Sheriff Noah Stilinski looked down at his phone, he was wondering why the hospital would be calling him.
"Noah Stilinski? It’s Melissa McCall, from the long term care ward down at the hospital.” Noah could hear she sounded rattled, ”Are you able to stop into the hospital this morning? You’re listed as the primary contact for one of our patients and we need to get some paperwork sorted fairly urgently.”
Noah frowned, he was not aware of being the primary contact for anyone since Claudia died and he had been looking right at Stiles before the call came in, so he knew it wasn’t him.
“Sure, I’ll get my son sorted with a sitter and I will head into the hospital. Do I report to the front desk?”
Melissa responded, “No, head straight to the burns unit. I will be waiting at the charge nurse's desk with the paperwork for you.”
After a quick argument with Stiles about being left alone in the house, Noah and Stiles headed next door to arrange for Mrs. Anderson to take him for a few hours. She was used to last-minute sitting jobs and had always been happy to help out the young widower. She quite enjoyed the company of his snarky sarcastic son who was 10 going on 40.
Noah arrived at Beacon Hills Memorial Hospital and headed straight to the small burns unit. He found Nurse McCall at the nurse's station, she was frowning down at a large stack of paperwork.
Noah cleared his throat to get the nurse’s attention. “Nurse McCall? I am Noah Stilinski, I got here as fast as I could, want to tell me what's so urgent?”
Frazzled, Melissa looked up and gave Noah a small smile. “Call me Melissa, let's go find a free meeting room and I will explain the situation and take you through the paperwork. It’s all a bit of a mess I'm afraid.”
“Sure thing Melissa. Call me Noah.” Noah replied as he followed her to a free meeting room.
“So…” Noah started, wondering how to word his question. He decided to be blunt and he asked, “Can you tell me who the patient is that I am now the primary contact for?”
Melissa looked at him a bit shocked. “Oh, I thought Mrs. Hale would have told you before she left. It’s Peter, Peter Hale. Peter had you down as the secondary contact in case Talia wasn't available. She has let us know she is moving her family to the east coast, due to safety concerns and is not able or willing to be the point of contact for Peter from so far away. Nor was she willing to move Peter with them to a hospital close to where the family will be living.”
Noah could see that Melissa was almost shaking in barely suppressed rage on Peters's behalf and he wondered to himself what Talia actually said when she decided to abandon Peter.
He completely understood the anger. He couldn’t believe she would just leave him alone with no support except for an old school friend. A school friend she had forced him to stay away from.
Noah sighed and asked, “Ok Melissa, so what's the next step?”
“Well, an hour ago his monitors all went crazy, we nearly lost him. He's now in a deep coma and we aren’t sure when or even if he will wake up. He has third-degree burns on over 50% of his body.” Melissa explained.
Melissa looked down through the patient notes in front of her before passing over the paperwork for Noah to sign as she continued her explanation, “We have the burns treatment under control so we want to move him to the long term care ward here. We just need you to sign paperwork to say you are willing to be his primary contact/career and we need to get authorization from you to move him to the long term care ward. His lawyer has sent through details of his insurance so at least that is under control.”
Noah took a few minutes to read through the paperwork and then he asked to be taken to see Peter before he would make any decisions.
Noah walked into Peter’s hospital room to check on him and to take a few minutes to think about what Peter will need from him. He was surprised to find someone already in there with him.
The kid was sitting in a chair against the wall head in his hands, he was shuddering, almost like he was trying not to cry.
Noah crouched down in front of the teen and asked, “Son, are you ok?”
He startled when the boy looked up, his glowing blue eyes red-rimmed from tears. The dark-haired teen looked surprised that someone had managed to sneak up on him.
Noah recognized him immediately as Derek Hale, son of Talia and River Hale and clearly ‘other’. He thought to himself, ‘maybe now I will get some damn answers about the sheer amount of weirdness that is in Beacon County.’
“You’re Derek, right? Shouldn't you have already left with the rest of your family?” Noah asked quietly.
Derek flinched when his family was mentioned. He looked and saw the deputy uniform and froze thinking he was going to be arrested, but when he saw the sheriff patch on the shoulder he relaxed noticeably. He wordlessly handed over the tear-stained emancipation paperwork that had been laying in his lap. His Uncle Peter had always said he trusted Deputy Stilinski with his life, he remembered the day the election results had been announced, Uncle Peter had been so proud when the deputy won and was promoted to Sheriff.
Noah took his time and looked over the paperwork, he then looked back at Derek, “So, this paperwork lists your address as the house that is no longer standing. Please tell me you have somewhere to stay.” Noah asked, he almost wished he didn’t already know the answer.
Derek just silently shook his head, his eyes now back to the hazel-green color they usually were, he looked down at his hands, looking every bit like a lost little kid to the Sheriff who just melted.
Noah looked at Derek with a serious expression and asked, “I just have one question, for now, was the fire at your house an accident?”
Derek shook his head, he couldn’t bring himself to admit his part in it just yet.
Noah nodded, “Does Peter need protection?”
Derek thought about the hunters who he saw running away from the house as he and Laura arrived home from their after school basketball practice as he nodded his agreement.
“Right. Give me ten minutes to make sure Peter is all sorted and we will head to my place, we have a spare room that's all yours for as long as you need it.” Noah requested.
Derek, who was still in shock over the broken pack bonds just nodded. He didn’t have the energy to answer Noah verbally.
Noah did a quick check of Peter making sure he squeezed his undamaged hand as he did so. Noah noted the burns down the left side of his face, left arm and across his chest. He felt a brief tug in his chest but he thought nothing of it as he headed back to Melissa to sign the paperwork, but also to set some stipulations of his own.
As Derek had confirmed his suspicions about the fire he restricted Peter's visitors to just himself, Stiles and Derek. He demanded that his room in the long term care ward be a private room that would have surveillance cameras hooked up. Anyone who wanted to visit would have to go through him for permission as well as a full background check. If anyone attempted to get access, their photo from the hospital security cameras would be sent through to Noah at the Sheriff's Office. Any nurses or doctors with access to Peter would have to have a full background check via the Sheriff's Office to make sure they were who they were supposed to be. His final stipulation was that if there were any doubts about Peter's safety Noah was to be called immediately.
Melissa agreed to everything straight away and she passed on a request for Noah to contact Peter’s lawyer as soon as possible so they could confirm all the arrangements, they would be able to file all the relevant paperwork with the hospital to cover any issues that might crop up. She handed over the business card that was in Peter’s files for Ralph Vilkas.
Derek made use of the time while the Sheriff was sorting out the paperwork to start taking some of his Uncle Peters pain, he made sure to also scent mark him wherever he had bare undamaged skin showing. He smiled slightly when a thin fledgling pack bond snapped into place between him and his uncle and he sighed in relief that he still had someone to call his own.
“Ready to go?” Noah asked as he popped his head into the room looking for Derek.
Derek shook his head but gave Peter a gentle kiss to the forehead “I’ll come and visit as often as I can Uncle Peter, just come back to me… please.” Derek whispered, before he stood up straight and turned to the door. He followed the Sheriff out of the hospital to the Sheriff's Cruiser parked outside.
When they arrived at the Stilinski house Noah directed Derek to the living room and motioned for him to take a seat. “Take a load off, flick on the TV, whatever works kiddo. I need to go get Stiles from the sitter, I shouldn't be too long, she's just next door.”
Derek just looked at him confused as he thought to himself, ‘What's a Stiles?’ He nodded though and sat gingerly on the end of the couch.
Noah headed next door to grab Stiles. While they walked back to the house the Sheriff gave Stiles a heads up that they have a guest moving in for a while, that he's been through a lot and to just chill with questions for a few days”
Stiles who was overflowing with rampant curiosity just nodded his agreement as they headed inside.
Noah turned to Stiles, “Right, kiddo can you make a start on dinner, something easy and meaty would be good. No, don’t give me that look, I will come help after I have talked with Derek.”
Stiles just gave him an unimpressed look but moved to the kitchen and made a start on a basic spaghetti bolognese, he thought he could make it fairly healthy while still being “meaty”.
Noah walked back into the living room to find Derek still sitting on the couch where he left him just staring off into space. He crouched down in front of him and looked at him worried.
“Hey Derek, you ok in there?” Noah asked.
Derek started, he was surprised that Noah had managed to sneak up on him for the second time that day.
“Sure Sheriff, just thinking,” Derek confirmed.
Noah nodded, “Ok, I have a few questions for you. Just to see where we are at and what we need to do going forward. First up, I know I asked at the hospital but I want to confirm with you again, do you have anywhere that is not the burnt-out shell of your house to stay? Preferably with adult supervision.”
Derek just shook his head.
Noah reached forward and squeezed his shoulder and asked, “Ok, do you have anything other than what you are carrying stashed anywhere?”
Derek just slumped further into the couch while he shook his head again, he hesitated before he answered, “Not really. Mom kept everything I had on me after the fire.”
Noah tried to hide his anger. “It’s ok, we can sort this. I am guessing from your eyes that a normal fostering solution would not be ideal?”
Derek’s head snapped up in shock and his eyes went comically wide.
Noah put his hand on Derek’s knee as he had noticed that contact seemed to calm him down. “Calm down. It’s ok, I am just asking so I know what is possible and what's going to cause you more problems so we can get the right solution for you, rather than one that is likely to wind up with you in trouble down the line.”
Derek slowly nodded, as he came to a decision, he knew Uncle Peter trusted this man with his life, he also knew that Uncle Peter had been forbidden to let the Sheriff know what he was, enforced by an alpha order by their former alpha, but he had never been restricted. He took a deep breath before he whispered, “Werewolf. I’m a werewolf.” He just hoped Uncle Peter was right to put his trust in this man.
Noah nodded, he was thinking to himself that he was glad that Stiles was in the kitchen for this part of the conversation. “Is your Uncle Peter one too?”
Derek nodded, resigned to telling the Sheriff all the family secrets.
“Most of our family are werewolves, that's why we were targeted,” Derek confirmed.
“So are we talking a once a month furry little problem like Remus Lupin in Harry Potter, or something a bit more involved?” Noah asked as he thought through various options.
Derek chuckled quietly at the question and shook his head. “Not quite, we can shift at any time of the month into what's called the Beta shape, we are stronger, faster, have better senses and we can heal from most wounds unless wolfsbane is involved. I think they used wolfsbane in the fire which would be why Uncle Peter isn't healing, I could smell it a bit at the house when we arrived. Oh, alphas from my family have had the unique ability to full shift into large wolves.”
Noah sat back on his heels and thought the issue through for a few minutes. He stood and moved back slightly to sit on the coffee table, his knees were not made to crouch for long periods, “Ok, here’s what I think. We have a spare room here and since Claudia died it has been super quiet around here. Stiles will agree that it will be nice to have company instead of just the two of us kicking around. You’re welcome to stay as long as you need to, or want to. The fact that you have emancipation papers helps us legally. Although I do want to check the legality of the paperwork. It seems shifty that they have been organized so quickly. I will organize the requested meeting with Peter’s lawyers to see what we need to do for him, also to organize the visitation and staffing restrictions for Peter at the hospital. We will also find out if he has anything prepared for a situation like this, knowing Peter he will do, at least three plans for each outcome I am sure. For now, I will go and get the guest room sorted and then we will have dinner, it’s already smelling pretty good. After dinner, we will have a talk about the weird in Beacon Hills and what it means for you and Peter with your um…pack? leaving. Sound good?”
“That sounds great, thanks, Sheriff,” Derek answered shyly, he felt lighter than he had done in days
Noah smiled as he responded with a quick “Call me Noah,” as he headed upstairs to get the guest room sorted with some spare clothes and toiletries to tide Derek over till they could get him some things of his own.
Derek decided to make himself useful and he headed towards the cooking smell to see if he could help out.
Derek followed his nose through to the kitchen. He stopped in surprise at the small brunette whirlwind currently moving through the kitchen at speed.
“Huh. Should you be cooking by yourself?” Derek asked.
“Sure I should... if you want something edible that is.” Stiles snarked back.
Derek shrugged. “Do you want any help?”
Stiles looked around at his usual kitchen chaos and asked, “Can I get you to shred some cheddar for the Bolognese?” He pointed to a relatively tidy section of the bench with a grater already waiting.
Derek headed to where he was pointing. “How much do you need?”
Stiles turned to Derek, and he noticed how tense the older boy seemed, “Not too much. It's just to sprinkle on top of the bolognese.”
Derek nodded and concentrated on his task while Stiles continued his whirlwind cooking efforts beside him. When he was done shredding the cheese, he slid the cheese onto the plate that had been placed beside him, then he turned to watch Stiles. He realized that the kid must be the main cook in the house, while the kitchen looked like a complete disaster zone, in reality, it was organized chaos and scarily efficient. Not something he had expected from someone so young.
He cleared his throat to get Stiles’ attention. “Do you want me to set the table?” Derek asked when Stiles jumped in surprise and looked up.
Stiles just nodded in agreement pointing Derek towards the dining room, his heart was still going a mile a minute after he had forgotten he had company in the kitchen.
Derek headed into the dining room to find the sheriff, no, Noah already setting the table for dinner.
Noah heard him come into the dining room, he looked up and smiled. He pointed Derek towards the table, “Have a seat Derek, looks like Stiles is nearly finished with dinner.”
They both heard Stiles shout out “Daddio, come help me carry dinner to the table.”
Derek just slumped down in his chair and closed his eyes, he was feeling very done with the last few days.