- Character Bashing
- Dark Themes
- Discussion-Child Abuse
- Discussion-Domestic Abuse
- Discussion-Sexual Abuse
- Hate Crimes
- Fix It
Section Three: Worlds Collide
Stiles tapped his fingers on the steering wheel of his Jeep as he drove down What and once been the driveway of the Hale house. Peter made sure it was kept in decent condition for several reasons, not least because the area around the end was a great place to park when you wanted to be in the Preserve. The pack often did training deep inside and parked there when they did.
The training could be fun and had paid off within a year of Peter’s ascension to Alpha. That was when they had discovered that while Stiles’ ward kept out those that wished or planned to truly hurt the pack or anyone with a connection to the pack – the definition of which grew over the years – it didn’t effect certain supernatural creatures. If a creature was simply surviving and in doing so causing death or destruction, but it wasn’t malicious or planned but simply instinctual, the ward didn’t stop them. Basically, if a creature was sapient, it kept them out or kept them calm and non aggressive. If they were basically on the level of an animal, the ward let them through.
Their first encounter had been with a group of red caps, little demonic type creatures whose sole need was to feed on death and blood. Literally. Killing things and bathing in their blood kept them alive. They didn’t eat in the regular way, just through deaths. They were nasty and incredibly tricky and hardy bastards.
The pack was able to use the training Peter had given them as a precaution and a way to help control the wolves’ aggressive tendencies to battle the evil things. Stiles had created weapons for himself, Lydia, Matt, Hayley, and NAME. They looked like baseball bats or field hockey sticks or ice hockey sticks but were made of metal and infused with magic and wrapped in a kind of barbed wire.
The wolves used their beta forms and the humans their weapons. It took three weeks to take the fourteen red caps out over the course of eight fights culminating in a grand melee for the final two. The problem with taking on a group of red caps, they had discovered the hard way as Peter had never actually dealt with them before, was that if you don’t take the entire group out more or less simultaneously, the deaths of their fellows at the hands, claws, or weapons of non-red caps will strengthen the remainder exponentially. The final two had been like fighting dozens of them.
The pack usually had to deal with various creatures like that three or four times a year. But the lesson learned had been to have solid research before engaging.
The adults in the pack and pack adjacent, even Peter, had been unhappy that the then still preteen or barely teen members of the pack had been in battle. But the pack simply wasn’t large enough, then or even now, to handle threats like that without them. The ratio of adult to non-adult in the pack was still skewed to the young. And if they hadn’t taken out the red caps when they did, more than some wild animals and four pets would have been killed. They would have moved onto people within a few weeks. Unless they happened upon an unlucky someone alone in the Preserve. So, Peter drilled the pack after that in all sorts of tactics and they got used regularly.
But today, Stiles was headed for the Nemeton. Peter had been able to give him basic directions from his old home and it was a logical starting point regardless. Stiles wasn’t thrilled with the idea that his magic felt he needed to see a tree that wasn’t exactly a tree but a magic beacon. Especially if the reason he had the dream that triggered the magic wish in the first place was because something was summoning him. The tree? Peter thought it was possible, and he was their best resource, so here Stiles was, trekking out to the middle of the Preserve to find a mystical tree.
Stiles pulled into the parking area made where the driveway had once ended. It didn’t have demarcated parking spots, no white lines marred the paved area. It wasn’t public land, but Stiles parked in the spot he always parked in when he came here, regardless. They all did. The areas weren’t assigned, it was just something that had happened as the pack came here.
Peter always parked in the spot closest to where the porch of the house had once been. But today, in the spot where Peter always parked his high-end sports car there was a different car parked. It was a black classic sports car. Stiles didn’t really know his car types like Jackson or Scott did. It had never been something that interested him very much. But his mind did catalogue things in his environment. And he didn’t know this car, this car parked on private property, at a memorial to a murdered family, a murdered pack. Just when Argents had moved to town.
Stiles climbed out of his Jeep and cautiously approached the car, glancing through the windows but seeing nothing odd but a zipped backpack in the back seat. He passed the car and neared the memorial, magic buzzing under his skin with his increased anxiety.
Stiles was a dozen steps from the memorial sculpture when he heard movement behind it and a man appeared and stood with his arms crossed, a scowl on his bearded face. The man practically growled as he spoke to Stiles. “This is private property.”
Stiles’ eyebrows rose and he tilted his head to the side. “Yes. I know. It is.”
The dark haired man’s scowl deepened. “So get lost.”
Stiles smirked. “I have permission to be here. Unlike you.”
“My family owns this land. So, I’ll say again. Get lost.”
Stiles shifted his weight and chuckled wryly. “Peter and Cora Hale own this land. Free and clear. The rest of their family is either confirmed as dead or missing and presumed dead with no claim on any of the Hale property. So, if you claim that your family owns this land, that means you’re a Hale and don’t know that you personally no longer have any claim to it. Peter made sure that the family members who were missing and presumed dead were removed from any possibility of inheritance for their abandonment of him, just in case. And, you being here, shows that he had the right idea.
“So, if you are a Hale, and presumably haven’t had a sex change in the past six years, not that there’s anything wrong with it if you did, but just to make things easier, I am presuming you didn’t. The that makes you either NAME, NAME, NAME, Derek, or NAME.”
Stiles’ smirk deepened. “Now, I know it is possible for a 13 year old to grow facial hair but I think your build and the sheer amount of hair on your face makes it highly unlikely that you are that young. So that means you cannot be NAME. And while some people get good genes, I don’t think there is any way you are older than thirty. So you that rules out NAME and NAME. So that leaves Derek or NAME and since NAME had red hair, the unless you’ve dyed your hair, you would be Derek Hale.”
The man’s eyebrows had lowered over his eyes the more Stiles spoke and when he reached his conclusion, the man’s scowl was so deep that it appeared to be cut into his face. “I’ve never dyed my hair.”
Stiles smiled and raised an eyebrow. “So then, Derek, where have you been for the past six years?”
“None of your business.”
“Hmm. Not so sure about that. But I have one question that is definitely my business. What color are your eyes, Derek?”
Derek’s eyes widened a fraction before he grunted. “Blind, are you?”
Stiles grinned a too large smile full of teeth. “Driving a Jeep when you’re blind. That would be a feat. And illegal. And highly dangerous. And stupid. And I’m not stupid. And neither are you. Derek Hale didn’t get straight A’s in school but his GPA was over 3.5, so if you really are Derek Hale, you know exactly what I mean. Show me your eyes.”
Derek charged at Stiles and he threw up a hand and thrust forward before clenching it into a fist. Derek came to a halt and his feet left the ground as his body curled up. Stiles walked toward him, keeping his concentration on the spell. After a minute or so, he slowly opened his hand and lowered it and Derek sprawled out on the ground.
Stiles watched the man struggle, understanding it was all internal before he sat up and looked at Stiles and flashed his wolf eyes. Blue wolf eyes.
Stiles nodded. “Okay. Well, that raised more questions than it didn’t. I am sorry for the spell but you tried attacking me and I was just defending myself. My name is Stiles Stilinski and I’m a mage in the Beacon Hills Pack. Welcome home, Derek.”
Derek stared in confusion at the hand the boy – Stiles – held down to him. He was confused and on edge and wasn’t sure what to do. He had driven across the country in the Camaro that Laura had bought a month after the fire. They had lived out of it as they traveled across the country, only occasionally staying in a motel, rather than using streams and rivers to wash up. It had taken them two months to get to New York because they stopped every few days to pick up odd jobs and some under the table cash.
Driving it back to Beacon Hills had been both a happy time, lingering in the nostalgia of time spent one-on-one with Laura, and a bad time, dwelling on his current circumstances. For one, Derek felt that he was almost an omega. Laura had more or less rejected him. He could still feel their pack bond but it was incredibly weak and stretched thinner as he headed further west.
For another problem, Derek’s mind continued to spiral deeper into depression as he accepted the realization that the woman he had loved and been forced to abandon was in actuality just using his teenage self to kill his family. The longer he traveled alone without support, the deeper he fell into self-hatred and blame. By the time he reached the Beacon Hills sign, Derek was completely convinced that if he had kept his dick in his pants when he was fifteen, his family would have survived, that there would have been no fire.
Derek had driven through the center of town and seen so many familiar sights. Part of him had wanted to stop at the diner and grab a burger or swing by the high school and get in on a pickup game of basketball. But the larger part of him, the wolf inside, urged him back to the pack’s den. The wolf insisted on seeing the devastation that his actions had caused firsthand, something he hadn’t been able to see that night, Laura having found him on the road home. She had told him that he didn’t need those sense memories. But he deserved them. He deserved to live at the remains of his family’s home, among their metaphoric ghosts.
Derek had been uneasy as he had driven down the fairly smooth and well-maintained driveway towards the house. It had been six years and the road surface should have deteriorated with no one there to care about it, no one to pay to keep it in driveable shape.
Then Derek had reached the end of the driveway and instead of the bones of a house, a shell with ashes and charred wood and stone, there was a large sculpture in the center of a garden. He had parked in the spot his mother had used for her car and gotten out.
Derek had approached the sculpture, a large marble scene of a pack of wolves, from pup to adult, lounging and playing together on grass and wildflowers. It was beautiful and the base held a simple brass plaque with the words: In Memory of the Hale Family, Lost in Fire, May The Moon Shelter Them and Bring Them Peace. A large garden filled with wildflowers and grass and flowering bushes was around the sculpture in all directions, spread out over the entire area the house once occupied. Gravel pathways wound their way through the garden and several low benches were scattered in a seemingly random way throughout the whole.
Derek had gone around to the far side of the sculpture and was looking at a list of names, those who had died that night when he heard a car coming up the drive. He remained behind in the small hidden area until the driver was close by and then had tried to drive them off so he could figure out what the hell had happened in the past six years.
But the driver, Stiles, had tossed that idea on its head. The boy had challenged Derek’s right to be there and then proceeded to deduce his identity. He had mentioned that Peter owned the land. Peter and Cora! But Laura had said everyone had died but them. But if this boy said Peter and Cora owned the land now, then they must have survived.
And when the boy had taunted him again, urging him to show his wolf’s eyes, Derek leaped to the conclusion he was a hunter, here to finish off Derek. Derek couldn’t control his wolf and charged him only to get his ass handed to him by the boy, not a hunter but a mage. And now, the boy, Stiles, was reaching out to him, apologizing and offering help.
Derek and his wolf whined in tandem and the boy, Stiles, reached out further and grasped his arm, tugging on it. Derek allowed the – Stiles to help him to his feet and looked at him, lost and confused. “What pack?”
Stiles smiled a little smile and nudged Derek toward one of the little benches. “That is a long and somewhat complicated story. And it ties in to why I asked you about your eyes. Once you had identified yourself as a Hale and I figured out who you must be, I needed to know if you were an Alpha. You aren’t. But were you ever? ‘Cause I know you can lose your alpha spark without losing your life in a few different ways, so were you an Alpha when you left Beacon Hills the night of the fire. Or did someone else receive Talia Hale’s spark?”
Derek frowned, even more confused. “No, I’ve never been an alpha. My older sister, Laura, inherited our mom’s alpha spark when she – when she died.”
Stiles sighed and nodded. “Laura survived as well? And she was the Alpha that night? She received the spark directly from your mother?”
Derek shrugged. “I don’t know for sure that she got it directly from Mom. It could have passed to one of the others or several. It – it depends on when Mom died in comparison.”
Stiles gasped and reached a hand out, laying it on Derek’s arm. Derek stiffened. “I am so sorry. Sometimes I don’t think things through. That was really, really insensitive. And it wasn’t even what I was trying to find the answer to. I meant, she didn’t get the spark from someone else who wasn’t in the fire. Someone else who was in town.”
Derek shook his head. “No. She got it at pretty much the same time as the pack bonds began to break.”
Stiles huffed out a breath. “Okay. Well, I don’t know if you will believe what I’m going to tell you but if you just believe it for now until Peter can corroborate, I would appreciate it. I’ll take you to him as soon as we’re done here. Okay, the night of the fire, my best friend Scott and I were at the playground by the middle school. It was a nice night and lots of kids were there without really any adult supervision…”