#2 Karma's a Bitch

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Werewolf married.

Satomi is obviously wrong. While there are differences between born wolves and bitten wolves, none of his research has said anything about a bite during sex somehow being an official mating ritual. Hell, he and Jackson even had sex once during one of the off again periods with Lydia during high school, and there had definitely been some biting involved then, and hello! He isn’t married to Jackson now, thank God. Besides, Satomi is a little too pleased about this, which is very suspicious. It makes him wonder if this whole thing isn’t really a set-up of some sort to force him to accept the Hales in his territory without causing any problems. He’s heard that the Hales are sneaky and deceptive, and they could easily force Satomi into agreeing to this without her protesting. She’s so in awe of them that she’d probably think she was doing him a favor.

“It isn’t funny,” he grumbles, making sure she knows he isn’t happy about this deception. She might be their ally, but he can certainly make himself less available next time her pack needs him. He’s an excellent strategist, so he’ll make sure she knows she made a mistake in the most subtle ways possible. Honestly, making up some mate story like he’s stupid enough to believe mates really exist is such an amateurish effort. He’s almost insulted they thought this would work.

Obviously, the Hales don’t know any better, but Satomi knows he isn’t gullible and foolish. Scott does still have to maintain a relationship with the Hale pack because of the hierarchy and wolfy politics involved, so Stiles can’t let the anger currently building inside him out for risk of putting his pack in danger, but he isn’t going to be a pawn in their schemes. He’s the chess master, not the fucking Hales, and it’ll do them good to realize they aren’t dealing with someone weak and powerless who is going to simper happily about some ‘mated into the family’ lie. Regardless of how gorgeous Derek is and the odd connection Stiles feels to him, he isn’t playing their game.

Satomi just smiles kindly at him. “It’s for the best, Stiles. You will certainly keep him on his toes, and he will ground you. The balance will work nicely.”

“For the best, huh? For who? The Hales?” Stiles scoffs. “I’m not going to bow down and kiss their feet because of some mating nonsense. You know me better than that, Satomi.”

“The best for you and your pack,” Satomi points out. “The Hales are one of the strongest packs in the world. Mating with one of the alpha’s children is a huge honor. Do not be ungrateful, boy. It might have been an unorthodox mating, but it is destined between your soul and Derek’s, which makes it all the more special and rare.”

Damn. She’s really laying it on thick. If Stiles weren’t a cynical asshole, he might actually believe some of this nonsense because she’s so convincing. Fuck, what if the Hales actually put her under some kind of enchantment because she refused to assist them in this plan? He isn’t sure if that’s possible, but he’d rather believe that than acknowledge the fact that Satomi is betraying him and his pack. She still isn’t getting a Christmas card this year. “Right. An honor.”

When they reach his room, he enters before her. He quickly scans the space, noting where all of his belongings are so he can pack quickly. Once he’s certain of his plan, he closes his eyes and thinks about the courtyard right off the lobby. The big tree with the wiry branches is what he concentrates on. He knows protocol, knows that there are guards at the exits even with the magical wards to keep out those with ill intent. Satomi is hosting, so she is responsible for the guest’s safety. He’s going to bring a little Harry Potter to San Francisco to create the necessary distraction he requires so he can get out of here before the speeches are over.

Since his intent is self-preservation and not ill-will, he can feel the Earth’s energy begin to respond. His skin starts to tingle, and he can feel the connection between him and everything around him intensify. He thinks about the branches moving, gripping one of the guards, holding them tight enough for them not to escape but not so tight anyone is in danger. He sends out his protection towards the tree, keeping it safe so it isn’t harmed for helping defend him, and he waits. Within a minute, Satomi is receiving a frantic phone call requiring her assistance downstairs.

“Someone is creating a commotion in the courtyard. I’m going down to investigate. I’ll be back before Derek and his mother come up here,” she promises as she leans up and kisses Stiles’ forehead. “You have been blessed by fate, boy. You are very fortunate, so do not fret so.”

He doesn’t respond, just quietly watches her leave the room while doing his best to appear calm. As soon as the door closes behind her, he moves. He takes off the mask, tossing it on the bed, and begins hurriedly putting his clothes into his overnight bag. A quick stop in the bathroom gets his few items that were unpacked along with the hotel provided shampoo, body wash, and other toiletries. What? It’s amazing stuff, and he’s definitely not leaving it, especially considering the price of this room. The Hales’ scheming has already cost him the loss of a night’s sleep in a king size bed that has an awesome mattress, so he’s not also losing out on that expensive shampoo.

It takes him about three minutes, tops, to get all his stuff together and leave the room. Since Satomi is in the courtyard and the ballroom is occupied, he takes the stairs, making a promise to start running again by the time he gets to the bottom floor because, damn, he’s winded. Not running from dangerous creatures has got him lazy and out of shape. Since he’s too cheap to pay for valet parking, he’s parked in a lot half a block from the hotel, which means he can just sneak out the side door and take off at a jog towards his Jeep. It isn’t until he’s actually pulled out of the lot and hit the freeway that he begins to realize what he’s just done and start thinking about the possible consequences.

Best case scenario is that the Hales just give up and let him go. He’ll stay out of their business, even if it means not getting a chance to fuck Derek again, and they can leave him and his pack alone. Worst case scenario is…well, he isn’t going to think about that because the darker corners of his mind are threatening to take over at the thought of his pack becoming a target. He’s got centuries worth of knowledge lurking in his mind, and the Hales better not even think about hurting his pack or they’ll have to deal with him. And he won’t go down without a fight that takes as many of them with him as he can.

When he’s past the outskirts of San Francisco, his phone starts to ring. He looks at it and sees that it is Satomi. Well, his escape has been discovered. Fuck. He had hoped for a little more time. After a swipe of his thumb rejecting the call, he pushes #2 on his speed dial. It’s pretty late, but Scott answers with a sleepy, “’lo? Stiles? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, Scotty,” Stiles lies with a minimal amount of guilt. “Satomi and I had a slight disagreement, though, and I wanted to let you know that I’m taking care of it myself. You don’t need to get involved, so, if she happens to call…”

“What kind of disagreement?” Scott sounds more awake now. “You sound like you’re in your car. Are you driving? I thought you were at the ball. What happened?”

“Nothing major. You know how she can be with me,” he says, forcing a laugh. “I did attend the ball, but they started speeches, and you know my attention span. I forgot to take my Adderall today, too, so I was super antsy. I figured I’d rather head home than stay the night. You know, the pillows didn’t feel right.”

“You’re crazy.” Scott sounds affectionate, probably smiling because he believes Stiles. He’s too damn trusting, and he should totally know that Stiles is always getting into trouble. “Are you certain I don’t need involved if Satomi calls? You didn’t offend anyone that’s going to come looking for you, did you? If so, just tell me now so I can put the pack on alert.”

“Aww. You’d get the pack together to defend me? I love you, man.” Stiles grins because he loves Scotty so fucking much that it’s ridiculous. “No, it’s nothing like that. No one should be coming after me, and Satomi will get over it. It’s all just a misunderstanding anyway.”

“Of course the pack would protect you, Stiles.” Scott makes a thoughtful noise. “Misunderstanding about what?”

The one time Scott decides to be nosy is the one time Stiles wants him to just let it go and ignore any phone calls that Satomi might make trying to get him involved. “I might have left the party in order to enjoy a bit of mischief…of the sexual variety, if you know what I mean.”

“I might be a father, but I know what sex means.” Scott snorts. “Oh God. Did Satomi catch you with your pants down? No wonder she’s flipping out then. Having to see your scrawny ass would definitely do it.”

“Hey. My ass isn’t scrawny. It’s very firm and pert,” he defends, wiggling in his seat as if he’s showing it off to Scott. “I’ve got that whole bubble butt thing going on that the boys and girls like. Your wife seems to like it pretty well. Can’t keep her hands off of it.”

“That’s because she’s always slapping it since you’re such an asshole.” Scott laughs. “I’m sure it’s a very nice ass, though, if you’re into dude’s asses.”

“Hmph. That’s her excuse to you, but it’s really that she likes touching a firm ass compared to your flabby old man butt. That’s what happens when you get married and have kids.” Stiles tightens his grip on his ceiling wheel as the bite on his neck almost seems to throb. Married. Right. That would have been totally awful if it had been true. Even if Derek is hot like fire and the sex between them would have probably been amazing judging by the intensity of what happened in that alcove, a successful relationship isn’t based on just sex. He shakes his head, pushing thoughts of what if out of his head because it’s not true anyway. “See, I’ll just have to avoid ever settling down so I can avoid flabby butt syndrome.”

“My ass is awesome. It’s not flabby at all.” Scott covers the phone but Stiles can still hear him. “Aly, my ass is great, isn’t it?”

“Tell Stiles that we’re trying to sleep and we don’t care about his cute little ass,” Allison grumbles loud enough for Stiles to hear.

“Ha! See? She thinks I’ve got a cute ass.” Stiles laughs when Scott mutters.

“You’re my wife. My butt is the only cute butt you should be admiring,” Scott grumps at her. “Stiles, stop trying to distract me with ass talk. I’m on to your evil plan!”

“The only evil plan I have is to get this cute ass home so I can get some sleep.” Stiles feels better knowing that Scott has believed him, and, really, Stiles didn’t even have to lie. Bending the truth isn’t lying. Not really. “Can I come there when I get to town?”

“Anytime. You know that. Just use your key because we’ll be asleep.” Scott yawns. “I’m taking this flabby old man butt to bed now. I’ll temporarily block Satomi’s calls for the night, alright? I don’t want to hear her going on about you being reckless and having semi-public sex at a fancy ball. You should have known better, but I don’t control my pack’s sexual kinks or interfere in that kind of thing. She needs to get over it.”

“Thank you, Scott. I’ll handle her if she doesn’t let it go,” he promises. “My recklessness isn’t going to affect the pack. You guys are always my first priority.” He figures that isn’t technically a lie because his dad is pack, too. God, he could just imagine his dad’s reaction if this whole mate thing was actually true. He rubs his fingers over the bite and feels a slight frisson of arousal that has him almost dropping the phone he’s got propped against his shoulder. Damn, he really does need to invest in Bluetooth sometime. Not a new vehicle, thank you very much, Lydia, because Roscoe is still crawling along and Stiles will drive him as long as he’s running.

“I know, Stiles.” Scott sounds soppy affectionate again. “You know, you’re allowed to make yourself first priority once in a while. You should have taken your public sex guy to your hotel room and banged his brains out instead of driving home this late.”

“Yeah, well, that plan got ruined by Satomi so.” Stiles licks his lips, still able to taste Derek on his tongue. He feels a dull ache that he ignores because what the fuck? It’s Derek Hale who is part of some plan to reign him in like a good emissary. He sighs. “I’m making good time at this time of night, so I’ll be home before you know it. Sleep well, Scotty.”

“Be careful and do not wake Tori when you come in or you’re stuck on toddler duty,” Scott warns. There’s murmuring off the line then he adds, “Allison says to bring a vanilla shake with you when you come home. She’s got another craving, but she’s being nice and waiting for you instead of making me go get her one.”

“Got it. Vanilla shake for the lovely misses and no waking the child.” Stiles smiles. “I’ll be careful, Dad. Now go back to bed.”

“Drive safe. Night, Stiles.” Scott ends the call, and Stiles swerves as he moves his phone so he can go back to his main menu. There are four voicemails and over a dozen missed calls from Satomi as well as missed calls from two numbers he doesn’t recognize. Stiles tosses his phone in the seat beside him, turning on his radio and tapping his fingers to the beat of the song. When the phone shrilly goes off again, he just turns the music up and pushes on the accelerator a little bit more.

About an hour outside of Beacon Hills, he has to get gas, so he stops at a 24 hour station to fill up. While he’s there, he also gets a Monster and a bag of Cheetos. His mind has spent the entire drive active, just thinking about too many things all at the same time, and he’s starting to get a headache. He tosses a ridiculously expensive two pack of Ibuprofen in with his purchases and tries not to think about how much he just spent per pill. When he gets back to the Jeep, he finally checks his phone while the gas is pumping. So many missed calls in the first hour and a half, but then nothing. Good. Maybe they actually gave up.

Biting his lip, he checks the pump and sees there’s still a ways to go. Finally, he listens to the most recent voice mail from Satomi from about two hours ago. “Stiles, you foolish child. I told you to stay put. Alpha Hale is very unimpressed with this behavior and poor Derek is upset. I’ve attempted to contact your alpha, but he isn’t answering his phone. I suspect this is your doing somehow. You have no idea what you’ve done, boy.”

Well. That sounds rather ominous.

There aren’t any messages after that, and no voicemails from the unknown numbers, so the Hales must not have felt too annoyed. Right? Surely if they had been, they’d have called him. He’s pulled from the doubts starting to nibble at the edge of his mind by the sound of the gas pump clicking. He totally tops off before putting the handle back in its place before wiping his hands on one of the cloths meant for washing windows. When he gets in the Jeep, he downs half the Monster before even pulling out of the parking lot.

Stiles makes it about five miles before he curses under his breath. The highway is empty, thankfully, so it doesn’t matter when he swerves trying to type in the contact he needs while steering the wheel with his forearms. He lets out a triumphant noise when he hears it ringing.

“Mr. Stilinski, I sincerely hope that you have a justifiable reason for phoning this late.”

“Hey Big D. Don’t even start. It’s like morning there, isn’t it?” Stiles tries to calculate the time difference between Beacon Hills and Galway but his brain is too tired to do math.

“It may be, but it is not morning where you are,” Deaton points out. “Why are you disturbing my peaceful sabbatical with your irritating voice?”

Stiles makes a face at the phone. “I needed to ask you something.”

“If this is another ridiculous question, I will be changing my number and not giving it to you. Do you understand?”

“I never ask you stupid questions.”

Deaton sighs deeply. “Must I remind you of the phone call two weeks ago regarding whether or not you could learn how to ‘Apparate like Harry fucking Potter’?”

“I didn’t ask it in that tone,” he mutters. “Anyway, totally legit question. I saw this chapter in a book I was reading that mentioned teleporting and energy transference.”

“What is your question this time, Mr. Stilinski?” Deaton is such an ass, and Stiles doesn’t even care if he’s supposed to be grateful for learning from the dude. He actually learned more from Marin, and he isn’t calling her about this because she’s actually in Beacon Hills, so there’s a greater chance of her making his life miserable if he’s done something stupid. Deaton is a continent and an ocean away.

“I’m just curious, alright. I saw something that came to mind and I knew you’d know.” Stiles shifts the phone against his shoulder. “What can you tell me about a mating bite? Like from a born wolf?”

“What kind of trouble have you got yourself into this time?” Deaton sounds annoyed. “There are different types of mating bites. The most common are performed during an official ceremony, similar to a wedding ceremony, and they occur between a wolf and their chosen partner. Another type, not as common but documented, occurs between an alpha and a pack member when the alpha must ensure the bloodline is carried on and their mate is either deceased or unable to bear children for whatever reason.”

“Oh. So, basically, then a bite during sex, for instance, isn’t considered an actual mating bite thingy because there isn’t some ceremony or baby making involved?” Stiles is both relieved but also angry because it confirms his earlier suspicious about the Hales being dirty devious dogs.

Deaton just sighs again, and Stiles is really glad he’s in Ireland so he can’t smack him upside the head. “There is also a far more rare bite that occurs when a mating is predestined, if you will. For every born wolf, there is one who compliments their soul perfectly. These are extremely uncommon bites because most born wolves never cross paths with this soulmate, for lack of a better word.”

Stiles twists the steering wheel so quickly that he hits the shoulder and kicks up dust and rocks. “Wait. You mean there’s really such a thing as soulmates for wolves? You’re fucking kidding me.”

“When have I ever ‘kidded’ you, Stiles?” Deaton makes a thoughtful noise. “As I said, these types of bites rarely happen. When a born wolf does happen to find its mate in such a situation, the mated pair are considered very special and highly respected.”

“This kind of thing, can it be broken?” Stiles tries to think about anything he’s ever read about soulmates and that romantic bullshit, but he’s usually too focused on finding ways to save the pack’s asses to focus on random research. All that keeps coming to mind are some old fanfiction stories he read way back in the day when he veered into Supernatural smut. “If one of the mates refuses, does the other one like die or something? Fuck, if one of them dies, does the other one?”

Deaton is silent a moment. “Stiles, what have you done?”

“Nothing!” He laughs and taps his foot against the floorboard as quickly as he can because he’s fidgety and can’t tap his fingers. “I’m just asking, for a friend.”

“Your friend,” Deaton stresses the word as if he knows Stiles is a lying liar who lies, “is not going to die if their mate dies. Rejecting the bond does not result in death or any of that nonsense. There is a bond between the mated pair, one that can grow strong and powerful with time, but there are no dire consequences if the bond is not allowed to come to fruition. As I said, this is very rare, so it would be detrimental to lycanthropes if they died should they never meet their soulmate.”

“Good.” Stiles still totally believes the Hales are just using this mate thing as a scheme but, well, if they aren’t, he doesn’t want Derek to die or anything like that. “No proximity requirements? No telepathy?”

“Good Lord, what have you been reading?” Deaton groans. “It is far too early in the morning to deal with you. There are not many cases on record that explain the differences between a truly mated pair and a chosen mated pair. However, reading minds and being forced to stay within a certain proximity are not documented. Now, have I satisfied your curiosity enough for the time being?”

“Yeah, definitely. I can sleep better now.” Stiles is totally freaking out and trying not to have a panic attack at the possibility that it actually isn’t an evil scheme, after all. “Thanks, Big D.”

He doesn’t give Deaton a chance to respond before he terminates the call. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck,” he mutters, adding another for good measure. “Fuck.”

There’s no use worrying about it now. He can’t really believe that he’s Derek’s rare soulmate, not when Deaton spoke like it’s beyond unusual and shit. No, the only reasonable explanation is that the Hales used this myth for their devious plans and assumed Stiles was a romantic who might be flattered by it all. They should have asked around first because anyone could have told them that he’s a cynical asshole with a dozen neuroses that might have some limited romantic tendencies but looks at love as something stable that develops over time, not something that happens at first sight or due to some soulmate tripe.

When he reaches Beacon Hills, he stops at Ruby’s and runs into the diner to get Allison her vanilla shake. He’s glad the urges this pregnancy are for milk shakes. With Tori, Allison wanted fried pickles and onion rings all the time. Their patrol car always smelt nasty during that pregnancy. During this one, it’s been nice and cleaning smelling. Boy Child McCall is going to be awesome, obviously, even if he should crave chocolate instead of plain old vanilla. Scott and Allison just found it’s a boy earlier this week, so Stiles is just calling him Boy Child or Peanut, the latter usually around Allison because it makes her pout. Tori’s his little Bean, so it’s only fair that the boy be Peanut. He’s going to have to get creative when they go for a third, though, because he thinks even Scott might pout at him if he tries going for Puppy.

Gina gives him the milkshake in a to go cup, and Stiles gives her a big smacking kiss on the cheek before going back outside. He makes it to Scott and Allison’s house in a few minutes, parking at the curb so the lights don’t shine in Tori’s nursery. He isn’t taking any chances of waking up the shrieking gift from heaven that is his goddaughter. She’s only two, and she has a set of lungs on her that rival Lydia’s. After making sure no nosy neighbors are peering outside (Mrs. Wilson down the road is still convinced that Stiles is the secret lover of either Allison or Scott or maybe both of them, and she likes writing down his comings and goings as well as staring at Tori for any facial similarities), he uses his key to unlock the door and creep inside.

It’s ridiculous how much better he feels almost immediately. This isn’t even the actual pack house, so to speak, that dubious honor belonging to the ramshackle place he bought a couple of years ago, but it’s still home in a way that eases some of his tension and concern. He takes off his shoes downstairs, leaving them by the staircase, then goes up to Scott and Allison’s room. When he opens their bedroom door, Allison is sitting propped up on pillows with a book and Scott is snoring loud enough to scare small children beside her.

“Gimme!” She makes grabby hands at Stiles, snatching the cup from him and taking a long sip before making a contented noise. “It’s about time. Oh my. Don’t you look handsome? Turn around. Let me see that cute butt.”

“I’m telling Scott,” he sing songs as he gives her a booty wiggle which makes her snicker. He takes off the tuxedo coat and vest before untying the tie. The pants have to go, too, because they’re too form fitting to be comfortable sleep attire. He leaves on the white shirt after unbuttoning a few buttons then crawls into bed with them.

“Did you at least have fun?” she asks, arching a brow when he ducks his head.

“Yeah, some of it was real fun.” He leers at her before rolling between her legs and talking to her baby bump. “Hey, Peanut. Are you being good to your mommy? Your uncle Stiles is here, and he’s the one who bought you that shake fix again. Just remember how cool uncle Stiles is, okay?”

“Stop talking to my belly, Stiles.” Allison reaches down with her free hand and begins carding her fingers through it. “He can’t hear you.”

“Shh.” Stiles grins up at her before whispering at her belly. “Don’t listen to Mommy. She doesn’t know everything even if she thinks she does.”

“If you keep talking like that, I might have to suggest a different godfather,” Allison threatens as she scratches his scalp in the way that almost makes him purr.

“You’d never,” he scoffs, resting his cheek on her belly and looking at Scott snoring, completely dead to the world.

“You didn’t even clean up, did you?” Allison sniffs. “I don’t have to be a werewolf to smell sex on you, Stiles. That’s gross.”

“What? I wiped off with a couple of wet ones I found in the glovebox that I had leftover the last time I took Tori out,” he defends as he sniffs himself.

“Hmph. Not fair coming in here smelling like sin and not even giving a horny pregnant woman details. Was he hot?” Allison keeps brushing his hair, and Stiles knows she’s smiling without even looking.

“Yeah.” Stiles can’t lie about that. “Like fire. Not really sure what he saw in me kinda hot, so you can imagine.”

“On a scale of old Mr. Bernard to Jordan?” Allison asks.

“Should be a scale to Scott, you little hussy,” he points out with a giggle. “He’d have made Jordan look plain.”

“Tell me more.”

“Tall, dark hair, beautiful eyes, gorgeous body, huge dick.” Stiles sighs. “Such a snarky asshole, too, and he even knew I meant Batman and not like Banner when I said to call me Bruce.”

“Sounds just about perfect for you, which begs the question, what are you doing here in bed with a couple of married people instead of having wild kinky sex with Mr. Gorgeous?”

“Eh, we sort of lost the mood after getting caught,” he admits, knowing it isn’t a lie even if it isn’t the whole truth.

Allison rubs circles on his head, making him lean into her touch. “Right. The lie you told Scott and he believed because he hasn’t learned not to trust your sneaky ass as far as he can throw you,” she says knowingly. “Now it’s time for you to tell me what really happened at the ball.”

“I don’t wanna,” he mutters, rolling his head so he can rest his chin on her bump. “I think I fucked up, Aly. I fucked up bad.”

“Oh, Stiles.” She sighs and brushes his hair off his forehead. “Bad enough for me to call my parents?”

Stiles quickly shakes his head. “No, no parents involved. Especially not yours.”

The last thing he needs is Allison getting Victoria and Chris pulled into this mess. They might be major PILFs (parents I’d like to fuck, his own little catchy saying cause hello! Both of them are hot and scary, totally his type), but he’s basically been avoiding Victoria. Has been since she got drunk on spiked eggnog two Christmases ago and made an extremely detailed indecent proposal to him that involved his dick, her husband’s ass, his ass, and her favorite toy. While he had politely refused (after seriously considering it because uh yeah totally his type but he liked his balls where they were and he knew they might get snipped away when she was sober or, if she didn’t castrate him, Allison certainly would if he banged her parents), he tries staying away now just to avoid reminding her of the conversation that she seems to have forgotten, rather due to being drunk or mortification once sober.

“What is it then?” Allison frowns down at him, and he feels bad for bringing his drama into their lives tonight. He should have just gone home, but he needed pack snuggles.

“Nothing.” The smile he gives her is crooked, but it’s all he can muster right now. “I just met one of the Hales, and it got awkward is all. You know me. I get anxious over silly shit that probably isn’t even a thing.”

Before Allison can call him on his bullshit, Scott jerks awake during a snore. He blinks at Stiles and grins. “Hey, buddy.” The grin fades as he grimaces. “What the hell? You reek, dude. Did you roll around in another pack or something? Get up here.” He tugs Stiles off Allison and wraps his arms around him. “We’ll get you smelling better fast.”

“Thanks, Scotty.” Stiles feels Allison curl up behind him, and it’s so warm and safe that he feels his eyelids getting heavy. His brain finally stops working as he drifts off to sleep.

Someone is hitting his belly. Stiles groans and opens his eyes, blinking at the sunlight pouring in through the open window. He looks down to see Tori on the bed with him, grinning as she pokes him. Scott and Allison are already out of bed, and he can smell coffee wafting up the stairs. His stomach growls, which makes Tori giggle and slap him again.

“You take after your mommy. She enjoys hitting uncle Stiles, too,” he tells her, rolling out of bed before picking her up. She starts talking her baby gibberish at him, some words kind of making sense but most not at all, and he just nods along like he’s listening, just in case she ends up remembering this so she doesn’t feel like she’s been ignored or anything. She’s the first pack baby, and they all read the parenting books and took turns going to Lamaze classes with Allison so they’d know how to help parent this tiny little creature. Soon, she’ll have a baby brother, and their days will be filled with stinky diapers and breast pumps once again.

Tori keeps chattering at him as he walks downstairs and heads to the kitchen. Scott’s reading a newspaper, a real one made of paper and everything, and Allison is making Eggos. Yum. He kisses Allison’s cheek then does the same to Scott before depositing Tori in her highchair. Scott is staring at him with an odd look. “The dude you fucked last night. Was he a were? I can still smell him on you, even after Aly and I slept with you.”

“Maybe? I mean, I don’t really know. We didn’t discuss that sort of thing,” he lies, looking straight at Allison as she stares at him like he’s a suspect needing interrogated. “Hell, I didn’t even tell him my name. We used aliases.”

“Stiles! Do you know how dangerous that is?” Scott frowns. “He might have been a serial killer. We might have been receiving a call this morning to come to San Francisco to identify your body!”

“Scott, I can take care of myself,” Stiles points out. Still, he preens slightly at having people who care for him that much in his life.

“You’re too careless sometimes. When we were teenagers, it was okay, but you’re turning twenty-six in a few months.” Scott sighs and drags his fingers through his hair, totally acting like a disappointed parent which, okay, it’s really weird. “If we lost you, I don’t know what I’d do. You’ve got to be more careful, dude. I need you, okay?”

“Yeah. Okay.” Stiles nods even as he feels a wave of guilt because he’s lying to Scott about last night and just hoping the Hales back off from their scheme. If it is a scheme. He ducks his head and admits, “It was a were. That’s probably why I still smell.”

“You also didn’t shower after sex,” Allison reminds him. She narrows her eyes suddenly and walks over to the tug the collar of his shirt aside. “And that’s a bite. You let some strange were bite you during sex, Stiles? Seriously?”

“What were you thinking?” Scott gets up and his eyes flash red. “What if he’d tried turning you?”

“Tone down the red eyes, buddy. You’re scaring Tori.” Stiles pulls his shirt out of Allison’s hand. “We got carried away during pretty intense sex, alright? It happens. You remember senior year, don’t you?”

“Oh God. Jackson’s stench all over you for days.” Scott gags at the memory. “And the bites. So gross. What did I ever do to deserve that, Stiles? You still owe me for that.”

“Yes, exactly. Not that I owe. I’ve saved your wolfy ass tons of times since then. The bites is what I meant. Biting is just natural for you furry critters.” Stiles smiles smugly. “Anyway, it was just a blow job and a hand job, so it’s not like I couldn’t missed a spot when I cleaned up, Allison.”

“So you say.” Allison glances down and rolls her eyes. “You didn’t even put on pants before coming downstairs but you want to get stroppy with me because I’m calling you out on your kinky sex acts last night?”

“I really don’t want to know about kinky sex, alright?” Scott makes a face before he starts preparing Tori’s oatmeal. “Stiles, go put on pants. After washing your junk.”

“Bossy.” Stiles ruffles Scott’s hair before running upstairs. He does, indeed, hop into the shower to wash off, just in case, and he pulls on his dirty underwear and the tuxedo pants and shirt, though he doesn’t bother buttoning the shirt. The bite on his neck feels funny, kind of itchy but also tingly. He stares at it for a moment, tracing his fingers across it, and he feels his dick twitch at the pressure. Letting go quickly, he runs his fingers through his damp hair before going back downstairs.

“You still smell weird, but that’s a lot better,” Scott announces, grimacing when Tori suddenly throws a handful of oatmeal on his shirt. “Daddy just put this shirt on, sweetie. Why couldn’t you have done that to the other shirt?”

“That’s my girl.” Stiles kisses Tori’s head. “Taking care of her uncle Stiles, protecting him from Daddy Lectures.”

“Don’t corrupt our daughter,” Allison warns as she puts a plate of Eggos on the table. “I wasn’t joking about finding a different godfather for our son.”

“Allison! Don’t even joke like that,” Scott says, giving her a hurt puppy dog look that has her rolling her eyes.

“Let her threaten. I called dibs as godfather to all your spawn sophomore year when you two first met.” Stiles pours himself a cup of coffee before he sits down at the table. “Peanut and I already have an understanding. I’m going to be his favorite, obviously.”

Scott gives Allison a look that seems rather suspicious. Allison snorts. “Fine. Go ahead and tell him. I knew you couldn’t keep any secrets from him.”

“We decided on a name finally.” Scott grins. “We’re naming him after you and Aly’s dad, since I don’t want to name him after my dad. I chose you instead.”

“Are you serious?” Stiles gapes at him. “What a horrible thing to do to the kid. My name is awful.”

“Dude, not your real name. Our friendship and love only goes so far,” Scott says seriously. “No, we decided on Lucas Christopher. Luke for short. Cause of your whole Star Wars obsession. It was either that or Harry, and I wanted to avoid that one since he might be a werewolf. You know, hairy? Furry?”

“Holy fuck.” Stiles looks from Scott to Allison and back. “You’re going to name him after Luke Skywalker? For me?” He grins. “That’s so awesome.”

“I suggested Lucius so you could get the best of both your geekdoms, but Scott called me a Slytherin traitor for even daring to suggest it.” Allison sips her orange juice. “I kindly pointed out that you’re totally a Slytherin, so it’s actually perfect, but our sweet Hufflepuff doesn’t seem to agree.”

“We Slytherins get such a bad rap from you haughty Gryffindors,” Stiles mutters, grinning when Scott just shakes his head at them. He can’t believe they’re naming their kid after one of his favorite characters ever. It just makes him ridiculously happy.

They start to eat, which is good because the Cheetos he munched on last night are definitely gone, leaving his stomach empty. Scott tells them about the puppies he delivered yesterday, thankfully not getting too detailed about the gross stuff, and Allison keeps trying to pump Stiles for details about last night to no avail. The doorbell rings when he’s on his third Eggo. Since Scott is trying to eat and feed Tori, and Allison is knocked up take two, Stiles decides to be chivalrous. “I’ll get it.”

When he opens the door, he’s smiling, expecting to see one of the pack dropping by for breakfast. The smile instantly drops and his eyes widen when he sees a very beautiful woman he doesn’t know standing beside a somewhat familiar face. There’s no mask covering half of it, and, fuck, he’s even more beautiful than Stiles remembers.

Derek moves his gaze over him languidly, like he’s savoring every moment, pretty eyes lingering on the bite before he looks at Stiles. “It might not be a glass slipper, but I bet this fits, Cinderella,” he drawls, pulling Stiles’ mask out of the back pocket of his ridiculously tight jeans and shoves it into Stiles’ hands. “Running away and leaving the mask behind was an interesting way to make sure I chased you. Points for creativity.”

“Stiles, is everything alright?” Scott wanders in with a towel he’s using to wipe the oatmeal off his shirt. When he sees two strangers standing at the door, two alphas standing at the door, his eyes flash as he quickly moves towards them.

“Scotty, it’s okay, man. Don’t go protector wolf, okay?” Stiles puts his hands up against Scott’s chest and pushes him back.

“Loyalty to one’s pack is an admirable trait.” Talia Hale’s voice is commanding, soft but confident. She doesn’t have to be loud to get attention. Stiles looks at her curiously. “Putting yourself between your alpha and danger is commendable.”

“No, I’m making sure I stay between you because I’m not an alpha, so I don’t have to bow to you if you go flashy eyed like he does,” Stiles informs her. “Scott might be the alpha, but I’m the dangerous one.”

Talia narrows her eyes but Stiles is ready. When she moves, he has a ward up immediately, preventing her from getting close. A grudging look of respect enters her eyes. “Well done, emissary.”

“What are you two doing here anyway?” Stiles asks as he lowers the ward. He isn’t threatened by them. She’s just testing him, and he’s used to that because he’s young for an emissary, and he looks even younger than he actually is. Plus there’s a very slight chance that her son is his mate in some rare werewolf tradition that means she might be rather upset right now.

“Stiles, invite them in before Mrs. Wilson decides we’re having orgies now,” Allison says, watching them both carefully as she shifts Tori on her hip. “She’s already convinced you’re our kept boy. We don’t need to add to the gossip.”

“Fine.” Stiles steps aside. “Alpha Hale and Alpha Hale Junior, please come inside.”

“Good Lord, Stiles. What did you do last night?” Allison demands, eyes widening slightly at hearing the names. Scott has stopped his posturing and is now deferring to Talia just like Stiles expects.

“He did my son, it seems.” Talia smirks slightly as Stiles and Derek steal a glance at each other.

“You didn’t know if he was a were, huh?” Scott frowns at him. “You lied to me, Stiles.”

“I didn’t. I just twisted the truth to suit my needs.” Stiles shrugs. “You know I do that sometimes. Besides, how was I supposed to know that they were going to track me down.”

“Of course we were!” Derek steps closer to him. “You ran away, but that doesn’t change this.” He puts his palm against the bite on Stiles’ neck, and it feels like he’s been shocked with arousal. “You’re mine. My mate. And you can’t just run away from that.”

“Mates?” Allison hands Tori to Scott, who is looking confused and conflicted. She walks over to Stiles and glares at him. Wow. Aly really has that Mommy glare down pat. “You mated with him, Stiles? This is what you were talking about in bed last night, isn’t it? Mating isn’t just nothing. It’s a serious something.”

“I told you I fucked up!” Stiles gets defensive. “You could have poked me more and I’d have spilled it, but you just let it go.”

“You could have just been honest!” Allison punches his arm, which makes Derek growl. “Oh, don’t even try that.” She stares at Derek for a moment before looking at Stiles. “Wow. Definitely higher than Jordan.”

“I told you so.” Stiles rubs his arm and looks at Derek. “The bite doesn’t matter. I’m not interested in an insta-soulmate or whatever it is you think happened between us last night.”

“It’s a natural mating,” Talia tells him. “It doesn’t matter if you’re interested or not. My son offered, you consented, and the bond has been formed.”

“Wait. A natural mating?” Scott speaks up then, giving Tori to Allison as he comes to stand beside Stiles. “Like in the myths? Our Stiles and your son?”

“He’s not your anything,” Derek says, stepping even closer to Stiles. He’s staring at Scott like he wants to attack him, which makes Stiles poke him in the gut.

“Bad dog. No attacking my best friend.” Stiles looks at Talia, since she seems to the one with knowledge and Derek seems to be growling and territorial. “It’s not going to hurt him if I refuse the whole bonding thing. I already asked.”

“We really need to have a talk about what knowledge should be shared with your alpha, Stiles,” Scott says tightly, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “You called Deaton, didn’t you?”

“Maybe?” Stiles ducks his head. “I didn’t believe it, Scotty. I thought the Hales just created the whole thing to distract me from their real purpose of returning to Beacon Hills. I left because I didn’t want to be forced into some werewolf marriage with a guy I hadn’t even officially met due to some evil scheme.”

“What scheme?” Derek blinks at him. “We didn’t create anything, evil or otherwise. Hell, I didn’t even know who you were when we met! That would have been a pretty stupid scheme, don’t you think?”

“I didn’t say it made sense in the harsh light of day,” Stiles mutters, frowning at his supposed mate. “Satomi was too smug, and it seemed oddly convenient considering my reservations about Hales coming back to Beacon Hills.”

“Satomi has informed us that you are a loose cannon who puts the safety of his pack above all else. I believe her exact words were uncontrolled mischievous brat with a habit for getting into trouble.” Talia purses her lips and it looks like she’s almost fighting a smile. “She was amused because she feels that this, while unexpected, is going to prove a good match for you both. She appears to care for you greatly. She only insults those she likes, after all.”

“That does sound like Stiles,” Allison agrees, dimpling at him when he glares at her.

“Whatever.” Stiles makes a face. “Looking back, I might have jumped to conclusions and made things worse by doing so. Possibly. A very small possibility.”

“You were freaked out, huh?” Scott grips his neck, flipping Derek off when he growls at Scott touching Stiles so intimately. “You always do stupid shit when you’re in a panic. You should have told us. We could have got it all worked out.”

“Obviously, Derek’s imminent move to Beacon Hills will make things much easier,” Talia says. “There won’t be any need to compromise about a relocation. I assume you have a home of your own? We’ll visit it together so I can ensure that it is adequate for my son until he and his sisters rebuild the family compound. At that time, you’ll live there with him, of course. Your pack will be welcome, too. It’s unorthodox, granted, but the McCall pack has our complete support.”

“Wait. I’m not moving in with anyone,” Stiles points out. “I have an old house that I’ve been remodeling for a couple of years, and it’s our pack house. Derek isn’t going to be staying there. I’m not accepting this soulmate thing. I already told you that.”

“Stiles, do you have any idea how lucky we are?” Derek asks. “You’re the other half of my soul. While I’m not exactly sure what that says about me, considering you’re an obstinate paranoid asshole with reckless tendencies, it’s destiny.”

“Are you even listening to yourself?” Stiles turns to face Derek straight on. “You just insulted me at the same time you waxed poetic about destiny. Love at first sight? Soulmate? Mates? That shit doesn’t really exist outside of sappy movies I totally don’t watch with Kira or silly books. That’s not love. We had amazing sex. I completely give you that, cause, damn, I’d have been ready for another few rounds, but it isn’t the basis for a relationship.”

“We’re mates. I don’t understand.” Derek looks so adorably confused that Stiles has to fight the impulse to kiss him. What the fuck? No, just no. Bad brain. No kissing the enemy who wants to lock you away into a loveless wolfy marriage.

“I’m not going to accept this mating bond thing because we’re strangers. We don’t know anything about each other except pack titles and our dick size. I’m not going to be werewolf married to someone I don’t love,” he explains quietly. “I might be an asshole, but I do believe in love, and I think it’s important that I have that for myself one day. You don’t love me. You can’t because we just met. And I don’t love you, either, so it isn’t fair to put you into a loveless relationship any more than it is for me to be in one.”

“Derek, he’s right.” Talia’s voice is soft, gentle as she speaks to her son. “The mating bond is real, but that doesn’t automatically mean a relationship is going to be strong or thrive.”

“Mom, he’s rejecting me,” Derek whispers, looking so hurt that it makes Stiles’ heart ache. “I thought I’d finally done something right, that I’d make you proud, and he doesn’t want me.”

“Oh, honey. You always make me proud.” Talia walks over and kisses one of Derek’s scruffy cheeks, not a scary alpha at all right now. “Anyway, he isn’t rejecting you. He’s rejecting the bond until he’s in love with you.”

“What?” Stiles blinks at her, his slight envy over the mother-son display that has him missing his mom completely going away. “I didn’t say that.”

“Didn’t you, Mr. Stilinski?” Talia pets her son’s hair as she looks at Stiles with a challenging tilt of her chin. “You want a relationship built on love. My son deserves a loving relationship, too. You have a natural mate bond with Derek, so it’s perfectly reasonable to suggest that the two of you get to know each other and have the chance to fall in love before you make the decision to reject him as well as the bond.”

“Stiles, you need to listen to me,” Scott whispers, as if the wolves in the room with them can’t overhear anyway. “This is serious shit, alright? You can’t refuse him without providing the requested opportunity or they could demand that you be cast out of the pack territory.”

Stiles closes his eyes and has to fight down the urge to lash out. He holds his tongue, barely, and takes a few deep breaths. His pack needs him, and he isn’t Stiles without his pack. When he opens his eyes, he ignores Talia and looks at Derek. “I’ll give you the chance to woo me,” he says, deliberately stressing the old-fashioned word because he feels this whole thing is archaic and ridiculous. Tradition or not, he’s being forced to accept a suitor just because of some scent match lottery thing. “For a month. At the end of that month, if we aren’t mutually head over heels sighing at our own adorableness driving Scott crazy with how cute we are in love, we agree that fate’s played a trick on us and go our separate ways.”

“Six months.” Derek arches a brow, seeming to have regained some of his confidence after Stiles inadvertently hurt him. The cockiness is such a good look on him that Stiles almost agrees because six months of getting to fuck that? Sign him up. But he’s not easy.

“Sixty days.”

“Five months.”

“Three months.”

“Four months.”

Stiles has moved closer to Derek, and they’re both breathing heavy as they argue. “Three and a half months and that’s my final offer. Take it or leave it.”

“106 days. None of this choosing a shorter month to calculate to try to get out of it,” Derek says, totally calling Stiles out before he can even think of that plan. So not fair. Beauty and brains and bod?

“Fine.” Stiles snaps out. “It’s a deal. 106 days for you to knock me off my feet.”

“And for you to do the same,” Derek reminds him, as if Stiles is actually worried about getting him to fall in love. He just wants this farce over with so he can prove that destiny is bullshit, and to avoid a total all-out war with the Hales over some soulmate nonsense.

“Bring it, Derek,” he taunts, lips curving into a smirk as Derek’s eyes flash red. They’re kissing before he has a chance to take a breath, lips bruising his as they fight for dominance. Tongues and teeth and it’s even better than last night because those stupid masks aren’t in the way. He tugs on Derek’s hair and presses closer, wondering if he’d hold onto him if he tries crawling him like a tree.

He doesn’t get the chance because there are hands firmly pulling him away. “Well, that’s more than I ever wanted to witness of you getting it on,” Scott mutters, pouting with the puppy dog eyes out in full force.

“Speak for yourself,” Allison murmurs, shushing Tori when she starts fussing. “I’m taking her upstairs. I think the tension is getting to her. Stiles, we’re talking later. Don’t even try to distract me with vanilla milkshakes. Alpha Hales, I wish we’d been able to meet under different circumstances, my parents speak highly of you, Talia, but you’d better get used to chaos with Stiles around. Good luck, Derek.”

“Her parents are Christopher and Victoria, correct?” Talia looks at Scott for confirmation. “We owe them our lives. No harm will ever come to you or your pack regardless of what happens between my son and your emissary”

“Uh, thanks,” Scott says. “I did want to add something to this negotiation dating thing these two idiots are going to be doing. Stiles has a huge old house that’s falling apart more than it’s not, but it’s our pack house since everyone else has smaller homes or apartments. There’s enough room for Derek to stay there, of course, but I’d like to request that the remainder of your pack find lodging elsewhere. The scents, you understand.”

“Of course.” Talia agrees, and Stiles wants to protest but he actually thinks Scotty’s being smart so he spends his time staring at Derek’s mouth instead.

“Also, regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen with them, I’m Stiles’ alpha. Derek can be whatever they decide in the bedroom, but Stiles is my brother, and I will not lose him, destiny or not.”

“Scotty! Never,” Stiles says, looking at him and shaking his head. “I don’t care what happens, we’re in it together until the end.”

“You and I both know that, but they need to know it,” Scott tells him. “I’m thinking ahead.”

“Derek will likely require time and patience to adjust to sharing his mate with another alpha.” Talia is tactful, but Derek just scowls and his nostrils flare. Stiles snorts. A lot of patience, obviously.

“Oh! And Stiles can always end things immediately if there’s any forced anything. Consent is important,” Scott adds, nodding emphatically.

“I’d never force him.” Derek smirks. “I wouldn’t have to. You can smell him.”

“Arrogant assholes don’t get kisses,” Stiles sniffs, tilting his head as he looks away from Derek’s hotness. “They also don’t score on first dates.”

“Stiles, buddy, if you’re going to make threats, maybe choose something you’ll actually stick to doing?” Scott whispers. “You reek after just one kiss, so I don’t think withholding sex is going to happen.”

“I think this conversation needs to halt before I hear even more details of my son’s sex life than I care to hear,” Talia smoothly interrupts them. “Stiles, as lovely a view as you’re providing, I feel it necessary to suggest that you button your shirt and get the rest of your clothes before you take us to visit your home.”

“We aren’t going there yet.” Stiles shakes his head. “I haven’t even had a chance to clean up from the last pack get together, so it’s a mess. I’m not getting judged on my housework talents with such an unfair disadvantage.”

“You want to impress me, huh?” Derek grins, looking even more beautiful somehow, and Stiles almost wants to agree before he remembers everything.

“No, I just don’t want you bitching about it.” Stiles smirks. “You look like the fussy type.”

“Scott, I’d like to offer you my sincere condolences for having to tolerate this,” Talia motions at Derek and Stiles, “for the next three and a half months.”

“It won’t take three and a half months,” Scott murmurs, thinking Stiles can’t hear his treachery. “I’d wager it’ll only be about a month, month and a half tops.”

“Lies!” Stiles proclaims, glaring at Derek who just looks far too smug at Scott’s words.

“If they aren’t together by then, one of them will probably be dead,” Scott adds, shrugging when Stiles glares at him. “What? He’s a hot asshole with an attitude problem. That’s the definition of your type.”

“I think it’s more likely to be within the month. My son will charm his socks off,” Talia says confidently.

“My socks will be staying on,” Stiles informs her.

“I’ll bet you I’m closer than you are. Stiles can be pretty stubborn, and there isn’t any type of no sex rule involved,” Scott says. “Otherwise, I’d give it until tomorrow.”

“We could always---“

“No!” Derek and Stiles glance at each other when they both interrupt Talia, who merely smirks at them as if they’ve just proven her point.

“Derek, say good-bye to your new beau. We’ll go take a drive around town to see how things have changed since we lived here while he cleans his house,” Talia says. “Stiles, put your phone number in Derek’s phone. Your real phone number, please. No more of these childish games of hide and seek.”

“I wasn’t playing games. I thought you were plotting against me.” Stiles makes a face when he realizes how crazy that sounds. “I mean, fuck. Fine. Give me your phone. Put your number in mine, under A for asshole.”

They exchange phones and angrily type in numbers before giving them back. Their hands touch, and he bites his lip because of the way it feels to have Derek’s fingers on his bare skin. After Talia and Derek leave, he looks at his phone and finds the new entry under M for Mate. “That asshole.”

“Hey, you can only blame yourself, Stiles,” Scott tells him, not at all sympathetic, the traitor. “I told you to stay away from alphas, but noooo. You had to go break your promise, and now karma’s biting you in the ass.”

Stiles pouts, elbowing Scott hard enough for him to feel before he mutters, “Karma’s a bitch.”