AN: IKNOWIKNOWIKNOW I've been gone for a while. And those of you who have me in your alerts are probably wondering why you bothered. Life's a bitch, and I don't get to enjoy anything anymore .
BUT we shall come to an accord, okay? I will try to update once more, and you will try to be patient. I won't be able to update everyday like I did last summer, but we'll all make do. Agreed? I'll take the silence as a yes.
This is gonna be an old request for a body-swapping that I got but could never get running (Sorry LawdRainbow). Let's see if she'll turn over now, shall we?
Stiles tapped his foot on the street. He sat on the curb, legs bent at that awkward angle that they have to be . He checked his watch.
Derek Hale had two minutes to get there. Stiles didn't expect him to show up at all, let alone on time, but hey, stranger things had happened then someone surprising you. Obviously – considering he was the sidekick of a nerdy, teenage lycanthrope.
Stiles fidgeted with his shirt.
It was odd, waiting for Derek like this. Stiles had a creepy feeling that was reminiscent to that of a date.
But it wasn't, because it was actually Stiles who had asked- no... it was more like he told Derek that he was going with him to a store in a nearby town that boasted to be one of the best purveyors of literature and curios of the supernatural.
He had told Derek when he picked up Scott from his playdate with Derek - like a divorcee mother taking back her children from her cold, harsh ex-husband. Yep, that was a lot like what his relationship with Derek was like. A sense of animosity on Derek's part and a frightened terror on Stiles' behalf.
"So, did you two have a good time?" Stiles asked, jokingly acting the part of the caring mother/ex-wife.
"Yeah," Scott said smiling at Stiles' tone.
"That's good. Look, I gotta ask Derek something, so you can go ahead and put away your stuff and wait in the car, if you want."
"'Kay," nodded Scott, "Later Der."
"So..." Stiles drew out the word.
"So...?" Derek drew back, head shaking and waiting for anything to happen.
"This Saturday I need you to take me somewhere. It's this shop outside of Beacon Hills that sells a whole bunch of... odd things, if you get my drift." A horn honked and they both saw Scott waiting in Stiles' Jeep. "Come by at like 2:30, I'll be ready by then."
Stiles had jogged away before Derek had even gotten a chance to respond.
The rumble of an American muscle car stirred Stiles from his thoughts.
Stiles got up and checked his watch again. 2:30.
Derek was really was as cold and predictable as a machine. Right down to timing.
Stiles opened the door and got in. Derek didn't bother to look at him.
"For some reason, I didn't actually think you'd come," Stiles joked.
"What was the address again?" Derek clipped.
"Ooh 'kay then." Silly Stiles, robots don't have senses of humor.
Derek didn't really understand Stiles. What was this kid doing? Most people generally ran away from the supernatural, not straight into it. People – at least normal people – ran like hell from things they didn't understand. He'd witnessed of all kinds of ridiculous reactions over the years: people called the government, the press, committed themselves, or, worse, committed suicide.
Not Stiles. He didn't just embrace the fact that Scott, and Derek, were werewolves, he actively tried to understand it. He would pour over books and websites looking for any scrap of lycanthropy information. Provided, most of it was utter bullshit, but the thought honestly did count for him, against his better judgement.
Derek never met anyone who had tried to comprehend his kind's nature. People either tried to run in horror or to hunt him. Stiles was... different. And in that way, he unnerved Derek.
"Oh, um..." Stiles checked the address on his phone, "6300 Southern Industrial. It's in-"
"Let's just go." Derek' s harsh tone silenced Stiles.
Derek shifted the Camaro into gear. He pulled away from the Stilinski household.
Stiles chewed his bottom lip, unnerved by the silence of everything but the car.
Derek, figuring Stiles would be more at ease, or at least it'd be easier to ignore him, pushed a dial in the dash, turning on the stereo. Hard rock music surrounded them, a guitar was strummed and the first lines breaking out.
I tear my heart open... I sell myself short.
My weakness is... that I care too much.
Derek tapped his index finger to the beat, lip-syncing with the lead singer ever so slightly.
Stiles tapped his finger against the car door, not really paying attention to the song. He tried to concentrate on Scott.
Scott and his werewolfy-ness had pretty much taken up most of his time since he had been bitten. Scott's condition had changed Stiles' rather boring life into one of a sort of purpose. Granted, it sucked being Robin to Scott's Batman the entire time, but Stiles was just glad to be part of the storyline for the most part.
It did have other... detrimental obstacles to his own well-being though.
Firstly, the Alpha wanted him dead. Preferably by Scott's hand, but Stiles was sure that if given the chance, the Alpha would kill him without regard. Second, he lost too much sleep. The number of werewolf websites there were in the world was astounding. The other night, he had barely noticed the time on his computer had flew past the third, fourth, and fifth hour of the day. It wasn't until the sun had peeked in his window had he noticed that the clock read 6:24. And lastly, but definitely not the least life-threatening, was Derek Hale.
Derek Hale. Only the fact that the guy was half-animal convinced Stiles he was warmblooded. His face had two expressions: angry or indifferent. Would it kill the guy to smile once in awhile? Didn't he know that every time you laughed, you add seven year to your life? Sheesh.
Stiles continued to tap on the door, wondering just how much angrysauce was in Derek and how one guy could have so much of it.
"Well, if it bugs you that much, change it." Derek interrupted his thoughts.
Stiles looked confused. Could Derek read his mind? "What?"
"The music. You're tapping your finger over there like a shivering wet, cornered rabbit," Derek explained. He must have thought Stiles didn't like the song. "Change the music if you hate it that much."
"No, it's not that. But, now that you bring it up, I really don't like this song." Stiles leaned forward and pushed the next button. Another headbanger. He pressed the button again.
A familiar intro started, and Stiles recognized the song immediately.
Danger in the shape of something wild...
"Really?" Stiles looked at Derek. "You actually have this song?"
"What? It's a good song."
"But it's older than both of us put together."
"It is not. It's a classic."
The song continued to play, the words "hot child in the city!" sung every few lines.
So yo-ung to be loose and on her own...
"How sad is it that you listen to that line and immediately go the slutty definition of loose?" Stiles mused. This song was ruined for his generation because of the change in terms.
"It's just how you hear it. The song is still pretty good. Back then loose actually meant 'off of a leash.'"
"Back when you all hunted dinosaurs?"
"I wasn't alive then. I hunted mammoths."
Stiles barely realized that he was actually joking with Derek, one of increasingly fewer things that he never thought could happen. The next thing after that had to be the sky falling.
"Why is that I have to drive you again?" Derek asked. His voice was borderline, or really was if you were overly generous in your choice of words, friendly.
"Oh. The shop is in another city, and my car's mileage is worth crap. Plus, I think it'd be easier to sort out what werewolf books are realistic from which ones are totally worthless if there is an actual, breathing werewolf in the store with me."
"I think you're taking this too far."
"What? Driving to another city?"
"No- well, yes. But I'm saying that you shouldn't actively try to get involved with this."
"Why not? Scott's my-"
"This is dangerous. And it doesn't even really concern you."
"Scott's my best friend. So it does concern me."
"Scott's endangering you by allowing you to help him."
"Well, who else will? You?"
"I'm trying, but well, Scott's... he's-"
"Difficult? Stubborn? Childish? A general pain in the ass? I grew up with him, and I can barely handle him. Do you really think you can?"
"Stiles, you're going to end up-"
"I'm hungry. Let's get something to eat." Stiles refused to let Derek the chance to edge him out of this. He would do his part to help Scott, and nothing Derek could say would change that. If cutting off the conversation was what needed to be done to get his point across, then shut the fuck up 'cause the conversation's over.
Derek pulled into a popular burger joint and parked next to another black sports car, a Firehawk, custom-built from the looks of it. Not unlike the one he was driving at that very moment.
Stiles rolled his eyes. Way to compare penises, he thought quietly in his head.
The pair exited the car and walked towards the restaurant. Derek pushed the door open with ease and entered, leaving the door to swing into Stiles, who wasn't aware of how heavy the door was.
It swung into his shoulder, harshly.
"Ass," Stiles whispered, forgetting that Derek was likely to hear him.
Derek tensed up.
Shit, he heard me, Stiles panicked. His face scrunched up, braced for a fist to the face or anything similar.
Instead, Derek sniffed, his nostrils flaring at the scent of something strangely both not and yet still intimately familiar.
A young man passed by them on his way out, young and lean, similar to Derek's own physique. Stiles couldn't help but glance at him. Derek's and the man's eyes met for a split second, and a moment of a primal tension filled the space between the three males.
Stiles noticed the man break the stare-off he had with Derek, a look of disinterest neutralizing Derek's cold glare.
Looking at Derek questioningly, Stiles asked, "What was that about?"
"Nothing." Derek looked away, averting his eyes from the man getting into the Firehawk from earlier.
"Looked like it was something."
"It was nothing, Stiles. Now what do you want?"
"Oh no, I'm paying, what do you-"
"What do you want, Stiles?" Derek stated, making it clear Stiles had no choice in the matter.
Stiles wasn't the only one who was going to abolish arguments through force apparently. He made a noise of frustration. He just couldn't win with Derek, could he?
"Fine, but in case you weren't aware, I really eat. A lot. Of anything."
"I'm sure that you do," Derek said, walking to the counter to order.
The pair sat at a corner table, Derek sitting and staring at Stiles as he unwrapped his third burger. The double-pattied monstrosity dripped, a splotch of ketchup and mayo mixed with the watery juices of the onion, tomato, and lettuce on the waxy paper wrapping.
Derek regarded the scene with disbelief. He had eaten two burgers himself and was more on the full side of the spectrum than not hungry, and here was Stiles, mostly through a third and showed little signs of stopping.
Stiles shoved what looked like more than a quarter of this last burger into his mouth and chewed childishly. After what seemed an eternity, a swallow signified the end of his gorging.
"Seriously, dude, what was that back there? With that guy?" Stiles sipped his soda through a mangled straw.
"Seriously, Stiles, it was none of your business. Let it go." So Derek had a snide side, too.
"Fine, Derek. I'll let it go." Stiles could be more than just a little childish at times.
"Good, Stiles. Are you ready to go?" And so could Derek apparently.
"Yeah, Derek, I am."
They sat there, eyes burning holes into each other.
Gears started to turn in Stiles' head. Generally speaking, adult staring contests happened mostly as showdowns, but there were those that sometimes ended in some raunchier, steamier, found-in-lady-novels situations. For whatever reason, this felt like one of those to Stiles. Weird, yeah, but he had been reading about the alternate ideals behind supernatural myths, one particular one about werewolves having a strong intrinsic sexual aspect. Best not to tempt a sex beast.
"Yeah, we should really get going."
Twenty minutes later they're pulling into an industrial office complex, not that that should've surprised them, it being located on Southern Industrial Avenue and all. The complex was comprised of half warehouse-half storefront suites. A lot of them were furniture and home improvement places to buy appliances, flooring, and other less frequented purchases.
"It should be... over there." Stiles pointed to a store, it's entrance diagonal to the the building, cutting the corner of the building itself. "That's 6300 Southern Industrial. Otherwise known as Chapter 63."
"Chapter 63?" Derek said, pulling into the parking lot.
"Sounds like a nightclub. A terrible, corny, cheesy nightclub."
"Well it's not. It is a 'purveyor, collector, and library of the occult, preternatural, and arcane.' Don't ask, that's just what the website said. Just that and an address and some contact information and the address, actually. It was weird, but I figured how close it was, sort of, it would be worth checking out."
"Well," Derek said as he parked, "There's no point in turning back now."
"Hi, welcome to Chapter 63." A young guy stood behind a glass case, pouring over a couple of ancient looking books. He looked up from his... work to greet the pair.
"Woah." Stiles was not expecting something so... cliché.
It was like a scene from a movie. Old wooden bookshelves were lined with tomes older than Stiles would ever be. A few baskets held heady herbs that only the most deranged of botanists could name. He looked back at the guy working.
The glass case he stood behind had several of what Stiles assumed were rarer items. A couple of pieces of jewelry strewn artfully so that they captured the view of whoever cared to look. Pendants and rings that looked utterly insane. Stiles had looked up some Gothic styled jewelry before, for a project on high school cliques and archetypes, but each piece here looked genuinely unique. And each probably had a ridiculous little story regarding a curse, a possession, or a gift they each gave their previous wearers.
"Are you guys looking for something specific or just browsing?" The clerk asked, smiling a little slyly.
"We're looking for stuff on-"
"Just perusing," Derek cut Stiles off. A slight shake of the head told Stiles that Derek didn't really want people to know their business.
The clerk's eyebrow raised, curiosity obviously peaked, but decided to not press the issue. "Well, if you need help, don't hesitate to ask."
"Sure thing," Derek smiled. Well, fake-smiled. Obvious to Stiles.
Stiles bee-lined to the first bookcase and gently pulled a random book out at random. A lot of them lacked titles along the spine, so he was going in truly blind.
Derek walked around. This place was insane, too much of this was actual supernatural material for it to be a coincidence. In a corner of the shop there were limbs of trees, ones with some very powerful qualities. The fact that they were confined to a corner where their effects wouldn't affect him or anyone else who could just walk in was too purposed to ignore.
The herbs perfumed the air heavily, but Derek noticed a veritable lack of dangerous herbs. The ones on display were purely symbolic. There was no wolfsbane, belladonna, nightshade, or mandrake root. All of which were both poisonous and renowned medieval plants. So either they didn't want anyone to carelessly buy the plants and kept them locked up, or they didn't want to sell the plants at all.
Derek also made a point to glance around to see if there were any weapons, but had yet to see a single object that could really be used as such.
Stiles read and re-read the faded words on the page:
Spiralle – spiralle represents a variete of things: it means growthe, eternite, and vengeanze.
"Derek! Look at this!" Both and Derek and the clerk looked over at Stiles, and from the way Derek looked he wasn't particularly happy about Stiles' outburst.
Walking over to Stiles, Derek's voice dropped to a harsh whisper. The clerk disregarded the outburst and went back to reading his book.
"Calm down, Stiles. I don't know what-"
"No, but look. This book lists revenge as-" Stiles pointed excitedly at the words.
"I know!.. Stiles, I know. This place, this shop, is real. As in-"
"As in they actually know about werewolves?"
"So... what does that mean?"
"I don't know. This could be a hunter's shop, or it could belong to another wolf, or it could be a total coincidence. Let's just... let's just keep quiet. We don't want to bring anymore attention to ourselves. How many people do you think actively go looking for an occult shop in the middle of nowhere?"
"... I'm gonna guess not many."
"Exactly. Let's just pretend we're naïve guys who stumbled into a magic shop that we thought was a joke."
"Okay, play it cool. I can do that... Is that guy a..?" Stiles nodded in the clerk's direction. The clerk continued to read his book, but Derek could sense he was concentrating a little too hard on seeming unfazed by Stiles' earlier spectacle.
"I think he's human. He reeks of all the stuff in here, I can't make out much more than human on him. But something does seem off about him."
Derek's hand left Stile's arm where it ended up instinctively and he wandered off while Stiles continued to read.
Derek looked around, and picked up a wooden bottle from a bed of hay from a wood crate. He shook a little next to his ear and heard liquid sloshing around inside. His amplified senses allowed him to smell a sweet and pungent scent coming from the bottle.
"Ginger-cherry juice, in a hand carved apple-wood bottle." The clerk had somehow managed to sneak up next to him without Derek's noticing. That shouldn't be possible.
"Excuse me?" Derek looked at the clerk.
"It's a natural aphrodisiac elixir. Ginger for heated passion, cherry for unbridled lust, and apple-wood to concentrate the whole shebang," he stated matter-of-factually.
"You don't actually believe this stuff works, do you?"
"Yeah, of course. I know it does. You and your boyfriend should try it if you don't believe me."
"Excuse me?" Derek repeated. This time with disbelief. "You think we're dating?"
"Yeah. Oh, is he not your boyfriend?"
"Oh, I just assumed."
"Based on what?"
"Deduction," the guy said, "Um, obviously you're not brothers, the whole dark hair, brunette hair thing rules that out. Friends seemed somewhat viable, but I mean really, a big macho, leather jacket guy like you and then him? Not to mention the age difference, so friends seemed less and less likely. And then you grabbed his arm, in that gentle, caring manner, so I just came to lovers, especially after the twelve times you two looked at each other when the other wasn't looking. So I came to the boyfriend conclusion."
"We weren't looking at each other."
"Yes, you were. You probably just didn't think much of it or even notice yourself doing it. Everyone else notices the things that we ourselves never do. I'm sorry, your guy's relationship really wasn't any of my business."
"We don't have a relationship." Derek said softly. He guessed he did look at Stiles maybe once or twice, without really thinking about it.
"I'm sorry. Like I said, it's not my business."
"Whatever. Listen do you guys sell weapons here, like for a medieval costume or something like that?"
"Sorry no, my aunt dislikes the paperwork you'd have to go through to sell people weapons, so she doesn't bother. The best I can do is offer you an athame... a knife, sorry, you probably had no idea what that was. It's a Wiccan term. For the most part."
That shifted the needle more and more to the non-hunter conclusion of the shop in Derek's book. So, what, these people just knew about the truth?
"That's fine. It was worth a shot. I should probably check on..." Derek looked at Stiles.
"Sorry. Well, whenever you two are ready I'll be able to ring you up."
Derek walked over to Stiles to see the teen trying to decide between two volumes.
"You almost done?"
"Yeah, I just can't decide between these two. They're both amazing and I think there's a lot of useful stuff, but they're both seventy bucks, and I only have a hundred on me..."
Derek plucked both books from Stiles hands. "Then I'll buy them both."
The pair walked to the register, Stiles trying to keep up with Derek's quick pace.
"You know, with all the money you've spent on me today, one could venture to say you're starting to like me," Stiles teased.
"Whatever. If buying you two huge books is enough to get you to stay at home where you're safe, then $140 is a small price to pay." Derek sets the books down on the counter.
"Oh, my God, are you ever going to let it go already? Nothing you say is going to change my-"
"Stiles, seriously, you shouldn't-"
"You know if you just tried to look at it from my perspective-"
"Your perspective doesn't matter! You-"
"Doesn't matter? Do you have any idea how-"
"Yes, doesn't matter. From my perspective, you shouldn't even have one."
"That'll be $151.20." The clerk tried not to react to the argument, though he was clearly a little uncomfortable.
Stiles picked up the books. "I'll wait in the car."
Derek watched Stiles storm off, then pulled out eight twenties and handed them over. "Keep the change."
Watching the leather clad stud and his not-boyfriend walk out, the clerk later got to thinking, if it's all a matter of clashing perspectives, he could help out...
AAN: So, the first chapter is finally finished... It's actually been sitting on my laptop unfinished for MONTHS. Sorry. I'll try and pump out as much as last summer, but since I moved I have no internet and no MTV, so I have no idea what's going on this season on Teen Wolf. Maybe it's better that way... IDK... ANYWHO, I'll try to finish this one, you know I have a terrible work ethic, but I'll try. Send me some encouragement via the button below. You know the one, don't you? It's pretty, and it's drawing your mouse cursor over to it as you speak... "Review me..," it whispers ever so seductively, "You want to review me..." Just give into it... and review...