Stiles left Beacon Hills. It wasn't in a "fit of rage and I'm never coming back" type of way, more of an "I got accepted to NULA and I'd really like to go" type of way. Then it had become "I've got a summer job." Then "Dad, why don't you come over and meet my girlfriend?" It later morphed into "I have my own company and have dinner on Tuesdays with my fiancés parents." After that it was only a year or two before it became: "The wedding is in four weeks, Scott! Help me! I'm freaking out!" and then "The new house is near some pretty good schools, you know?"
He wasn't even sure when he'd really become aware of the fact that he'd left. Left for good. Somewhere between starting up his company and getting down on one knee in the park, surrounded by picnic foods and a bottle of champagne, he figured it out.
And it was good. It was great, actually. His studies had bombed and he'd ended up dropping out of school, but he'd landed on his feet – his shaman training took off and he had made a lot of connections in the seriously bustling supernatural haven of New Orleans. What once was odd jobs and weekend work soon turned into a real plan, a solid living. He started up Beacon Consulting, a legitimate security firm that made just as much from the human clients as it did the otherworld ones. He suggested security cameras and weight plates for one half, and runes and spell work for the other, was paid handsomely by both and was able to go home at the end of the day to his beautiful wife who was blissfully ignorant of his not quite double life. His relationship with his dad improved tenfold when he wasn't lying to the man's face every day, and had quickly become something of a pillar of the community. Both communities. He had lunches in classy wine bars with Shifters, played tennis at the country club with both a hedge fund manager and a hedge witch, hired a small army of people and still managed to stay hands on and active in the role he'd built.
"Hi baby." He called, pushing the door open. The house was much bigger than the first one he'd bought. Sarah wanted something grander to go with their lifestyle. Stiles had never really managed to say no to her.
He'd gotten home early, his lunchtime appointment cancelled as the Deamon's wife had gone into early labour – he grinned. Soon enough he'd be running out of restaurants and panicking over the 'grab bag' for the hospital. Sarah wanted kids. Stiles wanted kids. Win win!
Tossing his keys into the bowl they'd made on their 2nd date – a pottery class that was positively inspired, regardless of what Lydia had snorted down the phone – and grabbed the mail from the table.
"Bills," he said, flipping through them. "Bill, bill, bill." He glanced around the room, already bored. Sarah had been at yoga that morning, her mat and bag were still in the hallway where she left them, clothes scattered up the hallway and the wide staircase. "You have some cheek complaining at me for this, you know?" He muttered, grabbing at the bright pink vest as he made his way upstairs. "At least I don't leave my damn box..er..s..." He picked up a pair of tighty-whities that certainly didn't belong in his varied selection of superhero boxer briefs.
"Oh." He said, as his heart skipped a beat, and then another. The air around his head seemed thicker, just for a moment, before the framed photographs that lined the stairway started to shake, rattling against the walls before he managed to fill his lungs with air. On his skin he could feel his lack of control cause his tattoos to morph and shift, moving across his body. It was that movement that brought him back down. He couldn't let his wife see them shift. He couldn't lose control.
Sarah must have heard him arriving, because she was suddenly right there, her blond hair mussed and nothing at all like its normally perfect state. She was wrapped in a white bedsheet. Her face was just as pale.
"I can explain." She whispered, tears in her eyes.
Stiles let her.
"I can't believe you are such an idiot." Lydia snapped down the line. "Jackson, come here and tell him he's an idiot."
Stiles looked blankly at the computer screen in front of him for a few moments before the sound of the phone changing hands and Jackson's voice was in his ear. "You. Are. An. Idiot."
"Yes, thank you, Whittamores." Stiles intoned, clicking on his email. Baby pictures popped up and Stiles couldn't help the smile on his face. "Noah is huge now."
"Well, yeah." Jackson said, sounding for a moment less like a giant douchy lizard and more like a human being. "He takes after his father like that."
"Is that the onzie I sent up?" Stiles grinned, "Damn, look at that! Baby Whittamore got his style on!"
"Yeah, Lydia wanted to put him in it." Jackson said, his voice warmer when he was talking about his son than at any other time. "He puked up over it though, so don't-"
There was a slight scuffle on the other side of the line, and suddenly Lydia was back. "Don't you dare try to change the subject Stilinski. Don't think I'm not wise to your deflecting tactics. You are an idiot."
"Of course she's sorry!" Lydia snapped. "She got caught!"
The pack, which was still mostly based in Beacon Hills, never liked Sarah. Lydia hated her, for some unknown reason. Stiles put it down to her sudden and shocking realisation that Stiles was the one for her and she was too late to announce her undying love for him. Possibly.
Sarah was removed from all supernatural shenanigans, mostly because Stiles had been told, point blank, not to tell her about the Pack. And without the Pack, telling her about werewolves, and Banshees and magic just seemed... unreal. Stiles had really wanted Sarah to be real. Safe. Protected. So he nodded when Scott asked if he would keep the secret, and he glared when Derek demanded – but he did what they wanted.
"Lydia, I don't see me getting all up in your personal life so can you please just-"
"Seriously?" She gasped. "Did you just say that to me? To me?!" Damn, Stiles thought belatedly, she had a point. "You know what? I'm going to let that slide." She announced. "Because you obviously aren't thinking properly." There was a moments silence on the line before she took a deep breath. "Stiles, she's using you."
"I love you, Stiles."
"I love you too." He replied, before hanging up the phone and hitting the speed dial on his desk phone.
It rang four times before it was picked up.
"McCall Construction." A male voice said down the line, only to be cut off with an exasperated:
"You told Lydia? Dude! Not cool!"
It happened again. It happened more than that, if Stiles was being honest with himself, but he never told anyone about it after the second time – before he finally filed for divorce. Jackson had been his lawyer since the former lizard-man graduated at Harvard. Stiles pre-nup was bulletproof, although Sarah's mom had taken a good few shots at it.
Even Stiles could tell they didn't have the heart to keep going though, the last time – the final time – she'd been caught, Stiles had invited her father over for a beer after their fortnightly squash game and they'd walked in on her mid-coitus on the kitchen table. Her dad hadn't been able to look him in the eyes since.
At 27 years old, he was divorced. His perfect life didn't seem quite so perfect any more.
"I'm going to suggest that you keep the hive closed until you can move the young." Stiles advised the human-looking man standing beside him as he pointed to a map. "Here would be ideal. Kansas isn't known for a lot of Arachne – but I'll send up Nick with you, he can draw out some protection runes, lay some boundary spells, just in case."
"We'd prefer if you would do it." The man said, and if he listened closely; he might have been able to hear more than just his voice, which seemed to vibrate out of his throat.
"Nick is one of my best men." Stiles assured him. "But if it eases your mind, I will come up once he is finished and take a look." He paused. "I can add it to your account."
"Money isn't a problem." The man said, and yup, Stiles could hear the smaller pincers inside his mouth clicking as he talked. "The queen asked for you specifically. We heard about the Hive in New York."
There wasn't much Stiles could say to that. New York has been his first big job, for another Apocrita hive. Their queen had been injured and unable to leave the city – they'd paid him a small fortune to go there and keep her safe. He earned every brown cent on that job. He didn't sleep for a week, not until the hive was able to move.
Word of his work spread pretty quickly after that. He bought his first apartment with the money from New York. It looked like this job would be equally beneficial.
"Mr Stilinski?" His assistant said, after a subtle tap on the door, "I'm sorry to disturb you, but there is a Hunter at the desk asking to talk to you,"
Beside him, the male Apocrita watched him carefully. "Did you get a name?"
"Argent, sir." She said, keeping her eyes carefully lowered. Names like that could get a person into a lot of trouble, hunters in general were trusted amongst almost all otherworlders – but the Argents had not made friends. The poison from Gerard and Kate took a long time to wash clean.
"I have no dealing with Argent Hunters." Stiles reminded his assistant firmly. She'd been working for him for 4 years. She should have already known that. Stiles held a grudge.
"She says her name is Alison."
Stiles wasn't sure if he should laugh or cry. Alison Argent. He hadn't seen her since before he finished high school, after her break-up with Scott. He'd thought her father had taken her to France.
He turned to the man beside him. "Would you please excuse me? I'll send Nick along to discuss the exact protection you are looking for and to draw up the plans." He paused, wondering if he should explain further. "She was once a good friend. Before... her family interfered."
"Your dislike of the Argent Hunters is well known." The man said, "The hive understands the need for old friends. We will talk to the one called Nick."
"Thank you," Stiles said, nodding formally. "My well wishes to your hive."
"And ours for your pack."
10 years can change a person in so many different ways. Stiles knew he looked different now. His buzz cut was long gone, his hair was styled – his clothes were tailored. His suit was blue, the jacket forgotten on the back of his chair, shirt sleeved rolled up to reveal similarly coloured tattoos along his forearms. They covered his entire body and had hurt like hell, inked with poisons and cures, spells and runes – Sarah had hated them, and he'd not been in a position to tell her why they had been important.
He was broader and faster, able to focus now he knew how – a man, and not the boy he was when he left Beacon Hills.
He expected to find Alison just as changed. He was wrong.
Her hair was just the same, her eyes, mouth and nose just like he remembered. She was wearing a pair of tight black jeans and calf length leather boots, a warm grey sweater and a black oversized bag in her hand. She looked like... Alison. Unchanged. A little older around the eyes. Still the same though.
"Oh my god, Stiles!" She gasped as he walked towards her. Her voice was the same, he noted, before her arms were wrapped around his neck in a hug that he'd not expected. "It's so good to see you!"
She still smelled the same.
"Alison Argent." He said, aware that his voice was wavering a little at the end of her name. "Long time no see." He squeezed her back, before pulling away. "Come on. We're not going to talk here. Lunch." He looked over his shoulder. "Anna, can you send Nick into conference room 4? Get one of Jacksons people on the line too – the Apocrita agrees to the normal terms."
"Yes Mr Stilinski." She nodded. "Shall I clear this afternoons appointments?"
"Give the Shifter to Harvey, she's good with her own kind." He paused. "Call Gale and tell him that something came up – and remind him about the game on Tuesday." He looked at Alison. "How do you feel about seafood?"
"I have to see him." Alison said, looking down at the untouched food on her plate. Her hands were steady, but Stiles had learned to sense a person – he could see her aura shift and tremble. She was panicking.
"You really don't." Stiles pointed out. "That's a nice rock on your finger."
She was getting married. Married to a nice guy, who worked in retail – he had nothing to do with hunting, or wolves. A nice guy. Her heart wasn't in it, that much was obvious.
"I have to know."
Scott knew. Stiles thought bitterly. Scott had always known, Alison was the one for him. His other half. His mate. Which was why he'd remained single, why he didn't date, why he spent his college life working his ass off to be a better man – no parties, no hook-ups. He'd expected Alison to come back. Stiles looked at his own plate (he'd eaten, because really, the food here was amazing) and sighed. Scott had been right, Alison had come back. Just about 10 years later than she should have. "You don't know what it's like, Stiles." She said, eyes never leaving her food. "I think about him all the time. Every day. How can I marry Luke if I'm still... in love..." She whispered the last words, voice hardly even making his ears. "With Scott?"
"I'm not really the person you need to talk to about this." Stiles pointed out. "The ink isn't even dry on my divorce papers."
That seemed to snap her out of herself imposed funk. "You got married?" She exclaimed, voice high pitched and carrying. "To who?" She paused. "Lydia?"
Stiles laughed at that, really laughed, because any idea that Alison had kept in touch with her high school friend on the sly just evaporated.
"Sarah Harding." Stiles said. "6 years we were married." He managed. God, did he really sound that bitter? "Divorce came through last month."
"I still need to see him."
News travelled fast. Stiles had a stack of messages at the office when he got back after dropping Alison off at her hotel. All of them were asking if he had taken on the Argent Hunters as clients. He couldn't leave them to rot on his desk like he wanted. Some of the messages were from people he considered friends.
Sighing, he picked up the phone.
I've been on something of a hiatus with writing, and I'm really sorry that it's taken me so long to get back to you all. I've just really not been feeling the writing groove, and since I got caught writing at work (I did warn ya'll that would happen!) I've just not had the time to get anything new done.
So... I can't promise that this is going to be updated as often at the other work I've done, you might be looking at maybe a new chapter a week or something - I'm really sorry.
As with all my work, I have no idea of a plot and I'm making this up as I go. So if you see any gaping plot holes. let me know and I'll try to patch them up later.
I really wanted to do an older fic, where everyone is adults and have moved on in their lives, so this kinda came to life. I' not sure where it is going, so, like always, you're all just going to have to trust me.
And for those that have been following me for a while, I'm all caught up with Supernatural, I'm in love with Agents of Shield, I wanna live in Sleepy Hollow, I've just been to see Thor, and if you aren't watching The Black List, you an I need to have words.
Thanks for sticking with me if you are a long time reader and if you are just new to my work, please don't start with this because it's not even a thing yet, go back and read my other stuff, and maybe by the time you done I'll have worked out a plot!
Oh, and I get so many messages about how I should do a Supernatural / Teen Wolf Crossover and I juts want to say, check out my 'Aftershock' fiction - because it's possibly the best thing I ever wrote!
So... Yeah. Thanks for reading, let me know what you think, and where you might like to see this go, because I've not got a clue!
Love you lots like jelly tots,
Robyn (aka 74days and bmwiid!)