Title: Intangible, Untamed, and Wild
Author: Sibyl Moon
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Genre: AU, Romance, Supernatural
Word Count: 50K
Warnings/Rating: NC17, Canon-Typical-Violence, Discussion-Torture, Torture, Murder, Explicit Sex
Summary: Stiles is a wild thing born of storms and lightning, he’s been the guardian of Beacon Hills since Talia Hale abandoned it with her pack a decade ago. Derek is a newly made alpha returning to Beacon Hills with only the few that chose to follow him and he’s determined to make a home for his small pack.
Author’s Note: Halestrom is a fantastic and lovely artist who created such a wonderful piece of art that inspired me so much. I just adore it.
His head ached. That was Stiles’ first thought when he woke. His next was that he should have just let Hisashi have his way with the Argents in the preserve last week. It would have saved him whatever the hell this was going to be.
Curled on his side, Stiles didn’t move from his position. He’d obviously been tossed wherever he was with little care, given the way he felt bruised head to toe.
Stiles didn’t know how long he’d been unconscious, but he guessed that it had been a couple hours at least. He could only hope that the spell he’d cast the protect Mel and Malia had made them innocuous enough that the hunters hadn’t grabbed them as well. It wasn’t a spell that would hold up long-term, but Stiles was hopeful since the encounter hadn’t taken long that the Argent hunters had cleared the area before they could take an interest in the Hales.
Stiles cracked his eyes open a touch to get his bearings. He could make out the bars that ran from the floor to the ceiling of a cell. It seemed to take up what looked to be a quarter of the dimly lit concrete room. The basement of a house, if he had to guess.
Not sensing anyone nearby, he opened his eyes a bit more but still didn’t move. Studying the area around him, he noticed it was a dilapidated room, water damage evident everywhere he looked. Mildew and rot interspersed with the scent of dirt, but he could also make out the faint smell of acrid smoke and feel the tingle of electricity trying to worm its way under his skin. There was something oddly familiar about the room, but he couldn’t place it.
Stiles heard footsteps on wooden steps, echoing oddly against the stone and earthen walls and floor. He forced himself to relax and wait to see what was coming next.
“Wake him up.”
Footsteps echoed in the room, but Stiles couldn’t make out anyone for a long moment. There was a click, and the room was flooded with light, causing Stiles to flinch back before he could stop himself.
“Fuck,” He groaned, not even attempting to hide the fact he was awake. Stiles lifted his arm to ward off the bright light, his head throbbing even more.
“Hello Mr. Stilinski,” Gerard Argent said, stepping out from behind the glare of the spotlights that had been set up around the room. “It’s a shame we couldn’t meet again under better conditions.”
“You need to learn to take no for an answer,” Stiles said, levering himself up until he was sitting with his back against the wall furthest away from Gerard and the only part of the cage that seemed to be part of the building. Hopefully, that meant it wouldn’t carry the voltage or other surprises he suspected the caged sides of the setup did. “I wasn’t interested in meeting up with you again.”
“Oh, but I’m interested in talking with you Stiles,” Gerard said, swinging a metal folding chair around right in front of the bars of the cell before sitting. He was smiling congenially at Stiles. Gerard looked utterly harmless if you avoided looking at his eyes. There Stiles saw the ice – the utter lack of empathy that radiated from them. “I’m sure you have some very interesting things to tell me.”
“I don’t think so.” Stiles pressed his head back against the concrete wall trying to buy himself a little time. He didn’t heal like a shifter, but he would be able to lessen the headache and think a bit better with a bit of time. He had a feeling he was going to need every bit of his mind available for what was coming. “You know that kidnapping and imprisonment is very illegal right? And my dad is the sheriff?”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” He continued to smile, a dark edge creeping into his voice. “We’re just going to have a conversation. You answer my questions and I’ll send you home no worse for the wear.”
“You have me locked in a cage after assaulting me and knocking me out,” Stiles said, glaring at the man. “I think you’ve already crossed the line buddy.”
“If you hadn’t been so difficult to persuade then we wouldn’t have had to resort to such measures,” Gerard replied. “Though you surprised us with your – talents – We weren’t aware that you were so equipped. Fortunately, we’re prepared for such eventualities, even if some of us were caught off guard.” He glanced at the shadows behind the lights.
Stiles had already suspected that Gerard hadn’t come into the room alone, but he fought back a shiver when it was confirmed. He didn’t know how many hunters stood in the shadows or how they were armed. Stiles knew that was part of the tactics that Gerard was using on him. He refused to let the man see that they were working.
“Now, it’s rude of me to talk to you while you’re so uncomfortable. Let’s fix that, shall we.” Gerard waved a few fingers above his head, and two men came forward.
Stiles grimaced. “If you’re planning to let me go, I’m not going to object, but if you think we’re going to sit down and have a conversation you’re delusional.”
“Come now we can be civilized,” Gerard said calmly, a parent talking to a child. “After all we aren’t animals. Listen to Gregory and Steven and we’ll all get along just fine.”
Stiles kept his eyes on the men as they unlocked the cell door and entered. He noticed that they were armed with tasers and stun batons instead of guns. His mind began to formulate an idea. He just had to make it through the next little while and hope things fell into place.
“Stand up,” The stocky blond ordered, kicking Stiles’ foot.
“Now Gregory,” Gerard called out. “There’s plenty of time for that later if he’s difficult, let’s not start off with it. Then where would we be?”
Greg grunted his agreement. He reached for one arm while Steve, the bald and wiry man, reached for the other and began to hoist Stiles to his feet.
“Hey, easy there,” Stiles complained. “I’m delicate, you’ve already bruised me enough today.”
“Shut up,” Steven said, shoving him towards the door once Stiles was on his feet. “Go.”
Stiles stumbled forward out the door, Greg dragging him around the side of the cell until he was in front of Gerard.
“Get the boy a seat,” Gerard instructed, leaning back and crossing his arms. “We want him to be comfortable enough to answer my questions, don’t we?”
“I’d much rather go home,” Stiles said, sighing as he was shoved into a chair that looked like someone had stolen from a dining room set. As soon as he was seated, Steven strapped his wrists to the chair with a set of zip ties. “This is definitely not comfortable or friendly.” Stiles stared at Gerard, raising his brow. “If you wanted to make sure I didn’t escape, you could have just left me back there.” He jerked his head behind him towards the cage.
“Now,” Gerard said as if Stiles hadn’t spoken. “Let’s begin.” He smiled, the corners near his eyes crinkling. His eyes went crystalline and cold, though. Stiles didn’t see an ounce of warmth there.
Stiles caught the other two hunters taking up positions just behind Gerard, both standing in what Stiles imagined was supposed to be a standard guarding position, feet apart, hands clasped over the stomach and facing forward. They looked a little too robotic to Stiles in that moment, and he suppressed a shiver.
“I’ve been asking around town about what happened here all those years ago when my daughter was murdered,” Gerard said, the smile finally falling from his face as he leaned forward. “Not many people are willing to talk to me about it, but I had enough information before I came here that what they have told me has filled in an interested picture.”
“It would have to,” Stiles said, shifting in the chair, he felt the headache he’d woken up with finally fade away, but he kept the relief off his face. He twisted his hands and wrists just enough to test the restraints before turning his attention back to Gerard. “Considering that Kate wasn’t murdered. It sounds like someone gave you the wrong canvas entirely.”
“There is no way that Kate was killed by some freak accident while she failed to carry out her duty,” Gerard said vehemently, leaning forward even more until he was in Stiles’ face. “She would never have been caught if there wasn’t some sort of interference. I’ve been looking into it for years, puzzling it out, and I think I’ve finally come across the answer-” He sat back, grinning, and that was when Stiles realized that Gerard Argent wasn’t insane, but he was crazy. “Or the source to get those answers – one way or another.”
Stiles had already accepted that he was in danger, but knowing it and staring it in the face were two different things.
“I haven’t heard a question yet and I don’t think I have any answers you’re looking for,” Stiles said, his voice calm even while his mind ticked over his options. His eyes flicked back over to the hunters behind Gerard and their weapons. It wouldn’t be the best idea, but it might be enough to get him out if he could time it right. He’d be a livewire afterward, and he’d have to hope that Hisashi was already looking for him and nearby enough to ground him almost immediately. That would have to be the plan of last resort.
“Oh, I think you’ll give me all the answers I want.”
“I don’t know about that,” Stiles began to say before Gerard lashed out, backhanding Stiles across the side of his face so hard his chair rocked back. Stiles grunted as the chair hit the ground. He tasted blood and spat it out before he lifted his head and looked back at Gerard. “That wasn’t nice.” He tongued his teeth but figured the blood came from biting into his cheek rather than anything else.
“That, was your warning,” Gerard said, as he leaned back again and stared at him with those dead eyes. “Now I want to know about the night my daughter was murdered.”
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” Stiles said after a long moment. “I was fourteen and there was a fire, so I called my dad. I don’t know a whole lot more beyond that.”
“That would be good enough, if it were true,” Gerard said, and Stiles fought to keep from showing any reaction to that. He knew he hadn’t given himself away to the Argents. “Because I heard that you sat with Derek Hale for hours while they put the fire out and my daughter lay dead on the ground like she was nothing!” His voice began to steadily rise until he was shouting the last few words.
“There is nothing I can tell you,” Stiles repeated, not sure how much relief he should feel that Gerard was more focused on Kate and the Hales than on the possibility that Stiles had actually been the one to end her life. “You don’t want to hear what I have to say-” Stiles rolled his shoulders in an awkward shrug.
Gerard leaned forward into Stiles’ space. The tension drew taut and then suddenly snapped. Gerard stood, his lips peeling back from his teeth in a smile that showed gnashing teeth.
Stiles arched his brow at the dichotomy Gerard was presenting. He was smiling and attempting inane pleasantries while at the same time snarling and drawing blood. Stiles doubted that Gerard meant for him to leave the room alive.
“I see you aren’t going to be cooperative at all,” Gerard said, tsking. He stepped closer and placed his hand on Stiles’ shoulder, his thumb pressing against his collarbone. “It’s a shame you can’t work with me, Stiles. You’re forcing me into an uncomfortable position here.”
“I’m sure you’ll find a way to deal with it,” Stiles said dryly. He managed to glance up at Gerard without baring his neck.
“You think you’re funny, don’t you?” Gerard pressed down with his thumb and twisted.
Stiles felt the tension in the bones stretch until he thought they’d snap. He’d been in worse pain before, but it wasn’t something that had happened often and wasn’t something he sought out. Gerard released his shoulder a moment before Stiles thought he’d scream.
“I think I’m fucking hilarious,” Stiles said, his voice hoarse from the pain.
“String him up,” Gerard ordered, stepping back. “Get him ready to give me those answers by the time I get back.”
“Yes, sir.” Steve and Greg said as they moved forward and began to untie Stiles from the chair. Otherwise, they remained silent, tying his wrists together and moving to each grasp one of his arms.
Gerard leaned down, patting Stiles on the cheek.
“This could have been over so quickly and painlessly,” Gerard said, shaking his head in mock sorrow. “Now we have to get messy.” He moved back as Stiles was hoisted to his feet. “I’ll be back soon to get those answers from you.”
“I won’t have anything new to say,” Stiles replied, his breath catching as his arms were yanked over his head, tied and secured to a hook he hadn’t seen earlier. “Fuck, gentle on the merchandise Greg.”
Gerard chuckled as he moved past the floodlights, “You won’t be getting anything gentle right now. You should of cooperated.”
Gerard’s footsteps thudded up the steps and Stiles heard a door open, and slam shut this time, now that he was listening for it. He turned his gaze back to the hunters he’d been left alone with.
“And then there were three,” Stiles said, already feeling the ache and pull in his arms and shoulders. They left his feet free, though, which would make his plans easier to pull off. “You know, you really should just let me go. This is going to go badly for both of you if you don’t.”
“You aren’t going anywhere,” Greg said. He pulled back his arm and jabbed Stiles in the stomach. “You’ll answer Mr. Argent’s questions when he comes back, or it’ll go worse for you.”
“Yeah,” Steve said, pulling out his baton and switching it on. “We’re going to give you a taste of how bad it could be if you don’t tell him what he wants to know.”
Stiles hummed once he caught his breath from Greg’s punch. When Steve switched on the baton, he felt the answering hum under his skin and bit his lip to hide a victorious grin. He hadn’t had to push far at all to get them to pull it out.
“Oh look, you brought toys.” He fluttered his lashes as he rolled his head against one arm, balancing as best as he could on the balls of his feet. “Usually I don’t allow that sort of thing until we’ve had a few dates and a couple conversations about limits.”
“Your limits don’t matter,” Steve said, thrusting the baton against his side in a sudden movement.
Stiles’ body arched into the electricity even as a part of him screamed to get away from the pain. His very cells sucked down the simulated version of what they needed. Steve pulled the baton back too soon, and Stiles resigned himself to instigating another attack.
“Hit me again Sam.” Stiles grinned at Steve as his body shook from the residual shocks. He didn’t know what the guy had the baton set at, but Stiles doubted anyone else would be able to handle it as well as he was. “That made me all tingly.”
“You’re a fucking pervert,” Greg muttered just before backhanding Stiles across the face hard enough to send him swinging. “Should of known, what with you fucking Hale.”
Stiles felt his shoulders pull taut and winced. He sent out brief hope that they would stay in place for now. He swung back, and Greg punched him again in the side, sending him spinning. Greg had his fun rotating between full punches and backhands, and Stiles was getting dizzy from spinning on the chains.
His shoulders and arms ached, but they were holding up. Stiles was sure the muscles would be a bitch to heal after this was over. At least the joints hadn’t given yet, and that was all that mattered right now.
He knew the two of them weren’t going to be asking any questions, and he briefly wondered how far they would go to soften him up for Gerard before the old man returned.
“My turn,” Steve said, reaching up and jerking Stiles to a stop. Steve grinned wide lips stretched over gleaming teeth, his gums shimmering pink in the lights. “You like my baton, do you?”
“Ah,” Stiles said, spitting out a wad of blood before he swallowed any more. “Should have guessed you’d be the kinky one. You look like you get your rocks off over this kind of thing.”
“You’re a mouthy shit,” Steve said right before he slapped the baton across the center of Stiles’ chest, very near to his heart.
“Stop, you can’t kill him!”
Stiles would have laughed, and he wasn’t sure he didn’t. Steve had turned up the baton, and Stiles was flooded with synthesized electricity. His depleted stores were overflowing, and whatever had happened that had dampened his abilities was shattered.
He didn’t know if they’d thought he was a druid, and they’d lucked across something that had nullified some of his ability while he’d been so weak, but now full of the power of lightning – the power of the storm – he was unstoppable.
“What the fuck?! Why is he glowing?”
“Go get Gerard and Allison!”
“Fuck, just shoot him!”
Stiles was the lightning, and the world exploded in light and silence. He smelled charred flesh, and even before he opened his eyes, he knew what had happened. Without a ground, he hadn’t been able to control that amount of power. He was fortunate the expulsion of it hadn’t taken him with it.
Stiles snapped the bindings, still somehow holding him. He rolled his shoulders to ease some of the aches while he rubbed his wrists. He looked around the room, and sure enough, the bodies of both hunters lay dead near the stairs. He chose not to examine them too closely. The lights had all shorted out, and all Stiles was able to see by now was his magically enhanced vision. At least he wasn’t glowing anymore.
Stiles guessed the event had gone unnoticed when no one rushed into the room, as inconceivable as that seemed. Now all he had to do was figure out how to get out of this place without getting caught. He edged his magic out a touch to get a feel for where he was, but there was something about the room that had him blocked off. Still, he got the buzz off familiarity again. He thought he was in the preserve, but where he didn’t know.
He started to walk towards the stairs and caught his breath, the pain in his side was sharp, and it took him a moment to adjust his movements to account for it. Greg had had a nasty punch on him. Even with Stiles’ ability to heal slightly faster than most, he expected he would be feeling this beating for a while.
He managed a couple of shallow painfilled breaths before he leveled out and began to make his way to the stairs. It looked like he had expelled the energy outward, burning – to varying degrees – what was directly in front of him, including the hunters. Though he had a feeling they’d been killed by the strike of energy rather than the flash burns that were visible when he passed by.
“I guess if Gerard pays attention, he’ll have his answers when he comes down here after all,” Stiles muttered to himself as he began to climb up the stairs, using the wall to rest against halfway up.
His energy was coming and going in waves, and he knew it was his magical stores bolstering his abused body. Between his kidnapping, the beating he’d just taken. His magic and a bit of leftover adrenaline was the only thing keeping him on his feet.
Reaching the door, he noticed it was a solid wood door. He caught a faint whiff of damp ash and smoke again underneath the sour mix of ozone and burnt flesh that were currently overpowering the basement. He opened the door with care, listening, but he didn’t hear anything in the immediate vicinity.
Stiles stepped out of the basement, the old wood beneath his bare feet familiar as his gaze took in the hall before him.
“Fuck me,” He breathed out. Wary of using his magic anymore in case he lost control of it again, he didn’t try anything more than muffling the sounds he made as he began to move down the hallway.
They’d brought him to the Hale house. Wasn’t that a fucking kick in the balls? The house was due to be demolished in a matter of days. Once Gerard had his answers, all he had to do was leave Stiles’ body to be buried in the rubble, and if Stiles was found, the Hales would be the ones answering questions, not the Argents.
Stiles headed towards the kitchen, where he knew a side door was practically hidden by damage from the fallout ten years ago. He’d wandered the place often enough over the years since the Hales had abandoned it. He knew just about every board and nail in the place. He’d just gone through the kitchen to reach the side door when he heard voices coming from out in the hall.
“He’s gone, it looks like a motherfucking explosion went off down there.”
“He couldn’t have gone far, search the house,” Gerard ordered. “Find out what happened down there. Now!”
Stiles didn’t wait around to hear anything else but slipped out the door he’d already begun to open. With a quick glance around to make sure there wasn’t anyone nearby, he took off for the tree line. He got under the brush just as a large SUV pulled up. They parked almost on top of him. He held his breath, sure that they’d seen him.
“Get him out of the back Lou.” The driver called as he crawled out of the vehicle.
“I’m not going back there by myself, he nearly took my arm off before we got him down.” Lou said, coming around the front of the SUV. “Gerard is going to shit when he sees who we captured, isn’t he James?”
“He sure will,” James slapped Lou on the shoulder, and they headed to the back of the vehicle and opened the trunk.
Stiles moved cautiously to avoid attracting attention, but he wanted a better view of whoever was in the back of their vehicle.
“The great Alpha Hale,” James said, snickering. “Tied up like a turkey for Thanksgiving.”
“Have to let Ms. Allison know that those darts work on the Alphas just fine,” Lou said, poking at the bundled lump with the baton he’d pulled from his belt. “He seems to still be out of it.”
“Derek,” Stiles mouthed behind the hand he clamped over his own mouth to keep from saying the name out loud. He had to get him out of there, and he had to do it quickly. It wouldn’t be long before Gerard, and those in the house spilled out into the yard.
“Let’s get him out of there then, I don’t want to be around when he wakes up.” James reached in to yank Derek out of the back of the SUV.
Derek came up with a nearly silent snarl. He grabbed the hand that Lou had been using to poke at him with his baton and thrust it at James, so when Lou reflexively ignited the switch, James’s mouth opened in a silent scream, and his body arched. Derek didn’t pause. Yanking Lou in, he smashed the man’s head into the side of the vehicle.
“Fuck,” He growled, pulling a syringe from his side as Lou dropped head bloody, but he looked to still be breathing.
“Derek.” Stiles stood up and gestured to the other man. “Get out of there and get over here before someone comes out of the house.”
“Stiles?” Derek frowned at him but managed to break the bindings on his ankles with a tug. They obviously hadn’t used ones meant for a shifter, relying on whatever had been in those darts and syringes.
Derek stood, a slight wobble to his step as he made his way towards Stiles. He’d just reached him when there were shouts behind them.
“I see him. By the trees and someone is with him.”
“Fuck, we have to go,” Stiles said, tugging at Derek. He wrapped his arm around his waist as much to hold Derek up as to lean against him. They began to stumble their way deeper into the preserve. “My magic is too unstable at the moment to be of much use. What about you?”
“I’m not any good like this,” Derek said. He glanced back over his shoulder. “That back there was mostly luck. I don’t know what formula they’re using, but it’s going to be a bitch to get out of my system.” He shuddered, a film of sweat lining his face. “I think I can do my full shift and at least move faster.”
“Let’s do that then, and make for the nemeton, we should be able to find some safety near there.” Stiles turned his head to glance behind them, he heard the hunters crashing about, but it was the ones he couldn’t hear that worried him. “I should be able to use the nemeton to ground enough to offer some defense if they find us there. Or hopefully you’ll have purged enough of that poison from your system.” He watched as Derek turned his head to the side and spat a mouthful of black blood.
“Hisashi and Peter were going to your place to finish running your program and then we were supposed to meet up to search for you,” Derek said as they moved into some thicker brush. “I imagine by now they’re looking for us both by now. The others are at one of our safehouses.” He shot a look back the way they’d come. “We didn’t expect them to be here.”
“Gerard is obsessed with what happened to Kate.” Stiles shrugged, shivering as the breeze began to pick up.
“Here.” Derek paused and took his jacket off. He reached over his head and pulled his shirt off, handing both to Stiles. “This should keep you warm and I’ll be in wolf form as soon as we can stop long enough.” They’d continued to move forward as they’d had their quiet conversation.
“Thanks,” Stiles said, grabbing the shirt and shrugged into it. He winced at the pull in his shoulders. “Fuck.” Air hissed through his teeth as he pressed a hand to his side when he moved wrong.
“Stiles.” Derek gently pushed his hand away, feeling along the side and over the ribs. “It doesn’t feel broken, but we need to get you out of here.” He glanced at Stiles. “If something fractured your ribs or worse-”
“I know,” Stiles replied, laying his hand over Derek’s and pulling it away from his side. “We don’t have time to worry about that now and I’m fine.” He grinned a little at the scowl Derek directed at him. “Fine enough to get out of this and seen to afterward,” He amended. “Besides, you’d notice, even with your senses somewhat dulled if I was in serious trouble.”
“You don’t smell dangerously of blood,” Derek said as he lifted his shirt away from Stiles’ skin and pressed his face gently against the skin drawing in a breath.
“Then let’s get you transformed and get out of here,” He said, even as he threaded his fingers through Derek’s hair for a moment. “If I can hear the hunters behind us, I know you can too.”
Derek grumbled, leaning into Stiles’ hand for a moment before pulling away. He nodded to the jacket Stiles had dropped when he’d put the shirt on. He leaned down and picked it up. “Put that on while I try to shift.”
“Yes, sir,” Stiles replied, grinning at Derek’s eye roll. He was more careful as he slipped his arms into the leather than he had been with the shirt.
He watched as Derek stepped back a little further and tilted his head. They could both hear their pursuers, but Stiles knew the preserve enough the know that this little bit of brush would hide them for the moment.
Derek seemed to shrug, and the air around him shivered. There was a shifting sound, not quite the cracking of bones that Stiles always expected to hear when shifters changed, but something almost like a grinding and popping of displacement and realignment. It took a few moments for Derek to settle into the form of a large black wolf. Stiles knew it had taken as long as it did only because Derek was still impaired by the hunter’s drugs.
Stiles made a note to figure out what exactly had been used on the alpha. Hopefully, it would be in the data his program was stripping from their servers would have it in there, but if not, he’d have to make it a point to find out what it was. For something to put an alpha down like this, even temporarily, was dangerous.
Soft fur brushed under his fingers, bringing him out of his thoughts, and he looked down into Derek’s overly expressive gaze. Stiles nodded and briefly tightened his hand in Derek’s charcoal black fur before letting go.
“Let’s get out of here,” He murmured. Stiles paused to listen for the hunters, judging their whereabouts and distance. After a moment, he began to head out of the brush towards the nemeton.
Stiles’ bare feet on the forest floor were a gift and a curse. A gift because he could draw power safely through the soles of his feet. Which helped move his healing along. A curse because the forest debris caught his every stumble, tearing his feet a little more, adding to the healing that needed to be done. This might be the one time that he regretted not having his shoes with him.
Stiles stumbled as a hunter lunged out of the trees at them, a gun raised. Before Stiles could do more than suck in a harsh breath, Derek was in the air.
Derek and the hunter disappeared behind a couple of trees to the sound of snarls and swearing. Stiles steadied himself and followed behind them, keeping his gaze searching for anyone else that might be hidden in the foliage.
“Call him off,” The hunter cried when Stiles stepped into view. He was backed against the tree, his gun on the ground some distance away. There was a nasty gash on his arm, and he looked to be covering another on his abdomen.
“I don’t think so.” Stiles slid his hands into the pockets of the jacket and watched the man reach for something behind his back.
“I’m not going to turn into some animal when he bites me,” The man snarled, lips peeling back from his teeth as he pulled a knife. “I’ll gut you both where you stand, I don’t care what Gerard and the matriarch want.”
“Right,” Stiles said, tilted his head a little. He stayed back and let Derek take the lead. Stiles wasn’t carrying any weapons other than the magic humming under his skin, and it wasn’t very reliable at the moment. Derek at least came with a set of claws and teeth. “I’ll just stand over here and tremble in fear.”
The man lunged, and Derek met him, taking him to the ground. Derek wrapped his jaws around the man’s throat, and Stiles’ attention was pulled away by a sound in the distance before the inevitable happened.
“We need to go,” He said, turning back to Derek, who was wiping his muzzle on the dead man’s shirt before he turned to join Stiles.
Stiles started to walk away before thinking about it and stepping back to grab the man’s knife and tucking it into the jacket’s pocket. The gun might have come in handy, but after a quick glance around and not finding it where it had been before, he decided to let it go.
Derek came up behind him and, with a huff, began to push him out of the area. Stiles felt a smile curl his lips as he moved, despite the seriousness of their situation.
“I’m going,” He said, looking behind him. “Can’t blame me for wanting a weapon of my own though.”
Derek just huffed and rolled his eyes at him, trotting off as Stiles followed behind. They made quick time through the forest, ducking as many of the hunters as they could. Those they couldn’t – Derek and Stiles dealt with them as quickly and quietly as possible.
“Did they bring more hunters into town when I wasn’t looking?” Stiles looked down at Derek, who just shook his head. “They must have slipped them in somehow,” He said, wiping the blade off on a scrap of cloth. There was going to be so much clean-up needed after this. At least with his program running, the Argents would be done for after this.
“Over here,” Gerard shouted. He sounded like he was practically on top of them.
“Fuck. Shit,” Stiles hissed out a breath, ducking down even though he couldn’t see the man anywhere near them. “Do you know where he’s at?” He looked at Derek.
Derek tilted his head, listening for a moment, and then nodded his head off to the side.
“Then we’ll continue the way we were going,” Stiles said, already moving. “I’m not sure if they’re tracking up by normal means or the bodies we’ve left behind up like signposts. We need to make the nemeton immediately.”
Derek growled, but he didn’t shift back as they made their way forward. Stiles wasn’t sure if that was because he couldn’t or if Derek felt he could defend them better while he was shifted.
“Yeah, he’s not my favorite person either,” Stiles muttered as he ducked under some branches. “We’re close to the nemeton, we just need to get there.”
Stiles clenched his hand around the knife as the humming under his skin picked up again. He risked a look above them, but he couldn’t see the sky through the canopy. He knew a storm was rolling in, but he wasn’t sure if it was one of his own making or not. It’d been years since he’d been out of sync with his ability to sense the nature of storms.
“Come on,” He said, passing Derek, who had paused to look back at him. “I really need to ground in the clearing.” He stopped and looked down at Derek, meeting his gaze. “If Gerard catches up to us before I do that, I need you to get clear of me because I don’t know how much longer I can hold onto the storm building in me. That coupled with the one rolling in.” He ran his tongue over his bottom lip before sucking it into his mouth and chewing on it for a moment. “It could be bad.”
Derek butted him in the hip, and Stiles reached down to brush a hand over his head. The static shock surprised them both. It caused Derek to yelp and Stiles to curse.
“Yeah, we gotta go,” Stiles said, shaking his arm out. It hadn’t hurt, his own magic rarely hurt him even when it burned him out, but it had left his arm a little numb at the edges.
Derek nodded, and they were off again. Stiles heard the others behind them and briefly wished that one of them would have had the forethought to grab a cellphone before they’d had to run, but there hadn’t been time, and none of the hunters in the preserve seemed to have one on them.
It didn’t take them long after that to make it to the border of the nemeton clearing, the opposition seemed to have thinned out, or they’d made it by everyone who’d gotten ahead of them.
Stiles bit his lip as his magic churned uneasily around him. He knew his hair was letting off tiny sparks of static electricity. He could see them out of the corner of his eye if he looked for them.
“They shouldn’t be able to follow us this well, not here,” Stiles said aloud. There wasn’t anything he could do about the fact that the Argent hunters were closing in on them and the nemeton. If he’d thought that they’d be able to follow him and Derek straight to the nemeton, Stiles might have thought twice about heading for it.
“They’re through here,” Gerard called his voice closer now.
Stiles didn’t have time to contemplate another option anymore. He stepped through the border of trees lining the clearing. He sighed as he felt the nemeton’s wards’ magic wash over him. He winced, feeling overly raw and sensitive.
“Come on,” Stiles said, gesturing to the nemeton itself. “We should be able to hid in the trunk while I see if I can ground. I’m not sure how they are tracking us, but I can’t count on the wards keeping them out right now.”
Derek watched as Stiles stumbled into the trunk of the nemeton, his fingertips were now leaving little trails of light, singeing where they touched, and the ends of his hair flared with bursts of electricity.
Derek wrinkled his nose at the scent of burning ozone, but he moved forward, nudging his head under Stiles’ arm. He ignored the little shocks that zipped through him like biting needles. He considered shifting, but decided to wait until he could get Stiles settled. Derek wasn’t sure what would happen if he tried to shift pressed up against Stiles’ magic while it was acting like this.
“I just need to rest and then I can ground here,” Stiles said, pressing his hands against the trunk of the nemeton. “Sorry, that baton did a little more damage to my control than I expected.”
Derek’s ears laid back against his head when the air around Stiles shifted with a suddenness that had him stepping back. The air began to crackle, and Derek had a vague memory of one of a video from science class. Lightning looked like it was trying to arc off of Stiles, but it kept being pulled back in.
Derek shifted back, “Stiles, what do you need me to do?”
“Stay back,” Stiles said, his words only vaguely intelligible between his clenched teeth. “I’m having trouble grounding. I’ve almost got it though.”
Derek nodded even though it went unseen, but before he could say anything else, he felt the ward barrier around the nemeton break. It shattered over them like a glass dome, and Derek expected to find himself covered in wounds from the debris of it. He’d barely been aware of the wards around the area, beyond what he’d been told about them. He’d never felt magic like that, not unless it was used against him. Peter always said he had the affinity of a rock.
“This is not good,” Stiles said, drawing in huge gulping breaths behind him. “I don’t know what the fuck they think they are doing, but they’ve just signed their end. I can’t let them leave here with wiping out the location of the nemeton from their minds.”
“Can you do that?” Derek stepped back and a little to the side as they watched Gerard and the hunters break through the tree line into the clearing.
“Not very well,” Stiles admitted. “Hisashi is pretty good at adjusting memories if he has to.”
“You don’t sound like he’ll be able to do that this time around,” Derek said, allowing his claws to emerge.
“Oh, he’ll be happy enough to poke around in their heads,” Stiles said, shrugging out of Derek’s jacket and hanging it on a branch near them. “He’s just not fond of these guys and will likely leave them with scrambled eggs for brains.”
“Well, I wouldn’t be against that,” Derek said, raising a brow at Stiles. “If you want my opinion, that seems kind of tame for him.”
“Yeah, well,” Stiles said with a shrug. “We try to avoid situations like this.”
“Any idea about how he found us and broke the wards?” Derek moved himself into position to face Gerard as the man moved forward. Gerard hadn’t said anything yet, but it wouldn’t belong. The man did love the sound of his own voice if Derek’s memory was correct.
“Not exactly, but the amulet around his neck would be my first guess,” Stiles said a little dryly.
Derek looked at Gerard as he came closer and saw the man was wearing an amulet in the shape of a tree under a full moon. It had a faint glow to it, and Derek felt a chill trickle down his spine. The Argents hadn’t relied on magic in the past. They tended to lump it all in as unnatural. For Gerard to use something like that and still have hunters behind him meant the man was up to something worse than simply trying to appoint false blame for his daughter’s death.
“What a surprise to find the two of you here,” Gerard said, clapping his hands together before he clasped them behind his back and walked forward as if he was a foreign dignitary ready to be greeted. “And this must be the great tree.”
“You’ve been chasing us through the preserve,” Stiles said, sighing. “It can’t be that much of a surprise.” He paused, nudging Derek until he glanced at him. “Unless the rumors are true, and Gerard is going a little soft up top?”
“He looks like he’s going a little soft everywhere,” Derek said, raising his brows at Stiles, asking the man if he was sure he wanted to play it this way. At Stiles’ nod, Derek turned back to see Gerard turning an interesting shade of red. “It could be age catching up to him, I suppose. They didn’t catch us until we stopped.”
“True, true,” Stiles said, nodding. “The Argents have definitely lost their edge in the last decade or so.”
“Shut the fuck up,” A blond hunter shot forward, only halted by Gerard putting his arm out. “But sir-”
“They mean little to nothing in the end,” Gerard said, drawing himself up. “Let them have their attempt at humor. It will only make their death that much sweeter.”
“He really is a two bit villain,” Stiles said, disbelief edging his tone.
“Two bits might be over paying,” Derek said. He glanced over at Stiles and noticed that the other man had his toes dug into the soil next to one of the nemeton’s roots, and Derek noticed the dirt was emitting a slight glow. Stiles must still be grounding, which would explain the lack of sparks coming off his skin and hair since the wards broke.
Thunder broke overhead, cracking so loud Derek felt it echo in his bones. He heard Stiles suck in a breath, but the man’s expression hadn’t changed when he glanced at him. There was a new sheen of sweat glistening on his brow that Derek could just make out in the gloom of the gathering storm.
“You’re going to pay for every bit you owe me dog,” Gerard said, his face pinched, even as his lips pulled back in a snarl. “I’ll see you gutted before I’m through.”
“You’re welcome to try,” Derek said, spreading his arms wide, baring his chest to them. He was suddenly tired of the games and the posturing. He felt only the barest hint of the drugs in his system and knew that his healing factor had neutralized the majority of it while he’d been shifted. Stiles was obviously still unwell and needed to get to Hisashi. They didn’t have time for Gerard’s bullshit, and Derek was just done.
“What are you doing?” Stiles moved closer, his voice hushed under another rumble of thunder.
“I’m not interested in dragging this out, unless you have a reason to keep him talking?” Derek met Stiles’ gaze, he noticed that Stiles’ eyes were unfocused, and he wondered what Stiles was actually taking in about what was going on.
“No.” Stiles sighed, his gaze cutting over to the hunters and Gerard. “I’d hoped to be able to regroup here, but he managed to find something that led him in here and it had the power to break the wards. Nobody has done that since I’ve been guardian, but then again, no one has attempted it either, as far as we know.”
“So, we can end this and get out of here,” Derek said, nodding. “Then we can send Hisashi back here to set up some sort of protection for the nemeton while you recover.”
“You’re definitely an alpha,” Stiles said, the corner of his mouth curling into a weak smile. “But you aren’t wrong.”
Derek reached out and brushed his fingers over Stiles’ shoulder, plucking at the collar of the shirt he was wearing, “I wouldn’t mind seeing you in my clothing in a more private setting.”
“I’ll see what I can arrange,” Stiles said, smirking.
Lightning split the sky, and thunder rolled around them again. The storm was on top of them. Derek turned to face Gerard and end the confrontation. He looked around the clearing and saw that there were only four other hunters with the man. It wasn’t the best odds, but Derek had no doubts about his ability to take them.
“We’re done here Gerard,” Derek said, taking a step forward. “You can take your men and go home or stay and bear the consequences of breaking the treaty of Beacon Hills.”
“I’ve signed no treaties,” Gerard said, voice rising above the wind and the thunder.
“Your matriarchs have signed them in your name.” Stiles stepped nearer to Derek, but with enough distance that they would both have room to move if they needed to. “You’re as bound by them as they are so long as you’re one of their men.”
“I am bound by nothing!” Gerard’s voice whipped around them on the wind as the sky broke open and the rain began to fall. “The hunters are mine to command and I will not sign any treaties with beasts.”
“I wonder what your matriarch thinks about that,” Derek said, tilting his head to the side as he stepped forward, ignoring the way the hunters tensed, their weapons seeming to focus on him even more if possible.
“Fuck what she thinks,” Gerard spat, stepping towards Derek, his eyes bulging. “She’s a child! Kate should have been the matriarch, but your family killed her.”
“She died by lightning Gerard,” Stiles said, his voice cutting through the wind and the rain. It rang around the clearing.
Derek felt his ears pop as lightning split the sky again, and thunder cracked. He felt the sharp points of shock he’d learned to associate with whatever was going on with Stiles’ magic a moment before all hell broke loose.
Lightning struck one of the hunters, causing him to cry out and crumple. It drew the attention of everyone before Gerard whipped back around to stare at Stiles.
“It was you,” Gerard said, realization alighting on his face as he lunged towards Stiles.
Derek was there to intervene, his claws piercing the man’s abdomen as they came together in a gross parody of a lover’s embrace. He felt the knife the old man had thrust into his arm and felt his eyes flash as he felt the burn of aconite, but he shoved his face into Gerard’s.
“Fuck you old man,” Derek said, twisting his hand. “This is over. The Argents are finished.”
“Never,” Gerard gasped out, struggling against Derek’s grip.
“You can keep your delusions, but you’re going to die in the dirt where no one will find you,” Derek said, thrusting the man away from him. The knife fell away, and Derek realized that Gerard had only managed a glancing blow. He glanced down at the cut and saw that it would be longer to heal, but he wasn’t in any danger.
Gerard lay gasping on the ground, and the other hunters had left their dead companion and were circled around him now. They turned their weapons on Derek. He had a feeling that the only reason they hadn’t fired on him before was that Gerard was in the way.
“I don’t fucking think so,” Stiles said. His hair was plastered to his head, and Derek’s shirt had become a second skin. He was sparking again, his aura glowing a dangerous hot white. His eyes flared with the same burst of white. He looked like lightning personified.
“Stiles,” Derek said, holding his hand up as he saw that the ground around Stiles was beginning to char and smoke even through the downpour.
“Kill them,” Gerard ordered, his voice pained but loud enough to echo in the false night. “Kill them both now.”
Derek couldn’t say what happened next as the clearing filled with the scent of ozone so strongly that it overpowered everything else. Thunder exploded above them, rendering him temporarily deaf, and the burst of lightning filled the clearing.
“Fuck,” Derek groaned, rolling over onto his back and reaching up to wipe mud and grass off his face. It was still raining, but the storm was moving off if the sound of the thunder in the distance was any indication. Derek didn’t know how long he’d been down for, but he struggled to his feet and looked around the gloomy clearing.
Gerard and the hunters were clearly dead, curled up on the ground in almost the exact same positions they’d been in when Derek had last seen them, only not one of them was breathing or had a beating heart. Derek dismissed them to think on later now that they weren’t a threat.
“Stiles?” He glanced around and caught sight of the other man slumped against the nemeton. Derek rushed across the distance, separating them, slipping in the mud and rain as he got to Stiles.
Stiles was still sparking, like an old radio that was constantly on static. Derek ignored the bites of pain that cut into him as he used his claws to get the shirt off of Stiles and check for injuries. Derek carefully threaded his fingers through his hair to check for any damage to his head. He didn’t find any.
“Derek?” Stiles’ words were slurred and hushed as his head lolled back into Derek’s hands. “What’re you doing?”
“Checking for injuries,” Derek said, his voice just as hushed. “It looks like you took a bad fall when the storm took out the others.”
“That wasn’t the storm,” Stiles said, rolling his head until their eyes met.
“I know,” Derek replied. He brushed a bit of hair off Stiles’ wet forehead before kissing the spot. “You’re still sparking and glowing. Is there anything that I can do to help?”
“Not unless you can ground me.” Stiles smiled without humor, and Derek saw the blood in his teeth. “I’m the next thing to a live wire, magically speaking. I charged myself up getting out of the house and then with what I just pulled here – let’s just say my control is slipping.”
“I thought you were going to ground on the nemeton,” Derek said, gathering Stiles up against him once he’d ascertained that his injuries were minor. “Can’t you still do that?”
“No.” Stiles shook his head. “That was only going to be a stopgap measure at best anyway. It would have worked until I got to Hisashi, but now it’s too late. I went too far tonight. I need a full ground and I don’t have one.”
“Fuck,” Derek said, shifting around until he was resting with his back against the nemeton. Stiles was half draped across Derek’s lap and chest as he tried to impart some of his natural body heat to him. “What does that mean?”
“If this doesn’t naturally dissipate,” Stiles said, pushing himself up shoving his back into Derek’s chest. “I’ll burn out and die.”
“I got that part,” Derek said, biting his tongue when the words came out harsher than he’d intended. He didn’t want to think about Stiles dying in his arms at the nemeton. It was too much like nightmares that had haunted him as a child. None of them had turned out to be true then. He had no desire to see them made true now. “I meant what does it mean to be a full ground for you?”
“It would mean tying your life force to mine,” Stiles said, rolling his head to the side and looking up at Derek. “It’s as binding as any mating ceremony.”
“Is that why you haven’t found someone to ground you before?” Derek mulled the issue over as he waited for Stiles to answer.
“It’s also a matter of compatibility,” Stiles said, shrugging awkwardly. “Even if we’d been romantically inclined, Hisashi and I aren’t magically compatible enough to bind ourselves together. His chaos magic and my storms are an epic disaster in the making if we ever even attempted that. Then there are those who would seek to bind me to them just to have access to the power I could wield once I can ground sufficiently.”
“They’d see themselves as your control,” Derek said with a sick realization.
“The finger on the trigger of a gun.” Stiles nodded. “Hisashi and I have disabused the few individuals that have come looking for something like that. Most think that we’ve found a way to ground me to someone around here since I’m still alive.”
“Is there a reason you haven’t asked me?” Derek wondered if he wasn’t compatible or if this was a matter of trust between the two of them that they hadn’t reached yet.
“I might have if we’d had longer.” Stiles smiled. His teeth and lips were now letting off the same bursts of electricity as the rest of his body.
Derek ignored the pinpricks of sparks as he pulled Stiles closer. “Ask me now.”
“If you think we’re compatible enough, I’m more than willing to be your mate or your ground Stiles,” Derek said. He moved Stiles around until they were face to face. “I’ve never felt connected to anyone the way I have to you. I don’t know where you thought this was going, but by the time the first night was over I knew that I was all in. This isn’t even a question for me.”
“Okay,” Stiles said, shaking. “There isn’t any ceremony that has to be done. I mean we can be ritualistic about it if we want, but it’s just about accepting each other on the base magical level. With you as a shifter, it would require the mating bite to seal your side of it.” He hesitated.
“I wasn’t planning on mating with anyone else,” Derek said. “You’re it, if you don’t know that.” Derek smiled at him. “Well then I guess this is me telling you. I love you Mieczysław Stilinski and even if I had planned to let our relationship settle a little more before we got to this point-” Derek shrugged. “I’m not upset about this. Are you?”
“I feel like I should be,” Stiles said, tilting his head to the side. His eyes were beginning to flare white again. “But I’m not, with anyone else I would be livid, and I’d probably be trying to plan just about any alternative. But I love you, and this feels inevitable in all the right ways. I’m furious that the Argents put us in this position, but I’m not mad that it’s you.”
“Good,” Derek said as he brushed his hand over Stiles’ throat, he watched as the white orange sparks trailed after it. “Now that that is out of the way tell me what to do.”
“Do what you would do for the mating bite,” Stiles replied, swaying towards Derek. “I’ll use the bond created by that as a conduit to bind my magic to you and then ground myself on our dual bonding. That’s what makes us so compatible by the way, the dual bond.” Stiles smiled when Derek nodded. “I’m not sure how it will feel with how much power I need to ground right now, and it will probably be painful for the both of us, but it won’t hurt us beyond that pain.”
“It’ll be okay Stiles,” Derek said, pulling him close. He drew his hand up Stiles’ arm to his neck, watching the sparks trail after him once again. Leaning forward he began to bring his shift to the surface when a thought occurred to him. Pulling back, he looked at Stiles. “Hey,” He said waiting for Stiles’ eyelids to flutter open, and he met his gaze. “When we do this, we’ll be equals in all things here. It would be that way except that I’m the alpha of a pack and you’re the guardian of this territory. Even though you’ve allowed us in with a surface claim, our bonding will tie our pack to the land.”
“I’m aware,” Stiles said, a soft smile curling his lips. “It won’t give your mother or any other Hale that access. Only those that you bring into your pack and your direct line from yourself down. It was part of what you swore when you made your surface claim and signed the treaty with Hisashi and me.”
“You’ll be co-alpha with the pack,” Derek said. He frowned as he thought about how to explain it. “It won’t be like being the official alpha, but your word will carry more weight than the betas and the fact that you’re also the territory guardian gives you even more authority than most co-alphas in your position.”
“You won’t be a co-guardian,” Stiles admitted. “I don’t think there is a position quite like that, but you will be the full alpha of the land. It will bring a new level of protection to the land and community here. The wards here might stick better this time.” He frowned over his shoulder in the direction of the Argent hunters.
“Okay,” Derek said, his hand still cupping Stiles’ neck. He smoothed his thumbed along his jaw and tilted his head back, cradling it in his hand.
“I trust you.”
Leaning in, Derek let his fangs drop. He moved his other hand from Stiles’ hip and around the small of his back, running it up to brace the other man between his shoulder blades. Derek felt Stiles grip his shoulders as he leaned his head into Derek’s hand.
Derek let the tips of his fangs scrape over Stiles’ skin and closed his eyes as the scent of Stiles’ arousal overwhelmed the ozone that had been permeating the air. Carnations and spice, thick and syrupy, filled his senses. Derek got the hint of clean ozone that washed away the stink of the tainted ozone that had been following Stiles since they met up outside the Hale house earlier. He leaned into it, his fangs piercing the other man’s flesh.
The bite was a gift, and each bite was a matter of intent. Almost all alpha bites were meant to turn, even those accidentally given. It was a simple matter of the magic that imbued them and a need for that magic to create a pack. There were two instances where the bite was given and turning was not the intent. One was to bring an individual into the pack, and the other was when an alpha decided to take a mate.
Derek felt the bond taking root within him, mixing with his other pack bonds, but standing alone as it shone brightly. Shining orange and white, reminiscent of the sparks that Derek had seen trailing over Stiles’ skin.
He felt his cock harden as Stiles pressed down on him. Derek pulled his fangs out of Stiles’ flesh as Stiles moaned, rolling his hips forward and down.
Derek’s fangs retreated, and he ran his tongue over the wounds to hurry the healing process along. He moved Stiles’ head as he lifted his own and met his mouth, nipping at his lips with human teeth, sinking his tongue into his mouth, and drinking in the sounds that Stiles made.
Stiles pulled back with a moan, the hands he had on Derek’s shoulders migrated to his hair, and he pulled Derek back in after a few gasping breaths.
Losing himself in the sensations of Stiles; his taste, his touch, his scent. It took Derek a few moments to pull back and another to stop the movement of Stiles’ body with his hands on his hips.
“Stiles,” He said, getting the other man’s attention. Derek swallowed hard when Stiles looked at him, lips swollen, cheeks flushed, and eyes hazy. “Equals, remember? You have to bite me.”
“Fuck,” Stiles muttered, voice breathy he leaned forward, pressing his head against Derek’s collarbone. “Okay, yeah. I can do that. I don’t have fangs though.”
“The bonding magic will grant what you need.”
Stiles sat up; his hands had slid out of Derek’s hair to rest on his shoulders once again. He leaned in, and Derek tilted his head, baring his neck. He had the brief thought that he hadn’t done that for anyone since he’d become an alpha, but it felt right all the way down to his bones to do it here for Stiles.
Derek felt Stiles’ breath brush over his skin just before his teeth pressed in, piercing into the flesh. There was a split second of pain before Derek was thrown into a storm of pleasure and power. He felt the bond between them snap fully into place. There would be no tearing the two of them apart without their consent from this moment forward.
Derek thrust up as he pulled Stiles’ hips down. Stiles moaned against his throat, his teeth releasing, but his mouth still pressed down. Stiles pulled back, and their mouths met in a rough, biting kiss.
“Fuck.” Derek pulled back this time, his head hitting the trunk of the nemeton.
Stiles gasped, his head falling back as he arched, his hands splaying out wide. He almost looked as if he was about to take flight. The sparks were now covering every inch of his skin, creating a golden glow that fizzed and popped.
Unable to help himself, Derek drew his hands up from Stiles’ hips, over his waist, and up his ribs. The sparks began to cover Derek’s hands and run down his wrists. Derek reached Stiles’ shoulders and ran his hands down his arms until he could clasp Stiles’ hands.
“Are you ready?”
Stiles came forward in a slow movement; Derek leaned in to meet him, eyes fluttering closed. Stiles’ hands rose to cradle Derek’s jaw. Derek’s hands returned to his hips. Stiles’ forehead pressed against Derek’s, and he sighed. When Derek opened his eyes once again, they were both covered in the sparking light.
“Yes. I’m ready.”
Fire and ice raced through his veins. For endless moments all he knew was pain and Stiles. The world went star bright and then black. Derek’s last thought was to hope that Peter would find them before someone else did.
Stiles blinked awake, soft confusion clouding his senses. He was in a bed, an arm heavy around his waist. He turned his head enough to see the top of Derek’s head, the rest tucked into the back of his neck.
“Stiles?” Derek’s voice was gruff as he pulled back, his gaze dazed with sleep. He glanced around. “We’re in your bed?”
“Seems like,” Stiles agreed, his mind finally cleared enough to recognize his surroundings. “Any idea how we got here?”
“Not exactly,” Derek said, sitting up on his elbow and running his hand over his mouth. “I’m going to assume Peter and Hisashi found us.”
“Huh.” Stiles shifted and sat up, gathering the sheet around his waist. “I don’t know how I feel about your uncle seeing me naked and unconscious.”
“Your pack,” Derek said, tilting his head. “Does it really bother you?”
Stiles thought about it, running his hands through his hair and scrubbing his scalp.
“I guess not,” He said. “I mean, it’s not something I want to repeat.”
“No, I’m not interested in repeating the situation either,” Peter said from the doorway. A tray full of delicious smell things in his hands. “We came into the clearing thinking you were both dead. I could barely hear your heartbeats. Dragging you home and cleaning you up wasn’t the worst of what we had to deal with yesterday.”
“Let them eat before you start lecturing,” Hisashi said, coming in behind him holding an identical tray. “I’m glad to see you both awake. I thought you’d be out a couple more hours at least.”
“What happened after-” Stiles frowned, leaning back as Hisashi ignored him and set the tray of food and drink over his lap. “Is everyone else, okay?”
“Everyone else if fine,” Hisashi said, arching his brows at Stiles and crossing his arms. He frowned until Stiles picked up his fork.
Stiles glanced over to see Derek shifting to a sitting position and getting the same treatment from his uncle.
“What about the remaining Argents in town.” Derek glared at Peter when he handed him a spoon. “Stop that, I’m not five.” He took the spoon.
“Then quit pouting and eat,” Peter said, smirking. “Between your kidnapping, taking out Gerard and then bonding in in the nemeton’s clearing, you need to rebuild your reserves and rehydrate. Both of you.”
“The Argents are done, as far as my network can tell me anyway,” Hisashi said once they started eating. “Your program worked wonders. Their accounts have been emptied or locked down. Almost all of those involved in the business have outstanding warrants from various government agencies with varying levels of seriousness. Rumors are already flying about who they pissed off.”
Stiles took a bite of his toast while he thought. He drank some coffee, exchanging a glance with Derek. He felt their bond flowing between them and was only slightly surprised by how much of a comfort it was.
“We’ll let the rumors go for now,” Stiles said. “No sense stirring any direct interest unless you think something is up.” Hisashi shook his head in negative. “Then unless it gets out of control, I’d rather not draw any more attention to us than necessary right now. We need to get wards back up around the nemeton and I’d like time to settle after all of this.”
“What about the pack?” Derek turned to Peter. “They feel calm, but I’m surprised I didn’t wake up with them camped out in here.”
“Mel and Boyd have them in hand right now,” Peter said. “Once they knew you were okay and that the disruption they felt was caused by your mating.” He waggled his brows at them. Derek sighed. “They agreed to wait to see you when you woke up and were ready for them.”
“What about Allison?” Stiles looked at Hisashi as he set his mug down with a clunk. “She wasn’t among those at the house or in the preserve. What happened with her?”
“We had a discussion about the repercussions of bad decision making,” Hisashi replied, his shadows rising from him and swirling like vapor. “I told her that a career change would be wise.”
“He also told her that she wasn’t welcome in Beacon Hills ever again,” Peter said, smirking. “It was very thrilling.”
“I noticed you enjoyed that part,” Hisashi smiled wickedly over at Peter.
“You were very-” Peter ran his tongue along his bottom lip. “Territorial.”
“Okay, yeah. How about no.” Stiles clapped his hands, breaking the tension gathering between the two. “The two of you are great, I’m very glad you found each other. Blah blah blah. I really don’t need to see you eyefuck each other in my bedroom. While I’m naked in bed!”
“I have to agree,” Derek said, dropping his spoon onto his tray and pushing it off his lap. “Is there anything else we need to know right now?”
“Nothing immediate,” Peter said, still grinning at Stiles. “We can talk more later and bring you up to date, but there hasn’t been a lot of change in the last twenty four hours.”
“Good, because I need a shower and another cup of coffee before we talk about clean up,” Stiles said, handing his tray to Hisashi when he reached for it. Stiles sighed when Hisashi pulled a bottle of water from a pocket and handed it to him pointedly. “Yes mother.”
“Take your time,” Peter said as he gathered Derek’s tray and headed to the door. “Everything has been taken care of.” He met Stiles’ gaze after exchanging a look with Derek. “There isn’t any reason to hurry.”
“In other words, little Stormbringer,” Hisashi said, grinning, his vulpine nature on display. “There isn’t any clean up to worry about. Think of it as a wedding gift.” He winked before gliding out the door behind Peter and pulling it shut.
“What exactly does that mean?” Derek looked at Stiles with raised brows.
“It means that Hisashi’s shadows have been busy,” Stiles said, meeting his gaze. “The bodies of the hunters and the evidence of their deaths has all been destroyed.”
“Well-” Derek broke off, looking lost for a moment.
“It’s not a tactic I enjoy, but I think Hisashi made the right decision this time around.” He cracked open the water bottle and drained half of it immediately before securing the lid and setting it on the nightstand.
“I can’t disagree,” Derek replied, throwing back the blankets and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “Want some company in that shower?”
“I think I could stand it,” Stiles said, slipping out of bed and striding across the floor. “I’m hoping you don’t plan on keeping your hands to yourself in there though.”
“Wasn’t planning to,” Derek said, laughing as he wrapped his arm around Stiles, turning him and kissing him quickly before moving past him through the door into the bathroom.
Stiles grinned and followed, watching the muscles move across Derek’s back and ass. The man has a very nice ass. Stiles watched Derek bend over to turn the water on for the shower. He ran his tongue over his lower lip and stepped forward to smooth a hand over the arch of Derek’s back and then palm his ass.
“You’re stupidly attractive.”
And you’re fucking gorgeous,” Derek stood shrugging. He reached out, grabbed Stiles’ hand, and dragged him into his arms. “Let’s get in the shower. I want to see you all wet again in better circumstances.”
“You have a thing for me naked and dripping, don’t you?” He smirked, delighted when Derek’s ears began to turn pink.
“Of course, I do, who wouldn’t,” He replied, pulling him into the stall and under the spray. “Also fuck you.”
“Yes, definitely fuck me.”
Derek pressed him against the wall of the shower and kissed him hard, his tongue driving into Stiles’ mouth. Derek’s hands were tight on his hips. Stiles arched off the cold tiles with a hiss, even as he scrambled to grab Derek’s arms and bring him in closer.
“You’re such a smartass,” Derek said as he began to move, biting kisses down Stiles’ jaw.
“Fuck.” Stiles rolled his head back when Derek reached the spot where he’d bitten him during the bonding. Pleasure arced through him when Derek bit down with human teeth, pulling back before settling his mouth at the point and sucking a biting kiss to the spot.
“That’s the plan,” Derek said, pulling off his neck to meet Stiles’ gaze. “Here or in the bed?” He trailed a hand from Stiles’ hip to grasp his cock, giving it a tug as he smirked at Stiles.
“Fuck,” Stiles wheezed a laugh, rolling his hips. His cock was fully hard now. “Here, definitely here.”
Derek leaned in, his hand sliding off Stiles’ cock. He kissed Stiles and slid to his knees.
“Jesus fuck.” Stiles closed his eyes, trying to gather his fraying control. The sight of Derek kneeling at his feet was enough to have him on edge.
“Going to be okay up there?” Derek smirked up at him.
“And you call me a smartass,” Stiles said, huffing a laugh. He reached out and carded his fingers into Derek’s damp hair. As his laughter faded, he felt his smile soften. “I love you.”
Derek pressed his mouth to one of his hipbones, dropping a soft kiss. “I love you.” He moved to the other side and pressed a second kiss to that one as well. “I adore you.” When he moved back, his breath was warm and tantalizing as his lips brushed over Stiles’ cock. He grinned when Stiles shivered.
“Fucking tease.” Stiles forced himself to let go of Derek’s hair and braced his hands against the back of the shower wall.
“Never a tease,” Derek said. “I’ll always give you what you want.”
Derek pressed a hand against one hip and wrapped the other around Stiles’ cock. Leaning in, he slid his mouth over the head.
“Jesus fucking christ.” Stiles felt the warmth of Derek’s mouth envelope him, and it took everything he had not to let his eyes roll back in his head. Everything was so good, his mind went hazy white, and Stiles had to bite his lip to keep control. “You’re too good at this. So good with that mouth, fucking hell Derek.”
When Derek pulled back a few moments later, it was all Stiles could do to keep his knees from giving out.
“Godamn, you’re a gorgeous sight,” Derek murmured, standing up. “I’ve barely even started, and you already look half fucked out.”
“Your mouth should be illegal,” Stiles said, his breath coming in soft gasps. “Fuck Derek.”
“Turn around and I will,” He said, stroking himself with one hand briefly before reaching for the lube Stiles had started leaving in the shower for situations like this.
“Kiss me first,” Stiles said, reaching for Derek; they met in a brush of lips at odds with the fire burning in Stiles. He was desperate for more. He thrust his hand into Derek’s hair and pulled him in, biting at his lip as he pressed his body against the other man.
“Stiles,” Derek said his name on a moan. It was a curse, and a prayer rolled into one. He slid his tongue into Stiles’ mouth, and they kissed for long, drawn-out moments.
Stiles pulled back; his lips felt hot and swollen. “Now, Derek, please.”
“Come here.” Derek finally obtained the lube he’d been reaching for earlier and popped the cap. He trailed a hand down Stiles’ back until he reached his ass.
Stiles moaned when Derek’s fingers entered him. He thrust forward, looking for friction and then back, wanting more of the sensation. Derek slid his body closer to Stiles, locking them together in a lover’s embrace that was older than time.
“Derek,” Stiles murmured, his head falling forward onto Derek’s shoulder. “Please, I’m ready.”
Stiles tried to roll his body back as Derek pulled out his fingers and reached with his other hand to grab the bottle again for more lube.
“Just a little more,” Derek said, leaning in and leaving soft biting kisses at Stiles’ neck as he inserted three fingers this time. “Fuck, just a little more.”
Stiles arched, wanting to move forward and back at the same time. Pleasure arced through him like lightning when Derek pressed all the way in. They may not have had long together, but Derek knew how to play his body to perfection.
“No more, Derek, fuck.” Stiles clutched at Derek’s arms. “I’m going to take over if you keep teasing.”
“So, fucking impatient,” Derek said with a strained laugh, but he pulled his hand away. “Hang on.” With a few efficient moves, he’d slicked up his cock and secured the bottle out of the way.
Stiles was getting ready to turn when Derek grasped him at the waist and lifted him straight up. Stiles flailed for a moment before wrapping his arms around Derek’s neck.
“Wrap your legs around me,” Derek said as he pressed Stiles back against the wall of the shower.
Stiles gasped as his back hit cool tiles, his legs hooked around Derek’s waist.
“Hang on to me,” Derek said, lifting Stiles up at the waist.
“Fuck,” Stiles said in one long, drawn-out moan as Derek’s cock filled him. “Your perfect. Fuck. Every time you fill me so good.”
“Stiles.” Derek laid his head down on his shoulder, his fingers tight on his hips as he held Stiles flush against him. “You’re so fucking tight. Fuck.”
They stayed like that for a long moment, reveling in the connection – in the pleasure building between them. There was nothing but the sound of the water running and their harsh breaths filling the bathroom air. The steam from the shower was swirling around them, adding a dreamlike quality to the moment.
“Move Derek, please,” Stiles said, his voice hushed and almost lost in the patter of the water falling around them.
Derek lifted his head and met his gaze; he nodded and lifted Stiles just slightly off his cock, a minuscule drag of motion that had Stiles curling his toes. Derek pulled him back in.
“Oh god, fuck, fuck, fuck,” Stiles breathed out, already beginning to shake at the intensity of the feelings rocketing through his body.
Derek held his gaze as he continued with the slight dragging and lifting motions. Stiles found himself attempting to roll his hips in an effort to speed up the pace, but Derek’s grip was iron-strong as he continued to draw out their pleasure.
“Please, Derek.” He didn’t think he’d ever had sex this intense before, and he didn’t know how much more he could take. “Fuck, I need it.”
“Fuck, yeah. Okay.” Derek hitched Stiles up with a groan. He braced one hand against the wall and wrapped the other around his back.
Derek began to increase the pace a little more, adding a roll to his hips that had Stiles’ eyes rolling back in his head.
Stiles leaned in, using the hand in Derek’s hair to tilt his head back; he kissed him. He started soft and sweet before pressing in harder, nipping at his lip before kissing Derek thoroughly, sucking his tongue into his mouth. They kissed until they had to part for a breath and then kissed some more.
Derek finally pulled away to kiss along Stiles’ jaw and moved further in to suck at the spot just under his ear.
“Damn it,” Stiles hissed, sparks bursting behind his eyelids. He wrapped a hand around his cock and began to stroke himself. Pleasure tingled in this fingertips and toes. “Fuck, please.” His breath hitched, and he knew he was shaking, even as he stroked himself.
“Yes,” Derek said, his movements speeding up as he adjusted once more, getting his hands on Stiles’ ass and beginning to move hard and fast. “Fuck, you feel so good.”
“Yes, fuck Derek.”
Stiles ran out of words. All he knew were the sensations shooting through his body. Pleasure roared from deep within. He felt his balls begin to tighten and knew that he wouldn’t be able to hold off any longer.
“Now, Stiles, please say you’re close,” Derek cried out. He lifted him again, hands clenched tight on his ass. Stiles knew he’d have bruises there in a few hours. Lust shot through him at the thought. “Stiles, god. Fuck!”
Derek brought Stiles down on his cock hard before lifting him again. He did this twice more.
They were both trembling now.
“Yes, yes, yes!” Stiles’ eyes flashed open to meet Derek’s gaze.
Derek’s eyes were glowing red, and he was growling guttural deep in his chest as he thrust into Stiles.
“Fuck Derek, please-” Stiles’ eyes fluttered shut again as his head fell back and his back arched.
Derek lifted Stiles once more. He brought Stiles down on a hard thrust, his fingers digging in and pressing Stiles firmly against Derek’s hips.
Derek let out a rumbling roar that echoed in the room, then he shoved his face into Stiles’ neck, taking in gulping breaths of his scent.
Stiles arched, Derek’s cock pressing just right inside him. He felt the world explode in absolute pleasure, leaving just him and Derek as the only two inhabitants. Pleasure arced through him, shooting down to his toes as they curled tight and up to the tips of his hair. Stiles was dizzy with it. Sparks tingling like champagne on his tongue and bubbles in his mind. Pleasure buzzing up his spine. He was sure he blacked out for a moment.
When Stiles came back to himself, Derek was easing him down off the wall, and they were both standing on trembling legs, half leaning on the shower wall and half on one another.
“Fucking hell, Derek,” Stiles said, struggling to catch his breath. “If we keep getting better at this, I’m not going to make it to my next birthday.”
Derek’s laugh rolled off of him to bounce around the bathroom and echo back.
“I think you’ll be just fine.”
Stiles took pleasure in the fact that Derek sounded as breathless as he did. Knowing that he could affect the other man that much was ego-boosting.
“Let’s get cleaned up,” Stiles said with a laugh. “I think I might need another meal and a nap after that.”
“I’m sure that could be arranged,” Derek said, smirking. “I wouldn’t mind spending more time in bed with you after I’ve checked in with the pack.”
“It’ll be nice getting to know them without being in the middle of a crisis around here.”
“So, you think things will be quiet around here for a while?” Derek began to shampoo his hair.
“Things are never really quiet in Beacon Hills,” Stiles said, grinning. “But yes, I think things will be our type of quiet for a while.”
“Good,” Derek leaned in and kissed Stiles. “I’m looking forward to settling back in here.”
“I didn’t think I would be, but I’m glad you came home,” Stiles said, meeting Derek’s gaze with a smile.
Derek kissed him again, hands slick on his hips.
When they left the shower sometime later, the water was cold, and there was laughter on their lips.