Dr. Greumach had not been voluntarily called by the people who lived in the large house in Beacon Hills, but hired by the Sheriff, so it must have been a threat to the town's safety. She wondered why her new client wasn't locked up then, if he was such a disturbance.
Well, at least she could sue if this man--Derek Hale was his name--hurt her or tried anything else.
The house was, as previously said, large in size, and quite beautiful actually. But some of that grandeur was sucked into the stifling melancholy about the place, like it was frozen in another time, or wanted to be. Dr. Greumach knew just from looking at the property that someone had died in the family. Someone very important.
She didn't have to wait long at the door after knocking. A boy who looked to be in his college years answered it. His eyes held nothing but sadness, like a child who had just lost his mother.
"Can I help you?" he asked, voice quiet for someone his age.
Dr. Greumach went for what she hoped was a small yet kind smile in greeting him. "Hello there, my name is Dr. Francine Greumach. I was called in to see Derek Hale. Are you Derek?"
"No, my name's Scott. Derek's upstairs."
"Oh. That's just as well though, because I'd like to talk to his family first. Are they in?"
Scott let her inside with a small nod, leading her into an expensively furnished living room. The clouds covered the sun, so there wasn't much light streaming through the windows, and no one in the room seemed to be paying attention to the television sitting above the empty fireplace. They looked like teenagers too, each and every one of them, all of their eyes staring straight at the therapist as she followed Scott through the archway.
"Guys, this is the therapist his dad called," Scott introduced, giving a vague gesture in Dr. Greumach's direction, "She wants to talk to us."
This was the family? This rag tag group of teenagers? "Are there any biological family members here?" she asked carefully.
"They died," one kid with light brown wavy hair snapped, his eyes sharp, "We're his family now. What do you want?"
"Isaac," the blonde cuddled up next to him murmured in a sort of patronizing way. However, the tone seemed half-hearted; like she wanted to try, but she either didn't care enough or simply couldn't bring herself to.
Another girl, a brunette with long hair and sad eyes--though that really wasn't a specification, since everyone had sad eyes, with a couple having anger mixed in--stood up from the couch and held out her hand to shake. "Sorry about him. We're all not really having an easy go. I'm Allison Argent."
"Dr. Greumach, pleased to meet you," Francine tried again for that smile she had at the door, "May I sit and talk with you all for a moment?"
Further introductions were made (though no one else seemed to want to touch Francine, so no more hand shaking), so that Francine would know each of their names. There were the two she had already met, Allison and Scott, then there was Isaac, Erica, Boyd, Lydia, and Jackson. Boyd got a chair for Dr. Greumach to sit in front of the fireplace from the dining room, so that everyone could see her as she could see them. Taking out her notepad and pen, the group session started.
Francine made her voice as gentle and empathetic as possible. "I want to ask first...why are some of these pictures on the mantle face down?"
The silence was tense and uncomfortable, and no one opened their mouth to break it.
"Did the person in the photos die recently?"
Tears began to shine in some of their eyes, while anguish flared in others. Francine moved her free hand to one of the face down frames. "May I?" she asked quietly. More moments of silence, which she took as permission. With a careful hand, Francine picked up one of the pictures and flipped it over.
There was only one person in the photo. A boy, wearing simple plaid and jeans. He had a buzz cut for hair, and a bright, kind smile that made his molten brown eyes dance in the sunlight mildly reflecting in them. He was sitting on the porch of the house, in front of the door, elbows resting on his knees. The picture was taken only 2 months ago, judging by the date engraved on the bottom right corner of the black frame. It was altogether peaceful, warm, and welcoming. Francine could see, not even knowing this boy, that he was wonderful. He was the missing light in the darkness surrounding this house.
"What was his name?" she prodded gently, slowly turning the picture so everyone could see. In an instant, all eyes were averted from it. "When did he pass away?"
Lydia's fists clenched in her lap, her expression pained. It was obvious she was trying--and failing--not to cry as she answered. "His name was...his name was Stiles. Stiles Stilinski."
Stilinski? Wasn't that the Sheriff's last name?
Oh...they must have been related. Which meant Derek Hale wasn't a threat to anyone. Mr. Stilinski was only calling because he was worried about him, and about these young people.
Francine's thoughts were interrupted as Jackson added, putting his arms around Lydia, "He died a month ago."
Only a month?
Francine gently put the photo back on the mantle, face down like before. So only 4 weeks after that picture was taken...
"We took that picture from Derek's room," Boyd murmured, "With others."
"Why did you take them from Derek's room?" Francine asked, keeping her voice low so as to not disturb to sorrowful stillness over the house too much.
"He wouldn't stop looking at them," Allison repiled, "It was all he'd do. Just stare at them, all day long, before..." she stopped.
No one spoke again.
Francine searched for words. "I know it's--"
"You *don't* know, lady," Isaac spat, "If you knew what he meant to us--"
"Isaac," Erica attempted to scold, but like the first time, she hardly put any effort into it.
Francine decided to change the subject, writing down the previous topic to revisit later in the discussion. "What did he mean to you then, Isaac? Help me understand."
Scott answered instead. "I don't...I mean, no offense, but there's no way we could get you to understand."
Lydia seemed up for the challenge though, containing her sadness in order to keep her voice steady as she explained, "In plain terms, he was like...our mom. He kept us all together, and he made us...he made us better. Just by being there, he projected this-this light that we could all rely on and follow. Like an angel." her voice began to tremble once more as she went on, "He could make everything seem like it was going to be ok, like if we only stuck together, we could move mountains. I never saw it before I joined this family. Our little family, made up of misfits, blindly reaching out for a hand to hold. And he was that hand. Now that he's gone, it's..." tears started to fall, "it's like this gaping hole that nothing can fill."
Francine's heart broke for not just her, but everyone in the room as they all started to shed tears of their own. Most were silent, some had to put hands over their mouths to keep from sobbing aloud. "You're right," she finally murmured, "I can't understand that kind of magnitude of affection for someone. Can anyone tell me how Derek is dealing with this hole? What exactly was Stiles to him?"
Wide eyes looked around at each other, silently communicating, as if they weren't sure whether or not they should say.
Boyd told her in the end. "They were gonna get married after he graduated."
Immediately, Francine's heart filled with dread, and she couldn't help but eye the staircase leading up to where Derek was. "Do you often leave him alone now?"
Tension spiked again. "No," Allison whispered, "We had all just come downstairs when you came."
"Could someone please go check on him? I fear, if you felt so much for Stiles, what the effects could be on Mr. Hale."
Isaac rushed up there, almost faster than Francine thought it possible. In the meantime, she went back to the topic that was put to a halt before. "I must ask plainly. Has Derek Hale shown any suicidal behaviors or signs that he he is contemplating it?"
Jackson gave an empty, sharp chuckle, without a smile or shine in his eyes. "Yeah. It's all he does, really."
Francine nodded, turning to Allison. "You said before that he would stare at Stiles's pictures, and then do something. Would he attempt to take his own life?"
Allison took a shaky breath. "He um..." she cleared her throat to steady her voice, "sometimes, yeah. Other times, you could see it on his face. Like he was planning it in his head. It...it's so horrible to...because he-he blames himself for what happened, even though it wasn't his fault," her crying made her stop. Scott pulled her in, resting his chin on top of her head.
"Ok, ok, thank you," Francine soothed, "That's all I needed to hear. I think we've gotten very far for our first day. I'll go and speak to Derek now."
None of them told her where to go, or a goodbye.
Isaac was just coming out of a room when Francine reached the top of the steps. He only glanced at her before heading back to the others. The therapist, meanwhile, knocked softly on the door he had ventured out of.
"Mr. Hale? My name is Dr. Greumach. May I come in?"
Footsteps. The door opened ever so slightly, revealing a thin, pale man. His hair was dark, like the circles under his eyes--his red eyes. Why would he wear colored contacts? Was he wearing colored contacts? Well, he must be. No one naturally had red eyes.
"What?" the man rumbled, sounding almost like a wolf growling. Francine would admit only to herself that she was quite intimidated.
"I know who sent you. What do you want?"
"Well, I was sent here to help--"
"You can't. Get out."
The door slammed in her face.
I made some people have feelings...and I'm sorry, but, if the previous chapter gave you feelings, I believe then that this one is only going to make it worse. At least I think so. So I am sorry.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It had taken multiple tries and many days to get to this point, where Dr. Greumach was finally sitting in front of Derek Hale in a dim sitting room not too far from his bedroom. There were no pictures; all had been taken by the others like Boyd said. Francine didn't know that he also meant this room as well. Which implied that Derek sometimes visited this room as well.
However, in light of the recent trials getting back to this circumstance, Dr. Greumach decided not to broach the subject of Stiles Stilinski just yet. "Well Derek, what do you want to talk about?"
Derek said nothing, crimson eyes staring into what seemed like another world. A world that she couldn't hope to reach.
"Come on Sourwolf, one mistletoe isn't gonna kill you!"
"Derek, I can't help unless you talk to me," Francine implored, "We don't have to talk about *him* just yet, I already told you we don't. Now please answer my question. What is it that you want to talk about?"
Nothing. It was like wherever Derek had transported to wouldn't let him go back. This was a common sign for grieving fiances or spouses of course, but usually after weeks of prying they would at least say a word, at least in Francine's cases.
But this one...he simply refused to come back to Earth.
"HOLY F--Derek, if you don't stop with that werewolf ninja thing, I am going to have a heart attack!"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever, just get into bed with a warning next time, asshole."
Francine finally decided after another 3 days of one-sided conversation that she would just wait until Derek looked her in the eye. She settled in the chair and watched as Derek continued to zone, unreachable.
"Why are you acting so surprised that I'm saying yes? First of all, asking someone to marry you means that you're expecting that. Second, you know I love you. Yeah that's right, I'm saying I love you. We don't say it much, but we should, 'cause it feels really nice to tell you. Try it sometime, yeah? Now get up and put the ring on me, you sexy werewolf you."
"Why did you come here if you're just going to sit there?"
Francine perked up, meeting Derek's eyes for the first time in almost a month. "Well Derek, you were not here to talk. I was just waiting. Do I have your attention now?"
Derek looked dangerously close to slipping back into his little world, but he spoke again. "I don't want to talk about anything, especially when it's obvious you're going to talk about him one way or another."
"I am sorry, but it's my job. You have to talk about him, otherwise there is no hope for you to move on."
"You don't get it. There is no moving on. I can't, and I don't want to."
"You won't lose him forever if you do, Derek."
"I've already lost him."
"Alright, so you are not in denial that he is gone?"
"How can I possibly deny it when I watched him die?"
Francine started to write on her pad. "You watched him? How did he die?"
"You should know. I can see the files sticking out of your bag."
True. With Derek's staring into space, Francine decided to look into Stiles Stilinski some more. He was an exceptional student, with a bright future ahead of him after graduating with Ms. Lydia Martin at Stanford. He showed particular interest in folklore and the culinary arts while attending there on a scholarship. The cause of his death, judging by the horrific wounds, was murder. This nice kid had been shot multiple times, as well as stabbed in the jugular, assumingly for good measure. The killers were yet to be found.
"Do you know who killed him then?" Francine asked, "And why?"
Derek's teeth clenched, and if she didn't know better, she could have sworn his eyes started to glow. "He was killed because of me."
"Oh, man...this is gonna...ruin my whole day..."
"Aw, Derek, don't do that...blaming yourself thing...this...this wasn't you're fault."
"No. It wasn't. Stop saying...just stop it."
"You ca--you can't bite me now. You...you know it won't work..."
"I'm sorry I...I couldn't drag you...down the aisle...make you say your vows an' stuff..."
"Heh...love you too...Sourwolf..."
"Derek? Derek, stay with me."
Derek's wolf wanted nothing more than to slaughter this ignorant woman. There was nothing she could do. His mate was dead, and no matter what Stiles had whispered as his breaths shortened, it was his fault. If he had made Stiles stay home with his father, that stupid kid wouldn't have come running into the forest in the middle of a fight with a rival pack. One of the humans wouldn't have finished him off.
He continued to ignore the bitch in front of him. All he wanted to do was surround himself in memories. Memories of a better time. If only the present could just be a dream...a horrible, horrible dream that he would wake up from in a cold sweat any minute and find Stiles next to him, demanding to know what was wrong. Derek could almost see it now...
A sigh escaped Dr. Greumach's lips. Perhaps she finally realized what a lost cause he was.
Francine stopped by the police station to visit the Sheriff. He looked pretty torn up as well, but at least he was functioning properly.
"Sheriff Stilinski, I don't know what else I can do here," she shrugged a shoulder, "I have never had a case like this before. I recommend that Derek Hale should either be put into the better care of a mental insitution, or keep a 24 hour surveillance on him at his home to he doesn't...well, try anything."
Sheriff Stilinski sighed, looking as if he expected her to say something like that. "Yeah, I get it. Thanks for trying, Doc."
Dr. Greumach drove back to her own house two towns over, where her neighbor of about 3 months was just taking out the trash.
In an instant, she was out of the car and tapping on his shoulder. "Excuse me, um, Peter, isn't it?"
He blinked. "Yeah. Francine, right? Is something wrong?"
"...no, it's just...you looked familiar, is all."
Peter Bolinski smiled. "Well, yeah, I live next door? It would be weird if I didn't look familiar by now."
Francine laughed, "Right, right. Sorry to bother you."
Peter turned on his way back to his house.
"Peter...I have to ask. See, you're living on your own, but...aren't you 19? Don't you have family?"
His eyes glazed over for a second. "Yeah, I...I..." he rubbed his head like it hurt, "Well, I mean I used to. They died, though, in a house fire. My sister and I were at school."
"Where's your sister?"
"She was found in the woods a couple towns over. Not really something I wanna talk about, no offense."
"Sorry, sorry. Can I just...could I ask you something else?"
"Have I become one of your patients, Doc?"
"Can't I be curious about my neighbor? We've hardly talked for 3 months."
Peter chuckled. "Guess that's true. You wanna ask your question inside, then?"
"Now would be better, if you don't mind. I have to get inside soon, feed my cat."
"Me too. Well, I have a dog. Big black one named Derek. What's your question?"
"What were you doing before you moved here?"
Peter raised an eyebrow. He replied, "Well, I...I, um..." he blinked slowly, "I was...I think I was..." he smiled suddenly, "I'm too tired to remember right now. Sorry, it's been a really long day. I commute at the college down the street, and the professors were brutal today."
"Oh, well then, I'll let you get back to it. Have a nice night."
Francine shook her head once the door was closed. She was just being silly.
Um...so yeah. Thanks for reading! :D