A/N: I'm participating in an AU Bingo challenge on LJ. All entries will be uploaded to this "story" as separate chapters, unless they are long enough to merit their own stories. All the stories will be AU in some way and to varying degrees of crackiness. Comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.
If Not One Thing
"No freaking way!" Stiles exclaimed. He fell into the closest chair, nearly missing and sliding the rest of the way to the floor but for Scott catching him by the back of the neck and hauling him into the seat.
"What?" Scott asked, looking back and forth between Stiles and the woman who had just stepped into his living room. Though she looked familiar, Scott couldn't place where he'd seen her before. She was in her early twenties, tall, with long dark hair hanging in loose waves around her face. Her skin was pale and flawless, almost glowing.
"Dude, you are so not going to be happy."
"What?" Scott repeated, now demanding. The woman was just standing there, staring at Stiles either like she was trying to decide between eating him and playing with him. So far, she hadn't given any indication of noticing the other teen in the room. He drew a breath, hoping his nose would reveal more information. She had no scent. None. A tingle crawled down Scott's neck, the hairs on the back standing up. He'd never met another person with no scent, and he really didn't like where that line of thinking had to go.
"Do you know where I can find Derek Hale?" she asked, polite as anything. "He wasn't at the house. But your scent was." She wore jeans and a t-shirt, both far too big for her. "And yours," she added, eyes cutting to Scott for the first time. One hand clutched the waistband of the jeans, keeping them from falling down. These weren't her clothes. That observation opened a whole new ream of questions that Scott didn't even want to speculate on.
Stiles closed his mouth, which had been gaping open, licked his lips. "No. He left." Shook his head. "But he'll be back," he added in a rush. "After he gets the whole Alpha thing figured out."
The woman's eyebrows creased, mouth turned down in a familiar grimace. "Alpha." She managed to pack of a lot of emotions into that one word, none of them positive.
Scott squeezed Stiles's neck, let his fingernails dig in just a little. Why couldn't his friend keep his mouth shut? He was spilling a lot of information to this stranger. Stiles reached back and swatted at his hand, only getting Scott to ease up, not let go.
"What happened to Peter?" she asked. Her top lip curled back, and now Scott caught a glimpse of elongated canines. Fangs.
"H-h-he's dead," Scott answered.
"We killed him. B-b-burned him to death."
"Will that be enough?" Stiles asked suddenly. "Will he stay dead? Why didn't you stay dead? We saw you. In pieces. How in holy hell is that myth the one with any validity?" By the end, his voice had risen to the point of cracking. His arms waved with every question. Only Scott's continued grip on him kept him from jumping out of the seat and stalking around the room. "Oh, shit. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say holy—"
She snarled for real this time, revealing four sharpened canines. Her eyes burned ice blue. And now Scott was really confused.
"No," she replied. "It isn't enough. I'll find him and finish it. There's still time." She hitched at the pants, pulling them up. The movement revealed bare feet, dusty and caked with mud which she had tracked into the house. "It took me a month to come back."
"It takes a month? So the three day myth is wrong? You know, this completely changes the direction of my research." Stiles now grabbed Scott's hand and pulled it off his neck. His heart, which had been pounding, started to slow.
"The only reason to bury the pieces of the body separately is if you're trying to prevent regeneration," she explained. She narrowed her eyes, which had now returned to a greenish hazel, like she was drawing conclusions she didn't want. "If you see my brother, tell him—"
"Uh-uh. No way," Stiles said, waving his hands in an X in front of his face. "I'm not being a messenger on this one." Now he stood up, started ushering her to the door. "The three day myth is a bust. So is the invitation one. That's fine. What about the blood drinking—you know what, I don't need an answer to that. How about you just leave now and go exact that revenge and leave us alone…."
Scott stopped listening at that point, lowered himself to the couch, his head braced between his hands. He didn't have the mythological background Stiles did; even if he'd done the research, he'd never be able to retain obscure information like his friend. But he'd managed to figure out two things, one of which was that they'd just been talking to Laura Hale, a woman whose death had initiated the chain of events that lead to Scott getting bitten. The second—
"Dude, vampires!" Stiles exclaimed, on returning to the living room. "Now we've gotta worry about vampires?" He sounded too excited, like the way he used to talk about werewolves before he started having regular near-death experiences because of them.
Scott fought to keep calm. He could feel the anger rising in him, the wolf keeping pace right behind. What had Stiles meant when he said that Scott wouldn't be happy? Against his better judgment, he asked.
"Well, apparently I've been believing all the wrong things," Stiles said. He pulled the chair over to sit opposite Scott, their knees almost touching. "I'd been throwing out all the myths that are clearly nonsense, like a person being able to become a werewolf by drinking water out of a wolf's footprint. Or by turning around three times in front a mirror and visualizing the change really hard." Scott had a sinking feeling that Stiles had disregarded those myths because he'd tried them. He sighed, bit his tongue. He wasn't ready to press that issue. "Did you ever wonder what causes vampirism?"
Scott blinked, certain that he'd missed an obvious segue. It wasn't an unusual feeling when dealing with the way Stiles's brain worked. "No."
Stiles kneaded his lips and tongue, ran a hand over his head, obviously having no intention of not answering his question. "I'm a little fuzzy on the details." He took a breath, let it out. "When a werewolf is killed, it… doesn't exactly stay that way."
"Stay what way? A werewolf? Or dead?" Scott kept his head down, tried to keep his voice calm. Nothing good would come of Stiles seeing his eyes right now.
"Um," Stiles answered. He went silent.
A/N #2: This entry fills square #25 (on the bottom left corner) of my card: vampires. The myth referenced herein is a real one.