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A Werewolf And A Werefox Walk Into An Herb Shop...

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"Scotty!! Did you bring it?!"

Scott glanced up as he set the car in park, unable to help smiling at the excited man on the porch

The porch, wich was decked out in every way, shape and form in Halloween decor

"Do you do this every year?" Scott asked curiously as he got out of the car, carrying a sizable duffle bag along with him

"Ofcourse! Halloween for us, I mean, come ON, it's bigger than Christmas!" the other laughed

"Yeah but Stiles... this is pretty...."

"Extensive?"

"Excessive..."

"Psh, nonsense! I mean there's a long Were tradition of The All Hallow's Eve Midnight Shift, running through the woods, scaring the crap out of villagers- sometimes literally!" Stiles replied with an excited grin

"And you continue this fair tradition in California?" Scott asked with a slight smirk

"No no no, I mean... I WOULD, if I could find some villagers, but you know... no I can only imagine the fun my relatives must have had... man, back in the good old days..." Stiles sighed with nostalgia

Scott wasn't sure exactly WHY he was nostalgic, it wasn't like Stiles was older than 22...

"But anyway let me see it!"

With a slight laugh Scott unzipped the duffle bag and presented his best freind with a positively ancient meteor hammer, handing it over with care as he watched Stiles' eyes light up

"Ohhh baby that's the one! Beautifull! And just think of all the history man!"

"Yeah, all the skulls bashed in, bones broken, nees shattered..." Scott teased

"Hey, those who ignore the past... blah blah blah, now watch this," Stiles insisted, carrying the hammer over to a skeleton dressed in armor standing on the corner of the porch- breifly, Scott wondered if it had anything to do with the internet meme he had heard about but he had a feeling that thing was already a part of Stiles' private collection long before The Skeleton Wars became a thing- and carefully securing it in the skeleton's hand, raising it to be lifted over it's head before stepping back and grabbing Scott by the hand

"Ok, check this out," he beamed, leading Scott into the house and ducking under some decorations

The place was insane with cobwebs and little sheet-ghosts hanging everywhere, animatronics going off everytime one of them was triggered and then starting to trigger eachother, lights going in and out... and Stiles wasn't even DONE, wich was honestly the scariest part

Scott could barely move in here and it was STILL almost a week before Halloween

"Wait till you see this!" Stiles laughed, making his way to a window and sliding the curtains aside as a series of cackles and screams went off in some corner of the house

"Intense..." Scott laughed, moving behind his freind to peer over his shoulder and get a good veiw of the skeleton

"Ok ya' ready? Here it goes!" Stiles announced, pulling a lever on the wall, and the next thing Scott new the skeleton's armor came swinging down and the meteor hammer smashed the pumpkin on the table below it to smithereens

Stiles fist-pumped and clapped, jumping up excitedly and beaming at Scott

"That's pretty great right!?" he cried

"Unless you're a pumpkin," Scott smiled back

He wanted to share in the clear enthusiasm Stiles had but Halloween just wasn't his bag of grapes, personally, he was MUCH more excited to see what Stiles was going to do for Christmas

He never understood why exactly, truthfully they hadn't known eachother long enough for him to feel comfortable asking about it, but holidays were a huge thing with Stiles and he went all out

There was always something to celebrate and Scott had been half-convinced the first time he saw the house decorated- back in September when he was setting up for the Autumn Equinox of all things- that Stiles made some sort of career out of decorating

To his surprise Stiles didn't make a big deal of it at all to other people

No product testing, no contest entering, no gathering people in the surrounding area to come and see his masterpeice...

He didn't even take photos wich Scott, as a photo fanatic, found personally very sad

He knew that Stiles' favorites were Halloween and Christmas and he figured, if Stiles went THIS far on Halloween, Scott would probably be walking into the North Pole it's self by the time December first rolled around

Unfortunately he was distracted from his thoughts by the ringing of his phone, heart sinking slightly as he picked it up with a short "McCall,"

"Where? ... Alright, I'm on my way," he sighed, hanging up and watching Stiles as he fiddled with some sort of mechanism on the inside controller for what Scott was- in his head- officially naming The Death Menace

"I have to go,"

"Dead body!?" Stiles chirped, swinging his head up so fast that he nearly hit it on a hanging plastic pumpkin

"Er.... yeah.... sorry, official police business... now promise me that no one's gonna get hurt," he frowned sternly

Stiles pouted, glancing at The Death Menace and then back at Scott, who wasn't budging

"...Fine, fine I promise,"

"Good, I'll see you for dinner tonight ok? Mine and Allison's?"

Stiles gave a quiet grunt of approval and went back to toying with the mechanism, blowing Scott a kiss as he left

"There has got to be a way to get better trajectory on this-" he paused, watching as the skeleton arm slammed down even harder and slung the meteor hammer straight through a post in the porch

He cringed

"-thing...."

~+~

Not for nothing but Stiles was pretty sure he was going to be getting an unofficial letter to consult about the dead body within twenty-four hours

He had known Scott for four months now and so far the number of cases he was called for had slowly risen from a rough twenty percent up to around eighty

Not that Stiles could blame him, Scott had been tossed into the supernatural world completely against his will- also four months ago- when he had jumped in front of a werewolf to save his mother and gotten bitten in the process

Ever since he's been trying to navigate the supernatural world and even more detrimentally the supernatural legal world so he could be a good detective and solve his cases properly

He had met Stiles during the first supernatural case he worked since the bite and a misunderstanding lead him to having Stiles arrested for kidnapping and murder

Quickly enough they realized where the misunderstanding was though and banded together to track down the kanima responsible and ever since they had been a little bit of a team

They went from hesitant consultants to teammates to best freinds and now whenever there was even a slim chance that the crime was committed with a supernatural influence Stiles could expect his phone to start ringing with Scott showing up in the caller ID, much like it was doing now

"Yo Scotty-o, what'cha need?" he said into the phone as he put down his notepad that was detailing the second half of the pumpkin patch for the yard

"We've got a murdered werewolf, remember that spice shop we went to last month?"

"Huh? Yeah, the one we thought was black market? Owned by that really sweet girl Laura?"

"Stiles..... Laura is dead,"

Granted, he didn't know her that well, but Stiles still felt a lump form in his throat

"I don't know for sure if it was a hate crime but either way I think it had more .... your flavor to it, you know?"

"You think she was hunted down because she was a werewolf?"

"Well... yeah,"

He nodded to himself, getting off of the couch and waving to the sleeping dog on the other end of it as he made his way to the coat rack and grabbed his jacket

"I'm on my way,"

~+~

"Another partner?"

Stiles swallowed

He expected alot of things when Scott said that he needed help interveiwing Laura's younger brother Derek, but he WASN'T expecting the ancient Greeks to have sent their latest masterpeice down this way in the form of a werewolf in a thumb-hole sweater

Derek Hale had atleast fifty different shades of green in his eyes and that wasn't even counting all the flecks of gold and brown

"Um... sort of," Scott answered for them, rubbing the back of his neck and gesturing between them

"This is Stiles, Stiles this is Derek Hale,"

"I knew your sister, I'm so sorry," Stiles said immediately

Derek answered with a tight, silent nod and a few moments later he and Scott dissolved into official police conversation about what Laura had been selling in the shop

Scott was a good detective but still tragically naieve when it came to the supernatural, he was still looking for a logical motive behind this attack instead of settling on the fact that it may very well have just been a hunter, and although he didn't ask, he had a feeling Derek was thinking the same thing

"What is this?" Scott muttered, picking up a bag of herbs only for Stiles to rush over and take them away from him

"It's called Jay, it's a type of mold, highly poisonous to humans- like meth, rat poison, and helium all smushed together, but to us it's like an opiot," he explained

Scott gave a small nod, turning to look over at Derek, who was standing silently in the corner

"Everything my sister did was legal," he mumbled quietly

"He's right, Jay IS legal because humans simply don't use it, so don't worry," Stiles shrugged

Scott gave another nod and went back to taking to Derek, shooting information back and forth about various herbs and drugs used by the supernatural community

"You said you knew my sister," Derek said suddenly as Scott and Stiles had started out of the shop

"Yes?"

Stiles answered slowly, and without warning Derek snarled, shifting his features into his beta form with deep gold eyes, long, sharp teeth, and pointed ears

On instinct Stiles copied him, his own features becoming more fox like as his eyes turned a soft honey orange and his ears pointed and slicked back, mouth filling with tiny razor sharp teeth

"I just wanted to make sure," Derek said quietly as he shifted back

Stiles narrowed his eyes

It wasn't completely uncommon for shifters to more or less introduce themselves through shifting for eachother but under the circumstances it was a little odd, either Derek was lacking manners or he hadn't been very involved in the community

It didn't really matter, Scott was pulling him away and Derek was staring holes through him as they left and all of a sudden Stiles had an urge to be away from it all.... although, something about Derek was still unusually enchanting

It was like he wanted to be away from all of this, but with Derek at the same time

...Huh....

~+~

"Hi, Scott called, he thought it'd be a good idea if I came over, kept an eye out and all that,"

Derek stared at the face in front of his and took a breath

"Thank you," he finally said, stepping aside to let Stiles into the house

"You can't be too carefull," Stiles shrugged as he stepped in, giving the place a good look around

It was an old house, that was for sure, a little beaten and worn but that was to be expected since it had housed generations of werewolves

The Hales were infamous in the supernatural community, one of the strongest lines in the country with the biggest pack in California, completely wiped out in one night by a psycho arsonist save for two: Laura and Derek

And now Laura was gone and Derek was all alone and Stiles swallowed because that was breaking his heart a little

"That's why I wanted a werefox instead of a cop, the person who murdered my sister was a hunter, you understand,"

"Hunters... great," Stiles mumbled

"There's food in the fridge, you get the couch, good night," Derek said briskly as he walked upstairs

Stiles blinked, not having expected to be abandoned upon arrival

"Good night," he replied under his breath

~+~

Instinctively, when Stiles woke up the next morning, he was half-shifted

It was just a result of being startled by what he still considered to be a stranger's scent and presence but he really should learn to rope that in...

"Take it easy, it's just me," Derek said calmly

He swallowed, glad that Derek had reacted so peacefully instead of shifting back

"Yeah sorry, I can see that now," Stiles mumbled as his features settled back into normalcy

Derek gave a slow nod of reply and got up, walking over to the coat rack and grabbing his jacket

"I really appreciate what you did- staying with me last night I mean- so... thank you, I'm gonna go down to the shop,"

That finally clicked Stiles' mind into gear and he jumped up, racing after Derek

"Excuse me? Do you think that's a good idea?"

"I have no intention of staying here any longer than I have to, I have alot to take care of," Derek replied without so much as turning around

"Ok, can we just slow down a second? Atleast let me come with you," he insisted

Derek paused, staring at him with his eyebrows raised

"Scott trusted me to take care of you and I'm going to so just... let me do my job here," Stiles replied, crossing his arms over his chest

Derek was quiet for a moment, shifting his weight and raising his eyebrows

"I thought you weren't a cop?"

"I'm not,"

"So what are you?"

"... A clock maker, actually, yes, we still exist, I just... repair them mostly, more than make them... look that's totally besides the point here, Scott's my freind, LAURA was my freind... ish... I owe it to them AND to you as a fellow Were to help you and look after you, there's safety in numbers right?"

Derek stared at him for a long, tense moment before sighing and giving in

"That's true," he muttered

"Ok then.... alright, let's go," Stiles insisted, rubbing his arms as a chill went up his spine upon approaching the door

"Here," Derek said, draping a jacket around Stiles' shoulders

"Consider it repaying you for taking the couch,"

Stiles shrugged, slipping the slightly oversized jacket on and shrugging

"Yeah.... yeah don't worry about it,"

~+~

"It's gonna be sad to see this place go, there aren't many places we can go anymore," Stiles mused as he helped put a few jars of herbs into a box for Derek

"It's not an easy business," he grunted back from behind the counter

"You were in it?"

He nodded, pausing for a moment over a box of tea before tossing that into a box as well

"My parents were apothecaries, I gave it a shot,"

"What happened?"

Derek didn't get the chance to answer, the door swinging open as Scott nearly ran in

"Guys! We've got a lead!" he shouted

"What lead?" Derek asked before Stiles even got the chance

"I think I know who might have killed Laura... I think she was the same one who killed your family in fact," Scott replied

"Kate is in prison," Derek replied immediately

"Yeah, but her cohorts aren't, she was part of an anti-supernatural activist group besides being a hunter, I think somehow she's been getting messages to them and giving orders on who to go after, at some point she must have given them Laura's name and now-"

"They finally got her,"

Scott gave a silent nod, staring up at Derek curiously

"It's a sound idea Scott but how are we supposed to track down something like that?"

Scott beamed, nearly bouncing in happiness

"Oh... just leave that to me,"

~+~

"Are we sure we want to do this?" Stiles asked cautiously, because somehow revealing himself- and Derek, more importantly- to a group of psycho hunter sympathizers that apparently had assisted or directly caused atleast one death to speak of just didn't sound like a good idea

"We'll be fine," Scott insisted, getting out of the car and nodding for Derek to stay put as he and Stiles rounded the corner

Derek was there mostly to spot people he may recognize and as for that needed "just in case" back up if one of them started to escape

Incidentally this was an extremely good idea, considering that there were far more of them than Scott and Stiles had anticipated

They had been counting on maybe ten, give or take a few, but they found themselves dealing with alot closer to twenty-five by the time they had gotten into things

"How exactly are you planning to arrest all these guys anyway!?" Stiles shouted as he ducked underneath the arm of one of the assailants

"Issac's bringing the patrol car and back up!" Scott shouted back as he slammed the butt of his gun into someone's head

Stiles snarled, about to bite into one guy's arm wen he flinched, hearing something behind him that sounded mysteriously like a THUMP and turning around to see Derek standing over him holding a brick and standing over a newly unconscious body

They stared at eachother for a long moment, both exchanging small smiles as Stiles leaned back and elbowed the last one in the face, never breaking eye contact with Derek

~+~

"Oh hey," Derek greeted as he glanced up from the counter

"Hi," Stiles smiled gently, producing a bouquet of flowers from behind his back and handing them off to the werewolf

"Now I know it's not equal trade for my life but I just wanted to say.. I'm glad you know how to clock a dude with a brick," he said with a wry smile

Derek accepted the flowers, smiling and laughing softly

"Nobody's given me flowers in a long time..." he said softly, leaning down and inhaling the sweet scent of them

"Well you can count on me as your permanent flower giver then," Stiles replied with a smirk, winking and watching in delight as Derek's ears started turning pink

"SO what's going on here? I thought you were packing up," he noted, glancing around and seeing the shop fuller than it had been that afternoon

"Well I sort of changed my mind, I have to stick around for the trial so I decided to open it back up, and besides, I'd forgotten, California can be a pretty nice place,"

"Yeah, it kinda grows on ya',"

"Yeah,"

"Well I've got the rest of the day off if you want any help," he offered

"Sure, let me just go put these in some water," Derek nodded, though he didn't move right away, taking things a bit slowly

"Hey... do you have Halloween plans?" Stiles asked suddenly

Derek glanced up and shook his head, making Stiles grin brightly

"Feel like coming to see the spookiest house in town and helping me give out candy to trick-or-treaters?" he asked with a grin

Derek smiled, almost beamed actually, and clutched the flowers closer, taking a step in Stiles' direction and leaning down to drop a chaste kiss on his lips

"I'd love to,"

Stiles swallowed, feeling overwelmingly excited

For the first time in.... in what felt like an eternity, he was going to have someone to celebrate Halloween with...

"Then it's a date," Stiles replied, leaning up and returning the soft kiss

Derek smiled warmly, not leaving Stiles' personal space as he spoke

"Yeah... it's a date,"