Blood on the Moon
Summary: With a new pack in town, Stiles is put in danger and Derek has to find a way to protect him without pushing him away completely. Slow!burn Sterek. Tropes galore.
A/N: I'm only, what? An hour late? Being that it's now technically Friday here in Britain if you enjoy being technical... But hey, at least it's still Thursday in some parts of the world. Like America! This chapter was HELL to write. Pure evil. But still, I hope you enjoy!
And thank you again to everyone for reading and for the comments ^_^
Rating may change, but currently this is suitable for teens and up...
Disclaimer: The characters don't belong to me, I'm just playing around with them.
Peter studied his nails, or rather his claws, as he leaned against the car beside Derek. Not in the absent way a teenage girl may when checking to see if her nail polish had been chipped, but more like a sadistic butcher looking over his selection of knives as he checked to make sure they were all nice and sharp. Nice and ready. After all, it wouldn't do to step up to the chopping block and find your best blade dulled.
Jaw tight, Derek tried his best to ignore him, which would have been a lot easier if the man wasn't like an itch you couldn't scratch because the more you tried the more persistent it became. Instead he tried to focus on the school, which was even harder to do when his uncle decided to talk as well.
"It's a good thing they chose Stiles," his uncle spoke up, claws retracting and attention now on Derek.
Derek closed his eyes and took a deep breath, forcing himself to remain calm and in control. When he opened his eyes again, his voice was terse but steady. "It'll be a good thing when I've finally dealt with them and they're no longer a threat."
"And because of their impeccably good taste, you'll be able to do just that," his uncle quipped in return, voice light and almost playful, if not for the darker undertone that tainted the words. "Now, if it was some other poor sap they'd chosen – well, we could have been running around for another month trying to track them down."
If it was some other poor sap the Alpha and her pack had chosen, they wouldn't be wasting their time with this little game of theirs. But no, they had chosen Stiles and all of this... everything they were doing, it was a power play – an attempt to exert their dominance.
Derek gritted his teeth together, about to say something further to his uncle, but the words didn't make it out of his mouth as a voice that wasn't Peter's made it to his ears. Strained and panicked, recognisable instantly. Stiles.
An incomplete cry that was almost lost completely to the chatter of the other students at lunch. It had Derek moving immediately, pushing away from his Camaro without a word to his uncle. His feet slammed against the solid ground of the parking lot as he raced across it and toward the main doors of the school.
He strained his ears, listening for anything else from Stiles or Scott, but heard nothing. It wasn't until he was dodging students in the too full hallway that he caught sight of strawberry blonde hair and with it a faint scent of Stiles. He forced himself to stop just to the side of Lydia, lightly gripping her upper arms automatically as he turned her around enough to face him. Her eyes grew wide, a mixture of curiosity and fear in her gaze, but she didn't pull away.
"Where's Stiles?" he demanded.
She opened her mouth and the spark of fear in her eyes grew, but Derek could tell that it wasn't herself she was fearing for now. "Down the hall," she answered, voice barely a squeak, "third door on the right."
He offered up only a brief nod in thanks before racing off again, heading straight toward the room Lydia had directed him too. Most of the students were quick enough and mindful enough to get out of his way, and the unlucky ones that weren't... well, it was their own fault if they woke up with bruises the next day.
The door was already open when he reached it, his pace slowing as he stepped on through into the room, blood turning cold, until he finally came to a stop and could only stare at the scene in front of him. There had been a definite struggle, a desk or two upturned and a few more out of place, marking the area the pack must have grabbed Stiles. Because the most prominent thing of note was that Stiles was not there.
Stiles was not there and neither was the Alpha or any of her pack.
Derek moved forward and further into the room, cautiously, almost afraid of what he would find. Stiles' backpack was mere feet from the door and Derek bent enough to pick it up as he came to it, his fingers tightening around the handle at the top like it was a lifeline to keep him grounded. A lifeline he nearly lost when he saw the blood, little drops of it amongst the chaos of the desks and chairs, staining the off-white linoleum floor.
A strange emptiness slipped inside of him, starting in his chest and spreading further outward. For a moment, the world wavered and tilted before threatening to crash around him. For a moment, he felt like he was in the middle of a dizzying dream and he just needed to wake up. If he could just wake up...
"Relax," Peter called from the doorway, snapping Derek's attention away from the emptiness and the bloodstained floor. "They can't do anything until tonight, when the moon is out."
That wasn't comforting in the slightest.
"I don't care," Derek answered, voice sounding a lot more absent and lost than he had meant it to, his grip tightening further on the backpack. He forced himself to swallow hard, pushing down the panic that started somewhere near his heart and attempted to climb its way up his throat.
Without another word to Peter, he pushed onward, back toward the doorway. Stiles was gone, they had taken him, and there was nothing else to be found in that room, nothing but the sickening sight of drops of red. That was enough to distract his thoughts, enough for him not to notice Scott until he had walked right into him at the doorway, the young Beta looking more than a little stunned.
"Where's –" Scott started, but the words were cut short when Derek gripped a hold of him and slammed him into the wall beside the door.
"You were supposed to be watching him," he accused, voice stronger than it had been before, but even he heard the underlying desperation.
The rational side of him knew Scott being there wouldn't have made a difference; it argued that they would have waited for another time when Scott couldn't have been there and when Stiles had snuck off to use the bathroom by himself or something of the like. But still, Derek needed someone to blame and Scott was the easiest target. He was the only target within reach.
"They weren't supposed to..." Scott began to argue, voice wavering. He didn't attempt to fight back against Derek's hold, just allowed Derek to pin him to the wall as he stared down at Derek like a kicked puppy, hurt lining his gaze. "Why would they do this?"
"What did you expect?" Peter drawled from the side, and Derek turned in time to see his uncle roll his eyes. "They're the bad guys, remember? They don't play fair."
Why would they, when playing dirty meant they stood more chance of winning?
With a barely controlled huff, Derek released his hold on Scott and shoved Stiles backpack at his chest, taking note of how Scott seemed to cling to it almost as desperately as Derek had, as if by doing so meant he still had a hold of things. A hold of Stiles.
"And I'm just about done playing their games," Derek shot back at his uncle, turning to pace a little, only stopping when Scott spoke again, bringing Derek and his thoughts back to the room.
"What's that smell?" Scott asked, and Derek could hear the confused frown in his voice.
And now that Scott mentioned it, the air was tainted with such a faint scent that it was easy to miss, but at the same time, it was such a familiar scent that Derek should have caught it. Ash and smoke. He looked to Scott, watching as he sniffed at the air and moved further into the room, toward an air vent in the wall.
Grabbing a chair and pushing it up against the wall, Scott made quick work of the cover of the vent and pulled out what looked like an incense burner. In fact, it was most definitely an incense burner. Derek let out a breath at the sight of it, understanding immediately.
Scott looked to him, eyes questioning.
"It's an old tribal trick." He moved to stand in front of Scott as he answered, watching a small piece of ash fall toward the floor from one of the sticks burning away. "They used to use smoke to cover up their scents."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Scott asked, looking down at the burner as if it were an unsolved Rubik's cube.
"They're trying to mask their scents," Peter answered, "and Stiles' too. They're trying to make it harder for us to follow them."
Time twisted strangely, disjointed and broken. In one moment, Stiles was floating, mindless beneath a cloudless sky, midnight blue in colour and speckled with the sparkling gems of stars. Then in the next, he was drowning, the world turning upside down – the sky now a river of blood and Stiles a rock that was sinking far too quickly.
Pain bit at his arm, right where he remembered something else biting too. But his mind was too foggy to remember exactly what; his thoughts too focused on trying to capture one last breath of air before the river pulled him completely under.
On top of that, lava was running through his veins, he was sure of it; ash filling up his lungs and setting fire to them from within. But despite it all, he shivered. A deep chill crept through his bones, fighting against the blazing hot warmth that wanted to consume him whole – much like the mouth that the river was leading him to. An actual freaking mouth, with teeth – huge sharpened canines, and Stiles felt far too heavy to do anything but float right on through and into the darkness that swallowed him whole.
It took him in and welcomed him. Stiles welcomed it too, because at least he could breathe again, even if it was only in sharp, painful bursts. Then the pain spread further, what felt like claws scratching at his skin. Small nicks at first, mixed with the feeling of fur and hot breath. Then came the bite and a low and distant howl.
It was those two things that brought on a small sense of clarity, just enough for Stiles to remember what had happened, enough for him to realise the werewolf venom was taking hold. It was digging its way into him, spreading throughout him, the wolfsbane in his system too weak to push the venom out completely... only strong enough to give him that moment of lucidity before the world, and his head, exploded.
"Shhhh," a voice whispered in his ear, fingers brushing lightly over his head and down behind his ear, the motion repetitive and almost relaxing, the pain easing somewhat. "It only hurts if you fight it."
But Stiles didn't want to stop fighting, especially when he opened his eyes to find he had fallen out of one nightmare and straight into another. Everything was dark, which meant he had been unconscious for a lot longer than he wanted to think about. Fires were burning though, here and there, the orange glow of the flames providing enough light for Stiles to see by, or at least kind of see by, if his vision wasn't so fuzzy, his brain still trying to catch up. But he could see Mae in front of him, watching him.
She grinned at him, like a predator, her eyes glowing a soft red before returning to their natural colour. He tried to open his mouth to speak, but his throat was dry and it hurt too much to think straight. Instead, his gaze lowered to his arm and the blood that stained his skin; some still fresh, some dried and crusted. But through it all, the teeth marks were clearly visible.
"Don't worry, Puppy," Mae mocked, as if sensing his thoughts, her tone light and airy, sounding like she was talking to a dog and not to Stiles. But Stiles knew better. "You're still human. It wouldn't be fair on your opponent if you weren't."
As if on cue, Stiles heard noises from up ahead, metal scraping against metal, low growls and whimpers. His attention was dragged away from Mae and toward the young boy being carted into what Stiles could onto describe as an arena. It wasn't until the moonlight hit the boy, shining in through the huge gaping hole in the ceiling of the building, that Stiles knew he recognised him.
Beneath the feral look, the matted hair and wild eyes, the torn and bloodied clothes, Stiles knew instantly who the young teen was. He recognised him from around school, a year or two younger than Stiles, shy and timid, the type to fade into the background if not for the fact that everyone knew he was the son of a teacher. Ms Calloway's son.
So he had been the other teen missing, and if Stiles was right, he had only been missing since last Wednesday and yet he already looked so lost. It made Stiles wonder how long before he would begin to look like that too.
"How much do you know about the ancient Romans?" Mae asked, reminding him of her presence.
Stiles remained silent, his gaze still locked on the teen up ahead. How much of the blood on his clothes was his own?
"I never liked history," she drawled, taking his silence as a sign to continue. Her fingers gripped his chin and she forced him to meet her stare. "It bored me. But I do remember reading about the Roman gladiators. Fun stuff."
"Ye-ah," Stiles choked out, speech taking more effort than it should, "I can see why something like that would appeal to someone like you."
Mae leaned in closer, licking her lips almost tentatively. "It's a good thing I like that smart mouth of yours."
"Well, you're probably the only one," Stiles tried to say, except the last of his words were lost to a groan of pain as he doubled over and his vision wavered. Not a good sign. Not a good sign at all.
"It's the full moon," she told him, as if answering a question he had put forth. Stiles could hear the smile that twisted up her lips and the fascination that lined her voice. "It's pulling you, telling you to give in..."
Gritting his teeth, Stiles knew it was true. What control and sanity he had, he knew it wouldn't last. It couldn't last. He could feel the empty hunger growing in the pit of his stomach, begging to be fed with each spiked heartbeat. He could feel the itch beneath his skin, fuelled by the anger and fear building inside of him. It was no doubt nothing compared to what Scott or the others felt during a full moon, but it was intense all the same. It was demanding, and the only thing he had to cling onto was the hope that the others would find him – the hope they would reach him in time.
"Give in, Stiles," Mae urged, wrapping a hand behind his neck and forcing him up from the ground. "I'll make it worth your while if you do."
He wanted to say 'never' or something equally heroic. It never made it out of his mouth. Nothing did. And his body felt far too foreign for him to fight the hold she had as she made him move forward, on toward the arena. He could see the place more clearly now, even as red danced briefly over his vision and he forced himself to shake it away.
It looked like an old warehouse, much like the ones he and Derek had found the other night. Only this was larger, the rafters so high they were hidden by shadows. Four concrete columns stood tall in the centre of the warehouse, marking the corners of the arena and metal and mesh ran around the rest of it, a lower border to separate the fighters from the observers. They must have been getting this one ready special, just for the full moon.
Something was being pushed into his hands and he looked down to find his fingers wrapped around a metal rod, about three foot or so in length.
"Don't disappoint me," Mae warned, stepping back away from him and nudging her head toward the makeshift arena, urging him on. "Or I might have to pay your father another visit."
If it wasn't for those last words, that small reminder of why he was here, he would have hesitated longer before clambering over the metal barrier. But he didn't. He forced himself over and then pushed himself to his feet as he looked to the teen opposite him. It was then that he realised the teen was being held back. He had been completely overtaken by the mutated werewolf venom, and Stiles could tell by the look in his eyes that he wanted nothing more than to tear Stiles apart.
There was no loud warning bell, no clashing and banging of metal, no great call out to start. Just a simple whisper, filled with anticipation and bloodlust, Mae's voice barely a breath in the background as she whispered, "Now."
The teen was released and Stiles barely had time to prepare.
"Maybe we should talk about this?" Stiles tried, even as he felt something within his chest responding to the oncoming teen, preparing itself for the fight that Stiles didn't want.
The last few closing steps were rushed, and Stiles was knocked off his feet, landing on the floor with a hard thump. The teen landed on top of him, surprisingly heavy despite the teen's thin frame, and Stiles swore he saw a flicker of golden yellow in his eyes. Paler than the light he was used to seeing in Scott's, but present all the same.
The wolves went wild, cheering and calling out, rattling at the metal barriers, urging the fight to continue. The words were lost on Stiles, but he knew what they wanted to see. They wanted blood, they wanted brutality, and they wanted the ultimate result – death.
He forced the metal pole between himself and the teen, his grip spread out along it as he tried to push the teen off of him whilst also trying to push back the rage that was beginning to intensify inside of himself.
"Kevin? Right? We don't have to fight..." Stiles tried once more, but the teen didn't even flinch at the mention of the name, his eyes completely lost to what Stiles could only call madness. It made Stiles freeze, fear twisting at his insides, unable to stop the thoughts of 'what if'. What if Scott and Derek couldn't find him? What if they couldn't get to him in time? What if he became this?
Claws dug into his shoulder and he cried out. Anger bubbled up and over, instinct taking control. He felt the low rumble in chest and throat, and heard the growl that escaped, tearing up his throat as it did so – as if it were an animal trying to claw its way out of him. With more strength than he thought he could possess, he pushed up one more time and sent the teen flying backwards, away from him.
Clambering to his feet immediately, he saw the teen do the same, and he took in every inch of him. The way he lowered his body, the fact that the claws on his fingers were metal and attached to a glove that fit perfectly, not the natural claws of a werewolf... now dripping with Stiles' blood. He used them so instinctively though, which made Stiles cling all the tighter to the pole – a human weapon, for human hands.
He lowered his own stance, readying himself for the next attack, fingers wrapping tightly around the metal pole, his vision flashing momentarily red once more. A quiet confidence settled in him, and the rational part of him knew that was a bad sign. But that rational part of him was too quiet, too small to remind him that he just needed to stay alive... nothing more.
Then the teen was advancing once more, quick and agile, but apparently not quick or agile enough. An arrow hit his leg and he went down momentarily. It shook Stiles, brought him back to himself enough for him to realise he wasn't alone anymore. But the moment was short lived because the teen was up again and racing straight toward Stiles, even more determined than before.
The confidence Stiles had felt shattered. If he didn't do something, he could get seriously injured... but he if did... was he willing to pay that price?
He braced himself, ready for the hit. It never came.
Something heavy landed in front of Stiles, a silhouette of bulk and muscle, back turned and claws ready for a fight, ready to protect. And Stiles breathed out. He had never been more glad to see Derek.
The end. Okay, no - sorry, that was a lie. Two more chapters to go after this - coming soon!