When his vision clears and Stiles can breathe again, it doesn't make anything better. Because with the air he pulls in, he can smell the blood. He can see it, too. He can see…
"Dad?" he asks, quiet and horrified. "DAD!"
His father is still alive — breath shallow, heartbeat weak.
Stiles shakes his head, trying to deny it, but he catches a glimpse of his hands, still clawed, red and slick with his father's blood.
"No," he says, then scrambles for a phone. He dials 911 and tells the operator he needs an ambulance. The Sheriff needs an ambulance.
What's the emergency?
"He's bleeding. He's… Oh, god, Dad!"
His father's eyes are open but unfocused. Like he can't really see, or maybe he's just so fucking traumatized from his son's attack.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. Stiles came home after being bitten because he thought he'd feel safe. Less likely to freak out, because freaking out in public wouldn't have been good. And his dad wasn't supposed to be there, had mentioned sleeping down at the station for the whole weekend. There's so much happening lately and his dad is overworking himself, and the county is understaffed and the violent crime rate is at an all-time high.
It was supposed to be the safest option.
Stiles fell asleep when he got home, after a quick shower and change of clothes, but before he even had time to call anyone who might have helped him. He knew there were things to sort through, a timeline to figure out, but his body and mind were just so heavy, so desperately in need of rest. He remembers thinking he'd call Scott or Derek when he woke up.
But instead, he woke to his dad shaking his shoulder. Stiles remembered immediately, his senses coming online all at once, and he tried to calmly wave his dad off as he grabbed a pair of jeans. As soon as he had them on, he rushed downstairs, but his father was blocking the exit, demanding answers.
The new, unfamiliar thing inside him woke at the same time, and between that and the realization, everything crashed together like a tidal wave over his mind. His senses bombarded him with too much input, and he started to panic…
The emergency operator tells him to stay on the line, that help is on the way, and Stiles doesn't want to hurt anyone else so he hangs up. He leaves the front door wide open. The EMTs will have no problem getting in, though he's not really thinking about that at the moment.
He probably should have cleaned up a little bit, but no one can blame him for not thinking clearly. He's lucky he wasn't spotted between his house and Derek's. If one of his dad's deputies saw him, there's no end to the trouble it would bring.
Derek takes one look at the blood on Stiles and the way his hands are still transformed into claws — he can't make them go away — and says, "What happened? What did you do?"
And Stiles just stands there because there's only one answer to that and he doesn't want to say those words. He looks at Derek, thinking, Help me, please, make it better, but he doesn't think Derek can. Not really.
Derek must not like his lack of response, because he snarls and moves closer, like he's about to grab Stiles and throw him around.
Well, Stiles deserves it, doesn't he? He's not going to stop him. Hell, maybe it's best if Derek kills him.
Put the dangerous monster down.
"That's not your blood," Derek growls.
Stiles flinches more from the truth in the words than the imminent threat of violence.
But then Peter just seems to appear, slotting himself between Derek and Stiles, like he's trying to protect him, and speaks sharply. "Derek, back away."
Stiles has no idea how to interpret that, and he can't see what Peter's face is doing, but his body language is hostile to Derek. He takes a step back so that he's closer to Stiles. He extends a hand behind him, like stay there and it's okay.
It shouldn't calm him but it does. As long as he doesn't think about—
He makes a sound that's mostly wounded animal and after one more angry glare is sent his way, Derek turns around and leaves the room. Leaves Stiles with Peter.
Peter turns around and reaches for his hands, no, his wrists. But the grip is barely there, just enough so that he can pull Stiles toward the bathroom. Stiles looks up and meets his eyes, sees something there that looks like understanding. It's too much and Stiles has to look away again. He lets Peter lead him, though. Like he's helpless to do anything more.
"Let's get you cleaned up," Peter says, matter-of-fact.
Stiles stays silent until Peter starts the shower and motions Stiles to take his clothes off.
"You being a creep or destroying evidence?" Stiles asks dully.
"I can't do both?" Peter asks with a faux lightness Stiles can appreciate.
"Multitasker, huh?" Stiles mutters, and takes his clothes off as quick as he can, distantly realizing he doesn't have to remove his shoes first because he apparently ran all the way over in his bare feet. The fabric sticks to his skin in places, especially the denim at his knees from kneeling over his dad, in all that blood, once he came back from his panic attack.
Peter looks at him, mouth twitching up at one corner into a humorless smile. Stiles feels too numb to attempt a smile in return.
"When were you bitten?" Peter asks him after pulling his own shirt off over his head. Stiles stares at the wall behind Peter's head and shrugs.
"I don't remember anything between when I told Scott I was leaving our one-on-one practice Friday night and then waking up at dawn on the Lacrosse field this morning, knowing I'd been bitten and wanting to go home." Then his words twist bitterly, "Because it was safe."
Peter looks at him for a long moment, then guides him into the shower, under the spray. He pauses for a moment to check something at the back of Stiles's neck. Stiles winces even though it doesn't hurt, prompting a thoughtful noise from Peter.
He doesn't say what he's thinking, but he cleans Stiles off, scrubs him down with a washcloth and shower gel. Stiles feels a part of himself preen under the attention and is confused. This is definitely not the time to be feeling good about anything.
He opens his eyes and is about to tell Peter to stop when Peter says, "Your eyes are shining. Gold, not blue."
"You haven't killed," Peter says.
Stiles's breath catches. "What?"
"You hurt someone, an innocent or you wouldn't reek of guilt the way you do, but they aren't dead. I promise." And for the first time ever, Stiles finds himself desperate to trust in the word of Peter Hale.
"He wasn't supposed to come home," Stiles whispers. He knows Peter can hear him even with the shower running. "He woke me up and I remembered and I panicked…"
"Your father," Peter says, and it's not a question.
"I tried to leave the house. I remember thinking it was too dangerous and my control is nonexistent, so I…"
Stiles makes a hurt sound because breathing seems too painful right now.
"I shouldn't have stopped to pull on my jeans, but it gave him time to get downstairs and he was blocking the door, telling me I couldn't leave because I'd been missing and he wanted to know what happened to me and then… I freaked out over feeling trapped. I had a full-blown panic attack and when I came out of it, he was lying on the floor and there was so much blood," Stiles tells him, and then it doesn't just hurt to breathe, he can't breathe at all, it's just like before, and he can feel his claws dig into Peter's shoulders and he doesn't want to hurt him, doesn't want to hurt anyone at the moment, but he can't let go. His claws are locked deep in Peter's flesh and Stiles is making noise, high-pitched whines and snarls and god, he can't stop.
Peter doesn't flinch or push him away. Instead, bafflingly, he actually pulls Stiles closer, holds on to him, and the acceptance and lack of fear in the embrace lets the panic drain away.
Stiles ends up sitting in Peter's lap on the floor of the shower, gasping injured sounds into his neck and clinging like he's the only thing keeping him together.