Step by Step, We'll Get There

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: S through Z > Teen Wolf
Dragon prints: 2964
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Wolf nor profit of it. Jeff Davis owns it.

Author's note: This first chapter gave me more trouble to finish than I anticipated at first *sweatdrops* My first Teen Wolf fic, so I hope I won't do too badly!

This fic is dedicated to Hikory, because it's her birthday today! Happy birthday!

Warnings will be put in every chapter. If I forget a particular warning that should be added, please let me know.

Warnings: Slash; a bit of drama; A/B/O dynamics; Omega!Stiles. It starts out as Theo/Stiles, but will end with Derek/Stiles, I promise :)

Dedicated to: Hikory

I hope you'll like it!

Chapter 1

The sound of the school bell ringing shrilly through the corridors, echoing in the classrooms, was like music in the ears of every student – and perhaps in those of the teachers as well as they were all too eager to release the students in the hands of the sweet freedom they craved.

"You got time to go to Millie's?" Scott asked cheerfully, stashing his notebook and pencase into his bag carelessly.

"Yeah, dad's still busy with organising the Run; said he'd be home late," Stiles replied, swinging his own bag over his shoulder.

"Oh, that's right," Scott remembered and his face lit up with excitement as he bumped Stiles' shoulder with his. "You're going to join this year, right?"

"Yeah, as is tradition for every non mated eighteen year old," Stiles answered dryly. Even as the words left his mouth, though, his stomach did a funny flip and he swallowed, tightening his grip around the strap of his bag. "We can't be all so lucky as to find our mate before we're eighteen, you know."

Instantly a goofy smile appeared on his friend's face as his thoughts obviously drifted towards the girl he could call his mate for four months so far. Naturally the mention of her had him going on a tangent, informing Stiles about what they had done during their latest date, down to the smallest detail like how the sun had cast a pretty sheen in Kira's hair and did you know how beautiful her eyes glitter when she laughs?

Yes, yes, as a matter of fact Stiles did know that – not out of any interest of his own, but because his best friend simply couldn't shut up about his girlfriend and was wont to repeat things he had said multiple times before already. But being the good friend he was, Stiles suffered through the long, way too detailed description of Scott's date with Kira last week – again, he might add – all the way up to Millie's, heroically resisting the urge to cram one of the empty candy wrappers into Scott's mouth.

He loved the dude, he really did, but his one track mind when it came to his girlfriend could be pretty annoying at times.

The Beta finally ran out of steam when they were half way through their hamburger and milkshake. Stiles was actually fairly impressed that Scott had been able to talk about his date for so long – especially considering the date had only consisted out of a picknick at the park. The amount of detail Scott could put into his stories when it concerned Kira was just astonishing, really.

"So," Scott said and the sudden switch from excited to nervous had Stiles staring at him curiously.

"So, what?" Stiles prompted when it didn't look like the other boy would continue any time soon.

Twirling his straw between his fingers, Scott glanced around quickly before lowering his voice and asking, "You feeling ready for the Run?" He was speaking hushed as if the term on its own was like a hideous curse word that would bring down the wrath of Margarethe, the owner of Millie's, if she caught wind of it.

Stiles snorted. "Not like I have much of a choice, right?"

Every non mated person was obligated to join the Fertility Run if they had turned eighteen before it occurred. You were allowed to skip a Run afterwards, but the first one was obligated – whether you wanted to or not.

The Fertility Run was one of the few old traditions which had still survived until this day. It was rather archaic – and discriminating towards Omega – but it was one of those customs people kept clinging on to, no matter how many years passed by.

In spite of Stiles' flippant tone, Scott was still looking quite worried. "What if you get caught by someone you don't want?"

And that was the main reason why the outdated custom should have been buried into the history books already. Stiles breathed out slowly, his grip tightening a tad around his hamburger; some sauce was squeezed out, dripping onto the crinkly wrapper.

As an Omega himself, he was going to be the one who got caught and not doing any catching – and choosing – of his own. Whoever was quicker than him, whoever managed to outsmart him, had won the right to become his mate, whether he liked that person or not.

Even in this modern age, people still thought it was normal to become the mate of someone you might not even like, purely because they had been the one to catch you. There had been campaigns, rallies, to stop this particular part and give the choice to all three Classes instead of only two, but so far the protesters hadn't had much luck. The only demand they had been able to enforce so far was –

"I'll only have to stick it out with that person for six months and then I'll be gone," Stiles said, taking a bite out of his hamburger.

Couples which were formed during the Run had six months to get to know each other and decide whether they were the right fit or not. After those six months, they would have an appointment with the Council to inform them of their decision. Both had to be on board or the mating would be annulled. It didn't matter whether one of them still wanted to give it a shot – it was all or nothing. Either they both wanted to continue the relationship or their bond would be dissolved, leaving them free to find someone else.

That particular rule, that safety net, was the only reason Stiles hadn't considered making a run for it and leave the town before the Fertility Run would start. Well that and he didn't want to leave his dad behind.

"Oh yeah." Relief flashed in deep brown eyes and Scott grinned. "I had forgotten about that! That six month rule is great! At least you won't be stuck with a jerk forever."

"Or a bitch," Stiles added dryly. He had discovered some time ago that he swung both ways, so the gender of whoever caught him wouldn't be that big of a deal.

What did matter was whether or not he could grow to like them.

"Soooo," Scott drawled, leaning forwards, just barely avoiding smashing his elbow into his cheeseburger. There was mischief glinting in his eyes and his grin widened. "You got your eyes on someone?"

"What, like who I'd want to catch me?" Stiles shook his head and slurped loudly from his chocolate milkshake. "Nah man, nobody."

Scott deflated slightly. "What, really? Most people have someone they want to catch them."

"If I had, you'd be the first one to know it, buddy. I wouldn't be able to keep my mouth shut," Stiles told him cheerfully.

"That's true," Scott snickered. "I still remember you making all sorts of plans for Lydia Martin and - "

"Hey, we do not talk about that!" Stiles cried out, ignoring the foul look of a mother two tables down, and kicked him underneath the table. "Rule number one of our friendship: we do not hold each other's stupidity over crushes over each other's heads!"

"I thought rule number one was to always have each other's backs, even if that meant pissing off our parents," Scott retorted confused, tilting his head to the right.

The Omega waved his hand, nearly smacking his friend in the face with his half demolished burger. "They, like, share the same place, okay? They're that important, so don't forget them!"

"All right, I won't forget," Scott laughed, holding up his hands. Then he sobered up and dragged his milkshake closer to him. "Just be careful, okay? You're my best friend and I don't want you to get hurt."

Affection for his best friend made his chest warm and he patted Scott's hand. For all that he could jabber on about his girlfriend, he was still there for him and Stiles knew he could count on him.

"I'll be fine," he promised and Scott brightened again, looking like a happy puppy.

Stiles was just glad Scott hadn't been paying enough attention to him to catch the way his heart had skipped a beat just now.

Okay, so when Scott had asked him whether he was interested in somebody – he had lied. And he would feel guilty about it, except it was just a little white lie and actually, could it really be considered a lie when he just didn't want to make his friend even more worried than he already was?

So he had fudged the truth a little bit, who cared? It wasn't the first time he had told a little white lie to his friend – and it wasn't his fault Scott still so easily believed him, despite having to know better after being friends with him for years.

All right, yeah, so maybe that did make him a bit of a jerk, but he never claimed to be an entirely good person.

Who he couldn't fool, though, no matter how many times he tried – and boy, had he tried a lot throughout the years! – was his dad.

His dad, who was watching Stiles put down a plate with lasagne on the table with too much focus for the boy to be completely comfortable.

"Hey dad, you're home earlier than I thought," Stiles said casually, filling a glass with water and putting that in front of the Sheriff.

Dad sank down in the chair with a sigh, rolling his shoulders and making them crack. "Yeah, we got a bit more help, so we were able to finish up things sooner," he replied, taking a bite from his late dinner.

"So everything's ready, huh? Nothing else to be done?" Stiles asked, dropping down in the other chair with a soda.

"No, now it's just waiting for Sunday for Talia to open the ceremony," Dad said, referring to the major, Talia Hale.

"Sounds good, you're on shift tomorrow?" Would it be too childish to admit he wanted to spend his last day before the Run with his dad? There was always a chance nobody would choose him, of course, but one never knew, and he wanted to spend time with his dad before he would be forced to deal with whoever ended up being his mate.

"No, Parrish is in charge tomorrow. I'm taking a break from the double shifts."

"That's good – you need your rest, old man. You're not as young anymore," Stiles teased him, opening his can of soda. It cracked open with a sharp hiss and the liquid fizzled on his tongue when he took a sip.

Ignoring the jab, dad said nonchalantly, "So I ran into Derek Hale today. Seems like he's been back in town for a couple of days now."

The second sip he took ended up in the wrong pipe and he coughed violently, the soda pricking his throat, as he pushed his can away and slammed his chest. Dad watched him leisurely, eating his lasagne, as if his only son wasn't choking on a stupid sip of soda.

Eyes watering, he brought out in a scratchy voice, "Is – is that so? Guess the mayor is happy, huh?" He coughed again, rubbing over his chest and wiping away some stray tears. He was out of breath as if he had just run up and down the stairs a couple of times instead of choking a bit.

"Yeah, she's definitely happy to have him back. How long has it been? Two, three years?" Dad mused, sipping of his water. "He grew up quite handsome. He was giving us a hand today, which is why the work was done sooner. Apparently he doesn't have a mate."

"He doesn't? What a shame," Stiles commented weakly, sinking a bit deeper into his chair and pressing the can against his mouth. He didn't make a move to drink again, though, worried he'd end up choking again, considering the topic dad was suddenly so eager to discuss.

"Yeah, said he was joining the Fertility Run this year too," Dad continued airily. "I think he only participated once before leaving, right?"

Stiles offered a non-committal noise, deciding it was best to keep quiet now before he said something stupid.

When dad looked at him next, his gaze was calculative and the sharpness in it had Stiles freezing up, feeling like a bug pinned down. His dad had the uncanny ability to make him feel like a criminal every time he looked at him like that and it made Stiles want to apologise for things he wasn't sure he had done.

"I actually had an interesting conversation with Derek while we were setting up the stand for the Council," Dad remarked, scraping the last bit of lasagne off his plate.

"Really?" Stiles' mouth was oddly dry all of a sudden and he dared to drink his soda. The drink prickled his sensitive throat, but that was nothing compared to the way his stomach flipped when dad's face darkened slightly.

"Yeah, told me to say hello to you on his behalf."

"That's polite of him," Stiles commented, slightly strangled.

Dad kept staring at him until he squirmed and he released a sigh. "You do realise my men have been patrolling the whole town for the past two weeks, right? Every nook and cranny, Stiles. There were more patrols than usual."

"Yeah, I know. They're doing a great job, they should get a raise or something." Stiles offered him a thumb's up, ignoring the way his heart was racing like he was running a marathon.

"And you know they report to me about everything out of the ordinary they notice."

There was an unnecessary emphasis on the word 'everything' if you asked Stiles.

Dad crossed his arms. "For example, something out of the ordinary would be spotting a blue jeep parked next to a black Camaro," he said idly.

"While that may be out of the ordinary, it could just be coincidence," Stiles squeaked and yeah, there was no way to hide the way his heart blipped at that.

Dad squinted at him, looking decidedly unimpressed. "So it's just coincidence that days after some officers saw you talking to Derek, he tells me to say hello to you?" he asked sceptically.

"Talia raised her boy to be polite!"

"I'm sure she did. So when were you going to tell me you're interested in the Hale boy?" Dad raised an eyebrow.

Stiles waved his hands wildly, shaking his head in quick denial. "Who says I'm interested in him?" he spluttered in protest. "Can't I just talk to a guy without being interested in him? That feels, I don't know, kind of sexist, dad, and you should - "

"Because if you are, wouldn't it be easier to ask him out, so that you don't have to attend the Run?" Dad said louder, drowning out his son's protests.

"What? Pssht, no, nobody is asking anyone out, because nobody is interested in anyone!" Stiles argued, his cheeks progressively heating up until he was sure he resembled a tomato. Damn his pale skin for betraying him.

"So you're not secretly hoping that he's going to catch you Sunday?" Dad asked knowingly.

"Of course not, that would be ridiculous," Stiles scoffed, crossing his arms.

"Even so, don't get your hopes up, son," Dad sighed, leaning back in his chair.

"That kind of sounds like you think he's out of my league or something," Stiles complained, flushing with embarrassment.

"Nobody is out of your league, son," Dad instantly denied and the younger man looked away with a weak smile, both pleased and wanting to protest that statement.

"But the Run is unpredictable and you never know who ends up finding you," Dad continued. "If that ends up being Derek, great, I'm happy for you, kid, but it's also possible that someone else finds you first, so I don't want you to pin your hopes too much on one person, all right?"

"I know, dad, I'm not stupid," Stiles murmured, picking at a loose thread in his sleeve.

"I know you're not. Just promise me one thing, okay?"

Bemused Stiles looked up, staring straight into the solemn eyes of the Sheriff. "What?"

"If whoever finds you, mistreats you, you have to let me know at once."

"But the six month rule - "

"I don't care about that rule, Stiles," Dad said sharply and the younger man shut his mouth with a click. "I care about seeing you happy and if someone lays their hand on you in the wrong way, they're going to wish they didn't. So promise me: at the first sign they're stepping out of line, you let me know and I take care of it, okay."

"I can take care of myself you know," Stiles pointed out, but he couldn't help but feel warm at knowing he still had his dad's protection, even after becoming an adult.

"I know you can. So you'll give them hell first and then I'll finish it," Dad stated and stood up, walking around the table to his son.

Stiles rose up, stepping into dad's embrace automatically, and hugging him back. Dad squeezed the back of his neck gently and the gesture had the Omega relaxing in his hold.

"This Run is incredibly outdated and I wish you didn't have to be a part of it," he murmured. "But I hope you'll find someone who's good to you."

"Even if that's someone with a black Camaro?" Stiles mumbled, rubbing his forehead back and forth across his dad's shoulder.

"Even if it's someone with a black Camaro, yes," the Alpha said dryly, before uttering a soft sigh. "You're going to be okay, kiddo."

Stiles nodded and tightened his grip around dad's waist. "Can we spend tomorrow together?"

"Of course we can."

"Great, I'll even let you get away with eating a steak this once," Stiles grinned, leaning back to look properly at the older man.

Dad rolled his eyes. "I'm a wolf – I can handle steak more than once in a while, Stiles."

"Even wolves can get high cholesterol, dad," Stiles chided him.

From there on they fell into the old, familiar argument again and for a while it felt like any regular Friday evening, one they had shared many times before.

Stiles resolutely didn't think about how this might be his last regular Friday evening that he could spend with his dad.

Having spent his last day before the Run with his dad had been good for him. They had spent the majority of the day trekking through the woods and having lunch there before returning home and watching stupid movies.

The trip through the woods had allowed Stiles to get rid of the majority of his nerves, the fresh air outside clearing his mind. Whatever would happen during the Run would happen and there wasn't much he could do about it. There was no sense in working himself up before the event had even started.

That turned out to be easier said than done of course and by the time he was waiting behind the line that signified the start on Sunday, together with several other Omega, he started feeling jittery again, his nerves making him hop back and forth from one foot to the other. Other Omega were mingling together, but he couldn't immediately spot someone he knew and so he lingered near the front, watching how the open space in front of the woods became more and more crowded as people kept arriving.

His father was somewhere with Talia and several police officers, keeping an eye on everyone who arrived today. Only unmated people were allowed to enter the sectioned grass field today; anyone else would be unceremoniously thrown out.

The field itself had been divided into two big parts. One part was reserved for the Omega, who were waiting closest to the woods. They were cut off from the Beta and Alpha by a thick, magical barrier, courtesy of Deaton, the local druid, who was watching the proceedings with his usual brand of disinterest. The Omega would get a head start of half an hour. After those thirty minutes were up, the barrier would disappear and the others would be allowed to start running in the woods. It wasn't only the Omega who would be chased – Beta and Alpha would get chased as well by each other if they found themselves more interested in a Beta or an Alpha than an Omega. Only the Omega weren't allowed to chase anyone – a part of the ancient custom people weren't willing to give up either.

A peculiar scent – carrying wisps of leather and undertones of the dark woods – caught his attention all of a sudden and he whirled around, his eyes darting back and forth across the barrier. He was sure he had …


Hazel coloured eyes – though that description was nowhere sufficient enough to describe the myriad of colours he could pick out, like the flecks of gold, the bright green, the specks of blue … - locked onto his own and Stiles froze underneath the piercing stare.

He's here. That thought kept bouncing around in his mind as his heart started pounding and his hands grew clammy, his legs weak like jelly.

Derek Hale was here.

Everybody knew the Hales. That family had lived here for several generations already, practically owned the entire town and every single member was respected by the community. With Talia Hale – the matriarch of the Hale pack – as the mayor their ownership of the place was practically absolute. She had started leading the town four years ago and as many functions required both the Sheriff and the mayor to attend, Stiles had got to know the Hale family by tagging along with his dad.

Talia and Alexander Hale had three children: Laura, the oldest and five years older than Stiles, Derek, three years older than Stiles, and Cora, the youngest and one year younger than Stiles. All three of them had turned out to be an Alpha, but despite their frankly intimidating aura, they were fairly easy to get along with.

During those boring functions Stiles had found himself drifting towards Derek every time, despite the resting bitch face the older boy had sported every time. Admittedly Stiles had been quite intimidated by him at first and in the beginning he had seriously expected Derek to throw him against a wall or something to make him shut up and stop his chattering.

Despite his standoffish nature, though, Derek hadn't minded Stiles' blabbering about every little thing that popped up in his mind and slowly they had started to get to know each other better.

And Stiles discovered he actually quite liked the surly werewolf. Derek had a dry sense of humour that Stiles could appreciate, a counter balance to his own brand of sarcasm, and he liked watching those multicoloured eyes lit up with excitement whenever Derek discussed something history or literature related. Despite the age and Class difference, Derek never made him feel stupid or lesser than him and Stiles appreciated that. At that time, though, he hadn't realised yet just what exactly he was feeling for the older boy.

Then Derek had attended his first Run and had mated with an older woman named Kate. Stiles still wasn't certain what exactly had happened, but his dad had been called for an emergency at the Hale manor four months after the mating and the next day Derek had left town for reasons nobody save for the rest of the Hales and Stiles' dad knew. And Stiles had felt lost, embarrassed that he had got so caught up in one guy and had buried everything he felt for Derek deep in the back of his mind. Denial had been so sweet for so long.

Now Derek had returned. A part of Stiles had feared that the older boy had completely forgotten about him, but that worry had turned to be completely unfounded when he had encountered Derek in the supermarket a couple of weeks ago. They had started talking again, sharing a coffee after school a couple of times, and Stiles knew –

The click he had felt before was still there. He still wanted to see Derek laugh genuinely, felt butterflies whenever their eyes met, still got embarrassingly lost in the Alpha's eyes. It was a fact that Derek had grown up very nicely throughout the entire time he had been gone – the pure muscle that guy packed was just unbelievably unfair. People who looked as handsome as Derek did shouldn't be allowed to have the perfect body as well on top of that, but life was clearly fucking unfair.

So yeah, Derek had grown up quite nicely – but he was still that same guy who was secretly a dork and loved discussing history with Stiles and debating with him whether Iron Man or Batman would win. He was still that same guy who could render Stiles speechless with just one look or one smile and who caused butterflies to race around in his stomach

Stiles still wasn't certain whether he actually had a shot with Derek. It was possible that the Alpha saw him as nothing but a good friend, but …

He had said he would see Stiles at the Fertility Run. There was something in his eyes whenever he looked at Stiles, something that made the boy hope that he had a chance after all. That all those smiles and fleeting touches and glittering eyes were all just for him.

He knew he had promised his dad not to pin his hopes on Derek in case someone else found him first – which he sincerely doubted, because nobody had ever shown him an inkling of interest, not like Derek had done so far – or if Derek turned out not to be interested after all, but – he couldn't help it.

A part of him was hoping that Derek was there for him, that when the time came for the barrier to be lowered that Derek would go chase after him.

Was it that bad to harbour a little spark of hope?

He couldn't remember the mayor's speech. He knew she had to have given one, as that was part of the tradition before the Run started, but he couldn't remember the words, couldn't recall the tone in which she spoke or even how she had been dressed.

His entire being had been focused on those intense eyes, feeling them stare at him even when he had turned his back towards the older man. The smouldering gaze had prickled his skin, had his fingers tingling and his stomach flipping, feeling hot even underneath the weak sunlight.

Now he was running through the woods, jumping over protruding, thick roots, dashing through bushes, ducking underneath heavy branches; his breath heavy and loud in his ears, his footsteps thundering across the uneven forest floor.

Nobody was allowed to change into their other form to keep it fair for everyone. In his other form, while smaller than a regular wolf, he would be faster and he'd have an easier time navigating through the trees. As it was, it was a damn miracle he hadn't tripped yet.

Something was spurring him on, though, a call in his blood that had him racing through the woods as fast as he could, leaving behind all the others. He didn't know whether someone was chasing him, hadn't heard anyone else near him in a while, but he didn't care.

All he cared about was going faster, going deeper into the woods, forcing whoever was behind him to prove themselves, show that they were stronger and quicker than him.

Prove that they were worthy of becoming his mate.

The trees sang, their branches caressing him lovingly as he sped past them, underneath them. The air vibrated with something unknown, the ground trilled and the light filtering through the rooftop guided him the way.

He was close, so close, he just needed to be a bit quicker, put more force behind his leaps and then …

Something slammed into him from the left side and they went down snarling and growling, hands and claws grappling, and legs kicking. They rolled around and around, now Stiles was on top, then the other one, then Stiles again before the other one – a man judging by the solid muscle and the heavy musky scent filtering into Stiles' nose – was pinning him down again.

Snarling, Stiles kicked out his legs, hell bent on pushing the other one away, but hands slammed his wrists down on the rough underground and then there were teeth resting against his neck, not biting down – not yet, but soon, very soon – and all the fight suddenly drained out of him, defeat making him slump on the ground.

Panting, his chest heaving up and down quickly, he opened his eyes – and when had he closed them? – and stared straight into glowing gold and green and blue, pupils wide, nearly swallowing up the myriad of colours.

"Derek," he breathed out, eyes widening in shock even as elation filled his body, making him feel like he was about to start floating.

Derek had caught him. Derek had chased him, had gone after him, and now he was pinning the Omega down with his entire body, his eyes ablaze and fangs showing, a deep rumble causing his chest to vibrate.

"Got you," Derek growled, smirking around his fangs.

Breathless laughter escaped Stiles and he clenched and relaxed his fists, claws tightening carefully around his wrists. Exhilarated – Derek caught him, Derek wanted him, Derek liked him, oh fuck – he grinned and stretched up as much as the Alpha would allow. "Yeah, you did," he agreed, licking his own fangs. "What are you going to do now, hm?"

His smirk widening, Derek bent down and murmured, "I'm going to - "

A loud snarl interrupted him and their heads shot towards the sound. For a couple of seconds they saw nothing and they tensed up. Just as Stiles was wondering whether another couple was fighting near them, a figure emerged from behind a tree.

Theo Raeken.

"Sorry, Hale, but I saw him first," Theo murmured, his eyes glinting in the sunlight as he took a step closer, looking like a predator stalking its prey. "So why don't you get your claws off him, hm?"

Stiles didn't know Theo personally. All he knew was that the guy had moved into town a year ago and attended some classes with him. They had never interacted with each other, didn't even acknowledge each other, so what the hell? Who did Theo think he was that he thought he could stake a claim on him just like that?

Stiles huffed and rolled his eyes. It didn't matter anyway. Even if Theo challenged Derek, Derek was stronger and stubborn as fuck. He knew Derek wouldn't lose. He'd still hate it if they did come to blows about him, but the rules were clear about a situation like this: two Alpha were allowed to challenge each other if they wanted the same person. The only Class who wasn't allowed to challenge an Alpha and had to concede their defeat was …

Derek got off him and stepped away, his eyes downcast to the ground, even as his hands were clenched at his sides. Conceding his defeat.

Heart pounding – but for an entirely different reason now – Stiles scrambled up, his eyes darting back and forth between Derek and Theo. "Derek, why the hell …" Something wasn't right here, there had to be some kind of misunderstanding because –

Because the only Class not allowed to challenge an Alpha was a Beta. But Derek wasn't a Beta.


AN2: I guess the concept of the Fertility Run has already been used quite a lot before, but I'm hoping my take on this particular trope will still interest you :)

Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in the next chapter!



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