Title: Fail. Try Again. Fail Better.
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Genre: Drama, First Time, Slash, Time Travel, Slow Burn
Relationship(s): Derek Hale/Stiles Stininski
Content Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Major Character Death, Violence – Graphic, Temporary Major Character Death On-Screen Non-Violent Abuse of Child Canon Statutory Rape/Non-Con
Author Notes: I want to thank my two lovely people who helped make this story what it is: Starkindler and ScarsLikeVelvet. Also to Sunryder who made me such an awesome piece of art for this. I love it so fucking much.
Beta: Alpha-Starkindler Beta-ScarsLikeVelvet
Word Count: 78,220
Summary: Ten years after the Hale fire, the Nemeton reaches out in a moment of desperation. It has enough power to save itself and after years of watching, it’s picked the perfect person to send back in time to do it.
Prologue-October 31, 2015
Stiles Stilinski looked around at his friends, his family, as fucking messed up as they all were as they were slowly killed by the invading forces to Beacon Hills. Stiles jerked against the bindings that were holding him, his spark inside of his body was guttered out, like a flame on a candle. There were so many bodies, enemy and friend alike, that Stiles couldn’t tell who was dead and who wasn’t. His pack bonds to the group, all magical on his end, were thin and stretched before even arriving because he had known it was a trap, yet Scott thought that there was no way that it was. It was supposed to be a discussion between a group of wolves who wanted to settle land on the outskirts of Beacon Hills.
Stiles had come home for the meeting because Scott and Derek had asked him to. Thankfully, he had time off of school and his internship. Everyone had come back for it as a show of power. Derek had asked for that. There wasn’t a lot that Stiles wouldn’t do for Derek.
An earth-shattering roar made Stiles go limp, and his mind focused on what was around him again. Scott was dead. Stiles sobbed as he felt that pack bond rip out of him, even though he hadn’t felt any of the others snap. There was a flare from the strongest bond in him, though, and a flash of red had Stiles trying to escape again. There was another alpha there now. Probably the wolf that had killed Scott. There was no way that the Alpha wasn’t going to rip everyone here to shreds. Then a scruffy face flashed across his eye line, and he saw that Derek had red eyes again before he shifted to his wolf form and started to shred the other wolves in front of Stiles.
Isaac was right there behind him, his claws ripping into the bodies that were all around, trying to take them down. Allison was behind him with her bow drawn. The rapid-fire of guns told Stiles that either Chris or his father was still alive. Then an echo that wasn’t an echo at all told him that both of them were still there.
Lydia’s scream shook even Stiles as she tried to stab at another werewolf.
“BEHIND YOU!” Stiles yelled as he watched a werewolf in beta form jump at Lydia’s back. She didn’t hear him, no one did and hadn’t since he had stepped into the circle that had been laid for him. It had been the first act of many that had them where they were. What little bit of magical power he had, the people who wanted him dead had been ready for it.
There had been so much that had been going wrong from the moment that Stiles had returned home to Beacon Hills, so much that had felt wrong. Stiles wanted to wait and look into the group, but Scott wanted the alliance to help solidify him in the area. These guys didn’t want an alliance. They wanted Beacon Hills.
And now with that, Stiles was watching as his friends, his family was being killed. Scott had allowed them into the land with peaceful intentions, and now that was being turned on them.
One of the guns stopped, and Stiles tried to figure out who it was. He saw the pants leg of his father’s uniform lying below where a werewolf was roaring his victory. Stiles started to jerk against the bindings holding him. He screamed for his father.
The deaths came one after another, and Stiles could do nothing but thrash against his bonds and scream even though no one could hear him. He wasn’t even sure that they could see him.
Then there was only Derek left, his eyes glowing a bright red, somehow he had got Scott’s Alpha spark instead of it going to whoever killed him unless it wasn’t a werewolf that had done it.
“RUN!” Stiles yelled. His throat hurt, and he was crying. He could feel the hot tears going down his face. He jerked again against the bindings on him, but this time they broke. Stiles stumbled and fell down, but his eyes saw that Derek had turned toward him when he had yelled. At precisely the wrong moment. A blade was shoved through Derek’s chest.
Stiles shoved himself up and let that little spark that he had back burn bright inside of him. He let it loose, but instead of a small tendril of flame, it was an inferno, and when it died down in the blink of an eye, there was no one left standing, except for Derek. Derek, though, didn’t stay standing long. He dropped to his knees, and Stiles rushed over to him, forcing his legs to work when they didn’t want to. He skidded to a stop and dropped to his knees just in time to catch Derek as he fell to the side.
“Derek,” Stiles said. He jerked the blade from Derek’s body and started to rip open his shirt. The wolfsbane was killing Derek quicker than any other, and there was no time. “Why didn’t you listen to me?”
“Sorry,” Derek said.
“You never fucking listen and-” Stiles stopped because the sob ripped from his throat. He buried his face in Derek’s neck. He could see the lines creeping up Derek’s chest, getting closer to his heart. Stiles pressed his hand to the wound, but his spark was gone. It was gone, even more, gone than it had been before this. He wasn’t bound anymore, but he wasn’t a spark, or it had been ripped from him.
Stiles jerked when he felt a hand on his head. It was Derek’s. Stiles looked up at Derek’s face to see more emotion on it than he had ever seen before. Derek’s hand kept on moving, cupping the side of Stiles’ face.
“No, not knew.” Stiles shook his head, and he tried to get his head to figure out the words. “It felt wrong. It felt like we were walking into a trap. I should have put my foot down more and not gone.”
“Your dad still would have gone, and then you would have followed behind.”
“This was a trap for me, Derek. They want me dead. I don’t know why. They wanted to see me watch everyone that I love die and then kill me.”
“You are the heart of us,” Derek said. He gripped the edge of Stiles’ head with the hand and pulled him in.
Stiles tried to jerk back. He wasn’t going to do that. He wasn’t going to let Derek kiss him now.
“Please,” Derek whispered.
Stiles surged forward, pressing his lips to Derek’s. Before he could pull back, he knew. Stiles knew that Derek was dead. He pulled back and looked down at the wound; the lines were all the way to his heart. Stiles looked around. He didn’t always see full bodies but limbs here and there as well as faces. He gripped Derek’s body tight and looked up at the full moon above them, and he roared.
Stiles woke with a scream. He looked around, looking for Derek’s body. Anybody’s body. There was nothing. He was in his bed at his apartment in DC. He looked around and saw that everything looked the same as it had before he had gone back to Beacon Hills to help Scott. Stiles threw the covers back and took off running. He stopped, though, when he ran past the mirror in the hallway. His eyes were red. Alpha red at that. He touched his cheeks at the base of his eyes before he turned to look around. He ran to the window but outside there was no one. Which was impossible. It was fucking impossible for there to be no one out and about in DC.
“Mieczyslaw,” a voice said behind him.
Stiles turned around and looked at the man who was standing in front of him. It took a few seconds for him to realize that it was Jarvis, like the guy who played him in the MCU.
“Um, can I help you?” Stiles asked.
“I’m here to help you,” Jarvis said.
Jarvis stepped forward and held out a hand. Stiles looked at his hand for a few seconds before looking up into the face of man again. He wasn’t going to shake that. Jarvis huffed and held out his hand, palm facing Stiles’ face, and the vision slammed into Stiles’ head like a full-blown movie.
Stiles reached back to grab the window sill and tried to make sense of everything that was flashing. He saw himself as the Nogitsune. His father, Melissa, and Chris in the root cellar of the Nemeton. There were a lot of other flashes, and not all of them were ones that Stiles could have in his head. When he looked around again, he was in that white room that he had come to hate so much when he had been taken over by the Nogitsune.
“You are the Nemeton,” Stiles said to Jarvis, who was now standing on the stump of a tree.
“Yes. I am what is left, my strength, even though it was fed by your sacrifice and then the death of Julia Baccari, I was still dying. I had no power to help protect Beacon Hills anymore, and that is where you come in, Mieczyslaw.”
“Stiles, please Gods, Stiles.” Stiles hated his name with a passion, both it and his middle name. Stiles or Mischief was his favorite names. He hadn’t been called Mischief in a long time. The name had died on his father’s lips the day that his mother died.
“The death of your friends was inevitable,” the Nemeton said. “I could not stop forces from getting into Beacon Hills that I had been stopping for a long time. In the want for balance, Druids signed the death knell to me and my area of protection.”
“What can I do?”
“The deaths of your friends, of the wolves who want Beacon Hills, gave me what I needed. They all wanted to meet somewhere else, but I convinced them that there was better. I was not able to warn you. I knew you were walking into a trap and hoped that since you knew it, you would not.”
“So, what was your hope for that then?”
“That I would get the power I needed to do what I could to mitigate this, but you have given me a new option.”
“And what is that?”
“Time travel. You ripped the life force from every single being in that forest and pushed it in to me when you screamed for the dead in place of Lydia. It fades fast, though, so you have only a few short minutes to do this and do it right.”
“Agree to go back in time. The magic of the earth will not allow me to change certain things that are natural, but starting with something that was unnatural, I can do.”
“What do you mean?”
“The Hale family has been my protector since I was born as it were. Since the Druids marked me as the Nemeton for this area. Then I was cut down. I cannot protect like that, but you can. You can heal me.”
“Save the Hales. That’s what you need to go back and do. They need to be around Beacon Hills to protect it from what is to come. You will go back as my emissary and save them.”
“How?” Stiles asked.
“You know the best way to do that already, you’ve just not let yourself figure it out. I cannot send you far enough back to stop myself from getting cut down, but you can save me in other ways.”
“What about the Nogitsune?” Stiles asked. He wasn’t about to repeat that shit.
“When I have power again, I can get rid of the Demon Fox. He won’t make any issues for Beacon Hills again.”
“You were whole when it was put into the ground.”
“The Kitsune who placed the Nogitsune there didn’t realize what she had done when she sealed that jar. There was no way for me to break that seal on my own, and no one came around. The issue with the Hales started long before that moment, and I kept on getting weaker.”
“What are you going to do if the Hales do not uphold their end of the bargain?”
“Then, I will make sure that a new protector is bound to me, a new line of beings who will protect me in the way that they are supposed to.”
“You were the most open to me. I don’t have the time to bandy words with you, Stiles. Will you go back?”
“You want to put me in the body of a ten-year-old?”
“You were always a smart child, your ADHD will help you settle back into your body. Your mind will be closer to what it is now, but your memories will be dulled. You’ll remember the big things and know what not to do, but mainly you will be a child again.”
“What about Derek?” Stiles couldn’t get the memory of his death out of his mind. That Derek had died in his arms.
“The old laws of the pack were forgotten while trying to blend in with humans. The eldest is not always the one to take over the pack. It’s passed down like a crown now, but it used to go to those who were tested not only in strength but in mind. If he’s meant to be the Alpha, he will become so again.”
“Will you go back?” the Nemeton asked.
A chance to save everyone? Everyone who just died? He would take even a partial chance at it. He could save Allison and everyone that his taken over body had killed. He could right so many wrongs.
Chapter 1-October 31, 2004
Stiles woke with a gasp and looked around. He recognized his bedroom. The wall was covered in the case file he had started for the case of the missing bicycle in the neighborhood. Stiles walked over to it and moved the yarn to who had done it. He grabbed the calendar off the wall and looked at the date. He marked off the days each time he woke up, so it was easy to narrow in on what day it was. It was a Sunday, and it was Halloween. He didn’t like it. It was 2004, and his mother was dead just months. He knew that he should feel something about that, but he didn’t, not really. It was muted, just like his memories. There were things that were slipping from his memory, and he could feel them.
There was a lot that Stiles knew that he should feel emotional about, but this wasn’t one of the things. Though he had kind of felt that way the first time around as well. He tried to hold onto what he knew, but a lot of it slipped away. Stiles sighed and grabbed his backpack, and pulled out his homework. There was a lot that he needed to get caught up on. The assignments that he hadn’t turned in for the last two months of school. He was sure that with a batting of his eyes and a few tears, he could get his teachers to accept his homework. He knows the tricks, and it’s just getting it all done.
Stiles knows that he is gonna have a rough time of it for the next few months. Getting used to living as a kid again, someone who had to go through puberty again. He had to go through figuring out that he was bisexual the first time that Derek Hale entered his life, but he wasn’t sure how that was going to work.
The afternoon was spent learning all of his schoolwork again, figuring out where he was and what he needed to do. He had all of his unfinished homework, or finished but never cared to turn in, in a drawer in his desk. The desk he had begged his dad for because he needed a desk like his father had at work. He needed it so that he could have a drawer for his files. He needed it more than he wanted anything else when he had been eight. It was going to be his saving grace this time, though. He didn’t have a computer yet to store everything on in hidden files and the like. He tried to remember exactly when he had gotten his first desktop computer, but that memory was so far away in his mind that it was gone. The laptop had been when he started high school, and then a new one after the other had literally blown up. The tech guy in town had proved to his father that he hadn’t done anything with it. It had been a defect in the laptop, and somehow Stiles’ hadn’t been part of the recall. Stiles wanted another MacBook like he had before. He knew though that things were tighter now that his mother wasn’t around. It wasn’t dire straits, but he would have a lot of clothes over the next few years as he grew out of the ones that he had, a lot of food as well.
“Well, hello,” Stiles said as he looked at a book that was buried under a pile. It was one of the books he had found in a yard sale down the street. It was a high school chemistry book. It had intrigued him, so he had gladly bought it for a quarter and had started to teach it to himself. He didn’t want to graduate early, not earlier than he should have if he hadn’t screwed around for the next year so he could be in a class with Scott. There was something fun about being able to just do what he wanted when he wanted as far as his education went. He was still going to write the paper on circumcision like he had the first time. He had a lot of plans about doing things the same, but first, he needed to get through until January and stop the Hale fire from happening.
Stiles shoved the book back into where it had been and grabbed a notebook from the drawer where he kept empty ones. He had a lot of knowledge that he shouldn’t, but most of it wasn’t anything that he wanted to touch. It wasn’t going to matter because as soon as he stopped the fire from happening, there was a lot that wasn’t going to happen again anyway. Stiles started to write down in the version of shorthand that he had started to learn when he was nine, so he could write quicker, and his ADHD didn’t stop his flow of thoughts. It was quick to write down the bits that Derek had told him over the years, never too much and never too detailed, but there was a lot that Stiles had filled in. Just like how old he was when the fire happened and just who Kate was pretending to be.
Stiles knew what was happening right now. He knew what was going to happen when he delved deep into what was happening to Derek at the moment, his skin crawled. Derek had never come forward with anything that was fully detailed on what Kate had done. Stiles had never thought about it much, but he was sure that what he was thinking was worse than what happened. He wasn’t sure what it was like, though, and he knew that Kate was going to be hitting Derek soon.
Everything with Paige was already over. It was sophomore year for Derek, and that meant Paige was dead. Kate was there, looking to find her a toy to play with to get to the Hales. Stiles just needed something that he could use. He needed to catch her in the act of doing something illegal that would not only put her away but make sure that her plans were far enough in that it could work to put her away, and hopefully, it would allow Gerard to be put away as well. He wanted to put them all away, Gerard, Victoria, Kate, and anyone else who was allied with the Argents that didn’t follow the code.
From his schooling years, Stiles had a list of Hunters from around the country that were followers of the code, who didn’t realize what was being done in the name of Hunters by the Argents. There were a lot of families who followed the code or at least a modified version of it. The code that Allison had tried to follow about protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves was the best of any of the codes that the families followed and Stiles wanted to make sure that it was
Stiles copied all of the versions of the codes that he could remember. He was losing a few of them, so he left the blanks there. He then thought about the best way that Kate could have approached Derek. It had to be something normal. Stiles didn’t think that Talia Hale was the worst mother in the world, but he knew that she was absent.
The school. Beacon Hills High School was the best place for someone to approach Derek that the scent wouldn’t be weird with someone new. That meant Kate had to be a teacher of some kind. She was the kind to make a long play like that.
The lure of the outside was drawing Stiles. He looked out his window and tried to resist it. He knew that he would have the brain of an adult in a child’s body, but after the death of his mother, it wasn’t that odd of a thing to happen. He had been pretty damned serious about taking care of his father. Stiles grabbed his stack of comics that he hadn’t touched since his mother died. It was pretty big. He couldn’t really get all of the ones that he wanted, but the lines that he loved he did. His dad picked them up every single Wednesday on his way either to work or from work. The stack had been growing as he had touched them. Swallowing thickly, Stiles tucked them to his chest before he started out of his bedroom and down the stairs. He took his time, so he didn’t drop them and found a box to stick them in, so they were safe. He checked around, trying to remember when his dad stopped drinking exactly. He found the bottles in the trash and the new ones that hadn’t been touched. He hated it, but there wasn’t a lot that Stiles could do. He just had to manage his time. Yelling only made him drink worse.
Fighting the sob in his throat, Stiles wrapped his arms around himself. He had never been scared of his father when he had been drunk. His dad only got sadder when he was drunk, and then he always passed out. Stiles made sure that the nights it happened before he was asleep that his father was covered up, and he was lying on his side. It was going to take some getting used to doing that again. He knew it would stop. The other deputies would step in and ask him to stop before they did something worse. Back then, Stiles had heard them talk about it, and the deputies that had asked got to see his panic attack in full swing. It was what made them all know how to handle it. Handle Stiles when he had issues like that. There had been one big one when his dad had been involved in a high-speed chase, and his cruiser had been wrecked because of it, just months from where they were at the moment. He had been in the station after school to hang out because he didn’t want to go home, and Scott has doctor’s appointments about his asthma.
Stiles forced his body to move. He grabbed the box and then slipped out the front door. He made sure that it wasn’t locked and then settled on the corner of the porch. It was a habit that he had picked up years from now, but it served him now. He had a lot to do, but he had to be a kid as well. The pull to do something wasn’t that strong right now.
“Stiles?” his dad asked as he stood on the stairs up onto the porch.
Stiles looked up at his dad with a sob in his throat. He laid his comic down carefully and launched himself at his dad. He couldn’t help the tears that streamed down his face as he buried his face in his dad’s stomach.
“Oh, Stiles.” His dad’s arms wrapped around him tightly, and he was lifted up to where he could wrap around him tightly.
Stiles buried his face into his father’s neck and hung on tightly. They were moving, but Stiles didn’t care. He cried even after they were inside and the door was shut. Stiles let out everything, from the past to the current, where he was stuck grieving the loss of his mother all over again. He cried until he had nothing left.
The feeling of being moved startled Stiles out of his sleeping, and he jerked and looked around. He tried to grab onto his dad tighter, but he was still too loose-limbed from sleep.
“Just getting the pizza,” his dad said in a low tone.
Stiles looked around to see that it was still light outside. The clock on the wall said that it was just after six. He had school the next day. He really wanted to go to school and get everything turned in that he hadn’t turned in and get back on track. He was also going to make sure that he didn’t slack at all. He knew that his ADHD was going to cause issues, but he had learned the best way to combat it in the future.
“Can I have money to go shopping?” Stiles asked as his father opened up the door and paid the pizza man before shutting the door and focusing on Stiles.
“Tea. I heard one of the ladies on the street talk about her brother’s kid who has ADHD, and they drank tea instead of coffee and pop because the caffeine was less. And I thought that I could try it. There are some very good teas out there that have low amounts but enough to help me. And I thought that it couldn’t hurt. Then I thought about how we don’t have any in the house at all, and I don’t have a kettle to boil water as me and the saucepan and pouring it out into a mug is just asking for trouble.” Stiles stopped to inhale so he could keep on going, but his father held up his hand, and he closed his mouth.
“How much do you need?”
“I have no clue.” Stiles had no clue what a kettle cost at the moment. He knew in the future, and he had never looked for tea, and so he had no clue how much that cost. It was a bunch of things that he had no clue about, and he didn’t like that.
“How about thirty? If you need more, you can come by the station, and one of the deputies can take you to finish off the shopping and take you home.”
“I can take the bus.” Stiles knew that he had a pass for the bus. He could get anywhere with that.
“Yes, and Miss Carruthers told me about your trek last week with the groceries. Text me when you are done shopping, and if you have enough money and I’ll send someone to pick you up and take you home.”
“Okay.” Stiles opened up the pizza box that was on the coffee table and startled at the sight of it being the veggie lovers with a thin crust. It was his father’s most hated pizza, but one that Stiles had found was better than any other pizza at the place they liked. Usually, it was only gotten when Stiles was the one ordering. Stiles wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth, though. He grabbed a slice and inhaled it. He was hungry. Lunch seemed like so far from then.
There was no talking while they ate, the pizza was gone in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Stiles was stupid full, but he was feeling good about it. He knew that he hadn’t been eating a lot lately, too depressed. Unless it was chips. The stock boy at the store feared when he came in and took nearly all of the chips off of the shelf. Stiles wasn’t upset about that, though, as he had to hide them in his bedroom. He had access to them all of the time, hidden away in his closet so that his dad didn’t eat them.
Stiles knew that his father hated that Stiles wanted to do the shopping, but it was something that Stiles had always done with his mother. They always went shopping together every single Monday after Stiles got out of school. It was their time together, and Stiles didn’t want to give up that, even if his mother wasn’t with them. Stiles liked doing the shopping.
It was one of the few things that made him feel like he was still remembering his mother. It had been hard in the few weeks after she had died. Stiles had barely felt like leaving his bed or his parents’ bed the few times he made it out of his bed. Then the sheets had to be changed from one too many nights crying in it or waking up sweating, and the smell of her was gone.
“You’ve still got me, Stiles. Always.” The look on his father’s face was stoic, but Stiles could tell that he was hurting as well. Stiles crawled across the couch to lean into him. His father’s hand settled on his shoulder, and he was pulled in close.
Stiles was going to do things differently this time. He was going to make sure that his dad was aware of the supernatural before things went to hell. He hadn’t been able to protect him when he didn’t know about it or after he knew about it. Though, then they were all scrambling to catch up instead of having a good offense.
There was no telling when he had developed a spark well enough to be able to use magic like he had been.
Stiles fell asleep with the TV on, pressed into his father. He woke up when he was lifted up, and then he wrapped around his father like a monkey and didn’t protest when he was carried up to his father’s bed instead of his own. He stripped off his pants and socks but stayed in his underwear and T-shirt. He was asleep before he fully got settled onto the bed.
Stiles hesitated outside of his teacher’s room with his stack of work in his hand.
“Mrs. Miller?” Stiles asked. There were no other kids there yet, but he knew that his teacher was always in early.
“Stiles,” Mrs. Miller said. She turned to face him with a smile on her face. The pity was there. Just like it was on everyone’s faces.
Stiles hated the look, but there was little that he could do about that other than to get used to it.
“I wanted to turn in my homework.”
“You can do that in class, sweetie.”
“No, I mean all of the homework I’ve not turned in at all this year. My dad’s worried about me, and I hate the look on his face when he sees my grades every Friday. He’s got enough issues.”
“I knew you had been doing it or at least most of it. Your tests are all perfect, like always. Let’s see.” Mrs. Miller held out her hand, and Stiles walked over to hand it all in. She grabbed her grade book and flipped it open to his name before waving for him to sit down.
Stiles took a seat in the chair that was right beside the desk. He watched as she graded each homework and slipped it into another folder. It was then marked in the book. When she was done looking at all of it, she moved to her computer and started to enter in things. A few seconds after she was done, a slip of paper came out of her printer. She handed that over. Stiles looked at the new progress report for him for the year so far.
“But I didn’t get marked for being late.”
“Stiles, sweetie, you’ve had a rough time. You did the work, You probably did the work those days but just never turned it in. You haven’t skipped school, you aren’t a disruption in class more than you were in the years before you were given your ADHD diagnosis. It’s fine. Now you should have enough time to run to the station to give that to your dad.”
“But…” Stiles trailed off when Mrs. Miller gave him a stern look. He walked over to lay his book bag on his seat and then took off with the paper in hand.
Stiles ran as fast as his legs could carry him. He didn’t remember the look on his dad’s face that exact time that had just happened when his grades hadn’t been good, but he remembered at least one of them.
“Stiles?” the deputy on the desk asked when he burst through the doors.
“Is my dad in?” Stiles asked.
“Yeah, sweetie. Go ahead through.”
Stiles pushed passed the doors and found his father talking to one of the newer deputies.
“Stiles?” his dad asked.
“I got this.” Stiles waved the paper and tried to catch his breath. He slumped over hands on his knees. He felt the paper being slipped from his unresisting fingers.
“Son, what is this?”
“I turned in all of my homework that I haven’t been. I did it all yesterday and made sure it was all there. Mrs. Miller just graded it all and told me to bring this over to you.”
Stiles looked up at his dad and smiled at him.
“I’m proud of you, son. So proud. I need to talk to Deputy Stern here, and then I’ll take you back to school. I think we might have time for breakfast at the diner.”
“Sure. Oatmeal for you.”
“Sure. Sure.” Stiles laughed and slipped into his father’s office, snagging the paper as he did. He folded it in half so that the main part of his grades was there on display and then slipped it into the area behind the frame that had a picture of the two of them plus his mother. The grades could be seen there every time his dad looked at the picture. Stiles dropped down into the chair and smiled at the image while he waited.
“I thought you said he was going to be failing just so he could repeat the grade and be with the McCall kid?” Deputy Stern asked, his voice carrying into the office even though he probably didn’t want it to.
“I thought so as well. He was strange yesterday. He cried himself to sleep after I got home, clinging to me. He was clingy all night long.”
“I see. That’s why you didn’t…” Stern trailed off.
“I dumped it all. I plan on stopping at the store and telling them not to sell anything to me, no matter how much I threaten and have them call someone here.”
“Good, Sir. Good. I get off right about when school lets out. Why don’t I pick up Stiles and take him shopping. I’ll let him play with the lights and sirens if he wants.”
“You’d be his favorite, and thank you. I know working doubles right now are hard on him, but I need to take care of things with the issues we’ve been having, and I’m needed here and there.”
“It’s hard, Sir, but we all have your back. Don’t worry about that. Go and take him to school, get some breakfast with him, and then we can all see about knocking your work down.”
The voices turned softer then, and Stiles tried not to bounce in the seat. His legs weren’t long enough, but he was itching to move. He was itching to just do anything. He was glad that the gym was early in the morning for him. He could push himself there and work on phase one of his plan to make sure that he was ready. He was going to push himself to do his best in school, and in physical activity as well. He had done enough to get by in grade school. Lacrosse might not be the best sport for him, but he was never going to be good at football, and basketball was a no. He didn’t mind watching it, but he didn’t like playing it.
Gym class had taught him everything that he needed to know about what he was good at. He knew where he needed to push and where he just needed to give up. Stiles wasn’t sure what else he could do. There was something about Scott that he wasn’t sure that him becoming a werewolf again was a good idea.
The day at school went by with ease. Stiles paid attention as much as he could with his ADHD, and he made sure to do his homework when he had a chance in class. He had gotten pretty good at that in high school. It was better all-around because after school, Stiles had a lot of plans, and a few of them involved things like homework of the school variety. Instead, he was going to start to pull on his spark to see if it worked with him in any way, shape, or form.
“What are you reading?” his dad asked when he came home from the station and saw Stiles at the kitchen table with a large tome open in front of him. Stiles had found it years later in the attic of the house, buried with things from the Gajos side of the family. It was the only thing that had been up there, but there was no indication of who had owned it. It had come to Stiles late in life, but it was a good foundation book to learn about Druid and Witch magic. It didn’t give a lot about Sparks, but Stiles could work with it.
“It’s a really old book about magic,” Stiles said.
“Oh, I thought I recognized it. Your mother said that it was a family relic that she had enjoyed reading as a kid. It was in the attic. What were you doing up there?”
“Looking for the Christmas lights that Mom always put up around my room. I wanted to have them up early this year.”
“I have those in the garage.”
Stiles felt the hand drop onto his shoulder and then the sound of his father going to get dinner ready. Stiles had laid out the recipe that he had found for trout, and he hoped that his dad liked it. He knew that he was being indulged, and he knew that he needed to not freak out as much when his dad ate bad things. It wasn’t like he was trying to do it so that he wouldn’t be around. There was nothing wrong with his dad so far other than a severely broken heart, but he didn’t want his father eating burgers and fries all the time, despite how easy those were to get.
“You know this looks pretty good.” His father waved the paper where Stiles had written the recipe down. He moved around the kitchen as Stiles read the book. There was a cup with steaming water put down beside Stiles as well as the box of tea that had no caffeine in it. Stiles picked out a tea and stuck the bag down into it. The conversation turned to what he had done in school, and Stiles bounced from one topic to another to another like he always did.
Stiles thought that acting like a ten-year-old kid was going to be hard, but between the urges that he had and his ADHD, he was finding that it was a lot easier than he thought it was going to be.
“I’m glad that Mrs. Miller was willing to take your homework,” his dad said as he settled the plates on the table with the seasoned trout as well as the macaroni and cheese and Lima beans. There was not a lot of talk from Stiles about his school day, but his dad talked about what he had done at work that day and how he was going to have to work the later shift the next day, so he was going to give Stiles some money to pick up something to eat on the way home for his dinner. It was the standard when his father wasn’t around. There were few things that Stiles was allowed to cook at the moment, and none of them involved the stove. That was more to do with his ADHD than anything else. Stiles also fully agreed with it, given that he had issues with that when he was in research mode, even as an adult.
“Yeah. I thought she would mark me down for things, but she didn’t.”
“She’s been worried about you. I know that you haven’t had her for very long, but everyone in the school has been wonderful in making sure you are fine. I know that you don’t like talking to the guidance counselor and that you appease me by doing it, but Stiles, you gotta talk to someone.”
“I do. I talk to mom.”
“Stiles.” His father looked like he was going to cry.
“No.” Stiles shook his head and pushed his empty plate away from him. They had a deal that if Stiles ate his vegetables, his father would as well. “I sit, and I talk to her. There is no one else who I can talk to. Miss Abernathy is not who I want to talk to.”
“Then I’ll find someone else.”
“She looks at me with pity and talks to me like I’m a stupid kid, Dad.”
The look on his father’s face told Stiles that he was finally getting it. He was finally getting what Stiles was talking about. He was really getting it all. It was insane how crazy it all was. Stiles just wanted his dad to be happy again. He wanted to be happy again, but that wasn’t going to come for a long time.
“I’ll find you someone else. I have a list of people that my insurance allows. We can see about meeting with one of them later in the week. I’ll call while at work tomorrow.”
“Thanks, Pops,” Stiles said. He looked down at the food that was still on his dad’s plate. There was just a little of each thing left, and it was cleared away quickly. Stiles jumped up from his chair and grabbed his plate to stick in the sink and then followed with his father’s. It was all quick to wash the dishes. The pans used for the food had been soaking before they started to eat, so they were quick to clean up. The plates were a breeze. The two dish drainers were used with ease. Stiles had bought the second when he had been shopping not long ago. It made everything so much easier.
“Let’s watch a movie?”
“Return of the Jedi?” Stiles asked. He saw the put upon look on his father’s face, and he knew that he had won that. He always did.
Chapter 2-November 7, 2004
Stiles pulled the sheet of paper out of the notebook he was using. There were so many names scribbled on it.
Stiles needed a plan to figure out how to get each of them into his pack, to save the few that needed to be saved but to also make sure that the rest were around to make them a family. It wasn’t going to be easy, especially in the case of Malia. The thing was that while she and Isaac were the priority, Stiles had another priority that he really needed to deal with as soon as possible. That was the first name on his hit list. He looked at the column that was beside the other names.
Julia Baccari/Jennifer Blake
Not every single name on there was someone that Stiles knew he could take care of. He really wanted to just push a great deal of them into the public eye, but that wouldn’t work for the Alpha Pack. He knew that they were all starting to push forward with that soon. He had no clue exactly when, but he knew that trying to find them would just draw attention. He had no interest in walking up to the Hale House and just telling them everything. They might be werewolves, but he wasn’t that sure that they would even believe him, even if he told the truth about it all.
Stiles looked at the time to see how long he had until he wanted to be at the school. He had an hour. He was already ready to go, though, and his dad was used to him going in early at least one day a week and sometimes on the weekend. He used to do it to watch the Lacrosse team at the high school. He hadn’t done that in a while, but then it hadn’t been the time for that kind of thing. His mom used to drop him off early so he could see it. On the weekends, he would walk to see the kids practicing even though there wasn’t a scheduled one.
“Dad?” Stiles called out as he opened his bedroom door. He heard movement in the master bedroom, so he waited for his dad to open the door.
“Yeah, Son?” his dad asked as he opened up the bedroom door, shoving his uniform top into his pants. He was getting ready for work.
“I wanna go to the high school, see who I can see practicing.”
“Sure, Son. Did you want me to drive you?”
“No, I wanna walk.”
“Text me when you get there?” his dad asked.
Stiles nodded his head and grabbed his new red hoodie. It was a private joke to himself at the moment about being Little Red Riding Hood, but it made him feel safe. He only needed one thing to make himself a little safer, but Mountain Ash was a little hard to get a hold of at the moment. He had plans. They were stupid and insane, but for a child, they worked. Stiles didn’t have the freedom he had before. Roscoe was still in the garage, where he needed to make sure that it was worked on before he started to drive it. He was gonna treat Roscoe so much better now. Duct tape was only going to be used when it was a temporary fix and not something that needed more love than that.
“I will Daddio!” Stiles rushed down the stairs, nearly missing the last three, but he caught himself as he started to slide down. It was hilarious to nearly fall on his ass for the first time since he had come back. His body, while still adjusted to the Adderall that he took, was still a mess of flailing limbs and horribleness. He hitched his backpack up higher on his body and took off running for the door.
Stiles heard his dad yelling about not running in the house but ignored it as he always did. He had the door open, shut, and locked again before his heart started to calm down from running. He stopped, though, when he saw that there was a car outside of his house. There was a man and a woman getting out of it. He frowned as he knew exactly who it was. Stiles hadn’t made a decision on what kind of woman Talia Hale was. He had his own thoughts, but then this time, it was hopefully going to be a lot different.
“Is your father in?”
“Why should I tell you that?” Stiles asked.
Talia looked at stiles like he had grown another head. Stiles was pretty sure that she wasn’t used to having someone question her like that. There was also the fact that his dad’s cruiser was still in the driveway, perfectly visible.
“I asked you a question, young man. I expect an answer.”
“And you should know better as an adult about demanding an answer from a child when you haven’t even introduced yourself or given me a reason to even talk to a stranger.”
The male with her, Stiles assumed it was Derek’s father, laughed at that. It was subtle and very close to the kinds of laughs that Derek was known for.
“You-” Talia stopped, though, and looked up behind Stiles.
“Mrs. Hale, I would think that given your four children that you would understand how to interact with a child. Stiles, go ahead to school, son. Mrs. Hale does have an appointment with me, but it’s for three hours from now.”
“Make sure you eat breakfast, Dad.”
“What about you?”
“Diner on the way, they do that breakfast burrito. I have leftover lunch money from the week. I’m going to snag that.” Stiles waved at his dad before looking at Talia with a glare on his face. Her husband looked like Stiles had made his day.
“Okay. Have a good day!”
“You too, Pops!” Stiles took off running on the sidewalk. He resisted the urge to look back and see if Talia and his father were getting along. When he hit the corner and needed to stop and look for traffic, he did look back. His father was standing like he did when he was talking to people who piss him off. The rocky start hadn’t been good, but Stiles didn’t need Talia Hale to like him to be able to save the Hales from the fire. He just needed to make a good plan on what he needed to do.
The high school was full of a few kids who were there for labs and other extra credit things but also a few kids who were making use of the grounds for random practice. Stiles was out of place there, but he knew that he could blend in. There was a lot of scoping out that he needed to do for the school before he settled into a plan. He found a little out of the way area and settled in on the ground and got ready to look around when he saw them. Derek was there, and he was leaning against the Camaro. Kate Argent was there as well. Stiles grabbed his cell phone and looked at the date. It was Derek’s birthday. His fifteenth and that meant that he shouldn’t be driving at all, but there he was.
Stiles dug out the camera from his backpack that he had snagged from his father’s work things. He was used to Stiles borrowing it to take pictures of things that he liked and then printed out to hang up around his room. This time though, Stiles was making use of the lens to get some weird shots in of things from around the area before getting one with Kate and Derek in the scope. It was easy to take them all around them with getting a few edges of the Camaro.
Kate was going to go down in making out with Derek, and Stiles felt like shit watching it happen. He wanted to jump and run over, screaming at Kate that she was a piece of shit. That she was horrible and he wanted her to die in a fire, but he didn’t. He needed to make sure that this was airtight, and she wasn’t going to escape. He knew what Hunter houses looked like. There was no way that Kate’s wasn’t set up to look like she was preparing for war. There would be a lot that was horrible for the time to come, but Stiles could do it.
Stiles nearly dropped the camera when he saw Kate drop to her knees, and even from a distance he was at without the camera, Stiles knew that she was taking his cock into her mouth. Stiles got a few shots of that in rapid succession. A few were near perfect, and he was able to get undeniable proof that she was doing something to a now fifteen-year-old kid that she shouldn’t be.
With a sure path in his mind, Stiles packed up and left. His father would be at the station now. He took off running. The panic in his brain wasn’t hard to fake. This was so much better than any plan that he had made up on his own. He would be able to save Derek from knowing that he was part of killing his own family, even though it wasn’t his fault. From having to lose all of them in one fell swoop. Even save Peter from the hell he would go through after the fire, even if Peter was insane.
The few memories of Peter that Stiles remembered Derek sharing with him from before the fire didn’t match the Peter that had done what he had that had drawn Laura and then Derek back home. Wasn’t the Peter who worked with Kate, which Stiles was unsure of why that man would do that. He loved Derek, he had done a lot of things for Derek that didn’t serve him at all. Then the Wild Hunt and the train station.
Stiles had never fully understood why Peter had done that, nearly killed himself to get out of there, to make sure that Stiles’ keys went back.
One of the deputies was coming out of the station through the doors as Stiles reached there. He nearly collapsed onto the man, and he barely heard the yell for his father. Stiles felt himself being picked up and carried into the station. It was cooler in there than it was outside, and Stiles shivered at his overheated body and the cool air that hit it.
“Stiles?!” his father questioned.
“Dad, dad, dad,” the name was like a chant, a mantra as Stiles tried to calm down. It was everything coming to him. All of the memories of what he had known about Kate and what she had done to Derek over and over again. “Something bad happened.”
“I want officers at the school,” his dad said as he took him from the officer who had him.
“No,” Stiles said. He tried to grab the backpack on his back, but he ended up just turning so hard that it hit his father instead of him grabbing it.
“Hold on, Stiles.”
Stiles was settled down on the floor, and he pulled the backpack off of his back and held it so that Stiles could get into it. Stiles dug the camera out and handed it over.
“Pictures and she’s too old, and he’s so young, and it’s just…” Stiles burst into tears, his emotions on the surface. He really hated that he was so emotional, but he knew that it was his age and the point in time that he had come back as well as a million other little things. He really hoped that as he got closer to his teenage years, he stopped being so full of tears.
Stiles watched his dad start through the pictures. It was nothing, and then his face got hard, and he looked around for another deputy. When he spotted him, he waved him over.
“Is that who I think it is?” his dad asked.
“Let me see.” The deputy took the camera and looked at the image. “That’s the Hale boy and…fuck.”
“Get those printed out, a few on either side so that we have proof that someone wasn’t just stalking them. I want officers at her place, and I want her under arrest now.”
“Dad, who is that?”
“That is a new substitute teacher at the high school, son. Go into my office.”
Stiles nodded his head, and he walked off to his dad’s office like he was told. He tucked to his chest and watched the deputies as they rushed around to do as they were told. He watched as a few got geared up to go after Kate. He wanted to warn them about who she was, but if she said that she was Argent and everyone knew what the Argent family business was, he would tell more than he was supposed to know. But he seriously doubted that Kate was working under her own identity.
The bullpen was mostly empty, with just the dispatcher working the desk and another deputy on desk duty. Stiles wanted to go out there and listen in. He wanted to do a lot of things. Yet he couldn’t.
After another half an hour, Stiles got up and walked over to his father’s desk, and he found the radio and turned it on.
“Sheriff, this is Wilcox,”
“Go,” his father said.
“We have seven IDs for this woman in her drawer in her bedroom.”
“Run them all.”
“What is your location, Sheriff?” the dispatcher asked.
“On-site at 1924 Boulder Street. No one is home, so I am waiting. I’ve sent the others away. Do we have eyes on her yet?”
“I have a car pulling up outside.”
Stiles sat down in his father’s chair and brought his legs up to his chest.
“Ma’am, step out of the car. Son, please come to me,” one of the deputies said over the radio.
Stiles hated that whatever happened, Derek had been with her all day long. There was nothing else over the radio. He wasn’t sure if the radio had been cut off or there had nothing else been said yet.
“Sheriff, we have blood in the basement and weapons, many that are not legal to own and not good in the amounts.”
Another voice came over. “Sir, one of these IDs has the name of Katherine Argent on it.”
“As in Argent Arms?” his dad asked.
“Yes, Sir. Spelled the same.”
“Check to make sure,” his dad said.
There were noises and then something that sounded like a gunshot. Stiles felt his chest restricting as he waited to hear his father talk after that shot.
Stiles felt better about hearing his father asking for his deputies to check-in. Every single one of them did, and there was the sound of Derek screaming for Kate. Stiles shut off the radio when he heard that Kate was in cuffs and on the ground. He didn’t need to hear Derek at this point. Hearing his scream and yell for the woman that he loved that in two months would have burned his family alive.
There was a massive passage of time as Stiles sat in his dad’s chair as the afternoon passed. He knew that his dad was waiting at the Hale house, and he had no clue where Talia and her husband were. He moved away from the chair and laid down on the couch. He heard the arrival of deputies and so Stiles closed his eyes and waited to see what was going to happen. The door opened, and he heard someone enter. He kept his eyes closed. He was just glad that he was facing the back.
“That’s just my son,” his father said.
“Is he asleep?” Talia asked.
“Yes. He sleeps deeply when he does.”
“How did this happen?” Talia asked.
“Talia, Gregory, we are still working on that. A good Samaritan took an image and grew concerned at what they saw and brought it in here as soon as they realized that they had on their hands. As soon as we had that, I got in contact and got warrants for Katherine Argent’s house and car. Miss Argent and your son arrived back at her house while the deputies were still searching. She had enough weapons that she won’t be getting bail, no matter how much money she has. I need your confirmation of one thing, though.”
“What?” Gregory asked.
Gregory was the strangest name ever for Mister Hale. He was probably who picked Derek and Laura’s names, and then Talia picked Cora. Stiles knew that Derek had a younger brother, but he had never heard his name spoken, and that was something that he had never looked up, the names of everyone who died. He really never wanted to speak the names and hurt Derek that way.
“There were plans on paper, house layouts. I would like one of you to come with me to the evidence room, and we can see if they are for your house.”
Stiles turned his wrist a little to look at the time. It was later than he thought. He must have fallen asleep at some point on the couch and not realized it.
There was nothing to do but wait for them to leave the room and then go and see what was going on. No one would bat an eye at him being there. After his mother died, Stiles lived at the station for a long time, it seemed. He didn’t want to be home alone, where his mother wasn’t. Even when she had been sick, after she had attacked him on the roof, Stiles had come to the station. He knew which desk was the best to sleep at where he didn’t get too cold or too hot. Who was the best at keeping him entertained. He knew that the vending machine was broken, and if you typed in the buttons for the Reese cup, you got it for free. He knew so many things about it all that was not important but were at the same time.
Stiles got up when the door was shut behind his father, leaving with the Hales. He knew that things were going to be tense, but he didn’t care. He had to know what was going on. Stiles walked to the back of the station where the cells were. He wanted to see her. He wanted to see what she looked like; only Kate Argent wasn’t back there. It was Derek. Derek was in a cell, on the far side of it, sitting on the ground.
“Stay back, Mischief,” one of the newer deputies said as he left the area.
Stiles nodded his head, saying nothing. He looked at Derek, who had tears down his face and a frown on his face. He looked like Stiles’ Sourwolf so much. The wolf who was angry at the world for taking everything away. The thing was that Stiles could see that Derek was barely holding on. He could see where his hands were digging into his jeans, his claws fully visible if one knew what to look for.
Making a decision, Stiles went to the vending machines. He grabbed the cash from the cup that was there for him to get snacks. Everyone dropped money into it, and he got himself a Sprite and Derek a Mountain Dew and a bag of Doritos each. He walked back to the cells and rolled the bottle of Mountain Dew toward Derek, and then tossed the bag of Doritos. The bag didn’t make it all the way to Derek, but the bottle did.
Derek just eyed them both before looking at Stiles.
“Who are you?”
“The Sheriff’s kid. Who are you?”
Derek didn’t answer. He looked at the bag of chips and then the Mountain Dew before reaching out and grabbing the bottle. He cracked it open and drank nearly half of it before breathing again. The chips were grabbed, quickly but not quick enough for Stiles not to see that the claws were out again. He said nothing, though, as he watched Derek’s fingers split the bag open. It seemed that Derek had a firm grip on anger as his anchor. Right now, he just didn’t care. He was full of anger that still wasn’t softened. Stiles just didn’t know the way that the anger was directed.
“What are you in for?” Stiles asked.
“I punched a deputy who was trying to arrest my girlfriend.”
Stiles really hoped that he hadn’t used all of his considerable muscle when he punched the deputy. He could have killed him.
“Why was he arresting your girlfriend?” Stiles asked.
Derek didn’t answer that, but he did start to eat the chips. Stiles opened up his bag, nearly splitting it open with his shaking hands. He ate half before he opened up his Sprite. It wasn’t the best with the sugar, but it was better than water. He wanted the sweet because at least it had flavor. This Derek wasn’t the carefree one that Peter had once told him about before Paige’s death had ripped him apart. The Derek between Paige and Kate wasn’t talked about by Peter or Derek. Stiles had to wonder if that Derek had been around anyone.
“Look at him,” Kate said, and Stiles jerked around to look at her. She was cuffed, and it was evident that she had been strip-searched. Probably after a weapon or two was found on her body. “He wanted it.”
“I would shut up if I were you,” Deputy Wilcox said as he entered the room behind Kate. He had his hands on the cuffs.
Kate was leering at Derek with a bright look in her eyes. She thought she was going to get out of this.
“He wanted every single second, begging for it, panting. He would do anything that I wanted.”
“Kate!” Derek yelled, and he rushed the bars. Stiles barely got back far enough that even Derek wouldn’t be able to grab him by the time that he made it to the bars. “Are you okay?”
“See what I mean, Deputy. He’s gagging for it even now.”
“Miss Argent, I would stop now.”
Kate’s head shot backward, and she looked at Deputy Wilcox with such a look of hatred.
“Argent?” Derek whispered, and he looked gutted. He was looking at Kate with such distrust now.
Stiles felt wrecked. This guy wasn’t his Derek and probably was never going to be. He wouldn’t be damaged and need help putting himself back together. Stiles had gone back in time to save everyone to save Derek, but he had never thought that would be damaging his chances at having Derek in his life.
“I’m going to fucking kill you,” Kate said, and she lunged to try and get away from Deputy Wilcox.
Stiles got to his feet, dropping his chips and his pop and started to head for the way out. He didn’t need to be in there. He was a liability at the moment. No magic to protect himself, no weapons training that his muscles would remember. He was weak and small.
“Ah, hell, Stiles.” His father’s voice echoed around the room. “Wilcox, you were supposed to get Hale out of here before bringing her in!”
“Sorry, Sheriff.” Wilcox sounded upset.
“Get her in the cell and get Hale to his parents. Roberts isn’t pressing charges, given everything. He’s free to go.”
Stiles felt the hand jerking on his hoodie, and he didn’t fight his father’s hands as he moved. He didn’t want to be in there, and he really didn’t want Derek to be in there, but he knew that Wilcox was going to get him out.
“What were you doing?” his dad demanded as he rounded on Stiles after he got him away from the cells.
“I saw him in there, and he was alone and looked hungry. So I got him snacks. I didn’t know he had attacked a deputy, and I saw what that woman did to him. It was a bad touch. You told me all about them and how I should never let an adult do that to me, and I didn’t want him to be alone.”
Stiles heard the intake of breath from his father. The one that said that he was proud of him, but also Stiles, had pushed him to the limit on what he could take. “I didn’t mean to upset you, Daddy.”
“You didn’t. I just saw you and her trying to escape.”
“That’s why I got out of there. I was going to shut the door. Wilcox can handle himself.”
“Damn right, I can.” Wilcox sounded sure of himself, and then he looked like he had swallowed an egg whole. “Sorry, Sheriff, darn right, I can take care of myself.”
“Get my son and get him something to eat, Wilcox. You are on babysitting duty.”
“Yes, Sir.” Wilcox gave Stiles a smile and a wink.
“I want curly fries.”
“You got it. Let’s get going so we can get half-priced milkshakes as well. I’ll bring back pizza for everyone else. Sound good, boss?”
“Yeah. That’s good. Enough for our prisoner as well. She’s going to be with us for a while, I think. We will have to see about getting diner food dropped off. I’ll make sure her medical records don’t list a single allergen. I’ll get in touch with the hospital for those records.”
Stiles let Wilcox pull him along. Stiles stopped long enough to find his backpack that had his notebook in it that he was keeping notes in. It was all in his own shorthand in it. The deputies were all well versed in never looking at what he had written down.
They walked to the diner as it was the main source of food for the station other than pizza, it was open twenty-four hours. It was in the hub of the city, so it got a lot of business, especially when the bars let out, and young adults were walking there to eat enough food to soak up the alcohol.
“I want you to tell me the truth. You stick your nose in everything around this place. Did you take those on purpose?” Wilcox asked when their food and milkshakes had been dropped off.
Stiles looked at Wilcox, and he tried to figure out what the man wanted from him. Wilcox had left town not long after the Hale fire with no reason given, Stiles knew that as he was one of the best deputies that his father talked about and had been upset that he had left.
“Why do you think that?”
“I know you well,” Wilcox said before he took a big bite of his sandwich. He looked at the notebook that Stiles had pulled out of his bag, and he raised an eyebrow.
“How would I know about it?”
“You go and watch everyone down there at the high school. I hear your dad talking about getting a call for you being creepy in your future. You people watch with a very strong focus, according to him. So I just bet you’ve seen a few things between them that made you want to watch them closer and this was the first time you’ve seen something you know isn’t something good. I remember the sex talk your dad gave you after you caught the pros in the station just a month ago.”
Stiles felt the blush from that one all over his body. He had been so shocked at the way that the ladies and the two men had been dressed. The sex talk afterward had just been worse. In fact, he had been so damned upset about it the first time around that he had written a letter to his adult self that talked about what not to talk about for sex talk. He was still traumatized by it.
“Just a few weeks. I saw them when I went to watch the lacrosse team practice. They were…both acting weird. Watching everyone around them too much to make sure that no one was watching them. I started to look for him.”
“Did you see who was driving the Camaro?”
“No. I never saw anyone driving it. Why?”
“It’s registered to his father. It seems that it was a rebuild that he and his father have been working on for when Hale turns sixteen next year. They just got it done.”
Stiles wasn’t all that shocked that he was driving illegally even though Derek didn’t have a permit. It wasn’t like Derek ever cared about being caught at other things, even though he had only ever been arrested for things that he hadn’t done. Usually, that was either Stiles or Scott’s fault.
“Oh. Then how did it get there?” Stiles asked, asking like an innocent ten-year-old would. Wilcox just gave him a look that said that he didn’t believe a single word that Stiles asked about.
Stiles waited for Wilcox to ask more questions, but he didn’t. He just looked around the area behind Stiles, which was his eyes all over that area of town because they were in a seat that had Stiles backed against a window. When nothing came, Stiles opened up his book and crossed out Kate’s name a single time. He wouldn’t erase it more than that because she was caught but not out of the game. Stiles only hoped that Gerard followed behind with that. Stiles was kind of okay with all of the Argents except for Chris and Allison getting caught in the backfire of this. Allison was a child and hadn’t been warped at all by Gerard’s touch. At this point, she couldn’t even remember him. Her mother, on the other hand, Stiles wasn’t sure if she was able to be saved.
Just as Stiles was closing up the book, he looked up at Wilcox, who was looking a little weird. He was breathing deep, taking in the scents. Stiles knew that flare of the nostrils. Once Scott had learned well how to figure out chemosignals, he had done that a lot. Stiles looked at Wilcox with new eyes. He had run from Beacon Hills after the Hale pack had been decimated. Wilcox was a werewolf.
Chapter 3-November 12, 2004
Stiles went down the stairs carefully. He wasn’t sure what his dad was talking about and who he was talking to, but he wanted to listen. It had been a little under a week since Kate had been arrested for statutory rape and what had grown to be a massive case involving the FBI. Stiles was just glad that Scott’s dad had not been assigned to the area since this place had been his home. It was still too close to him having left for what he had done to Scott that Stiles figured that Melissa might kill Rafe McCall if he set foot in Beacon Hills. Stiles hated Rafe and really didn’t want to ever see him again. He remembered well how the man was. Stiles knew precisely what the man had done, and he wanted him out of their lives.
“Talia Hale and the rest of her family, including her two brothers and their family, have all left. I have contact information for them, but they want away from this. My superiors are allowing this. It’s not like testimony is needed from the Hale boy about what happened, the pictures are more than enough.” The man who had come to Beacon Hills as the main agent in charge of the case against Kate Argent and the spiraling case that was going to destroy Argent Arms International as well. Stiles was so pleased about that.
“It’s not quite standard practice, but I can understand after Gerard Argent came to town three days ago and threatened the entire office. The FBI’s help with this is very appreciated, and thank you for coming here to talk to me. I didn’t want to leave before Stiles was off to school for the day.”
“I understand, Noah, I do.”
“I’m here for however long you need. My team is in capable hands with those who are left, and it will be fine. This case is just getting bigger and bigger. So far, my analyst has narrowed down a few stragglers and figured out that Chris Argent had no hands in the more bizarre and illegal things that his father and sister have been in. I have also found that man that Kate Argent has mentioned. Adrian Harris, a Chemistry teacher at Beacon Hills High School. Nothing happened, and he was just talking chemistry. I’m told that the information that he gave her could have been gotten from anyone who has any passing interest in chemistry. In fact, Doctor Reid told me that he could have made up a better formula that would have burned better in his sleep.”
“That’s the young man you arrived with, yes?”
“Yes. The newest member of the team. I didn’t want to leave him alone with the team. He’s still learning a great deal, and I really don’t want him to have to learn any bad habits. He’s also good with the extensive paper trail that we have. He can read faster than anyone else I have ever met.”
“Let’s try and keep him away from Stiles. The station might blow up with their chatter if they meet.”
The FBI agent laughed. Stiles moved and allowed his foot to hit the spot that creaked. The sounds in the kitchen didn’t stop, and Stiles came down. He saw that his father had breakfast ready for not only him but Agent Aaron. It looked like his dad already ate. Stiles dropped down into the chair beside his plate of food and started to eat. He had got to sleep late, and he knew that his dad knew it. It wasn’t like his constant moving around his bedroom was something that his dad couldn’t hear.
“Morning,” Stiles said after he had taken a bite of his eggs. He looked at Agent Aaron and saw that he was smiling, something that Stiles had yet to see the man do. Stiles had not met Doctor Reid yet, but despite what his father said, he really wanted to make sure that it happened.
“You have ADHD, yes?” Agent Aaron asked.
Stiles looked up at the agent with his mouth gaping open, and the hash browns that had been on the way to his mouth dropped off of his fork. Stiles looked down to see that his leg was bouncing up and down. “How did you know that?” Stiles looked at his dad. Yeah, there were a lot of people in town that knew it, but almost none of them talked about it, ever. It was pretty much a given that the man had learned that from somewhere else.
“Do you know who I am?”
“Yeah, Dad introduced you as FBI Agent Hotchner.”
“I mean, what unit I work with.”
“Profilers. We study behavior to help with special cases that need a different touch than the normal killers.”
“Like Miss Argent.”
“Exactly. You didn’t even understand what you did when you turned that set of pictures in about her. I’ll be around for a while. One of the other officers had offered up room and board in his house as we are going to be here at least another week or two and then moving to the San Francisco office to work the rest of the time until this is done.”
“I heard one of the guys say that the Argents are like a cult of crazy people. I heard Mister Argent. He yelled that they were werewolves. The Hales.”
Agent Aaron looked at Stiles’ dad. There was something a little off about the way that he didn’t react to the word werewolves. Stiles had always wondered if there was a division of the FBI that knew about the supernatural. It wasn’t like that shit only happened in Beacon Hills. It always begged though how only McCall had been sent in to deal with it.
“He’s a sneaky kid who gets a hold of things that he never should and is everywhere that you don’t want him to be.”
“I understand that. My little brother was the same way. If you want to drop him off at a school, I’ll meet you there as soon as I am done picking up Reid.”
“Sure. Did you get enough to eat?” His dad asked.
“Yeah. I did. I already texted Reid to get his own food. He’s used to that since I eat right after my run.”
Stiles had plans, and the FBI being in town and distracting his father was going to work out in his favor.
It was Friday, and the school day dragged, and Stiles was so damned happy when it ended. He got on the bus that would drop him at home, and then he got ready to head out into the woods. Stiles stayed hell and far away from the road, but he knew where he was going. He had crystal clear memories, but also he knew that he was headed in the right direction just on a feeling that was inside of him. He wasn’t sure if it was his spark or not, but he kept on following it.
The vehicle was right where he knew it would be, and the coyote den was not too far from it. He waited to see if Malia was going to come out. He had snacks for himself as well as his schoolwork, and he sat down on a rock for an hour before Malia came out of the den she had made for herself. Stiles didn’t move much at all, but he made sure that she was in his line of sight at all times as she moved around, scenting close to him and getting a read on him. She was not too far out from when she had been in the accident. She was still mentally wrecked from killing her family, but she had enough humanity left that Stiles really hoped that things were going to be better for her if he found her now.
Malia was smaller, the size of a pup. Which was normal because she was a kid. He wondered what she was thinking about him at the moment. There was a lot that needed to be taken care of, but with her memory closer to the surface now, Stiles wondered if the FBI might be willing to look more in the Desert Wolf if Stiles could tie her to the killing of the Tate’s. Braeden wasn’t around, and that meant that she wasn’t tracking her, not yet. She was still too young.
Stiles didn’t do anything other than just sit there and work on his homework while Malia paced around the area. She didn’t go back into her den, but she didn’t settle down either.
When it was close to the time for supper, Stiles packed up and headed back. He had all weekend.
Stiles heard the cracking of leaves and small sticks but ignored it as he kind of danced back and forth on the ground as he used a stick as a makeshift sword and defeated the tree he was battling against. His arms felt like jelly, and his legs were not much better. He dropped to the ground and flailed his hand to grab the water bottle he had brought over with him. He found it and sat up enough to where he wasn’t going to choke on the water. He dropped down again and looked up into the tree he was under. It was a beautiful tree with perfect branches. He wanted to climb it, but that was after lunchtime. Before it was training.
Derek hadn’t been the best trainer at first, but he had grown into it once he had gotten the hang of it. He knew that Talia had never trained Derek to be Alpha, even though Stiles thought that was stupid. Derek at the least and probably Cora should have been trained as well, to at least step in if something happened to Laura.
Still, Stiles remembered enough from going to watch Scott learn to fight that he knew how to build up stamina in preparation for learning other fighting styles. There were a lot of guys at the station who would help him learning fighting, Stiles was going to be prepared for reality this time.
When he felt like he could move again, Stiles got up and looked from where the path was that he needed to take to run around the area. Malia had kept pace with him when he had done the short trail earlier that morning. She had stayed back but kept up with him.
After the run, Stiles settled down to read a book. He knew that he would start to fidget after a little while, but he had a plan. It might not be the best plan, but it was a plan. He was going to settle in and talk to Malia. He hadn’t said her name yet, he was just acting like a kid who decided to hang out in the forest.
Stiles grabbed his lunch when he couldn’t read anymore and spread out on the blanket he had. He rolled to his side and started to dig around in the lunch box he had brought. He grabbed the paper plate and laid four pieces of bacon on it before walking over to set it near the rock that Malia liked to stand on. He walked away and then started to eat his lunch while trying to read again. It didn’t work.
“I’m so bored,” Stiles said, but he shoved another bite of his sandwich into his mouth so that he didn’t start to spout how he just wanted to be grown-up again or at least a teenager who could do something. Lacrosse was starting to get big, and he wanted to play, but it wasn’t at his age level yet. He would have to wait for seventh grade for that.
“The Hales are leaving town. I didn’t expect that.” Stiles had been trying to ignore that since he had heard about it the day before, but his brain kept on going back to it over and over again. He had nearly not slept because of it the night before. “I just…they have lived here for so long, and now they are leaving, and I don’t know what to do.”
Stiles looked around, and he didn’t see Malia, but that didn’t mean that she wasn’t in hearing range. The bacon was gone, which meant that she wasn’t that far.
“I came back to save them, and I did, but how is them leaving the best thing for the town? I can’t just go over and demand that they stay. They’d probably kill me or have Peter torture me for information.” Stiles shivered at that. He wanted to believe that it wouldn’t happen, but he had never seen the Peter from before the fire. Hell, he hadn’t seen Peter so far since he had come back. Just Talia, Derek, and Gregory.
There was a whine, and Stiles looked up to see Malia on the ground about ten feet away from him. She was crouched down like she was upset, making the whining noise.
Chemosignals. She knew that he was upset. Stiles smiled as he looked at her with a smile on his face. He wondered what she was going to be like this time, with her only being in the wild as a coyote under a year. He hoped that Mister Tate didn’t have any of the traps set up yet in the wild, but given how Malia had never been injured before, he knew that it wasn’t as detailed as it had been before if it was at all.
“I worry about my dad and finding out about all of this. The stuff I kept hidden from him for months, and then he kept on getting hurt, but it was sheer dumb luck that he hadn’t got seriously hurt before he found out. He was running around blind. And he has a werewolf on his payroll, and he left after the Hales did the first time around, and I need to make sure that he stays. Then maybe so much bad shit won’t happen. I’ve always wondered about how it all went down before the Hales were gone the first time. There had to be those on the force who knew, and then they just left.”
Stiles looked at Malia to see that she was creeping toward him, her belly rubbing the ground. Stiles grabbed the second to last strip of bacon and held it out. He knew that Malia loved bacon, it was one of the first things that she had wanted to eat. She ate a lot of it too. Malia inched close enough to take the bacon from him. Stiles wiggled in his seat but stopped when Malia started to back away. He hadn’t thought that he would get her that close already. He was either better at this, or she was too human still.
After another ten minutes of Stiles blathering on about his dad and his dad’s job, Malia was on the blanket with him. He reached out and scratched at her head and smiled. He should have known the first time around that there was something about Malia that was different, not just because she was a were but the full shift to full animal form. It was a Hale trait, it was the werecoyote that had thrown him, though. It was a beautiful thing when she was in that form and running, though. The teenage lust had settled, and after Stiles had stopped thinking about her like that, they had become damned good friends. He never hated what they had done, even if that first time had been a little ill-conceived.
The afternoon was wasting away, but Stiles didn’t care. His whole point of being out there was to get close to Malia to try and get her back to human form. He was way ahead of schedule.
There was the sound of snapping twigs and crunching leaves, and Stiles got to his knees just in time to see his father and two other deputies with him. As soon as the three of them saw Malia, they drew.
“NO!” Stiles threw himself over Malia and shielded her from the guns.
“Stiles, son, please.”
“NO!” Stiles yelled. He nearly stomped his foot but resisted the urge to do so.
Malia wasn’t trying to get away from him, but she was growling. Stiles tried not to laugh, but he did. All it took was talking to her all morning long and some bacon, and she was already considering him pack. Stiles liked that.
“Stay, please, Malia, stay,” Stiles whispered. He had wanted to wait to let her know that he knew who she was, but their time had run out. “Daddio, what are you doing here?”
“Stiles, step away from the coyote, please,” his father said. The tone was one that generally Stiles would want to follow. Today though, he couldn’t. He had no clue what Malia would do if he stepped that far away from her.
“I can’t do that, Pops. How about you just lower those guns, and then we can all go home in one piece?”
“Wilcox, grab my son.”
“Don’t do it, Wilcox,” Stiles said even as Wilcox lowered his gun, and the other guy moved to cover him. Stiles didn’t remember his name as he was the newest guy to the force. A buddy of Wilcox’s, and as soon as he moved, the way that he did, the way that he moved his head, Stiles grinned. He had two deputy werewolves on his hands. This was going to be easy. He was changing his plans on how and when to tell his father about everything supernatural in Beacon Hills, but at least there were two people with him that weren’t going to shoot on sight as soon as Malia changed.
“Kid, I love my job,” Wilcox said.
“Good, then stay where you are, or I am going to put her between us, and you know that you won’t win.” Stiles knew that Wilcox would win but that it would reveal who he was, and that was something that Wilcox probably didn’t want to do at the moment. Stiles felt a little bit bad that this was going to reveal him, but Stiles was going to fight dirty to make sure that his family was safe.
“Stiles,” his dad said.
Wilcox still came forward, so Stiles put Malia between them, and he grabbed the zip-up hoodie that he had grabbed. He had meant to leave it behind when he left to see if she took it to her den, but now it was going to be used to make sure that she wasn’t naked for long at all with men around.
“That’s my name. Don’t wear it out,” Stiles quipped before he really knew what he was doing. Stiles crouched down beside Malia and tried to get in her eyesight. She was eyeing Wilcox, though, and making sure that he wasn’t getting close to them. “Malia, please.”
Malia looked at him. Her eyes were confused, and she kept darting to look at the three cops.
“Please change back.”
The intake of breath told Stiles that both of the werewolf deputies had heard him.
“Come on, Malia. Your dad misses you. I know what happened, you didn’t mean to. You changed, and the blood lust from the first change just took over. If your car hadn’t been shot at, you never would have done it. You couldn’t help yourself. Please, Malia. Please.” Stiles’s voice was low enough to where his father wouldn’t hear it, but there was no way the other two didn’t. “You can come and aggressively cuddle me all you want after this, but only if you change back.”
Stiles thought he was going to have to do something else, but just as he opened his mouth to speak, she changed. Stiles grabbed the hoodie and wrapped it around her before he hugged her.
“YAY!” Stiles danced around with her kind of just standing there before he remembered that they were not alone. He turned around to see his father looking at them in shock. Then he looked at his two deputies, and they were not shocked.
“Wilcox?” his dad asked.
“I…how did you know, kid?” Wilcox asked.
“I found out about werewolves, and then I started to look into this case as I knew that people were looking for her. I found the den.” Stiles pointed over where it was. “It wasn’t a coyote den but more like a human den.”
“Werewolves. Stiles, what the hell?” his dad asked as he took a few steps towards them.
Malia took offense to that and growled, her eyes flashing blue.
“Shit, Noah, step back,” the other guy said.
“Roberts, you tell me what the hell is going on then.”
“Sheriff,” Wilcox started as he relaxed his pose and showed his hands that were empty to Malia. “That’s Malia Tate.”
Stiles watched as his dad looked at Malia, and his body seemed to just collapse in on itself.
“How did you find out about werewolves, kid?” Wilcox asked.
“I am around a lot, and I see things, and no one really pays attention to me. So I hear things.”
“Yeah, and what about Roberts and me?”
“Wolves,” Stiles said.
“Ah, hell,” Roberts said.
“Does anyone want to tell me what is going on?” Stiles’ dad asked.
“How about dinner? I can grab a pizza on the way back, and you four can ride together?” Roberts asked.
“Yeah, that sounds good. You okay with us heading to your place, Sheriff?” Wilcox asked.
“Yes. We need to take care of Miss Tate.”
As if she was afraid, Malia grabbed Stiles’ hand and gripped it tight.
“Why don’t we get her some pizza, meat lovers with extra bacon, and then afterward you can take her back. She needs to shower, and she can wear my clothes.”
Stiles knew the look that he was getting from his father. He knew that look well. His dad knew that he knew a lot more than what he was saying. Stiles felt a swell of fear at his father doing something stupid, but he looked at Malia and knew that he had made the best choice.
“What were you doing out here?”
“Got a call that you had been seen headed in here and hadn’t come out, and you weren’t at home,” his dad said.
“So you had your own personal scent hound find me?” Stiles asked as he looked at Wilcox, who at least looked a little ashamed.
“Well, I didn’t know that he could do that before this. I just grabbed the two guys who weren’t working on anything too important. And scent hound, really Stiles?” His dad was handing the supernatural a lot better than he had the first time, but then this was so much easier than finding out that Stiles was in trouble, and it was all going to hell.
Stiles laughed, and he looked at Malia, hugging her again. This time she wrapped her arms around him as well. Her arms were stiff, not nearly as stiff as they had been in the other time but stiff enough.
The drive to the house was strange. Stiles really wasn’t used to sitting in the back of his dad’s cruiser. He always sat in the front. But he didn’t want to be away from Malia, and he didn’t want to have her sitting with his dad or with Wilcox. The man was safe to be around for Malia, werewolf or not, but right now, she was the first real link to his past, and Stiles did not want to let go of her. She was still just in Stiles’ hoodie, but Stiles planned to get her clothes. There was even a set at the station if his father changed his mind about where they were going. After the Great Chocolate Milk Incident of 2003, Stiles kept clothes in the station so that he didn’t have to wear clothes that he had gotten dirty. He could totally give those to her to wear.
Stiles directed Malia to his bedroom and gave her the clothes to change into before he locked the door and kept his back to the room. He didn’t want to leave her alone in a strange place that had access to a window.
“You okay? Dressed?” Stiles asked after a few minutes. He heard the rustle of clothes, but that was about it. He hadn’t heard her say anything.
“Yeah,” Malia said, her voice unused to use, so it was a little croaky.
Stiles was a little shocked. His dad hadn’t come up to pull them out of the room.
“How did you know?”
“Magic. I’m magic, and there are things I can’t tell you that I know, but I was looking at case files like I said and I went looking.”
Malia looked at Stiles, and Stiles wondered if she had taught herself to know when humans were lying yet. He would make sure to do that as soon as possible. He saw Malia coming over a lot over the next while. Scott had been over a few times, and they had played video games since Stiles had come back, but Stiles had been a little busier with reading, and Scott didn’t like to study all that much. It was probably going to be a sticking point for them. Stiles had no clue how Scott was going to act about Malia in Stiles’ life. It had been Scott’n’Stiles for a long time, and no one had been able to breach that.
“Does your father know you are magic?”
“I haven’t figured out how to tell him. Now I can, though! He knows about the supernatural after seeing you. I didn’t mean to draw them there. I was just going out to see if I could find you and then get you used to me, and then it just all got out of hand.”
“It’s fine, Stiles.”
Stiles nearly started to cry. She said his name the same way that she used to after they had settled into being friends after their relationship. Stiles wrapped his arms around her, and Malia hugged him back with strong arms, almost too strong, but Stiles was okay with that.
“Pizza is here!” Wilcox called.
“Hungry?” Stiles asked. He wasn’t all that hungry, but he wasn’t going to turn down pizza.
“Yes.” Malia waited for him to open the door before she followed him down to the first floor of the house. Wilcox and Roberts were sitting on the couch, and Stiles’ dad was sitting in one of the two chairs. Stiles debated what he wanted to do before he all but pushed Malia down into the chair and then squeezed in beside her. She didn’t move at all other than to take the plate that she was handed. There were already two glasses of water on the stand beside them. Stiles grabbed one and took a small drink before he handed it to Malia.
“Stiles,” Noah said as he looked at Stiles with a sharp look on his face.
“No, it’s fine,” Wilcox said.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s a werecreature thing. I’ve never met anyone outside of wolves, but it’s kind of-” Wilcox trailed off.
“There is a big thing about the whole reason that toasting was started was to mix the drinks,” Stiles said. He smiled as he grabbed another bite of his pizza and chewed it as fast as he could. “When they were smashed together made out of bone or wood back in the day, all of the drinks kind of mixed into everyone else’s drinks. It was to make sure that no one was poisoned. If you didn’t, you were considered to be untrustworthy, and then no one drank. There are other origins of it as well, but I like that one best. It’s not exactly something that everyone believes, but it’s there.”
“It’s a good origin, and yes, it’s good to have a were see what you prepare, or you take a drink first if they are not around. You gave us a sealed pop, so it wasn’t a big deal.” Roberts held up his can of soda to show that.
“This is…” Noah leaned back in the chair, and Stiles watched him close. He ate his pizza silently, and the whole room seemed to understand that it was a little too much on Stiles’ dad at the moment.
Malia was inhaling the food, and it was such a Malia thing to ignore everything that was around her when it came to her getting what she wanted.
“How long have you known about the supernatural, son?” Stiles’ dad asked after a while. The pizza was all gone, and Stiles had nursed his slice so that everyone else could eat. He knew that Malia’s food intake was high, and the two deputies were probably packing it away as well. It also made sure that his father didn’t eat too much.
“Two weeks?” Wilcox asked.
“Stiles is the master of research,” Noah said as he leaned back in the chair and crossed one knee over the other. He had a can of pop in his hand. “It took him seven hours to spiral through the history of World War I over the summer.”
“ADHD, coupled with an insatiable curiosity, means that he knows a lot about a lot of things and will spout them off like nothing. Two weeks to learn everything that he can find, factual or not about the supernatural, is actually pretty slow for him.”
“I had a lot of school work to catch up on, and then there was everything with the Hale’s.” Stiles watched Wilcox to see that the man flinched just a little. Stiles wondered how loyal he was to them. Was he going to follow them out of Beacon Hills? Or did he leave the first time around because of how afraid he was? Beacon Hills hadn’t had a lot of supernatural things happen in it after the Hale’s left until Peter started to wake up. Having Wilcox and Roberts on the force would help with everything that was coming. “I didn’t have a lot of time to just spiral. Then there was Scott and video games.”
Noah laughed, and Stiles was glad of it. He looked at Wilcox and then at Malia. “Malia, honey, what do you remember of the night of the crash.”
Malia whined, and Stiles wrapped his arms around and pulled her into a hug. “It’s okay, just tell him.”
“We were fighting. I was so angry at Mom, and then there was shattering glass and the wreck, and I was in pain, and then I was the coyote.”
“Who killed your sister and your mother?”
Malia whined again, and she turned all the way into Stiles then, blocking everyone else from being able to see her at all.
“The first shifts are hard, especially if she was injured in any way. Stiles, you said something about a bullet?” Roberts asked.
“I found the slug in the vehicle.” Stiles rushed away and hesitated as he looked at Malia. She was still curled in the chair, but she wasn’t doing anything. Stiles decided to rush as quickly as possible to get what he needed. He found the baggie with the bullet inside of it. He went looking through the vehicle as soon as he had arrived. He figured that years of wear and tear and then small bits of flooding had washed it away, and it was why it was never found. The soft parts of the vehicle deteriorating away, and then the damage done to it after, meant that no one was looking for a bullet inside of it after the wreck. Stiles grabbed it from his bag and rushed back down the stairs.
It wasn’t until he was halfway down that Stiles realized that he was going too fast, and his legs were not doing what they were supposed to. He tucked as soon as he knew he was going to be going down the stairs and not on his feet. Stiles felt his body land on the floor, and before he could move or say a single thing, Malia was there in beta form with claws out, and she was looking for a threat. Stiles looked beyond her to see that Wilcox was holding back his father, but at least Malia wasn’t looking at them. She was looking everywhere else.
“He does that, Malia,” Noah said, his voice calm and easy. “He takes his brain off of walking and ends up falling down the stairs. I’ve seriously considered installing some kind of padding at the bottom of the stairs.”
“Hey!” Stiles yelled at his dad. “Here.” Stiles held out the baggie, and Roberts walked over to take it while Malia calmed down.
Malia’s breathing was calming down, and Stiles knew that he was going to be needed to calm her down the rest of the way. He grabbed the blanket that was piled there beside the stairs and wrapped it around her. The smell of him on it was going to calm her down more than anything else at the moment.
“You okay?” Malia asked.
“You smell like you are in pain.”
“Bump and bruises. Didn’t even hit my head this time.” Stiles hugged Malia and brushed his cheek against hers. She made a low growling noise that was content. “Why don’t you go outside, and I’m sure that my dad will drive you home to your dad’s. We can talk to each other and make plans to hang out later this week. The full moon isn’t until the day after Thanksgiving, and I think that I know the perfect place to stick you.”
“Stiles?” Noah asked.
“We need a place to stick her to make sure that she’s got a good hold on her humanity before we let her loose. She might not make it all the way to coyote form, and the pull of the moon will be horrible.”
“She’s a born werecoyote?” Wilcox asked.
“I assumed. I mean, unless we had an Alpha werecoyote running around Beacon Hills biting children a year ago.”
“I was adopted. My parents never lied to be about that. It was a closed adoption with no chance of any of us ever finding out who my biological parents were.”
“That’s risky given that you just might be a born werecoyote.” Roberts looked upset about that.
“Roberts, get that bullet back to the station and work it over. Wilcox, take a team back out to that vehicle and figure out what the hell happened. Look at it as an assassination attempt. Stiles, you are going with me to take Malia back to her father, and then we are going to take them to the hospital to get her checked out.”
“She’ll be fine, Sir,” Wilcox said.
Noah looked at Wilcox.
“We weres are very hardy. She’ll not have a sickness, so don’t let them do anything too severe on her. I know it’s the protocol, but I would also keep Stiles with her. She’s bonded to him in a way. I wouldn’t be shocked if an emissary could find a pack bond between them already.”
“I’ll get in contact with the Hale pack emissary. He stayed behind when the Hale’s left. He can help you understand this world in a different way than Roberts and I can. It’s good to have different sides of everything.”
“You are both bitten?” Noah asked.
“Roberts isn’t. He is born. His mother was a human, and his father is a wolf.”
Stiles remembered that Roberts’ mother had died in a hit and run. It was why he became a cop.
“You ready, son?” Noah asked a few minutes later, and Stiles realized that he had zoned out some. He figured that he hadn’t missed anything that he already knew.
“Malia, you ready to go home?” Stiles asked.
Chapter 4-November 22, 2004
Stiles looked at the house that was in front of him. He knew that he had been inside of it before, when he was older. Scott knew where he was going, and if it wasn’t for Scott’s mother needing him at home for chores, Scott would be with him. That hadn’t been part of the plan, but he could have adapted it. He was glad he didn’t have to. He didn’t like that his father had interrupted his plans for Malia and his plans for telling him about the supernatural.
The gift of Stiles’ spark had come out during one of the first few meetings with Deaton even though it was very evident that Deaton hadn’t wanted to talk about that. Stiles had been more than willing to fuck with the Druid. Stiles had been playing with the small jar of mountain ash and had used it to not only make a protective circle for himself, but it was shaped like a wolf, all using that little bit of spark that he had been building up since finding Malia. It was like being around a were had been what he needed to find that spark and turn it bright.
Stiles’ had a lot of homework that had nothing to do with school. It had to do with his spark, and it was books that Stiles had never seen the first time around. Stiles wondered if the Hale fire had fucked up Deaton more than anyone would have guessed. Or his give a fuck was broken before and now with the whole near miss, he was acting more like he should have been. Stiles still wondered why he was still around. He should have followed the Hales to wherever they were.
The FBI was still around, Agent Aaron and Doctor Reid were in and out of the station at least once a week, but the main parts had been moved to a closer field office. The last bit of eavesdropping that Stiles had done, he had learned that there was only Chris who had been cleared of all wrongdoing and that everyone else was going to be going away for a while. Kate Argent had been linked so far to at least seven families that had been killed by means of fire since she had turned eighteen. Always with a younger male or even female teenager who she seduced. It made Stiles sick to his stomach just to think about it.
“What are you doing?” Mister Lahey asked as he got out of his car.
“I came over to play with Isaac, and I got distracted thinking about everything that I want to do!” Stiles made sure that his voice was the tone that grated on people’s nerves.
“Nope! Isaac has things for me to play with, and I’m playing with them.” Stiles followed along behind Mister Lahey and darted inside of the house as soon as the door was open. He heard Mister Lahey yelling at him, and Stiles ran right up the stairs to Isaac’s very plain bedroom.
“Stiles?” Isaac asked. He looked shocked to see him. Isaac had school books out in front of him, but it wasn’t the stuff they were learning, he was way ahead in the books.
“Come here, you little shit!” Mister Lahey yelled.
“Isaac, do you trust me?” Stiles asked, and he held out his hand just as the door crashed open.
“Did you invite this little shit here, Isaac?” Mister Lahey demanded as he grabbed Stiles by the back of the hoodie that he was wearing.
Isaac looked at Stiles, and Stiles nodded his head.
Stiles wasn’t ready for the way that Mister Lahey pulled him off of his feet all the way and grabbed Isaac at the same time. Stiles started to scream and tried to kick to get away from him, but Mister Lahey was stronger than Stiles thought he was. Or Stiles was weaker.
There were things in life that Stiles was curious about, and not all of them were good things. His father said that he was stupidly curious about things that would kill him, and that was before he knew about werewolves, werecoyotes, and everything supernatural.
Being tossed into the freezer shocked Stiles so much that he didn’t even try and get out before the lid was being shut. Stiles heard the lock being shut, and then he was screaming as he beat on the lid.
Stiles heard Isaac say something, and he stopped screaming so that he could hear him.
“It won’t work. Dad won’t open it up. Not until we are done with your punishment.”
“This isn’t punishment, Isaac, it’s abuse. It’s horrible, horrible abuse.” Stiles dropped down to sit on his ass. They were both too big for this, and their legs got tangled as they tried to get conformable inside. Stiles pushed up on the lid, and he felt the cooler air outside come in just a little bit. He kept it open for as long as he could until his arms were sore. He let it drop again. “This might not have been the best plan in the world.”
“Just like your plan to marry Lydia?” Isaac asked.
Stiles looked at Isaac, and he smiled. “Holy shit, you are a sarcastic asshole already. You and I are gonna be great friends.”
Isaac looked at Stiles like he might be crazy, but Stiles was used to that look. He figured that Isaac thought he was crazy for even wanting to act like he knew Isaac at all after this. Stiles was going to be friends so hard with him, wherever Isaac ended up that Isaac would forget what life was like before Stiles had entered his life.
“You are crazy,” Isaac said.
Stiles lost track of time as he kept Isaac from freaking out too much with stories about random and stupid shit as they were trapped inside of the freezer. There was distant yelling at some point, and Stiles pushed up on the lid of the freezer again.
“DAD!” Stiles yelled.
“Don’t draw his attention!” Isaac tried to grab at Stiles to get him to stop, and Stiles fought against him. The sound of crashing scared Stiles, and he let the lid of the freezer drop down. There was more muffled yelling and even more intense other noises.
After it didn’t stop, Stiles lifted the lid on the freezer again and heard his father’s voice from in the basement is sounded like.
Stiles dropped the lid on the freezer again and waited for the sound of something hard hitting the lid, and then it was being opened up. Stiles launched himself at his father and tried to climb him like a monkey. He looked around as soon as he was in his dad’s arms. He saw Wilcox and held out his arms to him. Wilcox looked at him, afraid for a few seconds before he came over and took him.
“Daddy, Isaac needs to be hugged.”
Stiles watched his dad look down at Isaac, who was hunched in the freezer now. He looked impossibly small. Stiles hated it, but he stopped this from happening over the next six years. That was the thing that Stiles kept on telling himself. It was worth it. Even if he was going to have nightmares for weeks about being stuck in a freezer with dead animals even though this one hadn’t seemed to have worked for years.
“Stiles.” Noah’s voice was broken as he reached down and lifted out Isaac. The boy was even lankier than Stiles and so small. He grew up so much, so tall over the next six years, but today he just looked small. Isaac clung to Stiles’ dad, and he held on tight. He looked like a different version of himself, and Stiles felt his heart breaking a little. He wanted to just go out there and beat the shit out of Mister Lahey.
Stiles watched Isaac as they were both carried up to the first floor of the house. He looked all alone and like he was on the verge of tears but was too scared to cry. Stiles could hear Mister Lahey outside, screaming for a minute, and then that sound went away with the sound of a car door shutting. One of the deputies had to have shut him in the back of a cruiser.
“Stiles,” Noah said as he crouched in front of Stiles after he was put onto the couch. Isaac was in the other corner of the couch, looking like he wanted to bolt away.
“What did you do?”
“Are you blaming me for getting me and Isaac locked in a freezer?” Stiles asked.
Wilcox laughed a little as he sat down on the floor on the other side of Isaac, creating a barrier that neither Isaac or Stiles could run past in any direction except for over the couch without getting in range of being grabbed. Getting over the couch was going to be impossible, as well.
“No, Son. I’m not blaming you for getting you and Isaac in a freezer. I want to know what you did that even got Coach Lahey feeling like he needed to throw you into it.”
“I came over to play with Isaac, and Mister Lahey was being mean, so I ran into the house.”
Stiles watched the looks on his father’s face until it settled into something that was very familiar. Exasperation at Stiles doing stuff like that.
“How long have you known that Isaac abused Isaac?”
Isaac inhaled and then whimpered. The couch jerked, and Stiles looked at where he was to see that Wilcox had reached out to touch him. Stiles patted the couch beside him, and Isaac climbed over the cushions and over to where Stiles was, plastering himself to Stiles’ side.
“Rumors for a little while, but proof when I heard Isaac freak out about being locked in a closet last week.”
“Son?” Noah asked, his eyes were on Isaac this time. “How long has this been going on?”
Isaac shook his head back and forth.
“Okay, you don’t have to talk now. Stiles?”
“Mister Lahey grabbed me and then Isaac and then tossed us in there. I don’t know how long we were in there.”
“Thank you.” Noah stood up and nodded his head at Wilcox, and then they walked away. Stiles followed behind them as they disappeared around a corner. Isaac followed behind him, his hands curled into Stiles’ hoodie.
“Your kid is good at making his little stories sound like the truth,” Wilcox said.
“He wasn’t lying?”
“Nope, no change in the heart beat. If he had other plans, he’s keeping them to himself and not lying. He shouldn’t know about me being able to read his lies, so I don’t think we have to worry about that.”
“And Mister Lahey?”
“Human. As human as humans can get. This is just the run of the mill, abusive dad.”
“Children’s services are coming to get him. There is no other family. I had someone run that. Mother’s family is all gone, the Lahey’s are too old to take in a kid. Camden is still in school. I have no clue where he is right now. Patrols are trying to find him.”
“I’ll head out and do that. The thing is Sheriff that this was…too planned.”
“What do you mean?”
“He was supposed to stay home until you got home. That’s what you said that he said. Instead, he calls Scott, tells Scott where he’s going, and then heads over just before you get off of work. Meaning you’ll go looking for him. The timelines are just too coincidental.”
“No, I agree, but you said he wasn’t lying. He’s stubborn as hell, and if I pushed about that, he’ll shut down or start to spout off stuff he’s read on the Internet. Go head out.” Noah sighed.
Stiles turned around and headed toward the couch again, tucking Isaac close into him when his dad came back out. Wilcox nodded once at Stiles and then headed out the door.
“Camden’s at a friends’. I don’t know which one. He never tells me. Probably someone from the swim team.”
“Thanks,” Noah said. He repeated it over the radio. “So Isaac, someone is going to come and take you somewhere that you can stay until you are put into the system, and a home can be found for you and for Camden.”
“Camden’s not gonna want me around.”
“What do you mean?”
“He hates me. Dad pays all of his attention to him, and I’m just the kid who gets shoved into the freezer when I piss him off.”
“Camden knows about the abuse?” Stiles’ dad asked.
Isaac just shrugged.
Stiles knew that Camden had to know, but for all they knew, the abuse had been done to him, and then when Isaac had been born, it transferred to him. That could be why Camden never said a thing. Stiles had always assumed that the abuse started after the mother had died, but unless Isaac opened up, there was no way to know. Though it could have just started with Isaac and Mister Lahey had never touched Camden.
This had just been a recon to see if Isaac was being abused, and it seemed like maybe they had caught the beginning of it.
Stiles felt eyes on him, and he saw that his father was staring at where Isaac was trying to hide behind Stiles. Stiles looked his father in the eye, and he raised an eyebrow. Stiles shook his head. The way that the eyebrow arched told Stiles that his father was asking if this was supernatural. He had gotten that a lot since the reveal with Malia.
“Isaac, your ride is here. Tomorrow I’ll come over and talk to you.”
“NO!” Isaac pushed behind Stiles on the couch, nearly knocking Stiles off in his effort to get behind him. His hands were like claws on Stiles’ arms. He wasn’t letting go for anything. Stiles looked at his dad.
“Stiles, he has to go with them.”
Stiles tried to fight the new hold on him that his father had. He was being tugged away from Isaac. Stiles tried to hold onto him, and he was pretty sure that he was yelling. He knew that Isaac was yelling, and the dog in the neighborhood was starting to bark.
The man who picked up Isaac when he face planted on the floor to hold onto Stiles was gentle, despite the fighting that Isaac was doing. Stiles could see that, but he didn’t care. Isaac needed him. Stiles tried to wiggle free with more fervor, but his father had a good hold on him. They followed behind the man and Isaac, probably to get them outside where their screams weren’t going to echo.
“Fuck!” the man yelled, and then he dropped Isaac. Isaac scrambled to his feet and ran to try and get Stiles away from his dad.
“Don’t hurt him!” Isaac yelled. He started to beat on Noah, but Noah just stood there and took it.
“What are you looking at, Jackson?” Stiles yelled when he saw that Jackson was standing there with his cross in his hands. He looked almost scared at everything. “You just gonna stand there and stare when you knew he was being abused? Huh?”
Stiles was shocked when the hands on him dropped him, and all of the anger that he had felt from the future when he had learned that Jackson knew and had never done anything about it came bubbling up. Stiles dug his feet into the grass and pushed off it before he made a beeline for Jackson.
Jackson screamed like a little girl and tried to get away from Stiles, but he only made it a few steps before Stiles tackled him.
“How do you like it, huh? Being beaten up.” Stiles had enough mind to make sure that he was hitting the soft parts of the body, he didn’t want to injure him really. Stiles ignored the hands of Jackson’s that were trying to push him off. He was getting good at this part, had been damned good at it before he had gone back in time, and most of it was just making sure his limbs were doing what he wanted.
Then he was being jerked back off of Jackson. Stiles kept trying to flail at Jackson, connect in any way, shape, or form. He watched his father help Jackson up and walk him over to the side, and only then did Stiles look to see who was lifting him up. It was Peter Hale.
“Let me go, Creeperwolf,” Stiles demanded before he could realize what he said. He didn’t react, but Peter did. He had his eyes narrowed at Stiles and scented him. He kept a hold of Stiles by the back of his hoodie. Thankfully it was one of the ones that he had to jerk over his head, or he would have fallen out.
“Are you a spirited little boy,” Peter said as he started to walk over toward the other side of the road where Wilcox was waiting for Stiles. Isaac was sitting in the back of Noah’s cruiser, and when Stiles was finally settled onto his feet, he rushed over to Isaac, who clung to him.
“Thank you, Mister Hale,” Wilcox said.
“No problem. I was just trying to find you to talk about your house.”
“Yes, I’ve already been contacted by the agency, and I told them I would be keeping the rental on it. They said they would handle the payment now.”
“Yes, well, that’s not exactly what I wanted to talk to you about. My sister wanted to talk about signing it over to you since you and Roberts are staying here in Beacon Hills. She was hoping that the two of you could share it. Safety in numbers and such.”
“I’ll come over to your apartment tonight to talk about that.”
“Sure. I’ll cook dinner. Bring Roberts.”
Peter turned and then was in Stiles’ line of sight all of the way. Stiles got Isaac behind him and waited to see what Peter was going to do. He crouched down in front of the door and looked at Stiles.
“What’s your name?”
Stiles just glared at him.
“Ah, you must be the little boy who schooled Talia on stranger danger and demanding to talk to the child of the Sheriff without introducing herself. Well, little one, my name is Peter Hale. I’m sure that you’ll see me around town here and there as I come back to handle Hale business while the rest of the family goes about their lives.”
Stiles just kept on glaring at him. Peter looked at Isaac and then leaned forward to where his face was just inside of the door. Wilcox moved like he was going to do something, and Stiles shook his head. Wilcox stopped, but he didn’t back off.
“You have the scent of a Spark, little one. Did you know that? You would have been a wonderful wolf, but I’m glad that you aren’t. Sparks are so rare.” Peter flashed yellow eyes at Stiles and Isaac gasped behind him.
Stiles felt Isaac’s hands grip him tighter. Stiles patted the one hand that he could reach. “I’m not scared of you.”
“No, no, you aren’t, and that’s something that I like. If you ever need anything, Mister Stilinski, just call.” Peter held out a business card. It had his name on it as well as the name of a law firm. Stiles knew it was the one he had worked for before the fire. He had been low on the totem pole but respected because of who he was. A cellphone number was written on it as well. “If the cell number doesn’t go through, just leave a message with whoever picks up at the firm. I’ll always call you back, Stiles.”
Peter stood up and was walking away just as Stiles saw his dad coming across the road with Jackson in tow with him.
“Stiles, I’m not going to ask you to apologize, but at least explain why the hell you attacked this young man.”
“He attacked me, Sir, because I knew that Isaac was getting beat up on by his dad. I never told anyone.”
“Not even your father, why?” Noah asked. He looked shocked.
Jackson just shook his head back and forth.
“It’s okay, Dad. He’s not gonna do it again, are you?” Stiles asked.
Jackson shook his head, and then he looked at Isaac. “I’m sorry.”
Stiles looked at Jackson in shock. He really hadn’t thought that he would have got that out of Jackson at all. He didn’t figure that things were going to be puppy dogs and rainbows. Stiles had a plan for making friends with Danny and then with Lydia, and then Jackson was going to be forced to be friends with him. It would keep Jackson safe, make sure he didn’t become the Kanima this time around. It would be better. Though, Matt Daehler wasn’t going to be able to do what he did. There was going to be no pool party that would almost kill him. No Mister Lahey telling him to keep it quiet.
That was a bonus in all of this. No Kanima and just Jackson being Jackson and an asshole. Or maybe not on that as well.
“Sheriff Stilinski, I need to get young Isaac where he’s going for the night.”
“NO!” Isaac yelled from behind Stiles.
“Let’s go over here and talk.”
Stiles watched as his father drew the man from Children Services away. As soon as he could get away with it, Stiles pulled the door on the back of the cruiser shut and just watched. They weren’t going to take Isaac anywhere that he didn’t want to be. Stiles watched as one of the other deputies went into the house after a quick word from his father, and then there was a lot of talking between Noah and the guy from Children Services.
Ten minutes later, the deputy came out with a bag in his hand and handed it to Stiles’ dad before he walked to where there was a group of people who went over the crime scene talking while getting ready to head inside.
“That’s my bag. They packed my stuff up, and I’m leaving. I don’t want to leave Stiles. Don’t let me leave.”
“I’m not going to let you leave.” Stiles braced himself as his father turned around to head to the cruiser. Stiles saw that he still had the bag in his hand. He walked to the trunk, Stiles moved to where he could watch him until the truck lid was popped. It was shut, and Stiles saw that his hand was empty. It seemed that his father was going to escort Isaac to wherever he was going to be staying while they figured out what to do with him.
Stiles said nothing as his dad got into the front of the cruiser, but he turned to where he was wrapped around Isaac as Isaac cried, and on the way to wherever they were going, Isaac cried himself to sleep. Stiles barely watched where they were going. He paid more attention to his father and Isaac than anything else. He frowned though as they pulled onto a familiar street. Stiles looked behind. The guy from Children Services was still there.
“As long as the house looks fine and I’m approved like that, Isaac will stay with us while something else is figured out. So Steven and I are going to go inside, and then when we are done, I’ll come out and get the two of you.”
“Yes, Daddio,” Stiles said. He grinned as his father walked away.
Stiles started to make plans about how he was going to make sure that they got to keep Isaac. He had liked Isaac, especially before he had left with Chris to head out after Allison’s death. Stiles wondered what Allison was doing right now. She was losing most of her family, and he did wonder if Chris was turning into something closer to the rest of his family or if he was becoming like he had been after seeing how his family really was. Stiles had no way to know how to check that out. He couldn’t just ask someone how Chris Argent was really doing. Even his father would be suspect of that. So it was just better to stay where he was and not ask.
Seeing Isaac here, though, Stiles wondered if Isaac would love her just like he had before. It had destroyed him when Allison had died, even more so than Scott. That would merit a lot more thought.
Stiles was pulled from his thoughts, seeing his father leaving the house while talking to Steven. Stiles was grinning as he looked at the smile on his father’s face.
“You get to stay!” Stiles threw his arms around Isaac and hugged him tightly. They would share the bed over the next few nights. Isaac didn’t need to be alone if he didn’t want to be.
Stiles sat up in bed and looked at the underside of the bunk bed that his father had gone out and bought the day before Thanksgiving. They had spent the day putting it together before he had gone to work the overnight shift so that he didn’t feel as bad about being off on Thanksgiving day. The meal was catered, and he would be picking it up, and all that had to be done was warming up the parts that needed it. Stiles would help with that and Isaac if he wanted.
Isaac had been quiet over the last day, but Stiles knew that he would come out of his shell more and more being in a stable home. It was what everything that he had read about said would happen. He had already researched everything that he could using the computer in his Dad’s home office.
“Stiles?” Isaac asked from the top bunk.
“I don’t know.” Stiles crept out of bed and made his way to the window. He looked outside. It was a full moon. That shouldn’t mean a damned thing but yet, Stiles still felt like his skin was crawling. Stiles was looking out the window when he heard his father moving around in his bedroom. Then there was the sound of him moving even more, and Stiles wondered what was up. He walked to the bedroom door and opened it up from the way that it had been mostly shut. “Dad?”
“There is something outside making noise.” Noah was holding a baseball bat, a wooden one, as he left his bedroom.
Stiles waited until his dad was down the stairs before he started to creep out. Isaac fell into step behind him and stayed close enough that Stiles could feel his body heat. They both crept down the stairs, missing the creaking steps and ending up on the first floor just as the front door was opened. There was the sound of something clicking on the floor and Noah’s near scream of shock, and before Stiles could run forward to find what had done it, Malia was crossing over to him in her coyote form.
“Oh,” Stiles said as he dropped down to his butt and let her all but crawl into his lap. He looked up at Isaac, who was looking like he might bolt for it. Then there was Noah, picking him up and sitting down on the stairs with Isaac in his lap.
“That’s a coyote,” Isaac said.
“Yes, Son, that is. And normally I would tell you to never touch one, this one is a bit different than others.”
“Mister Hale told Stiles that he would have been a wonderful wolf, and I never asked what that meant, but his eyes glowed.”
“Werewolf,” Stiles said. He dug his fingers into Malia’s fur and scratched a little. “This is Malia, and she’s a werecoyote. There are also werejaguars but not around here. Those are the only ones that I know about. I’m sure that there are tigers and lions, and all of that based on where the family came from that started the line. I’ve just started to learn about it all from someone who has a lot of books about it.”
“That’s cool,” Isaac said. He reached out and let Malia sniff his hand. She let out a soft sound, and then Isaac petted her head once before slipping back into Noah’s lap.
“Let’s get the three of you to sleep. I’ll call Mister Tate in the morning and let him know that Malia is here.”
“It’s the full moon, Dad. It calls to Malia. I’m betting that we won’t get to sleep until later. At least we don’t have school tomorrow. Maybe after this, she and I can have half days after the full moon.”
“Stiles has not been asleep all night long, Mister Noah.”
“Stiles?” His dad asked.
“I just felt weird. I didn’t even know it was the full moon until I looked outside. It’s the Beaver Moon, which has its own stuff, but no matter what, she’s always going to feel the moon. Maybe from now on, we have sleepovers on full moons.”
“I’ll talk to Mister Tate about it. Or have Wilcox go and do it. He’s the most equipped for that kind of discussion, just like when we took Malia home, and she went into her beta shift.”
“That was scary,” Stiles said. He looked up at Isaac, who was looking like he was still a little scared, but Isaac made such a wonderful wolf that Stiles wondered if he was going to ask for the bite at a later time in his life.
Malia got up from Stiles’ lap and tugged at his pants. Stiles got up and followed her all the way to the back door. Stiles looked at his dad, who nodded his head. Stiles reached out and grabbed Isaac’s hand and pulled him along with him.
They played in the backyard with Noah watching over them until both Stiles and Isaac were getting ready to pass out. Stiles felt his dad pick him up and carry him up to the second floor. Malia darted up the stairs first, and Isaac trailed behind, holding Noah’s hand, Stiles saw.
“Your bed, Daddio. We need room for a puppy pile.”
“Puppy pile?” his dad asked.
“Yeah, they don’t call it that. Wilcox called it pack bonding after the full moon, but we are all kids, so puppy pile. Malia’s going to need a shirt to get into if she gets back to her human form, so make sure to set that out where she can reach it.”
Stiles knew that his dad was just rolling with it. He was adaptable, according to his own words. Stiles also knew that his dad never thought that he was going to have to adapt to this kind of thing so close to the death of his wife. Stiles wondered if he was going to roll like that throughout all of the years of Stiles coming into his power that he had learned to just scratch the surface of over the years before. Or if there was going to be a point where his dad checked out. Stiles really hoped not, but he would understand if it did happen.
Malia jumped up onto the bed and laid down on the edge while Stiles was laid down, and then Isaac crawled in. Stiles felt the bed dip at the edge so behind him, and Isaac crawled to be between Malia and Stiles. It wasn’t a shock. Stiles would probably pick the wild animal over an adult male after everything he had been through. Stiles cuddled back into his father’s chest and was asleep in seconds despite what felt like the moon pulling on him.