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Butterflies

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Stiles can't remember how long it's been since he slept.

He can't really afford the time right now, because there's a man tied to a chair in his basement.

A hunter, he should say, a hunter of evil things - not just werewolves, or so Stiles had been led to assume. A man too, obviously, they're not mutually exclusive. His name is Dawkins. He has a first name, Stiles could probably even find out what it was if he wanted, flip his ID, find out his date of birth, where he lives. But he doesn't want to know, so his name's just Dawkins.

Stiles hadn't been sure at first how exactly he was going to knock out a grown man and then get him into a chair. But it turns out there are a surprising amount of toys to steal when you know a family that's as paranoid as the Argents. The rest, the rest was just a matter of determination, and good shoes.

Of course, movies aren't real life, he knows that better than anyone. Stiles had no idea about the tensile strength of climbing rope, or how easy it was to stretch duct tape, or if a chair would break if it hit the floor with enough force. The simplest option had been a metal chair, and he'd used duct tape and then rope, making sure, doing the job properly. The knots are a mess, because Stiles was never any good at that. Never had the patience for it. But it doesn't really matter, since Stiles has no intention of untying him again. Of needing to untie him again.

He had gagged him though, on a length of knotted cloth, because you could talk around anything else, and a ball gag just seemed...tacky.

The quiet helps.

"My dad always told me that you shouldn't do anything you don't really mean," Stiles explains, because he has a captive audience, so why the fuck not. "That whole thing about never pointing a gun at someone you don't actually want to shoot. People make bad decisions in moments of extreme stress. They do things they regret. I know, I've read all the textbooks. I even know that if you spend too long in one of the stages of grief then sometimes you can just spiral."

There's still more anger than anything else in Dawkins's face. He looks like he's trying to chew his way through the cloth and giving wet, strangled grunts which Stiles is going to assume are insults. Stiles is pretty sure the man would kill him, given half the chance. Which is kind of funny.

Stiles sets the jar he's holding down on the table, and it makes a satisfying thud. The glass is smeared dark and powdery, like it's full of butterflies. Which isn't that far away from the truth.

"You're probably not really up on your fairy lore. I'm guessing of course, but since it took me a month and half to find all this out a year ago, and Allison's dad didn't have a clue then -" He shrugs. "Also, no offence, but you look a lot like a grunt. Grunts don't get told anything, I should know, I've met a few."

The chair shudders under the jerk of movement that gets, but nothing more than that.

Stiles taps the glass.

"These - well I can't really pronounce what they're actually called, but they're sort of fairies, a particular kind of fairy, apparently. I stole them from a friend's boss, which I'm probably going to catch hell for later." He waves a hand. "That's not really important. But what they're really good at is eating things."

Dawkins stops biting into the gag and catches his eye. Stiles rotates the jar, and the shaky flutter inside is just visible. Dawkins grunts, arms twisting, but Stiles did a really good job. He's not going anywhere.

"Because everyone worries about hiding the body. That's where everyone fucks up. We're all just roughly two hundred pounds of bones and meat when it comes down to it, just waiting to spill blood everywhere. That's how people get caught. I should know, I'm the son of a cop." Stiles stops talking, fingers going briefly white on the glass. "Which is why if you're serious, you should make sure there isn't going to be a body to find."

He's pretty sure the guy knows exactly what's going to happen to him now. What Stiles intends to do to him. Whether or not he believes it. Stiles isn't sure about that.

"You're probably thinking, he's just a sixteen year old kid, he's not going to do this to me. Look at him, he weighs like a hundred pounds soaking wet. But you have no idea the shit I've seen, since I figured out my town was full of werewolves. The things I've had to do - some of them to my friends. Even I didn't know what I was capable of -"

Stiles's hand is shaking, he can feel it. But Dawkins isn't watching that. He's still watching Stiles's face, wrists turning, one leg braced against the floor, pushing against his restraints, still making gargled sounds of protest, or anger, through the wet cloth.

"Until you killed my dad. Which is - it turns out to be pretty fucking motivating -" The air wheezes out of him, and he can't talk any more. Has to close his mouth, because he's afraid all that will come out is noise.

Stiles lifts the jar, feels the fluttery cold weight of it. Part of him is waiting for this to feel wrong. Part of him still can't quite understand why this feels so easy. Or maybe it doesn't feel anything at all. He swallows, swallows again, and breathes out.

"But, yeah, I'm going to stand here and I'm going to watch them eat you alive."

Stiles almost misses the creak of the basement door. He doesn't miss the low slant of light. The way a wide shape blocks it out a second later.

"Stiles."

He pauses, jar half-unscrewed.

He should have known. He should have known, because if it wasn't Derek it would have been Scott. He's not sure if this is better or worse. Better, he supposes, because he thinks Derek will let him do it.

Scott wouldn't.

He still waits for the 'you don't want to do this,' or maybe 'you're better than this.' Instead there's just the slow tread of boots down the stairs. Derek says his name again, quieter, no words behind it.

"You know me Derek. You know I think things through." It comes out all in a rush. "You know I've always taken responsibility for my own fuck-ups. This is all on me, and if you really -" Stiles cuts that thought off before it goes anywhere. Because he doesn't want to feel that right now."If I'm one of you, then you'll stand there and let me be a monster for once. You'll let me decide what I am. Because you fucking owe me that."

Stiles waits, waits for the sound of boots on concrete, but there's nothing. There's nothing at all.