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The Circus at the End of the World

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The Circus at the End of the World, art by andavs, fic by mikkimouse

His house was quiet.

Not the kind of quiet that came from his dad being away, patrolling the outpost, or the kind of quiet that meant his dad was sleeping.

This was the kind of quiet that had a cold coil of dread worming its way up Stiles's spine.

He pushed the front door open. Unlocked. Fuck.

"Dad?" Stiles stepped into the dim, cold front room. "Dad, you there?" He didn't know why he was asking. He could already tell his dad wasn't there, not only in the complete silence that greeted him, but in the way his gut tightened, the way his lungs suddenly didn't want to work, the way he couldn't get enough air.

He ran through the house anyway, checking every room, shouting for his dad with every step. The only response was the creaking of the house and his own pounding heart.

No, Stiles thought, no no no...

He stumbled back to their tiny kitchen, and that was when he saw the mark gouged on the table. A huge spiral made by four clawed fingers, scarring the shabby wooden surface.

Stiles froze. Hunters.

They'd found them.

No, they'd found him. And taken his father instead.

Stiles sank to the ground, the edges of his vision dimming, and he gasped for air. Their little house closed in on him, and he struggled to breathe through the vise around his chest. He was going to die like this. He was going to—

No.

No, he wasn't going to die like this, not when Dad was all he had left, not when Dad had been taken by the Hunters.

One two three four. Five six seven eight.

He inhaled and exhaled, counting in his head as he did. He focused on his breathing until his heart stopped pounding, until his body stopped shaking, until it felt like he could get air into his lungs again.

All right. Stiles was a planner. He could handle this. Those bastards had taken his dad.

Now all he had to do was get him back.