Pulling out his head gear from the pocket of his CDU pants, he places it on his head squaring it appropriately, as he started to take in the extant of the property. Stiles could almost see the happy subdivision that the County of Beacon had intended on building. In his mind he could imagine the picture perfect scene playing out. Then it all faded. Stiles was still staring at an empty forest preserve.
Prior to Stiles leave for the service, the population had begun to decrease. Now it was but a shadow of the thriving society it had once been. As the McCall pack searched in L.A. for more orphan supernaturals, Stiles did a lot of soul searching himself and he had decided that instead of returning to the FBI training, he would enlist in the army. There he could learn to become a soldier and not pretend anymore or just be the brains. Surprisingly Stiles enjoyed his military life, it had separated him from Beacon Hills and had given him life, his existence a new meaning, perhaps even more, a new identity. Still there was something in his head that pulled him back home.
Stiles remembered this land, this was the old Hale property, though any evidence of the towering house that originally would have stood in front of him proudly for several generations, had been wiped away just as the gallant family that had once lived in it. There were strange occurrences that surrounded the family before the fateful fire that eliminated all but a handful of them. The family and its history caused outsider to believe the land that Stiles was ready to take on, to be considered cursed. The so called "curse" was also the reason that Stiles had been the only person to actually show up for the auction. Stiles scanned the distant tree line, "Where are you Sour Wolf?" Stiles said, under his breath. In the back of his mind he was sure that grumpy man would show up for the auction, but there was no sign of the socially awkward wolf.
"Here you are Sergeant Stilinski, though unfortunately I have to do this by the book," Joe Smithers, the auctioneer, smiles. Smithers was a kind man, but he seemed overly eager to finally dump this land for the county.
"I understand completely" Stiles said, nodding his understanding as he looked around in regret. "Were you expecting someone else to show up?" Shelli, the auctioneers assistant, asked. "No, no not at all" Stiles lied and smiled. Shelli had watched everything that transpired in front of her taking it in all closely. Once Shelli was placated, he glanced at the sky trying to throw her off.
Stiles wasn't one hundred percent sure how he was going to get through the next few days. He hadn't spoken to anyone from Beacon Hills since he left for basic training. He had written letters to everyone and he tried to reach out to them on several occasions, but in turn they had never written back to him. So he decided what was the sense of trying anymore?
Mr. Smithers stood by one of the crumbling fences, the wired fences had been put up to separate the different lots that were to be sold to families building for their future.. But now they were being sold as one large plot of land, due to the lack of interest. Smithers abruptly cleared his throat out loud to get their attention.
"Lot 667, Auction Block 32 Beacon Preserve and Dawson Lake, July 13th, 2019. All bidders are present.
We shall begin the bids at starting amount of $10,000." Stiles raised his hand as he rolled his eyes and Shelli yawned, they both knew this was pointless but it had to be done this way. "We have 10,000 would anybody like to bid more?" He was being overly dramatic. "The bid stands at $10,000." Smithers stood there for the appropriately amount of time. This was aggravating the hell out of Stiles. "Going once, going twice, SOLD." Stiles wanted to yell thank God, but he was still in uniform and needed to act appropriately.
Smithers cut down the sign from the auction site and handed it to Stiles. Stiles took the sign into his hand and in his minds eye, he saw a flash of a past memory. It was not his memory but the memory almost seemed familiar. He saw a man reach and hold the sign. The feeling of regret overwhelmed him. Then it hit him as to who the memory belonged to! Looking up in the far distance he saw a familiar silhouette of a man. "Sour wolf?" Removing his darkened sunglasses, Stiles blinks rapidly to clear his eyes then places them back on. Before Stiles could start to walk towards the figure, Mr. Smithers grabbed his attention. "Here you go Sergeant, how will you be paying for this?" Stiles glances back at silhouette which had now disappeared. "Sergeant?" Smithers whispers. Stiles looks back at Smithers confused and grimaces. He walked to a new baby blue Jeep Wrangler, there he reached in the back, he grabbed his duffle bag and retrieves $20,000. Stiles handed the money to Smithers. "So as you can see, I included another $10,000 for you for filing this under private owner, Instead of listing my name in the paper." Stiles implied. "Also, if you could keep this sale from being public knowledge at least a few days to allow myself and my acquaintance to get settled in..!" Smithers turned to the Jeep, he tried to see who was sitting in the vehicle, but was unable to see any distinct features due to the lowered CDU cap and dark sun glasses.
Shelli smiled and Smithers looked back at Stiles who had removed his glasses for the first time in the transaction. Stiles eyes were stoic, though even he couldn't try to hide from the loneliness that had snuffed out the spark of excitement that used to shine there.
Without his glasses, Shelli could see the large scar that had almost taken his eye. She quickly closed her eyes as premonition like flash caused her to see the horrific event that had caused the injury. Soldiers having to do hand to hand combat with rival troops, she placed her hands to the side of her head, she tried to banish the thoughts from her minds eye, but the images were over whelming. She could see filthy, rabid dog like animals mauling soldiers. There was gun fire all around them and horrible eardrum piercing screams. She could see men being pushed around with horrifying maul marks from the attacking animals. The last thing that she saw was another person and herself flying over a cliff with a dog attacking her. Just as fast as this memory entered here mind, it had ended. She quickly looked at Stiles vehicle, almost seeing it's occupant. Shelli turned back to look Stiles in the eyes, she felt pain and guilt and overwhelming sadness. She took a step back, blinked, the anxiety that the vision created was just too overwhelming for her to process and she rapidly retreated to the company van to compose herself. Stiles watched here scurry off, it was like she was running from him. He could smell her fear. "Is she okay?" Stiles asked. He looked at Smithers, who only shrugged his shoulders and quipped "She is new, ah and she has her moments!"
Stiles gave his half crooked smile while putting his glasses back on. "Mr. Smithers I would like to thank you for not cancelling this auction!" Smithers smiled "To be honest son, we've not had one single person even pretend to want this land.!" Stiles took the paperwork out of his hand, placed it under his arm and shook Mr. Smithers hand gratefully. Smithers left in the van with Shelli as she glared at Stiles. He waved goodbye to the soldier that he had left standing there. Rolling down the window he hollered to Stiles "Good luck Son" then under his breath, "Your going to need it!" Stiles stood alone, "Now what did he mean by that?" His mind quickly came back to this moment. His eyes searched for that ever elusive silhouette. For a split second he saw movement, it turned out to be a screech owl flying close to the ground.
"Michael would have loved this place." Ethan said as he placed his arm on Stiles shoulder. "Michael will love this place." Stiles corrected his friend. Stiles knew he meant well, but the emotions his statement stirred up, were adding to the turmoil already inside his head. Stiles could picture Michael planning out everything from the main design to the exterior design as well, it was Stiles intention to let it happen that way! He briefly smiled at the thought, then turned to the man standing next to him.
Sergeant Ethan Stiener wasn't the same cocky boy that Stiles had met all those years ago. The identical twins were unstoppable together, but separated, they were very independent individuals. After Ethan's brother Aiden was killed in front of him, Ethan left Beacon Hill alone and distraught. Eventually, Ethan joined Jackson Whittemore on his journey in England, which in turn led them both to return to Beacon Hill to help Scott and their old pack with Monroe's Army. Shortly after he and Jackson returned back to London, a few days later Jackson had disappeared. Jackson had left a detailed letter informing Ethan as to why Jackson needed for Ethan to move on and forget about him. Ethan now distraught and alone again, returned to Beacon Hill, in utter pure loneliness he decided that enlisting in the army was a way for him to lose those highly emotional memories that haunted him every day and finally help him to move on. The military was a hard separate road for both Ethan and Stiles to navigate, but after four years that road had brought both of their paths back together in Africa, right before Stiles would dreadfully need a friend in one of the worst ways. "How's your knee, sergeant?" Ethan looked down at his knee and frowned, 'It does seem to be a bit better than it was in Africa.!" "Hmm." was all Stiles could say out load, neither man could comprehend why Ethan's leg was not able to supernaturally heal.
Stiles phone buzzed, he read the text information from Corporal Perry, then he told Ethan the abbreviated message, "We are to meet with Staff Sergeant Jameson at noon, to finish paper work and get our offices there at the recruiting building." Ethan looked at him, "Are you sure we shouldn't have just done the military disconnect, they did offer us full retirement, I mean take all of that money and hire a private investigator or something?" Stiles smirked, "It will be easier to get military information while still enlisted, than it would be if we were just civilians!" Stiles looked Ethan in the eyes, "Makes since right?" Ethan nodded.
Glancing at the sky "Well my good friend, lets go see who we can find." Stiles said as he gave his old crooked smile. Ethan looked at Stiles, "Could we go by the High School?" Stiles smile faded, "You mean the under path?" Stiles asked. "Yes." Ethan said simply. Stiles knew this was going to be hard for friend, and he was building up the mental strength to be able to get Ethan through it. Reaching his arm around his buddy, he placed his Ethans head on his shoulder. "Let me know when your ready Soldier!" Stiles said, trying to keep in good spirits. Stiles turned towards the lake, "Maybe a huge cabin would be nice right there next to the lake, and a giant pack house higher up." Ethan smiled. "Come on Sergeant let's head out."
Both men turned towards the jeep, after getting in, Stiles closed the door but he couldn't help to peer just one more time back into the woods, he had hoped to see that familiar silhouette of Sour Wolf again, but it was eerily quiet. Stiles knew this adventure wasn't going to easy, but knew ultimately he was happy he wasn't alone.