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The worst thing about pregnancies, Stiles found, was not the hormonal outbursts, nor was it the craving for strange food (after all, Stiles was used to eating strange things)—no, it was the swollen ankles and aching back.

Of course, the pack found the cravings and hormonal moodswings to be more terrifying. It was the third week of the pregnancy and it became clear that Stiles’ pregnancy was moving faster than human pregnancies—something they’d all expected but was infinitely more crazy when it was actually happening.

It had been more than two weeks since anyone had heard from Derek and Stiles’ original bit of hope that Derek would return had nearly disappeared. The only thing that helped was the pack’s seemingly unanimous decision to pile on top of Stiles and sleep. While sometimes individual pack members had other things to do or couldn’t make it, Stiles had only slept alone twice during the time—and the pack had sworn to not allow it to happen again.

Both times Stiles had woken up in cold sweat, whimpering as his body yearned for its mate, seeking the warmth of another pack member’s protective cuddle. He tried to brush it off but during the day the pack could see his lack of energy and lethargic motions.

Stiles’ baby bump had appeared and it had become a pack thing to brush a hand along Stiles’ abdomen when passing by. Stiles had taken to wearing looser shirts (not that it was a problem considering he tended to wear loose shirts anyways) to hide the baby bump and could often be found petting the bump with a lost looking smile on his face. The only people who dared to go near him during those times—when it was oh-so-obvious that their pack mom was thinking of Derek (a name that was no longer spoken around Stiles since he had thrown a mug at the wall the last time someone had said it) were Scott and the Sheriff, although recently Lydia had started to brush a hand through Stiles’ hair in a gesture of support.

--

"Isaac!" Stiles clapped the poor guy on the shoulder, grinning a bit crazedly, "How you doin' my man?"

"Um," Isaac's eyes darted around looking for an escape route--last time Stiles had looked like this, he'd demanded that Scott go out and adjust the satellite dish because the service wasn't good enough (it had taken three hours before he was satisfied). "Good?"

"Well, that's just perfect!" Stiles continued on blithely, ignoring the terrified expression on Isaac's face, "How about we go grocery shopping together?" With that, he was off, dragging Isaac by the hand and pulling him out the door without waiting for Isaac's answer. Isaac's last pained and betrayed expression was aimed at Erica who had been standing on the opposite side of the room not moving a muscle for fear of attracting Stiles' attention.

Stiles had just finished shoving Isaac into the passenger seat when the Sheriff's patrol car pulled up to the curb. Frowning because he was sure that his dad was supposed to be at work still, he watched as the Sheriff climb out of the car with a grim expression.

"Dad?" he called out, "What's wrong?"

Sheriff Stilinski turned a bit until he caught sight of his son and then shook his head, "Nothing son, uh, you keep doing what you were going to do, I have to talk to Scott."

Stiles frowned at his dad before shaking his head, he gave a nod and slid into the car. For a second there was silence in the car as he and Isaac watched the Sheriff walk into the house.

"Something wrong?" Isaac asked tentatively, reaching a hand out to Stiles. Stiles shook his head and waved Isaac off before starting the car to go to the supermarket.

--

"Sheriff, what do we...what do we tell Stiles?" Scott sounded terrified, if only because he didn't want Stiles to collapse even further upon hearing this news.

"I--I don't know. As of right now we still aren't a hundred percent sure that it's Derek behind these murders, but it's...it's pretty damning, this evidence." He nodded at the scrap of cloth on the table in a plastic bag. He'd brought it in because the death, like the previous death, had seemed rather brutal. The first death, he had written off as maybe a wildcat. Funny how the original excuse by his son had actually been his first thought upon seeing the claw marks. Stupid, he hadn't even consulted the other reference photos of mountain lion attacks much because he'd thought that their trouble with werewolf attacks were gone ever since the Hale Pack had established themselves to be powerful when they'd taken apart the Alpha Pack. This second attack though, he'd thought it a bit too much. The last mountain lion call-in by the rangers had been several months earlier.

He had brought in a scrap of the cloth left on the dead body with the hopes of Scott being able to identify what the scent was, and he had not liked the immediate shock on the boy’s face. He’d had to explain what the piece of cloth was from and then Scott had confirmed, although his eyes were wide and he’d been pale as a ghost, that it was not a mountain lion—instead, it was the scent of death, some sort of flowery scent, and Derek.

Scott glared at the bag before sighing. "This--this will kill him, Sheriff. You know that."

Sheriff Stilinski shook his head wearily, "We can't not tell him our suspicions, he might--if Derek's behind this, I don't believe that he has a clear head."

Scott raised his head, looking a bit surprised at that statement before nodding, "Yeah, that makes sense. Derek wouldn't ever do something like this, it...oh god something's wrong then."

The two exchanged wary glances, if this were something supernaturally bad, Stiles would definitely want to help--he'd be necessary. However, with Stiles pregnant, there's no way the two men would allow Stiles in the way of danger.

“We still, we have to tell him. We can set up precautions but if he doesn’t know it might be even more dangerous,” the Sheriff looked as if he had aged years in just a few minutes. He shook his head to get rid of the grim mood and cracked a grin. “Whoever tells him is gonna have a hell of a time.”

“So…nose goes?” Scott’s finger shot towards his nose even as he was speaking but he watched in incredulous horror as the Sheriff’s finger tapped his nose—as if he were expecting it. With a smirk the Sheriff nodded at Scott and got up, gathering his stuff together to leave.

“You really expected to win against me, son? I’m Stiles’ father, in case you forgot,” the Sheriff chuckled as Scott continued to look pitifully at him. No mercy, not when it came to telling his son that his baby’s father was back on the suspect list and this time for multiple murders.

--

“Oh my god.” It was reverent tone of somebody who had just seen a miracle occur—and was also Stiles’ overexcited self seeing a brand new flavor of Poptarts,

Isaac restrained himself from whining in defeat and just plopping down on the linoleum tiled supermarket floor and crying. They’d been “grocery shopping” for over two hours now—in the same store. Stiles had taken a quarter of an hour choosing between grated and shredded cheese because “Isaac it has to be perfect otherwise the pizza will taste horrible and then where will you be, Isaac? Starving, that’s where.”

An old lady was staring suspiciously at Stiles from across the aisle and Isaac braced himself for Stiles’ inevitable outburst when he noticed. Stiles had always hated being stared at and with his pregnancy the dislike had quickly grown into a deep hatred and tipping point between Stiles--the normal human being, and Stiles--the pissed of preggers.

“Hey, hey lady,” Stiles called out politely. Isaac closed his eyes and prayed to—whoever the fuck was listening, honestly, even the trickster god Loki sounded awesome right now—for a quick and non-escalating exchange of words. But of course, there was a reason why Isaac wasn’t a believer of any faith (besides the whole mythological beast thing) and the little old lady glowered at Stiles. It didn’t seem promising.

“Young man, are you talking to me?”

“Haha, You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking... you talking to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to? Oh yeah? Okay!” Stiles chortled, quoting some movie* that Isaac’s poor brain didn’t have the capacity to remember but was surely more funny than what was about to go down. Shit, he knew he should have run for the hills when Stiles had started talking to him that morning.

“Young man, what are you saying to me, that’s very rude—“

Stiles cut into the woman’s no doubt very indignant speech with a snort of laughter. “Rude? You’re talking to me about rude? How about the way you were just staring at me? Think that’s rude? Wow, lady, um, note to self, old ladies think that quotes from classic movies are rude but staring is not.”

Isaac focused all his attention on his shoelaces. He noticed that one of them was slightly frayed and that the other had a bit of green on it. Something must have stained it, maybe he should go home and scrub it with bleach. Yeah, that seemed like a good idea, maybe just dunk his head in the bleach while he was at it.

“Young—“

Old lady, I know what you’re up to! Just because I’m shot up with hormones doesn’t mean I’m not still sharp as a fucking ninja. Okay? You smell like Vicks Vapo-Rub and cats, and I want to move farther away from you before I throw up on your padded nylon ankle boot**, you fat ass! Oh wait I bet you were thinking about calling me fat—well let me tell you, babushka, I am about to poop out a goddamn wolf pup in less than two months so fuck you I am allowed to be excited about the new flavor of sugary shit because I fucking deserve it! I haven’t had caffeine in more than two weeks, I’m in caffeine withdrawal, my fucking wolf hubby is MIA so shut the fuck up, old lady in a wrinkly cardigan!”

There was silence in the grocery store as Stiles heaved for breaths before he muttered “fuck it” and took his arm and swept the entire Poptarts collection off the shelves and high-tailed it to the register. The cashier silently swiped everything and mumbled the total cost meekly.

Isaac merely followed, eyes still fixed on his shoelaces. He wondered vaguely if he should dye his shoelaces red so that one day (soon, very soon, he believed) when Stiles murdered someone during an outburst he wouldn’t have to wash them.

--

“—uck off!” snarled an incensed Derek Hale, eyes Alpha red and his body straining against the bonds. They were laced very liberally with wolfsbane but he ignored the searing pain and tried to break the grip of the bonds anyways.

“Ah, but Alpha Hale, I have no wish to ‘fuck off’—indeed, I think I shall stay longer. I do so love how well you’ve done with your murders. Your lovely mate’s father was confused but he eventually got there. We saw him go into his house with that piece of evidence didn’t we? Scott McCall, useful little beta you’ve got there, probably helped him out with the scent. By now they’re confused and wondering where their precious Alpha Hale has gone.” The voice sounded like bells tolling and yet managed to ooze and drip with oily amusement.

Derek growled furiously at the hidden figure in the dark, his hatred of the owner of the voice written clearly on his furred face.

“Ooh, but wait, Alpha Hale, there’s more!” chuckled the voice, “While you were unconscious after the removal of my will from your mind today, I went to visit your precious little mate. I saw him burst at a little old lady.”

Derek froze in his struggle to escape and his eyes widened involuntarily with the immediate fear that gripped him.

“He and the pup grow well, isn’t that something to be happy about? At least, they’ll be nice and healthy when I take them.” the bell-like voice merely hummed with delight at Derek’s answering roar.

“Ah-ah-ah, Alpha Hale, that’s not how we treat our hosts…oh dear, did I flip the saying?” there was a giggle and suddenly Derek’s body shook from an electric current running through his body. “I did say that you’d be punished for any transgressions, no?”

“Now, where was I? Ah, yes, your pup and mate are perfectly healthy, he seems sad though,” it sounded as if the voice was mock pouting. “Poor little human Stiles. His mate doesn’t want him, he’s been abandoned for two weeks now. He can’t sleep without his pack all around him—remember that one night when we stood outside his window and listened to him whimper and cry the whole night? Ooh, yes, that was fun.”

Derek barely acknowledged the shadow moving from the dark as his vision slowly slipped away, darkness reclaiming him. The last thing he heard was a whisper from the dark figure leaning over him.

“Hmm, Stiles Stiles Stiles…you’re so hurt that he doesn’t love you, pity you don’t get to see how much his heart breaks every day he’s away the way I do.”

Chapter End Notes

*quote from Taxi Driver (1976) and is the only part of the movie I've ever seen (because I watched a French film that had a mockery of the line)

**this bit from a blog about motherhood here

In Which Stiles is Hormonal, Derek Still Has Spirit, and Then Bad Things Begin

Chapter Notes

A late, late graduation present for becausefeels I wish you all the luck in your life :D

By the time Stiles and Isaac got home, Isaac was clutching at his door handle nearly whimpering to be let out so that he could run far far far away from Stiles.

“Isaac goddamit stop looking at me like I’m going to eat you. You’re the one with the scary vicious fangs—which by the way do you brush them? You better brush your canines, Isaac, it’s very important to brush your pearly whites especially after you’ve eaten bunnies and there’s fur stuck! Floss! Floss your teeth every day otherwise there’ll be bleeding gums and gingivitis and that’s bad, Isaac, Isaac are you listening? Do you floss every day?!” With each word, Stiles leant closer and closer to the poor curly haired wolf and the last question was emphasized with surprisingly strong (and painful) jabs to Isaac’s chest.

Isaac whined a bit feeling the desperate urge to flop over on his belly, bare his neck, and then just wiggle away on his back after spending only twenty minutes in the car with Stiles. Well, Isaac thought wryly, guess Deaton was right about Stiles being Derek’s equal in the pack. Only Derek had inspired such pitiful urges and if he was going to be honest with himself, Stiles inspired ten times more fear than Derek had ever dreamed of achieving.

“Isaac!” a muffled voice called him from outside the Jeep door and Isaac could have kissed Allison for rescuing him from the terror that was Stiles on a mission. He waved at her and when she simply curled her fingers in a beckon, he happily opened the door and all but fell out of the car.

“We aren’t done with this conversation, Isaac! We’ll come back to this!” Stiles shouted from his seat where he was fumbling at his seatbelt. Isaac nodded weakly and started discreetly nudging at Allison to walk away. She shot an amused but sympathetic look at Isaac and after waving at Stiles who had made it out of the car and was heading towards the house, finally started walking down the sidewalk.

“What was he harping on about this time?” she asked with morbid curiosity. The pack had known to anticipate cravings and hormonal swings but the sudden urges that gripped Stiles to mother everyone were sporadic and a frankly terrifying new manifestation of pregnancy.

“Uh, my teeth.”

“Oh, poor you, he went on about my hair’s bounciness a couple days ago—but at least I wasn’t alone with him,” Allison patted Isaac’s shoulder before clearing her throat and stopped walking. She glanced back at the house to make sure that Stiles was in the house for sure and then turned solemn eyes to Isaac.

Isaac chuckled nervously, fidgeting under her gaze. “Allison?” he asked tentatively.

“Stiles is currently in the house and he’s about to be ambushed by Scott and the Sheriff,” Allison took a deep breath to calm her nerves before continuing, “You know that murder case?” Isaac nodded, looking lost as to the direction of her questioning. “Well, there’s evidence that it’s Derek.”

Isaac paled and almost unconsciously turned to barge into the house, somehow recognizing even through the shock that Stiles would be even more affected by this tidbit of information and the urge to protect Stiles was strong.

“Isaac!” Allison hissed, grabbing his arm, “You can’t go in there—Stiles needs to know this. We’re positive that Derek’s not in his right mind, Scott said that he smelt Derek but also something strange at the crime scene. It’s safer if Stiles knows so that he’ll be on the lookout. Derek may not be himself—it’s possible that whatever’s got control of Derek will have no problem hurting Stiles.”

Isaac let out a large gust of air and shook his head, visage still paler than usual. He nodded at Allison and then promptly sat down on the curb and buried his head in his hands. Allison followed suit, albeit slower and more graceful. Running her hand through the curly locks of the young werewolf, she let Isaac lean his head on her shoulder.

“He’s. He’s gonna be okay, right?” Isaac mumbled against Allison’s shirt, hands clenching and unclenching erratically in his lap.

Allison sighed and didn’t reply—she didn’t know if she could promise the younger boy that.

“He’s—he’s the only family that I’ve got now,” Isaac continued on as if there hadn’t been a pause in the flow of words. “Erica and Boyd are close, you and Scott are close. Scott and Stiles are practically brothers—and I know that I could depend on all of you but…Derek’s my almost-family.” After a second, he snorted at his own words, “Crappy almost-family member, but…he’s still family.”

With that, the two lapsed back into a somewhat comfortable silence as they waited for the people in the house to signal them back in. They were both pretty sure that there was an inevitable freak out session from Stiles to come, so the peace and quiet was appreciated for the moment.

--

“Nope.”

“Stiles.”

“No.”

“Son, we’re not saying that he’s doing it by his own free will—Scott said that he caught the scent of something else—“

“Don’t care.”

“Stiles, stop being ridiculous.”

“Me? I’m not being ridiculous, you guys are.”

“Oh my god, Stiles, it’s not like Derek’s the perfect little princess who helps the elderly cross the street and fluffy rainbows. You know he’s got a shit temper and that he’s violent at times—he freaking threatens to tear throats out! With his teeth!”

“And I’m not saying that Derek’s a ‘perfect little princess’—I’m just saying that there’s no way that Derek would kill innocent people.”

“Under the influence, Stiles! He probably can’t help himself!”

“So what, it’s like the more bloody and gruesome version of a DUI? An MUI? Murder under the influence?”

The Sheriff threw his hands up and stopped pacing in order to flop down onto the couch opposite his (stubborn, stubborn, bull-headed) son.

“Stiles.” Scott looked as if he was very much done with this whole understanding and sympathetic, gentle way of breaking the news. “I don’t know what else to say to convince you. We’ve dug up some samples near the crime scene and Dr. Deaton’s looking at them right now—we’re trying, okay? You just need to be more careful and if Derek—or a look-a-like Derek—comes near you don’t just run up to him and start yelling okay? Call one of us.”

Stiles looked as if he was about to argue but before he could, the Sheriff interrupted.

“Son, we’re trying to protect you and the baby. We need your full cooperation with this. Just be happy that Scott pleaded your case and that you don’t have a twenty four-seven buddy system.”

Stiles’ eyes welled up with tears suddenly and the Sheriff looked partly terrified and partly baffled.

“Stiles?” Scott asked cautiously, slowly approaching Stiles as if he were a wounded animal in need of aid.

“I can’t believe—I just, my baby, and suddenly there’s a murder! And everything is going to shit, and I—I don’t want to be afraid of the father of my child! It’s all so horrible and I’m not even being any helpful and you guys are so nice andcaring and I just want that from Derek not you guys!” Any further words were drowned out by Stiles’ watery tears and the sobs that wracked his body. The other occupants of the room were stunned into stillness for a few seconds at the sudden turn of emotions before they sprang into action.

“Stiles, Stiles, it’s okay—“ Scott soothed, rubbing his best friend’s back.

“Stiles. Son, I promise, we’ll get Derek back, you and the baby will have a safe pregnancy—I’ll squash Derek’s nuts if need be to get him back at your side and being an absolute paragon of fatherly affection towards the baby and utter devotion to you, I promise.” Scott politely refrained from acknowledging the Sheriff’s voice cracking in the middle of the sentence.

Stiles simply sobbed harder and clutched at his father’s sleeves in a manner reminiscent of his childhood days when he would fall and skin his knee after which he would seek comfort in the embrace of his strong, police officer dad.

--

Another week passed before the killer (not Derek, no, they were different entities as far as the pack was concerned) struck again. This time, it was a middle-aged woman, Ashley Weeks, who had been on her way home from the groceries when her car was attacked. Her car was totaled, but the difference between this victim and the others was that she had survived. It was obvious that the killer had not meant to let her live—her injuries were incredibly severe, she’d have to go through intense physical therapy to walk again and one of her arms had been paralyzed due to the metal piece of the car that had gone clean through her right forearm. She had been assumed for dead until someone had noticed that she was breathing, just barely clinging on to life.

The Sheriff had just come out of a disheartening conversation with the victim that confirmed the pack’s own evidence that the killer was somehow connected to Derek. Although, he mused as he walked down the hall of the hospital with a few other police officers, something else had been mentioned that seemed to be a lead on the strange scent that Scott had gotten.

“Some strange creature attacked—I was terrified y’know? But before that adrenaline rush from a gigantic thing with teeth and claws crashing into my car, I was freaked out because there was an old man standing with his arms behind his back like all proper ‘n shit—‘scuse me, Sheriff.” Sheriff Stilinski waved off the apology and bashful look from the woman, he’d heard much worse.

“Anyways,” Ashley started back up, “he was just kinda staring at me, like a creepy guy. I was all ready to pull out my Mace just in case—but he sorta just…disappeared. I know it sounds crazy,” she looked like she barely believed it herself but pushed forward with her story, “but he just—he just poof! Disappeared. Right before he disappeared, he did a sort of throwing motion—like when you play fetch with dogs, right? I didn’t think much of it until the beast attacked. Now,” she paused, glancing warily up at the Sheriff to make sure he didn’t look like he was ready to place her in a mental institution.

Strangely, he seemed intensely focused on her story. “Now,” she repeated, licking her lips nervously, “I think that it’s connected. Like maybe the beast was his pet?”

The Sheriff nodded and was silent for a few moments before shaking his head and getting out of his chair. “Thank you for talking to me, Ms. Weeks, I hope your recovery is speedy. Dr. Spokes is a very good physical therapist, I’m sure you’ll be walking soon.” Ashley shook hands with the Sheriff and then he left. She settled back into her bed and pondered the crazy wreck that her life had suddenly become and then thought about how the Sheriff had simply accepted her implausible story. Perhaps, she thought, perhaps there were things afoot—whatever it was, she’d be happy staying well out of it.

Yes, the Sheriff thought, some strange things were happening in his town, and he was sure that the old man had something to do with it—just what, he wasn’t quite sure. Hopefully Scott and Alan Deaton would have some leads from this vague description.

--

“What did I tell you about going gentle?” hissed an angry voice as a gnarled hand gripped Derek’s hair tightly and simply yanked him up so that his head was close to his captor’s face, with no regard to how the bottom half of Derek was awkwardly splayed across the ground.

“To not,” Derek rasped in a mocking voice. He barely had a second to luxuriate in his continued resistance (it seemed that Stiles had rubbed off on him) before his head snapped back from a powerful backhand from the furious being’s other hand.

“You think this is a joke, wolf boy. Well it’s just gotten worse, thanks to your sneaky ways,” his captor suddenly opened his fist and let go of Derek (who dropped like a sack of stones). There was a chilling sound of choking laughter as a gnarly hand grabbed a sheet of paper from the table nearby. It was a hand-drawn calendar and there were nine weeks marked out. A circle had been placed around the previous dates that Derek had been forced to murder, and two more circles were placed somewhere between the fifth and ninth week.

“You see, I had originally planned on having you kill a few more before we went and collected your pretty, pretty mate. The empousa needs feeding before she can utilize your mate—but oh, I guess since you’ve nearly blown our cover…we’ll have to collect a bit early, especially since she only managed to get a tiny bit of blood from our dearest Ashley Weeks. It’s a good thing your precious mate is a male. The empousa will feed so well on him.”

Derek jerked his body in response to the words he was hearing but he barely had any strength left to heal his hurts much less inflict any pain on the lunatic in front of him. “Leave. Him. Alone,” he still managed to grunt out. There was a pause before a leg shot out and kicked Derek in the side forcing the air out of him and successfully knocking the werewolf’s already over-abused body to shut down and Derek fell unconscious.

“Stupid werewolf,” the snarled words rang out into the silence of the empty room. There was a moment of calm as Derek’s captor shook out his legs—bronze with hooved feet—so that pant legs once again covered them up.

--

It was a few days later, Stiles was now slightly more than five weeks pregnant and his baby bump was the size of a medium-sized watermelon—as Jackson happily pointed out—and Stiles was out shopping for groceries, this time with Erica. He was wearing the largest shirt he had and a XXL sweatshirt over that so that it looked like Stiles had either gained a large amount of pudge in his mid-section, or he had a ball hidden in his sweatshirt pocket. Purposely ignoring all the curious looks thrown at him, he strolled alongside the cart that Erica pushed and tried to ignore the sweltering heat of his added layers. The pack had tried to convince Stiles not to go out but Stiles had been adamant, it’d been a full week since he’d been outside and he was bored like no one who had had ADHD in their youth should ever be bored. Also, sitting at home with nothing to do gave him plenty of time to freak out about how in about four weeks, he was supposed to pop some babies out. Stiles shuddered just thinking of it and—oh dammit, he shifted and now the pups were resting directly on his bladder.

“Erica,” he said, poking her in the side, “I gotta go pee. Adios, don’t be too sad as I go off and relieve that yellow liquid from my body!”

Erica looked mildly murderous. Stiles got the feeling that if it weren’t for the instinctive pack urge to protect him, they’d all have strangled him a few weeks back. Patting his belly-womb-male-uterus, he sauntered off in the direction of the bathrooms. Stiles refused to call it waddling, and the last time Jackson had teased him about the more waddle-iness of his steps, he’d taken the fly swatter he’d been using to fan himself and started smacking the stupid were-lizard with it.

He’d then of course, done some sort of maneuver that had twisted his already aching back and then in a fit of kindness, Jackson had given him a massage. Stiles was still not quite used to the caring thing that Jackson had going, but he knew when to shut up and enjoy so he did exactly that.

Just thinking about that massage made him smile and as he walked into the bathroom, he was busy contemplating ways to get Jackson to offer another one. Standing at the urinal, he vaguely noticed that there was a man next to him but dismissed it and just went about doing his business. As soon as he was finished, he washed his hands and started to cheerfully go back out and bug Erica about getting some Toblerone (he’d pass it off as a craving if he had to).

It was out of the corner of his eyes that he saw the man striding towards him and he started turning in suspicion. When he turned, he saw that it was ex-Deputy Jake, the officer that his dad had fired a few weeks back and had apparently been a raging homophobe.

“Um…what—mmph!” Stiles felt his eyes roll back up into his head as the cloying smell of some chloroform was stuffed in his face. His last panicked thought was a prayer sent up to any and all deities—to keep his baby safe.

--

“Scott!” shouted Sheriff Stilinski as he walked into the room, holding a sheaf of papers.

“Sheriff!” yelped a very red and disheveled Scott who was followed by an equally red and disheveled Allison. The Sheriff completely ignored the embarrassed vibes that the couple was giving off and held up the papers in his hand.

“Scott, where is Stiles?”

“I think he went with Erica to the store?” Scott said, shoving futilely at his hair to make it neater but it wasn’t working.

“Get him home right now,” the Sheriff demanded, sounding exceedingly anxious. “The deputy I fired a few weeks ago, we’ve been notified from his previous station—he’s a wanted criminal, he’s a serial killer who’s chosen traits in victims is homosexuality.”

Allison blanched at the Sheriff’s words. “You mean there’s a homophobic serial killer on the loose?!” she rushed to the side table and snatched up her phone, poised to dial Stiles’ number but before she could, her phone rang.

“Who—“ Scott started but cut himself off when Allison raised the phone and the display name was Erica.

“Hello?” Allison answered, sounding terrified.

A loud shriek of words sounded from the phone causing Allison to pull it away from her ear.

“Erica! Calm down, tell me what’s wrong!” Allison snapped into the phone, which seemed to work as a steady babble of words proceeded at a lower volume. A few seconds later, her complexion paled and she looked up at the two men staring at her.

“Stiles. He’s gone.”

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