The Dark Wolf Rises
Stiles sighs. He drew the short straw and he’s the lucky officer to go up on the roof and brief Commissioner Argent on the case of the disappearing congressman. He looks back where his partner Boyd is flirting with a pretty detective and scowls. It’s the same detective that told him she was in a committed relationship with her job. Apparently not. Stiles wasn’t even flirting with her. Just trying to see her files. Completely different vibe. He hopes Boyd can at least get some intel on the newest string of breaking and enterings. Something about a cat burglar.
The roof is dark but Stiles’ eyes adjust quickly. He’s used to working as a part of the shadows. A lot of his shifts when he first started on the force were the night shift. Beacon City has a way of weeding out rookie cops. A cop either gets used to the darkness or transfers out.
He hasn’t had a chance to be up here. Despite his morbid curiosity surrounding the ruins of a once proud beacon of hope to the city. The wolf signal that heralded the coming of the city’s silent protector. Up close it’s shattered. The silhouette of the wolf nearly indistinguishable to the untrained eye. But Stiles remembers. Seven years isn’t a long time.
Stiles exhales slowly as he puts the police cruiser into park in front of the Hale mansion. He locks up the car on auto-pilot and pockets the keys as he climbs up the front stairs.
He can’t believe he’s actually here. The place where the legend began. His finger only slips a little when ringing the bell. He clamps down on his jackrabbit heartbeat and he’s a picture of cool when Robert Finstock finally answers the front door.
“I need to see Derek Hale,” Stiles says, putting emphasis on his police badge.
“And I need the love of a good woman but I’m sorry, Cupcake, but Mr. Hale doesn’t take unscheduled calls, even if they’re from the illustrious Beacon City police force,” says Finstock, well on his way on slamming the door in Stiles’ face.
Stiles snakes his hand around the door, halting it from closing.
"And if I go get a warrant for the investigation of Peter Hale’s murder does that still count as unscheduled?"
Robert Finstock rolls his eyes and swings the door open.
"This family will be the death of me."
The sitting room is large enough to fit Stiles’ entire loft. He’s left there under the promise not to break anything when Finstock goes off to find his errant master. Stiles clamps down the urge to fiddle with the piano in the room. He’s mindlessly tapping his feet to an unknown beat when he’s startled by a rough as sandpaper voice.
"What can I do for you, Officer?" drawls Derek Hale, his voice oozing congeniality but his eyes speak otherwise. Stiles looks up to see him, leaning heavily on a cane, something that didn’t prevent him from sneaking up on Stiles. The man looks just as Stiles’ remembered him. Still wearing a mask.
"You could wear a bell. Ninjas make more noise than you," bites out Stiles. Derek shoots him a dark look and Stiles figures he may as well get down to brass tacks. Figures Hale wouldn’t have a sense of humor. "Commissioner Argent has been shot. He chased gunmen down into the sewers. When I pulled him out he was babbling about an underground army and a masked man called The Kanima."
Derek’s glare melts into a frown, settling in the closest chair to the couch Stiles is sitting on. “Shouldn’t you be telling your superior officers this?”
Stiles rolls his eyes and ignores the intensity of Derek’s gaze.
"No wait, great idea. Why didn’t I think of that? Oh wait, I did," says Stiles. "They asked him if he saw any giant lizard monsters. He needs you. He needs the Wolf."
Stiles sees the disbelief in the older man’s eyes. The fear. And it all locks into place. Stiles knows he’s got the right man. Knows it down to his core.
"Commissioner Argent thinks-" Derek begins but Stiles rolls his eyes.
"Oh he doesn’t know or care who you are. But we-" Stiles pauses, licking his lips. "We’ve met before."
Derek’s face shutters in open confusion. Stiles can see how he’s trying to connect the dots. It’s sad to watch. Stiles knows he didn’t leave a lasting impression on the man. He decided to throw him a bone.
"It was a long time ago, I was a kid," offers Stiles, it feels cathartic to tell his story. It’s a story he has never told anyone. Even his best friend, Scott, doesn’t know. "Saint Mary’s. Used to be funded by the Hale Foundation. It’s an orphanage. My mom died when I was small, cancer, I don’t really remember it. My dad got shot a couple of years ago, one of Beacon City’s finest."
He touches his badge, his eyes shutter as he feels his heart constrict. “I, I remember that one, just fine,” he says. “Not a lot of people know what it feels like to be angry in your bones. I mean, they understand. The foster parents, everybody understands. For awhile. But then they want the angry little kid to do something he knows he can’t do. Move on. So after awhile they stop understanding and send that angry little kid to a boys’ home.”
Stiles lets out a dark chuckle, looking into Derek’s intense green eyes. “I figured it out too late. You got to hide the anger and practice smiling in the mirror. It’s like putting on a mask.”
Derek Hale looks like he stopped breathing. His eyes boring into Stiles.
"So you showed up. This one day. A cool car, a pretty girl on your arm and we were so excited. Derek Hale, billionaire orphan. I mean, we used to make up stories about you. Legends. And you know for the other kids that was what it was, just stories. But right when I saw you. I knew who you really were. I’d seen that look on your face before, it’s the same one I taught myself. Personally I would have gone with a less obvious animal. The Hale Wolf Preserve is a dead giveaway. Maybe bats. Bats always scared the shit out of me. I don’t know why you took the fall for your uncle’s murder. Maybe misplaced family loyalty. But I’m still a believer in the Wolf even if you’re not."
Stiles holds Derek stare for a beat before getting up and heading towards the door. Derek is immobile, staring off into dead space. Stiles was expecting something. Anything. Silence won’t save the city. He’s at the door when Derek’s voice catches him.
"Why did you say that your boys’ home used to be funded by the Hale foundation?" asks Derek, he looks suddenly younger than Stiles would expect. Weary.
"Because the money stopped," says Stiles. "Might be time for you to get some fresh air. You know, take the wolf out for a walkie. Start paying attention to the details. Some of those details might need your help."