Written for gojyo-lover20 who just needed a fix of Teen Wolf. ;D
I hope it is good enough!
Disclaimer: I claim no rights to the characters of Teen Wolf. It belongs to Jeff Davis.
Warnings: AU, domestic violence (short scene), slash, explicit content, reincarnation, human!Derek, werewolf!Derek, god!Stiles, Mpreg, human!Stiles
The first part of this story takes place in the very distant past while the second part takes place right after season 2 of Teen Wolf. Hope you'll like it and please leave a review!
… When loftiness of feeling,
And freedom, glory, love
So deeply stirred my blood,
My times of hope were cast in shade
And pleasure dimmed by longing,
For it was then an evil genius
Began to pay me secret visits.
Our meetings were quite dolorous:
His smile, his glance mysterious,
His venom-filled and caustic sermons
Poured frozen poison in my soul.
With endless slandering remarks
He tempted Providence;
He claimed that beauty's but a dream;
Felt scorn for inspiration;
He had no faith in love or freedom;
He looked on life with ridicule-
And in the whole of nature
He did not wish to praise a single thing.
- A. S. Pushkin, 'Demon'
A long, long time ago, when the world was still young, there lived a young man favored by the gods and loved by all who had met him. His eyes carried the color of lakes gleaming in the sunlight and green boughs reflected in them, calm and gentle like the summer breeze, full of joy and wisdom. His hair was the color of a night without stars, soft to the touch and ruffled by the caring winds, and his skin was sun-kissed and warm, his touch bringing comfort and protection to all. He stood tall and strong, unmovable as a mountain and unyielding like the oldest of oaks, but what made him stand out most among those of his kin was his heart that was full of love and care for all, for he made no difference between human and god-like folk.
Dagda, they called him, 'the leader of men', for he was the son of the greatest chieftain their village has ever had, and everyone knew that even though he was the youngest of his brethren he would one day take his father's place.
It was a time when humans were still few and ancient gods still walked among them, a time of magic and wonders, when peace ruled the world and evil had not yet found root in the hearts of men.
The world was a beautiful place at that time, and humans lived in peace.
But there was one creature that no one seemed to like, for this creature was frowned upon by the gods of old, although no one knew why.
They knew him as Void, a Trickster they called him, and the humans were told to stir away from him by the gods who scorned and hated him. They told the humans that he knew to take many forms, sometimes prowling the woods as a small red fox, sometimes flying in the skies as a black raven, or slithering on the ground as a long green snake.
He was told to whisper into the hearts of humans, creating distortion and unease, and when they were told about him many humans prayed to the gods to rid them of this supposed fiend, but the gods could do nothing, for it was forbidden to them to slay one of their own.
So the Trickster roamed free, traveling the world of mortals to do as he pleased. Upon one of his travels as he walked the woods in the form of a fox, Void was caught in a trap made out of Mountain Ash which injured him gravely, and he was unable to escape.
As night approached and dew started to gather on the high grass, Void had started to lose hope that he would ever get free, and for the first time in his existence he called for help, pained whimpers and keening wails echoing through the swaying canopies of the forest.
In his heart he knew that no god would come to aid him, and he feared that no humans would be around to save him. Just as he had prepared to accept his fate and fade away, a soft soothing voice reached his ears, and a strong form outlined by the moonlight appeared above him. Too weak to produce the smallest of sounds, Void merely raised his head and looked at the human, eyes the color of late-autumn leaves meeting those of lake-green, pleading for salvation.
A pair of strong hands, callused from years of hard work, traced Void's body with all the gentleness of the world, that soft crooning voice whispering words of comfort and reassurance.
But the moment Void was free of the trap, his body healed and he hopped away, and just as he would have disappeared into the night that voice called out to him. For no reason known to him, Void stopped in his tracks and turned around to look at the human, their eyes meeting again, and the Trickster bowed his head a bit, looking at the human in scrutiny.
Deciding it would be better for him to disappear, Void swiftly turned into a raven and flew off into the night.
But he could not forget the human who had saved him from certain death.
For days upon days, Void hid in a cave deep within a dark forest where no human or god dared pass, unable to forget the man that had saved him.
Finally having had enough of such torment, Void left his hideout and flew into the sky, determined to find the man and prove that it was just a coincidence, because Void believed that there was no goodness in people, that the world was dark, and evil, and lonely.
For days he had searched and searched, and finally he had found the human in a small village. Turning into a snake, he slithered among houses looking for the one who had saved him, and not long into his search, Void stumbled upon a group of humans beside which his savior had just passed and heard them speak of him. He learned that the human's name was Dagda, and that the villagers all had high hopes for the young man. Many of their words had left Void thinking.
They had said that Dagda could not be swayed from the path of righteousness. Void learned that Dagda was known for his good heart and appreciation of all that was and all that is. He had learned that his savior was highly respected and that he never did wrong, and that Dagda was in high favor of the gods.
The same gods which scorned and hated Void because of something he could not help.
Having heard enough, Void returned into the woods near the village, determined to forget about Dagda, and go back to his miserable existence. As he sat beside a small lake in the middle of the forest several days after he came back from the village, he heard someone approach, and he quickly hid behind one of the tall thick oak trees surrounding the lake. When he saw the man who had interrupted his lonesome thinking, Void could not help but observe him.
He was intrigued by this human who appeared to be the embodiment of all that was good, because to his experience there was no such thing as goodness.
Before he realized what he was doing Void stepped out of his hideout, startling the human who turned around on his heel to look at the Trickster while Void merely kept his distance, taking in the tall, strong human carefully and with deep scrutiny.
Dagda observed him, quiet and wary, although those strange eyes gleamed with interest. He watched Void's short brown tresses surrounding an elf-like face messy and wild in the breeze, the lithe, lightly muscled body dressed in brown clothes, lush lips which were neither smiling nor down-turned, and eyes the color of late-autumn leaves which stared back at Dagda unreadable and cold.
"Are you lost?" Dagda asked, taking a slow step towards Void who cocked one eyebrow at the human.
"Aren't we all?" Void answered with a question of his own, and Dagda tilted his head to the right, reminding Void of a wolf apprising its pray.
"We are a ways from any village," Dagda spoke, approaching Void as though he were a frightened doe about to escape. "What are you doing so deep in the forest?"
"The same question, I could ask you," Void answered, and to his surprise Dagda's lips tilted up in amusement.
"I came here to fish," Dagda spoke up and Void glanced at the lake.
"There are no fish in this lake," he stated and Dagda chuckled, following Void's gaze while the Trickster looked back at Dagda.
"You caught me," Dagda drawled in amusement. "I merely came here to find some solitude and peace."
Standing only several steps apart, Dagda and Void looked at one another, and the Trickster took all of Dagda in, indeed not seeing an ounce of evil within the human's heart.
"What about you?" Dagda asked, "You are unlike any human I have ever seen."
"What makes you believe that I am human?" Void asked and Dagda's eyebrows climbed up on his forehead, strange eyes widening for the smallest of fragments.
"What are you if not human? No god looks like you," Dagda spoke knowingly, and Void could not stop himself from sneering minutely at the mention of other gods.
"I am the guardian of this forest," he answered and Dagda hummed as he glanced around.
"I have grown up in the village on the outskirts. How come I have never seen you before?" Dagda asked.
"Maybe you haven't looked hard enough," Void spoke, lush lips tilting up into a small smirk.
"Maybe I haven't," Dagda smirked right back, and Void tilted his head to the side, intrigued by the playful nature of the human. "What is your name?"
"I have no name," Void answered, maybe a bit too quickly, but Dagda seemed not to notice as he took another step closer to the Trickster.
"Sure you have," Dagda frowned in confusion, "everyone has a name."
"Names serve to recognize humans," Void countered. "I have no name for I was never recognized, never acknowledged." Dagda's frown deepened and for a moment Void thought that the human in front of him could communicate with nothing but expressions, for Void could read everything from that handsome face. "What is your name?" he asked and Dagda looked at him.
"Dagda," the human answered.
"And what does your name mean, Dagda?" Void's eyebrows twitched up when the human snorted and rolled his eyes.
"It means 'leader of men'," Dagda answered dryly.
"A bit presumptuous, isn't it? To be called a leader of men, and be no more than a fisher," Void spoke dryly and Dagda laughed.
"I am the son of the village's chieftain," Dagda answered with a shrug. "It is said that when my mother was pregnant with me one of the gods came to her and told her to name me Dagda, and that I would be the leader of my village."
"Gods do not make such promises in vain," Void spoke up, "and they always have conditions." Dagda's lips tilted up.
"The condition was to raise me away from any evil and temptation," Dagda answered. "My mother had to make sure that I grow up without prejudice and scorn, that I must be accepting and good."
"That is quite difficult in a world as ugly and evil as the one we live in," Void spoke lowly, and Dagda tilted his head to the side, looking at Void as though he were a puzzle he needed to solve.
"The world isn't evil," Dagda spoke in full conviction, making Void frown at him. "The world is full of beauty and good. One only needs to look hard enough."
"And if they cannot see it? Do they deserve to be scorned and not acknowledged because they don't see this beauty and goodness?"
Dagda smiled at Void kindly, eyes full of warmth and certainty. "They need to be shown," he answered, making something in Void's chest shift, something he had never felt before.
"And if there really is no beauty in this world? What if it is dark and full of evil, and this beauty is just an illusion which can be broken within seconds with just a few choice words and actions?"
"Did that happen to you?" Dagda asked in a voice hardly louder than a whisper, and Void frowned at him. "To be a guardian of this forest and not see its beauty and perfection, someone must have hurt you gravely."
"And what if they haven't? What if I merely do not see this supposed beauty you speak of?"
"Then I would have to find a way to show it to you," Dagda spoke, straightening with certainty to his full height. "I would show you everything that's beautiful in this world that you can't see."
Void was quiet for a few long moments, staring at Dagda in scrutiny. "Very well," he finally said and Dagda's eyes opened in surprise. "But I will set the rules of this little game." Dagda swallowed but nodded in agreement never the less. "We will play this game for 5 days. Each day you will show me something you find beautiful, and in return I will show you the exact opposite. On the 5th day, either I will be proven wrong or it will be you."
"And what shall be my reward?" Dagda asked making Void raise eyebrows at the human.
Dagda's lips tilted up in amusement, his eyebrows rose up, and his head tilted forward as he took a step closer to Void. "Each game has a prize for the winner," Dagda explained, voice brimming with excitement. "What will be my prize if I manage to convince you that the world is indeed beautiful and good?"
"You won't," Void answered in full certainty, and Dagda huffed with an eye-roll.
"But what if I do? What will I win?"
Void frowned thoughtfully and bowed his head fully aware that Dagda was staring at him with an insufferable, knowing smirk. "I will give you whatever you desire," Void finally answered, obviously surprising Dagda if the shocked expression was an indicator. "If you manage to prove to me that this world is beautiful and essentially good, then you will receive from me whatever you desire."
"Alright," Dagda answered in a slightly tight voice. "When do we begin?"
Void looked at the sky, noting that it was already sunset, and he glanced at Dagda a second later, making the human tremble minutely when those amber eyes which seemed to burn like golden fire for a moment met Dagda's own strangely colored orbs. "We will meet here tomorrow at noon. That is when our game will begin."
"Alright," Dagda smiled brightly at Void, showing a line of perfect white teeth, the two upper front ones almost cutely bigger than the others. "And tomorrow, I will have a name for you."
"What?" Void was slightly taken aback by that, staring at Dagda who was already making his way back to his village.
"You said that names are for people who are recognized and acknowledged!" Dagda spoke, glancing over his shoulder at Void who stood rooted in his place. "I acknowledge and recognize you, and that means that you need a name! I'll definitely have a name for you tomorrow," with that said, Dagda walked into the woods, quickly disappearing from Void's sight.
Void's eyes darkened as he looked up towards the rising moon, lush lips down-turned as he raised his right hand to fist it in the soft material of his shirt, right over his heart.
The heart which for some strange reason, started to beat quicker than ever.
At noon the next day, the two met by the lake, Dagda looking excited and Void grim and tense.
"Come with me," Dagda said and made his way deeper into the forest, Void walking several steps behind the human.
"What will you show me?" Void asked and Dagda glanced at him over a strong right shoulder.
"You'll see," Dagda answered teasingly, and Void frowned at the human's back. Their walk lasted for no more than an hour, and when Dagda stopped in his tracks and turned around to show Void to be quiet, the Trickster looked forward in interest, waiting for Dagda to show him what he wanted.
They knelt beside a wide tree, and Void noticed a hole in the trunk hidden behind tall grass and big leaves. Gently and carefully, Dagda parted the grass and leaves, revealing a stunning sight.
Huddled behind a few hairless and blind kits was a beautiful orange fox, sleeping contently after giving birth to her young, although her ears were pointed up, listening to anything that would sound like a threat to her young.
"I've found this fox several days ago," Dagda whispered and Void looked at him, taken aback by the sheer amount of care and gentleness radiating from Dagda's eyes. "When I saw that she was carrying I decided to keep an eye on her. These kits are hardly a day old." Dagda looked at Void, and the Trickster looked back at the younglings, listening to their wheezing breathing and watching as they instinctively nuzzled closer to their mother's warmth.
Void looked at Dagda, their eyes locking, and the human smiled at the Trickster kindly.
"Isn't this beautiful?" Void swallowed and slowly moved back, Dagda following him with a small frown. It deepened when Void offered Dagda his right hand, but never the less, Dagda took it in his bigger, warmer one, only to tremble when the air shifted around them, and they were suddenly standing in the middle of a small clearing. "Where are we? What is this place?" Dagda asked as he looked around, letting go of Void's hand.
"According to the rules of our game," Void muttered and turned around, pointing at a hole in the ground, hardly big enough to fit a crouching child.
Dagda frowned at Void and slowly walked over to the hole, crouching in front of it only to tense up and gasp. A snake laid dead several steps away from the hole, while a black fox happily feasted on the eggs in it.
"Ugly, isn't it?" Dagda stood quickly to look at Void, his action startling the fox and making it run away. The human swallowed difficultly and looked at the ruined nest with sadness in his expressive eyes.
"Such is life." Void was surprised by Dagda's answer, watching as the human closed his eyes and murmured a prayer, blessing the snake and its young. "Their deaths were not meaningless, because that fox needed to eat. Even though it is not beautiful, it is not evil either. That is merely the order of the world."
Void hummed and took a step forward, placing his hand on Dagda's shoulder, and in the next moment they stood beside the lake again, Dagda turning around to look at Void when the Trickster took a few steps back.
"We are done for today," Void said as he started to walk in the direction opposite of Dagda's village.
"Wait!" Dagda called out and Void stopped in his tracks.
"What is it?" Void asked and Dagda gifted him with a smile.
"I've made a promise to you yesterday," the human spoke and Void frowned at him. "I've said that I would definitely have a name for you today."
Void turned to face Dagda fully, cocking an eyebrow at the human. "Well?"
"Tegan," Dagda said. "I will call you Tegan."
Void frowned at the strange name, "What does it mean?" he asked and Dagda chuckled.
"I will tell you once this game is over," he said and left after he waved at Void. "After you've given me what I desire!"
Void's eyebrows touched the line of his hair as he watched Dagda leaving the little meadow.
And unbeknownst to the Trickster, something inside him started to change.
On the second day they met at the same time, and Dagda took Void to the very edge of the forest, somewhere not even the Trickster ever went because he thought he would find nothing there. They came upon a beautiful field, with thousands of wild flowers blooming everywhere. A beautiful buck, a doe and one little fawn were at the edge of the field, birds of several kinds flew from one bough to another, chirping their merry tunes.
Again Dagda looked at Void, asking him the same question - "Isn't this beautiful?"
Again Void said nothing, merely placed his left hand on one broad shoulder, bringing Dagda into the middle of a burned down field. Trees were still smoking from the fire which burned them, the ground was gray and covered in ash. The air still stunk of smoke and fire, and below the trees were carcasses of animals which didn't manage to escape. Upon their appearance several vultures jumped into the air to circle above them.
"Ugly, isn't it?" Void asked again, and Dagda merely sighed, bowing his head and muttering a prayer.
"Ugly, but not evil. Such is life," Dagda answered, making Void frown again. "Death is horrible, and may be ugly, but it is not something that one should fear or run from. Death does not make this world any less beautiful, only more precious and living worthwhile."
Not having an answer to that, Void returned them to their meeting place.
"Would you mind meeting me later tomorrow?" Dagda asked before leaving and Void looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "That which I want to show you cannot be seen at noon."
"When do you want to meet?" Void asked.
"Meet me here two hours before sunset," Dagda smiled at Void, and the Trickster nodded. "See you tomorrow, Tegan."
Void didn't answer, watching Dagda as he walked off into the forest, shoulders straight and head held high. Once the human was out of sight, Void looked at the sky, the sun already disappearing behind treetops as late afternoon melted into an early evening.
On the third day, Void followed Dagda until they stopped at the edge of a cliff, and Dagda took a seat on the ground.
"Join me?" Dagda asked and Void took a seat several feet to Dagda's right, looking around with a frown.
"What is here that you wish to show me?" Void asked and Dagda chuckled, making the Trickster look at him only to raise an eyebrow when he saw Dagda taking something out of a small leather bag that hug from his belt. He opened it and offered it to Void who found different barriers in it.
"Wait," Dagda said as he took one of the barriers and popped it into his mouth, "you'll see before long." Void nodded minutely and looked away from Dagda at the forest spreading out beneath them before it melted into the sea spreading out as far as the eye could see. The sun was slowly setting on the horizon. Fluffy clouds floated lazily in the sky, reflecting on the crystalline surface of the sea.
Just as Void was about to complain and remark that Dagda had pulled his leg, the sun touched the edge of the horizon, and millions of colors danced across the sky and the sea, making Void's eyes widen. Too taken by the sheer beauty in front of him, Void failed to notice Dagda looking away from the sunset, eyes full of warmth settling on Void's still form.
"Isn't this beautiful, Tegan?" he asked.
And only silence was his answer.
This time, Void had nothing to show him.
"You are late," Void commented from his seat on one of the high branches of the oak by the lake after Dagda ran onto the clearing, breathing hard and bending forward, hands resting on trembling knees.
"I'm sorry!" Dagda breathed out before he looked up with a somewhat strained smile, and Void frowned at him. "We have had an emergency meeting of the village elders concerning some news we've received from a nearby village, and my brothers and I were asked to be there. I'm sorry to have kept you waiting."
Void snorted and hopped off of the tree, landing gracefully in front of Dagda who finally managed to even out his breathing. Void looked Dagda over with a wrinkled nose, and Dagda grinned brightly at him.
"Better sense of smell?" he asked and Void scoffed at him.
"You stink like a wet dog," he muttered and Dagda laughed.
"Well, what I want to show you today can wait while I take a quick swim in the lake. I do not want to further offend your delicate sensibilities," Dagda drawled teasingly and Void snorted, crossing his arms over his chest and looking to the side.
"Go on. I can't handle the stench," he bit out and Dagda laughed again as he started taking his clothes off.
Unable to stop himself, Void glanced towards Dagda, something in him shifting at the sight of Dagda's strong sun-kissed body, muscles rippling under lightly tanned skin with just a dusting of short black hairs on strong legs and arms, Void's eyes narrowing at the sigh of a tattoo on Dagda's back, right between his shoulder blades, in the form of three connected spirals contrasting sharply with the human's skin. His eyes were torn away from the tattoo when Dagda jumped into the lake, and Void cursed himself for being distracted by Dagda's good looks.
He was supposed to show Dagda that the world they lived in was neither beautiful nor good, not fall in-
'What?' Void thought frantically, eyes widening and heart clenching within his chest. 'I could not be…'
Void was shaken from his thoughts and looked at Dagda who was already half-dressed, handsome face decorated by an amused smirk, strands of raven-black hair sticking to his face as droplets of water trailed down his muscled torso, quickly covered by a white shirt which clung to his body.
"I asked if this is better," Dagda drawled teasingly, and Void barely managed to suppress the blush which wanted to spread over his cheeks, instead sniffing the air delicately.
"At least you don't stink anymore," he muttered and Dagda laughed again.
"Come on. We need to continue our game," Dagda said and turned on his heel, walking in the direction of the village.
"Where are you going?" Void asked and Dagda turned around to look at him with a raised eyebrow.
"To the village. I can't show you this if we don't go there," Dagda said as though it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"I don't go among people," Void answered coldly and Dagda frowned.
"Well, I can't show you this if we don't go there. Isn't there a way for me to show you this without you going against that rule of yours?" Void looked at the ground with a small sneer.
"I could make us invisible," he answered begrudgingly, immediately cursing himself for just not saying that there was no way for them to visit the village. Void didn't want to be seen by anyone, because people could recognize him and the other gods would no doubt soon find him.
'But why?!' Void thought angrily, 'Why didn't I just do so?! He would have lost this round if I'd just refused!'
"Tegan?" Void almost jumped back when Dagda appeared closer to him than the Trickster remembered he was, one big hand taking a hold of Void's smaller one. "Come on."
Dagda tugged on Void's hand and started leading him along. It took them over two hours to reach the village, and just before they walked out of the forest Dagda felt a shiver of warmth against his skin, instinctively knowing that they now could not be seen by anyone. They walked into the village, Void looking around at the houses made out of wood and stone. People were walking down the streets, chatting or simply minding their business, not noticing their presence at all.
"This way," Dagda spoke and took a sharp turn, only for Void to grab his arm and pull him out of the way of a man who would have run into Dagda had Void not reacted in time.
"Just because we cannot be seen doesn't mean that we cannot be touched," Void hissed, glaring in Dagda's eyes. The human nodded quickly and took a deep breath, and they moved on once Void let go of Dagda.
"Over here," Dagda whispered and they stopped beside a small house on the very edge of the village. Standing outside a window, Dagda and Void looked inside to see a middle-aged woman humming happily as she put wooden plates on the table before taking out a freshly baked loaf of bread. Two children were happily playing beside a burning fireplace, a boy and a girl not older than some 11 winters. The door opened and in walked a man, tall and strong with a bright grin on his face.
"I smell dinner!" he called out, and the children cheered, running into the awaiting arms of their father.
"Come on, come on now!" the woman spoke through laugher, walking over to kiss her husband welcome. "Dinner is ready so go wash up." The children cheered and ran off while the man wrapped his strong arms around the woman and kissed her deeply, love shining in brown eyes.
"Isn't this beautiful?" Dagda murmured, glancing at Void, who observed the scene with dull, cold eyes. Without answering, he placed his hand on Dagda's shoulder and they vanished from that place, Dagda frowning when they appeared inside a small dark room, but before he could ask where they were, Void shushed him and nodded towards a corner where a woman was kneeling beside a bed, hurriedly tucking a child in.
"Whatever you hear, whatever happens, don't make a sound and don't come down, alright?" she whispered in a wavering voice, the child looking at her with wide, fear-full eyes.
"Alright, mama," the little boy whispered brokenly and the woman kissed his forehead before she stood up, wrapped the knitted shawl she wore tighter around her shoulders and rushed out of the room.
Dagda didn't even have time to question Void because in the next moment they were standing in a kitchen, the woman pacing its length as she struggled not to whimper, her eyes full of tears and fear.
Before Dagda could speak, the door of the kitchen was slammed open and a drunken man stumbled in, face deformed in rage and eyes filling with hatred as they settled on the woman.
"You whore!" he shouted as he charged at the woman, backhanding her so hard she all but flew into a table which turned over, clay cups and plates breaking on the ground as the man charged at her, grabbing a fistful of her hair as he smacked her again.
"Don't please!" she begged and Dagda moved to stop the man, but Void grabbed his arm and stopped him.
"Do not move," he pressed out through his teeth and Dagda looked at him incredulously.
"You can't be…"
"We're miles away from your village!" Void hissed, "You can't be seen here!"
"And I can't just let this happen!" Dagda tore his arm out of Void's hold, and as he stepped a few more feet away form the Trickster, Void's spell broke, making Dagda visible, but neither the man nor the woman noticed him before Dagda caught the man's fist before it landed another hit on the whimpering woman.
Void merely watched as Dagda hit the man hard enough for him to meet the wall and stumble down.
"There's no time," Dagda interrupted the woman as he helped her to her feet. "Get your child and run to the village chieftain. Tell him what your husband has been doing to you and ask for sanctuary."
"Is he really worth your suffering?!" Dagda snapped at her and the woman's eyes widened. "Do you wish for him to one day hurt your child?!"
"No… No!" she whimpered frightfully.
"Then go!" Dagda let go of her and she hurried up the stairs to get her son while the drunkard stood on shaky legs, glaring at Dagda who turned to face him.
"You son of a…"
It was over within seconds as the man charged at Dagda, ending up unconscious on the floor after a few well placed hits. They heard the woman running out of the house through another room, her child questioning his mother what happened to his father, but Dagda ignored it in favor of rounding on Void.
"Ugly, isn't it?" Void asked as he became visible, and Dagda let go of a sharp breath through his nose.
"Only if allowed to continue," he pressed out through his teeth. "In our village this man would hang for what he did. No one is allowed the raise a hand on another."
"And yet such things happen," Void drawled, eyes looking at Dagda coldly and challengingly. "Humans, no matter how much they try to hide it, are ugly and evil, and they destroy everything they touch."
"Not all humans are evil!" Dagda snapped at Void. "I've seen more beauty than evil in this world! I've seen more good humans than evil ones! Humans are good!"
Void snorted and Dagda was taken aback for a moment when they appeared standing at the edge of the forest just outside of Dagda's village.
"Keep believing that if you want," Void spoke almost carelessly as he turned around to go back into the forest.
"Tegan, wait!" Dagda jumped forward and grabbed a hold of Void's arm making the Trickster stop and turn around. "Such things will continue to happen. I know that. But for as long as there are others willing to fight against such things, humans will remain good. Why do you refuse to see that?"
Void looked away from Dagda making the human frown at him.
"Because humans will always fear what they cannot understand. In their desire to destroy all that is evil and dark in their eyes, they will inevitably seek to destroy it. In their desire to keep their world pure and beautiful, to keep themselves good, they will do anything to destroy that which in their eyes threatens them." Void turned towards Dagda, amber eyes staring coldly at the human looking at Void with wide eyes. "The world isn't beautiful, Dagda. You won't need me to show that to you." Void disappeared before Dagda could answer that, leaving the human alone at the edge of the forest.
And so on that day, neither was the winner.
"Tegan? Tegan!" Dagda called out to the Trickster as he looked around the small clearing around the lake. He took a deep breath before letting it go and taking a seat on the edge of the lake. The sun has already hidden behind tall trees and darkness was setting in the forest, and Dagda looked around with a sad countenance, sighing when he realized that Void was no where to be found.
"I thought you wouldn't come."
Dagda quickly turned around, a smile of relief appearing on his handsome face when he saw Void leaning against a tree with his arms crossed over his chest.
"Our game lasts for 5 days," Dagda said and Void raised an eyebrow at him. "I would have lost had I chosen not to come." Void frowned and pushed himself away from the tree.
"After yesterday, I was sure that you would admit defeat," Void drawled and Dagda chuckled as he shook his head.
"My view of the world hasn't changed," he said and Void frowned. "I still believe that it is beautiful. I know it is."
Void huffed and shook his head.
"This is the last day," he spoke in answer and Dagda's lips tilted up in a small, calm smile. "You hadn't convinced me yet of anything, and you have only one chance left."
Void said, although something on Dagda's face told him that the human didn't believe a word which passed Void's full, cupid-bow lips.
"Well, today I will," Dagda spoke in full conviction, "because I know for a fact that you will not have an answer to this."
Void's eyebrows touched the line of his hair, almost disappearing when Dagda raised his right hand offering it to the Trickster. Staring at it suspiciously, Void made Dagda laugh, and the Trickster looked at the human from under narrowed eyebrows, taking a hesitant step forward.
Void's hand hovered over Dagda's for a mere second before he slowly touched Dagda's bigger, warmer hand, a tremble passing over Void's body when it wrapped around his smaller, colder one.
"Come," Dagda murmured warmly and led Void over to the lake, making the Trickster frown in confusion. They stopped right beside the crystalline lake and Dagda stepped behind Void, placing his big hands on the Trickster's thin shoulders. "Look."
Void looked at the lake, at their reflections, and frowned in confusion.
He just couldn't understand what Dagda was showing him, and was about to speak up, but Dagda cut him to it, the human's reflection smiling at Void's confused countenance.
"Look, Tegan," he whispered against the Trickster's ear. "What I wanted to show you today is you."
"What?" Void whispered, eyes going wide, and his whole body tensed up when Dagda flattened his front with Void's back, hands slipping down to wrap around Void's elbows.
"The name I've chosen for you, Tegan," Dagda murmured, cheek resting against the side of Void's head, "means beautiful."
Void choked up, feeling something inside his chest clench almost uncomfortably, his guts twisting and hands fisting by his sides.
"Everything in this world is beautiful and good. You are beautiful. Everything you are is beautiful, and you are a part of this world…" their eyes met through their reflections, and Void felt something in him uncoil when he saw Dagda's eyes glowing with warmth, with kindness.
"So how can you say that this world is ugly and evil when you are part of it?"
For the first time in his existence, Void didn't know what to say. He knew, he could feel it, that every word rolling off of Dagda's lips was true. The human truly believed his own words.
"You don't know that." Void wasn't really surprised when his voice turned out strained and wavering, and he felt more than heard Dagda laugh, since the quiet sound vibrated against Void's back. "You don't know me."
"I do, Tegan," Dagda whispered. "I've always known you… Void."
Void tore out of Dagda's hold, putting several steps between himself and the human, and staring at Dagda with wide eyes full of something unreadable. Through all of that, Dagda kept looking at Void calmly, lips tilted into a small smile and eyes full of warmth and understanding.
"How do you…"
"I've known since the moment I've seen you. Your eyes betrayed your identity…"
"They eyes of the fox I've saved almost two weeks ago. The fox which ran off and turned into a raven right in front of my eyes, and disappeared into the night. Only one creature I know of can do such a thing, and that is you, Tegan."
"I am Void…"
"Void is the creature the world was told to fear," Dagda cut him off and Void's eyes widened. "Void is a misunderstood god, not recognized or acknowledged by gods and people alike because he is different. Tegan is the creature I've met in this forest. Tegan is the creature I've saved. Tegan is the creature I've given my best to show that this world is beautiful and good. Tegan is the creature that is beautiful and good."
"You say that you know me," Void pressed out through his teeth, anger such as he had never felt gripping his heart.
Or was it anger?
At first it appeared so, but if he thought about it, while he was angry - angry at himself for allowing Dagda to trick him, angry because he didn't see it from the start - he was also hurt. He couldn't explain why, but he was hurt. His heart ached and felt as though it was breaking apart.
"I do know you, Tegan," Dagda spoke in full conviction and took a step forward only to stop when Void recoiled from him, amber eyes wide and full of so many emotions the human couldn't even start to name them all.
"No, you don't!" Void snapped at Dagda. "You don't know me! You don't know what I've done, what I'm capable of! How can you say that I am beautiful when I've brought nothing but trouble ever since I was created?! How can you say that I am good, when all I've ever done is create…"
"Mischief and disorder," Dagda chuckled. "Humans are capable of creating disorder and mischief just as much as you are, Tegan. We don't need a god to create that. And as much as I've heard, you've never really hurt someone, you've never killed someone, which is more than I can say for many other gods who have a better reputation than you do. I've seen you, Tegan. I've seen you when you've brought me to see those snakes. I've seen sadness in your eyes. I've seen anger and sorrow when you've brought me to that burnt place. I've seen anger and despise for the man who hurt that woman," Void was unable to take another step, too caught up by the warmth and love glowing in Dagda's eyes as the human stopped right in front of Void, big, warm hands cupping Void's face. "I've seen wonder and admiration when we have sat side by side and watched that sunset. And I see you now, Tegan."
"You were created as a representation of mischievousness and distortion just like the others were created as embodiments of war, of chaos and death, and yet not one of them was or is scorned like you were, and that broke your heart…" Only when Dagda wiped Void's cheeks with his thumbs did the Trickster realize that he was crying. "You are the youngest among the gods, and while I don't know why they've scorned you, I know that it left you sad and bitter, unable to see the beauty of this world. Allow me to show you. Allow me to keep showing it to you."
Void let go of a wavering breath, searching Dagda's eyes for even a fragment of deceit or trickery, and yet finding none.
"Come with me, Tegan, and I will prove to you that you do have a place in this world, and that you are beautiful just like everything in it is."
'Should I?' Void thought as he stared in Dagda's eyes. 'Should I believe him?'
Void's eyes widened when Dagda bowed his head to connect their foreheads, beautiful eyes slipping closed. Dagda took in a deep breath, Void's unique scent almost overwhelming him, and a smile tilted Dagda's lips when he felt Void tremble against him.
"Come with me, Tegan," Dagda whispered imploringly. "Be mine?"
Void's breath hitched in his throat. "But your village…" he muttered, "what will they…"
"It doesn't matter to them. I may be the next chieftain, but my brothers all have sons and daughters that can one day take my place. And there are other same-sex couples in my village. They will not mind."
Void moved back a bit and Dagda opened his eyes, amber diving into lake-green. "And what when they find out who I am?" the Trickster whispered although Dagda could see in those unique orbs that Void was merely coming up with excuses, trying to think of something, anything that would make Dagda give up so that Void's beliefs which were slowly fading away could be proved right.
"They will love you just as much as I do," Dagda murmured, brushing his hands through Void's brown, wild locks of hair. "Once they get to know you, they will adore you."
Void gulped and looked at the ground, and only then did he notice that his hands were firmly fisted in Dagda's shirt on the human's waist, and a breathless, quiet, watery laugh escaped Void's lips. "Is this what you desire?" he asked in a choked up, broken voice and looked up at Dagda again, seeing the human's eyes widen for the smallest of fragments as realization dawned on him. "Per rules of our game…" Void licked his lips and swallowed, "I am supposed to give you what you desire. Is this what you desire most?"
Dagda laughed just as breathless as Void, and the Trickster's eyes widened when the hold Dagda had on Void's face tightened. "That is what I desire most," Dagda muttered, apparently not able to speak louder than that.
"Then I am yours," Void answered.
And when Dagda leaned in to seal his lips over Void's in a kiss, the Trickster's heart played in his chest for the first time in his existence, and he knew true beauty for the first time.
Dagda glanced over his left shoulder when Void ducked behind him just as they entered Dagda's village. The villagers were looking at them in confusion and wonder, but Void couldn't see judgment or scorn in any of the faces around them as they walked down the middle of the village towards the chieftain's house.
Whispers followed them all the way, and Dagda saw Void wince whenever 'Trickster' or 'Void' was mentioned, and felt Void's grip on the human's left hand tighten as though the young god was doing his best as not to turn around and run away.
Just as they reached the chieftain's house, the chieftain himself, his wife and their son's walked out to meet them, and Void all but flattened himself with Dagda's back, letting go of a frightful whimper.
"Father," Dagda bowed his head at the chieftain before looking at the beautiful woman and smiling lovingly, "mother."
"Dagda," the chieftain spoke up, eyes glancing at the smaller man hiding behind Dagda, trembling like a leaf in the wind, "who is this creature you've brought to our village?"
Void looked around Dagda's shoulder at the chieftain when he heard no malice in the tall, strong man's voice, only curiosity and slight caution.
"The one I spoke to you about 4 days ago," Dagda answered and Void looked up at him with a gasp, amber eyes widening in shock. "The one you know as the Trickster," Void's eyes opened even more as horror gripped his heart, but when Dagda looked at him with all the love and tenderness of the world, Void's breath hitched in his throat and some sort of weakness overwhelmed his body. "And the one I know as Tegan."
"It's alright," Dagda interrupted Void and raised their joined hands, covering Void's trembling ones gripping Dagda's left hand with his other, encasing the Trickster's fingers with his warmth.
Void looked at the chieftain and his wife, swallowed, and glanced at Dagda again before letting go of Dagda's hand and taking a hesitant step forward before bowing at the leaders of the village.
"Is it true," the chieftain spoke up once Void straightened, and the Trickster tensed up when he found himself the sole receiver of the chieftain's dark, gray gaze, "that you are the one known as Void, the Trickster we were told by the gods to be wary of?"
"Yes," Void spoke in a wavering voice, "I am."
"And is it true that my son saved you from a bear-trap over a week ago?"
"Yes, it is true." Void looked over his right shoulder at Dagda who nodded at the Trickster reassuringly. "I owe your son my life." Void looked back at the chieftain. His eyes strayed to the beautiful woman standing beside the leader of the village when she placed a delicate hand on the chieftain's left shoulder. Dagda's father looked at the woman, and nodded at her after a moment.
She looked at Void and took a step forward, smiling at him kindly, and Void suddenly knew who Dagda was like. Her eyes, while not the same shade as Dagda's, held the same kindness and tenderness.
"Is it true that you and our son played a game," she spoke in a warm voice, "and that if our son came out as a victor, you would give him whatever he desires?"
Void took a deep wavering breath and held back from glancing at Dagda again. "Yes," he finally answered. "Your son won our game and," his voice broke and his whole body trembled, "and his desire was for me to come with him, to be - to be his." The woman glanced at Dagda over Void's right shoulder before looking at Void again.
"And is that your desire as well?" she asked to Void's surprise which must have been quite obvious since his eyes widened and shoulders tensed up. "Is it your desire to stay in this village, and remain by our son's side?"
Void licked his lips and turned around a bit to look at Dagda, and even though the human didn't appear worried, Void could see in Dagda's eyes the sparks of doubt, and Void's heart tightened in his chest. "It is," Void whispered, and lush lips tilted up into a smile when Dagda seemed to relax and smile at Void before the Trickster turned around to look at Dagda's mother. "It is my desire - my will - to stay by Dagda's side for as long as the Powers That Be will allow us to remain together."
Dagda's mother smiled at Void before taking her place by her husband again, and the chieftain spoke, "While we do believe our son's judgment, you must understand that we were warned by the gods of your powers. We do not ask of you to denounce your origins - who you are - for it is what defines you, but we implore you to understand that we cannot risk the wrath of gods…"
"I understand," Void interrupted the chieftain, looking straight into those gray eyes, and Dagda's father frowned in slight confusion when he saw that Void's beautiful face relaxed from the tense mask and morphed into an expression of calmness and understanding.
Everyone watched as Void took a deep breath and spread his arms slightly to the sides, palms up.
"On this day," Void interrupted Dagda's quiet imploring in a firm voice which surprised even the Trickster, but he continued speaking never the less, "I, known as Void, the Trickster among Gods, do hereby make a pledge." As he opened his eyes the chieftain's own widened at the sight of two orbs of burning amber. "I shall not bring harm upon anyone in this village or anyone visiting this village without evil intentions. I swear to protect this village and everyone residing in it with my life. I swear to uphold the rules of this village. Most of all, I swear to forever remain by Dagda's side and aid him in whatever responsibilities he might inherit." Everyone watched in stunned silence as the nails of Void's right hand turned into deadly claws as he raised the hand to his left cheek. "So it was spoken, so it shall be done," as he spoke that he cut a single straight line into his cheek from his ear to the edge of his chin, "and these marks shall be the symbol of my oath for all to see," with that said he cut another line across the first one before lowering his hand, and to the shock of everyone who could see, the cross-shaped wound melted into Void's skin only to form a constellation of small brown dots, marks which will forever remind him of his pledge.
Void looked to his right when Dagda came to stand beside him, looking at his parents imploringly.
"We have heard your oath," the chieftain spoke up and came to stand right in front of Void and Dagda. To the surprise of the Trickster, the chieftain took Void's right hand and Dagda's left and joined them between his hands. "And we accept it."
Void let go of the breath he was unconsciously holding while Dagda smiled brightly at his father.
"On this night we witness the joining of Dagda, son of Dyzek and Lahela," the chieftain, Dyzek, smiled at Dagda before looking at Void with a pointed glance, "and Tegan, formerly known as Void. May their union be full of love, and may they walk through life together. May they accept both the good and the bad, and see light in the darkest of times." Void and Dagda looked at one another, Dagda's eyes straying to the brown marks on Void's left cheek. "You may now mark the beginning of your life together with a kiss," Dyzek spoke that as he let go of Dagda's and Void's hands, and Dagda raised his right hand to cup Void's marked cheek before leaning in and kissing the Trickster, who kissed him back with just as much fervor and adoration. "Tonight we celebrate!"
Dagda and Void parted at the joyful exclamation, and Dagda's eyes widened with aw as a beautiful smile tilted Void's lips.
That was the night when Void became Tegan.
It was the night which marked the beginning of their eternity.
"What's that in the mirror…" Tegan whispered as he slowly creeped around the room under the watchful eyes of Dyzek, Lahela and Dagda, who were sitting around the table in the corner of the room while Tegan played with the children of Dyzek and Lahela's other sons. It was raining heavily outside and the children's parents - two of Dagda's brothers and their wives - were visiting a nearby village. "… or the corner of your eye?"
They all heard the quiet giggling of the children, and Tegan glanced at Dagda who was looking at him with amusement coloring his eyes while the elders did their best not to laugh.
"What's that footstep following, never passing by?" Tegan went back to his game, opening and closing the door of a small cupboard, and grinning when he heard the children gasping and holding their breaths. "Perhaps they're all just waiting…" he slowly made his way towards a wardrobe where he could hear two quick little heartbeats and suppressed giggling, "perhaps when we're all dead, out they'll come a-slithering…" he glanced at the others and winked as he wrapped his hands around the knobs, "from underneath the bed! (1)" The moment he opened the door the children jumped out, and Tegan allowed them to tackle him on the ground, their little fingers dancing over his sides, Tegan's laughter overlapping with that of Jerica and Sekani.
"There's nothing under our beds, Uncle Tegan!" Jerica exclaimed once she and her cousin stopped tickling Tegan who took a deep breath and sat up a bit to brace himself back on his hands.
"Of course there is!" he exclaimed almost offended.
"Oh, yeah?!" Sekani glared at Tegan doubtfully, and the Trickster grinned at him.
"Yeah," his grin grew and the children's eyes widened. "Me!" Tegan attacked the two children with his dexterous fingers dancing over their stomachs, the others laughing at the playful trio.
It has been a month since Tegan joined their little community, and so far everything was going smoothly. The villagers were slowly getting to know Tegan, and even though they were wary of him at the beginning, when they saw him helping around the village with Dagda, once they have seen him use his powers to fix things or help their crops grow better, they slowly started to warm up to him.
It was difficult not to start liking the Trickster when they would see him running around with children of all ages playing games with them until he would collapse on the ground breathing as though he ran a mile, only to start again when those youngest among them would look at him with big doe eyes, begging for him to make something fly or show them another game.
All in all, life in the small village was proving to be good for Tegan. He was no longer alone, no longer scorned and hated for something he couldn't help, although now that so many people were starting to get to know him, questions had risen among them.
They had started to wonder why the gods would make them believe that the Trickster was the embodiment of all that was evil. Certainly, Tegan was quite mischievous and he loved pranking people, but his pranks made everyone laugh and they were never harmful. He was a great riddler and often left the elders thinking quite hard after he would come up with another one, but he never harmed anyone.
If one thought about it, they had never heard that the Trickster hurt or killed anyone who wasn't deserving of a punishment. So why would the gods try to turn everyone against Tegan? Why would they scorn him?
No one, not even Tegan had answers to those questions. He could only tell them that the gods didn't like him from the moment he was created, and that they banished him onto the mortal plane without an explanation.
The laughter in the chieftain's house stopped abruptly when the door opened to let in Caden and Tarima, and Bevan and Suusa, Dagda's older brothers and their wives. The children cheered and ran into their parents' arms, Jerica jumping on Bevan, and Sekani running into Caden's legs, wrapping his thin little arms around the smiling man's waist.
"Welcome home," Lahela greeted them warmly, wrapping them one after another into a motherly embrace.
"I hope they weren't a bother," Suusa smiled kindly at Tegan while Dagda came to stand beside his husband.
"You know I love watching over them," Tegan assured the lovely, black haired woman while Tarima came over and kissed Tegan's cheeks.
"You can watch over them whenever," she said teasingly and Tegan laughed, grinning when Dagda kissed his brow. "You're great with them."
"What news from the neighbor village?" Dyzek asked and Caden and Bevan exchanged a glance.
"Maybe we should leave this for tomorrow," Bevan spoke in his gruff voice. He was the tallest and strongest among his brothers, even though Caden was the oldest with Bevan only a year younger. Then came Ishmael, and after him was Ruben, and Dagda was youngest among them.
"Bevan is right," Caden agreed. "We should gather the elders and we should all be there. The news we carry are not good."
Tegan glanced at Dagda in worry while Dyzek and Lahela nodded.
"Go to your homes then. I shall summon a meeting early in the morning," Dyzek said and everyone left one by one.
"You two should rest as well," Lahela spoke to Dagda and Tegan smiling at them lovingly, "we will have a long day tomorrow."
"You too," Dagda answered, and after exchanging wishes for a good night, Tegan and Dagda made their way to their room.
Once they've closed the door Tegan immediately went over to a small cabinet where a pitcher of water and a basin were placed.
"Tegan?" Dagda called out his husband's name and slowly approached him while Tegan poured some water into the basin and washed his hands and face. "Tegan, what is it?" Dagda placed his hands on Tegan's shoulders once the Trickster straightened and their eyes met through the reflective surface of the mirror in front of them.
"Everything has been going too well, Dagda," Tegan whispered sadly, and Dagda could see that there were shadows of old doubts in Tegan's eyes. "What if this has something to do with me? What if my presence here brings misfortune to your village…"
"Tegan!" Dagda interrupted his husband and turned him around to look into those amber eyes, big warm hands cupping pale cheeks within them, and Dagda caressed the constellation of brown spots on Tegan's left cheek with his thumb. "Even if this has something to do with you, we have a whole village of people that will speak in your favor and this as the mark of your oath. I will not allow anything to happen to you. Even if the gods were to work against you, against us, the Powers That Be will not allow any harm to befall you."
"But the gods can harm you, Dagda," Tegan countered, eyes filling with tears. "You may have been in their favor, but do you really believe that they will let this pass? That they will look past the fact that you married the one they hate?"
Dagda sighed and pulled Tegan into a kiss. "Whatever comes, we will face it together, alright? No one, least of all I will allow anything to happen to you," Dagda spoke against Tegan's lips and felt the Trickster tremble against him, making Dagda's lips tilt up into a smile. "Come," he whispered as he moved back, hands slipping down Tegan's shoulders and arms until they wrapped around thin wrists, and Dagda led Tegan over to their bed, before he took a seat and pulled Tegan to stand between parted legs.
Tegan smiled at his husband lovingly, trusting him with all that he was and is, and he brushed dexterous fingers through Dagda's thick, black hair, feeling the warmth of Dagda's hands on slightly rounded hips, thumbs slipping under Tegan's shirt to gently caress the sensitive skin above the waistband of his pants.
Dagda pushed Tegan's shirt up and the Trickster raised his arms to take it off, letting it slip out of his fingers and onto the wooden floor while Dagda tucked his fingers inside Tegan's pants and pushed them off of slim hips, revealing Tegan's already half hard length.
Tegan toed off his leather shoes and stepped out of his pants once they pooled around his feet, his perfect body bare for Dagda's hungry eyes to feast upon. Tegan's eyes slipped closed and his head tilted back with a hum when Dagda leaned in to place an open mouthed kiss on Tegan's left hipbone, big warm hands rubbing up and down Tegan's strong thighs as those thin lips left a line of scorching kisses on the Trickster's skin before placing a kiss and a lick on the tip of Tegan's hardening member.
Dagda's own cock was almost painfully hard within the confines of his pants, but he paid it no heed as he slowly took the head of his husband's hard sex into his mouth, humming at the breathless gasp which escaped those lush, full lips, and only Dagda's hands on Tegan's hips stopped the god from falling.
Dexterous hands fisted in Dagda's thick hair as the human started bobbing his head, each time taking more and more of Tegan's length in, sending waves upon waves of pleasure over the Trickster's body.
"D-Dagda…" Tegan gasped out breathlessly, and Dagda allowed the god's member to slip out of his mouth before wrapping his right hand around it none too tightly and tugging slowly, tilting his head back to meet Tegan's dilated, burning eyes.
Tegan's hands fisted on Dagda's shoulders, and the human let go of the Trickster's weeping cock to take his shirt off before standing up, making Tegan step back. Before long Dagda was standing in front of Tegan, perfect body showed only for those unique amber eyes, and Tegan took that one step forward flattening his body with Dagda's and sealing his lips over his husband's, moaning when those big, warm hands settled on Tegan's waist and hefted him up effortlessly, making the god wrap his legs around Dagda's waist.
Dagda turned around and kneeled on their bed before bowing forward and settling Tegan on the cotton covers, lips leaving Tegan's swollen ones to place a small kiss on every dark mark on the god's left cheek before teeth latched onto the pale column of Tegan's neck, intent on leaving a mark even though it would fade too soon for Dagda's liking.
Tegan arched his hips up into Dagda's mewling as he buried his head back into the mattress, and Dagda laughed quietly against Tegan's chest.
"Impatient, aren't we?" the human teased and Tegan gasped and arched up when blunt teeth bit into his left nipple before a scrappy tongue soothed it.
"For you? Always," the god murmured as he tried to curb the passion surging through his veins, knowing that he wouldn't last long if he surrendered to it. His efforts almost flew right out of the window when one thick finger circled Tegan's already wet entrance, something that surprised Dagda the first time they made love, only for Tegan to explain that gods were neither men nor women, and that they merely took the shape closest to them in character. Dagda didn't complain though, only said that that small feet made everything a lot easier.
"So sensitive," Dagda muttered against Tegan's chest, making the Trickster blush furiously, but before he could complain, Dagda pushed one finger inside Tegan's tight heat, making the god let go of a choked up cry, lithe body trembling under Dagda as the human started moving his finger, quickly adding another when he deemed Tegan relaxed enough.
Dagda's name rolled off of those perfect lips in a breathless, keening whisper, stopping abruptly when Dagda curled his fingers and pressed them against Tegan's prostate, kicking the air out of his lungs and making that lithe body arch up against Dagda's.
Unable to hold back anymore, Dagda pulled his fingers out of Tegan and wiped them against the sheets, before taking a hold of his own pre-come leaking member and leading it to Tegan's entrance. Dagda sealed his lips over Tegan's as he pushed into the welcoming heat, their moans of content and pleasure mixing as the god's hips rose to meet the human's.
They parted once Dagda was fully sheathed within Tegan's channel, their breaths mixing between them as Dagda connected their foreheads, the two simply breathing each other in as Tegan wrapped his arms around Dagda's shoulders.
Bracing his weight on his elbows framing Tegan's head, Dagda slowly pulled out until only the head of his aching cock was within the Trickster before pushing back in slowly, setting up a pace which kept them both dangling just at the edge, but not pushing them over.
Tegan's nails dug into the firm muscles of Dagda's back as the human latched his teeth on Tegan's neck. Dagda moaned when he felt those thin, nimble fingers tracing the tattoo between his shoulder-blades, and Dagda quickened the pace.
Tegan was the first to fall, his channel clamping around Dagda's hard cock, and after a few frantic thrusts, Dagda came inside Tegan, coating his inner walls in his seed, barely managing to stop himself from collapsing on top of the god.
He slowly pulled out and collapsed to Tegan's right, the Trickster immediately moving with him to nuzzle against Dagda, his smaller body fitting against the human's like a puzzle-piece.
A few long minutes later, they slowly shifted around in bed, slipping under the covers to ward off the chill of the night. Lying side by side they simply took the other in, and Tegan's lips tilted up a bit when Dagda raised his right hand to trace Tegan's neck with the tips of his fingers.
"It bothers you, doesn't it?" Tegan whispered and Dagda looked into his eyes, the human's hand cupping Tegan's neck. "That you cannot mark me."
To Tegan's obvious amusement a blush covered Dagda's cheeks. "I would like the whole world to know that you are mine in every way," the human murmured and Tegan laughed quietly leaning in to press a loving kiss against Dagda's lips.
"Only a god can mark a god, love," Tegan whispered and Dagda nodded, although he frowned a second later when Tegan raised his left hand and blunt nails turned into claws. "But this is a whish I can grant you."
"Tegan…" Dagda was cut off, wide eyed and gaping, when Tegan sat up and only winced when he all but tore the claw of his thumb out, a new one growing almost instantly as he handed the one he tore out to Dagda who took a seat as well, looking at the claw which Tegan was handing to him.
"With this you can make a mark on my body," Tegan spoke, looking into Dagda's eyes with all the love of the world, "a mark which will never fade."
"It will hurt you," Dagda whispered almost dumbly and Tegan laughed, leaning in to kiss his husband.
"I will hardly feel it, since it will be you who will be marking me," he murmured against Dagda's lips before moving back and lying down, the soft sheet covering him only to his waist, and Dagda stared down at him, still trying to wrap his mind around what Tegan was offering him.
Dagda looked at the claw resting innocently in the middle of his right palm before fisting his hand around it and looking down at Tegan who was watching him with eyes full of love. Dagda lied down beside Tegan, bracing his weight on his left forearm as he bowed down to kiss his husband, Tegan's right hand fisting in Dagda's hair.
"Mark me as yours," the god whispered and Dagda nodded with a gulp.
The human looked at the claw and then at Tegan's right shoulder, before he took in a wavering breath, bit into his bottom lip and brought the claw to perfect, pale skin. Holding his breath and glancing at Tegan's face, Dagda dug the claw into Tegan's shoulder, looking up for a second to see if he brought the god any pain. When he saw Tegan smiling at him knowingly and with slight amusement, Dagda went back to his task.
What felt like an eternity later, Dagda was done, his eyes widening when the spiral he made on Tegan's shoulder closed up and scared over within seconds, looking like nothing more than a birthmark standing out paler and slightly jutting out over the rest of Tegan's skin.
"See?" Tegan murmured and Dagda looked into the god's eyes. "That wasn't so hard, was it?" Dagda laughed breathlessly while Tegan took his claw from Dagda and fisted his hand around it. A minute later he opened his hand and made Dagda frown in confusion when he saw the claw was now attached to a leather strap. Tegan placed it around Dagda's neck, the strap long enough to make the claw hang right over Dagda's heart. "And now you will carry a part of me with you forever."
Not knowing what else to do, Dagda leaned in to kiss Tegan before moving lower to kiss the spiral on Tegan's shoulder.
"I love you, you know that, right?" Dagda murmured as he pulled Tegan into his arms and settled in bed. Tegan smiled and placed a kiss right over Dagda's strongly beating heart.
"I love you too."
"They were rumors only until a few weeks ago, but the neighbor village confirmed them," Caden spoke gravely to the assembly of the village elders, his father, mother, brothers and their spouses. "The priests say that the gods are angry. They don't know why, but apparently it is because less and less humans are praying to them, and they are losing powers because of that. Several villages were already punished. Those who turned their backs on the gods were turned into monsters, half humans and half wolves, mindless and savage."
"That's horrible," Lahela whispered looking to her husband.
"Which gods do they say are doing this?" Ruben asked.
"The temples of War, Chaos and Death have been seeing less and less believers for quite some time now," Ishmael spoke up, and everyone looked to Tegan when the only god among them gasped and grabbed Dagda's hand, looking at his husband with wide eyes.
"They are the ones who scorned me most," Tegan spoke only loud enough for everyone to hear him. "They hated me more than the other gods, and they were the ones who forced the others to banish me into the mortal world."
"There is nothing that indicated that they are doing this because of you, Tegan," Bevan spoke reassuringly while Dagda wrapped an arm around his husband, offering comfort.
"According to the rumors we have heard on our travels, you haven't been mentioned for a long time now," Suusa added and offered Tegan a calm smile.
"Besides, we are still praying to the gods," one of the village elders spoke up. "There is no reason for them to turn against us."
"I do not think the gods need a reason to turn against anyone," another elder voiced his thoughts looking pointedly at Tegan, "since we are all in the presence of one man who is more than obviously hated by most gods."
"But noot all," everyone was surprised when a dark skinned man with black eyes appeared among them in a gust of silvery dust, and Tegan was the first to jump to his feet and take a stand in front of Dagda, while everyone else was too shocked by the man's appearance to move in time. "Stand down, young one," the man spoke kindly, "I mean you no harm."
"Asgaya…" Tegan whispered as he straightened from his crouch, claws turning into blunt nails a moment later. The newcomer smiled kindly at the Trickster and bowed his head at Tegan who merely nodded, still wary of the fellow god.
"Asgaya?" Dagda came to stand beside Tegan who nodded. "The god of healing?"
"That is correct, young Dagda, and I have to say that I am one of the few gods who never scorned or hated you, Tegan, but unfortunately, neither myself nor the few others were there when you were created, and those who were still there were easily swayed by War, Chaos and Death to turn against you instead of accepting you. We were on the mortal planes, teaching humans."
"Why did they turn against him?" Dagda asked, bowing his head respectfully when Asgaya looked at him. "He is a god just like them."
"While this is not the reason for my arrival here, I see no reason why I should not sate your curiosity," Asgaya drawled in obvious amusement, although his black eyes gazed upon Tegan with sadness and compassion. "The reason why most gods are against you, Tegan, is because with your creation a prophecy was told. It has been said that you would mark the downfall of the most ancient gods, and that your descendant would mark the turn of the age."
"My descendant?" Tegan whispered breathlessly, almost falling to the ground, but Dagda's strong arm around his waist kept Tegan on his feet.
"Yes, Tegan," Asgaya smiled at the younger god kindly and took a step forward, placing his hand on Tegan's lower stomach. "The child you carry in your womb, your unborn son, will mark the turn of the age."
Tegan and Dagda exchanged a wide-eyed glance, fully aware of the shocked state of everyone else in the room, but the joy which would have gripped their hearts didn't even have a chance to bloom, because Asgaya looked at Tegan with sadness and weariness.
"But you must also be careful, because the birth of this child could also be your death."
"What?" Dagda pressed out while his brothers and parents came to stand behind him and Tegan, and Asgaya turned his gaze to Tegan's husband.
"If you should die for whatever reason," the god of healing spoke darkly, "Tegan would not survive the birth. You've marked his body. You've claimed his soul. He is bound to your destiny. Bound to you forever. If you were to die, the moment the part of you which lives inside your son leaves Tegan's body, Tegan will die."
"Then we only need to make sure Dagda doesn't die," Dyzek spoke firmly and Asgaya sighed gravely.
"Destiny has a way to fulfill itself, and it is beyond the hands of both gods and mortals to stop her. The events of which you've heard are the deeds of Chaos and Death, and their son War. Mortals have long stopped praying to them, and they are angry. They intend to make you pray to them again." Asgaya looked at Tegan who swallowed as the god of healing stressed this out, "The werewolves they created shall inevitably reach this village, and you must be prepared. We cannot do anything against the creatures created by our brethren, but humans can. They can be killed by the powder of the purple flower blooming in the forest called wolfsbane, and the white mistletoe which grows there as well. You must be ready when they come."
"But - but they were human once!" Tegan pressed out, "Can't they be turned to humans again?!" Asgaya sighed and shook his head.
"My knowledge is vast, but this is beyond me. I am sorry, Tegan."
"But you and the others," Tegan insisted, moving forward and fisting his hands on Asgaya's broad chest, amber eyes staring intently in black orbs, "Certainly together you can find a way to at least bring them to sanity again! They were human once! If they remember that then they would stop killing people!"
"They weren't good when they were human either, Tegan," Asgaya spoke sadly, "War, Chaos and Death took care to turn only the most bloodthirsty and evil humans into these poor creatures. They are mindless and strong, worse than anything we have ever seen. Even if we were to turn them human again, they would only continue to spread their evil."
"But there has to be something we can do," Tegan looked to his husband who instead looked at Asgaya.
"What we need to concentrate on is to keep this village safe," Dagda spoke firmly receiving a nod from Asgaya before he looked at Tegan again, "we need to keep you and our son safe."
Tegan swallowed difficultly and bowed his head, giving up on the fight.
"We will not give up, Tegan," Asgaya spoke firmly and the younger god looked at him with sparks of hope in his eyes. "This goes against everything the gods stand for, and we will not allow it to go unpunished."
"Thank you, Asgaya," Tegan spoke earning himself an honest smile from the older god who cupped Tegan's face within big hands.
"You are the first god to ever give himself to a human so fully, Tegan. We have always thought that such a deed would make us weaker because the mortality of our spouses would affect us as well, especially if we allowed them to mark us. But I see that your union with Dagda has made you stronger. Stronger than you might know." Asgaya let go of Tegan and looked at Dagda. "Take good care of him," he warned, "and stay on guard."
The god of healing disappeared in white light, and heavy silence settled over the assembly.
"We must prepare," the god of mischief interrupted Dagda and turned to look at Dyzek and Lahela, doing his best to appear strong. "I know where wolfsbane and white mistletoe grow the most. If I am not wrong, it needs to be dried and powdered. There is also one other thing Asgaya didn't mention. Mountain Ash has abilities of its own as I've found out. It can wound even gods."
"It can wound gods?" Dagda asked with a frown and Tegan nodded as he looked at his husband.
"The wound I received from Mountain Ash healed, but it can breach our skin. We could find as much of Mountain Ash as possible and build a wall around the village. If I am not wrong, it should keep both gods and those werewolves out of our village."
"Our village?" Dyzek spoke with a smirk and Tegan looked at him with a small smile.
"Yes, our village."
Dyzek nodded and straightened to his full, quite impressive height. "You have all heard it! We must start as soon as possible!"
Half an hour later, while everyone else started to gather in front of the chieftain's house, Dagda and Tegan were in their bedroom, the human watching as the god observed the people from beside the window.
"We can handle this, Tegan," Dagda spoke as he slowly approached his husband. He stopped behind Tegan and placed his hands on small shoulders, burying his nose in Tegan's soft hair. Dagda slid his hands down Tegan's arms and placed them on the god's stomach, Tegan's hands covering Dagda's immediately.
"A son, Dagda," Tegan whispered brokenly, "and there is a chance neither one of us will be there to raise him."
"We will be," Dagda countered certainly, flattening his front with Tegan's back. "We will do our best to be there."
Tegan leaned back into Dagda's warmth, sighing when the human rested his chin against Tegan's head after pressing a kiss to the god's brow. "We will be."
Weeks passed them by in preparation and wakefulness, and soon three months were behind them. The rumors of the werewolves approaching their village reached them followed by even dourer news. The humans which survived the attacks of the werewolves seemed to get infected by the bite, but unlike the original curse theirs seemed to be somehow weaker, turning them into werewolves only once a month on the night of the full moon. Those who were turned, once they realized their curse, ran away from their villages afraid that they would be killed, even though most of them managed to keep their humanity and not hurt anyone.
It was said that they scattered into the four winds while some of them gathered to build a village of their own, far away from any other villages.
Asgaya paid Tegan a visit a few weeks back telling him that he and the god of wisdom visited the new village to help the infected humans learn control and find a way to live normally.
Tegan had started to show already, his stomach no longer flat, and he was under constant watch of Dagda or one of his brothers, spending his time with their children while Dagda oversaw the building of the wall. Their village was as safe as it could be and they sent messengers to neighbor villages, telling them of their findings.
They've built two gates in the wall, one in the front and one in the back, and guards were always at the gates, 3 at the front ones and 3 at the back.
One evening Tegan was sitting alone in his and Dagda's room, sitting in a rocking chair Ruben and Ishmael made for him as a present, wrapped in a warm blanket sown by Suusa. His head was resting back against the tall backrest, and he was slowly rocking back and fort, hands resting on his stomach.
Due to him behind a god, the child was growing faster than normal children, and in less than a month he and Dagda would have their son in their arms if all went well. Tegan prayed every day that nothing bad would happen, that their walls would hold, that they would not be attacked.
But his mind was restless and his heart ached, and he could not stop fearing that this was all futile. That no matter how hard they tried this would all end in great misfortune.
Tegan was startled from his thoughts when the door opened and Dagda walked in smiling lovingly at his husband.
"Done for today?" Tegan asked as he stood up slowly, unable to move fast because of his big stomach.
"Everything seems to be alright," Dagda answered as he placed his bow and arrows by the doorway and took off his heavy winter cloak, placing it on the coat-rack by the door before he approached Tegan and leaned in for a kiss. "Our replacements have arrived earlier so we could rest. I will take the afternoon shift tomorrow."
"Good," Tegan whispered and led Dagda over to their bed where the human took a seat while Tegan brought over a cup of tea he prepared earlier for his husband.
"Thank you," Dagda accepted the cup and they settled in their bed careful of the tea, and Tegan nuzzled closer to his husband, tucking his head under Dagda's chin and wrapping his arms around Dagda's waist.
"Something is troubling you," Dagda concluded after he finished his tea and placed the cup on the wooden nightstand.
"I just can't stop fearing that something will go wrong," Tegan whispered pressing as close to Dagda as he could because of his stomach. Dagda sighed and nudged Tegan, and both of them shifted lower on the bed, Tegan tuning his back on Dagda so that he could lean against him, while Dagda wrapped an arm around Tegan, placing his hand on the god's stomach.
"We have done everything we could," Dagda murmured and kissed Tegan's shoulder. "I will not tell you that there is nothing to fear, but there is also nothing more that we could do."
Tegan sighed and closed his eyes, entwining his fingers with Dagda's and squeezing them. "I know," he answered after a few long minutes, only to tense up and hiss when their son kicked. Dagda chuckled and rubbed Tegan's stomach.
"He is already strong," he commented and Tegan laughed breathlessly.
"Sometimes I think he is too strong," he pressed out, slowly relaxing against Dagda again.
"Sleep, love," Dagda whispered and adjusted the covers over them. "I'll watch over the both of you."
Dagda and Tegan were awoken by the sound of bells sounding the alarm.
"What is going on?!" Tegan cried out while Dagda jumped out of their bed and quickly pulled his clothes on.
"The walls were breached! Stay here! I will send Ruben and Ishmael to you!"
"Dagda!" Tegan cried out but Dagda was already out of their room, his running footsteps echoing through the house. Tegan got out of bed and pulled on his clothes as quickly as possible, waddling down the stairs, his heart beating in his ears.
Just as he reached the hallway, the door opened and Ruben and Ishmael ran in with Jerica and Sekani.
"Stay here with Tegan, alright?" Ruben told the children who nodded fervently while Ishmael ran over to Tegan.
"Remain here. Apparently the guards at the front were tricked by someone pretending to be a traveler. We didn't manage to close the gates in time…"
"If you go out you will only distract us," Ishmael insisted and Tegan's eyes widened, "please, for Dagda's sake, stay inside where you are safe." Tegan nodded hurriedly and looked at the children.
"Come with me," he told them while Ruben and Ishmael ran out of the house, closing the door on their way out. Tegan took the children into the living room and snapped his fingers bringing the fire back to life, ushering the children closer to it and wrapping a blanket around the both of them.
"Will everything be alright?" Jerica asked frightfully and Tegan did his best to smile at her.
"I'm sure it will, love," he whispered wrapping his arms around the both of them both for their and his comfort. "I'm sure it will."
"Are you really sure?" Tegan jumped to his feet and turned around quicker than he thought he could, coming face to face with none other than the embodiment of War.
"Ashur," Tegan bit out and placed himself between the god and the children, willing to put his life on the line for them.
"It has been a long time, Void," Ashur drawled spitefully and Tegan sneered at him.
"Not long enough in my honest opinion," he bit out. "But that is beside the point. What are you doing here?" Ashur smirked.
"Making sure that people would always remember, always bow to us. Once this village is the destroyed and its people burning, the other villages will surrender and go back to the old ways. They will start praying to us, believing in us again."
"You don't make people believe in you by killing them!" Tegan snapped only to gasp when Ashur appeared right in front of him, wrapping his hand around Tegan's throat and raising him off of the ground effortlessly.
"See? People are already starting to pray! I am already stronger!" Ashur bit out as Tegan started to choke.
"Let him go!" Tegan's eyes widened when Jerica screamed at the god of war and Sekani threw a cup at Ashur, making the god look at them with an evil grin.
"No!" Tegan cried out when Ashur raised his left arm to kill the children. "Please! Please, don't hurt them!" Ashur laughed at him and allowed Tegan to fall on the ground, Jerica and Sekani running over to him to kneel on either side of Tegan, glaring at Ashur hatefully.
"See how weak you are, Void?! And to think we have feared you would be our downfall!"
"He's not Void!" Sekani snapped at Ashur.
"He's Tegan, and he's stronger than you will ever be!" Jerica screamed and Ashur raised eyebrows at them.
"We'll see about that."
Just as Ashur raised his right hand and Tegan wrapped his arms around the children knowing that he would not be able to protect them in his state, they heard the front door slam open and Dagda ran in shooting a Mountain Ash arrow at the god of war before anyone could do anything.
"Tegan! Quickly!" Dagda snapped, and Jerica and Sekani helped Tegan up, the three of them running to Dagda who led them out of the house while Ashur pulled the arrow out of his chest. Several centimeters to the left and it would have pierced his heart.
Eyes turning red with anger and hatred, Ashur made his way out of the house, intent on killing the one who got in his way.
"Come on! Quickly!" Dagda urged his husband and nephews down the street towards Bevan's house, Tegan looking around in horror at the men and women fighting the monstrous half wolves half humans with everything they had. Tegan's ears rang with screams of those who were bitten, the sounds of battle, eyes widening at the sight of several houses burning.
They were just about to reach Bevan's house when Ashur appeared in front of them, grinning wickedly at Tegan before Dagda stood in front of his husband, aiming another arrow at the god of war.
"Tegan, go," Dagda bit out and Tegan glanced at the back of the human's head.
"There's nowhere for him to run, human!" Ashur shouted gleefully. "There's nowhere to run!" He raised his right arm at Dagda. "I want him to stay right where he is," a sickening red orb started to form in front of Ashur's hand and Tegan's eyes widened in realization, "and I want him to die at your hand, mortal."
"Dagda!" Tegan screamed and rounded Dagda the red orb hitting him instead of the human.
"Tegan!" Dagda caught the god of mischief before he hit the ground while Ashur sneered at them as Dagda lowered the gasping Tegan, the youngest god clutching his stomach in pain.
"Pathetic," Ashur bit out before he glanced to his right, grinning when he saw three werewolves rushing in their direction. Ashur chuckled and looked at Tegan who was looking at him with teary eyes, hands fisted on his stomach. "But I guess not all is lost." With that said Ashur disappeared.
"Dagda," Tegan gasped out before groaning and whimpering, doubling over in pain.
"Tegan, you idiot!" Dagda whispered brokenly, not knowing how to help his husband.
"Uncle Dagda, watch out!" Jerica's scream had both adults looking up in horror, and Dagda reacted quickly, drawing a dagger from his belt while Jerica and Sekani kneeled beside Tegan, trying to make him stand up and run to safety.
But Tegan couldn't move, he couldn't, because as he watched two more wolves jump at Dagda, he knew.
He knew that they have lost.
"Dagda!" Dyzek's terrified roar came too late, overlapping with Lahela's and several others.
While Dagda managed to fight off two wolves with his blade coated in wolfsbane, the third sneaked on him from behind and jumped on Dagda, the werewolf's claws digging deep into Dagda's chest, its sharp teeth tearing into the human's shoulder before an arrow pierced the werewolf's neck and it fell to the ground, drawing its last breath.
"DAGDA!" Tegan's heart-breaking scream drew everyone's attention, and deafening silence settled over the battlefield as the pregnant god rushed over to his husband who fell to his knees, blood gushing from his wounds, and tumbling right into Tegan's arms, the Trickster cradling Dagda to his chest, tears such as he had never cried before flowing down pale cheeks.
"Te - Tegan…"
"No!" Tegan interrupted Dagda, caressing the human's face with a trembling hand. "No, please, please, don't die, please, I - I can't do this without you, PLEASE!"
Even the werewolves were still as they watched the scene revolve in front of them because even though they were evil even when they were human, the pain of the youngest god stirred something within them.
"I'm sorry," Dagda pressed out over the blood gathering in his throat. "I'm so sorry…"
"No," Tegan whispered forcing himself to smile through tears, "you'll be fine. You'll be just fine, and - and we'll - we'll raise our son together! He - he needs you - I need…"
"I'm sorry," Dagda whispered smiling up at Tegan who choked up and sobbed as life started to fade in Dagda's eyes. "I'm sorry I - I couldn't keep my promise - I didn't - I didn't manage to show you all - all that is beautiful in this…"
"You did," Tegan interrupted him, bowing down to connect their foreheads, hand fisting on Dagda's chest around the claw Tegan gave the human months ago. "And even if - even if there is something still left for you to show me - we will have time - we will - we will have time…"
"Promise me," Dagda choked out, drawing his last breaths, "promise me that you will find me - whatever life - whatever time - promise me, and - and we'll see it all to - together…"
"I will," Tegan whispered, pressing his lips against Dagda's, "I will, I swear I'll find you, no matter how long it will take, I swear…"
Dagda laughed quietly, breathlessly and Tegan moved back a bit, heart-break coloring his face as Dagda's eyes slipped closed and he went lax in Tegan's hold.
"Dagda?" the god of mischief whispered brokenly caressing Dagda's cooling face with a trembling hand. "Dagda, please…"
"Tegan." The god of mischief looked up at Dyzek and Lahela's grief stricken faces, Dagda's brothers standing behind them, and Tegan glanced behind them at the werewolves which gathered down the middle of the street, their blue eyes staring at him with something akin to submission.
Tegan glanced down at Dagda and lowered him on the ground before standing on wobbly feet. Grief and sorrow gripped his heart, mixing with anger and despise, but his mind was blank. Not a single thought ran clear as Tegan stared at the werewolves in front of himself as they bowed their heads at him.
'But why?' he thought in confusion, hands gripping his stomach, 'Why are then bowing to...' and then a thought hit him and he looked down at his stomach. Ashur had tried to turn Dagda into one of those creatures, but Tegan took the curse for him.
And since no god could ever harm another god with their powers, the child within him was hit with the curse.
'They must be able to sense it', Tegan thought as he looked back at the werewolves, the villagers staring at them in confusion and wariness. 'They must sense a werewolf god, but they - they don't know it's not me but the child within me.'
"Hunt them down," Tegan's broken, hollow voice interrupted Lahela, and every single werewolf in front of him raised its head obediently. "Chaos. Death. War," Tegan spat out, his whole body trembling with rage and the pain of loss. "Hunt them down. Kill them. Make. Them. Pay." Tegan's eyes shone bright red for merely a second, but apparently it was enough.
One by one the werewolves threw their heads back and howled onto the sickle moon, turning around and running out of the village to hunt down those who hurt the one who carried the strongest among them.
Tegan stood in his place simply breathing for what felt like eternity.
He raised his head and looked at Lahela, and seeing the tears on her face made him break as well. She caught him as he fell to his knees, wrapping her arms around him as he sobbed into her neck, his arms holding her as though he would never let her go, as though letting go of her would make him fall apart completely.
And together they cried.
"Dyzek? Dyzek?!" Lahela ran into the living room of their home, calling for her husband frantically and making him and her sons stand up quickly when they saw her distressed countenance.
"What is it?" Dyzek asked, looking worse for ware. It seemed as though he aged rapidly in the past three days, his black hair having more grays than it did before.
"Has anyone seen Tegan?" Lahela asked looking from one face to another, seeing when fear appeared in their eyes.
"Not since breakfast. We thought he was resting," Dyzek answered.
"We need to look for him! He is in no condition to be alone," Bevan spoke up, and they all rushed out of the house to search for Tegan.
Not knowing that they wouldn't find him.
Not knowing that they would never see him again.
Tegan sobbed, unable to hold his pain in as he stumbled through the forest. He couldn't remain in the village. He couldn't remain where everything breathed of Dagda. He knew that the others would panic. He knew that they would look for him.
But they wouldn't find him.
They wouldn't find him in time.
"Asgaya!" Tegan shouted pleadingly, falling to his knees several meters from the lake where he and Dagda first spoke. "Asgaya!" he screamed as a sharp surge of pain made him tumble on the ground, arms wrapping around his stomach. "Asgaya, please…" he whimpered before a scream of pain tore out of his throat.
In the next moment, gentle hands picked him up and he was cradled against a strong chest.
"It is alright, young one," Asgaya's warm voice reached Tegan's ears and he forced himself to open his eyes just as Asgaya laid him down, back braced against the good old oak and gently brushed Tegan's hair away from his face. "You are not alone."
"I can't do this," Tegan whimpered, pressing his teeth together as another contraction surged through his body. "Not without him! Not without Dagda!"
"You must, Tegan!" Asgaya spoke sharply as he waved his hand over Tegan, making the younger god's pants disappear. "For your son! For Dagda! You must do this!"
He moved between Tegan's legs, black eyes looking pointedly at Tegan.
"I can't…" Tegan whispered brokenly before he let go of a pain filled scream.
"Yes, you can, and you will," Asgaya spoke in full certainty. "Now push!"
Dyzek and Lahela looked up when they heard the bell sound the alarm, and they hurried out of the house.
"Man at the back gates! Man at the back gates!" They heard someone shout, and they rushed towards the back of their village, their sons joining them followed by their wives and children.
"What does he look like?!" Dyzek asked one of the guards.
"He's bald and his skin is dark!"
"God Asgaya!" Lahela breathed out.
"Open the gates!" Caden ordered, and the gates were slowly opened.
Asgaya walked into the village and the humans were about to bow at him when they saw that the god of healing had something carefully cradled in his arms.
"Chieftain Dyzek. My lady Lahela," he spoke as he approached them, and they realized that he was holding a newborn baby, asleep and safely wrapped in what appeared to be a white shirt.
"I would like you to meet your grandson," Asgaya interrupted Lahela, lips tilted up into a smile although his eyes were full of sadness which was reflected in the eyes of the mortals when they realized what this meant. "He is strong and healthy, and I have brought him to you so that you could watch over him and raise him."
"Tegan is…" Suusa didn't need to finish her inquiry, because Asgaya bowed his head, eyes closing in sadness.
"He lived long enough to see his son," he spoke sadly and carefully gave the sleeping child to Lahela before placing his hand on the child's head, "and he managed to name him before life left him."
Fighting back tears Lahela looked at her husband who nodded at her, and she looked back at the god.
"What is his name?" Lahela asked as she looked down at her grandson, noticing that the necklace with Tegan's claw was what kept the shirt in place. Everyone looked at Asgaya when he let go of a quiet, breathy laugh and stood back, clasping his hands on the small of his back.
"Tegan had named him after the child's father," Asgaya spoke in a voice full of warmth. "Their son will be known as Theodor, 'ruler of men', and his line will be that of powerful werewolves, protectors of these lands." Looking at the child with a tender gaze Asgaya nodded as though concluding something for himself. "The Hale Pack."
"Hale?" Tarima questioned in confusion.
"It means 'hero'," Lahela whispered and looked at the child as it stirred in her arms before she looked at Asgaya. "The gods…"
"War and Chaos were taken down by the werewolves," Asgaya spoke, seeing relief wash over everyone gathered around him. "And Death retreated back into darkness. You will not see any trouble from him. Tegan truly did bring about their ends, and the turn of the age." Looking back at the child Asgaya smiled again. "Theodor will be his and Dagda's living legacy, and I shall be there to lead him and his Pack."
"But what is this Pack you are talking about?" Dyzek asked.
"Theodor is an Alpha werewolf, first of his kind. When he is older, werewolves will naturally gravitate towards him. His children will carry the same curse, only they will make it a blessing instead. They will protect these lands and watch over them," Asgaya answered.
"And you will be there to guide them? To watch over them?" Lahela asked and Asgaya nodded.
MANY CENTURIES LATER
"Te - Tegan…" he tried to speak, his heart breaking at the sight, but the pain was too big. It was slowly overwhelming him, and he knew that he would soon die, although he couldn't decide whether the pain of his wounds was bigger than that of his heart at the sight of the beautiful man looking down at him with tears streaming down pale cheeks marked with a constellation of dark spots.
"No!" Those amber eyes stared at him imploringly, begging him to fight. "No, please, please, don't die, please, I - I can't do this without you, PLEASE!"
"I'm sorry," he managed to press out, his heart tearing at the whimper which passed those full lips. "I'm so sorry…"
"No, you'll be fine. You'll be just fine, and - and we'll - we'll raise our son together! He - he needs you - I need…"
"I'm sorry," he whispered, doing his best to smile at that beautiful face. "I'm sorry I…"
Lake-green eyes snapped open as their owner sat up in bed, startling the one who shook him awake.
"Erica?" Derek whispered breathlessly, looking at his Beta with eyes still dazed from sleep.
"You were having a nightmare again," she said, taking in his ruffled appearance with watchful brown eyes. "I lost count of how many you've had in the past week let alone this month."
Derek huffed as he got out of bed and made his way to the bathroom adjourned to his bedroom. Erica rolled her eyes and followed after him, leaning against the doorframe with her arms crossed over her chest as she watched her Alpha washing his face.
"Derek, you look worse than you looked when we were facing the Kanima, worse than you looked when Boyd and I came back bloody and half dead, for god's sake, you need to talk about this to some…"
"They're not nightmares," Derek interrupted her and Erica frowned at him. "They're more like - like memories," he huffed in annoyance and brushed his hands through his hair. "I can't explain it."
"Who's Tegan?" Erica asked and Derek frowned at her making her roll her eyes with a smirk. "You talk in your sleep. You've mentioned Tegan a lot of times."
"He's…" Derek hesitated as he leaned back against the sink and crossed his arms over his chest. "I don't know who he is."
Erica huffed. "Derek, I know I've been a werewolf for all of five minutes, and really even though you've tried to teach me and the others we didn't really pay attention until all that Gerard and Kanima shit hit the fan and we came back, but you taught us good. I can hear that you're lying."
Derek frowned at her but he didn't really have anything to say to that. He was lying. He just wasn't ready to admit it all to himself.
"Derek," Erica sighed and pushed away from the doorframe coming to stand right in front of her Alpha, "if you don't want to talk to me about this then you don't have to, but you need to talk to someone," she insisted and Derek looked at her from under his eyebrows.
"Who am I supposed to talk to? I don't know any dream experts. Do you?"
"No," Erica barely held back from saying 'duh', "but I know someone who's damn good at research." Derek frowned at her when she smirked at him. "And while you're at it, you could also talk to him about that other thing."
"What other thing?" Derek pressed out through his teeth and Erica groaned.
"For crying out loud, Derek, we can all smell it! Well except Scott, who's either too oblivious or he's playing dumb, but how long do you really think it will take him to figure it out?!"
"Figure what out?"
"Oh god," Derek groaned when Isaac appeared in the doorway of the bathroom, grinning at Erica and Derek brightly.
"I'm trying to make Derek go and talk to Stiles about these dreams he's been having for what seems like forever," Erica summarized before smirking at Derek, "and while he's at it he could also tell Stiles that he's our dear Alpha's…"
"Enough!" Derek groaned and took his undershirt off. "Both of you, out!"
"Come on, Derek!" Isaac's grin grew even bigger if possible. "Stiles has had the hots for you for ages! I'm sure he'll have nothing against…"
"I said out!" Derek snapped and the two ran out of the bathroom, his Betas laughing as they ran away with Derek slamming the door closed behind them. He leaned back against them with a huff and looked at his reflection in the mirror across from him.
He swallowed audibly as he pushed away from the door and came to stand in front of the mirror. He closed his eyes with a wince when flashes of the dreams he suffered for a while now flittered through his mind.
A pair of amber colored eyes, and lush lips tilted up into a bright smile. Dexterous hands caressing heated skin. Strands of brown hair glimmering in the sun.
He opened his eyes and they flashed red for a moment, and a growl rumbled in his chest.
"Who are you?" he whispered as he fisted his hands on the edge of the sink. "Why do you haunt my dreams?"
"I swear I'll find you, no matter how long it will take…"
Derek gulped and bowed his head.
"Why can't I remember you?"
"It bothers you, doesn't it?" he whispered and Dagda looked into his eyes, the beautiful man's hand cupping his neck. "That you cannot mark me."
To his amusement a blush covered Dagda's cheeks. "I would like the whole world to know that you are mine in every way."
He laughed quietly leaning in to press a loving kiss against Dagda's lips. "Only a god can mark a god, love," he whispered and Dagda nodded frowning not a second later watching as he raised his left hand and blunt nails turned into claws. "But this is a whish I can grant you."
He sat up and only winced when he all but tore the claw of his thumb out, a new one growing out almost instantly as he handed the one he tore to Dagda who took a seat as well, looking at the claw which was handed to him.
"With this you can make a mark on my body," he spoke, looking into Dagda's eyes with all the love of the world, "a mark which will never fade."
"It will hurt you," Dagda whispered almost dumbly.
He laughed, leaning in to kiss him. "I will hardly feel it, since it will be you who will mark me," he murmured against Dagda's lips before moving back and lying down, the soft sheet covering him only to his waist, and Dagda stared down at him, so obviously trying to wrap his mind around what was offered to him.
Dagda looked at the claw resting innocently in the middle of his right palm before fisting his hand around it and looking down at him. Dagda lied down, bracing his weight on his left forearm as he bowed down to kiss him, and he fisted his hand in those thick black locks.
"Mark me as yours…"
"Stiles! Damn it, you'll be late for school!"
Stiles startled awake, amber eyes wide and chest rising and falling with each heavy breath he took.
His eyes focused on the worried form of his dad, Sheriff John Stilinski, as the man walked over to the bed and took a seat to Stiles' left.
"Son is everything alright?" he asked and Stiles swallowed difficultly with a minute nod.
"Yeah," he whispered. "Yeah, everything's alright."
John frowned at him doubtfully. "Son, you know you can tell me everything, right?" he asked as Stiles finally calmed his breathing. "I mean, after you've had Scott come in the other day and show me that werewolves are real - which is still quite disturbing, although I believe you should have told me everything from the start - there really isn't anything left that you could tell me that would throw me off."
Stiles chuckled weakly and shook his head.
"It's nothing, dad," he said, voice still raspy from sleep. "Just - Just some strange dreams, is all."
"Nightmares?" John scowled in worry and Stiles shook his head.
"Just… Dad, have you ever heard of anyone called Dagda?" Stiles asked and John hummed.
"That's one strange name," he murmured, "but no. I've never heard of anyone called that way. Why?" Stiles shrugged and got out of bed.
"No reason." John rolled his eyes and Stiles made his way into the bathroom.
"Does it have anything to do with werewolves?" he asked as he leaned back against the wall beside the door to the bathroom, hearing the shower flowing.
"Not really!" Stiles called out to him and John huffed.
"Whatever, I need to go now. We'll talk later, alright?"
"M-hm!" John chuckled and shook his head, leaving for work.
The moment he heard the door of his bedroom close, Stiles turned off the water and looked at his reflection. He took a deep calming breath as the memories of the dreams he kept having for over a month now, ever since his 18th birthday, flashed through his mind.
"Isn't this beautiful?"
Stiles cursed under his breath and opened the cold water, splashing it into his face.
"With this you can make a mark on my body, a mark which will never fade."
He raised his head and through the reflection in the mirror looked at his right shoulder. Right in the middle, just under his collar bone was a mark he had for as long as he could remember. It was paler than the rest of his skin, looking like an old scar, but despite everything he did since he was a child, Stiles didn't remember ever injuring his right shoulder.
As a matter of fact, nothing that came to his mind could create a scar in the shape of a perfect spiral.
"You've marked his body. You've claimed his soul. He is bound to your destiny. Bound to you forever."
"Who are you, Dagda?" Stiles muttered, staring at the mark. "Why do I keep dreaming of you?" He bowed his head a squeezed his eyes tightly shut. "Why can't I remember you?"
"Each game has a prize for the winner," he spoke, feeling a spark of glee grip his heart when the beautiful man in front of him frowned thoughtfully. "What will be my prize if I manage to convince you that the world is indeed beautiful and good?"
"You won't," the nameless creature spoke with certainty, dull, cold amber orbs staring at him with something similar to disdain.
"But what if I do? What will I win?" his question made the creature frown and bow his head, and he felt pleasure fill his every pore because he knew that he was reaching the godlike being.
"I will give you whatever you desire." That answer surprised him a bit, but when those amber orbs met his, he knew that this creature which intrigued him so was serious. "If you manage to prove to me that this world is beautiful and essentially good, then you will receive from me whatever you desire."
"Alright," he answered, surprised that his voice came out strained. "When do we begin?"
Derek was startled awake for what felt like the thousandth time in the past month and a half. No matter what he did before bed he would dream of the same man, but the moment he opened his eyes he would remember nothing but fragments of the man's appearance and a name.
The name which rolled off of his lips when he would wake up more often than not.
Derek got out of bed and marched for the bathroom, taking his clothes off as he waited for the water to reach the scorching temperature Derek loved before jumping under the spray.
He tilted his head back and leaned back against the wall, only wincing at the coldness of the porcelain tiles.
In his dreams he was always the one addressing the beautiful man. In his dreams he knew this Tegan. In his dreams… he loved him.
The dreams were in no way chronological or logical, although how he even managed to think that there was any logic in dreams was beyond him.
But the dreams didn't repeat once ever since he started getting them. Every night was a different scene. He remembered the first dream almost clearly, although it was by far the most confusing one. He dreamed that he was walking through a familiar forest and came upon a fox caught in a bear-trap. When he set it free, the wounds on the fox healed immediately, and it ran away, but when he called out to it, the fox stopped and turned around to look at him with big amber eyes before jumping into the air, turning into a beautiful black raven and disappearing into the night.
It continued since then. One night he and this Tegan would already know one another, and the other night they would be getting to know each other through some sort of a game. In one dream Tegan would be smiling at him lovingly, clinging on to him as though he would never let him go, and in the other the unknown man would be looking at him in distrust and confusion, as though he was questioning Derek's very existence.
And then there were other dreams, dreams which would make him wake up covered in sweat, harder than he has ever been in his life. Just remembering one of those dreams would make a shiver of passion and desire pass down Derek's spine and warmth would pool in the pit of his stomach, his cock hardening almost painfully.
A curse left his lips and he hit his head back against the wall when his body reacted in that already irritatingly familiar routine. Covering his mouth with his left hand to muffle himself because he knew that his Betas had yet to leave for school, Derek wrapped his right hand around his already pre-come leaking member, slowly tugging on the hard length, applying just enough pressure to bring himself closer and closer to the edge and yet not to fall over too quickly.
Images of eyes the color of late autumn leaves in sunset flittered through his mind, and Derek could almost imagine that there was another with him. Even though he could never remember the man's features clearly, he felt as though those beautiful long fingers caressed his body, lush, soft lips kissed his skin, and warm breath danced over his shoulders and neck.
And then, just like every other time, a clearer image would appear in his mind, and it wouldn't whisper 'Dagda' or 'love'.
It would be an image of amber orbs surrounded with thick, long, brown lashes, an oval face with a sharp pointed chin, lips from which words of worry and care could roll off of just as easily as hateful curses and prideful defiance. Delicate hands would be replaced by stronger ones, and Derek could almost feel the calluses on them as he imagined those beautiful hands wrapping around his hard cock.
His orgasm would leave him gasping for air and yearning for more, for something that wasn't a wistful fantasy, his knees would almost buckle beneath him, and he would stand under the shower or lie in his bed, cursing his hesitance and stupidity.
'Erica's right,' he thought as the water washed away the proof of his orgasm and he brought himself under control enough to turn off the water and get out of the shower stall without falling on his ass. 'I do need to talk to someone.'
"Fuck!" Stiles cursed as he woke up, already painfully hard, the sweatpants and t-shirt in which he slept clinging to his sweaty body. Knowing there was no other way around this Stiles quickly threw his rumpled covers off of himself, his shirt and pants meeting the floor in almost record time, and he dug a tube of lube from under his pillow where he put it when this became a standard occurrence.
Fumbling for only a second, one hand already wrapped around his cock, Stiles spread the lube over his fingers as he got up on his knees and buried his face in the pillow. A muffled moan left his lips as he pushed one finger into his tight entrance, starting a slow pace which he knew would frustrate him for just a bit, but the sated feeling which would follow would last just a bit longer, although not for much.
It didn't take him long to imagine different hands doing this to him. Long thick fingers playing his body like a well-tuned instrument, hot breath caressing his skin as that raspy voice whispered in his ear, sharp short hairs of his fantasy's beard scrapping his skin as thin lips kissed followed by blunt teeth biting gently at his shoulders as the man took him slowly.
Even with his best efforts, Stiles would come embarrassingly quickly, collapsing on top of his sheets, hardly minding the mess he had made. He knocked over the empty glass of water and his phone met the ground as he reached for the pack of tissues conveniently placed on the nightstand, and he cleaned himself to the best of his abilities, unable to gather the strength yet to reach the bathroom and take a shower.
'This is getting out of line', he thought as he finally managed to calm his breathing.
"Promise me - Promise me that you will find me - whatever life - whatever time - promise me, and - and we'll see it all to - together…"
"I will… I will, I swear I'll find you, no matter how long it will take, I swear…"
Stiles opened his eyes and licked his dry lips, right hand fisting over his heart as a pang of pain made it clench.
He started having these dreams over 6 weeks ago, and not once did he wake up remembering the face of the man he was with in his dreams. But he would remember his warmth, his kindness, his acceptance, and his love. In his dreams he knew him, he knew this Dagda, but no matter how much he tried he couldn't remember him when he was awake.
When he wasn't dreaming Dagda's face would be replaced by another, even though Stiles did his damn best to not think of him, of Derek Hale. He didn't know when he had started thinking about Derek like this. He couldn't remember the exact moment he started noticing Derek, started imagining how it would be to kiss him, to hold him, to have him as his own.
Maybe - on some days he wondered - he couldn't pin point the exact moment because there wasn't one? Maybe it was a gradual thing. Something that started the moment he first laid eyes on Derek and slowly grew into more with time, although how distrust and borderline resentment could turn into love and desire was beyond him. It could have started when Stiles got to know Derek better, although the Alpha did his best to push Stiles away. The newly turned 18 year old knew that he became aware of his feelings when he and Derek were trapped in that pool, and he briefly thought how his life would be without Derek in it.
It all went down-hill from there.
And then those dreams started, and for some strange reason they seemed to only amplify his feelings exponentially.
'Derek would never want me', he told himself for the millionth time. 'He's an Alpha Werewolf. He has a Mate somewhere out there. He would never want me. He would never love me.' Those words became some sort of mantra to Stiles weeks ago, but no matter how many times he repeated them, those feelings wouldn't disappear.
He tried to think of Lydia, but within seconds her pretty face would be replaced by Derek's, and that brief smile the Alpha gifted Stiles with when he informed Derek that Erica and Boyd were alive.
The dreams didn't help the matter either.
"I love you, you know that, right?"
"I love you too."
Stiles cursed under his breath and made his way to the bathroom.
He would get to the bottom of this or he would die trying.
"Stiles, did you get any sleep at all?"
Stiles shot a dull glare in Scott's direction, and the young werewolf sighed and rolled his eyes.
"You're still having those dreams," Scott concluded and Stiles huffed, glaring at the piece of bread he already tore to less than crumbs in his annoyance as though he would find the answer to his plight in them.
"They're driving me up the walls," Stiles pressed out through his teeth and threw what was left of his bread on the tray before standing up sharply.
"I'll see you later, Scott!" Stiles called out to his best friend, and Scott remained seated at their usual table.
"What's eating him?"
Scott turned in his seat and a smile tilted his lips at the sight of Erica, Isaac and Boyd joining him at the table.
"Nothing," he said, keeping in mind that Stiles told him weeks ago not to tell anyone about the dreams he was having. Scott didn't understand why, but since he was still trying to make up for everything he put Stiles through in the past year and a half, he kept his mouth shut. "He just didn't sleep well last night, is all."
"Did you tell him about the meeting?" Isaac asked. "Derek told us that he tried to call Stiles, but he either changed his number and didn't tell Derek, or he's purposefully avoiding him."
"Why would Stiles be avoiding Derek?" Scott asked, honestly confused, and Erica rolled her eyes at him.
"Shouldn't you know that since you're his best friend?" she asked and Scott winced bowing his head shamefully.
"He still hasn't forgiven me for lying to him and hiding things from him," he muttered and received a clap on his shoulder from Isaac.
"He'll come around," the blond werewolf said and Scott gifted him with a grateful smile.
"That's beside the point though," Boyd spoke up, exchanging a glance with Erica. "It's been months since everything calmed down and we became a Pack, and Stiles managed to avoid joining more than half Pack meetings."
"And even if he does show up, he always has an excuse to leave as quickly as possible. If he usually didn't sit with us at school I'd say he's avoiding the whole Pack, but I guess it all comes down to him avoiding Derek when you think about it," Isaac concluded before biting into an apple.
"But why?" Boyd asked and Scott looked at the table with a thoughtful frown.
"I don't know," Scott murmured. "I thought that he and Derek were getting along just fine. I mean, he and Stiles worked together just fine and Derek seemed to ease up around him more than with any of us, especially after we've dealt with the Kanima and Gerard. Honestly, I was surprised when Derek accepted me even though I refused him as my Alpha before."
"Which makes this all a lot more confusing," Erica grumbled, almost massacring her orange in annoyance, making the juice flow all over her hands, some of it spraying Boyd as well. "I mean, all of us can smell it on Stiles, right? He's head over heals in love with Derek!" she snapped angrily, making Scott choke up on a bite of the sandwich he took, making the other three look as him dully.
"Who's what?" Allison asked as she, Lydia and Jackson came over and took their by now standard seats.
"I think Scott only now figured out that Stiles is in love with Derek," Isaac summarized.
"Only now?" Lydia raised eyebrows at Scott who was gulping down water.
"He never said anything!" Scott cried out, looking at his friends - his Packmates.
"He didn't need to," Allison smiled at her boyfriend and wiped a drop of water off of his chin. "It's written all over his face, especially when we're near Derek."
"Who's acting like a right idiot about it," Isaac grumbled.
"He still won't go to Stiles to have the whole 'you're my Mate let's hit it off and have a bunch of pups' talk?" Jackson drawled, and everyone wondered how Scott didn't feint when his face went as red as Lydia's hair.
"No," Erica huffed and threw her hair over her shoulder, "he still thinks he's not good enough or some such crap."
"Well as much as we know, Derek hasn't exactly been kind to Stiles," Lydia stated.
"Derek was trying to protect him by scaring him as far away from us as possible," Boyd said.
"We all know how well that went," Isaac drawled in obvious amusement. "Stiles protected Erica and me from the Kanima and he saved Derek's ass in that pool."
"Thank god Stiles isn't easily scared, right?" Erica muttered with a smirk.
"Well something is scaring him now," Scott said, making everyone frown. "He's been acting weird for weeks and he won't talk about it."
"He does smell strange," Isaac murmured. "Tired and drained, most of the times. He doesn't even smell like chemicals anymore. Was he on some sort of medication before?"
"He was taking Adderall," Scott answered, "for his ADHD."
"When you think about it," Allison looked at her boyfriend with a small frown, "he hasn't been all that hyperactive either in the past month or so, has he?"
"His grades jumped up as well," Lydia said. "They're as good as mine are."
"So his concentration jumped up and he's not such a spaz as he was before," Jackson drawled as though he didn't really care, but by now everyone knew he was just putting up a front. "Is this lack of sleep actually doing him good?"
"ADHD doesn't just disappear," Lydia said, "and not sleeping definitely doesn't help it. So it has to be something else. Can anyone remember when he started acting like this?"
Silence settled over the group as they tried to remember the exact day they first noticed something strange was happening with their friend, unable to think of it.
"Anything?" Erica asked, receiving a collective negative response. "So basically we have Stiles who seems not to have ADHD anymore and who has been having problems sleeping, whose grades jumped up, and who seems to be avoiding the fact that he's in love with Derek or straight out denying it."
"And then we have Derek who also has problems sleeping because of strange dreams and is refusing to admit to Stiles that they're Mates," Isaac added glancing at Scott to see if the other Beta would choke up again.
"Do you think this is somehow connected?" Allison asked.
"When did Derek's dreams start?" Lydia added to Allison's question.
"Over 6 weeks ago if I remember correctly," Erica said. "I think that was the first time I woke up because I heard Derek call out someone's name."
"Someone's name?" Jackson drawled with a smirk. "Could it have been 'Stiles'?"
"No," Erica's answer surprised everyone and she frowned.
"What name was it?" Lydia asked and Erica looked at her.
"Tegan," she answered. "The name Derek called out was 'Tegan'."
"That's a strange name," Scott muttered.
"Never heard of it before," Allison added.
"I might have," Lydia murmured and everyone looked at her, finding her looking at the table with a small, thoughtful frown. "It sounds familiar, like I've read it somewhere a long time ago."
"Could it be in one of the books you have at home?" Jackson asked his girlfriend.
"Jackson I have over a hundred books at home. Reading through all of them just to find a single name would take weeks."
"Not if you have all of us with you," Allison grinned at her best friend and Lydia returned it equally.
"So I suppose we'll be investigating!" she said.
"While we're at it," Scott spoke up, "we could also look for another name."
"Why?" Isaac asked.
"Because I've seen it written in one of Stiles' notebooks. He had it underlined several times, almost broke his pen when he was writing it," Scott answered.
"Which name?" Erica asked.
Stiles cursed under his breath as he threw yet another book to the side and picked up the next ignoring the strange glances he received from the people around him. He skipped the rest of his classes in favor of going to the local library to try figure out what was going on with him. He has gone through six books about dreams and their meanings in the past 8 hours, he was tired and annoyed, and he could really go for something to eat, but he just couldn't stop.
Those stupid dreams just wouldn't let him find rest until he figured out what they all meant, because he was damn sure that he wasn't supposed to dream about someone he has never seen nor heard of, especially since all those dreams were connected, even though they didn't come in an exact order.
They were driving him insane, and it didn't really help that they've left him yearning for Derek more than he thought was possible.
With a frustrated huff, Stiles slammed the book closed, glaring back at an elderly lady sharing his table, and he made his way towards the bookshelves, deciding that he needed to distract himself for a few moments otherwise he would start tearing his hair out.
He walked between the bookshelves, eyes skimming over the titles, not really searching for anything. He reached the last bookshelf in the library not really aware he did so, and he took a deep breath before deciding to go back to research. Just as he turned on his heel an old looking book with an all but completely faded title caught his attention, and he approached the bookshelf, taking the book gently, the worn leather feeling rough under his fingers.
'Forgotten stories and legends' the title read, and Stiles hummed as he opened the book and started flipping the yellow pages, careful as not to accidentally damage the book.
As he flipped another page, his breath caught in his throat and his eyes widened when he read the title. "The Story of Dagda and Tegan?" he whispered, fingers tracing the faded, hand written lines, but before he could start to read his phone vibrated in his pocket and he hurriedly took it out. "Sorry, Scotty," he muttered as he rejected the call, turned his phone off and went back to the book, focusing on what was written.
By the time, my dear reader, you will be holding this in your hands, the story that you will read will have already been forgotten or turned into a legend. But do not be fooled, dear reader, because what you are about to read truly did happen, a very, very long time ago. It did happen, and the proof that this story is true can be found by those with an open mind and an honest heart.
It is a story of the cruelty of destiny and how true love can surpass even the boundaries of death.
A long, long time ago, when the world was still young, there lived a young man favored by the gods and loved by all who had met him…
"He rejected my call," Scott sounded honestly surprised, trying again as the rest of the Pack watched him, only for his call to be directed to the voice machine immediately, "and now he turned off his phone."
"Alright," Derek sighed and sat back in his armchair, although everyone could see that he was far from alright. His eyes were darker than ever, lips tilted downwards in sadness, and his shoulders were tense even though Derek tried to appear relaxed.
"It's not alright!" Erica snapped and everyone looked at her. "Derek, we're not blind, and you most certainly aren't! Stiles has been doing this on purpose for months! He's part of this Pack just as much as we are and he's been avoiding us like we have the plague or something!"
"Erica," Derek spoke tiredly, "maybe Stiles finally realized that being with us is dangerous and decided to put some distance between himself and us. He's still only human, and we're bound to run into some trouble eventually."
"Derek, you know better than we do that Stiles isn't only human," Lydia spoke sharply.
"Deaton confirmed it before when he said that Stiles' will was what made Mountain Ash do as he wished," Scott added.
"That doesn't matter, Scott…"
"It does!" Erica insisted, cutting her Alpha off. "Stiles is Pack! He should be here with us!"
"He shouldn't be where he doesn't want to be, Erica," Derek answered tiredly as he stood up and rubbed his face with his hands, walking over to stand in front of the huge window of his new apartment, crossing strong arms over his chest.
"He's your Mate, Derek," Boyd spoke up. "This is exactly where he should be."
"Stiles is a 17 year old c…"
"Say child and I might hit you," Scott cut Derek off and the Alpha turned around to look at the Beta with a frown. "And Stiles isn't 17, he's 18. He started school a year later because his mother was dying. He's a year older than us."
"That doesn't matter," Derek answered wearily. "Stiles has the right to choose his own…" Derek's words faded into a pained hiss and he stopped himself from falling by grabbing on to the table in front of himself.
"Derek!" Erica and Isaac ran towards their Alpha, reaching him just as he fell to his knees, pressing his hands against his brows as he squeezed his eyes tightly shut. "Derek, what's wrong?!" Erica's fearful voice hardly reached Derek as incredible pain surged through his head.
"Scott, call Deaton!" Derek heard Boyd's voice, but suddenly all the sounds disappeared to be replaced by a voice echoing through his mind as he struggled against unconsciousness.
"What is his name?"
"Tegan named him after the child's father. Their son will be known as Theodor, 'ruler of men', and his line will be that of powerful werewolves, protectors of these lands. The Hale Pack."
Deaton moved away from Derek's bed with a sigh and left the room, finding the Pack waiting in the hallway.
"What's wrong with him?" Jackson was the first to speak up and Deaton shook his head.
"I'm afraid that I don't know," the Emissary answered gravely. "His vitals are alright. He wasn't poisoned or wounded. It appears as though he's just sleeping."
"He seemed to be in pain right before he collapsed," Erica said, fighting against the tears which wanted to flow down her cheeks.
Deaton was about to answer her when Scott's phone started to ring, and he pulled it out of his pocket, looking at everyone with wide eyes. "It's Stiles!" he breathed out and answered the call, immediately putting it on speaker. "Stiles, where were you! Something…"
"Scott?" The voice which came over the speaker in no way belonged to Stiles. It was John Stilinski's voice, and he sounded as though he was crying.
"Sheriff?" Scott's voice broke on that single word.
"Scott, I - I didn't know who else to call," John answered and Scott exchanged a glance with the others.
"What happened?" Scott asked, feeling dread grip his heart.
"Stiles is in the hospital," everyone froze in their places, "they can't tell me what's wrong with him. The librarian found him unconscious in the library after they were all interrupted by a painful scream. I - I don't know what to do. They say he's just sleeping, but no matter what they did, they just can't get him to wake up. They've taken blood samples on their way to the hospital and the preliminary results came out clean. Scott…"
"I'm on my way," Scott interrupted John and looked at Deaton. "I'm bringing someone to check Stiles out, alright? Don't leave the hospital."
"Thank you, Scott. Just - Just bring my son back."
Scott swallowed difficultly, raising his head when Allison placed her hand on his shoulder, offering him a reassuring smile which didn't quite reach her eyes.
"We'll do our best, sir." Scott ended the call and fumbled to put the phone back into his pocket. "Deaton…"
"Let's go. I doubt I will be able to do anything, but at least I can confirm my suspicions." Scott nodded and kissed Allison shortly before glancing at the others, and then he and Deaton left.
"Does anyone think what I'm thinking?" Erica asked from the reassuring hold of Boyd's arms.
"That this has something to do with those dreams both of them were having?" Lydia muttered and everyone nodded. "Let's go. We have some research to do."
Scott walked into Stiles' room at the hospital with Deaton right behind him and found John and Mellissa waiting for them, the woman immediately rushing over to Scott to wrap her arms around her son.
"Deaton?" John frowned at his friend in confusion, and Deaton smiled at the Sheriff going over to the bed where Stiles was sleeping peacefully.
"What happened?" Scott asked Mellissa and she shook her head.
"No one knows," she sighed and crossed her arms over her chest. "The librarian told us that she saw Stiles walking towards the back of the library. Some 10 minutes later they heard a pained scream and they found him unconscious with that book beside him," she nodded towards the metal nightstand and Scott frowned as he walked over to it, glancing at John who was staring at Deaton and Stiles with apt attention, worry and fear rolling off of him in waves.
Scott picked up the book carefully and turned it around, squinting at the faded title. "Forgotten Stories And Legends?" Scott looked to Deaton who looked back at him with a small frown.
"Deaton?" John breathed out and the veterinarian turned to the Sheriff shaking his head.
"I can find nothing wrong with him," Deaton said. "He is merely sleeping."
"Can I take this?" Scott asked, suddenly feeling as though he should hurry and meet the others.
"There's nothing wrong with the book," John spoke as he heavily took a seat in a chair to Stiles' right.
"Sheriff," Scott looked at the weary man, trembling when those dark, sad eyes looked at him. "Stiles will be alright. We'll find a way to bring him back."
John tried to smile, but failed and Scott looked at his mom.
"I don't know when I'll be home."
Mellissa nodded and Scott kissed her before leaving the room, immediately taking his phone out of his pocket and calling Allison.
"Scott? What's wrong with Stiles?"
"He's just like Derek," Scott answered glancing down at the book he had in his hands. "They found a book beside Stiles. Where are you now?"
"We're all at Lydia's place. We need to do some research."
"I'm coming," Scott ended the call and looked around the street before slipping into a side alley, tucking the book safely into the inside of his jacket before he broke into a run, faster than the human eye could follow.
'We're gonna save you Stiles. No matter what it takes.'
Scott entered Lydia's house without knocking and followed the various scents into the back where the private library of the Martin family was.
The moment he entered everyone was on their feet looking at him expectantly.
"This is the book they found with Stiles," he said and handed it to Lydia when she walked over to him. She took the book and turned it in her hands, frowning at the title.
"I've seen this before," she whispered and threw the book in Scott's hands, making him fumble to catch it while she ran over to one of the bookshelves, skimming the titles quickly. "Here it is."
The copy of the book she took off of the shelf was in better shape than the one Scott was holding, but it looked almost just as old.
"My grandmother read this book to me once," Lydia murmured as she flipped through the pages. "We never went past the 12th story because I didn't like it. Unlike other myths and legends, and fairytales we grew up with, these stories are much darker, although they don't lack fantasy." She stopped on one page and gasped before looking at everyone with wide eyes.
"What is it?" Jackson asked and Lydia looked at the page, tracing the title with trembling fingers.
"This is where I heard those names," she whispered making everyone stand at attention. "The Story Of Dagda And Tegan."
"Dagda and Tegan?" Erica took a step forward and Lydia glanced at her before walking over to an armchair and taking a seat.
Said teen flipped through his copy quickly before finding the same title and squinting. "This was hand-written," he murmured as everyone took seats around Lydia either on the floor or on the couch across from her.
"Follow the lines while I read from this. If we're right and these Dagda and Tegan have something to do with Stiles and Derek, we need to make sure that this copy I have is the same as the one you have. Maybe we'll find a way to wake them up through this."
"Alright," Scott nodded. "You can start."
Lydia shifted in her seat and cleared her throat, glancing at everyone before she started reading, "By the time, my dear reader, you will be holding this in your hands, the story that you will read will have already been forgotten or turned into a legend. But do not be fooled, dear reader, because what you are about to read truly did happen, a very, very long time ago…"
John jumped to his feet and all but ran to his son's side when that breathless whisper reached his ears, hope awakening in his heart only to disappear when he saw no changes on his son's face. A pained gasp passed John's lips and he brushed his left hand through Stiles' hair.
"Please, wake up," he whispered brokenly, "please. Wake up, Stiles. Wake up."
But his words fell on deaf ears, because his son was locked deep within his dreams.
Or were they dreams?
Maybe there is something in the belief that souls which suffered much strife received a new chance at life? Maybe there was indeed a way for those who did not get a chance to live their life to the fullest to try again?
And maybe, just maybe, there was more to Stiles Stilinski than met the eye…
Stiles knew he was dreaming, he knew because he was standing in such darkness he has never seen before. He vividly remembered the pain which surged through his body before he fell and found himself here. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't wake up.
"What is your name?"
Stiles turned on his heel when he heard his own voice, and all of a sudden he found himself standing inside a forest beside a lake, and his eyes widened when he saw a man with a striking resemblance to Derek standing just a few feet in front of him.
"Dagda," the man answered, and before Stiles could wrap his mind around everything that was going on, words rolled off of his lips as though he spoke them before.
"And what does your name mean, Dagda?" Stiles couldn't stop the words if he wanted to, and knowing that there was no sense in resisting he simply let go.
"It means 'leader of men'," Derek's look alike answered and Stiles frowned. 'Derek' meant 'ruler of people'.
"A bit presumptuous, isn't it? To be called a leader of men, and be no more than a fisher," he found himself answering and this Dagda answered.
"I am the son of the village's chieftain," Dagda answered with a shrug. "It is said that when my mother was pregnant with me one of the gods came to her and told her to name me Dagda, and that I would be the leader of my village..."
Stiles gasped when he was suddenly and quite viciously torn out of that scene, finding himself in another.
"Wait!" Stiles turned on his heel and looked at Derek's look-alike, his heart dancing in his chest when he saw him smiling.
"What is it?" Stiles, or whoever the man he was in this dream asked.
"I made a promise to you yesterday. I said that I would definitely have a name for you today." Stiles turned to face Dagda fully, feeling an eyebrow rise up on his forehead.
"Tegan," Stiles' heartbeat stuttered and he held his breath. "I will call you Tegan."
"What does it mean?"
"I will tell you once this game is over. After you've given me what I desire!" Stiles wanted to call out to the man but the scene shifted again, making his stomach lurch, and in the next moment he was sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking the sea.
"What is here that you wish to show me?" Stiles found himself asking and looked to his left where he found Dagda who was munching on some barriers, lake-green eyes staring at Stiles with amusement and expectation.
"Wait. You'll see before long." Stiles looked away from Dagda at the beautiful scene in front of him, and his heart danced in his chest when millions of colors danced across the sky and the sea as the Sun started to set.
"Isn't this beautiful, Tegan?"
Before Stiles had a chance to answer he found himself standing beside that same lake, and in the reflection he could see Dagda standing behind him. He could feel the man's warmth against his back even though their bodies weren't touching, and Stiles trembled involuntarily.
"Look, Tegan. What I wanted to show to you today, is you." Stiles felt confusion, anger and desire hit him like a wave causing more confusion to appear, and he realized that those feelings weren't his own, but of the man Dagda was talking to, the man from who's perspective Stiles' was seeing this.
"What?" The moment those words passed Stiles' lips he felt Dagda's strong, muscled body flatten against his back, and warmth such as he had never felt before overwhelmed him.
"The name I've chosen for you, Tegan… It means beautiful." Stiles choked up and shivered as Dagda spoke, "Everything in this world is beautiful and good. You are beautiful. Everything you are is beautiful, and you are part of this world…" Warmth, kindness and love stared up at Stiles from the reflection in the lake. "So how can you say this world is ugly and evil, when you are part of it?"
Stiles' eyes filled with tears, but in the next moment it was night and he was facing Dagda, while a man stood beside them holding Stiles' and Dagda's hands together, and a woman stood several feet behind the man. They both held striking resemblance to Derek's parents Dmitry and Talia Hale Stiles saw when he was investigating the Hale Fire.
"On this night we witness the joining of Dagda, son of Dyzek and Lahela, and Tegan, formerly known as Void. May their union be full of love, and may they walk through life together. May they accept both the good and the bad, and see light in the darkest of times." Stiles looked in Dagda's eyes and found those lake-green orbs Stiles thought only Derek had staring right at him. "You may now mark the beginning of your life together with a kiss…"
Before Dagda could kiss him, Stiles found himself standing inside a chamber with wooden walls. There were many people around him, but he only had eyes for one, because beside Dagda's face, this one he knew. 'Deaton?'
"Yes, Tegan," the one Stiles knew was Alan Deaton, Scott's boss and mentor spoke in that same deep, kind voice. "The child you carry in your womb, your unborn son, will mark the turn of the age." Stiles choked up in shock, but his body moved on its own, turning to look at Dagda. "But you must also be careful, because the birth of this child could also be your death."
"What?" Dagda pressed out through his teeth as Stiles felt weakness overwhelm this body he was in a way possessing, and this version of Deaton sighed gravely.
"If you should die for whatever reason, Tegan would not survive the birth. You've marked his body. You've claimed his soul. He is bound to your destiny. Bound to you forever. If you were to die, the moment the part of you which lives inside your son leaves Tegan's body, Tegan will die."
In the next moment Stiles was standing inside a different room looking outside a window, and glancing down he realized that his stomach was bigger than it should be, and he could feel fluttering movements inside it.
"We can handle this, Tegan." Moments later Dagda was standing behind him, and Stiles' hands moved to cover Dagda's when he placed them on Stiles' big stomach.
"A son, Dagda," the words left Stiles' lips, quiet and strained, "and there is a chance neither one of us will be there to raise him."
Slowly getting used to it, Stiles wasn't surprised when he suddenly found himself in front of a man he has never seen, but whose mere appearance made his heart clench in fear, especially when he realized that he was kneeling on the ground whit two children by his sides.
"See how weak you are, Void?! And to think we have feared you would be our downfall!"
"He's not Void!" the boy snapped at the man.
"He's Tegan, and he's stronger than you will ever be!" the girl screamed and the man raised an eyebrow at her.
"We'll see about that," the man spoke as he raised his arm, but before he could do anything the door was slammed open and Dagda rushed in, shooting an arrow at the man and hitting his chest.
"Tegan! Quickly!" Stiles felt his body move, but the scene shifted again, and horror washed over him when he found himself cradling Dagda's bloody and beaten form in his arms.
"Promise me," Dagda choked out, and Stiles knew he was dying, "promise me that you will find me - whatever life - whatever time - promise me, and - and we'll see it all to - together…"
"I will," the whisper rolled off of Stiles' lips as he bowed down to kiss Dagda, "I will, I swear I'll find you, no matter how long it will take, I swear…"
Dagda laughed quietly, breathlessly and Stiles moved back a bit, heart-break coloring his face as Dagda's eyes slipped closed and he went lax in his hold.
Before Stiles could process what just happened, pain such as he never felt before surged though him, his whole body cramping up as wave after wave of unimaginable pain left him breathless.
"I can't do this," the whimper left Stiles' lips, eyes opening to find Deaton beside him. "Not without him! Not without Dagda!"
"You must, Tegan!" This Deaton spoke in a voice which left no room for argument, and when he waved his hand over Stiles, the teen found out that his pants disappeared as Deaton moved to kneel between his legs. "For your son! For Dagda! You must do this!"
"Yes, you can, and you will. Now push!"
If anyone was there to see Stiles' eyes open, they would have been frozen in their places, especially if they knew the teen.
Amber eyes were full of timeless knowledge, glowing with a fire which wasn't there before. Tears started to trail down pale cheeks as the lithe body started to shake.
Derek gulped as the scene in front of him changed again, suppressing the need to puke. If this was really a dream as he believed it was, then he hoped he would wake up soon, because he was sure he wouldn't be able to handle much more.
Everything - well at least the dreams - was starting to make more sense now that he was seeing the events in their proper order, and each time this Tegan would appear in front of him, Derek would hit himself over the head for not realizing that this supposed god of mischief looked exactly like Stiles.
"Ugly, isn't it?" Stiles' look-alike, Tegan spoke in a dull voice, and anger and sadness such as Derek felt several times in his life surged through his heart.
"Only if allowed to continue," the words passed his lips in a strained growl and Tegan merely raised an eyebrow at him. "In our village this man would hang for what he did. No one is allowed the raise a hand on someone else."
"And yet such things happen," Tegan drawled in a tone Derek never heard pass Stiles' lips, a tone he knew would never pass those lush, beautiful lips no matter how angry or hurt Stiles was. "Humans, no matter how much they try to hide it, are ugly and evil, and they destroy everything they touch."
"Not all humans are evil!" Derek snapped at Tegan, and in his heart he knew those words were true. He may have believed until recently that hunters were evil, that he was better off alone, but he was proven wrong. Stiles proved him wrong. "I've seen more beauty than evil in this world! I've seen more good humans than evil ones! Humans are good!"
Tegan snorted and this time the transition from one place to another didn't make Derek want to puke which made him assume that the scene hadn't changed and that Tegan was the one who transported himself and this man Derek was possessing to this place.
"Keep believing that if you want," Tegan said and turned around to leave, and Derek felt desperation grip his heart.
"Tegan, wait!" His body lurched forward and his right hand wrapped around Tegan's arm. "Such things will continue to happen. I know that. But for as long as there are others willing to fight against such things, humans will remain good. Why do you refuse to see that?"
Derek felt his eyebrows furrow, and confusion mixed with despair when Tegan looked away from him.
"Because humans will always fear what they cannot understand. In their desire to destroy all that is evil and dark in their eyes, they will inevitably seek to destroy it. In their desire to keep their world pure and beautiful, to keep themselves good, they will do anything to destroy that which in their eyes threatens them." The cold gaze of Tegan's eyes when he looked at Derek made something in him shift, and Derek's heart clenched, and he didn't know if the emotions he was feeling were his own or the man's, Dagda's. "The world isn't beautiful, Dagda. You won't need me to show that to you."
Just as Tegan disappeared Derek's stomach lurched again, and all of a sudden he was standing behind Tegan who was facing a man and a woman whose appearance made Derek's heart clench, because they looked just like his parents.
"On this day," Tegan spoke in a firm voice and Derek concentrated on him, confused, worried and fearful for reasons Derek couldn't understand. "I, known as Void, the Trickster among Gods, do hereby make a pledge. I shall not bring harm upon anyone in this village or anyone visiting this village without evil intentions. I swear to protect this village and everyone residing in it with my life. I swear to uphold the rules of this village. Most of all, I swear to forever remain by Dagda's side and aid him in whatever responsibilities he might inherit." Derek's eyes widened when Tegan raised his right hand with claws instead of blunt nails. "So it was spoken, so it shall be done," Derek's guts churned at the scent of blood, and his heart clenched at the implications of that oath, "and these marks shall be the symbol of my oath for all to see,"
The scene shifted again, and Derek found himself lying naked in bed looking down at the man who now looked completely like Stiles. Before he was missing the constellation of small moles Stiles had on his left cheek, and now looking at them Derek was starting to understand.
He was starting to remember.
"I would like the whole world to know that you are mine in every way," the words rolled off of Derek's lips, and he couldn't help but agree with him, because the feelings Dagda had at that moment were the same ones Derek was fighting for months. The need to have Stiles beside him, the desire to claim that beautiful body and make Stiles his.
"Only a god can mark a god, love," Tegan whispered and Derek felt himself nod, only to frown a second later when Tegan raised his right hand and his nails turned into claws. "But this is a whish I can grant you."
Before Derek realized what was going on he was standing inside that darkness again various scenes passing around him.
An assembly in which Dagda and Tegan found out from a man baring a striking resemblance to Deaton that Tegan was pregnant, and that if Dagda died, Tegan would not survive the birth.
Dagda and Tegan facing a terrifying man whose mere appearance made something in Derek's heart burn with hatred and white, hot searing rage.
Tegan taking a hit for Dagda before the man disappeared, and the sight of Dagda fighting three rabid werewolves to protect Tegan, before everything went black, and Derek woke up in his own bed, drenched in sweat, eyes wide with memories.
"…I'll find you, no matter how long it will take…"
"… And so the two star-crossed lovers were parted, leaving behind a son who would carry on their legacy, and a promise to find one another again, no matter how long it would take."
As the words hung in the air between the gathered Betas of the Hale Pack, they each sunk into their own thoughts.
"Horrible?" Erica interrupted Allison in a whisper, tears streaming down her pale cheeks.
"So - So what?" Isaac spoke up. "Derek and Stiles are…"
"Reincarnations of Dagda and Tegan, meeting again after centuries of being apart." Lydia finished for the youngest wolf among them.
"But that can't be," Jackson spoke up. "There's no such thing as reincarnation."
"There's no such thing as werewolves," Allison and Scott spoke up at the same time, exchanging a small glance.
"Besides," Lydia spoke up as she closed her copy of the book, "Dagda means 'leader of men', right? Do you know what 'Derek' means?"
"I don't know, but I guess we're about to find out," Isaac drawled and Lydia smirked at him.
"It means 'ruler of people'."
"Just don't tell Derek that. It might go into his head," Erica drawled, wiping her tears away.
"Tegan means beautiful, right?" Boyd asked. "What does 'Stiles' mean?"
"Stiles is just a nickname," Scott said only to frown. "Now that I think about it, I don't even know what Stiles' real name is."
"Call your mom," Lydia said, "It has to be written on Stiles' chart."
Scott was quick to take his phone and call his mom, putting it on speaker before she even answered.
"Scott? What is it?"
"Mom, I need you to tell me what Stiles' real name is," Scott said and exchanged glances with the others.
"Give me a second, I need to open his file," she answered. "Did you find a way to wake him up?"
"Not yet. We're working on it."
"Alright - here it is," everyone leaned closer to Scott as though that would make Mellissa talk quicker. "Wow… That's a strange name. I wonder how I didn't memorize it."
"What is it?" Scott asked.
"Tegan," everyone held their breaths as Mellissa spoke, "Tegan Stil - Scott I need to go."
"Mom, what's going on?" Scott asked when he heard the tone of hurry in Mellissa's voice, and the shifting of the phone which indicated that Mellissa was moving.
"Someone sounded an alarm and it's coming from Stiles'…"
"Mom? Mom, what's wrong?!" Scott snapped when Mellissa went quiet.
"Stiles is - he's gone, Scott. He's gone."
Eyes the color of late autumn leaves glanced around the dark forest, as feet clad only in a thin pair of tennis shoes trudged the leaf covered ground.
Trembling arms were wrapped around a thin waist, keeping the red hoody wrapped as tightly as possible around his torso to preserve as much warmth as it could.
He yelped when he tripped, but managed to keep himself on his feet, stumbling onto the clearing in front of the burnt down shell of the old Hale House.
He walked over to the front porch on trembling legs, his breath coming out in white puffs, and tears filling his eyes.
He breathed out sharply and full, cupid-bow lips tilted up into a small smile when he noticed a tall strong figure standing some 10 meters to his right, Alpha red eyes meeting his before the owner of those eyes stepped out of the shadows and into the light of the moon.
"D-Derek?" he stuttered out, whole body shivering from the cold of the early autumn.
"You little idiot," Derek murmured almost tenderly as he walked over to Stiles, taking his leather jacket off as he went and wrapping it around Stiles' hunched shoulders. Standing in front of Stiles he looked down into those amber eyes, licking his lips as Stiles smiled at him.
"Hey there, Sourwolf," he muttered in a strained, weak voice, and Derek gulped.
"Hey," he answered in a whisper.
"I know it took me a while," Stiles took a step closer to Derek, and to his surprise he wasn't shocked when the werewolf allowed Stiles to lean against him, burying his nose in Derek's chest. "But I found you."
Stiles trembled from something else but the cold when Derek's arms encircled his slightly smaller form.
"Took you long enough," Derek murmured and Stiles tilted his head back to look at Derek.
Derek nodded slowly, gaze darting all over Stiles' face, comparing it to the one he now truly remembered. Eerily, he could find nothing even slightly different from the face of Tegan. "Stiles, I'm not…" Derek choked up and pressed his teeth tightly together. "I'm not like Dagda. I'm not…"
"I know," Stiles whispered and Derek's eyes widened in shock when a crooked smile tilted Stiles' lips, and sadness colored those beautiful eyes. "I know you're nothing like him. And despite that I've loved you long before I've remembered."
"Yeah," Stiles laughed breathlessly. "And you know, I'm not Tegan either, well…" the teen smirked and shrugged, moving even closer to Derek if it was possible. "Since my real name is Tegan, I can't say that I'm not Tegan, but I'm nothing like that Tegan…"
"Wait, wait, wait," Derek shook his head, trying to keep up with Stiles. "Your real name is Tegan?" he asked with a frown.
"Yeah," Stiles nodded, slipping his arms out of the leather jacket and wrapping them around Derek's waist, pulling the Alpha closer. "My mom found that name somewhere when she was pregnant with me and decided to name me Tegan for whatever reason. Stiles is just a nickname because kids teased me even in grade school about it."
Derek nodded in understanding and took a deep breath. "Stiles, there's - there's something I've been trying to talk to you about for months now, and I…" Derek's voice broke and Stiles gave him an encouraging smile. "Stiles, you're my Mate," Derek stated bluntly and Stiles' eyebrows rose up.
"Well, I guess that beats just about every argument I've thought of as to why I shouldn't approach you with my feelings," he stated in a dry voice making Derek frown.
"Wait, you really…"
"Derek, I don't know when I've fallen in love you with exactly, and believe me, before you start listing everything you did and recite every possible reason as to why I shouldn't love you, I've been banging my head against walls trying to find a reason not to love you for months. And do you know how many I've found? Exactly 14," Derek frowned in confusion when Stiles smirked at him. "But when it came to all the reasons why I should - why I do love you, only three words came to mind. Because of everything."
Derek gulped when Stiles' hold on him tightened, and he knew that he wouldn't be able to let go of the younger man even if an army of werewolves was pulling him away.
"Dagda…" Stiles whispered and flattened his body completely with Derek's, "Derek… do you love me?"
"Yes," Derek breathed out, bowing his head and connecting their foreheads. "I love you. More than anything." Derek looked at Stiles right shoulder, his left hand sliding up Stiles' back before settling on the place where he knew Tegan had the mark Dagda made on him.
"I still have it, you know? The mark you've made with my claw," Derek looked in Stiles' eyes and found the teen smiling at him lovingly.
Stiles' eyebrows met in confusion when Derek moved back a bit and reached into the back pocket of his trousers before raising his hand and showing Stiles a claw hanging on a time-worn leather strap.
"It's been in my family for generations," Derek whispered. "The Alpha always wore it. It was said that it belonged to the creator of our pack…"
"Theodor Hale," Stiles finished for Derek as he gently cupped the claw within his left hand before looking at Derek. "I've - Tegan…" he huffed in annoyance, blinking away tears which threatened to fall. "I've taken it off your body before they buried you. Asgaya must have left it with our son after I…"
"After you died giving birth to him," Derek spoke gravely and Stiles nodded.
"I've lived long enough to name him after… after you," he choked out and Derek pulled him into his arms. "Is there a reason we shouldn't be together?" Stiles whispered against Derek's shoulder, feeling the werewolf tighten his hold on him. "Is there a reason why we shouldn't try to make the best of this new life we've been given?"
"No, Tegan, there isn't," Derek whispered against Stiles' head, breathing in the scent of his Mate. "There isn't." A moment later Derek chuckled dryly making Stiles move back a bit to look at him. "Although this time you have a dad who might be against me dating you."
Stiles laughed quietly and shook his head, "I've told him everything about you, everything about werewolves. He seems to be okay with it," he frowned and pressed his lips together, "although he might not believe the whole story about us being reincarnations of our past selves."
"So we just tell him you're my Mate?" Derek asked, lips tilting up into a smile when Stiles laughed and leaned almost all of his weight against Derek.
"We'll stick to that for now," he said.
Silence settled between them as they simply stared at one another, hearts beating with both old feelings and new ones which they've spent months hiding from one another.
"Kiss me, Derek Hale," Stiles whispered and Derek laughed breathlessly.
Without a word Derek bowed his head and sealed his lips over Stiles' in the first kiss of their new lives.
Neither was aware of a pair of black eyes watching them from a safe distance.
Alan Deaton chuckled and shook his head with a smile full of fondness.
"May Destiny be in your favor," he whispered into the wind and made his way back to the city, hiding behind a tree when he saw the rest of the Hale Pack running towards the other two.
Scott and the others stopped in their tracks on the edge of the forest surrounding the Hale House, taken aback by the sight they stumbled upon.
As Derek raised his hands to cup Stiles' face within them, deepening the kiss, Stiles fisted his hands on the back of Derek's shoulders, sighing against Derek's lips. Derek's jacket slipped off of Stiles and met the grassy ground, but neither noticed, just like they didn't notice their Pack staring at them in relief and happiness.
"Scott, call Stiles' dad while I call your mom," Allison whispered to her boyfriend, "we've found them."
"Or they've found one another," Lydia added, eyes suspiciously glassy as she leaned into Jackson's hug.
In the next moment Stiles and Derek parted, and both of them laughed, surprising the gathered teens, only to make them gape when Derek wrapped his arms around Stiles' waist and spun them around in circles, their laughs dying when Stiles wrapped his arms around Derek's shoulder and kissed him.
Apparently, miracles were just as possible as reincarnation.
"So, let me get this straight," John Stilinski took a deep breath as he stopped his pacing, rubbed his face and looked at his son and his apparent boyfriend who were sitting in the couch of the Stilinski home living room. "You two are Mates, and the reason behind both of you falling unconscious was because Derek here wasn't willing to admit that you're his Mate because he thought he wasn't good enough - which by the way I completely agree with - and you, Stiles, did the same because you were unconsciously denying the Mate Bond because you didn't think you were good enough for Derek, which resulted in both of you falling into a sleep in which you dreamed of one another and resolved everything, and now you're together."
John looked at the two doubtfully while Stiles and Derek exchanged a glance.
"That's about it, I think," Stiles said and Derek nodded, pursing his lips a bit.
"I think that covers it quite well."
John nodded his head, lips parted in disbelief while the two looked up at him, Stiles contently nuzzled against Derek whose right arm was draped over the back of the couch around Stiles' shoulders.
"Yeah," John managed to mutter, hands on his hips, trying to think of something else to say. "So what, you're together now and…"
"And nothing," Stiles shrugged his shoulders. "We're together and that's it."
"Oh, okay…" John nodded his head as he turned on his heel and made his way out of the room because he was late for work as it was. "Okay."
Stiles muffled his laugh against Derek's shoulder before looking up at his Mate, amber orbs sparkling with mischievousness and mirth.
"That went surprisingly well," Derek commented, lips tilted up a bit. "So, I guess he's not against this?"
"I think he's trying to wrap his mind around everything," Stiles answered. "But he didn't say no either…"
"Wait," John appeared in the doorway again, hurriedly tugging on his uniform jacket, "is there anything I have to worry about? Like grandchildren or - or something…"
The two looked at him with wide eyes before Stiles burst out into laughter and Derek let go of a long breath.
"I'd need to be a god, dad," Stiles drawled and John huffed.
"Good," he answered in a breaking voice. "Derek, I expect you here every Friday and Saturday for family dinner." John rushed out of the house, leaving the two alone.
"Maybe we really should tell him the whole truth," Derek drawled and Stiles snickered before he stood up and pulled on Derek's hand.
"And make him worry? I don't think so," he spoke as he led Derek through the house to his bedroom.
They left the door of the room open, the teen pulling Derek closer and kissing him, making a growl rumble deep within Derek's chest as they walked towards Stiles' bed.
Falling down on it, their kiss deepened before Derek broke it to move back and take his Henley off, Stiles sitting up to tug his own shirt off of himself and throw it on the floor.
Derek halted when the door closed with a bang and looked down at Stiles with a raised eyebrow, and Stiles winked at him. "It seems that some of my powers returned together with the memories," Stiles said before pulling Derek into another kiss, while Derek's hands settled on Stiles' waist.
"Wait a second," Stiles groaned when Derek moved back and looked down at Stiles. "Do we need to worry about you ending up pregnant?"
"Derek, I'm not a god anymore!"
"But your powers are returning," Derek insisted, grabbing a hold of Stiles' wrists when the teen tried to grab him and pull him down again.
"We are seriously not having this discussion right now," Stiles grumbled sarcastically and Derek glared at him with a slight pout, making Stiles sigh and roll his eyes.
"Maybe we should talk to Deaton before doing anything," Derek said.
"Derek, we are not talking to Deaton about the slight possibility of me ending up pregnant!"
"And what if you do?" Derek raised an eyebrow when Stiles just gaped at him.
A moment later he huffed and Derek let go of Stiles' wrists when the teen moved to get off of the bed.
"Alright, but when we're done talking to him we're going over to your place and you're sticking that dick up my ass even if you'll have to wear like 10 fucking condoms because of your super-werewolf sperm or something."
(1) What's that in the mirror…?, Steven Moffat
The Meaning Behind The Names
Dagda - leader of men (Derek's name in the past life)
Derek - ruler of people
Tegan - beautiful (Stiles' name in the past life, and his real name in this life)
Lahela - innocent lamb (Dagda's mother in the past life)
Talia - lamb (Derek's mother)
Dyzek - earth-lover (Dagda's father)
Dmitry - derived from Dimitri, means earth-lover (Derek's father)
Jerica- strong, a gifted ruler (Dagda's niece, daughter of Dagda's brother Bevan and his wife Suusa)
Erica - honorable ruler (Derek's Beta)
Sekani - laughs (Dagda's nephew, son of Dagda's brother Caden and his wife Tarima)
Isaac - he will laugh (Derek's Beta)
Caden - fighter ( Dagda's brother)
Scott - one of the meanings - fighter
Bevan - young (Dagda's brother)
Vernon - youthful (Derek's Beta)
Ishmael - god will hear (Dagda's brother, wasn't reincarnated)
Ruben - behold, a son (Dagda's brother, wasn't reincarnated)
Suusa - form of Susanna, meaning lily, flower (wife of Bevan, mother of Jerica)
Tarima - form of Tara, meaning elevated place (wife of Caden, mother of Sekani)
Asgaya - god of healing.
Deaton - form of Dathan, meaning fountain (the name Asgaya chose for himself in the new age)
Stiles and Derek sat in chairs facing Deaton who was looking at them with a small mysterious smile.
"So I take it that you both remember," he concluded.
"Yes, we remembered everything," Derek answered and Deaton nodded again.
"And since we known that you're actually Asgaya, could you please tell Derek that there's no way for me to end up pregnant because - despite his super-werewolf-sperm - I'm not a god anymore, so we can go back to him screwing me into the mattress?"
"Stiles!" Derek hissed at his Mate, and Stiles smiled at him innocently, batting eyelashes at the exasperated Alpha.
"I only have one question for the two of you," Deaton asked, practically radiating amusement.
"Shoot!" Stiles grinned at him.
"Have the two of you already had sex?" he asked, the question making the two frown in confusion.
"Yeah, the first night after we remembered and the rest of the Pack left Derek's apartment. Why?" Stiles asked, and Deaton chuckled.
"Because, my dear Tegan, you already are."
"Are what?" Stiles blurted out, and Deaton's eyes glimmered happily.
Silence settled over the room with Deaton suppressing a laugh, and Stiles and Derek staring at him shocked and pale.
"What?" Derek choked out and Deaton laughed quietly.
"It appears that your super-werewolf-sperm, as Stiles so eloquently put it, has left Stiles pregnant."
"Stiles!" Derek yelped and jumped to his feet when the teen promptly fainted.
Deaton snickered for himself and shook his head.
Life was never boring in Beacon Hills.
Going through all of my stories before reposting them is going surprisingly well. My friend managed to salvage all of my stories, and although this is turning out to be fun, I don't remember writing so MANY.
I feel like I moon-walked through HALF of them!
And the MISTAKES!
How has ANYONE managed to read my stories! T-T
I feel unworthy….