May 28, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 4/23

Title:Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here
Fandom:Teen Wolf
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 |  Three |

Chapter Four

Stiles had stood outside of his own house for nearly fifteen minutes, trying to gather up enough courage to actually go inside. As hard as it had been visiting Allison earlier, as hard as it had been to just see his dad, this was much more nerve wracking. He was pretty sure that he was going to be out of Xanax by the end of the week. He’d heard the angry voices inside, so distracted by their own differences that none of them had actually heard him enter the front door. He used to run with wolves. Now he’d learned how to walk among them without detection, apparently.

He caught the tail end of what Scott was saying, and while he wasn’t exactly feeling in his element at the moment combined with the fact that he was literally walking into the wolves’ den, he interrupted his best friend and then fell silent, stilling after he looked around at all the people there.

It was approximately three seconds before he was wrapped up in Scott’s arms and he shut his eyes, hugging him back tightly as relief washed over him. Even if everyone else in the room hated his guts, he knew for sure now that Scott didn’t. And if Scott didn’t hate him, then maybe he was going to get through this. “Hey, Scottie,” he whispered.

Scott grinned, “I’ve missed that nickname,” he said with a grin as he stepped back. “How the hell are you?” He asked before he was practically shoved aside by Cora.

“You’re back!” She said the first real smile on her face in a while. “Perfect timing.” She said with a smirk.

Isaac arched a brow confused.

He couldn’t help but smile back at Cora. “And so are you.” Granted, he’d known that since he’d been the one to convince her to come back to Beacon Hills in the first place. Still, it was good to see that she was okay. He hesitated a second before hugging her, too. “Happy birthday.”

Aiden was staring at Stiles like he’d literally descended from another planet. He looked at his brother in disbelief, though he remained silent for the time being.

Kira hesitated before getting up from the couch and moving towards Scott, Stiles and Cora, right as Lydia finally got her bearings back and slipped out of the living room towards the kitchen, not even bothering to turn around.

Kira waved, “Hey Stiles, welcome home,” she said with a shy grin.

Derek eyed Stiles warily before rising to his feet and following Lydia into the kitchen wordlessly.

“Hey, Kira,” Stiles said with a small smile. He glanced over to where Lydia and Derek had been sitting; chest tightening as he realized they’d left the room. He took a deep breath, reminding himself that he’d known everyone wasn’t going to be happy to see him. He’d prepared for that.

He shifted his gaze toward the twins and Isaac, nodding slightly but not meeting Isaac’s eyes. “Hey guys.”

Isaac scratched the back of his neck. “Hey,” he said lamely not really sure what else to say especially after the last talk that they’d had.

Ethan shifted forward, “It’s good to see that you’re alive and kicking,” he joked sending half a smile in Stiles’ direction. Aiden arched an eyebrow and glanced at his brother before looking back over at Stiles.

“I hate to break up the reunion, but we were kind of in the middle of something.” He added.

“I’m aware,” Stiles informed him, meeting his cold stare with one of his own. “Sorta what brings me here.” He held up the file folder he was holding.

Cora frowned a little, shooting a glare in Aiden’s direction, but falling silent.

Scott frowned, “You came back to help us with this?” He asked confused, “Why?” Scott waved his hand, “You know what, I don’t care why as long as you’re here,” he said ushering his friend inside. “What do we have?” He asked tilting his head to the side as he watched his friend.

Cora followed them over towards the couch and Isaac stayed where he was. Kira also moved over towards where everyone was standing so she could hear what Stiles was about to say.

Nodding, Stiles sat down in the middle of the couch, setting the file folder down on the table and opening it up, revealing all the things he’d printed out at the library earlier. He looked at Scott with a grim expression. “They’re called daevas. And as far as bad shit goes…” He hesitated, looking back down at the folder. “It’s pretty bad.”

“Daevas?” Ethan echoed, looking confused. “I’ve never even heard of them.”

“Most people haven’t,” Stiles told him, glancing over at him. “Most people really don’t want to.”

Scott frowned, “Well what do we know about them? Why are they here? What do they want? And how to we get rid of them?” He asked.

Stiles frowned. “Not as much as I’d like,” he admitted. “And they’re here because someone...or something summoned them.” He paused. “My guess is by using the Nemeton as a sort of supernatural battery pack.”

Scott listened closely and frowned, “Do they, have shadows or something with shadows?” He asked feeling silly, but Lydia said she’d been attacked by Shadows in her nightmare and they’d ripped her apart.

Stiles looked up at Scott at the mention of shadows. “You’ve seen them?”

Scott swallowed hard, “Not me.” he said calmly.

Isaac turned his head and pursed his lips tugging lightly on his scarf as he listened to Stiles and Scott go back and forth like no time had passed.

He might have been gone for a long time, but he could still read Scott like he’d never left at all. “Lydia.” It wasn’t a question. He took a deep breath and then looked back down at the folder in front of him.

“She saw them? Did I miss that part of the conversation?” Cora asked, confused.

Scott winced when everyone looked at him. “They’ve been in Lydia’s nightmares recently. They were the things chasing her in the woods,” he admitted. “She wasn’t comfortable telling everyone.”

Aiden frowned, “Well, it sort of involves all of our lives, so I feel like all relevant information should have been disclosed,” he said jaw ticking.

Scott lifted his gaze to Aiden, “Derek and I knew and we were and are looking into it. But now we don’t have to worry about that anymore because Stiles,” he patted his friend on the back with a grin, “Is back and bearing information.” He said matter-of-factly.

“But no pressure or anything, right?” He arched an eyebrow at Scott, smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.

“So how do we kill it?” Ethan asked.

“That’s the question of the day,” Stiles said grimly. “How do you kill what you literally can’t see?”

Kira looked around. “I think I’m...gonna go make a pot of coffee. I have a feeling we’re going to need it.”

Scott glanced at her and dropped his hand to her knee squeezing it gently smiling in her direction. “Thanks,” he said softly. “Do you think you can also tell Lydia to come here really quick?” He asked trying not to wince at the question.

Isaac cleared his throat. “Uh, I think that’s going to be hard for her to do when she’s no longer here.” He said with a tilt of his head as he watched Derek’s truck disappear down the street.

Stiles kept his expression completely passive at that information even if it felt like Isaac had kicked him in the gut. He clasped his hands together, staring down at the file folder like he was searching it intently for something.

“I wonder why,” Aiden muttered.

“Stop,” Ethan said, shooting him a warning look.

Scott’s chest tightened. He had been so excited to see Stiles that he hadn’t even felt Lydia’s distress. A hint of guilt filled his chest. “I’ll talk to her later,” he said quietly, “And get some more information about them.” He said before glancing up at Ethan and Aiden.

“You guys know a lot of people; you’ve run into other packs. Do you think you can make some calls to the people you’re still friendly with and see if any of them have ever run into Daevas? And if they have if there are any known ways to kill them?” He asked.

Stiles felt Cora’s eyes on him and he turned his head to look at her, offering her a faint, barely there smile.

“Yeah, of course,” Ethan agreed. “I’ll start making some calls tonight.” He glanced at Aiden. “And we’re not going out until we find more about these things.”

“You don’t want to go after them at night anyway,” Stiles said, looking over at him. “They travel by shadows. If there aren’t any shadows, they can’t move around. Wait until daylight if you’re going out there.”

Ethan watched Stiles for a minute noting the differences in him before nodding. “Will do, thanks for the tips.” He said lightly, “Come on Aiden,” he said giving his brother a look that said it was time to go before he said or did something they’d come to regret. “We’ll check in, in the morning.” He told them tugging Aiden towards the door.

Stiles watched them go, pursing his lips and glancing up at Scott briefly before shifting his gaze to Isaac for a split second. He drew in a breath, already starting to feel more tense now that he’d given them the little bit of information he had so far and not knowing what to say or do next.

“How late is your mom working?” he asked after a minute, glancing at Scott.

Scott shook his head, “Your guess is as good as mine. She had off today and got called in I think. I don’t know how long she’s staying, but you’re back so you’ll be here when she gets back. She’s going to be surprised.” He said with a grin as he reached out and gripped his friend’s shoulder. “We’ve missed you,” he said quietly.

He shifted awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck. “My stuff’s -- I’m actually checked in at the Sunrise Motel,” he admitted.

Cora stared at him, dumbfounded and then she shook her head a little. “Isaac, why don’t you give me the birthday presents you mentioned?” she asked, rising to her feet and nodding toward the stairs.

He frowned, “Okay?” He said though it came out like a question as he motioned for her to follow him up the stairs.

Scott watched them go and then turned to Stiles. “A motel? came home to stay at a motel? Mom’s not gonna have it.” He said lightly. “Come on I’ll go with you to get your crap and we can put it in your room,” he said with a smile.

Stiles drew in a breath. “I think we’ve got more pressing issues than where I’m crashing tonight, Dude. We need to find out what time your mom gets off work because if she’s coming back in the middle of the night, someone’s going to need to make sure she makes it back safely. Same with my dad.”

Scott pursed his lips. “I’ll call your Dad and tell him to go pick up Mom,” he said simply and I’ll have the twins tail them back, taken care of.” He said as he studied his best friend. “These things haven’t tried to come after us yet and I don’t think they’re going to pick tonight, but it’s better to be safe than sorry,” Scott told him.

“So...the motel, should we go get your stuff?” He asked with half a grin.

He hesitated, looking back down at the file folder and falling silent. “I’m pretty jet-lagged, Scott,” he said softly. “I’m probably going to crash for the, eighteen hours.”

Scott angled his head to the side, “Don’t you want to do that in your own house?” He asked his gaze taking in his friend’s hands and how they moved nervously. He saw scars there as well and he was pretty sure he could smell the faint hint of cigarette smoke lingering on Stiles’ clothes. Things were different.

Things couldn’t have been more different. Stiles wanted nothing more than to sprawl out on the couch and pass out, but he was starting to get that feeling like he wanted to crawl out of his own skin. It was a feeling he hadn’t had in a long time. “You guys don’t want to have to tiptoe around half the day tomorrow,” he said wryly, even though he knew Scott wasn’t going to buy that either.

Scott kept his eyes on Stiles for a minute before nodding. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.” He said keeping his tone casual. “Besides I should probably run out and check on Lydia anyway.” He told his friend. He wasn’t sure what was going on with Stiles, but he was starting to think his friend didn’t actually want to be there which begged the question, why was he?

He might not have bought Stiles’ excuse but Scott appeared to be letting him off the hook anyway. He drew in a breath, nodding. “Yeah, probably should,” he said quietly. “I didn’t mean to…” He motioned vaguely. “You know.” Fuck up again. He rose to his feet, arching his eyebrows. “I don’t suppose you know where my jeep keys are?”

Scott stayed seated for a minute before pushing himself up. “Yeah, sure.” He said before walking into the hallway and pausing at the small table against the wall. He opened the drawer and pulled out the keys. Scott turned back around and walked over to Stiles holding out the keys. “There you go.”

Stiles swallowed heavily as he stared at Scott for a few seconds before reaching out and taking his keys. “Thanks,” he said quietly.

“Yup,” Scott nodded as he walked with Stiles to the door. “If you change your mind we’re obviously not going anywhere.”

Stiles winced at the unspoken implication -- or possibly the unspoken accusation -- in that statement. “Scott.” His voice was barely audible. “Look, there’s a lot that…”

Scott held up his hand, “I didn’t mean it like that; I just meant you know where to find us so you can come back if you change your mind. That’s it.” he said simply.

Stiles hesitated. “Okay.” He reached out and turned the door knob, pulling the door open to go.

Scott paused, “Are you staying?” He asked quietly, “No bullshit, be honest with me.”

Stiles rubbed a hand over his face. That was the question he’d dreaded the most. And Scott definitely wasn’t going to let him off the hook this time. He could hear it in his voice. His shoulders were tense as he turned to look at the guy who had been his best friend since he was five. “I don’t know,” he said just as quietly. “And that’s the truth.”

Scott nodded. “Stiles,” he paused, “We missed you and we love you and I don’t even care that you took off for a year. I mean I do, but I’m not mad. You and I are good,” he said, “That being said. I’d like you to do me a favor,” he said quietly.

His eyes burned and he blinked a couple of times, nodding. “Yeah, okay. What’s the favor?”

“Until you know whether you plan on staying in town...stay away from Lydia.” He said softly. “You’ve got any questions ask me and I’ll get you answers.”

Stiles felt his stomach turn at the request, staring at Scott for a long moment. “Okay,” he said simply. That summed up a hell of a lot for him right there. “I’ll uh -- see you. I’m at the Sunrise if something comes up.”

Scott swallowed hard and nodded, “Come by tomorrow...Mom’s going to be upset she missed you today.” He paused, “She really has missed you, we all have.” He said wanting his friend to know that he was still wanted in his family and that would never change.

Stiles tried to smile but it didn’t quite manage it this time. “Me too,” he said quietly, wanting to reach out and squeeze Scott’s arm reassuringly, but refraining. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Scott.” He turned and headed out of the house, moving toward his jeep that was parked in front of the curb. He clutched the keys tightly in his hand, not looking back.


Scott’s mind was spinning as he waited for Derek to answer the door to his loft. Stiles was back. Lydia was freaked out. They had shadow monsters to figure out how to deal with. But he’d realized on the drive over after dropping Kira off that the strange feeling he’d been having all day was because his best friend was finally home, and that the feeling was strange because Stiles was very different from the last time he’d seen him. He felt off-balance but somehow a little more centered than he had at the same time. It was a confusing rush of contradictory emotions.

Derek moved to the door tugging it open with a jerk of his wrists. He arched an eyebrow at Scott, “You alone?” he asked keeping his body in front of the door.

He nodded slightly. “I just dropped Kira off and Stiles isn’t with me.”

Derek stepped aside and nodded his head toward the couch where Lydia was sitting, a bubble of anxiety practically suffocating the air around her. He closed the door when Scott came inside and paused, “I’m gonna give you guys some time.” He said patting Scott on the shoulder before moving over to Lydia. “I’ll be right upstairs,” He pressed a kiss to the side of her head and then moved up the spiral staircase. He knew it wasn’t complete privacy, but Lydia was more shaken than he’d seen her in a long time so he’d go as far as he could to give them some privacy, but he wasn’t leaving.

Scott watched as Derek headed up the stairs, and while he knew that if he wanted to listen, he was going to, he wasn’t really bothered either. He tried not to keep secrets from the rest of the pack, especially when it came to Lydia and Derek. When he disappeared upstairs, Scott moved over and sat down beside Lydia.

Lydia watched Derek go before glancing at Scott. She gave him half a smile, “I’m fine,” she said immediately not wanting him to worry. But honestly she wasn’t sure if that was true. She hadn’t gotten a good look at Stiles, because the second she heard his voice everything inside of her just shut down. She’d moved out of the room without even glancing over her shoulder at him and it was for the best because if she saw him, really saw him, Lydia wasn’t sure how she would react.

“No, you’re not,” he said gently, reaching out and resting a hand on her shoulder. How could she be fine? If anything, she was probably in shock. “And that’s okay. It was...unexpected,” Scott said carefully, studying her. That was really sort of an understatement.

“For the past two days I’ve had this sucking pit of anxiety inside of me. The feeling I was getting wasn’t familiar I mean not really. I told you about it the other night.” Lydia swallowed hard, “And then was him. He’s what’s I’ve been feeling. But it doesn’t feel like,” she paused shifting on the couch as she moistened her lips. “It’s wrong. It feels...I’m not sure how to describe it. All I can tell you is how it makes me feel, which isn’t good. It makes me nauseous and...Anxious.” It wasn’t pleasant and it definitely wasn’t something she ever associated with Stiles.

Scott looked down for a moment. “I felt it too. I’ve been feeling it all day. I just didn’t realize what it was until he walked through the door.” He rubbed the back of his neck, shifting closer to her so their arms were touching.

What Lydia felt from him in the past had always been reassuring and warm and it enveloped her in such a sense of love...something she hadn’t realized until it had disappeared from her altogether leaving a hole Lydia wasn’t sure could be filled by anything but that. Lydia glanced down at her hands, the sound of his voice playing in her head over and over again. She felt moisture pool in her eyes. “I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but...he has no problem sending random things throughout the year to people...he should have called given you a heads up that he was coming.” She told him trying to keep her voice calm even as it shook slightly.

He swallowed hard, turning his head to look at her. “For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re the only one who feels that way.” Scott didn’t. Scott couldn’t. He felt like he should maybe feel guilty that he didn’t, but it was Stiles.

He reached out again, laying his hand on her back. “I’m sorry he didn’t give anyone a head’s up. I don’t…” He exhaled. “I don’t really know what to expect from him right now. But...I told him to keep his distance from you for the time being.”

Lydia’s face softened and she rested her hand on Scott’s arm. “You didn’t have to do that.” She paused, “Scott, I know better than anyone else just how much you’ve missed him. I can feel it on you every time we’re together.” She told him softly as she squeezed his arm and shifted on the couch dropping her legs to the ground and angling her body to face him.

“Don’t put yourself in between us. I appreciate the gesture, but I do not want to be the thing that causes tension between the two of you.” She told him matter-of-factly. “You’ve been waiting for this since he left. I know you have and I don’t want you to feel bad about that.” Lydia swallowed hard. “I’m going to stay with Derek for a little while so you don’t have to worry about me seeing him until I’m ready. I’ve got my very own personal blockade of people,” she joked trying to dispel some of the anxiety she was currently feeling.

“I have,” he said softly, because there was no sense in denying it. Even if she couldn’t feel the gaping hole that Stiles’ abrupt departure had left in his heart, she knew him well enough by now to know that anyway. “And it’s already done.” He looked at her. “Look, Lydia. Stiles is my family. But so are you. And I’m not gonna sit by and do nothing if there’s something I can do.”

Lydia’s heartbeat was faster than normal despite the fact that she was sitting still and between the crushing pain and immeasurable anger battling for dominance inside of her, she was having trouble focusing on anything else. Lydia desperately needed an escape.

Scott rubbed her back gently, picking up on her anxiety. Her heartbeat was too fast and it made him feel tense. “I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not glad he’s back. But there’s already tension there. And it’s not because of you.” His voice was quiet. “You’re right. There’s something…” He hesitated, shaking his head. “Really different. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I don’t have a good feeling about it either.” He shifted so he was facing her. “The good news is, he’s already figured out what we’re dealing with. What killed those people. They’re called Daevas.”

Lydia arched an eyebrow trying to process everything Scott was saying. There was absolutely something off with what she was feeling from him. She shook the thought away and focused on the good news, “The things in my dream?” She asked and when he nodded she pursed her lips. “They’ve been getting worse. The shadows...there’s more of them now and they don’t just come after me.” Lydia told him quietly.

“One of them attacked Derek in my dream the other night and then it looked like one was going for Isaac, but...I woke up before that happened.” More like shot up screaming Derek’s name in a cold sweat. But still, same thing. “I don’t understand why they’re coming after the pack or where they came from, but I think it’s time for everyone to start being more careful. No one should go out alone.” Lydia leaned forward resting her arms on her legs trying to get her stomach to settle.

“And in my dream...we were in the woods and you guys couldn’t see them. There were all these shadows and none of you saw them. I kept trying to warn you but I couldn’t see everything at once and every time I looked away from one person to help another all heard was screaming from the other side.” Lydia whispered.

Scott watched her, troubled by that news even if he wasn’t surprised. “He said they move through shadows. That they can’t get around without them. We’ll have to be even more careful at night than during the day. But I agree, no one should be going anywhere alone.” His stomach clenched at the idea of these things coming after the pack. “And...he said that for them to be here, someone or something had to have summoned them. They didn’t come on their own.” Which begged the question of who or what was summoning evil shadow demons.

Lydia frowned, “Who would do that?” She hadn’t felt anyone new in town recently and she certainly hadn’t felt anything strange before the earthquake. “I can try and see if I feel anything knew, but it’s sort of hard for me to weed through emotions right now.” She told him quietly, “I’m sorry.”

“I have no idea. But we’ll find out.” That much he was certain. He shook his head. “Lydia, you don’t owe me an apology,” he said sincerely. “I know this isn’t easy.” Especially with the near anniversary of Allison’s death looming over all of their heads like an anvil threatening to squash them. He squeezed her arm.

“I just feel sort of helpless when I can’,” Lydia admitted. Whenever she got overwhelmed emotionally it always clouded what feelings she processed coming into her. “I’ll keep trying...and I’m sorry for just leaving tonight without saying anything.” Lydia glanced over at him and placed a hand on top of Scott’s. “I should have told you I was leaving, I just...I couldn’t handle it. I freaked out,” She whispered.

“I know,” Scott said quietly, giving her arm another reassuring squeeze. “But we will figure this out.” He met her eyes. “It’s okay. I understand. I do.” He just hoped that Stiles did, too. He reached out and hugged her because he felt like they both needed that. It was kind of strange but in the last year, he found himself becoming more physical with most of the pack, especially if one of them was upset about something. There was something comforting about it and Deaton had explained that it was normal for packs to interact like that. That it helped bond them more, and he was pretty sure the man was right.

Lydia held onto Scott, wrapping her arms around him tightly, taking comfort in his touch. Lately she’d found herself needing the direct contact more often. It calmed her down, made her feel more centered and with certain people it calmed the influx of emotions inside of her. “Thanks Scott,” she said softly.

“No problem,” he whispered sincerely, rubbing her back gently. It calmed him, too. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “We’ll figure it all out. It’s gonna be okay.”

Lydia nodded, “I know...we always figure it out.” She pulled back and tilted her head to the side. “Are you staying for a little bit? Derek and I were just going to watch a movie. You’re more than welcome to hang out.” Lydia told him softly as she rubbed her hand over his arm.

He smiled faintly at that. “I should probably go by the hospital and check on my mom. Stiles was worried about her and his dad getting home safely after dark, so I want to see what time they’re getting off.”

Lydia frowned, “Okay, check in with me? Let me know everything’s okay?” She worried about Melissa and the sheriff too. “And I’ll do my best to get a better description of these things for you.” She told him with half a smile.

“Absolutely,” Scott assured her. “I’ll text you as soon as we’re all home safe.” He gave her a soft smile in return, and rose to his feet.

Lydia stood too and walked with him to the door. “Thanks for checking on me,” she said as she pulled open the door and leaned against slightly, “You’re a good friend, the best.” She added reaching out and squeezing his arm gently. “Be safe.” Lydia stated.

He smiled at that. “You don’t have to thank me for that. You’d have done the same thing. It’s how this works.” He kissed her forehead. “I’ll talk to you soon.” He turned and headed out of the loft, pausing. “Bye, Derek!” he called.

Derek started walking back down the spiral staircase, half a smile on his face, “Bye Scott.” He said simply shaking his head.

Lydia waved and then slid the door shut and rested her back against it closing her eyes and sighing softly.

He watched her for a long moment. “You okay?” His voice was quiet.

Lydia opened her eyes and tilted her head. “I don’t know.” She said honestly as she shifted on her feet. She hesitated before stepping forward and reaching out to him, resting a hand on his arm. “Can we just forget about today for a little while? Can we just try to relax? Maybe you can read me one of your boring books?” All she really wanted at the moment was to just be held so she could process everything. Stiles was back and Lydia just wasn't sure what that meant and how to deal with it.

He moved closer to her, resting his hands on her waist. The fact that she wanted him to read to her told him a lot about how upset she was feeling. “I can do that,” he agreed, sliding his arms around her in a hug.

Lydia leaned into him, “Thanks for being here tonight Derek,” she slid her arms around his neck. “You’re a good friend.” Lydia mumbled softly.

He pressed a kiss to her temple. “Come on,” he said quietly, taking her hand and leading her toward the stairs.


It was barely sunrise when Stiles made his way to Deaton’s clinic. He knew the man was an early riser and tended to put in a lot of early morning hours. Or at least he had the last time Stiles had been in Beacon Hills. He’d put in a call to Morrell already, but she hadn’t answered. She often didn’t when she was on a job, and combined with the fact that she was probably pissed at him for taking off...he wasn’t even sure she’d actually return his call. Which meant Deaton was his next best hope.

He stepped inside the building, instantly overwhelmed by memories of the place. He’d spent a lot of time in there in two years’ time. Most of it hadn’t been for good reasons.

“Deaton? Are you busy?” he called out hesitantly.

Deaton was in the process of putting away some herbs when he heard the familiar voice in the lobby. He paused a moment before putting the jars down and walking out into the main part of the lobby. He spotted Stiles and smiled. “The prodigal son returns,” he joked. “How are you Stiles?”

As phrasing went, Stiles knew it was a pretty accurate descriptor. It made his chest hurt, though. “I’m good,” he told Deaton, leaning on the counter. “But it looks like things here are about to explode again.”

Deaton arched an eyebrow. “Indeed, it seems they are. What can I help you with?” He asked slipping his hands into his pockets. He’d heard through the grapevine that Stiles had been traveling and training with other emissaries. Deaton had wondered if he’d be making his way back to Beacon Hills.

“Daevas,” he said after a moment. “Have you dealt with them before?”

Deaton frowned and arched an eyebrow, “I haven’t,” he said as he motioned for Stiles to come behind the counter. “I might have some books that talk about them though,” he offered as he walked back to his office to search for them. “Is that what we’re dealing with?” He inquired.

He followed Deaton through the office and back to the back of the building. “Pretty sure, yeah.” There was something else that he’d begun to suspect last the more that he researched. He scanned the man’s bookshelves while Deaton looked, too. Then he glanced at him sideways. “How’ve you been?”

“I’ve been well, and you? How is that sister of mine?” He asked curiously peeking at Stiles out of the corner of his eye taking in all the changes in the young man before him. His energy felt different too.

Stiles drew in a breath. “Probably a hundred shades of really pissed off at me right about now. We were in Budapest,” he told Deaton, grimacing. “There’s a new pack in the making there.” He rubbed the back of his neck.

“Well, as an emissary your duty to your own pack comes first and foremost,” he said as he pulled a book off of the shelf, “She should know that.” Deaton said pointedly as he turned around and held the book out to Stiles. “There should be something in there. Now Daevas are shadow creatures, which I’m sure you know.” He commented.

Stiles felt a sharp pain tighten his chest. “It’s not my pack,” he said without hesitation. He focused on the book as he flipped through it, nodding in confirmation about his comment on shadow creatures.

Deaton studied Stiles for a minute. “You might not think they are, but they are.” He said simply without doubt. “You’re going to need someone who can see and hear at intervals we humans and wolves cannot. So make sure you tell Lydia they probably won’t be able to go after her. So she should be able to point out the Daevas so they can be destroyed.” He explained.

Stiles frowned at that. “You don’t think these things can hurt her?” he asked uncertainly. Because from where he was standing, it pretty much looked like it wouldn’t distinguish. Wolves, banshees, humans.

Deaton arched an eyebrow. “I’ve heard that there are some creatures that shy away from banshee’s, I could be wrong about the Daevas though you should definitely look into it before you give Scott the information,” he added.

Stiles wasn’t going to argue even if Deaton was wrong. “Maybe they don’t like the noise,” he said, thinking. He glanced at the older man, nodding. “I will. I assume you’re gonna be looking into this too, right?” Deaton was Scott’s emissary and his boss, so he figured he’d be doing his own research.

Deaton shook his head, “No, I won’t be. I’m not Scott’s emissary.” He said as he turned back to Stiles. “You are, whether you like it or not. So I suggest you use the skills you spent a year cultivating and go help your pack.” He suggested with a smile. “It was nice seeing you Stiles.”

He felt his face drain of color. “Wait, what? Of course you are. You’ve been helping him for the last three years. How can you not be his emissary? That doesn’t even make any sense.”

Deaton sighed and took a step forward resting his hands on Stiles’ shoulders. “I am Derek’s emissary. The Hale family emissary. I have been helping Scott true, but I was never meant to be his emissary. You had to know I had someone better in mind.” He said pointedly.

“You will do fine and I will be here if you need guidance. But you left and cultivated a world of knowledge in a year. You fast tracked yourself on this path. Now it’s time you stood up and used the knowledge you were so keen to get.”

“But -- it wasn’t even a full year.” His eyes were comically wide, looking more like the old version of himself than this newer version. “And there aren’t any Hale alphas left, I mean they’ve like, joined Scott’s pack so doesn’t that mean by default it should still be you?” His heart was beating fast. God there were so many things wrong with this whole situation that he couldn’t begin to compose a list in his head of all the reasons. Not the least of which was that he wasn’t even sure he was going to be able to stay in Beacon Hills. Deaton had to be kidding. He had to be.

Deaton shook his head. “I’ll be here to guide you as you go along with things, but this is all you now Stiles. You can do this. Just think of this as a trial. I can tell you haven’t decided whether you’re staying in town or not,” he said lightly.

“If this goes successfully you’ll know you can do this and if not, well I suppose I can step back in until you finish the training you think is necessary. But for the record I was thrust into this life quite young as well and I’m doing just fine.” He told the teenager with a small smile.

He rubbed a hand over his face. A trial. By fire, apparently. Or that’s how it felt. He opened his mouth to speak, then shut it again. He swallowed hard. “Does Scott know this?” he whispered.

Deaton studied Stiles for a minute. “I haven’t told him, but he’s a smart kid. When you tell him I’m sure he’ll be alright with it.” He said casually. “And if you have any more questions you can of course ask, I’ll be around.”

Stiles was pretty sure Deaton had actually lost his damn mind. He had to be kidding because there was no way in hell he was going to tell Scott he was his emissary. “Right. Okay.” Feeling more than a little overwhelmed, he swallowed hard, making his way out of the man’s office. “Thanks.”

Deaton could see how anxious Stiles was, but he was hoping this would be the push the younger man needed to make his way back to where he belonged. “You’re welcome, come back any time Stiles.”


Melissa looked around the table at her fiancée and two boys as they all ate breakfast in relative silence, on a Saturday before ten in the morning. “Okay. Someone start talking,” she said in the no-nonsense tone she reserved for when someone was in trouble. And she had the mom instinct that they all were in trouble.

Isaac looked up from his eggs and pursed his lips his eyes slid to Scott. He arched an eyebrow at his resident alpha and then not too subtly tilted his head in Melissa’s direction. Isaac definitely didn’t want to be the one to break the news.

Scott caught Isaac’s not so subtle hint and he lifted his napkin and wiped his mouth. It was already after nine and Stiles hadn’t bothered to show up. He wanted to surprise his Mom, but it didn’t look like his friend would be joining them for breakfast after all, which really kind of hurt. He bit the inside of his cheek and slowly turned his head to the sheriff, cocking his head to the side and sending him a somewhat pleading look.

Melissa’s gaze flickered between the two boys, eyes narrowing at their unspoken communication, and then she looked at Michael.

Michael sighed and put down his fork. He rested his elbows on the table and looked over at his fiancé, smile on his face. “We were going to surprise you, but it seems our surprise didn’t quite work out,” which he still wasn’t sure why. He had no clue why his son would rather sleep in some cheap motel then in his own bed and he also had no idea why he wasn’t sitting at breakfast with his family right now. “Stiles is back in town,” he said softly. “He stopped by the station yesterday.” He told her keeping his voice light. “We stopped by the house to see you, but you had gotten called into work,” he explained.

Melissa nearly dropped her fork. “What?” She immediately looked toward the stairs. “Where is he? Is he still asleep?”

Scott scratched the back of his neck. “Uh, he’s not,” he swallowed hard and glanced at the sheriff briefly as Isaac played with his food. “He’s not here.” Scott told her softly, his chest tightening at the words.

She looked at Scott in confusion, then her stomach tightened. “He left already?”

“He’s still in town,” Isaac said, hating the look on her face.

Michael reached out and rested a hand over her arm. “He’s staying at the Sunrise Motel,” he said trying not to wince. It was evident by the time he spent with his son at lunch yesterday that there were a lot of things not quite right about Stiles. Michael wasn’t sure what had happened while his son had been gone, but, well, he didn’t think it was good.

She stared at her fiancée. “Stiles is staying at a motel?” Now she was even more confused. That made no sense at all. Why would he stay at a motel when he had a house to live in? Something wasn’t right.

At that moment, there was a quiet knock on the front door.

Scott tilted his head to the side, eyes squinting slightly before he straightened up and pushed his chair out quickly. “He’s here,” he said quickly before walking over to the front door. He took a breath and let it out slowly before gripping the knob and tugging open the door. He saw Stiles standing there and smiled. “Hey,” he opened the door wider, “Just in time for breakfast.” Scott said keeping his tone light.

Stiles was more nervous now than he had been the night before. He was clutching onto the book Deaton had given him to read earlier that morning, and his laptop bag was draped over his shoulder. “Hey,” he greeted quietly, nodding at him. Hopefully his Xanax kicked in soon because between what he’d found out from Deaton and what he’d found in the woods he was pretty sure without the anti-anxiety medication he’d already have had a panic attack.

Scott opened the door wider frowning when he felt the anxiety moving through Stiles, “Everything okay?” He asked worry creasing his brow as he moved out of the way so Stiles could come inside.

“Not if I’m right,” he said, shoving the conversation with Deaton to the back of his mind so he could focus on what was more important at the moment. It was all a matter of prioritizing. He stepped into the house, fingers moving up to clutch the handle of his bag. He set it down carefully by the sofa, and set the book down, too. He turned to look at Scott. “Remember how I said that for daevas to be here, someone had to summon them and that whoever it was probably used the Nemeton to summon them?”

Scott glanced briefly towards the kitchen but then nodded, “Yeah man, I remember. It was just the other night...Did you find out more?” He asked urging his friend to continue.

Stiles drew in a breath and let it out slowly. “There’s blood on the Nemeton,” he said grimly.

Scott took a step forward, “What?” He asked his voice low. “Since when last night? Whose blood?” he asked before shaking his head realizing Stiles most likely wouldn’t know that. “Isaac!” He called for his friend his tone urgent.

“No, I think it’s been there longer than last night,” he admitted. “I missed it yesterday. I didn’t have a black light to see it.” He raked a hand through his hair. “It wasn’t fresh. Not...not yesterday fresh anyway.”

Scott frowned as Isaac moved into the room. “Derek was there a few days ago and it looked fine. He said there was nothing wrong with it,” he remembered because it was right after the earthquake that morning when they all met up in the parking lot.

Isaac glanced between Scott and Stiles, “What’s going on?” He asked glancing towards the hallway where Michael and Melissa were making their way into the living room to see what had Scott shouting.

“I think whoever’s summoning the daevas may have…” His voice trailed off as he caught sight of his dad and Melissa McCall. He swallowed hard. He’d known they might be there, of course, but maybe he wasn’t quite as prepared to see Melissa as he thought he was. Or maybe he was so damned thrown from Deaton’s information that it was messing him more than he thought.

“May have what?” Isaac asked, confused.

Melissa stood there for a minute staring at Stiles, her chest tight. It took Isaac and Scott a minute to realize Stiles’ attention was no longer on them. She lifted her brows, “What, no hug? No hello? You’re gone a year and you’ve somehow managed to lose all your manners?” She asked her tone light, teasing. She took a step forward and opened her arms.

“Sorry,” he whispered, holding his breath and hesitating a second before moving forward and hugging her. He shut his eyes tightly and for a moment it was like he’d stepped back in time. Like he was ten years old and had broken his arm falling out of the tree in his backyard and she was going to somehow make it better with a hug.

“God I missed you,” she said softly holding him tight to her body, squeezing him, cocooning him in her protective arms. Melissa’s chest was tight and she felt moisture gather in her eyes, but she didn’t care. She shifted back enough to grip his face in her hands. “Sweetie I’m so glad you’re home.” She told him softly as she leaned in and pressed a kiss to his head.

The sincerity in her voice hurt more than he’d expected it to. Of course she was sincere. Melissa McCall was always sincere. She’d also been taking care of his dad, and she made his dad incredibly happy. Happier than he’d seen the sheriff since before his mom had gotten sick. But the sight of the tears in her eyes made his stomach tighten and he swallowed heavily, his own eyes blurring. He shut them when she kissed his forehead. “Thank you,” he whispered almost inaudibly.

Melissa’s brows drew together in confusion. “Thank you?” She asked, “For what?” she brushed her thumbs over his cheeks before pulling him into yet another hug.

He realized he wasn’t even entirely sure why he was thanking her. For not hating him, maybe? For taking care of his dad? Maybe both. He shook his head a little, resting his chin on her shoulder as she hugged him again. “I missed you, too,” he murmured.

Melissa cupped the back of his head, “You better have,” she teased lightly, “And I want to hear all about your trip. The things you saw and people you met.” She arched an eyebrow, “Did you bring home souvenirs?” She asked jokingly

Scott scratched the back of his neck as he watched his Mom and Stiles before glancing over at the sheriff knowing Stiles probably wasn’t going to love those questions.

Not the kind she was probably hoping for, Stiles thought with a tug of guilt. “ was sort of an unexpected trip back,” he admitted after a moment. “I don’t really have souvenirs. I’m sorry.” His voice was quiet.

Isaac looked at Scott, arching his eyebrows. He had a feeling he was missing a hell of a lot to...everything.

Melissa grinned, “I’m kidding,” she shook her head, “You’re the best souvenir we could ask for.” She told him matter-of-factly.

Michael shifted towards them and rested a hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “I couldn’t agree more. We’re glad you’re home.” He said eyeing his son.

Scott nodded, “All of us are glad.” He said nudging Isaac.

“Yeah,” Isaac said, shifting awkwardly from one foot to the other.

Stiles was glad that his poker face had gotten much better over the last year, because he almost snorted at Isaac’s agreement. Yeah, Isaac was glad he was back alright. About as glad as Stiles was that Lydia hated him.

The sheriff smiled. “Why don’t you come inside and have some breakfast with us. You can finish telling Scott and Isaac about things after we eat,” he suggested.

Stiles glanced over at his dad, drawing in a breath. “Yeah, okay. Is there coffee?” he asked, rubbing the back of his neck.

Isaac raised his eyebrows. “Are you even allowed to have coffee?”

Scott sent Isaac a look. “We do have some, but dude coffee? Really?” He said with a smile knowing how hyper it used to make him.

Melissa wrapped an arm around Stiles and tugged him towards the kitchen. “It’s Stiles’ first day back, he can have whatever he wants,” she told them sternly while hugging him into her side.

A year ago, Stiles probably would have given Isaac a sour look and told him to screw off while grinning at Scott. Today he just shrugged a shoulder. “Jet lag is a thing,” he said honestly. That and he was used to drinking roughly a pot of coffee by himself every day anyway. He smiled faintly at Melissa as she led him into the kitchen. He leaned into her unconsciously, already becoming more aware of how tired he actually was. He definitely needed coffee.

“Where did you fly in from?” Isaac asked as he followed them into the kitchen.

He grimaced and sat down when Melissa led him to one of the chairs at the table. He hesitated a second, knowing that everyone else probably knew already. “Budapest.”

Isaac sat in his seat and arched an eyebrow, “I don’t even know where that is,” he said before pulling a forkful of eggs into his mouth.

Scott chuckled lightly as he sat beside Isaac. “I know it’s far,” he added with a grin.

Michael shook his head and glanced at Melissa, “It seems like we need to buy our boys a map.”

Stiles tried not to let his dad’s comment about their boys get under his skin too much. Of course he’d call Isaac his boy now, too. Isaac did live with him. “It’s the capital of Hungary,” he supplied. “It’s normally a fourteen hour flight from there to Van Nuys. This one was sixteen. It was storming over the East coast so we circled the Atlantic for two fucki--” he cut himself off, eyes widening. “Uh, two very long hours.” He shrank down in his seat a little.

Michael cocked his head to the side at his son’s language. “That seems like a long flight. “ He said as Melissa got a plate together and put it in front of Stiles.

“There you go sweetie,” Melissa sat down beside him.

“It was. Hence the need for coffee,” he told his dad, glancing up at Scott’s mom when she set a plate in front of him. “Thanks, Melissa,” he said softly, picking up his fork and shoveling a bite of pancake into his mouth before he said something else really stupid or cursed in front of his dad and soon to be stepmom. Awkward.

Melissa patted his arm and got back up to get him some coffee, “Do any of you boys want anything while I’m up?” She asked over her shoulder as she grabbed a mug and moved over to the coffee maker.

Stiles started to tell Melissa that he could get the coffee himself but his mouth was full of food and she had already gotten up. Still, he didn’t want her to feel like she needed to wait on him.

Scott pushed his chair back. “I can grab some more eggs for myself and a pancake,” he said bringing his plate up to the counter. “Isaac?”

Isaac glanced at his plate, “Is there any turkey bacon left?”

Scott grunted and grabbed a few pieces putting them on his plate for Isaac. He walked back to the table and put his plate down before pushing the turkey bacon onto Isaac’s plate. His friend nodded his thanks and they went back to eating.

Stiles took a drink of juice to wash down his food, watching as Scott delivered more food to Isaac. He was pleased to hear that it was turkey bacon and made a mental note to thank Melissa for that, too.

Michael glanced around before clearing his throat, “So we were just talking this morning and wondering why you’re wasting money on a motel when you could be living at home.” He said lightly.

Stiles had another bite of food halfway to his mouth when his dad asked why he was staying at a motel instead of the house. His fingers gripped onto his fork a little more tightly, gaze darting down to his glass. He set his fork down once more and picked the glass of juice up instead. “I’m just really used to being on my own,” he said after a moment. That much was true, at least. It wasn’t his main reason for not staying at the house, but it was one of them. He smiled very faintly at his dad though it didn’t reach his eyes. “I keep pretty weird hours too, and I don’t want to keep anyone awake.” He shrugged.

Melissa arched an eyebrow as she sat down and put his coffee beside him. “I know that’s some kind of joke.” She said keeping her tone light, but stern. “We’re your family. It’s time to come home.” She said simply.

Michael scratched the back of his neck as he listened to them talk. He wanted nothing more than for his son to come home, but he wasn’t sure making him come home was the best move. If Stiles didn’t want to be there, there had to be a reason. Maybe if they could figure that out and fix it then he’d actually want to be with them. The thought that he didn’t made his chest tight.

Stiles shifted in his chair uncomfortably, taking a long drink of coffee and trying to think through how him staying there would even remotely work for anyone involved, even if it wasn’t long-term. He knew that once upon a time he could have just shot a pleading look at Scott and he would have helped him out. Like everything else, things had changed there, too. He wouldn’t put Scott in that position, especially not with his own mom.

He hesitated for a long moment, wishing he’d gotten more sleep than he had so that he could have thought more quickly on his feet. “Okay,” he said finally. “If you’re sure.” He didn’t dare look at Isaac. This was going to be an utter disaster in every way imaginable.

Michael placed a hand on Melissa’s arm to get her attention. “Lissa,” he said softly, “Stiles knows he’s welcome to move back in whenever he wants to. The door is always open. He absolutely has a home here whenever he wants it.” He said squeezing her arm gently.

Melissa glanced at her fiancé a frown clear on her face. She had no idea why Michael was trying to convince Stiles not to come home and she didn’t like it one bit. She didn’t like that he’d taken off for a year in the first place, but she had understood he needed to put some distance between himself and everything that had happened, but now that he was back he should be with his family.

Scott glanced up, “Your Dad’s right. I can be out of your room in like minutes.” He said with a small smile.

“Dude, no,” Stiles said automatically. “No way, Scott. It’s fine.” His chest felt tight and he really wished he’d just dropped off the book in the mailbox and taken off because this was not okay. None of it was okay. He could already see Melissa gearing up for a protest. “It’s fine. I can stay here. It’s not a big deal,” he said, more concerned with his dad and Melissa’s relationship staying intact than Isaac killing him in his sleep.

Scott watched Stiles for a minute before nodding, “Why don’t we just bunk up until we can get that office upstairs cleaned out and make it a bedroom.” He suggested.

“That’s a wonderful idea, Sweetheart,” Melissa agreed with a soft smile, nodding at Scott’s suggestion and looking at Michael with concern before looking back at Stiles. “Sound okay, Kiddo?”

It sounded like a wonderful idea until Scott inevitably found out all of the things he really didn’t want Scott to find out, he thought, even though he nodded. Because not going along with Scott’s idea was just going to cause more problems right now and he wasn’t in a good enough headspace at the moment to handle anything else. He glanced over at Isaac briefly, noting how he was focused very intently on looking at his plate and pretending like nothing out of the ordinary was happening.

Michael smiled, “I think it’s a great idea.” He said lightly before wiping his face and glancing at the clock. “I’ve gotta head out soon,” he said lightly before glancing at Isaac, “Still up for coming to the station with me?” He asked. They spok about him maybe getting a job down there for after school filing papers and stuff, but with everything going on he wasn’t sure if he still wanted to do that.

“Yeah, definitely,” Isaac said immediately, glancing up at the sheriff and nodding. “I’ll just go change clothes and I’ll be ready.” He smiled and rose to his feet, carrying his plate and glass over to the sink before heading up toward the stairs.

Stiles finished off his coffee and looked at his dad, reminding himself he needed to focus on the reason he’d come home in the first place. “I hate to ask this, but...have there been any other murders recently? Ones that are these last two?” His voice was quiet.

Michael glanced at his son trying to mentally catalogue things, but couldn’t come up with anything off the top of his head. “None that have popped out to me, but I can check when I go into work today,” He offered.

Scott glanced at Stiles, “That’s a good idea and you can finish telling me about what you found out while we grab your stuff from the motel,” he said while eating the last of his pancake.

Stiles nodded slightly. “Okay, uh.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket, hesitating a second as he realized no one in this town actually had his phone number at all. “I’ll text you so that you have my number and if you find something…” He glanced at his dad, then over at Scott.

Michael’s chest constricted at his son’s comment. He didn’t even have his own son’s phone number.

“Sounds like it’s going to be busy for a little while around here,” Melissa commented, reaching over and laying her hand on Stiles’ arm. “I’m going to head to the grocery store and pick up some things. Is there anything you want?”

Stiles smiled but it was faint and he felt guilty that everyone was going through all of this trouble. “No, anything’s fine. I eat pretty much everything.”

Michael nodded. “Sounds like a plan, I’m going to head out.” He stood bringing his stuff to the sink and then moving back to the table. He leaned down and pressed a kiss to Melissa’s lips. He was smiling when he pulled back, “Tell Isaac to meet me in the truck?” He asked, not moving from her side.

“Absolutely,” she promised, smiling up at him softly and then nodded very slightly toward Stiles as she held Michael’s gaze.

“Stiles, text me and let me know exactly what you want me to look for okay?” He asked as he moved around Melissa’s chair and clamped a hand over his son’s shoulder and squeezed gently wanting him to know he was there if Stiles needed him.

Stiles looked up at his dad, chest tightening. “I will,” he promised, nodding. “Thanks, Dad.” He reached up and covered his dad’s hand with his own.

Michael relaxed a bit at the feel of his son’s hand over his. He pulled back a minute later. “Okay. Love you all, stay safe and out of trouble,” he shifted his gaze between Scott and Stiles, “That means you two.”

Stiles smiled faintly and picked up his fork again, taking a bite of food as he felt Melissa’s eyes on him. He glanced over at her and realized she was probably waiting for him to make some kind of joke about how they always stayed out of trouble. “Love you, too, Dad,” he said quietly, eating the rest of his pancake. God it had been a long time since he’d had anything remotely resembling a homemade meal. The last thing he’d cooked himself was a slice of toast in Budapest in a communal kitchen at the motel.

Michael almost forgot, “Oh and Scott tell Lydia I finally got around to looking at that uh...stuff she recommended for the wedding and I want,” he paused counting on his fingers, “Number 4. Please do not mess up the number it’s important.” He told him with a stern gaze.

Lydia had helped him pick out a wedding gift for Melissa and he wanted to make sure his order was in well before the wedding just to be on the safe side.

“Number four,” Scott echoed, nodding. “Got it. No problem, Sheriff.”

Michael chuckled and glanced at Melissa, “The boys are going to call me sheriff even after I retire,” he joked shaking his head as he sent Stiles one last smile and wave before heading out the front door to start the car and wait for Isaac.

Isaac came down the stairs just a couple seconds later. “Am I too late?”

“He’s waiting for you at the truck,” Melissa told him with a soft smile. “Good luck, Sweetheart.”

Isaac grinned, “Thanks don’t worry this time there’s going to be a good reason for me to be in the sheriff’s station.” He said with a grin as he moved out the door.

Scott chuckled at the table as he shook his head, “That one time was a fluke. For me...the other one’s have been in jail before, they’re trying to take me down a dark path, Mom,” he joked referring to the time he, Isaac and Derek were arrested for digging up a grave at the local cemetery.

“Uh huh.” She looked at him skeptically. “That would be like the blind leading the blind wouldn’t it, Scott?” She rose to her feet, patting his shoulder affectionately and taking his empty plate.

“You went to jail?” Stiles asked, eyes widening.

Scott laughed, “One of the deputies arrested me, Derek and Isaac for digging up a grave. In our defense there was a pack in town and they had kidnapped Ethan. They told us he was buried in one of the fresh graves. So we dug them up,” he scratched the back of his neck, “In hindsight it probably wasn’t a great idea...they didn’t bury him anywhere but they did call the police on us.” He said with a sigh, but there was a slight grin on his face.

Despite the whole being arrested thing spending the night in jail with Isaac and Derek had actually been sort of a bonding experience for the three of them.

He grimaced at that, both because his friend had dug up a grave, which okay, hadn’t exactly been the first time even if it was for a different reason, but also because another pack kidnapping one of Scott’s pack members made him uneasy. “Territory thing?” he guessed, wondering how long ago that had happened and if the other pack was still anywhere nearby causing problems.

Scott nodded, “Yeah, we took care of it though. Beacon Hills is ours,” he paused and glanced up at his best friend, “And we’re not looking to share. We haven’t had someone try since.” He added. “And as you saw Ethan is fine.” He told him with a smile.

Stiles relaxed, because he believed Scott about that. He’d just seen way too many opposing packs fighting over territory of the same area and most of them didn’t turn out well at all. Then again, no other pack had Scott McCall as an alpha. He felt a spark of pride for his best friend swell in his chest and this time his smile was genuine. “Good.”

Scott returned the familiar smile. “We’ve got a lot of stories if you want to hear them. Kira’s kinda part of the pack too now, though her Mom really doesn’t like me. Her Dad’s cool though,” he commented. “I’m trying really hard to be patient with Ethan and Aiden, mostly just Aiden. He’s been causing some issues lately, but hopefully we’ll get past those soon.”

Stiles wanted to hear them. He wanted to hear all of them from Scott even if he’d heard some of them from Danny. “Well, if it makes you feel any better, I have a feeling that Kira’s mom will like you a lot more if she finds out I’m back in town.”

Scott laughed lightly rubbing the back of his arm sending Stiles a thoughtful expression, “There’s been a lot,” he said lightly. “Nothing too serious. Oh and Mr. Argent is training Lydia,” he paused his smile faltering slightly. “Um, she’s doing really good with that.” He said as he glanced over at his Mom and then back at Stiles.

Stiles finished off his coffee, moving over to the coffee pot to pour a second cup and returning to the table in time for Scott to tell him about Mr. Argent training Lydia.

“Good,” he said quietly. “That’s good.” His mind immediately flashed to Allison, wielding her bow and arrow like Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games or Mia Speedy Dearden from the Green Arrow comics and he stared down at his coffee mug.

Scott cleared his throat and nodded. “Yeah,” He was quiet for a minute before glancing at his Mom, “Are you working today?” He wanted to make sure she had a way home if it was dark and he might have been going for a topic change too since things had suddenly gotten very quiet.

“No. I’m off,” she assured him. “I’m just going to do some grocery shopping and then I’ll start working on clearing out the office upstairs.”

Stiles winced. “You don’t have to go through all that trouble, Melissa. I can work on it later. I mean there’s no big rush anyway.” He wasn’t even sure how long he was going to be there.

Melissa glanced at him, “Honey, it’s not that much work; it’ll be done in no time. We can’t have you sleeping on the couch, you’re a growing boy,” she teased patting his shoulder gently. “It’ll be fine.” She said with a wave of her hand as she got up to put her dishes away.

Scott looked away from his Mom and back at Stiles. “We should probably head out then.” He said, “Or I mean if you’d rather go later we can just hang here for a bit?” He asked not sure when Stiles wanted to grab his stuff since it was still early in the day.

He chewed his lip, watching her head over to the sink again. He drew in a breath at Scott’s question. “Yeah, might as well so I don’t get charged for another day.” It wasn’t that he didn’t have enough savings money, but why waste it? He rubbed the back of his neck and rose to his feet, carrying his dishes over to the sink.

“Okay, I’ll go throw my shoes on and we can head out.” He said before getting up figuring this was a good thing. Stiles finally coming home and Scott was going to just try and enjoy that while he could.

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