- Character Bashing
- Dark Themes
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Fix It
Section Two: Dream a Little Dream
Stiles stared at his father, drunk and swaying, on the anniversary of Claudia Stilinski’s death. It was reminiscent of the entire year following the day she died, until he was able to pull himself together and get sober. But not tonight.
Noah scowled at Stiles. “It’s you. It’s all you. You know, every day I saw her lying that hospital slowly dying – I thought, ‘How the hell am I supposed to raise this stupid kid on my own? This hyperactive little bastard who keeps ruining my life?’ It’s all you. It’s you, Stiles. You killed your mother. You hear me? You killed her.
“So powerful. A Spark! A Mage! Whatever the fuck you are. You believe and wish for something and it happens. Well, you didn’t believe in her. You let her die. You wanted it. And she did. And someday, you’ll get upset with me and want me gone and I’ll die, too. You’ll kill me like you killed her!”
Stiles sputtered. “D – Dad. I – I wasn’t active yet, the Alpha Bite -“
Noah barked a harsh laugh. “Always with the excuses, you little bastard. The Bite didn’t give you the powers. You were born that way. And you wanted your mother dead. You know why!”
Stiles turned his head as his father threw his tumbler at him and as he twisted, he raised his arm over his face, blocking it. When there was no impact, he lowered his arm and looked up. He was on his back in his bed and light was seeping through the cracked doorway. He turned his head as he saw light glint off metal in his peripheral vision. There was a knife held high and descending.
Stiles rolled off the bed, away from his attacker. She screamed. “You’re trying to kill me, evil thing! I’ll kill you first!”
Claudia scrambled across the bed, swinging the knife. Stiles clawed at the floor and slid his younger body under it, scooting back as his mother tried to slice him with the knife.
“Demon! Devil! I won’t let you kill me!”
Stiles felt his face wet with tears as he begged his mother to recognize him. Suddenly, the bed he was sheltering under was gone and Stiles was once again in his sixteen-year-old body facing his drunken father but now his father was pointing a gun at him and his mother was next to him with a butcher’s cleaver in her hand.
“You killed her and you’re going to kill me off one day. This is preemptive. No jury’ll convict.”
“No! This is a dream! A nightmare! Mom’s dead and Dad would never do this! I hated along Mom! I was with her everyday while you worked, Dad. And even when she didn’t recognize me and hated me, I still stayed with her. This is a dream and I don’t understand why my powers didn’t save her. Why the trauma of her attacks didn’t jumpstart them. Why it took the Bite to do it. Why?!?”
The two nightmarish figures of his parents advanced on him, raising their weapons. “I just want to WAKE UP!”
Stiles sat up in his bed, panting, his face wet. He pinched himself and counted his fingers. One of his research binges had discovered that when dreaming you always had too many or too few fingers. Many of the pack had nightmares, including their Alpha, and Stiles had undertaken the task of finding what help he could for them. And himself. Most of them were now able to realize their state of unconsciousness and take control of their dream, to varying states of success.
During normal nightmares, Stiles was the best at changing them up and making his subconscious his bitch. But when he had night terrors, he was the least effective at control. The best he was usually able to accomplish was forcing himself awake. Like he just had.
Stiles pushed his tangled covers off his body and turned to sit with his legs dangling over the side of the bed. His feet remained off the floor as he counted his toes. Just in case. Ten. Ten fingers. Ten toes. Pinching himself hurt. He was awake.
But his state of consciousness didn’t negate the worries and thought raised by his dream. For the past six years, Stiles had wondered where his powers had come from. Why he had a Spark and such a strong one that it negated the Bite, rather than disappearing, more or less, when he was bitten, which should have turned him into a werewolf.
Peter said it was genetic. Every book, every website on the supernatural dark web, every practitioner he had spoken to, they all said the same thing. Sparks were either genetic or gifted in ritual circumstances.
Stiles had no recollection of being in a magical ritual before he was bitten. And his father said he wasn’t in one as a baby or in the womb. Stiles questioned and tested his father thoroughly and he wasn’t magical at all. The most there was a heightened sense for lies. He spoke to his paternal grandfather, in a retirement home with dementia. No trace of magic in him. Stiles read family diaries and they were all fairly normal. Interesting as historical artifacts but mundane overall.
Tracing his mother’s family was harder. He hadn’t really questioned her much about them before she died and his father only knew the basics. But from what Stiles could find, there was no magic within the line. Stiles was a magical anomaly and it really bugged the hell out of him.
Stiles sighed and lowered his feet to the floor. As he glanced at his alarm clock, he saw that it was only just after 3 in the morning but he knew he wasn’t getting back to sleep after that dream. From prior experience, Stiles knew that if he managed to fall back asleep, which was a question in and of itself, he would have the same nightmare or very similar with added elements to increase the terror. Which would leave him pale and off his game for a good half of the day. And considering he had his first day of his junior year of high school starting in less than five hours, it was a bad idea to even try. Better he be a bit tired from lack of sleep than hazy and confused about reality for most of his day.
Stiles stood up and headed for his desk, maybe shooting some zombies on the computer would work out his subconscious frustrations. As he slid into his seat and reached for his laptop, Stiles froze. He remembered clearing off his desk before going to sleep the night before to get it ready for the new school year. But there were three books spread open on his desk. Two of them were opened to one of the table of contents pages and the other to the middle of the index in the back of the book.
Stiles glanced at the titles. While he had read all of them in the past, none of them were recent reads or dealing with anything that had caught his attention over the summer.
Most people would be freaked out and start wondering who had been in their room, had they sleepwalked, were they losing their minds, forgetting things? Stiles just shook his head and examined each book, keeping the pages they had been opened to marked by a piece of notepaper. He was accustomed to his magic acting on his subconscious wishes and that nightmare had been one hell of a wish.
Celtic Myths, Legends, Gods and Goddesses (1962), Urban Legends of the United States: Midwest (2011), and Places of Power: Magical Beacons & WORD WORD (1936). Stiles couldn’t figure out a connection just based on the titles, publishing dates or what he recalled from their contents.
However, he trusted his magic, at least to this extent. Something he desired during that dream summoned these books to him. Stiles opened up his laptop and began a new file folder, followed by a new document. After closing his eyes and taking several deep breaths, he began to type. He allowed his stream of consciousness recollections of the dream to flow onto the screen. He had done this before and absolutely hated it, but it was better than thinking it through or worse, talking about it. After forty-five minutes, Stiles’ typing petered to a halt and he sat back in his chair, mentally and emotionally drained, but with a likely answer. He desired to know where his power came from and why it activated when and how it did.
Stiles turned his attention to the books and spent the next hours until his alarm went off reading over the sections covered in the indexed page of the third book and making notes on the paper he had used to mark his magic’s place. When he had time, and the required attention span, he would do the same with the swathes of the first two books that were listed on the table of contents section that had been opened while he dreamed. Then he would need to collate his notes and find the commonalities to trigger the next step in getting his answers.
Stiles stood and stretched his back, arms over his head before he hit the shower and got ready for school. He grabbed a quick breakfast of some cereal and juice before grabbing his packed backpack and his car keys.
He had to meet his best friend Scott outside his house to give him a lift. Luckily, unlike before Peter’s awakening, Scott lived a two minute walk from Stiles’ front door. After acclimating to the Alpha power, Peter had settled into the role well. One of his first acts was to hire an architect and design firm to build a new Pack house. Peter had quickly realized that a centralized house like his families’ burned out husk wasn’t going to work. His new pack wasn’t an extended family unit. It was many disparate families.
So, Peter had taken some of the Pack funds and with input from the kids and eventual agreement from their adult guardians, he had created a housing development for his new Pack. It centered around the main Pack house where Peter lived with Cora.
The house was more properly termed a mansion to any normal person as it had thirty-six bedrooms, twenty full bathrooms, eight half-baths, two dining rooms, a kitchen that wouldn’t be out of place in a five star restaurant, a walk-in refrigerator, a walk-in freezer, a library the size of a small house, a large den, four office spaces, a schoolroom, three game rooms, an enormous basement with comfortable six cells for transformations, three airtight fireproof panic rooms and an escape tunnel that he built himself with the help of the pack.
The house had a large open space around on all sides, with grass and wildflowers, very natural looking. Built on a cul-de-sac around the house were houses for every family in the Pack, of varying sizes based on what the family needed and wanted. Peter had given each family enough money to build a good house large enough for their entire family. Any further upgrades on a house was up to the individual family to fund on their own. This led to the Whittemores and the Martins having large houses for families of only three. But both families had lost a lot of their snobbishness with the revelation of what each of their children had become.
There were currently three empty houses in development for any new Pack members and Peter had plans to expand the development in another larger cul-de-sac around the first when more houses were needed – when the teens grew up and wanted to move out of their parents’ homes.
One of the empty houses had once been planned to be the home of Isaac and his father and brother. However, Camden Lahey had died five months after he’d joined the Army, which he had done four months before Peter had woken up. And in his grief, Coach Lahey had turned on Isaac and tried to beat him.
However, Isaac wasn’t a scared human kid. He was a relatively new werewolf. Isaac had wolfed out after the first hit and mauled his father.
The man had survived but had been charged for assault on a minor, child endangerment, and after several of his former students came forward with allegations of abuse on them, he had gotten a sentence of six years and lost custody before the houses had been completed. Peter took custody and Isaac lived at the main Pack house.
So, instead of the half mile or so that had separated Stiles’ house and Scott’s house when they were kids, now they lived almost next door to one another. Stiles’s dad, Noah Stilinski, and Scott’s parents, Melissa and Rafael McCall, hadn’t thought the boys being direct next door neighbors would be good for any of them.
And considering Peter had realized fairly early on that a pack made up on one adult and nine kids under the age of thirteen was the definition of insanity. He had proceeded to bite several of the adults, with consent, who were already Pack adjacent due to their children’s statuses. And one of the first was the man who was now his Right Hand, his Second, and the Sheriff of Beacon County. Also known as Stiles’ Dad. It meant that the adults got their way and Stiles couldn’t look out his bedroom window and see into Scott’s bedroom.
But only one house was in between the Stilinski house and the McCall house, and it was one of the empty ones. So, by the time Stiles was in the blue Jeep, once his mother’s, now his, Scott was walking down the sidewalk in front of the empty house.
Scott slung his backpack into the rear of the Jeep and hopped into the passenger’s seat. The glance he threw at Stiles turned into a literal second look. “Stiles, dude, you look like shit. And you smell really stressed. You okay?”
Stiles sighed and ran his hand over his head as he turned the key in the ignition. “Bad night.”
Scott’s brow furrowed. “You can’t be that worried about school starting. You’ve got like straight A’s. In advanced classes.”
Stiles shook his head as he pulled out onto the street. “Just nightmares.”
Scott shook his head. “Nope. Nightmares wouldn’t have you looking like this. It was that night terror thing, wasn’t it?”
Stiles sighed again, wishing Scott was as oblivious as he was when they were kids. He’d been more than a bit self-centered before he became a werewolf with a stable pack and an attentive Alpha. “Yeah, night terrors which triggered a dream wish magic-fueled research binge at 3 this morning. The next few weeks are going to be not fun. It would have been a lot more convenient if this dream had happened like four or five weeks ago, dude. Hopefully, the teachers will gradually ramp up our homework and not just start out the year with a bang and avalanche of papers and projects and research and pages of math problems and -“
“Agreed. Do you need any help? Of the supernatural variety? I’d be of no help in the academic stuff. Except maybe English. But I can help with the Pack stuff, if you need me.”
Stiles smiled as he made the turn of the main road to town, which would take them right to the high school in twenty minutes, assuming no shenanigans between now and then. “Thanks, man. But for right now it’s going to be a lot of research. When I know what I’m supposed to be finding info on I’ll probably need to go to Peter for access to the Pack library and his brain.”
“Okay. Well, if that changes let me know.”