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Let There Be Light ( And It Was Good)

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Humans have considered themselves the top of the food chain for, well, pretty much as long as they’ve been able to kill other living things with pointy objects. And while that’s a great idea and all, it’s never been particularly accurate. Because while, yes, humans had the ability to create weapons—terrible, massively destructive weapons—humans were too weak to physically become weapons themselves.

Unlike the werewolves.

The werewolves, who held the key to human evolution in their claws, and who were the ones who made it possible for these weak, mortal creatures to even make pointy objects. Because without the werewolves, humanity would be left weak, helpless, and blind.

Or so they liked you to believe.

 


 

 

The best thing about being the son of the sheriff were the resources. That, and the fact that Stiles was lucky enough to have the kind of dad that—while he could be kind of strict, yes—actually understood him in a way that a lot of other people couldn’t or wouldn’t.

Just because every human parent had to go through the same thing, raising a blind child in a world of pointless rules and prohibitions, didn’t mean they were understanding or compassionate people. Even with every household modeled to accommodate the blind, they didn’t didn’t seem to understand. And thus, the kids grew up with each choice pre-made for them, every second of their future planned right up until they met their Mate. Because after that, you were under the wolf’s control, and all your big life choices got transferred right over to someone else bigger and ‘better’ than you. Unless you were lucky enough to be an rare Alpha human, then, at least, you were able to hold your ground as an equal. But your typical human wasn’t an Alpha, so the education system and the government made it their duty to prepare every child to be submissive to the 'Greater Race’.

Basically, you were taught to grovel.

Thankfully, he lived a very different life than your typical Unmated child. For one thing, he was one of the few blessed with a guide dog from an early age. A reject from the Police Dog academy for being 'too hyperactive’ and 'untrainable.’

Aka: Perfect.

But, okay, maybe naming him Floopy wasn’t such a good idea because people made that infuriating 'cute’ noise in the back of their throats when Stiles introduced him. He was five when they brought him home, the dog had floppy ears that Stiles used to play with for hours. Floopy was a highly logical name, thank you very much.

But that wasn’t all—no, he really did luck out with his dad, especially after his mom died. Because the sheriff understood that Stiles would never, ever settle in and let any of this 'Me Alpha, you pet human’ just happen to him. He fought the Unmated 'helpless’ image, he fought the hypocrisy, and he fought the Werewolf Propaganda every day, with every tool he could get his hands on.

“Stiles… not again.”

“Yes again, and shut up, Scott, no one asked you to tap in.”

“Actually, you did. You invited me over, but thanks for forgetting,” Scott sighed, decidedly not getting in a huff over the slang term. Stiles used it ironically, anyway, not like the bigots who actually go out of their way to find new and interesting phrases to insult them with.

Speaking of tapping… Stiles tilted his head to the side, listening for the tell-a-tale sound of Scott folding his stick up. That always meant an extended stay, since his friend continued to have issues unfolding the thing, and, more often than not, gave up and spent the night at his house. He suspected laziness, and a fondness for Stiles’ weird cooking he did when his dad wasn’t home. Weird, secret cooking that he wasn’t supposed to do, and that his dad probably actually knew about, being, you know, all detective-like and stuff.

“I didn’t forget,” Stiles replied when he was sure Scott had settled into his bed. “I just don’t remember asking your opinion on my Master Plan.”

“Which one is this now? Master Plan 2.0?”

“Nah, that was twenty plans ago.”

“I don’t think that’s something to be proud of,” his friend pointed out, and Stiles took a moment to find an eraser from his desk, and chuck it in the general direction of Scott. The squawk was worth losing the eraser until his dad found it, probably months later.

And anyway, it was something to be proud of, even if Scott never seemed to understand it. Stiles had begun his Master Plan in grade 4, when the usual class segregation began, just like it always did. Year after year, after year, after year.

Because that was the age kids were allowed to follow the pull to their mates, if they felt it. It wasn’t as though they were allowed to hop on in and get married or anything, but no one wanted their child to remain blind for more years than they needed to be. So, it was encouraged, and if your mate wasn’t still just a glint in their daddy’s eye, or dead, or maimed or whatever reason there wasn’t a pull, wa-la! You see the light! Move on up to level two, you are no longer a blind 'loser.’

Which pissed Stiles off. Not because fourth grade had come and gone with not so much as a gentle breeze pushing him towards his mate, but because of what it meant to the Unmated, and especially the omegas. The hypocrisy of it all, the entire system of separating kids because of a physical attribute, every bump, scrape, burn, mistake you made trying to simply function all for a future of what was basically indentured servitude. Where your only real reward was being able to fucking see what you’re doing while you cleaned up your precious werewolf’s house. Or being able to see your alpha while they abused you, or raped you…

So yeah, it pissed him off.

A lot.

Which, in turn, kind of scared everyone except Scott and his dad. Because they had a 'system’ and it'worked’ and Stiles needed ’counseling’ for suggesting—loudly—that maybe they shouldn’t separate people like that because here’s a crazy idea: People make friends and you’re separating them based on something stupid, oh, and here’s a another crazy thought: Segregation is wrong.

But, no, his idea was completely ludicrous. The Unmated kids had 'special needs’ that the mated kids didn’t, and basically that meant they were unable to do anything.

Because—according to them—blind kids are slow, and stupid, and need their hands held until their precious werewolf comes along to show them the light. Mated children can learn in 'leaps and bounds’, and therefore should not suffer the company of their once-classmates and possibly friends who haven’t been 'shown the glory of being mated’ or some other sickening platitude. Mated kids were stronger, and 'safe’ because their magical werewolf mate would 'protect them’, and we must keep them separate, because they are at different levels. It’s what we did when we were children, it’s what we’ve always done, so we can’t change. Nothing will ever change, so give it up, Stiles.

Thank god for his dad, that’s all he had to say. Every teacher and school councilor from then on out wanted to put Stiles on medication after medication, tried to explain his 'attitude’ by blaming his mother’s death for his outbursts, tried to separate him his peers, and as a last resort, made an attempt to send him to a super special school for bad kids who didn’t fall into their perfect little guidelines.

To save himself some added misery, he stopped talking at school, and started his secret project. Master Plan 1.

Years later, he was now working on Master Plan 23.1, and making a superficial Mate Simulator Pill that would replace alphas and make omegas independent was hard, okay? It took time to work out the bugs.

“What is it this time?” Scott asked, tapping his cane against the bed.

Stiles smiled to himself. Scott was always interested in what he was doing, even if he didn’t understand it half the time. He was the best friend anyone could ask for, and if anyone asked, Stiles hissed at them because Scotty was his best friend, go get your own.

“Okay, so, we both know the newly improved braille thing wasn’t going to work, not unless I got funding—” There was a scoff behind him, “—and we both know how well that went.”

“I think that’s the first time I’ve ever heard you dad raise his voice.”

Stiles snickered, because it wasn’t his first time hearing it, but Poppa-Bear Stilinksi sure was a force to be reckoned with.

(Hint: don’t threaten to hit the sheriff’s son, even if he is an omega trying to blackmail you for money.)

(Second hint: don’t try to blackmail people for money when you’re the sheriff’s son.)

And, of course, with his attention elsewhere, something slipped, and the thin plastic he was working with sliced through his fingers like butter. There was only a second of stunned silence, in which he knew his heart rate would speed up, and the scent of blood would hit the air and 3, 2—

And yep, right on time, there was a loud shout of, “Stiles!?” And what sounded like Scott falling off the bed.

“Calm down, it’s just a—Jesus! Will you please warn a guy?” He yelped, nearly flying out of his chair when Scott practically landed on him.

Scott ignored him, asking “What did you do?” while he tried in vain to find the wound.

“Dude, you have these mighty werewolf senses, and you can’t sniff out where it is?” He huffed, trying not to laugh at Scott when he was attempting to be helpful. Key word: Trying.

Scott clearly wasn’t as amused, and Stiles had to remind himself that Scott wasn’t the same best friend he had a year ago. Because right now? Scott was breathing in the scent of blood and that seemed to get him more worked up ever since the incident.

“Where is it?!”

Stiles sighed, wondering how it always ended with him calming Scott down, when he’s the one who’s hurt.

“It’s my fingers, Scott, if you’d just calm—if you could—would you stop?!” He hissed, trying to get away from the desperate werewolf. “You’re making it worse!”

“I’m trying to find it!”

“You’re getting blood everywhere!”

“No i’m not, i’m —”

Stiles growled and flailed at him, swacking at his best friend with his non-bleeding hand. “I can feel you spreading it around on my shirt, Scott. So help me god, if this is my favorite shirt i’m going to shove my bloody fingers up your nose so you can smell it for months!”

Before Scott could whimper more, the door creaked, and there was a long, suffering sigh.

“Boys…”

Stiles stopped flailing, and Scott stopped trying to crawl into his lap. Cue ultimate guilty-frozen pose, because that worked. Ever.

“Dad.”

“Sherif.”

“Dare I ask why my son is bleeding everywhere, or why it’s all over Scott’s face?” His dad dared to ask.

Stiles couldn’t exactly explain that: hey, so my best friend got bitten by a rouge werewolf a few months ago and now has a super sniffer that kind of usually ends up getting his face covered in one thing or another. So, he settled with:

“Because science, and Scott’s helping… like he usually does.”

“Hey!”

For a second, Stiles was sure his dad had walked away, like a ninja in slippers, or something, but there was another sigh as proof of life.

“I’ll get the first aid kit… And a wet towel for Scott,” was all he said before his foot steps echoed down the hall.

Stiles waited until he heard the usual creak of the bathroom door, and tried to shove Scott to his feet. Which was easier said than done, these days.

“Would you—you’re not going to be able to keep this a secret if you keep literally shoving your nose into stuff,” he reminded him, finally managing to get his friend to his feet. And, God, he felt so exhausted already. It wasn’t even 5 o'clock yet, and Stiles was ready for a nap.

But, well, that was just another part of the whole Unmated thing. Blind, and apparently easily weakened. It was some cruel twist of fate, making every human kid born into this weak, pathetic state until they found their mates. Which was sort of the point of failed Master Plan 16, because he had none of the resources needed to make any kind of enhancement drugs and that would probably be highly illegal, anyway.

So, it didn’t take much to knock Unmated people on their ass, embarrassingly enough. Scott was lucky, in some ways, to have been bitten. His strength was at least four times more than Styles’, in addition to the heightened sense of smell, and hearing, and his asthma was gone now. He was like a blind… God amongst normal, blind humans that… Okay, that analogy failed. Whatever he was, Scott was better after being turned, and Stiles had to try really hard to force himself to think of it was a bad thing. Because it wasn’t, really, but it was kind of taboo and against all the rules and regulations.

“Alright, no more science or 'helping’ today,” His dad announced when he returned. His voice had reached that raspy, slightly higher pitch that he only got when he was stressed or worried about something. Surely his hands weren’t that bad? He must be overreacting, as usual.

Stiles scowled, and waited for the usual tap to his shoulder to warn him that his father was coming close. Again, amazing dad and his amazing ideas like: how about we make a system to warn you when i’m getting into your personal space?

Scott let out a surprised grunt, presumedly when his face got introduced with flying, damp towel—His dad wasn’t always nice—and a second later, there was the warning squeeze.

Stiles began to say, “You don’t have to—” before his dad grunted at him, knelt down, and started cleaning up his hand with yet another cloth. The room grew quiet, except for the sound of breathing, crinkling Bandaid wrappers, and the occasional mutter from his dad as he began disinfecting and wrapping up Stiles’ fingers.

“Are you ever going to stop with these inventions of yours?”

“Nope,” Stiles replied, the 'P’ popping loudly in the quiet room.

The sheriff’s movements paused a moment, bandage half wrapped around one of his fingers, and Stiles held his breath.

“… Good.”

And yes, he had the best friggen dad in the whole world.


 

Lunchtime was a love-hate affair for Stiles. He loved the chance to be around more people that just his dwindling class of 'rejects, but hated the fact that the 'more people’ tended to act like a bunch of superior asshats.

Jackson Whittemore, in particular, was the King Poobah of Asshats. Because Jackson had his perfect werewolf mate, who loved and protected him and made him stronger, and therefor he was a god amongst peasants and lived to torment those who had made it to 16 without finding their mates. Because it was totally hilarious to make fun of disabled people.

He was the reason Stiles didn’t bring Floopy to school anymore. Stiles knew, he just knew it was Jackson who kicked his dog in the leg that time, and without proof, Stiles was left with only one option. Floopy stayed home, and out came the cane.

So, that was the hate aspect of lunch time, but the love was Danny, and Erica, and Scott all getting to hang out together. Danny was one of the few Mated people who didn’t look at his good fortune as an excuse to lord over others, and made himself good company to anyone who wasn’t an entire jackass. It helped that he had more than two brain cells to rub together, and, besides, he and Erica had this thing where Danny described some guy’s ass, and Erica tried to guess who it was. Even if Scott and him couldn’t play, it was still fun to listen to.

“So, I hear there’s some weird stuff going down in town today,” Danny announced, dropping his lunch tray down with a clatter.

Stiles pulled the straw out of his milk carton and started to wiggle it around in his mouth, trying to remember if his dad had mentioned anything.

“Nope, drawing a blank. Tell us, Oh Intelligent one, what news?”

“Well, I guess they found a dead body in the woods last night, and—”

“They found a dead body and my dad didn’t tell me?!” Stiles gasped, his straw flying free and going… Somewhere. Gone forever, that’s where. He needed to start stealing handfuls of them from the lunch ladies. There was no way he was making an ass out of himself by spilling his drink all over everything.

“I doubt he even knew until this morning,” Danny pointed out, and a second later a straw magically appeared in Stiles’ hand. Danny was a god. “It’s all really hush-hush and stuff… Because they think the body was a werewolf.”

Stiles had been about to thank his Holy-ness for the straw when he spat it back out again. “Holy shi—for real? Dude, that’s bad news, why are you bringing bad news to my table?”

From his right, Scott snorted. “Since when is this 'your table?’”

“Since shut your mouth, daddy and mommy are talking.”

“Wait, since when are you 'mommy’?” Erica asked.

“Who said I was 'mommy’?”

Danny groaned, “Can we please never refer to each other as 'mommy and daddy’ again?”

To which Stiles replied, “Whatever you say, dear,” and batted his eyelashes in Danny’s general direction.

“Anyway, the dead body—”

“—which is a perfect topic for eating lunch,” Erica groused, the scrape of her tray telling Stiles she had pushed it away.

“—was found on Hale property, so there’s a huge investigation going on. I heard a rumor that it’s a Hale, too, just not which one.”

“I hope it’s Peter,” Stiles muttered, letting out a muffled squeak when a hand slapped over his mouth. “Mmhgh? Mmhhperrgg!”

It was just Danny, hissing in his ear, “Can you please filter yourself sometimes? You know the town’s werewolf population defers to the Hale pack, even if they’re not a part of it. Why would you even… Out loud… at lunch?”

Danny removed his hand just long enough for Stiles to begin with, “but he’s a creepy Mc—” before slapping it back over and leaving it there.

“How about we switch to safer topics?” Erica offered, sounding amused at Danny’s overreaction. Because, seriously? What were they going to do to him for calling it how it was? He was the son of the sherif, and… And okay, maybe that didn’t actually pull any weight with the werewolves after all. He’d leave the McCreeper commentary at home.

“Okay, okay, just—would you get off?” Growled Stiles, pushing away the insistent hand that was now squishing his cheeks. “Filter, i’m filtering—tell me something else I don’t know, fascinate me, Erica.”

“I heard we have a new student, apparently. I haven’t actually seen her, though. Just smelled her.”

“You smelled her? Like, up close and personal, or…?”

“I just said I haven’t seen her,” Erica sighed, throwing something—oh, salty, a French fry then—at his forehead. “But every wolf in the building has noticed the new scent, it’s kind of obligatory.”

Stiles turned to his friend, reaching out and—aiming poorly as usual—shoving some of his fingers into Scott’s ears.

“Dude, why didn’t you tell me you smelled a new girl?”

“Uhh, because I haven’t?”

“Lies. Don’t lie to me, Scotty, I sense it in your… Ears,” he said, patting said ear.

“I seriously haven’t smelled anything new, unless you count that nasty stuff Jackson keeps spraying on himself. How can his mate stand it?”

“Clearly they are blessed with Anosmia. And don’t go abandoning me when you roll out the welcome carpet, dude. I require a proper introduction to the new girl with my best bud by my side.”

“Not without you!” Scott chirped, patting Stiles on the back “they’ll never tear us apart.”

“Way to jinx it,” Danny commented, clearly past a wad of food—which sounded disgusting, thanks Danny. Lunch plus heightened hearing didn’t equal much of an appetite on a good day. As it was, today was already feeling a little off, like Stiles was just waiting for the first shoe to drop.

And maybe the others were feeling it, because three of them knocked on wood while Scott whined about how 'realistic’ he was, and the rest of them were just 'pessimists’.

Bad feeling or not, the conversation degraded from there, mostly congregating around what an asshole Jackson was and how the school cafeteria really took Mystery Meat to a whole new level. It wasn’t until lunch was nearly over that Erica suddenly shouted out at someone.

“Hey! New girl!”

“Oh my god—what are you doing?” Hissed Stiles, swatting at her and missing by a mile. He did manage to smack her food tray though, miss judging the distance versus velocity—because, blind—and probably giving himself a good bruise up the side of his palm.

“Expressing my 'School Spirit'—” she hissed back, then switched to her super loud, cheerful voice, “Hi! I’m Erica, what’s your name?”

Beside him, Stiles felt Scott stiffen, probably at the grating sound of Erica’s fake-friendly voice.

Meanwhile, New Girl was attempting to reply, “Hi, um, my name is… My… Oh.”

“Your name is 'oh’?” Stiles questioned, grunting when someone’s elbow caught him in the ribs.“What?”

“Shut up, Stiles!”

“What, Danny?! I was filtering.”

Oh…” And now Scott was saying it, too. Why wasn’t he getting any elbows?

“Oh my god…” No really, what was wrong with Scott?

“I think I can see.”

Stiles heard—no, literally feltsomething break inside him, something he’s always know was fragile and needed looking after.

And a tiny, itty-bitty voice in the back of his mind cursed out the entire world for that. But mostly, that tiny, itty-bitty voice in the back of his mind was crying.

Because, you know, the teachers were already taking his best friend away to go bond with his mate.

He was just gone. That was it. Stiles didn’t hear anything from him for the rest of the day, because that’s how the system worked. Because 'that’s how it’s always been.’


 

Two days later, and all Stiles knew was that her name was Allison—Scott’s mom had called his dad, crying about all the legal changes they have to go through now—and that somebody out there hatedhim. (Someone other than Jackson. Like, someone godly or demonic. Still not Jackson.)

He hadn’t slept, and eating was a no go because it reminded him of lunchtime at school and the last time he had been with his best friend in the whole world. School had gone up to 11 in suckage now that Scott was gone, because now he had to endure his classes alone, eat alone—okay, so Danny and Erica still sat with him but they were no Scott—then go home alone. He hasn’t even worked on his Plan in two days, there just didn’t seem to be a point now. The entire ordeal was exhausting him, and he wasn’t even the one going through the actual mating ceremony bullshit.

“Stiles, please stop pacing and just go call him,” his dad sighed from the couch.

“I don’t want to call him. I want to see him—well, visit him. But, apparently I can’t, dad. It’s against the 'rules’, at least for another week while he and his 'mate’ calibrate their souls or whatever bull—”

“Watch it.”

“—bull–dog nonsense they need to do, and I promised Scott I would be there while his eyes adjusted. It’s not fair.”

“Them’s the breaks, son.”

“I cannot believe you just said that… To me, dad. Firstly: what does that even mean? Secondly, screw the breaks, Scott’s my best buddy and no way is he going through this alone.”

“It’s a—it comes from pool, I think…” His father trailed off, before clearing his throat. “Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is: Scott’s not alone, he’s got his mate, right? A nice werewolf girl who—”

“Wait, she’s not a…”

Aaannnnddd shit.

“What do you mean 'she’s not a…’? Not a what? Nice girl?”

Now he was in trouble, damn his dad and his snoopy detective skills, and maybe damn his own inability to lie to his dad very well in the first place. The man always knew when something was up, it was like he could smell it or something.

Which did beg to question how Stiles kept Scott’s secret, all this time. No one knew about Scott’s 'special encounter’ with a rogue wolf, or how the bite changed the entire mate dynamic. It was something Stiles had tried to look into—haha—but he found no references to blind werewolves finding human mates, or two blind humans becoming mates. It was always blind human + healthy wolf = happy, seeing, super-couple. Or, the not-so-great alternatives where one’s mate was dead long before you could meet, or if you’re painfully stubborn and refuse to meet with any werewolves—which has happened pretty often, actually, and was something Stiles was seriously considering until recently. Since, you know, his friend just met his mate and involuntary left him in the dust.

So, basically, what happened to Scott Did Not Happen Naturally, and that meant Stiles had to be very, very careful about what he said, and Scott needed to be even more careful.

“I’m sure she’s really nice—” Stiles explained, “—obviously she’s nice, Scott can’t be mated with some nasty troll-woman who hates life. Scott would die, and I don’t want him to die, so i’m sure a little rule-bending so I can go over there is totally called for.” He flashed his best, innocent smile. “In case she’s… A troll-woman.”


“I’m sorry kid, but it’s gonna have to be a 'no’. And they actually guard the clinic, you know, so don’t get any thoughts about sneaking in.”

Stiles slapped a hand to his chest dramatically. “Dad! I would never—”

The sherif interrupted, “You would always. Now go take Floopy for a walk, he’s getting fat again.”

“Says the guy who keeps sneaking him all his turkey bacon under the table.”

There was a dramatic pause where Stiles could almost hear his dad thinking: How the hell does he know that?

Then a little more silence while Stiles fidgeted and tried not to tell him that he could hear Floopy slurping it down pretty clearly, and that just because he was blind, didn’t mean he was stupid enough to think his dad actually followed his diet plant to the letter. But that would be rubbing his 'condition’ in his dad’s face, and he knew the sheriff hated being reminded of how much Stiles just… couldn’t.

So, he took his dog out for a walk.

Floopy loved walks. Walk walks, not Leading Stiles Through Traffic Without Dying Walks. The dog simply lived for the park, especially now that it was fall and he had leaves to viciously assassinate. It was nice for Stiles too, of course, because Floopy got to be free while he relaxed somewhere under a tree, and there was something to be said about a leash and how it worked both ways.

“S'that your dog?” Someone asked, leaves crunching under their boots as they came closer. Stiles titled his head up out of curtesy, and shrugged.

“Depends on which one you’re looking at.”

“They ugly one with the crooked ear.”

Stiles bristled, “He’s a purebred German Shepherd!”

“Goofy lookin’ purebred,” the asshole-voice mused. He sounded like Jackson’s type, which meant it was going to go from insulting his dog to insulting him pretty quickly. “How’d a freak like you get a dog, anyway? I thought only ’special cases’ got em?”

“Well you see,” Stiles began, and he was not rising to the bait. He just wasn’t. “I’m actually a prince, if you couldn’t tell. I was forced to flee my country when the rebels attacked our palace. I ran, with only the clothes on my back, and my beloved, loyal guide dog.”

The guy let out a guttural snorting sound that stiles recognized as one of those disgusted scoffs he’s heard whenever he passed the Upper Classes in his school. Clearly, this gentleman was Mated, cue the superiority complex.

“Why don’t you take your fuck-ugly dog and get outa here?” the man suggested, and he was really leaning into Stiles’ personal space, now.

Which was probably a sign that Stiles shouldn’t say something like, “why don’t you take your fuck-ugly face and get out of here? You’re probably scaring the children.”

Yeah, that was a mistake, because a second later Stiles was being yanked right out of his seat and everything was moving too fast.

“Let me—! Let go!” He shrieked, kicking his legs out in a mad attempt to hit him, somehow, somewhere. All he managed to do was loosen the man’s grip on his shoulders, which only ended with him being dragged along by his hood. The neck of his hoodie was cutting up into his throat, and he scrambled to try to unzip it and free himself.

No such luck, though, because Asshole Mated Man clearly decided that he was going to push the envelop, and one second Stiles’ choking and wheezing for breath was the only sound. The next, there was a low growl that Stiles recognized.

Floopy! Oh thank god, Floopy would protect him.

But Floopy was kind of small for his age, Stiles remembered. His dad always said he was a runt, and that’s why he was perfect for Stiles. It was a joke at the time, but suddenly it wasn’t funny at all.

“Get the fuck outa my way you mut!”

Stiles tried to tilt his head back enough to call Floopy off. If he attacked—he didn’t even want to think about it.

The growling grew louder, until it was a full-on snarl, and the guy was cursing loudly, and then, nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.

A yelp of pain.

Something hot splattered on his face, and suddenly he was free from the strangling hold around his neck.

“F-Floopy!” He gasped out, rolling himself over and rising up to his knees. He felt light headed, like the entire world was trying to throw him off its back.

There was a small, angry, “Fuck this!” And someone was running away.

Stiles beamed. “Good job, Floopy! You scared off the big, bag asshat!” He cheered, crawling forward while feeling out for the dog’s paws or snout. “See? Dad was totally wrong, if us runts stick together, we can do… we can do… Anything…”

He found fur, wet fur. Hot and damp and all Stiles could smell was copper and—and this couldn’t be happening, it couldn’t be!

“Floopy? Floopy buddy, you gotta get up man,” Stiles whispered, running his hands over the fur helplessly. He couldn’t find he source—he couldn’t find his nose or—why wasn’t he making any sound?!

Stiles choked out a sob, and tried again. He followed the path from the shorter hairs just above Floppy’s front leg, up and up to… To his neck…

“Oh my god, no, no this isn’t happening,” Stiles babbled, pressing his shaking hands over wound. The blood already felt cool, but it happened only seconds ago, if he just added pressure he could—

Somebody screamed behind him, and then there was some more screaming that sounded like kids and holy shit, there were kids at this park and that guy, he just— he just…

“He k-killed my dog.”

“Someone call 911! Is he hurt, are you hurt?”

Stiles turned away from the voices, trying to press into the bloody fur. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew it was too late. He should have been able to feel a pulse under his fingers, Floopy should be whimpering, the blood should still be warm, not drying on his fingers already.

“He killed my dog,” he said again.

Someone was behind him now, her voice choked with emotion, “Oh honey…”

“He killed Floopy.”

“Sweetie, you should move away now, okay?”

Stiles didn’t move.

“Sweetie, please, we have to cover her up now. The children are really scared. Can we do that?”

“He deserves better than to be covered up like that,” Stiles said, surprised he wasn’t more angry at her. It wasn’t her fault, sure, but he should feel something.

“I’m sorry, hon, but we have to—”

Stiles needed to let go—he had to let Floopy go. Floopy wasn’t even there anymore, just a corpse. Just like his mom. She couldn’t smile at him anymore, there wasn’t anything there. He let her go. He could do this. Just let him go, he’s gone.

“He killed my dog,” he whispered, and let go.


 

The scuffing sounds are from his left shoe. It’s always loose.

Leaves were crunching.

Muffled music, probably someone’s headphones turned up way too loud.

Someone asked something in a worried voice, but he didn’t care enough to process what they said.

Trash, crackling—only God knows what that squishy thing was.

His face meeting a fence—loud crash. He’s probably cut his hands open.

A dog—a dog barking and it wasn't—it’s not him. Not anymore.

Stiles had no idea where he was, and he didn’t particularly care. One moment he was standing in the park, at least ten different mothers and baby sitters crowded around him, talking about testimony and ’did anyone see the man’s face?’ and ’It’s too bad he’s Unmated, he could have seen it himself.

And all that was just the last straw for him. No, it was past the last straw for him and on to grasping at straws that weren’t even there anymore.

A random stranger came over and fucking killed his dog, and they’re victim-shaming him.

For being blind.

So he just left. He pushed through them, and took off in a random direction.

After the first twenty minutes of blundering around, Stiles ran face-first into a tree. Which was different from a fence, but felt no less painful. Actually, It probably should have hurt more than it did, but Stiles was getting fond of the numbness creeping through him now that the initial shock was wearing off. His entire body was tingling, like that moment just before the feeling comes back to the leg you were sitting in for six hours. And, while his body was oddly numb, his mind wasn’t.

That emotion thing? He was doing that. A lot.

Sobbing so hard he felt like he was going to throw up, Stiles continued to bump into trees, trip over roots and sticks, and at some point he must have crossed over into the Preserve, because as messed up as he was, Stiles knew there weren’t this many trees in the park.

He kept going until he ran into something just a little too hard, and suddenly he was on his back, sliding down—down to his death, probably. He let out strangled cry as he bounced off a few rocks, until the air was punched out of him by solid ground once again.

“T-thanks,” he wheezed to no one in particular. That glorious numbness he was basking in before? Yeah, that was gone. Gone the way of the rocky, muddy slope he just rolled down. Now he could feel every tree branch, every sharp rock that sliced his skin open, every bruise. Every inch of him that made contact with a god damn force of nature hurt.

Stiles tried to sit up, and managed to lift himself about an inch off the ground when the dull throb around his ribs turned into a shrieking, burning, stallion of pain.

Also, he might be getting delirious, if that analogy was anything to go by.

He would be okay. He wasn’t okay right now, and he probably wouldn’t be for a long time, but he would be okay in the future.

God, I hope I’ll be okay.

“Do you hear something?”

Stiles stopped breathing—wheezing, actually—and tried to turn his ear towards the voice. It was definitely female, and muffled enough to probably be coming from up top the cliff thing he just slid down. She sounded kind of bitchy-attractive, actually, which was just his luck. Of course he’d be found like this by a beautiful woman.

“I smell something,” another voice answered, and yeah, that was definitely a bitchy-attractive guy, too. Don’t ask how Stiles know they were attractive, he just did. Scott didn’t believe him until Danny proved him right every time.

“I think someone’s down there in the mud… Gross.”

“Laura…”

“Don’t ’Laura' me,” she snapped back, “You may be my Alpha but there are limits to what
I’ll do for you.”

“Would you just—I’ll do it, go find Boyd and tell him to… Tell him to go buy a first aid kit.”

There was a pause before the attractive-female—apparently named 'Laura’ replied, “you want to pay for a first aid kit for some random person in the middle of the woods?”

“Yes, Laura.”

“He could be a murderer.”

Stiles snorted dryly before he remembered he was supposed to be silent and his nose was full of snot, which was gross, and over all he was starting to feel light headed so maybe if they could hurry it up a bit?

Something landed heavily near his head, making Stiles squeak and try to roll away. Rolling was a bad idea, because whatever he did to himself falling down that mud slip-n-slide hurt like a son of a bitch.

Laura called out, “Is it alive?”

“Breathing, lot of blood, though.”

“Not all of its mine,” Stiles managed to croak, not willing to turn back over to let the stranger see the blood he knew was soaked into his clothes from… From…

“Oh shit, he really is a murderer.”

Laura!

“I’m going, i’m going. Have fun with your muddy murderer friend. I’ll be back with Boyd.”

Stiles waited for more comments, but apparently the girl really did leave, this time, which meant it was just him and the random dude who climbed down here to help him.

“Hey,” the guy called out softly, “I’m going to turn you over now, alright?”

“M-maybe don’t?” Stiles suggested.

“Come on, I need to see the damage.”

“It’s m-mostly on my b-back, anyway.”

The man signed, “I can see that…”

And smell it, apparently. That had been an odd thing to say, now that Stiles was thinking about it. He 'smelled’ him? That was so weird. Like Scott weird.

“What’s your name, kid?”

Stiles grumbled,“N-Not a kid.”

“Funny name, Not A Kid.”

“Oh my god, he makes Dad Jokes, I’m being rescued by a Dad Joke person,” Stiles groaned, suddenly wanting his dad.

“My name’s Derek, by the way, and you’re not going to be rescued until you let me get a look at you.”

Derek sounded familiar. Maybe if his head was a little clearer he could remember where he’s heard that name before. Wasn’t there a baseball player named Derek? Derek Jeter or something? Did he still play baseball, and what was he doing in a muddy ravine in Beacon Hills? What were any of them doing in a muddy ravine? What was a ravine, anyway? A gorge, right, okay, but what was a gorge, really? George? Why was he in a George, and holy shit his head hurt.

“—okay? Kid? Hey, can you hear me?”

Stiles let out another squeak when hands suddenly closed around his shoulder and pulled him over on to his back again. There was a moment of pure pain, no thoughts, no begging for this Derek person to put him out of his misery, he wasn’t thinking about Floopy, or his dad, or Scott, or his shitty life in general. Just pain and pain and pain.

And then there was light.

And it sucked, so he passed out.