- Character Bashing
Derek Hale sat on the window ledge watching Stiles hard at work at his desk for about ten minutes before calling attention to himself in an abrupt manner. If only to watch him flail one more time.
“What the fuck, Sourwolf? Doors still too much for you? Phone calls, even?” Stiles calmed his heartbeat and choked back the spike of arousal that came up every time he lay eyes on the other man.
Derek hadn’t missed the scent that Stiles was trying to hide, and it was actually what he was there to speak about. “I, uh, I came to tell you that I was leaving. For good.”
“Oh, uh, okay? Um, why? I mean, not why are you leaving, because we all know this place is a volcano of doom waiting to blow any minute and all and it must be a shitastic well of fucked up memories for you in particular. But why are you here. Telling me.” Hand gestures accompanied each statement, causing the pen in Stiles’ hand to go flying, hitting the wall behind him. “Oops.”
“Stiles, you’re pretty much the only one who would care, and the only one I would bother to keep in touch with.”
“What about Uncle Zombie?”
“Peter is a non-issue. He’ll do what he wants, whether I’m here or not,” Derek told him as he wandered around the room, inspecting random items as he went. He needed to speak to Stiles about a couple of things before he headed out. Well, from what he was scenting here, more than a couple. “Stiles, there’s a few things we need to talk about before I head out.”
“Huh. You, Mr. Monosyllabic wants to have an actual discussion with me? The guy you tend to throw into solid surfaces just to shut me up? Color me intrigued.” Stiles spread his hands and gestured towards the second chair by his desk in invitation.
Derek huffed in amusement but did sit down. He decided to get the most uncomfortable topics out of the way first. “I know,” he looked down, picking at his jeans, “I know — look, I’m sorry, but I can’t — we can’t — I’m not –”
Stiles noticed the flush on Derek’s cheeks and the way he was avoiding any eye contact, the hunch of his shoulders and took a wild leap at what was bothering him.
“Are you trying to tell me that you’re not interested in me, that nothing is going to come of this crush you think I have on you?” Derek snapped his head up in shock at Stiles’ words.
“Derek, babe, I’m a teenager, I’m attracted to beautiful, incredibly hot people. You are one of those people. And no, I never expected anything to come of it. So chill out. I wasn’t about to jump you, or anything of the sort. At some point, I’ll get over it.”
To help Derek calm down, and give himself some breathing space, he went back to focusing on the file in front of him. “I’m completely aware of the facts of life, Derek, you don’t need to explain anything on that front, don’t worry.”
“I don’t –”
“Look. I’m not the guy people are friends with, okay? I’m not funny, I’m not great to be around. I know this, Derek. I’m so aware of this. You think I don’t know that the flailing and the constant talking put people off? That the spouting of facts and the inability to filter my thoughts piss almost everyone off? Of course, I don’t have friends. Didn’t you notice that at the first sign Scott was popular he stopped hanging around me all the time? He suddenly had “choices”. I’m the guy people come to when they need something, Derek, not because they actually like me.”
“Stiles, it’s not –”
“Just drop it. Was that really what you came here to talk to me about?”
“No.” Derek was a little off center from the matter of fact way Stiles had described himself, but he needed to push on so he could get out of town. “No. I also wanted to talk about what’s been going on. I — Stiles, I can’t smell Scott or Isaac or any of the pack in this room at all. What the hell is going on?”
“Oh, is that all? I thought you knew. I’m not pack, Derek.” Again, with the matter of fact attitude. Derek was very confused.
“Sourwolf, while I may still be the go-to person when a Big Bad comes to town, that’s all that I am. The only time they remember that I exist is when they need something they can’t figure out on their own — namely when they figure out they are screwed and need a plan that actually works.” Stiles put down the file and turned around again, face completely serious. “Mr. True Alpha decided — without my input, mind you — that it was better if I was no longer associated with the pack, as I was of no real value. His advisor, Dr. Deaton, agreed with him. And so I was pushed out.”
“But with the deadpool –”
“Yes, I was brought back in because they needed my assistance to figure out what was going on. But you’ll notice that once that was over with, no one is to be found. I’m sure if you take another whiff, you’ll notice that my father’s scent is also barely here, as he spends as little time around me as possible. He’s also in the pack.”
“Wait, so your dad is part of the pack and you’re not?”
“Yup!” Stiles said, dripping with bitterness. “Seems good ‘ol Scotty is way more trustworthy than his own son, no matter how many times Scott has actually almost killed me or gotten me killed. Nope, he’s the favored child, and I’m persona non grata.”
“Stiles,” Derek breathed out with shock. “Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I didn’t think you cared. It’s not like you ever come to me outside of life or death stuff either, you know?”
They both sat there in silence for a few moments, neither knowing what to say.
“So what now?” Derek asked.
“Now, I keep working my ass off so I can get into a good school as far from this shit hole as I can. There’s no reason to stick around anymore, not if I don’t even have dad on my side. I’ll be taking all my research and my skills elsewhere, I just don’t know where yet.”
“Well, maybe we can help with that.”
Derek quickly put himself between Stiles and their surprise guests.
Standing in the doorway to Stiles room were two men with badges on their belts, but none of the stiffness in their demeanors nor the cheap suits normally relegated to the FBI. However, Stiles had no idea from what other agency they could possibly be.
Stiles stepped out from behind Derek, patting him on the arm in thanks. “And who might you two be, letting yourselves into the home of the Sheriff without a warrant, without announcing yourselves? Let’s see those badges please.”
“Considering all the hacking you’ve been doing, young man, I wouldn’t be so quick about asking us to call your father,” the first agent remarked with a very pronounced Southern accent, handing over his badge, relaxing against the wall.
Stiles could feel Derek’s gaze boring into the back of his head at the mention of hacking, but chose to ignore it for the moment.
“Starting out with threats is never a good plan, no matter how subtle you try to be, Agent –” checking the wallet he was given — “Ezra Standish. And you are here because why?”
“Stiles, this is the other thing, these guys have been in your room before, their scents –” Derek started whispering in Stiles’ ear.
Stiles held up a hand stopping him, getting the gist of what he was saying. “I got it, Derek, it’s okay.” Turning to the agents, he asked, “Does he need to be here, or can he get going?” Having Derek out of the line of fire, so to speak, and also out of town all together was looking better and better by the second.
“I’m Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit, Mr. Stilinski. Yes, Mr. Hale can leave. And yes, we’re aware of who and what he is; most of the higher level agents in the agency are aware of the supernatural as we come across it quite often in our cases.”
“And no, we’re not here to arrest you,” he assured Derek, not wanting a panicked werewolf on his hands.
Derek could hear the truth of Agent Hotchner’s statement; he checked with Stiles to see if it was really okay, and then made his way out. He was done being caught up in things and was happy that Stiles was giving him an out. He left a phone number with Stiles to keep in touch, one no one else had.
“Um, before we get started, did you come in the front or the back? If it’s the front, we should probably leave and go someplace else. If it’s the back, then we should be good.”
“We entered the domicile through the rear so as to avoid any neighborly gossip,” Standish offered.
“Whew, all right then. And yes, they would. So Derek said you were in the house snooping around. What did you need? Oh, did you want something to drink? Am I supposed to be playing host or something?”
Hotchner smiled, “No, it’s all right. This shouldn’t take too long. You garnered a bit of attention with your recent interest in certain cases, both cold and active, over the last six months. Once certain connections were made between the cases, my unit was called to look into why those cases were of particular interest to you. Then your town and its problem were put under a microscope.”
Ezra took over. “In the midst of their investigation, the town was under siege of a new dilemma, a deadpool. While your name didn’t seem to be on any of the lists, you once again were in the center of the solution. All those associated with you were on the actual lists — included the gentleman just leaving — but you were the driving force behind solving the problem.”
“So we came to your house during one of your absences and looked around since at that point we weren’t sure if you were part of the problem or solution,” Aaron continued, “and we came upon your notes. The conclusions you came to, the notes you put together are very well done. Even more so when you think about the fact that you are doing all this on your own, having to hide it from others. With some training, I think you would make an exceptional investigator.”
“Um, thanks?” Stiles responded a bit shocked. He honestly had thought he would be in a ridiculous amount of trouble if he was ever caught. “I honestly thought I would be in a ridiculous amount of trouble if I was ever caught. I mean, the number of hunters within the ranks of law enforcement and the government is crazy, and I thought they would be working to silence me for all the things I uncovered.”
Ezra and Aaron traded a few glances at that, none which were comforting. “That’s very true, and if we hadn’t found you first, they probably would have. You need some work on your computer skills, but you will get the help and training you need. Ezra here belongs to a special program that needs someone just like you to round out their investigative team. And you need a safe place to be.”
“Like a witness protection type of deal? What about school?”
“Mr. Stilinski, from your school reports and all other indications, you are a genius that is being held back. The program I belong to will be able to facilitate your education at your pace through to the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees of your choice.”
“Sooooo you’re not FBI.”
“Not as such, no.”
“How are you going to clear this with my dad? Our relationship isn’t what I would describe as ‘bien’.”
“We already have a scholarship ready for you, for which you applied a couple months ago since you had seen which way the flag was flying.” Ezra pulled out a packet of papers for him. “These are the documents he would need to sign, even though you are about to turn 18.”
“We would need you to come to Quantico first so we can go over these cases and you can explain in more detail why you connected them, and then my team will take over from there,” Hotchner put in.
Stiles didn’t even need to think about it. This was his way out, and it didn’t even require a waiting period. Sure, he should probably do research on them, but whatever he did online at the moment was probably being tracked. He’d know soon enough, anyway.
Besides, what could be crazier than what he was living through now?
“Tell me what to say and where to go. If any of this turns out to be false in any way I will ruin both your lives in a completely legal way and still make it horrifyingly unbearable to the point where you’ll regret having ever met me.”