June 15, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 13/32

Title: Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Rating: NC-17
Authors: Sxymami0909 and Xtremeroswellia
Timeline: Takes place 1 year after the end of ‘Beyond The Sea’
Series: Post Finale AU
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Isaac Lahey, Sheriff Stilinski, Melissa McCall, Chris Argent, Derek Hale, Cora Hale, Aiden, Ethan, Danny, Braeden, Alan Deaton, Peter Hale, Malia Tate-Hale, mentions of Scott/Allison, mentions of Derek/Lydia, mentions of Stiles/Braeden
Part: 13/32
Summary: The one year anniversary of Allison's death is right around the corner just in time for a new threat to make it's way to Beacon Hills. With Lydia's banshee powers growing, and dead bodies piling up near the Nemeton, Scott and his pack need to work together to figure out who's behind the latest attacks and what knew evil is on the lose. Tension is mounting in the pack and relationships will be tested when an old ally returns to town with information that could help the pack. But can the pack trust their old friend or has the year passed hardened him to a point of no return?
Author's Note: This is a Stydia story, but it's a slow burn because a lot needs to be rebuilt and there are mentions of other couples and other friendships along the way. One year has passed between this story and 'Beyond the Sea'. You will get to see the missing year in a series of one-shots taking place between 'Beyond the Sea' and this story later on.
PreviousChapters: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve |

Chapter 13

Stiles had managed to carefully shift out from under Lydia after a few hours, gently laying her down on Deaton’s sofa and covering her with a blanket, tucking a pillow under her head. Right now it was just the four of them there -- Derek, who was still unconscious, and Cora, who was focused on taking his pain at the moment, and then of course he and Lydia. Deaton seemed to think that Derek was out of the woods so to speak, and that other than pain management, there wasn’t much left to be done for him.

He stood leaned against the wall, arms folded across his chest and mind deep in thoughts of the fight he’d had with Derek just hours ago. He knew, of course, that the two events weren’t linked. That Derek getting hurt wasn’t his fault. But he felt bad for punching him in the first place, even though his own cheek hurt from where Derek had punched him back.

He was kind of amazed that they’d both managed to hold back, really. Derek hadn’t turned, and Stiles hadn’t used any of his emissary tricks as the werewolf had called them. He hated that word. He had a feeling he was always going to hate that word. He rubbed a hand over his face, closing his eyes for a moment. It was this room that featured in a large portion of his nightmares. He could still remember seeing the blade stuck in his best friend’s stomach, the fear in Scott’s eyes even as the thing in his body told him it was okay. It hadn’t been okay.

Stiles remembered vividly the way his hand had turned the blade to cause his best friend more pain and he swallowed heavily. Scott hadn’t even tried to defend himself. He hadn’t shifted either. He was so controlled that even though he could have easily overpowered Stiles, made him stop, he hadn’t. Because he hadn’t wanted to harm him, even if it meant he got hurt himself. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand, because he did. He’d put himself in harm’s way a thousand times over if it meant saving Scott’s life.

He just didn’t like that it worked both ways, even as hypocritical as it probably was.

Cora released Derek’s hand with a shuddering breath and swallowed hard as she stepped back from her brother. She was silent for a minute as she ran a hand over her face. Deaton had told them Derek was mostly out of the woods now, but Cora would believe it when she saw it. Her chest constricted at the sight of Derek so still. She couldn’t believe the last thing she said to him had been in anger. Even when she was a little girl her Mother had always taught them to never part in anger, because in their lives they never knew what could happen and guilt could kill as well as any bullet.

She turned away from him and glanced over at the couch frowning when she didn’t see Stiles. It took her minute to feel his gaze on her and when Cora turned again she spotted him leaning against the wall. “Tired of sitting?” She asked relaxing slightly as she rolled her neck.

Stiles nodded slightly, when she spoke. He moved over to her side, glancing at her. “Any better?” he asked quietly, knowing she could tell by how much pain Derek still had or didn’t have. The whole day the werewolves had taken turns streaming in and out like clockwork. Every hour one of them arrived to take some of his pain, then headed away for awhile, and the next hour someone new showed up. Deaton had left for some kind of appointment, and Stiles had been changing his bandages as necessary, and burning healing herbs in the room to keep the healing process moving along as best as he could.

Cora nodded, “Yeah, but there’s still a lot a pain.” She was silent for a minute, “This might have been the closest ever,” she said quietly. “I shouldn’t have gotten so angry with him.” She told Stiles. “He’s an idiot. He can be a jackass and completely overbearing...But it all comes from a good place. I’m the only family he has left...He doesn’t exactly get along with Uncle Peter and he’s never really gotten to know Malia, not that I know much about her either.” She said with a shrug.

“It was my fault,” Stiles admitted, voice quiet. “At least mostly.” He let out a breath.

Cora huffed, “Would you cut that out. It’s not your fault. He’s an idiot. He shouldn’t have been walking around in the woods. The problem is my brother thinks he’s invincible, that or he just doesn’t give a crap about his own life.” She said with a shake of her head. “Stop taking on all this guilt for things that aren’t your fault. It’s annoying,” she told him matter-of-factly as she glanced sideways at him.

Stiles blinked a couple of times. “I meant about the fight from this morning. Not him going out into the woods alone. That’s all on him,” he said honestly. Stiles sure as hell wouldn’t have advised doing that. Not that he hadn’t been out in the woods alone since he’d been back -- because he had. More than once. But he also knew how to keep daevas away.

Cora arched an eyebrow, “Oh,” she said lightly, “That wasn’t your fault either, at least not entirely. It was his too.” She said honestly. “You’re the first person Derek’s hit in a long time that hasn’t been an enemy of the pack,” she admitted. “But I also feel like his annoyance with you has been kind of building so...it would have come to this eventually anyway. Might as well get it out of the way now,” she told him with a shrug, her gaze falling back to Derek.

He and Derek had never really been friends. About the time that Derek had returned to town with an attitude change when it came to Scott and the others, Stiles had been possessed. And then he’d left town. It didn’t mean Stiles hated Derek -- they’d saved each other’s lives more than once. They were allies even if he wasn’t sure they’d ever be friends. “I know. Takes two to fight, and you’re right; it had been building for awhile.” He hesitated. “I threw the first punch.” He wasn’t proud of it, but something inside of him had just snapped at that moment and he’d lost control of his anger.

Cora glanced at Stiles, “Why?” She angled her head to the side. She knew Stiles well enough by now to know that he wouldn’t have just slammed a fist into Derek’s face unprovoked.

He stared at the floor. “Because he brought up the werewolf in Russia.” His voice was barely audible. Cora frowned, “How the hell did he even know about that?” She asked reaching out and squeezing Stiles arm. She knew how hard that moment was for him, how much it had cost him on a personal level and how he’d never really been the same since.

“I don’t know,” he admitted, not looking at her. “But I’m pretty sure that Chris Argent knows, too.” His chest felt tight. “And I think they know about Japan.” He exhaled, covering her hand with his own, briefly before he began to slowly pace the room. He hated this room. “I don’t know how they know, but they know, and I think they think it was just -- I don’t know, that like I enjoyed it or something.” He swallowed heavily. “Or that it’s something that I do all the time, like I’m some kind of hunter or you know a hitman.” He rubbed his hands over his face.

Cora frowned, “Stiles, you’re not, you know you’re not and so do I. Who cares what Chris Argent thinks,” she made a face, “I still can’t believe he and Derek are such good friends. It feels wrong. His sister murdered our entire family...I’m not sure I can ever look at him and not think about that,” she said honestly before shaking her head. This wasn’t about her.

“You’re not that person, but while we’re on the topic of this, Derek heard Scott bring up Colombia and he’s been fishing, or at least he did after we got back from your Thanksgiving lunch, dinner thing.”

Stiles sighed heavily because they’d had this conversation about Chris before. He knew she didn’t really trust him and a tiny part of him couldn’t blame her. Kate Argent had killed most of her family. He’d even made efforts to draw the comparison between Kate and Peter, and while she saw what he meant, she just didn’t trust Chris on an instinctive level.

Stiles blanched at the mention of Colombia. “Great,” he muttered. “Even better.” Except not.

Cora pursed her lips. “Colombia sucked, but think of it this way, you’re the one who convinced me to come home, so really Derek owes you one.” She said lightly not noticing the way Derek shifted on the table on the other side of her. “He’s not going to find out about Colombia and honestly even if he did who cares? I’m an adult, I make my own choices.” She told him.

“Yeah, but let’s not forget I’m the one who put you on those hunters’ radar to begin with. I wasn’t not going to give you warning that you were about to be found,” he murmured. He pursed his lips. “As much as I don’t really want anyone to know about that, I really don’t want Scott to know about Colombia. He’ll blame himself and he does that enough already.”

“Hey, you asked me to help you, there wasn’t any way I wasnot going to. Hunters or not. Besides I’m still in one piece, so it all turned out okay,” she said with a shrug.

Derek blinked confusion crossing his face as he heard Cora talking to Stiles. Stiles is the reason hunters were after his sister? His head hurt. Derek was going to file that information away for the moment because he had no idea what was going on or why he was lying on a cold metal.

“We got lucky,” Stiles murmured. “I didn’t even know what I was doing.” He rubbed his hands over his face tiredly. He so rarely did sometimes; he just sprang into action because he couldn’t sit idle and let people he cared about get hurt. He’d also gotten lucky that Cora was already in South America when he’d needed her help. Like fate.

“We all get lucky sometimes...except me because my brother scares off all my prospects,” Cora sighed jokingly trying to break some of the tension surrounding Stiles.

There was a grunt from the metal table at Cora’s words and a muffled sound. “Unpleasant,” Derek mumbled.

Stiles turned his head toward the table, eyes widening and he glanced at Cora. “Dude, don’t try and move yet,” he said, relief creeping into his voice. “I’m gonna call Deaton.”

Derek pried his eyes open. “Not moving,” his voice was hoarse as he blinked several times and angled his head towards his sister frowning slightly, “What happened?”

Cora gave him a look. “You went out to the woods alone and got ripped to shreds by daevas,” she informed him. “Lydia and Chris showed up in time to save your life because she had one of her banshee feelings.”

“Where is Lydia? Is she okay?” He asked shifting and then wincing. Jesus that hurt. His sister’s words brought back the memory. The last thing he remembered before blacking out was her jumping on top of him and one of the daevas closing in on them. Sometimes he wondered if she had a death wish.

“She’s asleep,” Cora told her brother, pointing to where Lydia was curled up on the sofa. “She’s been out for a few hours, but she’s okay. She wasn’t hurt.”

Stiles returned a moment later, before he had a chance to respond. “Deaton’s on his way,” he announced.

Derek arched an eyebrow when he saw Stiles even though he’d known he was there, “Draw the short straw?” He asked, though his tone didn’t hold any malice.

Stiles smirked but it was faint. “I plead the fifth.”

Derek swallowed hard his gaze drifting to Cora. He studied her for a minute, “I’m fine.” he said quietly even as his eyes fluttered closed briefly. He was tired and his body fucking hurt. But he’d live to see another day so he wasn’t going to complain.

“Yeah, you’re great,” Cora said sarcastically, sighing when Stiles reached out and rested a hand on her arm.

Stiles moved closer to the table, not looking up at Derek’s face as he carefully peeled the tape back enough so he could check the wounds he was sporting. “He’s healing,” he told Cora. “Just...slower than normal, which isn’t a surprise since magic’s involved.” His expression was troubled.

Derek pursed his lips. “Lovely,” he sighed before glancing at Cora, “You can’t get rid of me that easily, even if you might want to sometimes,” he joked without smiling. “How long until Deaton’s here I want to go home.” Though he wasn’t quite sure how he was going to get there. He tilted his head back catching sight of Lydia and swallowed hard at the sight of her covered in his blood.

“She shouldn’t be sleeping on a couch.” He commented before closing his eyes and gritting his teeth as a wave of pain washed over him.

Instantly Cora reached out and laid her hand on his arm, draining some of his pain away.

“There wasn’t a lot of choice. She wanted to stay,” Stiles said, voice quiet, glancing at him momentarily before removing the rest of the bandages. He didn’t bother replacing them yet, because Deaton was going to want to look at them when he got there. “And Deaton’s on his way. So probably ten minutes or so.”

Derek’s eyes opened and he glanced at Cora catching the worry in her eyes, “Thanks,” he said softly before his gaze drifted to Stiles. Wondering why he was even helping. “I’m going to close my eyes while we wait for Deaton,” he told his sister, “But I’m fine.” He said again not wanting her to worry before letting them shut.

“Okay,” she agreed. She had to let go of him a moment later, closing her own eyes. When she regained her sense of balance, she pulled the washcloth off his forehead and moved to the sink to dampen it with cool water again, laying it in the same place when she was through. “Did you call Scott?”

Stiles pursed his lips. “I’ll give him a call.”

Cora nodded resting her hand on Derek’s arm. Hopefully they could find a way to get him home so he could rest in his own bed and get better. She didn’t like the idea of him being hurt even if he was healing.


It was very early the next morning by the time Stiles made it back to the house. He was tired, but his body was also familiar with losing a night or two of sleep at a time so it wasn’t that unusual. Deaton had finally shown up at the clinic around four thirty and he’d spent time looking over Derek and making sure he was really well enough to go home.

Then Stiles had assisted Cora and Lydia in getting him up to the loft and getting him settled. He unlocked the door to the house and let himself in, rubbing a hand over the back of his neck as he shut the door as quietly as possible, aware that the two werewolves in the house, at the very least, would have already noticed his reappearance.

He drew in a breath, slipping his shoes off and making his way toward the staircase.

“Hey,” Scott said leaning against the doorway of the kitchen, his expression tired. He nodded behind him, “Got a few minutes for me?” He asked quietly, “I’ve got coffee.” He said with half a smile.

“Gah!” Stiles jumped at the sound of Scott’s unexpected voice and his mind ran through a litany of curse words that he didn’t say out loud, and he was glad for that because it probably would have woken up the rest of the house. “Don’t do that.” He blew out a breath. He raked a hand through his hair, studying his best friend with concern. He looked exhausted. “Yeah, always.” He patted his shoulder as he passed him, heading into the kitchen and heading straight for the coffee pot. If he was going to be awake even longer than anticipated, he was going to have to have coffee. Scott grinned momentarily and followed Stiles into the kitchen. He sat down at the table and watched as Stiles got some coffee, waiting for his friend to sit down. It had been a long night and after talking to both Chris and Deaton there was a lot he needed to fill Stiles in on.

Stiles moved back to the table, large cup of coffee in hand, sipping it as he sat down. “Have you had any sleep at all?” he asked, frowning. Scott may not have struggled with various sleep issues the way Stiles had over the years, but one of his pack was seriously injured. He doubted he’d slept.

Scott shook his head, “Not much,” he said quietly still feeling guilty that he hadn’t felt Derek was in trouble even if it was because of magic. “How’s Derek holding up? Did he seem okay? And how’s Lydia?” He asked worry coloring his features as he leaned forward resting his elbows on the table.

“Better. He’s not all the way healed yet, but he’ll be there by afternoon is my best guess. He pretty much went right to sleep when we got him to the loft.” He pursed his lips. “Lydia was also pretty tired, even though she slept all night on that couch at Deaton’s.” Sleeping on a couch was never a really restful situation, though, so of course she was still tired. That and she was scared she was going to lose Derek.

Scott pursed his lips, “Yeah...we have to talk about that.” He said quietly as he rubbed the back of his neck. “I don’t know if you heard Deaton yesterday, but Lydia got a new power. Apparently when the daevas were attacking Derek she threw herself over him to protect him and somehow used what she was feeling to manifest an actual barrier around her and Derek, which was why they couldn’t touch her and she wasn’t hurt the other night.” He explained.

Stiles stared at him for a long moment. “Jesus,” he muttered, leaning back in his chair and wondering if there was enough coffee to actually have this conversation at five in the morning. He took a long drink, blinking a few times as he tried to process. “Okay. So obviously that’s why she was tired. The amount of energy it would take to generate a physical barrier between her and a threat is...it’d take a lot.”

Scott hesitated and nodded, “Yeah, but dude...that’s not all.” He told his friend. “Deaton said that her powers, they’re all coming in pretty fast.” He glanced up at Stiles. “And they’re taking a lot out of her.” Scott rubbed a hand over his face realizing he had to just spit it out. “Deaton says if she doesn’t learn how to control all the power that’s getting thrown at her it’s possible that one of these times she accidentally uses it, it might drain her completely.”

Stiles shut his eyes, rubbing his hands over his face, too. He thought briefly of Meredith, the banshee from Eichen House, and how even just hearing the voices of the other banshees took so much out of her. But Meredith hadn’t had a pack, either. She’d been alone. Lydia wasn’t. He exhaled, and took another drink of coffee, willing it to work so that he could clear his head more quickly and start coming up with some kind of solution.

“I need you to help her control it.” Scott said finally. “You’re the only one who can help her. Apparently the connection you have works as a,” he lifted his hand and made a back and forth motion, “Uh pathway...I don’t know. But when they’re both open things are great, but when they aren’t everything gets stuck on one side and that’s why it’s been so hard for her to deal with all the emotions I guess.” Scott sighed, “Deaton explained this so much better. But since you and I both like having Lydia alive I thought it would be a good idea to figure this out.” He told his friend, his shoulders drooping slightly.

Right. The tether bond. That he kept somehow unconsciously blocking. He was silent for a moment, wrapping his hands around the coffee mug tightly and staring down at it, opening his mouth to speak and shutting it again. He got it. He was the problem here. He’d always been the problem. “Okay,” he said after a long moment. “I’ll figure it out.”

Scott reached out and rested a hand on Stiles’ arm. “It’s both of you,” he said quietly, “Not just you. She blocked me out on Thanksgiving.” He told him. “I think you guys need to talk and at least try to get past things for now so you can help her. I’m worried Stiles.” He admitted honestly.

“So am I,” he admitted. “I didn’t even know I was -- you know, blocking it somehow. I still don’t exactly know how I’m doing it.” His guard had been so high for the longest time against anything and everything remotely resembling emotions that he was now apparently blocking it on an unconscious level. “Morrell taught me how to focus. How to shut things down so I could concentrate. I didn’t realize that the tether thing worked both ways, Scott. I didn’t know that…” He swallowed heavily, guilt as obvious on his face as the dark bruise that had formed. “I just didn’t know.

Scott squeezed his best friend’s arm, “Hey, no one is saying you knew. We all make mistakes. Look at what happened with Derek. He’s always there when I need him even when we weren’t even really friends and the one time he needs me I’m not there. Magic or not, that’s on me. He almost died.” He said his chest tightening. “We all mess up, we’ve just got to try and fix things that’s all.” He told him before cocking his head to the side, “Our parents are up.” Scott commented.

“If there’s one thing that throws things out of whack, it’s magic,” Stiles said quietly. “Don’t blame yourself.” He glanced toward the stairs as he heard footsteps on them, wanting to ask his best friend what was going to happen when you exceeded your own expectations of how badly you could mess things up. Because he was fairly certain he’d blown past it months ago already. “Is Isaac up too?”

Scott glanced up and nodded, “Bathroom.” he said as the sheriff stepped off the last stair and walked into the kitchen pausing when he saw Scott and Stiles sitting there, “Morning boys,” he said glad that they were together. He and Melissa had wanted to talk to Stiles ever since Thanksgiving.

“Hey, Dad,” Stiles greeted with a faint smile, finishing off his coffee and setting the cup down on the table. He couldn’t help but wonder why everyone was up so early on a Saturday morning. He understood why Scott was up, but he was pretty sure his dad didn’t have to work until later today. “Why are you up so early?”

Michael glanced over at his son briefly as he poured himself some coffee, “We were actually hoping to catch you,” he said right as Melissa made her way into the kitchen.

She smiled softly and walked over to Scott pressing a light kiss to the side of his head, “How’s Derek?” She asked before shifting over to Stiles and repeating the action.

Stiles couldn’t help but smile at the gesture, closing his eyes briefly as memories of his mom flooded his mind. He opened them once more and looked up at her. “He’s home now, resting. He’s doing better, but he’s not completely healed yet. He’ll be okay in a few hours.” He looked back over at his dad even as Isaac came down the stairs, looking kind of sleepy and confused about why everyone was awake when the sun hadn’t even risen. Right there with you, he thought, shaking his head.

“I’m going to make some breakfast and I think now might be a good time for all of us to sit down and talk,” Melissa announced as she opened the refrigerator door.

“Uh, even me?” Isaac said uncertainly.

“Yes, Sweetheart. You’re family, too. Sit down.” She gestured to the table.

Now Stiles really wondered what was going on. And he had a feeling whatever it was, was going to require more caffeine. He gave Scott a curious look before rising to his feet and moving to the coffee pot again.

Michael finished filling up his coffee before pausing to wrap an arm around Melissa and pressing a kiss to the side of her head, “Good morning,” he said softly.

Melissa rested a hand over his and smiled warmth filling her chest. “Morning,” she said before he released her and made his way over to the table.

Michael glanced at Stiles and arched an eyebrow, “I thought now would be a good time to talk about what happened on Thanksgiving,” he said pointedly.

Scott pursed his lips and rubbed the back of his neck glancing at Stiles.

And there it was. He had a feeling there wasn’t going to be a way to get out of this conversation as easily as he’d been escaping them for the past week. He paused at the coffee pot, then finished pouring his cup before moving back to the table. He met Scott’s eyes for a brief moment. “Okay,” he said, his voice a lot calmer than he actually felt. Maybe copious amounts of coffee weren’t such a great plan.

Isaac shifted his gaze between Scott and Stiles before hesitantly taking a seat next to Scott and remaining silent. How could any conversation that came at five in the morning be a good thing? This couldn’t be a good thing. Even Isaac felt nervous and he wasn’t even the one about to be in the hot seat.

Michael glanced at Melissa briefly, her back to him. “You got your GED...that’s probably something we should have discussed son. While that was great fore-thinking we feel that by doing that you’ve cut yourself off from people in the general sense and we don’t think that’s good,” he explained. He knew how much Stiles was hurting and he hated to think how he was handling it all

Stiles paused at that, making a conscious effort not to turn his face so his dad wouldn’t see the bruise he was sporting. He hadn’t been expecting that getting his GED would be an issue for his dad or Melissa, really. On the list of issues there were, that was basically the very last one in his opinion. “Okay? I mean I’m not really cut off. I’ve been around everyone basically constantly since I’ve been back.” His tone wasn’t argumentative. Michael nodded, “I know but-”

“Dude, what happened to your face?” Scott asked cutting the sheriff off and leaning forward just now noticing the bruise there. He frowned, “I don’t remember seeing that the other night,” he said.

Isaac tilted his head and nodded, “It is pretty bad,” he added apologetically. He’d noticed it when he sat down, but figured no one would want to talk about it at breakfast, but apparently he was wrong.

Stiles bit back the urge to groan and he shot his best friend a look. Really? Now? he thought, feeling a hint of exasperation. He shook his head a little. “It’s fine,” he said, because it was. It was done and over with, and the animosity he’d felt toward Derek the day before had vanished the moment the guy had been seriously injured. He didn’t tend to hold grudges against people for long. Not over personal matters.

“Let me see,” Melissa said with a frown as she made her way to the table. She gripped his chin lightly and angled his head to the side. “I can get some ice for it,” she suggested her brows drawing together.

She stepped away from him to grab some ice.

Scott sent his friend an apologetic look, “How’d it happen?” He asked again wondering why he hadn’t mentioned it when it happened.

Stiles sighed heavily, not daring to cast a glance at his dad. He could feel his eyes on him, and he remembered his reaction the night that Gerard had beaten the crap out of him. “Okay first of all it’s not a big deal, and secondly, I threw the first punch, so I had it coming,” he admitted.

Isaac shifted his gaze from Stiles to Scott, eyes kind of wide. Wider than usual.

“Derek and I got into a fight yesterday. Before...everything.” He waved his hand between them. “It’s fine now. It’s over.”

Melissa paused ice in hand and frowned. “Derek did that?” She asked her brows drawing together, “That doesn’t seem like him…”

Michael pursed his lips and shook his head. “Fighting probably isn’t the best idea.” He said calmly.

Scott shook his head, not liking that information one bit. He sighed.

“Is this about Lydia?” Melissa asked softly resting a hand on Stiles shoulder as she held out the ice.

Stiles winced as the cold compress touched his cheek and he sighed, glancing at his dad. “I know it isn’t,” he said honestly. He could hear all of the disappointment in his dad’s voice, and he could see it on his face as easily as he could see it on Scott’s. Really, though, he wondered why they were surprised.

“Not exactly, no. Maybe a little. But not like you’re thinking,” he told Melissa. “It’s more about everything that’s happened and my not having been here for the past year and showing up again out of the blue.”

“You didn’t say anything to him about me and Cora, did you?” Isaac asked tentatively.

“Uh, well, sort of?” Stiles shifted awkwardly in his chair, reaching up to take the compress from Melissa’s hand so she could sit down, too.

Melissa went back and grabbed the food she’d made while they were talking before sitting down and putting it down for everyone. “Why is he mentioning you and Cora?” Melissa asked and then paused smiling softly, “Sweetie are you and Cora seeing each other?” She asked with a warm smile. A part of her hoped he was. Isaac and Cora could both use the companionship.

“No, not exactly, no,” Isaac said quickly. “But we hang out and I think Derek thinks we are? And Stiles kind of needled at him about it on Thanksgiving.”

Stiles gave him an exasperated look. Thanks for throwing me under the bus, he thought, shaking his head as he leaned back in his seat. He was starting to feel like he was in high school all over again and he’d only been back a week.

Michael pinched the bridge of his nose, “Before we get off topic, I want to know what was going on with everyone at dinner the other night. It seems there’s some question as to what you were doing and where you were when you were gone. I’d like to know why.” He said keeping his tone light, but the truth was he was worried. He’d noticed the changes in his son, and he just wanted to make sure they weren’t going to lose him again.

Stiles saw his dad pinch the bridge of his nose and he knew what that meant. He was annoyed. And tense. And stressed. Not good things.

He took a sip of coffee, mostly to stall for time to figure out what the hell he was going to say. He’d procrastinated thinking about this conversation the entire time he’d been back because honestly he just didn’t want to think about it. “I’ve been with Deaton’s sister,” he said finally, sighing and looking down at the table. He was pretty sure Isaac wasn’t going to like that answer considering Morrell’s affiliation with the alpha pack in the past.

Isaac pursed his lips, “Oh no,” he said lightly as he reached for pancakes.

Melissa glanced at Scott who had been quiet and she reached out and rested a hand against his arm pulling him from his thoughts. His gaze drifted to Stiles and he could see his friend trying to hold it together.

Scott sighed, “Guys, I know it’s been a year and we’ve all been through a lot, but there’s so much going on right now. Does it matter what Stiles did for a year as long as he’s back where he belongs now?” He asked. “We’ve got crazy magical daevas ripping people to shreds, Isaac and I still have to go to school, Lydia’s...there’s stuff with Lydia and now Derek was hurt.” He glanced around.

“I know it’s frustrating not knowing,” he said before glancing at his best friend, because it was frustrating for him too, “But I think maybe we all need to just let it go and start fresh and--”

“Scott. Stop,” Stiles’ voice was quiet. He appreciated his best friend’s willingness to spare him the very uncomfortable conversation that he’d been avoiding all week, but he was starting to think that Derek had been right the previous day. He looked around uneasily, stomach tightening. “Her name’s Marrin Morrell. And she’s something called an emissary. Like what Deaton was before he retired. Although I don’t think there’s technically a retirement plan involved.” He smiled but it was strained.

Melissa sat beside him, looking perturbed. “Deaton helps Scott with a lot of things.” It wasn’t a question.

Stiles nodded, glancing at her sideways. “Yeah, he does. But, technically speaking, every alpha has their own emissary. Deaton was Talia Hale’s. When she died, he kind of gave things up until...well, until Scott was turned.”

Michael frowned, “Okay, so what does that mean?” What did that have to do with where Stiles had been and why he hadn’t come home sooner.

Stiles turned his attention to his dad. “Morrell showed up at my hotel door the day after I got to Van Nuys last year. She told me it was time to start my training because apparently that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.” He glanced momentarily at Scott and then back at his dad. “So for the past year, she’s been training me. Teaching me how to do what she and Deaton do. How to be an emissary.”

Isaac stared at him with wide eyes, but said nothing, like he was too stunned to figure out what to say.

“So we’ve traveled all over. Met other emissaries. Other wolf packs. Studied actual wolves.” He chewed his lower lip for a moment. “Basically taught me a lot about the supernatural and how to handle it. How to keep people safe. How to keep myself safe.”

A look of worry crossed Melissa’s face and as she met Michael’s gaze. She wasn’t sure being even more immersed in the supernatural was a good thing. She already worried about Scott constantly and she knew Michael worried about them all too. This was definitely something they were going to have to take in.

Michael pursed his lips not sure he liked this whole emissary business. It was definitely something he would have to talk to Deaton about. “I see...so that’s what you’ve been doing all this time? Training?” He asked quietly.

Stiles drew in a breath, nodding. “That’s what I’ve been doing all this time,” he said just as quietly, looking down at his coffee mug. “Apparently I have a sort of natural...inclination toward the supernatural.”

“Well. Your best friend is a werewolf,” Isaac cut in, smirking.

“I know this isn’t what you were expecting,” he told his dad, glancing briefly at Melissa. “It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting either, but as it turns out I’m not half bad at it?”

Scott could see the worry on both of their parent’s faces, but they seemed to be taking things pretty well considering.

Michael watched his son for a minute before speaking. “There aren’t many things you're bad at,” he said finally before reaching for some pancakes. “But you’re back for good now and you’re not going anywhere?” He asked wanting to make sure.

Stiles swallowed heavily because if he was honest with himself, part of him still wanted to get out of Beacon Hills, but he nodded. “I’m back,” he agreed quietly. “There may be times I have to go somewhere for training, but I’ll be here most of the time.”

“And you’re Scott’s, right? Scott’s emissary?” Isaac asked, raising his eyebrows. “I mean if Deaton is technically retired and you’re…” He motioned between them. “I mean that’s you now, right?” He glanced at Scott sideways, feeling no surprise coming from his alpha at all. Scott had already known.

Scott nodded, “Stiles is my emissary,” he confirmed. “It’s something we haven’t announced to the pack yet, but need to,” he added.

Stiles looked at Scott for a moment, dread building up within him that he couldn’t find the energy to push away. His fingers tightened around his coffee mug and he stared down at it. Being an emissary was a lot of responsibility. And he might have a natural inclination toward it, might have even been acting in that capacity from the beginning without realizing it or understanding what it all meant, but now that he knew, he was flooded with doubts. Because this wasn’t just any alpha whose life was in his hands. It was Scott.

Stiles swallowed heavily. “So I guess if you guys have any questions…” He shrugged. “I’m sort of that person now.”

Isaac glanced around at everyone sitting around the table silently. “The only question I have is if we can eat...because I’m absolutely going to need to go back to sleep after all of this.”

Scott chuckled, Isaac’s comment seeming to break the tension. Melissa smiled and shook her head as she rubbed a hand over Stiles’ back. “I think we’re all still processing everything,” she admitted. “Give us time and I’m sure there will be questions.” She told him and Michael nodded in agreement.

Stiles didn’t manage to smile at Isaac’s remark. He just looked up at Scott. “Can we talk?” His voice was quiet.

Scott glanced at Stiles for a minute before nodding. He stood up, “Thanks for breakfast Mom, but I think I’ll eat later, I’m exhausted.” he said as he motioned for Stiles to follow him upstairs.

“Me too,” Stiles said quietly, rising to his feet and taking note of the worried look that passed from his dad to Scott’s mom. He patted his dad lightly on the back before following Scott up the stairs to the bedroom and shutting the door behind them. His face was a little paler now, but he moved to his bag and unzipped it wordlessly.

“What’s wrong?” Scott asked worried when he saw his friends face had paled.

Stiles shut his eyes even as he dug through his bag until he found what he was looking for. He pulled the journal out and slowly rose to his feet once more. “Look there’s still a lot that -- a lot you don’t know, and honestly you’re not gonna like some of it at all. You’re gonna hate it.” He swallowed heavily, not quite able to turn and look at his best friend.

“There are reasons I haven’t told you, but at the end of the day it pretty much boils down to abject terror, so uh.” He held the book out to Scott. “You need to read this. And you need to like, make sure you really want me here because after you read it you might not. You might want me to get the hell out of this house and maybe even out of Beacon Hills, I don’t know.” He was rambling in a way that he hadn’t in ages and he quickly moved to grab his bottle of Xanax from the bag, popping one of them into his mouth and dry swallowing it.

“So I’m just -- I’m gonna go out and head to the library and let you -- you know, figure out if I should be here or if you want me gone because I’ll understand if you do.” He tried to ignore the way that his hands were now shaking. “There’s a lot.”

Scott took the book his chest tightening. He reached out and rested a hand on Stiles’ shoulder. He held up the book, “No matter what I read in this book, I will never not want you here. You’re my best friend, my brother Stiles. And nothing written here is going to change that.” He told him with certainty.

Stiles turned to look at Scott, eyes burning with unshed tears. “I want to believe that. But you don’t know what’s in there, Scottie.” He swiped a hand over his eyes. “So just...read it and…” He could feel the panic swelling up in his chest and he drew in a shaky breath. “We’ll go from there.” If there was any place to go from there at all.

Scott leaned forward and pulled Stiles into a hug. “Nothing can change how much I care about you Stiles, nothing.” If he was being honest he was starting to freak out about reading it now that his friend was so upset about it. But he would do what he’d ask and he’d prove to Stiles that nothing had to change.

Stiles shut his eyes tightly as he wrapped his arms around Scott, terrified that within a few hours, Scott was going to hate him. That he would see him as some kind of monster. As his enemy. Again. He sniffed. “I love you, Scott,” he whispered before pulling away. “But I”m gonna get out of here for awhile. A few hours. Give you time.”

Scott frowned, but nodded. “Okay.” He said quietly. “I love you, too and I’ll see you soon?” He asked studying his friend not liking him going out alone when he was this upset.

“Yeah. I’ll be back tonight,” he said softly, rubbing his hand over his face before heading toward the door again. “And I’m sorry for dumping more crap on you. You know, in advance.” His heart was beating fast. Too fast. He didn’t stop to wait and hear Scott’s response, just headed out of the room and down the stairs.


Lydia shifted as something pulled her from sleep. She fought it burying her head further in the pillow, but it didn’t work. She let out a soft groan and rolled over. It took her a couple of minutes, but her eyes finally fluttered open. She scrunched her nose and turned her head spotting Derek beside her wide awake. She rubbed her eyes studying his face. He looked a lot more alert than he had when Stiles had helped them bring him home. “Hey,” she said softly, “How are you feeling?” She started to sit up, “Do you need anything?”

Derek smiled faintly, shaking his head. “No, I’m okay. Almost healed,” he said honestly, watching her. “What about you? Are you okay?”

Lydia frowned, “Me? I’m fine,” she said yawning, lifting her hand to cover her mouth. “God how early is it? I’m still tired.” She told him her gaze falling to his chest at the bandages still there.

“It’s like, eleven,” Derek told her. “But you’ve been out of it pretty much since yesterday, other than when we came back here.”

Lydia nodded. “I was tired,” she said before sitting up further and resting her back against the headboard. “What’s wrong? For someone who just escaped death you don’t seem all that chipper,” she joked though she didn’t smile. Smiling at the thought of him dying didn’t exactly sit right with her.

Derek was quiet for a moment. “You were covered in blood.” He looked at her intently. “Those things were still trying to attack and you threw yourself on top of me.”

Lydia swallowed hard, “Yup...I think I remember something like that happening.” She commented and looked away from him, “But we’re both fine so, no harm no foul right?” She asked keeping her tone light.

Derek didn’t smile at her. “Lydia, you could have been killed. Do you get that?”

“What did you want me to do Derek? Watch you die?” She asked quietly as she glanced at him.

Derek stared at her for a moment. “I don’t want to watch you die either, Lydia.”

Lydia was silent for a minute. “It’s not like I was trying to get myself killed I just,” she paused and swallowed hard. “There was so much blood and...I was scared.” She admitted looking away from him.

Derek reached out and laid a hand on her arm, giving it a gentle squeeze before shifting so he could sit up. “Then lucky for both of us you’re apparently immune to daeva attacks, too.”

Lydia frowned, “Please be careful,” she said resting a hand on his chest carefully and helping him sit up. His words registered and minute later and she pursed her lips. “Yeah, not exactly.” Lydia sighed. “I’m not immune; I just developed another power apparently.” Her words were light. “Deaton said that my emotions were so heightened during the attack that I actually pushed them out of my body manifesting a solid barrier between us and the daevas.” She explained or at least that was what she’d overheard before she got too tired to pay attention.

Derek blinked at that. “Okay, didn’t see that coming.” He looked up at her for a moment, not quite sure what to say about that. “Is that why you were so tired?”

Lydia shrugged. “I guess. I’m not really sure. They were sort of talking among themselves and I was kind of worried about you.” She admitted as she glanced over at him. “It’s not like I knew I could create crazy emotional force fields...It just sort of happened.”

“It’s sort of been happening a lot. All these new abilities.” Derek’s voice was troubled. “We need to figure out how to help you get them under control.”

Lydia could hear the worry in his voice, “I’m sure it’s fine. I feel okay now and more abilities are a good thing, I mean they’ll help me protect everyone.” She told him with half a smile. “It helped me help you. Maybe now that I know I can do it next time it’ll just come to me.” Lydia told him as she shifted in his direction so she was facing him.

“Lydia, you slept for almost twenty-four hours. That’s not fine. It’s not normal,” Derek said seriously. “It drained you.”

Lydia pursed her lips. “I’m sure my body is just trying to get used to everything. You shouldn’t worry.” She told him resting a hand on his arm, “What you should do is worry about getting better. Cora was worried...and Scott too. You’re important to people so do me a favor and don’t take anymore walks in the woods.”

Derek didn’t look convinced at her reassurance. “Like I said, I’m almost healed.” This wasn’t the worst injury he’d ever had, by far. “But I am hungry so I’m thinking about making some breakfast.”

“That’s good,” Lydia said relieved. If his appetite was back then he must be feeling better. She shifted again pushing the covers off of her and dropping her legs to the floor. “I can get something for you, almost healed or not you should still rest.” She said standing and pausing for a minute resting her hand on the bed briefly as she got her balance before turning to Derek. “What were you thinking?”

“Eggs of some kind,” he told her. “But seriously, Lydia. I’m okay.” He looked down at his chest, could practically feel the skin growing back together even as he sat there, the way he always did when he was healing.

Lydia watched him for a minute, “I know...I know you are.” She was silent for a minute, “But I didn’t know that yesterday and,” Lydia sighed, “And I haven’t been that scared in a long time okay? I mean you get hurt all the time, you’re Derek,” she told him simply, “But...I’ve never really...You’re always fine and I guess I just never thought you could actually be hurt that bad,” she said softly. Lydia bit her bottom lip, “Just, just let me take care of you until you’re back on your feet because it will make me feel better and you’re my friend you want me to feel better..” She said simply with half a smile.

Derek sighed softly and reluctantly leaned back against the headboard. “All right. If you really want to fix me breakfast, I’m not gonna say no. But you have to eat, too. Deal?” He arched his eyebrows, hoping she didn’t argue.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Deal. I totally like eggs. See how easy I am?” She said with a smile.

Derek chuckled lightly, shaking his head. “Good.”

Lydia smiled. “You rest; I’ll be back in a bit.” She said heading downstairs glad she could actually do something to help for once.

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