Scott walked into the Hale house like he’d done a million times before only this time was somehow different. This was the first “pack meeting” he’d ever been invited to by Talia herself.
Sure the younger generation got together at least once a week to talk about things going on with them, usually led by Laura, Stiles once told him he thought that she was using them as practice for when she was finally in charge and graduated to the big boy table. Or something like that anyway. The grown-ups however never really included him or any of the other “children”, except for Laura, in their discussions. He would be lying if he said he wasn’t worried.
Whatever this was, it was huge, and he was betting that it had something to do with this new Hale that just mysteriously popped up out of nowhere.
Honestly, no one seemed to know who this guy was at all. Stiles had discreetly asked old people before reporting back that no one seemed to remember him ever being in Beacon Hills, and when pressed they couldn’t name where in the Hale family tree he might fit. It was like the guy wasn’t a Hale at all.
But if he wasn’t a Hale then why was Talia insisting that he was?
Shrugging it off as something he was sure to find out sooner or later he made his way into the living room where everyone was starting to gather. Taking his place beside Cora in one of the oversized armchairs he waited as everyone else found their spot.
Glancing over at the adults, who had separated themselves from the younger generation, he noticed that not all of them were Hales. Deaton was there as well, if he hadn’t been suspicious and scared before he definitely was now. There was no way Deaton would be here if there wasn’t something major going down. He hated major events, they always seemed to involve him in some way or another. Here’s hoping that whatever this new thing was he would be able to stay way on the outside of it.
Talia looked around as all her pups, both bitten and born, made themselves comfortable. She still wasn’t sure if she agreed with having them involved in all of this but she had been vetoed by Deaton and since Deaton was the only one with the information she needed she was forced to go along with his wishes, for now anyway.
Clearing her throat to gain everyone’s attention she began her little speech making sure to keep her tone firm and her eyes red to discourage the outbursts she knew this would cause. The last thing she needed right now was a mini rebellion from the younger members of the pack. This meeting was about gaining the information they were currently lacking no more than that.
“Listen up everyone, we have a situation and now it’s time, apparently, for you to become involved. You have all met Derek and have been told that he’s a distant relation to you but he is in fact not a Hale at all.” As expected that got a reaction of monumental proportions, none more fierce and explosive than Laura.
“I knew it, you were lying to me! What don’t trust me? Then why did you even name me as your heir?”
“Laura, sit down! Now is not the time for your petty anger and imagined slights! This man, this Derek, is a threat to our pack and he is the reason we are here and he is all we will be discussing for the moment.” She paused for a moment to take a deep breath and swallow her anger before she continued. It would do no good to get angry with Laura, she was young and her response had been expected. Though the reality of it had hurt more than she’d thought it might, having her daughter speak in such a way to her was jarring.
“Several days ago when he first arrived I was training the new wolves, I smelled death on the wind and sent them inside while I investigated. When I turned around there was Derek standing nearly in our front lawn, he told me that he had come to Beacon Hills seeking something though he did not tell me what. Then he offered me a choice, to stay in town he needed a non-suspicious reason for being here so he could either visit with relatives or he could bury them.” That sent a ripple of emotion cascading through the group. The idea that some stranger would so casually threaten the pack, threaten the family, was upsetting to say the least.
“He smelled of death and darkness and I had no idea who or what he was so I chose the path of least resistance. When I went to see Alan to inquire about this new threat, Derek was there visiting him himself. After he left I asked Deaton what he knew of this man and he said he would only tell me if you were all present as well. That is why you are here now, no other reason, so you shall sit there quietly while we try to gain the information we need to keep our pack safe.” She stared at each one in turn making sure they knew she meant every word. Laura was the most defiant but even she eventually bowed her head in agreement.
The only one who probably wouldn’t have been petulant would have been Stiles, he seemed to have an almost adult understanding of situations and she was almost certain he would have agreed with her reasoning from the start. If anything, it always seemed like he knew her reasoning already without her having to explain it, but that was generally the case with the boy. When he had first come to her attention he had been nothing more than the human friend of a bitten wolf but now he was just as much a part of the pack as any of the rest.
Unfortunately, as a human he hadn’t been included in the meeting, so she was surrounded by children who only saw that they had been lied to. She had wanted to invite him, but as he wasn’t a wolf and his only true connection was through Scott so it had been decided that he should remain as uninvolved as possible for as long as possible.
“Deaton if you would please begin.” Perhaps now they could get the answers they needed, and she could begin planning how to extricate them all from this mess.
Deaton looked around the room at the disgruntled faces and willed himself to be patient, telling himself over and over that soon enough they would all understand why including the children was necessary.
“First, I suppose I should tell you that what Derek is looking for isn’t a what but a who, his lover.” More than a lover really but they would get to that in a bit.
“If the guy is as dangerous as mom thinks maybe the girl had good reason to run.” He hoped he would not have to deal with too many interruptions like that, this story would be hard enough to tell without the additional commentary.
“Laura, you will remain silent or I swear I will order you from this room.”
“Sorry alpha.” Though her tone and posture screamed the opposite, the words were enough for now.
Now that, that was taken care of, time to move on.
“His lover was a he not a she and he did not run from him Laura, he was taken from him.” He gave them a moment to let that sink in because he knew what a shock it would be. This man who exudes so much power and control that it scared an Alpha as well respected and renowned as Talia from one conversation, he would seem invincible but here he was telling them that he had once been bested.
“But, if this guy is bad ass enough to scare Talia, then how did someone manage to take someone from him so easily?” The belief in their Alpha was heartwarming, but the rest of the statement worried him.
“Who said it was easy Scott? As to how it was done, the usual way things like this are done, through magic, betrayal, and deception.” And much more, so much more.
“But why? Why take him at all? And what does this have to do with why he’s here? It’s not like we took him.”
Sighing, he resigned himself to having to answer questions before he could tell his tale. He had thought they would let him tell it before making so many inquiries but he should have known better when dealing with teenagers.
“He is here in Beacon Hills searching for his lover, once they took him they needed to place him somewhere where they thought Derek would never find him so for the last century or so Derek has been searching everywhere for him and now he’s here continuing that search he started so long ago. This is nothing personal, we are simply the next place on his list. And while we did not take him that does not mean that we do not have him. As for why they took him in the first place if you would let me speak for longer than five seconds without interruption you might learn the answer to that.” He knew he was being slightly harsh but he needed to get this done, they did not have a lot of time and this entire situation was putting him on edge.
While Derek had warned of what would happen to him if he didn’t find his lover here in Beacon Hills he was more concerned with what would happen when he did find him here. For there were parts of this story that even Derek didn’t know yet.
“We apologize Deaton, please continue we will not interrupt again.” While he appreciated the sentiment, he knew it was a promise they would not be able to keep. They were too vocal at their age to be able to truly sit still and listen without input.
“Thank you, Laura. Now the first thing you need to know before we continue is that Derek will find his love here in Beacon Hills. The second thing you need to know is that you know his lover well. Derek’s lover is Stiles.”
“But, Stiles is just… Stiles.”
So much for not interrupting again, but he supposed he could understand their confusion and their outbursts. He had turned their world view upside down in the span of a single sentence.
“Silence!” Talia’s roar cut through the questions like a knife and all fell silent. “Deaton please explain.”
“If you would permit me I would start at the beginning and by the time the tale is done you will understand everything.”
“Of course.” Her words were simple and polite, but her tone was something else entirely. He knew if his tale didn’t satisfy her curiosity he would be opening himself up to more than simple questions. He had pushed her to the edge of her patience, and Alpha’s were not known for that particular trait on the best of days.
“This all began centuries ago when a group of druids angered Derek by going against his will. You see back then Derek was not only big and strong as he is now but he was a king in the supernatural realms and he ruled over everyone human and non-human alike. He ruled alone for centuries and his word was law, as an immortal being there wasn’t much anyone could do against him after all, it wasn’t like it was even possible to overthrow him. Then he met Stiles, a mouthy impertinent human boy who backed down from no one not even the king himself.”
He paused for a moment noting all the smiles and grins at that information. That was definitely the Stiles they all knew and loved after all.
“It’s written that Derek was smitten right away, that it was love at first sight. Stiles was human but Derek was an immortal being powerful enough that even that obstacle was easily overcome. He shared his blood with Stiles every day for a year and on the last day enough blood had built up in the boys system to grant him longevity at the side of his king. As long as Derek’s heart beat so would Stiles.
“They ruled side by side for a time and according to the records kept of that era things had gotten better for them all since Derek found his mate. Stiles soothed his inner rage and kept him from doing a great many terrible things simply by being near him. It was said that Stiles mere presence at his side could calm Derek from a killing rage. Most people of the time saw this as a good thing as a chance for peace and prosperity. The druids however, saw it as an opportunity for them to gain more power in the world. They saw Stiles as Derek’s weakness, as his one vulnerability, they saw a way to control the king.”
Pausing again to take a deep breath, he mourned all over again for the stupidity and greed of his ancestors. His people had seen only their own gain, not the eventual pain their actions would cause and for that he would be forever filled with both rage and sorrow towards them.
“Back then druids had little power or standing among the supernatural community and they had even less among the humans. They were seen as belonging to neither realm, not powerful enough to be fully accepted in the supernatural realm but too powerful to be accepted among the humans. They thought that if they could control the king who ruled over both realms then they could do the same and would finally be given the respect they felt they deserved but were denied.
“First they needed to test just how much sway Stiles held over Derek so they selected a handful of their brethren and accused them of being in violation of one of the king’s most enforced laws. They accused them of plotting to overthrow Derek and take the throne. While at the time none thought it was possible to do such a thing Derek like most monarchs was paranoid about even the plan of such actions and he was smart enough to know that acting as though something is impossible is just daring the universe to prove you wrong. It was also well known that if anyone ever did manage to overthrow Derek and ascend the throne they would just be opening themselves up to being challenged by all the other factions be they supernatural or mundane.
“Derek was well known as the only immortal and the inability to kill him along with his massive army and even more massive powers was what kept him on his throne. Who would want to challenge someone who can’t be killed after all. But if someone else were to take the throne the fact that they took it in the first place would buy them some time when it came to the other factions attacking, but Derek’s army would attack immediately and his army was so vast that it would have taken anyone months maybe even years to subdue them, if subduing them was even possible. The army was created by Derek and therefore loyal only to him. It was rumored even that his generals were all granted longevity much like Stiles had been making them even more dangerous than the rest for their loyalty would be absolute.
“The punishment for being found plotting against the king was a gruesome one and one it was well known Stiles disapproved of. They thought that if Stiles managed to talk Derek into killing them another way then the rumor of his pull over the king would be true. Once the group was executed they knew that Stiles was truly the king’s love and they planned to use him to control Derek. They didn’t want to kill Derek, just point him like a weapon at those they felt had slighted them. They knew they weren’t strong enough to hold the throne even if they did take it so they weren’t even going to try. They would let the king remain there but as a puppet whose strings they pulled.
“They planted one of their people inside the castle as a servant to Stiles as a way to get close to him and earn his trust. Stiles was nowhere near as paranoid as Derek was and he was very much a people person and he loved to talk to anyone and everyone. One night after a year of planning the druid who served Stiles had finally earned the trust of not only Stiles but the other servants in the castle and when Stiles had trouble sleeping while Derek was away for the night she brought him something to drink to help him sleep. The drink held a potion that when ingested turned the victim to stone. Stiles became a living statue.
“Feeling that something had happened to his love Derek raced home and upon entering the throne room he found his lover encased in stone a look of agony on his face and he was surrounded by the druids who had planned this. The sight of his love in such pain sent him into a rage that was only stopped when one of the druids threatened to use a spell to shatter Stiles into pieces. As an immortal being created by Derek he would live through the breaking only to be in pieces and in agony for the rest of his eternity. Unable to be restored and unable to be killed.
“Derek demanded to know their price for releasing him and before the leader of the group could name the price they had settled on, Derek destroying their enemies, his second in command slit his throat and made a demand of his own. Derek’s blood. You see it had taken them over a year to get to their goal, a year where some of them had become dissatisfied with the end result. They wanted more than just an end to their enemies; they wanted more power, enough power that if Derek decided to come after them they would be able to stand against him.
“Derek relented, giving them the blood they craved for six months, all the while working with his allies to stop them. At the end of the six months his plan was in place and his people attacked. His army kept the druids busy while other magical creatures worked to free Stiles from his stone prison. He was eventually freed though the months without movement had weakened him, his muscles had atrophied making it impossible for him to even stand. Seeing that it was a lost cause for them to fight, the druid’s leader, a woman named Katherine gave the order for them to split up. Half of them took Stiles and disappeared while the other half focused their energy entirely on Derek himself.
“The six months spent taking Derek’s blood hadn’t given them full immortality but it had made them harder to kill. That edge gave them just enough time to imprison Derek within the walls of his own castle. His army and allies worked tirelessly to free him while at the same time they searched for and failed to find Stiles. It took them three centuries or so before they managed to free Derek from his entombment and another century after that before he’d regained enough strength to search for Stiles himself. Since he was searching for his lost love he set what was left of his army on another task, searching out the druids who had taken him in the first place.
“Some say that they had damned themselves that taking Derek’s blood for only six months made them immortal but they still aged causing them to live for eternity as elderly druids without much power left to them. Others are of the opinion that they were smarter than that, that the reason they took Stiles in the first place was so that they could continue to feed on his immortal blood and that doing so helped them to keep their youth. Though no one knows for sure which of those is true.”
“But what about Stiles? Why didn’t he ever tell us any of this? Or if it was such an epic love why hasn’t he ever gone looking for Derek?” Laura’s eyes were filled with tears as she spoke, as though she thought that her friend had spent the past few years deceiving her. From her point of view he supposed it looked like he had, but the truth was far more complicated.
“Once the druids took Stiles they didn’t have enough magic left to imprison him again since they’d left half their people behind so instead of imprisoning his body they imprisoned his mind. He is no more aware of his past then you were. He comes to a new town every few years and once he crosses the town line of wherever a druid resides the spell is triggered and all of a sudden he remembers his life before that moment, whatever it may be, as a normal teenage boy and he lives that life for a few years before he is compelled to move on and start again somewhere else. Once he leaves that town all the memories of it are wiped away and he begins again.” Doing something like that was considered beyond cruel and the fact that his ancestors had done so on purpose as an act of vengeance made his blood boil.
“But what about his dad? Surely the Sheriff knows he doesn’t really have a son right?” Scott was nearly pleading, begging for a different explanation, looking for a way around this. He obviously didn’t want his friend to be this centuries old creature, he wanted him to just be the mouthy little human that they had all adopted as their mascot.
“The Sheriff I’m afraid is even less real than the Stiles you know. The Sheriff is a golem, a puppet, an illusion if you will. He is a guardian that the druids made to ensure that Stiles never went back to where Derek was. The moment the golem becomes aware that Derek is in the area he will take Stiles and attempt to leave before Derek can find him.” A failsafe, in case Derek or his army ever drew too close.
Another druid could have stopped it, theoretically, but then Stiles would be found and that would be worse than what was already happening. Everyone knew that searching for Stiles was the only thing distracting Derek from his bloody vengeance, the moment Stiles was returned to him he would be on the hunt for those that were to blame for their prolonged separation. For the druids.
“So what happens if Derek finds Stiles first?”
“All hell breaks loose in our little town.” And everywhere else.
Derek was wandering around this picturesque little town trying to find some trace of his beloved when he heard it. Stiles? That was his voice wasn’t it? But that would mean he wasn’t trapped that he was free. Then why wasn’t he with him? Did he not love him anymore? He was so focused on his own thoughts that he didn’t register the boy headed towards him with his head turned from him looking the other way until they collided.
“Oh, man, sorry totally my bad. Hey, do I know you? You totally look familiar, like a dream I had one time. Not that I dream about guys, or you, or at all. God somebody stop me. I’m just gonna shut up now.”
He looked into the eyes of his love that held only faint recognition and wanted to kill someone, preferably a druid. They had taken his mind! His memories! They had taken him away! No, he would not allow this, if they took his memories there had to be a way to get them back and he would find it, if it was the last thing he did.
“Hello, I’m Derek. What’s your name?”