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Stiles Stilinski was four years old the first time he dreamt of the house in the woods. He had been wandering through a part of a forest he didn't recognize when he heard multiple screams of agony fill the air. As soon as he heard the screams, he started running towards the sounds as fast as his four year old legs would take him, clumsily ducking under bushes and scrambling over fallen branches. When he finally broke through the forest he stopped dead in his tracks at what he saw in front of him. There was a large house a few yards ahead, and flames were climbing greedily up the sides, covering the sky in thick black smoke. He looked on helplessly, trying to figure out how to help the people in the house.

 

When he saw nothing he forced himself forward, trying not to breathe in the heavy smoke. He made it to the side of the house and started banging on the small window where he could see people moving around frantically. No matter how hard he beat against the window, he couldn't get their attention.  Stiles screamed as he heard a loud crack and he looked on helplessly as the foundation began to crumble and fall.

 

At the sound of his scream, one of the people in the house's face appeared in the window. Their hand pressed desperately against the glass as they tried to find some way to open the window and to escape. Stiles knew he needed to get away from the house, but he was drawn to the face of the small boy in the window. The boys' tear stained eyes seemed to look right through him, his face grim as if he had already accepted his fate. Stiles pushed himself forward to press his hand against the other boys' as it rested against the window. He couldn't bring himself to leave the family alone in the house, so he fell to his knees and curled into a ball, keeping his hand against the window as the house fell down on top of them both.

 

Stiles had woken up suddenly, drenched in sweat and burning up, screaming and trying desperately to get away from the fire burning brightly in his mind. His parents had rushed into his room, looking around frantically for the cause of their son's distress. When his mom saw him screaming and calling out blindly for someone, she had immediately pulled him into her lap and held him as he tried to tell them that they had to help the family in the house.

 

"The house in the woods, momma, the house in the woods is on fire. We have to help them. We have to get them out!" Was the only explanation they could get out of their distraught son. They eventually managed to calm Stiles down enough to go back to sleep, this time in his parents bed, as they watched over their son carefully.

 

He had the same nightmare every single night that week, and then they stopped, just as suddenly as they had started.

 

 

~~~~~

 

The nightmares didn't start up again until Stiles was eight years old. He had been walking through the Beacon Hills Mall with his mom when he heard several loud voices arguing. They all sounded like older men so Stiles was curious, naturally, to see why the men were fighting. He twisted out of his mother's grip and raced through the crowd until he was able to push through to stand close enough to see the argument taking place. He could see an old man with a slightly hunched back pointing a finger at another taller darker man. His voice was gravelly and harsh, and Stiles couldn't help but shudder at the sound of it.

 

"I'm warning you, David, if I hear a single complaint out of anyone in Beacon Hills that your pack has stepped out of line, I'll deal with it personally. And you won't like the results of that." The other man, David, kept his expression neutral as the older man threatened him. Stiles wondered what he had meant by 'Pack' when he saw a boy, not much taller than Stiles, step out from behind David.

 

"Dad, can we go? People are staring and I..." The younger boy trailed off as he saw the anger on the old man's face. He shuffled a little further behind his father when the old man smiled creepily down at him. His eyes darted around the crowded mall, his gaze eventually meeting Stiles'. Their eyes lingered on each other for a moment before the older man spoke again, causing the other boy to look back at his father.

 

"It sure would be a shame if something were to happen to your boy here, now wouldn't it?" The question seemed innocent enough, but it sparked anger in the older Hale. He directed his next words at Derek, his voice dripping with false kindness. “And you must be Derek Hale. My name is Gerard Argent.” He held out a hand for Derek to shake but dropped it as Derek stepped fully behind his dad, obviously afraid of the strange man.

 

"Don't even think about it, Gerard.  We won't step out of line as long as you don't break the code, just like it's always been; I won't come for your family if you don't come for mine. Come on Derek, Mom's waiting on us at the food court." With these last words the father and son walked away from the older man, sucking the tension out of the room as they left. Stiles couldn't take his eyes off the younger boy as he pulled his father away into the crowd. There was something eerily familiar about the hazel eyes that had stared back into his own.

 

He wracked his brain to see if he could remember where he had seen the kid before when his mom finally caught up with him. He squawked loudly in protest as his mom yanked on his ear to get his attention.

 

"Szczepan Stilinski, you know better than to eavesdrop on people! Come on, we're going to meet your dad for lunch." Stiles groaned loudly as his mom started to lead him away.

 

“Mooom! I told you to call me Stiles!” He complained. His mom chuckled and ruffled his hair as they walked towards the exit of the mall, the thought of food causing him to forget all about the argument he had just witnessed.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles once again found himself in the forest, only this time he recognized it. It was the same forest from his nightmares when he was younger. Already knowing the purpose of this dream, he took off running through the trees, finding his way to the house in a matter of seconds. The house in the woods was already on fire, almost to the point of collapse and Stiles found himself sprinting forward, not wanting to see the trapped family die again.

 

He got to do the door and tried desperately to pull it open, only succeeding in burning his hands badly. Tears sprung into his eyes but he fought through the pain and ran around to the window at the bottom of the basement. He beat his fists against it roughly as he tried to get the family's attention.

 

"HEY!! LOOK AT ME, I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU GET OUT!" Stiles screamed as loudly as he could to try and get the attention of someone, anyone, in the basement so they could know he was trying to help. Once again, the hazel eyed boy appeared at the window, this time much older than he had been the last time Stiles had had this nightmare. Just like the last time, he looked right through Stiles with a grim expression. Stiles let out a choked sob as he saw the older boy's face. He immediately recognized him as Derek Hale, the young boy that he had seen at the mall.

 

"I'm so sorry... I can't get you out, I'm so sorry." With Stiles' apology still on his lips, he let out a final breath as the house collapsed once again.

 

~~~~~

Stiles woke up screaming once again, except this time was different. He wasn't in his bed like he was the previous times he'd woken up like this. He was still in the woods and he fell to his knees, hugging himself as he desperately tried to wake himself up. He heard someone running towards him as he began sobbing and rocking back and forth. He just wanted to wake up and be back in his bed, safely away from the fire he kept dreaming of. It wasn't until he heard someone frantically calling his name that he realized he was awake.

 

He could hear someone calling out for him, but he couldn't stop crying to tell them where he was. The dream had been way too vivid and his hands were blistered and bloody from burning them on the door and beating against the window in his desperation to save the family.

 

"Hey, I think I see him!" He could hear the people getting closer and he recognized the voices as two men. He felt two strong arms wrap around him and pick him up bridal style before he blacked out from the pain.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles woke up in the Beacon Hills Hospital four hours later, his throat raw from crying, and heavy, thick white bandages covering his hands. One of his hands was being gently held by his mom, while the other was under the covers with several IV's attached.

 

"Mom?" He croaked, trying hard not to cough from the scratchy feeling in his throat. His mother looked up quickly and instantly pulled him into a tight hug.

 

"Stiles, oh god, you scared me so bad. What were you doing in the woods? We looked for you all night and we couldn't find you, I thought someone had taken you..." Stiles felt instantly guilty at the fear on his mother's face.

 

"I think I was sleepwalking. I had a dream about a house in the woods. It was on fire. I tried to save a family trapped inside, but I couldn't do it..."

 

"But what happened to your hands, baby? The police that found you said they were covered in burns and cuts. How did you do that to yourself?" Stiles shrugged his shoulders and closed his eyes, not wanting to have to explain to his mom how he had gotten the burns.

 

He knew, in his mind, that he had gotten the burns from his dream while he tried to save the family.

 

He also knew that if he ever told anyone that they wouldn't believe him and they'd think he was lying to them. It was a secret he would have to bear alone, which was enough to make any eight year old boy’s mind fill with dread.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles was twelve years old when he officially met Derek Hale. He had been running through the halls, trying to catch up with his best friend, Scott McCall. They were supposed to be racing to his house on their bikes, but he had gotten held up in after school detention for calling Jackson a douchebag. He’d thought it was pretty funny, even though he had no idea what a douchebag was. He’d heard Melissa, Scott’s mom, say that to his dad about a patient at the hospital, so he figured it was an insult. He laughed to himself as he remembered how angry Jackson had been and took a sharp turn around the corner of the hallway without looking. He let out a loud ‘oof’ as he collided with a firm body and fell flat on his back. He sat up quickly, ready to apologize so he could avoid another detention when he heard a male voice swear loudly. He craned his head so he could look up to see who had cursed at him. He blanched as he saw Derek Hale scrambling to his feet.

 

"SHIT!" He heard the older boy curse as he tried to gather all of his papers back up into a somewhat neat pile. Stiles couldn’t help but giggle at the curse.

 

"My dad says I'm not allowed to say swear words." He said before he could stop himself. He slapped a hand over his mouth as Derek turned to glare at him.

 

"Watch where you're going next time and maybe I won't have to swear!" Derek said, still glaring at Stiles like he was trying to burn a hole through Stiles’ face.

 

"Sorry! I'm supposed to be racing my friend Scott to his house, that's why I was running. Hey aren't you Derek Hale? Cora’s in my class. I see you pick her up sometimes after school." Stiles lied smoothly when Derek raised an eyebrow at him. Cora was in his class, he’d never actually seen Derek pick her up and Stiles wasn’t about to tell him that he’d been dreaming about him. He was pretty sure that conversation would not end well.

 

"Yes. I'm Derek." Derek scowled, not bothering to help Stiles as he scrambled back onto his feet.

 

"I'm Stiles Stilinski. Stiles is just a nickname though." Derek’s eyebrows furrowed for a moment before his face morphed into recognition and then into something Stiles hated. Pity.

 

“Oh! I’m sorry about your mom, Stiles. She was good friends with my mom, Talia.” Stiles’ let his eyes fall to the ground as his mom was mentioned. It had only been a few months since she had passed away from a rare form of cancer and Stiles’ still couldn’t talk about it to anyone. He didn’t want anyone to think he was weak. He knew that he had to be strong for his dad.

 

"Thank you. I um… I have to go. Bye, Derek!" Stiles brushed by Derek, taking off at a run towards the bike rack. He turned around when he got to his bikes and saw Derek holding the hand of his classmate Cora. They glanced over at him and Cora said something that caused Derek’s pitying look returned. Stiles ignored it and sent a wave in their direction before he got onto his bike and sped away towards his house. By the time he had gotten to Scott’s house he had forgotten all about his encounter with Derek in favor of playing video games with Scott.

 

A few hours later, Stiles went back to his house from hanging out with Scott, and he was worn out from playing video games and hide and seek all day. After eating a few slices of pizza he took a quick shower and flopped onto his bed, dozing off before his head even hit the pillow.

 

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles quickly recognized the dream he was having, but also noticed that something wasn't right. Instead of being in the woods and finding the burning house, he was inside of it.

 

He looked around grimly, already knowing how this dream would play out. He could feel the heat radiating through the house, and the smoke curling underneath the doors of the room he was in. After a minute he noticed a staircase leading into what must have been the basement of the house. He walked to the door and used his shirt sleeve to pry it open before he began to descend the staircase into the dark basement below.

 

He could hear several voices mixing together at once. Some were the soft cries of small children, or the loud yelling of frustrated adults. Not bothering to call out to the family, because he knew they couldn't hear him, he took the stairs two at a time and skidded to a stop at the bottom of the staircase. He was surprised as he felt something pushing him back as he tried to enter the basement. It was almost as if someone had put plastic around the doors and stretched it tightly, making it almost unbreakable. He could feel it bend under his weight and he used that to break his way through whatever barrier was keeping him out. He walked slowly into the basement, unsure of what he would see as he entered it.

 

What Stiles was not expecting, though, was to see his classmate Cora and her entire family packed into the dark and dingy basement. They all looked bruised and bloody as if they had been beaten and forced to go into the basement.

 

"That's exactly what happened, Stiles." Stiles jumped about a foot in the air as a voice rang through his thoughts. He looked around frantically to see who had spoken or if the Hale family had noticed, but it seemed like he was the only one that could hear the voice.

 

"Who... Who are you? Why am I here? I’m usually outside." He faltered, not sure what to ask the ominous voice in his mind.

 

"You'll find me when the time is right, Stiles, until then just know that I'm here to help you."

 

"You still didn't answer my question. Why am I here? Why am I having these dreams?" Stiles was getting frustrated at the voice. He wanted answers and the vague voice in his mind wasn't giving him any.

 

"You're having these dreams because it's your job to save them." Stiles' gaze jerked back to the family now holding onto each other desperately as the flames got closer and closer to the basement.

 

"What? How am I supposed to save them?! I'm twelve years old! I can barely pass my classes at school! How am I supposed to save them?" He could feel the sinking feeling of hopelessness settling deep into his stomach as he watched the family begin saying their last goodbyes to each other. He screwed his eyes shut to stop the tears that were threatening to fall.

 

"Don't worry about it yet. When the time is right you will know what you need to do, Stiles. Now go to them, whether or not they know you are here, your presence will comfort them." Stiles found himself nodding and stumbling over to the family, searching for the boy he had always seen looking helplessly out the window as the house fell. He stopped dead in his tracks as he saw Derek Hale, his hand pressed against the window as he looked around, desperately searching for a way out of the burning house. Before he could stop himself he was walking forward and wrapping his arms around Derek's waist.

 

 

"I'll save you, I don't know how I'll do it, but I will save you. All of you." He looked straight at Derek as he made this promise, hoping that in some way Derek could hear him and sense that he was going to survive this. He could feel the tension draining away from Derek, being replaced by fear as the foundations of the house began to crumble. Stiles could barely make out the outlines of flames licking at the sides of the walls before the ceiling gave out, and he woke up.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles stared at his ceiling as he went over everything he had seen in his dream. No matter how hard he thought about it, he simply couldn’t see a solution to the problem he was facing. He wasn’t even sure he believed that what he was dreaming was even real, or just a really realistic nightmare. He shivered and pulled the blankets up to his chin, trying to clear his mind of what he had dreamed. He could still see the flames and the terrified faces of the Hale's behind his eyes every time he blinked. He didn't think he would ever stop seeing the panic and fear in the eyes of the boy he had held onto in their last moments. He wished that he could ask his mom about it. He remembered the pitying look he had gotten from Derek earlier during the day and his stomach started churning. He hated being pitied, and he didn’t want Derek to have to go through that too. He told himself that Derek would be fine and that the dreams weren’t real, in hopes of being able to fall back asleep.

 

Stiles stayed awake for the rest of the night.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles was sixteen years old when the dreams he had been having periodically throughout his life changed drastically.

 

He was at a party with Scott, who was off somewhere with his girlfriend Allison, leaving him alone next to the snack table. He was happily munching on some gummy bears and drinking a bottle of water that he had brought with him (his dad was the sheriff and would murder him if he drank underage), when he saw Derek Hale walking in his direction.

 

Before he could react, Stiles found himself back in the basement of the Hale house, looking on in terror as he saw the Hale's being pushed and shoved into the basement by an old man he didn't recognize. He saw the man duck down and sprinkle a small bag of powder down onto the doorway before making a hasty retreat out of the house, leaving Stiles alone with the panicking Hale family.

"Gerard! You can't do this! There has to be some mistake, we haven't done anything wrong! We've followed the code, just as we promised we would! Please Gerard, just let my family go, we can talk this out!"

 

Stiles looked on in horror as one of the men, he recognized him as David Hale, howled at Gerard, shaking with rage and fear. Gerard didn't bother sparing the Hale's a reply as he climbed the basement stairs, locking the door with a booming 'click'. He stood back and watched as the Hale family ran to the door, desperately trying to get out. Whatever the old man had sprinkled against the doorway had somehow trapped them inside the basement. Locking the door was unnecessary, since Stiles was positive that Gerard knew they couldn't escape. Stiles ran forward to study the dust sprinkled on the ground, wondering what could be powerful enough to keep an entire family locked in a basement.

 

"It's called Mountain Ash. It's used to keep out werewolves, but it can occasionally be used to keep them in." Stiles' head shot up as he heard the voice in his head once again.

 

"Werewolves? You mean the Hale family are werewolves?"

 

"You don't sound as surprised as I would have expected." There was a small hint of surprise in the voice.

 

"Well, my best friend Scott-" He began to explain himself before he was interrupted.

 

"Ah, yes. You've known he was a werewolf ever since he was bitten, correct?" Stiles swallowed nervously, unsure as to how much he should tell the grave voice echoing through his mind.

 

"Yeah, I did..." He said slowly, curious as to how the voice could possibly know that.

 

"There's no time for me to explain to you how I know what I do, Stiles. You have to go back now. You now know what the arsonist looks like, try to find him, but don't confront him. Not yet. The time will come when it is time for you to save them. Be patient. Now, go." With these last words, Stiles was jerked back into reality.

 

He could feel his chest tighten up and his breathing get shallow as he began to panic. He could feel the tears form in his eyes and roll down his cheeks. He got to his feet quickly, not wanting anyone to see him like this. He could see spots form behind his eyes as he began to shake with the sobs racking through him. He could hear people asking if he was okay and feel people reaching out to him, trying to hold him to calm him down.

 

He could hear people whispering and laughing as he struggled to keep himself under control. He stood up quickly and tried to find his out of the party while even more hands reached out to try and grab him to calm him down.

 

"Don't touch me!" Stiles snarled, jerking out of someone's grasp, stumbling to where he had parked his jeep. He fumbled around for his keys before he realized that they were back on the table where he had left them in his haste to get away from the party. He could feel his breathing getting shallower by the second as he sobbed from the fear he had felt from his vision. Tears blurred his vision and he stumbled over something, only to be caught by two strong arms that began leading him away from the crowd. He fought the person dragging him away and violently struggled, desperately trying to get out of their grip. He struggled even more as he realized the person speaking was none other than Derek Hale.

 

"Stiles, what's wrong? Stop fighting, I'm trying to help you! It’s okay, you're okay. I'm going to help you in my car now okay?" Stiles let himself go limp as he nodded, allowing Derek to gently lead him away from the party. Derek could feel Stiles breaths getting shallower and shallower as he worked himself into a full blown panic attack. He hadn’t had one this bad since his mom’s death and he had no clue how to stop it.

 

He could hear Derek opening a car door and shoving him in, quickly following. He pulled Stiles close to his chest and murmured soothing words into his ears as he rubbed his hands up and down Stiles' back.

 

“Hey, look at me Stiles, it’s okay, everything’s okay. I’m here, you’re safe, I promise.” Derek said soothingly, doing his best to calm Stiles’ growing panic.

 

"Breathe with me, Stiles. Let's do it together. Inhale," Derek took a deep inhale, waiting for Stiles to take a shuddering breath, "and exhale." They continued this for a few minutes, breathing together slowly as Stiles slowly calmed down. He was still sobbing, though and Derek captured Stiles' face in his hands and forced him to look at Derek.

 

"Hey Stiles, look at me. How many fingers do I have? Come on, count with me. One, two, three..." Stiles opened his eyes, his sobs finally slowing down as he began to count alongside Derek.

 

"Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten." They finished together as Stiles' hiccupping sobs slowed to a stop. He sniffled and wiped the back of his hand across his eyes as he began to calm down.

 

"How did you know that would work?" He asked Derek as he twisted around in his grip, so he could look at Derek as he spoke. He chose to ignore the fact that he was basically sitting in Derek Hale’s lap.

 

"I had really bad nightmares when I was younger and I would get panic attacks whenever I remembered them while I was awake. My mom eventually figured out that in my dreams, everyone had extra fingers, so she would count our fingers with me until I calmed down. It worked every time." Derek explained slowly, as if he was hesitant to share this information with Stiles.

 

"Thank you, I'm sorry for you having to help me, I'm not really sure where the attack came from." Stiles lied easily. He knew that he had the panic attack because that was the first time he had the visions while he was awake. He climbed out of the car and apologized to Derek once again.

 

“It’s okay, Stiles.” Derek said, shoving Stiles’ car keys into his hand, along with his cell phone. Stiles bid Derek goodbye before he climbed into his jeep and began the drive home, his thoughts racing the entire way. There was no ignoring it or wishing it away now. He couldn’t let himself deny the fact that the dreams had to be real any longer. He knew now that he would have to be the one to save the Hale family; the hardest part would just be waiting patiently until the right time came for him to save them and figuring out how the hell he was supposed to do it.

 

~~~~

 

Stiles Stilinski was eighteen years old when the time came for him to save the Hale family.

 

He was sitting in his room, working on his homework when he saw fire behind his eyes as his vision entered his mind. His chest immediately began to tighten and he clenched his fists as he was taken into the house once again.

 

After finding himself in the Hale's basement again, he was surprised to see Scott's boss, Dr. Deaton in the basement with him, and the Hale's nowhere to be seen.

 

"Deaton? Why are you here? Where is everyone?" Stiles asked, his mouth gaping in confusion.

 

"I'm the emissary of the Hale pack. It's my job to keep the peace between them and any outside parties. In this case the outside party is the Argent family. I managed to find a spell that would allow me to slow down the vision so that we could talk before the fire takes place." Deaton explained ominously.

 

"Okay, hold on a second. Did you say Argent? You don’t mean Allison Argent’s family, do you?" Stiles was stunned. How had he not figured out that Scott’s girlfriend’s family wanted to murder an entire family.

 

"Yes. The Argent family is well known in the supernatural community for being hunters. They've been particularly successful in their hunts of lycanthropy, or werewolves, as some have taken to calling them."

 

"Hunters. You have got to be kidding me. Scott is literally a werewolf and he's dating the daughter of a werewolf hunter?!" Stiles threw his hands up in exasperation at how shitty his best friend's luck was.

 

"Don't be too upset with Scott, Stiles. Most of the Argent family only hunt by a certain code. The code states, ‘We hunt those who hunt us.’ It’s relatively simple and most hunters abide by it. There is only one man in the Argent family that refuses to follow the code. His name is Gerard Argent. He has killed more werewolves during his life than every other hunter that I’ve met combined. He is the one who will singlehandedly murder the entire Hale family for no reason. If you don’t find a way to stop him, that is." Deaton said this easily, as if he was talking about his grocery list, not about the murder of an entire family.

 

"How the hell am I supposed to save them?!" Stiles was close to ripping out his hair frustration at how vague Deaton was being.

 

"There isn't much I can tell you that will help you know what you need to do. It is your job as a Seer to figure it out on your own." Deaton apologized, gazing at Stiles to see how he reacted.

 

"Whoa whoa whoa, wait just one second. A Seer? What the hell is that?"

 

"It is in the same family as being Psychic. There are certain differences, however. Seer's have the ability to change the future that they see in their visions, while Psychic's do not. Seers are extremely rare and it is a gift that one must be born with, while being a psychic is something that must be learned. Very few people that claim to be Seer's are truthful. You are the first true Seer that I've ever met. I'm actually surprised that you didn't figure it out on your own, if I'm going to be honest with you." Deaton was giving him a strange look as he finally gave Stiles some answers. Whether or not he understood them was another matter altogether.

 

"So you're telling me that after all this time that I've been told I'm just a fragile human that can't compete with his werewolf best friend, that I'm actually, like, magic?" Stiles felt hope rising in his chest at the prospect of finally being more helpful and not just being a human who only succeeded in getting himself hurt. He was tired of being shoved to the side as if he was unimportant. Ever since Scott had been bitten he had always felt small and insignificant. He no longer mattered in Scott's life, and it was slowly tearing him apart. But now that he knew he was more than just a human, he finally felt like he was more than just a human tagging along with a werewolf.

 

"You've always been more than just a fragile human, you just didn't believe it until now. There's always been a spark inside of you, Stiles. Now all that is left, is learning how to control that spark and learning how to bend it to your will." Deaton smiled at Stiles and, Jesus, even his smile was vague and ominous.

 

"Okay, wait, now I'm confused again. How come you haven't told the Hale's about me? Isn't that your job as their um, what did you call it again? Emissary?"

 

"The truth is that I had not realized what you were until just recently. Like I said, I had never met a true Seer before you, so I didn't recognize you for what you are as quickly as I should have." He explained, sounding almost embarrassed to admit it.

 

"Okay. I guess that makes sense. But there's something else too. Up until now I had the dreams every four years. I had the first dream when I was four, then eight, then twelve, when you first showed up in them, and then at sixteen. I'm only 18 now. What changed? It's only been two years since my last dream, or um, vision." Stiles had so many questions, and he fully intended to get answers to as many as he could before he woke up.

 

"It has come to my, and the Argent family's, attention that their daughter is dating a werewolf. Gerard wasn't very happy when he found out that his own son was knowingly letting his daughter date a werewolf, so now Gerard has moved back to Beacon Hills to, shall we say, supervise the situation at hand. If that had not occurred, the cycle would most likely have continued until the time came for you to save them. Gerard coming back early simply pushed the timeline ahead a bit." Deaton said, leaving Stiles to fill in the blanks of what he meant.

 

"And by supervise you mean murder an entire family? Ugh. Wait, but why target the Hale’s? Why not just try to kill Scott?” Stiles asked, suppressing a shiver at the thought of Gerard targeting Scott. He could feel the dread crawling up his spine as it registered in his mind how serious this was. He desperately prayed that there was a mistake.

“Gerard is convinced that Scott was bitten by the Hale pack, and that because of this, he must already be a part of it. I have talked to my Alpha, though, and she says that Scott was bitten by a wandering Omega, and that she has not yet extended an invitation for him to join.” Deaton explained, watching Stiles’ expressions carefully.

 

“So for him, in some sick and twisted way, this is like dealing with two problems at once? He gets to kill the werewolf dating his granddaughter, and take out the remainder of the Beacon Hills werewolf population, just because he can?” Stiles felt the pieces fall together in his mind. The horror from this realization must have shown on his face, because Deaton walked forward and laid a hand on his shoulder, trying to comfort him.

 

"Stiles, you must know by now that you wouldn't be having these visions if you weren't the only one that could save the Hale pack. I know that I sound like a broken record, but it has to be you. It can only be you.” Deaton gave him a sad smile, and Stiles couldn’t help but gape at him. If that was his attempt at comfort, Stiles really didn’t want to hear Deaton attempt to tell a joke.

 

"What do you mean I'm the only one? Aren't you going to help me? Isn’t that why you called me here? Why can't we just find the Hale's and tell them what's going to happen so they can stop it? Isn't that your job as their emissary?" Stiles felt panic creeping into his bones as he spoke. There was no way he'd be able to save an entire family from a fire all by himself. He had seen what Gerard could do, and the thought of having to face him alone was too much for Stiles to bear.

 

"My job as an emissary is to aid my pack as a liaison between them and any other people, such as hunters or any other supernatural beings. Take yourself as an example. You are a Seer, born with the gift of seeing and being able to change the future. Say you saw something important that would happen to my pack in the future, an example being the fire you have visions of. It would be my job to seek you out and convince you to help prevent the fire. Even while intercepting you in these visions, I am not able to see the details of the visions as you can. It’s like looking through an extremely dirty window. I can make out the basics, but I can’t help you stop it, since you are the only one that is allowed to know the precise date and time that the fire will take place. If we were to go to the Hale’s and tell them what you have seen, it would set their fate into stone, and the fire would be unavoidable. They would all die. Do you understand now why it can only be you that knows the exact contents of your visions? Do you understand what is at stake if you tell anyone what you see?" Deaton's voice was like a vacuum, sucking all of the air out of the room instantly. Stiles was having trouble breathing, it felt as if someone had laid several weights on his chest, forcing all the air from his lungs.

 

"I won’t say anything, but I don't... I don't know when it will happen. I don't know how to save them. I don’t know anything..." Stiles whispered, hopelessness filling his head as he spoke.

 

"You will find all the answers you need in time, I assure you."

 

"I... I think I want to wake up now. I can't... I can't do this. I can't save them, I don't know how." Stiles could feel a panic attack coming on as tears pooled in his eyes, threatening to spill over onto his cheeks.

 

"Stiles-" Deaton began, trying to calm him by grabbing his arm. Stiles snatched his arm out of Deaton's grip, jerking away from him roughly.

 

"Don't touch me! I SAID I WANT TO WAKE UP!" Stiles yelled, falling to his knees and cradling his head in his hands as he rocked back and forth. He couldn't stop the sobs travelling through his body. He screamed in frustration, tugging roughly on his hair, hoping the pain would help him snap back to reality. When he opened his eyes and saw that he was still in the forest where his visions took place, he began to hit himself as hard as he could, trying to force himself to wake up.

 

He screamed as he felt strong hands grasp his own, effectively stopping him from hurting himself further. He knew it had to be Deaton grabbing him since no one else had ever noticed him in the visions. He kicked out blindly, screaming and clawing, trying to twist himself out of Deaton's grip.

 

“Let me go! Let me go, I want to wake up! Please, just let me wake up…” His screams turned into sobs as the strong arms forced him to stop struggling. He let himself go limp as he started to succumb to the panic he was feeling.

 

"Stiles?" Stiles' hiccupping sobs slowed to an abrupt stop as he heard someone’s voice calling his name. It wasn’t Deaton, he knew that for sure. He let his eyes dart around as footsteps approached him. He knew he had to be awake now. No one, other than Deaton, had noticed him in a vision before. As someone slowed down to a stop in front of him, he let his eyes slide upwards until he was staring into the concerned face of none other than Derek Hale.

 

"Dad, let him go, I know this kid. This is Scott's best friend, Stiles. Stiles, what the hell are you doing out here? It's the middle of the night! Shouldn't you be at home asleep, and not screaming your head off in the middle of the woods?" Yep, that was definitely Derek. And the person holding him, stopping him from hurting himself in his panic, was Derek's dad. His cheeks flamed in embarrassment. The hands released his and he scrambled to his feet, wiping the tears from his eyes roughly. He avoided looking at Derek as he scratched his head sheepishly. He took a few deep breaths before answering, trying to keep his voice steady.

 

"Derek? Where am I? I was literally just in my room a few seconds ago. Oh. Before I fell asleep." Stiles finished weakly. He quickly realized that he actually was in the forest near the Hale house, and not in another one of his visions. This was the first time in a long time that he'd slept-walked and that sent a shiver of uneasiness down his spine. Why was he sleepwalking again all of a sudden? Did it have to do with what Deaton told him in his vision?

 

"You're in the woods close to my house. Stiles how did you get here? Did you seriously sleepwalk all the way from your house?" Derek asked, confusion and concern evident on his face. Stiles felt himself nodding, Deaton’s warning to not tell anyone what he had seen echoing through his head.

 

"I guess so? I don't live anywhere near the woods though, I live in the middle of town. I'm not... I'm not sure how I got here without waking up." He said, his voice shaking slightly. He frowned when he realized that his voice was no longer shaking from the panic attack but from the cold.

 

Stiles suddenly shivered as he realized how cold he was. He looked down at his body and realized he was wearing only a t-shirt and boxer shorts. No wonder he was shivering. It was the middle of December and he was half naked outside in the snow covered forest. Derek looked at him for a moment before realization dawned on his features, and he quickly took off his jacket, placing it over Stiles' shoulders gently. Stiles smiled at him, but the smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. He couldn’t stand looking Derek in the eyes, knowing what his future had in store for him, but not being able to tell him. He wanted to blurt out everything that he knew, and promise that he would save them, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to say anything, for fear of making his visions a reality.

 

"Thanks... Um. I'm sorry for being weird. You were probably asleep and I woke you up with my screaming. Ugh, I'm sorry about that. I have nightmares, they can get pretty bad sometimes... Um... Can you maybe take me home? Or let me borrow a phone so I can call my dad? I'm sure my dad's called the entire police department to look for me by now and I don't want him to think I'm dead or something." He stuttered, shifting back a step as Derek raised an eyebrow at him.

 

"Let's just say that this isn't the first time I've had trouble with sleepwalking." He didn't elaborate as much as he could have, and Derek looked like he wanted to ask, but thankfully he didn't. Instead he reached for Stiles’ hand and began to lead him through the woods towards the Hale house.

 

Stiles felt his stomach do a weird flip as he was dragged out of the woods by Derek. His hands were weirdly soft and Stiles couldn't stop himself from blushing. He was secretly pleased that Derek was holding his hand, not that he would ever admit it. They eventually came to a stop in front of the Hale house, and Stiles couldn't help but gasp. In his visions he had never been able to really take in the beauty of the large house in front of him. He had always either been inside of the house, or on the outside just as it was caving in on itself. He could feel Derek's gaze on Stiles' own at his gasp, and he faked a shiver. Derek's frown deepened even further, if that was even possible.

 

"Come with me, I have to help you warm up or you'll get hypothermia, and that won't be fun for either of us." He said stiffly as he began leading them into the house. Stiles could feel his chest tighten at being inside the house, officially, for the first time. He tried his best to push the panic out of his chest as Derek began leading him through the house.

 

"This is a nice house." He said, hoping to break the awkward silence. Derek just sent a half amused half annoyed glare in his direction before opening up a door and walking through it. Stiles followed, padding softly through the room to where Derek was standing near his closet. He rummaged through for a minute before he pulled out a thick, wool sweater and some sweatpants that were way too long for him.

 

"Here." He held out the clothes for Stiles to take and he knew better than to try and refuse. The look on Derek's face said there would be no point in it, so he quickly pulled on the clothes, sighing in relief as he began to warm up. The clothes were huge on his tall, wiry frame, and he had to roll the sweatpants up a few times, but they were already way better than the t-shirt and boxers he'd had on before.

 

"Thank you. I'll bring them back tomorrow. I'll have my jeep then." He mumbled around a huge yawn, only just now realizing how exhausted he was. Derek's frown returned full force as Stiles' eyes began to slip shut as he swayed on his feet. Derek's hand steadied him and helped him sit on the corner of the bed.

 

"I'm sorry, I'm just so tired all of a sudden. Gosh, this is so rude of me. Here let me use your phone to call my dad to pick me up, I don't want to be any more of a nuisance than I have been already." Stiles said, stifling another huge yawn.

 

"Stop apologizing, you can’t help that you sleepwalk. Just tell your dad to lock the front door the next time you go to sleep,” Derek joked before walking towards the door, “Hold on a second and I’ll get my phone, then I'll drive you home. Wait here." Derek said, turning and walking out of the room. Stiles' eyes began to droop shut and he tried, and failed, to stand up so he wouldn't fall asleep. He only succeeded in falling back onto the bed as his knees gave out. He could barely make out the sound of Derek on the phone with someone as he slowly drifted off to sleep.

 

~~~~

 

"You said you found him in the woods?" Stiles shifted around in his bed as he heard voices drifting through the house.

 

"Yeah, he was sleepwalking. He lives in the middle of town, yet somehow he managed to get all the way here without anyone seeing him. He was pretty shaken up when I found him. Derek was the one that eventually calmed him down, though." Another voice answered the first.

 

"I'm pretty sure he had at least slight hypothermia when I found him too. He was only wearing boxers and a t-shirt. He was looking a little blue when we found him. I'll be shocked if he doesn't get the flu or something." The voices continued chatting and Stiles eventually managed to sit up. He wiped at his eyes groggily, stifling a yawn. It took him a few minutes to fully wake up and take in his surroundings. When he realized where he was, and whose bed he was in, he quickly tried to stand up, only managing to tumble onto the floor in the process. He let out a small yelp as he saw Derek standing in the doorway, staring him down, a slightly amused look on his face.

 

"Fuck, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to fall asleep. Shit, this is so embarrassing. God I'm so sorry." Stiles apologized quickly, trying (and failing) to stop the blush creeping up his neck. He quickly covered his face in his hands at his own stupidity. Derek's face remained impassive as he shrugged.

 

"It's okay, you needed to sleep. How are you feeling?" Derek asked, his hands twitching as if he wanted to reach out to Stiles. He got cut off by a massive sneeze that shook Stiles' entire body.

 

"ACHOO! Holy shit that almost killed me." Stiles clutched his chest for a moment. After he recovered he let out a long sigh and ran his hand down his face roughly.

 

"Of fucking course. This is just great." He mumbled, trying to hold back his growing annoyance at his newfound status as a Seer. He had only just found out about what he was, and it was already getting him into trouble. He scowled down at his hands. He hadn't asked for any of this to happen to him. At this point he would be ecstatic to be able to go back to being the Robin to Scott's Batman, no matter how much he complained about it. He would be more than happy to be normal, but now he couldn't even go to sleep anymore without waking up in the middle of the goddamn forest.

 

"Are you okay?" The concern in Derek's voice made Stiles scoff. Derek didn't give a shit about him and he knew it. He didn’t need Derek to pity him. Instead of calling him out on it, he just played it off and answered him, his voice expressionless.

 

"Yeah, I'm fine. Probably just a cold." Stiles answered, avoiding Derek’s eyes.

 

"That isn't what I was asking about. Something else is obviously bothering you, Stiles. I mean, we found you in the middle of the woods, screaming and panicking, trying to hurt yourself. I know something’s wrong, and I just wanted to make sure you were okay before I take you home." Stiles shrugged. As much as he wanted to tell Derek and let him know how his family was in danger, he knew that it just wasn't time. He could feel something deep inside his mind telling him to keep his mouth shut, and for once in his life, Stiles listened.

 

"No, it's just. It's hard to explain. I have nightmares. They’ve just been really bad these past few months." More like years, he added in his thoughts. Derek shook his head, not letting Stiles get away with his flimsy excuse.

 

"You don't have to lie to me. I know I come off as... intimidating at times but you'd be surprised. I may not look like it, but I'm actually a very good listener. Laura, my older sister, always comes to me for advice." Derek's gaze softened as he stared at Stiles.

 

"It's not lying if I don't say anything at all,” Stiles joked. Derek just stared at him. “I’m fine, Derek, really, don’t worry about it.” Stiles said, hoping this would be enough to get Derek to leave the matter alone. He must have sensed that Stiles simply wasn't ready to talk about what was bothering him, so he let the subject drop.

 

"Come on. I'm driving you home. We called the Sheriff last night and told him where you were. He offered to come get you, but Mom said you could stay the night since you'd already taken over my bed." Derek said, his face blank. Stiles could detect a flicker of amusement in his voice, though, but decided not to comment on it. They began descending the stairs and Stiles apologized quickly.

 

"Yeah, sorry about that. I guess I was just worn out from sleepwalking so far. It hasn’t happened in a while." He shrugged as they got to the bottom of the stairs. They turned the corner to walk towards the door and came face to face with a pretty brunette girl that Stiles quickly recognized as Cora from his classes at school. He groaned inwardly as her gaze went straight to him, recognizing him easily. Why did she have to be here? How the hell was he supposed to explain this to her?

 

"Stiles? What the hell are you doing in my house? And why are you wearing Derek's clothes? Wait a second... Derek? You- oh my god! Laura, come quick!" Cora began laughing hysterically, clutching her stomach as giggles shook her body. Derek looked as if he was ready to kill her, and Stiles was ready to crawl into a hole and die from embarrassment.

 

"Well, well. What do we have here?" Stiles spun around quickly and saw a woman that looked slightly older than Derek. She was staring them down with her hands on her hips, a small smirk covering her face. Stiles couldn’t help but gape at her. How was everyone in the Hale family so damn attractive?

 

"Uh. This isn't what it looks like, I swear-" Stiles started to explain himself, but Derek interrupted him.

 

"It's none of your damn business, Laura. We're leaving." Derek said, pulling Stiles along behind him as they quickly exited the house. They trekked around the house until they came to a huge garage, crammed full of cars. Derek grabbed some keys off a shelf and lead Stiles over to a sleek, black Camaro. Stiles couldn't help but whistle appreciatively.

 

"Dude. Please marry me so I can drive this car." He joked, running his hand softly alongside the door. Derek just stared at him blankly before sliding in the driver’s side and starting the car. Stiles quickly followed his lead. He buckled up and turned to Derek.

 

"I could have explained why I was here. So they wouldn't have gotten the wrong idea." He said, staring at Derek's face as he pulled out of the garage. They drove along the driveway for a few minutes before he responded.

 

"You didn't have to explain anything to them. I don't care what they think. It's none of their business anyways. Don't worry about it." Derek said, his words sounding more like a growl than anything else. Why was he so angry all the damn time?

 

"Are you always this angry?" Stiles asked before he could stop himself.

 

"Are you always this irritating?" Derek responded, a small smirk appearing on his lips.

 

"I am not irritating! Sure, I talk a lot and sleepwalk to random people's houses, but I'm not irritating. Ask anyone. Well, not anyone. Ask Scott, he'll tell you I'm not irritating." Stiles said, knowing that Scott would back him up. He had to, even if he did think Stiles was irritating. It was in the bro code, after all. Derek shook his head in response, and Stiles chose not to answer him. He could stop being irritating if he wanted to.

 

After a few minutes of silence, Stiles finally caved and starting talking again.

 

"I could have easily explained why I was with you and it would have saved us both some embarrassment. And then maybe you wouldn't be so cranky. Actually, never mind, I feel like you'd be cranky no matter what." Stiles muttered, staring out his window as they passed through the trees.

 

"I'm not embarrassed, Stiles. I just hate that they always butt into my life. What I do or who I hang out with is none of their concern. And I’m not cranky." Derek explained, glancing at Stiles as he spoke.

 

"You are totally cranky, just admit it. And I don't have any siblings, but I do have Scott and he's like my brother, so I sort of understand the whole butting into your business thing. Scott gets really hurt if I forget to tell him that I won’t be at school one day. Or at least he used to. He doesn't pay much attention to me anymore. Ever since he started dating Allison, it's like I don't even exist anymore." Stiles said, laughing bitterly. He wasn’t sure why he told Derek that, he hadn’t even told his dad that he was feeling left out by Scott. He glanced at Derek and saw that the older boy looked uncomfortable, as if he wanted to say something but didn't know how to say it.

 

"I'm sure he doesn't mean to ignore you. He probably just has a lot on his plate right now." Derek explained carefully as he pulled into Stiles' street. He could tell exactly what Derek meant by the expression on his face. Stiles let out a full blown laugh at this, his body shaking as he giggled. Derek just stared at him, obviously confused at Stiles’ sudden change in emotions.

 

"Dude, I know Scott's a werewolf. Hell, I'm the one that figured out what had happened to him! He didn't believe me until the full moon, though. That was a rough night for the both of us. He tried to kill me, multiple times. I probably deserved it, though, for chaining him to the radiator." Stiles explained, wiping the tears of laughter from his eyes. Derek looked at Stiles incredulously as the smaller boy grinned.

 

"How the hell did you figure it out, let alone figure it out before he did? What else do you know about?" Derek asked, suspicion clouding his features.

 

"Scott came to my house with a huge bite mark on his side and no need to puff on his inhaler every few minutes. I knew something weird was going on, so I did some research and figured it out soon enough. Scott thought I was crazy but when the full moon hit he regretted that decision. After he was bitten I took it upon myself to learn everything I could get my hands on about the supernatural. I know about pretty much everything, thanks to months and months of taking too much Adderall to be able to stay up late and research. To answer your question, though, yes I know about the Hale Pack. It was actually one of the first things I figured out after I figured out what Scott was." Stiles lied, completely skipping over the fact that Deaton, the Hale's own emissary, had told him about the Hale Pack himself. He doubted that would go over well, since Derek was already looking at him suspiciously enough to make Stiles squirm under his gaze.

 

"You know I have to tell my parents that you know, right? They'll want to talk to you and ask you some questions, like how you managed to find out our biggest and most well-kept secret. And to find out what else you know." Derek said roughly. Stiles didn't need werewolf powers to hear the suspicion in Derek's voice. Stiles was panicking internally. He did his best to keep his expression neutral, even though he knew Derek could hear his heart hammering in his chest. How was he supposed to explain that he was a Seer to the Hale Pack? He wasn't ready to tell anyone about it, since he hardly knew anything about his powers himself. He'd done as much research as he could, but had come up with little to nothing about his abilities.

 

"Sure. I've got nothing to hide." He bluffed, his hands twitching towards the door handle. Derek frowned, but if he noticed anything abnormal about Stiles' heart rate or his twitchiness, he chose not to say anything.

 

"Well. This has been fun, but I have tons of homework to do, so uh, bye Derek!" Stiles scrambled out of the car, walking briskly to the door and letting himself in. He let out a shuddering breath as he peeked back through the curtain. Derek was still parked in his driveway. He was watching Stiles closely and it made him shudder. Stiles waved, faking a cheery smile before turning and running up the stairs to his room.

 

He shut the door and sat down on his bed. He ran a hand through his hair roughly as his mind raced. He didn't know what to do. He had to find some excuse on how he knew about the Hale Pack, or he would have to come clean and tell them about his abilities. He wasn't sure telling them was an option at all. After a few minutes of thinking, Stiles had an idea of what to do. On a whim, he decided to pay Deaton a visit at the animal clinic. He hadn't contacted him personally since his last vision, but he felt like now was as good a time as any to do so.

 

He quickly grabbed his laptop, throwing it in his backpack. He planned on badgering Deaton about his abilities and taking notes on everything important. Maybe this way he'd know more about how he was supposed to save the Hale's.

 

He took his stairs two at a time, running out the door to his jeep. He started it up and began the drive to the animal clinic. He considered going over the speed limit to get there sooner, but decided that getting pulled over wouldn't be worth it. His dad, who was also the sheriff, would never let him get away with a speeding ticket.

 

After a few short minutes, Stiles pulled into the parking lot. He knew Scott was probably working alongside Deaton, but he didn't care. He knew about Scott being a werewolf, so he figured that Scott deserved to know about him being a Seer.

 

"It's open!" Deaton's familiar voice called from the back room. Stiles walked through, letting the door close behind him. He flipped the open sign to closed and shut the curtains. He locked the door for good measure and walked to the back room swiftly. Scott looked up when he saw Stiles and must have known something was wrong, because he rushed to Stiles' side and immediately checked over him for injuries.

 

"What's wrong, Stiles? What happened?" He asked, concern lacing through his voice. Stiles smiled softly.

 

"Nothing's wrong. Well, not really. I came to talk to Deaton." With this Stiles directed his attention to Scott's boss, who was staring at him, just as ominously as always.

 

"We have a situation. I may or may not have let it slip to Derek that I know about the Hale Pack and now his parents want to question me about, and I'm quoting Derek here, 'what else I know'. What do I tell them?" Stiles asked, ignoring the surprise on Scott's face. He was sure that Deaton had told Scott about the Hale Pack, and had made him promise not to say anything to anyone, including Stiles. He had probably taken some secret werewolf oath to keep his mouth shut about the Pack. Fortunately for Scott, he had figured it out on his own and just hadn't brought it up to him yet. Deaton glanced carefully at Scott and Stiles nodded back at him.

 

"Well, I'd start with telling them of your abilities. You live on the Hale Pack's territory, so they need to know about anyone supernatural living on it. They'll want to know everything you know about what you can do. I know you don't know much, so it's good that you came to me." Deaton explained, pulling out several jars of varying size and shape. They were all filled with different colored powders and plants. Stiles could feel himself gravitating towards them, a strange feeling settling into the pit of his stomach. There was something about the herbs that made his hands twitch, making him want to take them from Deaton. He shook himself out of his thoughts as Scott finally spoke.

 

"What kind of abilities? Stiles isn't Supernatural, he's my best friend, and I would know if he was!" Scott glared, crossing his arms defensively. He looked at Stiles for support. Stiles immediately felt guilt wash over him.

 

"Well... I sort of am? I haven't known for very long. I would have told you as soon as I was sure about it and knew exactly how to explain it to you." Stiles scratched the back of his head sheepishly as Scott's mouth flew open in surprise.

 

"What do you mean, sort of? What are you? You aren't a werewolf. That much I'm sure about. I'd be able to tell if you were." Scott spluttered, his eyes widening in shock. Stiles looked at Deaton for help. He didn't really know how to explain his abilities, since he hadn't known about them for very long. Deaton seemed to realize this, and began to explain. He continued pulling out herbs as he spoke, shaking their contents into a small bowl.

 

"Stiles is a Seer. He has the ability to predict the future and to bend it to his will. It's an extremely rare talent to have. He is the only true Seer that I have ever met. Alpha Hale will definitely want to meet you." Deaton was now speaking directly to Stiles, "You will become a valuable asset to her pack, Stiles. We have to start quickly. We only have a limited window of time to train you to your fullest potential. She will probably come in a few days to question you, and you need to be ready to show her exactly what you are capable of." Deaton explained. He now had a dark blue powder forming in his bowl. Stiles felt himself reaching for it, trying to grab it, but he stopped himself as he realized what Deaton had said.

 

"Wait, what? You never said anything about joining her pack! What if I don't want to join?" He asked, shoving his hands into his pockets to stop himself from snatching the powder away from Deaton. Scott was looking at Stiles' an incredulous expression painted on his features.

 

"That's completely up to you. She will still want to ask you about your abilities, though. Whether or not you choose to join her, you'll still need to train to be able use your abilities." Deaton explained calmly. Scott found his voice and began asking about Stiles' powers.

 

"So... Say you saw a vision of us losing the lacrosse championship. Would you be able to find a way to change it so that we'd win?" Scott asked slowly, obviously trying to understand what exactly what Stiles could do. Stiles felt himself grin at Scott's example.

 

"Something like that, yeah. And okay what the hell is that stuff? Because it has to be something weird, it’s taking all my willpower not to take it away from you, dude." Stiles watched attentively as Deaton continued grinding herbs and plants into a fine, dark blue powder. Every now and again he would add something or take something away, obviously trying to get it exactly right. After a moment he frowned at it and shook his head and opened his mouth to explain.

 

"Ever since I realized what you are, Stiles, I've been doing as much research as I could. I've called all of my contacts and most of them could only tell me what I already knew. You can see and change the future, but no one could tell me anything else. I knew there was more to your abilities, I just couldn't figure out what. I finally called my sister Morell, and she told me about a book that would tell me what I needed to know. I believe you may already know what book I'm speaking of?" Deaton smiled, as the gears in Stiles' head clicked into place.

 

"Wait do you mean the Bestiary? That book you told Scott to give me a few months ago? How is that remotely helpful to us? It's in Archaic Latin. I've tried translating it, but literally no one knows Archaic Latin anymore. Do you read Archaic Latin?" Stiles asked, try desperately to not get his hopes up.

 

"I don't," Deaton answered. Stiles felt the remaining hope drain from his body as his shoulders sagged.

 

"But my sister does. She was kind enough to translate it for me. Most of it was useless information, but there was three main points I want to focus on and help you be able to do." Stiles let out a huge sigh of relief as his hope slowly started to return.

 

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's hear em'!" Stiles said, excitement coursing through his veins.

 

"The first thing you will learn is how to pull the visions to you. I know that right now you only have the same vision over and over, with slight changes as you progressively get older. You probably noticed that you get strange feelings when you see or hear certain things. Those are visions you aren't able to have yet, because you haven't learned how to open your mind to be able to access them. You will learn to welcome these visions so that you are able to help as many people as you can." Deaton held up one finger as he explained himself, and Stiles nodded, rapt with attention.

 

"The second thing you'll learn is control. You need to learn how to control your visions. You'll need to learn how to have them without having to go to sleep every time and to leave them when you've seen all you need to see. This will help you snap back to reality quickly and easily, instead of being disoriented when you wake up. It will also help put an end to the sleepwalking." Deaton held up a second finger as he explained himself. Stiles liked the sound of not sleepwalking anymore, so he nodded that he understood and Deaton continued.

 

"The third and last thing is learning how to understand your visions. This will help you learn how to change the future of the visions you see. Learning how to understand these visions quickly and easily will help save lives. You aren't always going to have years to understand a vision like you have had with the Hale's vision. There will be visions where you have only minutes to determine what you must do. Mastering these three talents in a few days is going to be hard, but I have complete faith in your abilities, Stiles. If anyone can do this, it's you." Deaton held up one last finger. Stiles shook his head to clear his thoughts before he answered.

 

"I'm not worried. I'm a pretty fast learner." Stiles lied easily, even though he was positive Scott could hear the change in his heartbeat. He was worried out of his mind. He had no clue if he was going to be able to master those things as quickly as he needed to. It sounded like something that should take two years of practice, not just two days. Scott seemed to notice how uneasy he was getting, and like the good friend he was, tried to help Stiles be more confident with his abilities.

 

"I'm sure you can do it, Stiles. Don't you remember that time that Mr. Harris said that it would be impossible memorize the entire periodic table and you learned it in under and hour just to prove him wrong? If you can do that just to prove a point, then I'm positive you can do this." Scott smiled at him reassuringly.

 

"Thanks, Scott. I knew there was a reason I keep you around." Stiles grinned as Scott shoved him playfully. Deaton cleared his throat to get the two boys' attention.

 

"The first thing I will teach you is how to make this powder. The rough translation of its name into English is Seeing Sand. There are several medicinal uses of this powder, but it is mainly useful for the Supernatural. Anyone with Supernatural abilities can use this, but it won't have the same effect on them as it would have on you. Werewolves are a good example of this. They can use the powder as a sort of protection charm while anyone with psychic abilities would use it to hone in on their inner eye. It helps you focus your energy to do the three things I will teach you in the next few days. Let's get started, shall we?" Deaton beckoned for Stiles to join him at the table.

 

"Okay, doc. I'm ready to learn." Stiles cracked his knuckles as he waited on Deaton to get set up. He placed a small bowl and grinding stone in front of him.

 

"The four ingredients for making this powder are Nordic Blue Monkshood, a type of wolfsbane, Euphrasian Lycan, an herb that helps enhances vision and Rue, an herb that calms anxiety and helps the user to focus. The last is an ingredient that varies from person to person. You choose this ingredient based on the aura that the person that will be using it gives off. Your aura is a deep, midnight blue, so I have chosen the flower Indigo as your fourth item. Usually the Seer would choose his fourth item, but since you have no prior experience with things of this nature, I took the liberty of choosing for you." Deaton explained, placing the four ingredients in front of him.

 

Stiles felt his hands moving before he realized what he was doing. He carefully unscrewed the jars Deaton had laid out, taking out the necessary amounts before shutting them and moving them to the side. He wasn't sure how, but something inside of him was telling what to do and showing him how to do it correctly. He expertly ground up each of the ingredients, adding more or taking things out as he went. He had set the indigo to the side and had not yet added it to the mixture he was making. He wasn’t sure if he could explain it if anyone asked him about it, but deep in his mind he knew that the indigo was not what he needed, so he had left it out purposely as he worked. In a daze, Stiles reached for a jar that Deaton hadn't set out for him. The man quickly moved out of his way, letting Stiles grab what he needed. He could feel both Deaton and Scott's eyes on him as he worked. After a few minutes, Stiles was finished. He shook his head to clear the fog from his brain before he noticed the strange looks he was getting from them.

 

"What? Did I do something wrong?" Stiles asked nervously. He looked down at the small bowl of powder in front of him. It was glowing and shimmering in a way that Deaton's powder had not managed. Stiles felt his mouth drop open as he stared at it. He picked up the jar he had used, reading the label quickly.

 

"How the fuck did a Raven feather manage to do that?" He asked, his voice dripping with awe. There was something tugging in his gut as he looked at what he had created. He glanced at Deaton, and the man looked just as surprised as Stiles felt.

 

"In Norse mythology, it is said that the god Odin used Raven’s to be able to see things no one else could... I'm guessing you are somehow a descendent of his, and that is why you chose that as an ingredient. It could explain how you have the ability of a Seer... The Supernatural does tend to work in mysterious ways..." Deaton explained with a small shake of his head. Scott's mouth was gaping as he stared at his best friend. Stiles laughed at how incredulous Scott looked. You'd think that since he was literally a werewolf, this stuff wouldn't really phase him anymore.

 

"If you don't close your mouth, Scott, you'll catch flies." He chuckled again as Scott quickly snapped his mouth closed. He giggled again and glanced back down at the bowl. A sudden, desperate urge to dip his fingers into the Seeing Sand he had created washed over him. Deaton seemed to know what he was going to do before he had even decided to. Before he could blink, Deaton had snatched the bowl away before Stiles acted on his urge.

 

"Hey-" Stiles started to protest, making grabby hands at his powder. Deaton interrupted him, ignoring Stiles' protests.

 

"You can't touch it with your bare hands, or it will simply become a normal powder. It says in the Bestiary that it has to remain pure in order for you to really make use of it. It has to be put into something you can keep on you at all times, without actually touching it. I actually may have something that would work perfectly..." Deaton rummaged around in his cabinets for a few minutes before he found what he was looking for. He pulled out a small crystal pendant with a loop at the top that was threaded with a simple leather cord. The necklace had a screw on top that you wouldn't notice unless you looked closely. After he unscrewed the top, he began the painstakingly slow process of sifting the powder into the necklace. He was extremely careful not to spill any of it, making sure every last grain of sand would be used. A few moments later, he had the top fastened snugly back on the pendant. He handed the necklace to Stiles and watched as the boy slid it over his head slowly. Stiles gasped as the pendant began to take effect. He could feel the raw power of the sand carefully enclosed in the necklace washing over him. He could feel power stronger than anything he'd ever felt running through his veins. He turned to Deaton and smirked at the older man, a wicked glint in his eyes.

 

"Let's do this."

 

~~~

 

Stiles groaned loudly as his alarm clock started ringing shrilly. He cracked one eye open so that he could find the button to stop the ungodly noise echoing through his room.

 

"Ugh. Why did I have to tell Derek I knew about his Pack? Maybe if I hadn't I wouldn't have to wake up at 6 AM on a Saturday to go meet with Alpha Hale." Stiles grumbled, rolling out of bed slowly. He stretched out his sore muscles as his mind began to replay all that had happened over the last few days.

 

'Stiles stared at Deaton expectantly as the older man began packing all of his herbs away. He took his time putting everything back in its proper place, causing Stiles to sigh impatiently. Deaton glanced up at Stiles for a few seconds before he began talking.

 

"Do we need to add 'Patience' to the list of things I have to teach you?" He asked, causing Stiles to smile sheepishly. Scott snickered from the corner of the room and Stiles flipped him the bird while Deaton wasn't looking. Deaton finished packing his things away and addressed Stiles.

 

"I should warn you before we begin that your training won't be easy. If you manage to do everything we discussed on the first try, it will be nothing short of a miracle. It will take practice to be perfect at using your abilities effectively, so don't let it discourage you if you can't get it right away." Stiles just shrugged back at the older man. Deaton sighed before continuing.

 

"The first thing I'm going to teach you is how to pull the visions to you. I want you to close your eyes and take a deep breath," Deaton paused his instruction as he waited for Stiles to comply. Stiles let his eyes slip shut as he inhaled and exhaled slowly" Good. Now tell me what you feel. Is there anything strange or different about the atmosphere in the room?" Deaton asked quietly. Stiles focused on his surroundings, letting his mind wander. Stiles was almost ready to give up when he felt something in his head. It was a fleeting feeling, almost like someone had tugged on his mind quickly before letting it snap back into place.

 

"There's something. I can't really place it, but it's still there, in the back of my mind. I can barely feel it, but it's definitely something." He murmured, trying to coax the weird tugging sensation back to the front of his mind. Deaton's voice was small and soothing as he began speaking again.

 

"That's good, Stiles. Focus on that feeling, no matter how far back in your mind it is. Let it wash over you. Erase everything but that feeling from your mind. Focus..." Deaton trailed off, leaving Stiles to his thoughts.

 

He chased the feeling through his mind, trying his best to focus on it as it got further and further away from his grasp. He had almost caught it, before it disappeared from his mind altogether. Stiles growled and swore creatively at himself before opening his eyes.

 

"I couldn't get it. It was like trying to grab air. How can I focus on something when I have no idea what it is? I can't focus on something that isn't really there!" Stiles grumbled irritably, a frown on his face. Deaton simply smiled and instructed him to try again.

 

After several painstaking attempts, Stiles finally managed to get ahold of the fleeting feeling in the back of his mind, letting it wash over him.

 

"I've got it. Now what do I do?" He whispered, barely breathing as he struggled to keep focusing on the feeling. It was wriggling under his scrutiny as it tried to escape his thoughts.

 

"Now comes the tricky part. Picture the feeling as if it was a door. Can you see the door in your mind?" Deaton asked, his voice floating through Stiles' thoughts as he began following the simple instructions. He nodded jerkily, already creating the door in his thoughts.

 

"Good. This is good," Deaton murmured soothingly, "Now reach out with your mind and push the door open, just as easily as you pushed the door open to come into the office." Stiles gritted his teeth as he heard the instructions. Deaton made it sound so simple, but he was struggling to even keep the feeling from evading his thoughts.

 

He approached the door he had created, the feeling growing stronger as he got closer to the door. After a few seconds he was standing in front of the door and the feeling was so strong he could barely breathe. Using all of his willpower, he grasped the handle of the door, pushing inward with all of his might.'

 

Stiles ran a hand down as his face as he remembered the vision he'd had the day before during his training. He finally managed to force himself out of bed and into the shower. He let yesterday's memories rush back to him under the warm spray of the shower.

 

'Stiles opened his eyes as the vision rushed to him. He was still in Deaton's office and he could see Scott carrying several jars in his arms as Deaton talked to a large blue shadow that Stiles assumed was his aura. Maybe he couldn't see himself if he was in the visions he saw. Before he could react, Scott had slipped on a puddle of water and fell to the floor, crushing the jars in the process. Scott started screaming and writhing in pain and Stiles knew immediately that the jars had contained different forms of wolfsbane.

 

Stiles screamed loudly before he realized what he was doing.

 

"SCOTT, STOP!" With his scream, Stiles was brought back to reality in an instant. He forced his eyes open and saw Scott and Deaton staring at him, confusion evident on their features. Stiles blushed.

 

"It was my vision. I saw Scott fall on that puddle. The jars he was carrying were filled with different types of wolfsbane. They all spilled on him and he just started... I think it was killing him..." He whispered, his voice shaking as he explained the horrible vision. Scott frowned and put his arm around Stiles comfortingly.

 

"Hey, Stiles, it's okay. Really, look at me, I’m fine, and it’s all thanks to you... Thank you for saving my life for a change." Scott smiled softly at Stiles, knowing exactly what he needed to say to comfort his best friend. Stiles returned the smile and leaned into Scott's comforting touch. He could feel the door in his mind much more easily now. He guessed that he just needed to be able to do it once to really kick start the flow of visions he felt. There was a tugging in the back of his mind and he knew it was another vision, but he wasn't sure he was ready for it yet.

 

"I can feel them now. There's so many, they're all tugging in my head, wanting me to see them." Stiles' said, waiting on his next instructions from Deaton.

 

"That was amazing, Stiles. You did so well, you managed to pull a vision to you, and control it at the same time. You even managed to change the vision so that Scott didn't get hurt. You weren't kidding when you said you were a fast learner." Deaton said approvingly. Stiles couldn't help but feel a tiny bit smug at the praise. Until Deaton spoke again, that is.

 

"Now, let's do it again."

 

Stiles hissed as he shook himself out of his thoughts. The water had turned cold already, so he showered quickly and stepped out. He wrapped a towel around his waist and padded into his room. He opened his closet and frowned.  What did you wear to meet with an Alpha? Stiles figured that he should just dress how he normally would and quickly threw on a t-shirt and blue jeans. He pulled on a red zip-up hoodie and some converse sneakers and made sure his pendant was tucked securely under his shirt before running down the steps. He tiptoed to the door and opened it slowly, making sure he didn’t make any noise while shutting it back behind him. He didn’t want to wake his dad up, otherwise he’d have to make up some excuse as to why he was leaving the house so early, and Stiles did not want to have to deal with that so early in the morning. Once he was sure he was in the clear, he started up his jeep and sped off towards the Hale property.

 

On his drive to Derek's house, he could feel the visions trying to force their way into his mind. After his lessons with Deaton the previous day, Stiles could see visions everywhere he went. It was extremely annoying at first, but he had quickly learned how to sort the visions into two categories: important and unimportant. The important visions made the door in his mind feel as if it was going to break under the control he had to use to keep it closed. The unimportant visions just felt like a small, nagging feeling in the back of his mind that he could easily ignore. He always chucked the unimportant visions out of his mind after seeing a few of them. There was only so many visions of kids spilling juice onto brand new carpet and of elderly neighbors losing their car keys that he could take. The important visions were a different situation altogether. With these visions he could see car accidents waiting to happen, people narrowly escaping getting hit by cars while crossing the street and fire. He had been seeing a lot of fire lately. There was always fire in his mind when he saw visions of the Hale's or any of their family. It was a lingering feeling that made him shudder with dread as it washed over him. He may have gotten a lot better at controlling his powers, but he still had no idea how to help the Hale's. He didn't have enough information yet and he had no clue how to change that.

 

He shook himself out of his thoughts as he pulled into the Hale's driveway and parked. He let out a shaky breath as nerves washed over him. He knew that there was no reason for him to be nervous, Deaton had made sure he knew exactly what to say to the Alpha's questions. He waited a few more seconds and then hopped out of his jeep. He had just made it to the door and raised his hand to knock when it swung open. He steeled himself for the worst, and walked inside.

 

The welcome he received was not at all what he had expected. There were kids running around and play fighting while several teenagers were sitting on worn out couches watching a movie. There was a few adults scattered around, chatting with each other and making sure the kids didn't get too rough. The room fell to silence as they saw Stiles and he waved awkwardly.

 

"Um... I'm here to see the Alpha?" He said nervously, knowing it sounded more like a question. One of the older women moved forward.

 

"If everyone could excuse us for a moment, I have some business to attend to." She said this firmly, and everyone in the room quickly gathered up their things and left. Stiles wasn't sure why he didn't realize this woman was the Alpha right away, as she exuded confidence and power as she talked. Stiles walked forward and held out a hand as he introduced himself.

 

"I'm Stiles Stilinski. It's nice to meet you Mrs. Hale." They shook hands and Stiles struggled not to wince at her powerful grip.

 

"You can call me Talia, Stiles. Come with me, we'll talk in the kitchen. Derek is waiting for us there." Stiles blanched as he heard Derek's name, but nodded anyway and followed Talia through the house. He’d never admit it willingly, but he was a little bit afraid of the Alpha. He tried his best to push the thought out of his mind as she led him to a small table where Derek was sitting. He stood up as his mom walked in and nodded at her, obviously trying to convey that this was the kid that Derek had told her about. They all sat and Stiles waited for them to begin questioning him.

 

"So, Stiles. Tell me about yourself." This wasn't the question Stiles was expecting. He had expected her to demand that he tell her how he found out about the Hale pack. Stiles gawked at her for a few seconds before collecting himself.

 

"Uh, my name is Stiles Stilinski. Well, Stiles is a nickname, you don't want to know my real name. There’s a lot of z’s in it,” He winced at the memory of his middle school teachers butchering his name until he finally convinced them to just call him Stiles, “I’m 18 years old, as of last April. I'm a senior at Beacon Hills High..." Stiles was running out of things to say about himself, so he took a chance and blurted out his secret, "And I'm supernatural. A Seer, to be exact." Talia stared at him blankly for a moment before her features morphed into a look that Stiles recognized as disbelief. Derek looked confused and wasted no time in demanding to know what was going on.

 

"What the hell is a Seer?" He demanded, frowning at Stiles before turning to his mother.

 

"It means I have the ability to see and change the future. And before you ask, no it is not the same as a psychic. They can’t change the future, but I can." Stiles addressed Derek directly, waiting to see if his reaction was the same as his mother's. It didn't mirror hers exactly, but it was similar. His expression was mainly shocked, and he open and closed his mouth to say something, before frowning again. He looked like he was going to say something when Talia cut in.

 

"No offense, Stiles, I'm sure you are a great kid, but I don't sense anything supernatural about you. Something is telling me not to believe you. Seer's are extremely rare, how do you expect me to believe you've been living right under my nose your whole life?" Stiles winced at her sharp tone, and tried to explain himself.

 

"I can prove it." He said simply, shrugging at her as he waited for her reply.

 

"Please do." With these words Stiles let the vision that had been in his mind since he entered the house take control of him.

 

'Stiles opened his eyes slowly, almost expecting the vision of the Hale fire to be playing out in his mind. He sighed in relief as he noticed he was still in the Hale house, but the vision was entirely different.

 

He could see kids running around the back yard and playing. There were a few adults play wrestling with them as they giggled and screamed while they ran from their parents. He found himself drawn towards a small girl in the corner of the room. She hadn't gone outside to play with the other kids, and Stiles found this odd. Walking closer, he saw that she was using her tiny claws to pick the lock on a small wooden chest. The closet door was open and things were strewn around the floor, so she had obviously been looking for something when the chest caught her curiosity. He walked towards her slowly, waiting to see how this vision would play out. After a few more attempts, the girl managed to get the chest open. Stiles wasn't sure what was in the chest, but something in his gut told him to stop her before she touched it. He willed himself to leave the vision so that he could intercept before it was too late.

 

"NO, STOP, DON'T TOUCH THAT!" Stiles felt the scream ripping from his throat just as easily as he was torn from his vision. He looked around him and blinked as he registered what was happening. He was holding a small girl in his arms, shielding her from the chest. He was surrounded by adults, some were looking at him cautiously and a few had even wolfed out. He looked back at the frightened girl in his arms and quickly set her down. She ran over behind the Alpha and peered at him from behind her legs.

 

"I'm sorry, it was the vision. Sometimes I can’t control what I say, or in this case, what I do, while I’m Seeing. She was going to grab whatever was in that chest. I don't know what it is, but its bad news. Poisonous." He explained, holding his hands out in a gesture of surrender. The adults seemed to stiffen even further at this, but they sheathed their claws. One woman rushed forward and hugged him.

 

"Thank you so much, she could have been hurt badly. Just... Thank you." She gushed, pressing a chaste kiss to his cheek and giving him a watery smile. Stiles returned it hesitantly.

 

"Um... You're welcome." Stiles scratched the back of his head and turned back to Talia, who quickly dismissed the crowd in the room. She grabbed the open chest on the floor and locked it with a key from her pocket.

 

"What's in the box?" He asked curiously. It had to have been something really bad, the aura it had given off was a dark, inky black, and from Deaton's extensive training over the past few days, Stiles knew that a black aura was always bad news. Talia glanced back at Stiles, almost like she had not realized he was still there.

 

"Stiles, the only way I can tell you what's in here is if you were a member of my pack. It’s nothing personal, but there are some pack secrets that should remain within the pack." She said, giving Stiles an appraising look. Stiles had the grace to blush at her accusatory tone. He couldn’t help that he was good at research! He could easily see the challenging glint in her eyes as she glanced over at Derek. He looked like he wanted to protest, but chose not to at his Alpha’s pointed look. Stiles narrowed his eyes at the wolves in front of him.

 

"Is that supposed to be an invitation? If it is, it isn't a very good one." He said, leaning back against the kitchen counter as he spoke. Derek shot him an angry look, while Talia simply smiled.

 

"Take it however you like." She answered cryptically. Stiles huffed out a sigh as he thought the offer over. Would it really be a bad idea to join a pack? Strength was greater in numbers, after all. He'd be valuable to them, he knew that much. But did he want to be saddled down with a pack? He'd had big plans for college and his life after high school before this shit went down. There were so many questions that burned in the back of Stiles' mind and he needed answers before he could really decide anything.

 

"And what if I said yes? What would happen then?" He asked, biting his lips as he stopped himself from speaking while she considered her answer.

 

"There would be a ceremony. You'd take an oath to protect and defend your pack. You would accept them as your new family. You wouldn't have to take the bite, though, not unless you asked for it. Something tells me that you'd rather stay human." Talia answered him, a twinkle in her eye.

 

"Yes, I would especially want to stay human. No offense to you all, but I really just want to be human. I've only just found out that I'm a Seer and that makes me not as human as I thought I was. I just... I don't want to be anything else." He said sheepishly, a light blush gracing his features. Talia seemed to understand this, nodding once to show that she was fine with his choice.

 

"I don't expect you to have an answer for me today, you know. Take your time making your decision. I won't think any different of you if you choose to not join us." Talia smiled softly at him.

 

"What about Scott? Have you asked him to join you guys yet?" Stiles asked curiously. He knew that Scott would have told him if he'd been asked to join the Hale pack, so he was wondering why the Hale's hadn't approached him yet.

 

"I was hoping that you would give Scott his invitation for us. I was in the process of finding a way to talk to him when he isn't with Allison when Derek told me about you. You don't mind asking him for us, do you?" She asked this as a question, but her tone was more demanding, and Stiles couldn't help but feel like he had to do as she said. Being an Alpha had to have perks and getting people to do what you wanted was definitely one of them.

 

"Sure, I'll ask him. Ultimately it's up to me, though. He won't join you if I don't. Let's face it, he'd be lost without me." He grinned at Talia and then at Derek, who rolled his eyes dramatically back at Stiles.

 

"It may take me a few days to decide about joining you guys, but don't hesitate to call me if you need me for anything. I've gotten pretty good at controlling my powers, so just let me know if you need me to see anything for you." Stiles said, his tone going from playful to serious in an instant. He, once again, found himself in the perfect situation to tell the Hale pack what was in store for them, but unable to do it. He silently cursed whoever had come up with the rules that Seer’s had to follow and kept his mouth shut.

 

"Thank you, Stiles. Give your number to Derek, I'll make sure he calls you if we need anything." Talia said this and bade him goodbye as she exited the room. Stiles grinned at Derek and extended his palm.

 

"Gimme your phone so I can program my number." He snatched the phone from Derek's outstretched hand and quickly punched in his number. He sent himself a text off of Derek's phone before he tossed it back to him.

 

"’Hi, my name is Derek Hale, but most people know me as a grumpy Sourwolf.’ Are you serious?" Derek asked, rolling his eyes as he read over the message.

 

"Come on, you can't even deny it. You are very grumpy. Sourwolf is the perfect nickname for you!" Stiles threw up his hands in self-defense at Derek's glare. He looked at Stiles for a minute before replying.

 

"Give me your phone." Derek demanded. He held out his hand expectantly.

 

"Hmm, let me think about that... No." Stiles replied, grasping his phone tightly in his hand. Derek smirked at him and raised an eyebrow. Stiles couldn't help but swallow nervously at Derek's expression, which only made his smirk grow wider.

 

"You think you can stop me from getting it?" Derek asked as he started walking slowly towards Stiles. He looked more playful than mad, and Stiles yelped and quickly ran around Derek to the living room. Derek jogged after him, gaining on Stiles easily. He caught him by the wrist and pinned him against the wall. He was being gentler than Stiles had expected him to be, which only made Stiles confused. Derek could probably break Stiles in half if he wanted to. Maybe Derek was afraid he'd hurt him and didn't want to get in trouble with his Alpha. He shook himself out of his thoughts as he heard Derek huff out an impatient breath. He was looking at Stiles expectantly, holding out his free hand.

 

"Fine. Here." Stiles grumbled, handing Derek his phone sullenly. Derek smirked at him and began typing out a message. After a minute he handed the phone back to Stiles and walked out of the room. Stiles stared at Derek's retreating form and shook his head. What had all that been about? Curiosity made him open up his messages and read what Derek had sent himself.

 

'Hi, my name is Stiles Stilinski and I'm annoying as fuck.' Stiles put his hand over his chest in mock hurt as he read the message.

 

"I resent that!" He said, knowing that Derek could hear everything he said. He smiled to himself and walked towards the front door, ready to drive back to his house and play some well-deserved Call of Duty on his X-Box.

 

"You know, Derek may be grumpy, but he's still a good guy." Stiles jumped violently when he heard a female voice address him. He spun around and saw Laura Hale standing behind him, arms crossed defensively.

 

"Jesus- Don't do that! You scared the shit out of me!" He put a hand over his heart, trying to get it to return to at least a semi-normal pace. He was pretty sure his heart was beating on borderline heart attack levels right now.

 

"Sorry," There wasn't a trace of sincerity in her voice as she spoke, "but like I said, Derek may be grumpy, but he's still a good guy. He deserves to be treated better than the way some people treat him." Stiles looked at her for a moment before he realized what she was trying to say.

 

"I never said he wasn't, I was just teasing him. I wasn't trying to offend him or anything, and I didn’t mean anything bad by it, I wasn’t trying to treat him badly. I’m sorry if it seemed like I was?" He apologized in a rush, unsure of what to say to ease the tension between them. Laura seemed to accept this as she nodded slowly and smiled at Stiles.

 

“Sorry, I just get overprotective of him sometimes. He’s been through a lot of shit.” She said cryptically. Stiles desperately wanted to ask her what she meant by that, but he knew from her facial expression that she wouldn’t tell him anything. He merely nodded, awkwardly scratching behind his neck as he waited to see if she wanted anything else from him. She just stood there staring at him, so he assumed he was free to go, and tried to sidestep her to get to the front door. She held out her hand to stop him, a grin slowly forming on her face.

 

“Why don’t you stay for lunch, Stiles? I’m sure there are, ah, certain people that would love for you to stay.” Laura said this with a wicked grin, just as Derek re-entered the room. He scowled at Laura before turning to Stiles with a confused expression.

 

“What are you still doing here? I figured you would have left by now.” Stiles held his hands up in a mock gesture of innocence as Laura answered for him.

 

“I invited him to stay for lunch. There’s no getting out of it, so don’t even bother trying to get Derek to help you,” She said, turning her nose up in the air as she walked away from the two of them. “And don’t even think of trying to sneak out, if you do, I’ll set Uncle Peter on you.” She threatened vaguely. Stiles wasn’t sure he wanted to know what was so bad about Uncle Peter. He turned to Derek, trying to gauge what the older man was thinking, but Derek was already chasing after Laura. He caught up to her in a matter of seconds and began talking to her, gesturing wildly. He kept looking pointedly back at Stiles, so he was pretty sure the conversation was about him. He grumbled to himself about not wanting to stay anyway and how rude people could be as they continued arguing.

 

He wasn’t sure what else to do but stand there and wait for them to get done talking, so he decided to take a look at the part of the house he was in. There wasn’t much to see in the long hallway, except for a few pictures hanging up on random sections of the walls. He walked towards the picture closest to him as he felt the now familiar tug in his chest. It felt more urgent than usual, so Stiles knew better than to try .He studied the picture for a moment, trying to take in the details and see what the photo could be trying to tell him. It looked as if it was a picture of a Beacon Hills graduating class. It was obviously a few decades old, and Stiles didn’t recognize any of the students shown. He searched every face, trying to see what he was missing, when he noticed something peculiar about the picture. There was a face that had been scratched out. Almost on instinct, he lifted a finger to press against the faceless person. He gasped audibly as his knees began to shake, his eyes rolling back into his head as he crashed to the ground, unable to hold himself up as the vision overtook him.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles blinked his eyes back into focus as he looked at his surroundings in his vision. He was in a room that he didn’t recognize. There was a small desk with papers stacked in neat little piles and a bed that was pristinely made. He didn’t see anyone else in the room with him, so he walked to the door, testing the knob to see if he would be able to leave the room, but the door didn’t budge.

 

“Alright,’ he thought, ‘I guess I’ll stay in here.”

 

After a few minutes of waiting for someone to appear, Stiles sighed impatiently and began to look around for anything that would give him any sort of clue as to what he was supposed to do here. He sorted through the papers on the desk, skimming over most of them. There was something on one of the last pages that caught his eye. It was a newspaper clipping that had been glued down on a plain sheet of notebook paper. The text was tiny and barely legible. It looked at least ten years old, and the words had faded almost completely away with age, but Stiles could make out a few words.

 

“Mysterious animal attacks… Several dead… bodies found… Hale property.” Stiles read what he could make out of the article aloud, and was startled when the Hale’s were mentioned. He quickly spread out the papers across the desk again as the gears in his head started to turn.

 

“Come on, Stiles, think!” He wracked his brain for theories and possible answers to the puzzle laid out before him. He knew that he didn’t have all the pieces to this particular puzzle, so his main focus was finding the missing piece before his time ran out. This was easy. This was just another tough case that he would help his dad solve.

 

He opened up the drawers of the desk, quickly turning them out onto the floor, not caring if he made a mess. He was positive that the room would go back to normal once he left his vision, so he didn’t worry about the huge mess he was making. He turned his attention to the small mountain of papers on the floor. The pages were all old, and based on the state of the room he was in, Stiles knew that this vision had to be taking place in current time, so the person who had kept the records had to have gone digital with them at some point. That meant that there was a computer or a CD or flash drive or something hidden in the room that had all the files he needed and all he had to do was find it. He also knew that his time in this vision was limited, because he could feel someone trying to tug him out of it. He knew that he had to hurry or he wouldn’t find the answer in time and Stiles really didn’t want to think of the consequences that would come from that.

 

“Stiles?” He could hear someone calling to him and he knew that he only had seconds left to find his answer.

 

He was going through the last drawer when his hand knocked against something hollow. Bingo, he thought, feeling around the edges of the hollow space for a way to open it up. After a few seconds he managed to pry the wood covering the hiding space away. He reached inside and pulled out a small flash drive. The vision started to fade out and he knew that there wasn’t enough time for him to find a computer so he could email himself the files on it.

 

He slipped the flash drive into his pocket and prayed that by some miracle, he would be able to bring it back with him.

 

~~~~~

 

The first thing that Stiles noticed when he came back down from his vision was the concerned face of Derek Hale peering over him. The second thing he noticed was that he was sprawled out on a couch with a wet cloth on his forehead. He blushed when he realized that he had passed out at some point during his vision, and that Derek had probably found him and carried him into the living room. He tried to sit up, but groaned when he felt a sharp pain shoot through his head. He must have hit his head on the ground when he fell.

 

“Don’t try to get up, I don’t think you have a concussion, but you’ll probably have a nasty headache for a few hours at least. You scared me and Laura pretty bad. At first we thought that you were having a seizure with the way you were shaking all over, but mom called Deaton and he said that it was just the side effects of whatever vision you were in.” Derek said, frowning at him. He looked like he wanted to say something to Stiles, but he wasn’t quite sure how to word it.

 

“Just say whatever’s on your mind, dude. I can’t possibly get any more embarrassed than I already am.” Stiles assured him, a halfway sincere smile on his face.

 

“When you had that panic attack, the one at Lydia’s party, and I calmed you down, had you just had a vision?” He asked carefully, waiting to see Stiles’ expression as he answered.

 

“Yeah. I had just seen something that I wasn’t really ready to see. That’s why I started to panic.” Stiles replied. Derek looked as if he wanted to ask what Stiles had seen, but thought better of it, and went with his original question.

 

“Well, you didn’t pass out from that vision. Or the vision of Olivia, the little girl from earlier, getting poisoned. What was different about this vision?” Derek asked, looking genuinely confused, and even a little bit concerned.

 

“Honestly? I have no idea. I didn’t do anything different in it, so I -” Stiles paused, his hand immediately flying to his pocket to reach inside. He let out a startled gasp as his hand closed around the flash drive from his vision. He hadn’t expected that he would actually be able to take it with him. Derek noticed the movement and frowned again, glancing to Stiles’ hand and back to his face, waiting for an explanation.

 

“I know why I passed out.” He said simply, tightening his grip on the small square piece of plastic that was sitting in his jeans pocket. Derek’s frown seemed to deepen, if it was possible.

 

“Well? Why?” Derek prompted impatiently, his expression getting closer to rage with each second Stiles avoided answering him.

 

“I brought something back with me.” He said calmly, straining to keep his emotions in check. Derek looked at him with an exasperated expression.

 

“And? What is it?” He asked. Stiles winced as he heard Deaton’s words echo in his mind once again. ‘If you were to go to the Hale’s and tell them what you see, it would set their fate into stone. They would all die.’ Stiles rolled his eyes at his thoughts. He didn’t need his brain to remind him what Deaton said every few seconds. He was fully aware of the consequences.

 

“I’m sorry, Derek, but I can’t tell you that.” Stiles grimaced as Derek’s facial expression went from shocked to pure rage in a matter of seconds.

 

“What do you mean you can’t tell me?” There was acid in Derek’s voice as he spoke, and Stiles shivered with the knowing that that rage was directed at him.

 

“I mean exactly what I said. There are rules, Derek, rules that I can’t afford to break. I can’t even begin to explain the consequences that would come from me telling you what I’ve seen.” Stiles shook his head as thoughts of fire and ash entered his head. Derek didn’t look as if he believed him, and Stiles sighed.

 

“I’m going to get mom. Don’t leave.” Derek flashed his eyes at Stiles, an obvious threat. He lifted his hand in a mock salute as Derek left the room. He returned only minutes later, Alpha Hale and Laura trailing in behind him. Laura looked confused and Alpha Hale simply took a seat on the couch, beckoning for Stiles to do the same. He moved to the seat directly across from her and began to tell his story once again. When he was finished, Talia looked slightly confused.

 

“I understand you when you say you have rules, and those rules prevent you from telling us what happened in the vision you’ve just seen. But that doesn’t explain how you were able to tell us of the vision of Olivia getting poisoned. What is the difference between the two?” She asked calmly. Stiles blinked. He wasn’t exactly sure what the difference was, if he was completely honest.

 

“Honestly? I’m not really sure,” Derek looked outraged, and had opened his mouth to speak when Talia held up a hand to silence him, gesturing for Stiles to continue, “All I know to tell you is that the vision I saw of Olivia would have happened in the very near future. Probably seconds after I grabbed her. I could feel the urgency of it as I saw the vision. The vision I saw here, the one I can’t talk about, is different. It’s like the urgency hasn’t set in yet, because I still have time before it actually takes place. If I told you about it, the outcome could change just as easily as the outcome of Olivia’s vision could change had I not intervened. There are serious consequences and I’m going to be honest with you here. I’ve only been training for a few days and I don’t know much yet, but I do know the rules. And the rules are that I simply can’t tell you, not now at least.” Stiles explained, a grim expression on his face. Talia seemed to understand this, and excused herself to go get lunch ready.

 

“I don’t know about you, Derek, but I really don’t think I want to know about this vision.” Laura grinned at Stiles and followed her mom out of the room. Derek still looked angry, but most of his rage had faded and been replaced by curiosity. Stiles let out a huge sigh of relief as Derek left the room. He could handle a curious werewolf. He had gotten plenty of experience from hanging out with Scott. Stiles let his head fall back against the couch. He really hoped that lunch wouldn’t be as awkward as he thought it was going to be.

 

Surprisingly enough, Derek didn’t glare at Stiles all throughout lunch as he had expected him too. He had ignored Stiles for the most part, laughing and joking with his family, and only turning his attention to Stiles when someone else brought him into the conversation. Stiles had thanked everyone for lunch and had only just escaped to his Jeep. He glanced at his phone before he started his car. He let out a bark of laughter at the text he saw the text messages he had sent Derek still displayed on his screen. Yeah, Derek Hale was totally grumpy, but Stiles had seen a different side of him at lunch. He hadn’t said about it to Derek, but his original impression he had gotten from Derek had drastically changed as he watched how he had acted during lunch. Once he had seen him smile and laugh, Stiles knew that his broody ‘I don’t trust anyone’ attitude was all an act he put up around strangers. It had also dawned on Stiles that Derek simply wanted to protect his heart, and that was something that Stiles could respect. He wasn’t sure why, but he found himself sending Derek a quick text. He knew that it wouldn’t make Derek trust him anymore than he did, but he sent it nevertheless.

 

You should smile more. The ‘I’m a grumpy sourwolf’ attitude isn’t doing you any favors, but that smile sure does wonders. ;).’ After he sent the message he threw his phone into the passenger seat and smiled to himself as he began the drive back to his house.

 

 

~~~~~

 

Once he had made it safely back to his house, Stiles had run up the stairs to download the files onto his laptop. He ignored his dad’s questioning look that was probably due to the fact that he hadn’t known Stiles had even left the house. After making sure his door was locked, he connected the flash drive to his computer and waited for the files to pop up. There were several files that were all given a particular year as the title. The years started at the year 1985 and went all the way to the present year. Gerard obviously had a major case of OCD based on the meticulous way he had organized everything on the drive. Stiles figured the beginning was the best place to start, so he clicked on the file titled ‘1985’ and held his breath as its contents flooded onto his computer screen.

 

The first thing that he saw was a picture of a birth certificate. The words were slightly blurred, as if someone had rushed to take the picture. Stiles could barely make out the name, but after saving the image and enhancing it slightly, the name registered in his mind. The birth certificate belonged to Laura Hale. Stiles was immediately filled with dread. How had Gerard gotten his hands on her birth certificate? Unless he had hacked the hospital computer, which Stiles doubted, Gerard had someone working in the hospital to get information like this. He scrolled down through the rest of the document and had to hold back a wave of nausea as he saw hundreds of pictures of Laura as a baby. Stiles had no idea how Gerard could have gotten his hands on some of them. There were a few that were obviously taken through windows or as the family went on walks or while they were out in public, but there were a few that looked as if they had been taken inside the Hale house itself. He exited out of the file while making a mental note to find an excuse to check the Hale house to see if any hidden cameras may be installed in it.

 

He scrolled through the next three years’ worth of pictures and random journal style entries before he came to the file labeled ‘1988’. Stiles quickly did the math and knew that this had to be the year that Derek was born, which would make him 25 years old now. He scolded himself for the wave of excitement that entered him when he thought of seeing baby pictures of Derek. He did want to see them, but not under the skeevy circumstances he was dealing with. He scrolled through them quickly and had to resist the urge to save more than a few of them. After scrolling through a few more years, Stiles glanced at his phone and saw that more than three hours had passed since he had begun looking through the flash drive. He stood up to crack his back and use the bathroom before settling back down on his bed. He didn’t want to go to bed until he was finished with his research and based on the number of files he had left to go through he knew that he wouldn’t be done for a while. Stiles went to the most recent entry and was surprised to see very few pictures, but mainly journal entries. He read the first one that he saw out loud to break the eerie silence that had swallowed his room.

 

We dealt with another omega this morning. I dealt with the vermin in the usual way and Kate got angry that I made her clean my sword. She shouldn’t have back-talked me and tried to deal with the omega on her own,” Stiles abruptly stopped reading when his dad walked into his room. He must have forgotten the door when he came back from the bathroom.

 

“What are you reading?” His dad asked, walking further into Stiles’ room. Stiles slowly slid the laptop closed as his dad sat down at his desk.

 

“Uh, nothing? Just doing some research for a friend of mine…,” Stiles trailed off, scrambling to come up with the name of a friend that his dad wouldn’t question, “Um, Danny! Danny is the friend. The friend that asked me to help him with some research.” He finished lamely. His dad raised his eyebrows but didn’t comment on Stiles’ strange behavior.

 

“Alright, I just wanted to tell you that Doctor Deaton called. He told me to tell you that your shift got moved to tonight. And speaking of that, I thought Scott was the one that worked at the clinic. When did you get a job there?” Stiles sat up quickly at the mention of Deaton and scrambled to put all his things in his backpack. He had completely forgotten that he was supposed to go and tell how his meeting with the Alpha went. He glanced back at his dad as he got the last of his things together.

 

“Oh, I don’t actually work there. I’m just picking up a few shifts for Scott so he can help his mom out at home more.” He lied easily. His dad looked almost impressed, and Stiles squirmed guiltily. He hated lying to his dad.    

 

“Well that’s nice of you, Stiles. When will you be home? Do I need to order takeout for us?” His dad asked, following him as he ran down the stairs.

 

“I’m not sure, but I promise it won’t be too late. Go ahead and order some takeout, but make sure it’s healthy! You don’t get to pig out just because I can’t cook a healthy meal for you tonight.” Stiles laughed as his dad made a face at the idea of healthy takeout. He called a quick goodbye to his dad before hopping into his jeep and starting the drive to Deaton’s.

 

~~~~~

 

“Yo De- Derek?” Stiles stopped short as he walked into the vet’s office. Derek was sitting in one of the chairs with a disgruntled look on his face. Stiles, being as naturally curious as he was, sat in the chair opposite him and stared at him until Derek met his gaze with a glare.

 

“What is it, Stiles?” Derek asked, pinching the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and his thumb as he let out a long sigh. The frustration was oozing off of Derek in waves and Stiles could have sworn it was palpable in that moment.

 

“So I see you’ve already spoken with Deaton,” He said, waving off Derek’s questioning look, “Trust me, no one could be that frustrated unless they’ve spoken to my main man Alan Deaton. But that isn’t important, what’s important is why you felt the need to come talk to him. Tell me.” Stiles said, gazing curiously at Derek, who looked like he was struggling with an answer. After a minute he sighed and nodded, jerking his head in a blunt nod.

 

“For the past year we’ve had a problem with Omegas coming onto our territory unknowingly, which is fine. My mom is a great Alpha and she deals with them easily. But recently…,” Derek trailed off, looking suspicious for a second before shaking his head and continuing, “But recently someone else has been dealing with them. And not in the way that my mom does.” Stiles felt dread creeping up his spine, a feeling that was becoming way too familiar for Stiles’ liking. He had a feeling that what Derek was getting at had a lot in common with why Deaton had called him into the office to talk.

 

“What… What did they do to them?” Stiles’ voice was barely above a whisper and he couldn’t help the growing sense of panic that he was feeling. Derek was glaring down at his hands as he answered.

 

“It’s something that hunters do to kill werewolves. They cut the werewolf in half while it’s still alive… It’s to make sure that they can’t use magic to come back to life. I don’t even know if that is actually possible, but the hunters seem to take it seriously,” Derek paused momentarily, searching for words, not noticing the blood draining from Stiles’ face as he listened, “I just found the fourth Omega dead this a little over an hour ago. Mom won’t say it but I can tell that she’s worried. The hunters are up to something and I came to talk to this jackass to see what he could tell me but the only thing he had to say was ‘the answers you seek are already closer than you realize.’ What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Stiles cut Derek off mid-rant by jumping up and sprinting out the door, barely making it behind his jeep before throwing up.

 

He was aware of Derek following him, but he didn’t care. The only thing he could think about was Derek lying in the forest, cut in half as Gerard stood over him with a triumphant smile. He felt bile rise in his throat again and didn’t bother swallowing it down. He heard footsteps behind him and fought to keep himself from throwing up the remainder of his lunch. Derek’s hand rested against the back of his neck, warm and soothing as Stiles struggled to reign in his anxiety. After a few deep breaths he managed to straighten back up without wanting to barf again, so he wiped his mouth on his jacket sleeve before turning to look at Derek. He couldn’t help but feel sad as Derek’s hand dropped back to his side and he mentally berated himself for it.

 

“God, I’m sorry, I’m just not used to all this supernatural stuff yet. I mean, I dealt with some when Scott was turned, but it wasn’t anything like what I deal with now. It’s kind of overwhelming.” He apologized, refusing to look Derek in the eye as he tried to start walking back towards the clinic. That was three times so far that Derek had had to come to his rescue and it was starting to get embarrassing. He had barely brushed past Derek when his hand reached out to grab Stiles’ arm. Stiles couldn’t help the blush that crept up his neck. If Derek noticed it, he chose not to comment. Stiles was extremely grateful for it.

 

“Don’t be embarrassed. It’s not like you asked for any of this supernatural bullshit or to have anxiety attacks. It’s fine. I don’t mind helping you get through them.” Derek said instantly, and Stiles winced. He hadn’t meant to say that out loud. He tried to push past Derek again, but his hand was like a steel trap on Stiles’ arm.

 

“Stiles. Look at me.” Derek commanded, his voice barely above a growl. Stiles forced his eyes to stay trained on Derek’s chest, still too embarrassed to look him in the eye. That probably wasn’t his best idea seeing as Derek had a really nice chest. He fought hard to keep a blush from rising on his face as he stared. Derek was wearing a tight black t-shirt that left nothing up to Stiles’ imagination. He swore that he could see the outline of Derek’s six pack through his shirt and his mind began to wander into dangerous territory, like what Derek must look like when he was shirtless. Or what he must look like when he had just finished working out and had to take his shirt off because of it being soaked through with sweat. Stiles’ mouth suddenly felt very dry and he let his tongue dart out to wet his lips before he jerked himself out of his thoughts with guilt, and probably a little arousal, pooling in the bottom of his stomach.

 

His cheeks burned with embarrassment as he tried to address the thoughts that had just overcome him. He had come to terms with his bisexuality a few years ago and he definitely wasn’t afraid of his attraction to Derek, because, hell anyone with eyes would be attracted by someone as hot as Derek was. But Stiles knew that he had to save Derek’s family above anything else, including any crush he was quickly developing on the man in question. Besides, Stiles knew his limits. Derek was wet-dream worthy hot, which made him so far out of Stiles’ league that he wasn’t even on the same playing field.

 

“Stiles… Please,” Derek’s voice was now a whine, and the pleading note it had taken caused Stiles to finally meet his gaze. Derek looked stricken and a little frustrated, “you have to know by now. I will always come to your rescue, as long as you need me to. Ever since that first night we met at the party and you were panicking, I just… I just knew that I had to save you.” Derek finished weakly. Stiles felt his eyes brim with tears before he blinked them away rapidly. He threw his arms around Derek’s neck and hugged him tight.

 

“You are a good person, Derek Hale. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.” Stiles squeezed Derek for a few seconds longer, relishing every second he got to spend in Derek’s arms. After he let go he brushed past Derek to walk back towards the clinic, not wanting to look back at Derek because of how his cheeks were heating with embarrassment. As he walked through the door to the clinic he missed the smile that lit up Derek’s face at his parting words.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles was grinning like an idiot when he finally walked back inside to talk to Deaton. He practically skipped into the back room, launching himself at Scott, who was just packing up to leave. Scott caught him easily and hugged him back for a few seconds before letting go and giving Stiles a questioning look.

 

“What’s got you in such a good mood?” Scott asked, turning to look out the tiny window that Deaton had in the back room. Derek’s car was just pulling out of the parking lot and Scott whirled around to give Stiles a knowing grin.

 

“You totally have a – mmf!” Stiles shot forward to throw a hand over Scott’s mouth as Deaton walked into the room. He shook his head slightly at Scott, jerking it towards Deaton in an aborted gesture. He really didn’t want to have to deal with a lecture from Deaton about why his infatuation on Derek Hale was a bad idea and he hoped that the look he was giving Scott conveyed that. Realization dawned on Scott’s features and he nodded. Stiles gave him a relieved smile and let go, turning back towards Deaton. Deaton gave him a strange look, forcing Stiles to say the first lie that popped into his head.

 

“Scott was about to try and say my real name. Trust me on this, no one wants to hear him butcher it.” Stiles couldn’t tell if Deaton believed him or not, but he didn’t seem to care either way, so Stiles counted that as a win. He glanced over at Scott who was now giving him his signature ‘we are talking about this later’ look. Stiles winced and turned his attention back to Deaton.

 

“So, Deaton! What supernatural mishap has life thrown at us today?” He clapped his hands together as he untucked his amulet from his shirt. Deaton fiddled with a few papers for a moment before he answered.

 

“I know that Derek told you about the omegas, Stiles. But that isn’t what I asked you here to discuss,” Deaton said, crossing his arms as he stared at Stiles with a blank expression. “We need to discuss the flash drive you now have in your possession, and more importantly, how you managed to get it from Gerard Argent’s bedroom without his knowledge.” Deaton’s voice had turned cold and Stiles knew he had fucked up.

 

“Now wait just one second, Deaton. I didn’t do anything wrong! I don’t know why you’re so angry. And besides,” Stiles crossed his arms over his chest defensively. “How did you find out that I even had the flash drive? I didn’t tell anyone that I had it.” Deaton’s eyes narrowed before he stalked over to where Stiles was standing until he was right in front of him.

 

“If you didn’t do anything wrong, then how did you get that flash drive, Stiles? And I know that you have it because Gerard Argent came to see me this afternoon. He said that his son’s house, where he has been staying, was robbed. He said that he was only coming to see if I had heard anything, but I know an accusation when I hear one. He thinks that one of the Hale’s stole it.” Deaton was furious and Stiles didn’t know what to do. His chest began to feel tight as he realized just how much trouble he had caused the Hale’s by stealing it, but he forced himself to stay calm.

 

“I had a vision while I was visiting with Alpha Hale. I was in Gerard’s room and I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to see if he had anything that could help me figure out how to stop the Hale fire. I didn’t find anything until the last second, and it was just this flash drive. I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I managed to bring it back with me.” Stiles explained quickly, almost forgetting to breathe while he explained himself. Deaton’s face changed from confusion to understanding and finally to surprised, all in a span of five seconds. Then he broke out into a rare smile, and Stiles’ panic started to edge away as quickly as it had come.

 

“Stiles, that is amazing. Do you realize that within two short days you have not only managed to control your visions but now you have been able to change them while still experiencing them? Not all visions will allow you to snap back to reality in time to change the events that occur in them, so learning how to change the visions while in them was what I had planned on teaching you today. Before my visit with Gerard, that is.” Stiles gave him a sheepish grin and shrugged his shoulders in a ‘what can you do?’ gesture.

 

“So… I’m not in trouble?” Stiles asked hesitantly. Deaton’s smile faded slightly.

 

“No, you aren’t in trouble, Stiles. I’m sorry that I lost my temper with you. It was unprofessional,” Deaton apologized. Stiles nodded his acceptance, “The solution to our problem is actually quite simple now.” He had a weird expression on his face that didn’t sit well in Stiles’ stomach.

 

“What is it?” He asked slowly, already knowing he wasn’t going to like the answer he received. He was right.

 

“You return it.”

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles grumbled the whole way to the Argent house. He knew that stealing the flash drive was sort of his fault, but how was he supposed to know that it would make the Hale’s look guilty? Now he had to go talk to Allison and hope that she went along with his plan before any of the other hunter’s in the family caught on. He parked his jeep out front and took a deep breath, trying (and failing) to calm his nerves. When he knew that he was as calm as he was going to get he jogged to the door and knocked.

 

He waited a few seconds before a woman with short red hair answered. Stiles could tell right away that she was Allison’s mom. She looked confused, but gave him a warm smile anyways. Stiles saw right past it and could see that she was assessing him and seeing how big of a threat he was even as she spoke.

 

“Can I help you…?” She paused, waiting for him to introduce himself. He held his hand out for her to shake and introduced himself quickly, not wanting to stall any longer than necessary.

 

“My name is Stiles Stilinski, I uh, I go to school with Allison. I was hoping I could talk to her? She let me borrow something at school the other day and I needed to return it. I know it’s late, but I just got off work and I figured it was as good a time as any. I hope that’s okay, ma’am.” He said, praying to whatever god that was listening that Allison would go along with his lie. The woman smiled, obviously impressed with Stiles’ manners, and opened the door wider so that he could step inside.

 

“I’ll go get her for you. Wait right here for one second, okay?” Stiles nodded and smiled nervously at her. So far so good. He was left alone in the hallway and took the opportunity to look around. There were lots of pictures of Allison hung up all over the walls, and he couldn’t help but smile fondly at his friend. Scott was lucky to have found such an amazing girl, even if her family sucked. He looked towards the door that Allison’s mom had walked through as someone cleared their throat. The blood drained from his face as he saw Gerard walking towards him, not Allison.

 

“Who are you?” Gerard’s voice was low and growly and it grated on Stiles’ nerves. He took a small step forward and held out a trembling hand for the man to shake.

 

“Hi, I’m Stiles Stilinski. Maybe you know my dad? He’s the sheriff. I was just here to see Allison. We go to school together.” Gerard seemed to cool down slightly at the mention of the sheriff and he gave Stiles a smile. Stiles knew he was trying to be friendly but it was creepy nonetheless. Luckily Allison walked in right on time and saved him from any further trauma. She gave Gerard a strange look before turning to Stiles and smiling warmly at him.

 

“Hey, Stiles! What’s up? Mom said you had something to give me?” She didn’t look even the tiniest bit confused. Stiles started to feel slightly hopeful. Maybe Scott had told her that Stiles was coming over and that he needed her to cover for him.

 

“Yeah! I completely forgot that you let me borrow your flash drive the other day at school so I could work on my essay at home. I deleted it off of there as soon as I was finished and had sent it to Ms. Blake.” Stiles fished around in his pocket for it, stalling for a few seconds, hoping she would understand what he was trying to get her to say, “Got it! Here you go, and thanks again. You saved my life, seriously. If I had asked for an extra day to turn it in Ms. Blake would have killed me!” He forced himself to laugh and Allison smiled at him, a knowing expression in her eyes. Stiles could have danced with joy as he realized Allison was playing along.

 

“Thanks for bringing it back! I’m not going to lie, I had forgotten you had it. I’m glad you remembered, though. I’m sure I’ll need it soon,” Allison looked at the flash drive in her hand for a second before she turned to Gerard, “Wait, isn’t this one yours? Oh gosh, I’m sorry, I must have grabbed yours by mistake when I was late for school the other day.” Allison handed the flash drive back to Gerard, whose expression seemed to change instantly. He now had a glint in his eye that made Stiles stomach twist in knots. Stiles was amazed at how good of an actress Allison was, because Gerard seemed to buy every word she was saying. He turned to Stiles and gave him another brief smile.

 

“Thank you for bringing this back to Allison. I’m afraid I may have said some… harsh things when I assumed it had been stolen. Forgive me, Mr. Stilinski, but I need to go call someone.” Gerard looked genuinely sorry and Stiles was so relieved he was surprised that he just didn’t pass out on the spot.

 


“That’s okay, it was nice meeting you!” Stiles said, giving his most charming smile to the older man before he left Allison and Stiles alone.

 

Allison yelled that she was walking Stiles back to his jeep and followed him outside. As soon as they were out of earshot she rounded on Stiles.

 

“Scott called me and told me that you had stolen the flash drive and that I needed to play along, but what was that all about? Why did you even take it?” She looked more confused than suspicious, and Stiles wanted to hug her. She was such a great friend.

 

“It’s a really really long story. The gist of it is that I needed to borrow it temporarily. It has some important information on there that I needed to look at. But don’t worry, I don’t think he knows that I stole it, so maybe he won’t try to kill me while I’m sleeping tonight.” Stiles joked humorlessly, his stomach still turning over with dread. Allison rolled her eyes at him.

 

“I’ll keep an eye on him for you and make sure he doesn’t start to suspect anything. But I expect to hear the full story soon. I’ll see you at school, Stiles.” She walked back up the driveway and gave Stiles a final wave before walking back inside and closing the door. Stiles sagged against the jeep in relief, closing his eyes until he could breathe properly again. After a minute he got back into the jeep and started the ride home, ready to fall into his bed and pass out from exhaustion.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles walked into his house, calling a hello to his dad. When he didn’t get a reply he walked into the kitchen and frowned. His dad had left a note saying that he had gotten called into work and that Stiles’ dinner was in the microwave, but Stiles didn’t really have much of an appetite after the long day he’d had. He sent his dad a quick text saying that he had made it back home before walking sluggishly up the stairs. He flicked the light switch to his room on while throwing his bag down on the floor, ready to fall into the bed and sleep. He turned towards his bed to do just that and a scream tore from his throat.

 

Derek Hale was laying on his bed.

 

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?” He screamed again, throwing his arms into the air in exasperation. Derek quirked his lips up in amusement as Stiles put a hand on his heart. Derek’s demeanor changed in an instant, however, and Stiles suddenly found himself crowded up against the wall with Derek Hale nuzzling and sniffing at his neck. He seemed agitated, and Stiles felt himself go weak at the knees.

 

“What... Uh, what are you doing there, Derek?” Stiles asked, his voice squeaky and high pitched. His legs were trembling with the effort it was taking to stay standing, and his heart was beating wildly and frantically. He pressed his nose into Stiles’ neck and sniffed. Stiles finally realized what was going on. Derek was scent-marking him. Holy shit.

 

“Why do you smell like Gerard Argent?” Derek growled his words into Stiles’ neck, causing him to shiver. He took a deep breath and tried to edge his way out from under Derek because, Jesus, how was he supposed to be able to form coherent thoughts with Derek Hale practically trying to bathe Stiles in his scent. Derek nuzzled him a few more times before he took a big sniff, and oh god, he really hoped Derek couldn’t smell how turned on he was getting. He finally seemed satisfied that Stiles no longer reeked of Argent, and he took step back. Stiles was surprised to see a faint blush on the tips of his ears. Stiles’ body was burning with embarrassment as he desperately tried to get his libido under control.

 

“I um… I… OH! I went over there to return something to Allison and he was there. He introduced himself to me. Yeah, that’s what happened. He seemed… Oh fuck it, I’m not even going to try and pretend that he wasn’t creepy as fuck. Even Allison doesn’t trust him and that’s saying something.” Stiles was a little more clear-headed now that Derek wasn’t all over him, but his embarrassment was still evident due to the obvious blush on his face. He was also sure that Derek could smell his arousal and he was desperately trying to think about the most boner-killing things that he could, hoping that Derek would choose to ignore it.

 

“You know about what he does then? About what he’s been doing to those Omegas?” Derek demanded, crowding back into Stiles’ space, his voice low and dangerous. Stiles’ breath hitched in his throat and he nodded slowly.

 

“I put two and two together. He won’t do anything to you, Derek. I won’t let that happen. I swear on my life.” Stiles said firmly, looking directly into Derek’s eyes as he made his promise. Derek’s expression morphed into shock and confusion as Stiles spoke.

 

“Stiles, it isn’t me that I’m worried about…” He said slowly, waiting for Stiles to process his words. Now it was Stiles’ turn to look at Derek with confusion.

 

“Dude, Gerard isn’t worried about little ole’ me. Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” Stiles laughed off Derek’s warning. Derek let out a huge sigh and tugged on his hair with frustration.

 

“Stiles, listen to me. Gerard Argent does not care about you, not even a little bit. He doesn’t care about anything except killing every werewolf in Beacon Hills. If you get in the way of his plans, or he even suspects that you are going to try and stop him, he will kill you without hesitating.” Derek said, looking straight into Stiles’ eyes as he spoke. Stiles could see it in Derek’s eyes that he wasn’t lying. Stiles swallowed hard and tried to clear his throat.

 

“Well, I guess I’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t suspect anything.” Stiles responded, his voice small. Derek let out a growl at Stiles’ words and placed his hands on both sides of Stiles, pinning him against the wall.

 

“We don’t need you to protect us, Stiles.” Derek’s canines lengthened as he growled, but Stiles wasn’t swayed. He stood his ground as Derek shifted, not letting Derek scare him away. He’d seen Scott while he was shifted enough that it no longer fazed him.

 

“Alright there, Fido, we can put the fangs away now. You don’t scare me. In case you’ve forgotten already, I have met Gerard Argent.” He smirked, letting out a laugh at Derek’s outraged expression. Derek spluttered for a few seconds, taking a few steps back as he struggled to say something. His features slowly changed back to human and he shook his head a Stiles, looking at him incredulously.

 

“I’m not getting rid of you, am I?” He asked, still staring at Stiles with an expression that Stiles couldn’t figure out. He settled for smiling fully back at Derek.

 

“Nope. You’re stuck with me.” He grinned, watching Derek closely. Derek threw his hands up in defeat, muttering curses under his breath, causing Stiles to let out a full bodied laugh. Derek’s lips quirked up slightly, not quite a smile, but not a frown either. Stiles counted that as a win.

 

“I’ll see you around, I guess.” Derek had already crossed the room and vaulted out his window before Stiles could reply.

 

“Oh trust me, you will.”

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles had planned to take full advantage of his winter break by not doing anything except eating, sleeping, and playing video games, but that plan went out the window extremely quickly. He was woken up by a vision of Gerard standing over an omega, a sinister smile on his face as he held his sword above his head. Stiles had jolted awake just as he swung the sword in a wide arc towards the terrified omega. He had screwed his eyes shut fruitlessly, trying hard to leave the vision so he wouldn’t have to witness the omega dying in such a crude way. It hadn’t worked, and Stiles barely made it to the bathroom so he could throw up. His dad had stumbled in and asked if he was sick. He had lied and said that he probably was, not wanting to explain his real reasons behind his sudden nausea. His dad seemed to accept this and had told him to take some medicine before he went back to his room to go back to sleep.

 

After he was sure he wasn’t going to throw up again he had brushed his teeth to get the taste out of his mouth before going back to his room to get dressed. He figured he would have to go tell Talia what he had seen just in case she didn’t already know. He also had a nagging thought in his head that he’d had ever since Derek had told him about what Gerard was doing to the Omega’s and his vision this morning had only intensified his thoughts. He had thrown on some clothes quickly, not really caring that he probably looked like he had been dressed by a toddler. He rooted through the drawers in the kitchen before he found a notepad and a sharpie. He scribbled a quick note telling his dad that he would be at Scott’s house so he could get Melissa to make him some soup. It wasn’t a total lie, as he was planning on picking Scott up before he headed out to the Hale house. He still felt slightly guilty, though, and tried to shove the feeling away as he headed out to his jeep. He dialed Scott’s number before he started the jeep. Scott picked up on the first ring and Stiles couldn’t help but smile at his friend’s eagerness.

 

“Yo, Scottie, I’m coming to pick you up, so get your wolfy ass in gear.” Scott had growled at him and hung up, causing Stiles to let out an outraged noise. He sent Scott a text with several choice words before throwing his phone down into the passenger seat and pulling out of his driveway to head for Scott’s house. Scott lived relatively close to Stiles so the drive was short and didn’t give Stiles enough time to figure out how to ask Scott the question that was burning in his mind. He waited for a few minutes before Scott came outside and hopped in the front seat of the jeep.

 

“Where are we going?” He asked, his voice sounding a little confused. Stiles wasn’t surprised by this, as they usually only went to each other’s houses to play video games when they had days off from school.

 

“I need to talk to Alpha Hale about something that I saw in a vision this morning.” Stiles chewed on his lip before adding, “And I’m thinking about asking if the offer to join the Hale pack is still on the table.” Stiles said, hunching in on himself a little bit as he prepared himself for Scott to protest. He was surprised that Scott didn’t automatically start yelling at him. He gave Scott a side-glance, trying to read the expression on his best friend’s face as he drove.

 


“Calm down, Stiles. I’m not mad. I just want to know why you want to be a part of a pack all of a sudden. Aren’t you the one that said you didn’t really want to join a pack?” Scott asked, crossing his arms over his chest as he waited for Stiles’ response. He winced as Scott brought back up Stiles’ initial response to the idea of joining the Hale pack.

 

“That was before I –“Stiles stopped talking abruptly as he realized what he had been about to say, ‘that was before I met Derek’. Stiles suddenly felt really confused. Did he really only want to join the pack so that he could be around Derek? The thought caused him to blush, and he tried to hide his face from Scott so he wouldn’t say anything about Stiles’ sudden embarrassment. Scott noticed his blush right away and let out a hoot of glee.

 

“Oh my god, you want to join because of Derek! You love him!” He cooed at Stiles, his smile huge and happy. Stiles blushed scarlet at his best friends’ words.

 

“Shut up, Scott. I am not in love with Derek Hale. Besides, he’s way out of my league.” Stiles was panicking internally as he spoke. Was he in love with Derek? He’d thought he had just had a huge crush on the older man, but after Scott’s words, he couldn’t help but think that maybe it had some truth to it. The thought scared him almost more than Gerard did, and that was saying something.

 

“He is not! If anything you are out of his league. Any guy, or girl, would be lucky to get a chance to date you.” Scott said this fervently, refusing to listen to any of Stiles’ protests. Stiles settled for scowling deeply as he drove.

 

“What makes you think I love him? Because I don’t.” Stiles asked, trying to sound nonchalant. He desperately needed some help figuring out his own emotions, and Scott was the only person he felt comfortable talking to about this kind of stuff. Scott turned in his seat so he was facing Stiles and just stared at him for a few minutes, contemplating his answer.

 

“Well, for one, you want to join a werewolf pack for him, and don’t even bother denying it. Every time I brought up the idea you told me it was stupid, so it had to be something major that is making you change your mind. And besides that…” Scott trailed off, unsure of what to say next.

 

“Just tell me, Scott. I need to know.” Stiles pleaded, his voice cracking with nerves.

 

“You look at him like I look at Allison.” Scott finished softly. Stiles sagged down into his seat as he pulled to a stop outside the Hale house. His mind was reeling with confused thoughts and emotions. He sat up suddenly and turned to Scott with wide eyes.

 

“Oh my god, I do love him. Is it really that obvious? Holy shit, what if he knows? What do I do?” Stiles hissed urgently. Scott started to laugh loudly, causing Stiles to slap him.

 

“Stop laughing at me! This isn’t funny!” He said frantically. He could not afford for Derek to know how he felt. He had way too much on his plate right now, and he needed Derek’s cooperation and for it not to be awkward. Scott giggled a few more times before he stopped. He laid a hand on Stiles’ shoulder as he spoke.

 

“Just be yourself. Don’t even worry about it. We came to join the pack, and once it gets started you’ll forget all about it. Now come on, I don’t want to keep our new Alpha waiting.” Scott squeezed his shoulder once before hopping out of the jeep. Stiles scrambled after him and tried to shake off his nerves. Stiles stopped him before they reached the door.

 

“You know that I don’t just want to join because of Derek, right?” Stiles asked softly, hoping that Scott understood what he was implying. He had to do everything in his power to keep Scott safe. Scott nodded and clapped Stiles on the shoulder. Stiles straightened up, feeling slightly better once he knew that Scott understood all of his reasons for joining the pack.

 

“Okay. Let me do all the talking.” They approached the door together and Stiles knocked. Scott looked suddenly nervous and Stiles had to grab onto his shoulder so he wouldn’t try to run back to the jeep.

“Nope, we are already here, so you are at least going to talk to Alpha Hale with me. No ifs, ands, or buts.” Stiles said firmly, keeping his grip tight on Scott’s shoulder as they waited for someone to come to the door. It swung open suddenly to reveal a tall man that Stiles assumed was Derek’s uncle or something.

 

“Hi, we’re here to see Talia, I mean, uh, Alpha Hale?” Stiles said, stumbling over his words. He wasn’t sure of the proper way to speak about an Alpha to a pack member he hadn’t met yet, and he did not want to piss anyone off just yet.

 

“And you would be…?” The man drawled, leaning heavily against the door face as he glared at Scott and Stiles. He suddenly sniffed the air deeply and his eyes burned gold. Before Stiles knew what was happening he was flat on his back and Scott was pinned against the door. He scrambled up to grab at the werewolf’s arms, trying to force him to let go. The werewolf grabbed Stiles and pinned him effortlessly against the door beside Scott. He felt claws dig into his shoulder and break the skin. He let out a gasp of pain as he felt hot blood begin to run down his shoulder. Stiles could hear someone running towards them and he prayed that it was Talia and not another werewolf that was going to side with the crazy one holding him down.

 

“Peter? What the hell are you doing?! Let them go. NOW.” Stiles gasped in relief as he heard Talia bark out an order. The claws immediately retracted and Stiles sagged against the door. His shoulder hurt like hell and it was taking everything that he had to not burst into tears at the pain. He jerked as he heard Scott’s growling and turned just in time to see Scott shift and his claws lengthen.

 

“You hurt him.” He growled, starting to step towards the man, Peter. Stiles grabbed his shoulder with his uninjured arm and squeezed. Scott turned slightly towards him and waited to see what Stiles was going to say.

 

“It’s okay, he just recognized you as an Omega. It was just instinct. I’m okay, really. Don’t make this any worse, please.” Stiles pleaded with Scott. Scott hunched his shoulders a little before nodding. He let his features ease back to human before he turned fully to Stiles. Stiles craned his neck to look down at his shoulder and he let out a frustrated noise before glaring at Peter.

 

“You ruined my favorite shirt. You owe me a new one.” He said, his glare intensifying. Peter squirmed guiltily before fishing around in his pocket. Stiles wondered what he was going to do, and thought for one horror filled second that he was going to pull out a gun, and he let out a sigh of relief as he grabbed his wallet. He pulled out a twenty and thrust it towards Stiles.

 

“Sorry.” That was the only explanation he gave before he walked back into the house. Stiles grinned and pocketed the money. He grabbed onto Scott’s outstretched hand to pull himself up. Talia was approaching them now, looking angry. Stiles gulped as Scott turned to him, his eyes wide and questioning.

 

“Stiles, Scott, let me just apologize for how terribly Peter just acted. He’s always been ignorant and rude, but I thought he at least knew enough to not attack two teenage boys. I’ll deal with him later, don’t you worry. But for now let’s go inside and I can get you a new shirt, Stiles.” She said, smiling through her obvious anger. Stiles nodded and she entered the house, gesturing for them to follow.

 

“Well, that could have gone worse.” Scott said, forcing cheerfulness into his tone. Stiles just rolled his eyes at his best friend and followed Talia into the house. He had only just stepped into the living room when Derek appeared, literally out of nowhere, and started growling. Stiles flinched, not wanting to get attacked again. A hurt look passed over Derek’s features and Stiles winced. He didn’t want Derek to think he was afraid of him, but the thought hadn’t seemed to cross Derek’s mind. He grabbed Stiles gently and pulled the collar of his shirt to the side so he could see the puncture wounds on Stiles’ shoulder. He let out a low growl deep in his throat as he saw how deep and bloody they were.

 

“What happened?” Derek’s voice was so low and deadly that Stiles couldn’t help but shiver at the sound of it.

 

“I guess your Uncle Peter thought that Scott and I were a threat. He clawed me a little, but it hardly even hurts now, for some reason,” Stiles glanced down at Derek’s hand and it dawned on him that Derek was taking his pain away. Derek’s veins were now an inky black, as he drained the pain from Stiles’ shoulder, and he couldn’t help but let out a huge sigh of relief, “Thanks, that feels so much better. Oh, do you have a shirt I can borrow? Peter kind of, ya know, ruined mine. Oh, and a first aid kid, please. Unfortunately we fragile humans have to clean our wounds so they’ll heal properly.” Stiles joked, hoping to ease the tension on Derek’s face. It seemed to work, as Derek grabbed Stiles by the hand to pull him up the stairs. He threw a helpless look over his shoulder and Scott just stood there grinning at him and giving him a thumbs up. The little traitor.

 

Derek led Stiles into his bedroom wordlessly. He pushed Stiles on the bed gently and then started digging around in his drawers for a shirt that wouldn’t completely swallow Stiles. He finally found one and motioned for Stiles to wait before walking out of his room. Stiles too the opportunity to glance around Derek’s room. He’d been in it before, but he hadn’t really had the chance to look around. There were several pictures of him and his family covering the walls and he had a large bookshelf filled with books. Stiles really wanted to get up and go through them all but Derek returned before he got a chance. He was carrying a large first aid kit and had the shirt he had picked out for Stiles thrown over his shoulder. Derek still had a strange expression on his face and he hadn’t spoken anything after Stiles had told him what had happened. Stiles was starting to get worried.

 

“What’s wrong, Derek?” He asked as Derek helped him shrug out of his shirt. Derek scowled at the shirt like it had personally offended him somehow and started digging around in the first aid kit. He let out a frustrated sigh as he answered.

 

“I’m supposed to protect you. And I couldn’t even protect you from my own family.” Derek’s words were small and quiet. Stiles knew that Derek was beating himself up over Stiles’ injury.

 

“Hey, don’t feel bad. We should have called or something to let everyone know we were coming. It was all just a misunderstanding. Don’t feel bad, please.” Stiles murmured. Derek finally lifted his eyes to meet Stiles’. He still looked unsure and Stiles sighed.

 

“Dude, I’m fine, I swear. It’s nothing to worry about. I just need to clean it and get a bandage on it and I’ll be fine in a few days. Stop beating yourself up over this or I’m going to go let Laura help me clean this.” He gestured to his wounds as he threatened Derek. The man in question immediately growled at him and ripped open the packet of alcohol wipes. He wiped it slowly over the first claw mark, causing Stiles to wince as it began to burn. Stiles’ heart leapt into his throat as Derek lowered his head to blow gently over his shoulder. Stiles’ skin was covered in goose bumps as Derek continued his ministrations for each puncture wound. He bit his lip as Derek finished cleaning his wounds, covering them with a large bandage and some tape, securing it in place. Derek helped him get the clean shirt on and Stiles let out a shaky breath as he tried to calm his erratically beating heart.

 

“Th-thanks. Um, we should probably uh,” He made an aborted gesture towards the direction of the stairs, “go back downstairs. Scott and I need to talk to your mom.” He said this vaguely, not sure how Derek would take the idea of Stiles and Scott joining the Hale pack. Derek nodded and they walked back down the stairs together. Scott was standing at the foot of the stairs chatting with Peter, but they it seemed formal enough and no one looked like they were about to sprout fur and claws, so Stiles wasn’t too worried. Yet. Scott grinned at Stiles and winked, causing Stiles to shoot him a glare.

 

“Scott, Stiles? I have gathered the pack in the living room so you can say your piece.” Stiles balked at Talia’s words. He hadn’t known he would be requesting to join the pack in front of everyone. His hands suddenly felt clammy and butterflies erupted in his stomach, but he forced them away. This was important. He had to do what was right to keep him and Scott as safe as possible until Stiles was able to fulfill his mission. He nodded at Talia and glanced at Scott, hoping to get some reassurance from his best friend. Scott looked slightly nervous, but he gave his friend a confident smile anyways.

 

“Let’s do this.” They entered the living room side by side, Derek trailing in behind them. He gave Stiles a confused look before joining his mother where she was standing next to a couch full of tiny werewolf children. Stiles would have squealed, a manly squeal of course, at how cute they all were, but the mood in the room was too heavy for that at the moment. He glanced over everyone else in the room, trying not to cower in on himself at the appraising looks they were all giving him.

 

“Um, hi. My name is Stiles Stilinski and this is my best friend Scott McCall. Chances are that you all already know me, as I was just here to introduce myself a few days ago. You probably know Scott as well, being that he is the only Omega that has permission to live on Hale territory. When I was here a few days ago to introduce myself as a Seer, I wasn’t really aware of how crazy things had been getting. I only just realized I had the ability to See a few days go. Now I know just how, uh, messed up things are for you all right now. And to be frank, I’m terrified. I’m scared for myself and for my family and for Scott and his family. We haven’t had much supernatural stuff to deal with, besides when Scott was bitten by that rogue Alpha. Thanks for dealing with him for us, by the way,” Stiles adds, hoping the compliment will ease the tension, “Anyways, um… What I was getting at was that I would like to take Talia, I mean Alpha Hale, up on her offer to join the Hale pack. With all of the recent Omega’s being killed, I realized that we have no other choice. They could come after Scott and I can’t let that happen. I won’t let him get hurt because we didn’t do everything we could to be safe.” There was an immediate buzzing that started up as soon as Stiles finished his little speech. Stiles searched through the faces of the crowd, looking to see if anyone looked completely outraged. He didn’t see anyone that looked like they would object and Stiles was hopeful. He saw Derek give him a strange smile, one that looked almost relieved, before Talia raised a hand to get everyone to stop talking for a minute.

 

“Have you also reconsidered taking the bite?” She asked, her emotions unreadable. Stiles shook his head, and that did earn him a few disapproving glances. He winced, but tried to explain his reasons to the few that seemed to not agree with his decision.

 

“It’s nothing personal, trust me. I have absolutely zero problems with werewolves. I’m just not sure I want to be any less human than I already am. Being a Seer doesn’t make me non-human, but it’s already caused me a million problems. I don’t think I could handle werewolf problems along with Seer problems. Besides, I’m kind of attached to my human-ness.” He said, hoping that they would understand his reasons, as simple as they were. Talia nodded, accepting his decision easily. She turned to face the crowd of werewolves and addressed them.

 

“Do we have any objections to Stiles and Scott joining our pack? If so, please say so now. Once the decision is made I will not hear anyone say anything negative towards them.” She said, her voice firm. The werewolves all looked around at each other for a few minutes, and a few whispered conversations started, but died out pretty quickly. Derek was glaring at anyone that looked even slightly hesitant, and Stiles couldn’t help the warm feeling of fondness that spread through his chest. A man with light curly hair stepped forward.

 

“I don’t want to offend you boys, but I don’t know you at all. We all know generally of McCall, but that’s just because of him being the only Omega allowed to live in Beacon Hills. But I don’t know you, Stilinski. I don’t know anything about you. How can I know that you will defend and support your pack without thought? How can I trust you when I didn’t even know you existed until just now?” He asked, his face determined. Stiles’ mind started whirling, trying to come up with an appropriate response.

 

“You want to get to know me more? Fine. You don’t trust me? I get it. Let me just explain some things for you. My name is Szczepan Stilinski, Stiles for short. My mom’s side of the family is Polish and my parents decided to name me after my Dziadek, my mom’s dad. My dad is the Sheriff of Beacon Hills and my mom died when I was 12 from a rare form of cancer. I’ve known Scott my whole life. We became best friends in kindergarten when his asshole dad forgot to pick him up from school. I missed my bus to wait with him for four hours at school until his mom came and got us,” Stiles paused and looked at the man sarcastically, “Oh yeah, this is probably important too. He got the bite from that rogue Alpha last summer that you guys didn’t catch in time, causing our lives to be one big supernatural shithole ever since. I figured that maybe you could actually do something to protect us this time, considering you didn’t do shit last time. That’s just a thought, though.” Stiles said, his voice raising as anger coursed through him. He bristled under the man’s glowing-eyed glare, but stood his ground. He felt a hand fall on his shoulder and turned to snap at whoever it was, but softened slightly when he saw Derek. He looked almost as angry as Stiles was.

 

“I have known Stiles since he was twelve years old. I met him just after his mom died. When I told him that I was sorry about his loss, do you know what his response was? That he wasn’t allowed to be sad because he had to be strong for his dad. He was selfless enough to stay strong for his dad to be able to grieve when he was only twelve years old. That’s how you know how deeply he cares about family. And on the idea of him not being trustworthy? He’s known about the Hale pack ever since Scott was bitten and he has never said a word to anyone about it. I don’t know about you,” Derek sneered at the older man as he spoke, “but he seems pretty damn trustworthy to me and I would be honored to be able to call him part of our pack.” Derek’s anger ebbed away as he glanced at Stiles whose eyes were shining with unshed tears. He blinked them back and tried to wipe them away discreetly. The man gave Derek a calculating look for a few moments before a smile spread over his face. He nodded at Stiles as an apology and stepped back into the crowd. He whispered something to the woman next to him, but Stiles didn’t care enough to ask Derek what he had said. He was way too nervous.

 

“Anymore protests?” Talia called, looking out into the crowd. This time no one stepped forward, and Stiles’ stomach tied itself in knots. She turned to face him and Scott and smiled at them.

 

“We will now begin the ceremony. If you boys could stand in front of me we will get started right away.” She smiled warmly at both of them and Stiles could feel some of the tension leaving his shoulders. He grabbed Scott’s hand and squeezed it tightly as they stood in front of their soon-to-be Alpha. Derek, Laura, I’ll need your assistance.” Derek squeezed Stiles’ shoulder reassuringly before walking over to stand next to his mother. Laura joined them a second later and winked at Stiles before turning her attention back to her Alpha.

 

“Cora, if you would bring me the chest?” She asked, calling on her other daughter to help her as well. Scott nudged Stiles, obviously sensing his confusion.

 

“I think I remember Deaton telling me that it’s traditional for the Alpha’s children to help with the ceremony that makes outsiders part of a pack. It’s symbolic or something.” He mumbled this out of the side of his mouth and Stiles nodded back at him, too nervous to respond correctly. After a minute Cora returned with the chest and made her way over to Talia. She nodded her head to her mother before taking back her place in the crowd. Talia opened the chest gingerly and Stiles’ heartrate ratcheted up.

 

“Wait a minute. That’s the same chest that I had the vision about. Isn’t whatever’s in there poisonous? What exactly do we have to do for this ceremony?” Stiles swallowed thickly, not really liking the direction the ceremony was taking.

 

“Scott is right, it’s symbolic for an Alpha’s children to help bring in new pack members. Essentially it means that they are accepting you into the family. But no, Stiles. This chest and the contents in it aren’t poisonous. But it is protected by some powerful wards put into place by our emissary, Alan Deaton.” Stiles breathed a huge sigh of relief now that he knew he wouldn’t have to poison himself in order to become pack. Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles exasperatedly at how nervous Stiles was acting, but he looked more fond than actually annoyed. Stiles couldn’t help the warm feeling that bloomed in his chest at Derek’s smile.

 

“But to answer your other question, Stiles,” Talia speaking his name brought Stiles back from his thoughts. He blushed slightly when Scott raised his eyebrows at him, but focused his attention on Talia instead of answering. “The ceremony is simple. You will be blindfolded, asked to repeat an oath to swear your devotion to our pack, and then I will bite you to seal the pack bond” She said, taking two, thick red blindfolds from the chest as she spoke. Stiles opened his mouth to protest, because he had already said that he didn’t want to be a werewolf, but Talia raised a hand so that she could continue. Stiles clamped his mouth shut, already feeling the need to obey her orders.

 

“The bite will only turn you if I make it so. Since you do not want the bite to become a werewolf, but only want it to be a part of the pack, it will only establish the pack bond in you. You will remain human. Or as human as you can consider yourself to be, I suppose.” She cracked a smile and Stiles couldn’t help but grin back at her.

 

“Sounds like a plan, boss. Let’s do this.” He said, the original eagerness he had felt about joining the pack returning, replacing the nervousness he had felt all afternoon. Talia handed a blindfold to both Derek and Laura.

 

“Wait a second,” Scott said, causing the wolves to pause. “Why do we have to be blindfolded?” He was giving the blindfolds an apprehensive look. Stiles was worried that Talia was going to get annoyed at all their questions, but she didn’t seem to be heading in that direction. She was taking everything in stride and it made Stiles respect her all the more.

 

“It’s part of the ceremony. When you’re blindfolded it symbolizes losing your perspective as outsider to the pack. When the blindfolds are removed it symbolizes seeing yourself as part of the pack for the first time. We can forgo them if it makes you too uncomfortable, though.” Scott looked at Stiles to see how he felt about the blindfolds, but Stiles just shrugged. He didn’t care either way. He had all this energy under his skin that he couldn’t get rid of, and for some reason he knew it wouldn’t go away until he had already undertaken the ceremony, so he was getting pretty impatient with all the delays. They both nodded at Talia, signaling for her to continue.

 

“Derek, if you would blindfold Stiles, Laura can blindfold Scott.” Stiles heartbeat ratcheted once again, for entirely different reasons, and he was almost positive that his face now matched the blindfold that Derek was holding. He tried to calm his heartbeat as Derek approached him, but he knew it was futile. He knew that Derek would probably be able to hear his heartbeat from a mile away, but hopefully Derek would just think he was nervous about the ceremony and not about how close Derek would be.

 

Derek’s fingers brushed against Stiles’ cheekbones as he fastened the blindfold over his eyes. Stiles couldn’t help but shudder at the gentle touch. Derek’s fingers slid over Stiles’ eyelids, causing him to close them. Derek pulled the blindfold snugly over Stiles’ eyes, letting his fingertips linger over the outline of his eyes.  Stiles leaned toward his touch and was disappointed when Derek pulled his hands away to return to his mom.

 

“I will now ask you to repeat after me,” Stiles jumped as Talia spoke from directly in front of him. He hadn’t heard her approach him and he had to strain really hard to not make a joke about needing to get her a collar with a bell. He felt a hand rest against the side of his neck, tilting it slightly to the side. “In taking this bite,” She paused, waiting for Scott and Stiles to answer.

 

“In taking this bite,” They echoed.

 

“I promise to honor, trust and defend my pack. In taking in this bite I swear my allegiance to my Alpha and acknowledge that I may suffer consequences if I do not obey her orders. In taking this bite I promise to treat every pack member with equal respect and settle any disputes as civilly as possible. In taking this bite I give up my life as an outsider and thus begin my new life as a member of the Hale pack.”

 

“… In taking this bite I give up my life as an outsider and thus begin my new life as a member of the Hale pack.” Scott and Stiles finished the last line of the oath. Stiles felt the hand return to his neck, bending it even further to the side.

 

“Stiles, will you accept this bite?” Talia asked, her tone guttural. Stiles shivered at the power in her tone and cleared his throat.

 

“Yes.” He croaked, his voice barely above a whisper. Before he knew what was happening there were two sharp canines closing around his neck. Stiles gasped, his body going rigid as he felt blood trickling down his shoulders. Strangely enough though, he felt no pain. A strange sensation washed over him, and barely felt it when Talia pulled away. The feeling was white hot and freezing cold all at once, flowing through every inch of his body. He could feel so many emotions at once and he was pretty sure he was crying, judging by the wetness on his face. He let out a strangled sob at the feeling, not sure how he was feeling all these emotions at once. There was fear, apprehension, nervousness and excitement, but the feeling that was causing him to sob was the overwhelming feeling of happiness and love coursing through him. He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt so happy and it was choking him.

 

“Please join me in welcoming our two new pack members: Stiles Stilinski and Scott McCall!” The room erupted into howls and Stiles blinked rapidly as he felt the blindfold being removed from his eyes. The first person he saw was Derek, who was gaping at him, a look of pure shock on his face. The laughter died in Stiles’ throat and he shrunk down, wondering what was causing Derek to look like that. He turned to Scott and saw that his best friend’s eyes were glowing gold, the symbol of a beta. He spun back around to Derek, raising a hand to his eyes.

 

“What is it? Is something wrong?” He asked, his voice small. Derek seemed to snap out of his thoughts and he walked forward, pulling his phone out of his pocket and handing it to Stiles, the camera app open and facing him.

 

“Your eyes… Stiles, your eyes are silver.” Derek said, his voice laced with awe. Stiles held the camera up to his face and gasped as he saw himself. His eyes were pure silver, almost white. He blinked a few times before he looked up

 

“What does it mean?” He asked, wanting to put the blindfold back on until his eyes were back to normal. The silver was so bright and it unnerved him. They made him look on the verge of insanity and he didn’t like them. Derek opened his mouth to speak, but shut it almost immediately. Talia walked forward and answered for her son.

 

“We aren’t sure what it means, Stiles. It’s never happened before. At least not in our pack.” She said, placing a hand on his arm gently. Stiles jerked away from her and crossed his arms. He was confused and scared. What did having silver eyes mean? In all the lore Stiles had read he’d heard that silver was harmful to wolves, and Stiles couldn’t help but feel terrified.

 

“Don’t touch me. Silver… Silver hurts werewolves, right? I could - I could hurt you!” Stiles whispered, horrified at himself. He was starting to panic. His breaths were becoming sharper and he knew he was on the verge of a panic attack. He could feel the emotions in the room change instantly at his outburst. It went from bright and happy to confused and scared, and it felt like someone had punched him in the stomach, fully taking his breath away. He felt hands cupping his face and forcing his eyes open. He was staring straight into Derek’s face, his eyes now glowing golden as he spoke.

 

“Stiles, calm down. That’s all just a myth okay? The only thing that can harm a werewolf is wolfsbane. You can’t hurt us.” His voice was firm and Stiles nodded, his panic ebbing away slowly. Before he knew what was happening he had let out a laugh that quickly turned to uncontrollable giggles. He let his head thump against Derek’s chest as he laughed, tears streaming down his face. Derek made a noise like he didn’t understand, and Stiles pulled away and tried to explain himself, tears streaming down his face.

 

“I’m sorry,” he said between laughs, “I’m just so relieved. I was so scared when I thought my eyes meant I would hurt you. I care about you too much… I couldn’t hurt you- all of you.” He corrected himself with a blush. The emotions in the room changed quickly. He could sense amusement and the happiness slowly starting to return. Derek was looking down at Stiles with a fond grin that made Stiles’ insides melt.

 

“I can’t believe you actually thought that silver was harmful to werewolves. You watch too many horror movies.” Derek shook his head, a grin on his face. Stiles crossed his arms over his chest defensively, but smiled back at Derek anyway.

 

“Well sorry that I’m not an expert on which myths are true and which aren’t.” He said, sticking his tongue out at the older man. He felt hands on his shoulders pulling him away and turned to see Laura dragging him away. Derek scowled as she smirked back at her him, continuing to drag Stiles towards the kitchen. Stiles followed, wondering what she could possibly want, other than embarrassing him or embarrassing Derek. Stiles hoped it was the latter.

 

They walked past the kitchen and into what looked to be the laundry room before Laura stopped. She cocked her head to the side and listened for a moment before she seemed satisfied. She smirked again at Stiles’ confusion.

 

“Sorry, I just wanted to get where they wouldn’t be able to eavesdrop.” She said, her apology sincere this time.  

 

“Why didn’t you want them to hear us?” He asked. Laura leaned back against the wall and looked Stiles up and down for a few seconds. He felt like a bug under a microscope and crossed his arms, turning in on himself under her scrutiny.

 

“What are your intentions towards my brother?” She asked, mirroring Stiles’ position but exuding confidence instead of fear. Stiles wasn’t sure if he should be afraid or not. He chewed on his lip as he thought about his answer. He could tell Laura how he felt about Derek, that he was desperately in love with him, or he could lie. He could brush off her words and act like he had no idea what she was talking about, but he knew she would see straight through his bluff. She’d be able to hear his heartrate spike and immediately know he was lying. He huffed out a sigh as he realized he had to no choice but to tell the truth.

 

“I love him.” He said simply, shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly. That was all that he needed to say. There wasn’t any other way to explain himself that would do his emotions towards Derek justice. Laura looked at him, her stare calculating, for a few seconds until her features softened slightly.

 

“I figured as much. But that wasn’t my question. What are your intentions towards him?” She asked again, her voice soft and vulnerable. Stiles thought he was going to choke on the emotions in the room. Laura was, put simply, oozing love and worry for her brother. Stiles stared at the floor, not wanting to meet Laura’s eyes.

“Nothing. I’m painfully out of his league, so I haven’t considered anything past unrequited love.” He mumbled, knowing Laura would hear him anyways. He waited a few seconds before glancing up. Laura was looking at him with an expression like he was the stupidest person in the world. He raised an eyebrow at her, a little confused as he waited on her response.

 

“You are both so stupid.” She threw her hands in the air and walked out, leaving Stiles alone in the laundry room. He leaned against the washing machine with a dumbstruck expression.

 

“What just happened?” He asked himself. Scott’s head poked around the corner, a concerned expression on his face. Stiles jumped and put a hand over his heart.

“Dude, how did you not hear me coming? Too busy fantasizing about Derek?” Scott smirked as Stiles squawked with indignation but continued before he could protest, “Speaking of Derek, he’s getting all growly. Maybe you should go talk to him?” Stiles cursed and followed Scott out of the laundry room. He walked back into the living room, completely deserted except for Derek who was sitting on the couch with a scowl. Stiles plopped down next to him and elbowed him lightly in the ribs.

 

“What’s up, Sourwolf?” Derek scowled at Stiles’ nickname for him but didn’t correct him. Stiles cheered internally, counting it as a win. Derek seemed less tense now that Stiles wasn’t with Laura anymore. He must’ve had some seriously embarrassing things that he was worried Laura would tell him. Stiles was definitely going to track her down and convince her to tell him, for research purposes of course.

 

“Nothing. I’m glad you decided to join the pack, Stiles. It’ll be nice having you around more often. And Scott. It will be nice having both you and Scott around more.” Derek stumbled over his words, causing Stiles to laugh at him. Derek shoved him away and Stiles screeched as he slipped over the edge, landing hard on his butt. Derek looked down at him for a moment before letting out a huge full bodied laugh. Stiles crossed his arms and turned away from Derek, pretending to be offended. He wasn’t really. On the inside he was squealing at how cute Derek looked when he laughed. He let out a high pitched shriek as Derek grabbed him under the armpits to haul him back onto the couch. Derek raised his eyebrows at Stiles.

 

“Are you ticklish?” He asked, his voice ominous. Stiles shook his head fervently, scooting backwards on the couch and away from Derek. Derek grinned wickedly at him before following.

“You are ticklish.” He said, edging closer to Stiles. Stiles didn’t have a chance to move before Derek had lunged at him, his hands skating over Stiles sides as he tickled him. Stiles howled, trying to squirm out from under Derek to no avail.

 

“S-stop!” He laughed, tears falling down his face as he laughed. Derek moved his hands to Stiles stomach, tickling mercilessly.

 

“You don’t sound so sure about that. You really want me to stop?” Derek teased. Stiles was curling in on himself to get away from the tickles.

 

“YES,” He wheezed out, trying to catch his breath. Derek’s fingers stilled and Stiles gulped in huge breaths as he giggled, wiping at his eyes. “Oh thank god.” He struggled to sit up and slapped Derek’s chest as soon as he had managed it. He glared at Derek and pointed a finger at him.

“Don’t you ever tickle me again, Derek Hale.” He threatened. Derek smirked at him.

 

“Just try and stop me.”

 

~~~~~

 

It had been a week since Stiles and Scott had joined the Hale pack, and Stiles was dying. Alpha Hale had taken his anger at not being protected seriously and had been forcing them to attend Pack training exercises three times a week. Stiles appreciated the subtle muscles his body was developing but he didn’t appreciate how sore he was all the time. He could barely make it to his bed to collapse after a training session, let alone shower and get ready for school the next morning. Scott wasn’t helping him at all either. His werewolf powers made everything the Hale’s did extremely easy, while Stiles struggled because of his humanness. Derek, Laura and Talia alternated teaching each session and Stiles wasn’t sure who he dreaded the most. Laura focused most on intense combat situations and Derek focused mostly on stealth and being able to escape while Talia focused on stamina and endurance.

 

Derek’s sessions were the worst. He always made Stiles be the guinea pig for new exercises he had come up with and if they did any tracking exercises he always made the other wolves hunt for Stiles. Laura had given him several purple-black bruises while they sparred, much to Derek’s aggravation. He had actually growled at Laura the last time Stiles’ showed up at the house with his latest bruise and Laura had taken the hint to tone her hits down a little. Stiles had called Derek a huge softie and pinched his cheeks and in retaliation Derek had forced him to hide in the woods for an hour until he was by one of the younger pack members.

 

Stiles knew he shouldn’t be nervous about going to see Derek, but he was. It wasn’t a day where he was required to be at the Hale house because of training and he didn’t want to seem annoying or clingy. He wasn’t going to admit it, but he missed Derek, and he was having a terrible day. He had had several visions that hadn’t ended well and he didn’t know what to do about them. They’d left a horrible gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of his stomach and he knew that when his dad had rushed out of the house on an emergency call the previous night that he was going to help the victims of the car crash Stiles had seen. He knew his dad would be out all night again and he really didn’t want to be alone. He didn’t think that he could be alone, not after what he had seen. He hadn’t been able to stop replaying them in his mind the whole day and that was how he found himself driving to the Hale house at 5 PM on a Friday when he’d normally be crashing a party with Scott.

 

He walked to the door and knocked before he could convince himself to leave. He waited a few minutes and no one came to the door. He was just turning around to walk back to his jeep when someone opened the door. He turned around and saw Derek, standing in the doorway in nothing but sweatpants hanging low on his hips. Normally Stiles would be extremely turned on at the sight, but all he could do was frown.

 

“Stiles?” Derek asked, his gentle and concerned tone enough to force Stiles out of his thoughts. He walked back towards the house slowly, his hands in his pockets and his eyes on the ground. He couldn’t stop seeing the blood all over the road and the sound of metal scratching and breaking as the two cars collided. He barely noticed when Derek put his hand on Stiles’ shoulder to guide him inside and close the doors behind him. He vaguely felt himself being led over to the couch and pulled back against Derek’s chest. He squirmed around until he was able to bury his head in Derek’s neck, twisting in his grip so that his neck was fully bared to the older wolf, something that he never did. It seemed to make Derek even more concerned than he already was. He could hear the soft whines coming from Derek and he knew that he should be embarrassed about how he was acting, but it felt so natural for him to be in Derek’s arms that he couldn’t think feel anything but the comfort that the older man was giving him.

 

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Derek murmured, his voice low and quiet, almost as if he was speaking to a frightened animal rather than a human being. It was oddly soothing.

 

“It’s just what I saw. I… Did you hear about the car wreck on the highway last night? An entire family died because of a drunk driver. I saw it. I saw it and I couldn’t do anything to stop it. I’m supposed to be able to help these people. I had barely woken up before Dad was running out of the house to go help. Every officer was called to the scene. He’s going to be out all night again, cleaning up the roads. I didn’t… I couldn’t be alone.” Stiles whispered, his voice full of shame at his inability to help the family. He wasn’t aware that he was crying until Derek was pulling him forward to swipe his thumbs along Stiles’ cheeks and give him a stern look.

 

“Stiles Szczepan Stilinski. Don’t you dare blame yourself for what happened. You had no way to get there in time to stop that drunk driver and you know it.” Derek said, his voice firm. Stiles nodded, knowing that Derek was right, but it didn’t make him feel any less shitty.

 

“I can’t imagine how bad it is to have to see that, Stiles, but just because there was one vision where you couldn’t help someone, doesn’t mean that every other one will be like that. You already saved Olivia, and Scott told me about how you saved him. That’s already two-one odds. You are doing fine.” Stiles could barely make out what Derek was saying. The same thought kept running through his head over and over: What if he couldn’t save the Hale’s, just like he couldn’t save the family? He didn’t know what he would do if he woke up from a nightmare only to see that it was reality and that his pack, his family, was gone. He couldn’t lose them. He just couldn’t. He was trembling with terror and panic, biting back sobs as Derek rocked them back and forth. He kept whispering comforting things in Stiles’ ear until he had stopped shaking and his sobs turned into tiny hiccups every now and again.

 

“Stiles, listen to me okay? You are okay. We are okay. Tell me, when did you have the vision?” Derek asked, turning Stiles head until he was staring into the other man’s eyes. Stiles sniffled and tried to think.

 

“It was probably around midnight. I had been asleep.” He answered, his voice rough with emotion. Derek continued questioning him after a moment.

 

“How long after you woke up did your dad run out of the house?” Stiles didn’t have to think about that one at all. It had been immediately. When he told Derek this he simply nodded his understanding and asked his next question.

 

“If your dad ran out of the house to the scene of the wreck immediately after you had the vision, don’t you think that the wreck and the vision happened simultaneously?” He asked. Stiles thought about it for a second. It made sense. Derek seemed to sense his understanding and continued.

 

“So you get it now right? There was no way that you could have woken up, gotten ready and driven all the way across town to save that family. No one could have. This isn’t on you, Stiles. It’s on the bastard that decided to drive drunk tonight. Don’t be upset with yourself over someone else’s bad decision.” Derek pleaded with him. Stiles hiccupped a few more times as his tears slowed to a stop. He nodded into Derek’s neck and pulled away enough to maneuver into giving Derek a hug.

 

“Thank you, Der. You always know exactly what to say to help me. I don’t know why you put up with me and my constant need to be comforted.” Stiles laughed weakly, worn out from his crying spell. Derek hugged him back and Stiles thought he felt Derek press a kiss to his hair, but he wasn’t sure.

 

“Please, Stiles. You know I don’t mind. Come on, I’m hungry.” Derek stood up, pulling Stiles along with him as he headed into the kitchen. He began rooting through the cabinets for a moment before he moved to the fridge and then the freezer. He turned back to Stiles and shrugged.

 

“We can order pizza?” He asked, scratching the back of his head sheepishly. Stiles scoffed and began to look through the cabinets himself. He found plenty of ingredients for several different dishes. He turned to Derek and put his hands on his hips.

 

“Dude, there’s plenty of stuff to cook in here.” Stiles raised his eyebrows at Derek, who blushed slightly.

 

“It’s not like I can cook anything. My parents aren’t stupid enough to try and teach me how to cook.” He explained with a slight frown. Stiles grinned back at him and started to gather ingredients.



“It’s a good thing that I can cook then.” Derek looked at him skeptically as he turned on the stove and set a pot on to heat up.  Stiles pointed him towards a few piles of vegetables he had laid out.



“What are you going to make? I really don’t want my parents to get back and come home to our house burned down.” Stiles gulped at Derek’s words. He knew that they were meant as a joke but they still sent an icy chill down his spine. Derek had no idea how easy it would be for what he said to actually happen. He shook himself out of his thoughts so that he could answer Derek



“Chicken noodle soup. It’s simple and easy to make and a good comfort food.” Stiles said, shrugging as he turned to help Derek start with the vegetables.



"Cut those quick, we need to put them in here soon." He said, grabbing the carrots to help.
Derek gave him a salute and turned to chop the onion, celery and chives that Stiles had found in the refrigerator. He poured some oil into the pot, and a minute later tossed in the carrots and celery.

They worked in comfortable silence, Stiles occasionally stirring the vegetables before turning to cut the chicken into small cubes. He threw them in there after adding more oil, the chicken sizzling as it cooked.
When it was done, He poured in a generous amount of chicken broth, as well as the pepper and dried thyme and some other spices.

"Now what?" Derek asked as Stiles stirred the soup for the last time. He set down the spoon and looked at his watch for confirmation.

"Now we wait for it to boil for around 15 minutes, and add the chives. It'll boil for another 5 and then it should be done." Derek was giving Stiles a strange smile. He crossed his arms but smiled back at Derek.

 

“Why are you smiling at me like that?” He asked, barely stopping himself from reaching up to scrub at his face. Maybe that was why Derek was looking at him so strangely. Stiles could have sworn that he saw Derek’s face flush but it was probably just the low light in the kitchen making him look like he was blushing.

 

“No reason. I just think it’s… interesting that you know how to cook. I wasn’t expecting it.” Derek said, biting his lip and worrying it between his teeth. Stiles tried not to stare, he really did.

 

“My mom taught me how. When I was diagnosed with ADHD I was constantly bouncing off the walls and never able to focus. She taught me how to cook and it helped give me schedule to follow so I wouldn’t be so hyper and unfocused all the time. It’s easier to focus the harder the dish is to cook, because that’s when you have to pay the most attention and stay moving constantly to get things just right. I actually haven’t made chicken noodle soup since mom died. It was her favorite thing to make with me and it’s probably what I’m best at. She was sick a lot before she died, so I got plenty of practice making it for her.” Stiles smiled wistfully as memories flooded his mind. He could see his mom showing him the proper way to dice the vegetables so they would all be the same size, almost as easily as if she had just taught him yesterday. The familiar ache returned to his chest, but it was warmer this time. He knew that his mom would be happy that he had found someone else to cook with and that made him feel a little bit better.

 

“Thank you.” Derek responded. He must have known what Stiles was thinking, because his words, as simple as they were, had so much more meaning thank just a thank you. Stiles continued to stir the soup occasionally just so he would have something to occupy his hands with. He was just adding the chives when Derek leaned over his shoulder to take a huge whiff of the soup.

 

“It smells amazing.” Derek’s hair was tickling the side of Stiles’ face as he spoke and Stiles couldn’t help but shiver. They stood like that, almost touching but not quite, until the soup was ready. He shooed Derek away so he could have some space to take the soup off the stove.

 

“I’ll get it ready to serve, you get some bowls so we can eat. I’m starving.” Stiles said, grabbing the pot holders so that he could carry the soup to the table. Derek quickly grabbed two bowls and spoons and a ladle for the soup. After everything was settled they sat down to start eating, and Stiles was surprised to find himself holding his breath as he waited for Derek to try the soup. He watched carefully, his stomach twisting itself in knots. Derek actually moaned around the spoon, he couldn't stop the smile that spread across his face, or the blush that accompanied it. He lifted his own spoon to his mouth to cover the triumphant smirk on his lips.

 

“That good, huh?” Stiles asked as Derek ate with relish. Derek scowled at him, but didn’t slow down.

 

“Oh shut up, Stiles. You know it’s good.” Derek griped around a mouthful of noodles. Stiles just grinned back at him. He was weirdly proud of himself for making something that Derek liked. He smiled to himself as he continued to eat. Hopefully there would be plenty more opportunities to cook for Derek soon.

 

~~~~~

 

It was only a few days later when Stiles woke up to police sirens. He had gotten in the bed around four o’clock to take a nap and his dad had done the same. He was out of bed and running down the stairs two at a time before he was all the way awake. He ran out the door and the first thing that he saw was several cop cars pulled into his driveway. He recognized his dad, still wearing his pajamas, talking to Deputy Parrish. Both the men looked somber and from Stiles’ experience, that look was never good. He jogged to where his dad was standing, hoping to figure out what was going on when he saw the body. There was the vague outline of a woman underneath a plastic white sheet. He could see the blood that was pooled underneath her and he took a tiny step closer to confirm his fears. The woman was cut in half.

 

He turned and gagged, emptying his stomach of all contents as the acrid stench of blood filled his nostrils. He heard someone approach him and looked up once he had finished vomiting. His dad was standing in front of him, the same expression on his face.

 

“Are you okay, son? I didn’t want you to have to see that.” His dad said, his tone grave. Stiles couldn’t help but let his gaze go back towards the body on the ground.

 

“Who- Who is she?” Was all he could manage to ask. His dad grabbed his arm and started to lead him back towards the house. Stiles followed, but he wasn’t going to let his dad get away without telling him what the hell had happened.

 

His dad followed him inside and closed the door behind them both. Stiles wasn’t surprised when he headed straight for the liquor cabinet, grabbing the bottle of whiskey before locking it back. Stiles sat on the edge of the table as he waited for his dad. He poured a generous amount of the amber liquid into a cup before joining Stiles.

 

“We don’t know who it is. She isn’t anyone that any of us have seen before and from what we can tell she isn’t in any databases that we know of. She has to just be a drifter.” His dad explained as he took a sip from the cup. He winced and coughed once. Stiles had done pretty good with steering his dad away from the alcohol cabinet after tough cases at work, but he wasn’t going to stop him this time. He felt like he needed a glass himself to calm his nerves.

 

“So some whacko just decided to cut her in half and leave her on our front yard? What the hell does that mean?” Stiles demanded. He knew that as soon as his dad told him that he could head out that he was going to go straight to his Alpha and tell her what had happened. Then he was going to do his best to put it out of his mind, seeing as he had promised Scott that he would hang out with him at the carnival that night. Stiles considered trying to back out, but knew that Scott wouldn’t let him unless he had a really good reason, and while Stiles’ reason was good, he kind of still wanted to go. His life was going downhill more and more each day as the war with Gerard continued. He needed an excuse to have fun rather than sit around and worry himself to death.

 

“Deputy Parrish seems to think it means someone in town has it out for me, but I’m not so sure. I know that you know that those animal attacks that have been happening aren’t actually animal attacks, so I guess it’s okay if I tell you this. This was definitely the same killer as the other bodies we’ve found, but I just don’t think this is some sort of message. We aren’t any closer to finding out who it is than we are to putting a man on Mars.” Stiles twitched. He wanted to tell his dad that they are actually pretty close to that, but knew that it wouldn’t help his dad’s point. Stiles wanted to scream that he knew who the killer was. He wanted more than anything to tell his dad all about his powers and about Gerard Argent and show him the files that he had on his laptop, but he knew that he couldn’t. There were way more people at risk than just a few Omegas. He felt bad that they were all getting killed so brutally, but until he had safely saved the Hale pack, he wasn’t going to take any chances that may put them in even more danger.

 

“Am I still cool to go to the carnival with Scott later?” He asked, chewing his lip. He knew that his dad would protest and want him to stay home, but Stiles didn’t want to be at home when he was up close and personal with just how terrifying Gerard Argent could be. For once, he didn’t feel safe at home, and he could feel anger bubbling in his chest at Gerard for taking that from him.

 

“You’ll go even if I say no, right?” His dad sighed, scrubbing a hand over his face.

 

“I’m offended that you think I wouldn’t obey your wishes!” Stiles gasped, holding his hand over his chest in mock hurt. His dad gave him a look and Stiles cracked. “Yes, I would still go.” He relented. His dad nodded once before downing the rest of his drink.

 

“Keep your cell on you at all times and keep it on full volume. Call me if you see anything, and I mean anything, weird. I can have a unit there within minutes.” His dad looked worried and Stiles squirmed from the guilt washing over him.

 

“I’ll be careful, dad. I always am.” He promised, clapping his dad on the back before heading back upstairs. He wanted to get a little more sleep since he wasn’t going to the carnival for another few hours. He had only just gotten back under the covers and closed his eyes when his dad knocked on the door. He let out a frustrated sigh.

 

“Dad, I’m trying to sleep, can whatever it is wait?” He asked, rolling over to face the door. He jumped when he saw that it was Derek standing there, and not his dad. Derek canines were bared and his eyes were glowing gold as he stalked forward. Derek crawled onto the bed, his hands roaming over Stiles’ body, checking for injuries. Stiles could feel his own eyes shift to silver and Derek paused his ministrations, but continued when Stiles didn’t protest. It took a few minutes, but Derek finally seemed satisfied that he wasn’t injured and slowly shifted back to normal.

 

“I’m going to kill him.” Derek growled. Stiles jolted and stared at Derek, shock on his features.

 

“No you aren’t. Don’t say that.” Stiles reprimanded him. Derek looked like he was close to shifting again and he was gritting his teeth, fighting against it.

 

“He brought that Omega here. It’s a sign that he knows you’re a part of the Pack now. He’s saying that he’s added you to his list of targets, Stiles.” Derek’s voice was harsh and blunt. Stiles flinched at his tone, but steadied himself quickly. That tone wasn’t for him. It was for Gerard and Stiles would be lying if he said that he didn’t want to kill Gerard himself.

 

“Just because he’s a killer doesn’t mean that you have to be.” Stiles argued. Derek clenched his fists so tightly that his knuckles were starting to turn white. Stiles grabbed his hand before he could stop himself and forced Derek to let his hands relax. He kept Derek’s hands in his own even after he had relaxed.

 

“Stiles, you have to understand- Ugh. I can’t let you get hurt. I won’t let that happen, I promise.” Derek said, refusing to meet Stiles eyes. The gears started turning in his mind and Stiles realized that Derek blamed himself for what Gerard did.

 

“Derek, look at me. What that jackass just did was by no means your fault. How the hell were you supposed to know that he would cut some random Omega in half and dump her in my yard?” Derek looked like he was about to answer, but Stiles cut him off, “Remember what you told me the other day? You couldn’t have known, Derek. Now you can either lay down and go back to sleep with me or go away. I still have a few hours before I’m going to the carnival with Scott and I plan to spend them sleeping.” Stiles snuggled back down against his pillows, secretly hoping that Derek would stay. Derek stayed still for few minutes before letting out a dramatic sigh. He kicked off his shoes and shrugged out of his jacket to get more comfortable.

 

“I’m going to the carnival with you later. You shouldn’t be alone.” Derek grumbled, squirming around, obviously uncomfortable. Stiles sighed and grabbed Derek’s arm and throwing it over him so he could lean back against Derek’s chest.

 

“I figured you would be used to cuddling by now. I’m sure girls are constantly lining up to cuddle with you. It doesn’t matter, but you’ll have to get used to cuddling if you want to be friends with me, at least. I’m a big fan of cuddling.” Stiles pulled the covers back over the both of them and sighed happily. Derek seemed to relax a little more as Stiles got more comfortable. He was already struggling to keep his eyes open when he felt Derek’s hand carding through his hair, scratching his scalp lightly. He was asleep in seconds.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles woke up to someone clearing their throat and the sound of a camera going off. He opened his eyes groggily and struggled to sit up. There was something heavy draped over him, keeping him down. He blinked a few times before he remembered that he had fallen asleep with Derek, who now had his arm and a leg draped over Stiles, his mouth open and puffing breaths into Stiles’ hair. Stiles wanted to snuggle back down and go back to sleep when he remembered why he had woken up in the first place. He lifted his head enough so he could see whoever had woken him up. He blushed scarlet as he saw Scott leering at him and Allison giving him a cheeky grin and a thumbs up. Stiles wanted to hide under the covers until he was no longer embarrassed. Instead, he lifted his free hand to poke Derek’s face.

 

“Yo, Derek. Wake up. Scott and Allison are here.” Derek grumbled as Stiles continued to poke him. After a second he reached his hand up and grabbed Stiles fingers, holding them tight in his own as he struggled to wake up. He grumbled for a few minutes before he sat up, pulling Stiles up with him. Derek huffed out a sigh.

 

“I didn’t mean to fall asleep.” He grumbled again. Stiles rolled his eyes and crawled over Derek so he could grab some pants and a shirt to put on. He turned to Allison and Scott and glared at them.

 

“We’ll be down in a minute.” He said shortly. Scott was going to get an earful later about waking him up when he was cuddling with Derek and for bringing Allison. It was supposed to be bro time, not bro plus Allison time. He looked like he wanted to protest, but Allison dragged him away so that Derek and Stiles could be alone. Stiles pulled on his shirt before turning back to Derek. Stiles cooed internally the sight. His hair was all flat on one side but normal on the other and he still looked on the verge of sleep.

 

“Well I’m glad you decided to nap with me. I definitely felt safer with you here.” Stiles said, just to placate Derek. He seemed to straighten up a little at Stiles words. Stiles pulled off his pajama pants and started searching for a pair of jeans. He heard a sharp intake of breath and turned to look and saw Derek yawning. Stiles yawned too, still pretty tired even though he had just taken a nap. His first stop once he got to the carnival would be getting some coffee.

 

He finally found some jeans that passed the sniff check and pulled them on, promising himself that he would do laundry when he got back home. After he had gotten his shoes on he grabbed his keys and looked back at Derek.

 

“Are you still coming to the carnival with me? I didn’t know that Scott was bringing Allison,” Stiles said bitterly, “and I really don’t want to third wheel them.” Derek nodded and moved to pull his shoes back on. He pulled his jacket on and went to walk past Stiles to go downstairs, but Stiles stopped him.

 

“Your hair is a mess. Let me fix it.” Stiles worked his hands through Derek’s hair a few times until it looked semi-normal. He nodded appreciatively at Derek who gave him an exaggerated eye roll in return. They both walked downstairs together and went out to Stiles’ jeep. Scott rolled down his window and told them that him and Allison were going to head to the diner first and would text Stiles when they got to the carnival so they could meet up. Stiles gave them a thumbs up and pulled out of his driveway, doing his best to ignore the bloodstains on the grass and the looks he was getting from the remaining officers. The carnival wasn’t too far from his house so Stiles decided to pull through the Starbucks drive-through before heading there.

 

“You want anything?” Stiles glanced at Derek. He shook his head and Stiles sighed. He ordered two venti caramel lattes and paid the lady at the drive-through as he accepted his coffee. He passed one to Derek who looked like he was in pain.

 

“You didn’t have to buy me this, Stiles.” He said while taking the coffee from Stiles gingerly, careful to only grab it around the middle where the coaster was.

 

“You’re right that I didn’t have to buy it, but I wanted to buy it. Plus, Laura told me that caramel is your favorite, so don’t pretend like you don’t like it.” Stiles bluffed. Laura hadn’t told him anything, but he had seen Derek at Starbucks the other day and he may or may not have begged the barista to tell him what he ordered, for future reference. Derek grumbled a little, but cautiously took a sip anyways. He sighed into his coffee and Stiles knew that he had made the right choice. He cheered internally and put another tick mark on the scoreboard he was keeping in his head. Derek muttered something in return that Stiles didn’t quite hear. He just shrugged his shoulders and pulled back onto the road, continuing to the carnival, hiding his smile behind his coffee.

 

They circled the parking lot for a good ten minutes before they managed to find a spot. Some lady was coming from the opposite side, obviously trying to make it into the spot before Stiles could. He let out a wild screech and stepped on the gas. He swung into the spot right before the woman got to it. She was glaring daggers at Stiles and he just waved back at her, smiling cheekily. Stiles turned to Derek and let out a loud laugh at the look he was giving Stiles. He was holding onto the handle above the door, his face considerably paler than usual. He was glaring at Stiles like he had personally offended him with his driving.

 

“Dude, I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the carnival before, but people are vicious about parking spots. I saw my chance and I took it.” Stiles explained, patting Derek’s shoulder. Derek looked at him for a moment longer before rolling his eyes and stepping out of the car. Stiles scrambled to unbuckle and get his stuff together so he could follow. He must have been taking too long because Derek walked around the jeep and swung his door open impatiently. Stiles hopped out after he grabbed his keys, smiling sheepishly at Derek. He waved at a group of girls that he recognized from school. They were gaping at him and Stiles smirked back. They were probably jealous that he was getting to hang out with Derek Hale. He turned away from them to address Derek.

 

“Sorry, I had to find my phone. Scott texted me and said it’ll be a little while before they come. I think they want to wait until the crowd dies down a little.” Stiles said as he scrolled through his messages. He texted his dad to let him know that he had just gotten to the carnival with Derek so he wouldn’t be too worried about him. He tucked his phone away in his pocket and glanced at Derek. The older man was still being quiet, more so than usual. Stiles tried to swallow down the nervousness in his throat. Maybe Derek was just worried about Gerard. He hoped that that was it, and that he wasn’t seriously mad that Stiles had bought him coffee.

 

“Come on, I want to go on some of the rides!” Stiles said, faking cheer as he grabbed Derek’s hand, pulling him excitedly towards the gate. He moved to pull out his wallet to pay for their tickets but Derek had his out faster. Stiles scowled at him and Derek smirked in return. The little fucker had been waiting for his chance to repay Stiles for the coffee.

 

“I could have gotten the tickets.” He said, crossing his arms defensively. Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles again and accepted the change that the vendor offered him.

 

“You bought the coffee. I wanted to buy the tickets.” Stiles opened his mouth to protest but was cut off by the ticket vendor. He turned his head slightly to look at her. She couldn’t have been older than fifteen, her smile wide showing off her bright purple braces.

 

“You guys are so cute together! Have fun!” She cooed, smiling warmly at them. Stiles blushed and went to explain that they were not, in fact, a couple, but interrupted him and returned the girls smile.

 

“Thank you,” he paused, reading her name off of the tag she was wearing, “Lauren.” Derek was pulling Stiles away before he had a chance to register that Derek hadn’t denied their being a couple. His mind was reeling as Derek gripped his hand and led him towards the first ride that he saw. Stiles wanted to stop him and to scream at him. Did he like Stiles or did he like Stiles? He needed answers desperately, but he couldn’t afford to ask Derek, not now. With Gerard just adding Stiles to his list of people to murder, he wasn’t sure that he could afford to get any more caught up in Derek than he already was. He had to take every precaution possible to keep everyone that he loved, Derek included, safe. With that thought in his mind, he took a deep breath and focused on just having a good time and not worrying about his massive crush on Derek.

 

He also tried not to think about the fact that Derek was still holding his hand and didn’t seem close to letting go anytime soon.

 

The first ride that they came to was the Tilt-a-Whirl, and Stiles squealed with excitement. It was by far one of his favorite rides. They got in line before the line got too long, but the wait was still longer than Stiles had the patience for. After a few minutes of silence he huffed and turned towards Derek.

 

“So… What’s your favorite color?” He asked, trying to start a conversation. Derek looked thoughtful for a few seconds. He smiled at Stiles, and Stiles smiled back, a little confused.

 

“I’d have to say that silver is my favorite color.” Stiles blinked at Derek. Once, twice, three times. Was Derek Hale, king of the brood, flirting with him? Stiles thought for a second and his brain just threw all reasoning out the window. ‘Fuck it, I’m flirting back.´

 

“Really? I think I have to say gold is my favorite color.” He smirked, cheering gleefully as Derek’s eyes widened slightly, obviously not expecting Stiles to flirt back so easily. He recovered quickly enough and grinned down at him, his teeth bared in what Stiles could only describe as a wolfish grin. No pun intended.

 

Okay, pun a little intended.

 

Stiles snickered to himself at his pun and stumbled a little bit when Derek pulled him forward to board the ride. He probably sat way closer to Derek than absolutely necessary, but his choice paid off when the ride started. It started off slow, spinning them in lazy circles as it got warmed up, but soon they were going fast enough that the inertia had him being slung practically into Derek’s lap. He blushed and tried to scoot back into his seat, but Derek had locked his arms around Stiles, keeping him in place. Stiles wasn’t sure if it was to stop Stiles from banging into him a bunch of times, or that he actually wanted Stiles in his lap. He wasn’t sure that he cared either way. He squealed joyfully the whole time, closing his eyes giddily when the ride got too fast for his liking. He buried his face into Derek’s shoulder as he waited for the ride to slow. Derek nudged him once the ride had stopped and he (reluctantly) climbed off of Derek’s lap to hop out. He held out a hand and helped Derek out as well.

 

“My prince.” He said as he mock bowed to Derek. Derek let out a playful growl and shoved him gently. Stiles hip checked Derek as they walked out of the ride, heading for the next one. Stiles had eyes on the swings, but Derek had other ideas.

 

“What are you so excited about? I wanted to go on the swings!” Stiles laughed at Derek’s obvious excitement, having to jog behind Derek in order to keep up with his long strides. Stiles felt his stomach drop to his knees as he looked up and saw the ride Derek was heading for. He shook his head fervently, the blood draining from his face as he took in the sheer size of the thing.

 

“No way am I going on that…that deathtrap!” Stiles protested, digging his heels into the ground, trying to stop Derek from dragging him into line. Derek stopped trying to pull him along and turned to face him.

 

“Seriously, Stiles? It isn’t even that high up.” Derek said, staring up at the coaster. It was by far the tallest ride in the park, going up high and then going into a steep drop, only to head back up high and go into several corkscrew backflips before ending on a drop. He watched the ride go through its course once and shook his head again. He tried to wrench out of Derek’s grasp.

 

“No, no. I refuse.” Stiles struggled against Derek’s vice-like grip, but knew it was pointless. He looked at Derek, his eyes wide with fear. Derek looked like he was struggling to decide what to do.

 

“Please, Stiles. I’ll keep you safe up there. You won’t even have to open your eyes if you don’t want to. It’ll be fun!” He pleaded, excitement coming off of him in waves. Stiles could feel his heart pounding away in his chest, so he knew that Derek could hear it too. He stared into Derek’s eyes desperately wanting to say no, but the look on Derek’s eyes had him nodding slowly. Derek smiled widely and threw his arm over Stiles’ shoulder. Stiles was short enough that Derek had him pulled close to his side. He couldn’t help but snuggle closer into Derek’s side, his heartbeat ratcheting higher at how close they were. Derek looked down at him, his expression guilty. Stiles winced, but he wasn’t about to explain to Derek that he was just excited about how close they were.

 

“Hey, if you’re really that scared, we don’t have to ride it. It isn’t a big deal, Stiles. I promise.” Stiles wanted to back out, he really did, but he knew how excited Derek was and he wanted to do it with him. He settled for rolling his eyes and punching Derek lightly in the ribs.

 

“Don’t make me regret this, Sourwolf.” Derek rolled his eyes back at Stiles and cuffed him lightly over the head. The line for the ride was moving pretty quickly and soon enough they found themselves being strapped in their seats, waiting for the ride to start. The ride started to move slowly and Stiles grabbed Derek’s hand, squeezing it until his knuckles were almost white. They started to go up the first hill and Stiles squeezed his eyes shut, burying his face in Derek’s shoulder as they climbed. He peeked open his eyes when the ride seemed to stop and immediately regretted it. They went into the first drop and Stiles felt a shriek tear from his throat. He buried his head back into Derek’s shoulder and continued squeezing Derek’s hand. He focused on the sound of Derek’s giddy laughter and prayed for the ride to be over quickly. Another scream tore from Stiles’ throat at the last drop, ending in a sigh of relief that the ride was finally over. The attendant came to unbuckle them and looked at Stiles, then at Derek. He looked like he was trying not to laugh, his eyes lit up with amusement. Derek had climbed over Stiles to help him out of the cart. Once he was back on the ground and off of the coaster he turned to Derek and glared at him weakly.

 

“Never. Again.” He croaked, starting to walk away from the ride. Derek caught up with him easily and intertwined their fingers again, swinging them back and forth between them. He was smiling excitedly and Stiles couldn’t help but return his smile. He would ride that ride a million times if it meant that smile would stay on Derek’s face.

 

“You want to go grab some cotton candy?” He asked hopefully. Derek nodded and they went to the nearest food station. Stiles handed his money to Derek and got them a table before they were all taken. He beat a family of four to the last available table and smirked to himself as they scowled at him and stalked away angrily. He rubbed his hands together while he waited for Derek. It had gotten pretty cold all of a sudden, and his thin hoodie wasn’t helping warm him up at all.

 

Derek came back to the table carrying a lot more than just cotton candy. He set two hot dogs, two large drinks and a huge bag of cotton candy. He set everything down on the table and Stiles eyed it carefully.

 

“How much did all this cost? I know I didn’t give you enough for all this.” Derek scoffed and pushed one of the hot dogs and drinks towards Stiles.

 

“You didn’t even give me enough for the cotton candy. It was twelve dollars for this big bag. These prices are ridiculous.” Derek grumbled, taking a large gulp of his drink. Stiles pulled out his wallet and started counting out money.

 

“How much do I owe you?” He asked, pulling out a couple of bills as he spoke. Derek was looking at him strangely.

 

“I got it, Stiles. Don’t worry.” He said, nudging the food slightly closer to Stiles. Stiles just shrugged and started chowing down on his food as well. If Derek wanted to spend a fortune on sub-par fair food then Stiles wasn’t about to stop him.

 

He scarfed down the hot dog way too quickly and started working on the cotton candy. He’d barely eaten anything all day so he was pretty hungry. He pulled off a huge piece and stuffed it in his mouth, his cheeks bulging as he chewed. After he had finished that piece he licked the sweet stickiness of his fingers. He looked up as he was sucking the remaining candy off of his fingers and noticed Derek staring at him, his eyes wide. He wiped around his cheeks a few times with his free hand, wondering if he’d gotten any on his face. He shrugged and continued to eat and suck the sweetness off his fingers, swirling his tongue over them to chase the last of the residue. Derek made a strangled noise and snatched the bag out of Stiles’ grasp.

 

“HEY! I was eating that.” Stiles pouted as Derek tossed the remainder of the bag into the trash.

 

“Sorry,” Derek squeaked before clearing his throat a few times, “I just don’t feel like dealing with you on a sugar rush tonight.” He finished lamely. Stiles stuck his tongue out at Derek, still pouting. The cotton candy was so good. He was tempted to fish it out of the trash can, but thought better of it as someone dumped a lot of half eaten food in there before he could get up to get it. They threw away their trash and started walking towards the rides that they hadn’t gone on yet. Stiles shivered and rubbed his hands up and down his arms, trying his best to warm himself back up. He turned to ask Derek if he wanted to ride on the swings and saw Derek shrugging out of his jacket.

 

“What are you doing?” Stiles squeaked as Derek held out the jacket to Stiles. Derek rolled his eyes. Stiles noticed that Derek rolled his eyes at Stiles a lot. It didn’t faze him. He knew that he deserved it.

 

“You’re cold. Wear my jacket.” Derek said, his voice demanding. Stiles didn’t take it.

 

“Won’t you be cold though?” Derek huffed and slung the jacket over Stiles’ shoulders. Stiles squawked indignantly but didn’t take the jacket off. It was extremely warm and practically drowning in Derek’s scent. It took all of his willpower to not take huge inhales of the scent. Derek smelled heavenly. Stiles was seriously considering getting customized cologne so he could smell like Derek all the time.

 

Okay, Stiles. Stop being a creepy stalker.’ He chastised himself. He jumped slightly when Derek suddenly whispered in his ear. He had been too lost in his thoughts to see that Derek had leaned in so close to him.

 

“Werewolf, remember?” Stiles shivered again as Derek’s breath tickled his ear. He shrugged his arms into the jacket and sighed at the warmth of it.

 

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Do you want to ride the Ferris wheel?” He asked, changing the subject suddenly. The ride for the Ferris wheel was blessedly short and Stiles knew that if they didn’t ride it while the line was short that they’d wait in line for hours to ride it later. Derek agreed easily enough and they got in line before a crowd of teenagers could beat them to it.

 

“I hope we get stop when we get to the top of the ride. I love looking and being able to see everything for miles around us. It’s always so pretty, especially at night.” Stiles said as they got into their cart. Derek surprised Stiles by sitting on the same side as him. Stiles didn’t complain and scooted in close to leach off of Derek’s warmth. He sighed as he snuggled in closer. Derek slung his arms over Stiles’ shoulder so he could get closer.

 

“You’re lucky that you’re so warm all the time. I’m always cold and have to wear like a million jackets so I won’t freeze. I’ll have to start sticking close to you to leech your warmth more often.” Derek hummed in agreement, squeezing Stiles’ shoulders a little. Stiles looked up at Derek and found the older man staring back at him. He swallowed thickly. Their faces were inches apart. If Stiles really wanted to he could lean up a little and their lips would touch, and god did he want to. He had just started to lean up a little when the Ferris wheel jerked to a stop, breaking his concentration. He looked out and screeched.

 

“Look, Derek! We’re at the top! I can see so far out, holy shit.” Stiles leaned forward on the edge of his seat to get a better view of everything. He could hear Derek let out a sigh, but didn’t pay it any attention.

 

“Look, I think I can see my house!” Stiles was wriggling in excitement, pointing out various things that he noticed to Derek. Derek nodded along to everything Stiles said, letting him babble until they started to move again. After going around a few more times they got off the ride. Stiles checked the time on his phone and winced. It was getting late and Stiles knew his dad wouldn’t want him to stay out too much longer, given the circumstances.

 

“We should probably start heading back towards the entrance. I don’t usually have a curfew, but with everything happening lately…” Stiles trailed off. Derek nodded solemnly and slung his arm over Stiles’ shoulder as they walked. They walked in comfortable silence until Stiles saw Allison and Scott. Allison was carrying a huge stuffed bear and Stiles squealed. He got out from under Derek’s arm so he could grab his hand and drag him over to Allison.

 

“Stiles! We were wondering where you guys were!” Allison said, a twinkle in her eye. Stiles knew for a fact that she had planned for Stiles and Derek to be alone. He raised an eyebrow at her but didn’t comment.

 

“Did Scott win that for you? It’s so cute.” He asked instead. Scott turned and saw Stiles and bounced excitedly over to him. He waggled his eyebrows at Stiles. Stiles shot daggers at him and Scott raised his hands up in defense, deciding not to say anything about Stiles and Derek holding hands. It was a good choice.

 

“He did. I told him I didn’t want such a huge one, a small teddy bear would have been fine, but he insisted.” Allison smiled fondly at Scott who grinned back at her goofily. Stiles wanted to gag at how cute they were, but also squeal because of it too. Stiles couldn’t help but smile at his friends, even if they did annoy the shit out of him most of the time.

 

“Well me and Allison are going to go ride the Ferris wheel. It’s apparently the go to ride for couples nowadays.” Scott said as he started to drag Allison away. Stiles could hear her correcting Scott’s grammar as they walked away and Stiles laughed. Allison really was perfect for Scott. He turned to ask Derek if he was ready to go and found Derek handing a few dollar bills to the attendant at the front of the game.

 

“What are you doing, Der?” He asked as Derek started to throw darts at the balloons like his life depended on it. He hit every single balloon with the darts he was given and the attendant was looking at him in shock. He waved vaguely at the animals hanging up, gesturing for Derek to pick whichever one he wanted. Derek turned to Stiles and waved him over.

“Pick one.” Derek said, shoving his hands in his pockets as he spoke. Stiles gaped at Derek for a few seconds before throwing his arms around him.

 

“Thank you, thank you, oh my gosh,” Stiles started to say that Derek didn’t have to win him anything but Derek seemed to read his mind and cut him off.

 

“I know I didn’t have to win you anything, I wanted to. Now pick one.” Derek demanded, smiling at Stiles’ obvious excitement. Stiles hugged Derek once more before turning to look at the animals. He ended up choosing a medium sized Pikachu, because he knew that his dad would question him if he brought home a teddy bear bigger than his bed. He hugged it tight to his body and leaned into Derek as they started walking towards Stiles’ jeep.

 

“Thank you, Derek. I had such a great time. I felt a lot safer with you around.” Stiles hip checked Derek as they walked and Derek squeezed his hand a little tighter.

 

“You’re welcome. I had a good time too.” They both got into Stiles’ jeep and started the ride home. They didn’t really talk, but the silence wasn’t awkward. It felt comfortable and nice. Stiles didn’t feel pressured to start blabbing to fill in the silence, and it was a nice change. They got home quick and Derek hopped out of the jeep to walk Stiles to the door.

 

“Well… It was fun. We should hang out again soon.” Stiles smiled. Derek smiled back at him, but it seemed forced. There was something bothering him, and Stiles was just about to ask if he was okay when Derek surged forward, pinning Stiles to the door. Stiles looked at Derek in surprise, unsure of what was happening.

 

“I’m going to do something that I’ve been wanting to do since I met you. Okay?” Derek breathed, his words fanning over to Stiles face. All Stiles could do was nod and as soon as he had Derek leaned forward to press his lips to Stiles’, soft and gentle. Stiles opened his mouth in surprise and Derek took that as an opportunity to stick his tongue into Stiles’ mouth, letting it explore and rub against Stiles’ own. Stiles moaned into the kiss, grabbing at the short hairs on the back of Derek’s neck as he scrambled to kiss back. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing, as this was his first kiss, but he caught on easily enough as he followed Derek’s lead. Derek pulled away way too soon for Stiles’ liking and he chased Derek’s lips with his own. He pouted as Derek pressed their foreheads together, breathing in deeply. Stiles broke the silence, his voice cracking on each syllable.

 

“Holy shit.” Was all he could manage to say as stared at Derek, awe on his features. Derek let out a breathy laugh at Stiles and pressed his lips to Stiles’ once more before pulling away fully. Stiles let out a whine, but didn’t try to initiate another kiss.

 

“We can talk more tomorrow. I’ll come pick you up for breakfast. It’s late, you should try to get some sleep.” Derek said, rubbing the back of his head for a few seconds before jogging away. Stiles stared after him, stunned into silence. Derek had just kissed him. No, more than kissed, Derek had just made out with him. On Stiles’ front porch. Stiles’ life was turning into a teenage soap opera. He groaned into his hands before unlocking the door and heading inside. He locked the door behind him and went up to his room. He shrugged off his shoes and jeans and pulled on his pajama pants before flopping onto his bead. He realized that he was still wearing Derek’s leather jacket, but he didn’t care. He would give it back tomorrow.

 

He fell asleep holding Derek’s jacket to his nose and breathing in deeply, replaying the kiss in his mind over and over until he passed out.

 

~~~~~

 

Stiles woke up screaming. His entire body was on fire and he could see fire behind his eyes and he just knew that it was happening. He scrambled out of his bed and pulled on the nearest shoes. Before he could blink he was in his jeep and driving towards the Hale house. He had the pedal to the floor but he knew that it wasn’t fast enough. He had to hurry, he had to get to the Hale house. His mind kept saying the same thing over and over.

 

Save them, you have to save them.’ It was a mantra playing over and over in his mind. He was doing his best but he knew if he didn’t get there soon that he wasn’t going to make it in time. Stiles didn’t know how he did it, but somehow he managed to get a burst of speed that his jeep would never be able to manage under normal circumstances. He was at the Hale house in minutes.

 

He slung the door open and ran towards the house before his jeep had fully stopped. The house was already on fire. Stiles ran to the door and slammed his shoulder into it as hard as he could. It cracked and splintered before falling inwards. He started to cough immediately from the smoke. There was fire all around him and Stiles wanted to scream. He had to hurry. He wasted no time and went straight for the basement. He had been in the Hale house enough that he hard permanently marked its location in his memory. He ran to the door and tried the handle. It was locked from the outside and burning hot. Stiles hissed as it burned his hand, but he pried the door open anyway.

 

“HEY! EVERYONE YOU HAVE TO GET OUT NOW. HURRY!” He screamed, his voice already raw from the smoke. People started running up the stairs and Stiles noticed that it was all the humans in the pack. He picked up a few of the kids and covered their faces as best as he could as he ran them out the door. He set them on the ground and started to run back inside when someone grabbed him, trying to hold him back.

 

“Kid, you can’t help them.” The man’s voice was broken and on the verge of a sob. Stiles wrenched out of his grip and growled.

 

“Watch me.” His eyes were burning silver as he glared at the man. He immediately backed off and Stiles sprinted back towards the basement. Derek was waiting for him at the top of the stairs, his eyes bloodshot as tears streamed down his face.

 

“Stiles,” he choked on a sob and tried to calm himself down, “You have to get out. Please, god, Stiles just go.” Derek sobbed, his voice cracked and desperate. Stiles shook his head, his own tears starting to fall. He could hear the foundation beginning to crack and he knew that he only had minutes before the house would fall.

 

“Derek, please, just come out. We can go, I can save all of you.” Stiles pleaded, trying to grab Derek. His hands hit an invisible wall and Stiles growled in frustration.

 

“What is this?” He demanded, trying to grab Derek again. He was met with the same resistance and Derek sighed, hard and heavy.

 

“It’s mountain ash. It’s usually used to keep werewolves out, but it can also be used to keep us in.” Derek said, his voice broken. Stiles growled low in his throat and his eyes flashed silver. He pressed against the barrier with all his strength. Derek sobbed again as the foundation began to crumble again. Stiles could feel the heat against his back and he knew the fire was creeping up on him.

 

“Stiles, please, just go. You can’t break it. We can’t get out. Just go, please. Save yourself.” Derek pleaded. Stiles let out a snarl that turned into a scream.

 

“YES. YOU. CAN.” He screamed, pushing against the barrier with everything he had. He felt his chest burning as power began to course through him. He glanced down and saw that his pendant had cracked, and the Seeing Sand was wrapping around his body. He saw awe on Derek’s face, and he could only imagine how strange he looked covered in a dark blue mist and his eyes glowing silver. He could feel the barrier beginning to give away as a warm sensation trickled down his arms. The sand was winding down his body until it had wrapped around his hands, making them seem like they were glowing. He used the power that the sand was giving him to push harder. He continued to push until the barrier cracked beneath his grip. He fell straight into Derek’s arms and he started screaming.

 

“Come on, we have to go! It’s about to happen! Hurry!” Stiles screamed, choking on a cough as the smoke started to get thicker. The wolves ran up from the basement and sprinted towards the front door. Alpha Hale was being supported by Laura and Cora and she smiled at him weakly, whispering her thanks to him over and over as she was dragged towards the door. Stiles waited until each and every other wolf was out before he started to run for the exit. Derek was a little ahead of him and was almost at the exit when someone grabbed Stiles and pinned him to the wall, his head hitting the wall full force. He saw stars in his eyes and could feel the slow steady trickling of blood flowing down his neck. Stiles jerked his head and found himself looking into the eyes of Gerard Argent. His eyes burned silver and he let out a howl of rage and frustration.

 

“My my, Stiles. You’ve been hanging around the wolves far too long. It’s almost like you’re a wolf yourself, and we can’t have that, now can we?” Gerard said, his voice saccharine with false kindness. Stiles struggled against his grip and bared his teeth.

 

“Let me go, you sick son of a bitch.” He demanded, his voice harsh and full of rage. Gerard smiled at him and leaned in close.

 

“I don’t think I will. I think I’m going to take you outside and gut you in front of that abomination that you love so much.” Stiles felt the air leave his lungs at Gerard’s threat, but it only added to his rage. He ground out his words and tried to prepare himself for what he was going to do.

 

“Derek is not an abomination. If anyone’s an abomination, it’s you!” He yelled, surging forward and closing his teeth around Gerard’s neck, tearing at it viciously. He felt a chunk come off and he spit it out into Gerard’s face, his mouth coated in Gerard’s blood. Gerard let go of Stiles in a howl of surprise and pain, choking on his own blood as he stumbled backwards. Stiles started clawing at him, scratching deep gouges into every part he could reach. He scrambled to his feet when Gerard stopped struggling against him and he started to stumble towards the exit, not caring if he had just killed Gerard or not. His eyes were blurry as he started to feel the full force of his head injury. He had almost made it to the door when he saw Derek turn. He hadn’t noticed that Stiles hadn’t followed him outside. He heard a loud crack and looked up just as a beam fell from the ceiling, landing hard on Stiles shoulders. He fell to the ground with a shriek of pain as the fire started to burn him. He could feel his skin blistering and he gagged at the horrible smell filling his nostrils. He let out a blood curdling scream as he realized that the smell was his own burning flesh. He felt someone shove the beam off of him and start to half-carry, half-drag him outside. He was still screaming and he couldn’t make himself stop, it hurt too much. He could only feel the fire and he knew he was dying. The pain was unbearable and he was quickly losing consciousness. The last thing he heard before he passed out was someone yelling his name.

 

“Stiles, Stiles. Oh god, I’m so sorry. Stiles, I love you. Please be okay. Please be okay...” He passed out to broken sobs and the sound of howling.

 

~~~~~

 

Beep. Beep. Beep.

 

Stiles opened his eyes. He blinked a few times, trying to clear his vision. All he could see was white and it was blinding him. He tried to sit up but gasped as pain flared in his shoulders. He brought his hand up and felt along them softly. They were covered in gauze, as was his hand. He stretched out his arm to try and grab the call remote but the white hot pain that flared through his shoulders caused him to whimper and slump back against the pillows. He tried to call out but his throat was so raw that he could hardly make a sound. He was working himself back up to reaching for the remote when the door opened and a nurse stepped in. She jumped a little when she saw that Stiles was awake and rushed over to the bed.

 

“Here, let me help you sit up.” She said, hooking her hands gently under Stiles armpits and guiding him easily into a sitting position. He winced as the burns on his shoulders pressed against the pillows and let the nurse help him get more comfortable. She hurried to fill a cup with water and helped him drink it. He gulped it down greedily until it was gone.

 

“Be careful to not move too much, okay? You sustained second degree burns on your shoulders and you have a slight concussion. The burns on your hand are minor, but your shoulders needed skin grafts, which we did while you were still out of it. You’ll have a tough road ahead of you, but it’s amazing that you got out of that house with just the injuries you have. You were extremely lucky.” She got him a second cup of water and helped him drink it, more slowly this time, so he wouldn’t spill it all over himself.

 

“Thank you.” He sighed, letting his head fall back against the pillows. The nurse smiled at him and poked around his bandages for a few seconds before leaving, shutting the door behind her. He took her leaving as his opportunity to look around the room. There wasn’t much to look at except for the slightly torn wallpaper and the wilting plant on his bedside table. He stared at the torn wallpaper for what seemed like hours, waiting on someone, anyone, to come check on him.

 

When no one came his heartbeat started getting faster. He tried to feel everyone through the pack bond, but he couldn’t feel a single thing. He felt hollow and empty and his mind was racing. Why couldn’t he feel the pack? Why couldn’t he feel Derek? Derek, Derek had run back inside for him. His mind reeled with all the possibilities. Was Derek hurt too? Stiles couldn’t bring himself to think about what he would do if Derek was…gone. His breath started to get shallow. He had failed. Everyone was dead. His pack, his family, was gone. He started to sob and rock back and forth, ignoring the white hot pain that coursed through him. He deserved the pain. He deserved it. He had failed. His family was dead, because of him. It was all his fault. It was all his fault.

 

He heard the door swing open and bounce against the wall. There were hands on him and someone was pulling him into their chest, whispering soothing words into his ear. He let out broken sobs of pain and grief as the person held him still.

 

“It’s okay, Stiles. Shhh… It’s okay. You’re okay.” Stiles recognized the voice as Derek’s and he wrenched his eyes open. He looked straight into Derek’s eyes and felt a tidal wave of relief crash over him. He choked on a sob and buried his face in Derek’s chest, too upset to speak. Derek held him still and continued murmuring comforting words until Stiles had calmed down enough so that he was no longer sobbing, but hiccupping occasionally. He let out a hysterical laugh as Derek held a tissue to Stiles’ nose so he could blow it and not have to move his burnt shoulders. He was almost sure that he had ripped his skin open from the white-hot pain coursing through them, but he ignored it in favor of staring at Derek, taking every inch of him in, making sure that he wasn’t hurt.

 

“I thought. I thought you were dead. I couldn’t feel you. I couldn’t feel anyone. I thought you were all gone.” Stiles whispered, his throat raw from his sobs. He noticed Derek’s veins going black and he let out a sigh of relief as some of his pain started to ease off. There were fresh tears spilling over his cheeks, but this time Stiles wasn’t the only one crying. He was shocked to see that Derek had tears in his eyes as well.

 

“I thought you were going to die, Stiles. There was so much blood and I didn’t know if it was yours or Gerard’s. There was blood everywhere... You were on fire, Stiles. I wasn’t fast enough. I couldn’t save you.” Derek whispered, his voice filled with shame and horror. Stiles pressed his forehead to Derek’s and breathed him in. Derek scooted Stiles over a little so he could lay down beside him, their faces almost touching. Derek let their foreheads press against each other as they both just breathed each other in.

 

“Don’t you dare blame yourself, Derek Hale. I knew from just four years old that I would have to save your family. No one understood the risks of saving you more than I did. I knew what I was doing running into the house to save you. And I’m not sorry about what I did to Gerard. He deserved everything he got.” Stiles spat, his voice venomous. He took a deep breath and calmed his tone.

 

“What happened to him, anyways?” He asked, unable to keep his deep hatred for the man out of his voice. Derek shuddered as he relived the memory. His voice was shaky when he started to explain.

 

“I was so scared, Stiles. I just ran for my life and I didn’t notice you weren’t with me until right before that beam fell. I ran back inside to grab you and I had to drag you outside so I could put the fire out. I think your shirt caught on fire to start with and it just burned into your skin, so it was… it was hard to put it out without hurting you or making you bleed even more... Laura grabbed you to hold you while I ran back to the house. I was trying to save Gerard. I couldn’t just let him die, not like that. I was at the front door when the house just imploded. I was too late to save him. I hated him, don’t get me wrong, but I wish I could have saved him. No one deserves to die like that.” Derek shuddered again as his voice faded away. Stiles laid back against the pillows, unable to hold himself up any longer. He contemplated what Derek said as he laid down next to him. He agreed that no one deserved to die like that, but he wasn’t sad that Gerard had died. He had died trying to kill Stiles’ family and Stiles would rather Gerard died than his family, so he couldn’t bring himself to feel any remorse.

 

“He was probably already dead.” Stiles said quietly. He had figured out that Derek hadn’t seen what he had done and he was afraid to tell him. Afraid didn’t totally cover it. No, he was terrified that Derek would hate him for what he had done to Gerard.

 

“What do you mean?” Derek asked, his voice small. It was Stiles’ turn to shudder as he relived what he had done to Gerard moments before he had been struck down by the beam.

 

“You were already outside, so you didn’t see. Gerard grabbed me and slammed me against the wall. I felt my head bust open as it hit the wall, but I was so angry that I didn’t feel it until after… I probably could have made it outside, but I was so dizzy that I could barely walk. But he just kept calling you an abomination and he said he was going to take me outside and gut me in front of you,” Derek’s eyes flared gold and he growled low in his throat. Stiles shushed him and continued, “He got really close to me to whisper in my ear and I ripped his throat out. With my teeth. I had to. I had to, didn’t I?” Stiles whispered, horrified at what he had done. He hadn’t cared about it in the moment, but now that he knew that he had killed Gerard he couldn’t help but be disgusted by his actions.

 

A wave of nausea passed over him and he could have sworn that he felt Gerard’s blood in his mouth. He leaned over the side of the bed and threw up. He could feel Derek’s hands running soothingly through his hair as he threw up the water he had drank not too long ago. Once he was sure he wouldn’t be sick again he let Derek pull him back onto the bed. He focused his eyes on Derek’s chest, not wanting to look at Derek and see disgust on his face.  Derek gently lifted his eyes until they were staring at each other.

 

“Stiles, listen to me. It’s exactly like you said to me. You did everything you had to do to save us. Stiles, you saved us. We wouldn’t be here without you. You did what you had to do to save yourself, Stiles, and I’m so glad you did. I would rather Gerard die a million times over than have to live without you. Stiles, I can’t live without you.” Derek’s voice trailed off. Stiles blinked at Derek, trying to understand what he was saying. Stiles was suddenly back at the fire and he heard Derek’s voice ringing in his head.

 

‘Stiles, I love you. Please be okay. Please be okay...’

 

“I heard what you said,” Stiles finally broke the silence. Derek sucked in a deep breath but didn’t respond, “Did you mean it?” He asked, his voice small. Derek closed his eyes and pressed his lips softly against Stiles’.

 

“Stiles, I loved you from the very first second that I met you. And yes, that includes when you were 12 and you ran me down at school. I didn’t understand it then, we were both so young, but I understand it now,” It was Stiles’ turn to suck in a deep breath, and he opened his mouth to reply but Derek shushed him. For once in his life, Stiles stopped talking listened. “I finally figured out what silver eyes mean.” He finished, staring at Stiles with so much love in his eyes that Stiles felt tears come into his eyes. He cleared his throat and raised his eyebrows, trying to blink away the tears.

 

“And?” He spurred. Derek continued to smile fondly at Stiles.

 

“Silver eyes mean that you have a true mate. Not just someone you’re in love with, but someone who was created just for you. Someone who was made to be yours forever. I guess you could call it having a soul mate, but it’s so much stronger than that. I think I already knew, but I asked Deaton to help me research it anyways, just to be sure. Stiles, you’re my mate. You were made just for me.” Derek said, his voice filled with joy. He sounded so happy that Stiles felt his tears roll down his face. He surged forward and caught Derek’s lips with his own. He tried to convey all he was feeling in that kiss, and he knew that Derek understood him.

 

“What does that mean for us?” Stiles asked. Derek smiled and started to explain.

 

“Well,” Derek cleared his throat, suddenly sounding nervous, “It means that I can be yours forever. If you want me to be, that is.” Stiles stared incredulously at Derek. Did he really believe that Stiles wouldn’t want to spend forever with him?

 

“Derek Hale, I would be absolutely honored to spend eternity with you.” Stiles said, smiling giddily at Derek. He looked so relieved that Stiles couldn’t help but laugh. Derek growled at him playfully and kissed Stiles softly, nipping at his lower lip before pulling away.

 

“God, I love you so much, Stiles.” Derek was grinning broadly. Stiles returned the smile in equal measure. He knew that to everyone else it would seem like they were moving too fast, having barely known each other and already said their ‘I love yous’, but Stiles didn’t care. They couldn’t possibly understand how they felt. Stiles had never loved anyone more.

 

“You know, I had always felt like there was something missing from my life. I didn’t really pay much attention to it when I was younger, but after my mom died I just figured it was because of her. But it’s different now. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything anymore. For the first time, probably ever, in my life, I feel whole.” Stiles said as he snuggled closer to Derek’s side. He let Derek maneuver him to where Stiles was pressed against his back. He winced and saw Derek’s veins turn black again, but he didn’t comment. Derek was probably trying to be all macho and siphon off Stiles’ pain. It wasn’t like he was going to stop him.

 

Derek was carding his fingers through Stiles’ hair and Stiles was slowly drifting off to sleep when the door burst open and several people tried to run in at the same time. Stiles saw his dad, Scott and Talia all come in before he heard a nurse’s sharp voice telling everyone else to wait in the waiting room. Stiles wasn’t surprised at the shock on their faces at seeing Derek practically spooning Stiles. He smiled sleepily at them and closed his eyes, leaning more into Derek’s touch so he wouldn’t stop. Derek chuckled but continued. Stiles opened his eyes again as he heard his dad finally speak.

 

“Well, I have to say that this is a surprise. Why didn’t you tell me you were dating someone, Stiles?” He asked, a semi-hurt look on his face. Stiles sighed.

 

“I was too busy trying to figure out how to save the Hale’s from burning to death. I assume you told him everything?” He looked at Scott who nodded sheepishly, “Besides, we weren’t even dating until like ten minutes ago. So, this is me officially telling you.” Stiles smiled smugly at his dad. There was no way he could get in trouble for not telling his dad about Derek.

 

“Okay, you got me there. How come you didn’t tell me about you being some kind of psychic?” His dad countered. Stiles’ smile faded.

 

“Well, the thing is – “ Stiles started, only to be cut off by Dr. Deaton walking into the room, despite the nurse’s protests. He actually shut the door behind him, effectively silencing her, much to the amusement of everyone in the room.

 

“I told Stiles that it wouldn’t be safe to involve anyone else. Gerard already had a great number of people on his list to, shall we say, get rid of, and I didn’t want to add any more to it unless absolutely necessary.” Deaton glanced at Stiles, and Stiles swore that he saw a flicker of amusement in the other man’s eyes. Stiles made a mental note to buy Deaton something weird and scary for helping Stiles avoid a punishment from his dad. A sudden thought flashed through his mind as Deaton turned towards the door.

 

“Wait, Deaton. Something weird happened when I was in the house. I sort of… wolfed out? Gerard said that I was almost a wolf when he had me cornered and I could feel it. I felt like I was almost a wolf. What does that mean?” He asked, the memories of the fire and Gerard’s antagonizing words going through his mind. Deaton frowned, obviously not sure of the answer to Stiles’ questions.

 

“I can’t give you a definite answer to that, Stiles. I can only make an educated guess. My guess is that the bond that you and Derek already shared through being pack was also intensified by the fact that you are mates. You were able to unconsciously tap into that bond to be able to defend yourself and your mate. It’s rare, but not entirely unheard of. I’ll make some calls and work on getting a concrete answer for you, if you want.” Deaton said, his hand on the doorknob. Stiles shook his head.

 

“That’s okay. I like your answer.” He smiled up at Derek, pressing a kiss to the hand that wasn’t in his hair. Deaton nodded at them both before making his exit. Everything was quiet for a few moments until Stiles had another realization.

 

“So, does anyone know how long I have to stay in this stupid hospital?” He asked, hoping that he would be able to leave quickly. Derek’s fingers stilled in his hair and he whined until continued massaging his scalp. He craned his neck to look at Derek, who was starting to look guilty again.

 

“I met the nurse outside before you,” He paused as he stared down at Stiles, “before I came in to check on you. It will be about two weeks before your burns are healed enough for you to go home.” He finished, squirming guiltily. Stiles sighed in annoyance.

 

“For the last time, stop blaming yourself for me getting hurt. And you can make it up to me by camping in here with me until I can leave, if you really feel that bad about it.” Stiles grinned wickedly up at Derek who winced at Stiles words, but smiled fondly down at him anyways.

 

“Ugh, I liked it better when Stiles was just pining over you. You are both disgustingly cute now.” Scott’s voice rang through the room. Stiles waved lazily at him before placing a loud kiss on Derek’s neck, causing not only Scott, but also his dad, to wince.

“This is payback for all those times you made me third wheel with you and Allison.” Stiles said, grinning at Scott, who didn’t look at all annoyed, even though he was pretending to be. Stiles could tell that he was happy for him and he was glad that Scott approved of Derek. Talia walked over and stood in front of Stiles.

 

"You saved my family, Stiles. I don't think I will ever be able to repay you for that." She said, tears falling slowly down her face, a sign of emotion that she would never show under any other circumstances. Stiles just smiled back at her, his own tears threatening to fall.

 

"They're my family too." He said simply. She rushed forward and pressed a kiss to Stiles' cheek. She gave him one last watery smile before she made her exit.

 

Stiles looked around at his tiny family in the hospital room as his eyes began to grow heavy again. He had done it. He had managed to save the Hale pack and had gained them as part of his family along the way. His smile was truly happy, and for the first time in a while, he slept soundly and without a hint of fire in his mind.