“This is Derek, leave a message.”
“Hey Derek. Um, I’m glad you’re alive and well. I’m pissed you up and left without a proper goodbye. But, you know, good job on the whole digivolve thing you’ve got going on I guess. Uh...home is good. Nothing weird is happening thankfully. Everyone’s just getting over what’s been happening since things have calmed down. But if I’m being honest, I’m just waiting for the next shit storm to go down. For now though things are good. All good. So...yeah. Kind of glad you didn’t answer this call though because if you did this would have been so much more awkward than it already is. Sorry I called. Bye.”
“This is Derek, leave a message.”
“Hi again. I’m guessing maybe you got a new phone, cause this number is still going so I know you didn’t change it. Anyway, senior year is here. I saw some initials, D.H. I know you probably didn’t put those there but I thought of you anyway. And no, I don’t miss you or your grumpy eyebrows. Anyway, this werewolf with glowing claws tried to take Scott’s power, but being the True Alpha he is it didn’t work. Then this guy we used to know, Theo, showed up and turns out he’s a werewolf too. I have a bad feeling about him but no one believes me. The guy just has something off about him, and I’m going to find out. So, yeah. Bye.”
“This is Derek, leave a message.”
“Aaaand like I predicted, shit is going down. Kanima-werewolf hybrids, dead bodies, a new evil power that are called the Dread Doctors, oh my! Typical really. Theo is getting seriously shady but everyone seems to think he’s an angel. I don’t like him. The pack...they’re not saying it but I know they think I’m being overly paranoid. Well, someone has to! Scott said that I never trusted half of the people we knew right off the bat, but that’s his job! If I weren’t paranoid I guaran-fucking-tee his little furry werewolf ass would be dead by now. Malia is the only one siding with me, but that’s out of my word instead of her own wariness. I’m taking what I can get though. We’ve got things handled though so...don’t worry about coming back. No need for you to be a chew toy too. Bye.”
“This is Derek, leave a message.”
“...Derek. I-I just killed someone…”
“I have his blood on my hands Derek. I called the cops but-but the body’s gone! There’s just...blood everywhere. I just- I just left. Derek, I can’t go to Scott. I can’t tell him, he can’t find out. He’s trying to save everyone and I killed someone! Oh god I’m gonna be sick…”
“...I need you to believe me Derek. I need someone to actually understand. You would better than anyone else. I just pulled the pin of the scaffolding and the bars fell and he was right there, but Derek, he said he was going to kill my dad. I can’t lose my dad, Derek. He showed up when my jeep broke down and he did something to my shoulder. I whacked him on the head with a wrench and ran into the school and-...I killed someone. I’ve seen death before, we all have, but this is different. Even with the Nogitsune, I did bad things and people got hurt. But this? I did this myself, mind and body. I killed someone. I watched him die....his name was Donovan.”
It wasn’t uncommon for Stiles to call Derek’s number, even if it was his old one. He’d call and at first it was awkward, leaving messages that Derek would may or may not hear, giving updates about a town he left behind. After the first ten calls it was pretty obvious that Derek had no intention of listening or returning them. So his voicemail box became a place Stiles told everything to up until the automated voice cut him off.
Then shit hit the fan. Because of course it does.
Scott chose Theo over him, casting him out as if he was just another bad guy when he had done everything and sacrificed so much to help and keep everyone else safe, and Scott basically told him it was better for him to die than to defend himself? No. No.
So when Theo gave him the ultimatum to save his dad or Scott he chose his dad. Besides, Scott could handle himself. He was a werewolf but his dad was human.
When Stiles found his dad he’s just in time. He rushes over, kneeling over his bleeding, pale dad. Despite how painful and slow the injury mus be, the man smiles at him like he doesn't have any care in the world. Like he hasn't lost a scary amount of blood already. It's okay, everything is okay because he’s in time for his dad to see him, in time for Stiles to call the police and put pressure on the giant wound in his gut. He’s in time to babble reassurances and ride in the ambulance, hold his dad’s hand, feel how warm it was when he knew it should be cold.
In the fast ambulance ride, Stiles realizes how little he’s been around his dad, how all those moments and all the time they could have spent making memories was lost. He missed his dad.
"Stiles." His dad whispers, before coughing, red tinging his lips.
"Shh," Stiles insists. The EMT's are rushing around beside him trying to keep his dad alive. "Don't talk. Tell me whatever you have to when you're better okay? Because you'll be fine."
His dad squeezes his hand.
When they get to the hospital Stiles can’t go in with him when the doctor’s and nurses rushed his dad into surgery. Instead he has to sit in the very familiar blue chairs with the white walls and the smell of lemon-scented cleaning products. His leg was jumping up and down, he was sweating and his heart was beating fast like he had too much caffeine in his system. Stiles almost wished Melissa was here to comfort him, but he didn’t think he would be able to see her and not lose it. The second his dad had been wheeled away from him, the reality came flooding over him. His dad could- no. His worst nightmare felt like it was unraveling around him, but he refused to acknowledge it. He couldn't afford to.
After hours and hours of sitting and waiting, a doctor comes and tells him that his father died during surgery.
"I'm sorry to inform you, but...your father's heart stopped twice...too much blood loss...couldn't resuscitate..."
It’s all Stiles can hear. He knew the doctor was still talking but he didn’t care. He stopped listening.
He turns on his heel and walked down the hallway.
Then there was the sound of his blood was rushing in his ears. Stiles felt like he was caught in between a panic attack and having the opposite of one; his hands were shaking and he couldn’t focus, but at the same time it was like he was hyper aware.
He doesn’t remember getting in the car. He doesn’t remember the drive home.
He just finds himself slumped against the door to his dad’s bedroom.
Stiles’ phone is in his hand and to his ear before he can fully register what was going on.
“Derek,” his voice cracked. “My dad’s...he’s dead.” The words feel thick and foreign in his mouth, like they don't belong. They don't. They shouldn't.
Stiles stops talking. He feels completely numb; at a loss of all the emotions. Or maybe he can’t decide a single emotion to feel, so to prepare for when he does feel he’s just numb. All Stiles is completely sure of is that he hasn’t felt exactly like this since his mom died. Maybe this was worse.
“I can’t stay here.” He says. It’s mostly to himself but he says it into the phone anyway.
“I need to leave. Please-please if you listen to these...come get me. I’ll be at the loft. Come get me.” Stiles whispers. He stays quiet until Derek’s voicemail cuts him off and ends the message.
A sob breaks past his lips and suddenly Stiles is sobbing. He can’t see past the tears in his eyes and he’s crying harder than he ever has. He’s alone. He’s an orphan. Both his parents are dead and he’s had to watch them die. He’s alone. He has no one, not even the pack. Not even his best friend. Not even his dad.
He can’t breathe. He can’t breathe. Stiles knows he’s having a panic attack but he can’t even stop it. His chest is squeezing and hot tears flood fat down his face, blurring his vision and everything's shaking and he can’t breathe he can't-
-there's a painful, hollow ache deep in his chest where his lungs are. The pain is the first thing feels when he comes to. The second is the feeling of the carpet against his face, rough against his sensitive skin. Tears are still leaking from his eyes. It takes his foggy mind a minute to realize he passed out. His breathing continues to hiccup as he curls into a fetal position. Stiles feels like a little kid crying for their parents. And really, that’s exactly what he is.
Eventually (after hours or minutes, he can't really tell) Stiles manages to peel himself off the carpet and into a sitting position. He’s numb again; spent from crying. His body feels heavy and suddenly he just wants to sleep. But he can’t. He’s not done with what he has to do yet. There’s so much he has to do.
Stiles picks up his phone to check the time and sees a notification from a text message. It’s from an unknown number.
“I’ll be there. 11 hours.” The simple text is enough to let him know somehow, some way Derek got his message. A small trickle of relief finds its way into his chest. That’s one thing he didn’t have to worry about.
A big part of Stiles thought that Derek wouldn’t come. He never responded to any of his calls, so what was one more? Either way, he wasn’t going to stay in this town. He couldn't bring himself to. Having the reassurance that Derek was going to be there was welcomed. He always thought that if Derek did show back up he’d chew him out for leaving and never responding to all of his calls. Now Stiles couldn’t care less.
“Thank you.” Stiles sent back. His fingers were still twitching.
Stiles sat and stared at his phone for a while longer. His mind went to Melissa. He doubted if she knew what happened, and if she had he was sure she would have already been here. And with him leaving, he needed to ask some favors he knew only she would be willing to do. He called her and she answered quickly.
“Stiles,” She said. For some reason her voice was filled with relief. “I’m glad you called. Scott’s hurt pretty bad and I know you two had a fight, but I think he could really use you right about now.”
God, her voice. He grew up hearing her voice alongside his own parents’. It never failed to be calm, caring, or disciplined with him.
“Melissa…” He said softly. Even to his own ears, his voice sounded raw and emotional.
“Stiles, what’s wrong?” Melissa asked.
“My dad’s dead.” He said for the second time. Stiles heard a quick intake of breath and was met with silence.
“No...oh Stiles, I’m so sorry.” Melissa was crying but he knew she was pulling herself together for him, even though he could only hear her voice.
“I need you to do something for me.” He said.
“I’m,” Stiles had to clear his throat to get out the next words he was going to say. “I’m leaving. I can’t stay here, Melissa. Could you just- just look over everything. Make sure the house and dad are taken care of?” Stiles was starting to cry again.
“Sweetie, you know I’ll do anything for you, but why do you have to leave?” She asked.
“I can’t stay. I already watched one parent be put in the ground, I can’t stand seeing another one. I…” Stiles put a hand to his mouth and tried to stop himself from sobbing like he did earlier. He needed to get through this one thing.
“Okay Stiles, okay.” Melissa said. “How long are you going to be gone?”
“I don’t know. A few months maybe. Not too long. All I know is I can’t stay.” He said.
“Promise me you’ll be back.”
“I promise.” Stiles whispered into the phone.
“Good. And Stiles?”
“You know I love you, right?” His bottom lip wobbled.
As Stiles attempted poorly to hold on to his composure he heard the phone move on the other side of the line, and then Scott’s voice was in his ear. “Stiles?”
Stiles tensed and didn’t respond.
“I’m sorry about what happened to your dad.” Scott said. Damn him. Damn him.
“Yeah, well, so am I.” He said.
“What happened?” Scott asked.
He heard Scott sigh. “Why did I ever think to trust him?” He asked, but it sounded like the question was mostly to himself. Scott sounded so wounded that even though Stiles wanted to be furious, he couldn’t. Theo was great at manipulating everyone, even Stiles. He couldn’t blame Scott for that, but he wasn’t ready to forgive him or anyone right then.
“Well it happened. Can't do much about that now.” Stiles said harshly.
“But now we can Stiles. Don't leave.” Scott begged.
“I can't Scott.”
“I just lost my dad. I'm alone. Ever since you got bit, I've been breaking little by little. The nogitsune almost broke me, but I managed to heal Scott. The one thing I never wanted to happen was for something to happen to my dad. Now he's dead.” Stiles rubbed his face and sagged against the wall. “I just can't do this. In a few months, I may be able to handle all of this. But now? Remember how long it took for me to feel like I could handle things when my mom died?”
Scott was quiet. “Okay.” He said. “I'll support you.”
Stiles sighed. “Thank you.”
“Where are you going?”
“You don't know? Are you just going to drive around until you find some place to stay?” Scott asked.
“No,” He said. “I managed to get a hold of Derek. He's coming to get me.”
“Oh.” Scott said.
“Yeah. Derek said he’d be here in 11 hours.” Stiles said.
“I can’t believe your dad’s gone. I can’t believe you’re leaving.” Scott said.
“Things happen.” He said. They both stayed quiet for a moment
“Will you at least come by to say goodbye?” Scott asked.
Stiles sighed. “I don’t know Scott. I don’t know.”
“What should I tell the others? At least, the ones that are still a part of the pack?”
“The truth.” He said. “No need in coming up with lies. Lydia will understand. Malia and I have things of our own to work out. I wasn’t really that close to Liam and Mason so I don’t care what you tell them.”
“Okay, well,” when Scott paused Stiles wanted to cry again. “Keep us updated?”
“I’ll try.” He whispered.
“Bye.” And then the call ended, and Stiles was left with the silence once more, waiting as the minutes ticked on closer to when he’d leave.
A pitiful whimper escapes him mouth as he moves to stand up. His legs feel like jell-o and he had to hold onto the banister to keep from falling down the stairs.
Stiles decides to waste time by keeping himself busy. So he cleans everything. He washed the dishes that were in the sink, cleaned the counters and even swept the floors. He vacuums the entire house, wipes dust off of any surface he can find. The bathrooms are next on his list, then upstairs. He avoids his dad’s door completely, unwilling to walk inside. He can’t bare thinking about his dad.
He cleans his room and does his laundry. He finds the biggest suitcase he can and stuffs it full of clothes and whatever shoes he had. He was being serious when he didn’t know how long he’d be gone, or where he’d be going, He could be going to Malibu or Alaska for all he knows. He throws in his toothbrush and shower stuff. On his trip downstairs to the drier he sees a photo he took somewhat recently with his dad. They both have their arms thrown over each other shoulders and smiling. He remembered Scott had taken that photo for them. He grabs the photo and runs up the stairs, shoving the picture frame face down at the very bottom of his suitcase.
When Stiles is done cleaning and packing everything, he checks his phone. He still has a few hours before Derek is even close to here. He decides he should probably clean out the fridge of anything that will go bad. He won’t be here to eat it and he doubts Melissa would.
Stiles sits on the floor and cries for an hour when he finds girl scout cookies hiding in the back of the freezer. He can’t bring himself to take them out.
Despite feeling the grief filled fatigue, Stiles can’t feel the urge to sleep. He’s still jittery and shaky and can’t focus on anything. He doesn’t take his adderall because the last thing he needs is to be completely focused. So Stiles just sits nestled on the floor against the cabinets, looking at the floor and not thinking. Not like he could anyway. His brain is filled with cotton, trying to keep him from his grief.
Stiles isn’t complaining. He can grieve later. He just can't handle it now.
Two hours to go. Stiles dragged himself off the floor and up to his room. He grabbed his suitcase and dragged it off of his bed. Once more Stiles stopped at his dad's door. He took a shaky breath and laid a kiss on the door. He felt like he could cry some more but was effectively too dehydrated to produce tears.
Stiles hauled the suitcase into the back of the jeep and headed in the direction of the loft. It was some time after noon and the sky was cloudy. It jarred him when he realized how much time had passed. Hours since...
He tried to ignore how his hands suddenly seemed to turn a tint of red from the blood he tried to stop coming out of his dad as he put them on the wheel.
His hands lingering on the ignition. The second he turned on Roscoe’s engine, there was no turning back. He was going to head to the loft and wait for Derek. He’d be on the road and leaving the place he grew up in. It’d be the longest he’s ever been away from Beacon Hills. Could he really do it? Leave this town, leave school, leave the pack that wasn’t much of a pack anymore in the midst of everything that’s happening? Leave the responsibility of his house and his father in Melissa’s hands?
The jeep was pulling out of the driveway as he thought of his answer.