Stiles Stilinski is losing his mind, they say. He's losing control.
He doesn't have the heart to tell them that he never had a mind in the first place. At least not one they'd accept, with sunshine and happiness and fucking morals. Not one that Scott McCall would let into his pack.
He finds it funny that they call it a pack. It's not, really. Only when you squint can you see faint pack bonds but even then they're breaking.
The others think it's because they have a human in their midst. A skinny, defenceless human, not supernatural, not a creature. He never points out that Allison isn't a supernatural creature either, because he knows they'll bring up that she at least has experience. It annoys him, really. Allison annoys him.
So the solution is easy - he kills her.
It really doesn't take that much effort to let go. A fraction of effort compared to the amount he uses masquerading as a human, hiding behind carefully crafted masks. He's a trickster, yes, but even he can't disguise scent markings or auras. He avoids photos. Scott thinks it's because of his anxiety, and he supposes it is.
He's scared of being caught, although he knows he never will be. But this is Beacon Hills, and what you know never seems to be the truth.
It's a while before anything fun happens. Yes, there's the murders and kanimas and dead bodies in the woods; but nothing...chaotic. Nothing like what he could do.
Stiles is a great pupil. Coach says. But he lacks...focus.
Yes, he lacks focus but he makes up for it in imagination. In curiosity. In intelligence.
At least that's what he thinks until he rounds the corner of life and sees something he didn't expect to see.
What do you mean, human sacrifices?
Scott, every full moon you turn into a werewolf, grow hair everywhere and your eyes turn into glowsticks. You're telling me you're struggling to wrap your head around human sacrifices?
It's there, the corner between life and death, that he finds the Nemeton.
And finally he can have some fun.
He doesn't even know if this'll work.
The Oni are surrounding him, a tight circle with him in the centre. The Kitsune tail in his hands dances on his fingers, his tapping making it move. They're getting closer. Closer. Clos-
And the tables turn. The Oni stop, at a complete standstill, and a smirk twists his smile as he hears Lydia whimper behind him.
Then he walks away, leaving Lydia behind.
He can hear Scott and Allison at the gates. Honestly, he didn't think they'd get here that quickly. He thinks of a chessboard and makes his move and in his head Scott makes another. Guaranteed, McCall is going to move that piece. That pawn. That nice little Argent.
The arrow pierces the Oni quickly and silently and it's almost a surprise when it happens. Almost. Finally, he's getting to do this. Finally, he's getting to be him.
Finally, he watches as the sword rams into Allison's stomach and she falls. An angel fallen from Heaven, and he's the goddamn sinner.
And then suddenly it's like a time skip. Chaos and pain overtakes him like a drug and he gets flashes of what's going on, snippets of sarcasm directed at Scott.
He realises what's going on when it's too late. The Lethrania Vulpina left aftereffects and now it's killing him. There's only one way to be cured, and that would in turn kill him eventually.
He makes a quick choice. A quick decision before Scott bites him, sharp teeth ripping through his skin.
It was all going so well. He had acted as a human, hidden behind a mask of sarcasm and wit. The Fox poison left as soon as the bite occured and his Spirit repeled the bite itself. He couldn't be a Fox and a Wolf, yes. So he'd be a Fox.
It was all going so well.
Then Theo Raeken turned up.
"I want Void Stiles."
His blood runs cold. Theo sounded like he knew the whole story of his Nogitsune half - the way he was 'possessed' and how it wasn't him.
Yeah, right. He silently thanked Melissa McColl for having such an idiot as a child, so Scott hadn't told Theo everything. Theo sounded like he knew it from other packs. Not a hint of suspicion.
"Excuse me?" He's shaking and it's taking all his effort not to submit completely into what he is. His Fox. It's hard and takes a lot of energy but Theo can't know, not now-
"I came for a pack."
That's when he decides, you know what: fuck it. Theo thinks he's the puppet master and that he is just a boy of string.
He's going to show Theo what happens when the strings break. When he breaks.
He doesn't call himself Stiles anymore. He's already lost his mind. No need for a name.
Theo was found dead in the woods a few days ago. Cut in half. The Sheriff only found the upper half, and when he lost the humans and went in for a supernatural investigation they were surprised to see he had been killed by human means. A sword.
Then somebody realised it was a Kitsune sword and someone else found a large piece of paper, a note on the nearest tree.
Morning. Stiles here. Looks like you found Theo, huh? Kitsune sword and a heavy dose of mountain ash if you're wondering what to put on the files. Peformed at 00:26 by Stiles Stinlinski, species: Nogitsune. Check the Triskelion jar. You'll find the 'fly' still in here. But the Nogitsune itself was never the fly, was it?
Of course it wasn't. Your pack didn't break down because of a human. Your pack broke down because of an Nogitsune by the name of Stiles Stilinski.
I would apologise. If I was sorry.
Theo's mouth seems to be stuck in a permanent smile, like he's laughing at them behind the mask of the dead.
There are a lot of masks, Scott thinks. As Lydia rips apart the paper and the Sheriff falls to the floor, he wonders whether, if he looked closer, he could see all the masks that Stiles Stilinski wore. Maybe some.
But others? He's not sure. Some masks are simply impossible to see.