Disclaimer: not mine
Title: Prepared, Not Paranoid
Summary: Stiles' paranoid planning (he calls it being prepared, thank you) reaches epic proportions just before Isaac gets shot with a wolfsbane-and-bloodroot-laced bullet and nearly dies. This paranoia (being prepared) takes many forms, including his Emergency Wolfsbane Kits (EWKs). These frequently come in handy.
A/N: First ever Teen Wolf fic! Don't judge too hard.
It starts during the summer after the debacle with Gerard and the kanima. Erica and Boyd were still missing, Jackson had freaked the hell out and run for the hills (meaning Bermuda or New York or London, somewhere far, far away, where his lawyer-father's firm had other offices), and Allison and Scott were still broken. Derek, Peter and Isaac had been (slowly) refurbishing the burnt-out shell of the Hale house, Scott had brooded over his situation, Lydia had refused to have anything to do with any of this madness, and Stiles….
He had his own issues, after all. Post-traumatic panic attacks from what Gerard had done, from everything he'd seen over the past year. His relationship with his dad was somewhat better, but he still hadn't brought it back to where it had been before. Lydia was constantly texting or calling Jackson in an attempt to get him to come back home, but, so far, with no success. Stiles had mostly given up his hopes for a relationship with her, primarily because he'd seen her face (and Jackson's too, come to think of it) when he'd been changing from a kanima to a werewolf. He knew love when he saw it. Although they fought like hell sometimes, they truly did love each other.
Speaking of true and tortured love, Stiles had been spending a lot of time with Allison, of all people. She didn't really have anyone else lately, since Lydia was so preoccupied with her own issues, and the 'Scallison' relationship had fallen to pieces. And since Scott and Isaac were becoming such bestest fwiends these days, what with the running around through trees and hunting rabbits, or whatever it is werewolves do, Stiles has taken it upon himself to be her new friend.
Not that they weren't friends before. Well, they actually weren't. It was more friend-of-a-friend kind of thing, with some awkward sexual tension around Scott (on Allison's part; for Stiles it was just awkward because the two of them were so nauseating), and a few werewolves and hunters and lizard-monsters thrown in for extra flavor. But that isn't the point. The point is, he's being her friend now.
Of course, that means that a lot of what they talk about is werewolves.
He gets an interesting look into the way hunters work, too. Chris is a lot nicer now that he's not throwing Stiles around demanding answers about Alphas and murders and all the horrible things that Stiles is all too used to these days. He teaches Stiles a lot, actually. Turns out, there are a lot of different kinds of wolfsbane, and a variety of ways to prepare it. Stiles absorbs this knowledge, and, during his visits to the Argents' house, memorizes the security codes, where the keys and important supplies are kept, and what their schedules are. The thing about military types (which is what the Argents are, although Allison denies this), is that they get into routines (call it a rut, that's what it is), and then become predictable.
Part of Stiles feels bad about using Allison, but it's a small part. The rest of him is focused on keeping his friends (if Isaac, Derek and Peter can count as friends) alive and unhurt. Wolfsbane was not something to dick around with.
So he squashes his guilt with extreme prejudice and, one Tuesday afternoon, when Allison and her dad are off at target practice (in the woods, just to be creepy; it's like they're having a creeping-contest with Derek. Which is silly. Derek would win), Stiles sneaks into their house, successfully disarming the security system and picking the locks on their doors. He only takes samples from the three strains of Wolfsbane that the hunters have the most of. He figures that they won't be missed, and will be most useful in his experiments.
Because Stiles doesn't want to watch his best friend die of a wolfsbane bullet. He doesn't want to have to cut Derek's arm off to keep the Alpha alive. So Stiles is gonna do what he has to do, even if it means betraying Allison's trust and conducting chemical tests on wolfsbane.
If chemistry is involved, however, Stiles is bright enough to defer to a keener mind. Lydia's, in this case. Not that he isn't pretty damn smart in his own right, but he's probably going to be using this stuff on people he cares about, to save their lives. He wants to be sure that it works.
It takes a surprising amount of effort to convince Lydia to help him, however.
"For the last time, Stiles, take your stupid magic crap and shove it," Lydia snaps, glaring at him furiously. "This cost me my boyfriend, my sanity, and any chance I had at avoiding being a social leper like you. I don't want to hear it."
She pushes past him, and starts to walk away. Stiles snags her arm, but drops it immediately at the death-stare she gives him (a lot more intimidating than Derek's, honestly). But he persists nonetheless. "Look, you want Jackson to come back, right?"
Lydia's frown doesn't waver a hair.
"Well, when he does come back, he's still going to be a werewolf, and there are still hunters around," Stiles continues doggedly. "So what happens if he gets shot or stabbed or something-ed with a wolfsbane-laced weapon? Are you going to cross your fingers and hope that you can find another sample of the wolfsbane, and that Derek will tell you how to cure him? What if there isn't time? What if you can't reach Derek, or he's being his typical pain-in-the-butt self, and he won't help? Do you want to be prepared?"
She doesn't answer immediately, just sighs, shifting her glare to her shoes.
"Alternatively," Stiles says, holding fast to the hope that she would see his side of things, "Alternatively, you could help me. I have a few samples of wolfsbane, and I want to make antidotes. I don't know enough about chemistry to do it myself, but I know a lot about wolfsbane, and how it works. If we worked together, we could make antidotes for every single strain of it, and then the hunters wouldn't be able to kill us as easily–"
"Listen to yourself," Lydia interrupts, staring at him incredulously. "You sound like you're already one of them. Like you're 'Pack'."
Stiles blinks at her. "I'm trying to keep Scott safe, and alive. That means I have to do the same for Derek and Isaac, and Peter too. If that makes me Pack, then I'm Pack. Now, will you help me?"
Lydia narrows her eyes at him, but, after a few moments, heaves a dramatic sigh. "I suppose I owe you, after all."
Stiles nobly refrains from dancing around gleefully, and instead merely grins widely. "So when do we start?"
Turns out, Lydia on a mission is scarier and more determined than anything Stiles has ever run into before (including a murderous rampaging crazy Alpha on a revenge-kick). Before three days are over they've managed to put together antidotes for the three different varieties of wolfsbane Stiles had stolen, and a way to run tests on new wolfsbane samples to develop antidotes. They make as much antidote as they can, and then Stiles has to make a decision. Does he risk sneaking back into the Argents' house and stealing more samples of wolfsbane, or does he pray to his dear and fluffy lord (the same one who let his mother die) that the Argents only use those three kinds of wolfsbane?
He goes with the former.
Of course, this time his luck runs out (naturally), and Allison catches him in the basement of her house, with a backpack full of plastic baggies of wolfsbane. He spares a moment to wonder if this is how pot-smokers feel when they get caught by someone (plastic baggies of plant-substance spilling from their hands as outraged and furious friends-or-family-members start yelling wildly), and then Allison pauses.
"Why do you want those, Stiles?" she asks slowly. "I mean, you're obviously not going to use them to kill a werewolf. So…?"
Stiles puffs out a sigh (he's been hoping to avoid this conversation for a while yet), and says, "Lydia and I are making antidotes. So if someone gets shot with a wolfsbane-bullet, they won't die."
"Someone. You mean like Scott," Allison looks down at her feet.
"Yeah. Or Derek or Isaac," Stiles says, in the spirit of full disclosure. "And Peter too, I guess. And Boyd and Erica, if they ever come back."
"Is that… is that why you've been spending time here?" Allison asks hesitantly. "Why you've been my friend?"
"No!" Stiles protests immediately. "No! I mean, it was a side bonus, but I do want to be your friend. I feel kind of responsible for the way you and Scott fell apart, and–"
"Why do you feel responsible?" Allison snaps. "It was my choice, and it was Derek's fault–"
Stiles holds up his hand, and says, firmly, "Don't blame him, alright? I know what he did; he told me. But did anybody tell you why he bit your mother?"
Allison's face freezes. "No."
"She was killing Scott," Stiles says bluntly. "Poisoning him with some kind of wolfsbane-gas. Derek went to save him, and in the fight, he bit her. I don't think he really knew what was going on, because he was breathing in the gas too. But she knew what she was doing."
Allison says nothing, just stares at him.
"I know she was your mom," Stiles continues, voice softening with empathy (not sympathy; he knows how she feels, knows exactly what it's like to lose your mother and be so filled with rage and despair that, for a little while, you lose yourself), "but she was killing Scott, because he was close to you. She thought she was protecting you, but… werewolves and packs, you know? Threaten the pack, and they overreact."
Stiles waits for Allison to say something, anything, but she doesn't.
"So…" he says, and shoves the last few bags into his backpack. "I'm going to take these. And go. And I'll understand if you never want to see me or talk to me again, or if you feel like I've betrayed you, but I really do want to be your friend. I know what it's like to lose a parent, and… I mean, if you need to talk about it. I'm here. But I guess not just now, because I have to get these to Lydia, so that we can make more antidotes."
"I could stop you," Allison says abruptly, shifting to block his exit.
"You could," Stiles agrees amiably. "Buuut I don't think you will. Because you still love Scott, and you don't want him to get hurt."
"But you'll use those antidotes on Derek too, won't you," Allison responds. It's not a question; she knows Stiles too well for that.
He nods, and says, "I don't want anybody to die. I mean, if it was Peter, I wouldn't mind that much. But I'm not going to sit back and do nothing if I can help somebody."
Allison stares intently at him, and then steps to the side. "Fine. But this is the only freebie you get, Stiles. I catch you in here again, I'm telling my dad."
Stiles takes a moment to snicker internally at the inherent childishness of that statement, even though he knows that Chris Argent could beat his ass into the ground if he wanted to. Then, with a cheerful nod farewell, Stiles shoulders his backpack and heads out the door.
After that, his friendship with Allison is pretty strained, but he puts it out of his mind for now. He and Lydia have too much to do.
It takes them two weeks to develop all the antidotes, even though they work at it for hours, every single day. There were a lot of strains of wolfsbane in the Argents' basement, and they have to factor in all the other possibilities. What if the hunters combine two different strains? What if they add in other herbs, like valerian (Stiles had seen a lot of valerian in the Argents' house)? What if, what if, what if….
When they finish, Stiles organizes all the different potions into different bottles (all labeled and color-coordinated), and then puts those bottles into six separate cases: one for his room, one for his car, one for the Hale house, one for the train station, one for Derek's car, and one for Lydia's car (although she protests). He also keeps the original three antidotes on his person at all times (in his backpack, in his pocket, anywhere), and in unbreakable plastic bottles, too. No glass vials for him, thanks.
The werewolves call him paranoid, with varying degrees of affection (Scott says it fondly, Isaac with bewilderment, and Derek and Peter say it with mild derision). But it pays off, in the end.
The Argents aren't the only hunters around, after all. And not all of them 'Follow the Code'.
They're all taken by surprise. The Pack (including Lydia, because she's basically Pack now) is having a meeting at the Hale house. It's not about anything of much importance; Derek is merely saying he still can't find Boyd and Erica, Isaac is still complaining about being the only real beta in this pack (because Scott barely counts, since Derek isn't really his Alpha; and Peter's just an anomaly), Peter's brooding in the corner, Scott is spoiling for a fight with Isaac after the last training-bout (Isaac kicked his ass), and Stiles and Lydia are sprawled on the couch, only half-listening, mostly just debating whether or not they have time before curfew to do more research about whether or not angelica-root's healing properties would be helpful in counteracting wolfsbane. And then fiery hell comes blasting through the window.
At least, that's what it feels like to Stiles. He and Lydia both shriek (later he will insist that he merely 'bellowed in a manly and intimidating fashion', but it is a shriek) and fling themselves to the floor, aware of the fact that they are woefully unprepared for this. The werewolves spring to their feet, fangs and claws gleaming, and fling themselves through the broken window, howls tearing from their throats. Stiles and Lydia can hear screaming, roaring, and gunshots from outside.
Stiles, exhibiting a presence of mind that shocks him later, crawls across the glass-shard-coated floor to where the Emergency Wolfsbane Kit (patent pending) is stored. His stomach twists when he hears a pain-laced howl come from outside, followed by three roars of rage.
Then there are only sounds of screaming and ripping flesh, with only the occasional gunshot. And then silence falls.
Well, no. It's not quite silence.
Stiles can still hear panting and coughing coming from outside, and a low whimpering whine that makes him seize the EWK and bolt for the door (because he's just not agile enough to jump through a broken window carrying a fuck-all heavy box of antidotes, thank you very much), followed closely by Lydia.
Derek and Scott are both kneeling over Isaac's prone form, while Peter prowls among the still bodies of the hunters. Isaac is the one whimpering, and Stiles and Lydia are at his side in a heartbeat.
Lydia pulls his head into her lap, and holds it firmly between her hands. Stiles opens the EWK and pulls out the Tester Bottle and a gleaming, plastic-wrapped (and thus sanitary) knife.
"What do we do?" Scott says, clearly on the verge of panicking. "Stiles, what the hell do we do?"
"There aren't any bullets left in their guns," Peter calls from where he's inspecting the dead hunters. "You won't cure him that way."
"We don't need to," Stiles grits out, and turns to Derek. "You need to Alpha."
"What?" Derek asks, scrunching his face into an expression of confusion.
"Keep him calm, use your Alpha-skills," Stiles snaps. "Because this is going to hurt like a bitch."
Derek looks at the knife in Stiles' hand, nods, and turns back to Isaac. Within a few moments, Derek has Isaac's breathing calmed down, and has practically hypnotized the younger Beta.
Stiles mutters something about 'Svengali' under his breath, drawing a raised eyebrow from Derek, but then sets the knife against Isaac's skin, next to the bullet wound on his shoulder.
"Dude, what the hell are you doing?" Scott yelps.
"I need to know what kind of wolfsbane it is," Stiles says absently, carefully digging the knife into Isaac's shoulder. The Beta whines in pain for a moment, but Derek's eyes glow red again and the wounded boy calms down once more, though still clearly in a fair amount of agony.
"But–" Scott protests, but Lydia interrupts him.
"He's taking out the bullet, but he also needs a sample of the poison," she says harshly. "See, he's putting that… flesh-lump, God, Stiles, that's nasty… into the Tester Bottle, and…."
Red smoke curls out of the bottle, and Stiles lets out a rough 'HA' of relief. "Got it!" he crows as he snatches a bottle with a red label reading 'Type 4Bloodroot' in Lydia's precise handwriting and forces it down Isaac's throat. The Beta convulses for a moment, choking on the foul taste in his mouth, and then goes still. For a moment, the rest of the Pack (even Peter, who has slunk up behind them when they weren't paying attention) freezes with fear that it didn't work, that he's dead, that they've lost someone else and that it's going to be war with the hunters again, because they can't just let this go, they can't just do nothing if Isaac's dead –
But then he coughs heavily, his eyes pop open, and he says in a hoarse voice, "Damn it, Stiles, that shit tastes like… shit."
Stiles laughs, and, after a moment, Lydia and Scott join in. Isaac smiles weakly from where he lies, not moving yet because it still hurts, damn it all. Derek does a half-lip-twitch that may or may not be a smile (Stiles privately thinks it is, and is oddly proud of himself for making the Sourwolf smile), and Peter rolls his eyes at all of them.
After this, they don't make fun of Stiles' EWKs anymore. Scott tries to come up with better names for them (he's unsuccessful, because, well, he's Scott, and this kind of thing isn't his strong suit), and Lydia is smug about it for months. Derek privately asks Stiles if he could make a few more kits, in case they had to make more safe places to hide from hunters. Peter does nothing, because he's Peter and he doesn't actually interact with anyone on a regular basis. And Isaac buys Stiles a cake as a thank you.
And, for a little while, things are OK.
Of course, not everything out there uses wolfsbane to fight werewolves. There are other wolf-packs roaming about, and other creatures of the night (or daytime) that could kill them easily. So Stiles doesn't stop researching, and starts planning other Emergency Kits for other things that would hurt his Pack.
Because he spoke the truth when he talked to Allison. He may not be a werewolf, but he counts himself as Pack. He has to defend his Pack as best he can, and since he can't rip throats open with his bare hands, this is what he does. This is how he keeps them safe. This is his role.
Some people call it being paranoid, all this planning and organization and research. He calls it being prepared.
A/N: Please let me know how well written this is, pleases and thanks!