Fandom: Teen Wolf (TV)/Supernatural
Warnings: mentions of child death; bad decisions due to grief; a history of family dying young; AU during Insatiable; possibly AUish for Supernatural (I really have no idea); also, when it comes to the shadowfox, I reject canon's reality and substitute my own. Still – unreliable narrator.
Pairings: Claudia/Sheriff, Claudia's parents
Point of view: third
Note: until canon informs us otherwise, the my headcanon has the sheriff's name as some form of Alexander.
Claudia Stilinski could've been somebody extraordinary, someone remembered by more people than her childhood friends, her husband, and her son. She could've gone anywhere and done anything, could've left her mark on the world.
Instead, she chose to take a break from being a journalist when she got too pregnant to move around easily, and she took longer than her maternity leave to stay with her son.
She could've been famous the world over, a household name, in any field she chose. Her mother made a deal to insure she lived and prospered – Claudia Abigail May had been stillborn. Anaka wanted her daughter to flourish and be happy, and her gift took her life when Claudia was barely ten years old. Her father, Oniofrio, remarried soon after, to a woman Claudia did eventually come to love. She grew up driven and passionate, determined to prove to herself and the world that she was worth the price of her life.
She forgot, as had her mother, that there is always a punchline to the trick.
Anaka had a decade with the girl who should not have been. Claudia didn't even get that. Her last month was spent half in her head as she tried to warn her little boy – and she told him, clutching him close and waiting for Alex, trying to hold on just long enough, she told her little Frio, "Remember tricksters always have something hidden, don't ever trust what you see, and never tell them your true name, your mother-given name, promise me, baby, remember, I love you so much." She cried, pulling him as close as she could. "Remember, be as clever as a fox," she mumbled, feeling the last of her strength fade away.
"Mama?" her son asked, leaning back to look at her. "Mama, wait!" His eyes were so wide, his face so pale, and she tried to smile –
Oniofrio Aleksander Stilinski died with his mother. He remembered with perfect clarity every single word his mother had said and so he stopped using the name his mother had given him. He even stopped thinking it. And he learned everything he could so that nothing would be hidden from him.
Claudia Abigail May was stillborn, the only child of Oniofrio and Anaka May. She married Alex Stilinski on the coldest day of her twenty-fourth year and gave birth to her son, Oniofrio Aleksander Stilinski, ten months later. She died three weeks before her son's eighth birthday.
When he sacrifices himself for his father, a door in Stiles' mind opens just a crack. Nothing would've slipped through (nothing could've slipped through) if he hadn't taken the first step while his own subconscious told him to leave it alone.
But Stiles went through the door and left it open behind him. A crafty old fox was presented with the choice of a hunter, a wolf, or a boy who should never have been. What else could any self-respecting trickster do?
Chaos, strife, pain – these are trickster tools and trickster weapons. And everyone is so busy with those Winchester boys, with Heaven and Hell and Purgatory… a little nothing town with a mostly-dead nemeton goes unnoticed.
But there's always a punchline to the trick.
And when the fox has Stiles' friends and family battle the oni, he senses the newcomer a moment too late.
"Be a dear, little fox," the King of Hell says, "and get out of my investment, yeah?"
"Your investment?" the fox demands while fucking Crowley dissipates the oni with a dismissive wave of his hand.
"I made the deal with his grandmother," Crowley says. "I collected both her and her daughter's souls." He spreads his hands and grins. "That boy is mine, bought and paid for, so be quick about it and leave. I've places to be and things to do."
The boy is stone silent and still in the back of his own mind but the fox can feel the burn of their shared fury rising. Outside, a multitude of voices start shouting – most everyone the boy cares about is present.
He wants to use you up and spit you out, the fox says.
And you don't? the boy demands, hard and cold at his core. This is why you chose me, isn't it? What he said about, about Mama and her mom?
Yes, the fox admits. There's a fire in you, Stiles. A spark. It wouldn't have been half as much fun in the hunter or the wolf.
"Tick tock, fox," Crowley calls, throwing one of the wolves into the wall. "Get out of the boy or I'll tear you out."
A huff and a puff, the boy laughs nervously.
He made the deal with Anaka May decades ago, the fox says. I'll make a deal with you today.
One of the wolves roars; everyone is shouting. Stiles is still and silent, body crouched down, eyes closed, at the center of the storm.
There's always a punchline to the trick, the fox says. He'll burn you and carve you out, use you till there's nothing left but grief and fear. But me – I like you, Stiles. I like you like you're a part of me, and I'm offering you a trade.
What? the boy asks.
Howling and shouting, brimstone and flame, and no one notices when the eyes blink open, when the lips turn upwards in a smirk.
The fox says, A name for a name.
And then? the boy asks softly. Chaos and strife and pain?
The fox hesitates, using the boy's eyes to watch the fight. Your father, Stiles, he murmurs, your wolves. Your banshee and your hunter – you think the King of Hell, Lord of the Crossroads cares anything for them? His game is a bit more bloody than mine. I'll leave them all alive.
The boy watches his father fall, watches Scott try to catch him, watches Crowley laugh and glare; it's obvious the demon is playing with them. He's cold, the boy, so cold, so deep inside. My mother-given name, he says, for yours. What happens then?
The fox laughs. There's fire in you, boy who shouldn't be. I'll light the spark.
Okay, the boy says. Let's do it.
The world is so quiet, in the center of a soul, when two names are whispered in tandem, and two spirits become one.
Outside, the King of Hell shouts, "What?" whirling to watch the boy's body rise. "Fox!" Crowley snarls. "I've prior claim – that soul is mine, that destiny is MINE to write as I will!"
The sheriff isn't moving, Scott crouched in front of him, teeth bared at Crowley, while Allison checks him over. Argent and Derek pace on Crowley's other side, and only Crowley is looking at the boy.
"The son of a woman who should never have grown to have a child," the boy's body says. "What tricks could such a man play once grown himself?" He laughs, eyes never leaving Crowley. "Your investment is null, little dealmaker, all agreements rendered invalid."
Crowley shakes his head, sputtering, "You have no authority! I am – "
"King of Hell, yes, we know," the boy says, rolling his eyes. "And we don't care. Don't you have important duties you should be attending to, Your Low Unholiness?" He laughs again. "We're just a little bit of chaos, a touch of strife, a slice of pain." He smiles and his teeth are too sharp, too bright. "This city is our territory and we'll burn anything that dares intrude."
"Stiles?" Scott whispers.
No one answers. Crowley huffs but vanishes as suddenly as he'd appeared. The boy (the fox) laughs, clapping his hands together. "Well now," he says, "time for some fun."