- Wolves and Mages – Episode 1 – Aftermath
- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Death - Major Character
- Death - Minor Character
- Discussion - Murder
- Discussion - Rape
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
Stiles felt an inexplicable sense of hurt and loss as Peter Hale breathed his last and the red glow drained from his eyes. There was nothing they could have done for the man. He was far too gone in his insanity to have been reached. Still, Stiles couldn’t help but feel he’d lost something important, almost vital, which was the weirdest thing to feel since he’d never known Peter when he was sane and not prone to homicidal killing sprees.
Next to Peter, Derek had gone rigid, and Stiles shifted his focus to the last remaining Hale, watching with interest as Derek stood up and turned, eyes going from electric blue to vivid red. Stiles’ eyebrows rose when, for a few brief moments, Derek’s expression could be described as nothing short of terrified, before it shifted to completely unreadable.
“What the fuck was that?” Scott yelled at Derek, getting up in his face, which Stiles thought was a very bad idea. He barely resisted the urge to facepalm. Such a bad idea. “You weren’t supposed to kill him! I was! You took away my cure!”
Stiles darted forward and used all his strength to push Scott back and get between them. He was surprised he managed it. “Dude! New Alpha! Don’t get up in his face. He hasn’t even settled yet.”
“But he stole my cure!” Scott snapped at him, glaring at Derek over Stiles’ shoulder.
Stiles huffed. “Okay, Scott, let’s look at reality and not your wishful fantasies that end with you and Allison walking off hand in hand into the sunset, okay? There was maybe a one percent chance that it might not have been a myth. Less than, in all probability, because it sounds like a load of bullshit to me, and I barely know anything about the supernatural. Derek told you it was a fairy tale of sorts.”
“Well, we won’t find out now, will we?” Scott retorted, his expression mulish.
Rolling his eyes, Stiles reached up and smacked the back of Scott’s head. “You idiot! Don’t you get it? If you had killed Peter, you wouldn’t have been cured! You’d be the Alpha. And considering you barely know how to werewolf, and you pretty much still suck at being a Beta, you couldn’t have handled being an Alpha! He did you a favor, dude.”
“What the fuck ever,” Scott said, glaring at both of them before stomping off, not even bothering to say anything to Allison.
Stiles rolled his eyes again and rubbed his face. “He’s taking being an asshole to an epic level.”
“Is he going to be okay?” Allison asked quietly.
“Yeah. He’ll get over it and come around. He’s just…stubborn when he thinks things should happen the way he thinks they should, and reality turns out different. He’ll sulk for awhile before he mans the fuck up and deals with it.” Stiles gave her a small smile. “This isn’t the first time he’s had a little tantrum. Probably won’t be the last.”
Stiles looked over at Jackson, who was eying Derek with a particular gleam in his eyes. He groaned, because he knew exactly what Jackson was thinking and what he wanted. Stiles shook his head and pointed at Jackson. “No! Uh-uh. Nope. Not happening. You’re going to have to get in line, and you certainly aren’t a priority.”
Jackson huffed. “Mind your own business, Stiles.”
“This is my business, Jacks,” Stiles said, using his childhood nickname for a boy who had once been like a brother to him. He pointed to Peter’s body. “He made it my business when he bit my best friend. And I’m saying no.
“Look around you. There’s kind of more important things to deal with right now than your drama and your issues and what you want to get out from under them. If you want to see Derek about what I know you want, then come back later. Otherwise, you’re going to have to help us deal with all this.” He motioned to Peter again and then to the house, where Kate’s body was.
Making a face, Jackson nodded and walked away, slipping into his car and driving off. Stiles wasn’t surprised in the least, because Jackson had always been kind of squeamish about certain things. Not that Stiles could blame him. Dealing with bodies wasn’t something he’d ever done, but Jackson couldn’t handle the dissection of the fetal pig in Biology the year prior. Luckily Stiles had been his partner, so he’d done the work without complaint or mockery, and it had the benefit of Jackson not being an asshole to him for the rest of the year.
Chris cleared his throat. “I’ll take Kate into the woods and leave her there. Sprinkle some mountain lion fur and call it in anonymously. It won’t fool any hunters who would look into it, but it should keep everyone else out of it.”
Stiles nodded when Derek didn’t say anything and watched Chris and Allison go into the house. He stepped closer to Derek and looked down at Peter, wincing. “I’m sorry you had to kill him, that we couldn’t help him.”
“The uncle I knew and loved died during the fire,” Derek told him. “This was a monster inside the shell of Peter.” Derek looked at him. “Why are you staying?”
“We’ve dealt with everything together, even if it was with a buttload of bitching and misunderstanding and generally being assholes about everything. I won’t leave you alone to deal with it, and I…” Stiles huffed. “I can’t leave him like this. I have to see him taken care of. I can’t explain it to myself, let alone you.”
“You smell sad.”
Stiles blinked rapidly from the burning behind his eyes. “When he died I felt as though I had lost something vital.” He sighed. “He offered to turn me earlier tonight.”
“Considering you don’t smell like you’re wounded, I take it he didn’t?”
“No. When I said I didn’t want to be like him, he respected my choice. I was surprised, actually,” Stiles told him, turning and watching when he heard footsteps on the old front porch. “Then again, look what he got when he turned Scott without consent.”
They both stood in silence while Allison and Chris carried Kate away. In spite of the fact that Kate Argent was a heinous bitch and a sexual predator that deserved what she got, he felt sad for Chris and Allison. No one should have to feel the pain of losing someone you love to something so tragic, even if the person brought that shit on themselves.
“I don’t blame Allison,” Derek told him once they were alone. “She was left ignorant, which was probably the better thing since she wasn’t indoctrinated at an early age to their bigotry, but she was lied to and manipulated by someone she loved. It can’t be easy, knowing Kate had betrayed her so badly.”
“It’s the only truth that sticks,” Stiles murmured.
Derek looked at him with surprise. “Arthur Miller.”
Stiles nodded. “Was a quote my mother was fond of for some reason. But she always looked a little sad about it. Made me wonder if she had been betrayed by someone in her past.” He shrugged. “I’ll never know, but I always remembered it.”
Sighing, Stiles looked down at Peter again. “What do we do with him?”
“I was thinking about burying him in the basement of the house,” Derek told him.
“Do you have anything to wrap him in?”
Derek motioned toward the house. “There should be a couple of sheets in the first room on the right. I’ve been staying here.”
Creepy, but Stiles kept that thought to himself as he jogged up the stairs and searched until he found them in the corner. He grabbed them both and went back out, grimacing at the tug he felt when he saw Derek leaning down and stroking Peter’s hair softly, clearly whispering words that didn’t reach his ears.
Stiles busied himself laying out the sheets one on top of the other and helped Derek slide Peter onto it, even though Derek was strong enough to do it himself. He folded the sheet over Peter while Derek walked off, only to come back a short time later with a few long pieces of rope.
In silence, they secured the sheets and Derek carried Peter down into the basement. Stiles looked around for something to dig with, but Derek just nudged him over to a crate.
“I’ll dig the hole, Stiles. I’ll be able to do it better with you out of the way.”
Stiles thought about protesting out of general principle, but hey. Werewolf. “Fair,” he murmured, hopping up on the crate, eyes widening when he heard a few creeks and cracks before it settled under his weight.
After several minutes of silence, Stiles sighed and asked what he’d been worried about, because, well, it was better to know now. “You’re not going to go all dickbag on us, are you?”
Derek stopped digging and frowned at him. “What do you mean?”
“Well, in the moments between going to school and blood-curdling terror, I’ve been doing some research, and from the few bits of information that I think are true since a lot of it corresponded to Scott and what’s been going on around us, it seems that sometimes when someone suddenly gets Alpha powers, it kind of goes to their head and they end up on a weird werewolf steroid high that makes them venture a little on the raging asshole side.”
Huffing, Derek resumed digging. “I can see how it can happen. The Alpha power is immense and overwhelming, and heady. I can see where it could cause someone to be a raging asshole without someone to stabilize them.” He sighed. “I’m going to have to have a pack. An Alpha without one can become unstable.”
“Well, I’m here, and I’ll work on Scott.”
Derek’s eyebrows twitched at him like they wondered what the fuck he was smoking. It was actually kind of fascinating, watching them converse all on their own. “You really think he’s going to come around?”
Stiles nodded. “I know he will, once I verbally smack some sense into him. He’s highly emo and annoyingly dramatic, but once you get through to his ass, he’ll let go of the stubborn douchebag routine and realize what’s good for him.” He smirked. “And if he doesn’t, I’ll chain him up to something and make him drink out of his own personal doggy bowl. Again.”
Derek snorted. “You’re evil. I don’t know if I want you on my team.”
“Well, you’re stuck with me, so deal with it. And trust me, you want me on your side. It never goes well for the other side.”
“I suppose I should start this out the way I mean to end it,” Derek murmured.
“It would save you a lot of tears and pain while regretting your life choices,” Stiles said, smiling a little when Derek huffed a small laugh.
They lapsed into silence again as Derek finished digging the hole. And he’d been right in that it would have taken a lot longer had Stiles been involved.
Stiles helped him lower Peter into the grave and push the dirt over him with the rake he found off to the side with some other gardening tools.
“Bye, Peter,” Derek murmured once they were done.
Stiles hesitated for only a moment before resting a hand on Derek’s shoulder. “Come on, big guy. Nothing more we can do here.”
They walked back outside and Derek looked around. “You came with that Jackson guy, didn’t you?”
“Yeah. Peter damaged my keys in an attempt to keep me from coming out here, so we had to use his car.” He reached in his pockets and brought out his keys, which were curled up and clearly beyond repair.
Derek snorted. “Do you have an extra set?”
“I have two at home,” Stiles told him.
Jerking his head to the right, Derek said, “Come on. I’ll take you home and then to your car.”
Stiles slid out of Derek’s car at the parking garage and frowned when Derek grimaced. “What?”
“I smell death.”
“Oh, yeah! Uh, that car,” Stiles said, pointing to the one next to his Jeep. “There’s that nurse in the trunk who decided to play lackey to an insane psychopath. Peter killed her.”
“Bet she regretted her life choices in her last second,” Derek muttered.
Stiles snorted. “No kidding. His laptop is also in there. Not sure about anything else. Might want to check in the backseat.”
Derek pinched the bridge of his nose. “Thank you, Peter, for leaving me your mess to clean up.” He sighed and looked at Stiles. “Why don’t you get going? I don’t want you anywhere near here. I’m going to clean out any sign of Peter, and I’ll call in an anonymous tip about her.”
Stiles nodded. “You got it. If Scott comes by, I’ll attempt to start dislodging his head from his ass. Come by the house whenever. I’m sure we have a lot to talk about, and I for one would like some accurate information about werewolves. There’s way too much fan fiction out there and I’m one hundred percent sure the vast majority isn’t accurate unless accidental, even if some of it is hot.”
Seeing Derek’s raised eyebrow and amusement, he shrugged and flushed. “I got sucked down the rabbit hole a couple of times while doing legit research.”
Shaking his head, Derek pointed towards his Jeep. “Go. I’ll come by soon. We’ll talk.”
Stiles nodded and slid into his Jeep. He was glad that this parking garage was one that didn’t have cameras, which was probably why Peter picked it in the first place, since he was crazy not stupid. The last thing he wanted was his father seeing him here on tape, right where a dead body was found. Plus he knew the incident with Peter probably looked a little creepy as hell out of context – hell, it wasn’t exactly sunshine and roses in context – and he really didn’t want to explain why Peter was holding his wrist so close to his mouth.
He glanced back at Derek a couple of times in his rearview mirror as he drove away, hoping that he would see the new Alpha soon. He really didn’t like the idea of Derek lurking out in that house where his family had died and where Kate had recently tortured him. But ultimately it was Derek’s decision, at least until they hammered out everything. If he didn’t end up kicking Stiles to the curb, then Stiles would see about getting Derek in a respectable place, even if he had to drag him there kicking and screaming. Or growling and snarling, as the case may be.
His dad wasn’t home when he got there, but he wasn’t exactly expecting him to be, since he was scheduled to work overnight. Plus with the chaos that had been happening lately, and with two anonymous calls coming in for dead bodies, he doubted he’d see him again before tomorrow night. His dad had a tendency to catch cat naps on his sofa when things got hectic.
However, the light in his room was on, and he saw the telltale flashing of the television, so he figured Scott was waiting for him upstairs. Sighing softly, because he’d at least hoped that Scott would take the rest of the night to cool off, he got out of the Jeep and went inside.
He went into the kitchen, turned on the broiler, and then rummaged around the refrigerator, pulling out the rest of the homemade lasagna he’d made the night before and the garlic bread he hadn’t toasted yet.
He dished out a couple of platefuls and wrapped them in saran wrap. He shoved one in the microwave and grabbed two Pepsis and two bottles of water out of the refrigerator down in the basement.
He set them down on the table and slid the garlic bread onto a cookie sheet and shoved it in the oven. Then he switched out the plates and looked up at the ceiling. “I’m re-heating lasagna. If you want some, get your ass down here.”
A minute later he heard the thumping of footsteps on the stairs and wordlessly handed the hot plate of lasagna to Scott before pulling the garlic bread out of the oven. He turned it off and the cut up the bread and slid it onto the plate, while Scott came back in and grabbed a couple of forks. Stiles grabbed his lasagna and the bread and followed Scott to the table.
They ate in silence for awhile before Scott sighed heavily and Stiles snorted. “Look, Scott, if you’re just here to whine and be stubborn as hell and not listen to a damn word I said, I will throw your furry butt out the door. It’s been a long day and I’m exhausted and not in the mood to fight with you.”
Scott rolled his eyes. “I’m not here to fight with you, Stiles, geez.”
“Okay, then you have my attention. What’s up?” Stiles asked, and bit down on his bread as he watched Scott gather his thoughts.
“I may have overreacted a little out there. I just…that was my only hope, and I know you’re right. I’m barely able to handle being a Beta. There’s no way I could have been an Alpha. It’s just… I was hoping for it, because I think it’s the only way I’m going to get to be with Allison.”
Allison. Of course, because everything recently came back to Allison Argent.
Stiles stabbed a piece of lasagna and pointed his fork at him. “Probably, but look. It was the longest of long shots, and Derek knew it. He told you, but I think we both know you heard exactly what you wanted to hear, and no more.”
“Yeah,” Scott said, slumping down in his chair. He poked at his food before looking up at him again. “Do you really trust Derek? I mean, really trust him?”
“As much as I can trust anyone who isn’t my dad, your mom, or you,” Stiles said honestly. “I mean, we haven’t known him long enough to get put into that category, but let’s look at this realistically.
“He’s been an ass, yes, but we haven’t exactly been sunshine and rainbows toward him, either. I mean, we had him arrested for his own sister’s murder, and then you accused him of trying to kill us at the school.”
Scott made a noise of protest. “For the record, I thought he was dead that second time, and I didn’t know how else to explain it without revealing werewolves or looking crazy. I mean, didn’t he look dead?”
Stiles nodded. “Yeah, he really did. Not sure how he managed to live through that. I’ll have to ask him. Anyway, even with all of that, he still helped us and trusted us enough to help him out. He’s been trying to fix all this shit since he got here and help you at the same time, and you haven’t exactly been a willing student.”
He pointed his fork at Scott again. “And you. You’ve been an asshole about this whole thing, blaming him for all this shit when none of it was his fault. He didn’t bite you. He tried to help you. Granted, he doesn’t exactly put out the warm and fuzzy vibes, but he was trying. You were so obstinate and obnoxious, and all ‘Allison, Allison, Allison!’ that you didn’t listen to a word he said and even did the exact opposite.
“If you want to blame someone for getting bitten, besides Peter or even Kate, who started this whole thing by burning an innocent family to the ground for no reason at all, then you should blame me. I’m the one who went over to your house that night and badgered you into going into the woods with me. If it weren’t for me, you’d have never been there and never been bitten.”
Scott sighed. “I don’t blame you, okay? Yeah, you came over and bugged me into going, but if I didn’t want to go, you and I both know there was no way in hell you were getting me out that door, dude.”
Reaching for his Pepsi, Scott added, “And I don’t blame Derek, not really. I’m just… I’m angry, about everything. And nothing. Sometimes I don’t even know why I’m angry. I think it’s just me adjusting to this new part of me. And it happened so fast and so much has changed and my life is more dangerous, and I worry.
“I worry about you getting hurt, about my mom finding out and hating me for what I am now. I worry about Dad, because he’s the Sheriff and now we know his job is even more dangerous because we never know when he’s going to come across someone like Peter. I know I could have handled it better. It just sucks.”
Stiles smirked. “At least now you can run across the parking lot without having to lie down and wheeze on the ground until I run to you with your emergency inhaler.”
“That was one time!”
Stiles laughed. “So, want to forget about the supernatural and all the shit we’ve got to deal with for the night and play some games?”
“God, yes. Mom’s got an overnight shift and I don’t want to hang out at the house alone.”
Derek returned to his old home with Peter’s laptop and two boxes of files and books in his possession. Though it had been a short time, it looked like Peter had been using his time to the maximum efficiency when he wasn’t out wreaking havoc.
The laptop itself wasn’t the best, but he figured that the nurse had probably bought it for him at some point or brought in one of hers. He wasn’t entirely certain how long Peter had been lucid and active before Laura returned, though he was he hadn’t been all that well off until he’d gained the Alpha power.
He sat down on the floor near his things and woke it from its sleep. At least it was Wi-Fi capable, though there was obviously none available at the moment. The computer seemed to be running fairly smoothly, but Derek thought it might be a good idea to get a better one, as well as some disks and external devices to place the information in multiple places. It was really the only thing he had at the moment that had at least some information, and who the hell knew what would pop up at some point in the future.
He was surprised to find that Peter had been working on databases for various things. Supernatural creatures and beings, magic spells and rituals, plants, and items of importance to those who did magic or weren’t fully human. He knew Peter had been training with Jared to learn how to work with the Hale library and do research. His heart clenched a little to know that even insane, Peter utilized the stuff his big brother had taught him to create what he had.
There wasn’t a lot of information in them that he could tell, but there were a ton of files – PDFs, Word documents, videos and images – available in a wide variety of folders and subfolders. It was going to take quite a bit of time to work through it make the databases useful.
He wondered for a minute how Stiles might like taking that job on. He seemed to be interested in sticking around, and Derek honestly had no problems with that, in spite of the rocky start between them.
He did wonder about Stiles’ comments regarding his feelings when Peter died. It’s not something he’d ever heard of before. Yes, they had mates, but those tended to be found the same way humans found love. It’s just when they actually mated, there was a bond created that made for a stronger marriage and it was extremely rare to see abuse, infidelity, or divorce happen within a mated pair. When it did, it was usually because one of them had been damaged by magical or some other means.
But for someone to feel pain like that over someone who not only attempted to kill multiple people but was insane and virtually and unknown entity… Well, he supposed it didn’t really matter anymore, because Peter, may his soul rest in peace, was gone.
Derek put away the laptop and began digging through the boxes, finding a small number of books and several file folders, each tagged with different subjects and holding many pages with Peter’s neat writing. Another pang shot through Derek, who remembered how much he envied Peter his legible handwriting. His had always looked like chicken scratch, as his mother always told him.
The low, rumbling purr of the Porsche that Jackson drove caught his attention and he began putting away the files. He stood up as Jackson walked into the house.
“I want you to bite me,” Jackson told him without preamble as soon as he saw him.
Derek’s eyebrows shot up and he smirked as he let his eyes roam over Jackson’s body, achieving his goal of making him fidget uncomfortably. Good. Let him be thrown off his game. “Now that could be taken so many ways. Unfortunately for you, I don’t bite until after the third date. And only if you ask nicely.”
Jackson rolled his eyes. “That is not what I meant, and you know it.”
“No, but what you’re asking isn’t as simple as being bitten and going on your merry way, either,” Derek told him. “What makes you think you can just walk away? Or that I would bite you in the first place.”
“Because if you don’t, I’m going to tell everyone about you and everything that’s happened here in the last few weeks,” Jackson replied, chin rising as he glared at him defiantly. “I’m sure the Sheriff and my dad would love to know what’s been going on, who’s responsible for all the deaths and mayhem.”
Derek laughed as he leaned against the wall. “Really? That’s what you’re going to blackmail me with? First of all, you’re not going to say a word, because you’re as complicit to what went on here as anyone else. You’re going to have to explain how you know what went on and who was involved. Even if you were to get immunity, everyone would know you were involved.
“Second, they wouldn’t believe you anyway. I mean, come on. Werewolves? You may as well go now and pick your own room out in Eichen House, because that’s where they send guys like you who have gone around the bend.”
Derek smirked and tapped at his ears. “Besides, I could hear the lie in everything you said. You have no intention of telling anyone anything.”
Jackson deflated in front of him. “No, I don’t. They wouldn’t believe me anyway. I do want this, though.”
Derek motioned for him to follow him out onto the front porch and they sat on the stairs. “You need to understand a few things, Jackson. One, this is a lifetime commitment. You don’t get to take it back to the store or throw it in the back of your closet if you find you don’t like being a werewolf. Once I bite you, it’s done.
“Second, the bite could kill you. It’s rare, especially with younger people, but it does happen. I know someone who was a little younger than you are, and they died when they were bitten. Like I said, most of the time it doesn’t happen, but it’s a possibility.”
“I understand that,” Jackson told him.
“Then there’s the pack. A werewolf has to have a pack. An Omega? They don’t last long. They go insane. They often lose themselves to the wolf, and have been known to kill and eat humans. Some have even dug up graves and eaten the dead.”
At that Jackson made a face and went a little pale. “Oh, gross! I could have lived without that image, thanks.”
“Not a pleasant one, I know, but you need to know this. You think you can handle yourself on your own once you’re bitten. I’m telling you it’s not possible, unless you want to end up like the majority of Omegas do. And often those who don’t reach that point are the ones who are killed early on. Omegas are weak without pack bonds, and easily hunted and picked off by Hunters.”
Derek looked at him. “That’s another thing. Hunters. While being in a pack isn’t a guarantee of safety – look at what happened here – you have a far better chance of survival being in a pack. Hunters are far less likely to hunt a werewolf that belongs to a pack or hunt in pack territory.
“But you also have to follow the rules. You have to do the work to learn to control your wolf and your shift. You have to listen to me and obey me. An Alpha isn’t a controlling asshole who gives his or her Betas no free will. You have free will, but you also have to trust when I tell you not to do something that there’s a good reason. And I will tell you what that is, but you can’t go flying off the handle because you don’t like an order I’ve given.”
Jackson nodded. “I understand that. “
“Good, because while this won’t be a dictatorship, it won’t exactly be a democracy, either. I will ask for and want the input of my pack, but ultimately the choices are mine to make.” He sighed. “And one last thing for now.”
“What’s that?” Jackson asked him.
“The bullying asshole persona has got to stop. I’ve watched you in recent weeks, because you’ve been hanging around Scott and Stiles, and I’ve been keeping an eye on them. You’re a bully. You bully them, and so far you’ve been lucky that since Scott was turned he hasn’t laid you out cold for your dickish behavior.
“I know they can be trying, that they’re assholes a lot of the time, but you’re especially mean to Stiles, and he’s human. His intention is to remain so, as far as I know, and you can cause him irreparable damage once you’ve been turned.”
Derek shook his head. “You’re lucky that Stiles fights his own battles, because you’re skirting the line of ending up in jail for abusing the Sheriff’s kid. They’ll likely be your packmates, and I won’t have you hurting them. I don’t even understand why you do it, because I don’t sense any kind of real anger or hatred of them when you’re around them, in spite of your behavior.”
Jackson fidgeted next to him, clearly uncomfortable. “It’s complicated.”
“Well, uncomplicate it,” Derek told him. “And not just with them. With everyone. You could cause a lot of damage as a werewolf, and you don’t have just yourself to think about. If you expose us because you can’t behave yourself, you could get everyone killed.
“I know this sounds harsh, but it’s the reality.” Derek clapped his hands on his thighs. “Now, I’m not going to bite you tonight. I want you to go home and spend a few days thinking about what you’re asking, and what’s going to be asked of you. Figure out why you really want this.
“If you want it because you want an advantage to play sports of all things, well… Honestly, it’s a crappy reason, and I wouldn’t bite you for that. Like I said, you’re altering your entire life and it shouldn’t be for such a shallow reason. But if you want it because you want to be a part of this, because you know this is what you want out of life, to have a family that will stick by you no matter what, to always be there for you, that you can be there for, then come back and see me.”
Jackson stared at him for several moments before nodding and standing. “Yeah, okay.”
Derek watched him go back to his car and drive away, a small smile on his face. He had the feeling Jackson would be his first Beta.