Stiles was used to taking pills; years and years of Aderall and constant supervision from his commanding father made sure he ingested them like clockwork. You’d think he’d gotten used to taking them, side-effects and all. But these pills were much stronger, not for your average teenager. He stared at the orderly, his angry face accentuated by his black skin, the murky white uniform they’re forced to wear made him look like he was trying to blend in to the backround; after all, he definitely wasn’t in the mood to be serving out the lunch run today in the ward. He barely paid attention as Stiles took the little plastic cup and put the contents in his mouth. They tasted like plastic to him, and were impossible to swallow the first time around. He didn’t care for them. Adderall may have meant to keep him going off in an A.D.D. trip, but it mostly made him even more eccentric and hyperactive, until the high wore off and he was crashing like a badly kept plane. These colorful little things were not as fun as they tried to be: he could barely get up for days after taking them for the first time; the second dose made him puke; and the rest left him in a stupor like the rest of the loonies in the bin.
So he started hiding them under his tongue, until he was able to store them away in a secret compartment he was able to make under his drawer. He felt so proud of himself, taking an old discarded matchbox and using tape to stick it to the underside. Okay, it wasn’t the most advanced contraption, but it got the job done. Nobody here even seemed to care. His father stopped by for the occasional visit. Sure, when he first saw the place his only son was in, he immediately started making calls and petitioning to close down the place or raise the quality of living. But, of course, no one listened to him, as always. He was just the sheriff of some town, and a drunk as well; people only thought he was doing it because he had a stake in it, his son, and no one else wanted to touch him unless it was with a needle. So, he came every day that he could to check up on him, make sure he was okay, tried to be strong for him. Everything that had happened had helped him kick the drinking habit for almost a month. It was a good month. Until he couldn’t take it anymore. So, he started coming every other day, sometimes reeking of cheap booze. Then, it was every weekend, until he just stopped coming, unless it was for a special occasion, or he had to be called. Now he doesn’t even send a card.
Stiles thought a lot about Scott as he laid out on his plain, white, bed. No one ever got much sleep, with all the yelling and shrieks that go on 24/7, so he was forced to think. When he was desperate, he took two of his hidden pills and chose to forget, let his mind rot away like so many others. When he sat down in the lunch room, his metal tray of weird meats and plastic spoons (because they weren’t allowed actual forks or knives: too dangerous) he looked at the rest of the rejects: some sat there, staring off into anything, their food untouched; others hounded others, speaking profusely but never making any coherence; and then there were the ones who believed they were still normal, that they weren’t supposed to be there. They called security for those. But the ones who just sat there, eyes death and jaw dropped, those were the ones who just were dead space, waiting for death to reap their bodies since their souls and minds checked out long ago. The nurses had to guide them because they usually just kept walking until they hit something.
Normally, Stiles would have been eating something similar to the hospital food in the school cafeteria, except then they called it school food, with Scott. Scott. He felt bad for Scott, but he was also so mad at him. It was his fault he’s in this place, after all. The teen wonders if his mom decided to move away like they told him she wanted to do. Get away from that monster as fast as I can, he heard them repeating. He had tried. Honestly, he had. But he just couldn’t save him in time. He didn’t know.
It was because he thought Derek was real. He thought he was their friend. Stiles thought it would be fun to go out into the woods with Scott, go investigate like a couple of smart detectives similar to what they just to do as kids. He was worried when he ran away and left Scott in the woods, but Scott was always better at surviving than him. Well, maybe not when it had to do with using your brain, but Scott could outrun most things and he could always climb up a tree. The next day he drew a breath of relief, glad that Scott only got a war wound from it. At least that’s what he had thought of it. Then came the bite. The Argents. Peter Hale. Kate. But most of all, Derek Hale.
Fuck. The pills he took were starting to take effect, just the wrong kind. He ran to the toilet in his room, his stomach contents emptying out in front of him. Bye, bye pills. And so much for his blank mind sleep. He curls up in his bed, into a ball of frustration and anger. He’s tired of the dirty sheets no one changes anymore, the lumpy pillow they throw onto it, the metal springs that creak with every move, the flickering light and the cracks on the ceiling from the water creeping in. How he’d wish he could open the window. The already have bars, what’s the point in keeping the glass sealed? His head hurt.
His mind returns to the day before he fell apart like a house of cards. He remembers being on the computer, searching for yet another cure for Scott, as he kept fighting with Derek over his being the new Alpha, when his father came up the stairs and pulled open the door. Stiles jumped out of his chair, blocking his view towards the room, remembering that Derek was still considered dangerous and a felon around town. Having him inside the sheriff’s home with his son was not the best idea. He was about to make one of his hilarious remarks, when someone else spoke. He hadn’t noticed Dr. Jacobs standing behind his father, as if his mind had purposely tried to block him out. That’s when they told him about Scott’s body. Stiles didn’t understand: Scott’s body was right there on his bed, acting like he was the only one there. When they persisted to enter, he tried to figure out a quick lie as to his guests, but they weren’t there. They probably jumped out the window just in time. It’s what his logic explained to him. But it wasn’t true.
Apparently the truth was Sheriff Stilinski finally found Scott’s body under a pile of leaves in the woods, in some kind of hole. He must have been running and he fell in, where he twisted his leg, his father explained. Stiles still didn’t comprehend. He explained to his father how Scott… Scott was fine! He had been talking to him before they came in. That’s when Jacob’s spoke, asking him if he was still there.
“Of course not.” Stiles rolled his eyes his Stile-ish way as if the man was joking. “He must’ve gotten out the window.”
They told him it wasn’t possible. They told him Scott had been dead for weeks, the wolves…. The wolves ripped him apart when he couldn’t run any farther. Stiles started laughing, because it was the only thing he could think to do after taking in that information.
“What about everything that’s been going on recently? The attacks? How Kate Argent had started the fire that burned the Hale house? Any of that ring a bell?”
His father just smiled at him, but his eyes were on the other man listening to this, who wore a grim outlook on his face. He spoke to Stiles, about how he had called in Dr. Jacobs because he was worried about him: how he was always running off someplace, or talking by himself in his room. He had left it to teenage things until he accidentally picked up the home phone and heard his son talking on the line, but no one else was on; just static.
“But what about Scott and Alison? The Argents? Kate with her scary looking features? The panther who walked onto the school? What about—”
He was afraid to say his name. Why? He wasn’t sure.
It was much of a confusing blur after that. He still didn’t understand how he could have imagined it all. The doctor says when he went back to the woods to check if Scott was okay, finding him, in that state, cause his mind to collapse, creating a world where Scott was still alive, with fictional people who could be controlled to fill the void. But he was a werewolf… He thought, but he didn’t think he should have mentioned it. They already were giving him a higher dose than regular. Who knows what would happen if he said it.
But he did. In the end, he couldn’t take the two realities, and fought to defend the one he actually lived in. He doesn’t take the Adderall anymore, he takes another medical cocktail. It’s supposed to suppress that other world, those people, Derek, from his mind. He’s locked inside the insanity ward because he kept going out to the woods to meet up with Derek and Scott and Alison and Lydia.
So now, he’s cradling himself like a baby, on a secondhand mattress with a dirty sheet and a fluff-less pillow. His secret compartment is full of pills he hasn’t been taking.
“It hurts.” He says, scratching at his head at the hopes he can rip out the other world from his head.
“Shh, shh. Calm down.”
Two big, muscled arms wrap around his waist from behind. The rough hands tighten on him, but he’s used to it. He lets his hand trail the right arm up towards its shoulder, feeling the hair on it stand up at his touch.
He turns around; Derek’s piercing blue eyes staring at him. How can’t he be real? He rests his hand on the side of his face, and it doesn’t go through. He feels the heat coming from it, the ruggedness from his five ‘o’clock shadow, the muscles in his cheek spreading back as the older man smiles at him. He can feel his breath on him; he can even feel how his chest rises and lowers with each breath he takes.
“Are you really here?” Stiles asks, but he’s afraid of the answer. Afraid he’s somehow dissipate at the question of his existence.
“I’m here to keep you safe.” He replied, his lips reaching Stile’s forehead and leaving a soft kiss upon it. He can feel the wet imprint on it, when he left it.
“And yet, here I am surrounded by crazy people. I feel secure.” Stiles joked, remembering how much Derek used to scowl at him for making jokes about everything.
“There’s that scowl.” He told Derek.
“You’re still mine.”
Stiles buries his face into Derek’s warm chest, feeling safe for the first time in since he’s been in this place. It might not be real, but at least its home.