October 22, 2014

Never Too Later 13/17

Title: Never Too Late
Authors: Sxymami0909 & Xtremeroswelia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Timeline: Set after 3.18 ‘Riddled’ AU from there.
Rating: R
Sequel To: Never Know What Hit You
Word Count: 155, 704
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Allison/Isaac, Sheriff Stilinski/Melissa McCall, Derek Hale, Cora Hale, Peter Hale
Parts: 13/17
Summary: In the wake of the Nogitsune's distruction Stiles is attempting to put his life back together, but things are never as easy as they seem. Meanwhile Scott attemps to mend his fractured pack but is it too late to fix what's been broken? Or will the past few months strengthen the bond between them? Lydia's link with Stiles has only grown stronger since the death of the Nogitsune and now she can feel Scott too leading Lydia to seek out information about her banshee origins from an unlikely source. While new relationships form, others are tested. Can our favorite trio fix what's been broken or will Scott's pack be broken forever?
Previous Chapters: | One | Two | Three | Four | Five | Six | Seven | Eight | Nine | Ten | Eleven | Twelve |

Chapter Thirteen

Lydia slammed her hand against the bathroom door shoving it open as she stumbled into the small room. Her chest was tight, her heartbeat echoing loudly in her ears as her stomach clenched, a wave of nausea slamming into her. Her heels hit the tile loudly as she pushed open one of the stalls and practically collapsed to her knees. She gripped her stomach and bent over the toilet, the yogurt she ate that morning coming up almost immediately.

Her free hand pressed against the stall wall, moisture gathering in the back of her throat seconds before she was throwing up again. A soft sob left her throat, her skin pale as she took a shaky breath. Stiles hadn’t felt this bad in a while and she had no idea what was causing the influx of guilt and shame, but it was painful.

Five minutes passed and Lydia stayed on the floor making sure there was nothing left for her to throw up. So much for her first day back at school. She’d had plans to make this Monday a good one, but in the middle of her first period she was hit with the first few waves of emotion from Stiles and by the time she’d gotten to the bathroom, well she’d been sick.

Lydia could finally feel her heart starting to calm down. Her body felt weak and tired. She took a few minutes to clean herself up, flush the toilet and push herself up. Her legs were shaky and she knew she had to be pale. She moved out of the stall and to the sink washing her mouth out for a couple of minutes before glancing up at the mirror.

Lydia barely recognized her own face. There were small beads of sweat on her forehead, her skin was pale and she felt drained. She looked away and swallowed heavily, letting out a shaky breath. She couldn’t keep doing this. Lydia felt moisture gathering in her eyes. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t control the things she was feeling or how Stiles was feeling her. And Peter’s stupid advice was ridiculous.

How was she supposed to know the right way to listen? And what did letting Stiles in have to do with anything? Lydia didn’t know how to let him in or not push away the connection. She didn’t know what it meant and she hated that she couldn’t fix this. She was tired and frustrated and just completely annoyed with herself for being so incredibly useless.

Lydia felt the first tear slid down her cheek and then another and before she knew it she was standing in the middle of the girls bathroom at school sobbing, hands gripping the sink tightly, head bent down as she let go. All the frustration and guilt she’d been feeling lately bursting to the surface as she continued crying, her breathing picking up speed and this time Lydia was positive it was her having some kind of panic attack.

Allison had seen Lydia run by her own classroom and when Lydia was literally running something was wrong. She didn’t even bother to check with the teacher to see if her leaving was okay because she didn’t really care if it was or not. If she got a detention, she’d serve it. She ducked out of the classroom before the woman could so much as protest, seeing Lydia disappear into the bathroom.

She waited for a few minutes to give her just a little bit of privacy. Then she pushed the door open and stepped inside. Her chest tightened at the sight of her best friend standing there, crying her eyes out. She quickly shut the bathroom door, blocking it shut with a garbage can.

Wordlessly she crossed the room and wrapped her arms tightly around Lydia because she didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what exactly was wrong. She just wanted to help.

Lydia jumped slightly at the unexpected touch, her head jerking up. When she spotted Allison it only took her a few seconds before she was turning and wrapping her arms around the other girl. She knew she owed her friend a dozen apologies, but right in that moment she couldn’t seem to get anything out besides the tears that had been building for god only knew how long.

It was a good ten minutes before her sobs turned to short breaths and sniffles. Lydia’s heartbeat was finally slowing down and when she opened her eyes she let out a shaky breath and stepped back enough to see Allison’s face. “I’m sorry,” her voice was hoarse. “I’m so sorry for everything. I’m sorry I haven’t come to talk to you sooner and that I let all of this come between us and I’m just,” her voice cut off as she felt the tears building in her eyes again, “God I messed up your shirt.” She pointed a slight shudder moving through her body.

“Lydia, no,” she whispered, hugging her tighter again. “It’s okay. Everything’s okay.” Her own eyes had teared up. “It’s fine. We’re gonna be fine.” She looked down at her shirt, then shook her head. “Don’t even worry about my shirt. I’m not the fashionista,” she reminded her friend gently.

Lydia sniffled and pursed her lips. “I really am sorry, Allison,” she paused, “You’re my best friend and I should have respected your decision.” Lydia hadn’t meant to apologize like this, but it was already out and it was good to have it out. She reached up and wiped her eyes with shaky hands as she spoke, “I’ve been a bad friend.”

“No, you haven’t.” Allison shook her head. “I get it. And if Isaac had been the one --” She hesitated. “I just get it, Lydia.”

Lydia swallowed hard and nodded. “I’ve missed you,” she said with a strained laugh as she tried to get her body to calm down. She didn’t feel anything from Stiles at the moment except for maybe worry. “Thanks for that, I was...there’s a lot going on.” She told her friend as she brought a hand up to her head rubbing it lightly.

“I know.” She managed a tiny smile. “There always is. Why don’t we ditch the rest of this period and...catch up?” she suggested quietly.

Lydia hesitated, “You sure you don’t mind missing class?” She asked lightly studying Allison’s face.

Allison linked her elbow through Lydia’s. “Completely.”

Lydia smiled, relieved that Allison was so forgiving. “Where to?” She asked as she started leading Allison out of the bathroom.

“Let’s go outside. Fresh air and it’ll be quieter.”

Lydia nodded walking quietly with Allison down the hallway and out the double doors moving in the direction that they used to sit and each lunch. Her mind was everywhere at once and she was doing her best to focus on just one thought but it was impossible. “How’s Isaac?” She asked as they walked over to the benches.

Allison sat down next to her without hesitation. “He’s okay. My dad still freaks him out.” A tiny smile touched her mouth, but she looked down, remembering what her dad had wanted her to do. “I keep meaning to talk to Scott and I keep missing him. Is he doing okay?”

Lydia tilted her head to the side, “Yeah, I think he’s doing as okay as any of us can be right now,” she said honestly. “How are you? Healing up okay?” She asked concerned.

She shifted on the bench so she was facing her best friend. “I still have to sit out in gym for awhile longer, but I’m okay. Isaac insisted on taking my pain a lot. It’s basically completely gone pain-wise now.” She studied Lydia, noticing how tired she looked. “What about you? How are you doing? What’s going on?”

“I’m glad Isaac has been helping,” Lydia told her before pursing her lips. “I’m okay,” it was her automatic response these days. “Tired and,” Lydia faltered, “Tired. Worried, pretty much an emotional mess,” she admitted with half a smile though it didn’t reach her gaze.

Allison had picked up on that for Lydia’s crying spiel in the bathroom, but she didn’t comment. She just nodded slightly, laying a hand on her friend’s arm. “How’s he doing?” she asked very softly.

Lydia swallowed hard to moisten her throat, “Honestly?” She asked quietly, “Not great. I mean he’s better than he was, but...there’s only so much Scott and I can do.” She paused for a minute glancing down at her hand and picking at her nail. “I don’t know how to help him and it’s driving me crazy.” She whispered, “Add in what he’s feeling with what I’m feeling...It’s just really hard.”

Allison’s eyes were sad as she gazed at Lydia. She wasn’t surprised, really, by the information. Not when Stiles had actively broken through from the Nogitsune’s torment twice because he was literally trying to get her dad to kill him. She couldn’t imagine how terrible he must be feeling. She didn’t really want to. She looked away, silent for a moment. “Maybe Stiles...maybe he needs someone like Deaton right now,” she said very softly. “I mean I know he’s not exactly a psychiatrist, but…” It wasn’t like Stiles could see an actual psychiatrist because no one would believe him unless they already knew about the kinds of things that were really out there. “And maybe you should, too.”

“He and Scott went to see Deaton,” Lydia sighed, “God there’s so much we haven’t had a chance to tell you guys.” She took a deep breath and told Allison about what Deaton said and how Stiles was supposed to be Scott’s emissary. She went on to tell her about visiting Peter with Derek and how he told her more about her abilities and her connection to Stiles.

Lydia explained how she was feeling what Stiles felt and how she was starting to feel Scott too. “It’s just a lot. Everything is kind of jumbled in my head and I don’t know how to make it make sense.”

Allison’s eyes got wider and wider the more Lydia told her about. A lot really had happened since she’d last talked to her best friend. She made a note to just go by the Stilinski household in the next couple of days and visit Stiles personally since he still wasn’t back at school yet.

She considered her best friend’s words. “Lydia...doesn’t screaming kind of help with that?” she asked tentatively. “You know, help you clear your head?”

Lydia blinked, “Screaming?” She asked pondering her friend’s words. “I...I didn’t think of that.” She said her tone baffled. How had she not thought if that? “I’ve been holding so much in and I think maybe the urge has been there, but,” Lydia hesitated, “But I’ve been holding back. The last time I screamed...It was for Stiles,” she said quietly looking down again. “I think-no-I know I’m afraid of losing him. I’m not sure what I’d do,” she whispered. “Things are different now.”

“Lydia, you’ve been dealing with a lot. Not just your own stuff, but all of Stiles’ stuff, and it sounds like some of Scott’s, too.” She squeezed her arm. “You need to take care of yourself, too. Maybe give it a shot.” Allison exhaled. “And of course you’re scared of losing him. We got pretty close to that happening. It was terrifying.”

Lydia met Allison’s gaze, “We did...and what I feel I don’t know how to let it out. I don’t know how to tell him.” Her gaze flickered down to the table again and she could feel her heartbeat picking up speed again, emotions building in her chest. Maybe Allison had a point, maybe she needed to scream.

She held Lydia’s gaze until Lydia looked down. “Clarity’s not...an easy thing to come by,” she murmured. It wasn’t for her. It wasn’t for anyone, really. The older she got, the more she realized that. Nothing was simple, even when maybe it should be.

Lydia nodded, the urge to scream suddenly overwhelming. It was like Allison bringing it up and had awoken the need inside of her. She took a deep breath, “Cover your ears,” she whispered, her grip tightening on the bench. Lydia took a deep breath, the urge building in her throat and seconds later she opened her mouth and screamed, the sound echoing through the mostly empty quad. And when the last of it left her throat she sucked in a sharp breath her body swaying slightly from the force.

Something was different, but she couldn't’ place what. Lydia took a shaky breath and let it out slowly. “I don’t know if that helped,” She finally whispered.

“Do you feel any different?” Allison questioned, lowering her hands from her ears after the scream ended. She was already pulling out her phone to shoot text messages to Isaac and Scott not to worry about the scream.

Lydia hesitated, “Something feels different,” she admitted, “But...I don’t know.” She pursed her lips. “I think...things seem better?” She said the question clear in her voice. Lydia nodded, “No, they do seem better...not as foggy.” She admitted. It seemed like she was alone in her head for the first time in a while. “Oh, can you text Derek?” Lydia didn’t have her bag on her or her phone and she knew he was probably going to worry if he’d heard her.

Allison nodded, copying her text to the other two wolves and sent the same text to Derek, as well. “If it feels better, than it was worth it,” she informed Lydia.

Lydia nodded, “You’re right,” she said with half a smile. Her mind seemed to be slowly categorizing all the different emotions that had built inside of her separating them out so she wasn’t focused on attempting to weed them out herself. Lydia shook her thoughts away and smiled at Allison. She reached out and squeezed her friend’s arm. “Thanks for helping me,” she said softly.

She leaned over and hugged Lydia tightly. “Anytime,” she whispered.

Lydia returned the hug, “Are we good?” She asked softly wanting to make sure. She’d missed Allison more than she’d realized.

Allison tightened her hold on Lydia just a little. “We’re good,” she promised.

Lydia smiled, “Good,” she pulled back from the hug and sent Allison half a smile. “We should probably get back to class,” she commented.

She grimaced. “Yeah, probably.” They’d all missed enough of it lately. She wasn’t going to be surprised if most of them ended up in summer school, really. She rose to her feet, linking her arm with Lydia’s once her best friend had stood up, too.

“Off to class we go,” Lydia sighed tugging Allison forward, “I love school, honest I do, but god I just miss our bed. I need an entire day where I do nothing but sleep.” She said as they moved forward toward the doors.

“Our bed?” Allison echoed, glancing at her sideways.

Lydia opened her mouth, her cheeks warming, something they never did considering Lydia didn’t embarrass easily. “Did I say that?” she asked not even realizing the most likely Freudian slip. She pressed her lips together. “Stiles sleeps better when he’s not alone,” she said with a slight shrug. “I haven’t been home in a while and I don’t think I will be other than to get my stuff.” She admitted.

Allison’s eyebrows rose at that. Not at the fact that Stiles was sleeping better if he wasn’t alone. That didn’t actually surprise her at all. But that she hadn’t been home and didn’t plan to be. “You’re staying there that often?” she asked quietly.

Lydia hesitated, “My mom took a teaching job in San Diego,” she explained, “She left last week.” Lydia’s chest tightened, but she pushed it aside. “Stiles being Stiles doesn’t want me to stay in my house alone...he’s worried.” Lydia smiled softly. “He asked me to move in with him and the sheriff last night, the way he was looking at me,” she bit her lower lip, “I couldn’t find it in myself to say no.” Lydia chuckled, baffled. “How is this my life?”

Allison suppressed a smile at her words and looked at her friend sideways. “Well. He’s Stiles.” She paused. “And you’re Lydia.”

Lydia nodded, “But I don’t know I’m having second thoughts. I mean technically how strange would it be for me to live with the Stilinski’s?” She asked, “I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff...and the shoes and clothes and can you imagine the rules?” Lydia arched an eyebrow as they continued walking.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have said yes. I should probably think about it. Did you know that eighty-seven percent of people make rash decisions because they’re sleep deprived? Maybe I’m sleep deprived.” Though she slept pretty well in Stiles arms last night and she might be ignoring the fact that she wanted to say yes to him because after everything that had happened the thought of waking up miles away from Stiles felt wrong.

“Well, you’re practically living there right now anyway, right?” Allison pointed out. “But maybe you should think more about it. I mean, if you’re having second thoughts or feeling weird about it, then maybe it’s not the right thing for you.”

Lydia frowned, “Maybe,” she reached for the door and pulled it open for them, “But like you said I’ve practically been living there anyway...and I think Prada has gotten really attached to Stiles,” Lydia added lightly.

Allison smirked. “Oh has she?” Because Allison had a feeling very little of that statement had anything to do with Prada.

Lydia scoffed at Allison’s tone. “Yes Allison,” she said pointedly, “Dogs are very social creatures and she’s been spending her days with Stiles. I wouldn’t want her to be sad being home alone in my house all day while I’m at school. Stiles spoils her...so being alone, well, she’ll never have it.” Lydia said simply.

If anything, Allison’s smirk grew wider. “And I think you already have the answer to your own question,” she said sweetly. “I’ll see you at lunch, Lydia.”

Lydia huffed as she watched her friend go, but there was a smile on her face and for the first time in a long time she felt like maybe things were really going to be okay.


Stiles was half-awake when he heard familiar footsteps approaching his bedroom door. He yawned, scooting over instinctively and pulling Prada over, as well. He let his eyes drift shut once more as Scott stepped into the room. “How was school?” he mumbled tiredly.

Scott dropped his bag on the floor and sighed. “I tripped and almost knocked both me and Kira down the stairs,” he answered as he dropped down on the bed. “If it wasn’t for my reflexes...I don’t even want to think what would have happened.” Scott shook his head wondering how he could be so spastic sometimes. “You’re still in bed,” he commented his brows drawing together.

“Dude, you’re a true alpha werewolf. How do you manage to be that uncoordinated?” he wondered, a hint of amusement in his voice. Prada laid her head down on Stiles’ arm. He didn’t open his eyes. For some reason he felt completely wiped out. “But as per usual, your observational skills are stellar.” The words weren’t mean. They weren’t even overly sarcastic.

Scott arched an eyebrow. “Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed,” he teased. “And for the record maybe I was a little distracted. Kira was talking and I couldn’t stop watching her lips move and then I stepped off the wrong way and,” he lifted his hand and dropped it down quickly. “But I caught us.” He reminded his friend.

Scott tilted his head in his friend’s direction, his eyes dropping to the small dog. “You feeling okay?” He asked as he reached out to put his hand on his friends arm eliciting a soft grumbling growl from Prada. Scott arched an eyebrow, “Did that puny little dog just growl at me?”

Someone had never really gotten out of bed that day at all, but Stiles didn’t bother to correct him. “Oh, well. That explains it all.” He smirked faintly, picking Prada up when the dog growled at Scott, and rolling over onto his back so she could rest on his stomach. He looked up at Scott. “Yeah, what’s that about anyway? Shouldn’t she know who the alpha of the house is?”

Scott frowned at the dog, “I can show her who the alpha is, but Lydia might get mad at me for growling at her dog,” he said before tilting his head to the side and reaching out to touch Stiles again. He heard another growl and Scott smirked. “She doesn’t like when I go to touch you. That’s cute.” Scott bent his head and flashed his eyes at Prada, “He was my friend first.” Scott told the small dog who moved curling up by Stiles neck. Scott grinned. “You didn’t answer my question,” he added, “You feeling okay man?”

Stiles scratched the pup’s ears absently, shaking his head when Scott flashed his red eyes at the dog, more amused than he probably should have been. He’d almost forgotten how ridiculous and goofy Scott could be sometimes. “Yeah. Just...tired,” he said, looking up at his friend.

Scott shifted onto his side. “You slept okay last night didn’t you?” He asked trying to remember if his friend had woken up at all, but as far as he knew he didn’t. Scott had been the first one up that morning and Lydia and Stiles were still asleep when he went to shower.

“Yeah, I slept fine,” he agreed. He hadn’t even had a nightmare. Or at least not that he remembered. “I’m fine, dude. Don’t worry.”

Scott sighed, “I always worry. Between you and you prettier half,” he teased, “I’m going to have gray hair by the time I’m eighteen.” Scott joked. “Is your dad here? I didn’t see him on the way up.”

“Do werewolves get gray hair?” he asked, realizing he didn’t know the answer. Something else to ask Deaton. “Yeah, he’s here. He’s in the study, working on something.”

Scott turned to Stiles again, “I don’t know. But I could.” He said as he folded his hands behind his head. “Oh, Lydia and Allison made up,” he said softly a small smile on his face. “We all ate together today...we missed you though.” Scott told his friend quietly.

Stiles smiled. “Yeah? Glad to hear that. I know she’s been…missing Allison.” And he knew from the talk that he had with Allison that she’d been missing Lydia, too. His heart ached a little at Scott’s words. “I missed you guys, too.”

Scott reached out and rested his hand on his friends shoulder. “You’ll be back soon. Allison said she was going to stop by this week. I think she said she had something for you,” he frowned trying to remember. “Sorry man, I was distracted.” Scott smiled, “Kira’s very distracting. Oh, is tomorrow a good day for her to come over?”

His eyebrows furrowed at the comment about Allison. He wondered why she had anything for him. “Yeah. Tomorrow’s fine,” he assured Scott. “You can have her over whenever you’re here, dude. I don’t mind.”

Scott shrugged, “It’s your place I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable.” He explained. Scott was silent for a minute. “When I was eating dinner with mom and your dad last night they were talking about us maybe going home next week.” He said quietly.

“I like Kira,” he answered, shrugging, then growing still at Scott’s news. “Right. I guess that makes sense. It’s been awhile and everything.” He swallowed hard, closing his eyes. He stroked Prada’s fur absently and the pup whined and wiggled closer to him.

Scott tensed at the shift in Stiles’ emotions. “We can probably stay longer. They were just talking about it, I’m sure if you wanted us to stay we could,” Scott offered not wanting to leave Stiles if he wasn’t ready.

“Forever?” he joked, letting out a breath. “No, it’s...you know, it’s fine. You guys have pretty much uprooted your entire lives for months from all this crap. I’m sure your mom probably misses her own house and not having to cook for a bunch of extra people, and you should probably get back to your own life anyway, Scott.”

Scott didn’t like the way Stiles said that. He frowned, “Dude, you are a part of my life. One of the biggest parts.” He told his friend quietly. “We’re family and I will stay as long as you need me.” He said matter-of-factly sitting up a little and turning to face Stiles. “And for the record, my Mom loves you. Being here these past few weeks have been just as much for her as for you. She worries when she doesn’t know you’re okay.” Scott explained, “So do I.”

He hadn’t meant for it to sound quite the way Scott had taken it. He gently moved Prada off his chest and onto the mattress, propping himself up on an elbow as he lifted his head. “Dude, I know. I know, okay?” His chest tightened a little. “And I love you guys, too. But I shouldn’t be the center of everybody’s life. Think of what extended periods of that kind of attention will do to my already tremendously large ego,” he joked.

Scott cracked a grin at his friend’s joke. He sighed. “Look if mom and I do head back home next week promise me you’ll call me if you need me,” he said pointedly, “I don’t want you to feel like you have to be alone.”

“Of course. Plus, hey fun new alpha power. Even if I don’t call, you’ll know if I’m in some kind of distress anyway,” he quipped. “Aren’t you glad you’re the leader of the pack, dude? Vroom vroom.”

Scott couldn’t help the chuckle that fell from his throat even if technically it wasn’t actually a laughing matter. “Oh yeah, I love being the big bad wolf,” he joked shaking his head. “You’re all nuts,” he said affectionately, “Between being able to feel you, the pack and Lydia I’m never going to feel alone again.” He said with a grin. “Did I tell you what your crazy...Lydia did to me today?” He asked eyebrow arched. “Actually now that I’m thinking about it, it might actually be the reason I almost made me and Kira tumble down the steps. For once I don’t think it was my fault.”

It wasn’t really a laughing matter, but Stiles could turn just about anything into a joke, because if he didn’t laugh, he’d probably cry again and he was tired of that nonsense. “Does that make Kira Little Red Riding Hood…?” he wondered aloud. Then he shook his head. “No, what did she do?” he asked curiously.

Scott sent his friend a thoughtful look and then grinned, “Maybe,” he said with smirk. He tilted his head to the side. “She screamed in the middle of the day.” Scott nodded, “It wasn’t me. That’s why I stumbled down the steps the first time she scared me half to death.” He told Stiles, “Every werewolf in a ten mile radius was probably on their way to check on her until I get a text from Allison saying ‘ignore that Lydia and I are testing a theory’.” Scott rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“I even got a call from Derek asking what was going on and if Lydia was okay. I heard Cora in the background telling Derek to stop being such a mama bear,” he chuckled and shook his head, “But then he got the same message as us. Do you see what those crazy girls in our pack do?” He asked, “Does no one understand that we shouldn’t use our supernatural powers unless there’s trouble?” Scott was mostly kidding, but for a few seconds he had been terrified mostly because he’d felt some distress from her earlier in the day.

Stiles’ eyebrows furrowed at that. “They were testing a theory? What kind of theory? Did they explain at lunch?” he asked, frowning. Before he had a chance to think about it anymore or ask questions, he heard the doorbell ring. He sighed and pushed himself up and slung his legs over the side of the bed, rising to his feet.

He glanced back at Scott as he headed for the hallway. He didn’t know who was ringing the bell because even Lydia had her own key now.

Scott pushed himself off the bed and followed his friend wondering if maybe Allison had decided to stop by today after all. He was halfway down the steps when he froze. He tilted his head to the side catching a familiar voice outside the door.

Scott spotted the sheriff his hand reaching out and grasping the doorknob. “No, sheriff, no,” but by the time the second ‘no’ was out Michael already had the door open.

He frowned when he saw Rafael McCall standing there with two officers from his station. Michael’s body tensed. “What the hell is going on here McCall?”

Rafael held up the paper, “I’ve got a warrant to bring Stiles in...where is he?” he asked keeping his voice even.

Stiles heard Scott’s urgency and glanced at him over his shoulder with worried eyes even as he stepped into the living room, stilling at the sight of Scott’s dad standing there. He could see the way that his dad tensed, already ready to fight and he couldn’t let him do that. He’d end up losing his job if he tried to stop Rafael from bringing him in on a warrant. “He’s right here,” he said blankly, feeling numb. “I need to get dressed.”

Rafael looked away from Michael and over at Stiles. “You’ve got five minutes and don’t try to leave the premises.” He said his tone all business.

“Now just wait a minute,” Michael stepped forward not about to let Rafael just drag his son down to the station.

“Dad,” Stiles interrupted, putting a hand on his shoulder. “It’s okay.” It wasn’t, really. But it was more important that his dad keep his job than he not get hauled down to the station.

Scott barreled down the stairs. “No, you can’t do this.” He said the anger clear in his tone. “Where do you get off coming into town and ruining everyone’s life?” He shouted.

Rafael glanced over at his son. “Stay out of this Scott.” There was a warning in his tone.

Scott took a step closer to him, “You stay out of it!” He shouted his voice loud and deep.

Michael took a step forward and placed his hand carefully on Scott’s shoulder. “Scott, I need you to calm down.” He said his voice low.

Stiles reached out to Scott, too, gazing at him intently, surprised by his own feeling of calmness. “Dad’s right. You’ve gotta keep your cool man. It’s gonna be fine.” He wasn’t sure that was true, but it sure sounded like he believed it.

“Clock is ticking, Stiles,” Agent McCall informed him. “Four minutes.”

Michael’s gaze shifted to Rafael, his eyes turning to slits. “He can take however long he needs to get dressed. Do you hear me McCall?” He glanced over his shoulder at Stiles and nodded towards the stairs, his hand still on Scott. He could hear how heavily Scott was breathing and he knew that wasn’t good. Michael didn’t exactly know how angry Scott had to be to change, but he had a feeling the teenager was getting close.

“Scott. Scottie.” Stiles’ voice was firm. “Come on. Come upstairs with me.” He was a lot more worried about his best friend wolfing out in front of Agent McCall than he was about being dragged off for interrogation and likely jail. He gripped onto Scott’s arm.

It took everything in Scott not to flash his teeth at his gene donor. He stood there for a minute holding his ground before letting Stiles tug him gently up the stairs. Scott blinked and they were in Stiles’ room or at least that’s what it felt like. His chest was tight and his body burned with the need to stake his claim and destroy the person threatening his pack. “You can’t go...we can leave I can grab you and we could go,” he suggested finally meeting Stiles’ gaze.

He was more than relieved when Scott allowed him to drag him up the stairs and into his room. He gently guided him to his desk chair and made him sit down. “No, we can’t,” he said quietly. He stripped his Beacon Hills shirt off and tossed it onto the desk before moving to his closet and grabbing a clean shirt from his closet. He tugged it on over his head before grabbing a pair of jeans from his dresser next.

“There’s too much at stake. I’m not the only person in the pack. The others need you, and they need you calm and level-headed, and not on the run from the FBI.” He let out a breath, changing out of his sweatpants and tugging the jeans on next. He turned to look at Scott. “And if I run, they’ll go after my dad even more than they already have been.” He pulled on a pair of socks and rummaged around in his closet for a pair of sneakers. How long had it even been since he’d gone outside? He couldn’t remember.

Scott winced, “How can you be so calm?” He asked while watching Stiles get dressed. “This isn’t fair. He shouldn’t be allowed to come here and disrupt everything.” Scott said as he swallowed hard.

“Because I have to be,” Stiles told him. Because one of them had to be, and he wasn’t sure that Scott was going to be capable right then. This was how they worked, really. When one was distraught or angry, the other tended to be calm and collected to balance the other out. Sure, there were plenty of times over the years where they’d both been angry or upset, but overall, one of them tended to regain a level-head. He hesitated. “You should probably stay here.”

Scott’s head jerked up at Stiles words. “No, there’s no way I’m leaving you so you can go with him. This isn’t fair Stiles, he’s doing this on purpose, he’s trying to punish you and I don’t know why,” he said quietly his fits clenching.

Stiles had a pretty good idea of exactly why Rafael McCall hated him and his dad so badly, but he’d kept silent about it for this long. He wasn’t going to spring it all on Scott now. “I just rub some people the wrong way. Plus, you know. Bad influence on his only son and everything.” His voice was light as he bent down to tie his shoes.

Scott shook his head. “You’re not a bad influence,” he said quietly as he stared at the door. God he hated his father. Why did he have to come back at all? He was such an asshole. His hands clenched again and he swallowed hard his gaze going to Stiles who had just finished tying one shoe and was working on the other. Prada let out a soft bark and ran around Stiles feet.

Stiles reached out and petted Prada’s head gently, scooping her up in his arms and moving over to the bed where he set her down. “Please don’t use this as your personal toilet while I’m gone.” He glanced at Scott, noting the clenched fists. He walked over and pressed a hand to his shoulder. “Look at me.”

Scott took a deep breath and then glanced up at Stiles, “Yeah?” He asked quietly.

He met Scott’s eyes and held his gaze. “You’ve gotta keep calm. Okay? For me.” His voice was just as quiet. Serious. “And for my dad.”

Scott pursed his lips and took a deep breath. He nodded knowing Stiles was right. He was going to do the best he could. “Your dad and I will follow you down to the station,” he offered trying to keep the anger locked inside his chest.

“All right.” Stiles nodded, too, searching Scott’s eyes for another moment before taking a deep breath and heading toward the door, chewing his thumbnail on the way down the stairs. He could hear his dad’s voice, quiet but angry as he and Agent McCall spoke. He reached out and put his hand on his dad’s shoulder, squeezing it silently before shifting his gaze to McCall.

Rafael looked at him for a moment, then pulled a pair of handcuffs off his belt. “Turn around,” he said and when Stiles did he stepped forward “Stiles Stilinski you’re under arrest. You have the right to remain silent when questioned. Anything you say and do can and will be used against you in the court of law.” He clasped the metal over the teenager’s wrist.

“You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish. Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?” He asked eyebrow arched.

Before Stiles could say a word both the sheriff and Scott spoke in unison, “No.”

Stiles would’ve smiled at how quickly they both answered for him, but he looked up at Rafael instead. “Can I ask one?”

Rafael arched an eyebrow, but nodded, “One and then I need to get you down to the station.” He said warily.

“Think we can swing through a drive-through? I’m dying for some curly fries,” he said innocently.

Scott grinned as did Michael though he tried to hide it.

Rafael glared at Stiles and glanced toward the officers, “Take him to the car and toss him in the back.”

Scott had to stop himself from growling. He sent Michael a sideways glance, “We have to call mom.” He said his tone quiet.

Michael’s chest was tight as Scott’s father and two officers hauled Stiles out of the house and toward the government issued car in the road. “We will.” His voice was grim.

“Hey, hey, watch it,” Stiles complained. “I’ve still got a broken rib,” he informed the officers as one yanked open the back of the car.

Michael stepped forward, “I’m watching you two! I see one hair on my son’s head harmed and the two of you are fired for police brutality.” He called out his voice annoyed. Michael winced as they shut the door behind Stiles. He turned to Rafael, “Get the hell out of my house and if you question my son before I get there I’m going to call in your superiors.” He snapped.

Rafael glowered at him for a moment before shifting his gaze to Scott. “You really should find better friends, Scott,” he said before turning and heading out of the house without looking back.

Scott glared at his retreating back and when the car was out of sight his chest tightened. “We should go, we have to go. We can’t leave Stiles there. I can’t believe they...god I’m sorry this is my fault. I don’t know why he’s here...I can’t,” Scott paused, “We should go.” He said quietly his head down.

Michael laid his hand on Scott’s shoulder. “We’re going. But let’s get one thing very straight here, son. This isn’t your fault. You’ve been nothing but a goddamn blessing to my son, and to me, since the day the two of you met, and don’t you ever forget that. Are we clear?” His voice was rough.

Scott nodded, his chest tight, “Thanks,” he whispered ignoring the moisture in his eyes. He glanced down at the floor. “Stiles has been the same for me, you know that right?” He asked quietly as he looked up at the sheriff.

There was a pained expression on his face as he gave a quick nod, then wrapped his arms around Scott in a fierce hug. “Come on. I’ll drive if you’ll call your mom.” He wasn’t sure he was capable of delivering this kind of news to Melissa right now.

Scott nodded as he followed the sheriff out the door.


Lydia stepped out of the coffee shop, Ms. McCall by her side. She held a cup of coffee in one hand and several bags in the other. They had met up downtown after school and had been talking and shopping ever since. She took a sip of her coffee and glanced at Ms. McCall hesitating before speaking. “This is really nice,” she said quietly as they continued walking down the street.

Melissa smiled softly, sipping her own coffee. “Yes it is,” she agreed with a nod. “And I can tell you about how many times I’ve been able to convince Scott and Stiles to come shopping with me without using blackmail.” Her voice was light.

Lydia chuckled, “Yeah, those two aren’t the biggest shoppers out there.” She said with grin, “But anytime you want to go you can call me,” she said lightly, “I’d be happy to.” Lydia couldn’t remember the last time she’d done something like this with her own mother. She was genuinely having a good time with Ms. McCall.

“Oh, Sweetheart. I forsee a lot of shopping trips in the future.” She grinned, draping an arm around Lydia’s shoulders. “How was school today, by the way?”

Lydia glanced sideways surprised by the question. “Oh, school was okay. Classes were fine, I was a little bored, but that’s not unusual.” She commented. She enjoyed some of her classes, but two or three of them never quite seemed to catch up to where she was in the text. “Allison and I made up today,” she said softly with a smile. “I’ve missed her,” she added.

“Well, that’s not surprising, really. Even advanced classes aren’t advanced enough for a young woman with as sharp of a mind as yours.” She listened as Lydia spoke, nodding and smiling faintly at the mention of Allison. She knew things had been shaky within their circle of friends since Stiles had been possessed, and she was glad to hear that they were starting to sort things out. She hoped it continued to get better for all of them because at the end of the day, these were children who were dealing with things no children should even have to think about, let alone deal with. “I’m glad to hear that.”

Lydia smiled, “I’m glad too,” she said. It was nice having someone actually ask about her day, Lydia had forgotten what that was like. “I missed Stiles though,” she admitted, not entirely sure what made her say the words she’d been thinking all day. “It’s different when he’s not there.” Lydia told her before taking another sip of her coffee.

A tiny smile touched Melissa’s mouth. “I’m sure you did. And it’s always different when Stiles isn’t around and you’re used to him being around.” It was different for her. It was different not having Isaac around, for that matter. She didn’t like not having all of her kids around. There was something inherently wrong about it.

Lydia nodded, “It is. Lunch feels weird without him,” and everyone was sort of paired off except her, but she kept that comment to herself. It made her miss him even more. “So which store-” Lydia’s words cut off abruptly as a massive wave of guilt slammed into her knocking the breath out of her. She gasped pausing in the middle of the sidewalk almost losing grip on her coffee.

Lydia felt her heartbeat start to pick up speed and she frowned. “Stiles.” She whispered. She stopped in her tracks, gasping.

Melissa moved so she was in front of the redhead. “Lydia? What is it?” She grew worried when she whispered Stiles’ name. She wasn’t entirely sure how it all worked, but she knew that Lydia and Stiles and Scott were all somehow connected to one another.

Lydia opened her mouth, but before she got a chance to say anything another barrage of emotion hit her and this time she did drop her coffee, her hand going to her stomach as her face paled. Stiles was worried. The guilt and shame filling her stomach was making her sick. Something was wrong though. Someone was making him feel those things. Her chest tightened and she sucked in a sharp breath. “Something’s wrong, I need -we need to find Stiles,” she said wincing.

“Okay, Sweetheart. Take a deep breath,” Melissa instructed calmly, reaching out and cupping a cheek in her hand. She reached into her purse with her other hand, pulling out her phone.

Lydia’s brows drew together and she frowned. “He’s not home, why isn’t he home?” She asked not even sure how she knew that. She could feel panic settling in her chest and she wasn’t sure if it was hers or Stiles’. “Can I come with you? Can we go?” She asked softly.

“Just tell me where we need to go,” Melissa agreed, both worried about Stiles and Lydia. God. What could possibly happen to these poor kids now?


Stiles sat silently in the interrogation room, feeling unusually cold in the metal chair. There was goosebumps on his arms, but that was probably because he was slightly terrified of what was going to happen. He didn’t know any possible way to get himself out of this kind of trouble. He didn’t even know if he should try. Rafael McCall had evidence of the things he’d done, and he doubted that getting him to believe anything that contradicted said evidence was going to be possible.

At least they’d re-handcuffed him in front of his body instead of behind him. The ride over hadn’t been pleasant, full of bumps and potholes and jolts that freakin’ hurt his ribs, and the handcuffs behind his back had made his left shoulder ache painfully even though he hadn’t had pain from that injury in days.

He looked up as Rafael entered the room, looking all too smug and knowing. He really didn’t know how the guy had ended up lucky enough to have a son like Scott, and his dad ended up with him. It probably should have been the other way around, really. “I never got my curly fries,” Stiles informed him, leaning back in the chair.

Rafael arched an eyebrow, “I’ll be sure to put it on the menu for your last meal before we ship you off to maximum security prison.” He said sliding into the seat across from Stiles folder in his hand. “I’m going to ask you a few questions and you’re going to answer them honestly. Understood?” He asked folding his arms on the table.

Stiles didn’t react to his words, simply sat still and silent, eyes focused on the folder he’d laid down. He knew what was in that folder. Maybe not the specifics, but he knew what the basics were, and they weren’t good.

“I have two witnesses that put you at Eichlen House on the night it burned down. Can you tell me where you were that night?” He asked.

He probably should have spent more time thinking about how he was going to answer these questions since he’d known they were coming eventually. He was surprised it had taken Rafael this long to get a warrant, really. But his dad had already given him an alibi, and while it might not count, he didn’t want to contradict his dad, either. Lying felt wrong, but his worry about his father’s job took precedence. “I was at home. Sleeping,” he said evenly.

Rafael pursed his lips, “And the day the sheriff’s station blew up, where were you that day?” He inquired opened the folder and making a note inside on one of the papers.

His gaze darted instinctively to the glass window behind McCall’s frame and he wondered if his dad was out there, watching. He knew of course, that Stiles was one hundred percent guilty of everything he was being accused of. But Stiles didn’t know how to answer. Not really. Scott would tell the truth if their situations were reversed. It was what good people did.

“Sick. I was out sick from school.”

Rafael watched Stiles closely for a minute. “I want to show you something,” he said as he pulled out a couple of pictures from the folder. He slid them across the table towards Stiles. “Those are pictures of the sheriff station after part of it was blown up. A lot of people were hurt there Stiles.” He told him.

Stiles blanched involuntarily as Rafael shoved the pictures across the table, forcing him to look at them. He didn’t need to do a case study. The memories in his mind were in vivid, 3-D terror. If anything, his face paled at the memory of how close he’d gotten to killing his dad. Guilt swept over him, horrible, sharp and intense. He forced himself to take a deep breath and let it out. “Yes, I’m aware of what it looked like. My dad is the sheriff,” he said, voice blank.

“Someone said they saw you earlier that day.” Rafael told him, “You said you were dropping something off for your dad. What did you bring him?”

Attempted murder, he thought bitterly, practically hearing the Nogitsune laughing at him. “Lunch.”

Rafael sighed, “This would go a lot smoother Stiles if you just confessed. We could make a deal.” He said keeping his tone light.

Scott could hear them from the other side of the mirror and the more his father spoke the more Scott wanted to rush in there and toss him against the wall. It was getting harder by the minute to control the instincts driving inside of him, but he knew he had to try. “Did you get in touch with mom yet?” He asked the sheriff quietly. After he initially tried to call an she didn’t answer the sheriff had been calling back periodically.

“Just voicemail,” Michael murmured, leaning his forearm against the glass as he stared intently at his son. He was tense, watching as a man he loathed interrogated Stiles over crimes that Stiles had no control over.

“I think I’m done making deals with devils in this life,” Stiles informed Rafael, pushing the pictures of the destroyed sheriff’s station back over to him.

Rafael was getting frustrated. “Dammit Stiles!” He snapped, his hands slamming down on the table creating a loud noise in the room. “Tell me what I want to know,” he said his hands once again smacking onto the table.

The door to the interrogation room burst open seconds later and before Rafael could yell at whoever had burst through the door, something was around his neck and he was being slammed against the wall. He grunted clutching the hand at his throat, his eyes going wide when he spotted his son, eyes glowing red, teeth elongated.

Stiles head jerked up and the words oh shit immediately came to mind when the door burst open because whether it was his dad or whether it was Scott was a moot point. It meant shit was going to go down, and things were going to get really, really bad.

Scott let out a growl, the combination of his anger, Stiles’ fear and his primal instinct to protect a member of his pack from a perceived threat was strong, it pulled at him, and he wasn’t entirely sure he could hold the full transformation back for long. “Leave him alone!” He shouted, but his voice was low, threatening and not entirely human.

The second Stiles saw Scott’s eyes flash red, he actually winced in near-sympathy for Rafael. Almost. It wasn’t like the guy wasn’t just doing his job, really. But he’d made the mistake of making all of it much more personal than it should have been.

Stiles quickly shot to his feet as Scott hauled his dad across the room and slammed him into a wall. “Dude, you gotta calm down,” he ordered, eyes wide as he moved to Scott’s side. He tried to reach out and put a hand on his best friend’s shoulder but he was handcuffed and that was easier said than done.

“What the hell,” Rafael whispered, staring at his son wide-eyed, like he’d never seen him before.

Then again, he really hadn’t, as far as Stiles was concerned.

Michael ran through the door worry on his face. If the rest of the department saw Scott like this...it wouldn’t be good. “Scott calm down, son take a deep breath. You need to calm down.” He said holding his hands up in a calming gesture as he glanced at Rafael. He addressed the other man, “You have no idea what goes on in this town Rafael...what we need to do to protect the people in it. You’re barking up the wrong tree and I think it’s about time you left. My son isn’t guilty of these crimes and he won’t be confessing anytime soon.” He told him as he glanced at Scott. “Scott...let go of him,” he said quietly.

“Why? Why should I?” Scott asked his eyes still glowing as he pressed Rafael harder against the wall. “You’re threatening my family...My pack.That’s not okay,” he growled.

The sound of rushing feet and heels caught Michael’s attention and when he glanced at the door he spotted Melissa and Lydia. He blinked a hint of relief on his face when his eyes locked on Melissa’s as he nodded towards Scott knowing Melissa was good at calming her son down. He knew it wouldn’t be long before the rest of the officers at the station heard the commotion and came to check what was happening.

“Scott. Scott, come on,” Stiles said, voice more soothing than it had been a moment before. “Come on, man. You don’t want to do this. Not really.” He shot his dad a pleading look, tensing involuntarily until he realized who had come in.

“Sweetheart.” Melissa reached out and laid a hand on her son’s arm, locking eyes with her ex-husband and pinning him with a glare that was almost as frightening as the look on Scott’s face right then. “Let him go.”

Stiles looked at Lydia, holding his breath. This could get really bad, really fast if they couldn’t get Scott calmed down and he really didn’t want Lydia caught up in the middle of it. He managed to grasp onto her arm with one hand, and guided her toward the door.

“What the hell is going on in here?” one of the newer deputies demanded. Stiles recognized him -- sort of. He’d never actually met the guy since he’d been hired while Stiles had been possessed by the Nogitsune.

“He’s trying to escape!” the deputy shouted behind him, and Stiles groaned as he heard footsteps approaching, a lot of footsteps. Fuck. He cast a desperate look over his shoulder at Scott, willing his best friend to put away the claws and fangs before this turned into an even bigger nightmare.

Lydia glanced over her shoulder at the closest deputy. She shook off Stiles’ arm, reached forward and tugged the ring of keys from the deputy’s belt before shoving him back. He stumbled back banging into the wall not expecting the push. And Lydia gently pushed Stiles back into the interrogation room slamming the door behind them and pressing her back against it. “I’m going to need help with the door.” She said fumbling around with the keys trying to find the one that looked like it went with Stiles’ cuffs.

She could hear Melissa talking to Scott softly and then the sheriff joined in. “You want to protect Stiles, but you’re going to get in trouble if you don’t let him go Scott...how will you protect your pack if you’re not around anymore?” he asked his voice calm.

Scott’s hand clenched around Rafael’s neck, before slowly releasing it. He could feel his mother and the sheriff’s hands on him and that helped a bit. It took him a minute but his grip finally loosened.

Rafael collapsed to the ground coughing as Scott stepped back taking a few calming breaths. It was only then he really took in his surroundings. “When did you guys get here?” He asked as he glanced between his mom and Lydia watching as she took off Stiles’ handcuffs.

Yep definitely turning into a bigger nightmare. Stiles was having a hard time fathoming how any of them were going to not end up spending the rest of their lives in jail for assaulting a federal agent, and for attempting to escape police custody and a myriad of other possible charges and it was all so surreal that he couldn’t help but quickly count his fingers to make sure there were only ten.

Thank God there were only ten.

Stiles pressed his body back against the door even as someone on the other side banged loudly against it, obviously trying to get in. It wasn’t like his meager body was going to do much to prevent it from happening, so when he saw Scott’s claws retracting he exhaled, shutting his eyes.

“Just a few moments ago. Lydia felt trouble and we ended up here,” Melissa explained to her son, looking at Michael with worried eyes.

“Someone gonna explain to me what the fuck is going on? What the hell is wrong with my son?” Rafael demanded, slowly climbing to his feet and staring at Scott like he was something out of a horror novel.

And that was when Stiles snapped. He shoved himself away from the door, glaring at Rafael with nothing short of fury burning in his eyes. “There’s not a fucking thing wrong with your son and he deserves a better father than you’ve ever been.” It took every ounce of restraint Stiles had not to punch Rafael right in his stupid face. “You’re so goddamn clueless it’s amazing. How did you ever get through the FBI’s academy in the first place?”

Rafael turned to Stiles and glared at him, “Listen to me you little-” his words were cut off by his son.

“I’d watch my words if I were you,” Scott said his voice low, “I’m feeling a bit homicidal at the moment.” He said matter-of-factly.

Michael would have laughed if the situation wasn’t so bad. Before Scott could say anything else the door to the interrogation room slammed open knocking Lydia forward.

When Rafael saw the other cops he motioned to the three teenagers. “Arrest all three of them and put them in a holding cell.” He glanced between Melissa and the sheriff. “You two are going to sit down and tell me what the hell is going on.” He demanded and three officers made their way into the already crowded room.

Lydia stepped back towards Stiles away from the officers.

“Oh you’ve gotta be kidding me,” Stiles mumbled. “She didn’t even do anything!” he protested. Which okay, wasn’t exactly true, but no one had been hurt. Rafael didn’t count and Lydia wasn’t the one who’d thrown him against the wall anyway.

“On it, Sir,” one of the deputies agreed, reaching out and snapping handcuffs on Lydia’s wrists.

“Come on, the holding cells are like fifteen feet away. Jesus Christ, handcuffs aren’t exactly necessary,” Stiles said, frustrated.

Rafael smirked at the kid’s anger, but remained silent.

Lydia used her boot and kicked the deputy in the shin making him groan. “I know my rights,” she said glaring at them. “And when I get out of here I’m suing this department for hiring a bunch of inept imbeciles,” she snapped.

The other officer reached out and jerked her forward.

“Ow,” Lydia swallowed hard and Scott could feel the anger building inside of him again. The sheriff put his fingers in his mouth and whistled drawing everyone’s attention to him. Everyone in the room froze.

“Listen, Scott, Stiles, let the deputies restrain you and go with Lydia to the holding cell. I’m still sheriff of this station and we’ve got a lot going on that needs to be worked out. It’s best if the three of your cooperate so we can show them that you weren’t trying to escape or assault any officers,” his gaze drifted to Lydia. “Alright?”

Lydia swallowed hard, “I want to be with Stiles and Scott,” she said quickly trying to read the situation.

Michael’s expression softened. “You’ll be beside each other.” He said quietly.

Stiles sighed heavily, reaching up and rubbing his eyes and wanting to protest that this was bullshit. The only one of them who actually committed a crime had been him and his friends shouldn’t be punished for that. He let one of the deputies put handcuffs on him once more, leading him none-too-gently out of the room with a firm hand on his shoulder, squeezing just a little too tightly and making him grit his teeth.

He couldn’t help but wonder what; exactly, his dad and Melissa were going to tell Rafael.

Melissa watched Scott glare at the other deputy who slid the cuffs onto his wrists and lead him out of the room. When all of the teenagers were gone Melissa turned towards Rafael. “How dare you treat them like that. You might be FBI, but I don’t think your superiors would be happy with the way you’ve been treating these kids,” she snapped.

Michael placed a hand on her shoulder, his patience far from gone. He stepped forward and met Rafael’s gaze. “I want to see this so called evidence you have on my son. I want to talk to the witnesses, I want to see the warrant and I want to talk to the judge who issues it.” He stated firmly. Something didn’t feel right about this whole thing.

“You saw the warrant,” Rafael reminded him. He motioned to the table. “Now, one of you needs to tell me what’s going on with my son.” He folded his arms across his chest, looking none too happy.

The sheriff glanced at Melissa, not sure if she wanted to tell Rafael or if she wanted him to try and deal with the fallout.

Melissa’s eyes were dark and narrowed as she stared at her ex-husband. “My son has had a lot to deal with the last few years, and I’m sorry, but --” She paused. “No, actually, I’m not sorry at all. You’re the one who screwed up. Not me. And not Scott.”

“That doesn’t answer my question Melissa. What the hell happened to him? He was...his eyes. And he had teeth,” he paused sucked in a sharp breath, “It looked like he was some kind of animal,” he told her not sure what he was even saying.

“Scott is a good kid,” Michael said, “He’s not an animal. That’s a pretty terrible thing to say about your own kid.” He said, his voice hard.

“Like Michael said, there’s a lot about this town that you don’t know. That you wouldn’t begin to understand.” Hell, half the time Melissa didn’t really understand it either. “All you need to know is that Scott’s just fine, and you’re looking in the wrong place for answers.”

Rafael glanced between them as if they had multiple heads. “Are the two of you crazy? Did you not see what just happened in here?” He asked baffled, “My son tried to choke me in the middle of a police station. He grew claws and fangs for godsake!” He nearly shouted. “And everyone here seems to know what’s going on except for me. So you’re going to tell me what I want to know, or I’m booking Scott for assault of a federal agent.”

Michael was starting to lose his patience with this asshole. Where the hell did he get off threatening his family?

Melissa was practically seething with rage, but she knew she had to rein in her own anger because if she didn’t, Scott was going to be out of that holding cell in no time flat. She forced herself to take a deep breath. “Sit down,” she said, pointing at the table and not waiting for a response before she moved to shut the door.

Rafael did as she asked, sliding slowly into the seat and glancing between her and Michael. “Alright, let’s have it.” He said his voice deadly quiet.

Michael pulled out one of the chairs in front of him for Melissa and motioned for her to sit. If they were going to do this they should probably all be sitting.

Melissa sat down beside Michael and across from her ex-husband, her eyes still dark and angry. “Scott’s a werewolf,” she said point blank, not in the mood to joke around. “And before you dismiss it and say how ridiculous it is, remind yourself that five minutes ago he had glowing red eyes, fangs and claws.”

Rafael opened and closed his mouth several times. He wanted to dispute it, say there was no such thing, but he saw what he saw, felt what he felt, hell there was even a scratch still on his neck. “How?” He asked finally.

“Because there’s a lot more to this world and to Beacon Hills than any of us ever imagined could be real,” she said simply. “He was bitten almost two years ago and he’s been a werewolf ever since.” She folded her arms across her chest. “And the things that have happened recently in this town aren’t things that can be explained easily or dealt with by normal methods.”

Rafael stared at them for a minute before sighing and running a hand over his face. When he had come back months ago to try and get back into Melissa’s and his sons life, he hadn’t signed up for this. Werewolves, exploding buildings, arson, murders. What the hell had happened to Beacon Hills? Rafael sure as hell didn’t know. “A werewolf.” He repeated, “This is ridiculous…” he mumbled.

Michael shifted forward in his seat resting his arms on the table. “This is our life,” he said pointedly, “And I’m going to do you a favor.” He told the other man pointedly. “You’re going to pack your shit up, clear my son of any charges you were going to put on him, and get the hell out of my town.” He demanded.

“I noticed none of my men, the ones I hired and work with on a daily basis came to my house demanding my son’s arrest and they are good cops all the way. If they thought he did what you say he did, they would have come. But something tells me you exaggerated your evidence and that stops now.” Michael said his tone hard.

“These kids have been through enough. This is my station until anyone says otherwise. I want you and the three deputies that were in here before gone and I want you all gone tonight.”

Rafael arched an eyebrow, “Another ultimatum Michael? Why am I not surprised,” he said leaning back in his seat. “This definitely takes me back several years.” He commented his gaze shifting to Melissa briefly.

Melissa didn’t look impressed by Rafael’s words that this was ridiculous. She just looked annoyed. She sat forward a little when Michael spoke, glancing at him sideways and then back at her ex, hoping he’d take the words to heart. She was tired of dealing with him, and she was tired of the way he dealt with the kids.

But Rafael’s next words gave her pause and she looked at Michael curiously before turning back to look at Rafael once more. “He’s right. You need to go.”

Rafael pursed his lips and nodded, “It seems Michael’s good at kicking me out of town.” He said nonchalantly. “You did tell Melissa that’s why I left her right?” He asked cocking his head to the side, “Because you threatened me and told me if I didn’t leave town I’d spend the next 5-to-7 years in jail.”

Michael’s jaw clenched, his hands curling into fists at his side. He probably should have turned him in when he had the chance all those years ago, but he hadn’t wanted to put Melissa and Scott through that. But if he had they wouldn’t be sitting here right now.

“Well, Michael’s always been a very good judge of character,” Melissa responded evenly, staring hard at Rafael. “I only wish I could say the same about myself.”

Rafael’s jaw ticked and he shook his head, “He can’t do any wrong in your eyes can he.” He responded his voice hard. “You know I always wondered about you two...After Claudia,” he paused, “I always wondered why the two of your were so close. But I can see it now you know.” He pointed between them, “I can see whatever this is that it’s not just friendship...maybe it wasn’t back then either. Maybe I wasn’t the only one who cheated.” He said wanting to get a rise out of her.

Michael shoved his chair back, the scratch of the metal against the floor sounding sharply through the room. “That’s enough, you’re done. I want you out of my station, now!” He snapped, barely controlled anger filling his voice.

Melissa’s jaw tightened at the insinuation. “Actually that’s just your own guilty conscience talking,” she informed him. “We grew close because our boys are best friends who only had each other and the two of us, even when you were still around. As far as now?” She leaned forward. “It’s none of your damn business. You’ve been out of our lives for six years and you have no right to come back and pretend like nothing happened, or to pass any kind of judgment on either of us, or on the boys.” She rose to her feet as well. “If you come near Scott or Stiles again, I’ll file a restraining order against you myself.”

Rafael stood up slowly, glaring at both of them before turning and heading for the door. He pulled it open and stepped out of the interrogation room slamming the door shut behind him making it rattle in his wake.

Michael stood there silently for a minute before turning to Melissa and placing a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Are you alright?” He asked softly.

She drew in a breath and let it out slowly, turning to look at him. “Yes, but I have to admit I’m curious. What was he talking about?”

Michael hesitated pursing his lips together. He let out a long breath. “The day before he left, you had a crazy triple shift at the hospital because you were covering for a friend, do you remember? You left Rafael in charge of Scott?” He asked.

Melissa was silent for a moment, studying his face, then nodding slowly. “Yeah, I remember.” She remembered everything about that day, because it had been crazy, and because her husband had left her the next day.

“Well, I had just gotten out of work, it was practically dark out and I picked Stiles up from the babysitters and we were going to get food.” He paused, “And while I was driving down the road I saw Scott alone and crying walking by himself.” He whispered.

“I stopped and he had no clue where Rafael was so I told him that it was fine and he asked me to pick him up. So I took them both to McDonalds and let them eat and play while I made a few calls.” He sighed, “My deputies found Rafael drunk beyond recognition in a motel near the highway with,” he hesitated, “with company.” He said delicately.

“I remember being so furious that I asked one of the deputies to come stay with the kids so I could go down there myself.” Michael’s chest tightened. “I told him he didn’t deserve you or Scott, that his son was wondering around town alone at night looking for him...and that if he didn’t leave town I’d book him and arrest him for child abandonment and prostitution.” Michael glanced down. He would never forget the look on Scott’s face when he found him and he felt justified that he’d made the right decision at the time to protect the people he cared about most.

Melissa stared at him with wide eyes for a full minute before she could even speak. The news about Rafael’s infidelity wasn’t the least bit surprising. But the news that he’d abandoned their son at such a young age to fend for himself was horrifying and she lifted a hand to her mouth, an almost involuntary reaction. She would have killed him if she’d known. There would have been no stopping her. He could do a lot -- including scream at her at the top of his lungs while piss-drunk, but no one messed with her son.

“Why didn’t you say anything?” she whispered.

Michael took a step forward and cupped her cheek. “Because you’re an amazing Mother. I don’t know what I would have done without you over the years. Stiles loves you so much and Scott, Scott worships the ground you walk on,” he told her quietly. “I knew a part of you would have blamed yourself for leaving Scott with him and I didn’t want you to have to deal with that burden.” He explained. “You have always been very independent and you’ve always picked up Rafael’s slack. I’m in awe of that, but I knew what that would do to you and I didn't have the heart to do that.” Michael responded quietly.

Melissa’s eyes watered at his words and she blinked back the tears there as she leaned into his touch. She sighed softly, then pressed her lips to his cheek, leaning her head against his. “Thank you. For everything you’ve done for me. For Scott.” She rested a hand over his heart, feeling it beat beneath her palm.

Michael swallowed heavily and pressed a hand to the small of her back. “There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my family,” he told her gruffly. “Now, what do you say we go out front, talk to my guys and get all this stuff handled so we can have the kids out and home by dinner? I’m thinking Chinese.” He said keeping his tone light.

She smiled faintly at that, nodding. “I think Chinese sounds really good.”

Michael grinned, “Good, come on,” he said as he took her hand and lead her out of the interrogation room.


Scott sighed as he sat slumped on the small bench in the holding cell. He glanced down at the handcuffs tugging gently testing the metal that bound him. He hated being restricted. It made his fight or flight reflexes kick in. He grunted and leaned over trying to see if he could spot the clock on the far end of the wall. "God, I'm so damned bored. I feel like we've been in here for hours." He whined sighing again.

Lydia rolled her eyes. "Stop being so dramatic," she commented, "You want to talk about injustice? That stupid deputy chipped my manicure. I just got them done with your mother." She told them annoyed. When she glanced up they were staring at her. "What?"

A tiny smirk touched Stiles’ face and he shook his head, resting back against the bars that separated their cells. He sighed heavily and looked up at the ceiling. “Well technically, Lyds, you did kick him, which is assault against a police officer. Not that I blame you because he deserved it, but…” He glanced at Scott over the bench. “I don’t think any of us is having a good time, Scott.”

Lydia's mouth dropped open. "He provoked me and violated my rights. I'm a minor. He's lucky I didn't kick him further north," she mumbled.

Scott snorted and then grinned. "I can't believe you kicked a cop."

Lydia huffed, "Well you were no better." She said reaching a hand through the bars and brushing it against Stiles' hand.

“He totally deserved a knee to the nuts,” Stiles agreed loyally, wrapping his fingers around hers and feeling a bit calmer than before, even though he’d been relatively calm considering they were in actual jail.

Scott shook his head and glanced at Stiles, "Sorry man. I'm just feeling kinda cooped up, like I'm in a cage." He said with a wince.

“Well, that makes sense. Since, you know...we are in a cage,” Stiles pointed out. He sighed, wishing they hadn’t cuffed him behind his back again because now his shoulder really hurt. He was doing his best to ignore the pain. What else could he really do?

Scott made a small noise in the back of his throat. "I could get us out, but I feel like that would probably be a bad move on my part." He admitted with a sigh.

Lydia sighed too, "It would be. We just need to sit and wait. Your parents will get us out, I'm not worried," she said keeping her tone light, "Though I could use a drink." She said squeezing Stiles' hand. "How bad does it hurt?" She asked, her tone a whisper. She could feel the slow burn of pain coming from him and it worried her.

Scott's ears caught Lydia's words and he straightened up. "What's wrong?"

Stiles grimaced at that, sighing inaudibly and rolling his head to look at his best friend since he couldn’t look at Lydia and hold her hand when they were back to back. “It’s not that bad. It’s not comfortable but it’s not the worst pain ever, either. Just...shoulder pain.” He shrugged with his good shoulder. “Nothing to stress about.”

Scott looked out of the holding cell and glared. "I'm never going to look at law enforcement the same way in this town," he said a hint of anger in his voice. "They shouldn't have manhandled either of you." He told his friend.

Scott was quiet for a minute. "I'm really sorry about the gene donor," he said softly. "I'm sorry he's such a dick." He sighed.

Lydia curled her fingers as best she could around Stiles' hand as Scott spoke offering him some quiet comfort.

Stiles squeezed her fingers in return, then let go, grimacing as he rose to his feet and moved over to sit down beside Scott on the bench. “Really not your fault at all, Dude. Okay?” Guilt tugged at him and he nudged Scott as best he could with his elbow.

Scott glanced at Stiles and gave him half a smile. "Thanks. I just want us to all get the hell out of here and never come back." He pursed his lips, "What do you think our parents are doing? Do you think the gene donor is gone?"

Stiles arched his eyebrows. “I have no idea, dude. You could always use your werewolf super hearing powers and try to find out,” he suggested.

Scott hesitated, "I could," he said quietly, "But honestly, I really don't want to." He admitted. His father had to know by now what he was and honestly Scott didn't want to know how he felt about it. He cleared his throat, "Guys, we're in jail." He said with a huff changing the subject.

Stiles winced as he realized exactly why Scott didn’t want to use his wolf powers to spy on their parents and wishing he’d have thought about that before suggesting it in the first place. But he’d have the you are not a monster conversation with his friend later, when they weren’t here. “While it doesn’t surprise me that we’re all in here together, I am actually surprised it didn’t happen before now.” His voice was light and he turned his head to look at Lydia, grinning.

Lydia let out a very lady like snort. "Oh no, don't lump me in with you two delinquents. I'm the picture of perfection, the two of you however, well that's another story." She joked. "I'm just glad Ms. McCall and I got here when we did.”

“Sorry. You are definitely lumped in with us delinquents now,” Stiles informed her matter-of-factly. “Perfect or not.”

Lydia arched a perfectly sculpted eyebrow at Stiles, "Is that your way of telling me you don't think I'm perfect?" She asked.

Scott grinned, "Finally some entertainment," he mumbled loud enough for Stiles to hear.

Stiles kicked Scott’s leg and looked over at Lydia. “I’m saying despite your perfection, you’re also a delinquent,” he corrected her.

Scott frowned, "You wound me." He said bending down to rub his leg that didn't actually hurt.

Lydia rolled her eyes. "Don't be a wimp," she joked at Scott before turning her gaze on Stiles. "I blame the two of your for being a terrible influence on me then." She said matter-of-factly, but there was humor in her gaze.

Stiles smirked at that. “We are a bad influence,” he agreed, looking sideways at Scott.

Scott chuckled, "My mom said we were going to be a terrible influence on Lydia," he commented with a grin, "Co-ed sleep overs, getting thrown in jail, what's next?" He joked with a smile glad that they could still find humor in things when stuff was so crazy.

Stiles groaned and laid his head back against the wall. “And you definitely just jinxed us so we’ll find out.”

Scott grunted, "I'm an ass. I'm having an off day today guys." He shook his head. "Don't pay attention to me." He said, lifting his handcuffed hands over his head.

Lydia watched them with amusement. "The two of you amuse me. I'm convinced there should be a psychological study on your friendship. The things they could psychoanalyze there," she joked. She was silent for a minute before speaking again. "At least we're all together." She said lightly.

These days they were pretty much always together, the three of them. Except when Stiles was at home and Scott and Lydia went to school. He was going to have to remedy that soon because he really had no desire to repeat the latter half of his junior year.

Lydia had just rested her head back against the bars when the sound of a door opening caught her attention. There were some muffled words and she glanced over at Scott who was grinning.

"All the charges were dropped," he said, "They're coming to let us out now." No sooner had the words left Scott's mouth did they come.

Ms. McCall, the sheriff and Deputy Parrish. The deputy smiled, "Hey kids, we'll have you guys out of those handcuffs and heading home in a couple of minutes."

“Oh thank God.” Stiles slumped a little in relief and he tried to suppress the thought that maybe we’re finally getting a break because the second he thought it, he knew he’d been the one to actually jinx them.

Melissa smiled softly at his words, looking at Michael briefly as Deputy Parrish unlocked the cell doors, beginning with Lydia’s. “Are you kids all right?”

Scott nodded, “I could eat,” he commented casually, his expression tired. He didn’t know how they managed to get everything squared away with his-Rafael-, but he knew they’d probably explain when they all got home.

Lydia stood when Deputy Parrish opened the cell. He smiled at her and she stepped forward. “Let me get these off you.” He said turning her hand.

Lydia winced slightly and he frowned as he slipped the key inside, “These are on a little tight,” he said as he glanced up at her.

“I’m okay,” she said not ruffled by the comment. They had been on tight, but she wasn’t about to complain. The idiots who locked them up had most likely done it on purpose, the same way they cuffed Stiles’ arms behind his back. They probably did the same to Scott, but Lydia knew he could break out of the handcuffs anytime he wanted.

“There you go, why don’t you come on out now,” He said stepping aside so she could get out. Lydia rubbed her wrists as she stepped out and waited beside Stiles’ cell.

Scott stood, “Get Stiles first, his shoulder is bothering him,” he said nudging his friend to get up.

Stiles rose to his feet, too, glancing at Scott with a grateful expression, even if his words didn’t surprise him. He stepped toward the front of the cell where Deputy Parrish was unlocking the gate, then turned to face Scott so the guy could undo the cuffs. He winced involuntarily, biting down on his tongue as the man removed the restraints and he exhaled, rolling his shoulder and reaching up to rub at it gingerly.

“Thanks,” he told Deputy Parrish.

“Are you all right, Sweetheart?” Melissa asked worriedly, moving closer so she could inspect his shoulder.

“Yeah. Yeah, totally fine,” he said quickly. “Just residual soreness.” From having it pulled out of the socket when Ethan beat the crap out of him.

Michael walked over to them, “Maybe we should take you to get it checked out.” He suggested as he stepped over to the cell waiting for Scott.

Deputy Parrish unlocked the handcuffs and Scott smiled, “Thanks,” he said before stepping out of the cell.

Michael clasped his hand on Scott’s shoulder, “How are you holding up?” He asked concerned.

Scott swallowed hard and nodded, “I’m okay,” he said quietly. It wasn’t exactly a lie. Physically he was fine, but what he’d done today, the way he’d lost control...it had been exactly what he was terrified of happening in the beginning. He thought he had everything under control, but apparently he’d been wrong.

“It’s going to be okay,” Michael said to Scott his voice quiet as he pulled him into a side hug. “The interrogation room video has been taken care of and Rafael’s gone...for good this time.” He told him.

Scott’s chest tightened and he nodded. “Good,” he said his tone tired. The sheriff released his shoulder and Scott watched him walk over to his mom. Scott glanced at Lydia and reached for her, tugging her gently towards him.

Lydia arched an eyebrow as Scott turned her wrists over in his hands with a frown. “There’s going to be bruises.” He said quietly. “You’re alright though?” He asked his brows drawn together in concern. His father had his cops for hire, hurt his pack tonight and the rage that had filled Scott was something he’d never felt before. He had wanted to hurt him. He’d wanted to sink his claws into his skin and hear him scream and that scared the crap out of Scott.

Lydia nodded, “I’m fine it’s just a little sore, I’m sure by morning it will be gone.” She hoped.

Stiles watched all the interactions around him, his worried eyes flickering from Melissa to his dad, and then to Lydia before finally resting on Scott. He felt guilt, but this time it wasn’t his own and he swallowed hard, realizing it was the second time today he’d felt Scott’s emotions. He drew in a breath and let it out slowly. This was definitely going to be an adjustment. But right now he wasn’t worried about adjusting.

He was just worried for his best friend, who’d had his heart smashed for the second time in his life by his biological father. And Stiles hated Rafael for that.

Scott nodded and sighed. He pressed a hand to Lydia’s lower back and guided her forward as his gaze searched for Stiles. He spotted his friend, “You want to go with Mom or your dad?” He asked. Scott had come to the station with the sheriff and Lydia and his mom had obviously driven there.

Lydia paused gripping Scott’s arm gently, “Why don’t you and Stiles go with your mom. I can ride with the sheriff,” she suggested before catching Stiles’ gaze.

Stiles met Scott’s eyes first, then Lydia’s, nodding slightly in agreement with her. “Sounds like a plan to me.”

Michael glanced at Melissa and then at Lydia, “Sounds good, we can go pick up some Chinese on the way home for dinner while Melissa gets the boys home.” He said with a smile.

Lydia glanced at the sheriff and gave him half a smile. “Okay.” She reached out to Stiles brushing her hand against his arm. “I’ll see you back at your house.” Lydia told him softly as Scott moved over to his mom.

“See you soon,” he agreed quietly, closing his fingers over her hand for a brief moment before following Scott and Ms. McCall toward the exit of the sheriff’s department. He patted his hand against Scott’s back lightly. He had a feeling that they were all going to need meditation tonight.

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