Stiles waited for the hallway light to be turned off as he laid in his bed. He waited until he heard footsteps walking away from his door, until the sound of the door at the end of the hall closing. His breathing remaining as shallow as possible, he crawled out of bed. In the dark, he grabbed a hoodie and his shoes, practically tip-toeing his way over to the window. He froze when he thought he heard a door opening, heard distinct foot falls. His heart beating fast and his eyes wide, he tumbled back into his bed just in time for the door to crack open. He lay perfectly still, body sprawled out across his bed, his face pressed against his pillow. The door closed and once more he heard the master bedroom door close. He rolled over, running a hand over his face.
When he got out of bed again, he pulled on his hoodie, then grabbed his phone. He slipped on his shoes, tripping on his desk chair. He remained still on the floor, covering his mouth to keep from yelping, until he thought a decent enough amount of time had passed. He didn’t hear anything, no noises anywhere in the house. He crawled the rest of the way to the window, opening it slowly. He was halfway out, with one foot planted on the ground when he heard it.
A man clearing his throat. Stiles made a face, worrying at his bottom lip as he closed his eyes. He swallowed as fear flooded through his body.
“Get your ass out here.” Stiles fell the rest of the way out of the window. Strong hands gripped him, snatching his arm and hood as they hauled him to his feet. “Where are you headed?”
“Uh- nowhere, obviously. I’m not-” Stiles yipped as he was dragged towards the front door where his mother stood, her arms crossed as she waited, disappointment written across her face. “I’m not going anywhere.” Stiles looked to his mom, shaking his head slightly, begging.
“Greg, maybe if we just-”
“Madeline this isn’t up for discussion,” Stiles’ stepfather bellowed as his grip on Stiles’ arm tightened. “There are rules for a reason.”
“It isn’t a school night,” Stiles said, his voice cracking for only a second.
“I’m going to put bars on your window if you don’t shut the fuck up. Get your ass downstairs right now,” he said, shoving Stiles towards the basement. Stiles looked to his mom once more, pleading. She looked as though she wanted to say something, but her face fell, her lips pursing together. “And take your fucking shoes off you know your mother hates when you wear shoes in the house.” Stiles scrambled, taking his shoes off. It was too late, though. Dirt jumped out at him, it’s grime a stark contrast to the spotless carpet. “Put them by the door.” Stiles walked past his stepfather to get to the door. He hesitated only for a second before he tried to make a run for it. He hadn’t thought that the door had been locked, he hadn’t heard it. Unfortunately, he had been wrong. It was a mistake that would cost him, in the end.
A smack to the face caught him off guard. It stung more than anything. What hurt was being shoved against the door, the doorknob digging into his back. Stiles gasped for breath as his stepfather grabbed him by the neck, flinging him to the ground. “Madeline, go to bed.”
Stiles watched his mother walk silently down the hall and disappear into the master bedroom. He grimaced, waiting for the initial blow that he knew was coming. Greg waited until the door to the bedroom was shut. He kicked Stiles once before hauling him to his feet. Stiles clutched at his stomach as his breathing quickened. He didn’t remember being dragged down the stairs but the next thing he knew he heard the snap of the belt. He didn’t even try to hide his screams.
Stiles woke up on the ground in the basement, curled in a ball. His body was stiff and his muscles were sore. He didn’t want to move, but he knew that he needed to. He walked up the stairs slowly, hissing as he went. He made his way into the kitchen, grabbing a bag of frozen peas out of the freezer before he went into the bathroom, shutting the door and locking it behind him. Slowly, carefully, he striped down to his boxer briefs in order to look over the damage. His back was covered in red welts from the belt, scrapes from where the buckle got him. His arm had finger tip shaped bruises where Greg grabbed him. His face was barely even red from the smack, but his lip was busted open and had dried blood on it. Instinctively he licked his lips, immediately regretting it. A new bruise was forming where he was kicked and that was where he applied the bag of peas. He whimpered as he held it there, sitting on the toilet so that he could rest.
He jumped when his phone rang. He cleared his throat before answering, testing his voice.
“Hey,” he whispered into the receiver. “What’s up man?”
“You didn’t come out last night,” Scott said, sounding disappointed. Stiles sighed, closing his eyes as he put the peas down on the counter, opening up the medicine cabinet and grabbing the his medicine.
“Yeah, I didn’t make it, sorry. How was the party?”
“It was awesome. I mean, it was broken up like two hours in but we went out into the woods afterwards. I didn’t get home until like, 4am.” Stiles smiled, nodding his head as he cradled the phone between his cheek and shoulder so that he could take his pills one at a time, dry swallowing them. “You should have come out.”
“Yeah I just wasn’t feeling up to it, lacrosse this week had me beat.” Stiles held back a moan as he accidentally twisted a bit too much, biting down on his lip to keep from screaming. He had layers of bruises, all in different stages of healing. Some were from lacrosse, most though, were from Greg. Most were yellowed and faded. His new bruise was an angry shade of red and deep purple.
“Well, the match later should be interesting. Want to meet for lunch before it?” Scott asked.
“What time is it?” Stiles asked.
“Eh, it is almost eleven.”
“I can meet you around one,” Stiles said, switching to speakerphone. He bent over, looking underneath the sink for his spare toothbrush.
“Yeah, sure. Mind if I invite Allison?” Stiles grumbled. “Or it could just be us, that’s fine.”
“Do what you want Scott, tell Allison to bring a friend or something. I don’t like being a third wheel.” He said, standing back up and holding the skin of his stomach taut as he applied pressure to the bruise with the tip of the brush. He grit his teeth as he started making circular motions with the toothbrush, rubbing the bruise, restoring circulation to the area. “Tell her to invite Lydia.”
“Yeah, good idea. Invite the captain’s girlfriend to lunch with us. That will get us on the first line.” Stiles laughed, despite the pain. “Okay, I’ll see you at one then.”
“Yeah man, definitely,” Stiles said as he pressed end call. As soon as he did, he moaned, gasping for breath. “God, dammit Jesus Christ this fucking-” Stiles was interrupted by a knock on the door. He jerked, taking a step back from the door, forgetting that he locked it.
“Sweetie, are you okay in there?” Stiles nodded, reaching for the door, opening it just enough so that he could see his mom.
“Yeah, mom. Getting ready to shower.” She craned her neck, trying to see him.
“Do you want something to eat?” Stiles shook his head. “Your father asked-”
“He’s not my father.”
“Greg wants you to scrub the carpet before your match.”
“I was planning on it, I just woke up.” She smiled at him. It was a small smile, but it was a smile nonetheless. “I- can you put these back in the freezer?” He asked, handing her the bag of peas. She took it without a word, nodding knowingly. Stiles swallowed before he shut the door again, locking it once more. He got the vinegar out from underneath the sink, then turned on the faucet, wetting a washcloth with the hottest water that he could stand. He poured some of the vinegar onto the cloth, then wiped it slowly over the bruise, hissing at how tender it was. He did the same to the bruises on his arm as well. After that he did a general torso wipe down with the vinegared washcloth, pouring more into the cloth every once in awhile. When he was through, he put everything away, then got into the shower. The spray hurt his back, but he tried to ignore it as he showered. Once out, he grabbed the aloe vera that he kept under the sink, applying it to the worst bruises. He ran into his bedroom, making sure the door was shut before he changed for the day, picking up his belongings off the floor, leaving his room spotless. He scrubbed the carpet, making it look good as new before he left. He hopped onto his bike, looking at his father’s Jeep as it sat in the driveway, unused. He clenched his jaw as he took off, his gear strapped to his back. His muscles were on fire by the time he made it to Scott’s house and he was out of breath.
“Guess what?” Scott asked as Stiles climbed off his bike, panting.
“My mom is letting me take her car for the day.”
“Oh thank fucking god, I don’t think I could make it,” Stiles said, wincing. “And thank god I never start.”
“What happened to your lip?” Stiles’ eyes widened as he realized he forgot to use his mother’s makeup to hide the gash on his lip. His tongue teased at it for a split second before he shrugged it off.
“Oh, you know me. I opened a cupboard and didn’t close it and then I ran into like five minutes later like the dumbass I am.” Stiles knew he would fall for it, he always did. Scott’s heart was in the right place but his brains...
“You should really... look where you walk sometimes you know that?” Stiles nodded, putting his things into the back seat of Scott’s mother’s car. “What do you want to eat for lunch?” He asked.
“I don’t know, I want just like... a sub or something. Or pizza.”
“You always want pizza.”
“Because it is fucking delicious and I would eat it everyday if people let me,” Stiles mumbled as he got into the car, buckling his seatbelt. Scott pulled out of the driveway and made his way towards food, messing with the radio as he went. “Scott-”
“What? Hold on, there isn’t anything good on the-”
“Scott you should slow-”
“My mom only has shitty CDs in here I am not listening to Barbara Str-”
“Scott!” Stiles screamed just as police sirens turned on. Stiles banged his head on the back of the car seat, groaning. Scott looked completely dumbfounded as to why they were being pulled over. “You were speeding. A lot.” Stiles sighed, as he watched the cop, the deputy by the looks of him, walk up to the car and ask Scott to roll his window down.
“License and Registration please.” He was wearing sunglasses and his hands were on his hips as he leaned slightly in towards the car, waiting for Scott to hand them to him. “Do you know how fast you were going?” He asked.
“He was going 55 in a 30,” Stiles mumbled. Scott glared at Stiles and Stiles could only shrug back. “Don’t look at me like that, he was going to tell you the same thing.” Stiles looked up to see that the sunglasses were removed and that the deputy was staring at him. Stiles’ eyes flickered to his name: Hale. Deputy Hale was looking at him, his gaze falling to Stiles’ lip. Stiles looked down, instinctively licking his lips and hiding the gash by biting down on his lower lip. He swallowed, still feeling as if he was being stared at.
“Your friend is right, excuse me a moment while I run these.” Stiles covered his eyes with a hand as he waited.
“I am in such shit.”
“What are the chances-”
“Zero, Scott. We’re in a residential area.”
“How do you know all this-” Scott stopped mid-sentence. Stiles couldn’t help but glare at his best friend.
“Really Scott?” He couldn’t stop the words from tumbling out. “My dad-” Deputy Hale cut Stiles off by walking back to Scott’s window, handing Scott his license and registration back. He looked to Stiles, a hand resting against the car as he peered into it, his eyes squinting against the sunlight, his sunglasses hanging from the collar of his uniform.
“Can I ask you how you got that cut on your lip?” He asked Stiles. Stiles gulped, looking at his hands.
“I, uh.. there was this cupboard, and I sort of ran into it.” The deputy raised one eyebrow, looking from Stiles to Scott.
“I’d like to ask you two to step out of the car, please.” Stiles raised his eyebrows, his mouth hanging open. Scott got out of the car first, with Stiles following. “Can you walk over here for me?” the deputy asked. Stiles came around to the other side of the car.
“I don’t understand what is-”
“Scott shut up,” Stiles hissed as he put his hands on the car, spreading his legs shoulder width apart, his chin resting against his chest. “He’s searching us.” Stiles glanced to the deputy in time to see a small smile spread across his face before it disappeared completely as he started to pat Scott down.
“But we were just going to eat-”
“Have either of you gotten into any fights lately?” He asked. Both of them shook their heads.
Stiles closed his eyes, bracing himself as Deputy Hale took a step towards him, his hand grabbing onto Stiles’ arm where the bruises were. A sharp intake of breath caught the deputy’s attention and he immediately let go of Stiles’ arm. Slowly, he pat Stiles down, starting with his legs. Stiles could feel his heart rate skyrocket, his knuckles whitened as he gripped Scott’s car tight. He gasped, jerking away from him as his hands pat against the bruise on his side. Stiles was panting, as he turned around to face Deputy Hale. He swore for a second he thought that Deputy Hales’ eyes flashed a brighter blue, but he wasn’t sure. It was bright outside and he had left his sunglasses at home.
“Can I see your ID?” He asked Stiles. Stiles grabbed his wallet out of his back pocket, handing it over, opening it so that he could see. The deputy handed it back after writing his name and address down. Stiles gulped to keep from breathing heavily. He wrote down his address.
“I am going to let you off with a warning this time,” Deputy Hale said to Scott, “just this once.” Scott nodded, unable to stop from smiling, glad he wasn’t getting a ticket. The deputy turned his gaze back to Stiles, his head tilting to one side as he put his hands on his belt, his fingers tapping against it. “How did you really get that cut?” He asked. Stiles shook his head, his eyes darting to Scott.
“I’m clumsy,” he whispered, as he wrung his fingers together nervously. “I run into shi- stuff all the time.”
“Is that so?” Stiles nodded. “And if you lifted your shirt right now, would I find bruises?” Stiles gulped.
“I play lacrosse.”
“We do, we have a game this afternoon-” Scott said, trying to help, not really understanding what the big deal was because Stiles was, actually, clumsy. Derek looked to Scott, then back to Stiles. Stiles could see the deputy’s jaw clench, as if he was restraining himself. He stepped out of the way, letting Stiles go. Stiles rushed back into the car, closing his eyes as he sat down. Scott got in and started the car.
“That was weird, and creepy.”
“It was,” Stiles admitted, watching the deputy become smaller and smaller as Scott drove away. He had a feeling that wasn’t the last he was going to see of him.