Meandering his way down hospital corridors, Derek avoids security cameras and hospital staff alike, only stopping briefly at each hallway junction to take a scenting breath. Once the scent trail he is following is quickly reestablished does he continue on his way, passing the sick, injured and dying until he stops at the threshold of a private room. A sensory sweep of the room showed that the person unconscious on the bed was the sole occupant of the room. Talking a calming breath, Derek stepped over the threshold and made his way over to the bed.
The hissing intake sound of the ventilator made the alpha werewolf flinch and stopped his poised hand from making contact with the short-haired head of the boy in the bed. Derek pulled his hand back and grabbed the room’s only chair, placing it next to the bed’s right side. A hand placed next to a gauzed wrapped arm clenched and then released, keeping the claws that wanted to slip out at bay. Drawing his eyes up from the limp arm next to his hand, Derek made his way up, past a covered shoulder, up a bruised neck and finally resting on a pale face.
Tape kept a tracheal tube in place as well as covering most of the boy’s still lips. There was more tape over eyelids keeping them shut and Derek itched to remove them and to pry the lids open to see the amber eyes of the boy, even though he knew the wolf like eyes that were so normally full of emotion would now be empty and dead. Growling Derek forced himself to look away, away from the sallow and bruised flesh that was visible and the more mottled skin hidden beneath the gown and bedding.
Derek can’t look at the boy in the bed, the boy he trusted over everyone else, even his own betas. A whimper escaped his throat as he thought of the boy never waking up, never smiling again and it made him shudder.
What will life be like if he doesn’t wake up? Derek thought and another whine made its way out of his throat followed by another that got stuck in Derek’s throat. No, I won’t think like that. He’s stubborn to not wake up. No matter how many times I tell him to run he doesn’t. So, no, he’s going to wake up.
Derek turns his thoughts away from what could happen to what had been happening for the past week.
New hunters had come to town, ignoring Chris Argent’s claims that Derek and he had a treaty. They didn’t care and in no certain terms made it clear that he should stay out of their way or he’d be taken down too. That wasn’t the worse part; Chris had noticed the distinct odor of rare type of wolfsbane called ‘aconitum heterophyllum’ or ‘Asian Monkshood’, and is cut with belladonna. Chris had explained that if the aconite didn’t kill the wolf the belladonna would finish the job, but that most hunters don’t use it because of how deadly the belladonna is.
Everyone in the pack had been vigilant, the wolves were continuously on guard and the human members were never out of their sight. Lydia and Stiles were to have at least two wolves with them if they were going anywhere. Everything had been going smoothly; there had been no problems with the hunters or amongst themselves. There is always that calm before all Hell breaks loose.
Even being as cautious as they were the hunters still managed a surprise attack. Derek had accompanied Isaac and Stiles to the grocery store. Derek was getting impatient and was near growling and they weren’t even half-way finished shopping.
‘Isaac, go down that aisle, Stiles and I will go down this one.’ Not waiting for a reply Derek grasped Stiles’s elbow and guided him and the buggy down the aisle he designated for them. Isaac gave a snort and a muttered ‘of course’ and made his way down his own aisle. Derek ignored him and grabbed box from the shelf.
The sudden smell of wolfsbane was the only warning he got before he was being shoved to the ground, a gasp sounded loud in his ear and Stiles slumped to the ground, blood quickly pooling around him from the wound on his side. A woman further down the aisle started screaming and broke Derek from the horrific sight of Stiles bleeding out; a glance upward showed the hunter fleeing but Derek made no move to follow. He hurried to Stiles, fear curling around him as he pressed his hands to Stiles’s bloody side.
‘Please,’ a broken sound filled his mouth, ‘please don’t die.’ Blood started seeping through his fingers and started pooling in the cuffs of his leather jacket.
‘Derek? Oh god,’ Isaac fell to his knees on Stiles’s other side, adding his hands to Derek’s.
Derek was panicking, Stiles, the spastic, never quiet, always talking teenager pushed Derek out of the way and took a knife meant for him. This wonderful idiot, who just realized he loved, saved him. Stiles can’t die, not now that he figured out the emotion that sprang up every time the boy was around, an emotion that made him treat the teenage horribly to drive him away, love, of course it was love.
‘You can’t die Stiles,’ he whispered to the boy, ‘I need to tell you something and you need to be awake to hear it.’
They sat there keeping as much of Stiles’s lifeblood in his body as they could. When the paramedics arrived, Stiles was barely breathing, an IV placed and stretcher brought out and Stiles was whisked into the ambulance. Derek growled as he looked down at the blood covering him, and that’s what he focused on through being asked questions by the deputy, when the Sheriff yelled and screamed when he came on scene.
Derek grabbed Isaac when the deputy released them with a ‘We’ll be in contact’. He took them to the Argents’, still covered in blood; they needed to stop the hunters now.
The hunters had been dealt with and the one who had stabbed Stiles was in custody, which was Chris’s doing, if it had been left to him the man would be dead. For the past three days Derek had visited this hospital room and for three days Stiles was still in a coma. Derek wanted to have hope that Stiles would survive, that he would wake up but the fire had burned it out of him.
With a quiet sigh Derek stood up and bent over Stiles’s still frame, he looked once more at the immobile face and pressed a kissed to his forehead. Straightening up and walking towards the door, Derek looked back at the bed once and drank in the sight of Stiles, a quick breath to drink in his scent, and then he was gone.
Fifteen minutes later and a call from Scott had Derek grinning and grabbing his coat. It was time to tell Stiles that he loved him.