Title: Pack is Family, Family is Pack
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Length: 13,626 words
Spoilers: Seasons 1 and 2.
Summary: Werewolf!Stiles returns to Beacon Hills to look for his mother's killer.
Author’s Notes: AU; Written for the first round of twreversebang
Warning: Show level violence; badly dealt with vague mental illness.
Feedback: Would be greatly appreciated.
Disclaimer: None of the Teen Wolf characters belong to me and no money is being made.
Written: January 27, 2013
It had been ten years since Stiles Stilinski had left Beacon Hills. He and his mom had left the day after the funeral and he hadn't been back since.
So of course when he returned, it would have to be for another goddamned funeral.
Stiles thought it was safe to say he abso-fucking-lutely hated Beacon Hills, California.
The engine on his jeep ticked over as it cooled down, sitting in of the Beacon County Sheriff's Department. The building looked exactly the same, right down to the crack in the mortar from a small earthquake that happened the year Stiles was born. His dad had always joked it was the station's way of making sure there was enough room for Stiles. Those were definitely not tears sliding down his cheeks. Stilinski men didn't cry…. Ah, hell, he had no idea what Stilinski men did.
He dragged a rough hand over his face to make sure there were no signs of the not tears on his face. He just didn't want to have to explain that they weren't tears if anyone bothered to ask. Which they wouldn't because he wasn't.
The lack of change was re-enforced as he opened the door. The smell of gun oil and leather holsters and the overriding stench of body odor assaulted his sensitive nose. Did a profound lack of personal hygiene result in criminal behavior or was a profound lack of personal hygiene a result of criminal behavior? Inquiring minds want to know.
"I'm Stiles Stilinski. I'm here to see Sheriff Argent."
The deputy on desk duty must have been at the end of his shift because he didn't even react to the name Stilinski, just called the Sheriff to come up front.
Sheriff Chris Argent must have been waiting for Stiles to arrive because he was in the doorway waving Stiles back.
"I really am sorry for your lose, Stiles. Your mother was a good woman."
"For a werewolf."
"For anyone. Look, Stiles, we both know what we are – hunter and werewolf, so we'll never be best friends, but I respected your mother and I'm sorry she's dead, so do us both a favor and direct the anger to the bastard who really deserves it."
"Are you sure it wasn't a hunter?"
"Are you sure it was? We both know who's responsible for this and it wasn't a hunter."
Stiles went still, containing all the emotions that wanted to rage free, containing the wolf that wanted a death in return for the death of his mother.
Chris gave him all the time he needed. He’d been older when he’d lost his mother and the circumstances had been vastly different, but the lose had still been devastating.
"Do you have any evidence that it was Michael McCall? I mean, he was the reason she came back here. She was dead within 48 hours of arriving. It's being reported as an animal attack in the press. Circumstantial evidence that wouldn't make it to court, but we both know it'll never get that far."
"Not much more. There were some fingerprints we haven't got back yet and forensics takes longer than you see on TV. I think the fingerprints will come back to McCall, but matching the wolf's fur isn't something the lab would ever think of. As sheriff, a confession would make me feel better. As a hunter, I'm taking the first shot I get."
"You're never going to get that shot. Not if I have anything to say about it."
"I'm okay with that. Just be aware there are others in my family who won't see it that way."
"I'm shocked. No. Really. This is my shocked face. Any idea where Michael is? Melissa said she hadn't seen him since she called Mom."
"No. He hasn't shown up for work in over a week which isn't unusual. I don't think there's a minimum wage job in this town Michael hasn't held. No friends to speak of. Edgar, the bartender at the Dive, is as close…."
"The Dive? The local dive is actually called the Dive? A little on the nose, isn't it?"
"It's either truth in advertising or a lack of imagination. Anyway, Edgar probably knows him better than anyone other than Melissa and he has no idea."
"Could he be covering for Michael?"
"Not with how much money Michael owes him. He's almost pissed enough to admit he's Michael's bookie. In fact, if we were looking for Michael's killer, Edgar would be at the top of my list."
"Yeah. You going to be staying with Scott and Melissa?"
"That's the plan. We'll see how it goes." Stiles stood. "I should probably head over there now. Melissa's hanging in pretty good for losing her best friend and her husband at the same time."
"And how are you 'hanging in'?"
"I'm hanging. The how? I don't think I'll know until that son of a bitch Michael is in the ground in pieces."
Stiles stopped. It wasn't until just now that he'd made the connection that the only way for this to be set right – right as it could ever be which is not very right at all – is for Scott's dad – his best friend's dad – to die, preferably at Stiles' hand. Stiles really hoped Melissa would be the only one to lose a best friend over this.
"You okay, son?"
He reached out for Chris's hand, a firm handshake his last action before heading out to his jeep. The guy who takes a thousand words to say nothing reduced to just one.
Stiles took his time driving to the McCall residence. It wasn't that he didn't want to see them. He did. A lot. They were his only family now that Mom was gone. It was just… seeing them would make it too real.
Not that it didn't see real now. It was real. Stiles knew it was real. But there are degrees of real and he know, more completely and fully than he has ever known anything in his life, that he hasn't gotten to the 180 or 360 or whatever the fuck it is when reality is complete. If he had it his way, he'd never get there but damned if he can figure out how to stop. He imagined it must be like falling from the top of a building or maybe even an airplane without a parachute. You know the landing's coming, but oh, what you wouldn't give to fly instead of land.
His phone buzzed again. He didn't bother looking. It had be to Scott or Melissa and he can't worry them anymore than he already has. He may not be the alpha even though is mother is gone – and the thought of that rat bastard being alpha in her stead, well, he can feel the change starting – he has to care for them the way she would. They are his pack, his responsibility and he will not let them down. Will not let her down even, maybe especially, if she isn't here to see him.
Even after ten years, Stiles homes in on the McCall's place like a pigeon and he should think of a better comparison than a flying rat.
The front door opened, light spilling onto the porch, before Stiles had even turned off the jeep. Melissa waited, as though she knew he needed a few more seconds to himself, yet letting him know they were there when he was ready.
When he made it to the door, Melissa pulled him into a tight hug. Stiles just collapsed into her arms and held on just as tight. He wanted to stay there forever. He knew he would never hug his mom again. Not tight like this. Not a quick squeeze as he ambled off to his room. Knew Melissa was the closest thing to a parent he had left. Knew that if he stayed there any longer, he'd start crying and probably never stop.
He stepped back and Melissa reluctantly let him go.
"Stiles, I'm so sorry. How are you holding up?"
"Holding. Not sure if it's up or down or sideways, but I'm holding. How are you doing?"
"I'm…. I'm furious. I'm furious with Michael, with myself, with Chris Argent, with God if he exists."
"Why? Michael I get, but you, Chris? That's crazy."
"She was only here because I called…."
"You only called because Michael was being even more of an asshole than usual. You didn't have a choice."
"Don't talk about my father that way."
Scott stood at the top of the stairs, his face cold and hard. He didn't look like Stiles' best friend. He didn't look like Melissa's son. Stiles wasn't sure what he looked like, but he knew he didn't like it. More importantly, he knew he couldn't trust Scott and with that, another piece of his heart broke off and floated away.
"Your father killed my mother. I think him being called an asshole is the least of your worries."
"He didn't do that. Don't lie about him like that." Scott jumped down the stairs and slammed Stiles against the door frame, his left forearm pressing deep into Stiles' throat. Stiles dug his claws into Scott's side, tearing a howl of pain from Scott.
"Stop it! Stop it right now! Scott Michael McCall, let him go! NOW!"
Scott eased off slightly and Stiles took his claws out of Scott's side, the metallic tang of blood peppering the air for a moment before the gouges started to heal.
"What the hell is wrong with you, Scott? Stiles isn't even in the house a full minute before you're attacking him. He just lost his mother and despite what you want to believe, you father did kill her. Maybe he didn't mean to, I don't know, but I'm done caring. You are the only good thing that man ever did and you are the only thing I care about where he's concerned."
"Bullshit. If you cared about me, you…."
The crack of Melissa's hand against Scott's face surprised all three of them.
"Scott, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean…."
Disbelief, anger, hurt crowded Scott's face and for a split-second, a heartbeat, even with the foreign emotions in his eyes, he looked like the friend and the son they loved.
And then he was gone, the door swinging open wide."What the hell just happened?"
"Oh, god, what have I done?"
Minutes passed, Stiles and Melissa frozen, unable to process Scott's behavior.
A shrill ring tone broke the silence and Melissa jumped. She grabbed her purse off the hall table and dug through it frantically, hoping to find it before it went to voice mail.
Not really listening to Melissa's side of the conversation, Stiles was suddenly glad he hadn't taken his bag out of the jeep. He obviously couldn't stay here, not if Scott's behavior continued. It was a little funny. It hadn't occurred to him that Scott would be so protective of his dad. Stiles knew Scot hadn't completely outgrown his hero worship, but he also knew Scott was aware Michael wasn't a great guy. Hell, Michael wasn't even a good guy. Michael was a bad guy and had been long before Mom, had given him the Bite. He didn't know a lot about it, but he knew she regretted it. It's apparently a Stilinski trait to be constitutionally incapable of saying no to your best friend.
"Stiles."He looked at Melisa, a little surprised to realize she was no longer on the phone.
"That was the hospital. Alice, one of the other nurses, has to go to Portland for a family emergency. They need me to come in. Will you be okay here?"
They both knew wanting something didn't make it true.
"I don't think it would be a good idea for me to stay. I'll just get a room at the motel. It'll be fine," said Stiles, once again providing comfort he didn't know how to accept himself.
It's obvious that Melissa wants to say no, to reassure him he's welcome and wanted, that there's a place for him in her home. It's equally obvious that she's relieved.
"If you really think that's best. I want you to stay."
"I know, but it's Scott's home too. Tie breaker always goes to keeping the peace. It's not like it's that far away. I mean, this is Beacon Hills after all. You can make it from one city limit to the other in ten minutes going the speed limit. With traffic."
"I know, it's just… you need your family now, Stiles."
She was family. Scott was family. But he was still alone in the most basic way imaginable. It really didn't help that his family didn't get that.
"Which is why the universe invented cell phones. Seriously. Small town. Cell phone. Privacy's a thing of the past Before my time even," said Stiles, smiling, reassuring.
"If you're sure. Okay. You're sure. I believe you. Just take care, alright. There's no telling what Michael's capable of anymore."
Stiles nodded, not sure of what would come flying out of he opened his mouth. He'd never liked Michael, regardless of how much Melissa and Scott loved him, but he would not add to Melissa's pain.
A final, quicker hug, admonitions to call once he got checked in and Stiles was back in the jeep, pulling smoothly out of the driveway.
He thought about just driving around aimlessly again, but the specter of Melissa's worried face made sure he headed straight for the McLaren Motel. Maybe if he was lucky, Old Lady McLaren would give him an extra discount. There wasn't a syllable of gossip that didn't reach her ears, the gorier the better, and he'd bet money he didn't have she had a police scanner running 24/7.
Bracing himself for the onslaught of sympathy he knew he was going to face, he slid out of the jeep. His keys managed to get from his hand to the floorboard in the way that keys do and muttering a soft curse, he leaned over to pick them up.
Which meant that the shot that rang out caught him in the bicep instead of the heart as intended.
It can also be found at AO3 as one entry.