Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Wolf or any of the characters. I don't make any profit off of this and really only wrote it to: a) get the idea out of my head and b) procrastinate more in class. I hope you enjoy!
Really, Stiles couldn't understand why people were so scared of Hale Castle. There had been a fire and the Hale family, who'd ruled over the tiny countryside, had died leaving a rather terrifying shell of a castle behind. Of course, this only made it the hot spot for teenage boys—daring each other to touch the gates of the castle, which were still a good fifty or more yards from the actual castle itself, before they ran off. On top of that, just to make the place even more horrifying, the villagers swore that on the full moon whatever beast inhabited the castle made so much noise that it could be heard all the way down to the village.
Stiles was definitely not the bravest person in the village, but he read books. Books gave him the confidence to know that there was nothing to be scared of in the creepy-looking castle. The history books were very straightforward. There was a fire. Everyone died. Tragic. It was a shame about what happened to the Hales but there was no reason to believe their ghosts or whatever was haunting around the scary house.
So, when the chance to impress Lydia, his childhood crush, came up, he immediately jumped at the chance. Girls liked brave guys, right? His best friend, Scott, had gone first, walking up to the gate, slightly skiddish before touching the iron gate and throwing his arms up in success when he didn't drop dead. He jogged back to a grinning girlfriend, Allison, who gave him a victory kiss. Stiles wrinkled his nose at the affection before Jackson smirked and turned to Lydia telling her to "watch this" before he strolled up and walked to the gate. Instead of just touching it, he pushed open the gates that gave a loud groan as they swung inward towards the castle. Jackson looked around cautiously before moving in and touching the large fountain that stood halfway between the gate and actual front doors to the castle before quickly running back towards the group. Throwing her arms around Jackson, Lydia planted a fat kiss onto his cheek as Stiles gave a huff. That should be his kiss. He could do better.
"Just the fountain? That's it?" Stiles mocked, arms crossed over his chest.
"Yeah. You think you can do better, Stilinski?" Jackson asked, shooting him a glare as he tightened his hold on the girl who was hanging all over him.
"I totally can!" The smaller male puffed out his chest as he walked rather awkwardly at the faux manliness he was trying to exude through the stature. He ignored the cries of, "Stiles! You don't have to do this!" from Scott and continued past the fountain. The more he walked, the more his mind began to reel. Maybe the books he took his confidence from weren't right … Maybe there was some sort of big bad beast that lived in the castle, just waiting to eat him. By the time he got to the stone stairs leading up to the giant wooden doors, his legs were shaking and all his confidence was gone. Why was he doing this again?
Oh yeah … A kiss from the fair Lydia.
He was so going to kill Scott for not stopping him from doing this.
Swallowing thickly, he shakily reached out, pushing the giant doors open. The thick slabs of wood slowly opened, giving the same loud groan that the gates had as they swung inwards. Once there was enough room for Stiles to get through, he slithered inside and looked around. The boy was actually surprised to see that it wasn't as badly destroyed as he first thought. In fact, it looked as though someone had been cleaning it over the past years since the fire. Of course, that was a stupid idea, no one came up here. Looking around, he found a curtain that still was marked by the fire that had engulfed the rest of the house and ripped off a piece of the cloth. Trophy. Actually, Stiles had grown his confidence back. There was no ghost that had come to scare him away, no beast to come shred his face to pieces, and no dead bodies just lying around. In fact, it was just big and creepy like he'd thought. Smiling to himself, he began to make his way towards the door to leave when he froze in place.
The funny thing about paranoia is that sometimes it isn't paranoia. Sometimes there really is a big bad beast just waiting to rip you to shreds. Getting the feeling that he was being watched, Stiles slowly looked over his right shoulder towards the staircase where electric blue eyes glared down at him. The bookworm felt his mouth go dry. He silently hoped that the only thing he was looking at was a panel of one of the many stained glass windows that littered the walls. If only he was that lucky, right? Whatever it was blinked. Blinked. Definitely not a stained glass window. Just as Stiles was about to open his mouth to let out a sound—any sound—the thing begun to growl. Stiles ran face-first into the giant wooden door as he attempted to make his way out of the castle. He fell back on his butt before scrambling towards the door on all fours, damn near falling down the stone steps as he screamed at his friends to run. Thankfully he didn't have to tell them twice. By the time they all caught up, they were in the village square, panting as they sat on the edge of the village's fountain.
"W-What … did you see in there … Stiles?" Scott asked, trying to regain his breath.
Stiles was silent for a moment before he remembered the electric blue eyes he had seen. There was no way they belonged to some sort of creature—they'd looked too human, but there was no way those were human eyes. Human eyes didn't glow. "I-I don't know … I-it was … There were eyes … and … something growled at me!"
Jackson rolled his eyes at the other, "You're probably just making shit up."
"I'm not!" Stiles squeaked out. "Why would I make something up like that? 'Oh hey guys, let's just run for our lives for fun!' Because that's totally what I like to do for fun! Don't you Scott?" He questioned, not even pausing to let Scott answer, "I SAW SOMETHING. I don't know what it was, Jackson, but it was real!"
"It's okay, Stiles …" Allison said, throwing a scowl at Jackson, "we believe you."
Jackson shut up and left to go to the village tavern with Lydia. Scott and Allison had said that they had a dinner-date with Allison's family (Stiles was fairly certain that her family hadn't completely approved of Scott courting her yet) and left Stiles to be on his own. Kicking the ground a bit, he immediately went to his home, digging through his history books to try to get more backstory on Hale Castle. Maybe he had missed something?
He hadn't even got his victory kiss from Lydia.
Reading long into the night, Stiles couldn't find anything that he didn't already know. The Hale family had been rather big and all lived within the castle—including the King's brother and his family. The details were rather sketchy, but the fire had broken out late one night and everyone had been killed. A few of the head honchos of the village had checked through the wreckage once the fire had been put to rest and broke the news to the village that the family had been completely wiped out. Those same men had decided to run the village. Chris Argent, Allison's father, had been one of those men. Stiles certainly couldn't complain about the way they ran it—it wasn't bad and it wasn't like he could remember when the Hale's ran the village, so really, it was all he knew.
Stiles was a bit disappointed that he couldn't find anything new in the books he poured over. Research and reading was his thing. His usual hyperactive mind was soothed when his eyes scanned darkened pages of a good book. Groaning out, he threw the book across the room, which only achieved his father popping his head into his room.
"Stiles? You okay?"
"Dad!" He squeaked out, not even sure why his voice had gone to that pitch. "Hey dad! I didn't even hear you come in. Usually you slam the front door but, not today, I guess!"
The older male moved into the room with a chuckle, "I thought you were asleep and I didn't want to wake you up." His father worked as the chief of security in their village, making sure criminals came to justice. Stiles admired him to no end. "But, of course, I should've figured that you were awake …" The older male picked up the book that Stiles had thrown, seeing its title before sighing and putting the book to the side. "You know there's nothing at that castle … Just memories of a different time."
"I know, I know … But it's still interesting to read about!"
"Not more interesting than sleep, I hope?"
"Nah … I'm going to sleep right now …" Stiles said, giving his dad his warmest smile. "Night dad!"
The elder Stilinski gave a nod in response before leaving. Stiles let his whole body slump and fall back onto his bed. Staring at the ceiling, he wondered if maybe there were more books at the bookstore that he had missed. No, there was no way. He'd made sure that he had bought all the books the small store had to offer long ago. Figuring that there was no more he could do that night, he slid under his blankets, tossing and turning until he had cocooned himself in the fabric before settling down, closing his eyes and letting himself slip into a deep sleep.
Stiles' sleep had been anything but restful. His dreams had been haunted by a creature with bright blue eyes stalking him through the forest, even following him home and watching him in his room. Three times he'd woken up, covered in sweat and shaking all over, only to fall back asleep and right back into the creature's arms. By the time morning came, he was groggy and sluggish; something foreign to him, but he wasn't surprised thanks to his night. He'd spent several nights in a row awake before feeling better than this, but he supposed that running from a creature every sleeping moment did that to a person.
The only thing that Stiles knew was that he had to go back to that castle.
It was a bad idea. Terrible, really. He knew it, Scott knew it, and yet there he was, throwing supplies into a bag, ignoring Scott yelling at him to stop what he was doing. "I'm going!" He huffed out.
"I'm going and if I don't come back well then you can have my book collection. Except the first editions. And the second editions. Actually, you can just throw all my books into the grave they make for me, you can have my shirts … but not my favorite shirt. But hey! I'm totally gonna be completely a-okay! No need to worry!" Stiles blurted out with little more than a breath of air.
Scott gave a small smile at his friend's speech, "I'm just worried … I mean … You know what they say about that place—and what you saw!" Stiles knew what he saw. That was his main reason for going to the damn castle in the first place! He needed to know what it was and maybe there'd be some answers there (or a vicious man-eating beast, whatever). "Can't you just wait until tomorrow? When I don't have another dinner-date with Mr. Argent and family?"
"No man! I need to know what it is now," Stiles slung the pack over his shoulder, giving his best friend a smile. "I'll be fine … Be back by tomorrow or write you a letter or smoke signals or something …"
Scott shook his head, "You better be back here by tomorrow. If not, I'm coming to find you. It's what friends are for."
Stiles couldn't contain the smile that simply spread more over his face. Even if Scott was an idiot and pretty much spending all his time lip-locked to Allison, he was a good friend. The best he could ask for, really. He gave Scott a small half salute before literally running out the front door, not caring that he left his best friend alone in his house without bothering to show him out. Stiles ran the entire way to the castle, only pausing a few times to catch his breath or take a drink break so that he could continue on his way. Once he reached the gates, he noticed that they were closed again. There was no way that the wind blew them closed and he was positive that they had left them wide open when they had all ran for their lives. That definitely didn't put him at ease. Something closed that gate. Swallowing his fear, he pushed the gate open and walked slowly back up the walkway to the stone staircase, praying that he wouldn't die in the castle and add to its body count.
It took all his courage to open the large wooden doors again and walk inside. The same grinding noise of hinges met his ears before he closed the door behind him. "H-Hello?" He called out. "Big, meanie, scary thing, y'there?" He thanked whatever angel that was watching over him that nothing actually answered him back. He fumbled around in his pack until he pulled out a candle and matches, lighting them so that he could actually see. Stiles moved from room to room, touching everything in sight. Burnt furniture, broken teacups, burnt and tattered books—not the books!—and so much more. Some rooms didn't seem as burnt out as others. He wasn't quite sure if that was because the fire hadn't gotten there or if because someone had started to clean them. However, there were a few rooms where Stiles could see and smell that cleaning had been going on—one of the rooms being a massive library. "Oh … Jackpot!" He called out, running his fingers over a few book spines.
Stiles grabbed a book that had a softer spine, grinning even more as it read 'JOHN HALE—JOURNAL' in bold letters across the front. John Hale had been the King and here Stiles was with his journal. Oh this was just fantastic! Immediately his fears of things that go bump in Hale Castle were forgotten and he plopped down onto a couch. He was nose deep in the book and didn't notice the eyes that were trained on him until the person they belonged to was breathing down his neck, growling as the deep voice shook him to the core.
"Why are you in my castle?"
Author's Note: I've never written a Sterek fic before. Honestly, Stiles is a hard character to write. Browsing around tumblr, I got the idea for this and, well, had to write it. Yes, it's going to be a loosely-based Beauty and the Beast sort of story. Hopefully this wasn't horrifyingly disappointing for you to read and that you actually enjoyed it. I'm not sure when the next chapter will be out—possibly by next week, though.