Title: Never Too Late
Authors: Sxymami0909 & Xtremeroswelia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Timeline: Set after 3.18 ‘Riddled’ AU from there.
Sequel To: Never Know What Hit You
Word Count: 155, 704
Pairings: Stiles/Lydia, Scott/Kira, Allison/Isaac, Sheriff Stilinski/Melissa McCall, Derek Hale, Cora Hale, Peter Hale
Summary: In the wake of the Nogitsune's distruction Stiles is attempting to put his life back together, but things are never as easy as they seem. Meanwhile Scott attemps to mend his fractured pack but is it too late to fix what's been broken? Or will the past few months strengthen the bond between them? Lydia's link with Stiles has only grown stronger since the death of the Nogitsune and now she can feel Scott too leading Lydia to seek out information about her banshee origins from an unlikely source. While new relationships form, others are tested. Can our favorite trio fix what's been broken or will Scott's pack be broken forever?
Previous Chapters: | One | Two | Three |
Lydia made her way down the stairs with Scott behind her. The further she got from Stiles and the closer to their friends that were waiting downstairs, the heavier the ball of anxiety in the pit of her stomach became. Lydia wondered if she was ever going to feel normal again, but at this point she wondered if she could even remember what that was.
Her heartbeat picked up speed as she reached the bottom of the steps and paused, her hand clenching on the railing. Lydia took a deep breath trying to calm her rapidly beating heart. She hadn’t seen Allison since the night her dad shot Stiles with an arrow. Lydia swallowed heavily, she could do this.
Scott was right behind her, and it wasn’t hard to pick up on her anxiety. Wordlessly he reached out and laid a hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently. He wasn’t sure, truthfully, if he was just feeling her anxiety over things, or if he was still picking up on Stiles’, too. Either way, it wasn’t pleasant, and he was going to have to talk to Derek about how to deal with that kind of thing. “Ready?” he asked quietly as he stopped on the same step that she did.
Lydia’s eyes flew open and she glanced over her shoulder at Scott, “Yes, sorry,” she mumbled as she straightened to her full height, which wasn’t much barefoot and glanced down. She hadn’t even realized she was wearing one of Stiles’ shirts. Lovely. She probably looked like some kind of mess. Lydia sighed, but held her head high as she walked into the hallway hesitating for a second to make sure Scott was still with her before stepping into the living room.
Derek, Isaac and Allison all looked up when they heard people entire the room and despite the fact that Derek and Isaac heard most of what was going on upstairs both boys looked relieved when they saw Lydia and Scott.
Lydia flipped her hair over one shoulder and sent them a small smile her eyes landing on Allison, “Hey,” she said softly her voice still hoarse from earlier.
Allison rose to her feet immediately, launching herself at Lydia and wrapping her in a hug. She shut her eyes tightly. “I’m so glad you’re awake. And okay. You are okay, right?” She pulled back enough to look at her best friend, expression anxious.
Lydia swallowed hard, “I’m okay,” she said quietly as she gave Allison a once over, “How are you? All healed up?” She asked. Lydia had stayed at the hospital with Isaac until Allison had gotten out of surgery, but she hadn’t been able to see her friend at the time.
“Mostly. Still sore sometimes. And I can’t really do a lot of physical activities yet, but I’m getting there.” She looked back over at Isaac, who’d been taking her pain far more than he should have been considering it hurt him. But he was as stubborn as she was when it came right down to it.
Scott rested a hand lightly on the small of Lydia’s back for a moment before moving away from her. “Stiles’ dad said something about food.” He smiled but it wasn’t his normal smile. It was strained, tense as he looked around.
Derek motioned to the two boxes of pizza on the small coffee table along with a bunch of small containers of Chinese food. “There’s food here,” he said his voice quiet as he watched Scott for a minute, “Everything okay?” He asked the younger wolf.
Isaac walked over towards Derek and Scott his eyes on Lydia and Allison as they spoke.
Scott looked at Derek, reaching down and picking up a slice of pizza, nodding at him and shifting his gaze to Isaac. “How’re you doing?” he asked quietly, trying to get a read on the young werewolf’s expression.
Isaac shifted on his feet his eyes darting to Allison and Lydia before he glanced back at Scott. “I’m okay...Argent hasn’t shot me with an arrow yet, so that’s good.” Except for the time he almost shot Isaac when he found him in Allison’s bed, but Isaac was going to keep that to himself. “How about you? It’s been a while,” he said keeping his ears focused on the girls so he could hear Allison and Lydia talking.
Scott bit back a comment about how no, Argent reserved those arrows for Stiles apparently, but knew that wouldn’t help any of them. And in the end, Chris Argent had been on their side. He hadn’t completely been able to get past how willing he’d been to off Scott’s best friend for the greater good. But that wasn’t Isaac’s fault. Except that Isaac had sided with him. And so had Allison. “Glad to hear it,” he told Isaac, meaning it. “I’m…” He shrugged, looking down and taking a bite of pizza, not really sure how to answer the question. His gaze shifted over to Allison and Lydia as they spoke.
Lydia nodded, “I’m glad you’re getting better,” she said genuinely as her gaze drifted to the stairs. “Are you back in school yet?” She asked as she looked away from the stairs and back at Allison her hands clenching at her sides as she tried to control the anxiety growing in her chest. Stop it, you need to control this crazy urge to run up and check on Stiles. What is wrong with you? Lydia did her best to focus on the conversation at hand. It had been a long time since she talked to Allison and that was mostly her fault.
Derek frowned, the anxiety coming from the redhead and the internal struggle going through her was clear as day.
Allison frowned at the way Lydia kept looking over her shoulders, taking note of her hands curled into fists at her sides. “Yeah, I went back this week. Lydia, are you okay?” she asked worriedly. “I mean, really okay?” She glanced toward the stairs, wondering why Stiles hadn’t come down. “No. Not you. Stiles. You’re worried about him.” Which of course made sense. Allison was worried about him, too. They were all worried about Stiles. He’d been through hell and back. They all had, but what he’d experienced was something completely different from what they had.
Lydia stretched her hands out and wiggled her fingers near her side. “Stiles is doing better than he was,” she commented, but changed the subject quickly. Lydia knew Allison was sorry for what happened and no matter what the other girl was her best friend. But she wasn’t comfortable discussing Stiles with her just yet. Allison was just protecting Isaac and Lydia understood that, but it had gotten Stiles shot, and Stiles was Lydia’s priority. “I’m probably ridiculously behind in all my classes...we all probably are. I should see if they can send our work home.” She said lightly.
Isaac had been listening to her words and he spoke loud enough for everyone to hear him. “Aren’t you guys coming back to school now that this is all over?” He asked glancing between Scott and Lydia. “Allison and I already went back,” he commented. He could feel the tension in the room and Isaac idly wondered if they’d all ever be able to get together again without it.
Allison felt the tension, too, and it hurt more than she wanted to admit. “I can gather everything you need and bring it to you,” she offered, wanting to ease things in the group, and since Lydia had changed the subject, she knew that meant the subject of Stiles was off limits until Stiles came down on his own. And she wasn’t sure that was going to happen tonight at all. She cast a worried glance in Scott’s direction.
“I was back,” Scott reminded him. “I just had to take a couple days because of everything going on. I”ll be back Monday.” He hoped everything was going well enough to go back on Monday, anyway. He glanced at Lydia, offering her a gentle smile before shifting his gaze to Allison, reading her expression instantly. Nodding, he set his pizza down on a plate. “Be back in a few,” he told his friends as he headed up the Stilinski’s stair case.
Lydia watched Scott go and then glanced back at Allison. She gripped the bottom of Stiles’ t-shirt picking at the material gently as she willed her heartbeat to calm down. “How’s the cleanup going at the school?” She asked as she shifted walking towards Derek.
The second Lydia moved closer to him he felt her anxiety. He shifted his arm off the arm of the chair and she seemed to understand the action because she moved over and sat on it.
Isaac watched her before walking over to Allison and placing his hand on the small of her back offering her some support. “It’s going,” he answered. “Maybe Scott went to go get Stiles,” he said figuring once Stiles was ready to see them things between the group and him and Allison would get better, at least he hoped it would.
Allison wasn’t so sure about that. She had a feeling Scott was going to check on Stiles, not bring him down. She reached out and laid her hand on the small of his back, as well. “It’s going,” she told Lydia repeating Isaac’s words. “There wasn’t too much damage at the school itself.” That part definitely could have been a lot worse.
Lydia nodded, “That’s true. Sorry things are still a little bit cloudy,” she admitted. “I’m glad things are better there. Ms. McCall said the sheriff has been working a lot, so I guess things are still pretty rough in town.” She said trying to keep herself occupied by talking, but it didn’t get rid of the underlying tension in her body.
Isaac nodded, “Allison’s dad’s been helping get things cleaned up,” he said giving Allison a light squeeze.
Lydia pursed her lips her body tensing even more at the mention of Allison’s dad and then she felt Derek’s hand against her back and it was almost like she felt him sending her some kind of calming vibes. Some of the tension left her body and she nodded, “That’s good that the sheriff has extra help.”
Allison looked down at the floor, noting how tense Lydia was. She let out a breath and looked at Isaac. “We should go.” She squeezed his arm. She was starting to feel distinctly uncomfortable the longer they stood there in the tension. “We’ve been here awhile and Dad’s probably starting to worry.”
Isaac nodded, his hands rubbing circles against Allison’s back. He felt conflicted. A part of him wanted to stay and talk to Scott, try to work things out, but the other part of him could see that Allison was upset and he didn’t want her to be alone. “Allison’s right, we should go.”
Guilt filled Lydia’s chest at their words. She pushed herself up, “Okay,” she hesitated, “I know things are a little...strained right now. But it means a lot that you guys came when you thought something was wrong. Thank you,” she said sincerely as she walked with them towards the door Derek on her heels.
“It’s fine. It’ll get better,” Allison said softly, even if she wasn’t really sure that it would. “I’m glad you guys are okay. If you need anything…” Her voice trailed off and she smiled faintly at Lydia, though it didn’t meet her eyes. “Talk to you soon.” She leaned over and kissed Lydia’s cheek before heading out the door.
Lydia watched as Isaac and Allison left and then turned to Derek.
“I’m going to head out also,” he said knowing that Scott and Lydia needed some time with Stiles. He started for the door when he felt Lydia’s small hand circle his arm. He paused and glanced at her eyebrow raised.
Lydia met his gaze, “I just wanted to say thank you. You stayed in the hospital with me and,” she paused, “Honestly I’m convinced you guided me back to where I needed to be.” Lydia hesitated for a minute before reaching up and hugging Derek. “Scott and I wouldn’t have been able to save Stiles without you Derek. I know you’re not big on the whole social thing, but don’t be a stranger, even when there’s no screaming.”
It took Derek a minute to respond to the hug. It was awkward and unexpected, but he found that it wasn’t entirely unwelcome. He pulled back a minute later and nodded at her. “Take care of yourself. Scott has my number if you need me.” He told her before heading out the door and closing it behind him.
Lydia sighed and then turned around and made her way back up the stairs. She passed the sheriffs room and saw him and Melissa talking. Lydia kept moving forward and when she got closer to Stiles’ room she heard him and Scott talking. She paused in the doorway, leaning against it and a couple of seconds later they both glanced in her direction. The ball of anxiety that had been steadily building in her chest was squashed at the sight of Stiles. Her body relaxing again now that she could see he was okay. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“You’re not,” Scott assured her, looking up and offering her a gentle smile. “Come on in, Lydia. Do either of you want pizza or Chinese? Looks like we have both downstairs if either of you is hungry. Or I could make soup,” he said, casting a side glance at Stiles.
“Dude. I’d rather not have my house burned down.” Stiles flinched at his own words almost immediately as the memory of setting the asylum on fire flickered through his mind.
Lydia stepped into the room taking note of the look on Stiles face, but not saying anything. She shook her head at Scott. “I’m not really all that hungry, but thanks.” She said returning his smile. “Everyone else went home.” She said glancing over at Stiles, “They said they hope you’re feeling better.” She told him.
Scott thought the message was nice and he knew Allison and Isaac didn’t mean any harm now, but he couldn’t seem to stop thinking about the way they’d turned on them before. He hated that it still made him angry and that he couldn’t seem to get over it. Scott glanced at Stiles, “No soup then,” he said a small smile on his face at his friends words even though Stiles seemed a little more tense now, “Pizza, Chinese?” He asked.
“No, I’m...I’m not really that hungry either. I think I’m just -- I should just probably sleep for awhile. I’m really tired,” Stiles told them, not really looking at either of them, his eyes unfocused as he scrubbed his hands over his face.
Scott and Lydia exchanged glances briefly and Scott nodded. “No, problem man,” he stood. “I’m gonna go change real quick.” He rested a hand on Stiles’ shoulder and squeezed gently before stepping away from his friend, walking around Lydia and grabbing a pair of pajama bottoms and a shirt from his bag. Typically he’d just change in Stiles’ room, but with Lydia there Scott figured the polite thing would be changing in the bathroom. “Be right back,” he called out before heading into the bathroom.
Lydia glanced at Stiles and took a step forward, “Mind if I lay with you?” She asked her tone calm and light.
Stiles wasn’t sure if either of them staying was a great idea. The likelihood that he was going to wake up screaming and terrifying the entire household wasn’t farfetched in the least. But he didn’t have it in him to ask them to leave either. So instead, he nodded silently, managing a faint smile. “But you heard what Ms. McCall and my dad said. No funny business, Lyds.”
Lydia returned the smile with a tired one of her own, “Don’t you worry that pretty little head of yours, I’m a little too tired for funny business tonight,” she admitted as she watched him for a minute before climbing up onto his bed. “You coming?” She asked as she tugged the covers back like it was the most natural thing in the world. After everything they’d been through the past few weeks sharing a bed with Stiles was the least of Lydia’s worries.
Stiles let out a breath and crawled into bed beside her, moving over to leave enough room for Scott as he stared up at the ceiling, chest already beginning to feel tight. “Are you sure you’re gonna be comfortable like this?”
“Sure, why wouldn’t I be?” Lydia frowned; there was something off about his expression. “Is everything okay, Stiles?” She asked as she shifted on to her side. Lydia wanted to reach out to him, but she wasn’t sure if he’d appreciate the gesture and didn’t want to invade his personal space.
Stiles turned his head to look at her. “You don’t think it’s kinda...I don’t know. Strange? This whole three person slumber party in my bed?” Because it was strange to him. He’d pictured Lydia in his bed plenty of times, especially since hitting high school, but this wasn’t at all how he’d imagined it. Then again, right then it was hard to imagine much of anything that could be considered good.
Lydia contemplated his words, “It’s a little strange,” she admitted, “But I trust you and I trust Scott we’re all friends and,” she paused glancing down, “And if I’m being completely honest I’m not quite ready to leave you just yet,” Lydia responded quietly.
Stiles closed his eyes. She shouldn’t trust him. Never trust someone who was possessed by a fox, Lydia, he thought tiredly even as he nodded. “Okay. Just wanted to make sure.”
Lydia watched Stiles close his eyes and she shifted just a bit closer to him still keeping a small amount of distance between them.
Scott made his way into the room a minute later tossing his clothes on top of his bag. He noticed Stiles and Lydia already in bed. He walked over to the empty side, pulled the covers back, and plopped down on the bed, leaning back against the pillow and staring at the ceiling. He could hear their heartbeats, so he knew neither was sleeping. “You good?” He asked his best friend.
Stiles shifted slightly, turning his head toward Scott. “Yeah,” he said quietly. “You?” He was worried about Scott and Lydia both, for different reasons. He was worried about all of them, everyone in the pack, plus Derek, plus their parents. And he didn’t know what to do to make anything better except to pretend everything was fine so things could get back to normal as quickly as possible, even if he didn’t think he’d ever feel normal again.
Scott nodded, “Yeah, I’m alright...tired I guess. It’s been a long few days,” or weeks he added silently. But now that Stiles was officially on the mend he could take a breath and rest easier than he had been in a while.
He winced and was glad that Scott hadn’t seen his automatic reply -- one that he’d never really had to use before with Scott -- jumped to his lips. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t know how to fix it, but I’m going to try. I’m sorry I let you down. “Get some sleep, man.” His voice was quiet and he swallowed hard, keeping his eyes shut tightly against the tears that burned there.
Scott patted Stiles on the shoulder and shifted so he was lying on his side, his back facing his best friend. “You too, I’m here if you need me,” he said calmly. “Night Lydia,” he called softly knowing she wasn’t yet asleep.
“Night Scott,” Lydia shifted hesitating for a minute before reaching her hand out and resting it gently against Stiles’ chest trying to offer both him and herself a bit of comfort. Knowing he was there, solid and real after everything he’d been through helped. “You should rest,” she whispered addressing Stiles as her eyes started to droop.
He murmured goodnights to both of his friends, willing himself to relax, but hesitantly reaching up to cover Lydia’s hand with his own, needing the contact. He kept as still as he could, despite how restless his sleep tended to be. He didn’t want to disturb their sleep because they both needed it. Scott to recover from weeks without any sleep or very little sleep at best, and Lydia because she’d done an incredibly dangerous and tasking thing that had taken a lot out of her. It was ironic how little effect he’d had on the world for the majority of his life, but how badly he’d damaged so much in just a few short weeks’ time.
Stiles eventually drifted off to sleep himself, but it was to the sound of the Nogitsune in his head, laughing.
Scott shifted in his sleep, his eyes squeezing together as something pulled him from sleep. He fought it, but in the end he lost. Scott blinked several times until the light coming in from the windows no longer burned his eyes. He’d slept soundly at least he was pretty sure he had. Scott had fallen asleep easily sleeping heavily through the night. He grunted and ran a hand over his face, scrubbing it gently before stretching.
Scott lay there for a minute when something odd struck him. He wasn’t in his own space. He turned his head to glance at his best friend and the sight Scott was met with made his heart clench. Stiles was beside him, his body curled in on itself in the middle of the mattress. His brow was furrowed in his sleep, his knees drawn up to his chest.
Scott sat up slowly frowning. He couldn’t help the way his chest tightened. Stiles looked...Scott wasn’t even sure they made a word for how lost his best friend looked. He swallowed hard his gaze stretching over to Lydia who was on her side facing Stiles, her arm beneath his pillow. He studied his friend for several minutes not sure what to make of what was going on.
Maybe he was reading too much into it, but Scott felt the first stirrings of a familiar uneasiness within him. He reached out and shook his friend gently, “Stiles, Stiles wake up,” he said quietly shaking his friend gently so as not to startle him.
A soft whimper escaped him, sweat dampening his hair to his forehead. His breathing was unsteady, shaky. Like he was frightened of something, some unseen force. Distantly he heard someone saying his name. Was that his name? It sounded so foreign, and so far away. It didn’t sound like Nogitsune’s voice. It was different, more concerned and less taunting. But he couldn’t seem to open his eyes to see who it was, or why he was being shaken.
His arms and legs hurt, ached in ways that his unconscious mind couldn’t process. But the worst was what he saw. The blood. There was so much of it. All over him. His hands, his clothes. It was everywhere. Flashes of images flickered through his mind. Fire, hot and terrifying. The screams that he couldn’t drown out even over the sound of his own sick laughter. Hands working quickly to assemble a terrible package. The sick satisfaction at the explosion that had happened. Bodies. Everywhere. They lined the streets of Beacon Hills, but all of the eyes were open and staring right at him, lifeless but somehow still accusing.
A tear slipped down his cheek even though his eyes still didn’t open, another faint whimper escaping him. He could hear more screaming in the distance and it hurt his ears, making him shudder even as laughter echoed in his head. Stop, he thought frantically. Please just make it stop.
Scott gripped Stiles’ arm and shook him a bit harder, “Stiles wake up,” he said his tone panicked. He shifted again the frequent movement making Lydia stir. “Stiles,” he shook him again, “Get up,” his voice was deeper now, harder.
Stiles shot up in bed, tangled in the blankets and his own limbs, wincing as pain shot through him from sleeping in such an awkward position. Confusion flickered over his face and it took him a moment to realize that Scott had woken him. When he looked at his best friend the panic on Scott’s face, the fear, made him feel ill. “Scott?”
Scott gripped Stiles’ shoulder, his other hand flat against his best friend’s chest. “Are you okay?” He asked his heartbeat slamming. “What was that?” He asked quietly trying to get Stiles’ heartbeat to slow down.
Stiles shifted his gaze finding Lydia wide awake her hand resting on his leg. He swallowed hard while trying to calm down and rubbed his hands over his face, not pulling away from either of them as he tried to pull himself together. “Just a bad dream. It’s fine,” he mumbled. “I’m fine.” He swallowed convulsively. “I didn’t mean to wake anyone up.”
Scott glanced at Lydia and she pursed her lips, worry filling her gaze. “It’s fine,” Scott said quickly, “you don’t have to apologize, I was up already.” He told his friend as he dropped his hand. “I’m going to grab you some water okay? Just...relax,” he said quietly as he released his friends shoulder, pushed the covers off himself and stood.
Stiles kept his eyes shut as Scott made his way out of the room. He swallowed hard, his shoulders full of tension. He slowly lay back down, draping his arm over his eyes because he couldn’t look at Lydia right then. “Well that was sufficiently humiliating,” he grumbled.
Lydia frowned, “You have nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said softly her voice still rough with sleep. She shifted closer to him, this time not hesitating to press her body against his side as her arm went around his midsection. “It happens,” Lydia soft softly, “It would probably be weird if it didn’t,” she told him honestly as she rested her chin gently against his chest, keeping a strong grip on him.
“I’m a mess.” His voice was quiet. “I don’t know how to…” He shook his head a little, falling silent and sighing, hesitantly reaching out and resting a hand on her shoulder blade. “What if I can’t function like a normal person again?” What if I can’t be fixed?
The uncertainty and pain she heard in Stiles voice tightened her chest, but she pushed that aside and spoke calmly as she ran her hand up and down his side. “It’s only been a couple of days. I know right now things seem...less than ideal and maybe things will never go back to normal, but eventually Stiles, this too shall pass.” She responded quietly.
“You’ll wake up one day and realize that this is just one more thing you’ve overcome. Something that’s made you who you are, but it isn’t going to happen overnight.” Lydia wished it would for his sake, but she knew life didn’t work that way. “And that’s okay. Scott and I will be here. Your dad, Ms. McCall...we’re all here whenever you need us.” Lydia used her thumb to rub small circles into Stiles’ skin.
Lydia was silent for a minute, “I have nightmares too sometimes.” She whispered, “It’s a normal process, how the body works out issues.” Lydia told him as she brushed her cheek against his chest.
It was strange to hear the phrase, This too shall pass from Lydia Martin. Though he supposed in retrospect it made perfect sense. No one knew hell quite the way Lydia had known hell. She’d been dragged into it once, an unwilling victim, and then walked back in voluntarily to save him.
He tried to imagine a day where he’d wake up feeling refreshed from sleep rather than waking up screaming or crying. Tried to imagine that maybe one day this would all just be a thing of the past. Distantly he remembered Morrell’s words to him so long ago. If you’re going through hell...keep going. It was all he had been doing for what seemed like forever. He’d kept going, like a robot. Or the Energizer Bunny. He kept going because there was no other choice when you had a dad who depended on you for basic things like making sure he didn’t eat too much red meat or greasy foods.
He didn’t have to ask what her nightmares were about. He had no doubt who was the frequent monster in her dreams. Peter Hale. He gently combed his fingers through her hair without even realizing he was doing it, though it felt like a soothing thing to do and he was surprised that it soothed him, too. “I’m freaking him out.” His voice was almost inaudible.
Lydia let herself sink against him, the feel of his fingers moving through her hair relaxing the part of her that had been frantically worrying in her head. “He loves you, he’s worried.” She corrected staying silent for a minute, “He wants you to be okay, we all do, but we also know it takes time. It’s hard seeing someone you care about suffer especially when there isn’t much you can do to help.” Lydia found that her words weren’t just true for Scott.
Her fingers drew random patterns on top of his shirt. “Scott has been taking everything on himself lately and he feels responsible for you, for all of us. He needs to try and relax as much as you do.” Lydia said her words quiet.
That wasn’t anything Stiles didn’t know, really. He knew Scott loved him. That he was worried about him and he wanted him to be okay. And he knew how hard it was to see someone you care about suffer. He’d watched his mom suffer for months and months until her time had dwindled down to nothing.
Swallowing hard, he was barely aware of her drawing patterns on his shirt. He was trying to figure out how to fix it. How to fix himself so he could fix his best friend. So he could fix his best friend’s pack. “Yeah, I know he does,” he murmured.
Lydia rested her head beneath his chin shifting her body again so her body was essentially wrapped against his. “I’m here you know, if you want to talk about it or if you just want to lay here.” She said rubbing her hand down his arm again trying to comfort him the only way she knew how. “Eventually things will work out; you just need to get through all this crap first before you get to the light at the end of the tunnel.” A light that Lydia knew could very well take a while to get to.
“Patience isn’t my strong suit,” Stiles admitted, though he was fairly certain that everyone around him knew that already. He didn’t like waiting. He was impulsive by nature, jumping headlong into problems and fixing them as well as he could in very haphazard kinds of ways. He yawned involuntarily, eyes beginning to feel heavy again though he dreaded what more sleep would bring. He wondered how long it would take for the nightmares to go away, and wondered if one lifetime was going to be enough time, or if he was really damned for an eternity. Distantly he heard footfalls coming toward the room. Scott returning, probably, but he was so tired he had a hard time rolling his head in his best friend’s direction.
“It’s okay,” Lydia whispered softly, “Get some rest...I’ll chase the nightmares away for you.” She said softly giving Stiles a gentle squeeze as Scott came back into the room, his fingers curled around a glass of water. He spotted Stiles eyes fluttering shut and he put the glass down quietly on the nightstand and then carefully sat down in the spot he’d vacated not long before, his chest tightening at Lydia’s words.
Scott wasn’t sure what to do. He looked from his sleeping best friend to the pretty girl who was lying beside him, feeling at an utter loss as how to help with any of this. He rubbed a hand over his face. He’d slept well, but he was still tired. A glance at the clock on Stiles’ nightstand showed that it was just barely 7 in the morning. They’d been out for hours. Had Stiles been like that all night? Curled up, trapped in his own terrible dreams?
He hesitated a moment, then lay down on his side, facing Lydia and Stiles, tucking a hand under his head. “What do we do?” he whispered, not sure she had the answers either but hoping she did.
Lydia swallowed hard her arm tightening around Stiles midsection. “We help him the best way we can,” she said quietly. “It’s not going to be easy,” she whispered, “And there’s probably a lot we’re not going to be able to fix for him and that’s something we’re going to have to accept. But I feel,” Lydia paused trying to understand the feeling in the pit of her stomach, “Like he needs us. I think maybe there’s a reason I feel so anxious and sick to my stomach when I’m away from Stiles.”
Lydia caught Scott’s gaze, “I had feelings I didn’t listen to before and I’m not going to do it again. Whatever is going on with me...with what I am I need to start embracing it. If I had before we might not be in this situation,” she said knowing that neither Scott nor Stiles blamed her, but she still very much blamed herself for not trying to figure out the voices that were screaming in her head. “We need to stay close until the feeling is gone. Can you trust what I feel?” Lydia asked her voice barely a whisper as she shifted against Stiles.
When he opened his eyes again, his chest tightened. “It isn’t your fault. The only one we have to blame here is Jennifer Blake for starting this whole mess in the first place.” He swallowed hard. “I trust your feelings, Lydia. Don’t doubt that.”
Lydia felt moisture prickle in the corner of her eyes. “Stiles trusted them too...and I let him down,” she whispered, “But I promise I won’t this time.”
“Lydia.” Scott shook his head, reaching out and covering her hand with his. “You didn’t let him down. You saved his life. You did that when the rest of us were running around trying to figure out how to do that.” He squeezed her hand, not pulling away as he laid his head back down on the pillow.
“I saved his life after the fact. And I know what you’re going to say, but had I listened to the warnings...maybe he wouldn’t have to deal with...everything that happened.” Lydia said quietly. She didn’t have the luxury of letting the guilt eat away at her though. She needed to be ready to listen to her feelings now, that was what was important.
Lydia watched Scott for a minute, “You can feel us all can’t you?” She asked, “You can feel how hard it is for me to leave him.” She questioned.
Scott was silent for a long moment, searching her face and then letting his gaze drop to Stiles’ face. This time at least, his sleep looked more peaceful. Like he wasn’t being tortured with no hope of getting away. “I feel it, too,” he whispered. “I’m not sure I’m supposed to, because I thought the alpha thing was just for the other wolves in a pack, but…” He shook his head, closing his eyes for a moment. “I feel it, too.”
Scott sighed, “I should probably talk to Derek and figure out if that’s because of the whole alpha thing or if it’s because...of the banshee thing or if it’s because we’re just all getting closer.”
Lydia squeezed Scott’s hand gently a small smile tugging at her lips at his words. “The fact that, that sentence sounds completely normal to me is a serious indicator of how incredibly weird our lives have gotten.” She told him softly ask Stiles inhaled deeply making her head shift with the rise and fall of his chest. Her gaze flickered up to his face but he was still asleep.
Lydia placed a light kiss to Stiles chest, a reminder that she was there. “Derek could be helpful. He’s been helpful. Maybe he knows who I can talk to about the whole Banshee thing. I need to learn how to control it and you need to do the same thing with your alpha...ness” Lydia said for lack of a better word. “We need to be able to understand our own strengths and weaknesses if we’re going to help him.” Lydia truly believed that. There had to be a reason they were all so connected, why she felt Stiles so deeply and why she was even starting to sense when Scott was emotionally out of whack.
“Derek’s been very helpful,” he agreed with a small smile. “It’s good he came back when he did.” Because if he hadn’t, Scott wasn’t sure he would’ve been able to single-handedly stop all the hunters in the forest the night that Chris Argent had Stiles on his knees at gunpoint, ready to kill him. His chest tightened at the memory of his best friend begging just to let Chris kill him and get it over with. It had been terrifying then and it still terrified him now. “But you’re right. We’ll talk to Derek, and maybe Deaton, and see if there’s anything more that they can help with as far as gaining control of our powers and abilities.”
Lydia nodded turning her head and hiding a yawn in Stiles chest. She glanced back at Scott a minute later and scrunched her nose. “That’s a good plan,” she said freezing when she felt Stiles shift beneath her, but again he didn’t wake up instead she felt his hand curl around her hip and she let out a short breath. Lydia glanced at Scott again, “He knows we’re here for him,” she said softly, “We should try to sleep while he’s still out, believe it or not I’m still really tired.” She said with a short laugh. Lydia let fingers curl around Scott’s tugging his hand gently so it was closer to her and Stiles. “So he knows you’re with him too.” Lydia mumbled knowing how important Scott and his friendship were to Stiles.
“Get some rest,” he agreed, shifting closer and letting Lydia drag his hand over Stiles’. He laid his head down on his best friend’s pillow and in the back of his mind he wondered if it was weird that he was cuddling with two people that he loved dearly but had nothing more than platonic feelings for. He decided he didn’t really care if it was weird. If this was what Stiles and Lydia needed, he’d cuddle with them. Whatever helped them to get rest that wasn’t disturbed by nightmares. He let his eyes drift close. “I believe it.” Because he was also still tired. And maybe he needed this, too. Scott drifted to sleep within moments.
Melissa McCall had spent the night in the Stilinski’s guest room even though she knew that everyone was in good hands between Michael and her son being there. But truthfully she was so worried about all of them that being away from any of them for a night didn’t feel right to her. She wandered downstairs early that morning, not surprised to see Michael at the table already, drinking a cup of coffee. She patted his shoulder without a thought before moving past him to the coffee pot and pouring herself a cup, as well. “Did you get any sleep last night?” she asked, arching an eyebrow as she joined him at the table, sitting down right across from him.
Michael grunted, but sent her half a smile. “On and off,” he admitted. His sleep hadn’t exactly been restful, but he’d had worse nights. He was glad Melissa decided to spend the night, having her around when he woke up was always pleasant, plus Michael felt like as much as he did for Stiles, sometimes his son just needed the love and comfort of a mom. And even though Melissa wasn’t Stiles mom, she was the closest thing his son had to one and Stiles loved her dearly. “How about you? Was the guest bedroom okay?” He asked it had been a while since anyone had used it.
That had been her experience with sleep throughout the night, too. She’d woken up several times and found herself listening just in case one of their kids was having a nightmare. Even if they didn’t wake up screaming it didn’t mean they weren’t dreaming terrible things. Scott had rarely had problems with nightmares, but she knew Stiles had been plagued with night terrors even as a small boy. They’d gone away for awhile, but after his mom had passed away, they’d returned with a vengeance. She could recall a countless amount of times that she’d had to rush into her son’s room and crawl into bed with the two of them, rocking Stiles gently and murmuring soothing things until he’d fall asleep again.
“The room’s perfect,” she assured Michael with a small smile.
Michael smiled and reached out covering one of her hands with his, “I’m glad.” He said giving it a light squeeze before retracting his hand slowly. “I was going to check on the kids earlier,” he paused glancing down at his coffee, “But the door was closed and it was quiet...Plus I figured you might want to check on them with me.” He said with half a smile knowing Melissa had to be just as worried as he was. Hell, he worried constantly. Even though things were finally starting to come together in town and the Sheriff’s Station was almost finished being renovated, he knew his son’s recovery was just starting and it killed him that he wasn’t really sure how to help.
Melissa smiled again, nodding. “I thought about the same thing a few times through the night, but I didn’t hear any noise. Hopefully that means they all got some rest, especially Stiles.” She took a sip of her coffee. “How are you holding up, Michael?”
Michael let out a breath. “I’m worried.” He said honestly. “I’m afraid I’m not going to be enough to help him get through this. Look how bad things are and he doesn’t even remember what happened,” he said gruffly before taking a sip of his coffee. “What happens if those memories come back? I don’t want to lose my son...he’s all I’ve got left.” Michael glanced down at the table not used to being so in touch with the emotional aspects of how he was feeling. But he seemed to be able to talk to Melissa in a way he couldn’t open up to anyone. They’d been through a lot together.
“Michael.” Her voice was hushed and she reached out, covering his hand with hers and gripping onto it tightly. “Stiles loves you. He adores you. And neither one of you are alone in this. I’m not going anywhere. Scott’s not going anywhere. And I’m pretty sure that Lydia’s going to become a fixture in the Stilinski household for the foreseeable future. You’re not alone. And we’re not going to lose Stiles. We’ll get him through this. All of us.”
Michael's chest tightened at Melissa's words. He watched her for a second before using his other hand to cover hers. "What would I do without you?" He asked quietly. Melissa had been there for him so many times over the years. He had gotten used to her presence. She was a part of his family...a big part.
She squeezed his hand again. “That works both ways, Sheriff Stilinski.” She smiled softly. “Single parents of boys with a penchant for getting into trouble together have to stick together.” He’d been there for her over the years, too, though Scott didn’t tend to get into nearly as much trouble as Stiles did -- unless Stiles was involved. Fortunately at heart, Stiles had always been a good kid. He just tended to find trouble more easily than Scott did on his own. It didn’t make her love him any less. He was just their troubled child, and he had reasons that he couldn’t really help.
He chuckled lightly and nodded. "You're right about that," he said with a grin. He glanced over at the stairs before looking back at Melissa. "What do you say we go check on our kids?" He asked with a squeeze of her hand.
Melissa smiled at him warmly. “I think that’s a good idea. And then I’ll make us all some breakfast.” She was concerned at how little Stiles was eating. He’d lost at least ten pounds in the last few weeks. She hoped that if they kept making the things that she knew he loved, he’d start eating more.
Michael left his coffee on the table and stood holding his hand out to Melissa and arching an eyebrow. "You know if you keep this up you're going to spoil us." He told her with a small smile. Michael liked when they were all together for breakfast or dinner, it made them feel like a real family.
“Somehow I don’t think either one of you are going to take advantage. Besides, everyone needs a little spoiling sometimes.” She rose to her feet as well, taking his hand. She liked spending time with the boys and Michael all together, too. She knew it meant a lot to both of their sons when they did. Scott adored the sheriff, and Stiles seemed to care about her a great deal.
Michael tugged Melissa forward gently and walked with her up the stairs. “I haven’t heard a peep from them all morning, they were tired,” he commented as he stepped off the last stair and into the hallway. “I’m glad they’re resting though. Those three...I worry about them being involved in all of this, especially Scott, having to take on everyone’s problems because he’s the...alpha,” he said finding the word as they moved forward. “I’m not sure how you don’t worry twenty-four seven with that,” he commented as he pushed open Stiles bedroom door quietly.
“No, it’s been very quiet since they turned in last night,” she agreed. It was a little after nine now, and she was actually surprised she’d managed to sleep past the time when the sun rose outside. She was normally up at dawn unless she was working an overnight shift. At his words, she smiled, but it was wry. “Believe me, I do,” she informed him, pausing as she peered into Stiles’ bedroom, raising her eyebrows at the sight that lay in front of her.
Michael opened his mouth as his gaze settled on his son’s bed, but he was at a loss for words. Stiles was in the middle of the bed stretched out, Lydia to his right, wrapped in his arms. Her arm was thrown over his stomach and her hand was threaded through Scott’s on the other side of Stiles. Scott was on his side his calf thrown over Stiles leg. His body was stretched out and he was snoring lightly. Michael arched an eyebrow, “Should we be worried about this?” He asked slightly amused.
Melissa pursed her lips, remembering how many times when they were younger that she’d find Scott curled up around Stiles because he’d had a bad dream. If it had been any other kids she may have been a little concerned. “Well. It is Scott and Stiles. They were bound to corrupt Lydia sooner or later.” Her lips twitched.
Michael did his best not to smirk at Melissa’s obvious amusement. He sighed, “Poor girl.” He shook his head, “I bet she never saw it coming.” He joked quietly playing into Melissa’s words. He placed his hand at the small of her back as he stood there silently for a minute. “She really cares about them,” he commented quietly, “I misjudged her,” Michael said softly, “I used to tell Stiles not to waste his time on that one.” He admitted, his chest tightening.
Melissa couldn’t help but smile at his words. “She was doomed.” She glanced at him sideways, seeing the familiar guilt on his face. It was the same look she’d seen on Stiles’ face so many times over the years. She wondered if he had any idea how much they looked alike sometimes. “I used to tell him the same thing,” she said honestly. “But everyone can change.” Her voice was quiet, reassuring.
Michael nodded, “She saved my son’s life...and I think back to all the times I thought terrible things about her and how she didn’t deserve someone like Stiles and honestly I feel terrible about it,” he spoke quietly. “And Scott seeing everything he’s had to deal with, I should have realized sooner about the whole werewolf thing. I should have been more open minded so he would have felt comfortable telling me. I didn’t even believe Stiles at first when he told me,” Michael sighed knowing he shouldn’t be standing there feel sorry for himself when there was so much other stuff going on.
“Michael.” She looked at him with empathy. “I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve thought the same thing about the girls that Scott and Stiles liked.” Well, with Stiles it had always been Lydia. But Scott had gotten crushes from time to time, and she was a mother and no one was ever going to be good enough in her eyes. Probably. She was quiet for a moment, considering the rest of what he said. “If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I probably wouldn’t have believed it either. You can’t fault yourself for not believing in something we’ve grown up believing was nothing but fiction.”
He sighed and nodded, “I know you’re right. I just don’t want the boys to ever feel like they can’t come to me. I’ll always protect them no matter what,” he said matter-of-factly. He had in the past and he’d continue to in the future.
A soft noise came from the bed of teenagers and Michael watched as Lydia mumbled something in her sleep and pressed herself closer to his son, resting her head in the crook of his neck.
Melissa watched as Stiles shifted, too, resting his head against Lydia’s and sighing in his sleep. “He seems like he’s sleeping peacefully,” she murmured.
Michael’s chest tightened, “He does,” he whispered, “The first time in a long time.” He admitted. Michael wrapped an arm around Melissa, “We should let them sleep.”
She looked up at him and smiled softly. “Agreed. We should also finish the coffee so that no one is tempted to take the caffeine ride out of actual rest.”
Michael chuckled, “I couldn’t agree more,” he said as he guided Melissa out of the room closing the door behind him hoping whatever amount of sleep they got would be enough.