July 7, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 24/32

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: 24/32
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 |Twenty-One |Twenty-Two |Twenty-Three |

Chapter 25

Scott sat on the couch in Derek’s living room, hair wet as he flipped through another page in the large text that Stiles had left on the couch. His best friend was taking his turn in the shower, while Ethan, Aiden, and Peter made a food run. It was just after two o'clock and Scott was exhausted. He glanced to his left and spotted Kira curled up on the other end of the couch napping. A soft smile pulled at his lips.

Kira was beautiful normally, but she was especially beautiful when she slept. Scott shook his head and focused on the book again. At least things were quiet for the moment, which helped with the research. Derek and Lydia were outside on the balcony, the older werewolf had dragged a table out their earlier to give people more places to go.

He was pretty sure they were working on something to do with her banshee abilities, but he couldn’t be positive. Isaac and Cora had gone to meet Chris to get some of the new weapons he’d molded together with iron and Malia was around. She’d been pacing back and forth for a while pausing near the balcony doors every so often and glancing out at Derek and Lydia. It was actually kind of distracting.

Scott shook his head and glanced back down at the book. This was the second to last chapter that Lydia had translated and if they didn’t find anything in this or the next one she was going to have to translate the next batch of chapters, but Scott was hoping it didn’t come to that. His gaze traveled over the page an eyebrow arching when he spotted something about ritualistic ingredients. He turned the page and paused when a loud sigh came from the other end of the room.

Scott glanced up and spotted Malia. He pursed his lips and then let out a breath, “Hey,” he called out softly, “Everything okay over there?” He figured he might as well ask. He knew it had to suck being an outsider even though she seemed to be getting along with Cora and Stiles, which was something.

Malia glanced over at Scott and bit her lower lip, “No, not really...I was just, I mean I was thinking about going outside and joining Derek and Lydia,” she explained keeping her tone neutral. “I haven’t really seen him much since Peter and I have been here and when you guys were at your friends memorial dinner the day before yesterday, Peter told me I should just try approaching Derek.” Though Malia wasn’t sure that was the best idea.

“He told me to just talk to him or if I was worried see if I could befriend Lydia and have her talk him into giving me a chance,” she explained sheepishly.

Scott smiled faintly. He had a feeling that going through Lydia to get Derek to give her a chance might be a great idea under normal circumstances, but considering Malia’s history with Stiles, he wasn’t sure it was a great idea under these circumstances. “Approaching Derek first is probably a good idea. I’m sure he wants to get to know you. Things have just been crazy since you and Peter got back into town,” he explained.

Malia nodded, “Yeah, I know it’s bad timing,” she hesitated, “It kind of always seems like it’s bad timing,” she told Scott with half a smile before glancing outside again. “I feel like l should just go out there and try to get to know him you know? While everyone is off doing stuff,” she explained. “I think this is the quietest it’s been since Peter and I got here.”

Scott watched her for a moment, nodding in understanding. She wasn’t wrong. It was the quietest things had been since she’d gotten back to Beacon Hills. “It tends to be that way around here a lot,” he admitted with a small smile.

Malia grinned, “I noticed. I think that’s why Peter wanted us to leave.” She admitted. “Give us time to get to know each other and stuff,” she shrugged. “But I’m trying to convince him to stay...It’s lonely with just the two of us.” Malia bit her lower lip. “Okay, I’m going to go out there.” She straightened up, “Wish me luck,” she said with a grin.

“You’ll do fine, Malia,” he said gently. “But good luck.” He watched her go, then smiled faintly and looked back down at the book he was reading.

A couple minutes later, Stiles came down the stairs, hair still wet from the shower. It was nearly 80 degrees inside the loft and hot, so he’d grabbed a t-shirt and a pair of jeans instead of something with long sleeves for a change. “Hey.”

Scott glanced up and grinned, “Hey, looks who’s dressing down for a change,” he joked before pressing his finger to his lips and motioning to Kira. He shifted over to the other end of the couch and patted the empty space next to him. “I think I found something.” He commented.

Stiles smirked at him, but lowered his voice before speaking again. “What is it?” he asked, moving over to stand by the sofa where his friend was sitting.

Scott shrugged, “I’m not sure, I got distracted, but I think I read something about ritual ingredients?” He lifted the book and held it out to his friend pointing out the passage, “It continues onto the next page, but rituals and daevas...that’s gotta mean something right?” He asked brows drawn together. They needed to stop these things before they hurt anyone else.

“Ritual ingredi--” He paused, taking the book from Scott and scanning the list. “Vetivert,” he murmured. “That makes sense. It’s used in breaking curses. Which...okay summoning daevas isn’t exactly a curse, but it’s close enough.” He grinned. “Looks like we know what we need. This spell should destroy the altar.” Stiles paused. “Even if we don’t know where it is, exactly.”

Scott grinned brightly, “Awesome!” He said with a little too much enthusiasm. He felt Kira shift beside him and he paused slowly glancing over hoping he hadn’t woken her. When he saw that he didn’t he let out a short breath and then glanced back at his best friend. “This is good news right? How do we find the altar?” He asked while stretching his arms above his head.

“Yeah that’s...the bad part. This is only going to destroy the altar wherever it is. It’ll get rid of the daevas. But…” He sighed softly.

Scott’s smile fell from his face, “But we still don’t know who brought them here or where the altar is,” he let his body drop back on the couch and he groaned. Scott slipped his hands behind his head and rested against them. “Okay, one thing at a time. Do we have any ideas where the altar could be?”

Stiles grimaced and moved to sit down in the chair that was a couple feet away. “It could be anywhere. Literally anywhere. Any person’s house. It could be in a car. Not the most ideal place for an altar, but not inconceivable either.” He rubbed a hand over his face.

Scott was silent for a minute before something occurred to him. He leaned forward. “Lydia. She can find it. That’s what she does. I mean sure it’s never been this specific, but her abilities might be able to help us locate it...she’s done stuff like that before.”

Stiles chewed his lower lip. “We can try it.” He looked down at the book.

Scott frowned, “What’s wrong? You don’t think she’ll be able to do it?” He asked quietly. Lydia had helped find him when he’d been kidnapped. And she was the one who found Derek when he was hurt and a dozen of other small things over the past year. If they could get her to focus they might be able to find it.

“I think with all of the new aspects of her abilities that she’s developed lately it might be too much right now,” Stiles admitted quietly. “She’s already having difficulty focusing.”

Scott rested his arms on his knees. “It might be the only way that doesn’t take an incredibly long time,” he offered with a sigh, “But you’re right, she has been.” He agreed as he glanced out towards the balcony. Scott ran a hand through his hair, “Any ideas? I mean what kind of radius are we talking? Does it have to be in Beacon Hills or are we talking anywhere?”

“I’d assume if someone’s been visiting the nemeton and making sacrifices there, it’s somewhere in Beacon Hills. But...theoretically, it could be anywhere.” Stiles sighed softly, wishing he had better news than that, but he couldn’t and wouldn’t give Scott false hope about this either. “It could be multiple people working together for some reason. One could be here making sacrifices; another could be controlling the altar a thousand miles away, in theory.”

Scott nodded. He ran a hand down his face. He was tired, not so much from lack of sleep, but from the fact that this was going on the second week that all of this was happening and even though they’d found a solution to destroy the altar they were no closer to actually destroying it. “We’ve got to do something. Maybe Braeden knows a way for us to find it,” Scott suggested, “And until then we should go with what we have.” He said before his gaze shifted toward Lydia again.

“It’s your call,” Stiles said quietly. “Braeden’s not...exactly...she’s more of a mercenary than anything. She kind of...defected from the whole emissary thing.”

Scott arched an eyebrow sensing a story there. “Okay, we can leave her out of it if you want. I just,” he paused, “I hate that so many people have gotten hurt and we’re running out of options.” He said quietly. “But we can talk to the pack when everyone gets back; see if they have any suggestions before we run with any ideas...That sound okay?”

“I’m just saying if she had any ideas about all of this, she’d have told me,” Stiles said, glancing up at Scott. “And yeah, that sounds like a good plan to me.” He gazed at his friend for a moment.

Scott watched Stiles for a minute and cocked his head to the side, patting the seat next to him again, “You okay Dude? What’s going on?”

Sometimes he hated that Scott could read him so well. Other times he was immensely grateful that Scott could read him so well. He wasn’t sure which kind of time this was yet, actually. But he did move from the chair to the sofa, sitting down beside his friend, book still in his lap when he sat down again. “Nothing you don’t already know, really,” he said quietly. “We should just focus on the ritual.”

Scott frowned, “This can wait a couple of minutes, come on dude, talk to me. No offense, but you’re no good to me like this,” he joked lightly.

Stiles pursed his lips, glancing at Scott sideways and then glancing toward the balcony where Derek and Lydia and Malia were all outside talking. “I’m just...wondering when things are gonna start going right.”

Scott followed his gaze and rested a hand on Stiles’ shoulder. “It will get better,” he said quietly. “Want to tell me exactly what it is you’re afraid of,” he paused, “Maybe that’s the wrong word...but you get what I mean right?” He asked.

“Will it?” Stiles asked just as quietly. “Because things have pretty much been crap for like three years and counting, Scottie. It actually seems to get worse the more time goes on.” He exhaled, rubbing his hands over his face and resting his elbows on his knees. “Sorry. I’m just -- I don’t know. In a mood.”

Scott sent his friend half a smile and squeezed his shoulder gently. “Don’t apologize. I get it, trust me. But things can’t stay bad forever Stiles, eventually they’ll get better.” He paused, “A lot of things went wrong this past year, but a lot of good things also happened. There’s always some kind of balance.” Scott dropped his hand and shifted slightly so he was facing Stiles.

“I think we all need a little break,” he admitted, “I have faith that it’ll get better.” He told his friend, “We’ve just got to take care of this and then maybe we’ll be able to just relax for a while. It would definitely be a nice change in pace.”

Balance. That was supposed to be what Stiles dealt with. Keeping things balanced. But it wasn’t something he was all that great at on a good day. “Reduction to the means,” he said with a slight nod, acknowledging what Scott had said. He turned his head to look at Scott for a moment. “You know this is part of why you’re a True Alpha, right?”

Confusion crossed Scott’s face, “What do you mean?” He asked.

He reached out, wrapping his arm around Scott’s shoulders. “The whole having faith thing and this natural ability to comfort someone who’s clearly not quite with it.”

Scott chuckled lightly, “I wouldn’t say you’re not with it, more like you’ve had a hell of a year and a half and the whole faith thing is running low, which dude, is honestly understandable. You’ve had it rough, but you’re home now and things are going to get better.” Scott reached out and patted Stiles’ chest with a smile.

Wordlessly, Stiles wound his other arm around Scott in a hug. He wasn’t sure what he’d done in his past life to deserve a guy like Scott McCall as his lifelong best friend, but apparently it had been pretty awesome. At least in one life he’d maybe gotten things right. It was kind of a comforting thought, really.

Scott smiled and returned the hug. He was quiet for a minute before he pulled back, “Why don’t we go grab a drink, hopefully they’ll be back with the food soon because I’m starving,” he admitted as he stood.

“You’re always starving,” Stiles said with a smirk as he rose to his feet, as well.


Lydia stood in the kitchen as she listened to Stiles and Scott telling the pack about the ritual to destroy the altar. There were a few things that they needed to get before they could do the ritual, but according to Stiles it shouldn’t take long. Apparently Deaton would probably have most of what they needed. Lydia glanced at the coffee brewing doing her best not to sigh. She needed something to wake her up and energize her a bit.

She’d spent most of the morning doing breathing exercises with Derek and trying to learn how to focus her energy enough to release it in a way that it wouldn’t blow through anyone else. The problem was she hadn’t had that kind of emotional build up in a while, so she didn’t know if it was actually working. What Lydia did know is she hadn’t been sleeping again, but at least there weren't any nightmares.

She glanced back over to the group of people huddled around the living room, her gaze falling on Malia. She felt her stomach tighten and frowned. Lydia had been getting a strange feeling from the other girl all day and it was incredibly weird. She shook her head, she was definitely losing it. When her coffee beeped Lydia put a mug together for herself quickly before walking back over to the pack, heels clicking lightly against the floor.

Lydia had just heard Scott say someone would need to go pick up the supplies from Deaton and she tilted her head to the side at the chance to get out of the apartment for a bit and possibly ask Deaton a few questions of her own. “I can do that,” she said before taking a sip of her coffee.

Stiles glanced at her from where he stood a few feet away, arms folded across his chest. He shifted his gaze to Scott, who was leading the meeting.

“I’ll go with her,” Derek offered, resting a hand at the small of her back. He still didn’t think any of them should be on their own for long periods of time with the daevas still out there.

Scott hesitated, “Okay, just stay together. These things already went after both of you once, well technically just you,” he said glancing at Derek before his eyes darted to Lydia. “But certain red heads have a tendency to leap head first into dangerous situations for no reason at all.” He eyed Lydia making Isaac and the twins chuckle.

Lydia rolled her eyes good naturedly, “Now that’s just offensive. I always have a reason. Really Scott, it’s like you don’t even know me.” She told him with a hint of a smile on her face.

Scott smiled, “In all seriousness though be careful. I’ll write down what you need to ask Deaton for and then when you guys get back after the sun sets we’ll do the ritual.” He said glancing around. “Everyone good with that?”

There were collective nods from the rest of the pack while Peter sat atop the island counter, looking mildly bored.

Stiles drew in a breath and let it out slowly, picking the book up from the opposite counter. “I’ll go over this a few more times before tonight.” He glanced at Kira and raised his eyebrows. “Wanna help?”

Kira perked up, “Sure!” She paused and cleared her throat as she tucked some hair behind her ear and stood, “I mean uh, okay.” Her cheeks flushed and she walked over to Stiles. “Can we sit outside?” She asked, “It was really nice of Derek to move some furniture out there.” She said sending a small smile in his direction.

Stiles’ mouth tugged upwards in a grin. “Yeah, outside’s fine. The fresh air will be good anyway.” He looked over at Scott and winked at his friend before heading away with Kira and the book containing the ritual.

Scott grinned as he watched them walk away before turning back to the pack. “My best friend and girlfriend are friends,” he said with a silly grin.

Cora shook her head, but there was a slight grin on her face, “Ladies and gentlemen our alpha, the man child.”

Scott glanced over at Cora and arched an eyebrow. “You better be nice to this man child.” He said eyeing her with amused eyes. Someone had fallen asleep with Isaac last night and while Derek might not have caught that, Scott certainly had. He wouldn’t actually tell on her though, he thought she and Isaac made a cute couple. But Cora didn’t need to know that.

Aiden shook his head slightly and looked around. “Okay, what about the rest of us? What should we be doing?” he asked, turning his attention to Scott.

Isaac was still kind of amazed at Aiden’s 180 since Stiles’ return and the night he’d threatened the guy within an inch of his life. Granted, Stiles had kind of scared him that night, too, but it definitely made a difference in Aiden’s attitude and demeanor. He hoped it was going to stick for good. He was at least tolerable to be around now.

Scott glanced at Aiden, “We need to create a sacred space here at the loft so that when Derek and Lydia get back we can have a consecrated place to perform the ritual. So that’s what the rest of us are going to do and then hopefully once it’s done,” he grinned, “We’ll all get to go back home,” he said lightly. “So why don’t you and Ethan help me, Isaac and Cora?”

“Yeah, that’s fine with me, but...uh, do any of us know how to actually do that?” Aiden asked, looking uncertain.

Scott pursed his lips and scratched the back of his head, “Uh...no, but I think it’s in Stiles’ book. So we’ll need that,” he commented. “We’ve got a little time. We can’t do the ritual until it’s dark,” Scott explained.

Aiden nodded, scratching his arm and glancing at his brother. “All right. We’ll wait for Stiles to finish up with the book then.” He headed out toward the kitchen.

“It may not be the greatest idea for werewolves to entrench themselves in magic,” Peter said thoughtfully.

Scott lifted a brow as his gaze shifted to Peter who before this point had been silent. “And why is that?” He asked.

“Because it doesn’t tend to end well. Werewolves and magic are two very separate but very real and dangerous entities. Combining the two could potentially cause a lot of harm.” He shrugged.

Scott glanced briefly at Derek before his gaze shifted back to Peter. “So what are you suggesting we do? I’m pretty sure the ritual calls for more than one person and we don’t exactly have an abundance of humans here.” He commented glancing around.

“You have two. Well…” He glanced at Lydia, his gaze roaming over her body. “Sort of two.”

Lydia glared at Peter, “I’m human.” She said simply not liking the implication that she was anything but.

Derek narrowed his eyes. “Is this some kind of mind game? Because if it is, none of us are interested, nor do we have the time.”

Peter held his hands up as if in surrender. “Scott, when was the last time that you were involved in any kind of dealings with magic?

Scott hesitated, “The nemeton,” he paused remembering his moment in the woods with Stiles and Lydia when he’d almost given in and touched the nemeton without even considering the consequences. He hesitated, “I hate to say it, but Peter might be right.”

Isaac frowned, “Did you hear that?” He asked, “I think that was the sound of the earth shifting on its axis...You can’t be serious,” he said. Cora smirked beside him.

Malia had stayed quiet up until this point, but she figured now was probably a good time to weigh in. “Guys I know you don’t trust Peter and I totally get it. I mean, from what I’ve heard he pretty much deserves that. But what’s the harm with letting the non werewolves try it? I mean if it doesn’t work one of us can always step in, right?” She asked glancing around.

Everyone was silent. Lydia tapped her foot impatiently when no one said anything. She glanced sideways at Derek, the tension in his body palpable. She reached out and rested a hand on his arm, trying to communicate calm thoughts to him, not even sure if she could do something like that.

“I don’t have a problem with it.” She said glancing at Scott. “It wouldn’t be my first ritual and with the company I keep,” Lydia pressed her lips together, “It probably won’t be my last.” She held Scott’s gaze. “We need to do this, too many people have already died, we end it now and deal with the consequences if there are any, later.” Lydia said simply. “Besides let’s be honest, one of you would probably botch up the Latin and we’d end up with a town full of daevas,” she joked trying to lighten the tension in the room.

“She has a point with the Latin,” Isaac said after a moment. “I can barely speak English.” His voice was wry. He glanced at Cora. “And she speaks Spanish, but that’s not really Latin either.”

Lydia smirked at Isaac, “I speak five languages fluently, including Spanish,” she commented. “I’m thinking my next venture might be Russian.” She said to no one in particular.

Scott shook his head, “I don’t think you need to know anymore languages, but let’s just focus on Latin for now. Are you sure you don’t mind doing this? I can talk to Stiles and let him know we’ve changed plans and he can help you.” he offered glancing towards Derek.

“We could call Chris,” Derek suggested. “I’m sure he’d be more than happy to help out with this if we need him.” He looked between Lydia and Scott.

Lydia nodded, but there was a frown on her face, “We could...but we don’t know if there are any side effects to the ritual,” she said softly, “I don’t want anything to happen to him.” Lydia would much rather be the guinea pig than Chris.

Derek drew in a breath and let it out, rubbing the back of his neck. “Then I guess it’s you and Stiles.” He didn’t sound very happy about it, even if he understood her reasoning. “We should probably head out to get that stuff from Deaton.”

Lydia studied Derek for a minute noting something was bothering him. She nodded at his statement. “Okay,” she glanced at Scott, “We’ll be back soon.” Lydia could see the hint of worry on Scott’s face and she reached out and squeezed his arm gently. “Everything’s going to be fine. Come on this is going to be a piece of cake compared to the things Stiles and I have done in the past. Just...make sure he’s on board.” Lydia said as she stepped away from Scott knowing that was easier said than done.

She reached out and curled her hand around Derek’s arm gently, “Ready?” She asked offering him a small smile trying to ease some of the tension Peter’s words and the subsequent conversation had, had on him.

Derek cast a wary glance at Peter before following Lydia toward the door, waiting until they were far enough out of earshot before telling her, “I don’t trust him,” which of course she already knew. They all knew it. No one really trusted Peter. No one had a reason to trust Peter.

Lydia glanced at Derek and nodded, “I know, I don’t either.” She said softly. “But I know what the ritual entails and it doesn’t list anything that seems overtly harmful. I’m sure I’ll be fine and Stiles is going to help, plus you guys are going to be right there the whole time. If something super weird happens...we’ll deal with it.” Though she hoped that wasn’t the case. “We have to at least try though right?”

Lydia sent him a sideways glance, “Plus you didn’t see Scott out there with the nemeton the day Stiles was attacked. It’s better this way. Then we don’t have to worry about anyone getting hurt.” She said simply.

“What happened with Scott at the nemeton?” Derek asked, eyebrows furrowing a little.

Lydia made a face, “There was this weird pull I guess it was trying to get him to I don’t know succumb to its power?” She said though there was a question in her tone. “I’m not really sure. But Stiles seemed upset by it and it took him physically pulling Scott away to break whatever hold he’d felt.” Lydia paused, “I’m not sure why no one mentioned it. I guess with Stiles getting hurt...it slipped our minds.” She told him softly.

Derek was disturbed by this new information. He looked at her worriedly as they walked out to his truck. “It’s because of that ritual,” he said without having to think too much about it. “Did Stiles have a hard time pulling away from it too? Or just Scott?”

Lydia hesitated, “Yes, it’s because of the first ritual they did, the one that let the Nogitsune lose.” She told him knowing that much was true. She remembered Stiles telling Scott. “I don’t know if Stiles had a hard time too. There was so much happening...I didn’t ask. But it didn’t seem like he had a hard time.” Lydia tried to think back to that day, but it was difficult. “Things are kind of foggy,” she admitted. “I was a little out of it after everything.” Plus even with their connection open it was difficult to read Stiles.

Derek rubbed a hand over his chin. “We’ll ask him. When we come back.”

Lydia nodded, “Okay.” She said softly. “Everything else okay?” She asked her voice quiet. “You’ve been on edge the past day or so. Is it just Peter?”

“He’s...a lot of it,” he admitted.

Lydia arched an eyebrow as she paused at the passenger side of Derek’s car. “And the other part?” She inquired. “Come on, tell Lydia all your problems.” She said lightly, “I can fix them.”

“Oh you can, huh?” Derek smirked at her as he climbed into the driver’s side of the truck.

Lydia grinned and tugged open the passenger side door, pulling herself into Derek’s truck. “Of course,” she told him matter-of-factly as she yanked the door shut and buckled her seat belt, “I’m Lydia, I can do anything,” she sent him a sideways glance a smile pulling at her lips. “Didn’t you tell me that?” She asked with an arched eyebrow.

“And we listen to me?” Derek shook his head with amusement as he started the engine.

Lydia shifted in her seat, “Of course we do...You’re my best friend.” She responded with half an eye roll. “So, are you trying to say I’m not amazing and I can’t do anything?” She asked her brow lifting.

“Let’s not jump to conclusions,” Derek said mildly.

Lydia sighed. “I know what you’re doing,” she said lightly, “Fine change the subject. I’ll just bug you later...while you’re trying to sleep.” Lydia commented as she glanced down at her nails. “When this is all over, I’m sending myself to a spa...I’ve let myself go completely.” Lydia mumbled to herself.

Derek rolled his eyes at that. “Yeah, you sure have,” he said wryly.

Lydia sighed, “Fine, I’ll be quiet. But I’ll get it out of you eventually,” she said as she leaned back in her seat, “I have my ways. Now drive faster so we can get back and get this ritual over with. Bye bye daevas hello safer town of Beacon Hills.” She said with a small smile.

Derek certainly hoped so anyway.


Stiles really didn’t feel very well. It had started with the ritual he and Lydia had done over an hour ago and slowly gotten worse. The daevas, at least, were gone. He felt confident about that. He’d felt the altar -- wherever it was -- literally explode. He was pretty sure that Lydia had felt it too. And immediately after, he’d felt a wave of exhaustion sweep over him, all of the candles around the circle they were standing in had gone out at the same time.

Quickly after the ritual, the twins had taken off. Cora had gone with Isaac to help him take his things back to the Stilinski house. Derek had taken Lydia upstairs to rest, and Peter and Malia were in the kitchen talking.

He finished picking up the candles off the floor, placing them in a box before shoving the box away and leaning back against the sofa, closing his eyes as his head dropped back against the cushions. He’d done rituals before. More than one. He’d never felt this drained after one before. Either it was a lot more involved than he’d realized it would be -- which ultimately didn’t matter because it had to be done -- or something hadn’t gone quite as planned.

Scott glanced up at Stiles; frown on his face as he saw his friend leaning back against the couch. He glanced around the empty apartment noticing Malia and Peter not far away. He could see that they were talking so he closed the distance between him and Stiles and gripped his friend’s arm lightly. “You okay dude?” Scott’s brows furrowed, “You don’t look so hot.”

Stiles didn’t open his eyes even as Scott squeezed his arm. “Well that’s fitting. Not feeling too hot either.” He drew in a breath and let it out slowly.

Scott frowned. “Talk to me, what’s wrong?” He and Lydia had done the ritual and despite the fact that he didn’t speak Latin it seemed like everything had gone the way it was supposed to, but he was officially worried. Lydia had said she was fine when she’d gone upstairs with Derek before, but Lydia always said she was fine. And now Stiles wasn’t feeling well. He didn’t like it...maybe he’d made the wrong choice. Maybe he shouldn’t have let them do the ritual after all.

“Just -- feeling kind of…just unwell. Achy? Tired.” He sounded tired. “I’ll be okay in a minute.” He wanted to go home. He definitely didn’t want to spend another night at Derek’s loft, and he definitely didn’t want to sleep on the floor, but he sort of felt like he could easily do the latter. He drew in a breath and managed to force his eyes open and tried to smile. “Help me up, SuperWolf.”

Scott grinned and reached out gripping his friend’s hand and tugging him up. “I’m gonna run up and say by to Derek, do you have your stuff? Or do you want me to grab it from Cora’s room for you?” He asked figuring it would be easier for him to run up if Stiles wasn’t feeling well. Scott was happy they were going to be going back home, they could all use a break.

The thought of taking all those stairs right now made him want to collapse onto Derek’s sofa. “If you wouldn’t mind grabbing it for me, that’d be awesome.”

“Absolutely,” Scott nodded, before glancing over his shoulder at Peter and Malia. “I’ll be right back.” he said patting his friend’s arm and then heading for the stairs. Scott took them two at a time and headed to Cora’s room first to grab Stiles’ things. Once he had everything in his hands he walked across the small hall and knocked quietly on Derek’s door.

Derek appeared a moment later, pressing his index finger to his mouth. “She’s sleeping,” he whispered.

Scott nodded, he was glad she was resting. “How is she aside from tired?” He asked quietly, “Was she complaining about anything else?” Scott asked curiously.

“General feeling of unwellness,” Derek admitted. “Said she was kind of achy.”

Scott frowned and nodded. “Stiles just said the same thing to me,” he said quietly. “I’m going to take him home, everyone else is gone except Peter and Malia,” Scott told him as he met his gaze. “You’ll keep an eye on her and let me know if anything changes?” He asked, “I know she’s probably going to want to go home, but if you could just ask her to stay until she’s feeling a hundred percent I’d feel a lot better about the whole thing.” He paused shifting the bags in his arms. “I just want to make sure that there aren’t any unforeseen circumstances.”

“Yeah, of course,” Derek assured Scott, nodding. “Let me know if anything changes with Stiles...for better or worse.” He had a feeling if one of them made a quick turnaround -- whether it was getting better, or getting worse -- the other would follow just as quickly.

Scott smiled, “Will do.” He reached out and rested a hand on Derek’s arm. “Thanks for letting us all crash here. It was really great of you,” his gaze darted to the stairs wondering when and if Peter and Malia were heading back or staying in town. “We’ll talk soon.” he told him squeezing his arm lightly and then stepping back towards the stairs.

Derek watched him go, then quietly shut the bedroom door once more.

Downstairs, Stiles leaned heavily against the front door frame, eyes shut. He turned slightly when he heard footsteps on the stairs and relaxed when he saw Scott heading down, carrying their bags. “Thanks.” He held his hand out for his own bag. “Lydia okay?”

Scott waved him off, “I got it,” he told him motioning for his friend to follow him. “Lydia’s already asleep,” he responded glancing over his shoulder at Stiles as they reached the loft door, “Derek said she was complaining of the same thing you were though, so it’s probably a side effect from the ritual,” not that he thought Stiles didn’t know that. “Maybe some rest will help?” He asked pulling the door open and waiting for Stiles to step outside.

Stiles stepped outside without hesitation, too tired to argue about carrying his own bag. “Yeah, probably.” He hoped that was all it was. “It was probably because we had to use our freaky mind powers to explode that altar. Wherever it even was.” He sighed, holding onto the handrail as he walked slowly down the steps.

Scott couldn’t help the chuckle that left his throat as he closed the door behind him and followed Stiles down the stairs. “I didn’t even know you and Lydia had freaky mind powers,” he joked lightly his gaze shifting towards his friend. He watched Stiles’ slow movements and tried not to frown. “Heading home will be nice,” he commented.

“Yeah, it will be,” he agreed, ignoring the first comment. He was already looking forward to crawling into his own bed and passing out for about twelve hours. And with the daevas gone, surely they could have at least twelve crisis-free hours. Then again, they were in Beacon Hills. Two hours might be a better thing to hope for, really.


Twenty minutes later Scott and Stiles were home and honestly he couldn’t be any happier. “Mom, sheriff, we’re home!” He called out dropping his and Stiles’ bags on the floor near the side of the door. He stepped inside leaving the door open for Stiles and spotted the sheriff walking into the room grin on his face.

“Ah, all our boys are home.” He said patting Scott on the back and then turning to Stiles his smile dimming, “You okay son?” He asked.

Stiles smiled back at his dad, noting the worry in his eyes. “Yeah, just looking forward to sleeping in my own bed,” he told him, hugging him.

Michael wrapped an arm around his son, “Speaking of beds, Melissa and I have something to show you,” he commented before turning his head, “Lissa want to show Stiles now?” He called out knowing she was in the kitchen with Isaac and Cora.

Melissa appeared a moment later, bright smile on her face as she moved over to the group. “Welcome home,” she said warmly, hugging Scott and then Stiles. “Yes, we should.”

Scott arched an eyebrow, “I want to see too,” he said.

Isaac walked around and into the hallway, “What are we seeing?” He asked.

Michael nodded towards the steps. “The surprise we’ve been working on when you abandoned us to go stay at Derek’s apartment,” he joked heading for the stairs.

Stiles arched his eyebrows as he followed his dad up the steps, holding onto the railing. His head was starting to throb painfully. “Well if we’d known there was going to be a surprise, we definitely would have been back sooner,” he joked.

Melissa smirked, shaking her head and wrapping her arm around Isaac’s waist as they walked up the steps side by side.

Scott glanced at Cora, “Coming with or heading home?” He asked sending a smile in her direction.

She shrugged and smiled back faintly, following him toward the stairs. “Might as well see what everyone else is about to see.”

Scott chuckled as he continued up the stairs pausing in the hallway by Isaac and his mom.

Michael paused in front of the spare room. “While you guys were gone we thought it would be nice if all of you had your own space. You shouldn’t have to share a room.” He told them before glancing at Melissa, “So, we finally cleared out the spare room.” Michael told them before pushing open the door.

The room had been entirely cleaned out and redone, fresh paint, new furniture, video game system and television. Michael shifted towards Melissa and pressed a hand to the small of her back. “We weren’t sure if you wanted your old room back or if you want to take the new room, but either way, there’s a place for everyone here now.” He said softly glancing between three boys and Cora.

Stiles’ chest tightened as he looked around the room that had once been his dad’s study area, even if he’d always preferred using the kitchen when he brought work home. He turned to look at his dad and Melissa. “You guys put a lot of work into this,” he said quietly.

“Well we want all of you to feel like this is your home. Because it is,” Melissa said warmly, looking at the three boys.

Michael nodded. “We love all of you,” he said quietly, “And this is a family.” He told them glancing briefly at Melissa, not sure if they should tell the boys about what else they decided or wait for another time.

Isaac’s chest tightened at the sheriff’s words. He couldn’t remember the last time his own father had told him he loved him before dying and he was pretty sure no one else had. He was quiet for a minute before shifting forward and hugging the sheriff impulsively.

Stiles watched his dad hug Isaac back tightly and he smiled faintly before looking back at the room. He glanced at Scott, arching his eyebrows a little. He didn’t really care which room he stayed in, really. If Scott had a preference, he could have first pick as far as Stiles was concerned.

Scott grinned, “Doesn’t matter to me dude. If you want your room back it’s yours if not you can take the new.” He said patting him on the back. Scott was just glad Stiles was back. He didn’t care who took which room.

Isaac shifted back and rubbed his neck, a sheepish expression on his face as he stood beside Cora.

Michael smiled warmly at him, patting his shoulder.

Stiles chewed his lower lip, shrugging. “I haven’t unpacked my crap yet anyway.” He glanced at the empty closet. “You sure?” He looked back at Scott.

Scott patted his back. “Of course man,” he glanced at their parents, “guys this is awesome. I have no clue how you got this done so quick,” he admitted.

Michael chuckled, “We were motivated.” He paused, “Well we’ll let you boys get situated. Dinner in a little bit, okay?” He told them as he wrapped an arm around Melissa.

“Thank you,” Stiles said quietly, looking from his dad to Melissa. “Seriously. This means a lot.”

Melissa smiled softly at him. “We know,” she assured him.

Michael nodded in agreement. “Okay, we’ll get out of your hair, Cora are you staying for dinner?” He asked as he guided Melissa to the stairs.

Isaac glanced at Cora smile on his face.

“Yeah, I can do that, if you’re sure it’s okay,” Cora said, glancing between them.

Michael glanced over and smiled. “Of course.” He told her.

Isaac grinned at the sheriff and Melissa before turning back to Cora. He hesitated tilting his head towards his room. “Want to go listen to some music until dinner?”

“Sounds good to me.” She shrugged, linking her arm with his and letting him lead her out of the room.

Stiles smiled a little at the sight and rubbed a hand over his face before moving to sit down on the bed. He kicked his shoes off and stretched, wincing as all of his muscles protested. He didn’t miss the worried look on Scott’s face. “I’m fine,” he assured him. “I just need to nap until dinner. I’ll be fine.”

“You’re sure?” Scott asked as he watched his friend wince. “Do you need anything? Tylenol, aspirin? Or do you just want me to get out so you can sleep for a bit?” He asked with half a smile.

He gave him a wan smile. “I think sleep is probably the best bet.” He yawned, not bothering to pull the covers back before flopping back against the pillows and letting his eyes close.


Four days later found Stiles finally having unpacked his duffel bag. His clothes were now hanging in his new closet, his weapons and materials in a large wooden, locked chest that took up his entire closet floor. His books were set on his desk and he planned to hang up some shelves for them at some point, but he had more important things to worry about now.

He was still fatigued from the ritual that had vanquished the daevas, and more than that, he still felt like he was on the verge of illness. But he didn’t have time to be sick right now. He placed a dagger into the small duffel bag of other items that he’d already collected and packed, and he added some bags of various herbs he was going to need. He heard footsteps approaching the door and he quickly zipped up the bag and rose to his feet, hefting it onto his shoulder.

Braeden was on her way to pick him up and he didn’t want to delay things any longer. Besides, tonight was the night of the full moon. There was more power tonight than there would be for another month and he wasn’t willing to wait another month for something this important. He headed for the door, pausing when Scott knocked once and opened it. “Hey.”

Scott sent his friend half a smile, “Hey, I was wondering if you were up for going bowling.” He asked cocking his head to the side. “Isaac, Cora and Kira and I are gonna go. We thought it might be fun since none of us have been out in a while.” He explained.

They’d gone back to school a few days ago and things finally seemed to be settling down. He was planning on asking Kira to the dance and he was pretty sure Isaac was going to ask Cora at some point too.

“A little wolfie pack bonding on the full moon.” He smiled back at Scott. “Not exactly the traditional way to do it, but it works.” He shook his head. “I’ll have to take a raincheck this time, though. Braeden’s picking me up in a little bit.”

Scott shrugged, “Isaac’s been a bit pent up today and I’m feeling the moon too. I need something to keep me occupied. Plus getting out is good.” He said. “I didn’t realize she was still in town. What are you two up to tonight?” He asked curiously. Scott still didn’t know the whole story about Braeden and Stiles’ friendship, but she seemed nice enough.

“Yeah, makes sense. There’s a lot that’s been going on lately. Probably feeling it more now than usual.” Stiles hesitated. He knew he should tell Scott what he was planning to do, and not just because Scott was the alpha of the pack, but because Scott was his best friend. Not telling him things always felt wrong. But it wasn’t like he was going to keep it a secret for long. He’d tell him after it was done. “Yeah, she’s between jobs right now so she decided to stick around for awhile,” Stiles explained, curling a hand around the strap of his duffel bag. “And we’re just...gonna do some training kind of stuff.”

Scott quirked a brow in his friends direction, “Training...when you look like that?” He asked amused. “My money is on Braeden,” he joked. “But seriously dude if you finish up early you two should join us. We can make it a triple date,” Scott teased.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Thanks,” he said wryly. Then he shook his head at the teasing. “That’s very cute.” He patted Scott’s arm as he headed out of the room, pulling the door shut behind him. “And I’m not sure I want to try and compete in bowling against three werewolves, a fox, and Braeden.

Scott’s grin widened, “Oh come on, you know I suck at bowling. And Isaac has never bowled either. Besides we want to spend more time with this Braeden,” he told him. “Feel her out a little...see if we like her,” Scott joked.

“I know you used to suck at bowling,” Stiles corrected him. He chuckled. “Yeah. No. Werewolves or not, she could kick all of your asses.” He was only sort of kidding, really. She probably could, but there was no reason for her to. Besides, she’d saved three members of the pack in the past. Four if you counted Peter, which he definitely did not.

Scott cocked his head to the side, “If I was someone who took words like that as a challenge I’d feel the need to prove my alphaness,” he joked, “But I’m not. Is she staying in town long?” He asked, “Maybe we can all go out together another time.” Scott suggested.

“I’m not sure, but I can ask her.” Stiles smiled a bit. “I think you’d like her.” He was pretty sure, however, that Lydia most certainly would not. “Cora likes her.”

Scott smiled, “Well that says something because Cora doesn’t like many people,” he said with a laugh. “Seriously dude, we should all do something. The six of us. Ask her, see what she thinks,” Scott said lightly right as the bell rang.

“If we finish up early, we’ll come to the bowling alley,” Stiles assured Scott, even if he was pretty positive it wasn’t going to work out that night. He headed down the stairs and straight to the door, opening it up and smiling at Braeden. “Hey.”

Braeden grinned, “Took you long enough,” she joked glancing at his bag and then shifting her gaze back to Stiles’ face. “Ready to head out?” She asked tilting her head towards the car.

Stiles rolled his eyes. “Yeah, I’m ready.” He glanced over his shoulder at Scott. “Kick their asses tonight, Scottie,” he said with a bright grin.

Scott nodded, “You got it,” he said smiling at Braeden.

Braeden returned the smile before pushing away from the door and heading to the car. “You got everything we need?” She asked over her shoulder as she twirled the keys in her hand walking around to the driver’s side of the door.

“Yeah. I got everything,” he assured her, following her outside and pulling the front door shut behind him, taking a deep breath. Ideally, he should’ve been at full health for this, but he’d have to work with what he had.

It’s what he always did.

Braeden unlocked the door and glanced at Stiles, frowning slightly. “What’s wrong?” She asked as she got in the car. It had been a while since she’d seen him and the last she’d heard they’d taken care of the daevas.

Stiles slid into the passenger seat of her car, pulling the bag onto his lap and leaning back in the seat. “A little...tired from the last ritual,” he admitted, glancing at her sideways and shrugging.

Braeden frowned as she slid into the car, pulled the door shut behind her and started the car. “I thought the ritual was supposed to be pretty straight forward. No fuss no muss, why do you still look all pasty?” She asked while pulling the car away from the curb and heading in the direction of the preserve.

Stiles smirked at that. “Because that is my natural state,” he informed her, pulling his seat belt across his lap. “No, I don’t know, truthfully. Lydia’s been feeling unwell, too.”

Braeden arched an eyebrow, “Still? That’s a little weird. Unwell how? Are you guys sharing symptoms again?” She shook her head, “You seriously need to nip that connection in the bud. You weren’t nearly this unbalanced before.” Braeden commented lightly.

Stiles glanced at her, exhaling slowly. “I was worse, actually. But this is…” He paused, trying to put it into words. “I don’t know. It’s different.”

“Different how?” Braeden asked worried. If Stiles felt like there was something off that usually meant something was off and she didn’t like that especially when rituals were so particular. Change one thing and all hell could break loose. She turned at the end of the street and then headed into the main part of town.

Stiles rubbed a hand over his face. “Like we’re aware of each other’s presence all the time? It’s kind of a strange thing to try and explain, I guess.”

Braeden frowned, “Who? You and Lydia? Wasn’t that always the case?” She asked not really sure how the connection worked, but she did know at one point it had been close to nonexistent. She wasn’t really sure what had changed that, though she had a feeling it was him coming home, not that, that was a bad thing. Braeden didn’t think losing all connection to the people Stiles was closest too was a good idea despite what Morrell wanted.

“No,” Stiles said softly. “She felt me but I didn’t feel her. I didn’t know it worked that way.” He paused. “When Morrell taught me how to shut down, it shut down everything.” He looked out the window. And that had nearly ended whatever the relationship between them was completely. “And I don’t know if it’s because I’m more...self-aware than I was before, or if it’s all of the emissary stuff or something else, but it’s still there and now I can feel her and it’s...kind of overwhelming.”

Braeden pursed her lips as she made another turn. “If it’s overwhelming you Stiles then maybe you should shut it down,” she repeated. “Maybe all the rituals and all this stuff is starting to take its toll. You were only with Morrell for a year. And from what I gathered there was still a ton of shit she wanted to teach you.” She told him with a one armed shrug as she drove up a small hill, a river running along the hill signaling they were getting closer to the preserve.

“I can’t shut it down,” Stiles admitted, chewing on his thumbnail without thinking about it. “I don’t really understand how it all works, but when I shut it down, it literally hurts her.” He let out a breath, rubbing a hand over his cheek.

Braeden sighed, “You’re still weak from the last ritual and now we’re doing another one. Had I known I would have told you to wait until the next full moon,” she added pointedly glancing at him briefly.

Stiles knew she was right about the rest -- he had a long way to go left in his training, probably at least another year’s worth. It wasn’t an option now. Not with Morrell. Not only because her method required him to be away from Beacon Hills, but also because Scott had essentially voiced his very strong disapproval. And he knew Scott was right.

Morrell might be a hell of a great emissary, but her methods weren’t ones that Stiles really wanted to employ out of anything except necessity. He didn’t want to be as disconnected, as hard of a person as she was. Not if it cost him everyone he loved. Not if it meant he didn’t recognize himself in the mirror every day. He was already so close to that last point that it was still painful to think about.

“And I know. That’s why I didn’t tell you.” Stiles flashed her an innocent smirk. “Can’t afford to wait another month. It’s too important. Too many things could go wrong.”

Braeden sent him a sideways glance and glared in his direction. “Mm, you’re just lucky I like you Stilinski or I’d drive your ass back home right now.” She told him as they pulled up to the parking lot. Braeden pulled into one of the spots and killed the engine.

She turned her body so she was facing him. “And this whole feeling each other thing sounds weird and invasive. I’d hate someone feeling everything I’m feeling...god how would I lie?” Braeden shivered, “No thanks.”

“It kind of is, weird and invasive. And it makes lying basically impossible. Which I guess in a way is good and in another way is…kind of awful when you’re used to lying all the time.” And he pretty much was. He turned his body to face her, as well. “It does, however, make the sex that much more incredible.” He grinned.

Braeden arched an eyebrow. “Does it?” She asked amused and shook her head. “Well at least you’re getting some regularly then. Why the hell are you tense about anything?” She asked with a laugh. Braeden shook her head and pushed open the door, “So when you say you can feel everything...” she let her voice trail off, smirk on her lips as she got out of the car.

“Yep. I literally mean everything. Unless one of us shuts it down,” he informed her, climbing out of her passenger seat and hauling the bag up onto his shoulder.

Braeden sent him a thoughtful look, “Well that part sounds intriguing.” She said with a grin as they headed into the preserve. “You ready for this?”

“Yeah.” He glanced at her sideways as they walked. He knew that this ritual in particular was a bit of a rarity. For an emissary -- or a budding emissary in his case -- to bind himself to a pack was unusual. It wasn’t something that most emissaries did. For Stiles it felt like a necessity.

“Alright, let’s go tie you to some wolves then,” Braeden paused and smirked, “Kinda kinky,” she added as they made their way through the woods. “So tell me about great sex girl.” She requested while glancing around the area making sure there was nothing around them.

Stiles laughed. “Sorry, Braeden. Some things are just private.” He led the way through the woods because he knew the way. Knew exactly where he was going, even in the dark. He could probably get there in his sleep. Part of him wondered if doing this kind of spell at the Nemeton was the best plan, but the other part of him -- the instinctual part -- told him it had to be at the tree.

Between it and the full moon, it should be more than enough to give him the extra boost that he was going to need to be a pack’s emissary. No. This pack’s emissary. There would be no breaking this bond once it was done. They would be stuck with one another for better or worse. Blood magic just worked that way.

Braeden rolled her eyes as she trudged along with him only pausing when they were a few feet in front of the nemeton. She made a face. “This place gives me the heebee jeebees.” She admitted. Braeden held out a hand for his bag, “I’ll help set up.”

Stiles handed her the bag without hesitation, knowing she was more than capable of setting things up. He stared at the tree stump for a long moment before moving closer to it, feeling the high thrum of energy pulsing more keenly in his veins than usual. It was calling to him. And he was going to answer it this time. He sat down atop it. It was a large enough space that he was able to stretch his legs over the width of it without his feet dangling over. He’d sat on it one time before -- in his head.

He shifted into the position he’d been in that time, when he’d played Go with the Nogitsune. He shut his eyes, feeling the energy pulling at him, like his entire body was singing with it.

Braeden moved around him setting things up, taking out the herbs and candles and the book. She watched Stiles and then tilted her head to the side. “Should you really be sitting on there like that?” She asked as she put the bag down and continued moving things into position around him.

“I’m gonna use it as a power boost,” Stiles admitted, pursing his lips as he opened his eyes. “Harness it for something good instead of something terrible for once.”

Braeden sighed, “Whatever you say, though if you ask me that stump should be eradicated from existence,” she commented while positioning the last candle. “All set.”

“Believe it or not, I have it on good authority that would make things a hundred times worse.” He grimaced at the thought, reaching out and picking up the items she’d left in front of him on the stump. He mixed them together quickly in the bowl, knowing how weird it was that he had gone around collecting hair from the pack members in the last few days before leaving Derek’s loft. It was really weird. It bordered on being creepy, really.

Stiles pushed the thoughts away, closing his eyes and concentrating, feeling the energy between him and the nemeton blending together. He began to utter the words in Latin, barely aware of the fact that the wind around them had picked up, turned cold.

Braeden’s hair whipped around her face and she glanced around as a chill ran up her spine. It was working. She could sense the power building around them and she focused on Stiles as he read through the Latin. The candles flickered in the wind before going out completely.

Braeden pursed her lips keeping her eyes on Stiles and making sure that he was okay as he continued speaking in Latin.

Stiles felt it in his veins, felt the white hot lick of magic spiraling through him. It burned. Not the way it had burned when he’d done the ritual in July that had burned the protective anti-possession runes into his ribs. It was different, but still painful, still powerful. He reached out, lifting the dagger into his right hand and dragging it across his left palm, barely feeling the pain of the sharp blade as it dug into his skin. His blood dripped into the bowl in front of him and he gasped, suddenly feeling all of them at once.

It was a struggle to finish the rest of the Latin and when it was over, he placed his palm down on the stump, and lightning flashed through the sky without thunder and the wind stopped. He shuddered and looked at Braeden.

“I think it worked.”

Braeden, “Well yeah, typically when the wind picks up and lightning is created out of thin air magic is had.” She commented shaking her head even as she pulled out something for Stiles to wrap around his hand. Braeden stepped forward and held it out to him while studying his features. “Are you okay?”

“Thanks,” he said as he wrapped the strip of cloth around his palm, wincing. He sure as hell felt the pain now. “Yeah. I’m all right.” He could still feel the energy from the nemeton, and the energy flowing through his own veins, even if it was calmer now. Like it was...satisfied. He picked up his dagger and slid off the tree stump, wiping the blood off on his jeans.

Braeden watched him for a minute and then grinned. “So, now that this is done, where to?” She asked nonchalantly like Stiles hadn’t just performed blood magic on top of an ancient tree in the middle of the woods.

He cracked a smile in her general direction. “How do you feel about bowling?”

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