Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Wolf or any of the characters.
AN: This is an AU version of Teen Wolf where Stiles disappears the day his mother died when he was 8 years old.
Chapter 1 - Here We Are
Peter Hale was sitting on the porch of the newly rebuilt Hale House watching the pack do some training with their Alpha, his nephew Derek Hale. He was getting bored with it all and wanted to be somewhere else. However, he was ordered by Derek to stay until training was over for the day and it was irritating for the other Alpha to take. The pack was young with mostly betas and a couple of omegas.
The sounds of a vehicle, Scott McCall's beat up blue Jeep, came into view and Peter could smell the sadness in the boy's scent. It was curious because the beta wolf was usually a happy-go-lucky type of guy and to scent this emotion was not normal at all. Scott was usually on time, or even early, for the training sessions and the fact that the teen was very late meant something was wrong. He normally wouldn't have cared about Scott, but he knew that the others would want to know what happened.
"Someone died to make you this way?" the older Alpha called out, smirking slightly at the glare he was getting.
"Just shut up, Peter," Scott growled as he approached the porch and leaned against the railing away from Peter. "Of course you wouldn't know what day it is today. Dad's first wife died ten years ago today and my best friend Stiles disappeared right after Claudia died."
Peter didn't say anything after that, his blue eyes calculating as he remembered what had happened. A couple of hours after the Sheriff's first wife died from an incurable disease, his eight year old son disappeared without a trace. He remembered a precocious little boy with whiskey eyes and a sharp wit that put most adults to shame. The boy's disappearance shocked the small town of Beacon Hills and a massive manhunt for Stiles lasted for almost a year. And then seven years ago, Sheriff Stilinski married Scott's mother, Melissa McCall. The man had fallen in love with the woman who was one of his late wife's best friends when she helped him get his life back together after losing both his wife and son.
However, Peter was in a coma at that time…
The Alpha sighed and glanced at the beta. "I would say sorry if I had understood the significance of the day, but you already know that." He waved his hand at Scott, shooing the teen away. "Your Omega mate is out training with the Betas and I'm sure that Allison will comfort you in the best way an Omega can."
Scott muttered under his breath, calling Peter a dick as he jogged over to the training Betas. The others broke off their training once they saw the teen approach them. He still smelled the sadness in the boy's scent and closed his eyes so he could hear the conversation better.
"Did you go to Claudia's grave today?" - Allison
"Yeah, I did. I put the flowers Mom gave me on the headstone and… and he wasn't there." - Scott
Oh? This is a new development. Was there suppose to be someone there at Claudia Stilinski's grave? The Sheriff perhaps?
"Really? You mean that fox wasn't there this time? I thought you said that the fox was always there every year." Allison almost sounded… worried? Why would anyone be worried over an animal?
"It was disappointing not to see that fox because he always seemed to make me not feel so sad today. I think something happened to Foxy." Foxy? What a stupid name for a fox, Scott.
Peter tuned out the rest of the conversation when he got up from the porch, waving at the others and telling Derek that he was going to go for a patrol run around the Preserve. The other Alpha just raised his eyebrows and shook his head, turning his attention back to the rest of the pack. Peter just shook his head as he ran into the woods.
As he was heading towards a remote part of the Preserve, Peter began thinking about Scott talking about a fox. That made him remember an incident with a fox about nine years ago…
Peter had taken himself deep into the Preserve in order to get away from the rest of the family. He did not want to hear another lecture from his sister, Talia, about how he should be doing something other than IT work for the Pack and family. Now that he was far enough away from the house, his body relaxed as he began to take in his surroundings.
The young Alpha then heard a frightened yip and began to follow the sound. He then smelled the fear from a fox so he homed on the scent and it didn't take him long to find the creature. The poor thing had somehow gotten its head stuck in a large glass pickle jar. When it realized that it wasn't alone, the fox began crying out in a screech and backing away, not even seeing where it was going.
In a rare moment of kindness, Peter slowly approached the fox and then grabbed the creature by the scruff on the neck. "Careful, little one, I'm only trying to help," he said in a soothing voice, his other hand moving on the fox's back in what he hoped was a calming manner. The screeching began to lessen to the point where it was only whimpers now. Carefully, Peter kept his grip on the animal's neck while he gently pulled on the glass jar off of the fox's head.
Once the jar was tossed away, the fox scrambled out of Peter's grasp and ran a few feet away. Peter took a good look at the fox and then sniffed. It was definitely a young fox, a kit at least, but it looked like it was all on its own. But… there was something else to the creature's scent, like it was not exactly a true fox. The fox in turn faced the werewolf, sitting down on its hindquarters while tilting its head to one side.
The Alpha sniffed again and realized that this fox could actually be a shifter, but decided to see if he could befriend the creature. He carefully held out his hand hoping that the fox would approach. It was a tense few minutes before it slowly crept forward. Once it was close enough, it sniffed Peter's hand and gave a tentative lick on the palm. That was when it gave an excited yip, jumping on Peter enough to give the man a lick on the cheek and began making sounds as if it was trying to talk to the wolf.
The moment was broken when Peter heard voice calling out for him and he felt a little sad when the young fox stood very still before using him as a springboard and sprinting back into the woods. Peter never saw the fox again, especially since a year later the Hale fire happened and he went into a coma for six years…
Soon enough, Peter found himself in the same area where he had first seen the fox. He smiled slightly at the young creature, wishing that he could see it again. There was an honest and guileless feel to the creature and he remembered there was a strange scent the emanated from the fox. If it was human, he knew that it might have even been the scent of an Omega.
A loud, pained howl filled the air made the werewolf immediately run towards the howl. He did not pay too much attention to his surroundings, intent on only finding whatever screamed out like that. Soon enough, he was in front of a gruesome scene. It was once a beautiful red fox, but its left hind leg was caught in a bearclaw trap, the leg now crushed and the fox itself was whimpering in pain. It began screeching when it saw Peter but suddenly stopped, its amber eyes staring at the werewolf.
"It can't be," Peter whispered as he recognized the fox from years past. He stayed still until he heard the frantic yips and whimpers coming from the fox, it was almost like it was asking the Alpha for help. Normal foxes did not live long in the wild and he knew that this creature was at least ten years old. That started to make him rethink on his original assumption years ago that this fox was a shifter.
"Alright, little one, I'll help you." At that, he knelt down beside the fox and put his hands on the jaws of the trap to open it. A searing pain shot through Peter's hands and he let go instinctively, staring at the trap and then his hands. Someone had set a trap within the Pack's territory that was laced with wolfsbane! Growling loudly, Peter grabbed the trap again and ignored the pain shooting through his hands and arms, opening it and freeing the fox. He tossed the device away and took note of the area so he could give detailed instructions on how to come back here to dispose of the trap safely.
Apparently, it was a hunter trying to trap whatever werecreature was in the area. And the trap's size meant it was after the fox and not a wolf. Still, it was a breach on their territory and his instincts were also clamoring for him to find the perpetrator, but getting help for the fox was more important.
The next few minutes were a blur for Peter as he gently carried the fox and ran back towards the Pack house. When he finally came into view of the house, all of the pack members smelled the frantic energy the elder Alpha was giving off and saw the injured fox in his arms. He refused to let the creature go but was convinced to by Derek when his nephew reminded him that he had his own marks to tend to. He had forgotten about the wolfsbane marks he got from the trap but shook his head, instincts telling him that he needed to make sure that the fox was okay.
Two hours later…
Peter was in the room where they paced the fox, his hand gently rubbing the creature's ears. It was sleeping due to exhaustion and the pain, its hind leg bandaged up. He glanced up from the fox when the door opened to reveal Scott. He was staring at the creature and then looked at the Alpha.
"That's why I didn't see the fox at the cemetery today. He was caught in a trap."
"The trap was laced with wolfsbane, Scott," Peter stated, his eyes flashing for a moment. "That meant that a hunter has been in our territory and is not following the code. But that's not the main thing. Apparently, the trap was just the right size for a fox."
Scott's eyes widened at that as his mind put things together. "Do you think that Foxy is a shifter then?"
The fox in question opened its eyes and let out a growl at Scott and glared at the teen. That made Peter laugh. "I don't think he likes the name Foxy." He got a yip in agreement which made the teen pout. "Stiles would have done something like that."
The fox yipped excitedly at that and that made Peter think and things were starting to come together. "Scott, what was your friend's name again?"
"It was Stiles… a nickname actually because hardly anyone could pronounce his first name."
The fox yipped again but then whimpered because it had moved its injured leg.
Peter put his gaze on the fox. "Is that your name? Stiles?"
The fox yipped once more as he opened his jaws in an approximation of a grin. Scott's eyes widened comically as he came close to the creature. "Stiles? Is that really you?" he asked as he leaned close enough so the fox licked Scott's nose.
Peter sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. This was going to be interesting once the Sheriff finds out his son was a fox...
Author's Note: The title of the story is from Star Sky by Two Steps From Hell. And the chapters will have lyrics from the song as titles.