Stiles dreams. He lies rigid in bed, as if he's been paralysed once again, and sees himself in his mind's eye, dragging himself towards his dad and crying. He dreams every night, and every morning he wakes up drenched in sweat and tears, shivering in place until he remembers that he can move again. Remembers his dad's still alive.
So, after six nights, Stiles gives up on sleeping. He survives on Adderall, adrenaline and energy drinks, and his vision begins to blur at the edges, but he never succumbs. He actually pays attention in class to keep his mind active, and he tries to ignore the concerned looks Scott shoots his way when he rubs at his eyes.
Eventually, even that's not enough. He can't go home, he can't look his dad in the eye without remembering him slumped at Matt's feet. Can't pretend everything's okay when he's the reason his dad lost his job. So he hangs out at the warehouse, lying back on the ratty subway seats and staring up at the ceiling, blinking away the tiredness as hours crawl by. Derek's there too, lightly snoring because even Alphas need to rest, but they don't speak. Derek never asked why Stiles was there, just looked at him curiously for a few moments before nodding. Maybe his heartbeat gave him away. Or maybe he just looked that much of a mess.
After two days of ignoring his dad's calls, Stiles switches off his phone. Scott lies for him, telling the Sheriff that Stiles is staying at his place, the newly-enlightened Melissa McCall backing up the lie. His dad still comes to the school, and Stiles hides in the locker room while Lydia tells him 'Stiles is fine, he just needs some time.' His dad passes on the message that maybe Stiles should see a counsellor, to deal with the trauma of Matt's death. As if that's his problem.
He thinks he should feel guilty, he's succeeding in nothing but hurting his dad, too, but he can't bring himself to feel anything but exhaustion. Isaac, Erica and Boyd all stare at him when they train with Derek, but by now they're nothing but very dangerous blurs to Stiles' vision. Derek still says nothing, but it's clear from the long sigh he lets out when they're alone that Stiles' own silence is the most worrying thing of all.
After a week, he slips. He's alone in the warehouse, Derek and the pack chasing up a lead on Peter Hale, and he just can't keep his eyes open any longer. His limbs stiffen again and his face scrunches as he remembers the cold cement of the prison floor, his eyes stinging and the powerful ache in his muscles as he drags himself towards his dad. In his head, he is screaming as Derek, Scott and Jackson wrestle over his dad's unconscious form, and this should be the point when he wakes up. This is when he always wakes up.
Instead, he feels a heavy hand on his shoulder, flipping him onto his back.
And it's Deaton. He places a finger over his lips and shushes Stiles, then pulls out a small pouch and leaves it in Stiles' palm. Mountain ash. Lying by Stiles' side is a shotgun, and a pile of empty shells.
Instead of a jolt awake, Stiles drags himself back to consciousness, feeling the tension slowly dissipate from his muscles. Derek's sat on the floor beside him, staring straight ahead and rubbing idly at his neck with one hand.
"Did you finish the dream?" Derek asks. Stiles doesn't answer, Derek already knows he did.
"Deaton told me we'd need you. You know what you have to do?"
"Yeah," Stiles croaks.
"Good. Tomorrow, we end this. Until then, go home Stiles. The sheriff's worried."
But he doesn't. He stays in the subway car, his hand lightly brushing against the skin of Derek's arm. He has a job to do, and he'll go home when it's all over. He won't put his dad in danger again.
"It wasn't our fault," Derek says, as Stiles falls victim to the exhaustion again. Something tells him Derek will dream of fire tonight.