Title: Our Place in Time
Fandom: Teen Wolf x The 4400
Pairing: Multi - Scott McCall/Stiles Stilinski with mentions of Scott McCall/Isaac Lahey, Isaac Lahey/Erica Reyes, Boyd/Erica Reyes hints of Derek Hale/Stiles Stilinski, possibly even hints of Derek Hale/Peter Hale (please don't shoot me), probably a few others by the time I'm through and that's only looking at the Teen Wolf bunch. -.-;;;
Rating: PG-13, rating subject to change as needed
Word Count: 4559
Warnings: spoilers through the season 2 finale of Teen Wolf, angst
Disclaimer: Teen Wolf does not belong to me. It belongs to the brilliant Jeff Davis and all the other writers, producers, etc., who work with him. The 4400 does not belong to me, either. It belong to Scott Peters and René Echevarria. No harm was meant. I'm just playing with these guys, I'll put them back where I found them when I'm done... more or less intact. ^_~
January 7, 2013: OK. This all started back when I first started watching Teen Wolf. I would watch a few episodes and then get this bizarre, random desire to watch the 4400. Don't get me wrong. I love the 4400... but it wasn't a show I would normally connect with Teen Wolf other than the vague supernatural power connection. Then in a sudden flash of insight, I realized why. Patrick John Flueger (who plays Shawn Farrell on the 4400) and Dylan O'Brien ( who plays Stiles on Teen Wolf) look uncannily alike. And the wheels started turning. Then verstehen1 jumped in the action and the wheels produced plot.
The basic questions: What if Stiles never returned home after helping Scott and company save Jackson? What would that do to the characters of the Teen Wolf world? And what if that abduction was one of 4400 others that happened around the world over the last 80 years? What if Stiles was then returned with the other 4400 to the base of Mt. Rainier in Washington? What if he and Shawn met... and realized exactly how much alike they looked? What if there is more to the story?
Well... I want to know the answers. (Don't get me wrong, I already know plenty of them, but I want to know more and want to share them with you. ^_~) Now, assuming that most of you got here from TW, I'm going to make this as friendly as possible to anyone not familiar with 4400 canon, but if you'd like to get a quick crash course before reading... the wikipedia page isn't too bad. Now if only I could link to it for you. :-P This first part is all Teen Wolf, though, so I hope you'll give it a chance. ^_^ Enjoy? ^_^
Our Place in Time
Another set of bruises, another pattern of scrapes painted across his back by the harsh brush of concrete. Another split lip, black eye, cracked rib. It didn't matter. He wouldn't fight back. He never did. He would heal and this was all he could do - take the beating, take the drunken anger, take the pain and frustration of a father's love gone awry. It was his fault, anyway. It was his fault for not paying attention, for letting himself get so wrapped up in being a hero, in being a lover, that he'd forgotten what was really important... who was really important.
He'd regretted that distraction every day of his life since.
When the sheriff's punches slowed, calmed to the dull thud of a shaking fist against his chest, Scott turned his head, dared to look at his best friend's father out of bruised, swollen eyes that were already starting to heal. The sheriff was slumped over, now, exhausted, one hand splayed on Scott's chest for support. His chest heaved for breath as he fought for calm, but he didn't say a word. He never did. Eventually he straightened, lifted his hand from Scott's chest and turned a look full of the despair of utter hopelessness on the younger man before turning and striding resolutely away.
Scott would have preferred the sheriff keep hitting him. It hurt less than those despairing broken looks and, unlike the wounds inflicted by the sheriff's eyes, at least the ones inflicted by his fists would heal.
Isaac sidled up next to him, eyes round and upset as he leaned in to sniff at Scott's newest bruises. Quietly he asked, "Scott... why do you do this? Why do you let him do this? What good does it do?"
Scott let his head tip back against the wall as the wounds started to close. He said, "Because it's all I can do, Isaac. I failed him. I failed..." Abruptly he turned, slammed his fist into the wall behind him, ignored it entirely as he heard something crack. Scott growled, eyes glowing sullenly red in the dark. "Why? Isaac why the hell did I leave him alone? We knew Gerard was still out there. We knew there was still a threat. And he was hurt! Why did I let him go off alone? Didn't that first scare teach me anything?" He pushed away from the wall, started prowling around the alley, kicking at the garbage cans and throwing whatever came within easy reach. When he made it back to Isaac's side, Scott punched the wall again, choking off the howl of anguish before it had made it halfway out of his throat.
Isaac put a hand on his back and said, as he always did, "We didn't know. Scott, we really couldn't have known. Gerard was dead - or as good as - and there was no way that any of us could have known it wasn't safe."
That was all they ever said when Scott got like this, all Scott would let them say. He didn't want to hear about how it wasn't his fault, he didn't want to be absolved of his guilt. His guilt was what made him who he was, now, was his anchor as surely as Allison had once been. He'd failed his best friend, his brother... Stiles. Two years. It had been two fucking years since Stiles disappeared. No one knew where he was. No one knew who'd taken him.
Gerard had taken him. That was what they all told each other at night, in the dark, when they thought Scott wasn't listening. Of course, it was Gerard. It was Gerard who'd taken him the first time, as a warning to Scott. He'd returned him... but Scott hadn't heeded that warning, so Gerard had taken him, again. He was the only one with the resources, the only one who could have done it. Even the alpha pack that had shown up after the battle couldn't have been responsible. If they had been... well. Scott would have known by the time he was done ripping through them like tissue paper. He'd been wild with it when he'd found out that Stiles was missing, again - inconsolable with grief and guilt. Peter had sensed the danger in it as kin to his own madness and tried to reason with him, but Scott had wanted no part of reason. He only wanted to turn his own pain on as many people as he could. And recognizing in that the impulses that had driven him...
...Derek had shown him how.
The alpha pack never stood a chance. Between them, Derek and Scott had slaughtered all who wouldn't heed their warnings to run. He was an alpha after that - would have been considered rogue but for the fact that he still nominally let Derek hold his leash - but the other alphas now stayed away from Beacon Hills, wanted no part of the howling madness that could descend on its alphas with no warning. They were as safe as they could be, but it didn't fucking matter. It didn't matter because the one person who should have been safely at home, who should have benefited most from their shared reputation, was still missing.
Erica and Isaac talked about it among themselves, sometimes, when they thought Scott and Derek weren't listening. They whispered that if Gerard had taken him, surely Stiles was dead by now, or better off that way. Surely they'd never find him alive... surely they should move on. They'd whispered about it more and more as this year went on. They were eighteen, now, ready to go off to college, start new lives, find new packs if they had to, and though they'd cared for Stiles, they held to the belief that Stiles wouldn't have wanted them to live this way. He had loved life so much... knowing that his friends were trapped in this grief because of him would have torn him apart.
Scott knew that, too. He knew it better than anyone, but he just couldn't give up. He couldn't give up on the idea that Stiles was alive somewhere, just waiting for Scott to find him, wanting to come home. And Scott was not going to fail him, again. So, if all he could do for now was to let Stiles' father blunt his own anger and grief on Scott's body, then Scott would let him do it - whatever it took to keep the sheriff alive and sane for when Stiles came back. Because he would.
Scott wouldn't let himself believe differently.
Scott's mother didn't like it when he spent the night at the Hale house. Then again, Melissa McCall didn't like a lot of things about what her son had become in these last two years. He'd become the beast she had once feared he already was. He'd become a liar, a murderer... a monster. And that was never more apparent to him than after one of these run-ins with the sheriff. So, he stayed away, couldn't bear to be around her after one of those confrontations.
When Scott and Isaac reached the Hale house, Scott headed straight up the stairs, not willing to talk to anyone or even be seen by anyone. Erica watched him go from the hallway, a sad frown on her face as she was stymied in her attempt at greeting by his abrupt departure. She then turned to Isaac with an eyebrow raised in silent query. He sighed, shook his head, "It was a bad night. We were walking back from Dr. Deaton's and we ran into the sheriff. He'd been drinking - you could smell it on him - and, well... you know how that goes."
Erica stepped forward, slid an arm around Isaac's waist and hugged him to her, said softly, "Yeah. I know how that goes. We'll let him be for now. Maybe he'll come down on his own."
"Yes. He might. Perhaps you two should hold your breath while you wait." Peter stepped out of the living room, his finger holding his place in the book in his hands. He shook his head, "This has got to stop. Someone needs to shake some sense into at least one of their heads. In fact, I'll volunteer to go visit the sheriff. This can be over and done with in a night."
Before either of the two betas could engage with Peter, Derek came down the stairs with a soft growl of warning in his throat, "Snapping the sheriff's neck is not going to win any of us any points with local law enforcement." When Peter opened his mouth to protest the innocence of his intent, Derek growled again, "No, Peter. Leave it alone. It isn't your concern."
Peter held up his hands in surrender and turned to go back into the living room, "Fine. Have it your way. But, Derek, it is my concern. It's all of our concern. Those two are a powder keg just begging for the right spark and they're going to take the whole town with them when they eventually explode. I just hope we both survive long enough for me to say 'I told you so' when it happens."
Once he'd gone, Derek turned towards Erica and Isaac, "Was it really that bad?"
Isaac shrugged, "It was bad, Derek. Was it worse than it ever is? That I couldn't say. I think..." He trailed off, ducked his head.
Derek walked over, put a hand on Isaac's shoulder, "What, Isaac?"
Isaac sighed and ducked his head further. He said, "I know that neither of you wants to hear it, but it would be better for everyone if we could just... I don't know. If we could get some closure. If we knew one way or the other - if..." He trailed off, again, this time with a wince as Derek's hand tightened on his shoulder, claws pricking through the leather of his jacket.
"He's got a point, Derek." Jackson joined them in the foyer, a disinterested look on his face that no one ever really bought. At Derek's angry glare, Jackson said, "Look. It's our senior year. One way or another, most of us are going to be leaving, at least temporarily. That's going to leave you and your Uncle here alone to deal with Scott and the sheriff. You think this is all bad, now? Just wait until you have to do it without the rest of us to help run interference. If the guy's dead, then they can both have their breakdowns and move on. If not... well, then maybe it's time we went after the Argents for real and got him back."
Isaac's eyes widened in horror, "You're talking about a war."
Jackson shrugged, "I'm talking about expediency. One way or another this holding pattern ends in August and I don't want to be caught off guard when it does."
Derek pushed past him into the living room. He hated to admit it, but Jackson had a point. The Hale pack had been dancing around the Argents ever since that night. Allison had cut off all contact with them - the only one of them she still spoke to was Lydia, who wasn't even pack - and her father had never been particularly forthcoming. And neither would admit that Gerard was even alive, much less that he was holding Stiles. If they would only admit the truth, only give them a chance... but no. They didn't trust and weren't trusted in turn. As much as Derek hated to admit it, violence was starting to look like the only possible answer and his betas were starting to see it, too.
The rest of the pack followed him into the living room and took perches on various pieces of furniture to watch as he paced, tried to think it out. His uncle merely put his book down in his lap, folded his hands across it and waited. Peter was good at that - waiting for the right moment. It was a skill that Derek had not yet developed and he sometimes envied the older man his ability to look at a situation with such cool logic and no emotional attachment. It was all a lie, Derek knew, but it was a convincing one. He remembered when he'd been younger, how he'd played by this fireplace while his uncle and father looked on, how his uncle could almost always be enticed into playing right along with him - him and Laura.
Derek paused in his pacing, snarled softly, then shook his head and moved on, further into the room towards the windows. It had been a long time since then, but he still remembered, couldn't help but remember. He remembered how his uncle had always been the first one on site whenever someone had been hurt, remembered how soothing the man could be, how gentle had been his touch... how swift his vengeance against anyone who'd hurt what was his. Now... how things had changed. Underneath it all, though, Derek had to believe that the Uncle Peter he'd loved as a child was still there in some way - buried, afraid to reach out, maybe, but still there. And his indifference to Stiles' fate was an act, too, Derek suspected. His uncle had respected Stiles, had regretted not turning him when he'd had the chance... had regretted even more that circumstances had made Stiles had refused the bite when he had had a chance to offer it. Still, his uncle wouldn't get directly involved if he could help it. He preferred to hide here in the mansion with his books and his memories and lick his wounds in private. No risk.
The others were starting to talk in harsh whispers behind him as he paced, impatient as all young are when forced to inactivity. He forced the sound of their voices into the background, but couldn't help overhearing what was said. Erica had said something about maybe calling Boyd, but Peter shook his head, denied that suggestion before it had even been half-voiced. Derek was grateful. Boyd was yet another regret that Derek didn't wish to face. During the battle with the other alphas, he'd gotten in the middle, determined to support Scott, to protect him in his time of weakness. He'd done it, too, protected the one he saw as his true alpha, his role model... the one he wished to call "friend." And, in so doing, he'd taken down one of them, himself. Scott was not the only one among them to become an alpha that day. Unlike Scott, however, that new responsibility had sat well on Boyd's shoulders, brought maturity and strength to the man beyond his years. He'd left Beacon Hills when he graduated, found happiness to the north in college and in a new pack who respected everything he had to offer them. He'd grown up. He'd grown up well... and it had been none of Derek's doing. That rankled and Derek didn't appreciate being reminded, and he certainly didn't need Boyd's help to deal with Scott or the Argents.
He pushed all of that to the background as he thought - his uncle's withdrawal, his pride both for and against Boyd... all of it. He ignored Isaac as he tried to get Derek's attention, ignored Jackson's harshly timed jibes at the other boy's expense, too. What he couldn't ignore, though, what he didn't dare ignore... was the person who eventually swept into the room behind them. Derek had known it was too much to ask that once he'd retreated upstairs, he would stay there, not with his own hearing as acute as Derek's and this topic of conversation flying around.
Derek paused in his pacing, turned to face the figure backlit by the light from the foyer, a growl forming unbidden in his throat at the sheer menace pouring off the younger alpha. Scott's grin was all teeth as he advanced on them, "What did I just hear about a war?"
Isaac leapt to his feet and, in the dumbest move Derek had ever seen anyone make, interposed himself between the two alphas. Then again... Scott often granted Isaac liberties that he granted no one else and it gave the other man the advantage in situations like this. So, until he had reason to interfere, Derek would hold his peace and let the younger wolf try, because this was not a situation that Derek wanted to resolve with violence. Isaac held his hands up, eyes pleading, "Scott, please. This isn't the answer. You know it isn't the answer." As Scott's growl kicked up a notch in volume, Isaac said, "You're talking about a war with Allison, Scott. Don't you remember? You loved her once! You can't want to hurt her!" Everyone else in the room held their breath as they waited to see how Scott would respond.
Scott tilted his head, an almost comical look of confusion on his face as he answered Isaac, "Can't I? She certainly didn't hesitate to hurt me. What makes me so different?"
It wasn't going to work. Derek could see it in Scott's face. It was too close to his last run-in with Sheriff Stilinski. Not even Isaac was going to be enough to distract him this time. Before Derek could intervene, before the tension in the room could shift to the violence of an all-out brawl, a calm, dry tenor interrupted the conversation, "The fact that you're smarter than she is. And the knowledge that you get more flies with honey than a stick." Peter rose from his chair by the fire and stretched his arms over his head. As he lowered them, he shrugged, "We gain nothing from a war with the Argents. We have a truce of sorts, right now, and it has kept peace in this town for two years. More importantly, it has kept others off of our territory. We have not and will not risk that to rescue one boy whom they may not even have in their posession." At the cry of outrage that statement provoked, Peter rolled his eyes and held up his hands, "All I'm saying is that we don't have enough information to rock this particular boat. If we're going to start a war with the Argents, I at least want to know that we stand a reasonable chance of achieving our objective."
Seeing that he had everyone's attention once again, Peter said, "I have had occasion to maintain contact with one Lydia Martin. I have taken advantage of that. She has had occasion to maintain contact with one Allison Argent. I suggest that we take advantage of that." When all he received in response were a round of blank stares, Peter dropped his head to his hand and began massaging his temple, "I take back what I said about you lot being smarter." Sighing, he said, "While Allison may not help us or talk to us, she may speak to Lydia. Lydia is also a friend to Stiles, is she not? Perhaps the query from her would go rather less amiss."
Derek nodded, relief lining the edges of his eyes. He'd wanted an answer that didn't include outright war. Here was the advantage to his uncle's cooler head and appreciation for keeping his own hide intact - and if Derek detected a motivation behind it that would also keep everyone else's hides intact... he'd be kind enough to his uncle not to give him away. He said, "That's a much better idea than running off half-cocked about this. Peter will speak with Lydia, get her to help us. The rest of you just... lay low for now. We don't want to stir up any trouble before we need to or warn them that it's coming if we eventually need the advantage of surprise."
The others filed out, leaving for their own beds, their own homes. Scott shook his head in disgust before retreating back upstairs, but he did stay. With a wordless glance between them, Erica went home for the night and Isaac followed Scott upstairs. With any luck, he would manage to calm the other alpha out of the mood that was currently riding him before it could become a problem. Derek was grateful for that much - he didn't need to fight a war on two fronts.
Turning back towards the fireplace to thank his uncle for his cool-headed interference, Derek found Peter already back in his armchair, book open in his lap. Only... wait. Derek raised an eyebrow, huffed out a laugh under his breath, "You had me fooled for a minute there, Uncle. I thought that was one of the ones you'd salvaged from the library... but it's just one of those gadgets in a fancy cover, isn't it?"
The fond smile that spread across Peter's lips was genuine and all the more precious for its rarity. He shook his head sadly at Derek and said, "I still don't understand why you resist my attempts to bring you forward into this century. You're younger than I by many years and didn't spend six of those years in a coma out of touch with the world. You should be all over these modern conveniences." At Derek's skeptical look, he held up the mini-tablet in hand and said, "In this 'gadget', as you call it, I have the entire contents of our former library in the palm of my hand." He lowered the tablet to his lap, dropped his gaze to rest upon it. His next words were spoken quietly, as though he were afraid to give them too much weight, afraid to be caught out, "If this tablet is destroyed, I can purchase a new one, link it to my account and have instant access to all the books that would otherwise have been lost. There is more value in that than there is in the physical form of the book, itself."
Derek sat down in the chair across from him, reached out a hand to stroke along the leather cover. Though it was rare to find his uncle so forthcoming, and the relationship between them was still far from easy, Derek found himself enjoying these rare moments of connection - these moments when his Uncle treated him like an equal, like a man who could share his burdens, not like a child who must be protected and led about. It brought back to mind those memories of watching his uncle sitting in this very spot, talking to his father like this. Derek took these moments as a sign that even his uncle was finally starting to heal - and it made him even more hesitant to engage the Argents in any way. For Peter's sake.
As Derek pulled his hand back from the faux-book cover, he answered Peter in a voice just as hushed, "But there is no connection there, Uncle. No one's hands but yours have held this and you'll replace it with the newest gadget as soon as it comes out. When I pick up my copy of The Time Machine... I am doing more than picking up a book to read for an hour's worth of entertainment. I find comfort in the fact that your hands held it before mine, and my mother's before yours, and my grandmother's before that. I won't argue that there isn't more risk in owning an object of sentimental value - it can be lost, be taken away and not so easily replaced - but even you can't argue the value of that connection."
Peter shook his head and said, "The value of such a thing isn't worth the risk of losing it, Derek. You, of all people, should see that." His lips pulled into a sneer, "Having lost so much, that is."
They were almost a physical shove, those words, and Derek resented Peter's attempt to break the moment down around them. This was why it was so hard to work with the older man. He seemed determined to undermine Derek's every attempt to make them into a strong healthy pack, determined to show him that in these circumstances it was impossible and worse, was not even worth trying. Derek refused to believe that. He snarled under his breath, "At least I have the courage to keep trying."
"And how is that working out for you, Derek?" was Peter's quick reply, "You've a rogue alpha in your territory of whom you are ridiculously and hopelessly fond and who barely gives you the time of day. The only reason you don't get more grief over him is because we have managed to maintain this odd truce with the Argents and none of the others want to get involved and risk upsetting that balance. And now... now you want to destroy everything we've managed to rebuild for the sake of one human child who has probably been dead for two years. It's madness, Derek. Surely you must see that!"
Derek's snarl became more audible at those words and he bit out, "Stiles isn't dead and Scott is not rogue."
Peter threw back his head and laughed, "Oh, what it must be like to live in the world you live in, Derek! An alpha with no pack of his or her own and who is not bound to an alpha-pack is, by very definition, rogue. You are not strong enough to hold an alpha pack and even if you were, you couldn't hold him. As for Stiles... I was as fond of the boy as anyone, but Derek... if Gerard has had him in his clutches for two years, he is dead... or as good as. No responsible alpha would even think about risking their pack like this on the off chance that he isn't."
For just a moment, Derek entertained the thought of leaping from his chair and tackling his uncle where he sat, of tearing out his throat a second time. But that was no answer. Instead, he leaned forward and placed a gentle hand on his uncle's forearm and said, "No. I suppose no responsible alpha would risk that. But, Uncle... no responsible friend wouldn't. There was a time when you would have risked everything for my father. What happened to the man who willingly put his own life on the line for a friend?"
Peter's answer was a harsh whisper, dragged from his throat like a beast being drawn to its own death, "He died in a fire eight years ago. Perhaps you'll find him when you find Stiles."
Derek leaned forward, placed his other hand gently under his uncle's chin to tilt the man's head upwards and more easily catch his gaze. He smiled, "Well, that man has a certain talent for resurrection... so maybe we'll get lucky on both counts."
Derek was rewarded by Peter turning his arm in his hold to grip tightly at Derek's own for just a brief moment before disentangling himself and deliberately turning back to the "book" in his hands. Derek released him, gave him back his space, his point made. Peter was the only blood family he had left. If he had to drag him kicking and screaming back into the land of the living, so be it. He'd do it for all their sakes. Derek didn't give up easily and he sure as hell wasn't going to start now.
It has been a long time since I've posted a WIP. So, I'd like to apologize in advance for that. I have a really good idea of where this story is going to go and how it's going to get there, though, and I'm banking on the fact that I'll stay as excited about it as I currently am long enough to get it to where it needs to go. ^_^ I wish I could tell you how long it will be or how many parts or how often I'll update... but I've learned the hard way that making those kinds of promises is never a good idea. O_o;;; Here's hoping you'll stick with me!
Questions, comments, papaya?