Title: The Folly in Sacrifice
Series: Reasonable Chaos
Author: Sibyl Moon
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Genre: Adventure, Drama,
Relationship: Gen Stiles & Peter
Warnings/Rating: Murder, Attempted child sacrifice*, language, Canon-typical-violence
Word Count: 4448
Summary: On the way home from a date 16-year-old Peter Hale comes across Deaton, the pack emissary, attempting to sacrifice a kid in the middle of the preserve.
Author Note: Canon? What is canon? If you mean that device I’ve loaded to obliterate pretty much everything about the show so I can rebuild it with the rubble that I like…then sure, there might be canon in here.
Age is but a number and I’ve change birthdates and ages to suit my whim and the story.
* (no actual child sacrifice takes place)
The woods were dark and deep; danger stalked and crept. The wind sang through branches: a warning and a plea for any who could hear. The earth trembled beneath footsteps too young to know that they stumbled to their end.
“Keep up, Mr. Stilinski,” Deaton said, his voice harsh in the hush of the night. “If you want to see the fireflies, we must hurry.”
“You could call me Mischief,” Mischief grumbled as he tripped over yet another root that seemed to spring up from nowhere. “Everyone else does.” Sighing, he scanned his light over the ground as he hurried after the vet. Mischief knew his dad wasn’t comfortable leaving him alone since his mom had died a few months back, but Mischief was 9 years old. He didn’t see why he couldn’t sleep in his bed when his dad had to work nights.
“Ugh! I think the trees are trying to eat me.”
“I highly doubt that’s the case. You wouldn’t make a very substantial meal for the whole preserve as you are.”
Mischief wrinkled his nose but smiled a little at Deaton’s joke. Despite being a little creepy at times, Deaton was his favorite babysitter now that McCall’s had moved away for Mr. McCall’s job. Deaton took him out to do exciting things, like collect plants and stuff in the preserve and help take care of the animals at the clinic. Tonight Deaton had promised to take him to see some fireflies deeper in the preserve if Mischief behaved during clinic hours and eat all his dinner and drink all his tea. It had been hard not to spit out his tea, but that was normal. Deaton always insisted on tea with dinner, said it was civilized. Mischief was skeptical, but he really wanted to go on an adventure tonight and see the fireflies, so he’d swallowed the tea down quickly, so he didn’t have to taste it very much.
“We’re almost there, just a bit more,” Deaton said without pausing or turning around.
“Will we see them right away?”
“We might have to sit for a few minutes. Our stomping into the clearing will scare them off. They’ll come back, though.”
“I’m so excited. Tonight is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to tell Scott next time he calls. I bet the whole clearing lights up, an explosion of fireflies,” Mischief babbled as he brought his hands together and made the shape of an explosion, bobbling the flashlight for a minute.
“An explosion? I suppose that is one way to look at it,” Deaton paused as Mischief caught up to him. “Every explosion needs a spark, doesn’t it?”
“Uh.” Mischief looked up into Deaton’s eyes, the whites almost glowing in the night. “I guess?”
“You’ll be that spark tonight, won’t you, Mr. Stilinski.” The intensity of Deaton’s stare made Mischief shift uncomfortably, and a sudden breeze caused a shiver to wash over him.
“Sure, of course, I will.” He tried out a smile. “We should go though, Dad will come to pick me up early tomorrow.”
“You are correct; upsetting your father will be an unfortunate problem.” Deaton nodded and turned to continue forward. “I’ll take care of it, don’t worry.”
Deaton was definitely weird sometimes, but he took Mischief on lots of fun and interesting adventures. “Okay, if you say so.”
Mischief shrugged. His dad had told him to be good and listen to Deaton, so really, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Mischief used his light to jerkily scan the ground again before scrambling after Deaton. The man was already well ahead of him by now.
The air grew heavy around them, wind creeping icy fingers under the collar of Mischief’s hoodie. Trees, ancient and young, pulled their roots from the ground, desperate to hold the youth back. Desperate to fell the druid. Nothing stopped their forward motion, the spark not yet awake, and the druid had already made his choices long ago.
“Oof.” Mischief dropped the flashlight as he hit the ground, scraping the palms of his hands. Biting his lip, he forced back tears despite the sting and fumbled around in the shadows to pick up his flashlight. Luckily it was still on and easy to find.
“Mr. Stilinski?” Deaton appeared next to him and helped Mischief to his feet. “Ready to continue on?”
“Yeah,” Mischief said. “Just tripped. I didn’t break your flashlight or anything.”
“I see that,” Deaton replied without inflection. “Our destination is just through those trees there. Come along.”
“Finally,” Mischief muttered under his breath. His knees throbbed from the fall, and his palms stung, the one holding the flashlight sticking a little to the plastic.
Deaton ushered Mischief through a break in the brush, his hand on the boy’s shoulder.
“Wow!” Mischief moved forward. The pain was forgotten as he took in the clearing. A large tree stood in the middle, the trunk so thick Mischief thought it would take at least four adults to be able to circle it. He barely even needed his flashlight; the moon was so bright above them. It wasn’t completely full yet, Mischief could see the small slice that was still dark, but it was bright enough that he could make out the bright green of the grass on the ground and the darker green of the leaves on the tree in the center. “This place is awesome. Why haven’t we come here before?”
“This place is exceptionally special,” Deaton replied placidly, his hand once again on Mischief’s shoulder, nudging him forward towards the tree. “And it’s a long walk into the preserve. Still, if I should have brought you before now, you are correct.” Deaton lifted Mischief gently set him down onto a large rock slab in front of the tree. “Let’s have a look at those hands now.”
“Okay,” He said, setting his flashlight down and holding his hands out while his eyes flitted all over the clearing, taking everything in and hoping to catch a glimpse of the fireflies that Deaton said would be there. “How long before the fireflies show up?”
“Soon enough,” Deaton replied, setting the pack he’d been carrying down on the slab next to Mischief. “Hold still now.”
“Sure.” He felt Deaton wrap one of his big hands around one wrist and then the other. “Wait – What?”
“Hold still, Mr. Stilinski,” Deaton said without inflection as he twisted the rope, pulling Mischief’s hands behind the boy. Lashing them together in a few quick and practiced moves, subduing Mischief quickly and efficiently even as he began to struggle and shout.
“Stop! What are you doing?! Deaton!” Mischief kicked out with his unbound feet and tried to headbutt the man. When Deaton made the mistake of moving close enough, Mischief bit into his arm.
Deaton shouted, but instead of letting Mischief go, he lifted the boy off the stone slab by the back of his neck and shook him like a misbehaving kitten.
“I want to go home,” Mischief declared, voice cracking with unshed tears. Fear swimming sickly in his stomach. He needed his dad, his mom, someone to come save him.
“I’m afraid that isn’t possible.” Deaton set him back on the stone and secured his legs at the ankles and the knees. “You are important, Mr. Stilinski, more important than you know. Tonight you’re going to contribute to keeping the balance.”
“I don’t know what that means,” Mischief sniffled, his knees throbbed from the fall and the tightness of the rope. His arms were beginning to hurt from their position behind his back as he lay curled on his side.
“Of course you don’t.” Deaton continued to pull items from his pack. “There is a world out there that you are unaware of. A world of magic and the supernatural. You are part of it. You, Mr. Stilinski, are a spark. You have a unique form of magic that will help me keep the balance between the supernatural and the natural world as it should be. Your spark, once I harvest it, will give me the time I need to continue my work and the ability to do my work more efficiently.”
“You could have asked,” Mischief said, feeling the wet slide of his tears drip into his ear. “You can have my spark, just let me go home.”
“Unfortunately, you can’t just give me your spark. I’ll need to harvest it, and the likelihood of your survival is nonexistent,” Deaton replied. “This will be unpleasant for the both of us.”
Mischief twisted to look at Deaton, who was setting up something near his head. How was this going to be unpleasant for Deaton? The man just said he was going to kill him! Oh god, his Dad. Mischief flailed at the thought of his dad, the material of the rope cutting into his wrists.
“You have to let me go,” Mischief begged. More tears dripped sideways down his face, into his ear, and wetting his hair. “My Dad knows I’m with you, he won’t let you get away with this.”
“I’m not worried about your father,” Deaton replied, brushing off Mischief’s warning. “Now, hold still.” Mischief watched Deaton dip a sizeable black feather in a silver bowl.
“Wolf’s blood,” Deaton said as he scratched something across the middle of Mischief’s forehead.
Mischief closed his eyes, biting his lip as he swallowed back the rest of his questions with his tears. He flinched back when he felt the warm sticky blood on his forehead. The scraping of the feather against his skin made him shudder. Tremors shaking him so hard he thought he’d vibrate out of his skin, his teeth chattering so hard he thought they’d break. Terror had numbed the nausea in his belly, but his mind was still spinning with ideas as he tried to figure out how to get away. He had to get away; he just had to. Blinking open damp eyes, he looked out at the trees and silently begged for help.
“I want to go home now. Please just let me go.”
The woods were lovely, dark, and smelled of secrets hidden beneath the budding of new growth. Walking beneath an almost full moon fired Peter’s blood more than Teresa Evans had earlier that night. She’d been a bit of a disappointment.
“Now Tony…” Peter ran his tongue over his lips, healed already, as he remembered his encounter with Teresa’s twin brother on his way out. Tony was worth another look, even if Peter had already written Teresa off. It wouldn’t be the first time Peter had traded one sibling for another; life was too short to waste his time on someone boring. “Definitely going to have to give Tony another taste.” He felt the smirk curling his lips as he sauntered through the trees, feeling thoroughly satiated.
“I want to go home now.” Tears coated the young voice as it echoed into Peter’s ears. “Please just let me go.”
Power washed over Peter like wildfire, spreading chaos in his blood. Peter felt the twist of the change, heard the tear of the fabric, and then his paws were hitting the damp earth before he could process the thought. The need to do – to act – pulled him through the trees towards the voice and the source of power.
Peter was in full shift! The small portion of his mind not taken up with the magical pull to the child was absolutely giddy with the fact that he’d managed a full shift at sixteen when Tal hadn’t managed her’s until she’d been twenty. Peter allowed himself a few moments to wallow in that smugness and victory before putting it away and concentrating on gaining some control over his current situation.
Peter planted his front legs, stopping his forward movement, and even though he felt the pull, it wasn’t overriding his will now that he was concentrating. It was definitely tied to his instincts – almost pack-based if he wasn’t mistaken. Tilting his head, Peter scented the air and caught the scent trail he’d been following on instinct alone.
Cinnamon and lilies, just the hint of petrichor.
A demanding jerk from the magic that had been pulling at him almost knocked him off his paws, and it took Peter a moment to get his instincts back under control instead of giving in and chasing after the ephemeral trail.
He frowned internally. He didn’t recognize the first scent markers, but there had been another scent trail mixed in so closely that it had to be someone walking with Cinnamon-Lily, and it was vaguely familiar. Peter scented again, concentrating on what lay under the strong layer of cinnamon and lily.
Mistletoe, dust, and the acrid scent Peter could never place.
Deaton. What was Deaton doing in the preserve in the middle of the night with a kid?
Peter started moving again. He thought about getting his sister but discarded the idea just as quickly. Talia had always been adamant about her trust in the emissary and refused to listen to anyone else’s discomfort about him. Peter might be jumping at shadows, but he didn’t think so, not with the way his instincts were screaming at him.
Magic washed over him again. This time it set his fur on end, charging the air reminiscent of the moments before a lightning hit. Peter quickened his pace. He had a feeling that time was running out.
“Hold still,” Deaton said. The man was facing a stone altar in front of a large tree in the center of a clearing. Peter hadn’t been aware anything like it existed in the preserve. “If you keep squirming around, these cuts won’t be even, and I’ll have to start over. This will be much more painful than necessary.”
“You’re an asshole, and my dad is going to kick your ass.” High pitched terror-coated words echoed through the clearing. Peter lowered his head, recognizing cinnamon-lily beneath the rancid scent of terror, anger, and surprisingly just under that was the crisp scent of clean fire, sharp and bright. When he drew in a breath, it burned cold down his throat into his lungs, wiping away the foul odors of fear.
“Language,” Deaton said, something clattered onto the altar as the boy managed to roll out of the man’s grasp, his bound legs dangled off the stone. “That’s enough, stop being difficult. I told you that giving up your spark is for the greater good. You should be proud to be chosen for this sacrifice.”
“If it’s so great, why don’t you give up your thing,” The kid bit out, kicking as Deaton grabbed him and plunked him back on the table. “There’s nobody around to miss you, and you’re old. I’ve still got things to do, and my dad is definitely going to miss me. He’s the sheriff, in case you forgot.”
Peter crept forward. He doubted he’d get very far before he was noticed, there was minimal cover in the clearing, but he made use of what there was. The bright moon wasn’t helping him tonight either, but he’d make due. Peter could safely say Talia would disapprove of Deaton doing some sort of sacrificial ritual with a kid in the middle of the preserve, especially the sheriff’s kid. He felt pretty confident that he could take Deaton to Talia for judgment and get him sanctioned.
“I don’t have the kind of spark you do, and you don’t have the ability or the knowledge to put it to use as I will,” Deaton replied. He leaned over the boy before cursing and jerking back. “Mr. Stilinski, that was inappropriate.”
“My name is Mischief, and you’re about to kill me,” The kid, Mischief, spat out. “Biting you is the least appropriate thing I should be doing.”
“You really are making this much more difficult than it needs to be.” Deaton sighed. “If I didn’t need you conscious and aware of the ritual, I would have added a sedative to the mixture in your tea.”
“Hmm, I’ve been preparing you for the last year,” Deaton responded. “Since I first detected your spark, I knew that you’d been put in my path for this. I am meant to use you to save the balance. Your spark will keep it for years to come. Take pride in that.”
Peter prowled around the side of the altar, sticking to the shadows so he could see what was going on. He watched Deaton maneuver Mischief into a fetal position with the kid’s back to the tree. There were red runes marked on his forehead and cheeks. The runes on his cheeks had somehow avoided being smudged by the snot and tears marring the rest of the kid’s face.
“I’m nine, and you’re about to be a murderer,” Mischief said, sniffling. “Your a murdering bastard, and I hope that my spark eats you. I hope if I have this spark thing…I hope that it burns you up, that it boils your blood until it pours out your ears and nose.”
Deaton stepped back from the table. “We’re awakening your spark, and it might be volatile. There is no telling how it might react.”
“You mean it might attack you?” Mischief narrowed his eyes. “I hope it does.” Mischief twisted his head out of Deaton’s grip, and Peter felt more than saw the boy’s eyes land on him.
“Perhaps. It might also turn back on you, or if your thoughts latch onto someone else, they’ll bear the brunt of your uncontrolled spark. This is why you are in the position you are.” Deaton continued to hold Mischief down with his right hand on his chest while he set up a pile of what looked like herbs with his left.
“I don’t really care at this point,” Mischief said, not taking his eyes off Peter. “You’re going to murder me. I hope you get eaten by something.” He narrowed his eyes at Peter and pursed his lips.
Peter cocked his head to the side, wondering what the boy was doing until it occurred to him that Mischief was trying to use his spark to get Peter to attack Deaton. Peter was reasonably sure that a spark’s magic didn’t work that way, but he gave the boy points for the attempt, and he wasn’t averse to the action.
Deaton lit the herbs and began to chant in a mix of dead languages that grated on Peter’s ears. He didn’t know why the druid couldn’t stick to just one language when he did these rituals. The hodgepodge magic Deaton did was part of why a large portion of the pack distrusted the man. Pulling from various schools was accepted, and there was wisdom in it, but to run a ritual where you switched language every third word was bordering on the absurd.
“Now hold still, and you’ll barely feel a thing.”
“What do you know,” Mischief said, voice shrill, and his shoes scraped on the stone as he tried to roll away from Deaton again. “Have you ever been murdered by a crazy man before?”
“I’m trying to make this as easy on you as I can, Mr. Stilinski.” Deaton sighed as if Mischief was being difficult over going to bed on time instead of objecting to being sacrificed.
“You can let me go.”
“I really can’t.” This time, Deaton held the boy down with his left hand, raising his right with a silver dagger that glinted in the moonlight.
The spark of the blade in the light, the shrill cry of the bo,y, and the snap-crack of magic flooding the clearing woke Peter from the trance he hadn’t even realized he’d fallen into.
His lips pulled back from his teeth as he began to growl. It rumbled up deep from his chest. Peter crouched, power coiling tight in his body as he eyed Deaton getting ready to bring the dagger down on an innocent boy in the middle of Hale territory. A boy whose magic was pulling desperately at Peter, begging for protection in a way that only pack did. Peter was inclined to give that protection. He leaped.
Mischief squeezed his eyes shut, his mouth open as he screamed wordlessly. He didn’t know what Deaton was doing, but the hand that was holding Mischief down hurt. It was cold, too cold. It felt like it was freezing straight through Mischief’s chest and into his heart. The cold cut sharp and painful, worse than when he’d broken his arm last year falling off his bike.
“Just a little more.”
Mischief blinked his eyes open and saw Deaton start to lower the knife. Mischief closed his eyes and snapped his mouth shut, sucking in his breath. He tasted blood and knew he’d bit his tongue, but he couldn’t feel it over the pain in his chest. He didn’t want to die, and while he didn’t know what his spark was precisely, he didn’t want Deaton to have it.
“You can’t have it,” Mischief whispered. Sparks of light, all different colors, began to swirl behind his eyes, and he tried to think. He didn’t pray. He’d stopped believing in god when his mom had died the way she had. Mischief did wish, though, and he wished with everything he had, and he believed. Deaton wouldn’t get his spark. Mischief had seen the wolf with strange eyes and, he knew that it would help him. The wolf would save Mischief and his spark.
Mischief’s eyes snapped open at Deaton’s shout and the growls of the wolf. He rolled his head in time to see the giant silver wolf take Deaton down. The silver dagger went flying across the clearing.
“Stop, I’m the Hale emissary!” Deaton was shoving the wolf’s large head away from his throat and managed to shove him back. “You’ll be sanctioned for this.”
The wolf huffed, and his eyes flared gold as he circled Deaton, lips pulled back from white teeth as he growled.
“Who are you?” Deaton tried to scramble to his feet but fell back when the wolf lunged at him again. “I didn’t know anyone outside of the Hales could still full shift.”
A chuffing sound came from the wolf, and it took Mischief a second to realize the wolf was laughing at Deaton.
Deaton had managed to get to his feet and was backing the stone table. The wolf began to stalking forward, a constant rumbling growl echoing through the clearing.
“Stay where you are,” Deaton ordered. “I told you, I’m the Hale’s emissary. You can’t harm me.”
The wolf lunged at Deaton, taking him down again. Mischief rolled himself enough to see that the wolf had Deaton on the ground near the stone altar, with his teeth around his throat, both of his large front paws on the man’s shoulders.
“I don’t want to do this,” Deaton said hoarsely.
Mischief watched as Deaton raised his left hand. He saw the glint of silver. “Watch out, the dagger!”
The wolf snapped his jaws, and Deaton let out a gurgling moan. The wolf shook the man’s throat before letting go and stepping off Deaton. Shaking himself, he stood next to Deaton and watched as the man’s mouth opened and closed as he tried to speak, his throat a shadowed mass of blood and gore that Mischief was glad he couldn’t see clearly.
“Um.” Mischief watched as little lights began to rise out of Deaton and swirl around his body. They zipped straight towards Mischief, and he flinched, and the lights danced around his prone form. “What’s happening?”
“Deaton became the sacrifice.”
“Oh. Wait, what?!” Mischief’s eyes snapped away from the circling lights to the teenager that now stood in the clearing. “Who are you?”
“Peter Hale,” Peter smirked as he sauntered over to Mischief. He had the silver dagger in his hand. “Werewolf and your savior, apparently. Let’s get you out of those ropes, okay?”
“Werewolf? Sure, why not.” Mischief laid back and stared up at the lights. He sucked in a breath in the first one, darted into his chest, a warming sensation filling him and chasing away the icy pain that still lingered from Deaton. The lights sank into him one by one until they were all gone. “I don’t know what’s happening. I want to go home now.”
“I imagine you do,” Peter agreed as he cut the ropes from Mischief’s knees and helped the boy sit up before cutting the bindings on his wrists. Peter rubbed at the skin around Mischief’s wrists and his hands. “We’ll need to see my sister first, though. She’ll explain some of this, and she can help.”
“You helped,” Mischief said. He felt tears prick his eyes as pins and needles stung his hands. “How can your sister help?”
“She’s the alpha.” Peter shrugged and lifted Mischief off the stone. “She’s in charge of stuff like this. She’ll help make sure that nobody gets in trouble for this.”
“My dad’s the sheriff,” Mischief pointed out, but he took Peter’s hand and let him lead him through the clearing and into the trees. “You saved me, he’ll know it was self-defense.”
“Your dad is going to believe werewolves and magic rituals?”
“Well…” Mischief bit at his lip. “Maybe I should see what your alpha sister has to say.”
“Good choice.” Peter smiled down at him. “Your spark was also fully awakened tonight. Not only that, but it looks like you absorbed Deaton’s magic or something. It would be a good idea to get someone to look into that and get you some training.”
“Nobody is going to eat my spark or anything, right?”
“No,” Peter said fiercely, his hand squeezed tight around Mischief’s fingers. “I’ll keep you safe.”
“Okay. If you promise.” Mischief moved closer to Peter.
Mischief stumbled and blinked blearily. “I think the trees are trying to eat me again.”
“Again?” Peter sounded amused. “I think you might be tired.”
“Maybe,” Mischief said. “How far is it?”
“Here.” Peter let go of his hand and knelt down in front of Mischief. “Climb on my back. We’ll get there quicker, and that way, the trees can’t eat you.”
“Smart.” Mischief nodded, stumbling forward and clambering onto Peter’s back.
Peter hooked his arms under Mischief’s knees and stood. They began to head down the path once again.
Mischief laid his head against Peter’s shoulder and closed his eyes. He finally felt warm and safe again. A little nap before facing the alpha didn’t seem like too much to ask. Mischief didn’t know what would happen when he met Peter’s sister, but he felt better knowing that Peter would be there to keep him safe.