Young and Beautiful.
Lana Del Rey
IT’S MELISSSA WHO TELLS HIM ABOUT THE FIRE. Scott doesn’t hear about it until he’s on a break. And when he does, he forgets to inform Deaton anything because he speeds out of the clinic before he remembers. He rereads the message written in all caps: STILINSKI HOUSE ON FIRE. COME RIGHT AWAY.
It has been ten minutes since the text was sent. He’d been busy then with an old lady’s Chihuahua that kept trying to bite his thumb off. Six years and eleven days since Stiles Stilinski’s body was found in his jeep that was off track on the other side of town, Scott was not ready to let go of another Stilinski. Not even after six years, the wounds were as fresh as they had been the moment he held his friend’s lifeless body. He thinks of sending Lydia a message, but decides against it. Later when he knows the John is safe. Only then.
Lydia Martin hasn’t seen any of the pack since Stiles’ death. In college she barely returned to Beacon Hills and when she did, she never showed her face to them. Scott doesn’t blame her. Coach Finstock had told him that she visits the school’s memorial for Stiles every now and then only to stare at the jersey hung between the trophies with Stilinski on it.
Six years and fourteen days, Lydia emerged from Eichen House, sane and more dangerous than ever, swearing to find the boy who ran with the wolves. And all Scott knows about her is that she’s more collected and she doesn’t want to see any of them. Scott should have seen it coming. He should have known that Theo wanted to separate them, and isolate Lydia for his own interests.
Scott finds a crowd of people onlookers and the striking red of the fire truck parked outside the Stilinski house. There’s almost too much noise, ash, and smoke. But then he hears John’s voice talking with Jordan by the ambulance. “—no, son, I wasn’t drunk,” his ragged voice says. Scott makes a beeline towards them as fast as he can. Only to be blocked by a flash of blond and flashing blue eyes. It happens too fast, before Scott catches the wrist of the assaulter. Claws digging unto the man’s wrist, Scott’s eyes widens at the man in front of him.
“Jackson?” he gasps. But the man only tightens his hold on Scott’s collar, pushing him harder against the fire truck. Jackson Whittemore stands a few centimeters shorter than him, but with the same power and rage he had back in high school.
“What the fucking hell, Scott. Where the fuck were you?” He demands, voice thick with anger. He flashes his eyes at the other, trying to calm him. But Jackson doesn’t budge at all. The next thing Scott knows is that Derek’s there.
And he’s telling Jackson to calm down, and that there are people. The other finally relents, looking slightly lost and surprised at Derek. And when Jackson lets go, Scott swallows his instinct to attack at the threat. Instead, he takes a deep breath and turns to the Hale. He can still hear Stiles words, ‘Derek would have believed me.’ But Derek wasn’t there when Stiles died. He wasn’t there.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Anguish turning to anger within seconds, he snarls at Derek. Jackson makes a snort from beside him, “Like you’re one to talk, McCall.” Derek’s eyes don’t flash like his does, but he doesn’t back down. He stands there calm and collected, sad eyes watching Scott quietly.
“Shut it, Jackson!” Scott barks right back. “You weren’t here when Stiles died. None of you were. If you think you could have done any better, you should have been here! But none of you were. I was fucking sixteen!”
The tears were always there, Scott thinks when his knees buckles and he finds himself sitting on the gravel. The tears were always there, but he’d never been able to grieve. God, he didn’t even cry at Stiles’ funeral. Who was he to grieve his brother who he wouldn’t even believe? He’d been angry and confused. And he wanted everyone safe.
“Scott, breathe!” And he does. John is right beside him now, hands clasping his wrists. Scott lets go of the tips of his hair he didn’t know he was pulling unto. His fingertips turned into claws. Parrish is kneeling beside him, covering him with a blanket. The smell of smoke is still there but fainter. The fire has stopped and Scott was the next spectacle the on lookers were watching if it weren’t for the deputies barricading them.
“It’s alright, son,” John tells him. But it only makes his heart ache.
“Since when have you been back?” Derek asks Jackson as he places a glass of water on the dinner table. The Hale house is yet to be done completely, but Derek had time. He had all the time for when Cora returns if she does he’d have a home for her.
Jackson stares at the glass of water, blank eyed as if he weren’t there at all. So Derek doesn’t press him. John’s footsteps falls closer, and Derek prepares another glass for the man who had just lost his house. When the man comes in the kitchen, Derek realizes how old he is. Gray hair and weary lines on his face. The other man jolts and whips to John surprised that he’s there.
“Boys,” John greets. It’s hard to think of him as the then-Sheriff now. With the world weighing more heavily over his shoulders and the darkness in his eyes. “Sir,” Jackson replies earnestly, eyes wide with some guilt Derek could not comprehend. He shoots up, offering a seat for the man. But John only shakes his head.
“Sit down, Jackson.” The man says kindly, and then he turns to Derek raising a brow. Jackson’s movement are blatantly brisk and stilted.
Derek watches all this before he takes a seat as well, pushing a glass of water for the man. “It’s been awhile. Now, I won’t ask you about what you were doing in my son’s bedroom tonight because I’d really rather not know,” John tells Jackson without beating around the bush. Derek should have suspected from the lack of humor. He takes a gulp at the water offered and puts down the glass with a thud. He turns to look at Derek, eyes cold and calculating, “The fire started in the attic where all of Claudia’s things are kept. I’d seen this coming, don’t get me wrong. Meisner told me they will do it.”
“But the sins of the mother is not the sins of the son,” Derek replies quietly, eyes looking at a point beyond John. He remembers red spray paint words he could not comprehend; a part of Stiles that was foreign to everyone but his mother perhaps. John told him before that Stiles didn't really hate his name, he spoke well in Polish up until his mother's death. He remembers John telling him what the red spray painted Polish meant on the walls of Stiles' room. Derek should ask what it really means, but he is afraid to know. Jackson takes a deep breath, jolting both of them back to present and to his presence.
"So," Jackson drawls, leaning back and crossing his arms over his chest. "I'm guessing this all; it didn't start with the fire?"