Stiles had not meant for it to be like this. He didn't want to be here; didn't know why he was here. His father and him had fought and they had yelled and Stiles just ran. He had barely managed to snag a hoodie off of the couch before he booked it out of the house, the lonely, lonely house.
He hadn't meant to find himself out in the woods, tear tracks glistening in the broken rays on moonlight that filtered between the swaying leaves of trees. It cast shadows around him; broken fragments and pictures haunted him, haunted his thoughts as he pictured her in his peripheral vision.
God, he missed her.
His body shook like the decaying leaves above his head; the darkest abysses of his mind danced like the shadows surrounding him. Stiles regretted coming here of all places, the darkness only played tricks on his scattered mind and made him scream. His dirty converse slid on the frosted underbrush and crunchy, dead leaves, causing his body to nearly slip on more than one occasion.
But, he kept running.
Stiles did not know where he was going, he just let his body move in at a consistent, constant pace. Because that is all he really wanted in these present days where darkness shattered his mind and the supernatural shattered his bones: consistency.
In a world filled with variables and the unknowns and too many questions, Stiles only wished he could have a constant in his life. That is- no, was- a title that had once belonged to Scott; he was always there, day after day. Stiles and Scott had one day just migrated from Stiles and Scott to StilesandScott and Stiles liked it. He liked the consistency he received from Scott, because as much as the latter hated to admit it, he was predictable.
Scott was nice, Scott was normal, Scott was there.
But, now? StilesandScott had once again became Stiles and Scott and Stiles was alone and he could not handle this anymore. Scott had, for lack of better words, ditched Stiles in favor of breasts and a warm bed-
No, that wasn't fair of him to say. Kira was a nice girl, although rather annoying and terrible at wearing respectable outfits and, God, Stiles was so, so angry. He should not hate Kira, he should not even dislike the girl, but, oh Lord, he did.
He hated the fact that she had stolen the only constant thing right out of his life.
He hated the fact that the man she had stolen had not even fought it; he was probably glad to get rid of Stiles.
Stiles could not handle the pressure anymore. He was expected to do so much for the pack and still do well in school and still be okay with the fact that Derek regularly reminded him that he did not belong and- fuck!
Stiles felt like a dead husk.
He could feel his legs burning, he could feel his erratic heart threatening to beat itself right out of his chest, he could feel how broken he was. For the first time in awhile, Stiles let himself remember how much he hurt.
God, he hurt so much.
It was the anniversary of his mother's death. He had fought with his dad to go with him to the cemetery- a pretty, black granite tombstone marked where she lay to rest- with him, so they could leave her roses (her favorite, no matter how "mainstream" they were).
Stop acting like she doesn't exist! Because she did- she was your wife, for Christ's sake! Act like it!
He choked back another body-wracking sob, memories and flashes of his mother ricocheting through his mind at lightening speed; too fast for him to get a clear picture. He desperately tried to remember her exact features, the crow's feet that came with her laughing so often and long eyelashes framing bright, intelligent eyes.
She's dead, Stiles, and she is not coming back! Get the fuck over it.
The sheriff's words, the reason he found himself in the woods in the dark of the night, had his barely-concealed sobs rising in volume. He knew his father hated to think about his late wife, but to tell Stiles to get over it? It hurt him, greatly.
Not to mention the trauma he still suffered at the hands of the Nogitsune. He had not told a soul what the dark creature had put him through; a continuous loop of himself reliving the death- the decay- of his mother. His beautiful, poor mother. Stiles had to go through it again and again and again.
It was torture, plain and simple.
Stiles missed his mother, so very much. She was always the loving one out of his parents; she packed him lunches for school with cute notes on brightly colored paper stashed away inside. She was there for him, emotionally, in a way his father could never be.
Consistency: Stiles craved it.
He had not released his foot had been caught underneath a root until he was falling, a whoosh of air surrounding him for a moment. A moment of freedom before a crack! echoed into the forest and a scream was ripped from Stiles's vocal cords.
It sounded distant, the scream. It took Stiles a moment to realize that the scream was his own- a raw, painful screech as he crashed to the forest floor. He fisted his fingers into the grass below him, sobs wracking his lean body as his ankle screeched with its pain.
He tried to move his ankle, his eyes blinded with thick tears and his mind clouded with MotherPainDeathPainTorture. His efforts only resulted in another scream; one that tore through his body in pure and raw agony.
Stiles did not know how long he lay there, ankle burning and mind scattered and shadows mocking, laughing.
A snapping of twigs seemed to cut through his erratic thoughts, a gruff shout and multiple footsteps stampeding towards his prone form at an unimaginable speed. He could barely make out the form of Derek at the head of the ragtag group approaching him. The dark and the tears and the pain clouded his eyesight and he could only hold his breath and their spoken words floated over him without being received.
It was not until somebody tried to move his ankle that Stiles finally succumbed to the unbearable pain.
The first time Stiles rose into consciousness was short-lived as he blearily looked around an unfamiliar room, before a gruff voice whispered, sleep now, you're safe. He could barely make out the shape of somebody curled up around his body, somebody warm.
A large hand moved from his hip to slowly, softly rub circles into his stomach, a relaxing movement that reminded Stiles, once again, of his mother.
Sleep, the voice whispered again, and Stiles let himself drift back out of consciousness to soft singing and swaying curtains and comfort.
The second time Stiles woke up, he was much more alert. He moved his leg, only to realize that nearly half of it was incased in something- a cast, his mind supplied- before freezing in his movements.
Derek was sitting up against the headboard, a tattered, faded book held between his large hands as he smiled- smiled?- down at Stiles.
Stiles, who belatedly realized his face was snugly fit into the crease of the Alpha's hip.
Before the younger man could have a chance to freak out or give some lame excuse as to why he had been in the woods in the first place or to ask what the fuck happened?, Derek interrupted.
With me, you're safe. I'll always be there for you; I'll come when you call, come when you need me. I promise, Stiles, to always love you.
Consistency: Stiles had it.
He had it in an aggressive alpha werewolf who growled too much and frowned even more, but that was fine. Because he understood, because he could love Stiles.
Because, no matter what, Derek would be a constant.