May 21, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 1/32

Title: Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Rating: NC-17
Authors: Sxymami0909 and Xtremeroswellia
Timeline Takes place 1 year after the end of ‘Beyond The Sea’
Series: Post Finale AU
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Isaac Lahey, Sheriff Stilinski, Melissa McCall, Chris Argent, Derek Hale, Cora Hale, Aiden, Ethan, Danny, Braeden, Alan Deaton, Peter Hale, Malia Tate-Hale, mentions of Scott/Allison, mentions of Derek/Lydia, mentions of Stiles/Braeden
Part: 1/32
Summary: The one year anniversary of Allison's death is right around the corner just in time for a new threat to make it's way to Beacon Hills. With Lydia's banshee powers growing, and dead bodies piling up near the Nemeton, Scott and his pack need to work together to figure out who's behind the latest attacks and what knew evil is on the lose. Tension is mounting in the pack and relationships will be tested when an old ally returns to town with information that could help the pack. But can the pack trust their old friend or has the year passed hardened him to a point of no return?
Author's Note: This is a Stydia story, but it's a slow burn because a lot needs to be rebuilt and there are mentions of other couples and other friendships along the way. One year has passed between this story and 'Beyond the Sea'. You will get to see the missing year in a series of one-shots taking place between 'Beyond the Sea' and this story later on.

Chapter One

It was dark as Lydia ran through the woods barefoot, leaves crunching beneath her feet, breathing heavy, tears streaming down her cheeks. She pushed forward glancing behind her every so often as she ran, pushing herself faster as fear curled in her gut. She clenched her hand and glanced down when she felt the weight there.

The blade glinted in the moonlight and she paused slowing down. Why did she have a knife? Her dress was torn and she was out of breath. Lydia reached out with her free hand and rested it on a tree trunk. She heard a loud growl and then someone shouted, “LYDIA RUN!” her head snapped around as shadows filled the clearing that she was suddenly in surrounding her.

The knife was gone from her hands as the voices in her head started shouting at her. Lydia winced. The shadows were moving, slithering closer to her. She backed away until she was up against a tree, glancing around and trying to find a way out.

Her breathing was harsh from all the running and sweat marred her brows. She could hear Scott and the rest of the pack...they were screaming! She smelled blood and the foreboding stench of death filled the air. “No!” she screamed, “Stop!”

Lydia didn’t know who or what she was yelling at just that the shadows were on her now and the voices were frantic in her head screaming, yelling but she couldn’t understand them. There were too many. She felt something try to claw at her arm and before she could cry out someone shouted her name.


Lydia heard something whistling through the air and then there was a cry and the shadow moved back. Lydia sucked in a sharp breath and opened her eyes. Twenty feet away from her stood Allison nocking back another arrow and pointing it in her direction. Lydia’s eyes widened and she opened her mouth to call for her best friend when the shadow stabbed something right into her stomach. Pain seared through her and Lydia woke with a start, her body propelling forward, a sharp scream falling from her lips as her hands clutched at the sheets.

“Lydia!” The familiar voice beside her called her name, a hint of worry apparent in the tone. He reached out and laid a hand on her arm gently. “Hey. Hey, it’s okay. It was just a nightmare.” At least he hoped that was all it was. Sometimes with Lydia’s dreams it was hard to tell whether it was just a dream or if it was some kind of warning about things to come.

Lydia sucked in several sharp breaths as she closed her eyes and swallowed hard. She could feel her eyes burning with unshed tears. It had been a long time since her best friend graced Lydia with her presence in her dreams. And while that hurt, it wasn’t even the worst part. Her eyes fluttered open, “I-It was just a nightmare,” she repeated as she tried to calm her breathing.

Lydia shifted and glanced beside her meeting Derek’s gaze, “Sorry,” she whispered her heart thudding loudly in her chest as she reached out and rested a hand on his arm, “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“I wasn’t asleep,” he assured her, indicating the book he’d laid down on the nightstand. He shifted so he was facing her more easily. “Are you all right?” He searched her eyes in the dim light from the lamp he’d been using to read.

Lydia hadn’t even noticed the light. “No,” she made a face, “Yes. It was terrifying, but I’ll live.” She glanced down brushing a hand against her stomach, “And I’m in one piece so that’s always a plus.” She added rubbing her eyes. Lydia was silent for a minute as she glanced around.

Derek’s gaze followed her hand to her stomach, a perturbed look on his face. “Someone hurt you in the dream.” It wasn’t a question.

Lydia shrugged and then angled her head to the side so she was facing Derek, “I fell asleep on you again,” she surmised when she registered his comment about reading.

He shrugged at her comment, though. “It’s fine. I’ve told you before; you’re always welcome to stay.” He also knew that lately the nightmares she’d had occasionally had been getting worse and truthfully he was glad she was there so he could keep an eye on her just in case.

“Something,” Lydia said her brows furrowing as she brought the conversation back to her nightmare. “This one was different. There were these things and they chased me through the woods. I could hear you guys Scott and you and Chris.” She frowned. “And then the voices they got so loud in my head it hurt I couldn’t even understand them...and then these things, I couldn’t see what they were all I saw was their shadows. They attacked me and,” Lydia paused swallowing hard.

“She saved me...or she tried to.” Lydia whispered, a hint of moisture prickling in her eyes. In two weeks Allison would be gone for a year and Lydia still had trouble saying her name out loud.

Derek drew in a breath and let it out slowly, shifting in the bed and wrapping his arms around her, pulling her against his bare chest. “Lydia.” He leaned his head against hers. “Anniversaries are really hard. They always are, especially the first one.” Hell, the six month mark had been hard on everyone. “This is normal.”

“It’s not even the anniversary yet,” she said with mixed emotions as she relaxed into him, “I keep thinking that everything is finally getting better and then the smallest thing will happen and I’ll fall apart. I don’t want to lose her, I don’t want to ever stop loving her or remembering her, but I just wish there was some kind of peace.” She ran a hand down his chest, “Two weeks...It’ll be a year in two weeks.” She told him even though she knew Derek knew that. Lydia reached up and brushed away a few stray tears.

“It’s close,” he said gently. Close enough for her to be affected, for sure. Especially given her close connection with the supernatural, and with how close she’d been with Allison. “And it’s okay for you to feel that way. Healing takes time. A lot of it.” He’d know.

Lydia nodded, “I know,” Derek had been through this with her. He’d told her about his family and how hard it was for him to move past it. Honestly without Scott and Derek she was pretty sure she wouldn’t have gotten through the past year. “It’s okay to miss her, and I much.” she said softly. “I hate nightmares,” she stated matter-of-factly scrunching her nose. “They seriously interfere with my beauty sleep,” she joked trying to lighten the mood.

He nodded, too. “Yeah it is okay to miss her. Of course you miss her.” Hell, Derek even missed her. Between how much Lydia, Chris, Scott and Isaac missing her, it was impossible not to. They were a pack. It was just how it worked. “But you don’t have to worry about the beauty sleep, Lydia. That’s the least of your troubles.” He smirked.

Lydia grinned “Someone’s charming at god knows what time in the morning.” She responded lightly, “And yes if sleep was the measure of beauty neither of us would need much of it, which I suppose is a good thing. There are more fun things one can be doing than sleeping.” She said amused. “Speaking of time, do you know what time it is?”

“Two thirty,” he supplied with a wider smirk. “And there are definitely more interesting things to do than sleep.” He started to say something else when the walls of the loft began to shake and he arched his eyebrows, glancing up and around the room.

Lydia’s eyes widened and she shifted when something on the small table near Derek’s bed fell. She tensed beside him as there was another crash this one from the kitchen and then a few seconds later the shaking stopped. Lydia pursed her lips and glanced at Derek. “I can’t remember the last time I felt an earthquake,” she admitted, her heartbeat speeding up in her chest.

“Yeah, me either. It’s definitely been awhile. But I guess we are still in California.” He sighed, wondering what had fallen in the kitchen. “I’d put that at about a 4.6.” He was just glad it hadn’t been anything bigger. “We should probably prepare for aftershocks.” He placed a kiss against her forehead and climbed out of bed.

Lydia sighed, “Earthquakes,” she reached over the side of the bed and grabbed Derek’s shirt tossing it over her head before getting up. She took a few steps and then paused. She took a deep breath and swallowed hard. Lydia glanced around the loft before cautiously walking towards the window, her heartbeat picking up speed. She hesitated before pushing the curtain out of the way and glancing outside.

Something didn’t feel quite right. And then she recognized it, the feeling from her dream. Her gaze stayed on the window, her heartbeat echoing in her ears the faster it went. Lydia pressed a hand against the cold glass as she focused on listening. She couldn’t hear anything, but she could feel something rumbling just beneath the surface.


Scott had been feeling on edge for the last twenty-four hours and the middle of the night earthquake hadn’t left him feeling any better. He was distracted and uneasy and the text at five that morning from Lydia saying she wanted to meet up with everyone before school started didn’t make it any better either. Something wasn’t right. Something felt more off than usual, even if things had been off for over a year now.

He glanced over to where Isaac was leaning against the car, looking tired. “Did you get any sleep last night?” he asked, frowning as they waited for the others to arrive.

Isaac shook his head and ran a hand over his face, “Not really,” he admitted. “I felt weird all night, antsy and then the earthquake happened and the antsy-ness went away, but something else replaced it and I just couldn’t sleep.” Isaac was regretting the lack of sleep now, but at least Melissa had made an amazing breakfast that morning. It was the only thing keeping him awake. “You?” He asked lightly.

Scott sighed and shook his head, folding his arms across his chest. “No, not really. I felt weird all night, too,” he admitted. “Deaton told me once that animals sense impending disasters like earthquakes though. Maybe we were both feeling it.” And if they had, the others probably had, too. Except it hadn’t been Deaton who’d told him. It had been Stiles. He was so used to filtering his best friend’s name out of conversations because of how everyone tended to react to the sound of it.

Isaac nodded. “Makes sense I guess,” he said. Truthfully though, the earthquake hadn’t been the only thing on his mind last night, or most nights for that matter. Allison. The name sounded in his skull and he swallowed hard. “If you think about it, it’s kind of cool that we get an early warning system,” he said with a grin catching sight of Cora Hale out of the corner of his eye. “In coming,” he said lightly a small grin pulling at his lips.

He shifted slightly, smiling though it was faint and nodding at Cora as she approached. Her return had caught all of them off guard even if they’d seen her a couple months after Allison had died. She’d shown up to help when Scott had been kidnapped by Spanish hunters and taken to South America. How she’d found out about it at all was still a mystery to him, because Derek swore up and down he hadn’t contacted her, and he believed Derek. He knew Derek wouldn’t intentionally put Cora in the path of hunters regardless of whoselife was on the line. She was his sister.

“Hey,” Scott greeted the smaller brunette.

“Hey,” she returned, glancing at Isaac and offering him a small, barely there smile. It was about the best any of them got out of her on a good day, really.

“No sleep for you either?” Isaac asked as he studied her. She looked as tired as he felt. He shifted slightly in case she wanted to use the car to hold herself up like he seemed to be doing. His gaze shifted and he grunted. “I see my least favorite people.” He grumbled.

“The night of an earthquake?” She gave him a look, leaning against the car beside him and turned her head to look, scowling when she saw Aiden and Ethan approaching. “I knew it was going to be a shit day.”

Ethan and Aiden walked over and paused by Scott. Ethan arched an eyebrow, “You know we can hear you right?” He asked. Ethan knew he and his brother weren’t their favorite people, but it had been close to a year and they’d done nothing but help where they could and be a model of good. Sure Aiden had his flare ups, but he was hot headed.

Isaac nodded, “Obviously, I wouldn’t want you to not know what I think of you. I’m a very honest guy,” he added.

Aiden just rolled his eyes, “More like a pain in the ass.”

“Better a pain in the ass than a killer,” Cora responded, eyes narrowed though she didn’t make a move toward either of them.

“Okay, that was self-defense and I’ve tried to tell you --” Ethan began.

Stop,” Scott ordered, his jaw tensing. “Everyone, save it for some other time. This isn’t what we’re here for.” Truthfully Scott was feeling more irritable than usual lately, and while that wasn’t any of their faults, it wasn’t helping him either.

Isaac clamped his mouth shut as did the twins. He sighed, “Where’s Lydia anyway?” He asked, “Didn’t you say she was the one who wanted to talk to us?” He arched an eyebrow, “And yet I see no banshee.” He mumbled.

Aiden cocked his head to the side at the mention of her name, “Lydia was the one who wanted us to meet up? Is everything okay?”

Scott relaxed a little as they all quit arguing for the time being, though he was sure it was going to start up again soon. “She’s on the way. She texted a couple minutes ago,” he told Isaac before shifting his attention to Aiden. “I don’t know. It sounded important though.” And if there was one thing he trusted absolutely as much as his own instincts, it was Lydia’s.

As if on cue, Derek’s truck rolled up and pulled into a parking space a couple rows away. He watched passively as Lydia climbed out of the passenger seat and Derek the driver’s seat. He lifted his hand in a wave.

Lydia nodded in Scott’s direction before glancing at Derek. “I hate dealing with everyone all at once,” she said quietly. “There’s always so many questions.” She admitted while tugging her purse onto her shoulder and stepping forward closing some of the distance between them and the rest of the pack.

“Yeah, I know,” he murmured, following her over to the rest of the group.

“Hey, Lyds,” Scott greeted as they got closer. He studied her, taking in her tired appearance. Apparently they hadn’t been the only ones who’d felt something in the air last night, which was probably why Lydia had texted in the first place.

Her expression softened when she glanced at Scott, “Hey,” she said lightly.

Isaac cleared his throat, “Now that you’re here,” he said letting his voice trail off.

Lydia’s gaze shifted to Isaac and she arched an eyebrow pinning him with a look. He swallowed hard and she glanced back at Scott. “After the earthquake happened last night a feeling I had in my nightmare manifested,” she met Scott’s gaze, “I felt it after I mean I don’t feel it anymore but it was there, I know it was.” She told him.

“What was the nightmare about?” Aiden asked from on beside his brother.

Lydia glanced over at him opening and then closing her mouth. “Does it matter?” She asked with an arched eyebrow.

He returned the look, “Well if it was in your nightmare and you’re feeling it out here now, I’m going to go with yes, it does matter.”

Lydia pursed her lips. Aiden wasn’t exactly her biggest fan lately, something he didn’t hide. She didn’t want to relay her dream especially the last part of it to everyone there. It was private. “I was being chased in the woods.” She said simply.

“That’s it?” Aiden asked holding her gaze.

“That’s it,” Derek spoke up, staring down at Aiden and folding his arms across his chest. He didn’t really care that Aiden didn’t like Lydia anymore. Derek wasn’t Aiden’s biggest fan, either.

Cora smirked slightly at her older brother’s intimidating stance. “So scary feeling from being chased then? That’s what you felt after you woke up and after the earthquake?”

Scott’s jaw tensed at Aiden’s questions and then he sighed lightly as Cora’s simplified response before glancing at Lydia. He stepped forward, closer to Lydia, and laid a hand on her arm. “Are you okay?”

Lydia rested her hand on Scott’s, “I’m okay,” she promised before glancing at Cora. “No, I’ve been chased in the woods before it’s not particularly scary.” She added, “I don’t know how to explain the feeling other than saying when the earthquake happened last night something shifted around me.”

Lydia’s brows drew together. “Like it got colder and something just wasn’t right.” They were all looking at her and it was times like these where she really missed--her train of thought came to an abrupt halt. No, she thought to herself. Don’t go there. “I don’t feel it anymore, but that doesn’t mean the damage isn’t already done.” She told them.

Scott was silent for a moment, considering her words. “The Nemeton,” he mumbled, sighing and reaching up to rub the back of his neck. “I’ll go check it out during my free period, see if anything’s disturbed it.” He glanced at Derek. “Unless you’re up for that. If not, would you mind going to check in with Deaton?”

Derek glanced at Scott, “I can check on the Nemeton,” he said with a nod.

Lydia sighed, “And while you’re checking on it why don’t you use your wolfie strength to tear it out of the ground. That tree is the bane of my existence.” She mumbled mostly to herself, “Why is it even still there?” She asked baffled glancing between Derek and Scott. “There has to be a better way to promote balance than an evil tree stump.” She said grumpily.

“Deaton and Chris have both said that doing anything to it might make things worse,” Derek told her quietly. Otherwise he would have burned the fucking thing down.

Scott draped his arm around her shoulders in a comforting gesture. “All right, you can check on the tree, and I’ll check in with Deaton during my free period this morning.” He said drawing the conversation back to the issue at hand.

“What about the rest of us?” Cora asked expectantly, arching her eyebrow.

“Just keep your eyes and ears open for anything out of the norm. And I mean anything. Full alert,” Scott said seriously, looking around at the rest of his pack and offering Isaac a faint smile.

“Will do,” Ethan agreed, nodding.

Aiden nodded also. “Was that it?” He asked glancing around and when he saw Scott nod he nodded also. “Then I’ll see you guys later.” He said before turning on his heel and walking away from the group.

Lydia arched an eyebrow and glanced at Ethan, “You’re brother has gotten incredibly antagonistic lately.” She commented and okay it wasn’t just lately but for close to eight months now. But still.

Isaac smirked, “He’s always been like that, just never to you,” He told her as he pushed himself off the car.

Cora muttered something about fucking fairy princesses as she headed away.

Scott shook his head at Cora’s commentary.

Ethan grimaced, watching Aiden go and looking back at Lydia. “Sorry,” he said sincerely. “I’ll talk to him.” Not that it would do any good. It wasn’t like he had any real control over his brother at all.

“It’s not your fault, Ethan,” Scott told him. If it came down to it, he would have a chat with Aiden himself..

Lydia smiled at Ethan, “Scott’s right,” she said lightly, “He’s angry at me, I get it. Don’t mind my crabbiness,” she told him with half a smile.

Ethan returned the smile, “He’ll come around,” he offered, hopefully, “I’ll see you guys at lunch, I’m gonna go find Danny.” He told them with a wave, glancing at Derek and nodding at him before heading towards the school.

Isaac watched him go and then his gaze shifted to Cora who was disappearing in the distance. “Don’t forget your Mom wants us to stop by that weird tux shop in town after school to start looking at what we’re gonna wear for the wedding,” he commented.

Lydia grinned as she glanced between Derek, Scott, and Isaac. “I’ve got wedding planning duty this weekend,” she said excited clapping her hands. “Don’t worry the choices Melissa and I came up with for your tux’s are wonderful. You’ll see when you get there.”

Scott groaned a little at that. Somehow over the last few months Lydia and his mom had become incredibly close and Lydia had volunteered to help plan all the wedding details for her and Michael Stilinski. And she took that duty very, very seriously. “I can hardly wait,” he said wryly, giving her a look.

Derek smirked. “See you guys later. I’ll text you if I find anything,” he told them, turning and heading back toward his truck.

“Why doesn’t Derek have to come tux hunting with us?” He said loud enough for the other man to hear as he walked away. “I feel like if we need to he should have to, also.” Isaac reasoned. He hated shopping.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Because I’ve already picked out Derek’s tux so he doesn’t need to go try one on,” she explained looping her arm through Scott’s and leading them towards the school. “Don’t complain Isaac I promise there are only five choices for each of you and all you have to do is try them on and pick one of the five.” She explained. “It’s not that bad, tell him Scott.”

“Five isn’t too bad,” he said almost reluctantly, eying her as they walked. He gave Isaac a sympathetic yes it really is that bad look, though.

Isaac sighed and walked beside them. “Fine...tux shopping...yay.” He said with a huff and then glanced around. “Crap I was going to go find Cora,” he said with a shake of his head, “Oh well I’ll do it later,” he shrugged. “We should grab lunch off campus today.”

Lydia tilted her head, “I’ve got lunch plans,” she said lightly.

“With Derek?” Scott asked curiously, no judgment in his tone.

Lydia glanced at Scott and shook her head. “No,” she said as Isaac pushed the door open and held it for Scott and Lydia. “With your Mom. We’re going over flowers today, I told her I’d help...I just saw Derek.” She said with a smile.

Isaac grinned, “Translation, she can’t spend too much time with Derek or his crabbiness rubs off on her.” He joked. He still couldn’t believe the whole Lydia and Derek thing. Had he and Cora not accidentally walked in on it one day he probably still wouldn't believe it.

Scott shook his head a little. “He’s gotten a lot less crabby,” he pointed out. He’d started getting a lot less crabby ever since his last trip to South America, actually. He was still one of the more quiet pack members, but Scott valued his advice and support more than he could actually express.

Isaac nodded, “Also true, he smiles every once in a blue moon and everything,” he joked good naturedly as they walked down the hallway.

Lydia rolled her eyes, “Derek has changed a lot. He’s a good guy. And he smiles all the time with me, so there.” She said eyeing Isaac, though her look was more playful than angry.

“You have that kind of effect on people,” Scott informed her with a small smile.

Lydia glanced at Scott and she sent him a genuine smile rubbing his arm gently. Isaac paused, “This is where I get off, I’ll see you two later,” he said with a nod before heading down a different hallway as Lydia and Scott moved to his locker.

“See you,” Scott agreed, watching him head away before they moved to his locker.

She was quiet for a minute watching him debating whether or not she wanted to tell him the rest of her dream. Lydia didn’t want to upset him, but at the same time maybe it did mean something. “So about my dream,” she said softly.

He spun the combination lock, pausing at Lydia’s words and looking up at her. He’d sensed there was more to it than what she was saying, but he hadn’t wanted to push.

“I’m listening,” he told her quietly.

Lydia hesitated, “I was attacked by, this is going to sound so weird, shadows. They didn’t really have a shape, but they nearly clawed out my insides and…” she swallowed hard, “Someone tried to save me,” Lydia told him softly.

“Shadows,” Scott echoed, his brow furrowing as he turned his head to look at her. When her voice grew quieter, he sucked in a breath, feeling like he’d been punched in the gut. “Allison.”

Lydia saw his expression and she reached out to him. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have,” she paused, “I just...I wasn’t sure if it meant something or if Derek was right and it’s just because...things are getting close.” She told him quietly.

“No, it’s…” He shook his head. “It’s okay.” His voice was quiet now, too. “I’m glad you told me. It might be important and not just because the date is…” His voice trailed off.

Lydia reached forward and pulled Scott into a hug. “It’s okay to miss her.” She said softly, “I do. And...I’m here if you need me. Always. You know that don’t you?” She asked her arms still wrapped around him.

“I know. I know, and I’m here, too.” He hugged her back tightly, closing his eyes even as his chest tightened. “For you. For all of you.” He leaned his head against hers.

Lydia closed her eyes, “I know. I don’t know what I would have done without you,” she told him honestly. It was easy for Lydia to open up to Scott. After a year of grieving together, spending countless nights crying themselves to sleep together, there wasn’t much Scott didn’t know about her anymore.

She had been so broken after Allison and then...Stiles. Her chest tightened. She practically refused to get out of bed for weeks, which wasn’t like her at all. She’d even yelled at the sheriff. She’d been so angry and so hurt that she’d lashed out at everyone.

It hadn’t been until Derek took her to Chris Argent practically kicking and screaming that she’d learned how to channel that anger at pretty much everything in the world, into something productive. Between Scott and Derek and believe it or not Chris Argent she got through that first tough month when she honestly thought she wouldn’t.

“Yeah, well. The feeling’s mutual, Lyds,” he said softly. The whole month after Allison’s death and Stiles leaving had been terrible. It had been the worst Christmas ever since Stiles’ mom had died when they were eight, and then when his dad had left. The only reason he’d managed to get through it was because Lydia and Isaac and Stiles’ dad had needed him. And then he’d been kidnapped. Needless to say, it had been a shitty start to the New Year.

She sent him half a smile. Scott was the only person allowed to call her that. It was a nickname she didn’t care for anymore, because it was what he used to call her. But it was Scott and it didn’t sound wrong coming from him. “What are the bestest of friends for?” She asked rubbing his back before stepping back.

Lydia tapped her nails against the locker, “I was thinking of maybe asking Kira if she wanted to do some Christmas shopping with me...Do you think she’d be open to that?” Lydia asked softly. The question made her chest tighten. Outside of Melissa, Lydia hadn’t had the heart to do any real shopping. It was something she’d always done with Allison and Lydia had felt like going with anyone else would be like replacing her best friend, something she never wanted to do.

Scott watched her as she pulled away and he reached into his locker to retrieve the books he’d need for his first two classes of the day. He paused at her question about Kira, expression softening. He knew she was incredibly reluctant to let anyone else close to her. He understood it. Once upon a time, he would have made the same choice probably. But he was an alpha and he didn’t have that option anymore, even if he didn’t really always want to be some kind of leader.

“Yeah. Yeah, I think she’d like that a lot,” he said, nodding and looking at her again. Kira hadn’t made a lot of friends outside the pack, and she still seemed to feel uncomfortable a lot of the time when she was around any of them except for him.

Lydia gave half a smile, “Okay...then I’ll talk to her.” She said softly. Lydia had been reluctant to let Kira in even though she liked the girl. The thought of losing someone else she cared about was a constant fear. She couldn’t remember how many night’s she’d woken up screaming Scott’s name or Derek’s, nightmares of them dying or leaving pulling her from sleep. They barely happened anymore, but every once in a while the fear was still there, especially after Scott was kidnapped.

He reached out and squeezed her arm, shutting his locker door. “Come on. Let’s head to English.” He really wished that wasn’t his first class of the day. Half the time he didn’t feel awake enough to focus on things like the great American novel. Not that any other class would be great at 7:45 in the morning either. Scott wasn’t a morning person and hadn’t been even before he’d been bitten and turned into a werewolf.


Isaac pushed open the door to the Stilinski house and walked inside, Scott trailing behind him. “God that was torture,” he grumbled. “Though I have to admit, the suits they put aside looked kind of good on me,” he said with a slight grin though it didn’t quite reach his eyes. The last two times he wore a suit had both been with Allison and while one was a pretty damn good memory, the other well it broke his heart a little.

Scott grinned at his comment, patting his back fondly as he dropped his book bag on the living room floor and took his shoes off. Taking his shoes off had been a habit at the Stilinski household since he was little because Claudia had been rather unhappy when he’d dragged mud in one time after playing outside with Stiles. “Does that mean I’m not the hot girl anymore?” he asked without really thinking about the reference. He sorted through the mail he’d pulled from the mailbox.

Isaac glanced over his shoulder as he toed his shoes off too and then moved over to the refrigerator. “No, you’re totally still the hot girl. At least Kira seems to think so,” he commented with a grin. “How’s that going by the way?” He asked while pulling open the refrigerator and grabbing two bottles of water.

“It’s good,” he said softly. His relationship with Kira had only recently begun to really take off. After Allison’s death, he’d needed a lot of time to sort through his own feelings and deal with everything. He wasn’t sure he’d ever be finished dealing with his feelings for Allison Argent, though. Not really. She’d been his first love. He took one of the bottles from Isaac and dropped the mail on the kitchen table after spotting a postcard in the mix of bills. He couldn’t help the relief that washed over him at the sight, even if the postmark location baffled him. Budapest. His best friend was in Budapest. What the hell was he doing there? He wondered, unscrewing the cap on the bottle and flipping the card over, not surprised at the briefness of the message.

Stiles’ postcards were weekly, but always brief. He’d gotten a postcard every single week without fail, and while sometimes they were from the same general area a couple weeks in a row, usually they were from all over the place. He had no idea what Stiles was doing because he had no way of actually contacting him. He’d sent him about a million text messages the week Stiles had taken off and he hadn’t gotten a single one in return. Neither had Lydia. Frankly Scott wasn’t sure anyone, including Sheriff Stilinski ever knew exactly where Stiles was at any given time or what he was doing. It still bothered him to think of Stiles out there alone considering the kind of trouble he’d always been getting into in Beacon Hills.

But as long as he got a postcard every week, he was at least reassured that Stiles was still alive. That he was out there somewhere, but okay enough to buy Scott a postcard, scribble out a quick message and drop it in the mail.

But Budapest?

He read over the message, his chest tightening. Hey Scottie. Hope you’re doing okay. As my handwriting proves, I’m still alive and kicking. Give my dad a hug for me. -- Stiles

Scott rubbed a hand over his face, sighing inaudibly. God he missed his best friend. Not a single day passed that he didn’t think about and worry about him. Wonder what he was up to. Wish he could talk to him even if it was just for five minutes. Just so Scott could tell him to come home.

Isaac felt the shift in the mood and he turned worry on his face as he glanced at Scott. “You okay?” He asked not sure what had triggered the switch in his alpha’s mood.

“Yeah,” Scott said quietly, plucking the postcard from the pile of mail and leaving the rest on the table for the time being. The rest was bills anyway.

Isaac frowned, but didn’t push the subject. “I was going to see if Cora wanted to grab a bite to eat a little later, want to come with?” He asked, “We can all see a movie or something.” He said with a shrug. Isaac was glad Cora was back. They got along well especially when it came to how they felt about the twins.

He glanced at Isaac, smiling faintly at the mention of Cora. “Pass, but thanks for the invite.” He clapped his hand on Isaac’s shoulder. “I need to study for that chem test tomorrow.” And he wanted to talk to Derek and also check in on Lydia. But right now he just kind of wanted to go up to his room -- no. Stiles’ room. He wanted to add the latest postcard to his collection of others. And maybe just stare at the ceiling for awhile.

Isaac nodded. “I should probably do my homework,” he sighed. “Alright, I’ll catch you later then,” he patted Scott’s back, grabbed his backpack and headed for the stairs.

Scott watched him go before looking down at the postcard in his hand again. “What are you doing, man?” he whispered.

Melissa made her way down the stairs smile on her face as she shook her head. That boy was as sweet as can be. She moved into the kitchen and paused when she spotted Scott, “Hey honey, how was school?” She asked while walking over and pressing a kiss to the side of his head. She glanced down at his hands and her chest tightened. “Another post card?”

“It was okay,” he said quietly, not quite managing a smile as he handed it over so she could see. “He’s in Budapest.

Melissa arched an eyebrow. “Budapest? How in the world…” she let her voice trail off and sighed. “He seems to be quite the globe trotter,” she said keeping her tone light, but her chest tightened at the thought of Stiles traveling around the world all alone. They knew he was okay, he sent gifts and cards, but it wasn’t the same as having him home and Melissa missed him dearly. They all did in their own way.

“I have no idea,” Scott admitted. “How can he even afford to travel?” Sure, he knew Stiles had been writing college level papers for money since he was 13, but surely he hadn’t made enough profit from that over the years to cover the costs of all the traveling he was supposedly doing. “I don’t even know if he’s really there or if he’s just...buying postcards online and sending them from the same location every week because he thinks we’re looking for him and he doesn’t want to be found.” He sat down at the table.

Melissa glanced at Scott and wrapped an arm around him. “I know honey,” her words were soft. “It’s hard and we all miss him...maybe he’ll come home soon.” She hated that Scott still hurt so much even after all this time, but she was thankful he had people around him who loved him and she was glad he and Lydia had gotten closer. They helped each other a lot over the past year. “You know how Stiles is,” she told him softly, “He’s never had trouble making a buck,” she joked trying to ease the mood.

“I thought he’d be home by now,” he said quietly. “I never thought he’d have stayed gone this long.” He was silent for a moment. “I should have gone after him that day. I should have tracked him down and talked sense into him.” There was guilt in his voice. He looked up at his mom. “He blames himself.”

Melissa shifted so she was standing in front of her son, hands on his shoulders. “Scott, you did what he asked. Stiles is your best friend and you trusted him enough to know what was right for himself,” she had this conversation with Scott and Michael quite a bit. They both blamed themselves for not talking Stiles out of leaving.

But as much as Melissa missed and loved Stiles, if he felt he needed to leave to get better than he did the right thing. He was always worrying about everyone else and for once he took himself into consideration and she was glad. Melissa wished he thought staying with them would have helped, but well she couldn’t change what happened. “This isn’t your fault and I’m sure he will come back to us one day. We’re his family, he won’t be gone forever.” She whispered.

Scott wanted to believe that was true more than anything. But it had been almost a year since he’d taken off and aside from the postcards, he hadn’t heard anything from Stiles. His best friend never mentioned when he’d be coming back on any of them and he was starting to lose hope that it was going to happen at all. But if his mom believed Stiles would come back, he’d try and have faith in her opinion. He didn’t really have any other choice. He nodded slightly, sighing as his shoulders slumped and he leaned into her side hug. “Yeah.”

“Oh honey,” Melissa wrapped him in her arms giving him a tight hug. “We may not be Stiles, but you have me and Michael, and Isaac and Lydia. Plus the rest of the pack. We all love you. I wish you’d tell them how you were feeling instead of holding it all inside,” she said softly as she pulled back and cupped his cheeks.

“No, I know. I know I do. And I’m glad, too. I love all of you guys,” he said sincerely. “I just miss him.” And no amount of time with anyone else, regardless of how close he’d gotten to Isaac and Lydia, was the same as having Stiles there. “But I can’ to them about Stiles, Mom. They’re all...everyone’s upset with him. They don’t know him like I do.”

Melissa watched her son for a minute. “I don’t think any of them are as upset as you think they are,” she said lightly, “But I won’t push. I just don’t like how burdened you are. You’re always going to be my baby, alpha or not,” and it was hard seeing him hurt.

He smiled faintly at that. “Yeah, I know, Mom.” He stood up and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “I love you.”

Melissa smiled, “I love you too,” she said softly patting his cheek before dropping her hands. “Now why don’t you head on up and do your homework, while I start dinner. You’ll be here right?” She asked, “Isaac mentioned he’s going to see if Cora wanted to hang out so he said he probably wouldn’t be here.”

“Yeah, I’ll be here,” he assured her, picking up the postcard off the table. He headed back to the living room to get his backpack, then headed up the stairs to Stiles’ room, heart still heavy, but not quite as much as it had been.


Something was wrong.

Even in his sleep, he could feel it. It had been a few weeks since he’d last dreamt about the Nemeton, but he found himself staring down at it with a troubled expression, watching as a vine grew out from the ground beneath it, reaching for him.

“No,” he said, stepping back. “No, I’m done with this.” His voice was firm, but the vine kept reaching for him until it managed to wrap around one of his ankles.

“We’re never done with this, Stiles.”

He closed his eyes at the familiar quiet voice. “Please don’t,” he whispered. He felt her hand on his shoulder.

“You need to read the news today, Stiles,” Allison told him quietly.

“I read the news every day. There’s always something going on in Beacon Hills. They’ve handled everything okay without me for this long.” He couldn’t bring himself to turn and look at her. To face the disappointment on her face.

“Not this. This is different.”


“Read the news, Stiles. You need to figure this out. You need to go back,” she said gently.

“I can’t, Allison,” he whispered, pained. “I can’t.

“It wasn’t your fault. It was never your fault. But if you don’t go back this time, people are gonna get hurt. They’re gonna die, Stiles.” Her voice was more firm now and he exhaled, rubbing his hands over his face. “Just read the news today. You’ll understand.”

When he turned to look at her finally, she had vanished, leaving him alone at the Nemeton once more.

Stiles woke up crying, face buried in his pillow as his body shook. He hated those dreams. When he dreamt about her. As terrible as his nightmares could be sometimes, the ones about Allison were always the hardest. Rubbing his hands over his face as he sat up and flipped on the bedside lamp that set on the table, he stared at the clock. He’d fallen asleep early the night before and it was now almost 10:30 in the morning. Which meant it was just now 2:30 in the morning in California.

He moved to get his laptop off the desk, dropping back down on the bed and firing it up. He wondered what could possibly be going on at 2:30 in the morning in Beacon Hills. Then he reminded himself that it had just been a dream and probably wasn’t anything more than that. It rarely was.

Sure enough, when he checked the local paper’s site, he saw nothing extraordinary happening.

Still, as he set about his day, he couldn’t shake the feeling of dread that plagued him. He checked on the site from his phone as he staked out the local werewolf pack that he and Morrell had been keeping an eye on for the last few days.

By three o’clock not only had nothing interesting happened with the pack, but nothing interesting had cropped up on the website either.

It all changed when he checked again at four.

An earthquake. 4.2 on the Richter scale centered in Beacon Hills. He sucked in a breath, staring at the headline. The rational part of his brain reminded him that it was California and earthquakes happened a lot there. The other part of his brain, the instinctual part, reminded him of his dream.

By five o’clock that night he began pacing his small hotel room, anxiety building up inside of him like pressurized soda pop. “They can handle whatever it is,” he whispered, raking a hand through his hair.

You need to go back, Allison’s voice rang in his head like she was actually standing right beside of him. He actually looked. She wasn’t, of course, standing there. Dead people didn’t talk -- unless they were Peter Hale.

By six o’clock he’d booked himself a flight to California that would leave at 4 in the morning.

By seven o’clock he’d packed his things and informed a very disapproving Morrell of his plans.

By nine o’clock he’d smoked half a pack of cigarettes and downed half a bottle of Jack Daniels before passing out face first onto his bed again.

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