Title: Walking to Atlantis
Fandom: Teen Wolf/Stargate Atlantis
Characters: Stiles Stilinski, Derek Hale, Noah Stilinski, Jack O’Neill, Daniel Jackson, Rodney McKay, John Sheppard
Warnings: Discussion-Death of a parent, Canon-level violence.
Word Count: 7597
Prompt: Sunday Prompts on the Just Write! Discord Server for 8-11-19.
Summary: All Derek wanted to do was help Stiles overcome his sleepwalking.
Derek spotted the flashing red lights through the trees and shifted to human before exiting the woods. Deputy Richardson’s voice was steady as he reported through his radio, and the static was momentarily silenced. “Marks, let the Sheriff know we have a code SSW on Meridian Trail, nine miles past the lake turnoff, headed west.”
Deputy Marks’ voice sounded relieved, “Does he appear uninjured?”
“Yes. At least he’s wearing shoes and pants this time.”
“Nine miles? Jeez, kid, what are you doing?” There was a short pause. “OK, the Sheriff asks that you follow until he gets there. Don’t try to interact with him. He should be there in about seven minutes.” Marks instructed.
The car crept along for another minute before there was further communication of interest to Derek.
“Richardson, this is Stilinski.”
“Has he given you any acknowledgment at all?”
“No sir, no indication he’s aware of my existence.”
“Roger that, I’m four minutes from your location.”
Derek kept pace in the shadows, remaining hidden from the Deputy, who was relatively new to the department. It wasn’t long before he could hear the Sheriff’s cruiser approaching their location. There was a brief exchange, and Deputy Richardson turned around and returned to his patrol route. When the lights from the deputy’s car disappeared in the distance, Derek stepped out and approached the vehicle.
“Noah. Didn’t realize your department had a code for this.” Derek watched as Noah took a deep breath and tried to release the stress carved into his face.
“Good, ol’ SSW—Stiles Sleep Walking. Stiles has been sleepwalking for years. Almost six years.” Noah reached into the passenger seat and pulled out a hoodie jacket.
“That would put it around the time that…” Derek trailed off, not wanting to hurt his friend’s father.
“Yeah, just after his mother died.” Noah left the door open and walked forward to catch up with Stiles, who hadn’t halted his walking.
Derek followed along. He’s seen this a couple times since he’s been back in Beacon Hills and it’s disconcerting. Stiles’ eyes are open, and if you didn’t know it, he would seem like a calm young man out for a stroll. But Stiles should never be calm or quiet. There is an energy about Stiles that draws you in and makes you want to know him. Even when he’s annoying as hell, you crave it—you crave Stiles. It’s why the reaction to him is so polarizing. You are either drawn in or try your hardest to run away, but you are never unaffected by it.
Derek asked his Uncle Peter once, why Stiles was the only person he ever offered the Bite to when he was alpha. Peter told him that there’s a fire in Stiles you just must respect. It will warm you up or burn you down. But either way, it will always be Stiles’ choice how the fire burns.
Noah’s voice was soft and conversational ahead of him. “Hey, kiddo. Where you headed to so late?”
“San Francisco.” Stiles’ voice was distracted. Like he was listening to something and responding as an afterthought.
“What’s in San Francisco?”
“I think Atlanta is in Georgia, son. Maybe we should go home and check Google Earth.”
“No, not Georgia. She’s waiting for me in San Francisco.”
“Well, that’s going to be an awful long way to walk. Wouldn’t you prefer that someone drive you?” Noah kept walking with Stiles, though they were approaching the end of the headlights. Derek considered offering to drive the car closer.
“Driving would be good. She really wants me to come, Dad.”
“Why don’t you put on your jacket and come back to the car with me. Then we can make a plan. You know how I like plans, Stiles. You took off without even taking your phone or wallet. Doesn’t sound like you were operating with a plan to me.” Stiles stopped and reached out an arm, allowing Noah to slip the jacket onto him.
“OK, I’m really tired, Dad.”
Noah turned him back to the car and started walking. “Well, then you should take a nap. You can stretch out in the back while I drive.”
Ten minutes later, Stiles was asleep in the back of the cruiser, and Derek was riding up front with Noah.
“Is it always the same?”
“Atlantis? Yeah, always going to Atlantis. When he was a kid, he always called the capital of Georgia, Atlantis. His mother did the same, and it was their joke. But the heading west is new. Used to be he headed east. Well—North East, actually. Atlanta is almost due east from us, but he would head northeast. He was running a fever once, half out of his head. Nevada state patrol picked him up on the border. He had fallen asleep in the back of a truck. They took him to the hospital to get his fever down, and he kept ranting that he needed to get to the bottom of the mountain to walk through the blue lake into Atlantis. Scared the hell out of me.” Noah gripped the wheel hard for a moment.
“Sounds scary. How often does it happen?” They hit a bump, and Derek glanced back as Stiles murmured softly but didn’t wake.
“Well, it was around eight months to a year between the first time and the second. For a while, it became this weekly thing, but relatively short. Then for almost two years, it happened so often I put him in therapy, but that went nowhere. He didn’t always remember when he woke up. And sometimes it was just these horrific dreams of space vampires. I had to ban anything with Marilyn Manson on MTV because the kid would freak the hell out.”
Derek snorted. “When he found out about werewolves, he insisted on knowing if vampires were real. He told me he was certain they were and pulled up a picture of Marilyn Manson as proof.”
Noah laughed. “Yeah, that sounds right. Wait—are they real?”
“I’ve never seen any. There are legends. Some say they suck your blood; others insist it’s your soul, but they all agree that all that’s left is a dried-up husk. Not quite the standard vampire stories. But, seriously, I doubt it.” Derek considered the problem. “Have you ever catered to his sleepwalking?”
“What do you mean?” Noah glanced at Derek and Derek shrugged.
“He’s pretty certain he needs to go to San Francisco. How about just help him go? I mean, will it hurt anything to let him?” Derek didn’t really want to explain it, but that fire that burned in Stiles sometimes just made Derek want to help him. He was a sarcastic, annoying, spastic teenager. But he was Stiles, and the wolf in Derek insisted that what Stiles needed was important.
“Son, I know it sounds like it would solve his problems but trust me when I say he’s not really going anywhere. It’s all in his mind.”
“Well, Stiles’ mind is a pretty confusing place to be. But I still think it would help him. If he goes, maybe his subconscious will let go of the need to travel.”
They pulled into the Stilinski’s driveway and stopped. Noah leaned back and closed his eyes a moment. “You’re offering to take him?”
“Yes. Excuse him from school tomorrow, and that will give us Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to run up to San Francisco and see some sites. I promise I can keep him safe and maybe get him to figure out what Atlantis really is.” Derek entreated quietly. This is something he really feels he needs to do, but he doesn’t want to beg.
“Derek, isn’t it obvious. Atlantis is Claudia. He’s been looking for his mother all this time.” There was pain in Noah’s voice, and Derek felt like a heel putting it there.
“Then, maybe I can help him see that. Did his mother ever take him to San Francisco?”
“No, but I think maybe she talked about it once just before she got sick.” He drummed his fingers lightly on the steering wheel while thinking and then nodded once. “OK, why don’t you help me get him up to bed and go pack an overnight bag. You can crash here, and the two of you can leave in the morning. I wish I could go with you, but I have a deposition tomorrow afternoon, and I’m on duty Friday night.”
Stiles didn’t even twitch as Derek carried him up the stairs. He left the Sheriff to tuck in his son as he ran back to the loft to pack a bag and pick up the Camaro. Derek was trying really hard to ignore why he felt so strongly that he needed to help Stiles.
“You don’t have to do this, you know,” Stiles said for the eighth time.
“Not doing it because I have to. I offered.” Derek checked the sign and sighed in relief as they crossed into San Francisco. Stiles had gone through the gamut of wary, excited, nervous, self-conscious, and avoidance. Derek decided eight hours in a car with Stiles was penance for any sin he had ever committed. “Look, last night you were firm that you needed to go to San Francisco to see Atlantis. Your dad and I just figured that coming here might help.”
“Yeah, well my dad also thinks Atlantis is just a subconscious code for my mom.” Stiles was chewing on one of his fingernails, a habit that drove Derek insane.
“He does. What do you think Atlantis is?” Derek quirked an eyebrow at Stiles and just waited him out. One thing Stiles didn’t do well was silence.
“Oh My God, Derek! Don’t you think if I knew I would say? I have no clue what Atlantis is. Sometimes it’s an island at sea. Sometimes it’s a comet in space. Sometimes it’s a gentle voice welcoming me home. Other times it’s a warning of danger. I don’t know where it comes from or why I dream about it. But it’s there, and it’s not just some psychosis in my head. There is just something about the dreams that I know as deep down as I can that they’re real. Atlantis is real, and it’s not my mom.” Stiles slouched down on the seat and looked out the passenger window.
“I believe you. I wouldn’t have offered to bring you if I didn’t think there was something here you needed to see.” Derek saw Stiles stiffen, and he added, “I don’t think you’re crazy, Stiles.” Stiles held his breath a moment and then relaxed a minuscule amount while resting his head against the window.
Derek drove another half hour into the city before realizing he had no real destination. “Anything, in particular, you want to see before we find a hotel?”
Stiles sat up and looked around. “Can we see San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge?”
“OK.” Derek followed the signs as afternoon traffic picked up. Instead of stressing him he was calmed as Stiles let loose with a string of disjointed facts about San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, earthquakes, Spanish colonization, the Gold Rush, Chinese immigration, and of all things Hippies. It was a uniquely Stiles data dump, and Derek relaxed.
Since this was a place Derek wanted to show Stiles anyway, he had picked a location he knew that gave a good view of the bridge and water. They parked and walked to the place that would allow a great photograph. He figured he could get Stiles to send a picture to Noah to reassure him they were fine.
“Derek—do you see that?” Stiles was pale, his eyes wide and his heart rate skyrocketed.
“What?” Derek looked out and saw boats in the water and the bridge at the perfect angle for a picture.
“That.” Stiles pointed out toward the water away from the bridge. It was just an open expanse of water, though Derek did note that there were more than the usual number of Navy vessels on the outskirts of the area.
“Are you seriously telling me you can’t see the big freaking city floating in the water out there?!” Some of the people walking around them turned to look at the water and then gave nervous looks toward Stiles while moving away like he was dangerous. What was more concerning were several people with military haircuts whose heart rates hiked and were exchanging glances with one another.
“Um, Stiles. You’re tired, and I think we really need to find a hotel for the night. Maybe something with room service.” Derek moved over next to Stiles and tried to block him from inquiring eyes.
“No. Just, no. You cannot come all this way with me and tell me you can’t see Atlantis floating out there on the water. Almost six years she’s been calling to me, and now she’s finally here where I can see her, and I am not letting you walk away without telling me you can see her too.” Stile’s agitation was rising, and Derek just wanted to get him out of here now. One of the men had triggered something in his ear.
“OK, Stiles. Sure, I can see Atlantis. Now let’s go.” Derek got within reach of Stiles, but before he could try to turn him around, Stiles took control.
“Don’t patronize me.” Stiles grabbed ahold of Derek’s arm and turned him toward the water. “Look at it, Derek. I just know you can see it, too.” It felt like a burning shock ran through Derek’s body, and suddenly in front of him, a huge golden city floated on the water, surrounded by a bubble of light.
“Where the hell did that come from?” Derek stood frozen at the sight. His mind went completely blank at the sheer size of the—well, city. What else could you call that? And, come to think of it, why couldn’t anyone else see it? It was huge!
“Thank god. You scared me. But you can see her now, right? You can see Atlantis, too.” Stiles was practically vibrating in place.
“Yeah. This is what you’ve been dreaming about for almost six years?” Derek couldn’t tear his eyes away from it.
“Yes. This. Her. Yes, yes, yes.” Stiles shook his arm. “I’m not crazy, Derek. I’m not. She’s real.”
Derek nodded, “She’s real.”
The slight crackle of a radio caught Derek’s attention, and he spun around, pulling Stiles behind him. The crowd had thinned out, and there were only nine people around them. The sights and smells reminded him slightly of hunters, but there was no wolfsbane. Though, honestly, some of the scents were distinctly foreign to him.
One of the women held out her hands to either side slightly. “Hey, guys. We don’t want any trouble here. I just have some people who would like to speak to the two of you.”
“I don’t think so.” Derek felt Stiles hands on his jacket, keeping in contact. Derek looked for an easy exit without needing to fight their way out, but he could tell that they were armed and he wasn’t going to be able to move fast without risking Stiles.
“Derek,” Stiles said behind him. His voice suddenly had that distant tone he had when sleepwalking. “I think we need to go with them.”
“Not a good idea, Stiles.”
“Her name is Major Teldy, and she’s one of the good guys. Atlantis trusts her. It’ll be ok.” Stiles started to step out from behind him, and Derek held back a growl. The last thing he needed to do was to lose control now.
“How do you know my name?” The woman, Teldy, asked.
“Atlantis knows you all. She knows everyone who lives on her and only wants to help. But you people are shit at listening to her. She wants to know if Doctor McKay can pull the control interface to the stardrive before it overloads. She doesn’t want to blow up, but all of the warning sensors for the core are offline.” Stiles’ voice was getting more and more distant as he spoke.
“Stiles.” Derek turned around to grab him. “Stiles, you need to wake up now.”
Stiles’ eyes were glassy, his heart rate spiked, and his nose suddenly spouted blood as his whole body started to shake. “Voice interface offline. Access to user interfaces offline. Communications between Atlantis and users disrupted. Core temperatures rising. Breach imminent.”
The major was giving orders, and there was too much unintelligible communication for Derek to pay attention. All he cared about was Stiles, who was now seizing.
Two of the people ran forward, “Let us help. He needs medical treatment.”
Derek only nodded and took a leap of faith, following them as they picked up Stiles and rushed him to a nearby vehicle. The SUV was driven quickly to a nearby building where they hauled him out and then grouped around him.
“I’m going to need you to stay calm if you want your friend to get some help.” The woman looked him in the eye. “I promise you; no one will hurt you here. But I don’t really have time for explanations, and you need to keep it together until we can talk.”
Derek nodded once, and then there was light, and his skin felt like it was crawling off his body. It lasted only a moment, and he had a flash of someplace else with stale air and pressure around him before the light, and the feeling returned. Finally, it ended, and they were in some kind of hospital that was as sci-fi as any movie he had ever seen. The air was fresh, but that foreign smell was strong. Moreover, though, there was a presence, almost a voice in his head. It was welcoming and relieved.
People in uniforms surrounded Stiles and lifted him onto a bed. One of the women who accompanied them was giving a rundown of Stiles symptoms. Lights and scanners were run over him as he lay there, still bleeding.
“Hi, my name is Doctor Jennifer Keller. I’m the CMO here. I need to ask you some questions about your friend. Do you know if he’s prone to seizures?” The doctor was still examining Stiles as she called out to Derek.
“No. I mean, I’ve never heard of any.”
“Any allergies, illnesses, do you know if he’s taking any drugs?”
Derek shook his head. “Stiles doesn’t do drugs.”
“Nothing. No prescriptions?” She stepped to the side as a nurse set down a tray and started taking a blood sample.
Derek hesitated. “He has a prescription for his ADHD. Adderall? And he sleepwalks sometimes, but no allergies and nothing illegal. Other than junk food on occasion, he’s pretty healthy.”
“OK, well the nosebleed is stopping on his own. His blood pressure is a little high, which explains the nosebleed. We’ll keep an eye on that, but I would like to do a more in-depth brain scan to rule out complications from the seizure.” She looked at Derek expectantly.
“I guess?” Derek shrugged, “He just turned seventeen so should probably get permission from his Dad.”
Some of the, obviously, military personnel that were still with them shifted slightly. Their scents showing discomfort and some guilt, probably from scaring Stiles.
Doctor Keller hesitated a moment like she was thinking things through and then nodded. “Since I don’t have permission to contact his father at this time and he is a minor traveling with you, I can take your approval and act in his best interest. Once he’s awake, he is old enough to make his own medical decisions. Now, I don’t want to keep you away from your friend, but there are some people here who would like to ask you a few questions. According to the scans he’s going to be out for at least an hour or more, so why don’t you talk to them and I promise you they will bring you back as soon as he shows the first sign of waking up.”
Her heart rate and scent indicated she was telling the truth, so Derek nodded and took a breath to keep himself calm. “OK.” He gave a last look at Stiles before following them out of the room. The soldiers took position around him, and he noticed several more with weapons stationed around.
He was trying to keep it under control while memorizing the way back to Stiles. Eventually, they came to a large open room with a big circle in it. From there he was taken up some steps to a conference room. He heard the voices through the closed doors.
“He was right. Twenty minutes later, and we would have had an explosion big enough to take out this entire region.” The voice had a grumpy quality yet sounded a bit like Stiles when he was amped up on caffeine.
“What I want to know is how he knew, McKay. That sensor array appears to have been damaged on landing and as far as Zelenka has reported no one has accessed data on it. So if we didn’t know, and no one else knew, how did this guy know about it?”
“Well, Colonel Super Gene. Why don’t you explain why Atlantis is talking to him and not to you?”
“Wait, has she been talking to you and you’re ignoring her? Sheppard!”
Another voice joined in. “Colonel Sheppard, I think we would like a response to that question.”
They reached the doors, and the Major signaled. The doors suddenly opened, and Derek saw several people inside.
That last voice spoke, and now Derek could associate the voice to a thin, balding man with glasses. “Please come in. Have a seat.”
Derek stiffly took a seat at the oddly shaped table. He didn’t know much about military ranks, but the one down the table from him had stars, and he knew that meant general.
“Well, it seems you’ve stumbled into a bit of something here, son. I’m sorry to say we have some questions and we’re going to need some honest answers.” The general said, leaning back a little while evaluating Derek. There were little things in his movement that let Derek know that this one is a predator.
Derek just stared back at him, waiting.
Balding guy spoke up. “Major Teldy has given us a briefing of what happened from her point of view. We need to know how you saw through our cloak.”
Derek glanced around and decided honesty could work. He shrugged and said, “Don’t know.”
“You don’t know?” Caffeine guy asked with a huff.
“Let’s start with something simple. Your name.” The general asked.
“Hale.” It’s not like they can’t just pull his ID off him.
“Well, Mr. Derek Hale. You are currently on one of the most classified bases on our planet. We are going to have to have you sign a lot of forms…so many forms…all of them saying you will never breathe a word of the existence of this place. I’m talking whole sections of the rainforest chopped down to make all the forms. Without your agreement, a very detailed background check, and these forms threating things like treason if you even think about muttering something about this in your sleep, we will have to consider closely what happens to you next. I don’t like to consider these things, but I will to keep our entire world safe. This isn’t a threat. This is just a fact of our existence.” The general said this all while staring Derek down, and he could tell every word of what the man said was true.
“Now, I would prefer to make things as pleasant as possible, but your knowledge here constitutes a security breach of immense proportions, and I need answers.”
Derek considered. This was big, and while he might be able to find a way off, there was no way he could risk Stiles. So far there was no indication they knew about werewolves, so the best course of action was to give them what they’re looking for and hope that they didn’t find anything that would lead them to the supernatural while they were investigating.
Derek looked him in the eye. “I don’t know. But I can guess.”
“Well, let’s start there.”
“Can I at least know who I’m talking to?” It was annoying Derek that there had been no introductions.
“Fine. General Jack O’Neill, two Ls.” The man held up three fingers. He pointed around him. “Richard Woolsey, Cameron Mitchell, Daniel Jackson, John Sheppard, and Rodney McKay. OK, now that we know everyone, explain.”
Derek cracked his neck and considered. There wasn’t much that wouldn’t be confirmed based on police reports, so no reason to hold back. “My friend, Stiles. His last name is Stilinski. His father is Sheriff of Beacon County, California. We live in Beacon Hills. Since he was eleven, he’s had nightmares and sleepwalking. If you asked him while he was sleepwalking where he was going, he would always answer that he was walking to Atlantis. His dad always figured he meant Atlanta, but he was usually walking northeast toward Colorado. Once, when he was really sick, he insisted that Atlantis was calling him, and he had to get through the blue lake in the bottom of a mountain.”
The people around the table exchanged looks but held their tongues. It was clear this meant something to them. “When he wasn’t sleepwalking, he’s had nightmares of vampires that look like Marilyn Manson and suck your soul out. He always insisted that Atlantis was showing him the vampires. The last week, though, the sleepwalking has come every night, and he changed direction to the west. Last night he told us that Atlantis was in San Francisco and needed his help. We wanted to snap him out of it, so his father let me bring him here for the weekend hoping that it would settle whatever part of him wanted to come. As soon as we got to the coast, Stiles could see this place. Something happened when he begged me to see it and I could. I don’t know how. But then Stiles started to have a seizure.”
Caffeine guy, McKay, started typing on a laptop in front of him. “You said that it started when he was eleven?”
“Yes, just under six years ago. The second time was around a year later. Then with increasing and decreasing frequency. I think Stiles’ father said there was a period where it was almost weekly that it would happen.” Derek looked at McKay who huffed as he exchanged looks with the others.
The other guy with glasses, Jackson, picked up his coffee. “I think we’re all thinking the same thing here. Somehow Atlantis was sending messages to this kid whenever the gate was open.”
“Why didn’t we know that and what is it about this kid that he’s getting messages?” Woolsey asked.
Because Stiles is a spark? Derek thought, but there was no way he was going to help them with that. Stiles needed protection here.
O’Neill sighed, “More importantly, how many other people out there are getting messages from Atlantis?”
McKay was still staring at the other guy, Sheppard. “Well, Sheppard? You still haven’t answered our question.”
“No. If Atlantis has been trying to talk to you, why weren’t you listening?”
“It’s not exactly talking. It’s more urges. Encouragement to go somewhere. Sensors and alarms. Most of the time, I just push that stuff back. I’ve never actually had a voice speaking to me, McKay. I would have mentioned something like that.” He slouched down in his chair.
“According to Teldy, the city actually spoke to the kid.”
“Yeah, and according to Keller’s report, it came close to giving him a stroke.”
Derek jerked back from the table. “What?”
“Hey, no, it’s ok. Sorry about that. Your friend really is fine. They’re still monitoring him and expect him to sleep for a few more hours. There is no permanent damage. There was a bit of an emergency here, and I guess the city used a little more power than she needed to to get the point across to the only person who was getting a message.” Sheppard winced. But everything about him said he told the truth as he knew it, so Derek stayed in his seat. But his patience was wearing thin.
“Alright. I’m cooperating here and answering your questions, but I really need to call Stile’s father.” Derek started.
O’Neill sat up straight. “Uh-uh, nope. What part of classified and don’t think about talking did you have trouble understanding.”
“I understand not talking about this, general. But I’m responsible for him, and he’s a minor. His father should know he’s being treated or something. Besides, he expected us to check in three hours ago. Pretty sure by now he’s calling the state patrol to make sure we weren’t in an accident. Much more time and he will head out here anyway.” Derek slouched down in the seat and tried his hardest not to pull the alpha card. He didn’t want to know their reaction to that.
“Jack, maybe the man has more information about what’s happening with his son,” Jackson said with a slight wheedling to his voice.
The general acted annoyed, but his scent profile was more frustrated and amused. He opened his mouth to speak, and the doors behind Derek opened, derailing him. Derek recognized Dr. Keller’s scent before she spoke.
“I’ve completed my scans, and I don’t know how but the patient is Ancient.” She moved to a chair.
“What?” There was a jumble of voices asking.
Derek was just confused. “He’s seventeen.”
Jackson responded first, “The Ancients were a race that predates humans though they were very close to us in form. They are the race that actually built this city, and they build the stargate system we use to travel to other planets.”
“Jackson!” The one identified as Mitchell rebuked harshly.
“What? He’s going to have to sign an NDA anyway.”
“Enough,” O’Neill ordered, and everyone was quiet again. “Let’s get back to the part where you said the kid is an Ancient, Doctor.”
“Well, close enough that he might as well be. One or both of his parents were Ancient.” She looked wide-eyed around the table and made Derek think of Bambi in the middle of a forest of hunters. “His brainwave patterns are off the charts, and there is activity in parts of his brain that I’ve only seen in the scans of Ancients the city has on record.”
“OK, then sure, Colonels, why don’t you take a cloaked jumper out to Beacon Hills and invite the good Sheriff to come out for a visit and see his son.” O’Neill looked around at them. “Now, gentlemen.”
Sheppard and Mitchell stood. “Yes, sir.” They headed out of the room swiftly, and Derek really wanted to ask what a jumper was.
“How is our other guest, Doc?”
“Mr. Stilinski’s resting comfortably. I still have some tests running, but it looks like he should recover completely. I have started some fluids to deal with some minor dehydration and balance his electrolytes, but he actually seems pretty healthy overall.”
“Can I see him?” Derek asked, ready for the questions to stop. He’s already thrown the Sheriff under the bus, so he feels like he failed somehow. Now, he just needs to know he’s protected Stiles.
Woolsey exchanged glances with the General, “Mr. Hale, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here. It’s not our intent to make you a prisoner. But you must understand that with the classified nature of this base, we cannot allow you the freedom to roam. So, if you will accept a military escort and not attempt to escape them, I see no reason to restrict your access to Mr. Stilinski. It might not seem like it, but we are grateful to you and your friend for the service he has inadvertently given us in avoiding a tragedy.”
“Sure.” Derek shrugged. “Not a problem.”
Keller reached out and patted his hand, which he stiffened and then withdrew. “He really is ok. Why don’t you check on him and then go to the mess to get something to eat?”
Derek just nodded and left the conference room as fast as he could without looking like he was trying to run away. Two men broke away and approached him. He figured they must be his keepers.
“Mr. Hale. I’m Sgt. Stackhouse. This is Sgt. Markham. We’ve been assigned as your escort this evening. I understand you wish to return to the infirmary. If you would come this way, we will be happy to take you.” Stackhouse motioned and stepped forward. Markham took position behind him.
In short order, he was back by Stiles side and relieved to find things just as described. Stiles had been cleaned up from most of the blood and was sleeping naturally in the bed. The sight of his little movements and twitches calmed Derek because even in sleep, Stiles was rarely still. Derek reached out to touch his head, brushing his hair back to hide the fact he was checking for possible pain. He only sensed minor aching. He drew what pain he could without anyone becoming suspicious and felt Stiles take a deeper breath.
One of the nurses came by, “He’s going to sleep for a little while. Would you like to go get something to eat?”
Derek tensed at the thought of leaving Stiles alone again, even though they had done nothing to hurt him. The nurse seemed to understand, “Why don’t I order a tray for you? They’re serving burger and fries tonight.”
Two burgers and a couple hours later, Derek heard Noah’s voice approaching the infirmary.
“Look, I will be happy to answer any more questions you have as soon as I’ve seen that my son. I’ve been patient. I’ve cooperated. But I have been flown out to a top-secret city floating in the Pacific in an invisible, flying—thing. I was told that my son was being treated by your doctors, and I am finished being nice until I can verify his status with my own eyes.” Noah had that tight reasonable tone he usually had just before arresting everyone in sight.
“He’s just through these doors, Sheriff.”
Derek stood as the doors opened. Noah’s eyes acknowledged Derek before sliding to the side and drinking in the sight of Stiles. He moved forward and rested a hand on Stile’s head.
“Oh, kiddo. What have you gotten yourself into this time?”
“Totally not my fault.” Stiles groaned out as his head turned toward his father’s touch, and his eyes slowly blinked open.
There was a tight chuckle. “It never is, kid.” Noah breathed out a sigh of relief, and Derek was right there with him.
Stiles lifted a hand to rub his eyes, “Ow. What?”
Noah grabbed his hand and pulled it back down. “Watch the IV.” He looked around for the doctor. “Does he still need that?”
Doctor Keller reached up to check the bag as she moved in to check Stiles. “He’s got about ten minutes left on the bag. I would like him to finish that, and then we’ll remove it.”
Stiles heart rate increased, and he was looking around at the full house in the infirmary. “What happened?”
Noah glanced over his shoulder and then focused on Stiles. “Why don’t you tell us what you remember.”
Closing his eyes tightly, Stiles rolled a shoulder. “Derek and I went to San Francisco. We went to the Bay and…Oh. My. God! Dad…Atlantis is real. I just knew she was real. Did you see her? Derek didn’t see her at first, and I think I may have pushed him to see her. But he did, and she’s real.” He looked around wildly and then reached for Derek. “Der-bear, you saw her. Tell him you saw her.”
“Yeah, Stiles. We all saw her.” Derek reached out and took Stiles hand to keep him from waving it around.
“You did a bit more than just see her. Do you remember what happened?” That Jackson guy was drifting forward.
“I did? I…” Stiles gripped Derek’s hand tightly. “She was in danger. She needed help. She was talking to me, but I didn’t understand, so she—she took control?” Stiles leaned his head to the side like he was listening to something, and his voice calmed slightly. “She’s sorry, and she didn’t mean to damage me, but there was no more time, and she needed a voice to speak for her.”
“Can you hear her now?”
“Yes. It’s easier here. Atlantis promises not to do that again but would like it if Doctor McKay could repair her user interface so that she can communicate independently.” Stiles looked around and then focused on McKay. “Right now, she has access to her sensors, but she’s not able to actually do anything. It’s like she’s awake and aware but paralyzed. She would really like access to her body again.” Everyone flinched at the visual when Stiles said paralyzed.
“If I show you a schematic, could you show me where the repairs are needed?” McKay moved forward, motioning to a datapad in his hand.
“Um, yeah.” It took no time at all as Stiles moved from hesitant to scrolling around and flicking through data like he had done it forever. “This is awesome. Can I get one of these? Wait there, go back—and, right there. That room. She says there were some damaged crystals, but there are backups stored. Then you have to use some Command User Interface to initialize the system.” Stiles looked up and blinked.
“McKay?” General O’Neill asked.
McKay huffed, “It’s marked as a secure storage closet. I’m sending the information to Zelenka and Kusanagi. They’ll evaluate the damage, and I’ll join them as soon as we’re through.”
O’Neill motioned toward Doctor Keller. “OK, Sheriff. You’ve seen your son. Now if you could cooperate, we would like to run a few tests…unless you want to tell us what you know about the Ancients.”
“What are Ancients?” Noah looked confused.
Derek was just tired of this. “The Ancients were aliens that looked like humans and lived a long time ago. They built this place before they disappeared or died out. These people think Stiles is one of these Ancients and that’s how he’s talking to the city. They want to know if you’re one too.”
The general was giving Derek the stink eye, but he could care less. Noah was a friend, and these people were obviously clueless.
“Right. Well, I can guarantee you that no matter what Stiles might say about my age, I’m not Ancient.” Noah stood between them and his son. “And Stiles is my son. I was there the day he was born, in a hospital in Beacon Hills, California.”
“Well, then you won’t mind giving us a blood sample to prove that.” O’Neill stared Noah down.
“Not cool, man. My father’s not a criminal.”
“Stiles, calm down.” Noah patted his leg then turned toward the general. “I’m willing to provide a sample because I know if I don’t, you’ll just get access to the law enforcement database. And as a former Army Ranger, I also have a sample on file with the Armed Forces Repository of Specimen Samples.” He rolled up his sleeve and sat down when requested.
Light suddenly bloomed from in front of them and coalesced into a form. Some firearms were drawn before being waved off, and Derek prepared to protect Stiles if he needed to.
Eventually, the form became recognizable, and he heard a deep gasp from Stiles, “Mom.”
“Claudia?” Noah’s voice was broken. “How?”
“Noah.” She made an abortive motion toward him as he stood up. “I am so sorry that we hurt you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I never meant to deceive you. The others are firm in their practice of non-interference. I do not have much time. We needed a method to protect our descendants from the Enemy. A scientist named Janus was in charge of a like-minded group that set in motion a method to protect this world and eventually destroy the threat. We joined DNA that we had gathered from our allies, the Furlings, and spliced it to humans in order to give them the weapons they needed for survival. An activation virus was developed to allow those with the DNA to metamorphosize, and a device was hidden on the moon that would encourage those traits to emerge and remain strong.”
“Janus had met a human from this time and realized that knowledge of the Furling hybrids would become suppressed. Our descendants would not be strong enough to activate the protocols that would complete the conversion when needed. And the others would not allow us to act for you. Two of us who received the gene splice in our original life took human form and conceived a child. Elias and Anaya tried, but you only inherited half the needed gene. When the others discovered them, Anaya was forced to return, and Elias’s memories were altered.”
“I took a chance and took form when you were old enough, Noah. Through us, Mieczyslaw was born, and he will be able to use Atlantis to call forth the shifters to fight. His Alpha friend will be able to assist.”
Derek froze, trying to wrap his head around everything.
Noah gave a broken little sob. “So, what…we were just science experiments to you?”
She shook her head. “No. I think I fell in love with you the first time I saw you, Noah. It wasn’t something we were taught. My life focused on science and exploration before it became survival and ascendance. But you taught me how to love, and I thank you for it. I fought leaving you for love, and they punished me for that, but it was worth it to spend every moment I could with the two of you.”
Jackson cleared his throat. “What more can you tell us about the Furlings and how to fight the Wraith?”
“They will not allow me to give instructions, Doctor Jackson. What you need to know was hidden within Atlantis’s database, and only she can unlock it. I ask, however, that you share all the knowledge of Atlantis with my son. He was born with all the potential of our people but none of the restrictions under which the ascended are constrained.”
She turned and looked at Stiles, and her face radiated love. “My sweet little Mischief.”
“You have a bright future ahead of you. Learn all that you can and use your skills to protect those you love. Know that I love you, and I will always be watching.” And with a golden stream of light, she was gone.
Noah moved onto the bed and hugged Stiles as the two of them dealt with their feelings. Derek hovered to the side uncertain what to do, while the rest of the room just stood in silence.
Finally, O’Neill broke the silence, “Well, I guess that answers a lot in their usual non-information informative way.”
Sheppard leaned back against another bed, “About par for the course with them, sir.”
Jackson and McKay were exchanging looks and twitches. Finally, Jackson shrugged and held up a finger. “Just one question…well,” he held up another finger, “two questions. What did she mean by Alpha, and what are shifters?”
Stiles barked a laugh, “Furlings. I am so calling you Furlings, Sour-wolf.”
“Stiles,” Derek growled.
“No. That’s just gold. I can’t pass up an opportunity like that.” Stiles crowed.
Noah gave a little laugh and smiled slightly, looking at Derek. “You have to admit, that is funny.”
“No, it’s not.” Derek grimaced.
“Oh, yes, it is. It sounds all cuddly. Like a great big teddy bear.” Stiles scooted over until he was sitting upright and his legs were swinging off the side of the bed. “So, shifters. What do you guys know about werewolves?”
“I assume you don’t mean the legends of men changing into bloodthirsty creatures at the full moon,” Jackson replied,
“Well, blood-thirsty is really a misunderstanding. New wolves…wait…furlings,” Stiles giggled, “well they sometimes have control issues at first.”
McKay looked like he had bit into something sour. “Are you honestly trying to say that there are real werewolves and it’s not common knowledge?”
“Deeereeek,” Stiles whined. “Show and tell time, your furriness.”
Seriously doubting his sanity to shift with a city full of armed military, “I would appreciate it if you could keep from shooting me.”
“Sure, yeah, you betcha. That’s an order people, no shooting the—werewolf.” O’Neill waved at the people in the infirmary.
Stiles gave Derek two thumbs up with a grin, and Derek cracked his neck before shifting into his beta form.
“Holy Shit!” O’Neill grabbed Jackson and hauled him back three steps.
Everyone in the room became tense, and Derek could smell the stress hormones on all of them except for the one called McKay. McKay stepped forward, right in front of Derek. Completely unconcerned that he could rip him apart.
“Huh,” McKay said right before he jabbed a finger into Derek’s forehead. “Where do the eyebrows go?”
Derek shifted back, and Stiles waved his hands around. “I know, right?”