Chapter 10 – Hello Again

Derek hadn’t caught even a whiff of Kate’s scent since he’d woken, she had been avoiding him. Now she was either bold enough or desperate enough to not only put herself in his path but to put herself between him and Stiles. He could just make out the shape of his feet on the other side of the large tree stump behind her. 

“Hello again Derek.” She spoke as though they were long lost acquaintances or worse, friends.

She looked much the same as she had when he saw her last, to most it would look like she hadn’t changed at all but he knew better. He could see the subtle signs of her aging, she might have succeeded in slowing her inevitable crawl towards death but she hadn’t stopped it completely. A fact that must eat at her. 

“Finally come to die?” He started to slowly move to the side hoping to get her to instinctively move farther away from Stiles to keep him in sight. 

“Not hardly. I simply came to retrieve my little fountain of youth that’s been misplaced. The fools I employ seem to be incapable of doing a job right.” A snarl tore from his throat at the insinuation that Stiles belonged to her in any way.

He was done talking, it had never been his strong suit anyway. Tensing his muscles he prepared to launch himself towards the arrogant little witch. Before he could move the young Hale she-wolf sprang over him and into the fray. Huh.

Deciding to see where this went he stood back for a moment and observed. If the youngling wanted to show him what Kate would do when attacked far be it for him to stop her. The “fight” didn’t last more than a few moments, the wolf pounced and the witch tossed her away like she was nothing. Still he did learn one thing, the witch didn’t use her magic against her opponent she used her body. While the throw would have been impossible for the witch he’d once known she did it now like it was of no consequence which meant they weren’t just syphoning off Stiles life force but his strength as well.

That would make this interesting indeed. Cracking his neck from side to side he growled his fangs extending to fill his mouth. Game on.

She easily dodged his first swipe, but he knew she would. She’d seen him fight before and knew his ways but it did have the desired effect of forcing her away from Stiles’ prone form. He would worry about why he wasn’t moving once the threat was handled, he couldn’t worry about it right now. He couldn’t be distracted. That was what put them in this mess in the beginning. This time he would prevail.

Lining up for another attack he was surprised by a handful of powder that was blown into his face. Was she trying to blind him? Shaking his head he tried to clear his vision and regain his bearings but he couldn’t, he could feel his optic nerves expand and contrast quickly and painfully. Whatever this powder was, it was persistent and mystical. 

He could hear her light laughter, she thought she’d won so easily. For all that she used to know of him time must have dulled her wit considerably. To think something so simple and mundane could defeat him, not hardly.

He let his eyes become less focused and reached down within himself to the monster that rested at his core. The beast rose to his call and he could feel the powder in his eyes begin to sizzle and burn away under the heat of his now red gaze. The world became a landscape of reds and pinks and blues. He could make out the shape of Kate already making her way back across the clearing and towards Stiles. Scott and the Hale’s were on the other side of him but he could sense their movements as they began to charge the threat.

Giving himself more time he let them have their chance, seeing how Kate dealt with a threat she likely hadn’t been expecting would tell him more about her than anything else. The first wolf likely Scott was easily thrown back, his impact with the tree leaving him prone and likely unconscious. The second wolf was just as reckless and was likely Laura, it stupidly charged head on into the fight. She was dealt with just as quickly as the first, a swift punch to the jaw enough to put her down.

The final form was standing between Kate and Stiles, keeping a more cautious distance from her opponent. Letting the two occupy each other’s attention he silently began to circle around the clearing. Now was his chance. 

Feeling his claws lengthen and sharpen he curled his fingers slightly inwards and prepared to pounce. Tonight he would have his vengeance for all the suffering this creature had wrought on his world.

xxxxxxxxx

Talia watched Derek as he stood over the body of his fallen enemy, his shoulders shaking with his heavy breaths. She knew that this would be the moment, the one that would either be their salvation or their doom. While they had helped him, though given his powers the need for their help was debatable, they had also defied him and put Stiles in unnecessary danger. If Laura and Scott hadn’t taken Stiles to begin with then when the Golem came for him he would have been with Derek and safe instead of being forced to flee into the woods on his own. 

The fact that Stiles still hadn’t woken was going to be another strike against them she was sure. Making sure to keep both children behind her, no matter what Laura seemed to think about her no longer needing an Alpha’s protection, she waited for his verdict and their fate. If it was necessary she knew she would step aside but she also knew it would break her.

When he turned back to her his eyes were still glowing in the dark filled with his inhuman rage, his teeth were stained with the blood he had consumed and small bits of flesh were clinging to his lips as he snarled at them. No one who looked upon his visage in that moment would ever think him even close to human. He was a demon made flesh and given a fragile human soul to treasure and keep. 

They held one another’s gaze while he weighed the value of her life behind his eyes. She would not flinch and she would not drop her eyes. Not at this moment that might well be her last. From one moment to the next he turned away from her and his eyes went back to Stiles prone form only a whisper of his voice could be heard on the wind.

“You are pardoned. Leave.” She needed no more encouragement than that. Gripping the arms of each teen she quickly dragged them away back towards the safety of home, shushing any protest they tried to make along the way. They had much to discuss.

XXXXXXXXX

Stiles tried to shake himself awake but all that did was make his head hurt even more. There was a new pressure behind his eyes that had never been there before, but he supposed that gaining an entire lifetime’s worth of memories in a few hours would do that to anyone. He could feel soft sheets and firm muscle beneath him, so he wasn’t in the woods anymore. If he was a betting man he would bet that Derek had come to get him, he was good like that.

It was so weird knowing so much, yet so little about the man he loved. He now had years worth of memories about a man that probably no longer existed. It was a proven fact that experiences and time changed everyone, and these kinds of life altering experiences were sure to have left their mark on everyone involved. Especially Derek.

What was he supposed to do now? Treat him the way he had before he knew the truth? Treat him the same way he had when Derek had been king? Was Derek still king?

“I can hear you thinking from here.” The warm baritone and familiar vibration of the chest beneath his ear was enough to bring his thoughts to an immediate halt. For a second. Then the thoughts and insecurities were back with a vengeance.

Leveraging himself up he looked into the eyes of the man he’d loved for centuries even if he didn’t remember him for most of it that ache had always been there.

“Hey.” He wanted to bury his head under the pillow until he smothered himself. After everything that was the greeting he went with. What was wrong with him? Could he be any more lame?

“Hey.”

Looking into eyes that shined with love for him he decided to let everything go for the morning. Settling back down he put his head back on the rock hard chest that housed a heart that beat just for him and listened to the steady thump as a smile tugged against his lips. Burrowing deeper he snuggled closer savoring the sound of the laughter he hadn’t truly heard in far too long.

Everything else could wait. 

This morning was for them. 

For this.

The End

A/N – I can’t write fights and I know it so this happened instead. I know some of the reviews said you wanted to see something in the final confrontation that justified everyone being so afraid of Derek (and I did show a bit of what he was). But really the whole point was that they’re afraid of him because he can’t die and holds a grudge. Pretty much the same reason people are afraid of the Originals in The Vampire Diaries. Other than being able to compel other vampires they can’t really do anything other vamps can’t but the fact that they’re older than everyone else and there’s NOTHING you can do to kill them while they can do everything to not only kill you but everyone you care about along with you makes them scary. That’s why the Hales fear him. At first it was just animal instinct telling Talia that Derek was a predator and the natural caution that comes with dealing with an unknown in your space so close to your kids. Then as she learned more it went beyond that and into panic mode.

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