There are times when everyone feels helpless. You're at your low and it feels like nobody's beside you. You don't exist. As people, we feel the need to latch on to others to validate ourselves. In a primal sense we are selfish. I've lived my life leaning on other people so much, that when they're gone, I don't feel like I'm alive at all.
So I stopped.
The school hallways buzz with activity but he filters it out. He goes on auto-pilot to his locker, then homeroom. The longer the day goes on the heavier his shoulders feel with his decision. But at the same time he feels lighter. It's an hour closer. A minute. A second. Until finally, it'll be over. The recurring anxiety. The paranoia. The unstoppable thoughts that nothing feels safe. Nothing feels like it's his. Not even himself.
The day wares on and so does he. Until tonight.
He stands on the cliff looking over Beacon Hills. He can't see the good memories anymore. They've all been over shadowed by the emotional trauma that the entire pack has suffered. Lydia's unmoving body on the Lacrosse field. Almost losing Erica and Boyd. The Nogitsune. Allison.
It's been long enough to where everyone can laugh again but it might never be long enough for Stiles. Nobody blames Stiles, is the thing. He could deal with everyone hating him because he hates himself too. But this. This is something he can't deal with. Everyone walking on their tip-toes around him like he'll break...Well, they weren't wrong.
Nobody cares about Stiles. Stiles isn't in the pack. He isn't important. Stiles is nothing compared to everyone else. He only get's in the way and causes problems.
"Stiles is the reason for everyone's problems."
-Breathe in deeply.
"Take away Stiles..."
-Let it out.
"And there's no problem."
He couldn't help but let the tears fall as he stepped forward. One foot off the edge. An updraft of wind coming up to carry him down. He fell forward, prepared to be dead weight in the sky.
A striking pain in his right arm jerked him backwards. He fell roughly to the ground. He looked over and saw a blur of black disappear into the treeline. He struggled to his feet and noted the growing red stain on his shirt. As if a bucket of cold water was thrown on him, he jumped.
"What am I doing?" He whisper shouted.
With that, he ran back to his jeep and spent half an hour calming his breathing until he put the key in the ignition.
His dad was still at work when he got home. His arm ached more as he unwrapped it in the bathroom. The blood had already clotted and become crusty on his arm. It only briefly crossed his mind that a were could have bitten him but he ruled it out and trusted that the pack would have mentioned another threat. Tip-toeing around him or not. He took a quick shower and thoroughly disinfected his arm before jumping into bed around one in the morning. Fitful sleep did not reach him once again and he tossed and turned along with the nightmares.
The next day at school was a bitter reminder of his weakness the day before. His arm ached dully and Scott gave him a worried look that he immediately waved away. The dark circles under his eyes had been visible for awhile but he started using concealer once he'd had enough of those looks from Scott. Maybe that was mean but he didn't deserve their concern. Isaac tried to corner him at lunch and he barely managed to slip out with a half-assed excuse of meeting with a teacher. Throughout the day he'd managed to develope a headache from all the pack-dodging and note taking from his classes. He was just getting in his jeep when his phone buzzed. He pulled it out with a groan and then saw it was from Derek.
Stiles pulled up the same time Scott and Kira did. Kira smiled in a friendly manner and Stiles tried to return the gesture while Scott knocked shoulders with him, nearly bowling him over. Scott lead the way with Stiles falling to the back and coming inside last. Derek was making food in the kitchen when they came in and if someone had told him that Derek Hale would be making snacks for a pack meeting maybe two months ago, he would have laughed and marveled at the thought of Derek in an apron. But now it's something that Stiles sees as another way Derek is improving in his leadership role. He didn't just step aside from the drama when it happened, he pulled himself and everyone else together. It was good for the pack. It really was.
The last people to show up were Erica and Boyd. Derek sat the little sandwiches down on the coffee table and started talking about a pack that would be visiting for about a week to wrap up some business. Erica had scarfed down five sandwiches by the time Derek started talking about current were news. Stiles was distracted by the anomaly that is Erica, so he almost missed what Derek said next.
"And there's been a reported rogue shifter. So be on the look-out and don't let it bite you if you come into contact. You'll be fine but it'll hurt like hell." Derek stilled with his eyes on Stiles.
His heart beat had picked up conspicuously during his last statement.
"Stiles?" Derek asked.
Stiles laced his fingers together on his lap,"Um.."
Lydia nudged him from where she sat on his right and he flinched.
Derek's eyes flashed and was in front of Stiles in an instant. Stiles was shaking minutely but nobody commented on it. The other pack members seemed tenser than before and he couldn't help but feel slightly good about it. Although it vanished when Derek unknowingly squeezed on his wound and made him let out a hiss of pain. The alpha jumped back and regarded him, who was now guarding his arm.
"What happened?" he asked through gritted teeth.
"I was up on the cliff and-"
Derek huffed irritably,"What were you doing up there?"
Stiles cleared his throat,"And then something chomped onto my arm and then ran back into the trees."
"Stiles, why were you up there?" Derek asked more insistently, his alpha voice leaking in slightly.
Stiles licked his lips nervously while his eyes threatened to water,"Geez, it doesn't matter okay? I was just look-"
"Stiles! Just answer the question!" Derek crowded him closer.
Stiles pushed him away from him, which really wouldn't have worked if Derek didn't let him, and felt his pent up anger flare into a furnace of unchecked emotion.
"You want to know why I was up there Derek?! I wanted to throw myself from the edge and be done with it all. I wanted the nightmares to stop. The Nogitsune is gone," A collective flinch,"-but the nightmares won't stop. I want everyone to stop looking at me. I just want to disappear so I can't ever be a problem again." He paused for breath and tried to keep the tears in.
"No. You wouldn't leave it alone, you can't just back up and say 'oops sorry'. I don't get why nobody in this pack has shredded me to bits and you all pretend like nothing is my fault! Allison died because of-"
Derek's eyes were fully red and his claws were extended.
"See?! We're getting somewhere!"
"Stiles everyone here considers you a member of the pack."
He growled,"What more has to happen until you consider me a threat to your pack, Derek? How can you not see that I'm only a liability?"
"What, so now I'm crazy?! Stop being a fucking idiot. I'm the only one here who is thinking clearly. Do everyone a favor and end it." He stepped forward and raised Derek's clawed hand to his throat,"What are you waiting for, Derek?! I'm standing right here! Ready for you to rip me apart and throw me away! I've been ready for it! Burn me. Bury me. C'mon Derek, kill me. All I do is get in the way." He waited a beat while Derek stood stiffly,"You can't do it, can you?" Stiles laughed sharply for a second before he cut himself off in a choked sob. The stunning realization that he'd mirrored the Nogitsune's words and actions chilled him to the bone.
Stiles stumbled back,"Oh god."
Derek's claws had long since been retracted and everyone looked either horrified, worried, or sad. Maybe a combination of all three. The tears finally fell but Stiles' face was blank.
Derek looked at him with careful eyes, not trying to be threatening or judging,"The bite is probably reaking more havok on your emotions than you realize."
("I don't fit anymore.")
("Why does everything hurt now?")
"I can't do anything." His voice was barely a whisper.
Everyone was at a loss of words. Lydia stared at him as everyone shifted in their seats uncomfortably. Derek flexed and unflexed his hands anxiously. Stiles could tell he was trying to think over his words before he said anything. It made something deep in his heart ache.
"I'm leaving." He said lightly.
He was at the door when all hell broke loose.