July 15, 2014

Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here 28/32

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: 28/32
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 | Twenty-Four | 
Twenty-Five | Twenty-Six | Twenty-Seven |

Chapter 28

Lydia’s eyes fluttered open, a dark span of sky stretched out before her, stars glittering across it. She blinked once, then twice before awareness of her surroundings hit her. Her hands curled in the blades of grass beside her and she frowned. Lydia pushed herself up into a sitting position. She frowned and stood up slowly glancing around the empty preserve.

Lydia was confused. She took a step forward, the black material of her dress ruffling and shifting with her movements. She took another step and then her movements halted as the past few hours came rushing back into her. Lydia pressed a palm against her stomach. “Oh god,” she whispered, “I’m dead.” The words left her mouth in a rush as she glanced around trying to figure out if this was where people went when they died...If she’d be stuck in the woods forever.

“I’d say join the club, but…” Allison’s voice was quiet as the brunette came up to stand beside her, reaching out and gripping onto her hand. “It’s not a club I wanted you to be part of yet.”

Lydia turned her head, her eyes widening a little at the sight of Allison. Her grip tightened on Allison’s hand as she swallowed hard. “What is this place?” She asked, “Why am I here...in Bardo? Are you always here?...Is this where we go when,” Lydia’s words trailed off, her chest tight.

“Not always,” she admitted. “A lot of people move on. Most people.” She smiled but it was faint and sad. “I don’t want to.” She shrugged. “And I still don’t think you’re supposed to be here yet, Lydia.”

She turned to face Allison, “I’m not really sure what happened,” Lydia paused, “I guess using all that power finally caught up with me.” She told her friend quietly hesitating briefly before speaking again. “Can you see them? She asked softly. “Is there a way to know if they’re okay. If everyone got out okay?” She asked catching her friends gaze.

Allison pursed her lips, meeting her best friend’s gaze. “Yeah, there’s a way. Come on.” She tugged gently on Lydia’s hand, leading her away from the nemeton and the preserve. Seconds later they were standing inside of Deaton’s clinic where everyone was gathered. She let go of Lydia’s hand for a moment, reaching out and laying a hand on Isaac’s shoulder as he dumped a bag of ice in one of the large tubs. He couldn’t feel her, of course.

Lydia frowned. “What are they doing?” She asked a hint of panic in her voice. She knew those metal tubs, had waited beside them when her best friend, Stiles, and Scott were in there for sixteen hours straight. Lydia watched as Aiden added another. She frowned searching for Stiles. “Where’s Stiles?” She asked as she moved around the clinic slightly weirded out by the fact that no one could see her or Allison.

Lydia paused when she spotted him and Scott in the corner talking. Her chest tightened, he was fine. She relaxed slightly before her gaze traveled the room for Derek. Lydia’s chest tightened when she saw him sitting beside her body. “Do you watch us a lot?” She asked her voice barely a whisper.

“Yes,” she said honestly. “As often as I can.” She smiled a little, gaze traveling to Stiles and Scott. They were now both facing the ice and water filled tub. She watched as Stiles took a deep breath and slipped his shoes off, made his way over to the large container before her gaze flickered to Lydia.

Lydia glanced at Allison and caught Stiles moving towards the tub of ice. She frowned. “What,” she paused as realization dawned on her. “He’s doing a ritual again,” she said quietly. “Damn it, will he never learn with all this stupid druid magic. There has to be a way to stop them...how do we stop them?” She asked glancing over her shoulder at Allison.

“We don’t,” Allison said honestly. She looked at Lydia. “He’s coming for you. That’s what this is about. He senses it’s not time for you to be here, and he’s coming here to bring you back.”

Lydia turned to Allison, “I don’t want him to do that. What if he gets hurt? Or something worse happens?” She said, “I don’t want anything to happen to Stiles.” Lydia responded with a frown. “Besides...How would he even bring me back?”

Allison gave Lydia a look. “The same way you both came back the last time you were here, Lydia. You’re linked.” She was silent for a moment. “And you’re both powerful separately. Together…” Her voice trailed off.

Lydia watched as Stiles immersed himself into the ice bath. “Do you...do you think it could actually work?” She asked softly.

“Stiles bringing you back, or you and Stiles?” Allison asked seriously.

Lydia met Allison’s gaze. “Both?” She admitted quietly, her heart clenching when she watched Scott push Stiles under the water.

“Yes,” she answered without a moment’s hesitation. She reached out and took Lydia’s hand again as she watched Stiles sink beneath the water without struggling.

“I love him.” Lydia said squeezing her best friend’s hand as she glanced around the back room taking everyone in. Ethan and Aiden were on either side of Scott as he held Stiles down and Isaac and Cora were in front of the tub, their hands entwined.

Lydia wondered if knowing that everyone was moving on hurt or made her happy. She spotted Kira behind Scott towels in hand for when Stiles got up and Derek still by her side moving the table she was on closer to the rest of the pack. Lydia inhaled deeply, “Does it hurt?”

She cocked her head to the side, glancing at Lydia. “Does what hurt?” she asked quietly.

“All of this. Being able to see things and not being a part of them?” Lydia asked, “Things have changed a lot…”

Allison was quiet for a moment. “Sometimes. I can’t do a lot from here, but I can still affect things sometimes. Like I did for you and Stiles.” Her voice was quiet. “But if you’re asking if I’m upset about Isaac and Cora or Scott and Kira...no. I want them to be happy.”

Lydia nodded, “Are Stiles and I the only ones you’ve been able to reach out to?” She asked curiously.

“I’ve been in everyone’s dreams, but they’re not as aware of things there as the two of you,” Allison confessed.

Lydia’s lip turned up at the corner. “If this works and I go back...will I remember this?” She glanced at her best friend and arched an eyebrow.

“Do you remember the last time?” she asked arching her eyebrow, as well.

Lydia laughed softly, “Yeah, I just wasn’t sure if this was different because I’m…” She bit her bottom lip and watched as Scott’s hands lifted off of Stiles and his body floated slightly to the top. Lydia swallowed hard, “We should go.”

“Go where?” Stiles’ voice was quiet as he stood a few feet away from them.

Allison smiled and looked back at Lydia.

Lydia took a deep breath and turned around her gaze meeting Stiles’. “You’re an idiot.” She told him simply, her voice soft.

A tiny smile touched Stiles’ mouth and he shrugged a shoulder carelessly. “Yeah. But I’m your idiot.”

Lydia’s heart warmed, “You are my idiot.” She whispered taking a hesitant step forward and then another, her legs moving until she was in front of him throwing her arms around his neck. “I was so scared that I didn’t get the barrier down in time,” she told him holding onto him tightly.

Stiles wrapped his arms around her just as tightly, burying his face against her neck. “You saved my life. Again,” he whispered. “So I thought maybe I should return the favor.” His voice was strained. “You have to come back with me. I need you.”

Lydia’s grip tightened on him for a minute, before she shifted back enough to see his face. She cupped his cheeks, “At what cost?” She asked softly, “You made such a big deal about balance and all that when you came back...so how will bringing me back affect that? I’m no idiot Stiles,” Lydia brushed her thumb against his cheek.

“I don’t regret what I did. I don’t regret anything,” She whispered softly. “Because I love you, and I’d do whatever I need to in order to keep you safe.”

Stiles’ heart clenched. “I can’t do this without you. If you don’t come back with me, I’m not going back either,” he said honestly, his voice quiet. Yeah, it was a terrible thing to say to her and he knew it. It was also the truth. He wouldn’t go back without her. He didn’t want to live in a world without her.

Lydia’s eyes widened slightly, “Stiles,” her tone was admonishing, “That’s not fair.” She pursed her lips and glanced over at Allison before looking back at Stiles the question clear in her eyes. Lydia wanted to bring Allison back with them.

“I know it isn’t,” he admitted softly. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of an asshole.”

Allison hesitated a moment before stepping forward. “You need to go back with him, Lydia,” she said softly. “While you still can.”

Lydia frowned and glanced over her shoulder, “What do you mean?”

“Your body,” she said gently. “It’s not too late for you to get back into it.”

Lydia swallowed hard. Had they tried to bring Allison back sooner...maybe they could have. But it had been over a year. Her body...Lydia’s chest tightened and she glanced back at Stiles. “Everyone seems okay...you all made it out okay? What happened to Malia?” She asked quietly.

Stiles’ jaw tightened. “They’re letting her go for now.” She’d be a problem in the future, of course. Because that was how it always worked. “But Peter’s dead.” He looked down.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “Letting her go is the right thing to do,” she told him, “Why wouldn’t you?” She asked, “She’s one person. One very messed up person.” Lydia mumbled. The news about Peter was welcome though and relief crossed her face. She nodded and stood with him, silently. “What would I have to do? How would I get back in my body? I felt my heart stop,” she admitted, “I knew what was happening. Is that just going to be fixed once I’m back in it?”

“I don’t know,” Stiles admitted a troubled expression on his face. “I don’t know how it works. But the last time -- I mean both of our hearts stopped and we still came back.”

Lydia’s brows drew together, “This time is different,” she could feel it. “Okay, listen. I’m going to go with you.” She knew Stiles wasn’t going to leave without her and Lydia didn’t exactly want to be dead. “But we need a plan. When I was out there it took a lot of energy to break through the barrier and I controlled it, but I did something wrong. I’m not sure what, but it was like...my heart just,” she paused, “I don’t know.”

Lydia pressed her lips together, “But maybe a jump start would help...like in the hospital when someone’s heart stops and they use the defibrillator.” She held Stiles’ gaze, “Kira,” she whispered softly, “When you get back tell her to use her powers on me...and if it works I’ll be there, but if it doesn’t Stiles, promise me you won’t come back here. Promise me you’ll just...keep going.”

Stiles gave her a pained look. “How can I promise that?” he whispered. “How can you ask me to promise that, Lydia?” His voice was strained.

“Because I love you,” she repeated, “And it took everything in me to help them save you. If you kill yourself trying to save me I’ll never forgive you.” She whispered as she shifted closer to him. “Scott needs you. The pack needs you. I’m coming back with you...but if it doesn’t work, then maybe it was just my time.” She said moisture in her eyes. “Maybe this is all we get.” Lydia dropped her gaze willing the tears not to come. She didn’t want to get her hopes up just in case it didn’t work.

Stiles swallowed heavily, closing his eyes, too. He felt like he couldn’t breathe, which was stupid because technically he wasn’t breathing. He felt Allison rest a hand on his shoulder and he looked up, eyes full of tears.

“It’s going to work,” she said firmly, addressing both of them.

Lydia glanced up at her best friend, nodded, and then look at Stiles. “What do I do?” She asked softly.

“Just close your eyes,” Allison said softly, reaching out and tucking some hair behind Lydia’s ear. “Everything’s going to be fine. It’s going to be perfect.” She kissed her cheek and then kissed Stiles’, too.

Lydia’s heart warmed and she reached out and squeezed Allison’s arm gently. “You’re always going to be my best friend...you know that right?” She asked quietly, moisture prickling at the corner of her eyes.

“And I’m always going to be watching out for you,” Allison whispered.

Lydia smiled and nodded before glancing at Stiles. She inhaled deeply and then closed her eyes letting her breath out slowly. If Allison said this would work, Lydia believed her. She kept her hands on Stiles though, not wanting to release him, but she was feeling lightheaded again, and it felt like everything was dropping away from her body, like she was literally fading away. A hint of panic gripped her, but before she could overthink it everything around her stopped and she was lost in an abyss of darkness once again.


Stiles sat up gasping, arms flailing out of the tub as he woke back up in freezing cold water. The liquid spilled out everywhere all over the floor as he attempted to get up but his arms and legs didn’t want to work because he was shaking so hard. “Lydia,” he gasped.

Scott reached down and gripped Stiles beneath the arms tugging him from the water. He’d been out a good three hours, not long, but definitely longer than Scott was comfortable with.

Kira stepped forward immediately shifting around Scott to wrap the towels around Stiles, worry on her face. “Is he going to be okay? He’s shaking.” She whispered.

Scott nodded rubbing Stiles’ arm over the towel, “He’s just cold.” He said quietly remembering what it felt like to come out of the tub when they’d done it over a year ago.

Derek stood up and frowned glancing at Stiles, “What happened? Nothing’s changed, she’s still...Did you find her?” He asked assuming he had since he’d called out to her the minute he woke up.

“Kira.” His teeth chattered even as Scott wrapped towels around him, eyes glazed over. “I need you to use your powers to restart her heart.”

“Stiles, it’s been hours,” Cora whispered, looking troubled.

“Trust me. Please.” He looked at Kira with pleading eyes. “Just try it.” He sank back against Scott because he couldn’t feel his legs or his feet.

Kira hesitated, “I’ve never...I don’t know how to do that.” She said quietly glancing from Stiles to Scott. “What if I can’t make it work?” She asked.

Derek shifted forward, “Then at least we tried,” he said softly, “Come on, I’ll help you.” he said pursing his lips, “Please.” He said quietly, a word that didn’t come from his lips very often.

“You can do this,” Stiles said pleadingly. You have to do this. His eyes shifted to Lydia’s still, cold form on the metal table.

Kira nodded and moved forward towards Lydia’s body. She hesitated not exactly sure what to do. She swallowed heavily and reached out pausing right above Lydia’s body, her chest tightening at the thought of touching their friend making her heartbeat slam against her chest hard.

Kira had never touched a dead body before...let alone the body of someone she knew. She closed her eyes and let her power build inside of her, a slight crackling coming from her hands. Kira took a deep breath and pressed her hands to Lydia’s body, pushing a jolt of power into it.

She opened her eyes and glanced down, but Lydia’s body was still prone in front of her, “It didn’t work,” she whispered.

“Do it again, more power this time,” Derek said beside her.

Kira hesitated and glanced at Scott. He pursed his lips but nodded.

Kira focused on her powers and let more of it build up this time before pressing her hands against Lydia’s cold body. Lydia’s body jerked from the jolt, but her eyes were still closed. Kira frowned. She was not going to let them down.

Kira held her hands together, her eyes starting to glow as she watched the electricity grow between her hands. She shifted forward pressed her palms flat against Lydia’s chest ignoring her cold flesh and shoving a large jolt of power inside of her.

The lights flickered in the animal hospital and Lydia’s eyes jerked open a sharp gasp coming from her mouth before her body fell back to the table, a series of loud choking coughs tumbling from her throat, her body wracked with shivers. Color flushed her sickly gray skin as blood rushed through her veins; heart pumping furiously, blue tinged her lips, fingers, and other extremities, cold seeping into her skin.

Stiles’ own body shuddered at the sound and he collapsed back against Scott, shutting his eyes as he started to cry, bringing his hands up and over his face as the weight of the last few hours hit him.

“It worked,” Kira whispered, eyes wide with amazement as she looked from Lydia to Derek and back again. “It worked.

Derek chuckled, “It did.” He said resting a hand against Kira’s, “Get a blanket,” he told her quietly as he stepped forward reaching out to Lydia. Her skin was freezing and he frowned glancing back at Scott and Stiles, “She’s freezing,” he said glancing at her face and spotting her blue tinged lips. “We need to get her warm,” he suggested.

Ethan was up and moving in an instant, grabbing blankets out of Deaton’s office and moving over to Lydia with Aiden right behind him, covering her shaking body with the blankets.

“I’ll go get coffee,” Cora spoke up, eyes wide. “Really hot coffee.” Considering there were now two freezing cold pack members that were going to need it.

Lydia frowned, as she sucked in a sharp breath, her lungs burning as they filled with oxygen. It felt like she’d been stuck in a freezer and her body felt more than a little stiff. She spotted Derek and shifted trying to move closer to him. “S-Stiles?” She asked teeth chattering as she felt hands helping her sit up. Lydia winced at the movements.

“It’s okay. Everything’s okay,” Derek murmured, pulling her close figuring body heat might be better than blankets. He looked over at Stiles. “He’s okay.” He nodded in the direction of Stiles and Scott, chest tightening at the way Stiles was still openly weeping as Scott held him. “We’re all okay now.” He stroked his hand down her hair, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.

Lydia nodded, curling her body into his chest, hands clutching his shirt as she shivered. “I-I n-need...him,” she said as she felt another blanket being draped over her shoulders.

Ethan glanced over at Scott and Stiles, “I don’t think Stiles can come here right this second, but as soon as he can we’ll get him.” He told her quietly as Kira moved back over to Scott.

Kira placed a hand on his shoulder and the other on Stiles’. “Are you okay?” She whispered.

Stiles drew in a shaky breath and nodded, rubbing a hand over his face. He leaned against Scott for a moment longer before pushing himself to his feet, still kind of unsteady. He moved over to where Lydia was, reaching out and laying a hand on her blanket-covered arm. “Hi,” he whispered.

Lydia turned her head moving it away from Derek’s chest and glancing at Stiles. A slow smile spread across her quivering lips, “I-If it isn’t...m-my idiot.” She said her voice stuttering slightly from the cold. “Y-You okay?” She asked.

A confused look passed between the twins but neither of them said anything.

Stiles’ mouth stretched into a smile. “Your idiot’s just fine now,” he told her between chattering teeth. “Kinda chilly though.”

“I’d offer to warm you up,” another shiver went through Lydia’s body and she pressed herself more firmly against the heat of Derek’s body, “But I seem to be lacking in the body heat area. Take an IOU?” Lydia asked Stiles as she closed her eyes, wondering why she was so damn tired. Her body had been dead; it wasn’t like it was doing anything while she was gone.

Stiles laughed lightly.

Isaac glanced over at Stiles and Lydia before turning to Scott, “We should get them home,” he suggested.

“Home is definitely a place I’d like to go,” Stiles admitted tiredly.

Scott nodded he squeezed Kira’s arm gently and then stepped forward towards Stiles, wrapping an arm around his friend. “Come on, let’s get you home, she’s not going anywhere now,” he said quietly as he shifted back with Stiles.

Stiles leaned into Scott for a brief moment, then looked at Lydia again. “See you soon.”

Lydia frowned, but nodded her hand slowly shooting out a minute later and curling around Stiles’ wrist before Scott could pull him away fully. She moistened her lips and met his gaze, “I love you,” she whispered, needing to say the words that she hadn’t gotten a chance to say before.

Stiles held his breath, eyes still red-rimmed from his breakdown only moments before. “I love you, too.”

Lydia nodded releasing his wrist and wincing as she brought her arm back into herself, the stiffness still prominent in her body making her muscles ache.

Scott’s stomach clenched at their words and he swallowed hard. His gaze shifted to Isaac as he helped Stiles, “Are you coming with us? And I’m going to need someone to take Stiles’ jeep back too,” he told them.

Kira moved beside Scott wrapping her arm around Stiles’ other side so he wasn’t completely dependent on Scott. His skin was cold too and she pursed her lips. “We should probably head out.”

“Actually, I think maybe -- I should stick here for now?” Isaac said uncertainly, looking at Derek and then over at Cora. “I can bring the jeep home though.”

“Just take care of Stiles. We’ll make sure Lydia’s okay,” Cora told Scott quietly.

Scott nodded. “Okay, thanks guys.” He said as they headed for the door. He paused glancing at the twins, “Thanks for all the help tonight...and for sticking around,” he told them. He knew that Ethan had shared his opinion about everything, but now with Lydia back, well he couldn’t really fault his best friend.

“That’s what a pack does,” Ethan said quietly with a nod. Even if they didn’t agree on everything, they stuck together.

Stiles smiled but it was faint and tired and he looked at Aiden, nodding ever-so-slightly at the other twin. He owed all of them. He owed all of them big time.

Aiden sent him a tight smile and nodded back. “I’m glad it all worked out,” he said quietly. “We’ll walk you guys out.”

Stiles cast one last look at Lydia, curled up in Derek’s arms before Scott and Kira ushered him out of Deaton’s clinic, guiding him out of the building and toward the truck. He could still barely feel his feet. His teeth were still chattering. He hated being cold.

But Lydia was alive.

That was all that mattered.


Warmth was the first thing Lydia felt when she started waking up and relief filled her at the lack of cold in her body. She shifted closer to the warm body beside her and in the process bumped into something behind her. Lydia’s brows furrowed slightly and she pried her eyes open. It took her blinking a few times before her eyes adjusted enough for her to carefully tilt her head back. The sight that greeted her made Lydia grin.

Cora was lying behind her and on the other side of the young werewolf was Isaac. Lydia shook her head and shifted again, wincing. Her body still felt stiff, though she figured that was normal. She must have been dead long enough that it had impacted her body physically. Lydia swallowed hard. She had died.

Lydia turned her head again this time facing Derek. She placed a hand on his chest, tapping it gently, not wanting to wake him, but needing to know what was going on and how long she’d been out of it.

Derek shifted in front of her, opening his eyes and looking down at her. “Hey,” he whispered, leaning in and kissing her forehead. “How are you feeling?”

Lydia closed her eyes briefly, “Warm,” she said with a small grin. “And a bit achy,” she admitted honestly. “How long was I asleep?” Lydia didn’t even remember falling asleep. She barely remembered leaving Deaton’s.

“Good,” Derek said with a soft smile of his own as he turned to look at the clock. “About ten hours.” He turned back to her, resting a hand on her cheek. “Don’t do that to me again.”

Lydia’s expression softened and she leaned into his touch as she tried to ignore the way her chest tightened, “Well it’s not like I planned on dying,” she teased and then saw him wince, “Too soon for jokes?” She asked softly.

“A little bit,” Derek admitted, leaning his forehead against hers.

Lydia shifted closer to him and wrapped an arm around his midsection, trying to offer him some comfort. “Can you tell me what happened after...Stiles said you guys...he said Peter is dead,” she said softly rubbing Derek’s arm. “I’m sorry there wasn’t a way around that.” Lydia knew Derek didn’t like Peter, but they were still family.

Derek’s jaw tightened involuntarily at the mention of his uncle. “No. Don’t be sorry. I should have killed him a long time ago.” He let out a breath. “Stiles…” He hesitated. “By the time it happened it was pretty much self-defense but…I think he would have done it anyway.”

Lydia swallowed hard and nodded. She knew how much Stiles disliked Peter and she couldn’t imagine what it had felt like after she died. “I was with Allison,” she whispered quietly. “I saw you guys,” she admitted. “I can’t believe no one tried to stop him. It was a risk.”

Derek was quiet for a moment. “Scott and Deaton...Isaac, Ethan. They tried to talk him out of it. But I don’t think anything would have stopped him short of tying him up,” he said honestly.

Lydia pursed her lips. “They were right to you know? Stiles probably shouldn’t have brought me back.” she said softly, “But selfishly I’m kind of glad he didn’t listen.” She told him with half a smile. “Malia?”

“Better be the hell out of this town by the time I’m out of bed,” he said seriously. “And if she ever comes back here, she won’t have a chance to sabotage anyone in this pack again.”

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “I’m sensing some residual anger towards the coyote.” She commented. “I’m sure she won’t come back here.” Lydia responded softly as she rubbed his arm. She hesitated before asking her next question. “How long was I...gone?”

“About seven hours,” Derek said, closing his eyes for a moment.

Lydia watched him close his eyes and she reached up and cupped his cheek. “Everything is okay now,” she whispered, “I guess I’ve got to start practicing a little more with these abilities of mine,” she commented. “But I’ll get better with them, this won’t happen again.” Lydia promised Derek softly hoping she was right.

“You and me and Chris. And Stiles,” he agreed quietly. “We’ll get them under control.” It was now Derek’s top priority to make sure that happened.

Lydia arched an eyebrow, “I get my own entourage?” She teased lightly, “I feel kinda special.” She was silent for a minute, “Smile,” Lydia said softly, “Everything is fine. I’m fine, though I should have been able to count on you to be a voice of reason for Stiles.” She told him softly as she glanced up at him. “He would have listened to you.”

A short, disbelieving chuckle escaped him. “Lydia, Scott, his best friend and alpha couldn’t get him to listen. The guy doesn’t even like me that much. He wouldn’t have listened to me,” he said, giving her a look. “And truthfully...if he hadn’t volunteered, I would’ve, so.”

Lydia pursed her lips, “First...that’s all true,” she responded a hint of amusement in her face, “But you also know me best. He would have taken that into consideration.” She explained before her expression softened. “That is...really stupid of you and incredibly nice.” Lydia pressed her lips together. “I wouldn’t have wanted you to risk your life, I didn’t want Stiles to. I told him as much,” she whispered hesitating, “I wasn’t going to come back with him...But he told me if I didn’t he’d stay with me.”

Derek gazed at her. “Can you tell me with one hundred percent honesty that you wouldn’t have done the same thing if you were him? Or me?” He searched her eyes. He didn’t blame Stiles for making the statement.

Lydia glanced down. “It’s different,” she replied knowing it wasn’t. “I’m not nearly as strong as everyone thinks,” she whispered. “I didn’t think I’d make it after Allison...I honestly thought, I don’t know...And then losing Stiles when he left was almost unbearable. It felt like my heart was gone.” She explained. “But somehow you managed to help me with that...and if the situation was reversed,” Lydia paused.

“I need him, I need you too. I wouldn’t have been okay. Stiles is strong...so are you. You guys would have been okay eventually.” Lydia whispered. “You’d both have the pack.” She told him quietly. Stiles had lasted over a year without her and Derek, he knew how to compartmentalize.

“I think you’re seriously underestimating yourself and overestimate the rest of us,” he said honestly. “But we’ll work on that. The thing about Pack is...we all need each other. And you’re part of that. We need you just as much as you need us.” Derek was quiet for a moment.

“And you didn’t see him when your connection severed, Lydia.” There was a pained expression on his face. “He might be able to push it all aside for awhile -- but he’s already broken in a lot of ways that never healed and losing you…” He shook his head. “He wouldn’t have gotten through it.”

Lydia’s chest tightened. “That scares me,” she whispered, “Promise me something?” She asked softly.

Derek searched her eyes. “What is it?”

Lydia took a deep breath, “If anything like this ever happens again, which I’m sure it won’t,” she added quickly, “You’ll help Scott take care of Stiles for me. You’ll make sure he’s okay because he’s so important to me and you guys, you’re more alike than you realize.” She said softly.

“Neither one of you knows how amazing you are. And you both have so much heart. Just...promise me. Just in case. Because then I know you’ll both be okay.” Lydia told him quietly.

“It won’t happen again,” Derek said, voice firm. “But if it does, I’ll do whatever I have to help them get through it.” He just wasn’t sure how he would get through it.

Lydia watched him for a minute, “You’d be okay,” she said softly. “You’re strong. Plus you’ve got Cora, who by the way I think is finally warming up to me,” she teased, “It only took a little dying,” she joked and bit her bottom lip. “Sorry.” Lydia replied immediately and then shifted closer to him, resting her head on his chest.

Derek sighed softly; rubbing her back and looking over at where his sister was curled up against Lydia’s other side. “She’s...tough. It’s hard to get past her defenses.” He cracked a smile. “Sound like anyone else you know?” It was a joke -- it was like a lot of people they knew. The two of them were at the top of that list, in fact.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She said lightly before grinning, “But I do know you must have been pretty worried last night if you let Isaac stay here.” Lydia said her grin widening. “Also, it’s good to know I’ve kept up my tradition of mind numbing traumatic experiences at Winter Formal. Thank god it’s senior year,” Lydia mumbled.

“It was an exception. You were freezing and everybody knows the best way to get warm is by body heat. You can’t beat three hot blooded werewolves in that department,” Derek said matter-of-factly, eyes narrowing as he saw a tiny smile tug at Cora’s lips. “You’re awake. I see you smiling,” he accused.

Cora chuckled

Lydia followed suit her laugh muffled against Derek’s chest.

Cora opened her eyes and glanced at her brother, smirk on her lips. “You two talk loud, I’ve been up for a while, but I was trying not to interrupt.” She said innocently. “I thought I was being nice.” She told him as a light snore fell from Isaac’s nose.

Lydia lifted her hand and covered her mouth as her body shook with laughter. She winced, “Owe, this will never not be the best morning after being dead.”

Cora couldn’t help the grin that pulled at her lips. “See Derek? You were right about the warm body thing; she seems to be doing alright. Warm bodies are definitely a good thing.”

Lydia bit her bottom lip. “I know I like them.” She added with a snicker. “Speaking of warm bodies has anyone heard from Stiles, is he okay? And when can I see him?”

“We all just sort of woke up,” Derek told her, shaking his head at Cora. “And of course I’m right.” He smirked a little, turning slightly and reaching out for his phone and picking it up. He quickly checked it. “No texts or messages. They’re probably still asleep.”

“How can anyone sleep through all the noise?” Isaac grumbled, burying his face farther into the pillow.

Cora chuckled. “You okay, Lydia?” she asked, propping herself up on her elbow and looking down at the redhead with raised eyebrows. “If you are, I’ll go downstairs and start breakfast.”

Lydia nodded, “I’m good, thanks for helping out last night. I don’t actually remember coming back here,” she said honestly, “But I’m feeling a lot better.” She said with a smile.

Isaac shifted his head, “Did you say breakfast?” He asked into his pillow.

Cora smirked down at Isaac. “Yeah, get up. You’re helping me,” she informed him, giving Lydia’s arm a gentle squeeze before crawling out of the bed.

Lydia watched her go and glanced at Derek. “Remember when I said I didn’t like your sister?” She asked not giving him a chance to answer. “I changed my mind.” She said softly. “I’m actually not too hungry, my body still feels a little stiff, so I think I’m going to rest some more if Stiles isn’t awake yet.” She could feel him and he seemed calm so she wasn’t too worried.

“Are you getting up?” Lydia inquired, “Or staying in bed with me?”

Derek watched as Isaac rose out of the bed and stumbled out of the room, rubbing at his sleepy eyes. “I think I’m good here for awhile longer.”

Lydia smiled, “Good, you’re warm and I plan on stealing all your heat,” she joked as she rested her head against his chest again and yawned. “Tell me if Stiles calls okay?” She said her voice slightly groggy.

“Leech,” he joked, closing his eyes and resting a hand on the back of her head. “I’ll wake you up if he calls. Get some rest.”

Lydia smirked, “Call me a leech again and I’ll bite you just like one.” She mumbled jokingly even as her breathing started to even out.

Derek just grinned.


Stiles woke up slowly, warmth seeping into his body. It took him a moment to realize that his head wasn’t on a pillow; it was on a person’s arm and shoulder. His eyebrows furrowed as he tried to remember why he’d fallen asleep on a person. He opened his eyes enough to realize he’d fallen asleep on Scott. One of his hands was curled tightly into the soft cotton of his best friend’s shirt.

He shifted slightly and realized someone was also asleep behind him, or at least laying behind him. There was a hand resting lightly on his shoulder and he turned his head to see Kira laying there, eyes closed, her breathing steady and even.

Stiles blinked a couple of times and let out a breath, resting his head against Scott’s arm again and closing his eyes once more. His back stung even though Kira wasn’t touching him there, and his side hurt worse, where Peter had dug his claws in during a last ditch effort to escape. Good thing for me that Peter wasn’t an alpha when he died the second time around, he thought.

Scott felt movement and his eyes opened quickly, blinking and then glancing at his best friend. “You awake?” He asked his voice quiet so he didn’t wake Kira. Scott had been up late making sure Stiles was okay, but his best friend had fallen asleep on the way back to their house and hadn’t woken up since. Scott had been worried.

“Define awake,” Stiles said just as quietly, yawning involuntarily and uncurling his fingers from Scott’s shirt. He shifted a little so he was looking up at Scott. “Hey.”

Relief filled Scott’s face and he wrapped an arm carefully around his friend. “Thank god you’re okay.” He said quietly, tightening his hold on his friend, “Dude, you’ve got to stop giving me mild heart attacks.” He told his friend as he pulled back enough to see Stiles’ face. “You’ve been out for a while...I was starting to think you weren’t waking up,” Scott admitted quietly.

Stiles offered him a small, apologetic smile. “Sorry,” he said quietly in return. He was silent for a moment. “I’m sorry, Scott.” He closed his eyes for a moment, leaning into his best friend.

Scott shook his head as he pulled him into another hug. “It’s okay, you don’t have anything to be sorry for.” he said quietly as he tightened his grip on his friend again. “I’m sorry that I didn’t trust you to handle this...I just, it’s not that I didn’t want you to bring Lydia back,” he paused, “I just didn’t think it was right and I’m sorry about that, I am.” He said quietly. Scott felt guilty for arguing with Stiles about it, but he was glad things seemed to have worked out...hopefully.

“I know,” Stiles whispered. “I know why you were scared. I get it.” And he did. It wasn’t like they’d had great luck with rituals who brought people back from the dead in the past. “I just...Scott, I couldn’t do it again.” His chest tightened and he laid his head against the pillow. “I don’t think I could’ve gotten through it. Not again.” He’d barely gotten through coping with Allison’s death on his conscience. The idea of having Lydia’s death on his hands, too? “There’s not much that I wouldn’t do for this pack in general, but I can’t lose Lydia. And I can’t lose you either.” He swallowed heavily.

Scott swallowed hard and nodded, “I know,” he told his friend quietly, “I understand, I do. I wouldn’t be able to lose you either.” He whispered. “Now that Lydia’s back I think it’s safe to say maybe we should give the rituals a break for a while,” he joked. The truth was he didn’t really know where they all went from here. With Peter dead and Malia hopefully leaving town, Scott was wondering if they were finally in the clear. At least for now.

A short, tired chuckle escaped him. “Deal,” he agreed without hesitation. He fell silent, exhaling slowly and lifting a hand to rub at his eyes, then letting it drop down against his stomach. “Did they see us coming in last night? My dad and your mom?” Because he didn’t remember getting home at all.

“Thankfully no,” he said relief in his voice, “but your dad did see us all in bed this morning. He gave me a strange look, said he didn’t want to know and to not tell mom.” Scott arched an eyebrow. “I told him it’s a wolf thing,” Scott grinned, “And then he said oh, okay, you can tell your mom then.” Scott chuckled. “Dude sometimes your Dad’s a little weird in the best way possible.” He added as he rested a hand on Stiles’ arm.

Stiles laughed, then winced as pain shot through his side. “Yeah, that’s...that’s my dad. Our dad,” he corrected himself. “He’s yours too.” And he was a way better dad than Scott’s biological dad. God Stiles still hated Rafael McCall. He opened his eyes and looked at Scott again. “In a few weeks we’re gonna be actual legal brothers.” He grinned. “How cool is that?”

Scott grinned, “It’s pretty awesome.” He said honestly, “I kind of can’t wait. I’m sure mom will be happy that they can resume planning,” he told Stiles, “Which means Lydia will be back.” He arched an eyebrow and grinned. “So...there’s love. Not that I didn’t know that already,” he commented.

“I still need to find a dress for the wedding.” Kira mumbled.

Stiles glanced over his shoulder at Kira and grinned a little. “Hey. We didn’t mean to wake you.”

She smiled sleepily. “It’s fine. I never sleep this long anyway. How are you feeling? Are you all right?”

He nodded slightly. “Yeah, I’m all right. Kind of hungry.” He arched his eyebrows. “I’d ask Scott to go fix us breakfast, but...he’d probably burn down the kitchen. It’d be bad.”

Scott frowned, “Hey,” he pouted.

Kira grinned and shifted as she ran a hand through her hair. “I can probably make something, if you guys don’t mind me rummaging through the kitchen,” she told them with a friendly smile and a shrug.

Scott’s expression softened, “You sure?” He asked lightly.

She nodded, “Yup. I think everyone else is at work. It’s fine.” Kira sat up and stretched. She figured she would give Scott and Stiles some time alone anyway. She grinned, “I’m glad you’re okay,” she said softly. “Lydia too.” Kira smiled and pushed herself off the bed.

“You’re the best, Kira,” Stiles informed her with a grin as he watched her head out of the room. “Seriously. Your girlfriend is the best.” He looked at Scott with arched eyebrows.

Scott sighed happily and flopped back down on the bed arms behind his head. “I know. She’s smart, gorgeous, a very good kisser,” he grinned, “And dude she’s so badass. Like it’s hot.” He admitted. “Ridiculously hot.”

Stiles smirked at that, not rolling onto his back because he figured it might hurt. He did stretch his legs out and tucked his hands under the pillow beneath his head. For a moment he just let his eyes close. “I keep thinking about last night,” he admitted quietly. “He was going to use me against you.”

Scott’s smile slipped and he turned his head and glanced at Stiles. “I know,” he said quietly. “But he didn’t.” Scott shifted onto his side so he was facing Stiles. “We stopped him and this time...he isn’t coming back.”

Stiles nodded slightly, not quite meeting his best friend’s eyes. “They took care of it, right?” There was a hint of anxiety in his voice. “Ethan and Aiden?”

Scott glanced away from Stiles, “I don’t know, I assume so. They disappeared for a while when we were heading to Deaton’s.” He told him and then glanced back at Stiles. “And when they got there I didn’t ask,” he admitted honestly.

Stiles lifted a hand to his mouth, chewing on his thumbnail. “Are you mad?” His voice dropped, almost inaudible.

Scott watched Stiles for a minute and shook his head. “No, not mad. We’ve killed Peter before.” He paused, “Just...you were going to kill Malia too,” Scott rubbed the back of his neck, “And what troubles me is you weren’t the only one willing to do it.” Then again he understood why they had suggested it.

Lydia was one of his best friends, part of his pack, but his connection to her wasn’t anything near what her connection with Stiles was. Even Derek and Lydia had a strong connection and Aiden still cared about her. It made sense that the three of them would be willing to trade a life for hers.

Truthfully Stiles still didn’t think that just letting Malia go was the best idea. She was Peter Hale’s daughter. “I wasn’t...I wasn’t exactly in a great mind frame last night.” His voice was quiet. “I don’t think we should have just let her go, but you’re right that I was ready to kill her. And you were right to stop me. All of us.” He shifted, turning onto his back and closing his eyes as pain shot through him where Peter had carved into his skin the night before.

“I don’t wanna be that person, Scott.” His voice was tired, pained. “I really don’t. I know it seems like I do.”

Scott rested a hand on Stiles’ arm. “It doesn’t seem like that,” he whispered, “You lost Lydia Stiles...whatever connection you have, I saw it sever and honestly you looked like you were in physical pain.” He’d never heard a scream of anguish quite like the one that was ripped from Stiles’ mouth when Lydia’s lifeless body hit the ground.

Scott swallowed hard, it wasn’t something he wanted to remember, but it seemed like he couldn’t forget it. “I get that things were hard, I’m not going to hold that against you.” He told his friend quietly. “I was surprised that it wasn’t your idea though.” Scott honestly hadn’t expected Derek to suggest that. The other wolf had changed a lot in close to four years and Scott supposed he hadn’t realized just how much Lydia meant to Derek, but that was his own fault. He’d never really taken the time to understand their strange relationship.

“I wasn’t,” he admitted, squeezing his eyes shut at the memory. It had been agonizing. He let out a slow breath. Then he rolled his head to look at Scott, his dark eyes sad. “He loves her, too,” he said simply. “Not the way that I do, but…” He hesitated. “The way that I love you. It’s like that.” And okay, granted, he and Scott had never had sex, but he knew that Lydia and Derek had never been like that either. Even if they had had sex. It had been comfort for both of them. The same way it had been with him and Braeden, except that while he loved Braeden, it wasn’t like the way he loved Lydia or Scott either one.

Scott was silent for a minute. “I guess I forget sometimes,” he paused, “Derek is always so stoic. He’s always put together and there aren’t many things that phase him. So, I forget that he’s just as human as the rest of us.” He admitted quietly. “But this past year he’s been more involved and he’s put himself out there more and I guess I just always thought he was coming around you know?” He asked.

“But now I can see it was Lydia. It was their friendship.” Scott told him taking in what Stiles said. “I don’t know I never really understood what they were or weren’t and honestly I never asked. It happened kind of quickly and I think...I think maybe a part of me was angry with her.” Scott said quietly.

“You’d only been gone three months and...I felt like you deserved better than that and I think because of that I just ignored the whole thing.” Scott said with a shrug. “But I guess I get what you’re saying.” He hesitated, “Does that bother you?” He asked curiously.

Stiles gazed at him intently, feeling a flare of anger that he knew was Scott’s and not his. He reached out and laid a hand on his arm. “Lydia and I were never...it was never like that with us until I came back. I wanted it to be like that with us, but it wasn’t,” he said quietly. “And after everything…”

Stiles shook his head, exhaling. “I don’t have a right to be bothered or angry about anything that anyone’s done. You know, ever.

Scott frowned, “First, it was heading that way and even if you didn’t...the day I went to her house and told her you left. God, she broke down. She told me she loved you, you know...that she didn’t want to keep doing this. Lydia wanted to distance herself from the pack, but I told her I needed her and couldn't do this without her so she stayed.” Scott admitted.

“And then three months later...I just felt like it was a betrayal to you because you’re my best friend and I love you and I never once gave up hope that you’d come home. I guess I expected her to do the same thing.” Scott shrugged.

“And second,” he added, “Despite everything you always have a right to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. You can’t just push that aside because you feel like you don’t deserve to feel a certain way. That’s not healthy.” Scott rested a hand on his friend’s arm, “It’s okay to be upset,” he said quietly, “Or angry...or whatever else you’re feeling. And it’s definitely okay to tell me about it because dude, I’d take your secrets to my grave and you know it.”

And Scott wondered why Stiles thought he was literally the best. Did he even listen to the things that came out of his mouth? He wondered sometimes. Truth be told if the situations had been reversed, Stiles would have been pissed on Scott’s behalf. And he probably wouldn’t have ignored it, either. Scott had the patience of an actual saint. He put up with a lot of crap from all of them.

“I’m not bothered,” Stiles said after a moment. “I mean, I think at first I kind of was but I get it. She needed someone. So did Derek.” He looked at Scott for a few seconds. “And so did I. It wasn’t really a big deal and it was never really more than…” He blew out a breath, rubbing his hand over his face. “Braeden and I hooked up a few times over the last year. And it’s not something I’ve told Lydia yet, but I’m going to because I don’t want there to be secrets between us. But...as of right now you’re the only person I’ve told. I’m pretty sure Morrell knows. Or she at least suspects.”

Scott arched an eyebrow, a light grin pulling at his lips, “I like Braeden,” he commented, “Not that I’m telling you to swap out women or anything. I like Lydia too,” Scott said with a short chuckle. “You know if you told me this a year ago I’d be kind of surprised, but now, dude I’m not sure there’s much you could say that would shock me.” Scott paused, “I don’t know if that’s good or bad.”

“I’m not planning to swap out women,” Stiles said wryly. “I love Lydia. I’ve always loved Lydia.” He’d eventually go to his grave loving Lydia. There would never be another woman he’d love the way he did her. He looked at Scott, considering his words. “I’ve changed a lot.” His voice grew softer. “Some of it’s been good for me. Some of it...not so much. But I’m pretty sure you already know that.”

Scott caught his friend’s gaze, “You sure telling Lydia is a good idea? She’s kind of got a jealous streak,” he said and then shook his head. It was the truth.

Stiles chewed his thumbnail again. “Yeah. No more secrets. I’m done with that,” he whispered. “And it’s not like Braeden’s gonna stay in town. Or that I’m gonna basically be living with her.” There was a hint of wryness in his voice. Okay, so maybe he was slightly not okay with the idea of Lydia and Derek even if he got it.

Scott smirked, “I knew it bugged you.” He said lightly pointing at his best friend. “You should tell her.” He added, “If you're all about honesty you should tell her that you're uncomfortable with things because if the two of you are going to be a couple...well let’s just say if it was Kira I wouldn’t love having her in someone else’s bed even platonically, but...maybe I can get a little possessive.” Scott said sheepishly.

Stiles looked at Scott, arching his eyebrows. “He says the morning he wakes up in bed with an incredibly hot guy in addition to his girlfriend.” He smirked.

Scott shrugged, “That’s different. I’d share with you,” he said and then paused and glanced at his friend, “You know what I mean.” Scott told him.

Stiles laughed involuntarily. “Yeah well you and I have always been able to share with each other. We’re not exactly the most normal people on the planet.”

Scott nodded, “I’m okay with that. But seriously dude...Now that Lydia’s back, are you guys finally getting together? Or...is that not happening?” He asked as he picked a piece of lint of Stiles’ sleeve.

Stiles was okay with that too. He pushed himself up into a sitting position, raking a hand through his hair. “Honestly?” He shook his head. “I don’t know how this is going to change things. She still needs time to believe I’m not gonna take off again before she can trust me.” His voice was quiet. “So yes and no?”

Scott grunted, “That seems confusing. Talk to her.” He repeated, “Work things out. Because when you two are finally dating Kira and I will have a couple to go places with,” he said with a grin as his eyes closed.

Stiles reached over and poked him in the stomach. “Speaking of Kira, if I with my completely normal human nose can smell bacon and eggs from here, I know you and your infinitely superior werewolf smelling device can, so let’s get up and go eat. I’m starving.”

Scott chuckled and sat up. “Man, my girlfriend is awesome. She can use a sword and make eggs...I think...I’m swooning,” Scott told him as he stood up and slapped Stiles gently against the stomach. “Yes, let’s get you some food.” He said wrapping an arm around Stiles’ neck and tugging him towards the door.

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