Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Wolf or any of it's characters. If I did, Sterek would be canon.
A/N: Concerns arise amongst the Pack, but they still manage to party! Unfortunately there are a few uninvited guests.
The Hale Pack: The Darkest Night
"Speak to you soon, Kira." Derek replied before turning to leave the school, deciding then that he would head home and call Deaton before he had to start his shift at work that afternoon. He and Stiles had a date planned for the next night and Derek intended to have all the answers by then.
As Scott, Lydia and Allison made their way to their shared gym lesson, the three of them spoke quietly about their concerns for Stiles.
"I mean, it's not just me, right?" Scott asked in a tone that was almost pleading. "There's something different about him?" He had seen the looks on both of their faces the night before, they were worried too. It was different from Danny's concern, his was mostly directed towards the situation Stiles was running into alone, but theirs was caused by Stiles' behaviour. Scott was sure of it. He wasn't quite sure how he knew that, he just did.
"Definitely." Lydia replied firmly, as Allison nodded in agreement. "It started off as just little things, but now it's so much worse."
"Thank God, you guys noticed it too," The huntress sighed in relief. "I thought it was just me. Ever since Derek recovered from Bardo and he didn't, he's been off. Do you think something happened to him that he's not telling us about? Something that's keeping him from shifting?" She asked in concern, her mind was working quickly to concoct various unpleasant scenarios.
"Maybe," Scott looked at the ground as he walked slowly, a frown etched itself onto his face and his brows furrowed in concern. "but I think this started before Bardo. He's been off ever since the ritual itself, We wrote it off as being because of Bardo, but I'm not sure that we were right. Derek was frustrated and scared during Bardo, but he still felt like himself, Stiles didn't. I mean, sometimes he did, but mostly- whatever happened when Derek recovered didn't start this. Stiles isn't himself, there's something different about him, something distinctly not Stiles."
"I agree, he's been off for weeks. And you're right, Scott, it started with the ritual." Lydia told the pair in her 'Academic Voice' as she called it (some of her Pack mates referred to it affectionately as her 'Know-It-All Voice'). When stressful situations involved somebody she cared about, Lydia forced herself to lock away emotions long enough to look at the problem logically. After she had analysed the problem and figured out her first step, she would go talk to at least one of five people and let her emotions out; Those five people being Miss Morrell, Allison, Stiles, Derek, and Jackson.
Once she had spoken about her feelings on the situation, she would go and work out step two, then let out her feelings again. She'd repeat that process until the problem was solved.
Of course this time it was different; she couldn't talk to Stiles because he was the problem; she couldn't talk to Jackson because the voices in her head told her it wasn't safe for him to know; she couldn't talk to Miss Morrell because she was working at Eichen house all week, though she had sessions booked with Stiles, Lydia, and Isaac for the weekend; and the voices were telling her to wait for Derek to talk to her about Stiles.
"He wanted me to scream last night, but I don't know why. He has been manipulating us all for a while now, but I was an idiot and didn't see it." Lydia growled, clearly frustrated at herself for not noticing what he was doing before. She might have been able to help him before it got this bad if she had just paid attention. Lydia notices everything, so why the Hell didn't she notice this? "It was almost three weeks after the ritual that bardo started, but Stiles was always acting off; he started keeping to himself a lot more; he was barely sleeping even before the nightmares started; he's constantly getting lost in his head, way more than usual. Then Bardo hit and he got worse; There were times I'd be talking to him and it's like we're having completely different conversations; he-"
"He made me shift." Scott remembered suddenly. "When we were at the Tate house trying to find something with Malia's scent while the sheriff distracted her dad; Stiles told me to shift to calm the dog while he searched for her scent. He wouldn't do that. Not in a place where I could get caught."
"And, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you think he reacted surprisingly calmly to the situation with you dad?" Allison asked as she bit her lip thoughtfully. "Not just when he found out about you, but the reason he's here in the first place; to get Stiles' dad fired."
"No, you're not wrong." Scott told her. "He'd definitely be far more vocal about it."
"He has been quieter about everything lately." Lydia reminded them both. "About Kate being alive and some kind of shifter, Kira being a kitsune. Usually he and I would be researching everything about Kitsunes right now, we know what Derek and Deaton told us, but Stiles, Danny and I would have compiled all the books and materials we could find about this by now. Danny and I have, but Stiles hasn't said a word about it, hasn't asked a single question." She pointed out. The pair realised with horror that she was right. The night before, Stiles had let everybody else ask the questions about what Kira was. Then, rather than searching for more information about her, he had immediately changed the subject and left to start planning how to delete the pictures from her phone, and that was definitely wrong for Stiles. The real Stiles would have spent thirty minutes asking questions, then taken the group to start planning.
"To top it all off; he's been lying to us." The redhead told them, before turning her head to look at her best friend. "Allison, do you remember when we were searching the school for Barrow yesterday? Stiles was using his enhanced sense of smell to try and pick up Barrows scent," Lydia asked rhetorically, but the huntress nodded in response anyway. "Even after losing his ability to shift, he kept his healing and enhanced senses, right? But last night, after Barrow took Kira, Stiles said-"
"He said that he couldn't follow her scent." Allison finished as recollection hit her. Scott's concern frown appeared to deepen somehow. "He made you scream instead."
"It's like he wanted her to be taken." Scott commented with a frown. It was the only logical answer, but it didn't make any sense, why would Stiles want that? He was all about protecting his friends and Pack. Kira may be new to their circle, but she was definitely their friend, and well on her way to becoming Pack at this rate.
"No, it's more than that." Lydia insisted, pleased that the pair were seeing reason the more she spoke. "He wanted me to scream and Kira to use her Foxfire for some reason. We need to figure out why. Whatever is going on with Stiles started that night at the Nemeton. Whatever it was, I think the nemeton was trying to protect Derek and Stiles from it by putting them through Bardo." Lydia theorised, though Scott looked at her in disbelief over her last comment.
"Wasn't Bardo going to end with their deaths?" Scott asked rhetorically with a raised eyebrow. He had been on board with her theory until she said that. Why would the Nemeton try to kill them in an effort to protect them? "How is that protecting them?"
"Because it didn't kill them." Allison explained when she realised what her best friend was getting at. "It warned them that something was wrong, it gave them clues how to stop it. It guided us to the answers that we needed to help save them."
"Exactly!" Lydia continued. "When Stiles and Derek offered themselves to the nemeton and bound our Pack to it, they created a bond with something very old and very powerful. Then they sacrificed themselves to it so it could root itselves to us. It brought them back, but it has consequences. In the time they were between life and death, something else got in. The nemeton has been trying to help them recover from their experience and help them fight off whatever latched onto them last night. Derek managed to do what he had to do to keep it out; he closed the door, but Stiles-" Lydia cut herself off with a sigh and ran her hands over her face as she stopped walking. Allison and Scott exchanged a look as they also stopped, then turned their attention to Lydia. "I don't think he closed his door, and I think that something got inside."
"You think Stiles is… possessed?" Scott asked, deliberately keeping his voice void of emotions, he didn't want Lydia to think he was being judgemental or dismissive of her theory.
"By what?" Allison asked, worrying her lower lip between her teeth. The banshee moved her hands from her face and ran them through her hair and let out another loud sigh.
"I don't know." Lydia confessed as she threw out her arms before letting them drop to her sides. "But I know that whoever went into that power substation last night was not Stiles. Not completely. He's in there somewhere but he's trapped and he needs us to help him." Allison and Scott shared another look, but the Banshee didn't let that dissuade her. "You know about the voices in my head, they help me, guide me to where I need to be but lately I can barely hear them, there's constant noise surrounding me." She told them honestly as her eye's flickered between the pair. "But only when I'm around Stiles. Before I couldn't tell what it was but when Barrow escaped all I could hear was buzzing." She explained as she began walking forwards again.
"Yeah, the electricity." Allison reminded her gently, as the Banshee passed them, the pair began walking again so that they were in a row once more.
"But I thought it was flys!" Lydia reminded her. "Barrow is back in jail but when I'm around Stiles I can still hear buzzing, and it's not electricity, it really is flies buzzing this time. I think that's why it took me so long to figure it out. The longer I'm around Stiles, the louder the buzzing and the background notices get, and the less I can focus. The more I need to scream again."
"The nemeton." Scott remembered suddenly, once again being swayed by Lydia's logic. "When we went to it, that night that we were training Malia, Stiles picked up that dead fly and he stared at it for like five minutes. Not even Derek could snap him out of it." Allison grew more concerned when reminded of that fact, and Lydia nodded emphatically, glad that they were finally seeing things her way.
"I think that whatever is going on with Stiles started with the ritual, it took root during bardo, grew when he held the fly, and really took hold when Stiles went up against Barrow last night. I think Kira is keeping something from us, probably at Stiles' request. We need to find a way to get her alone and ask her about it." Lydia finished her explanation and recommendation just as they arrived at the changing rooms. The girls changing room had taken priority over the library, and had already been repaired over summer break.
"After the party tonight, the three of us and Isaac should talk to Derek first." Allison suggested. "I don't know about you, but I feel like we should keep this as quiet as possible until we know for sure what we're dealing with."
"I agree, but I don't think Isaac suspects anything yet," Lydia pointed out with a raised eyebrow. "are you sure we should tell him?"
The pair shared a look then explained to the Banshee. "We think he's been feeling a little neglected lately and we don't want that." Allison explained, as she turned to look her best friend in the eyes. "If we keep this a secret from him and sneak around trying to figure it out, it's only gonna make things worse."
"Of course." Lydia nodded in understanding. "You need to take care of your relationship, say no more." Scott and Allison smiled at her appreciatively, and then the bell rang.
"We'll talk more about this later." Scott said and Lydia and Allison nodded in agreement
With that, Lydia and Allison went into the girls changing room and Scott went into the boys changing room. All of them were unaware that their Alpha had been standing just outside the building, next to the window at the end of the corridor, listening to their every word.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Chris stood in his office, in the apartment he shared with his wife and daughter, staring down at the broken mask in fear. In all his years hunting the supernatural, he'd never come across creatures that scared him as much as these creatures had. Other creatures he knew how to kill. This was something that had plagued his nightmares for years.
The moment Issac described the creatures that had attacked him in the library, Chris felt his heart stop. That fear he tried to bury over the years resurfaced faster than Peter on Lydia's birthday.
But Chris had learned a long time ago that you cannot let fear control you. So he pushed it down and turned his focus to helping his daughter and her Pack fight them and, if they're lucky, figure out how to kill them.
"You okay?" Victoria asked softly as she gingerly placed a hand on her husband's shoulder. "We can tell the others that we can't make it tonight and-"
"No," Chris quickly assured, turning to face his wife. "No, tonight is important. Not just for us but for Allison and all of the other's." The hunter insisted. The both of them had really enjoyed spending time with friends. As sad as it was, neither of them had had friends in a long time. Their lives had been dedicated to hunting for a long time, which was how they had met. They fell for each other pretty quickly. They were friendly with some of the other hunters, but never true friendship. When they had Allison they spent even less time with their acquaintances, opting to divide their time between their hunting jobs, their cover jobs, and raising their daughter 'right'.
When they moved to Beacon Hills they had expected a simple job; find out why Laura Hale had returned to Beacon Hills and if she was planning on building a new pack. A few months stay at the most. They hadn't expected most of the events that had unfolded. They hadn't expected that Laura would be killed. They hadn't expected that their daughter would begin dating a werewolf and join his pack. They hadn't expected that one of them would be turned into a werewolf and stay alive. They hadn't expected to join a pack. And they definitely hadn't expected to make friends.
Victoria found that she really enjoyed having friends again, and enjoyed spending time with them. But she loved her husband more and had to make sure that she did what was best for him. "I'm not sure that that's the best idea, Chris. I think we should just stay home and do something to ease your mind. Maybe figure out how to approach Katashi."
"I really think that meeting up with the other's tonight at Jake and Hayley's house is the best thing to ease my mind." Chris assured, heart rate steady. "If being a part of the Hale Pack has taught me anything, it's that we need to work together when things get scary. Though that being said, I do want to leave the kids out of this for as long as possible."
Victoria smiled deciding to keep things light hearted for a moment longer. "'Being a part of the Hale Pack' huh? I bet that felt weird to say." She grinned, giving her husband a soft peck on the lips.
"You have no idea." Chris grinned, pulling his wife in for another, longer, kiss.
"Hmm, I think I do." Victoria countered when they pulled apart for air. "After all I am the hunter who became a werewolf and lived to talk about it." The woman smirked and allowed her eyes to glow amber. Chris grinned in response and kissed her again.
"Okay, you win there." The hunter conceded with a nod.
"And I agree that it would be preferable to leave the kids out of this." Victoria told her husband honestly. "However-"
"-However," Victoria persisted, fixing her husband with a firm glare. "The children are already involved, if the fact that they attacked Isaac is any indication. The Pack are currently operating on the belief that they will only attack when their prey is isolated, but from what you told me, we know that isn't true. We need to warn them."
"We can warn John, Melissa and the other's tonight. We'll tell Allison, Derek and the Pack tomorrow, let them have their party in as much peace as possible, they deserve a fun night." Chris insisted with his eyes still fixed on hers, he grasped her hand and placed it over his chest. "And so do we. We'll meet up with the others tonight, have a few drinks and warn them later. We'll set up mountain ash to make sure nothing can attack, tell them it's just a precaution, until we tell them the full story. In the meantime, I'm going to look for Katashi, try and talk to him about what we're up against."
"No." Victoria informed her husband simply, Chris looked at her in disbelief, but before he could say anything she continued. "We will tell John, Melissa, Allison, Derek and any other Pack members who attend dinner this afternoon, and the rest later tonight so that they can prepare themselves properly for what's to come." The she-wolf was unwavering in her conviction as she locked eyes with the husband.
"How are we supposed to prepare them against it when even we don't know how to kill it?" Chris implored gravely, a rare haunted gaze in his eyes as the memories played out in his head. Victoria caressed his cheek in an attempt to bring him back to reality.
"We know how to hurt it." Victoria reminded him. "We know someone who might know more than we do about these creatures. After we tell the Pack what we do know and have our fun tonight, we should go talk to him."
"I'll go talk to him, he knows me, and besides, in a few day's time you have the difficult job of going with Peter to find Kate."
"Ugh, don't remind me." Victoria groaned, resting her head on Chris' shoulder for a few seconds before she stepped away and began pacing. "Looking for Kate? I can handle it. Being stuck in a car for days on end? I can handle it. Being stuck in a car for days on end with only one other person? I can handle it. Being stuck in a car with only Peter Hale for days on end while looking for Kate?" The Huntress-turned-werewolf finally stopped pacing and turned to face her husband. "That's gonna be Hell."
"You're right, not just about being stuck with Peter, about telling the Pack the truth. Thank you, this is why I need you." Chris smiled gratefully as he walked over to his wife, who was shaking her head at him.
"Don't give me all of the credit, it was you and the Pack who showed me how to be a better person. When I thought our daughter was a werewolf I told Gerard all about her and her Pack, I shoved Wolfsbane in her face, tried to kill her friends and I tried to Kill Scott, one of her mates, twice." She reminded him ruefully. "Then I was turned by Derek and I was going to kill myself until you made me realise that I couldn't do that to our daughter. I had hurt her too much already and I had to make it right. It's my job to protect her and I tried to hurt her so I had to make it right. You reminded me of my true role as Matriarch: To make the smart decisions that benefit humanity and help create a safer world for Allison. The way we do that isn't by wiping out all those who are supernatural, but by, as Allison says, 'protecting those who cannot protect themselves'. And here's how we're goin to do it-"
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
During Lunch Kira sat with the Pack again, though this time she felt much more at ease. There was a comfort in knowing the truth about her new friends and herself, which was surprising given that the 'truth' was that most of them were werewolves and she was a kitsune, and knowing that even after knowing her less than a week they trusted her with their secret and were willing to help her figure out her own abilities. Heck, they're willing to break the law to keep her safe. That probably shouldn't make her feel good, but it did.
Later that evening Kira was going to go to a blacklight party, sneak out of said party to break into the police station to delete evidence, then go back to the party and pretend that nothing had happened, the very thought was filling her with both exhilaration and dread. She looked around at her co-conspirators to see if any of them were showing any outward signs of trepidation or excitement, but they were all completely neutral. Kira was almost surprised, but then again, just the night before she and Malia were informed of many of the lees-than-legal activities the Pack had engaged in, including, but not limited to: Breaking into the school and stealing chemistry supplies so they could make Molotov's to attack an Alpha; stealing a prisoner transfer van and kidnapping a classmate who happened to be a Kanima; Destroying school property when fighting said Kanima; owning and carrying firearms without a license; withholding evidence; and lying to the police.
Kira realised that she probably should be more concerned that she was, technically, hanging around with criminals, but she just wasn't. She could tell they all had good hearts and only did those things for the right reasons. Besides, the alternatives would have been a lot worse. Not that her parents would see it that way.
Thinking of her parents, Kira was concerned about how she'd convince them to let her go out tonight. She was convinced that If she so much as uttered the word 'party' they would definitely say no, especially given that it was a school night. She voiced her concern to the Pack when their initial conversation came to an end.
"Well, Stiles and Derek were supposed to be going on a date tonight while the adults all hung out at the Reyes house and we were gonna pretend to hang out at the Pack house, then sneak out to the place Danny had booked for the Blacklight party," Scott began to explain, earning him a glare from 'Stiles', who appeared to still be annoyed that his friends had been intending to party without him. "Stiles overheard me, Isaac and Allison talking about the party and because he was mad that we didn't invite him, Stiles told Derek, and Derek told the Sheriff, who told my mom, and she told Mrs Argent, who told Chris, and well, now they all know, they all got together and, surprisingly, agreed to let us have our party anyway."
Scott was speaking quickly in a way that Kira expected more from Stiles, the boy was sporting an excited smile that was definitely contagious as he carried on. "Some of the other parents aren't too keen on the idea of us being out without our Alpha because of the threats, but they also know that we can protect ourselves and after everything we've been through, we deserve to have some fun. But with the power going out, the restaurant called and said they were gonna be closed until the power comes back on, so Derek and Stiles are going out another night, meaning that Stiles can come to the party. Derek decided to swap shifts with Posey tonight, so that he'll be free tomorrow, when the power should hopefully be back on for the rest of the town. He's working 6pm to 6am tonight rather than 6am to 6pm tomorrow. Even though Stiles and Derek aren't going out tonight, it's the only night my mom, Stiles' dad, Lydia's mom, Malia's dad, Allison's parents, Erica's parents, and Boyd's parents could all have off, so they're going ahead with their Parents Hangout, or whatever they're calling it. They're especially relaxed now that Derek is letting us use the loft."
Even 'Stiles' was staring at Scott in shock. 'Stiles' was pretty sure that Stiles' best friend had just broken his record for the most words spoken in between breaths, that little bitch. Scott was unperturbed by his Pack mate's staring at him and continued. "They know we're responsible and won't let things get out of hand, it's just a night to let off some steam before things get too crazy again. But that means that there's a house full of adults who are willing to say we're just chillin' at the house, and I'm sure your parents will want to spend more time getting to know our parents, so it'll work out great. Sure, you won't get to party as long as the rest of us, but it's better than not partying at all. Hey, I bet the sheriff could ask them for us. Then they'll have to say yes!" The crooked jawed boy exclaimed happily, convinced that he'd just solved the entire situation. He took a few deep breaths as he smiled and waited for someone to respond.
"What Scott was trying to say through that mess of sentences," Lydia rolled her eyes playfully and shook her head fondly at Scott. The crooked jawed boy looked at her perplexed as he mentally replayed his own words in an attempt to figure out what Lydia was implying he'd said wrong. "is that a bunch of our parents are hanging out at the Reyes' house tonight. They know that we're going to be partying, but they're all cool enough to lie to your parents and say we're gonna be at the Hale House all night. Therefore, you should tell your parents about the hang out and that they're invited, and that you've been invited to hang out with us until they're done. The adults will be together from 5 until 11, Our party starts at 6 which gives us plenty of time to finish getting the loft ready. Then we get to party and relax." She said the last word pointedly, knowing Kira would understand that she was referring to the other activity they had planned for that night. "Then we can party, sneak home for 10:30 giving you and whoever we designate to take you home time to wash off the paint and what not so your parents never suspect a thing. Also, If you think that your parents would be reluctant, we can have the Sheriff call and invite them personally."
"That's exactly what I just said!" Scott informed the Banshee, before Kira could say anything, looking confused and slightly offended.
"No it wasn't." Cora chuckled as she shook her head.
"Scott, I love you," Allison began with a soft smile as she placed a hand on her mate's shoulder. "But your version was a lot… wordier than Lydia's."
"And completely all over the place." Jackson piped in helpfully. "You didn't even say the words 'invite your parents', you implied it, but you didn't say it. Try picking up a book with words every once in a while, you might actually learn how to speak English." He jested with none of the cruelty he would have a year prior. He backed it up with a playful smirk, which was very different from his vicious smirk.
"Indeed." Boyd agreed with Jackson easily.
"I understood what you were saying," Isaac assured his dejected looking mate with a soft smile. Scott beamed and gave Isaac a kiss on the cheek, then leaned around him and gave the same to Allison as he knew that she was only trying to help. He then sent Lydia and Jackson half-hearted glares which were quickly abandoned in favour of a soft smile to let them know he was joking. "But that was a train-wreck, babe." Isaac teasingly added and Scott, the mature werewolf that he is, stuck his tongue out at him
"So, what do you say Kira?" Erica grinned, successfully trying to bring the girl back into the conversation. "You in?"
"Sure," Kira nodded, grateful that her new friends seemed to excel at coming up with plans and alibis. "But what if they say no, even to the sheriff?" Kira asked.
"You act annoyed and say you're going to bed early. Then we sneak you out through your bedroom window and hope to God they don't come check on you." 'Stiles' offered simply, a mischievous grin on his face. The day before Kira would have protested that suggestion, but she needed to delete those photos, and a part of her really wanted to be rebellious. There was a tiny part of her that even hoped her parents would say no, just so that she could be disobedient.
"Okay." She agreed easily, a soft smile on her face despite the whisper of uncertainty that plagued her. "So, what sort of thing does one wear to a black light party?"
Large smiles appeared on the faces of Erica, Allison and Lydia. "Oh, don't worry," Erica replied, clearly delighted by the question. "We'll help you pick something out."
"Anyway," Cora quickly changed the subject before anybody else could say anything about clothes. "We need to discuss what happened to Isaac last night. What are we gonna do about the creatures?"
"Better question," Jackson began before anybody could answer the brunette, "what the hell are these creatures in the first place?"
"I think the more pressing question is: Why did they attack Isaac?" Scott corrected, as he and Allison both placed their hands on Isaac's shoulders.
"And why did they leave that symbol behind his ear?" Allison frowned as she gently squeezed her mate's shoulder.
"How did they get in the house?" Danny added, an edge of bitterness was evident in his voice. He and Deaton had worked hard to set up a security system that would still work without power. One that would keep the pack secure from outside threats, without trapping the Pack in their own home. Kate Argent had taught them the dangers of that. Yet these things had managed to get inside anyway and hurt somebody that Danny cared about.
"Will they come back?" Isaac piped in, before taking a bite of his food..
"Are they going to attack more of us?" Erica added helpfully before taking a bite of her apple.
"What were they doing to him when they had their staring contest?" Boyd asked, speaking for the first time during their lunch break that day.
"What do Chris and Victoria know about it that they aren't telling us?" Ethan added, having noticed the pair exchanging worried looks when Isaac explained what happened to him in the library.
"How did the creatures manage to keep everybody out of the library while they were in there?" Aiden questioned with a frown. "Even Derek?" Derek had remarkable strength, which was to be expected from a True Alpha, but these things managed to keep the door in one piece and locked without even touching it, according to Isaac.
"Just how strong are they?" Kira wondered aloud, her tone of voice somewhere between awed and horrified.
"What else are they capable of?" Lydia asked. She was unbelievably casual, acting as though they were discussing homework.
"Okay, so we've established that we have a lot of questions and no answers." 'Stiles' snapped as he rubbed his temples rhythmically. He rubbed three circles into his temples in quick succession, paused for three seconds, then repeated the motion. "I have a fucking headache, so can you all just shut the hell up before I get the urge to go find these creatures and ask them to attack me, so I don't have to listen to all of your dumb-ass questions, please?" He practically growled. Everyone at the table went silent and looked at Stiles in concern, some of them also looked hurt and shocked.
After a few minutes he stopped rubbing his temples and continued eating his food. After another minute had passed, Stiles looked up suddenly and frantically looked around at the Pack, looking concerned. "What the hell?" He whispered to himself, panic flooding his body.
"Stiles?" Scott gently tried to get his best friends attention. "Are you okay?"
"H-how did I get here?" Stiles asked instead of answering, which was an answer in and of itself. "I was just in the power station with Kira and Barrow."
"Mom," Jackson began gently as he placed a hand on his mom's shoulder, Stiles looked to his left to look at the Beta. "that was last night."
"No," Stiles shook his head as his chest tightened. "No, no, no, that was two minutes ago." Stiles looked past Jackson and Lydia to lock eyes with Kira. "You were there, right?"
"Yeah. but it was last night Stiles." Kira affirmed with a frown. "Remember? Barrow he had the power cable and he-"
"I know what he did, because it just happened." Stiles insisted as he began to hyperventilate. "He was taking pictures of Kira and ranting about kids with glowing eyes. He had the power cable, he attacked me, then he attacked you, there was a bright light and I blacked out, and then- and then" He shut his eyes and gripped his head in both hands and he tried to force the memories to return, his eyes shot open when a memory finally came back to him. "Then I was in a cage with a bear trap on my foot," Stiles remembered. The concern of his Pack increased as he mentioned being attacked by Barrow. Except Kira, she sighed in relief at not having to keep it a secret anymore. Sure Derek had said not to mention it to the rest of the Pack, but Stiles had mentioned it first, so surely that didn't count, right? "That's what happened, right? At least, before I woke up with my wolf, right?" He asked the girl pleadingly.
"Yes, mostly, he electrocuted you, then he electrocuted me." Kira reminded him, ignoring the looks she received from the Pack. "My foxfire activated and pushed him away, then the power went out and the town blacked out, but you were conscious. Lydia and Allison showed up, the six of us were interrogated by agent McCall and he took my phone as evidence. We went back to the house where we told the others what happened, but you left out the part about Barrow attacking you, you said that he only went after me. I just assumed you didn't want to worry them, so I didn't say anything. I'm sorry." She was quickly assured by Erica that they weren't angry at her, but Lydia added that in the future she was to call Stiles out, or anybody hiding injuries or an attack. Kira immediately agreed to do so, then continued the recap for Stiles.
"Derek and Dr Deaton figured out that I'm a 'Thunder Kitsune' and we were told that Isaac was attacked while we were gone." When Kira said that, Stiles' eyes grew wider and his head shot towards Isaac, who was already staring at him, clearly concerned. "Then we went to the library and planned how to delete the pictures of me that exposed my supernatural side from my phone."
"You really don't remember any of this?" Boyd frowned, eyebrow furrowed in concern.
Stiles could only shake his head as the panic attack took over. Within a heartbeat, Aiden and Jackson (who sat either side of him) each grabbed one of his arms, helped him to his feet and guided him out of the cafeteria and to the nurses office.
The rest of the pack reluctantly cleared up after themselves, and gathered their belongings (The wolves gathered up the uneaten food in ziploc baggies and Stiles' tupperware tub for later) then shot glare at those who dared to whisper about Stiles, and left the cafeteria.
They found the three boys in the nurse's office with Melissa, Stiles was explaining the problems he'd been having recently.
"Blackouts." Stiles admitted softly, avoiding eye contact with anybody, though he kept glancing at Melissa when she wrote on the sheet attached to the clipboard and made notes of his symptoms, trying to read her expressions, but she remained impressively impassive. "But not for that long. And sleepwalking, which I used to do a lot as a kid." Melissa nodded as she made her notes, Derek and John had both mentioned Stiles' recent sleepwalking to her.
She also remembered a nine year old Stiles staying over at her house, after his mother fell ill, when his father was working, he'd end up walking around the house and knocking things over in his sleep. One night, Scott had run into her room distraught, telling her that Stiles had found the keys and gone outside. Melissa had run out to find the boy, barefoot in his pajamas, walking down the middle of the road. That had terrified Melissa, she immediately hammered a nail into the wall to hang the keys from so Stiles would no longer be able to reach them. She put it up so high that even she had to tiptoe to reach them, and that was where they stayed for over two years, until after Claudia's death. Stiles had just turned twelve and a month had passed without any sleepwalking incidents so she deemed it safe enough to trial leaving the keys in their dish again. The only time it had happened since then was when Peter was the Alpha and was trying to convince him and Scott to join his Pack.
"Um, I'm also having some really bad anxiety." Stiles added after Melissa had finished writing.
"Panic attacks?" She asked, looking at Stiles in concern. That was something that had persisted for longer but also faded away with time. They had also returned when Peter was running around attacking people, and again when the Darach had Derek under her spell, and Stiles had had a third one in class when he was going through Bardo, but otherwise they had been kept at bay as far as Melissa had been aware.
"Yeah, a couple." Confessed Stiles softly, but before he could say anything more Scott interrupted.
"More than a couple, he-" Scott immediately stopped talking when his mother shot him a look.
"I appreciate your concern, Scott, but it's better if I hear this in Stiles' own words." Melissa told her son firmly, he reluctantly nodded in agreement and kept quiet. "Another word from any of you and I'll kick you all out." She then looked back at the boy she viewed as her second son. "I can kick them out now, if you want to talk alone?" She offered gently, and Stiles smiled appreciatively but shook his head.
"No it's fine, they can stay." Stiles assured and received sighs of relief from him Pack. "Besides, they'd definitely all eavesdrop anyway."
Melissa smiled, as the others bit back their sarcastic remarks. "Okay, what else has been troubling you?"
"I haven't been able to transform, like at all. Oh, and I temporarily lost the ability to read." He reminded the woman, "But that might have had more to do with this giant magic tree and a whole human sacrifice thing." he tried to lighten the mood a little by using a lighter tone.
"I recall something vaguely about that, yes." Melissa smiled at him in mild amusement, before turning serious again. "How many hours of sleep are you getting?"
"Eight." Stiles told her, and all of his pack mentally called bullshit. All of them were debating calling him out and risking getting kicked out by Melissa, but the nurse spoke up before they could.
"A night?" Melissa asked in surprise and disbelief.
"In the last three days." Stiles confessed, ignoring the hitches of breath from some of his Pack as he counted on his fingers, which was made difficult by his hands shaking. He was so focused on his counting that he didn't notice Melissa's horrified expression, but everybody else in the room did. "Yeah, definitely eight." Stiles confirmed when he had finished counting and by then Melissa had composed herself.
"Been feeling irritable?" She asked as she set down the clipboard and walked across the room to put on a pair of gloves.
"Yeah." Stiles admitted with a sigh, "Possibly to the point of homicide."
"Inability to focus?" She continued, already knowing the answer before Stiles even opened his mouth, She reached into her bag and pulled out a vial of a sedative with trace amounts of wolfsbane in it. Not enough to harm a werewolf, but enough to slow their metabolism enough to allow the drug to do its job.
"No, the Adderall's not working and I don't have my wolf to help right now." Stiles admitted, watching the woman warily.
"More than my usual? Hard to tell." Stiles couldn't help the sarcastic tone from slipping into his words, but it earned him smiles and/or chuckles from everyone in the room, so it was fine.
"Vivid dreams during the day?" Melissa asked, she kept her tone casual and light as she filled the needle with the liquid. Lydia kept her expression blank but by the time Melissa had asked about irritability, she knew where the nurses mind was going, and she didn't like it.
"Okay, basically all of the above." Stiles responded, sounding exhausted all of a sudden. "Do you know what this is?"
"I think so." Melissa told him honestly as she walked over to him and smiled reassuringly. The rest of the Pack were looking at her curiously, waiting for her to elaborate.
"Uh, what's that?" Stiles asked, eyeing the needle warily.
"Do you trust me?" Melissa asked rather than answering his question.
"When you're not holding a needle." Stiles replied, but didn't put up a fight as she rolled up his sleeve.
"It's Midazolam." She told him as she pushed the needle into his arm. "A sedative." She finally clarified once the needle was empty. 'Stiles' looked at her in concern as she tossed the needle into the disposal tub.
"Why'd you give me a sedative?" 'Stiles' all but demanded the nurse, who didn't pay any mind to his tone.
"Because you, Stiles, are one profoundly sleep-deprived young man." She replied as Stiles and all of the wolves listened to her heartbeat. It remained perfectly even. Of course it was; Stiles definitely was sleep deprived. Although the woman was convinced that what Stiles was suffering from was more serious than sleep deprivation, she didn't want to concern anyone until she knew for sure. "You need rest and you need it now. Lie down." She ordered as she gently grabbed him by the shoulders and encouraged him to do as she said.
"Okay, how long's it take to- Oh. Not long at all." He allowed himself to lie down on the cot as the drowsiness took over. Lydia gestured for the others to leave the room as Melissa covered Stiles with a blanket. The boy gripped her hand for a second as his eyes began to flutter.
"Get some rest." She ordered softly as she squeezed his hand and used her free hand to brush his hair out of his face in a motherly manor.
"Thanks, Mom." Stiles whispered before he succumbed to unconsciousness. Melissa stared at him in surprise. The Pack, who were halfway out the door, turned and stared as well.
Melissa shook herself out of it quickly, turned and switched off the lamp, then made her way to pick up the clipboard and pen before finally leaving the room, shoeing out the pack as she did so. She locked the door behind her so that nobody would disturb the boy.
"So, is he going to be okay now?" Isaac asked hopefully as soon as the nurse turned to face them. "Once he's caught up on sleep, will he be okay?"
"Once he's awake I'll need to keep an eye on him and try to find out why he's not sleeping," Melissa responded honestly, but purposefully omitted a few details about her concerns. "potentially run some tests and go from there."
"Can he still come to the party with us tonight?" Erica asked immediately.
"Erica!" Scott scolded. "I think that that's the least of our worries right now."
"Uh, actually, it's very important to the plan to get the pictures off of Kira's phone." Erica defended herself as she glared at the crooked-jawed boy. "Plus, it would tire Stiles out, and it'll be good for him to have some fun with us."
Before her son could reply, Melissa answered the blonde girl's question. "It's up to Stiles if he goes out tonight, he'll know when he wakes up if he's up to going out." As much as she wanted to keep Stiles safe and sound at home, she knew that, if she was right, this could very well be his last chance to have a night out with his friends. "Now, if one of you wouldn't mind keeping an ear on him and texting me when he wakes up, I need to contact the hospital and make him a real appointment for tomorrow. You guys finish your food, lunch is almost over." Melissa told them and walked away without waiting for a response.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Derek entered the animal clinic at 12:43pm knowing that the doctor took his lunch break at exactly 1pm and preferred to see the last patient before lunch go home or back in their cage between 12:45pm and 12:55pm (Scott could be extremely observant some of the time.) and made his way to the druid, shamelessly following the man's scent. He found the veterinarian attaching a splint to a dog's leg.
"Hello Derek, how can I help you today?" Deaton greeted without looking at the Alpha.
"You already know why I'm here." Derek responded, not in the mood for riddles or games.
"Stiles or the creatures that attacked Isaac?" Deaton asked, still not taking his eyes off of the dog and the splint.
"Both." Derek replied shortly, growing impatient with the man already. Stiles had long ago replaced anger as Derek's anchor, and with Stiles definitely not himself, Derek had a short fuse with anybody (who wasn't considered central Pack) who wasn't being helpful.
"Take a seat, this is gonna take a while."
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Melissa made her way to the staff room as soon as class had started, knowing that only a handful of teachers would be in there. "Hey, Nat," Melissa greeted the woman with a forced smile.
"Hey Mel," Natalie Martin greeted as she set down the pen she had been using to mark some extra credit work, given that she didn't have any more classes that day, but chose to stay in case her daughter or the pack needed her. When she looked up at the nurse, her smile dropped. "is everything alright? You seem stressed."
"I need your help with something." Melissa decided to cut straight to the chase as she sat down opposite the woman. "But before I tell you what it is that I need help with, you have to promise not to say anything to anyone. You can say you don't want to help me after I tell you, but you cannot tell anyone. Not yet. Not until I'm sure." Melissa insisted, hoping to God that the woman would say yes.
"Of course, I promise." Natalie agreed after a moment of hesitation. "What can I do?"
Forty minutes later, Melissa sat alone in the staffroom, ringing her hands as she stared at her phone as it lay on the table next to the clipboard with Stiles' medical sheet on it. She hoped the phone wouldn't ring, if it ran it meant that Natalie was in trouble, and Melissa would be to blame. A part of her was terrified that it would. She shouldn't have sent the other woman, she should have gone herself. 'But if you had gone, no one would be here to take care of Stiles if he wakes up early.' which was a possibility and may not go well if she was correct.
Suddenly the door to the room flew open. Melissa jumped in her seat, startled, and simultaneously spun around to see who had arrived; Natalie.
"Hey, that was quick." She commented with mild concern as she stood and walked over to the redhead. "Did everything go okay?"
Natalie nodded reassuringly as she pulled the file out of her purse along with Melissa's keycard. "Yes, don't worry, everything was fine. There was next to no traffic and I easily flirted my way past reception."
"Wasn't Sara on reception today?" Melissa asked with a small smile as she gratefully took the fire and keycard from the woman and opened it to the page she needed as she returned to the table.
"Flirting is flirting." Natalie responded easily as she followed Melissa back to the table. She looked over the woman's shoulder to see what she had been looking at. She silently read the details and symptoms on the sheet. As she did so, Melissa read aloud the notes from the file she had Natalie 'borrow' from the hospital.
"Patient is irritable, impulsive; complaints of vivid dreams; Inability to distinguish between fantasy and reality; acute insomnia." Melissa recited before a mournful sound escaped her throat against her will. Natalie looked at Melissa in shock.
"Do you think Stiles-"
"No." Melissa cut the woman off firmly. "Stiles is a werewolf. With his healing iit shouldn't be possible."
"But, he still has ADHD, right?" Natalie reminded the nurse gently as tears flooded her own eyes. "And Lydia told me about a blind alpha."
"This is different." Melissa insisted, resolute in denying this until she had taken Stiles to the hospital and had their best doctors run some tests. "This is Stiles. He's strong, and stubborn, and he's also ridiculously bad at caring for himself because he's too busy caring about others." She wasn't sure if she was trying to convince Natalie or herself, but it wasn't working on either of them. "Tonight he needs a fun night out with his friends. Tomorrow, I'll take him to the hospital and run some tests."
"Why not tonight? Isn't it easier to cure something if you catch it early?" Natalie asked, confused and concerned as to why Melissa wasn't trying to get Stiles immediate help.
"That's the thing, this" Melissa began, angrily tapping on the folder as though it were the disease itself, "this has no cure. If I'm right and he does have-" She cut herself off with a sob. Natalie wrapped Melissa into a hug as her own tears began to pour at the gravity of the situation, understanding why Melissa was quick to try and deny her own diagnosis. "If he does, this is it. The start of a countdown, one that could hit zero at any given time. I mean it could be as little as three years, or as many as seventeen."
"Just seventeen?" Natalie couldn't help but gasp out in horror. Melissa could only nod as sobs wracked her body. The redhead held her friend tighter as she also began to sob. Natalie couldn't imagine how the nurse was feeling. Natalie was devastated at the thought and she had only known the boy a few months. Melissa had known Stiles since he was a child. She had watched him grow up, had helped to raise him after his mother died.
"That's- that's the- longest- any- one- has survived- af-after- diagnosis." Melissa managed to sob out, keeping her voice as low as possible. For one terrible moment, Natalie felt like she couldn't breath. If Melissa was right, which she usually was, that little boy would be dead before he turned 35.
The staff room door flew open. Both women turned to see Scott rushing in. Melissa immediately wiped her tears away, NAtalie released her to do the same. "Scott, hey, sweetie. Is everything okay?" She asked as the boy shut the door behind him. "Is Stiles awake?" She asked, trying to act casual, even though she knew that her son knew she had been crying.
"No, he's still asleep." Scott informed her as he walked over to the pair, pretending not to notice how the both tried to hide whatever was on the table from him with their bodies. "I sensed that you were upset so I asked to go to the bathroom, so I could come check on you. What's wrong?"
"Nothing sweetie." Melissa tried, but Scott was unconvinced. "At least-" She corrected as he opened his mouth to argue. "nothing certain."
"But you're worried about something," Scott said knowingly as he stepped closer. "Is it about Stiles?"
"Scott, I-" Before she could say anything more, her son somersaulted over her and Natalie. He gripped the file and the clipboard as he did so then used his clenched fists to propel himself again. He did another flip, just because, before landing on the other side of the table in a crouch. "Scott, don't! We don't know for sure yet-"
Scott didn't hear his mother's words as he read what his mother had written on the clipboard first, recognising it immediately as the symptoms Stiles had described. He then read the file, frowning in concern. He closed the file to look at the name.
Scott gasped, the file and clipboard both slipped from his hands. "No," He whispered, shaking his head at the mere possibility. "H-h-he- he has wolf healing, it's not possible." He looked his mother in the eyes and told her vehemently: "You have it wrong."
"I hope so." Melissa agreed immediately as she gripped her son by the shoulders. "I really hope I do. I just heard his symptoms and it came to my head. I'm going to make him an appointment for tomorrow, have them run some tests to be sure. Just as a precaution. I didn't want to say anything because I didn't want anyone to worry, Scott. I hope to God I'm wrong."
"For the first time ever, you are." Scott told his mother, hoping that if he said it enough, it would turn out to be true. "But you're right, better to be safe than sorry. At least after those tests, we'll be able to rule it out as a possibility." Melissa forced another smile onto her face and nodded, before she could say anything, Scott spoke again. "I-I should get back to class. Can we not say anything about this to anyone? At least until we have the results?"
"That was the plan." Melissa assured him.
"Okay, good, I'll uh, I'll see you after class." Scott tried to swallow the lump in his throat as he walked backwards towards the door.
"See you later, sweetie."
"See you later Mrs- uh Natalie." Scott waved awkwardly
"See you later, Scott." Natalie smiled gently and with that the boy left to return to class.
Melissa dropped back down onto her seat and tried to figure out what the hell she was going to do next. As Melissa mentally debated what to do, Natalie kindly picked up the clipboard and the file, looking down at the writing on the front of it sadly. A white sticker with the name Claudia Stilinski printed on it. Beneath that [DECEASED 2004] was stamped on the folder in large block letters in red ink.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Derek arrived home at 2:30pm to find Peter in the living room watching TV. "Get your shoes off the couch!" Derek ordered. Peter quickly kicked his shoes off of his feet and to the floor. "I need you to do something for me." Derek told his uncle as he removed his backpack and sat down on the sofa near the man's feet. "Something only you can do because you're her brother and you used to be an Alpha."
"Uh oh, I don't like the sound of that." Though he masked it with a playful tone, Peter was alarmed and intrigued as he sat up on the couch. He moved so his feet were on the ground and then he shuffled slightly to face Derek properly. "Go on."
Derek pulled the triskele box out of the back and shook it slightly so that Peter could hear Talia's claws rattling inside. "I have to ask my mother something and from what I've heard, this is the only way it's possible."
"Okay." Peter agreed easily. He could have argued that you didn't need to be an alpha or a relative to retrieve memories from a dead wolf's claws, but he didn't bother. Derek wanted his help and Peter wanted to prove himself, so he agreed, no questions asked.
"Okay?" Derek repeated, raising an eyebrow at Peter. Surprised by the immediate agreement from the man, what Derek was asking of him could be dangerous if done wrong; yet here Peter was immediately agreeing to do it.
"Yes, okay." Peter confirmed with a chuckle and a nod. "I know what you all think of me. After all, I killed Laura for her power and I will never be able to undo that and I am truly sorry." He was sincere when he apologised and, for the first time, Derek saw that. "I've made excuses in the past, I know, but this is the new me. I can admit that I was wrong. I'm not the man you knew before the fire, nor am I the man you knew after. I've changed and I promise that I will never let you down again."
"Thank you." Derek replied with a small smile, believing the man's words. "We all appreciate the work you've put in to help us. I've forgiven you for what you've done to me, but not for what you've done to some of my pack, because they have not forgiven you for everything you've done to them."
"I understand that," Peter told him honestly "I want to apologise, especially to Lydia, but I don't know how to approach them, so I'm waiting for them to approach me, I figured it'd be safer that way."
"Probably." Derek agreed easily. "Even though you just said you don't want anything, I wrongly pre-empted that you would want something in return, so I got you these." He told his uncle as he pulled a few items out of his backpack.
The first item was a box of truffles that Peter had loved for as long as Derek could remember, followed by a bottle filled with extremely rare and expensive whisky. It was created by a pack of Scottish werewolves in the late 16th century which was infused with a special strain of wolfsbane that was designed to slow down a werewolves metabolism but cause no actual harm (though it did open wolves to the possibility of alcohol poisoning if they weren't careful). The wolfsbane had been grown in a cultivated spot high up on The Buachaille Mountains, by a different pack of wolves about fifty years prior; with the help of their emissary.
"I recall you enjoying these," Derek commented, he then reached into his bag again and pulled out a box of energy bars and three bottles of water. "and I've read that this process can be draining, to say the least, so I got these to help you regain your energy until Stiles gets home and cooks dinner." Peter noticed how Derek flinched and looked down when he mentioned his mate's name but knew it wasn't the right time to mention it. Derek zipped up the back but quickly unzipped a slightly smaller compartment and reached into the bag and pulled out the final item, the most important one.
"There's one more thing," Derek told Peter, who looked at the item curiously as Derek set it down on the table. It was a birthday present, if the faded writing on the wrapping paper was anything to go by. "Lydia noticed this when she and Stiles broke into the school last night. It was in the vault." As Peter leant forward to inspect the gift, a faint scent hit his nose.
'Faint' was a generous term, the scent was barely there thanks to the box being untouched for years, then being held by Lydia and Derek, but it was a scent Peter would never forget.
"Sarah," Peter gasped. His mate, the mother of the two children he had lost in the fire. He gingerly reached out to touch the gift, he moved slowly as he inched closer to the gift. Resting under his wife's scent, Peter could just pick up the scent of his sister Talia, his son Reece, who had been 8 at the time and his daughter Daria who was 6 when the fire took them from the world.
"I don't know what it is, but it's addressed to you, I thought you'd want it."
"Thank you." Peter only then realised then that he was crying. He quickly wiped the tears away and gently lifted the gift. "I'm going to take this and put it in my car so I can take it home with me afterwards." He announced as he moved towards the entrance way of the house.
"I was actually going to ask if you wanted to stay here?" Derek admitted, causing Peter to freeze in his tracks. Derek and his pack had been discussing it a lot. Almost every night when Peter went back to his apartment, they had a discussion regarding his progress and how they all felt about him.
"For the night?" Peter asked in surprise as he turned to look at his nephew. He raised an eyebrow as he asked teasingly; "You do realise that it's Tuesday, not the weekend, right?"
"I know, and no, not just the night, permanently." Derek told him. They had agreed while they were preparing dinner the night before that, after the Tate's and Yukimura's went home, they would invite Peter to move in with them, but then a lot had happened. They had all noticed the bonds with Peter growing the more he proved himself, and though some were still weary, they were accepting of the fact that he had changed and willing to give him an opportunity. "We agreed to ask you last night, but then Stiles and Lydia ran off, Kira was kidnapped, and Isaac was attacked. We never got around to it, and since Stiles and I have our date tonight so we were going to ask during dinner, but I received some rather" Derek paused in an attempt to find the right word, "unsettling information, so I decided to tell you now, then ask for your help and hope to God that the pups don't kill me for it later." This recaptured Peter's attention. Whatever was going on had to be big if Derek was willing to risk the anger of his Pack just to ask for Peter's help. "The only condition is that Lydia has requested the right to trap you in mountain ash if she tells you to leave her alone and you ignore her."
It was important for Pack to remain in close proximity to each other as it was better for their mental well being and self control. Peter would be much better off living with them, and the only reasons they hadn't let him beforehand, despite trusting him since the showdown with the Darach on the night of the eclipse, was because of the trauma he had inflicted on Lydia, which meant that the girl would be negatively impacted by him living there. Even though she officially still lived with her mother, she spent most of her time outside of school at the Hale house. While Lydia still hadn't fully forgiven Peter for basically haunting her and using her to bring himself back to life, she accepted that he was trying to be a better person and clearly was no longer as unhinged as he had been. She had processed enough that she felt confident that she could handle him living there permanently, but she said that she needed an insurance policy, so to speak, that she could fall back on if he got to be too much.
"O-of course." Peter wanted to question this situation that had his nephew so vexed, but the words refused to leave his mouth. He was overwhelmed, it was a lot to take in at once; He was about to wear his dead sister's claws and basically channel her ghost, he had just received a present from his dead mate and children and now he had been invited to live with a Pack again. Though the older man wanted to question Derek about the burden clearly weighing on him, he knew Derek would not take well to that at that particular time, so instead focused on his nephew's comment of a certain Banshee. "I understand that what I put her through was traumatising, so she and the others have every right to do whatever they need to feel safe around me." Peter smiled, a genuine, soft smile. "Well, if that's the case, I guess I'll go put this in my room." The man announced, and quickly went upstairs to do so.
Derek smiled to himself then leisurely opened the box and sat it down on the table. He then began arranging the claws in the optimal position in the box, he'd just finished his task when Peter walked back into the room.
Derek kindly didn't mention the tear streaks on Peter's cheeks. "You know, we don't have to do this right now if-"
"No, no, I'm fine and I want to help." Peter assured as he opted to sit on the sofa again, only closer to the coffee table. "Okay, enough about me. Man, that felt weird to say." Peter blinked, prompting an amused smile from Derek. "It's time for me to help." He gestured to the box, and Derek moved it closer to his uncle.
Without hesitation Peter put his hand in the box and pushed Talia's claws into his own hands. Peter groaned in pain and his eyes glowed blue as he did so.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
When the bell rang at 3pm to signify the end of school, Kira went straight to her father's classroom as requested. The man warned her that her mother was very upset about the ordeal and wished to speak to her. The rest of the journey was filled with a tense silence that would have made Kira extremely anxious before, but now she was grateful for it, as it gave her time to think about how to go about asking permission to hang out with the pack that evening.
When they finally arrived at home, Kira's mother was standing in the living room with her arms folded over her chest, a stern expression on her face and a tone far more severe than Kira had heard her mother use before. "Sit down, Kira."
The girl did as she was told and listened as her mother lectured her about responsibility and trust. The rant lasted a good five minutes before Noshiko ended it by hugging her daughter and reminded her that she loved her, and assured her that she was mostly mad because she had been worried.
"I know mom, I'm sorry. I didn't think it through." Kira apologised honestly. "I was just so freaked out by everything that had happened that I just wanted to talk about it with my friends. Not only did they rescue me, again, but they also knew what I was going through. A while back they were attacked by a serial killer, Kate Argent, Allison's aunt, so I knew that I could talk about it without them judging me because they kinda get what I'm going through. I really did intend to come home last night, I just lost track of time. I know that's not an excuse and I'm sorry, it'll never happen again." The words fell easily from Kira's lips, all of them true, even if she left out a few details. Ken and Noshiko shared a look, a silent conversation passing between them. Kira was worried that she had done the wrong thing by mentioning Allison's aunt, and was extremely glad she had decided not to mention Peter's history. Then again, her parents likely would have found out about Kate anyway, if they didn't already know, given that her father had been looking into the town's history since they decided to move here.
"We understand Kira, we know it's easier to talk to your friends about stressful situations than it is to talk to us." Ken told her calmly after a few moments. "However, we need you to consider our feelings more in the future. We only want to make sure you're safe."
"I know." Kira replied and her parents shared a look before nodding at each other.
"Good." Noshiko gave her daughter another hug, her husband doing the same as soon as she let go. "Now, I imagine you want to spend time with your new friends again?"
Kira went bug eyed at her mother's question, a huge grin taking over her face. "I can go out?" She asked in shock, truly having expected to have to grovel for at least an hour, but here her mother was just offering to let her go out. Was this a trap?
"As long as you're here in the morning for me to take you to school." Ken confirmed and at his daughter's startled look he explained. "Half the school has been talking all day about Danny Mahealani's blacklight party tonight. Teacher's do actually listen when student's talk, you know." Kira immediately pulled her parents into a family hug and thanked them repeatedly.
"Behave, Kira." Noshiko ordered as a smile tugged at her lips. "We're trusting you to be careful and stay alert. And no more 'forgetting to let us know' you must contact us, you know what time your father leaves for work, so I expect you here. If you choose to go out with your friends tomorrow, you must inform your father and send me a text to let us know, and you may only do so if we both give you our blessing, failure to do any of these things will result in you being grounded for a month and you will only get to see your friends at school."
"I promise! I'll come home on time and go to school with dad, and I'll text you!" Kira promised then finally released her parents. Something was definitely off, but tonight it worked out in her favour so she'd question it tomorrow. "Oh, and all the parents who were at dinner last night will be hanging out tonight at Erica's house and they wanted to know if you wanted to join them?"
"Another time, perhaps." Noshiko declined politely, causing a confused frown to appear on Kira's face. "Your father and I have business to attend to tonight."
"We have to look into getting a second car, given that your mother's is being kept by the police as evidence." Ken explained quickly. "We were fortunate that only I needed mine to get to work today, but that won't always be the case." Kira nodded in acceptance, it made sense, but something still felt off. Regardless, Kira had more important things to worry about at that particular moment.
"Okay, well I'm gonna call my friends and ask them to pick me up. We're gonna be hanging out at their house until the party." Kira explained and her parents smiled.
"Will you be having dinner before you go?" Ken asked.
"I don't think so, Erica said that Stiles cooks for them pretty much everyday, but I'll know for sure once I've spoken to them." With that, Kira called Erica and told her the good news. The blonde promptly volunteered Lydia to pick her up, and told Kira not to eat anything because Stiles and Danny were cooking and there would be more than enough to feed the Pack twice over.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
While Kira had been heading to her father's classroom after the final bell rang, the rest of the Pack were making their way to the nurses office. There they found Melissa talking to 'Stiles'. Their conversation came to a halt when the other's walked in.
"Hey guys." Stiles greeted, acting like he didn't have a care in the world. "Sorry if I freaked you out earlier, I just needed to sleep, I'm all good now." He told them. Nobody truly believed him, but they all wanted to, so they pretended that they did.
"You sure?" Lydia asked, frowning at him in concern. "Most people who 'just need sleep' don't suddenly forget where they are or how they got there." She pointed out. "Nor do they typically lose twelve hours worth of memories."
"Actually, I got a solid two hours of sleep last night. So, technically, I only lost ten hours worth of memories." 'Stiles' countered immediately as he hopped off of the hospital bed. His mannerisms and cheeky smile successfully convinced the majority of his Pack that he was back to himself. But not everyone.
It wasn't long before the teenagers of the Pack arrived home with Melissa and Natalie. Upon their return they were greeted by Malia eagerly bounding over to them and asking about their day.
As 'Stiles' and Danny disappeared into the kitchen to make dinner, Derek gathered Lydia, Scott, Allison and Isaac.
He led them to the bedroom he shared with Stiles. Once they were inside, Scott shut the door to activate the sound-proofing.
"I heard you talking in the school this morning, on your way to gym class." Derek said simply. Lydia sighed in relief as Scott and Allison quickly informed Isaac of their concerns about Stiles and assured him that they had planned on telling him that night, which Lydia and Derek quickly corroborated. Not that they need to, he trusted his mates.
The four of them then informed Derek of what happened to Stiles during lunch. "The thing is, that felt the real Stiles, I mean he was confused and scared and lost, but he felt like himself again." Scott finished, hoping for a comment from his alpha. Derek nodded and took in that information
"I spoke to Deaton and my mother-" Derek began, only to be cut off by Scott.
"Your mother?" Scott asked in concern, which was understandable given that Derek's mother had been dead for six years. The alpha quickly informed them of how he was able to do so and explained that when they saw Peter he would be extremely drained, all the while Derek gritted his teeth and tried to control his temper. "Oh, okay," Scott nodded, though he still looked perplexed as he took in that information. "So what did she say?"
Derek shared all of the information he had gathered from Deaton and Talia with them, and the plan he and Deaton had come up with. He then proceeded to inform them why he needed their help with the plan and how they could help in the meantime. "Be careful, from what they told me Nogitsunes are unpredictable, violent, tricksters. They feed off of chaos, strife and pain. If it knows we're onto it, there's no telling what it will do."
"And we really can't warn the others?" Scott asked, concern was coursing through him at the thought of Stiles being forced to harm somebody.
"If they know too they'll act differently around him." Lydia pointed out. "We already know, we're already trying to pretend everything is fine, hopefully it won't notice. But if everyone acts differently and everyone knows the plan to stop it-"
"It could get nervous and decide to speed up whatever it's planning." Allison finished in realisation. "It could kill everyone."
"It could kill Stiles." Isaac whispered in horror. "Okay, so we just need to keep the others from getting suspicious and keep an eye on him until tomorrow."
"That's gonna be difficult." Lydia stated, drawing attention back to herself. "Tonight's the party and he, Kira, Erica and Danny are going to take care of the pictures on Kira's phone."
Derek swore and ran a hand through his hair. "Okay, I'll try and make sure that I'm back at the station when they get there. Just send me a text when they leave the party, okay?" The four of them agreed quickly, so Derek nodded and took them at their word. "Alright, in that case, go get ready for your party. Stick together and stay safe."
And with that, the four teens returned downstairs to help prepare for dinner and Derek went to check on Peter.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
By 4pm, Kira was back at the Hale house, happily helping to set the table for dinner and chatting animatedly with the Pack.
"It's just weird, one minute mom's lecturing me on responsibility and telling me that after a traumatic event I need to be with my family and in the next breath she's volunteering to let me go out tonight? And all night, when my curfew is usually 11pm, midnight if I'm lucky. The only exception being the New Years Eve party I went to last year, when I was allowed to stay out until 1am." Kira explained as she set the last set of cutlery down. "I mean, it worked out for me tonight, so I'm not exactly complaining, I just feel like something is up."
"Maybe your parents know more than they're telling you about this town." Allison suggested thoughtfully, thinking back to her own parents behaviour when she had moved to Beacon Hills as she set down the last plate. "Maybe one of them is a Kitsune too and that's part of the reason they moved here. With the Nemeton active again it could have drawn them here."
"It's a good theory." Lydia commented, admiring their handiwork as she looked at the set table and double checked that nobody was missing anything. "One of her parents or even a grandparent could have been a kitsune or some other type of supernatural creature, but it's unlikely that the Nemeton brought them here. Thanks to it being connected to our pack, the Nemeton's main function at the moment is protecting and healing the town and us. It's job would be a lot harder if it were also drawing other creatures here. Our Pack could have drawn them here though, or if whatever these things are that are attacking us have a history with Kitsunes or the Yukimura family, they could have been what called them here."
"Could it just be a coincidence that we moved here around the same time that these creatures?" Kira asked hopefully as she, Allison and Lydia made their way to the kitchen to start bringing the food in, they passed Scott, Isaac, Jackson and Boyd who were all carrying dishes of steaming food to the table as they did so.
"It could be." Lydia replied in a tone that didn't fill Kira with much hope, whilst she picked up some of the dishes that contained delicious smelling food.
"Is it likely to be a coincidence?" Kira asked, though she already knew that she wouldn't like the answer.
"With this town? No."
"Yeah, I didn't think so." Kira sighed as she started picking up some of the dishes and helped take them to the table.
"Hey, look at it this way," Erica joined in the conversation as she followed them out of the kitchen, carrying two pitchers of freshly squeezed juice in either hand. "If you hadn't moved here, you never would have met us."
"Very true," Kira nodded as she carefully set the dishes down near the middle of the table. "And then my life would really suck!" She proclaimed honestly, earning her pleased giggles from the trio with her. Within a few minutes, the table was filled with food and those attending that particular lunch were gathering around the table.
"Uh, hey, Peter, are you okay?" Cora asked as Derek practically carried their uncle into the room, the other looked at the man, who definitely did not look okay.
"He looks like he's been starved for weeks, in a dark, underground chamber, drugged with wolfsbane, and forcibly kept awake by being electrocuted!" 'Stiles' scoffed as he sat down in his own seat and ignored the glare sent his way. "I'm pretty sure he is not okay."
Peter appeared to be utterly drained, though he tried to force a cocky smile on his face. "Of course, I'm always okay. But thank you for that kind description, Stiles, I'll remember it the next time you are tired"
"Mom is right, dude, you look wrecked." Jackson commented, trying to keep the concern out of his voice, given that he still hadn't completely forgiven Peter yet. However, it was impossible to deny that the man was practically Pack at that point, and that came with at least a little bit of caring. "Seriously, like you look worse than dad did that time he was shot with a wolfsbane bullet and came to the school looking for mom, who tried to claim it was 'food poisoning'."
"In my defense I said that when I thought he would be staying in bed all day, waiting for me to get back and take care of him." 'Stiles' defended as he watched Derek gently guide Peter to a seat. "Seriously though, what's wrong with Peter?"
"I'm really fine, just tired myself out is all." Peter assured, then forced another smirk on his face. "But if anyone wants to help me out by waiting on me hand and foot until I recover, that would be greatly appreciated." That earned him the expected responses from the pack, and was a wonderful distraction that got everyone else moving again. Soon enough everyone was seated.
Derek was in his usual seat at the head of the table. Stiles was in his usual spot to Derek's right with Scott next to him but, like at the school lunch table, everybody else seemed to shift positions on a day to day basis. Today Lydia sat next to Scott, Mrs McCall next to her followed by Boyd, Peter, Cora, Kira herself, Malia and then Mrs Argent with Mr Argent claiming the seat at the other end of the table. To Derek's left, Sheriff Stilinski was sitting opposite Stiles, next to him sat Allison, followed by Isaac, Erica, Jackson, Danny, Aiden, Ethan, Henry and finally Natalie.
Once everyone started passing the food around, the chatter started easily. Several conversations were going on at once, though Peter was unusually quiet and required the help of Boyd and Cora to put the food on his plate and, embarrassingly, cut up his food for him.
Chris was reluctant to go through with warning the Pack given that he still didn't have all of the answers, Peter was clearly not alright, and Natalie and Henry, the two newest parents in the know and most wary of the supernatural, were present. He sent Victoria a pleading look, but his wife shook her head firmly. So, once everybody's plates were nearing empty, Chris gathered the attention of the Pack and told them about his first arms deal, which took place shortly after he had 'graduated' as a hunter.
He described the scene of a massacre, he told them how he watched as a masked creature walked over to the other's still standing and killed most of them, as the young Chris lay trapped beneath bodies. The masked creature held another man and stared into his eyes before it turned and looked at Chris.
"It's eyes were glowing." Scott said in realisation.
Chris couldn't stand the sight of the creature's eyes any longer and he closed his eyes. When he opened them again, he was back at the dining table in the Hale House, his wife holding his hand and looking at him with reassurance clear in her expression.
"There was something almost ritualistic about it. Like it was looking right into his soul." Chris said, as he looked around at the rest of the pack, a haunted look was in his eyes, but he tried to keep his brave face on. Most of the Pack looked concerned but, in some cases, he couldn't tell if it was concern over the situation or for him.
"That's the same thing it did to me." Isaac pointed out, in a successful attempt to keep the conversation going.
"Did they do that to everyone?" Allison asked curiously, as she unconsciously reached for his hand.
"Not everyone." Chris told her, "Just the one all three of them killed."
"Who was the guy they went after in Japan?" Isaac asked curiously.
"A kumicho. A yakuza boss. It was my first gun deal. I was only 18 and it was supposed to be a simple exchange." Chris explained as his mind took him back to that day again. "Except Gerard left out the minor detail of the buyers being yakuza. He wanted to see if I could adapt in the moment. Testing my ability to improvise." Chris spat out bitterly
"Or your ability to survive." Allison countered. A glare formed on her face as she thought of the man. Victoria tightened her grip on her husband's hand, keeping her mouth closed to hide her fangs.
"The moment the sun went down it was like they just materialized out of the shadows." Chris wasn't the only one caught up in the memory. As the hunter told his story, Lydia's eyes had shut without her realising. "They had swords, not curved like katanas but straight, black steel. Like ninjatos." The banshee found herself standing beside an eighteen year old Chris Argent, watching as the masked figures appeared out of the shadows and the yakuza started shooting at them.
"What did they want?" Lydia could hear Boyd ask over the gun fire, though his voice sounded far away, but all around her at the same time. Both she and Chris watched in horror as the rain of bullets did nothing to slow the creatures down. They didn't flinch or bleed, only wisps of darkness indicated that the bullets were impacting something.
"To get to the kumicho." Chris replied, terror filled eyes followed the creatures as they sliced their way through the crown of yakuza shooting at them. Not stopping as they single mindedly moved towards their target. "They cut down every living thing in their way."
"Wonderful," Jackson drawled. "So they're serial killing samurais? Sounds fun."
"Actually, that would be classed as a mass murder, and they sound more like ninjas to me." Erica helpfully corrected. "So, we're dealing with mass murdering ninjas."
"Yeah, and that's so much better." Jackson replied to the blonde as he rolled his eyes. Not that Lydia could see him, thanks to being submerged in the memory of a massacre.
"Did they mark him like they did me?" Isaac asked, trying to get the conversation back on track, as he touched the mark behind his ear that his mates had noticed when 'Stiles' had taken his group of schemers to the library the night before.
"Not exactly." The creatures stalked closer to their prey, who had ducked behind a water fountain. As the gun fire faded to silence, the kumicho looked up. His eyes were glowing white and his teeth were pointed in fangs unlike any Lydia had ever laid eyes on. She watched, invisible to the horrified Chris beside her on the ground, now trapped under the bodies of those who had been cut down, as the three creatures stabbed into the kumicho and hoisted him into the air, still impaled on all three swords. As the swords were pushed deeper into the man, Lydia heard a sickening crack and had to cover her own mouth to stop a scream when the blood poured onto the water fountain and she knew he was dead.
"What was he?" Erica asked curiously as Lydia and Chris watched the blood mix with the water.
"I don't know." The man said honestly but, before anyone could make a sarcastic comment, he quickly added; "But there might be someone who does. There were a few others who survived that night. One of them was a man named Katashi. They called him Silverfinger because of an unusual prosthetic. And it looked like he was getting ready to take them all on himself." Lydia watched as Katashi, blood dripping from his hands, eyed the creature with determination, even as they flipped around him impressively. The banshee looked behind her when she heard a noise. Chris had pushed the bodies off of himself, grabbed his gun and rose to his feet. He aimed his gun at the creature closest to Katashi and pulled the trigger. "I've known for a while Katashi was in the country. I plan to spend tomorrow tracking him down." He informed them. "I would have started today but someone insisted that I wait until we've all had a good night."
"Victoria's right." Derek nodded. "What you've told us is definitely concerning, but also relieving. These things could have easily killed Isaac last night, but they didn't. They marked him, that has to mean something. Chris, you didn't shoot right?"
"Not before they killed the kumicho." Chris confirmed.
"Based on what you saw, would you say that they only killed those who got in the way of the one they were after?" Derek continued, earning him another nod from Chris
"From what I've gathered from rumours over the years, they're only even gone after those who are supernatural." He told them. "But I haven't been able to verify that personally as that was my only encounter."
"I know it'll go against your instincts," Derek began and immediately the teenagers knew that they weren't going to like whatever he said next. "but if these things come after you tonight, do not fight them! If they draw their swords first then definitely defend yourselves but if these things are just here looking for something else, I do not want any of you getting hurt by getting in their way, understood?" There was clear reluctance amongst the teens, but with their Alpha and seven other adults staring them down, they all agreed. "Good, stick together tonight, pairs minimum but larger groups are preferable."
"I'll go with you tomorrow to talk to this Katashi guy." John told Chris, leaving no room for arguments, so the hunter simply nodded.
"You think he knows what they are?" Kira asked as she began to chew on her thumb nail nervously.
"Or what they want?" Cora added, raising an eyebrow at the man.
"Maybe." Chris replies. He honestly wasn't sure that Katashi would know any more than he did, but he was the best lead that Chris had.
"What if he doesn't want to talk?" Allison asked, clearly concerned for her father's well-being.
"What if he doesn't even remember you?" Malia asked, it was a long time ago, after all. Chris simply reached underneath his chair to pull a box out of his bag. When he had put his bag under the chair nobody knew, but nobody questioned it.
"He'll remember this." Chris announced confidently as he moved his plate out of the way and placed the box on the table. Everyone except Lydia moved to take a look as Chris opened it, and moved the cloth back to reveal a shattered mask. "I know I didn't kill it. I'm not sure you can. But I slowed it down long enough for us to get out of there."
"What was behind the mask?" Scott asked as he picked up one of the pieces, while Lydia was busy staring at the creature Chris had just shot. There was no face behind the mask. Just wispy clouds of darkness.
"Darkness. Absolute darkness." Staring at the void behind the mask, Lydia couldn't stop it anymore, A scream tore itself from her throat. Her scream hit the darkness and forced it to move outwards until it enveloped her. The banshee opened her eyes and she was back at the dinner table. Isaac was no longer opposite her, in fact no one was opposite or next to her.
Lydia frowned in confusion and turned her head to look for them. Looking to her right, she saw them all gathered around Chris, with the exception of Peter who remained slumped in his seat. All of them were looking at her with varying emotions. "Sorry, I had that thing again." She explained, hating using the term 'that thing' but they hadn't found a name for it yet, at least not one that she felt truly fit. "You know, when someone is telling a story and all of a sudden I'm living in that story and it doesn't end until the story does?"
"Yeah, we know." Jackson said gently as he made his way over to his mate. "It was just different this time."
"Different how?" Lydia asked with furrowed brows.
"You screamed out loud this time." Alison explained, looking concerned for her best friend. While Lydia had experienced this before, when her mother told her about Lorraine and when Derek told the full story of what happened with Paige to Ethan, Aiden, and Cora, shortly after they connected themselves to the nemeton, and it always ended in her screaming, this was the first time the others had heard her scream in that scenario.
"So, what does that mean?" Cora asked abruptly. "Is it a good thing that means her powers are getting stronger, or is it a bad thing that means we're in some real deep shit?"
"Language, Cora!" Derek scolded automatically. "I don't know, I'll talk to Deaton and see what we can figure out. In the meantime, let's assume it's both. I want all of you carrying some means of self defense, even if it's just the 'special' pepper spray that Lydia made." He ordered, earning him nods from the Pack as they all made their way back to their seats to finish their meals. "But whatever you do: Do not attack first."
The more Derek learned about their new foe, the more he wanted to lock his pups in the second basement and seal off the tunnels until it was all over. But he knew that doing so would be no good in the long run and only cause them to resent him and rebel. So, he bit his tongue and prayed that the night would go well.
"What makes this 'special' pepper spray special?" Henry Tate asked curiously as he picked up his fork to continue his meal.
"It's infused with mountain ash and wolfsbane." She announced proudly. "Not enough to harm any humans it's used on, but enough to give any supernatural threats a nasty surprise." Mr Tate asked if he could get some, Lydia agreed to make him a batch, and with that the conversation resumed and eventually moved on to another topic.
They soon finished their discussion, and went over the rules for the night, then the teenagers began to clean up, while Derek took Peter back upstairs and the rest of the adults helped Stiles wrap up the leftovers. By the time they had finished, it was 4.45pm so the teens split into two groups, boys and girls, and made their way upstairs to pick out their outfits for their party.
"You kids off to get ready for your party?" Natalie called out as she saw the teens making their way to the stairs.
"Yeah mom," Lydia confirmed with a smile as the rest of the parents joined them in the entrance hall to the house. "We're also gonna pick out some athletic gear for the way home, as Allison, Kira, Danny, Stiles and I will be jogging home while the others go hunting for deer, so that they can prepare it and have it for dinner while Stiles and Derek are on their date tomorrow night."
While Mr Tate and Mrs Martin, who were obviously not as used to the supernatural as the others, looked disgusted at the thought of the majority of the teenagers eating deer, they all accepted it and told them to be careful and alert them when they were back at the house. Mrs Argent looked jealous that they were having deer without her, but 'Stiles' promised to save her some deer as well when he put some aside for Derek.
Like Kira, the rest of the pack didn't have a curfew for that particular night. With them having the party at the loft, the parents agree that they could stay there for the night if the party went on too late, or just come home sometime before school started. It was made clear that they still had to attend school the next day and it would be their own fault if they didn't get any sleep.
"Remember to be careful, all of you." Chris reminded them firmly. "Allison, I want you especially to make sure you're carrying mountain ash and your crossbow at all times. These things on the loose are dangerous."
"If anything happens, call me immediately," Derek ordered, as he stopped at the top of the stairs on his way from Peter's bedroom to his and Stiles' bedroom. "Parrish and I are gonna be patrolling that area most of the night. So it shouldn't take me long to get to you."
"And after you've called Derek, call me." John added, but before he could say anything more, Melissa piped in.
"And then me so I can get the first aid kit." The nurse ordered, though it was mostly directed at her two sons.
After promising multiple times to let the adults know if anything went awry, the teens finally were allowed to go upstairs.
Once upstairs, the boys went to Isaac's room (which was shared with Scott and Allison whenever they spent the night) to get ready, while the girls went to Cora's room (Which was frequently shared with Erica and Boyd) as those rooms were equally the second largest bedrooms in the house for obvious reasons. (Stiles and Derek had the largest as they needed the biggest bed for puppy piles, but Derek would be using that room to get ready for work).
This time, Stiles was allowed to get ready with the other boys, mainly due to the fact that the girls were convinced Kira wouldn't be comfortable changing with a boy she barely knew in the room. Another part of the reason was that, as of that morning, Lydia and Allison no longer felt comfortable around him, because they weren't sure that the person they were talking to was the same Stiles that they knew and loved. Now that Derek had confirmed that fear, there was no way in hell he was allowed in that room with them.
Still, they pushed their worries aside, opting to remain vigilant of any threats, but also allow themselves to have a good night. Whatever the nogitsune was planning, Derek seemed convinced that it couldn't act just yet, and they trusted their Alpha's judgement.
Satisfied after learning more about their foe, even though they weren't good things to learn, and satisfied after making the skeleton of a plan with her Alpha, Lydia felt her mind was far more at ease now. So, Lydia marched into Erica's room, mind set to party mode, Allison and the other four girls trailing behind her.
"So, quick reminder," Lydia began, once Allison had shut the door, and stripped off her shirt without any hesitation. "Those of us who don't eat deer are going to need pack athletic gear first, for a little exercise on the way home after the party while the wolves," she quickly corrected herself while gesturing to Malia before continuing to remove her skirt, "and coyote hunt for their dinner for tomorrow when Derek and Stiles are on their date. Then we'll get our weapons from the basement, then showered and change into our party clothes. The boys should have already gotten showered and dressed by then. Then we all head out through tunnel 4 and then we get to party!" The banshee announced happily, by then donning only her underwear and happily browsing through Erica's section of the closet for something for Kira to wear. Lydia was in no hurry to dress herself at that moment. "But first we pick out something for Kira and Malia."
"If you see something you like don't be shy to say so." Erica told them both excitedly, also browsing through her clothes.
"Or if you think of something you might like to wear that isn't in here, Lydia and I probably have whatever you're looking for in one of our closets." Allison stated from where she was looking through a box she had brought from her own closet, deciding to pick out her weapon holsters before doing anything else. "I have all sorts of holsters, if you need them."
"You can use any of my clothes too, it's all over there and in that draw." Cora offered as she gestured, first, to the mostly black section of the closet and then to the top drawer of the dresser in the corner of the bedroom.
"So, what sort of style are you thinking of? Chic? Bold? Punk? Grunge? Rave? Flamboyant?" When she received no response, Lydia elaborated "Are you thinking of vibrant colours that'll glow well? Or a simple outfit and going big with the body paint? Or are you just gonna stick with a simple white t-shirt and call it a day?" Lydia asked, Malia and Kira both stared at the girl blankly.
Malia eventually shrugged and said, "Anything I can fight in is fine."
"Just something simple for me, whatever will help me fit in." Kira requested.
Lydia, Erica and Allison were all wearing expressions ranging from annoyance to disappointment at the lack of input from the pair. Cora let out a joyful laugh at their reactions.
"Finally, girls who get me!" The born-wolf grinned, "I have a feeling we're all gonna get along great."
Malia just shrugged and turned to look in the closet. "So, Erica, Cora, what was your first time like?" She asked casually over her shoulder. "I just realised that I've never asked." She was so busy looking through the clothes that she didn't notice the shocked and/or amused expressions on the faces of the other girls.
"O-our first time?" Cora asked, uncharacteristically embarrassed by the first question. Cora usually found herself to be very open about her sex life, especially with the Pack. Maybe it was because just last week Cora had been helping to explain what a period was to the girl.
"Do you mean our first time just the two of us, or including Boyd?" Erica asked casually with a grin, enjoying the flustered look on her mate's face.
"Is there a difference?" Malia asked, turning to raise an eyebrow at the blonde while she walked over to the mirror with a shirt in either hand and held each up in front of her reflection.
"Uh, yeah, a pretty big one." Allison smiled, trying to hide her amusement as she didn't want to make the girl feel stupid for asking, but it was kinda funny.
"Really?" Malia was clearly surprised. "Like what?"
"It's called a penis." Lydia said bluntly as she took one of the shirts out of Malia's hand. "And this shirt is definitely not your colour."
Malia didn't pay any attention to Lydia's comment about the shirt though, because she was too busy staring at Erica and Cora in shock. "So, you're saying that when we go hunting tonight, if I shift near the boys, I'm gonna grow a penis?" The coyote all but shrieked, looking horrified at the though.
There was a moment of silence, then Erica burst out laughing, shortly followed by the other girls as they realised the misunderstanding.
"Hang on," Cora managed to gasp out between bouts of laughter. "when you asked about our first time, you meant the first time we shifted?"
"Uh, yeah, what did you think I was talking about?"
"Sex!" Erica blurted out, still laughing boisterous. Malia just became even more perplexed.
"Why would I ask about that?" Malia asked with a raised eyebrow. "I don't have a mate."
"You don't have to have found your mate to have sex." Allison told her with a soft smile. "I mean, I definitely think you need to adapt to being human again before you start any romantic relationships or having sex and stuff like that, but when you decide that you're ready it's up to you who you do it with."
"As long as they want to do it with you too." Lydia added helpfully. "Consent is a must."
"Very true!" Allison agreed as she offered a few shirts to Kira that she thought the girl might like. "Here Kira, what do you think of these?" As Kira looked through the shirts appraisingly, Malia was trying to choose between two tops of the same design but in different colours.
"Okay, that's fine but I don't care about sex right now." Malia told them as Lydia walked up behind her and once again took one of the shirts out of the girl's hand and offered her a different one. "What was your first time shifting like?"
"Pretty intense for me, I was a 'late bloomer'." Cora said honestly as she lay back on the bed, having grown bored of looking at clothes, she opted to tell her story first, as Erica's was much happier, and a better note to end the topic on. "I was eleven, it was the day of the fire." This was the first time she had told anyone except for Erica, Boyd and Derek about her experience that night. Erica quickly made her way to the bed, sat down, then lifted Cora's head slightly so she could lay it on her lap and stroke her Mate's hair the way the born-wolf loved. It was easier to talk about it with Erica holding her. It would be even better if Boyd were there too, but she didn't feel like telling some of the teenage boy's of the Pack the truth about that night just yet, and they would all want to find out what was going on if they requested that Boyd come to their bedroom.
"Laura had just left to go pick Derek up. Mom, Peter and my aunt were cooking. My dad was helping my other uncle and his husband by watching their six month old while they set the table. Dad had been complaining all day that he didn't get to spend enough time with his youngest grandchild." Cora chuckled humorlessly as tears flooded her eyes. As Cora continued to tell her story, not one of the other girls moved or made a sound, with the exception of Erica stroking Cora's hair of course. "My nine year old cousin had just shifted for the first time, leaving me as the only one who had hit puberty and hadn't shifted yet. I mean obviously I had my enhanced healing and senses because I'd had them all my life, and I could make eyes glow, but I couldn't access my claws or shift my face or body like they all could. All the cousins were making fun of me for it. Usually Derek and Laura would back me up, but they weren't there. Mom was busy telling Peter off for something and they were just so loud and my cousins wouldn't shut up and they made me feel like I was lesser than they were because I hadn't shifted yet, I was on my period, it was like my third one or something, so I was already emotional, and I got so upset and mad and I just shifted." She tilted her head to look Malia in the eyes, "Like you I didn't shift face and claws first like most do, I shifted into a full wolf." Cora informed Malia with a watery smile. "The cousins freaked out, my uncle Jesse ran through and opened the door, told me to calm down outside and mom would be out in a minute to help me."
Cora took a deep breath before attempting to continue. "I-I ran into the woods, I don't really know why, I just had to get away. When I was running I heard a car. I didn't pay much attention because I just assumed it was Derek and Laura getting home, but it wasn't, if I had just listened to the engine, I would have known that." She spat out bitterly, clearly angry at herself for not being more attentive that night. "I had been running for about 5 minutes when I started to feel the panic through the bonds. Then I smelt the smoke. I ran as fast as I could back to the house but by the time I got there it was completely up in flames. I-I could feel the pack bonds breaking one by one. The car I had first heard wasn't there but Laura's was. I couldn't see her, or Derek, but I now know they were on the other side of the house, searching for a way in, like I should have been," Cora clenched her eyes shut and angrily wiped her tears from her cheeks as Erica continued playing with her hair. "but I was so damn scared. The bonds kept snapping and there was so much fire, and I just turned and ran. And ran and ran and ran. I eventually found myself in Alpha Jardine's territory, fortunately she recognised my scent and had already heard about the fire by the time I got there. She taught me how to shift back. I mean, it took me two months because of how upset I was, but I got there in the end. She offered to let me stay with them and I said yes, it wasn't like I had anywhere else to go. I didn't fully shift again though, beta form, yes, but nor full shift. Not until I came back here." Her face relaxed as a soft smile graced her lips but her eyes remained closed. "When I shifted again it was entirely different. The second time, I had a whole new pack, and my mates, with me. I wasn't alone and scared and angry, I was safe and happy and loved." Cora opened her eyes and looked towards Malia, who was crying as she listened to her cousin's story. "I still feel so much regret and remorse when it comes to that night, but I've made my peace with it in the best way I can. I've accepted that it's too late to change it, our family would want us to be happy and part of a new pack and I know that. I will always love my family and I will always remember them, but you guys are all my family too." Malia couldn't help herself as she ran over to the bed and threw herself onto it so that she could hug Cora.
The coyote couldn't tell what made her the most emotional; the fact this was a story about a part of her family that she never had the chance to meet; that Cora was sharing this with her, and all of the other's in the room, but still; or the fact that Cora could understand what Malia went through that night better than many of the others. Sure Cora's situation was definitely different from Malia's but they both were scared, and out of control and unable to help save their families.
Discussing similar tragic circumstances is how Malia's bonds with people now. She and Derek bonded over blaming themselves for their families' deaths. She and Stiles bonded over blaming themselves for the mother's deaths and how it felt to witness the events. She and Jackson had bonded over the fact that they were both adopted and discovering that fact led them to question themselves and who they were deep down. She and Allison bonded over having a parent try to kill them. She and Boyd bonded over blaming themselves for their sister's deaths. Even though they all had extremely different experiences, she had managed to bond with Erica and Isaac over losing years of their lives, and their childhood, to something that was out of their control, which controlled them and prevented them from living the lives they wanted to live.
Malia felt a weight on her back (Lydia) then felt Kira and Allison lie on either side of her and slightly on top of her and Cora, it took her a moment to realise that this was a puppy pile disguised as a group hug, and she decided that she really liked puppy piles.
After a few minutes, Cora spoke up. "Okay, as nice as this is, my arm is going to sleep and we still need to pick outfits for Kira and Malia, and get ready." The born wolf reminded them, her voice had returned to normal. Malia felt Lydia get off of her, and reluctantly pushed herself off of Cora. "Besides, I believe my dearest cousin wanted to know about both of our first times." Cora reminded Erica as she sent her mate a smile, then stood up and strolled over to the closet. "Her's is a much happier story."
The blonde nodded in agreement, she knew that Cora enjoyed hearing happy stories when she felt down. They reminded her that there was still good in the world. Erica walked over to the draws when she suddenly remembered a top she knew would look amazing on Malia. "For me it was like I finally found myself." Erica told the coyote wistfully as she dug through her drawer. "Before Derek turned me I was Epilectic and because of that I was an outcast, a loser, people made fun of me a lot. Once I turned eight, I was alright tired of being ridiculed, I was tired of feeling like a burden on my parents." The blonde started in a soft voice as she tossed the top to Malia and then offered Kira a couple of different tops to try on. "So, I decided to close myself off from everyone, I was incredibly shy and I kept to myself. If I wasn't at the school or hospital, I was in my room writing. If people tried to get close to me, I'd push them away no matter how much I liked them or wanted to be their friend. Then Scott and Stiles were turned and started a make-shift pack with Derek, Allison, Jackson and Lydia." Erica's smile grew as she remembered her first day out with the Pack.
"When Allison invited me to the dinner, I wanted to say no because I was scared. But something made me say yes and it was the best day of my life until that point, sure some scary shit happened but most of it was really good. Then Derek became the alpha. When I turned, I was set free from my illness, I didn't have that shackle holding me back anymore. I felt powerful for the first time in my life. When I learned how to transform into beta shift, I felt utterly fearless. Even though I expected to feel more animalistic, when I shifted into a full wolf for the first time I felt completely in control. I felt like I had finally found my place, and a part of myself I hadn't even realised was missing. Running on all fours through the preserve, my Pack beside me, was exactly what I needed to help me see the beauty of the world again." As she spoke, Erica grew increasingly confident and smiled to herself.
"But honestly, as amazing as it all was it still wasn't quite right, I feel truly complete now, I have Cora and Boyd, I have my Pack, I have a plan for my life. I always contemplated traveling the world and leaving this town behind. A part of me still wants to do that, travel, see everything I can, preferably with my mates and Pack Mates by my side. I want to go to college, and learn how to be a better writer. Maybe I'll even write an original novel of my own and get it published, but I know now that no matter where I go or what I do, I'll always come back here." Cora, Allison, Lydia, Malia and Kira all smiled as they nodded at Erica, who was looking directly at Malia as she continued. "This bond between us all heightens being in full shift together, especially when we're hunting together, or it's a full moon. It makes everything feel small, like no matter what crazy shit happens in this town, we'll always have each other. Whether we're all living in the same house or scattered around the country, or even the world, we will find our way back to each other, No matter what."
"Damn right!" Lydia exclaimed, "We're a Pack, nothing can ever change that, distance, time, and all that other shit says ruin friendship and relationships can go fuck themselves. We are a family and that will never change. No Matter what." She opted to repeat Erica's final three words like they were a promise, because they were for her.
"No matter what." Allison agreed with a large grin.
"No matter what." Cora agreed as she threw a pair shorts at Malia.
"No matter what." Malia happily parroted as she caught them, then looked towards Kira, who somehow wore a smile even bigger than Allison's.
"No matter what." Kira agreed, only to shriek seconds later when a jacket came flying towards her face. She just managed to catch it before it hit her in the face. "Jeez, warn a girl next time!"
Surprisingly, outfits were chosen for the two girls rather quickly and they said goodbye to Derek and the parents, after showing them the weapons that they had selected. Kira had found herself drawn to a Katana and a pair of light up nunchucks and Malia opted for a simple silver knuckle duster and a stun baton. By 5.00pm, the teens were all dressed and ready and made their way through tunnel 4, all excited to party and, in some cases, break into the sheriff's station and destroy evidence. Looking around her new friends, Kira knew her life would never be dull again. Malia skipped up beside Kira and offered her arm to the girl. Kira beamed and linked her arm with Malia's happily, immediately the Coyote started asking Kira questions about parties and what they were like, explaining that the last party she had been to was her own eight birthday party. Kira answered the questions as best she could, but confessed that she hadn't been to that many parties herself, and she had never been to a blacklight party. That's when Erica jumped into their conversation and let the girls know what to expect.
By the time they arrived at the building at 5:30pm, Kira was having four conversations at once and the pack were all talking over each other in excitement. All chatter abruptly ended when they opened the door and walked into the loft. Somebody had evidently been there during the day to decorate. The blacklights, while currently turned off, were set up all around the loft and a portable generator sat on one of the balconies, visible through the window. A pop up stage was set up, a table filled with (non-alcoholic) drinks and snacks sat in a corner. A third table stood against the far left wall and was covered in tubes of UV paint, body paint and make up along with light up jewellery and accessories. Several speakers stood around the room.
Kira and Malia looked around in awe and excitement, their excitement was mirrored by the majority of the Pack.
"Okay, let's put our stuff in the bedroom then lock it up, the DJ should be here any minute." Danny informed them. They all removed their jackets and set down their bags, Allison, Malia, and Lydia rid themselves of their shirts to reveal their crop top and bralette respectively, the boys, except for Danny and 'Stiles', also stripped off their shirts. Cora had chosen to wear a tank top so that she could be painted without removing her clothes. Erica and Danny fully intended to remove their own t-shirts later and have their bodies painted, but that would have to wait until after they took care of the photos on Kira's phone. Once their belongings were safely locked away in the bedroom and the key to said room was attached to Stiles' key chain, Aiden powered up the generator. The blacklight's turned on and the Pack were illuminated. They looked around at each other with grins, just as a knock sounded at the door. The DJ had arrived.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Not too far away from the loft, Derek and Deputy Parrish had just pulled up in the area they were tasked with patrolling to make sure everyone in town was behaving and not taking advantage of the blackout, when three children in halloween costumes appeared behind them.
"Trick or treat!" They greeted in unison, holding out the goody bags towards the pair. Parrish smiled while Derek, feeling mischievous, stared at them unblinkingly. He silently reached behind him to open the passenger side door of the cruiser, eyes still fixed on the kids, who were growing increasingly nervous. Derek picked up the bag of sweets he and Parrish had purchased for this very reason and dropped a piece of candy into each of their bags. Parrish watched on in amusement as Derek allowed his eyes to glow red and growled at the children, revealing his fangs, causing the trio to run away screaming.
"You do realise it's 'trick or treat', right?" Parrish asked his partner in amusement, not really phased by Derek's actions. After all it was halloween and the children would likely just write it off as a really good costume once they'd calmed down. "You're supposed to pick one or the other,"
"Where's the fun in that?" Derek asked rhetorically as he locked the vehicle. The pair shared a smile as they began their patrol.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
After Melissa gave him that sedative, Stiles awoke back in the cage with his wolf. The bear trap clamped to his ankle and his wolf next to him. "Hey, I don't know what happened but I managed to get control back." Stiles told his wolf excitedly. "Not enough to tell them about the thing possessing us, but I managed to let them know that I'm not okay. Hopefully I'll be able to give them more pieces of the puzzle later." He opted to take a page out of Scott's book and try being optimistic for once.
"That's good." His wolf responded. "I was worried about you, you just disappeared. I feared that he had you."
"I'm sorry." Stiles apologised with a frown.
"Don't be. It's not your fault." The wolf assured as he licked his human half's face. "But we need to get out of here, let's continue trying to get that stupid trap off of your leg." And continue they did. Within (what felt like) minutes, Stiles was using his uninjured foot to kick the evil, bloodied trap to the otherside of the cage.
Stiles sighed in relief, overjoyed that his leg was finally freed from the animal trap, his wolf immediately set to work 'cleaning' the wound with its tongue. "You don't have to do that you know." He smiled at his wolf in bemusement. "We're in my head, it's not like it can get infected." His wolf narrowed it's eyes at him, but continued his task regardless.
"Remember when Isaac had his leg caught in one of those? Did you stop checking on him and making sure he was okay, even after it healed?" Stiles sighed in annoyed acceptance.
"How do you even know about that? You were locked up in here when that happened."
"You may not have been able to see though my eyes, but I could still see though yours." The Wolf informed him. "Your eyes are our primary eyes, my eyes come out when you need them. I was locked up so you couldn't access my eyes, but when I focus I can see what you see."
"Our connection." Stiles realised.
"But our connection isn't limited to our minds, right?" Stiles asked rapidly. Ideas and theories were flying through his head and a plan began to form. "It's our body's, that's why we can shift. There's my body, your body and our beta shift, right? So seeing through each other's eyes isn't limited to what we think we're seeing, or what we're imagining, right?" The Wolf nodded in affirmation. "So that means whatever he is seeing through our eyes, we can see it too, right?"
The Wolf's lips curled into something reminiscent of a smirk as it nodded at the former human once more. "Yes, we can. Would you like me to show you how?"
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
After a few hours of dancing and blending in, Kira, 'Stiles', Danny and Erica snuck away from the party and made their way out of the building and to the Range Rover that Derek kept at the building for if he ever needed to go somewhere in a hurry and required a vehicle far subtler than his Camaro. As soon as they were out of the door, Lydia sent a text to the alpha to let him know.
Derek read the text immediately, then turned to his partner. "Hey, I'm sorry but there's a pack emergency, do you mind if I-"
"It's fine, we're scheduled for a break right about now. I can drop you off wherever you need to be." Parrish offered, and Derek smiled gratefully, deciding that he would ask Parrish to drop him off a few blocks from the station, just to be safe. Unfortunately as they arrived at the cruiser and moved to unlock it, the two deputies heard a strange snarling sound and quickly turned around.
Suddenly, they were surrounded by shadowy figures, who were all wearing masks. Derek snarled as he realised these were the creatures that had attacked Isaac the night before, the ones Chris had warned him about. Beside him, Parrish drew his weapon, trusting from his partner's reaction that this wasn't people in halloween costumes.
"No don't!" Derek ordered immediately. "Trust me, we do not want to anger them." He warned and Parrish reluctantly lowered his weapon. "They're here for me, just let them do what they need to do." As if they had been waiting for permission, the creatures then began walking ominously towards the pair.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
As they were driving, 'Stiles' glanced over to Erica in the front passenger seat. "You could have washed the paint off first." He told her, "We're trying to be discreet here."
"It's halloween, I'm far more discreet than you are right now." Erica countered with a grin. After 30 minutes of dancing, she had decided that she really, really wanted her mate's to paint her body and the pair had gladly agreed. The blonde had taken off her top and literally told her mates to 'paint me like one of your french girls' earning her the satisfaction of making her mate's chuckle. "Besides, it won't glow unless I'm under UV light so it's not gonna be that noticeable. And I put my shirt back on, probably smudging some of Cora and Boyd's hard work, so you're welcome, by the way." Erica grinned, hoping it would get Stiles to lecture her about not being distinguishable while committing a crime. It worked, but something felt off. Erica listened to 'Stiles' intently for the rest of the journey and tried to figure out just what was different as subtly as she could. As much as she trusted Melissa, she was convinced that the woman was wrong about Stiles' lapse of memory being cause by sleep deprivation.
It was 10:15pm when 'Stiles' pulled up near the police station. He, Danny and Kira all hopped out of the vehicle and Erica took his place in the driver's seat. 'Stiles' took out the key cards and handed them to Danny one at a time while informing the pair of their functions. "Okay, this one will get you into all the perimeter doors, this one to the evidence room and this one's for my father's office.
"Did you steal these?" Kira asked with wild excitement gleaming in her eyes and a grin on her face. 'Stiles' chuckled at the girl but shook his head.
"No, I just cloned 'em using a RFID emulator."
"Nice!" Danny proclaimed and nodded in approval as Kira raised an eyebrow at the lanky boy.
"Isn't that worse than stealing?"
"It's smarter." 'Stiles' countered and the girl couldn't stop the giggle that escaped her lips. "Okay. So, now almost everybody's out dealing with the blackout, but there's always somebody at the front desk. There's dispatch and usually a night shifter or two. You guys are gonna use the service door entrance by the dumpster. Alright? Nobody uses it. Now, I'll text you if anyone comes out, and act as a distraction. I brought this with me," 'Stiles' pulled a tupperware tub out of his bag that contained a few sandwiches and some fruit, "I'll tell em I'm dropping it off for Derek and buy you some time to get out. Do not get caught. If they figure out I was in on this it could get my dad in even more trouble."
Kira and Danny nodded seriously. "If we get caught, we won't let them know you were involved." Kira promised, and Danny nodded in agreement.
"I'll tell them that I cloned the cards, I have the equipment at home," Danny informed him. "We won't let you or your dad go down for this."
"I'm the getaway driver, and this isn't a vehicle any of them will recognise, so as far as you're concerned, we're supposed to be at the party right now and you're extremely disappointed in us for committing a crime." Erica chimed in from the vehicle, and smiled reassuringly at him.
"Oh, thank God!" Stiles exclaimed, he sighed in relief before adding. "Because if something goes wrong, I'm sticking with my cover story and leaving you all for dead." Stiles was surprised to hear words come out of his mouth -They were semi true, he would never literally leave them for dead of course, but in this particular scenario he would protect his dad first as all of the pack members present were all under 18 with no criminal record. They had come up with the excuse that, if they were caught they would say that Kira had pictures of herself naked on her phone and didn't want anybody to see them- The main reason Stiles was surprised to hear the words was because it actually felt like he was speaking them, not the thing that was possessing him. Not knowing how long he had left in control, Stiles quickly told Danny and Kira to: "Just, uh, hurry up." He then gave them an encouraging smile.
With that, Danny and Kira made their way into the station, moving as quickly as possible. They both held their breaths as deputy Sharman entered the room to grab a file, not breathing again until he had left, blissfully unaware of their presence. Soon enough the pair got into the evidence locker and found Kira's phone. The pair sighed in frustration when they discovered that the battery was dead.
"We have to take it!" Kira whispered to Danny but the teen shook his head in disagreement.
"No, they'll know it's gone." Danny reminded her. "And you'll be the first suspect."
"Well we have to do something, we can't let them see those pictures!" Kira insisted as Danny tried to think of a solution. "How do we charge it if the power's out?"
Danny looked around the room, he felt relief when his eyes fell on a laptop. "See if you can find a charger cable." He instructed Kira while moving over to the laptop. Kira quickly found one in a drawer and the pair shared a triumphant smile as Danny powered up the laptop. "Awesome. Oh, hey that's Scott!" Danny announced when a picture of a smiling young boy in a man's arms appeared on the screen. He recognised him easily thanks to Stiles and Melissa, even John, showing the entire pack every single picture they collectively had of Scott growing up, from the day he was born. Just the previous morning, Stiles showed the pack the pictures he had taken of them setting up the pranks for Coach's birthday. How he had managed to take those pictures without anyone, even the wolves, noticing was incredible, but nothing new. Stiles was always good at sneaking around, despite his constant flailing and inability to focus on things that don't immediately grasp his attention.
"Aw, he was so cute!" Kira cooed at the picture of Scott as she plugged her phone in and willed it to charge faster. "Who's that holding him?"
"Probably his dad, this must be his laptop. Shit. Wait, if this is an FBI agent's laptop, then it might have security measures that could get us caught." Danny realised and quickly began to hack the laptop so he could ensure that there would be no trace of them using it..
Meanwhile, Stiles and his wolf had been watching the events unfold from their cage, both startled that they had managed to speak, or maybe the thing possessing them was listening in? They were in the middle of discussing it when Stiles suddenly found himself out of the cage again, unable to hear his wolf and back in control of his body, leaning against the Range Rover with one eye on the station as he spoke to Erica. He didn't get a chance to try and express his predicament though, because he was suddenly distracted by a vehicle pulling up in front of them, one that Stiles recognised easily as belonging to Scott's father. "Aw, hell." He whispered as he sent Danny a text to warn them, then prepared to go distract the man. It was easy for him to prioritise the safety of Danny, Kira, Erica and his father over himself
"I can distract him if you want?" Erica offered as she sent Stiles a nervous look.
"No, I have to do this." Stiles told her firmly. "Okay, I am so going to regret this!" Stiles muttered, mostly to himself, as he gripped the tupperware tub tighter and ran towards the entrance McCall had just walked through.
The FBI agent was making his way towards the evidence lock up to retrieve his laptop when Stiles clambered into the station and ran in front of the man, stopping him in his tracks. "Hey, hey. Wow! Thank God you are here. Oh, boy! Thank the lord!" Stiles greeted with a nervous laugh.
"What do you want, Stiles?" Rafael McCall asked impatiently. The conversation had drawn Danny's attention.
"Oh, jeez!" He whispered and began typing faster to cover their tracks and hoped he and Kira could finish their tasks in time.
Stiles stammered, knocked off kilter by suddenly being able to properly talk to somebody other than his wolf for the first time since being sedated by his mother-figure. He quickly focused though as he heard Danny's heart beating rapidly and his Pack Mom instinct kicked in. "I came to drop off some food for Derek, you know when he comes back for his break later, but also I was just, uh, I was thinking on the case. I was thinking I should clue you in on my thinking. Here's my thinking. I was thinking this…" He snapped his finger in the Agent's face, dragging out the conversation as much as he could. "I was thinking that Barrow, right... I was thinking that Barrow received the information about who to kill at the school, right, you know that? So I was thinking maybe the person who gave him that information, check this out, might actually be someone at the school." He pointed at the man's chest while nodding his head, hoping that his behaviour would knock the man off kilter, but still be natural enough that the man didn't become overly suspicious. "And that's, uh, my thinking." Stiles could feel Danny watching them and he heard as Kira's phone beeped and she informed Danny in a whisper that it was on.
"Hmm." McCall nodded at Stiles and informed the teen "You're right."
"I am?" Stiles pretended to be surprised, which wasn't difficult given that the Agent was surprising Stiles with how civil he was being.
"Yep. We, uh... We started looking for links between Barrow, faculty and students last night." McCall informed Stiles, and the boy smiled politely in response.
"So you already, then, know that stuff?" He asked and the agent hummed in affirmation. "You already thought of that." He gave the man a fictitious impressed smile.
"Your dad did." McCall corrected.
"Oh." Stiles blinked, genuinely surprised that the man was actually giving his dad the credit he deserved.
"His one useful suggestion." ...And there it was. Agent McCall reached around the teenager to swipe his key card. As the light blinked green, Stiles stepped to the side to better block the man's access
When he spoke next, Stiles let his voice grow low and threatening as he narrowed his eyes at the man. "You know, this attitude that you have toward my dad? You can dress it up to all the professional disapproval that you want. But I know the real reason why you don't like him. "
Rafael Let out a soft chuckle before he lifted his eyes from his shoes to look his son's best friend in the eyes. "Is that so?" Stiles could tell that the man thought he was bluffing, so he allowed a small smirk to grace his lips, despite the anxiety flooding him.
"Yeah. Because he knows something that you don't want him to know." The agent's confidence wavered, he tried to cover it with another chuckle and shook his head at the boy. He went to step around Stiles, but the wolf wasn't done. He didn't know when he would be back in the cage and he needed to stall the man. He was hoping to save this card for a bigger moment, but his pups needed him, and this was the thing he knew would rattle McCall the most. "And guess what, I know it, too." He whispered threateningly, "What you did to Scott that night."
Sure enough, Rafael's whole demeanor changed. He looked Stiles in the eyes once more and, much to his horror, realised that the boy was telling the truth. He backed away slowly, trying to hide his shaking hands behind his back as nonchalantly as possible. "O-oh really?" The Agent responded as nonchalantly as he could manage, as he raised an eyebrow. "Well, I wonder how my superiors will feel when I tell them that one of the Sheriff's deputies is screwing an underage boy? Stilinski's own son, nonetheless"
Stiles wanted to punch the man for threatening his mate in such a way, but he knew that this wasn't the time or place for violence, so Stiles threw a smirk on his face. "What proof would you have to support that? With my healing rate, and the support of, literally, everyone in town, nobody would believe you." The agent glared, but said nothing. Even if he wanted to report Derek, Stiles was right, he had no evidence. His word would not be enough against the testimony of the entire sheriff's department, the pack and their allies. Plus, with all their magic and weirdness, the Pack could probably make any evidence he did manage to collect literally vanish. Plus, Scott would never forgive him. And that was the real reason Rafael McCall returned to Beacon Hills: To reconnect with his son.
"Go home, Stiles." Knowing that there was nothing more he could say that wasn't a direct threat or admission of his own guilt, McCall sighed "There's a... There's a curfew." He cleared his throat, at the same time Stiles heard Danny and Kira leave the lock up. When Rafael reached around to swipe his key card again, Stiles let him pass.
The young werewolf turned and walked towards the front desk. He politely asked the worker at the front desk to put the tub in the staff room fridge and alert Derek that it was there when he got back. Then Stiles made his way quickly back to the Range Rover. Just as he was about to tell Erica that she was not allowed to drive without a license, and then intended to inform her that he was possessed, he suddenly found himself unable to speak once more.
As much as that sucked, he was still in a better mood than before thanks to the fact that he had managed to unease the man who was trying to destroy his dad's life and career. Stiles was an observer only as his body made its way to the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Soon enough, Danny and Kira ran to the vehicle, excitedly climbing into the back seat.
"We did it! All the pictures are deleted." Danny announced as he buckled his seat belt. Then Erica started the car. "You are so lucky you have me, by the way. Kira's phone was dead, so we had to charge it on McCall's laptop. Luckily for you, I'm a genius and had the brilliant idea to check if McCall had any security measures in place."
"Did he?" 'Stiles' asked, though Stiles could tell that whatever was controlling him already knew the answer.
"Yes." Danny nodded, "He had, in layman's terms, a security feature that takes a picture every time the laptop is used, so it had taken a picture of us when we turned it on."
"I'm assuming, based on your tone, that you deleted it?" The thing possessing Stiles asked politely, rather than yelling at Erica to "Slow the fuck down! There are humans in the car, for God's sake! You're gonna get us all killed or arrested!" Okay, maybe Kira is a kitsune, at least that's what Stiles' wolf said he overheard, but there had been no mention of Supernatural healing for Kitsune's as of yet, so Erica really needed to slow down! This is why Stiles would have chosen Lydia or Allison as the getaway driver. Maybe even Jackson, for this particular situation.
Stiles longed to be able to control his body once more, but the thing possessing him wanted him to watch. It stopped him from retreating back to the cage, though Stiles somehow knew the creature wouldn't be able to keep him like that for long. He knew that it would have to put him back in the cage, or risk him regaining true control.
To make the awful situation a little more bearable, Stiles focused on Kira's excited babbling. "That was awesome! I mean, terrifying. Completely terrifying... But kind of awesome. I've never done anything like that before." Kira couldn't keep the smile off of her face as they drove back to the Party, despite the definitely illegal speed at which they were traveling. "Do you think we'll ever get to do something like that again?" Erica and Danny chuckled at the girl's excitement.
"With our history, I'm gonna go with yes. One hundred percent." Stiles heard himself respond.
Soon enough they were back at the loft and found the party in full swing, more guests having arrived. The professional body painter had also shown up (about damn time too, she was scheduled to arrive at the same time as the DJ but still hadn't shown up by the time the quartet had left at 9:55pm) and everyone in sight was covered in UV Paint. Some only had simple decals, but as they looked around the room, they could see the increasingly complex and intricate designs.
Ethan approached Danny with a smile, glowing slash marks had been painted onto his chest and abdomen, and an intricate design covered his right hand and part of his arm. He greeted all four of them and pointed out where all the other Pack members were, then gently placed his hands on the hacker's shoulders and steered him towards the body painter. He tore Danny's shirt apart with his bare hands, earning him a heated look from his boyfriend. As the painter got to work, a bartender, who was definitely not serving alcohol, no matter what anyone actually drinking whatever she was serving might tell you
"I got it." Ethan assured Danny so that the boy would allow himself to be painted. Ethan weaved through the crowd with ease, making his way to get the ice. Danny was so focused on the art that the body painter was decorating his body that he didn't notice the shadowy figures, flickering in and out of sight as they made their way closer to him. He felt something or someone close behind him but before he could turn to look, the body painter caught his attention again.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Lying in his bed at the Hale House, Peter was staring with tear filled eyes at the item in his hands. Torn wrapping paper lay discarded on the floor.
He gingerly ran his finger over the image he was currently fixated on. It was him, six years younger, standing in front of the old Hale House, his arm around his wife and their two children in front of them. All four of them were beaming at the camera, there was no eye flare thanks to the picture having been taken during the day meaning that no flash was required. After staring at that picture for a few minutes, he finally looked at the other pictures on the page. He leisurely flicked through the photo album, smiling at the photo's of not just himself and his little family, but his sister and brothers, his nieces and nephews, and his in-laws. The entirety of the Pack that Peter, Derek and Cora had lost were memorialised in the album he held.
All photos and personal effects belonging to the Pack were destroyed in the fire, with the exception of a few pictures that Laura and Derek had on their phones, which they backed up to a thumb drive in New York.
Peter made a mental note to show these to his niece and nephew tomorrow and ask Stiles or Danny to make some copies. He was about half way though the album, when the lamp on his bedside table flickered off. He turned his head to look at the lamp, only to sigh when he found himself face to face with a masked creature. "You've got to be kidding me, haven't I gone through enough today?" The creature didn't say anything, only grabbed Peter and gazed at him with glowing eyes.
At the Reyes house, the adults were merrily drinking wine and sharing some of their best work stories.
"-then he ripped the poster down and tore it up while screaming 'and this piece of shit belongs in the trash too! You should have chosen my wife's design! She's the best damn publicist you will ever meet and you're all idiots for not seeing that.' then pulled out a lighter" Hayley informed them, pausing to take a sip of her wine before continuing. "Fortunately, that's when the security team arrived and restrained him. Then Lynn stood up, and this is when he finally realised she was in the damn meeting in the first place and went 'First of all, you incompitent drunk, I am your ex-wife and second of all, that was my design, you fucking moron. If I get fired because of you, I'm telling my lawyer to go with her idea of taking everything, not just half, you insufferable prick.' then security dragged him out and Carolyn fired him and gave her a raise."
"Wow, sounds like that guy was even more dysfunctional than that deadbeat I married." Natalie chuckled as she shook her head and topped up her glass, emptying the bottle. "Oh, the bottle's empty." She pouted, that wasn't good. She had to keep her mouth shut about Stiles, but his dad was sitting right there. Therefore Natalie needed more wine so that she would end up dancing on the table, singing out of key and attempting to kiss someone before the night ended, rather than blabbing to John. Embarrassing herself would be better than betraying Melissa's trust. Besides, they wouldn't know for sure that Stiles had Frontotemporal Dementia like his mother until they ran some tests. There was no need to upset John with something uncertain.
"Don't worry, we have lots more in the kitchen!" Jake announced and tried to heave himself off of the armchair, only to rise about three inches and flop back down. Victoria chuckled at the action and stood up.
"I'll get it." She offered as she was the only sober person there, thanks to having no desire to poison herself with wolfsbane just to feel a buzz, and made her way to the kitchen. She heard her husband begin to follow her, but as soon as she had stepped through the doorway, the door slammed shut behind her and the lights flickered off. Chris immediately called out for his wife but she was busy staring at the masked creature in front of her. "Okay, let's get this over with."
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
"All done!" The body painter announced proudly, causing Danny to look down and admire the design once more.
"Nice." Danny smiled in appreciation, then looked at the body painter once more "Thank you." She nodded at him in return then left in search of anyone else in need of painting. Danny began to search for Ethan, unaware of the two masked figures with glowing eyes watching him.
Just after Ethan took Danny away, 'Stiles' told the girls that he was off to find Scott, and Kira opted to go with Erica to where Lydia, Jackson, Cora, Boyd and Malia were all dancing, happily showing off the intricate designs that decorated their bodies and faces.
Erica announced along the way that she intended to have Cora and Boyd 'touch up' her bodypaint, then sported a flirty grin as she offered to paint Kira. She knew her mates wouldn't worry as she only had eyes for them and simply enjoyed flirting.
A surge of confidence flowed though Kira and she smirked right back at the blonde. "Who says you're the one I want to paint me?"
"What, you don't think I'm hot?" Erica pouted and batted her eyes at the Kitsune, who only grinned in response.
"Oh, I definitely think you're hot." Kira responded honestly and unbelievably casual, earning her a grin from the she-wolf beside her. "But that could just mean that I have a thing for hot shifters who have a heart of gold and an animalistic side." She teased, it was easy because Kira had always been quick to lose attraction to people once she found out they were unavailable. Some people called her strange for being so quick to get over people, but it was just how she worked. Once it became apparent that the person she was attracted to didn't feel the same way or were currently in a relationship, she would feel a moment of disappointment then all romantic attraction dissipated and all she craved was friendship. Maybe that made her unusual in the eyes of some people, but it made her life a lot less painful, so she was grateful.
She had seen Erica flirt with pretty much the entire Pack at this point, including some of the parents(though none of them ever flirted back much to Erica's disappointment), and she knew it was only harmless fun. Erica's mates -her true loves- weren't worried or upset by it, in fact they seemed to find it amusing most of the time, and no one was getting hurt, so why not have a little flirt?
"Oh? Does that mean there's another 'hot shifter with a heart of gold and an animalist side' that you have a thing for?" Erica raised an eyebrow, looking intrigued but also knowing. Erica thoroughly enjoyed having someone new to flirt with, who she knew wouldn't get the wrong idea. "Are you saying I'm not your 'one and only'?"
"Wouldn't you like to know?"
"Oh, I'll find out sooner or later, Yukimura." Erica promised with a smirk.
"We'll see, Reyes." Kira teased the blonde, by then they had reached the group, and were quickly encouraged to get some body paint and/or face paint on. Erica immediately took off her jacket and shirt, and encouraged Kira to do the same. Kira opted to only remove her jacket and left her top on. Though she knew she was attractive, Kira wasn't as self confident as those around her, that was a part of the reason that she chose to only have her face and hand painted.
Boyd offered to take their belongings to the bedroom and lock them away safely. "Remember, Stiles has the key." Cora called out as her mate began to walk through the crowd.
"I know." He called back. He found Stiles talking to Scott in the corner to the right of the bedroom door. The pair grew quiet as Boyd approached.
"Hey, Boyd, what's up?" Stiles greeted like he didn't have a care in the world, which earned him concerned frowns from both Boyd and Scott.
"Hey, Erica and Kira wanted me to put their stuff in the bedroom, is it cool if I borrow the key?" Boyd explained and asked after a moment of hesitation and a subtle head shake from Scott.
"Sure thing!" 'Stiles' agreed easily taking the key off of the ring, rather than giving Boyd the full set like he usually would for a quick task such as this. Stiles wanted to remind his pups that they weren't supposed to go anywhere alone and make Scott go with him, but the thing wouldn't let him. "Just remember to lock it up again when you're done and give the key right back to me."
Trusting that Scott would take care of it, Boyd reluctantly said nothing and instead made his way to the bedroom. Once he was inside the door slammed shut behind him, then Boyd heard an unfamiliar snarling. Boyd spun around quickly only to find himself grabbed by the head and staring into glowing eyes that were peering at him through the eyeholes of a black mask.
Meanwhile, Ethan made his way to the storage room where they were keeping all of the extra supplies. He reached up to turn on the free-hanging light as he started to pick up a bag of ice, then the light flickered off. He sighed, set down the ice and reached up to turn it back on, only to have to repeat the process because the second that he had turned around, the light turned off again. After a few failed attempts to keep the light on, Ethan heard a strange snarling sound. He turned to see the masked figures with glowing eyes and the door slammed shut before he could react.
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Stiles had been flickering in and out of control of his words and body since arriving at the party. He was in control when he told Scott about the key that had mysteriously appeared on his key chain, that the thing controlling had obviously wanted him to see, but he lost control when he tried to tell Scott that he thought he knew what the key was for.
When Boyd approached, Stiles was given enough control to act as Pack Mom and remind the boy to lock up after himself, but not keep him from going in their alone, and he didn't have control over his hands as they separated the bedroom key from the key chain and refused to cooperate when he tried to show Scott the mystery key.
It was incredibly frustrating and while Stiles was glad that he was able to talk to his pups and see that they were alright, a part of him wished he was back in the cage with his wolf merely observing. At least in there he knew how much freedom he had at all times.
That's when it hit him. Why the creature was giving Stiles a certain amount of control only to take it away immediately. Why it had locked him in a cage with his wolf, only to pull him out less than 24 hours later, then shoved him back in, then hours later pulled him back out and refused to let him go back. Control.
It was proving to Stiles that it was in control. That it was the master of his body right now. Worse though, it was trying to break him. Trying to make him give in completely and willingly give in to it. So that it could have his body and kill him and his wolf.
'Well, good luck with that you Creepy Body Snatching Bitch.' Stiles thought to himself. 'I am the most stubborn person that has ever lived, and while I do not care about my own life, I care about my Pack and I will never let you hurt them. Or take me away from them, because they'd all be dead within a year without me there to take care of them' Distantly, Stiles could hear his wolf chuckling.
Stiles Stilinski had managed to survive losing his mother, feeling like a disappointment to his father, being bullied for years, being bitten by an alpha werewolf, multiple attacks from said alpha, watching and helping his mate and Pack to kill said alpha, fighting a homicidal lizard who was being controlled by a creeper classmate, being kidnapped and tortured by a psychotic geriatric, being attacked by pixies, being used as a living sketchbook for a Pack of Alpha's, having his mate ripped away from him and forced to be with a psychopathic murderous darach, watching half of his pups try to kill themselves, binding himself to an ancient magical tree, and going through Bardo; It would take a hell of a lot more than this to make him give in and leave his Pack to mourn and suffer without him.
Scott was clearly digging for information on Stiles' wellbeing, he was trying to be subtle but it was Scott, so Stiles obviously saw right through him. The fact that Scott could tell something was up had Stiles both relieved and concerned. He was relieved because it meant that he would be more cautious when following the orders and plans that 'Stiles' came up with, unlike the trio he had taken to the police station that night. But that was also why it made Stiles anxious. If the thing controlling him knew that Scott, and possibly Derek, Lydia and Allison, were suspicious of it, it might do something to hurt them. He wanted to scream at Scott not to trust him, to take the Pack and get as far away from him as possible, but the thing wouldn't let him.
When Scott suggested that they go investigate the key, it was Stiles who declined, not wanting to ruin Scott's night or put his life-long best friend at risk by isolating him from the pack with no-one but the thing inside him. Scott would be reluctant to attack the creature anyway, but while it was wearing Stiles face? Scott would never risk hurting Stiles, he still beat himself up over the incident in the locker room, back when they first turned. Therefore Scott could not be completely alone with 'Stiles' at any point in the near future. No siree.
With the little control he was granted, Stiles was allowed to encourage Scott to return to dancing with his mates, both of whom were frequently sending seductive smiles to the crooked jawed boy as they danced body to body. Eventually Scott caved after a vaguely familiar girl wearing a pink wig approached and left a fluorescent kiss stain on Stiles' cheek, wished him a happy halloween and invited him to dance.
Stiles wanted to decline and go check on Boyd, who had been in the bedroom a long time, but the thing made him accept the girl's offer and ask for her name.
"I'm Caitlin." She informed him as she danced in place. The thing allowed Stiles to voice the realisation that immediately hit him.
"Oh, my God, You're Caitlin!" He exclaimed in shock, the girl, who was clearly drunk, blinked at him and nodded.
"I know! I just told you that." She reminded him with a nod.
"No, I know- I just- I mean, uh- You and your girlfriend. She's…" Stiles stammered, trying to explain his reaction without coming off as insensitive. Caitlins joyful expression quickly dropped into a look of grief and Stiles wanted to punch himself in the face.
"Yeah!" Stiles nodded, a sympathetic frown on his face, trying to figure out what to say next, he blurted out the first thing that came to his head. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah!" Caitlin exclaimed, throwing her hands in the air as she forced a smile on her face "I'm really drunk."
"Okay." Stiles nodded, unsure of what to say to the girl next, fortunately for him, she spoke first.
"Do you still want to dance?" She asked hopefully, obviously wanting to move past that particular conversation and Stiles found himself agreeing before she led him through the crowd.
Not too far away from the pair, Lydia and Jackson were dancing. Well, dancing wasn't exactly the right word for it. If you asked Erica what the pair were doing she would have referred to their actions as 'foreplay'. Their actions combined with the heat from all the other bodies in the room had Lydia uncomfortably warm and so Jackson, the chivalrous gentleman that he is when it comes to his mate, offered to go get her a drink. The banshee gratefully accepted.
As Jackson made his way through the crowd, Lydia decided to lean against a nearby support beam as she caught her breath. She looked around the room, eyes scanning for her Pack Mates. She spotted Aidan first, sandwiched between two girls who were wearing a lot of body paint and very little in terms of clothes. "Finally." She muttered, relieved that it appeared that the wolf would finally be getting some action so that she wouldn't have to listen to Jackson bitch about the 'stench of his sexual frustration' anymore.
She continued looking around and her eyes fell on 'Stiles' next, who was dancing in a very Stiles manner with some girl, Lydia couldn't quite see her face, only her body paint and vibrant clothes and wig. "Awkwardly" Lydia raised an eyebrow, he danced well with Derek and yet there he was doing that trainwreck of a dance move? Then again, Derek was his mate and if Stiles was still in there somewhere, he wouldn't want to give the girl the wrong impression by dancing seductively, the way he does with Derek.
Lydia moved on, eager to make sure the rest of her pack were doing okay. Her eyes fell on Scott, Isaac and Allison next, the trio were dancing together, Allison was between her boys Scott's arms were bracketing her and his hands were resting on Isaac's hips. Allison had been face to face with Isaac until the curly haired Beta twirl the huntress so she was facing Scott. Scott, in turn, pulled Isaac closer to him so that Isaac's chest was pressed against Allison's back and Allison's chest was pressed to Scott's own. "Predictably." Lydia chuckled fondly. She noticed Jacksons from the corner of her eye, walking towards the bathroom but didn't pay that much mind.
As she continued looking around the room, the Banshee spotted Kira and Malia dancing body to body, in the same place she and Jackson had left them when they decided to dance more intimately and Cora began to complain about the smell, Kira's face and neck had been painted in a similar style to the coyote. Malia was leading their dance, surprisingly well for someone who hadn't danced in eight years. "Interestingly." Lydia hummed, a thoughtful expression on her face before she looked away from the pair.
Barely a meter away Cora and Erica were dancing. They were body to body as Lydia expected, but neither looked like they were enjoying it as much as they usually would. They were talking to each other while looking around the room, clearly unsettled. It was then that Lydia recalled that Boyd had gone into the bedroom earlier, and suddenly realised she hadn't seen him since. Rapidly looking around the room, Lydia realised that she couldn't see Ethan or Danny either. "Concerningly." She muttered, she stood up straight and decided to go check on her missing Pack Mates, sure that her Mate could find her once he'd gotten their drinks.
Before she actually could take a step to go look for them, a snarling sound unlike anything she'd ever heard before filled her ears. The music faded away as the snarling and her own heart pounding was all she could hear.
Lydia could see a masked figure staring at her, exactly like the ones she had seen when Chris told his story, disappearing and reappearing from sight in a manner similar to that of a shadow on the pavement when the clouds passed in front of the sun on a bright summer's day.
A fear unlike anything the Banshee had ever felt before overcame her as she called out for her Pack Mates, though no one seemed to hear her. She intended to walk over to Allison, Scott and Isaac, but she found it much too difficult to breathe all of a sudden, so she made her way to the balcony for fresh air instead. The door slammed shut behind her, but she took no notice. Forcing herself to take deep breaths, Lydia looked through the large window at the Party raging inside, no longer able to see any shadowy creatures amongst the crowd. Taking a few more deep breaths, Lydia turned her back to the window and leant forward against the wall of the balcony and looked out at the town. 'It looks a whole lot creepier without all the street lights', she noted.
Lydia had just begun to calm down when the snarling sound returned. She turned to see a pool of shadows on the ground to her right, blocking her route to the balcony door. Out of the shadows came a hand, shortly followed by another. Soon, the masked figure rose out the shadows on the ground. She started to scream, intending to use her voice to push the creature away, despite Derek warning them not to fight, her instincts were too strong, only for a gloved hand to appear in front of her mouth from behind her and make a fist. With that, Lydia's voice was gone. She turned to see a second masked figure directly behind her. It used the hand that had stolen her voice to grip her by the back of her neck, it's thumb resting behind her ear as it stared into her eyes, then it's eyes began to glow.
As that had unfolded, after looking at the large crowd around the drinks table, Jackson decided to go to the bathroom first and hoped that the queue would go down by the time he finished.
He made his way to the bathroom, which was surprisingly and thankfully unoccupied. Jackson flicked on the light and locked the door behind him.
He had just finished and began to pull his zipper back up when the lights flickered off. A snarling sound filled his ears and he knew what was coming, thanks to Isaac's description from the night before. He turned and found himself face to face with a masked creature. His instincts told him to fight, despite Derek's warning, but he was frozen in place with fear, The creature grabbed him by the back of the head and began to gaze at him with glowing eyes.
Back inside the loft, Aiden was searching through the crowd, looking for his brother with the intent of bragging about his conquest when he found Danny instead. Danny looked doubtful yet hopeful as he looked at the twin. "Ethan?" He asked, even though he was certain that he was speaking to Aiden.
The werewolf shook his head. "Aiden."
"I'm looking for him too."
"I haven't seen him in like half an hour." Danny informed Aiden, biting his lip with a worried expression on his face. Aiden grew extremely concerned. The relaxation he had felt moments before immediately dissipated. "Is something wrong? Do you think it has something to do with whatever attacked Isaac last night?"
"I don't know." Aiden replied honestly. "Come on, it's better if we stick together." He half ordered and Danny nodded and began to follow Aiden through the crowd as they searched for Ethan.
As Kira and Malia were dancing, when Kira suddenly needed to use the bathroom. "I'll be right back!"
Malia frowned, "Where are you going?"
"Oh, okay, do you want me to come with you?" She offered but Kira shook her head.
"No, no, it's fine, but would you mind getting the bedroom key off of Stiles? I kinda wanna hide away for a few minutes when I get back." She asked hopefully, Malia nodded immediately as she was eager to help.
"Of course, I'll get the key and meet you in there." Malia promised and turned away to do so. Kira smiled as she watched Malia walk away, then Kira turned and walked towards the bathroom.
Stiles was sitting on the spiral staircase when Malia walked over to him. "Hey!" He greeted with a smile. "You okay?"
"Yeah, I'm great, this is an awesome party." Malia replied honestly with a big smile on her face, Stiles couldn't keep himself from smiling in return. "Kira wants to sit down for a little while though, can we have the key to the bedroom?"
Stiles' face dropped into a frown. "I don't have it, Boyd had it last when he went to put Erica and Kira's stuff in there and I haven't seen him since."
"Oh, okay, I'll go find him."
"Let me know when you do!" Stiles called out as the girl began to walk into the crowd, she gave a thumbs up in response and then disappeared into the sea of drunken teenagers. He was about to get up and search, but the thing controlling him tightened the leash once more and he was rooted in place.
Meer seconds later, Caitlin approached him with a bottle of beer in either hand. "You have a bottle opener?" She asked and he nodded, Derek had gotten him it as a gag-gift, shortly after the night of the parent-teacher conference when Stiles had drunk his first beer, stating that he wouldn't always be able to use his claws.
"Yeah." He informed her as he pulled out his keys and opened his own bottle, as he moved to open Caitlin's bottle for her she snatched the key's off of him, causing him to blink in surprise.
"Your key has phosphors on it." She smiled and showed him the mystery key which was glowing as though someone had uv paint on their fingers when they used it.
"Huh." Stiles looked at the key thoughtfully, only looking away when he noticed Caitlin leaning closer to him. When he looked towards her, she kissed him. Whatever was possessing him apparently decided not to be even more of a douchebag that night and allowed Stiles to remain in control as he pulled away from the girl and gently pushed her away. "Oh- I uh- Sorry but I uh- I uh- I uh thought y-you liked girls?" Was what he managed to stutter out as he leaned away from the girl who was smiling at him.
"I do like girls." Caitlin replied helpfully "Do you?"
"Absolutely." Stiles confirmed honestly and the girl smiled and nodded at him.
"Great." Caitlin smiled.
"So, you also like boys?" Stiles asked hoping it would give him the segway he needed to let her down gently.
"Absolutely," She confirmed with a smile, then asked curiously. "Do you?" Stiles smiled victoriously.
"Yeah, I've actually got a boyfriend." Caitlin's expression morphed into a look of understanding as she opened her beer and gave Stiles his keys back. "He's working tonight, but this is actually his building, so he let my friends and I use the loft for the party." He explained and gestured around the room.
"I'm glad he did," Caitlin smiled in response. "This is a great party!"
"Yeah, it is," Stiles exclaimed, pride clear in his voice over the fact that his pups had put it all together. The pair of bisexuals shared a smile and took sips from their beers before Stiles asked, "I'm sorry, what are phosphors?"
"Oh," She blinked, lowering her drink before responding. "they're any substance that luminesces." She explained, reminding Stiles of Lydia in a way. "It's in your teeth and your fingernails. Laundry detergent!" She recounted before wiping her lipstick print off of Stiles' lower lip and Stile made a mental note to shower thoroughly before he next encountered Derek, not wanting his mate to get the wrong idea. "It's also in this. It reacts to the UV light, that's why it glows."
"How would I get phosphors on my keys?" He asked with a thoughtful frown, even though he already suspected the answer.
"Have you been handling chemicals?" Caitlin asked in return and Stiles sighed.
"I was really hoping you wouldn't ask me that." He then rose to his feet and turned to face the girl. "Look, I'm really sorry, but I-"
"It's cool!" She waved him off, also rising to her feet. "I was looking to get laid tonight, to take my mind off of things anyway. And I'm guessing you told me about your boyfriend as a way to politely reject me, rather than invite me to a threesome?" She smiled kindly and Stiles nodded in response.
"Don't get me wrong, you're gorgeous and if I was single and not head over heels in love-" Stiles tried to explain, Caitlin didn't seem upset, but he wanted to make sure that he hadn't made her feel unattractive or something like that. She laughed and cut him off.
"Relax, I know I'm hot." She grinned teasingly at him, completely unphased by his rambling. "There are plenty of guys and girls here tonight for me to have fun with. You go do what you gotta do, and I'm gonna do what I gotta do. It was fun talking to you though!"
"Thanks, you too!" Stiles replied honestly. "If you ever need a friend or someone to talk to, I'm Stiles. Most of the drag queens in this town have my number."
"Good to know." Caitlin smiled as she raised her beer bottle and nodded at him. "See you around Stiles!" And with that, she disappeared into the crowd, searching for somebody else, who didn't have a partner, to distract herself from her grief for the night.
The Pack Mom in him made Stiles rush to get a bottle of water, he then tracked Caitlin down and gave her said bottle. "You drink that! Okay? The whole thing!" He ordered, then rushed away again, leaving the girl bemused.
He weaved through the crowd as fast as he could. Stiles made his way to the table holding the paint, picked up a tub of red paint and a paintbrush. He painted a message on the nearest wall and signed it with a triskele. Stiles then ran past the bedroom door, purposefully dropping his keys as he did so. Somewhere along the way, he dropped his phone but he didn't care/ He then ran to the door of the loft and threw it open. With one last look at the Pack members still dancing happily, Stiles shoved down the urge to stay and help because he knew that his Pack would be safer without him right now, he took a deep breath and then he ran out of the loft as fast as he could.
Across the room, Allison, Scott and Isaac were dancing, Allison sandwiched between her boys until she pushed them away gently. "I'm too warm." She complained as she wiped the sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand, smearing paint as she did so.
"Why don't we go to the storage room and cool off?" Isaac suggested. "All the ice is in there so it should be cood." His mates quickly agreed to that plan and the trio made their way to the room in question. They pushed open the door to find the light already on. Allison immediately made her way to the sink. She turned the tap on and splashed some cold water on her face, deciding she would rather cool down now and have her mates reapply her paint later, then turned the tap back off and turned to her mates.
"This is much better." She declared, earning her pleased smiles from her mates. She was about to suggest something more fun that the three of them could do now that they were alone, only to abort that suggestion when Scott and Isaac suddenly looked extremely concerned.
"Did you hear that?" Isaac asked nervously, Allison shook her head, but Scott nodded. They followed the sound to find Ethan, ice cold and quivering on the ground with fear.
The wolves quickly scooped Ethan up and carried him to the bedroom, Allison clearing a path through the crowd for them. When they arrived there, they found Cora and Erica worrying over Boyd who was in a similar state. "What's happening to them?" Scott asked in concern, eye darting between his pack mates in concern as he and Isaac set Ethan down on the bed next to Boyd.
"I think they were attacked by whatever attacked me in the library last night." Isaac told him honestly, causing the concern of those around him to increase tenfold.
"How did you snap out of it?" Allison asked as she and Scott both reached out to comfort him. Erica cursed as she remembered that night, when Chris told her that she had to 'trigger the healing process'. Cora looked at Erica and nodded, then moved to pin Boyd down.
"We need to trigger the healing process." Isaac explained. He looked to Scott with pleading eyes. "Can you pin him down for me?" Scott nodded and moved to do so. At the same time, Allison shut the bedroom door.
Erica gently grabbed Boyd's hand as Isaac moved to grab Ethan's arm. "Sorry baby." Erica whispered to Boyd before grabbing his index and middle finger and yanked them back resulting in two sickening cracks. As she did so, Isaac twisted Ethan's arm and broke it, signified by another awful cracking sound. The two wolves immediately howled, their eyes glowing as the healing process kicked in. Once they had calmed down and the healing was kicking in, Allison looked behind both of their ears and found the same mark that Isaac had.
"It's the same, exactly the same."
Just then, Malia burst into the room. "Hey, Kira wa- Woah! What happened to them?"
"They were attacked by the same thing that attacked Isaac." Scott explained quickly as he turned to look at the coyote. "Is everything okay with Kira?"
"She's fine, she just went to the bathroom." Malia assured, "She also just wanted to come in here for a minute to take a breather." She explained as she pulled her phone out of her pocket and texted Stiles to let him know that Boyd had been found.
"Should I call Derek and tell him what's going on?" Cora asked, suddenly remembering that her brother had requested that they do so if anything like this happened.
"Yes" Aliison said firmly, easily slipping into the 'leader' persona that her parents, the sheriff and Derek were helping her to forge, so that she could become the Argent Matriarch. "Isaac, call the sheriff; Scott, call your mom; Malia, you and I will go find Kira and bring her in here, if we see any of the others along the way we'll tell them to come in here too." Allison announced. She waited until she had received some form of confirmation from the pack members present and then picked up her mountain ash, double checked that she had all of her guns and knives secured in their holsters. Then she turned towards the door, and left the room with Malia.
They quickly weaved through the crowd, they soon arrived at the destination and Malia knocked loudly on the bathroom door.
"Uh- occupied!" Kira called out sounding extremely concerned.
"Kira, it's us, open up!" Allison yelled through the door and it immediately swung open.
"Oh, thank god! Somethings wrong with Jackson, I was just about to text you." Kira exclaimed as soon as she saw the pair, then turned and led them towards the bathtub. She pulled back the shower curtain to reveal Jackson covered in towels that Kira had placed over him in an attempt to warm him up. "I remembered what you said about what happened to Isaac last night and about the mark behind his ear, so I checked Jackson" Kira gently tilted the wolf's head so the other two girls could see behind his ear. "and he has the same mark."
"They attacked Boyd and Ethan too, they're in the bedroom with Erica, Cora, Scott and Isaac." Allison informed Kira with a mask of composure hiding her true feelings. "We need to get Jackson in there too, but first we have to trigger his healing process." Before the huntress could say anything more, Malia gently nudged the pair out of her way, reached out and broke Jackson's wrist. The beta howled in pain, Malia apologised to him and then scooped Jackson up in her arms.
"Thank you, okay, follow me." Allison ordered as she led the pair out of the bathroom. They opted to go around the edge of the room where it was less crowded and easier to avoid bumping into people.
Around the same time that Kira found Jackson, Danny had gone out to the balcony and found Lydia in the same state as Boyd and Ethan. He called out for Aiden to help him get the Banshee inside.
"What happened to her?" Aiden asked as Danny looked at his friend in concern as he checked her over.
"I don't know, but she's freezing. She's practically hypothermic." With that declaration, Aiden scooped Lydia into his arms and told Danny that they needed to get Lydia inside and warmed up.
Danny began to lead Aiden towards the bedroom. Along the way they came across Kira, Allison and Malia, the latter of whom was carrying Jackson in her arms, who looked no better than his mate.
"I just went to the bathroom to wash the paint off and found him like this in the bathtub." Kira rushed to explain when she saw them. "He's not responding!"
"We found Ethan the same way, Cora and Erica found Boyd like this too, they're both in the bedroom now." Allison added and Aiden was feeling a confusing cross between concern for his brother and relief at knowing where he was and that he was in safe hands.
"Okay, let's go. Has anyone called Derek?" Danny asked Allison as Malia and Aiden improved their respective grips on Lydia and Jackson and followed the pair as they cleared a path through the few party goers around the edge of the room, Kira flanked them, making sure nobody could bump into them from behind.
"Yeah, and the Sheriff and Melissa, I don't know if any of them have gotten through though," Allison explained. "I told them to call them while Malia and I went to find Kira."
As they approached the bedroom door, it flew open, startling them all. Isaac was there looking panicked, a huge ball of many blankets was clutched in his hands. Behind him, Erica and Cora were carrying Boyd and Scott was carrying Ethan, Allison immediately rushed to help Scott. "Why did you get them out of the bed?" She asked urgently. "They need to rest."
"Derek didn't answer. But the Sheriff said to get them in the Range Rover and drive them home so Melissa can check on them." Isaac explained quickly
"Derek didn't answer?" Allison repeated for confirmation, extremely concerned by that fact.
"No, and Ally, they got to your mom." Isaac told her. The huntress' expression grew darker. Isaac looked over her shoulder to Malia. "Peter too."
"Okay? Why would I care about Peter?" Malia asked, genuinely confused. "Shouldn't we be more focused on getting these guys in the car?" She said, lifting Jackson slightly higher for emphasis.
"The Range Rover is a seven seater, right?" Aiden asked Danny, who nodded in response.
"Crap, it got them too?" Isaac asked rhetorically, looking at his injured pack mates with a kicked puppy look which quickly transformed back into a panicked look. "Has anyone seen Stiles?"
There was silence as everyone waited for somebody to say something. Malia looked towards the staircase she had last seen him sitting on, only to find that he was no longer there.
"Once I've gotten Jackson in the car, I'll go look for him." Malia offered when nobody responded to Isaac's question. "When are we putting them in the car, exactly?"
"Malia's right, let's get a move on. These guys need help." Danny reminded them all. Danny locked the bedroom door behind them then the Pack Mates made their way out of the loft and out of the building.
"I've got the keys!" Erica announced as they all exited the building and walked towards the vehicle as she had 'forgotten' to give them back to 'Stiles' after their mission to erase sensitive data. "Back pocket!"
Kira quickly got the hint and reached into the girls pocket, only to find it empty. "Other pocket." Erica told her unnecessarily. Kira retrieved the key and unlocked the vehicle and rushed to open all of the doors.
"They came out of the dark." Lydia muttered as Aiden sat her down on the seat next to Boyd, Jackson was quickly placed next to her. Ethan was on the left rearmost seat, Allison decided to claim the role of driver, so that she could check on her mom, and collected the key from Kira.
"I'll drop these guys off at the Reyes' house so that Melissa can check on them." Allison announced as she climbed into the driver's seat, and rolled down the window so that she could continue to speak to them. "Then I'll come back and help you guys kick everyone out. The rest of you stay in pairs or groups and look for Stiles and make sure our guests upstairs don't cause too much trouble." There were noises of agreement from Scott, Isaac, Kira, Cora, Erica, Aiden, Danny and Malia "Be careful." She finished firmly before she started the car, before she could start driving, however a familiar howl pierce the air.
"Derek." Cora gasped and ran off in the direction the howl had come from, quickly followed by Erica, Scott and Malia.
"Maybe wait a minute, in case you need to take Derek home too." Isaac told Allison, then rushed after his packmates. Allison nodded, not that Isaac saw, and sent concerned looks to Aiden, Danny and Kira, all of whom had opted to stay with her in case the creatures decided to make another appearance.
They found Derek and Parrish slumped against the police cruiser
"What happened?" Cora asked, checking over her brother, quickly finding the mark behind his ear. "They attacked you too." She growled.
"Too? Did they get you?" He demanded. Cora and Scott helped him to his feet, and he quickly began checking the four of them for the mark and any signs that they had been attacked, even as they shook their heads.
"No, but they got Boyd, Ethan, Jackson and Lydia." Erica explained quickly as she checked behind Parrish's ear and found the same mark there. "Parrish has got the mark too."
"We called the sheriff and he told us that Peter and Mrs Argent were also attacked, now they all have the mark that Isaac has." Scott added as he and Erica worked together to pick up the deputy.
"Allison is gonna drive them all home in the range rover." Malia informed him as they made their way towards the vehicle in question.
Within minutes. the five of them returned. Malia and Cora were supporting Derek, who was clearly recovering faster than the rest of them. Scott and Erica were carrying Parrish, who wasn't looking so hot.
"They attacked Parrish too?" Aiden asked in concern. "I thought they only went after the supernatural?" As he spoke, he opened the car door and helped Scott and Isaac maneuver the man into the only free seat. "Does this mean they're going after humans too?"
"I don't think so," Danny countered thoughtfully. "They had plenty of opportunity to attack me when I was looking for Ethan, before I found you, but they didn't."
"Then maybe he isn't human." Cora suggested, eyeing the deputy distrustfully. "Now that I think about it, he's the only deputy, other than Derek, who I've never seen using mountain ash."
"We'll figure that out later," Derek cut in, before his sister could start threatening the barely conscious man. He trusted Parrish and opted to give the man the benefit of the doubt. "Allison, get them home. Tell John and the others what happened." He ordered firmly as he shut the car door. The alpha allowed his eyes to flash red, showing the huntress that there was no room for argument.
"Fine, but I'm coming straight back!" Allison told him, then drove away before he could protest. She wanted to check on her mother anyway.
"Where's Stiles?" Derek demanded, his eyes scanning the group before him, who grew nervous at that question.
"We don't know." Scott admitted softly, his eyes downcast.
"What?" Derek growled out.
"I went to ask him for the bedroom key and he told me that Boyd had it, I haven't seen him since." Malia told him, unperturbed by his anger because while she was still learning how to read other people's emotions, anger was one she knew well. In this instance, she knew that the anger wasn't directed towards her.
Derek let out a low growl, his face morphing into beta shift against his will.
"We'll find him." Cora promised as she took a step closer to her brother, but he moved away.
"I'm going to search the surrounding area, you guys search the building." Derek ordered as he turned away. Without waiting for a response, he ran from his Pack, desperately trying to pick up his mates scent. He wasn't concerned that he was partially shifted, it was halloween after all. He needed to get away from his Pack, in case he lost his temper, and he also needed to be seen patrolling more, or risk himself and Parrish, and even John, from getting into trouble. Because Agent McCall would definitely blame the Sheriff if anything went wrong that night.
"Okay, so how are we gonna do this?" Malia asked curiously, tearing her eyes from the Alpha in favour of looking at the others standing with her. As she had been excluded from the actual event of breaking into the police station, this was the coyote's first 'mission' with the pack and she was probably more excited than she should be.
"Well, there's an even number of us so," Aiden commented as he looked around at the group and attempted to distract himself from worrying about his brother. "we could either split into two groups of four, or four pairs."
"I was thinking we could split into two groups of three and a pair." Cora advised thoughtfully. "We can cover more ground that way and with smaller groups it'll be easier to stick together. Three is better than two, y'know." Erica, Scott and Isaac nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, and that opinion isn't at all based on the fact that you're all involved in threesomes." Danny teased, trying to lighten the mood.
"If you're going to refer to our relationship, we prefer 'triad', 'throuple' or 'three-way-mate-bond' actually." Scott corrected with a grin.
"We do not like being referred to as a 'three-way-mate-bond'" Isaac protested immediately, sending his mate a teasing glare. "We will, however, answer to: 'the-hottest-damn-throuple-you-will-ever-meet'. It's actually our preferred title." Scott chuckled but nodded in agreement.
"We're cool with being called a 'threesome'" Erica replied with a shrug and Cora did not protest.
"As educational as this is, can we please get back on topic?" Aiden asked in exasperation, when everyone put their 'serious faces' back on, he continued "I'll stick with Danny." he told them decisively. Danny and Ethan may not be mate's, but they were definitely in love and Aiden wanted to keep his brother's boyfriend safe. It would also make him feel better about being separated from his brother at that point in time.
"Malia, you can come with Erica and I." Cora offered her cousin, who smiled gratefully at her.
"That means you and I get to stay together." Scott smiled at Isaac, who smiled back, then returned his attention to the other pack mates. "Kira, do you want to come with us?" He asked, hoping she would say yes and pulled out his best puppy eyes to persuade her. If she went with Aiden and Danny, Aiden would have to be worried about protecting them both as Danny was a pacifist and Kira hadn't had any training with them yet. They'd all feel safer if Kira went with two shifters, and Cora had already claimed Malia for their group.
"Yeah, works for me." Kira replied honestly, she wanted to spend more time with all of the pack members, even in terrifying and dangerous circumstances such as this.
"Okay, me, Kira and Isaac will check the roof and work our way down through the building," Scott declared, "Malia, Cora, Erica, you three start on the ground floor and walk your way up. Aiden, Danny, you two go back to the loft, see if Stiles comes back and keep an eye on the party. No matter what, we have to stay in our groups and make sure that we don't disturbed the building's tenants."
"I think we have more pressing issues than a bunch of strangers getting a good night's sleep." Cora reminded him, somewhere between incredulous and amused.
"No, he's right." Erica piped in, earning her a raised eyebrow from Cora and a pleased smile from Scott. "If we bother those losers, Derek will never let us have a party again." Scott's smile dropped into an unimpressed glare.
"That's really not what I-" The crooked jawed boy began, but the born-wolf cut him off.
"Oh shit, you're right. Great thinking Scott." She shot a single finger gun at him along with a teasing wink, an action she had picked up from Stiles, then turned and linked arms with Erica and Malia. "Come on ladies, let's go find Stiles and save the party, good luck with those losers, Kira, if we do groups of four next time, you're definitely coming with us." With that the three girls made their way into the building.
The three wolves, the druid-in-training and the kitsune followed, Aiden and Danny teasingly thanking Scott for 'putting the party life of the pack first' along the way. They proceeded to do so all the way upstairs. It wasn't until the pair had gone back into the loft and Scott, Isaac and Kira continued to the roof that Scott let the proud smile appear on his face.
"That was good thinking." Isaac complimented as he pushed open the door to the roof. Kira looked at the pair curiously. "Distracting them from worrying by letting them be their witty selves at your expense." Kira smiled when Isaac elaborated, that was sweet.
"It's not really 'at my expense', but thank you." Scott chuckled before he took a whiff of the air. "I can't smell any trace of him up here. Can you?"
"No." Isaac frowned, worried for his Pack Mom. "Come on, let's start searching the rest of the place."
"Wait!" Kira called out, stopping the wolves in their tracks, the pair turned to look at the Kitsune. The girl had found herself drawn to the ledge of the roof, leaning forwards slightly as she looked over the edge. "Come look at this!" The pair rushed over, out of both compliance and concern for her safety. "Someone carved something, where the car was, look!"
When they reached the girl, Scott gently gripped her arm, just in case, as he also looked over the ledge. The two werewolves looked down at the carving in the concrete, while Isaac looked confused, Scott grew horrified. "Oh god." He gasped before he backed away from the ledge. Isaac and Kira look to the boy in concern.
"Scott? What's wrong?" Isaac asked as he stepped towards his suddenly pale mate.
"You recognise it, don't you?" Kira asked, also stepping towards him though far more cautiously than Isaac. "What does it mean?"
"Scott you're shaking." Isaac pointed out as he gripped his mate by the shoulders, who still hadn't said anything more since seeing the carving. "Talk to me! What's going on? What does it mean?"
"We need to find Stiles." Scott finally replied, nodding his head as he did so.
"That's what we're all trying to do." Kira gently reminded him. "We're all trying to find him."
"Scott, we're trying to help, but first you need to tell us what it means." Isaac insisted, squeezing the boys shoulders,
"We have to find Stiles." Scott repeated. "Right now, we need to find him right now." Scott insisted, he pulled away from his mate and staggered towards the door.
"Scott, stop!" Isaac commanded, tapping into their Mate Bond to help. It was the first time he had used it; he always swore that he never would, as he felt that he would be taking away free will (even though it couldn't be used to force one's mates to do something, only make them feel slightly more inclined to do so.) from his mates if he were to do so. However, seeing his usually optimistic and composed mate unravel so quickly at something that was seemingly meaningless made him realise that sometimes he might have to use it to help his stubborn mate, and keep him from spiraling further. Scott froze with his hand grasping the door handle. "Tell us what's wrong." Isaac insisted, in a softer tone.
"I promise, I will tell you everything at home." Scott replied, his voice thick. When he looked up and looked at Isaac, his eyes were filled with unshed tears. "Right now, we need to focus on finding Stiles before it's too late." As Scott spoke, there was a loud creaking sound that Isaac knew to be the door handle becoming misshapen in Scott's grasp.
Kira and Isaac exchanged concerned looks, but decided to trust Scott's judgement. "Okay, but you must tell me everything when we get home!" Isaac insisted, reaching up to caress his mates cheek. "Me and Allison. Whatever it is, we can help."
"I know." Scott replied, forcing a soft smile. "I promise I will tell all of you everything later, but right now, we need to find Stiles."
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
By 3am Allison had returned to the loft and rejoined her mates and pack mates, all eight of them had been unsuccessful in finding Stiles anywhere in the building, although Malia had found his keys, and Danny had noticed the message painted on the wall.
They had also avoided the shadow creatures in that time, much to their relief. The party continued on, Danny had tried politely asking everyone to leave, but nobody had any intention of stopping any time soon.
It was 6:15am when Derek finally returned (after he had clocked off at the station and informed the other deputies currently there of what had happened) and he immediately sought out his Pack. He informed them that he couldn't pick up a trail on Stiles' scent.
"There's nothing, it's like he just vanished!" The alpha growled, clearly frustrated.
"Don't worry, we'll find him." Cora assured her brother as she placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Did you guys find anything?"
Malia informed them that she found his keys. "They were on the floor by the bedroom door."
"I found a message painted on the wall." Danny chimed in next. "In red paint, signed with a triskele."
"Well, what did it say?" Allison asked, a frown etched onto her face.
"It said 'Don't Trust Me - BHMH 2004'
"There's something carved in the ground outside." Kira added. "We notice it from the roof."
"Was it a spiral?" Derek asked immediately.
"No." Isaac replied. "It was weird, I'm not even sure Stiles wrote it."
"He wrote it." Scott said stiffly, drawing attention back to himself. His mates, sensing his destress, immediately moved to comfort him.
"How can you be sure?" Cora asked with a raised eyebrow. "Did you see him carve it?"
"Then how can you be sure?" The dark haired girl repeated. She wasn't tryin to be rude, but now was definitely not the time for games or running around following false leads.
"Because of what the message said." Scott replied as he balled his hands into fists, tears pooling in his eyes threatening to spill if he so much as blinked.
"What did it say?" Allison asked gently. Scott opened his mouth to reply, when suddenly the wolves and the coyote froze when a familiar scent hit them.
They all turned hopefully, as Kira, Allison and Danny looked confused, only to sag in disappointment when they saw it was Caitlin, Stiles' scent clinging to her despite the strong scent of alcohol that engulfed her. Derek had to hold back a growl at his mate's scent on the girl.
"Hey," She addressed Scott, slurring her words slightly as she spoke to him. "You're Stiles' friend right?"
"Yeah." The crooked jawed boy began hopefully. "Have you seen him?"
"Not since I kissed him-" The girl began, and Derek felt his heart shatter.
"H-he kissed you?" Derek cut the girl off with wide eyes, stammering uncharacteristically. "But he-"
"Has a boyfriend, yeah he told me that after I kissed him. He did not kiss me back." Caitlin assured him and the rest of the Pack, not wanting Stiles' friends to think he had cheated on his boyfriend. Derek let out a sigh of relief, which did not go unnoticed by the girl. She squinted at him for a moment then declared. "Oh! It's you! You're the boyfriend! It's so cool of you to let him and the others use this place for the party! Are you a cop?" She asked as she noticed his uniform. "He said you were working tonight, but depending on where you work, that could just be a costume." She contemplated before she let out an excited gasp and a wide smile appeared on her face.
"Are you a stripper?!" She asked. Derek scowled, but behind him his Pack couldn't hold back their laughter. Scott, Aiden and Danny chuckled, Allison, Kira and Isaac giggled, and Erica, Cora and Malia all let out boisterous, full bodied laughs.
"No, I am not a stripper." Derek told her, glaring as he did so. "I am a deputy." First this girl kisses Stiles, then she brags about it, and now she's accusing Derek of being a stripper; Who the Hell does she think she is?
Of course, if you asked anybody else, they'd say that she wasn't bragging, simply relaying information, nor did she 'accuse' Derek of being a stripper, simply asked if he was one. But Derek would not take criticism at that point in time, nor would he actually tell anybody about the thought process that went through his head, so it was a moot point.
"Oh, okay. Anyway, I promise that he politely rejected me. We talked and he asked me how he got phosphors on his key." She declared loudly, she wobbled on her feet slightly. Scott reached out to steady the girl while he heard Aiden rush off, presumably to get the girl something non-alcoholic to drink. "But I found this under the bar when I dropped my lipstick. The lock screen is a picture of Stiles and you. He said this was his boyfriend's place so I assumed it must be yours or his." Caitlin informed Derek while holding out a familiar phone for him to see.
"Yeah, that's Stiles' phone." Scott replied before Derek could, trying to keep the worry out of his tone. "Thank you." He added politely
"Uh, sorry, but what are phosphors?" Isaac asked the girl given that Lydia wasn't there to explain, she smiled and gave him the same explanation that she gave Stiles.
"Then I asked him if he'd been handling chemicals and he got all panicky, saying he was worried I'd ask that and then rushed away after giving me a bottle of water." Caitlin finished explaining just as Aiden arrived with another bottle of water for the girl. "You guys are all about staying hydrated, huh?" She grinned as she accepted the bottle anyway and shameless checked out Aiden. Malia pulled out the keychain from her pocket and Caitlin, despite being very drunk, recognised them immediately and snatched them from the Coyote, much as she had done with Stiles.
"Here, see?" She held up the key in question for them all to see.
"Did Stiles say where he was going?" Erica asked hopefully, though she knew she would be disappointed with the answer.
"No, sorry." Caitlin apologised then turned her attention to the blonde, noticing her seemingly for the first time. "Holy shit, you're hot!" She exclaimed, earning her a pleased smile from the blonde, while Cora shuffled closer to her mate and wrapped an arm around her waist while glaring at the drunk girl. "Are you single?"
"Definitely not." Cora all but growled, drawing the girl's attention to her next. "She's with me and our boyfriend." That just made Caitlin smile wider than before, a hopeful gleam in her eyes.
"You guys want a foursome?"
Derek growled under his breath and started to make his way over to the DJ. "Derek?" Cora called out in concern, opting to ignore Caitlins question in favour of following her brother quickly. "Where are you going?"
"Party's over." Was the alpha's only response as he marched towards the pop-up stage. A guy who had clearly been hired by the DJ to stop anybody from getting too close unwisely tried to stop Derek by placing his hand on his chest.
"Bro, sorry, The Bloody Beetroot doesn't take requests." The guy told the Alpha firmly but politely. Derek nodded politely in return, then tapped the badge pinned to his shirt without a word and moved to walk around him, only for the guy to place a hand on his chest again, this time leaving it there. Obviously the guy assumed Derek's uniform was a costume or something. "Bro, seriously. I said the DJ doesn't take-" On a normal night, Derek would have been diplomatic, but tonight his patience was thin, basically half his Pack had been attacked, as had he and Parrish, and Derek was in no mood to deal with drunk teenagers and a glorified babysitter. He really wanted to grab the guy by the neck, throw him to the ground and destroy the DJ's equipment. However, he was a deputy, on duty no less, and even if everyone here simply assumed he was in costume, he couldn't risk word getting around if he was recognised. Not with his kind-of-father-in-law being under investigation. He would quite happily give up his job to protect his Pack, but he would not risk John's career.
So, he did the best thing he could do in that situation, he pulled out his handcuffs, spun the guy around and cuffed his hands behind his back. "He'll take mine." He then hopped up on the stage, smiled politely at the DJ before he calmly unplugged the equipment. The DJ began to yell at Derek but a glare from the Alpha quickly shut him up.
All the party goers turned to find out why the music had stopped, so Derek gestured to his badge and announced as calmly as he could muster. "I am Deputy Hale from the Beacon Hills Sheriff's Department, this party is now over. Please go home." Immediately, the people around him, who weren't in his Pack, started booing him and made no move to leave the loft.
And there went Derek's patience. "GET OUT!" He thundered, startling the no longer welcome guests.
They all stared for a moment, one guy exclaiming "Damn dude!" before they all rushed to leave, with the exception of the DJ, his 'security' and Derek's Pack. Derek jumped off the stage gracefully, uncuffed the man who dared try to stop Derek from doing something, then gave the man and the DJ expectant looks. "You can get your equipment tomorrow." He informed the DJ, tone and expression left no room for negotiation. The pair began rushing out with the rest of the crowd. None of the visitors seemed even vaguely aware of the menacing, shadowy, masked figures having a staring contest with the Pack as they left.
Within two minutes, the only ones remaining in the loft were the shadowy figures and the Pack.
By the time the last guest had run out the door, the pack were spread around the room seemingly having staring contests with the creature.
"What do we do now?" Aiden asked, though he immediately regretted doing so because, as one, the creatures all turned to stare at him. "Guys, they're all looking at me." He told his Pack Mates unnecessarily as Scott shut the loft door, to dissuade anyone from returning. The crooked-jawed boy turned to look at Aiden just in time to see the creatures all take a single step towards Aiden. "Why're they all looking at me?" He asked, concern clear in his voice. The creatures all took another step closer to the wolf. His pack mates watched cautiously, waitin for Derek to tell them the plan of action. "Guys?"
"Aiden, don't move! Danny, step away from him." Derek ordered quietly but firmly, Danny reluctantly did as he was told but sent an apologetic and concerned look to Aiden. "Whatever they're doing, they don't want to hurt us." The creatures took a third step towards Aiden.
"How do you know?" Aiden snapped, fear causing him to react emotionally to his alpha's orders. "This is the first time any of us have dealt with demonic ninjas. Except for Chris, and his encounter involved a massacre." The creatures took their fourth step.
"Exactly, they've had ample opportunity to kill any of us, but they didn't!" The alpha reminded him gently just as creatures took their fifth step. Three more steps and the one in front of him would be close enough to grab him. "They're here for something else. Let them do what they came here to do and hopefully they'll leave us alone."
"Yeah, it's the 'hopefully' that has me worried." Aiden responded, his eyes fixed on the creature as it took a fifth step.
"Do you trust me?" Derek asked and Aiden didn't hesitate to answer. He didn't even have to think, the words just spilled from his lips.
"With my life." Aiden replied honestly. The creatures took a sixth step towards Aiden.
"Then trust me when I say that this won't be the end of it." Derek promised as he also took a step towards the beta. "The slightest sign that they're gonna try something and I will be right there, fighting them off, before they know what hit 'em, okay?"
"Okay." Aiden replied, relaxing marginally as the creatures took a seventh step towards him. It was the final step the creature closest to him needed.
The creature directly in front of Aiden grabbed him by the head and stared at him with glowing eyes.
It wasn't long before the creature had finished whatever it was doing and had marked Aiden by pressing it's index finger against the skin behind his ear, then it let Aiden go and allowed him to drop to the ground. Derek tried to move forward and help Aiden, only for another one of the creatures to pull a sword out of its chest. The creature sliced through the air expertly, causing Derek to back away from the deadly creature who was holding a deadly weapon.
The other three creatures were looking at the between Kira, Cora, Erica, Malia, and Scott, seemingly indecisive on who to target first.
Eventually they decided that Scott was to be their next target, followed by Cora, and then Erica. It went against every instinct that Derek had to not act. To simply watch as more of his Beta's were forced to endure the same harrowing experience he, and most of the others at this point, had been subjected to.
The alpha could feel the blood dripping from his hands, thanks to his claws digging into his palms. A low growl was being forced from him as he held himself back. As much as he wanted to fight the creatures, he knew that doing so could endanger his pack further.
The creatures dropped Erica carelessly, then turned their attention to Malia and Kira. Before they could make a move against the girls, a bright light broke through the window.
The sun had risen.
As soon as the light hit the creatures, they disappeared in wispy shadows, and the pack were left alone in the loft. Once the creatures were gone, Derek rushed forward. He checked over each of his traumatised beta's individually. He heard the others do the same, before he scooped Aiden up into his arms. He wanted to carry his sister, but Aiden was the heaviest out of the four, and Derek, being a true alpha, was the strongest and would have the easiest time carrying him.
"Okay, We're all getting out of here, now." Derek ordered as Allison and Isaac moved towards Scott. "I've got Aiden. Malia, would you mind carrying Cora?"
"Of course." Malia readily agreed and rushed to pick up the girl in question.
"I'll take Erica." Danny insisted as he stepped towards the blonde, Kira quickly followed the Druid-in-training's example.
"I'll help." The Kitsune declared.
"Thank you. Isaac, Allison, could the two of you get Scott, please?" When he turned his head to look at the pair, they already had their mate in their arms.
"Already have." Isaac told him.
"Allison, Danny, would one of you mind driving?" He asked and Allison immediately volunteered. "Great, then let's go."
Once they had placed the four who had just been marked in the car, Allison climbed into the driver's seat, Danny claimed the passenger seat and Kira claimed the right rearmost seat, next to Aiden.
"I'll run home with Derek." Malia announced when those still conscious realised that they were out of spare seats. Derek had taken the cruiser back to the station, so that was out, and honestly, Malia was grateful. She was on edge thanks to the ordeal and knew that left off some steam would be good.
Malia's suggestion was immediately approved and, for the second time that day (As it was 2am when she took the others home and checked on her mother.) Allison drove her near catatonic pack mates home.
Once they were out of earshot, the coyote turned to the wolf. "On the way home, we need to stop by the school, there's something I want to check."
"You want to see if that key is for the chemistry closet." Derek stated knowingly.
"Then let's go."
-Teen Wolf-Sterek-Teen Wolf-Sterek-
Shortly after leaving the party and carving his message into the concrete, Stiles found himself back in the cage, but this time he fortunately remained free from the trap. He found talking to his wolf was strange, a really good strange, but strange nonetheless. While he'd always heard it's voice, he'd never had a conversation with it. "Will we still be able to talk like this? When we're reunited properly, once this- whatever is gone?" Stiles asked hopefully as he picked the lock with the two claws that his wolf had clipped off, using the bear trap as nail clippers with Stiles' assistance. It may be unusual but he loved it. He wasn't sure how long he'd been locked up here talking to his wolf, but in the time they'd been trapped together, they'd grown closer.
"I don't know." The wolf replied honestly. "As far as I'm aware, this is a pretty unique situation."
Stiles heard the lock finally click and laughed in relief when it popped open. He quickly removed the lock from the latch and opened the cage door. He turned to face his wolf again, now sporting a large grin. "Okay, let's get you out of here."
"No!" The wolf ordered firmly, staring at the former human with glowing eyes. "You have to go alone. He'll be able to sense me easily. But you can sneak around and you figure out how to win, it's what you do best. You can gain control and warn the pack." The wolf clearly didn't want a discussion, but Stiles was stubborn and couldn't bring himself to leave, what he believed to be, the best part of himself in a cage without a fight.
"No way, I can't just leave you in here! We'll figure out a way to hide you from him, okay?" Stiles insisted, moving forward to crouch down directly in front of his wolf so he could look him in the eyes. The wolf simply shook his head sadly. "And if we fail, we'll just bust out again and try something new, alright? That's what we do best. Teamwork! Alright?" Stiles insisted, the wolf just gazed at him as Stiles' voice grew soft and pleading, "Don't give up on me now."
"I am not giving up. I believe in you and I believe in us. I believe in our Pack. They can help us but I need you to give them a real warning, not just writing on the wall and a carving in the wall." The wolf told him in the same motherly tone Stiles used on his pups, the one his mom had used on him, the one Melissa used on Scott and Stiles. Firm but soft at the same time, and filled with love. "You need to get out of here. Take control, find a way to warn them, do whatever it takes."
"I can't leave you, no way in He-" Stiles began to protest only to be cut off by his wolf
"Enough arguing!" The wolf howled, putting all the Pack Mom command behind it that he could, despite the fact that he was unsure if it would work on himself. Evidently it did.
"Damn, that is effective, I should probably try to tap into that when I take control and warn the Pack." Stiles commented with a soft chuckle and a shake of his head.
"Good thinking." The wolf complimented, smiling softly. "Now get out of here before he notices that the cage door is open."
"I'll come back for you though." Stiles promised, stroking his wolf and scratching behind his ears. "Once I've warned them and figured out how to take control, I'll come back and set you free."
"I know, I'll keep watching through our eyes and try to warn you of anything I see." The wolf informed him, "Now. Leave!"
"Fine, but like I said, I'm coming back and getting you out of here, stay safe!" Stiles called out as he reluctantly backed out of the cage. With one last longing look at his wolf, Stiles ran off through… his brain? Trying to figure out how to find the thing possessing him and subdue them long enough to regain full control and warn the Pack of what was going on.
A/N: Hey everyone, I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Let me know what you think and please let me know if you spot any glaring errors so I can fix them!
ShadowXMoonlight: Thank you for reading, I hope this chapter also succeeds in gripping your attention!
middlechild274: Thank you for coming back after all this time. Mine too! The Nogitsune/Void!Stiles will always be my favorite villain in this show. In my opinion season 3b was when the show truly peeked. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this chapter, more is on the way.
Guest: Yup and I have a lot more to write! Thank you for reading and returning! Yeah, Kira's mum really messed up, the Pack react a lot more emotionally than they do in the show, thanks to the Pack bonds being pretty solid. Which basically means they are really not happy that the evil spirit she summoned is possessing their Pack Mom. I hope you enjoy it when we get to that chapter.
PheonixQueen101: It's good to be writing again, it's a nice relief from all the craziness going on out their. Thank you for taking the time to read this story again, I hope it was enjoyable! Hey, don't worry about how long it take for you to read a chapter, you have stuff to and a life to live (of course nothing is as important as fanfiction and fandoms, but they are patient beings, they will wait for you!) when quarantine isn't getting in the way, of course. I used to know how you feel, I'm happy to blame my ex-girlfriend for the first year of my three year hiatus! I hope you enjoy this chapter too!