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Emancipation

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Emancipation Title

 

January 2005

Sheriff Noah Stilinski looked down at his phone, he was wondering why the hospital would be calling him.
 
“Sheriff Stilinski.”
 
"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. 

-x-
 
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. 

-x-
 
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. 

-x-
 
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.
 
-x-
 
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.
 
-x- 
 
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. 
 
-x-
 
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.

Chapter Text

January 2005

After they had all finished eating dinner and the dishwasher had been loaded via a slightly chaotic team effort, they all settled down in the living room to relax.

Noah saw Derek start to tense up in anticipation of the coming conversation. “How about I go first, I know I have seen enough weird in this town that needs some explanation,” Noah asked.

Stiles perked up when he heard this, and although he would deny it until the day he died, he squeaked a little in excitement.

Noah just gave Stiles that patented ‘Dad look’. You know the one, the one that just has kids all over the world frozen in their tracks.

“Fire away.” Derek agreed.

“So… The glowing eyes, does that always means werewolf?” Noah asked as he leaned forward.

Derek shook his head. “Werewolves have red, gold or blue eyes when they show their wolf side. There are other creatures who have glowing eyes like other types of weres and even kitsune. Also, there are some magic users who will have glowing eyes when doing big magic. It just depends on the type of caster as to what color their eyes will glow.”

“There are real werewolves, wait, there are other weres?” Stiles interjected quickly, he was bouncing in his seat in excitement.

Derek nodded and he started listing them, “I know of werejaguars, werebears, werecoyotes, and other various werecats.”

Noah could see signs that Stiles' brain was starting to go into overload and he just held up a finger. “Stiles, why don’t you go get pen and paper and write down your questions. I think tonight we will keep it light so we don’t overwhelm Derek.”

Stiles agreed quickly as he raced upstairs to grab his notepad and pens from his desk.

“His mind is extraordinary, he can see things that most would miss, constantly working, constantly thinking,” Noah commented as he smiled fondly.

Derek decided to ask one of his own questions before Stiles got back to the living room, “So you know my Uncle Peter?”

Noah smiled softly as he thought back. “We went to high school together. There were three of us and well, we were as thick as thieves until their families found out. Talia gave Peter an ultimatum, his family or us. We wouldn’t let him choose and made him choose to stay with his family.”

Derek frowned and asked “We?”

“Our third, Chris. Three months after Peter left Chris was given the same ultimatum by his family and a month later he was married and living down near Florida. I always suspected threats were made by both families to keep us all apart.” Noah answered.

Stiles heard the last part of their conversation as he walked back into the living room, he put down his notepad and pens and gave Noah a long comforting hug. They had no secrets between them, so Stiles was always aware of the relationship his Dad had in high school with both Peter and Chris and how it was forced to end by their families.

Noah looked over at Derek after Stiles sat back down. “So I guess I should explain my question? This town has always had more than its fair share of odd occurrences. People escaping from foot chases down dead-end alleyways, others being taken to the ER covered in blood but no injuries by the time they get there. Most of it you would just shrug off as being mistaken or just overtired from long shifts. I think what turned me around from believing it all impossible to being probable was an incident that happened around 18 months ago. There was a body in the morgue that was shot but there were black veins around the bullet wound, I was called in as the man trying to claim the body was not immediate family.”

Derek had a feeling he knew who Noah saw in the morgue.

Noah continued lost in his memories, he was unaware of Derek shifting in his seat, “He was a tall imposing man, gave the appearance of looming over you, even when he was on the other side of the room. He eventually provided paperwork showing he could take the body but while he was arguing his case his eyes flashed red a few times when he was getting frustrated.”

“I think I remember hearing about that. One of the visiting alphas during a peace summit had a beta shot by a hunter with a wolfsbane bullet. He seems to fit the description. Mom ended up pulling out of the summit and it went downhill from there.” Derek said as he sat up straighter in his seat on the sofa.

“How so?” Stiles asked almost absently while he was taking down notes about everything.

“I don’t know a lot about it. But from what Peter told us afterward, the summit went really badly for the visiting alphas. The hunters attacked out of the blue and one of the visiting alphas was left permanently blind, I am not sure how. Most of the hunters died in the attack. The alpha Noah met, Ennis, decided to take his anger over Mom refusing to attend the summit out on our pack, he attacked and bit my girlfriend, Paige. He did this to replace the beta he lost to the hunters, but she didn’t survive the bite.” Derek replied sadly.

“I remember that case, I remember she had an Eastern European name which is why it stuck with me. The case happened before I was elected as Sheriff. I think it was logged as an accidental death due to animal attack.” Noah commented.

Stiles muttered under his breath about barbecue forks which made Derek snort.

“Normally the sheriff in the area inhabited by a pack is in the know about the supernatural and works closely with the local packs, and I know the previous sheriff knew about us. I am not sure why you weren’t informed but I remember seeing Mom and Uncle Peter arguing about it at length.” Derek answered, he still felt a bit confused by the whole issue.

“So what powers do you have?” Stiles finally asked the question he’d been wanting to ask since he heard that werewolves are real.

Noah looked down at his watch and he was surprised to see that Stiles had managed to wait an over an hour before asking the all-important question. Derek just rolled his eyes.

“Not powers as such but we do have better senses. Better hearing, smell, and sight. We are also stronger and faster than the average human. We also heal from most injuries fairly quickly. About the only thing that doesn’t heal fast is projectile weapons and only if the projectile is not removed. We won’t heal until it is removed.” Derek patiently explained.

Stiles pointed at him “Dude, those are powers!”

“Don’t call me Dude.” Derek scowled at Stiles.

Stiles just rolled his eyes, “So what should I call you then? Grumpywolf? Crankywolf? Sourwolf? Ooooh, I like that, so Sourwolf do you turn into a wolf?”

Derek shook his head in amusement and answered “My mother can, she is a huge black wolf, she would dwarf you. I just have what's called a ‘beta shift’ which is mostly changes to my face and I can grow claws.”

“Can I see, can I, pleeeeeease Sourwolf?” Stiles asked excitedly, as he bounced in his seat again like an energizer bunny.

Derek gave him a deadpan look then changed into his beta shift. Stiles stood up and raised an eyebrow while he reached for Derek’s face as if to ask ‘can I touch?’, Derek nodded his agreement.

Stiles felt his face and looked at his fangs, held his hand (paw?) and closely examined his claws, “Ummm, I have to ask, where did your eyebrows go?” Stiles asked with a look of confusion on his face. A rare look for Stiles.

Noah laughed out of the blue which surprised both of the boys. “He’s right, you have no eyebrows,” Noah replied after he saw the puzzled look on both the boy's faces.

Noah decided it was time to deflect from his giggle fit with a subject change.

“I remember one incident about a year ago. A young woman was found out in the preserve, she looked like someone took a wood chipper to her upper body if I am honest. I was surprised she was still alive when I got there, with the amount of damage she had she should have bled out. But three days later she left Beacon Hills Hospital. The nurses said her scars looked like they were six months old.” Noah asked.

“Where in the preserve was she found?” Derek asked curiously.

Noah tried to remember, “I think it was south of the Hale house. On a huge tree stump. It looked like she had climbed on the stump.”

“It sounds like the Nemeton. It used to be this giant Oak tree. It sits on the convergence of several telluric currents, from what I remember Uncle Peter telling me its a fairly important magical node and it is what gave Beacon Hills its name, it’s an actual beacon for the supernatural. I am not sure when, but someone cut it down and it has been slowly dying ever since.” Derek explained sadly.

Derek and Stiles both visibly jumped when they heard a whisper slow and quiet across their minds ‘Poisoned…’

“Did you hear that?” They said together as they looked at each other, startled. They then as one turned to look at Noah when he asked, “Hear what?”

“A whisper in my head. It said ‘Poisoned’.” Derek answered when Stiles just shrugged. He looked at Stiles who nodded in agreement, so Derek continued, “We are talking about a magical tree,”

“A sentient magical tree, or maybe it’s sapient.” Stiles pondered, interrupting Derek.

“So it’s likely it is being poisoned. And it has the ability to hide unless it wants to be found. Uncle Peter has more information about the telluric currents and the Nemeton in his library.” Derek continued as if Stiles hadn’t interrupted him at all.

“Library?” Stiles asked excitedly. He wanted to ask if it would be lost with the rest of the house in the fire but held back.

Noah could see the two of them about to geek out about Peter's library so he got up “Does anyone want a hot chocolate?” He asked as he walked to the kitchen.

Both the boys called out a quick “Yes please.” Before they started to geek out about Peters off-site library. Well, Stiles was geeking out, Derek was just happy the library wasn’t lost in the fire, especially as Peter had been secretly moving books from the house library to his secret library over the last few years.

Noah came back into the living and he set the hot chocolates and some cookies on the coffee table.

He cleared his throat to get the boy's attention as they were still in deep discussion about Peter’s secret library.

He looked at Derek and asked, “So, with Beacon Hills being a beacon. You mean it calls supernatural creatures to it?”

Derek nodded, “That’s part of what it does, normally a healthy Nemeton would help the local pack protect the land as well.”

“How?” Noah asked with a look of confusion on his face

“Ummm, powering wards so the pack knows when threats enter the territory. If they are powerful enough wards smaller threats wouldn’t even get through. From listening to Uncle Peter's arguments with Mom, our wards weren’t detecting much at all. He was pretty angry about it but Mom refused to take action, she said that there was nothing wrong with the wards and she trusted our emissary to keep us safe.” Derek answered quietly.

Noah snorted. “That worked out so well for her didn’t it.” He looked up at Derek with a sheepish look on his face, “Sorry.”

“No, you’re right. It didn't, and I don’t think things have been right with the pack for a while. Mom hasn't listened to Peter… or anyone really, for a few years now.” Derek commented honestly. “The only person she would discuss pack things with was Laura. My older sister was chosen when she reached high school to be the next alpha. This meant she got special training and was treated differently within the pack.”

“So, with the rest of the pack being gone. What will happen to the territory? Will we need to protect it?” Noah asked after he pondered the situation for a few minutes.

Derek thought about how best to answer Noah.“I will need to run nightly patrols through the preserve to check the boundary line to make sure nothing has come in. Uncle Peter made sure to teach both myself and my younger sister Cora how to take care of the territory. Although he did these lessons in secret, I think he suspected something like this would happen.” Derek said, he was feeling much older than his 16 years.

Derek decided to lay all of his cards on the table and go full disclosure. “The Hale pack is bound by the Nemeton to protect the Beacon County territory. Mom deciding to go to ground in one of the other Hale properties doesn't change that. The Hale pack is still bound to protect this territory. Uncle Peter explained that it's a magical contract that was agreed upon by the first Hale Alpha several hundred years ago.”

“Gone to ground?” Noah asked, hoping Derek didn’t mean what he thought he meant.

“Basically she has taken the pack to one of several other isolated properties somewhere in the USA. Either Hale pack land or maybe land belonging to my dad's pack, the Doyle Pack. They will live completely isolated for several years to hide from the hunter threat, at least until they determine that the threat has passed. The properties are all very remote and set up with food stashes to last at least 5 years. It is only supposed to be used in an extreme situation, like apocalyptic extreme but I heard Mom and Dad talking about which property to use to go to ground in their hotel room. They always forget that my senses are much better than the rest of the family.” Derek commented, he said the last bit almost absently.

“So why did they leave you both behind?” Noah wondered almost to himself.

“They blame us for the fire. Me for working with the hunters to eliminate the family and Uncle Peter for not taking out the hunter threat.” Derek replied sardonically.

Noah bristled at this, “Why would they say you worked with the hunters?”

Derek's face fell “Because I think I did. I just don’t know how.”

Noah looked confused.

“I fell for one of the new teachers at school, Katie, Katie Silbern. We would meet in various places to hook up so she wouldn't get in trouble. She talked me into sneaking her into the house while everyone was out. I snuck her in through the escape tunnels. Mom said her name is Kate Argent, when she tried to burn down the house she had blocked all the exits with mountain ash, she stood outside while they all tried to escape, waiting and watching, yelling about how I had helped them plan the whole thing, how I showed them all the escape tunnels. She was just my French teacher, I never knew she was a hunter. I know what scents to look out for and she never smelled of them.” Derek confirmed, almost on the verge of tears again. “Me and Laura were late home as we were still at basketball practice.”

Derek started sniffling so Stiles jumped on the couch beside him to snuggle in for comfort.

“I tried to tell Mom I didn't know she was a hunter, that she was a teacher at school. Mom said she could hear the lie in my heartbeat.” Derek cried.

When he saw tears starting to roll down Derek’s face Stiles pulled him into a hug.

“She said that if I could work with hunters then I didn’t deserve to be pack and she cut my pack bonds. I asked her if she was taking Uncle Peter with them, she said he wasn't worth taking if he couldn't see his pack being infiltrated by hunters.” Derek said as he concentrated on his hands in his lap.

“He’s not worth it?” Noah demanded.

Derek carefully considered how to answer, “Packs have a fairly specific hierarchy. Each alpha will have both a left and a right hand. The right-hand assists with diplomacy, creating alliances and being backup alpha if the alpha is not available. The left-hand works to keep the territory safe, gets rid of threats, basically works behind the scenes to keep the pack strong.”

“Uncle Peter was the pack’s left hand. Many years ago this position was respected, but the last few left hands have been disowned for doing exactly what they were ordered to do. From what I overheard from Mom saying to Laura, she felt he had failed to protect the family by not knowing about the hunter threat. Great Uncle Dante went through the same thing. He was ordered to leave the pack and the territory when I was really young. I know he kept in touch with Uncle Peter though.” Derek explained.

Noah reminisced, “I remember Peter mentioning lessons with him, martial arts lessons I think. In fact both he and Chris had a lot of lessons outside of the usual school stuff. Chris was competitive in shooting, both guns, and archery. He said being a good shot runs in the family.”

“Dad? What was Chris’ last name?” Stiles asked suspiciously when something nudged at the edge of his memories.

“Argent. I am not sure if it's the same family though. I never met either of their families. They never met mine either. It would not have gone well for any of us I suspect.” Noah answered. Derek's jaw dropped at this statement.

“The Argent family is one of the oldest and most notorious hunter families. It is likely if they were living in Beacon Hills when you were young that its the same family. Their name is why the silver killing werewolves myth exists.” Derek interjected.

“That's a myth? So silver doesn't affect you at all?” Stiles asked while he was furiously writing as much as he could down on his note pad (with many questions in the margins).

Derek shook his head, “No, silver doesn’t affect us any differently than it would affect a normal human. As long as the bullet is removed we will heal just fine. The name Argent is translated to mean silver in french. So what that myth refers to is the family, not the actual metal. The Argent family specializes in using rare wolfsbane strains in any way that can kill us. They like to use custom made bullets loaded with rare wolfsbane strains so it is impossible for us to know which strain is needed to treat the injury.”

Noah looked up and noticed the boys were trying to stifle their yawns, he was surprised when he checked his watch and saw it was nearly midnight. “Right boys, we have been at this for hours, it’s time for bed I think. Stiles its a school night so straight to bed. No research binging please and no bugging Derek with questions,” he said, as he stood. Noah turned to Derek and said, “Tomorrow we will call Peter's lawyer and see what plans he has in place. If I remember Peter as well as I do, he will have at least three plans for this and at least two backup plans for those plans. Stiles can you show Derek up to the guest room and show him where the bathroom is, please.”

Noah sighed as he moved about the house locking everything up. He was fairly certain that the guest room would become Derek’s room in time.

Chapter Text

January 2005

The next morning, after the usual morning battle of getting Stiles out of bed, showered, dressed, medicated and fed before he was dropped off at elementary school, Noah stopped into the Sheriff’s Office and he arranged for one of his more senior deputies, Tara Graham, to look after the office for a few days citing a family emergency. He quickly assured her that everything was ok, that Stiles was fine, and that he just needed to sort out an issue that had unexpectedly landed on his doorstep.

When he arrived back home he found a bemused Derek sat at the table, as he read the sports section of the morning paper, while he had some bacon and eggs on toast. He had found the morning routine quite entertaining. “Is this morning's routine fairly standard, or was it just due to the late-night?”

Noah chuckled as he sat down with a well-earned coffee, “That was our normal morning battle, he has a tendency to get stuck in research binges on Wikipedia. I have tried everything short of cutting the power to the house to stop him, nothing works. I have even cut the net off completely, he just hacked the neighbor's wifi and kept researching.” Noah explained. He pulled out a notepad and pen, and the business card Melissa gave him for Peter's lawyer from his trouser pocket. “Right, so first up, the lawyer.”

Derek looked at the business card and smiled, “The card is for his junior partner at the firm, Ralph Vilkas, but you will likely reach Delphine. She is Uncle Peter's executive assistant, and she’s scary, whatever you do, don’t shorten her name, at all. Peter and Ralph both trust her to stay on top of everything so it should be pretty straight forward. Uncle Peter is a strategic thinker, so he will have a plan in place for both of us for what Mom has done. Delphine is probably just waiting for your call so she can find out which plan she needs to activate.”

“It’s Peters law firm?” Noah asked as he looked up from his notepad at Derek.

“The main firm is based out of state, although no one is really supposed to know about that, so I am not sure where it is based. He has a small office in town, with just Uncle Peter, Ralph, and Delphine.” Derek explained.

Noah absently tapped his pen on the business card. “Anything I should know before I call? Are they in the know about all the supernatural stuff? Will they expect me to know?”

Derek shook his head, “Peter told me most of his firm is staffed by supernaturals, the few humans he has employed tend to be humans born into supernatural families. Ralph and Delphine are both wolves, but they belong to a different pack. They won’t expect you to know about the supernatural, but they will likely be prepared to inform you as part of whatever plans Uncle Peter has prepared.”

Noah nodded decisively and made the call to Ralph. Derek was right and the call was answered by Delphine. She went through some security questions left by Peter specifically for Noah, then she requested the location for a place to meet so they could go over the various plans Peter had left in place.

Noah knew that Derek could hear both sides of the call so he looked at him with an eyebrow raised in question.

“I would keep it somewhere neutral and private. Peter was very firm in his lessons with me and Cora that the first meeting should be away from the pack den but familiar to you. Maybe your office later today? You already let the deputies know you have a family emergency so they won’t interrupt you if you have people with you.” Derek answered with a shrug.

Before Noah could relay the information from Derek, Delphine replied confirming that later today would be fine. They all agreed to meet later that day at 1 pm and Noah ended the call.

Noah turned to Derek. “Right kiddo, so yesterday I asked you if you have anything stashed anywhere? Clothes, schoolbooks, toiletries? Or did Talia just dump and run?”

Derek looked embarrassed “She just left, no money, no supplies. Anything I did have burned in the fire. She said since I was helping the hunters I didn’t deserve help from the family, she even took away my cellphone and school books. But I wasn’t completely honest with you. I do have access to an emergency cache that she doesn’t know about.”

“So I don’t understand why she would leave you both behind?” Noah demanded, sounding furious. “I know I asked last night but we didn’t really go into it.”

Derek looked down at his clawed hands clasped together on the table. “Honestly? I think she expects the hunters who tried to burn the house down to try and finish the job and take us both out. As far as she is concerned we are both Omegas with no pack bond. She ripped that out as she left.”

“Is it painful when it’s removed?” Noah asked with no small amount of trepidation.

“It depends on how it is done. She made sure it was extremely painful. Like losing a limb level painful. The whole pack can feel it when the bond breaks, no matter how the bond breaks. The way she broke it would feel like we died painfully to the rest of the pack I think.” Derek explained.

“I wonder if that’s why Peter's vitals went crazy about an hour before I arrived?” Noah wondered out loud.

“The timing would be right. She broke both mine and Uncle Peter’s bond at the same time. I headed straight to Uncle Peter’s hospital room, I wanted to make sure he was ok.” Derek answered.

“What a Bitch!” Noah muttered, as he looked seriously pissed off. That look quickly turned to worry as he focused on Derek, “Are you ok without a pack bond? Is that what makes you, what did you call it? Omega?”

“I’m fine, we both are, somehow we developed a pack bond with each other,” Derek said with a smug grin on his face. “Omegas are wolves without pack bonds to keep them sane. They tend to go feral and start randomly attacking people.” Derek shrugged and looked sheepish “Animal attacks.. ya know….”

Noah snorted “That explains so much. The real world’s version of the ‘Buffy Barbecue Fork’. Right so are you able to access your emergency cache? What do you need from me?”

“I just need a ride to the high school,” Derek said, as he smirked at Noah in amusement. “We can stop in on the way to your office for the meeting. It will take a while to access it and grab what we need.”

Noah stood up and grabbed his keys to the cruiser, “Are you ready to go?”

Derek got up from the table and he put his dishes in the dishwasher as he walked to the front door. “Let's go.”

-x-

Noah parked the cruiser at the school at the back of the student parking lot. They both got out of the cruiser and Noah followed Derek as he walked off towards the lacrosse field.

“So, where are we going?” Noah asked.

Derek pointed towards the locker rooms at the edge of the field. “During the day we use the entrance hidden in the locker rooms. At night we would just use the main entrance under the school sign.”

Noah's jaw dropped, “I have lived here my whole life and I never knew about a secret area under the school.”

“Technically its a vault, and the vault has been here longer than the town, just like our family,” Derek answered distractedly as he felt along the wall beside the equipment storage room with his eyes glowing blue.

He found the slot in the wall for his claws and placed them in, he twisted his wrist until he heard the telltale ‘click’ inside the wall. He then pushed on the wall itself and opened the vault door. He motioned to Noah to lead them in.

As they walked down the long tunnel lights turned on automatically. When they reached the bottom of the tunnel Noah had a good look around the large cavernous room. There were a few shelves with various items, tunnels that seemed to branch off in every direction and a section set up like a large living room with loads of sofas and beanbags.

Derek headed off to one of the walls as he felt along the wall for the groove his claws will fit in. As he felt along the wall he commented “This is one of the many escape tunnels the town has under it. This is like a mini panic room. Only a Hale’s claws will open the entrances. The room I am looking for though is one set up specifically for Uncle Peter by my grandparents and right now, only three sets of claws will open the tunnel.”

Noah looked at him in surprise. “Just three? Peter, Talia and You?”

Derek snorted as he found the grooves and opened the hidden door with another deft twist of his wrist. “God no. Uncle Peter, me and my little sister Cora. Mom doesn’t even know that this particular set of rooms exists, I think she would take it away from Uncle Peter if she found out. Uncle Peter was giving us secret lessons for the last few years in pack protocol and how to be an alpha. Passing down the many lessons he got from my grandparents. He didn’t agree with mom’s decision that only Laura should be trained in how to be a good alpha. It’s been a Hale tradition for centuries that parents pass down the alpha lessons to all their kids even if they are not the alpha. My grandparents helped him set up this area when he was a teenager as a safe space for him after they saw what Talia was like as an alpha. The alpha spark went from my great-grandfather to Mom when she had graduated high school.”

Noah followed Derek down another long tunnel as he talked about his family. Noah wondered to himself how much of the town had Hale tunnels and caverns underneath it.

They reached another smaller cavern which had several mini offshoot rooms. Derek walked towards one of the rooms and grabbed a duffel bag and a backpack from the room and dropped them by the main tunnel entrance, he had a quick rifle through them to make sure he had everything he needed. He looked at Noah and said, “I never understood Uncle Peter’s insistence that we each have a duffel of clothing and a duplicate of our school things in here. He would call them our ‘Go bags’ and we would go through and restock them at the start of each school year so we had the right school books as well as clothes that fit us. There is also cash in my backpack that wasn’t there when I last packed the bag. This should help with the shopping I need to do for the things I don’t have in my bags, I can also help with the food shopping. Wolves have a faster metabolism than that of a human, so we tend to eat much much more.”

Noah narrowed his eyes at Derek and asked, “Just how much more? Should we have fed you more last night?”

Derek shook his head, “To be honest after all the shock of yesterday I wasn’t really hungry. But a good example of our metabolism would be pizza, I would guess that you and Stiles would share a standard pizza between the two of you? I could eat 4 large pizzas and still be hungry for dessert.”

Noah looked over in shock, “Wow, ok. So we will need to pick up some new things for the kitchen at some point, what we have currently are made for smaller meals.” Noah shook his head, “Actually, I think I will just give Stiles to give me a list of what he wants to get from Amazon, he is the one that does the cooking since I still manage to burn water.”

Derek hesitated and then decided since Noah was someone Peter trusted he offered, “Feel free to look around. I am going to get some books for you and Stiles to read from Uncle Peter’s library. I will also check his safe to see if there is anything in there I need for the meeting this afternoon.”

Noah nodded and headed off to check out the different offshoot rooms. He found a couple of offices setup. One was clearly for the kids with what looked like wall charts of pack dynamics, pack protocols and rituals, and on the wall was an extensive family tree. The other office was clearly Peter’s office. It was set up with an utterly gorgeous solid oak desk and bookshelves full of law books. He wandered into the next room beside Peter’s office and just stops. “Stiles can never see this room… ever… he would never, ever, want to leave.” He muttered to himself as he looked around the simply huge library.

Derek walked out from one of the stacks, Noah could hear him chuckling quietly. He walked to one of the shelves near the door and grabbed a few more books from the shelf for the growing pile of books he was already carrying. He walked over and carefully put them all in his backpack as he said, “There was nothing of interest in the main safe so it looks like everything we need is with the lawyers. There is another safe but only Uncle Peter has the combination for that one.”

Noah asked, “Ready to go then? If we leave now we should have time to grab some lunch on the way to the station.”

Derek nodded and motioned Noah towards the exit so he could secure the tunnels as they leave.

-x-

They made a quick stop at Mikey’s Diner for some take out, and they spent their lunch discussing Derek’s plans for his schooling.

“So I called the school and let them know you will be out for the rest of the week. I also let them know you will be staying with us for the foreseeable future. I figured we could decide what you wanted to do for your high school diploma. I also requested information about the teacher you mentioned, they confirmed that Kate Silbern hasn't been back to the school since the fire. I mentioned her inappropriate contact with you and I have asked them to send through the confirmation of her teaching certification and ID for the investigation I have started. I spoke directly with the principal and he didn’t want word to get out about the teacher that groomed a student, and he agreed to keep it quiet.” Noah explains.

“I can’t believe I was that gullible. I know how to spot hunters and she never once smelled or acted like a hunter. No hints of gun oil or wolfsbane at all. Now because of me, Uncle Peter is in a coma and might never wake up.” Derek said despondently as he shuddered.

“Hey!” Noah said sharply, “You are only just 16 years old. She is an adult and she manipulated you because she is sick and twisted, if she was a hunter that was aware of your family then it sounds like she got the job at the school so she could spend the time getting to know you. She was probably grooming you for information she could get from you about your family, that’s what a predator does. That's all on her, not you! You are in no way to blame for the fire.” He gives Derek a searching look, seeing the kid looking tortured he commented, “Remind me to ask Delphine if she knows of any supernatural aware therapists. I think you may find it helpful. I know Stiles found therapy helpful after his mother, Claudia, died.”

Noah made a note of it on his ever-present notepad.

Noah looked at Derek with sympathy in his eyes, “I would like to make a suggestion for your schooling. With this being a small town and everyone knowing about the fire I think homeschooling would be a better option. I already have Stiles doing self-study for a few high school level classes each semester so we are already familiar with the process.”

Derek frowned and he asked, “Isn’t he a bit young for high school courses?”

Noah chuckled “He has ADHD and he is genius-level smart. When we were going through the sessions with the psychologists to get his drugs sorted, we all decided that keeping Stiles in school at the normal level would be best for his social development, keeping a routine helps with his ADHD, one of the psychologists then suggested the higher-level classes by remote schooling to help keep his brain busy, to help exhaust his brain so to speak, they hoped this would reduce the symptoms.”

“Did it?” Derek felt almost compelled to ask, if for nothing else to assuage his curiosity.

Noah laughed, “No! It does though, reduce the random research spirals he goes into though as he doesn’t have time for endless Wikipedia binges that keep him jumping from random topic to random topic.”

Derek nodded as he looked down at his hands. “Homeschooling sounds good then, maybe I can even help with Stiles’ schoolwork, help keep him on topic. I think between what happened with Paige, memories of Kate and whatever Laura has spread around before she left, school would be hell.”

Noah checked his watch and noticed it was nearly time for the meeting, so he walked out to the front desk to wait for their arrival.

“Noah Stilinski? I’m Delphine Channing.” Delphine approached with her arm outstretched and they shook hands. She turned and gestured to her companion, “This is Ralph Vilkas.”

She was brunette, her long hair in a complicated knot at the back of her head, her eyes were a striking blue-green, he noticed she was taller than average, he thought almost as tall as himself, until he looked down and saw the killer stiletto heels. She chuckled, “They look good and make for a handy weapon in a pinch.”

Ralph was over 6ft, fairly well built under the expensive three-piece suit, also a brunette with dark blue eyes.

Noah turned and led them through to his office. They walked into the office and Noah saw that Derek had cleaned up all the mess from their lunch and he was sitting in one of the guest chairs reading one of the books he had taken from the vault. Derek stood when he heard the door close.

Derek was surprised when Delphine walked up to him and gave him a strong hug.

“Oh kiddo, what did that bitch do to you,” Delphine cried.

“Which one?” Noah muttered under his breath, as he completely forgot about werewolf hearing.

Ralph burst out laughing. With the ice broken successfully, everyone took a seat and Delphine spoke up. “Right, time for full introductions. I am Delphine Channing. I am Peter’s executive assistant, dogsbody, a jack-of-all-trades. I do whatever needs doing. With me is Ralph Vilkas. He is Peter’s personal lawyer, junior partner and second only to Peter in terms of ruthlessness.”

Noah shook hands with both of them, “I am Noah Stilinski, Beacon County Sheriff, also Peter’s primary contact with the hospital. You both know Derek Hale, emancipated minor currently staying with me and my son Stiles.”

Ralph opened his bag and pulled out his laptop. “Right I need to go through some questions just to work out what plan we are putting in place. First up, is it just you and Peter still in Beacon Hills Derek?”

“Yes. Mom took the rest of the pack and left, I don’t know where too.” Derek confirmed.

Ralph made some notes before he moved on to the next question, he sounded hesitant. “Did your alpha break the pack bonds?”

Derek looked down and said quietly, “Yes, she broke both our pack bonds, violently.”

“It sent the machines monitoring Peter haywire and they said he's gone into a deeper coma after he settled down again,” Noah commented angrily.

“That fucking bitch! Gah.” Ralph exclaimed.

“Language!” Delphine snapped out.

Ralph made more notes on his laptop. He looked up at Noah, “Noah, are you happy to take Derek in permanently. Even though it would appear that Derek is emancipated, Peter has stated specifically that he would feel better knowing there is an adult that he trusts to take care of Derek should Derek be left to fend for himself before he is of legal age. I also want to look into the emancipation, it seems a bit rushed, California usually requires a court hearing to grant emancipation.”

“I already offered that Derek could stay as long as he needs,” Noah answered.

Ralph made more notes on his laptop. This time he fixed his gaze on Derek. “Derek, you have your drivers license right? I think I remember Peter mentioning you sat your test as soon as you could after your birthday.”

Derek just nodded with a look of confusion on his face.

Ralph just grinned at him and threw him a set of car keys he pulled out of his laptop bag. “Peter bought you a car for your 16th birthday just like his Uncle Dante bought him a car for his 16th. However, Talia forbid Peter from actually giving it to you. I’ll organize for the Camaro to be delivered to the Stilinski house. It’s currently in storage.”

Ralph pulled out a folder from his laptop bag and pulled out some of the paperwork, he handed it all to Noah. “This is for the stipend that Peter has setup as he knows that housing and feeding a hungry teenage werewolf can be draining on the budget. I have also set up accounts with some of the local stores so Derek can replace what was lost in the fire. I am also under strict instructions to ensure the boys are set up with some study aids, I will be dropping these off in a few days.”

Noah went through the paperwork signing where needed and handed it all back to Ralph.

“We are both locally based and are happy to help where needed with anything your pack needs. Now, any questions?” Delphine asked while she looked pointedly at both Noah and Derek.

Derek shook his head, Noah however, pulled out his notebook. “First up, I have requested that Peter is set up in a private room at the hospital once he is moved to the long term care unit. I have also restricted the visitor list to just myself, Derek, and my son Stiles. The nurse I spoke to recommended that you file paperwork to confirm this. I will have you both added to the visitor list also in case you want to visit. I have also requested that any staff member who has contact with Peter be fully vetted with a deep background check to prevent someone from sneaking in to try and finish the job.”

Ralph noted everything down in a new doc on his laptop. “That's definitely something we can do. I will contact the hospital director in the morning.”

“Thank you,” Noah crossed this off his list and asked “Are there any supernaturally aware therapists in the area? What about tutors?”

“We have a list of therapists and their specialties which I can email to you when I am back at the office. As for the other, what sort of tutoring were you after?” Delphine asked.

Noah commented “I have talked to Derek and we have decided that he would be better off being homeschooled. So a general tutor that can cover high school courses. They also need to cope with my son Stiles, who is a 10-year-old with ADHD who's also doing a few high school level courses who will be joining in the tutoring sessions when he's not his regular school.”

Delphine made some notes and promised, “I will go through our local contacts and see who's available and I will email those through as well.”

Derek looked up “Can you make sure they are someone you would trust to be around Uncle Peter while he’s still vulnerable. We may do some of the tutoring sessions at the hospital so I can pain drain for Uncle Peter while I study.”

Delphine nodded in agreement. “It’s all good kiddo. I am sure we have a few you can choose from. Peter’s network is pretty extensive and we have a good list of trusted people contracted to the firm.”

Noah crossed them off his to-do list, then looked at Derek pensively before he looked back at Delphine, “I want to investigate the fire but I want to do it quietly and privately. The fire investigator has already submitted his report saying the fire was caused by an electrical fault and it hasn't even been a week since the fire. Electrical faults take time to investigate and usually at least a month of lab time to confirm the fault was definitely an electrical fault and not arson. This, alongside what Derek told us last night says that something is going on and I want to get to the bottom of it, however, my gut says to keep it quiet and not involve my deputies.”

Delphine smiled “So what do you need from us to make this easier for you?”

“Inside information. I am new to this world so while I am a trained investigator I need information about the supernatural world and especially information specific to hunters and hunting families. This will help me aim my investigation in the right direction. I am also sure that once Stiles finds out the full story he will help with the investigation.” Noah said sardonically.

Delphine nodded “We can make sure the list of tutors I will send you are all very experienced with the supernatural and knowledgeable about hunters and various hunter families. They will be able to answer questions you all have as they come up in the investigation. We also have a couple of on-call private investigators if you need things looked into further.”

Ralph cleared his throat to get their attention “Peter’s instructions were very clear. The firm is at your disposal, we will do anything and everything to make sure Peter and those he cares about are taken care of, that includes you and Stiles.” He confirmed.

“Thanks for all the info. I will let you know which therapist and tutor we end up choosing.” Noah said while he was filling away his copies of the signed paperwork.

They all stood and said their goodbyes. Noah walked Delphine and Ralph back to the front desk where they all exchanged business cards with their contact details, while Derek just sat back down, picked up his book and kept reading.

Ten minutes later Noah walked back into the office and picked up his notebook and the list he was given by Ralph. “Right kiddo lets head to some of these stores and get you some essentials and some furniture for your bedroom.”

Chapter Text

January 2005

When Ralph turned up on the doorstep a few days later Noah was surprised to see him carrying several large boxes from the car. “Derek, can you bring Stiles down to the kitchen please?” Ralph said, as he tilted his head to aim his voice upstairs, but he didn’t bother to raise it as he knew it was pointless.

Noah waved Ralph through to the dining room where he put the boxes down on the table. Ralph took his time to separate the various boxes into three piles. He slid the two larger piles at the boys when they walked in. The leftover boxes going to Noah.

Ralph sighed at the exasperated look on Noah's face, “So these are all as per Peter’s instructions. The boys have each got a fast G5 PowerMac with a couple of monitors to make…” He looked a Noah with a slightly guilty expression and coughed, “umm ‘data-mining’ for info on the arsonists easier. The PowerBooks are for your schoolwork. Keep the computers you are using for ‘data-mining’ activities separate from your schoolwork.” Ralph implored seriously.

Stiles rolled his eyes with the best ‘duh’ face a ten-year-old could muster.

“You both also have wifi hotspots for when you are at school or the hospital and a blackberry each,” Ralph said, with a smirk at Stiles.

Derek perked up at this, he was happy at the thought of being able to do his homework and class work out in the preserve.

Ralph continued, “Noah's pile has a PowerBook for his personal use, a central data server for working on the investigation so you can all keep the finalized evidence data in one place. He also has the hardware for your new high-speed internet line and a top of the line network switch. Do not do any ‘data-mining’ type activity on a wifi connection, for now, we are still waiting for the encrypted hotspots to arrive.”

Stiles jumped around in excitement. “I didn't think we were due to have high speed in our area for another year?” He squealed.

Noah put his hand on Stiles' shoulder to try and stop him bouncing around the kitchen.

“I might have asked someone for a favor.” Ralph coughed out with an innocent look on his face. It was a look that wasn’t fooling anyone.

Ralph turned to Derek, “Lastly. Catch.” He said, as he threw another set of car keys at Derek and he gestured over his shoulder towards the car that was parked outside, “these are your spare keys. Keep them somewhere safe just in case,” Ralph confirmed happily.

Noah facepalmed and mumbled into his hand, “For fuck sake, Peter. You bought him a damn Camaro. He's 16.”

“No wonder mom said he wasn't allowed to give it to me,” Derek said as he grinned broadly at Ralph. They both tried to suppress laughter at the indignant look that was on Noah’s face. Stiles took one look at his dad and laughed so hard he couldn’t breathe.

Derek and Stiles raced out to the car to check it out. Noah however just fixed Ralph with a look.

Ralph held his hands up in an ‘I surrender’ motion, “Chill out. Peter had it warded six ways from Sunday. It's one of the reasons he bought a Camaro. They are sturdy and hold up to intensive warding. Even if it hits a wall head on the most he will get will be enough bumps and bruises to make their survival believable to the humans.” He explained with a serious look on his face. “Is there room in the garage for it?”

Noah nodded, “It’s a decent-sized garage, the only vehicle in there at the moment is Claudia’s old Jeep, ‘Roscoe’. I was planning to give it to Stiles when he eventually gets his license. I was thinking about loaning it to Derek but it’s not running at the moment, it needs a bit of work so it's not held together by duct tape and zip ties.”

Ralph smiled, “Roscoe? Nice name. The Camaro has anti-theft wards on it that will act like a normal car alarm when it is activated, so even if it's parked outside it should be safe.” Ralph looked down at the various boxes, “Let me know if Stiles outgrows the single laptop. One of our procurement specialists has a ‘feeling’ he will need another one fairly soon for reviewing evidence, she called it a ‘clean laptop’. She warned me that you will need to take a back seat on the investigation that Stiles and Derek will be doing, you will need plausible deniability when you start the official investigation and search warrant applications. So when Stiles does need the second laptop, get Derek to tell me, I have a feeling you will need also need that plausible deniability around any additional equipment and hardware. We are just hoping he can wait for the next generation laptop. We have heard from various insiders it's going to be a huge upgrade.”

Noah just nodded, he was feeling a bit steamrolled.

Ralph looked at him and took pity on him, he gestured for him to take a seat at the table and brought him a slightly doctored coffee, then he sat down in the seat opposite Noah.

Noah took a good look at all the boxes on the table then he turned back to Ralph, “Tell me something, how can a small, 3 person law firm, a firm that barely gets clients if local gossip is to be believed, afford all this?” He asked, brimming with curiosity.

Ralph smirked, “Because we aren’t a 3 person law firm.” He looked down at his hands clasped on the table before looking back at Noah, he decided if Peter trusted Noah to take care of Derek then he could trust Noah with Peter’s secrets. He asked, “How much do you know about what Peter does?”

“Nothing. Nothing at all. His family forced him to choose, he had to either stop all contact with myself and Chris or be disowned, this was while we were still in high school. We, Chris and I, made him choose his family. We didn’t really take it seriously, or think they would actually be quite that strict with forbidding all contact. We sure as shit didn’t expect them to send him across to the East Coast, near the end of our senior year at high school, his junior year, he was sent off to live with his uncle in Boston.” Noah said sadly.

Ralph nodded, “Uncle Dante. So Peter inherited the law firm he runs from his Uncle about 5 years ago when Dante Hale passed away. What the public and the pack saw locally was just the carefully crafted public image. A small struggling firm that would fly under the pack's radar.” He grinned “The reality is quite different.” He said, looking very smug.

“How so?” Noah asked, frowning slightly.

“Vesuvius is more than a law firm. We deal purely in supernatural matters, part legal, part fixers. Dante Hale saw a need when he was young and he filled what he saw was a gap in the supernatural world, now we are one of the biggest law firms in the country.” Ralph said. Noah noted to himself that he looked proud at this statement.

“Fixers? Aren’t they the firms who do backdoor deals to buy celebrities out of trouble?” Noah asked as he started to understand.

Ralph nodded “Mundane fixers are for sure. Supernatural fixers not so much. What we do is work to keep the supernatural hidden. So we clean up crime scenes, sanitizing them so the scene remains intact but the supernatural elements are removed, that way any mundanes involved can still be charged. Occasionally we will redirect authorities to the mundanes involved if the mundanes, likely hunters, have sanitized the scene before we arrived. We have a good staff of investigators who will get to the bottom of it then build the scene to match. We also do body removal for bodies that wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny in an autopsy.”

“How wouldn’t the bodies stand up to scrutiny in an autopsy,” Noah asked with a look of confusion on his face.

Ralph leaned down and pulled a flash drive out of his laptop bag and handed it to Noah, “Get Derek to take you through this later. It’s the current copy of our firm's extensive bestiary.”

Noah took the flash drive and placed it beside Stiles' new laptop as he thought to himself that Stiles will likely pounce on it as soon as he hears what it is.

“So weres like the Hales are fine in a normal autopsy as they look as human as you unless shifted, when they die they will look completely human unless they are wrapped in wolfsbane rope, essentially someone has to go out of their way to make them look anything but human. However, there are other creatures out there that barely look human unless under a glamour, like harpies that have huge wings, and the fae who have the whole pointed ears and weird colored skin thing going on, any glamour spells will generally fade when the being they are cast on dies. So we work to keep them out of sight of the mundanes.” Ralph explained, he knew it was all a lot to take in for someone new to the supernatural world.

Noah nodded “And you run this from your tiny office above the Double Grind?” He asked dubiously.

Ralph shook his head. “No, that office is just a front, it was a way to keep Talia off Peter’s back. He was the Hale pack’s left hand and Talia kept him busy with various duties while keeping her hands clean. She refused to let him work out of state, so we moved to town with a smaller office to keep her happy. The main branch is in Boston where the firm was founded, we have satellite offices all over the USA and Peter has been branching out into Canada over the last few years. He has the firm set up so he can run it from anywhere.”

Noah looked up worried “What about while he’s in a coma?”

Ralph smiled at him, “The firm will be fine, he has contingencies set up for everything, and back up plans for each of those contingencies. He had a feeling something big was coming that would take him out of action for a while, he just didn’t know what it was. He started planning a few years ago, that’s why he brought myself and Delphine to work with him in the office in town. Delphine and I will keep the firm going with his backup plans until he’s awake and able to boss us around again.”

“Shall we head outside and see what’s taking the boys so long?” Noah asked with a long-suffering sigh.

-x-

Over the next few weeks they all developed a fairly steady routine; Derek would drop Stiles off at middle school then he would head to the law office above the Double Grind to meet with his morning tutor in Peter’s office for his history, civics and other related lessons, he was not a big fan of his morning tutor but he needed the credits to graduate. He would then meet with his therapist twice a week in the early afternoons via Skype. When school finished for the day he would pick Stiles up and they would head to spend the afternoons in Peter’s hospital room doing homework and classwork with their math and computer science tutor Matt. While they were busy doing their homework Derek would spend time doing the pain drain mojo on his Uncle Peter. They were hoping that by reducing the pain enough it would slowly draw Peter out of his coma. After their homework and classwork was all done, Derek and their tutor, Matt, started taking Stiles through the various books from Peters library, they took him through the basics of pack dynamics, pack politics and Derek and Stiles spent a fair bit of time studying the bestiary. Matt would also answer any questions they had while they were investigating the hunters who attacked the Hales.

Once the routine settled down Derek decided it was time to talk to Noah about doing nightly patrols in the preserve, he left Stiles in the kitchen getting dinner ready and headed to Noah’s office to discuss patrolling the preserve. He knocked on the doorframe to get Noah’s attention.

Noah looked up, surprised to see Derek at his door. “Everything ok, Derek?”

Derek nodded, “Yep, I was just wondering if you had a map of Beacon County, one that includes the preserve?” He asked pensively.

Noah turned to his file cabinet and dug around in the various folders, finding the right folder he pulled out a large folded map. He turned and handed it over to Derek. “I think this is the best one I have, it doesn’t show much detail within the preserve but I think the only maps that do are owned by your family.”

Derek nodded, “The preserve is still one of the largest privately-owned preserve in California. While there are running trails that are accessible to the public, most of it is kept private for the pack. This should be enough though for me to work out some patrol routes.”

Noah looked concerned “Are you planning to patrol the whole preserve?”

Derek laughed and shook his head while he unfolded the map on the desk between them. “No, I am just one kid. Have you seen how big the full preserve is? It’s something like 300 square miles.” He held up a marker questioning if he was allowed to mark the map. Noah nodded, so Derek drew the full boundary of the Hale property on to the map, switching markers he then shaded in the area small area close to town that he planned to patrol, “I will patrol the areas close to town to make sure none of the creatures in the preserve are getting close to town. Uncle Peter said there used to be wards up so the alpha would know when and where dangerous creatures entered the preserve so they could be dealt with, but they haven’t worked for as long as he could remember. He saw them mentioned in a journal written by a previous Hale alpha.”

“Would Ralph or Delphine know someone who could check and maybe set new wards up for you?” Noah asked.

Derek shook his head, “No, they could set up new wards but the wards would notify the current territory alpha. That is still mom, even though she is not even in the state. The land would have to accept a new alpha for someone other than mom to be notified of entry.” Derek frowned as he tried to remember what his Uncle Peter had taught them about wards. “I am sure there are some books in Uncle Peter’s library about wards that might give us more information. But… I think… if anyone reached out to check the wards mom would be notified. I don’t think that’s a good idea right now.”

Noah nodded in agreement. “I agree. Do you want some help coming up with some routes to patrol? I spend a lot of time doing this for my deputies to get the best out of them.”

“That would be great, I was just going to try and remember some of the routes I ran with Uncle Peter when he would sneak me out to patrol with him,” Derek said gratefully.

Noah turned back to the file cabinet “Let me grab the patrol maps I have set up and see if we can set up something that works in with it.”

They spent the next half hour coming up with several variations of routes Derek could use to patrol so that he could keep an eye on the preserve boundary close to the town. Noah also asked Derek to keep him in the loop around what he found on his patrols.

-x-

Eventually, they ran out of study material from Derek’s initial visit to the vault, so he decided to introduce Stiles to Peter’s secret library. As they headed through the entry tunnel Derek could feel Stiles excitement at seeing the underground tunnels.

That excitement had nothing compared to when Stiles first saw Peter’s secret library, the look on his face was like every birthday and Christmas had come at once. He darted from shelf to shelf, he was mentally cataloging the titles for future exploration.

Stiles noticed a group of shelves that seemed sectioned off from the rest of the library. It was subtle if you looked closely at the way the library was set up. The books in that section seemed much older and it felt different in that section of the library, it felt almost welcoming. It had been set up like a true study nook with special stands to support the books and white gloves so the fragile books didn’t get damaged.

Stiles turned to look at Derek with a raised eyebrow in question.

Derek just sighed. He liked to learn but he was not a true bibliophile like his Uncle Peter.

“I never liked this section. It always felt very forbidding to me. Uncle Peter said these books are the oldest in his collection and that they are to never leave the library. I know he plans to digitize them eventually.” Derek explained.

“Huh, I get a different feeling. To me, it feels very welcoming.” Stiles walked through the section, he was careful not to touch anything without gloves on. He took note of the various titles on offer, and he wondered to himself if a handheld archive scanner could scan the books to digitize them without damaging them. Something he would research later.

-x-

Stiles sat up suddenly at the end of Peter's hospital bed with a horrified look on his face, he had been reading through the Vesuvius bestiary so it was a pretty typical look on him.

“We are never, ever going to Australia. Like ever.” Stiles exclaimed as he looked up at Derek.

“Why not? I heard it’s nice there.” Derek asked as he frowned, feeling confused.

Stiles gave him a hard look, “Going by the bestiary and random google searches it looks like everything there wants to kill you.” He flipped his laptop around showing a picture of a creature that looks like a vicious, were koala, “Like this, the Drop Bear! It’s evil and absolutely vicious. They drop on random humans as they walk through the trees and they annihilate them. But if you look at one in the tree it looks like a normal cute and cuddly koala bear.” Stiles exclaimed, loudly, almost squeaking (though he would deny that till he took his last breath).

“That's only one creature though, and it’s not like we will find one randomly roaming the preserve, it says there that it is native to Australia and sightings in America are almost unheard of, ” Derek commented while he looked suitably horrified at the image on the screen.

Stiles just gave him a deadpan look “That's it, you had it say it didn’t you, you just totally jinxed us. Oh my fucking god, if I get eaten by a Drop Bear I will seriously come back to haunt you. Besides that, there are other creatures too, Bunyip and Yowie, to name a few. That's not even going into the typical mundane stuff like dinner plate sized spiders and loads of huge venomous snakes.”

Derek nodded “Fine, we move Australia off the theoretical holiday destinations list. What about New Zealand? It seems pretty in the Lord of the Rings movies.”

Stiles moved through the bestiary as he looked for New Zealand native creatures. “Umm maybe. Does the pretty outweigh river guardians? They call them Taniwha. They are pretty elusive though so we might be ok.” He said nervously with a slight raise to his eyebrows.

Derek nodded “I think we can live with that. Maybe we just stay away from the rivers, and google says that there are no snakes at all in New Zealand which is a bonus.”

They went back to their studying quietly while pulling Peter’s pain.

-x-

After Stiles was shown the library Saturday afternoons would usually find the boys sitting in the reading pit they created in Peter’s library. Although it was really just an area in the main section of the library with bean bags and cushions for proper pack puppy piles.

One Saturday in April found them researching as they looked for answers about the pixies in the preserve, Stiles, however, was off on one of his research tangents. After the last few months Derek had gotten used to seeing the signs, he would usually let Stiles go for an hour before he reigned him back in to study the creature he was currently facing.

“Derek?" Stiles asked quietly.

Derek looked up sleepily “Hmmm?”

Stiles swallowed, knowing Derek wouldn’t want to talk about the fire, but the question wouldn’t stop bugging him “Ummm… during the fire… are we sure it was the hunters who broke the mountain ash line?”

Derek sat up, “Pretty sure, I mean what else could it have been?”

Stiles put down his book, he used a sheet from his note pad to bookmark the page. “Well, when you were taking me through alpha lore you mentioned two ways to become alpha, either gifted by an outgoing alpha, like your Mom or kill an alpha to take their alpha spark, right?”

Derek nodded.

“Well, this book, ‘Alpha, Beta and Omega’ briefly mentions a third way. It’s very rare, but it happens in times of great need. When a beta wolf performs a truely selfless act through sheer force of will, they can ascend to the rank of alpha on that act alone. They are known as True Alphas, and their alpha spark can’t be taken in the traditional method. It can only be willingly gifted. One of the alphas mentioned, Amoux Lowell was around 250 years ago, dates are a little hard to work out, the writer is very hard to understand in places…”

“Stiles!” Derek barked, he knew it was the only way to get Stiles back on track.

“Right, sorry, so anyway, Amoux Lowell was a beta and the book doesn't go into much detail but the point is he broke a mountain ash line to save his pack. It nearly killed him doing it but when he woke up he was an alpha, a True Alpha. So my point to asking this. Is it possible that your Uncle Peter broke the ash line before he collapsed?”

Derek motioned for Stiles to pass him the book. He took a while and read through all the information the book had on True Alphas.

He looked up at Stiles with a thoughtful expression on his face. “It’s possible but Mom said he collapsed before the line broke. Collapsed due to the burns he was suffering while trying to break the line. From what she said the line was right up against the house and he had to push against the barrier through a doorway that was on fire. I think though, if he had become an alpha wouldn’t mom have picked up his status change in the pack bonds?”

Stiles contemplated this theory and shrugged, “Maybe the injuries and pain he would have been feeling masked it in the pack bond?”

Derek shrugged. “Maybe? I know that extreme pain can be overwhelming to others in the pack bond. Especially for the alpha.”

Derek and Stiles both read through the section again. Stiles stood up and started browsing the shelves looking for any other books that might mention True Alphas but there didn’t seem to be any other books. He thought to himself that he needed to work on digitizing the library soon so they could search a database rather than book by book.

Stiles sat back down after a good hour of searching the books. “I guess we won’t know till he wakes up.”

Derek gave him a quick one-armed hug before he went back to his book on how best to deal with Pixie infestations aptly titled ‘Pixies: Extermination Cookbook’.

Chapter Text

May 2005

After their classes were finally finished for the day, Scott held Stiles back because he wanted to invite Stiles over after school. However, like all the other times when Scott had invited him over Stiles had to turn him down due to his after school tutoring sessions with Matt. Scott McCall might be his best friend, his only friend other than Derek but he wouldn’t skip his tutoring sessions to just sit around talking and playing video games all afternoon. Stiles had been having tutoring for his extra classes after school for nearly 2 years now, so it wasn’t a new thing for their friendship to adjust too. The reality was, the only thing that had actually changed was the tutor, they had changed to Matt as he had a broader scope than the high school student who was tutoring him before he met Derek.

Scott snapped out angrily “What do you mean you can’t come over after school, you always come over after school”

Stiles just gave Scott a dumbfounded expression and asked, “Say what?”

Scott just crossed his arms and looked mulish, it was becoming a typical look for him.

“I haven’t been to your place after school for ages, not since my ADHD diagnosis. You know this, I have talked to you loads of times about the tutoring I have after school every day.” Stiles explained with a huff as it felt like the hundredth time they were having the same argument.

“Why? You are already near the top of our class, why do you even need a tutor?” Scott stubbornly asked.

“I am at the top of the class, not near the top and the tutoring is not for my normal school work, it’s for the classes I am doing that are high school level. Taxing my brain helps reduce my ADHD symptoms. We have been over this already several times, Scott,” Stiles snapped in exasperation.

“Yeah right, you’re doing high school classes? Not even. Lydia is the smartest in our grade and she’s not even doing high school classes.” Scott stated as he shook his head in denial.

Stiles rolled his eyes, again Scott was only hearing what he wanted to hear, “She’s smart when she’s not trying to hide it, sure, but I am currently the top student in our grade, and I have tested high enough to do high school level classes which we do through tutoring.”

“So there is no way you can come over after school?” Scott asked again as if asking persistently would change the answer.

"Sorry bro but no. Our tutor's schedule is pretty full and after school is the only time he can fit both me and Derek in.” Stiles confirmed.

“What’s Derek got to do with it?” Scott demanded angrily.

“We have tutoring together Scott, which you already know but choose to ignore, you really need to stop attacking our friendship,” Stiles said firmly.

Scott just gave him a look “All I hear is Derek this, Derek that, he’s like some creepy guy who latched on to you and your dad because his own family hated him enough to kick him out.”

Stiles jaw dropped, “That’s seriously… gah… I don’t even have words for how wrong that is Scott. That’s so far over the line you can't even see the line from here.” He hoped that no one had overheard them as he stormed out of the classroom to wait outside for Derek.

When Derek arrived to pick him up Stiles stalked up to the Camaro, got into the passenger seat and he was about to slam the door to show his displeasure but Stiles decided he did not want the ‘eyebrows-of-doom’ aimed in his direction so he just closed the door and sat back sullenly.

Derek looked over at Stiles and all he could think was, ‘what’s that little git said to him now?’ So he looked over and asked, “What did he say this time?”

Stiles swallowed down the tears and shook his head, he couldn’t believe what Scott was saying, “He wanted me to come over to his place after school, forgot about my tutoring yet again, never mind that I have had tutoring after school for nearly 2 years now, he forgot… Like he always forgets when it’s not about him. I swear he has a memory of a goldfish.”

Derek gave Stiles a searching look while they waited at a red light, he wondered how that could have set off the rage he could smell. “Stiles? What else did he say? You smell seriously angry.” Derek asked nervously.

Stiles rolled his eyes, and muttered “Bloody werewolf.” He looked at Derek sadly and said “He stepped over the line and attacked our friendship again, called you creepy and saying that you latched on to us because your own family hated you. He is such a fucking dick.”

Derek rolled his eyes, he wished he knew what Scott's problem was. “I would say something about your language but well. I think it’s well deserved in this case. Thank you though for not taking your rage out on my car,” Derek said sardonically.

“I just didn’t want you aiming your murder brows in my direction if I had slammed the door like I was planning too.” Stiles giggled.

-x-

Derek poked his head in the office at home, “Noah, do you have a minute?”

Noah looked up from his research and motioned Derek into the chair opposite. “What's up kiddo?”

Derek looked nervously down at his hands then back up at Noah before he asked, “Can I borrow your handcuffs please?”

Noah’s eyes widened, “Ummm why?”

Derek glowered and just stated, “Stiles”

“What’s he doing now?” Noah asked with no small amount of trepidation.

“No matter what I do to evade him, I keep finding him following me as I do my patrols around the preserve,” Derek replied with a scowl on his face. “He’s a huge target, especially when he is running around the preserve in that bright red hoodie of his.”

Noah pinched the bridge of his nose. “The handcuffs won’t stop him, he’s been able to escape those since he was four. STILES!” He yelled, he just knew the kid was probably listening in anyway.

Stiles bounced into the office and asked, “What's up Daddio?”

Noah demanded, “What's this I hear about you following Derek into the preserve when he’s doing his patrol runs?”

Stiles nervously rubbed the back of his neck and shrugged his shoulders.

Noah just looked exasperated. “Stiles! You are eleven years old! You are not trained to fight supernatural creatures. By going out there you are putting Derek in more danger!”

Stiles looked offended “But I am helping him. With all the reading I have been doing I know more about the creatures and more about their weak spots and how to take them down.”

Noah crouched down in front of him, “I know son but at what risk to yourself?”

Stiles looked down at his hands and muttered, “It’s not like I don’t protect myself.”

“Stiles!” Noah growled.

“I take my bat with me so if any do get close I can hit them with it until Derek can take care of them.” Stiles answered petulantly.

“That's not how it works” Noah roared back.

Stiles slumped down in his seat with a stubborn set to his jaw.

Noah looked at him, he saw so much of Claudia in him at that moment. “Damnit, I swear sometimes you are your grandfather Gajos reborn, he’s a stubborn self-sacrificing arse too. I reiterate Stiles. You. Are. Eleven. Years. Old.”

Stiles muttered mutinously “So?”

Derek facepalmed “Stiles, even werewolf pups have to wait till they are fifteen before they can start going out with the adults on patrol runs. The only reason I am going alone is because I am the only wolf of this territory. I have the training to fight the creatures I encounter.”

Noah asked, "What about Ralph and Delphine?"

"They are in a different pack, the Ito pack which is in the next county. They do regular patrol runs of our territory borders but wolves are very territorial and they won't patrol within our borders, especially when there is no alliance in place." Derek explained.

Stiles looked up and yelled, "So teach me then! Let me help. You call me a kid but you are just a kid too, you shouldn’t be doing this by yourself.”

Derek looked at him with a dumbfounded expression, “Stiles, you are helping, a lot. Your research into the bestiary has helped me know more about how to fight the various creatures I have seen so far. While I would love to have you run patrols with me, having you there splits my focus, makes it more dangerous for both of us.”

Stiles shrugged and stubbornly declared, “I won’t stop following you.” He glared at Noah, “Even if you handcuff me to the desk.”

Noah knew just how stubborn his son could be so he just sighed, “Fine, but Derek is going to give you self defense training while you are out on patrol.”

“I can take you through all the lessons Peter taught us. He adapted most of them from human self-defense, modified them to work for claws and teeth, so it shouldn’t be too hard to modify them to work for you… and your bat.” Derek agreed.

Stiles always the paragon of maturity poked his tongue out at Derek.

Noah looked sternly at Stiles, “And you listen to Derek, if he says run you run, if he says climb you climb, no questions asked. You text me when you leave and when you get back, no exceptions.” He huffed, “I am not happy with either of you being out there, but until Peter wakes up we have no other option.”

Stiles and Derek both nodded in agreement.

Stiles piped up, “I think we need to also keep a record of what we find out there.”

Noah looked at him with a considering look and motioned for him to continue with his train of thought.

“Well, it just seems to me that the creatures we come across are getting harder to beat and more frequent. Not immediately noticeable but it's definitely noticeable over the last several months.” Stiles said, he was glad to have been taken seriously.

“It would be good if you put notes in to help keep a record of creature weaknesses, your own weaknesses and maybe what part of the preserve you found them in,” Noah suggested.

Stiles looked curious, “Like your after-action reports?”

“Sure, they help us improve our police work, both in the immediate details but also with statistical analysis over time. Something, Stiles, I know you dabble in.” Noah agreed.

Stiles ignored his comment and looked at Derek, “So we are agreed?”

Derek looked at him and nodded, “As long as you listen to me while we are out there, sure.”

-x-

A few weeks later the boys were jogging through the preserve, headed back to the house after a quiet patrol slash training session. Derek was happy as Stiles was taking to training like a duck took to water.

“You know you don’t have to come with me every time. You should spend time with your friends.” Derek said.

“What friends? I am a dorky spaz with ADHD who talks to much. The only friend I have other than you is Scott, and he's mad at me again.” Stiles said quietly.

They walked quietly for a few minutes then Derek asked, “Why is Scott mad with you this time?”

Stiles shrugged “He's not happy that I am not going to his house after school whenever he asks, and yes, he’s still asking all the time as if the answer will change, but what's made him mad at me this time is that I am not on skype all the time.”

Derek nodded. “I can understand that… Sort of.”

Stiles shrugged and muttered “I can’t. He's never around when I want to talk, only when it's convenient for him.”

Derek lifted his head to look at Stiles and asked, “What do you mean?”

Stiles sighed “There have been times over the last year when I have just wanted to talk out stuff with him. Even vent about my school work to someone who isn’t my tutor. Scott’s supposed to be my best friend, he’s the only one that stuck around after my ADHD diagnosis, but he just shrugs me off and says he can’t talk, he’s too busy. Even when we hang out at school all day he just sits there on his GameBoy and ignores me most of the time unless he wants to talk.”

Derek tried to be devil's advocate and he asked, “Was he busy?”

“Sure, with his Xbox… Which I know, I know, to him it’s important but it still hurts that whenever I need him he’s not around, but he expects me to be around whenever he wants to whine about his dad or school or the dog down the road that looks at him funny.” Stiles said sarcastically.

Derek looked at him with a raised eyebrow as if to say ‘are you kidding me?’

Stiles laughed, “Seriously, he has staring contests with he dog because it looks at him funny. The dog is cross-eyed.”

Derek rolled his eyes “Sarcasm aside. It does sound a bit one-sided, have you talked to him about it? Have you explained to him why you have your tutoring after school? It does take up a lot of time.”

Stiles nodded his head “So many times. The homeschool classes aren’t a new thing. I started them after my ADHD diagnosis to try and keep my brain busy. I even went into the research the psychologist gave me on how making my brain work hard can reduce the symptoms just like physical exercise does. He just doesn’t want to hear it.” He gave Derek a dose of side-eye and asked “What about your friends? I haven’t seen you hang out with anyone since you stopped going to school.”

Derek ducked his head down, embarrassed, “Most of my school friends were Laura’s friends that just let me tag along. They probably assume I went with the rest of the pack. I used to spend more time with Cora and Uncle Peter than with anyone from school.”

Stiles raised his eyebrows “Even the basketball team?”

Derek nodded “Especially them, Laura was the captain of the varsity girls team. She ruled both teams with an iron fist.”

Stiles frowned “Would she have told them what happened before she left?”

Derek smiled sadly, “She would have left a long list of instructions for the teams. I have no idea if anyone tried to text as my phone was confiscated by mom, remember.”

Stiles rolled his eyes “From what you have told us, your mother and Laura sound like two peas in a demented pod. I mean seriously, what sort of mother blames her son for being the victim of a known sexual predator.”

Derek shrugged, he was very done with talking about his mother.

Stiles perked up “I have an idea. Since my best friend is clearly a dick, and you are currently lacking in the friends department thanks to your bitch of a sister…”

Derek frowned “Your language is seriously... well... it's seriously terrible.”

Stiles grinned “You should have met my mum. She was 10 times worse. Honestly, the whole Gajos side of my family are all born and bred potty mouths. It's amazing when they get together, I chat with them on Skype sometimes.”

Derek laughed, “So what’s your idea then Lil Red?”

Stiles glared at Derek then smiled and stated firmly “We can be each other's best friends then?”

Derek grinned, “Sounds good, race you back to the house?”

Stiles tripped him and sprinted off laughing, “You’re on.”

Derek jumped up and raced after him as he yelled, “Brat!”

-x-

Stiles, after several months of patrolling and sparring, was used to Derek as he tried to sneak attack him while they were out running. Derek would play a game when he would disappear into the trees and jump out to try and surprise Stiles, it was an exercise in testing Stiles’ situational awareness. His goal was to land a hit on Derek, he had not yet been successful but he more often than not these days could sense when Derek was about to jump out to surprise him. So when he saw movement out of the corner of his eye that shouldn’t have been there he swung out with his bat with all his strength, he was determined that this time he would get a hit on Derek before he could dodge. He was surprised though when it connected with a loud crunch and he heard Derek’s panicked cry of, “RUN STILES!” Especially as it came from the wrong direction.

Stiles turned to run but the creature was just too fast and it was now injured and extremely angry. And what the hell, it had giant wings! He tried to run for the cover of the trees behind him, but he was just too slow, so he tried to dodge the blow he could see coming for him, he swung out again with his bat, but he was caught across the torso by the wickedly long talons and blown backward into a tree. Dazed, Stiles curled up into a ball and watched as Derek went on the attack.

Derek was horrified when he saw the creature fly straight at Stiles. He sprinted across the clearing they had been practicing in, he tried to get to Stiles before the creature could do any damage, but he heard a bone-breaking crunch. He yelled out in panic, “RUN STILES!” But before he could get to Stiles he saw him go flying across the clearing landing against the trunk of a large tree.

Overcome with fury at seeing his younger packmate and honestly, his best friend injured he went on the attack. He didn’t care that the creature was larger than him, he didn’t care that it had giant bat-like wings. He went in with claws and teeth flying, using everything his Uncle Peter had taught him to try and get the upper hand. But between the screeching doing a number on his senses and the wind she was creating as it constantly blew him out of reach of the creature, he was not getting very far. Although he was not losing either, he was able to move fast enough to stay out of reach of her vicious talons.

Stiles watched the fight, proud of the way Derek was holding his own against the much bigger creature. He tried to think through what was very likely a concussion and slow but continuous blood loss. Shit, the gashes across his chest hurt. He was pretty sure he could see his ribs through the rips in his t-shirt. He tried to remember the bestiary entries that matched the creature he was watching. As he recalled the name of the creature he paled. Harpies are notoriously difficult to kill, stupidly strong and loved to snatch children. He whimpered out slow, hoping that Derek could hear him over the screeching “Der… She’s a Harpy. Wings... D…damage the wings, stops the wind… T…take off her h…head. Only w…way. Gotta be… fast.”

Derek having heard most of what Stiles said, changed his attack, he started aiming his claws at the wings, as he tried to reduce the buffeting wind she was creating. As soon as the wings were shredded enough to reduce the wind storm Derek moved in going for the throat with a single-minded ferocity.

The harpy was using all the space in the large clearing, she was doing her level best to draw Derek away from Stiles, she was determined that she would win her prize, she tried to blow him into the trees around the clearing, all so she could get back to her prey, back to Stiles. She was getting close enough that Stiles could feel the tips of her wings brushing over his prone form. He curled up tighter hoping Derek could end her soon. Stiles could tell he had lost too much blood from the wounds on his chest, his vision was starting to go grey at the edges.

As Derek finally managed to tear the head off the harpy, he dropped it and raced over to Stiles, he dropped to his knees beside Stiles to inspect the damage done by the harpies talons. “Shit Stiles, fuck, we have to get you to a hospital.” He pulled off his henley and bunched it up to put pressure on the gashes across his chest.

Stiles looked up at him as he hissed in pain and muttered out a quiet “L…language…” before he passed out.

Derek picked Stiles up off the ground in a bridal carry so he could race him to the hospital but before he could move he was surrounded by a bright light.

Chapter Text

June 2005

When the light faded Derek looked up in shock, he could see Paige standing in front of him, sort of, she looked transparent and floaty but she definitely looked like his old girlfriend who died. He asked, “Paige?”

Paige nodded and motioned to the sofa that appeared beside her, “Put Mieczyslaw down here.”

Derek hesitated, as he stubbornly held on to Stiles. He wasn’t sure where they were or if Paige was really Paige and could be trusted. He also didn’t want to let Stiles go as he was bleeding heavily from the harpy attack.

She smiled shyly, “He’ll be fine Derek, this room exists outside of time. The bleeding won’t get worse and he won’t be feeling all of the pain from the injuries while he is here.”

Stiles glared at her and croaked out, “It’s Stiles” as Derek tried to arrange him on the sofa so he could rest but also participate in the upcoming conversation.

Derek sat and got himself comfortable on the sofa next to Stiles and looked at Paige, he asked, “How are you here? Where is here?”

Paige got a serious look on her face. “We are inside the Nemeton in a time dilation field. The Nemeton has asked me here as a favor to both you and me. In part to give you closure but mainly to help pass on a message from the Nemeton.”

Stiles looked up at her, “C..closure? Wait, Paige? You’re the girlfriend that died from bite rejection?”

She nodded sadly at him, then looked towards Derek “What happened to me was not your fault! The bite was caused by your bitch of a sister on orders from your mother. Laura told Ennis that I would be a perfect beta to replace the beta he lost while he was in Beacon Hills attending the peace treaty, she told him that I wanted the bite but that I was too scared to ask Talia for it because of my secret relationship with you. Besides all that, I wouldn’t have survived the bite even if I had asked for it. The autopsy results showed that I had a brain tumor. The ME told my parents that I would have only lived for a few more weeks before it would have killed me. It was a very aggressive form of brain cancer and according to the Nemeton, the cancer had spread too far for the bite to take. I am sorry you had to see me die like that.”

Stiles thumped Derek on the thigh, “I told you so, Sourwolf! It really wasn’t your fault.”

Derek nodded, he felt a bit overwhelmed. He couldn’t believe his mother would do that, would have just let him believe it was his fault. No mother should do that. Talia may have given birth to him, but no real mother would have let her son suffer.

Stiles patted him on the knee in comfort, he looked at Paige and asked, “So… what’s the message?”

Paige gave him and Derek a considering look and she asked, “How about a bit of history first? It will give Derek a bit of time to process.”

Stiles nodded in agreement, “Sounds good to me, I do love to learn.”

Paige wriggled around and got herself comfortable as she floated over her chair, “So, do you know what a Nemeton is?”

Stiles nodded, “My research shows them as sacred groves or trees that exist on a convergence of Ley lines.”

Paige smiled, “Exactly. They are normally very strong and exist as sentient beings, they assist the local pack in protecting their territory. However the one here was corrupted by both the deliberate placement of a chaos demon in the roots around 70 years ago, combined with someone using a ritual to bind the Nemeton’s powers, this had left it very weak. About six months ago the binding was broken and we were able to start to heal from the damage wrought since we were bound.”

Stiles’ jaw dropped in shock. Derek gave her a searching look and asked, “How can we help?”

Paige’s voice took on an ominous double timbre, and it asked, “Young wolf, will you pledge yourself to me? Will you vow to protect both myself and this territory?”

Derek nodded, gulped nervously and said, “S..sure.”

It looked at Stiles, “What about you young spark? Will you allow this wolf to save you, to turn you? Will you stand at his right hand, help him protect this territory?”

Stiles nodded emphatically, looked down at his injuries, he knew they were life-threatening, life-changing. “Hell yes, I'm most definitely in.”

Derek glared at him, “Language!”

Stiles just gave him a blank look and then turned back to the being using Paige as a vessel and he asked, “So, what’s the fine print?”

It looked at both of them, speaking again with that double timbre tone, “We will help you build your pack, guide you both to members who will be needed to build a strong, powerful pack. We will help you build an Alpha Pack like the alpha pack legends of the past.”

Derek looked confused “Alpha Pack?” He could feel that it was definitely Alpha Pack, he could hear the capitals.

It nodded and they explained, “An Alpha Pack is created by Nemeta in times of great need. The last time we Nemeta created an Alpha Pack it was during the Salem Witch Trials, the pack was created to prevent the exposure of supernatural creatures during a time of great chaos. One of those alphas is your ancestor, they married into the Hale pack about 400 years ago. We sense a risk of someone trusting the wrong people, something extreme which risks exposing the supernatural world, perhaps in a misguided attempt to unite the two worlds. We aren’t sure what the risk is, we just understand that this territory is in need of an alpha pack and that your recent actions in defending this territory even though your alpha abandoned both the territory and left you to become omega has proven your loyalty to the territory.”

Stiles gave it a hard look asking, “So what are the downsides? What are the risks?”

It considered this and answered, “The risk of exposure will still be there, we can not see how it happens or who exposes the supernatural world which makes it hard to point you in the right direction. Also, there will be those who do not study their history and they will feel you are much too powerful and they will seek to eliminate you. Training and guidance from elders will be important. Secrecy will be vital to protect your pack while you grow.”

Derek asked, “How will this pack be created? I can’t see any alphas lying around waiting for the slashing.”

It smiled, “Magic. Now that the ritual binding us has broken we are able to cleanse and absorb the magic of the chaos demon to alter your sparks.”

Stiles tried to sit up, “Alter how? What will this mean? Will all the pack be alphas when bitten?”

It chuckled, the double timbre to its voice making it sound extra echoey, it said, “No Stiles. There will still be a period for each wolf as a Beta, once they have proven themselves as protectors of the land and loyal pack mates their spark will evolve. We will use magic to create the alpha spark within you. This means those of you with existing abilities, like you Stiles, will not lose those abilities when turned. It also means that Derek’s ability to full shift as an alpha will pass on to those he has bitten. However, for the beta to transition to alpha, the initial turning bite must be given by Derek for anyone not born of the Hale family. Once the danger of exposure has passed, Derek’s bite will no longer contain the alpha pack magic.”

Derek and Stiles both dropped their jaws at this announcement.

Stiles looked at Derek and exclaimed “You can turn into a wolf! Dude, that's awesome!”

Derek glowered at Stiles, “Don't call me dude.” He looked at the being, “Mom said that was only the woman in the pack that could full shift.”

It rolled its eyes, hard. “The full shift is a gift of the Hale pack, it was a gift passed down from the previous alpha pack member who married into the Hale pack. We have decided that the gift should be passed to you and your pack, including your Uncle Peter. Despite all you both have been through in your life so far, you remain loyal to the land, loyal to the new pack you have been unknowingly building with the Stilinskis and your Uncle Peter, and no matter what life throws at you, you still strive to do your best.”

Derek looked hopeful, “Uncle Peter will wake up?”

It nodded, “In time. The fire did a lot of damage which was compounded by the way the pack bonds were broken. When a wolf experiences an extreme amount of pain they can retreat into their own minds. This cuts them off from their wolf abilities, so his ability to heal is currently unavailable to him. Once he is out of his coma he will be able to heal. This will take time, but with the pack surrounding him, like you already do in the afternoons it will be quicker than what Talia anticipated. Talia’s decision to violently cut the pack bonds and leave did him more harm than good, it will take a while for his wolf to overcome that harm and decide to wake. The best thing you can both do for him is to be the family he needs.”

Stiles whispered to Derek, “You guys can share my dad with me, he sounds way more awesome.”

Derek pulled Stiles in for a gentle hug and whispered, “Thank you.”

Stiles asked, thinking about Ralph and Delphine, “What about born wolves and bitten wolves from other packs that move to the area? If they want to join our pack, will they stay betas?”

It nodded, “The normal rules of ascending to alpha will apply for them. The magic only works on those Derek himself bites once he is the Alpha of the Alpha Pack. The only exception to this will be born Hales who submit fully to Derek. Be reassured though that when the betas he bites become alpha, that it’s not until they have proven themselves capable of not only being good alphas but also responsible alphas, so they will be less likely to treat any betas you bring in from other packs any different. They will not become alphas until they accept that only you, your right hand,” she gestured to Stiles, “and your left hand are the only ones with pack authority.”

Stiles looked at the being calculatingly and asked, “So what’s the point of making all of us alphas then?”

It smiled, proud that Stiles even though injured still had the presence of mind to ask all the right questions, it answered, “The pack dominance is only a small part of the alpha’s abilities. Hale alphas have the full shift as I mentioned before, alphas are also stronger than a beta, by a large margin, stronger senses too. With that strength comes better control and the ability to hide from other wolves, so you can disguise your scent, control your heartbeat, with practice, or maybe runic help, even hide your red eyes so you look like a beta when you need too.” It looked to Derek and noted, “It is very rare for a beta such as yourself to have stronger senses than an alpha, you will find that your senses will become stronger again with the addition of an alpha spark.”

Derek blushed and then in an effort to move attention away from himself, he asked, “You mentioned earlier that you will give us guidance in selecting the new pack. So how will we receive this guidance?”

Stiles' eyes widened “We already have Sourwolf! When you were telling me and Dad about the supernatural world, and you explained about the Nemeton, remember we heard that voice in our heads?”

Derek sat up, “It whispered the word poisoned! I remember. So it will be like that?”

It nodded, “Yes, as we heal we will be able to whisper to you both. Unfortunately, visiting like this takes a lot of power, power we only have due to the chaos demon that was imprisoned in our roots.”

Stiles interrupted, “Wait, hold up, you said I have abilities? I thought I was human.”

It wiggled its hand in a so-so motion, “Technically yes. But from your mother's side of the family you have inherited magic. You are a spark. You have the potential to be more powerful than your grandfather. You will need to get a trusted teacher, someone who will teach you without holding you back. Not a druid, they seek balance and they will seek to impose limitations in the way that they teach you.”

Derek patted Stiles arm, “Chill, I am sure Uncle Peter has books about magic and the different types of magic users in his library, we can hit it up when you are recovered. We will have to ask Delphine to find us a trusted teacher for you. Maybe even talk to your mother's family.”

Stiles looked over at the being, “Does this mean I will be able to replace the wards on the preserve?”

“Well yes… and no… Yes, you can place new wards once you have learned how, no you can’t replace them. There are currently no wards to replace. The previous wards slowly disintegrated when the binding ritual was used on the Nemeton.” It ground out angrily. “Something your Uncle Peter tried to get his alpha to fix but she refused to listen.”

Stiles grinned in anticipation, “So what now? We have already had the discussion and agreement about the bite during our pack training sessions. Both me and Dad agreed that if we are injured we agree to take the bite if we could find a willing alpha at the time.”

The being stood and still speaking with the double timbre tone in her voice said, “Now the vow." Derek stood and made sure Stiles was comfortable before he turned and faced the being with his eyes glowing a vibrant electric blue.

It stated formally, “Do you Derek Tyler Hale vow to stay loyal to this territory, loyal to the Nemeton, loyal to your pack.”

Derek replied equally formally, “I do so vow.”

It asked, “Do you also vow to build and train your pack so they are the best they can be?”

Derek nodded, agreeing, “I do so vow.”

It demanded, “Finally, do you vow to protect this land to the best of your pack’s abilities, keeping out all who would harm us?”

Derek with his fist over his heart stated clearly, “I do so vow.”

With the final vow from Derek, the being placed its hand on Derek’s hand over his heart where it glowed brightly. After a minute it stepped back and from one blink to the next Derek’s eyes went from an electric blue to a vibrant red.

Derek roared as he accepted the alpha spark, long and loud.

It smiled, “It is done. We will return you to where you were attacked in the preserve. You will need to bite Stiles as soon as you are outside of this room. We will deal with the cleanup of the harpy.”

Paige stepped closer to Derek before he could turn away, the double timbre in her voice dropped away “Please remember Der, my death was not your fault. Forgive yourself so you can heal.”

Derek nodded with glassy eyes, he turned to pick up Stiles and with a blinding flash, they were back in the preserve, Stiles unconscious again in his arms.

Derek stretched his senses to make sure they were alone, he then put Stiles down, lifted his shirt and bit his side just above the hip bone.

Stiles groaned at the pain but otherwise didn’t react. Derek made sure they had left nothing behind, he made sure to grab Stiles’ bat. As he did a final search for anything out of place, he noticed that the body of the harpy had already vanished, so he picked up Stiles and sprinted for home.

-x-

By the time Derek got home Stiles was starting to come round. Noah was still at work but he was due home any minute.

Stiles tapped Derek on the shoulder and murmured quietly, “Bathroom. Dad can’t see me covered in blood, he will freak.”

Derek chuckled, “He's going to freak anyway Stiles. What part of ‘you got attacked by a harpy, so a giant magic tree made me an alpha so I could to bite you’ isn't freak worthy? Seriously Stiles!”

Stiles huffed, “Fine, but still bathroom, this blood is starting to itch.”

Derek made their way up to the bathroom, still carrying Stiles and set him down on the edge of the bathtub. “We will deal with the main mess for now, you should feel up to a shower in the morning.”

They got to work and wiped off most of the blood, Derek made sure to clean the debris out of the gouges on Stiles' chest from the harpy, Derek was happy that they were healing pretty quickly, he could no longer see Stiles ribs through the gashes. While they were working Derek heard the front door close. He heard Noah walking in and then heard Noah’s heartbeat start to speed up.

They heard him yell, “Boys!” As he thundered up the stairs following the trail of blood on the floor.

“He's gonna be pissed,” Stiles muttered as he facepalmed.

Derek glowered at him as he mouthed, ‘Language.’

Noah eased the bathroom door open, his jaw dropped at the sight of Stiles all scratched up.

Stiles looked up and sheepishly said, “You should see the other guy… girl?”

Noah looked at Stiles with a deadpan expression, “Really Stiles? Derek, what the hell happened?”

Derek finished wiping Stiles down then said, “Let's get him dressed in something not covered in blood then we can explain. It’s been, well, it's been an interesting evening.” He punctuated this statement with a brief flash of his bright red eyes.

Noah nodded dumbfounded and headed down to the kitchen to make them all some hot chocolate.

They all sat down in the living room after Stiles got changed into his pajamas, and Derek gave Noah an overview of the attack, the fact that Stiles is now a wolf and the subsequent conversation with the Nemeton.

Noah rubbed his face with his hands. “So basically, Stiles nearly died, giant magic tree got involved, giant magic tree senses chaos coming so decided to build a powerful pack with a teenage alpha?”

Derek nodded mutely. Stiles, however, huffed, “It's not that simple. The Nemeton said the pack will have elders to help train the pack, I am guessing that you are one of them.”

‘Yes’ was whispered to both Derek and Stiles.

“You are,” Derek confirmed. “The Nemeton just confirmed it.”

Noah looked at him incredulously, “I'm human, what can I teach werewolves.”

Stiles smirked at him, “Weapons, everyone expects werewolves to only use claws and basic hand to hand. I think we should train in those weapons that are often used against supernatural creatures.”

Noah looked at Derek with a raised eyebrow, “You agree with this?”

Derek nodded, “Time on the range should help us learn to tune out gunfire, especially if we train with a variety of weapons.”

Stiles grinned widely, “The last thing attackers will expect is for werewolves to be armed with human weapons.”

“I think you could teach us police procedures as well, help us learn how to use the law to help the pack rather than the pack just hiding from hunters and hoping no one catches on. I think that if we use the law to our advantage we can cut the hunters off at the knees without all the bloodshed.” Derek said hopefully.

Noah sat quietly trying to process everything he heard “So, what else did the giant magic tree say?”

Derek considered what information is important. “Oh, it said Uncle Peter will wake up. That we are on the right track with what we are doing for him and to keep doing it. I will be able to teach Stiles how to do the pain drain too now that he is a wolf.”

Stiles was typing away furiously on his laptop trying to note everything down while he could remember. He absently said, “Derek has to be the one to bite the newbies so the magic of the alpha pack will work.”

Stiles sat up exclaiming, “I can’t wait to tell Scott!”

Derek and Stiles both flinched at the volume of the ‘NO!’ that resonated in their heads.

Stiles whispered, “Wow.”

Derek nodded, “I guess the tree is pretty determined that Scott is not to be pack huh.”

“It makes sense kiddo. He can’t keep secrets, he is a known tattletale and the kid can’t lie worth a damn.” Noah agreed.

“It’s going to be so hard to keep the secret.” He turns to Derek and urgently demanded, “Dude, please, you gotta teach me control, fast. If Scott sees me shift he will tell everyone!”

Noah leaned forward and said, “Tell him you are doing extra classes at summer school this year which will keep you pretty busy. That should give you enough time to learn enough control to stop accidental shifts right?”

Derek agreed, “He should learn that pretty quickly. We can try asking Satomi for some help too. She’s an alpha that I met through Talia a few years ago. Peter gets on with her pretty well. Ralph and Delphine are both betas in her pack. We will need to talk to them about becoming my betas.”

Stiles looked up, “We need to call Ralph and maybe Delphine anyway. We need to keep the Alpha Pack stuff a pack secret, so we can definitely talk to them about switching packs, also the Nemeton said I will need a tutor for my magic, although I think talking to Grandpa Gajos would be a good start, he might know of someone local who is not a druid who can teach me. I think the sooner I start magic training the better, the faster I learn the faster we can work at putting the wards up around the territory.”

Noah pulled out his phone and checks his calendar. “I am on a late start tomorrow so how about we call your grandpa tomorrow and if that’s a no go we can see if Delphine and Ralph are available tomorrow morning so we can get some plans in place for both of your training. For now, bedtime, for both of you. It’s late and I suspect tomorrow will be a long day.”

-x-

Two months later after a really good session with his therapist, Stiles found himself having a conversation with the Nemeton as he took a break from sparring with Derek to have a drink of water.

It whispered ‘You are ready Stiles.’

Stiles frowned and thought back ‘For what?’

It whispered soothingly ‘Alpha.’

Stiles felt pride come from his link with the Nemeton. He thought back to his session with his therapist and what he had discussed. The realization coming to him with a bang. ‘My wolf? Accepting my wolf? That makes me ready for Alpha?’ He asked.

The Nemeton sent reassurance down the link ‘We wouldn’t ask if you weren’t ready Stiles.’

Stiles thought back incredulously ‘And you think accepting my wolf makes me ready, that’s it?’

‘No Stiles, that’s not it, that’s the last piece of the puzzle for you. You already met the other requirements. You are loyal to the pack, you are loyal to the land, you are loyal to Derek, your alpha. You had already put in a huge amount of effort to learn what it means to be part of a pack, to be the right hand. Know this young spark, you are ready.’

Stiles asked ‘It will be different for everyone? The others we bring in will get longer?’

It whispered ‘yes, they will have to learn what it means for them to be part of the pack, what it means to be a wolf, they will also need to be balanced with themselves before we will talk to you and Derek, and lastly, you and Derek will also have to agree before we offer the alpha spark to the beta.’

Stiles nodded and agreed. When he opened his eyes to look at Derek who was getting ready to start the next round of sparring, his eyes were a bright crimson red. Derek howled in celebration before he picked Stiles up into a bear hug with a huge grin on his face.

Chapter Text

July 2005

The summer break passed fairly uneventfully creature wise, they had a few good creatures for training in both fighting and negotiation come through but nothing as terrifying as the harpy. Stiles and Derek spent their mornings and evenings in the preserve sparring and patrolling, Derek was teaching Stiles everything he knew about control and how to use his new senses.

Satomi Ito, the alpha from the nearby Ito pack, would visit every few weeks to go over pack protocol and high-level control with both Derek and Stiles. It was during one of these meetings just before the start of the new school year that they negotiated for Ralph and Delphine to join their pack, they had held off on bringing them into the Alpha Pack secret until they had formally joined their pack.

Derek approached Satomi with Stiles by his side, they both gave her a small Japanese style half-bow of respect. Stiles then said formally “Alpha Ito, we understand there was a formal arrangement with Peter Hale that when the time is right both Beta Vilkas and Beta Channing would be welcomed into the Hale pack.”

Satomi nodded and commented, “Yes, now that the territory has selected a new alpha, it would seem it is now time. Ralph, Delphine are you happy to join the Hale pack?”

Both Ralph and Delphine bowed and answered formally, “Yes, Alpha.”

Ralph then added for both of them, “Thank you for the warm welcome into your pack when we transferred here from the east coast, I am sure that when Peter wakes up he will meet with you to personally thank you for helping with the disguise of his local office.”

Satomi smiled, gave them both a hug then stated formally, “Beta Vilkas, Beta Channing I release you from the Ito pack. Good luck with your new pack.” She then looked at Derek and said, “It’s your turn, Alpha Hale, just like we practiced.”

Derek grinned shyly, then stood tall with confidence and asked formally, “Beta Vilkas, Beta Channing I welcome you to our territory and I formally invite you to join the Hale pack.”

Ralph and Delphine bared their necks in submission and replied in unison, “I accept Alpha Hale.”

Derek then bit their necks so his teeth just broke the skin to formally accept them into the pack and he and Stiles both felt their pack bonds snap into place.

Stiles leaped forward and in his excitement over their growing pack he gave them both tight welcoming hugs.

After the day's lesson with Satomi was finished, this week's lesson was on good negotiation in alliance talks, the growing pack headed to the Stilinski house for a pack meeting.

It was decided that since it would be such a loaded meeting that they would order pizza, even Noah’s favorite meat lovers pizza with extra bacon. Sometimes Noah was more of a meat fiend than the wolves.

Once they were all full up and relaxed they moved into the living room to a more relaxing atmosphere, “So as you know, earlier in the year Stiles was bitten and turned. What you won’t be aware of is the discussion we had with the Nemeton that made it possible to save his life by turning him.” Derek explained.

Delphine pulled a notebook and pen out of her ever-present black hole that she had nicknamed ‘her handbag’ and started taking notes.

Stiles pat Derek on the back and continued the explanation, “So we were out in the preserve doing our usual patrol mixed in with our random sparring sessions when we were attacked by a huge harpy, she got the drop on me and then I pissed her off when my instinctive reaction was to lash out with my bat.”

Derek chuckled, “At the time it was seriously not funny, Stiles ended up seriously injured. But looking back on it, the expression on her face when you smashed your bat into her, Stiles, was priceless, from the sound it made I am sure you broke a few bones.” He looked back up to the adults in the room, ”We think she was aiming to take Stiles as she shredded his torso to incapacitate him, then she when she was fighting me she kept trying to push and lead me away from him into the preserve so she could snatch him before I could stop her. Lil Red was still conscious enough to tell me how to stop her and after changing up my attacks I was able to take her down.”

Stiles grinned “It was an awesome fight, even if I was down for the count for most of it. I was losing blood fast so after the fight Derek picked me up to take me to the hospital and the next thing we knew we were surrounded by this bright light then we were in this weird white room, white walls, floor, ceiling, it was so weird. Weirder still was the ghostly form of Paige welcoming us.”

Delphine and Ralph looked at Derek in shock. Ralph asked, “Paige who died from bite rejection, that Paige?”

Derek nodded sadly, “Yes, turns out when I gave her the mercy death she asked for we were under the Nemeton, so the Nemeton was able to use her ghost as a vessel? No, a messenger, both to speak for the Nemeton but also to give me closure, to help me accept that her death was not my fault. It was actually Laura who was following Talia’s orders, who told Ennis to bite Paige, and the main reason the bite failed is she had an undiagnosed brain tumor, so even if she had asked for the bite she would have still died.”

Stiles rubbed Derek’s back in comfort and picked up the story, “So the Nemeton explained how when the first Hales settled in this area, before Beacon Hills even existed, they were offered the opportunity to settle on the land and build a pack to help them protect the land, to help them establish a new pack territory, in return they would be gifted an alpha spark for the head of the family, well pack, they had to help care for and protect both the territory but also the Nemeton. The arrangement has worked great for hundreds of years, until about 70 years ago when a chaos demon was hidden in the roots of the Nemeton and at some point, it thinks, before the chaos demon was imprisoned, that a ritual was performed to bind the Nemeton making it weak and unable to assist in protecting itself or the land. We don’t know if the two were connected or not. We do think that the ritual made it impossible for the Nemeton to deal with the chaos demon when it was placed in the roots.”

Ralph, who was well versed in the importance of Nemeta started to look angry and he asked, “Who would do such a foul thing?”

Stiles shrugged and Derek answered, “We don’t know, all we know is that around the time of the fire the binding ritual ended and the Nemeton was able to start healing. It felt a sense of approaching trouble so it was able to absorb the energy of the chaos demon hidden in its root system to power the creation of an Alpha Pack.”

Ralph looked at Derek and Stiles shrewdly and asked, “You’re both alphas?”

Derek and Stiles both nodded and they both flashed their red eyes.

Stiles explained, “Derek is the head alpha of this pack as you know. Those he turns have the potential to become alphas once they have proven themselves to the Nemeton. I became an alpha fairly recently, while we were sparring in the preserve, after one of my therapy sessions actually.” He smiled as he thought back to the epiphany that triggered the Nemeton offering him the alpha spark, “It’s not an automatic thing, the Nemeton, when it feels the beta is ready, will offer the alpha spark, it is up to the individual if they themselves feel ready. My ascension to alpha was fast because I had already gone through all the lessons and understood about how to be pack, what I needed to do as the right hand of the pack’s alpha. I just had to accept that I am now a wolf and what that entailed.”

Delphine asked, “What about those of us who are already wolves who join the pack?”

Derek sighed, “We did ask about that with you two in mind, the Nemeton said because I was not the one to turn you the magic used in creating the alpha pack won’t work, however the usual methods of becoming an alpha will work fine, including the rare true alpha.”

Ralph and Delphine nodded in understanding. Ralph then looked at Noah, who had been sitting quietly throughout this whole discussion, and he asked “What about you Noah? Are you planning to take the bite?”

Noah shook his head and answered, “Not planning on it any time soon, I am happy to remain human for now, however, we have an agreement that if I am critically injured Derek has permission to give me the bite.”

Noah turned to Stiles and asked, “Stiles? What happens if you bite someone, now that you are an alpha.”

Stiles smiled and replied, “If I bite someone they will turn but the alpha pack magic won't impact them so they will be a normal beta. Only those Derek himself bites will be affected by the magic till the alpha pack is no longer required. Once the risk of exposure has passed, Derek’s bites will be like a normal alpha bite.”

Ralph frowned at this and asked, “The magic that creates the pack is used for a specific purpose?”

“Yes, Nemeta can sense approaching trouble. The last time an alpha pack was created was during the 1600s when the Salem Witch Trials were at their peak, there was a threat of exposure of the wider supernatural world as a whole, so the Alpha Pack was created to redirect that threat and prevent other creatures and magic users from being exposed and killed en masse with the witches. The Nemeton suspects that the risk of exposure in this territory will be high, it is giving us time to develop a strong pack so we are able to combat that risk.” Derek explained.

Stiles passed Derek a glass of soda and took over the explanation, “I have done a bit of research, helped by the Nemeton and we think it may be due to someone in town or maybe something major happening in town. Someone learning about the supernatural world and being determined that everyone should know about us, the Nemeton is currently not sure what the risk is yet so we will need to train for various types of threats, other packs, feral wolves, hunters, humans being humans. Essentially it will be our job to reduce the threat levels.”

Derek added, “The Nemeton is sure that the current threat that resulted in our pack being created will start here, it's just not sure how or what. What it does know is that we have several years to build the pack and it will guide us to pack members, like yourselves, who are able to be brought into the pack and the alpha pack secret.”

Delphine nodded, as she wrote a tonne of notes into to her notepad, she asked, “So no one outside the pack is to know?”

Stiles and Derek both shook their heads. Derek confirmed, “We are getting some good advice so far from the Nemeton. It says that some members, like Stiles, will be unusual for a wolf pack and most will be young. We will have time to train and become the cohesive pack that we will need to be.”

Delphine looked at Stiles and asked, “You’re unusual?”

Noah laughed a full belly laugh and Stiles glared at him till he stopped then he explained, “I am a wolf, an alpha wolf now but I still have access to my magic since I am also a spark. The magic comes from my mom’s side of the family, the Gajos side of the family, we are talking to my Grandpa Gajos to find someone local who can train me without holding me back. The Nemeton was firm on that, it was very firm on the trainer not being a druid, I do wonder if there is a bias or a grudge there.”

Delphine raised her eyebrows in surprise, “I can see why the secrecy. One of the biggest unwritten rules is you are either wolf or other, never both.”

“We have talked and we are pretty sure that one of the approaching threats will be the return of Derek’s old pack. We discovered some rather nasty truths about what Talia Hale has done under the guise of protecting her territory. Including ordering Laura to talk Ennis into biting Paige, Talia didn’t want her near Derek so rather than discuss it with him, she organized for Paige to be bitten into another pack so she could threaten war if Derek didn’t stop seeing her.” Stiles said sadly.

Ralph facepalmed while Delphine just looked gobsmacked and she said, “Wow, I knew she was a tough alpha, but I didn’t think she was quite that bad.”

Noah rolled his eyes and as he stood he said, “Evil hides in many forms. And with that I am off to bed, I am on an early shift tomorrow.”

Stiles chirped “Night Daddio! I am going to hit the hay too guys, I am wiped out.” He hugged Ralph and Delphine then followed his dad upstairs to get ready for bed.

The other three were awake for a while, chatting about pack business for another half an hour before Delphine reminded Ralph about his early morning skype call with the Boston office and they left.

-x-

The boys were starting to enjoy the afternoons they spent with Matt, their tutor, in Peter’s hospital room. They were doing both summer school homework and their pack lessons. Derek was on track to graduate a year early and Delphine was spending time looking into top schools, including the various Ivy League schools that would allow him to do his papers remotely. He had been considering a criminal justice degree program so he could work as a sheriff’s deputy while he completed his degree.

Both Stiles and Derek had been seeing good results from their therapy sessions and they were both down to just a single weekly appointment. It had taken a while but Derek, with the advice from his therapist, but also with help from Stiles and Noah, he understood that what Kate did was not his fault. He was also learning the meaning of family, that family meant unconditional love and acceptance no matter what flaws you had. Stiles came to understand his mother's illness, he began to accept her death was not something that could have been prevented. He learned about the type of illness she had and understood that by the time it was discovered that even the bite would have been too late. He also accepted that it was her illness that had her change over the final few months, that had her accusing him of being the devil and trying to kill him.

Saturday mornings for Stiles were spent with his distant cousin, Tabitha, Thea for short, she was a witch but she had experience training sparks on how to use their abilities. More often than not they would do his training in the preserve in a specially warded clearing.

Saturday afternoons when Scott was unavailable, which was most Saturdays lately, were usually spent with both Derek and Stiles working with their wolves to try and master the full shift. They found some journals in Peter’s library which they were reading through to try and find the way to bring out their inner wolves.

“Dude, you have an advantage at least.” Stiles grumped.

Derek scowled, “Don’t call me dude. And what advantage?”

“You saw Talia shift, probably more than once Sourwolf. So you at least have some idea how it works. All I have to go on is watching McGonagall doing an animagi shift a few times in the Harry Potter movies. And she gets to keep her clothes! You said wolves doing the full shift pretty much destroy anything they are wearing and when they shift back they are naked.” Stiles whined.

Derek shook his head and explained, “According to this journal from one of the original Hale alphas we need to meditate to find our wolves. Then when we are ready we need to one at a time ‘accept the wolf’, they recommend to do it with someone you trust to anchor you.”

Stiles made grabby hand motions at Derek until he handed over the journal he was reading. “Right, so we can anchor each other as we try it. It just says you have to become one with your wolf. It must be different than accepting your wolf. Since that’s what the Nemeton said I did when I got my alpha spark. So I guess your anchor will remind you of your humanity so you remember to shift back. Hmmm, so whoever gets it first can explain it to the other?”

“Sounds good. Maybe we ask Ralph or Delphine in to help us when we are close. Just in case?” Derek pondered.

“Will we know we are close though? Maybe we can talk about it after a few tries?” Stiles suggested.

“Right, well at least you no longer have ADHD, you should be able to sit still while we do the meditation part. Maybe we could do meditation before bed each night too, just without the trying to shift part?”

“That works, we save the trying to shift till Saturdays. I wonder if my magic will work while I am shifted?” Stiles wondered.

Derek’s eyes widened as he imagined the shenanigans Stiles would get up to as a wolf that could do magic.

-x-

Noah also made sure they took time out to be kids. Stiles spent time with Scott when he could, a lot of the time though he would offer to spend time with Scott but he didn’t seem overly interested, he would try and be available for his friend around his summer schooling and afternoon tutoring. Scott was still giving him the cold shoulder more often than not though, he refused point-blank to go to the Harry Potter midnight release with them, Scott claimed it was a babies book. Stiles and Derek just rolled their eyes, packed their snacks and queued outside their favorite book store in costume, they had a ball hanging out with all the other fans while they waited for the book release. Stiles was dressed up, he looked cute as a button in his Slytherin robes, Derek was in his Ravenclaw robes. Stiles was sure that Scott skipped the release because he didn’t like that all the quizzes he was trying kept sorting him into Hufflepuff.

The makeshift family also spent several weeks over the summer break debating the name of the new pack. Derek was not keen to use Hale Pack, he was worried about other packs assuming he had taken over from his mother rather than being an entirely new pack. Stiles cheekily suggested Stilinski Pack earning himself a light head tap from his father. Stiles and Noah both reminded Derek that he shouldn’t shy away from the Hale Pack name due to the mistakes made by one or two alphas. They both reminded him that the Hale name has a strong and long history in Beacon Hills, it would be a shame to let that go. In the end, he agreed and even though his mother and her pack are still known as the Hale pack, Derek would lead the Hale Pack of Beacon Hills.

Chapter Text

October 2005

A few weeks into the school year, Derek was surprised that Stiles wasn’t down for breakfast already, he reached out with his senses and heard snuffling that indicated that Stiles was still in bed, he was awake, but he was definitely still in bed and he would very soon be running late for school. He headed up to find out what was going on.

He walked in and found a giant lump of blankets, he smirked as he poked right in the middle of the blankets.

“Hey! Ya bully, leave me alone Sourwolf, I don’t want to go to school.” Stiles whined as he poked his head out of the blanket pile.

Derek looked at him with a raised eyebrow and asked, “Why? You normally love school.”

Stiles pulled the blankets back over his head and mumbled, “Scott is at school. He’s being an absolute dick about the time I am spending with you and Peter.”

Derek frowned, “Language!”

Stiles pulled the blankets back down, poked his tongue out at Derek then yanked the blankets back up.

“I thought he was over that? That he wasn’t mad at you anymore? You spend all day together at school and you have been making sure that you spend time outside of school together even if it's not during your tutoring sessions.” Derek asked.

Stiles sat up and shook his head, “No, he’s still mad, he’s just ugh. I don’t know. He says he’s not mad at me but he acts like a dick to me all day. It’s not very nice. It doesn’t help that he seems to know that I am keeping secrets and he hates that I won’t tell him.”

Derek sat on the edge of the bed. “Lil Red, why don’t you try talking to him about it. Tell him he’s being a dick.”

Stiles laughed “He won’t listen, he spends most time we are together on that bloody GameBoy of his, but I will try again. I need this to sort itself soon. It’s not helping me with control.”

Derek grabbed Stiles pillow and smacked him with it, “No, it won’t be, but get up, you need to get ready so I can drop you off.”

Stiles huffed out a quick “Fine!”

-x-

Stiles trudged his way through his morning classes trying to muster up the courage to talk to Scott at lunchtime. He was sick of feeling like he was a friend when it was convenient instead of a true friend.

Stiles walked into the cafeteria and sat down next to Scott at their usual table, he pulled his lunch out of his bag and asked, “Hey buddy, can we talk?”

Scott looked up from his GameBoy with a mouth full of ‘mystery meat’ sloppy joes and nodded.

Stiles looked at his lunch, glad he had brought a healthy lunch from home, the sloppy joes were turning his stomach a bit, he took a deep breath and he asked, “So, are you still angry with me?”

“No!” Said Scott emphatically, he looked shocked that he was asked.

“Then why are you barely talking to me?” Stiles asked miserably.

“What?” Scott asked, mystified as to where this was coming from.

“Dude, you're supposed to be my best friend but you barely speak to me, even when we sit together for group projects or at lunchtime you make me do most of the work on our projects or you sit and play on your GameBoy and barely speak to me. That’s honestly not the actions of a friend.” Stiles said, his voice was growing stronger the more he talked.

Scott sat up, his lunch forgotten, “Well you’re never around when I want to hang out after school.”

Stiles glared at him “I have told you time and time again I have tutoring after school with Derek. I can’t just skip it. We hang out together all day at school and I make time for you around my tutoring sessions.”

Scott glared back, “It’s always Derek, Derek, Derek. He may as well be your best friend.”

Stiles slammed his leftover lunch back into his Tupperware container, he shoved it roughly back into his backpack as he stood up. He hissed quietly, “Derek is now part of my family since his actual family just abandoned him here. I don’t know why you can’t just accept that.”

Scott stood and yelled at him as he walked away, “Well maybe they had their reasons. Maybe he deserved being left behind. I have had enough Stiles, you have to choose, him or me.” The whole cafeteria went silent at this statement. They had been ‘Scott&Stiles’ for a few years now, ever since Stiles got back from his ADHD assessments and only seems to want to hang around Scott. Everyone could feel the gravity of Scott’s words and it was almost like Stiles' anger was filling the cafeteria.

Stiles just stopped, took a deep calming breath, turned around and walked back. He spoke quietly and controlled, his hands clenched at his sides to hide his claws that were trying to come out. “You are such a stupid potato always thinking about yourself! Regardless of their reasons for leaving him behind, he is my friend, he is part of my family. I will always choose him. He doesn’t demand my time, he doesn’t blow hot and cold with our friendship, he understands that I have other friends and accepts when I want to hang out with them.” He turned and walked out. A quiet, “Goodbye Scott.” Was heard by the rest of the students as he walked out.

Scott just sat down, stunned that Stiles would just walk away from him like that. The noise level in the cafeteria went up as they discussed the latest drama.

Stiles headed to his locker and pulled out his homework assignments, he stuffed them in his backpack, making sure they would still be legible when he got home. He pulled out his phone as he walked to the front doors.

To Sourwolf: Can u cm pick me up pls
To Daddio: Had a fight with Scott. My control is slipping so I am going to the hospital early. Can you call the school and let them know, please?

From Sourwolf: OMW
From Daddio: Done

Stiles sat on the front steps and waited for the distinctive black Camaro. He spent the time he had to wait by concentrating on his breathing to prevent losing control of his shift.

-x-

The next few weeks became quite uncomfortable for Stiles. No matter where he went he couldn’t escape Scott and his alternating moods, going from pleading puppy dog eyes to the glare of death.

Unfortunately for Scott, Derek had shown Stiles the true meaning of a good friendship. So even though Stiles spent a lot of time alone at school he refused to go back to being Scott’s friend.

Lunchtime usually found Stiles hidden away in the back of the library either doing homework for his homeschool classes or he would be digging into the Argent financials on his secret laptop, looking for evidence for their case against the Argent hunting family. He heard quiet sneaky footsteps as he was digging through the Argent’s chemical purchases for the last ten years so he switched desktops to his sophomore AP trigonometry homework.

He heard the person slink around the corner so he breathed deep to see who it was. He was surprised to scent Danny Mahealani and glanced up to find him looking through the botany books.

Stiles smirked. “Danny boy. I am sure I have heard you say on multiple occasions that you have a black thumb, that you are banned from all gardening type activities.”

Danny nodded nervously not entirely sure how to handle a confident Stiles, “Just a bit of light reading for a group project, nothing too serious.”

Stiles nodded and went back to his trig homework.

Danny snuck a peek over his shoulder and squeaked.

Stiles looked up after he finished the equation he was working on and he asked, “Something wrong?”

Danny shook his head emphatically saying, “Nope. Nothing wrong. Is that trigonometry?”

“Yep,” Stiles said popping the p. “We have a test next week. Well, a couple of tests but trig is the one I find the hardest so Matt gave me some extra work to help me get my head around it.”

Danny asked “Matt?”

“Yeah. He’s our tutor. He tutors us in the afternoons in Derek’s Uncle’s hospital room. We spend the time reading to Peter and having tutoring in the subjects we do together. This semester we are both doing trig, calculus, and computer science. Derek is being homeschooled so he has a different ” Stiles explained.

Danny sat down with a thump, “Dude! That sounds busy. When do you have time to breathe.”

Stiles laughed then he stopped abruptly when he remembered that he was hiding in the library. “That’s nothing dude. That’s not including the running and self-defense training we do after dinner.”

Danny’s jaw dropped, and he asked, “What self-defense are you learning?”

Stiles shrugged, “Nothing special. Just what Derek learned from his Uncle Peter before the fire and some of dad’s police training. All pretty basic stuff.”

Danny sat up, “You should come and check out my dojo. I help teach a few nights a week and I have started taking eskrima classes.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow in question. “That's right, you were learning Taekwondo, right? What’s Eskrima?”

“Yep. I am now a black belt in Taekwondo. Eskrima is from the Philippines. It’s a form of stick fighting. Both short and long sticks. It’s heaps of fun.” Danny said enthusiastically.

Stiles smiled, “Can you give me the details and I will talk to my dad and Derek about signing up for some classes, I think we could both use lessons.”

Danny held his hand out and said, “Pass your phone. I will give you my details and I will text you later with the dojo details.”

Stiles passed over his phone, “Thanks, Danny.”

Danny smiled and handed back his phone, and said “No problem Stiles. I better get back before the others send out a search party.”

Stiles waved and went back to his homework, he decided to leave the searching for another day, just to be on the safe side.

-x-

After dinner, Stiles gathered Derek and his dad in the living room. They looked at him expectantly, “So Dad, do you remember Danny, we used to be friends at elementary school. We were talking at lunchtime and he suggested I check out the local dojo for martial arts training. He helps teach Taekwondo and he’s learning Eskrima.”

“What’s Eskrima?” Derek asked.

Stiles passed over his laptop that had an Eskrima double-stick demo playing. “It’s a martial arts from the Philippines that is based around various types of stick fighting. I figure it would be good to add to our arsenal of fighting styles. Plus we can adapt to use the collapsible police batons” he heard the growl from his dad “that we absolutely don’t have...”

Derek stifled a giggle as he was watching the various Eskrima demos on YouTube, “I like the look of this. I think also adding professional training would be a good idea.”

“Email me the details and I will contact Ralph in the morning about getting you both into the classes,” Noah commented.

Stiles grabbed his phone and emailed the details of Danny's dojo to his dad. He cc’ed Ralph in for good measure.

-x-

A week went by of uninterrupted lunchtimes in the library for Stiles. A week of being able to narrow down the chemical purchases to the exact chemicals named in Adrian Harris’ formula. He was realizing that the quantity of the various chemicals purchased was way too much for just the Hale fire. He put a note about this in the shared document they all use to keep track of the investigation.

He tilted his head when heard the approaching taps of Lydia‘s kitten heels. He switched desktops, this time to his calculus homework and started working through his practice equations while he waited for her to make an appearance.

Lydia came through the stacks and started browsing through the various shelves in his little hidden nook. Stiles just ignored her and kept working on his homework.

After about ten minutes she finally gave up the pretense of browsing and looked over his shoulder to see what he was working on. She let out a small gasp when she saw it was high school AP calculus.

She sat down opposite him and gave him a hard look, she asked, “I remember you repeated a year?”

Stiles answered absently while finishing the equation he was working on, he confirmed, “Aye. That’s right.”

“Why?” Lydia asked, completely baffled.

Stiles looked up, “Not that it’s any of your business, but, the year Mum got sick, I was absent a lot with her many hospital visits, unfortunately, I missed too much school to be able to go up a year. It did give me the bonus of being put into the same class as all of you, at least until you all dropped me like a rock.”

Lydia stared at him stunned over his being held back even though he's smart and she missed the last part of his statement. “But... but... why haven’t you gone up a year or more since? You’re clearly smart enough.”

Stiles grinned as he answered, “That's simple. I didn’t want to go back up a grade.”

Lydia frowned with a calculating look on her face and wondered out loud “Didn’t... as in past tense.”

Stiles nodded jerkily and went back to his calculus equations.

Lydia asked softly, ”Are you going to apply to skip a grade now?”

Stiles shrugged, “I haven’t decided. Dad is leaving the decision up to me. I still have a few months to decide.”

Lydia smiled before she got up. “I hope you stay. It will be nice to have someone smart around.” She then turned and walked out of the library.

-x-

The next time he was interrupted during his lunchtime in the library it was Jackson Whittemore. They used to be friends before his ADHD diagnosis.

Jackson skipped all pretense and subterfuge and just asked straight out, “Stilinski, why are you avoiding the cafeteria?”

Stiles looked up slowly and asked, “Who says I am avoiding the cafeteria? I have homework for my extracurricular classes.”

Jackson rolled his eyes and snarked, “And you can't do that homework in the cafeteria why?”

Stiles went back to his homework while he muttered, “Why do you even care? You dropped me like a hot rock when I was diagnosed with ADHD.”

Jackson’s jaw dropped, he asked incredulously, “Is that what you think?”

Stiles looked up sadly “We all used to be friends, good friends then you all stopped talking to me. I was out of school for a few months, when I was diagnosed with ADHD. Then when I came back to town, to school, you basically ignored me. What was I supposed to think? Scott told me he heard you all spreading rumors about me being sent to Eichen House, telling people I was mentally unstable.”

Jackson looked stricken. Lydia and Danny snuck around the corner when they decided they had heard enough and they sat with Jackson at the table.

They both wrapped their arms around Jackson. Danny looked up and said, “Stiles, the whole time you were away he was worried sick. Just before you came back Scott came and passed a message on from you. He said you no longer wanted to be friends with any of us and that we should stay away. We didn't believe him but when you ignored us after you came back to school what were we supposed to think?”

Stiles' face lost all color, he picked up his phone and sent off a text.

To SourWolf: Need you, now, library. Pls.
From SourWolf: Be there in five.

Stiles looked down at his phone and just breathed slow and deep for a few minutes. Trying to keep his wolf at bay. When he felt he had got it mostly under control and he felt he wasn’t going to shift or flare his eyes, he looked up at Danny and said, “I think we all got played.”

They looked at him shocked then looked up when they heard heavy footsteps fast approaching. Stiles saw Derek and launches himself at him, he was trying hard to reign in his emotional state. Derek wrapped him in a hug, looked up and saw the three young teens all huddled miserably on the other side of the table so he asked, “Can one of you explain?”

Jackson and Lydia looked at Danny who huffed and said, “He's pissed off, honestly, we all are. When we were in elementary school we all used to be friends, good friends, all of us and Scott. Stiles went away for a while to be assessed for his ADHD, I think. While he was away we were in fairly frequent contact but the longer he was away our contact with him dropped off we couldn't figure out why. It turns out that Scott was telling him how Jackson was spreading rumors of mental instability all over the school, which is so not true, and he told us that Stiles had asked him to pass on a message saying he no longer wanted to be friends.”

Lydia explained, “We didn't believe it but when we tried to approach him on his first day back at school he just glared at us and walked away.”

Jackson spat angrily, “He's right, we got played. By a, what did Stiles call him?”

Danny snorted, and answered, “We got played by a potato.”

Derek looked angry, his murder brows in DEFCON-1, “So not only has he been getting angry about you not being at his beck and call and available to him 24/7, he's been sabotaging your friendships too. What a little asshole.”

Stiles sat up and smirked at Derek, as he snarked, “Language!”

Derek rolled his eyes, “Lil Red, you still have a much worse potty mouth.”

Stiles laughed, “Wait till you meet my grandpa, Sourwolf. Seriously, I inherited that potty mouth honestly!”

Stiles and Derek jumped slightly when they heard a whisper, ‘Pack, they are all pack.’

Stiles turned and looked at the three miserable teens on the other side of the table and asked, “Do you want to try again at being friends? I have missed you guys.”

Lydia smiled and whisper shouted, “Hell yes, I love these two and they are smart, but they are not ‘probably going to be valedictorian’ smart. Now that we are friends, can I ask a question?”

“Sure,” Stiles answered, he failed to recognize the dangerous look in her eyes.

“What's with the red hoodies? It's like you are unaware of the existence of other colors.” Lydia asked innocently.

Stiles spluttered and muttered, “I plead the fifth.”

Derek snorted and looked at Stiles and asked, “Are you all good now Lil Red? Only I kinda ran out on Jerry and his history lesson…”

Stiles gulped, “Uh oh, he's gonna be pissed. I am so glad I only have to deal with Matt for my tutoring. I will see you after school Sourwolf, please tell him sorry for me.”

Derek waved at them all as he raced out of the library.

Jackson asked, “So no more hiding in the library at lunch? Sit with us from now on?”

Stiles nodded in agreement, “Sure, as long as you don't mind me multitasking as I do my homework that's fine.”

They all agreed as the bell for the next period rung. They all headed to their next class and made arrangements to hang out over the coming weekend.

Chapter Text

December 2005

During one particularly slow lunchtime, Stiles had found himself ignoring his homework and the conversations of his friends, instead, he decided to prod the Nemeton into seeing if there were any possible pack members around him.

He didn’t get much out of the Nemeton this time but there were a few who got a very vehement, ‘NO!’ like Dahler, Peralta, Wilde, and Greenberg. Stiles was surprised at how loud the Nemeton was for Greenberg, it was almost as loud as the No he got when he wanted to tell Scott. He didn’t know Greenberg very well but figured the Nemeton had its reasons. He was mostly hoping to find another girl or two for Lydia so she wouldn’t be the only teenage girl in the pack. While Delphine was pack, the thought of Lydia and Delphine becoming friends scared the ever-loving shit out of him.

Stiles snapped out of his musings when he heard, “Oi Stilinski, get your head out of the clouds!”

Stiles grinned at Jackson as he commented, “It’s good to see you back to your snarky self Jacks.”

Danny snickered and whispered loudly to Stiles, “It was like he was replaced with a pod person, being so quiet and weirdly nice to us all.”

Stiles loudly whispered back, “It was freaking me the fuck out, Dude!”

Jackson glared at the pair of them and snarked, “Shut it, was I not allowed to miss an old friend?”

Danny and Stiles glomped him from either side and wrapped him into a tight hug. Lydia giggled into her hands from her seat.

Stiles was glad to see that Scott was missing from the cafeteria, he would be glaring at them for this display of closeness. Scott was pissed that they had found out about his deception even as he tried to lie his way out of it. He seemed to be spending more time in the gym these days eating in the bleachers. Scott had found a new group of friends and Stiles was angry about that. He couldn’t understand why it was ok for Scott to have a group of friends, but Stiles, when they were friends was only ever allowed to be friends with him, Scott always drove anyone else away. He doubted that he would ever understand.

He had talked about it during his therapy sessions and even with Derek but he still couldn’t understand why Scott had lied to drive away the rest of the group when they were younger. He tuned back into his friend's conversation and put the Scott problem out of his mind for another time.

-x-

Early in the new year as the group was walking towards the cafeteria they came across a crowd all watching something on the ground. Being typical curious kids they all moved closer for a look. They found a student, Erica Reyes, was in the middle of a serious epileptic seizure and they could see this was a bad one, they also saw that while a crowd had gathered, they were just standing around and watching, Stiles noticed that only her friends Vernon Boyd and Isaac Lahey seemed to be trying to help.

Stiles got a subtle push from the Nemeton to help them, so he pushed his group into action.

“Jackson, can you please run and get the school nurse? Danny, can you try to get the crowd to move back. Lydia can you help Boyd and Isaac keep things out of her way so she doesn’t get injured.” Stiles ordered.

They all nodded in agreement and moved to help out. Stiles knelt by Erica's head and made sure she didn’t hit her head on anything while he was careful to not restrain her. He looked up at Lydia and he asked, “Did you bring your long winter coat today?”

“Yes, it’s in my locker. Did you want me to grab it?” Lydia confirmed, she had a feeling she knew what he was wanting.

“Yes please, I doubt the nurse will bring a blanket and it will keep her warm till the paramedics arrive,” Stiles answered.

Lydia walked quickly down the hall to her locker. She was feeling lucky that her locker was close.

Stiles saw the seizure was stopping and he had a brief glance around the crowd, he noticed Lydia was on her way back with her coat in her arms. He also saw Scott in the crowd just watching, he had been hanging around these three over the past 3 months since their ‘break up’ but Scott seemed to be making no effort to help her at all. In fact, it looked like he was laughing at some of the nasty comments being made by the kids in the crowd. Danny and Lydia both saw the angry look flash across Stiles’ face and they turned to see what had made him angry.

Lydia passed Stiles her coat and he placed it over Erica to keep her warm, he put her on her side with her head on his lap as a pillow so she could recover somewhat comfortably until the nurse or paramedics arrived.

Stiles was whispering reassurances to Erica. They used to be friends when they were younger, as they had bonded over their mutual love of Batman comics. She was another one Scott had driven away, something Stiles hadn’t picked up on at the time.

While Stiles was busy with Erica, Boyd and Isaac sat beside them all talking quietly, however, Lydia was approaching Scott, her blazing anger in full force.

“Scott, I thought you were her friend you ginormous pile of douche.” Lydia hissed angrily. She didn’t want to alert Erica to what Scott was doing.

Scott just gave her a confused look and he asked, “What?”

“I saw you there, laughing at her with the rest of the crowd while her true friends at least helped her.” Lydia whisper-shouted.

Scott just shook his head, “So, she won’t even know.” He stated some-what confidently.

She grabbed his arm and dragged him away from the group, Danny shadowing them, just in case.

Lydia pinned him in place with a fierce look, for a girl shorter than most in their class she could look dangerous and pissed off when she needed too. She in her haughtiest tone said, “And do you honestly think her other friends won't tell her? That they won't protect her from the cruelty of kids like you who laugh because she has a medical condition. Do they laugh at you when you wheeze whenever you try to run laps during gym class, no, because unlike you they are decent human beings.”

Danny saw that Scott just didn’t get it and said, “Come on Lydia, this is pointless. Let's go, I can see Jackson coming with the paramedics. We can make sure Boyd and Isaac are ok.”

They left behind a confused Scott and they went back to the crowd and helped Boyd and Isaac gather Erica’s things from where they had spilled out of her bag.

“You can leave her bag with me guys, I am headed to the hospital after school as usual, so I can drop it off and leave it with her parents.” Stiles offered. “Can someone get me her homework from her last few classes? I know she's not in any of mine this afternoon.”

Lydia and Danny both offered to help, Lydia explained, “We both have classes with her, so we can talk to the teachers and we can get the homework assignments to you in the car park before Derek picks you up.” Danny piped up.

Stiles smiled at him. He saw the paramedics coming and whispered to Erica, “Hey Catwoman, the cavalry is here. I will try and stop in and see you at the hospital.”

She had been coming around since the seizure stopped, but she was embarrassed so she had kept her eyes shut, she just nodded slightly to confirm she had heard Stiles.

As the paramedics came close he worked with them to ease out from under her head so they could move her safely to the gurney. Stiles took Erica’s bag from Lydia and they all headed to the cafeteria for lunch.

-x-

“Mrs. Reyes?” Stiles asked nervously, he looked back at Derek who was hovering in the background.

Lara Reyes looked up from her book. She was waiting in the hall, giving Erica some peace and quiet after her seizure. “Yes?”

Stiles smiled and asked, “Is Erica allowed visitors?”

Lara looked at the two boys, noticing Derek was standing a bit behind Stiles. She asked, “Just you?”

Stiles looked back at Derek who nodded slightly before he took a seat near the room but with a view of the main corridor. Stiles turned to Lara “Yep, I just want to drop off her bag and homework, and make sure she’s doing ok.”

Lara nodded, “Ok sure, just a short visit then, she's still quite tired after the seizure.”

Stiles left his bag with Derek and went into her room.

“Hey, Catwoman. Are you feeling any better? I brought your bag and the homework from this afternoon.”

Erica murmured a quiet, “Thanks.” and she burrowed down into her blankets.

Stiles sat down in the chair beside her bed and waited.

She stared at him and demanded, “Why are you here?”

Stiles grinned, “I am here at the hospital most days. Me and Derek visit his Uncle Peter every afternoon. Since I was going to be here I offered to drop off your bag and homework.”

Erica rolled her eyes. “I meant why visit me. You don’t even like me.”

Stiles gave her a look of faux astonishment, “I don’t not like you, we just… drifted apart. I would like to change that.”

Erica raised an eyebrow, even when she is feeling like she got hit by a truck her eyebrow sass is on point.

Stiles huffed, “Fine, I miss having someone to talk Batman with, I have Derek and he likes comics,“ he stated, then he looked around as if he was going to give away a huge secret and he whispered, “Derek only likes Marvel. It’s driving me insane.”

The ridiculousness of the statement caused Erica to giggle, “Fine Batman. You and your friends can hang out with us. Do they like comics too?”

Stiles flailed around and put his hand to his forehead like the damsels of old and he pouted. “No, not even a little bit. It’s a total travesty. At least I have Derek for my Marvel addiction.”

Erica looked away and commented, “Scott really hates that guy, he said Derek stole you from him.”

Stiles rolled his eyes and stated, “The only reason Scott and I are no longer friends is because he is a douche who only thinks about himself.”

Erica nodded and said sadly, “I heard what Lydia said to him. I didn’t think he would laugh at me. He was supposed to be my friend.”

Derek poked his head in the room and said, “Stiles, I just saw Matt heading to the long term ward, we should be on our way. He’s not as cranky as Jerry but he will give you extra calculus equations if you are late.”

Stiles nodded and said to Erica, “I gotta go, I will stop in and visit tomorrow with your homework if that’s ok?”

Erica nodded and she burrowed down in her blankets to get more rest. As they left she asked, “Can you ask mom to come back in please?”

Stiles agreed as he headed out the door.

-x-

Over the next few days while Erica was in hospital Stiles dropped in to see Erica on the way to Peter’s room, he introduced Derek to Erica and the three of them had a few rowdy debates on the merits of DC vs Marvel, Stiles being firmly on the fence and loving both publishers. Stiles would also drop off any homework the group had gathered for Erica, answering any questions she had about it, then the three of them would chat until it was time for Stiles and Derek to head to Peter’s room for their tutoring session with Matt.

It was after one of these visits as they arrived at Peter’s room they found Noah was on his way out.

“Dad?” Stiles had thought his dad was on shift this afternoon.

Noah looked up, he hadn’t noticed Stiles and Derek approaching as he left Peter’s room, “Hey kiddo, you running late?”

“We were visiting Erica, she had a bad seizure at school. I have been bringing her homework for her so she doesn’t fall behind.” Stiles explained before he asked, “Are you ok?” He could see his dad looked a bit down.

“Yeah kiddo, I just wish Peter would wake up. It’s hard seeing him lying there and not being able to do much to help him.” Noah explained.

Stiles gave him a tight hug and said, “Hopefully it won't be much longer. We just need to keep on doing what we’re doing. At least this time Talia can’t interfere with your friendship.”

Noah returned the hug with a smile and he gave Derek’s shoulder a quick squeeze, “I should get back to work. I’ll see you both at home later.”

They both waved and then continued to Peter’s room.

-x-

A week later and Erica had come back to school. When it was time for lunch she walked into the cafeteria, she was dismayed to see that Boyd and Isaac were sitting with Scott, she walked up to them and glared at Scott until he looked away and then she dragged Boyd and Isaac over to sit with Stiles, Danny, Lydia, and Jackson. Boyd and Isaac were a bit confused as to why they were sitting with the cool kids, but they shrugged, they figured they would find out from Erica, eventually.

Scott stormed over to their table and he demanded, “What the hell Erica! Why are you hanging out with these losers.”

Erica gave him a scathing look and counted off points on her fingers as she answered, “1. These ‘losers’ visited me in the hospital. Every. Single. Day. You didn't even visit me once and I know you were there at some point as I saw you walk past my hospital room. 2. These ‘losers’ didn’t point and laugh at me while was I was on the floor seizing. They helped, they helped keep me safe, they got me the medical help I needed and then they make sure my things didn’t go missing. 3. These ‘losers’ don’t make fun of me for liking comic books. And lastly, 4. These ‘losers’ made sure I had all my homework so I didn’t fall behind while in hospital. So you know what Scott. Go away. I don’t need a friend who thinks it’s funny when I am having a seizure, who is willing to laugh along with those making nasty comments about me while I am helpless on the floor. I mean it’s not like I laugh when you can’t breathe is it?”

Scott spluttered, “I never... what?”

Erica rolled her eyes and she stated firmly, “I heard what Lydia said to you as I was coming around. I heard her telling you off for laughing with those making nasty comments about me. I asked Boyd and Isaac and they both confirmed you were laughing instead of helping. I don’t want to be around someone who finds my condition something to laugh at. Please… just… leave me the hell alone.”

Scott turned to Boyd and Isaac and said, “Come on guys, we don’t need her.”

Isaac looked at Boyd who nodded he then said to Scott, “No. We are sticking with Erica, we have been friends with her longer than we have been friends with you. We don’t want to be around someone who laughs at our friend when she’s sick.“

Scott glared at Stiles before he stormed out of the cafeteria in a huff.

Stiles jumped up and moved next to Erica and gave her a hug. He whispered in her ear, “I’m sorry he laughed at you.”

Erica gave him a weird look, “Batman, why are you apologizing for him? Scott is the one who laughed and Scott is the one who still hasn’t said sorry. I am sorry for dragging you into it by sitting with you, I didn’t think he would be a douche about it.”

Lydia flicked her hair over her shoulder and snarked, “Scott’s always been a drama llama. Forget about it, do you guys want to join our weekend study sessions?”

Erica, Boyd, and Isaac all looked at each other and nodded. Erica answered for all of them, “We would like that.”

They all exchanged numbers so they could organize times around Stiles and Derek’s schedules.

Chapter Text

February 2006

Noah woke in a hurry when he heard twin shouts from the boys. 

“Dad, wake up!”/“Noah, wake up!”

“We need to get to the hospital!” They both yelled at the same time.

Derek sat up and checked his phone for the time, he saw it was showing 2:33 am he then hurriedly got up and dressed in his usual jeans and a long-sleeve Henley. He walked into Stiles’ room and made sure he was still awake and getting dressed as well, he said a quick, “Meet us downstairs” as he headed to Noah’s room.

Noah sat up, he could hear all the commotion and the general noise from the boys as they got dressed and as he saw Derek at his bedroom door he asked, “Wha…?? What's up son?”

Derek gave him a huge smile and said, “Peter is tugging the pack bonds, hard, we need to head to the hospital, he's waking up!”

Noah nodded and got up to get dressed. He decided to wear his uniform in case there were any issues sneaking them all into Peter’s hospital room at o'dark hundred.

Derek and Stiles grabbed their jackets then jumped into the Camaro, they knew that the Sheriff would likely go straight from the hospital to the Sheriff station in the cruiser once they knew what was going on. 

The two cars made their way to the hospital, both drivers were glad it was the middle of the night so there was barely anyone else on the road. The boys discussed how they would get to Peter’s room and they decided a sneaky visit will be their best bet as it was definitely not visiting hours. Thankfully over the last year, they had spent enough time at the hospital so they knew how to get to Peter’s room without being spotted by either the staff or the many security cameras.

They discussed their plan to get into Peter’s hospital room undetected by the hospital staff with Noah in the car park. Meanwhile, in the long term care ward, Peter sat waiting. 

-x-

Pain

Pain

Pain

Bonds?

All Peter could concentrate on was the pain, there was so much pain, his shattered pack bonds, his lost family, but wait, he could still feel four very active pack bonds.

Peter tugged on the bonds, as he was desperate for answers, he gave them some good hard tugs until he felt confusion, then excitement thrum down two of the bonds. He then settled down to wait, as slowly analyzed his surroundings. 

From the smell, he knew he was in the hospital. That antiseptic smell was hard to mistake, however, the lack of ambient people noise let him know that it had to be night time. All he could hear was beeps from the various machines and occasional murmurs from others in the building. He kept still and his eyes shut just in case someone walked in. 

After a while, he heard a couple of familiar heartbeats as they slowly their way towards him. 

-x-

The boys and Noah slowly made their way through the hospital, they took a careful route to avoid discovery. Derek and Stiles kept an ear out for heartbeats as they walked, they stopped a few times to let people move past them before they continued to Peter’s room. 

Once they got to Peter’s room they closed and locked the door, Derek put Stiles on lookout duty so he could concentrate on his Uncle Peter without having to split his focus.

Derek ordered, “Keep an ear out for anyone coming near the room, concentrate on both heartbeats but also comments from staff members, listen out for if they talk about heading to the room we are in for their observations. If you hear anyone coming let us know so Noah can head them off.” 

Stiles gave him a quick salute and sat down cross-legged in his usual place on the end of the bed.

Derek walked over to Peter’s bed and checked the machines to see if there was any visible difference. He saw nothing obvious so Derek looked at Stiles and wriggled his fingers towards the machines. Stiles rolled his eyes and with an exaggerated motion, he wriggled his fingers at the machines as he willed them to show Peter’s normal activity, especially to the monitoring units at the nurse's station, while they assessed what was going on and so they could make plans. Derek then took a seat beside the bed and settled in to do his usual routine pain draw. Derek smiled when he saw Peter twitch when the pain drain started.

Derek looked up at Stiles and raised an eyebrow, as if he was asking, ‘Can you hear anyone coming?’ Stiles tilted his head and did a close check on their surroundings and then shook his head as if to confirm, ‘No one close.’

Derek decided to take a two-prong approach by both tugging on the pack bond he had with his Uncle Peter as he quietly asked, “Uncle Peter, can you hear me?”

Peter slowly rolled his head towards Derek and opened his eyes for the first time in over a year.

Derek was so happy to see his Uncle awake he leaned over and gave him a gentle hug but he also made sure he scent marked him on the uninjured part of his face. He was careful to make sure that he didn’t jostle Peter too much. 

As he hugged him, Derek quietly asked, “Are you ok? Need more pain drain?” Peter just shook his head slightly. He knew if any more pain was drawn he wouldn’t be able to think straight and he wouldn’t get his answers.

After another longer hug, Peter rasped out a quiet questioning, “What happened?”

Derek adjusted the bed so Peter was sitting up then he walked over to the mini-fridge they had installed and got him a fresh glass of water with a straw to help his throat, this gave him time to think as he was not entirely sure how to answer. Noah stepped forward from his spot at the wall at this point as he knew he would be better able to explain than either of his boys.

“Hey Peter, long time no see. You’ve been asleep for a long time.” Noah commented quietly.

Peter looked over at Noah, a surprised look showed on his normally impassive face, he was shocked as he saw his old friend, “H-how long?” Peter asked.

Noah contemplated how to answer and decided a point-blank approach would be the best approach with the Peter he remembered. “The fire was just over a year ago. You were badly injured getting your family out. You currently have third-degree burns to 50% of your body. You got the family out but the mountain ash line was close to the fire and you got severely burnt in the process.”

Peter looked over at Derek again and whispered, “The pack?”

Derek suddenly looked angry and just stated curtly, “They left”

Stiles leaned over and pulled Derek into a side hug, Stiles knew the contact would help calm him down.

Peter looked back at Noah, he was feeling a bit confused by the whole situation. He asked, “Noah?”

Noah sighed. “Sorry, Derek is still working on his anger at his former alpha for leaving you both behind when they ran with the rest of the pack.”

Peter's eyes widened. He was shocked and he was still trying to catch up with what was happening, he asked his old school friend, “You know??”

Noah smirked at Peter and nodded, “I got a call from the hospital the day after the fire saying that I was listed as your second emergency care contact. Your alpha had left instructions with the hospital stating she would not be responsible for you, so it was left to me to make any and all medical decisions regarding your care. I stopped in to sign the paperwork and found Derek here clutching his emancipation paperwork, in tears, with the headlights on full blue after Talia violently tore out the pack bonds from both of you. So I took him home and he's been living with us ever since. So right now we are a pack of six. But we have it on good authority we will be growing into a large pack over the next few years.”

Peter glanced at Stiles then looked back at Noah. He asked, “Is he yours? Mischief right?”

Noah smiled and nodded in confirmation and Stiles waved and said, “It’s Stiles, no one has called me Mischief since… well… not for a long time anyway.” 

Peter sensed the grief as it poured off the boy so he looked to Derek and quietly asked, “S..she broke them?”

Derek knew he was talking about the pack bonds so he confirmed, “She disowned us both and then violently broke the bonds.”

Peter leaned back and stared at the ceiling for a few minutes, he was thinking hard, then he turned back to Derek and he asked, “Gone to ground?”

Derek replied sadly, “We assume so. No one has been able to contact them since they left. Noah’s been trying to get hold of Talia to get more information for the case we are building against the Argent hunting family.”

Peter’s eyes widened, he knew Derek would be blaming himself after what he heard Kate yelling while she stood outside watching them burn, he looked at Derek and implored, “N.. not your fault.”

Derek looked up shocked. “You know?”

Stiles piped up, “I told you he wouldn't blame you Sourwolf.”

Peter squeezed Derek's hand in reassurance. 

Peter rolled his head to Noah and asked, “Case?”

“Yes. After Derek filled us in on what happened with the fire and the actual reason for it we decided to quietly build a case against the family. We have a good case against Kate and her father Gerard so far. We just want it to be airtight before we present it to a judge.” Noah explained.

Peter looked confused, he asked, “We?”

Noah smiled and indicated toward the boys, “Derek and Stiles have been a great help in finding the information we need so we know what direction to go when it comes to getting the information legally via warrants. While we gather the information we are keeping it just within the pack. I am staying out of it as much as possible to give me plausible deniability when it is time to apply for the search warrants.”

Peter was looking tired again as he looked back at Derek. “T..the plan?”

Derek smiled, “Our current plan is for you to play human while you're in a human hospital. We get you home as soon as we can and to the outside world you will go overseas for ’surgery’ and come home as good as new.”

Stiles asked, “Now that you're awake can you do a partial heal so it's just the surface burns that need healing?”

Peter shut his eyes and he looked towards his wolf to see if he was able to do what Stiles asked. He was surprised when the 3 visitors to his room gasped when he opened his very red eyes. 

Derek and Stiles both flashed their eyes the same vibrant red in response to seeing Peter’s alpha eyes.  

Peter's eyes widened when he saw not only Derek's red eyes but also when he saw Stiles’ bright crimson eyes. 

Derek looked at Peter with a shocked expression and he asked, “How long have you been an alpha?”

Peter looked puzzled and he whispered in confusion, “Alpha?” so Stiles got up and found a hand mirror and he held it so Peter could see his own red eyes.

Peter reared back shocked when he saw his eyes glowing that deep alpha red. 

Derek and Stiles then heard the comforting whisper, ‘True Alpha…’

Derek looked at him with a big grin on his face “You're a True Alpha. Talia was so sure the humans broke the line to let everyone out. But it must have been you. You collapsed as soon as the line fell and Daniel and Eric carried you out. So because you were strong enough to break the line and you showed strength of character in the defense of your pack no matter how injured you were, that action must have elevated you to be a True Alpha.”

Stiles exclaimed, “I told you he would be an alpha.”

Derek smirked, “The best part is, Talia doesn’t know that you’re an alpha.”

Peter looked at Derek but before he could ask any more questions he yawned showing just how tired he was. 

Noah stepped in, “Ok. Peter, you need more sleep. Boys my shift starts in half an hour so you can stay here and get some sleep. I will let the nurse's station know you are here and I will stop in with some lunch and your backpacks so you can do your homework and pack work after a nap.”

Derek stretched and yawned, “Can you grab our laptops as well, please Noah. We can do some planning around getting Uncle Peter home and how to manage his recovery plan.”

“Sure thing kiddo. Stiles, you need anything?” Noah asked

Stiles just yawned and shook his head as he curled up at the end of the bed with his hand in the usual spot wrapped around Peter's ankle so he could take more of Peter’s pain as they both napped. 

As much as Peter wanted all the information and he wanted it immediately he accepted that he needed to rest to heal faster. He nodded at Noah and closed his eyes and went to sleep as Derek put his bed back to the sleeping position. 

-x-

A few hours later Noah walked into Peter’s hospital room to see that both of the boys were still fast asleep, Stiles was curled up on the end of the bed his hand still wrapped around Peter’s ankle, and Derek was out cold on the recliner by the bed, however, as soon as the door lock clicked into place Peter’s eyes snapped open. 

“Hey, Peter, how you doing?” Noah asked, he was glad to see his old friend awake. 

Peter tilted his head and assessed himself. “Better, the boys have been draining my pain while they slept. Give me a few more hours of pack time and I should be able to finish healing most of the damage.” He saw Noah raise his eyebrows and he said, “Don’t worry, I will leave the surface burns till I am out of here.”

Noah commented, “You sound better already, less raspy and wheezy”

Peter smiled, “That's the first thing I healed, I thought being able to breathe without pain would be a good start. I have no idea how the smoke was able to burn my lungs that badly”

“The tests we have had commissioned privately on the house showed that they put wolfsbane in the accelerant which was caused immense pain, enough pain according to the Nemeton when compounded by the violent method Talia used to break your pack bonds, to cause you to retreat into your mind throwing off your ability to heal on your own,” Noah explained.

Peter's eyes widened, “N… Nemeton?”

“A long story better told by the boys.” He chuckled, ”They should be awake soon, the smell of bacon works better than any alarm clock with those two” 

Noah walked across to the table by the window and put down the two backpacks and the delicious smelling bag of breakfast food from their favorite diner. He looked across at Peter and he asked, “You hungry at all?”

Peter’s stomach rumbled, he laughed as he confirmed, “I could eat something.”

Noah pulled a container out of the bag and put it on Peter’s tray table. He reached out as if to put his hand on Peter’s cheek but pulled back at the last second, he turned away and said quietly, “I got you something light to start with, just some scrambled eggs on toast.” Noah didn’t see the confused look on Peter’s face as he turned away.

Peter took his first bite of actual food and groaned in appreciation, “This is really good. Is it from Mikeys?” 

“Yeah, Derek introduced us to Mikey’s Diner when he moved in and we haven’t been anywhere else for takeout since.”

Peter smiled and explained, “They know how to cater to sensitive palates. No chemicals or over-processed foods and fresh off the farm meat.”

Noah looked over at Peter and smirked as he said, “Watch this.” He opened the container of bacon, and they both watched as both the boy's noses started to twitch as the bacon smell slowly permeated the room. Noah made up two plates piled high with bacon, eggs, and hash browns and a third smaller plate of just bacon and eggs for himself. As the boys sat up and stretched he handed them their breakfast. Both boys grinned when they saw Peter was awake and eating and they happily tucked into their delicious smelling breakfast.

Stiles looked up from his breakfast, his sensitive nose was twitching. He looked at his dad with a hopeful look on his face as he asked, almost begged, “Coffee?”

Noah frowned in faux disapproval before he pulled a tray of jumbo coffees out of the bag and handed them out to everyone. 

The room fell silent as they all finished their breakfasts, all of them contemplating the various discussions that needed to take place over the next few hours.

-x- 

Once they were all done with breakfast and everything was all tidied away the boys both grabbed out their MacBooks and set up the wifi hotspot on Peter's tray table.

“Right!” Stiles exclaimed, “Let’s get this sorted.”

He looked at Peter and asked, “Questions or planning the next few weeks first?”

Peter smirked, “Oh definitely the questions. So many questions.”

Stiles grinned and said, “Shoot!”

The next few hours were productively spent as Derek and Stiles took Peter through the events of the last year, Talia and the pack leaving town and going to ground, Stiles attack and the meeting with the Nemeton, the pack taking on both Ralph and Delphine as betas, they finished up the explanations with the case they were building against the Argents and how they were using any means to build the case but ensuring that they knew how to legally get the information when it came time to get the search warrants.

Peter looked at Noah, “Your doing?”

Noah shook his head, “I am helping aim the investigation, but, due to my position as sheriff, I need plausible deniability. The boys work on the investigation is done on separate laptops. Laptops I technically know nothing about…”

Peter smirked, “Nice.”

Peter looked at Derek, wanting to change the subject and asked, “An alpha pack huh. I have heard stories, legends. But they sound very different from what the Nemeton told you.”

“How so?” Derek asked, he was puzzled as they hadn’t been able to find anything in the library about alpha packs at all.

Stiles sat up, “We looked all through your library but couldn’t find anything that mentions an alpha pack.”

“You wouldn’t,” Peter replied, “They aren’t officially lore so to speak. They appear every 100 years or so, under the premise of policing new packs to ensure they are run properly to prevent exposure. When the reality is that they are just a pack of alphas who go around terrorizing young packs, leaving complete devastation in their wake. Often stealing the various territories for themselves.”

Stiles scoffed, “It sounds like a bastardization of the original alpha packs. Just less honorable.”

Derek and Noah looked sharply at Stiles and said in unison, “Language!” Peter laughed.

Stiles just got a stubborn set to his jaw.

Peter chuckled as he replied, “You’re not wrong, pup. They are generally just supernatural bullies hiding behind a legend to make their play for specific territories look legitimate.”

Derek explained seriously, “We have decided to keep all knowledge of the alpha pack to just those in the pack or at least pack adjacent. Stiles is getting good at privacy wards though so if anyone does overhear us talking about it, they can’t spill that info to others. So far the house, Noah’s office, your vault, and this room are warded.”

Stiles was embarrassed and wanted to change the subject so he asked, “Any thoughts around your wake up plan?”

“I am going to be good to go in a few days, staying here longer than necessary is not going to do anyone any favors. I get antsy if I am bored. I have a clinic I can use to send fake medical reports on my recovery and subsequent surgery to remove the burn scars. The hard part will be getting me signed out of here and signed into the clinic.” Peter explained.

Noah thought about the issue and asked, “Can Delphine get hold of some transfer paperwork and an ambulance?”

“She should be able to, it wouldn’t be too hard for her to find a private one to rent for a day,” Peter commented.

Stiles sat up, “Why wake up? Why don’t we get you transferred to a private clinic for your safety. Dad can report a threat made against your family, specifically toward you for preventing the deaths of the rest of the family. It’s on record that you got injured breaking down a door that was on fire to get your family out.”

“That sounds like a good idea, then I don’t have to fake the human speed healing and rehab. Can you organize that with Delphine?” Peter asked.

Stiles pulled out his phone and started texting Delphine. “We can say we found a note on the front stoop when dad got up this morning to get ready for his shift. Hence the early morning visit to the hospital. I am sure we can put something together for the evidence locker that can be dismissed later.”

Noah growled at Stiles, he sounded almost wolf-like.

Stiles gave him a mulish look, “What? It’s the best way to get him out of here with the least amount of suspicion. It also covers when he starts being seen around town with no scars.” Derek looked at Peter, “When you ‘officially’ come back to town you will need to do a few check-up appointments, just to reduce the suspicion around your healing. Do we have anyone here we can talk into making those look authentic, or is that something we can worry about later on?”

Noah interrupted before Stiles and Derek got too deep into the planning. “Boys! We can worry about that later. For now, talk to Delphine and organize his transfer to a private clinic and arrange for medical reports to be sent to be added to his hospital file here. Perhaps also surgical reports for the plastic surgery. I will organize the report about the threat to Peter's life to make the transfer easier to explain.”

Stiles saluted his dad, “Aye aye cap’n”

Noah turned to Peter, “Are you ok with staying in our guest room? The boys spend most of their time in puppy piles so the guest room bed is empty most of the time. They say its a wolf thing…”

Peter nodded feeling a bit of hope for the first time in a while, “It’s definitely a wolf thing Noah, we wolves are tactile.”

Noah nodded, “I have to head back to work, let me know the plan when you have it all confirmed.” He headed out and left the boys to finish the plans and reminded them to do their homework as he walked out the door.

-x-

A few days later at school, Danny reached over and nudged Stiles “What’s going on? You seem more distracted than usual, you’re not even eating your lunch.”

“Nothing. I’m fine.” Stiles denied.

“Stilinski, you are anything but fine,” Jackson interjected.

Stiles was worried about the patient transfer they had planned for Peter which was scheduled for just after lunch but he couldn’t tell the group that. He decided to let them in on the ruse they had planned. “I am worried about Derek’s Uncle Peter. We had a note left on our doorstep threatening that he would be harmed if we didn’t stop visiting him.” Stiles explained.

Lydia gasped in horror. “Stiles! That’s horrible. What is your dad doing about it?” Her gasp was loud enough that people on surrounding tables were starting to pay attention.

“We are moving him to a private hospital out of the state for his safety. Only dad knows which one. Derek trusts him to keep his uncle safe.”

Isaac nudged his shoulder and asked, “How’s Derek handling it?”

Stiles sighed at having to mislead his friends. “He’s not, he can’t understand why threats are being made against a man in a coma. It’s not like he can harm anyone.”

Scott wandered over from his table and said nastily, “Good riddance. Maybe Derek should go with him, then things around here can go back to normal.”

Stiles glared at Scott and angrily stated, “Things around here are normal Scott. Even if Derek does go with him and I never see him again you and I still won’t be friends.”

Erica gave Scott a scathing look, “Go away, Scott.”

Scott stormed off muttering under his breath.

Boyd just nudged his other shoulder and said quietly, “Just let us know if you or Derek need anything.”

Stiles nudged back, mindful to keep the strength of that nudge to human levels and muttered a quiet, “Thanks, bro.”

-x-

Stiles stormed into the house after Derek, slamming the front door.

“Stiles, what’s wrong?” Peter asked.

Derek just muttered, “Scott, again.”

Stiles was pacing angrily around the living room. “Sorry, he’s just such a dick. Even a potato has more brain cells than that asshole.”

Peter asked, “Scott? Is he pack?”

Derek shook his head vehemently and stated, “Hell no, the Nemeton was very loud on that point. He’s Stiles ex best-friend, a very possessive former friend.”

“Oh. What did he do?” Peter asked, he was thinking it must be bad if Stiles was this angry.

Stiles hugged the older man. “Sorry Peter, I forgot to ask how the transfer went. Smooth I take it?”

Peter nodded, “Very smooth. The paramedics we used to do the transfer were a couple we have used in the past so as soon as we were out of sight of the hospital I was able to move around again. Now, enough deflecting pup, what’s going on.”

Stiles shrugged. “Nothing, it’s just Scott being a dick, again. He was a friend till around Halloween last year, he was getting bitter about all the time I was spending with Derek, and he gave me an ultimatum, he forced me to choose between himself and Derek. He’s still pissed that I chose Derek over him.”

Derek snorted. Peter looked at him with his eyebrow raised in question.

Derek explained. “What he’s not saying Uncle Peter is that Scott is very manipulative and possessive. So he would be pissed about all the time we spent together which was mostly during study sessions that Stiles would have had anyway. Study sessions that Stiles had invited Scott to join many times before and after I was on the scene, but noooo Scott never wanted to study. God forbid Scott actually makes an effort to get good grades. It ended up so bad that whenever Stiles offered to spend time with Scott either in person or even having an online gaming session, Scott was busy. Their friendship always had to be on Scott's terms.”

Stiles shook his head. “No, he’s not possessive and manipulative, at least he doesn’t know he is. He just has a very black and white view of things and it’s his view or nothing. He decided that we are friends so we should be friends, he would be the only one who got to decide when we would hang out. He decided he only needed one friend so he drove away my other friends with lies. To him, that was ok because they weren’t really his friends. In Scott's mind, Derek is in the way.”

Peter wrapped Stiles into a hug. “Sweetheart, the only thing I can recommend is just to ignore him. He will eventually go away.”

-x-

After the boys had gone to bed Peter and Noah sat on the couch catching up. 

“Finally, they are asleep,” Peter exclaimed.

Noah raised an eyebrow at Peter. 

“I missed you, both of you, so so much, Talia had me on a tight leash. I wasn’t even allowed to go into town just in case you were there. She even had me watched when I opened the Vesuvius office in town. She paid a merc to keep tabs on me and report if I spoke to anyone and who my clients were.” Peter griped.

“Bloody hell. The more I hear about Talia from you and Derek the less I like your sister. You know Derek stopped calling her Mom after the visit to the Nemeton?” Noah asked.

Peter sighed, “She brought that shit on herself. Honestly, she did, she stopped listening to mom as soon as she became alpha. She would only listen to our emissary… when it suited her. Laura was definitely picking up her bad habits.” 

Noah shook his head “She was being trained in those habits by her alpha. Did the boys tell you about what really happened with Paige?”

Peter frowned, “Didn’t Ennis bite her in revenge for Talia pulling out of the peace meeting?” 

Noah shook his head “Yes… and no… Talia ordered Laura to suggest the bite to Ennis. She wanted Paige out of Derek’s life, she figured if Ennis bit Paige she would become Ennis’ beta and Talia could order Derek to stay away from their pack members.”

Peter leaned forward and placed his head in his hands. “I didn’t realize Talia had gotten that bad. She kept me away from the family for the most part. I struggled to get time with Derek and Cora to train them. Mom must have known though because she ordered me to make sure they got the training that she and dad gave to me. Even though neither of them were alphas they felt it was important that I was trained and that I passed that training on to the pups.”

Noah moved closer and rubbed his back in comfort, he asked, already knowing the answer, “She’s going to be one of the problems isn’t she?”

Peter nodded and sighed. “Very much so. She will be pissed when she realizes that she’s lost this territory. She will likely attack to get the territory back even though we are her family.”

“She’s fucked with our lives enough I think. Time for us to draw a line in the sand. Those kids will be on the front line but we will be right there with them. We need to train them so she doesn’t have a chance. You know her strategies so you can train us to beat them.” Noah stated vehemently. 

Peter moved closer to Noah just enjoying the comfort, he decided ‘fuck it’ then leaned over and gave Noah a chaste kiss on the cheek, he murmured to quiet for any other wolfy ears in the house to hear, “I missed you so much, love.”

“Do we want to try and find Chris? Or should we wait till after we hand in the evidence?” Noah asked nervously.

“I think we should wait till after we finish the investigation and the Argents who have been breaking the code have been arrested.” Peter requests.

Noah pat Peter's knee as he stood for bed “I agree. Let's hope the boys don’t take too long in finding everything.”

Peter looked up and asked, "It must be killing you? Not being able to help them like you want to? Having to stay away from it to give you plausible deniability. Is there no way around that?"

Noah grimaced. "Like you wouldn't believe. If I knew of a loophole I would be exploiting it already."

Chapter Text

May 2006

Noah and Peter headed to the high school to check over the vault. Noah looked up at Peter as they walked across to the lacrosse locker rooms and said, “This brings back memories.”

Peter leered at Noah and snarked, “Especially those bleachers, or should I say, under those bleachers.”

Noah chuckled and shook his head. “Ever the smartass Peter. Promise me you will never change.”

Peter's face fell, and he had a serious look on his face as he pulled Noah to a stop in the middle of the field. “I didn’t want to leave. You know that, right? Talia threatened to kill you both if I didn’t.”

Noah leaned into Peter, “I know, I worked it out after I took in Derek. Once I understood the whole story it was easier to understand why you had to leave. I missed you, but I think, if you had stayed, I wouldn’t have Stiles.”

They started walking to the locker rooms again. Peter looked at Noah and asked, “Tell me about her? About Stiles mom?” 

Noah smiled, “Her name was Claudia Gajos, I met her while I was serving overseas with the Rangers. She was on vacation in France when we met and we got on well. Mom and Dad had been nagging at me to get married and to give them grandchildren. She knew when we married that I loved her, but she also knew that I was never in love with her.” Noah frowned, as he thought about it, “She was surprisingly ok with that. She died a few years ago after a long fight with Frontotemporal Dementia. It was really hard on Stiles, especially when she started to forget who he was. We had to put her in the hospital in the end because she was attacking Stiles.”

“Did she have magic? Usually, sparks like Stiles run in the family.” Peter asked as he pondered an idea.

Noah shrugged. “I don’t know, her family were not happy that she moved so far away. I never saw her use magic but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t magical.” Noah explained.

Peter frowned and he asked, “Where was she from?” He wondered if she was avoiding using magic that it might have caused physical issues.

“Her family are based in Nova Scotia, they have only visited a few times and Stiles has never been there to see them. Maybe they think he’s mundane.” Noah pondered.

“We could talk to them again when things settle down a bit. It would be good to get more info about Stiles and his abilities.” Peter suggested.

“That sounds good to me, I can contact her dad. Stiles loves his grandfather Gajos. He’s got a worse potty mouth than Stiles.” Noah grumbled.

They headed into Peter’s office in the vault and started to look around.

After about 30 minutes of searching, Noah asked, “Are you sure there will be information here about your scrambled memories?”

“If they are anywhere they will be hidden in here, it’s the only place I would have felt was safe to hide anything,” Peter replied.

“Is it possible the memories were removed before you could get here to hide the information? Before you realized there was a danger?” Noah put forward nervously.

Peter thinks about it. “Either that or she removed the memory of my hiding place from me. Who knows what that bitch did to my head.” Peter snapped out angrily.

“Is the meditation helping at all?” Noah asked.

“A bit, yes, the memories are coming back, they are just… scrambled… no order, no rhyme or reason to them. I will just keep trying and we can search when the boys are here.” Peter suggested.

Noah pulled him in for a long slow kiss, it seemed to be the best way to calm Peter down when thoughts of Talia were winding him up.

-x-

Stiles and Noah were enjoying lunch in Noah’s office planning out the summer break and what summer school classes Stiles wanted to start in a few weeks when they heard a knock on the office door.

Deputy Tara Graeme poked her head in the door and said, “Hey boss, there is a guy at the front desk asking for you.”

Noah put down his sandwich in resignation and he asked, “Did he give a name? Or a reason for asking?”

Tara shook her head and replied, “He asked for you specifically, and gave the name Chris. No details about what he wants.”

Stiles looked at his dad, concerned, which didn’t go unnoticed by the deputy. Stiles asked, “Do you want me to go hang out with Tara? I can bug her some more about the calculus worksheets Matt gave me.”

Noah silently nodded and headed out to the front desk, he whispered quiet enough so only Stiles could hear him, “Keep an ear on the conversation. If it’s who we think it is, text Derek and give him a heads up. Peter is still on the fence about finding him.”

Stiles followed Tara to her desk and pulled out the worksheets Matt had given to him as summer homework.

Noah got to the front desk and he slowed when he saw who was waiting for him. He took a good long look at his old friend. He hadn’t changed much, he looked nervous, while he was waiting in the reception area reading one of the random magazines. Noah thought he looked good in his dark jeans, blue button-up Henley and his piercing blue eyes that looked like they could drill down to your innermost thoughts.

Chris stood and walked to the desk and said with a bit of trepidation, “Noah, it’s been a while.”

Noah smiled, “It has, come on back Chris.” He gestured for Chris to follow him back to his office, he knew that Stiles would have taken that as confirmation and he would have warned Derek.

They both took a seat in the office. 

Noah moved his sandwich to the side and he asked, “So what's up, Chris? You haven’t been in Beacon Hills for nearly 15 years, I can’t see your father being happy that you’ve returned.”

Chris gulped and said, “He umm.. Well, he doesn’t know. I took Allison and ran. I am hoping that between the money trail I left and the orders he gave me all those years ago that he won’t think to look here.”

Noah's eyes widened. He just had to ask, “So why are you back then?”

Chris looked down at his hands and said softly, “I was looking for Peter. I went to the hospital but they said he checked out a while ago. My daughter is sick and I am hoping he can refer me to someone that can help her.”

They both looked up as Stiles brazenly walked into the office and sat in the other chair opposite Noah.

He looked at his dad pointedly and said, “Dad, he’s looking for an alpha.”

Chris reared back in shock. He exclaimed, “You know? You both know?”

Stiles being a right little asshole flashed his red eyes at Chris who’s jaw dropped in incredulity.

Chris snapped his mouth shut and looked at Noah then back at Stiles. He asked, “You’re the alpha? You’re what, 12?”

Stiles shook his head. He explained, “I’m an alpha but I am not ‘The Alpha’ for this territory.”

Noah smirked, and feeling safe with the secrecy wards embedded in his office he snarked, “We have a few alphas around here.”

Stiles stood up and turned to Noah, “I’m gonna find a deputy to run me home so I can have a chat with Derek. Why don’t you bring Chris and his daughter home at the end of your shift? I will sort dinner out for all of us.” He turned to Chris and asked, “Is she on any dietary restrictions?”

Chris shook his head, “No, my wife blocked all medical procedures. I am sure whatever you make will be fine.”

Noah confirmed this and said, “Sounds good kiddo. Good luck.”

Stiles just gave him a raspberry and told him to finish his lunch as he headed out of the office to see if Tara could take him home.

-x-

Stiles waved goodbye to Tara as he closed the front door then he yelled out “Derek? Peter?” as he walked into the house.

They came down the stairs and met Stiles in the kitchen. Peter asked, “What's going on, pup?”

Stiles gave Derek a dirty look when he realized that Derek hadn’t passed on the info to Peter about Chris turning up at the station. He looked at Peter, “Lunch was interrupted by a visitor. Chris Argent was looking for you.”

Peter stiffened and his face went suspiciously blank as he demanded, “Why?”

Derek and Stiles sensed Peter’s distress, regardless of the emotionless look on his face, and they both leaned over to give him a hug sandwich.

Stiles pulled back slightly so he could talk without sounding muffled and said, “He’s looking for an alpha, from the conversation I overheard and info from the Nemeton his daughter is sick and it sounds like he’s done a runner from his family. He was a bit shocked to find out that dad knew about wolves. The look on his face was priceless.”

Derek and Peter looked down at Stiles with the same incredulous look on their faces. Stiles chuckled, “Oh yeah, no poker face what so ever, especially when he saw my lovely red eyes. His jaw nearly hit the floor.”

Stiles wriggled out of the group hug and walked to the fridge, he started getting ingredients out to make a few lasagne. It was easy for him to prepare a couple of them so he could feed a bigger group.

Peter sat at the table with his laptop out so he could go digging into the current status of Chris Argent and his family.

From what he could see from the information his firm had on file, Chris still reported to the matriarch of the family, Dominque Argent, Chris’ mother. Neither she nor Chris had come up in any of the investigations they were currently running into the packs that had died. It looked like his wife Victoria split her time between living with Chris and following Dominque’s orders and working with Gerard.

Stiles looked at Peter and he asked, “Do we need to worry about the Argents coming to drag Chris home?”

Peter shook his head, “No, not for a while I think, it looks like Victoria is on assignment with Gerard and Kate. Chris has taken advantage of that and run. Following his money trail, it leads to New York, then out of the country.”

Stiles breathed a sigh of relief, “So we have a bit of time to prepare.”

Peter asked, “Is the Nemeton saying anything?”

Derek and Stiles both nodded. Derek muttered, “You’re not going to like it.”

Peter sighed in resignation, “Pack? I don’t mind, I just needed more time to confirm if he had knowledge of the fire and what his family were doing to stable packs.”

Stiles glanced at Derek and said, “Huh, they’re a package deal. The Nemeton is pretty determined that they have to both be bitten or neither of them can be bitten.”

Peter looked around and said almost to himself, “We are going to need a bigger house.”

Peter made a note to contact Delphine in the morning about housing options.

-x-

Stiles had just put the pans of lasagne in the oven as he heard the sheriff’s cruiser and an unfamiliar car pull up outside.

Derek and Peter headed upstairs to wait so they wouldn’t overwhelm Chris and his daughter. Peter also wanted to enjoy the look on Chris’ face when he walked in. He knew it was petty and unreasonable, but he had trusted Chris to stay and protect Noah when he couldn’t and he had been gutted to find out Chris had left. 

Noah walked in and led Chris and his daughter to the living room, Stiles followed them in as he announced, “Hey daddio, dinner will be done in about 40 minutes.”

Noah snagged Stiles around the shoulders before he could disappear back to the kitchen, “Chris, this is my son Stiles. Currently, the main chef in the house since I still can’t even boil water without destroying the pot and the oven.”

Stiles blushed then looked up as he heard Chris ask in shock, “You named your son Stiles?”

Noah grinned “No, we named him Mieczyslaw Genim Stilinski after his grandfather on the Gajos side. The problem is 90% of people completely butcher Mieczyslaw when they try to say it, this leads to an epic tantrum Stilinski style so we call him Stiles to prevent nuclear implosion.”

Peter walked down the stairs and snarked, “Or we occasionally call him Mischief when he’s being particularly troublesome.”

Stiles gave him a faux hurt look and walked back into the kitchen so he could finish cleaning up, he was tempted to flip Peter the bird but he decided to be polite in front of their guests.

Chris helped his daughter sit down on the sofa. “This is Allison, she has terminal leukemia that is now, thanks to her mother, beyond the level that chemo will help.”

Stiles' interest was peaked, so he wandered back into the living room and he leaned against a wall by the door to the kitchen so he could listen to the discussion while keeping an ear on dinner.

Derek sat on the sofa opposite the Argents and he asked, “What did she do?”

Chris looked at Allison who was looking a bit confused, “Victoria denied treatment of Allison’s cancer unless I agreed that she would start her training as soon as she was in remission. It was written into our marriage contract, the only clause I demanded, that any kids we had wouldn’t start formal training until they were 18.”

Allison frowned and asked, “Training?”

Stiles' eyebrows went up. Peter gave Allison an apologetic look then he tactfully asked Chris, “Does she know why she’s here?”

Chris shook his head, “As per our agreement outlined in the marriage contract I was forced to sign, she has remained unaware.”

Noah asked, “Forced?”

Chris smiled sadly, “Yes, forced. I either signed the marriage contract or you and Peter would be killed in front of me.”

Even Peter raised his eyebrows at this statement, “I was out of your life by that point Christopher. Out of both your lives, funnily enough, due to a similar threat from my own family.”

Chris looked at Peter, “Gerard had someone following you at Harvard, they reported on your movements for 2 years before your Uncle Dante caught them and slaughtered them. Gerard received his head as a warning to back off.”

Allison was starting to look green around the gills. Stiles walked over to her, “Do you want to join me in the kitchen for some hot chocolate while the adults duke it out. Clearly, they have issues.” She nodded and they headed into the kitchen.

After they had left the room, Peter joined Derek on the sofa opposite Chris and he asked, “What is it you are hoping I will do for you?”

Chris sighed and slumped in his seat, he said quietly, “Honestly, I just need the names of any alphas who may be willing to turn Allison, one or two who won’t care that she’s an Argent.”

Derek asked, “You do realize that if she is turned by an alpha they will expect her to remain in their pack. They won’t bite her if she’s likely to be mistreated or left to go omega.”

Chris nodded and said, “I know, I don’t care, I just want her safe and healthy.”

Stiles walked back in with Allison who was carrying a large mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows floating on top.

Stiles asked Chris, "Can you handle being part of a pack, part of a healthy werewolf pack? Can you handle having an Alpha that's much younger than you?”

Allison squeaked and asked, “Werewolf?”

Chris just pulled her onto his lap, gave her a hug and whispered in her ear, “I’ll explain later.”

She nodded and settled back on the sofa beside her dad to listen, the talking lulled her into sleep. Chris took the mug out of her hands and placed it quietly on the coffee table.

Derek leaned forward, “So here is the offer, it’s an all or nothing offer Chris. Either you both take the bite or you both find another alpha. We understand it’s a big decision but it needs to be made fast if she is to survive the turn.”

Chris looked at them and said, “I have a few questions first.”

Peter chuckled and handed Noah 5 dollars. 

Chris gave them both a deadpan look then focused on Derek and Stiles, “Aren’t you both young to be alphas? How are you alphas so young?”

Noah explained angrily, “Just over 18 months ago your sister, Kate, seduced a 15-year-old boy with the end goal of burning his entire family alive. This is something she has been doing across the USA for at least the last 4 years now. Due to the actions of Peter, she failed in her attempt to kill the entire Hale family. However, due to the fire, Talia decided to implement the lockdown protocol and left to parts unknown taking almost her entire pack with her. She left behind Peter who was in a coma in the hospital with burns to 50% of his body and Derek, who she felt was to blame, defenseless and omega. We think she expected the hunters responsible for the fire to take them both out.”

Peter interrupted before Noah could give too much away to non-pack members in his anger, "The rest is part of a longer story. A story that will be given once you have both taken the bite. However, Derek is this territories head alpha. He and Stiles work together on who will be pack, with advice from Noah and myself, as pack elders."

Chris nodded in understanding, he asked, “Ok, so if you know Kate is guilty of trying to kill your pack and maybe even other packs, why hasn’t she been arrested?”

Noah snorted, “Surely you are aware of your families prolific habit of bribing and maiming people so their merry band of murderous thugs never serve time?” he saw Chris was shaking his head so he continued, “If they can’t bury the evidence using planted cops or bribe their way out of charges, then they kill the officials in animal attacks or accidents until the case goes away. So we have been keeping the investigation to just the pack and a few private investigators that work for Peter.”

Chris steeled himself to ask one last question, “I agree to join your pack and take the bite, I would like to agree on Allison's behalf. Can I please request safe passage for Dominique Argent. I would like her to see us before the bite, just in case the bite doesn’t take. I may not agree with her actions as matriarch but she loves Allison. She hasn’t seen Allison for a few years now as Victoria always spirited her away when Mom was in town.” 

Stiles looked at the others and then nodded. None of their extensive investigations have shown Dominique being involved in any of Gerard and Kate’s shenanigans. He could tell that she was involved in something but it was not pinging on any of his searches into the various activities of Gerard and his merry band of psychopaths.

Peter and Noah nudged Derek who said, “Sure, she doesn’t have long to get here though. I am curious though, what actions?”

Chris checked his phone and answered absently, “She’s not far away. Only an hours drive by the looks of things. She’s the matriarch of the family, she has ordered most of the hunts over the years.”

Chris went out to the kitchen in an attempt to give himself the illusion of privacy as he called his mom and asked her to head to the sheriff's house quickly. She was already on her way to Beacon Hills, as she knew in her gut her son would head to Peter Hale. The others looked at each other and decided to let the Argents talk out their issues since they seem to have a communication disconnect.

Chris came back in to see Allison was awake again and she was chatting with Stiles about the local school. He took a seat beside her on the sofa and informed them that his mother would arrive in about an hour. 

Chapter Text

June 2006

Derek looked towards Allison then back to Chris. “Do you want to explain to Allison what’s going on? It’s my preference that she is fully informed and that she understands what she is consenting to before we do the bite.”

The group spent the next hour tucking into Stiles delicious lasagna meal while they explained to Allison about the supernatural world, about werewolves and werewolf packs. They went into detail about the role the Argent family were supposed to play in the supernatural world. Then they explained the code the Argent family should have been following. She was not stupid and she picked up on the subtext that some people in her family didn’t follow the Argent family code. 

They tidied up the dining room, stacked the dishwasher then with their coffees in hand they all moved back to the living room.

Stiles, when he saw the perfect moment looked at Chris and asked, “Have you ever heard the legend of the Alpha Pack?”

Chris nodded, “I think so, they are packs made up of alpha wolves who police the supernatural world.”

Stiles, Derek, Peter, and Noah all shook their heads.

Peter said, “They are a bastardization of the original Alpha Pack legend.”

Derek picked up the story, “Alpha Packs are created by Nemeta in times of great need. Times of foretold chaos. The last known Alpha Pack was created in Salem during the Witch Trials. Not so much to stop the witch trials but to prevent the executions from bleeding off to other supernatural races. They worked to cover up and prevent other types of supernatural activity around humans.”

Chris nodded slowly and Allison even though she was exhausted sat up to pay attention while everyone was talking around her.

Stiles moved and sat down on the sofa beside Derek, he said, “Six months after the Hale fire, around a year ago now, Derek and I were running patrols through the preserve when I didn’t move quick enough during a skirmish. I was attacked and badly injured by a harpy. Derek picked me up to race me to the hospital, but before he could move we were, well, transported for lack of a better word to the Nemeton. We ended up in a time dilation chamber inside the Beacon Hills Nemeton where an offer was made.”

Peter smirked, “From our research, this kind of offer has been made before. An offer was made to the original Hale alpha when we first moved to these lands in the 1500s. It was a pledge of sorts, a Hale alpha will have dominion over the Beacon Hills territory and in return, the Hale pack will do everything in its power to protect the land and its Nemeton. This arrangement was fine until about 70 years ago when the Hale pack did not protect the Nemeton when the Nemeton was poisoned and its power ritually bound.”

Derek continued the explanation, “It would appear that when Talia left with the pack, the ritual binding the Nemeton broke somehow enabling the Nemeton to heal enough to be able to approach us in its own way. There is a bit more to it than that, but that’s all we can tell you without you being part of the pack officially. I made a formal pledge to the Nemeton, that as a pack we would become this territories protectors, in return, I would become the Alpha of the Alpha Pack we are building...”

Chris suddenly heard a crackling noise, like the noise from a tesla coil and he saw Stiles holding a ball of lightning.

Stiles smirked while playing with the lightning ball, “and I would become the second for the new pack. The bonus is, due to the magic involved in how the alpha pack is created, I got to keep my spark.” Stiles dismissed the lightning and he got a serious look on his young face. “We have talked to the Nemeton about you both joining the pack. It says you don’t have long to make your decision before Allison will be too ill to turn. It estimates that you have 24 hours at most.”

Chris frowned and asked, “Why so young though? I understand turning you young. I am guessing the harpy attack was too much damage for conventional medicine, they are known to be vicious. But to make a 12-year-old an alpha is almost unheard of.”

Derek explained, “It is the way of the legendary alpha packs, they are always lead by the younger alphas, who are advised by the pack elders. Right now both Peter and Noah are our pack elders, Noah is still happily human but we have an agreement that we can bite him if he’s ever critically injured. Peter is also the pack’s left hand. You would come on board as another pack elder. It can take several years to build the pack before the foretold event, which is why they are always lead by the younger pack members. The Nemeton did say the time it would take for each beta to earn their alpha spark would be different for each person, as each will have their own demons to slay so to speak before they will be offered the alpha spark by the Nemeton.”

Derek, Stiles, and Peter all turned towards the door before everyone heard a knock. Noah stood up to let their guest in, he led her into the living room, she was tall, almost as tall as Chris with long dark hair in loose curls. Her eyes were a piercing blue, eyes that took in the room, she took one look at Allison and she pulled her into a hug. She hadn’t seen Allison for a number of years.

She looked around the room, and she was surprised to see Chris, Peter, and Noah in the same room. She asked with a steel tone to her voice “Christopher, what is going on?”

Chris gulped, audibly, “I ran mom. I took Allison and ran to get her the help she is going to need to survive.”

Stiles, Derek, Noah, and Peter headed to the kitchen to give the Argent family some space.

Dominque looked at Allison, she noticed her pale skin and lethargy. She looked up, “Why would you have to run to get the treatment?”

Allison rolled her eyes, and answered, “Because mom wouldn’t let the doctors treat me until dad changed the marriage contract they forced him to sign.” She saw her dad stiffen in panic and she asked defensively, “What? I have ears.”

Dominique gave Chris a hard look. “What. Contract?”

Chris gave her a blank look before he replied, “The contract you ordered Gerard to force me to sign when the marriage to Victoria was arranged.”

Dominique in her shock almost yelled, “WHAT!”

Allison looked at her and guilelessly asked, “Didn’t you know grandma?”

Dominique shook her head emphatically, she stated firmly, “Hell no, after being forced into a contract with Gerard by my own parents I swore that no child of mine would be forced to marry.”

She patted Chris’ knee, “Is that why you left Beacon Hills? Why you left Noah?”

“Gerard told me it was on your orders. He told me that if I didn’t leave and marry Victoria that you would have both Peter and Noah killed in front of me. Peter had left three months earlier and Noah had no idea about the supernatural. I didn’t want him involved so I agreed and married Victoria.” Chris explained angrily.

Dominique slumped in her seat, “Shit. What else has that asshole done in my name.”

Allison cried out, “Grandma!” at the same time as she heard something heavy hitting the coffee table.

The four men she saw earlier who had tactfully left the room were back and a thick folder had appeared on the coffee table.

Stiles snickered and whispered to his dad, “Her language is as bad as mine.”

Dominique looked across at the one in uniform, the sheriff, her eyebrow raised in question, but he just pointed at the youngest in the room.

Stiles gestured towards the folder, “That is a small sample of actions Gerard has taken as a member of the Argent family. Actions he has taken with help from Kate and at times Victoria. Actions we are 90% certain broke the code.”

Dominique leaned forward to pick up the folder but found a large hand covering it. She looked up to see the other teenager in the room was preventing her from reading the contents of the folder.

Derek looked up at Chris. “First the bite. You might want to explain that first. This is sensitive information.”

Chris nodded, he looked at Dominique and explained, “Allison has Leukaemia, and right now it’s terminal.” She gasped and hugged Allison tightly. “There is a chance the bite can cure her of the terminal cancer she now has. I came to find Peter in the hope he could point me to an alpha who would be willing to bite Allison and accept an Argent into their pack.”

Dominique looked at Peter with hope in her eyes. “Can you? Do you know such an alpha?” She pleaded.

Peter gave her a searching look, “Can you accept family members who willingly take the bite? I thought it was part of your family code that Argents who are bitten don’t survive past the next full moon?”

Dominique shook her head, “No, not at all, we have several werewolves in the French branch of the family. Accidental bites are a risk of being a hunter.”

Peter gestured to Derek, “Derek is such an alpha. He has made the offer to Chris and Allison. Part of that offer is that both Allison and Chris must take the bite and both must join the Hale Pack and stay in Beacon Hills. It would be preferred if you become at least pack adjacent for us to show you these files.”

Dominique looked at Chris and she asked, “Have you made your decision?”

Chris looked at Allison. “I am waiting for Allison's decision. I will do whatever she does. Derek has requested that she make her own decision about the bite.”

Allison looked at Derek, “Being a werewolf can cure my cancer?”

“If it takes. There is a chance of bite rejection. But we have it on good authority that you will likely survive if you are bitten tonight.” Derek explained.

Dominique looked at him with curiosity. Wondering who or what the authority is that can make such a pronouncement.

Allison stood, she was a bit wobbly. “I want it, I want to live, I want the bite.”

Chris stood behind her, and he supported her, “We both do.”

Derek and Stiles looked at each other and nodded. Derek asked “Now?”

Chris and Allison both nodded. Stiles led them to a sofa each, he told them both to lie down. Stiles explained, “Derek will do the bite on your sides, just above the hip, this is traditional when bringing a new beta into your pack.”

Derek changed to his beta shape, he flashed his ruby-red eyes, which prompted Stiles and Peter to flash their own red eyes in response, almost in reflex. Dominique gasped when she saw that all three were alphas. Stiles silenced her with a look, she was not expecting such a look from one so young. He almost felt to her like an old soul.

Stiles held down Allison while Derek bit her on the hip, Peter then did the same for Chris. Once the bites were done Stiles pulled out the first aid kit and helped Dominique dress their bite wounds.

Peter pulled out blankets, he made sure he covered them both. Allison was already fast asleep, she was exhausted after a long day. “Sleep, Christopher. You are exhausted. We will look after Mrs. Argent.”

Chris nodded and fell asleep, he trusted Peter and Noah to keep them safe.

Peter gestured for Dominique to follow them into the dining room, Stiles motioned her to a seat and set a plate of lasagne leftovers in front of her.

Noah looked at her and asked, “You must have questions after all that?”

Dominique just gave Noah a deadpan look and asked, “You think?”

Stiles pulled out the folder he had in the living room. “Before we show you this, we need a binding vow that you will not use this information against the pack.”

Dominique looked at him and she asked, “How binding?”

Stiles snapped his fingers so they sparked and grinned, “Magically binding.”

Dominique said firmly, “I agree.” She was willing to do anything to defend her son and granddaughter, this pack was looking like their best bet.

They went through the process of the vow. Dominique was careful with the wording so the vow only prevents her from using the information against the Hale Pack, but did not stop her using the information against other members of her family or the old Hale Pack that had abandoned this territory.

Derek slid the folder over to her, but he kept his hand on it. “Mrs. Argent, we started looking into the fire that came close to taking out our entire pack. What we have found is evidence of multiple stable packs taken out by Gerard, Kate and occasionally Victoria with an assortment of Argent affiliated hunters. Gerard runs it all from the background, organizing the chemicals and materials required to make sure the pack burns and can’t escape.”

Dominique got a hard look on her face, and she demanded, “What about Kate and Victoria? Surely they are just following orders.”

Noah raised an eyebrow, further proof that he had been spending too much time around the Hale boys. “Your orders?”

Dominique glared at him, “No! I would never order the execution of a stable pack, it serves no purpose, stable packs keep their areas safe, and they stop other more feral creatures from getting near the humans in their territory. Stable packs are important to prevent the exposure of the supernatural world.”

Stiles gently tapped his dad’s arm and whispered, “Lay off Dad, we already know she wasn’t involved. She wouldn’t be here if she was.” Louder he asked, “Derek can you go check on Chris and Allison, check on their bite wounds, please.”

Derek left, he knew what was coming.

Dominique watched him go in confusion. She couldn’t work out why the alpha would leave members of his pack with a hunter.

Peter tapped the folder and explained, “Kate’s involvement and to a lesser extent Victoria, is to seduce underage members of the packs they target, they drug the underage kids so they could rape them, the drug they use is a rare form of wolfsbane, a form that allows for the wolf to become more open to suggestion. They then have the poor kids believing they love them and they convince them to sneak them into the main pack house. From what we can tell they either convince the boys to tell them the locations of the secret exit tunnels that most wolf packs have, which they will happily do under the influence of the strain of wolfsbane they use, or they get the kid to sneak them into the house for an evening alone.”

Dominique glanced towards the living room, she motioned to Derek with a raised eyebrow in question, she didn’t want to voice her question out loud. Noah, Peter, and Stiles with stormy looks on their faces all nodded. She put her face in her hands, then steeled herself and pulled the folder towards her.

She spent the next 30 minutes flicking through the evidence printed out, receipts for chemicals that traced back to Gerard via shell companies. Camera evidence from obscure angles that showed Kate, Gerard and even Victoria close to the scenes of several pack annihilations. She knew though, that the evidence wouldn’t stand up in a human court of law.

Derek came back and made everyone a hot coffee before he sat back down at the table while Dominique was reviewing the file.

Dominique looked at Derek, “May I ask a few questions?”

“Ask away Mrs. Argent if I can’t or won’t answer I will tell you,” Derek answered nervously.

Dominique nodded in agreement, “Call me Dominique, please, all of you. I guess my first question is, how are they doing? Is the bite taking?”

Derek smiled, “They will be fine, I have moved Allison so she is asleep on some towels. Cancer tends to sweat it’s way out when someone is turning. I can feel pack bonds forming with both of them.”

Dominique looked relieved, she looked at the three wolves and asked, “So, how are you all alphas?”

Stiles looked at her shrewdly and stated, “This whole conversation comes under the term of our vow.”

“Of course, you have my most precious people in your pack. I could not, and would not betray them.” Dominique agreed.

Derek looked up, wary, “We are the beginnings of an alpha pack.”

Dominique looked at all of them and asked, “A true alpha pack?”

Stiles snorted and snarked, “We only have one true alpha.” He pointed at Peter.

Dominique’s jaw dropped. “You’re a true alpha?”

Peter grinned flashing his deep red eyes. “Yep, all thanks to Kate.”

Stiles gave him a filthy look, he admonished, “Peter!”

Peter just looked at Stiles, he was completely unrepentant, he still held on to some bitterness towards the Argents over being forced to leave Chris and Noah all those years ago.

Derek took over to try and reduce the friction, “Uncle Peter became a true alpha the night of the fire. He was able to force his way through a mountain ash line, even though it caused extreme burns to 50% of his body. Talia was not aware he had become an alpha before she left town.”

Dominique frowned, and asked, “Talia Hale left? She left you and Peter behind?”

“She violently broke the pack bonds and basically abandoned them. As far as we can tell the whole pack are living somewhere on the east coast on lockdown. We think she expected one of the rogue hunters in town to kill them. Fortunately, I got to them first.” Noah explained.

Derek nudged his shoulder with a smile on his face, “Noah was nice enough to give me a home, help get me back on my feet and made sure that Uncle Peter was as safe as he could be in the long term care ward. His injuries and the fact that the accelerant was laced with wolfsbane meant that he was in a coma for just over a year.”
 
Dominique shook her head and exclaimed, “Merde, what a clusterfuck.”

Stiles looked at his dad, “She must have Gajos blood too Dad. Her language is worse than mine, and even better, it’s bilingual.”

They all laughed at this, it released some of the tension in the room. 

Derek looked at Dominique then at Stiles, they both heard a whisper, “Tell her, she can help.”

The boys nodded together and Stiles asked, “Have you ever heard of the legend of the alpha pack?”

Dominique raised an eyebrow and answered, “It depends, are you referring to the packs of alphas that band together to bully small packs, or are you referring to the packs created by Nemeta to prevent future chaos or a future event?”

Peter sat up in interest and said, “The later, which begs the question, how does a hunter know about the legend? We haven't been able to find any mention of them in any of our history books except for one entry in a journal about an alpha that married into the Hale Pack coming from an alpha pack. This was in the late 1600s.”

“There have been a few alpha packs in history, the most recent being the Salem Witch Trials. This does not bode well if the local Nemeton has started one. Do you know why the pack is being created?” Dominique asked worriedly.

Stiles shook his head and answered, “No, not yet, the Nemeton just said its a time of great need, a great risk of exposure of the supernatural world is coming.”

Dominique nodded and then looked at Peter, “You were trained in all things by your Uncle Dante?”

Peter nodded slowly, he was not sure where this line of questioning was going.

“Did he ever teach you about The Council?” Dominique asked.

Peter nodded and hedged, “I think so, he said he didn’t know much, that the information was generally passed from alpha to alpha but he was given a bit of information when he was working on a case. He felt it was important that I knew but couldn’t say why.”

“The Council is a group like the UN but for supernatural elements. The information about the council and their role is generally only known by leaders in the various supernatural communities. The Council is made up of a cross-section of creatures, (sapient creatures capable of speech that is), hunters, and magic users. I have been on The Council for nearly 20 years. I think we need to use this evidence you have all gathered to remove a rogue element in the supernatural community.” Dominique stated while tapping the folder of evidence.

Stiles asked, “What does The Council do exactly?”

Dominique smiled as she went into detail, “We work to keep the supernatural world hidden, this can involve taking out rogue elements from all walks of the supernatural world, or perhaps cleaning up after a large scale exposure, sending magic users to modify memories, that sort of thing.” She looked at Peter, “We have been using your firm a fair bit lately, under well-hidden shell companies of course.”

Stiles tapped the folder of evidence and asked, “So we have been compiling this evidence over the last 18 months, myself and Derek mostly to be honest. Dad has stayed out of it so if it does go to the mundane courts he can’t be implicated if anyone points fingers at how we found some of the information. Plausible Deniability ‘n all that jazz. We have electronic records showing the sources for each bit of evidence so that we can at some point request search warrants to get the evidence legally.”

Dominique asked, “You have this for every bit of evidence in the folder? So if we were to send one of The Council technical team in they could find the same information?”

Stiles nodded grinning, “Dad taught us a lot about evidence gathering, so as long as it hasn’t been moved or deleted it should still be there.”

Dominique glanced towards the living room, “I don't suppose you have evidence of Victoria’s long absences from her family? Evidence of her involvement in Gerard’s activities?” she asked, the hope clear in her voice.

“We have it all cataloged so the evidence can be pulled up in many ways, I can pull the specific evidence on Victoria and create a copy for you. I have to ask why though?” Stiles asked in blatant curiosity.

“Blackmail, of course, darling. I think Chris and Allison both deserve their freedom from those monsters.” Dominique commented with a grin on her face. She looked at them all and she asked, “Would you be happy for The Council to prosecute this case? We generally use our council-run court system, this way we can use the supernatural elements in the case to make sure the sentence fits the crime. Minor players like the accomplices usually get passed on to the various human police departments once the ringleaders are dealt with. We will use the evidence you have gathered to create the case and have them charged. This will enable us to bring them in for questioning.”

Peter asked “Won’t it look suspicious that you are handing over the information? Especially when it’s your own family, your husband and daughter.”

She smirked and stated, “I won’t be the one handing it in. I think it should come from the Hale Pack. As victims, you will have a greater impact. I will help you with the reporting process.”

Peter smiled “Merci. Excuse-Moi, I will go check on our charges.”

Dominique looked at Derek, “If it is agreeable to you and your pack, I would like to request permission to move to Beacon Hills, quietly of course. Publicly my base of operations will still be from the family manor in France, but I would prefer to be close to my son and granddaughter. I would like to watch her grow but also I would like to help with your pack. Ideally, I would like to become pack adjacent.”

Stiles considered this and shrewdly said, “It could be good to have a Council member close by for what’s to come, whatever it ends up being.”

“I think we can work something out.” Derek agreed, he stood and reached out and shook her hand.

Noah yawned. “Right, it’s way past our bedtime, we are all going to sleep down here to keep an eye on Chris and Allison. You are welcome to join us or use one of the beds upstairs. 

Stiles snarked, “At least I don’t have school tomorrow, just a tutoring session with Matt and our weekly meditation.” He scampered off to get the blanket pile from the cupboard upstairs.

They all settled in for a restless night.

Chapter Text

June 2006

They all woke up bright and early the next morning. Stiles stuck to his usual morning routine, being the first one awake he snagged the bathroom for a quick shower. He then headed down to make breakfast. On the way to the kitchen, he set the first aid kit on the coffee table.

Peter listened carefully to make sure Stiles remembered to turn on the coffee machine. Once he heard that satisfying ‘click’ he turned to Chris and asked, “How are you feeling? Do you need a dressing change?”

Chris considered this and he answered, “Buzzy.” 

“You will feel a bit off for a little while as your senses kick in.” He looked across at Allison who seemed to still be asleep but she appeared to be in a lot of pain through her change. “Allison’s change will likely take longer due to the cancer the bite is having to eradicate.”

Chris asked, “How much longer?” 

Peter shrugged, “To be honest it's not clear, maybe a day or two longer to fully heal and for her senses to kick in like yours. It all depends on how widespread the cancer is. From what the boys were saying the cancer was close to being too far advanced for the bite to take.” He looked up the stairs and listened as the shower shut off. “Do you have your bags in the car? The bathrooms about to be free so its a good time for both you and Allison to grab a shower.”

Chris nodded and he headed outside to grab their bags from his rental car while Peter gently woke Allison.

After a quick shower and a dressing change for Allison, they both headed into the dining room and joined everyone else for breakfast.

Noah scowled at Stiles when he saw the laptop on the table, he barked out, “Stiles! What's the rule?”

Stiles looked up with guilt written all over his face, he hadn’t realized that everyone had joined him at the table. “Umm no laptops on the table with food. But I gotta tell you Daddio, I was here first…”

Noah picked up the laptop and he moved it to the sideboard, he compromised, “You can have it back after breakfast.”

Stiles poked his tongue out at his dad then turned to Peter, “I was looking for somewhere to build a pack house. We are definitely going to need a bigger house for the pack, we just need a big enough plot of land that we can build on that's near the preserve.”

Peter shook his head, “We don’t need to look for the land. Mom and Dad’s lawyers got in touch. It turns out there was a magically binding clause in the will. Delphine and Ralph are waiting for their lawyers to send a notarized copy of the will to confirm the details, but apparently, when the alpha spark was gifted to the first Hale to protect this territory certain terms were made magically binding. The main term that affects us is that the oldest Hale would inherit the land from their parents even if they are skipped for Alpha, but if whoever inherits leaves the territory for more than a year the land would go to the next oldest Hale that remained in the territory.”

Noah asked, “So that means since Talia hasn’t returned since they all left, the will has enforced the land being passed to you, Peter. Surely she knew of the clause in the will?”

“Yes, she either knew and doesn’t care or she has forgotten, either way, it’s a win for us. The lawyers mentioned they tried to get in touch with her but she is still uncontactable. In truth, she probably doesn’t care because she probably assumes both myself and Derek were killed by the hunters who set fire to the house. This would mean the land wouldn’t change hands.” Peter smiled his ‘cat who got the canary’ smirk and he smugly said, “I am sure we can find the right place to build a new pack house now that the entire preserve is in my name.” Peter said smugly.

Stiles made grabby hands at his dad for his laptop. Noah sighed and passed it over muttering about bad habits.

Stiles just rolled his eyes and pulled up google maps for the area, he asked, “Peter, do you have maps of the preserve boundaries? I was thinking we could find somewhere near the edge of the preserve that we can build a few houses on.”

“I have some maps in the vault, it would be good to get a copy of what the city has in the records too. We will need to see what the rules are for building in the areas we are considering.” Peter pondered.

Derek looked over Stiles' shoulder at the map imagery, contemplating an idea he had, he nervously said, “What if, well, what if we make like a gated community, we can put it in the preserve down a private road, but near the nicer side of town. Being behind gates, we can ward the whole community as well as the individual houses.”

Stiles rubbed his hands together like a villain mastermind as he grinned, “It also will give us a bit of leeway to extend the underground tunnels to each of the houses, which will give us a bit more protection. I was also thinking the main pack house could have a large area underground for training.” He looked over at Peter and asked, “Are there supernatural contractors we can use, ones willing to have the memories of the build removed when they are done?”

“There are, why don’t you and Derek start drawing up some ideas for both the main pack house and the smaller houses while we sort some accommodation for the Argents and get this report started for The Council. Is everything up to date on the server?”

Stiles nodded absently, he was already buried in the various maps as he pointed out possible areas to Derek.

Chris looked at Noah and asked, “Is there anywhere near here that’s up for rent? Somewhere that would fit the three of us?”

“I am not sure, I haven’t heard of anything, Peter can check with Delphine though. She has a sixth sense for what’s needed before it’s needed. She’s like Radar from M.A.S.H.” Noah snarked.

Chris frowned, it wasn’t a name he recognized, so he asked, “Delphine?”

Noah grinned “Peter’s assistant. She runs his firm with an iron fist. Peter is still supposed to be healing and getting plastic surgery in a clinic out of the state.”

Peter pulled out his phone, “Let me text her, it will probably be quicker than trying to find the info ourselves.” 

To Delphine: Any houses near the Stilinskis up for rent? Need at least 3 bedrooms for 6-8 month term, prefer available now.
From Delphine: How close?
To Delphine: The closer the better, two new wolves... and a hunter.
From Delphine: Yikes Boss. Two doors down across the road, no preserve access but happy to take short term lease, fully furnished. Number 11. I can get an inspection booked for tomorrow afternoon. They can move in as soon as the contract is signed.
To Delphine: Do it, if they don’t take it, I will.
From Delphine: Want me to find you a place close by?
To Delphine: Not yet. Thanks though. Can you organize for a couple of king-sized mattresses and linen to be dropped off at the Stilinskis tomorrow, please? 
From Delphine: On it, see you tomorrow.

Peter dropped his phone into his pocket. He looked at Chris and said, “She’s set up an appointment to view number 11 tomorrow afternoon. It’s available now for a short term lease. It’s two doors down and across the road.”

Noah remarked, “That’s right, the Thompsons moved out a few months ago.”

Peter asked, “Do you have an ID that you can use that won’t be traced back to you or would you prefer we do it under the pack name?”

Chris and Dominique had a quick silent conversation that consisted entirely of eyebrow twitches and eye rolls, Dominique answered, “Pack name I think. Gerard is going to be pissed that Chris has disappeared. As far as he knows, right now I am in my yearly lockdown in my Virginia Manor, with my assistants confirming that I am only available for emergencies otherwise I am incommunicado. I would prefer for nothing to give away that I am no longer there.”

A very pale looking Stiles looked up from his laptop and asked, “What does he think you are doing while you are there?”

Dominique worried about how shaken the young wolf looked she replied, “I am not sure, to be honest. I am normally there when I am going over casework for The Council. Ensuring processes and procedures were followed correctly for each case. He doesn’t know I am on The Council so I have told him various excuses in the past. Why?”

Stiles turned the laptop around as it showed a CNN news report of a house explosion in Virginia, he answered “Because he just tried to assassinate you. All of you. Police reports in the area have all three of you on the missing persons list, they also have your two staff members listed as missing.”

Noah gave Stiles the side-eye “Aren’t you using the wrong laptop to be digging into police reports?”

Stiles nodded “I was about to swap over and do some digging, this was just a Google Alert I had set up on the names of prominent members of the Argent family.” He raced off to grab his clean laptop and the data hotspot he used for hacking.

When he got back with of all his ‘clean’ equipment he set himself up at the table between Chris and Dominique and he started digging into the Virginia FBI files, he ignored the gasp of surprise he got from both of the Argents and pulled up the sparse details they had on the house explosion.

Stiles explained what he was finding as he came across the data. He asked absently, “Did the manor have wards?”

“Yes, fairly extensive wards, but they must have failed,” Dominique confirmed.

Stiles shook his head, “No, I don’t think they failed, I think they exploited a loophole. The reports are still coming in, they are looking similar to what you see in a war zone. The house is toast. Did Gerard or Kate know about the wards?”

Dominique shrugged “I didn’t think they knew about the property, to be honest with you. It’s one I inherited from a distant Aunt that was not listed on the marriage contract as Argent property. It’s only ever used by myself and two assistants, they work for me doing Council business.”

Chris piped up, “I didn’t even know about it and I am a lot closer to mom than the others in the wider Argent family.”

Noah stepped up behind Stiles and looked at the crime scene photos from the report, “It looks like the damage you would see from an RPG.” He speculated.

“It does. I know Gerard has been acquiring larger weapons. I had no idea he was going to try this though.” Chris confirmed.

Derek weighed in “We could use it to our advantage. Gerard’s guard will be down, we can use this to make our report to The Council and give them time to make their move while the three rogue Argents are distracted with the FBI investigation.”

Peter got an almost feral grin on his face, he smugly said, “That’s perfect, good thinking Alpha.”

Stiles got up and pat Derek on the back as he went to his stash of hard drives, he pulled out a new large capacity hard drive and brought it back to the table. “Dominique, is there someone you trust in The Council to pass on the hard copy of the data, someone who you trust enough to let them know you are still alive and loop them into what’s going on?”

“Yes, Alpha Connor James. I trust him to keep the secret and he will make sure the investigation happens quickly while Gerard is distracted. He will know to work quickly, and he will make sure they are captured before they have a chance to run from another investigation.”

Peter looked at her, surprised. “You know Alpha James?”

Dominique smiled and confirmed, “Yes, I do a lot of work with him, especially on werewolf and hunter cases. He’s a good friend.”

Stiles pulled all the data from the server from their investigation and he started loading it to the new hard drive. He asked, “Is there a secure server I can upload all this too? Just as a backup.”

“Sure, Connor has a secure Amazon S3 account, I will get him to forward you a login so you can upload it all,” Dominique confirmed.

Noah led her to their office so she could start making her phone calls.

-x-

Saturday found Peter, Derek, and Stiles in the preserve working on their full shift transformations. Derek and Stiles felt they were getting close to the full shift.

They each took turns so they had their anchor as suggested in the journal they found. The journal also suggested if they didn’t want to ruin their clothes when they finally shifted to either attempt it naked or to wear very loose clothing so they were all wearing loose sweatpants.

Derek was working on his shift while Peter watched and Stiles read through a journal he had found buried in Peter’s library when the next thing they saw was a huge black wolf in his place with brilliant red eyes. Stiles whooped loud and glomped onto Derek. 

Derek stepped out of his pants which had pooled by his back feet then he stood patiently while Peter walked around him gauging his size and trying to work out what sort of wolf he was. Size-wise he was around 6ft long not including his tail and his body was just over waist height on Peter. He thought the closest wolf by the description would be the Dire Wolf. He remembered reading about the Dire Wolf in his family's bestiaries, they were listed as extinct. Something they would have to research for sure. 

Peter had a feel of his coat which felt like what he would expect from a wolf. “Can you change back Der?”

Stiles stood back to give Derek time to concentrate on changing back to human. Derek sat down in his wolf form, about five minutes later Derek was sitting in human form looking a bit dazed. 

Stiles asked, “Sourwolf, are you ok?”

Derek nodded. “Yeah, damn… that was intense.”

“So the journal said to change a few times back and forth to get the hang of it,” Stiles suggested.

Peter handed over a bottle of water so Derek could have a drink before his next attempt.

Half an hour later Derek was able to easily shift back and forth between the two forms. He pulled his sweatpants back on and sat down with the journal.

“Ok, so the journal is right... and wrong. The trick isn’t accepting the wolf, it’s giving yourself over to your wolf completely. You have to give up all control. That’s why you need the anchor to remind you of your humanity and also why it is so hard for the human side of us. Once you have the change nailed, you will be able to pull the wolf to the surface without giving up control. Ugh, I am not explaining it well, but once you do it you will understand what I mean.” Derek tried to explain.

Stiles decided he wanted to try next. He had met his wolf plenty of times during his meditation sessions but he couldn’t seem to find that switch to shift. He took the advice from Derek into his meditation and he relaxed into his wolf, giving up all control, he felt the change and when he looked down he had paws.

Peter walked around him and he was a dark grey wolf with a few lighter grey patches. He was smaller than Derek but that made sense since he was still growing. He sat and thought about his humanity, watching Peter as he sat, and the next thing he knew he was human again. He decided to get it over and done with and switched back and forth fairly quickly. He decided to leave the magic attempts in wolf form until he was more confident in his wolfy abilities.

He stood to put his pants back on then turned to Peter and he asked, “Your turn?”

Peter shook his head. “I think I will need more time to work with my wolf before giving over control. It’s still a bit damaged by the coma, the scrambled memories are not helping either.”

Stiles had a look of pure mischief on his face and he turned to Derek and suggested, “Shall we head back in our full shift? Ambush dad?”

They both shifted to their wolves and sprinted toward the house. Peter grabbed their backpacks and pants and started to head back to the house.

-x-

A few days later Stiles and Derek sat down with Peter and they went over the various land options open to them. They decided to do this while the Argents, with help from Noah, were getting settled in the house across the road.

Stiles asked Peter, “So Ralph confirmed that the land is now yours?”

Peter nodded with a smug grin on his face. He confirmed, “Even city hall records have magically updated to have me as the owner of the entire Beacon Hills Preserve. Even better the records updated to show that I inherited the land from Mom and Dad. So Talia can’t claim I stole it from her.”

Stiles fist-pumped, Derek pulled up Google Maps on the laptop and he explained, “We were thinking this would be a good place to build.” He pointed at an area at the border of the preserve, “It’s close to town and especially the fire station and sheriff station, but it’s surrounded by enough trees that the area we were thinking of building on would be private. It's also close enough to the… well… better end of town that we will be able to get away with building a gated community without too many questions being asked.”

Stiles butted in, “There is enough room for a really big pack house but also room for around 10 normal sized houses without having to clear too many trees.”

Peter had a close look at the map “It looks good, would you want it to be fully gated or just along the main entrance?”

Stiles shrugged, so Derek commented, “As long as we have easy access to the preserve I am not fussed. Whatever is safer I think.”

Peter took note of the location then he asked, “And the main den? You mentioned underground areas?”

Stiles nodded enthusiastically as he explained, “Yeah, we were thinking for safety, well... and winter, we could have a dojo set up, and maybe a target range setup for shooting and archery, that way we can train under the radar.” He whispered, “Can we have a big library please?”

Peter and Derek both chuckled. Stiles' addiction to books was legendary, it almost rivaled Peter’s bibliophile tendencies. “I am sure we can work that into the plans. Any other requests? I am going to talk to the architects tomorrow.”

Derek asked, “A couple of offices for pack business? Room in the library for all of the pack to study and do homework?”

Stiles bounced in his seat, “A big room with just a giant mattress on the floor for pack puppy pile nights. Like what you set up in our basement. Me and Derek want to share an office, so can you make one of the offices as really big. Please.”

Derek put his hand on Stiles' shoulder to stop his bouncing. “Chill. And its Derek and I, not Me and Derek.”

Peter laughed, “I have added them all to the list, we will see what the architect comes back with.

Stiles suggested, “Why don't we make it like a private lane, 3 or 4 houses on each side, then the main pack house at the end. Make it long enough so there is room to expand later if we need too. Also, can we look at swipe card access with an intercom system?”

Peter nodded, he liked that they were thinking of the safety of the pack, he didn’t want his pack caught unawares again.

Chapter Text

September 2006

It took a few months, but the investigation by The Council was finally completed. Using the evidence provided by the pack they were able to follow the trail to find evidence of several more packs that had been annihilated by Gerard and his hunters both in the US and in Europe. Evidence showed that Gerard used Kate and Victoria to seduce younger members of each pack, often underage members, and there was clear evidence of the drug-assisted rape of many young wolves. The investigators were able to trace the purchase of large quantities of Aconitum Docilem Praebebis to Gerard Argent, this is a strain of wolfsbane, pink in color that in a liquid form can make younger werewolves biddable and open to suggestion.  

Before the trial started Dominique paid a quick visit to Victoria. “Victoria. I would ask how you were, but I have to admit I don’t actually care if I am honest.”

Victoria sneered at Dominique, she had been hoping that the Argent matriarch had died in the explosion of her Virginia Manor house. “What do you want?”

Dominique threw the paperwork down on the table between them. “Sign these and I can be on my way.”

Victoria, still cuffed to the table, picked up the paperwork to have a read through. She found both divorce papers and papers signing full custody of Allison to Chris with no visitation rights for her or her family. Shocked, she threw them down in disgust. “Hell no. Why should I sign these.”

“If you sign those I will plead for leniency in your case. Leniency for you alone.” Dominique explained.

Victoria sneered, “So life in prison instead of death?”

“Oh, you poor delusional dear. There are far worse things in this world than death. Death would be leniency. Have you ever heard of the Bloody Eagle?” Dominique asked with a downright evil smirk on her face.

Victoria paled and asked, “If death is on the cards why bother getting me to sign the papers?”

“Simple. It’s to keep your family, the Fowler hunting family, away from a new wolf and his pup. I don’t trust them not to fight for custody just so they can kill another wolf or two.” Dominique clarified, still smirking.

Victoria thought about what she just heard, it took her a few seconds then she hissed in displeasure. She said through clenched teeth, “Abominations. They should have followed the code like all good hunters!”

Dominique smirked at her before she asked, “Why? You sure as shit didn’t.”

Victoria held her hand out for a pen and quickly signed the papers. She was as prejudiced as the rest of her family and she wanted nothing to do with any wolf, even if it was her daughter. 

Dominique left the room with the signed papers in her hand, she saw Peter leaning on the wall outside the door.

He smirked at her and said, “Darling Dominique, that was downright vicious.” He chuckled as they walked away he asked “The bloody eagle?”

Dominique grinned at Peter and said “What? I didn’t say it was an option, I just asked if she had heard of it.”

-x-

The Council was gathered in a large conference room. They had rented out the conference room and several hotel rooms in a San Francisco hotel owned by a werewolf couple. It allowed for warding stones to be set up in the room and in the surrounding rooms without too many questions. This would allow for secrecy, privacy and so that witnesses could testify without having to view the accused. There were not many witnesses in this case as most had been killed by Gerard and his loyal hunters. Peter had been called to testify about Kate’s actions at the Hale house, Noah was called to testify in the discovered coverup of the Hale fire, and Chris to testify in the actions of his family that he was aware of. Chris knew though that much had been hidden from both himself and his mother. 

The Council had decided beforehand that they would not be putting Derek Hale on the witness stand to testify for Kate's actions, they already had his sworn statement. Derek, Stiles, and Allison were attending but they were sequestered to a side room, they would only be present in the main conference room if they needed to answer any questions.

Dominique had recused herself from the trial proceedings, however, she would be testifying where she could. Officiating over the trial were the rest of the council. Alpha Connor James, Alpha Roderick “Rod” McGuire, both werewolves, Connor was based in the United States, in Texas, while Rod was based in Europe, in Scotland. There was also another hunter, Emilio Kenyon, he was based in Columbia. Hunters and werewolves made up the bulk of the supernatural community so they each had two representatives on The Council. The other representatives were Morgan Butcher, a wendigo, Orlando Gilbey, a vampire, Salvatore Collingwood, an incubus, Leanne O’Dowd, a were-tiger and the magic users, Felicia Kirkbright, a witch, Eric McCluskey, a druid and Stiles Aunt, Regina Gajos, a spark. Dominique had given her proxy vote to Alpha Connor James to prevent any ties in the voting.

Evidence had been sent, as an anonymous tip, to the relevant civilian authorities for prosecution on the hunters that were Gerard’s accomplices, this included those who had accepted bribes to cover up the various crimes so that they would be prosecuted once Gerard and his deep pockets were no longer able to get them off the many charges, including possession of illegal firearms charges. 

The various civilian authorities were being closely monitored by The Council representatives to ensure that appropriate action was taken on each of those charged and that their crimes were not just swept under the carpet. Most of the hunters would be looking at long terms for multiple counts of assault and arson at the very least. A few were even looking at murder charges.
 
Gerard, Kate, and Victoria were all tried at the same time, this was to save having to try each crime separately. Dominique stood to speak on Victoria’s behalf before the trial to express her wish for leniency as her involvement was less involved than Gerard and Kate. Alpha James was aware of the deal made in relation to the divorce and custody papers and would bring that up during the private sentencing deliberations. 

The Council members were all seated at the front of the room at a large series of tables in a horseshoe shape. Each was seen taking copious notes during the trial to add to the large folders full of the documented evidence they each had in front of them. Statements from each of the witnesses were also included in each folder. The witnesses were present to answer any questions from The Council and to get closure by finally seeing justice done. 

They all agreed that the evidence gathered was very thorough, in-depth and it was clear to see a lot of effort had gone into gathering it all together. They would be recommending a career in investigations for the young men who compiled the bulk of it.  

Gerard, Kate, and Victoria were brought in and cuffed to the table in a specially warded section of the room. It was warded to be silent for most of the proceedings. Gerard was very vocal in his anger about being tried for ‘doing what needed to be done’ and ‘ridding the word of filthy animals’. It was better for everyone that his insanity was not on display. The silencing ward was only removed from the area if The Council had questions. 

Salvatore Collingwood opened up the questioning by calling Noah to the witness box.

“Sheriff Stilinski, it is my understanding that you had doubts about the Hale fire being an accident. Why did you not push for your deputies to investigate?”

Noah took a deep breath to gather himself. Having deputies in his department willing to close an investigation for money was abhorrent to him. “I had my doubts and I discussed them with Ralph Vilkas, Peter’s lawyer, he suggested testing the waters first with a brief note in the file about Kate Argent's involvement. So I added a note to say she had been seen with Derek Hale in town, prompting for it to be looked into. I looked at the file the next day and the note was gone. It was gone to the point of the note never having existed in the first place, the logs had been altered so there was no evidence of me placing the note in the file or the file being changed afterward.”

Salvatore paced as he thought about what to ask next, Leanne O’Dowd got his attention and handed over a post-it. He turned and asked, “If you suspected one of your officers of being on the take why did you not investigate and remove them?”

Noah sighed and replied, “I had a… well, a feeling that the Hale fire was all part of a bigger issue and I figured if I took out a small fish too early the other bigger fish would go to ground making the whole thing harder to investigate. I confirmed my theory with Ralph who agreed. He also helped me put software on the station servers that would back up case notes and evidence files and keep an eye out for intrusions or where notes no longer matched. Where the notes were different or information was removed outright we have kept that data and we will add it to the relevant cases once the officers on the take have been removed and the disparity in the notes has been reviewed by a senior officer. I am not sure if they were acting on all supernatural related cases or if they were acting on specific orders in specific cases.”

Salvatore quickly asked, “Why wait till after the officers were removed?”

“We made sure none of the cases had gone to trial and we also gave the DA David Whittemore a heads up if he was pushing for a specific case to go to trial that had altered evidence. He was pretty good at delaying cases where there was a need,” Noah confirmed.

Salvatore asked, “Is DA Whittemore in the know about the supernatural?”

Noah shook his head and answered, “No, not that I am aware of. We just let him know that we had an ongoing case of evidence tampering and that we were snagging the cases until the offender is arrested. The Hale fire is the most high profile of the cases.”

Salvatore gave a small half-bow to Noah and said, “Thank you.”

Noah looked to the rest of The Council to ensure no one else had questions and when no one stood he returned to his seat between Peter and Chris. Both leaned into him to offer silent support. He looked up and saw his sister-in-law Regina pass a note to her neighbor.

Felicia Kirkbright stood and asked for Chris to take the stand.

Chris nervously stood and sat in the witness box.

Felicia patted his arm and said gently “Relax, we have already confirmed your absolute innocence in all this. We just have questions around how far you were kept in the dark, amongst other things. Can you tell me the circumstances that led to your marriage to Victoria? The full circumstances.”

Chris looked to Peter and Noah as if to ask permission. Both nodded slightly so he sighed and said, “In high school, I was in an unusual relationship. One we kept pretty well hidden for, well, reasons… Noah and I had been dating since late in our freshman year, he had no idea about the supernatural or that I was a hunter. During our Junior year, we discovered we were both attracted to Peter and he to both of us so we started dating as a triad, it was rocky but it worked for us. Noah again had no idea that Peter was a werewolf, and boy was that a hard secret to keep, Peter’s control of his shift was thankfully enough to keep it hidden. Peter knew Talia would never approve of Noah being brought into the secret and he was adamant that she would never approve of me. This was proven at the end of our Senior year, Peter’s junior year, Talia gave Peter an ultimatum, he had to choose between his family and pack or us. I talked to Noah and we agreed we couldn’t take Peter away from his family so we made him choose them. I am not sure if threats were made to cement the decision but he was sent away to his Uncle Dante for his senior year and college.”

Chris took a breather and had a drink of water from the bottle Felicia gave him. “A few months later Gerard approached me. He told me that Mom had ordered our relationship to end as I had to marry the daughter of another hunting family, he said if I didn’t end the relationship and sign the contract, that Mom would have Peter and Noah killed in front of me for my disobedience. I was sent away to live in Florida to run the local branch of Argent Arms. I was kept out of the hunting side of things while based in Florida, I was left alone for the most part to run the branch there as a standalone business, I dealt mostly with law enforcement and private security orders from the east coast. Victoria did any hunting that Gerard requested, even after she had Allison, I stayed at home with Allison while Victoria went on hunts with Gerard and Kate. I wrongly assumed these were ordered by Mom.”

Felicia asked, “When did you find out otherwise?”

“Mom and I had a long talk after Allison and I took the bite. I found that most of what I assumed was wrong. She was majorly pissed when she found out about the marriage contract. She would have never had agreed to such a thing. She was forced into her marriage with Gerard and was vehemently against arranged marriages. She was not aware of my relationship at school and I have no idea how Gerard found out, but she has since met Peter and Noah and has approved of the relationship if we decide to try again.”

Felicia gaped “You, a hunter willingly took the bite?”

Chris just nodded, he was not willing to give away pack secrets, especially not in such a public forum.

Felicia took a post-it from Morgan Butcher and asked, “Did Victoria, or for that matter, Gerard and Kate, ever tell you what happened during these hunts, did they ever tell you how the hunted broke the code?”

Chris shook his head, “To be honest I was not keen on the hunter life, on what Gerard was offering, I only stayed in the family, in the marriage, to keep Peter and Noah and eventually Allison safe. I had it written into the marriage contract before we married that Allison would not be trained as a hunter until she was 18. It was the only clause I demanded, that any children we had were kept out of the hunting life until they were 18. I barely had any contact with Mom during my marriage. I was not aware that whenever she would try to visit Victoria would take us on a holiday so we weren’t around. I kept to my end of the marriage contract and had no contact with either Peter or Noah until Allison’s life was on the line due to Victoria’s actions.”

Eric McCluskey interrupted and asked, “What actions?”

Chris answered sadly, “Allison was diagnosed with leukemia, it was advanced enough when the diagnosis came through that she needed chemotherapy for her to be able to fight it, Victoria was refusing to allow the treatment until I agreed to allow her to be trained as soon as she was in remission. By the time she gave in it was too late and it had advanced too far for chemo to be effective. That was the line for me, that was what pushed me into escaping.”

Felicia looked at Dominique and asked, “You have sorted this I take it?”

Dominique nodded silently. She knew Alpha James would explain in the sentencing deliberations.

Chris asked, “Did you have any other questions?”

Felicia looked down at her notes and glanced at the rest of The Council before she said “No, no further questions. You can take a seat.”

Chris stepped out of the witness box and Noah moved over so Chris could sit between himself and Peter, this time they leaned into Chris for comfort and Dominique leaned around Noah to pat his knee.

Emilio Kenyon stepped forward. He requested the silencing ward be removed from the accused. “Do you have any last words in your defense?” He asked snidely.

Victoria shook her head and stayed silent. She was not ruining her chance for leniency. Chris saw the silence as an admission of guilt, his eyes inadvertently flashed a bright gold.

This set off both Kate and Gerard who just started screaming out abuse. You could see the spittle flying from Gerard's mouth. It was hard to make out the words from them both as they were screaming over the top of each other. Kate seemed sure she was going to get off since as far as she was concerned beasts had fewer rights than real humans. Gerard was making even less sense. Emilio let them rant for a few minutes until they started to wind down. He then turned and requested the silencing ward be replaced.

He pinched the bridge of his nose as he saw the stunned look on the faces around him. “Right, so I think we can assume that they have no actual defense other than insanity.” He could see Gerard and Kate still screaming behind the silencing ward. He turned to The Council and asked, “Shall we deliberate?” They all nodded.

The pack stood and left to go to the room that the kids were sequestered in while they waited for the sentencing. They hoped they wouldn’t have to wait long to hear the outcome.

Surprisingly they were summoned back in 5 minutes later by Regina, she gave Stiles a quick hug and whispered in his ear that she would catch up with him after the trial process was over. Noah asked her “What about the kids?” 

Regina looked at each of the kids and considered them. She looked at Stiles and asked, “Stiles?” She could see that stubborn tilt to his chin. He nodded, implying that he wanted to see the outcome. She sighed “Fine. Allison?” Allison shook her head, she was quite happy to live in denial for a bit longer. Regina asked “Are you ok in here on your own for a little while? I can ward the door so only the pack can get in if you like.”

Allison looks at her dad who nodded, she asked quietly, “I have a book so I will be fine, but can you ward the door please?”

They all marched out and Regina set the ward on the door after everyone had left. As they settled back into the conference room they noticed that Gerard and Kate were still ranting while Victoria was sitting calmly, rolling her eyes at their lack of decorum.

Emilio stood silently at the front as he waited for everyone to settle. As this was a case against hunters breaking the code (and stomping on it six ways from Sunday if he was completely honest with himself) he took the lead in the trial. He looked at Kate and Gerard and requested that the silencing spell be lifted one way, so they could hear the verdict.

Emilio stood tall and turned to face the accused. He gestured towards the folders and he said, “We have gone through the evidence collected by various parties over the last 2 years. This evidence pointed at a disturbing breach of the code, multiple packs attacked, annihilated by your actions. Sending in women who used a rare strain of wolfsbane to seduce young members of the pack, younger male members, all of whom were underage. You coerced them into relationships they would have never had agreed to without the wolfsbane in their systems, convinced them to sneak you into their houses, showing you the secret entrances and how to easily stop the families from escaping, you would then often leave the victim to live as further torture. You would surround the targeted house with mountain ash to trap the pack inside before you firebombed their houses, their dens, with a special wolfsbane infused accelerant that would prevent rapid healing. This vile, cowardly, method of attack does not in any way shape or form confirm to the code, even if one of them was feral and attacking humans taking out the entire pack is not part of any code.

That you took out more than 10 stable packs this way across the USA, Canada, and Europe without getting caught is unbelievable and will likely do damage to the hunting community and the goodwill we had built up for decades to come. Even worse is that it doesn’t even include the hundreds of creatures you hunted and killed just for the crime of being creatures.

You make me ashamed of being a hunter, I dread the repercussions that will come from your actions."

He glared at the three sitting at the table and decided to start with the most rational accused first. He stated formally “Victoria Fowler, formerly known as Victoria Argent, you have been found guilty of numerous crimes, including numerous accounts of statutory rape, rape, and murder. A plea deal for leniency was reached and your sentence is Death. This will be carried out immediately following this trial and your ashes will be returned to the Fowler family. The remaining Argents have stated they have formally removed you from the family.
 
Victoria slumped in her chair as she accepted her fate. She knew it was coming but that didn’t make it any easier.

Emilio continued with Kate’s sentence, he stated “Kate and Gerard Argent, you have both been found guilty of numerous crimes, almost too many to count, including for Kate statutory rape, rape, and coercion of a minor, you have both been found guilty of numerous counts of arson, murder, bribery, corruption, possession of illegal weapons and the attempted assassination of your matriarch. For this, you have been sentenced to Life under the Karma Curse. This means you will both live out the rest of your natural life feeling the pain and suffering of ALL of your victims in a special supernatural prison. This sentence will be carried out immediately following this trial, you will have no visitation rights.

Emilio requested the silencing ward around them be replaced. He turned to Derek and Stiles who were sitting together, Stiles was wrapped around Derek who was slumped in relief that it was all over. He asked, “Derek?”

Derek looked up and smiled at him, he said, “I’m ok sir, I'm just happy it’s finally over, that she can’t hurt me anymore.”

Emilio crouched down and said, “You two did a good job with that investigation. We were surprised to find the information had come from the pair of you, especially given your ages. Please do give some thought into a career that focuses on investigations.”

Noah piped up from beside them, “I have already talked Derek into joining me as a Deputy, he’s started doing papers towards a Criminal Justice degree.”

Emilio looked at Stiles and asked, “What about you kiddo?”

Stiles smirked, “I plan on joining Peter at Vesuvius, lawyer, fixer, that type of thing.”

Emilio raises an eyebrow at Peter who nodded. He said, “Oh boy, Peter, do try and rein him in sometimes please.”

Peter smirked at Emilio and said, “I make no promises.”

Chapter Text

September 2006

Regina Gajos knocked on the door of the pack’s hotel suite. Noah let her in and Stiles ran across the room and leaped into her arms for a hug.

Regina held Stiles out at arms length and she had a close look at him. “You have grown Wilczek.”

Peter tried to muffle his laughter when he caught on to the meaning of the nickname. “How… appropriate,” he snarked.

Stiles glared at Peter and he grumbled a quiet, “Shut up Peter.”

Regina looked at Stiles and asked, “What’s going on Wilczek?”

Stiles led her over to the sofa and they sat down. “Will you keep our pack secrets? Even from The Council?”

Regina looked over at Noah with a raised eyebrow.

Noah replied, “He’s serious Regina. If you can’t keep the pack secrets, then we can’t tell you. This is secret even from The Council.”

Dominique piped up, “I only know because I am pack adjacent. I made a binding magical vow to keep the secret.”

Regina looked at Stiles and she asked, “It is that important to you?”

Stiles nodded.

Regina asked, “Would a vow help?”

“Yes please, I know you’re family, but so is Dominique, so yes please, we would prefer the vow. Dominique can give you the wording, she came up with a good one.” Stiles confirmed.

Regina went to chat with Dominique and Peter to confirm the details of the vow. Five minutes later they came back and Peter nodded that she was bound to protect pack secrets.

When Regina came back she sat beside Stiles and asked with a smirk, “So, what’s up Wilczek?”

Stiles poked his tongue out at Regina then he made a spur of the moment decision and flared his bright crimson eyes.

In reflex, Derek, Peter, Chris, and Allison all flared their eyes, two red and two golden eyes. 

Regina looked at Noah and she asked, “You’re not…?”

Noah shook his head, “Happily human, with an agreement that I will take the bite if I am injured at work,” he explained.

Regina looked at Stiles and asked, “So three alphas and two betas? How does that work?”

Stiles smirked, and answered, “Technically its four betas, Ralph and Delphine stayed at home. We are a growing Alpha Pack.”

Regina gasped, “Nemeta created?”

Stiles nodded. “An offer was made by the Beacon Hills Nemeton to help us build a strong pack as a preemptive measure against approaching chaos. Derek is our Alpha, Peter is a True Alpha, he broke through the mountain ash line surrounding the house before he went into a coma from the burns he suffered breaking the line. Derek bit me when I was mortally wounded during an attack with a harpy.” 

“So you lost your magic, your spark,” Regina said sadly.

Stiles held his hand up with a ball of lightning in the palm of his hand. “Nope, the Beacon Hills Nemeton used the magic of an imprisoned chaos demon to create the pack, so those bitten by Derek on approval of the Nemeton who have special abilities will not lose those abilities when they become a werewolf. Our distant cousin Thea is training me on how to use my spark during the weekends. Grandpa did some digging and gave us her details when we asked during one of our Skype calls. We asked him not to tell anyone else in the family about my magic until I am trained. Thea, however, is bound by a strong secrecy oath about my magical training and abilities which is why she couldn’t tell you.”

“Oh Wilczek, this is a dangerous path you walk.” Regina lamented.

“I don’t walk it alone Aunt Regina. We are building a pack, a powerful pack. We will face whatever is coming together, as a pack, as a family.” Stiles said adamantly.

Regina sat back and contemplated her options. She asked hesitantly, “Will you allow me to join your training occasionally, to give you advanced training in how to use your spark?”

Stiles nodded eagerly. “Hell yes! Thea is awesome but she’s a witch, she doesn’t fully understand my spark, I am learning a lot but I feel like there is so much more out there.”

“I will try and visit often to assist you. I have so much to teach you little spark.” Regina grinned.

“We have tried to find books to assist Stiles with his training, but they are notoriously hard to find.” Peter griped.

“They are generally kept by the families that produce sparks. Grimoires passed down through the generations, that sort of thing. Any that are released on the open market are usually snapped up by one of the other families. You should have got one from Claudia, but it is my understanding that she decided to leave magic behind when she married Noah. I will ask Dad if he has the grimoire she started as a teen.” Regina offered.

Stiles face lit up, “That would be awesome. I don’t have much of mum’s things. She destroyed a lot when she was sick.”

Regina gathered him up in a tight hug. She looked at Noah and she asked, “Should I coordinate my training sessions with Delphine?”

Noah looked at Peter who nodded. Peter answered, “She’s happy to coordinate the kid's schedules, especially for pack training.”

Peter looked at Noah and Chris and stated, “We might have to look at a PA for the pack scheduling. Maybe when the pack is bigger.”

They all agreed to wait till they had more members in the pack and the pack house was finished.

-x-

Construction started on the main pack house after the Summer break. Stiles got his wish for a large underground training area and the library/study area for the pack. Chris and Noah were looking forward to having access to a private shooting range so they could train on weapons that were frowned upon at the range the sheriff station used for their annual qualifying shoots.

Peter was making small appearances in the town, often with Derek in tow as he went to hospital appointments, and he started being seen at the local office of Vesuvius. 

A small article was printed in the local paper celebrating his recovery accompanied by a photo of Peter and Derek leaving the hospital. Peter, in his anger, sent Delphine after the paper. She reminded them that the fire was not an accident and that there may still be people still after the Hale family. They sent their apologies and promised no more articles.

Allison had spent the time since she arrived in Beacon Hills going through all the control lessons that Stiles had gone through the year before, in return, she helped train Stiles in the various weapons she knew and they both worked on her normal school work so she could catch up on the school she had missed while she was sick. Matt had been a great help to the pack with all the tutoring he did for them all. 

When the school year started in September she started going to school with Stiles, like Stiles she was older than their group of friends, her leukemia meaning she missed enough school having to repeat a year. She fit in well with Stiles group of friends but also gained a stalker in the form of a very smitten Scott McCall. The group, while not openly bad-mouthing Scott, helped her to stay out of arms reach. 

Peter had fun taking the kids through the bestiary he had compiled over the years, the advent of the digital era meant that he even had videos and animations to take them through. Each session they picked a creature and they would hunt down books in Peter’s vault to read through, they would discuss effective ways to manage the creature if it found it’s way into the preserve and its weak points if it was a creature that had to be killed. 

A particularly memorable creature was the Kanima. They discovered that not much information existed about this creature in Peter's bestiary. There were only a few books in Peter’s library about the Kanima, most had noted it as a failed werewolf bite. There was an obscure text in Sumerian that determined it was a failed bite due to the conflicted nature of the person being turned. As they read out the information Derek added it to the digital bestiary database.

Once he had added the new information they had found in the other books and he had noted the sources for future reference he decided to watch the video and animation Peter had found.

“What’s that Sourwolf?” Stiles asked as he and Allison wandered over.

“It’s a video of a beta kanima, it's showing the kanima evolving from a beta to an alpha kanima,” Derek explained.

“Eww that cocoon looks disgusting,” Allison said as she looked at the creature surrounded in a clear viscous gel.

None of the kids noticed Peter as he pulled out his iPhone and started recording a video.

“Holy crap, that has wings! Sourwolf, you are never to turn anyone who is conflicted, ever!” Stiles demanded.

“Definitely not. Oh hey, there is a video of the alpha kanima here, no summary. Should we watch it? Maybe it's less scary in action.” Derek hedged.

Allison poked him in the ribs. “Play it. Please.”

They all watched in mute horror as they saw the alpha kanima in all its winged glory fighting.

Derek slammed the laptop closed when he heard it scream. “Nope, not at all.” He looked up and glared when he saw his uncle shaking with suppressed laughter holding up his iPhone.

Stiles stormed out with Allison close behind, he was muttering about getting revenge on ‘Satan in a v-neck’.

-x- 

Stiles, Allison and Derek’s tutoring sessions with Matt were moved to the Stilinski house in the new school year, often including Stiles group of friends. They made sure that there were a couple of afternoons each week that just involved Derek, Stiles, and Allison for pack lessons. Allison also joined Stiles and Derek at their martial arts classes with Danny at the local dojo. She had already been getting self-defense lessons so she caught up to them quickly.

Stiles continued his magic lessons on Saturday mornings with daily morning meditation before school. Peter often helped during these lessons due to his thirst for knowledge and his large library which covered all manner of supernatural subjects. They spent a lot of time while the house was being built working on a spell of sorts that Peter had found. It was a recipe for a training golem that was strong enough to withstand the attack of an alpha werewolf. With the right spells, it could be used to train the pack in how to fight various creatures. The books, however, were written in ancient Latin, Ancient Greek, a few in Akkadian and one in bloody Coptic of all things, so they were taking a while for the group to translate and the experiments were explosive, to say the least. 

Chris with help from Dominique started working to legitimize Argent Arms, he used the contacts he built up running the Florida branch to change the target market for the whole business from private hunters to clientele in legitimate law enforcement agencies, reducing the private sales to those he knew were legitimate private security contractors. More often than not these came through Vesuvius after a very thorough background check. He also expanded the offering so he sold weapons, training materials, and personal armor.

The kids were getting excited as the pack house and several of the surrounding houses would be finished a month before the summer break. Chris and Allison would be moving in with the Hales and the Stilinskis in the main pack house. Dominique had requested to buy the Stilinski’s current house from Noah when they moved so she would still be in Beacon Hills but not on pack land. It also saved Stiles from having to remove the wards currently on the house. She was happy to be pack adjacent rather than a full pack member while she still did work on The Council. 

The wards Stiles had been able to place around the preserve had been great in reducing the amount of supernatural activity in the preserve. They still had intruders but the worst thing they had to face since the wards went up was a few persistent and feral omegas. 

-x- 

Noah looked into Stiles' room and found it was empty, again. He needed to wake Stiles up for his lesson with Thea, she was picking him up in an hour.

He headed down to the basement where Peter had set up the mattress and cushion pile and found Peter watching the kids puppy pile on the mattresses out cold. Noah whispered, “Is that Allison?”

Peter nudged him back up the stairs and they headed to the kitchen.

Noah raised an eyebrow and he asked, “Allison?”

Peter sighed, “She’s been sneaking in most nights and spending time with Stiles and Derek in the basement. I think it’s helping with her nightmares.”

Noah asked, “Should I be worried about them all sleeping together?”

Peter shook his head vehemently. “Look I know you’re worried about Stiles’ attachment to Derek, I think I would be too if I wasn’t aware of how wolf packs work. Wolves are very tactile, ‘puppy piles’ as Stiles likes to call them, are very normal. To be honest, I am surprised Chris hasn’t been over to pile up with the two of us, it’s an instinctual thing. Allison has been having nightmares about… well about everything I guess. She’s been sneaking into Stiles room and together they have been bullying Derek down to the basement to sleep.”

Noah asked worriedly “What about the crush I can see Stiles developing? He’s only 12, Derek is nearly 18. The kid’s a very stubborn Stilinski, he’s not going to let it go easily. Look at me, It may have taken until Junior year but I convinced you in the end… ok, ok, with some help from Chris.” 

Peter pulled Noah into a hug and chuckled. “Look, I doubt Stiles is even aware of his developing crush? Even when he does become aware of it, he may be stubborn but Derek is… well… damaged, what Kate did, even though he has been to therapy and dealt with the bulk of it, he's not going to do anything with anyone underage. In fact I can’t see him even dating for a while. When the time comes Stiles will know this, he’s a smart kid, smarter than I think most really give him credit for. He’s an old soul for sure, he knows what Derek has been through, between the trial and what they talked about with the Nemeton, he knows. So don’t worry about it Noah. Trust the boys to be boys while they still can. We will all keep an eye on them and I am sure they will be fine.” Peter gave Noah a quick kiss and they went down to wake the kids up so Stiles would be ready for when Thea arrived to pick him up.

-x-

The pack gathered over the Spring Break to discuss expansion now that the pack house is almost finished, they wanted to include new pack mates into the secret over the summer break. Because they will likely all be minors, this would also involve their parents so Peter had asked Delphine and Ralph to join the meeting so they could give the results of the background checks they had run on the various families.

Peter looked at Stiles and he asked, “Do you have the finalized list?”

Stiles handed over the slip of paper, “It’s just the group we hang out with at school. Anyone else seems to be a strong no from the Nemeton. So Jackson Whittemore, Danny Mahealani, Lydia Martin, Erica Reyes, Vernon Boyd, and Isaac Lahey.”

Allison piped up “We,” she said gesturing between herself and Stiles, “think that something is wrong with Isaac.”

Stiles shook his head and clarified, “Not wrong with Isaac, we think he’s being abused, but we can’t prove it and can’t get him to admit it. We are taking it easy so we don’t scare him away, but during gym, he’s often covered in bruises, and he flinches when touched by anyone.”

Allison sadly agreed, “I also heard Jackson asking him about the screaming he has heard a few times when he thinks we can’t hear him. Isaac just shrugs and denies it. Is there any way we can look into it? To make sure he’s safe?”

Ralph cleared his throat, “We already did.” He looked at Noah “We have some pretty strong evidence that Isaac is being abused, all circumstantial though. Without the kid admitting it we can’t act on what we have, it’s not enough. However, if Jackson were to call his friendly neighborhood sheriff the next time he hears the screaming…”

Stiles and Allison looked at each other and nodded in agreement, they said together, “We will talk to Jackson tomorrow.”

Peter looked at the list Stiles gave him and stated, “So that’s Isaacs father out. What about Jackson Whittemore? Ralph, Delphine?”

“Both parents seem pretty stable, David is the District Attorney for Beacon County, Maria is a part-time assistant for David and part-time stay at home mom.” She turned to look at Noah and she asked, “You work with him a bit don’t you Noah.”

Noah rolled his eyes and nodded, “Yes, he’s a pretentious bastard but,” he said as he looked right at Peter. “It’s nothing I’m not used to. I would say though that they will stay pack adjacent like Dominique. They won’t be willing to give up the house they have. We can make sure we have a room set aside for Jackson though. For all his bravado the kid has a tendency to overreact to perceived slights.”

Stiles and Allison both snorted at this. They knew that was a giant understatement.

Peter made some notes on the list in his hands, and then he asked, “Alright, we will offer them the option of a pack house but make it clear that it is optional. Next is Danny Mahealani?”

Stiles was quick to answer, “Danny yes, but his parents are a firm hell no.”

They all turned to look at him. So he responded, “They treat him like a glorified babysitter. That's why he does all the martial arts training that he does, it’s the only time he can leave the house without being expected to take one or both of his younger sisters with him. His parents dote on the twins, but those twins are little bitches if I am honest. Even getting time to come here after school to study is a fight for him. Oh and every time they see Dad, Peter and Chris together they screw their faces up. They think they are hiding their dislike but it’s really bloody obvious.”

Noah scrubbed his face with his hands, “Jesus. He’s too young for us to ‘hire’ as a private instructor for the kids too.”

“At least getting the permits once he’s old enough won’t be too difficult. I wonder how the dojo is getting around it?” Peter pondered.

Ralph answered, “I looked into it and found he’s not technically employed, the teaching he does helps him move up in the belt system. He also has to have an adult instructor with him when he’s teaching due to his young age.”

Chris grinned, “So we could hire his instructor for private lessons on the proviso that Danny is part of the training team. This will get the parents used to the fact that Danny hangs out with the pack.”

Delphine added, “I had ordered the relevant books pertaining to California Emancipation Laws when Derek was emancipated. Perhaps that's something we can look into if things don’t improve.”

“The Nemeton is very keen for all of those on our list to be pack, while it is firm on the issue of consent from the potential pack members as much as I am, the issue of parental permission is a grey area for it. It understands that some parents will not be a good fit for the pack. It's being pretty loud about Danny’s parents and sisters being a firm ’No’ to be honest.” Derek explained.

Stiles agreed, “Almost as loud as it was when it said no about telling Scott.”

Peter looked at Stiles and Derek and he asked, “Is it being loud about any of the other parents?”

Derek nodded, “Yeah, Boyd’s parents, well, just his mother, his father disappeared years ago, and his mother still blames him for the loss of his sister when they were out ice skating.”

Stiles exploded, “Which is crap. She should have been there watching them. Boyd was only ten for fuck's sake. Not old enough to have been babysitting a six-year-old at the ice rink by himself.”

Noah barked out, “Language!” He looked at Peter, “It happened about 3 months before the fire. Was there anything likely to kidnap kids in the area around that time?”

Peter shook his head. “I made sure anything of that nature was dealt with pretty quickly before it could spill over into the mundane world.”

Ralph opened a folder and passed it to Noah, “We looked into it as part of the background check. It’s honestly a mess. Dad didn’t disappear, she did, she and Vernon are currently living under fake IDs. Good ones too, they hold up under most scrutiny, just not ours. From what we can tell his dad has been hunting for them for about five years now.” Ralph gulped then dropped the bombshell, “Just to add to the mess, he’s a wolf.” 

They all looked at him.

Ralph pulled up the details on his laptop, and flipped it around, “He’s in a pack about an hours drive from here, the Richardson pack, they are allies with Satomi. Good allies and I think if we explained the issue to Satomi, she would help us to set up a meeting with him. From what I can tell he moved to the pack a job offer from the San Fransisco PD. He keeps to himself for the most part.”

Peter looked at Derek, “The Nemeton needs them here to assess them right?”

“Yeah, maybe we could meet at that diner on the way into town, on the I-80, where we first met with Satomi, It’s within range of the Nemeton,” Derek suggested.

“I will contact Satomi tomorrow and set up a meeting,” Ralph confirmed.

Peter looked up, “Ok, next on the list is Lydia Martin.”

Delphine smirked, “I have already ordered one of our top divorce lawyers to town to help Natalie Martin get full custody of Lydia. Jeff is a cheating cheater who cheats,” she high fived Stiles, “and they are on the verge of divorce. I think the fact we will have a house available for her and Lydia to move into will be the tipping point for her to serve him with papers.”

Noah just stared at her, and stated, “Wow, I mean there were always rumors but nothing ever came of it.”

Delphine gave him a deadpan look, “He’s slept with every single one of his secretaries and then when he ditches them he has paid them to go away.”

Noah facepalmed, “Jesus. She’s going to be a mess. Both Natalie and Lydia will be. Natalie has kept Lydia pretty sheltered.”

Stiles shook his head as he laughed, “Yeah, no she hasn’t. Lydia hates her father because he is a cheating cheater who cheats. The only reason none of the secretaries have come back is because Lydia is very good at finding and documenting secrets and blackmailing them with it. They underestimate her because she is a kid, which is their biggest mistake, she’s downright terrifying.”

Peter nodded as he made more notes, he thought to himself that Lydia would be a good fit for Vesuvius when she got older. He said, “Last but not least is Erica Reyes.”

Chris smiled, “Her parents are Ernesto and Lara Reyes, I think they will be happy for her to be turned. She has chronic epilepsy. Frequent seizures that are so bad they are just waiting for the one she doesn’t come back from.”

Stiles smiled sadly, “She told me her medication isn’t working very well anymore. She’s looking at another round of ‘guess the drugs’ in about a year.”

Peter frowned and asked, “Guess the drugs?”

“We used to go through it with Stiles ADHD. There are a lot of illnesses out there that affect humans where the treatments are different for each person, so its a matter of trying different drug combinations until you find one that reduces the symptoms the best. It's one of the reasons Stiles was held back a year at school even though he is smart enough to do high school level AP classes. He missed nearly half a year due to either the drugs leaving him in a zombie state where he was barely conscious or he was so hyper anyone around him was homicidal.” Noah explained.

Derek said sarcastically, “So typical Stiles pre-coffee then post-coffee then?”

Stiles growled at him while everyone else laughed.

Noah nodded since he thought it sounded pretty accurate. “A bit yeah, but it’s hell on the kid while trying to find the right combination.”

Peter suggested, “Perhaps we could work on building her strength and stamina so when she is about to go through another round of ‘guess the drug’ she will be ready for the bite instead. We can have her records transferred to a doctor we use so there is no suspicion about her sudden cure.”

Chris asked, “So do we tell them as one big group or in family groups?”

Peter answered “I think while a big group has the potential for disaster I think it will help the parents know who they can turn to if they need to talk to a non-wolf. Also who they will know who they can talk to about pack secrets.”

Derek and Stiles nodded in agreement. Derek asked, “Noah, Chris can you two coordinate the meeting with the people on Peter's list for the first week of the summer break? Perhaps organize it once the house is finished and we know what’s happening with Isaac and Boyd.”

They nodded their agreement, they knew that the parents were more likely to agree to a random invitation from other parents.

Chapter Text

March 2007

The next day at school Stiles and Allison cornered Jackson during a study period in the library.

Stiles in his typically blunt fashion without preamble he asked, “Just how bad is it at Isaac's place?”

Jackson saw the serious look on both their faces and he slumped, he knew he would not be able to evade their questions. He answered, “Bad! I don’t know what to do. If I call the police it could make him worse. It’s only been for the last six months since they got word from the army that Camden died in action. Mr. Lahey didn’t take it well, especially since it’s only been a few years since Mrs. Lahey died of cancer.”

Allison got a hard look on her face as she asked, “So he is taking it all out on Isaac. Is that why Isaac is so quiet?”

“He never used to be, before his mom died he used to be like any other kid, loud and he could be pretty obnoxious, but Camden left about a week after his mom died, joined the army and just vanished. He took it pretty hard.” Jackson explained.

Stiles put his hand on Jackson’s shoulder in comfort and he asked, “Next time you hear anything, anything at all, can you text me and let me know. Dad wants to see if he can catch him in the act.” He saw that Jackson looked worried, “Don’t worry Jackson, Dad knows how to handle it to minimize retaliation on Isaac. It’s not his first abuse case.”

“To be honest I was going to talk to your dad about it, I was just trying to think of how. Mr. Lahey seems to be getting worse and I am worried that he’s going to seriously injure Isaac.” Jackson murmured.

Allison frowned as she asked, “Worse how? More frequent or more violent?”

Jackson thought about it for a moment then he answered, “Both, I guess. I hear the noises most nights now but Isaac’s bruises are getting to the point where he can’t get away with saying that he tripped or fell anymore.”

Stiles had an idea and he asked, “Jackson will your parents mind if we hang out at yours for a couple of evenings after dinner, to study of course?”

Allison caught on quickly, “Maybe Uncle Peter could give us some tutoring for the history test we have next week...”

Jackson smiled, “That sounds like a great idea, I will ask them tonight at dinner. I am sure they will be fine with it.”

Allison and Stiles wandered off to let Noah and Peter know what the plan was. Stiles suggested to Noah that maybe Derek could do his scheduled ride-along shifts for the next few days, just in case.

-x-

They all gathered at the Stilinski house for a pack dinner to go over the details of the plan to rescue Isaac. After dessert Allison asked, “Can we talk in the living room? I… I need some help.”

“Sure, is it serious?” Derek asked.

Allison thought about it then answered, “No, not yet.”

They all trooped through to the living room and got settled with hot chocolates and coffees.

Stiles and Allison sat together on a beanbag. Peter asked, “So, what’s going on kiddo?”

Stiles leaned into her and asked, “Do you want me to tell them?”

Allison shook her head. “So you know how I have had Scott following me around like a lovesick puppy, trying to get my attention? Well, he has a new partner in stalking. I have heard them talking about Scott's 10-year plan to marry me. As if. His new BFF is Matt Dahler. He keeps suggesting new ways for Scott to try and get my attention.”

Stiles gave her a side hug and added, “He still glares at me when he sees me, especially when I am with Allison. It’s been over a year since his tantrum and ultimatum in the cafeteria and he still glares at me whenever he sees me.”

“I think the best thing to do for now is to just ignore him. Don’t engage, not even to glare at him, I think both of you just need to pretend he doesn’t exist. He will hopefully give up.” Chris said.

“If he gets worse or their behavior changes, let us know and we can look into it further, but for now it’s just a crush and there is not much we can do.” Noah agreed.

Stiles wrapped Allison in a hug. “I will let the others know so we can make sure you are never alone near the pair of them. Sound good?” Stiles asked.

Allison returned the hug and nodded.

Allison found when she woke the next morning she had an offer from the Nemeton. Her ability to trust in the pack to help her when she needed it rather than trying to lone wolf the situation showed her loyalty to the pack and her willingness to train others so they could better protect the territory showed her loyalty to the territory. She was not sure she was ready but the Nemeton assured her that she wouldn’t have been offered the alpha spark if the Nemeton and her alpha didn’t feel she was ready. She blushed and accepted the Nemeton’s decision. 

Allison ran across to Stiles' house and climbed in through his window. She saw he was fast asleep so pounced on the bed, jumping on the bed until Stiles woke up. She flared her eyes, her newly red eyes and Stiles glomped her into a hug. 

“Derek! Wake up!” Stiles yelled. Loud enough for everyone in the house to hear. Including Chris who had been staying over with Noah and Peter more often than not. 

They all ran into Stiles room, as they all saw Allison's bright red eyes they joined in the hug fest, all of them congratulating Allison on gaining her alpha spark.

They celebrated by calling Dominique, Ralph, and Delphine over and having a celebratory breakfast of Allison’s favorite chocolate chip pancakes.

-x-

The first few nights at the Whittemore's house things were pretty quiet and they managed to get some studying done for their history test. It was on the third night that things changed.

All of a sudden they all heard a loud bang and then the screaming started, it was terrified screaming, it was so loud even David and Maria came running in and they had been in the back of the house in David’s study. Peter was already calling in Noah and Derek who were thankfully only a block away.

Stiles and Allison sprinted out of the house as soon as they knew Peter was calling in Noah, they were hoping to defend their friend until the cavalry arrived.

They arrived into carnage, Isaac had a badly broken leg, it looked like the bang they heard was Isaac hitting the floor through the table, he had blood spurting out of his leg at a steady pace. Stiles went to Colin Lahey to distract him from attacking Isaac further while Allison put pressure on his thigh to try and reduce the blood loss.

Stiles worked with a volley of punches and kicks to get Colin out of the house to separate him from his son, he was relying on his werewolf speed to keep him out of reach of Colin’s fists. Noah pulled up and he and Derek barrelled out of the cruiser. Noah worked to distract Colin by aiming his service pistol at him and ordering him to “Freeze,” but Colin was too far gone in his rage to listen, far too intent on beating the punk who was protecting his kid from being punished, Colin didn’t notice Derek creeping around behind him until Derek was able to get him into a chokehold, which finally knocked him out.

Noah was quick to slap the handcuffs on Colin and between the two of them, Noah and Derek were able to manhandle him into the back of the cruiser. They looked up suddenly when they heard Stiles scream for Derek.

As they got inside they saw what a mess it was. There was a trail of blood, a large trail leading from the middle of the room where there was a broken table to where Isaac was now laying, Allison was putting pressure on his thigh to try and stem the bleeding. Stiles and Derek heard a whisper across their minds ‘Hurry!’

Derek shook Isaac to wake him up some so he could explain, “Isaac, stay with us. I need to quickly explain what’s going on and what we are going to do. OK?” Isaac nodded tiredly so Derek hurried his explanation, “We are werewolves, we can change you into one of us which will fix your leg faster and can prevent you from dying due to massive blood loss.”

Isaac looked at him like he was crazy so Stiles took the bull by the horns and shifted into his beta shift. When he saw the comprehension dawn on Isaac's face he shifted back.

Isaac looked at Derek and asked, “W...what’s the c...catch?”

Stiles smirked and Derek answered, “You have to keep it a secret, from everyone, we will teach you control and all about being in a werewolf pack. There are dangers like werewolf hunters and dangerous creatures but we work as a pack to fight these.”

Isaac asked, “I will b...be strong?”

“Yeah Isaac, we will teach you to be strong and how to fight, he won’t be able to hurt you again,” Stiles confirmed.

Isaac looked at Derek and said, “Do it! Please.”

Derek leaned down to Isaac’s side and bit him on the side just above the hip bone.

Peter called Ralph and organized for one of their ambulance crews to pick up Isaac and take him to the Stilinski house.

They covered the bite up with Isaac’s shirt, then Noah used the time while he was waiting for backup and the ambulance to arrive to get photos of the damage and the bruises on Isaac before the bite would make them disappear. 

Isaac looked up at Stiles who was crouching down to give him some familiarity with all the activity around him and said, “Make s...sure your dad c...checks the basement, he l...liked to l...lock me in the freezer.”

Stiles' eyes went wide in disbelief, he nodded and pat Isaac’s shoulder, he walked over quickly to pass the information to his dad.

David Whittemore and Peter talked quietly outside about Isaac. Peter explained about Isaac's broken leg and said that he had organized for Isaac to visit a private clinic that will mend the leg so he doesn’t end up with a permanent limp from the break. 

“I am not keen on him testifying, it's just adding to his torture having to face his abuser in court, what about a series of video interviews with a child psychologist who specializes in abuse cases.” Peter suggested, “After what I saw in there that kid is going to need all the therapy.”

David nodded, he was gutted that he hadn’t realized this had been happening right under his nose. “What about custody?”

Peter contemplated it and said, “We give him a choice, several choices. I know both Noah and Chris would take him in. I would be an option as well.”

David frowned and asked, “Aren’t you all living at the Stilinski’s house?”

Peter shook his head. “The Argents live across the road, at least for another month or so. We are all moving into our new place, the new development off Accalia Drive, the builders are nearly done.” Peter explained.

“You’re going to be his lawyer of record?” David asked. When Peter nodded he continued “Ok, I will work on the paperwork for custody so there is less disruption for the kid. Just let me know what he decides.”

Peter nodded in agreement then walked over to greet the ambulance crew and led them to Isaac.

Peter watched as Noah organized a full search of the house looking for further evidence of abuse with David Whittemore beside him to keep an eye on the site to make sure that every I was dotted and every T was crossed correctly. They wanted to be sure no mistakes would be made so that Colin Lahey would have no chance of escaping a long sentence.

Stiles headed back over to the Whittemore house and reassured Jackson that Isaac would be ok, he explained that Isaac would be in the hospital, a private hospital, for a while getting his leg fixed as it is badly broken.

Jackson surprised Stiles as he gave him a tight hug and he murmured a quiet, “Thank you”. Stiles hugged him back and reassured him again that Isaac would be ok.

-x-

“Hey Isaac, how you feeling kiddo?” Noah asked as he walked into the guest room where they placed Isaac while he was healing. 

Isaac sat up and frowned. “I feel fine, sir. Should I feel fine? Normally I am sore and bruised the next day.”

Noah took a seat beside the bed and asked gently, “How much do you remember from last night?” 

Derek and Stiles heard that Isaac was awake and entered the room, Derek taking up his usual position of leaning against the wall, while Stiles settled on the floor with a book.

Isaac glanced at Derek then looked back at Noah and answered, “To be honest sir I don’t remember much. I tripped and fell through the table…”

Stiles and Derek both started growling. Noah gave them both a look as if to say ‘cut it out’.

Isaac looked at them nervously. Derek said, “We know your dad was abusing you and that he threw you through the table. He’s currently in the holding cells, awaiting trial for child abuse and attempted murder.”

Isaac shut his eyes, he was trying to stop the tears. Stiles wanted to get up and give him a hug but Isaac still flinched away when people touched him. It would take a while before that passed.

Noah leaned forward. “Isaac? Do you remember Derek biting you?”

Isaac thought about what he could remember, he had vague memories of a lot of blood, his leg hurting and Derek but not... Derek. Isaac looked at Derek and frowned. “You looked different last night.”

Derek nodded and shifted to his beta shift. “Like this?”

“Yeah, you’re a werewolf, right? Am I one now? That's what the bite was for?” Isaac asked.

“You are,” Derek confirmed, “You’re a member of the Hale pack.”

Isaac looked at Noah and asked, “So what happens now, sir?”

Stiles snickered into his hand. Noah scowled at Stiles then he turned to Isaac and said, “Call me Noah, please, sir makes me feel old. I don't know if you remember seeing Peter last night, Peter Hale, he’s currently at the DA’s office working on a restraining order. He’s also helping the DA build an ironclad case to protect you as your lawyer of record, he will be back soon to talk you through various details. As for you, you have the choice, for now, to stay either here or at the Argent house across the road, Peter, Chris and I have all volunteered to be your guardian, the choice is yours as to which you prefer. We will all be moving in a month to a larger house being built across town where you will have your own room, for now, you will need to share.

Isaac was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed just nodded. Noah took pity on him and shooed the other two out of the room. As he left he reached out to pat Isaac on the shoulder in comfort then thought better of it and withdrew so he didn’t scare the boy, he just said “We will be downstairs when you are ready to join us. There is no rush.”

Isaac murmured a quiet, “Thanks” as Noah shut the door.

-x- 

Isaac spent the next few days talking to Peter, Chris, and Noah and in the end, he decided to request Peter as his official legal guardian. It was made clear to him though that the three of them were pretty much co-parenting all their kids together, so the legal guardian was more for the official paperwork side of things. Peter organized for an ironclad restraining order that restricted Colin Lahey from any contact with Isaac, including letters, these were all routed to Peter’s law firm who would save each attempt at contact in his file.

Derek and Peter worked with Isaac to help him accept his wolf and learn control. They already had the experience, Peter from helping the born pups as they grew up and Derek through helping Stiles, Allison and Chris learn control over the last few years. The hardest part of learning control for Isaac was having to hide from the rest of the group when they were over for study sessions. As they were not yet in on the secret he had to keep up the pretense of being away at a private rehab facility getting his leg fixed. Isaac was looking forward to the meeting where the rest of the group would be invited to join the pack so he no longer had to hide out when they were over.

Chapter Text

May 2007

A few weeks before the end of the school year they finally met up with Boyd’s father. It was a fairly large gathering. Derek was accompanied by Noah and Peter. They had arrived early so they could observe the other alphas arriving, but also it gave Stiles time to place a ward to hide his and Boyd’s presence in the car park.

The first to arrive was Alpha Satomi Ito and her right hand. They were attending to do the introductions and to give Derek support with an unfamiliar pack. While Satomi was short in stature, with almost pure white hair, you couldn’t help but feel the power of her alpha spark, there were, of course, rumors that she was well over 100 years old, but no one knew for sure how old she was. She was accompanied by her right hand, Vaughan Pietersen, he was a huge bear of a man, a flaming redhead and at least 6’8”, Derek was frankly surprised that he fit in the booth with them. 

The next arrival was Alpha John Richardson, with his second, Maria Cruz and the man they were all here to meet with, Graham Adams. John Richardson, was lean, tall, with light blond hair, he looked so laid back, he seemed to be a stereotypical surfer. Given their packs proximity to the ocean, it was almost a safe bet. Maria, on the other hand, was wound so tight Derek thought she might snap if someone said ‘boo’. She looked a bit like a cross between Penelope Cruz, and Selma Hayek with the long dark hair, but with the temperament of Sofia Vergara (her reputation was legendary in the PacNorthWest packs). Adams was the easiest to recognize, he looked like an older, taller, clone of Boyd, tall, dark, and his hair had a buzz cut which seemed to be cut to military precision.

Once everyone was seated Satomi made the introductions. She then turned to Derek and she asked if he wanted her to stick around. He shook his head, so she turned to Alpha Richardson and asked the same, he also shook his head so she left taking Vaughn with her. Once they were down to just the six of them Derek nudged Noah so he would start the conversation. 

Noah pulled out the folder with the missing persons report on Boyd, Sasha, and Vivian Adams and he placed it carefully on the table. He looked at Graham Adams and stated, with no preamble, “Beta Adams? We understand you are looking for your family.”

“Call me Graham. Yes, I have tried using various private investigators but no one has been able to dig up anything.” Graham lamented.

Noah tapped the report, and he asked, “How long have they been missing?”

Graham sighed, “Just over 6 years now, Sasha was not quite a year old when Viv, sorry Vivian vanished with them.”

Noah nodded, he wrote some more notes on the files then he asked, “They went missing on the east coast? Right? So, why did you move to California?”

“Yes, they went missing in Minnesota. I couldn’t stay there, I was attacked because I was becoming self-destructive, picking bar fights with the wrong people. I was offered a job transfer to San Francisco at the right time and I jumped at the chance. I was lucky that Alpha Richardson was willing to take me into his pack.” Graham explained.

Derek asked, “Where are you currently working?”

Graham grinned, “San Fransisco PD, I am mostly a beat cop but I do occasional shifts with the missing persons team.”

Noah added the info to the paperwork he had in front of him, he then looked up and asked, “Why did she run?”

Maria’s temper exploded, “Why the interrogation, is there even a point to all this?”

Graham put a hand on her arm to try and calm her and said, “It’s ok Maria, I am sure there is a point to all this.” He looked at Noah “I threatened to divorce her and take custody of the kids. She was drinking pretty heavily and no matter what I tried she wouldn’t stop, I was at the end of my rope, I couldn’t think of any other way to get her to stop. I was working a lot of hours at the time to try and support her and the kids, and when I got home one day and found Boyd, all of 6-years-old and trying to change Sasha’s diapers while Viv was passed out drunk on the sofa, I told her the next morning if she didn’t stop drinking and clean up her act that I would divorce her and sue for full custody. When I got home from work that night they were gone.”

Noah looked around and made sure no one was close enough to overhear their conversation, once he felt they were safe he asked, “When they went missing were you a wolf or did that happen after?”

“I was attacked and bitten, about 18 months after they went missing, so I wasn’t able to use a pack bond to find them. It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and picking fights with the wrong crowd.” Graham confirmed.

Noah looked to Derek to continue their questioning. Derek looked to John and asked, “Alpha Richardson, would you be willing to let Graham go, to let him join another pack?”

John blinked slowly, contemplating the question, “For a good reason, and if he wishes to move packs, then yes I would let him go.”

Derek smiled and nodded, looked at Graham and said, “Stiles, now would be a good time.” 

Graham looked confused for a few seconds at the completely random non sequitur, then as one, John, Maria, and Graham all looked toward the door when they heard the approaching boys. Stiles was walking backwards in front of Boyd, he was talking about all the curly fries he was going to order as a distraction. As soon as Stiles heard the chair scrape as Graham stood he moved out of the way so that Boyd could see his dad. 

Boyd sprinted across the diner straight into his dad's arms, a few tears escaped. He’d had no idea they had found his dad or that his dad had even been looking for him. 

Stiles left them to their glomp fest and moved to sit at the table between Derek and Noah. He looked to Alpha Richardson and asked, “Would that be a good reason Alpha Richardson?”

John flashed his red eyes with a big grin on his face, a grin that faltered a bit when he saw red eyes flash back at him from three of the four people sitting opposite him. Maria’s jaw dropped in shock. 

Peter smiled and said smugly, “Things have changed in Beacon Hills. While Boyd is currently unaware of the supernatural, he is one of a group we are looking to introduce and invite into the pack over the summer break. Our background checks into those we are looking to include came up with the missing persons report for Boyd and his family. Unfortunately, Boyd’s sister went missing, taken from an ice rink about 3 months before the Hale fire.”

Graham and Boyd took seats next to each other at the table. Graham looked at Noah and asked, “So what happens now with the missing persons report?”

Noah glanced at Peter, then he decided to answer, “From a law enforcement standpoint we would do a paternity test to confirm that Boyd is the missing child. So far we have kept this investigation under the radar to protect the pack but we will need to make an arrest once paternity is proven.”

Graham looked at Boyd and asked, “Where’s Sasha?”

Boyd looked at his dad and tears started rolling down his face, Stiles ran around the table and pulled him into a hug as the adults explained what happened.

Noah pulled out a second missing persons report for Alicia Boyd and passed it over.

Peter explained to Graham, “I have my investigators looking closer at her disappearance. All we know at this stage is that their mother, Lucinda left Boyd and Alicia at the ice rink for the afternoon without supervision, Boyd was only ten years old at the time.”

Boyd’s eyes widened when he saw Stiles’ eyes glow red and heard him growling, like actual growling. Derek saw the reaction and barks out “Peter!” As he gestured towards Stiles who was radiating pure anger. Peter picked up Stiles and carried him outside in a fireman’s carry listening to Stiles using some very creative language. Boyd wasn’t quite sure he wanted to know what a ‘bloody cunting twatwaffle’ was but he fully understood the anger towards his mother.

Derek and Noah pinched the bridge of their noses in unison. Half-hearted mutters of, “Language.” Were heard from the Hale pack adults. Meanwhile, snickering could be heard from Maria at the creative mix of curses.

Derek looked at Boyd and asked, “I guess you would like an explanation?”

Boyd gave him the best ‘duh face’ he had seen outside of Stiles. Derek commented, “You know, I think maybe Stiles is passing on far too many bad habits to you lot. Right, so the glowy eyes thing, and the growling, they are all signs of what we are.” Derek took a look at Graham as if to ask Boyd’s father for permission, who gave a slight nod. “We are werewolves.”

Boyd looked at Derek and asked, “We?” He saw a slightly calmer Stiles walk back to the table with Peter. Stiles mouthed ‘sorry’ at him.

Derek smiled “My family are mostly wolves, we have had a few humans born into the pack over the centuries but myself and Uncle Peter are both born wolves, Stiles was bitten just over two years ago, and we have five other wolves in the pack, two of them attend school with you.

Boyd looked at Stiles with an accusatory look on his face and he asked, “Allison and…” he thought about it, then got a lightbulb moment look on his face “Isaac!”

Stiles smirked and nodded as he said, “Allison and her father were bitten into the pack nearly a year and a half ago now… wow, time really flies. Isaac was bitten into the pack a few weeks ago after his abusive sperm donor nearly killed him.”

Derek and Noah looked at Stiles with horrified looks on their faces and both exclaimed, “Stiles!” Peter just snickered quietly.

Stiles crossed his arms and got a defiant look on his face.

Noah rolled his eyes and muttered to no one in particular, “Meet my son Stiles, 13 going on 35…”

John and Graham both chuckled which got Boyd’s attention. He raised an eyebrow at the three Richardson pack members as if to ask ‘and you?’

John, Graham, and Maria all flashed their eyes at him which resulted in a surprised look from the usually stoic teen. Boyd looked at his dad and asked, “Were you always a werewolf?”

Graham shook his head sadly, “I was attacked and bitten after you went missing. I moved to the Richardson pack when a job transfer to the San Fransisco PD came up.”

Boyd asked, “Can I stay with you now?”

Peter looked to Derek, who with Stiles received an enthusiastic ‘yes’ from the Nemeton, so he offered, “We have just finished building a gated community for the pack in the Beacon Hills Preserve. We have a house earmarked for you and Boyd if you want it. I am sure we can sort something for you job-wise.”

Graham looked at Boyd and asked, “Is that something you want?”

Boyd nodded enthusiastically and he explained, “Mom never stopped drinking and she blames me for Alicia going missing. I hate it there.”

“He can stay with us in the main pack house while we get the legal details sorted and that will give us time to move you into the house we have earmarked for you both, we have a lab that we use for these cases so we can head there after this meeting to get the paternity test started. We can request a rush to be put on the results.” Noah explained to Graham, “I know it’s sudden but would you like to move to Beacon Hills Sheriff Department? I can always use more deputies.”

“I like that idea.” Graham looked at Derek and asked, “Would you be happy to accept us both into your pack?”

“Definitely. Also, it would be good for Noah to have another supernaturally aware deputy. Right now it’s just me and Noah dealing with anything supernatural and I am still in training.” Derek explained happily.

They spent the next half an hour sorting out details of the move and setting up a potential alliance with Alpha Richardson, then Noah, Boyd, and Graham headed out to the lab to start the testing and Derek, Stiles and Peter headed to the new pack house to continue painting the interior and setting up the library. 

-x-

A few weeks before the summer break they finally received the keys to the finished main pack house. The last of the smaller houses were still a few weeks away from being completed.

They had ended up going with a large H shaped contemporary style house with 3 floors above ground and a large underground bunker. Three of the wings were used by the Stilinski, Hale and Argent families with their bedrooms on the top floor of each of the wings. The second floor contained bedrooms for the rest of the pack teenagers so that even if they didn’t live full time at the pack house they had somewhere to stay if they needed it. The center of the second floor was taken up by the large library and study room. 

The ground floor was mostly public areas, living room, den, large kitchen and dining area, and several offices, Derek and Stiles shared one for pack business, Peter had one for Vesuvius business, Noah for any work he brought home and Chris used one for Argent Arms which he technically ran from home but he shared an official address with the Vesuvius office above the double grind. There was also a large outdoor area that was well used in the summer months for relaxing and training outside.

Below the house was a large bunker area, there were tunnels that connected to the various houses in the community as well as escape tunnels from each house that went to the vault in town and another tunnel that exited in the preserve. The bunker had a large training room that had padding for the various martial arts they trained in as well as a long target range for shooting practice. They made sure that as each pack member was bitten that they were keyed into the wards for the tunnels as well as their claws being keyed into the vault entrance under the school and the entry tunnel in the preserve that requires specific claws to open. They had been altered with the Nemeton’s help so they were limited to those wolves in Derek’s pack only. All previous Hales were now locked out.

-x-

They arranged the meeting with the teens and some of their parents in the first week of their summer break. 

They all gathered in the main den in the new house, the adults, Natalie Martin, Ernesto and Lara Reyes, David and Maria Whittemore, Graham Adams, Peter, Noah, Chris, Ralph, Delphine and Dominique all sat around the room on the various sofas. The kids all piled up in the middle of the floor on the various super-sized cushions and bean bags. The room was warded with privacy and secrecy wards so if anyone freaked out and ran they wouldn’t be able to tell anyone about the pack.

Derek and Stiles stood up at the front of the room in front of the big screen TV.

Stiles in his usual brash manner stepped forward and stated, “This is going to be a long conversation, to those new in the room please bear with us, while this will definitely seem out there, please trust us and save your questions until the end.”

Derek then stepped forward while Stiles joined the puppy pile on the floor. Derek went through and explained the history of the Hale family, settling in Beacon Hills before the Spanish arrived, how they had spent a lot of time and money to build Beacon Hills so it was the town it is today. He explained the fire and that it was a hate crime that had his family targeted. 

Derek looked at Stiles and asked, “Bombshell or gently?” 

Stiles looked around at the room, he saw that the pack had dispersed themselves around so each family had someone pack next to them so he decided, “Bombshell Sourwolf.”

Derek stood facing everyone and shifted into his beta shift. Noah facepalmed and muttered to himself, “Jesus.”

Peter looked around the room and he was surprised that while Lara and Ernesto Reyes looked shocked, Natalie Martin, and David and Maria Whittemore were smiling.

Peter raised an eyebrow at David as if to ask ‘you knew?’

David chuckled and said, “No Peter, we didn’t know, but… well, you can’t live in Beacon Hills and not suspect that something is going on. The supernatural is as good an explanation as any.”

They all looked at the kids who were bombarding Stiles with questions. He was refusing to answer, instead, he was gesturing at Derek trying to get him to hurry up and continue with the reveal.

Derek snorted, “Right. So yeah, the supernatural is real. Beacon Hills was named as it is a literal beacon to the supernatural due to the Nemeton in the preserve. Our family has a long history of working with the Nemeton to keep the territory safe from creatures that would do harm to regular humans.”

Stiles stood up and headed out of the room while Derek started explaining the pack.

“So a normal werewolf pack has an alpha, who has red eyes, and then betas who have gold or blue eyes and packs also have humans who are either born to the pack or are invited to join the pack. Our pack is a little different to most packs, in that we have multiple alphas. I am the head alpha for the pack and so far Peter, Stiles, and Allison are all also alphas. Our pack was gifted the alpha spark by the Nemeton in the preserve, we agreed to protect the territory and the Nemeton in return. It is helping us to create an alpha pack to defend the supernatural world from the chaos it can see coming.” Derek said, he was hoping Stiles wouldn't be much longer.

A few people looked over when they heard the clicking of nails tapping on the wooden floor of the hallway. Stiles walked in and sat beside Derek in his full shift form. Derek leaned down to scratch his head as he continued his explanation. “Our alphas have a special ability. We have the ability to do the beta shift, which is the shift I did when I dropped my little bombshell reveal, we also have the ability to full shift into what we suspect is a Dire Wolf, like Stiles here.”

Stiles being a shit used the distraction of Derek’s explanation and he leaped into the pile of teens and was licking their faces.

“Ew Stiles, that’s disgusting.” Screamed Lydia as he got her right up the side of her face.

Derek waited for them all to settle down then he asked, “Questions?”

David jumped in before anyone else could beat him to it and he asked, “So why are we all here? As far as I can tell only a few of you are wolves.”

Noah coughed and said, “Actually David, there are nine in the room right now.”

David looked at him and he asked, “Seriously?”

Derek nodded, “The reason we have brought you all here to learn our secret, the Nemeton has been helping us build a large pack, suggesting people who would be strong wolves, and strong additions to the pack. As I said earlier, it senses chaos coming and wants us to have a strong powerful pack in place before that chaos arrives.”

Natalie looked towards Lydia, and she bit her lip then asked, “What about those who are already supernatural, but it’s just not matured yet?”

Lydia looked like she wanted to ask ‘wtf’ but she waited to hear the answer.

Derek smiled at Lydia and explained. “There are two ways it can go with existing supernaturals, either they are immune to the werewolf bite, or the bite overpowers whatever they were and they become a wolf instead of whatever they were before. There is also the rare reaction of bite rejection. The Nemeton has been careful to make sure that anyone it has recommended will not suffer from bite rejection. With our pack, because of the magic involved, those with previous supernatural abilities will keep those abilities when they gain their wolf. They will need to train both sides of their nature. The Nemeton has said that the wolf will help calm Lydia’s other nature.”

Natalie turned to Lydia and said, “I will talk to you about it later Lydia.” Before Lydia could pounce with demands for information. 

Peter stood at the front to continue the explanation, “So you need to know the pros and cons of being in a wolf pack. So being a wolf comes with many good things, faster healing, very few illnesses affect wolves, we are faster, stronger, and we have stronger senses than the average human. The biggest downside is that there are hunters, while most hunters like Dominique over there, follow a code and they only hunt those whose actions threaten to expose the supernatural world. So feral wolves, or wolves that are killing for the fun of killing. There are rogue hunters though, like the hunters who tried to burn down the old Hale house a few years ago. They are extremist and they will often target those who are attached to the pack as if they were also wolves. They use weapons that contain wolfsbane poisoning which kills slowly and painfully.”

Lara asked “What about pre-existing illnesses? Like Erica’s epilepsy.”

“The bite will take longer for her to turn but it will cure her epilepsy. We are offering the bite to all the kids at the request of the Nemeton, however, we are not offering it straight away, we want the kids to have time to learn about pack life, to learn how to defend themselves and to get stronger and more confident about being in the pack before the bite. We will work with the Nemeton so the bite is only given when each pack member is ready.” Peter explained.

“Lastly we want to make an offer, you may have seen driving in that there are smaller houses in the gated community, we would like to offer these to anyone who doesn’t wish to live in the main pack house, they are warded for safety. Everything is up to you, please talk about it, ask any questions, and let us know what you do decide, both with joining the pack and with living in the gated area. We have set up privacy wards so you will be able to talk about pack business with anyone currently in the room but you won’t be able to discuss it or even mention it to anyone outside the pack. The biggest rule with the supernatural is around preventing exposure, we don’t want a repeat of the witch trials.”

Stiles trotted off to change back to human and get dressed. He came back in barefoot in jeans and his signature red hoodie. Lydia took one look at him and did a most unladylike snort. She said through giggles, “Now I understand the joke. Lil Red.”

Stiles scowled at her and he went to show the Reyes family around one of the houses.

-x-

Chris was grabbing a coffee from the double grind when he decided to talk to Ralph about the situation with Scott. He walked to Ralph’s office and knocked on the door frame. “Got a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up Chris?” Ralph asked.

Chris decided to just be blunt and come straight out with it, “Has Peter talked to you about Scott McCall?”

Ralph shook his head. “No, he hasn’t, why? what’s going on?”

“He has a ten-year plan on how he’s going to marry my daughter,” Chris said bluntly.

Ralph looks at him as if to assess how serious to take this. “I… see. Did you want me to get someone to quietly keep an eye on the situation?”

Chris nodded. “The pack are doing what they can to keep him away from her, she finds it, well… she doesn’t like his attention. He’s still being a shit to Stiles about Derek too.”

Ralph rolled his eyes. “Leave it with me, I will get someone to quietly keep an eye on the situation. If he starts to escalate I will let you know.”

Chris toasted him with his coffee cup and he said a quiet “Thanks,” as he left.

Chapter Text

June 2007

A week after the meeting in the Diner, paternity was proven beyond any doubt. Graham had moved to one of the houses near the main pack house with Boyd ready to move as soon as his mother was arrested. Boyd had met with detectives from Minnesota who were investigating the initial missing persons case for the children. 

He was interviewed over a few days with a child psychologist known to the pack present, he gave them what he could remember about their trip from Minnesota and their life in Beacon Hills. He went over what happened when his sister disappeared. Noah provided details on the police investigation into Alicia’s disappearance.

With David’s help, they were also able to start divorce proceedings, they were also able to get an emergency court order giving temporary full custody to Graham, pending the results of her trial. They were sure it would result in Graham getting full custody with no visitation rights due to the kidnapping and transporting the minor across state lines. 

Noah was working with the Minnesota investigators on her transport to Minnesota for the original kidnapping charges. Noah would send details on the neglect that resulted in Alicia being taken so those charges could be added. Once they had the extradition paperwork Noah sent deputies with the Minnesota detectives to arrest Lucinda Boyd aka Vivian Adams.

They pulled up to the Boyd household and when Lucinda came to the door they pushed their way into the house and shut the door.

“Vivian Adams, you are under arrest for charges of kidnapping of minor children, transporting minors across state lines, neglect, using a false identity, making false statements to police. You will be transported to Minnesota where charges will be filed. You have the right to remain silent, if you do say anything, it can be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning. If you can not afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you if you so desire. Do you have any questions?”

Lucinda asked “Boyd? What will happen to Boyd?”

One of the deputies answered as they led her away, “He is with his father, temporary custody has been granted to him until after your trial where permanent custody will be decided by the court.”

-x-

The start of the summer break saw a bit of tension within the larger pack, some of the teens were angry that such a huge secret had been kept from them. They spent time talking out the issues (and honestly there was also a fair bit of time fighting it out in the dojo). 

Lydia was determined to find a way so that Danny could spend more time with the pack. She hated the way his parents just treated him like a servant rather than their son. The pack had already requested private lessons in Taekwondo and Eskrima from Danny’s teacher, and they insisted that he be able to assist. She was also working with Delphine and Stiles to find a way to legally get Danny more freedom.

Over the summer the parents were happy for the kids, regardless of if they decided to take the bite or not, to be learning the various methods of self-defense that was on offer. The human parents were also taking on lessons in Taekwondo from Danny and they were also getting lessons in shooting from Noah and Chris in the shooting range they had built in the basement of the main pack house. It had been drummed into all of them that even humans in the pack are targeted by the more extreme hunters.

The training was starting to show that various pack members had different strengths amongst the different fighting styles that were available for them to learn. Derek and Stiles were loving Eskrima, Derek preferring the fast-paced two stick method while Stiles excelled at the quarterstaff often adapting the style to use his faithful baseball bat as a shorter staff. He was still working on how to use magic when fighting with help from Thea and Regina. He was working on a staff that could be glamoured to look, to anyone else, like an ordinary baseball bat, he was also learning how to imbue it with different properties while fighting depending on the creature. So far he had mastered electricity and fire. He found that due to his uniform of a red hoodie with jeans on his lithe frame combined with a baseball bat, creatures often assumed he was just a human pack member. The deception came in handy for many fights. 

Isaac and Lydia took to handguns with surprising fervor, Lydia tried to hide her joy in excelling when she claimed it was good math practice, Isaac found being ambidextrous was very helpful in being able to shoot two-handed, he like Chris, favored the Desert Eagle, finding it accurate and deadly. Jackson joined Allison in the archery range, loving the peace and quiet that the various forms of archery gave him, it was a way to get him out of his own head when he needed the peace and quiet from his own thoughts. Boyd meanwhile loved the hand to hand combat, he was able to use the bulk he was building up to aid him and learning speed and agility in his fighting from Taekwondo. Peter was training him up to be an utterly ruthless and brutal left hand and bodyguard for Stiles when he was out checking the wards or other magical workings, they had found out the hard way that Stiles situational awareness was lower when using his magic. Erica surprised everyone when she mastered the sniper rifle, often working with Chris to cover the pack without being seen in the trees, she had the patience to sit and wait for the right time to shoot. 

Lydia used the summer break to start on some of the high school tutoring in the various math disciplines that their tutor, Matt was giving to Derek and Stiles. Stiles was getting a head start on the senior year high school AP courses and Derek was making a start on his Criminal Justice degree papers while he finished his classes at the local police academy. The three of them worked with the rest of the pack to ensure they were up to speed in their schoolwork and they made sure that no one fell behind. Lydia was encouraged to show how smart she was to the rest of the world rather than hide it to make her dad happy. 

The biggest change for Stiles and Derek was having more help with the patrols through the preserve. The wards were working well, keeping them updated with creatures that enter the territory, most were benign peaceful creatures just wanting to settle into the preserve, they triggered a notification but not an urgent one, creatures were attracted to the Nemeton now that it’s slowly healing and growing. When the wards showed ill intent, the notification would come through as urgent and the pack then headed out to the preserve, armed to the teeth, they use a formation of wolves at the front and humans towards the back armed with wolfsbane guns, to find out what’s going on. 

It was a system that worked well, it was keeping the pack safe and each patrol run, which was made up of two wolves and one human, was a good exercise in sparring and fighting in a heavy forested environment which they didn’t get when they trained in the clearings or the dojo in the basement.

-x-

At the start of the new school year the pack kids started to keep a closer eye on Erica, her medication was starting to lose its effectiveness and she was starting to have minor seizures. The wolves in the pack were able to sense when a seizure was coming on, they could sense the change in her chemo-signals and had, so far, been able to get her to a safe place that was away from prying eyes. They had noticed the warnings were getting stronger since school started and Stiles nudged Derek into talking to Erica about taking the bite.

Derek peeked into the library where most of the teens were all doing their homework. He asked, “Hey Erica, you got a moment?”

She nodded and got up to follow Derek and Stiles into their shared office. She took a seat across from their desk and she asked faux confidently, “S’up guys.”

Derek smiled and said, “We wanted to talk to you about taking the bite. We noticed your seizures are getting worse and we thought we could talk about the bite instead of doing the medication game.”

Erica sighed “Yeah, I am getting sick of the seizures. I have had a few at home that I haven’t mentioned. You’re 100 percent sure the bite will cure me of them?”

“I knew of someone from an allied pack that was bitten to cure epilepsy,” Derek reassured her.

Erica nervously asked, “Am I strong enough for the bite? I have been working hard to get fitter and stronger even with the seizures.”

“Hell yes Catwoman. You are definitely strong enough. Talk to your parents about it though. We have a few options. We can turn you at a time of your choosing, or we can wait and you can decide to turn when you have a seizure bad enough to require a hospital visit.” Stiles offered.

Erica grinned and replied, “I will talk to mom and dad but I think we will all agree, wait till it gets bad enough to need the hospital, gives me more time to get fitter and stronger, to get my body ready for the change.”

“Talk to Allison, she was bitten because she had terminal cancer. If anyone understands the need for the bite due to illness, she might.” Derek suggested.

Erica nodded, stood and just before she walked out the door she turned back, she leaned on the door frame and told them both, “I will let you know what we eventually decide.”

-x-

 Just before Christmas, it all came to a head during a particularly boring history class that Erica shared with Isaac and Danny. Danny saw Isaac’s head snap up and looked around to see what was wrong. They both saw the seizure start and raced across to her, they moved everything out of the way and Isaac kept her safe during her seizure. Danny got a classmate to call 911 while he started messaging the pack to let them know what was going on.

While he was sending off his messages he noticed out of the corner of his eye one of the other class members, Trent, holding his phone out looking like he was recording. He stealthily made his way across the class and snatched the phone before the guy saw what was going on. 

“Hey! Give my phone back!” Trent yelled.

The teacher walked over while Danny was checking to make sure Trent hadn’t uploaded any footage to his social media or saved it somewhere on his phone.

She asked, “What’s going on here?”

Trent yelled indignantly, “He just came over here and stole my phone!”

Danny silently held up the phone, he was showing the video recording of Erica mid seizure on the floor to the teacher. He said, “I was protecting a friend from Trent and his sick bullying. I think I will hold on to this phone and pass it to the sheriff... or perhaps her lawyer, he’s vicious when provoked by bullies.”

She shook her head and held out her hand for the phone, “I can't let you do that.”

Danny smirked at her and asked “So you are willing to tell Peter Hale that he can’t have the evidence of his client's rights being violated. Of his client being violated. Good luck with that.”

She paled and dropped her hand, everyone in Beacon Hills knew that while Peter Hale didn’t have many clients, he was protective of the ones he did have, especially those who were friends with Stiles, his defense of Isaac Lahey had been the source of much gossip since he became Isaac’s guardian. She turned to another student in the class and she asked, “Larissa, will you go get the principal, please.”

Trent started mouthing off about his phone but Danny just walked away to check on Erica, the phone safe in his pocket.

Larissa nodded and she raced off to the admin office.

Meanwhile, Erica’s seizure had finally stopped, this one was a major and she was still out cold on the floor. Isaac had her head in his lap, giving her comfort while they waited for the ambulance. As she started to come around she looked at Isaac and mouthed, ‘thanks’.

The paramedics came in and started checking Erica over before they loaded her on a gurney and took her to the hospital. She refused to let go of Isaac so he went along with her in the ambulance. Before they left he had a quick quiet word with Danny to make sure that Derek was notified that she was going to the hospital and that he should meet them there with her parents.

The principal came in after the paramedics left and after a quiet word with the teacher he asked Trent and Danny to accompany him to his office. Danny nodded and followed him, he texted both Peter and Noah as they walked to the office to let them know what was happening.

When they got to the office the Principal, a man named Curtis Stevens, asked what was going on.

Danny commented, “I would rather wait till the Sheriff arrives, he’s on his way now.”

Trent’s jaw dropped and he asked, “You actually called the Sheriff over a bullshit video of the spaz.”

Danny turned around and angrily snapped out, “Yes! That ‘spaz’ as you call her is a friend, one of my best friends and she doesn’t deserve you recording her for your entertainment.” He smirked and because he was that much of a smartass, he asked, “Did you know its illegal in the state of California to record a person without consent.” Danny then sat down in one of the chairs by Mr. Stevens’ desk and he waited patiently for Noah to turn up.

Five minutes later they all heard a knock on the door and Noah walked in when invited.

He turned to Danny and he asked, “What’s going on kiddo?”

Danny held out Trent’s phone for Noah to take, then he pointed at Trent and he said, “That dick was recording Erica while she was having a seizure. He seems to think it’s ok.”

Noah pulled out an evidence bag and placed Trent’s phone inside. He turned to the boys and he asked, “Can you both wait outside the office please, I just need a word with Mr. Stevens?”

They headed out, Trent was looking sullen.

Noah looked at the principal and he asked, “Mr. Stevens, are his parents likely to be the type to put the fear of god into him for this?”

“Call me Curtis, Trent is usually a good kid, not sure why he did this, or why he called her a spaz,” Curtis answered evasively.

Noah facepalmed and he muttered, “Oh boy.” Louder he said, “Right, I will take these two down to the station and I will call their parents in.”

Curtis hesitated then said, “Don’t call the Mahealanis if Danny is not in trouble. They are hard on that boy and they are more likely to punish him for helping.”

“Yes, I have gotten to know Danny quite well through Stiles. The kid tends to adopt all the people. His parents seem pretty indifferent until they need him to babysit his kid sisters.” Noah agreed.

“That sounds about right. During parent-teacher interviews… well, anyway, since he’s not in trouble, I wouldn’t recommend letting them know.” Curtis suggested.

Noah knew that Peter, who was waiting in the cruiser, had heard everything so he just pinched the bridge of his nose and he said, “Leave it with me. I will get a deputy to run them back to school when they are done.”

Curtis nodded and he stood to shake Noah’s hand, he said, “Thanks, that would be great.”

-x-

Derek met Erica and Isaac at the hospital with her parents.

“Hey Erica, ready for that ‘experimental treatment’ now?” Derek asked with a grin on his face.

Erica nodded and asked, “On the hip right?” 

“And you are 100% sure you want the bite now? It may be painful, are you sure you don’t want to wait a few weeks, or even until you get home?” Derek asked quietly.

“Nope, if we wait till I get home then I cant get signed over to that ‘experimental program’, which means I will need to go through the motions of 'guess the drugs' again. I can’t do that again.” Erica whined.

Derek turned to the doctor Peter had hired and he asked, “Is her paperwork all ready for the ‘experimental program’?”

Lara silently handed over the paperwork to Derek. He had a quick read through and handed the papers back to Lara.

“Ok, left or right?” Derek asked.

Erica rolled on her side and pulled up her tee-shirt and pointed. Derek raised an unimpressed eyebrow at the sass.

“Sorry alpha, there please,” Erica said apologetically.

Derek shifted to his beta shift and bit down on Erica's side. Once he was finished the doctor moved in and covered the bite with a gauze pad.

Derek suggested, “Wait a few hours for the initial bite symptoms to pass and then she will be fine for discharge. Erica, Lara I gotta head to work for my shift, let me or Stiles know if you have any issues when you get home. If you want to, feel free to hang out in the main pack house while the bite takes hold. Lara, I will drop Isaac back off at school on my way to the station.”

He gave them both a quick hug then left to drop Isaac off before he headed to work.

-x-

“Mr. & Mrs. Edmonds? Can you follow me please.” Noah asked as he escorted them to his office. He had Trent secured in one of the interrogation rooms. Danny was out in the bullpen chatting with Graham and Derek.

“What’s going on Sheriff?” Don Edmonds asked.

“Please sit, we have a few things to go through with you,” Noah asked kindly as he leaned against the front of his desk. He turned and gestured to Peter who was sitting behind his desk. “This is Peter Hale, he is a lawyer from the Vesuvius Group, he would like to talk to you about Trent.” He saw them start to move, to ask questions. “He’s fine, he’s currently sitting in an interrogation room with one of our deputies. I am going to let Peter explain why we are here and what he would like to do.”

Noah moved back behind his desk, and he poked Peter until he got out of his chair. When Peter looked like he was going to sit in his lap Noah glared at him. “Go explain and stop being funny.”

“Right, so there was an incident at school today, one of the students, a client of mine incidentally, had an epileptic seizure, a rather serious one that disrupted the class. Her friends were quick to get her help but in doing so one of her friends, Danny noticed that Trent was recording the seizure on his cell phone. He grabbed the cellphone from Trent and called us.”

Shelia Edmonds frowned and asked, “Why? Surely he could have just asked Trent to stop and that would be it.”

Peter shook his head, “Unfortunately it wasn’t that easy. When Danny said he had called Noah, Trent got quite belligerent and stated ‘You called the sheriff over a bullshit video of the spaz’. He didn’t seem to find it a problem when informed that recording an individual without consent is actually illegal in California.”

Shelia put her face in her hands, she mumbled, “Don, damn it, we raised him better than that.”

Don shook his head and he asked “What can we do to help? Beyond grounding him for life that is.”

Peter looked at Noah who nodded. He said, “What I would like to do is scare him, outlay the consequences of his actions, I won’t be pressing charges at this stage, I am sure with the video evidence I would get it through the courts, but he's just a kid, I think with help from you both he could learn from this, but I will reserve the right to press charges for this incident if he does it again. He will also be signing a statement that will be kept on file. We would want you both in the observation room so you are fully aware of what is laid out for him.”

Noah stood and gestured them all to follow him out of his office, he led the Edmonds to the observation room and joined them. Peter continued to the interrogation room, with the paperwork in hand.

Peter walked in and put the folder down on the table before taking a seat, he made sure his back was to the interrogation room window. 

“Trent Edmonds? Do you know why you are here?” Peter asked sternly.

Trent nodded sullenly. “Some crap about it being illegal to record someone.” He rolled his eyes.

“So you don’t think there is anything wrong with robbing someone of their body autonomy?” Peter asked.

“What? I don't even know what that means.” Trent snapped.

Peter sighed. “Right, to rob someone of their body autonomy means to take away their right to choose what is done with their body. So while it is a minor example, recording Erica when she had no control over her body is robbing her of her right to choose. It’s also illegal under California law to record someone without their knowledge or consent.” 

Trent slumped down in his chair and asked, “So are you pressing charges?”

Peter tapped the folder in front of him. “No, not at this stage. However, I have discussed it with both the Sheriff and your parents and they agreed to hold off on the charges as long as you agree to not do it again. We have a statement for you to sign if you agree to this.” He sighed when he saw the stubborn look hadn’t left Trent's face. “Kid, look, do you know what bullying leads too? It leads to jail, do not pass go, do not get $200. It may seem cool but there is always someone like me, waiting in the wings ready and willing to cut a bully down to size. It’s just not worth it kid. Pull your head out of your ass before it’s too late.”

Trent held his hand out for a pen and he signed the paperwork in front of him. 

Peter opened the door and let his parents in, he was about to leave when Trent asked quietly, “When can I get my phone back?”

Noah said, “We are taking a copy of the video for evidence, once that’s done we will organize to return it via your parents.”

Trent nodded and he left with his parents, they had agreed to drop him off at school once they were finished talking to him.

Peter followed Noah back to his office and he exclaimed, “What a little shit. I was so tempted to just flash my eyes at him just to get him to take it more seriously.”

Noah just squeezed his shoulder, he made sure the door was shut before he pulled Peter in for a filthy kiss.

Chapter Text

January 2008

Peter headed into Noah’s office at the Sheriff's station. 

“Hey Noah, do you have a moment?”

Noah looked up and he put aside his never-ending paperwork. “Save me from all this paper torture,” he pleaded.

Peter chuckled and he said bluntly, “I maybe have a kid out there, want to help me find them?”

Noah’s jaw dropped. 

Peter looked down, he was nervous. “Sorry, I know its a lot to take in, trust me.” He said sardonically, he paused for a moment to collect his thoughts. “So the meditation has been helping, and the memories have slowly been slotting back into place.”

“OK. So how can I help?” Noah asked.

Peter fidgeted and Noah took notice because Peter never fidgeted. Peter said “So a few years after I was given the ultimatum to leave the pack or leave you and Chris I was asked to return home for a few months to do some tasks for Talia. I was given very strict instructions to have no contact with you or Chris while I was back in town. As far as I knew, you and Chris were still together at that point, Talia had never told me otherwise.”

Noah shook his head and confirmed, “No, that would have been after he left, he would have been married by that point. Do you want me to call him to have him come down here?”

Peter agreed, “No, not yet, but yes, I found that out by accident about a month after I arrived. Someone I was working with in the pack let it slip that you had gotten married to Claudia. It was at that point I started bucking Talia’s edict and I started spending a lot of time in the bars in town. That’s where the memories start getting hazy.”

Noah frowned “She blocked your memories of bar hopping?”

Peter shook his head, “No, I think it was a specific person she was trying to block who I met while bar hopping. I remember bits and pieces, I know she was married and boy was Talia pissed about that, the lecture she gave me is one memory that returned in all its glory. I think her name was Maggie, her husband had infertility issues, and she was using me to get pregnant, something I was unaware of until she told me she was pregnant and it was over.”

Peter shook his head, “She was showing by the time I went back east 4 months later. I told Talia just before I left and I think that's when she went in and took the memories. I haven’t seen Maggie since I woke up from the coma, so I am not sure what happened to her… or the kid.”

Noah picked up a pen, “So what can you remember about her?”

Peter closed his eyes, he was trying to bring the memories into his mind a bit clearer, “Maggie was a little shorter than me in heels so maybe 5’6” - 5’7”, brunette, she was a trust fund baby, pretty well off, and she would have been due to give birth in July that year, I think it was 95.”

Noah got a sinking feeling in his gut, and he hesitated as he asked, “Margaret? By any chance?”

Peter shook his head, “No, I don’t think so, but then she introduced herself as Maggie, I don’t remember ever getting a last name and I don’t remember meeting any of her friends so I only knew her as Maggie.”

Noah brought up a file on his desktop and pulled up the id photo in the file, he turned the monitor around with just her photo showing.

He asked, “Is this her?”

Peter looked closely at the photo and nodded, he confirmed, “Either that's an old photo or she hasn’t aged a day.”

Noah gave him a sad look, “She hasn’t. Margaret Miller and her husband were killed in a car accident in June 1995. The report stated her husband was driving them both on the road out to the highway, the one that borders the preserve, they crashed into a tree on the side of the road after swerving to miss something. No one ever worked out what they were swerving away from.”

Peter slumped, “So there is no child?”

Noah smiled, “Actually…” Peter perked up. “Because there were suspicions about the crash the fact the child survived was kept a secret. Margaret was braindead but they were able to keep her alive long enough to be able to deliver the child by C-Section. He was adopted by a local family fairly quickly.”

Peter looked up nervously, “Can you help me find him?”

Noah grinned, “I don’t need to. I already know who it is, he’s pack, Peter.”

Peter sat up, “What?”

Noah grabbed his keys and sidearm and he pushed Peter out of the door. “Come on, we need to go have a chat with one of the pack parents.”

-x-

They walked across the road to the town hall and Noah took Peter to the office of the District Attorney. He asked the receptionist “Hi Flora, is DA Whittemore in?” 

She looked at her computer and confirmed, “He sure is, you know where to find his office hon?”

Noah nodded and guided Peter toward David Whittemore’s office.

Peter hissed, “Jackson? My kid is Jackson?”

Noah laughed, “Can’t you see it? He’s just like you were at that age.”

Noah tapped on the doorframe of David’s office, “Hey David, you got a few minutes to chat?”

David looked up, checked his calendar and nodded, “Sure. Come on in.”

Noah walked in and shut the door, this caused David to raise his eyebrows in curiosity. David said, “This must be serious.”

“It is. It involves Jackson. First, though let me give you a quick background. So one of the abilities an alpha has is the ability to remove or modify memories. While most alphas won’t do that, I think we all understand that Talia Hale will do whatever she wants to protect her own reputation. Right?” Noah explained.

Both Peter and David nodded in agreement. David asked, “She removed Jackson’s memories?”

Peter shook his head and said bluntly, “No, she removed my memories of the relationship I had with Maggie Miller.”

David looked up in shock. “W..what?”

Peter explained, “When I gained the alpha spark I gained back memories, memories that Talia had removed. However, because of the trauma of the fire and the coma, the memories are, for lack of a better word, scrambled. I have slowly been piecing them together and last night I remembered Maggie telling me she was pregnant, she had essentially used me to get pregnant as they had found out that her husband was infertile. I am fairly sure that Talia would have hunted her down to do the same thing to her so she wouldn’t have any connection to the Hale pack, but I never got her last name, just the name Maggie.”

David and Noah looked at Peter, David asked, “Just how far would Talia have gone to protect her reputation?”

Peter shrugged, “I don’t honestly know. I wouldn’t have said she would run away from hunters leaving her son behind but that obviously happened. She wouldn’t have wanted anyone else with a claim to the Hale pack, especially not an illegitimate child.”

David asked shrewdly, “So what do you want from all this?”

Peter looked at his hands in his lap, “I don’t want to disrupt his life, he loves you guys and I don’t want to get in the way of that, I would just like a chance to get to know him, be there if he wants me to be. He’s already pack. Maybe someday I can train him up to inherit my law firm from me, as Uncle Dante did for me.”

David muttered, “I would hope he could do better than a 2 lawyer firm.”

Noah smirked. “That’s just the local office, it’s not the whole firm Peter owns. The firm he's talking about is Vesuvius Inc. Started by his Uncle, Dante Hale in the 70s.”

David looked at Peter, shocked, “Why does the local office look so… well…”

Peter interrupted, “Run down, cheap? It’s because of Talia. If it looked like the firm was struggling and not successful, she left me alone to do my own thing. Which left me alone to build up from what Uncle Dante started. We are now one of the biggest supernatural law firms in the US. Although the fixer side of the business is starting to overtake the lawyer side. It’s been easier keeping the subterfuge up while we get the pack sorted. We are looking at moving the head office closer, either Beacon Hills or maybe San Fransisco.”

David facepalmed and gave Noah a deadpan look, “Bloody hell Peter. Does the pack know this?”

Peter shook his head. “No, only Noah, Derek and Stiles. Derek and Stiles got a lot of help from Ralph in building up the case against the Argents. Stiles learned a lot about what fixers do, and how to utilize them in an investigation. It seems to be the direction he is heading in if a math degree doesn’t snag his attention first.”

Noah cleared his throat to get their attention, “I think first of all we need to do a paternity test to make sure that Jackson is Peter’s son. If she was sleeping with Peter to try and get a child there may have been others. I think we also need to tell Maria and Jackson so they know both what’s going on and why Peter is only just mentioning it now. Knowing Jackson as I do, if the reason why Peter has waited so long is not made clear, he will jump to all the wrong conclusions.”

“He will.” David looked at Peter, “Do you have a lab you trust locally to do a blood test? One that can keep your secrets?”

“The local one is run by a couple I know,” Peter confirmed.

Noah gave him a look and asked, “Supes?”

“Yep,” Peter said popping the P. “It’s the same firm you used when you did Graham and Boyd’s tests.”

“Ok, we will talk to the lab and organize a time to bring Jackson in for a test. Do you want to keep it fairly non-specific until the results are through?” Noah asked for clarification.

David nodded, “Let’s not get his hopes up before we know for sure.”

Noah stood and shook David's hand, “Sounds good, I’m going to take Peter home, he’s still a bit in shock from all the news. One of us will contact you about the blood test.” 

He led a still somewhat shell shocked Peter out of David's office and took him home.

While they were driving home Peter sent off a text to Ralph. 

To Ralph: Can you sort out a time for some blood tests at our favorite lab, please. 
From Ralph: Sure boss. Who for? Urgent?
To Ralph: Quite urgent, the tests are for myself and Jackson Whittemore. I will need the results asap.
From Ralph: I will send through appointment times. You will inform them yourself of the type of testing?
To Ralph: Yes. Thank you

Peter turned to Noah, “That shouldn’t take long to set up.”

From Ralph: 10 am tomorrow for you. 11 am for Jackson. They will rush the results for you.
To Ralph: Thank you

To DavidW: 11 am tomorrow at Kujo Labs. They will rush the results.
From DavidW: I will get Maria to take him in. Thank you.

Noah left Peter with Chris and he returned to work. He knew Chris would keep him relaxed and calm, or at least busy while they waited for the blood test appointment.

-x-

“Are you ok, Danny?” Stiles asked as they were sparring in the dojo.

Danny nodded distractedly.

“Uh-huh, are you gonna try and sell me a bridge next?” Stiles snarked at him.

Danny snapped his head up to glare at Stiles.

“Danny, your attention is so elsewhere you’re actually in danger of losing this fight,” Stiles stated.

Danny sighed, deeply. “Is anyone else here?”

Stiles tilted his head to stretch his senses. He shook his head “Just Peter and Derek upstairs in the office, but they have the soundproofing activated.”

“So how do you know they are in there?” Danny asked in confusion.

“The soundproofing allows for the sound of heartbeats to be heard, just not the talking or other noises,” Stiles explained. “Do you want me to activate the soundproofing wards in here?”

Danny thought about it and he nodded.

Stiles activated the wards and they got comfortable on the training mats. Stiles sent off a quick text to Derek so he knew to stay away from the dojo for a while.

“So what’s up Danny boy, it’s unusual for you to be so distracted,” Stiles asked.

Danny sat and he looked down at his hands. He wasn’t sure where to start. “You know my parents aren’t the nicest people. Right? Well… They don’t like anything that they think isn’t normal. Which I think includes me.”

Stiles moved over and gave Danny a side hug and he asked, “Why you? You’re as normal as, well I would say me, but I am hardly normal. You’re as normal as Dad, just younger.”

“Heh, possibly more like your dad than you think,” Danny said with a bit of hesitation.

Stiles frowned, thinking, “How so?”

Danny looked down at his hands again. Stiles, however, put a stop to that. “Hey, whatever it is your struggling with, it will be fine. You could seriously try to sell me the Brooklyn bridge and we will still be fine.” 

“Right, well, no bridges. Just a crush my parents would consider inappropriate.” Danny says nervously.

“Let me guess, your crush on Greenberg,” Stiles said.

Danny just looked at him with his mouth open in shock.

“Dude, I’m a werewolf. It’s hard to hide a crush from us, trust me, I should know, I have had plenty of practice now.” Stiles said sardonically.

“Oh? So you don’t mind that I like guys? That I am most definitely gay?” Danny asked quietly.

“Well it would be a bit hypocritical of me if I minded since I worked out a while ago I am bi” Stiles commented.

Danny wrapped Stiles in a hug. “Thank you. I just… I … just thank you.”

Stiles pat Danny on the back. “It’s all good Danny. No one in the pack will care about the gender of whoever you love. I mean look at my Dad, he’s in love with two guys. If your parents have an issue with it, we will just sic dad on to them.”

Danny just hugged him tighter. 

“I gotta say though Danny boy, Greenberg, seriously? He’s not only straighter than one of Ally’s arrows he’s also on the never ever gonna be pack list from the Nemeton.”

Danny blushed and shrugged. “You ever going to fess up about your crush?” He asked slyly.

Stiles laughed and shook his head as he lifted the silencing ward and went upstairs to see what Derek and Peter were up to.

-x-

From DavidW: Results are here, will you and Noah come down to the office?
To DavidW: On our way. Chris, Derek, and Stiles insisted on coming too.

When the group walked into the District Attorney’s office the receptionist just waved them through. David warned her they were on the way for an urgent meeting.

They all trooped into David’s office and settled down with coffees from the Double Grind.

Peter sat bracketed by Noah and Chris, he looked at David expectantly, “So what’s the verdict?”

David passed over the sealed envelope. “I thought you could do the honors.”

Peter clutched the envelope in his hands nervously. He looked up at everyone, then using a claw carefully sliced the envelope open. He read through the results and slumped in his chair. He leaned against Chris and passed the results across to Noah.

“It’s a 98.9% match,” Noah confirmed as he squeezed Peter's shoulder. 

Peter looked at David, his eyes glassy and he asked, “So what now?”

David took a deep breath. “I would like to call Jackson and Maria down here. I think neutral territory would help with breaking the news.”

Peter nodded and David sent off a quick text to his wife.

-x-

Jackson walked into the office with Maria, pausing slightly in surprise when he saw the group that was gathered.

He took a seat and looked to his Dad for an explanation.

David looked down at the results then over at Peter. “Maybe an explanation as to how we got to this point?”

Peter nodded then looked at Jackson “So you know I have been having trouble with my memory?”

Jackson nodded, he wondered to himself what that had to do with him.

Peter took comfort from the men on either side of him and he continued, “So it turns out my memories of specific events had been removed by Talia using her alpha claws. It’s an ability an alpha has. They returned when I became an alpha but because of the trauma of the fire and the coma, the memories came back scrambled. Some memories are coming back quicker than others.” Peter sighed “One that came back a few days ago was… well… memories of a woman I had a fling with telling me she was pregnant. That she had been using me to get pregnant as her husband was infertile.”

Jackson leaned forward.

David walked over with the results and crouched in front of Jackson. “These results show that there is a 98.9% chance that Peter is your biological father.” Maria put her arm around Jackson in comfort.

Jackson looked between Peter and David and he asked, “So what does this mean?”

Derek grinned at him, “It means, cousin, that you are family, if you want to be.”

Peter glared at Derek for interrupting. “He’s right, I don’t want to get in the way of the family you already have, David and Maria love you and I certainly don’t want to take you away from them. I would though, like to get to know you, and clearly, Derek does too. Maybe I could be an Uncle or something.”

Jackson nodded slowly and looked to his parents who were also nodding in approval. “I can handle that. Do you want to tell the pack?”

Peter looked up stunned. He glanced at Derek then looked back at Jackson, “I will leave that up to you and Derek to decide.”

They both nodded in agreement.

Noah clapped his hands and stood, he smirked as everyone else in the room jumped at the noise. “Right, how about we all go away and process all this? It's been a long few days.” He looked at Derek and Jackson and asked, “Can you let him know either way when you decide?”

They both nodded in unison. It was easy to see the Hale traits in Jackson when you knew what you were looking for.

Chapter Text

April 2008

Jackson gathered his parents and Peter together. 

“I have been thinking about my options, around telling the pack and not telling the pack. I mean it's going to be another nail in Talia’s coffin really. But I think I do want to tell the pack everything, after I talk to Lydia, she’s important to me.” Jackson said nervously.

Maria moved over and she pulled him into a side hug as she said, “Of course she is honey. Girlfriends usually are.”

Jackson looked at his mom with wide eyes, “She’s not… I mean… Oh. She is, I just haven’t asked her yet.”

David and Peter chuckled. David commented, “You should probably do that, quickly.”

Jackson nodded and said, “Yes, when I tell her about the adoption. Peter are you sure it’s ok to tell her everything? Including what Talia did?”

“Yes, I think it's important that the pack realize what she has done in the past,” Peter answered with a touch of anger in his voice.

Jackson gave him a quick hug and he bounded out of the room to contact Lydia.

David asked, “Will you let Derek and Stiles know that Jackson will be telling the pack?”

“Yes, they will keep an eye on the reactions. Do you think this will help him decide about the bite? I… we are surprised that none of the pack have requested the bite. We were expecting it after Erica, but we haven’t asked as we don’t want to push.” Peter pondered.

Maria commented, “I think they have been waiting to see how Erica has adjusted to her new wolfiness. Is that even a word? I think they wanted to see her progress before deciding. It’s a big decision and they didn’t get to see the others change.”

Peter sighed, “Right, I didn’t even think of that, I have seen them talking to the kids who have been bitten, asking questions about the change and what to expect. On a different matter, Maria, I wanted to ask a favor of you on behalf of the pack.”

“Oh?” Maria asked with a raised eyebrow.

“The pack scheduling has gotten too much for Delphine to deal with on top of her work for Vesuvius, we are looking at hiring someone to take over the scheduling and doing what Delphine does but for the pack and its associated members. Does this sound like something you would be interested in doing? Delphine would train you up in all the things she does.”

Maria looked to David then asked “Would it be full time? I still work part-time for David in the office.”

Peter nodded, “Yes, we definitely need someone full time, between all the kid's activities and schooling both at school and out its a full-time job. It would be better if it was done by someone already in the pack so we don’t have to try and find someone who won’t freak out.”

Maria turned to David and asked, “Would you be ok finding someone to replace me at the office?”

David commented, “I can use the secretary pool, for now, we can look at maybe giving one of the kids a part-time job when they are old enough. Get them a bit of experience working in the DA’s office.”

Peter stood to leave, “Great, I will coordinate with Delphine to get you a contract sorted, she is going to be talking to Lara about using her MBA to do the finance work for the pack so she will be training you both up at the same time.” 

-x-

“Lyds, can we talk? I have a few things to ask you and tell you.” Jackson asked nervously when he arrived at Lydia’s house.

Lydia led Jackson into the den, “Moms not home so we can talk in here if that’s ok.”

Jackson nodded and they both sat. He looked down at his hands, he was uncharacteristically nervous, “So, first of all, will you please be my girlfriend?”

Lydia looked at him with a ‘duh’ face. Jackson though didn’t see this as he was still looking down, fearing rejection.

Lydia nudged Jackson into looking up. “Jaks, I am already your girlfriend. I thought you knew that?”

Jackson shook his head. He lamented, “I think from what mom said, I am the only one who didn’t.”

Lydia chuckled, “Its ok Jaks, now what’s so urgent that you raced over?”

Jackson hesitated, “Its a bit of a mess Lyds. Have you got time to sit and talk for a while?”

Lydia leaned over and gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Let me go get some hot chocolates and we can settle down a for a while.”

“Need any help?” Jackson asked, still feeling unsure.

Lydia flounced to the kitchen, “Nope, I’ll be right back.”

They settled in with hot chocolates and Lydia had brought them both a blanket each to snuggle under, she had a feeling it was going to be a blanket fort type of discussion.

Lydia nudged Jackson, “Come on Jaks, spill, what's going on?”

Jackson took a deep breath, trying to put his thoughts in order, even though he had been thinking about the adoption for the last three months it was all still jumbled in his head. “So you know how I am adopted? Well, my biological father was found.”

Lydia gasped, “Who? Do we know them? What are they like?”

Jackson grabbed Lydia’s hand interlacing their fingers. He gave her hand a quick squeeze and answered, “He’s pack Lyds, he didn’t know about me, the knowledge had been taken from him by his alpha.”

Lydia’s eyes widened, “Peter!”

Jackson nodded. “Yeah, he’s not fighting for custody or anything, he's happy to be family, like an uncle or something. Pack. I have talked to him a few times since we found out.”

Lydia frowned “How did you find out? Oh! His memories, that's what was in the memories he got back?”

Jackson sighed, “Kinda, I mean yes, he found out he had got my biological mother pregnant, she used him to get pregnant because her husband was infertile. Peter was angry at Talia and was… well… sleeping around to piss her off. Its all part of a bigger story that he will have to share, if he ever wants to. Long and short of it is that when Peter told Talia as he was heading back to Boston she ripped the memory of her from him using her alpha claws, so he returned to Boston having no memory of her or her pregnancy.”

Lydia started putting together what wasn’t being said, “What happened to your biological mother?”

Jackson leaned into Lydia, “She died, she and her husband were driving to San Francisco using the road around the preserve, the accident report said it looked like they were swerving to avoid something on the road and they hit a tree, they were able to keep her on life support for long enough to deliver me.”

“From what we have heard about Talia and the actions she has taken in the past, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that she was what caused the accident, she wouldn’t have wanted a Hale out there that was out of her control.” Lydia speculated.

Jackson shook his head, “No, Noah said that they kept my birth under wraps as they were not entirely sure the crash was an accident.”

Lydia asked, “Are you going to tell the pack? Who does know?”

“Noah, Chris, Derek, and Stiles know, they were supporting Peter when the results of the paternity test came through, it was my choice if the pack as a whole found out, I took a while to think about it. I agreed this morning that they could find out but that I wanted to tell you first. It was important to me that you knew before the wider pack.” Jackson implored.

Lydia wrapped Jackson into a hug. “Jaks, can I make a suggestion? I think you need to talk to someone about it, someone outside the pack. I am seeing a therapist who is supernaturally aware about Dad and the divorce. It’s helping, like really helping.”

Jackson nodded and then he bit his lip. “I want the bite, but only if you do too.”

“I do, but I want to research more about what I am first. I want more info about how my banshee nature will affect the wolf side.” Lydia said determinedly.

Jackson frowned. “Won’t that be hard to research since it’s never happened before?”

Lydia chuckled, “When has that ever stopped me. Also, I think its important to be settled within yourself when you take the bite, some of the things I have been reading in the library, well, being conflicted within yourself is not a good thing Jaks. It can lead to the transformation going a bit… well… really wrong. I can show you some of the journals when we are at the main house. When do you want to tell the rest of the pack?”

“I’m not sure really, can I get the details for your therapist?” Jackson asked, “Maybe I should talk to them first and get it more sorted in my head before telling anyone else. I am still really angry at Talia for the whole mess. Is the therapist one Delphine recommended?”

Lydia stood and got the business card out of her wallet and she handed it to Jackson. “She did recommend her, she’s been seeing a few members of the pack but she understands privacy most of all. I think she’s under a secrecy ward too when speaking to the pack so your secrets will be safe with her.” She decided it was time for a distraction, ”Movie?”

“Sure, as long as it’s not The Notebook,” Jackson snarked.

Lydia pouted and they settled down to watch a movie for the rest of the afternoon.

-x-

It was quiet in the large house with everyone either at work or school, Chris walked into the kitchen where he saw Peter beating something in a bowl. He walked up behind Peter and peered over his shoulder to see what he was making. Chris smiled when he saw the eggs, peppers, and cheese in the bowl, Peter’s omelets were to die for.

Peter looked over at Chris with an eyebrow raised in question and asked, “You hungry?”

“I could eat,” Chris answered. He nuzzled into Peter's neck, sucking a mark above his collar bone that would quickly disappear.

Peter leaned his head back to give Chris more access before turning to hungrily claim his mouth. They were so engrossed in each other they missed the sound of approaching footsteps.

“Ugh, do you have to do that in the kitchen!” Stiles exclaimed as he walked into and then straight back out of the kitchen.

Chris chuckled as he buried his face in Peter’s neck turning the red of a tomato. He asked, “So… how about that omelet…”

Peter just laughed and finished cooking the eggs, adding a few more eggs making sure he made enough for them both and one embarrassed melodramatic teenager.

-x-

A few months later Lydia settled down in the pack library to do some more research about her banshee side. She had a good talk with her mom after they joined the pack, she learned about her grandmother and how she didn’t discover her banshee side until it was too late and she died while committed at Eichen House after failing to save her partner Maddie. She had been researching her banshee side with all the books in the library for months now.

Peter wandered into the library and found Lydia knee-deep in books again. “Anything I can help with Lydia?”

Lydia shook her head, “No thank you, I am just trying to figure out what the banshee side of myself will be able to do and if that will conflict at all with the wolf.”

“Did you want me to get Derek or Stiles in here, they can probably ask the Nemeton for you. It might be easier than exhausting yourself in here.” Peter offered.

“I didn’t think of that, yes please, maybe Stiles?” Lydia requested.

Peter headed out to grab Stiles, he could hear him working on his AP homework in his office. “Hey Stiles, got a few minutes to help Lydia? She’s trying to figure out the banshee vs wolf thing in the library and I think its overwhelming her a bit. Not that she would ever admit to it.”

“Sure, I need a break from my history classwork anyway.” Stiles headed to the library to help Lydia.

“What’s up Lydia?” Stiles asked as he sat down opposite her.

Lydia looked up and she asked, “Peter said you might be able to get information from the Nemeton about what will happen with me when I get the bite. I am worried about what will happen to me. There is no information about a banshee wolf hybrid anywhere.”

Stiles smirked, “You will be unique, normally a banshee would be immune from the bite. About the only thing the bite would normally do to a banshee is awaken the powers if they are not active.”

Lydia huffed, “So what will happen to me. Nothing in these books show conflicting powers, so I just want to make sure I am not shooting myself in the foot by asking for the bite.”

Stiles drummed his fingers on the table, contemplating how to answer, “So… when the Nemeton chose people for the pack, it did so knowing who would adjust to the bite and who wouldn’t, but it also had a sense for who would accept their wolf and who would be an asset to the pack. In you it sensed that the banshee side and the wolf side would work together, this would make you able to do magic, use the scream and also have the wolf senses, healing, strength, etc. Basically, you would have the best of both worlds. I think the Nemeton intends for you to be the emissary for the pack. An ambassador so to speak. You would work with me on interpack relations, do magic for the pack with me, and other things we are still discovering.”

Lydia asked, “What about your magic? Wouldn’t you be a better fit for emissary?”

Stiles snorted and shook his head, “I have magic for sure but I am a much better fit as pack second. Can you honestly see me being diplomatic? I know my faults, one of them is a short fuse when dealing with idiots and there are many idiot alphas who will see me as a dumb kid and they will go out of their way to treat me as such, which I will return with sarcasm and sass in full force. You will be needed to balance that out, to keep the peace.”

Lydia nodded, “I see your point, you have diplomacy when you want it, but you often just don’t want it.” She got a pensive look on her face, she wanted to be sure so she asked, “The Nemeton is sure it will work? That I will be both banshee and wolf?”

Stiles nodded. “Yes, the same way I am a wolf and a spark,” he confirmed.

Lydia sent a quick text to Jackson asking him to come to the library.

“Thanks, Stiles, I think I need to talk to Jackson before I decide. Will Derek be home later?” Lydia asked.

Stiles smiled. “His shift finishes in about an hour. Do you want me to send him up when he gets home?”

Lydia nodded as she distractedly packed up the books she had all over the table.

Five minutes later Jackson barrelled into the library as she was shelving the last book. “Lydia?”

Lydia smiled and she asked, “Are you ready? For the bite? I want to do it, now before I lose my nerve. Stiles said Derek will be home in an hour.”

Jackson gave her a hug, “I’m ready when you are Lyds. We do it together right?”

Lydia nodded decisively, “Yes, then it will just be Danny and Boyd who need to decide. We need to get Danny away from his parents.”

“Yes, I think we need to talk to Noah, I heard his sisters talking about cool their school in Hawaii will be. I wonder if they are moving and they haven’t bothered to tell Danny.” Jackson said angrily.

Lydia agreed, “It’s something they would do. It’s not like they care. We will talk to him tonight, he will probably be home not long after Derek.”

Stiles was in his office texting Derek. He had left the library when Jackson arrived.

To Sourwolf: Don’t be late tonight. Lydia and Jackson are ready.
From Sourwolf: Nem agree?
To Sourwolf: Yep, I checked. They will be in the library.
From Sourwolf: Let the parents know, please.
To Sourwolf: Sure

-x-

Derek and Stiles walked into the library after Derek got home from his shift. He found Jackson and Lydia waiting with their parents. He asked, “You’re both ready?”

They nodded in unison. Derek looked at the parents. “You’re ok with it?”

David spoke for them all, “We have all discussed it with Lydia and Jackson and we are happy for them to take the bite. We have also discussed it amongst ourselves as pack parents, with Lara and Ernesto, and we have all decided to stay human unless injured like Noah.”

Derek smiled, “Ok, where do you want to hang out while the bite takes? The den?”

Jackson looked at Lydia and they both nodded. So they all trooped down to the den, Jackson and Lydia each lay on a sofa and pulled up their shirts to get the bite on the same hip. Derek shifted into his beta shift, first biting Jackson, he dressed the bite with a gauze pad, then he rinsed his mouth with some water before biting Lydia. They settled down with a movie while waiting out the changes.

“You are both young, fit, and healthy so the bite shouldn’t take longer than a few hours to take,” Derek commented. 

Stiles headed off to get dinner ready now that the bite was done. The rest of the pack headed to the den to support Lydia and Jackson through their change.

He handed Lydia the handbook he had written as he left for the kitchen. It had tips and hints on control for new wolves based on his own change and what he learned helping Allison, Chris, Isaac, and Erica through the bite.

In the kitchen, Derek and Stiles talked about Danny and his situation.

“Derek? Can you look into Danny’s parents tomorrow? I heard Lydia and Jackson talking and it sounds like the Mahealanis are going to leave the state. If that's the case we need to get a plan in place for him to be able to stay behind with the pack.” Stiles said.

Derek frowned, “If Danny doesn’t know, how do Lydia and Jackson know?”

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Jackson overheard the twins talking about their new school in Hawaii. It makes it sound like they are moving since I can’t see the Malealanis putting the girls in boarding school. They would be more likely to do that with Danny.”

Derek muttered under his breath, “Shit,” before he said louder, “I think he's still too young for emancipation, but if I find it's looking likely that they are going to pull a fast one and move without telling Danny, I will put Delphine on the case. She will be able to ferret out the info better than me.”

Stiles gave Derek a quick hug. “Thanks, Sourwolf, Danny's a good friend, I don’t want him to have to move.”

Derek smiled. “Stop worrying and leave it with me.”

Chapter Text

July 2008

“Dad? Can we talk?” Boyd asked his dad nervously.

Graham nodded, “Sure kiddo, what's up?”

Boyd sat at the dining table, “I think, no, I know I want the bite. I was worried that it would take a while to take like with Erica, but Lydia and Jackson got used to it quite quickly. They are even on the patrol schedule already as wolves, just not full shift wolves yet. Seeing them take to it so quickly has answered the last of my questions. If that makes sense.”

Graham put his hand on Boyd's neck and squeezed to give reassurance. “Definitely son. When do you want to talk to Derek? I know he's on a day off like me so he is probably at the main pack house. Did you want to go now? Or maybe call him here?”

Boyd smirked, “He probably already knows, the Nemeton seems to let them know when we are ready.”

Graham chuckled, “A bit yeah, it's more confirming that it considers your ready for the bite. Ready to be a wolf.”

“Can we head over now? I think being around the pack will make it easier.” Boyd asked.

Graham nodded and he grabbed his keys as he led Boyd out the door. “Let's go.”

Boyd was right, they were met at the door by Stiles and Derek. Derek raised an eyebrow and he asked, “Now?”

Boyd nodded and he asked, “Can we do it in the den with the pack?”

Stiles smiled, “I already texted the pack and they are all heading in, they will be here once the bite is done.” He led them all up to the den.

Derek shifted to his beta shape and Boyd lifted his shirt so Derek could bite down on his hip.

Over the next 10 minutes, the pack all piled in and they settled down to binge-watch old episodes of Stargate SG-1, Boyds favorite show.

-x-

Delphine knocked on Peter's office door. “Boss, you got a minute or five?”

Peter gestured her to the visitor's chair. “Whats up Delphine? You look worried.”

Delphine huffed, “No, I look like I always do, put together and perfect… Fine… I am worried. We just got confirmation that the Malealanis are planning to move and that they haven’t told Danny. We are not sure if they are planning to leave him behind or if they just aren’t telling him because they don't care. I think its time to confront them with the documented evidence of neglect.”

Peter sighed. “How sure are we that they are moving and that Danny doesn’t know?”

Delphine handed over paperwork showing the house they were living in was for sale, and the purchase agreement for a house in Hawaii. There was also paperwork showing a job transfer for Mr. Malealani to an office on Ohau.

Peter flicked through the paperwork and he asked, “Anything on the schooling?”

Delphine handed over a few more sheets of paper. “Just the twins, I couldn’t find anything for Danny’s schooling. Stiles had a look through the various schools within walking and even reasonable driving range of the house and he couldn’t find anything. Either they have just forgotten to register him or they don't plan to.”

Peter rubbed his face with his hands. “Shit, can you get Danny in here, I need to figure out options for the kid before confronting his parents. He has training at the dojo tonight, can you intercept him and bring him here, explain to his instructor that we need to talk to him urgently. Maybe see if he has heard anything. They would have had to let him know as he is currently training for his next level in his black belt.”

Delphine nodded and she headed to the dojo.

Half an hour later, Peter, Delphine, and Danny were sat in Peter's office. Peter said “Before we start, did you want someone here with you? I can get one of the kids here if you like?”

Danny shook his head. “No thank you, I am just curious what this is about, it’s not often I am given leave to skip training.”

Peter went with his usual blunt style and he asked, “Are you aware your parents are planning to move, to Hawaii?”

Danny paled and he asked quietly, “What?”

Delphine handed over all the paperwork they had found including the twins' school registration.

“Fuck!” Danny exclaimed. He looked up at Delphine and he asked, “There is no school registration for me?”

Delphine shook her head, “No, both Stiles and I have looked and we can’t find one. Sorry, kiddo.”

Danny huffed. “So where do we go from here. Its clear more now than ever they didn’t even think about me with this move. Can you petition for guardianship? I know I am too young for emancipation.”

Peter sighed, “Kiddo, we have looked into various options, emancipation would be best but that is not possible for at least a year. We can look into getting your parents to sign over guardianship to someone in the pack. They are unlikely to allow Chris, Noah or I to petition.”

Delphine suggested, “What about Natalie Martin, we could build a case for her to take over guardianship, we have enough documented evidence to take them to court if we need to.”

Danny frowned and he asked, “Evidence of what?”

Delphine pat his shoulder, “Neglect Danny, you have no idea how supported you are kiddo, even your school principal has given us a signed statement documenting their behavior at parent-teacher evenings, where they listen to everything actively about your sisters but with you, they just nod and smile but don't actively participate. It’s all part of a bigger picture, a picture we have been documenting for a while now as we worked towards your emancipation as soon as you turned 14. We didn’t anticipate them deciding to move to Hawaii though.”

Danny chuckled, “What's that saying? Most plans fail at the first engagement? When can we talk to my parents, I would like to hear them actually admit that they forgot to tell me they were moving.”

Delphine said, “I checked with your instructor at the dojo, he hasn’t been notified either. He's willing to sign a statement detailing how that would have set back your black belt training by at least a year as you settled into a new studio, especially as he is sure most studios wouldn’t allow someone your age to help instruct others.”

Peter piped up before either of them could start ranting. “We can get them in over the next few days, I want to coordinate with Natalie and Noah so we have all our ducks in a row before the meeting.”

“Thanks, Peter, Delphine. I really don't want to move away from the pack. Can you let me know when the meeting is, I am fairly sure that even if you asked them to bring me they will forget.” Danny snarked.

Delphine said, “Leave it with me kiddo, we will keep you in the loop with what we all discuss.”

Danny looked at Peter, “When this is sorted and Natalie is my guardian because I do not doubt that no matter what happens the guardianship will change, I want the bite, no more waiting for me to be emancipated.”

Peter smiled, “I will let the boys know. If they don't know already. Trust us kiddo, we will sort it, you are pack and we look after pack.”

Delphine gave him a quick hug and took him back to the dojo to finish up that night's training.

-x-

Stiles was in his spark lesson with Thea, Regina had joined them this week to teach him some advanced runic wards.

“Aunt Regina, I was wondering, can runes be tattooed? Like wards?” Stiles asked during a break in his training.

Regina shrugged. “I am not sure Wilczek. I suppose it’s possible, as long as the person doing the tattooing is able to infuse their magic into runes as they work. You want to try it?”

Stiles shrugged, “I just thought it would be better for some wards than say, an amulet which could be taken or lost.”

“Delphine can probably find you the gear to use if you wanted to test it. You just need to find someone willing to be your test subject.” Regina suggested.

“I think I will look into it more first, find out if there is a tattoo safe ink I can use as the ink I normally use for rune work wouldn’t work well on wolves,” Stiles replied. “Thanks, Aunt Regina.”

A few weeks later Stiles was in the library and Derek and Peter walked in. They were curious about what had Stiles so distracted.

“What are you looking for, pup?” Peter asked.

Stiles looked up but wasn’t really paying attention, he went back to his book without answering Peter.

Derek moved around and had a look over his shoulder. “He's looking for ink, it looks like ink recipes for rune work.”

Peter leaned over the table and covered the page with his hand.

Stiles blinked up at him owlishly and asked “What?”

Peter huffed and asked again, “What are you looking for, pup?”

Stiles frowned and said, “Didn’t you already ask me that?”

Derek chuckled and said, “He did ask, you didn’t answer, you just looked at him blankly and went back to your book, so more extreme measures were required.”

Stiles looked down at his book which was still covered by Peter’s hand. “Umm, I am looking for an ink recipe that is safe to use on wolves.”

Peter raised an eyebrow “Safe how?”

“Safe to use as tattoo ink. I want to try doing runic wards as tattoos. I think it will be safer and easier to hide than amulets.” Stiles explained. “I just need to find a safe ink and then I will ask Delphine if she can find me some gear to try. Provided I can find someone willing to be my test subject.”

“Are you confident you can do the tattooing safely? Even the blowtorch part?” Derek asked.

Stiles nodded, “Yes, I found a book that detailed how to do tattoos on different weres. I can use the handheld blowtorch we have in the kitchen for small to medium tattoos. I don’t want to be doing larger ones.”

Derek contemplated it “Lil Red, if you are sure you can test it out on me, but in return, I would like you to do a non-rune tattoo for me of my choice.”

Stiles shook his hand, “Deal Sourwolf.”

Peter stood and walked through the shelves. He found an old book buried deep in the druid section of the library and brought it back to the table. “There is a recipe in here that used to be used for old stick and poke style tattoos back in the 1800s. It should work fine in modern equipment. Did you want me to send a message to Delphine and get her to find some equipment for testing?”

Stiles had a read through the recipe and asked, “What about the wolfsbane in the recipe? Is it safe on wolves?”

Peter pulled the book over and had a read through the recipe, he answered “Yes, it's an uncommon strain but not impossible to find, we should be able to get cuttings for the greenhouse so you can grow the ingredients and brew the ink yourself. You should also be able to use it to make multiple colors by altering parts of the recipe, a few color alterations are listed on the next page.”

“Awesome, then yes can you please ask Delphine to get the equipment. Maybe for a few weeks. That should be long enough to figure out if the warding tattoos work.” Stiles asked. “Who would be best to talk to about buying the ingredients?”

Derek suggested “Dominique, she has some good sources for buying random things. She may know a good herb supplier who would sell her cuttings of the various herbs we need.” He slid the book over and read the list “It looks like some are just regular grocery items which will make it easier.”

Stiles wrote out the list of ingredients and the various recipes before he returned the book to the shelves. “Thanks, guys, I will start ordering the regular items tonight. Peter let me know when the equipment will arrive. I will also talk to the tattoo shop in town about a lesson or two in how to use the tattoo guns. Or maybe dad should organize that for me. They are more likely to listen to the sheriff than his kid.”

With that sorted, he left the room and headed to his office to get a head start on ordering.

-x-

“Come on through Mr. & Mrs. Mahealani. Is Danny not with you?” Delphine asked as she led them through to the conference room.

Eric Malealani said, “Call me Eric, and this is my wife Holly. Danny isn’t with us, what is this about?”

Delphine gestured to them to take a seat, she looked at Peter sat at the head of the table surrounded by folders of paperwork. He had Noah sitting to his left and David sitting to his right, “Hey boss, I am just going to track down Danny, then we can get started.”

Peter looked up, “Natalie is bringing him in, he called when he realized his parents had left without him even though he was required for the meeting.” He punctuated his comment with a scowl at the Mahealanis.

Holly demanded, “He was needed to babysit the girls. How dare you.”

Peter fixed her with a glare. “He is still too young to legally babysit on his own, the twins are being brought in and will be looked after in reception by Delphine while we have our meeting.”

Noah was sitting quietly making notes about the babysitting comment while they waited for Danny. He wrote a note about it being a habit and tapped on it so Peter and David would see it. They both nodded.

Danny and Natalie entered five minutes later and sat on the opposite side of the table to his parents. Both also had paperwork in folders.

Eric demanded, “We are all here, now what do you want?”

Peter looked him in the eye and he asked, “We understand you are planning to move to Hawaii in the near future?”

Eric answered belligerently “Yes, so? What of it?”

Danny asked quietly, “And when were you planning to tell me? Have you registered my move with the dojo? The school?”

Eric looked at Holly and said, “Well… we don’t have to tell you everything, we are the parents, its for you to listen and do as you are told.”

Noah snorted and he asked, “Wow, you honestly expect that to work? It’s like you don't know Danny at all.”

Holly demanded, “What do you want, what's the point of this meeting?”

Peter pulled a folder towards him, and tapped on it, “We want you to sign over guardianship of Danny. We have enough evidence to take you to court for child abuse and neglect. You have even admitted in front of the sheriff that you left a 13-year-old home by himself to babysit his younger sisters. We know from talking to teachers and others in the community that this is a regular thing for you.”

Eric spluttered “What? How dare you, Danny is our kid, he comes with us.”

Danny laughed and snarked, “I am yours, biologically sure, but to you, I am just a handy babysitter, someone to use and abuse when you need a sitter for the twins." He started to shake with anger, "I’m not giving up the life that I have built here to go to Hawaii, I will press charges of abuse and neglect myself if you don't sign the papers. I am done. I am so done.”

Natalie glared at them as she enveloped Danny in a hug.

Holly looked towards them and then back to Eric and nodded. She asked, “Who will take guardianship?”

Natalie answered her with a determined look in her eyes. “I will, happily, Lydia is one of his best friends, and she is distraught at the thought of Danny being taken away from her.”

Eric huffed, “Fine, where do I sign.”

Peter handed over guardianship paperwork provided by the child services office. “Thank you, we will be helping Danny apply for emancipation when he turns 14, however his living arrangements won’t change at that point.”

Danny looked over the signed papers before passing them to Natalie to sign her sections. He asked, “I would like to move now, I just need an hour to pack up my things.”

Holly rolled her eyes, “Fine, have someone bring you by the house, leave your keys behind when you go.”

She stood and flounced out of the office to get the girls.

Eric looked down sadly. “Sorry Danny, we will take the girls out for dinner so you can get your things without any interruptions, please do keep us informed with how you are doing. You have my email.”

Danny just nodded and he waited until Eric left the room before letting his tears fall. The adults all surrounded him in a hug before they took him to his parent's house to pack up his things.

Peter sent off emails confirming the guardianship change to be registered with both the dojo and the school. He left his contact details with both as a backup contact.

That night they had a gathering at the main pack house where they explained what had happened at the meeting. When Lydia heard that he was going to be living with them as her foster brother she squealed at almost banshee pitch and took him down with a hug. She was still learning how to moderate her strength. Danny just lay there laughing at her enthusiasm.

Derek held out his hand for Danny to grab and pulled him up off the floor. He asked, “So, are you ready now Danny boy?”

Danny ran to the nearest sofa, lay down and pulled up his shirt, “Ready alpha!”

Derek bit down on his side just above his hip and he heard a whisper in his head, ‘four to go, one last to be bitten, three born yet to arrive.’

They all piled up around Danny, happy he was now theirs.

-x-

Danny's parents moved in late August, Eric came to see Danny at the dojo before they left.

“Hey kiddo, I just wanted to see you before we left. I have had time to think about my actions, and Mr. Hale and Sheriff Stilinski were right, it was neglect. It’s not the way I was raised. I just wanted to say sorry Danny. I do want to keep in touch though, just to know how you’re doing.” Eric said contritely.

Danny nodded. “I can do that, anything you want to know in particular?”

Eric shook his head “No, just what you think is important. I know it's probably too late but I would like to be in your life in some way.”

Danny gave him a hug, “I will try Dad, thank you for letting me go, being here is important to me. I will email you. Cya later.”

Danny waved as he went into the dojo for that night's eskrima lesson, he was able to breathe much easier now that he was free.

-x-

In Vermont, Talia’s pack were starting to hear whispers on the rare occasions they were allowed to venture into Stamford, VA, the small town near their compound. They were hearing rumors of a new pack growing in Northern California. They wondered if it was near Beacon Hills but whenever they got close enough to ask, the residents of the town would clam up and walk away.

Cora was starting to get antsy, her sister, Laura, was getting worse in her behavior, she had an arrogance and belief of her superiority and Cora was over it. She started ferreting away cash whenever she found it laying around, small amounts here and there. Cora was planning to do a runner back to Beacon Hills the first chance she got. Even if there was nothing there and she would become omega, it was better than staying with the pack she had grown to hate. She did not want to be around her mother or sister any longer. They were treating the pack more like a dictatorship rather than a pack. Training sessions with Laura were almost torture these days. It might take her a few years but she was leaving the pack the first chance she could do it safely.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty Two
August 2010

Stiles looked up from his homework, his eyes were glowing a brilliant red, “Someone just came through the wards. On the south edge of the preserve.”

Derek looked over at Peter, “Whoever it is, they feel familiar. Should we go check it out?”

“Just you, Stiles and myself I think. A show of force but one that can be easily underestimated.” Peter agreed.

Stiles pulled on his signature red hoodie, picked up his bat and a backpack he hastily packed with clothes for Derek and Peter. “Let’s go.”

The three men headed off to the area they felt the intrusion. Stiles staying in human form flanked by his favorite wolves in full shift. After a 10 minute sprint, they arrived to find a young brunette girl sitting cross-legged at the edge of the wards with her head down. Stiles scented the air and he just smelt a tang of salt and a sense of relief and happiness.

He said tentatively, “Umm hello?”

She looked up, her golden eyes red-rimmed with a smile on her face and she threw herself at the black wolf standing in front of her. 

Peter shifted from his grey dire wolf form and stood with Stiles, his eyes wide in shock. He croaked out, “Cora?”

She nodded enthusiastically while she was holding on tight to Derek as she murmured, “I’m home, I’m finally home.”

Stiles raised his eyebrow at Peter in question. 

Peter nodded and he said quietly, “She wouldn’t have got through the wards if she had ill intentions towards the pack as a whole.”

Stiles nodded in agreement. “Let’s head back to the house. Sourwolf? You wanna lead the way?”

Derek nodded as he decided to stay in his wolf form, he licked Cora up the side of her face and bounded off towards the house with a giggling Cora following behind. Peter put on the clothes from the backpack and walked back to the house with Stiles.

Stiles gave Peter a hard look once the other two Hales were out of earshot, he asked, “Can we trust her?”

Peter considered how to answer, “I would like to think so. She was always closest to Derek and myself. She absolutely hated Laura. I can’t see five years of isolation and lockdown changing that.” He looked up at the house as they approached and heard the pack teens that were in the house talking quietly in the library. “Let's head in and find out what’s going on.”

They walked in and found Cora sitting alone in the living room. Stiles tilted his head and he could hear Derek up in his room getting changed, Lydia and Jackson were up in the library, studying with Danny, Isaac was in the kitchen making coffees, he quietly asked, “Isaac, can you make a couple of extras?” Stiles smiled when he heard Isaac agree.

Stiles looked at Peter and he asked, “Can you call Dad and Chris, get them to come home?” He glanced over at Cora, “Maybe keep the details to a minimum.”

Peter nodded and he headed off to his study, he shut the door to activate the soundproofing ward as he called his partners.

Stiles just leaned against the wall by the door, his arms crossed with a blank expression on his face. He was fully prepared to be the bad cop in this meeting since he knew both Peter and Derek had a soft spot for the younger Hale. Isaac walked in, passing Stiles his coffee as he headed to give Cora the hot chocolate Derek had asked him to make her. Peter walked in with another four coffees placing them all on the coffee table before he swept Cora up in a tight hug. Isaac snuck out of the living room to join Lydia and Jackson in the den closing the living room door as he left.

“We’ve missed you Lil Bit,” Peter said, his eyes were suspiciously damp with tears. Derek joined them in their group hug before they all sat down on the big sofa.

Derek half turned so he was facing his little sister. “So Cora, how is everyone? Is the lockdown over? Should we be expecting more of the family to arrive?”

Cora shook her head. “Everyone is fine, well as fine as can be when in lockdown by a tyrant and her tyrant-in-training. The lockdown is still in place, I was allowed out of lockdown for the day to sit my high school freshman end of year exams. I went through them as fast as I could then hit up the library computers to do some research. I first looked up what happened to the two of you. We were all told that you had both died so I went looking for the death notice, I just knew in my heart you weren’t dead but wanted confirmation.” Cora rolled her eyes, “I found articles about Uncle Peter waking up from his coma and saw a picture of you both leaving the hospital after one of his check-ups. I knew then I had to go through with my plan to leave. After knowing she lied, that she separated you from the pack, I couldn’t stay, they aren’t my pack. Not any more. Not after what she did.”

Chris and Noah walked in and headed across the room to the love seat, they both scent marked Derek and Peter as they walked past.

Noah looked at Stiles and asked, “So son, what’s going on?”

Stiles just flailed and pointed pointedly at Cora. “She happened! She just turned up at the south edge of the wards. She’s run from the rest of the Hale pack. Fuck knows if they will send others after her.”

Derek, Peter, Noah, and Chris all exclaimed, “Language!”

Stiles held his hands up in surrender. “Geez, sorry! Just a bit stressed, ok. The last thing we want is the rest of the pack returning before we are ready.”

Stiles fixed Cora with a hard look. “Are they going to follow you?”

Cora just smirked at him. “Come on dude, Uncle Peter taught me well. If they look into the library search history, all they will find is various sites on traveling in South America, and bus booking sites with Argentina as the destination. San Carlos de Bariloche to be exact. I even printed off bus tickets to get me to the Mexican border.”

Peter smiled and he said “Nice work Cora. Making it look like your heading towards the Azevedo Pack, the one pack that Talia will not tangle with.”

“That’s the plan. I can’t see them chasing me though. I have made it clear that I am not happy being with them. I was so angry that she left Uncle Peter behind, angry that she would say they were both dead. As soon as I was on the bus south I broke my pack bonds so Talia couldn’t use the pack bonds to track me down.” Cora explained.

Derek looked at Stiles and he asked, “Can we add a rune to ensure she can't be traced?”

Stiles wordlessly headed to the library, he returned five minutes later with a Norse Runes book. He nodded. “It should be possible.” He showed Derek a rune set he thought would work. He looked at Cora, “It will require a tattoo, we can do this one on your back which should make it easier. Have you seen a werewolf get a tattoo?”

She nodded “Daniel has been doing them for the pack for the last few years. It looks brutal with the blowtorch. But it will be worth it if keeps me safe.”

“I can have the table set up for tomorrow morning. The sooner we get this done the better. The last thing we need is for Deaton to use magic to hunt you down.” Stiles offered.

Cora looked puzzled. She asked, “Dr. Deaton? What’s our old vet got to do with anything?”

Noah looked up sharply. “He left with your pack after the fire. Didn't he?”

Cora shook her head. “Not that I remember. It was just the family in a few rental vans. I don’t remember seeing him with us on the trip east.”

Peter looked at Noah “Might be worth noting that in the missing persons file you have on him.”

Noah nodded resignedly, he was cursing the extra paperwork that was about to come his way. Chris just pat his knee as he got up to get more coffees for everyone.

Stiles put the book on the coffee table with a post-it marker to indicate the rune set he wanted to use in the tattoo. He went back to his spot leaning on the wall and he asked, “So Cora, what are your plans from here?”

Cora gave him a hard look, she jut out her chin in defiance and she said, “I would like to talk to the local alpha about joining the pack here. I want to stay.”

In response, several pairs of eyes flashed red. Cora’s flashed gold in response as she gasped in surprise.

Stiles just smirked as he said, “We are a unique pack. We have more alphas than most packs. However, we have an ‘Alpha Hale’ who you will have to submit to for acceptance into the pack.”

She turned to Peter as he was the oldest Hale but he shook his head and he gestured towards Derek.

Derek just smiled at the look of shock on her face. “Can you submit to me and accept me as your alpha Lil Bit?”

“Sure Der-Bear if you stop calling me Lil Bit.” She snarked.

Derek and Peter both laughed at her sass. Derek shook his head. “Sorry Cora, that's one habit I don’t plan on breaking.”

Cora just huffed and stood facing Derek. She bared her throat and said formally, “Alpha Hale, will you accept me as a beta to your pack?”

Derek stood facing her and he leaned forward in his beta shift and he bit down on her bared throat. They all felt the pack bond slam into place. 

Lydia said quietly from up in the library, “Can we come down now please alpha?”

Derek looked at Cora and asked, “Ready to meet some of the teens of the pack?” 

Stiles tilted his head listening for a few seconds and said, “Actually, it sounds like Isaac called all the teens to the house.”

Cora nodded and she said, “Bring it on.” She jumped a bit as she heard the pack thundering down the stairs.

The pack all piled in and looked to Stiles for introductions.

Stiles stepped away from the wall. He rubbed the back of his neck and he thought about the best way to start. “Right, pack. Meet Cora Hale. Younger sister to our illustrious Alpha. You’re 15? If I remember rightly?” He smirked at Derek as he wriggled his eyebrows.

He then looked at Cora. “I am Stiles Stilinski, 16, spark and pack second.” He pointed at Peter, Chris, and Noah. “The three gentlemen there, well, you know your Uncle Peter, he’s both pack elder and also our pack’s left hand. Then we have Noah Stilinski, pack elder, my dad, and county sheriff. Then we have Chris Argent, also pack elder and trainer. Chris and my Dad went to school with Peter, they were a year ahead of him.”

Cora hissed when she heard the name Argent.

Stiles held his hands up in a calming motion. He promised her, “It’s ok, a lot has changed since you left. Let me finish with the introductions and then you can ask any questions.”

She just nodded, she was confused as to why an Argent would be considered pack.

Stiles turned to the teenagers in the room. “Right, so behind me is the rest of the pack teens,” He pointed at each of them as he introduces them and they waved as they were introduced, “Lydia Martin, part wolf, part banshee, she’s our emissary. Next to her is Jackson Whittemore, Erica Reyes, Vernon Boyd, we just call him Boyd though, Issac Lahey, Allison Argent and Danny Mahealani. We will organize a pack meeting over the next few days so you can meet everyone else.”

Lydia turned to Stiles and she sternly asked, “She’s staying?”

Stiles just nodded and the girls all fist-pumped, Erica crowed, “Yes, we need more girls in this pack!”

Everyone moved to sit in the various sofas around the room.

Cora smiled then she turned to face her Uncle Peter and she asked, “Argents Uncle Peter? Did hell finally freeze over?”

Peter smirked and grabbed Chris’ hand, lacing their fingers together and nodded. He asked, “What have you heard since you left?”

Cora shrugged, “Aside from that article about you leaving hospital we have heard nothing. Well, the pack has heard nothing. Talia and Laura have kept us all in lockdown in Vermont since we left saying that the hunters were still looking for us. She told us that you and Derek were dead and that's why the pack bonds broke.”

Peter scoffed at this while the rest of the pack sniggered. Cora just gave Peter a pointed look with her eyebrow raised in question.

Stiles leaned over and he whispered in Lydia’s ear, “Looks like communication by eyebrow is a definite Hale thing. Good thing we are all fluent in murder brow.”

Lydia covered her mouth to hide her snort.

Cora just ignored them and she continued her staredown with Peter. 

Peter rolled his eyes and he said, “There is no specific hunter threat looking for the Hale pack. We worked with the authorities to bring down Gerard, Kate, and Victoria about 18 months after the fire. Christopher's ex-wife Victoria was sentenced to death, and the sentence was carried out straight after the trial. Gerard and Kate were jailed for life, magically bound with a karma curse to feel the pain of all their victims until they die, we were notified that Gerard Argent died about 2 years after their sentence started, Kate is still suffering though. Their many accomplices were also jailed in various mundane jails with very long prison terms. The Hunters Council confirmed they let Talia and the other affected packs know of this decision.”

Cora slumped against Derek in relief.

Chris commented, “While both myself and Allison have left the hunting branch of the family we are still in contact with my mother, Dominque, who is the current Argent matriarch. She has moved to Beacon Hills to be closer to us and is involved with the pack… well, she is pack adjacent.”

Erica grinned, “We all call her Mama Argent though. She makes the best cookies.”

Cora snarked, “Wolfsbane cookies?”

This made everyone laugh. 

Stiles got up and crouched down in front of Cora and he asked, “Were you able to bring anything with you?” 
 
Cora shook her head, “Just my ID and my emergency cash. I had to have a legal form of ID to take my school tests.”

Stiles pat her knee and stood up and looked over at the girls. “Can you girls sort her some clean clothes for tonight and you all can go shopping for supplies and essentials tomorrow. Lydia can you help Cora choose a room please and show her around the house.”

Cora stood and gave both Derek and Peter tight hugs, then followed the girls towards the bedrooms to choose one of the remaining spare rooms on the second floor.

Wordlessly Stiles led Derek, Peter, Chris, and Noah into the office he shared with Derek, he shut the door to activate the soundproofing.

Everyone took a seat and Stiles looked at Peter with worry evident on his face. “Are they likely to come?”

Peter shrugged. “I would like to say no, but I just don’t know for sure. I will get some more details from Cora about where in Vermont they were based and I will send out some teams to monitor the area for movement.”

“Sounds good. Can you get a team to also get a copy of her school records and create a fake id so we can register her for school without her being tracked down?” Derek asked.

Chris smirked and he suggested, “Register her as an Argent. They will never think to look for Cora Argent.”

Stiles giggled at this idea. Then he suggested, “It might also be worth looking into getting her emancipated, just so we can’t be charged with kidnapping since she is still a minor.”

Peter pulled out his iPhone and he made some notes before he sent off an email to Ralph so he could get the processes started at work the next day.

He looked up at everyone and he asked, “Anything else?”

They all shook their heads.

Noah stood up. “I will go to the station and see what I can find in the system for missing persons. Make sure they haven’t already put out an amber alert.”

They all headed out to various parts of the house.

Chapter Text

Chapter Twenty Three
August 2010

The next morning Cora knocked on the door to Derek’s office, she could see Derek inside with Peter and Stiles, she asked, “Hey Derek, have you got some time to talk?”

Derek looked at Stiles and Peter then nodded, he asked, “Just me or…”

Cora smiled as she replied, “All of you please. Last night the girls suggested I talk to at least you and Stiles but I would like to have Uncle Peter here too.”

“Come in and shut the door.” Derek requested.

Cora stepped in and she shut the door, as the door clicked shut she felt the slight rush of magic. She turned and gave the door a ‘wtf’ look.

Stiles saw the look and he answered, “It's a Runic silencing ward. It activates when the door shuts.”

She sat down in the remaining chair across from Derek and she asked, “So what have I missed since we left. I mean it must be a lot if several of you are alphas, you and Peter are both full shift wolves, something Talia swore only female alphas in the Hale line could do.”

Derek chuckled, “Lil Bit so much has happened.” He paused to think, “Where to start?”

Stiles poked him, “How about explaining the alpha pack stuff, everything does seem to stem from that.”

Derek asked, “Do you recall last night when I said our pack wasn’t entirely normal?”

Stiles and Peter both snorted. Derek glared at them with his murder brows at DEFCON-2. Cora ignored them and she nodded, curiosity showing on her face.

“We are an alpha pack, magically created by the Nemeton for a specific purpose. Most of us have full alpha abilities including the full shift.”

Cora ignored the alpha pack details for now and she asked, “What purpose? Is it normal for a Nemeton to create a pack?”

Stiles shook his head, “No, it's not normal. The last time the Nemeta got involved and created an alpha pack was in the 1600s during the Salem Witch Trials. That pack was created to prevent the exposure of witches bleeding out into the other types of supernaturals. We have been tasked with something similar. The Nemeton senses approaching exposure, so to speak, so we are tasked with preventing that exposure.”

Cora was stunned, she asked “How? How does a wolf pack prevent exposure of the supernatural world?”

Derek shrugged and he said, “We don’t know yet. The Nemeton is not sure what the threat is, just a general idea that there is a threat of the supernatural world being exposed, so it has been helping us to build a strong pack. A very strong and unique pack.”

Cora narrowed her eyes and asked, “More unique than just the four alphas I saw yesterday?”

Stiles grinned and nodded and held up his hand, in his hand was a small lighting ball. Peter smirked and snarked, “Very unique.”

Cora asked, “So its been five years since I was last here, surely that’s not all that’s happened? Come on big bro, spill!”

Derek smiled and he said, “I work as a deputy with Noah, who you met last night, and Graham Adams, Boyd’s dad. The deputies had gotten used to seeing me with Noah and Stiles and they were happy to help me learn all the tricks of the job and they were also a huge help with my course work. I recently (finally!), earned my Criminal Justice Masters degree and I am thinking about doing another degree related to law enforcement, I am just trying to decide between a Psychology or Forensic Psychology masters to help with profiling since we are starting to get more serious cases around Beacon County. I am taking some time off studying to though weigh up the pros and cons and also to take a much-needed break, it's been five years of non-stop study, it's exhausting. I also don’t want to get invested in another degree when whatever the Nemeton is warning us about is coming.”

“He is partnered with Graham, one of our betas, for most of his shifts and Noah relies on them a lot for any call-outs that sound, well… odd. They are getting to know some of the other supernatural creatures that live and work around Beacon County. Most keep to themselves and would fly under the radar but it’s good to know who they are so we can keep them in the loop of any major supernatural events happening locally. Derek is working with Maria Whittemore to compile a contact list for each group.” Peter said proudly.

Noah was loving having a supernatural team in the station. It helped his closure rate as some cases were able to be closed with supernatural details omitted or after the scene had been sanitized by Vesuvius, this helped the station's close rate for cases rise, this made his station one of the most successful stations in the state. 

Stiles smirked and he said, “So, most of the pack is tattooed, over the last few years I mastered the art of tattooing runic tattoos, like permanent wards on the skin. We will need to do yours later so there is less chance of you being tracked magically. I also managed to talk my Aunt Regina into learning with me so she could tattoo me while I tattooed the pack. We all have various tattoos for protection, to help us hide our wolves, the alphas in the pack also have runes to help them disguise our eye flare, we just have to flare with intent and our eyes will flare the color we want, as long as it’s a color available to us, so Peter and Derek are able to flare blue, gold, and red while the others could switch between gold and red at will. I also get the option of flaring purple due to my spark and Lydia has the option of white due to her banshee. Derek was my test subject and as payment for letting me test on him, I tattooed him with the Hale triskelion. When the pack saw the finished tattoo on his back, the rest of the pack requested the triskelion in some form as a way to show they were proud to be a member of the Hale pack. Erica has put her art skills to use and she learned how to do standard tattoos so she could do artwork around the runes as a way to disguise their purpose.” 

Cora perked up at that, “Wicked, I have wanted tattoos for ages but Daniel refused to tattoo me, I think because I was a girl or maybe because of Talia. He wouldn’t tattoo Laura either.”

Stiles suggested, “Talk to Erica about what you want, she will work in the runes I use for the pack into the designs.”

Cora asked, “So last night I saw a few alphas, but you mentioned more? How many are in the pack?”

“So in the pack, we have 21 members and 1 pack adjacent member. 11 alphas, 7 humans, 4 betas including yourself, 3 hunters, a spark and a banshee.” Derek explained.

Cora frowned. “Er Derek, I think you skipped math class, that doesn’t add up. You said 21+1 but you listed 27. And from everything we have been taught, none of those should overlap.”

Stiles giggled, “She’s got you there Sourwolf. Cora, do you remember the introductions from last night?”

Cora shook her head, “Sorry, not really, it was all a bit overwhelming, to be honest.”

“Right, so because our pack was born by magic, and magic is used in the bite and in the granting of the alpha spark, some exceptions to the normal lore of werewolves can exist. This means that when I was bitten I didn’t lose my magic, I am a spark so I have the ability to use magic as well as being an alpha wolf. Lydia who you met last night is an alpha wolf but she is also part banshee, normally she would have been immune to the bite but the Nemeton helped make it possible. Her scream is deadly. Chris and Allison Argent are both alpha wolves and they are also hunters, technically, and Chris’ mother Dominique who is pack adjacent is the current Argent family matriarch.” Stiles explained. 

Cora smirked, “You’re gonna kick Talia’s ass. I hope I am here when she comes back to try and claim the territory.”

Derek, Stiles, and Peter all grinned with far too many teeth at the thought.

Cora asked, “So who can full shift and what colors did y’all end up with? Hale wolves are usually pitch black. But Uncle Peter was grey from what I saw yesterday.”

Peter grinned, “We have two pitch-black wolves, both are technically Hales.”

Cora frowned, “Huh, but no one else stayed behind and you haven’t mentioned anyone else escaping.”

Peter smiled softly, “My son, a son that Talia hid from me, well actually she hid the knowledge and we are pretty sure she caused the accident that killed the mother while she was pregnant. Jackson was adopted by the Whittemore family a few days after he was born. We found out a few years ago after the memory blocks Talia placed started to fail with help from my own true alpha spark.”

“Awesome, what’s he like? He still lives with the Whittemores?” Cora asked.

Stiles snorted and Cora saw that Derek was trying to stifle his laughter. “He’s a miniature Peter! It’s awesome.”

Peter glared at them and he said, “We decided that he’s happy with his adoptive parents so nothing would change, he accepts me as an uncle figure rather than a second dad. I have enough on my plate co-parenting Stiles, Isaac and Allison with Chris and Noah. Not that it matters much since we are all pack it all gets a bit squishy with who is parenting who these days.”

Cora giggled. “Squishy, that's a good way to put it, Uncle Peter.”

“Anyway! So we have 11 full shift wolves, some in the pack are still adjusting to their wolves only learning the shift within the last few months. So we have Derek and Jackson who are pitch black, I am a dark grey, Peter is grey as you saw, Boyd and Danny are both Dark brown in color, Chris and Erica are brown, Lydia is a red-brown color, its an interesting color, almost like a darker fox color, and Issac and Allison are both lighter brown.” Stiles explained, “We are taking bets on what color Dad will be when he eventually takes the bite.”

Cora asked, “So everyone seems young to be alpha. When did everyone get the bite?”

Peter explained “The bite didn’t make them alphas straight away. Each of the kids had to prove themselves to the Nemeton and the pack before they were offered their alpha spark. You can ask them about it and they may tell you how they earned their alpha spark.”

Peter sat and remembered the celebrations as each member earned their alpha spark.

Danny surprised everyone by gaining his alpha spark first out of all the teens working towards becoming alpha. He was able to meditate to accept his wolf, he had already shown loyalty to the pack and territory by refusing to leave with his family. His years of martial arts training showed he had the discipline to be a strong alpha, loyal to the pack.

This was closely followed by Jackson who accepted that he was a werewolf and a Hale, he was determined to learn what that meant to him and spent a fair amount of time in the preserve running patrols and protecting the borders. He proved himself ruthless and completely badass at protecting the territory, it didn’t matter if he used his claws or his bow.

Isaac’s alpha spark came just before his dad went on trial for child abuse and attempted murder. He was in therapy to come to terms with how the treatment from his father was not ok behavior and that he should accept that he is loved by the pack. When he was able to accept hugs and scenting from all the pack members without flinching he was granted his alpha spark. The Nemeton explained that by accepting himself and that he was safe with the pack, he was, therefore, accepting the safety of the territory and that he was loved and protected by the pack and the Nemeton just as much as he worked to defend the pack and the territory. 

Chris’ spark took a while, he had to completely shift his world view, learn what it truly meant to be pack, to be a werewolf. Once he finally accepted that and in turn, he accepted the love offered by Noah and Peter, he gained his alpha spark. It was all very fluffy.

Lydia was more clinical about accepting her wolf so it took her a bit longer, once she finally learned to meditate and communicate with her inner wolf she learned that the wolf was more organic, more fluid, once she accepted that she was granted her alpha spark. She celebrated with new shoes.

Erica and Boyd finally accepted their alpha spark together, like they did everything these days. Boyd was offered his early but he wanted to wait until Erica was ready and she had accepted her wolf. Erica took a while as she learned how to live without her epilepsy. It took her a while to accept that she could watch TV shows and movies that she had to avoid in the past. That she could play video games without having to worry about a possible seizure. She quickly learned that she loved the Call of Duty series of games and often kicked everyone's ass when they played together. Once she accepted that she was 100% free of her epilepsy both Erica and Boyd were offered the alpha spark.

Cora, oblivious to Peter being deep in thought asked, “So the full shift came once they got their alpha spark?”

Stiles shook his head and chuckled, “I wish it had been that easy, it took me and Derek over a year of meditating to master it, Peter even longer because he had bigger issues to overcome. I was only 11 when I was bitten and gained my alpha spark fairly quickly, within a month I think. I had already shown stubborn loyalty to Derek and the territory so I just had to accept the wolf within to earn my alpha spark. For each of us what we had to accept with ourselves was different, some found it harder than others.”

“I mastered the full shift first and Stiles followed about half an hour later. We used our own experience to teach the pack and most of them were able to master it in about 6 - 7 months of meditating with their wolves. The hardest part is giving up all control to the wolf for that first shift. Its bloody scary Lil Bit.” Derek explained.

Stiles giggled, “We are still training them how to fight as wolves as it’s quite a perception shift and not something easily accomplished. The first few lessons always involve a lot of tripping over paws and face planting as they learned to run and jump as wolves. They’re all learning by fighting by each other and fighting the golems we created for the training area in the basement. The pack also spends time in full shift puppy piles which the human parents find hilarious.”

Cora asked, “Are you all as big as Derek and Peter?”

Derek shook his head, “Not everyone is fully grown yet. When fully grown we end up around 6.5ft long including the tail, and on average 3-3.5ft tall at the shoulders. It still looks impressive when we are all standing there in full shift, hackles up with the humans armed behind us.”

Cora shuddered just picturing it. “We should get a photo of it and put it on the entryway wall to scare visitors.”

Peter put a note suggesting this into his phone. They would have to test how the flash would work on the full shift wolves if they would have the same issues with eye flare.

Cora coughed and she hesitantly asked, “I noticed way more kids than adults in the pack. Is that normal?”

“We have two emancipated minors, well technically 3 but Derek is no longer a minor. Danny’s parents moved to Hawaii about 2 years ago, we were able to get his guardianship moved to one of the pack moms when we threatened to charge them with child abuse via documented neglect. He lives with the Martins. Isaac’s father is in prison and his parental rights were terminated at his sentencing, I am listed as his legal guardian until he turns 18 and he lives in the main pack house. We worked with both kids to have them emancipated when they turned 14 just to give them the right to control their futures away from their parents.” Peter commented, thinking back to Colin Lahey’s trial.

It was decided that Isaac would not have to attend the trial, David and Peter arranged in advance to record his questioning and testimony via video once he had fully recovered from his injuries. The evidence in the Lahey house, including the basement and the freezer, showed long term child abuse of both Isaac and Camden, this was enough for the jury who found him guilty of all charges. 

His parental rights were terminated and permanent guardianship was granted to Peter Hale. A restraining order was filed, denying all contact between Colin Lahey and Isaac Lahey, any requests or mail must be sent to his new guardian. He was also jailed for 6 years for the child abuse and life for the attempted murder, and on release, if he is ever granted parole, he will not be permitted to work with children in any capacity.

Cora nodded and she asked “So everyone goes to Beacon Hills High School? Will I be able to join them?”

Derek smiled, “We have asked Ralph to get the ball rolling on getting you the legal paperwork so you can go to school. They are having your legal papers made up with the name Cora Argent, to help hide you, should Talia or the pack start trying to find you. He is also working on emancipation paperwork so you are able to stay here legally without anyone facing kidnapping charges.”

Stiles said “The teens you met last night all attend Beacon Hills High School. I do but I don’t attend many classes. I finished most of my class requirements a few years ago and I am currently doing law and math college courses remotely during my study periods, Delphine found out that Harvard offered remote degrees to the supernatural, including supernatural based classes for the law degree. I just have the science classes, electives, and PE which couldn’t be done via homeschooling. Watch out for Mr. Harris, he's a complete prick to anyone in the pack.”

Peter muttered, “He should be thankful he's not in jail since it's his formula that burned several homes to the ground with people inside.”

Stiles shook his head “No, he holds a grudge because he was questioned over it, he claimed he was drunk in a bar and it was just a theory. We had no way to prove otherwise on a mundane. So he gets to act like an asshole to the pack. We just keep reporting him to the principal when he is out of line.”

Cora frowned, “Do you always curse?”

Derek snorted, “Like a sailor, it's genetic and we have given up trying to stop him. When a 12-year-old says cunting twatwaffle you know there is no point fighting it anymore.”
 
Cora burst out laughing, “Oh I like you, Stiles. That's awesome. So… Is there anyone I need to look out for at school? I remember Laura ruled the school when she was there but she also had a few that would go out of their way to make her life difficult.”

Derek frowned, “She did?”

Cora shrugged, “I heard her complaining about a few people to Talia. I remember the name Camden and some girl, Shawna?”

“Camden was Isaacs brother, he was killed in Afghanistan. The only issues we have at school are Scott McCall and Matt Dahler. They have a friend, Jared Greenberg but he doesn’t participate in their harassment.” Stiles explained. “Scott used to be my best friend but we had a very public falling out when he demanded I choose between him and Derek. I chose Derek which pissed Scott off and he's been harassing me ever since. It’s mostly snide comments, he tries to get a shove in occasionally, nothing too serious… until Allison came to town. Scott has a massive crush on Allison, he even has a 10-year plan for how they are going to get together and get married. He thinks me and Allison are dating which couldn’t be further from the truth. Allison and I see each other as brother and sister, but it doesn’t stop Scott from trying to turn her against me. Matt also has a crush on Allison but he is keeping it to just being creepy and taking photos of her under the guise of being a yearbook photographer,” said Stiles.

Peter explained, “We have an investigator from Vesuvius keeping an eye on the boys to make sure they don't escalate and we have asked Allison and Stiles to not be alone around either of the boys. Just to be on the safe side. The Nemeton is vehemently sure that neither should know of the supernatural. Matt has been seen around the pack housing community but the wards seem to keep him out which works in our favor.”

Cora shrugged, “I will help any way I can Uncle Peter if that means helping keep the stalkers away from the pack, fine by me. So who haven’t I met in the pack? There definitely weren’t 22 people in the living room last night.”

Derek smiled proudly, “So pack structure, we have a fairly informal pack, I am the head alpha, Stiles is my second and Peter is the left hand, we have Noah who is currently human and the County Sheriff, and Chris who is an alpha and a hunter, who with Peter are the pack elders. Then we have David and Maria Whittemore and their son Jackson, David is the District Attorney, Maria works for the pack as our executive assistant, Jackson is an alpha and also Peter’s biological son as we mentioned earlier. They live outside the gated community we have here but Jackson can usually be found somewhere close. Natalie Martin, Lydia Martin, and Danny Mahealani live in one of the houses near the main house, Natalie teaches at the local private school, Lydia is a banshee and alpha wolf, Danny is also an alpha. Next door to them is Ernesto and Lara Reyes and their daughter Erica. Ernesto is our resident medic, he recently retrained as a paramedic to help the pack as he recognized we had no one with medical training to fix up those injured during fights and training. Lara is our financial genius, she is helping with investments to keep the pack financed. Erica is one of our alphas. On the other side of the road to them is Graham and Boyd Adams. Graham is a beta wolf, and Boyd is an alpha. Graham was bitten before he joined the pack. Ralph and Delphine live next door to Graham and Boyd, everyone thinks they are a couple but they are both quite happily single. They are both betas who moved from the Ito pack just before Peter woke up from his coma.” He looked to Stiles and Peter, “Did I forget anyone?”

Cora asked dryly, “Mama Argent?”

Derek blushed, “Whoops, Dominique Argent, the matriarch of the Argent family, she’s currently pack adjacent, not for lack of trying on our part to make her full pack. But she can’t be full pack with her Council responsibilities. Not when she is a hunter representative.”

Cora asked, “Does she help the pack with training?”

Stiles shook his head, “No, she doesn’t have time, with her family duties and her Council duties. However, Chris has been training the pack for nearly four years in shooting and hunter strategy and his daughter Allison trains the pack in Archery.”

“She has no issues having werewolves in the family?” Cora asked, puzzled. She thought it was an Argent thing to suicide if you got bitten.

Peter smirked and shook his head. “They have several wolves in the family in France, the 'suicide if you are ever bitten' rule, was something Gerard preached.”

Cora stood, she was starting to suffer from a bit from data overload. “Thanks, guys, sign me up for training, all the training. I want to help and I want to be ready for when Talia returns, because we all know she will return.”

Derek nodded, “I will get Maria to talk to you about what sort of training you have had so she can schedule you in.”

Cora murmured a quick, “Thanks” as she left the office.

Chapter Text

August 2010

Early the next morning Lydia woke the girls by shouting at the top of her lungs, “Shopping time!”

Lydia, Allison, and Cora were joined by Natalie as they got ready to head to the mall to kit up Cora. Derek flicked the pack Platinum Card to Natalie as they walked past. 

Derek asked Natalie, “Can you get her sorted with clothes and workout gear, oh and a phone. You should be able to add her to our plan, call Peter if there are any issues with that.”

She nodded and they headed out to the car, Erica and Lara were waiting in their car to follow them to the mall.

Cora was done with being quiet so she asked, “So… how have they been?”

Lydia took pity on the younger Hale and she asked, “Derek and Peter?”

“Yeah, mom told us they died, that the hunters got them, and that's why the pack bonds broke.” Cora spat out angrily.

Allison muttered, “God, what a bitch.”

Cora just nodded. It’s not like she could dispute the claim.

Lydia the queen of subject changes asked, “So what kind of shopper are you?”

Cora thought about it then she decided to answer honestly. She snarked, “Well, the last time I went shopping it was with Derek and Uncle Peter to put together our go bags. I was 10 at the time and by the end of it I think the best description of me would have been ‘homicidal’.”

Both of the girls turned to her with horrified expressions. Cora is pretty sure they were offended on her behalf about different parts of her snarky comment.”

Allison got over her horror quickly and she asked, “You haven’t been shopping since you were ten? That sounds awful.”

Cora looked at her a bit confused and she asked “I thought Derek and Uncle Peter told you all we were kept isolated. It’s Talia’s great plan to hide from the hunters. At least that’s what she told us.”

The girls shook their heads. Lydia commented, “To be honest, they haven’t said much about their family, we know it’s a sore subject. So, shopping, I was thinking the best way to do it would just be to do a quick look through each store, stopping if something takes your fancy. If you see anyone in the mall wearing a look you like, point them out and we can point you to the right store. The only definite need at the moment is workout gear. We tend to go through a lot of it during sparring so take note of anything you like and the exact sizing so Stiles can add it to the pack list.”

Cora raised her eyebrows as if to ask ‘what?’

Allison grinned and she answered, “Stiles has us registered at the local sports store, so all our favorite gear is kept in stock in the sizes we need. The store is run by a local family of sirens so there are no issues around frequent orders raising unwanted questions.”

Lydia huffed, “We are better than we used to be, after we were bitten we went through so much gear, it was insane. Not just the clothes either, we learned quickly that claws go through padding and punching bags too.”

Cora grinned and she asked, “So what sort of training do you all do? Derek mentioned getting me scheduled into training but didn’t go into detail about what type of training you all do.”

Allison explained, “All sorts. We do martial arts with Danny, he teaches us Taekwondo and some of us do Eskrima too. Dad and Noah teach projectile weapons and I help out with archery. Wait till you see Erica with a sniper rifle, she’s kick arse. Peter teaches us hand to hand combat, well hand to claw I guess.”

Cora asked “You all train in everything? Doesn’t that mean a lot of training?”

“It does, but it’s worth it, we want to make sure we cover all of our bases when the foretold chaos arrives. Once the Nemeton gives us the all-clear we will dial it back a bit… after we party.`”

Cora nodded as she got out of the car when she saw they had arrived at the mall. Erica and Lara were waiting for them by the doors. They spent the next few hours shopping, with the girls working to make it as painless as possible for Cora. She swore that next time she was just going to order jeans and t-shirts online.

As they were walking around the mall Cora used the time to grill her new friends about Beacon Hills. “What's the school like? I was homeschooled before we moved as I was still learning control, so I never got to meet any of you before. Is basketball still the popular sport?” 

“It’s lacrosse now, and sometimes the track team does ok,” Lydia explained.

Cora asked, “Does anyone in the pack play?”

Allison giggled, “Yes, Jackson, Danny, Isaac, and Boyd are on the first line, Danny is the goalie, they hold back their skills a bit so as not to stand out too much but play well enough to be on the first line. Stiles is a professional bench warmer, he uses the time on the team for his sports requirement to graduate and he uses the time on the bench to do more homework and study.”

Cora asked, aghast that someone would waste talent like that, “Doesn’t the coach care that he’s not overly invested in the team?”

Erica nearly fell over laughing at her indignant voice. “God no, coach loves it, they have an arrangement, Stiles keeps the boys from lashing out at anyone during games if the other team gets frustrated and Coach gets to keep the really bad players off the team like McCall and Greenburg.”

Allison slapped herself on the forehead. “That reminds me, I need to talk to Peter and Noah, Matt Dahler has a new camera, this one has a zoom lens, I think he’s been trying to get in or near the compound to get photos of me at home for him and Scott’s creepy collection.”

Lydia wrapped Allison in a hug and ordered, “No going out alone, seriously, those two are just getting worse.”

Cora looked at them all in confusion. “I thought the guys were exaggerating last night. Scott and Matt are that bad?” She looked at Erica who looked angry and she asked, “Explain it to me?”

Erica put her arm around Cora's shoulder and explained, “They really are honestly that bad, Scott McCall is a lying liar who lies and he's also Stiles ex best-friend. He has a helper in Matt Dahler who is a creepy photographer with boundary issues. He has been taking photos of Allison at school and around town for what? The last year?” Lydia and Allison both nodded, “And we are just waiting for it to escalate to him trying to get close to the house. The way we have designed the housing area means he can’t get photos of any of us from outside as the boundary fence and gates are all well away from any of the houses with loads of trees between the fences and the houses for privacy. The wards will tell Stiles and Derek if anyone tries to get in uninvited thankfully.”

“So why is he Stiles ex best-friend? It sounds like there is a story there, more than what I heard last night at any rate.” Cora asked.

Erica chuckled, “They used to be inseparable, Lydia, Danny, Jackson, Scott, and Stiles were all friends in elementary school until Stiles went away for testing when he was diagnosed with ADHD, he was away for months while they sorted a treatment plan for him, when he came back Scott had told the others that Stiles no longer wanted to be their friend as he had heard they had been spreading lies, he also told Stiles they had been spreading lies about Stiles being admitted to Eichen house. So it became Scott&Stiles all the way through the rest of elementary school and middle school, until Derek moved in with the Stilinskis. Scott got majorly jealous of the time Stiles was spending with Derek, they had tutoring after school which they did in Peters hospital room, I heard they also were patrolling most nights in the preserve, Derek tried to keep Stiles out of it since he was only 11 at the time but, well, Stiles is so unbelievably stubborn,” The girls all snickered at the understatement.

Lydia interrupted, “I heard Derek wanted to handcuff Stiles to his desk so he couldn’t follow Derek but Stiles has been able to escape cuffs since he was four years old.”

Cora snorted, “Derek must have been pretty frustrated, he used to get angry at me when I wouldn’t listen to him during our lessons with Uncle Peter.”

Erica ignored them and continued her story, “So, one of the things that they worked out while Stiles was away is to keep some of the symptoms of his ADHD down they needed to keep him busy, well keep his brain busy, so he had been doing high school courses since his assessment with tutoring after school every day. When Derek moved in it continued but the tutor was a new one hired by Vesuvius to teach Stiles and Derek their high school classes but also to teach pack stuff. He used to help us out when we did study sessions at Stiles' house after school. What's funny is that Scott was invited to join Stiles at these study sessions but he would always decline, then he would get angry because Stiles wasn’t available to go over to his house after school, every time he asked Stiles to come over he would seem to forget about Stiles tutoring sessions, and eventually, Scott got so frustrated at Stiles never being around when Scott wanted, not that Scott was around when Stiles needed him, but they had a massive fight in the cafeteria at school. Stiles walked away as he was still learning to control his wolf at that point, not that any of us knew that, we just saw him walking before he said something he regretted but Scott had to stand up and demand loudly that Stiles had to make a choice. He demanded Stiles choose to be friends with either himself or Derek, he couldn’t have both. Stiles chose Derek and walked out of the cafeteria. Now, this was in middle school, about five years ago, and Scott still holds a grudge against both Stiles and Derek for that loss of friendship.”

Lydia huffed, “It also came out not long after that fight that Scott had lied to all of us about the rumors being spread and we all became friends again without Scott.”

Erica laughed, “And then Stiles ‘stole’ (Scott’s word not mine), Isaac, Boyd and myself from Scott when I had a seizure at school and Lydia yelled at Scott for laughing at me. We all used to be friendly in elementary school but Scott had driven us away then too.”

Cora raised an eyebrow and she summed it all up, “So long story short, Scott’s a douche, Matt is a creepier douche and it's a good idea to avoid them both like they have the plague?”

Allison snorted, “They are both creepy, Matt may take photos, but Scott is always trying to get into my personal space, tries to sit beside me in any classes we share to the point that Dad and Peter made the high school keep him out of my classes as much as was possible, he talks constantly to anyone who will listen about his 10-year plan to make me his wife and if I am out alone he is following me around like a lovesick puppy.”

Cora nodded, “I agree with Lydia, never out alone. It sucks, but there is a fine line between creepy and dangerous.”

-x-

In early November Noah pulled Isaac into his office at the pack house.

Noah, looked nervous as he asked, “Have you heard from your father recently?”

Isaac shook his head and he said, “No, I thought he wasn’t allowed any contact with me at all. He seems to have respected that at least.”

“Right.” Noah cradled his chin in his hands, he sighed and he said “He’s going to be back in town for a few weeks kiddo. He has appealed his sentence and they have scheduled his retrial to start in the new year. He’s going to be held between court dates at the station due to his flight risk. He will have no contact with you and will be escorted by deputies to and from the court at all times.”

Isaac started to shake and he confirmed, “I don’t want to see him. Not even if he asks.”

Noah got up and he wrapped Isaac into a comforting hug. It had taken them a long time but Isaac no longer flinched when pack members gave him hugs.

 Noah reassured Isaac and he agreed, “No, even if he asks we will keep you out of it. Do you want someone to represent your interests in court? We can ask Peter or Ralph to attend as your lawyer.”

Isaac nodded and he asked, “Can you ask Peter, he’s ruthless and the other lawyers are scared of him.”

Noah chuckled and he agreed, “Sure thing kiddo. I am sure he will be happy to.”

Noah took Isaac back into the den for pack cuddles, he gave the kids that were there a basic rundown of what was going on. They promised to keep an eye on Isaac.

-x-

Stiles pulled all the pack teens into the library for a lunchtime meeting after the winter break. He took them all through to their usual alcove, but he was preoccupied and didn’t realize that his conversation was being overheard by Matt and Scott.

Jackson asked, “What's going on Stilinski?”

Lydia smacked him across the back of his head. He turned to glare at her and she flicked her eyes at Isaac and tapped her nose. 

Stiles looked at Jackson and he asked, “Has your dad mentioned any retrials coming up?”

Jackson shook his head and he confirmed, “No, he’s careful not to mention case stuff at home now that I am old enough to understand whats going on. Why?”

Isaac said shyly, “My dad is getting a retrial in a few days. Noah confirmed the dates last night. I don’t want to see him but he’s going to ask to see me, he's going to try and get me to change my testimony. When I saw him before his trial he still didn’t think he had done anything wrong.”

Erica exclaimed, “What an asshole. We will protect you, Isaac. I am sure Noah, Derek, and Graham will make sure he’s secured at the station.” She pulled him into a side hug.

Everyone cheered quietly in deference to the fact they are in the library.

Lydia got them back on task by clapping her hands and she demanded, “Right! Who’s got what homework? Let's get to it, chop-chop.”

They all got started in on their homework while Erica quietly explained to Cora what happened between Isaac and his father.

Meanwhile, another whispered conversation was happening as Scott and Matt walked quickly away from the stacks.

Matt exclaimed, “How can that waste of a human be granted a retrial, he nearly killed m..., I mean his son.”

Scott shrugged and he asked, “He did? When?”

Matt looked at him askance. “Don’t you remember a few years back when Isaac had to miss a few months of school? He was in the hospital getting treatment for the injuries his dad did to him.”

Scott shook his head, “No, I don’t remember that. So what is so bad about his dad getting a retrial? Surely if they have proof he will go back to jail?”

Matt looked angry and he spat out, “No, that man is vile, he shouldn’t get a second chance.”

Scott shrugged and he commented almost absently, “It’s a shame that child abusers don’t get worse sentences, like the death penalty.”

Matt looked at him contemplatively and he agreed, “Yeah, that’s a real shame.”

They headed out to the cafeteria to grab some lunch.

-x-

Matt made his way into the sheriff’s station, Deputy Graeme at the front desk stopped him when he attempted to walk past without signing in. She asked, “Can I help you?”

Matt smiled and said, “Hi Deputy Graeme, I have some paperwork for Derek, Stiles was running behind and asked me to drop it off for him. He told me where to go.”

Tara thought it sounded a bit odd, but she figured he was just a kid so she waved him through.

Matt slowly made his way through the station towards the holding cells, he took care to make sure no one noticed him. As he approached he heard the tail end of what sounded like a frustrating conversation.

“Look, Lahey, you can argue until you are blue in the face, you lost all rights to see Isaac when you nearly killed him. He does not wish to see you and we have all made that perfectly clear, your lawyer, his lawyer, even the district attorney.” The sheriff spat out. Matt thought he sounded pretty damn angry.

Lahey stormed towards the cell door and he yelled, “He’s my damn kid and I want to see him.”

Noah rolled his eyes and he turned to walk away but he saw Matt standing at the entrance to the cells with a gun raised, held steady as a rock and it was aimed at Colin Lahey.

Noah held his hands up in a surrender motion as he asked, “Hey, it’s Matt right? You go to school with Stiles?”

Matt barely spared a glance at Noah but he gave a brief nod to acknowledge the question.

Noah, who was aware of Matt and his behaviour towards Allison, but he was not aware that this 15-year-old kid was the type of kid who had the balls to walk into a sheriff’s station armed looking like he wanted to take out a seemingly unrelated prisoner, so he asked, “Can I ask why you are aiming that weapon at Lahey here?”

Matt just blinked then he answered in a monotone, “Because he deserves to die, he’s a child killer, just because neither of us actually died doesn’t mean he’s not capable.”

Noah asked as he was trying to sound sympathetic, “Aww kid, what happened?”

Matt yelled, “Stop distracting me and quit trying to move closer to him, if I have to shoot him through you, I will.”

Noah as stepped back again, he softly asked, “Please, will you tell me what happened?”

Matt shrugged almost indifferently and he said, “I was visiting Isaac, we used to be good friends, when I was leaving I had to walk past the swim team who were at Coach Lahey’s house having a celebration party. They were all pretty drunk. A couple of them picked me up and threw me in the pool. I can’t swim, so Coach Lahey had to jump in and pull me out. Rather than call an ambulance to make sure I was ok he just spent the next 20 minutes screaming blue murder about how I was useless that only useless people can’t swim and so on and so forth. He needs to pay. His inattention and willingness to allow minors to get drunk nearly led to my death.”

Noah glared at Lahey and he commented, “Jesus kid, that sounds horrific. I am happy to bring all this up with the prosecutor but I can’t just let you shoot him in cold blood.”

Matt screamed, this time he was loud enough to get the attention of a few of the deputies upstairs, “HE HAS TO PAY!”

Noah tried again to placate the kid and he stated, “He will pay, this will add years to his prison sentence, years!”

Matt sobbed out, “It’s not enough, it’s not even close to enough.”

A few of the deputies had arrived silently at the top of the stairs, their guns were raised and aimed at Matt, however the way the stairs are designed there was no way for them to get down the stairs without Matt hearing them. Noah was glad Derek was out on a patrol run as he was a bit impetuous when it came to any of the pack getting hurt.

Next thing he knew all hell had broken loose. Deputy Robbie Reid decided to chance coming down the stairs with Deputy Percy Stone, Matt saw the movement out of the corner of his eye and he fired. Noah saw the shot coming and tried to move out the path of the bullet but he was too slow and the bullet tore into his stomach. Both Robbie and Percy, after they saw the kid take the shot both fired. 

Chapter Text

January 2011

Derek arrived back at the station after his patrol and he found the station in a state of absolute chaos. He raced down to the holding cells as he thought it must have had something to do with Lahey.

He stopped and gaped for a few seconds when he saw the carnage at the bottom of the stairs. He pulled out his phone and flicked a text to Peter and Chris, he told them to head to the station as fast as they could. He flicked one to Lydia and asked her to grab Stiles and bring him to the station. He warned her that Noah had been shot but told her not to tell Stiles until they were at the station. The last text he sent was to the school to notify them of an emergency and he warned them that Lydia and Stiles would be pulled from class.

He raced down to Noah, as he went past Matt he took note of the kid bleeding out on the floor. A few of the deputies were doing basic first aid on him while they waited for the paramedics. Lahey was sitting back in his cell, for once he was not being his usual antagonistic self. 

Derek slid in beside Noah on his knees and he asked, “Noah?”

Noah looked up at Derek, pain clear on his face and he said, “N… now.”

Derek nodded and he looked at the deputy putting pressure on the stomach wound, he asked, “Are the paramedics far away?”

Robbie answered, “No, they are only a few minutes away.”

Derek looked at Noah, “I texted Peter and Chris, I will redirect them to the hospital. Lydia is bringing Stiles here.”

Noah nodded, his eyes closing.

Percy came over and he put his hand on Derek's shoulder to get his attention.

Derek looked up with raised eyebrows as if to ask ‘what?’

Percy motioned him over to the stairs so they could talk quietly. “What a clusterfuck!” He exclaimed.

Derek held up a finger indicating Percy should wait and he quickly sent off a text to Peter and Chris to redirect them to the hospital. He hinted to Peter to make sure the doctors who saw Noah once he arrived were in the know.

Derek rubbed his face with his hand and then he glanced around the chaos and he asked, “Percy, what the hell happened?”

Percy sighed, he knew Noah and Derek were close. He explained, “Lahey was trying again to get access to his kid, Isaac, Noah was down here explaining, yet again, that it was not going to happen. At some point, the kid went down and he was threatening to kill Lahey for some incident at a school party, it was hard to figure out, he was getting pretty hysterical. Me and Robbie were making our way down to try and defuse the situation but the kid must have been on a hair-trigger. He saw us, I think out of the corner of his eye and he shot. We both reacted and shot him to disarm him. He is going to get an escort to the hospital and he will be cuffed until he is released.”

Derek shook his head and he huffed out, “Shit! What a mess. Who’s in charge while the Sheriff is out?”

Percy shrugged as he said, “It should be Tara, but she let the kid through without checking with either you or Stiles that his story checked out.”

Derek frowned and he asked, “Huh?”

“The kid, Matt? Came in and said he was dropping some paperwork off to you for Stiles. She thought it was weird but she waved him through when he said Stiles had told him where to find you.” Percy explained.

Derek was confused, so he asked, “Did she forget she sent me out on patrol?”

“It seems so. Tara has called in Sheriff Adams from West Hill to investigate the shooting. I think we should ask her to send a senior Deputy to help us while our Sheriff is out of action.”

“She’s fair. It’s a good call.” Derek agreed.

Percy noticed no one was paying them any attention so he hurriedly pulled Derek halfway up the stairs so they were out of sight of most of the other deputies and he asked quietly, “Will you bite him?”

Derek looked up at him in shock, starting when he saw Percy’s eyes glow an ethereal green. He asked, “W..what?”

Percy said quietly, “Look, I work hard to stay under the radar, but I like Noah, he doesn’t judge and it's clear he knows, how could he not with two werewolf boyfriends. So will you bite him?”

Derek poked the Nemeton and got an answer of ‘safe, trust’ so he nodded and he answered, “We have an agreement, so we will give him the bite and he will be out of action for a few weeks in a ‘private clinic’, recovering…”

Percy breathed a sigh of relief and he exclaimed, “Thank you!”

Derek heard the approaching car, he recognized the distinct rumble of Roscoe, no matter how much work they did to fix it up they couldn’t stop its distinctive rumble. Derek headed up to the front door to catch Stiles before he could barrel in.

“Stiles!” Derek caught him around the waist before he could run in.

“You know Sourwolf, if you keep doing that, people are going to talk,” Stiles stated sassily.

Derek dropped his head, today was not a day for sass. “Stiles. Follow me, you too Lydia please.”

Derek led them both through to Noah’s office which was currently unoccupied but was able to be warded against eves-droppers. Once they were all in the office Derek closed the door and activated the silencing ward rune hidden above the door jam.

“Have a seat, guys, please,” Derek asked softly.

Stiles started to feel nervous at how serious Derek was being. “What's going on Derek? Where’s my dad?”

Derek crouched down in front of Stiles. Without preamble, he said, “Noah was shot, it’s not fatal but it is serious. We are waiting for the paramedics to get him to the hospital. Peter and Chris are headed to the hospital to organize for staff in the know to attend to his injury. This will mean that I can give him the bite as soon as I can do it privately without us needing to transfer him first.”

Stiles leaped forward into Derek knocking him over, tears running down his face. He begged, “You keep him safe Sourwolf, I can’t lose him. I can’t.”

Derek with a teary Stiles in his lap kissed the top of his head and hugged him tightly. “I will do my best Lil Red, you know this.”

Derek looked towards Lydia who has a few tears rolling down her face and he asked, “Can I get you two to set up the recovery room at the pack house? Noah was shot in the stomach so he’s looking at a few days bed rest at the least even with the bite. The plan is to get him transferred as soon as the doctors can sign off on it after the appearance of making him ‘stable for transfer’.”

Stiles clung on tighter and he whispered in Derek’s ear, “Can I see him before you go? I just need to see that he will be ok for myself. Please.”

Derek nodded. Lydia walked over and helped them both up off the floor, Derek brushed off his uniform before he led them down to the holding cells. 

As soon as they got downstairs Stiles ran towards his dad, whispering encouragement and orders to not die in his ear. Derek saw him take in the scene around him as the paramedics started to arrive.

“Shit!” Derek exclaimed. He turned to Lydia and demanded, “You have to keep Stiles occupied this afternoon. He can not be near the hospital until Matt is in custody at the West Hill Sheriff’s station.”

Lydia crossed her arms and she tapped her foot as she asked Derek, “And what about Peter and Chris? They are heading to the hospital now. They will be far worse than Stiles when they realize Matt shot Noah.”

Derek suddenly had a look of panic on his face. “Fuck.” Derek moved quickly to intercept the arriving paramedics. He snagged Ernesto and his partner and directed the other pair to Noah. 

Lydia held a shocked Stiles and led him out to Roscoe. She stole the keys from him and drove the jeep to the pack house to get the recovery room ready.

Derek spoke quickly and quietly to Ernesto, he had met Ernesto’s partner a few times on various call outs. “Hey guys, small problem, the kid on the floor, Matt Dahler is the shooter, he came in threatening to shoot Lahey, got spooked and shot Noah. He needs to be assessed for transport to the West Hill Hospital, he will be cuffed and escorted and the West Hill deputies will take over guarding once the investigation is officially with Sheriff Adams.”

“Sure thing. Any reason he can’t go to Beacon Hill Hospital?” Ernesto’s partner asked.

“Have you met my uncle, Peter Hale? How about Chris Argent? They are both dating the Sheriff and they won’t be happy if Noah’s shooter is in the same hospital.” Derek snarked.

Ernesto jumped in before his partner could put his foot in his mouth again, “Leave it with us. Derek, we will make sure he gets to West Hill Hospital in one piece. I know Noah won’t want the kid hurt even if we all think he deserves it.” Ernesto waved his partner over to start working on preparing Matt for transport. “Trust me, Derek, I will text you if I see any of the pack at West Hill.” He commented before he joined his partner with Matt to get him prepared and ready for transport. They organized for a deputy to follow the ambulance in a cruiser and for another deputy to escort Matt in the ambulance.

Once Derek saw that the investigation was under control he followed Noah and his paramedics up the stairs to be his escort. He texted Peter on the ride to the hospital to make sure he had everything under control for their arrival. Peter asked about the shooter so Derek let him know that he had been transferred to the West Hill Hospital as the Sheriff there was investigating the shooting.

When they arrived at the hospital they were met by a Doctor in the entryway, he directed them to a trauma room to the left. The room was waiting with a couple of nurses and fluids and replacement blood ready and waiting to be hooked up to an IV line.

Derek watched as the doctor shut the door after sticking a post-it note to the edge of the door so it would stick out when shut. The doctor saw him looking and he asked, “Do you honestly think the hospital staff doesn’t know about all the weirdness that surrounds Beacon Hills. We developed an unofficial code for supernatural cases so that those in the know would attend and those who preferred blinders could stay willfully blind. If a room has a post-it note sticking out of the door, it means its an ‘other’ type of case. Generally, it stops us from being interrupted.”

Derek relaxed and asked, “So you are Doctor...?”

The doctor smiled and introduced himself and the rest of the staff. “I am Dr. Kieran Ishiguro, Trauma specialist, with me is Dr. Misti Blackstone, and our nurses are Alejandro Halderman and Gregory Mantle. We are all in the know about the supernatural however we are all human.”

Derek watched as the nurses and Dr. Blackstone got Noah sorted for fluids and they worked on stitching up his stomach wound. He asked, “Dr. Ishiguro, has Peter or Chris explained what we are going to do?”

“Please, call me Kieran, Peter explained you are going to give him the bite. That’s why we are giving him fluid and blood replacement as we know from experience that it can help speed up the healing process. Especially for an injury like this. We have pulled the bullet and it is in an evidence bag, you will need to get that to the investigation team so they can match it correctly.” Kieran explained.

Derek walked up to Noah who was awake, Peter and Chris were pulling his pain just enough so he would be conscious. They knew if they pulled too much of his pain he would pass out.

“Noah? I just want to confirm you want this? That you want the bite? From me?” Derek asked, he couldn’t say more without giving away pack secrets to the medical staff.

Noah nodded tiredly. He said quietly but clearly, “Do it, Derek. Please.”

Derek pulled up his shirt and he bit down on his side, just above the hip, he did the bite on the opposite side to where he was shot. Derek didn’t want to risk the bite interfering with the bullet wound.”

Noah leaned back, confident in Derek and the magic of the Nemeton that the bite would take and he would be heading home as soon as they can stop the fluids.

They waited an hour for the bite to take hold and start the healing process before they organized for the transfer to the pack house. Kieran wrote up the transfer paperwork and he asked if they could get the notes from the private hospital for Noah’s files once he’s released. Peter smirked and he confirmed he would arrange everything.

-x-

Noah spent his medical leave learning control and getting his wolfy abilities trained for police work. Derek was a great teacher and with help from Graham, Noah was trained in how to use his new senses at a crime scene but also in how to word those findings so no one would suspect he had enhanced senses. He also spent time honing his inner, previously hidden ‘Johnny Cage’, he learned from Peter and Danny how to fight as a werewolf. Because of all the time he spent as a loyal pack member he gained his alpha spark during his medical leave so the pack was able to use this time to train his alpha abilities.

Noah went back to work after 4 months leave, fit and healthy, and ready to read all the reports that had been filed while he was away. He was about 2/3rds of the way through a quick flick through of the reports and he was seeing a rising trend of offenses that seems to have flown under the radar.

He walked out to the bullpen with a handful of reports and he sat in the visitor's chair by Derek’s desk. “Hey kiddo, you got a minute?”

Derek looked up from his latest report and he nodded, he held his hand out for the reports he could see in Noah’s hand. He had a quick look through and he looked up, worried. 

“Hunters in town? They are staying under the radar by the looks of it, just random pings for weapons violations and reports of poaching? Doesn’t look like anything from the preserve though?” Derek asked quietly.

“Perhaps we should look at increasing the patrols in the preserve and maybe, for now, stipulate that no one is out and about on their own,” Noah suggested.

Derek considered his options, “Sounds good Noah, maybe Dominique should have a chat with one of them, find out why they are here? I can go and talk to her after work, maybe take Graham along if you get Peter and Chris to pick you up after your shift?”

“Peter would love to help her with that project I am sure, I will mention it on the way home.” Noah snarked.

“It’s been about five years since the accomplices were jailed, maybe some of those accomplices are finally out after serving time?” Derek pondered.

“The code-breakers who would be looking for trouble all got long sentences, and Dominique assured me they are keeping an eye on them when any of them do get paroled. I am sure between Dominique and Peter we will find out though,” Noah reassured.

Derek wordlessly handed back the stack of files to Noah and he went back to filling out his report. Noah could see the worry in his tense shoulders, he hoped the hunters were in town for a legitimate reason. He wouldn’t hold his breath though.

-x-

Dominique invited Derek and Graham in and offered them coffee. They all took a seat in the living room with coffees in hand.

“What’s going on boys?” She asked, the curiosity was evident on her face.

Derek hesitated then he asked, “Have you heard of any hunters in town?”

Dominique shook her head. She explained, “Any legitimate hunters are required to notify me that they will be in the territory, we have had a few pass through as they travel between territories but no one has requested to hunt here or even stop here in Beacon County. I would certainly notify you of any hunts requested here as per hunter protocol. Why do you ask?”

“We have noticed an increase in illegal weapons possession and poaching cases for Beacon County while Noah was out… recovering. We are thinking it might be good to question one or two of them before handing them over to local law enforcement. I didn’t recognize any of the names, so either fake ID’s or… maybe rogues that are not family affiliated.” Derek answered.

“Do we have somewhere we can detain them while we question them? Somewhere isolated?” Graham asked.

“We could use the basement of our old house? The house is still standing, it's in the middle of the preserve so very isolated, if we go in via the tunnels it should be safe enough.” Derek suggested.
 
Dominique asked, “Will Peter be ok there? I take it he will be helping me do the questioning as your left hand.”

Derek nodded with a wicked grin on his face, “Noah is asking him tonight on the drive home. I think he will be very keen to get his claws on a rogue hunter or two.”

“Honestly if they are stupid enough to be caught by mundane deputies they can’t be very good hunters. It might be a bit easy for Peter, maybe he could use them as a training exercise for his successors,” Graham snarked.

They all laughed at this.

Dominique asked, “How frequently have they been caught? How likely is it that our patrols will pick them up?”

Derek thought back to the reports, he only had a quick flick through. “Maybe a few days?”

Dominique smirked, “I will coordinate with Peter and we will get the interrogation area set up so it's ready when the patrols capture someone. I will talk with Stiles and Lydia as well, get them to set up a privacy ward.”

Derek agreed, “That sounds like a good idea, it will mean we can report them afterward, as long as Peter doesn’t damage them. I will talk to them all tonight, let them know what’s going on. I will ask them to text you and Peter to organize a time.”

-x-

Boyd asked, “Do we call the deputies for this one or should we pass him to Peter and Mama A?”

Erica smirked, “I think we can pass this one to Peter first, he will likely go to the sheriff’s station… eventually. Let me send a text off.”

To Peter: Creeperwolf, we have a hunter, where do you want him?
From Peter: Must you call me that, miscreant, take him to the old Hale house. I will contact Dominique and meet you there.
To Peter: 10-4 Creeperwolf.

“Let's go.” Erica showed Boyd her phone messages.

Boyd chuckled, “He's going to find a way to get you back for calling him Creeperwolf you know.”

Erica laughed, “I know. I will be waiting. It’s his own fault for being so bloody quiet when he is running around the preserve.”

They arrived at the old Hale house with the hunter bound behind them. They had handcuffs with runic wards to prevent unpicking without the right key.

Peter arrived with Dominique and they escorted the two with the hunter into the basement of the ruins.

Peter turned to the two young alphas and he asked, “Do you want to stay and observe or head back to the pack?”

Erica looked at Boyd who nodded slightly, she said, “We would like to stay, please. It would be good to start learning about left-hand duties.”

Dominique nodded so they leaned against a wall behind the hunter to watch.

Peter bound the hunter to a chair in the middle of the room and stood back out of the hunter's sight to let Dominique start the interrogation. He activated the secrecy ward that Stiles had set above the door to the tunnels.

The hunter looked up belligerently and said, “I ain’t answering shit lady.”

Dominique stood back. “Do you know who I am?” She chuckled, “Damn that sounds so cliche.”

The hunter just stared at her and asked, “Should I care?”

Dominique tapped her chin with her hand, “You probably should. I mean I am the matriarch for one of the most prominent hunting clans in the USA and France. My word has a lot of sway with the other clans, especially since I made sure my husband, daughter, and daughter-in-law were brought to justice for breaking the hunter code.”

The hunter gulped and he said, “So, what's that got to do with me?”

Dominique raised her eyebrow at the guy, “You are hunting in the preserve with wolfsbane ammo, you have not requested entry to Beacon County and you are hunting with modified ammo in an area that is stable and peaceful. So either you spill why you are here or I hand you over to the local sheriff for poaching. He was very helpful in gathering evidence against my family.”

The hunter's eyes widened. “What do you want to know?”

Dominique asked, “Firstly what's your name and are you affiliated with any specific hunting family?”

The hunter shook his head. He refused to answer.

Dominique looked up at Peter and she said in a sing-song voice, “Your turn.”

She walked to Erica, leaning on the wall beside her and she whispered, “Watch closely, you will learn a lot from Peter.”

Peter walked around to stand in front of the hunter, he had his claws out and he was examining them closely. He asked, “Name please, if you don't give it to me I am sure I can use other methods to get the information.” He flashed his eyes to the bright red alpha eyes.

The hunter started shaking, “Robert Harvey.”

Peter looked at Dominique and said, “That's not a hunter clan name is it?”

Dominique just shook her head. She asked from behind the hunter, “Which family trained you?”

Robert just shook his head, his eyes wide.

Peter let his fangs drop, leaned right into the hunter's face and said, “I will get the information.” He looked at his claws then he looked back at the hunter as he said, “One way or another.”

“Shit!” Robert exclaimed, “Fine, shit, it was the Fowler family. They have a vendetta against this town and its pack, I heard they are working with a wolf but I don't know who. I heard them talking about the bitch and her daughter but that's all I heard. They know better than to send in named family members so they are recruiting mercenaries to work for them. They are getting frustrated that the ones they have sent so far have all been caught by the local cops.”

Peter looked up at Dominique and he asked, “Do you have more questions or should we dump him at the sheriff's office?”

Dominique asked, “Is the secrecy ward in place?”

Peter nodded and he indicated up at the rune that was slightly glowing over the door to the tunnels.

Dominique looked at the hunter in disgust, "Drop him outside the Sheriff's station, text Noah to let him know. We will need to have a pack meeting tonight about what we can do."

Peter knocked the hunter out with a single punch. He asked, “Who do you want at the meeting? The whole pack?”

Dominique nodded, “Yes please, I think we need to put more security measures in place until the Fowler family can be reined in. I do wonder about the wolf they are working with. Could it be Talia, would she work with a hunter?”

Peter shrugged. “I wouldn’t have thought so, but… I just don't know anymore. It’s something to keep in mind. If she is involved, there has to be a motive.” He looked to Erica and Boyd and he asked “Can you two restrain him and take him to the Sheriff's station unseen? Message Noah so he knows the hunter is there. I will send him details from the discussion so he has the guys name and where he was found.”

Erica flicked him a sassy salute before Boyd pulled the guy into a fireman’s carry and they ran towards the Sheriff's Office at a fast pace.

Peter sent Noah a text with all the details about the hunter, he then sent out a mass text to the whole pack and requested a meeting that night after dinner.

Chapter Text

May 2011

Derek stood in front of the full pack. “Things are starting to ramp up. We were able to interrogate one of the visiting hunters today. It would appear the Fowler family are working with a wolf, maybe a pack to attack our territory. However, they are using paid mercenaries rather than their own family members.”

Allison raised her hand. “Can we maybe reach out to them, ask them what the hell they think they are doing?”

Chris and Dominique both shook their heads. Chris explained, “Victoria was married into the Argent family as she was not considered extreme enough for the Fowler family and her only worth was in a political alliance.”

Allison raised an eyebrow at her dad. “Seriously. So what? Do we keep getting the hunters arrested till they give up? Can we raise a case with the Council? Provide a few of the hunters as evidence?”

“We can certainly try, They are supposed to register with me when they are hunting in Northern California but I haven’t heard a peep. Anything that would need dealing with here has already been dealt with by the pack.” Dominique explained. “I will have a chat with Emilio tomorrow and see if he feels it's worth raising as an issue.”

Peter cleared his throat, “If they don't back off we might need to start sending a stronger message. One that’s harder to ignore.”

Noah nodded, “We have already had 15 through with various charges including illegal firearms and modified ammo charges. We are adding poaching to each one we arrest as they are usually found in or around the preserve by our patrols.”

Stiles stood and he moved next to Derek at the front of the room. “Regardless of the way we deal with the hunters, I want to change the way we do patrols. I want each patrol to be at least three wolves with at least two of those wolves being alphas, and one human. Any objections?”

They all shook their heads. Stiles looked over at Maria and he asked, “Can you work up a new patrol schedule? Come talk to me or Derek if you have any questions around patrol groupings.”

Maria nodded and she put a reminder into her iPhone.

Stiles turned and spoke quietly to Derek, “Do we want one wolf going out in full shift, it's easier to hide in the trees and it gives a measure of unseen backup.”

Derek nodded. “It will mean the others on patrol taking a backpack with the weapons and clothing for whoever is in full shift,” he suggested.

Stiles thought on it, “Like what you and Peter do already but with your weapons in case they are needed. Maybe each of us should pack a backpack with spare weapons and some of our patrol gear to store in the mudroom. So it's just a simple matter of grabbing it as we head out on patrol once it's decided who will be in full shift.”

Derek murmured, “More stealth training wouldn’t go amiss either, some of them still barrel through the forest like a herd of elephants. I know we aren’t as nimble as coyotes but we do have the ability to move through the forest quietly. Peter and his ‘creeperwolf’ ways, as Erica put it, have proven that. Have you had any luck with finding information about the dire wolf? If there is a way to confirm that’s what our full shift form is?”

Stiles shook his head, “Peter has been reaching out to his contacts and he has a couple of procurement people at Vesuvius looking too but there is not much out there. They have been considered extinct for hundreds of years and only a few fossils have been found. I tried looking for more information about full shift wolves but that appears to be limited to the Hale family as far as I can tell and we have already bought back all the journals that we have been able to find. So far there are only a few heirlooms entailed to your family we have not been able to find or buy.”

Derek asked, “Do we need to bring anyone in for the stealth training or will you be able to do it?”

Stiles sighed, “I can do it, it's just that, ummm, some are going to need extra training, probably from Peter, he’s stricter when he's training and some of the pack respond better to that.”

“Is it a retention issue or just stubbornness?” Derek queried.

Stiles shrugged, “A little from column A, a little from column B. I will talk to Peter, I will need his help to make sure I don’t miss anything.”

Derek squeezed the back of his neck and left to talk to Maria about scheduling in more training.

-x-

Jennifer Blake approached the north end of the preserve. She had taken the long way to the Nemeton to reduce the chance of being spotted by the pack that was rumored to be in Beacon Hills. She stopped when she had discovered a powerful ward line that would warn someone of her approach. She decided to move back from the line and she sat to meditate in an attempt to reach out to the Nemeton, she wanted to see if she could reforge her connection to the Nemeton that had healed her all those years ago. 

As she sat down to meditate she found that it was difficult to reach out to the Nemeton, almost as if the ward line was preventing it. She redoubled her efforts and she finally found the energy of the Nemeton, it felt a lot stronger than what she remembered. She spent time trying to forge her connection to the Nemeton the way she remembered doing it before, however, it was not allowing her to connect. She sent out a questioning feeling to the Nemeton as if asking, why she couldn’t connect. She got a picture in her head of two young boys, both wolves, they looked around 16 and maybe 11, and one looked very injured. She queried if they were its new masters. She got a message back that she was able to interpret as ‘loyal’.

Jennifer turned around and she headed back to her hotel room in San Francisco to rethink her plans. After a quick dinner of Mac & Cheese, she sat down to figure out what she wanted to do next. She knew Deucalion was headed for Beacon Hills to ‘test’ the new pack. She figured that since it was just a couple of young kids that it wouldn’t take long for Deucalion to take them out then she could move in, claim her connection to the Nemeton and take out Deucalion once and for all. She figured this would only take a few months so she would work on her five fold knot sacrifices outside the Beacon County territory to build her power and strength so she would be ready once Deucalion was done playing with the little boys playing at big bad wolves.

She thought about sending in competition, push Deucalion to hurry with his plan, she could start spreading rumors of a pack of two young boys in Beacon Hills, ready for the taking. Get some other unscrupulous creatures interested in taking the powerful territory.

She pulled out google maps and started planning out areas she could hit to spread her sacrifices out, this would reduce her chances of getting caught. It looked like there were 9 smaller towns surrounding Beacon County which would spread out the 15 needed sacrifices nicely. 

Jennifer shifted her attention to funding as she was originally planning to work at Beacon Hills high school as a substitute teacher but the school was within the ward line. She had to find a local school to work as a substitute, maybe she could use the school to find a few of her virgin sacrifices.

She decided she would work on the virgin sacrifices first, she was struggling to control her glamour as the power from her last round of sacrifices was already starting to fade. She could not go through with her plans if she looked like a horror movie reject that fell in a wood chipper.

-x-

The hunters hitting Beacon Hills finally started escalating, taking potshots at runners on the various running trails in the preserve not even checking if they were wolves first. Peter took care of it and sent back a few of the hunter's heads as a message to the Fowler family to back off. They also reported the incidents and the retaliation to The Council who sent a warning to the Fowler family that they were breaking the code and would be sanctioned if they did not desist.

Derek, Stiles, Dominique, and Peter caught up in Derek and Stiles' office. 

“I heard back from Emilio, well it was an official letter from The Council,” Dominique said happily.

Stiles grinned and he asked, “What did they say? I know you had to stay out of this one because it affected us.”

Dominique smiled and she said, “I don’t regret it, Stiles. They have warned the Fowler family and told them to stop sending hunters our way. They are bordering on sanctions for both sending hunters to a stable territory and also for hiring mercenaries to do it. They have been told that they are being watched and that any further code-breaking on behalf of any member of their family or their affiliates would mean sanctions and maybe even a trial.”

Peter asked, “Did they find out why the Fowler family were doing it? I know they are upset about Victoria but that’s hardly our fault. I know Stiles and Derek found most of the evidence but that is not public knowledge, hell, only The Council members themselves know for sure.”

Dominique shook her head and explained, “Emilio suspects its not something the entire family knows about, possibly being done by a close relative of Victoria. Maybe she wrote to them and told them of their failure in Beacon Hills, who knows. It could even be more related to the wolf they are working with. Emilio hasn’t been able to find a connection there yet.”

Derek frowned, “That's quite telling in itself. If there are no electronic communications to find, maybe they are meeting in person. Maybe we could use one of the Vesuvius investigators to look into it. See if they can find who they are meeting with. Where are the Fowler family based? I just remember they are on the east coast somewhere, they keep it pretty quiet right?”

Dominique nodded, “I only know because Victoria told me, but they are based in Clarksburg, Massachusetts, they use the Clarksburg State Forest for training.”

Stiles pulled up Google Maps on his phone and he paled. Derek and Peter looked over his shoulder to see why he paled. He pointed at the area just above the state line. Stamford, Vermont.

Peter and Derek both exclaimed, “Shit!”

Dominique frowned and asked, “What?”

Peter explained, “When Cora ran, it was from the closest town to where the pack was in isolation. Stamford, Vermont. According to Google Maps its a six-minute drive away from Clarksburg, Mass.”

“Damn, ok, I need to let Emilio know, it might help The Council with their investigation. Are we thinking that it's Talia or Laura? Both?” Dominique pondered.

Stiles snarked, “Both, probably hoping to take out whatever pack dared take over their territory after they abandoned it. If the hunters back off they will probably try something else, maybe head here themselves.”

Peter rubbed his hands together like a comic book villain and he muttered, “Bring it.”

Stiles cracked up. “And you wonder why Erica calls you Creeperwolf.”

Derek interrupted their snarkfest and he said, “We will keep an eye on the hunters, Dominique we will let you know if they stop coming. We have had a couple of omegas come through in the last few weeks, most we sent away when they realized it wouldn’t be an easy fight, but it may escalate. I think we need to accept that the time of chaos is coming.”

Stiles dropped his head, “Shit, are we ready? I think we need to step up training, for now, make sure everyone carries their weapons. Talk to Noah about concealed weapons permits for the humans. I can use magic to make holsters that are not visible to human eyes for the various pack weapons. Also, the Nemeton warned us of someone powerful approaching the northernmost ward line, they left without crossing but it’s something to keep an eye on.”

 Peter frowned, “They felt the ward line? Enough to know not to cross it?”

Stiles nodded. “They didn’t seem to realize the ward could sense the approach, whatever type of caster it was is powerful. Well, a powerful caster at least. The Nemeton also said it felt familiar but couldn’t give me more than that. Most things it knew while it was bound will be difficult for the Nemeton to remember.”

Derek asked, “Hows Lydia’s magic training going? Her scream?”

Stiles smirked, “Her scream can melt the brain of most creatures, she’s just working on her aim. Right now anyone in the path of her scream will be toast. Friend or Foe. The journals say she should be able to focus and aim her scream so it only affects those she wants it too. I need to work on a stronger training golem for her though. The current ones can’t stand up to her scream at even half strength.”

Peter wrote some notes into his iPhone and he said, “I will put the feelers out for some more books on golems. They are often misused so the books are difficult to source.”

Stiles stood to leave the room, “I will go start on the holsters, Derek do I need to do a holster for your batons?”

Derek smiled, “Yes please, I can’t carry wolfsbane rounds when on shift so the collapsable batons will work well.” 

-x-

Derek walked into the library and he saw the teenagers all studying. It looked like typical end of semester exam cramming, judging by the number of books they all had spread out. “Do you need any help? We can call Matt in to do some revision if anyone needs it?”

Cora frowned and she asked, “Matt? I don’t remember meeting anyone called Matt, just the creeper dude with bad aim.”

Stiles grinned and answered, “Matt Taylor, he’s our old tutor, he did tutoring for our homeschool classes when Derek first moved in until Derek graduated high school. He’s brilliant. Sourwolf, can we see if he is available for the afternoons? It would be worth having him around just in case anyone needs the help or even just to offer general advice.”

“It’s not like you have many exams,” Lydia grumbled.

Stiles turned to her and poked his tongue out at her. “That's not a bad thing, its why I have been able to help with the study sessions. My only high school exams this semester are in AP biology and AP world history. It's the college exams I am not looking forward to. I have several of those coming up in both my law classes and one of my math classes. I am just happy PE doesn’t have a final exam and being on the lacrosse team completes my sports requirement. ”

“Why are you just a benchwarmer though Stiles, you can play very well so I never understood your logic with that one,” Jackson asked, puzzled.

“It gets the sports requirement and extracurricular on my record, but gives me time to study and do homework during practices and games where I am just sitting around on the bench,” Stiles explained smugly. “I don’t like doing it, do you know how hard it is to play badly when you can play well, it sucks.”

Boyd chuckled and shook his head, “That’s sneaky. At least the rest of us are also on the team so we don't entirely suck as a team. I just wish Scott would stop trying out.”

Derek asked, “There has been no escalation in his behavior? Just the grudge against Stiles and weird comments to Allison about being his girlfriend?”

Allison nods, “I just pretend like he’s not even there and keep walking, which he also comments about. It’s getting easier to ignore.”

Derek squeezed her neck in comfort and said, “Right I will see if we can get Matt here in the afternoons until the exams are finished. Keep us updated if Scott gets worse.”

Stiles smiled and said, “Thanks Sourwolf.”

-x-

“Is he still there?” Allison asked.

Stiles nodded as he sent a text to Ralph.

To Ralph: Scott still on our tail, does he have a watcher today?
From Ralph: Let me check
From Ralph: Yes, want me to send them in to distract Scott so you can leave the mall without him noticing?
To Ralph: Yes please, Allison is a bit freaked. He’s getting worse.

They heard a commotion behind them and they stopped so they could watch in the shop window as Scott was apprehended by mall security and they led him away.

To Ralph: Thanks, what did they do?
From Ralph: Accused him of knocking down an old lady.
To Ralph: Lol, thanks.

They made their escape from the mall while the coast was clear and they jumped in Roscoe and headed home.

Derek pulled Stiles into a hug when they got home.

“He’s getting more persistent Sourwolf. Ralph had to get the investigator involved today so we could leave the mall without him following us.” Stiles whined.

Derek looked up at Allison and asked, “Are you ok Allycat?”

Allison raised her eyebrow and she asked “Allycat, seriously, no, just no. I am fine, just frustrated, I wanted to get some workout gear but it just felt skeevy with him watching like that. You stay here and comfort your boyfriend and I will go update dad.”

Derek spluttered and he blushed all the way up to the tips of his ears, “What? No… what?”

Stiles started shaking in the effort of trying to not laugh.

Allison waved as she left and snarked, “It’s fine Derek, the only ones who don’t seem to realize you’re both a couple, is you the two of you. And maybe Papa S, but that’s more blissful ignorance I think. Just get over, well, whatever it is that has your knickers in a twist and sort it out, the pining from both of you is killing us all.”

Derek buried his head in Stiles' shoulder, embarrassed.

Stiles lifted Derek’s chin with a finger, “Do we need to talk about it Sourwolf? Or are you ready to accept that it is what it is and that nothing will happen until I am at least 18, and that nothing will happen until we are both 100% ready for whatever it is.”

Derek raised an eyebrow and snarked as he backed Stiles up against their office wall, “You got it all figured out Lil Red?”

Stiles lifted his chin stubbornly and he sassed, “Yup, you gonna get with the program and kiss me already?”

Derek leaned down and kissed him, just a short chaste kiss, but it was enough.

Chapter Text

June 2011

“So where to next boss?” Kali Wilde asked as she watched Deucalion blindly but delicately clean the blood from his claws with a handkerchief.

 Deucalion Morgan answered, “Well, now that we are done here, we can head to Beacon Hills. We can claim the territory before the traitorous bitch returns.”

“You are sure no one has claimed the territory?” Ennis asked.

Deucalion scowled and he said, “There are rumors of a young pack, a small pack lead by a teenage omega taking up residency, but I am sure the five of us can take them out. Even if two of us are yet to learn how to be real alphas.”

Ethan and Aiden both just stood quietly off to the side, not wanting to call attention to themselves. They were still in shock after watching Deucalion, Kali and Ennis annihilate their entire pack. Sure, they had been used and abused by their pack as little more than slaves since they were young but it was still their family, the only family they had ever known. Deucalion promised to be their family, to show them how a pack should act, and he promised to teach them how to fight in their massive merged form. He then killed off their pack, holding the alpha for them so they would absorb their grandfather's alpha spark together. 

They looked up when they heard Kali ask, “Are we taking Morrell with us this time?”

Deucalion answered, “She is coming, she is still trying to find her brother and Beacon Hills was the last place he was seen. She has found a job at the local high school as the French teacher and guidance counselor, so she will be able to help us find the omega and his pack. Maybe we could send the twins in to make friends with the local teenagers, their first official mission as part of the pack, we will be able to find them quickly that way.”

Kali asked, “How are we getting past the Hale bitches wards without being noticed?”

Deucalion smirked and he pulled an amulet off the neck of the alpha laying dead at his feet. “With this amulet. I have been hunting it down for several years. It was created by the first Hale emissary, and it is created with wood from the Nemeton. From what I have been able to research it was designed to help protect pack members when they were outside of the Nemeton’s borders, but it has a secondary side effect that allows those wearing it to enter through the Nemeton’s wards without being detected as a threat by the Nemeton. Once we are inside the border as long as we don't cross the wards without the amulet we should be able to take over the territory before Talia even realizes her territory is under threat.”

Kali frowned, “What about the Nemeton, how will we claim it from Talia without her there?”

Deucalion smirked, “That’s what Morrell is for. As a druid, she can do the right rituals to bind the Nemeton to me as alpha.”

Deucalion turned to where he could hear the twin's heartbeats and he said, “Come along boys, its time to head to Beacon Hills. We need to get you enrolled in high school.”

-x-

It took a few days but they all arrived in Beacon Hills, there was an awkward game of pass the parcel at the border with the amulet with each of them coming through one at a time. Deucalion wanted them to set up two bases. One for holding anyone they capture and another for living in. The twins would hold down the fort at their first base to ensure they weren’t discovered and to guard anyone they were holding.

Ennis had found an abandoned bank that had a vault perfect for their purpose. The vault was made with hecatolite which was also known as moonstone, this mineral worked to scatter moonlight so that anyone inside the vault would not feel the moon as long as they were locked inside.

“Right, boys I want you to set us up with rooms on the second floor. Once you’re done head into town to buy your school supplies, keep an ear out for any gossip that may lead you to the local pack. Kali, Ennis, I want you both to go to the bitches house and leave our mark on the door. At least we can make our intentions known early. Keep them in suspense until we are ready to make a move. Then I want you to find us an apartment somewhere central, preferably a penthouse. The boys can stay here and guard anyone we capture. We will keep anyone we capture in the vault behind a mountain ash line until we are ready for them.” Deucalion ordered.

They all nodded and headed off to complete their assigned tasks. The twins weren’t sure how, but they felt safe in Beacon Hills, safer than they have ever felt before.

Once they were away from the rest of Deucalion’s pack walking through the Beacon Hills mall they started planning.

Aiden, the more confident of the twins asked, “Do you think it's possible that we might find help here? Deucalion promised us a rescue but he seems to be just as bad as our father and grandfather.”

Ethan shook his head, “Deucalion will force us to fight in his bid for control of this Nemeton thing, how will that help us, it will put us at odds with any local pack. He has already caused us pain down the pack bond because we didn’t follow his orders quick enough.”

Aiden shrugged and he said, “We have to stick with it. I get the feeling we will be safe here.”

Ethan smiled sadly, “I get that feeling too, I am just not holding my breath.”

Quietly they finished their shopping, they made sure to get enough school supplies to help them catch up to their junior year.

They overheard some locals talking about a ‘pack of friends’ so they followed them to listen in discretely.

“Scott you need to give up this grudge on Stiles, its been years since you were friends.” 

“Why? Greenberg, that dick embarrassed me in front of the whole school then he and his pack of friends did it again 6 months later. So no, I won’t be giving up my grudge any time soon. I will get him back for embarrassing me.” They heard Scott saying.

“Fine, do what you want McCall just like you always do, just don't expect me to be part of it,” Greenberg said angrily. 

“Whatever, I have to go, I need to pick mom up from work at the hospital,” Scott answered before he stomped away.

The twins looked at each other. Ethan said, “It’s probably nothing. But, it might calm Deucalion down for a few days?”

Aiden nodded. “Let’s go.”

They headed back to the base, to hide their location in case they were followed they parked their motorbikes at a private parking garage and then ran the last 2 miles to the bank.

“What do you have for me boys?” Deucalion asked silkily. It had only been a few days but he was starting to lose hope that these weak alphas would be useful to him.

Aiden answered, “We overheard a conversation talking about a Stiles and his pack of friends. They could be the ones we are looking for. The pair we overheard was a guy called Greenberg and another guy called Scott McCall. Scott has a grudge against this Stiles and his friends for embarrassing him. He could be useful for information. He was on his way to pick his mom up from work at the hospital.”

“Thank you boys, I will get Kali to look into it for us. Do keep an ear out over the summer but be careful to not be spotted.” Deucalion ordered.

The twins nodded and they answered in unison, “Yes, Alpha,” before they escaped upstairs to the office they had claimed as their room.

-x-

Peter stalked into Derek and Stiles' office and shut the door. His eyes bright red with fury. In a voice full of menace he growled, “We have intruders in our territory.”

Stiles and Derek reached out to the Nemeton who sent back the mental equivalent of a shrug.

Derek asked, “How do you know?”

Peter held his phone out to Derek who took it and glanced at it before passing it to Stiles.

Stiles frowned at the phone, “I have seen that before, I can’t remember where though. Maybe in one of the journals in the vault.”

Peter nodded, “There have been rumors of an alpha pack ‘assessing’ packs all over the west coast. We got word a few days ago that one of Talia’s allied packs was taken out after failing one of their so-called assessments. The Steiner pack over in Northern Idaho were all killed. Some were saying it was a territory dispute but that symbol was seen and reported before any fighting started.”

Stiles asked, “How big was the Steiner pack?”

Peter shrugged, “They were allies with Talia so I didn’t keep in touch after I woke up. They were very traditional and very loyal to our grandparents. Talia was supposed to marry the alpha’s son, Denny Steiner, but she pulled out of the deal and married River from the Doyle pack. Our parents had to go to great lengths to make amends. The journals said an amulet imbued with Nemeton protection magic was gifted as an apology. Last I remember they were a family pack so maybe only about 11 or 12 members. I will put feelers out to see if I can get more info.”

“Do we have any info on the amulet? It would be good to get an heirloom back.” Stiles asked.

Peter shook his head, he commented, “It was all kept very quiet, I was only 7 or 8 at the time. Mum and Dad were pissed at her. River was from a rival pack, so there was nothing to gain from the marriage politically. I think she did it because he was not strong enough to be an alpha nor was he trained as one and she didn’t want to be forced into a marriage with Denny Steiner. She dodged a bullet with that one, he’s super creepy. Her marriage to River certainly wasn’t a love match from her side.”

Derek asked, “Is it worth doing an inventory of the vault, if there is an amulet out there it stands to reason there may be other Hale heirlooms out there with other packs.”

“I can ask someone to work on it with Lydia, she might be able to use magic to help figure out what's missing,” Stiles remarked. “As our emissary, she can reach out to any packs who have been gifted Hale heirlooms in the past to inquire about where they are and if they are still with the pack they were gifted too.”

Peter added, “Let me know if you need help tracking down regifted heirlooms, I can put one of our procurement specialists on it.”

Stiles nodded. “Will do. I think it will take them a while to figure out what's missing. There are a lot of journals down there to go through.”

Derek asked, “What do we know of this pack that's doing assessments?”

“Honestly, not much, any packs they ‘assess’ do not seem to survive the encounters.” Peter lamented. “I have been texting Dominique to see if she knew anything about the symbol and the pack behind it. She’s only heard vague rumors, nothing concrete but she’s reaching out to Alpha James, Alpha McGuire, and Emilio Kenyon to see what they know.”

Peter left to visit the vault via the tunnels to see if there was anything in his library. He would report back later if he found anything. 

“I’m worried Sourwolf, this is bad. How did they get through my wards? The wards are powered by the Nemeton, nothing should get through without our knowledge.” Stiles said while he was pacing the office.

Derek stepped in front of Stiles to stop his pacing and he pulled him into a hug. Stiles had grown to a very tall and lithe 6ft, fitting nicely into Derek’s 6’2 frame, “Whatever it is Lil Red we will face it like we face everything else. Head on, with no fear.”

Stiles smiled into Derek's neck and he mumbled, “We will need to change up the patrol schedules. I don’t want anyone caught unawares, not until we know who or what we are facing. No one flashes alpha eyes either, beta eyes or no flash only. We need to stay under the radar for anyone outside of the pack, hidden in plain sight. We need to be careful until we know who and what is in our territory. Honestly, I agree with what you said a while ago, the chaos the Nemeton has been warning us of really has arrived.”

Derek nodded, happy to enjoy a bit of peace hugging Stiles. “I think maybe the fact they got in without pinging the wards is why the Nemeton couldn’t see what it was. Also, we need to tell your dad that we are dating.”

Stiles shook his head vigorously, “Nope, so not doing it, you can. Do it at work, then he can’t get angry.”

Derek chuckled, “No, he will just bloody arrest me, Stiles. You know we need to tell him, it's better we tell him before someone sees us out on a date and reports it to him.”

Stiles slumped, “Shit, I hate when you logic at me. Fine, we will talk to him tonight, I will make sure he's unarmed first.”

-x- 

“Hey Daddio, you got a few minutes?” Stiles gulped, nerves were showing clearly on his usually confident face. “We would like to talk to you.”

Noah’s eyes narrowed. “Let’s go to your office.” He silently gestured for Peter to follow them. He would prefer Chris to be there too, for he had a feeling what this was about, but Chris was on a daddy-daughter date with Allison in town.

Derek and Stiles entered their office looking like they were heading to their execution. Noah and Peter followed quietly and they shut the door behind them. They all sat down in the sofas in the corner of the office.

Noah looked down at their joined hands and rolled his eyes. “Calm down boys, we all saw this coming for years.”

Derek and Stiles both looked at Noah in shock and they asked in unison, “What?”

Peter chuckled, “I still remember the worried look on Noah’s face at the puppy piles you two used to have just after I woke up from the coma. I honestly thought this,” he gestured at their joined hands, “Would have happened much earlier.”

Derek blushed, and he said, “I think without Allison’s push it would have taken longer.”

 Noah laughed, “Sorry boys but I think if Allison hadn’t pushed others would have, your pining for each other was getting ridiculous.”

Stiles narrowed his eyes at his dad, “I thought you would be bothered by the age difference at least.”

It was Peter’s turn to laugh this time. “Oh, he was, back when he was catching you both in puppy piles, until he realized that neither of you were aware you actually had the potential to have feelings for each other. I mean this was 5 years ago and while you both eventually figured out that you had a crush on the other, that's when the pining started. Noah eventually understood with help from Chris and myself, that nothing would happen until you were both ready for something to happen. Then about a year ago he saw that nothing would happen till someone pushed it because you are both oblivious dunderheads.”

Derek scowled at Peter, “Stop channeling Snape. We were not that bad!”

Noah was still laughing, “Yes, yes you really were.”

Stiles asked, “So the whole pack knows?”

Peter explained, “We were taking bets two years ago that one of you would admit you liked the other… No one thought you would take this bloody long.”

Stiles just rolled his eyes at his parents, Peter was definitely one of his parents now, and he stomped out of the office muttering about ‘fucking immature adults’ as he dragged Derek along behind him. He could hear Peter laughing and Noah yelled as he left, “Not until you’re 18 Stiles!”

-x-

After a few weeks of watching Scott, Kali approached him.

“Scott? Scott McCall?” Kali queried, acting like she didn’t know who he was.

Scott looked at her but he didn’t recognize her so he replied, “Yes?”

“Hi, I was talking to Mrs. Smith at the library and she mentioned you might know how to get in touch with the son of an old friend of mine. Stiles?” Kali asked, her face had an expression of an innocent query but she was smirking on the inside.

A dark look crossed Scott's face before he hid it and he said, “No, sorry, I have no idea how to get in touch with him. I only know where he used to live. Are you sure you want to get in touch with him? He’s a bit of an arrogant prat. You could try his dad at the Sheriff’s station if you really want to talk to him.”

Kali frowned, “I was told the two of you were best friends by my old friend, what happened?”

Scott shook his head, “We were best friends, till Derek fucking Hale barged in and stole him. When his family kicked him out he moved in with the Stilinskis and wormed his way in-between us then Stiles threw me away like an old toy.” Scott checked his watch, “Sorry I need to go, my mom’s waiting for me.”

Kali went back to their apartment full of news. She sat down on the couch opposite Deucalion. “Scott was full of information. Not that he knew that of course. Talia’s son Derek is still here. He is living with Stiles, Stiles Stilinski and has been since his family left town.”

Deucalion perked up, “The good sheriff’s son?”

Kali nodded, even though the blind alpha couldn’t see it. “Yes.”

Deucalion pondered, ”The Sheriff could be someone worth capturing or at least keeping an eye on. If Derek hasn’t gone omega by now then maybe he considers the sheriff to be his alpha. It may be easy to use the sheriff as leverage.” He tapped his cane with his claws as he thought about what to do, “We need to talk to the Sheriff, if you can’t get to him perhaps capture one or two of his deputies. They may know more than they realize about the young Hale. A job for you alone I think Kali, Ennis doesn’t have the stealth for following law enforcement and the twins still need work at following instructions.”

Kali agreed, “I will get on that tomorrow.”

Chapter Text

August 2011

“Hey Noah, have you seen Deputy Telford? I need to ask him something about a call out he did yesterday.” Derek called out as Noah headed to his office.

Noah frowned and asked, “Isn’t he on patrol with Deputy Sears? Have you contacted her?”

Derek stood and he checked the patrol schedule on the wall. “It says here they should be patrolling the old industrial district. I heard Tara trying to radio Kim earlier, but it seems that neither of them is answering their radios.”

They walked out to Tara's desk, “Hey Tara, are you still having trouble raising Kim and Jeff?”

“I haven’t been able to raise them on the radio for about half an hour, I was just about to come back and alert you, Noah,” Tara replied, she was starting to get worried.

Graham stood and he joined them. He murmured quietly so as not to rouse the other deputies, “Should we go check out where they were supposed to be? Make sure nothing happened to them?”

Noah nodded, “Yes please, and keep Tara in the loop, make sure you both keep in touch on the radio so we know you’re all good.”

Derek and Graham gave him snappy mock salutes and they headed out with their keys and sidearms. They had a quick word with Tara on the way out and they asked her to keep trying Deputies Sears and Telford.

When they reached the industrial area they went through the various patrol routes that wound through the mostly abandoned area and they saw no sign of either the deputies or their cruiser. Graham called Tara while Derek was driving down various side streets. “Hey Tara, any luck locating the cruiser with the GPS tracker?”

Graham could hear the clicking of the keyboard as she checked her computer again. “No, the last location was just off Del Monte before the corner of Brickell about an hour ago now.”

Derek murmured, “We were there about 10 minutes ago, there was no sign of the cruiser.”

Graham said to Tara down the phone, “We were just there, there was no sign of the cruiser or the deputies. We will head there to look around on foot.”

Derek turned the cruiser around and they parked up near the last known location. They both exited the cruiser and they reached out with their senses. Derek took the phone from Graham and he said, “Tara? We are parked on the corner of Brickell and Del Monte, we can’t see anything here but we will have a look around and see if we can find anything in the near vicinity.”

“Sounds good, the Sheriff asked if you could stay on the phone while you search, he doesn’t want you two disappearing as well,” Tara replied.

Derek activated his Bluetooth headset and he stuck the phone in his pocket so they could talk and search. They spent the next 20 minutes searching around the various buildings across a couple of blocks but there was no sign or scent of either deputy or the cruiser. Derek relayed this to Tara. “We have looked across a few blocks and there is no sign of the cruiser or the deputies.”

Tara sighed, “Head back boys, we will set up a search party and go from there, they have been missing for a few hours now.”

The department searched for several hours with locals joining in the search when they realized there were missing deputies but there was no sign of either the deputies or their cruiser.

-x-

A few days later Noah was about to call in help from the FBI in locating his missing deputies when Jeff Telford walked in as if he hadn’t been missing for a few days, he waved at a shocked Tara and went to his desk to fill out his patrol report.

Noah walked up to his desk, “Hey Jeff, where ya been buddy?”

Jeff frowned, “We were just out on patrol, now we are back to fill out our usual patrol reports.”

Noah’s eyes widened at the nonchalance shown by the deputy, he asked, “Is Kim outside with he cruiser?”

“Yes… she’s just parking it up and filling out the log book. You know, the usual protocol after a patrol run,” Jeff responded, he was curious at the odd tone to the Sheriff’s voice, 

Noah asked, “Can you come through to my office please, Jeff.” He looked over at Derek, “Hale, can you go and get Kim, bring her through to my office as well.”

Derek headed outside as the two walked to Noah’s office.

“Take a seat, Jeff. The written report can wait. Tell me, did anything unusual happen on your patrol?” Noah asked.

Kim and Derek came in as Jeff was halfway through his verbal report. “Nothing out of the ordinary happened sir, the only really notable event was when we got partway into the patrol in the industrial area when we were flagged down by a woman with a flat tire. We helped her fix it and we headed back to the station. I think…”

Kim thought about it and she agreed with Jeff, “My memories of that stop are a bit hazy too, sir.”

Derek had a glance at the back of their necks and noted they both had healing scabs in a row down their upper spine. He asked, “How did you hurt your necks?”

Both deputies reached up and felt their necks, they were unaware they were injured and they both shrugged.

Noah raised an eyebrow at Derek who was still standing behind the two deputies, Derek flashed his claws briefly to show Noah the cause.

“Ok, so you have both been missing for just over 2 days, and you appear to have no memory at all of missing those two days.” Both deputies paled, he saw this and continued, “I would like to send you both through to the hospital for a medical check just to make sure nothing else happened that you are unaware of. A full check-up please.” He looked at Derek and he ordered, “Derek can you please organize transport for the deputies and someone to stay with them both at the hospital.” He looked at the two deputies, “I will let your families know you’re safe and that you are both on the way to the hospital for a check-up, don’t worry I will let them all know it’s just as a precaution.”

They both nodded and subdued they followed Derek who organized for Deputies Stone and Reid to escort them to the hospital. Derek held Percy back and he murmured, “They have had a memory wipe by an alpha, not one of ours, I don’t recognize the scent on them at all.”

Percy nodded and left to do his escort duties. 

The Doctor said they were fine, a few unexplained bruises and cuts but nothing serious. Noah offered the two deputies a few days off to get over the shock but the pair declined since as far as they were concerned nothing happened. They sat down with a sketch artist and made up a sketch for Noah’s records of the woman with the flat tire.

-x-

Marin Morrell had been searching around the town for a few months now but could not find any sign of her brother. As a last-ditch effort, she decided to try the mundane police just before the start of the school semester.

She walked up to the deputy on duty at the front desk and she asked, “Hi, I am looking for information on a missing persons case.”

Graham turned to the woman who had walked in and he smiled, “Do you have the name of the missing person?” He was covering for Tara who was having a quick lunch in the break room.

“Sure, it’s Dr. Alan Deaton. He was working in Beacon Hills as the local vet the last time we spoke.” Marin answered.

Graham narrowed his eyes at the slight woman in front of him. “And your relationship to Doc Deaton? We can’t give case information out to just anyone.”

Marin sighed, she was hoping she could keep their relationship quiet, she went with the cover story she had been given to use when she first met Alan, “He’s my half brother, we share a mother.”

“Do you have some proof of your relationship?” Graham asked, Marin could hear how skeptical he sounded.

She wordlessly handed over her ID and birth certificate.

“Please take a seat, I will get someone to come out and talk to you who knows more about the case,” Graham advised. He motioned Percy over to look after the front desk while he took her documents and he went to see the Sheriff. 

“Noah? Are you busy?” Graham asked.

Noah shook his head, “I’m just updating my month-end reports. What’s up?”

Graham gestured with his head to the front desk, “Doc Deaton’s sister is here looking for an update on his missing persons case.”

Noah’s eyebrows raised, “He had a sister? He kept that quiet, are those her documents? Can you take them and do a quick check through the system, verify that she is actually his sister? In the meantime, I will go and bring her in here, see what she knows. Probably be a good idea to let Derek know while you are at it, if she’s related to Doc Deaton she’s probably a druid.”

Graham nodded and he headed to his desk to do the background check on Ms. Morrell. He sat down his desk opposite Derek, “Hey Der? Just a heads up, Doc Deaton’s sister is out front. She’s looking for information on his missing persons case.”

Derek looked up, “Are those her papers? Do they back up her claim?”

Graham looked up both her ID and the details on her Canadian birth certificate and they both checked out. “Yep, according to her documents, she’s his half-sister.”

Derek pondered, “I wonder if Peter knows about her?”

To Peter: Did you know Deaton had a sister?
From Peter: Rumors, nothing more.
To Peter: She a druid?
From Peter: That’s what the rumors seemed to say. Why do you ask?
To Peter: Tell you later. If Noah doesn’t tell you first.

Derek looked up from his phone and he asked, “Are you done with her papers? I can take them back to the sheriff, I think this might need a warning. I want to find out if she’s an emissary for this intruding pack.”

Graham passed over Ms. Morrell’s ID and birth certificate and Derek took them through to the Sheriff’s office. He made sure to stand so that his name tag was out of her line of sight as he passed the paperwork to Noah, he then moved to stand behind her near the door.

Noah watched Derek shut the door securely then he waited until he saw the silencing and privacy runes glow slightly as Derek tapped them above the door before he asked, “Everything check out?”

Derek just nodded. 

Noah addressed Ms. Morrell, “Ms. Morrell, why have you waited so long to come forward? There is no record of any enquires from you in his case file.”

“Please, call me Marin. I have been conducting my own investigation via some non-traditional means.” Marin stated.

Noah looked up from his screen after he quickly read through the sparse notes in Deaton’s case file. He asked “Druidic means?”

Marin let out a gasp of surprise before she schooled her features into a blank mask, “Some, yes. I have also hired a few private detectives who are aware of the supernatural who have found nothing.”

Derek snarked, “None of the good ones.”

Marin turned to him and she frowned, “What’s that supposed to mean.”

Noah cleared his throat to get her attention before she had a chance to get a good look at Derek. What the deputy is trying to say is that you haven’t hired any of the more successful private detectives. All of the better ones have contracts with Vesuvius and we have an alert out on Deaton, so if anyone had been approached by you we would have been notified.”

“Why? Why would you be notified, your just a Sheriff, a mundane Sheriff, aren’t you?” Marin demanded.

Derek chuckled, “Well the owner of Vesuvius Inc. would be notified, and well… he’s sleeping with the owner.”

“Who are you people?” Marin asked, somewhat nervously.

Derek walked around to stand beside Noah, “I think, Marin, the better question would be, what is a druid emissary doing in this territory without approaching the local pack? I am sure, being raised as a good druid emissary, you would be fully aware of the protocols of entering another pack’s territory after all. Would you care to explain.”

Marin gulped, she was in dangerous waters and she didn’t think Deucalion’s pack had any idea what they were up against. “While I am acting in the position of emissary for the pack currently residing in your territory I am not officially their emissary. There is no pack bond. I am just here to find out what happened to my brother.” She looked to Derek and she saw the name Hale on his name tag, “The last time anyone remembers seeing him, he was with Talia Hale.”

Noah pulled her attention back to him by asking, “Do you know when this was?”

Marin shook her head, “Not really, the people I spoke to who knew him all said he disappeared the same time as Talia Hale so they just assumed he went with them.”

Noah shook his head, “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but we have a witness who has confirmed that is not the case. What do you know about the fire at the Hale house?”

“I know the fire happened and that Talia Hale took her pack and left a few days later. That’s about it.” Marin confessed.

Noah looked up at Derek who was standing stoically beside him and he asked, “Are you ok with me giving a brief history lesson?”

Derek nodded once.

Noah leaned forward on his desk, hands clasped in front of him. “In 2004 Kate Argent spent a lot of time and effort in seducing a young member of the Hale pack into a relationship to learn details about the Hale family, she often used a rare form of wolfsbane so the young wolf would be unaware that he was giving away pack secrets. She used the information she gained from that wolf to block off the exit tunnels and the outside of the house with mountain ash and she set the house on fire using a wolfsbane infused accelerant. At some point, the mountain ash line broke and the family escaped, not without injuries though. Peter Hale had burns to 50% of his body and due to the wolfsbane in the accelerant he was not healing.”

Marin put her hand over her mouth to try and hide her shock at what she was hearing.

Noah continued with the history lesson, “Kate had timed the fire to happen while the young wolf she had been seducing was away from the house so that he would be tortured for the rest of his life by the fact that he gave away information that led to the fire. Kate had been taunting the pack from outside the ash line about how she got close to the family, once she saw the fire take hold of the house she and her accomplices left. It was soon after this that the line keeping them hostage was broken. Talia decided that the fire was a warning and she was worried that the hunters would return to finish the job. She took her pack and left to parts unknown to live in isolation.” Noah stopped to take a drink of his coffee. “Before she left she broke the pack bonds to two loyal pack members, she claimed that they had betrayed the pack, she didn’t investigate the circumstances at all, she just made a snap judgment and left behind two traumatized pack members, one in a deep coma which was partially caused by the snapping of the pack bonds.”

Marin looked up at Derek, she asked hesitantly, “You were the young wolf?”

Derek answered, “Yes, Kate worked as a teacher at the local high school and she spent about 5 months before the fire seducing me. I was only fifteen when she started her seduction campaign. Talia had Peter out of the area doing various nonsense tasks so he wasn’t around to see the hunter for what she was. After the fire she blamed Peter and I for the fire, saying that I worked with the hunter to cause the fire and that Peter should have seen it even though he wasn’t here.” Derek rolled his eyes at Talia’s brand of logic. ”She violently broke our pack bonds and we found out later that she told the rest of the pack that we were both killed.”

Noah said softly, “I’m sorry Marin, but we suspect that Talia also blamed Deaton for the fire for not warding the property enough. From what we could tell there were no fire prevention wards nor were the proximity wards working. It’s very likely she has killed him under her version of pack justice rules.”

Marin let a lone tear roll down her cheek and she asked, “What happened to the hunters to set the fire?”

Derek smirked, “The Council dealt with them. Gerard and Kate were sentenced to the karma curse, made to suffer the pain of all of their victims until they died. Gerard died about 2 years into his sentence, Kate is still alive, still suffering. Victoria Argent was given leniency and was sentenced to death at the trial.”

Noah demanded, “Now that the history lesson is out of the way, who is your pack and why are they here?”

Marin gulped, “They are known as the Alpha Pack. They do assessments of packs and their worth as werewolf packs. Most fail. I am acting as an emissary for them purely to get to Beacon Hills to investigate what happened to my brother. As I said, we do not have a pack bond.”

Derek asked, “What can you tell us about this so-called alpha pack? How many are there in the pack? What are their names?”

Marin sighed, “I shouldn’t say anything, but they have broken pack law by coming here without officially notifying the local pack. There are five alphas in the pack, however, the two newest members don’t want to be in the pack, even I can see that much as a human. The pack is lead by Deucalion Morgan, and he is followed by alphas Kali Wilde, Ennis Paget, and the newest members, the twins, Aiden and Ethan Steiner.”

Derek shifted into his beta form when he heard the name, Ennis Paget. “That bastard dare step foot in my territory!” He roared, on the verge of losing complete control.

Noah scrambled to stand in front of Derek, “Derek! Shit! Calm down, we will deal with them. Breathe son, just breathe.”

Derek spent the next few minutes trying to get his raging emotions under control while Noah took over the questioning.

“Sorry, look, what is it that this Deucalion wants? Why is he here?” Noah asked warily.

Marin shrugged, “He gave me the usual line of assessing the local pack, he heard it was just a small group of teenagers and he’s currently trying to find out who all is in the pack.”

Noah narrowed his eyes as he asked, “Is that what happened to my missing deputies?”

Marin nodded. “They were held and questioned for a few days then they had their memories of the questioning removed before they were returned with their cruiser to where they were taken. I wasn’t present for their questioning. I have made it clear I am here to find my brother and that as soon as I know what’s happened to him that I will be leaving.”

Derek, finally back under control asked, “How did you get through the wards undetected?”

Marin looked at her hands as she answered, “An amulet, I believe it was a Hale heirloom that had been gifted to another pack. I think Deucalion targeted them to get his hands on the amulet.”

“Do you know why he has made such an effort to claim the Hale pack territory?” Derek asked.

Marin looked pensive as she answered, “I am not 100% sure, but, I think Deucalion wants the Nemeton.”

Noah facepalmed. “How desperate is he? What does he want from the Nemeton?”

“I don’t know, I really don’t know. He doesn’t share his plans, he just gives orders and expects them to be followed.” Marin snapped.

Noah looked down at the notes he had been taking and he asked, “Is there anything else you think we need to know?”

Marin shook her head, “No, I do have a favor to ask though.”

Derek raised an eyebrow and he asked “Oh?”

Marin looked down at her hands clasped nervously in her lap, before she looked up and she asked, “The twins, can you try and get them away from Deucalion. They are bound to him but they don’t want to be, they are just looking for a family that will treat them like human beings instead of muscle to use and abuse. Deucalion has promised to be their family but he’s proven to them already that he is no different than the pack they were taken from.”

Derek nodded, “We will look into it. I promise.”

Marin stood and bowed her head, “Thank you,” She handed Noah her business card. “I am going to leave town, I need to keep looking for leads on Alan, if you get any news please do let me know.”

Noah stood to escort her back to the front desk and he said, “We will keep you in the loop, good news or bad. So you are going to leave town?” He saw her nod so he asked, “Will you notify the school so they can organize a replacement?”

Marin smiled, “No need, I was never officially employed there, the high school agreed to use my name if anyone asked for details on who they employed while they searched further for a suitable candidate, this worked to cover my presence here. I have worked for the principal before and he knew I was worried about Alan but that I couldn’t come to Beacon Hills without a valid reason due to pack politics.”

Noah shook her hand, “I wish you luck in your search, please keep us updated if you find anything and we will do the same in return.

Derek heard a whisper as she left, ‘the twins will be pack, but not yet, not until they are ready, they need to see you all as a family, the family the corrupt one has promised but not delivered.’

Chapter Text

August 2011

Kali returned to the penthouse after she dropped off the deputies and their cruiser.

Deucalion heard her enter with her distinctive tapping as she walked with her toe claws out. “Did you get anything of worth from the two deputies?”

Kali shook her head, “No, neither of the deputies were aware of the supernatural, about all we found out was that Derek Hale never left town. He was left behind and he moved in with Sheriff Stilinski when Talia left town. He finished his schooling while living with the good sheriff and he has since done a masters degree majoring in Criminal Justice. The woman was able to tell me that apparently, the sheriff is dating another Hale, she only knows its a relative of Derek’s but she said they keep it fairly private. She also mentioned a kid, Isaac, who has been living with the Sheriff since the kid’s dad was put away for abuse. Has there been any response to the symbol on the door of the old Hale house?”

“No, I checked a few days ago, the symbol was still there. I did smell something strange out there though. It smelled like hunters had been out there.” Ennis rumbled.

Aiden spoke up, “I have smelled hunters around town too, never found anyone that specifically smelled like hunters though. We can keep trying once we start at school, see if any of the students have the smell of hunter on them.”

Deucalion leaned forward against his cane, “Kali, have another word to the McCall boy, he may know more than he realizes. Can you ask him to show the twins around at school, he will likely point out Stiles and his ‘pack’ when he is introducing them around the school.”

 “I will ask him tomorrow, he usually picks his mother up on Thursdays. I will see if I can get any information about this Isaac person from him. If he hangs out with this Stiles kid then Scott will probably know a fair bit.” Kali promised. She turned to the twins, “You will meet me out the front of the school Monday morning 20 minutes before the first bell. Until then I want you at the bank staying out of sight.” Kali demanded.

The twins both nodded their agreement and they headed for the bank lest they provoke Kali into lashing out again. They were still healing from the gashes she gave them last time they accidentally upset her.

-x-

Kali walked up to Scott who had been waiting for his mom outside the hospital again. “Hi Scott, how have you been? Are you ready to start school next week?”

Scott smiled, “Yep, all ready, I am going to win my girls heart this year!”

A brief grimace crossed Kali’s face but Scott didn’t notice as he was too busy mooning over his fair Allison. Kali asked, “I wondered if you could do me a small favor?”

Scott stopped mooning and he looked up at Kali, she was a few inches taller than him, “Sure, what do you need?”

Kali smirked internally, the floppy-haired teen was playing right into her hands, “My nephews are starting at Beacon Hills High School this semester, they are twins, both starting their Junior year, I wondered if you could help them out and show them around the school, maybe introduce them around a bit. They are a bit shy.”

Scott nodded enthusiastically, “Sure, I can introduce them to heaps of people, are you dropping them off on Monday?”

Kali nodded, “Just for their first day, we can meet you outside the school, how about 20 minutes before the first bell? That gives you time to show them where their first few classes will be. They already have their schedules.”

“I will be there.” Scott agreed.

Kali schooled her face into a nervous look, “I wondered… they mentioned meeting a kid named Isaac who seemed a bit nervous around them. What do you know about him, they thought he might be their age, maybe in the same grade at school.”

Scott explained, “His dad is in prison, I don’t know much about him except that he’s one of Stiles’ friends. I think he moved into the Stilinski house after his dad went to prison.”

“So is he ok for the twins to talk to?” Kali asked, she was trying to sound like a concerned aunt.

Scott smiled, “Yep, if it’s the Isaac I know he goes to my high school! Sorry, I need to go meet my mom, her shift is nearly over.”

-x-

September saw the start of the teens Junior year, Stiles barely had any high school classes left, just a couple of science classes to go and PE to meet the requirements for actual graduation. It was likely he would not return for his senior year, as he had more than enough credits to graduate early.

Stiles had warned the pack to keep their wolves hidden due to the pack they were still investigating.

“Hey Danny, need a tissue, or maybe a mop?” Stiles asked with a giggle when he noticed Danny drooling over the twins that had just walked into the cafeteria with Scott.

Danny turned to Stiles and he frowned as he asked, “Why?”

Stiles wriggled his eyebrows, “Oh just the epic amounts of drool as you watched the new twins walk in.”

Danny blushed and he muttered, “Shut up Stiles. Like you can talk. At least you finally told your dad, only took you what? 3 months or so?” He stalked off, he was headed to the lunch line to snag his favorite pasta lunch.

Back at the table, Stiles tried to look innocent as the rest of the teens laughed. 

Jackson leaned over and he whispered very quietly to Stiles, “Wolves right?”

Stiles nodded and he murmured back, “They are alphas, I think, maybe our alphas, just not yet, the Nemeton is being hesitant. I think we need to sic Danny on to them. Everyone falls in love with those dimples of his.”

Jackson smirked, “I will poke him about it at lacrosse practice. Judging by his reaction I am sure he won’t find it a hardship.”

Allison slid over to interject quietly, “I know I wouldn’t, they are hot like burning. What’s got me curious though, it was Scott showing them around the school, he went out of his way to point me out a few times during his tour of the school. Why would Scott be involved with wolves.”

Lydia put her arm around Allison’s shoulder, “Maybe we send you and Danny in together. Offer to show them around town, a welcome wagon kind of thing.”

“Sounds good guys, just remember to keep yourselves safe and hidden at all times. We don't want to give the game away too fast now do we.” Stiles snarked. “Oh, and bonus cookies if you can make the offer in front of Scott.”

Allison narrowed her eyes and asked, “Are we talking about your peanut butter chocolate chip cookies or just the chocolate chip variety?”

Stiles smirked and he offered, “If you offer and they decline in front of Scott, just chocolate chip. If you offer and they accept later where Scott can’t hear, peanut butter chocolate chip, however, if you offer and they accept in front of Scott you can have a double batch of my awesome chocolate chip brownies with peppermint ice cream.”

Allison leaned back in her seat, “Damn Stiles, way to make it a challenge worth accepting.” She jumped up and almost ran over to Danny typing out the challenge on her phone so no one would accidentally overhear them. She showed Danny the challenge on her phone screen and asked, “You in?”

Danny chuckled and said, “For Stiles’ chocolate brownies with homemade peppermint ice cream, hell yes! Text me if they are in any of your afternoon classes and I will do the same, we can meet up after the class and make the offer if Scott is around. He likely will be if you are there, he’s been getting extra stalky lately.”

Allison grimaced, “Is that even a word?”

Danny nodded with a smirk on his face and they headed back to the table to finish lunch.

Allison and Danny were just walking out of Algebra II and they saw the twins both leaving a class across the hall to meet up with Scott who was waiting for them. They looked at each other and nodded, Allison whispered, “Those brownies are ours.”

They walked up to the group and they noticed while the twins stopped to see what they wanted Scott hadn’t noticed and he had kept walking. 

Allison said, “Hi, we noticed you in the cafeteria at lunchtime and thought we would come and introduce ourselves. See if you needed or wanted anyone to show you around town? I am Allison Argent and this is Danny Mahealani.”

The twins knew these two both hung around with the Stiles kid that Scott mentioned. Ethan smiled, “Hi, I am Ethan and this is my brother Aiden,” he motioned to Aiden who smiled at them, “we would love a tour of the town. When is a good time to get together?”

Danny saw that Scott had finally noticed the twins had stopped and he was waiting for them down the hall, he smiled at the twins and offered, “We are both free this weekend, Saturday afternoon would be good, then some of our friends can join us too.”

Ethan nodded, “I am sure that would work for us, we will check with our aunt and let you know, ok?”

Danny noticed the angry look on Scott’s face, he was unsure if it was because they were talking to the twins or if it was because the twins were talking to Allison, so he nodded, “Sounds good, pass me your phone, I will give you our details.”

They all swapped numbers and they all hurried off to their next classes before the warning bell rang.
 
That night at dinner the teens all had dinner at the main pack house to discuss the twins. Danny commented, “The look on Scott’s face, he was angry. He even sent an angry glare at Allison which surprised me.”

Lydia snorted, “He was probably angry that she was flirting with someone that’s not him.”

Allison smacked her arm and she said, “We have a tentative date this Saturday, they are going to check with their aunt and let us know. We mentioned that we might bring some friends so if you’re available on Saturday afternoon consider yourself in on this tour of the town. You can make the brownies for dessert Saturday night Stiles.”

“Sure, I have my spark training with Thea so I won’t be able to make it so let me know how it goes.” Stiles agreed.

-x-

Out on patrol that night Isaac, Erica and Graham took out an omega who was fighting to kill. Although they noticed that he was quite uncoordinated and he had no actual fighting skills to speak off.

Before they struck with the killing blow, Erica restrained him so Graham could question him.

“Why are you here?” Graham demanded.

“Fuck you!” The omega punctuated this by spitting blood in Graham's face.

Graham rolled his eyes and he looked to Isaac since Erica was holding the omega and she was preventing him from moving around.

Isaac flashed his red eyes and was surprised that the eyes that flashed back were also red. Isaac put as much alpha command into the voice as he could. “Why are you here?”

The omega resisted for as long as possible but eventually, he bared his neck and he answered, “There is word going around that this territory is held by a bunch of teens with no alpha.”

Erica rolled her eyes, “That explains the increase in attacks over the last few months.”

Isaac looked at the omega and he demanded, “Did you think we would just roll over and accept you as alpha?”

The omega chuckled, “What kids would be a match for an adult alpha. You have to admit it was tempting.”

“Where is this rumor coming from?” Isaac asked.

The omega shrugged, as much as he was able while restrained, “No idea, I heard it from a few people in a bar down in LA, it’s a bar for supernaturals. Word is getting around that Talia Hale left her territory.”

Graham sighed, “Fuck, that’s going to change things.”

Erica turned the omega towards Graham and she asked, “Do you want the honors? He is an alpha who trespassed with the intention of taking the territory, by werewolf law we can end him here and now. You are the only non-alpha with us right now.”

Graham unleashed his claws and in a show of rage at the threat to his territory he took the alphas head clean off. He closed his eyes as he accepted the rush of alpha power and he roared long and loud. When he opened his eyes they were a bright crimson red.

Back at the pack house Stiles and Derek felt the rush of happiness from the Nemeton that another of their pack became an alpha.

That night they held a pack meeting and Erica, Isaac, and Graham passed on what they had found out from the omega.

Stiles asked, “So as well of the threat from the unknown intruders into our territory we are also facing blatantly untrue rumors of a bunch of teenagers ripe for the taking and will likely have other alphas hitting our territory hoping to take over. Fuck.”

Erica smirked, “It's a handy way to get the wolves Derek didn’t bite the alpha spark though. Ralph and Delphine will have to be on more patrols so they have a good chance of being there when the next alpha comes along.”

Stiles smiled at her way of thinking. “I still want two alphas on each patrol group though. For safety sake.”

They all nodded and they worked with Maria to make up a new increased patrol schedule.

-x-

By mid-October, both Ralph and Delphine had gained their alpha spark thanks to a few more omega alphas, and Cora had earned hers finishing the creation of the Alpha Pack, Cora was working on her full shift, and the pack were taking bets as to what color her coat would end up. 

Meanwhile, Deucalion’s pseudo alpha pack were starting to get frustrated. Kali was pacing around their apartment after banishing the twins back to the bank for the night. They had tasked them with trying to get members of the pack alone but they had not yet been able to achieve this. The group of teens had seemed unusually paranoid. They even suggested that the twins ask the pack members out on dates but they always turned them into group dates with other members of the pack coming with them. They always seemed apologetic about having to have a chaperone but no matter how many dates they asked Allison and Danny on they couldn’t get them alone. The twins were enjoying their time hanging out with the other teens. The teens went out of their way to make them feel included, even inviting the pair to study with them.

“We can’t get close to them when they are alone. They are either in that blasted housing community of theirs or they are always in a group of 3 or 4 people.” Kali raged.

Deucalion said, “You just need to be patient, wait at the school, eventually one of them will have detention and I am sure they will think nothing of leaving alone since it is just a short trip home from the school.”

Kali looked contemplative, “So ambush them as they leave the school after detention and take them to the vault?”

“Yes,” Deucalion said decisively, “It will take time but the pay off from being bonded to the Nemeton will be worth it, my dear.”

Kali grit her teeth, “Fine. Have you found a new source for the scent blocker spray since Morrell vanished on you?” She asked, needling the demon alpha.

Ennis sat back and rolled his eyes. He rumbled a warning, “Kali, enough.”

Kali stormed off to her room, the lack of fighting was starting to set her on edge.

-x-

Just before Halloween Coach Finstock held Isaac back after training. 

Coach took them into his office and he explained, “Lahey, I just wanted to warn you that your dad has been writing to me, he’s been asking me to pass letters on to you.”

Isaac frowned, “Why you Coach?”

“He used to work here as the swim coach and I think he thought we were friends and that I would do it no questions asked.” Coach said while he rolled his eyes. “Like hell, I have no time for people who think that abuse is just harsh discipline. I have passed on both the letters he wrote to me and the letters he passed on for you to the Sheriff, as I know you have a restraining order. I just wanted to warn you in case he was trying this with others he knew in the past, maybe other teachers.”

Isaac scrubbed his face with his hands. “Shit coach, sorry, maybe you could bring it up in the staff meeting, if he used to work here then the other teachers should know about the restraining order. I think if they did pass anything on the sheriff would charge them as an accessory. Noah’s pretty pissed off about the efforts my sperm donor is going to for contact with me.”

Coach barked out a laugh, “Sorry kid, didn’t mean to laugh but that’s a good way to put your relationship.”

Isaac shrugged, “Blame Stiles, it’s what he calls him. He’s got a pretty high level of hate on for him though after he walked in while the bastard was beating me. He got the man away from me while Allison made sure I didn’t bleed out all over the floor.”

Coach Finstock shook his head, “I will mention it at the next staff meeting and are you ok if I give a longer explanation to the principal? Just so he is aware of the ramifications if anyone does pass on a message?”

“Sure thing Coach. That sounds like a good idea.” Isaac agreed.

Coach waved him out of the office while he finished up some grading.

Isaac quickly got dressed and messaged the pack that he was held up but he would be at the house shortly. They had gotten into the habit of keeping everyone informed if they inadvertently ended up on their own.

As he walked out he waved at the coach as he passed the office to let him know he was leaving.

When he walked outside he saw two strangers, very clearly wolves in beta shift, the woman was tall, dark and looked absolutely vicious with claws on both her hands and her bare feet. The man she was with was huge, at least 6’5 if not taller and built like a tank. He could also see the twins on the edge of the lacrosse field still in their human form looking 100% like they didn’t want to be there.

Isaac knew he was fucked, the pack were all across at the pack house, tonight they had a pack meeting to discuss the twins, Stiles and Derek were sure they were close to the point where they could be poached from the alpha pack.

Kali roared and tried to scare him, but Isaac just sneered at her and threw his bag at the entrance to the locker room.

Isaac reached behind him with both hands and pulled out his twin desert eagles from the concealed holsters that kept them in the small of his back. He grinned at the looks of shock on the four alphas faces.

Isaac looked with disdain at the pair of alphas in front of him. “I have seen you guys around town, you have been trying to get close to me and my group of friends for weeks now. What’s your game? What’s the point?” He demanded.

Ennis snarled, “We want your alpha, the little Hale whelp. The Hales don’t deserve this territory.”

Kali glared at Ennis and she growled before she said, “It doesn’t matter what we want, either way, you are coming with us.”

They both leaped at Isaac and he shot with both of his guns as they both slashed down his torso, they were very careful to avoid his neck.

They hissed as they crawled back, both suffering from poisoned gunshot wounds, Ennis had a shot to the stomach and Kali a shot to the shoulder.

Isaac looked to the twins and he asked “A little help? I know you don't want to be here or be with them, come with me and let us show you how a real pack acts.”

Isaac flared his red eyes at Kali and Ennis, “Consider yourself on notice, the wolfsbane you have been shot with is non-lethal, it just slows the healing right down. The next shots won’t be. Your actions have been considered an act of war by the Hale pack of Beacon Hills. The next time you attack, you will not survive.”

Aiden helped Isaac up off the ground and he asked, “Where to?”

Ethan picked up Isaac’s bag and he propped him up on the other side.

Isaac looked to them both, “I am about to show you a pack secret, if you betray me or my pack you won’t live to betray us again.”

The twins looked at each other and they said in unison, “We won’t.” As Isaac directed them inside Aiden explained, “We didn’t want to join the alpha pack, we didn’t want to fight but they forced it when they killed our entire pack because of our special ability. We just want a pack that is family, how pack is supposed to be. We want what Deucalion promised but never delivered.”

As they made their way to the locker room Coach came out of his office and his eyes nearly bugged out of his head. “What the hell, Lahey, you only just left.”

Isaac sighed, he couldn’t leave Coach Finstock here with the alphas outside still recovering. “Grab your gear and follow us, Coach, it's not safe to be here right now.”

They made their way to the locker room and Isaac flared his alpha red eyes as he felt along the wall aided by Ethan while Aiden stood to wait with the Coach, he was keeping an ear towards the door to the field. Isaac found the claw holes and placed his claws in and twisted, he motioned for them all to get in and he slowly followed and used the claw holes on the other side to seal the door shut.

“Right, this is a pack secret, you do not tell anyone, hint to anyone or even imply that you know that you know something. This is serious and I am going to take serious shit for this. Now those bastard alphas broke my phone when they pounced, Ethan, Aiden do either of you have Stiles number in your phone?”

Aiden nodded and he handed over his phone as he explained, “He was tutoring me in calculus.”

Isaac called through to Stiles, “Stiles! It’s Isaac… I need to pass you to Aiden… I’m injured… It’s not his fault.” Isaac waited for Stiles to stop shouting. “Stiles! Stop… here.” He passed the phone over to Aiden as Ethan and Coach supported his weight.

Aiden asked “Stiles? Isaac was attacked after lacrosse practice. Kali and Ennis got him when he was alone. Yeah, he's got some serious claw marks across his torso and he has lost quite a bit of blood, Kali and Ennis were trying to capture him, we were both there under duress. He will need stitches as some of the gouges are deep. Ethan is taking his pain as they walk and yep, Coach is putting pressure on the biggest wounds. Can you send someone down with a stretcher who knows the route through the tunnels? Might be quicker that way.”

Aiden hung up and looked ahead to the group slowly making their way through the tunnel, “Isaac, Stiles said he was sending Peter and Chris down to meet us with a stretcher.”

Isaac sighed, “Oh shit… I am in so much trouble.” 

Chapter Text

October 2011

Peter and Chris came across the group about halfway to the house. They saw the Coach and they exclaimed, “Cupcake!”

The boys all looked at each other, they were wondering who the men were referring to.

Coach Finstock looked up and he asked, “Chris? Peter? Wait? You’re both involved in this mess?”

Peter narrowed his eyes at Isaac as he demanded, “Why are they all here Isaac?”

Chris set the stretcher down on the ground and Ethan helped ease Isaac down while Coach worked to keep the pressure on the wounds on his chest.

Chris looked at Coach and he asked, “Cupcake, do you have first aid training? Can you assess the damage and see if we will be ok taking him now or if we have to wrap the wounds?”

Coach rolled his eyes, “Must you keep calling me that, I stole your bloody cupcake one time. One time! Have you got a first aid kit with you?”

Chris handed over the backpack he had on, pulled out some gloves and scissors and handed them over to the coach.

Coach was quick and methodical in checking the wounds, they were still bleeding but sluggishly and he decided they would be fine till they got to the house and could do a full assessment. He quickly dressed the wounds with gauze, wrapping them tight enough to keep pressure without causing issues, before he pulled the gloves off disposing of them into a plastic bag in the backpack.

“He's good to go until we get to wherever we are going. He will need stitches to stop the bleeding but otherwise, he will be fine.” Coach said as he stood.

Aiden and Ethan picked up each end of the stretcher and Chris led them back to the house with Peter and Coach bringing up the rear.

Peter walked slowly and gave the group time to get ahead so he could chat with the coach. “Been a long time cupcake.” He snarked.

Coach barked out a laugh, “Whose fault is that? I wasn’t the one who up and left all of a sudden in my Junior year.”

Peter smiled sadly, “True, that's all part of a long story. Tell me, though, how much do you understand about what just happened?”

Coach narrowed his eyes at Peter and he asked, “What are you really asking me here Peter. Are you asking about this specific incident, or are you asking about the fact that my entire lacrosse first line are all werewolves and they are ‘managed’ by my professional bench warmer?”

Peter lost all composure, “What? They are all so bloody careful. I should know, I bloody trained them to be.”

Coach smiled, “Stop panicking Peter, I have known about the supernatural for years. You do understand that its difficult to live in Beacon Hills and not be aware, right?”

Peter looked at him and asked, “Why haven’t you said anything?”

Coach just laughed and he snarked, “What? And give up the best first line I have had in years, hell no. I want to win State. I want in though. You need more support at the school, Stiles is awesome at keeping his puppies in line but as a human in a wolf pack he needs help, someone he can go to at the school if he needs it.”

It was Peter's turn to laugh, he laughed so hard he was crying and struggling to breathe. “Oh, you have to tell Stiles that when we get to the house. What on earth makes you think out of all of them that he's human.”

Coach looked confused, “He is a klutz on the field, he plays so badly he’s been a benchwarmer since he joined the team.”

Peter sent off a quick text to Stiles.

To Stiles: We are nearly there, make sure you have a few wolves around in full shift for intimidation tactics. Jackson and Danny at least.
From Stiles: Fine, is Isaac ok?
To Stiles: He will be, the bastards got him alone. We have some guests coming along.
From Stiles: Oh boy. We will be ready.

They reached the end of the tunnel and came out into a large underground training room. Stiles and Derek were flanked by Boyd and Jackson in full wolf shift. Coach watched surprised as Stiles directed everyone with the efficiency of a war general. He had Isaac bundled into a side room that was kitted out as a first aid room complete with a paramedic in uniform being assisted by Erica. Allison and Danny had the twins moved over to one side of the room while he was being directed to another section altogether. 

Peter asked, “Is Graham keeping an eye on the border?”

“Yes, he's monitoring the cameras and Dad is running the border with Lydia.” Stiles answered as he looked to the twins, he demanded, “What happened?”

Aiden answered, “They have been waiting for one of you to get a detention so they could ambush you. We had hoped to try and stop it. We couldn't warn you since we were ordered not to say anything to anyone about their plans. We wanted to help Isaac but Kali said if we helped they would just kill Isaac. We didn’t want any part of an attack on your territory. Isaac did manage to shoot them both and we were able to help get him back into the locker rooms at his request. He ordered Coach to follow us. If he hadn’t I would have, I didn’t want him to be collateral damage.”

Stiles looked towards Peter where he was standing with the Coach and raised an eyebrow in question.

Peter snickered. “Can I quote you Cupcake?”

Coach hung his head and nodded, knowing embarrassment was heading his way.

“He said he wants in, his reason was, and I quote ‘Stiles is awesome at keeping his puppies in line but as a human in a wolf pack he needs help’…” Peter watched as the entire room fell silent.

Stiles started to chuckle. “Oh coach,” he let his eyes flare first red, then purple, “I am anything but human. What I want to know is how did they know Isaac was pack. I know the twins didn’t tell.”

Coach gasped at the eye flare from Stiles, Peter put his hand on his arm to calm him and he murmured, “Just watch.”

Ethan was quickly getting over his shock at seeing that Stiles was an alpha, he narrowed his eyes, “How do you know it wasn’t us?”

Stiles gave him a look, “Because I had you both hit with a secrecy spell while you were on your ‘tour’ of the town. This pack is paranoid, for good reason. So where are they getting their information?”

Aiden answered, “I think it's from Scott McCall. Kali has been getting close to him at the hospital when he picks his mother up. She’s been getting close to him for the last four or five months and he is happy to answer all sorts of questions about you and your ‘pack of friends’ as he calls it.”

Stiles glared at Derek, “I want him gone Sourwolf, this is too far. He’s bloody dangerous to our pack.”

Derek glanced around the room seeing the rage on most of the pack’s faces, the two wolves flanking them were snarling. “Aiden, how much info has she been getting from him?”

Aiden shrugs, “From what I have seen at school, he’s been giving a lot of information but only about 40% of it has been accurate, he has no idea about the supernatural but from what I can tell that’s more because he hasn’t put it together than anything else based on how much he follows Allison around. Kali has ordered us to follow him a few times until we pointed out that there was someone already following him who was likely to spot us.”

Peter snickered, “Good to know that having the stalker stalked paid off in an unintentional way.”

Aiden commented, “Why don’t you take a page out of Kali’s playbook?”

“In what way?” Derek asked suspiciously.

Ethan smirked, “Strip his memories of the pack. Maybe send him to live with a relative out of state.”

Stiles nudged Derek and murmured, “Now? They seem to be on the same wavelength.”

Derek murmured back after hearing the whisper in the back of his mind, “The Nemeton seems to agree.”

Derek and Stiles approached the twins who looked on nervously with the approaching pair flanked by the wolves.

Derek asked, “You have spent the last few months interacting with our pack learning how a wolf pack should be like a family. We would like to invite you both to join our pack. Become one of us.”

Stiles added, “The only stipulation is that you have to fully submit to Derek, you will retain your alpha spark but Derek will be your alpha. He is a fair alpha and we will promise not to abuse you or use you purely as muscle.”

Ethan looked at Aiden with a pleading look on his face. “You know it’s the right thing for us, this pack feels safe, feels like home.”

Aiden rolled his eyes at his brother, Ethan wore his heart on his sleeve, Aiden was more reserved but he agreed with the feeling of safety and so he nodded in agreement.

They both stood up straight and bared their necks to Derek and said in unison, “Alpha Hale, we humbly accept your invitation to join the Hale Pack of Beacon Hills. We pledge our loyalty to you and your pack.”

Derek walked forward in beta shift and bit down on each of their necks hard enough to draw blood and they felt the pack bonds snap into place.

Their eyes flared red in response to the pack bond forming and they both nearly fell over in shock at the number of red eyes that flashed back at them. Almost everyone else in the room was an alpha.

“First up we need to plan what to do about Scott. He is becoming a danger not only to us as a pack, but the supernatural as a whole. He’s going to say the wrong thing to the wrong person and it will be a bloody disaster.” Stiles said as he moved back to his position near the door.

Derek agreed, “I liked Aiden and Ethan’s suggestion of stripping his memories of the pack members and sending him to live with his dad. Maybe we could modify his mom's memories so that it was her suggestion because of his stalking and acting out. I think we need to discuss it more though, maybe with Peter, Dominique and Noah so we can figure out all the angles.”

“Agreed, as long as something gets done I am happy. I am over his shit.” He looked up and he saw Isaac standing at the door of the first aid room. “How are you feeling Isaac?”

Isaac snarked, “Like I was in a head-on with a cheese grater. I will be fine though Stiles. Ernesto and Erica have stitched me up and they think I should only take a few days to fully heal. I just can’t full shift while I have the stitches in.”

Stiles looked at Erica, “Erica can you and Boyd help Isaac up to his room and stay with him for a while just to make sure he doesn’t start to bleed all over the place.” 

Boyd nodded and left his position outside the first aid room to help Isaac make his way to his room. 

Stiles looked down at the wolf on his right, “Danny, can you go and take over watching the cameras and send Graham down here?” The wolf nodded and made his way to the changing room, Stiles then looked at the other wolf, “Jackson can you go and check on Noah and Lydia, make sure the boundary is all ok.”

Jackson bounded towards the stairs and gingerly made his way up the stairs. Stairs were still tricky for most of the wolves when they were in full shift. 

Stiles walked over to Ethan and Aiden and he asked, “Where are you guys living? Can you say? We have rooms here in the main pack house, it's up to you if you share a room or have a room each. We still have plenty of spare rooms.”

They both shook their heads, “We can’t say where are living as we were forbidden, but… it is just us there and they didn’t order us not to take anyone there so it shouldn’t be a problem if we were escorted to get our things, we don't have much though.” Aiden stated.

Stiles smirked, “I love a good loophole. I am going to send you with Peter, Graham, and Ralph to get your things, do you need to get your bikes from the school?”

Ethan answered, “No, we had moved them to a parking garage after school then looped back to keep an eye on Kali and Ennis. We can pick them up on the way to get our things. Is there space here for them?”

Peter approached and he said, “We have a large garage with plenty of room for them. I would suggest picking them up after we have everything of yours packed into the cars. There are cabinets for your helmets and other riding gear in the garage. We can sort out getting anything you are missing that we think is essential later. Are you ready to go? We should go while Kali and Ennis are preoccupied trying to heal from the wolfsbane bullets. Stiles, are you going to add the anti-tracking rune on them when we get back?”

“I will have the tattoo gear setup for when you all return, we can discuss which runes you each want or need.” Stiles agreed.

Ethan and Aiden stood and followed Peter up to the garage.

-x-

A few weeks later Derek and Graham were chatting between call-outs about how easily the twins were settling in with the pack when Noah sat in the visitor's chair by Derek’s desk and asked, “Derek, have you seen the email I just forwarded you?”

Derek had a quick read and said sombrely, “They look ritualistic, it looks like they are all outside our territory though.”

“Yeah they are, but what concerns me is the towns are all neighboring towns around Beacon Hills. They have linked them and sent out the alert as the cause of death matches for all four murders.” Noah said worriedly.

Derek asked, “Are they willing to share out the case files? Are they bringing the feds in on it?”

Noah shook his head, “No feebs yet, beyond the cause of death there is nothing to prove the cases are related. I have asked for copies of the case files, I cited that the deaths have occurred all around Beacon Hills, so it is likely that if it is one person they may hit Beacon Hills.”

“Is it just the four deaths so far? To the mundanes, it will seem like overkill in the cause of death. I am sure I have read something about this in Peters library, maybe mention it to the guys tonight, someone might have heard of it and may know what it means.” Derek suggested.

Noah grimaced, “I hate taking work home, but in this case, it seems necessary.”

Derek sighed, “We already have a lot going on, the last thing we need is some batshit crazy magic-user ritually sacrificing people on top. Is there any pattern to the deaths at all, maybe in the timing?”

“I will let you know when the case files come in, there didn’t seem to be anything to indicate the deaths are related or what the pattern is in why these specific people were chosen. It may be worth starting a murder board in my office at home, see if we can spot any patterns to the deaths.” Noah pondered.

 Graham looked up from the reports he was writing and he asked, “Should we let Satomi and John know? So they can keep an eye out for odd behavior in their territories?”

Derek nodded, “It would be a good idea, we already let them know about Deucalion, Kali, and Ennis. Satomi is pissed that they are making a play for Beacon Hills and she has offered help if we need it. I let her know we are ok, but having them keep an eye out for this magic-user would be a good idea.”

Noah mentioned, “We are keeping them both in the loop about the alpha pack movements as we know them. They are happy we stole the twins though. Do you want me to reach out Derek?”

“Yes please, I think if you concentrate on the murders, keep track of them and look for any patterns, we can concentrate on what the alphas are up too,” Derek suggested.

Noah stood to head back to his office, “Leave it with me, I will let you know when the case files come through.”

-x-

Peter exited the tunnel by the locker rooms and after he confirmed with his senses the coach was the only one left he approached the office.

“Hey Cupcake,” Peter said as he leaned against the door frame.

Coach smiled and waved Peter to a seat. “What’s up Peter. I expected a visit earlier than this if I am honest.”

Peter nodded, “We wanted to give you time to think, time to accept what you saw. I know you said you were aware of the otherness of Beacon Hills, but it's one thing to be aware and another thing entirely to be confronted with it in such a way. Especially when it’s Stiles and his epic levels of snark that confronts you.”

Coach chuckled, “That kid is definitely more than the masks he wears around the school. I get the feeling he's also the lynchpin of your pack.”

“Yes, very much so. He keeps our alpha grounded, kept us safe when the hunters were a problem and he made sure we were trained to be self-reliant, while still spending time being just a kid, that was important to his dad, that he not give up his childhood for the pack and its needs.” Peter explained.

Coach nodded, “I can see that, he's still mischievous but when he's keeping the pack in line at school there is always a harder edge to it if they are stepping out of line. Especially when they first started here. Now he just has to step in if someone else is pushing the pack's buttons like the opposing team.”

“That sounds about right. Look, why I am here, we need to know that you will keep the pack a secret. What you saw was just the tip of the iceberg and we want to keep you out of danger as much as we can.” Peter said, a touch of concern showing on his face.

Coach smirked, “Don’t worry about me Peter, I will be fine, I will keep your pack secrets and if I see anything that I think will affect the pack I will let Stiles know as quietly as possible. This is his last year here though right? He finally has enough credits to graduate early?”

Peter chuckled, “He's already doing college courses for both math and law degrees. He’s just here to do the classes he needed to finish his high school credits. It was a deal my assistant was able to set up with Harvard. He could do the papers he wanted toward his degree as long as he continued at high school and graduated. He won’t be able to graduate with his math or law degrees without graduating high school.”

 Peter stood and he handed over a business card. “This has my contact details, I have also added mobile numbers for Noah, Chris, and Stiles on the back. If you need anything or have questions feel free to get in touch with any of us.”

“Thanks, Peter, likewise, if you need anything or need me to keep an eye out for specific trouble feel free to get in touch.” Coach said as he walked him through the locker room.

Chapter Text

January 2012

“I want to send him a warning. Ralph heard back from the investigator we have checking on Scott and found that he’s still talking to Kali.” Stiles whined.

Boyd handed over the vegetables for the risotto and he asked, “Is it worth it? You know he won’t listen.”

Stiles sighed, “I know, I don’t get it though, how can one person hold a grudge for this long? It’s been six years since he gave me that ultimatum.”

Boyd shrugged as he started to set the large table, the entire pack were heading over for dinner. “Maybe he fixated on your grudge or whatever and he's not getting the professional help he needs to let it go?” Boyd rolled his eyes. “I don’t think you will ever know Stiles, I still find it funny that he still thinks you and Allison are dating even though the entire town is now aware that you and Derek are together.”

Noah walked into the kitchen with Chris, chuckling, “Well it seemed like the entire town when I was informed by what seemed like everyone we knew that you two were seen on a date at Mikey’s Diner.”

Stiles' face bloomed almost as red as his eyes. “Shut up Dad, it wasn’t that bad.”

Chris put his arm around Stiles' shoulder and said, “Stiles, it really, really, was. He couldn’t go more than 5 yards down the Main Street before the next person stopped him to tell him about the deputy corrupting his son. He enjoyed telling them that he knew and that it was more likely to be his son corrupting his nice quiet deputy.”

Stiles snarked, “Sounds about right, us Stilinskis have a prominent asshole gene.”

Chris ignored him and he said, “I agree with Boyd, there is no point warning Scott or demanding he not spill our secrets. He just won’t listen. I think we just need to be secure in the knowledge that he doesn’t actually know any of our secrets and we keep what the twins suggested in reserve if he goes too far. He likely has no idea that he’s doing anything wrong.”  

Noah added, “We have someone watching him, they will let us know if they see anything that crosses the line.”

Boyd asked, “What if we got someone at the hospital to talk to his mom about seeing Kali regularly with Scott when he is waiting outside for her, maybe frame it to sound like a question about Scotts older girlfriend?”

Stiles looked thoughtful, “It might make them take their conversations elsewhere if Scott's mom yells at him about having an older girlfriend. Maybe if they started meeting in coffee shops and other more public places more people might approach his mom.”

“I can mention it to Delphine, she knows all the best people for throwing spanners in the works,” Chris commented. “I have to go see her about some Argent Arms contracts tomorrow anyway.”

Stiles nodded, “Sounds good to me, check with Derek first though, just to make sure it doesn’t get in the way of anything he has planned.”

-x-

Over the next few months, they had seen reports of 3 more deaths matching the ritualistic nature taking the total up to 7, all in small towns surrounding Beacon County but they seemed to be avoiding Beacon Hills and their wards. Noah was taking in the reports and case files as they came in and they were building quite the murder board in his office. He had roped Chris in to help him try and look for any patterns that he was not able to see. He wanted to pull one of the kids on it, but the deaths were quite gruesome and he didn’t want to expose them to that. He knew if they went digging for info, the autopsy notes and crime scene photos would be first on the list. 

Dominique was also talking to the magic users on The Council. They had a few suggestions about the sacrifices but nothing seemed to fit what the caster was doing. Noah didn't think they would know more until they could capture the caster.

Peter and Lara were working on buying investment properties around Beacon Hills for their investment portfolio, there were a lot of buildings that were empty and abandoned as the town had been on a slow downward spiral while the Nemeton was bound. There were warehouses and several industrial buildings on their list to look into for redesign and renovation, now that the Nemeton was free and healing things had been improving for the town. They were visiting various properties with several members of the pack who wanted to help with the renovation of the properties. 

The teens were quite keen to fix up the abandoned mall as it was at the other end of town to the existing mall and they thought it would be a good place for some of the supernatural run stores to move in. They were doing another walkthrough and inspection with Ralph and real estate agent they were using, Tad Majors, and they had split up to check through the various floors.

Stiles, Lydia, and Erica were on the top floor checking to see if it could be warded to be hidden from mundane eyes to be a supernatural only shopping floor. Peter, Lara, Ralph, and the real estate agent Tad were on the middle floor talking contracts and building restrictions. On the ground floor were Derek, Jackson, Boyd, and Noah doing a check of the structure and assessing how much needed to be repaired from vandalism. 

They had been exploring the mall for about two hours and they were about to meet up on the second floor for a lunch break when an ear-piercing scream came from the top floor. Peter left Lara with Ralph and Tad guarding her, first ensuring they were all armed. Tad was a selkie, he was not keen on fighting but he was happy to defend Lara. Ralph sent a group text to the rest of the pack advising of the possible attack while everyone else sprinted for the top floor and the source of the scream. 

They found Erica standing guard over a bloody Lydia, and Stiles holding off against two alphas with a third seemingly blind alpha watching from the sidelines. Jackson ran to replace Erica on guard duty, crossbow out and ready, while Erica checked Lydia’s injuries to make sure there were no major injuries. Derek pulled out his batons and he and Boyd went to join Stiles, who was armed with his handy bat, against the two Alphas. Peter and Noah hung back, their guns out as they worked to get a shot at Deucalion who was hanging back.

Derek yelled, “What do you want? You have encroached in our territory, ignored all pack protocols and you have been trying to attack us for months, yet we still have no idea what you want from us.”

Stiles snarked quietly, “Demented halfwits probably have no idea what they want.” He then yelled, “You have already lost two members of your pack, are you prepared to lose more?”

Kali snarled, “You dare! Insolent child, you and your pack are not worthy of this territory.”

Stiles scoffed and he looked her up and down, “And what? You think you, who is in desperate need of a pedicure, by the way, is one to judge?”

Ennis is over the discussion and he roared trying to get the pups to submit, but they all stood strong and defiant not even an eye flash amongst them.

Deucalion stood near the broken escalators and he raised an eyebrow. He was surprised that no one has given away their status yet. He gave a subtle signal with a tap of his cane on the concrete floor and watched through blazing alpha eyes as Kali and Ennis leaped for the whelps.

Ennis leaped forward and reached out for Boyd while Kali went for Derek, the crazy alphas both completely disregarded Stiles due to his lithe form. Boyd and Ennis were fairly well matched because although Ennis was a good five inches taller than the dark teenager, Boyd's fighting style matched that of a Berserker and it was difficult to predict and made it hard to get a shot in. After a few minutes, Ennis took a chance and when Boyd kicked up at his chest Ennis twisted, wrapped his hands around Boyd's ankle and swung him around, he threw Boyd past the other fight going on with Kali and the other pack members who were standing to the side out of the way and straight through a concrete pillar, obliterating it, Boyd collapsed on the ground coughing from the impact before he passed out cold.

Meanwhile, Kali had been trying to get close to Derek with her claws, she was completely ignoring Stiles, just lashing out when he would connect with his bat, Derek was doing a great job holding her off with his batons. Stiles had his bat charged with electricity, taking shots at her legs whenever she stopped moving. 

Peter and Noah were standing back letting the pups have their fun, they were both taunting Deucalion, trying to get him to talk about why he is trying to take the territory. Why he seems to be so desperate. But Deucalion just stood there, watching silently, waiting to see what the outcome of the fight would be.

Kali was starting to get hits in past the bat, leaving gouges on Derek, enough for blood to flow fairly freely as they sluggishly tried to heal, but not enough to stop the attacks from coming at her from the two wolves. She roared and tried to shift her attack when she saw Erica aim her guns at Ennis. Derek and Stiles used the distraction to put her down hard and they had her restrained on the floor.

Erica, when she saw Boyd go flying through the pillars she was enraged. It took everything she had not to flare her eyes but she held them back and instead she muttered a quiet “fuck it,”. She pulled her guns from the holsters concealed at her back and she walked towards Ennis both arms up firing both pistols at him as she walked towards him, every shot landing in his chest shredding it, Ennis was staggering back from each shot, the Desert Eagle .50 doing maximum damage with the wolfsbane infused bullets preventing any healing. As Ennis staggered backward he was unaware of the balcony that looked over the entire three stories of the mall, as he approached the edge she stopped shooting both arms raised with Peter covering her back. 

Ennis staggered his way upright, and he roared, trying to get her to back down and submit. 

Erica just held strong and yelled, “We have you beaten, Kali is restrained, Deucalion is just standing there like a limp noodle not even deigning to help you, you are shot to shit with wolfsbane. So I ask, will you admit defeat and leave our territory?”

Kali was struggling, trying to get out of Derek and Stiles’ grip to help her lover, her packmate, until Stiles threatened to use the taser if she didn’t stop trying to get loose. Noah and Jackson had moved Boyd over to Lydia and they were checking him over to see what injuries he had, Lydia was awake but still sitting on the ground, she had her gun up to cover her pack mates.

Ennis saw they were outnumbered and outclassed but he would not give in. He roared, “Hell no, I am an alpha, I will not submit to a slip of a girl like you.”

Erica glanced at Derek and Stiles who both gave a brief nod at her unasked question. She took a deep breath with her guns still raised and she asked, “Last chance, will you admit defeat and leave this territory?”

Ennis stood straight and shook his head as he growled, “NEVER!”

Erica raised her guns higher took a breath in and as she breathed out she shot him, one shot through the heart, the other shot straight through his forehead. The impacts were enough to push him over the edge of the balcony the body landing on the ground floor.

She holstered her weapons and moved to replace Derek in holding down Kali, moving her claws to the alpha's throat.

Derek stood tall, faced Deucalion and stated, “Deucalion, that’s another pack member you’re down. It’s just the two of you left now. You need to accept that you will not win, our pack is bigger and stronger than your corrupted pack will ever be. This territory will always be Hale pack land.”

Derek dug his claws into Kali’s neck and picked her up off the ground, Stiles, and Erica standing guard in case she decided to lash out with her claws. Kali snarled but didn’t struggle lest the claws in her throat rip it out. Derek hoisted her higher and threw her towards Deucalion, he let his eyes flare blue as he roared, “Leave!” at the pair of alphas. 

Kali twisted in midair and landed in front of Deucalion in full snarl. Deucalion tapped his cane on the ground quietly and she stood, he tucked his hand into the crook of her elbow and they left the abandoned mall, Noah and Peter followed, with their guns out to make sure they left. As they left they picked up Ennis’ body, Kali lifting it into a fireman’s carry.

Once the two alphas were gone everyone slumped down to the floor like their strings had been cut. Lydia was still recovering from the slashes across her back after she had been caught unawares when the alphas came in through the roof access. Boyd was still out cold on the floor but he had a strong heartbeat and he didn’t seem to have any major obvious injuries from being flung through a pillar. Stiles gave him a quick check for broken bones before he sat down beside him.

Lara, Ralph, and Tad came up from the second floor when they saw Noah and Peter walking back up the stairs.

Lydia huffed, “What was with the creepy dude’s silent act? Did anyone else think that was beyond weird?”

Peter rolled his eyes, “That, my dear, was Deucalion, he wasn’t overly sane to begin with, then a few years before the fire he had a peace meeting with Gerard Argent and he was attacked. The result of that attack was his blindness.”

Ralph added, “The reports we have compiled about the alpha pack indicate that the Morgan pack was one of the first assessed and failed by this alpha pack. At least they were the first pack that was decimated by this pack.”

Noah asked, “What about the other two alphas, Ennis and Kali?”

“The Wilde and Paget packs are both on the list of packs taken out by this alpha pack. It makes you wonder if they took out their own packs before targeting other packs for possible alphas to join them.” Ralph wondered almost too himself.

“Let's head home and discuss this in a more secure location,” Stiles suggested.

Peter and Noah guarded the pack as they left, Jackson carried Boyd and Erica supported Lydia, Derek and Stiles supported each other. They escorted Tad back to his office, as Peter promised to get in touch about the purchase of the mall before they left.

Once everyone had been checked by Ernesto and they were just waiting for Boyd to wake up from the concrete pillar sized hit to his head, they all gathered in the training room to discuss the fight.

Derek commented, “I think they were testing us but not how we thought. I think they are trying to find out which of us is the alpha.”

Stiles asked, “To what end? Aiden, Ethan, did they do testing attacks on your pack?” 

Aiden shook his head, “No, but they already knew who the alpha was, the first thing they did was threaten him while they were inviting him to join them.”

“So what was the threat?” Stiles asked.

Ethan shrugged. “He wouldn’t say, at least not to us. You have to understand, we were the pack omegas, treated lower than dirt even though we were the alpha’s grandsons.”

“So I wonder what changed, what made Deucalion change his mind and go for you instead?” Peter asked, curious.

Aiden sat up and looked at Ethan, “One of them must have seen us fighting during pack training, if they saw us merging, Deucalion may have decided he wanted to collect us for his pack instead of our grandfather.”

Ethan agreed, “I am pretty sure he also approached other members of the pack about joining the alpha pack, but he was clear that they would have to kill our grandfather before they would be able to join Deucalion’s pack.”

“So I was right, it’s likely they took out their own packs, forming this alpha pack. It makes you wonder why? What is their end goal?” Ralph asked.

Aiden said, “I know they mentioned ‘that Hale bitch’ a few times when they didn’t realize we were within earshot.”

Derek looked up and asked, “Talia Hale?”

Aiden shrugged, “They were usually careful not to talk about their plans in front of us, we never heard a name, just that Hale bitch.”

Peter rolled his eyes, and in a deadpan drawl said, “Yippee. Talia hasn’t lived in Beacon Hills for over six years yet the repercussions from her actions or lack thereof live on.”

Stiles leaned over and he pulled Peter into a side hug. “It’s all part of the chaos Peter, we are a strong pack, we proved that tonight, they will either leave or they will die. It’s that simple.”

Erica asked, “Won't they assume I am now an alpha?”

Ethan shook his head, “No, you used a human weapon and they will assume the fall killed him not the bullets.”

“I felt it though,” Erica explained, “I felt the influx of his alpha spark. It was corrupt, seriously dark as fuck. Mine seemed to dominate it though. I felt it while holding Kali down, the additional strength and power as my spark battled for control.”

Stiles asked, concerned, “You feel ok now though, Catwoman? No lasting issues?”

Erica grinned, “Aww Batman, you’re worried about me? I’m fine, Dad checked me over and he said I was all good. I will let you know if I have any issues though.”

“Thanks. Right, I need to get in touch with Delphine, find out who we use for car grooming, both cars are full of blood and that is a bitch to get out of leather,” Stiles exclaimed as he got up and headed for the door, he muttered, “I’m just glad we didn’t take Roscoe.”

Chapter Text

April 2012

“Happy Birthday Stiles!” Was yelled from all corners of the loft as Stiles entered. 

The pack had bought the empty building recently as an investment, they were planning to fix it up as an apartment block and they had decided to set up the huge empty loft as a blacklight rave to celebrate Stiles turning 18. Many of the local supernatural beings that they had met over the years were there to help the pack celebrate Stiles' birthday, even if he was 18 going on 42. Alphas Ito and Richardson had even brought their packs across to help celebrate.

“Heeeeey Daddio, you were right, this party was an awesome idea,” Stiles said while he was bouncing around his dad to the live band they had playing.

Noah took a close look at his son and he frowned, he took the drink from Stiles' hand and he gave it a suspicious sniff.

“Relax Dad, its just Coke, no alcohol, not even a hint of Peter’s wolfsbane spiked punch,” Stiles said with a grin.

Noah breathed a sigh of relief. “Go have fun with your friends kiddo, enjoy the night.” Stiles gave his dad a quick hug and he ran off to pounce on his boyfriend.

Stiles leaped onto Derek's back and he whispered in his ear, “Hey Sourwolf, miss me?” 

Derek just rolled his eyes and he said, “You were only gone for five minutes, Lil Red.” 

Stiles shrugged, “Thank you, this is an awesome party. Who knew there were so many supernaturals in and around Beacon County.” He jumped down off Derek then he turned to grab Derek’s hand and he started trying to drag him to the dance floor. Trying being the operative word, “Come dance with me Sourwolf! Please?” 

Derek reluctantly agreed and they joined the rest of the pack in the middle of the dance floor. 

After an hour of hot and exhausting dancing under the black lights, Stiles felt something weird in the wards on the building. He reached for Derek’s hand and gave it a quick squeeze in warning before he led him out of the dance floor to find Noah, Peter, and Chris.

They were standing at the makeshift bar talking to Satomi, Vaughan, and John, from the neighboring packs, Stiles walked up to the group with a serious look on his face.

Stiles said with no preamble, “I think we have trouble, something weird is going on with the wards.”

Peter frowned, “How so Stiles?”

Stiles shrugged, “Honestly, I can’t tell, that’s why I said weird. It’s like the intent ward is trying to go off but not getting very far before stopping. Weird.”

Derek asked, “Could it be related to Deucalion’s pack and that amulet they used to when they came through the wards?”

“Maybe, whatever it is it’s persistent. It might be worth warning everyone quietly.” Stiles pondered.

They all dispersed to subtly warn their packs and the various guests of a possible attack. The Hale pack were all armed with their favorite weapons in concealed holsters as per their protocol when not at home.

“One of my betas is missing.” An outwardly calm but worried Satomi reported when they all gathered back into the group.

John nodded, “One of mine also, Dean said she was heading out the front for some fresh air. She’s not overly fond of large crowds.”

Peter asked, “Can you call or text them and ask them to come back inside?”

Both visiting alphas pulled out their phones and flicked off a quick text, neither received a response from their betas.

Stiles looked to Derek and Peter, “Time to confront the upstart I think.”

Peter asked, “Chris, have we got time for you and Erica to get in place to cover us?”

Chris shook his head, “No, but Noah, can you please take Erica and let her know what’s happening so she can move into position, can you send Jackson with her and I will take Allison with me. Get her to take the north corner of the building, I will take the other. We can at least trust that Peter, Stiles, and Derek will give us time to get into position with distraction and sass.”

Noah picked up Erica and Jackson’s weapons cases from behind the bar and headed off to find her while Chris took his and Allison’s weapons cases to his corner of the building to get set up in case he was needed.

Derek turned to Satomi and John before going outside, “Can you keep everyone inside? Be sure to guard the exits, many in our pack are cunning and will do anything they can to try and cover us. We plan to resolve this as fast as possible, but we want to make sure your betas are ok before we attack. We will do everything we can to get them to release your betas unharmed, but we don’t want to give them an advantage, adding hostages to the mix from people trying to help will make it more difficult. We also want to avoid your packs being pulled into the fight, we love that you are willing to help us but thus far you haven’t been on their radar, if you join us they may decide to hit you both first.”

The two visiting looked at each other having a silent conversation in mostly eyebrows and facial ticks before they both nodded in agreement.

Derek stepped out of the main door of the building, Stiles was at his right shoulder, Peter at his left. They found Deucalion and Kali standing a short distance away from the building holding two terrified betas in front of them with claws to their throats.

Peter drawled, “Are you cognizant of the fact that by threatening those two particular betas you are courting war with the Ito and Richardson packs? Neither of those kids are part of our pack.”

Stiles asked, “Brett, Pandora, are you both ok?”

Brett snarked, “Peachy.” Pandora just looked terrified, she had only come outside for some quiet and fresh air.

Derek flexed his claws, and inspected them nonchalantly, he flashed his beta blue eyes and he asked, “What do you want Deucalion? You have been attacking us for six months now, surely you must have understood you just can’t beat us. You are already down three pack members. We will be happy to make it more.”

“Tell me, boy, your ragtag pack killed Ennis yet you still do not have an alpha. So how is it that you think you can beat me?” Deucalion demanded.

Kali snorted, tightening her grip on Brett, “Are we serious with this Hale kid? Look at him. He just has a ragtag group of useless teenagers.” 

Peter raised his eyebrows and he glanced at Stiles and he mouthed ‘what about me?’.

Deucalion felt the disbelief coming from the three in front of him and he raged, “ENOUGH. I am the Alpha of Alphas. I am the apex of apex predators. I am death, destroyer of worlds. I am the Demon Wolf.”

“More like overdramatic wolf,” Stiles commented.

Peter snarked back, “I was thinking narcissistic wolf.”

Derek growled to get his wolves under control. He saw a red light appear on Deucalion’s forehead which meant that one of his snipers was set up and ready, he just had to wait for the other. “What are you hoping to achieve by attacking our allies. As Peter said, you are courting war with neighboring packs. We have already made it clear we are not leaving Hale pack territory. We don’t care if you consider yourself an alpha of alphas or an apex predator. We are a large pack and we will use any weapons at our disposal to take out threats.” He saw the red light bloom on Kali’s forehead and smirked, “Right now, you both have a large caliber sniper rifle currently aimed at your foreheads, they are loaded with a deadly combination of wolfsbane and mistletoe. The wolves we have trained as snipers, well, they are trained by an Argent and bloody fast.”

Deucalion shifted into his beta form, a terrible visage, showing just how twisted his wolf is. “I am the Alpha, you will give up your territory to me, you will then accept me as your alpha.”

Stiles laughed so hard he had to brace his hands on his knees to stop himself from falling over. “Sorry, just wow. You have a seriously over-inflated ego. Dude, you have been trying to get to us since you arrived over six months ago. You are now down three members out of the five you started with when you arrived, what on earth makes you think holding the betas of two of our allies will force the issue?”

Peter looked at Kali with a wicked gleam in his eye. “I just have to ask, do you follow him blindly?”

Stiles snorted and high fived Peter.

Derek rolled his eyes. “Now that we have established that our pack of, hmmm what did you call us again Kali, oh that’s right, so now that we have established that our ‘ragtag group of useless teenagers’ has managed to evade you, shoot you or beat you bloody over the last six months, what are you hoping to achieve? This is Hale territory, it has been Hale territory for centuries and it will be Hale territory for a long time to come. A self-styled wannabe alpha of alphas won’t change that. Now, unless you want your brains to decorate the sidewalk behind you, please release our allies and leave. You are not welcome in our territory. Feel free to leave the Hale heirloom amulet behind when you leave.”

When it was clear that the alphas had no intention of letting the betas go. Stiles asked quietly, “A warning shot please guys.”

A shot was fired from each of the rifles, both alphas felt the bullets as they went past their ears which left a slight graze on the two invading alphas.

Derek raised an eyebrow and he snarled, “Now, you will let them go.”

“Brains, sidewalk, KABOOM!” Stiles said quietly with appropriate hand movements showing a large explosion. Peter snickered.

Deucalion rolled his eyes at the teen's antics and he ground out a quick, “Fine!” before he shoved the beta he was holding at the small group in front of him.

Kali used the distraction and took the opportunity to shove the girl she was holding at Derek. She was about to follow it up with a pounce on the impudent pup until she noticed the red light glowing in the center of her chest, she hissed, “You persist in using human weapons to win a wolf fight? Are you that weak? At least fight us yourselves.”

“Weak? How is using any advantage weak? How is ensuring that your pack has your six weak?” Derek demanded. “It certainly worked the last few times you attacked when Issac left you and Ennis both gasping while he made his escape with the twins and then when Erica took out Ennis with barely any effort.”

Kali opened her mouth to respond but Deucalion growled deep in his throat and he stopped her before he responded, “We will not stop coming at you. You can’t beat us.”

Peter pushed the kids behind him. “Get inside you two, your alphas are waiting for you.”

As soon as they heard the doors shut behind the kids, Derek, Stiles, and Peter faced the alpha pair.

“You dare attack us, we have made it clear we will stop at nothing to defend this territory, our territory.” Derek snarled. 

Deucalion smirked, “Yet pup, we are still here.”

The three of them moved into defensive positions, claws, and teeth out with their eyes glowing, Derek and Peter’s eyes are a glowing vibrant blue and Stiles’ a captivating golden glow.

Stiles snarked, “You won’t be around for long, we will end you.”

Deucalion stretched his senses and upon noticing just how many people were waiting inside, he took Kali’s arm and with a squeeze, she took the non-verbal message for what it was. She threw the packages she had waiting in her pocket as a backup as they moved away, running as soon as the small bombs went off.

The boys all moved back away from the scent bombs Kali had thrown at them, eyes watering from the strong peppermint and pepper smell that suddenly permeated the area.

Peter yelled through his tears, “That's it, run away. Fucking cowards!”

Derek muttered, “If it wasn’t your birthday I would chase them and end them, I am seriously done with those fuckers.”

Stiles mumbled under his breath, “It’s my birthday and I sure as shit don’t mind if you do.”

Derek looked to the corners of the building and said, “Please keep watch, ensure they don’t return please.”

They all headed back inside to finish the party, Derek swore to himself the next time Kali and Deucalion faced them, they will die.

-x-

The next day Greenberg found Scott in the school library on the computers, he saw that Scott was looking into the police fitness tests, he asked, “Scott why are you looking into the fitness tests, won’t your asthma disqualify you?”

“Well, I was having coffee with Kali the other day and she suggested I should look at joining the police force after I leave high school. She thought it would be a good job for someone as devoted as I am. She said she knew of a cure for asthma but couldn’t tell anyone yet as it was still experimental and very hush-hush.” Scott explained.

Greenberg was curious so he asked, “Who’s Kali? Your girlfriend?”

Scott looked at Greenberg with a look of horror on his face, “What?!?” He nearly shrieked but lowered his volume when he remembered they were in the school library. “No! I would never cheat on Allison like that.”

Greenberg frowned, he was a bit confused so he asked, “If she’s not your girlfriend then why are you meeting her for coffee.”

 Scott had a dark look on his face, “We have to meet at coffee shops because mom banned me from seeing Kali, said she was too old for me. But it’s not like that so we meet up in coffee shops and diners and sit away from the street so no one sees us.”

Greenberg shook his head and he asked, “So here is a question, how is it cheating when Allison’s not your girlfriend?”

Scott with a dopey lovesick look on his face answered, “One day Allison will be my girlfriend and I will not disappoint her. That’s why I want to join the police, the real police not this small-town sheriff’s office. Kali said that joining the police is a noble job and that Allison will love me more for it. What girl wouldn’t love to be wooed by a man in uniform.” 

“Scott… Allison hates the fact that you exist on the same planet she does, she despises the fact that you have to be in classes with her and she has clearly arranged it so you barely share any classes at all. Why do you insist she will miraculously fall into your arms and be your girlfriend?” Greenberg whisper shouted.

Scott frowned and answered like it was obvious, “Because I love her. Duh. This thing she has with Stiles is only temporary, she will see that I love her more and she will come crawling to me.”

Greenberg facepalms, he muttered to himself, “Jesus, how did I not see this before?” Louder he said, “Dude, that's not how it works, you need help, professional help. She’s not even dating Stiles, he’s dating a deputy, I saw them kissing over a meal at Mikey’s Diner last week. What you are doing is creepy, obsessive and probably illegal. Get some help before you get arrested.”

Greenberg walked away, he was finally washing his hands of Scott McCall.

Scott completely ignored what Greenberg said and he went back to his google searches. He needed to find a fitness test that he could do with his asthma just in case Kali’s cure didn’t work.

-x-

“Deucalion is trying to take Beacon Hills,” Laura said as she stormed into Talia’s office.

Talia raised an eyebrow and she asked “What?”

Laura explained, “I heard it in town, Deucalion is trying to take Beacon Hills while you’re not there. He heard there were a couple of teenage betas who have laid claim to the territory in our absence.”

Talia flashed her crimson eyes, “What?”

Laura shrugged, “It’s just a rumor, what do we care about a couple of teenage betas. Deucalion is the issue here Mom! We can’t let him take our territory.”

“What do you suggest I do about it, Laura? If we return home the pack might find out the truth about Derek and Peter.” Talia said angrily.

Laura glared at Talia, and she demanded “You would rather give up our territory to that blind bastard? What the hell, Mom? You don’t even think they survived the hunters, so why are we still hiding?”

Talia huffed, “I am still your alpha Laura. You will show me respect even if you are my second. I will think about heading home. Now leave.”

Laura flounced out of the office to go and lead the training her cousins were ordered to do.

Talia sat back pondering the news. The last thing she wanted was for her family to find out it was her that cut the pack bonds between Peter and Derek and the rest of the pack. She didn’t want her husband to find out that she left Derek at the mercy of the hunters who tried to burn their house down. But she was absolutely sure she didn’t want to give up her territory to either a pack of teenagers or Deucalion.

It was time to go home.

Chapter Text

May 2012

“River, I think we need to go home.” Talia mused.

River frowned, Talia never seemed inclined to leave before now, and she kept a tight rein on the pack. “Why? Why now?” He asked.

“Laura has been hearing rumors that Deucalion is making a play for Beacon Hills, that he wants control of the Nemeton,” Talia explained.

“Why now though, why not earlier after you left?” River asked, he was a bit confused.

Talia shrugged. “Honestly hon, I don’t know. Maybe he has been building his pack, making sure he is strong enough to take the territory?”

River asked, “Didn’t he already have a strong pack?”

Talia shook her head, “No, some objected to being lead by a blind alpha, there were rumors of a take over by his second when we left. I haven't heard anything since though.”

“Who do you want to take with us? I know some are starting to chafe at the isolation.” River asked as he pulled out a note pad ready to start planning.

Talia sat back in her chair, and she thought about it, she knew the hunters were no longer a problem but she had kept that knowledge from almost her entire pack, only Laura was aware of it. “I think for safety sake we should all go, stay together lest the hunters attack again.”

River started thinking of what would be needed for the entire pack to travel, “When do you want to leave?” 

“In two weeks, that should give us time to get the houses here put back to rights and everything packed up and ready for the trip to Beacon Hills,” Talia ordered.

River tentatively asked, “Do you think Cora is there?”

Talia shook her head, “No, Eric was able to check the web history on the library computer that she accessed, it showed her looking into South America, she booked a bus ticket for the Mexican border, I think it is unlikely she will return, as you know she broke the pack bonds as she left.”

“I still don't understand why she would just leave like that, to become omega by choice,” River asked, as if he was trying to understand the actions of his youngest daughter.

Talia pulled him into a hug, “Oh River, I don't think we will ever understand why she chose to leave us.”

River pulled back from the hug. “I will spread the word and get everyone to start packing their things, do we need to hire a few trucks and RVs for the trip? It will take likely several weeks for us all to drive across if the trip here was any indication. Especially if we want to stay under the radar.”

Talia nodded, “I will work with a company I know who will find what we need and they will keep the transaction discrete. We don’t want the Argents getting wind of us returning. We can find somewhere to rent a few hours drive away from Beacon Hills while we investigate what we are returning to.”

River gave Talia a quick kiss then he went out into the kitchen to start spreading the word, to get everyone started on packing their essentials. He decided he would quietly pack Cora’s things, if she wasn't in Beacon Hills he would leave to South America to find her. He couldn't understand why Talia seemed angry with her for abandoning the pack the way she did when it was her own actions and the actions of her second that pushed her youngest daughter away.

-x- 

“Stiles! We know they are still here, we just can’t get to them. We need to plan an ambush, get it over and done with.” Lydia exclaimed as she stormed into the training room, pissed that again the alphas disappeared on them again. It had been a month since the confrontation at Stiles' birthday and the alphas were still trying to attack them.

Stiles looked at Peter and he indicated with hand signals that he was stopping their sparring session before he crossed his arms over his chest and he raised an eyebrow. “We are planning, we just have to be smart about it, Deucalion and his seeing-eye-bitch are smart. They will smell an ambush coming from a mile away.

“They don’t know about our full shift abilities,” Peter suggested, “Maybe change up the patrols so the humans look like they are patrolling alone but have several wolves flanking them through the trees. If we do those scent blocker tattoos that you found, then we can test if they work while in wolf form.”

Stiles grinned, “I can’t see them not working, all the other tattoos have worked for us while in full shift.”

“So who do we send out as the humans? Who do they still believe is human?” Lydia asked.

Stiles smirked a truly evil smirk. “Who else, myself and maybe Chris as back up, they will never believe an Argent would be a wolf. I was thinking that maybe we both do a regular patrol where it's just me or me and Chris running the trails and sparring in one of the clearings deep into the preserve, one where the surrounding trees are thick. Everyone else who is capable of a full shift waits in the tree line surrounding the clearing, while the human fighters and our other alphas wait further back. We can prepare in advance by concealing backpacks with our combat gear and weapons in the spots were each wolf will be waiting. We draw them into a false sense of security, when they finally show themselves, we attack. It may take a while before they take the bait but it will be worth it.”

Peter nodded, “Dominique has been looking into them, they are almost as bad as Kate and Gerard. They have taken out several smaller packs. Newer packs that are not yet cohesive and packs with aging alphas. They have truly bastardized the name of the alpha pack and are nothing more than thugs.”

Stiles raised an eyebrow in a silent question to Peter.

“We do have permission from the council to end them. If we hand them over to the council they will do it for us, but they would prefer that the two alphas were just eliminated hard and fast.” Peter confirmed.

Lydia headed to the door, “I will go talk to Chris about ordering extra weapons and some of that new lightweight body armor for our backpacks. You two need to talk to Derek and get his approval for this mad plan.” 

Peter sighed, “He’s not going to be happy that you want to be bait.”

“Nope, Derek’s gonna be pretty pissed, but it’s honestly the best plan. Thanks to Scott Deucalion has fixated on me being the token human.” Stiles agreed.

They headed up to Derek and Stiles' shared office. Derek looked up as they walked in and he noticed Peter's deliberate action in closing the door and making sure it shut properly.

Peter went and sat on one of the sofas, preferring to throw Stiles to the wolf so to speak.

Stiles glared at him with a look that clearly implied he felt betrayed. Stiles perched with his hip on the edge of Derek’s desk. 

Derek sighed and he asked, “What insane plan have you come up with this time?”

Stiles looked affronted, “It's not insane. It’s perfectly sane, it just has an element of danger… for me… as bait…”

Derek looked at Stiles in horror, “No, not only no but hell no.”

Peter took pity on Stiles, “It’s not that bad nephew. It will have the illusion of danger but no actual danger provided that Stiles' new runes work the way we plan.” He held up a hand to stop Derek from demanding answers, “He found a scent blocker rune and we will do the tattoo and test that it works while we are in full shift over the next few days. Provided it works it means we can set up an ambush using Stiles and Chris as bait.”

They walked Derek through their plan and Derek agreed that while he hated it, that it was a good plan. They would spend the next few days ironing out the details, confirming that Chris was ok to play bait, testing the new rune tattoos and planning exactly how the confrontation would happen. 

It took several weeks but the crazy alphas finally took the bait. 

Chris and Stiles were sparring in the clearing, Chris was dressed in his usual cargo pants and black leather jacket, Stiles, however, was in an old ratty pair of jeans and his signature red hoodie, he had the hood up as they were sparring. They could both sense the alphas were close and they could feel through the pack bonds that the pack were slowly closing ranks around them. The sparring they were doing was beginner level, they were making it look like Chris was giving Stiles lessons in beginners hand to hand.

Chris and Stiles looked up in faux surprise when they heard the alphas approaching. 

Stiles snarked, “Oh look, its Deucalion and his seeing-eye-bitch. How can I help you both?” He looked at Chris and said, “Head back to the house Chris, alert the others.”

Chris made it look like he was hesitating and Stiles looked back at the alpha pair in front of him and he yelled, “Go!”

Chris faded back into the trees as Derek and Peter in their wolf forms slunk forward, flanking Stiles.

Deucalion scoffed and he asked, “What’s this supposed to be, Little Red Riding Hoodie and his big bad wolves?”

Kali laughed and said, “My my, Little Red, what big teeth you have.”

Stiles smiled, showing way to many teeth to be human, “Sure, sure, laugh it up, except in this story,” Stiles paused for dramatic effect, because he was that kind of asshole, and the three of them let their eyes glow that bright crimson, “Little Red Riding Hoodie is the Big, Bad, Wolf.” 

At the prearranged signal Stiles transformed into his dire wolf form and the three of them leaped at Deucalion. 

When the rest of the pack heard Stiles say ‘Big, Bad, Wolf’ they all jumped out of the trees, red eyes on full beam. 

Kali moved to join the attack but found herself quickly buried under three large wolves, one with a grip on her left knee, another with her right wrist in his mouth and a third on her chest with her throat in its mouth. They wanted to ensure she didn’t have time to try any more nasty tricks.

Ralph, Delphine, and Graham all came out of the trees flanked by Dominique and David. Ralph walked up to the wolves on Kali and he looked her in the eye as he whispered to Noah who was on her chest, “End it, Sheriff.”

Noah clamped down and ripped out her throat, Boyd and Erica both pulled away when they felt the mad mad alpha die. Noah stood tall and he roared as he accepted the alpha spark from Kali.

Deucalion was fairing somewhat better, he was holding the three wolves at bay suffering only a few gouges in his arms and legs. He stood and noticed behind them a circle of large wolves was forming. All of them appeared to have glowing red eyes, behind them were 3 more alphas in beta shift, the twin's massive merged alpha form, and two humans.

“What are you?” Deucalion demanded.

Derek, Peter, and Stiles shifted back to their beta shift. 

Derek stood proud and tall, “We are an alpha pack, our alpha sparks were gifted to us by the Nemeton.”

Deucalion looked around and he was able to count 17 pairs of red eyes. “What is the point of all this power if you waste it by hiding?”

Stiles snorted, “Who said we are hiding? It’s fairly common knowledge that a young pack has taken over Beacon Hills, the only thing we have kept secret is that we are a large pack of alphas and a few humans.”

Peter said “No one heard that the last Nemeta created alpha pack was all alphas either. They were created in the 1600s to prevent the chaos of the witch trials bleeding through to other supernatural creatures. The entire idea around their creation is keeping the supernatural a secret, keeping themselves secret, so imitation packs like yours don’t completely butcher their purpose.”

Derek growled, “Enough! Deucalion, your reign of terror is over. We have contacted The Council and we have permission to end your pack.

Deucalion narrowed his eyes, “For that, you need a witness. A verified Council witness.”

“How like a deranged alpha to know the rules when it suits him. We have a witness, a Council member no less.” Stiles turned to the side and gestured to Dominique Argent.

Dominique didn’t move but called out, “Deucalion, I am Dominique Argent, I am a hunter representative on The Council. Your so-called alpha pack has been investigated and found to be in breach of well… let's just say all the rules. You have been found to be a risk to the supernatural world, your actions in taking out entire packs is bringing attention to our world by the mundane as they investigate your slayings. This ends now.”

As she said now the 10 wolves in the circle surrounding Deucalion all leaped forward tearing into him. Derek, Stiles, and Peter looked on, they were immensely proud of their pack.

The Nemeton made sure to pull the alpha spark from Deucalion into the earth as it was deemed too corrupt to pass on to any of the wolves.

The wolves all moved back and Stiles moved forward. He called on the earth to take Deucalion and Kali into its embrace and slowly the pieces of Deucalion that were scattered around the clearing and the body of Kali were pulled down into the earth never to be seen again.

Peter, now dressed in his combat gear, walked over and picked up the amulet that Deucalion used to access the territory. He put it in his pocket with a mental note to add it to the vaults when he next visited.

Derek and Stiles heard a whisper as they made their way back to the pack house, ’you are nearly done, the magic is nearly used, no more alphas, it won’t be long now.’

-x-

Stiles was in his office with Derek, the door was closed and they were snuggled together on the sofa. They were discussing what to do about Scott. He had been increasing his stalking between bouts of searching high and low for Kali since she had vanished without a trace two weeks earlier.

“He has to go, he had been getting verbally abusive at school towards me and others in the pack and next semester Allison won’t have me there as a buffer,” Stiles said, decisively.

Derek tugged Stiles onto his lap, holding him tight. He asked, “Did you want to go through with the twin's plan? Strip his memories of anyone in the pack and send him out of state? What about his mom?”

Stiles smiled, “The last report from the investigators said she was threatening to send him to live with his dad. She was done with his acting out. So we could leave her with memories of doing that? Have we looked into him?”

Derek nodded, “I think so, Delphine has all the details. Noah mentioned he is an FBI agent.”

“I guess the big question is can we do it, strip out his memories of the pack members without screwing his memory entirely?” Stiles snuggled in closer to Derek, “Meh, it’s either strip his memories or kill him, he has caused too much damage to this pack. His obsession with Allison nearly got him bitten by a rival pack.

They spent a few days talking over the various options with Delphine. In the end, Derek and Stiles approached Satomi for advice.

They visited with Satomi and they all sat down with some calming green tea.

After they had drunk the tea, Stiles requested, “What we need to tell you is covered by pack secrets.”

Satomi nodded her head in acquiescence, “I promise to keep your secrets between us." She looked at both of them and she asked, “So this meeting is about the child that was hanging around the loft at the start of the party?” Satomi asked.

Stiles sighed and he nodded, “He's been stalking Allison, he also has a huge grudge against me for something that happened when were 11 and he had spent a lot of time with Kali over the last six months.”

Satomi asked, worried, “Did Kali give away our secrets? Tell him about being a wolf?”

Derek shook his head, “Not that we know of, she did hint a few times at having a cure for asthma but as far as we can tell she never mentioned what it was.”

Stiles added, “I think he's a risk, if he ever found out what we are he would tell the world, he has zero filter. Which is why I think the Nemeton was 100% against him being in our pack.”

Satomi narrowed her eyes and she asked, “The Nemeton? That Nemeton is dying and corrupted. That it is communicating with you is a concern.”

Derek held up a hand to stop her, “It was dying. The Nemeton was attacked twice, we are not sure if it was related or two entirely separate events but about 75 years ago the Nemeton was ritually bound, this is what started killing it. What added to it was the chaos demon buried in its roots sometime after the binding. When Talia left the binding broke and the Nemeton was able to absorb the power of the chaos demon, to start healing and to activate an alpha pack.”

“Nogitsune,” Satomi stated, “It was a Void Kitsune, otherwise known as a Nogitsune that was over 1000 years old. We believed it unkillable and felt that placing it in the Nemeton would starve it.”

Stiles smirked, “That explains how it was able to be used in the creation of the alpha pack. What little I have been able to read indicates that the creation of the alpha pack requires a lot of power.”

Satomi looked at Stiles and she asked, “So when I first started teaching Derek about control you were both alphas?”

Stiles looked sheepish as he nodded. “I became an alpha about a month after I was bitten. Derek though, is our pack's alpha.” He tapped his fingers on the table, “I have to ask, this Nogitsune, it’s placement was not part of the binding ritual? Not related at all?”  

Satomi shook her head, “Its a long story, and not mine to tell. The short version is that the Nogitsune was summoned by a vengeful celestial kitsune and it was not what she wanted. She wanted revenge for the death of Rhys, the man she was seeing, but the Nogitsune just wanted chaos, no matter who suffered. What was worse was that it wore Rhys’ face to create the chaos. It took us a while but we were able to release Rhys from the possession and trap the Nogitsune. We couldn’t find anything that indicated how to kill it, just one reference that said it could be trapped by Nemeton wood. So we stuck it into the roots of the Nemeton in the hope that even a dying Nemeton would keep it from harming others.”

 Stiles asked, “Will you let your friend know that the Nogitsune is dead?”

Satomi nodded, “I will, she will likely visit to check for herself but I will let you know when she is due to arrive.”

“Thank you, that’s not why we were here though. One of the reasons the Nemeton created the alpha pack in our pack is the risk of exposure to the supernatural world. Scott’s actions make us think he is one of the threats that we need to deal with. We are reluctant to kill him as he is just a dumb kid, technically he has done nothing wrong. But if he finds out about the supernatural world he is the type to tell others.” Derek explained.

Satomi tilted her head and she looked at Derek, “So what are you asking of me, Derek?”

Derek laced his fingers with Stiles’ and he asked, “We would like to strip his memories of the pack members, especially those of Stiles and Allison before we send him out of state to live with his father and to finish his schooling with him. We have checked and his father is an FBI agent living in Washington DC. The odds of him seeing anything supernatural is low. What we would like to know is if this is possible.”

“It’s certainly possible, the difficult part will be doing it with the finesse required to remove his knowledge of the pack as friends or people he knows well while leaving the memories of seeing them around the school and the town. Especially for those pack members he is obsessed with, such as the two of you and Allison. You will need to remove the emotional relationship he has with each of you. What of his mother?” Satomi asked.

Stiles frowned, “Honestly, she’s at breaking point with him, they have had a few very loud fights outside the hospital if the reports we have are accurate, She’s not happy about his friendship with Kali and she has threatened numerous times to send him to live with his dad. We were thinking he could run away to live with his dad. We could put the idea in his head to do it when we alter his memories.”

“I will teach you both the theory on how to do this. It is something you have to learn by doing, so I will take you through everything my alpha taught me before we unleash you on Scott.” Satomi offered.

Chapter Text

June 2012

At the start of the summer break Stiles was out with Thea and Regina doing a health check on his wards, he kept feeling someone or something brush up to his wards in the northern most area of the preserve, it had been happening for the last 8 months at least with increasing regularity but there had been no breach as of yet. He wanted to make sure the wards were solid and that whatever it was that was ‘knocking’ on his wards could not breach without his knowledge.

He felt the approach of a strong magic user heading towards the area of the wards that had been pinging for the last six months.

“Heads up, something powerful is coming, a caster, I have sent Derek and Peter a text to let them know and they are heading this way.” Stiles murmured to the two women with him.

Regina stood up tall when she saw the willowy brunette approach the ward line. Jennifer’s face had a brief flash of anger at the continued presence of the wards.

“Can we help you with something?” Regina asked.

Jennifer thought about the best way to approach the issue with the people in front of her. “It’s unlikely, I was looking for some acquaintances of mine, last I had heard they were in Beacon Hills.”

Regina raised an eyebrow and she asked, “Who are you looking for? We are fairly involved with the community here in Beacon County.”

“Deucalion Morgan and Kali Wilde,” Jennifer asked, she hadn’t realized that her heart rate had been steadily rising after she mentioned Kali.

Stiles glared and he snarked, “So you thought the best way to find your lost… erm friends… would be to trespass on private property rather than enter through the main road like a normal person?”

Thea gasped in mock outrage and she exclaimed, “Stiles!”

Peter and Derek in full wolf form slinked out of the forest around them to flank Stiles and he could feel another couple hanging back in the tree line out of sight, so he turned to Thea and he asked, “What? She came to the territory border, clearly crossing private property to search for enemies of this territory.”

Thea rolled her eyes and she snarked, “Politeness doesn’t hurt Stiles.”

Stiles looked at Jennifer and said with his voice dripping with scorn, “If you are looking for Deucalion and Kali their remains are buried about 5 miles that way.” He pointed vaguely southwest. “They attacked our pack in our territory, we responded in kind and won. They died, end of story.”

“What have you done, you stupid child.” Jennifer raged at Stiles, she completely ignored the two women and wolves flanking Stiles.

Stiles raised an eyebrow as if to ask, ‘what?’.

Jennifer’s form started to stutter as she was losing control of her glamour in her rage. “That bastard was mine to kill you ignorant little boy.”

“Hey, not so much with the little, fuck you very much.” Stiles struggled to see how 6ft was little even if his form was lithe rather than built like Derek and Boyd. “So… I have to ask, what did you want with the batshit alphas?” Stiles asked while he was calling his magic to the surface, no longer worried about masking it. He put a hand on the head of each of his wolves, a subtle signal for them to stay put for now.

Jennifer seethed at the attitude of the slip of a boy in front of her. “I wanted to have my revenge, I have been planning my revenge for years, building my strength over the last six months so I had the power to take him out once and for good. That bastard talked Kali into killing her entire pack, including me, her emissary and her lover. She left me to die not far from here and I was able to crawl to the Nemeton which saved me that night.”

Stiles got a look of dawning comprehension on his face. “Oh, I remember that, Dad mentioned that he thought your quick healing was a little odd when we were trying to find cold cases with supernatural overtones. Since you were taken to the hospital looking like, hmmm how did he term it,” Stiles put his finger to his chin in a mock position of thought, “That's right! It looked like you had been put through a meat grinder. Your case was one of those in the list.” Stiles brightened. “I guess we can add that one to the closed list since the perpetrator is already dead. Awesome.”

Regina interrupted before Jennifer could spew more rage. “So now we have established that the targets of your ire are no longer available for you to enact your revenge, I am sure you can find something else to occupy your time.”

Stiles murmured at the two women flanking his wolves, “Just so we are clear, you can not take action. As this is a dispute on Hale pack territory, any actions or retaliation must be enacted by Hale pack members. Ok?”

They both nodded in agreement.

Stiles pulled his collapsible baton out of his pocket slowly and he let it grow slowly, concealed from view by Peters wolfy bulk. He looked at Jennifer as if surprised. “Oh, you’re still here? I thought we had established your need to be in Beacon County and specifically in Hale pack territory was done?”

Jennifer screamed “NO! You insolent brat, you took away my revenge, he was MINE, mine to torture slowly, mine to kill. You have wasted all the effort I have put in over the years in tracking down that bastard. He was mine to kill. MINE!.”

Stiles raised his eyebrows, he was surprised at just how unhinged the woman seemed, he racked his brains trying to remember the name from the files he helped sort through. “It’s Julia, right? Why is getting revenge so important? They are both dead, neither can hurt you anymore.”

“That’s not the point!” Jennifer screamed she ignored the fact that he seemed to know her former name.

Stiles frowned and his wolves both raised their hackles, they both subtly moved so they were in position to protect Stiles if needed. Stiles asked, “So tell me, since you are still here, what was the point? Was there a point?”

Jennifer shook her head and she said “Of course there was a point you silly child. The point was for me to cause the same amount of damage in return, just as slow, just as painful before killing them both. However, you have taken this from me. I guess you and your little pack will do as a substitute.” 

Stiles tapped Derek to send the howl. As he howled long and loud Stiles commented, “You know, you won’t be able to do any harm to us until you cross the ward line, right? So, while you are thinking about that, feel free to fess up as to why you reek of black magic.” He looked at Regina and asked, “I can smell the vague sense of corpses when she moves, so is it sacrificial magic?”

Regina nodded and she uttered under her breath just one word, quiet enough so only the wolves would hear, “Darach.”

Stiles' eyes widened and then he grinned. “So that was the reason, all those deaths, sacrifices right? All so you could build power, power that is now wasted since the object of your revenge is no longer available, and honestly, I am hardly going to let you kill me or my pack.”

Jennifer stood tall. “I am a druid boy, how do you and your pet wolves there expect to beat me?”

Stiles whistled, low and long and watched as 10 large wolves stalked out from the trees around him, Regina and Thea moved behind them. Ralph, Delphine, Graham, Lara, and Natalie followed the wolves and looked fierce in their combat gear, Ethan and Aidan were in their combined form standing in the middle of those in human form. David, Maria, and Ernesto stayed at the pack house to defend it and to be ready to treat any injuries.

Jennifer snickered, her form still flickering between the beautiful woman and the scared visage she is trying to hide, when she saw all the wolves with their hackles raised, as if pet wolves would scare her, until one by one starting with Stiles, Derek and Peter the wolves all flashed alpha red eyes. In the group of humans lined up behind the wolves she could see more alphas including one monstrously huge alpha.

Stiles smirked as he asked, “Do you still think you can take on our ‘little pack’ now? Now, I just want to confirm, the 15 deaths in the surrounding towns, the three fold deaths, you did those, all of those? Ritual deaths for, hmmm, let me see if I can figure it out, fifteen deaths, three fold deaths, so what? Hmmm, five groups of three.” He looked to Thea as she had extensively studied druids and rituals in her magical learnings and he asked for clarification, “Five Fold Knot? Beauty, healing, strength, knowledge and durability right?”

Thea nodded, “That's what it sounds like, her flickering form indicates the sacrifices have almost served out their purpose, at least the three virgins have.” 

Stiles looked back at Jennifer who was still outside the ward line. He worked on distracting her so she didn’t notice when Boyd and Isaac broke off, at his hand signals, from either end of the line of wolves to stand behind her just in case she tried to run. “So all those deaths were you? I just want to be sure.”

Feeling a bit off-kilter at how casually the kid is mentioning her sacrifices she just nodded but she still didn’t step forward.

Stiles looked to Regina and he asked, “Is that enough of an admission Aunt Regina?” He saw a slight nod and he turned back to Jennifer. “I see this going two ways. Either, you submit yourself to justice with The Council, they will look at both your actions and likely the mitigating circumstances in the actions of Deucalion and Kali, and you will be tried in a supernatural court. Or, you can try and fight your way out and we will likely tear you apart, burn the body and spread your ashes somewhere deep in the preserve. Salted, of course, just to be on the safe side. Just to be clear, if you attack any member of the pack, regardless of if your attack is successful or not we will respond, and you will die.”

Thunder was starting to build up in the sky. Stiles looked up but he was not worried as Jennifer still had not crossed the ward line. He subtly added a shield in front and over the pack. Jennifer raised her arms and she looked gleefully malevolent as she sent a few bolts of lightning towards the pack. The ward line caught them all and dissipated the energy into strengthening the wards.

Stiles conjured a ball of lightning, something he was well-practiced in and he absently flicked it at Jennifer.

Jennifer dodged the ball of lighting and she screamed, “NO!” as she crossed the ward line, she thrust her hands forward palms out towards the pack, willing the trees to send branches and vines at the pack.

Stiles raised an eyebrow when nothing happened. He looked down at Derek, scratching his head between the ears. “Do you think that’s a new dance move, Sourwolf.” 

Derek rolled his eyes and he chuffed at the sass.

Stiles yelled when Jennifer was still thrusting her arms out in various directions. “Hey! I’m just a bit curious, but what are you expecting to happen with all the arm flailing? You are starting to look like one of those sock puppet things car dealers use.”

Jennifer frowned, “The trees, they should be attacking you at my command. I am a Druid, we control the land, the earth is ours to command.”

Stiles snickered, and in a way that showed as much sarcasm as possible he thrust his arms out in an exaggerated fashion watching as vines wrapped around her waist, wrists, ankles, and neck restraining her as well as suspending her in the air. “You mean like that?” He asked as he flailed his arms around, watching her bounce like a demented jack-in-the-box while suspended.

“YES! How is it that you, a mere human, could have control over the land.” Jennifer demanded.

Stiles, who was out of fucks to give yelled, “Because you deranged harpy, this is Hale Pack Territory, I am a member of the Hale pack, I am pretty sure we have already gone over this. You saw my eyes glow alpha red not 30 minutes earlier for fucks sake. As I said, you attacked our pack, on our territory. The land will bend to our will, it is loyal to the Hale Pack and the Hale pack alone just as we are loyal to the land.”

Derek and Peter started to growl low in their throats at the struggling woman. 

Stiles shifted into his beta form, eyes glowing that bright crimson, he then allowed them to shift to the purple of his spark before pulling lightning from the storm overhead that she summoned hitting her with the bolts one at a time until the storm faded.

Stiles turned so he was facing the pack. “Thanks guys, head back to the house, we will be right behind you once we have dealt with the body.”

Stiles turned back to the burnt body of Jennifer as they all headed off, only his dad, Derek, Peter, Thea, and Regina remaining, he waved his hands releasing the vines, a few swipes with his claws to separate the head from the body and to cut the body in half, then Regina stepped forward and waved her hands setting Jennifer's body aflame, she was more confident in her dealings with fire, Stiles tended to be a bit hit and miss when it came to the erratic element. 

Once the fire was all completed the ashes were swept up into several piles and just to be on the safe side three groups of the remaining members went in different directions to scatter the ashes, they didn’t want to chance a dark ritual being used to bring back the dangerous Darrach. They were just lucky the wards held and kept her out of Beacon County while she was sacrificing people for power.

-x-

After a month of intensive lessons with Satomi learning the theory around digging through a human’s memories, Derek felt he was ready to deal with Scott. Scott’s enquires into Kali’s disappearance were making him a further danger to the pack, he was getting dangerously close to finding out their secrets through finding out hers.

It was decided that they would use an interrogation room at the Sheriff’s station under the guise of an arrest for harassment and stalking. Danny and Stiles would work to make sure there was no surveillance on the room and Graham and Noah would ensure that the observation room was kept empty. Ralph and Derek would be in with Scott. 

They were able to rope him in when Allison offered to be bait. She went out alone to visit the sheriff station with lunch for the pack members currently on duty knowing that with her alone Scott would be bolder about following her. 

When she pulled into the station Allison looked back and she saw Scott parked on his dirt bike by the Sheriff’s Office sign, she walked in with the lunches, then a few minutes later she walked out with Graham and made a show of pointing out Scott. Noah went out the back door and circled around the block, when Graham saw Noah was in place behind Scott he walked over with his cuffs in his hand.

“Scott McCall, you are under arrest for stalking and harassment.” Graham reached over and he restrained Scott with his hands behind his back snapping the cuffs into place. He and Noah walked Scott into the station and they led him to the interrogation room. They removed his cuffs from behind his back before cuffing him to the metal loop on the table. Aside from a glare of betrayal at Allison, he didn’t resist the cuffs, nor did he say anything.

Once Stiles and Danny confirmed from the Sheriff’s office that the surveillance was off in the interrogation room due to a technical glitch Noah and Graham stood outside the observation room planning the next station barbecue afternoon while Derek and Ralph walked into the interrogation room to start their chat with Scott.

Scott looked up at them and asked “What’s going on? Why am I here?”

“You are here because you are a danger to Allison, to Stiles and to our friends,” Derek said coldly. “You have been stalking Allison since she moved to town, she has had more than enough and she has laid a formal complaint of harassment and stalking.”

Ralph interrupts, “We have the paperwork here confirming the restraining order for both Allison and Stiles.”

Scott rolled his eyes, “Typical, the golden couple getting their way yet again.”

Ralph asked, “Couple?”

Derek snarled, “He’s the only person in town who doesn’t think that Stiles and I have been together for over a year now. He still believes Allison is dating Stiles. His grudge against Stiles is epic and frankly ridiculous.”

Ralph finished the paperwork and handed it over to Derek to sign on behalf of the Sheriff’s department. When Derek handed it back Ralph nodded indicating it was time.

Derek moved behind Scott reaching out with his senses to make sure the observation room was empty, while Ralph distracted him by explaining the terms of the restraining order, “This restraining order will require you to stay away from Allison and Stiles and anyone they live with. You will not be able to own a gun, and the restraining order is valid anywhere in the state of California.”

When Scott leaned forward to read the paperwork Derek struck. He buried his claws deep into Scott's neck and he used his other hand to restrain him so he didn’t struggle as he concentrated. He used the lessons from Satomi to know what to look for. He slowly and methodically removed the knowledge and emotional attachment to each member of the pack as Scott saw it finishing with himself, Stiles and Allison. He then implanted the thoughts of running, leaving Beacon Hills to live with his father before he was jailed for harassment and stalking. Derek moved those memories of stalking and harassing the girl of his dreams and the emotional attachments to a childhood friend of Stiles, Heather, who had died recently in a car accident. 

Derek removed Scott’s handcuffs then he went and leaned against the wall beside Ralph. The paperwork had been packed away, Ralph decided to hold on to it in case the memory implant of wanting to leave didn’t stick. They waited patiently while Scott regained his bearings after the memory wipe.

Scott looked up at the two in the room and he asked, “Am I free to go?” 

Derek nodded and quietly led him to the front counter. He smiled when he saw Scott walk past Allison with no sign of recognition beyond the glance usually afforded to someone you had seen before but didn’t know.

They walked back to Noah’s office and once the privacy rune was activated Derek said, “He knew what Kali was, he’s been trying to find her because she promised to turn him to cure his asthma, she had threatened that if he told anyone she would kill his mother. It wouldn’t have been long before he started searching for other wolves to request the bite. I stripped out those memories entirely. Thankfully there was nothing in his memories to indicate he told anyone.”

Stiles reached out to the Nemeton, poking it with a query as if to ask ‘are we done now?’, the response he got was not encouraging. It was a straight-up ‘No’.

A few days later they heard through Ralph’s contact at the hospital that Scott had moved to live with his dad in Washington DC to do his final year of high school before going to college at an east coast school if he could pull his grades up, his mom was sad about it but glad that she no longer had to deal with his behavior.

Chapter Text

August 2012

“We have been here for a month already mom, we need to go and see what’s happening in our territory,” Laura demanded.

Talia frowned at her, “What’s the rush, Laura? I have been trying to reach out to other alphas I know but they are either no longer around or they are refusing to speak to me. We need to take our time, and get more details before we approach.”

Laura growled, “Why can’t we just send in one or two of the betas to do some recon?”

Talia huffed, “Who would you send? Who do you consider expendable Laura?”

“Send in a couple of the school-aged kids, they can go to the school to register for the new school year. Get them used to being around others again. Maybe Gavin and Daisy, since Tiffany still listens to us.” Laura suggested.

Talia took a deep breath as she thought through the issue. “Fine, but send River with them, he is calm and he will be good at defusing anything tense.”

-x-

Stiles felt the foreign wolves enter his territory through the wards, he reached out to the Nemeton and gave it a poke in query. It sent back a whisper of ‘be on guard, not a danger, but not safe yet.’

Stiles sent out a group text to the entire pack warning of the wolves entering their territory and to keep their wolves masked.

Ten minutes later he got a text reply from the coach.

From Coach: Hales at the school.
To Coach: What? They are all here at home.
From Coach: New Hales Bilinski, get with the program
To Coach: Who?
From Coach: I caught the names River and Daisy, there was another but I didn’t hear the name. They were talking about Hale kids starting in the fall semester.
To Coach: Thanks, keep this quiet, please.
From Coach: Roger

“Sourwolf?” Stiles asked as he entered their shared office.

Derek looked up, worry showing on his face, “It’s them isn’t it?”

Stiles nodded and he sat on Derek’s desk in front of him. “It sounds like your dad was with two of your cousins while they were registering at the school.”

Derek leaned forward and he put his head in Stiles' lap wrapping his arms around Stiles' waist. He mumbled, “I don’t want to see them but I want to know what they know.”

“Maybe we should send Ralph in, he knew River didn’t he?” Stiles suggested.

Derek nodded against his stomach.

Stiles chuckled and he pulled out his phone to call Ralph.

“Ralph, River and two of Derek’s cousins are in town, they are at the school registering for the new school year,” Stiles said with no preamble.

“Fuck, really? Damn, want me to do a fly-by, see if I can get info?” Ralph asked.

Stiles smiled, “Yes please, but please don’t give anything away, as far as he knows you are still part of Satomi’s pack and you work for Vesuvius. They didn’t know Peter owned the company right?”

Ralph confirmed, “No, they thought he was my Junior partner. That’s how he wanted it.”

Stiles smirked, “If you feel like being an asshole ask how Peter is doing, if he recovered from the injuries he received in the fire.”

Ralph chuckled, “I am always an asshole Stiles, its all part of being a lawyer.”

“Let me know how you get on, I am going to tell Peter not to leave the house till we know they have left our territory,” Stiles said before he hung up the phone.

Stiles leaned forward and wrapped Derek in an awkward upside-down hug and he murmured, “You gotta move Sourwolf, I need to go update Peter and Chris, make sure they don't leave the house as they are likely to be recognized by your family.”

Derek clutched tighter and he growled quietly, “They aren’t my family. Family doesn’t abandon family.”

Stiles squeezed tight then he moved to get up over the protests from Derek.

Stiles walked down the hallway to Peter’s office where he found Peter and Chris snuggled up on the couch watching Netflix on Peter’s MacBook. 

Stiles walked in and closed the door. They saw the serious look on his face and they sat up. Peter leaned forward to pause the show they were watching.

“Who is it?” Peter demanded.

Stiles explained, “Coach texted, he saw River with Daisy and one of your nephews registering at the high school. He didn’t catch the other kid's name.”

Peter thought about his sibling’s kids, and he answered, “Probably Gavin. Daniel and Eric would have graduated by now as they were ahead of Derek in school and I doubt Kirsten would let Bryce or Celeste out of her sight after moving even if ordered to by her alpha. What’s your plan kiddo?”

Stiles looked at him with a raised eyebrow, “You think I have a plan already?” He shook his head, “Of course I have a plan, I sent in Ralph, as far as they are concerned Ralph is still in Satomi’s pack. He’s going to ask questions but he won’t answer any directly. He will also be an asshole and ask about you and how you are healing.”

Peter looked at him stunned then he started laughing. “That's a total dick move. I like it.”

Stiles smirked, “You would, you’re just as much of an asshole as I am. Hopefully, we won’t have long to wait for information.”

Peter stood and he wrapped Stiles into a hug as he whispered “Go back to Derek, this will be hard for him. I will contact Cora and tell her to stay away from town.”

Stiles went back to his office and sat in front of Derek who hadn’t moved and wrapped him into a hug. “It will be alright Sourwolf, you don't have to see them if you don’t want to.”

Derek shrugged, “I do and I don’t. It’s complicated.”

Stiles quietly agreed, it was complicated. 

-x-

Ralph knocked on the office door a few hours later. “Hey boys, I have some news.”

“Give me a sec to text the others. I think we all need to hear this.” Stiles said while he gestured him to sit on the sofa.

 A few minutes later, Peter, Chris, and Noah walked in and sat down, Peter stole Stiles desk and set up his laptop while Noah stole the other sofa seat and Chris settled on the floor in front of him.

“So you found them then Ralph?” Peter asked.

Ralph nodded, “Yep, so I found River, Gavin, and Daisy in town. Coach was right, they were registering for the kids to start high school in the fall semester. So I pulled the asshole move that Stiles suggested and asked about how Peter was healing from the burns he got in the fire and… well… Cora was right, they believe him dead. Worse is they seemed to have no idea about Talia’s actions in leaving him behind. River asked if we had seen Cora, I said that I wasn’t often in Beacon Hills, I was only in town for days I had appointments in the office. I mentioned that business had slowed somewhat since Peter left.”

Derek chuckled, “I am tempted to hand you a wooden spoon for that epic level stirring. One thing confuses me though, I am sure Dad knew that Talia was planning to leave Peter behind. I heard them talking in their hotel room before they left.”

Ralph frowned, “From what I remember of River, he was never that good an actor, I doubt he got better while they were isolated.”

“I have to agree, he could barely lie with a straight face let alone the heartbeat tell.” Peter agreed. “Are you sure it was River you heard with Talia in the hotel room? Or just another person making agreeing noises? Talia does like to talk after all.”

Derek concentrated and then he shrugged, “I don’t know, I just remember the feelings of betrayal when Talia talked about leaving us behind.” He looked at Stiles, “You could go in and have a look, I know you were paying attention during those lessons with Satomi on how to use your alpha claws to check memories.”

Stiles looked at him seriously and he asked a bit gobsmacked at the level of trust, “You trust me with this, with your memories?”

Derek looked at him solemnly and he caressed Stiles' cheek as he said, “Always.” He leaned forward so his head was in Stiles lap again and he brought the thoughts of that overheard conversation to the surface. “Now, Stiles.”

Stiles carefully sunk his claws into Derek’s neck and he gasped at the sensations of being pulled into memory after memory. After a few minutes, he was able to put what Satomi had taught them into practice and with a bit of internal guidance from Derek they were able to observe the memory of that overheard conversation in the hotel room.

Stiles pulled his claws out with a pop and leaned forward into Derek from his perch on top of the desk. “It wasn’t River. Whoever it was had a feminine voice. Most likely Laura. They didn’t say anything just a lot of uh-huh and hmm hmm noises but it was very feminine.” He turned to Ralph and he asked, “What else did you learn?”

Ralph opened his notepad, he had written down a list after the conversation, “They still believe there is a threat from the Argent hunting family. I know Dominique confirmed with other members of the council that Talia had personally been informed. I am not sure how she was informed but we double-checked when Cora arrived. They all believe both Derek and Peter were killed by the same hunters who set fire to the house, River honestly looked haunted when he talked about you both dying. They haven’t added any new pack members since they left, no babies either, River hinted that this was an alpha order.”

Peter rolled his eyes, “Bloody hell. So Talia has kept them all on a war footing so to speak for the last 6 years.”

“Yup, even just a simple trip into the school to register had them nervous. I could feel the hyper-vigilance rolling off them in waves. Even the kids were looking around them expecting an attack at any minute.” Ralph confirmed.

Derek sat back and rubbed the back of his neck, “Do we know if Dad has been in contact with his family at all?”

Ralph shrugged, “The Doyle pack aren’t allies so I am not sure. I do know though that the Sands pack has been worried for a while about the lack of contact from Javier. Want me to reach out and see if they have heard anything?”

“Not yet. Did Dad say how long they had been in town for?” Derek asked,

Ralph shook his head, “No, he just said they were staying in Santa Mira for the last few weeks until Talia decides it’s safe to move home. Rather presumptuous of her really to assume she can take back a territory she abandoned.”

“She’s probably heard the same rumors that all the other alphas heard, that the territory was taken by a couple of kids and ripe for the taking,” Noah added.

“What’s our plan if she approaches for a meeting?” Chris asked, curious.

Derek buried his head in Stiles, lap and listened to Stiles snickering above him. Stiles leaned over and he whispered, “Alpha pack, no problem. Omega alphas, bring it on. But you ostrich at the thought of telling your mother who abandoned you and Peter to get the fuck off your lawn? My poor, poor Sourwolf.”

“Look, I hate to say it but a confrontation is inevitable, she’s already assumed the territory is hers by sending the kids in to register at the school with no attempt to discuss it with the local pack beforehand. We need to plan for both her approaching to force the issue or her ignoring us completely.” Chris admitted.

Derek mumbled while he was still firmly ensconced in Stiles' lap, “I want to see Dad, I need to find out if he knew we were left behind.”

Peter looked up from his laptop, concerned, “Are you sure Derek? It could give the game away.”

Stiles looked up shrewdly, “Not if he thinks he’s meeting with Ralph about Peter’s share of the business. The loft is fully warded now, we could use that as the meeting place, it has the secure upper level where we can wait while we make sure he's alone before Peter, Cora, and Derek meet with him.”

“I gave him my card and let him know it had my personal cell number on the back, I asked him to keep in touch since he was back in town. If he gets in touch I will ask to see him about the business.” Ralph offered.

Stiles smirked, “Perfect, hopefully, he won’t take long to get in touch.”

-x-

It took a few weeks to wrangle a secret meeting. Especially given how little River could lie. He arranged a trip to Beacon Hills to finalize the school registrations and to do some last-minute school shopping.

They had arranged the loft so that the main room was wired for surveillance which could be observed from a heavily warded secure room at the top of the spiral stairs.

Ralph was working at the coffee table in the main room while he waited for River to show up. He understood that River would probably have to take time to make sure he wasn’t being followed.

The boys and Cora were upstairs waiting patiently, Derek was typing up reports for work, Peter was reviewing case notes for a recent case and Stiles was tutoring Cora in her math homework for summer school. They all sat up when they heard the loft door open below them. Derek reached forward and he turned on the surveillance equipment.

Stiles left the room before River was fully into the loft and he went downstairs shutting the door to the surveillance room firmly behind him. He walked through to the kitchen making up three coffees. He had asked Peter before heading downstairs how River liked his coffee. He walked through to the main room once the coffees were done and he set the coffees in front of Ralph and River. He then sat at the end of the sofa Ralph was using, River was on the sofa opposite with his back to the stairs.

“River, this is my… This is Stiles. He is my alpha’s second, and he is deeply invested in this meeting.” Ralph explained.

River looked at Stiles with open curiosity, “What were you going to say, Ralph?”

Ralph chuckled, “Oh I was going to try and pass him off as an intern.” 

Stiles snarked, “Interns don't have nearly completed law degrees at 18 Ralph.” He picked up a book from the coffee table, “I am just going to read until you two get to the interesting bits.”

Ralph smiled at Stiles then he turned to River, “Now, tell me what you didn’t want to say in front of the kids. Don’t worry about Stiles, he’s fine, I trust him with any and all information.”

River sighed and he rubbed his hands down his face, “It’s not good Ralph. The whole time we were away Talia and Laura have run the pack like a mini dictatorship, she hasn’t even allowed Kirsten to have more kids. I wanted to ask again though if you had seen Cora, don't think I didn't notice the evasive answer. She ran from the pack over 2 years ago and broke the pack bonds when she left. I always hoped that she had run here, even though the info Daniel found said she had run to South America.”

Ralph shook his head. Using the evasion tactic again he asked, “Why did she run?” 

River huffed, “She wasn’t happy, she barely spoke to anyone, just angry at everyone for not wanting to go home. I tried so hard to be there for her but Laura went out of her way to rile Cora. I always wondered what Laura was saying to Cora when no one was around, but she wouldn’t tell me and Talia told me to stay out of it, she went as far as to make it an alpha order.”

“Jesus, for what reason? A pack is supposed to support each other, every member. Having the alpha and her second riling her up doesn’t sound like a safe environment. Was she the only one they targeted?” Ralph demanded.

River shrugged, “I don't honestly know, I was restricted in what I could read, kept out of most training sessions because and not a lot was discussed around me because I am not a born Hale.”

Stiles huffed, “Well, that’s a giant pile of bullshit right there.”

River gaped at him. “Excuse me?”

Ralph rolled his eyes, “You will have to forgive Stiles, he's a bit of an acquired taste.”

“Whatever.” Stiles turned and gave River a hard look, “How invested are you in Talia, I know from what I have been told your marriage was not a love match.”

River narrowed his eyes, “You seem well informed for someone who has never met me or my wife before. That is not well known.”

Stiles waved him off, “I just have one question, and it’s super important that you are 100% honest with me with what you know. What happened to Peter and Derek.”

River’s face morphed into one of deep sorrow. “They died, my baby boy died at the hands of hunters.”

Peter sat down beside River and asked, “And if you found out we didn’t die? That Talia cut the pack bonds and left us behind knowing we would be targets for the hunters?”

River sat and looked at Peter sitting beside him before wrapping him in a hug. He leaned back after a few minutes and looked closely at Peter as he chuckled and said, “Its good to see you, Peter. You know, you look really good for a dead man.”

Stiles snorted, “Maybe we should start calling you Zombiewolf.”

Peter glared at Stiles and he said flatly, “No, just no. You lot calling me Creeperwolf is bad enough.”

River picked up his coffee and he asked, “So Peter, tell me what really happened.”

Peter looked over at River and asked, “Are you under orders to tell your alpha? Will you tell others that we live?”

“We?” River asked, his face looking so hopeful it was almost pitiful.

Stiles waved him off, “Please just answer the question, are you going to go back to Talia and let her know that Peter is alive?”

River whispered, “She’s not my alpha. She hasn’t been since the fire, not really. She is so out of touch with her wolf she didn’t feel it when I broke the pack bond this morning, hell, I barely felt it the bond was so frayed.” He sighed, “I originally stayed for Cora, to try and buffer some of Talia’s anger. When Cora ran I stayed hoping she would come back.”

Peter asked, “You would choose to stay with Cora over Talia and Laura?”

River nodded, “In a heartbeat. I miss her so much.”

“What about the rest of the family, the rest of the pack, what would they do?” Stiles asked.

River frowned, “I don't know, it depends I guess on what exactly was kept from us while we were away. Its clear since Peter is alive there were lies told about what happened here.”

Peter held up a finger at Stiles before he can break out the epic sarcasm. “Not now Stiles.” He looked at River, “Are you aware that either Talia or Laura or maybe both sent hunters to this territory with instructions to kill all the wolves? What about the fact she accused your son of helping the hunter that set fire to your house when he was, in fact, the target of a serial killer, specifically, a family annihilator who seduced minors as part of their MO, she was known to be a prolific sexual predator using a rare strain of wolfsbane to aid in the seduction. Talia left him behind with no support, no money, no belongings. A perfect target for hunters looking to finish the job. What about the fact she sent a rival alpha to bite your son's girlfriend without her consent?”

River just sat there, his face fell with each revelation.

“Judging by the look on your face, you were not aware of any of this?” Stiles asked.

River looked at Stiles with a horrified look on his face, “No! God no! Jesus, what have they done.”

Stiles tilted his head and looked at him as if to work out if he is lying. There were no indications in his heartbeat, no skips or even a slight hesitation. He tilted his head towards the camera in the stairwell and flared his eyes a brilliant red in a prearranged signal.

Peter moved to join Stiles and Ralph on the sofa opposite which went unnoticed by River who was staring at Stiles. 

River asked, “I thought you were the alpha’s second.”

Stiles nodded and he confirmed, “I am.”

“But I thought I saw…” River broke off when he felt two bodies sit down on either side of him.

Derek and Cora dropped down on either side of River and wrapped him in a tight hug.

When River saw who had him wrapped in a hug his tears started to fall. He cried desolately, “What has she done?”

Ralph and Stiles went into the kitchen to make more coffees and to give the family some space for their reunion.

Stiles murmured quietly, “He can’t go home. Talia will smell them on him.”

“No, I also think he will be tempted to try and rip her apart if he does return.” Ralph agreed. “Let's go back in. We can figure out the next steps.”

They went back into the main room to see the group looking more composed.

“So… River, you know you can’t return?” Stiles asked with no preamble.

Derek rolled his eyes and he tugged Stiles into his lap. “That's my Lil Red, subtle as a baseball bat to the face.”

River raised his eyebrow, and he said, “He’s not wrong though. She will smell you all on me, never mind what I want to do to her for taking you all away from me.” He looked at Stiles and he asked, “Can you introduce me to your alpha? I will need to petition to stay in your territory.”

Stiles turned and looked at Derek, “I don’t know Sourwolf, can you handle your dad living with us?”

Derek chuckled and flashed his red eyes at his dad, “I think I can handle it, after all, we handle your dad ok, Lil Red.”

Stiles laughed and said, “No, Chris and Peter handle my dad.”

“Seriously though Dad, can you submit to me? Accept me as your alpha?” Derek asked, face looking quite serious.

River nodded, “If it means I get to stay and get to know you all again, then hell yes.”

Stiles stood and moved to sit beside Peter who wrapped him in a side hug. 

River sat and faced his son, “Do we need to stand?”

Derek shook his head, “Nah, I think we can cope sitting down. There will be things you need to know after, the secrets our pack holds are some pretty epic level secrets.”

River nodded, he took a deep breath and he asked, “Alpha Hale, will you accept me as your beta, will you accept me in your pack, will you accept my pledge of loyalty to you, your pack and this territory?”

Derek nodded and he leaned forward in his beta shift and he bit down into his dad's neck hard enough to draw blood. They all gasped as they felt the pack bond snap into place.

Stiles checked his phone briefly when the messages started coming in from the pack, he sent out a pack wide text message to say he would explain later.

“Time to head home? We will need to key River into the wards and set him up with a room in the house.” Stiles asked.

Derek smiled, “Yeah, lets head home. Do we need to dump your car and phone anywhere Dad?”

River smirked, “Let's leave it parked at the bus depot. I have a few bags in the trunk with my things and with some of the stuff Cora left behind. If Ralph wasn’t able to lead me to Cora, then I was planning to fly to South America to look for her. I will leave my phone in the glove box, I have the numbers I need written down.”

After dropping off the rental car, they headed home to introduce the pack to their newest member.

Chapter Text

August 2012

They took River home to the main pack house and got him set up with a room in the same wing as Chris’ room, Peter and Noah had all moved into Chris’ room in what was the Argent wing of the house and Derek spent most nights now with Stiles in his room in what was the Stilinski wing, Allison and Cora had moved to the second floor and had rooms beside Isaac and the rest of the pack teens, this left Hale wing as possible guest accommodation if it was required or spare rooms for the adults who lived in the other houses if they needed it.

They all met up later in the main den of the house to discuss the arrival of Talia and her pack.

Derek asked. “Is there anyone else likely to want to leave now that you are all fairly close to home?”

River shook his head and explained, “Don't get me wrong, there are those who are unhappy but Talia, backed up by Laura, has them believing that they will go feral if they leave.”

“Are the kids safe? I know thanks to Laura’s ‘training’ that Cora didn’t have an easy time of it,” Peter asked concerned about his nieces and nephews.

River sighed, “Laura will likely be distracted with my disappearance. She will be hell-bent on bringing me back to the pack. That should keep them safer for a while.” He looked around at the large pack, “I have to ask, how is it your pack has managed to grow so large without word getting out?”

Stiles smirked and said, “The Nemeton loves us.”

River looked at him with a confused expression, “The Nemeton? I thought it was dead, or at least it was almost dead when we left.”

Cora sniped, “It’s alive and healing, someone certainly made a good effort at killing it though.”

“There were two unrelated events that harmed the Nemeton, the most recent was the imprisonment of a chaos demon in its root system during World War Two. However, about ten years before the war someone had ritually bound the Nemeton which was slowly killing it. That’s why it had to be cut down in 1995.” Peter explained.

“So what changed, you mentioned it healing so what about the Nemeton changed?” River asked, curious.

Peter shrugged, “We don’t honestly know. The only thing we know for sure is that the Nemeton started to heal when you all left.” He looked to Derek and Stiles to continue the explanation.

Stiles looked at Derek then he said, “Well, about six months after you left the Nemeton had healed enough to pull us in for a conversation.”

Derek rolled his eyes, “Yeah, because you nearly dying was that bloody simple Stiles.”

Stiles snarked, “I still blame the harpy, she got the drop on me. I still managed to do a fair bit of damage even though I was a scrawny eleven-year-old at the time. My bat was mighty!”

Everyone chuckled having heard the story before.

Stiles waited for the chuckling to stop, “Look, it was a long conversation but the short story is that the Nemeton was pissed with Talia for leaving, especially pissed for her abandoning her pack members at a time when they needed their pack the most. It made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Derek was offered the position of the Hale Alpha of a new Nemeton created Alpha Pack in return for defending this territory like generations of Hales before him. I was offered the place of his second. It was able to use the magic it absorbed from killing the chaos demon to create the Alpha Pack.”

“The Nemeton is able to at times sense approaching danger, one of the things it sensed was a risk of the exposure of the supernatural world. Something I am sure you can agree would be a disaster in the modern era. It has helped us build a strong and powerful pack, admittedly a young pack because it has taken 6 years to build and train the pack to the point we can stand on our own two feet. We recently faced off against Deucalion, Kali, and Ennis and won.” Derek explained.

River leaned back on the sofa, “Wow, I do though have a theory on the binding. It's something I have had a suspicion about but haven't known who to tell.” He turned to Peter as the oldest Hale in the room and he asked, “How old is Alan Deaton?”

Peter frowned as he tried to figure it out, “I don’t know, fuck, he was Grandfather’s emissary, but he looked Talia’s age when I last saw him,” He looked over at Stiles and asked, “Can you find out?”

Stiles was already pulling out his laptop and pulling up the details from the missing persons case, “There is no date of birth in the missing persons case, isn’t that usually required before the case can be entered into the system as a case?”

Noah nodded and he walked over to check out the data on Stiles’ laptop screen, “It should definitely be in there, maybe he has done something like that Harry Potter spell Notice-Me-Not spell.”

Stiles looked at him in shock, “Are you holding out on me Daddio, ok, now go away, you need the plausible deniability.” He pulled up another database and he went looking for a copy of Alan Deaton’s social security records. 

“Fuck, if what I am reading here is correct, he’s not a Druid, he’s a Darach. His social security records have his date of birth in 1889, there is no way he can be alive now and looking Talia’s age without some seriously dark magic.” Stiles exclaimed.

River pondered, “I wonder if it could be achieved by binding the Nemeton to himself. It would be something a darach could do, and it would explain his loyalty to the Hale pack. Well for a given value of loyalty…”

“So what broke the binding? Would distance do it?” Stiles asked.

Lydia shook her head, “I was bored last year so I started looking into the possible binding rituals in the two libraries, trying to work out if someone could bind it again without our knowledge. You know, just in case. Everything I read said that the only thing that would forcefully break a binding was death.”

Derek sighed, “So given Deaton hasn’t been seen since she left, and he didn’t go with Talia it's very likely he’s dead.” He looked at Noah, “Dibs on not telling Marin.” 

Noah raised an eyebrow, “Does that mean you don’t want to know how she can be his sister?”

Stiles piped up, “She’s not, it is likely that she is bound to protect the secret as a family secret if he's that dark.” Stiles looks through a few more systems trying to figure out what happened, “Ok, so in most systems they are listed as having the same mother, but when you look through the civil registration system at the birth certificate records it shows that Marin’s mother only had one child,” He typed furiously, pulling certificates and records, ”So... tracing it back, she’s definitely his great-granddaughter.” Stiles looked up, “I vote we don’t tell her, if he’s dead he deserved it, that binding nearly killed our Nemeton.”

“Either way, I want to wait to confirm his death before we notify anyone,” Noah confirmed.

Stiles put his laptop down beside him, “Where were we, right, so we spent the last six years building the pack to be strong to face whatever the danger is. The Nemeton has said that actions we took over the summer break have prevented some of the danger and we just have one more obstacle to deal with before the danger is over.”

River looked around the room, “Can I ask, just how many of you are alphas?” He sat back in shock as every wolf in the room flared their bright red eyes. “Wow, I don’t think she will be expecting this. You know she is going to arrive in the territory without following any of the proper protocol, she fully believes this is her territory. When she arrives I would suggest orchestrating a meeting to confront her, make sure her entire pack attends.” He smirked, “A surprise would be good for her ego I think.”

Stiles walked out into the entryway and he pulled a framed photo off the wall. He walked back and he passed it over to River who looked up in shock.

River asked shocked, “All of you?”

Stiles shook his head, “No, only those who were bitten by Derek or are born Hales, so thirteen of us have achieved the full shift.”

Derek chuckled and gestured towards the giant standing behind the pack in the photo, “Aiden and Ethan have their own special gift, one that is apparently common with twin alphas, they are able to merge into a giant beta shift, they are about 7ft when merged and seriously built.”

The twins blushed at the praise.

River smiled, “You have wards up that can detect her entering?”

Stiles nodded, “We can detect any wolf that is not pack entering, how do you think Ralph was able to cross your path accidentally when you registered the kids. Incidentally, Talia entered the preserve about an hour ago, we felt it but we were told it was her and the Nemeton asked us to leave her be this time.”

“I wonder if she knows that the land transferred to me when she didn’t return within a year?” Peter pondered with a shit-eating grin.

River laughed, “No, no she does not realize this. Oh, I can’t wait for her to learn just how badly she screwed up by leaving.”

Cora looked at her dad confused, “But Dad, I thought you loved Talia?”

River shook his head, “No, ours was not a love match, she bribed my alpha somehow into agreeing to the marriage. The only reason I stuck around after my alpha died was for you kids, not just you guys but the other kids in the pack as well.” He looked to Peter, “I think Kirsten, Javier, and Robert will jump ship when they realize you are alive. They missed you so much. Tiffany, though, well… she is so far up Laura’s ass that she can taste what Laura had for lunch. If Laura says the sky is green then Tiffany will believe her without hesitation.”

“That marriage was Talia’s idea for sure. I know Robert was not that enamored with Tiffany.” Peter sighed, “What about her kids?”

River sat and thought about it, “Daniel will follow orders but I suspect he's just biding his time, Eric hasn’t gotten over losing Peter, he’s still pissed off that Talia wouldn’t let him do a law degree, Daisy and Gavin love their mom but I think they are starting to understand just how wrong the pack feels.”

Stiles looked to the pack, “Can you guys maybe befriend the kids at school? Keep your wolves hidden for now.”

Cora asked, “What about me? I don’t know how they will react to seeing me.”

Derek sat up, “I think we let them see you, they will find out eventually anyway.”

“Bryce and Celeste will be happy to see you, they have been worried about you. It’s Daisy and Gavin that I am not sure about. It depends on who they are closer to I guess.” River added.

Delphine asked, “Should I start getting the other houses ready for occupation? Lydia can help me buy what’s needed.”

Derek nodded, “It would be good to have somewhere to house them if they do jump ship.”

“I have burner phone numbers for Robert and Kirsten. Do you want me to reach out?” River asked.

Peter shrugged, “I think we should wait, for now, we don’t know for sure they are no longer loyal to Talia. She’s my sister and I should love her but after what she has done over the years I can’t, not anymore. Hell, she threatened to kill my partners in front of me if I didn’t stay away from them when I was still in high school.”

River asked, “Wasn’t one of your high school boyfriends a hunter.”

Chris waved from his seat beside Peter, “Hi, yep, so this pack has three Argents, well myself and my daughter are pack and my mother, Dominique Argent, the current Argent matriarch is pack adjacent.”

Stiles smiled, “We would do a pack introduction but we found out the hard way its a little overwhelming en masse like this, so we will slowly introduce you to everyone over the next few days.”

River nodded, “That sounds good, it gives me time to settle in and get used to feeling safe again.”

Cora moved over and wrapped her dad in a hug, “I missed you Dad. I’m sorry I left you behind.”

-x-

Talia approached her old house. She was surprised to see it still standing. She had assumed the city would have torn it down or condemned it by now.

She was surprised to see a young girl waiting in the doorway. 

Talia approached and she asked, “Can I help you?”

The young girl waved her through the door into the house, it was creaking ominously.

They stood in what used to be the living room and Talia asked, “What are you doing here?”

The girl tilted her head curiously and she said, “You don’t remember me do you?”

Talia shook her head, “No.”

“In life, I was Paige Krasikeva, you arranged for me to be bitten against my will by a rival alpha to keep me away from your son,” Paige replied.

Talia backed away slightly as she asked, “What are you.”

Paige smirked a truly wicked smirk, “I am a messenger.” Her voice took on an ominous double timbre, “She is my messenger, I am the embodiment of the Nemeton and I am here to right a wrong.”

Talia stood tall, and defiantly answered, “You are corrupted and dying.”

“I was corrupted and dying, due to your actions in perpetuating the binding and allowing it to continue when you became alpha, you are considered an oath breaker, you broke the oath made by the first Hale alpha to settle on this land.” The Nemeton raged.

Talia roared, “What oath? There was no oath, this land is ours.”

The Nemeton rolled its eyes, “The first Hale was gifted their alpha spark and they made an oath that all Hale alphas who inherited the Hale alpha spark would pledge their loyalty and protection to myself and the territory as a whole. You failed.”

Talia frowned, “I killed the druid who had you bound, he allowed hunters in your territory unchecked so he had to die like my lazy brother and traitorous son, surely that counts for something.”

“Surprisingly, no, it really doesn’t.” The Nemeton reached forward and it made a pulling motion from Talia’s chest.

Talia gasped as a red ball came out of her chest and she watched as it disintegrated in front of her eyes. She demanded, “What have you done?”
 
The Nemeton explained, “Your family's alpha spark was gifted by myself in return for protecting me and my territory. You broke this agreement when you allowed me to remain bound by your emissary. You are now a beta and will never again be gifted an alpha spark. When you killed the druid I started to heal and a new loyal protector was chosen. You will have to appeal to them to remain in this territory.”

“This land belongs to me!” Talia screamed.

The Nemeton shook its head and its double timbre voice rumbled in anger, “No! This land belongs to me, you were given leave to settle here and in human terms, you were the caretaker. We have new caretakers now who have helped me heal and have done great things to protect me. It is up to them if you are allowed to stay. If it were up to me you would be killed for your actions.”

“I will kill them and claim the alpha spark you have gifted them for myself.” Talia ranted as she walked out the door.

The Nemeton stood and as a parting gift it said, “To quote my human vessel, good luck with that.”

-x-

Paige appeared in front of Stiles and Derek in the office they shared.

They moved forward to stand in front of her, in the double timbre the Nemeton used to communicate it said, “The magic is almost done, you are on the right path to prevent exposure. Thank you both for helping me heal. I will still be here to power the wards but the regular communication will no longer be possible. I have used the last of the magic to set right a wrong and to say my farewells. I will only contact you now to let you know when your mission is complete. Derek’s bite is now a standard Alpha bite, so please be careful in who you turn.”

Stiles smiled, “We will miss you and your guidance. Thank you for helping us build a family, I am sure we will continue to feel you though your wards as we grow further as a pack in your territory.”

Derek asked, “Can you clarify the wrong you have set right before you go?”

The Nemeton responded, “Talia Hale confirmed that she killed the druid Deaton, he was the druid who had me bound. I was able to pull the memories from her spark as I removed it from her. The binding was done under the direction of Talia’s grandfather and the details were passed to Talia from his deathbed when he passed on the alpha spark to her. He insisted that the binding must remain for the land to stay Hale territory. Talia Hale has been informed that she is an oath-breaker as she has broken the agreements of her ancestors and her alpha spark has been returned from whence it came. She has been advised that she will need to appeal to the new protector of the land if she wishes to settle again in Beacon County.”

“Wow, I bet she was pissed,” Stiles answered in awe.

The Nemeton gave him a blank look, “She was angry, yes. However, I believe she deserved worse for what she has done in the Hale name.”

Stiles and Derek nodded in agreement.

Derek formally bowed, “We thank you for all you have done for us as a pack, we will miss our conversations but we promise to protect you and your territory as long as there is a Hale alpha as per the agreement of old.”

Stiles intoned, “So mote it be.”

The Nemeton walked forward and cupped their cheeks before the awareness of the Nemeton was gone.

Paige was still standing before them. “It’s time for me to move on as well. Derek, I am glad you have found love, I don’t think I could have picked anyone better for you. He will keep you on your toes that's for sure.”

She faded out.

Stiles sighed, “Holy shit Sourwolf. Your mom is a beta, she’s going to be so pissed.”

“Never mind her, Laura is going to be livid,” Derek said, sounding slightly manic.

Stiles decided to take a page out of his Dad's book when it came to dealing with panicky Hales and he pulled Derek to the couch for a steamy make-out session.

Chapter Text

August 2012

“Talia is now a beta.” Stiles dropped the bombshell as everyone in the main house was eating. He smirked when he heard the various choking noises coming from those who inhaled their food in shock from the news.

Peter glared at Stiles and he demanded, “What?”

Derek put his hand over Stiles' mouth to reduce the snark, then he answered, “We had a visit from the Nemeton. It was passing on a final message and letting us know that it had removed Talia’s alpha spark due to her being an oath breaker. It has told her she will need to appeal to us to be able to settle in this territory.” He removed his hand when Stiles who was impatient licked his palm.

Peter snorted, “She won’t do that, she will ignore warning the Nemeton and is moving in regardless. This afternoon I signed off on three apartments in one of our investment buildings to be leased to a Laura Smith… The description I was given of the two who signed the leases by the agent were a fit for Laura and Tiffany. Did the Nemeton give any other messages as it said goodbye?”

Stiles shook his head, “Just a thank you to the pack for our loyalty and protection, that it will still be here but the magic it used to communicate with us has run its course so it will be here to power the wards but it won't be vocal as it has been in the past. It did say the time foretold is here and that we are nearly done with our mission, it’s final message will be to tell us when it is over.”

Derek added, “Oh and my bite is that of a normal alpha again. No more magic alphas.” 

Noah put down his cutlery, “So it’s likely that Talia and probably Laura are the final steps in preventing exposure.”

Chris asked, “The animal attacks? They are getting closer?”

Noah and Derek nodded, Derek explained, “Maria is in the process of updating the patrol schedule to try and catch them in the preserve before the FBI is called in. We know from the reports they are heading this way if they are not here already.”

 “So far there have been 7 deaths from animal attacks, over the last 2 months alone. The surrounding stations are still on alert because of the sacrifices. They aren’t sure if the animal attacks are related.” Noah explained.

Stiles frowned, “What exactly has been reported?”

Noah sighed, “It’s not really dinner conversation but, we got another one of those all station bulletins, like what we got when the darach was doing her sacrifices.”

“I get that, what I don't understand is why. Why are the animal attacks being alerted to the sheriff stations, why are the rangers not dealing with it?” Stiles asked.

Understanding dawned on Noah’s face, he explained, “Because while each of the victims were found with wolf hairs on them, which is why they are calling them animal attacks, they also had a human element. Each victim was missing the heart and the liver. Their torsos were torn open and it seemed like the heart and liver were carefully removed, not with surgical precision, but certainly with the intention of them being removed intact. The other reason for the bulletin is the cooling-off period between each kill is getting shorter as they move closer to Beacon Hills.”

Peter asked, “Were any of the bodies marked with a spiral?”

Noah looked at Derek who shrugged as he said, “I have asked for the case files to be sent through so we will see. What are you thinking Uncle Peter?”

Peter waved him away, and stood to leave, he turned to Derek and Noah, “Let me know about the spiral, please. It’s important, I want to do some research first.”

Stiles stood and he followed Peter out of the dining room knowing he could be useful with his research skills.

-x-

Talia stormed into the house they had rented in Santa Mira and she called everyone to the living room.

“Pack everything, it’s time to go home. Has anyone seen River?” Talia demanded.

They all shook their heads and they headed off to pack their things.

Talia turned to Laura who hadn’t moved, “Have you found us suitable accommodation?”

Laura shrugged, “I found us a building that has a few furnished apartments for rent, they will be available for us to move into later on today. I have had our furniture and other larger items moved into a storage unit in town until we can get the house fixed up in the preserve.”

“Have you seen your father?” Talia asked, vexed that he had not appeared to start their packing.

Laura shook her head, “Last time I saw him he was leaving for an appointment at the school in Beacon Hills to finish the kid's registration.”

“Damnit, fine, go and finish your packing, I want us in Beacon Hills by dinner time tomorrow. River will either turn up or he will just have to find us later.” Talia huffed.

By late afternoon the next day, the three families were moving into the lower floor of an apartment building in the center of town, they were all unaware that the building was owned by a shell company of Vesuvius and that Peter had approved their request to rent the three apartments.  

As each family started unpacking in their apartments they found a heavy envelope sitting in the middle of their dining table.

They were addressed to the senior Hale family member who was moving into each apartment.

They each opened their envelopes to find formal invitations.

Your family's presence is required in full tonight at 8 pm at the site of the old Hale house in the preserve. 
All pack members must attend, this is not a request.
Failure to attend by any pack member will be seen as the first move in a hostile action by your pack to ours.

Robert and Kirsten took their invitations to Talia and they both demanded to know what the hell was going on.

Robert demanded, “I thought you said this was still our territory?”

Talia looked angrily at her invitation and she snarled, “It is, no teenaged upstarts are going to kick us out of our own territory.” Her eyes flared a bright blue as she spoke out in anger.

She missed the gasps from her siblings as she paced around her apartment. “We are not going, that’s my decision and it is final.”

Kirsten raised an eyebrow in pure Hale sass and she said, “Well sister mine, it appears that you are no longer my alpha, I don’t wish to be part of any hostile action so me and mine will be going.” 

“We will be attending also, I can’t promise Tiffany will be there as we know she is clearly Laura’s minion but myself and the kids will be going,” Robert stated as he stormed out the door.

Talia let out an ear-piercing screech that had her siblings cringing as they returned to their respective apartments. They looked at each other as they headed back to their apartments and had a silent conversation consisting entirely of eyebrows and hand gestures before they gathered their families and left to have dinner at Mikey’s Diner. Robert left Tiffany a note with the details of the meeting and he let her know that her presence was required.

Robert, Kirsten, and Javier, Kirsten's husband, spent the next few hours teaching their pups about formal pack meetings when one pack is meeting with another on their territory. Robert also took Daniel and Eric aside to let them know about the change in Talia’s eyes, he asked them to help guard the pups against the pack they had been asked to meet and also from possible threats within their own pack. The two men agreed easily, they were just glad to be home.

The two families pulled up in one of the main parking areas for the preserve jogging trails and they slowly and quietly made their way through the preserve to the old Hale house. They arrived at 7:50 pm and saw a boy in his late teens sitting on the steps of the house, he was fairly tall, lithe, dressed in a simple pair of jeans and a red hoodie, he had the hood pulled up over his head. They approached the house only stopping when he looked over and held his hand up in a stopping motion. 

Talia Hale followed by Laura and Tiffany walked out of the trees right at 8 pm. She sneered at the kid sitting on her front steps as they approached and the three of them ignored his silent request to stop. The boy thrust his hand out again more forcefully and the three disrespectful weres found themselves frozen in place. After a few minutes of glaring they were able to move again, they stepped back until the boy stopped glaring.

Stiles murmured, “Next time there won’t be a warning.”

He stood and tapped on the door and 2 teenaged girls walked out and stood at his side. A short attractive red head dressed to the nines wearing killer 6” heels to his right and a bombshell blonde in jeans and a corset under a leather jacket, wearing knee-high Doc Martens to his left.

The boy stood tall and confident and he dropped his hood. “Talia Hale, you were warned 2 days ago that you were to request access to this territory from the alpha of the pack who guards this territory, a territory that you abandoned before you moved here. You were warned and named as an oath breaker by a personal visit from the Nemeton no less.”

Talia yelled, “I do not accept this. Beacon County is my territory. Who are you to decide if we get to live here.”

Stiles boomed, “I am Stiles Stilinski, second to the Alpha of Beacon Hills. We have pledged our loyalty to the land, to the Nemeton, and to our pack. We have helped the Nemeton heal and grow from the damage you and yours wrought.”

“Prove it! We have done no such thing.” Laura screamed.

Lydia pulled out an iPad and asked in a haughty voice, “Would you like the list of wrongs done by the former Alpha Hale and her second in chronological order, or would you prefer us to list them starting with the most damaging?”

Robert stepped forward, “Sorry, I have to ask, you said former alpha, your pack is why she lost her alpha spark then?”

Stiles looked to Robert, “Were you aware Robert Hale that the Hale alpha spark was gifted to your family when they first settled on this land by the Nemeton?”

“Vaguely, I remember reading something in one of the old Hale journals before they all disappeared from the main library,” Robert responded.

Stiles raised an eyebrow and he glanced at Lydia. With a chuckle, he said, “The gifting of the spark was a binding agreement. In order to keep the alpha spark the Hale alpha had agreed that all Hale alphas would pledge to protect the territory, remain loyal to the territory and above all protect and remain loyal to the Nemeton that is the lynchpin of this territory.” He turned angry eyes towards Talia, “Talia Hale failed in her duty, as her grandfather failed before her. For the 70 years before the fire, the Nemeton had been ritually bound, corrupting and nearly killing it. This binding was broken when she killed her emissary, Alan Deaton, before she abandoned the territory and two loyal Hale pack members.”

Robert looked at his sister in horror, then he turned back to Stiles, “Derek and Peter are dead, not abandoned.”

Derek, Peter, and Cora walked out of the door behind Stiles. Peter snarked, “Rumors of our death brother have been greatly exaggerated.”

Kirsten gasped and fell to her knees in shock. She had dearly missed her big brother. Robert just glared at Talia, “You said they died, that the hunters who were invading our territory killed them. You told us that you saw the bodies and that they died a quick death.”

Lydia rolled her eyes, “That's nothing, Talia told Derek, who had been targeted by Kate Argent, a known serial killer and sexual predator that because he had helped the hunters he was no longer family, she disowned him and left him alone with nothing but emancipation papers. She left Peter, the one who enabled the escape of your families from the fire when he broke the ash line, alone and defenseless in the hospital in a deep coma, a coma that was made worse by the violent way she broke the pack bonds.”

Erica chimed in then, “Two years ago Talia, or Laura, maybe both, we aren’t 100% sure, worked with the Fowler family to send hunters here to clean out the territory so it would be ready for your arrival. She told them of a rogue pack working out of Beacon Hills. They sent mercenaries and off the books hunters who were taking potshots at joggers, animals, basically anything in the preserve that moved. It is lucky that no one was killed, most were arrested and jailed for firearms and poaching offenses. The hunters eventually stopped coming when a few of them were sent to the Fowler family, well… their heads were, and they were also threatened with sanctions by The Council.”

Cora asked, just to put the final nail in Talia’s coffin, “Were you all aware that the hunter threat she constantly talks about was dealt with 6 years ago? That the 3 Argent family members involved in trying to burn the house down were caught, tried and sentenced by The Council, Victoria was executed straight after the trial, Gerard and Kate were sentenced to live out their days under a Karma curse, Gerard survived another two years before he finally died. Kate still lives every day in pain in a supernatural prison hospital. Talia was notified within a week of the sentencing that her pack was avenged and they were now safe. She has kept you all on a war footing and in isolation for six years longer than necessary when there was no targeted threat, well, beyond the normal threats that is.”

Derek stepped up and stood beside Stiles, he stood tall and proud. He saw his wolves walking out from the tree line each wolf flanked by a human or beta shifted wolf pack member. River had stayed at the pack house guarding it with help from David, Maria, and Lara while Ernesto got the first aid room prepped for possible injuries. “Talia Hale, you are a known oath breaker, you are not welcome in this territory, the same goes for you Laura Hale, we are aware of your actions over the years and you are just as complicit as your mother.” He turned to his Aunt and Uncle standing to the side with their families, “You are welcome to petition to stay in this territory.”

Peter looked coldly at Talia and the two who seemed to be loyal to her and he roared with his alpha eyes blazing, “LEAVE!”

“You have no authority here, this is my territory and you will be the ones to leave.” Talia roared.

Peter smiled, “Look around you Talia, the rest of your family has finally seen your deception. Your lies! You are not wanted here. LEAVE!”

They turned and gasped in shock as they saw the edge of the clearing dotted with huge dire wolves and heavily armed humans. All of the wolves with red alpha eyes. They saw a gap and sprinted out of the clearing.

Once they were gone Peter sprinted down the steps and he pulled his baby sister up off the ground and into a tight hug. She was murmuring over and over again “I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry Petey,” Into his ear. Robert joined the hug from the side while their kids all watched the wolves in awe.

Eric pulled Derek into a hug, “I am so glad your not dead Der-bear. This is some pack you have built.”

Stiles heard this and snorted.

They both looked at him with their Hale eyebrows on DEFCON-1.

Stiles put his hand on his heart, “No, no not the double Hale eyebrows of doom. Anything but that.” Before he ran off giggling to check on the rest of his pack.

Noah approached the group with his phone to his ear, Peter pulled him into a side hug as he waited for Noah to finish his phone call.

“Right, Mikey’s is ours for the evening, Stiles dropped off the warding stones earlier so we can have a private conversation with some good food,” Noah stated. He looked at Robert and Kirsten and he asked, “Do you guys need a ride?”

They shook their heads, Robert answered for both of them, “We have our cars in one of the public carparks for the preserve.” Robert looked around, a bit nervous at the number of pack members, “Will your whole pack be there?”

“No,” Noah assured him, “Just our Hales and other more senior pack members. Oh, and a few of the pack teens to keep your teens distracted. Shall we go? It seems we have a long night ahead of us and I for one am starving.”

Chapter Text

August 2012

Noah sent a few of the teens to escort the two families through the preserve to their cars and they all agreed to meet up at Mikey’s Diner.

When they arrived at the diner, Stiles bounded off out the back and he picked up the warding stones he prepared for the meeting. He walked back in and placed them on a central table, taking care to activate them before he walked to sit beside Derek. Daniel and Eric leaned over to inspect them, they were impressed with the rune work they could see.

“These are privacy and secrecy warding stones. They will protect the meeting from being overheard but they will also prevent you from talking about it with anyone not currently in this room.” Stiles explained, “Sorry for the precaution but we have a large number of secrets to keep.”

Derek looked to his Aunt and Uncle and with a wry look on his face and he said, “I guess you both have questions.”

Kirsten mock glared at him and said, “Der-bear, we have ALL the questions.” She looked at Robert then back at Derek, “Starting with, you’re the Hale alpha now? Talia’s alpha spark went to you?”

Derek shook his head and he answered, “Yes and no. I have been an alpha since about 6 months after the fire. Like the first Hale alpha, my spark was a gift from the Nemeton. Talia’s alpha spark was returned to the land.”

Daniel asked, “The girl with the tablet threw out some fairly heavy accusations about Talia’s actions towards Derek after the fire. Can you explain those?”

Stiles pulled Derek into a side hug and he whispered in his ear, “I can explain if you want?”

Derek shook his head and he took a deep breath, “The girl with the tablet,” He gestured to where Lydia was sitting with the other teens, “Lydia, she is our emissary, she’s also damn good at research and she often assists Stiles when he’s on a research binge.” He took a deep breath, “So do you remember when my girlfriend Paige died?”

The Hales all nodded, Kirsten said, “I remember after she died from bite rejection you withdrew from the pack to some degree.”

Stiles snorted, “Not by choice, Laura went out of her way to make his life hell after that event, she told Derek that Paige died because she didn’t want to be associated with a failure of a wolf. That it was clear Paige was only using him to get close to Laura.”

Derek turned and covered Stiles’ mouth with his hand, before he continued, “Yes, Laura was being the psycho bitch from hell, which was rich given she was the one who passed on a demand to Ennis from Talia to bite Paige. Talia wanted Paige out of my life and having her forced to be a beta in a different pack was her way of solving that. So, not long after Paige died, a new teacher started at the high school and she paid me a lot of attention, attention I was receptive to at the time mostly because of Laura’s actions. It turned out my teacher was a hunter, Kate Argent and she was a serial killer. A family annihilator, her MO was to target underage pack members and seduce them, she would then drug them with a specific rare type of wolfsbane which made them open to suggestion, best I can liken it to is a Harry Potter reference, the wolfsbane works as a combination of Veritasserum and the Imperius curse. She would use the boys to learn the pack secrets, she used this on me to learn about the access tunnels so she would be able to access them herself to be able to block them with mountain ash. We found out later that she, her father and her sister in law had done this to several packs across the country.”

Robert raised his eyebrows, “Wow, so Talia blamed you?”

Derek nodded, “She told me to my face that I worked with the hunters and when I denied it she said she could hear the lie in my heartbeat. She told me she was leaving Peter behind for his failure as the pack left hand, she said he should have known there was a hunter in their territory. She gave me signed emancipation papers and then violently broke both of our pack bonds just before you all left.”

Kristen had tears running down her face, she had given up wiping them away, “How did you both escape the hunters?”

Derek smiled, “It was Peter with his very detailed backup plans which brought Noah to us and he rescued us both.”

Robert narrowed his eyes, and looked at Peter, “Your ex-boyfriend Noah?”

Peter chuckled and held up his right hand that was clutching Noah’s, “Not so much with the ex.”

Robert looked down at his other hand which was being held by Chris and he asked, “Wasn’t your other boyfriend a hunter?”

Chris laughed, “Yes, although myself and my daughter don’t do much hunting these days.” He gestured behind him, “My mother, Dominique Argent, is close with the pack occasionally helping to train us, although she rarely has time for that and she even works with us to deal with intruding hunters, however until she retires from The Council she is pack adjacent.”

Derek smiled, “The Argents have taught us some very valuable skills. Now, where was I, right so Peter had a plan in place that resulted in Noah rescuing us both. Noah is the Sheriff of Beacon County, he came in and found me abandoned with nothing but emancipation paperwork at the hospital. He locked down Peter’s hospital room so any visitors had to be vetted by the sheriff’s office. He arranged for me to be homeschooled with his son who was doing high school classes by homeschooling alongside his normal middle school schedule at the time.”

“Why? Why move you to homeschooling? Why isolate you from a familiar environment.” Eric asked.

Stiles answered, “He was already getting shit at school from Laura’s friends about Paige, Laura had days to spread her brand of bullshit so Dad made the call that it wouldn’t be good for his mental health and he suggested homeschooling with a tutor and all the therapy.”

Robert asked, “Did the therapy help?”

Derek nodded, “I hate to think about what I would be like without it. Probably a giant ball of rage to be honest. Thanks to the therapy and closure from Paige I was able to move past what happened.”

Robert looked very confused and he asked, “How did you get closure from Paige? Wasn’t she dead?”

Derek smirked, “She died on the Nemeton. The Nemeton was able to use her ghost as a vessel to communicate but it gave us a chance to talk and granted her the time to relate what she knew about her bite. Her bite rejection was actually due to an undiagnosed brain tumor that would have killed her within a few weeks regardless. The closure helped. It was a shock at first though, there I am holding a very bloody Stiles after a harpy attack and we get transported to this weird white room, and standing in front of me is my very dead former girlfriend who was looking somewhat floaty and transparent. I nearly dropped poor Stiles.”

Stiles kissed his cheek, “Glad you didn’t Sourwolf, it was a very enlightening conversation that's for sure. I got the bite that night. Because of the Nemeton, our pack is a little different.”

Noah snorted, “What did you call us the other day Stiles, Special Snowflakes?”

Everyone laughed.

Stiles half shrugged, “Well I was calling us special assholes but you complained, so I changed it to Special Snowflakes to please your delicate sensibilities. Our pack though is very unique, we are a Nemeton created Alpha Pack. Because our alpha sparks were gifted by the Nemeton there are some of us who have retained abilities that would normally make us immune to the bite. I am a spark and we also have a banshee. We currently have a pack of 24 plus 2 pack adjacent members.”

 Kirsten raised her eyebrow, “So many questions nephew, so many.” She looked at Peter, “You were in a coma?”

“I woke up more than a year after the fire, 50% burns to my body as well as damage to my lung tissue due to the wolfsbane used in the accelerant. The boys spent most days at the hospital in the afternoons doing their homework while draining my pain. Do you remember the ash line breaking around the house?” Peter asked.

Robert frowned, “Yes, Talia told us the hunters broke it so they could watch us trying to flee but that they had left it too late to take pot shots as the fire department had shown up to put the fire out. River and Eric carried you out since you were unconscious and you weren’t healing, the ambulance took you away before we could interfere.”

Peter shook his head, “That wasn’t a bad thing, it got me to safety. I broke the line and in doing so became a true alpha. I think if Talia or Laura had figured out I was a true alpha by that point they would have killed me before I woke from my coma. Talia left instructions at the hospital that she was not willing to be my primary carer and that she was leaving town with the rest of her family. Thankfully I had instructions in my medical file that if she declined to be my primary carer or if she made decisions that would negatively affect my health that Noah was to be contacted to replace her.”

Robert looked at Noah, “You knew what we are?”

Noah laughed, “Hell no, Peter and Chris were careful to keep the secret when we were at school and if it wasn’t for Derek being upset and flashing the headlights at me when we met, I wouldn’t have known.”

Derek blushed and flared his blue eyes, “I was in shock from the emancipation papers and then the breaking of the pack bonds. Noah found me in Peter’s hospital room and he took me home.” 

Eric asked, “Why all the plans?”

Peter smirked, “Because I plan for worst-case scenarios as Uncle Dante taught me to. He was blindsided when he was kicked out of the pack for doing what was asked of him as the pack’s left hand, he trained me because he didn’t want that to happen to me. Both myself and Ralph, my partner at the Vesuvius office in town, had a feeling something was coming but we weren’t sure what, so we planned for everything we could think of.”

“Because of Peter’s planning skills we were able to roll with the changes that happened over the next few years, including both me and Sourwolf becoming alphas, taking on a very young pack slowly, doing a very in-depth investigation of the Argent family and seeing that investigation through to the trial and sentencing. Ralph and Delphine were able to arrange training for all of us to learn about pack, about being wolves and even how to be good alphas from another local alpha. Dad also suggested for us to have all the therapy which was I think instrumental in the pack being as healthy as it is now.” Stiles explained.

Stiles leaned over and whispered barely audibly in Peter's ear, “What about Jackson, you should tell them.”

Peter looked down at his hands being clasped by his partners. “Do you remember that year I came home and I went off the rails a bit? A fair amount of bar hopping, basically doing anything to get out of the house?”

Robert nodded, “I do, I think Kirsten was away at college though. What happened, I remember you left abruptly, you didn't even stop in to say goodbye like you had said you would.”

“I wasn’t capable of it at the time, Talia had gone in and locked away most of my memories of that year and then sent me home. I had been seeing a woman who had let me know just before I was due to leave that she was pregnant. It was her seriously shit version of a break-up. She had only been sleeping with me to get pregnant as her husband was infertile.” Chris leaned into Peter to give him comfort, “My alpha spark slowly unlocked those memories although it took nearly 3 years due to the trauma of the fire. We found out that the woman I had been seeing, Maggie, had died in a car accident on the border of the preserve, it looked like her husband swerved to miss something on the road. The sheriff at the time was not convinced the crash was an accident so the fact that the baby survived in utero was withheld from the police files.”

Noah commented, “I only knew about the baby surviving as I was one of the officers who were first on the scene. So when Peter approached with what fragmented memories he could remember I was able to recall the case. We did a paternity test and found his son. Thankfully he and his parents were pack members already by that point so it wasn’t a big adjustment for him.”

Stiles snarked, “He’s like a mini Peter, we were all surprised we didn't see the connection between them before it was known.”

Jackson wandered over and smacked Stiles across the back of his head before he sat down beside Noah, “You’re still the bigger asshole though Stiles.”

Derek chuckled, “He’s not wrong there Lil Red. I think the only one on par with your levels of snark and sarcasm is Peter.”

Kirsten quietly said, “Talia wouldn’t have wanted an illegitimate Hale out there. If she locked away your memories it's likely she caused the accident to kill the mother and the baby.”

Peter nodded, “That’s what we think, but we can’t prove it.”

“I think we need to confront her about this, Talia that is, but umm… I don’t think she’s the real danger we need to be worried about.” Kirsten said quietly, “I think Laura is the bigger danger. She’s become obsessed with coming back Beacon Hills over the last six months, I have heard her arguing frequently with Talia who was reluctant to come home.”

Robert snarked, “Well, she didn’t want us to know she abandoned pack members to the mercy of murderous hunters now did she.”

“Or that she sent hunters after the pack that was in her territory two years ago…” Stiles muttered under his breath.

Robert snapped his head over to look at Stiles, “What? No! Are you sure?”

Stiles looked over at Dominique and he asked, “Did the Fowlers ever name their source?”

Dominique shook her head and murmured, “No, just that it was a female wolf, they refused to give other details. We couldn’t demand more details without sanctions.”

Stiles asked, “Could it be Laura? Did she stick around the compound? I know Cora mentioned she ran the training for the younger wolves.”

Robert shook his head, “She did most of the shopping for the pack, she was away from the compound quite often. I don’t think the kids minded, they hated her training.”

Stiles snorted, “I think asking about the training Laura was doing was the one time Cora out potty-mouthed me. She made me sound like a saint.”

Derek laughed, “Even Stiles who swears almost as much as he breathes was looking at her in shock. It was hilarious.”

“So… what’s the plan?” Robert asked, looking over at Peter.

Peter smiled, “Honestly, this changes things. We do however have a couple of houses and rooms going spare in the gated community we built, you will have to talk to Derek about joining the pack but the option is there.” He looked over at Derek and he smiled as Derek nodded, “I am not sure what to do about Tiffany. I know she was an arranged marriage, I am just not sure why, I was still in elementary school when you got married, Robert. But, I think we need to confront Talia and Laura separately. ”

Stiles nodded, “I agree, I think you guys need to find out why she did what she did and why she kept you on a war footing for six years when she knew the hunters that set fire to the house had been trialed and sentenced.” He looked at Peter, Cora and then Derek and he said, “I think you guys need closure, I know you have had all the therapy but I think you need that chance to ask why.”

Noah leaned into Peter and he suggested, “We could use the loft? That way we can be there to support you all. It has the privacy and secrecy wards built-in and it's not far from the apartments they have rented.”

“Could we set up a containment ward in the loft? Maybe even a mountain ash circle?” Derek asked.

Dominique offered, “I can do it, I have been training Natalie but she’s not there yet, not for wolves that are out of control.”

Stiles pondered, “So we offer a meeting if it is declined or ignored we just go straight for the capture and interrogate? Do we have a plan for after? We know Talia is at least as bad as Deucalion, after all, she killed her emissary. So do we kill her based on past actions or only if she causes issues in our territory?”

“Stiles!” Noah exclaimed, “Tact son, use some bloody tact.”

Stiles stood and he frowned, “Fuck tact Dad. That woman has fucked with everyone in this room, even you. She is even worse than Deucalion as far as I am concerned, at least he killed his pack quickly. She left her pack members, her own brother, and son, alone and defenseless to be captured and tortured by hunters. If it comes down to it I will happily gut the bitch for the pain she put Sourwolf and Peter through, let alone the fact that she threatened to have you killed before I was even born.”

Derek pulled Stiles into his side trying to calm him down, “He’s not wrong Noah, the worst part is she left the territory with no one to defend it if we had been killed like she obviously wanted, that left it open for creatures to become more open about what they do to humans that alone could have led to the exposure of the supernatural world or at least a bloody high death toll for Beacon County. We will deal with her when the time comes, as a pack.” He turned to the room and asked, “So who wants to come home?”

Derek quickly dealt with accepting the rest of his family into the pack and he arranged for them all to be escorted to the rented apartments to pick up their belongings. “Peter can you find out where the rest of their furniture is, maybe put Delphine on the task, so we can move it all into the houses they end up in.”

Lydia stepped forward, “Alpha, we would like to take the kids school shopping in the morning like what we did for Cora, we all go back to school on Monday so we could make it a big group trip. Well everyone except Stiles,” She sent a mock glare at Stiles, “It might put them at ease with all the changes that are happening.”

Derek nodded, “Be prepared for a few of the adults to join you all. It will take a while for them to adjust to the feeling of safety. Do you have the pack credit card?” 

Lydia nodded and patted her purse, it was her favorite from Loungefly, a BB-9e dome purse, that looked like a high-end purse, but with added geek. “I already planned for that oh alpha mine. We have warned a few of the stores of our impending arrival already by email. Also, can you maybe ask Matt to come back for the first semester, he can help reacclimatize the kids to public school.”

Derek smirked, “I am almost tempted to join you at the mall just to watch the chaos. I will call Matt in the morning and arrange for afternoon tutoring again.”

Chapter Text

September 2012

Derek walked to Noah’s office and he knocked on the door frame, “The latest case files have arrived. Same MO, wolf hair on the body, they all had the liver and heart carefully removed. They match the few that have been found locally and likely will match the people who have been reported missing over the last few days.”

Noah put his head in his hands, he looked up, “Do we need to shut the running trails in the reserve?”

Derek nodded, “I think so, it’s too risky not too. The bodies that were found in our jurisdiction were all on or near the jogging trails. I want to get the pack to do some searches to see if we can find the other people who have been reported missing.”

“Are we setting up a new murder board at home?” Noah asked, he was curious if his office would be taken over again.

Derek smiled, “Its already setup, I used one of the spare bedrooms in our wing, Peter is going through the old Hale journals and the books in the vault to see if he can find anything about the way the bodies are being left. They confirmed that there seems to be a spiral left on the bodies before they are opened up for organ removal.”

Noah huffed, “So that’s why he’s been sleeping so little.”

Derek shrugged, “You know he gets obsessive when there is a puzzle to solve, Stiles has been helping him around his school work. He’s pretty sure that the spiral is a message for us, it’s a werewolf sign of revenge. It’s the missing organs that they can’t work out. That’s not something a wolf would do. The only thing they have found so far is that in ancient times eating the Liver was said to grant the eater with courage, eating the heart and liver together was done to show punishment and vengeance to the person eaten.”

“So maybe someone from your family? Revenge for us taking the territory?” Noah asked, “What I don't understand though, as far as we know, none of the other Hales are alphas. The wolf hair on the bodies implies that whatever is killing people is a full shift wolf. We know that hair from a beta shift is still human. We also know that Talia lost her alpha spark.”

Derek admitted, “Talia and Laura have ignored all of our requests for meetings so far, and Tiffany returned to the Elcock pack after she was served with divorce papers.” 

Noah smiled, “I heard Robert’s call from her father, he answered it in the kitchen of the main house, her father sounded pissed at her for siding with Laura and Talia. He’s planning to come and visit to meet his grandkids.”

“We confirmed Talia is not the alpha doing this, or at least she wasn’t when we met with them at the Hale house as her eyes flared blue, and we have confirmed that the time of death for one of the victims was about 2 hours before that meeting.” Derek said sadly, “It's looking very likely that Laura is the alpha doing this, I just can’t work out how she is hiding her alpha spark if it is her.”

Noah thought on it, he pondered out loud, “Is it possible she killed one of the omega alphas who have been trying to take this territory?”

Derek shrugged, “It’s possible, from conversations I have had with the family she was one that wanted to come home when she heard that Deucalion was trying to claim the territory.” He looked down at the folder in his hand, it was a grey folder that they used for reports that couldn’t be entered into the normal police system, “Whoever it is, they are damaged, likely feral to some degree. The few witness reports we have all said its a great hulking beast, one said it looked more like a bulkier version of the Harry Potter movie werewolf Remus Lupin than a proper wolf like our full shifters. Thankfully that report came from the incubus in town. It's only a matter of time before a mundane gets a photo of whoever it is and posts it online.”

 Noah put his head in his hands, “Fuck, right so we need to set up a search party and we need to find a decoy to blame it on. Have the tranquilizer guns arrived? Chris mentioned a wolfsbane tranq recipe for a solution we can use on a feral wolf to slow it down.”

Derek shook his head, “Stiles is still waiting on the tracking details, he has the wolfsbane solution ready to go for the darts though. I think we need to just search en masse, large groups, get it done, put it down. Even if it is Laura, they are risking being seen by mundanes, it is just a matter of time before they start biting people to turn them.”

“How about you call Peter, get him to set up the search party, we will do a big search tonight, Dominique and Chris both have tranquilizer guns we can use, although they will likely both want to be in on the search. I will call Delphine and get her and Vesuvius onto the task of finding us a decoy, maybe even one for the sacrifices, link them together somehow. Maybe give the case solve to Sheriff Adam’s station as a thank you for dealing with Matt so efficiently.” Noah suggested.

Derek nodded and he headed back to his desk to text Peter.

-x-

The pack, with help from a few of the supernatural deputies, spent time searching the woods for the people reported as missing. They found a few bodies in the first week, the same MO as other bodies that had been found. No obvious pattern in the victims. It was looking likely it was just a case of wrong place, wrong time.

They had a few sightings of the deformed alpha before it would run from them, they clearly had some knowledge of the preserve as they were able to evade the searchers rather easily. 

Stiles stopped, puffing after they lost sight of the alpha again. “Fuck, that thing is damn fast.”

Erica stopped beside him leaning on him rather than collapsing to the ground. “And damn ugly too.”

They sprinted back to the pack house making a race of it.

Stiles looked at Erica as they recovered on the training room mats, “I wonder if that's what J.K. Rowling was describing when she wrote Remus Lupin? A deformed feral alpha?”

Erica shrugged, “Who knows Batman. How the hell are we going to catch that thing? About the only thing we are managing to do is keep it away from people.”

Boyd finally caught up to them he was loudly trying to catch his breath as he collapsed to the ground near their feet, “We need to trap it, we just need to figure out the right bait.”

Stiles thought about it while still trying to catch his breath, “Maybe the same trick we used on Deucalion will work, just with different bait. If it is Laura, we know she wants the territory, maybe we get Derek to do patrols with just Peter rather than the big groups we have been using. The rest of us can use our tattoos and flank them in the preserve as wolves. If we use the forest where it is thick with lots of tree cover we should be able to flank her and block the escape routes.”

“We need to do something, the only reason it hasn’t got anyone this week is because we have been patrolling constantly, we’re all going to run out of steam between work, school, and the patrol schedule,” Boyd added.

Stiles walked to his bag and pulled out his laptop, he pulled up the patrol reports and looked for the times where the deformed alpha was spotted to see if there was a pattern. “It looks like it has been spotted mostly in the evening, after dark, near the jogging trails. So if we send out Derek and Peter on patrol of the jogging trails towards maybe a clearing in the preserve. That will give us a way to maybe trap them in an ash circle if we can rope in Dominique and Natalie to help.”

Erica crawled away from Stiles, “Dibs on not telling Lydia you plan to involve her mother.”

Stiles rolled his eyes, “She will be there to protect her mom. It will be fine I am sure, we will make sure she is armed with a tranquilizer gun and her normal guns.” Stiles stood and he put his laptop away. “Right, I am going to have a shower before I brief Derek and Peter about the new plan.”

They decided to implement the plan after a few more sightings near the jogging trails. The alpha was getting braver and was caring less about being seen. They decided that it wouldn’t be long before it was appearing in the suburbs near the preserve to get its victims.

Derek would only agree to the plan if each wolf was paired with an armed human as they flanked them through the trees. The new pistols had arrived with plenty of easy load darts, so they were each armed with their preferred handguns but also the tranquilizer pistols with enough wolfsbane to down an elephant.

It only took a few days for the deformed alpha to take the bait. Derek and Peter ignored the alpha following them and lead them to the clearing they had prearranged. Natalie and Dominique were waiting, hidden carefully in the trees, as soon as they saw the alpha they worked on creating the ash circles to keep the alpha trapped. 

However, the alpha heard them moving through the trees and sprinted towards Derek and Peter and it snarled. It leaped at Derek and pushed him to the ground pushing its claws into his torso aiming for the heart. 

Peter saw the alpha leap and spun to push it away from his nephew. Peter drove his claws in through from the back and hooked around its spine to pull it away before wrapping his other arm around the alpha to hold his claws to its throat.

“STILES!” Peter yelled. “Take Erica and get Derek to the House, now!”

Stiles raced over and picked Derek up in a bridal carry, he gave Peter a hard look, “Take care of it, Peter, make sure it doesn’t survive.” He took off for the house with Erica on his heels on the phone to her Dad getting him ready for Derek’s arrival.

As soon as Peter could tell that they were safely out of the clearing he called out, “Close the circle.”

Dominique and Natalie closed the ash circle and the wolves with them closed ranks to surround Peter and the deformed alpha. 

Peter squeezed both hands to make a point before he snarled in its ear, “What do you want?” He tightened his grip when he felt the alpha shrink down to a shorter brunette. He looked up at Cora when he heard her gasp.

“Laura?” Peter asked Cora, having a cold feeling in his gut.

Cora just nodded, stunned that her sister would go so far as to try and kill her own brother for territory.

Peter drawled around his fangs, “What was your plan, kill the alpha and take over as alpha of the territory? Did you forget about the 17 other alphas we have in our pack, did you plan to kill them all too?”

Several of the wolves chuffed in a wolfy form of laughter. 

Laura started to struggle, she snarled, “This is my territory, you traitors don’t deserve it!”

“Oh, you poor delusional little girl. So who did you kill to get alpha? I have to wonder if it was the alpha spark you stole or if it's just your natural inborn insanity that has made you feral.” Peter purred in her ear. “What is your mother's plan?”

Laura laughed, “That weak bitch couldn’t plan her way out of a paper bag. She wants her alpha spark back, she thinks Derek stole the alpha spark from her using the ghost of his dead girlfriend to do it.” 

Peter rolled his eyes, he wondered just how feral she was as he asked, “How many people have you killed?”

Laura tried to shrug but was pinned too tight so she snarled, “I lost count.”

“Why? Why kill so many, why take the liver and heart.” Peter snarled, he was fast losing patience.

Laura smirked, “They were a message for you and your pack of losers, that I was coming and that I would punish you all. Surely, Uncle Peter, you saw the spirals in the bodies, I was sure that you with your pathetic obsession with building a library would get that at least.”

Peter glanced up at Dominique who gave him a slight nod of the head before he tightened both hands and in one swift movement he ripped out her spine and tore out her throat before dropping her body where he stood.

When Peter walked away Lydia stepped forward and with a signal, all the wolves that were gathered moved back. She threw the vial in her hand at the body and she walked away as it ignited. 

Once they saw the body was fully alight Isaac and Eric stood guard over the clearing while everyone else headed back to the house to find out how Derek was doing.

-x-

Back at the house, there was an air of panic as they waited for Ernesto to finish his examination on Derek.

“Get two large-bore needles started with his blood from the tilting warmer while I start cleaning up these wounds and making sure everything is in the right place so it heals properly. Jesus Christ on a cracker, he's a mess, his diaphragm and liver are ruptured, she missed the lungs thank fuck, I will need to stitch the ruptures closed, she just missed the lungs and he has several broken ribs, I will move them back into place before closing the entry wounds. Erica, once you have the blood going, can you get me the sinew stitching kits, then get started on the suction.” Ernesto ordered.

As the pack arrived back from the battle they waited in the training room for news. Peter and Noah wrapped Stiles up in a hug between them to stop him driving the pack crazy with his pacing. 

“It was Laura, she was completely feral. She couldn’t tell us how many people she killed, just that they were a message for us.” Peter whispered in Stiles' ear.

Stiles stiffened, “What about the liver and heart?”

Peter rolled his eyes, “It was like what we found in the journals, they were messages of vengeance and punishment, each one was a message for us that she was coming.”

“Where is she?” Stiles demanded.

Lydia stood and approached, “Dead, Issac, and Eric are spreading the ashes across the preserve as we speak.”

Ernesto came out half an hour later, “He's healing fast, not as fast as normal injuries as it was an alpha that attempted to rip out his heart but he is healing.” He looked at Stiles, “Go in and see him, he's groggy but awake. In about an hour he should be healed enough for you to take him up to his room to sleep”

Stiles turned to head into the first aid room but he hesitated when he heard the doors slamming upstairs.

River came thundering down the stairs followed by Kirsten, both cradling a bloodied teen to their chests.

Ernesto sprung into action, “Put them down on the mats, Derek is in the first aid room, Erica, get the large first aid kit.

Stiles looked torn, wanting to find out what happened and wanting to check on Derek. Peter pushed him to the first aid room. “Stiles, go to Derek, let us find out what happened.”

Noah and Chris stepped forward towards River and Kirsten, Noah moved them over to the side to let Ernesto work. Noah asked River, “What happened?”

River shook his head, “I was helping Kirsten do her grocery shop since Robert, Daniel, and Eric were helping you all with the trap. Gavin and Daisy were taking the first trolley to the car to start unloading it into the car while we paid for the shopping, as we caught up with them Talia moved out from behind the SUV parked beside us and attacked them. She seemed… well… unhinged.”

Noah frowned, and with a feeling of dread he asked, “Unhinged how?”

River took a deep breath, “She was in full beta shift, glowing eyes, claws the works, in public. She didn’t seem to care or see that others were watching before she launched her attack on the kids.”

Chris’ eyes widened, “Go Noah and take Graham, you need to contain this.”

Noah looked at him, “How! How do I contain this?”

Peter started to pull Noah out of the room, “It’s October, tell anyone who asks it was a Halloween costume. Use anything plausible while we go out to search for her. We already locked down their apartment. You deal with the fallout, maybe talk to Delphine, she's already on the task of organizing the coverup for the animal attacks, let us deal with the search.”

“Text me when you find out from River which direction she ran in so I can keep my deputies away from the area she’s likely to be in,” Noah demanded as he ran with Graham for the cruiser.”

Ernesto approached Chris and Peter, “They will be fine, the wounds are already healing, just a lot of gouges. From the damage, it looks like a frenzied attack, one for damage rather than the kill.” He went back to help the kids up to the den so they could heal in a puppy pile.

Peter turned to Chris, “We thought the alpha would be the risk, the one to expose us all, never once thought Talia would be stupid enough to attack in broad daylight in her beta shift. Fuck.”

“Heads up!” Peter called out looking at the group of teenagers gathered in the training room. “No one goes anywhere alone, not even within the wards of the houses. She is a danger to us all if she goes completely feral.” He looked through the teens till he spotted the one he was looking for. “Danny! Can you see if there have been any other attacks in the local area.” 

Danny saluted and he headed to his place with Ethan in tow to start searching.

Chapter Text

October 2012

“We’ve looked into the ER reports at the local hospitals, and only one other attack matches the attack on the kids, they said it was some crazy lady in a Halloween costume. They mentioned she looked vaguely familiar but they couldn’t place it.” Danny reported, “Deputy Percy Stone logged the report in the system but it would be worth talking to him to see if he sanitized it somewhat.”

Peter nodded and he pulled out his phone to let Noah know.

Delphine spoke up, “If we can kill her the normal way, in a very human way, we can likely pin Laura’s attacks on her to satisfy the police investigation.” He looked at River, “Can you file a missing persons report for Laura? Perhaps report that she was supposed to call when she arrived back in Vermont but you haven’t heard from her in over a week and you are worried.”

River nodded, “I will head in soon, I have a photo in my wallet of her and Talia, it was taken last year that I can use. I will take Robert with me to be on the safe side. Has anyone seen Talia around?”

Peter shook his head, “Not since her attack on the kids, Derek is at work keeping an eye out for reports, Stiles is coordinating the search with Maria while setting up algorithms with Danny to search social media for Talia or anyone in a beta shift, they haven’t seen anything yet. Kirsten has her kids on lockdown, only letting them out of her sight at school when the rest of the pack is around. Coach is also keeping an eye out at the school for Talia.”

River stepped forward and he squeezed Peter’s shoulder, “We will find her, and we will end her before she exposes us all. I will come and see you after I have reported Laura missing. We can have a drink to lost family and a drink to found family.”

Peter pulled River into a hug, as he murmured, “I am sorry about Laura.”

River shook his head as he returned the hug, “Don’t. I mourned my baby girl a long time ago. What she became, that was not my daughter. She became a mini Talia, obsessed with power, no matter the cost. It was hard work hiding my disdain of the pair of them while we were in isolation.”

-x-

 Satomi looked up when she heard the approach, she had just arrived home after a day out with a pack member, Lorilee Rohr doing some shopping.

She looked Talia in the eye and she said, “Beta Hale, or should that be Omega Hale? How can I help you?” She moved so she was in front of Lorilee, blocking her from Talia’s view.

Talia had a manic look in her eye as she shifted to her beta shape, “Give me your alpha spark Satomi, or I will take it from you with force.”

Satomi smirked, “Lorilee go to the house, call Vaughn, ask him to bring the restraints.”

Lorilee took off for the house at a sprint.

Satomi settled down into a defensive crouch. “Talia, you have many people looking for you. Are you aware you are risking our secrecy? You shifted in public when you attacked your niece and nephew. What in the hell were you thinking.”

Talia snarled, “I attacked traitors to my pack, they don't deserve the Hale name.” She leaped at Satomi, her claws out she was aiming for Satomi’s throat.

Satomi moved to the side and knocked her to the ground before she moved back into the calm defensive pose again. 

“You don't have a pack Talia, you were stripped of your alpha spark for being an oath breaker, you abandoned loyal pack members to be tortured by hunters. You don't deserve to be pack.” Satomi responded calmly.

Talia screamed, “Shut up! Just shut up, you have no idea what you are talking about. I abandoned those who failed my pack. Those who were weak and didn’t live up to the Hale name.”

Satomi smirked, “You forget, I am a long-time ally of the Hale Pack of Beacon Hills, they are a strong and worthy pack, chosen by the Nemeton to be its protectors, its guardians.” She stepped sideways as Talia took another swipe.

Satomi chuckled, she could see that the more she poked at Talia, the sloppier her fighting was getting in her anger. “Are you seriously thinking you can beat me for my alpha spark?" Satomi chuckled at the audacity, "I have been an alpha for longer than you have been alive. I didn’t keep it by being weak and defenseless.”

Talia lost all reason and she just attacked, Satomi did a great job at fending off her attacks while Satomi was getting in some pointed slashes hoping the pain would eventually pull her out of her frenzy. Finally, Talia stood back, covered in blood and panting hard while Satomi still looked calm and composed.

Vaughn had approached and he stood to the side as he waited for Talia to run out of steam.

Talia tried to tear into Satomi but the alpha was done and she put her down hard pulling Talia’s arms roughly behind her back. Vaughn stepped forward and he placed the rune engraved handcuffs on her wrists before he picked her up in a fireman’s carry.

“Take her to the van, we will drop her off personally,” Satomi ordered.

Vaughn saluted and he headed off to the van they used for cargo transport. He threw her in the back and secured the cuffs to the rail along the side of the van.

Satomi was waiting in the passenger seat by the time Vaughn had secured his unwilling passenger. She sent off a quick text.

To Alpha Hale: We are on our way with a delivery.
From Alpha Hale: She didn't?
To Alpha Hale: She appears to be bordering on feral. Thank you for the warning.
From Alpha Hale: You’re welcome. Stiles would like to know your ETA.
To Alpha Hale: We are on our way, so approximately 40 minutes. Vaughn is driving.
From Alpha Hale: Lol, Hold on tight. See you then at the loft. Do you need directions?
To Alpha Hale: Already loaded the address into the GPS, see you soon my friend.

They pulled up at the loft 35 minutes later and they found Boyd and Peter waiting in the carpark. Vaughn got out of the van and he moved to the cargo doors at the back. Between the three of them, they got a struggling Talia to the main room of the loft. 

The room had been changed a lot since the last time Satomi and Vaughn were there. The sofas had all been moved to the edge of the room, the center of the room had a table and chair both bolted to the floor and the table had a loop for securing the handcuffs.

Vaughn pushed her into the chair and secured her handcuffs to the loop on the table with help from Peter and Boyd. Once secured the three men stepped back and Derek approached with Stiles by his side.

They had gathered not the whole pack, but all of those who had been affected by Talia and her bullshit over the years. All of the Hale family including Jackson and River, the three Argent family members, and finally, Noah and Stiles. Ralph and Delphine were also in attendance as witnesses.

Derek stood tall and he flashed his red eyes. “Talia Hale, we have brought you before us to answer to crimes against the Hale Pack of Beacon Hills.”

Talia snarled, “You stole my spark, my pack, you insolent whelp you deserve nothing. You brought in the hunters that attacked our family.”

Stiles shook his head slowly, “No, he was targeted by a serial killer due to your own actions against the Argent family. Threatening the son of Gerard Argent put you on their radar.”

Talia growled before she snapped out, “Lies! He brought that woman into our lives. Gerard Argent had nothing to do with it.”

Derek rolled his eyes, he could see her insanity, so loudly he called, “Moving on! Members of the family you have wronged will be brought forward to question you.” He turned and gestured for Peter to move forward, “Starting with the one you harmed the most. Your younger brother Peter, you were supposed to protect him, to love him, you showed him disdain, you showed him hate.” Derek turned and he and Stiles moved as one to sit on a nearby sofa.

Peter walked forward, he was not expecting much but he was hoping to get some answers. “Why did you deny me happiness with my partners, why threaten them to force me to leave? You knew it would alienate me from not just them but the rest of the pack.”

Talia tilted her head and asked, “Why should you be happy when I was denied, I was forced to agree to a loveless marriage with River lest I be forced into a marriage with an alpha candidate.”

River snarled, “There was no force, you approached me! You asked me to marry you! You made it seem like such a good arrangement for our packs. You lied to my alpha, to my parents to make it look attractive.”

Robert put his hand on River’s arm to stop him from going further.

“Seriously, you denied me out of jealousy? Jesus. Fine. Did you kill the mother of my child?” Peter demanded.

Talia smirked, “Of course I did, we couldn’t have an illegitimate Hale baby running around could we.”

Peter gestured at Jackson behind him who walked up to Peter and he put his arm around Peter’s shoulders. Peter smirked in a parody of Talia’s own smirk and he said, “Meet my son, this is Jackson Whittemore. While his mother and her husband died in the crash, Jackson survived the crash in utero and he was adopted by David and Maria Whittemore. He was raised in a loving household and he has since joined the Hale pack. He excels in archery and is due to graduate this year with a high GPA.”

Jackson glared at her, he flipped her the bird and then he stalked back to his seat.

Peter sighed, “My last question, it's probably a pointless one but I have to ask. Why did you leave me behind?”

“You were weak, you collapsed from simple burns, burns you wouldn’t have gotten if you had done your job and eliminated the hunter in town before she attacked our pack,” Talia said.

Peter shook his head and went back to sit between Chris and Noah, they both pulled him into a hug. He didn’t see the point in correcting her flawed logic, she would not understand.

Stiles stalked forward though and corrected her assumptions, he wanted to rub her nose in it. “So you assume the hunters let you out of the ash ring?”

Talia glared at him and she nodded. “Of course they did, they wanted to take potshots at us as we ran from the flames.”  

Stiles smirked, “Oh no, they had already left after being alerted by their informants that emergency services were on the way. Peter got you out when he broke the ash line, that action of course making him the first True Alpha for the Hale family in centuries. Never mind, your loss is our gain.” He turned towards Derek who nodded, “My first question, why did you not read my father, Noah Stilinski, into the supernatural secret when he became sheriff as tradition dictated?”

Talia shrugged, “I couldn’t risk him running into Peter.”

Stiles huffed, “Seriously? Fucking hell. I want to ask why you abandoned Derek but we know you will say it is because he worked with the hunters. Because in your tiny little mind that's what happened, never mind the fact that he was DRUGGED AND RAPED BY THAT BITCH! You perpetuated that by abandoning him. You are just as complicit in that rape as far as I am concerned. You leaving him behind was the best thing that could have happened to him. We found him, we took him into our family and soon he will be happily married and officially part of the Stilinski family.”

Stiles smirked when he heard the gasps from others in the room. He turned and he said “Don’t worry, he asked Dad for permission before he asked me. I think Dad even cried a little.”

He dropped the genial face and he turned back to Talia, “My last question, why did you allow Laura to bully the pack, she had them running scared and they have signs of severe PTSD from her so-called training and assorted bullying, you as alpha should have protected your pack not perpetuated the behavior.”

Talia rolled her eyes, “It is not my fault if their parents raise them too weak to cope with being a wolf.”

Stiles raised his eyebrows and glanced at Cora, “So how do you justify that when your own daughter, Cora, chose to run rather than stay and be subjected to your loving care?”

Talia refused to look at Cora, so she looked Stiles in the eye and she said “I only have one daughter. She is loyal to me like a daughter should be.”

Stiles dropped his jaw, “Wow. I’m done.” He moved to sit in Derek’s lap, he smiled when he saw Talia curl her lip in distaste at the action.

Kirsten stepped forward with Robert. Robert asked, “We just have one question, why did you attack us in public, why was attacking us worth exposing the supernatural.”

Talia refused to answer, she refused to even look at her siblings. 

They waited but when they saw she refused to answer they sadly returned to their seats.

Derek stepped forward, this time with Stiles by his side. Derek asked, “Why did you kill your emissary?”

“His wards failed, he should have seen the danger to the pack and he should have been able to prevent the ash line and the fire.” Talia snapped.

Stiles roared, “You had no wards, you refused to allow anyone to place protective wards on your territory the entire time you were alpha.”

Derek smirked, “The Nemeton was very honest about the lack of wards, it was very disappointed by your lack of action in protecting it as you were bound to do. This is why you lost your alpha spark.”

Talia roared, “You stole my alpha spark, I can see it in your eyes, you stole it from me!”

Derek flashed his eyes and as he looked around the room everyone in the room flashed their eyes back, most of the wolves in the room were alphas. He turned back to her to see her blue eyes flared and asked, “Want to try that again? I have been an alpha for over 7 years. I have led this pack to be a strong and powerful pack, we have defeated Deucalion and his pack of alphas, we have defeated a Darach hell-bent on killing. More recently we defeated a feral alpha killing people in our territory. An alpha you raised, you trained and who you were ultimately responsible for.” 

Talia screamed, “You killed her?”

Derek shook his head, “No. Peter did after she tried to rip my heart out with her claws. I’m fine though, in case you were wondering.”

Talia snarled, “She should have killed you all.”

Stiles smirked, “Oh, that was her plan for sure, but our pack has 18 alphas and several very well trained humans. She should have put her efforts into finding her own territory rather than trying to take ours from us. Instead, she put her energy into killing mundanes, before she removed their hearts and livers and ate them. She left the bodies marked with a spiral as a message for us. A message we didn’t receive until just before Peter ripped her throat out.”

Talia struggled against her restraints before she started to scream obscenities. 

Derek looked at her in pity, he remembered loving her once, but all he could see was just a shell of the woman he loved as his mother. “Why did you not tell your pack that the danger from the Argent family was over? Why stay in isolation for another 5 years, why did you not try and come home then?”

Talia just looked away. 

Derek looked at the pack, “Any other questions? Comments?” 

They all shook their heads. 

Derek turned to Delphine, “Do we have a cover story planned?”

Delphine nodded and led him up to the warded room with Stiles and Peter.

Delphine handed over a bag to Stiles, it contained a pair of standard handcuffs and the keys. He looked up at Delphine and raised an eyebrow. 

“Noah will lead her out towards the cruiser, she will struggle and he will turn to face her as if she was attacking him, Derek, you need to shoot her in the head with your service weapon when he is facing her. That way it looks like an arrest gone wrong. There are marks on the ground where he will stop and where you need to stand, you need to cover the marks with your foot. These marks are so the camera footage will match the report and they have been set up so the camera angles will match the story.” Delphine explained. 

“What about the investigation?” Derek asked.

Delphine smiled, “We have a cabin in the preserve set up to look like it was housing a large cat and we will spread personal effects of hers through the cabin as well as hair and other DNA items we have already picked up from their apartment. The official story is that she was using a large cat to kill so she could then take the heart and liver. She was leaving wolf hair on the bodies so people wouldn’t suspect her cat. The cat was found and put down by the local rangers a week ago which is why she switched to the personal attacks with a knife made from animal claws.”

Derek raised an eyebrow, “Let me guess, we are still looking for the knife?”

“Yep, don’t want to make it look too easy,” Delphine said.

As they were leaving the room Peter turned and pulled Delphine into a side hug, “Remind me on Monday to give you another raise and a bonus.”

Delphine saluted and she followed them down the stairs.

Noah removed the loop from the table and pulled Talia to a standing position. He checked that Derek was ready and got a slight nod, he pulled Talia out the door and lead her to the cruiser parked outside. When he reached the spot he could see marked on the ground he spun and held her as if to fend off an attack, Talia snarled and went to leap forward before she dropped, dead from the shot to the head.

Derek ran forward and made a show of checking on Noah for the cameras before he walked to the cruiser to call it in. As soon as it was safe Stiles walked forward and replaced the cuffs on her hand with the standard cuffs. 

“Thank you for the loan, Alpha Ito,” Stiles said as he passed the borrowed cuffs back to Satomi.

Satomi bowed her head, “It was our pleasure, Stiles. Tell me, are we done, is the danger finally passed?”

Stiles smiled when he heard the final whisper in his head ’You are done, thank you.” With a tear in his eye, he nodded. “We are done, it’s over.”

Satomi smiled, “What’s next for your pack?”

Stiles smirked, “Tonight we celebrate! In the future, who knows?” Derek approached and pulled Stiles into a side hug, and gave him a gentle kiss to the temple. “Look out in the mail, we are sending out our wedding invites as soon as it's legal to marry in California.”

Satomi leaned forward and pulled them both into a hug, “If you need us for anything, just call. Congratulations on your engagement.” She walked over the van with a quick wave from Vaughn to the pair of them as they left.

-x-

That night the entire pack was gathered in the training room for an update. Even Coach Cupcake and Dominique Argent were invited.

“Just to let you know, with the death of Talia Hale this afternoon as she tried to escape police custody the Nemeton has declared the danger is over,” Derek announced. 

The noise from the pack as they celebrated was deafening. Derek held his hands up for quiet. “Pizzas are on their way, its time we celebrated our victory as a pack.”

Derek sat there, snuggled into Stiles' side, as they watched their pack let go and really celebrate and he thought to himself, ‘It felt like the worst day of my life, but Emancipation was the best thing that ever happened to me.’