He knew that he should feel pain. Pain from broken bones, from cuts, from bruises. Pain radiating from where his head had hit the concrete.
The fact that he felt just tired and drowsy told him that he was in the hospital, hooked up to the good drugs. The real good drugs. It gave him time for a quick inventory. He wiggled his toes and fingers, and was relieved to find them in perfect working order. Tensing up different muscle groups told him in no uncertain terms that there had to be at least two new scars. Sheesh, his lovers would be pissed.
He opened his eyes, surprised to find that he was alone. Irrationally, he felt a bit disappointed. He would have at least expected his kid to be here. What time was it anyway? He tried to move his head to the side, hoping that there might be a clock on his nightstand.
What he found was most definitely *not* what he'd been expecting.
Chris Argent, slumped down in a chair, seemingly asleep.
Involuntarily, his heart beat faster. He was back. Oh thank god, he was back. And apparently, as far as he could see, he was still in one piece. A quick glance at the clock showed him that it was three in the morning. Meaning his son was – hopefully – at home in his bed while Chris was the designated nurse of the hour.
He closed his eyes for a moment to rest when he heard the door to his room open. Soft footsteps neared his bed, a cool, familiar hand came to rest on his forehead and without opening his eyes he murmured, "Hey sweetheart.“
"John,“ Melissa whispered, the relieve almost palpable in her voice, "how do you feel? Can you open your eyes?“
John did and smiled up at his other lover. "Hey,“ he croaked. The smile he got in return was one of her blinding ones. "You scared me to death,“ she mumbled, pressing a quick kiss to his lips.
"What happened?“ he asked quietly, not wanting to wake Chris.
"Stiles and Derek brought you in,“ she explained quietly, "they found you just in time. A few minutes more and...“
She didn't need to finish the sentence. He had felt the blood oozing out of his wounds, the life slowly trickling away. Then he had seen Stiles, beautiful, crying Stiles, yelling something at someone behind him. Derek apparently. Darkness had claimed him the second someone tried to move him, the pain to much for his body and mind to cope.
"Where are they?“ he asked. Melissa gently stroked his face. "Chris sent Stiles home about fifteen minutes ago. And while I'm not a hundred percent sure, I think I saw Derek trudging behind him, making sure he got home in one piece.“
"That's good,“ John mumbled, closing his eyes again, "good that the boy's back. Stiles missed him.“
"We all did,“ Melissa whispered, then even softer, "sleep now, honey. Your body still needs rest. I'll tell you everything else in the morning.“
He nodded, already on the verge of sleeping when he heard a murmured, "I love you, honey.“
When darkness dragged him under once more, he smiled.
The drive home was silent. Derek was sitting next to him, staring at Stiles without ever taking his eyes off of him. It would be unnerving if Stiles wouldn't be so happy just to have him back. When the silence settled over him he felt the tiredness creep in and only Derek's quick reflexes were responsible for him *not* crashing his beloved Roscoe into a fence. The second they arrived in front of Stiles' house, Derek killed the engine and took the key. Stiles didn't react, simply sat and stared at the house.
When he felt a hand on his arm, he slowly lowered his head and gazed at it. Then – even slower – he raised his eyes and looked at Derek.
"Let's go inside,“ he mumbled tunelessly and exited his car. His hands were shaking when he tried to unlock the door and he knew that he was seconds away from keeling over. Once more a warm hand covered his and helped him to turn the key. Inside the house it was dark and quiet. Too quiet, Stiles thought. His dad should be here, yelling at him for gettingt into danger again. For risking his life again.
For killing Donovan.
Suddenly he saw Scott's face in his mind. The quiet accusation in his eyes. His arm with the murder weapon outstretched towards him. He hadn't even listened to him. Had only believed the lies Theo had fed him. Hadn't believed him, Stiles, his as-good-as-brother of forever. He closed his eyes. He didn't want to think about it anymore. Didn't want to think about how hurt he had been, how betrayed he had felt. He just wanted to sleep. Sleep and forget. Wanted to forget the way his father was laying pale and unconscious in that hospital bed after the emergency surgery they had proceeded on him.
"Come on,“ Derek's voice was close to his ear and he would have jumped if he wasn't so damned tired, "let's get you to bed. The hospital'll call when there are news about your dad.“
Stiles nodded. Melissa would call him the second something would change in his dad's condition. She'd promised. And she always kept her promises.
Later he wouldn't remember how he got into bed only that one moment he was standing beside it and the next he was under the covers with a half-naked werewolf spooning him. His brain decided then to simply shut down and he fell asleep.
Stiles didn't so much as fall asleep, Derek thought, it was more like getting unconscious. The moment his head touched the pillow, his body relaxed completely and he snored gently. Something Derek found adorable.
Derek though was still too wound up to fall asleep immediately. He held Stiles in his arms, listened to his breathing and the beating of his heart. So many things had happened since he had visited Stiles the last time in his wolf form. For one, Braeden had found out where he tended to run on those full moon nights. Needless to say she wasn't very amused about it. The argument that followed had been kind of epic and had led to a strict separation from their sleeping arrangements. Something he could easily live with.
Then they had found out about the desert wolf, had tracked her down and had finally found out that she was heading straight for Beacon Hills. So they had decided to return. And as it turned out they came just in time.
At least in time for Derek to find Stiles and save the Sheriff. Shuddering, Derek pulled Stiles a bit closer, wanting to protect him from everything. His thoughts were still running rampant in his mind when he heared the soft purring of Stiles' phone on the nightstand. Without thinking he grabbed it and took the call.
"Hello?“ he whispered.
"Stiles?“ It was Melissa. Derek could feel his stomach clench. "No, it's me, Derek,“ he answered.
"Oh, okay. Where's Stiles?“
Derek gazed down at the sleeping form of the young man in his arms. "Sleeping.“
He could hear Melissa's sigh, and her, "Good. Yeah, that's … that's good. Let him sleep. God knows the boy didn't get enough of it those last few days. When he wakes up, tell him his dad has woken up and he's doing fine. As far as I can tell right now, he's going to make a full recovery.“
Derek could feel his heart lighten up at the news, knowing how much it would mean to Stiles to hear that in the morning. "Thank you,“ he mumbled barely audible. Melissa hummed softly and answered, "You're welcome. You should try to get some sleep now, too. The last time I saw you, you were barely able to keep your eyes open.“
Derek growled softly but the growl turned into a huge yawn, and Melissa chuckled. "Go!“ she ordered gently, "Sleep!“
He closed off the phone without saying good-bye, took a deep breath, pulled the warm, sleeping body of his boy even closer to him and let sleep claim him.
Sleep was still trying to pull him under when Stiles woke up the following morning, seduced him with the promise of warmth and forgetting. Slowly he managed to pry one eye open, saw the weird swirls the sunshine falling through the curtains made on his floor and thought for one irrational moment that his dad would love this.
He groaned softly, trying to remember why it hurt to think about his dad. Then he remembered and his heart sped up to what had to be an unhealthy level.
"He's fine,“ a voice behind him murmured and Stiles startled heavily.
"What?“ he gasped and the deep, sleep-roughened voice behind him repeated, "Your dad, he's fine. Melissa called shortly after you fell asleep. You were so out of it that we decided to let you sleep. Looked like you needed it.“
It took another second or two for the cobwebs in his brain to disappear completely and for him to jump out of bed. Or at least to try to jump out of bed for the arm around his waist was like steel, holding him back against the body behind him. And why was Derek in bed with him in the first place? After a few moments of struggling he gave up and sank back against him.
"I need to see my dad,“ he said quietly, turning around, hoping Derek would understand him. "You need to see the shower,“ the older man countered gently, "then you can go and see you dad. By the way … Melissa and Argent are there, too. I'm sure they'll keep him entertained until you're presentable.“
"Are you implying I reek?“ Stiles asked with as much dignity as he could muster and got the answer in form of one single raised dark eyebrow. He deflated and muttered, "Okay, okay. I get it. Could you make some coffee while I'm showering?“
Derek nodded silently and Stiles knew he was being watched when he left his bedroom.
Fifteen minutes later he poltered down the stairs, following the scent of coffee. When he reached the kitchen, Derek had already filled his favorite to-go-mug with coffee just the way he liked it. For a second he was baffled that the werewolf would remember some off-hand comment about "Star Wars is the one and only, my friend, and I have just the mug at home to prove it!“.
Derek was already completely dressed, a bag slung over his shoulder and he held his carkeys ready in his hands.
Stiles nodded. "Let's go!“
He felt fingertips on the back of his hand and gentle lips that pressed a kiss to his forehead. Felt a slight stubble that he had so terribly missed those past few months. He yawned, stretched and winced when the movement pulled on some still sensitive areas.
"Careful,“ a familiar voice rumbled and with a smile John opened his eyes. "Hey Chris,“ he greeted his lover and continued, "you look like shit.“
Chris Argent smiled, one of his rare ones that reached his eyes, made them shine and sparkle. "Thank's, babe,“ Chris replied, "you too.“
"I've been mauled by some weird-shit creature,“ John murmured, "what's your excuse?“
"I missed you,“ Chris answered quietly and laid his hand on John's cheek. John's smile deepened for a moment and he nuzzled into the strong hand. “I missed you too.” Then he grew serious again. “It must have been terrible for you. Melissa and I had each other while you had no one.”
“I managed,” Chris answered simply but his smile had dimmed a little.
“Will you stay?” John just had to know. Had to know that they were together again, could be the perfect triade again they'd been before this whole mess had started. Relieved, he saw the hunter nod. “I have to,” Chris said with a tired smile, “cause when I'm gone you tend to get into trouble.”
“And we can't have that now, can we?” a voice from the door said with just a hint of false cheerfulness. Melissa closed the door behind her and walked over to Chris. They greeted each other with a soft kiss while John watched them contentedly. Melissa turned to John and checked his vitals. “Everything alright, Nurse?” he asked with a wink and Melissa bowed down to kiss him, too. Then she gave him a soft slap and he winced though it really hadn't hurt at all. “Ouch,” he complained with mock hurt, “what was that for?”
“That was for almost getting you killed,” she growled, “AGAIN!”
Chris laughed quietly. And winced seconds later when Melissa gave him the same treatment. “You think this is funny?” she fumed. “You think it's funny for me to watch my men get hurt over and over again?”
John felt incredibly guilty and one look at Chris told him that he wasn't alone in this. But before he could say something, the door opened with a bang and he looked at his son.
“Dad,” Stiles gasped, “you're awake.” Without any hesitation, he ran to the bed and threw himself in his dad's arms. “Thank God, you're awake, dad. I was so afraid,” he mumbled into his shoulder. John tried very hard not to let the pain show the enthusiastic greeting caused him but Melissa saw it and removed the young man with gentle force from his father.
“Stiles,” she said, “STILES!” When he turned towards Melissa, John took a careful breath. He loved his kid, he really did but not when he was injured and still hurting. “Thank's, Melissa,” he murmured. Then his gaze slid to the door where Derek was still lingering, looking unsure. He reached out his hand and waved Derek in. “Come in, son,” he said and was surprised when Derek seemed to startle at the familiarity. “I haven't had the chance to thank you for helping my kid saving me.”
“Dad,” Stiles choked out, “what the hell happened?”
For a moment, John froze. He didn't want to relive the scene that had led to him being in hospital. Chris seemed to feel his discomfort and put a hand on his shoulder.
“I don't think you really want to know that, kid,” he answered for John. Stiles looked at him, seemed just right now to realize that the older hunter was even *here* and nodded. Then, belatedly remembering his manners, he murmured, “Hi Chris.”
Chris nodded, never moving his hand from John's shoulder. “Kid,” he replied.
“So,” Stiles turned to Melissa, “he's going to be okay?”
Melissa smiled. “As good as new, Stiles. *If* you let him rest now.”
”I will,” the young man answered immediately, just like Melissa had thought he would.
“Hey Stiles,” John said suddenly and his son turned to him, unshed tears making his eyes even brighter then before. “It's okay. You still got me.”
Now the tears spilled over and Stiles took his hand again, pressing it to his cheek, kissing it. And John could feel the love and gratefulness of Stiles. For him being still alive. Being still here. Just being.
“Love you, kiddo,” he murmured and Stiles whispered, “Love you, too, dad. Don't ever do that to me again, okay?”
“I'll try, kid, I promise,” John replied, yawning, and Melissa guided Stiles and Derek out of the room, with John unable to prevent it. “You can come back later,” she promised and shoved them gently out of the hospital room, “Chris is watching out for him.”
Then she closed the door behind his kid … or more his kids. When he watched the interaction between Stiles and Derek it seemed obvious to him that the werewolf had decided to stay this time.
He didn't know what had happened while he was out of it. Didn't *want* to know at the moment what had happened. Right now he just wanted to get better so he could finally get out of the hospital. He wanted to go home to reunite with his lovers. Both of them. He smiled when he felt Chris and Melissa by his sides, felt them touching his hands, their lips on his forehead. “Rest, sweetheart,” Melissa murmured and stroked gently over his face.
“I'll stay and make sure you stay safe,” Chris grumbled on his other side and with a sigh John fell asleep again.