June 21, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 16/32

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: 16/32
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.
Previous Chapters: One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten |
Eleven | Twelve | Thirteen | Fourteen | Fifteen |

Chapter Fifteen

Scott dried his hands on the towel and then wiped his mouth. He and Stiles had gotten home close to a half hour ago and his friend had been weird the entire drive home. He tossed the towel in the hamper and then made his way out of the bathroom and back towards the bedroom in a pair of boxers and a t-shirt.

Scott walked into the room and arched an eyebrow at Stiles who was lying on the bed still fully clothed staring at the ceiling in the same spot since he’d left to go shower. “Alright dude, seriously what is going on with you?” He asked as he walked further into the room.

Stiles really wanted things to go back to the way they’d once been with him and Scott. His friendship with Scott had been the most stable thing in his entire life. And the guy knew most of his secrets now anyway. But this one...this one crossed so many personal lines for not just him, but also for Lydia. For Derek. He couldn’t help but think he’d done nothing but make things worse for the pack since his arrival back in town.

But he wasn’t going to keep this from his best friend. He also wasn’t, however, going to look at him when he broke the news. He was a bit of a coward sometimes. He draped an arm over his eyes. “I slept with Lydia.”

Scott had been on his way over to the bed, but when he heard his friend’s words he froze. “What?” He asked his eyes widening. Scott couldn’t have heard him right. Lydia was barely talking to him...and she was with Derek.

Stiles groaned, pulling the pillow from under his head and pressing it over his own face in response.

“How is that possible?” Scott dropped his head, “God, I didn’t mean that I just meant...I thought she wasn’t even talking to you. And she’s with Derek, you do know that right?” He asked. There was no judgment in his voice, but Scott couldn’t help, but feel bad for Derek. The guy always got the raw end of the deal.

They both knew how Lydia felt about Stiles and okay if he was being honest Lydia and Derek had never made much sense to him, but they seemed to work and the other werewolf took care of her, and put her first in ways Scott couldn’t always do because he had to be there for the entire pack. But Scott had always thought if Stiles came back he and Lydia would fall back into each other...he just hadn’t expected it to be like this.

Stiles shut his eyes. “Yes. Yes, I know that. Which means I’m like the biggest actual piece of shit on the planet right now.” Or possibly ever. He didn’t move the pillow, mostly because he was kind of hoping to suffocate himself with it if it just stayed in place long enough. He blew out a breath, itching for a cigarette. It had been two days since his last one and stress tended to make him crave them pretty badly.

Scott pursed his lips as he scratched the back of his neck not sure what to say. “I kind of can’t believe Lydia would do that to Derek.” He said quietly. Scott glanced at his friend who still had the pillow over his head, “You’re not a piece of shit,” he added, “You might be sending kind of mixed signals, but you love Lydia...you’ve always loved Lydia. This wasn’t some crazy one night stand or expedition to blow off steam.” He said watching Stiles and waiting for him to agree with him.

As Stiles’ best friend, Scott was kind of required to tell him he wasn’t a piece of shit. “Let’s face it, Scott. I haven’t really done anything but fuck things up since I came back,” he mumbled. “Good thing that’s what people expect anyway, right?” He tossed the pillow off his face and sat up, rubbing his hands over his neck and rising to his feet.

Scott sighed, “I don’t expect that and you haven’t messed anything up.” He told him his tone patient. “Stiles a lot has happened and things are just crazy right now. But,” he said pointedly, “while it might not seem like it, things have actually gotten better within the pack since you’ve been back. I’ve had a lot of weight lifted off my chest that I thought was going to be there forever.” He told his best friend honestly.

“This will work out. I guess things are okay between you and Lydia now? You worked everything out?”

Stiles turned to look at his best friend, giving him a pained expression. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “And not exactly. We were arguing, pretty loudly and then…” He waved his hand, rubbing the back of his neck with a guilty look. “And then other things happened and then you called so...I have no idea, Scott. I literally have no fucking clue right now.”

Scott wanted to laugh, but he wasn’t sure that would be the best move when his friend was obviously upset. “Well I’m going to assume that since Lydia slept with you, she’s forgiven you because I can’t see how she’d be with you any other way.” Then again he didn’t really know how Lydia’s mind worked.

“Yeah, but what if it was just like, heat of the moment kind of thing? You know? I mean what if that’s literally all it was for her? Emotions were running high and…” He trailed off.

Scott shook his head. “I’m sure it’s not and you need to talk to Derek.” He said quietly.

Stiles grimaced at the mention of Derek. “You mean I need to get pummeled by Derek,” Stiles responded, not looking at his friend. Or killed. Whichever. Possibly pummeled and then killed. Or killed from the pummeling. That was probably more accurate of what was going to happen. “I need a cigarette.” He rubbed a hand over his head as he moved toward the door.

“Stop,” Scott’s voice wasn’t loud, but it was strong. “You can’t keep doing this. You can’t keep running from your mistakes.” He said as he turned to face Stiles. “I’m going to let you in on a secret that I’m sure you’ve already figured out. Lydia loves you Stiles. It’s part of the reason she was so incredibly crushed when you took off.” He was silent for a minute processing his thoughts.

“I’m not running, Scott,” Stiles told him, turning to face him and shaking his head. “I’m not leaving again.” Even if part of him wanted to. Part of him would probably always want to, because for as many good memories there were for him about Beacon Hills, it was the bad ones that haunted him almost constantly. His mom’s diagnosis and drawn out illness and eventual death. Scott getting bitten in the woods. Peter’s attack on Lydia. Erica and Boyd dying. The alpha pack, the darach. The Nogitsune.

Allison’s death. The deaths of all those people the Nogitsune had used him to kill, and hurt.

Scott nodded, he knew that. “Look that kind of love doesn’t just go away.” Scott thought of Allison and how she’d ended things add they’d essentially moved on, but if he was being honest a part of him would always love her. She’d always have a piece of his heart. “But if something is going to happen with you and Lydia then you need to talk to Derek.” He sighed.

“I know you two aren’t getting along right now, but he’s been helpful Stiles. Honestly even when he was a dick, he saved my life several times.” Scott added. “And when you left he was the only one able to get Lydia out of bed by bringing her to Chris. He helped her use her pain and turn it into something productive and that helped her and Chris.” Scott ran a hand through his hair.

“He took care of her when you weren’t here to do it so you owe him honesty. I don’t know what’s going through Lydia’s head, but I’m sure she’s having a hard time processing things having both of you here. So just...do this the right way. You know I’ve always rooted for you man and as much as I like and respect Derek, it was always hard for me to picture them together because in my eyes it should have always been you. But that doesn’t change the past nine months they’ve been together.”

Stiles raked a shaky hand through his hair. “Dude, I know. Okay? I know that Derek’s not the bad guy here. I know he’s done nothing but help you for like, the past two years, Scott. Why do you think I feel like an asshole?” He exhaled. He rubbed the back of his neck, looking down at the floor for a long moment. “This really wasn’t my intention. It just...it happened.” The guilt in his voice was obvious. “And let’s face it -- she’s better off with him anyway. He’s a lot more...stable and less screwed up than I am at this point.” Or any point, really. He knew his thoughts and actions tended toward the self-destructive and skewed kind. And maybe at one point Derek’s had too, but Derek had obviously changed for the better.

“I’m not the same guy I used to be, before...everything. I’m just not.” His shoulders slumped. “If she has those feelings for me, she’s in love with a ghost because…” He swallowed heavily and looked away. Because that part of him was dead.

Scott swallowed hard and stepped forward resting his hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “You’re not the bad guy either Stiles.” He told him. “And you aren’t the only one who did this. Lydia did too. She was a willing participant and from what I saw at the meeting she doesn’t seem to feel too bad about it,” he said remembering the looks they’d been throwing at each other.

“Don’t make that decision for her,” Scott added, “Talk to her Stiles, let her get to know this version of you and talk to Derek.”

Stiles felt his chest tighten at Scott’s words and he looked at him with half a smile. “Seriously, Scott. How are you still so freakin’ great, after everything?” His eyes were sad.

Scott chuckled lightly, “Honestly, I have no idea. I don’t think I’m nearly as great as you think I am.” He told him friend before sending him half a smile. “I just want everyone to heal and be happy...I don’t want anyone to feel left out or like they don’t have people who care about them.”

“No. You are,” Stiles said quietly, meeting Scott’s eyes. “And you just kind of went on to describe a lot of the reasons, so.” He patted Scott’s arm. “Proving me right again.” He drew in a breath and let it out slowly. “I’ll talk to them.” He swallowed hard and looked down.

Scott smiled and patted his friend’s hand. “Good, it’s the right thing to do...and no more smoking dude, that stuff will kill you.”

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Dude, come on.”

Scott frowned, “I’m serious, we worry about you, plus I doubt Lydia is going to want to kiss an ashtray,” he said smacking his friend in the chest lightly before moving away from him, grin on his lips.

Stiles groaned. “Okay, but quitting smoking? Not as easy as it sounds,” he informed Scott.

Scott shook his head, “I never said it would be easy,” he told his friend as he pulled a pillow off the bed. He was silent for a minute before turning and shifting, pillow still in his hands. “So...you and Lydia…” he let his voice trail off with an arched eyebrow.

Stiles groaned again and flopped down on the bed beside his friend, staring up at the ceiling. “Yeah. It was...yeah, pretty much incredible. Like way better than I ever even thought it would be.”

Scott grinned. “So, worth the wait then,” he said with a laugh, “That’s good.” He paused, “Wait...did I call while you guys were,” he made a hand motion and then his face scrunched up.

“You were very close to interrupting one of the most important moments in my life,” Stiles informed him. “Fortunately your timing has gotten slightly better.”

Scott snorted, “That seems like an accurate description. I assume this happened at Lydia’s, since well our parents were here.” He said with an arched eyebrow. “So sex with Lydia is crossed off your bucket list then?” He joked.

“Nope, it’s definitely still on the bucket list. That’s never going to get crossed off the bucket list.” He rolled his head to look at Scott, arching his eyebrows. “I mean like ten thousand repeat performances and it will still be on the bucket list, man.”

Scott shook his head, “I’ll make sure I let Lydia known she’s always going to be on the bucket list,” he teased, “Not that I think you could reach your ten thousandth repeat performance. That’s just unlikely. As of right now you should probably enjoy the one you got because you don’t know if it will happen again.” He said lightly though if the way his friends were ogling each other earlier that night was anything to go by, it would most likely happen sooner rather than later.

Stiles blew out a breath. No, he was right. The likelihood of his surviving the conversation with Derek to begin with was slim to none. There wasn’t going to be a repeat performance.

Scott cocked his head to the side, “Come on, don’t get that kicked puppy look. I was kidding. I’m sure you’ll be naked and sweaty again sometime soon, unlike me who has zero sex life.” He joked, though it was true. But Scott didn’t mind. He had just gotten comfortable with being able to call Kira his girlfriend. After Allison, things had just kind of spiraled for him.

Stiles turned his head to look at him. “Speaking of, what’s going on with you and Kira?” he asked curiously.

Scott shrugged. “We’re dating,” he said simply looking away from his friend.

Stiles considered that for a moment. “I like her,” he said honestly.

Scott smiled and glanced over his shoulder, “I do too dude, a lot.” He turned around fully as he put the pillow down at one end of the bed. “She told me Lydia asked her to go shopping.” He said with half a smile. “She’s been patient with me and with everyone else.” He added, “So I’m glad you like her and Lydia is trying too because I really feel like this can work. Kira and I have a connection, different from the kind I’ve had in the past.” He said quietly.

Stiles was quiet for a few seconds. He had kind of picked up on the fact that overall, Kira still felt like an outsider with everyone else in the pack. Hell, he felt like an outsider with the rest of the pack. Technically emissaries were outsiders. He shifted onto his side so he was facing Scott. “Yeah, I’ve kinda...seen that,” he agreed. He was silent for a moment. “Also...Danny knows.”

Scott arched an eyebrow; he guessed that explained Danny’s presence at Thanksgiving. “Who told him Ethan or you?” He asked as he sat down on the bed.

Stiles scratched the back of his neck, looking at Scott silently, knowing he didn’t have to say anything for Scott to get the picture.

Scott nodded, “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” He let out a tired sigh, “There’s still a lot of stuff I don’t know.” He said quietly, “A lot of stuff that at some point I’m going to expect you to tell me. But you just got back and there’s a lot going on, so it can wait for now.”

“Honestly you know most of it at this point.” Stiles tried to gauge his friend’s reaction. “Most of it was in that journal.” He chewed his lower lip. “But you’re right, there’s a lot going on and we need to focus on this davea thing right now. Figure out who’s summoning them and why. Assuming it’s not just someone trying to invoke death and chaos.” His stomach tightened, the words immediately making him think of the Nogitsune.

Scott watched Stiles for a minute and then inclined his head, “We’ll figure it out. We always do. We’ll stop whoever is doing this and then...then I’m going to ask Kira to the Winter Formal.” He added nonchalantly.

Stiles grinned at that. “Yeah? Good for you.” He patted his friend’s arm. “Some kind of normalcy in this place. You need that.”

Scott laughed, “Yeah, we do. Too bad you’re not coming back to school. I’m sure Lydia is going to be looking for someone to go with when this all dies down.” He said before yawning.

Stiles fell silent for a moment. “Are you upset about that?” he asked, voice dropping. “I mean, I could tell that you were disappointed when you found out.”

Scott looked up at his friend and shrugged. “Not upset, but yeah, I’m a little disappointed. We’ve already missed out on a year of crap and...I kinda hoped we’d graduate together and do college like we planned, but well life never really seems to turn out like we plan so...it’s not a big deal.” He told Stiles’ as he met his gaze and sent him half a smile. “You planning on getting ready for bed any time soon?” He asked lightly changing the subject. Scott didn’t want to focus on what was never going to happen. At least Stiles was back.

Stiles pursed his lips, considering Scott’s words. He remembered all the nights they used to lay awake after marathon gaming sessions, planning for college and what they’d do. They’d been so young. So much more hopeful than they were now. He definitely wasn’t like that anymore, but at least Scott still had his optimism. He was glad that hadn’t changed. “Yeah, let’s sleep, man. I’m exhausted.”

Scott nodded, “Go change first,” he pointed to the door, “God knows what’s on those clothes,” he joked as he let himself fall back against the mattress with a grin.

Stiles smirked at his friend, pushing himself to his feet and moving over to his duffel bag, pulling out some clean sweat pants, a t-shirt and new boxers. “You’re a terrible person,” Stiles informed him.

“I am, and I’m okay with that.” Scott said resting his hands on his stomach. “I still can’t believe you and Lydia had sex and then came to a pack meeting like it didn’t happen,” he shook his head and grinned. “I’m going to be amused by this forever, so thanks for that,” he said his tone playful even as he closed his eyes.

“Well, what do you think we should’ve done instead? Came in and said, ‘Sorry we’re late, we were having angry sex against Lydia’s front door?’” He smirked a little wider before ducking out of the room so he could go and change his clothes.

Scott sat up straight, “You had sex against her door!” He called out to the empty hallway eyes wide. He shook his head. Of course they had sex against the door; Scott never got to do anything interesting. He sighed and plopped back down to the bed.

“Hot, angry sex,” Stiles called back, chuckling as he changed out of his clothes and into the clean ones. Let him sleep on that mental image.


To say that Stiles was nervous about what he was about to do was an understatement. He felt half nauseous. But he’d told Scott he would talk to Lydia and Derek both, and he wasn’t going to break anymore promises to his best friend, or anyone else, if he could help it. He wasn’t entirely surprised when he’d found that his pack of cigarettes had gone missing that morning, and he found himself both annoyed with and loving Scott for that. Not that he couldn’t just buy a new pack, but it meant a lot that Scott was that concerned about his lungs.

Still, it meant that his hand was shaking as he reached out and knocked on the door to Derek’s loft.

Derek glanced up from the stove and over his shoulder at the door. He pursed his lips, lifted the pan and shook out the eggs onto a plate. He turned off the stove and wiped his hands on his jeans before walking across the room towards the door. “Breakfast is ready!” He called out to his sister who was still in bed and Lydia who he was pretty sure was just getting in the shower. He’d been up since early that morning mostly by himself contemplating what exactly they were going to do when Peter and Malia got there.

Derek shook the thought away so he could deal with the issue at hand. Stiles. He gripped the door and pulled it open slowly arching a brow, “Back so soon?” He questioned shifting slightly on his feet and leaning against the door.

Stiles nodded slightly. He had a plan for this. He was going to talk to Lydia first and convince her that they needed to make a decision of some kind one way or another, but either way they needed to tell Derek what had happened. “Yeah. I came to see Lydia,” he admitted, not stepping inside. He wasn’t looking for a fight even if he was anticipating one -- sort of. He wasn’t sure a one-sided fight was really considered a fight.

Derek studied Stiles for a minute before stepping away from the door. “She just got into the shower.” He told him, “You can wait.” It would give them a chance to talk.

Stiles hesitated, nodding and then stepping inside, drawing in a breath. “You feeling okay?” he asked, motioning to Derek’s chest and stomach, where the daeva’s had clawed him. Guilt washed over him.

Derek arched an eyebrow, “Asking out of guilt or concern?” He said eyeing Stiles as he walked over to the couch and sat down.

Ouch. “Both?” He wanted to fold his arms across his chest, but didn’t because he didn’t want to present a defensive gesture.

Derek nodded and sat down. “I’m fine, which is what I keep telling Cora and Lydia, but I think they’ve both gone permanently deaf so I’ve stopped trying and have accepted my fate.” He remarked. Derek lifted his book from the table, opened it and then paused when he still felt Stiles’ gaze on him. He sent the teenager a sideways glance. “Something else you wanted to say?” He inquired. “Nope. Nothing.” He shook his head, diverting his gaze to the stairs and hoping it wouldn’t take Lydia too long. Or that Cora would come down soon, at least. This was just awkward, and the guilt in his stomach had formed a tight knot that made him want to throw up just a little.

Derek bit back a smirk. “So you don’t want to tell me what happened yesterday?” He asked cocking his head to the side.

Stiles’ face paled a little and he looked back at the werewolf uneasily. “What?”

Derek sighed, “This isn’t fun for me anymore now that you look like you might pass out.” He said closing his book. He shifted and nodded toward the couch. “Sit down Stiles. Let’s have a talk.”

“Does talking actually involve ripping my throat out with your teeth?” he asked warily. Because while he wouldn’t actually blame Derek for that under the circumstances, he didn’t really want to die, either.

Derek’s lip twitched at the corner. “I don’t think Lydia would appreciate that and I try not to get her mad at me. She’s got a temper that one.” He said lightly as he leaned back against the couch. “I simply want to clarify something that I think you might be unclear about.”

Stiles stared at him for a minute. “O-kay?” He didn’t have to be told twice about Lydia’s temper. He’d known her for a very long time.

“Lydia and I are not dating.” Derek stated watching Stiles closely.

Stiles blinked a couple of times, now entirely lost. “Okay, wait. What?” He shook his head, not following Derek’s line of thought.

Derek sighed. “I care about Lydia. I even love her in my own way. But it isn’t how you think.” His brows drew together. “We’re not a couple; we’ve never been a couple. I’m aware that everyone thinks we are and that’s fine, we’ve never corrected them because honestly it’s none of their business.” He insisted.

Derek paused trying to find the right way to explain things. “Lydia and I…We’re friends, closer than that even. But what we are has never been more than that.”

Stiles watched Derek for a long moment, realization dawning on him. Once upon a time just the idea of such a thing would have been a foreign concept to him, but he’d done a lot of growing up in the last few years. “Oh,” he said finally, nodding and accepting that, his guilt easing away. “Okay. Thanks for telling me.” He paused. “I was gonna talk to Lydia because you deserved to know.” He pursed his lips. “One way or another.”

Derek arched an eyebrow amusement clear in his expression. “I guess I appreciate that. Lydia told me yesterday, not that I didn’t already know the minute you two came in.” He told Stiles flippantly.

“You’re not very subtle and Lydia and I don’t keep secrets from each other,” he commented his gaze on Stiles, “And for the record a few things. One, if Lydia and I had been a couple, she wouldn’t have slept with you. You shouldn’t think so little of her. Her father cheated on her Mother, she’d never do that to someone she cared about.” He said pointedly.

“Two, and this one’s important so listen closely.” Derek leaned forward, “If you break her heart again and I have to pick up the pieces. I will break a bone for every night she cries herself to sleep. Do we understand each other?” he asked.

Stiles met his eyes and held his gaze. “I won’t even put up a fight,” he said honestly, pursing his lips. He was silent for a moment, looking down at the floor. “I know I was wrong, but I honestly believed at the time that getting out of town was the best thing I could do for both of them. One less reminder of everything that…” He waved his hand, chest tightening. “I thought it would make it easier for them to deal with things if they didn’t have to worry about me dealing with things. If they didn’t have to look at my face every day and see that…thing.” He swallowed heavily.

“But it made things worse.” Stiles rubbed the back of his neck. “And I still couldn’t run far enough away from myself.”

Derek was silent for a minute. “The thing about guilt is you can’t run from it.” He said quietly, “No matter how far you go, it follows. And if you don’t deal with it, it can turn you into someone you don’t even recognize.” He responded glancing up at Stiles.

“I get why you left, but it did make things worse.” He told him not sugar coating it, “But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed if you’re willing to put the work in.” Derek ran a hand over the back of his neck.

“Yeah, I...figured that out already,” Stiles admitted. Guilt and anger and mind-numbing terror had already had turned him into someone unrecognizable. Everyone around him basically agreed about that. But it was who he was now, and he wasn’t sure it was something he could ever really undo.

Stiles appreciated the blunt honesty. He’d never expect anything less from Derek. “I intend to,” he said quietly. He was quiet for a moment. “By the way, sorry for punching your face in the other day. And in general for being a dick. I shouldn’t have lost my temper.” He grimaced a little. The bruise on his own face had faded a little but not by much.

Derek took a deep breath, “I deserved it. I’m sorry I hit you….that hard,” he added with half a smirk to show he was mostly kidding. He glanced towards the stairs the sound of Lydia getting dressed and Cora snoring catching his ear. “Now that we’ve gotten our Lydia conversation out of the way, let’s talk about Cora and Colombia.” He said holding Stiles’ gaze.

Stiles sighed heavily at that. “I shouldn’t even be surprised that you overheard that conversation when we thought you were unconscious,” he mumbled.

Derek shrugged, “I woke up sooner than the two of you thought,” he admitted. “I want to know why she was there and what exactly you had to do with her coming home. And I’d like to discuss it now.”

Stiles was silent for a moment, glancing toward the stairs briefly and then looking back at Derek. “I’ll tell you what you want to know, but I’d like to keep it between the two of us. It doesn’t have anything to do with the others,” he said, folding his arms across his chest, not in a defensive manner, but more in a self-protective one. Okay so that wasn’t exactly the truth. It had a lot -- no. It had everything to do with Scott. It was the one thing he didn’t want his best friend to know about, despite how much he knew about the other things that Stiles had done over the last year.

Derek hesitated, “I don’t like the sound of that.” He commented before sighing. “I don’t like keeping things from Lydia and Scott.” He said pointedly. “But I won’t actively bring up anything you tell me. If someone asks, I won’t lie though.” He wanted to make sure Stiles knew he wasn’t going to go out of his way to say anything to people.

Stiles pursed his lips. He supposed that was going to have to be good enough. He doubted anyone would ask Derek about information on Colombia. They had no reason to think Stiles would tell Derek anything. He let out a breath, nodding silently, feeling tired even though the conversation hadn’t begun yet really. He rubbed a hand over his face, trying to decide how to even begin. “I was in Van Nuys when I got an alert on my phone that Scott was no longer in Beacon Hills.” He paused, chewing the inside of his cheek as he thought back to the first day of the new year. What a shitty way to start the year. Not that the one before had ended well.

Derek frowned, “An alert? What do you mean an alert?” He asked confused.

He rubbed a hand over his face. “I had Danny bug Scott’s phone.” And his watch. And his bike. “Just in case there was trouble.”

Derek pursed his lips trying to control his mild amusement. “That’s...absolutely something I can see you doing. Go on.” He said wanting him to move it along. He wasn’t sure when Lydia was going to come downstairs or when Cora would wake up.

Stiles gave him a wry look. “So I get an alert on my phone anytime Scott leaves Beacon Hills.” Not that he necessarily needed it now that he was back since he was back now and could keep an eye on his friend in person. “As soon as I got the alert, I started looking into what was going on. It didn’t take long to figure out what was going on using Morrell’s connections.” He raked a hand through his hair. “I found out who had him, and I found out where they were taking him. But by the time I did, it was…” He swallowed heavily. “They were too far away from Beacon Hills, and there were too many of them to go after them or to call anyone from here. And you guys were already on the trail anyway.”

He paused, letting out a breath. “So I…” He shot a glance toward the stairs. “Contacted Cora, who was already in South America. Because I had a feeling you guys were going to need all the extra help you could get.”

Derek did his best to take a deep breath before speaking. “You called my sister to go deal with a family of hunters?” He asked his jaw clutching, “And people wonder why I’m not thrilled when you spend time with Cora.” He shook his head, “She could have been killed Stiles.” Derek’s voice was controlled, but he couldn’t help being annoyed mostly because Cora was really the only family he had...outside of Peter, but he really tried not to count him.

“Yes,” Stiles said simply. “I called Cora so she could meet all of you there so you could work together and save Scott’s life.” He gazed at Derek, not the least bit surprised by his annoyance. “And yes, I realize it was dangerous. But if Cora had been the one in danger, you can’t honestly tell me you wouldn’t go to Scott for his help to save her life. That’s what pack is about, isn’t it?” Or part of it anyway.

Derek sent him a disapproving look. “Yes, but she got there first, alone and we didn’t get there as soon as we had hoped. She could have been killed or worse before we got there.” He was silent for a minute because really it was a moot point. There wasn’t anything he could do about it now. It was done and over with and luckily everyone was fine. “You can’t go around pulling people’s strings like that, it’s not the right way to go about things,” He said quietly. “But I get why you did it. I just don’t approve of the execution.” Derek added. “Is that it? Is there something else?” He asked watching Stiles closely.

“I know how it played out,” Stiles said, looking down. “But she wasn’t alone.” He shifted his weight from one foot to the other. “I was there, too,” he admitted, rubbing the back of his neck. He shrugged, looking at Derek. “The rest...not really that relevant.” He paused. “Except a couple months later they were in the process of tracking her so...I called her. Again. To give her a head’s up that they were on their way and she needed to get out of there. I told her she needed to come back to Beacon Hills. That it was too dangerous for her to be alone.” He knew the dangers of an Omega running around by themselves with no pack to watch their back. “Two days later she called me and let me know she’d arrived back in California.”

So it had been Stiles who told her to come home. Derek was silent for several minutes before nodding. “I appreciate you getting her to come back home.” He responded quietly. It had been a happy surprise having Cora back, though he still remembered she hadn’t been thrilled to come home that first night and see Lydia at the loft. But they’d dealt with it like siblings did because they were family.

Stiles pursed his lips. Truthfully, he’d been trying to get Cora to come back since January, but Derek didn’t really need to know that part, even if it probably wouldn’t surprise him. The Hale’s were an incredibly stubborn bunch. “I didn’t want to put her life in danger,” he said quietly, honestly. “I don’t want to put anyone in this pack in danger at all, ever.” But it was Scott.

“But it was Scott,” Derek said simply. He shrugged, “I get it. I’ve put my life on the line for him several times, we all have.” He told him even though he was sure Stiles already knew that. Derek sighed. “I suppose everything worked out for the best,” he paused and caught Stiles’ gaze, “But never again. If there’s a problem we tackle it together, everyone, no man out for himself,” he stated matter-of-factly.

Stiles wanted to tell Derek that it hadn’t ever been one man out for himself as far as he was concerned, but he didn’t say so. He simply nodded. “I know.” And he did. There was very little in Beacon Hills that Stiles hadn’t known about while he was gone, but he didn’t say that either.

Derek nodded and tilted his head towards the stairs. “Also, the conversation we had before, that one is between us, got it?” He asked the sound of Lydia’s heels tapping on the stairs.

“You mean the one where you threatened me with great bodily harm and I agreed to it?” He arched his eyebrows. “Got it.”

Derek glared at him.

Stiles smirked at Derek.

Lydia glanced down at the dress she wore as she made her way down the stairs, “So, your sister just told me I look like a two dollar whore...was that her way of telling me that my dress is too--Oh...hi.” Lydia paused on the last few steps when she spotted Stiles standing beside the couch where Derek was sitting.

The smirk slipped from Stiles’ face as soon as he heard Lydia’s voice, attention turning toward the stairs. He held his breath, stomach tightening for a new reason as he spotted her coming down the steps in a dress he was fairly certain was actually illegal in multiple places in the world, and it wasn’t because it was too short. There was not even such a thing as too short of a dress in Stiles’ opinion. Then again, he might not have been thinking with his brain very well at the moment.

“Hi,” he greeted quietly.

Lydia felt her heartbeat pick up speed, but she was determined to ignore it. She would not be some overly obsessed teenage girl. Lydia gave herself a mental pep talk and then finished her descent down the stairs despite the fact that the closer she got the Stiles the faster her heart beat and the more insistent the urge to touch him became. “Morning,” she said keeping her tone light. “Are you here for the book? I finished translating it last night.” She said not sure how her voice was so calm but she was incredibly proud of herself for it.

“Oh.” Stiles raised his eyebrows, knowing he should make an effort to focus on that, but the closer she got, the less he wanted to think about daevas or nemetons or anything. “Yeah, that’d be good. I mean, it’s not why I was here, but yeah.”

Derek suppressed a smirk. They were idiots. Plain and simple.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “No? Everything okay?” She asked as her teeth bit into her bottom lip. She had felt a lot of conflicting emotions from him last night and she’d wanted to text him to see if he was okay, but Derek had hid her phone like she asked and refused to give it back.

“Yeah. Yeah, everything’s fine,” he assured her, nodding. “I was just...talking to Derek.” He hesitated. “I kinda thought maybe we could talk, actually?”

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Oh were you,” she said letting her gaze drift to Derek briefly wondering what they were talking about before glancing back at Stiles. “We can talk.” She responded with a hesitant smile as she closed the distance between them, stopping at the side of the couch, near where Derek was sitting and only a couple of feet from Stiles.

Stiles offered her a small, hesitant smile in return, glancing at Derek for a second before looking back at Lydia. “Do you wanna...go for a drive?” He wanted to have this conversation in relative privacy, and two werewolves in a small apartment wasn’t going to equate with privacy.

“Sure,” Lydia glanced around, “Let me just grab my bag and stuff.” She pointed to the book on the coffee table. “I hope you don’t mind different colored post-it notes in your book,” she told him as she walked over to the chair where she’d left her purse.

“Yeah, post its are fine,” Stiles told her as he moved over to pick up the book off the table

Derek slid his hand into his pocket and by the time Lydia came back over purse in hand he was holding out her phone to her.

Lydia glanced down and took it from him. “Thanks,” she said keeping her tone light as she smoothed a hand down her blue dress. “I’ll be back soon.”

Stiles nodded at Derek. “See you later, man.”

Derek lifted a hand and waved, “See you later,” He said as he reached for his book again and grinned.

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