erica’s howl in reply, but none of the rest. That’s okay, he knows that they heard him and are coming, Derek for sure. Taking off again he tries to move to intercept their prey.
Erica had responded to Boyd’s howl with a joyful one of her own before sprinting forward again. She caught a momentary glimpse of white before the sound she was tracking suddenly stopped. She frowns but realized that it probably was exhausted. Trying to outrun two wolves was not easily done. She hears Boyd moving as they both converge on the last location when she spots a flash of white in her peripheral vision. She slows to look again but doesn’t see anything when she hears that rhythm again… but it’s behind her!
Slamming to a stop she spins around and sure enough, the sound is now coming from where she just was and moving away, back towards the rise. Snarling she takes off just as Boyd bursts into view, confusion and frustration clear on his face. “How’d it get behind us?” he asks her but she just growls and takes off with him running after.
They run for several minutes before Boyd realizes that they are moving in a different direction. “We are heading towards the Hale house” he gets out and hears Erica’s acknowledgement. He had seen a flash of white, almost like a light when they passed through a small clearing, but it was gone in an instant and Erica’s growls of frustration only increases.
Another few minutes and suddenly a much louder and deeper roar shakes the trees in the Preserve. Derek! Erica and Boyd both smile and increase their speed but once again the sound disappears. It is only a few seconds before they burst into the open directly behind the house where Derek, Jackson, and Isaac are wolfed out and running towards them.
“What’s wrong” the alpha demands as the two exhausted betas almost collapse to the ground. Peter comes up with Scott, Allison, and Lydia right behind him. Unlike the others, Peter was fully human though you could see the tension in his shoulders.
Erica gasps in air for a few seconds before she begins explaining what had happened. The two betas trade off on the explaining while the rest listen carefully.
“So you didn’t see it?” Allison asks looking deeply into the woods, the arrow in her hand already firmly in the bow though it wasn’t yet drawn.
“No. Only a couple flashes of light” Boyd tells her.
“I think it was white actually” Erica contradicts and the two of them began arguing but neither was 100% certain.
“What about tracks?” Isaac asks and Derek smiles. Ordering them into three teams, Derek sends Erica, Scott, Allison, and Peter one way while he took Boyd, Isaac, Jackson, and Lydia the other. They would look for tracks, scents, or anything else. Neither Derek nor Peter had ever heard of something that could go silent like that before.
They reconvened at the Hale House two hours later looking much worse for wear and thoroughly confused. There had been nothing. Not a single track or sign of anything moving in the woods. None of the wolves could detect any scents that shouldn’t have been there and neither Erica nor Boyd could describe it other than ‘sharp, crisp, and foresty’ which did not go over well with Peter.
Deciding that without any kind of evidence, they couldn’t make any assumptions, despite Jackson’s assertion that they were basically on a snipe hunt. Peter had snorted at that and both he and Derek had shared a meaningful look. Sending young wolves on similar hunts had been a tradition in the Hale pack and both Peter and Laura had done it to Derek when they were kids. Derek sent everyone home to sleep but advised them to keep an eye out. It might have been nothing, but in Beacon Hills, those odds were never good.
BEACON HILLS SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Tara turned off the engine of her patrol car and sighed. The last week had been rough with the Feds here and causing all sorts of issues for the Sheriff, and adding to that the sliminess of Agent Rafael McCall and his constant efforts to undermine the Sheriff had the entire department on edge. She really doesn’t get the man, how does he not see that rather than everyone respecting him, the entire department would cheerfully push him off a cliff and she is fairly certain that most of his fellow agents would do the same.
Shaking her head she grabs the box of pastries from Celeste’s along with the extra coffees she had picked up for the station. One not so subtle sign that the deputies were done with the feds had been the rather passive aggressive coffee and food situation. Every day a different deputy had brought in something and after the first day, it was very clear that any food brought by the station was for Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Office staff only. Of course Tara had made sure that the agents had gotten a taste on that first day and somehow none of them had figured out where Celeste’s was so it was driving them crazy.
Of course, the fact that most of the agents realized that the tension between the two departments was due to McCall didn’t hurt either.
Tara had also managed to convince the others to cover for the Sheriff so that Stiles wouldn’t know he had been cheating. While she had gone along with the teen most of the time, she figured that Sheriff Stilinski deserved some exceptions during the week they have been having.
Walking in to the station she was caught off guard by the scene before her. The feds were packing up!! Looking around she spotted Parrish and Rodriguez standing off to the side. Moving over there she slid up next to them. “What’s going on?” she asks Jordan and he smiles professionally before it becomes a real smile when he spots the coffee and pastries.
“It seems that there has been a number of sightings of the suspects. Someone passed them leaving Beacon Hills about a week ago, and they had just gotten several tips that they were in Los Angeles before another came in from a trucker who had just come up from San Diego. Agent Jones is worried that they are headed for the border.
“So they are moving their outpost?” she prompts and both of the men nod absently. “What about McCall?” she mutters and sees the smiles slip from their faces.
“It seems that Agent McCall is staying to help ‘coordinate’ things in case there is more information here about the case” Jordan says in a deadpan voice that makes Tara feels ill in her stomach. That man would continue to be a pain in their collective assess.
“Does the Sheriff know?” she asks quietly looking at the deputy. The last several days had been rough, especially after McCall had decided that some of the ‘unsolved’ cases might be related to their missing serial killers.
Jordan smiled with a wicked gleam in his eyes. “Yes. Apparently we got a rather reliable tip that both Blake and the blind guy were confirmed as being in Denver for several months before coming here. Appears to contradict Agent McCall’s ‘inspired’ investigation. The Sheriff spoke with the district office and expressed his concerns about the diverted resources and time of his deputies chasing after old animal attacks while trying to find two serial killers.
Deputy Graeme felt a burst of pride for her boss. He had been quiet and nothing but cooperative since they had arrived, and he had still participated fully, especially with Agent Jones. Her respect for her boss goes up when she gets that the man was giving McCall all the rope he needed to hang himself and the man had ran with it. Hopefully his continued failure would finally get someone in that office to pull him from here.
Nodding to the two men she headed to the break room to drop off her load when speak of the devil she heard Agent McCall’s voice.
“No sir” he said sounding significantly more professional than she had heard him. “I definitely think that using the hospital here would be the best decision. It’s close and the department has experience with him so they will be motivated. I can stay and oversee the entire procedure. It would only be for a few days before he would be sent back. The facility is definitely well equipped and staffed to handle all aspects of the treatment.”
Tara froze as she concentrated on the man’s voice. Though he was trying to appear fully professional, she could hear the glee in his tone. He was up to something, something that did not bode well for the department, but what could he be doing that would involve the hospital?
She moved closer but McCall was walking and he moved far enough away that she lost the conversation and without being obvious about it she couldn’t get close enough again. Instead she moved to let the Sheriff know what she heard. Maybe he would have some idea why the FBI would be involved in someone getting medical treatment.
IN STILES’ CLEARING IN THE PRESERVE
Stiles scratched his nose trying to focus on his center but wasn’t having too much luck with it. He had come out to the circle to see if he could sense anything that fit Erica and Boyd’s encounter. Scott had informed him about it but he was skeptical that it actually was something. There was no trace, no scents, and no real sighting of whatever it was and there were not many things that could outrun a pair of wolves. Even Derek hadn’t been able to detect anything, but he wasn’t willing to write it off as a figment of their imagination. Derek’s paranoia had been set on high since returning to Beacon Hills and it seemed whenever he tried to lower it, he got smacked in the face so Stiles had to admit that he had cause.
Stiles snorted as he thought about that, especially in light of the dinner at casa Stilinski. Derek had come over for dinner as invited and it was about as awkward as he had dreaded. His dad had been perfectly polite, dangerously so.
FLASHBACK TO THE STILINSKI HOUSE
“Hey” Stiles had said nervously when he opened the door and saw Derek standing there. He had been surprised by the Alpha’s appearance. Instead of his trademark leather jacket, tight jeans, and t-shirt, he had dressed like a regular person. He was wearing soft Henley with thumbholes in a rich plum, dark enough for Derek but with enough color to confirm it wasn’t black. A pair of dark jeans, respectably fitted and boots completed the outfit. He had lost the serial killer vibe but Stiles was certain that any number of Beacon Hills’ housewives would definitely give this Derek a second and third look.
Derek had paused and looked at Stiles who blushed at the scrutiny. He would never admit that he had changed outfits about a dozen times and he had made certain that his father was sufficiently threatened with a new vegan lifestyle if the man embarrassed his son. The threat of a wheatless, sugarless, vegan carob cake was enough to make the tough Sheriff pale in horror. He had ended up with red chinos, white vans, and a black button up shirt that showed he was serious about this night. “You look…good” Derek finally manages and Stiles blushes again.
“Thanks” the young man replies before inviting the Alpha inside. They move to the living room just as the Sheriff steps back inside from the patio.
“I hope steak is okay” he says happily looking at his son who is definitely not pouting. Stiles had agreed to let his father pick the menu and despite him taking completely unfair advantage, Stiles had managed to get a salad and corn on the cob to go with the steaks and baked potatoes that the Sheriff had selected. “Rare?” he asked and ignored the eye roll from his son
“Medium Rare please” Derek said and handed a bag to the sheriff who looked a bit surprised but he took it and pulled out the bottle inside.
Noah’s eyes widened when he saw the writing on the bottle. “Glenfiddich! A 21 Year single malt?” Noah looked up in surprise at the young man standing there. “This is very generous” he tells him.
“It was my father’s favorite” Derek’s voice was soft and there was a vulnerableness in his bearing that made the older man remember that terrible night when he arrived to find Beacon Hills’ most prominent family dead and while the previous Sheriff had managed the scene, deputy Stilinski had spent some time trying to manage two distraught teens whose voices were already raw from grief.
“Thank you Derek” Noah said sincerely and he saw his son move closer to the Alpha, his hand tentatively reaching out to comfort the man so he turned to place the bottle in a safe place before heading back outside.
After the rather emotional beginning, the actual dinner wasn’t that bad. The sheriff had asked Derek about his time in New York and both Derek and Stiles were still filling the man in on all the specific incidents in the last year or so. Derek had also shared information from his patrols and Noah had asked if he would be willing to help the deputies in the know with some training. Derek had agreed and Stiles had suggested letting Ally and Scott go first and then when they were a bit more used to it, then bring in Derek. Noah had agreed but everyone agreed that they wouldn’t take any actions until the FBI was gone.
By the time dinner was over Stiles was about to snap from waiting for his father to say or do something that would embarrass him to no end, but that didn’t actually happen. He said goodnight and left them alone downstairs though Stiles was certain his door was wide open so that he would hear anything.
“Sorry about that” Stiles had offered but Derek had shrugged it off.
“Actually, he handed it pretty well considering” Derek said looking more relaxed than he had all evening. “He could be angry about everything” he reminds the teen.
“According to dad he told you to do it” Stiles challenges and sees the discomfort on the Alpha’s face.
“He didn’t really understand…” Derek stared but Stiles cut him off with a snort.
“He may not have understood everything that happened that night, but he knew what he was asking. The fact was that there was only two options for him: getting a son-in-law or losing me forever. You saved me and that is a big deal to our family” Stiles’ voice was strong and didn’t waiver. He looked Derek in the eye and from anyone else the challenge there would have caused his wolf to react but this wasn’t a member of the pack or some interloper, this was his mate and he had to accept the truth in his voice and steady heartbeat.
They stayed there for a few minutes before Derek stepped forward and leaned in slowly. Stiles got a smirk on his lips for only a moment before they encountered Derek’s own, a quick and soft touch before he stepped back. “Your dad is listening” he whispered and saw the blush on the younger man’s face.
Stiles smiled and his eyes glowed for a second as arcane symbols lit up around his hands. “Not anymore, he can’t hear anything” he smirked.
The second kiss was longer and left the young man breathless and he would have been willing to do more but Derek pulled back and left slowly, walking to his car while Stiles watched from the porch. He finally drove off and the teen stepped back inside to find his father standing there looking confused.
“What?” Stiles asked innocently.
Noah Stilinski’s eyes narrowed and he pointed to his ears and glared. Oops! The lecture he got on using his magic to sneak around with Derek was totally worth it though.