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Orenda

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After the Nogitsune had been killed and Stiles had been freed by Derek and Scott, she had taken a turn for the worse. She blamed herself for the deaths of her friends and so many other people. She had become a veritable recluse during the summer speaking to almost no one and spending massive amounts of time running the preserve, learning hand to hand combat from Deputy Parrish, trying to learn everything she could from Deaton, and avoiding her pack. Mostly her friends gave her the space that they thought she needed but Stiles knew that it wouldn't last too much longer.
Derek used her window like it was a door and over the past three years had frequently come and gone through there. Stiles was their go-to for all research actually she was the go-to for anyone that needed to talk without judgement. She was the professor and the psychologist. Derek had been her most frequent visitor, besides Scott, and although he didn’t talk much she thinks that it was the fact that Stiles could fill the silence that surrounded Derek for too much of his life. He would probably die before telling anyone that he actually enjoyed the companionship and comfort that being around Stiles provided him. But when Derek had decided that he and Peter were going to South America to return Cora to her pack he hadn’t come back. He had disappeared and they were unable to reach him and Stiles was starting to worry. Scott was enjoying his relationship with Kira and everyone was trying hard to come to terms with everything that had happened in the last six months.
Stiles had taken up learning as much as she could from Deaton who had said that she possessed a spark, a little light of magic. With practice he had told her that she could eventually do what he did and become the pack’s next emissary. So she threw herself at the lessons, and she was talented. She swore Deaton to secrecy, she didn’t want everyone else to know what she could do, not just yet. After the third week of Derek being missing she really started to worry and approached Deaton wondering if there was a locator spell that she could use.
“Dude, I’ll do anything, they should have been back weeks ago,” she begged Deaton.
“I don’t know Stiles, we just got into working with inherent magic, like the mountain ash and lights. I don’t know if you are ready for any actual spells,” he hesitated. In reality Stiles had blown through inherent magic, and all of the healing practices that Deaton knew and had been pilfering books from his secret stash for almost the entire summer. She would take them home with her and painstakingly photocopy them into her computer, just in case. She never wanted to be unprepared again. They had already been unprepared so many times.
She still wasn’t sleeping. It wasn’t as bad as before and when they separated her from the Nogitsune she found she could read without the letters sliding from the page. She still had nightmares though, and every once in a while she would get the horrifying sinking feeling, like she was still in a dream. Her panic attacks were back as well but she had managed to hide most of this from her friends. The only one that managed to see that something was going on with her was Jackson. He also used her as a psychologist, but somewhere along the way they became friends, and he became less of a douche. She managed to play it off as best she could and Jackson told her that eventually Lydia would notice, so Stiles avoided Lydia as much as possible.
As the third week passed of her not being able to reach Derek and Peter, Stiles started to dig through the pile of books that she had managed to pilfer from Deaton this summer. There must have been well over a hundred books worth of digital scans. One night while she was just scrolling aimlessly, not even really paying attention she stopped abruptly on 'Madame Donnet’s Book of Orenda'. She paged through the book and finally found herself stopping on a page for Dowsing, location magic. She was so happy she could cry. But as she further examined the pages it was difficult to tell exactly what the spell entailed, it seemed like every time she read through the spell it changed a little and some of the words were ones that she had never heard of and google searches of the words didn’t lead anywhere. The spell was fluid, moving and changing.
It took her another week to parcel out, what she thought, the right items needed and their correct arrangement. She had gone to Derek’s loft, she had made a key of everywhere they might ever need to go and she kept them on an oversized ring, but Derek’s key wasn’t with those, that particular key stayed attached to her Jeep keys, right next to the key for her own home.
Everything looked the same as she had last seen it, maybe slightly more dust. She felt an overwhelming sense of loss come over her. She sat on his overly fancy couch for an immeasurable amount of time, working up the courage to venture further into the loft. She needed some hair or an important possession for the tracking spell but she couldn’t bring herself to look through his things, it felt like an invasion. One she knew Derek wouldn't appreciate. She finally sucked it up and found her way to Derek’s bedroom.
The bed was unmade. The sheets were a beautiful midnight blue matching the comforter. They were also insanely soft fabric. She sat at the edge of the bed and looked around. Derek didn’t really have possessions, there was no ridiculous leather cuff that he wore or gaudy ring, as if he was some mysterious fictional heartthrob. Stiles didn't know what to expect. She opened the small drawer on the nightstand. There was almost nothing in the drawer, some Chapstick and oh boy, yup, that’s lube. She immediately closed the drawer and quickly stood up from the bed her face beet red. This was a total invasion of privacy. Normally she didn’t mind invading people’s privacy, in fact, she enjoyed it. She liked knowing things, especially things other people didn’t know. With her face a startling bright red she made her way into the bathroom.
It was beautiful with light grey subway tiles and dark grout. The sink and vanity were industrial without being too masculine. The shower was killer, he could probably fit four people in that shower. A big bathtub sat right in front of a large floor to ceiling window that looked out into the preserve that backed up to the building. She quickly found a hairbrush and plucked a few strands bagging them up and making her was back into the main room.
She stopped when she noticed someone at the big sliding doors to the loft. It was Lydia, and she didn’t look so good.
“We have to find him,” Lydia said panicked.
“That’s what I’m doing here Lyds,” Stiles said in a near whisper, looking down at the floor. Lydia showing up here was nothing short of bad. It meant her Banshee senses were a tingling and that meant nothing good for Derek. Stiles held herself together and made for the door, locking it behind her.
“We should call Scott,” Lydia insisted taking out her phone.
“I have this handled for now, you can call him when I’m done. There isn’t any point in calling him now we don't know where he is,” Stiles responded, putting a hand on Lydia’s phone to stop her.
“What exactly are you doing?”
“It’s complicated.”
“Does it have something to do with why you’ve been so quiet this summer?”
“Ever observant Lydia, Jackson figured you already knew,” Stiles scoffed.
“I just wanted to wait for you to come to me. We all go to you with our problems hoping that you’ll solve them for us, that you’ll have the answer. But who do you go to Stiles?”
“Now is not the time to talk about me Lydia, I have to find him.”
“But after, you are going to have to talk to someone. I can see the dark circles Stiles, I can practically feel the exhaustion rolling off you, and not just from not sleeping. It’s like it is a dark fog over you.”
“Yeah Lydia I’ll get some help after all this is done.”
“I don’t need to hear your heart to know that you are lying,” Lydia whispered. Stiles just ignored her and got in her jeep and left.

It had taken her a week to gather all the components for this spell it was especially difficult because Madame Donnet used obscure names for some of the plants that she needed and some things she needed in a specific form like coriander instead of cilantro small differences that would make or break the spell.
Stiles had painted a large square of chalk paint on her bedroom floor perfectly covered by the area rug at the base of her bed. She pulled the rug off and started to draw the appropriate sigils and runes for the spell. It turned out that most spells weren’t incantations alone but a mixture of incantations and drawings and offerings. This particular spell required blood, a lot of Madame Donnet's spells required blood. It took her another three days cooped up in her room to get this spell right. She had a veritable collection of small cuts up and down her left arm, but luckily she had learned a great healing salve from Deaton so half the cuts were already well on their way to healed by the end. She took diligent notes on what worked and what didn't, scribbling in a small notebook.
Her last attempt, the successful one, came at three in the morning on the fourth consecutive day. She had barely eaten anything and was feeling woozy from all the blood loss. She had been testing different amounts of offerings and different tweaks on the drawing, she tried to use her intuition and change things by feel. She’d slept maybe three hours in the last three days and it was taking it’s toll.
She made a cut and started the incantation. This time the entire circle lit up and the map in the center shifted and roiled. She fed more and more power into the spell willing it to work. Blood steadily dripped on the south side and began to circumvent the map. Just as the map seemed to solidify she could feel the fog begin the cloud her vision and everything went dark.
When she woke it was bright in her room. She grabbed the map; it was centered on Mexico and a small spot of blood marked a point outside of a small town. She quickly cleaned the blood and chalk drawing on the floor as best as she could and threw the rug back over the paint. She lit some sage and opened a window and cleansed the room hoping to get rid of the smell of blood. It wasn’t a moment too soon because there was a knock at her door.
“Stiles? You in there? Your dad let me in.” It was Scott in his patented careful voice.
“Yeah dude, come on in,” Stiles put the sage on a dish and hid it on the roof outside of the window.
“Ugh what is that smell?” Scott wrinkled his nose and waved his hand in front of his face.
“Sage, supposed to be cleansing,” Stiles rushed pulling on a flannel.
“Shit dude, you’re bleeding!” Scott shouted. The latest cut on her arm which she had neglected to put the salve on was sluggishly running down her hand dripping onto the floor.
“Shit, must have cut myself,” Stile mumbled. It wasn’t technically a lie. She went to her small bathroom to clean up the cut and put some of the salve on it to stop the bleeding. She quickly wrapped the cut up and covered most of the other ones. She grabbed a new, not bloody, flannel from a drawer and turned to Scott.
“We have to go to Mexico, Derek is there,” Stiles insisted.
“Wait how do you know where he is?”
“I just do.”
“What has been going on with you dude, Lydia is worried, I’m worried, shit Jackson is worried!”
“We can deal with all of that when we get back,” Stiles promised.
“We both know that’s a lie dude,” Scott whispered. When Stiles finally looked up at him, he was giving her the most puppy dog Scott eyes that Stiles had ever seen.
“Please, we need to go we can’t waste any more time.”
“Fine, but I’m not letting this go Stiles.”
Stiles called her dad from the car and told him that they were planning on getting the group together and going camping. Her dad gave her some ground rules but ultimately complied with her plans. She felt bad lying to her dad but at this point she would do anything to get down to Mexico and retrieve Derek, and Peter, but mostly Derek.
On the way down to Mexico Stiles spent most of her time jotting down different simple spells into her notebook. Ones that didn’t need components, other than blood of course, most of Madame Donnet’s spells required blood. Stiles over the past four days had gotten used to cutting herself for her spell work. She copied down several spells into a pocket sized notebook that she could carry on her person. Her work with Parrish had made her handy with a knife too so she was well armed for the upcoming battle. Or at least what she assumed would be a battle.
Stiles, Lydia, Scott, and Kira took the Jeep while Ethan, Danny and Malia took the SUV. Laura was meeting them there and collecting Chris Argent on her was down. Stiles briefly thought about asking Parrish to come with them since he now knew about everyone but she decided against. Parrish would have felt obligated to inform Stiles’ father of what was transpiring and her father would have tried to stop her, which would have been fruitless. She would do anything to save Derek, no matter the cost. After Allison and Aiden she had sworn that she would do everything in her power so that no one else in the pack would die. They spent the first night of the trip in a small town just across the border into Mexico but still had another day of travel ahead of them.
As Stiles settled into the room she was sharing with Scott and Kira she sat at the edge of the bed and palmed at her eyes. She had a headache that appeared when she awoke from the location spell and it hadn’t yet dissipated. She shook out a few aspirin and downed them dry. She wondered what she could mix up for the headache from the components she had back at her house. Many of the spells, poultices, and tinctures required rare plants that she didn’t have access to so she had to work around and the results were never quite as reliable. She had started a little herb garden in her back yard and taking care of the plants calmed her and she enjoyed researching the different uses for them.
She didn’t sleep more then a couple hours at the motel. She was obsessively taking inventory of all her salves and tinctures and mountain ash she had brought with her when Scott and Kira woke up. She and Lydia had taken to carrying mountain ash with them wherever they went these days. Most of the group had modified their houses or at least their rooms to be lined in mountain ash and Lydia and Stiles oversaw activating any of the barriers. They had gotten to a point where if Stiles was across town, she could activate any of the barriers for a great distance which came in very handy.
They packed up and left the motel early. Stopping only a couple times along the way for food or just to stretch their legs. Every bit of wasted time increased Stiles' anxiety. It was dusk when they reached La Iglesia de la Reina, The Church of the Queen. It was an old church that had mostly been destroyed during an earthquake more than a few decades ago. There wasn’t much about it online, only that it was supposedly haunted. Many people believed that it was struck down by an angry god or cursed by the god of the Quiche people that had once occupied this land.
Stiles carried a mountain ash baseball bat and a knife, concealed in her flannel was the pocket spell book and a pocket full of mountain ash mixed with a rare type of wolfs bane.
“This place gives me a bad feeling,” Lydia shivered.
“Like a banshee feeling?” Stiles asked anxiously.
“No, just a its dirty, dark, and gross kind of way.”
Stiles rolled her eyes at that and they got to work. Lydia and Danny would wait in the Jeep and they would surround it with a line of mountain ash so nothing could get to them. Stiles had tried to convince Danny and Lydia to stay in Beacon Hills but it would have been suspicious if only part of the pack went on this little ‘camping’ trip. Ethan would stay with them and act as backup if Scott howled for him. Malia, Scott, Kira, and Stiles would be the ones that went into the church.
Laura and Chris were only an hour or so behind them but Stiles had a feeling that they couldn’t wait. She pushed open the big wooden doors of the church. One of the door hung haphazardly from its hinges and the whole place smelled of dust and sunlight.
“I don’t smell Derek, all I smell is… death,” Malia shuddered.
“Keep moving,” Stiles insisted and pushed forward. It took her no time to find steps down into a catacomb region of the church.
“It smells worse down here,” Malia said in a whispered hiss.
Stiles ignored her and moved forward as if propelled by her magic, like the dowsing spell still tethered her and Derek. She had felt that pulling sensation ever since she had woken up from the dowsing spell. It had only grown stronger as they got closer to the Church of the Queen. At this point when they were completely underground it was more of a rending feeling, and it almost made her sick.
The tunnels were like a maze that made Stiles dizzy and frantic. She was panicked and breathing heavily as they came around a corner and saw the first door set along the hallway. Scott put a steadying hand on her shoulder, she just brushed it off and made her way to the door. Through the slot in the door she could see a body. She frantically looked to Scott.
“I hear a heartbeat but – “ Scott started.
“Fucking finally,” came Peter’s ragged voice from the cell door. Scott made his way to the door and shouldered it open. Stiles made quick work of the shackles that held Peter, there were strange markings on the wrists of the shackles and Stiles made sure to take pictures of them while Peter drank two bottles of water and ate three power bars. Stiles put some of her salve on Peter’s wrists and a little on his forehead where he had obviously taken a hit.
“Where is he?” Stiles prompted.
“You are not going to like the answer to that,” Peter winced.
“Peter I swear to god if you don’t answer the fucking question I’m gonna-“ Stiles started in on a rant.
“Kate has him.”
“What do you mean Kate has him, Kate is dead, you killed Kate,” Scott interrupted.
“Apparently not so much, sorry,” he shrugged and had the decency to look as ashamed as he could muster, which wasn’t much.
“It get’s worse doesn’t it?” Stiles asked, not wanting to be right.
“Oh yeah, much worse. She has a Berserker, luckily just one. Nasty piece of work, pretty sure she is trying to make Derek into one too, she turned out to be a pesky were-jaguar, who knew?”
Stiles swore under her breath. Berserkers were covered in one of the bestiaries that she had swiped form Deaton.
“Short rundown, extra fast, extra strong, don’t take them on alone pair up, Scott stick with Kira and Malia, I’ll stick with Peter. If you come across it, there is nothing you can do except take it’s head off,” Stiles reported, Scott whimpered but Stiles knew that if he couldn't take care of it then Malia could. He still had a distaste for killing, even when it came to pure evil. Scott, Kira and Malia made their way back out into the hall. Peter quickly consumed a fourth power bar and stood.
“Been studying with Deaton I see, ooh, maybe more than Deaton,” Peter said as he leafed through her pocket spell book.
“Nosey bastard,” Stiles murmured as she swiped the spell book from Peter and put it back in her pocket.
“Trying to keep your foray into the occult from the others?”
“None of your business,” Stiles hissed, “Actually you know what, you should be fucking thankful because that’s how I found your dumb asses. But no here you are fucking getting in my business and poking and prodding unhelpfully!” Stiles rant whispered at Peter.
“Well, jeeze, do you still want me to thank you or…” Peter said, hands raised in a mock surrender. Stiles just huffed angrily and made her way back out to the hall.
As they crept through the never ending catacombs, going deeper into the earth. There were sinkholes in the ceiling that were accompanied by shafts of bright moonlight giving the whole place an eerie glow that unsettled Stiles. The further they went the more unsettled Stiles got, she had an eerie feeling that they were being watched and it sent shivers down her back.
It happened all at once. Stiles had stopped them in a moon soaked chamber that had five hallways departing from it. He seemed to appear from a shadow. He went for Kira who quickly brought her sword up to counter. Malia and Scott stepped into the throng with Kira but they were quickly being overwhelmed by the Berserker. Peter came to the defense of his daughter after she was flung across the room by the Berserker. Stiles managed to stay out of the way, concentrating on the direction that her and Derek’s bond pulled her. It was hard to tell which direction it was pulling and there seemed to be a pull from every direction, then she saw it, it was just a flash but she saw. Kate was there smiling from a shadow laden passage, green eyes ablaze.
Stiles didn’t even hesitate, didn’t falter. She ran for the woman. She heard Scott call her name but paid it no mind as she raced down the corridor she had seen Kate disappear down. She dodged roots hanging from the ceiling and protruding from the ground. Luckily a light spell had been one of the first things that Deaton had taught her. Everyone with a spark could call light but the shape it took was different for everyone. Deaton’s light came in three baseball sized golden globules of light. Stiles’ light came in the shape of stars, she had once called thousands of tiny pinpricks of silver light into her room. This time she just called enough to light her way and followed the trial of stars into another chamber.
It wasn’t as well lit as the other ones but her stars followed her into the room. It had only happened once before but when she had conjured the stars they came with little white bioluminescent moths that seemed to flutter around her. In the chamber, now filled with starlight, the moths seemed to hover over a stone alter and as Stiles approached she noticed with a sinking feeling that it wasn’t just an alter, it was a tomb, and the moths seemed to be coming from inside.
She looked inside the stone tomb and covered a sob with her hand. Derek’s face was perfectly illuminated by a few of the moths, one of them landing on his eyebrow. She braced herself against the stone, sagging under her grief. She reached inside to feel for a heart beat.
“He’ll wake up, don’t worry,” came Kate’s purring voice from a shadowed drenched hole in the wall, “but when he does he won’t be yours any more, he’ll be mine again.” She said stepping into the starlit room. Stiles was done hesitating. She grabbed her mountain ash bat from the top of the tomb and ran at Kate.
Of course she missed the first swing but she didn’t think she would hit, instead she moved in the ways that Parrish had taught her. She parried most of Kate’s blows but knew that the longer this fight went on the less likely she was to win. Kate was smart though and had more experience in fights than Stiles did so she kept close to Stiles not giving her any room to disengage.
Stiles knew that if she tried to get some room that Kate was going to get a hit on her but she saw no other way. She parried a blow of Kate’s claws with the bat then went to take a few quick steps back. But as she reached for the pocket full of mountain ash mixed with wolfsbane Kate’s claws caught her, digging into her ribs and dragging down her abdomen. Stiles could feel the hot blood soaking the front of her shirt. She threw the powder at Kate who had not been expecting it and Kate started to cough and fell to the ground on her hands and knees.
“It’s a particularly strong strain of wolfsbane that I got from your brother actually, and I’ve found that mixing in just enough mountain ash actually packs quite the punch,” Stiles said bitterly, wincing as she moved. She felt like her stomach was on fire. Kates’s claws had gone deep enough to be a painful problem but not deep enough to turn her thankfully.
As Kate wheezed on the floor Stiles worked her spell book from her pocket and opened it to a page. She put a tentative hand to her abdomen and smiled as her hand came back saturated with blood. Kate was now looking at Stiles like she was insane. Although it probably looked like she was crazy, just an insane smiling girl covered in blood. She ripped a page out of the spell book with her bloody hand as she worked the strings of her magic. She threw all of her anger and pain into the spell crumpling the paper.
A split second after she crumpled the paper Kate started to scream as she was engulfed in flame. The flames would only stay as long as Stiles concentrated on them but this was one time when she didn’t have any trouble concentrating. With the amount of power she was pouring into this spell the flames were a veritable inferno. After some time, Kate by now just a charred body, Stiles felt a hand on her shoulder.
She stumbled a little, blood flowing from her nose down her face and neck. Her shirt in shreds she collapsed and the fire finally subsided.
“Scott, Malia, Kira get Derek out of there,” Peter ordered. He had been the one that interrupted Stiles and also the one that was currently holding her as she faded in and out of consciousness.
“What the hell happened?” Scott asked horrified. The room reeked of burning flesh and blood. The smell seemed to permeate everything and the three other teenagers were all covering their noses.
“We don’t have time for your questions we need to get her out of here now or she won’t live through this.”
“What even is this?!” Scott protested.
“Just do what I say Scott!” Peter roared. He momentarily put her down to help move the top of the alter off of Derek. Derek was conscious enough to, with the help of Scott, Kira, and Malia, make his way out of the chamber and back towards the exterior of the church.
“My spell book?” Stiles asked in a pained whisper to Peter.
“I have it, just concentrate on staying alive yeah?” Peter said with a good natured, if fake, chuckle. Stiles tried for a smile but it was weak and filled with blood.

Chapter Text

When Stiles woke up she wasn’t at home, or even in a hospital. She was in Derek’s loft, more precisely she was in Derek’s bed. She could hear the shower running in the bathroom. She winced as she sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed, all the while wishing that whoever was in the shower, supposedly Derek, wouldn’t notice.
She was wearing her cotton bralette and some sleep shorts from her house. Someone had laundered and laid out her flannel which was actually one of her father’s old shirts. She shrugged her way into the oversized shirt and attempted to put on her shoes but found bending over nearly impossible for any extended amount of time so she scooped up her shoes and made her way out of the loft, grabbing her Jeep keys from the table by the door.
Someone had been kind enough to not only clean all the dirt off of her Jeep but also to fill it with gas. She quietly thanked the powers that be that the Jeep started on it’s first try. She made it all the way home and even managed to get in a shower before she was plagued by fatigue. She applied some of her magical salve to her abdomen wound, which looked absolutely terrible all jagged and red so she rebandaged the wound. Someone had put a few stitches in particularly deep places and had cleaned and bandaged it for her earlier. She threw on an old baggy tee shirt that came to about mid-thigh and put on some boy shorts. She had plans to crawl into her bed and die, figuratively of course, for the next several days.
“Seriously?!” came a shout from her window. She didn’t have to look to know that it was Derek although it was about twelve billion decibels louder than Derek normally shouted.
“Shhhhhh,” she whispered sitting on the edge of her bed wincing.
“What about sneaking out of the loft with a fucking gut wound seemed like a good idea?!” Derek asked, he had at least lowered his voice to a regular angry volume.
“I really needed a shower,” Stiles insisted weakly, trying for a smile but it actually turned into more of a grimace.
“You could have taken one at the loft! At least someone would have been there to help you.” Derek sighed.
“Obviously, I can manage just fine on my own.”
“Really can you? You’re bleeding again,” Derek sighed. He stalked over to her and kneeled on the floor in front of her. She felt her cheeks heat, she was sure that she had a very obvious blush going right now and hoped that he would chalk it up to a fever, or delirium, or sepsis, honestly anything but the truth would do. “Can I?” Derek asked, his hand on the hem of her long shirt. She just nodded slowly.
Derek lifted her shirt. She leaned back on her elbows to give him better access to the bandages which were starting to turn red.
“Fuck Stiles, you tore a stitch, I’m going to have to re-stitch it,” Derek said somberly.
“Sorry to mess up your handiwork,” Stiles murmured.
“I didn’t patch you up, Deaton did. You were out for over a day. Everyone was at the loft. I finally had to kick them all out,” Derek gritted out as he used part of the bandage to wipe away the blood. He went into Stiles’ bathroom to retrieve the first aid kit. She tried not to fantasize about Derek wanting to be the one to take care of her alone.
“Oh,” was all Stiles could manage, a new wave of embarrassment hitting her. She was in her underwear and a ratty old t-shirt of her dads. She had hoped that when Derek finally saw her in her underwear it would be on a happier occasion, or at least a sexier one. At first their relationship had been minimal; Scott was the one that was turned and Derek took him under his wing. Stiles was just the obnoxious best friend that Derek vaguely tolerated. But as time moved on and shit started to hit the fan Derek came to the realization that Stiles was good at a few useful things. So, Stiles became pack and the tension eased between the two of them. Sometimes Stiles even thought of them as friends, not just pack. Eventually Derek even came to her for advice and answers just like everyone else but on a much less personal level as some (Ethan *cough *cough). She suspected that he even snuck through her window under the pretense of monster questions or clarifications just so he didn’t have to be alone sometimes, but she would never tell him that she suspected that to be the case. She also knew that Derek didn’t think of her the way she thought of him. Sure she saw the broken pieces of the well eyebrowed man in front of her, but she also saw how strong he is and how much he cares about everyone in the pack. She’s seen how he is around his sisters and uncle, how caring he can be. She had seen all of the love he has for them and she wished that he had enough love for her or at least she wished that she felt deserving of his love. She wasn’t deluded enough to actually think that he could love someone like her but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t all she had ever wanted, and that she had wanted it for years. So, she did what she thought she should and put aside her own feelings to be a friend. They also maintained a very appropriate physical distance despite the frequency of their time alone in her room together.
She sighed as his hands found their way back to her body. She hadn’t meant to sigh like that, but she was too exhausted to care. He seemed tentative like at any moment she would break apart in his hands.
“Der, it’s fine, stop being such a Sourwolf,” she sighed. He just scowled at her with his perfect eyebrows. She can’t take her eyes away from him as he works to stitch her back up and rebandage her abdomen. Out of nowhere a moth lands in his hair glowing softly, it’s one of her moths beautiful and delicate. She reaches out one hand to pluck it out of his hair, holding it gently.
He looks up at her almost warmly, meeting her eyes, then he looks curiously around the room and back at her, but now he looks worried. She finally tears her eyes away from his only to notice that her room is filled with the same delicate white glowing moths.
“Huh,” she says thoughtfully.
“That’s it, just huh?”
“Not sure what else to say, it’s not like I meant for them to appear,” she shrugs. She is so tired. She laid back and the moths seemed to float above her in beautiful slow swirling patterns. Stiles’ eyes start to close but she fights to stay awake. The moment is so peaceful, with Derek and the moths. He’d pulled the curtain so the room is fully of soft filtered light dotted with the lightly glowing moths.
“But you did bring them here,” he says, there is a meaningfulness in his voice that Stiles can’t quite make sense of in her current state in between awake and asleep. He helps her get settled in bed, under the covered and he is about to leave. All she can think is stay, stay, stay, stay, stay.

When she wakes up the first thing she notices is that the moths are gone. The second thing she notices is that Derek is distinctly not gone. He's sitting on the floor with his back against the side of her bed. His head lolled to the side in sleep.
She thinks of only quiet things as she gets out of bed and grabs a pair of leggings and heads downstairs. Her father has left her a not to call him when she wakes up so she collects her phone and dials the Sheriff’s station, his direct line.
“Sheriff Stilinski speaking,” he answers, his voice comforting, even over the phone.
“Hi dad,” she croaks, she hadn’t expected to be so happy to be hearing his voice again that it almost brought her to tears.
“Everything ok kid?”
“Oh yeah, all good, just tired. Lydia didn’t realize what exactly camping entailed and insisted we cut the trip short,” the lie rolled easily off Stiles’ tongue. She didn’t want to lie to her dad, and at this point she didn’t really need to and she only did because of what had happened on this particular trip. Luckily her father was used to her coming home at precarious times of day and night.
“What did she think camping meant?” he laughed.
“Oh you know, fancy tents and servants, probably more like glamping.”
“What in Sam Hell is glamping Stiles?”
“It’s like fancy camping dad, I’ll show you a video when you get home,” Stiles laughed.
“Ok, but can we at least do burgers for dinner? I swear I was good all weekend while you were away.”
“Fine but just this one cheat meal, then it’s back to eating healthy,” Stiles conceded. She had slowly made her way out into the back yard and over to her small garden. With some effort she managed to sit at the edge of the small planter. “I see you watered by babies! Thanks.”
“Hey, I promised I would." he paused, "You sure you’re ok Stiles?”
“Yeah dad I’m fine,” she assured him. She turned at a sound by the house, wincing at the sudden movement. Derek had woken up and was standing on her back porch, looking grumpy. “Look dad I’ll see you tonight, pick up burgers on your way home yeah?”
“Yeah sure kid.”
“Love you dad.”
“Love you too.”
“What’s wrong Sourwolf?” she asks Derek playfully. Pulling a weed from her small garden.
“Why do you keep sneaking away from me?” Derek grumbles as he makes his way over to her.
“I wasn’t sneaking! I wanted to check on by babies, and my dad wanted me to call him. I thought you could use some more sleep,” Stiles shrugs.
“You thought I could use some more sleep? I think you should get some more sleep.”
“I slept enough,” she says waving dismissively at him. He just growls. She takes a few more minutes to pull some weeds and pick some peppermint for tea. Her abdomen twinges painfully as she tries to get herself up, she sucks in a breath and grimaces. Derek is there instantly with a hand under her arm, helping her up. “I’m fine, I'm fine, I’ve got it,” she insists.
“Why won’t you just let me help you?!” he says frustrated. His face is knit into pure frustration. He looks like he is about to pop a freaking blood vessel.
“Relax big guy, everything is going to be fine. Even if I manage to tear these stitches a few more times,” she chuckled. He begrudgingly released her arm and she started of towards the door. After a few steps she thought maybe Derek was right and she couldn’t do this herself, every time she moved it felt like she was ripping apart. “On second thought, maybe some help would be appreciated.”
Derek was there in a fraction of a second and he was sweeping her into his arms.
“I didn’t necessarily mean this much help,” she grumbled. He just huffs annoyedly into her hair.

He carried her into the kitchen and deposited her into a seat at the small kitchen island.
“I was gonna make some tea,” she says shifting like she meant to get up.
“Stay, I’ll make the tea,” he insisted.
“Derek Hale knows how to make tea?” she says in mock surprise. He just gives her another glare. “Ooh here, add these peppermint leaves please.”
“I didn’t know you gardened,” he says putting the leaves in the tea to steep and betting the cup down in front of Stiles. He was on the other side of the island maintaining an appropriate distance while still being close enough to her so that he could help if something were to befall her. He looked like he was about to jump out of his own skin.
“I didn’t know you possessed the faculties for small talk?” she counters laughing a little.
“I mean we could jump to the big problems if you want?”
“Oh no, I'm good with seeing how much small talk you can take. But to answer your question, yes, I do garden but only a little, I'd love to have a big garden though. I started it a few months ago, its useful for a lot of the stuff I’m doing with Deaton,” she rambled. “And my mother used to garden,” she adds, surprising herself. It’s not that she avoided talking about her mother she just didn’t talk about her mother. The fact that she would offer up that information baffled not only Derek but also herself. They didn’t really do the whole ‘let’s share about our common grief’ thing, even though they had both lost people close to them.
“What was she like?” Derek asked. Stiles almost balked at the question, the surprises didn’t seem to stop coming at her.
“She was beautiful, and she loved to read and garden. She was a kindergarten teacher. Everyone loved her, people would always come over just to talk to her. She was so peaceful that she helped bring other people peace. They would sit out in her garden and drink tea and talk for hours. I wish I were more like her,” Stiles stopped, she stopped before it all got to be too much. Maybe she avoided talking about her mother because it always made her cry. And she had already cried too much in her short life. Instead she distracted herself by blowing on her tea and taking a tentative sip, it was perfect. Of course Derek Hale made perfect tea. Time seemed to stall waiting for someone to talk.
“You are like that,” Derek says so quietly she almost doesn’t catch it. While the sentiment should make Stiles smile it doesn’t, instead she becomes frustrated and angry for no reason. Like she is unable to accept what was obviously meant as a compliment.
“Why are you still here Derek?” she snapped.
“What?” he asks confused.
“Why did you stay?”
There is a pause, dust seems to hang in the air and the world around them stills. Stiles swears she can feel a slight electrical charge dance through the air around the room. The moths are long gone.
“Because you asked me to,” he concedes.

They don’t talk any more. Apparently their capacity for small talk lasts about five minutes. Stiles grumbles something about being tired and Derek helps her back upstairs and into bed in silence. This time he does leave. And she doesn’t ask him to stay.

Chapter Text

Stiles wakes later in the day, her father won’t be off work for at least another hour. Her wound already looks better. The salve that Deaton showed her how to make heals quickly when she puts enough of her magic into it. Her magic seems to be intention based and intuitive at heart. When she focuses hard enough on being quiet it’s as if even the werewolves can’t hear her. The shallower parts of the cuts have already scabbed over, and the stitched parts seem to be more solidly holding her together, but her ribs still ache. She reapplies the salve and makes her way back downstairs. Stiles makes herself another tea and settles on the couch. Moving isn’t as difficult as it was previously but she is still stiff and awkward, not that her being physically and verbally awkward was unusual. With the way her brain worked people were lucky if they understood a quarter of what she said when she really started rambling. She had settled on watching some Stargate SG-1. An episode and a half, and maybe a little napping later she heard her dad’s cruiser pull into their drive.
“Tell me you got me the mushroom swiss!” Stiles yells from the couch when she hears him open the door.
“No ‘hi dad’, no ‘thanks for providing for the family dad’ just demands,” her dad laughs, depositing his gun and badge into the safe by the door.
“Hi dad! Gee thanks for providing for the family dad,” Stiles says in a saccharine sweet voice laced heavily with sarcasm. She winces as she awkwardly hoists herself off the couch.
“Woah kid, you ok?” her dad asks concern filling his voice.
“Oh yeah, I’m fine. I just pulled something hiking yesterday,” Stiles lies, waving away his concern.
“You sure you don’t want to go see the doctor? Looks like it hurts.”
“I’m just stiff from sitting on the couch, see all fine now,” she emphasized by standing up a little straighter, even though that pulled something awful at the stitches.
“Alright but let me know if it keeps hurting and we will make an appointment, or at least talk to Melissa.”
Stiles conceded to her dad’s demands. As it turns out he did get her the mushroom swiss burger which she greedily devours, and eats her share of the fries, dipping them in a mixture of ketchup and mayo.
After they clean up from dinner they settle on the couch and her dad watches sports while she anxiously fiddles on her phone. Around nine, as her dad snores away on the couch, her phone rings.
“Hi Scott,” she sighs.
“How are you doing? Derek says that you are being a pain,” Scott says hurriedly.
“Really Derek is calling ME a pain? That’s new and exciting. Are you sure he didn’t say that I’m in pain?” she says sarcastically.
“But really, how are you?” Scott reiterates, completely ignoring Stiles’ attempt at levity.
“I’m ok Scott. I promise.”
“How about in a more, grand scheme way? Are you ok in a grand scheme way?” he clarifies. Stiles just sighs into the phone; she is unable to answer this question without lying her ass off so she just decides not to answer it.
“Want me to come pick you up? You know what I’m just going to come pick you up, I’ll be there in thirty minutes,” Scott said firmly, then he hung up.
“Hey dad, you should go to bed, I'm going to go out with Scott. Don’t worry I won’t be out too late,” she says rousing her father from his sleep on the couch.
“Ok, just be careful,” he says hugging Stiles and shuffling off to his room.

Stiles changes her top, takes some aspirin, and applies even more salve. For a second she hesitates with the extra salve thinking that she might be going a touch overboard but then shrugs and applies it anyway. Scott arrives five minutes after the phone call. Stiles slowly makes her way out of her house making sure to activate the mountain ash barrier as she goes.
“Just us tonight?” she asks hopefully, even though she knows it’s a long shot. Scott just gives her a guilty look and she sighs. Then she thinks that maybe she sighs too much and her mind wanders, thinking over conversations she had weeks ago. Stiles had always been anxious. It seemed to come hand in hand with her ADHD. Her fingers started to tap so she slowly touched each tip of her fingers to her thumb repeatedly to calm herself down. As a coping mechanism it wasn’t working nearly as well as it usually did because everything mixed together was overwhelming her at the moment. The consistent pain mixed with her anxiety, and just a dash of fear was setting her on edge. Scott was gripping the wheel so hard his knuckles were turning while and Stiles thought that the wheel might break at any minute.
She slowly reaches over to Scott and gently puts a hand on his arm and gives him a tight smile.
“Of course, you are trying to comfort me in this situation,” Scott whines.
“Dude, we are just feeding off each other’s anxiety, like dogs,” Stiles laughs, it hurts when she laughs.
“Why didn’t you at least tell me?” Scott asks quietly.
“I didn’t want to put that burden on you and I wasn’t ready to tell the pack. I didn’t want to ask you to lie to them for me.”
“You know that I would though, right?”
“I know Scotty. But honestly you are a terrible liar and they would have instantly known that something was up and since you are rarely the one that causes trouble they would have come straight for me. Lydia already knew that something was up anyways so I know that this conversation has been coming. I'm just glad that Derek is back.”
“You saved his life you know, his and Peters. I’m not exactly happy about what happened with Kate but I’m trying my best to understand. Stiles, you’ve been my best friend, my sister, for nearly my whole life. I'm behind you know matter what,” Scott reassured Stiles. She and Scott had been inseparable since kindergarten. Stiles had stood up to a play yard bully, Jackson, and had rescued Scott. Scott had stuck by Stiles’ side ever since, without fail. Scott was always there, even when he had his own shit going on, even when he got with Allison, even when he lost Allison. Scott had stayed loyal and Stiles was beginning to feel horrible about icing him out these past few months.
“I’m sorry I've been so distant, I've just been trying to get through it by myself.”
“But Stiles, you don’t have to. You know I’m here for you, but it’s not just me, Derek is there for you too,” Scott hesitates. He is trying bring the conversation back to Derek and Stiles knows it.
“I’ll just have to be better about asking for help.”
“Dude, I’m trying to fish for information about you and Derek stop being difficult on purpose,” Scott finally just comes out and says.
“I know,” Stiles laughs, “I just wanted to see how long it took you to just come out and ask. Derek and I aren’t anything, sorry to burst your bubble.”
“Dude, everyone in the pack know that is a lie.”
“Look it doesn’t count as anything if it’s one sided.”
“Kira insists that Derek is totally into you dude. I mean I think that he is a little old for you, but you could totally do worse.”
“No one can tell Derek how he feels, even if it’s the truth, Derek has to come to his own conclusions. I know he cares about me but it has to be his decision if we ever go forward with,” Stiles signs, “with whatever we are. I can’t push him into a relationship, then he’ll just lump me in with Kate, and Jennifer.”
“You are way better then those chicks!” Scott insists. “And besides both of them are psychos.”
“Cause they killed people?” Stiles takes a long pause. “I’ve killed people.”
“That wasn’t you Stiles, you shouldn’t have to carry that weight.”
“It isn’t a matter of if I should or shouldn’t. I just do.”
He pulls to the loft, the official pack meeting place, and in front of the building are the rest of the pack’s cars; Ethan’s bike is off by Peter’s truck. Stiles had once asked Peter why he drove a truck since he didn’t seem like a truck guy, in Stiles’ opinion he seemed like a Porsche guy. By way of an answer he just asked her if she knew how many bodies one could fit in the bed of a truck. It was a disturbing conversation, and the fact that he had been so chipper should have been alarming, but it turned out just charming coming from Peter.
Stiles liked Peter the Creeperwolf, she could always rely on him to do whatever was necessary to protect the pack. Sometimes his intentions were misguided but if you used reason and logic while explaining an alternative route Peter usually conceded. It’s not that his plans were bad or anything, they were usually great plans just far more likely to draw blood then some of Stiles’ plans, so they tended to make plans together. Peter was also a great source of information and never withheld things he deemed dangerous like Derek was prone to doing.
Stiles hated not knowing the entirety of something BEFORE people started asking her questions about it. She hated when she couldn’t answer their questions, it made her feel useless. So she usually just kept everything to herself until she felt as though she knew the whole story or at least enough to answers people’s questions. So she did just this when it came to her magic, she played it close to the belt. But the longer she didn’t understand the entirety of her magic (which is impossible to know seeing as its MAGIC!) the more awkward the prospect of finally springing it on her friends became, so she just didn’t tell them. She knows it’s a stupid reason and it ended up becoming more of hinderance than a help. As much as she would like to tell the pack that she will no longer keep possibly important information to herself, the majority of the pack would be able to tell that she was lying.
She winced and grumbled getting out of the car. Scott kept throwing her worried looks and rushed over to her side to help her.
“Scotty, its fine really,” Stiles says looping her arm through Scott’s patting his arm. She tried her best to give him a genuine smile. At least with her arm through his she could lean into Scott for help with walking. As they walked into the building Scott was already returned to a more relaxed state. They made for the elevator which Stiles had never taken before but she thanked the gods that it was there.
It wasn’t like someone almost dying was a rarity, it just got a little too close this time. The pack faced the reality that they could have lost more than one member if this last mission had gone poorly. They went in uninformed of everyone’s hand, and luckily that when the cards were laid down it had come out in their favor. But they also realized that it could have just as easily come out in the enemies favor. They were also struggling with being angry at Stiles for keeping her magic a secret for so long, but they were also worried because Stiles had obviously been having a hard time of late.
“Smells like tension, and I’m not even a werewolf,” Stiles tried for a joke walking through the open door and taking a big breath. It was silent except for Peter who snorted from where he was sitting near the bar.
“Are we going with defense mechanisms tonight?” Lydia asked rhetorically, eyebrows raised as if to say ‘really?’. Stiles raised her hand, the one not being used to lean on Scott, in submission. Stiles had always relied on Lydia for her frankness.
Stiles decided that she would just tell them what she knew, it was time and her pack was whole again. She got Scott to help her over to a chair by the couch. She thought Scott would go to sit with Kira and Malia on the couch but instead he pulled a stool over to Stiles’ side. Derek took the Chair next to hers. Danny sat on the floor with Ethan, his lap top resting on the coffee table. Lydia sat on the arm of the couch closest to Stiles and Isaac leaned against the other. Peter came to hover between Stiles and Derek. Chris and Laura had called earlier that they wouldn’t make it to the pack meeting.
Derek, Peter, Scott, and Lydia all looked like they were primed to jump to Stiles’ aid as if she was about to just spontaneously start dying any second.
“First of all, you four,” Stiles looks at the afore mentioned individuals, “need to relax, you’re feeding my anxiety.” The four tried their best to relax which helped, vaguely. “I have no other place to start other than when we woke the Nematon…” Stiles tells them about Deaton and the whole spark situation. She talks about after the Nogitsune, brushing past the insomnia and depression she has been experiencing since. She tells them about her emissary lessons with Deaton and she tells them about the books she copied from Deaton’s collection, without his knowing. She tells them about Madame Donnet’s but doesn’t go into the blood sacrifice part. She tells them about the locator spell for Derek but leaves out a lot of the details. Stiles goes over her fight with Kate. She might have implied that the power of the fire spell was more of an accident, but she didn’t mention that the end result was her goal despite the surprise over the power of the spell. But as she skirted around that fact she caught Derek looking at her, like he knew what she had intended to do all along. Not once does Stiles explain her magic past it being a spark. And she never mentioned the moths.
There was a lot of the story, mostly the personal shit, that Stiles doesn’t talk to them about. She had begrudgingly come to the decision to rely more on her pack when it came to pack matters, but she still struggled with relying on the pack for personal matters.
Scott tried his best, and failed, not to cringe when she mentions killing Kate, probably because he thinks it was an accident. There were only a couple questions or clarifications.
“Honestly, I don’t know much more about my magic, this was the first few times I've ever tried it on that level,” Stiles clarified.
“Can we order pizza now?” Scott whined from Stiles’ right side.
“I’ll order, tell me what you want,” Peter sighed and headed for the kitchen. Everyone followed him up the spiral staircase to the kitchen, everyone except Derek. In preparation for whatever way this conversation went Stiles willed her magic to make sure no one was eavesdropping.
Stiles slid down in her chair putting a tentative hand to her bandages.
“Here, let me,” Derek says taking her and sitting on the floor in front of her chair. As the black veins spread up his arm Stiles takes her first comfortable deep breath of the day. “I'm pretty sure your ribs are bruised too,” Derek grimaces.
“You don’t have to do this, but thank you,” Stiles tries for sincere. Derek’s mouth pulls into what she would consider a smile when it comes to Derek. “It’s actually kind of nice when you aren’t being a Sourwolf,” Stiles weakly laughs.
“Thank you for making sure that she is staying dead this time,” he says softly bringing her hand to his lips and kissing it. He then disengages and stands abruptly as the pack clatters down the stairs.
Pizza had been ordered and they even managed to order one with pineapple and bacon, Stiles’ favorite. She argued its superiority over the ham and pineapple combo with Scott like she always did. Ultimately the pack ended up celebrating having Derek and Peter back. And they counted this endeavor as a win.

Stiles healed, faster than a human, slower than a werewolf. They had one final pack outing to check off before the start of the school year, their annual reservoir overnight trip. Stiles had to be reassured that showing her now scarred stomach to the pack wouldn’t put them off their lunch. Stiles, Lydia, Malia, and Kira went shopping for new swimsuits a week before the party at the lake. It was one of the rare occasions that Stiles felt completely human, for a day she was just like every other high school girl at the mall. Stiles ended up in a bright pink balconette style top and the girls convinced her to opt for a cheeky black bottom.
The night after they went shopping Lydia stayed over at Stiles’ house for the night since the Sheriff was working a night shift. In fact over the last two weeks since Derek has been back Stiles has always had company when her dad worked the night shift. It was like there was a pack mandate that Stiles can’t be alone when the Sheriff works the night shift, except no one had run it past her. She guessed that Scott or Derek had talked everyone into this farce but Derek was the only one that hadn’t been to her house. In fact, he had been noticeably absent since his return to Beacon Hills. Stiles tried to ignore her disappointment at his absence, in fact she tried not to think about Derek at all. That didn’t go well for her though.
“So, when did you start openly pining for Derek Hale?” Lydia came right out and asked as she settled herself on Stiles’ bed.
“I am not openly pining for Derek Hale!” Stiles argued. Then she thought about all the moping she was doing internally and realized there could be a chance that it hadn’t been as internal as she had hoped. “Oh god,” she groaned, “I’m openly pining for Derek Hale. I’m so sorry. When I become this girl, I hate this girl. The girl that just sits in her room and waits for the guy to notice,” Stiles makes a retching noise.
“Don’t worry, it’s not that bad. Only a few of us are observant enough to notice it for what it is, everyone else just thinks you are depressed. Not that you aren’t also depressed,” Lydia states. Lydia’s self-assuredness still baffled Stiles sometimes. Her self-assuredness mixed her willingness to say anything could make for an abrasive combination, but Stiles would take this Lydia over the one that insisted on making herself appear less than who she was just for the benefit of others. Third Grade Stiles had come home one day and told her mother all about the strawberry blonde girl that was the most amazing person Stiles had ever met. Stiles would then crush on Lydia for the next four years until Lydia had finally told her that she didn’t have a chance because she prefers boys but if she didn’t then she would probably have dated Stiles. That answer pleased Stiles enough, and six months later when Lydia had started dating Jackson Stiles could only be happy for her friend.
“Let me guess Danny and Kira are the others that notices?” Stiles guesses.
“Close. Danny and Jackson. And Jackson insists that he came to that conclusion on his own and Danny didn’t say anything about it to him at all,” Lydia assures Stiles. Stiles just groans and throws her arm over her face and spins in her desk chair. “You know you can talk to me about anything right? Even Derek Hale.”
“I know Lyds, I just don’t know what to say other then I'm hopelessly into Derek Hale and there is nothing I can do about it.”
“Are you sure?”
“Am I sure I'm into him? Yes, I’m sure,” Stiles scoffs, “am I sure?” she murmurs to herself.
“No, are you sure that there isn’t anything you can do about it?”
“Even if by some remote chance there was something I could do about it, it would be a monumentally bad idea to actually do that something. I mean what if it doesn’t work out? The entire pack would feel awkward, and I’d have to walk around with everyone knowing that I struck out with Derek Hale.” Stiles ranted for another minute or so. Lydia just sighed dramatically and rolled her eyes a few times.
“Well decide quickly, so we can all move on to the next pack related drama,” Lydia jokes.
They exchange banter through a movie in bed on Stiles’ lap top and eventually fall asleep.
The next morning Lydia leaves before breakfast to meet up with her mom. Stiles made plans with her to meet up later with Parrish so that Lydia could join their hand-to-hand lessons. Stiles made healthy omelets for her and her dad. She spent the rest of the day puttering around her garden and looking through more of the scanned pages she had gotten from Deaton over the summer. She had almost all the pages categorized at this point with notes and annotations for each one. She had been testing out some smaller spell work in her notebook. In her fight with Kate, she realized that having prepared spells in the notebook would prove to be especially useful in a tight situation. The only thing she had to work on was how much power she was putting into the spells. Controlling the flow of her magic was difficult but she was managing, she had only passed out once while practicing, and she only got dizzy every once in a while now. Her magic seemed to be like a muscle that one strengthened as opposed to a set amount.
Lydia was a great addition to the sparing session she had with Parrish. Now instead of Parrish and Stiles sparing, Stiles got to spar with Lydia who she could avoid more easily than Parrish and therefore cut down on the number of times she fell on her ass during each lesson.
By the time the party at the lake rolled around Stiles had a categorized, annotated, and always labeled spell book at her side. She drove Scott and Kira to the lake. Lydia, Danny, and Ethan had come a little earlier to set up a barbeque and some tables and chairs. There were even floaties by the side of the lake. They had the perfect spot. The reservoir in Beacon County was huge, people went boating and fishing there every day in the summer but two years ago Derek had brought them out here to a secluded little bay that backed up to the Hale property. Almost no one would go there so it was and oasis just for them. Derek and Laura arrived shortly after Stiles. Isaac was giving Malia a ride after her court appointed therapy, and Chris, Melissa, and the Sheriff even promised to stop by that night for the bonfire. Peter was noticeably absent but that wasn’t a shock to anyone.
Stiles was the last person to go in the water. Laura had finally managed to bribe her into the water using a wolf shaped floatie that reminded Stiles of Derek for some reason. Stiles shed her jean shorts and t-shirt opting to dive in instead of wading into the water. If anyone was looking at her scars she couldn’t tell. She teased Derek about looking like a Sourwolf on such a nice day. He threw her into the lake twice. She and Scott managed to get him back with the use of a water gun that Isaac had brought with him. By the time they got out of the water the sun was already starting to go down. They worked together to build up the bonfire and start dinner. Chris offered to grill for them, and Melissa and the Sheriff showed up just in time for dinner.
Stiles winced getting up to get food. She had been overdoing it since the second she had felt better. She hated being still so much, it made her antsy. The second that she was feeling better she was back to sparing with Parrish and Lydia, she had even been running again.
“Ribs still bothering you?” Derek asks.
“Yeah, but only when I over do it,” she answered, remaining seated.
“Apparently trying to tackle me into the lake is over doing it,” Derek laughed. Stiles just stuck her tongue out at him. “Stay here invalid, I’ll get you a burger.”
“Thanks Sourwolf!” Stiles yelled at him as he walked away.
Derek stuck close to her after dinner making sure she was warm enough and plying her with marshmallows he roasted. She had asked him why he was trying to overdose her on sugar. He shrugged and said that he liked making them because they made her happy. When Stiles finally looked away from Derek, Lydia was making a weird face and motioning from Derek to Stiles with her eyes meaningfully. Stiles just rolled her eyes at Lydia.
Eventually Chris, Melissa, and Noah went home. The rest were planning to camp out here for the night. Everyone had brought a sleeping bag and a camping pad. Lydia had brought a queen sized air mattress and Stiles happily accepted Lydia’s invitation to sleep on the mattress too. Just before they went to sleep, as they sat by the dying fire the shifters do their final run of the summer, chasing each other through the preserve around their camp.
Kira, Lydia, Danny, and Stiles sit by the dying fire and listen to the happy whoops of their werewolf friends running in the preserve around them. Stiles can’t help but remember the people that were with them last year and feels their absence. She looks over at Lydia who is also crying. They sit there together and cry a little. Danny puts a comforting arm around them and Kira snuggles closer.
Lydia and Stiles sleep head to foot on the air mattress. Scott and Kira sleep by Stiles’ head and Danny and Ethan sleep by Lydia’s head. Isaac, Malia, and Laura sleep near Lydia, and Derek settles his sleeping bag on the ground right by Stiles.
Just as the sun started to rise Stiles found herself awake and out of breath, panic waking her from her nightmare. Derek silently just took her hand and squeezed.
“Stiles, it’s ok, just breathe,” he whispered. She squeezed his hand so hard that if he was human she might have hurt him. She breathed and counted, calming herself down. She eventually laid back down and attempted to go to sleep, her hand still in Derek’s.

Chapter Text

Insomnia was almost tolerable in the summer but Stiles now found it intollerable as she had just fallen asleep two hours ago. Six-thirty seemed like an ungodly hour to Stiles at the moment. She almost fell asleep in the shower and was already running late on her first day of senior year. It was still hot out so she paired her standard cropped tank and oversized flannel with some jean shorts and some well worn oldskool platform vans. She tied her long wavy brown hair up into a messy bun and willed her Jeep to start.
She met Scott and Kira in the parking lot, settling her Jeep into the spot next to Scott’s bike. In previous years she had driven Scott to school but when he got his bike he started taking it to school and picking Kira up on the way so Stiles drove only herself. Stiles made her way to the lockers. The first semester of their sophomore year Allison had office duty for one of her class periods and managed to get everyone’s lockers changed so that they would be right next to each other. Ethan managed to get a locker nearby and the group left Allison’s locker empty, it wasn’t something that they had talked about but it had been a silent agreement, to leave the locker empty in remembrance not just of Allison, but of Aiden too, and the other people that couldn't be there.
Stiles made her way to her first classes. She didn’t have time to make herself coffee this morning or she would have been tardy for classes so she was running on empty when she collapsed into her desk in Coach’s econ class. Malia was already stressing, pressing her highlight to the page so hard that the ink started to bleed through the page. Ethan and Danny talked about their weekend plans behind her while Scott riffled through his backpack. Stiles was barely managing to keep her eyes open, laying her head and arms on the desk. Her eyes closed as everyone chatted emphatically around her. Stiles’ eyes opened the instant the paper coffee cup hit her desk.
“You are a sweet effervescent angel Lydia and I love you,” Stiles chanted, she didn’t even hesitate and took a deep drink of the scalding coffee. She didn’t even mind that her tongue was now burned.
“I know,” Lydia said sliding gracefully into the seat next to Stiles.
The cup of coffee kept Stiles running until lunch. The eight pack members that still went to school piled onto their lunch table. To keep some semblance of normality they had all decided that this year they would try and keep their supernatural business separate from school. It hadn’t worked exactly as they had hoped in previous years but that did nothing to dampen their resolve.
“What does everyone’s schedule look like? And who is helping me with math this year?” Malia asked. Last year Stiles had helped her with math and they had briefly dated after the whole possession issue had been cleared up but it had just seemed to fizzle out after a few months. Neither of them had held any bad feelings though, and they were both in need of comfort at the time and they had found it in each other.
“I’ll help, as long as we can get Lydia’s notes from last year,” Kira offered.
“I’ll bring them tomorrow, there might be some tree drawings instead of notes though,” Lydia promised.
“Does anyone have computer class after lunch?” Malia asked around her peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
“I think Danny and I both do,” Stiles responded and Danny nodded his head. Stiles was lucky, she had at least one friend in each of her classes and a free period at the end of her day so she could leave early. She had four advanced classes this semester, each one she shared with Lydia, and Danny was in a couple too. Scott was even in her honors chem class.
“We should do something this weekend,” Ethan prompted the group.
“Any brilliant ideas?” Danny asked.
“I heard that some juniors are going to throw a part in the preserve this weekend. Could be fun,” Malia suggested.
“Friday or Saturday?” Stiles asked. She was planning on practicing some of her spell work this weekend and she would probably be in no shape to party after a day of bleeding over her spell book.
“Why you got a hot date?” Ethan teased.
“Has Derek finally gotten his head out of his ass and done something about whatever is going on with you two?” Danny asked.
“Ew, no, we are not talking about Stiles and Derek, that is basically my little sister you are talking about,” Scott grumbled.
“I am older then you! By two months!” Stiles argued punching Scott in the arm. “And no, Derek's head is still planted firmly up his own ass.”
“Well maybe you can find a sexy new booty call this weekend. I hear that there is a hot new guy in our year,” Lydia offered. Stiles hated playing games but finding a new person to fill her time didn’t seem like all that bad of an idea to her. Maybe it would keep her mind off of Derek, because he had been playing her hot and cold ever since he got back. He didn’t just show up at her window any more or text her, he just was oddly sweet in person and absolutely absent the rest of the time. It was the strangest behavior, and Stiles had no idea what was going on with him, but thinking about it stressed her out.
“I am totally open to finding a new way to spend my time if you know what I mean,” Stiles laughed and made a ridiculous face that had everyone laughing. They bantered and laughed for the rest of lunch. Stiles had always enjoyed when things felt normal at school, the calm before the supernatural storm. But if she was being honest with herself, she was always waiting for the other shoe to drop and she was still constantly carrying her spell book with her.

It turns out that there was a hot new guy and he was in their computer class. But it turned out that he wasn’t all that new. His name was Theo and he had left Beacon Hills in the third grade. Scott and Stiles had actually been friends with him then, but they hadn’t kept in touch. Lydia was right on one account though, he was hot. Puberty and the gym had done wonderful things for him. He was also funny and easy going, so nothing at all like Derek which seemed appealing to Stiles at the moment. If she were being honest with herself she needed a little more happiness in her life so she struck up a conversation with the new but also not so new Theo.
“You might not remember me but I’m-“ she started.
“Stiles?” Theo smiled.
“Just kidding you do remember,” Stiles laughed.
“Well I don’t think you’ve gotten any taller since third grade,” Theo joked.
“Hardy har har, you certainly haven’t gotten any funnier.”
“You still best friends with McCall?” he asked.
“Oh yeah, still inseparable. How does it feel to be back in Beacon Hills?” Stiles asked, and truth be told, there was definitely a flirty tone in her voice.
“Actually, it’s weird, it’s like everything is exactly the same while also being wildly different,” he sounded serious but brought a chuckle in at the end to lighten the mood.
“Sounds like Beacon Hills,” Stiles laughed. Then the bell rang and they sat in their assigned seats. Stiles and Lydia sat on either side of Danny, and Theo sat a few seats over and closer to the front. “Hey Theo? We are going to a party this weekend in the preserve, wanna go with me?” Stiles asked just before the teacher walked into the classroom.
“Yeah, I’d like that,” he said smiling.

After class Theo walked with Stiles to her locker.
“You still play sports?” she asked him, remembering that he used to play juniors baseball with Scott.
“Yeah, actually I've been told I'm a pretty good football player,” he said shyly, rubbing at the back of his neck. Danny had actually spent the entire computer lab online stalking Theo so Stiles knew that he wasn’t pretty good, he was a fantastic football player. He had been the quarterback for his last high school and taken them to win state two years in a row. He was even being interviewed by ESPN and had a ton of colleges interested in recruiting him. They had also come across the article about his sister. It happened just before they left Beacon Hills, his sister had been at his grandmother’s house while Theo and his parents were out of town. She wandered into the preserve and broke her leg and died. They left Beacon Hills that year.
“Do we have a good football team here?” Stiles asked in earnest. She had never really paid attention to anything other than lacrosse, which she loved watching and even played in the pack pick-up games.
“How do you not know?” he laughed. “You actually do, they missed out on state championships by only one game last year, the coach hopes that I can help them win it this year.”
“I really only pay attention to our lacrosse team, Scott, Danny, Isaac, and Kira all play. But that's awesome, state is a big deal.”
“Damn, you’ve fallen in with an eclectic crowd. When I left here Danny was best friends with Jackson and Isaac was just the quiet kid. And you were drooling over Lydia,” he joked playfully elbowing Stiles.
“Isaac is still the quiet kid but he’s the heart of the pack, I mean group, him and Scott. You might not believe this but Jackson is actually a really good friend too, his parents shipped him off to London a while ago but we still talk. And as for Lydia, she is still the most magnificent creature ever, but she turned me down long ago and I have accepted it,” Stiles laughed. It was nice to talk about her friends, they all meant so much to her. They were essentially her family and she loved them, even as she pushed them away. The bell for last period rang but Theo didn’t make to leave for his class.
“I have a free period last but I’ll walk with you to your next class,” he offered.
“Actually, I have a free period too,” Stiles said.
“Want to get some coffee then?”
“Yeah, just let me text Scott and tell him not to wait for me after school.” Stiles turned to fish her phone out of her backpack and could see Danny and Ethan’s heads poking out from behind a classroom door, both gave her a big thumbs up and some silent celebrations. When she turns back to Theo it’s apparent that he'd seen her friends too. “Sorry about them,” Stiles shrugged, blushing furiously. Theo just laughed.
Stiles: Scott I’m going to get coffee with Theo for my last period. I’ll meet you at the loft.
Scott: Theo Raeken, Theo?
Stiles: Yes, Scott Theo Raeken, he is the new kid.
Scott: Is it a date?
Stiles: I don’t know Scott, I did ask him to go to the party this weekend with me though.
Scott: So are you like giving up on Derek.
Stiles: Are we really talking about this right now? Derek doesn’t know what he wants and I can’t
just wait forever for him to figure that out.
Scott: Maybe just like change clothes before you go to the loft?
Stiles: Seriously? I am so not going to baby Derek’s ego. And I am not talking about this any more.

Stiles and Theo took two separate cars but met at the little coffee place downtown. It was a small café/bakery called Moonlight Grind. It was owned by Erica and Vernon Boyd. They had gone to school with Derek and were part of Satomi’s pack. They were also good friends of the Hale-McCall pack. Boyd was a somber but fantastic baker and Erica could sweet talk anyone so they made a great team. They also sold werewolf liquor and other werewolf specific products out of the back and Stiles frequently got supplies from them.
“Stiles! You want your usual?” Erica asks.
“Yeah Er, maybe with whipped cream today?” Stiles clarifies.
“What about you handsome?” she asks Theo.
“Just a large, iced coffee please,” he answers.
“I’ll get Boyd to bring those over when they are done so he can say hi too, we haven’t seen too much of you lately,” Erica chastises Stiles.
“Yeah sorry,” Stiles says sheepishly, “been busy.”
“Thanks for getting him back though, I don’t know what our little guy would do without their god father,” Erica says patting her baby bump. Derek was the godfather of their baby.
“Any time Erica,” Stiles smile. Theo didn't ask about what Erica had said, Stiles appreciated not having to explain. She and Theo sit at the small booth by the window.
“I should probably tell you something, seeing as how you are going to find out eventually,” Theo sighs. “I’m a werewolf.”
“Of course you are,” Stiles says with a kind of resigned acceptance.
“You just seem to be pretty steeped in the community," he said gesturing to the café around them, "so I wanted to be the one to tell you before someone else did.”
“Well I appreciate that.”
“I also want to make it clear that I interpreted your asking me to the party as a date. Feel free to correct me though,” Theo says giving her an out. It was sweet of him really, to give her a chance to back out if she had changed her mind.
“In the circle of honesty that we are apparently in I should probably tell you that I am my packs emissary, and a witch,” Stiles blurts out. She has no idea how someone would take that revelation since she hasn’t really had the experience of meeting new people that don’t want to kill her and/or her friends.
“What about the date part?” Theo asks, seemingly unfased by her revelation.
“You aren’t surprised about me being a witch," Stiles wonders, still stuck on his reaction and ignoring the date part.
“It explains the smell,” he shrugs.
“I smell?” she worried.
“No,” he back pedals firmly, “you just smell like magic. It’s kind of like a mixture of vanilla with woodsmoke, and a little blood. Magic smells a bit like blood sometimes, depends on the kind of magic though.”
“Huh, no one has every told me that.”
“Probably just cause that’s just your scent, the only reason I can place it as magic is that I have met a few other magic users and they have a similar smell, not as nice as yours though.”
That was the moment that Boyd chose to interrupt with their drinks.
“Stiles,” Boyd nodded at her, ignoring Theo and putting their drinks down. Boyd shoots her a meaningful look as he walks away. One of the downside of being Stiles is that all of her intelligence does not translate, like for example, her social skills were probably below par. So she had no idea what the meaningful look was supposed to be about, she just knows she received one.
She and Theo talked more about themselves, avoiding talking about the pack. Theo talked about his old school and Stiles talked about her magic a little. It turned out that Theo’s previous pack also had a witch. Their witch was a twenty something year old Columbian man. They sat there for another forty minutes. Theo had to go back to school for football practice so they walked out to their cars.
“It was totally meant to be a date, just so you know,” Stiles says as she gets into her car. As she drives away she can see Theo smiling in the drivers seat of his car.
Stiles thinks about driving straight to the loft but she remembers Scott’s recommendation about changing clothes before seeing the pack and thinks that with the revelation that Theo is in fact a werewolf she decides that it’s probably a good idea to change.
She makes a quick stop at her house. She tries not to stumble over while rushing to put on some running leggings and a longline sports bra. She figures that she could use a run after seeing the pack, and the area of the preserve behind Derek’s loft has the best running trails and isn't too far from where the party is supposed to be and she had a few ideas about security. Stiles pulls on a long sleeve tee over her running bra and grabs some running shoes on her way out the door.
Everyone is already at the loft when she get there. Danny and Ethan are getting out of Danny’s car and they wait for Stiles with mischievous looks on their faces. Stiles groaned but reluctantly got out of her car. She loved Danny and Ethan, they were, despite everything, the sweetest duo of their group and the happiest. Danny had always been a walking ray of sunshine but Ethan had been through a lot, and Danny had just been the best thing for him.
“Stiles, have you ever seen ‘The Girl Next Door’ you know, the one with Alicia Cuthburt?” Ethan asks as Stiles walks up to them.
“Yes Ethan, I have seen ‘The Girl Next Door’,” Stiles sighed.
“Then please Stiles, fuck him for me,” Ethan and Danny cackle as he quotes the movie, “Fuck him for me, Stiles.” Stiles just laughs along with the two cackling idiots and makes her way into the loft. Ethan and Danny were also the ones that seemed to be on the path of make Stiles happy. She had been a little better since their lake trip. She still wasn’t sleeping but she didn’t feel as encumbered by her secrets, and she had even had nightmare free nights since the lake.
Stiles set her backpack down by the high back chair in the ‘living room’ and made her way up the stairs to the kitchen, and towards the noise of the pack.
Laura was making cookies. Laura made the best cookies, or at least a close second to Boyd’s chocolate chips cookies. With all eleven pack members here the loft was crowded, the kitchen especially so. Chris Argent and Isaac sat at a small pub style table near the window, talking quietly. Ever since Allison died Chris had taken Isaac under his wing. The pack relied on Chris to be their hunter emissary, and he took Isaac for backup, not that he needed backup it was just something to keep Isaac occupied, to keep them both occupied really. Derek was standing next to Laura, helping her mix chocolate chips into her dough. Scott and Kira were being grossly cute, and Lydia was helping Malia with some of her homework. Danny and Ethan had opted to stay down stairs.
Laura put four trays of cookies into the double ovens and shooed everyone downstairs so that they could start their pack meeting. They settled in the living room crowding onto all the surfaces and bringing chairs over from the dining room.
“Ok, so I’ve been contacted by the Calaveras, and they want to know what happened in Mexico and why they weren’t brought in if it was in their territory,” Chris starts.
“What did you tell them?” Derek asks.
“I only told them that we had reason to believe that one of our members was being held at La Iglesias de la Reina and that we had very short notice and had to rush to rescue them,” Chris explains.
“But that won’t hold them off for long, they will want to know specifics, especially because they had sent people out to La Iglesias before we were there and those hunters never came back, presumed dead. So we have to assume that they were aware that Kate was there, or at least that there was some threat hiding out there,” Laura continued.
“Are we going to tell them about Stiles?” Scott sounded worried.
“Absolutely not,” Derek said sternly.
“Why don’t we just tell them that it was Kate and that we took care of the problem? Wouldn’t that be well within their ‘code’?” asked Ethan.
“They sent people out there after we left, they saw the burned body,” Isaac clarified.
“Do they know it was magic?” Stiles asked, the idea of the Calaveras knowing what she was frightened her. She didn’t know how the rest of the supernatural world felt about witches.
“It’s impossible to know, but it’s not outside of the realm of reason,” Chris shrugged.
“Just tell them that we really wanted to make sure she stayed dead this time. Don’t give them any extra information. They can come to me if they have any more questions. We are not saying anything to anyone about Stiles being a witch, is that understood?” Derek scowled. He was especially Sourwolfy today.
“On a happier note,” Stiles piped up, “there is going to be a party out in the preserve this weekend.” There were whoops of joy from the high school students in the pack. “And so I was going to go scope out the spot and maybe test out some protection and warding magic in the area just in case. It’s actually not too far from here so we could all meet up here before and then head out together.”
“Is it safe for you to be practicing that amount of magic?” Lydia asked.
“Yeah I think so, won’t really know till I try. But don’t worry, I’m not going to get in over my head, it’s just a trial run anyways,” Stiles promised.
Chris promised to keep everyone appraised of the hunter situation via group message. Everyone else headed back to the kitchen for cookies but Stiles decided to run before she stuffed herself full of cookies.
“I’ll save some for you,” Peter winked at her.
“Thanks Creeperwolf!” Stiles said cheerily and started to stretch out her human limbs.
“I’m coming with you,” Derek said from behind Stiles. She nearly jumped out of her skin. She hadn’t been expecting him to just pop out of nowhere, and not nearly so close to her.
“You really have to stop sneaking up on me!” Stiles scolded, holding a hand to her hammering heart. “Liker seriously, make some freaking noise would you?! I’m only human!” Stiles had been threatening Derek with cat bell for years, it was like he took some sick joy in startling her.
“Not really,” Derek shrugged.
“What?” Stiles asked, exasperated.
“You aren’t only human,” Derek said matter of factly, lazily stretching. Stiles tried not to look at his arms, his muscle tank was doing terrible things for her brain. He leaned closer to her and took a deep breath through his nose, “you smell different,” he said crinkling his eyebrows.
“Ok, I’m leaving now,” she said, turning to the door.

They jogged for a bit so that Stiles could warm up. She wondered if it drove him insane to jog. It wasn’t as if he needed to warm up but here he was, dutifully jogging next to Stiles. It was still warm out in California and after a couple minutes of jogging Stiles opted out of her long sleeve, tying it around her waist. She usually ran in a sports bra and leggings, or shorts, and she even was even accustomed to running with Derek but this time she couldn’t get in her usual mindset. Her brain was even more heavily erratic after Derek took of his tank top to run shirtless. Stiles was glad that she was red from running to cover up her blush. She silently prayed to the powers that be so that maybe she could avoid falling on her face on this run. Grace was not one of Stiles’ strong suits, neither was agility. She was mostly good for cerebral uses, like research, or planning, or talking. The only reason she ran is so she didn’t feel gross next to the ripped werewolves in her life, and boy was it good motivation.
They ran two miles to the spot where the party was supposed to be. Stiles looked over at Derek when they got there, he hadn’t even broken a sweat. Sometimes she hated werewolves. Stiles had run out there with a small running backpack. It held a water bottle and her spell book, plus some snacks and random stuff she needed for warding spells.
“So what are you planning on doing?” Derek asked.
“I’m just going to try some simple warding spells and some early warning system ones too that will only be felt by non-pack supernaturals, or at least that’s the intention. I’m also going to try and set up a warning system so what if a non-pack supernatural passes into our territory I’ll get notified by way of this, but that will take me a few more weeks,” she says holding up a necklace with a small pendant that had a rune carved into it.
“You’ve been researching a lot about your magic then?” Derek asked, coming towards her and taking the necklace. The rune was carved onto a beautiful black and blue piece of Merlinite, a stone that supposedly heightened magic. Stiles found that while most of the crystal stuff that some humans believed was bullshit she did find that there were practical uses for a lot of different stones when it came to real magic. For example citrine, which looked oddly like a chicken nugget, was supposed to bring clarity and joy, or so the crystal woo woo humans say, when in reality it is just a rock that looks like a chicken nugget.
She found that scorch marks work especially well when it comes to warding. She had done some warding at her house a few weeks ago but it hadn’t gone well and as it turned out she was doing it wrong. Magic apparently had a learning curve.
She jogged a half a mile perimeter of the party spot, making some scorch marks with a butane powered soldering iron she was carrying in her backpack. She was careful while burning the warding runes into the perimeter and managed to only burn herself twice.
“Ok I think that’s good for here, I still want to do more of an entirety of Beacon Hills perimeter but I was thinking we’d test it out here first, see if need to tweak it any,” Stiles said sucking on her burned finger. She dropped her bag near Derek and walked over to a small stream so she could soak her finger in the water.
“You should be more careful,” Derek scolded her, obviously smelling her burned finger. Stiles just rolled her eyes. Stiles walked back over to her bag and fished around for her jar of salve, rubbing some on her finger.
“Ok, well, I’m going to run to the point, I’ll see you back at the loft,” Stiles prayed that he would go back to the loft without argument. She wanted to spend the rest of her run thinking about nothing in particular, not Derek’s sweaty body only a few feet from her.
“I’ll just come with you,” he shrugged.
Damn, she thought, no such luck.

She only tripped twice on their way out to the lookout point. The lookout point was deep into the preserve and didn’t see that many visitors but their pack had been using it as a disaster meet-up spot for years. It was where they were supposed to meet if anything went wrong. This is where Stiles was planning on putting a few more runes. She really wanted to do some complicated rune and warding work for this spot so that it would hide any of the pack members if they needed hiding but that was a bit beyond her magic at this time. She had already started some drawings though.
“Can you grab the little black notebook out of my bag please?” she asked Derek. He complied but once the spell book was out of the bag and in his hand he hesitated.
“Stiles, why does this book smell like blood?” Derek growled. The only thing Stiles could think was shit, shit, shit, shit, fuck.
“Well, uh, some of the magic I use requires blood,” she said very specifically not mentioning the amount of blood required.
“It’s weird, the book almost smells more like you than you do,” he scowled at the little book.
“That’s not that weird, the only person to touch it is me, and I guess Peter that one time.”
“Why was Peter touching your book?” he scowled.
“I dropped it at the church, Jesus, relax” she scowled. “What do I smell like?” she blurted out. She also immediately regretted asking that question, that seemed like such an intimate question. Or maybe it just seemed like an intimate question with Derek, it hadn’t been weird when she talked about it with Theo. Derek took a deep breath and released it, fidgeting. She had made him nervous with that question.
“Well, you used to smell like vanilla and woodsmoke, sometimes mixed with the crisp apple smell of your shampoo. But since I've been back you smell a little different, you still smell like all those things but now there is another smell, not strong but just noticeable if I concentrate.”
“Blood?” she asked nervously.
“Yeah, did Scott tell you?”
“No, someone else did,” she answered, not specifying who. “Apparently that’s what some magic smells like.”
“Stiles, if the magic you are doing is dangerous I want you to stay away from it,” he said, letting his Alpha authority tone take over.
The way he said it made it sound like an order. Even the thought of not using her magic made Stiles upset.
“It’s no more dangerous than any of the shit you pull Derek,” Stiles fumed. “And you CANNOT order me around, you may be the alpha but I will maintain all of my freewill. Thank. You. Very much. and you know what?! Stay out of my business!”
“I’m not trying to take away your freewill! You are being dramatic!” he argued. And yeah maybe she was being a little dramatic but Derek had been throwing her for loops every since he’d been back. He was like a fucking sour patch kid, first he is sour then he’s sweet except he never stayed sweet he just kept on going back to sour. “And besides that, maybe you SHOULD listen to me since you can’t seem to control your magic! And it is my business if you are getting hurt!”
Stiles was fucking fuming. There they were, just a couple of idiot yelling at each other in the middle of the forest. She felt stupid and angry, but mostly she just felt like she wanted to go home.
“I’m going home, I swear to the gods if you follow me I’ll hex you Derek,” she said storming off back towards the loft. Stiles was so fairly certain that she could in no way hex anyone, but it did sound threatening in a really cool way when she said it.

Derek had taken the long way back and still beat Stiles, he was already back and in the shower when Stiles got back to the loft. Most of her anger had faded away but it had left her in a sour mood.
“Cookies?” Peter offered. Leaning on the railing of the balcony. Stiles and Peter were the only ones out here. It was one of Stiles' favorite places. It had a great view of the preserve.
“Thanks Peter,” she sighed, taking a big bite of warm cookie.
“The run didn’t go well I take it?” he asked. Stiles just rolled her eyes and stayed quiet. “Whatever you two were arguing about he feels bad about it.”
“Then he can tell me that himself,” Stiles grumbled around her cookie.
“Derek has never been good at words,” he sighs shaking his head.
“It’s not that hard Peter, he can either say it or he can’t and not saying anything counts as saying no,” she lamented. She knew that they weren’t just talking about the run. They were talking about her and Derek. “I’m tired of just waiting.”
“It’s not that easy, he doesn’t want it to be like what happened with him and…” Peter trailed off. They both knew he meant him and Kate.
“I’m not him, and he isn’t Kate. That is an excuse Peter and you know it. He can literally smell how I feel, he knows, he’s known for years. I am not the one that needs to take that step, that’s on him. And he obviously isn't ready, maybe he'll never be ready,” Stiles whispered sadly. She hoped that there was enough space and noise that Derek couldn’t hear them.
“I understand,” Peter said sincerely. “I heard you have a date for this party,” Peter said switching to a cheerful tone.
“Your mood swings give me whiplash,” Stiles mumbled. “But yes, I do have a date.” She said nervously. “Is it wrong of me to bring a date?” she asked Peter seriously.
“Wrong? Because of whatever you and Derek are to each other? No I don’t think so, you deserve to have fun. It will probably piss him off, but you know that. Although maybe it’ll be good for him to get a kick in the, metaphorical, pants.”
“Great, just make sure he doesn’t kill Theo yeah?” Stiles asked, mostly joking.
“Oh, it’s a boy? Oh this will be entertaining.”
“Is it that much worse if it’s a guy, he didn’t like it when I dated Malia either.”
“Yes it will be worse for him. And you and my daughter were never actually serious.”
“Ugh, can we not refer to her as your daughter, it makes it weird dude.”
“You just have a thing for Hales, too bad Cora left, you probably could have slept with her too,” Peter joked. She and Peter cackled. She got along well with Peter, he was like a weird but supportive uncle to her.
“That’s my little sister you are talking about you know!” Laura yelled at them, sticking her head out the door. “That being said I think I heard her mention that you were hot Stiles,” Laura laughed.
Stiles went home in time to make a healthy dinner for her dad.

Chapter Text

Stiles had been thinking that she was prepared for the party right up until the day of the party. Lydia had insisted on helping pick out her outfit days ago. They settled on a cute pair of ripped jean shorts that were very short, mind you these belonged to Lydia and Stiles was just borrowing them, and a cropped lacey tank top with spaghetti straps. Lydia had then spent the next two hours convincing Stiles that she didn’t need to wear a bra with the top. Stiles and Lydia managed to find a compromise; Stiles would wear the top, and no bra, but she would be taking a flannel which Lydia stipulated had to be tied around the waist when they arrive at the party and could only be worn if it go too cold. Stiles also found herself borrowing a pair of heeled booties from Lydia, at least they were Doc Martens.

She made sure that there was a plate of healthy food for her fathers dinner and reminded him to take his vitamins with dinner.

“Stiles!” he called after her as she headed out the door, “No drinking and driving and if the cops get called I’m specifically sending Parrish after you! And maybe get Scott to stay the night because I’m working the night shift tonight!”

“Ok Dad! I’ll be good I promise!” she called over her shoulder.

She had told Theo to park and meet her around the corner from her house because they were meeting the rest of the pack at the loft and she didn’t necessarily want him to drive himself there, but she also didn’t want him to have to face the Sheriff on a first date. Or know specifically where the loft was, or possibly arrive there before her and run into Derek and then have Derek kill him instantly when he asked about Stiles. Her brain was spiraling into dread. Why had she wanted everyone to meet at the loft again? But the plans were set and Stiles was unlocking the passenger door for him.

“Hi,” he smiled.

“Hi,” she laughed.

“I think I am supposed to tell you that you look beautiful,” he said blushing a little.

“Only if you think it’s true,” Stiles laughed.

“It’s true,” he said steadily.

After a few minutes of driving Stiles was back to worrying.

“I know you can smell the worry, but it’s just cause I’m kinda taking you to where our pack meets so we can walk into the preserve with them,” Stiles explained, tapping nervously on the wheel.

“Meeting the pack already?” Theo joked, Stiles just rolled her eyes at him.

“You know most of them actually,” she said.

“I smelled a few in the halls, I couldn’t pin point who they were but I could probably guess,” he nods.

“I’m hoping we can avoid surprises tonight,” she said anxiously.

“Anything I should worry about?” he asked nervously. Stiles just shook her head and made a non-committal noise. Only if we run into Derek she thought to herself.

They get to the loft on time so only about half the pack is there. Lydia, of course, and Danny and Ethan are all sitting on the steps of the building. She can see Derek’s Camaro where he usually parks it so she knows he must be there and she wills him to stay upstairs and hopes that Peter will help her out with that wish.

“Theo! Good to see you dude,” Ethan comes over and shakes his hand. Danny gives him a wave and Lydia just smiles at him like the cat that ate the canary. Stiles give her a ‘what the fuck’ look that Lydia just brushes off, ignoring the faces Stiles was now making at her. Stiles had torn out and folded up a few of the spell pages from her book since Lydia wouldn’t let her take a bag tonight. She also carried her phone with her, and some raspberry lemonade lip balm.

Scott and Kira arrived next with Isaac and Malia.

“So, just so everyone knows, Theo is a werewolf. And before you all start, no, you may not ask any questions tonight,” Stiles blurted out as soon as everyone was there. They laughed and then promised to not bring it up again. Stiles barely let them say hi before she was towing Scott and Theo into the preserve.

She released Scott when they got a good hundred feet from the loft. Theo on her other side continued to hold her hand though. The only reason she wasn’t falling all over the place in heels was simply because these heeled boots had better tread than her usual vans. She seriously thought about getting a pair for herself. Everyone was excited about the prospect of a proper party. Scott had picked up some werewolf strength whiskey from Erica and Boyd and all the weres carried a flask full of it on them. Erica actually made the stuff herself in the basement of the café, and she had perfected her recipe, and everyone kept trying to get her to commercially make it, the non-wolfsbane laced stuff obviously. Stiles had even managed to get Theo a flask just in case he wanted any.

“Here,” she said handing him the flask, “Erica at the café makes it, it’ll get you drunk.”

“Are you trying to get me drunk?” he asked in mock horror.

“Oh shut up and take it, you don’t have to drink it if you don’t want.”

“I’ll keep that in mind,” he said immediately taking a tentative drink from the flask. “Damn, this stuff is actually really good!”

“Oh, I know,” Stiles said taking a sip out of her own flask which contained whiskey not laced with wolfsbane because she didn’t feel like hallucinating and lord only knows what it would do to her control over her magic. She decided that she would try and relax and have a good time tonight because she was with her friends, she had a hot date, and she deserved some fun and normalcy.

The walk to the party took them twenty minutes and Stiles was glad that she was with a werewolf because it was also dark. The trail that she had run here with Derek had been the long way, and seeing as they were going to a party, she opted to take the much shorter route.

The party was insane. The entire junior and senior classes must have been at this party, not to mention kids from other high schools in Beacon County, her father was definitely going to be called at some point but Stiles planned on not being around for Parrish to find at that point.

Stiles laughed and danced with her friends, and with Theo. They walked around the party holding hands. They laughed and drank, but Stiles made sure to quit drinking early so that she could drive home. Even though she brought what she assumed was a sobering spell. She danced with Lydia and Danny while Ethan and Theo talked football. Scott and Kira were being disgustingly lovey with each other all night.

Theo had been a perfect gentleman the whole night, and it was driving Stiles to a breaking point. He had held her hand but never took it further. He had danced with her at a respectful distance and hadn’t even tried to put his arm around her. Stiles was starting to develop a complex. She had done everything that Lydia had taught her to do years ago. She touched his arm and leaned in when he talked. Stiles had previously assumed that she was good at flirting. Hell, she had dated, Malia had never seemed confused when it came to Stiles’ intentions.

“Am I not doing a good job or something?” she asks Theo out of nowhere, yelling over the music.

What?” he yelled back. Stiles rolled her eyes and grabbed him by the hand, dragging him away to a quieter part of the clearing, near one of the trees that held a rune.

“Am I not being obvious enough? I assumed I was being obvious,” Stiles tried again.

“You’re not, not obvious,” Theo laughed, “I just didn’t want to do anything that you wouldn’t want.”

“Well! I want,” Stiles complained. Theo didn’t hesitate this time. He pulled Stiles toward him, hooking his arms around her waist, and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his neck and rose up to her tippy toes, deepening the kiss. Kissing him felt good. Stiles had always liked kissing and Theo was exceptionally good at it. Stiles reached her hands up into his hair, pulling just a little. She bit at his lower lip and licked into his mouth. He moaned a little and ran his hands down to her ass lifting up as she wrapped her legs around his waist. God she loved werewolf strength in this context.

He pressed her back into the tree, not enough to hurt but just enough to send heat to her core. Stiles moaned and leaned her head back against the tree as Theo licked and bit gently at her neck.

“I think we should probably take this back to my place,” Stiles panted.

“I think that’s a good idea,” he panted into her hair, gently setting her down on the ground.

“I’ve actually been wanting to try this sober spell from this book that I found,” Stiles said fishing out the papers in her back pocket. She looks around for a sharp rock or stick to poke herself with.

“What are you looking for?” he asked laughing as Stiles kept kicking rocks around the ground. She was sure that she looked ridiculous but she found that she didn’t care.

“I need something to use to cut my arm with so that I can do this spell. Ooh,” she says as she takes his hand, “do the claw thing please.” Theo extends his pointer claw and Stiles uses it to make a small shallow cut. When the blood pooled adequately Stiles swiped the blood across the page, and focuses on the spell. Suddenly she is sober, and very thirsty.

“I think you pushed that spell a little far,” Theo rasped, bending over.

“Did I get you too?” Stiles laughed.

“Oh yeah, still want to take me home?” he asked smiling and wrapping his arms around her waist again.

“I still think that’s a good idea,” she shoots back smiling and kissing Theo again.

They end up grabbing large cups of water and saying goodbye to her friends. Scott made a point of saying that he would stop by tomorrow to see her.

She and Theo made their was back to the loft parking lot. Stiles sang several verses of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ very loudly as they traipsed through the forest. Theo would guide her, lifting her over large roots or fallen trees and pulling her around rocks and dips in the path. Stiles walked most of the way, but Theo gave her a piggy back ride after the third time she fell in the dark.

He opened the door of the Jeep for her and then jumped into the passenger side. Stiles hadn’t every really had anyone she didn’t know really well at her house in this context before. Malia had been the only person she ever brought to her house. There had really only been one other person, a guy she met out with Danny one night last year, and they had fooled around at his place and then Stiles had gone home. So yes, technically she was a virgin when it came to penetrative sex.

The sang along to a nineties playlist as Stiles drove back to her place. She had been blessed with good luck because her father happened to be working the night shift this particular night so her house would be empty. She felt comfortable the entire time that they kissed their way to her front door, and the way his hands felt on her body as she attempted to unlock the door in the dark.

She took him by the hand and lead him up the stairs. Dropping her flannel on the stairs as she went and toeing out of her shoes. She even managed to pull Theo’s shirt off in the process. Stiles triped going up the stairs backwards but Theo reached out and caught her laughing and saying something about her being a danger to herself.

When they get to the top of the stairs, she wraps her legs around him and he lifts her by her ass, holding her so close to him. She can feel the curve of his hard cock pressed against her center. She motions towards her door and he easily maneuvers them down the hall and she fumbles with the door handle. Trying to open a door behind you, while being carried by a hot shirtless werewolf was a trial. She finally managed it, laughing.

Her room was dark, even her computer screen had gone to sleep at this point so she concentrates and throws some stars into the room, there are no moths. As soon as the room is lit up Theo surreptitiously drops Stiles. There is a low growl coming from near her window. She recognizes the low baritone growl.

“Shit,” was all she could muster in response.

“Uh, Stiles, what’s going on?” Theo panics. She had now positioned herself in between a very angry Derek and a freaked-out half-naked Theo. Her spell book is locked in her desk drawer which is too close to the window and Derek so she quickly pulls out the few spell pages she brought with her to the party.

“Der, I’m going to need you to clam down and quit it with the glowy eyes, yeah?” Stiles tries for a calm voice but hers just sounds nervous. This was the worst, worst-case scenario that she had been dreading. Sadly, her attempt at reasoning with Derek wasn’t working and she had nothing useful in terms of spells, unless of course she wanted her entire house to go up in flames, she could probably manage that.

“Theo, I’m going to need you to leave, which is honestly not how I saw this evening going, I’m so sorry. I’ll call you tomorrow yeah?” Stiles said to Theo, never taking her eyes off Derek.

“Stiles no, I’m not leaving you here alone!? He is obviously out of control!” Theo argued.

“Please Theo, just step outside of my room, please,” she pleading and turning to Theo. He nodded and as soon as he was past the threshold of her room, she put up her mountain ash barrier.

“I promise that everything will be fine, I’ll call you tomorrow. But for him to calm down, I need you to leave.”

“Stiles! You have got to be joking!” Theo sounded confused, and hurt.

“Look if it makes you feel better just call Scott and he’ll talk you through it ok? You really don’t have to worry about me.” Stiles didn’t wait for an answer and just closed the door to her room. “What the fuck Derek?!” she screamed turning to Derek. He had stopped the growling so loudly that it shook the walls, he was now just pacing and glaring.

“ I-“ He started angrily.

“You haven’t been here once since you got back but you pick tonight to start climbing through my window again? Let me ask you something, is someone dead? Have people started disappearing? Any strange threatening messages that need to be immediately addressed?” she paused for only a few seconds before raging on, “No? None of those things? Then what the fuck brought you here tonight Derek besides terrible timing?”

“I just wanted to make sure you got home safely,” he growled.

“You wanted to make sure I got home safely?!” she repeated in disbelief, “Can you do me a favor and when you die can you donate your brain to science so that maybe one day someone can explain to me exactly what the fuck goes through that thick skull of yours!”

Stiles was prone to exaggeration and a loud talking voice, especially when she got worked up, but Derek was the only one that she ever felt the need to yell at, he had a distinct way of driving her insane.

“Sorry I ruined your night,” he spat as he attempted to climb back out the window. However, he was stopped by the barrier of mountain ash. Derek was trapped in her room until she saw fit to release him.

“We have to talk about this Der. I know you aren’t here to make sure I got home ok. But we can’t just keep doing what we’ve been doing, it obviously isn’t working,” Stiles sighed, she was suddenly hit with how tired she really was. The weeks of insomnia seemed to compound in this moment. The depression pushed its way into her head, and the sleepless nights made themselves known. She sank down to the floor, sitting with her back against her door. Everything that she had been pushing to the side, that she hadn’t been dealing with since Derek had gone missing, was using her brain as a pinball machine. It was crowded in her mind, everything with Derek had been damned behind a flimsy barrier and she still hadn’t dealt with everything that happened during the Nogitsune possession, she just hadn’t had the time. The damn in her mind that held everything back was cracking, and everything was flowing back to her.

“Apparently we don’t have anything to talk about,” he hissed, pacing in front of the barrier like a caged wolf.

“Please don’t do this, Derek,” Stiles was crying now. She had wanted the semblance of a normal life, if only for a little while. She had never wanted to feel normal before, but everything going on in her life was just too much to deal with so she compartmentalized and thought that trying to act like everything was alright would eventually make it true. She was unsurprised that didn’t work like she had hoped. Sure, she knew she was going to piss Derek off, and she had hoped that her seeing someone else would prompt Derek into deciding, and she thought it might make her happy, having someone that was actually interested in her.

“Me!? What could I possibly make worse? I just walked in on you with some other guy!” Derek yelled.

“Which is my prerogative Derek! You aren’t my boyfriend, you barely treat me like friend! And it’s not like you’re as subtle as you think! I know about Jennifer, and Braeden, I didn’t show up in your bedroom at two in the morning to yell at you while you were fucking other chicks,” Stiles argued. She had actually seen him an Braeden together once, after a pack meeting she had forgotten her backpack and gone back up to the loft, they had been kissing on the balcony. She promptly left and then cried in her car outside her house, then felt pathetic for crying over a boy.

“That’s different,” Derek argued, but the anger was gone from his voice, there was no more accusation, his voice oddly soft.

“Like it didn’t hurt me seeing you with them, you know how I feel, you’ve known how I feel for years,” Stiles cried softly, “but instead of freaking out on you I just waited, I waited until you were ready and I thought things would change when we came back from Mexico. But then you just stayed away even more. What was I supposed to do, keep avoiding life? He was nice and actually showed interest in me, and instead of spending another party alone in a corner watching everyone have fun I decided to have some fun myself. I’m really tired of being sad Derek, and I’m tired of waiting for you.”

“It’s not like I can offer you anything, I just didn’t want to start something with you and have you be disappointed when you see who I really am. I don’t think that I could take you leaving,” Derek sighed.

“You assume that I don’t already know who you are Der. I’ve always known who you are, and I lo- cared about you anyways,” Stiles stumbles over the word love, they had so much to figure out before she could say something like that.

“We just keep screwing things up, and hurting each other. I just don’t know if it’s supposed to be this difficult,” Derek said looking down.

“Look at our lives Derek, did you think it would be easy,” Stiles laughed weakly.

“I didn’t think it would be this hard, but Jesus I mean you’re only seventeen,” Derek sounded exasperated, and Stiles flinched when he mentioned her age, it was their big obvious barrier. Derek was twenty-three and Stiles still had a few months before she turned eighteen.

“I’m well aware of the age difference, but that’ll only get easier, five years isn’t that bad,” Stiles sighed.

“Your father is the sheriff,” he muttered walking over to Stiles and sliding down the wall beside her, “and if it doesn’t work out will you still act as emissary? If you left, the pack wouldn’t survive. And what if I can’t give you what you need?”

“What is it you think you can’t offer me that someone else could? And if that is the case then why are you showing up at my house at two in the morning when I bring someone else home?”

“That wasn’t my intention! I was really just checking on you, I wanted to make sure that you got home ok, and I –“ he takes a deep breath, “I really just don’t want to be like Kate, I don’t want you to think I’m taking advantage of you.”

“Der, look at me, you are nothing like Kate. And I don’t think that Scott would let you take advantage of me, not that you could, I have magic now don’t you know?” Stiles joked as a moth landed on her outstretched hand. Moths had started to crawl out from behind furniture and slowly drift around the room, glowing.

“I have to ask about the moths Stiles,” Derek said as one landed on his knee.

“I don’t know any more than you do, they only appear when you are around, or I’m thinking about you,” she huffed, blushing furiously. His hand was on her bare leg, his thumb tracing lazy circles on her skin. The moths had first appeared early in the summer when she woke in the middle of the night after a steamy dream staring Derek, but she was not about to tell him that.

“What do we do now?” he asks softly.

“I think that’s up to you, the risk is either worth the reward or it isn’t. For the record, I think that this would totally be worth it, but it’s not up to only me,” Stiles shrugged, “think about it, just don’t take too long yeah?” Stiles leaned her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes. She could feel warmth radiating off him and she was cold now, without her flannel.

After a while of sitting on the floor together, both reluctant to move, Stiles hoists herself up, taking Derek by the hand and leading him to her bed. He was stiff and awkward. “Relax Sourwolf, I’m not going to take advantage of you, I’m just tired of sleeping on the floor but I don’t want you to leave.” Stiles pulls on an oversized t-shirt and takes off her top and jean shorts under its cover.

“That’s my shirt,” Derek points out, thumbing the fabric.

“Yeah you left it here last year, it’s become my favorite sleep shirt,” Stiles shrugged. She was currently too tired to care about how embarrassing that revelation was. She also was too busy trying not to think about the fact that she was going to bed, to sleep, with a guy that was not the guy that she had initially brought home.

“Are you sure you want me to stay,” Derek hesitated.

“Yes,” she said kneeling down to the floor to unlace his shoes. After she unlaced them she pulled the covers down on her bed and got in. Derek toed off his shoes and took off his jeans. He left on his t-shirt much to Stiles’ disappointment but then he slid into her bed and her mild disappointment faded. He was so warm and Stiles couldn’t help but curl up into his side. He slipped his arm around her and pulled her closer to him.

When Stiles woke up it was just barely light out and Derek was still fast asleep at her side. Panic gripped her, she had woken from dreams like this before to find herself trapped in them still. She tried to count her fingers, to see if she was still in a dream but she couldn’t get herself to focus.

“Stiles, it’s ok Stiles, I’m right here,” came Derek’s voice, soft and soothing, his hand painting slow circles on her back with his large warm hand.

“Are you real though because I've had this dream before,” her voice shook, a tear running down her cheek. He wiped the tear from her cheek.

“This is all real, I promise,” he kissed her temple his hand still soothing at her back. After a few minutes her breathing steadied and her heart rate decreased.

“I’m sorry,” she murmured, “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

“It’s fine Stiles,” Derek reassured her, “I didn’t know you were still having these nightmares, I thought they would go away after the possession stopped.”

“I think it’s probably more to do with the trauma as opposed to the actual possession part. I used to have these dreams where I would wake up from a nightmare and you would be there, and you would hold me but I was still asleep and I was trapped and then everything would disappear and I would wake up screaming.”

“I’m so sorry Stiles, I didn’t know,” he held her tighter.

They sat together in bed for a while longer, neither of them talked. Around seven-forty-five they heard the front door open and close. Stiles’ dad was home from his shift.

“You should probably go,” she whispered to Derek.

“I really don’t want to though,” he sighed letting his head fall back against her wall.

“I really don’t want you to, but you have a lot to think about, and I have to let Theo down nicely. And probably answer more than one missed call from Lydia and Scott,” Stiles said, her head still resting on his chest. He growled when she mentioned Theo but she just scoffed and lightly swatted at his arm.

“I’m having a really hard time letting you go though.” And Derek’s arms were in fact still wrapped around her holding her to his chest, sitting in her bed. It really was an ideal place to be she thought.

“Maybe we sit here for a little while longer? My dad is probably going to take a nap anyways, and Scott and Lydia won’t be awake yet,” Stiles reasoned quietly. Derek agreed and the two sat like that for a few more hours, they both dozed off again and they didn’t wake until the sun was streaming through Stiles’ windows in full force.

“I should probably go now,” Derek said and got up, he got dressed but Stiles just stayed on her bed, arms around her knees. “Maybe I could come back tonight, we could try talking instead of yelling?”

“Did Derek Hale just make a joke?” she laughed, “I mean if you can joke then we could probably handle not yelling at each other. I’ll leave my window open.”

He smiled at her as he climbed out of her window. Stiles waited another twenty minutes before she got dressed and headed downstairs. It was already lunch time, and her dad was sitting in the kitchen eating a sandwich and reading the paper.

“Did Derek go home?” the Sheriff asked without looking up from his paper.

“Yeah, about twenty minutes ago,” Stiles said without missing a beat. Stiles and her father had come to an understanding when it came to Derek. Just after her father had learned about the supernatural side of Beacon Hills, and Stiles’ particular situation, Stiles had just up and told her father that she was in love with Derek. Naturally, he had freaked out on her and there had been a lot of yelling, but they came to an agreement. Noah would trust his daughter to make good like decisions and she promised him that they wouldn’t have sex until she was eighteen.

“I don’t love him spending the night in your room Stiles,” he said finally giving her a disapproving glance over his paper.

“Well if it helps he scared away the boy I initially brought home,” Stiles half joked. When she made that deal with her father she had thought that nothing would ever happen with her and Derek but now she would probably have to tell Derek about that particular caveat.

“That definitely doesn’t help,” the sheriff scowled. Stiles just laughed. As much as her father griped and groaned, he trusted her to make decisions that were in her best interest. When she discovered her magic it had been a double-edged sword when it came to her father. He understood that with magic she could better defend herself, but it also meant that she would never be able to leave the supernatural world behind, and that meant facing more danger.

“You would have appreciated it actually he got all growly and threatening, scared the crap out of Theo,” Stiles sighed.

“Theo? Why does that sound familiar? And what makes you think it’s ok to be bringing boys, or anyone else in that capacity, home when I’m not here?”

“Theo Raeken, his family left Beacon Hills after his sister died out in the preserve when we were in third grade.” Stiles just ignored the rest of his questions, hoping he might forget he asked them.

“Oh yeah I remember that it was sad, we had to take the dogs out, took us eighteen hours to find her,” her father said sadly.

“They just moved back, we kinda had a date yesterday.”

“So you went out with Theo? When did you run into Derek?”

“Derek was kinda in my room when I got home last night, very awkward since Theo was with me in a semi-compromising manner.”

“I don’t envy you in that situation. We will have to talk about what is and isn’t allowed when I work nights. Was he angry?”

“Theo actually took it pretty well when I told him he had to leave. Derek was pissed though,” Stiles smiled a little at this. It hadn’t been her intention to make Derek that angry and she hadn’t exactly intended to use Theo. She would have to apologize to Theo for that, and probably to Derek too.

“Do I need to go have a talk with Derek?”

“No, it’ll be fine, I’ll handle it.”

“Sometimes I wonder if I leave you alone too much,” her father sighed sadly.

“I’m ok dad, we do the best we can, and I think we do pretty well all things considered,” Stiles said walking over and giving her dad a hug. “Anyways, you know me, once I get something in my head only a sledgehammer can get it out,” Stiles joked.

“Just like your mother,” Noah chuckled.

“Just like you too dad,” Stiles squeezed her father tightly. He patted her arm. “Now, I’ve got to go check on my plants, do you work today?”

“Only a half day, I’ll be home for dinner,” he said going back to his news paper.

Stiles walked out the back door of her house and towards her little garden. There was someone sitting on the ground by her planter boxes.

“Hi Scott,” Stiles sighed.

Chapter Text

Ch. 6
In Which There are Plants and Compromise

Scott smiled and waved. Stiles unwound the garden hose and dragged it over to her planter boxes. Her peppermint and lemon balm plants were growing perfectly, she had another row with thyme, a sad looking basil plant, and a Russian sage. The last row of plants were a little bit different, she had to drive all the way to Santa Rosa to get these plants. There was a special nursery there that Erica had turned her onto and it carried rare, supernatural strains of plants. At the time Stiles could only afford a Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, and a small Artemisia vulgaris, or mugwort. She really wanted something from their wolfsbane collection, they had a great looking Aconitum noveboracensa the last time she was there and she would kill for that plant.

There were still aphids on her mugwort and she scowled as she sprayed them with her bottle of neem oil. She took small clippers and started to deadhead a rose bush in the pot near her sage.

“So, how did your night go?” Scott asked settling on the ground next to the planter box.

“Are you asking because you want to know or because you got a call from Theo last night?” Stiles shot back.

“I did get a call from a very panicked Theo who I’ll have you know took several minutes to calm down. He thought you were about to get mauled by a rogue alpha. I had to calmly explain that he was in fact not a rogue alpha but our alpha and that he wouldn’t hurt you.”

“How did he take it?”

“All things considered? Pretty well, I basically just told him that you and Derek have a bit of a complicated history. And that Derek was a little territorial when it comes to you. So what are you gonna do about Derek?”

“I don’t exactly know, he kinda stayed last night,” Stiles blushes. “Nothing happened, we just argued and then I just told him that he can have more time, but not to take too long. He’s coming back tonight, just to talk.”

“I hope you guys work it out, I just want you both to be happy.”

“I should probably talk to Theo huh?” Stiles sighed.

“Probably better to get it over with yeah,” Scott shrugged.

“I want to ask Theo to join the pack, I’m going to nominate him at the pack meeting tomorrow.”

“Are you sure that’s a good idea? Derek isn’t going to be happy.

“I can’t just do nothing for the guy, being interested in me shouldn’t be the thing keeping him an omega. I can’t let that ruin his chances at getting into a good pack, it’s what he came here looking for anyways,” Stiles sounded somber.

“I know you just want to help him, I’ll back you at the meeting,” Scott promised.

“Thanks Scott,” Stiles smiled. But there was a pit in her stomach that she hoped she hid well. Had Scott been able to smell it he would have smelled shame, but not for killing Kate but for lying to her best friend because she knows that if he knew the truth, he would never look at her the same. Stiles hadn’t told anyone but she and been having nightmares again. Nightmares of someone screaming as they burn and she could feel the smile on her face as she watched them turn to ash.

Scott stayed for a while and the two of them ate some lunch outside and Stiles putzed around in the garden, picking some ingredients to dry and make into tea, picking others to use as she practices spells. Stiles finally had to rip the band aid off and called Theo and asked to meet him at the Moonlight Grind.

Stiles was five minutes late. Theo was sitting at the table where they sat last time. He had an iced coffee sitting in front of him and what Stiles assumed was her drink sitting across the table. Erica just called it the Stiles. It’s a double shot dirty spiced vanilla chai latte with coconut cream. Stiles and Erica had experimented for weeks to concoct the perfect drink. It had everything that Stiles liked. The two espresso shots had all the caffeine she needed, the spiced vanilla chai was the perfect tea in Stiles’ opinion and the coconut cream made it the perfect sweetness and creaminess without the ill effects of lactose.

“Thanks for meeting me here. I know that this whole situation kinda snowballed and I’m sorry about making you leave last night, I feel really bad about that,” Stiles rambled. “And yes, I did think that going on a date with you would piss Derek off, but that wasn’t my plan or anything, I just kinda saw you in class and wanted to ask you out so I just did it, spur of the moment. And there were repercussions that I think I didn’t really think through. In fact, I think I inadvertently used you a little and I'm sorry, and also I can’t see you anymore, in a romantic way that is, we can still like be friends and say hi to each other and what not though, so yeah,” Stiles rushed then took a long drink of her dirty spiced vanilla chai latte with coconut cream.

Theo didn’t say anything for a minutes, but thoughtfully looked into his coffee cup. “How on Earth do you drink that stuff?” he asked, looking at Stiles in bewilderment.

“Pardon?” Stiles asked, brow wrinkled in confusion.

“This,” he raises his coffee cup. “How do you drink this? Why do you drink this?”

“Are you actually drinking a Stiles?” Stiles laughed.

“I mean I had to try it, you make it look like it tastes amazing, it just tastes confused.”

“I just like it,” Stiles was still laughing, “no one else has ever tried it except me and Erica and we like it.”

“You like it!” Erica yelled from behind the counter.

“Fine, I like it,” Stiles shrugged, taking a sip.

“Look, it’s fine, everything with Derek, it’s whatever, it was one date. I’m not going to stress over it,” Theo smiled, Stiles wished she knew if it was sincere.

“What are you doing tomorrow night?” Stiles asked.

“Wait what, we just talked about why we can’t see each other because of your crazy alpha ex, and now you are asking me out again?” Theo looked utterly perplexed.

“He isn’t technically my ex, it’s more of a will they won’t they kind of situation. With a bunch of other reasons why we can’t thrown into the mix. And I’m not asking you out, I’m inviting you to a pack meeting,” Stiles bargained.

“Why would you do that?”

“I want to petition you for pack, you shouldn’t miss out on being pack because of me and my Sourwolf alpha.”

Cut to Derek and her in her room later that night.

“No,” Derek said vehemently.

“You didn’t even let me finish,” Stiles growled.

“You want me to let that boy into the pack!?” he yelled.

“You said we wouldn’t yell tonight,” Stiles scolded the older man. Derek just pinched the bridge of his nose.

“Stiles, you can’t actually expect me to let him in right?” Derek sighed.

“I mean I hoped, I also kinda prepared for the worst,” Stiles flinched.

“You are going to call for a vote, and Scott is helping you, right?”

“See, one of the reasons I like you so much is cause you are so smart, and easy on the eyes of course,” Stiles smiled.

“Fine.”

“Fine ‘you are going to accept him into the pack and we won’t have to have a vote’ fine?”

“No a ‘call your damn vote and vote him in just as long as he knows I don’t want him there’ fine.”

“Works for me! Ok, now we can talk about us,” Stiles continues cheerily.

“You were created to drive me insane, I’m now sure of it,” Derek sighed. He was doing a lot of sighing this afternoon. Stiles felt mildly bad about just springing it on Derek but she also knew that he would have been even more mad if she had waited until the actual meeting.

“Der, I’m sorry about the whole Theo thing alright. And I’m sorry that I keep giving you reasons for us not to be together or whatever, but I can’t just do nothing, it’s just not me.”

“I know, it is frustratingly one of the things that I also like about you.”

“See Derek, we can make this work!” Stiles tried for good natured. He just scowled at her. “Or maybe we can’t. I don’t know, I thought I used to make you happy or at least lighter or something, but every time I’m around lately you just seem more upset than usual.”

“I just get stuck thinking about everything that could go wrong, how I could lose you like I lose everyone else,” Derek gritted his teeth.

“Derek, please, you won’t lose me, I’m not going anywhere,” Stiles promised. The pain in Derek ran deep, but it wasn’t as though Stiles hadn’t always known that. She had lost people that she loved, but she couldn’t imagine losing that much of your family and then finding out that the girl that you loved had killed them. That it was your fault all along. Of course, Stiles knew that it wasn’t actually his fault, but it didn’t matter how many people knew that Derek had done nothing wrong, and that psycho Kate was the only person at fault when he felt, to his core, that he was to blame for everything that happened.

“Not to mention how insanely inappropriate this all is.”

“It would have been inappropriate two years ago but I wouldn’t exactly call this inappropriate right now, I’m almost eighteen.”

“Please don’t say it like that, that makes it worse.”

“Ok, what other obstacles are there for you? Besides the age thing, cause we can’t really change that, you will always be five years older than I am.”

“Your father is the sheriff, and I've already been arrested too many times to make a good impression on him.”

“So that is something that I can fix. Not the whole dad’s the sheriff thing but he kinda already knows about us, or at least he knows that I’m more than a little interested in you,” Stiles said sheepishly.

“What?”

“Well, about a year ago he saw you sneaking out of my room. He thought we were having sex, was freaking out yelling and threatening to shoot you, and I set him straight and told him that we weren’t sleeping together. But then I told him that he should probably adjust to the idea of us being together since that was kinda my end goal. He’s actually come around quite a bit. At first he didn’t want me involved with the supernatural at all but now, he sees how safe I am around you, he at least appreciates that.”

“Does everyone know about us?”

“Pretty much, yeah, Theo thought you were my ex. You aren’t subtle about your, let’s use the word, protectiveness of me and I nearly drove myself insane trying to find you this summer. I think they at least know that we mean more to each other then what they can see.”

“Ok.”

“Ok? Like ok, ok? Like we can finally stop denying the pent-up sexual tension between us, ok?”

“Why do I even like you?” Derek asks himself sighing and pinching the bridge of his nose but Stiles could see a smile tugging at his mouth.

“Because I am awesome,” Stiles says walking towards where Derek is leaned against the desk in her room.

“There is one condition though,” he says embracing the small girl.

“And what’s that?” she asks looping her arms around his neck. He was much taller than she was so she had to stretch up, her cropped tank riding up under her open flannel, a perfect line of milky skin peeking out. Derek ran a thumb over her exposed hip bone and she shuddered. He had always been carful about how he touched her before. But now that he could touch her anywhere he knew that this would be difficult.

“We aren’t having sex until you’re eighteen,” he smiled. It was like someone had poured cold water in her lap. A large metaphorical glass of ice cold water.

“You’re joking, right?” she asked leaning back but leaving her arms wrapped around his neck.

“Absolutely not,” Derek said flatly. It was a tone Stiles knew well and it meant that there was nothing she could say to sway him.

“Fine, you win, we can wait till I’m eighteen, I’ll just imagine it until then. Especially late at night,” she sighed dramatically.

“You are going to make this difficult for me aren’t you?”

“Oh yeah, you betcha!” she said cheerily. Then he closed the space between their faces and kissed her.

His lips slid against hers in the most intoxicating way. She felt like she had been drowning before and this was her first lung full of air in years. The whole room erupted in stars and moths. His hands on the small of her back, caressing her, setting her on fire. She had previously hoped that after this talk they would just rip each other’s clothes off and fuck but apparently that wasn’t in her cards for the next several months.

He did however move his hands down the small of her back to grip her ass in both hands. She would be embarrassed to admit it but she moaned into his mouth. He bit at her lip and as she tipped her head back he licked down her neck nipping along the way. It wasn’t hard enough to make a mark but Stiles would feel them for days. He pressed against her, and she could feel every hard line of his body. She tangled her hands in his hair and pulled a little, his hands tighten on her hips and he growls against her mouth.

She pulls him backwards until her legs hit her bed and she sits, pulling him onto her, laying back. He lifts her body, guiding her back onto the bed more and hovers over her, gently kissing her shoulders, biting into her collar bone. She runs her hands under his shirt and up his ribs.

Derek pulls back panting. “This is going to be harder than I thought.” Stiles just runs her fingernails over his ribs and smiles at him, biting her swollen lip. “A lot harder.” He takes both her wrists in one hand and pins them to her side, sitting up.

“No fair, you can only use your werewolf strength for sexy purposes, sexy restraining purposes not for this,” she says wriggling her captive hands. Derek chuckled but didn’t release her hands until he sat at the edge of the bed. When he released her, Stiles sat on the bed behind him and rested her head against his shoulder.

“You can still stay the night here right? We just can’t do anything?” she asked.

“I’ll stay with you until you tell me to leave,” he said kissing her hair.

“How about until tomorrow?”

Derek huffed out a laugh. “I can do that.”

They ended up watching a movie downstairs, Derek actually helped Stiles cook. They made pork tenderloin with herb garlic bread and a large salad. She put aside a plate for her father. Derek did actually need to leave, to pick up some clothes and toiletries from the loft. He managed to time his leaving with the Sheriff’s arrival.

“Hey kid, how was your day? Scott stay long?” Noah asked Stiles who what doing her homework at the kitchen table.

“It was good, Scott left after lunch and Derek stopped by,” Stiles tried for a casual voice.

“Oh yeah? Is he still here?” Noah asked the second question a bit louder, knowing that if Derek was here he would hear him.

Stiles rolled her eyes, boys. “No, he went back to the loft. But I was hoping we could talk about that. Dinner is in the fridge by the way.”

“He finally get his head out of his ass?” her dad asked as he heated up his dinner.

“Yeah, he did,” Stiles smiled. “but maybe don’t threaten to shoot him, he actually wants you to like him.”

“Should we have him over for dinner or something?” Noah asked.

“Yeah, sure. He actually made me promise to not sleep with him until I was eighteen so that should earn him some points!” Stiles grumbled loudly.

“He did, did he?” Noah smiled to himself, Noah thought that perhaps the boy was smarter than he looked.

“Yes, yes, lucky me, I may yet die a virgin, well kind of a virgin, what do you count as sex? Does it have to be penetrative to no longer be considered a virgin?” Stiles said wistfully.

“Please stop talking,” Noah said as he sat down for dinner.

They talked about school as Stiles finished her assignments. They even managed to watch the majority of a baseball playoffs game. Though Stiles didn’t care who was playing, she was painstakingly translating an Iranian Grimoire from the 1920s that she had found in Deaton’s collection. She was running out of useful information though. Stiles was considering going to Erica to see if she had a connection for grimoires or any kind of spell book, as long as it was reliable.

Derek came back in through her window after her father went to bed. “You know you don’t have to sneak in through the window,” Stiles said as she turned off her computer.

“The front door just isn’t as much fun. How did you know I was here?” Derek asked. “I am positive I didn’t make enough noise for you to notice.”

“I have a perimeter around the house, I’d know if anyone passed it,” Stiles shrugged.

“You’re getting really good, with your magic I mean.”

“I’m trying to learn everything I can as fast as I can.”

“I’m worried you are overdoing it Stiles, I can see the dark circles you aren’t sleeping. You’re still having panic attacks and nightmares. know that you would rather deal with this sort of thing on your own, I just want to help you,” Derek sounded defeated. It was all true Stiles had nightmares more nights than not, and hadn’t slept a full eight hours since werewolves became part of her reality.

“To be fair, I had trouble with all of those things before the supernatural became a fixture in my life,” Stiles rebutted.

“Stiles, please let me help you.”

“It’s not exactly something you can help with, the better my magic gets the more I’ll be able to find ways to help with those things,” she hoped that Derek couldn’t tell she was lying. The look on his face told her that she had not succeeded. The truth of the matter was that her magic seemed to exacerbate her mental problems. When she used too much or used her magic improperly it took its toll. There was also the toll of the blood loss every time she tried big magic. She had tried magic that wasn’t blood related and actually gotten fairly good with herbology magic but it wasn’t as powerful as blood magic, and blood magic came easier to her than other kinds even if it took the most in return. “Look, I have some homework and college crap I need to get done, but stay and we can at least sleep in the same bed, it’s small but I’m an expert sharer.”

Derek conceded and pulled a book out of his bag, taking a seat on her bed. He was already dressed for bed with grey pajama bottoms and a plain black t-shirt. She turned back to her computer and lost herself to her work.

She woke when a hand touched her shoulder. Apparently, she had fallen asleep at her desk, again. Derek was there prompting her to get up. She brushed her teeth, brushed out her far too long hair and tied it up into a messy bun. She grabbed the oversized Beacon County Sheriff tee that she wore to bed and stripped down in front of Derek hoping to torture him just a little but when she turned towards him she saw only horror. He was looking at her forearms which she usually kept well hidden, or at least glamoured. She had specifically learned how to glamour small areas so that it wouldn’t be as noticeable but it had lapsed during her nap at her desk. There were dozens of small scars up and down her left arm from where she had cut herself during her casting but they had the distinct look of self harm.

“Before you freak out-“ she started.

“How have I never noticed?” he sounded so empty.

“One of the first things in Madame Donnet’s Book of Orenda is a simple glamour, it must have slipped while I was asleep. I also tend to wear long sleeves. Der, it’s really not a big deal, you know I use mostly blood magic, it has to come from somewhere. I know they’re ugly but I use the salve now and so it doesn’t leave a scar anymore and I’ve been researching ways to get around cutting myself and there is this rare plant called a blood rose that you feed blood and it can be used instead of cutting myself each time,” Stiles was rambling. Stiles had also been researching ways to cover the scars that didn’t require magic and had been thinking about tattoos that could at least detract from the ugliness of the scars. Most of them weren’t so bad, especially after she switched to a sharper blade. The worst ones were made by cutting herself on something dull or when she passed out and didn’t have a chance to put salve on. There was one that she loved though, a silvery crescent shaped one that she had made when she used the locator spell to find Derek.

“You shouldn’t have to do this,” Derek sounded defeated. “I don’t care what they look like I just never wanted this life for you and this is all I bring, pain and scars.”

“You bring me happiness, and belonging, and family, more than I’ve ever had before,” Stiles said taking hold of his hands and pulling him into her tiny bed. He sighed and laid down, she rested her head on his chest and they fell asleep.

Derek was gone when she woke up, but she wasn’t concerned. He usually ran or worked out in the mornings so he was often gone before she awoke. Stiles dressed in the usual flannel and crop top paired with ripped jeans and vans, but packing a bag full of gym clothes. Lydia had begged her to go shopping so that she could update her wardrobe for her but Stiles had artfully been dodging that quest since the seventh grade. Before she left her house she scheduled a tattoo appointment in San Francisco for two weeks from today.

Stiles had also taken to exercising in the morning seeing as she was often up when it was still dark out anyways so she packed a bag and hit the Sheriff station gym. As usual she saw Parrish’s cruiser parked outside of the gym. He was the only one here as often as she was and technically she wasn’t really supposed to be here at all but her dad had pulled some strings and gotten her a key card. What she didn’t expect was to hear a familiar girly giggle when she stepped through the doors, followed by Parrish’s laugh.

They were on the sparing mats laying on the floor laughing like a bunch of idiots. “Well, well, well, I can’t say I expected this,” Stiles said with a mischievous smile plastered on her face.

“It isn’t what you think,” Parrish panicked.

“It’s what you think it is,” Lydia said at the same time looping her arm through Parrish’s as they stand up.

“Whatever it is I’m happy for you two little harbinger’s of death, but Parrish if you hurt her-- “ Stiles started.

“You’ll sick Derek on Me?” Parrish smirked.

“No, I’ll curse you myself,” Stiles smiled. Parrish had the decency to look a little worried. Lydia just rolled her eyes. “Anyways, continue, don’t let me disrupt your ‘workout’.” The three of them worked out separately then did some sparing work together. Stiles hopped in the shower and told Lydia to bring Parrish to the pack meeting. Lydia nodded and promised that Jordan would be there despite Jordan’s grumbling.

Stiles made it to the loft before anyone else and was pleased to find Derek sitting in his kitchen sipping coffee, an entire pot sitting in the coffee machine. “It’s not that disgusting concoction you and Erica created but it’s fresh,” Derek said setting a cup down in front of Stiles and giving her a quick kiss. The ease with which they fell into domesticity was astounding for two people that had been giving every reason to not be together. He went back to his book, Hemmingway from the look of it, Stiles hated Hemmingway. She and Derek had actually argues about that last year when she had to read Hills like White Elephants for class. She had argued that he was an overrated misogynistic pig while Derek argued that he was a man of his time whose writing was able to capture people and experiences in a meaningful way (Stiles makes retching noise).

Everyone finally arrived and Derek got the party started talking about the new warding that will be going up around Beacon Hills, thanks to Stiles. Stiles went on to explain that all pack members will need to wear a small enchanted stone on them at all times, and she would be taking requests for pieces of jewelry and or dermal implants courtesy of Deaton.

When it came time to call a vote Stiles called Parrish and Theo into the room, Parrish was voted in first and it was unanimous, he went to sit next to Lydia who smiled at him and tucked herself under his arm, more then a few eyebrows raised but no one commented knowing that would incur the wrath of Lydia. Theo was also voted in but Derek, Peter, and Chris (Stiles referred to them as the old guy club) voted against stating that they didn’t know enough about him. Theo was all smiles despite that and took a seat with Malia.

After the meeting when everyone had cleared the room headed to the kitchen for snacks, honestly they were a bunch of scavengers, Stiles stayed behind with Derek. He pulled her onto his lap and kissed her. “I thought that for sure you would be a grump the whole rest of the day, I’ve never been so happy to be wrong,” she smiled into the kiss.

“I thought about it,” he chuckled, “but you smell so good that I just couldn’t be mad.”

“Oh yeah? What do I smell like?”

“Us.”

The whole upstairs erupted in cheers. Stiles looked slightly embarrassed by all the fanfare that was obviously aimed towards their relationship, but she was happy to know that their pack just wanted them to be happy.

The pack spent most of the day together, they went swimming at the reservoir and hike their favorite preserve trails, taking a picnic with them. Stiles was glad to see that Theo looked right at home with the pack, that he looked happy, and Parrish and Lydia seemed to be joined at the hip until he had to leave for a shift at the Sheriff station.

The day had been a success but she had this strange sinking feeling that seemed to linger around her through out the day. Like the other shoe was about to drop, it made her stomach uneasy and her magic buzz anxiously.

Chapter Text

An increasing sense of doom had taken over Stiles’ mind from the second she had woken up alone, her breathing ragged. It seemed as though no matter how much air she tried to breathe in it never made it to her lungs. Her chest felt compressed like there was something heavy sitting on her chest, heart in her throat. There was a part of her brain that was trying to rationalize what was happening, explaining that this was just a panic attack and that she just needed to breathe, but sadly that part of her brain was a very small percentage. Sitting up she struggles until her legs are hanging off the edge of the bed. Her eyes can are blurred with tears and she can barely make out the clock, 3am the Witching Hour. Her fingernails dig into her palm, leaving distinct and red crescents. About twenty minutes later she had large welts on her palms but her breathing had returned to normal and her heart didn’t feel like it was trying to vacate her chest cavity.

She and Derek had been spending most school nights apart. For the first week they spent every night together but that was keeping Stiles from getting anything done so they switched to weekends together. Derek had even taken to spending the weekend at the Stilinski house and they would cook dinners and watch whatever game was on with her dad. He and Derek were actually getting along really well. It turned out Derek and her father had one thing in common, a love of sports; well and Stiles, a love of sports and Stiles, two things in common.

One Sunday Derek surprised Stiles and took her all the way to Santa Rosa to the special plant nursery and even bought her plants which she had protested strongly. They left the nursery with twelve new plants. Stiles earned next to nothing working at the Sheriff’s station three days a week after school and most of the money went towards plants. She now even had several aloes scattered around her room and ever expanding outside planter beds which her dad kept building for her and filling with soil.

“Der, it’s too expensive,” Stiles countered. She had been fawning over the Northern Monkshood, Wolfsbane, that the nursery had for the past five minutes. Derek had gingerly taken the plant and put it into the large rolling cart, careful not to touch the actual plant.

“It’s really not a big deal Stiles, you like it, it makes you happy, we are getting it,” Derek argued.

“This will create an unbalanced relationship and it’s not healthy!” Stiles argued.

“Well, if you insist guess I’ll just put this back,” Derek reached for the pot.

“Wait! I didn’t say that!” Stiles said reaching protectively towards the plant, biting her lip. Derek just laughed, he had never intended on taking the plant off the cart. It was good to hear Derek laugh, it made Stiles’ heart warm and it was all she ever wanted to hear coming from his mouth. Which is why she hadn’t been telling him about the panic attacks. She had several each week, always at three am and always with the impending doom feeling. With the panic attacks came the nightmares, they were mostly just of her sitting in the dark alone, but not like a dark room, dark like a depravation chamber. Even Derek was having trouble sleeping.

The next Saturday was her tattoo appointment. She had finally decided on a broad sword wrapped with vines and flowers that covered her entire forearm, the hilt of the sword would start in the crescent shaped scar which would remain uncovered. She loved thinking that it was how she found Derek, how she had brought them together. She had told Derek what she intended to do and he was supportive. Her father however was not as thrilled, putting it mildly. She refrained from telling him that she was getting it to cover scars seeing as he hadn’t noticed the scars, hidden by the mild glamour.

In the end her father told her that she was free to do what she wanted knowing that there was no arguing with Stiles once she put her mind to something. He ended up signing the release waiver she needed to get a tattoo while underaged. Derek went with her to get the tattoo. The artist busted it out in six hours which was a long time to sit for a tattoo but Stiles was a trooper. She had gotten used to a certain amount of pain in the last several months, or years really.

Stiles had started up with meditation to see if she could help with the panic attacks, even going so far as to practice some yoga, which was disastrous with her lack of balance. She had also started spending her free period at school napping in her car. The days after a 3am panic attack were the worst, those were the days where everyone noticed that she wasn’t sleeping, not just Derek and Lydia. Scott was worried about her and kept pestering her about having more ‘bro time’ as Scott called it. Even Isaac was being less combative than usual and Jackson texted or called her every day.

“Jackson, I’m fine,” Stiles sighed answering her phone.

“Lie! But I didn’t call for that, not that I'm not concerned, I think I found a magic book for you?” Jackson answered. The pack had started in on a trend of just calling out when anyone was lying, and it was more than a little annoying.

“Please tell me it’s in English,” Stiles groaned. She still was only halfway through the one in Farsi.

“No such luck, but it is in German, which our lovely Lydia is fluent in, written and spoken,” he fired back, somehow making it sound like bragging about himself. “How is Lydia doing? She and Parrish still good?”

Jackson and Lydia had gone through a rough path to friendship in the year after their breakup and were now firmly planted in good friends. They found that they loved each other but they didn’t like each other very much, it worked for them. “They are good, I hear he is taking her to the East Bay to meet his parents,” Stiles answered.

“How are they going to explain that she is eighteen?”

“How old do you think Jordan is?” Stiles scoffed, “He’s only like twenty-five. Anyways I’m pretty sure they are going to lie anyways and say that she is at the community college preparing to transfer to Stanford. How about you? How’s your love life?” Lydia had gotten early admissions from Stanford for her to continue to study math.

“I slept with twins last weekend!”

“Ew!” Stiles laughed.

“Not at the same time you freak.”

“Fraternal or identical?” Stiles questioned. Jackson’s sexcapades was always fun for the whole pack.

“Fraternal, one guy one girl,” he chuckled smugly.

They chatted some more, ending the conversation when he started pestering her about her mental health because Jackson, since going to therapy after the whole Kanima issue had become and advocate for therapy. Part of Stiles’ stress was not knowing what she was going to do after high school. She had always loved being at the sheriff station with her father but sometimes it was slow, too slow for her, not so much when it came to the supernatural but when it came to the average human crime aspect. But there wasn’t anything bigger than that anywhere near Beacon Hills. She could always do San Francisco PD or Oakland PD but she hated the stigma that surrounded those police stations with their corruption and rampant racism so would she shoot higher. Get a criminal justice degree, maybe a masters in psych and try for the FBI? That would require moving away from Beacon Hills. Away from her pack, and away from Derek.

Most of the pack was staying at least in state, Danny and Ethan were going the furthest away. Danny was waiting for his acceptance to Cal Tech, but we all knew he would get accepted, and Ethan was going to move down there with him and find some work, maybe go to a community college. Kira, Scott, Isaac and Malia were all pre-enrolled at the community college. Scott and Kira were planning to transfer to UC Davis after two years, Malia and Isaac would probably stop with an AA. Isaac was already helping manage the Moonlight Grind and he loved his work, he also helped with their magical side hustle and gave Stiles first dibs at any of the good stuff. Malia just wanted to travel. She was already planning a summer trip to England and planning on traveling some with Jackson, his parents obviously willing to foot the bill.

It was Sunday night and they were already breaking their rule, it was eleven and Derek was still in Stiles’ bed, not that she would let him leave even if he tried. She was straddling his lap in just her bra and underwear and he was shirtless but still had his jeans on. Her hair had come mostly undone hanging in long waves the ends brushing against her ass. She actually hated her hair. Everyone loved it and gushed over how beautiful it was but to Stiles not only was it a hinderance it was also a hazard, it was full of knots and got stuck in everything but she just kept putting off getting it cut. Derek currently had one hand planted on her waist while the other was buried in her hair tugging it forcefully enough to tilt her head back as he tongued and bit at her throat and collarbone.

She had one hand at the back of his neck, bracing herself, as her hips ground down into his. She could feel how hard he was knowing that any minute he would pull away. This would be the furthest they had gone, usually he starts to protest as soon as she starts taking off her clothes but it’s the day before a full moon. Stiles might have taken advantage of that fact and dressed in her sexy underwear, which wasn’t that sexy, just a set of black cotton underwear and a black cotton bra. Lydia would be so upset knowing that she considered this her sexy underwear. Her other hand was slowly making it’s way down his chest, scratching as it went. She fingered at the buttoned to his jeans testing the waters, he groaned and captured her mouth with his and his tongue explored inside her mouth.

She tried her luck and undid the button to his jeans and quickly followed with the zipper. “Stiles,” he warned but went right back to kissing her. So she decided to palm his dick through his pants. She swears that he ground into her hand with a growl, a sudden warmness filling her underwear as his growl.

“I promised no sex but I really want to do this for you,” she said sliding back onto her knees and freeing his cock from his pants and underwear. He was beautiful, not that she had seen much in the way of cock but she guessed that he was beautiful and she couldn’t wait. He was cut and big enough that she could fit both hands around him and there would still be considerable amount not covered.

“Fuck,” he sighed, his head falling back, “we really shouldn’t but… fuck I can smell how much you want this.” He wasn’t going to stop her and she was fucking thankful.

“I really do,” she said, her warm breath ghosting along his cock. She tentatively licks up his length, sucking the tip in and running her tongue around it, tasting his pre-come. She had gone on a researching spree before attempting this and had learned all about teeth and what to avoid and what to try. She kept one hand at the base applying some pressure and keeping time with the bobbing of her head and the other gently massaged his balls. Derek had gathered her hair in his hand and was gently keeping it out of the way for her. Stiles hummed and swallowed as she bobbed seeing what would draw groans and growls from her partner. She felt his cock pulse as it hit the back of her throat, he liked that, he liked when she took it as far as she could, choking a little. She did it again, pulling off and licking around the tip and then taking it to the back of her throat again.

“Stiles baby, I’m so close,” he murmured his grip tightening on her hair, his hips thrusting slightly. She moved her hand to keep his hips close to her face. He came down the back of her throat and she greedily swallowed all of it.

He growled suddenly and lifted her off the bed and against one of her walls, pinning her. “Is this ok?” he asked.

“Fucking gods yes,” she panted. He stripped her underwear off and lifted her knee over his shoulder. He gently stroked at her clit with his thumb and kissed the inside of her thighs leaving little red bites in his wake. Stiles was sure that she would melt to the ground if not for the wall holding her up, well, the wall and Derek. He started with one finger, slowly pressing into her then moving it up to rub at her clit. “More, please Der, more.” She moaned throwing her head back against the wall. He obliged and added a finger curling them inside, her head exploded. He was still working in and out of her with a steady pressure and pace. Then Stiles felt a hot wet pressure at her clit. He was licking dangerous circles over her. She shood as he licked and sucked at her, fingers still working between her walls. She felt him bite gently at her clit and it felt like electricity was rushing through her body. She was pretty sure she was whimpering but honestly, she was so lost in the feeling that the alpha pack could have wandered through her bedroom without her noticing. She came a minute later with Derek’s name on her lips. Derek stayed that night with Stiles tucked against his chest.

He shouldn’t have stayed. If he had gone home like he was supposed to then he wouldn’t have been woken up at 3am by Stiles struggling for air. Her panic flooded all his senses as she gasped and sat up in bed blinking back tears. “Stiles, it’s ok, I’ve got you, it’s alright,” he tried but his voice was full of panic.

She tried to get a hold of herself and focus on her breathing, on the feel of Derek’s hand on her back. She managed to get her breathing under control in just a couple minutes but she was still shaking. He holds her close to him, his warmth seeping into her.

“How often does it happen?” he asks her after the shaking has stopped.

“I don’t know, a couple times a week,” Stiles admits, she doesn’t have the energy to beat around the bush tonight.

“Why didn’t you tell me, better yet why didn’t you tell anyone? Your dad? Melissa? Anyone. I even would have been ok if you had told Jackson,” Derek just sounds broken.

“I wanted to tell you, I just couldn’t bring myself to be the one that brings the bad times again. Everything has been so calm, everyone is happy finally. But I can feel it Der, when I wake up like this, I feel something coming. I know it’s usually Lydia that has the impending doom feelings but I swear it’s something.” Stiles voice shakes.

“It was already headed here Stiles, it’s not your fault that it’s coming, it always comes eventually, it’s called Beacon Hills for a reason,” he sighs, kissing the top of her head and settling them back into bed, holding her closer than before.

Stiles is groggy in the morning so Derek makes her breakfast and drives her to school, promising to be there to pick her up later. Everyone that isn’t pack is utterly confused by the display. Most of her classmates assumed she was a lesbian because they had really only ever seen her with Malia, they were all confused as to why the sheriff’s daughter was dating ex-murder suspect and older man Derek Hale. Derek of course, loved being able to show everyone that Stiles was in fact taken and not by just anyone but specifically by him. Stiles just rolled her eyes and kissed him goodbye.

After her first period she get a note telling her to go to the office, she groans. As it turns out Derek had just dropped off Stiles’ favorite drink from the Moonlight Grind. She sent him a picture of her holding the coffee with heart-eye emoji’s. He just sent her one back telling her to get back to class. It’s the two sides of Derek hale, the marshmallow, reserved just for her and his family and occasionally the pack, and the Sourwolf which was the default.

Her day took a positive turn after that and the rest of the week followed. She didn’t have another panic attack. By Saturday she was worried that her subconscious either stopped trying to warn her about something because that something was no longer coming, or worse, because it was already here.

There was another quiet week after that and she was verging on driving herself insane trying to learn fortune magic. She apparently had zero talent in the seer witch category though. She tried throwing bones and runes, neither told her anything of use, although the runes did tell her that she had left the oven on after dinner. Derek had gone on a good will trip with Chris and Peter to the Delacorte Pack just across the Oregon border. Stiles joked that the old guys should have some fun while they were out. Derek didn’t think it was nearly as funny. He would be back Saturday night and it was already Friday, but Stiles missed the hell out of him. He had taken to driving her to school, sometimes taking her Jeep, and sometimes taking the Camaro. She spent the morning in the Camaro arguing that he needed a different car. She wanted him to get a Mercedes when the lease on the Camaro was up, maybe an SUV so they could fit more people. He kept saying that he didn’t want a mom car. She tried to explain that they made the extra special/fast ones, AMGs, in SUV form.

Scott and Lydia had dragged her out of her room Saturday night, where they had found her hunched over a Ouija board muttering to herself and bleeding over the letters. It was actually a really creepy scene that they had walked into and Scott swore that it was going to give him nightmares. Lydia had gotten her in the shower and a half decent outfit and they had all gone to the movies. When they dropped her off at her house she saw the Camaro in the driveway. She rushed into her house and flung herself at her boyfriend. He caught her easily swinging her around and giving her a chaste kiss that did not make up for the days of missed kissing, and other things. “Later,” he whispered into her ear, nibbling at it covertly.

The rest of the old guys club was in the kitchen with her dad still, Peter and Chris standing around the kitchen island drinking beer, even Derek had a beer at his seat. Her dad was in his uniform however, about to leave for a late shift. “How was the old guys road trip? Listen to the Eagles the whole way?” she joked, taking Derek’s beer and sipping it. Her dad glared at her and she put the beer down.

“Now is your boyfriend part of the old guys club too?” Peter asked her.

“Oh definitely, but just in spirit, he’s still surprisingly young under all this Sourwolf,” she said to Peter.

“We had better get going,” Chris interrupted.

“Have someone waiting at home for you Chris?” Peter said turning on the other man. Chris just scowled at Peter. The two were surprisingly friends and hung out a lot, mostly at bars but still.

“Dad, mind if I stay at the loft tonight?” Stiles asked her father and her nodded, he preferred that she wasn’t alone when he worked the night shift. He had been great at trusting Stiles to make her own decisions, and only lectured her about safety every other time she went to the loft for the night. She quickly packed a bag and headed to her Jeep, hugging her dad on the way out of the house and promising to be good, praying that he couldn’t hear Peter snort at the lie.

Most nights that she was with Derek were mostly PG-13. That night was not one of those nights. He ended up eating her out in the shower until she came twice. Then they collapsed on his bed and he curled around her and they fell asleep. When she woke up Derek was absent as usual, she had actually slept pretty well, and only ended up staring at the wall for two and a half hours of the night.

She heard the shower turn off in the bathroom and made her way in there to brush her teeth. Derek was staring at himself in the mirror, his eyes glowing red. “You ok Der?” she asked.

“Look,” he said turning to her with glowing eyes, then the eyes faded to his normal green-blue eyes.

“Ok, they look normal to me,” she replied.

“I didn’t mean to do that, I meant to keep the red, I’m having trouble maintaining my senses too.”

“What does that mean?” Stiles panicked.

“I don’t know.”

They tried to remain calm but over breakfast Stiles couldn’t hold it any longer. “How long has this been happening?”

“The past week, I didn’t want to worry you, you already have so much weight on your shoulders, I was hoping that it wasn’t going to last. But I’m starting to lose other things too,” he replied.

“Shit Derek I wish you had told me! I’ll go grab my laptop and see what I can find in the books from Deaton’s.

“We just can’t seem to get this right, you don’t tell me about your panic attacks, I don’t tell you about this, quite a pair we make,” he scoffs.

“We’ll figure this out,” she squeezed his hand and went in search of her lap top. She found nothing.

On Monday she went back to school, Derek had told her to keep his situation to herself, she had argued with him until he had conceded and said that she could involve Lydia. “So what do you think?” Stiles asked after explaining the situation.

“I think that this is beyond even me, you are the resident supernatural expert Stiles. You and Chris are like the only two people that know that stuff anymore,” Lydia looked sad. She had been thinking of Allison. Allison had helped Stiles work thorough many supernatural problems and Stiles ached at her loss in this moment, and felt the crushing guilt associated with her death. Lydia pulled Stiles into a hug. “I have faith in you, and so does Derek, in fact, everyone has faith in you Stiles.”

Stiles decided to make a pit stop at Chris’ apartment after school. She knew he was in town still because they had just gotten back from Oregon, to hell with keeping this to herself, she needed someone to bounce ideas off of and Chris has the most knowledge about the subject.

Stiles had gotten waylaid after school and didn’t make it over to Chris’ apartment until seven. She knocked at the door. “Stiles, what are you doing here?” Chris answered the door. Stiles pushed her way inside as Chris sighed.

“Look there is something wrong with Derek and he doesn’t really want me discussing it with people but I can’t fix this on my own I don’t know enough, and you have no idea how much it absolutely kills me to admit that I don’t know enough but that’s why I’m here,” she rants.

“What’s wrong with my brother?” Laura asks appearing from the kitchen. Stiles looks back and forth between Chris and Laura, confused. Then it dawns on her, Peter’s off comment last night and the way they are dressed, Chris in slacks and a button up and Laura in a dress, Laura never wears dresses.

“Oh shit, I’m interrupting, I’m so sorry I can just go now,” Stiles coughed.

“Well you’re here now,” Chris says shooting her death glares.

“What’s wrong with Derek?” Laura asks more forcefully.

“I’m really not supposed to talk about it, he is going to be so mad already. Not at you of course, cause as long as you make each other happy it really shouldn’t matter, I mean who am I to bring up age difference anyways. He’ll be mad at me, I wasn’t supposed to say anything to Chris and now this and oh boy,” Stiles rambles. So Chris and Laura were together, good for them, in her opinion Chris had always been a great guy. Although it was sad that his wife died she had always given Stiles the creeps, especially after she had tried to kill Scott and gotten bitten by Stiles’ boyfriend instead then done the whole ‘I’d rather die than be a werewolf thing’ which seemed like blowing things way out of proportion in Stiles’ opinion seeing as how the majority of her friends were perfectly fine with being werewolves, or were-somethings. Oh god, she was even rambling in her head.

“Relax Stiles, now tell us what is going on,” Chris said handing her a glass of water.

So Stiles explained and before she knew it they were barging into the loft and Laura was yelling, “Derek Hale, why did you not tell me about this instantly?”

“Stiles,” he growled. Stiles shrunk back in her hiding place behind Chris.

“I really didn’t mean to, well I mean, I meant to tell Chris but Laura was there and I didn’t know!” Stiles argued peaking out from behind Chris.

“Explain!” Laura shouted.

“Well, I went to Chris’ apartment to talk about the situation but Laura was there-“

“Not you Stiles,” Chris groaned turning to her.

“What do you mean Laura was at Chris’ apartment?” Derek asked, inadvertently changing the subject.

“Not that it’s any of your business but Chris and I are dating,” Laura says hautily. “And don’t change the subject? You’re losing your powers!”

“What!? He is way too old for you!” Derek counter, now just yelling at his sister.

“Can we really make that judgement Der?” Stiles points out. Derek shoots her a scathing look, Stiles mimes zipping her lips and locking them.

“Let’s let these two figure this out and you and I can wait in the kitchen, maybe order some Chinese food, seems like it might take a while,” Chris says steering her towards the kitchen.

They bounce ideas off each other and by the time the Chinese food, enough to feed and army, arrives Derek and Laura are done arguing. They gather around the small kitchen table and Stiles runs through the possibilities that she and Chris came up with. “Ok first possibility you are dying, but let’s just brush that one to the side cause I can’t deal with that! Next, is that you were poisoned so we are going to need to take some blood samples to Deaton. Third, you for some reason are turning human, and fourth I’m somehow causing this,” Stiles looks down at her plate as she finishes the fourth reason with a whisper.

“How could you possibly be causing this?” Derek asks grumpily. He isn’t grumpy that she might be causing this, just that she blames herself for it.

“Well, my magic is intention based so it’s possible.”

“Do you want me to be human?” Derek asked, worry etched in his face.

“No, but I consistently want things to be easier, and you being human would make that easier,” she shrugs, dejected. Derek pulls her out of her chair and into a hug. Chris and Laura discreetly leave the kitchen.

“Stiles, you didn’t cause this. Of course, me being human would make some things easier but not everything, and I don’t think you could bring about this change anyways, I mean I’ve never been human in my life,” Derek keeps her pinned to his chest. She deeply inhales his smell and closes her eyes, she is suddenly immensely tired. Looking at the clock she notices that it’s already almost midnight. “You go get ready for bed, I’ll call Noah and tell him you are too tired to drive home right now, and I’ll take you to school tomorrow.”

Derek’s condition keeps declining over the week as Stiles desperately searches for answers. Derek seems oddly at peace with what is happening to him. His powers are waning but overall it doesn’t seem to be affecting his health, he just can’t shift or use super senses or strength, in short he is human.

Scott has had to take up more of the Alpha duties and runs the perimeter every morning. Derek on the other hand has started joining Stiles in her morning workouts. He even has started sparing with her so that he doesn’t get rusty, which is different for him since he has never really run the risk of getting rusty.

Derek even took her to dinner and a movie one night, in public, and held her hand. Sure they got some looks, and an especially scathing glare from Trisha Wilkinson who works at the beauty store and definitely had a crush on Derek, but they had fun, actual fun. Derek stayed involved in pack happenings and started carrying a gun, Chris had taken him shooting several times and Derek turned out to be a good shot no surprise there.

Two weeks into Derek playing human he and Stiles are getting hot and heavy in his car out in a secluded and infamous make-out spot. He has his hands up her shirt and she is straddling him in the passenger seat. Their tongues are dancing together, and she bites at his lower lip. Then she is blinded by headlights coming at them from either side of the car.

“Get out of the car,” an unfamiliar voice says over a loudspeaker.

“It’s not the police, they would have their lights on,” Stiles says, panicked. She reaches down to gather her spell book, slipping the razor in the binding over her hand, starting a slow bleed just in case.

“We have to get out of the car Stiles, just stay behind me and if I tell you to run then run,” Derek whispers in her ear. Stiles slips Derek’s phone out of the center console and speed dials number 2, Scott McCall. She tucked it back into his pants pocket.

“We’re getting out,” Stiles said with her hands up. Once out of the car Derek puts himself between Stiles and the nearest car.

“Derek Hale,” came the voice of someone they both recognized, Araya Calaveras.

“Araya, what brings you to Beacon Hills?” Derek asks, voice level.

“Several of my men, my nephew among them, went to investigate La Iglesias de la Reina and did not return. Then I hear that your little pack are there, and they go in without you and leave with you. I waited for your response, telling me your business in my land but I only get a half assed response from your disgraced hunter. So I assume that you are responsible for my nephews death,” Araya giving the signal to fire.

Chapter Text

Stiles’ shoulder burned but she already had pulled a shield charm crushing it in her bloody hand. Derek was down, he had been shot several times. Once in the chest, another time in arm and once in the leg. Stiles tried to staunch the bleeding from his chest, her eyes filling with tears. She watches as he bleeds out, bullets bouncing off the shield some cracking it’s orange exterior.

Stiles murmurs to Derek, the orange of her cracking shield lighting his face. Derek coughs as he tries to say something to Stiles. “I lo-,”He chokes.

“Shhh Der, baby, please just hold on, I’m gonna get us out of here,” Stiles promises crying, his blood running over her fingers, gushing out of the hole in his chest. As he dies Stiles loses herself to her magic, she sends out a shockwave of raw power. The wave crushes the side of the Camaro, forcing it back then feet from them. All of Araya’s SUVs are forced back ten feet as well, crushing the front of each car. The hunters go flying backwards.

Stiles was losing a significant amount of blood and she had expended too much magic, Derek was laying dead in front of her as she collapsed to the dirt. Her shield was gone, Derek was dead, and she was out of options. She hears a howl, she knows it’s Scott. She sees Malia rush into the fray heading straight for her, then nothing. She finds the lack of blood and dirt and noise comforting, she thinks of her mother, and of Derek.

She dreams about a large black wolf with red eyes, she isn’t afraid of it; in fact, it seems to call to her. When she wakes it’s because of a throbbing pain in her shoulder. She saw her dad first, he was sleeping in a chair that had previously been in Derek’s living room. In fact, she was in Derek’s bed and Derek half sitting in a chair at her bedside and half laying on the bed. She tentatively reached out with her hand and carded it through his hair.

“We have to stop meeting like this,” he huffs quietly.

“Hey, aren’t you dead?” Stiles jokes quietly, her voice hoarse. Derek just chuckles and grabs the glass of water from the bed side table. Stiles takes a small drink, then another.

“I have to wake Noah,” Derek rubs his eyes.

“First you have to tell me that I’m either seeing ghosts or somehow you are still alive after I watched you die. Please,” her voice was desperate and wreaked. She had felt her soul rip in two last night. She had watched this man die right before her eyes, her hands had been soaked in his blood as the light left his eyes.

“You aren’t seeing ghosts, I had what Peter is calling an evolution, I can full shift now,” Derek explained, “I’m so sorry Stiles, I never wanted you to get hurt again, not because of me.” He buried his head in her hand, it actually kind of pulled at her shoulder but she didn’t mind. It felt so right to have him touching her right now.

“I’m very happy you aren’t dead, I think I dreamed of you, but I always dream of you,” she sighed. She was so tired. Derek woke her father up and they chatted for a minute then Stiles fell back to sleep.

When she woke up next Deaton was there to change her bandage. Before long she would be covered in scars, Derek would heal perfectly every time and Stiles would collect enough scars for the both of them.

She missed a week of school but on the upside she stayed at Derek’s loft and he took care of her. The Sheriff wrote a note to school saying she had mono, Scott brought her homework after school every day. At least some of the pack were at the loft every night for dinner, her father was there every night. It took three days for Stiles to regain her connection to the wards around town, and another three to get out to the preserve to maintain them.

The walked slowly, Stiles was clumsy enough on her own without injury adding to the difficulty. Derek helped her over fallen trees and creeks. They didn’t talk much as they went but it wasn’t an awkward silence, it was just peaceful. They spent her last day recovering walking in the preserve and strengthening the wards. Stiles had felt well rested for the first time in what felt like years. She had even worked wards around the loft. They hadn’t heard any more from Araya, Chris and Scott had gone to her and told her what happened at the Church, explained about Kate and promised that they would no longer be plagued by her. But she had left them with a warning, a warning to keep Stiles well hidden. Stiles of course just snorted and shook her head, not believing that sadistic old woman’s cryptic warnings.

About a week after returning to school Stiles woke up alone in her bed in the middle of the night, 3am, dread gripping her and the sense that there was something coming. It was the same dream. She climbed out of bed and made her way to a small lead lined box on her desk. Her hands were so sweaty she was having trouble unlocking it, she shook horribly, and her eyes couldn’t focus. Her breathing had started to settle, and she had opened the box taking out a velvet bag. She took the tarot cards out of the bag, they buzzed in her hand. Erica had found the tarot cards at a garage sale in Oakland, they had once belonged to an oracle in Sudan.

Stiles hadn’t had any luck with seer magic on her own so she called the one person she could think would have better luck than her, Lydia. “Stiles, it’s 3 am,” came Lydia’s tired voice.

“Lydia, I need you,” Stiles sobbed. It didn’t take any more then that, Lydia was in her car arguing about calling Derek within a minute.

When Lydia got to Stiles’ house Stiles had already set up a spell circle. She burned a smudge stick in her room and set up the candles in the cardinal directions. She still looked like hell though and Lydia didn’t pull any punches telling her just that when Stiles opened the door. “What am I doing here Stiles?” Lydia asked taking in the smell of the sage and the pentagram that had been hidden under the carpet.

“I had been having this dream it was worse before the Hunter’s attacked it was this crushing sense of dread and I’d wake up and have a fucking panic attack. But it stopped, and I thought it was a premonition about the hunters, but I had it again tonight, it was different. I saw something Lyds,” Stiles shook as she explained.

“Stiles, what did you see?” Lydia asked, worry seeped through her words.

“I saw eyes, solid black eyes and they looked right at me, whatever I saw in my dream, Lydia, it saw me too,” Stiles whispered.

“Stiles we need to tell the pack.”

“Not until I know more, which is why you are here.” Stiles handed Lydia the deck of cards. “I know that you don’t love doing readings but I really, really, need you Lyds.” They were hand painted with delicate gold filigree details, and worn on the edges, obviously well used and old. Lydia shuddered when she took the cards. Stiles knew she could feel the power that the cards have been imbued with over the years, and not all the magic held good intentions.

“Stiles, you know that I’d do anything for you.” Lydia did a three-card read the first card drawn was the Magician. The second card was Seven of Cups, reversed, and the last card was the Tower. When Lydia looked up at Stiles she was crying.

“Tell me what it means Lydia,” Stiles said softly, her hand clutched in Lydia’s.

“The Magician, which indicates true power in this case specifically you. The Seven of Cups reversed, or the Boatman, is a loss of reality or a loss of the life you currently know. The last is the Tower, the Tower means destruction, obliteration.”

“Lydia, something is coming, and I think they are after me. I fucked up Lydia, something out there didn’t know about us and I basically broadcasted my location the night of the attack. Lydia, what have I done?” Stiles broke.

Lydia stayed the rest of the night. In the morning she called the pack and told them to meet right after school at the loft, and everyone had to be there. Stiles’ day passed in a haze. She is pretty sure she failed that history quiz considering she couldn’t concentrate enough to finish even one question. She dodged calls and texts from Derek all day, she even managed to avoid Scott by hiding in the library during lunch.

Lydia and Stiles showed up last to the pack meeting and Stiles was shaking when the got to the door to the loft. Everyone was gathered in the living room, Derek was angrily pacing by the fireplace while Scott glared at him from one of the chairs. “There is something coming to Beacon Hills, and I think I brought it here,” Stiles rushed.

“Start from the beginning,” Chris said, “and slowly please.” So Stiles took a deep breath.

“I’ve been having a weird dream where I wake up and can’t remember it at all but I’m overwhelmed by a sense of terror, like there is something after me. I thought it was a warning about the hunters that came, and what happened to Derek. And after the hunters there were no dreams, I thought that was the end of it, but it wasn’t. Last night I had another dream, but I remember part of it this time, it was a pair of solid black eyes, in sunken sockets and when I looked into the eyes, they looked into me,” Stiles said. Derek had stopped pacing and had come to stand by Stiles. “They are coming for me, whatever they are, they felt my power when I released that shockwave the night of the hunters. I had Lydia do a Tarot reading last night after my dream, it wasn’t good. I’m so sorry.” Derek put his arms around her pulling her closer to him, as if he could protect her from the future.

“They are called the Venatores Malefica. But I’ve never heard of anyone who has seen them. But then again we don’t really see many witches either so,” Chris shrugs, “Legend says that they were once witches themselves, but were corrupted by Enochian runes, the language of the angels. Gerard used to tell stories about them to scare us as children. There were four of them at one point but there was another story about one of them being killed by the witch that he had been in love with before he was corrupted by the runes but who knows if that is just a story or not.” No one spoke for a while. Derek just held Stiles who couldn’t stop shaking.

Scott was the first one to talk. “We’ve delt with everything that has come our way and we will deal with this too.”

“Scott you know I love your unflappable optimism but what if we can’t deal with this?” Stiles rebutted.

“Then what do we do?” Scott asked, desperation in his tone.

“No more magic,” Derek growled.

“What?” Stiles turned on Derek, her anger rising.

“You heard me, no more magic,” Derek said in his alpha tone.

“You can’t do that. You can’t just order me to not use my magic!”

“Yes I can, especially if it’s putting you at risk, you can’t control it, it controls you and that is dangerous for all of us,” Derek crossed his arms.

“Oh that’s rich! Just like one of your betas! Do they have to stop being werewolves?!” Stiles had started yelling.

“Let’s all take a walk,” Peter suggested to the rest of the pack who was awkwardly watching Stiles and Derek yell at each other, “a long walk.” The pack quickly exited the loft, they had been around more than one of their blow-out fights and knew better than to get involved.

“This is different, you are putting yourself at risk unnecessarily!” Derek yelled.

“Unnecessarily?! Unnecessarily?! You wouldn’t even be here if I hadn’t used my magic!” Stiles argued.

“And you’d still be safe!”

“And you’d be dead!” Stiles screamed. They had always argued. They just had a way of making each other’s blood boil.

“Stiles, please,” he said softly, reaching for her hand. “I know I’m asking a lot, but baby please, just stop using it for a while, we’ll have the pack taking turns guarding you around the clock. I can’t take any risks when it come to you ok?”

“Fine, we can try it your way. I need to tell my father,” Stiles picked up her phone and called her dad. She told him about the dream and the reading and the Venatores Malefica. He told her to do what she needed to do to stay safe. She might have downplayed the severity of the problem, but she didn’t want him to be in a danger that he couldn’t possibly stand up against. The pack eventually returned and they made a schedule to guard her, Stiles was not looking forward to never being alone again. The kids in the pack took turns guarding her at school and after school and Derek took nights. Peter and Laura took turns going to the grocery store with her twice a week. Every morning she and Derek ran part of the perimeter for Beacon Hills.

Everything was clear but she was still having the dream every night and it was getting worse, more intense. Neither she nor Derek were sleeping and her magic felt like it would soon burn its way out of her body. She had a quiet Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday with her family and her pack but tensions were still high. She and Derek had started finding her runes burned out of the trees surrounding Beacon Hills.

They were trying to maintain the boundaries but it was getting harder and harder. Each morning they would find her runes gone, all that was left was a burned hand print. Stiles couldn’t keep up the runes especially while heavily limiting her magic and she was completely cutting out blood magic. There were too many missing and just after New Years the wards fell. She could only maintain the ones around her house and around the loft without expending enough magic to be detected.

The kids tried to maintain some semblance of normal while at school so they were all there for the lacrosse season opener. Scott was dealing with a new player with anger issues, a kid named Liam who got kicked out of his last school for fighting. The kid was giving Scott’s patience a run for its money. Stiles had watched Liam in school, he had a best friend named Mason that was smart on a level like Stiles and Lydia.

The first scrimmage lacrosse game was against another local high school. Lydia, Stiles, and Malia drove in the Jeep behind the bus full of players. The game started a little late and coach gave a rousing, yet confusing, half-time speech as per tradition. Beacon Hills High School lost the game. Davenport was a private school that had a history of kicking their asses at lacrosse.

Liam got into a fight after the game and Scott offered to take him back to the high school in Stiles’ car. The players and Lydia and Malia rode back to the school in the school bus and Scott and Stiles drove back with Liam. It was dark and Stiles was driving. They had gotten a later start than the bus and it was far in front of them.

They were driving through the preserve on a dark road with no streetlights. Stiles was driving her precious jeep while Liam fumed in the back seat and Scott lectured him about keeping his cool. Stiles was distracted by their arguing for only a moment but when she turned back to the road there was a figure just standing there. Stiles turned the wheel quickly to avoid hitting the person in the road. The whole jeep turned onto it’s side.

Stiles’ jeep was on fire. Scott was coughing and pulling Liam out of the back window. Stiles had a head wound that was bleeding into her left eye. She could see the figure coming slowly towards the burning Jeep. As it got closer the fire lit up it’s face. The eyes were a solid sunken black and the skin looked like aged paper. The figure was wearing a brown robe, like monks robes and the hood was up. As it calmly walked towards Stiles she saw the runes carved into it’s face. Stiles recognized them as Enochian Runes, the language of angels. The runes were ugly and jagged like they had been healed and reapplied thousands of times. The one below the creatures left eye seemed to be bleeding.

The figure talked towards Stiles, it reached out a leathered hand curling it into a fist. Stiles felt a pressure vice around her calf and she was being dragged from the Jeep. Scrambled and reached for her jacket which held her spell book but caught only dirt as she was dragged towards the Venator.

Abomination, you have been found practicing the blood arts. We seek judgement. Stiles could hear the words echoing through her head, and it hurt. Each word pierced her mind and radiated through her body. She was pretty sure that her nose and ears were bleeding. She felt as paralyzed now as she had when the Kanima had poisoned her. She looked up into the face of the Venator. The runes etched into their face weren’t even the worst part, when she looked at it’s mouth she saw only large stitches covering what probably used to be a mouth.

We do not suffer a blood witch to live.

“I didn’t know, I didn’t know,” Stiles pleaded. Fear struck in every nerve in her body. Scott was up and running at the Venator. He got in two good swipes before the Venator sent him flying backwards with the touch of a hand.

Malefica, abomination, he said turning back to Stiles, then out of nowhere Liam rushed at the Venator, his broken lacrosse stick in hand. He rammed it through the creature’s chest. It was a strange thing, seeing a creature so old and terrifying with half a lacrosse stick just sticking out of it’s body. It turned on the boy and stuck it’s hand right into his abdomen. When it pulled back it’s hand was drenched in blood. The it turned back to Stiles and disappeared.

Liam was bleeding out in the road. Stiles crawled over to him and Scott joined her. “Scott you have to save him, please. He saved my life, you have to do something,” Stiles begged Scott. Scott looked conflicted, he had never turned anyone and he hadn’t seen the bite as a gift, like Isaac had.

“I don’t know if it will save him,” Scotts voice shook.

“We have to try,” Stiles cried. Scott took Liam’s arm and bit into it. The already bleeding kid looked confused then passed out. Stiles went back to the smoking jeep and riffled through the debris, finding her phone, her spell book, and something to staunch Liam’s bleeding. The screen was slick with blood from her hands as she tried to call Derek. She told him their location and a rough explanation as to what happened. He would be there soon.

Derek found her first. She was sitting against a tree next to Liam, who had stopped bleeding but had lost consciousness. Scott was doing a perimeter sweep looking for the Venator. Derek wiped the blood off of Stiles’ face, cradling it in his hands like she might break at any second.

“Do we know if he’ll make it yet?” she asked Derek, looking down at Liam’s head in her lap.

“We’ll know by the morning, I need to get you back to the loft and cleaned up. I’ll call your dad and have him send someone out for the Jeep, but Stiles we gotta go now, ok?” he asked her softly, “can you walk?” She nodded her head, she was limping a little but it didn’t feel any worse than a sprain but there was a hand shaped bruise already forming on her calf. Derek carried Liam to his car and deposited him in the back seat. Stiles climbed into the front and Derek took a minute to hop out and talk to Scott who just nodded and ran off into the woods.

“Where is Scott going?” Stiles asked Derek as he got back in the car.

“He is going to see if he can catch a scent for that thing, he’ll meet us back at the loft later.”

Liam had stabilized even more by the time they got back to the loft but was still unconscious. Derek put him in his spare room and set Peter to keep an eye on him.

Stiles sat on the bathroom counter as Derek cleaned up the blood on her face and hands. He was so gently but Stiles knew that he was angry she just didn’t know if he was angry at her or himself. “I should have been there,” Derek grunts, slamming the bloody washcloth onto the counter. So, he was mad at himself and that was worse. Stiles could deal with Derek being mad at her but when internalized his anger it never ended well. She took his hand gently and held it to her face. She turned into it, kissing his palm. He rested his forehead against Stiles’ and sighed.

Stiles felt like the only thing still tethering her to this plane of existence were Derek’s hands on her body. Her spine tingled and her hands shook as they ran up and down Derek’s hard stomach.

“Take me to bed, Derek,” she said softly, looking into his blue-green eyes.

He growled but picked her up, facing him with her legs to either side of his body. He deposited her onto his bed, kissing her brutally, his fingers digging into her hips. The light pain grounded her body and her mind.

“I need you,” she whispered against his lips. She pulled off his shirt, throwing it across the room. She started on the button of his jeans and when he didn’t protest, she started undoing his pants. In a clash of hands and teeth they were both soon naked. Her hands searched his body like he was Indiana Jones, and she was a rare artefact. His hands cupped and pinched at her nipples. She groaned into his mouth.

Every sound she made sent him wild, he move a hand down to where she needed him. He rubbed his thumb at her clit sinking a finger into her heat. She moaned and arched into his touch. “Fuck, Derek, more I need more,” she moaned. He slid another finger into her, curling them to hit just the right spot. The heat settled low in her abdomen her orgasm building. She came with his name on her breath. Focus came to Stiles’ eyes and Derek was fisting his leaking cock. The sight did something to her and heat pooled in her again. She added her hand to his and stroked him several times before positioning herself under him and taking his cock into her mouth. She choked a little as the tip started to slide down her throat, she slipped a hand down to play with herself. Derek’s head fell backwards and he twisted his hand in her hair and thrust into her mouth. Derek was well aware how much she liked to choke on his cock. He held her head steady and fucked into her mouth and gasped when she played with his balls and swirled her tongue around the tip as he thrust down into her throat. He put a hand lightly on her throat just to feel his own cock in her.

She pulled off with a wet pop “Derek I need you inside of me, I need your cock, please. I need you to fuck me,” She practically was begging. She was so wet and she smelled so good to Derek, he was almost out of his mind. He pulled her back under him and kissed her deeply. He pulled her leg up his side and she could feel his cock rub against her heat and she rolled her hips into him, wetting his cock with her slick. He growled and bit her lip. The pain was good, it grounded them both and reminded them that this was real. He lined himself up at her entrance and pushed in. The sharp pain that she had felt when he sheathed himself into her faded to a satisfying full feeling. It took a while for her to feel comfortable with that much inside her but soon she was fidgeting and experimentally moving her hips. He growled and dug his fingertips into her hip.

Derek was barely holding onto his sanity, he kept feeling like he was about to drop his fangs and sink his claws into her and she couldn’t stay still. He pulled out and pushed back in slowly as she arched against him. “Fuck, baby you’re so tight, you feel so fucking good taking all my cock,” he moaned against her lips. He hiked one of her legs up to his shoulder and started thrusting. He tried a few experimental thrusts, making sure she wasn’t in pain. But he couldn’t hold back, she saw red bleed into his irises.

“Fuck me,” she growled, her fingers digging into his back. Derek growled and thrust harder and faster, he set a grueling pace that made Stiles feel like she was about to be split in half.

Stiles was so close to being overwhelmed with the sensation, it just kept building and building. There would be bruises on her body tomorrow from this, and from the crash. Derek moved a hand to her center gathering her slick on his fingers and rubbing circles at her clit. He buried his head in her shoulder, he was so close but he needed her to come first. He turned her on her side, sliding one of her knees up to her chest, reaching deeper than before which Stiles couldn’t believe was possible. She sobbed in pleasure “Gods fuck, Derek,” she panted.

“Come for me,” he panted against her ear. Derek increased the pressure of the circles he was making around her clit. He could feel her tighten around him as her muscles fluttered and her back arched. She mewled and panted through her orgasm. He was so close but he wanted to milk her orgasm for everything it was worth so he kept his pace and hit just the right spot in her extending her orgasm as much as he could.

“Please Derek, come in me, I need you in me,” she panted. That is what did him in, he pulsed deep inside her as he bit down at the juncture of her shoulder and neck. He didn’t bite hard enough to break skin but there would definitely be a bruise. He licked at the bite mark as he came down from his orgasm. When he pulled out she whimpered a little, she would be sore but she didn’t mind. The soreness would remind her of Derek, and the idea that she would be able to feel him for days was insanely hot.

He laid down behind her and reached a hand around her waist and fingered her, pushing his come back inside of her and kissed and sucked at her shoulder. “Wolf thing?” she asked in a rough whisper, her throat a little uncomfortable from a combination of her now embarrassing noises and the tip of Derek’s cock fucking into her throat.

“Yeah, it’s a wolf thing,” he grumbled into her neck.

They laid like that for as long as they dared but Stiles started to fidget, and Derek knew that she wouldn’t stay still for long. He got up and started the shower. When Stiles followed him into the bathroom she could feel their combined come dripping down her leg, it sent Derek a little crazy. The smell of them together was intoxicating. He pulled her close and kissed her, his tongue licking at her lower lip.

“We shouldn’t have done that, we were supposed to wait,” Derek was getting back to his Sourwolf self.

“We definitely SHOULD have done that a while ago. I can’t believe that was what I was missing out on,” Stiles wrapped her arms around his neck as they waited for the water to heat up.

“I just don’t want to be like her,” Derek murmured into her hair. “I don’t want you to regret being with me.”

“I could never regret being with you Derek,” Stiles put her hands on either side of his face, turning to look him in the eyes. “You are everything to me.” Derek just kissed her, it felt different from their other kisses, like he was trying to out everything he couldn’t say into an action. Stiles pulled Derek into the shower.

The hot water was doing Stiles a world of good. She still had some blood caked on to her skin from the crash but Derek apparently hadn’t minded. She scrubbed her skin until it was pink. Stiles’ exhaustion was catching up to her and she would have fallen asleep in the shower if not for Derek holding her up. At one point he sat her down on the warm tile floor of the shower and cleaned himself. Then he turned off the shower and wrapped her in a fluffy towel. When she was dry he deposited her into his bed, pulled on some underwear, and climbed in next to her, cradling her to his chest.

She was sore in ways that she didn’t know was possible when she woke up and she couldn’t tell what soreness was from the crash and what soreness was from the sex. She tried to shift but she was weighed down by Derek’s arm. She poked the Sourwolf until he grumbled and rolled over. She went into the bathroom and closed the door. She looked at herself in the mirror but couldn’t really see the difference, besides the bruises and cuts, but she could feel the change. She shifted and stretched her muscles pinpointing where the soreness was coming from. Stiles had grabbed the magical salve from her bag and began rubbing it into her muscles sore from the crash.

Chapter Text

Stiles had forgotten that Liam was at the loft, she had honestly forgotten that Scott had bitten him. She had basically forgotten everything except for Derek’s dick. As she sipped her coffee she smiled to herself at the memory of last night. The sex was fogging her already tired brain.

Peter was still sitting outside of Liam’s room, putzing on his phone. “Honestly, you two waited longer to have sex than any of us predicted. I guess Scott wins the Deadpool on that one,” Peter says without even looking up from his phone.

“Believe me, I have been trying but he is a man of steel,” Stiles smirks. Living with werewolves that have super smelling and hearing abilities means that being shy about stuff like sex was a thing of the past. It had taken a while to get used to it but now, two years after their supernatural indoctrination there was no longer a stigma around things like sex. It was freeing in a lot of ways, it was also really annoying in a lot of ways.

“Are you here to check on the newborn?” Peter asks, cocking his head towards the door to Liam’s room.

“Yeah, has he woken up at all?”

“Not yet, sure you don’t want to wait for Derek?” Peter asks with and eyebrow. They aren’t nearly as expressive as Derek’s but it is definitely a family trait. Laura and Cora both were just as expressive as Derek with their facial expressions.

“What are you saying Peter? Do I look like I can’t handle myself?” Stiles looks down at her Beacon Hills Sheriff’s Department tee and her slippers, which have a fluffy wolf head on them, Scott had gotten them for her for Christmas this year. “On second thought, don’t answer that.”

Peter just laughs lightly and opens the door for her. He doesn’t close it though and he stands in the doorway just to make sure. The entire pack has been so protective of her since the summer, like at any moment she might break or spontaneously combust. She doesn’t mind the backup though, especially since she isn’t really supposed to be using her magic right now.

“Liam?” she asks from just inside the door. She doesn’t really want to startle the poor kid, gods know he’ll have enough to deal with, without Stiles standing over him when he wakes up.

“Where am I?” a groggy Liam asks, sitting up in bed. “What the fuck happened last night?” he was starting to panic a little now.

“Liam, it’s alright, you are safe, you’re at Derek’s house,” Stiles tries to calm him. He recognizes Stiles but he seems confused by the attire. “You stayed here last night after my car crashed on the way home from the game. Do you remember what happened?”

“Yeah, some crazy dude was standing in the middle of the road and then he attacked Scott and you and I…” his face paled. He remember impaling the guy with his lacrosse stick.

“You did what you had to, and you probably saved Scott and I’s lives. If it makes you feel better you didn’t kill him,” Stiles shrugs. “You remember anything else?”

“He put his hand right through me, and Scott bit me,” Liam whispers, his hands searching his chest, expecting there to be a whole then looking down at his bandaged forearm looking a little horrified.

“You healed, which brings me to the next part,” Stiles sighed. This was pretty much her job because of her Emissary title but it didn’t make it easy. “You would have died if Scott hadn’t bitten you, but your life will never be the same. The good news, your alive and this is the best pack in the world, in my opinion. The down side, is that you are now a werewolf.” Liam is looking at her like she is insane. She feels a little insane so it doesn’t bother her too much. Stiles put on her sweetest smile and sipped her coffee.

“You are kidding me, is this some kind of like varsity lacrosse hazing or something?”

“No, no hazing here, it’s super dangerous. People actually die during hazing—”

“He doesn’t need the history of hazing Stiles,” Peter gently reminds her. Stiles nods and turns to Peter.

“I guess you had better just show him then,” Stiles says, letting Peter past her and going to lean up against the wall.

Liam screams, Stiles expected that though. Stiles nearly fell over every time someone shifted in front of her for the first six months of being in the know. She manages to calm him down and by then Derek is awake and had come to find them, and Scott had arrived. They walk Liam through the particulars of werewolfhood while Stiles changes and gets a round of coffees for everyone. She can’t hold five full cups of coffee though so she casts a cheap telekinesis spell, it only costs her a strand of hair.

The pack takes Liam out to the preserve and bonds as werewolves or whatever it is they do out there. Stiles works on some homework and even puts the finishing touches on her college admissions paper and sends off four applications; University of San Francisco, Beacon County Junior College, George Washington University, and UCLA. Three of the four are in California, one is even in Beacon Hills itself, but George Washington was in Washington D.C. and it had the best school for international affairs. She had only really talked about the three schools in California, her father was the only one that knew that she had wanted to go to George Washington U for forever.

The FBI had always been her goal but everything had changed her sophomore year when the supernatural invaded her life. She couldn’t help but think about everything that her life would have been without all the death and disruption that the supernatural brought. She tried to imagine Scott still struggling with asthma, she imagined Allison and Aiden alive, and Jackson never leaving for London. She imagines never knowing Malia, or Peter, or Laura, or Derek. No, that would never be her life. All of that was firmly stuck in another timeline of this world. And she knows that if she had the chance to never get involved she wouldn’t take it, she knows that this is the world she belongs in, but she can still dream about being in the FBI.

She thinks about if she should be bothering to submit applications in the first place, especially considering the fucking witch hunters that were after her.

The German grimoire that Jackson found in London arrives that afternoon. Stiles eagerly rips into the packaging. The book was old, probably 1700s if any of the other old books in her collection were anything to go by. The German was old school too so she and Lydia were going to have to work a bit harder to translate the pages. Lydia was setting up her computer so that they could digitally enter the translated text and scan in the original text. Stiles kept a strict inventory of all of her spell books. She had a scanned copy of each book in a separate folder then she had a document inside of that folder with the translation, if she had it, and also specific diagrams and references or notes. The physical books were here in the loft. Derek had set up a mini library and work space for her down in the warehouse/gym. She really craved a fully sealed restoring room though, so that the books could live in a temperature controlled and protected environment and most of the books she had could use some work.

It was in this office space that Lydia and Stiles worked on the new grimoire. It was literal torture for Stiles to read through these spells and not be able to do any of them. Lydia only struggled with the old style of German for the first thirty minutes, after that she rarely had to reference the translation guide. At exactly 3am Stiles went from standing to catatonic on the floor. Lydia screamed.

Three Venators stand around a massive ancient tree, lit by the full moon. Stiles kneels before the tree two of them holding fast to chains connected to manacles around her wrists. They tighten the chains wrenching her arms out to her sides. They pull away her shirt and force her head towards the ground, her shoulders screaming in protest. The third creaks towards her and takes a small metal rod the size of a pen to her back, burning deep runes into her skin down her spine as she screams but is unable to move. They tie her to the tree, wrapping the chains around the tree, her back bleeding, her throat hoarse from screaming. As they start to chant the tree goes up in flames. The tree burns and Stiles burns with it but she looks up drawn into the pitch black eyes of the venator.

Those were the same eyes that had been plaguing her dreams for the past months.

Stiles wakes screaming. Stiles’ lungs are burning and she feels like she’s been through a wood fire pizza oven. Derek is on the floor next to her looking horrified and the room she realizes smells a bit like burning meat, then she realizes that she is the one that smells like burning meat and her back is aching. She passes out again.

Deaton is standing over her when she wakes up this time. Her back feels better but she still has an overall crispy feeling. Deaton tells her that he was able to fully heal her back warning her that it might be sore for a few days. She knows that she’ll have the rune brands down her back for the rest of her life but right now that doesn’t feel like it’s going to be a very long time. She spends more time telling Derek, Deaton, and Lydia about the vision. They all think that they at least have until the full moon to figure something out.

Stiles made it to school by lunchtime. Derek had argued with her about going to school after last night but she couldn’t just sit around waiting to die, so she went to Honors Physics. Lydia looked exhausted so at least she had someone to commiserate with when Mrs. Cavalin gives them dirty looks. Stiles had already missed more school than was acceptable and the only reason her and her friends were still enrolled was because Lydia’s mom is the new principle.

School was just about as rough as Stiles had expected. She and Lydia slept in the Corolla during lunch while Scott and Kira went off campus to pick them up some coffee from the Moonlight Grind. They wake to Scott knocking on the passenger window.

She had Lydia drop her off at her house. She feels like she has barely been here. Her dad always comes to the loft for dinner when Stiles stays there so it hasn’t felt any different. When she looks around, she is instantly reminded of her mother. Claudia’s chair still sits in the corner of the living room near the bookcase. She remembers her mother picking out the couch, she remembers her parents sitting her down and telling her about her mom’s condition. Fuck she remembers sitting on that couch with Scott last year thinking that she would die of the same fucking thing that killed her mother.

That same couch called to her now and she collapsed, falling asleep instantly. Her nightmares were familiar but they were ones she hadn’t had since she was a child. They were nightmares of monsters in closets and the boogey-man, nice, normal nightmares.

Her dad is patting her on the head. “Hey kid, you’re home,” her dad said putting his gun and badge in the living room safe.

“I didn’t make dinner wanna order pizza?” Stiles asks, rubbing her eyes.

“You’re home AND you want to get pizza? Everything ok?” he asked, sitting next to Stiles on the couch. She leans her head on his should and lies to him.

“Everything’s fine, just up late last night with Lydia translating an old German grimoire.”

Since Stiles’ dad doesn’t really understand the finer points of magic he doesn’t usually press too hard. He’s also probably too excited over the prospect of pizza to really interrogate her. At dinner it would be more difficult to put up with the questions she is sure he will ask.

“Hey dad, want to invite Scott and Mrs. McCall over for pizza too?”

“Sure kid,” the sheriff went off to change.

Stiles called in a favor with Scott and asked him to cover for her tonight at dinner. He wasn’t happy about it but he pulled his weight and kept the conversation on lighter topics. Melissa and Scott stayed for a movie after dinner, Melissa falls asleep halfway through it and Scott takes her home.

“Hey dad, can you promise me that when I’m gone you’ll have dinner with Melissa at least twice a week,” Stiles said, sitting next to her dad on the couch, her head on his shoulder.

“Are you still trying to get us together?” Noah sighed.

“No, I just think that you might need someone, maybe you could spend some time with Derek too, I don’t want him to be lonely,” Stiles whispered.

“Stiles,” her dad turned to look at her seriously, “I’ll be fine when you leave for college, you don’t need to worry about me. I know that you’ve had to take care of me for most of your life but I need you to know that all I want is for you to do what makes you happy. That being said, I promise that I will keep having dinners with Melissa. As for Derek, I can’t make any promises but I’ll try.” Stiles teared a little and burrowed into her fathers shoulder, he put his arm around her and patted her shoulder. She and her father had always been close but Stiles was also far too used to lying to protect him. For the first time in the years since she met Derek she thought she might not make it through the monster of the week.

Stiles tossed and turned in her bed alone that night, she expected a nightmare that never came, the message had been sent already and she had been marked for death, literally. It had been difficult to convince Derek not to come over that night but she had managed. She just told him that she needed some alone time, she hadn’t really been alone in months. She caved and said that she would let Derek drive her to and from school the next day.

In the morning Stiles showered and took extra long in the hot water. It stung a little running over the brands on her back. Deaton had gotten them mostly healed but they still looked red and angry. There were six Enochian runes burned into her back, she looked at them in the mirror, examining and prodding each one. She dressed for school, a turtle-neck sleeveless crop top and a pair of black skinny jeans. She pairs it with a zip-front sweatshirt she stole from Derek’s closet. She tucks her nose into the sweatshirt, it still smells like him. She thinks about doing something with her hair then just scrunches up her face in distaste and decides to ask Lydia to braid it at school.

Her dad is at work already so the house is empty, but he left her half a pot of coffee and she gladly fills an obscenely large Star Wars themed travel mug and heads out to her driveway.

Derek was there waiting in her driveway right on time. He was also driving a new car specifically the Mercedes SUV that she had wanted him to get. Since his Camaro was totaled by the hunters and her jeep was totaled by venators they had been getting rides from other pack members. She had left exactly twenty seven pictures of the car taped up around the loft, each picture had a fun fact attached to it. One picture was of the inside the little speech bubble said ‘It comes with heated seats so I won’t freeze when you drive with your head out the window’. Deep down she knows that he actually thinks she is hilarious, but at this point he can’t give in, too much pride.

“Did you just get this cause you think I’m dying?” Stiles asked cheekily. Derek glowered at her flippancy. “Aw, come on Sourwolf that was funny!”

“Peter bought for me yesterday, apparently Peter thought all your picture were not only funny but also convincing, and I don’t find any of this situation funny Stiles.”

“Der, everything will be alright.”

“You don’t even believe that,” Derek shakes his head. He pulls into the high school parking lot and parks, they still have time before the first bell rings.

“Derek,” Stiles turns to him, “Sometimes I feel like I don’t know anything about you, and I get discouraged that Peter has told me more about you than you have told me yourself. But I realize that it’s a ridiculous idea, I may not know facts like; your birthday, or your mother’s maiden name. But I do know you, I know that you put up this tough exterior but you are just a werewolf marshmallow underneath. I know that you blame yourself for everything that happened with your family and that no matter how many times you hear that it isn’t your fault it doesn’t make the feeling go away. I know because you made Laura make chicken noodle soup to bring to me last year when I got the flu. And I know you blame yourself because I see what I feel it too, it’s survivor’s guilt, I read about it in psychology. What I’m trying, in a very round about way, to say that I know you, and I still want to be you and that isn’t going to change.”

“Stiles, I love you,” he says, looking her straight in the eyes, all marshmallow.

“I— I--” Stiles stutters, then she hears the bell ring, “I have to go to class. Bye.” He has the distinct look of understanding mixed with hurt, like he would understand someone not loving him back. She rushes and jumps out of the car and rushes towards the school.

Stiles feels terrible instantly, she had frozen. She had just gone through a speech about how much he means to her and how that could never change but still has this fucking inability to say I love you. Ninety percent of the time Stiles can’t keep her fucking mouth shut but she can’t say I love you? She wonders what part of her trauma ridden brain is responsible for that shit, and hopes that it’ll fucking get on board the Derek train, and soon. She stood in front of her locker banging her head against it and groaning when Lydia sauntered up with Kira.

“Uh, Stiles? You ok?” Kira asks.

“Oh yeah ya know, just wallowing in my own stupidity,” Stiles thumps her head against the locker one more time, just for good measure. “I need serious mental help.”

“We know,” Lydia shrugged, “but what exactly for this time?”

“Derek told me he loved me,” Stiles bit her lip nervously.

“And what did you say?” Kira asked worriedly.

“I said I had to go to class and basically threw myself from the car, and just after giving a speech about how much he means to me,” Stiles groaned and hid her head in her locker, which was full of small potion bottles filled with odd powders and herbs, if it got raided it would be one confused deputy. They probably wouldn’t even know what to do with her but considering a couple of those were poisonous in large doses she would probably be expelled.

“Yikes,” Kira sucks in a breath, “well at least Derek knows you really well and so he probably anticipated at least a little freak out.”

“Can the Venators just come kill me now so that I don’t have to relive that conversation ever again?” Stiles sighed. Lydia just snorted, in a very lady-like not at all piggish way, and Kira gave an uncomfortable nervous giggle.

“That is so not funny,” Isaac says from behind Stiles’ open locker door.

“It would be merciful, you didn’t see his face he was disappointed, and now I get to have the ‘I really care I just can’t say those fucking words cause I’m emotionally stunted’ conversation even though it’s basically a moot point considering I'm fucking dying Isaac. It’s irony, it’s not supposed to be overtly funny, you know this is why you aren’t the funny one,” Stiles snaps at Isaac. Isaac just flicks her in the forehead and walks away.

Stiles rubs her forehead and glares at the back of Isaac’s head. They argue a lot but she knows that Isaac is the closet thing that Derek and Scott have to a brother and he bridges that gap perfectly running interference when things are hectic. He is almost better at it than Stiles, almost.

The bell rings again and Stiles goes with Kira and Lydia to their AP History class taught by Kira’s dad. Mr. Yukimura is probably Stiles’ favorite teacher, he was always helpful and kind, not to mention always down to talk magic with Stiles.

The day slogs by and Stiles’ back aches. She has Lydia apply some salve to the brands at lunch and that marginally helps. Scott spends his day following Liam around and making sure that he can control himself. Liam spends the day trying to hide from Scott. By the time the school day ends Stiles is in a foul mood. Between homework and impending death there just doesn’t seem to be enough time for her to just be a teenager.

The pack goes to lacrosse practice, Lydia and Stiles sit in the stands. They see Mason there, Liam’s best friend. They invite him to sit with them, he doesn’t know about werewolves yet but they will probably have to let him into the inner circle sooner rather than later. As soon as he walks up Stiles can feel just a slight pulse of magic running through him. She knows, without quite knowing how, that he has a spark. It’s a small one but enough to pick up on. She makes a mental note to talk to Deaton and Derek about him. Maybe if he is interested he can take up some emissary knowledge.

Derek is leaning against the Mercedes SUV in the parking lot after school. He, Isaac and Scott are all standing outside of it talking, Derek’s eyebrows are knit together. Scott turns sharply to look at her, then they all do. Isaac looks perpetually annoyed, Scott looks like someone kicked his puppy, and Derek just looks tired, as tired as Stiles probably looks.

She had been trying to psych herself up to talk with Derek. There was so much that they needed to talk about but she had no idea where to start and even if she did know where to start she’s sure that she doesn’t have the answer to at least half the questions. But here she is, standing on the precipice of this fucking chasm of a conversation.

Stiles had stopped short in the middle of the parking lot, probably looking like an idiot just staring at them. Derek says something to Isaac and Scott who just walk away, Scott giving her one last Bambi look before getting into Kira’s car, Isaac follows him, hopping into the back. Stiles walks up to the Mercedes and Derek just opens the door for her.

They are half-way to Derek’s loft when someone finally talks. “So should we talk about the sex first or the Venators first? I mean we could always start with talking about how I have an inability to say the thing that I can’t say,” Stiles sighs. He looks sad in that moment, like everything that he thought they would be just didn’t live up to the hype. Stiles knew that she was hard to love, she had known that her entire life, she just didn’t want to rush love, she wanted Derek to be sure not that they had the luxury of time these days. She knew that there were reasons that she only had only Scott until the pack came along, why her father sighed through every conversation they had ever had.

Stiles picks at her fingernails in the silence. “I honestly have no idea where we should start,” Derek just looked straight ahead at the road, the window a scene of blurred green.

“Gods should this really be this hard?”

“I don’t know, I’ve never had to actually talk to someone else about any of this,” Derek grimaces.

“Great, you are a Sourwolf and I’m a manic witch. And neither one of us has any reference of a functional relationship. Not that it’ll matter since I am probably going to die in a couple days. What is the chance that we can have sex again? Cause I’d really like to do that again before I die,” Stiles chuckles morbidly.

“I would have gone with sardonic witch but manic works too,” Derek laughs. Stiles punches him in the arm, knowing that it would have zero effect.

“When did you get jokes Sourwolf?” Stiles laughs, then grows serious, “Sometimes I feel like I barely know you.”

“What do you want to know, you know I’d tell you anything,” Derek says as he pulls up outside the loft. It’s already dark out and her dad is working the night shift so she stays at the loft.

“What’s your favorite color?” Stiles asks as they climb the stairs.

“Green, but not bright green, dark green, like the forest at night. Yours used to be red but you don’t really even wear color anymore, you haven’t in a while.” They enter the loft, he leads her to his room.

“I accidently lit my red hoodie on fire during a spell gone wrong,” Stiles whispers, he slides his hands down her arms as he takes her jacket off. “Does it ever get any better? Missing the people that are gone? Feeling responsible?”

“No, but you knew that already,” Derek kisses her shoulder, his hands on the hem of her tank top, his thumb running along the underside of her breast. Stiles takes an uneven breath, her head lolling back as he kisses up her neck, biting at her skin lightly.

“Would you kick me out of bed if I called you daddy?” Stiles whispers. Derek freezes for a second then she feels the low growls reverberating in his chest. He grabs her thigh a little harder than normal bruising her a little but it only sends a peasant shiver down her spine, pooling in her center, as he lifts her legs up to wrap around his waist and walks her into his dresser. Her lower back hits the dresser rattling the drawers and she steadies herself with her hands behind her on the dresser. She sits at the edge of the dresser as Derek knelt in front of her, removing her jeans and underwear in one rough movement.

Stiles moans as his tongue finds her, licking and nipping up her inner thigh, his hands holding her splayed open for him. His breath on her driving her insane as he finally finds right where she wants him, licking a long stripe up her slit. Stiles wiggled her hips, thrusting lightly into Derek’s mouth.

“Behave,” he growled lowly. Stiles whined; she knew that she would do anything he asked.

“Yes daddy,” she panted, “please, please, I need more.”

“Tell me what you want baby.”

“Touch me.” She arched into his tongue as it slid up her slit again and again, his hands pinning her hips to the dresser. Her head thrown back against the wall, her thighs quaking.

“Is this what you want,” he teased her pussy with two fingers, playing with her, taunting her. Derek takes his fingers away from her pressing them to his tongue, “Fuck baby you taste so good.” His fingers return and disappear again, this time coming to her mouth. She sucks down his fingers, hollowing her cheeks, his fingers pressing against her tongue.

Derek focused on her clit again, sucking and biting and licking in tantalizing patterns. His fingers continued to tease her slit, pressing into her slowly and curling to hit just the right spot. Stiles shook with need; she thought she might explode from the building aching need. She clenched around his fingers moaning and panting through her orgasm.

“I’m going to flip you around and fuck you into the dresser now baby,” her panted in her ear. Then he did just that, entering her with a quick harsh thrust. The burn subsided instantly into biting pleasure. He grabbed a handful of her hair, pulling her head back and digging his other fingers into her hip. He groaned and fucked into her, hard. He kept a slow hard pace pressing as her fingers scratched at the surface of the dresser. Her toes barely touching the ground and her pussy clenching around Derek’s cock. She lifts one knee up onto the dresser giving him a better, deeper angle.

She mumbled words to the gods and moans of pleasure, his hand going from her hip to grip her ass harshly, his mouth working bites into her shoulder and back. Stiles could feel another orgasm building and with each thrust he hit the spot that made her clench and moan. “You’re doing so good baby, come for me, then I’ll come all over your ass,” he growled.

The praise and filthy words send her over the edge. Derek followed after a few more harsh erratic thrusts, she could feel stripes of his hot come as it painted her ass.

“Stay still,” he commanded, but the tone was sweet and caring. He held her ass apart and looked at her slick coated thighs then he opened a drawer by them and retrieved some wet wipes, wiping the come off her ass. “Let’s get you cleaned up, then we can talk,” Derek kissed her hair and led her into the bathroom.

The hot water felt good as it ran down her body. Derek caressed her shoulders rubbing circles, working the knots in her muscles. He tilted her hair back into the water. He got some of her shampoo and lathered up her hair. Stiles had never had someone take care of her like this, she was usually the one taking care of others. Derek’s fingers massaged her scalp first with the shampoo then with conditioner. He squatted in front of her gently washing her with a soapy loofa that he had bought specifically for her.

He had even picked up the same body wash that Stiles used at home. Derek wrapped her in a large fluffy white towel he dries her up and hands her a long sleeve t-shirt of his. The shirt hangs down to her mid-thigh and the sleeves are bunched in her hands. Stiles dries her hair with a towel and lotions her legs. She sits, spraying detangler in her hair and brushing it out while Derek trims his facial hair. The scene seems so banal to her, and for a second she forgets their problems, it doesn’t last long. The moon shines in through the large windows in Derek’s room, it’s almost full.

“So I guess we have to talk now?” Stiles asks. She sits cross legged on Derek’s bed sipping a tea mix that she had brought with her from her garden. Derek stayed in the chair by the window, a safe distance away. Since they started dating, they had trouble keeping their hands off each other and having some distance in between them was usually the only way they could get through a conversation.

“Yeah probably a good idea,” Derek rubbed he back of his neck. He was in sweatpants that hung tantalizingly low on his hips. He was shirtless and barefoot and Stiles tries not to think about that too hard because they really needed to talk and she was already sore from the sex they had thirty minutes ago.

“Can you put a shirt on then, cause it’s distracting,” Stiles says waving her hand in his general direction. Derek chuckles but puts on a shirt as requested. “Never mind, take it back off.” Derek laughs but ignores her request.

“We should probably start with the sex,” Derek shrugs.

“Der, we just had sex but it you let me finish my tea I’m positive I could go for a round two,” Stiles jests. Derek just scowls with his insane eyebrows and Stiles laughs.

“We broke the one rule that I set for us,” Derek looked dejected.

“Yes, but only by like a month. So I think overall it’s a win. And we may not have another month so I’m just glad I’m not dying a virgin in the penetrative sense. I also am mighty curious as to where you got so good at after care.”

“I’m not a dom Stiles and stop saying that you are going to die.”

“Whatever you say Daddy,” Stiles shrugged. Derek kept glaring at her. “Ok, ok, I’ll be serious, I promise.”

“I don’t think I could live through something happening to you.”

“I’m sorry Derek, I don’t know if we will get that luxury. I know that the pack will do everything in their power to stop the venators but when I had that vision, I felt how final it was, like it’s already happened and this is just borrowed time. Which means that I need to ask for a favor,” Stiles takes a deep breath. “If I die,” Derek’s scowl deepens, “Stop that. If I die I need you to take care of my dad. I know it’s a lot to ask but I really need to know that he will have someone there for him if I can’t be there. He thinks that he is fine on his own but he needs someone to make sure that he is eating enough vegetables and not drinking too much.”

Derek rubbed his face, he looked tired and overwhelmed all at the same time but he just nods at her.

“I also need you to rub salve on my back cause it really fucking hurts,” Stiles shifted uncomfortably. Derek got the salve from her bag and sat on the bed with her.

“Are you seeing Argent tomorrow to talk about the venators?” Derek asks as he rubs the herbal smelling salve onto her back.

“Yeah, Lydia and I are going to head over there after school and take a look at his resources. He said that there were four of them but in my vision there were only three, I think the story about the one dying, I think it might at least be somewhat true, which means that they can be killed. I just don’t know if we can find the answers in time. But that’s ok because I have everything I could ever want,” tears were coming down her face steadily. Derek pulls her to his chest and holds her until she falls asleep.

Derek is wrapped around her when he wakes up. He nuzzles into her hair and takes a deep breath. She still smells like shampoo, vanilla, cinnamon, and the distinct metallic twinge of blood magic. He wakes her up gently and makes coffee while she gets dressed. They don’t say much but they stand close together moving like magnets around each other.