June 29, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 20/32

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: 20/32
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 | Sixteen | Seventeen | Eighteen | Nineteen |

Chapter 20

Stiles could tell something was on his best friend’s mind. Something that he wasn’t saying. Something he was holding back. He knew because he’d known Scott since they were five and Scott’s poker face was seriously lacking. He wasn’t sure, to this day, how his friend had managed to keep the fact that he was a werewolf a secret as long as he had, from his mom and Allison.

But maybe it was just because he knew Scott as well as he did, that Stiles knew when something was up. The same way Scott tended to know when something was up with Stiles. They’d always functioned on the same wavelength for as long as he could remember, had always been in sync, even if they disagreed about things. They just understood each other on a level that most people couldn’t and didn’t.

Maybe it had been growing up with dads who both struggled with alcohol problems even though Stiles’ dad had never been the least bit abusive emotionally or any other way. Maybe it was dealing with the loss of a parent -- even if the losses were different. Maybe they were just destined to meet and become the best of friends the world had ever seen (in his mind anyway).

Whatever it was, had bonded them completely, and despite all the terrible things that Stiles had done, and despite the fact that Scott had tried to kill him a few times when he was first turned into a werewolf, nothing had been able to break that bond. He wasn’t sure anything actually ever could.

So when he turned onto his side to face his best friend, who was staring up at the ceiling, he arched his eyebrows after a long moment. “Okay. Something’s on your mind, Scottie. Spill.”

Scott glanced over at Stiles and pursed his lips, “I was just,” he paused, “I was thinking we should probably leave for Derek’s soon.” He said quietly and then winced, “And,” he hesitated, “That maybe it’s time we talked about Colombia.” He told his friend quietly. Scott knew Stiles wasn’t going to want to talk about it. He hadn’t wanted to either. But he needed to know what happened.

All the air left Stiles’ lungs because of all the things he’d been thinking might be on Scott’s mind? That wasn’t one of them. He was silent for a long moment, staring at his best friend and trying to figure out how he knew. And then realization dawned on him. He’d seen the marks on his back. Of course he had. They’d had to remove his shirt so Melissa and Deaton could work on him.

Stiles shut his eyes and sighed softly, rolling onto his back, staring up at the ceiling. “Right,” he murmured.

“You know, I’m actually disappointed in myself,” Scott admitted as he rested his hands on his stomach, tapping his fingers lightly against his skin. “I should have figured it out sooner.” Scott shook his head. “What happened Stiles? And I want the whole story, not just bits and pieces.” He demanded quietly, though there was no real bite to his words.

“How could you possibly have figured it out sooner?” Stiles asked, sounding dubious as he turned his head to look at Scott.

Scott sighed, “The phone call...Cora...Thanksgiving and your unwillingness to talk about Colombia. Plus there was nothing in the journal about it and it fell during the same time period.” He explained with half a shrug. “All things I probably should have put together. Now,” he turned his head so he could see Stiles, “Stop stalling.”

Right. All of that. Apparently he’d lost a few brain cells in addition to blood the day before in the daeva attack. He looked back up at the ceiling. “You’re not gonna like it,” he said quietly. He was going to hate it, actually. A lot.

“So uh, after I left, I sort of asked Danny to do me a few favors. And one of those was...to put a bug in your phone.” He hesitated. “And your bike. And uh -- in your watch.” Because it was pretty much guaranteed that he’d have one of the three with him at any point in time.

Scott sighed and shook his head, “Dude...if you weren’t my best friend I’d think you were a little creepy.” He side eyed his best friend, “Well get to the Colombia part, I don’t need the workup. I need to know what happened. I need to know,” he paused, “I need to know what happened to you.” He stressed.

Stiles’ expression was pained. “So you can blame yourself for something that was in no way your fault? Because it was in no way your fault.”

Scott frowned, “So I know what my best friend has been through.” He told him his brows furrowing. “And let’s be realistic even if you don’t want to admit it we know it’s partially my fault. You wouldn’t have been anywhere near there if it wasn’t for me.” Scott swallowed hard.

“You went there to save me...even when you’d left, even when you weren’t here. You were looking out for me.” Scott ran a hand over his face. “I need to hear what happened. How they caught you, why...how long.” His voice cut off and he purse his lips trying to get his emotions under control.

“No, we don’t know that,” Stiles said, frowning as he looked back at Scott. “You didn’t ask to be kidnapped by Spanish hunters, Scott. None of that was your fault. And I’ll tell you what you want to know but you have to promise you’re not going to blame yourself over it. You didn’t even know I was there, man. I didn’t want you to know I was there.” And that was the truth, one hundred percent.

Stiles drew in a breath, rubbing a hand over his face, body tensing just a little involuntarily as his gaze drifted to the ceiling once more, eyes growing distant as he began to recount what had happened.

He ran through the woods, gun in his hand. He wasn’t great with it yet. He’d barely started training with it, but it was all he had. A baseball bat wasn’t going to suffice against these people. And all he cared about was getting Scott out of there. All he cared about was saving his best friend’s life, and hopefully not getting Cora killed in the process.

But this? This he could do. He could be the distraction. The bait. Let them come after him instead. He could hear gunfire close by and he gritted his teeth, running faster, in the opposite direction of the compound where Scott was being held. “Come on you fuckers,” he whispered, lungs burning with the effort. It was counter-intuitive to be running away from the compound, but he had to give Cora time to get inside and get Scott out.

Which meant he had to stay alive at least that long. He’d been dodging death for awhile now, and he just needed to keep doing it long enough for them to escape.

He heard twigs snapping somewhere behind him and he zig-zagged, changing directions and heading East, leading them farther away, tightening his hold around the gun’s handle and taking the safety off as he moved. He felt the rush of wind from a bullet that whizzed by his head and he grimaced, glad that he’d been on the front line of the lacrosse team for a few months because otherwise his body wouldn’t be able to handle this kind of movement.

Truthfully his body still wasn’t prepared for this kind of physical activity. He’d only just started to get enough energy back to do any kind of exercise, only just started to be able to keep food down again. But adrenaline was an amazing thing and he had that in spades.

“He went that way!” he heard someone shout. He couldn’t tell what direction it had come from. After several more yards he skidded to a stop, ducking behind a thick tree and wrapping his arm around his stomach as he panted for breath. He heard a twig snap somewhere behind him again, closer now and he tensed, swallowing heavily as he raised his gun.

He wasn’t sure how far he’d managed to get away from the compound, but he hoped it was far enough. They were closing in. Fortunately he hadn’t used any of his bullets yet. He really didn’t want to. He squeezed his eyes shut, heart thundering against his chest.

He heard quiet footsteps getting closer and without warning he stepped out from behind the tree, taking aim and shooting the man in the head even as the man raised his own weapon at Stiles. No doubt it was full of wolfsbane laced bullets. No doubt they thought he was a werewolf, one of Scott’s pack come to rescue him.

The pack hadn’t arrived. Not yet. He willed them to stay away just a little longer until Scott was out of danger because he didn’t want any of them to get hurt.

Stiles watched as the man fell dead to the ground, an expression of surprise on his face. A wave of nausea washed over him and he stared down at the body, horrified.

Then he reminded himself that these people were going to kill his best friend. The guilt subsided almost instantly and he was on the move again, drawing more gunfire and hearing more footsteps.

“Please get him out of there, Cora,” he whispered inaudibly. Please. Fear shot through him as he found himself faced with another man, just feet ahead. He quickly raised his weapon. “Drop it,” he ordered, voice forceful. “I’ll kill you.”

The hunter clenched his jaw and dropped the crossbow to the ground, his gaze never leaving the kid in front of him. He shifted on his feet weighing his options. He heard the commotion around him and decided to chance it. He moved his hand and started reaching behind him to grab the gun that was tucked into the back of his pants.

Stiles pulled the trigger, hitting the man square in the chest. His hand was shaking, and he knew he was in trouble. There were too many and they were too close. He only had four bullets in the chamber. There were definitely more than four on his trail. Still, he couldn’t just wait around either. He turned and fled once more, only to see two men standing in front of him with guns.

He heard another one being cocked behind him, and then felt the barrel of the weapon pressed against the back of his skull.

“Interesting,” one of the men in front of him said with a smirk. “Never seen a werewolf use a gun before.”

Scott was still beside Stiles, eyes closed. How many people had his best friend killed to make sure he was rescued? How much of the blood that was spilled was his fault? Scott knew Stiles would say none, but that wasn’t the truth. Whether or not he’d asked to be kidnapped, he still was and Stiles, being the loyal best friend he was despite where they were with everything, had come to his rescue.

Scott was the reason Stiles went to Colombia, the reason he’d had to kill a bunch of people and the reason he’d been captured. He swallowed hard. “How many?” He asked quietly.

“How many did I end up killing?” Stiles’ voice was devoid of emotion. “Just the two. Kinda got outnumbered and outgunned after that.” He wanted to look at his best friend, but at the same time, he was afraid to. He already knew that Scott was blaming himself for the two hunters whom he’d killed, but of all the deaths he’d caused, those were the ones he felt no remorse over. The ones he didn’t have nightmares about.

Maybe that made him a bad person. He couldn’t bring himself to feel bad about killing a couple of guys who were torturing his best friend. Who would have killed him. And Cora. And the rest of the pack.

Scott nodded. Stiles had done what he needed to do to survive and Scott couldn’t really fault him there. He just wished that people didn’t have to die even though he knew sometimes they did. “What happened after they took you? I mean didn’t they realize you weren’t one of us?” he asked confused.

Stiles pursed his lips. “Oh, they knew pretty much right away, yeah,” he mumbled, closing his eyes.

He wasn’t sure how he’d gotten from the woods to the compound, but if the throbbing pain was any indication, he’d been knocked out and likely had a concussion. Awesome. His wrists also hurt and he winced as he tilted his head back to look up, realizing he was strung up in chains by his wrists, feet barely scraping the ground. He was also stripped down to his boxers. Well that’s not good, he thought, glancing around. There was blood on the floor a few feet away, but there was no one else in sight.

This was the room where Scott had been. The blood on the floor...there wasn’t a lot, but there was enough that it alarmed him. Had Cora gotten him out in time? Were they both alive? Had he made things even worse and gotten both of them killed?

Araya stood in the shadows watching him. She’d been watching him. When his eyes opened she held her place for a moment to see what he’d try to do and when he didn’t attempt to escape right away she stepped forward, fingering the wolfsbane in her pocket. She watched him closely as she came into view.

Araya smiled as she walked closer to him pausing just a few feet in front of him chained up body. “You’ve caused quite a bit of trouble here...killed two of my men.” She commented.

Stiles would have shrugged but it was hard to shrug when you were strung up the way they had him strung up. “Yeah, well. How many people have you killed, Araya?” he asked casually. “You know, innocent people who’ve never hurt anyone?”

Araya arched an eyebrow stepping closer to him, “You seem to have me at a bit of a disadvantage, you know me, but I do not know you.” She said as he pulled the wolfsbane from her pocket and pressed it to the boy’s chest dragging it down his skin, but nothing happened. Curious. She’d suspected as much, but still seeing it with her own eyes was even more disturbing. “You’re not a wolf.”

“Let’s just say that in certain circles your name tends to crop up a lot and I don’t mean that in a good, ‘hey I’m famous and awesome,’ kind of way.” He smirked at her and he knew deep down that he should just shut up and not taunt her. But he had a feeling he was in trouble regardless of whether he was a smart ass or not so it probably didn’t matter much. “Stellar observation skills. I can see why people are so unnerved by you.”

Araya’s eyes hardened, “Don’t test me boy, I don’t think you’ll like the results.” She said her voice controlled. “Why are you here? Did you have anything to do with breaking out the alpha? Something tells me you did.” She told him as she moved circling his body as she spoke.

He was fairly certain he wasn’t going to like the results anyway. But he felt relief wash over him at the information that Scott had gotten out. “I was just taking a nice trip through the woods. You know, vacation. Complete and utter coincidence. Promise.”

Araya studied him a moment, “The mouth of yours is going to get you in trouble,” she paused in front of him. “If you’d like I can cut out your tongue so you no longer have that problem,” she responded producing a knife in her other hand, a trick that she’d learned long ago. “I want information and you’re going to give it to me.”

“Oh, it already has. Quite a bit actually. I had this teacher named Mr. Harris for chemistry. Man that guy hated me. I had detention like every other day.” He smirked again, watching her just as intently as she was watching him. “And sure, you could cut out my tongue, but that’d be pretty counterproductive, don’t you think? Can’t give you information if I can’t talk now can I?” He arched his eyebrows.

Araya pressed her lips together, “I think you talk too much. Maybe a few hours with my boys will help get you to focus.” She said dropping the wolfsbane back into her pocket, slow smile spreading across her face. “As a matter of fact I think that’s exactly what you need.” Araya glanced over her shoulder towards the shadows and motioned for someone to come forward with her fingers.

She turned back to the boy, “You don’t want to answer my questions, fine let’s see how you feel about spending a bit of time with him.” She pointed.

Stiles’ gaze shifted from Araya to the very large man approaching him with a smirk, a glint of excitement in his eyes. “Okay, but for the record, I definitely don’t swing that way,” he informed her even as he felt his stomach tighten into a knot of dread.

His head snapped backward with the force of the blow to his jaw. Yeah. He was in trouble. A lot of it.

Scott winced. He had a feeling he knew exactly which guy Stiles was talking about and it certainly wasn’t pleasant. He had been tortured for close to two days and he’d been in pretty bad shape, but Stiles was human and the things they’d done to him...it would have taken a lot longer for Stiles to heal.

Scott reached out and rested a hand on Stiles’ arm, “How long did they keep you there?” He asked his chest tight, though his voice was controlled, or as controlled as it could be at the thought of his best friend being tortured by hunters.

Stiles was silent for a moment. “Three days, give or take a couple hours, according to what Cora and Braeden and I put together.” He glanced at Scott. This was the exact reason he hadn’t wanted to tell Scott anything about Colombia, because he could see the guilt on his best friend’s face and he hated it. Stiles would have done the same thing all over again if he had to. All that he’d cared about was Scott and getting him out safely. “But it doesn’t matter, okay? I lived. I’m fine. And you’re alive. That’s what matters, Scott.”

Scott nodded, “I know,” he said quietly. Logically he knew that. He knew that it was stupid to be upset about something that happened in the past and was already done and over with, but he couldn’t help it. He should have been with Stiles. They should have been figuring things out together and instead they had been miles apart for so long.

“A lot has happened in a year,” Scott said quietly. “I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you.” He told his friend.

“That’s not your fault either,” Stiles pointed out. “I’m the one who took off. Not you.” He turned his head to look at Scott again. “But for the record...all that stuff. Colombia. I’d do it all over again if it meant you getting out alive.” There wasn’t anything that Stiles wouldn’t do to protect Scott when it came down to it.

Scott glanced at Stiles, “It’s because you’re an idiot dude,” his words were soft trying to break the seriousness of the mood even though he knew it wasn’t that simple, “but I hope you know I’d do the same thing for you. You’re my best friend Stiles and I’d never let anyone hurt you if I could help it.”

Stiles cracked the faintest of smiles at Scott’s words even when Scott didn’t smile. “Dude, of course I know that. You’ve saved my ass a lot already, remember?” He gave him a meaningful look. Surely Scott remembered just how many times he’d bailed Stiles out of trouble. And half of them were long before the word werewolf was anything other than a myth or horror movie.

Scott nodded, “Yeah, I guess. Same with you,” he added. Even more so after he’d turned. Stiles was always bailing him out. Scott was silent for a minute as he shifted on the bed. “I know you’ve already said it, but promise me you’re staying for good. We’re stronger together.” He stated to his friend.

Stiles met his eyes, reaching out and laying a hand on Scott’s arm. “I promise you I’m not going anywhere, Scott. Not again.” There was a lump in his throat. “I swear.”

“Good.” Scott took a deep breath and squeezed his friends arm, “We are going somewhere. We should probably get up and head to Derek’s,” he said though he made no move to get up. Scott needed time to process everything and he didn’t particularly want to do that in an apartment full of werewolves.

Stiles’ eyes were sad and he chewed his lower lip as he watched Scott make no move to get up. It was time for a subject change. “So what do you think of my tattoos, man? Do they pass the Scott McCall approval test?” he joked.

Scott couldn’t help the laugh that left his throat. “Definitely bold choices.” He said with a grin. “How’d you even manage to get them?” He asked with an arched eyebrow as he stretched his hands behind his head and glanced at his friend. “You who is afraid of needles.”

“Yeah, well.” He shrugged. “I may have been really incredibly drunk for the second and third ones.”

Scott’s brows lifted, “Not the first and...I don’t remember seeing a third.” He added tilted his head to the side with a slight grin. “What did Lydia think of your tattoos?” He asked amused.

“Well, she only saw the shoulder part of the tree.” Which he realized sounded strange and he shrugged. “We didn’t get completely naked so.” He shifted slightly, tugging his sweatpants down just enough to reveal the wolf paw print on his right hip, with the howling wolf silhouette in the center.

Scott shook his head, “Mental images dude, unless you wanted me picturing the two of you naked, then mission accomplished,” he commented as he glanced at the tattoo. “It’s because you wanted a piece of me with you isn’t it?” He joked glancing at the wolf silhouette. “They’re cool man.” He said lightly with half a smile.

“Okay, we’ve changed clothes in front of each other hundreds of times in the locker room, so if you want to picture me naked? Not gonna be difficult. Don’t picture Lydia naked.” He gave Scott a look before letting go of the elastic of his pants so that it snapped back into place.

Stiles scratched his head. “I got that one after that month in Alaska. Dude, you have to go there sometime. It was...really amazing, Scott.” He was quiet for a minute. “But yeah, you’re kinda right.”

“First in my defense you keep talking about her naked. It’s not my fault it’s a normal reaction. Second, it’s not like I want to picture her naked,” he told his friend. “And third, maybe we can go sometime, just us.” He suggested. Scott had never really traveled outside of California he didn’t count being kidnapped.

“Now you know how I felt two years ago,” Stiles said wryly. But his eyes lit up at Scott’s suggestion. “Yeah?” He propped himself up on his elbow. “That’d be really cool.”

Scott smirked, “Hey if you want to share I won’t complain. I can live vicariously through you for once,” he joked before nodding. “Maybe after graduation, a nice trip to take before college.”

Stiles chuckled. “That’d definitely be a first.” He grinned at Scott. “If I wasn’t in love with Lydia, I’d totally make out with you right now.”

Scott smirked, “Well naturally, it’s because I’m the hot girl.” He said smugly. “So dubbed by my best friend who won’t make out with me because his girlfriend might get mad,” Scott paused, “Oh, my girlfriend might get mad...Kira’s so nice though I don’t think she’d get mad. She might think we’re weird though, which might lead to us breaking up...this idea is spiraling.” Scott sighed. “I’m putting the brakes on making out.”

Stiles sighed. “Yeah, well, you were mine way before you were Kira’s,” he mocked sadly. He smirked at Scott and shook his head. “Okay, we should probably get going, dude. It’s gonna end up getting dark if you insist on laying around talking about how much you want to make out with this hot bod.”

Scott snorted, “If we’re using that logic you were mine before you were Lydia’s.” He said before nodding. “Yeah, I know,” He sighed, “I’m going to get the worst sleeping spot. You’re injured you’ll get a bed, but me...I’m going to be in some dark corner of Derek’s loft.” He said with an exaggerated sigh.

This time, Stiles snorted. “Like I’m gonna let my best bro sleep in a dark corner. Give me a little credit, dude.”

Scott arched an eyebrow, “Does that mean I’m bunking with you and Cora or you and Lydia?” He asked with a grin. “We can make a Stiles sandwich or even better a Scott sandwich,” he chuckled.

“Whichever. But I’m definitely in the middle of the sandwich. I’m an injured human. I need the most protection when I sleep.” He smirked.

Scott tilted his head, “I wonder if we can fit Kira in bed too...hmm,” he grinned. “Maybe this won’t be so bad after all. Maybe it will even bring us closer as a pack...or it will make us all kill each other. Either way it won’t be boring.” He commented.

“She’s tiny. I’m sure we can make it work,” Stiles informed him. And somehow he was pretty sure that one way or another, Scott really wasn’t going to be wrong about that at all.


Lydia shifted and winced, her muscles pulling tightly when she moved, a deep ache settling into her bones. It took her a minute to find her way from sleep, her eyes fighting to flutter open and when they did the light in the room was bright and she closed them immediately. Where was she? Her momentary confusion wasn’t uncommon she supposed. But when the memories came crashing back she inhaled deeply.

Allison. She’d talked to Allison. Stiles was hurt. Lydia shivered slightly and forced her eyes to open again, not entirely sure where she was. “Allison,” she whispered her voice hoarse with sleep and from screaming earlier. Her entire body felt heavy, and she wondered if she missed the part where she was hit by a truck.

Lydia pursed her lips, “Allison,” she whispered again this time trying to lift herself up, but not able to get her Jell-O-like arms to cooperate.

“Hey.” Derek was right beside her instantly, having been across the room reading. He could hear most of the rest of the pack downstairs moving around, trying to settle in, but he’d heard the moment Lydia began to wake up, her heartbeat speeding up a little. He heard her whisper Allison’s name and he winced. “Easy,” he murmured. “You’ve been out for awhile.”

Lydia frowned, her expression easing when she spotted Derek. “How long?” She asked her voice hoarse as she rested a hand on his arm.

“Over twenty-four hours,” he admitted quietly.

Lydia glanced around, “I’m at the loft,” she said softly before his words registered. “Over a day?” She asked with a frown. “So long?” She asked as she shifted. “Why do I still feel so tired?” She asked. Lydia tensed, “Stiles?”

“He’s okay,” Derek said immediately, raising a hand as if to block her fear. “He’s all right. He’s worn out and he’s going to take awhile to really recover, but he’s going to be fine. He’s with Scott. They should be on their way over here now, actually.” He glanced at the window and noted that it was getting dark out.

Lydia relaxed slightly though she knew she wouldn’t be fully okay until she saw Stiles with her own eyes. She swallowed hard and glanced at Derek. “I saw Allison. I talked to her,” Lydia whispered her chest tightening. God, she needed Stiles. “Sit with me?” She asked her voice shaky.

Derek sat down beside her instantly; gaze focused on her face as he reached out and took her hand in his. “What do you mean?” he asked uncertainly.

Lydia was quiet for a minute as she tried to focus on reading Stiles’ emotions to make sure he was okay as she threaded her fingers through Derek’s. “They’re almost here,” she acknowledged about Scott and Stiles before glancing at Derek. “I spoke to her, I...in the woods. It was real.” She and Stiles were there together.

“What did she say?” Derek’s eyebrows were furrowed. He didn’t doubt her -- if she said she’d spoken with Allison, he absolutely believed her.

Lydia was silent for a minute, her mind foggy. “She misses us...and,” she paused her heart clutching remembering how Allison said it wasn’t her fault it wasn’t any of their faults., “she told me to tell her Dad she loves him and she talked to Stiles too…” she told him as she tried to sit up again.

Derek paused. “You and Stiles were both there?” He cocked his head to the side.

Lydia nodded finally getting herself into a sitting position. “I wanted to stay, but she said we couldn’t...that we were gone too long.” She explained. “But he was with me.” Lydia rested her back against the headboard wishing he was with her now.

Derek was silent for a moment. “Shortly after you passed out...your heart stopped,” he said quietly. It wasn’t something he could or would keep from her. “And so did Stiles’.”

Lydia tilted her head to the side and frowned. “My heart?” She pursed her lips and then remembered something Allison had said. “Bardo. Stiles and I were in Bardo. That’s how we saw Allison. She’s been trying to help us.” She explained. “She saved me in my dream, the first one, it was her.” She told him.

“Deaton thinks it’s because of your connection with Stiles,” Derek told her, troubled. “I actually suspected that shortly after you told me about what happened in the dream.” He sat up a little.

Lydia glanced at the door when the sounds downstairs grew louder. “Who’s here?” She asked.

“The whole pack. We’re all staying here until we can figure out what’s going on and how to stop it. Scott’s idea.”

Lydia frowned, but nodded in acknowledgment of the pack being there. “Sometimes Scott’s ideas border on crazy.” She admitted before meeting his gaze. “You did?” She asked addressing his words about Allison as she rubbed her stomach a slight ache stabbing her in the side. “You never said anything.” She added as she shifted again and leaned back into the pillows. “God, my entire body feels incredibly heavy.” Lydia let her eyes close for a minute.

“Sorry,” Derek said, “He’s not wrong though, we’re stronger together.” He told her quietly, brows drawing together, “You want some aspirin or something?” Derek asked quietly, watching her.

Lydia nodded, “Please,” she said as she glanced up and met his gaze, “I know, I didn’t mean anything by it.” She said softly sending Derek an apologetic look. “Do you think they’re here yet?” She asked as anxiety built inside of her. “Was he okay the last time you saw him?”

“Hey. Hey. Like I said he’s in some pain and he’s tired, but he’s okay otherwise. Scott wanted to give him time to rest more before moving him here,” Derek explained, squeezing her hand and then moving to the master bathroom, retrieving the bottle of aspirin and filling a cup with some water for her. He moved back to her side and held them out.

Lydia took them nodding her thanks as she sipped at the water and then placed it on the bedside table. She was quiet for a minute. “I want to see him.” She told Derek as she scrunched her nose. “You’ll get him for me when he gets here?” She asked glancing over at him.

“You know I will,” Derek said quietly. He watched her for a moment. “I’m sure they’ll be here any minute.”

Lydia nodded and closed her, “I’m sure you’re right.” She said ignoring the noise from downstairs and focusing on calming her breathing leaning against him. “But you’ll stay with me until they get here?” Lydia asked with tired half smile despite how long she’d been asleep.

“Of course.” Derek shifted, sitting down beside her on the bed and wrapping his arm around her shoulders.

Lydia was silent for a minute, “Have you been here this whole time?” She asked though she was pretty sure she already knew the answer.

A smile touched his mouth. “That is what best friends do,” he answered with a slight shrug.

Lydia smiled. “I like you.” She said simply before opening her mouth again, pausing when she felt a shift inside of her. “He’s here.” She said softly. Lydia couldn't hear him, but the second Stiles stepped into Derek’s apartment, it was like she could feel him there. “Maybe I should go to him since he’s hurt,” Lydia suggested as she starting pushing herself forward.

Derek offered her his arm. “Probably a good idea. I’ll help you up. Your legs are probably kind of shaky.”

Lydia nodded taking his arm before shifting to the edge of the bed and standing slowly. Her grip tightened the minute she was on her feet. He was definitely right. Her legs felt wobbly. It was unpleasant. “Lead the way.” She said keeping her tone light.

“Want me to carry you?” he offered, only sort of kidding.

Lydia grinned, “As much as I’d love to let you demonstrate those wolfly muscles of yours it would probably make Stiles feel guilty,” she told him lightly. “And he probably already feels guilty enough if I’ve been out for over a day, even though it’s not his fault.” Lydia added, she knew how his mind worked. “Just don’t let me fall down the stairs in a room full of people,” she joked.

Derek smirked. “Don’t worry. There will be no falling while I’m here,” he assured her, patting her hand.

“I knew I could count on you,” she said giving him a gentle tug, “Now come on, I need to see Stiles.” She said urging him towards the stairs, her face still pale, but at least she wasn’t dizzy anymore.

Scott dropped his and Stiles bags just inside the door before turning to his friend. He’d carried him up the steps only putting him down when they were outside Derek’s apartment. He held out his arm, “Come on, let me help.”

There wasn’t much more humiliating than having to be carried up flights of stairs by your werewolf best friend because Derek’s stupid building didn’t have a functional elevator. “You know if we have to evacuate quickly, we’re so very screwed. Just saying,” he responded, shaking his head. “I can walk, man. I’m all right.”

Scott sighed, “I don’t know why you have to be so stubborn,” he mumbled as he walked through the open door and stepped to the side to wait for his friend smiling at everyone milling about the apartment. No one seemed to be fighting at the moment, so maybe his idea really did have potential. Then again there was still time for it to all go to hell.

“Dude, I let you carry me up six flights of steps already. I don’t think my pride can take you carrying me over the threshold and into an apartment full of super-powered people.” He patted Scott’s arm and slowly stepped inside behind Scott.

Scott frowned, “Well I’m feeling kind of rejected now.” He said, brows furrowed.

Isaac was walking by with Cora a paused at Scott’s words. “You shouldn’t feel rejected, we all like you.” He said before grinning and glancing at Cora who made a beeline for Stiles.

“Look who’s up and on his own two feet,” Cora said with a smirk.

Stiles smirked back at her. “It happens on occasion.” He looked at Scott. “You know, when it’s allowed.” His voice was light.

Scott sighed, “Fine, I know when I’m not wanted,” he joked as he lifted up his bag. “I’m going to go find somewhere to put my crap and say hi to everyone.” He commented before patting Stiles and Isaac on the back and moving away from them.

“Don’t worry, Scott. You’ll always be the hot girl!” Stiles called after him with a chuckle that made him wince a second later.

Isaac looked at him with worried eyes. “You should probably sit down, man.”

“You should listen to him,” Lydia called out from the base of the steps. Her grip biting into Derek’s arm, even the small trek down the spiral staircase making her tired, which worried her more than she liked. Lydia shook the thought away; she’d worry about it later, and glanced at Stiles, letting her eyes roam over his body cataloging injuries.

Stiles’ expression softened immediately at the sound of her voice. “Hey,” he said quietly, watching as she stood by the stairs with Derek’s assistance. Guilt shot through him and he swallowed heavily. “You okay?”

Lydia felt the wave of guilt flow through her and she tilted her head to the side. “I’m fine,” she said softly, “It’s you I’m worried about. Should you be walking around on your own like that?” She asked shifting forward with Derek at her side until she was a few feet in front of Stiles. Lydia paused uncurling her hand from Derek’s arm and stepping forward hesitantly reaching out to Stiles ignoring Isaac and Cora for the moment.

Stiles held his hand out to her instantly, curling his fingers around hers. “I’m okay. I’ve barely walked at all.” He was embarrassed to admit it, but Scott had carried him to the bathroom earlier so he could pee. “And I’m gonna go sit on the couch.”

Lydia shifted closer to him brushing her thumb against his hand. “I was worried,” she admitted the last of her anxiety draining at his proximity. She tilted her head to the side as she ran a hand down his arm. “Can I sit with you?” Lydia asked with a half a smile.

He returned the smile instantly. “Yeah, of course.” He leaned in and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

Isaac arched his eyebrows, gaze shifting to Derek as he wondered what the hell was going on.

Derek looked at Isaac calmly before glancing around. “Did anyone order dinner? If not I’m taking suggestions, and veto’ing pizza off the bat. We’ve had it at the last three meetings.” He said loud enough for everyone to hear as he walked towards the kitchen to grab takeout menus.

Cora watched her brother walk away and she pursed her lips before glancing at Isaac. “I’m not the only one confused, right?” she asked him curiously, her tone quiet.

Isaac shook his head. She definitely wasn’t.

“I’m voting Mexican,” Scott informed him, glancing over to where Stiles and Lydia had moved to sit down on the sofa together, a small smile tugging at his mouth. “Any protests?”

“Sounds good to me,” Ethan said, sitting down on the bottom step of the staircase.

Aiden glanced over, “Mexican is good with me too.”

Isaac shrugged, “Fine with me.”

Cora opened her mouth, but before she could answer a new voice sounded through the room. “Mexican is a disaster waiting to happen,” Peter dropped his duffle bag to the floor, Malia by his side as a slow smirk slid onto his face. “Honey, I’m home.”

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