Stiles and his dad are debating over Chinese takeout or picking up a pizza, because Thursday night is usually delivery or takeout night. His dad works later to clear out most paperwork for the influx of everything that the weekend will bring, and lately it's been worse. His dad doesn't know why, just that animal attacks and dead bodies in burnt out houses and lots of paperwork for solving cold cases tend to mean extra work for him.
Stiles feels guilty for lying to him. "We haven't eaten together in almost a week, Stiles, and tonight's my first night off in twice that," his dad says, after picking him up at home in a cruiser. "And I'm not going to order off of the eat-right menu, either," he says, and sends a half-hearted glare toward his son. So that's final, then, Stiles guesses. "How about the, you know, with the burgers?" His dad is talking about the kind of fast food place with more pizzazz, which isn't normally his thing, but he knows that Stiles likes the fries. Stiles knows which place his dad is talking about because he takes one hand away from the wheel to wiggle his hand at Stiles in a way that can only be describes as "wristy."
"Sure, okay," Stiles agrees readily. His initial plan had been to snoop around at the station, see what he can glean, but his dad has been pretty keen on keeping him away. Probably because a lot of what's happening is trying to figure out what happened to Lydia. So Stiles figures that if he can't go to the station, he'll keep his dad away too, for one night. The man needs a break.
It would be right then, when Stiles makes the mistake of thinking that his dad needs a break, that Murphy's Law strikes: they see a Porsche skidded to a halt on the side of the road, its excellent brakes stopping it just feet from a tree. "Isn't that...?" His dad asks, looking over at Stiles. Fuck, Jackson. Who is a werewolf now, according to Scott's wolfish nose.
Stiles gulps. "There's only one Porsche in town, dad," Stiles answers, and he tries to convince himself that the flash of yellow that he sees on the driver window is from the cruiser's headlights, even though he knows that they're not on. Maybe Jackson's stereo? "Um, let me go talk to him? It's Jackson. I haven't seen him since the night of the formal. Or," Stiles frowns like he'd reconsidering, and his dad looks at him sharply. "The morning after, hah, since we were at the hospital so long."
His dad is eying him, like he always does when Stiles is rambling like nothing's wrong but everything is, truthfully. "Yeah, I can't let you do that," he says as he guides the car off to the side, leaving room for the Porsche to back away from the tree to leave when the time comes. Stiles feels the beginnings of dread coil in his gut, a sick anticipation. "Stay here," his dad tells him, and Stiles already has his phone out when his dad opens the door.
"Yeah, okay," Stiles looks up distractedly when he realizes that his dad is paused, looking in at him from the door to make sure he agrees. Satisfied, his dad closes the door. He sends the text to Scott - get where I am quick! dad's about to talk to Jackson who I think is freaking out - and then sends the same thing to Derek, as an afterthought.
He knows that's who had to turn Jackson, and if anyone is capable of helping and not getting hurt it's Derek. "C'mon, guys," Stiles says aloud, in a slightly loud voice. "I don't know what's about to happen, but it doesn't feel good, oh my God! Get here quick you have to," Stiles yells, breaking off and jumping at the door, cursing when he forgets his seatbelt. Jackson gets out of the car even before his dad knocks on the window, and he's - Stiles swallows bile, trying to ignore the sick feeling as he stumbles out the door. "Dad! Dad, get away from him, Jackson!" He's yelling, trying to distract the wolf, and his dad's eyes are wide like he can't believe the kid has fangs and yellow eyes. "Hey, furface!"
It's hard for Stiles to believe. Jackson's handsome features are grotesque, his mouth wide in a snarl and his claws are, thank God, reaching past Stiles' dad and heading for Stiles' himself. Oh fuck, Stiles is the target now, and his dad is reaching for his service revolver, horrified. If Stiles had the keys, he could get the shotgun in the truck, but as soon as he thinks of it he knows it's too late. Plus, it's Jackson, who Stiles sort of hates but not that much.
"Hey! Jackson, hey," Stiles' dad yells. Stiles can't do anything about it, he's already yelling at Jackson, but his dad is the closer target. He just stands there as Jackson, displaying even more grace than he does on the lacrosse field, pivots easily and guts his dad with his claws. Stiles can't move, too shocked and horrified by the sight of his dad's blood. Jackson's snarling in his dad's face, and God, that's his dad's blood all over Jackson's claws. "Stiles, run," his dad coughs before falling backwards, sitting and then lying on the ground. So much blood, running down his dad's hands from where he's holding his wound, bubbling out past his lips.
Stiles thinks he's screaming but he's not, he realizes, when he goes to his knees to vomit on the grass. It's the noise in his head, Jackson's growls and the ringing in his ears and Stiles' own heartbeat, so fucking loud. It was so quick that his dad couldn't even fire his weapon, God, Stiles barely even saw Jackson's arm move. Yet the blood is undeniable, and Stiles heaves again, not even looking up when he hears a roar.
But then he hears another, and another, and a body he knows is Scott's is pressed against him growling protectively. "My dad," Stiles is crying, but he can't remember when he started. "Scott, my dad," Stiles says again, and then Derek's voice is yelling for Scott.
"Take Jackson, do something with him," Derek is saying, and when Scott rises he pulls Stiles with him. It's okay, Stiles doesn't have anything left in his stomach anyway. Once he's on his feet Stiles takes off like a shot and gets even more grass stains on his jeans as he drops, sliding a little and jostling his dad as he kneels over him. Jackson is snarling on the ground from where Derek has him pinned, but Stiles' hands are shaking over his dad, hovering, before he presses down on the still gushing wound.
"Dad, you're going to be okay, I love you, you're breathing so keep doing that, please Dad, please," Stiles begs, trying to keep his dad's blood in his body. He looks up to his dad's face, and sees him gasping for breath, blood on his lips and eyes blinking wide. He looks so confused, and Stiles holds back a sob. "Dad, you are going to be fine, I promise," he says, and he does sob then, as Derek kneels next to him and presses down on his hands to Stiles' in an attempt to help.
His breath hitches in a gasping sob as he realizes that Derek is talking to him. "He can be fine, Stiles. It's possible," Derek is saying, and yeah, of course it's possible. His dad can't die. Fuck, what would Stiles do - "Stiles! I'm talking about giving him the bite, c'mon," Derek shouts, but gentles his voice when Stiles' dad opens his eyes - when did they close? they can't close - to try and glare at Derek, still protecting Stiles even when he's bleeding out.
"...what," Stiles' dad is trying to talk, and Stiles chokes on a sobbed-out bit of laughter. Stubborn, and his dad always says that he gets it from his mom, but it's from both of them if anything. He can't lose his dad, he can't, and Derek could save him this way. His dad is going to hate him, but he'll be alive to do that.
"He'll live?" Stiles asks, because he knows that Peter told him he could die from the bite. He can't let his dad die. He can't, his dad is all he has left. They're all each other has left.
"He has a better chance with the bite than without it," Derek says, and his hands curl around Stiles', holding them against his dad's seeping gut, keeping them firm when they slide in the blood and start to shake. His vision is blurry from the tears, but he can see the tan of his dad's uniform turning red, as is his blue plaid shirt, and Derek's grey tee. So much red, and Stiles feels bile rise in his throat again.
He swallows hard. He's already gotten his dad gutted, he's not going to puke on him too. "Do it," Stiles says, and blinks when he looks up at Derek. He blinks harder, trying to clear his eyes, and feels panic when Derek hesitates. He's watching Stiles, and the look on his face is pained, like he's remembering his own desperation, and Stiles lets out a shocked and shuddery breath when Derek nods. "Please," he pleads, and Derek nods again, but Stiles doesn't see any more after he watches Derek wolf out. He absurdly misses the blue glow that used to terrify him when he sees Derek's eyes flash red. Stiles' breath feels like it's been knocked out of him at the sight of Derek the alpha, the creature he's going to let near his father.
He can't watch this. He looks away, and blinks when he sees Jackson watching, horrified and pale, his own face wet from tears. He looks human again, and he's not looking at Stiles, he's watching Stiles' dad and Derek. Stiles flinches when he hears Derek's growl, but he's glad for it because that means he can barely hear the wolf's jaws bite somewhere on his dad. He still feels the need to try and fling himself between Derek and his dad, the visceral need to keep his dad safe, God, but he can't. This is hopefully going to save his dad's life.
He opens his eyes to see Jackson puking into the grass, a thing that Stiles is intimately familiar with, before Scott's back at Stiles' side and pulling him into a strong hug. Stiles fights another sob and wins, choking it back down. Stiles hands are covered in blood when they come away from his dad's body, but Scott seem to doesn't care as he tugs Stiles further from Derek. Stiles tries to stop him but that's not realistic when he's the only human surrounded by werewolves, fuck, his dad is going to be one. It's better than the alternative.
Scott tugs Stiles to his feet easily and leads him back toward the police cruiser, skirting around Jackson and both vomit puddles. Stiles lets Scott wind his arm around the werewolf's shoulders, lets Scott support him, because the growling has stopped from where his dad's body is and Stiles can crane his head back to see. Derek's human looking, a smear of blood that he tried to wipe off his face on his shirtsleeve, before he hefts Stiles' dad's body and follows them.
Stiles' breath hitches again and Scott pulls on him forcefully. "Stiles, don't look, he'll be fine," Scott tells him, and Stiles hears the plaintive note inside his friend's determined voice. Stiles tries to twist around to look, to see if Derek will agree, but Scott is shoving him now, opening the back door of the police car and pushing him in, piling in the back with him.
"He'll be fine, Stiles," Derek says, and the addresses Jackson. "I'm taking him in your car. You're driving the police car, and we'll talk about this later." Stiles wants to protest - not to the talking, which sounds like a euphemism for killing, but to the driving. He wants his dad, and he struggles, but Scott practically sits on him. Jackson gulps, but opens the passenger door for Derek to lay Stiles' dad in the car. "Stiles, calm down! We're all meeting back at your house," Derek yells, and Stiles stills suddenly as Derek's eyes flash red. It's a command, and it makes Stiles realize just how deep into shit he's gotten his family: Derek is a wanted criminal that his sheriff father is after, and is now his alpha. Their alpha, because Stiles is pretty sure he counts as pack too.
Unless he has to be turned to be counted as pack? God, that would just - things were supposed to get better after the alpha died. People were supposed to be safe. "He'll be fine, Stiles," Scott reiterates both his and Derek's claims.
Stiles doubts that fine and where they are right now are even on speaking terms.