Fandom: Teen Wolf
Authors: Sxymami0909 and Xtremeroswellia
Timeline: Takes place 1 year after the end of ‘Beyond The Sea’
Series: Post Finale AU
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Isaac Lahey, Sheriff Stilinski, Melissa McCall, Chris Argent, Derek Hale, Cora Hale, Aiden, Ethan, Danny, Braeden, Alan Deaton, Peter Hale, Malia Tate-Hale, mentions of Scott/Allison, mentions of Derek/Lydia, mentions of Stiles/Braeden
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 | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten |> Eleven |
It wasn’t quite eleven when Stiles pulled his jeep up in front of the Hales’ apartment building. He was supposed to pick up the youngest member of the Hale family for some late Black Friday shopping. Cora wasn’t a morning person on a good day, let alone one who’d get up to go shopping at ungodly hours. And frankly Stiles didn’t like shopping even at good prices at that time of the morning, so it worked out fine. He’d only bought four Christmas presents last year: for his dad, Melissa, Scott and Lydia.
This year he had a hell of a lot more people to shop for and no idea what to get for most of them. He was hoping to find inspiration while they were out. He sort of wished he’d been buying things and saving them while he was traveling, but he hadn’t thought he’d be coming back this soon -- if almost a year could really be called soon. He was also planning to swing by a couple of bookstores to see if they had any useful books that might reference daevas, as well as the library.
Stiles hadn’t slept that well the night before, mind playing over the day’s events as he lay on his back staring up at the ceiling. Scott and Kira had hung out for awhile after everyone had left, and although he knew that his dad and Melissa wanted to talk to him about some of the things that had come out during lunch, he’d begged off saying he was worn out, and they’d let him go to the room without much fuss.
Scott was spending some time with Kira today, or he had a feeling his friend would have wanted to sit down and have another conversation that Stiles was even less ready to have than the one about school. He did not walk to talk about Columbia.
He walked up the stairs to Derek’s loft and knocked on the door, not thrilled at the prospect of seeing the older werewolf, but he wasn’t there for Derek to begin with. Whether Derek liked it or not, Cora had guy friends, and it was pretty likely from Stiles’ point of view that things between Cora and Isaac were going to be developing beyond friendship -- something that would be good for both of them, really.
Derek bit into his apple as he glared at his loft door. He was well aware that Stiles was out there, but he wasn’t in any rush to let him in. Cora was in her room, possibly still sleeping, he didn’t know. He couldn’t hear her doing anything so either she was being exceptionally quiet, which wasn’t like her, or she hadn’t woken up yet.
He tilted his head to the side focusing on Lydia and she was getting ready in the bathroom for her training session with Chris. There was another light knock on the door as Derek took another bite of his apple. This time Prada came barreling into the room with her little yipping bark. She ran around his feet and he arched an eyebrow. “Yeah, I hear it, I’m not deaf. Go lay down.” He said grumpily.
Derek would never understand the appeal of small dogs. They were useless, but Lydia loved Prada and so he put up with her. Not that she was a bad dog. He was probably just a grouch. He pushed himself away from the chair he’d been leaning against and stepped forward with a sigh.
He walked over to the loft door and yanked it open. He stared at Stiles for a minute before shifting aside so he could come into the apartment, not at all happy his sister was going anywhere with Stilinski.
Stiles stared back at him, not surprised that he took his time opening the door. There was no doubt in his mind that it had been intentional. Whatever. He didn’t really care about Derek’s problems with him. He had enough problems of his own, ones that rated much higher on his list of priorities than being BFF with sour wolf.
He stepped inside, nodding curtly and smiling a bit when Prada ran right over to him and put her paws on his legs. He reached down, picking her up and scratching her behind the ears as she wagged her tiny tail. “Is Cora upstairs getting ready?” he asked, voice polite.
“That would be Lydia,” he said walking back towards the couch tossing his apple in the small garbage along the way. “I’m pretty sure my sister is still asleep.” He said as he once again rested against the back of his couch his eyes on Stiles. “You might want to change your plans. Cora likes to sleep in.” He commented.
Stiles resisted the urge to sigh since it had been Cora’s idea for him to show up at eleven. But he wasn’t about to stick around and hang out with Derek, either. “Yeah, probably. I’ll send her a text.” He petted Prada once more before setting her gently back down on the floor and heading for the door. “See ya.”
Cora burst out of her room, “I’m up,” she grumbled glancing at Stiles, “Fifteen minutes please.” She motioned with her hands as she walked towards the stairs. Prada barked and she made a face, “Get the rat away from me,” she said as she bumped into a chair and rubbed her eyes. Cora grunted, “You leave and I won’t forgive you Stilinski.” She started up the stairs, “Your girlfriend better not be in the shower or she’s going to have company.” She said before disappearing up the stairs.
Stiles blinked as Cora rushed in and then ran back upstairs like a whirlwind. If she’d been anyone else he would have scoffed at her ability to get ready in fifteen minutes. But he’d witnessed her do just that before in a lot more dire circumstances. But when she tacked on the bit about joining Lydia in the shower, he couldn’t help the fact that his eyes widened just a little because he was a guy. Jesus Christ. He shook his head.
A few seconds later there was a loud yelp, Derek winced, then a crash, and the sound of a door slamming. He cleared his throat. “I guess she’s awake.” He said his gaze finding Stiles’ again.
Stiles grimaced at all the noise upstairs, arching his eyebrows. Awkward. When Derek spoke again, his gaze shifted back to the man. “Apparently so.”
Derek’s gaze narrowed in on Stiles when his eyes widened. The look was gone momentarily, but he wasn’t an idiot. “What exactly is it you and my sister are doing today?” He asked eyebrow arched.
Stiles took note of the hint of warning in his tone and resisted the urge to roll his eyes. That very tone used to scare the shit out of him. “Black Friday Christmas shopping,” he responded, arching an eyebrow in return.
“I find it hard to believe that Cora wants to be shoved back and forth by a bunch of crazy people shopping for holiday gifts.” He said eyeing Stiles wondering if it had been his idea that they go.
“Then I guess maybe there are things you don’t know about your sister,” Stiles answered, folding his arms across his chest. “Because it was her idea.”
Derek arched an eyebrow, “I don’t think my sister is the only one I don’t know things about.” He said mimicking Stiles motions as he crossed his arms over his chest as well. “Speaking of, you never did mention what you did in Japan. Care to share?” He asked.
“Not really, no.” Stiles felt a spark of guilt and another of irritation stir inside of him at the question. He hadn’t come for an interrogation with Derek Hale of all people. “But you don’t have to worry about me with Cora. I’m pretty sure she has her eye on someone else.” So maybe it was hitting below the belt, considering, but if Derek was going to attempt to deliberately needle him, Stiles wasn’t going to just stand there and take it either.
Derek’s jaw clenched and he cocked his head to the side. “You’ve been trying to piss me off since yesterday,” he said his voice calm as he watched Stiles, “Is that really the route you want to go?” He asked curiously. Stiles had definitely changed, he didn’t seem timid or afraid anymore and that was well and good, but Derek wasn’t about to let him get the upper hand.
Stiles raised his eyebrows -- both of them this time. “Actually, I wasn’t trying to do anything. But why don’t we talk for a minute about you deliberately trying to intimidate Isaac in his own house?” At least it was the irritation that was building up and not the guilt. He shoved that pocket of emotion as far down as he could. “I get that you don’t think anyone should ever touch your sister, but be realistic. She’s an adult. And Isaac’s a good guy. He’s probably less likely to hurt her than any other guy ever, aside from maybe Scott.”
Derek pushed himself away from the couch and slipped his hands in his pockets as he took a step towards Stiles. “I wasn’t trying to intimidate Isaac, trust me if I was, he’d know.” He said carefully. “And the way I am with my sister is none of your business.” He knew Cora was an adult, but he’d missed out on protecting her for years and dating within the pack wasn’t a good idea. What happened if she and Isaac didn’t work out and they broke up he might feel like the pack isn’t big enough for them or worse Cora would and she’d leave town again.
“If you say so. Either way, he was intimidated.” Stiles gazed at him, not backing away. “And no offense, Derek, but you tend to come off as intimidating even when you’re not trying. Considering you used to intimidate the hell out of me for shits and giggles, I’d say I have pretty good experience with how an intimidated person looks.” That and Jackson used to torment the hell out of him when they were growing up. And then there was Peter Hale. He was through letting anyone intimidate him, though.
Derek glared at Stiles, “Yeah, and I’ve also saved your life several times.” he said his voice hard, “I’m not the same person I was then. So don’t think you can come back here after a year and think you know anything about anyone. Isaac knows that we’re friends.” The word always sounded strange on Derek’s tongue. “But yeah, I’d rather he and Cora keep things friendly and nothing more and I have my reasons for that, ones I don’t need to explain to you of all people.” He snapped.
“And vice versa,” Stiles reminded him, not impressed by the glaring or his tone. “And to be frank, Derek, I don’t care what your reasons are. I didn’t ask you to explain. But when you’re in my house, please do refrain from making the other people who live there uncomfortable with your surly glaring.” He ignored the faint hurt that came from the to you of all people. Like he was literally the worst person on the planet.
Derek arched an eyebrow now, “Oh, so it’s your house now,” he asked pointing at Stiles, “Because I’m pretty sure you didn’t even want to be there not long ago. But now that it suits your purpose, it’s your place,” he nodded. “Well maybe you can refrain from coming into my home then and giving me orders on what I should and shouldn’t do.” He said, “Just a thought.”
Stiles’ jaw tightened, eyes darkening at his words. “My reasons for leaving weren’t because I didn’t want to be there.” He forced himself to take a deep breath. “But point taken. In fact, please let your sister know that I decided to wait downstairs in the jeep,” he said coolly, turning around and heading for the door.
Derek pushed aside the hint of guilt in his chest reminding himself that Stiles had been asking for the confrontation. He couldn’t just leave well enough alone. “Running away? I didn’t peg that to be part of Stiles 2.0 makeover.” He stated.
“I came back to help. Not to cause more problems,” Stiles informed him, voice flat as he twisted the door handle, but glanced back at Derek.
“And yet it seems like that’s all you’ve done since you’ve been back probably because you refuse to be honest with any of us. A year out the in the world changes people...even people like you. I know what you did. What you’ve been doing,” he said taking a step towards Stiles. “Morell’s not really the best human being, you know that right? Or has a year of working with her clouded your judgment that badly?” He asked curiously.
And there it was. The thing that had come up the day before, the exchange between Derek and Chris that had happened -- a simple look -- and Stiles had known that they knew. More accurately, that they thought they knew, anyway. “And what is it, exactly, that you think I’ve been doing?” he asked icily.
Derek held Stiles’ gaze, “I think you’ve been attempting to keep balance by using Morell’s logic, which means you’ve been going around killing people. Werewolves too,” he paused, “And I’m not the only one who knows.” He told him, “So tell me if that’s not what you’ve been doing, then what exactly is it you’ve been traipsing around the globe doing while everyone here was trying to heal from your absence.” Derek didn’t dare mention Allison, even though they’d been trying to heal from that too.
For a long moment, Stiles simply stared at Derek. Deep breaths, he ordered himself even as his fingernails dug into his palms. “Yeah, that’s it, Derek. I just kill anybody I don’t like. Human, werewolf. Better watch out, I don’t like you very much right now, either.” His voice wasn’t as controlled as he wanted it to be.
Derek arched an eyebrow, “That’s not what I said first off,” he had mentioned keeping balance, but apparently that’s what Stiles thought of himself. He shook his head and smirked, “Second I’m not afraid of you.” He said simply. “Not the old Stiles and not this new improved, if I can even call it that, version of you.”
“It beats the old one by miles,” Stiles responded. “At least I don’t have to depend on everyone else to save my ass every time the latest villain rolls into town. Or get my ass kicked by 90 year old men because I’m friends with the kid I grew up with who happened to get turned into a werewolf by your fucking crazy ass uncle.”
Derek snorted, “So what you think that makes you better? Because Lydia certainly doesn’t seem to think so. Apparently she liked the version of yourself you hate just fine.” He said, “Either way, neither version really strikes fear into my heart. You’ll have to do a little better than angry words.” He stated.
Stiles smirked, shaking his head. “Good thing I wasn’t aiming to try and strike fear into your heart. But for the record, you don’t exactly scare me anymore either. So I guess that at least puts us on more even territory, doesn’t it?”
Derek shook his head, “Maybe in that respect, but we’ll never fully be on even territory. I was born a werewolf Stiles; do you really think you can kick my ass?” He asked with an arched eyebrow.
“I think I know enough I can defend myself if I have to,” Stiles said honestly. And he wasn’t talking just about physically. “However I have to.” It wouldn’t be the first time. Far from it at this point.
Derek pursed his lips, “You mean your little emissary trick?” He asked, “Or were you referring to trying to take a sword and hack up my body parts because unlike a few years ago I feel like I might have some people who would miss me if you did that.” He said.
He rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I’m not actually a hunter, Derek. I don’t own a sword. If I had to take you out, I’d use a wolfsbane bullet to the head. And I wouldn’t miss. But don’t worry. Like I said, I didn’t come back to start some petty bullshit with you of all people. We’re done here.” His jaw was tight.
“We’re nowhere near done.” Derek said, “Is that how you killed the wolf in Russia? Wolfsbane bullet to the head? Well at least you like to make it quick.” He told him.
Anger surged through him and he couldn’t stop himself from punching Derek hard right in the face, glaring at him. “You don’t know jack shit like you seem to think so why don’t you shut up while you’re ahead.”
Derek’s head whipped to the side with the force of the punch and when he glanced back at Stiles he was using his thumb to wipe the blood from his mouth. “God I was so hoping you’d throw the first punch.” He stepped forward and glared at Stiles, “You’re right, we don’t know shit, because you,” He darted forward and slammed his fist into the side of Stiles’ face, “Can’t seem to be honest with us. You’d rather make up lies instead of just filling everyone in.” He said his own rage filling him even as he held back from shifting.
Stiles stumbled backwards when Derek hit him, hard enough that his back hit the door. Tears stung his eyes involuntarily at the blow, but he glared back at the werewolf. He’d had a hell of a lot worse. “Fuck you, Derek. I don’t owe you shit,” he informed him. “And yeah, maybe I’m not spilling everything on a timeline that’s fucking suitable enough to please the masses, but maybe I have goddamn reasons,” he spat. “Like the fact that there are shadow demons out there tearing people to pieces, summoned by some form of blood magic. Sorry if that’s on the top of my priority list right now. God I’m such an asshole.” His voice was full of anger and sarcasm and he was itching to hit him again, but he gritted his teeth together.
“No fuck you!” Derek shouted, his voice loud, “You still don’t get it do you? You can talk about shadow demons and blood sacrifice, but you don’t even see what the real problems are. Why no one is focused on what they should be focused on.” He shook his head. “You don’t think it’s important because you don’t want to talk about it,” he said stepping closer to him. “But the people you left behind they’re wondering what’s going on with you, why you do or say the things you do.” His jaw clenched.
“How many times has Lydia lost control over her emotions all because all she wants you to do is care,” he snapped, “Don’t you see what you being like this does the people you supposedly care about?” Derek didn’t understand why Stiles couldn’t see what was right in front of him. He needed to come clean.
He needed to tell Scott and Lydia and everyone else what had been going on, why he went away and why he didn’t come back until now. That was the only way any of them were going to heal including Stiles. If he couldn’t admit what he’d done and have the forgiveness of the people he loved, this is what they were all going to be dealing with for as long as he was there.
“You’re right. I don’t want to talk about it,” he said tensely. “And Scott knows some of it already.” Scott knew more than the rest in one way and less in others, apparently. “Do you talk about everything you’ve ever done with the pack, Derek? Be honest.” His jaw tightened. “Yeah, I realize I need to talk to Lydia. I was trying to give her space because I wasn’t sure she wanted me around. That was out of respect for her. I’m not gonna force my way into anyone’s life after the way I left.” He was certain Derek had gotten to hear all about the tether connection and how he’d apparently been shutting it down.
“Yeah, I’ve fucked up a lot. I’ve done things I regret. But some of them were pretty necessary for a lot of different reasons. That werewolf in Russia? Tore apart eleven people. I did what I had to do to stop him from rampaging and killing more people. And before you even think about judging me for that? Maybe you ought to take a step back and remember that you ripped out your own uncle’s throat for doing the same thing.” He also knew that Derek had been motivated by power at the time, which was another key difference.
Stiles jerked his head to the side and pointed at his neck. “See that? I also killed a vampire. There’s shit out there that you probably don’t even know anything about, but these are the things I’ve done so I can learn how to protect myself. So I know how to protect all of you.” His jaw clenched. “So don’t think when I left I was out on some fucking party trip, Derek, because that couldn’t have been farther from the truth.”
“For the record I killed Peter because he killed Laura, my sister, at the time I didn’t care about any of those people who helped burn my family alive.” Derek told him, which okay was only half true. “I didn’t say you were on some kind of party trip, do you make these things up?” He asked annoyed, “No one is saying your time away was easy, but you chose to leave. You chose that life, you chose to work with Morell, so don’t complain about your choices now. You could have stayed. Scott would have done anything to help you, Lydia too. But you chose to go. If you weren’t happy with the way things were going you should have left Morell and come back.” He said matter-of-factly.
“You also killed him so you could have his power, and don’t even try to lie about it, because otherwise you would have let Scott do it so he had a shot at being cured,” Stiles said evenly. He’d been there. He remembered it all too well. He didn’t have a problem with Peter’s death regardless of who’d done it. Even back then he’d been vicious enough that he would have done himself if he’d had to. “And I’m not complaining about my choices. So don’t put words in my mouth.”
“What the hell is going on down here?” Cora demanded, descending the spiral staircase and looking really pissed.
Derek glanced up at Cora’s voice spotting Lydia immediately behind her. He glanced back at Stiles and shrugged. “I won’t apologize for who I was.” He said not denying Stiles’ words. “Nothing is going on here,” he said to Cora despite the bruise already starting to appear on his jaw. It would be gone by tomorrow.
Lydia had heard the yelling and banged for Cora to get out of the shower in case she needed her help, but Stiles and Derek weren’t even all that close to each other.
Cora looked between them, jaw tight. There was a bruise on her brother’s jaw, and Stiles’ cheek was bruised, as well. Awesome. “Jesus Christ, really? How old are you guys? This is not grade school,” Cora snapped, not even sure who she was angry at.
Derek rolled his eyes, “He hit me first,” he told her.
Lydia arched an eyebrow, “That’s a defense?” She asked Derek glancing between him and Stiles and sighing. She winced slightly at the bruise on Stiles’ face, not that the one on Derek’s was any better, but at least his would probably heal by morning. “Cora if you guys are going out you should probably go,” she said keeping her gaze on Derek.
Lydia wasn’t sure what had happened, but she didn’t want to particularly chance them being in the same room for long periods of time, for both their sakes.
That was probably for the best, Stiles thought, his breathing still unsteady. He turned wordlessly and headed out the door.
“Ugh.” Cora rolled her eyes skyward and shot a glare at Derek. “You and I will talk about this later,” she informed him before following Stiles out the door, not bothering to shut the door behind them.
Derek scowled slamming the loft door shut behind them, making the metal bend slightly.
Lydia was silent for a minute. She hadn’t seen Derek get this angry in a long time. “Would you like to tell me what happened?” She asked her tone completely calm as she watched his back for a minute before taking a step forward and resting a warm hand on his shoulder.
Derek turned to look at her. “I don’t want him around my sister for one. And secondly…” His jaw clenched. “He’s heading down a really dark path. And I’m not sure that he’s gonna be able to be pulled off of it.”
Lydia’s chest tightened at Derek’s words. “I know,” she said softly. If he would just let her in then maybe she could pull him back maybe she could help him...but even now he was still blocking their connection even though he said he didn’t know how he was doing it.
She tilted her head and reached up brushing her thumb carefully over his cheek, “He got you good,” she said keeping the small swell of pride hidden beneath layers of other emotions. It wasn’t that she wanted Stiles hitting Derek. She most certainly didn’t and she didn’t want Derek hitting Stiles. But she was proud that he hadn’t back down, then again with everything he’d been through the past year, she supposed backing down wasn’t really something he did, not that he ever really had. Stiles wasn’t the type to run and cower.
Derek let out a breath. “It’ll be healed in a few hours.” He winced as he remembered how hard he’d hit Stiles. He certainly wouldn’t heal in a few hours. And as much as he’d had it coming, Derek didn’t want to be that guy anymore, really. “How much did you hear?”
“Thankfully not that much. Though what I did hear lacked pleasantries.” She told him her brows drawing together. “This is going to take more than a few hours and you know it, don’t lie.” She told him as she cupped his good cheek drawing his gaze to hers.
“Talk to me, what happened? This,” Lydia motioned around, “this isn’t you anymore. You’re not this guy. What did he say to upset you so much?” She asked wondering if maybe she should be worried about Derek. If there was something bothering him enough to make him lash out, he was her best friend she should know, especially since he was always there for her.
Derek sighed, looking at her. “I goaded him about Russia,” he admitted quietly. “About the werewolf.” Derek rubbed a hand over his cheek, wincing and still kind of surprised that Stiles had managed to hit him hard enough to bruise him. Apparently he hadn’t been kidding when he said he’d learned how to defend himself. He’d have to remember that for next time.
“Why would you do that?” She asked with a frown before pausing. Lydia hesitated, “What did he say?” She asked quietly not able to help asking.
“Because I wanted answers,” Derek said honestly. “I’m sick of waiting for him to decide it’s time to fill the rest of us in about what the hell’s going on.” He sighed and motioned to the sofa, pulling her over to it. “He admitted it. But he said it was to stop the werewolf from killing other people. Said it had killed eleven people when he stopped it.”
Lydia let out a small sigh and nodded, she understood needing answers. She ran a hand down Derek’s arm. “Sit,” she said not giving him a choice as she tugged him down carefully. “We all want answers trust me. This probably wasn’t your smartest move though, but things could have been worse. So let’s pretend this was a win for everyone and promise we’ll never do it again.” She said lightly.
Derek grimaced, sitting down. Regardless of his reasons, she was right. And he had a feeling that Scott wasn’t going to be quite so nice about it as Lydia was being.
“I’ll call and cancel my training session with Chris,” she said lightly. “Do you need anything?” She asked watching him for a minute hoping Cora was taking care of Stiles and making sure he was okay. Lydia would have done it herself, but she wasn’t even sure Stiles wanted her around. She pushed the thoughts away and focused on Derek. “I give good hugs?” She teased lightly.
“No, don’t cancel,” he said seriously. “That’s too important to cancel. And I’m okay.” He leaned over and kissed her cheek. “I won’t turn down a hug.”
Lydia’s brows drew together as she shifted on the couch and wrapped her arms around him. “As long as you’re sure,” she said quietly. “And for the record...you were right, you’re not that guy anymore Derek. You’ve changed probably the most out of all of us.” She squeezed him a little tighter, “You’ve got family and friends and me. People who care about you, no matter how dumb you are sometimes,” she joked lightening the mood.
Derek sighed. “Yeah, it wasn’t my finest moment.” He leaned into her. “And I’m sure.” He was quiet for a moment, then he looked at her. “And I’m very glad that the people I care about care about me despite my stupidity.”
Lydia grinned, “Well duh, that’s what we’re here for.” She glanced at the clock, “I’m gonna be late. Relax, cool off, try not to hit anyone else until I get back.” She teased as she pushed herself off the couch already dressed in her workout gear.
He shook his head. “I don’t plan to hit anyone then either, so.” He looked up at her. “Have a good session. Be careful.”
Lydia tapped her nose, “Careful is my middle name.” She said before grabbing her bag and heading to the door. “Oh werewolf strength how you are good in some ways and completely useless in other’s.” She said while glancing at the partially mangled door as she shook her head and left to go meet Chris.
Lydia sat in the passenger side seat of Chris’s car a small grin on her face. “Thanks for taking me to your training place. I know it’s kind of a hunter’s only sort of thing, so it was really nice of you...I had fun.” She said only slightly surprised by her words, but today had really helped her get out her aggression and the leftover emotions she’d been dealing with lately. Plus she’d gotten even better at knife throwing.
“You’re welcome,” Chris said sincerely, glancing at her sideways and then focusing on the road ahead once more. He was quiet for a moment, hands gripping onto the steering wheel. “You’ve gotten very good with the knives. Way better than I anticipated,” he confessed.
Lydia smiled proudly, “I like them. It’s something about having to factor in the angle, speed, and air pressure around you. It reminds me of math. I love math.” She explained, “And when you’re throwing the knife if you use the correct calculations you can make it go just about anywhere.” She admitted.
Chris couldn’t help but grin at her comments. Not many people would associate knife throwing with math, but from Lydia it made sense. He knew how smart she was. Allison had brought it up on several occasions over the time they’d met and the time she’d…
Chris cut his thoughts off, not wanting to think about Allison’s death right now. Not that he ever wanted to think about it. He knew his daughter wouldn’t want him to spend all of his time grieving. Not when he could be helping people. Not when he could be helping to protect her friends.
“How’s everything else going?” Chris asked quietly.
Lydia gave him a one armed shrug, “Oh you know temperamental werewolves, temperamental humans, me being a basket case, just a typical week in Beacon Hills,” she joked sending him a sideways glance. “How about you? How are things?” She asked lightly.
“Can’t complain.” Chris could, but it wouldn’t really do any good. He cocked his head to one side at her first comment. “Which werewolves and which humans?” he asked, though he had a feeling he already knew the answer. He’d seen it brewing just the day before and he suspected he wasn’t the only one.
“My werewolf and my human,” she said with a sigh, “Not that I own either,” she added. “They’re not playing nice, though I can’t really blame either of them for it.” She told him honestly as she tugged gently on her ponytail.
“Ah.” He nodded, suspicions confirmed. “Define not playing nice?”
“There might have been a physical altercation at the loft this morning. Both of them are sporting pretty good bruises.” She said with a shake of her head, “I swear they-” Lydia’s words cut off as a rush of pain slammed into her. She leaned forward her hand shooting out and pressing against the dashboard as a strangled noise left her throat.
“Lydia?” Chris quickly looked over at her, stepping on the break as he realized she was having one of her banshee feelings.
“Don’t stop,” she cried out her voice frantic, “It’s Derek,” she said her chest tightening, “He’s hurt, badly,” panic rose in her chest, “Turn right,” she said her hand going to her stomach as she winced again.
Chris didn’t hesitate to turn right onto the narrow road as she directed, trusting she’d guide him from there. He glanced at her worriedly. “Do you know what’s happening?” His voice was calm, even if his stomach had tightened into a knot.
“No, just that he’s in pain,” Lydia’s breathing picked up speed, but she forced herself to focus. “Left, left then right and go straight.” She said her voice shaky, “Chris please go faster,” she whispered, the fear clear in her voice.
Chris pressed his foot to the gas pedal and followed her directions, gripping more tightly onto the steering wheel.
A soft whimper left Lydia’s throat. “A right and then we should be there he’s closer now I can feel him.” She said moisture prickling at the corner of her eyes. They’d find him and he’d be fine. He had to be fine. Worry filled her chest as she sat up a bit so she could see out the window.
Nodding, Chris made the right and kept going, waiting for her to give him the signal that it was time to stop, but he didn’t need it, eyes widening as he watched Derek stumble out in front of the car. He slammed his foot against the brake, throwing it into the park position right as the werewolf collapsed.
Lydia was out of the car before it even fully stopped her eyes widening as she watched a shadow lift Derek up and toss him at least fifteen feet away from the car. She saw his body jerk as something clawed at his chest. “Nooo!” She screamed running forward at full speed not even bothering to wait for Chris, her hair blowing behind her as she ran to him hot tears sliding down her cheeks.
How do you fight something you can’t see? Chris wondered as he rushed to the trunk of his car, grabbing out two flares and a tire iron, then ran toward Derek and Lydia, lighting the flares and launching them in the direction of the shadows.
Lydia saw the flash of light and heard several growling scratching sounds, but she didn’t stop running she saw one of the shadows moving towards Derek again and he wasn’t getting up. Fear surged inside of her and she cried out as another claw ripped at his skin.
She watched the shadow circling him and when she was close enough Lydia dropped down to the ground in front of him her hands traveling up his body. She could feel the weight of the Daevas around them as she pressed her hand over Derek’s chest, blood filling her hands. “Oh god,” she sobbed.
Lydia glanced over noticing another shadow moving towards them and when they both launched forward she screamed ‘No’ again and pressed her body down against Derek’s blanketing his body with hers bracing herself for the feel of claws digging into her skin.
Chris swung the tire iron, not even sure he was going to connect with anything, but he felt it hit something. Iron, he realized. Iron was the trick. A quick glance at Lydia and Derek told him that Derek was badly hurt but that none of them had touched Lydia. Yet. He swung again, connecting with another of the daevas even as he felt a claw rake down his arm.
Lydia could hear Chris fighting as she angled her head slightly, confusion crossing her face. She saw one of the daevas swipe at her and she closed her eyes, but again nothing touched her. Confusion filled her face but it only lasted a minute before she felt warm liquid against her chest. She shifted glancing down at Derek and swallowed hard, “Derek,” she whispered his name, her voice shaky as she tapped his cheek lightly. “Chris! There’s so much blood.” She yelled.
Chris watched as the shadows began to recede, back into the woods and he rushed over to the two of them. Derek was unconscious, his skin sliced in multiple places. “We need to get him to Deaton.” He reached out, putting a hand on her shoulder. “Lydia, these things don’t like iron. If one of them gets close I need you to hit it.” He held the tire iron out to her and when she took it, he carefully reached down and picked Derek up in his arms.
Lydia nodded as she gripped the tire iron tight in her hands as they moved back towards the car. Chris was in the process of getting Derek in the back of the car when she spotted a shadow heading for them. She moved quickly lashing out with the tire iron making the shadow move back. Lydia stood by Chris’s side watching his back as he got Derek in, “Should I sit back there with him?” She asked her eyes facing forward making sure the shadows didn’t come back.
“Yeah, probably,” Chris agreed, moving to get back into the driver’s side of the car. His heart was beating quick in his chest and he looked around, spotting more of the shadows heading for them. There were a lot of them. “Hurry, Lydia.” His voice was urgent as he slid into the car, starting the engine.
Lydia got in the backseat shutting the door tightly behind her. “Go,” she said as she pulled Derek’s head into her lap. “It’s going to be fine,” she whispered her hands shaking as she reached over him trying to cover at least some of his wounds. Tears slipped down her cheeks, “How far?” She asked her voice strained. There was blood all over her pink tank top, hands and arms. She was scared, no Lydia was terrified.
“Five minutes,” Chris said, gripping onto the steering wheel tightly as he sped through the woods, brake pedal as close to the floor as he dared. Seconds later they were back out onto the main road and he increased the speed. “How’s his breathing?” he asked, voice controlled and calm.
Lydia pressed her hands harder against him and leaned down, she could barely feel his chest rising and falling and the breath from his mouth was stuttered. “Not good,” she said a small sob tumbling from her throat. “He has to be okay, he’s gonna be okay.” She stated as she held him tighter, her hands putting more pressure on the wounds she could reach.
“He’s going to be fine,” Chris said with determination. Because Derek not being fine wasn’t an option. Not for any of them. Not anymore.
They got there sooner than Lydia thought they would, but she was glad. Chris parked and she pushed the door open carefully shifting his head off her lap and slipping out of the car so Chris could grab him, “I’ll get Deaton,” she said knowing she was only in the way because Derek was too heavy for her to carry.
She ran forward pushing the doors to the animal clinic open, “Deaton! Deaton!” She called out as she moved inside.
He stepped out of the back room, recognizing her voice immediately. “Lydia? What --” His question died on his lips as soon as he spotted Chris coming through the doorway carrying an unconscious Derek Hale in his arms. He immediately opened the gate to let the hunter carry the werewolf to the back exam room.
Chris carried him to the back wordlessly, carefully laying him down on the table for Deaton to examine.
Deaton moved over to the table and he glanced at Chris, “Grab those scissors right over there please and hand them to me. I need to get his shirt off so I can see the extent of the damage.” he told the hunter as he quickly pressed his fingers to the pulse point at Derek’s neck. He frowned, “His pulse is weak,” he said as he walked over to the metal cabinet, his pace fast, grabbing gauze, antiseptic, and needle and thread.
He wasn’t going to heal without being stitched up, not with wounds that deep, and not with the amount of blood he’d seen on Lydia.
Chris didn’t hesitate to hand over the scissors, casting a glance over at Lydia. “Maybe you should call Cora.” His voice was quiet. “Having her here might help.”
Lydia glanced from Derek to Chris and it took her a second to process his words. She pressed a hand to her body, “I don’t have a phone,” she said dumbly, “I,” she swallowed hard. Lydia felt like she was in a bad dream. Was this really happening? The sound of Deaton calling her name made her gaze shift.
“Lydia, focus, take a deep breath and use my phone right in my office. Call Scott after Cora,” he said as he used the scissors to cut open Derek’s shirt. He inhaled deeply waiting for Lydia to walk into his office before speaking, “This isn’t good. He’s barely breathing. I might need your help as I stitch him up...Because I don’t think he’ll be able to heal on his own, at least not quick enough to make it.” He said quietly. “What happened?” Deaton asked as he went about cleaning the wounds.
“He was out in the woods,” Chris explained. “I don’t know why. I was driving Lydia back from a training session and she had one of her feelings. We found him as he collapsed in the road. It was the daevas.” He looked at Deaton worriedly. “I don’t know how many there were. A lot.” He looked down at Derek for a moment before taking one of the needles from the vet. He threaded the needle through it easily before getting to work on helping him stitch Derek’s wounds.
Deaton frowned threaded his own as he set down the gauze, “How did you get him out?” his brows drew together in concentration as he leaned over and started working on the slashes on Derek’s upper body, sliding the point of the needle through Derek’s skin as he pinched the edges together. “The last two people didn’t make it out alive, how’d you fight them?” Neither he nor Stiles had been able to find an accurate way to kill them just yet, but if there was a way to fight them, that was something.
“They don’t seem to be fond of iron.” He knew a lot of creatures didn’t react well to iron, and it had been the first thing he’d thought to grab. “It was a just a good guess on my part.”
Deaton nodded, “I’ll make a note of it,” he said his gaze drifting briefly to his office as he continued stitching up Derek.
Lydia glanced at the phone for a minute before lifting it up and swallowing hard. She closed her eyes as she tried to remember Cora’s number. It took her a minute, but when the number finally appeared in her head her eyes slid open and she dialed it slowly.
She held the phone in shaky blood stained hands as it rang.’
“Hello?” Cora answered a minute later, sounding uncertain. It wasn’t like she and Deaton ever really talked on the phone...ever. Getting a call from him was weird. Really weird.
“Cora,” Lydia paused her eyes tearing up again; “You need to come to the clinic, now.” She said resting her free hand on Deaton’s desk, her voice hoarse and unsteady. “It’s Derek.” She told her trying not to let her voice break as she spoke.
Cora felt her stomach drop. “What happened?”
“He was attacked...daevas,” she whispered. “Just,” Lydia paused trying to pull back the flurry of emotions building inside of her, “Just come now okay maybe you being here will help maybe he’ll be able to feel it,” she couldn't stop the soft noise that left her throat cutting off her words.
Fear shot through Cora. “I’m on the way.” The line went dead.
Lydia hung up the phone and closed her eyes again before picking up and dialing Scott’s number. That was something she didn’t have to think about. His number was seared into her head. She gripped the phone hard and once again waited for the ringing to cease.
Scott answered a minute later, laughing as he looked at Kira, who had a little bit of whipped cream on the corner of her mouth from her hot chocolate. “Deaton?”
“Lydia.” She said taking a breath. “Scott I need you to come to Deaton’s, now. Derek’s hurt.” She told him in a rush of words as her gaze lifted watching Deaton and Chris work on Derek.
Immediately the laughter died in his throat, his eyes widening. “We’re on the way. Is --” No, he wasn’t going to ask that. “We’ll be there soon, Lydia. Just hang on.”
Lydia nodded. “Okay.” She didn’t bother with goodbyes as she hung up the phone and moved out of the office gripping the doorframe as a wave of exhaustion hit her. Lydia wasn’t sure what her problem was, but she suddenly felt like her entire body weighed too much to stand up. She leaned against the doorframe, face pale as she watched them, not knowing how to help or what to do.
Deaton finished up the second scratch and started working on the third, “How’s it coming over there?” He asked Chris.
“Almost done with this one,” he told Deaton, finishing the stitches and threading more thread through the needle to move to the next one. “You?” His hands were calm and steady, assured.
“Last one up here.” He said glancing over when he felt a heavy gaze on them. “Lydia, are you still with us.” He asked while pinching Derek’s skin together again between his fingers.
Lydia swallowed hard and nodded before she realized he couldn’t see a nod. “Yes,” she told him her tone quiet.
Deaton could sense her ravaged emotional state, but he also sensed how completely drained of energy she was and it made him frown. “Why don’t you take a seat right outside while we finish up in here?” He suggested.
Lydia shook her head, “I’m not leaving him.”
Deaton pursed his lips as he continued with the needle lowering his voice. “Did anything else happen out there?” He asked Chris.
Chris cast a glance at Deaton before going back to stitching up Derek. “She threw herself over him to protect him from more attacks. They didn’t touch her,” he said quietly enough so that only the other man could hear him. “Any theories on that?” Because it made no sense to him, but he also wasn’t an expert on banshee abilities.
He glanced briefly at Lydia again before focusing on Derek. “If I had to wager a guess?” He asked quietly, “Her powers are expanding again. She’s almost completely drained of energy,” he told the other man as his fingers moved expertly closing up the wound, “I think with the level of emotion she was feeling when this happened, she was able to use that to manifest a physical barrier around them.” He was silent as he pulled together the last stitch, “I doubt she knew she could do it...but it saved his life, hers too if they were coming back.”
Chris pursed his lips. “So how much can her abilities continue to expand without her losing control and getting hurt herself because of it?” Because he knew that everyone who had some kind of abilities had some kind of line that they had to keep from crossing in order for survival. Werewolves did, certainly.
Deaton took a breath, “Considering this is the second ability that popped up in a short amount of time? And the fact that it’s all happening very quickly...If she doesn’t learn to control it soon, it’s very possible it can become dangerous for her.” He shifted and grabbed some gauze and surgical tape.
“When you’re dealing with emotions, yours and other peoples’ there’s only so much a human body can take. If she keeps draining herself to the limit eventually...that’s going to catch up to her.” he told Chris quietly as he started bandaging up Derek’s upper body.
“So how do we stop that from happening? How can we help her get things under control?” he asked quietly. “Is that something you can assist with?” He finished the last stitch he was working on.
Deaton finished wrapping Derek’s upper body and moved on to his lower abdomen. He hesitated unsure of how much Chris actually knew about Lydia and what she was. “Not me,” he said quietly. “There’s only one person who can help with that, her anchor. One of the reasons this has been so hard for her is because he’s been gone,” Deaton admitted. “Their connection...the tether, it’s something that can’t be easily explained. Their emotions are tied to one another and if one or both of them are blocking each other it gets very hard to deal with incoming emotions.” He explained keeping his eyes on Derek.
“It’s like having two channels and when both are open information flows freely moving in one and filtering out the other. But close one down and the information getting filtered through stops and bottles up in that one channel until it overloads itself and-” Deaton pressed his lips together and looked at Chris. “Until it finally shuts down.”
“Stiles,” Chris surmised quietly, nodding and pursing his lips and glancing back at Lydia briefly. “But it isn’t like this for you and Scott. It wasn’t like this for Isaac and Allison, either.” He paused, putting the pieces together. “But Lydia’s not a werewolf and Stiles isn’t exactly a normal human.” His voice was low as he thought out loud. “So this is something they have to work on together before it ends up killing her.”
Deaton glanced up at Chris, “I try not to phrase things so dramatically, but essentially yes. She’s a very powerful young woman, but if she doesn’t learn how to handle that power and channel it instead of it controlling her eventually it will burn right through her.” He said as the sound of the door being opened caught his ears.
He didn’t see how the blunt honest truth was being dramatic, but he studied Deaton for a moment and contemplated his words.
“Where is he? What happened?” Cora’s voice was clearly upset as she made her way through the building and into the back, thankful that Deaton had left the gate open that separated the two sections of the building considering it was made of mountain ash.
Deaton glanced up, “Calm down,” he said calmly, “Let’s try to keep the atmosphere as soothing as possible.” He told her before finishing up bandaging the second wound and then stepping aside so Cora could see her brother. “I’m going to give him some herbs that will hopefully help him heal,” he explained throwing away the bloody gauze and moving over to his cabinet.
Cora forced herself to take a deep breath, gaze darting to her brother’s still form on Deaton’s table. “Is he gonna be okay?”
Stiles followed behind her slowly, reaching out and laying a hand on her shoulder as he looked over at Derek’s motionless body, as well. He swallowed heavily. “Sandalwood,” he suggested, voice hushed. “What can I do?” he asked Deaton.
Deaton grabbed a small jar and then closed the cabinet before glancing at Cora. “It’s too soon to tell,” he told her quietly before his gaze shifted to Stiles. Deaton nodded over to his office door where Lydia was motionless against the frame, leaning her weight on it. “You can help her,” he said his voice hushed.
Stiles followed Deaton’s gaze to Lydia standing in the doorway, looking exhausted. She was also covered in blood and he sucked in a breath, moving away from Cora and over to her instead, eyes widening. “Are you hurt?” He reached out and laid a hand on her arm, looking her over but not seeing any injuries or tears in her clothes. It must have all been Derek’s blood. He swallowed hard, wrapping her in his arms without really thinking about it.
Lydia didn’t even bother to pull away. If she was being completely honest at the moment the only person she wanted right now was Stiles. The sound of more footsteps pounded into the clinic and she figured it was probably Scott. Lydia gripped Stiles midsection and went to step forward completely losing her balance and nearly collapsing as a wave of dizziness swam through her.
Stiles slid his hand down to rest against her back, rubbing it gently before guiding her back into a small sofa in Deaton’s office so they could sit down. He felt tired all of a sudden, too, and it occurred to him that it was because she was. He sat down on the couch, tugging her to follow but keeping her in his arms. “He’s gonna be okay,” he whispered against her ear.
Scott stepped into the back room and his chest tightened, “What happened? Why didn’t I feel this?” He asked stepping into the room with a frown as he saw Derek. He walked over to the table and glanced at Deaton as he pressed a hand to Derek’s arm, black veins automatically sliding up his arm. He winced at the intensity of the pain. He grit his teeth his stomach clenching until he pulled his hand back.
He glanced at Deaton keeping his voice quiet, “How bad is this?” Though he had a feeling he knew the answer.
Deaton watched Scott, “Pretty bad.” He said simply.
Scott glanced between Deaton and Chris, his gaze shifting to Lydia briefly and it felt like something was squeezing his heart. He turned back to Chris as he stood by Cora and resting a hesitant hand on her arm, “What happened?”
Surprisingly, Cora didn’t pull away from him.
“Daevas,” Chris informed Scott. “Lydia and I found him in the woods, collapsed. There were a lot of them.” His voice was grim as he looked at the alpha in the room. “Iron seems to be a weakness, but I don’t think it kills them, either.” He looked down at Derek.
“Why was in the woods alone?” Cora asked, shaking her head. “Why would he go there when he knows those things are there?”
Lydia pursed her lips. “He walks out there sometimes to clear his head.” She said quietly. “Sometimes he goes by your old house,” she explained her grip on Stiles tightening. “He must have gone for a walk after I left. Sometimes he’s out there for hours, I-” a lump formed in her throat and she swallowed hard trying to push it down.
Anxiety curled in Scott’s stomach, “Why didn’t I feel him get hurt? Why is Lydia the only one who did? I should have known...but I didn’t feel anything.” Scott frowned, “Come to think of it I haven’t felt Derek all day.”
Deaton arched an eyebrow. “It could very well be magic. The other people who were killed were human. Maybe the person doing this took into account that Derek is a werewolf and blocked his connection from you Scott. It’s possible they didn’t know how connected he was to Lydia.” He added.
“That makes sense,” Stiles murmured, pulling Lydia closer and rubbing his hand over her back and her hair soothingly, not enjoying the anxiety he was feeling in the least. He drew in a breath and let it out slowly, letting it flow through him and not trying to push it away. “Scott’s the only alpha in town, so of course it would make sense to block his connection to Scott.” His mind was working through what little information they had. “We know whoever’s summoning the daevas is using magic to do it. Plus Derek’s -- he fits with the other victims’ profiles.”
“The house fire,” Chris murmured, looking troubled.
“Which means Uncle Peter and Malia are in danger, too,” Cora spoke up, face pale. And so was she.
Scott squeezed her shoulder gently, “We’ll keep you safe,” he said anger burning inside of him. So someone thought they could hurt the people in his pack, well they had another thing coming. “Do you have a way to get in touch with Peter?” He asked Cora. “We can bring him and Malia to the loft with you and Derek. We can use mountain ash and ward the entire place and one of us will be there at all times,” He said matter-of-factly. “It will be easier to protect you guys if you’re all in the same place until we get who's doing this.”
Scott glanced over at Lydia and frowned, “Why do I barely feel Lydia?” He asked a hint of panic in his voice, “Is she alright?” He asked meeting Stiles’ gaze and then glancing back to Deaton and Chris, “Did she get hurt?” He wanted to go over there and make sure she was okay, but she was curled into Stiles like her life depended on it. Her heartbeat was moving faster than normal, but other than that she looked pale and tired.
“Lydia may have developed another banshee power,” Deaton said carefully. “And it’s draining her energy.”
“Another one?” Cora shook her head and looked at Scott. “Yeah, I can get a hold of Uncle Peter.”
Chris looked at Scott intently. “She needs to get her abilities under control, Scott.” His voice was quiet. “And he has to be the one to help her.” He looked worried.
Scott’s frown deepened and he nodded at Cora before glancing between the two men in front of him. “Okay...what kind of power? And why do I feel like there’s something you’re not saying?” He asked glancing back over at Stiles and watching Lydia for a minute. Her breathing was steady. “She’s sleeping.” He commented. “I need to know what’s going on. You guys used iron and fought of the daevas, then you brought Derek back here...and Lydia developed a new power.” He stated eyebrow arched.
“That’s basically the gist of it, yes,” Chris agreed quietly. “Deaton believes she was able to extend some kind of force field around herself and Derek while she was protecting him. They didn’t touch her, even though they got close.” He raised his eyebrows.
Scott was quiet for a minute, “I’m sorry are you telling me she ran into a forest full of daevas with nothing but herself as the weapon?” He pressed his lips together, “And you just let her?” His tone wasn’t exactly accusatory, but he was baffled how one small 5’3” girl could be so much trouble to keep in line...then again it was Lydia.
“What happened to all the self-defense and weapon training? Is she crazy? Dumb question of course she is,” he said shaking his head. He glanced over at Lydia finally noticing her clothes covered in blood. She must have thrown her body over his. His chest tightened, of course she did because Lydia was forever putting the people she cared about above herself. His jaw clenched, they all did it and one of these days it was going to get one of them killed. It already had gotten one of them killed.
“If she hadn’t, Derek would have died,” Chris said honestly. “I was right behind her, Scott. And I don’t know if you’ve actually tried to stop her from doing something she’s set on doing before, but she’s got a mind of her own.” Just like Allison had. Just like all of them did when it came to protecting another person they cared about from some kind of danger. Even the ones who didn’t have supernatural healing abilities. He’d seen them all do at some point or another.
Cora hesitated and put a hand on Scott’s arm, the first time she’d ever done so. She gave it a squeeze before moving over to where Derek was, resting her hand on his arm and drawing away some of his pain, closing her eyes tightly.
Scott sighed and nodded, “I know,” he said quietly. “He’s going to make it now though right? I mean,” he paused, “It’s Derek.” He said his chest tight, “He’s survived worse...Right?” He asked his eyes almost pleading for one of them to agree with him.
“He’s going to be fine,” Cora informed him, voice tense as she dared anyone to disagree. “We need to call the others. We can take turns taking his pain as long as we need to.” There was no room in her tone for argument.
Chris reached out and patted her shoulder lightly. “I’ll call Isaac.” He shifted his gaze to Scott. “Can you call the twins?”
Scott nodded, “Yes,” He was silent for a minute, “Cora, Lydia and Stiles will stay here and the rest of us will take turns coming in.” He said glancing at his best friend, “You good with that?” He called out arching an eyebrow when he spotted the bruise on Stiles’ face.
“It’s fine with me,” she answered, moving to get a cool cloth for Derek’s forehead.
Stiles looked up at him, nodding. “Can’t really go anywhere.” There was a teenage girl asleep on him and he didn’t want to wake her up. He could still feel her exhaustion, even as he made a conscious effort to filter out some of the tiredness.
Scott nodded. “I’ll go call the twins,” he said quietly walking back out into the main part of the clinic. He paused and rested a hand on the counter swallowing hard. Cora was right, Derek would be fine. He had to be.