Title: A Change Would Do You Good
Disclaimer: BtVS and Teen Wolf are owned by their creators, Jeff Davies and Joss
Whedon. This is for entertainment purposes only. I sadly own nothing.
Thanks again to Noturbaby for the beta!
(Chapter 2: B is for Bags)
(Chapter 3: C is for Challenge)
(Chapter 4: D is for Derek)
(Chapter 5: E is for Encounter)
(Chapter 6: F is for Family)
(Chapter 7: G is for Growl)
(Chapter 8: H is for Heal)
(Chapter 9: I is for Intoxicated)
(Chapter 10: J is for Jealousy)
(Chapter 11: K is for Kiss)
Faith woke the next morning to knocking at her bedroom door and in her own bed. She raised herself up in bed in confusion as she could quite clearly remember falling asleep on the floor beside Derek. When she took a look around the room she could see it was devoid of all evidence that Derek had even been there.
Her uncle’s voice came from outside the door, “Faith, you up?”
“Uh yeah, just a minute,” she replied as her eyes scanned the room once more. It crossed her mind that last night had all been a dream until she saw that her bedroom window was wide open, where it had been closed before she had went to bed.
She quickly got out of bed and opened her door to find her uncle waiting patiently for her, dressed in his Sheriff’s uniform.
“Did you just get in?” She asked accusingly.
Her uncle looked down to the hall to Stiles’ open bedroom door and then back to Faith. “I’m pretty sure I knocked on my niece’s door and not Stiles’… but yes I did and yes I am going to bed. Seeing as we are confessing sins, I ate bacon and eggs this morning and thoroughly enjoyed every unhealthy bite,” her uncle exclaimed, his arms crossing as Faith cocked an eyebrow at him. “Don’t judge me. I was up all night.”
Faith raised a placating hand. “It’s not me you have to explain yourself to,” she said as she leant against her door.
“Contrary to popular belief, I am the adult around here and I can eat whatever I want… despite what my son thinks.”
“You keep telling yourself that… as he makes you eat vegetables and tofu for the next week,” Faith smiled. She could see the look of horror pass over her uncle’s face as he contemplated her words. “You’re secret’s safe with me old man,” she said as her uncle let out a breath of relief. “What’s up or did you just want to confess to your unhealthy eating sins?”
“I figured you’d be finished your run but by the looks of things, you just woke up,” he said, peering over Faith’s shoulder to see her unmade bed. “I was confirming that you were coming to Stiles’ game tonight?”
Faith had completely forgotten about Stiles’ Lacrosse game that night with everything that had been going on. She remembered how excited he had been when he had explained that due to a pink eye epidemic the coach had made him first line. Scott had also been made co-captain, along with Jackson, who didn’t seem to be taking it very well. Either way, both boys had been ecstatic about the turn of events.
She could see how proud her Uncle was of Stiles and how much he was looking forward to the game. Even though Faith had no idea about the game, she could still cheer along with the best of them.
Faith nodded. “Of course I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it.”
“Great! I’ll be meeting you there as I have some work to do before then but right now bed is calling me.” Her uncle walked away down towards his own room. “Oh, Stiles is downstairs having breakfast. Whatever you two fought about, I don’t want to know. Just fix it,” he stated, closing the door behind him.
Faith stared open mouthed at the closed door for a moment. She knew Stiles would never have told his dad anything about last night or why they fought in the first place, so how did he know? It had to be a Sheriff thing. Then again, it could be a Stilinski thing. Either way, it was disconcerting.
With a shake of her head, Faith made her way downstairs and into the kitchen to talk to Stiles. She found him eating breakfast whilst staring out of the window.
“It’s weird fighting with you. I don’t like it,” she said as she hopped up onto the counter. She glanced to her left to see a bowl, a spoon and her favourite cereal waiting for her. “For me?” she asked.
Stiles nodded, placing his own bowl into the sink before turning to lean against the refrigerator to face Faith. “Yeah,” he coughed. “I don’t like it either. Dad says I have to fix it.”
“He said the same to me,” she said with a smile. “How do I do that? Sitting on you is getting old but I will if I have to.” She let out a breath at Stiles smirk. “I’m not used to all this, to you and Uncle Stan and this whole family deal. I know I should have asked you before saying Derek would be staying but it kind of popped out and I hadn’t really thought it through. You have to believe that I would never intentionally put you or your dad in danger.”
“I know,” Stiles whispered, rubbing his hand through his buzz cut. “Where is Derek?”
“I have no idea.” Faith shrugged as Stiles looked up at her. “He was gone when I woke.” She didn’t mention what had happened during the night or the fact that she hadn’t fell asleep in her own bed. Stiles had looked as though he had swallowed his own tongue when she had mentioned Derek would be staying in her room. She didn’t think he take the fact they slept together, no matter how innocent, very well.
“Nothing happened last night?”
Faith shook her head. “Nope. We talked and then slept.”
“You talked with Derek, with actual words and sentences? You held a conversation that didn’t turn into him growling or slamming you into something?” Faith cocked her eyebrow as Stiles blushed, realising what he had just said. “I didn’t mean it like that. Not that you would… or he would… it’s just… shutting up now.”
Faith chuckled. “That would be a good idea, kiddo.”
She made her breakfast and ate in silence as Stiles watched her.
“Are we good?” he asked as she took a bite of cereal.
Faith nodded and swallowed. “We’re good.”
Stiles let out an audible breath of relief, sagging against the refrigerator again. “I’m not used to this either,” he said, motioning between them before continuing, “but I like it. It’s just been me and dad for a long time and I figured it would always be that way and then when dad said you had called, well, it was awesome. You came and it didn’t feel so lonely anymore, you know?”
Faith hopped off the counter and pulled Stiles into a hug. She didn’t speak as she didn’t think she could with the lump that was now lodged in her throat. She smiled when Stiles hugged her back.
“You and your dad don’t play fair,” she choked out, pulling out of the hug and taking a step back. “You keep saying stuff like that and I’ll never leave.”
“That’s the plan,” Stiles grinned. “Beacon Hills is no Hellmouth but we have werewolves, hunters and, of course, yours truly. See? You can’t leave.”
Faith playfully rubbed his buzz cut and shook her head. “You’re gonna be late if you don’t get going. I’ll see you later at your game.”
Stiles ducked out from under her ministrations. “Yeah, yeah. I’m going.”
Faith watched as Stiles left the house, not before coming back moments later to grab his cell from the kitchen and then head back out with a final wave. She made her way back to her breakfast and her favourite spot, happy in the knowledge that she and Stiles were back to normal.
A while later she stood in her room, hands her on her hips, trying to figure out where the hell Derek had disappeared off to. She knew he would come back as she’d found his duffle bag under her bed, hidden by the blankets that he had slept on; folded neatly with the pillow placed on top. Her fingers had itched to open it and take a look but had decided against it at the last minute. She had trusted him enough to be alone in her room and he hadn’t touched anything, so she would give him the same courtesy, even it did take everything she had to leave it be.
It had crossed her mind on several occasions while she had been searching as to what Derek had thought when he woke that morning. She hadn’t felt him move her but she didn’t know whether to take it as a bad or as a good thing that he had moved her back to her own bed. Had he done it during the night or did he do it before he left? She hadn’t felt him move her, which was strange as she usually slept quite light but he had been warm and it had been nice falling asleep in his arms. It had been one of the best night’s sleeps she’d had in a long time and had been disappointed to wake alone.
Faith sat on the edge of her bed and let her head fall into her hands.
“I’m screwed,” she said aloud. “Dawn and B are gonna have a field day with this one.”
It had been coming for a while but she could finally admit that she may have more than just ‘feelings’ for Derek Hale. The stupid werewolf had wedged himself a place under her skin and it didn’t look like he was leaving anytime soon. Faith could admit that she didn’t want him to either. Last night had opened her eyes to how much she cared about him and that it was definitely something more than she first thought.
She couldn’t really put words to her feelings, and considering her past dalliances she couldn’t say it was love. She wasn’t the girl who had one of those epic love stories like Buffy and Angel, or even just the happily ever after like Kennedy and Willow. Then again, she’d never been in love so if she were, how would she know? All she knew was that the mere thought of something happening to Derek had her feeling sick to her stomach. She had figured out early on that she couldn’t lie to him and seemed to have the compulsion to be honest whenever they spoke.
Faith knew she had lied to Stiles the night before about trusting Derek. She trusted him not to hurt her after she had seen his reaction in the car the night before; his guilt had been more than evident as he’d inspected her bruised wrists. It looked as though it pained him to see that he had caused her harm. She wondered if he’d even noticed they were no longer there.
It just didn’t help that he had no clue she was a Slayer. How would he react? Did he even know about Slayers?
She knew that everything she was allowing to go through her mind was nothing but conjecture. She had no idea about Derek, other than what she had read or even how he felt about her. The wolf was closed up tighter than Fort Knox and last night had been the first time she had seen him show any emotion other than anger, disapproval or annoyance.
Could he feel anything else? She hadn’t forgotten his reaction when she had mentioned guilt and fear. She knew there was more to his story and her instincts were telling her that it had something to do with Kate Argent. She had suspected it ever since she’d seen them interact at the Hale house.
She didn’t even want to think about how Derek would react to her past. Finding out she’s a Slayer is going to be a cake walk compared to him finding out she killed people, went insane and finally ended up in jail to face up to the consequences of her actions. She didn’t think he’d stay to listen that she found redemption and was trying her best to make things right. She wasn’t looking for forgiveness, or had even asked for it. All she wanted was a chance to prove she wasn’t that girl anymore.
Yep, she was screwed.
It had taken an exceptionally long run and a hot shower before Faith felt as though she could deal with everything again after her realisation that she couldn’t push the Derek situation away anymore and ignore it. Damn Stiles and his stupid logic. She should have known it wouldn’t have worked.
When she had went to make lunch, she had found the note from her uncle in the kitchen with a final reminder of the time of Stiles’ game and that he was glad she and Stiles were no longer fighting. She was placing her extra sandwiches in the refrigerator when she heard Dawn’s ringtone coming from her bedroom. She ran upstairs and caught it before the ringing stopped.
“Tell me there’s an apocalypse and I have to be there, or I’m hanging up,” she smiled down the phone. She sat on her bed, making herself comfortable against the headboard.
“You should be so lucky,” Dawn laughed. “Sadly, I call with bad news and it’s no apocalypse. The cure is a no go I’m afraid. I asked around and I read everything, and I mean everything that we had here and after talking to Oz again, by the way he really wants to talk to you about the wolves you are running with, I’ve realised the only cure is death. I take it that isn’t an option?” She teased.
“Unless it’s for the Alpha,” Faith sighed. “I knew it was a long shot but I had hoped.”
“Yeah, I know and it sucks. He sounds like a nice kid.”
Faith nodded but stopped as she realised Dawn couldn’t see her. “He is, a little slow on the uptake about things and easily distracted but a nice kid. What else have you got for me?” She asked with apprehension.
“Did you know that there have been no unexplained deaths there… like ever? Until recently that is,” Dawn pointed out. “And by unexplained, I mean, our kind of unexplained.”
Faith frowned. “That’s weird,” she said.
“Not really if you think about it. You said that you have found no signs of vamp or demon activity and up until six years ago the only supernatural beings there were a family of werewolves. Now, I decided to get Andrew to help me on this one and he found out that the Hales have been there since before Beacon Hills ever existed.” Dawn paused. Faith could hear the rustle of papers in the background. She could picture Dawn at her desk littered with an endless array of coffee cups, books and possibly her laptop buried underneath it all. There would be packets of red vines there too; some empty and some half full and no one would even have thought to touch them. You only touched Dawn’s candy once and then you never did it again. She smiled at the memory. “Anyway,” Dawn continued, “we have a theory that the reason Beacon Hills is pretty much vamp and demon free is because of them. Wolves are territorial by nature and werewolves would be no exception and I don’t see those sharing Beacon Hills with anyone other than humans. Also, by our evidence, the Hales were a peaceful and unassuming pack. Well respected by other packs too. They kept to themselves most of the time, that is, until the fire happened.”
“The fire was an accident,” Faith stated.
“The police, fire and insurance reports all support that theory too,” Dawn said. Faith could just tell from Dawn’s tone that she had more to say on that subject.
“You don’t?” Faith pushed.
Dawn sighed. “Something doesn’t sit right with me after reading the reports,” She confessed. “The family were found in the basement after the fire was put out and yet there was no evidence that they tried to find a way out. This is a family almost exclusively populated by werewolves, who are strong and can pretty much fight through anything, why wouldn’t they try to escape? Which got me thinking, what if their basement was designed as such to keep them in, you know, like a panic room or something? If someone knew about it then they could use it to trap them all in and…”
“Set it alight.” Faith finished. She really didn’t like where Dawn was going with all this.
“Exactly!” Dawn agreed enthusiastically. “Then there’s the reports themselves. The police report is pretty self-explanatory, nothing suspicious but the insurance report is too clean. You’d never think to question it. Hell, even the fire department put down that it was possible arson. There’s no concrete evidence to prove it was but…,” she trailed off.
“Then why are you questioning it?” She asked.
“Because you made me look into this and I got curious,” Dawn replied. “Call me paranoid but an accident doesn’t take out a family of werewolves. This has got cover up written all over it and I think your Alpha problem is connected to the Hale fire. I’m not certain but all the evidence we have uncovered so far kind of points to it.”
Faith felt the tell-tale signs of a headache forming. She seemed to be getting them more and more nowadays. She rubbed her temple in slow circles. “You think the Alpha is going after people he thinks are may be, or were involved?”
“Could be, which explains why all the murders are seemingly random. I need to do more research into the victims as this is all circumstantial at best but we may have something. It may also mean that the Alpha could have had something to do with the fire or been the one to do it and is covering their tracks.”
“D, just keep this between you, me and Andrew for the time being. If you are right then we need to find out who is next on his hit list.”
“Of course,” Dawn agreed, “but what you have to ask yourself is - who would want the Hales dead? They caused no trouble and were pretty much a normal pack. Hunters would have no need as they didn’t break their stupid code and everyone just pretty much left them alone.”
“Could it have been a rival pack?” Faith queried.
“Nah, the kill was too clean for another pack to have done it and they would have moved in afterwards. This seems thought out and planned,” Dawn explained. “I originally thought ‘inside job’ but nobody gained anything from the Hale family dying so that’s a no go.”
Faith’s breath caught in her throat. She didn’t even want to think how someone could even think about killing their entire family. Even when she had been at her worst, it had never crossed her mind to go after her Aunt Stella, Uncle Stan and Stiles.
“Do you think that’s why Laura was killed, because she was looking into the fire? Would the Alpha go after Derek too?” Faith asked hesitantly.
“I have no idea. It definitely sounds plausible. I mean, the Chemistry teacher, Harris, nearly became Alpha chow and he’d met with Laura about the fire before she died, but Derek? I don’t know. Maybe the more he asks questions and looks for the Alpha then the more danger he’s in.”
Faith sighed. “Thanks D. Just keep me informed if you find out anything further.”
“Sure, you have me wanting to know what’s going on, and Andrew. I’ll take a serial killer Alpha werewolf over the weekly apocalypse any day. Now, I was going to question you on your ‘meeting’ with Derek but it can wait for now.”
“Nothing happened. It was talking, nothing more,” Faith affirmed.
“And yet you had to do it deep in the woods where no one could see you,” Dawn joked. When she received nothing but silence from Faith she let out a small gasp. “Something else has happened, hasn’t it? Tell me!”
Faith chewed her lip before detailing to Dawn about what had transpired the night before and her realisations earlier. She thanked the Powers that Dawn wasn’t in the room with her at that moment to see how red faced and embarrassed she looked as she confessed her feelings – and without any alcohol in her system.
When she was finished, silence hung on the line from Dawn before Faith received an ear splitting squeal.
Faith pulled the phone away from her ear. “You’re no help! I’m hanging up now.” she shouted, pressing the button to end the call.
She slumped back against the headboard, letting her head hit the wall with a soft thud. She really didn’t like where all the evidence was pointing and if it was true that the Hale family was murdered and the Alpha was now avenging them, then this got a lot more complicated and created more questions.
She figured Derek didn’t know as if he had an idea that there was someone out there who killed his family then he’d have done something about it by now. Although, Laura had come back to Beacon Hills as she had found out something but nobody knew what or if her search had lead her anywhere. They had an Argent family symbol and a high school Chemistry teacher to go on and that didn’t give much.
Faith sighed deeply at her predicament. She could tell Derek her findings and have him siding with the Alpha in helping kill those they thought responsible, or leave it until Dawn had gathered enough evidence and maybe even a few ideas on the Alpha’s next move. If Faith was lucky, maybe even find the identity of either the Alpha, and, or, the Hale family murderer. For now, she was keeping quiet, which meant more lies and more secrets.
There was one thing she knew she had to do and that was to go and investigate the Hale house. She grabbed her jacket before leaving the house; opting to walk rather than drive in case she was caught snooping around by hunters. She knew she could make a faster getaway through the trees if the need arose.
Stiles wasn’t having the best day; he could now add being accosted and shoved into a door by a perpetually pissed off werewolf to the list.
First, he finds out from Scott during lunch that Jackson knows Scott’s a werewolf and is using that knowledge to mess with Scott. Stiles didn’t think Jackson could be a bigger prick than he normally proved to be but, surprisingly he’s showing that he was by taunting Scott by using Allison to do it.
When he found out through gossip -not that he ever paid attention to gossip-, that Beacon Hills High most popular couple were no longer together, Stiles had wanted to celebrate. Lydia obviously wasn’t happy about it and had made it known by death glaring anyone that even thought to come near her. Stiles hadn’t really thought about Lydia since learning about her kiss with Scott but he’d been in love with the fiery strawberry blonde since third grade and it was all he had known but he’d be lying if he thought Faith’s words hadn’t stuck with him and buried deep.
There was just one problem; there wasn’t anyone else in Beacon Hills for him. He may not ever have chance with Lydia but it was better than nothing at all. Rejection was something he didn’t think he could handle; Lydia, at least, just flat out ignored him and over the years he’d just learned to deal with it. That being said, he wouldn’t turn down any offers – he was still a teenage boy after all.
Second, his best friend lucked out on getting the necklace from Allison. Scott had tried but she hadn’t had it on her and Scott suspected it was at her house and would try and retrieve it from there after school. Stiles had opted to go with him but had figured that Scott could probably explain himself way better if he got caught than if he was with Stiles.
Stiles had come home after school to be greeted by Derek Hale, lurking in his bedroom like the creeper he was, and had nearly given Stiles a heart attack. To make matters worse, because this was Stiles and that was his life now, his dad had decided to have a heart to heart about how proud he as of Stiles making first line and that he would be going to the game with Faith that night.
It had made Stiles happy that his dad was finally proud of him, and that he and Faith were going to see him play. He didn’t care if the team won or not but he just hoped he didn’t fuck up in front of his family. Faith may not have a clue what was going on, despite Scott and he explaining it way easier than layman’s terms, but his dad sure did.
After his dad left, Stiles was once again alone with Derek.
“If you say one word…” Derek threatened, pushing Stiles back against the door.
“You mean like, ‘Hey dad, Derek Hale’s in my room, bring your gun’?” Stiles offered sarcastically. “Yeah, that’s right. If we’re harbouring your fugitive ass it’s our house, our rules buddy,” he said smugly, lightly cuffing Derek on the shoulder. “Or, well, her rules.”
Derek conceded nodding his head in agreement, he let Stiles go. Stiles gave him a self-satisfied grin as he made his way as far from the werewolf as he could but couldn’t help flinching as he ducked passed, falling into his desk chair.
“Where is she?” Derek asked.
Stiles frowned. “She has a name,” he exclaimed, not even trying to hide his resentment from Derek. “No idea. You know, we have these things called phones. You call and ask and she may divulge her location.”
Derek chose to ignore him. “Scott didn’t get the necklace?” he asked, changing the subject.
Stiles grimaced. “Uh, no, he’s still working on it,” he explained, “but there’s something else we can try. The night we were trapped at the school, Scott sent a text to Allison asking him to meet her there.”
Stiles didn’t normally consider himself to be a genius, he left that to Lydia, but after he figured out that he could trace the text that had been sent to Scott’s phone then he at least considered himself brilliant. It had only occurred to him whilst he had been daydreaming in English and had nearly gotten out of his seat to fist pump the air but had resisted the urge because he knew it would probably end up with him in detention.
“So?” Derek shrugged, hands shoved deep in his pockets.
“So, it wasn’t Scott,” Stiles revealed.
“Well, can you find out who sent it?” Derek asked.
Stiles shook his head. “No, not me, but I think I know somebody who can.” He turned to face the laptop on his desk.
“Holy shit!” he exclaimed, clutching his hand to his chest as he stared at the girl on his screen. He could see that her eyes were clamped shut and she was chewing on a red vine.
“Uh, you aren’t Faith,” the girl said, peering open one eye before both opened up wide in surprise. “Hi!” She gave him a small wave. “You must be Stiles.”
Stiles stared at the girl before realisation struck him and he knew who he was talking to. “Dawn?” he asked tentatively. Dawn nodded. “Hi.”
Dawn smiled. “It’s nice to finally meet, well, see you.”
“Same,” Stiles returned her smile. He went to ask her a question, a million questions, but realised that he had Derek behind him. Derek, who had no clue that Faith, was a Slayer, or who Dawn was and was staring at the screen with suspicion. “Faith isn’t here,” he added quickly.
“I figured,” she said, her smile never waning. Her gaze shifted to behind Stiles to Derek, eyes widening in recognition. “Sorry, you have company and I’m popping in unannounced. I’d been speaking to Faith earlier and I didn’t figure on you having the laptop.”
“Do you normally just pop up on screen at any time?” Stiles asked, watching as Dawn popped the last piece of the red candy into her mouth.
Dawn nodded. “Saves time, but it can cause awkward moments. I tend to cover or close my eyes first. The amount of times I’ve came across… never mind. You don’t want to know. The eye covering came in after I caught Andrew dressed as Legolas with a life-size cut-out of Aragorn. He totally ruined the movies for me after that and Doctor Who but that’s a whole different story.”
Stiles grinned as Dawn pulled another red vine from off screen and began chewing on it. “I’ll keep that in mind for the future.”
Dawn continued to shift her gaze from Stiles to Derek. “Well Stiles, I could talk to you all day but you look busy with your um... friend. There is so much I could tell you about Faith. I’ll call later.”
“Me too. Another time?” he asked. He had been itching to talk to Dawn as Faith talked about her and her sister, Buffy, more than anyone else and he deemed that they were the people who would know his cousin the most and may have an insight as to how Faith ended up in a coma for so long. That little mystery was still bugging him.
Dawn smile widened. “Of course,” she said, “Oh and good luck for tonight. Faith told me about your game.”
Dawn’s face disappeared from screen leaving the familiar background of Faith’s desktop. Without another word, Stiles closed the laptop and moved it to the other side of his desk. He really didn’t want to use it for what he intended, or let Derek see anything on there. He pulled his own laptop out from under a pile of papers, opening it to reveal his own desktop screen.
“Who was that?” Derek asked from behind Stiles.
Stiles turned in his chair to face him. “A friend,” he answered, keeping his attention on his laptop. He knew that Derek would know if he lied so kept his answer short. “She works with Faith back in Cleveland. She seems nice though.”
Derek stayed silent behind him so Stiles continued perusing his laptop. He had already emailed Danny about meeting at his house for help with his homework but knew that he needed him for something else entirely.
A few moments later Stiles fist pumped the sir, turning in his chair to face Derek. “Yes!”
“What?” Derek asked from where he standing. He hadn’t moved since Dawn had revealed herself earlier.
“He’s coming over,” Stiles said. He looked up to find Derek looming over him. “Uh, I’m gonna need your help with this and you aren’t going to like it. I’ve got some leverage but I need something else… some incentive.” Stiles eyes wandered up and down Derek’s body. “You’ll be perfect.”
Derek rolled his eyes. He just knew whatever Stiles was about to come out with wasn’t going to end well for him.
Faith cautiously approached the Hale house after walking it’s perimeter a couple of times to make sure that no hunters were around. When finding the coast clear and no hunters or traps surrounding the property, she took tentative steps towards the house. She could clearly see where Derek had buried Laura’s body after he’s found her in the woods; the earth disturbed with obvious signs that there had been a hole dug and refilled. There were tracks from where the hunters had set up to wait for Derek to come back leading all the way to the house and the road.
She stopped at the steps up to the house and peered up at what she deemed was probably once a beautiful house and was now nothing more than charred remains barely holding together. Even if Faith hadn’t known what happened there all those years ago then by just looking at it she would know that something awful had gone on; the entire place projected death, decay and sadness.
She sighed deeply as she carefully ascended the five small steps to the porch and halted at the front door, which looked to have once been red from the worn away paint that still clung to the door.
Giving a quick glance over both shoulders, she pushed the door open wide with nothing more than a light touch. The creaking of the door opening echoed throughout the house and disturbed the silence that had blanketed over the entire area.
“Please don’t be haunted. I don’t think I can handle ghosts on top of werewolves right now,” Faith muttered to herself as she stepped over the threshold and into the foyer. She looked up to find an intact staircase directly in front of her, with archways leading into rooms to her left and right.
Faith could clearly see how much open space there was, with large windows and high ceilings that would have brightened and lit the place up before the fire. They were now boarded up and broken; the only light coming in was from the holes in the ceiling. She took a few more steps forward, finding a blackened rug under her feet before making her way left and into what Faith guessed could have been a living room from the dilapidated couch in the corner. She slowly walked around the room; the only sounds were her boots on the floorboards and her light breaths.
She perused the downstairs for a while, taking in everything she could, trying to imagine what the place would have looked like in all its glory. She couldn’t help the feeling of sadness that seeped into her as if coming from the structure itself. It wasn’t hard to see that the place had been left to ruin after the fire as not much had been touched and it looked as though nothing could have been salvaged. She didn’t even want to think of Derek staying here all this time; amongst the ghosts and memories of his family.
The first time Faith touched anything in the house was when she placed her hand on the rail as she climbed the stairs to the first floor. When she reached the top she could see that the ground floor was in far better condition than the first and could only see a couple of rooms from where she stood but the roof itself was pretty much gone. She turned to go back downstairs but froze as she heard someone walking around the house; their footsteps quiet and unsure as if the person knew they shouldn’t be there.
Faith painstakingly tiptoed along the hallway, making sure to avoid any noisy floorboards that would give away her presence. She caught a glimpse of the intruder from her vantage point, Allison Argent, as she halted at the bottom of the staircase before veering off into the living room. Faith let out a frustrated sigh. She knew that Allison wasn’t stupid and what with Scott’s lies and unanswered questions her curiosity now had her investigating things herself. The stupid girl was lucky that Faith was here and not Derek as she didn’t think he’d appreciate a hunter’s daughter in his old family home. She didn’t think he’d appreciate Faith being there either but it was still better than an Argent.
She could hear Allison below, walking around before stopping and scraping something away. Faith wished she could see more but knew that if she moved anymore then she would alert Allison. When Faith heard nothing for a few moments she wondered what the girl was doing when she saw the shadow at the bottom of the stairs and the familiar figure of Kate Argent walk into her field of vision and head towards where Allison was; the shriek of fright from Allison was evidence that aunt and niece had met.
Faith used the shriek to move around the wall so that she could see into the living room downstairs, keeping as close to the shadows as possible. She wasn’t forgetting for a second that she was in the same house as a hunter. She listened closely to the conversation, taking in Allison’s frustration at wanting to know more about what’s going on and finding more questions than answers to Kate eerily talking about the Hale fire.
“You don’t have to be psychotic to be a killer,” she heard Kate state. “You just need a reason.”
“Like, they’re a family of werewolves and you’re a hunter?” Faith wanted to shout out but stopped herself by biting the inside of her cheek.
Listening to Kate talk about the fire and lying about Derek had her skin crawling, her fists clenching tightly at her sides. She didn’t like the way Kate sounded, almost, wistful as she caressed the scorched, wooden beam beside her. Faith could see the look on her face as she did it and felt her gut clench in horror. She knew that look. Had seen it more than enough times in the mirror every morning during her dark time and even now, when she saw it on someone else it still made her feel sick. The look of someone who had killed innocents and had enjoyed it, revelled in it.
Kate Argent was far more dangerous than Faith had ever realised.
She was pulled from her thoughts as she heard Allison’s voice again.
“I want to feel powerful.”
“Allison,” Faith froze at Kate’s next words. “If you can give me just a little bit of time, be just a little patient. I think I can give you exactly what you want.”
Faith could empathise with Allison but having power wasn’t a quick fix to your problems. She knew first-hand what destruction having power could leave when put into the wrong or inexperienced hands. Allison didn’t need her Aunt’s version of power or the damage she was sure it was going to cause. She hoped the girl was smart enough not be led astray.
She also hoped Scott wasn’t pulled into whatever Kate had planned for Allison. Faith was as protective of him as she was of Stiles and there was no way they were getting near him if they found out he was the beta they were all searching for. She’d go to war before she let that happen and hunters weren’t stupid enough to go up against one slayer, let alone an entire army.
Faith closed her eyes, letting her head fall back against the wall behind her, listening as Kate walked out of the Hale house with Allison not far behind. She breathed deeply, allowing her thoughts and emotions to calm before she contemplated moving because she knew that if she did she’d break something and probably wouldn’t stop until there was nothing left but blood on her knuckles and debris at her feet.
She left the house a while later, taking care to close the door behind her softly.
Her trek home was fraught with worry and anger; she neither needed nor wanted to feel. She had no idea how to help the Allison with her aunt and no idea how to even attempt to explain to anyone how she knew Kate Argent was severely dangerous without having to explain why and thus, opening a can of worms she wasn’t ready for.
She tried to shake the cold feeling that had suddenly seeped into her skin and bones but it intensified with every step she took away from the Hale property and in the direction of home. It was certainly world’s away from the feeling she had when she first arrived.
By the time Faith returned home and entered through the front door, she had decided that she was going to see how things would play out with Allison and have Dawn look even further into Kate Argent. She had allowed her walk home to help rationalise her feelings and get herself in a better head space before she went to Stiles game that night.
Faith paused as she heard voices coming from upstairs. Figuring it was Stiles and Scott, she made her way stairs, taking two steps at a time and headed towards Stiles room.
“So, I may not know the game but you can bet I can shake my pom poms better than any cheerleader!” she shouted, throwing Stiles bedroom door open and stopping dead in her tracks.
Stiles has had his fair share of embarrassing moments. He’s a teenager, so it is kind of an inevitability and most have included his dad and one sided conversations on safe sex that Stiles would never ever want to relive but as Faith walked into his room and stopped in the doorway, he would gladly have those conversations every day for the rest of his teenage life, even with the disturbingly graphic pamphlets.
Sadly, the Powers above apparently like to fuck with Stiles and since he hadn’t had any real fuck ups as of late, it was looking like he was due for a big one. Trust it to be the time that Stiles had Derek half naked and stripping in his room with Danny sitting beside him.
There was a section of hell personally reserved for Stiles which he wouldn’t mind visiting earlier than intended.
He could only watch as Faith took in the scene before her. Derek was by his bed, his bare back on show as he pulled another of Stiles’ too small t-shirts on, his scowl present as always. Danny was seated beside Stiles at his desk, staring at Derek and his uncovered body as though he was a living piece of candy. Stiles was in the middle at his desk; the puppet master who orchestrated it all.
Faith, however, didn’t even miss a beat. “Hey, I’m Faith, Stiles’ cousin,” she introduced herself, holding out her hand to Danny, “I thought you were Scott but now I can see you clearly aren’t.”
Stiles had never seen Danny flustered, ever, but now the taller boy was bright red and blushing for the world to see as he stood and shook Faith’s hand. “Danny. It’s nice to meet you.” He sat back down beside Stiles. “Stiles didn’t say he had more cousins staying. Some sort of family reunion?” Danny asked, looking at Stiles.
Stiles stared open mouthed at Danny, unable to make sounds, let alone actual words. He didn’t know how to tell Danny that who he thought was Stiles’ cousin Miguel was actually Derek Hale, the wanted fugitive and supposed murderer. “Uh…,” he started.
Faith cocked her eyebrow at Stiles before finally turning to look at Derek in the corner. Stiles followed her gaze, letting out a breath of relief that Derek had put his shirt back on and was now glaring at the floor.
“Something like that,” Faith interrupted, grinning. She pointed to Derek whilst making her way over to him. “He kinda belongs to me. So… I’ll just take him downstairs.” She grabbed Derek’s hand as he looked up in shock at Faith, allowing himself to be pulled forward and toward the bedroom door. “We’ll leave you two to do…?”
“Homework,” Stiles interrupted, nodding. He looked to Danny who nodded along in agreement.
Faith smiled. “Right… homework.” She led Derek out the door first. She watched him walk downstairs before grabbing the door handle and slowly pulling the door shut. “Oh and Stiles…,” she begun, “You and I will talk about this later.” She watched as her cousin suddenly turned pale, shrinking into the chair a little. “And Danny…?” Danny looked at her silently, however she smiled coyly, a smile he returned. “You should know better.” She winked and closed the door behind her with a click.
Stiles and Danny sit in silence a few moments, listening to Faith walk downstairs and into the kitchen.
“You are a horrible person,” Danny stated finally.
“I know,” Stiles agreed, his head falling into his hands.
“Like, really horrible,” Danny clarified further.
“I know,” Stiles moaned.
“It makes sense though,” Danny said, pulling his jacket off, placing it on the back of his chair.
“I… what?” Stiles looked up at Danny in confusion. “What does?”
“Them,” Danny said, motioning to the bedroom door, “How long have they been together?”
Stiles looked to the door and back to Danny. “What?!” He was unable to properly process what Danny had asked. “They’re not!... I mean they… it’s not… Faith doesn’t…,” Stiles stammered. “Do you really think?” He looked from his bedroom door, eyes widening before falling back on Danny. “Really?”
Danny shrugged. “They’re your family. Don’t you know?” Without waiting for Stiles to answer he continued, “So, show me what you need help with.”
Stiles grinned. “You swing for a different team but you still play ball, don't ya Danny boy?”
Danny shook his head as he pulled Stiles’ laptop towards him. “You’re a horrible person.”
“I know. It keeps me awake at night.”
Stiles definitely considered himself to be brilliant. After an extremely embarrassing experience, Danny was still willing to help him out. His original plan may have taken a slight detour, but it still came out with the result he first intended.
He watched as Danny worked away on his laptop, his concentration centered on the letters and number on the screen. He hoped they got some sort result out of this.
He used the quiet time to mull over Danny’s words. He didn’t want to think there was something going on between his cousin and the temperamental werewolf but he was smart enough to admit that some things were making sense. Derek never argued with Faith, or pushed her around like he did with Stiles and he had saved her that night at the school and brought her home. Stiles had figured he had maybe liked her but not liked her.
Then there was Faith.
She’d fought with him over Derek, had stuck up for him against Stiles’ protestations. You didn’t do that if you didn’t care. You didn’t bring a practical stranger into your home, your room if you didn’t care or trust about that person.
Stiles swallowed hard. Faith had said she didn’t trust Derek rather that she knew him, which meant that she cared about Derek and she had him stay because she had wanted him to be safe. Stiles didn’t understand why Faith hadn’t just said that in the first place or was the reason she didn’t was because she more than cared about Derek?
Now that he thought about it further, when the hell did Derek suddenly belong to Faith? Why did she use that word?
Stiles shook his head, trying to shake the endless thoughts from his mind; hopefully before they managed to overwhelm him. He’d deal with one problem at a time and they really needed to find out who had sent that text to Allison.
One thing he did know was that he wasn’t going to confront Faith about his thoughts or what Danny had said about her and Derek, especially if they were all wrong. He'd rather have something to base his findings on and then after? Well, he’d deal with that when the time came.
Did it really have to be Derek Hale, though?
As he asked that question in his head he realised it kind of made sense and didn’t that just suck. A vampire and a slayer didn’t seem to work out but could a werewolf and a slayer?
Stiles was brought out of his thoughts by Danny’s voice. “I can actually hear you thinking from over here. You ok?”
Stiles nodded his head. “Yeah, I was just wondering if you’ve found anything yet.”
Faith walked downstairs slowly, trying hard to hide the smile that was plastered on her face. Of all the things she thought she would come home to, that hadn’t even been on the list. Well, part of it had and it certainly wasn’t the part with Danny and Stiles.
Walking into the room and finding Derek in all his half naked glory was just plain awesome. Faith could appreciate a good body and just wow, Derek definitely had that. The tattoo was also a nice surprise. She itched to run her fingers over the inked skin repeatedly and for an indeterminate time and had to stop herself from doing so.
The only reason Faith had glossed over what happened in the bedroom was the look of utter horror on all three faces, followed by guilt from Danny and Stiles and shame from Derek. She automatically knew that the entire scene had been Stiles’ idea and she figured the best way to keep things from going too far was to get Derek out of the room and fast.
She still couldn’t believe she’d said that Derek actually belonged to her or the butterflies she received from saying it either. It had popped out before she had a chance to think it over and it was unnerving how she didn’t regret it.
Faith knew she’d deal with Stiles later but first she wanted to find out why Derek was half naked in Stiles’ room to begin with. She couldn’t wait to hear the explanation.
She made her way in to the kitchen, passed Derek and hopped up on to the countertop beside him. She grinned as she watched him fidget next to her, so very unlike the stoic man she knew him to be.
“Should I be worried that you were half naked in my little cousin’s bedroom? Or is this normal for you two?” She asked, nudging his side with her knee.
Derek’s head jerked up in horror, turning to face her. “No.”
“Can’t blame a girl for asking,” she said, hands up defensively. “Are you going to tell me how Stiles got a grown man to strip in his bedroom for him and his friend? Personally Stiles didn’t seem to be bothered but that Danny kid was looking at you like how I look at…”
“It wasn’t like that,” Derek spoke up.
“So, how was it?” Faith asked, nudging him again.
Derek rolled his eyes before explaining to Faith how Danny was a hacker and that Stiles figured out that he could help them trace the text Allison had received the night of the attack at the school as it had obviously not been from Scott. He further went on about how Danny would probably need an incentive to help them and Stiles had come up with the grand idea that Derek was the best incentive they had against Danny.
When Derek had finished Faith burst out laughing.
“I can’t believe Stiles actually talked you into that,” she wheezed through her laughter. She clutched her stomach, leaning into Derek. “Considering the kid’s not leaving, I’ve a feeling it worked.”
“It’s not funny.”
“It is. Luckily, this Danny kid is more into the male of the species or Stiles would have lucked out.” Faith watched Derek sulk for a moment before hopping down from the counter. “You hungry?” she asked, walking to the refrigerator and pulling out the sandwiches she had made earlier and two bottles of water. She placed the sandwiches and water on the counter between them as she hopped back up onto the counter.
“You have something against peanut butter and jelly?” She asked as she grabbed a sandwich. “I’m no chef but I can put two pieces of bread together just fine. Here.” She held a piece out to him. Derek took it from her and began to eat. “See,” Faith beamed. “I wasn’t lying.”
“I know,” Derek said once he finished chewing. “Doesn’t mean you tell the whole truth.”
Faith nodded at him. “I figured you’d catch on sooner or later. I still haven’t out and out lied to you though. Ask me something, anything.”
“Who are you?”
Faith shook her head, clicking her tongue. “You know who I am. I told you last night. Try again.” She turned her head to look at Derek. “You’re trying to tell me that you have nothing to ask me, nothing at all? Come on Hale.”
She watched Derek lost in thought, brow furrowed before he raised his head and turned to face her. He opened his mouth to speak but quickly shut it again, grabbing another sandwich to eat.
They both ate in silence, with Derek thinking over his question and Faith wondering what he would ask. When the sandwiches were finished, she hopped off the counter to take the plate to the sink but was stopped by Derek doing it for her. She was surprised further when he cleaned the plate and set it down to dry at the side.
“Wow, you do dishes as well as tidy up after yourself? Can I keep you?” She asked, wide eyed and smiling. “If you cook too then I’m sorry but I’m never letting you leave.” Faith didn’t think Derek’s eyebrows could get any higher as he looked at her in stunned silence.
“I have my question,” he said, breaking the silence and easing the tension that had begun to grow between them.
Faith smiled. “Hit me with your best shot.”
“Out of all the places you travelled to, what’s been your favourite?” He asked, leaning against the sink, arms folded.
Faith blinked back a look of surprise, letting his question sink in. She’d been expecting him to ask about what she was, not something so normal. The funny thing was she had an answer.
“Beacon Hills,” she answered honestly. “I’ve been moving from country to country, city to city for a couple of years, longer even and I’ve never settled down anywhere because nowhere seemed right. I come here and it feels right.” She swallowed the lump in her throat. “I don’t want to leave now that I’ve finally found a home.” She laughed to herself, her eyes on the floor under her feet. “You know that’s the first time I’ve admitted that.”
“And the first time I’ve fully believed every word,” Derek added.
Faith looked up as Derek took a step toward her. “Don’t get used to it,” she muttered, taking a step back and finding her back hitting the countertop as Derek continued forward. “I have a question for you.” Derek froze. Faith grabbed him by the shirt and pulled him further forward until they were inches apart; him looking down at her in what Faith could see as trepidation. She knew he thought she was going to ask about his past. “It’s not what you think,” she tried to placate him, watching as his body relaxed somewhat. “That’s for another time but not now.”
“Then what?” he choked out, hands coming to rest on the counter on either side of Faith.
It wasn’t lost on Faith of the picture they both made at that moment. Faith, with her hands bunched in Derek’s shirt as he towered over her, arms either side, trapping her in against the counter and his body. She reasoned that it may not have been better than having Derek wrapped around her but she’ll take what she can get from him and he didn’t look as though he was in a hurry to move away.
“What do I smell like?” she asked.
Derek cocked an eyebrow at her. “That’s it? You want to know your scent?” he returned. Faith nodded at him in answer. He sighed deeply. “Fine, just stay still.”
Faith’s entire body stiffened as Derek bent his head to lean in against her collarbone, his hand coming up to brush away her hair. She breathed in as she realised that he’d chosen the opposite side to where the Alpha’s claw marks were still healing. They were merely dark red lines now but she still allowed her hair to hide them.
As Derek’s nose skimmed her neck, she allowed herself to breathe out, hearing him breathing in at the same time; her fingers tightened on his shirt. Her mind went back to the night before when Derek had tucked his face into the same spot and had remained there as she’d fallen asleep, his breath just as warm and comforting as it was now.
He pulled away slowly to look back deeply into her eyes.
“So?” Faith breathed out, licking her lips.
“You smell…,” Derek began but was cut off by Faith’s lips crashing against his, breaking the tension that had been developing since she had walked into the kitchen. The kiss was over just as fast as it had happened with Faith pulling back, eyes with shock. “…wild,” Derek breathed out. He let out a small cough, taking a small step back but was stopped by Faith clutching his shirt.
Faith felt as though her entire body was blushing at that moment, her heart feeling like it was going to beat right out of her chest. “Wild?” She asked, unable to form any other words.
Derek merely nodded. “Untameable, like the forest you run through every day.” Faith raised an eyebrow at him as Derek dropped his gaze. “Fine rain that clings to your skin, early mornings just as everything starts to become awake and breathe, warm coconut oil from your shampoo, and …,” his voice wavered.
“And? Come on, you can’t leave me hanging. Is it something weird? I swear I shower every day.”
Derek gave a slight shake of his head. “You smell like death,” he revealed softly.
“Oh,” Faith whispered. She figured a long time ago that death would linger on her skin. You can’t be a Slayer, or have done the things she’s done without it sticking around somehow. She looked up to find Derek watching her, eyebrows furrowed as always but he looked almost worried. “Could be worse, right?” Faith gave Derek a small smile.
“Look about last…,” Derek began, moving forward again into Faith’s personal space.
“Hey! We found something,” Stiles’ voice shouted from above them, breaking the moment between them.
They both sighed, Derek’s forehead falling gently onto Faith’s, before they let out a small laugh.
“We better head up there,” Derek said, stepping back.
Faith nodded. She allowed Derek to walk passed her but grabbed his forearm to stop him. He turned to look at her in question.
“Why didn’t you just ask me? You had your chance but you didn’t take it. Why?” She asked apprehensively. “I’d have told you if you had asked.”
Derek gave her a hint of a smile. “I’m a smart boy, remember? I’ll figure it out.”
Faith grinned. “I’m sure you will,” she said, turning to walk passed him. She stopped to give a small kiss on the cheek, her lips lingering a moment. She pulled away with a wide smile before heading out the kitchen, leaving a stunned Derek to watch her go. “Just so you know,” she called back to him, “you taste as good as you smell.”
She left him, heading upstairs and disappearing into Stiles’ room. If she’d listened carefully, she’d have heard Derek’s response.
“And just so you know,” he whispered aloud to the empty kitchen, “you smell like mine.”