September 21, 2014

Never Too Late 7/17

Title: Never Too Late
Authors: Sxymami0909 & Xtremeroswelia
Fandom: Teen Wolf
Timeline: Set after 3.18 ‘Riddled’ AU from there.
Rating: R
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
Parts: 7/17
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 | Four | Five | Six |

Chapter Seven

Stiles was restless. Of course, 9 out of 10 times, Stiles was always restless, but he’d been in the hospital for almost a week and he was tired of cable television, tired of trying to read with one good eye, though his other at least was open again, even if it still hurt, tired of UNO, tired of sleeping thanks to extra-heavy drugs even though he knew his body needed all the rest it was getting, and thankfully between said heavy drugs and Scott and Lydia almost always being there when he slept, he wasn’t dreaming. But the more time that passed the more restless he felt. He could get up and walk around for short periods of time, but not long because he was just too tired. And movement still hurt.

He had managed to talk Scott into wheeling his ass outside into the garden area for awhile just so he could get some fresh air, by reminding him that fresh air did everyone good. And it had helped a little. It had killed about twenty minutes of time.

But he was restless for new reasons now and they had him on edge, chewing anxiously on his thumbnail as he waited for Scott and Lydia to get back from school that day. He’d texted with them both off and on throughout the day with the new phone his dad had gotten him since he didn’t know where his old one was, reassuring them he was fine, everything was fine, they didn’t need to worry. Derek had gone to get some coffee, though he’d hesitated to leave Stiles alone, to which Stiles had rolled his eyes and told him to take a break from his babysitting job. His tone hadn’t been harsh. He appreciated Derek’s company. All new levels of weird.

He knew his dad would be by that evening, and that Melissa was planning to stick around after her shift. He was just afraid of how things were going to turn out at the end of the night. He’d been developing a theory over the last week, because he hadn’t really had much else to do but sit around and think, and he was tired of waiting to see if maybe, just maybe, he was right.

Lydia’s heels clicked loudly against the hospital hallway as she walked towards Stiles’ room, Scott beside her. Her hand was gripping the strap of her bag that held her books and two of Stiles’. She was lost in her own thoughts. Lydia was discontent. There was no other word to describe the jumble of emotions her life had become.

She was tired, physically, emotionally, she just felt drained. It had been a long time since she felt so insecure and vexatious in her own skin. Her mother was finally back in town and had given her an earful the other night for missing so much school and never being home. They got into it pretty good and the conversation had ended with her mother telling her she got a full-time teaching position in San Diego and she was planning on taking it. But since Lydia was in her junior year at Beacon hills she would keep the house for Lydia to stay in until graduation. Gee, thanks mom, don’t do me any favors.

Lydia knew her mother loved her; her parents just weren’t very good at showing it unless there was some kind of disaster. But she hadn’t even discussed it with her. Lydia straightened even more her back going rigid as her grip tightened on her bag. On top of that she’d slept terrible last night in her own bed. She had missed Stiles’ presence, she was anxious and worried and just full out enamored with the ceiling tiles. It was ridiculous. But Ms. McCall and the Sheriff had sent her and Scott home for the night saying they needed to get some real rest and then Scott had practically dragged her to school that morning being the voice of reason and telling her she couldn’t keep missing classes.

The truth was, she was weeks ahead of everyone in that damn school and despite the fact that she’d missed almost as much time as Stiles, her grades had barely slipped, maybe a couple of points, but not much. They were still ‘A’s they would always be ‘A’s. She retained information just fine and all most classes required is that you regurgitate it back to them.

And if that wasn’t enough, Lydia hadn’t gotten any better at controlling how she felt things, when she felt things or how to understand the occasional whispered voice in her head. It was frustrating for someone like her. Lydia was so used to mastering skills and the lack of being able to do that in this situation was creating inadequacy issues she hadn’t even known she had.

She could feel the heat of Scott’s gaze on the back of her head as they turned the corner and walked into the hallway that Stiles’ room was in. Lydia huffed, “Don’t you have better more productive things to do than stare at me, McCall?”

It had been a long few days. Despite the fact that he didn’t want to be anywhere but at the hospital with Stiles while he recovered, his mom had made him go back to school. So he’d gone. He’d gone to his classes, then immediately to work, then to the hospital to spend the rest of the night with Stiles. He did his homework while Stiles either slept or worked on his own homework, feeling heartened any time his best friend made some kind of smart ass remark or a joke. It had been such a long time since he’d done that, that Scott thought it had to be a good sign. That Stiles was -- albeit slowly -- getting back to himself.

But it wasn’t just Stiles that Scott was worried about. Lydia had been a whirlwind of emotions for the past twenty-four hours and it was hard to focus on anything other than that. Which was why he couldn’t stop staring at her as they walked down the hospital corridor. He reached out and laid a hand on her shoulder when she snapped at him, not the least bit offended. “Hey. Stop.” His voice was firm. “What’s going on, Lydia? You’ve been upset all day.”

Lydia paused, her strides coming to an abrupt halt. Her brows furrowed. “I’m not upset.” She said as she glanced at Scott and the expression on his face told her he wasn't buying it. Lydia sighed and shifted on her feet, the light blue dress she wore shifting with her movements. “I’m not upset, I’m annoyed and tired and…” her voice trailed off and she shook her head, her voice softening slightly when she realized how sharp it was, “I’m just...having an off day. I’m sure I’ll be back to normal in no time,” whatever that was, Lydia added silently.

When she said she wasn’t upset, Scott had simply arched an eyebrow at her. Obviously that wasn’t true. He knew it wasn’t because he could feel her emotions like a tangled jumble of Stiles’ yarn for case-solving. “Take a deep breath,” he told her quietly. “And let it out slowly. Then tell me what’s bothering you. It’ll make you feel better. And I’ll even buy you a coffee later.”

Lydia opened her mouth to protest, but decided not to. Scott was only trying to help. She took a deep breath and let it out slowly her shoulders slumping slightly with the action. “I really am just having a bad day.” She said opening her mouth to elaborate and then deciding against it. Scott had enough on his plate between himself and Stiles without adding her crap to it. “It’s nothing...I just,” she paused, “I just really want to go see Stiles. I promise I’m okay.” It wasn’t a lie, not really. Lydia would at some point be okay.

Scott sighed very softly, giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze. Truthfully he was anxious to see Stiles, too. He’d been texting with him all day, and almost had his phone taken away during AP Chemistry. It was hard to focus on much of anything else when your best friend was lying in a hospital, and though Stiles’ anxiety seemed to have decreased the last few days, it was still ever-present and Scott felt it in his gut. Other thoughts were plaguing him as well, like how he needed to talk to Lydia about talking to Peter. How he needed to talk to Deaton still. How things with Allison and Isaac were still so very strained. There was so much to be done that he didn’t really know where or how to start. So when Lydia promised she was okay, though he doubted the truthfulness in that, he nodded and walked with her down the hall toward Stiles’ room.

It didn’t take them long to get to the door and Lydia tapped her hand against it gently before pushing it open and walking inside, smiling softly when she spotted Stiles. Her gaze shifted to Derek who was sitting beside Stiles flipping through a magazine. Lydia arched an eyebrow as Scott stepped into the room beside her. “Hey,” she said making sure to keep her tone bright as she spoke. “Quizzing each other to see who has the best kissing technique?” She quipped while placing her bag of books down on the small rolling table near Derek.

Scott grinned as he walked over to the other side of Stiles and dropped his backpack on the floor before dropping down in the empty seat, some of the tension already leaving his body.

Stiles snorted at Lydia’s question. “I still can’t even convince him to let me meet his future dates before he goes out with them yet to let him know if they’re evil or not. I don’t think we’ve reached the level of confidence it requires to discuss who’s a better kisser. Even if the answer is obviously me.” He smirked, resisting the urge to look at Derek as he spoke. He could just imagine the look the older guy was giving him. Probably somewhere between exasperated and annoyed.

Stiles turned his attention to Scott, lifting a fist into the air and flashing him a grin. “Hey.”

Scott pounded his fist in greeting, “Hey man, how’s it going?” He asked before glanced briefly at Derek and nodding in his direction.

Derek returned Scott’s nod and then caught Lydia’s gaze his eyes flashing blue on purpose and Lydia rolled her eyes. “Don’t even; you’ve proven quite a bit recently that your bark is worse than your bite. So put the wolf eyes away and stop your pouting,” she said matter-of-factly as she pulled out a single pack of Reese’s peanut butter cups and then edged her way past Derek and carefully sat on the edge of Stiles’ bed since Scott and Derek were in the chairs.

“Can’t complain,” Stiles told Scott before shifting his attention to Lydia, who was holding a pack of peanut butter cups. “Just for the record...that’s to share, right?” he asked, eying it, not realizing they were all staring at him. When he looked around, he blinked. Right. He hadn’t been eating a lot for awhile now. “It’s like my favorite candy.” He shrugged.

Derek shook his head. “I think this is my cue to go get some dinner and call my sister. Anyone want anything when I come back?”

Scott grinned at Stiles’ comment glad that he was eating again. He didn’t care what it was as long as it was something. Just another sign that his best friend was getting better. Scott tilted his head and glanced at Derek. “I could eat. Anything really I’m starving. Mom will probably bring food by later too when the sheriff gets off,” he said, “So make sure you save room for that.” He said knowing his mom would make enough for Derek.

Lydia shook her head, “Not hungry, but thanks.” She said softly catching Derek’s gaze and sending him half a smile, to dull her earlier comment.

He nodded, “I’ll be back.” He told them heading for the door.

Lydia glanced at Stiles and grinned bringing the conversation back to the chocolate in her hand, “Maybe that’s why I brought them,” she paused, “Or maybe I was just really craving them,” she commented as she opened the package and held them out so he could take one.

Stiles took one of the peanut butter cups, automatically breaking it in half and handing the other half to Scott, like they were six years old and sharing their lunches with each other at school. He popped his half in his mouth, watching as Derek left the room, then looking back at Lydia. “Thanks.” He chewed and swallowed, reaching out and picking up his glass of ice water. Butterflies began to flutter nervously in his stomach because there were two very important things he needed to talk to them about and he was nervous about both issues.

Scott leaned forward taking the chocolate with an excited grin and popping into his mouth right away. “Good lookin’ out bro,” he said as he leaned back in his seat.

Lydia paused the chocolate a few inches from her mouth as she felt her stomach flutter nervously; causing her brows drew together, “What’s wrong?” She asked concern filling her features as she shifted slightly so she could meet Stiles’ gaze.

Stiles blinked, a little weirded out by her ability to sense his faint anxiety. “Nothing, exactly. I mean, not really.” He hoped not. He pressed the mechanical button on the bed railing so he could sit up a little better, and turned his head to look at Scott, hesitating. “Would you uh -- mind shutting the door, dude?”

Scott frowned, “Sure,” he said exchanging a glance with Lydia as he stood not sure what was going on. He walked over to the door and pulled it closed before making his way back to the chair and sitting down slowly. Scott could feel the tension creeping back into his body, “What’s on your mind?” He asked calmly though Stiles’ anxiety wasn’t exactly evoking calm feelings in him.

Stiles relaxed a little at his best friend’s calm tone. “There’s sort of...something I haven’t told you guys. I just -- needed a little time to process things first.” He looked between them. “I called Allison and Isaac a couple days ago and asked them to come and see me here.” He chewed his lower lip, meeting each of their eyes in turn.

Surprised crossed Scott’s face at his friends’ words.

“You did?” Lydia asked also surprised. She glanced at Scott and he arched an eyebrow in her direction. Apparently he had taken too long to make that happen. He was surprised that Stiles reached out to them, but incredibly relieved. It meant he was finally facing his demons. He had avoided them at all costs before, but the fact that he was reaching out now or already reached out was a big step.

“I think that’s great,” Scott said as he leaned forward a small smile on his face. “How’d that go...why didn’t you tell us?” He asked as Lydia rested a hand casually on Stiles’ arm letting Scott ask the questions they both had.

“Yeah, I did. It was time.” Stiles drew in a breath and exhaled slowly. “And I don’t want either of you to like, keep avoiding them or pushing them away because of me or because you think I don’t want them around. I just...didn’t want to face them after everything that --” The words I did were on the tip of his tongue, but he changed his mind at the last minute. “ -- happened.”

Scott hesitated his gaze once again shifting to Lydia who was surprisingly silent as she looked away from him. His brows drew together momentarily before he glanced back over at Stiles. “I know,” he said quietly. “I’ve been meaning to talk to them for a while, but,” he hesitated again, “It’s hard. I know that’s no excuse,” Scott rushed on, “And I do have every intention of sitting down to talk to them. I just can’t help seeing them side with Argent instead of us every time I look at them and it makes me really angry,” Scott admitted honestly. “They’re a part of this pack and when shit hit the fan they should have stood with us instead of against us.” Scott looked down and swallowed hard.

“And I know I can’t blame them, with everything that happened I really do understand their choices, but at the same time, the alpha in me feels betrayed and I’m not entirely sure how to make that feeling go away, which is why I haven’t approached them.”

Stiles looked down at his hands for a moment, considering Scott’s words. He understood where his best friend was coming from. And he also knew it wasn’t just about Scott being the alpha. It was about Scott and Stiles and Scott’s protective best friend nature. And he knew if their situations had been reversed, Stiles wouldn’t be so quick to forgive Allison and Isaac and Chris Argent either. So he got it. But he’d been the cause of the group’s fracture and he had to be the one to start piecing it back together.

He drew in a breath and let it out slowly, turning to look at Scott again. “I get it, Scottie. Okay?” His voice was soft, calming. Stiles rarely ever had to speak in this kind of tone to Scott because usually it was the other way around. “But I need you to listen because there’s some stuff you don’t know.” He shut his eyes for a moment, knowing this was going to hurt his best friend, hurt Lydia, too, probably, and he didn’t want that, but he had to make them understand why he didn’t and couldn’t hold anything against the Argent’s or against Isaac. “Okay, so I didn’t just show up there by random coincidence that night.”

He swallowed hard, dropping his gaze to his hands again. “I convinced it to go to the Argent’s in the first place.”

Scott tensed and then shifted forward slowly, “You what?” He asked his voice quiet. “Why would you do that?” He asked the frown back on his face as he shook his head, it made no sense.

“Because you wanted them to do it didn’t you?” Lydia asked her chest tight. It was the only reason he had to go there. There was no other explanation and she was pretty sure Scott knew that deep down. Stiles had given up on himself and if Chris hadn’t taken a warning shot, Stiles would be dead right now. This time it was her stomach that gave a lurch, her chest feeling heavy.

But Lydia’s expression stayed the same, not wanting Stiles to get upset because she was upset.

Scott pursed his lips not fully able to hide the hurt in his gaze, “Stiles...didn’t you know I’d figure out a way to save you? That I wouldn't stop until I did? Why-” his words cut off and he looked down the thought that he’d come that close to losing his best the fact that he had texted Chris in the end to come kill him...well it was all a lot to take in.

Stiles wasn’t surprised that Lydia figured it out so quickly. She knew him as well as Scott did by now. His chest tightened at the hurt look on Scott’s face. “Scott...that thing was in my head, but...I was in its head too. I knew the things it was planning to do. And it had already burned down that asylum. People died. It went after my dad. Your mom, Scott. It was going to kill you all. And it wasn’t going to do it fast.” Because that wasn’t the way the Nogitsune worked. It fed off chaos, pain, strife. Grew stronger because of those things. Hot tears stung his eyes and he brushed them away with the sleeve of his hospital gown.

“So I convinced it to go after the Argent’s first because I didn’t want to have any of your blood on my hands,” he whispered. “And because I knew if anyone would be able to do it, it would be Allison’s dad.” He let out a shaky breath. “I didn’t want to hurt anyone else. It wasn’t that I didn’t have faith in you, Scott. I felt how strong it was getting. And I was scared for you. Because you were right at the top of its list.”

Scott closed his eyes leaning forward and resting his arms on his legs, head in hands. He could feel his eyes burning with tears. As always Stiles was being selfless, putting himself in danger to protect everyone else. He’d rather die than see anything happen to them and that fucking killed Scott inside because he knew if anything ever happened to Stiles he’d be so lost. If his friend-no his brother had succeeded, and Argent killed him, Scott wouldn't know what to do with himself.

The connection he had with Stiles was stronger than anything else in his life; he didn’t know who he was without Stiles by his side. Their friendship could withstand anything and had on several occasions. “You shouldn’t have had to deal with that,” he said his voice strained as he tried not to let the tears fall. “I dragged you into all this crap and look what almost happened. I’m so sorry Stiles,” he finally glanced up and he could see the tears in Stiles’ eyes and Lydia’s too.

She was silent beside his best friend, but he could see her gripping Stiles arm gently offering him comfort. Scott shook his head and pinched the bridge of his nose trying to will the tears away. “This is all just so messed up,” he said as he reached out to his friend resting his hand on Stiles’ other arm.

Between the guilt and pain swirling around in Stiles that echoed in the pit of her stomach and her own emotions, Lydia couldn’t form words at the moment. Her face was pale as her stomach rolled while she attempted to push the rush of emotion back unsuccessfully. Her heart was beating fast in her chest, but she kept her hand on Stiles offering him what little comfort she could. Lydia wasn’t surprised that Stiles had put them first, that he was willing to sacrifice his life for everyone else, that’s just the kind of person he was and it made her heart clench even tighter.

At Scott’s apology, Stiles stared at him, shaking his head as his mouth dropped open. “Scott. Let’s take a step back and remember how this all actually started, okay? I’m the one who dragged you out into the woods in the middle of the night that night, not the other way around. If I hadn’t, Peter Hale never would have attacked and bit you in the first place. So don’t put this on yourself because we both know that’s not true. That’s not how it happened.” His voice was sharp, sharper than it had been in awhile, and insistent.

Stiles looked at Lydia, swallowed hard at the look on her face, like she wanted to throw up or pass out, or possibly both. His best friend didn’t look too much different, really. He shifted in the bed, reaching out and putting the railing down. “Get up here,” he told Scott, making room for him, too.

Scott hesitated for less than a minute before getting up and sitting on the other side of Stiles, brushing the tears away from his eyes before they could really fall. “Dude, you know I don’t even think of it that way. You didn’t drag me out there, I wanted to go.” He was quiet for a minute, “At this rate I think we’re going to go back and forth taking the blame for all this shit,” he said bluntly.

“How about we agree that neither of us are to blame...because that’s the truth really.” He said quietly as he glanced at his best friend.

Stiles didn’t understand, and probably never would understand, how Scott was so forgiving about things that had literally altered the course of his life. He stared at Scott for a long moment, then reached out, hugging him wordlessly as he exhaled. “Okay,” he said quietly. “And that sorta means we can’t blame Allison and her dad and Isaac, either. Everyone was just trying to do the right thing.”

Scott chuckled at how relentless Stiles was, but that was a good sign, so he was okay with it. He shook his head before sighing, “Yeah, I know,” he said quietly before rubbing the back of his neck. “You’re right,” he and Derek had both been right, “I’ll talk to them tomorrow.” He commented as some of the tension left his body as he glanced between Stiles and Lydia.

“Of course I am. I’m always right. You know this.” He patted Scott’s back lightly, and then turned his gaze to Lydia, who’d been utterly silent for far too long. “Are you okay?” he asked quietly, shifting slightly.

The anxiety in her chest was fading as were Stiles’ emotions, leaving her with the tangled mess of her own emotions that seemed to be rapidly growing out of control. Just another thing she could add to the list of things she couldn’t master, like her own damn feelings. Lydia swallowed heavily and nodded, “Yeah,” she said her voice hoarse despite the fact that she hadn’t screamed in over a week.

Lydia cleared her throat and nodded. “I’m okay and it is about time I talked to Allison.” She said. She had been angry, but over the past couple of days, she’d been thinking about Allison and how everything had played out. Her best friend had been protecting Isaac, just like she’d been protecting Stiles. It wasn’t that they were going against each other...they were merely protecting the boys they...cared about and that’s what it came down to.

How could she fault Allison for doing the same thing she’d done? Lydia hadn’t thought about anything except protecting Stiles and she’d been willing to do anything to do it, just like Allison had been willing to do anything to protect Isaac and all of them really. She’d been able to make the hard decision that Lydia couldn’t and they’d been pushing away from her and Isaac ever since, which wasn’t fair. Lydia was being a bad friend and she needed to rectify that before it was too late.

Her whispered “yeah” didn’t really reassure Stiles in the least. Her face was too pale, eyes too full of weariness. He looked at Scott sideways, his own eyes full of worry. Lydia needed to rest and start taking care of herself instead of worrying so much about him. Scott, too, for that matter. He sighed softly. “And also the two of you need to start taking better care of yourselves. Like actual sleep at night. Because I know neither of you are.” He reached out and took Lydia’s hand, squeezing it gently.

When Stiles glanced at him he pursed his lips and glanced away a hint of guilt in his gaze. Scott ran a hand over his face, “It’s hard to sleep when there’s so much going on.” he commented before glancing at Lydia.

“I know, man. But you’re an alpha now and you need more rest so you can do...alpha things.” Stiles waved his hand vaguely toward Scott. He still wasn’t entirely clear what the entailed, but he was going to find out as soon as he got out of the hospital and had time to do more research.

Lydia nodded in agreement, “He’s right.” She responded. Scott cleared his throat and Lydia glanced up and he motioned to Stiles with his gaze and she frowned barely shaking her head before looking away from him. Scott wanted her to tell Stiles. It wasn’t that she wanted to lie to Stiles especially with how he was just opening up, but the last thing she wanted to do was make him feel bad.

Scott sighed and scratched the back of his head. “There’s something I’ve got to tell you.” Maybe if he shared what’s been going on with him, Lydia would feel better about telling Stiles what was going on with her.

Stiles didn’t miss the subtle unspoken conversation that Lydia and Scott had with one another before Scott spoke again and his eyebrows furrowed. He was definitely missing something and if his gut was right, it was something big. “Okay,” he said slowly, letting his gaze focus on Scott again since that was who had spoken.

Scott gave Stiles a hesitant smile, “Well, since you mentioned doing alpha things, there’s uh, this new alpha thing I’m doing.” Scott glanced at Lydia and she arched an eyebrow. He looked back at his best friend. “I can sort of feel you.” Scott scrunched his nose, “I feel Lydia too.” He said getting the words out in one quick blow.

Stiles blinked a couple of times, sitting up a little straighter in bed. “Wait, what? Like feel us how? Like you feel Isaac? Is that normal? Does that usually happen when humans are in a wolf pack?”

Scott grinned and cupped Stiles shoulder, “I kinda love you, Dude.” He chuckled, relief evident on his face. “Uh, no, I mean I don’t know. It’s sort of like how I feel Isaac and Derek, but...different. You know? It’s not as strong as- uh the others,” he amended realizing he’d been about to say not as strong as Lydia feels it. “It’s just different like, I know if you’re not okay and I can pick up on your moods or emotions when they shift.” He explained. “Derek says it’s not...usual. But he doesn’t know much about it. I need to go talk to Deaton about it.” He shrugged.

“And I feel Lydia because of the banshee side. I actually feel her stronger than you.” He flattened his hand and smiled, “Sorry dude,” he said apologizing for not feeling Stiles as much. “But I think it’s growing. The connection. So, I need to see if Deaton knows what’s going on so I can manage it and stuff.”

Stiles sat in utter silence for a moment, trying to take in what all that actually meant. “So how do you feel Isaac and Derek? Like, what’s the difference?” he asked uncertainly, looking between Scott and Lydia curiously. “Do you feel your mom, too? Or my dad? Or just me and Lydia? Wait, what about Allison and Kira?” He knew he was asking a lot of questions, but that was sort of his thing on a semi-normal day.

Scott sighed, but there was a slight smile on his lips. “With Derek and Isaac it’s more like I feel them when something is wrong. I know if they’re in trouble and I can distinguish their roars,” he said shifting on the bed to get more comfortable. “With you it’s not just when you’re in trouble. It’s when there’s any large shift in your emotional state...I think, I’m not really sure.” He told his friend sheepishly.

“I can’t feel my mom or your dad. Just you and Lydia. I can’t feel Allison and I--” he paused, “I haven’t really seen Kira.” He said quietly not sure if she was avoiding him or if she just hadn’t been in school recently.

Stiles was already adding more questions to the mental list he was making, but for now he held back. He studied Scott for a moment, rubbing the back of his head, concerned that he didn’t feel Allison and hadn’t seen Kira. He hoped the latter wasn’t because of him. Something else he was going to have to work on. If he could get someone to bring his laptop the next time they visited, he’d be able to get to work.

“So wait. This is why anytime lately that…” His voice trailed off and he winced, reaching out and punching him in the shoulder lately. “Dude. You should have told me sooner.” He was pretty sure he could have gotten some Xanax or something to get his anxiety issues under control more quickly. He didn’t want Scott suffering because of him.

Scott mock winced, “Hey it’s a good thing we can feel you or Derek wouldn’t have gotten to you in the woods in time,” he countered, “It’s not a big deal once I learn how to control it I’m sure I’ll be able to offset the non-life threatening emotions.” He said with a short laugh and a grin.

Stiles narrowed his eyes at that, staring at him. “We?” he echoed.

Scott opened his mouth and pointed to himself, “Me, I said me, not we.” He said doing his best to keep his gaze from straying to Lydia that would be a dead giveaway. Damn, he was an ass.

Lydia sighed. “We,” she confirmed.

Stiles groaned and laid back against the pillows on his bed, heaving a sigh. “Seriously? I thought the whole ritual that Deaton gave us to do was supposed to…” He waved a hand, guilt eating at him as he rubbed a hand over his face.

“It’s not like that,” Lydia said softly. “It’s sort of how Scott feels you,” she paused, “It’s how I knew to call Derek. I told him where you were.” Lydia said quietly leaving out the part where she’d passed out in the girl’s bathroom and then slept for about 12 hours in the hospital. He didn’t need that guilt, he already had enough.

“I don’t know how to explain what it is.” She said with a shrug not meeting his gaze.

Stiles exhaled slowly, sadness in his eyes. “So it’s...your abilities then?” he asked hesitantly. “Like a new…” He glanced at Scott and then back at Lydia. “Aspect of them or something?”



The words were spoken simultaneously and Lydia frowned at Scott. “What do you mean no?” She asked. “I wasn’t aware normal humans could feel other people’s inner turmoil,” she said sarcastically.

Scott shifted, “Well, I mean yes, but no.” He said with a sigh. “And it’s not other people, it’s Stiles. Just Stiles. Derek and I were sort of talking about it when you were,” he paused, “Asleep after Stiles was first brought into the hospital. We do think it’s your abilities, but Derek thinks your connection to Stiles is unique. He just isn’t sure why.” He explained.

Lydia’s brows furrowed and she arched a brow at Scott as she let out a short sigh, “Were you planning on tell me?” She inquired lightly.

A contemplative look crossed his face, “It was on my list of things to do...Guess I can check one thing off now huh?” He asked with a boyish grin.

Lydia shook her head attempting to hide her amusement at Scott’s grin, “I’m surrounded by idiots.”

Stiles looked back and forth between them, trying to make sense of the conversation going on between his two closest friends. “And…he doesn’t think the connection between us is because Lydia was my tether in the ritual or because she’s literally the one who got rid of the Nogitsune that was possessing me?”

Scott blinked as he realized he and Derek hadn’t even considered that. “Uh...I don’t think we considered that.”

Stiles frown deepened when the idiot comment registered and he looked at Lydia. “Hey.

Lydia glanced at Stiles, “Yeah?” She asked eyebrow arched at his insistent ‘hey’.

“Excuse you; I had no part in said idiocy.” Stiles gave her a look before turning his head to look at Scott.

Lydia glanced at Stiles, “I wasn’t calling you an idiot, that was meant for your not entirely human half,” she motioned towards Scott. “And Derek.” She added as she placed a hand on his arm. “Never you,” Lydia paused, “Unless of course you act like an idiot.”

The corner of Stiles’ lips quirked at her reference to Scott and he rolled his eyes good naturedly and glanced back at Scott. “Okay, well do you and Deaton feel like you’re connected in any way? Like, I don’t know? Since the ritual, I mean?”

Scott made a face, “No, I’m certainly not feeling things from Deaton.” he said making Lydia smirk.

“Okay so maybe it’s because of the combination of Lydia’s banshee side and the tether.” He paused. “Wait. Were you feeling this all along or did this start after I was…” He looked at her worriedly. “You know, possessed.” He swallowed hard.

“You’re not possessed anymore.” She stated before anything else could be said. “I screamed the body off of that Nogitsune. He exploded in my head and I crushed all of his little Nogitsune pieces with my heels.” She hmphed.

“I know,” Stiles said quietly, reassuring her. He definitely wasn’t possessed anymore. His head was his own, even if his head was still haunted by echoes of the Nogitsune that only time was going to be able to sort through.

Scott’s eyes widened and he snorted amused.

“What?” Lydia asked before sighing and continuing, “I don’t know...It’s hard to remember.” Lydia told them finally addressing Stiles’ question. “The voices in my head and the screams, I finally figured out that they were trying to warn me that the Nogitsune was taking over...after the fact of course which was unhelpful.” She frowned.

“Then after...yeah, I’ve been feeling it ever since we woke up from the ritual. And it’s only gotten stronger since. It started off with me just being anxious when I wasn’t near you and the different things I feel have...changed. I feel more now, it’s stronger.”

Stiles was silent for a moment, thinking as he chewed on his thumbnail. “You mean during my sleepwalking venture.” His voice was quiet, distant as he tried to figure it out, feeling like the answer was just out of reach.

Lydia sighed suddenly, “I don’t know.” She told them. “Maybe I should talk to Deaton too, he could have some answers,” She said as she leaned back beside Stiles on his pillow keeping her legs on the floor.

Scott hesitated, “Actually, there’s someone who might know more about Banshee’s,” he commented keeping his tone light, “Derek mentioned it and I was going to tell you when things calmed down.” He admitted. Scott had just been waiting for the right time to bring it up. “Derek said Peter probably knows about what’s going on.” He told them letting his voice trail off knowing that neither one of them were going to like that, hell he didn't either.

Stiles started to nod in agreement with Lydia, and then he narrowed his eyes, staring at Scott. “You’re actually joking right? We’re supposed to trust Peter Hale for information?” he asked skeptically.

Scott frowned, “I didn’t say we should trust him,” He said glancing over at Lydia noticing she had tensed beside Stiles. “It’s completely your choice if you wanted to seek him out and you wouldn’t be there alone. Derek or I would go with you,” he reassured her reaching over Stiles to squeeze her hand gently. “But we all know Peter knows more than he lets on.”

Lydia pursed her lips. “I guess if he knows how to control whatever’s happening to me…” She glanced away from Scott to Stiles.

Stiles wanted to fold his arms across his chest. “Trust, talk to, have any kind of communication with or affiliation to,” he corrected. “And we also know that Peter Hale is a manipulative asshole who’s only out for himself at the end. What kind of price is this gonna come with? And who’s to say the information he has is even gonna be anything real?”

Lydia felt her heartbeat quicken and something similar to indignation and fear stirred in her stomach. “Stiles,” she said squeezing his arm gently, “Calm down.” She said feeling him getting worked up. “I’m sure we can find a different way, Deaton knows a lot too.” She said soothingly. It wasn’t like she wanted to go see Peter, but if she could get some answers on how to be more in control that would be helpful.

“I’m not saying it’s the worst idea, I just...I don’t like him, and I don’t trust him.” And I don’t want any of you near him, he thought, forcing himself to take a deep breath. And he wasn’t exactly in the position to help out with this one. He looked at Scott apologetically.

Scott sent him a small smile and patted Stiles on the back, “No worries, I get it. It’s actually what I said to Derek. That I didn’t trust him with Lydia and I don’t even trust him with Derek, but it is what it is.” He said as he glanced over at the round clock on the wall. Scott groaned, “I’ve got so much homework, but I don’t actually want to do any of it...My mom will kill me though,” he said as he pushed himself off the bed so he could grab his backpack, “We’ve got some for you too, don’t worry.” Scott told his friend with a grin.

Lydia shook her head. “Homework is good,” she said resting her head back against the pillow again. She was exhausted, but she kept her eyes open. “I’ve got your books in my bag,” she added.

Stiles relaxed a little at Scott’s words, rubbing the back of his neck. “Uh, actually, mine’s gonna have to wait for about an hour and a half,” he said hesitantly. He held his breath for a moment and looked between them. “I’m having another MRI run in about twenty minutes.” He suddenly didn’t want to look at either of them, and instead focused on tugging a string on the blanket, twisting it between his fingers.

Scott froze midway to getting his bag. Oh god, Scott’s chest tightened and he stayed bent over for a minute, his eyes squeezing shut. How the hell could he have forgotten about that? It felt like ages since the last time Stiles had gotten that first MRI...the one that told him he had the same disease as his mother.

Lydia frowned, “An MRI? Why?” She sat up, “Do they think something else is wrong? I thought you were healing fi-” Her words were cut off abruptly by the tension building in the room. She watched Scott stand slowly before turning to face them and the look on his face said it all. Lydia sucked in a sharp breath as realization hit her. Stiles was sick. He’d told her that and she’d completely forgotten. After everything that happened she had just assumed things would go back to normal and didn’t even take into account that despite the fact that they had saved Stiles from the Nogitsune, he was still dying.

Scott pursed his lips as he heard Lydia’s heartbeat jump in her chest he opened his mouth and she gave him a curt shake of the head. He shut his mouth and turned to Stiles, “What, what are they saying? Did it, is it getting worse?” He asked. It felt like someone had punched him in the gut. He still couldn’t believe that he hadn’t remembered, god he really was a terrible friend.

“Okay, everyone just...take a deep breath,” Stiles said, sounding more calm than he really felt. Even if they could feel his emotions somehow, he didn’t have to add to their worry with his voice sounding panicky. He reached out and laid a hand on Scott’s shoulder and the other on Lydia’s leg, not even thinking about how intimate of a touch that could be conceived as. The look that passed between them didn’t escape him and the silent communication thing was already starting to wear on him a little.

“I don’t know yet. They haven’t said anything. I asked to have another one run,” he admitted, looking between them. “I just need to know for sure what’s going on. Okay? I’m not having...blackouts or sleepwalking or talking to people who aren’t there. I just...need to have this done just in case.” He pursed his lips, letting out a slow breath. “And if things don’t come back the way I’m hoping then…” He swallowed hard, looking at Scott. “Then I want you to give me the bite.”

Scott opened his mouth, “Really?” He asked hopefully, the relief clear on his face. He felt Lydia’s relief mirroring his own at Stiles words. He didn’t want to bite Stiles, but if that was the only option he’d do it. Scott hadn’t been sure what his friend would decide on that front. A part of him had hoped Stiles would say yes because he’d feel bad taking a bite out of his friend without his permission, but Scott wasn’t entirely sure he’d be able to watch Stiles die and not do anything.

Lydia’s body relaxed just a bit and she rested her hand over his on her bare leg. “I can deal with another werewolf.” She commented softly.

“Yeah.” Stiles’ voice was quiet. He turned his hand in Lydia’s so their fingers wove together, squeezing her hand a little before turning his attention to Scott. “It’s probably ironic considering everything I just told you a few minutes ago, I guess but…” He looked down. “I don’t wanna die, Scott.”

Scott stepped forward, “You have no idea how glad I am to hear you say that,” He responded honestly. His chest was tight as he reached out and clasped Stiles’ shoulder. “You’re not going to die, I won’t let you.” His voice was tight. Stiles was his best friend, his brother. He didn’t let some stupid shadow demon get him and he certainly wasn’t going to let some ridiculous disease take him either. “I mean really I’m just way too selfish to let death have you,” he said meeting his friend’s gaze.

“You can’t leave...we’ve got college plans and best man plans, and our kids are totally going to look for dead bodies together,” Scott paused his heart squeezing painfully in his chest. “You’re not going anywhere,” he repeated.

Lydia listened to Scott and she felt her chest tighten. She pressed her free hand against her stomach as anxiety built there. Between Scott’s speech and the emotions from all of them she couldn’t hold back the tears that slid silently down her cheeks, one of them landing right on their entwined hands before she could wipe it away.

Stiles’ own chest tightened at Scott’s words and he covered his best friend’s hand with his own, gripping onto it tightly and nodding. “I know,” he said quietly. “One way or another I’m gonna be fine, okay? If I’m worse, than you’ll save me.”

At the feel of wetness on his hand he looked up at Lydia, pained. “Hey. It’s gonna be okay, Lydia. Just one more werewolf for the pack.”

Scott grinned, “You’re gonna be in my pack like you know, in a non-human way. We can spend the full moon together dude, this time I can chain you up.” He said with playful glare trying to cut the tension in the room.

“Yeah, but will you buy my own water bowl with my name on it just for me?” He smirked at Scott, arching an eyebrow. It was one of the few times in his life he’d actually been pissed at his best friend. He could count on one hand the number of times that had happened over the years. He’d also been terrified for Scott. That always seemed to be the way of things though. The emotions were always so tangled. There was rarely ever just anger or fear or even happiness. It was just a big mix of everything.

Lydia cracked half a smile at their bantering, but it didn’t quite reach her eyes. She reached up brushing beneath her eyes and nodding. “I know,” she said quietly. There was just so much change going on. Lydia knew Stiles didn’t really want to be a werewolf, but life was sort of forcing his hand. And everything with the Nogitsune, how was that fair? Her head was pounding and she closed her eyes briefly and took a calming breath. “I think I’m going to go grab some coffee,” she said, “Do either of you want anything?” She asked glancing between them.

Scott frowned at the sound of her heartbeat, “No I’m okay.” He said as he watched her turn to Stiles.

Stiles looked at her worriedly. “I’m good. I probably shouldn’t drink anything before the MRI.” He squeezed her hand.

“Right of course,” She said shaking her head. “Sorry.” She swallowed hard and hesitated before releasing his hand and standing up, the skirt of her dress falling back into place. “I’ll be right back.” She told them as she moved around the bed to the door.

Scott watched her go with a frown. Something definitely wasn’t right. She hadn’t been acting like herself all day. He probably should have made her talk about it earlier, but he hadn’t wanted to push and he also really wanted to see Stiles. He sighed before turning back to his friend and giving him half a smile as he sat back on the edge of the bed.

Stiles frowned deeply as he watched her go, troubled. He wasn’t sure if she was just overwhelmed with everything he’d just dumped on her or if there was something else going on, too. He looked back at Scott. “I know that was all...a lot.”

Scott squeezed his friends arm, “It wasn’t you at least not just you.” He reassured his friend. “Something’s wrong, she’s been off all day. Being here is actually the calmest she’s been today,” He admitted, “Her heartbeat was distracting me all day and whatever’s bothering her.” he admitted with a shrug. He had felt her fluctuating emotions all day, but he wasn’t sure what was wrong.

Stiles chewed on his thumbnail again. “Maybe I should see about rescheduling the MRI.” Right now he was more worried about Lydia than he was his brain.

Scott shook his head, “No, dude...just no. We’ve gotta know. I got Lydia okay?” He said quietly, “We’ll probably spend the night here, but if mom doesn’t let us again then I’ll take her back to my place and have her spend the night so she can get some sleep, okay?” He asked quietly. He was worried about Lydia too, but he was also worried about Stiles.

Stiles sighed softly, nodding silently as he gazed at Scott. “Okay.” His voice was quiet. “You know, Dude, I know you’re the alpha and everything, but this isn’t all on you. You know that, right?”

Scott nodded, “I know,” he hesitated as he shifted closer to Stiles, “We’ve all been having a hard time.” he told his friend honestly. “But it’s getting better. And I’m not taking everything on, just Lydia at the moment.” He said with half a smile. “I’m worried about her, she’s my friend too.” He reminded Stiles.

Stiles began to pick at the string on his blanket again. “Yeah, I know,” he said quietly. He was just sorry he’d been the cause of so much of the problem to begin with. “I want to help fix things. Set things right again.”

Scott squeezed Stiles’ arm gently, “I know and honestly man you are. I swear.” he told him quietly. “Just being here makes me feel a lot better, and Lydia too.” He studied his friend, “She always seems a lot calmer around you.” He said letting his words trail off.

Stiles hesitated a second. “I feel better when you guys are here, too. This probably isn’t super healthy. I mean, we’re gonna end up even more co-dependent than before and man, who even knew that was possible?” His voice was light.

Scott arched an eyebrow, “It gets more co-dependent than sharing a bed with your best friend and his...Lydia?” Scott asked slightly amused. “Because for the record I can’t wait for you to get out of here, so we can resume our sleepovers. On a scale of 1-to-10 how bad does it sound that I sleep better when I’m with you and Lydia? Because when I say it, it definitely sounds funny to me,” he joked trying to lighten the mood.

A smirk tugged at his mouth. “Okay you have a point there.” Truthfully he was kind of worried that as soon as he was out of the hospital and not under the influence of heavy sedatives, he was going to slip right back into terrible nightmare mode. “And as badness goes, I think that probably only rates around a two, all other things considered.”

Scott grinned, “I’m glad you think so, I’ll be packing an overnight back and dropping it off at your house,” he joked even though he caught the worry on Stiles face. “Any word on when they’re releasing you?” He asked while tapping his hand against his leg.

“Seriously. Just take a drawer,” he joked back. He raked a hand through his hair. “Couple more days.” He finally managed to tug the string free from the blanket, then made a face. He pitched it to the side and looked up at Scott again.

Scott arched an eyebrow, “You okay man? Want to talk about what’s causing you to rip apart the poor unsuspecting blanket?” He asked wondering if there was something new on his friend’s mind.

Stiles reached instinctively toward the next loose string despite Scott’s words. “I’m nervous,” he admitted almost inaudibly.

Scott’s chest tightened. “It’s going to be okay,” he said quietly as he reached out to his friend again. “You know that right? And I’ll be here, I can stay again like last time and I’m sure mom and your dad will be there. You’re not alone.” He said squeezing his friend’s arm.

“No, I know. I know. I’m just -- I don’t like small spaces that much. I’m definitely taking the headphones this time.” He smiled a little. “Maybe some tunes will help me relax.” Truthfully he was nervous because the last time he’d been in the MRI machine, his body had been hijacked by a monster that had wanted to kill everyone he loved.

Scott tilted his head to the side, “Are you...are you lying to me?” He asked eyebrows pulling up. “Dude, talk to’s Scott, you’re best friend...cuddle buddy...Alpha?” He could see Stiles was worried about something, but small spaces didn’t seem like the right answer.

Stiles gave Scott a look. “You know, if you were anybody but you I’d be really creeped out by that, because I have it on good authority that I am a great liar.” He went back to tugging at the string, heaving a soft sigh. “The last’s when it all really started, okay? And what if…” He chewed on his lower lip. “What if there’s still something, I don’t know some little...bit of it left?”

Realization hit Scott and his chest tightened. “No, me. It’s gone and I know it might seem like it’s not, but you got that mark from the Oni and Lydia, Lydia and all her badassory took care of the Nogitsune.” He said quietly. “It’s not coming back man, but I get it, okay. How about this.” he paused, “I’ll stay near the room Lydia too if you want and if either one of us feels anything we’ll make them stop the MRI and come get you...Okay?”

He nodded silently. “I know. I know. Logically, I know all of that.” As if to double check, he reached up and felt behind his right ear, relieved to feel the slight indentation there still. He looked over at Scott even as he tugged at the string absently. “Yeah it’s...definitely please be close by, just in case.”

“You got it,” Scott said without hesitation. “I will be right there, I promise.” He told Stiles with a smile and a pat on the back.

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