July 1, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 21/32

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: 21/32
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 |Twenty |

Chapter 21

“Annnd I just lost my appetite,” Stiles said wryly, rolling his eyes.

Isaac smirked, folding his arms across his chest. At least if Peter got too annoying Stiles could do his emissary mind trick and shut him down.

Peter rolled his eyes before glancing at Stiles. “It’s nice to see you not throwing up creepy versions of yourself,” he commented with a smirk, “I guess it’s safe to assume you’re fox-less,” his gaze shifted to Lydia. “Well if it isn’t my favorite Banshee.” he said with a grin.

Stiles’ jaw tensed at both remarks and it took every ounce of willpower he had not to tell Peter exactly where he could go already. He sent him a glare, instead.

Lydia shot Peter a glare before glancing at Stiles with a frown. She ran a hand down Stiles’ arm trying to calm the irritation she could feel building inside of him.

Malia dropped her stuff next to Peter’s and spotted Cora. She'd met her cousin a hand full of times not long before leaving town with Peter. She smiled as she walked over to her and a tall guy standing beside her, “Hey,” she greeted even as her gaze darted to Stiles.

“Hey,” Cora said with a small faint smile. Malia was her cousin, but she barely knew the girl and it was just...weird. “This is Isaac. Isaac, this is my cousin Malia.”

Isaac sent her a crooked smile, “It’s nice to meet you,” he said lightly. He remembered being out in the woods with Allison trying to help Malia even though he’d never officially met her. His chest tightened slightly at the thought of Allison, but he pushed it aside.

Malia’s gaze shifted to Isaac, “You too,” she said not able to help the way her gaze kept straying to Stiles and the redhead next to him.

It didn’t take Lydia long to notice the looks Malia was sending Stiles and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of them. She knew they’d spent some time together in Eichan House, but Lydia had been under the impression that they hadn’t seen each other since.

Lydia shifted closer to Stiles, pressing herself against his side carefully, the gesture mildly possessive as she ignored Peter all together, not letting his gaze boring into her bother her.

Stiles could feel Malia’s gaze every time she looked at him, and he gave her a slight, uneasy smile because he didn’t want to be rude. He slid his arm around Lydia’s shoulders when she shifted closer, glad for her presence beside him. “Mexican sound good to you?” he asked quietly, mouth close to her ear.

Isaac’s gaze darted to Stiles and Lydia on the sofa, and he shook his head a little, not understanding it but not about to question it either. Obviously he was missing something big, which wasn’t really anything new for Isaac.

Lydia nodded as she leaned into him and tugged her feet up on the couch while resting a hand against Stiles’ chest carefully, mindful of his injuries. “Sure, I’m not that hungry though,” she admitted as she let her body relax against him a hint of tiredness filling her.

Peter watched them for a minute before shifting his gaze around the room and taking everyone in. He spotted Derek and smirked. “Ah, favorite nephew,” he stated.

Derek glared at Peter. “I’m your only nephew.” He stated while turning the menu over in his hands.

“Semantics.” Peter smirked a little more.

Cora rolled her eyes and looked at Isaac as if to say how is this really my family? She shook her head a little and moved to sit down on the other side of Stiles, tugging Isaac along with her wordlessly.

Stiles shifted just slightly to make a little more room for the two of them on the sofa, biting down hard on his tongue as pain flickered through him. He drew in a breath and let it out slowly, leaning his head against Lydia’s and letting his eyes close.

Lydia frowned at Stiles’ sharp intake of breath, feeling a hint of the pain that traveled through him. “You should be in bed,” she said softly, her hand rubbing his arm gently.

She was probably right. He gave her a faint smile in acknowledgment. “I’ll be okay for a little bit,” he assured her.

Wordlessly, Cora reached her hand out and wrapped it around his wrist, drawing away some of his pain with a frown on her face, remembering how many times she’d done this exact thing after helping him escape in Colombia.

Lydia watched as black veins slid up Cora’s arms and her chest tightened. She turned her head and pressed a light kiss to his shoulder. “Maybe we should go rest?” She suggested. Lydia could feel Peter’s eyes on them again and it was starting to make her edgy, plus if she was being honest she was exhausted again and she’d barely been awake a half hour. She had a feeling things weren’t as okay as she wanted to believe.

“Can you make it upstairs?” She asked by his ear knowing that if they wanted to they could all hear them talking. “Maybe Derek will let us stay with him.” She said softly.

Stiles looked at the spiral staircase, grimacing a little at the thought of walking up all those steps. It didn’t seem like the best plan and he wasn’t sure he’d make it to the top at all right now. “Maybe in a little bit,” he said after a moment.

“I hope you’re not in a rush to leave because of little old me.” Peter said as he sat on the coffee table in front of Stiles and Lydia, grin pulling at his lips. “It’s been a while,” he said to Lydia.

Lydia pursed her lips, “Not long enough,” she commented with a glare.

Peter sent her a mocking pout as he leaned forward. “Come now Lydia, I thought we were friends now. I saved your little lover boy, you helped me find my daughter. See?” He said with a smirk, “Malia come meet Lydia our resident banshee.”

Stiles groaned inwardly, both at Peter’s all-too-close presence and his calling Malia over, because this wasn’t a recipe for disaster or anything. “Reluctant allies is a much better term than friends,” he informed the older werewolf. “For the record.”

Cora glanced at him sideways, not surprised by his words. She was well aware of how he felt about Peter. Her own feelings about her uncle were pretty mixed, considering he’d killed her sister.

Malia made her way over to them pausing between Peter and Derek who had shifted over towards the couch. She glanced at Lydia and smiled, “Hey, it’s nice to meet you. I’ve never met a banshee before.” She said with a smile.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, but she smiled. “It’s nice to meet you.” She rested a hand on Stiles’ arm, “You remember Stiles right?” She asked not sure how much Malia remembered from Eichen House.

Malia grinned her gaze shifting to Stiles. “Of course I remember him,” She said lightly, “He’s kind of a hard person to forget.” She responded glancing back at Lydia.

Lydia arched an eyebrow. “Oh,” she said not sure what to say to that. Derek cocked his head to the side and sent Stiles a curious look as Scott winced.

Stiles resisted the urge to fidget at Malia’s remark, and at the look that Derek sent him. Instead, he rubbed Lydia’s arm gently. “How’ve you been?” he asked Malia, finally meeting her eyes and half-forcing a faint smile. God this was awkward. He used to be comfortable with awkward. It used to be familiar. Now though, he’d mostly grown out of his awkwardness and this was all much of an uncomfortable reminder of those days.

“I’ve been okay,” Malia said with a small smile her eyes shifting briefly to where he was rubbing Lydia’s arm. “How about you?” She asked, “I guess it’s safe to say you got that whole fox mess taken care of.” She offered as she took him in.

Peter glanced between Stiles and Malia. “I didn’t realize you knew Stiles,” he commented sitting up. “Where’d you meet our meek little human?” He asked lightly.

Scott frowned as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Stiles isn’t a meek little human.” He said annoyed with Peter and the man had only been there for a few minutes.

Stiles pursed his lips, nodding. “Yeah, that’s...definitely done and over with for good, thankfully.”

“I met him at Eichen House,” Malia explained to her dad with a small smile. “We sort of...bonded a bit.”

Well that was one way to put it, Stiles thought, shooting his best friend a grateful look.

Peter pursed his lips his gaze shifting to Stiles. “Mm it seems Stiles has a gift for bonding with young women.” He stated. “So-”

“Enough,” Derek said waving his hand, “Nobody wants to hear you talk.” He said before tossing the menu on the table. “I’m going to order in a couple of minutes so write down what you want,” he said glancing around the room. “Did everyone find a place to sleep?”

“Yep,” Ethan confirmed, glancing around at everyone. “I think so. Except maybe our alpha. And your uncle and cousin.” He arched his eyebrows and looked back down at his phone where he was playing a game of poker.

Scott glanced over at Stiles pitifully.

Stiles smirked and turned his head to look at Lydia. “Scott wants to share a bed. That cool with you? I promise he’ll keep his hands to himself,” he joked.

Lydia arched an eyebrow a grin tugging at her lips as she watched Scott and Stiles’ interaction. “I’m not worried, Scott’s a gentlemen,” she said amused when Scott nodded. Lydia glanced at Derek and smiled.

Derek caught her innocent smile and shook his head, “Oh no. That isn’t going to happen. You three can find another bed. You can use Cora’s.” He added nodding towards his sister.

Lydia frowned, “But I like your bed. Derek you’re not being very friendly. Sharing is caring.” She said with a sigh. “Some of us are injured,” Lydia poked Stiles arm gently.

Truthfully, Stiles wasn’t sure he wanted to sleep in a bed where Derek and Lydia had had sex, but he wasn’t about to say so.

“Hey, wait a second. Where am I going to sleep?” Cora protested, shaking her head at Derek.

“Not kicking you out of your bed,” Stiles assured her, patting her arm and glancing back at Lydia. “Okay how about this. You and Derek in Derek’s bed, Cora keeps her bed and Scott and I can occupy the couch by taking opposite ends.” He gave Scott a look. “No kicking.”

Lydia frowned, “I wasn’t kicking him out I was inviting us in,” she clarified but then pursed her lips. Lydia glanced around noting that everyone was trying not to make it obvious that they were watching them. Lydia leaned into him, “But I want,” she paused and bit her lower lip feeling slightly uncomfortable talking in front of everyone including Peter who was watching them.

“You need a bed.” She stated and then sighed softly, “Why don’t you and Scott share with Cora?” She asked glancing at the girl in question. “Would that be okay?”

“Fine with me,” Cora said, shrugging a little. It wasn’t the first time she and Stiles had shared a bed under similar circumstances. She could sleep pretty much anywhere, really, as long as she felt safe.

Stiles had a feeling no one was going to be overly enthused about the sleeping situation. All the more reason to try and get this daeva and blood magic thing figured out as soon as possible, so everyone could go back to their semi-normal lives. He glanced to the door when there was a knock.

Cora rose to her feet and moved to answer it, stepping aside to let Kira in. The other girl was carrying a duffel bag and a rolled up sleeping bag and looking more than a little uncertain about all of this.

“Hey, Kira,” Stiles greeted with a small smile.

Kira sent him half a smile, “Hey,” she said as she made her way further into the apartment.

Scott perked up. How could he forget Kira was coming? He shifted forward, “You know,” he said to Stiles, his voice low, “I think I’m going to take a rain check on the night time cuddle time.” He commented as he walked past them and smiled at Kira. “Hey, need some help with that?”

“Yeah, sure.” Kira smiled.

“I think you just got ditched,” Cora informed Stiles with raised eyebrows.

“Well, you know, when something better comes along, he’s like a dog chasing a car,” Stiles joked, leaning back against the sofa.

“I heard that,” Scott said before taking Kira’s bag and glancing back at Cora and Stiles, “Mind if we set up camp on your floor?” He asked Cora.

Cora shook her head; “Go ahead,” she nodded towards the stairs.

Scott took Kira’s hand and smiled tugging her gently towards the steps so they could set up their stuff.

Malia watched them go and then glanced at Cora. “Since Scott’s taking the floor would you mind if I bunked with you and Stiles?” She asked lightly.

Lydia glanced at Malia for a moment, tensing beside Stiles, before her gaze shifted to Cora watching the youngest Hale closely. Lydia was not okay with that. At all. There was something off about the way Malia watched Stiles...she didn't like it.

Cora felt Stiles stiffen beside her and glanced at him sideways, wondering what she’d missed, exactly. Something about Stiles and Malia’s time in Eichen House, obviously. But it was pretty clear he wasn’t going to be comfortable with it if his body language was anything to go on. And if he wasn’t comfortable, he wasn’t going to rest well and get better. But he was going to owe her so much for this.

“Actually, why don’t you and I take that corner?” Cora pointed to the far corner in the living room. “So I can get to know my only surviving cousin better without keeping Stiles awake?” she suggested, glancing at Lydia. “And then you two can have my bed.”

Stiles was pretty sure Cora had just become his new favorite person all over again.

Lydia relaxed beside Stiles, “I think that’s a good idea.” She responded as her hand curled around Stiles’ arm. She glanced at Cora and sent the other girl a grateful look as she brushed her nose against Stiles’ shoulder lightly.

Stiles leaned his head against hers again, letting his eyes drift shut as sleep began to tug at him more insistently. This was exactly why he hated being injured. There was work to be done, a lot of it, and he wasn’t going to be able to focus on anything if he passed out.

Derek glanced around the room before his eyes fell on Peter. His uncle seemed a little too calm for his liking. He sighed and ran a hand through his hair his gaze falling on Cora. He nodded towards Stiles, “Why don’t you help your friend up to bed before he passes out on my couch.” Derek commented lightly figuring they could send Stiles and Lydia up to bed and away from Peter while they did some research.

Cora nodded slightly, carefully wrapping her arm around Stiles’ waist. “All right. Up we go. Time for bed.” Her voice left no room for argument.

A smile tugged at Stiles’ mouth, but it was faint, and he bit down hard on his tongue as he struggled to sit up.

“Have you been injured?” Peter asked with mild interest.

Lydia glared in Peter’s direction. “He’s fine.” She said standing up quickly and then pausing to grip the arm of the couch as a wave of dizziness hit her. Lydia swallowed hard and tried not to frown. “There was an incident,” she answered for Stiles, but not getting into any details. “He’s okay though, thanks for the concern.” She said simply as she hesitantly released the arm of the couch and glanced at Cora .

“It seems more serious than that,” Malia commented, frowning as she watched Stiles struggle to get to his feet even with Cora’s assistance.

“I’m okay,” Stiles responded with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Not a big deal.” He wound his arm around Cora for support and she finally got him to his feet. He cast a worried glance at Lydia as she wavered a little and his gaze shifted to where Derek stood watching all of them carefully. He nodded ever so slightly at the strawberry-blonde.

Derek caught Stiles' gaze and shifted coming over beside Lydia, worried that she still wasn’t okay. Last time this happened when he was hurt once she woke up she’d seemed okay. But this time he wasn’t so sure. He ran his hand down her spine resting his palm at the small of her back. “Cora’s got Stiles, come on, you’re tired we’ll meet them upstairs.” He told her as he guided Lydia carefully to the steps.

Lydia glanced over her shoulder at Stiles and Cora for a minute and then nodded leaning into Derek as he moved with her towards the stairs, her gaze shifting briefly to Peter who was watching them with interest.

Scott really didn’t like the way that Peter was watching Stiles or Lydia, and considering his previous interest in both, he figured it was time to make some things clear. He moved over to where Peter and Malia sat across from Isaac, who remained on the sofa. He pursed his lips, looking directly at Peter intently and folding his arms across his chest.

“Let’s be clear that you’re not actually part of this pack,” Scott said calmly. “Stiles and Lydia, however, are a different story. Everyone in this pack is under my protection. So if you have it in your mind that you’re going to cause any kind of problems here for anyone, it would be best for you to go back to San Francisco. Are we clear?”

Peter glanced at Scott, amused. “Everyone here is so feisty,” He said with a smirk, “You people reached out to me and asked us to come here,” he pointed out. “I’m not trying to cause any trouble,” he added, “Just trying to catch up with what’s been going on.” He responded innocently. Peter’s gaze darted back to the stairs. “Tell me Scott,” he looked back over at younger werewolf. “When exactly did my nephew and Lydia get so close?”

“Lydia and Derek are close with everyone in the pack,” he said evenly. “We all work very well together. I sincerely hope nothing interferes with that dynamic.” He arched an eyebrow at Peter not looking away from him.

“We don’t plan to,” Malia spoke up, offering him a small uncertain smile.

Scott shifted his gaze to Malia and his expression softened slightly. He didn’t have anything against her. She’d given them the katana and picture that helped him and Kira figure out what happened with the Nogitsune in the past. It had helped save Stiles. “I’m glad to hear it,” he told her lightly, “But your...Peter,” he paused not entirely sure what Malia called him, “Tends to be pretty adept at causing problems,” Scott explained as he sent a reprimanding look in Peter’s direction.

Peter smirked, cocking his head. “It’s been a long time, Scott. Why don’t you give me the benefit of the doubt as you do everyone else? Especially when they’ve been gone from your life for a long period of time,” he said meaningfully.

Scott pursed his lips at Peter’s words. He didn’t trust the other man in front of him, not even a little. But Peter was right, it had been over a year and it was very possible that the addition of a daughter to his life had changed him. “Fine, but I’m serious...no funny stuff.” He added though his tone was slightly less threatening.

“Of course not. I’ll leave the funny business to Stiles.” He nodded ever-so-slightly, an amused smile on his mouth.

Scott rolled his eyes and stood. “I’ll order dinner since Derek is upstairs,” he commented moving into the other room as everyone figured out what they wanted.

Peter watched him go before once again shifting his gaze to the stairs.

Lydia glanced at Derek as they stood outside of Cora’s door waiting for her and Stiles. “Thanks for the help,” she said lightly, her gaze drifting to the stairs where Stiles and Cora were moving slowly.

“Not a problem,” Derek assured her, even if he was troubled by his uncle’s first question to Scott, wondering when he and Lydia had gotten so close. He had reasons to be suspicious of everything his uncle said and did because he tended to be incredibly dangerous and unpredictable. Maybe he’d changed, maybe he hadn’t. But Derek wouldn’t hesitate to kill him again if it came down to it.

Lydia ran a hand down Derek’s arm, “You’re tense,” she commented. “Everything okay?” She asked her brows furrowing as she tried to read the expression on his face.

He met her eyes, nodding slightly and mouthing “Peter.” It wasn’t terribly specific but he knew she’d understand anyway. If there was one person besides him who didn’t trust Peter Hale, it was Lydia, after all.

Lydia scrunched her nose and squeezed his arm lightly. She knew exactly what he meant. There was something off about his uncle and she trusted him even less when he acted nice or interested in things.

She spotted Cora and Stiles finally at the top of the steps and she watched them for a minute, “You okay?” She asked as she stepped away from Derek carefully and towards Stiles, worry on her face.

Nearly all of the color was drained from Stiles’ face by the time they reached the top of the stairway and if Cora hadn’t been holding him up, he definitely wouldn’t still be standing. He offered Lydia a wan smile. “Need to lie down,” he admitted, feeling dizzy and sort of sick to his stomach.

Lydia’s stomach clenched and she pushed open Cora’s door so the other girl could help Stiles over to the bed.

Cora practically carried him over to the bed and then helped him lay down carefully. “I’ll bring up some water,” she told him her brows furrowing at how sick he looked.

Lydia moved forward not paying much attention to the room around her and nodded “Okay, I’ve got him,” she said as she moved over to the bed trying not to move too fast. She sat down and ran a hand over his forehead. “How bad does it hurt?” She asked feeling a hint of pain flow through her.

“Thanks,” he mumbled to Cora, letting Lydia guide him onto the bed and closing his eyes immediately as nausea swept over him. “I should not have eaten,” he said, beads of sweat breaking out on his forehead. He wanted to open his eyes to look at Lydia but he was afraid he’d end up throwing up instead. “Not great.” Which was kind of an understatement.

Lydia’s frown deepened, “What can I do?” She asked rubbing her hand down his arm gently. She felt her stomach roll and knew immediately that had come from him. “Stiles, just breathe slowly okay?” Lydia glanced over her shoulder, “Derek,” she called to him softly knowing he was still there.

Derek moved into the room at the sound of Lydia’s voice and made his way over to Stiles. He reached down and gripped Stiles’ arm gently, black veins sliding up his arm almost immediately. He grit his teeth.

Lydia didn’t like the amount of pain he was still in, really she didn’t like any of this with him being hurt. “Any better?” She asked as Derek released his arm a couple of minutes later.

He exhaled slowly as Derek drained some of his pain away; enough that he didn’t feel like his next breath was going to be his last. He reminded himself that he was much worse off after Colombia. He would get through this. There was no other choice. He finally opened his eyes, and nodded at Lydia before looking up at Derek. “Thanks, man,” he said quietly.

Derek nodded, “Sure,” he said quietly as he glanced between them and then rested a hand on Lydia’s shoulder. “I’m going to head back downstairs, but just call me if you need anything,” he said quietly, “either of you.” He added pressing a light kiss to the side of Lydia’s head. “And get some more rest.” He told them as he stepped back

Lydia turned her head and watched him go closing the door behind him. She glanced back at Stiles and lay down next to him. Carefully pressing herself against his side, “Can I do anything?” Lydia asked softly.

Stiles turned his head just a little so he could look at her, faint tired smile on his face. “I think saving my life twice in one day is probably more than enough. You know. For the record.” His voice was hushed.

Lydia bit her bottom lip, “Scott saved your life,” she said softly, “I just helped,” she told him as she rubbed her hand over the uninjured part of his chest carefully. She swallowed hard and glanced at him sideways.

Stiles angled his head in her direction. “We both know it was more than that. You both saved my life out there.”

Lydia gave a noncommittal shrug and moistened her lips, “About what you said,” her words were quiet and she knew this probably wasn’t the right time, but she’d been thinking about it underneath everything else since she’d woken up.

Stiles eyebrows furrowed a little, not sure what she was talking about. “Yeah?”

Lydia met his gaze when she felt confusion coming from him. She hesitated and shook her head, “It’s nothing,” she told him softly, “You should get some rest.” Lydia told him before shifting back against the pillows and resting her head lightly against his shoulder, her lips pressing a soft kiss there. If he didn’t remember, she didn’t want to bring it up.

Stiles felt her hesitation and he shifted, too, lifting his hand to rest on the back of her head. “No, I wanna know,” he said softly. “What were you thinking about?”

Lydia bit her bottom lip and glanced down, her fingers tapping lightly against his chest. “You said something to me, in the jeep before passing out and giving me a heart attack at the young age of seventeen,” she commented.

“Sorry,” he whispered, stroking her hair. “Wasn’t intentional.” He tried to think back to what he’d said, but everything was a blur. “What did I say?”

Lydia hesitated, “You said you loved me,” she whispered, her eyes on her fingers as they moved gently against his chest. “By the way professing any kind of love when you think you’re dying is just very rude,” she joked trying to lighten the gravity of her words.

Oh. He wasn’t surprised by that, really. He pressed a kiss to her forehead lightly, reaching up with his free hand to lace his fingers through hers. “Yeah, not the best of ways to tell someone,” he admitted. “But it doesn’t make it any less true.”

Lydia glanced up finally meeting Stiles’ gaze. She swallowed hard, “Stiles,” her voice was soft and she closed her mouth after saying his name. Lydia loved him. There was absolutely no question about that. But she wasn’t quite there yet. She knew Stiles was back and he was staying, but that didn’t fix the past year and Lydia just wasn’t ready to trust him with her heart yet, especially when she didn’t even know what was going on with them.

“What’s happening here with us...there’s more that I need to work through--we need to work through before I’m at that point.” She told him quietly. Lydia didn’t want him to think she didn’t love him, but she wasn’t ready to put herself out there in that way, at least not quite yet.

“Lydia.” Stiles’ voice was just as quiet. “I know.” He drew in a breath, fighting the sleep that was tugging at him. “I know. I’m not...expecting anything.” It was honest. He had no right to expect anything from her. Or from anyone else for that matter. “And there’s still...there are things you still need to know and...I get it.” And he did.

“We’ll figure it out. We have time,” he said softly, stroking her hair gently and lifting her other hand to his mouth, kissing her palm.

Lydia’s chest tightened. But what if they didn’t? She nodded, “You have me though, I mean,” she paused, “there’s only you.” she whispered wanting him to know that.

“Me too,” he whispered softly. “Always.”

Lydia nodded as she brushed her thumb over his cheek, “Get some rest,” she told him softly.

Stiles exhaled, nodding slightly at her words. “You too,” he murmured, eyes drifting shut almost immediately as exhaustion swept over him. Just a few hours of sleep. And then maybe he’d have enough energy to get up and get to work again.


Peter stood in the kitchen, a bottle of water in his hand. It was early afternoon and the Scooby gang was hard at work pouring through books that Stiles of all people had given them. They were looking for a way to stop the daevas, though as far as he knew no one had, had much luck yet. His gaze drifted to the couch where the not so alpha twins sat with Scott and his newest girlfriend, Kira, the fox.

She seemed to be just as shy as their little Scott and even kinder than he was, which was actually sickening. Peter sighed when she laughed at something Ethan said and shifted his gaze to the table that had been set up where Derek’s bed used to be in front of the plate glass windows where Cora and Isaac sat mostly pretending to read one of the books as they talked in hushed voices

Peter smirked, that was definitely a development that his nephew wasn’t going to love. They seemed close, which was probably a good thing to keep in mind for future reference. He twisted the cap on his water bottle his gaze drifting towards the balcony where Stiles stood, phone to his ear. Peter pursed his lips. He was up and moving again thanks to Deaton and Peter could tell he was on edge.

He tilted his head wondering who the younger man was on the phone with when he heard the sound of someone coming down the stairs. His gaze shifted and he caught sight of Derek carrying a plate downstairs. Peter pursed his lips. Lydia had been holed up upstairs for the past two days and Peter wanted to know why.

She’d even been avoiding Stilinski, which seemed odd especially after how close they seemed the first night he and Malia showed up. Peter wondered briefly what had changed. He smiled when his nephew came closer making his way into the kitchen area. “Look who finally decided to come out of hiding,” he said with a grin. “What’s so interesting up there, that isn’t down here hm?” He asked leaning back against the counter.

Derek placed the dish in the sink and glanced over his shoulder at Peter with an arched eyebrow. “Pretty much everything,” he dead panned as he wiped his hands on one of the towels.

“Not just a certain red-headed banshee that you’ve grown quite fond of?” he teased with a smirk.

Derek studied Peter’s face for a minute before tossing the towel aside. “Leave Lydia alone.” He warned eyeing his uncle.

“I’ve barely spoken to her since I’ve been back,” he pointed out, holding his hands up. “I was just making an observation.”

“That Lydia and I are close,” he said, “Yes, I understand the observation.” Derek added, “What I don’t understand is why you care.” He commented keeping the boredom in his tone, not wanting to sound eager for the answer.

Peter cocked his head to the side. “Well, you are family, Derek. I’m not judging, of course. Just interested in what you’ve been doing for the last year.”

Derek arched an eyebrow, “You...judge me?” He asked as he folded his arms over his chest not able to hide the hint of amusement in his voice. “Why exactly would you judge me?” He asked curiously taking the bait, because he couldn’t possibly imagine what his uncle meant.

He arched an eyebrow. “Actually, if you were paying any attention, I said I wasn’t. I see your attention span hasn’t improved much.”

Derek rolled his eyes, “I heard what you said, but even if you were judging,” he held up a hand, “Which clearly you’re not, there wouldn’t be anything for you to judge. I have a friend, sound the alarms.” He said with a smirk. “I know it’s been awhile, but even you have a friend now...well a daughter.” He said with a shrug.

“I do indeed. And a niece and nephew, whom, believe it or not, I have actually missed,” Peter told him, watching him closely.

Derek shook his head, “Sorry, you’re going to have to pawn that information off on Cora because I’m not biting.” He said simply as he stepped forward. “You and Malia are here for one reason and one reason only. So, you don’t end up as a bunch of shredded pieces of human remains across the preserve.” He told him, “Don’t confuse that with me reaching out for family because I’m not. I’ve got Cora and I’ve got the pack.” He told his uncle.

“So harsh, Derek.” Peter watched him for a long moment. “I’m sure that Malia and I would have been perfectly safe in San Francisco. As you’ve said, you’re the one who contacted us. Not the other way around. I’ve kept my distance from you and your pack for over a year. I haven’t caused any issues.”

Derek pursed his lips. “It’s harsh because I don’t trust you.” He said quietly, “Maybe I have no reason not to with your behavior lately, but I’ve known you my whole life. There’s always more going on in there,” he motioned to Peter’s head, “than we think. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe being a father has changed you,” he shrugged, “But I like to err on the side of caution with the people I care about,” especially Lydia, he added silently. “Just to be safe.”

“I suppose all things considered, that’s fair,” he conceded, looking contemplative as he took a drink of water and let his gaze travel over the other members of the pack once more, eyes landing on Stiles, who was now out on the balcony, still on his cell phone and looking pissed off as he waved a hand around in frustration.

Derek followed Peter’s gaze taking in Stiles outside on the phone. A spark of curiosity filled him, but he didn’t pry. That wasn’t his thing. “Stiles isn’t exactly your biggest fan, not that I need to tell you that.” He commented, “I wouldn’t piss him off, he’s changed.”

“Well, he does seem a bit more...self-confident than he used to,” Peter commented.

Derek tilted his head to the side. “Yeah, self-confident.” He responded, “That’s exactly what he is.” He told his uncle before turning to the cabinets and rummaging through them for the bag of chocolate Lydia kept behind stuff.

Peter glanced at his nephew sideways, arching an eyebrow. “Yet I get the feeling that isn’t quite what you meant.”

Derek smirked, “I can never get one by on you,” he replied as his hand closed around the bag of Reese's peanut butter cups. He pulled it out and turned to face his uncle. “Well this chat’s been lovely, I’ve got things to do though.” He stated as he went to the refrigerator to grab a drink for Lydia.

“It certainly has,” Peter said with a smirk of his own. He headed out of the kitchen.

Malia watched Peter and Derek banter back and forth for a minute before her father walked away from her cousin. She let out a sigh and spotted Stiles outside her mood perking up. She walked passed Isaac and Cora, sending a small smile at her cousin before continuing to the door and heading outside.

Malia saw him slam his hand against the railing and she cleared her throat. “Hey,” she called softly, “everything okay?” She asked as she walked out onto the balcony and closed the distance between them.

No, everything was not okay. It was pretty far from okay. Stiles raked a hand through his hair, forcing himself to take a deep breath so he didn’t end up snapping at her. No matter how awkward this all was, she didn’t deserve that. She hadn’t done anything wrong. “Yeah. Just...more dead ends, basically,” he told her, turning to face her, startled to see how close she was standing to him.

Malia frowned as she rested a hand on Stiles’ arm. “I’m sorry to hear that. I can see you’ve been working pretty hard on getting this whole thing solved.” She told him before angling her body so she was leaning against the railing and facing him. “It’s good to see you,” she remarked arching an eyebrow. “I wondered if you were able to take care of the whole being possessed thing. Peter found me pretty quickly and then we left town fast too so I never got to see the whole thing through,” she explained.

Stiles glanced down at where her hand rested on his arm and then up at her once more. She was trying to be nice. Don’t be an asshole, he told himself. “Yeah. Possession is...over and done with.” His voice was quiet. “Thankfully.” He was silent for a moment. “Thanks mostly to Scott and Lydia, really. And Kira.” He hesitated a moment. “How’ve you been? How’s life with Peter?”

Malia smiled, “I’ve been alright. Things with Peter are...weird,” she said with a slight grin, “but it’s nice having someone around to sort of teach me about myself. Does that make sense?” She asked her gaze drifting over his body briefly, “What about you? You look different? How are things aside from the obvious?”

“Yeah, it does make sense,” he told her quietly, leaning against the railing. He glanced down at himself and then back up at her. “I took a bit of a leave of absence for the last year or so. Traveled the world, I guess you could say.” He shrugged. “Found out there was trouble brewing back here so I came back to try and help. I can’t really complain.”

Malia arched an eyebrow, “Traveling the world huh?” She asked with an arched eyebrow. “You planning on staying here now?” She asked curiously.

Stiles nodded. “Yeah. I needed to get away and clear my head after...everything. But yeah, I’m back now for good.”

Malia nodded. “That’s good,” she responded. “Peter...my dad, she said scrunching her nose, “He’s talking about coming back here,” she commented, “For good.” She commented, “I guess it won’t be so bad with you around.”

Stiles paused at that, studying her for a moment. “I have to be upfront with you.” His voice was quiet, but gentle. “I’m with Lydia. I’m in love with her.” He watched her for her reaction. “I’m not opposed to us being friends, Malia, but that’s...all it’s going to be.”

Malia tilted her head to the side her gaze catching Stiles’, “That’s too bad,” she said lightly, “But it’s been a year,” she told him with a small smile. “It’s not like I expected you to be pining after me,” she joked. Malia tapped his arm gently with her finger, “I just, you were my first real connection to the human world I guess. So I’d definitely like to be friends...if you’re okay with that and if Lydia doesn’t mind,” Malia added.

Stiles relaxed at her easy acceptance of what he’d said and smiled back faintly. “Yeah. I’d like that, too. Can never have too many friends,” he said quietly. He leaned onto the railing. “So what have you been up to this past year? Did you like, go to school or anything?”

Malia shook her head, “No,” she said lightly glancing away from him and pulling her hand back as she looked out over the balcony. “I’ve been learning about all this stuff and getting to know Peter.” She paused and shifted just a little closer to Stiles, “Can I tell you a secret?” She asked lowering her voice.

Stiles studied her as she talked and then nodded at her question. “Yeah, sure.” He leaned more onto the railing. It wasn’t like the tiny bit of extra difference would matter when they were outside an apartment full of werewolves.

“I kinda hope he lets us come back,” Malia confessed, “Peter’s nice and all, but I can’t remember the last time I had a conversation with someone my own age,” she joked. “Plus I’d kind of like to get to know Cora and Derek...even though I don’t think he likes me much.” She said with a shrug. “He’s practically been upstairs the whole time I’ve been here.” Malia said glancing away from Stiles.

A flicker of guilt passed through Stiles, followed by sympathy. He was silent for a moment. “You should be around people your own age,” he said quietly. “You should have friends, and you should definitely get to know your cousins.” He glanced at her sideways. “Derek’s...a tough guy to get to know. And he’s really protective and…not very trusting, family or not. But I can talk to him if you want.”

Malia turned her head and glanced at him sideways from beneath her lashes, she bit her lower lip, “You would do that?” She asked softly.

Stiles smiled a bit, nodding. “Yeah. No problem,” he said quietly.

Malia grinned turning and wrapping her arms around Stiles in an excited hug, “You’re the best,” she told him feeling his body stiffen slightly. “Just a hug, relax I’m trying to show my gratitude. It's what people do.” Malia said with a smirk. “Don’t freak out.”

Stiles hesitantly hugged her in return, patting her back lightly. “Right. Sorry.” He smiled a bit sheepishly.

“Looks like someone needs a little human contact,” she joked before stepping back from him and grinning, “See that’s funny coming from me because I was a coyote or so long.” She pointed at herself. Malia was quiet for a minute, “It really is nice to see you Stiles.”

Stiles chuckled lightly. Truthfully she wasn’t wrong. Back before he’d left, before the Nogitsune and Allison dying and all of the terrible things, Stiles had been a very tactile person. He’d become withdrawn in that way too, over the last year. He still tensed just a little anytime someone touched him. Even Scott. Sometimes even Lydia. He just wasn’t as casual about those things as he’d once been.

“It’s nice to see you too. And I’m glad you’re doing well,” he said honestly.

Malia smiled, “Well I guess I should let you get back to being upset, but…you know don’t be a stranger. Come say hi every once in a while.” She told him lightly before lifting her hand and waving. She turned around and headed back into the apartment, a grin spreading across her face.


Stiles sat at one end of the sofa, laptop balanced on his lap and books on either side of him as he cross-referenced information and checked his email at the same time. Nothing new from any of his contacts about daevas. Come on guys, he thought impatiently. Be a little more helpful here. He couldn’t help but wonder after his conversation with Morrell, if she’d somehow gotten to everyone and told them not to help him out.

She was a little bit vengeful. And she was severely pissed off. He’d tried to explain things to her, but she’d ended up hanging up on him.

He was frustrated and he blew out a huff of air, jaw tightening. He really kind of wanted to hit something. He could feel Scott’s gaze on him from the other end of the couch, which he was studiously choosing to ignore for the moment. He ground his teeth together and resisted the urge to tap his foot on the floor as he waited for the website he was searching to come up with the information.

The book that Lydia had translated had been helpful -- it made reference to an altar of sacrifice. Initially he’d assumed the Nemeton was the altar, but it was starting to seem like it was something else entirely. “Come on,” he mumbled, suppressing a comment about how shitty Derek’s internet service was. Really, he knew they should be grateful the guy had wi-fi in this building.

After a long moment, the page told him to refresh. “Really?” He set his computer atop one of the books, officially pissed off and heading toward the kitchen to pour himself more coffee.

Braedan paused in front of the metal door eyebrow arched. She shook her head. “Of course Derek would live somewhere like this,” she sighed, and tugged her backpack over one shoulder. It had taken her longer to get to Beacon Hills than she’d planned, she’d run into some trouble along the way. But she was finally there and looking forward to seeing Stiles. Something told her he was in desperate need of a friend at the moment. Braeden reached out and knocked lightly on the door.

Stiles was on his way back from the kitchen with his mug of coffee when he heard the knock and his gaze flickered around the room briefly before he set the cup down and moved to the door, unlocking and sliding it open. His eyes widened at the familiar woman who stood in front of him and his face lit up in a genuine grin. “A few days huh?” he joked, reaching out and hugging her.

Braeden chuckled wrapping her arms around Stiles, “I ran into some trouble, but don’t you worry your pretty little head, I got out of it just fine. I’m here and I brought presents.” She told him with a smirk.

“Okay I do want to hear about the trouble, but...well. Presents first.” He smirked back at her as he pulled away to look at her.

Braeden grinned, “Like what you see Stilinski,” she joked lightly before pushing him back gently so she could walk into the apartment drawing the attention of the others. She reached into her bag and pulled out a large old looking book. She held it out to him, “It should help with your daeva problem, have fun translating it,” she said with a smirk.

Stiles stared at her with wide eyes before reaching out and taking the book from her. He wasn’t sure how he knew, but the answers they needed were definitely between the covers of this text. “Where did you -- nevermind. I’m not gonna ask.” He pulled her farther inside the loft and shut the door. “Hey guys. This is Braeden.”

Scott glanced up and looked between Stiles and Braeden; he smiled, not getting up from beside Kira.

Isaac glanced up and then stood quickly, “You,” he said lightly a grin pulling at his lips.

“Me,” she agreed with a smirk at Isaac.

Stiles chuckled. “Okay so you know Isaac and I know you’ve met Derek and Peter.” He resisted the urge to make a comment about sorry for that last one. as he pulled her more into the room. “This is Scott McCall, aka my best friend on the planet earth.” He took her around and introduced her to everyone, and glanced toward the stairs. “Derek and Lydia are upstairs.”

Braeden grinned at Scott, “Hi Scott McCall best friend on the planet earth. We finally meet. I was looking for you last time I came to town, but I never had the pleasure.” she added amused by Stiles’ enthusiasm.

This time Scott did stand up and shook her hand, “It’s nice to meet you,” he said, “This is Kira,” he motioned toward the couch.

Kira waved and Braeden waved back before glancing at Stiles. “Lydia’s the redhead?” She asked, “I’m pretty sure I met her last time I was in town.” She commented her gaze darting to Peter briefly before she looked away from him.

“Strawberry blonde,” Stiles corrected automatically. “She’s strawberry blonde.” At her arched brow, he grinned faintly and shrugged.

Isaac drew her attention back to him as he spoke. “Nice to see you again. And since I never really got to thank you before...thanks for saving my ass.” Isaac smiled faintly, casting an uneasy gaze toward Ethan and Aiden, considering they were the ones she’d been saving his ass from.

Ethan glanced at Braeden and nodded, “Hey,” he scratched the back of his neck.

Aiden arched an eyebrow and smiled. “So, about that time--times we tried to kill you, we apologize?” He said leaning back in his seat.

Braeden cast a wary glance in their direction before shifting her attention back to Isaac. “No problem.”

Stiles patted her arm. “I’ll explain it all later. They’re pack now. Good guys.” He glanced over at Ethan and Aiden, smiling faintly.

Braeden sighed, “Always running with the crazies,” she joked glancing around. “Tell me you’re all staying here.” She said amused as she glanced at Stiles.

Stiles rolled his eyes at her. “Wish granted. We’re all staying here. Figured it was best to stick together until we figured out this whole daeva situation. People in the pack kept getting attacked.”

Braeden nodded, but she couldn’t fight the smile on her lips. “That’s got to be an interesting test in patience.” She commented. “How are you?” She asked a hint of worry in her voice.

Stiles paused at that, not daring to look back because he had a feeling that the entire pack was now literally focused very intently on their conversation. “I’m okay.” And he was. Sort of. He was more physically okay then he had been two days ago anyway, even if he wasn’t healed by any stretch of the imagination. Then again, Braeden had seen him after Colombia. “We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.”

She pursed her lips, “I could use a ride to my motel,” she commented with an arched eyebrow knowing they weren’t going to get any privacy with all the wolves around.

Stiles drew in a breath and nodded. “I can do that.” Dark was a long way off. He turned to glance at Scott momentarily, then looked back at her. “I just need to talk to Scott for a second? And let Lydia and Derek know, too.”

Braeden nodded, “If you give me your keys I’ll wait for your downstairs,” she said as Scott shifted getting up off the couch at his friend’s words.

Stiles fished his jeep keys out of his sweat pant pockets and held them out to her. “See you in a few,” he promised, watching as she headed out of the loft, closing the door behind her. He rubbed the back of his neck and glanced at Scott, who’d come up beside him. “Might be a few hours.”

Scott frowned, “That seems like a long time for dropping someone off,” he commented slipping his hands into his pockets. Scott was worried especially after what happened the last time Stiles was out there. “Is this a good idea?” He asked quietly.

Stiles laid a hand on Scott’s shoulder. “I’ll be back before dark,” he promised. “There’s stuff she and I need to discuss. And she came here to help.” His voice was just as quiet.

Scott sighed, “Yeah, okay.” He said nodding despite the fact that he wasn’t happy about it. He trusted Stiles, he was just worried. But he couldn’t keep him there if he wanted or needed to be somewhere else.

Stiles could read Scott’s expression as easily as his own. “I’m coming back,” he said firmly. “It’s gonna be fine.”

Scott nodded and reached out resting a hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “I know, just be careful man.” He didn’t want anything else to happen to his friend.

“I will.” If he hadn’t still been injured, he would have hugged his friend just for that extra bit of reassurance.

Scott nodded patting Stiles’ back before moving back over to where Kira and the twins were so he could help them keep looking.

Stiles made his way toward the stairs and slowly started up them, pausing halfway up and pressing a hand to his stomach for a moment before ascending the rest of the steps. He hesitated; pausing outside of Derek’s closed bedroom door and then reaching out to knock lightly.

Derek glanced at the door briefly, closing the book he was reading before getting up off the bed where he was sitting and walking across the room. He pulled open the door and stepped aside giving Stiles room to come in. “She’s in the bathroom,” he told him as he walked back over to the bed.

Stiles nodded, lingering in the doorframe and not feeling overly comfortable going into Derek’s room whether he’d been invited or not. He watched the older werewolf for a moment and then let his gaze drop to the floor as he waited for Lydia to emerge so he could talk to them for a minute.

Lydia glanced in the bathroom mirror briefly and frowned rubbing her thumb beneath her eyes trying to get rid of the bags that were building there. She sighed and grabbed her bottle of lotion squeezing some into her hands frowning when barely any came out. She rubbed her hands together and pulled open the bathroom door. “Your sister is using my lotion again,” she told him pausing when Derek motioned to the door.

Lydia turned and tilted her head to the side when she saw Stiles, her expression softening, “Hey.” She stepped over to the door and offered him a warm smile.

“Hi,” Stiles said softly in return, offering her a soft smile. He studied her, worried about how tired she looked. He reached out and took her hand in his, lacing their fingers together.

Lydia shifted towards him willingly pressing herself against him as she gripped his midsection taking comfort in his proximity. “What happened? Did you find something?” She asked in a soft voice. She’d felt his surprise and then happiness not long ago and Lydia wondered if it had to do with finally finding how to kill the daevas.

“More like...something found me.” He smiled faintly. “My friend Braeden just showed up in town and delivered a book that’s probably going to be pretty helpful.” He paused, searching her eyes. “I’m gonna take her back to her motel and fill her in on what’s going on around here so she knows what to keep an eye out for while she’s in town. I’ll be back before dark, though.”

Lydia frowned her chest tightening, “I can come,” she offered squeezing his hand gently not liking the idea of him going out there alone. It hadn’t been dark the last time he was attacked even though the preserve seemed to darken while they were there.

Stiles leaned in and kissed her forehead. “I appreciate the offer,” he said softly. “But I’m not going anywhere near the woods, so you don’t have to worry. We’ll probably just grab a bite to eat and I’ll drop her off.”

Lydia pursed her lips. “I worry anyway.” She told him before glancing down. When she looked back up she nodded watching Stiles for a minute before leaning in and brushing her lips against his lightly. “Come back soon...or I’ll come out there after you.” She told him pointedly.

“I know you will,” he admitted, kissing her back softly and leaning his forehead against hers for a moment. “I’ll see you soon.”

Lydia nodded releasing him and stepping back watching him go. She closed the door and walked back over to the bed, moving onto the mattress and sitting beside Derek. Lydia was quiet for a minute as she closed the book she was reading, gnawing on her bottom lip. “Who is Braedan?” She asked wondering if Derek knew.

A faint smile touched Derek’s mouth and he glanced at her. “Braeden was my mysterious rescuer down in South America. The one Deucalion sent after me.”

Lydia nodded realization hitting her. It was the girl who'd been at the school looking for Scott when she was with Allison. Her chest tightened slightly. “I see.” She said leaning back against the headboard. “So…we like her then.” Lydia commented glancing at the books on the bed and pushing them aside.

“Well. She did save my life. Then again she also saved Peter’s.” He focused on his book momentarily before glancing over at her. “You okay?”

Lydia sighed, “Yeah, I guess we like her then, though we don’t like her dragging Stiles off to parts unknown,” She joked despite the hint of truth to her words before glancing at Derek and considering his question. “Yeah, just a little tired.” She said with half a smile. “I think I might rest for a little bit,” Lydia admitted. She couldn’t seem to kick the tiredness that was stirring inside of her no matter how much she seemed to sleep.

Derek watched her for a moment. “All right,” he said quietly. “But for the record, she’s...pretty much an ass kicker. He’ll be okay with her.” His voice was confident. “But get some rest. I’ll be right here.”

Lydia squinted at Derek, “Yes, that’s exactly what I want, him going to a motel room with some bad ass girl who saves werewolves and gives him happy warm feelings.” She huffed lightly, a slight pout forming on her lips. “Now please be a good friend and make yourself useful by letting me use you as my own personal pillow while I block thoughts of my Stiles out there with someone who isn’t me.” She grumbled petulantly. Lydia was not jealous, she was tired and all these random girls popping up around Stiles were weird. First Malia, who she got strange feelings from and now this Braeden. Stiles was hers. And if they didn’t know that, Lydia would be glad to educate them in that knowledge.

It took everything Derek had not to chuckle at her jealousy. “Scoot over and I’ll be your pillow,” he agreed with a nod, winding an arm around her and tugging her closer gently.

Lydia rested against him letting her eyes close, “Wake me up the second Stiles gets back, please.” She requested letting herself relax into him.

“Will do,” Derek said quietly, even if he intended to let her sleep anyway. She needed it. And right now they had down time. He figured it wouldn’t last for long. They should take advantage of it while they still could.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feedback is always appreciated! :)