Author: Claire Watson
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Relationship(s): Derek/Stiles future
Genre: AU – adjusted backstory
Content Rating: Gen – at present
Warnings: None at present
This started out as a short for one of the Thursday Vigenetts found in the Writers Table facebook group. There’s no way that I’ll be able to meet the word count limitations, and then I got distracted by something else. So I don’t know when this will be added to.
Part of my inspiration for this was Fyreheart’s DragonKin, the idea of the lowaar. Although not in the same way, obviously.
When he was young, Stiles thought that everyone heard voices inside their heads. It wasn’t until he started school that he realised that he was different from the others. By that time, he’d been identified by the other kids as ‘weird’, and no one wanted to play with him.
He told himself that he didn’t care. His voices were enough to keep him company, they soothed him and told him stories and kept him quite entertained. He didn’t need any stupid mean kids to have fun.
By the start of third grade when Scott McCall joined their school, everyone had forgotten just why they thought Stiles was weird, but he still remembered their reactions and was therefore determined that Scott would never know about his invisible companions. Scott was his only outward friend, and Stiles wasn’t going to lose him in a hurry.
As he grew older, Stiles began to question the voices as to what they actually were. “Is it some sort of split personality?” He wondered, after reading When Rabbit Howls. “I’m not losing time or anything.”
‘We’re you,’ the most vocal of the voices, a woman called Margaret, told him. ‘We’re you in past lives, sort of.’
Stiles considered that. “You mean like reincarnation? Like what Buddhists believe?”
‘Yes and no,’ Margaret replied. ‘The same basic idea, but done a little differently.’
“Explain it,” Stiles demanded.
‘Without going into a great deal of detail, souls are kind of like information kept on USB drives. When the life of the soul is over, the information is removed – gets copied into another format – and the now empty USB drive gets wiped, and then broken down into molecules. Those molecules go into the creation of new USB drives, to be used for new souls.’
“Right,” Stiles said. “With you so far.”
‘Sometimes a soul doesn’t want to move on,’ Margaret continued. ‘If the soul is powerful and knowledgable enough, it can stop itself from being copied, and rather than being wiped and disintegrated, the USB drive just gets re-inserted into the queue for another life. The new life overwrites the old one, but shadows remain. We are those shadows.’
“How is that not like reincarnation?” Stiles asked.
‘It’s not like Buddhists version of reincarnation, which revolves around religion and karma and other make believe stuff,’ interjected Steve, another of the voices. Steve was always ultra-dismissive of anything that referenced any kind of religion, he was a hard-core atheist and wanted everyone to know it.
‘The point is, that we share the same soul,’ Margaret said loudly. ‘We each had our own body and our own lifetime, and then we decided that we weren’t finished yet, so we stayed.’
Stiles blinked. “So how far back does this go?”
‘It’s hard to tell,’ Christine said. She only ever offered anything to the conversation if she was able to help, and Stiles had never known her to be wrong about anything. Yet. ‘The older we get, the less we contribute. There was a man named Samuel in here while I was alive, and I haven’t noticed him since before Steve died.’
‘That’s right,’ Steve said thoughtfully. ‘I remember him. He knew how to make great whiskey. I wonder where he went?’
“So I don’t have a split personality,” Stiles said with some satisfaction.
‘Not yet, anyway,’ Margaret agreed.
Not long after that Stiles’ mom started getting sick, and concerns about himself slid to the wayside. He took the help of his head-friends, and didn’t think any more about it.
His mom died, and that was terrible. Terrible. Amazingly, things actually got worse from there. He’d lost one parent, had to watch her drift agonizingly away from him. Then, when she was finally in no more pain, his dad – who had done his best to be strong for them while she was ill – started drinking too much, and it didn’t take a genius to see that his destructive habits would be the death of him too, before long.
‘It’s not your fault that you can’t help him,’ Anna, who had been married to an alcoholic told him. ‘The only one who can help him is himself. All you can do is take care of yourself and hope that he’ll make that choice.’
Every time Noah came off shift, he’d put his gun away in the safe and head straight to the bottle. One day, he left his gun on the kitchen bench. It was still there when Stiles came downstairs an hour later.
He sighed when he saw it. “Hey,” he said, picking it up and turning to where his dad was sitting at the kitchen table, bottle and glass front and centre. “You want me to put this in the safe for you?”
That was the turning point. Seeing his son with a gun in his hands was the push that Noah needed to get himself sorted out.
They were both too damaged to have the same easy relationship they’d enjoyed before Claudia got sick, but things improved so that they felt like father and son again. Stiles was somewhat hyper vigilant when it came to his dad’s health, and Noah was slightly lenient when it came to Stiles’ comings and goings from the house, but all in all life was good again. As good as either of them thought it could be without her.
Things carried on this way for the next few years.
Until half of Laura Hale’s body was found, leading to a hunt for the rest.
Bored and out of sorts by an itchy feeling inside his skull that his head friends couldn’t explain, Stiles went over to see if Scott wanted to come and do their own little hunt for the other half.