- *No Site Warnings Apply
- Alternate Universe
- Challenge Response
- First Time
Derek pulled his car into the parking space and looked around. The building looked almost the same as it had when he had come here as a child nearly twenty years ago with his mother. Back then, the shop had been run by a nice lady who smelled of apples and cinnamon. She was gone now. Derek remembered her dying not long before his own family had been burned away.
Laura had told him the shop had been closed up for years after the owner had died. The building had never been sold; no new shop had ever taken up residence. Derek had once joked that there was a vibe still lingering in the place. Maybe some kind of weird mojo cloaked it somehow. He didn’t really mean it though. He’d only been there a few times with his mother, but he remembered the owner fondly.
He wouldn’t even be here now if he wasn’t desperate. In fact, he hadn’t even known the shop was back in business until last week, and that was only through some bizarre fluke wherein he had driven three hours to buy some ingredient he couldn’t even pronounce only to find out they didn’t stock it regularly and why hadn’t he called first. The obnoxious lady had then asked him why he didn’t go to Jasper’s since it was only a few miles away.
Derek had then called Laura because she seemed to still have her finger on the pulse of Beacon Hills gossip, the bitch. She had told him that the shop had been re-opened about six months but wasn’t sure of much else as her source for information hadn’t been able to get anything else.
Derek wasn’t sure exactly what that meant. Knowing his sister the way he did, he was almost afraid to ask.
So, here he was, checking out Jasper’s because he really was desperate. Doc Deaton had given him some vague instruction, and some even more vague ingredients and then suggested he look into specialized protections. What was that supposed to mean?
He’d been back in Beacon Hills for nine months but he had spent most of that time getting the old house tore down and re-built. He wasn’t even sure what was driving him exactly. He had told Laura that it was just something that he needed to do, that it was time. She understood, sort of. She had told him she couldn’t come back with him though. He hadn’t expected her to. This was his burden to lay to rest. The problem with ghosts was that they still haunted the places where they’d been so vibrant in life. He wasn’t sure if his uneasiness being back on his family’s property was the old guilt manifesting, or if there actually was something unsettling about the place.
He wasn’t even sure if he was doing the right thing at all. He’d never had a lot of experience with magic, or magic users. His own pack emissary had been kept away from the pack, for the most part. His mother had met with him when necessary, but the meetings had never been around the family. Laura had only mentioned that he still lived in Beacon Hills, but he wasn’t too clear whether or not that was an endorsement for Derek to approach him or not. Derek had, but it was out of desperation, and it was with the intention of limiting their contact as much as possible.
He wasn’t sure what it was, exactly, but there was something about the veterinarian that made him uneasy.
Derek didn’t think it was a druid thing either. He’d met a few in other places who hadn’t made him uneasy. His uncle Peter’s friend in Washington was kind of hard to read, not vague and unhelpful, like Deaton, but just…a hard read. He’d lived with shifters a long time and had learned ways to hide his thoughts and feelings. Derek had also met a few other magic users, they all had a certain vibe to them. They had a certain scent to them sometimes, and sometimes it was more than that, sometimes he could sense an aura about them.
Derek didn’t generally mess with magic. There were some wolves adept at magic, who had ability, and others who studied it for the knowledge or power. His uncle Peter fell somewhere in between. He was only moderately adept himself, but he did have a keen interest in all sorts of arcane knowledge. He always had. Peter had been the one who suggested if Derek was going back to Beacon Hills to rebuild he should have someone protect the area. Derek hadn’t given it the proper thought until he started feeling uneasy on the property.
He looked back at the innocuous building and tried to remember what it felt like coming here as a child. He knew the old owner was long gone, but surely he could remember her kind eyes and warm smile. Whoever had resurrected this old business, hopefully, they knew a thing or two about real magic, otherwise, Derek would be left to rely on Deaton, and he wasn’t sure how he felt about that.
Derek took a deep breath and entered the shop, looking around tentatively. It didn’t look much different from what he remembered as a child. There was a little bit of everything, from crystals and incense, candles and essential oils. The back wall was covered in books, some looking new, others looked used and quite worn. There was a section labeled ‘Divination’ that had a multitude of different items, from tarot cards and glass orbs to a table filled with little baskets of runes, of differing shapes and sizes. There was some loose-leaf tea in oddly shaped boxes and Derek’s werewolf nose wasn’t sure he wanted to get close enough to identify the variety. It smelled pungent just from his current distance.
“I didn’t think you were coming inside.” A soft voice said, from somewhere towards the back corner.
Derek looked towards the sound and blinked. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting from someone working in a place like this, but the young man moving towards him, wasn’t exactly what he had envisioned. He was about Derek’s height but thinner, with less body mass, which made sense, since he wasn’t a werewolf who had learned to exorcise his inner demons with physical exertion. However, he did have an intense sort of aura around him. It wasn’t exactly dangerous, just…intense, almost as if there was something just out of Derek’s perception. Something he should be sensing but couldn’t quite grasp. He was dressed plainly in jeans and flannel, his t-shirt faded enough that he couldn’t quite make out what it had once been. His hair was on the shorter side and a little messy, as if he had a habit of running his hands through it, and didn’t have much use for mirrors. It was his eyes that drew Derek’s attention. They were an unusual amber color, and seemed amused, and yet like he knew more than someone his age should.
“You sat outside for a while. I didn’t think you were coming inside today.” The man shrugged.
“Does that happen a lot?” Derek asked curiously. The man didn’t seem to think someone sitting out in their car for who knew how long was weird or unusual.
“Sometimes. People who come in thinking it’s a tourist trap or that we sell trick cards or the Milton Bradley sort of Ouija board will be nudged away by the spells surrounding the building. People who know exactly what they want or need just enter. Those that are unsure sure sometimes stumble a bit but they usually get their feet in the door. But, people who needs things but aren’t used to magic, or people who have a strong need will be drawn in and sometimes they’re not sure why exactly. It confuses them.” He looked across at Derek, his eyes calm. “Which are you?”
“I need some protections on my house.” Derek said after a minute.
The man nodded. “The newly re-built Hale place out in the preserve.”
Derek blinked. He wasn’t sure if he was relieved he wouldn’t have to explain or concerned this virtual stranger seemed to know about him, or at least, his house.
The man grinned. “Sorry. I’m Stiles.” He held out his hand to shake and Derek was drawn to an intricate pattern of knot-work that was tattooed along the back of his hand and around his wrist.
“Stiles? Derek asked blankly. It was an unusual name.
Stiles grinned again. “As in Stilinski. My dad is the Sheriff of this fair county.”
Derek nodded before freezing, and looking around the shop one more, his eyes straying to the crystal display. There was a framed charcoal sketch hanging on the wall above the display. Derek had never seen the sketch before but he did recognize the model. It had been many years since he’d seen her, and he was a child himself at the time, but he remembered her well. Her eyes were recognizable in the sketch, even done in charcoal.
“This was your mother’s shop.” Derek realized, recognizing the resemblance between Stiles and the smiling woman from his memories. It was obvious, now that he was looking for it.
Stiles nodded. “It was.” He looked back at the sketch of his mother for a moment before turning back to Derek. “So, what brings you to Jasper’s?”
Derek sighed and pulled out the list of ingredients he had written down. “I need this stuff.”
Stiles took the list and read it silently, his brow furrowing.
Derek watched him as he read. His expressions would be comical, if it weren’t for the fact that Derek needed these ingredients. He needed his property to be safe.
“I thought you said you needed protections?” Stiles asked in bewilderment.
“I do.” Derek agreed.
“Okay.” Stiles nodded. “But these ingredients, especially if we’re talking about for a den, added to the already inherent magical properties of Werekind, will not provide protection.”
Derek swallowed. “What will they do?” He needed his home protected, and he wasn’t sure how to go about that on his own.
“Something else.” Stiles frowned. “Where did this list come from?”
“Initially? My mother’s emissary. But, I did look into what might be good foundation warding when I first started to rebuild.”
Stiles nodded. “Deaton believes protection begins and ends with Mountain Ash, which while a valuable resource, is all but useless for Weres.” He eyed Derek cautiously. “Some of this looks like it might be for a secondary border spell.”
Derek sighed and nodded.
“And was the first spell performed?”
“Deaton came by and did…something. I’m not really sure what was involved.”
Stiles hummed. “Was this after the house was built or when they were still doing the foundation work?”
“After the bulk of the work was done. They were still working on windows and some electrical.”
Stiles frowned. “And Deaton, or anyone else, didn’t perform any other magical rituals or healings at any other time?”
“No.” Derek bit out. He didn’t like being asked all these questions, especially when he didn’t know where they were leading.
“What’s wrong?” Derek could smell Stiles was angry, but not why.
“Your property has some negative energy surrounding it. There is some…unrest in the spiritual energy.” Stiles stated.
“You think?” Derek couldn’t help but snap.
“I’ve only been by the property lines a few times, but I could sense the damage.” Stiles stated, ignoring the snarky comment, though his lips twitched slightly. “If I had been consulted, I would have done a cleansing after the old house was torn down but before the new work had started, and laid the initial ground warding.
“Can you do it now?” Derek asked his voice tense.
“Yes, and no.” Stiles looked at Derek seriously. I’ll have to take look at the property to see what’s been done, and then we can go from there. It might be too late to do what should have been done, but I can do something.”
Derek nodded. He wasn’t sure why he was so relieved. He had known Stiles for less than an hour, yet he trusted him more than he ever had his mother’s Emissary. He wasn’t sure if that was foolish, or some wolf instinct he wasn’t consciously aware of.
Derek watched as Stiles walked around his house for the third time. He wasn’t sure what exactly Stiles was looking for, or if he was trying to get a feel for the house, and whatever Dr. Deaton may have done when he had been by. Stiles stopped abruptly and set his messenger bag down next to the large tree that Derek had chosen to mark the eastern side of the house.
In the old house that tree had been around the back and he remembers climbing it when he was a kid. When he rebuilt, he wanted to be able to see that tree and had decided to place it on the east side of the house, where he had put in a room for his books. It wasn’t exactly a library, as it was missing some of his family’s collection, but it was close enough. He liked to sit in there and read, and sometimes he would look out the window at that old tree and it would remind him of the days before tragedy had taken so much.
Now, Stiles is sitting with his back against that same tree, pulling out what Derek can only vaguely recognize as magical tools. He wonders what he’s sensed, but is slightly afraid to ask.
“There’s spirit energy here.” Stiles says quietly, his eyes still closed. “I’m going to perform a ritual healing.”
Derek just stares at the young man for several long seconds, his senses wide open, trying to figure out what it is about this man’s magic that soothes instead of causing him to tense up.
Stiles lifts head slightly, his eyes still closed, but a slight twitch of his lips, as if he could See Derek staring, even through his closed lids. “Well? Do you give your permission?”
Derek nods. “If you think it will help, then yes.”
Stiles nods once and turns back to his supplies, long fingers reaching out towards each item, even though Derek can see his eyes are still closed. He watches the mage as he lights candles and does something unfamiliar with little shiny, clear stones with some sort of markings on them. Runes, Derek thinks.
Derek can feel the energy shift around him as Stiles continues with his magic, some sort of words being softly spoken. Derek can hear them, but not understand, as they are not in English. Still, Derek is relaxing by inches, and he realizes it’s because the unnamed tension that has surrounded his property is slowly dissipating. He can feel the breeze pick up for a minute, and the sensation of fingers in his hair before everything stills. Derek looks over at Stiles and watches as the young man has the fingers of one hand in the soil at the base of the tree, and the other palm, placed on the trunk of the tree. Stiles eyes are still closed but he is speaking softly to the tree, again in that unfamiliar language.
After a few more minutes frozen like that, Derek watching as Stiles does whatever with the tree and the soil at its roots, the young man moves away and turns to Derek.
“The area has been healed. I still recommend you put up some wards, but otherwise, you should be good.”
“Can you do the wards?” Derek asks, because he isn’t sure he trusts anyone else. He doesn’t know why he trusts this guy, when they’ve only just met, but he does.
Stiles nods. “Yeah, but I’ll need some time to rest first. How about I come by tomorrow?”
“Sure.” Derek agrees. “What do I owe you?”
Stiles shakes his head. “Nothing. This needed to be done.”
Stiles finishes putting away his supplies and stands. “Though you could do me a favor maybe.”
“What?” Derek asks, still a little surprised by Stiles and what he’d done.
“Next time you need anything done, like this? Come to me first.” Stiles grins at him, as if they were sharing a joke.
“Yeah, that’s probably best.” Derek agrees, still unsure why Deaton didn’t recognize the problem, or why he gave him a list of ingredients Stiles didn’t seem to think appropriate.
“See you tomorrow.” Stiles takes his bag and walks away from the property, towards where his jeep was parked.
Derek watches after him until he can no longer see or hear him.
Stiles sat across the table from his father, watching him pick through the salad Stiles had ordered for him before the Sheriff had arrived.
The sheriff looked up at his son and snorted. Stiles was eating at bowl of soup and watching his father. He turned his head towards the far table and noticed Derek Hale drinking a cup of coffee and eating a sandwich. Every few minutes, Derek’s eyes would move towards their table before looking back down to his own plate and the book he was reading.
“So, I heard you were out at the Hale place.” The sheriff said idly.
Stiles nodded. “Yep. His property had some bad spirit energy that needed to be put to rest.
The sheriff rolled his eyes. His son was so much like Claudia that at times it made him wish for the old days, when his wife would come home from the shop and talk about the things she sold to people and why they needed them. The two of them both had this affinity for magic that Lucas Stilinski could never quite grasp. He knew about the unique population of Beacon County, and how the supernatural tended to be drawn here, but knowing a thing didn’t necessarily mean you understood it, or were comfortable with its existence.
“Isn’t that what Alan Deaton is supposed to do?” The sheriff asked, knowing that Alan had been the Hale Emissary at one time. He also knew, his son would have a not-so-pleasant reaction. Stiles and Dr. Deaton had never been friends, or even on friendly terms. Dr. Deaton had felt Stiles study of magic to be dangerous and unnecessary. Stiles had felt that Deaton’s tendency to ignore whatever supernatural activity happened to be going on, to be negligence.
Stiles frowned. “That man is a menace. He left Derek’s property uncleansed, and then had him chasing all over the place for ingredients that would only exacerbate the problem.”
“Maybe,” The sheriff hesitated to mention this, but Stilinski’s weren’t exactly subtle. “Maybe Alan knew Derek Hake would find his way to you.”
Stiles snorted. “If he wanted Derek to come to me, he should have just pointed him in my direction when Derek first came to him for help.”
“Alright.” The sheriff held his hands out. “So, you helped him? And you’ve been out to the new Hale place how many times?”
“Twice. I healed the area, and then I went back the next day to lay down some wards.” Stiles raised an eyebrow, feeling like his dad was attempting to interrogate him, though he wasn’t sure about what.
“You’ve only seen Derek Hale twice?” Lucas pressed.
“Yes…” Stiles looked up at his father in confusion.
“Then why is he over there staring at you?” The sheriff nodded over towards Derek’s table.
Stiles turned to look and Derek was staring really hard at his book, his ears turning slightly red. “Um…I don’t know.” No, he didn’t know, but he could hazard a guess. Still, Derek seemed a little skittish. He’d be better off waiting for the werewolf to approach him, then the other way around.
“Uh-huh.” The sheriff nodded.
“So,” Stiles smiled. “How are things at the station?”
The sheriff shook his head and allowed his son to change the subject.
Stiles was ringing up a customer who frequently came in to buy candles and incense when the door to the shop opened. Stiles handed the bag and receipt to the young woman before turning his attention to the newcomer.
“Derek!” Stiles was mildly surprised to see the werewolf. It had been a couple of weeks since the wards were placed, and though he’d seen the werewolf a few places around town, Derek had never come back to the shop, nor had he made any contact with Stiles. Though Stiles had felt like he was being watched when he’d run into Derek at the grocery store, and the second time he’d seen him at the diner.
“Hey.” Derek smiled slightly.
Stiles smiled back. “Did you need something?” He asked curiously. He’d gotten the impression that Derek wasn’t exactly comfortable in a magic shop.
“No, not really.” Derek shrugged. “I was wondering if you wanted to have dinner…you know as a thank you.”
Stiles blinked. It had been a few weeks since Stiles had been out to the property, and he’d been clear that he didn’t need any sort of payment. “As a thank you?” He asked cautiously.
Derek nodded. “Yes, if that’s okay with you?” He asked, his ears turning that same shade they had in the diner.
Stiles smiled. “Sure.” He walked around the counter and towards Derek. “And if you want to go out for a dinner that’s not a thank you, I’d be good with that too.”
Derek’s eyes widened slightly. “I’d like that.”
“Great. Pick me up at six.” Stiles grinned and then moved towards the back of the shop.
“Hey, you never told me why your shop is called Jasper’s.” Derek called after him.
Stiles poked his head around the corner he had turned. “You never asked. My, uh, my mom was a crystal worker.” He eyes moved towards the table with the crystals and the portrait of the woman hanging over it.
“I figured as much.”
“Jasper is a type of crystal. My mother used it a lot, and identified with its properties. It’s known as the “supreme nurturer” and that was my mom all over.”
“I’d like to hear about her.” Derek said, sensing the emotion in Stiles as he spoke about his mother.
Stiles stared at Derek for a long moment before he nodded, his voice soft. “I think I’d like that.”
Derek smiled again, and there was a look of relief on his face. “I’ll be back in a few hours.”
Stiles watched him leave and thought that maybe this would be a good thing, for both of them.