Stiles was so going to hell. He was sure that getting your father drunk to get info out of him was considered a sin. But Stiles just needed to know what was going on. Sometimes being the son of the sheriff had its perks. Besides, it was for a good cause, right? If they found out more info on stuff then lives could be saved. The police had the info, they just didn’t know about werewolves and… whatever Lucy was. They could only do so much.
After his father drank a few glasses of whiskey, he got drunk enough to start talking. Stiles wondered if he hadn’t overdone it this time. When his father couldn’t even pronounce Hell and said Hale… well, he got a little worried there. Not amused of course. That would be bad, really bad. Ok, so perhaps a little bit.
“Hell of a lot?” Stiles tentatively provided the right pronunciation trying really hard not to let out a laugh.
His father glanced briefly at him and nodded. “Yes. Hell of a lot easier to catch if we had an actual picture of him.”
That spiked Stiles interest. “How do you not have a picture of him?” Suspects were caught and then processed, which included a mug shot and fingerprints. So, yeah, they should have pictures since Derek had been arrested.
“It’s the weirdest thing,” Sheriff Stilinski gestured to the picture in his hand. “It’s like every time we took the mug shot… like two laser beams pointing at the camera.” he made a weird motion around his eyes and took another sip of whiskey.
Stiles took the picture from his dad and looked at it. “Nice.” He had to give it to Derek, being a werewolf sure gave him the advantage. This way the only thing they had to recognize him were drawings and not an actual picture. Hmm. Even in a drawing he somehow managed to project the dangerous glint in his eyes and murderous intent. If looks could kill… At the same time, there was something different about him that Stiles couldn’t decipher nor ever understand.
The fire that killed his family not only destroyed his life, but the young man, too. And his sister. Stiles didn’t remember much from the time Derek and his sister stayed with him and his dad, his mom had just died and he’d been grieving just as much as the Hales. Everything in his life was wrong, it all crumbled around him like a house of cards, leaving chaos and pain in its wake. Very much like Derek’s life, actually, now that he thought about it. Boy, didn’t that make him feel kinda douche-y. The poor dude had been in the same situation and all Stiles could think about was his own problems. As if others didn’t have it worse, their entire lives uprooted from the ground without either parent alive. Damn.
Stiles hadn’t seen Derek as vulnerable as he had back then ever since. He still remembered, though and it made his insides churn to see the new Derek that had rolled into town all growly and sour patch-y with those expressive eyebrows of doom that he usually used to intimidate innocents. Of course Stiles counted himself in that category. In his opinion he wasn’t as annoying to Derek as he could be. Since he felt so bad, Stiles wished he could do something else to help him but without getting anyone else hurt.
“Augh, that ounce hit me like a brick.” The sheriff said, sounding every bit as drunk. It made Stiles feel horrible for what he did. “And I have said way too much…”
Stiles instantly tried to get back on his father's good graces. “Dad, it’s me. I’m not going to say anything.” To the wrong people, he concluded. Lucy definitely needed to know things if they were to do something about their particular… situation.
His dad gave him a devious look but the whiskey was really doing wonders to him and he just shrugged. This gave Stiles time to go through stuff. Then his dad went on, spilling the beans about what he knew. He silently thanked his lucky stars for that.
“You see, the thing is they’re all connected.” Yeah, definitely, Stiles thought. “I mean, the bus driver that got killed was an insurance investigator assigned to the Hale house fire.” Stiles looked over to what his dad was going through and finished reading the report.
“Terminated under suspicion of fraud.” He read. A good reason to make it to Peter Hale’s hit list, just like Scott had said. Up until now they only knew that people had been killed, then Scott told them that those people had been involved and all this time his dad had the info but hadn’t known what to do with it. These papers revealed the how they’d been involved and the motive behind Peter Hale’s killing spree.
However… if he hadn’t known better, like when he wrongly accused Derek of killing Laura, all evidence seemed to point to a Hale looking for revenge. No wonder Derek was the primary suspect. Peter was supposed to be in a coma, which automatically ruled him out as far as courts knew, just like his friends had done before. They’d underestimated him and look where that got them. Well, good thing the police wasn’t pointing fingers just yet.
Stiles needed to know more and pass it along to Lucy. “Who else?”
“The video store clerk that got his throat slashed.” the pictures were laid out in front of them and Stiles flinched a little. There was so much blood… the guy’s insides were outwards. Gory. “He was a convicted felon with a history of arson.”
“What about the other two guys? The guys that got killed in the woods?” Those two didn’t make much sense. For a while Stiles thought it was a wrong place, wrong time kind of thing. Scott had been there with him so there was a possibility that the alpha took it out on them. Clearly, he was wrong.
“Priors all over the record, including…”
“Arson.” Of course. “They all had something to do with the fire.” Stiles murmured. This confirmed everything Scott said. Peter wasn’t killing innocent people, he was getting revenge on those who killed his whole family and maybe that’s why Derek was so willing to join him. Had that idiot known all of this too, and been looking for revenge, then they’d probably be after Derek, too. A part of Stiles didn't blame Peter for seeking revenge. Stiles wanted to say he'd be above murder but he couldn't say so without sounding like a hypocrite. He would do anything for his father. If someone hurt his father Stiles would probably want to hurt them, too.
Leaving those dark thoughts behind, Stiles refocused on his dad when he noticed that the sheriff thought he was saying too much. Stiles convinced him to get another shot. This was the only way to get anything out of him and so far everything was going good. A little while later and his dad was really drunk. Like, crazy drunk.
God, I'm such a little shit.
“Stiles, there’s just so many questions.” He sounded tired and frustrated. That made two of them.
“Derek.” His dad explained. “Why kill everyone that was involved in the fire?” It seemed pretty obvious why but Stiles didn’t mention it. Mainly because it wasn’t Derek, but who would believe him if he said it was his uncle that had been in a coma for the past six years? No one, even if they proved that the dude wasn’t there anymore. Derek would probably just get blamed for that one too. “And why kill his sister? I mean, she had nothing to do with it. It’s so out of character. He loved his sister. When the fire first happened, they stayed here and… all they had left was each other. And why make it look like some kind of animal attack? When th—that cougar ended up in the parking lot I checked with animal control. The incidences of wild animal reports dropped seventy percent over the past seven months.”
Yeah, no kidding. Animals knew there was a greater danger out there. Their perception was way better than humans. Now, if only he had half of those animal’s self-preservation… Stiles leaned back and let his father talk. He was right, it was all crazy. Ever since the alpha first bit Scott and then Derek Hale came back, their lives were turned upside down. Suddenly getting to play Lacrosse or school work seemed too mundane when most of the time their lives were in danger. But he hadn’t really remembered much of the time Laura and Derek stayed with them. His mother’s death had still been recent and he’d been dealing with that. How long had it been for? A few days at most before they left with a friend. Lucy, most likely.
Now that he thought about it, that was definitely Lucy. He remembered hearing about that other person who made it out of the fire fighting for her life. She’d ended up in the hospital with bad burns similar to Peter’s.
“She’s so lucky she’s even alive.” Tara had said to another deputy. There was pity and sadness in her voice, both of which he didn’t think Lucy would ever appreciate.
“So you think she’ll make it?” Somebody else had asked, and for the life of him, Stiles couldn’t remember who that was. Maybe that shitty secretary with the three cats who always smelled like she’d just bathed herself in perfume. Semantics. She was never very optimistic.
Tara had sighed and shrugged. “I don’t know. I heard she was in pretty bad shape. But eight people died in that house… she’s a fighter.”
And Stiles couldn’t agree more. He’d seen the scars on her arm and part of her back when he brought her home. They marred her otherwise flawless skin. Even then, she hadn’t seemed too bothered by the fact that he’d seen them but had taken his clothes gladly. Clearly, she was still not okay with people seeing her scars. Then why him?
“You know, I miss talking to you.” Stiles heard his father talk, interrupting his inner monologue. He wanted to stay and chat, maybe ponder more about life and whatnot, but right now he had new info to tell the others. He got up and began to walk away, taking his phone out on the way out.
“I have to make a phone call.”
“I miss you… and I miss your mom.”
Stiles put the phone away and slowly turned around, stunned, his heart skipping a beat. “What’d you say?” His dad rarely spoke of Mom anymore. It was a very hurtful subject for the both of them. Ever since she died it was as if there was this… this hole inside of Stiles’ chest and seeing his dad hurt so much… That’s why Stiles never mentioned mom anymore. Instead, he’d learned to keep his mom’s memories alive through other means that wouldn’t be too conspicuous and remind his father of what they’d lost. Hmm, perhaps that’s why he hadn’t remembered Lucy until now. He compressed memories of those dark months in the back of his mind. Seeing Lucy in his home had dug up those memories. Not only her but Laura and Derek, too. For some reason he hadn’t told Scott this, but they stayed for such a short period of time that his friend probably didn’t even remember either.
When his dad reached for the bottle of liquor to get another drink, Stiles couldn’t let him do it anymore. He walked over to his father and gently took the bottle to keep him from drinking himself to sleep from the pain. Becoming an alcoholic wasn’t something his dad would want to do. At least when he was sober.
His dad didn’t try to stop him, he just sighed and said, “Thanks.”
Not knowing what else to do, Stiles let it go. He just stood there and helped his father up to his room. In his drunken state, his dad barely moved. Just groaned and made himself comfortable on the bed. Stiles watched him for a moment before proceeding to take his shoes off and drape a blanket over him to keep him warm at night. Tomorrow his dad would have the worst hangover but with luck he wouldn’t remember much.
“What does the boy have to do with anything?” Derek asked, barely able to contain his own anger.
Peter ran a hand along the backrest of the old couch longingly. Derek shared the same nostalgia. No matter how much he hated Peter or wanted to kill him, he was still all he had left. Without Laura, Derek didn’t know what to do. Most of the time he was going around feeling lost, wondering what Laura would do. He knew that he was handling the situation badly, just look at how messed up he is, but he was out on a limb here. He’d ever been trained to become Alpha. There was no manual for this. Derek should have learned his lesson the first time around that no one’s life was guaranteed and at least listened to his sister instead of running away from his last family member when the guilt became too much to bear.
In some ways, though, Derek understood that this was his punishment for killing his whole family. Now he was going to be all alone. Sooner or later he would have to kill Peter. His uncle was too unstable. Years trapped in his body as he recuperated damaged him just as much as the fire. Very little was left of the man he remembered him to be.
“Jackson, right?” Peter finally faced him. “He knows too much, Derek. The Argents probably have him on their radar already. He’s a liability.”
“But we can’t kill him!” Derek reasoned. For all the threatening he did with Scott and Stiles on a daily basis, he never really thought of actually going through with them. He might be a predator, but he wasn’t a killer. His mother had reminded him of that plenty of times. Werewolves weren't the rabid dogs hunters made the out to be. “He’s just a moron, Peter. An imbecile who will shut up if we scare him.”
“You either do it or,” Peter held up his claws as if to admire them and Derek noticed the dry blood on them. Blood that belonged to Lucy. “you know what happens. There is no being that is truly immortal, and so she can be killed.”
Derek growled low in his throat. “If you hurt her…”
Peter rolled his eyes and retracted his claws. “Please, Derek. You think I wanna do this? Lucy is my friend’s daughter, but she’s also in the way.” In the blink of an eye he was standing right in front of Derek, fangs out and red eyes glowing in the dark. Dark hatred was reflected in them. Two red pools that promised fire and destruction. Derek didn’t even flinch, he refused to show any weakness. He wondered if he'd be able to take him down once the time came. In this state, Peter seemed invincible. “Don’t you want to get revenge? All those sons of bitches that doomed our family deserve to die and I plan on getting rid of each and every one of them.”
Something about the way he said it and the pointed look he received sent a paralyzing chill up his spine. Could it be that Peter knew about him and... her? But Derek had been so careful to keep that a secret. A moment later Peter pulled back and was back to his normal self. Derek couldn't stop the slight shaking. “So we don’t need that boy running around with our secret. Get rid of him, or I do it and take the girl down, too.”
Get rid of him, or I do it and take Lucy down, too.
Peter’s words haunted Derek as he guided Jackson back to his house. It was either that scumbag or Lucy. Selfishly, he’d chosen Lucy because he didn’t want to be alone anymore. Among all the shit going on since the fire, Lucy was always a constant in his life. She wasn’t Pack but she was a good friend, had always been even before the fire. When he called in trouble, she came. Last night she’d even risked her life for him and he couldn’t deny the level of intimacy their relationship reached once more after what happened between them before.
Derek knew that if he killed Jackson the Argents would have a valid reason to kill him and this time he wouldn't be able to argue his innocence. He would be a monster and no different from Peter.
While he didn’t like what he was about to do, he did have to agree with Peter on one thing: Jackson was a liability that needed to be taken care of. There were other methods but this one would be permanent. At the moment Derek couldn't pretend to be a righteous man. Not when there was a part of him that felt… relief that those who caused the fire paid for their actions. It wasn’t enough, though. That was the worst part. Derek still had no closure. He wanted more. He wished he'd been the one to cause them pain and rip them apart. Watching as the life drained from their eyes would have given him some sense of peace. They played a part in destroying his family, Derek wanted them to pay a thousand times more. Anyone who let something so barbaric and inhumane happen deserved to die. Dark thoughts kept swirling inside his mind invading every crevice and nook, slowly poisoning him.
Right now, Derek hoped that Lucy would someday forgive him for what he was about to do. He didn’t know what he would do if Lucy also turned her back on him. This was for her, but she wouldn’t see it that way. Just like Derek didn’t want to be a killer and didn’t approve of killing humans for sport, so did Lucy. He wouldn’t be surprised if Lucy actually became disgusted with him.
Please forgive me, he silently prayed.
“What’s in here?” Jackson asked, uncertain.
“Everything you want.” Derek replied.
He watched as Jackson hesitantly opened the door and stepped inside, taking careful steps. Once he was inside, Derek rushed in and closed the door behind himself, turning to face a very nervous Jackson.
“It’s alright,” Derek said trying to reassure him, though he didn’t know who needed it more, him or Jackson.
Still, Jackson’s cool façade wasn’t doing anything for him when Derek could hear his heart beating faster than normal and smell the fear emanating from him. The teenager ignored Derek and looked around, confused.
“This house,” Jackson began. “It’s the same house.”
Derek stepped closer, instantly alert. “What’d you say?”
“I’ve dreamt about this place. I remember th-the staircase,” He looked up at it, then to the side, wonder all over his face. “I remember these walls, I remember… everything”
“You’ve been here?”
“No,” Jackson quickly told him, as he turned to face him. “Never. I dreamt.”
What? That doesn't make any sense.
Then realization seemed to dawn on Jackson when Derek just stared at him like a predator did to his prey. “There’s no one else here.” Much to his surprise, the boy teared up slightly.
Derek shook his head and took a step closer, still trying to come to terms with what he was about to do.
“Anyone else coming?”
Derek shook his head again and stepped closer, unclenching his fist to reveal claws. Jackson gulped at the sight of them and his heart rate went up a notch. Realization that werewolves weren’t to be messed with dawned on him a bit too late. He tried to back away but the stairs were on his way and Jackson just fell on his ass like the pathetic little human he was.
You’ve always been so… human, Derek. Never change. Laura had told him once when she found out about the girl that Derek was so in love with. She’d thought it was cute. But that was then, when he was happy. Now Derek was as unhappy as he could get. The pain and remorse wouldn’t leave him. It was his stupidity that got his entire family killed, along with Lucy’s father. If Lucy found out… she’d probably kill him herself. As it is, Lucy lived with an unfounded guilt because she hadn’t saved her father. She thought that if she’d been stronger and faster the day of the fire she would have been able to save more people. Lucy wouldn’t have to go through that every day if not for him in the first place. Instead, she was even afraid of lighting up a candle in their home.
I can do it, I can kill him.
“Please!” Jackson pleaded. “Please don’t, ok? I’ll shut up. I’ll never say another word about this. I-I’ll even leave Scott alone. Just… please.”
We are predators, not killers.
When his mother hadn’t been there to remind them, Laura did and now he was about to break one of the most sacred codes that his family held dear for generations. For centuries, his family tried to live in peace with humans only to be killed by fucking hunters.
“Please!” Jackson repeated frantically when Derek didn’t stop advancing on him and tears began to spill down his cheeks. “I don’t—I don’t deserve it.” He said in a more subdued tone.
“I think you do.” Derek said ruthlessly. That was the way to go in this situation. Just don’t think about what you’re going to do.
“NO!” Jackson screamed.
Tired of all the begging, Derek snarled. “Look around you! Wouldn’t there be someone here, trying to save you? There’s no one here. There’s a reason no one cares that you drive an expensive car, or that you have perfect hair. And no one cares that you’re captain of the Lacrosse team!”
“Excuse me.” Derek looked up to the top of the stairs and saw Scott standing there looking angry. “Co-Captain.” And then he leaped into the air, landing with a thud in front of Jackson, shielding him with his body. Surprisingly, he’d been able to shift.
A part of Derek felt proud for the younger wolf, but the other part got pissed off. He was ruining everything. If Jackson didn’t die now then he would die later anyways and Lucy along with him. Derek let out a growl of frustration and shifted, too. “Move!”
“No.” Scott replied, not the least bit scared.
“Fine.” Derek snarled. “I’ll kill you, too.”
It was them or Lucy, and as much as he hated doing this, he needed to do it. Dammit! Just as he was about to snap, there was a whistling noise approaching fast. Derek barely had time to yell at Scott to cover his eyes before doing so himself as an arrow whisked past them and embedded itself on the charred wall. Just like the arrow that had nearly killed him when Chris Argent shot him, this one also exploded. To make matters worse, bullets followed.
Derek looked up and he saw Scott clutching at his stomach as the smell of blood reached his nostrils. Scott had been shot. “Scott, go!” Derek ordered but the teen seemed to be in too much pain. Black blood poured out of his mouth. The bullets were laced with wolfsbane.
Derek glanced once at the door and then rushed to Scott’s side, helping him up and pushing him in the right direction to the back so he could escape. “Run!” He yelled over the roaring in his ears and watched as the teenager stumbled out of the house. Then he turned around and went over to the door. To make sure that Scott made it out alive, he needed to distract the hunters before they figured out that there was more than one wolf inside.
Derek braced himself for the onslaught and opened the door, launching himself outside where bullets and hunters were waiting for him.