Authors:Sxymami0909 and Xtremeroswellia
TimelineTakes 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
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.
Previous Chapters: | One | Two |
Scott made his way down the stairs after a long shower that morning. He was still tired from all the tension he was feeling the last few days, and the severe lack of quality sleep. He was having strange but somehow familiar feelings that he couldn’t quite place and it was irking him that he couldn’t figure it out. He raked a hand through his wet hair and headed into the kitchen, yawning but managing a faint smile at his mom. “Hey,” he greeted, kissing her cheek. “Sleep okay?”
Melissa nodded, “I did,” she said with a smile while flipping the whole wheat pancake in the pan. She glanced towards the stairs and then at Scott, “How about you? Sleep any better than last night? And where’s Isaac?” She asked brows drawn together. He was usually downstairs the minute he smelled food.
He grimaced, shaking his head. “Not really,” he admitted. “I’ll catch up this weekend.” He opened the fridge and pulled out the milk and the orange juice. “He’s not sleeping so great either. He just jumped in the shower. He’ll be down soon.”
Melissa nodded. She didn’t like that they weren’t sleeping well and when she’d gone out with Lydia the other day she had looked tired also. She hated that these kids could never seem to catch a break. “Are you all ready for the party later tonight?” She asked, “You didn’t forget did you?” Melissa knew Scott had been busy lately and dealing with a lot of different things, especially pack things.
“I didn’t forget,” he assured her with a soft smile. “It was really nice of you to arrange a party for Cora’s birthday.” Truthfully he was kind of worried that Cora wasn’t going to be quite as excited as his mom hoped. She didn’t really say a lot unless she was being snarky with someone, and she didn’t seem to like any of them all that well, really. But he was trying and he was determined to bring her more into the fold with the rest of them.
Melissa nodded, “Of course. Lydia mentioned it might be a nice idea to help her warm up to the rest of the pack. She said it’s hard for anyone to say no to me,” she joked.
Scott grinned. “Well, she’s not wrong. All my friends love you.” He poured milk for himself and for his mom, not sure which to pour for Isaac since he alternated between the two a lot.
Isaac barreled down the stairs nearly tripping over the last two. “I’m here, I didn’t miss breakfast did I?” He asked as he stepped into the kitchen fixing his shirt and scarf.
Scott laughed involuntarily. “No, dude. You didn’t miss out. Milk or juice today?” he asked.
Isaac glanced at what Melissa was cooking and grinned, “Milk,” he said as he walked over to the drawer and grabbed some forks for him and Scott before sitting down. “Hey Melissa, I was wondering what kind of gifts do you get girls?” He asked as he sat at the table.
Melissa couldn’t help but smile at his question. “Well, that all depends on the girl. And what you’re trying to say with your gift.” She winked at Scott knowingly.
Isaac frowned. “Oh...I guess I want to say you’re bitchy but I think you’re cool anyway?” He asked.
Scott nearly choked on the sip of his drink that he’d just taken. He wiped his mouth and moved over to the table both glasses in hand doing his best not to laugh. “That doesn’t seem like the greatest message.” He commented sitting beside Isaac.
Melissa wasn’t quite as successful at not laughing at his unexpected remark. “I see. Well. What does the young lady in question like?”
Isaac sat there mouth slightly open, his face pensive. “Well she reads a lot...and she complains about Derek. And Lydia and the twins.” He paused, “She does not like chick flicks.” He added, “And she hates how the wall kind of vibrates at night sometimes.” He shrugged, “I told her to sleep against a different wall.” He said smiling brightly.
Melissa’s eyes widened at that. “How the wall -- you know what, I don’t want to know.” She held her hands up. She looked at Scott, shaking her head. “If she likes to read, then maybe a book or two is a good choice. But not romance novels if she doesn’t like chick flicks.”
Isaac’s brows drew together, “What don’t you want to know?” he glanced between Scott and Melissa, “I’m confused.” He said before reaching for his milk. “So how will I know what kind of book to get? Where is there even a bookstore?” He shook his head. “This seems kind of difficult with a wide margin of error. Like if I get the wrong book she might hit me with it.” He wouldn’t put it past her.
“Maybe I should just get her noise cancelling headphones for the noisy neighbors. They play the music really loud sometimes and she says it keeps her up, she can hear and feel it through the walls. That’s thoughtful right?” He asked glanced between Melissa and Scott.
“That’s very thoughtful, Isaac, yes.” Melissa nodded. “I think that sounds like it might be a good choice for Cora.”
She heard the front door open and she smiled, her eyes lighting up as Michael made his way into the kitchen. Her smile faded almost instantly at the expression on his face. “What is it?”
Michael sighed as he stepped into the kitchen and pressed a light kiss to her lips before answering. “It was a long night last night.” He hung his jacket over the seat and stood there for a minute. “We got a call last night. Some campers found two bodies in the woods practically shredded to pieces.” He said quietly his hands gripping the back of the chair as he stood there.
Scott had stopped everything the second he’d seen the look on Stiles’ dad’s face.
“Whatever did this couldn’t have been human.” He told them glancing up at Scott. “I can get you a copy of the report later, but,” he hesitated, “This might be something you want to look at with the pack.” He requested quietly.
He held his breath at the mention that whatever had killed the people wasn’t human. Sheriff Stilinski had been in on the situation long enough now to know the difference between an animal attack and a supernatural attack. And considering everyone’s sense of dread, and Lydia’s nightmare and the earthquake…
That was definitely the sound of the other shoe dropping. “We will,” he said quietly, shooting a worried look at Isaac.
Isaac frowned, “Are the bodies from last night or were they just found last night?” He asked glancing at the sheriff.
Michael shook his head. “We won’t have time of death until after the coroner goes over everything. So, nothing until later today, but we’re keeping this quiet for the time being. After having the FBI out here last year we don’t need another reason to draw them back in.” He explained.
Scott grimaced at the mention of the FBI. “I really agree.” He drew in a breath and let it out slowly. “Let me know as soon as you have any more information we can go on?” he asked quietly, already pulling his phone out and shooting a text to Lydia and Derek.
Melissa rested a hand on Michael’s back. “How soon do you have to go back in?” He’d been out all night and probably needed to get some rest if he could.
He glanced at her apologetically, “I’ve gotta shower grab something to eat and head back in about two hours,” he said softly turning to face her. “I’m sorry. I know we were supposed to do some wedding stuff today.” He reached out and cupped her cheek. “I’ll make it up to you. I just...I want to get a handle on this so we know what’s going on.”
“Michael, there’s nothing to make up,” she said sincerely. “Wedding plans will wait. People’s lives are more important.” She kissed him on the cheek. “Breakfast is ready so why don’t you eat something before the shower so you don’t have to heat it back up?” she suggested.
Michael nodded, “See, this is one of the reasons I’m marrying you,” he said lightly before nodding. He pulled out the chair across from Scott and watched as he sent a text message. “Have you spoken to Lydia? Is she feeling anything? Does she know what this could be?” He asked leaning forward.
Isaac copied the sheriffs actions, “She mentioned a bad feeling after the earthquake,” he commented glancing at Scott. “Anything last night?”
“Another nightmare,” he murmured, looking troubled but unsurprised. “She said she’d give me details later. She’s not feeling well.” That troubled him, too.
Isaac frowned. “Is she sick? Should we check on her?” He and Lydia had gotten closer over the past year. They hadn’t always been friends since he did try to kill her at one point, but after...after Allison they really got a lot closer. And he cared about her. After all Allison would want him to look after her best friend. His chest tightened slightly.
Scott looked over at him, feeling the subtle shift in his mood. “Yeah. Yeah, we probably should. We can go after we finish breakfast and make sure she’s okay.” He glanced at his mom. “And I’m gonna...stay there the next couple of days because her mom is out of town again.” His voice was quiet.
Melissa frowned. “I don’t like that she’s always leaving Lydia alone.” She said as she put the plate of pancakes on the table. “You should just tell her to come stay with us,” she said glancing over at Michael.
He nodded. “Lydia is always welcome here, you boys know that. She has an open invitation,” he added while pulling a couple of pancakes onto his plate.
Scott looked down at the table, nodding. “She knows,” he said, voice growing more quiet now. “It’s just...hard for her to be here for long periods of time.” He hoped they didn’t ask questions about why and he doubted they would. His mom and Stiles’ dad were both incredibly smart people. “Plus she has her dog to take care of.”
Melissa pursed her lips her chest tightening once again as she met Michael’s gaze. Had she known that she would have asked Lydia to meet her somewhere else for wedding planning. But of course she hadn’t said anything. But that was very Lydia of her. Melissa nodded as she grabbed the syrup and some more pancakes and walked over to the table.
“Well you tell her the door is always open if that ever changes.” She told her son as she put some pancakes on Isaac’s plate.
“I will,” he said softly, feeling bad that he’d made them feel bad.
Michael smiled faintly but it didn’t come close to reaching his eyes. It was times like today that he really wished his son was there because he’d probably have the whole situation figured out by the end of the day. He was smart, too smart sometimes. God he missed his son.
Isaac finished up his food in silence, gaze darting between Melissa and Michael and then over at Scott. “I’m ready,” he told Scott a moment later, rising to his feet and taking his plate to the sink. “Thanks for breakfast, Melissa. It was really good.”
Melissa half-smiled, “You’re welcome sweetie,” she said as she glanced at Michael knowing the look on his face well. She placed her hand over his and gave it a light squeeze.
Michael gave her a grateful look and squeezed her hand in return. “Be careful, boys,” he said quietly, looking up at Isaac and then over at Scott.
“We will,” Scott said quietly, rising to his feet and taking his plate to the sink as well. “If we find anything, I’ll call.”
They nodded practically in unison. Melissa watched them head for the door and she sighed glancing back at Michael. “I just never ends, does it?”
“No, it doesn’t,” he agreed with a sigh of his own. “And it’s never going to feel right sending teenagers out to do my job.”
Melissa rested a hand against his chest. “I know. But it’s not your fault that you can’t go out there fighting god knows what’s out there this week.” She said quietly. “We have to trust that they know what they're doing and when in doubt...we’ll call Chris to look after them,” She told him with a smile.
Michael turned his head to look at her, faint smile on his face. Then he reached over and wrapped his arms around her. “I think I’m gonna give him a call as a head’s up anyway,” he said quietly.
Melissa nodded as she leaned into him. “That’s a good idea. He’ll be here later too, well I doubt we’re having a party now,” she added. The kids couldn’t even enjoy one day.
“Maybe this weekend,” he said quietly. Saving lives came first. Even for the kids.
Melissa nodded. She didn’t really care about the party so much as the kids actually getting a chance to be kids. Instead of fighting for their lives every other week. But she knew this was the hand they’d been dealt and the kids would be as careful as they could.
He’d hitched a ride from Van Nuys to Beacon Hills with a trucker who was making his way up to San Francisco to deliver a couple of fork trucks to a company there. The guy had been pretty shady looking but Stiles hadn’t been very worried. If there was one thing he could do now, it was defend himself. The driver had turned out to be fairly friendly, actually. Possibly a little too friendly. Once upon a time he might have been kind of flattered that someone was hitting on him, but he didn’t really care about that kind of thing anymore. There wasn’t really a place in his life for that. And he didn’t swing that way anyway.
The guy had given him an odd look when he’d requested he drop him off at the cemetery, but he’d slowed the rig to a stop and let him out without argument, waving as he drove away. He waited until the truck disappeared from view before setting his luggage down on the curb and looking up the hill. It was chilly today, chillier than he remembered California being but it had been awhile since he’d been in Beacon Hills.
He wished he’d put on a coat but he wasn’t going to go digging through his bags on the side of the road. His chest was tight as his eyes scanned the area. He saw no one else around and he exhaled slowly, leaving his things where they were on the ground and slowly walking up the incline toward the grave he was coming to visit. He hadn’t stepped foot in this cemetery in nearly a year. Since the day that they buried her.
Rubbing a hand over his chest, he felt the familiar guilt welling up inside of him.
Beloved daughter and friend
January 21, 1996 - December 2, 2013
She hadn’t had a tombstone the last time he’d been there, and seeing it made his stomach turn because it was so final. Of course it was final. She’d died. Everyone did. He knelt down on the grass in front of the headstone, drawing in a shaky breath, not really caring about his black jeans getting dirty or stained. He rarely worried about that kind of thing. “I came back,” he whispered, reaching out and running his fingers over the cold surface of the granite stone. He swallowed hard, gaze traveling to the white lilies in the metallic vase on one side of the grave. Thank you, Danny, he thought, rubbing the back of his neck.
He felt a cold chill work its way through him as a cool mist drifted over the area. He sat for a long time in silence, unaware he was even crying until a sob worked its way free. “I am so sorry,” he whispered. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, Allison. It shouldn’t have been you.” His voice broke and he rubbed a hand over his face. “I should have done something when I had the chance and I was -- I was too much of a coward. If I hadn’t been, you’d still be here.”
He let out a shuddering breath, closing his eyes as the grief and guilt pressed down on him like a smothering fog. “I’m so sorry,” he whispered again.
Chris had been taking the long way to Allison’s grave, but froze when he spotted someone already there. He squinted trying to make out who it was and when he realized his eyes widened slightly. “Well I’ll be damned,” he whispered to himself as he moved closer to the tombstone quietly. By the time he made it over there he’d caught Stiles’ last sentence and his chest tightened.
There was still so much guilt in the boy’s voice and Chris wished that wasn’t the case. He shifted on his feet and stepped forward, resting his hand on Stiles’ shoulder not saying a word, but offering him some comfort nonetheless.
Stiles flinched at the feel of a hand on his shoulder and he jerked his head up, chest tightening painfully at the sight of Chris Argent standing there silent and stoic. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out, a pained expression crossing his features.
Chris swallowed hard. “Thank you for the flowers,” he said when he finally spoke. “It was a nice gesture.” He pulled his hand back taking Stiles’ in. He looked tired and haunted in ways no seventeen year old should look and that hurt. He wished there was something he could do to erase the look of pain on Stiles’ face, but honestly he wasn’t sure how.
He swallowed heavily, looking back at the flowers that Danny had continually put there on Stiles’ behalf. “How did you…” He couldn’t get the full sentence out. It didn’t matter how he knew, really.
Chris arched an eyebrow slipping his hands into his pockets. “I tracked you for a while,” he commented, “You move fast.” He said carefully as he shifted a boot against the ground. “How are you Stiles?”
His heart began to beat a little faster at that as he tried to figure out why Chris Argent had been trying to track him at all. He didn’t know what to say, and he couldn’t bring himself to meet the man’s eyes for a second time. “I’m okay,” he answered after a long moment. He couldn’t complain, considering where he was right then. And where Chris’s daughter was.
Stiles was far from okay, Chris could see that with one look, but he kept it to himself. “I didn’t think you were coming back,” he said quietly, “I hoped you would. Things haven’t really been the same without you here.” He paused pursing his lips as he glanced over at the tombstone. Chris’ heart clenched as he stepped forward and rested his hand there for a moment, grief pulling at his heart.
“I didn’t either,” he whispered, rubbing a hand over his face and wincing as he watched Chris lay his hand on the gravestone. He felt like he was going to be sick. Things were different in Beacon Hills, but it wasn’t because he had left. It was because a terrible tragedy had happened. A tragedy that he’d set into motion. For the life of him, he had no idea why Chris Argent would hope he’d ever come back.
Chris knew this kind of silence well. “This wasn’t your fault, Stiles, and before you cut me off or ignore what I’m saying...hear me out.” He said quietly. Chris turned so he was facing Stiles. “My daughter had a mind of her own and one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. She knew going after Lydia would be dangerous, she was prepared to die for her friend, for Isaac...for everyone.” He swallowed hard.
“The Nogitsune fooled us all.” Except Lydia, he added silently, “He might have worn the same face as you, but he wasn’t you. I don’t blame you...Allison wouldn’t either you know.”
He knew that Chris was right about that. Allison definitely had a mind of her own. And she’d been brave and kind-hearted in ways that he never had, and could never be. The things she’d done in the two years that he’d known her, the lives that she’d saved...she’d done more good in the world than most people would ever even know. A tear slipped down his cheek and he quickly swiped it away.
And he knew Chris was right about Allison not blaming him, either. “I wish it had been different,” he admitted quietly, voice strained. He wished a lot of things had been different. God, if he could just go back to that first night three years ago when he’d dragged his best friend in the world out into the woods to find a dead body, everything would have been different.
Chris rested a hand on his shoulder. “Do I wish Allison was still alive?” He paused, “Of course,” he told the teenager his voice strained, “Do I wish one of you would have taken her place? Absolutely not. Allison died doing what she believed in...Protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves.” His eyes burned, but he kept the tears at bay by sheer force of will. “My daughter died a hero and that’s exactly how I’m going to remember her.”
He covered his mouth for a minute before catching Stiles’ gaze. “They miss you, you know.”
Stiles didn’t bother to wipe away the tear that trickled down his pale face at Chris’s words. “She did,” he said quietly. But that didn’t make him any less sorry, even if he couldn’t force the words out of his mouth. He looked down at the headstone at the mention of the others. He missed them, too. He just nodded silently, swallowing against the lump in his throat.
“Are you back for good?” He asked studying Stiles.
“I don’t know,” he admitted in a whisper.
Chris nodded. “You should think about it.” He said his tone genuine. “This is your home, Stiles...you can’t run forever.”
Running didn’t make a difference, he thought tiredly. Because no matter where he went, or what he did, he still had to face his own reflection in the mirror every day. There was no escaping that. There was no escaping himself.
Michael glanced at the file on his desk as he placed all the paper back in it. The full report had finally come out and he photocopied everything and stuck the copy in his jacket pocket to bring home for Scott and the pack later. He reached for his coffee cup and frowned when he noticed it was empty again.
That was his third cup that day. Michael needed to slow down. He shifted the folder to the side and stared over at his computer. He wondered if Scott told the pack yet and if Lydia was alright. His thoughts drifted to Melissa and he figured he’d send her a text really quickly before going back to work.
Michael took out his phone and started typing, a knock sounded on his door, but he didn’t glance up. “Just leave whatever paperwork it is and I’ll sign it all later,” he said quietly while finishing up his text.
There was a moment of silence, and then, “Any kind of paperwork?” a familiar voice asked.
Michael paused, his head jerking up. He sat there for a several seconds, shock covering his face before he was up and around his desk pulling his son into his arms. “Stiles.” He said his name with such reverence, one hand going to the back of his head. “You’re home,” he said quietly, the emotion clear in his voice, eyes burning with unshed tears.
Stiles buried his face against his dad’s shoulder the way he always had since he was little, wrapping his arms around the sheriff tightly. “Hey, Dad,” he whispered, tears burning his eyes, too.
Michael tightened his grip on Stiles closing his eyes and enjoying the feel of hugging his son again. It had been close to a year and Michael had missed him fiercely. “It’s good to have you home son,” he pulled back gripping his arms, “Well let’s have a look at you.” He said taking note that he seemed to have bulked up. “You been taking care of yourself?” He asked noticing the small scars on Stiles and frowning.
He smiled faintly as his dad studied him. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “I’d ask you the same thing, but I have faith Melissa’s been making sure you eat things besides red meat and Cheeto’s around the clock.” His voice was still quiet, but with a hint of familiar teasing.
Michael grinned, “My fiancé takes good care of me,” he said grin pulling at his lips as he patted Stiles on the back and walked him over to the chairs in front of his desk. “She’s going to be thrilled you’re home,” he said warmly.
Stiles held his breath as he sat down, sliding his hands into the pockets of his black jacket. “Guess it’s a good thing you took my advice.”
Michael cocked his head to the side, “You told me to ask her out, not marry her. I did that on my own thank you.” He smiled remembering the day he finally got the nerve to ask her out. Stiles had been gone for about three months and he’d gone right over to her house, knocked on the door, and asked her to go get dinner. It was pretty much the best move of his life.
He couldn’t help but smile at that. “Fair enough,” he said quietly. His dad looked happy and that warmed his heart to see. It had been a long time. He swallowed hard, looking around the office. Not much had changed since the last time he’d been there, the same day Scott had knocked the Nogitsune out of his body with his alpha roar. Somehow the fact that he hadn’t changed much was both unnerving and comforting at the same time.
Michael was silent for a minute, “You’ve been to some interesting places,” he commented. “Finally ready to come back where you belong?” He asked trying to get a read on him, but not quite sure how.
His stomach tightened at the question. He didn’t want to lie to his dad and give him false reassurances, but he also didn’t want to hurt his feelings, either. He hesitated, looking down at his hands. “Scott showed you the postcards?”
“He has them up on the wall, it’s hard not to see them,” he said with a short laugh. “He looks forward to getting them, though I’m sure he’ll be even happier to know you’re here.” He said quietly reaching out and squeezing his son’s shoulder.
Stiles felt a tiny spark of hope somewhere deep down at his dad’s words. “Yeah?” There was a hint of uncertainty in his voice.
Michael arched an eyebrow, “Are you kidding?” He shook his head, “Scott misses you like you wouldn’t believe Stiles...he hasn’t been the same since you left.” He said honestly, “But now...He’s going to be really happy,” he said again a small smile pulling at his lips.
He had to force himself to take a deep breath because he hadn’t even been sure he’d be seeing Scott at all. Now he knew he had to even if he was still scared. He nodded slightly, swallowing hard at his dad’s words. “How’s uh -- how’s it been around here?”
Michael hesitated, “Things have been okay up until last night. We’ve got some new supernatural thing going on. I think there’s going to be a meeting about it later tonight at the house.” He explained, “But other than this new threat...things have been alright. It’s Beacon Hills so it’s never truly quiet.”
Dread bubbled up inside his gut at his dad’s admission and he felt himself shift back into something familiar to his more recent life experiences. “What happened last night?” he asked seriously, studying his father.
Michael frowned, “Attack in the woods. We’re looking into,” he said keeping his tone calm. “I’ve got the file for Scott.” He added.
Once upon a time he might have smiled at that because it had taken his dad a long time to realize the kind of things that really went on in the town. But now wasn’t the time. “Can I see it?”
Michael was quiet for a minute before getting up and reaching over his desk grabbing the file. He sat back down in the chair and held it out to his son. Part of him was glad Stiles was jumping back into old habits, but another part of him was hoping they’d get to talk a little more about what’s been going on and if he was finally coming back for good.
Stiles murmured a thanks to his dad as he took the file and opened it, sitting back in the chair as he read over the reports, grimacing as he scanned the information. The bodies -- or what was left of them anyway -- had been found less than half a mile from the Nemeton. Of course. He sat forward, staring at the file for a long moment and then flipping the page to the pictures that were included. A lifetime ago, the sight of the shredded carcasses would have made him either hurl or pass out. Possibly both.
He wasn’t the same kid he’d been then. He turned the pictures around to make sure he was seeing things from every possible angle. “This definitely isn’t a werewolf,” he murmured. Werewolves could do a lot of damage, but this was beyond anything he’d ever seen with any rogue Omega or even a pissed off Alpha. He chewed on his lower lip as he stared at the images.
Michael watched his son curiously, the tired look on his face growing as he read through the file. He plucked it from his son’s hands and rested it on his lap. “We know, that’s why I’m giving it to Scott later, so they can figure out what it is. They knew something was coming though, so they’re at least a little prepared.” he told him.
“Because of Lydia or because of the earthquake two days ago?” Stiles asked, lifting his gaze to his dad’s face and searching it for clues. “Or both?”
Michael scratched the back of his neck. “Lydia.” He said keeping his tone light. He wasn’t sure about the earthquake.
He was silent for a moment, feeling weary but knowing there wasn’t time to rest idly now. “What time is the pack meeting tonight?”
“I don’t know. There was supposed to be a party for Cora’s birthday at the house, but I think it’s just going to be a meeting now.” he paused trying to remember what time Melissa had told him. “I think Melissa said six.”
Stiles glanced at the watch on his left wrist. If the meeting was at six, he had about four hours to get busy and do some of his own investigating. He drew in a breath. “I don’t suppose you have the jeep keys on hand?”
Michael opened and closed his mouth confused. “I don’t know...I thought maybe we could grab a bite to eat since you’re back. I’ve got my car, I can drive.” He offered with a smile.
Stiles hesitated, guilt tugging at him. He quickly calculated in his head how much he could get done in three hours time if he spent his dad’s lunch hour with him, which he really did want to do. But there was danger out there. Danger that was big enough that he’d felt it across the world. “Raincheck?” he asked quietly, reaching out and squeezing his dad’s arm. “I need to look into something.”
“Stiles, you just got back,” he said doing his best to keep his voice calm. “Eat with your old man, come by the house and see Melissa, we’ve missed you. There’s nothing more important than your family.” He said his brows drawing together.
He could practically see Morrell’s judgmental glare even though she was literally sixteen hours away from Beacon Hills. He drew in a breath, trying to force himself to relax. “Okay, Dad,” he said softly.
Michael studied him for a minute and then nodded. “Okay. I’ll just grab my jacket,” he said standing and moving around his desk. He pulled it on and grabbed his keys out of his empty coffee mug. “Ready?”
He couldn’t help but smile at the fact his dad still kept his car keys in his empty mug. God he was glad that some things hadn’t changed even if everything else had. “We’re not doing fast food,” Stiles warned.
He held out his hands, “I’m a changed man, I didn’t plan on it. Nope,” he clapped his hand against Stiles back, “We’re going to have a nice sit down lunch so you can tell me exactly what you’ve been up to this past year,” he said brightly while guiding his son out of the office.
He smiled again, but this time it was forced and he was glad he was walking ahead of his dad so that he didn’t see it. That should be an interesting conversation, he thought.
Lydia sat on the couch her fingers pinching the bridge of her nose as Cora, Aiden, and Isaac went at it for the second time in a meeting that had only been going on for thirty minutes. She was tired, her head was on its way to a very large headache and the feeling she had all day yesterday had intensified tenfold. It was driving her crazy because she still had no idea what it was. She was tense and her fuse was incredibly short at the moment.
Lydia glanced over at Scott who was standing in the living room arms crossed over his chest looking frustrated. Ethan looking completely helpless as he stood by Aiden trying to rein his brother in. Cora and Isaac stood side-by-side and Derek had joined her by the couch a couple of minutes ago, most likely just as frustrated as Scott.
They didn’t have time for this crap. “Guys,” no one heard her, “Guys!” She said snapped loudly. “It is incredibly hard for me to focus on anything when you’re all shouting. We need to be working together on this one. So just listen to what Scott is telling you.” She told them rolling her shoulders lightly trying to get out an ache that had been there for a few hours.
She was trying to pick up on any out of the ordinary feelings, but all she could feel was the one currently making her anxious and it was getting tiresome.
Scott gave her a sympathetic look, because truthfully he’d been feeling off since mid-morning. And it wasn’t just about the deaths that had taken place. There was something else, something familiar but something he couldn’t place. It had been driving him crazy all day.
“I don’t see what the problem is. We just split up and start researching. Me and Ethan can head out and patrol the woods. If we find whatever it is, we kill it,” Aiden said, annoyed. “Problem solved. Not everything has to turn into a huge crisis unless we let it.”
Kira shrank back against the sofa beside Lydia, casting a wary glance at Scott and then back at Aiden. “But what if it’s something that’s not so easy to kill?” Her voice was quiet, because Kira wasn’t one to be loud about much of anything. “We need to be careful. Really careful.”
Lydia nodded, “Kira is right. We don’t just send people blindly out into the night to find creatures that we don’t have any information about,” she said tiredly. Lydia pushed herself up off the couch and started moving back and forth, clenching and unclenching her hand as she went.
Aiden turned, “It’s not a big deal. If you’re worried Scott and Derek can come with us. We’re stronger in numbers.” He said as if it were obvious.
Lydia paused and glared at him. “No. Did you not just hear what I said? We can’t just send you guys out there without knowing what you’re going after. What if someone gets hurt?”
Isaac tilted his head, “We tend to get hurt sometimes, just throwing that out there not that I agree with them because I don’t,” he added.
Lydia pressed a hand against her stomach and frowned. “I don’t think-”
Aiden cut her off, “You’re not the alpha of this pack Lydia, you don’t get to decide what we do.” He said and Ethan sighed.
“Stop,” Scott said, grinding his teeth together and casting a confused glance toward the closed front door, then returning his attention to what was going on. “Fighting amongst ourselves isn’t going to help. And Lydia’s right. We’re not going into this blind. That’s how people get hurt, or worse.” He shot a sharp glance at Aiden.
“So what do we do?” Cora spoke up, folding her arms across her chest and looking at Scott. It felt like they were just running in circles as per usual and it was annoying as hell.
“We plan. We research. We figure out what this thing is and -- “ Scott paused, feeling a flicker of awareness.
“This thing is actually multiple things,” a familiar voice said as he stepped inside the front door, keys in one hand and a file folder in the other. “And not to be crass here, but...Beacon Hills is in deep shit.”
Scott’s head whipped around at the familiar voice, his mouth dropping open for a second before a large grin pulled at his lips. “Dude, you’re back!” He closed the distance between them quickly and yanked Stiles into a hug, his chest tight as he hugged his best friend.
Lydia froze, her body stiffening at the sound of his voice. Her heartbeat rocketed in her chest and her stomach turned, her face paling slightly. Oh god...that’s what she’d been feeling...She’d been feeling Stiles except...something wasn’t quite right.