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A Place to Hide Away

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One would think that after spending his entire life surrounded by supernatural creatures, he would get used to surprises but of course, there was always something around the corner, or in his case, on his front door step. Derek's eyes widened minimally as he stared at the little boy in front of him who had his eyes closed and was taking a long sniff. The scent was unmistakable. Stiles.



“Why do you smell so good?”



In front of him was a miniature Stiles that had fox ears protruding from his mess of short curly hair and a fox tail behind him. His eyes were a shining gold and he was frowning as he breathed in.



“Stiles?” Derek took a step back and Stiles followed him almost desperately, crossing over the threshold and latched onto Derek's legs.



“Don't leave me!” the boy whimpered, his fox ears lowering as he buried his head in Derek's legs. “I don't know where I am and I have fox ears and a tail and I can't find my dad. I don't like being alone and you smell like home. And I know you can protect me. Please, Alpha.” There were tears now rimming the bottom of Stiles' eyes.



Derek couldn't help the protective urge that rose in him when he heard the word 'Alpha' slip past Stiles' lips and the tears in his eyes.



“Stiles, I'm not going to leave.” Derek managed to get mini Stiles to let go of his legs so he could crouch down next the young boy whose lip was trembling in an attempt not to cry. The second Derek was at his level, the young werefox shot himself into Derek's arms and buried his nose into Derek's neck, breathing him in. Derek's wolf rumbled happily as he scented him.



“Stiles, what's the last thing you remember?” Derek pulled back, placing a hand on Stiles' neck.



“I...I was at Scott's house.” Stiles replied timidly, averting his eyes from Derek's gaze. “He's my best friend, by the way. It was his birthday. He's turning six.”



“So you're how old?”



“Five.” Stiles said proudly, holding up five fingers. “And a half.”



“And do you have any idea how you turned into a werefox?”



“Uh... no, sorry.”



“It's okay.” Derek moved to stand up but Stiles grabbed his jacket.



“You smell really good like Mommy and Daddy and Lydia, but even better.” Stiles turned his gaze so that their gazes would meet. “Who are you?”



“My name is Derek.”



“Are you my wife?”



Derek snorted and picked Stiles up which made the young fox yelp and tighten his grip around Derek's neck.



“No, we're friends.” Derek replied as he took out his phone from his back pocket and speed dialed Dr. Deaton, trying to ignore Stiles who was rubbing his cheek against Derek's neck and wrapping his tail around his arm.



“You smell like mine.” Stiles let out a low purr and Derek was saved from responding when Deaton picked up on the third ring.



“Hello, Derek.”



Derek cut to the chase and rushed out, “Stiles is in my house and he had fox ears and a tail and he's a child. I need you to come over.”



“As much as I would love to, I'm a five hour drive away from Beacon Hills and I won't be returning until Friday. If you could take care of him, I'll take him off your hands when I come back. In the meanwhile, I'll research on the different possibilities of what could've happened.

 

“But-”



“Goodbye, Derek.”

 

Deaton hanged up and Derek growled angrily as he threw his phone onto the couch. It was then that he noticed that Stiles had stopped rubbing him and was simply laying there with his chin on Derek's shoulder.



“Hey, Stiles, are you hungry?”



“Sure.” Stiles said and Derek smelled the sadness coming off of him and it made him instantly worry, but he didn't know how to ask little Stiles what was wrong so he wandered into the kitchen with Stiles in his arms.



“What would you like to eat?”



“I'm not very hungry. Can we watch some TV?” Stiles said, turning to meet Derek's eyes. Derek gave him a side glance and nodded, turning around and heading back to the living room and turned the TV on to Spongebob Squarepants which instantly captured Stiles' attention. He set Stiles on the couch and the little boy drew his knees up to his chest and rested his chin on arms, his eyes thankfully glued onto the screen.



Derek took out his phone out and sent a group message to the pack and to Stiles' dad.



There's been an incident with Stiles. I need you to come to my house.

-Derek Hale



Satisfied with his text, he pocketed his phone and sat down next to Stiles who quickly turned his head back to the TV as if he hadn't been staring at Derek the whole time.



“You have pretty eyes.” Stiles said. His fox ears twitched towards Derek nervously, and the older werewolf found himself at a loss for words. How was he supposed to reply to that?



“Um... thanks?”



Stiles was interrupted by the front door slamming open and Erica and Boyd rushing in to the room with worried eyes, which made Stiles scream and launch himself into Derek's arms.



“Alpha!” Stiles buried his face in Derek's chest, his red tail wrapping itself around Derek's stomach underneath the leather jacket. The alpha responded instinctively and wrapped his arms around the young fox, his face shifting into beta mode as he growled at his two betas. Both of their eyes widened but they tilted their necks in submission. Derek's alpha was placated by this gesture and he turned to the young cub in his arms.



“Stiles, it's okay. These are two of my betas, Erica and Boyd. They are friends.” Derek murmured. The scent of relief and embarrassment suddenly permeated the air and Stiles peeked behind his shoulder, his face a bright red.



“Is that Stiles?” Erica asked in shock.



“I'm right here.” Stiles said annoyed at being referred to in third person, his fox tail loosening its grip on Derek's stomach.



“Oh my god, you're so cute.” Erica laughed as she reached for him and Stiles ears raised at the attention and he let go of Derek for her to pick him up. She cooed at him and he preened at the attention, which made Derek's wolf uncomfortable. He turned to Boyd only to find him looking at Stiles with the same affectionate gaze.



“WHERE IS HE?!” Scott rushed in, panting and his eyes zoomed in on the little werefox in Erica's arms. “Stiles?”



The young boy seemed to recognize his friend and he wiggled out of Erica's arms and ran to Scott. The beta werewolf kneeled down in shock and opened his arms, and Stiles threw his arms around Scott and nuzzled his cheek, gently biting it. Scott blinked in surprise, but Stiles was oblivious.



“Scott!” Stiles laughed, leaning back to look at his best friend. “Why do you look so old? You look like those teenagers that go to high school. And you have a mini mustache. How old are you? Are you from the future?”



Erica snorted at Stiles' observation that Scott hadn't shaved yet.



“Actually, I think you're from the past, Stiles.” Scott said as he hoisted Stiles up.



It was at this moment that the rest of the people came in. Allison was with Lydia and Jackson and Isaac came in with the sheriff who looked worried until his eyes landed on Stiles.



“Dad!” Stiles wiggled out of Scott's arms and he ran to John who had a similar reaction to Scott's. He opened his arms as he kneeled down to embrace the young boy. His eyes met Derek's and he looked both worried and angry, but he still hugged his son tight who returned it gladly.



“Stiles?”

 

“Dad, look! I have fox ears like the one we saw in the woods! You remember, the one we saw after we went to McDonalds and you thought you saw a dog? Oh, and I have a tail!” Stiles pushed his dad away and reached for his tail but it seemed to escape him and he ended up going in circles trying to catch his tail which made all of them melt. Allison and Erica took out their phone taking pictures, while cooing. The young werefox tired himself out and fell to the floor with a huff, panting.



“I'm tired.” Stiles yawned and stood up and walked over to Derek, jumping into his lap and the older boy reacted instinctively by wrapping an arm around him to make sure he wouldn't fall to the ground. Stiles smiled and curled into himself as he snuggled into the broody werewolf's stomach. Derek scowled at all the people who looked amused at Stiles' action except the sheriff who looked suspicious and crossed his arm.



“Okay, someone needs to tell me what's going on.” Jackson said and everyone looked to Derek with raised eyebrows.



“First of all, it's not my fault.” 

Chapter Text



“Derek, for god's sake, you made it sound like Stiles was dying.” Erica frowned and the others agreed with her, nodding their heads. Derek shrugged helplessly and placed a hand on Stiles' head where it laid on his lap. The pack moved to sit down. Scott and Allison sat to Derek's right and Isaac at Derek's left. The rest of the pack sat down on the other couch and Stiles' dad sat in the armchair.



“I didn't see a problem with it. I didn't want to scare all of you with 'Stiles is a five year old and a werefox. Come over.'” Derek raised his eyebrows at Erica.



“Would've been a lot better than 'an incident.'” Lydia said, raising her eyebrow.



“That doesn't matter anymore. Why was Stiles turned into a child?” John asked, crossing his arms even though he had a fond look in his eye as he looked at the young boy slumbering in Derek's lap.



“I don't know. He was on my front door step asking me why I smelled good and that he didn't know where he was. The last thing he remembers is Scott's sixth birthday.” Derek shifted back against the couch and Stiles' ears twitched in annoyance.



“He's tiny. He must be like four or five.” Scott said with a frown.



“Five and a half.” Derek said automatically. The others turned to him strangely and he looked down. “He told me when he came in.”



“So you don't know why he was turned into a kid. Do you at least know why or how he was turned into a werefox?” the sheriff asked, leaning forward onto the edge of his seat.



“No. I called Deaton, but he's out of town.”



“Yeah, he's going to some conference where they'll be selling some rare ingredients or whatever.” Scott put in. “He won't be back until like Friday or next Saturday.”



“So we're stuck with a mini-Stiles for practically a week?” Jackson groaned and Lydia elbowed him in the side. “ I mean, come on, he's okay as a teenager, but as a kid, he was annoying as heck.”



“Watch it. You're talking about my son.” John warned and the werewolf sighed and rolled his eyes. Derek growled warningly at the beta.


“Well, we can look around and see if there's anything suspicious around town. Lydia, you can look up and see if there's anything about age regression spells and about werefoxes.” Allison turned to Derek who nodded his head at the plan. This wouldn't be the first time they targeted Stiles simply because he looked like the weakest link. He definitely wasn't, but he could certainly act like it.



“Erica and I can look around Stiles' neighborhood and anywhere he was this week.” Boyd said, holding Erica's hand and she nodded.



“Scott and I will cover the school.” Allison threw in.



“I can help with school too.” Isaac chimed in, smiling at Scott who returned with a grin.

 

“Look, that's great and all, but who's going to take care of Stiles while we're all running around looking for what made him small?” Jackson said snarkily.



“I will.” John and Derek said at the same time, and they turned to each other frowning. The tension that had been slowly rising between the alpha and the sheriff suddenly peaked and everyone looked in worry between the two.



“You have to work. You don't have time to take care of Stiles.” Derek said logically, as his hands found themselves on Stiles' head, stroking his fox ears and hair, subtly intermingling his scent with Stiles'. The boy smiled in his sleep, leaning into the hands with a low purr.

 

“I can take leave. Don't try to pull that on me. There's no way in the world that I'm letting my five year old son with you.” John readily said back, his eyes zeroing in on where Derek was touching his son. The worry coming off of him was suffocating to the rest of the werewolves.



“Are you saying I can't take care of him?” Derek's eyes flashed red at the insinuation that he couldn't take care of his mate. He could take care of Stiles no matter what age he was.

 

“I'm saying I'm his father and he needs to be with someone he knows. He's five.” John stressed and he stood up angrily to tower over Derek who had to fight the urge to launch himself at the man in front of him who was challenging his authority.



“He'd be better off with me. I know how to deal with weres.” Derek said, knowing the sheriff couldn't argue with that. John's face turned red in anger.



“Now see here, you-”



“Whoa, let's back it up a bit and take a breath. We don't want to wake Stiles.” Scott stood up and pushed the sheriff back gently and motioned to Stiles who had shifted in Derek's lap to lay on his back. John glared at Derek who returned the heated gaze.



“We can all take turns taking care of him, guys. We exist and care about him too.” Lydia said, waving a hand. “And if we're talking about where he'll sleep, he should sleep in Derek's house because there's more of us to protect him just in case he was turned into a kid to make a vulnerability in the pack.” Derek's wolf growled at the idea of someone wanting to hurt his mate and tightened his grip minutely on Stiles.

 

The sheriff looked uncomfortable and he looked around for a second before turning to Derek.



“If anything happens to him, I swear I will go to Chris Argent and get myself a bullet that will kill you.”



“Wait a second!” Scott suddenly stood up with a hand in his hair. Everyone shushed him, glaring at him and he winced before lowering his voice. “Guys, he doesn't know.”



“Doesn't know what?” Isaac asked, frowning.



“His mom.” Scott said softly.



Everyone in the room froze.



“It was a few days after my sixth birthday that his mom told him she was sick. I had forgotten until now.” Scott said sheepily. Lydia made a noise and everyone turned to her with lifted eyebrows.



“It's just that I was looking at some of the spell books Deaton has in his library and one of them said that most of the times spells would differ in effect with personality. I'm willing to bet that's why he was turned into a five years old instead of another age. Whatever spell he was put under, it was probably connected to... that event in his life.” Lydia said and took out her phone to put it in her notes.



“But why would someone do a spell like that?” Erica asked, confused.



“That's when he started growing up.” John said almost to himself and everyone could feel the grief coming off of him and he sat back down in the armchair. “I... I started drinking a lot during that time to cope with Claudia's illness and later on her death. Stiles would clean up and make the food when I couldn't. I...I wasn't as good of a father as I should've been. It was around that time that Stiles grew up faster than he should have.” The confession was said with rolls of shame coming off of him.



“So right now, he's still...a carefree kid.” Isaac said and looked at Stiles. “Before he faced death and before he grew up.”



“It would seem so.”



“We can't tell him about his mom.” Derek said and everyone turned to him in surprise. He had his gaze on Stiles as he brushed a strand of hair out of Stiles' face, letting his finger longer than required.



“We have to. He has the right to know, and he's going to ask eventually, Derek. We can't keep it from him.”



“He's five.” Derek argued with a scowl. “How can we tell him his mom died? It would tear him apart, and if we can find a way to reverse this spell, then we would have put him through that pain for nothing.” Nobody dared to voice a counterargument but just as John was about to say something Stiles chose this moment to yawn. Sleepy golden eyes slowly opened and he blinked up blearily at Derek. He sat up, rubbing his eyes and leaned up to sleepily nuzzle Derek underneath his chin. Then he stretched his arms up, narrowly missing Derek's face before suddenly getting to his feet and smiling widely at his dad, going from sleepy to energetic in seconds.



“I'm bored.” He said to Derek and everyone laughed fondly. Stiles seemed to suddenly realize they were there and his eyes skimmed over them curiously before his eyes zoomed in on Jackson who was sneering at the young werefox.



“Hey, you're Jackson Whittmore.” Stiles frowned and turned to Derek. “Why is he here? He's a bully.” The young werefox moved and before anyone could stop him, Stiles bit Jackson's arm and he let out a pained scream. Everyone stood up in shock as Stiles dashed back to Derek, standing behind him with a triumphant smile.

 

“Really?!” Jackson snarled at the young boy. Derek flashed his Alpha eyes and Jackson huffed as his skin already began healing itself.



“That's what you get for teasing Scott yesterday, you meanie head.” Stiles stuck out his tongue at him from behind Derek. His tail swished happily behind him.



“Stiles, it's not okay to bite people.” John reprimanded him harshly. “You need to apologize to Jackson.”



“But he was mean to Scott.”



“That doesn't give you the right to hurt him.”



Stiles frowned but after looking at his dad's stern gaze, winced and looked away with guilty wide eyes and his hands behind his back as his tail stopped happily swishing from side to side. His ears lowered and he whined softly deep in his throat before he slowly walked over to Jackson looking down at his feet.



“I'm sorry for biting you.” Stiles mumbled before turning around and stomping away from Jackson. He stood in front of his dad and crossed his arms, his tail was swishing angrily behind him and a frown on his face.



“Thank you for apologizing, Stiles.”



“He's still a meanie head though.”



“And you're still a brat.” Jackson shot back, rubbing the bite size scar he had on his arm now.



Stiles seemed affronted at this insult and after a second of struggling with something to say back, stuck his tongue out. Lydia let out a short laugh as Jackson frowned and was about to get up.



“Don't be so dramatic.” Lydia smiled and Stiles' eyes widened when he realized who she was.



“Lydia?” Stiles took a step towards her then paused and turned to Derek who had remained quiet throughout the whole thing. He looked back at Lydia then turned back to the broody werewolf and looked at the ground, putting a hand on his chin as he thought. Everyone knew of Stiles' legendary crush on Lydia but with Derek in the equation it would be interesting to see how this clash of crushes played out. Derek's wolf was shifting restlessly as he saw his mate looking between the two, hoping desperately that Stiles chose him, because he didn't think Lydia would survive if Stiles chose her. Then Stiles' head snapped up with a smile on his face and he ran over eagerly to Derek, almost tripping over his feet and grabbed Derek's hands. He tugged him over to where Lydia was sitting with an amused tiny grin on her face.



“Lydia, I want you to meet my...my husband, Derek. He says he's not my wife so I guess he's my husband which is okay because I know we got married like a month ago and I don't really want another wife since you kept running away.” Stiles said proudly, his ears twitched happily between the two.



Everyone couldn't contain themselves and began laughing out loud. The young werefox looked confused as to why everyone was laughing. Scott, Allison, Isaac and Erica's faces were red from how hard they were laughing and even Boyd was letting out a chuckle. Jackson tried to look irritated but couldn't help the smiled breaking through. Derek's face had to be reddest out of them all and he covered his face with his free hand.



“Well, it's nice to meet you, Stiles' husband, Derek.” Lydia said trying not to laugh.



“You're invited to our wedding!” Stiles smiled then turned to Scott. “You too. You can be the best man.” He looked over to Derek. “That's okay, right?”



Derek couldn't seem to find any words which made all the betas roar even louder.



“Stiles, don't you think you're a little too young to be getting married?” John tried to say.



“I'm already married to Lydia.” Stiles shrugged. “And she doesn't smell like Derek smells. Dad, he smells like you when we're watching TV in the living room and Lydia when she dances and Mom when she's cooking. He smells like home.” Almost as if to emphasize his point, he turned to Derek and buried his nose in the henley, closing his eyes in pleasure.



“Dad, he smells like mine. We're getting married.”



“Absolutely not.”



 

Chapter Text

“Hey, mini Batman, are we invited to your wedding?” Erica asked once she finally stopped laughing. Stiles looked at her with a suspicious eye and a glance to Derek.



“Who are you?”



“I'm Erica. Your older self and I were friends, and I'm Derek's beta.” She said smiling as she leaned down, placing her hands on her knees. Stiles stepped closer and lifted his hands up so that she would pick him up. She complied and pulled him to her chest and he nosed her cheek, scenting her to see if Derek's scent was on her and he seemed satisfied. His eyes brightened and rubbed his cheek against hers.



“Okay, you're invited. But you have to bring presents like money because I don't have a job yet because dad says I have to go to school before I can get a job, but I think that's a lie, because do like people that steal stuff go to school to learn how to steal? Anyway...you are invited.” Stiles said and turned his head to the others. “All of you are invited.”



“What are we all invited to and who is that?”



Everyone turned to Peter who came through the front door. His blue eyes sparkled with curiosity as he walked right up to Erica and took Stiles from his arms and held him up with his hands underneath Stiles' armpits, something that made the young werefox growl. Peter turned him to the left and right, examining him.



“Let go of me!” Stiles snarled, showing his tiny fangs. The sheriff took a step forward with a hand inching towards his gun.


“Quite the anklebiter.” Peter sneered. “Wait a second, is this Stiles? Why is he a tiny fox?”



“I will eat you.” Stiles promised darkly, and Peter gave him a smile before leaning closer and breathing in Stiles' scent. He frowned slightly and he stared at Stiles with a questioning gaze. “Stop smelling my like a dog!” Stiles squirmed.



“Definitely Stiles.” Derek took him from Peter's hands with a glare. Why did it have to be the creepy uncle that came back to life?



Peter's eyes widened as he saw Derek's protective stance and he tilted his head with a raised eyebrow.



“Really, Derek? You wouldn't even look at him when he was 16, but you're all over him when he's three?”



“I'm five and a half.” Stiles frowned looking more and more offended by Peter who just smirked at the indignation coming off the boy. Peter looked like he was going to keep teasing Stiles but then his eyes softened. He took a step towards the young werefox who leaned into Derek's arms as he glared suspiciously at the blue eyed man.



“Well, since you're obviously very mature, how would you like to help me make a peanut butter and honey sandwich in the kitchen?” He said tilting his head towards the kitchen.



Stiles' eyes widened then he frowned and crossed his arms.



“Who told you?” Stiles looked conflicted as he looked between Peter and Derek. The alpha was left wondering how his loyalties could so easily shift with the mention of a sandwich. Scott and Lydia seemed to know what was going on and began to chuckle.



“I can read minds.” Peter replied and Stiles huffed and slid out of Derek's arms and walked to the other man, lifting his arms defiantly. Derek turned to the the group of teenagers behind him that looked equally stunned, save for the Scott and Lydia. Peter chuckled as he picked the little werefox up and took him to the kitchen. The sheriff followed them with a distrusting look on his face. Derek would've followed them also had it not been for the look his uncle had on his face. Peter hadn't had that gentle expression since his son died in the fire.



“What was that?” Derek almost growled turning around to the duo who had smiled earlier, Scott and Lydia.



“Stiles has a weakness for peanut butter and honey sandwiches. He's loved them forever.” Scott shrugged helplessly.



That's why his room always smells like peanut butter and honey.” Erica said thoughtfully.



“And his locker.” Boyd added.



“His locker?” Lydia blanched, grimacing.



All the werewolves nodded. Then they heard a high pitched whine come from the kitchen and everyone turned in alarm, only to see a blur of red zoom past them and to Derek. The sheriff came around the corner with a huff as the little fox pawed at Derek's legs, begging to be picked up. Derek quickly picked him up, trying not to drop him as the little werefox squirmed in his arms.

 

“Stiles, we can buy more peanut butter at the store. It's not a big deal.” John sighed.

 

The little fox whined and Derek ran his hand over his fur, trying to calm him down. Stiles tucked his tail around himself and nosed along Derek's neck, with a low whine in his throat.



“He's so adorable.” Erica laughed softly. Derek shot her a glare as he tried to figure out how to calm Stiles down enough to change back to a human. Peter walked back into the room with Stiles' clothes in his arms.



“Stiles, shift back. We can't take you to the store as a fox, and if you don't come with us, we can't get you a toy.” Peter cajoled, gently stroking the young werefox but Stiles turned his head away from him and whined louder, his cold nose touching Derek's neck. Derek's endurance was being strained beyond his limits; even during the full moon, he had never felt so tempted to give into his primal nature. He could feel the wolf clawing out. He took a deep breath, only to regret it a second later as he tasted the distress and sadness emanating from Stiles on his tongue.



He felt his body beginning to shift and he hurriedly gave Stiles to Peter who was the closest to him and ran upstairs, barely managing to close the bathroom door before he began to shift back and forth between human and beta mode. He blindly felt for the shower dials, his hands going back and forth from human to clawed, and as soon as his hand found the cold dial, he threw himself into the shower as he turned on the cold water.



He let out a pained breath as his body finally stopped shifting and he slumped down in the tub, running a hand over his face. His heartbeat slowed down as the cold water soaked his clothes and he reverted back into a human. The last time Derek had this problem was when the old house had burned down. It had taken him a while to find his anchor in his anger, and it had held true ever since then. What had happened? Having a mate must have done something to his anchor. He would have to ask Peter about it. In the meanwhile, he would have to tell Stiles to control himself, because Derek couldn't go around town with his anchor so compromised.



The alpha was brought out of his reverie when he heard a gentle knocking on the door.



“Um, Derek?” Stiles' voice sounded scared. “I'm sorry for not turning back. I couldn't. I didn't know how, but the thought of you being mad at me made me change back into a human. It's kind of your fault that I turned into a fox anyway. I mean, for someone so cool, it's hard to believe you don't have peanut butter. I mean, you probably ran out, right? I don't think I can marry you if you don't have peanut butter.”

 

Despite everything, Derek let out a short laugh and he turned off the icy cold water, standing up to tell his little mate that he was alright. As he walked to the door, he heard the sound of his betas scrambling to get away from the door, as if they hadn't been listening in.



The alpha opened the door and Stiles shot himself at him before letting out a scream and letting go of him. The sheriff, who had been standing behind Stiles, chuckled, and Derek thought he could hear laughing around the corner.



“Why are you so cold?!” the young werefox frowned, wiping his arms from where they had touched the wet clothes. “You're going to catch a cold. My mom says that if you leave on wet clothes, you're going to get a cold because of germs. Right, Dad?” He turned to his dad in confirmation and the sheriff nodded.



Stiles turned to Derek with raised eyebrows.



“I was taking a shower?” Derek replied and Stiles sighed, placing a hand on his forehead.



“That's not how you take a shower, silly. Here I can show you.” Stiles took his hand and was about to step into the bathroom to Derek's horror when John quickly grabbed Stiles' shoulder and pulled him back out.



“He knows how to take a shower, Stiles. Just let him finish and then we can go get the peanut butter from the store. How does that sound?” the sheriff smiled.



“Sounds pretty fantastic! But, Dad, he doesn't know how to take a shower.” Stiles stressed.



“I know how to take a shower. I just...fell in.” Derek made up lamely and Stiles turned to him with a suspicious eye before accepting it and turning away.



“Okay, but hurry up. I'm hungry. Actually I'm starving, like super duper hungry plus infinity.”



Derek closed the door and thumped his head lightly against the wall, swearing that he

would get revenge from whoever did this to Stiles and unknowingly to him.





“I just don't think we should be trusting him so easily.” Allison said, crossing her arms as she glanced at the restored Hale House. She tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear and sighed. “I mean, look at what he's done already. When have you ever seen Peter and Derek act like that? I mean, he's adorable and totally acts like Stiles, but there's something off. We're not seeing the whole picture.”



“But, Allison, he's just a little kid. He can't really do anything.” Scott shook his head and ran a hand through his hair. “Do you think maybe it's a trap or something?”



“Maybe, but I don't think we should be near him. I feel like he's some kind of walking time bomb.” Allison pursed her lips. “I think we're going to need my dad for this. He knows a lot more about all of this than any of us.”



“You think your dad can beat me on a supernatural trivia quiz?”



The two teenagers jumped as Peter jumped down from the tree next to them and raised an eyebrow at Allison.



“Taking into consideration that he has learned what he knows from over 200 years worth of information, yes.” She nodded smugly.


“That's where you're wrong, Allison.” Peter rolled his eyes at her as he motioned for them to follow him back to the Hale House. “Your father has over 200 years worth of hunting instructions and rudimentary logs in dead languages of creatures they had barely any capability of understanding, most of which only live in Europe. So before you start patronizing me with your teenage 'I know better than thou' attitude, make sure you have a good argument.”



“What are you talking about? The Argent records helped us solve the Kanima case.” Allison said, offended. Scott glared at Peter in Allison's defense.



“Do you honestly believe the Kanima, a lizard humanoid, originated from California? The Kanima was first spotted near Gabon which is in Africa by the way. It migrated upwards into Europe and can you guess where it made a pit stop? France, where your ancestors probably saw him.” Peter smirked. “The only reason your records were able to help were because the Kanima isn't native to the American continent.”



“Okay, if you know so much what's wrong with Stiles?” Allison asked with a huff.



“If we're talking his age, then your answer is a witch's spell. If we're talking his state, he's exactly how he's supposed to be at five and a half years old.” Peter smiled. “Oh, and if you two ever talk of leaving the pack when you feel it is in danger, I will drag you back to Derek to explain why. A pack is united and works together. They don't keep secrets or run off.” With that, Peter opened the front door and let it slam in their faces as he walked back in.



Allison glared at the door then sighed, rolling her eyes.



“What do you think he meant by he's exactly as he's supposed to be?” Scott asked, turning to the brunette who opened the door for them.



“How am I supposed to know?” Allison snapped and Scott blinked in surprise at her vehemence. “After all, I'm just a silly Argent with faulty information.”



Scott followed her in silently to the living room where everyone was sitting on the couches except for Isaac who had Stiles in his lap on the floor. Different types of hats were lying around the room and everyone was looking at Stiles with an exasperated look, while the young werefox talked excitedly to Isaac.



“But, I think the best out of all of them is the yellow power ranger, because she's a girl that can kick butt and you don't see that on TV a lot. It's always like this really big dude with like arms the size of the moon and it's actually kind of scary. Girls that aren't sissies are hard to find in movies and TV because they're always really into makeup and Barbies and stuff like that, but I have a friend, well, I guess, it would be an old friend who was really good at baseball and she doesn't really like pink and girly stuff not that I think it's bad to like all that, but not all girls like it, you know.”



“Mmhm.” Isaac said noncommittally and reached for a baseball cap beside them. “What about this hat?” He put it on Stiles' head and the young werefox immediately had a look of displeasure on his face and he took it off and threw it aside.



“It hurts my ears. They can't move.” Stiles shrugged, wiggling his ears and Isaac rubbed his forehead with his hand.



“Stiles, they can't take you to the store if you don't have something to cover up your ears.” John said from the couch.



“Wait, aren't you coming, Dad?” Stiles turned his head to his dad and frowned in worry.



“I have to get back to work as soon as Derek comes out of the shower.” the sheriff explained and Stiles' eyes turned watery.



“You're going to leave me?” Stiles sniffed.



“I'll be coming back Stiles. You're safe with everyone in this room. They're going to babysit you while I go to work just like Mrs. McCall did when y-your mother and I went out on that date, remember?” Stiles' eyes widened in glee at the mention of Scott's mother.



“Yeah! That was totally awesome! She made me like five peanut butter and honey sandwiches and she has this really cool trampoline in her backyard.” Stiles nodded.



“Well, this is just like that except they're not going to give you five sandwiches,” John gave a pointed look to the teenagers in the room, “because we both remember what happened last time you ate so many right? You can have at most two.” Stiles pouted then shrugged.



“Oh, I guess it's okay then.” Stiles smiled then turned his head up to look at Isaac. “You're going to make me peanut butter and honey sandwiches right?”



“Only if we can find you a hat so we can take you to the store.” Isaac sighed as he reached for another one.



“Where did you even get all these hats?” Peter asked from the armchair he had settled into. “Because Derek doesn't own any hats, and I'm pretty sure mine are still in boxes.”



“They're ours.” Erica waved a hand from the couch. She was sprawled over the whole couch with her head in Boyd's lap. “We've been living here for at least half a year and you still don't remember.”



“No, I remember. You remind me every morning with your radio alarm that you never turn off.” Peter smiled tightly and she just flicked him off.



“There are children in the room.” the sheriff said sharply to Erica.

 

“Sorry.”

 

“Ooo, I like this one!” Stiles said and everyone turned to the young werefox who had a red beanie on his head. His curls peeked out from the edges and his eyes looked a tad bigger. He smiled up at Isaac with his head bent back and Isaac smiled back.



“Well, then, I guess we're ready to go.” He smiled.



“Once my NEPHEW DECIDES TO REJOIN THE WORLD AND GET OUT OF THE SHOWER.” Peter shouted and they all heard an answering growl from upstairs and all the betas laughed quietly.



Stiles sighed and shifted so that he was lying across Isaac's lap and looked up at the blond.



“You're really pretty.” Stiles told him as he reached up and stroked some of his hair. Isaac's cheeks reddened. “Or I guess, you would say handsome, but I think pretty is the better word.” Stiles moved again so that his chin was on Isaac's shoulder and he was hugging him loosely. Isaac seemed at a loss on how to react and his hands hovered over Stiles' back, before gently smoothing them down his back which made Stiles' purr and wrap his tail around Isaac's arm.



“Where did these even come from?” Derek said in disgust as he kicked away some of the hats in the living room's entrance.



“Hi, yes, we're your fellow residents who wear hats.” Erica said sardonically from the couch with a mocking wave.



“Hi, yes, I'm the owner of this house who likes it clean. Pick up your hats.” He frowned and Stiles scrambled off of Isaac and wrapped his arms around Derek's legs.



“Hi, Derek.” Stiles smiled widely. “Stop frowning. Mom says that if you make a face for too long, your face stays that way.” Derek's frown only increased and Stiles sighed before grabbing one of his arms and tugging him down. The Alpha went down with no resistance and Stiles jabbed a finger between his eyebrows and tried to smooth the frown out. Derek drew back in pain but Stiles followed him leaning forward.



“Stop making that face. You don't look handsome.” Stiles pouted and Derek relaxed his expression. Stiles' face lit up with joy and he planted a kiss on Derek's cheek. “Much better.”



Derek's mind went utterly blank the second Stiles' lips touched his cheek and he could only stare at his young mate in shock for the next few seconds before he came back into the conversation.



“Hey, Derek, I have to go. They're calling me on the radio. Go get the peanut butter; I can pay you back later. I have double shift tonight so take care of him for me. I'll send Melissa later today just to make sure he's safe.” The sheriff raised his eyebrows at the Alpha then nodded at the teenagers goodbye. He kneeled down and opened his arm towards Stiles and the young boy ran to his dad, clutching him tight.



“Love ya, Dad.” Stiles whispered.



“Love you too, Stiles.” The sheriff smiled then stood up and walked out with a final wave.



Stiles turned to the group and smiled wickedly.



“Now let's go buy some peanut butter, because I am starving.”

Chapter Text

“Stiles, stop messing with that, you're going to break it!” Derek scolded harshly as he turned into the store parking lot. The young werefox ignored him and continued messing with the air controls in the back. Isaac tried to make him stop but the young werefox kept reaching for the controls and after ten minutes, the blond was exhausted of defending Derek’s car. In the end, the pack decided to split up. Scott, Allison, Boyd, and Jackson would go scout out their places while Isaac, Peter, and Erica stayed with Stiles. Lydia said she would stay at the Hale House and see if she could find anything about werefoxes and age spells.

       

“But I'm bored! Why do you live so far away from the town?” Stiles whined as he squirmed in Isaac’s lap.

       

“We’re practically here, and if you break anything in the car, I will turn around and go back home.” Derek growled and Stiles let out a pained whine, tilting his head in submission as he put his hands in his lap. His tail continued to slide against the door, moving the window up and down. Derek frowned and pulled into a parking space and all the werewolves scrambled out of the car where the smell of frustration was heavy.

       

“Finally.” Isaac sighed in relief and he put Stiles down who surprisingly went up to Peter and tugged on his pants for him to pick him up. The older werewolf obliged and picked up the young cub with a sly smirk directed towards the Alpha. Derek wasn’t amused in the slightest and glared at their uncle as they headed into the grocery shop.

 

“Isaac and I can go get the peanut butter-“

 

“No!” Stiles yelled with a frown. “You don’t know my favorite. There’s nasty peanut butters in the store, like the ones with nuts. Those are disgusting.”

 

Erica raised an eyebrow and rolled her eyes.

 

“Fine then what are we supposed to get?” the blond turned to Derek who took out a folded list from his jacket pocket and threw it to her. She caught it and began reading it with Isaac over her shoulder skimming.

 

“Why are we getting so many toys?” Erica asked incredulously.

 

“And we have blankets at the house. We don’t need to buy new ones just because they have superheroes on them.” Isaac added.

 

Peter laughed as Derek glared at them with a blush on his cheeks.

 

“Just get it. It’s for Stiles.” Derek said. “Peter and I will go with Stiles for the peanut butter then find you.”

 

“I don’t want you to come.” Stiles huffed with a frown as he looked away. Derek’s head snapped to the young werefox and everyone flinched.

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because you’re a meanie head.”

 

“I’m going with you and that’s final.” Derek’s eyes flashed red and Stiles growled as he tilted his head minimally.

 

“Derek, calm down. We’re in public and anyone could see you.” Peter took a step towards Derek and Stiles tightly wrapped his arms around Peter’s neck and began crying. The older werewolf held the young boy closer to him and took a step away from Derek with a confused look on his face. The Alpha was about to shoot himself at Peter when his uncle winced and held a hand to his forehead while the other tightened its grip on Stiles.

 

“Hey, what’s happening?” Derek frowned, reaching out an arm towards the beta who was frowning in concentration. Stiles stopped crying and leaned back to look at Peter, nearly jumping out of his arms when Peter opened his eyes and they were a bright blue.

 

“Peter?”

 

His uncle frowned and shook his head a bit then turned to Derek.

 

“Sorry, just have some...headaches.” Peter smiled cockily then turned around. “So, Stiles, let’s go find that peanut butter and get away from the mean old Alpha, and maybe on our way back we can find some candy.”

 

“Yes!” Stiles threw a fist in the air happily. Then he wiggled. “Put me down. I can walk by myself.” Peter put him down and Stiles grabbed his hand. Derek sighed, knowing he would only upset the boy further if he pushed it and followed them discreetly. He’d give them some space...but not too much space. His uncle was a creep.

 

       It was in the bread aisle that it happened.

 

       “Peter.”

 

       “Melissa.”

 

       “Care to explain why there is a toddler Stiles holding your hand?”

 

       “Not particularly, but thanks for asking.” Peter smarmily replied.

       

       “Hi, Mrs. McCall. Peter and I are getting bread to make peanut butter and honeys because Derek’s going to babysit me while Dad works and can you believe that Derek didn’t have peanut butter? He’s like really cute and smells really good but he didn’t have peanut butter but he’s still cute.” Stiles smiled up at Scott’s mother who practically melted under his grin and she crouched down next to the boy. Her eyes looked over his face in wonder and she brushed some of his hair back with a smile.

 

       “Hello, Stiles. How are you feeling?”

 

       “Fine, Mrs. McCall.”

 

       “Why don’t you go check out the toys section while I talk to Peter? I have to make sure he remembers how to put the honey on your sandwiches.” She stood up and gave a pointed look to Peter.

 

       “Oh yeah!” Stiles hit his forehead. “How could I forget to tell him? Thanks, Mrs. McCall!”

 

       Derek followed Stiles, leaving the older beta and the nurse alone.

 

“Why the hell is there a tiny Stiles?” Melissa whispered angrily as she got in his face.

 

Peter sighed and told her of what had transpired that day, and Melissa raised an eyebrow at some parts and downright gleeful at others. However her face turned angry when Peter told her of what he overheard Scott and Allison talking about.

 

“After everything that Stiles went through to help Scott at the beginning of this whole thing, and he was really going to just leave him?” Melissa sighed, rubbing the bridge of her nose with her hand. “I swear I raised him better than this.”

 

“Maybe you did. It may be that girlfriend of his. She is quite the troublemaker.”

 

“Allison isn’t a bad person. She just…” Melissa tried to come up with something and Peter snorted at her attempt.

 

“Was raised by a homicidal family, was taught how to successfully get away with homicide, and has homicidal tendencies that have been demonstrated on the pack… but is still a good person?” Peter snorted. Melissa shrugged her shoulders helplessly.

 

“That’s not important right now. We need to focus on Stiles. He’s at the age where his mother told him about her dementia. She died not soon after if I remember correctly.” Melissa said crossing her arms. “And he’s going to ask for her eventually. What are you going to say?”

 

“Derek doesn’t want us telling him…or at least not yet.” Peter rolled his eyes.

 

“Well, there’s a good decision for once.” Melissa pursed her lips. “Where is he staying?”

 

“With Derek and me.”

 

“What?” Melissa frowned. “Absolutely not! I’ve seen the looks Derek gives Stiles. He’ll come stay with me.”

 

“Thanks but no. You see, ignoring my nephew’s disturbing moral compass which wouldn’t even allow for him to think about Stiles in that way, Derek is very territorial about his suddenly defenseless, innocent mate.” Peter said nonchalantly.

 

“Mate?” Melissa’s eyes widened.

 

“Yeah and not in the Australian way.”

 

“Oh.” Melissa looked conflicted for second then she huffed. “Well, I’m still going to visit after my next shift because you Hales have no experience with children.” With that she turned, not allowing Peter to even respond. He sighed and listened for Stiles’ voice.

 

“…forgiving you because you’re cute. But like don’t pick me up because I’m still mad at you- NO! You need to get the one with the Peter Pan person on it.” Peter choked on his laughter as he heard his nephew growl softly. He walked to peanut butter aisle where he found Stiles looking at Derek suspiciously.

 


 

 

       It took them a full hour and a half to get out of the store and everyone was so exhausted from getting everything that was on Derek’s list that nobody complained when they were pressed against each other in the car. Home finally seemed to be within reach but then Stiles let out a high chirp of excitement when his eyes caught a sign.

       “Derek, Mr. Folly’s Fun Fortress is coming up. Can we go? Please?” Stiles leaned forward from the back seat and rubbed his face against Derek’s arms with big eyes. “Please? I won’t be mad anymore!” Derek glared at him from the corner of his eye and his hands tightened on the wheel, and everyone groaned.

       “Derek, we’re all tired-“

       “No, Derek-“

       “I swear if you make us go, I will-“

       “Fine, Stiles.” Derek put his right blinker on and turned into the parking lot. Stiles jumped in excitement falling back into Isaac’s lap and squirming in happiness. Everyone else groaned.

       “Derek, we should at least go and leave the stuff in the house and then come back.” Peter said, knowing that if they went to the house they would stay there. Stiles seemed to understand this and immediately frowned at him.

       “Peeeeteer.” Stiles whined and the older werewolf’s eyes flashed blue before fading into their normal color. “You’re being a traitor. That’s not fair. If we go to your house, we’ll never get to come back.”

       “Exactly.” Peter muttered as he slid out of the car and warily looked at the overly flashy sign above the building. He remembered when this had first opened. His son had been dying to go to it and they went a week after it opened. His heart hurt for a second at the feeling of bittersweet amusement that came with the memory. It seemed like it was so long ago that his sister’s and his family had walked through these doors. Derek probably didn’t even remember. Peter glanced over at the broody werewolf who was offering his hand to Stiles who took it happily.

       “Can you text the rest of the pack and tell them to meet us here?” Derek asked Erica who quickly nodded in excitement and pulled out her phone.

       Stiles quickly dragged all of them into the establishment, yanking open the glass door and running in. Derek quickly followed and Peter trailed behind him wondering how long it would take Derek to figure out he had been here before.

       “Stiles, you can’t go into that section….yet.” Derek’s eyes widened as he took in the smell and sight. His head swiveled to Peter who gave him a raised eyebrow. “We’ve been here before.”

Peter nodded.

“Before…”

Peter nodded again. Derek’s eyes fluttered for a second before he looked down with a pained expression then up at Stiles.

       “Oh my god, this is totally awesome! Look, Derek, they have a ball pit! This is totally awesome. I love it! How long can we stay? Can we stay until it closes? Please, Derek?! Please?!” Stiles ran back to Derek and looked up at the Alpha with pleading eyes. His hands locked together in a supplicating manner.

       “Okay.” Derek nodded.

       “No. Absolutely not. We are not staying until it closes. I’m tired.” Isaac complained as he plopped himself down on one of the seats. Stiles went over to him and grabbed one of his hands.

       “Please, Isaac. It’ll be so much fun. I promise. You won’t be bored or lonely or anything.” Stiles gave him puppy eyes and Isaac looked so torn and shot a betrayed look at Derek before slumping his shoulders and nodding. Stiles launched himself at him and hugged him tightly before skipping back over to Derek who had moved to the counter buying tickets for the whole pack, including the buffet and play option for all of them and if he added laser tag too, well it only cost five more dollars for each of them. The end amount ended up being around 270 dollars. It was moments like these that he was glad his family had left him a humongous inheritance.

       “Oh my god, they have a cotton candy machine.” Stiles said reverently as he slowed walked over to it. He touched it softly and leaned his forehead on the glass, taking a deep breath. “I didn’t know cotton candy had a smell. It’s so sweet. I can’t. Peter. I need it.”

“Not until you’ve eaten lunch.” Peter sniffed haughtily as he turned away from the werefox and sat down at one of the tables, reveling in his revenge on Stiles for making them come. The young werefox looked stricken and he turned his betrayed eyes to Isaac who had watched the exchange. The beta reeled back and turned before he met Stiles’ eyes, running to Erica who was playing with one of the gun games. Stiles gasped, sliding to his knees in hopelessness.

 

“Stiles, get off the floor. It’s dirty.” Derek frowned as he approached the kid.

 

“Cotton candy.” Stiles whispered brokenly as he looked up at the Alpha who sighed.

 

“I can get you some.” Derek said seriously as he kneeled.

 

Stiles immediately brightened and he gave Derek a wide smile before hugging him tightly. Derek froze for a second not knowing what to do before hugging him back and hiding a small smile in Stiles’ shoulder. Unfortunately for him, Peter decided to join in and threw himself at the hugging pair, wrapping an arm around the two of them.

 

“I can feel the love tonight.” Peter sighed wistfully and Derek had no qualms about shoving his uncle’s disturbing cooing face away from his mate.

 

“Aw, don’t be boring, Derek.” Peter smirked, rubbing at his jaw as he stood up. Stiles giggled then grabbed Derek’s hand and dragged him over to the arcade section to one of the gun games and Peter snorted at seeing his 26 Alpha nephew blushing as he was pulled by a tiny little hipster werefox with a beanie slightly too big.

 

Peter grabbed one of the game cards Derek had left on the table for them and headed over to that game where you would bowl the mini balls into the tiny holes. He had always hated those because he swore that the balls had some kind of magnet in them or the holes moved. He was badass at bowling and this game shouldn’t be this hard for a werewolf. He lost himself in the game, growling as he kept getting low scores.

 

The rest of the pack eventually filed in with Scott stumbling in last because his phone had died because he forgot to charge it. Allison was nowhere to be seen. Lydia and Jackson came in together but Lydia had her nose stuck in a book with a frustrated look on her face. When Boyd arrived, Erica dragged him to compete with her on the dancing game that had a bunch of songs in some Asian language that no one ever understood but still danced to.  Jackson challenged Lydia to a race and by the look on his face, Lydia seemed to be winning.

 

After Stiles had become bored with Derek, he wandered off and let the Alpha sink back to the table. As he looked over the arcade making sure everyone was safe, he suddenly realized that this was the first time in perhaps months that all of them had gotten together for the sake of simply having fun. Everyone seemed to have lost some of the weight they carried in their shoulders and were simply enjoying life. Derek felt a small sense of satisfaction at seeing his pack happy. His eyes wandered fr

 

Stiles would join in random games with other people. With Peter, he just grabbed the ball and walked all the way to the hole and slam-dunked those suckers like the cheater he was and Peter gave him playful glare when the game said Stiles won which made the boy laugh in his face. With Erica and Boyd, he would hopelessly jump on all the colors before giving up and  giving Boyd puppy eyes until the beta sighed and let Stiles step on his feet so that he would dance but give the werefox the satisfaction of thinking he achieved all those points. Isaac and Scott were screaming and laughing helplessly as they got in one of those curtained shooting games where the seats would buzz and the surround sound was just a little too much on the werewolves ears. Stiles peeked in then quickly backed away in fear. And as he looked around looking for a new game to play, his eyes zoomed in on the ball pit.

 

“Derek, I want to play in the ball pit.” He walked over to Derek who was opening the pizza boxes that had finally come out. Everyone’s mouths were watering and the Alpha had to swat at everyone’s hands so that they wouldn’t take a piece.

 

“Well, you can go play then come back and eat your pizza.” Derek said as he flashed his eyes at Lydia who simply rolled her eyes and snatched her piece out of the box. The gall.

 

“But I can’t play in the ball pit alone. Everyone needs to be in it.” Stiles said. “The whole pack.”

Everyone froze at those words and there was almost a breathless moment before Erica yanked Stiles to her with shine to her eyes as she hugged him tight.

 

“Of course, Stiles. Come on, Boyd. We’d love to play in it with you. The rest of the pack would too, right guys?” Erica gave a dangerous smile to the rest of the pack who looked torn between pizza and Stiles’ hopeful golden eyes. Scott stuffed his in his mouth then jumped from his seat and tugged Stiles with him with the rest of the pack trailing behind them.

 

Before they knew it, they were swimming in a sea of different colored balls with all of them looking for Stiles who kept laughing as he popped up for air occasionally but then Erica accidently sent a wave of balls towards Lydia who retaliated which led to a vicious ball fight. Thank god that these were soft. Isaac, Jackson, and Scott chose Lydia’s side while Boyd, Derek, and Peter chose Erica’s. Their laughter ranged from shrieking to soft giggles and honestly, Derek couldn’t remember ever having this much fun.

 

On the other hand, Peter kept getting random images popping up in his head.

 

Images with a boy with red fox ears and bright golden eyes.

 

Images where said boy should not be.

 

Images where his son used to be.

 

But the more he thought about his son, the more his appearance eluded him.

 

And that terrified him.

Chapter Text

All of the pack froze at the sound of the doors opening, all of them quickly shifting back into their human selves, hiding the furriness that had been appearing as they had become more carefree. A little girl and her father entered the building, with the little girl wearing combat boots and a bright blue dress. She quickly ran towards the arcade section and Derek saw Stiles watching her from the corner of his eye.

 

“Can I go play with her?” Stiles turned to look at Derek and the Alpha shrugged, nodding. “Awesome!” Then he scrambled out of the ball pit and ran into the arcade section, sock clad.

 

“Hi! My name’s Stiles and I’m five and a half! What’s your name?” His little mate asked the girl who looked at him with cheerful eyes.

 

“My name’s Jo.” She replied shyly. “I’m six.”

 

“So you’re like in first grade?” Stiles said excitedly, and when she nodded hesitantly, he practically burst with excitement. “That’s so cool! You get to learn all the cool stuff and I’m stuck learning things like ABC’s. It’s so boring. You’re so lucky. You wanna play some games?”

 

“Uh, s-sure.” Jo replied giving him a smile that verged on excitement and nervousness. “Which game?”

 

“Ooo, what about that game with the dinosaurs and we have to shoot them?”

 

Jo’s eyes widened and she snatched her hand away.

 

“B-but I’m a girl. I’m not a boy. How did you—?” Jo’s eyes filled with frustrated tears and Stiles looked at her in confusion, wondering what he had done, but not figuring out what he had said.

 

“Girls can play that game too; I mean, it’s kind of scary but girls are pretty brave. There’s this one girl in my class called Lydia and she’s not scared of anything.” Stiles tried to fix it, and Jo blinked through the tears on her eyelashes.

 

“You don’t think that playing it makes me a boy?” Jo asked, biting her lip and Stiles burst out laughing.

 

“Of course not! Dude, that game is so fun and I’d be sad if only boys could play it cuz girls are smart and they usually win. Let’s go play!” Stiles pulled her arm and Jo laughed before following him to the game that Isaac and him had played. It was one of those terrifying interactive games where it was surround sound and the seats buzzed and shifted and everything seemed to be just a little too terrifying and real, but Stiles was brave. He could do this…hopefully.

 

Derek glared suspiciously at the girl who was being dragged around by Stiles. He lifted an eyebrow when he saw them entering Jurassic Park III, Pterodactyl’s Terror. Definitely not a kid’s game. He moved to go towards them before they entered but was stopped by Peter’s hand on his shoulder.

 

“They have to learn their lesson to obey their parents when they say don’t go to adult places.” Peter shrugged amused. Derek sighed and relented.

 

That was how two minutes later, the only thing you could hear from the arcade was the hysterical, terrified laughing borderline shrieking from the curtained machine. The father of the girl, Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy had migrated towards them and Peter, Derek, and he had been talking about the man’s career as an Airforce medic. He didn’t look like he did much of the physical aspect of it. However, Peter and him tried arm wrestling and Peter had a look of shock on his face when he found out his werewolf strength was being threatened by a mere human’s and the Beta werewolf just barely managed to beat him.

 

“You have to be in the military. There’s no way you’re that strong just from working out.” Bones said incredulously. Peter gave him a tilted smile shrugging, obviously reveling in the praise.

 

“I just work out.” Peter leaned his head against his hand, resting his elbow on the table. Another shriek came from arcade section and Bones’ head looked worriedly in the direction of the scream.

 

“Maybe we should get them out of there. There has to be some psychological babble nonsense that says this is gonna fuck them up in the head.” Bones looked at Peter with a side glance.

 

“There’s also a little joy in being scared though.”

 

“But to what extent?” Bones scoffed.

 

At that second, the two children stumbled out from behind the curtains with Stiles sliding down to his knees with tears down his face and Jo right beside him lying on the ground, panting.

 

Peter, Derek, and Bones quickly walked over to them.

 

“Are you okay? Are you hurt?” Bones rapid fire asked, looking at the two of them. Derek was quick to position Stiles so that he could look at the werefoxes’ face, wiping the tears from his face with his thumbs.

 

“I won.” Jo smiled triumphantly, her voice shaking as she looked up at her dad.

 

“It’s not fair. I wasn’t expecting for the seat to move.” Stiles sniffed as he wiped his nose on his sleeve. “God, I wish I was a girl sometimes. I’m nowhere near as brave as you but I guess you do win.”

 

“Well, kid, I doesn’t matter whether you’re a boy or a girl. Both can be as brave as the other.” Bones smiled as he ran a hand through Jo’s hair.

 

“Let’s go play another game.” Jo said, grabbing Stiles’ hand and when he nodded, dragged him towards the car games. Derek’s eyes zoomed in on where their hands were connected. “Dad, do you want to come?”

 

“No, you go on, honey. It’s fine. We still have the rest of today and tomorrow to do whatever you want. Have fun with your new friend.”

 

Once the kids were far enough, Derek turned to Bones.

 

“Today and tomorrow?”

 

“This is the first time Jo and I have been able to do anything since my last tour. My damn ex-wife took everything when we got the divorce, leaving me with just the bones in my body and the occasional vacation with my daughter.” Bones sighed.

 

“What a bitch.” Peter shook his head.

 

“I know.”

 

Peter saw Derek from the corner of his eyes, glaring in the direction Stiles and Jo had gone. There was a brief silence as they walked to the table where the pizza boxes were. Bones sat down.

 

“That’s a lot of pizza for the two guys and a kid.” Bones said drily at the ten pizza boxes empty. Derek let out a snort, too surprised to even hold it back.

 

“It’s not just us; we’re with some of my friends who are playing who knows what.” Derek said, pointing to the various members of the pack and introducing them to Bones.

 

“That’s a lot of people. Is it what’s his name, Stiles’ birthday?”

 

“Just having some bonding time.” Peter replied with a shrug, bored with the conversation. He had his phone out and was typing something roughly.

 

Bones nodded.

 

“By the way, you guys don’t strike me as the transphobic type. My daughter is going through a phase right now where she feels insecure about her femininity so if she says anything about what a girl would do, please just tell her its fine.” Leonard looked at their faces and Derek’s was priceless.

 

“Wait, so she’s not- she wasn’t born a girl?” Derek stumbled over his words.

 

“No, Jo was originally Joseph, but then she kind of discovered she wanted to wear skirts and dresses. I don’t mind it, but my ex is struggling through it.” Leonard said.

 

Derek raised his eyebrows.

 

“That must be rough.” Derek said.

 

Before Bones could answer, Derek heard Stiles’ heartbeat skyrocket and he frowned, standing up.

 

“Talking about them, where are they?” Derek asked and followed the sound of his heartbeat and when he turned to behind one of the arcade machines, his vision bled red. Stiles and Jo were leaning in towards each other curiously, their lips inches apart.

 

“What are you doing?” His voice chilled and the two children froze in horror. They turned to Derek who had his eyes trained on Jo. There was a sudden hand on his shoulder and he turned with a growl to the person only to realize with a jolt that it was Bones. The doctor jerked back and groaned.

 

“Goddammit, not you too. What are you?” Bones grumbled before turning to see what he was looking at. “Jo! What are you doing?”

 

“Well, Stiles saved me so I decided to give him a kiss because that’s what princesses do to princes, right?” Jo smiled, revealing the gap of missing front teeth. She grabbed Stiles’ hand and Derek growled only to be held back by Bones’ strong grip. Stiles sniffed the air cautiously before turning confused eyes to Derek and the Alpha snapped, yanking out from Bones’ grip. He pulled Stiles into his arms and practically ran out of the place to the car where he quickly entered and locked the car, wrapping himself around the young werefox so that his scent would cover him completely. He nosed at Stiles’ neck who tilted his head back in submission. It took him a couple of deep breaths to finally calm down. It was only because of Stiles running his hands through Derek’s hair that the Alpha fought the urge to wipe the girl’s existence off the face of the earth for touching what was his. Stiles was his and this girl thought she could just put her lips on what was his. His grip tightened on Stiles.

 

There was a knock on the window. Derek drew his lip back in an angry snarl, his eyes burning a bright red as his fangs unraveled. his eyes burning a bright red as his fangs unraveled. Then suddenly, he was snapped back into reality with the shocked bright blue eyes that belonged to the human veteran, Bones.

           

“Goddamit, why do I keep finding you stupid supernatural creatures?!” Bones cursed, folding his arms and rubbing the bridge of his nose.

 

            “Ooo, Derek! Derek! He said a bad word! He owes us a nickel!” Stiles jostled Derek’s arm, pointing at the man waiting outside the car who gave a snort at Stiles’ remark.

 

            “As if I got any money to give ya, son.” Bones rolled his eyes then looked at Derek who was still frozen. “But how about you head on over with Jo, while I talk to Derek here.” Bones pointed towards the truck that was running behind him. Stiles didn’t hesitate to shoot out and scream a greeting to Jo who was waving at him as she leaned out the window. Derek let his eyes stay on Stiles for as long as possible before he dragged his eyes up to Bones who was waiting patiently.

 

            “So, when were you planning on showing any self-restraint in front of a human?” Bones crossed his arms, eyebrows raised in question. “When you speed ran your way out of the place? When you showed your fangs and supernatural eyes at me? What in God’s name where you thinking?!” Bones snarled and whacked Derek upside the head. The Alpha let out a surprised noise as the other brought up both of his hands to massage his forehead.

 

            “I swear; I just attract idiots around me.” Bones muttered before turning back to Derek. “Is that your pack in there?”

 

            Derek nodded.

 

            “Then why do you act so unbalanced?”

 

            “What do you mean?”

 

            “You act on your emotions. It’s like you have no anchor!”

 

            “What do you know about anchors?” Derek said defensively.

 

            “Son, don’t start using that tone with me. I’m part of the Kirk pack up in San Francisco. I know my stuff. But you haven’t answered my question. Where is your anchor?” Bones crossed his arms, looking at Derek with expectant blue eyes.

 

            “I…I lost it.” Derek confessed guiltily.

 

            “What do you mean you lost it?!”

 

            “My anger used to be my anchor, but now Stiles is my anchor and he was turned from a normal teenage boy to a hyperactive five-year-old werefox. It’s not exactly the most stable of anchors, okay?” Derek let out a tired noise as he finally said the words he had been trying to avoid for the last day.

 

 

            “Oh.” Bones turned to look at Stiles who was talking animatedly to Jo in the front seat of his truck. “Is he your….mate?” He turned to give Derek a questioning look, and the werewolf just wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

 

            “Yeah, but I never planned to tell him.” Derek let his eyes wander to Stiles too, his heart hurting inside his chest. Bones sported a suddenly sympathetic look on his face.

 

            “Just be careful in public since your control is so unstable. Make sure the kid gets enough nutrients as a werefox.” Bones said gruffly, patting Derek on the shoulder. “Jo and I have to get going but make sure to call us anytime. I gave my phone to Peter before he left.”

 

            Derek frowned.

 

            “Left?"

Chapter Text

Peter knew that he should’ve stayed with the pack but his window of opportunity had been too good to resist. After saying goodbye to Bones who gave him his number, Peter sneaked out to his motorcycle and zoomed off, knowing full well that his nephew would be too occupied with the young werefox to realize his absence.

 

            For the last day, his mind had been nagged by the feeling that Stiles was more involved with his past than he had previously thought. He kept popping up in memories where he shouldn’t be at all. Like at pack dinners with Talia and his nephews and nieces when they were younger. It was disorienting to a disturbing extent and every time that he tried to concentrate on a memory, it would get fuzzy and his head would start to hurt.

 

            So the only person that could answer his questions was…himself. After the fire, while he had been in the hospital, his belongings had been moved to a warehouse along with all of the other Hale stuff. After he had woken up, Peter couldn’t stand even going near it, because it was too painful.

 

            But now…. now he had to find out what was happening to his head. And the only way to figure that out was to go through his old journals and see what had really happened. Peter had his suspicions that someone had magically tampered with his head but Peter knew that his journals would get him back on track.

 

            As sign by sign flew past him on the highway, Peter’s heart began to pound in his chest. It had been so long since he had seen any of the remains of the old Hale House. The day Peter had turned good Derek had given him the key to the storage unit where all the old stuff was. The older werewolf had put off looking at it, mostly because there was so many monsters that had come through town but also because of the amount of emotional baggage that came with reliving the past through burned furniture and photo albums.

 

            “When did I become so sentimental.” Peter scoffed as he made a sharp right into the storage place. The sign in front of the building was an annoying bright orange that contrasted against the ugly pasty color of the building which had definitely seen better days. Peter sneered as he parked his bike next to the door.

 

            The bell let out a sharp ring as he pushed open the door to a smelly room.

 

 

            The man inside was smoking a cigarette and he lazily looked up at the werewolf, not even bothering to put down the magazine he was reading. The scent of smoke set Peter’s nerves on edge.

 

            “Can I help you?” the man drawled, looking expectantly at Peter with a bored look.

 

            “I need to get a storage unit but I don’t know where it is. It’s A 25.9.” Peter said stiffly. The guy rolled his eyes as he let out a yawn and tilted his head to the wall next to him where a framed map was hung. It was faded with time and barely looked to be accurate.

 

            “It’s in Lot A, section 25, 9th unit. It’s not that hard to figure out.”

 

            It took Peter a good thirty seconds to convince himself not to paint the walls of this appalling office with the blood of this insubordinate human. He had to remind himself that he wasn’t a psychopathic killer anymore.

 

            “Thank you.” Peter smiled tightly. The man rolled his eyes and returned to his magazine. Peter left the office as fast as his werewolf feet could carry him.

 

            In the end, it wasn’t hard to find the storage unit. It only took some minimal look over at all the faded signs. Peter was loath to admit that his hand shook as he slid the key into the lock. He could feel his heartbeat in his hands, thumping with every second that passed.

 

            He almost fell to his knees as the door slid up to reveal the contents inside. There was burned furniture in there, ranging from the couch his sister had been ridiculous about buying, the frames of the beds to the twin nieces who hadn’t survived the fire, a photo half burned where the whole Hale family had posed for, and boxes of other stuff that belonged to the family that had once resided in Beacon Hills.

 

            Peter couldn’t help the sharp grieved sound that escaped his throat as he leaned against the wall on weakened knees. Every little thing that his eyes wandered over brought memories of his family being happy— being alive. As tears blurred his vision, a deep and sudden anger filled him, his claws coming out. This is why he hated hunters. They were stupid idiotic narrow-minded fools who were too scared to realize the horror of their actions. His family was more than just werewolves. His grandniece was human. And they were dead because those goddamn hunters were trigger happy monsters to desperate to believe that something that wasn’t exactly like them had to be exterminated.

 

            The older werewolf shakily walked to one of the boxes, tearing it open, and he almost howled in grief. At the very top of random items that was in the box was his son’s favorite toy. His son’s favorite toy. Peter gently took the stuffed wolf out and slid down to the floor, pressing his nose against the fabric…

 

            He froze.

 

            There wasn’t a smell of fire. Or smoke.

 

            Peter’s heart froze and he pressed his nose harder into the toy but the smell wasn’t there. It wasn’t there. His hands shook as he looked at the toy. He knows that this was his son’s toy. His son who had died in the fire. Why wasn’t there the smell of fire and smoke?

 

            Dropping the toy, Peter shot himself towards the box and the first thing he saw was one of his journals. He grabbed it with an almost angry desperation and flipped it to one of the last entries.

 

Talia will regret this- I’ll make sure of it. It’s bad enough that she’s Alpha although I’m the older of the two, but now she wants to take the ONE thing that stops me from going crazy— the one thing that’s good in my life…But let’s ignore me for a second—How could she do this to Genim?

 

“Genim.” Peter softly mouthed and then suddenly his head exploded with pain, not even giving him time to clutch his head before he was falling to the floor with blackening vision.

 

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x

 

            After everyone had helped to clean up, the pack went to the Hale House. The groceries had been put up and everyone was taking showers while Stiles watched television in the living room. It had been a long day and everyone was just ready for bed.

 

            Derek thankfully had his own shower so he didn’t have to wait on other people like the rest of the pack, but as he was reaching for the gel he usually styled his hair with, his eyes caught the sight of the hairspray Isaac used for his hair. The pack was always leaving their stuff in his restroom even when he told them that this was his restroom. He was about to roll his eyes and ignore it when the sudden image of Stiles touching Isaac’s hair fondly filled his mind.

 

            Stiles had said he liked Isaac’s hair.

 

            Would Stiles like his hair if it was styled like Isaac’s?

 

            Derek paused for a second, his hand wavering between the gel and hairspray. He shouldn’t. He really shouldn’t. It wouldn’t look the same. Isaac had naturally curly hair and his was straight. But…. Stiles liked Isaac’s hair. Derek licked his dry lips and without giving it a second thought grabbed Isaac’s hairspray. It shouldn’t be that hard. It was fairly simple.

 

            This was the train of the thought that led to Derek staring at himself hopelessly in the mirror with hair in uncomfortable hard shelled strands of hair that stuck up in random angles. He was about to try another part of his hair when the door to the bathroom suddenly opened.

 

            Derek froze as Isaac walked in, a question halfway out of his mouth.

 

            “Hey, have you seen my hairsp—” Isaac stopped as he saw Derek leaning over the sink with his hairspray in his hand, with a guilty and desperate look on his face. The beta opened and closed his mouth several times

 

            “What…. I don’t even know what to say.”

 

            Derek flushed a deep red and scowled.

 

            “I was just…curious.” The Alpha said weakly.

 

            Isaac raised his eyebrows disbelievingly. Derek sighed.

 

            “I was…trying to impress Stiles, because he liked your hair…so I thought...” Derek mumbled. Isaac let out a snort and bent over double laughing.

 

            “Derek, you just had to ask for help. I can’t believe Stiles has you this wrapped around your finger.” Isaac sniggered. The Alpha growled menacingly at him but the effect was lost with the ridiculous hair on Derek’s head. “Do you want me to help you?”

 

            The Alpha scowled but nodded.

 

            Isaac made him wash his hair again to get all the product out of his hair. Then he made Derek sit down on a chair in front of the mirror. It only took him ten minutes and Derek had a similar hairstyle to Isaacs, but it wasn’t hard shelled like it had been at the beginning. It was soft and styled like Isaac’s.

 

            “Thank you, Isaac.” Derek breathed as he touched his hair lightly. Standing up, Derek turned around and drew in the beta into a hug, scenting him by dragging their cheeks together making Isaac let out a satisfied hum.

 

            “Come on. Everyone’s already downstairs, watching Lazy Town with Stiles.”

 

            “Lazy Town?” Derek frowned.

 

            Isaac shrugged. “It’s your mate, Derek. He’s really weird.”

 

            The two of them headed down and Derek’s wolf rumbled in contentment to see his pack all around the living room, the smell of satisfaction permeant in the air. Erica currently had Stiles in her lap, his back to her chest, while she was in a similar position with Boyd, leaning back against him. Lydia was sitting on one of the couches, looking at the kitchen where Jackson was getting snacks. Scott was sleeping face down on the floor, his mouth open with drool forming a pool. The only one missing was Peter, but Derek knew his uncle had a tendency to sneak off and do whatever he does.

 

            Stiles who had been looking at the TV with half lidded eyes brightened visibly and turned to Derek.

 

            “Derek!” He smiled and jumped from Erica’s lap to the Alpha who caught him easily. Stiles wrapped his skinny arms around Derek’s neck and rubbed his cheek energetically against Derek’s neck. Then he leaned back in Derek’s arms and looked up at his hair. The werefox grabbed his face and turned it from one side to the other, and the Alpha shifted nervously waiting for Stiles’ assessment on his hair. As Stiles ran his hand through Derek’s new hair, the alpha couldn’t help the pleased purr that escaped his throat. Stiles giggled.

 

            “Your hair is so soft. I like it.” Stiles kissed Derek on the cheek. “My husband is the handsomest person in the world.” Derek lifted one side of his mouth in a smile. Isaac walked past them beyond Stiles peripheral and lifted both of his thumbs with a wicked smile. 

 

           Stiles yawned and hooked his chin on Derek's shoulder.

 

            “Der, I'm tired. Can we all sleep here?” the young werefox blinked blearily and Derek nodded. Everyone dragged down the blankets that were on the couches to the floor, tucking them in around Scott who remained sleeping through the whole ordeal. Stiles was the first to settle in, dragging down Isaac and Derek with him. The blond chuckled and settled in front of Stiles. Derek was the next one and he situated himself behind Stiles, wrapping a secure arm around him. The others squeezed in, intertwining legs and wrapping arms around each other. Scott had let out a confused noise, but Erica shushed him, patting his face. It only took a little while before everyone was dead asleep.

            Derek frowned just as he slipped into unconsciousness. There was something wrong from one of the pack members. The drowsiness won over the concern and Derek fell asleep.

 

 

 

            It was dark when Derek felt himself being jostled awake. He jerked, his eyes snapping open to meet with those of the illuminating blue of his uncle. Blinking as he let out a yawn, he slowly detangled himself from Stiles’ grip around his arm and Scott’s legs intertwined with his. Peter signaled him desperately to come with him to the kitchen and Derek could smell grief and desperation on his uncle. That woke him up and he quickly stood up and followed Peter into the kitchen.

 

            “Peter? Where were you?” Derek frowned and Peter had his back to him, one hand running through his hair. “Peter?”

 

            The werewolf turned around and there were tears in his uncle’s eyes.

 

            “Derek…I didn’t have a son.” Peter’s breath was unsteady. “Stiles…. Genim…. Genim was my son.”

Chapter Text

  Derek dragged him out of the room by his arm, leading him out  of the house before he turned to him with questioning eyes.

  "What?" Derek said succinctly, crossing his arms as he turned to his uncle who reached into his jacket and pulled out a worn out journal, which seemed to be crumbling of old age. As soon as the scent hit Derek's nose however, he drew back, taking back a step as a sudden grief rose. It was the scent of all the old Hale stuff. A scent he hadn't smelled since putting all of their old stuff in the storage unit with Laura.

  "Why...why did you go?" Derek said before Peter could even let out a word. "Peter, why the fuck would you go there after all the good that's been happening? Can't you just enjoy having some happiness for a moment?"

  "I didn't understand it at first, Derek, but I get it now." Peter laughed almost emptily. "Stiles is my son--"

  "Stiles is not my cousin, Peter." Derek's lip curled in disgust.

  Peter let out a frustrated breath.

  "That's not what I meant. Listen!" Peter snarled, his hand tightening around the journal. "This whole time that Stiles has been turned small, I couldn't get the thought of my son out of my head. But the more I thought about him, the more I couldn't remember him. His face. The color of his eyes. How he laughed. Nothing. It was like those memories that blurs when you think too hard about it. But how could I forget everything specific to my son? I had to find out what was happening. I had to remember, and the only place where I could go for that was the storage unit."

  Peter looked down at this and he licked his lips before raising his eyes to the Alpha was frowning.

  "I never had a son, Derek. It's hilarious that I didn't even question having a son before. Derek, I'm asexual. How the hell was I supposed to have a child if I hated sex? And I could never have adopted because I moved around too much." Peter snorted. "Someone messed with my head. They made me think that all the memories I had of Stiles when he was younger were memories of some son I had, that I guess when the fire happened I just assumed died in the fire."

  "Wait, I don't get it. You never had a son?" Derek frowned. "But I remember..." Derek's eyes widened as his eyes shifted, trying to remember. The memories seemed to be there, but the more Derek sought them, the more they eluded him.

  "Exactly." Peter's lips settled into a straight line. "There is nothing to remember, because whatever spell was put on us makes us forget the details of my supposed son."

  "But, wait, how do you know it's Stiles? It could just be a spell to put fake memories in your head."

  Peter silently handed him the journal.

  "You know there’s no one I trust more than myself. So imagine my not surprise when my past self explained to me exactly what I was missing."

  Derek opened the journal cautiously and managed to catch the photo that slipped out of the pages and he froze when he saw what it was. It was a picture of a younger tween version of him laughing as a young Stiles tackling him to the ground...But that was impossible because he hadn't met Stiles until he had met Scott which was only a few years ago.

  "I thought you might like that certain photo I found from among the albums." Peter sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Sit down. It's going to take you a while to read all of it."

  Derek wordlessly opened the journal as he slid down the trunk of the tree next to them.


 

  The first time Peter had met Claudia Stilinski was through Talia. Claudia and her pack had moved from Los Angeles to the small town of Beacon Hills, and they had come to ask permission from the Alpha of the main pack of the territory, Talia Hale. As it turns out, the werefox and werewolf had a lot in common and became instant friends.

  It helped of course that the minute Claudia stepped foot inside the door with her husband right behind her, the sound of footsteps rushing down the stairs suddenly filled the air.

 

  Talia turned on her heel, ready to scold her second oldest son, Derek, from letting his younger siblings out only to find herself shocked at the sight of him speeding past her and towards the young Stilinski child who was holding his mother’s hand.

  "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I can't help it. He smells amazing." Derek babbled as he leaned into the young werefox’s space. The golden-eyed child giggled and pressed his hand on Derek's cheek. Talia stared in horror, her eyes flickering to the werefox alpha only to find her equally amused and surprised at the turn of events.

  "What is he doing to our child, Claudia?" John let out in a desperate tone after realizing that no one was going to say anything about the young boy nuzzling his son. Claudia laughed.

  "They're true mates, John. Genim, do you wanna go play with the young Hale?" She said sweetly to her son. Talia let out a sigh of relief. She was worried that the Alpha werefox would rightfully tear Derek a new one.

  “Yes, mama.” Stiles toothily smiled as he took Derek’s hand.

  As her eyes shifted to the father, she quickly realized that her problem wasn’t going to reside in the Alpha but in the father who was currently glaring intensely at her son. Derek seemed to be over the moon as he looked at their joined hands.

  “Why don’t you two go upstairs and play with some of your toys, Derek?” Talia gently suggested. Stiles whirled towards the young werewolf with shining eyes.

  “Toy?!” Stiles gasped excitedly. Derek nodded and tugged them up the stairs to his room, leaving Talia with Claudia and John Stilinski.

  “So, I believe we will be getting to know each other very well.” Claudia smiled as Talia led them to sit on the couch.

  “I do believe you’re right.” Talia laughed, breaking what was left of tension in the room.

  Peter who had stayed quiet during the whole exchange spoke up.

  “While my sister may trust you blindly, I would like to know why you conveniently decided to move to Beacon Hills.” Peter sniffed as he suspiciously glared at John who seemed happy to have someone to direct his annoyance to.

  “My husband is going to get an interview to be the new Deputy.” Claudia responded gently, squeezing their conjoined hands. “We moved from Los Angeles because it was too busy and there were simply too many eyes watching. Genim hasn’t been able to fully control his shift and we wanted to make sure he would be able to practice without getting caught.”

  “You do know that a whole family of hunters live here, right? The Argents are the most well-known hunters of the west coast.” Peter sneered, crossing his arms as he leaned back against the wall. He could feel the glare that Talia was directing at him, but he kept the eye contact with the werefox. In the corner of his eye, Peter saw John visibly stiffen and turn his head questioningly to Claudia whose sunny disposition faltered.

  “I know, but I also know of the pact between the Argents and the Hales. The Hales can allow other packs to settle in the town with the protection of secrecy as long as there are no more than two magical beings in the pack. I was hoping you would be willing to let us settle here, considering we’re only a pack of three, with one human, one fully developed werefox, and a child werefox.” Claudia had shifted her gaze from Peter to Talia halfway through her speech.

  Now it was Peter’s turn to glare at Talia and his sister seemed all too aware of the power she had in her hands.

  “I would be happy to welcome you to Beacon Hills, Alpha Stilinski.” Talia said succinctly and Peter’s mouth dropped open indignantly.

  “Talia-!” Peter began to protest but was interrupted by Claudia.

  “Thank you so much, Alpha Hale.” Claudia enthusiastically said with a wide grin.

  The beta werewolf huffed as the two Alphas began to talk about which neighborhoods were the best and when a dinner should be set up as thanks. Sneaking away angrily, Peter climbed the stairs by two and he turned to head towards his room. These were the reasons that made him question why Talia had turned out to be Alpha.  She was too trusting! This werefox pack could easily be looking to exploit the biggest pack of southern California.

  Halfway through his mental rant, Peter’s attention was suddenly on the sound of a light giggling laughter coming from Derek’s room.

  He silently walked towards the open door.

  Genim was enthusiastically playing out a story with some of Derek’s Power Rangers in front of the young werewolf. Talia’s youngest children were there too, enraptured by their brother’s new friend and his stories.

 

Peter watched as the young werefox grabbed the toys from Derek's hands. A sense of rage filled him but he kept it down, releasing the tight fists he had on either side of him. How could Talia not see how dangerous this little boy could be?

 

His nieces and nephews were the first to notice his presence. They looked up at Peter with backs straightened, but Genim continued playing with Derek who seemed as enraptured as the younger boy. Before Peter could let out a growl, Genim  finally seemed to notice the older beta werewolf and he gave him a wide grin, letting go of the toy  he had in his hand. With shaky hands, he got to his feet and began to walk over to Peter who frowned suspiciously at the lack of fear in Genim' steps. The other kids seemed  to be stretching out their hands as if to stop Genim but were too hesitant to get close to Peter themselves. Derek, in particular, was moving back and forth like if there was a rope pulling him back and forth.

 

The young werefox reached Peter's leg and looked up at him with the biggest smile Peter had ever seen on a kid in his vicinity.

 

"Batman." Genim said as he outstretched his hands up, motioning for Peter to pick him up. "Hero Batman. Up! Up!" Peter spluttered for a second. However, Genim didn't seem to be overly concerned with the existential crisis Peter was going through, and he began stomping his feet, pouting.

 

And, if Peter had to choose a moment where Genim slithered into his heart was at this moment, with the werefox's bright gold eyes looking up at him with unbridled awe as he picked him up.

 


 

Derek's head shot up from the journal with his mouth wide open.

 

"But, that's impossible. Why can none of us remember him? What about Deaton? Wouldn't he still know?" Derek flipped through the pages, catching phrases and pictures that were put on  the pages.

 

"Come on, Derek. We both know that Deaton is not a reliable source of information when it comes to things like this." Peter crossed his arms, rolling his eyes at the naivety of his nephew. The air around them seemed to have grown stiller as Derek had read the journal, and Derek ran a hand down his face, letting out a sigh.

 

"Well, then, what happened? And just tell me, because your handwriting is a fucking headache to read." Derek said, closing the notebook and handing it back to the beta. The other tsked, rolling his eyes.

 

"That’s why I started using a laptop. And according to me, this was what happened..."

 


 

Claudia's hands tightened on the car wheel. The slick Jeep was so recognizable that she could spot it from 20 miles away. The only thing was how did SHE manage to follow them here? The Stilinski Alpha pulled out of the supermarket parking lot, making her way back home.

 

In their old city, the hunters and the weres in the community had gotten along before the monster that goes by Kate Argent began swimming in the hunter's circles, making other hunters throw away the rules and just shoot down the supernatural community. Kate was one of the reasons she had decided to move. Genim was too precious to her to even allow him to be near such a despicable human being.

 

But....but now she was here in Beacon Hills, which made Claudia's anxiety and anger rise. There was no doubt about it. That...that bitch was here to try and kill her and her son.

 

The Alpha knew that she could manage to get by, because she had trained her fox until she had perfect control. The only problem was that Stiles didn't have that iron control over his wolf. If he got too upset or happy, his werefox traits would appear. She couldn't let this happen, and there was only one person who could help her with this.

 

It was this train of thought that led to her standing in front of Emrys Pendragon's front door step. It only took her three knocks before the door opened to reveal one of the two inhabitants of the house.

 

"Claudia?" Arthur frowned in confusion. "Is everything alright? Come in."

 

"Thank you. Come on, Genim." She tugged her son's hand who had been distracted by the lion statue next to the doorbell. Once the door was shut behind them, she turned to Arthur who was had taken her coat.

 

"I'm here to see Merlin." She admitted. "I need him to cast a spell for me"

 

The blond man immediately nodded.

 

"He's in the study. What kind of spell is it?" Arthur looked curiously at her as he led her into the house.

 

"There's a hunter in town, and I think she's here for Genim and me." Claudia said. "Genim is too young to control his shift, and I just think it would be safer for him to have those genes turned dormant. I've seen the spell cast before. I know that Merlin can do it. After all, he's the greatest sorcerer that's ever walked the earth."

 

"Aw, Claudia, you're making me blush." Merlin grinned as his husband and their visitor walked into his study. "See, Arthur, at least SOMEONE appreciates my talents." He stood up, pulling the Alpha into a tight hug. The two had known each other since they were in college, with Claudia on a study abroad trip in England and Merlin was a professor for Medieval Mythological Literature. They  had discovered rather quickly that the other also belonged to the supernatural realm.

 

"If your head got any bigger, we would need to get a new house for how much space your ears take up." Arthur sneered, crossing his arms.

 

"Prat." Merlin stuck his tongue out at him, and a giggle filled the room. The blue eyed sorcerer turned his head down to the source of the noise.

 

"And who would this be?" Merlin asked , bending down to see the young giggling boy who was holding on to his mother's p legs. The sorcerer waved at him and Stiles waved back, giving him a toothy smile.  

"My name is Genim." The young werefox said shyly. Claudia wanted to laugh at the timidity that Genim was showing . He was never like this with other people, but Claudia knew the effect Merin could have on supernaturals who were affected by auras.

"I have a favor to ask of you." She said, and Merlin could tell the situation had just gotten intense, and she went back to his feet brushing off the dust that had gotten on his pants.  He motioned for the Alpha to sit down in front of him.

"What's wrong, Claudia?" He asked, as he sat down behind his desk. Genim settled himself on his mother's lap, content to snuggle into the warmth she provided and the scent of him  of home and safety.

"There's this new hunter in town. Her name is Kate Argent. She ... she was in my last town and I'm pretty sure she's after Genim and me. I think that with Genim's current level of control on his shift that it would be easier for him if we just turn his genes dormant."

"This is a pretty big deal." Merlin said slowly. "And I can't begin to understand what it feels like to be hunted, but ... isn't this a little bit extreme?" Merlin shifted in his chair, rubbing the pad of his thumb on his upper lip. "Does John know about this?"

"No. He wouldn't agree with me. He would say that we should just move again, and I don't want to  put that on him. We’ve moved enough as it is."

"Claudia, I've never done this type of spell before."

Claudia leaned forward, grasping his hand in hers, squeezing it.

"I'm sorry that I'm putting this on you, but I just... I don't know who  else to turn to. I just want Genim to be safe and alive."

"You understand that this type of spell is something that lasts quite a bit of time, right? Like this won't go away in a few days or even weeks. It would have to be a few months or even years for it to wear off."

"I know.”

Merlin pursed his lips, looking at the young boy who  had dozed off halfway through the their talk.

 

"There is a chance that he might never return to being a werefox. In fact, there's a very good chance that turning half of his genes dormant would cause him to die." Merlin said softly. Guilt filled Claudia but this was the only way.

"Emrys,  I know that you wouldn't let that happen."

Arthur who had been observing the exchange put up some protest.

"Hey, that's not fair of your to put that on Merlin."

"No, it's fine.” Merlin waved a hand in Arthur’s direction. I just want to make sure that you are 100 percent sure that you want to do this.”

 

“Emrys, this is the only way. We need to turn Genim human.”

Chapter Text

Claudia hadn't even gotten out of her car before Talia was running out, Derek close at her heels. The werewolf Alpha was breathing in deeply as she approached the car, and the Stilinski Alpha couldn't help the feeling of shame that rose in her. She knew that what they were smelling was the lack of were on Genim. Her fox had almost come out in its panic when Merlin had managed to perform the spell to suppress Genim's werefox genes. Even now she could feel a phantom pain as if her son was dead, despite the obvious evidence that he wasn't.

"What's wrong with Genim?" Derek demanded, tearing open the car door and crawling into the space, curling himself around the young boy, his nose running up and down the nape of his neck. "Why does he smell weird?" There was a whine to his voice, so animalistic in its pain that it made Claudia wince. The young Stilinski wrapped his arms hesitantly around Derek, but he didn’t nuzzle back like he usually would, although he did make comforting cooing noises. The Alpha werewolf looked at Claudia with a horrified look on her face as it clicked.

"Derek, please take Genim inside to your room. Alpha Stilinski and I need to talk." Talia's voice wavered as she sent a side look to the young boy who was looked confused as to all the worry evident on people's faces. Her son nodded, unbuckling Genim and taking him to the house.

Claudia couldn't even get out of her car. On the way to the Hale House, she had rehearsed what she was going to say, but it all escaped her now. All the careful explanations and reasonable justifications were so jumbled up now. Talia went around the car and slid into the passenger seat, waiting until Derek had closed the door behind himself that she turned to Claudia, hand on her arm.

"Who did it?" Talia growled, her red eyes flashing. "What kind of messed up witch took away Genim's fox? Why didn't you call or send John?"

"John doesn't know." Claudia looked away from the inquisitive look the other Alpha was giving her.

"How could he not know?!"

"I haven't told him." With this, she slumped forward, leaning her head against the wheel of the car. "There's a new hunter in town."

Talia snarled, clenching her fist.

"A hunter did this to you?"

"No, Talia, listen." Claudia snapped angrily. "I did it. I had a friend of mine who is a sorcerer perform the spell on Genim." At the following silence, she barged on. "There's a new hunter in town who was in the same town we were in before we moved here. She's ruthless, Talia. She managed to convince the other hunters to abandon the code, telling them that we were animals, and I just.... I don't want my son to die. This is the only way I could think that he be safe."

"Claudia, you took away a vital part of Genim." Talia seethed, her anger now directed to the other mother. "That is so wrong. How could that be the only way to keep him safe? What about us, Claudia? The Hale Pack?! We're one of the strongest packs of North America and you thought we couldn't protect Genim? He's part of our pack, Claudia. We would've died protecting him."

All the pent up grief and anger finally burst free and Claudia covered her face as she began crying.

"But I didn't want you to. This is the safest thing to do, Talia. This way no one gets hurt. No one had to get hurt-"

"But someone did get hurt." The werewolf's voice chilled. "In fact, two people got hurt during this. God, Claudia, did you even think to ask someone about what that spell entails?"

"I know that it'll take a long time for it to wear away-"

"His fox died, Claudia." Talia shook her head. "You've probably been feeling like your son has died? It's because when you do this spell, it turns the genes dormant yes, but it also completely does away with his fox. It's...it's the only spell that can revert a were back into human. We will never know what it's like to not have our were side in us because we were born weres, but humans are a completely different story. The second a human is turned, it’s like their were is born. However to be able to have a were inside you, the genes need to be active. This is why there’s always a fifty fifty chance of a human surviving the bite. Genim's were side needed the now dormant genes to survive."

"But...but he seemed fine. He didn't even cry."

"Well, then you better thank whoever it was that performed this spell for you, because most people die from it." Talia looked towards the house with a sad look on her face. "The worst part in all this is that Genim will start to notice the little signs that his fox is missing when he can't feel the pack bond anymore." There was an edge there, pointed in its accusation of Claudia.

"I don't regret doing it." Claudia said defensively. "I want my son to be safe."

"I will never condone this, Alpha Stilinski." Talia replied curtly and the other flinched at the title. "I believe that what you did was wrong, but I also understand that it's your choice. However as I said, you hurt two people in this. The grief you’re feeling for your lost son is the grief Derek’s werewolf is going through for his lost mate.”

Claudia blinked in surprise then her mouth fell open in horror at what Talia had just said.

"But Genim is still his mate."

"Yes." Talia pursed her lips as she turned away from the werefox's wide eyes. "But Derek's werewolf will still feel the grief of losing half of his mate."

Almost on cue, the front door slammed open, revealing a furious Peter who was stalking towards the car where the two Alphas were sitting in. He ripped open the driver's door, leaning down with a growl, his eyes shining blue as his fangs dropped. Talia felt a sense of pity for her older brother. In all of his life, he had never been interested in children. The only reason he probably tolerated her children was because they were family. So when Genim had befriended with bright golden eyes and huge smiles, totally unafraid of the dark aura Peter usually gave off...well, it was no surprise that Peter's walls went tumbling down. It had come to the point where Peter's wolf had recognized Genim as his own son, something Talia always took advantage of rubbing in his face.

Now though-- now it was breaking her heart, because she hadn't even considered the pain Peter must be going through. Her brother tore open the driver's door, making Claudia's heartbeat skyrocket.

"Who did this?" Peter snarled, cutting his lip on the sharp edge of one fang. "Tell me, Claudia, and I'll go rip their fucking throat out. Who fucking does this to a child?" The werefox glanced desperately to Talia who simply averted her eyes away, leaving her alone to face Peter. The beta seemed to have the caught the exchange and understood the implication if the sudden screech of metal bending was any indication.

"No." Peter said, shaking his head. "Claudia, tell me you didn't." The werefox only looked down ashamed. The other seemed to want to drag the mother out of the car, but just as it looked like he was going to roar out of anger, his face completely shut down.

Claudia didn't know what was worse. His vicious anger or the cold look that he sent her. A silence followed, none of them moving from their spot or saying anything. It was a broken with Peter's chuckle.

"I was right." He said, almost as if to himself. "You were going to be a liability."

"Stop being so dramatic, Peter." Talia said, rolling her eyes, but even as she said it, there was a similar grief in her voice. “Genim is still part of this pack...even if he doesn’t feel it.” This was pointed to Claudia who fought her instinct to wince. She wasn’t some child that as being scolded by her mother. Her decision was one that was sound.

With that, the three of them got out of the car and went back to the house.

Genim and Derek were sitting on the couch, watching some new TV show about a pink haired girl, but when the adults walked in, the golden eyed boy approached Peter who was looking down at him with a pinche expression, something that the younger one seemed to pick up on.

“Hurt, Peter?” the young boy asked, grabbing Peter’s hand and pulling him down. Despite the lack of expression on the werewolf’s face, everyone could smell the grief that came off of him as he got closer. The lack of werefox scent became more obvious the closer one got to him, knowledge that Claudia had become intimately aware of.

But what made everyone freeze was when Genim wrapped his arms around Peter's’ neck after being tugged down. The young boy tucked his face into Peter’s neck, but after a few seconds moved again, taking in deep breaths.

“Geni-” Claudia began to say, knowing where this was going.

“Peter?” Genim asked, frowning as he drew back. He closed his eyes and drew a long breath through his nose. He looked up at his mom worried. “Mommy, I can’t smell Peter.” The pained choke that came from the beta werewolf made the Alpha werefox’s eyes drift to the source. Peter’s eyes were brimmed with tears, tell tale splotches of red beginning to form on his cheeks which he covered up with a hand across his mouth. The werewolf turned on his heel and left.

Claudia was left with a confused Genim who was quickly taken back by Derek and a silent, brooding Talia.

Chapter Text

After that, everything had settled into a somewhat normal pace again. Genim still went to visit the Hales everyday, and after a talk of how he wasn’t a werefox anymore, settled into the life of being a human. Claudia felt calm, knowing that her small pack was safe. Then, of course, her luck ran out, and an article in the newspaper reawakened her fears.

FAMILY OF FOUR KILLED IN MYSTERIOUS HOME INVASION

A housekeeper’s shocking Monday morning discovery of four bodies – a small-town Beacon Hills bakery owner, Alan Budding, his wife, Jamie, and their teenage daughter and son, Julie and James, all dead in their upper middle-class home – have risen suspicion of authorities to believe there was personal intent behind the murder. Authorities are asking for anyone who knows anything…

Claudia had known the Buddings; they were one of the other smaller werewolf packs protected under the Hale Pack, but only the father had been a werewolf, which meant that Kate...Kate was killing humans too. The Alpha stood to her feet angrily. After everything she had gone through to keep her son safe... she put down the newspaper, letting the corners that she had wrinkled fall to the table.

If just being associated with were creatures was enough to cause Kate to kill, then Stiles wasn’t safe. He wasn’t safe at all. Claudia had to go talk to Talia about this...but not right now, in plain daylight. No, she would have to wait until night fell. She could no longer be seen with the Hales if she wanted her small pack to be safe. With that, Claudia tore up the newspaper, throwing away the remains in the trashcan.

After she had put Genim in bed, she shifted into her fox form, slipping out of the house, hidden underneath the shadows cast by the half moon. She cut through the background and climber over the fence into the forest that held the Hale House. Perhaps it was because her thoughts were so full of worry for Genim and the dead family that had lived on their block that distracted Claudia from hearing the soft footsteps that followed her.

It was only when she was halfway to the Hale House that the sound of a fake bird chirp cut through her thoughts. Before she could make a run for it, the sound of a gun burst through the quiet of the the forest night, quickly followed by a sharp pain in her shoulder. She let out a yip as she scrambled to get away, but her path was blocked by white haired man she remembered seeing with Kate. She bared her teeth, letting out a vicious snarl, before lunging towards him.

He easily sidestepped, laughing.

"I would stop doing that if I were you. Fighting makes your heartbeat go up, which makes the foxbane poison spread faster. Oh, wait, nevermind. Let's speed this up." Gerard sneered, looking down his nose at her. She froze at his words, realizing that she was feeling unnaturally pained and tired. "I can't believe that vermin like you still exist." He went to kick her, but she snapped her teeth at him before taking off in the direction of the Hale House, letting out a desperate yowl. Her vocal cords strained at the sound, not used to having to make such wolfy noises, but at this point, she had to do whatever it takes.

"After her, people." She heard Gerard say behind her and on cue, two sets of footsteps began trailing after her. With every step she took, she could feel the poison beginning to affect her body. Her vision was getting hazy. Then just as she was about to give up hope, she heard a long telling howl.

"Shit," Gerard swore. "Take the bullet out and let's go. She's going to die anyway. Come on, Chris, Kate."

A pair of hands grabbed her and she snarled, snapping her teeth. Then her entire body shook as the sharp pain travelled where the bullet had hit her.

As the hunters ran away, Claudia collapsed on the ground, her paws shaking as she panted.
"Claudia!"

She turned her head towards the source of the voice.In front of her was Alpha Hale's wife, Alana, in beta shift, eyes shining with concern. It was at this moment that Claudia let herself fall into the darkness that had been surrounding her until now.


 

The first thing Claudia heard as she came to was the sound of Merlin's voice talking softly to someone.

"I did as much as I could, but there was only so much I could do. The bullet had fragmented! I can't do anything with shards of the bullet. And a full body cleansing requires more than what I have on hand. I don't have that kind of power, Alpha Hale." His voice was hard set like if this wasn't the first time he had made this point.

"Then go and find the things you need." Talia's voice replied.

"Talia, don't be so hard on him. He's done the best he can." Alana's voice said comfortingly.

"She'll barely be able to survive like this! She was born a were, her fox is something she’s always had. Denying a were their other side is inhumane, Alana!”

“Her brain would deteriorate at a faster rate if she was in her animal state.” Merlin said, his words were cut off as he noticed that Claudia had opened her eyes and was looking at the two of them with worried eyes. Talia turned on her heel, catching Merlin’s expression.

“Claudia,” the Alpha werewolf sighed, her voice tired.

“What are you two talking about?”

Her two friends looked at each other before focusing their attention on her again.

“You were shot with a foxbane bullet.” Merlin said softly, moving to sit next to the bed she was on. “And since they took it out, we couldn’t heal you the way we usually would. The only way I could keep you from dying was to force you to transition back into a complete human and put a magical block on any transformation.” At Claudia’s horrified expression, he hurried to continue. “I can take it off, but since you were kept trying to shift back, I had to do something. I’ve managed to partially heal you, but….it can only do so much.”

“What does that include?” Claudia whispered.

“It’s not going to kill you immediately.” Merlin said, his eyes looking sad and older than his age. “I don’t know how long it can last, but I would say two...maybe three years before it finally takes full effect. But the incantation I put on you only works if you stay in complete human form. If you even go into beta mode, the foxbane would use the were genes to slip past the defenses I put in place.” Tears were falling down his face explained and he kept taking shaky breaths as he wiped them away.

Claudia blinked, lifting a shaking hand to her mouth as her eyes began to water and blur her vision. On her other side, Talia and Alana were standing next to the bed.

“I deeply apologize, Claudia.” Talia said. “I should have… I had promised you protection and safety from the hunters, but you are hurt a-and dying. If there is anything I can do, please let me rectify the situation.”

Claudia paused then looked down, overwhelmed by everything that was happening. She fisted her hands in her lap and said the first thing that came to her mind.

“I had been on my way to talk to you about the Buddings. I think that there should be more distance between our packs.” Claudia stated resolutely. “They killed humans in their pack just because they were associated with weres.”

Talia reared back as if struck.

“The last thing I’m going to do is put more distance between our packs!” Talia said with a hurt expression on her face. “We need to protect Stiles.”

“No!” Claudia tried getting up from her reclined position but let out a hiss of pain. “I want you to stop associating with Stiles! I managed to make him human but if the Argents are killing even humans, then Stiles STILL isn’t safe. I want you to take away your pack’s memories of my son.”

Talia was about to argue but her wife, Alana, placed a hand on her arm.

“She’s right, Talia.” Alana said. The Hale Alpha looked overwhelmed.

“Please, consider this my dying wish.” And that drove the nail home with a slump of Talia’s shoulders.

“I’ll grant you this. As the Hale Pack Alpha, I swear to fulfill your request.” She rubbed the bridge of her nose in frustration. Claudia relaxed and leaned back against the pillows of the bed.

“How will that work with Stiles and Derek?” Merlin asked. The three women looked at him in confusion. “Well, if they’re mates, wouldn’t Derek’s instincts be a wreck?” The Stilinski Alpha looked down, unaware of the scent of grief, growing in the room.

Chapter Text

"That's horrible." Derek couldn't help the revulsion he felt directed towards the former Alpha Stilinksi. No amount of reasoning could justify what she did to his mate. Thinking back he could see now why his wolf was always so temperamental compared to his siblings. After being exposed to his mate for so long and to have it suddenly ripped away, it was no wonder that his wolf had felt so lost when he was younger. Perhaps it was also the reason he always got in trouble in his teen years too. Going to the police station had always felt a little too much like going home.

"I know." Peter sighed as he leaned back in his chair. Halfway through his story, he had relocated to one of the porch armchairs. His wolf had been shifting restlessly since he read in his own handwriting the atrocity that his son, because Stiles was his son even if they weren't related by blood. "And we haven't even gotten to the worst part, Derek. It gets worse."

"I don't see how it get worse, Peter. Stiles has had his fox suppressed for years, all because his mom had a freaking paranoid attack basically." Derek growled, tilting his head towards the window where they could see the pack sleeping with Stiles, gathered around him in a weird combination of misplaced limbs and drooping slobber. Seeing Stiles cuddle into Scott was something that made his heart lurch now that he knew what Stiles had gone through. This was something that his Stiles had missed out on-- something that as a were, he should never have had to miss out on. He didn't know what it was like to be part of a pack that loved him and would protect him with their last breath. HIS pack wouldn't have ever even considered hiding his werefox self, no matter the danger.

"I need a break." Derek rubbed the bridge of his nose. "This... is too much for me to handle right now. Is there anything you found out that could help us figure out how to turn him back?"

"No, it only talks about him being a werefox, and us getting our memories getting taken away. I think you need to hear the rest, but it's not anything really useful." Peter sniffed as he crossed his legs and turned his face towards the forest in front of them. The moon was almost directly above them which meant it was almost the middle of the night.

"Goodnight, Peter." Derek went back into the house.  This cleared up a bunch of things, like why Peter was so overprotective of the young werefox, but at the same time, it didn't answer any questions at all. Like if Stiles was at this age, why didn't he remember being in Hale Pack? Derek felt a headache coming on and he checked his phone as he went in the door. 12:02 AM. God, he was exhausted. Dealing with overactive hyper Stiles made him respect the sheriff so much more that he almost regretted all the trouble he caused in his teen years.

The Alpha froze as he suddenly heard whimpers coming from living room  where the pack had settled down, and he strode in, seeing his young mate shifting around restlessly. Just laying a hand on Stiles' head was enough to calm the young werefox but he could still see the tears on his eyelashes which made Derek's wolf whine.

He yawned as he climbed into the pack cuddling fest and hugged Stiles close to himself, falling asleep almost immediately.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

The sound of a despaired wail made the entire pack startle into of alertness. Erica accidentally kneed Isaac in the shin on her way to her feet and Boyd faceplanted onto the floor. Derek narrowly avoided getting the wind knocked out of him by dodging Scott's hand, but his eyes blinked toward the source of the sound.

Stiles was wound up in a tight ball, arms wrapped around his knees with his back against the couch, hiding his sobs from the pack. But the thing that caught his attention the most was the fact that he had grown. His limbs had grown out and his hair had gotten shorter, into the buzzcut that they now knew him by, and Derek sighed in relief as he saw a pair of fox ears still on his head.

 

"Stiles, what's wrong?" Derek frowned, placing a hand on the young boy's arm, and the other violently flinched away from him even as he struggled to breathe. Derek stared as he saw that Stiles was having a panic attack and before he could recover, Scott was there, murmuring instructions to him.

 

"Come on, Stiles. Take a deep breath for me, yeah?" The beta said softly. "I'm going to count and I need you to breathe in as I do, okay?" He pushed a hand on Stiles back to straighten him out and the young boy gasped in a breath, desperately holding onto Scott's shirt.

 

"Again, I know you can do it, Stiles. You're safe here. There's no danger and everyone here is alive and healthy." Together they breathed in and out until all that was left was a tear streaked Stiles looking at Derek with the most betrayed look on his face.

 

"Stiles, do you remember who we are?" Scott asked, taking the initiative to lead the questions. It was obvious to everyone that their little bright eyed werefox had turned into a less innocent preteen.

 

"Yeah, I remember being a little kid and meeting you guys." Stiles said, rubbing a hand across his face.

 

"What else do you remember?"

 

"You guys are freaking liars." Stiles' voice hitched as he said this as a new wave of tears came round. He didn't have another panic attack as he began sobbing. "My mom isn't alive. S-She's dead." Scott let out a hurt sound as he pulled Stiles into his arms, hugging him tightly to him.

 

"I HATE YOU. I HATE ALL OF YOU! YOU SHOULD'VE TOLD ME MY MOM WAS DEAD!" Stiles yelled into Scott's shirt, crying and hitting the werewolf's chest. The only thing Scott did was rock the boy as he bawled into his shirt, making comforting noises. "My mom's dead, she's dead, and I loved her so much. I saw her die! She was i-in front of me when she stopped breathing."

 

Derek swallowed the lump in his throat as he turned his face away from Stiles and took out his phone, speed dialing the sheriff.

 

"What's wrong?"

 

"Stiles remembers."

Chapter Text

"How old would you say you are?" Derek asked softly, approaching the pair although Stiles looked more like he didn't want to be anywhere near Derek.

 

"I'm 12." Stiles said briskly. "I can't believe that I would ever forget my mom... dying." His voice broke at the mention of his mom, but he was all cried out from the last sob fest. The stench of grief filled the room, making it hard to breathe. The whole pack was gathered around the them, wishing they could offer him some comfort, even if the young werefox couldn't exactly remember them.

 

"Well, I'm guessing that you want your dad now?"

 

"Yeah, I want my dad." Stiles bit out. He gave a glance around the group. "I don't who you guys are. I mean, I remember from when I was a baby, but it's not the same. I don't really know who you guys are, and my dad always talks about stranger danger." He turned to Scott who looked pained, and Stiles threw his arms around Scott’s neck, hugging him tight which seemed to soothe the werewolf. It made Derek’s wolf simultaneously anxious and angry, because it wasn’t fair that Scott was given such trusting gesture when Derek wasn’t allowed to.

 

“Do… do you still live with your sucky dad?” the young werefox asked, leaning back from the embrace. “Is your mom still living with him?” The worry in his tone was audible to anyone in the room, even as the preteen tried to whisper it. There was a moment where Scott only looked at him before he drew him back into a hug.

 

“No, we don’t live with Rafael anymore.” There was a wetness to his words, like if he was trying not to cry. “You helped us to get away from him. He wasn’t a very good man.”

 

“That’s good.” Stiles smiled. “That’s great. I never thought your dad was a good person, so it’s good that you and your mom don’t live there anymore.”

 

"What else do you remember?" Derek asked, frowning, thinking back to what Peter had told him last night. Why wasn't Stiles remembering that they had met before? It didn't make any sense. The memory charms were only supposed to have been put on the Hales, something that Derek couldn't help but think bitterly about.

 

“I don't know. What do you want from me? Get off my back, man.” Stiles growled at Derek, one of his fangs flashing.

 

“Hey, why are you being so mean to Derek?” Scott asked, laying a hand on his shoulder.

 

“He lied to me. He said that he loves me, but he didn’t tell me about my mom.” Stiles said angrily, his ears twitching agitatedly on his head. The stench of pain started emanating from the Alpha who kept a passive look on his face.

 

“Well, that was no thing to tell a child.” Derek sneered, hiding how hurt he felt at the werefox’s words.  Although his tone was rather cold, Derek felt that he was within his rights to be hurt. The reaction from Stiles was a jerk of the head and trembling lips.

 

“Well, you know what?” Stiles shouted, pushing away from Scott and moving towards the door of the living room. “Fuck you!” Then with a burst of speed, he ran out of the room. The sound of the front of door slamming set the pack in motion, scrambling after the emotional twelve year old.

 

The entire pack ran through the forest, but it seemed that Stiles' previously dormant werefox abilities had given him the boost he needed to evade werewolves. Although Derek suspected that his were being a fox had something to do with the fact that he was managing to avoid an entire pack of werewolves. That or their failure to capture past monsters made a lot more sense. The Alpha made a note in the back of his head to re-continue the training session they used to have.

 

“I liked him better when he was a kid.” Jackson muttered as they followed the sound of the hummingbird heart through the forest. “At least then he was cute and didn’t throw tantrums like this.”

 

“You’re 19 and still throw tantrums like that.” Scott growled at him. The sound of police sirens cut through the sound of the forest, and Stiles seemed to have heard it to because his feet changed the direction they were running, and he was suddenly going to the road that led to the Hale Mansion. Their hearts pounded and they ran faster as they collectively thought what could happen if Stiles ran out onto the road a little bit too quickly.

 

Derek almost tripped over himself when he heard squealing tires attempting to stop. There wasn’t sounds of pain but the horror was still coursing through him. They got to the road and let out a sigh of relief when they saw Stiles desperately hugging his dad who looked like he was about to cry himself.

 

“Dad,” Stiles repeated over and over, and John was rubbing circles in his back while hugging him back.

 

“It’s okay, Stiles. It’s okay."

Chapter Text

Earlier that day

 

“I’m not sure though. It just seems really suspicious that a random werefox younger version of Stiles would pop up. And, everyone seems to just suddenly like him!” Allison hurried to explain, her hands outstretched before her in a pacifying gesture.

 

“No, you were good in bringing this to me.” Gerard Argent smiled, giving her the docile grin that hid his inner thoughts. “The whole situation seems highly dangerous. There are many things that you can do with magic, Allison. You’d be surprised by the amount of deceit that goes on in the witchcraft community.” He stood up from his chair, slowly, and approached the teen who was biting her lip. He put his hands on her shoulders.

 

“Now, you can’t tell that pack about this, Allison. The little thing might conveniently vanish if he finds out we’re investigating, and we can’t have that.” He smiled and the teen nodded convinced.

 

“I promise I won’t tell.”

 

With that, she walked away, unaware of the phone being picked up from the desk nearby. Gerard’s finger scrolled down to the K’s. This was the moment they had been waiting for.


 

Later that night

 

The Sheriff pulled his vacation time and took Stiles home with him. The young werefox wouldn’t even look at Derek, which made him both seethe in anger and ache from the pain. Scott was the only pack member that Stiles felt comfortable with, which was obvious from the way he would grip his arm, or the way his ears would relax from the tense flickers.

 

“Derek, I think we should come back tomorrow.” Isaac said, placing a hand on the Alpha’s shoulder. Derek’s eyes stayed on the scene he was watching from outside the window of the Stilinski house. If normal aged Stiles were here, he would probably say something along the lines of him being a Creeper Wolf. The mere thought of Stiles left Derek sighing and he relented, letting Isaac draw him back towards the Camaro.

 

And if the two of the wolves hadn’t been so wrapped up in their scent cloying feelings, they might have noticed the out of place minivan with a scent Derek was all too familiar with.


 

The house in front of him looked like it had gone through seem recent renovations, although it’s foundation still screamed of its history and power and the tragedy that had befallen it. Merlin squeezed his husband’s hand who was looking at him with a tilt to his head and concern in his eyes.

 

“Are you sure this is the place?” Arthur asked, looking up at the Hale Mansion with a look of distaste. “It looks nothing like what John could afford, unless he’s no longer a police officer.” Merlin’s heart hurt a little, because he had failed Claudia in this way. He had never contacted her husband or even tried to meet the little boy whom he had taken away powers. It was too painful to endure. He felt like a coward, because instead of being strong like Claudia had been, he had run away to England. Away from the motherless child of his best friend.

 

“Yeah.” Merlin croaked out. “This is where I feel Stiles’ magical presence the most. The magical ban I had placed is gone.” Before he had to muster up the strength to knock on the door, it swung open, revealing a young teenage girl.

 

“You’re not the pizza man.” She said with a pout.

 

“No. We are not.” Arthur sent Merlin a confused look. “We’re looking for someone, and we think he might live here. His name is Genim Stilinski.”

 

“Oh, I’m sorry you have the wrong house. The only person that lives here is Derek Hale and some of his friends. My name’s Erica, by the way.” She grinned, leaning against the doorframe.

 

“Don’t lie to me.” Merlin snapped. “I know that Genim was here. It is vital that I see him.” The swift change from sweet teenager to sneering werewolf was disconcerting to see.

 

“I would suggest you get off of Hale property.” Erica snarled,  looking away to examine her claws. “It would be horrible for something to happen.” She flashed her golden eyes. Merlin felt all the anxiety rise up in the form of anger and he began moving forward into the house.

 

“What are you doing to Genim?” He drew back his lip, his eyes flashing gold as he pushed her against the wall with magic. She looked at him with a mixture of fear and anger, and before she said anything, Merlin was barreled down to the ground.

 

A black teenager held his forearm to Merlin’s neck and the wizard sent him flying across the room. Arthur stood by his side, his gun aimed and ready to shoot, but before any of the people in the room, tense and ready for a fight made any move, the front door opened and in walked Derek Hale.

 

“Derek.” Merlin breathed, his eyes lighting up in recognition. This had been Stiles’ mate. “You need to take me to Genim.”

 

“Who are you?” Derek frowned. “What are you doing in my house?”

 

Merlin wanted to flip a table. Of course, the one person from back then wouldn’t remember him.

 

“This would be Merlin from the journals.”

 

Everyone turned to look up at the voice to see Peter Hale, sliding down the handrail of the stairs before smoothly jumping off and approaching the new guests. He gave them a smirking smile and held out his hand to which Merlin took.

 

“Peter, it’s good to see you.” Merlin smiled relieved. “How did you get your memories back?”

 

“I wrote a lot.” Peter shrugged before turning to the confused pack members. “Pack, this is Emrys Pendragon, the most powerful wizard of our, and most likely all, time. He was the one that suppressed Stiles’ werefox genes the first time around.” Merlin flinched.

“I’m looking for him. I felt the magical suppressants come off, and I needed to make sure that he’s alright.” the wizard said. “I can’t imagine what it’s like suddenly turning into a werefox after what 18 years of being human.”

 

“If only it were that easy…” Peter sighed, wrapping an arm around Merlin’s shoulders. “Let’s grab a cup of tea, because this is going to take a while.”

Chapter Text

 

          “That doesn’t make any sense.” Merlin spat out angrily. “If he had reverted back to his younger self, then the memories should have been there with the body.” He ran a hand through his hair with an annoyed huff. “I only made his genes dormant. The only other person who could’ve taken away his memories was Claudia, although I find that hard to believe because she was so weak at the time.”

 

          “I know it doesn’t make sense.” Peter said smugly. “That’s why I asked you to sit down and wait for me to finish the story. Luckily, enough my past self decided to write everything down. Or at least everything I could. I remember that you were there when Claudia asked my sister to take away the pack’s memories of Stiles. Thankfully she didn’t take away the memories completely, only suppressing the memories into the back of our minds. However, the day she took our memories… well, it was also the day Stiles last stepped foot into an unscathed Hale House." 

 


 

 

          The grip Talia had on the wheel was causing it to squeak in protest. After saying her goodbyes to Claudia, the only thing that was going through her mind was how Claudia could be so heartless. That boy was as much hers as it was Claudia’s, a-and it wasn’t fair that she was taking him from her. Tears gathered on the sides of her eyes and she swerved off the road, angrily parking on the side of the road.

 

          “It’s not fair!” Talia yelled, punching the steering wheel with her fist, screaming with her hands. “She has no right!” Her claws were coming out, leaving thin angry lines on the side of her face. She couldn’t deny Claudia her dying wish, but it wasn’t fucking fair that Genim had to suffer too. Sorrow made her throat grow tight but she didn’t let a sob past her mouth. With a few shuddering breaths, she recollected herself, wiping her face, and she pulled back on to the road. Alpha meant being the rock for her family, which is exactly what they would need before going through something like this.

 

          When she got home, Talia was meant with an unusual silence, and she stalked over to the table where there was note on the table.

 

          Went with the kids to watch a movie. We’ll be back later tonight. Genim wanted to stay with Peter.

 

          -Alana

 

          She smiled sadly at her wife’s handwriting. Distantly, she heard the sound of Genim’s laughter in the backyard and she slowly made her way through the house towards the sound. Her footsteps were soft and slow, like if that would change the end result-- change the fact that in 24 hours, her pack wouldn’t recognize Genim. The fact that the werefoxes had only been in their lives for a short amount of time and were already leaving weighed heavy in Talia’s mind. Although life is full of changes, there are some things that should remain stagnant. Unchanged by time’s almost vengeful path.

 

          The door to the backyard was already perched open, which on any other day would have her chewing out whoever left it open, but the sight beyond it and the weight in her heart kept her mouth shut as she watched Genim leap from the swing set into her brother’s arms. Peter dramatically fell to the floor, while keeping the young werefox safe on top of him.

 

          “You’re getting heavier every day, Genim!” Peter groaned, rubbing his chest with fake pain. Giggles followed.

 

          “Maybe you’re just getting old.” Genim teased, pushing Peter’s face as he messed up his hair. “Grandpa! Grandpa!”

 

          “I’ll have you know I take great offense to that!” Peter sniffed as he tickled Genim relentlessly causing a bubble of laughter to come from him. It felt like Talia was swallowing a rock. She stood there, staring at the scene in front of her, eyes flickering to not cry. The two began playing a form of chase, and in a sideglance, the boy had seen her and skidded to a stop.

 

          “Alpha Hale!” Genim had seen her and was walking towards her. “Is my mommy okay? Alana said she was hurt by some bad people.” His eyes were wide and worried.

 

          “She’s fine now, Genim.” She smiled and he returned it.

 

          “Awesome!” He smiled. Peter was looking at her with a strange look in his eyes; he always knew when something wasn’t right. She motioned him to back away from them, and Genim, the brilliant child that he was, also caught this and titled his head at her, his ears flickering up and down.

 

          “Yes, Genim, that is good. However, I’m afraid that this is going to be the last time we’ll get to talk to each other.” Talia knelt down next to him and he reared back.

 

          “What?”

 

          “My family is doing a secret mission. We have some important stuff we need to do, and we don’t want you to get hurt. So your family and my family cannot talk to each other or the mission will be compromised, like in the movies you like to watch with Derek, remember?” Talia laid a hand on his shoulder, trying to emanate calming waves. In the corner of her eye, she saw Peter shifting restlessly as he looked at her in confusion.

 

          “When will the mission be over?” 

 

          “We think it will take a long time, Genim.”

 

          The young boy looked conflicted.

 

          “But…but I thought I was pack. Doesn’t pack stick together?”

 

          “Yes, Genim, but pack also protects each other.” Talia said. “Starting tomorrow, we have to pretend we don’t know you so the bad guys don’t hurt you. Does that make sense, Genim?” He sighed, looking contemplative.

 

          “I think so… but I don’t like it. Can I come over at night when all the bad guys are asleep?”

 

          “I’m afraid not.”

 

          “What about Derek? Does he have to ignore me too? I don’t think I would like him ignoring me.” He pouted.

 

          “Everyone whose last name is Hale has to do this.” Talia cupped his face in her hand and he nuzzled into it even as his scent grew more and more bitter.

 

          “Well, what if I don’t want to leave you guys? Can I change my name too? Why can’t my family be part of the mission?”

 

          “Because it’s not possible.” The resolution in her voice made him flinch. “Why don’t you go inside and watch some TV for a little bit? I need to talk to Peter.” Genim straightened.

 

          “Does Peter have to do it too?”

 

          Talia’s eyes betrayed her, and she looked up at said person who looked as equally interested in the answer. Without taking her eyes off of him, Talia said, “Yes.”

 

          Genim nodded, looking down and he slid past Talia towards the living room.

 

          The second the TV turned on, Peter stalked towards her, growling.

 

          “Care to explain what secret mission I’ve been voluntold into?” His eyes looked both betrayed and furious at the same time, and she stared back unflinchingly.

 

          “Claudia is dying. Because of my failure to protect her as I had promised to do, she has asked that I take away the pack’s memories of Genim to protect him from a hunter that has been following her since her old town. I had no choice.”

 

          “Yes, you do!” Peter whisper yelled. “Is this the supposed justice and fair system that you’ve wanted to implement for the supernatural? This isn’t what I submitted to. I submitted to an Alpha who had the balls to go against what was wrong. First, that woman took away Genim’s fox. Now she wants to take away his pack?”

 

          “She’s his mother.”

 

          “Screw that.” Peter snarled. “What she’s doing isn’t sane! You letting her do this to Genim is horrific. Are we just going to let all supernatural creatures do dangerous rituals to take away their magical selves? Is it something we should be ashamed of?”

 

“Of course not.” Talia bit back. “But it’s not our choice. He’s a child and his parents are in charge of that. He’s our pack, but he’s not ours, Peter.”

 

Peter turned his face away, hand covering his eyes even though she could smell the pain emanating from him.

 

“Peter…” Talia began to say.

 

“He’s mine.” His voice wobbled here. “A-and I won’t let her take him away from me. Not again. She’s already taken half of him away, and I won’t let her take away the rest.” His lips were trembling minutely. She let the silence hang between them for a moment and as she was going to say something, he beat her to it. “He’s like my pup, Talia. You can’t take him away.”

 

          The shine in his eyes was something new to Talia and she didn’t know what to do with it. In the past, their arguments had always involved dry anger, that circled in shouts and accusations. She had never seen this wet anger that seemed more genuine, more affected, heavy with shaky breaths and barely concealed snarls. The last time she had seen this kind of anger in Peter had been a passing moment when they separated from their parents’ pack.

 

          “But Genim is actually Claudia’s pup.” And in that moment, the open window Peter’s eyes had been, showing himself vulnerable without the barbed wire he enwrapped himself with fell shut, leaving only a set of angry blank eyes. It was more familiar to her, but after seeing the other side of Peter, it was also more painful.

 

          “I won’t let you.” Peter said, lifting his chin in defiance, his eyes burning. She could see all the different plans formulating in the back of his mind, ranging from talking to Claudia out of it to kidnapping Genim. She had to put a stop to it before he did something that she couldn’t fix.

 

          “Peter Hale, I order you to stand down and allow your memories to be altered for the good of the pack. If you go against these orders, you will be banished from the pack immediately.” Talia’s eyes glowed Alpha Red, enforcing the command and there was small moment, where Peter’s eyes, bright blue, struggled to continue meeting hers even though his wolf was instinctively trying to submit and Talia worried that Peter was going to be kicked out of the pack. Peter seemed to realize that he wasn’t strong enough to be an Omega werewolf and he tilted his head, gaze shifting to her shoulder.

 

          “I will never forgive you for this.” Peter spat, shoving past her and going to Genim.

 

          “Me neither.” Talia said, looking at the swing that was still swaying.

   


 

 

          Later, John picked up Stiles. Talia pulled John aside and explained to the Deputy Sheriff what Claudia had asked of her, and he reluctantly agreed with his wife. He had already gone to visit her in the hospital and Talia could tell by the smell of dried tears on his cheek. It didn’t shock her that he didn’t seem horrified by Genim’ change from werefox to human, because John was human. He didn’t truly understand what it meant to be a were.

 

          When it came to say goodbye, the young boy clung to Peter, crying as he said, “See you later. Please finish your mission soon.” Peter hugged him tighter before letting them to drive off. Talia led him inside and sat him down.

 

          “Do we have to do it right now?” Peter asked, looking straight at the wall.

 

          “It’s for the best.” She said as her claws came out. As they went towards Peter’s neck, he suddenly reached back and grabbed her by the wrist.

 

          “Wait, instead of deleting the memories… can you just suppress them? Keep them so far back that they’re like the daily motions we go through day by day. Keep them there, even if we don’t remember them?”

 

          Talia stopped for a second and considered his request. Basically she would be doing what Claudia wanted, but this, and she couldn’t help but to feel guilty about this, this would also give her pack a chance to remember someday after Kate Argent was dead. Someday in the future when Derek would somehow remeet the young Stilinski and recognize him for what he is.

 

          “Yeah.” Talia nodded, and Peter released the grip he had on her wrist

 

          Peter took a deep breath, and let his mind wander towards his memories with Genim. He could remember the first time Genim had seen him, hands up as he pouted to be lifted up. He remembered the time Genim had jumped on his face, breaking his nose, and when Peter told him that hurt, he apologized and put a pillow on Peter’s face. Peter, thinking it was a band aid in the young one’s mind, thanked him before yelling as Genim jumped again on his face. He remembered Genim’s snoring face, snuggled underneath his arm, everytime the pack decided to watch Star Wars. Peter remembered Derek awkwardly trying to give Genim flowers, only for the young one to cry because Derek had killed the flowers. He remembered the Valentine’s card Genim had given him, because “I love you lots”. Claws pierced his neck.

 

          He remembered…then he forgot.

 


 

 

          “I would never forget.” John huffed out a laugh, sliding a peanut butter and honey sandwich across the table to Stiles who looked at him like he had hung the moon. “You haven’t changed that much, kid.”

 

          “Thanks, Dad-o.” Stiles said as he bit into it, “Yum.” As Stiles had a spiritual experience with the sandwich, John could only stare at the sight of his son’s face, younger and smoother than before.  Despite the yellow cast of light from the kitchen, there was still a spark in his eyes that had been away since the whole werewolf thing had come into play. Not that he couldn’t see the effects of Claudia’s death in the downturn of his lips or nervous lip bite, but for the most part, this was his son. The change made him want to take him away from this whole supernatural business. Something in the back of his mind repelled against the thought, making him feel uneasy.

 

          “I love you, Stiles, you know that right?”

 

          Stiles looked up at him.

 

          “Of course, Dad. I love you too.”

 

          The Sheriff smiled as he leaned an elbow against the table. Stiles’ ears flickered towards the door, and he tilted his head towards it.

 

          “I think there’s someone at the door.”  

Chapter Text

          “So if Talia took Genim’s memories, that would explain why he doesn’t remember anything, because even if he was at the age he knew you all, his being doesn’t have the memories to bring forth.” Merlin nodded, blinking in surprise as he leaned back in his seat. “What do werewolves do with the memories? Some creatures eat them, or store them and use them to power weapons, but I’ve never heard of werewolves doing that.”

 

          “It’s not really something to be done with. It’s just something we can do. And the memories can usually be restored if the claws of the Alpha that took them are still preserved.” Derek cast a questioning glance at Peter who nodded at the silent question.

 

          “Talia’s claws are in the attic, in a locked box to which only the Hale Alpha can open.” Peter finally let a smile out, and the room’s atmosphere lifted.

 

          “So what are we waiting for? Let’s go get Stiles and give him back his memories.” Erica said, excitedly turning to Boyd who gave a glance to Derek. The Alpha was already putting on his leather jacket and grabbing his keys from the key holder. “Let’s call Scott, and meet him at the Sheriff’s house. He probably had his memories suppressed as well.”

         

          Merlin and Arthur watched them bustle around, getting ready to go when the door opened and a half-shifted Scott came through the door. The werewolf pushed Derek against the wall, letting out hate-filled snarls.

 

          “I can’t find Stiles.” He growled around a mouthful of canines. “I left him at his dad’s house so they could eat dinner together. But I called because I left my backpack there, and the Sheriff didn’t answer, which was tipped me off because he always answers his phone, and when I went to go see them, they weren’t there. They weren’t there, so where the fuck are they, Derek?”

 

          The Alpha werewolf looked at him with equal concern and flipped them around, pinning Scott to that wall as his eyes flashed red.

 

          “You lost them?” Derek said, his voice steely. “Even though you knew that you were the only pack member that Stiles trusts and would stay with, and you left them? Alone?”  Scott blinked, his eyes fading back to normal.

 

          “Wait, they’re not with you?” Scott brought out his puppy eyes and Derek let him go. “Then… where are they?”

 

          Peter knew that there wouldn’t be anything that they could do from the house and grabbed the keys from Derek’s clawed hands.

 

          “Everyone, head to Genim’s house and we’ll go from there. If they are nearby, we’ll be able to track them.” Peter turned to Derek whose face held barely concealed worry. “And if something has happened to them, well, let’s just say no one messes with family.” The promise of murder bled into his words.

 

 

 


 

 

 

          “This doesn’t have to be difficult, Stiles,” Gerard said with a placating voice, although the grim set of his mouth suggested otherwise. “Just tell me what you know about the Hale Pack and I can let your father go.”

 

          “You think that’s gonna scare me, gramps?” Stiles hissed from the spot he was tied to. He was a vision to see with his eyes burning a bright gold and his ears pressed hard against his skulls. Peeks of canine teeth had begun to show as Stiles got angrier and angrier. They had beat his dad up and taken him to a separate room, and then they had tried to get him to tell them about Derek’s pack. Sure he was angry at Derek but even if he had wanted to give them information, he definitely wouldn’t now. Nobody messed with his dad and got what they wanted. “Screw you! There’s been Marvel sidekicks scarier than you!”

 

          Gerard’s eyes darkened and he scowled at the young werefox in front of him,

 

          “Listen here you little monster. Tell me what I want to know, or I’ll beat it out of you.” He took a menacing step forward and Stiles wanted to laugh because there was no way in hell that he would ever be scared by someone who looked like they could be the next face of a retirement home ad.

 

          “How about you let my dad go and maybe I don’t kill you, Santa Claus.” Stiles retorted back. In the span of three seconds, Gerard had crossed the space between them and had his hand drawn back to slap Stiles, but the door behind them slammed open and some woman with blonde hair shoved her way between them, her back to Stiles.

 

          Everything in Stiles purred at her scent, feeling almost dizzy with it. She smelled like Derek and something indescribably wonderful. He faintly registered what they were saying.

 

          “Dad, don’t do this. There are other ways! He’s just a boy.” The woman said, her hands spread out in front of her. “We don’t have to tie him up and scare him,” Gerard said something back to her angrily and Stiles’ head started tilting forward before he knew it and he breathed in. He could trust her.

 

          “Kate, get out of the way. Monsters like him can only be dealt with in the most violent sense so that their mutt side can realize who is the superior being.” A dark threat colored his voice and soured the air in the room.

 

          “Let me have a chance with him, Dad.” Kate pleaded, turning her head to look Stiles in the eyes. There was something off about her, but her scent screamed comfort and security. Gerard started to say something but was cut off by Kate. “Please.”

 

          The old white-haired man pursed his lips together in annoyance then turned on his heel, a bitter scent coming from him.

 

          “Fine.” He took a deep breath and unclenched his fists. “Fine, Kate. You have one hour.” He held up one finger tensely than pointed at her. Then, he took a few steps towards the door before suddenly turning on his heel and backhanding her, making Kate fall to the floor with one hand clutching her reddening cheek.

 

“Don’t ever interrupt me again when I am interrogating.” He said coldly before getting out of the room. Kate let out a sigh of relief then turned to Stiles.

 

          “Are you okay?” Stiles asked haltingly. “That looks like it hurt. It’s red, oh man, you should put some ice on that. Why did you do that? Why do you smell like Derek?”. His head feeling stuffy. The woman raised her eyebrows in surprise and then a scowl got on her face.

 

          “Oh, Stiles, you don’t remember me?” Kate internally smiled as she saw that the scent trick was working. Allison had told them that Stiles didn’t remember anything, and that was all the information that the older Argent needed. That mixed in with a little bit of stolen scent from Derek, his supposed mate, and foxnip was all she needed to fool this monster that she was trustworthy. “We were friends before that pack turned you into a kid. Derek must’ve stolen my scent to try and fool you. That pack is a bunch of liars that like to kidnap kids to do… bad things to them. I’m so lucky that I found out.” Kate cupped the side of Stiles’ face with a warm expression, and Stiles leaned into it.

 

          “So Derek isn’t my mate?” Stiles asked, anger growing in him. “I already knew he was a liar. He didn’t tell my mom had died, you know? I knew there was something horrible and bad about him.” Stiles scowled, angry tears threatening to spill over. “He’s a horrible person.” His fox whimpered as he said these words, but the rage rushing through him pushed the protests down.

 

          “Derek has always been a liar. We actually used to be good friends, but then it turns out he wanted to kill me.” Kate shook her head in mock disappointment. “I guess that makes alike, huh, Stiles?” She gave him a grin as she loosened the rope around his wrists a little, letting him move his wrists minutely. “I’m sorry that my dad took you and your dad. He just needs a little convincing that you aren’t a monster. Not like Derek and his pack.”

 

          “What did they do to you?” Stiles asked, tilting his head. Kate’s eyes darkened.

 

          “Derek killed my sister in law, Victoria.” Kate sighed, showing the typical signs of sadness. “But now I have a chance to stop them from doing anything like that again.” She looked up at Stiles with hopeful eyes. “You just have to tell me how we can get to them inside the Hale House. You can help me make sure that the Hale Pack never hurts another family ever again. And that way I can prove to my dad that you and your father, the Sheriff, are good people.” She squeezed his hand.

 

          “I… I don’t know.” Stiles bit his lip. “Killing them seems like a really extreme thing to do. Can’t we just put them in some kind of magical creatures prison or something like that?” Kate sighed, shaking her head.

 

          “Nothing is strong enough to hold them back. You just have to trust me, Stiles.” Kate said, smiling. “The Hale Pack has to be stopped before they try and take other children or kill other families. Come on, Stiles. We’re friends. Do you trust me?”

 

          Stiles took a breath, taking in the honest and comforting scent she was emanating, and nodded.

 

          “I trust you.” Kate saw her lies falling into place, the half-truths merging with his version of reality, and his golden eyes looked up at hers. She could barely suppress the victorious smile that wanted to show at his naivety. The pretty ones were always the easiest to fool. “I trust you, Kate.”

 

                     


 

 

          Arthur is the first one to enter the house, but he is soon followed by the pack who are already separating themselves into different branches of a search party, with Derek heading up to Stiles’ room, and everyone else taking different rooms. Arthur and Merlin follow behind, but Arthur’s eyes are already following the trail of what had happened.

 

          “They’re not going to be in here,” Arthur says loudly so that all of the werewolves can hear from around the house. “The door was open when we got in here, and if the father of Genim is the sheriff, then he wouldn’t leave his door open. There’s also signs of a struggle that you can see on the carpet which was shaped like if it was dragged along with something, like a body. They were taken by force and I would say knocked unconscious.”

 

          “Okay, Sherlock.” Peter rolled his eyes. “Then tell us where he went.” Arthur sent him an annoyed look.

 

          “I don’t know, but Merlin can cast a tracking spe-“ Arthur began to say but was interrupted by Derek’s voice from the stairwell.

 

          “I know who took them.” His voice was raw, which was uncommon for the usually stoic werewolf. His hands were trembling and his jaw was clenched, eyebrows furrowed. The betas all tensed but frowned when they saw that Derek was holding the blanket they had bought in their shopping spree. It seemed to be exactly the same, but when he brought it closer, Peter let out a vicious snarl.

 

          “Kate Argent.”

 

          “She’s still here?” Merlin’s mouth dropped open, and a furious glint filled his eyes. “That’s it.” He drew his hand towards his chest, dragging it up quickly as a bright line appeared. His other hand pointed to the blanket and he drew his hands together before opening his left hand, palm up, while his eyes burned bright gold. The line snapped away from the blanket and began to make a trail out of the door.

 

          “Merlin, calm down.” Arthur placed a hand on his shoulder. “Rest assured that Kate Argent will not be alive after we find her but remain calm like you taught me.” For a second, Merlin looked like he wanted to snap at Arthur but then he closed his eyes and took a deep breath, his eyes turning back to normal. When he opened his eyes, Arthur smiled, rubbing a hand on his shoulder before giving him a peck.

 

          “I know someone who can help us.” Peter was already pulling out his cellphone and dialing the phone. “You guys go ahead. I’ll meet up with him then follow your trail. We won’t be far behind.” The pack nodded and were already out the door, Derek seeming to be in a state of hesitancy and desperation, making his movements mechanic as he went out of the door.

          “I’ll go with Arthur and Merlin. Erica, you can drive the Camaro.” Derek threw the keys at her and she caught them with a vicious grin while the others looked momentarily put out.

 

          Everyone got in their respective cars and Merlin expanded his magic to let the others see the line. When he sat down in the car, however, he felt a strange sensation at the other end of the tracking spell. It wasn’t like tracking spells in the past because rather than feeling like it was encountering a foreign object, it felt more like it was melding with a part of himself. He poured a little more magic into the connection and gasped when he felt it feedback magic, so similar to his yet somewhat different, more innocent. That should be impossible, unless…. Unless something more had happened when he had performed the spell on Genim. His breath got caught and he turned in his seat to face Derek.

 

          “Has Genim ever done anything magical?” Merlin demanded, his eyes wide and disbelieving. Derek frowned, lifting an eyebrow.

 

          “He’s a Spark.”

 

          “No, he can’t be. He wasn’t one when he was younger. I would’ve noticed—would’ve taken him on as an apprentice.” Merlin put a hand to his forehead. He quickly shut his eyes and shoved himself into the connection, seeking out the other side. He was enveloped in the familiar feel of his own silver and blue magic, but there were definite streaks of gold that seemed to be entwined in his magic. Gold magic was were creature magic, which only meant that…

 

          Merlin drew himself back into his body and held a hand to his mouth, struggling not to vomit.

 

          “Merlin?” Arthur asked as he yanked the car to the side, parking the car and laying a hand on Merlin’s shoulder. The wizard ran out of the car and threw up on the side of the road. Derek and Arthur both stepped out with different expressions of concern.

 

     “Oh Camelot, I created a Horcrux.” Merlin’s voice was shaky. “When I made the tracking spell, it felt too similar to be a normal tracking spell, a-and when I explored it, I found my magic mixed with Stiles’ were side. He’s not a Spark, or rather not a natural born one. Oh god,” Merlin held a trembling hand across his eyes. “Something must’ve gone wrong when I did the spell… his soul was so starved—deprived of half his soul, that my magic must’ve tried to seal it. I knew that spell was a bad idea, but I didn’t know it was…was this bad.” Arthur placed a hand on Merlin’s back.

 

     “So what does that mean?” Derek asked frowning.

     “I don’t know.” Merlin looked up to meet Derek’s eyes then turned his face away and began making his way to the car. “It means that Genim’s being… his soul has been in torment for his whole life, trying to recover his were side while cultivating his ‘Spark’ side to make up for it. I’ve never heard of something like this happening.” Merlin grimaced, shaking his head. “I can’t believe I did that to a child. A child, Arthur.”

 

     “We can solve it when we get Genim.” Arthur tried to say but Merlin cut him off.

 

     “I don’t know if I can. It’s been so long.”

 

     “We can figure this out later.” Derek growled, “Right now, Stiles is in the hands of the person who killed my entire family. Someone is ruthless and manipulative and wouldn’t hesitate to use or kill a child.” The two British men looked back then nodded.

 

     “Okay,” Merlin cast his hand out, strengthening the golden line, “let’s go save Genim.”

 


 

 

     "Chris Argent."

 

     "Hello, Chris. It's about time I called in my favor." Peter smiled tightly. "Why don't you come out to my car with a bag of your worst weapons so we can kill your bitch of a sister." There was a pause over the phone then a rustling sound.

 

     "She's back?" 

 

     "She's kidnapped Stiles who was deaged. No thanks to your daughter, I believe." 

 

     "I'll be about in five minutes." Chris hung up and Peter put his phone aside as he waited outside Chris's house. Tonight was going to end in the death of Kate Argent, even if he had to burn the world down. Peter leaned back in the seat of his car and waited.

Chapter Text

          “You had a baby werefox with no control over his shift or powers running around, and now you want to tell me that you need help?” Chris scowled, frowning angrily at the werewolf standing on his doorstep. Peter crossed his arm and gave a shoulder shrug in response to Chris’s question.

 

          “That’s the gist of it, Argent. Do I need to dumb it down even more for you? I know I have to do that with your daughter all the time.” Peter mocked. “Also I don’t even have to tell you anything. We had it under control before someone decided to kidnap him. Just get your guns and hurry up. We’re catching up with the rest of the pack.” At this, Peter turned on his heel and left Chris fuming on the doorstep.

 

          By the time Peter had warmed up the engine, Chris was getting into the car, a bag of weapons thrown in the backseat.

 

          “I regret that I ever offered to be a help to you.” Chris said, leaning back into his seat. “After this, don’t come crawling to me.” Peter raised his eyebrows at his tone and peeled out of the driveway.

 

          “Yeah, whatever, Christopher. Because here’s the thing, the person who has kidnapped Genim is your dear sister Kate.” Peter’s lip curled and a small part of him was pleased at the look of shock on Chris’ face. The same part that wanted to rip Chris apart for even being related to the woman who couldn’t seem to leave the Hales well enough alone.

 

          “That can’t be. She’s been in France, hunting down one of the ancient packs of vampires who has been controlling the Southern European supernatural world. The last I’d heard of her was last year.” Chris argued.

 

          “Well, let me think, and of course this may be a long shot, but maybe someone tipped her off that her unfinished murder spree had the possibility of being tied up rather neatly. You know, and it might just be me but I’m starting to think that your sister is a murderous bitch.” Peter gave a one shouldered shrug while giving Chris a pointed look. The hunter just scowled and looked out the window like some kind of hormonal teenager.

 

          “It’s not my fault she’s that way. I’ve already told you to stop blaming me for my family’s lack of morals. I do the best I can to try and make up for what they took from you, but there’s only so much I can do.” Chris bit back coolly. “Also, how do you even know where you’re going?”

         

          “It’s a werewolf thing.” Peter stuck his tongue out. “I’m following Derek.” He suddenly swerved off the road and Chris let out a yell, clutching the arms of his seat. “Oh, calm down, Chris. You know I’m a pro at driving. Dramatic.” He muttered this last part under his breath as he navigated through the trees. Chris punched him in the arm and Peter chuckled, pushing the accelerator.

 

          After the Hale House had burned down, Chris Argent had been one of the few people to believe that Kate Argent was behind the demise of the majority of the Hale Pack. So when Peter had woken up from his coma and had cornered Chris, the hunter had been humble and offered to help out Peter when he asked for it. Since then, Peter has called on him to do his laundry, let him hide in his house, help him drive out certain hunters from Beacon Hills, and take him to New York to visit the place where his nephew and niece had lived while he had been stuck in a coma. Chris was annoyed to no end with these demands but he did them nonetheless.

 

          Chris almost sighed in relief at the sight of a road in front of them with two cars speeding ahead in front of them. A hand came from the front car and waved at them, and a string of magic flew to them, hitting Peter and Chris on the forehead. In front of them a golden string materialized.

 

          “If your sister has laid a hand on Genim’s head, I will not be held accountable for my actions.” Peter promised darkly.

 


 

 

          The cabin they stop at seems normal on the outside but all the werewolves can smell the traces of wolfsbane around the windows. There was no noise coming from inside the house, and it was putting the werewolves on edge. Merlin, Arthur, and Chris didn’t seem to be as wary, although Chris was loading his gun, a hard look on his eye. Merlin had told them that his magic had been stopped by some kind of warding so they would have to find Stiles in the cabin the old fashioned method.

 

          “Chris, you’re the one with the most experience with Kate. Tell us what we’re going to need to know.” Derek ordered the hunter. Chris didn’t seem excited of being told what to do from someone a decade younger than him, but a quick glance to Peter had Chris sighing and nodding.

 

          “If this is set up like the other Argent hideaways, then Stiles and the Sheriff will be in the basement in soundproofed rooms on opposite ends of the hall. Far enough that they can’t communicate with each other at all, but close enough to have one brought in for the interrogation of the other.” Chris told the group as he handed a gun to Arthur. “Lately, Kate has been using a more controlled integrated group. She’s been allowing supernatural people to assist her and in return she supposedly allows them more time before she hunts them down to kill them. We might be facing witches, other werewolves, or any kind of creature.” Merlin’s lip curled at this.

 

          “And, excuse me for questioning this, why the fuck are we listening to an Argent at all?” Erica snarled as Chris came close to her to give her a gun. The hunter rolled his eyes.

 

          “We can trust him. Don’t worry.” Peter smiled and sauntered up to Chris who was looking through his bag. Peter wrapped his arms around Chris’ shoulders from behind and rubbed their cheeks together. “Look at this face, Erica. Does this look like a face that would be on the dark side?”

 

          With an impossible speed, Chris had dislodged a knife from somewhere and brought his arm back to stab Peter in the face, but the werewolf sidestepped the murder attempt, laughing.

 

          “You’re getting slower, Chris. Must be the age.”

 

          “Why should we trust you?” Scott asked, interrupting the two. “You’ve tried to kill us more than the Argents.”

 

          “Debatable, but if you don’t trust me, then trust your Alpha who is always paranoid.” Peter waved a hand at Derek. Chris continued handing out weapons to the rest of the pack who looked wary of accepting anything from the hunter. When everyone had received something, he closed the bag, and threw it over his shoulder, loading his gun.

 

          “Peter’s fine now. The important thing is that we need to get to Genim.” Derek bit out. “Erica and Boyd go to the back.  The rest of us will head in through the front. Chris and I will take the lead, and Peter and Scott will cover the back. Isaac, keep an ear out.” Derek ordered, and everyone nodded.

 

          The sun was right above them, and Derek was sure that Kate had already seen them. They hadn’t made an attempt to hide, but that didn’t matter, because he wanted her to know that they were coming. That it was Derek who was going to shred her into pieces. He wasn’t the naïve teenager that she had managed to fool all those years ago.

 

          Erica and Boyd disappeared past their view as they went around the cabin. Chris had his gun pointed down as they approached the house, closely followed  by Arthur and Merlin, whose eyes were still glowing gold. Peter and Scott followed behind them.

 

          Derek kicked open the door into a normal looking cabin room with a small TV and radio on a dresser. There was a small rug and a couch to their right, and in front of them was a passageway to the hall. There was nothing telling of the room and Derek stalked forward, turning left into the hall. Chris followed him and aimed right.

 

          “Split up, and search all of the rooms.” Derek said. “Peter, Scott, go left. Chris and I will take the right.”

 

          “They’re most likely to be in the basement.” Chris said. “If there is one.”

 

          Just as they were about to separate, they heard a howl, coming from beneath them. Derek and Scott turned to each other at the same time.

 

          “That’s Boyd.” Scott said, exactly as one of the doors down the hall burst open, revealing Erica who had her gun trained at them, finger ready at the trigger. Derek felt a sense of pride at his beta being so well trained and adept. She could hold her own just fine.

 

          “Follow me.  We think they’re downstairs but we didn’t want to open any of the doors, in case it was a booby trap or something.” Erica jerked her head towards the door she had just come through. The group followed her, weapons ready in their hands. Chris led the way with a flashlight illuminating their steps. “Boyd found a secret door leading down, and we didn’t find any evidence, including scent, Derek, that indicated that there had been anybody here before us.” She cast a suspicious look to Merlin who took it as an offense.

 

          “If my magic led us here, it’s because Genim is here.” Merlin’s chin jutted up defensively.

 

          “No fighting.” Derek ordered, and while Merlin seemed ready to continue, Erica backed down, pursing her lips with obvious judgment. The stairs creaked under their weight, and they seemed to be the only thing that didn’t fit in with the rest of the well-kept cabin.

 

          They stepped into a long narrow hallway that was lined with doors on each side. Heavy metal locks decorated the front of the doors and at the other end of the hall illuminated by the harsh light of a yellow bulb was Boyd who nodded at them. Chris put away his gun.

 

          “If Stiles is in one of these, then it would be the one closest to the outdoors. One of the tactics that Kate uses is sometimes letting the creature think they’ve escaped only to be caught in a trap… or killed.” He said darkly, and Peter punched him in the shoulder which prompted a grunt out of Chris.

 

          “Don’t say things like that.” Peter hissed. “If you say anything like that again, I will tear your eyes out and eat them, Argent.”

 

          Derek cut through the group and unlocked the door in one swift movement, and they all tensed waiting for a trap or voice to come from the room. The only sound they heard was the muffled sound in the center of the room. There was Genim, struggling against the bonds that were holding him and Derek rushed to him, followed closely by Peter and the rest of the pack. His mouth was covered with red duct tape and his limbs were tied to the legs of the chair.

 

          The Alpha werewolf gently cradled Genim’s face, burying his nose momentarily in his hair, before he carefully took off the tape from the teenager’s mouth. It was strange to see Genim at this age, because the signs of the Stiles they had first gotten to know were already visible, from the look in his eyes to the angles left after some of the baby fat had disappeared. Not much, but slowly.

 

          “There was this woman and she took and beat up my dad.” Genim said in a rush, grabbing Derek’s jacket the moment Scott untied his arms. The Alpha werewolf nodded seriously and ran his hands over Genim’s shoulders and arms, covering him with the scent of pack again.

 

          “Go find his dad.” Derek told the rest of the pack. “And be careful. This has been too easy.”

 

          Genim’s eyes turned to Arthur and Merlin distrustfully, looking them up and down, his ears slightly bending behind his head.

 

          “Who are you?”

 

"My name's Merlin. I was a friend of your mom before she died. This is my husband, Arthur." The wizard gave him a sad smile, his hands fidgeted in front of him. "I'm the reason that you, the original you, wasn't a werefox. I've come to fix that."


 

          After finding John Stilinski, the pack did a thorough sweep of the cabin but there wasn't anything out of place. The only thing out of place was the suspicious prison cell like rooms underneath it, but there wasn't even a scent of Kate Argent being in there. Genim cried upon seeing his dad and hugged him tight. John had some tears in his eyes as well.

 

          "Until we can find Kate Argent, I think you should stay with the pack at my house." Derek said, crossing his arms and looking John straight in the eye, his chin tilted up so that he was looking at the sheriff down his nose. His whole posture screamed that he wouldn't take no for an answer, and John, with one arm around Genim, nodded.

 

          "That sounds like the best plan." Sheriff Stilinski gave Stiles a smile who returned it.

 

          Chris Argent had seemed confused as well that there weren't even traps set up. That neither Sheriff Stilinski nor Genim had been hurt in any way except for the rope burn around their wrists, and the bruise on the Sheriff's head. It was uncanny, he had told Peter, because he vaguely remembered the last time that Kate hadn't hurt anyone like this. He promised to look it up, but he went home with his weapons.

 

          Lydia had been waiting for them at the Hale House, anxiously with Jackson at her side. Allison was also there, sitting on one of the seats of the porch on her phone. Even before the cars were parked, Lydia had already made her way over to Derek with a frown.

 

          "Where were you guys?" Lydia asked, putting her hands on her hips.

 

          "Stiles was kidnapped by Kate Argent." Derek bit out, pained. Lydia's mouth opened and she made her way to Stiles who was looking at her with wide eyes. She walked over to him and looked him over.

 

          "Are you okay?" She asked, and Jackson squinted at him threateningly. The younger Stilinski could only nod for a few seconds before he cleared his throat. It seemed that despite remembering that they were friends before he had been turned into a child, his crush at that age was still painfully clear.

 

          "Yeah." There was a distinct crack in his voice and it made him blush to Jackson's apparent delight. Stiles glared at Jackson which only made the older teenager laugh as Lydia gave him an unimpressed eyebrow raise.

 

          Derek didn't seem too pleased either at Stiles' reaction. His face was pinched like if he had just smelled something horrible. It was John Stilinski who ended up brining the attention back to going inside the house.

 

          "It's been a long day, kids." The Sheriff said, as he placed his hands on his hips and sighed. "Why don't we order some pizza for tonight and call it a day?" Everyone nodded.

 

          As they were going in, Jackson turned and asked John, "Can we get one with pineapple on it."

 

          Both of the Stilinskis' heads snapped to the teenager with a grossed out look on their faces.

 

          "You kiss Lydia with that mouth?" Stiles stuck his tongue out.

 

          As everyone walked into the house, it was only Peter that had noticed the small frown on Allison's face at seeing Stiles.


  

          "Listen, dude, I just think it's crazy that they want 25 pizzas, okay?" Dean turned onto the dirt road that led to the old Hale Mansion. He remembers hearing rumors that there were monsters in the forest that led to the haunted house when he was growing up. Some of the kids from the neighborhood used to go at night and see if there were any ghosts left from the fire a few years ago. Then Derek Hale had come back and renovated the place, which just made everyone think he was some kind of creepy Scooby Doo villain honestly.

 

          "Dean--"

 

          "I mean, why does he need so many frickin' pizzas so late, Sammy?"

 

          "It's probably for like a birthday party or something." Sam shrugged, "We don't ask questions. We're just deliver the pizzas and go home. They don't pay us to snoop."

 

          "It's creepy, man." Dean shuddered.

 

          Then out of nowhere, a woman appeared on the road, and Dean cursed as swerved out of the way, honking his horn. The woman flipped him off and continued to calmly walk across the road. She was wearing some kind of weird get up with a backpack on her back.

 

          "What the fuck kind of hitchhiker was that?" Dean's eyes flickered to the rearview mirror as he turned left onto Hale Property. "This whole place gives me a bad feeling, Sammy. It just screams haunted."   

 

 

          His brother rolled his eyes and got out of the car. They separated the pizzas between the two of them and they walked to the front door. The second Sam rang the doorbell, the door swung open.

 

          "Hello, we're Dean and Sam Winchester, your pizza delivery guys from Pizza Hut. Is this Derek Hale?" Dean gave the man a fake smile, and the man returned it.

 

          "No, I'm Peter Hale, but I can take the pizzas, pretty boy." He took the pizzas from Sam's hands and put them down on a table that was next to the door.

 

          "Wait, I thought you were like comatose or some shit." Dean frowned. Sam gaped at him and elbowed him hard. Peter chuckled.

 

          "Yeah, I was for a little bit, but I returned to the land of the living like three years ago." He said as he opened his wallet and took out five 100 dollar bills, giving them to Sam. He took the rest of the pizzas from Dean's hands.

 

          "Keep the change." Peter winked at them, as he shut the doors in their faces.

 

          Sam and Dean blinked in surprise.

 

          "Dude, that was a 200 dollar tip." Dean crowed as they strolled their way back to their car.

 

          "Should we have told him about the lady we saw?" Sam pursed his lips as they pulled out onto the street again.

 

          "Nah, she was probably one of those crazy health nuts or whatever." Dean threw his arm back as he looked back. “You’d probably like her.”

 

 


 

          As everyone grabbed their pizzas and began to find a spot in the living room and dining room to sit, Merlin managed to snag a spot next to Stiles and his dad.

 

          "So how did you know Claudia?" John asked him, frowning.

 

          "I was teaching at the college she was studying abroad at in England." Merlin smiled. "She found out that I was a sorcerer and we kind of became friends over being magical and stuff." He waved his fingers and stream of lights followed the the trail.

 

          "How could I not know that Claudia was a werefox?"

 

          Merlin's smile disappeared.

 

          "That's kind of a long story. But basically, you did know. Before, I mean. But when Claudia was dying, she got the Hale Alpha, Talia, to agree to take your memories to protect you guys." Merlin leaned forward. "Your memories are stored in the Alpha's claws, and we just need to put them back into your minds. Derek can do it since he's the Alpha. And when he's putting Genim's memories back, I can turn him back into his own age."

 

          "So it's simple as that. I'll regain my memories of my mom?" Stiles frowns, looking a little intimidated. "This whole claws things sounds scary."

 

          "It'll be quick and simple. You have nothing to worry about." Merlin smiled. "It'll hurt a little but when you get your memories back, you'll see that it was worth it."

 

          "Yeah, I don't think so." Stiles shook his head, stuffing his mouth with pizza. "But I just don't know you. You're talking about claws and stuff and memories. How do I know they're real memories? What if you're trying to hurt us and kill us? You haven't done anything to prove that we can trust you. We don't even know you."

 

          Isaac, who had been overhearing the conversation, leaned towards them.

 

          "Stiles, I promise you it's real. Derek has done it before on Scott and me. It doesn't hurt now that Derek can do it right. If it's anything like taking a memory out, then it should be fine.” Isaac turned to Scott for support but the werewolf was sleeping on the couch, a half eaten pizza hanging from his hand. Stiles laughed at the familiar sight. When they had been younger, Scott would always fall asleep while he was eating. Some things just never changed.

 

          “Well, when he wakes up, he can tell you that you don’t have to worry about anything.” Isaac gave him a tight smile and Stiles shrugged noncommittedly in response.

 

          “Um, I’m feeling tired. Could I go to bed?” Stiles asked, turning to Derek before realizing what he was doing and quickly turning to his dad. The Alpha seemed a little put out by this but took the rejection silently. The Sheriff noticed this exchange and cleared his throat.

 

          “I’m going to talk with Merlin for a little bit more about this memory thing, but I’m sure that Derek can show you what room you’re going to be in.” John almost laughed at the betrayed look that Stiles gave him. His son kept opening and closing his mouth before scowling and turning to Derek.

 

          “Can you show me where my room is?” He crossed his arms and gave the Alpha a dirty look. “Or are you’re gonna sit on your butt like an old man all day?” This part was said with a derisive tone.

 

          Derek rolled his eyes and led the younger werefox to the staircase.

 

          “I didn’t want to hurt you.” Derek said as they went up the stairs.

 

          “Whatever.”


 

          To say that Allison was shocked at seeing Stiles was an understatement. Her grandfather had told her that they were going to get Stiles to make sure he wasn’t a trap, but it looked like he was free to go. Did that mean that he was safe? She found it weird that this wasn’t some kind of trap.

 

          Her thoughts distracted her from noticing that Peter Hale had followed her into the kitchen until he had closed the door. She swirled around.

 

          “Now where have you been this entire time?” Peter smiled sardonically, tilting his head at her. His eyes flashed blue. “You know, I knew you weren’t the smartest girl in anywhere,  but this is… truly incredible. Even a rat like you should’ve been able to understand the basic instructions of ‘stay loyal to the pack’. Were you the one that told your stupid family about Stiles?” He took another step towards her, and she locked her jaw, looking up at him defiantly.

 

          “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Allison’s hand wandered down to the knife she kept at her side.

 

          “Don’t you?” Peter laughed. “Well, then, explain to me exactly how Kate Argent, your dear aunt, came to know that Stiles had turned into a little werefox child, hm? Did she have big telescope all the way from France?” He slammed his fist down on the counter, leaving a crack in the stone. “I don’t think so, Argent.”

 

          “You all trusted him too much! I’m sure that he’s a trap. I went to my grandfather who would know about all of this.” She argued and jumped when Peter’s fangs flashed out of his mouth.

 

          “The only thing that’s a danger to this pack is you, and I’m sure Derek will agree with me when I tell him exactly what you’ve done. When I tell him that you decided to compromise the pack because you were bitter that you weren’t right. That you delivered his pack to Kate Argent, the woman who decimated the Hale family.”


 

          Meanwhile upstairs, Stiles Stilinski, 12 years old, feeling betrayed by Derek, scared at the newness of everything, and wrongly trusting the words of a master manipulator, tied a red bandana to the handle of his window and left it slightly ajar.

          And Kate Argent, from a distance, smiled behind her binoculars before putting them in her backpack. She hoisted it over her shoulder. After all these years, it was finally time to put an end to the Hale Pack.

Chapter Text

          Stiles lies in bed for maybe an hour before giving up on sleeping. He can hear that the others are still awake downstairs, talking and still eating. His heart hammers in his chest and he bites his lips, wondering if he should go tell his dad to stop eating the pizza. Even if it tasted like heaven on earth, it was still really bad him and Stiles didn’t want to lose another parent.

 

          He was brought out of his musing by the brush of his tail against his hand, and Stiles looked at it, startled. It was strange to think that he had fox ears and a tail now. It somehow felt really weird and really normal at the same time. The feeling of this other creature inside of him that was also him made Stiles feel like what Bruce Banner must feel like when turning into the Hulk.

 

          He heard a gentle knock on the door, and Stiles shot to his feet, feeling on edge.

 

          The door creaked open and he sighed in relief when he saw that it was his dad.

 

          “Hey, Stiles, I just wanted to come up and make sure you were doing okay.” John gave him an awkward smile and came to sit down next to him on the edge of the bed.

 

          “I would be better if you hadn’t sent me with Derek.” Stiles crossed his arms, rolling his eyes. “He’s a liar, Dad, and you shouldn’t be talking to him. Did you know that he didn’t tell me about mom dying? He let me think that mom was still alive and that she was just—” His voice wobbled and his lip trembled. A rush of anger filled him that he couldn’t help but cry whenever he talked about his mom. An arm wrapped around his shoulder and gently guided him to the familiar scent of home and family.

 

          “It’s okay, Stiles.” John hushed him gently, carding a hand through his barely there hair. “Derek didn’t want to tell you, because you need to think about it, Stiles. You were just a little kid. We didn’t know how long you were going to stay in that condition, maybe it was temporary and you would be back to being normal by the end of the day. Why would we put a kid through that for nothing?”

 

          “Because it’s important to me, Dad!” Stiles pushed him away and angrily rubbed at the tears on his face. The result was a very red and wet face that John knew all too familiarly. “Because I deserved to know. He just…”

 

          “Stiles,” John put a hand on his son’s shoulder. “Are you mad about Derek lying to you? Or are you mad that your mother isn’t alive?” Stiles looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He clenched his teeth, looking resolutely at the floor.

 

          “I’m angry at Derek.” There was a tone of teenage resolution that John knew meant he would hold this opinion even if he was proved wrong. He changed the subject.

 

          “I talked more with Merlin about the claws and memories thing. I’m going to do it, and I think you should too.” John said. “I know you don’t really know these people, Stiles. But you’ve told me all about them when you were older, you’ve told me of how you saved their lives and they saved yours. You once saved Derek from drowning in a pool, and Derek once saved you from this weird werecoyote, I think.”

 

          “But how can you trust them?”

 

          “I trust them, because you trust them.”

 

          “You don’t know that.” Stiles argued.

 

          “These past two years, during the anniversary of your mother’s death, you’ve been spending your afternoons with this pack of yours. I’d wager a bet to say that you trust them.”

 

          Stiles gaped at this new information and a sense of foreboding anxiety grew in him.

 

          “I feel scared.” Stiles confessed. “It’s just that there’s all these people that say they care about me but I don’t know any of them. They’re just strangers that are nice, and then they lied to me about my mom.”

 

          “But they did more than that. They also went out and bought you all these different things that you might need, like this for example.” John grabbed a blanket that had been folded up on the edge of the bed. It was one of the blankets they had bought him when he was still 5 years old or whatever. It had a bunch of superheroes across it and still looked like it could go on the store shelf. “This pack of yours cared about your wellbeing to this point where they basically bought out an entire Toys’ R Us just so you could be happy.” John ran a hand across the blanket. “They care about you, Stiles.”

 

          Stiles’ heart twisted painfully and he looked down at his hands. His dad got up from beside him and closed the window that Stiles had left slightly open.

 

          “Better close your window. All sorts of bugs could come in around these parts.”

 


          

          Everyone that was awake started when the kitchen door burst open and Peter dragged Allison into the middle of the living room by the arm. Derek frowned at the violence and rage in Peter’s frame, sitting up straight as his uncle threw the ex-hunter down at his feet.

 

          “I demand expulsion of Allison Argent from the pack with the power of your second.” Peter’s nose flared, and Derek let his eyes wander from his uncle to Allison.

 

          “He’s crazy. I was doing it for the good of the pack.” She argued and Peter let out a threatening growl. Derek realized the gravity of the situation and he snapped his eyes back up to Peter’s.

 

          “What did she do?”

 

          “She was the one who leaked the information about Stiles.” There was general intake of breath from the entire pack, but Allison got to her feet, yanking her arm out of Peter’s grasp.

 

          “He could’ve been a trap, and you were all so fascinated by-“ Derek saw red and the next thing he knew he had Allison in a chokehold on the wall. Allison drew out a knife but Derek knocked it away. How dare she try and act like she was the one in danger.

 

          “You did WHAT?” Derek let her go and she pressed herself against the wall.

 

          “What are you doing?” At some point during this, Scott had woken up  and looked bewildered at what was happening. He moved to go to Allison’s side but Boyd grabbed his arm, not allowing him to move.

 

          “Your girlfriend, the hunter that you vouched was different from the rest of her family, told the Argents that Stiles was weak and vulnerable.” Peter yelled at Scott “I told you since the beginning that the Argents aren’t to be trusted. That you can’t get close to them. And what does she do? She goes and runs off to dear old homicidal grandpa.” Peter gestured towards Allison.

 

          “None of you were listening to me!” Allison said feebly, her hands stuttering along her body as she tried to get another weapon. It was Erica and Isaac who grabbed her arms, caging her in.

 

          “Allison, how could you?” Scott’s voice was heavy laden with disappointment and genuine anger. “This is Stiles we’re talking about. They could have killed him!” He covered his eyes, shaking his head. And this is the moment where a rush of coldness swept through Derek Hale, and he felt the Alpha in him respond to the mere idea that his mate could’ve been taken from him because of this… this person.

 

          “Allison Argent, you are banished from my pack, and I will never recognize you again as anything but enemy. Leave.” Derek put a hand out and pointed to the door. Allison looked at him in disbelief, but the Alpha didn’t seem as interested in maintaining eye contact, his eyes flashing a bright red. She snapped her head to Scott who was looking at her with eyes full of betrayal.

 

          “Scott, you believe me, right?” She took a step towards him. “I was doing it for the good of the pack. I was doing what was best for all us! Scott, you have to believe me. You know that I wouldn’t do anything to hurt the pack. Are you really going to believe Peter? He’s tried to kill-” Before she could take another step, Erica had shoved her against the wall with a hand on her neck, growling.

 

          “No, you don’t get to talk to Scott and emotionally blackmail him.” Erica’s claws came out, very lightly dragging against her skin with breaking it. “And you don’t get to have another word in this house. You heard the Alpha. You are no longer pack. You’re just some other girl. So get out.”

 

          “This isn’t fair.” Allison argued. Erica ignored her and threw out of the door that Boyd had graciously opened, leaving her to just look up at the pack angrily.

 

          “I don’t care about what you think is fair.” Erica gave her a wide smile and shut the door on her face.

 

          “I can’t believe she would do that,” Scott looked down at his hands. Isaac rubbed a hand on his arm. “It makes sense though. All those times that she wasn’t around and she wouldn’t answer her phone.”

 

          “It would’ve made sense to anyone with half a brain.” Peter rolled his eyes.

 

          “Cool it with the sass, Peter. This isn’t the time.” Erica stuck out her tongue at him and he threw his hands up in the air.

 

          “Well then you know what time it is. It’s time we stop waiting for something to happen. We need to get Genim back to normal. We need to eliminate Kate once and for all. It’s time to take a stand instead of acting like some newly formed pack.” Peter strode over to Derek and got in his face. “Or are you still acting like you don’t know what your responsibilities are? Poor little Derek, lost his whole family and has no idea what to do with a group of hormonal teenagers that you impulsively bit.”

 

          Derek let out a snarl.

 

          Peter gave him a manic grin and he tapped Derek’s nose with his finger

 

          “Do something, Derek. Stop doing nothing.”

 

          “I can’t do much, Peter. We have nothing of where Kate is.  I can’t force Stiles to let me put his memories back, Peter, I don’t know what I’m doing. I may be the Alpha, but I wasn’t trained for this. I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing. All I know is that I want my pack safe and I want Stiles to be okay and to not hate me.”

 

          “Then make him remember why you’re not just a stranger to him. Make him remember that you are not some random person of the streets.” Peter made an eye movement to the ceiling and Derek paused for a second before shoving him away.

 

          “Don’t lie to me, Peter. You’re just telling me all this, because you want Stiles to remember you. You’re the one that wants your supposed pup back, but let’s face it, Peter. He was probably better off without you in his life.” This last part was said with coldest look on Derek’s face, and Peter’s face contorted with rage as he lunged for the Alpha. The two of them hit the floor hard and Peter’s fist buried itself into the ground right next to Derek’s head, only missing because Derek had moved his head in the nick of time. The Alpha grabbed Peter’s head and viciously headbutted him.

 

          A distinct crack and gush of blood came from Peter’s nose and the two of them grappled for another second, landing punches that were gonna bruise even by werewolf standards, and then suddenly they were both suddenly being electrocuted. They separated and yanked the probes out of their arms, looking up at the source of the electricity.

 

          Sheriff John Stilinski looked down at them with an unimpressed look on his face.

 

          “Now, remind me, who is it that got turned into a past version of themselves. My son, Stiles, or you two? Because I distinctly remember Derek’s rebellious days being way past him. Why are you two fighting like a pair of uneducated boys?”

 

          “You electrocuted me.” Peter said dumbly, indignation written all over his face. “You electrocuted me.”

 

          “And I’ll do it again if I need to.” The sheriff gave him a challenging look and Peter pouted, getting up off the ground and sitting down on the couch, rubbing his arm in an exaggerated movement.

 

          “Merlin,” the Sheriff stepped over Derek who was looking profusely embarrassed that his mate’s dad had caught him acting like a child, “I talked with Stiles and he’s agreed to let you do your magic thing as we’re giving him back his memories only after we put my memories back in.”

 

          “That’s wonderful. I promise you, John, that nothing will go wrong.” Merlin said. He turned to Derek. “The rest of this is up to you, Alpha Hale, but I believe we should do it as soon as possible.”

 

          There was a moment of pause as Derek looked from Merlin to the Sheriff.

 

          "Is Stiles really okay with doing this?" the Alpha listened carefully the Sheriff's heartbeat, listening for any sign of deceit though he doubted that he would find any.

 

          "I am okay with doing it. I just want my dad to do it first." Stiles' prepubescent voice came from the staircase and Derek's head turned to the werefox who wasn't exactly glaring at him like before but also didn't look like the happiest camper around. His fox ears were flickering from being flattened on his head to alert and up, listening to their movements. It was a movement that Derek was very familiar with, because that was exactly what he had been like when Laura and he had moved to New York. It pained him to see his mate so wary and anxious of his surroundings.

 

          Some part of him promised that he would do everything in his power to make sure that his mate wouldn't feel like that again. When everything got back to normal, he would make sure that Stiles would feel safe in the pack he built. In the home they had made.

 

          "That sounds good," Derek said, giving Stiles a small smile. The other werefox hmphed and marched his way downstairs and to his father's side, practically gluing himself to John's leg while avoiding eye contact with any of the pack.

 

          "So what are we waiting for?" Peter grumbled, still clutching his arm as if he had been shocked. Derek rolled his eyes, knowing that Peter's had already healed. "Derek, go and grab Talia's claws and let's get this over with. There's no reason to wait around for another Argent to come and ruin things." He lifted his eyebrows pointedly and Derek nodded and went to the attic to grab the claws that were in a box that had been especially charmed to ensure only the Alpha of the Hale Pack could open them.

 

 


 

 

          When he came back downstairs, Merlin had rearranged the living room so that there was a seat in the middle of what looked to be a rune drawn on the floor. The rest of the pack were gathered around the rune, Scott talking with Stiles and offering him some jokes to help alleviate the very clear worry that Stiles seemed to be going through. All of the werewolves heads looked up as Derek came down the stairs and Stiles just barely ignored the urge to look, instead going back to his father's side.

 

          "So, John, I'm not going to be doing anything magical with you, so you should just feel a rush of memories coming back to you. Like when you reread something and have that sense of deja vu that you've already read it before." Merlin placed a reassuring hand on John's shoulder. His smile flickered for a second. "And please don't think too badly of me when you remember what I did."

 

          John looked at him for a second with a suspicious look but nodded.

 

          "It's best if you sit down. I'm going to put the claws into the base of your neck. You should only feel the initial sting of the claws, but that's it." Derek said as John sat down in the chair, leaning his head forward. Stiles was in front of him, holding his hand and John offered him a comforting smell that was negated by the fact that Stiles could smell the mixture of stress and worry that was emanating from the Sheriff.

 

          John took a breath and closed his eyes

 

          "Okay, I'm ready."

 

          Derek plunged Talia's claws into the back of John's neck, eyes flashing red for a second and John grunted, his hand momentarily tightening around Stiles'. The young werefox immediately leaned to look at his father's face but John's face was relaxed. His free hand brushed over his dad's face, eyes flickering across his face for any sign of pain.

 

          "Is he okay?" Stiles asked desperately, looking up at Derek who had closed his eyes although they flickered around like if he was looking at some kind of screen.

 

          "He's fine, Stiles." Derek breathed out, trying to concentrate on retracting John's memories from the claws and putting them back where they belong. It only took him a few seconds to find them which was surprising, considering that they're last run in with these had resulted in many hours of digging to find the memories needed. It seemed that Talia hadn't been trying to hide these memories though.

 

          With a sigh of relief, Derek gently fed the memories back to John, before carefully dislodging the claws from where they had been inside of John's neck. The minute they came free, John gasped and straightened up, looking at Stiles like he was a different person. Tears began to roll down his face and he brought Stiles into a bear hug, surrounding him completely.

 

          Stiles seemed to take this the wrong way, and his tail rose, hair risen in a threatening way as he clutched John to him, glaring at Derek with an almost betrayed look on his face.

 

          "What did you do to my dad?" He hissed, his fangs causing him to lisp.

 

          "I just gave him back his-" Derek began to reply confused but he was cut short by John

 

          "He didn't hurt me Stiles. Oh god, Stiles, how could I ever forget?" John cupped Stiles' face in his hands and his eyes roamed over Stiles' face like he was looking at it for the first time, memorizing every detail. "Stiles, you have to let him put your memories back. There is so much that we've...we've forgotten about your mother." Stiles looked at his dad with a weird look in his eyes, turning to Derek who seemed relieved that he hadn't somehow inadvertently hurt Stiles' father.

 

          "How do you know... how do you know that they aren't fake memories, Dad? What if they're just these fake memories? People can do that just as normal human beings and influencing and psychology and stuff. With magic, they could do anything to us." Stiles' golden eyes looked hard into the Sheriff's.

 

          "You can just tell that these are real memories. So many things make sense now. There were like gaps and things I couldn't explain that I can now. Like... like why I always seemed to accidentally start driving towards the Hale property when I was supposed to go pick you up from Scott's house. It just feels right, Stiles. There are, of course, some things that aren't pleasant to remember but they're real."

 

          Stiles looked into his father's eyes and he could sense that his dad was telling the truth. He could smell the gratitude and honesty in his words, but it didn't take away the fear of letting someone like Derek near his neck. The most vulnerable part of his body was just about to be laid bare for someone who had lied to him about his mom's death....but when he looked at his dad, he couldn't help but trust in what his dad said.

 

          Biting his lips, Stiles stood up straight on his feet and sat down on the chair, looking up at Merlin who was taking his spot in front of the rune, magic already glowing on his fingertips. This creature that was in Stiles was reassuring him, telling him that he would be safe. That everything was going to be fine.

 

          "Do you still want to do this, Stiles?" Derek asked, looking down at him, his thick eyebrows coming together in a concerned frown that made Stiles' heart stutter.

 

          "Yeah, if my dad can do it, so can I." Stiles gritted his teeth and turned away from Derek and his stupid attractive face. Merlin looked at him with a raised eyebrow but gave him a comforting smile before looking up at the Alpha werewolf. Derek took a steadying breath then brought down the claws into the soft give of Stiles' tiny neck.

 

          And Stiles... Stiles gasped as he's suddenly thrown into a myriad of memories. 


 

           "Genim, you know that you have to take a bath before your mother comes to kick you up." Peter called down the hallway where a very dirty Genim was hiding in an attempt to not take a bath.

 

          "I don't want to!" Genim screamed back, pouting as his favorite person in the world betrayed him. He would expect this from Alpha Talia or Mrs. Hale-Bloom, but Peter? Peter was supposed to be super ultra awesome! He peeked around the corner where Peter was looking at him with an unamused look on his face and his hands on his hips. He looked every bit the tired babysitter with his stained sleeves folded messily up to his elbows. There were all sorts of stains on his once white shirt and his hair was in a disarray.

 

          "What if I told you that Mr. Squeaky Duck was joining us?" Peter cajoled, stepping closer to Genim's not so secret hiding spot.

 

          "No!"

 

          "You could bring one toy in there with you." Peter snatched up the young werefox who immediately started kicking his feet with a noticeable pout on his face. His claws scratched Peter's face, leaving tiny lines that healed within seconds but hurt nonetheless.

 

          "No! I don't wanna take a bath!"

 

          "Hey, watch the claws, buddy." Peter grabbed both of the ineffective clawing hands in one of his and put Genim to his hip so that they were face to face. "What if I said I had something that was, in your words, totally cool?"

 

          "You have nothing, you meanie!"

 

          Peter gave him a dark grin.

 

          "I have bubbles."

 

          There was a noticeable stop to Genim's fidgeting and he looked up at Peter with the widest, most sparkly eyes he had ever seen. Something in Peter warmed at the sight of the little one being so happy and he laughed when Genim somehow escaped his hold, sprinting towards the restroom.

 

          "Come on, Peter! I want the bubbles!" He ordered, pointing at Peter like if he were some kind of king, and the older werewolf simply chuckled, giving him a mock bow.

 

          "Of course, my king." He was almost knocked over by the sudden weight and ticklish fox ears under his neck. He barely managed to catch himself against the sink and wrap one secure arm around the werefox.

 

          "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You're the best ever! I love you!" Genim gave him a big kiss on his cheek then licked it before bounding towards the bathtub with the rubber ducky Peter had tried to bargain earlier. Peter could only look at the small boy who had wormed his way into Peter's heart with wonder.

 


 

 

          A different memory. This time Genim was laying on his back, looking at the clouds as the sun began to fall across the horizon. It was about to be sunset, and Alpha Hale said they could stay out until sunset. Everyone had wanted to be outside, but after playing a while with the other kids, Genim had gotten tired and instead decided to watch the clouds.

 

          That was when Derek, probably nine or ten years old, was nervously making his way to Stiles with a pink carnation in his hands, as red in the face as a kid could ever be. Just as he was about to step into Genim's peripheral, he tripped over something and sprawled over the younger boy.

 

          "Ow, Derek, that hurt." He pouted and Derek stuttered something before he frowned.

 

          "Well, you shouldn't have been laying there in the first place." He shouted back before scrambling to find the flower he had been about to give the younger boy. "And this is yours." He shoved the pink carnation into the werefoxes' hands.

 

          "No, it's not." Genim said, tilting his head as he looked at it closely. His golden eyes next to the bright pink of the flower made Derek blush. "But it's really pretty. I've never seen one of these before." Just as Derek was about to tell him that it was a gift for him, his sister Laura walked over and plopped down next to them with a wide grin on her face. The mortification was already rising in Derek.

 

          "Hey, Genim, that's a pretty flower you got there." Laura said, smiling at the younger werefox who smiled back.

 

          "Yeah, Derek found it and thought it was mine." Genim caressed one of the petals that had been bent in Derek's fall. Then his eyes brightened and he looked up at Laura. "Do you want it?"

 

          Without warning, Derek started crying next to him and the werefox turned to him, looking confused. He could tell that the other boy was trying to say something but he's crying too hard to say anything. Genim started to cry too and he tried to give the flower to Derek.

 

          "I'm sorry, Derek. Did you want the flower? You can have it. Please don't cry." When Derek doesn't take the flower in his hands, Genim takes drastic measures and tucks it behind Derek's ear which causes the werewolf to look up with red rimmed eyes. "See, you look pretty with it. You can have the flower." They looked at each other for a second, then Derek's rubbing his nose against his sleeve.

 

          "Thanks, Genim." Derek wiped his eyes and gave him a timid smile.

 

          The moment is ruined by Laura who bursts out laughing at their series of misunderstanding.

 


 

 

          Their last childhood memory together. Derek and Genim are standing in front of each other in front of the Hale House. Their parents are talking on the front doorstep in quiet overtones and Genim has already said goodbye to the other Hale siblings. Derek was the last one left and for some reason Genim feels like crying really hard. But he keeps a strong face, because Derek doesn't need a crybaby friend.

 

          There's an awkward silence between them for a second, with Derek looking at his feet and shoving his hands into his jacket. Then Genim clears his throat.

 

          "I think it's super cool that you're gonna be a secret agent. You're going to be like those awesome heroes on TV who saves everyone and stuff." Genim grins up toothily, or as toothily as he can, considering his two front teeth are missing. "And like, I know your mom said that like you can't talk to me anymore which is okay, since you're on top secret mission, but.... I'm going to miss you." Genim's smile wavers for a second and Derek can smell the tears that are threatening to come out and he pulls the younger boy into a hug. He's already used to the human smell that Genim has around him, but it doesn't mean that he doesn't miss the distinct werefox smell he used to have. Even if there's that itch around the scent, Derek can tell that Genim is his.

 

          "I'm going to miss you too." Derek grabbed his hand, sniffing as he took a step back. "When we're older, and we, um, can talk and stuff, do you wanna get married? And be best friends forever? I promise that I will always protect you." His eyes shown with intense devotion and Genim smiled widely back at him, squeezing his hands in return.

 

          "Of course. And I promise to protect you too. I can't believe I'm gonna marry such a cool secret agent" Derek blushed at the compliment. Genim's eyes flickered to their parents who were pretending to not look at them. He leaned and whispered. "And if you ever need a place to hide away because the bad guys are looking for you or something, you can always come to me." He tried to wink but ended up simply blinking which made Derek laugh and hug him.

 

          They were unaware of how Talia Hale had tears silently  sliding down her face.

 


 

 

          Suddenly Stiles became aware of how he was being held in someone’s arms, wrapped in a blanket. There were hands brushing against his forehead and he blinked, trying to remember where he was. He looked down at his hand, belatedly realizing that he was looking at his adult hand. Was he back to normal? He looked up at who was holding him and felt something inside him warm at the sight of that stoic werewolf that was the Alpha of the Hale Pack. He reached a hand up and cupped the side of Derek’s face.

 

          “Stiles, can you hear me?” Derek asked, frowning, his eyes unabashedly meeting his. Stiles marveled at how much Derek had changed since they had last met, from that little boy who was timid in his presence to one who had no qualms on arguing that his point was definitely right.

 

          “Derek,” Stiles smiled, laughing. “I remember.”

Chapter Text

Then, just as suddenly as he had remembered the past, what he had been doing before he regained those memories came back to Stiles. Kate.

 

"Shit," Stiles cursed as he sat up, grabbing the blankets that were around him. The rest of the pack frowned at the sudden change of attitude. "Shit shit shit. Kate is coming." Then tension in the room noticeably rose.

 

"What? How do you know?"

 

"She convinced younger me that you were all tricking me. That you were evil in a sense, and I was this hormonal idiot of a kid and I decided to trust her. She told me to tie this bandanna to a window and leave it slightly open for her to come in and...." Stiles swallowed hard at the next words. He couldn't believe that he would ever trust her, and yet if it hadn't been for incredibly dumb luck, he would've been the reason for the murder of the rest of the Hale Pack.

 

"And kill us." Derek said, grabbing his hand. "It's okay, Stiles. You didn't know better. You have to remember that she's tricked people smarter than a fifth grader." Stiles' eyes opened wide and he gasped, laughing.

 

"Was that a joke, Derek? Oh my god, Derek, you can joke now! Oh, but what a horrible joke. When was the last time you even watched ‘Who’s Smarter Than a Fifth a Grader?’ "

 

"Not to ruin the moment, lovebirds, but what are we going to do about Kate? I assume that Genim has already tied the bandanna, which means we most likely have less than 20 minutes to get ready for when she comes." Peter raised an eyebrow at the two, his eyes looking over the werefox. It was strange to see the little boy he had come to care for, all grown up, but Peter couldn't help smiling.

 

"We could set up a trap for her." Isaac offered.

 

"No we should just kill her."

 

"She's dangerous, Derek. We should just retreat for the moment."

 

Derek sighed as everyone started talking over each other.

 

"We're not going to run and hide. We outnumber her like 10 to one. " He said, "But we also have to keep in mind that she is incredibly resourceful and dangerous. She is not hesitant in using underhanded methods. We can stay in the house, because we have both Stiles and Merlin here who can break a magic line if she tried to trap us in here. I think we should set up a trap, but the problem is what kind?"

 

Merlin raised his hand.

 

"I have just the idea."

 


 

 

 Outside of the Hale House, Allison was angrily walking back towards the town, her hands shoved into the pockets of her jacket. She had taken a ride with Lydia and Jackson, but since they were part of that supposed 'pack', she doubted they would be very open to giving her a ride home. It was stupid that they were taking Peter's side in all of this.

 

What had he done that warranted so much trust and confidence? She had just been trying to keep the pack safe. And then Scott hadn't even stood up for her! What kind of boyfriend was he if he was too scared to stand up for her? Where did they get off on the idea that they could just do whatever they want?

 

Her family was right. Those....creatures deserved to be hunted down and killed. They were too stupid and trusting to survive anyway.

 

"Why, Allison, what are you doing out here?" The voice of Kate Argent, her aunt, brought Allison out of her musing and she turned around on her heel.

 

"Aunt Kate, what are you doing here?" Allison frowned, taking a step towards her.

 

"The Hale Pack has survived, and well, you know the code." She raised an eyebrow, her hand on the gun holster on her hip.

 

"We hunt those who hunt us." Allison smiled, her eyes turning to the Hale House that was behind her. There was a part of her that was telling her that she should protect the Hale Pack, but it was violently put aside for the idea of getting back at those stupid creatures. "Do you have room for one more person?"

 

Kate smiled at her niece.

 


 

 

At the same time, Chris Argent was turning onto the street that led to the Hale Property, pushing the accelerator to 60 miles per hour in a 45 mph speed limit zone. Once he had gotten home, he had taken some of the journals from the attic, hunts that he had worked with Kate way back in their younger days. Just as he was about to give up on the notion that he could remember an incident like this, he found the page he was looking for.

 

It had been almost 20 years ago with a pack of werewolves that called themselves Vulcans, who kept to themselves and were for the most part harmless, which was surprising considering that they were in San Francisco. Chris had been against killing them, since they hadn't even caused a spike in wolf sightings, but Kate had been adamant that they were just covering for something. She had managed to get one of the younger werewolves and convinced him that he had been kidnapped by the group.

 

She had then sent him back with a plan to let her inside the apartment complex they all lived in. Three days later, the newspaper ran a warning against gas leaks and what to look out for. From what he had heard, the entire pack had been killed.

 

Chris fumbled with his phone as he sped down the dirt road to the Hale House, but it slipped from his grasp and onto the floor of the passenger seat. He glared at his hand for a millisecond before diving to grab it, the car jerking minutely before he came back and straightened the wheel out, phone in his hand.

 

He tried calling Peter first, but he was immediately sent to voicemail. Chris hit the steering wheel. The stupid idiot always had his phone on him; what in the world could he be doing right now? He tried Derek next who picked up after a few seconds.

 

"Hello?"

 

"It's a trap, Derek. She sent Stiles back to leave her some kind of opening so she can get back in." Chris frowned as he saw a shadow in the distance. It moved into the trees and he kept it in mind. If it was Kate, then it meant that she was close.

 

"We know. He told us."

 

Chris glared at the phone.

 

"How? Kate wouldn't have let him go if she thought he would give."

 

"He turned back into his normal age. He could remember everything."

         

Kate wouldn't have accounted for that.

 

"Okay, then, just get ready. I might've seen Kate with someone else walking towards your house. They're within ten minutes to your house. I'm on my way." Chris hanged up and turned into what looked to be a mini parking lot with all the different cars in front of the Hale House.

 

Grabbing his bag, Chris got out of his car and grimly looked up at the Hale House, that while it had been renovated still had clear signs of where the fire had damaged it irreparably. He jogged up to the front and rang the doorbell, almost unnecessarily, as the door opened.

 

"Well, Chris, you could have better timing, but better late than never." Peter smiled. "We already have a plan, but you're welcome to join in. I'm sure we have some role that you can take on. I would also be careful about what you say, Argent."

 

The Argent was led into the living room where he found himself face to face with a group of teenagers, including a werefox Stiles, Merlin, Arthur, and the Sheriff. He pursed his lips, already feeling like he was stepping into a mess. He moved to sit down next to the sheriff, but Peter put a hand on his arm.

 

"Oh, I'd be careful about sitting down next to him. He's a little trigger happy with that taser of his, if you know what I mean." Peter gestured towards himself with an overly dramatic face. Chris turned to John.

 

"I can't believe you tasered Peter." Chris said with a frown. John raised his eyebrow. "I wanted to do it first. Do you think I could borrow your taser sometime?" They shared a smile and Peter frowned before bumping their heads together before sitting down on the opposite side of the room, away from their reach.

 

"Hey, if you're done playing around, would you like to hear the plan?" Stiles waved a hand towards Chris from his spot on Derek's lap, wrapped up in a blanket. The werefox ears were strange to see on Stiles' head but considering his pack, he shouldn't be surprised to see them. Chris blinked as he did another take on the room.

 

"Wait, where's Allison? Your entire pack is here, even the Martin girl."

 

"Lydia." She gave him a thin smile.

 

"Allison was the one who told Kate about Stiles being young again." Derek growled, his arms tightening around his mate, and the other just petted the other one, rubbing their cheeks together in an obvious scent marking. "I kicked her out of the pack; it was in everyone’s best interest." Chris wasn't exactly happy about that, but it did mean that she was out of harm's way for the moment.

 

"Alright, tell me what the plan is."

Chapter Text

 

          "Okay, so first things first. We know that she's going to be coming in through my window upstairs, knowing her she probably had plans to make me her first victim." Stiles pursed his lips, tapping Derek's arms as they tightened around him. The Alpha loosened his grip. "So what we're gonna do is each of us are gonna be stationed at certain points leading from my bedroom to Derek's bedroom."

 

          "Why would she go to Derek's bedroom next?" Merlin asked with a frown.

 

          "Because what she wants to accomplish here is tying up loose ends. Finishing what she started, and Derek is the number one thing on that list. She's in it for the petty revenge." Stiles explained as he stood up, blankets firmly around himself. "Anyway, everyone else's job is to make sure she goes either straight for Derek's or lead her there. When she gets there, Merlin will do his thing and we should be able to have her at that point. Does everyone understand me?" Stiles looked at everyone in the group, and they all nodded. "Okay, good, because I now have less than three minutes to get changed. Derek, let me borrow some-- no wait, you're definitely not my size, Miguel." He turned to Isaac.

 

          "Yeah, yeah, you can borrow mine."

 

          The Alpha werewolf seemed put out that he wouldn't be wearing his clothes but Stiles squeezed his hand before standing him and letting the other werewolf go.

 

          "Derek, I think you should actually lead her to your room." Arthur said and Stiles turned on his heel with an angry look on his face. The older man saw the look and raised his hands. "Now, listen to me, Genim. It's a good idea. This way there isn't any risk of her getting distracted with someone else. He leads her straight to the bedroom and we have her. If things get really bad, there's still everyone else that can jump in and fight her if needed."

 

          "In that case, why can't Merlin do his magic outside of Derek's bedroom?" Stiles crosses his arms, glaring.

 

          "Because the spell takes a good few seconds and I need the element of surprise and for her to be relatively still when I cast it."

 

          Isaac came back with a stack of clothes and Stiles pulled the pants into his blanket, pulling them on. He let the blanket drop, and he yanked on the shirt, completely oblivious to Derek's wandering eyes.

 

          "No, that plan is too risky. We go with the original plan."

 

          Arthur scowled but nodded.

 

          "Alright, everyone let's go."

 

          The pack scrambled to different positions in the upper hallway some actually in the rooms with the doors slightly parted. Others were right around corners, and Stiles was even hiding underneath some random vase that had a long piece of cloth hanging over the edges, enough to hide him.

 

          Now, this was the scary part. The waiting around, wondering exactly when she was going to come in through Stiles' window. They were all holding their breaths and breathing shallowly, struggling to hear for the telltale signs of a window opening or feet on the roof, but there was nothing. It was completely silent, and it was playing hell on Stiles' anxiety.

 

          They all jumped as the doorbell suddenly rang. Everyone turned to each other, and after some gesturing, Scott and Boyd were the ones that went to go see who was at the door at this hour. They both hid the guns that Chris had given to them and went downstairs quickly. Boyd went to the open the door as Scott casually sat on the couch, grabbing one of the pizza slices that was still around the living room.

 

          Boyd opened and the door, frowning as he saw who it was.

 

          "Allison?" Scott said from behind him and he stood up. "BOYD, MOVE!" The other werewolf jumped back with unnatural speed, and in the spot where he had been standing was Allison with a knife reeking of wolfsbane. Both of the werewolves immediately crouched, snarling.

 

          "What are you doing, Allison?" Scott asked looking at her with betrayed confusion. Her lips tightened and she spun the knife in her hand and pointed it at them.

 

          "You don't get to look at me like that when you let them kick me out. I was only trying to help and you were all a bunch of idiots. Well, guess what? I've decided that if you don't want me, I'll join those who do. My family. We hunt those who hunt us." She took out her bow from behind her and loaded an arrow in the span of a few seconds. Just as she was about to let it go, a voice came from the top of the stairs. 

 

          "No, we protect those who can't protect themselves." Chris said coldly, as he came down the stairs. Allison looked at him, bewildered, lowering her bow as she looked up at her father.

 

          "Dad? What are you doing here?" Her eyes went from the two werewolves to Chris. Her entire posture screamed that she was on edge, but she kept her ground.

 

          "The real question is what are you doing here, Allison? And why are you trying to kill Scott?" Chris' blue eyes went icy as he looked at her. "Do you really think that joining Kate is going to solve whatever issue you're going through?" Allison rolled her eyes as she pointed the bow towards Scott.

 

          "No, I think they deserve to die. They're freaks and a danger to us normal people."

Chapter Text

          Upstairs, the rest of the pack was tensing as they heard the sound of the window opening and the sound of incredibly light footsteps going into the bedroom. They heard some shuffling and Kate's gun cocking. The door opened and out stepped Kate Argent, a backpack slung over her shoulder and a gun in her hands. The scariest thing about her was the confident smile on her face as she looked around the hallway.

 

          There was a look of suspicion on her face but as she took a step closer, the sound of a gunshot broke through the silence and she smiled, walking towards the staircase. However the smile on her face was wiped off when she saw her brother was the one holding the gun, aiming towards the fallen figure of her niece, Allison. There were two werewolves looking at Chris with shock before there eyes shifted to see her.

 

          "Chris, behind you!" One of them said and her brother turned around with lightning speed, crouching as he pointed his gun to her.

 

          "Kate."

 

          "Christopher."

 

          The two of them looked at each other with cold eyes.

 

          "Don't tell me that you've joined these creatures."

 

          "No, but I am going to protect them. Kate, you're sick and this pack has already had enough damage at your hands." He cocked the gun, taking a step closer to the other hunter. "Put the gun down, Kate."

 

          "Who's gonna stop me?" She smiled. She blinked her eyes dramatically. "You? You're still shaken up from having to have shot your daughter. And by the time that those two get up here to me, you'd already be dead." She cocked her gun and pointed it straight at her brother. Then there was the cold barrel of a gun on the back of her head.

 

          "Kate Argent, put your gun down, or I will shoot." Sheriff John Stilinski said,

 

          “I’d do what he says. That man is a menace.” Peter put another gun to her head from behind. Chris' eyes flickered up to the Sheriff's and Peter’s. The image they made was interesting. The hunter, the human, and the werewolf. What kind of monstrosity was his sister that it required all three of them to take her down? Kate laughed and nodded.

 


 

 

          "Alright, boys, you have me trapped and cornered now." She said as she started to slowly crouch to the floor, putting her gun down. Peter and John both had their eyes so trained on her that they didn’t notice Allison turning onto her side, gun in her hand.

Peter suddenly spiraled back, falling backwards onto the stairs, grabbing the banister as the bullet tore through his shoulder. Kate twisted herself backwards and grabbed a knife from her side, throwing it at Chris who tried to shoot her but ended up shooting John in the side. Kate smirked as she kicked John's legs from underneath him, sending him tumbling down the stairs and crashing straight into Chris. She viciously elbowed Peter in the face, knocking him down with the three.

 

Boyd wrestled the gun from Allison and knocked her unconscious.

 

          "What a disappointment. She looked like she had so much potential. No matter, if you'll excuse me. I have to make a visit to an old friend... your Alpha." With that she turned on her heel, grabbing her gun on her way up. Scott growled and began to go after her but Boyd stopped him.

 

          "This is the plan, Scott." He said as he crouched down next to the three men who were getting back on their feet, all groaning.

 

          "Really, Chris, you've been hunting creatures that move triple her speed and you can't get clear shot?" John gritted his teeth as he put pressure on the bullet wound. It seemed to have lodged in his shoulder, and it was giving him a pounding pain. The other man didn't seem to be too much better if his labored panting was an indication.

 

          The knife, which was thankfully, small, had driven into Chris’ arm. There was slow blood gushing out, but with the knife still in there, most of the blood seemed to be kept inside. Who knew what would happen if he tried to pull it out? The wolfsbane that it was coated with did sting but then again, that could just be the knife.

 

          "Well, excuse me, Sheriff, but I thought that you would have some minimum experience on how to follow a perpetrator when they were moving, or did they just give you a mannequin and call it a day?" He grunted as he stood up to his feet, tears in his eyes as he accidentally put pressure on his arm. "Fuck, fuck, fuck, this hurts." He turned to Peter. “And what about you? Aren’t you supposed to be a quick healer and super fast? Who’s getting old now?”

 

          “I can’t believe you’re still hung up on that.” Peter rolled his eyes as he tore the curtains and tightly wrapped it around the bleeding. “If your idiot daughter hadn’t shot me, I would’ve been able to get her.”

 

          "Are you two okay?" Scott asked hesitantly, and they blinked, looked at each other, then looked at the teenager.

 

          "We just got shot and stabbed. Do you think we're okay?" John gave an incredulous look. Scott's eyes widened and he lifted his hands, taking a step back.

 

          "Should we go up there?"

 

          John shook his head.

 

          "That would blow their cover. She's going where they want her to go."

 


 

 

          Stiles was going mad with anger and stress. He had seen his father and Peter step out from their hiding spot to help out Chris before falling down the stairs. And there had been a gunshot, but at this point there wasn't really anything that he could do without risking the plan being exposed. He had tucked himself to the wall as he watched Kate's shadow pass him. All she would have to do is enter the room and then they would have her in their trap.

 

          "Well, what do we have here?" Kate yanked open one of the doors and Isaac tumbled out. Stiles wanted to slap himself on the forehead. What kind of idiot leaned against the door when he was trying to be discrete? Where had he learned to sneak around? He groaned. Derek, of course. Kate pointed the gun at Isaac's head, cold look on her eyes and something in Stiles propelled him to jump up from his hiding spot. He couldn’t let another one of his friends get hurt on his watch.

 

          "Wait." He said, his heart hammering in his throat. "Don't kill him. The werewolf looked up at him with grateful and terrified eyes, and Kate tilted her head as she looked at him.

 

          "Stiles, you grew up." She said, her eyes analyzing him. Stiles knew that he had messed up somehow. He had moved the queen into an open space, revealing his strategy too soon. "And you're still a werefox." This was said distastefully.

 

          "Stop playing nice, Kate. I remember everything."  Stiles glared at her as he took a step towards her.   "Get away from Isaac."

 

          "Is that what this mutt's name is?" She grabbed him by the hair and yanked him up, putting the gun against his head. "Or should I say... was?" Stiles put his hand up and the gun flew from her hand before she could pull the trigger. Isaac took advantage of the opening and shot to his feet, headbutting her roughly in the process. She let out a shout as her nose started to bleed and she gave them a nasty look as she took something from her pocket and threw it at them. A cloud of dust fell in between them and settled into a line. Mountain ash.

 

          Stiles rolled his eyes and waved his hand, willing the mountain ash to go away like last time. But it didn't move and he looked down at with concern, putting his hand against the barrier that had formed. Kate scoffed and took a step back towards Derek's room.

 

          "You're a werefox. What did you expect?" She sneered as she walked towards Derek's room. Her pace was slow like if she was mocking them of their ineptitude.

 

          Stiles pounded against the barrier, growling as he fought against the power of the mountain ash. He couldn't lose his mate, not again. After realizing that he had spent years without his mate, this other person that was as much his equal as his perfect half. Years he had spent thinking that he was unloveable and that there would be no one who would like him. God, he remembered the first time he had seen Derek Hale when they had stumbled onto the Hale Property in search for Scott's inhaler. Even then, without his fox telling him explicitly that Derek was his mate, something in Stiles had stirred at the sight of those determined bright green eyes.

 

          And he would be damned if this hunter would take that away from him again.

 

          He turned on his heel and ran to the top of the staircase, looking for his best friend. Scott's head immediately snapped up at Stiles' scent and he looked up to see his best friend near the point of tears.

 

          "Scott, I need your breaking mountain ash ass up here like three days ago." He said, pointing to Derek's bedroom. Scott nodded determinedly and bounded up the steps with supernatural speed, Peter and Boyd close at his heels. "She's already in Derek's room, but I just... I don't want there to be any trouble. What if she manages to kill Derek before the spell is performed?" His voice was laced with worry and his tail was swishing almost violently behind him.

 

          His distraction with his worry was the reason Stiles jumped at the hand that settled in his hair. His eyes snapped to Peter who gave him a fond smile.

 

          "Don't worry. My nephew is strong enough to go against her. He's also incredibly stupid so get the ball rolling, Scott."

 

          Scott took a deep breath before putting his hands against the barrier and pushing. They could tell that it was no small effort from the way his muscles contracted at the back of his shirt, his entire frame shaking as he pushed through the mountain ash. The blue force field started to strain and Stiles felt his magic rising in him. It had been a while since he had to use it, but he had learned to let it be free when it started coming out like this. With a breath, he pointed it in the direction of Scott and let it flow through him in one big burst, Peter dodging out of the way as a bright golden light went from Stiles to Scott. The barrier broke and the three of them immediately began sprinting towards the door.

 

          Two of the doors on their left and right burst open and Erica, Lydia, and Jackson looked at them with angry eyes.

 

          "The mountain ash had trapped us in the rooms we were in. Sorry we coudn't stop her."

          “I’m so tired.” Scott groaned, leaning against the wall.

 

          “Sit this one out, Scott. Everyone else, let’s go.” Stiles waved his hand and made a motion for them to follow him. Hopefully they weren’t been too late.

 


 

 

          Derek could sense the moment that Kate had put a barrier of mountain ash, because he could feel how his wolf growled at the thought of being put in a cage, basically. His eyes turned to Merlin, perhaps the last face he'd see if this didn't work out. Merlin had already gotten prepared, his magic already on the surface of his skin, making his skin glow with an almost otherworldly glow and his eyes shine bright. He sighed.

 

          He didn't want to imagine going up against Kate again. After she had killed his family, Derek had done what Laura had suggested and shoved all the thoughts he had associated with her in the back of his mind, letting only his infinite rage towards her remain, letting it be his anchor. But then, he had met Stiles, awkward and gangly Stiles who always seemed to be five thoughts ahead of his mouth and entirely too smart for someone who ran on coffee and Wikipedia. And when Stiles had stumbled onto his property, his wolf had been telling him to go nearer-- to befriend this teenager who for all intents and purposes wasn't even someone that Derek would've been friends with in high school.

 

          But then he had gone up against the different monsters they had faced, without any fear (well, a little fear as was to be expected from the tiny human) and even managed to save Derek's life on multiple occasions. He could still remember the first time, when they had been neck deep in the pool and Stiles was the only thing keeping him from drowning. Even with the horrible stench of chlorine staining everything, when Derek had his nose so close to Stiles' neck, he had smelled something like home but with something missing. Of course, now he knew that it was the fact that half of mate was missing, but even then, Stiles' long fingers that were always moving and his moles that were scattered across his face and body had captured Derek's attention in an almost rude manner. God, he hadn’t even gotten to kiss Stiles.

 

          The only thing that Derek wished was that he would've had the chance to regain the memories that made Stiles look up at him so fondly. To regain happy memories before Kate had decimated his family. He wished that he could remember what Stiles had looked like when he had first met him.

 

          The door slammed open, and Kate  was looking at him with the most self satisfied look a person could have on their face. Derek felt a small sense of pride at the sight of dried blood trailing from her nose and the bruise on her cheek.

 

          "Derek," She smiled, stepping into the room and closing the door behind her. "It's been too long."

Chapter Text

          "It hasn't been long enough." Derek growled and Merlin shouted something in a different language letting the magic escape from his hands and hit Kate directly  in the chest. She let out a grunt, falling back onto the wall before she started to laugh. She stepped out from the spell and Derek's head snapped to Merlin who looked as equally confused.

 

          "Sorry, kids, I came to class prepared." Kate pulled out a charm and even though Derek didn't recognize it, Merlin seemed to from the scowl on his face. "Yeah, magic that seeks to harm won't work on me. It's a clever thing I picked up from my last excursion. There was a rather nasty group of witches who thought they could outsmart me. I took this as a souvenir. Rather pretty, non?"

 

          Derek let himself Beta shift and let his claws come out. In response, Kate dropped two knives from her sleeves. He rushed at her and let out a growl, swiping at her which she avoided and punched him in the face, leaving a long gash across his face as she was drawing her hand back. It healed slowly as they exchanged blow for blow,  taking steps back and forth. Merlin figured out that he could still throw objects at Kate, which the hunter laugh.

 

          “I do love a challenge.” She gave them a full teethed smile as she ducked a flying dresser. His mirror went flying to the hunter and she grabbed Derek, pulling her towards him before crouching into a ball and tripping him. His face went crashing into the mirror, and Merlin cursed as the Alpha werewolf hissed, getting back onto his feet, his face painted red in his own blood. There was one glass caught above his eyebrow and tiny flecks that moved with every breath he took. Kate sent a knife to Merlin who sidestepped it.

 

          “Come on, boys. Give me a little bit more of a challenge.”

 

          The bedroom door burst open and Stiles, Scott, Peter, Erica, Jackson and Lydia came in.

 

          “Now this is a challenge.” Kate laughed, clapping her hands in delight. “No offense, Derek, but it might take more than one man to handle all of this.” She licked her lips and Derek blanched.

 

          The rest of the pack engaged in fight with Kate as Stiles rushed to Derek, cupping his face, his eyes glancing from shard to shard, his fingers already working the large one out. Derek hissed out breaths in pain, but he leaned into the soft touch nonetheless. Stiles pulled him by the nape of his neck, their foreheads hitting hard, and he kissed Derek.

 

          Everything went supernova in Derek, his entire being lighting up as something in him settled. It felt like there had been a hurricane tearing him apart inside and now that he could feel the wet, warm pressure on his lips, he felt complete. Stiles was already pulling back, but Derek cupped his face in his hand bringing him back in, his hands curling over his ear, kissing him with a desperation of having been denied this for years. Of having had to live without this.

 

          “Enough kissing.” Peter pulled their heads apart, frowning as he looked from werefox to werewolf. “Why isn’t Merlin casting the spell?”

 

          “She has a charm around her neck that prevents any harm spell.” Derek said, turning back to Kate who seemed to be enjoying fighting his Betas at the same time while narrowly avoiding different objects. Peter bounded past them and to Merlin. Derek and Stiles looked at each other, Alpha red eyes meeting golden ones.

 

          “For the last time.” Stiles jerked his head to Kate. Derek nodded, his shoulders relaxing.

 

          “For the last time.”

Chapter Text

          In the time Derek and Stiles had talked, Kate had managed to knock Lydia unconscious and when Jackson had tried to help her out, the hunter had viciously kicked his arm, breaking his arm with a sickening crack. Just as she was about to shoot him in the head as he was crouched over Lydia, cradling his arm with clenched teeth, Erica and Boyd managed to direct her away from the two, giving Jackson the chance to drag Lydia and himself out into the hallway.

 

          Erica wanted to scream as Kate avoided yet another one of Merlin's objects, and she wasn't sure if her anger was directed to the hunter or the magical being who seemed to have the aim of a three-year-old. Boyd also looked as equally frustrated that neither one of them could get a hit on her. Out of all the fights they had ever engaged in, this had to be the most annoying one. Kate was bending and ducking and avoiding their hits like if they were simply punches. Erica and Boyd growled as they ran at her at the same time, only for her to duck and roll forwards, throwing a knife at Erica, pinning her to one of the bedposts. Why the hell did Derek even have a bed with bedposts?

 

          Boyd yanked the knife out and swirled around, throwing the knife at Kate with supernatural speed but she already had grabbed one of the drawers from Derek's dresser and caught the knife with it. The dresser rose behind her, and flew at her, but Kate dropped completely to the floor with a breathless chuckle. The werewolf was too slow to avoid it and he was thrown to the wall with the dresser crashing into him. Boyd crumbled to the floor, unconscious. Erica snarled and turned to Kate who had closed the space between them. In the beat that Erica's clawed hands were swiping her, Kate jumped back before stepping back in and blowing something in the other woman's face, a cloud of black dust to her face.

         

          A burning sensation spread through Erica's face that quickly escalated into an almost mindless pain from her skin to her lungs where she had breathed it in, and she screamed, grasping at her face, trying to take off whatever the bitch had put on her face, but it only worsened the feeling.

 

          Derek bared his teeth at the hunter, immediately recognizing what Kate had blown on his Beta's face.

         

          "Wolfsbane." Stiles' jaw seemed to jump when his eyes flickered to Kate. "I will fucking kill you."

 

          The minute he said this, Derek and Stiles pounced on her and she tried to sidestep them but Merlin had already moved Derek's bookshelf, blocking her path. They knocked her down, Stiles' claw catching onto her ear and viciously ripping it, causing Kate to shout as blood immediately began to spurt out. Derek punched her in the nose before she brought up one of her knees hard into Stiles' side, causing him to flinch. She took advantage of the opening and brought her legs up, kicking Stiles in the stomach and away from her, using the momentum to jump into a crouch. Her foot had been caught in Derek's tight grip though and he yanked her back. However he had failed to account for her right hand, unholstering a gun that she had on her calf, and when he had positioned himself over her, hand on her neck, Kate give him a victorious smile as she trained her gun under his chin. The position they were in was obviously affecting Derek, with her under him, his legs straddling her hips, with only the bare minimum of space between them.

 

          "Take another step towards me, fox, and I'll blow his brains out." Kate tilted her head back to stare at Stiles eye to eye, enjoying the way Stiles' eyes narrowed in fear and anger.  She moved Derek and herself around, making sure that the barrel of the gun never left Derek's skin, so that they were standing, her form pressed against his. A look of nausea crossed Derek's face and she tutted her tongue.

 

          "Come on, Derek. Don't act like that. I remember you quite enjoyed our time together." Kate's eyes locked onto Stiles as she leaned over and licked Derek's jaw, causing Stiles' eyes to darken and a hissed growl to come from his lips.

 

          Then suddenly she was being yanked back, dropping the gun, with the charm pressing harshly against her throat and Peter took her in a chokehold, to which she began to viciously elbow him, kicking him in the legs as her face started to turn red. She jabbed her fist right on the bullet wound in his shoulder causing Peter's grip to weaken, giving her a second of reprieve which she used to grab a knife from her squished backpack and twisted the knife in her hand. She drove it back with all her strength and angling it up so that when it went into Peter's ribs, it was angling towards the heart.

 

          Derek ripped the charm off her neck and Peter shoved her towards Merlin who immediately began the spell, which locked her into place and he began to say the incantation.

 

          Hands shaking, Stiles rushed over to Peter whose face was scrunched up in pain as he placed shaking hands around where the knife was buried. He leaned back against the window still, as he pursed his lips together, breathing roughly through his nose.

 

          "Oh my god, Peter, no!" Stiles placed a hand on his arm, as he looked at the knife wound, that was creating a growing bloodstain on Peter's shirt. "We have to get you to a doctor, but Deaton isn't here, and oh god, you can't die, Peter." He ran a hand through his hair as he started to cry. The older werewolf looked up at Stiles whose eyes were closed as he tried to think. Think. THINK. Of something-- of anything that could help Peter.

 

          "Hey," Peter coughed wetly as blood immediately began fall from his mouth. Stiles looked horrified at this and he turned to Derek desperately.

 

          "Call someone, Derek. Call someone or he's going to die. You have to save him, Derek. I haven't gotten to talk to him yet about what's happened since we separated. I haven't gotten to tell him about when I finally learned to ride my bike. Or how I still take bubble baths. Or my first kiss. I haven't... There's still so much-" Stiles couldn't help the sob that broke through his mouth although he did try to cover it. Peter's hand cupped Stiles' face and he fondly smiled up at the younger man who immediately shot himself into Peter's arms, hugging him tightly as he cried. Peter let out a pained breath but he wrapped an arm around Stiles' shoulder, rubbing his face against Stiles' cheek, marking him as pack and family.

 

          "I'm not dying, Stiles." Peter laughed as blood dripped down his chin, and the werefox drew back in a snap with a look of confusion. "There isn’t any wolfsbane on this knife. It’s foxbane. This was meant for you, knowing Kate. We just need to take the knife out carefully and purify the wound, then let it heal. It’ll take a bit longer than normal to heal, but I should live as long as I take the antidote.”

 

          “So you just let me say all that because—” Stiles sniffed, rubbing his nose against his shirt. Peter pinched his nose with his fingers, gently butting heads with the younger man with a wide and bloody grin on his face.

 

          “Because I deserve to have someone cry over my dying body after having to deal with all of you.”

 

          Stiles frowned at him.

 

          “This is why people Molotov cocktail you, you jerk.” He sniffed as he crossed his arms, ears lowering in displeasure. Peter laughed, hand reaching up to rub the tip of one ear.

 

          “I’ll make it up to you.” Peter coughed, blood spraying into his hand. “But for right now, let’s deal with the Kate situation.” He turned to Merlin who seemed to be powering down.In front of them, inside of a burned circle, was Kate Argent, 50 years older than she had been seconds ago.

Chapter Text

          “What did you do to me?” The croaky voice that came out of the old woman in front of them was grating on their ears. She brought her hands up to her face as she fell back onto the floor. Derek regarded her with a look of hatred on his face and Merlin turned to the closet, opening it. Arthur came out and grabbed Kate by the shoulders, lifting her easily. Kate squirmed, trying to break out of his grip but she started panting and groaning almost immediately. “Let me go. I will kill you.”

 

          “Not so strong now, are you, hunter?” Merlin gave her a cold smile as he opened the door for Arthur.

 

          “Wait, where are you taking her?” Derek frowned as he trailed after them. The two British men ignored his question, seeming to know exactly where they were going. Stiles wrapped Peter’s good arm around his shoulder, letting him lean on him. As they passed Erica who was still crying as she leaned against one of the remaining bedposts, Stiles pulled her up, holding her hand in his, leading her towards the door.

 

          “For right now, the best thing we can do is put her in the shower.” Peter panted, his hand tightening around Stiles’ shoulder. “It won’t clear everything, but until we get the right materials, it’ll do.”

 

          “I,” Erica sniffed, struggling to not cry, “I didn’t know you cared, you zombie wolf.” Stiles laughed, fondly squeezing her hand at her attempt at humor through the pain.

 

          “I don’t. I was telling Stiles because he cares.” Peter sniffed, turning his face away from her even though she couldn’t see it. The werefox in between them rolled his eyes at their antics, before kicking open the bathroom right outside of Derek’s room. He lowered Peter onto the toilet and helped Erica into the bath tub, tilting her face up as he turned on the showerhead.

 

          “Stiles, what the fuck it’s cold?!” Erica yelped, jerking away from the cold spray and Stiles winced in sympathy, quickly adjusting the temperature.

         

          “Sorry, my bad.” Stiles stroked her head before grabbing a towel and carefully wiping away the wolfsbane from her eyes. It was clumped up in her eyelashes, sticking to her mascara. Erica was wiping away the rest of her face with trembling hands, wincing and trying not to cry. The werefox pulled her into  tight hug that she leaned into it, tucking her chin into the juncture between Stiles’ shoulder and neck. A sense of relief filled Stiles as he rubbed his cheek on the side of her head. She was safe and alive.

 

          “Alright, alright, enough, Stiles. We have to go and see what they’re doing to Kate.” Peter threw a toothbrush at Stiles’ back and the werefox turned around with a raised eyebrow. “Don’t look at me like that. I am seriously hurt, remember?” He put a dramatic hand to his forehead, looking away.

 

          “Go, Stiles, I’ll be fine.” Erica gave him a hesitant grin, taking the towel from his hands. Her face still looked red, but she didn’t seem to be in as much pain as before.

 

          “Alright, um, stay here.” Stiles ducked underneath Peter’s arm and helped him back to his feet, frowning when the older man let out an unwanted shout, grasping his shoulder. Stiles opened his mouth, but Peter cut him off.

 

          “I’m fine. Let’s just go.” Stiles nodded, and they walked all the way down the staircase to the living room where everyone was in various states of pain. The front door was wide open and the only person who seemed to be relatively unhurt was Allison who was handcuffed and tied to one of the armchair. There was a cloth in her mouth and Chris was looking at her with wary eyes from across the room, the Sheriff at his side.

 

          “Where’s Kate?” Stiles asked.

 

          “Arthur dragged her out of the door. Merlin and Derek are out there too.” Chris said as he scooted over for Peter to sit down next to him. The werewolf leaned on the hunter who looked down at him in concern.

 

          “Foxbane knife. Fix it.” Peter tugged off his shirt, wincing when his shoulder shifted. A part of Stiles wanted to stay and take care of Peter, but another part was telling him that he needed to be outside next to Derek at this very second. He turned to his dad.

 

          “Dad, I’m going to go see what’s up with Kate.” His dad nodded and Stiles made his way out of the house and to the lawn where Merlin and Arthur were standing in front of Kate, looking like they were talking to her. Derek had a blank look on his face, standing to the side and Stiles hastened to his side, laying a hand on his arm.

 

          “What’s going on?” Stiles frowned at Merlin.

 

          “They’re dealing with Kate.” Derek said.

 

          “You’re what?” Stiles said flatly, crossing his arms as he turned to face the British men face on. “I’m sorry, but first of all, you’re going to have to tell me who the fuck you think you are. Thanks for helping us out, strangers, but I don’t think you know exactly what that thing has done.” He gestured to Kate who looked angry and in pain, rubbing her arms.

 

          “I know about the things that she’s done, Genim.” Merlin said and Stiles interrupted him.

 

          “I’m gonna stop you right there, mister. My name is Stiles. The only people who can call me by my real name is my family.”

 

          “Okay, Stiles, I was a friend of your mom’s. I was the one that gave her those extra two years to live. I was the one who took away your werefox on her behalf. I feel responsible for letting this hunter get away with so much pain. I should’ve gone after her after she poisoned Claudia, and I don’t know why I didn’t. But I’m here now. I’m going to make it up to one of my best friends, even if she isn’t alive.” Merlin said resolutely, his eyes flashing gold with the promise.

 

          “That revenge you’re trying to exact isn’t yours to give.” Stiles argued.

 

          “I promise you that this is the right choice. Trust me.” Merlin’s heartbeat remained steady and just as Stiles was about to go off on him, Derek put a hand on his arm.

 

          “Let him. Stiles, as long as she doesn’t bother anyone anymore, I’m done. I’m done having to deal with Kate and always being paranoid that she’s just around the corner. Let Merlin deal with her.” The look on Derek’s face was something painful to see, because even as he said these words with conviction, his eyes were dilated and his hands were slightly shaking at his side. After all these years, Kate was still able to provoke this kind of reaction in Derek, and it infuriated Stiles. He wished that he could go back in time and stop it from ever happening. He wished that he could kill Kate before she ever came into contact with the Hales. Stiles took Derek’s hand in his, curling his fingers over the fist that Derek had made.

 

          Derek swallowed and relaxed his hand, letting their fingers intertwine, and he kept his eyes to the ground, until Stiles leaned in, tilting his head up so that their eyes met.

 

          “Are you sure?” Stiles asked, squeezing his hand. “Because I can totally beat them up and kick them out of here. I’m a werefox now; I got super strength like you.” He winked at Derek who gave him a small grin.

 

          “I’m sure.” Derek said, nodding towards Merlin who gave him an appreciative smile and turned back to Kate who looked disgusted at Stiles and Derek.

 

          “Well, then, Kate Argent, the time has come for me to punish you for what you’ve done. I mean, besides what I’ve already done.” Merlin waved at her old body.

 

          “Do whatever you want. Every single person that I killed deserved it.” She spat at him.

 

          “Now, there’s no reason to be so hostile.” He put his hands out in a pacifying manner, and Stiles’ lips tightened. He didn’t like how gently Merlin was talking to her, but he kept his tongue, curling his fingers tighter around Derek’s. “I have a proposition for you, Argent. Let’s make a deal.”

 

          “A deal?” She looked unimpressed, a white eyebrow rising.

         

          “Sure, Argent.” Merlin gave her a genuine smile. “I’ll turn you back into your age if you promise to never hunt another supernatural creature.” He waved a hand to Arthur who took out a vial with a bright orange color. “The liquid in here is a potion that will counteract the spell that I put on you.”

 

          “What?!” Stiles yelled, trying to let go of Derek’s hand. The werewolf wouldn’t let him though. “No, Derek, let me go! What do you think you’re doing? She doesn’t deserve a second chance.” Stiles’ eyes flashed a supernatural gold as his fangs extended. He desperately tried to pull himself from Derek’s grasp and he looked up at his mate with furious eyes. “Derek, let me go.”

 

          “I trust them, Stiles.” Derek said simply, shaking his head. Kate met Stiles’ eyes straight on and she smiled wickedly, the wrinkles around her mouth giving it an even creepier look, before turning to Merlin. She put on an obviously false altruistic face, turning her face up to the wizard. Her bony hands turned palm up.

 

          “You’re right. This fight between the supernatural and humans is too much. I don’t want to be like this for the rest of my days. I’ll take your deal.” She struggled to her feet, and no one made a move to help her. She coughed when she finally got to her feet, back bent and legs trembling. “I promise that I won’t hurt another creature again.” She made a trembling ‘x’ over her heart. “What magic ritual do you want me to do?” She cast a prideful glance at Stiles who was fuming.

 

          “No ritual. I’ll trust you on your word, Argent.” Arthur placed the vial in Merlin’s hand and Stiles swore that he could feel his fox clawing to come out. He had to fight the transformation that was itching under his skin.

 

          “I promise.” Kate took the vial and drank it  with one shaking hand. Almost immediately she began to go back to her normal form, the white hair bleeding into blonde and the wrinkles starting to lift. She laughed as she threw the vial on the ground next to her. “You’re such fools, and this is exactly why it’s so easy to kill you. You should’ve trusted Stiles, but I’m glad you didn’t. ” She chuckled, shaking her head.

 

          Merlin gave her a dark smile and lifted his eyebrows. Kate frowned at the lack of response and looked down at her hands in alarm as they continued to shift, getting smaller and her skin started to grow light brown hair. She looked up at the wizard with anger.

 

          “A were really?” She laughed. “You’re gonna make me one of them? That’s not too bad. It gives me better strength.” She jutted her chin up defiantly as she fell painfully to her hands, her shoes coming off to reveal… hooves? She screamed as her body began to rearrange itself in the form of what looked to be a deer. Her face lengthened out and then Stiles stared in wonder at the deer that was standing in front of them. Kate seemed to be panicking, trying to walk with this new body, but crumbling.

 

          Arthur stepped forward at this point, and he crouched down so that he was eye level with the deer.

 

          “You were right. We weren’t going to give you a second chance, and while we had considered turning you into a werecreature to give you a taste of what it’s like to be on the other side of the gun, we didn’t want you to think that being a were was something that was bad, so instead we decided to give you a taste of what it’s like to be actual prey. To always feel that fear of a predator behind you.” He stood up and made a jerking movement at her, and even if Kate didn’t know how to navigate her new body, her instincts took over and she skidded away from them, legs trembling. She shook her head. Arthur looked down at her from the bridge of his nose. “And I’d be careful, Kate. The full moon is tomorrow, and wolves are known to get very very hungry at that time.” With that, he took out his gun and shot the ground right next to her, causing her to go haywire and skittishly escape into the forest.

 

          “It’s done.” Derek smiled and Stiles turned his head up to the werewolf’s, his heart clenching in his chest at the silent tears that were streaming down his face.  He reached up and cupped Derek’s cheeks in his hands, wiping the tears from his face with his thumb.

 

          “Yeah, she’s gone. You’re safe now, Derek.” Derek turned his face to Stiles’ wrist, kissing it gently as a sob escaped from his mouth. The werefox turned to Merlin and Arthur and he nodded at them. Kate didn’t deserve to live but she also didn’t deserve a quick death. What they had done was the perfect balance. Letting her live but only in fear and paranoia and eventually die alone and having accomplished nothing with the rest of her life.

 

          The fox in Stiles darkly reminded him that he knew exactly what Kate smelled like.

 


 

 

 

          Inside the house, the entire pack and company had set themselves up in the living room, Boyd having woken up and run down the stairs a state of panic before seeing the pack safe on the couches. Isaac was gently dabbing Erica’s face with a wet cloth, and Boyd had a pack of ice over one of the many bruises over his body. Scott was sleeping, strewn across the floor, one arm beneath his head. Peter, John, and Chris were all in the kitchen, arguing.

 

          “We can’t go to a hospital like this. They’re going to want to know why we’re all fucking stabbed and shot. We would look like some kind of mafia group.” Chris glared up at John who looked like he was ready to bring out the taser again. He had a bunch of different powders and balms on the counter next to Peter who was shirtless. “Peter, tell him what happened the last time you decided to take a were to the hospital.”

 

          “They got kill-“

 

          “They got KILLED, John.” Chris shoved a finger at his chest as he mixed a balm with another one. Once it was properly mixed, he took some on his fingers and dabbed it at the knife wound. Peter let out a growl, eyes flashing in anger at the hunter who rolled his eyes.  “Hunters keep an eye out for hospitals, and you better believe that my dad knows when a were is checked in. That’s why Derek always goes to that vet.” He turned to Peter, rolling his eyes.

 

          “Then why don’t we just go to Deaton then?” John asked as he carefully hoisted himself onto the counter.

 

          “He’s out of town, and he’s the only vet we have in this stupid small town.” Peter groaned, jerking away from Chris’ painful treatment. The hunter yanked him back into place as he took some white powder and rubbed it into the wound. The werewolf screamed in pain, trying to escape, only to be held in place by Chris and John.

 

          “Don’t move so much. You’re not the only one with injuries.” Chris said between gritted teeth, looking down indicatively at the knife that was still embedded in his arms. “Fuck, you need to have some kind of person with medical training.”

 

          Peter paused for a second, panting before scrambling for his phone.

 

          “Two. I can’t believe I didn’t think about this before.”

 

          He dialed a number then put the phone to his ear.

         

          “Hello?”

 

          “Melissa, beautiful, wonderful Melissa McCall, you’re free right now, right?”

 

          “Yeah, I have the night off. What do you want, Peter? Is everything okay?” Her voice came out concerned and he could already hear the rustling of her moving around and grabbing stuff.

 

          “Yes. Well, no. Kate Argent, homicidal sister of Chris Argent, came around and she whooped our—” John snatched the phone from his hand.

 

          “Hello, Melissa, this is John. We have multiple bullet wounds, knife wounds, what I think is a nonlethal allergic reaction, and various cuts and bruises. We would appreciate your medical expertise in this.” He grunted into the phone.

 

          “Oh my god, of course. Where are you guys?” John passed along all the information then hanged up, looking to Peter who looked strangely dizzy. Chris and he shared a concerned look.

 

          “Who is the other person you need to call?”

 

          “Oh, yeah, hand it over.” He made grabby hands at the cellphone and John handed it over. “Alright, let’s scroll down to the B’s.” He clicked the screen then put it up to his ear, humming. The other person picked up quickly with a gruff, “Hello?”

 

         “Yes, hello, this is Leonard ‘Bones’ McCoy, right?”

 

          “Yes, who is this?” The other yawned.

 

          “This is Peter Hale. We met at that arcade thing the other day. You brought your daughter Jo and I brought my child, Stiles.”

 

          “Yeah,”

 

          “Well, I know that you’re a doctor, and well—”

 

          Bones groaned on the other side of the line, the sound of voices in the background asking him where he’s going.

 

          “Text me the address. I’m on my way. Goddamit, I’m a doctor not a mobile ER.”

         

          Peter giggled at the sound of the other man hanging up. He felt two sets of hands on him, one on his face. His head felt heavy all of the sudden and he could distantly hear John and Chris talking but they seemed to be really far. His half open eyes met with John’s before he descended into darkness. Was that concern for him? How touching.

Chapter Text

          Bones and Melissa turned out to be a rather dynamic team. She was very quick on the updated supernatural medical kit, and Bones was appreciative of that. Even if he expressed it in impatient demands and half grumbled thanks. The first person they had treated was Chris, since he was a human and did not have the supernatural healing ability that the rest of them had. Of course, there was also the issue of him having a knife in his arm, which he was lucky did not slice any of the arterial veins. The only problem was that he would most likely not be able to bend it in certain ways until the muscle where it had entered healed.

 

          Melissa had near lost her head when she saw her son sleeping on the couch, thinking that he had been knocked out or worse… was dead. They had quickly dispelled her of the thought by slapping Scott in the head, which woke him momentarily, groaning about how he could skip school today before falling back asleep. She had been relieved at the terrible excuse.

 

          It was a miracle that Bones had arrived when he did, because Chris had started to feel like he was going to faint like Peter, but John had managed to keep him awake with orange juice and occasionally spraying him with the kitchen sink water sprayer. The hunter hadn’t been happy with it but admitted that it kept him awake.

 

          After Bones had pulled the knife, cauterized, purified and bandaged the knife wound, he moved to John who hunched his shoulders, looking nervously at the big bag of medical equipment that the doctor had brought.

 

          “It’s just a bullet wound. I could get it fixed in the hospital.” He said weakly as he tried to step back from the doctor. Chris had started to chuckle at the Sheriff’s obvious anxiety, shaking his head at the still form of Peter. The werewolf was going to be so mad that he couldn’t tease the Sheriff about this.

 

          Bones’ nostrils flared as he frowned at John.

 

          “I could do a better job than any of those damn small town doctors.” He crossed his arms in front of his chest. “Just let me look at it to see if there’s even a bullet that we need to take out or not.” He rolled his eyes at John’s attempts to step out of his proximity and pushed him to the kitchen counter, pulling his shirt up roughly. The bullet wound didn’t look too bad. It seemed to have grazed the man enough to make an open bleed, but the bullet had gone clean through. They would just have to clean it and bandage it. Bones’ eyes trailed up to John’s worried eyes.

 

          “Yep, we’re gonna have to open you up. The bullet seems to have lodged into one of your abdominal muscles.” Bones turned around, winking at Melissa who almost snorted at seeing how pale the Sheriff got. The doctor went to his bag and took out one of the saw he had, turning back around to John. “Now, you’re going to have to stay still.” He took a step closer as the other man scrambled away from him, tripping over his feet and accidently landing directly on Peter who startled awake.

 

          The scent of fear and panic filled his nose and Peter hugged the person in front of him moving them so that the other was underneath him, Peter’s body shielding the other. It took him a few seconds to push down the nausea that was rising at just the movement and another to breathe through the pain pulsing through his shoulder and side.

 

          “Calm down, you baby.” Bones sighed, rolling his eyes as he put the saw back. There were bandages in his hand when he turned back around. “I just need to clean and bandage it; the bullet just grazed you. There wasn’t any need for you to go running to your mate.”

 

          “Peter is not my… mate.” John sputtered, pushing at Peter’s chest before he froze at seeing the other man tense in pain. He sat up, carefully getting Peter into a sitting position that didn’t put any pressure on his wounds. The doctor raised an eyebrow at this, unimpressed, and John blushed.

 

          "Listen, I have my own little triumvirate of a mateship, and I know what it looks like." Bones waved a hand at the three men and this time it was Chris who straightened with a bewildered look to Peter and John. The doctor quickly and efficiently dealt with the wound, covering it before patting John's side and standing up to tower over Peter whose eyes were half lidded and looking at him.

 

          "And what exactly is wrong with you?" Bones put his hands on his hips. The werewolf scooted up into a sitting position, groaning at the pain in his shoulder.

 

          "I was shot by his daughter," Peter pointed to Chris. "And then took a knife for his son." He pointed to John and leaned back against the counter. "I was the best goddamn hero in this entire thing."

 

          "Sure, alright, let's deal with the knife wound first." Bones turned to Melissa. "Do you know how to purify a wound?"

 

          "I kind of saw you do it? But you’ll need to explain it to me the details."

 

          "We're basically gonna spice him up with all these different powders. Supernatural creatures are sensitive to certain elements, some can be toxic and others lethal. Purifying basically means that we're gonna cancel out the effects. Don't worry; it’s not that difficult. We're basically sanitizing it." He took a couple of bags that were filled with what they needed.

 

          "It is going to hurt a little."

 

Chapter Text

          Stiles and Derek were sitting across from each other, Derek on the bed and Stiles on one of the dressers that had been upended in the earlier fight. Derek looked tired and relieved at the same time, and Stiles loved the look on him. Usually he would carry himself with tense shoulders and a serious look on his face, like if he had no choice but to carry the world on his shoulders.

 

          The werefox stood up and walked closer to Derek whose bright green eyes flickered up to meet Stiles'. When he was close enough, Derek put two hands on his hips before sliding them around and hugging Stiles close to him, face pressing into his stomach as he breathed. The quiet in the room seemed to envelope them and Stiles ran his hands through the other's hair, almost chuckling at the way Derek seemed to melt further into him.

 

          And that's exactly how Stiles wanted it to be. He wanted to stay here, surrounded in the warmth of Derek’s arms.

 

          "I want my memories back." Derek mumbled into his shirt, taking a deep breath before letting out an appreciate noise and burying his nose deeper into the scent of his mate. It filled him with a sense of home and belonging that he could only remember feeling in passing moments throughout his life. Like the Hale House before the fire. Or coming back from college to the small apartment that Laura had bought in New York. Or, and Derek paused in surprise, or when the pack all came together every month to binge watch whatever Stiles had decided they needed to watch.

 

          "Well, I'm sure that we can get Scott or Peter to put the memories back." Stiles said softly, almost like if he was afraid to break the moment. "I would do it, but I don't know how, and I highly doubt that there's a WikiHow on claw memory extraction." He put his hands on each side of Derek's head and pulled him back a little. The Alpha's eyes were half lidded and he looked almost drugged as he tilted his head back, chin on Stiles' chest. The werefox laughed, leaning down to place a light kiss on his lips.

 

          "Someone looks a little happy." He moved trailed kisses down Derek's jaw and the other tilted his head with a soft moan. Something hot settled in Stiles' gut at the sound and he placed a bite right underneath his jaw. 

 

          "Stiles," Derek half choked out, hands flying to his shoulders and said person took pity on him, leaning away as he sat down beside him. Did Stiles feel a little bit proud of how wrecked Derek looked? Maybe. Was it well justified? Oh yeah.

 

          "So you don't remember anything?" Stiles said, mercifully changing the subject. "Like at all? Is there just like blank spots scattered in your earlier years? One second you’re going to Pre-K and the next you’re going to middle school.” He snorted at the idea, and he pulled Derek, rearranging him until the werewolf was lying on his lap.

 

          “No,” Derek’s lip almost turned into a pout, but he managed to save the expression by turning it into a scowl. “What were we like?” Stiles leaned down and nuzzled Derek’s cheek, letting out a sound at the feel of Derek’s scruff on his cheek.

 

          “You were so awkward.” Stiles laughed. “One time you tried to hold my hand during a scary part of the movie to protect me, but I didn’t understand and gave you one of my toys to hug. And then one time, our families were hanging out during the full moon, and you kept bringing me trying to scent mark me, but I kept jumping into the river. You got so moody that you tried to ignore me for the rest of the night, but then you found a cool stone and gave it to me all excited before you remembered that you were supposed to be ignoring me.” Stiles giggled. “Oh, and then Laura tried to set up a date for us, but when I tried to hold your hand, you said that I was contagious and hid in your room for the rest of the day.” He laughed hard at this one.

 

          Derek buried his face in his hands at hearing what his younger self had attempted to do in wooing Stiles. It kind of made him not want to get those memories back. How had he managed to get the reputation of a cool jock in high school if this is what his flirting had started out as?

 

          The werefox above him seemed to find it adorable and placed a soft kiss that seemed to leave a hot imprint in the skin it touched.

 

          "Look at you." Stiles said, trailing his fingers across the unblemished skin on Derek's face before lightly touching the bright purple bruise that was on his jaw. "You look like some kind of mafia boss that just came back from a turf battle."

 

          "It seemed more like I was fighting some kind of huge army or something." Derek muttered, leaning into the touch. "Kate was one of the best hunters in the hunter community, and I still can't believe we managed to beat her."

 

          "Yeah, she was so crazy. Like if I didn't know for sure that she wasn't a supernatural creature, I would've literally placed all my bets on her being some kind of were." He shuddered and Derek grabbed his hands and brought them down to his chest, letting them rest there as he breathed in, relaxing and tilting his head back onto the bed. It had been so long since he had been able to feel this relaxed and at peace around someone.

 

          Stiles' tail came around from him and brushed against the long expanse of skin that Derek had allowed him. It tickled but Derek didn't feel any sort of apprehension, because he knew that Stiles would protect him. That Stiles would never let anything happen to him if he had the power to prevent it.

 

          He was at the point of sleeping when he heard a small knock on the door.

 

          "Come in." Stiles called out as Derek brought himself back into a sitting position. It was Isaac who opened the door, looking at the little space between them with thinly veiled amusement.

 

          "Dr. McCoy said that you can come back downstairs. Your dad has already been treated and they just finished with Peter." He said as he stepped closer to Derek before pausing. The Alpha stood up and cupped his face, gently petting the top of his head, running his fingers through his beta’s hair. 

 

Sometimes after a particularly violent fight, his Betas needed the security of being around the Alpha to feel better. With Isaac, though, it was different, because while he craved to be part of the pack snuggles and comforting scent marking sessions that Derek had, the touch would trigger something in Isaac that made him shy away from touch. They had managed to find a compromise where Isaac would step closer to him when he was ready to be scent marked, and Derek would stay above the shoulders and do everything gently. It satisfied his wolf's need to make sure his pack was safe, and Isaac's wolf would be adequately comforted until he felt ready to be properly comforted.

 

          However, this time, as Derek's scent was carefully left on Isaac, the Beta felt something in him shift restlessly. This was helping, but there was something also missing. His eyes flickered over to Stiles' who was looking at them with curious eyes. Something in him propelled him to step away from the Alpha and lean towards the werefox.

 

          "Isaac?" Derek asked, frowning as he stepped out of his reach.

 

          The only person who didn't seem confused as to what was going on was Stiles who immediately reached up and let Isaac take his hand before guiding it onto the opposite cheek that Derek had been cupping. Even with his nerves on edge, Isaac felt something similar to the comfort that he got from Derek fill him. If Isaac didn’t know better, he would’ve said that Stiles was an Alpha, but that was impossible.

 

          “Dude, this feels weird.” Stiles said, and Isaac jerked his face away from his hold, feeling self-conscious all of the sudden. The werefox noticed this and hastened to correct himself. “I mean, not you. This whole being a werefox thing, like I always thought you guys were just rubbing cheeks and stuff to like to share the pack scent or something like that, but there’s so much… feeling to it.”

 

          The Alpha werewolf was looking on at the two of them with strange eyes, but he withheld any comment.

 

          “Peter.” Stiles said suddenly, standing up. “I have to go see how he is.”

 

          Isaac nodded and stepped back, letting Stiles step past him and towards the door. He turned on his heel as soon as he was under the doorway, lifting an eyebrow at how neither of them had moved to follow him.

 

          “Well, come on. The rest of the pack is downstairs, and I’m sure that they wouldn’t mind a pack night or something.”

Chapter Text

          “What else are we going to do with all the toys and blankets that you bought me?” Stiles argued as Derek let Bones work on the scratches that had traces of wolfsbane in them. It hadn’t been easy to get the Alpha to let the doctor work on him when they still had Allison, an enemy, in the presence, and some of the pack members still hurt, but Doctor McCoy had noticed that signs of slow poisoning in Derek’s much calmer demeanor.

 

          “You are not going to litter my living room with toys and blankets. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re any neater than you were at 5 years old.” Derek scowled, wincing at the salve that Bones was putting on him. It was the same one that he had used with Peter, who had woken him glaring at the doctor through half-lidded eyes. He had fallen back to sleep, but not before casting a fond smile to Stiles.

 

          “But, Derek, your living room is already a mess. At least with the toys and blankets, we could have a room that’s a little bit more homier.” Stiles tried to pout, but Derek ignored the attempts to appeal to his better nature. “Come on, Derek. What was the point of buying them if not to use them?”

 

          “Five year old you was going to use them. We don’t need them now that you’re older.”

 

          “Will the two of you shut up for crying out loud?” Bones rolled his eyes, exasperated by their back and forth arguing. He grabbed Derek’s wandering arm and forcefully put a Band-Aid over one of the cuts.

 

          “You don’t even go here.” Stiles stuck out his tongue at the doctor.

 

          “He wouldn’t understand that reference.” Derek turned his back, who leaned over his shoulder to see what Bones was doing. The werefox scoffed at him.

 

          “I’m surprised that you do.”

 

          “Ooo, burn!” Erica laughed and the Alpha turned his head to cast a look of betrayal at her. She shrugged her shoulders unapologetically. “What? It’s true! You like stuff that was around when you were our age.”

 

          “How old do you think I am?” Derek asked bewildered.

 

          “Early 30’s?” Erica shrugged, looking around the room at the other packmates who nodded their heads in agreements, save for Lydia who squinted at Derek. The Alpha’s mouth dropped open at their responses and turned to look at Stiles who had a hand over his mouth as he struggled not to laugh.

 

          “That’s what happens when you act all snooty about not watching TV shows with us.” Lydia shrugged, and Derek’s mouth shut close as he shook his head in disbelief. All this time, they’ve been thinking that he was as old as Peter. That was a radical and hard thing to swallow.

 

          “Guys, I’m only 24.” Derek rubbed a self-conscious hand over his cheek. Had he really let himself go that much? He thought that he looked rather good for his age, but then again he hadn’t really interacted with actual people for years. Maybe he had gotten stuck in his idea of what older people should look like. Laura had always told him that he dressed like a modern greaser.

 

          The reaction around from the pack was varied, from Scott raising his eyebrows to Lydia nodding sagely. The funniest one was Stiles who leaned over Derek’s shoulder to get a better look at his body, making Derek’s cheeks flush at the obvious perusal that his mate was having. His wolf knew that he didn’t look too bad.

         

          “You’re only five years older than us.” Scott let out a laugh, running a hand through his hair. “You’re just as lost as we are.” He pointed accusingly at Derek.

 

          “I never said that I had all the answers.” He pursed his lips, crossing his arms over his chest. It was yanked back onto Bones’ lap as he rubbed another mixture of powders into a deeper gash on the inside of his elbow. That one was going to hurt for the next few days.

 

          “I can’t believe I’ve been taking orders from someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.” Erica nodded absentmindedly, then her head swiveled over to Peter whose eyes were slitted but still open. “I can’t believe you’ve been taking orders from someone that young! Doesn’t age matter when choosing an Alpha for a group?”

         

          “How old do you think Peter is?” Chris asked from where he was sitting on the couch.

 

          “I don’t know?” Erica waved her hands around. “37?”

 

          “God, you kids have a horrible sense of age. Please never guess how old I am. He’s 29. Peter’s only a few years older than Derek.” John shook his head as he melted into the couch, careful not to put pressure on his wound.

 

          There was a round of exclamations around the room at that.

 

          “Peter is NOT 29.” Isaac exclaimed, looking over at the barely awake werewolf who was frowning at the pack who all seemed to be scrutinizing him.

 

          “There’s no way that Peter is in his 20’s.” Stiles frowned. “He was like way older than me when I was younger. He was like grown, you know?”

 

          “You were five, Stiles; everybody was older to you. You were terrified of high schoolers because you thought they were adults.” John chuckled.

 

          “Yeah, but Peter doesn’t even look like he’s 29. He looks like he’s at least 32, and he acts like he’s been alive since the last century.” Stiles stalked over to where Peter was lying and leaned in with a harsh whisper. “You can lie to all of them, but I know that you’re actually a vampire disguised as a werewolf. You’ve been around for ages and you just want them to think that you’re all young.” He poked him gently on the forehead, ignoring the playful growl that Peter gave him. “You’re not fooling this cowboy though.”

 

          “Stiles, what the fuck are you even saying?” Derek took a step towards them, totally not because he was feeling territorial. Stiles turned on his heel with an innocent look on his face.

 

          “I was just wishing Peter a speedy recovery.”

 

          Derek rubbed his forehead, wondering why in the world he was in love with such a moronic person.

 

          “Stiles,” Derek sighed, looking up at the ceiling with an exasperated look on his face. “We have enhanced hearing. I can hear you from two feet away.”

 

          “Can you really though?” Stiles put his hands beside him and raised his eyebrows.

 

          “Not that this isn’t fun.” Jackson said, rolling his eyes. “But just because Kate isn’t around anymore doesn’t mean that we’re safe. Allison is still ready to kill us, even if she is tied up.” The person in question glared at him before turning her gaze to Stiles who was looking at her with a contemplative look. After what she had done, siding with Kate, she wasn’t someone that Stiles felt comfortable just letting back into Beacon Hills, where there was an increasing amount of werecreatures who all were just trying to live their lives. He turned to Chris.

 

          “She’s your daughter.” Stiles said, jerking his head at her as he stood up from where he had been sitting next to Derek. He stalked over to Chris, standing over him, stance hard and determined. “But she’s a danger to my pack, and she isn’t staying in town.” He had a hard look on his face like if he was expecting Chris to disagree or fight him on this, but the hunter nodded.

 

          Derek, on the other hand, was struggling to swallow at seeing Stiles take control of the pack. The side profile of Stiles looking down at Chris, unrepentant of the fact that he was threatening Chris on behalf of the pack made his wolf wish it could purr. The flittering image of Stiles straddling him, looking down at him from his nose, eyes red, made Derek suddenly cough, blushing. Neither the hunter nor his mate turned their head at the noise.

 

          “I agree.” Chris conceded. “She isn’t someone that can be in town.” He turned his head to Allison who was looking at them with a bored eyes. “You’ve shown that you’re going to side with people like Kate Argent and—”

 

          “Wait,” Bones’ head shot up from where he was ruffling through his medical bag. His eyes were wide and he frowned at Chris. “What did you just say?”

          “That she’s sided with people like Kate Argent?” Chris tilted his head. The other man blinked, shocked into silence before he stood to his feet, whipping his phone out.

 

          “Kate Argent, as in the Kate Argent that decimated the werewolf packs of San Francisco?” He turned the phone to Chris with a photo hastily taken of a younger Kate, who had shorter hair. Chris nodded, his face dropping as he realized where this was going. Bones’ face reddened.

 

          “Do you know what that homicidal murderer did to my husband’s pack?” Bones asked, clenching his fists. “She convinced my husband to let her into the apartment after saying that one of the pack members might be trying to poison the rest of them. She fucking lied to him, got him to trust her, and then she killed all of his pack except for his dad and him who managed to escape. They were still alive when the apartment burned.”

         

          The hunter looked down, swallowing as he heard this.

 

          “The Vulcan pack.”

          “Yeah… how do you know the name?” Bones took long strides towards him, pulling him up to his feet by his shirt. “How do you know that name?” He hissed in his face, and Stile moved to get in between them, but Chris shook his head at Stiles’ attempt before turning to Bones who everyone was suddenly reminded was an ex-Airforce medic.

 

          “Kate Argent is my sister, and she told me about that hu—time. I’m sorry she did that. If there’s anything I can do to make up for the things that she’s done, tell me. I promise you that she does not represent the Argent family or its ideals. Our mission is not to hunt those who hunt us, but to defend those that cannot defend themselves.”

 

          “Well, a great job you did at that.” Bones scoffed, shaking his head as he pushed Chris onto the couch, turning on his heel as he pressed his phone angrily. He put it up to his ear, glaring at Chris. Peter had been properly woken up at this point and was frowning at the entire situation.

 

          “Hey, listen, Leonard, remember that this man,” Peter jutted a finger at Chris. “Did not kill your husband’s pack. He just happens to be related to the person. And also, I’m sure you’ll be glad to know that Kate… will no longer be a problem.” Before Bones could respond, the person on the other side of the phone picked up.

 

          “Hey, Spock, I found Kate Argent.” There was muffled talking on the other side of the phone. “No, I didn’t see her, but she was hunting this other pack… I’m in Beacon Hills…” Bones’ eyes swirled up to Derek and the Alpha jerked back at the intense look that the doctor gave him. “Yeah, his name is Derek Hale.” Bones was shoving the phone into his hand. “He wants to talk to you.”

 

          Derek frowned, glancing over at Stiles who looked equally as suspicious. He put the phone up to his ear.

         

          “Hello?”

 

          “Hello, am I speaking to Derek Hale?”

 

          “Yes.”

 

          “My name is S'chn T'gai Spock, and I am the last remaining member of the Vulcan pack. I understand that… we have similar pasts in regard to Kate Argent. If you would be amenable, I would like to meet you.”

Chapter Text

It was only two hours later that Derek found himself sitting across from a man with a rather strange bowl cut with Bones and another man sitting next to him. Bones' usual angry look was replaced with a softer one as he looked at Spock, and the other one, a blond jock-looking guy, was giving Allison the stink eye.

 

Stiles was sitting next to Derek, a hand on his arm which provided a rather steadying presence and settled his wolf who felt incredibly uncomfortable with stranger wolves in his house that was just raided by a hunter. Everything felt off, but there was something about the man in front of him, Spock, that made him feel vulnerable in a way that he hadn't felt in a while. It was the knowledge that he had gone through the same thing with Kate.

 

"Thank you for agreeing to meet with me." Spock said in a monotone voice. "I had heard about you and what Kate did to your family, but when I tried to find you here, I was informed that you had moved away."

 

"I moved to New York City with... my sister." Derek tripped over saying Laura's name. It still hurt to know that after having survived the fire with her, she had been taken away from him the moment that he had stepped foot back in Beacon Hills. Spock's lip twitched downward and he bowed his head, keeping his eyes trained on Derek's.

 

"I grieve with thee." He said softly, before he turned and grabbed something out of the backpack that he brought with him. In his hands was a photo album, and he opened it to the first page, turning it to face Derek. "This was my pack before I met Kate."

 

The photo was a rather large group of people, all with similar haircuts and clothes. On the right, Spock was standing straight, looking like he was struggling to not smile. The photo underneath the group photo was a closeup photo of a younger Spock and a woman, Derek assumed his mother, hugging him around his shoulders, smiling.

 

"That was my mother. She was a human that died in the fire that Kate started."

 

Derek felt his eyes burn.

 

"My dad was a human." Derek offered back, feeling the need to exchange the information quid pro quo. "Kate didn't care for if you were human or not. She just wanted to fuck anyone over that wasn't anti-werewolf."

 

The blond next to Spock let out a growl, eyes burning bright blue, and Spock put two fingers on his hands that were on the table.

 

"It's alright, Jim." Spock said comfortingly before turning back to Derek. "People like Kate have no morals. They follow their own selfish paths until the path is taken away from them." He put his hands flat on the table, forming a triangle with his forefingers and thumb, looking down at it for a second before looking up. “And where is Kate now?”

 

Derek side glanced Stiles who was regarding Spock with a curious look. Even if he was there for it, the entire details of what happened to Kate wasn’t exactly clear to him. He opened his mouth, but Stiles interrupted him.

 

“We turned her into a deer so that she would be hunted down like she’s hunted down all of her previous victims.” Stiles said in a chilling tone, making goosebumps even appear on Derek’s skin.

 

“You should’ve turned her into a werewolf. Give her a taste of what it’s like to be the thing she hated most.” Jim said, fists clenching together. He stood up. “In fact, I don’t like how you thought you had the power to decide what to do with Kate. You weren’t the only one was affected by her. She took Spock’s entire pack! And you think that turning her into a deer will mitigate all of that?” He slammed on open palm fist on the table, which made Stiles growl standing up to meet him nose to nose.

 

          “Dude, calm down.” Stiles ordered, his eyes flashing bright gold as his lip curled up. The other werewolf’s eyes widened, mouth dropping open.

 

“Who do you think you are telling me to calm down?” The two of them looked like they were three seconds away from attacking each other, but that wasn’t something that would help right now. The Alpha Hale peeked at Spock who seemed indifferent to what was happening.

 

“I am a member of the pack whose grounds you’re standing on, so tread really careful there, bud.” Stiles put a hand on Derek’s neck, almost unconsciously and Derek already knew what to expect, but it still made him melt to see Stiles take charge. But this time, he had to step in. He yanked Stiles back down to his chair with a pull on his arm, and Stiles being the lanky thing he was yelped when he found himself sitting back down at his chair.

 

“T’hy’la, sit down.” Spock did a much gentler maneuver to sit his mate back down.

 

“So you didn’t put like at tracking spell on her at all?” Spock asked.

 

“No, we…we just wanted to be done with her. I did, anyway.”

 

For the first time, since he had gotten there, Spock’s facial expression shifted into an upset one, which his mates seemed to realize because Bones automatically put a hand on Spock’s arm and Jim gave Stiles a dirty look. A part of Derek felt guilty because he knew that if the positions were reversed he would be incredibly angry. Angry at the idea that he never would get the chance at revenge. Never even get to spit in her face.

 

“I’m sorry.” Derek said. Then an idea slipped into his mind, and he turned to Stiles, slipping his hand into his and squeezing it to grab his attention. His mate turned away from the death stare he had going on with Jim and turned to Derek with eyes soft enough that Derek almost forgot the idea that had popped into his head.

 

“What is it, Derek?”

 

“What if we give them Allison?” Even as he said it, it felt weird.

 

“Who’s Allison?”

 

“Allison is Kate Argent’s niece who also tried to kill us.” Stiles answered absentmindedly as he thought about it. He leaned back in his chair and scratched the side of his face, frowning. He looked like he was having one of those inner conversations about weighing the pros and cons, and Derek let him be for a second, shrugging at the confused looks he was getting from the other werewolves. He shook Stiles’ shoulder. “Hey, don’t zone out. There’s other people here.”

 

“That could work actually.”

 

“Why would we want Kate’s niece?” Bones asked. “It’s bad enough that she thought it would be good to follow in her aunt’s footsteps. Why would we want to take her in?”

 

“Because unlike Kate, Allison hasn’t always thought that weres were bad. In fact, not too long ago, she was part of our pack.” Stiles mused, pursing his lips. “Her main issue was that she felt like we didn’t trust her. She is considered an enemy of the Hale Pack and will no longer be welcome in Beacon Hills. However, I think she might become adjusted to living with another werewolf pack… maybe we could even make her a werewolf.” Stiles offered.

 

“Again, why would we want her?” Jim said dismissively, turning in his seat so that he wasn’t even looking at them. The obvious disrespect was not lost to Stiles whose lip curled. The other two werewolves also seemed curious as to the answer. While it did give Stiles goosebumps to talk about Allison like if she were something that could just be given, she had stopped being someone he could respect the moment that she put the pack at risk.

 

“What better revenge can you think of than turning the people that Kate loved most into people that support the thing she fought so hard to eradicate? Even though she acted liked she didn’t care, the fact of the matter was that she hated that Chris was friendly with werewolves.” Stiles said, leaning forward and emphasizing his points by tapping the table with his finger. “Also, besides going out into the woods and hunting every deer you find, there’s not much revenge you can get out of Kate.” He spread his hands out in a pacifying manner and leaned back in his chair with raised eyebrows. “The rest of this is going to be on you.”

 

Spock’s eyes slightly squinted, and he turned to Bones who was outright frowning.

 

“We will need some time to think about it. Joining a pack isn’t something you do lightly.” Spock said carefully. “We would be making her family—someone related to and who aspired to be the very person who killed my entire clan. Doing such a thing would also require me to contact my pack and see what they like. I do not make such decisions without first consulting the others.”

 

Stiles looked like he was about to argue but Derek put a hand on his chest, stopping him from saying anything.

 

“That sounds reasonable. Please take the time you need. We’ll let her stay in town for a week before we force her out either with you or not.” Derek’s eyes met Spock who nodded.

 

The three of the San Francisco pack stood up, with the blond ignoring the two Hale Pack members and interlacing hands with Bones. When they left, Stiles turned to Derek who was looking at him strangely.

 

“What?” Stiles asked defensively. “Do I have something on my face?”

 

“No.” Derek shook his head, turning his gaze to the wall to his left. “I was just thinking about what to do about Allison. What if she tried to kill us in the time that we leave her?” His teeth were clenched and there was a tension that was obviously being held in his shoulders. Stiles could hear the faint sound of the rest of the pack watching something in the living room. Maybe that was what they needed right now. A little break from all the action and trouble that they had been dealing with the past days. God knows that his younger self probably caused them a lot of trouble.

 

He stood from his seat, grabbing Derek’s hand and encouraging him to stand up. The Alpha werewolf raised an eyebrow at this but let the werefox manipulate his arms so that they were around his mate. His face was pushed into the crook of Stiles’ neck and he felt a little of the tension bleed away as he breathed in. It made his mind feel like it was itching for something that he didn’t even know how to describe. His wolf was restless for some reason and Derek frowned, pressing his nose into Stiles’ neck. The werefox hummed, tangling his fingers in his hair. Something was off. He was forgetting something.


Then it clicked.

 

He drew back.

 

“I want my memories back.” Derek said, grabbing Stiles’ hand.

Chapter Text

          The first thing that Peter noticed when he woke up and was no longer drowsy from the pain was the heavy smell of John Stilinski surrounding him. The strong vanilla smell that accompanied him made Peter sigh in relief; even though he could still feel the ache of the gunshot wound and the stab wound and the myriad of other bruises he had accrued the previous days, the smell of the Sheriff helped calm his wolf into complacency.

 

          “Back to the world of the living?” Erica popped into his vision, leaning over the arm of the couch so that her hair was hanging down above him. Her face was still red from the powder that Kate had thrown on her face, but it was now a red that meant that her werewolf healing had kicked in.

 

          “That’s very rude of you.” Peter snarked back without feeling. He moved to sit up but he quickly registered that his legs were on someone’s lap and he tilted his head forward to see who it was. His legs were propped up on Chris’ lap and said hunter was sleeping on the opposite side of the couch with his head tilted back at an awkward angle. This was a familiar sight to Peter who often slept on Chris’ couch after bothering him the entire day, much to the hunter’s ire. They had eventually gotten to the point where Chris had demurely accepted that his house now had a regular werewolf guest; they had found a common ground in watching reruns of Criminal Minds, which often resulted in the position Peter now found himself in.

 

          He turned back to Erica.

 

          “I’ll have you know that as someone who died, your comment offends me greatly.”

 

          “Go cry me a river.” Erica rolled her eyes as she moved back to where Boyd was sitting in an armchair, sitting in his lap. Boyd simply wrapped his arms around her and shifted to account for the added weight. They did honestly make a cute couple even if Peter would never have betted on it. He looked around.

 

          “Where’s Genim and Derek?” He asked.

 

          “They went to the gaming room to talk to Dr. Bones’ pack.” Erica shrugged.

 

          “Scott and Allison?

 

          “Scott went with his mom back home, and Allison is in the basement tied up.”

 

          “Lydia and Jackson?”

 

          “They went back home. Turns out people get tired after an attack like that.” Erica shrugged. “We done playing 20 questions or do you wanna continue this middle school sleepover?”

 

          “Kids  are so fucking rude these days.” Peter sighed, letting his head fall back onto the arm of the couch.

 

          “Language.” John said as he emerged from the front door.

 

          “Boo.” Peter and Erica said at the same time. The sheriff looked unimpressed at their juvenile response even though they both grinned at each other. The sheriff had four bags in his arms, two on each arm as he moved towards the kitchen. The scent of chocolate cake filled Peter’s nose as he walked past, and his stomach made a loud grumbling noise.

 

          “I bought some food since the kitchen seemed to be filled with snacks for children and little else.” John said from the kitchen. His head appeared from the opening to the kitchen. “How do you live like this?”

 

          “Take out.” Erica shrugged.

 

John sighed, shaking his head, muttering to himself. “God, now I know how Stiles feel.”

 

          Peter laughed and he shifted in his spot, moving his feet so that they were underneath Chris’ warm legs. There was nothing better than a warm place to nap. As his eyes began drooping back down, he heard the familiar steps of his nephew and pseudo-son.

 

          He let his head turn to the staircase.

 

          Coming down was Stiles closely followed by Derek. Their hands were intertwined and Stiles’ tail was swishing happily behind him. Some things never did change. Derek still had a besotted look on his face like if he was the luckiest man on Earth, and Stiles seemed to have a similar look even though he was better at hiding it.

 

          “Please tell me that you two haven’t had sex yet. It’s still too soon.” Peter said.

 

          Both of them flushed red and Stiles’ mouth dropped open.

 

          “We did not! And even if we did, who are you to tell us not to? We’re both consenting individuals who can do what we want with our bodies.” Stiles stuck his tongue out at Peter. “I bet you’re just frustrated cuz you’re a 29-year-old virgin that still doesn’t have his own home.”

 

          “Darn, you’re right.” Peter fake exclaimed, putting a hand to his head. “It is I, the adult virgin without a house. I guess I’ll have to comfort myself with my two apartments instead.” He put a dramatic hand to his forehead and Stiles rolled his eyes.

 

          “I don’t know how I ever thought you were older.” Stiles laughed as he knelt down next to the couch careful to keep his voice low so that he wouldn’t wake Chris. “You are so immature.” He leaned forward so that his cheek was resting on Peter’s chest, and it made Peter swallow hard. It was hard to reconcile this adult, no baby fat cheeks Stiles to the memory of five-year-old Genim still asking for a secret extra cookie at dinner.

 

          “In your defense, you were like four.” Peter said softly as he ran a hand through Stiles’ hair. “I’ll also have you know that I was a very mature 20-year-old.”

 

          “No twenty-year-old is mature.” Stiles deadpanned.

 

          “Peter definitely wasn’t.” Chris’ voice had the sleepy husky tone to it as he sat up, stretching his hands above his head. A sliver of skin showed as his shirt rode up, and Peter couldn’t help smiling at the pudge the hunter was developing from old age. The hunter groaned as he melted back into the couch, wincing as he placed a hand on the stab wound.

 

          “His record at the police station can attest to that.” John said drily as he came out with two bowls of washed grapes. The older werewolf pouted at the Sheriff as he snatched a bowl for himself.

 

          “You can’t go telling all my secrets now; my mysterious aura will disappear if they know everything.” Peter shoved a handful of grapes in his mouth. “And what do you know about my criminal record? You weren’t even in the Beacon Hills police department back then.”

 

          “You were a murder suspect for like two weeks.” John said as he handed the other plate to Erica and Boyd who immediately began popping those grapes into their mouths like if they hadn’t just eaten pizza before the fight.

 

          “Touché, sheriff.” Peter said, making an affronted noise when Chris took the bowl from his hands.

 

          “They aren’t just for you.” Chris said, calmly eating the fruit unlike everyone else in the room. “Do you want to sit down, Sheriff?” He turned to John who was still standing over them.

 

          “We fought your homicidal sister together. You can call me John.” He chuckled drily, nodding at the question. The hunter lifted Peter’s legs and scooted closer to him so that the back of Peter’s thighs was pressed against Chris’ leg. It was a tight fit, but the three of them managed to make it work. The bowl of grapes was put on Peter’s shins and he had half a mind to catapult it away from them, but part of him would feel bad to put John’s effort and money to go to waste. Instead, Peter put his hand out like an elementary school kid making “gimme” motions. Chris rolled his eyes at Peter’s antics but gave him some.

 

          “So what’s your plan, Derek?” Chris said, turning to Derek with a more serious look on his face. “What’s going to happen to Allison?” His bright blue held concern in them, but Peter could tell by the way he was holding himself that he was ready to take whatever judgment Derek decided to give Allison. Peter was a little curious himself but after such a trying day, he could care less.

 

          “The SF pack wants revenge about Kate too.” Stiles said on Derek’s behalf. “We came up with a solution that may solve all of our problems. We’re thinking of letting Allison join their pack so that she lets go of her anti-werewolf stance and so that she gets out of Beacon Hills. She’s also not going to die.”

 

          “I hate that.” Peter complained. “She gets off with no consequences at all, but instead gets to join a pack. You all are literally rewarding her for almost killing us.” Okay, maybe Peter cared a little bit.

 

          “It still isn’t for sure.” Stiles said. “It’s still their decision if they’re willing to take on Allison.”

 

          “Would she be turned?” Chris asked,

 

          “I don’t know. It’s a possibility.” Derek replied. His nephew also seemed to be tired if the circles under his eyes were indicative of anything. Then again, they had just spent the night fighting one of the top hunters in the hunter community. Peter’s eyes trailed to Stiles who, while he was more energetic than Derek, also looked tired. He petted Stiles’ hair one more time, before jerking his head at both of them.

 

          “You two look like hell shit on a bat.” Peter said. “Go get some sleep. We can deal with all of this in the morning.” He turned his head to the clock on the wall which had tilted in the midst of all their fighting. It was a three AM. “We’ll deal with all of this tomorrow.”

 

          The two of them nodded and moved towards the staircase before John’s voice stopped them.

 

          “No funny business.” The sheriff said, looking specifically at Derek while tapping the place where his gun would usually have been. “I know how to make wolfsbane bullets if I need to.”

 

          “Dad, why would you do that?” Stiles groaned, bounding up the stairs tightly clutching Derek’s hand who looked slightly amused and scared. Peter laughed at their faces, and he turned to John who cracked a small smile when they disappeared back up the stairs.

 

          “Do you really?” Peter asked.

 

          “Of course not, but I can’t let him know that.” John said.

 

          “Good play, John.”

 

          “You can call me Sheriff Stilinski.” John deadpanned, avoiding the grape that Peter threw at him.

 

          “You three would make a good couple.” Erica cackled from her spot on Boyd.

 


 

 

          Meanwhile upstairs, Stiles and Derek had decided to sleep in one of the guest bedrooms that hadn’t been affected by the fight of earlier that night. They had both looked at the bed awkwardly at first, neither wanting to make the first move before Stiles took the initiative and took off his shoes and climbed onto the bed, giving a challenging look to Derek who smiled and followed suit.

 

          Stiles knew, of course, that Derek was ripped, but now that he was taking his shirt off, seeing himself just how fit he was, his fox was pushing him to fully admire exactly what their mate looked like. Just the sight of his broad shoulders was making Stiles’ mouth water and he blushed, looking down at the blanket and fiddling with it to avoid eye contact with Derek.

 

          The werewolf was no better. Even as he let his T-Shirt drop from his hands and onto the floor, he was acutely aware of Stiles’ eyes roaming over his body. Then, of course, the scent of Stiles spiked with arousal as Derek bent over to take off his shoes. It almost made him stumble into the bedpost. He blushed and tried to fight it down as he straightened back up and moved to the other side of the bed.

 

          Stiles was there waiting for him, arms wrapped loosely around his knees. The image made Derek’s pound in his chest, because after spending so long being alone, just the image of someone waiting for him in bed was making his throat close up. It had been so long since he had even expected someone to be waiting for him at home. There was something bittersweet about the idea of a future Stiles waiting up for him to come home and cuddle with him. The idea of being so close to someone—so intimate touched something in Derek that he hadn’t allowed himself to feel in a long time.

 

          “Hey, Derek, are you okay?” Stiles crawled to the other side of the bed where Derek was still standing. “What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”

 

          The werewolf almost asked him what he was talking about when Stiles’ hand cupped his face and wiped away a tear. He stared at the concerned look on Stiles’ face, memorizing the little wrinkles between his brows and the golden eyes that flickered from his eyes to his mouth and then back up. Like strings cut from a puppet, Derek fell forward onto Stiles and buried his face in the Stiles’ neck.

 

          “Whoa, dude, are you okay?” Stiles tried pulling his head back to look at him, but Derek kept a tight hold on him as he wrapped his arms around him and carefully manipulated them so that they were under the covers. The werefox seemed to be amused by this, and he ran his hands over any part of Derek’s body that he could get his hands on. His fingers made tantalizing patterns over his back, eerily drawing out the Triskelion tattoo he had perfectly.

 

          “It’s gonna be alright. Today was pretty rough though, huh?” Stiles said softly as his fingers slowly made their way up to Derek’s hair. There was a warmth in his touch that Derek craved, a comfort that settled in his bones. He let out a little sigh and rubbed his face against the Stiles’ neck. It reddened underneath the abuse of his stubble, but it mixed their scents in a way that was making them both relax. Stiles tilted his head so that his nose was pressed against Derek’s hair. “You did amazing today, Derek. You were the Alpha that we needed and knew you could be.”

 

          The words washed over Derek and he flushed as he realized that the words had flown straight down. He tried shifting backwards so that Stiles wouldn’t feel the evidence of his arousal, but Stiles quickly hooked his ankle around Derek’s leg and tugged it forward. They both momentarily froze as Derek’s cock pressed hard against Stiles’ thigh. Derek let out a half moan half mortified sound and tried to pull back.

 

          He was quickly tugged back with Stiles’ hands moving down to Derek’s hips. They burned hot on his skin, sending shivers up Derek’s spine.

 

          “Derek, do you have a praise kink?” Stiles’ voice was filled with wonder and the werewolf turned his head to glare at him but was caught by surprise by how dark Stiles’ eyes had gotten. “Do you like it when I say you’ve been a good Alpha? That you did amazing today?” Stiles’ tongue flashed out, licking his bottom lip and that was the final straw for Derek. He wrapped a hand around the other’s neck, pulling him down so that their lips connected, letting out a soft moan. It started off hard and rough, and it felt like a burst of the emotions that they had been holding inside. Somehow, Derek found himself underneath Stiles, their hips pressing hard against each other. A moan slipped from the Alpha’s lips and Stiles took advantage of the opening, slipping his tongue into Derek’s mouth. The heat between them was unbearable in the best way, and it was getting to Derek’s head. It was like his muscles were simultaneously being electrocuted and being filled by molasses.

 

          A sudden twinge of pain jolted Derek out of the pleasure-laden state he was in, and his eyes snapped open, looking at Stiles in shock. His wolf was ecstatic, but he still looked up at his mate with disbelieving eyes.

 

          “Did you just bite me?” Derek asked, touching his lips and feeling the indentation of the bite. Stiles looked a little abashed but placed a soft kiss on Derek’s bottom lip to appease him. Stiles’ legs shifted so that he was straddling Derek, leaning over him so that they could kiss. With him in this position, Derek was free to let his hands slip under Stiles’ T-shirt, exploring the smooth, pale skin that had captured his attention before. The skin under his hands jumped but then Stiles pressed into it, letting out a pleased sound as he moved from Derek’s lips to underneath his chin, leaving a mark for everyone to see.

 

          “I’m so fucking proud of you, Derek.” Stiles murmured into Derek’s skin, accompanying the words with softly placed kisses and marks. “You did amazing today, protecting the entire pack. You looked so hot with your big muscles and intensity.”

 

          It was the fact that he could feel the steady heartbeat under his hand that made Derek realize that Stiles wasn’t just saying this to get into his pants. Stiles genuinely believed what he was saying, and something about that made him want to cry. Instead, he planted his feet on the bed and drove his hip up so that he ground hard against Stiles’ ass, causing them both to moan. Stiles put his hands on Derek’s chest and used it as leverage to press back against Derek, a flush climbing up his neck. From the angle that Derek was looking at him from, Stiles was an image worth painting. The gold of his eyes was lost to the wide dark pupils, and he was biting his bottom lip as he breathed harshly through his nose.

 

          With insistent tugs, Stiles let him take off his T-shirt, and the moles that littered Stiles’ chest seemed like a constellation pulled from the heavens and seared onto his skin. It wouldn’t surprise Derek if that were the case. Since the first time they had met, on the edge of the Hale property, Stiles had looked like a dream, with eyes to curious for their own good and a voice that seemed impossible to ignore.

 

          “Derek, oh shit.” Stiles moaned, tilting his head back as Derek rutted up. The act of submission turned him on to the point where his fangs came out and he could feel his eyes flash red. One of Stiles’ hands moved towards his pants, but Derek swatted it away, choosing instead to let his hands do all the work, pressing against the straining fabric. The stuttered breath that escaped Stiles’ mouth satisfied something deep in Derek’s bones.

 

          “Oh fuck, Derek, I’m going to come.” Stiles whined, his hips losing the rhythm they had built up. He pressed hard against Derek’s hand and the werewolf growled, flipping them over, disorienting Stiles for a second.

 

          He dived straight for Stiles’ neck, sucking a mark into the pale skin there, reveling in the moan that he let out. Moving down, Derek lightly bit his nipple, drowning himself in Stiles’ unique smell. His fingers hooked Stiles’ pants and dragged them down, Stiles’ cock popping up. The werefox underneath his hands was squirming, letting out small moans, hands tightly grabbing any part of Derek’s body that he could. The scent of Stiles’ arousal was making Derek go mad with want and he humped his hips into the bed.

         

“Derek,” There was note of tight hesitancy in Stiles’ voice and the werewolf took it as a challenge, wrapping his hand around his cock, pumping it twice. Before he could even lean forward to put it in his mouth, Stiles let out a breathy moan and came on Derek’s face. Stripes of cum painted his face and Derek licked his lips, glancing up at Stiles with an amused grin. The other flushed, panting as he began rambling.

 

“Listen, you can’t make fun of me for this.” Stiles whined as he hurriedly began to wipe off the cum with his discarded shirt. “It’s your fault for being so sexy and stupidly hot. Don’t give me that stupid self-satisfied grin, you fool.” His face was so red that it travelled up to his ears and Derek could only hold back his laughter by resting his chin on his mate’s thigh, smiling up at him. Despite his amusement with the situation, he still had his own hard on that was begging for attention, and he subtly rolled his hips into the side of the bed. “God, you haven’t even cummed yet.” He moved to lean down, but Derek put a hand on his shoulder, keeping him back.

 

“I’m good.”

 

“But you haven’t cum yet.” Stiles protested with pouted lips.

 

“I’m fine.” Derek let out a yawn as he stood up. “Let’s just go to bed.”

 

“I’ll make it up to you. I promise.” Stiles kissed him gently as they moved back to the head of the bed, going under the covers. The gentle press of their lips coupled with the affectionate purring that Stiles was emitting settled the anxiety Derek didn’t even know that he had in him. For the first time in a while, he felt at peace. They ended up with Derek encased in Stiles arm, back to chest, under the blankets

 

“Hey, um,” Stiles murmured to the back of Derek’s head. “You know that I love you, right? Like, I know we’re mates and all, but I do actually think you’re the best.” His arms tightened around Derek, and even with the confident way he said it, Derek could smell the embarrassment and nervous affection that Stiles was feeling.

 

“Me too.” Derek said back softly.

 

The scent of warmth and affection that suddenly filled the air was what finally drew Derek to sleep.