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I Worry About You (When You're Gone)

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Art was beautifull

But it was also strange...

The painting in front of him was... weird... but he liked it

It depicted a massive stag, jet black, and looking... wet? The fur had something of a feathered feeling to it

It was walking alone down an empty highway, surrounded by woods

He wasn't sure what it meant- or even if it meant anything at all, but when he had picked up the paint earlier today it had just... come to him

But now he was staring down at the canvas and finding it ... nearly perfect

He just needed to add the moon in the corner of the canvas and it would be done

Unfortunately he had squeezed the last of his white oil paint into the details of the road earlier and now he was completely out

Oh well, the art store wasn't that far away, he could just go jogging and pick up another tube, come back, finish the painting, and get started on the commissions he had waiting for him

He didn't bother with his keys or wallet, he had a few bucks already in the pocket of his sweats- change from getting coffee earlier that morning- and that was all the paint would cost anyhow

Besides, if he went to get his wallet he'd just be tempted to get his keys and take the car- wich he didn't need to do

He really needed the exercise of jogging, given that he hadn't been for a run since the last full moon almost three weeks ago...

He had just been so absorbed in his work lately that he hadn't bothered, wich was a shamefull thing, if anyone needed to run on a regular basis it was him

He took a breath, slipping his shoes on and stepping out of the house, using the key under the mat to lock it and slipping the spare into his pocket so he wouldn't have to get his keys from the house- again, avoiding the temptation of the car

He started jogging through the woods, the autumn leaves practically swirling around him with every step and each guest of wind, and he couldn't help feeling a sense of excitement rush through him as the urge to paint the beautifull autumn scenery crept into his veins

He loved the woods- especially in fall- wich was half the reason he had decided to build a house out here surrounded by the beauty, the trees, the nature...

There were other reasons too, but that one was the primary explanation

The road was nearing now, and as he stepped into the pavement, he found himself entirely focused on the way the woods lined against the concrete

It was fascinating, beautifull, the suddenness of the contrast

He wanted to paint it...

And then all of a sudden there was an impact, he felt an incredible pain in his back as he fell forward and tumbled across the road

Everything was anguished

Taking a breath shot agony through each and every inch of his body, every shattered bone and snapped tendon and broken blood vessel

He had never felt pain like this before

He swallowed, a horrendous burning flaring up in his throat as he stared across the road

He could heard something rustling in the woods in front of him, the trees were starting to bristle and he knew it wasn't from the wind

The next thing he knew, he saw a solid black hoof step onto the pavement of the road

Then a second

Then the image began coming closer, clearer...

A solid black stag- an enormous one at that- was stepping slowly towards him, and it looked just like the one in his painting....

He didn't know what to make of this

He didn't know how to process the massive deer coming his way, the way the creature bowed it's head to give him a clear veiw of the antlers hanging heavy on his head, the sharp points on them, the way they could so easily gore him and end all of this

And then, as if that wasn't horrifying enough, the deer opened it's mouth, and he began to question if this was really a deer at all

The beast's mouth came unhinged, revealing row after row of jagged, razor sharp teeth, tongue long and dripping with black, ink like saliva

He felt a tear roll down his cheek as the creature came closer, tongue flicking out and sweeping over his face to catch the tear and curl it back into his mouth

The man was having a harder and harder time trying to stay conscious, the world starting to fade to darkness

The last thing he saw was his own image, reflected in the solid black eyes of the stag as the beast lowered his head and opened his mouth wide

 

~+~

 

"Well? How's your miracle patient?"

"Um... healing surprisingly well, miracle, like you said," the doctor replied with a sheepish smile

"No doubt because he has the best doctor in Beacon Hills looking out for him, Dr. McCall,"

"I... wouldn't say the best..." he replied with a slight blush

"You're underrating him Allison, he's not the best in Beacon Hills, he's the best anywhere,"

"Oh you're right, my mistake Erica," Allison said teasingly, snickering as the blonde nurse passed by the station

"Well if McCall is so good, maybe he can do the one thing I HAVEN'T been able to do,"

Before the young doctor could even turn his attention to the newest voice, he had a file slammed hard into his chest, fumbling to catch the pappers and stare up at the man who had pressed them there

"She's back, get RID of her McCall,"

"Jackson how can you be so cruel? She hasn't even been admitted yet!" Allison huffed with frustration

"She's been admitted six times this MONTH, the girl is freaking NUTS!! You really wanna be the best McCall? Do the ONE thing I can't and I'll tell the entire HOSPITAL that you're the best," Jackson challenged, walking away briskly and practically storming down the hall

"Don't listen to him Scott, Jackson's just bitter that Lydia rejected him, if you REALLY want to show him who's boss you should diagnose her with something, that would REALLY teach him,"

"But... I don't think there's anything to diagnose her with... she's a hypochondriac," Scott said slowly, biting his lip

"Do you know that for sure? Or are you just taking Jackson's word for it?"

She had a point....

"Look, I've talked to Lydia, I know her, she isn't crazy- or a hypochondriac, she just needs the right doctor, and if you could stitch up John Doe into one peice again, you can find out what's wrong with Lydia,"

"You really think so?" Scott asked quietly

Allison gave him a small smile, squeezing his shoulder and nodding once

"I KNOW so,"

Now invigorated, Scott gave a shakey smile and nodded, thanking Allison for her support before heading out of the nurse's station and heading for the elevator so he could go downstairs to meet Lydia

"Do you really think he's got a shot with this?" Erica asked skeptically, eyebrows raised as she leaned against the reception desk

"I'm pretty sure of it," Allison shrugged back, putting her hands in the pockets of her lab coat before stepping towards the nurse, a smirk on her face

"Now.... let's get to work on our own miracle project, shall we?"

Erica's lips spread into a grin, licking across her bottom teeth and ushering the doctor to walk in front of her

"After you Doctor~"

 

~+~

 

A loud gasp echoed throughout the room as a pair of hazel-green eyes snapped open, heart racing as the man stared up at the ceiling

The sounds of beeping and buzzing and other various mechanical noises filled the room and he glanced around, desperate to figure out where he was

"O-Oh! You're awake!"

He frowned slightly, staring at the nurse across from him

The boy was young and skittish looking, he couldn't help wondering if he was even old enough to be a nurse....

"Where.... where am I?" he groaned quietly

"Beacon Hills Hospital, I'm Corey, I've been watching over you, so just rest ok? I'll go get Dr. McCall,"

Before he could even protest, the nurse had dashed out of the room, leaving him there alone once agian

He heaved a sigh, eyes closing breifly before blinking open again and staring out into the hall

Into the hall... where he spotted the stag from earlier crossing slowly across the floor

The deer paused to look into his room, and for a moment, he felt ... like the deer was trying to communicate with him

It was the strangest sensation he could imagine....

And the sensation made him feel as if he needed to follow the Stag

So, quietly, he rolled out of bed and started walking, heart beating loudly in his chest as he followed the deer down the hall

 

~+~

 

"I'm telling you Scott, I'm not crazy,"

"I never said you were," Scott said slowly, staring at the strawberry-blonde across from him

"I just said that maybe your pain is caused by something... psychological rather than physical,"

"Well what about neurological? I haven't been tested for anything neurological yet, I could have a brain tumor or something," she pointed out with a deep frown

Scott heaved a long, quiet, sigh, shoulders sagging slightly

"I... guess we can send you for some neurological tests then...."

He wasn't really sure if there would be any use in it, but for her sake, he hoped there would be....

"Wonderfull, in the mean time I have to use the lady's room, so if you'll excuse me," she said briskly, making her way towards the elevator and stepping inside

"Ok, just.. Lydia! PLEASE just come back up here when you're done... don't go wandering around again..."

Lydia gave him a tight smile and a thumb's up, and Scott knew beyond a reasonable doubt that he was going to have to chase her down and retrieve her within the hour....

 

~+~

 

"Are you ready to try this out?"

"Ready as I'll ever be," Erica smirked, walking over to the wall and putting her hand on the lever

Allison grinned over her shoulder, adjusting the sheet over the body in front of her and pressing the correct wires against the head of the corpse

"What are you two doing down here?"

The girls both turned around, taking note of the medical examiner who was now standing at the bottom of the stairs

"Raising the dead, want to join us Boyd?"

"Depends, are we using black magic or fake science today?"

"Science- and it's REAL science," Allison insisted, pressing a little harder on the wires that she was attaching to the corpse's head

"Well... I guess I'm in for a wile," the other shrugged back, taking a few steps closer and raising his eyebrows expectingly

"Alright, get ready to watch something spectacular, I've done the math, and THIS time, I swear it'll work," Allison assured them, taking a step towards the lever on the other end of the wall before giving the nod towards Erica

The girls pulled the levers down at the same time, an enormous jolt of electricity charging forward and filling the corpse, causing it to seize and spasm for a few moments before the lights went out- electricity cut off for good

 

~+~

 

He froze when the lights went out, feeling a chill race down his spine as he looked around, as if turning his head was suddenly going to present him with the ability to see in the dark

And then, suddenly, he noticed a dim light up ahead

He wanted that light....

So he walked towards it

He walked further and further, eager to find the light, and jumped when the door slammed behind him

 

~+~

 

Lydia gasped loudly when the elevator jolted and the lights went out, her heart racing as she clutched onto the walls of the elevator behind her, just trying to stay calm, trying not to let this spook her as much as it clearly did

The sound of a match lighting echoed through the elevator, wich was suddenly illuminated by the soft glow of a tiny orange flame

And when Lydia stared towards it's source, she felt her heart leap into her throat

There was a little girl standing there, dressed in burnt clothes with a pasty pale face and eyes that were hauntingly dark- but not dead, not really

"Are.... are you the one who keeps bringing me here?" Lydia asked quietly

She was used to this after all, seeing ghosts was practically in her job description

The little girl nodded slowly, and Lydia had to grip tightly onto the walls to keep any symbalance of her balance

"It's... it's nice to finally meet you, my name is Lydia, what's your name?"

"Malia," the little girl said after a moment

"Malia... what a pretty name, why am I here Malia? Why do you want me here so badly?"

"He's coming," she replied vaguely

"Who's coming?"

"He's coming, you have to stop him, you CAN'T let him win!"

"Who? Who am I supposed to stop? How am I-"

"You'll know,"

And with that cryptic message, the little girl vanished

 

~+~

 

"Look into the mirror, what do you see?"

He blinked slowly, mouth slightly open as he stared at image in the mirror

It was him.... but..... there was something different about it

He wasn't sure how, or what that difference was, but it was there, he could practically feel it...

"I.. I'm not sure," he said quietly

The stag turned attention towards him, gently nudging his elbow

"Go on and touch the mirror," the stag insisted

He wasn't sure if he should- he was following the orders of a demon deer for God's sake- but...

Ofcourse the other side of that coin was that he was following orders from a demon deer and for his own sake he should probably keep following those orders

So, doing exactly as he was told, he swallowed tightly and gently pressed his fingertips against the mirror, feeling a jolt of shock when he found that the surface wasn't at all solid like it should have been- but liquid and... hollow.... instead

"What the hell.....?"

"Yes, hell is a good description," the deer answered vaguely

He wasn't amused, turning towards the stag with frustration

However, before he could say anything- much less ask anything- another voice cut through the atmosphere

"Stiles!!"

The voice belonged to a little girl, a little girl who sounded... terrified....

The stag heard it too, a look of panic across his face- if stags could look panicked that is- as he wipped his head around one last time

"This can't happen," he said simply before rushing out of the room

And then, the moment he was gone, the lights flickered on again

 

~+~

 

"Congratulations Allison, you've managed to create a power shortage," Boyd noted dryly

"It should have worked," the doctor argued with a frown, crossing her arms over her chest with frustration as she leaned back against the machine behind her

"Um... guys....." Erica said slowly, drawing the attention of both doctors her way

"The body is gone,"

"What?" Allison breathed, leaning a little closer

Sure enough, when she stepped around the corner, there was no corpse to be seen

"It worked..... it worked!!!" she screamed with excitement

"Great, it worked, but now we have a missing corpse," Boyd pointed out, effectively sucking the excitement right out of the room

Erica frowned, narrowing her eyes at him

"Must you ALWAYS be the wet blanket?"

 

~+~

 

He had no idea where he was

As if he didn't have enough problems as it was, now he was lost in this freaking hospital

He was starting to make his way back towards his room (maybe, ish...) when he accidentally bumped into someone instead

The girl had long strawberry blonde hair and had beautifull green eyes like he did....

He didn't recognize her, not technically, but he couldn't help having the almost overwelming sensation that he knew her somehow

Or, at the very least, that he SHOULD know her...

And judging by the look on her face, he had a feeling that she was thinking the exact same thing

"Excuse me," she said slowly, never once taking her eyes away from his

"I don't suppose you would happen to have had any.... strange... experiences around here lately... would you?"

"Strange... you mean like a giant demonic deer wandering around the hospital? Yeah, if you can call that strange,"

The woman nodded slowly, but before they had a chance to go any further with their discussion, they were quickly interrupted by a man in a lab coat

"Lydia! There you are!" he shouted, rushing towards them and gently taking the girl by the arm before turning his attention to the other man

"Derek? What are you doing out of bed?"

"Derek.... is that my name?"

 

~+~

 

"We have to find that corpse, if someone else comes across it first it'll be all of our heads," Erica snapped with frustration as she swung open another closet door

"I just don't get how it could've gotten away that quickly," Boyd said with a low sigh

"Can we stop calling him an 'it'? He's not an 'IT', his name is Isaac and he's a person, he's probably terrified right about now," Allison said with an anxious sigh

She just hoped that he was ok, wherever he was....

 

~+~

 

"So.... what are we looking at here?"

The two residents were almost silent as they assessed what was happening in front of them

A naked man who seemed frighteningly unaware of his surroundings was standing in front of them, facing the wall, and clearly not entirely.... there in the head.....

"Well, we should probably get him to a room and then find Dr. McCall and tell him about this," one of them offered

The other heaved a sigh, stepping forward and taking ahold of the stranger's hand, nearly yelping as he shrunk back

"What? What's wrong?"

"Nothing just... man.... this guy's as cold as a corpse.... how is he even alive with that kind of body temp?"

"Must be bad circulation..."

 

~+~

 

"You don't remember anything?"

The man- "Derek", apparently- looked up at the doctor in front of him, shaking his head slowly

Dr. McCall and the other doctor- a woman with long black hair and soft features- exchanged worried glances

"It's not that big of a deal, you sustained alot of damage, I'm sure you'll get your memories back in no time," the female doctor said with a reassuring smile

"In the mean time we'll keep you here for observation, and if you need anything Dr. Yukimura or I will help, we'll have someone try to track down your relatives or atleast some information about you," Dr. McCall offered

Derek nodded slowly, staring down at his hands and narrowing his brows

He felt like he needed to ... DO something... but he had no idea what it was ...

"How did you guys even know my first name?" he asked after a moment

"Luckily for us it was inscribed on the back of your watch, it's from someone named 'Cora', any idea who that is?"

Derek pursed his lips, but slowly shook his head, shoulders sagging in defeat and glancing up as Dr. McCall set a gentle, comforting hand on his shoulder

"Don't worry about it, it'll come back to you, I promise,"

Derek wasn't sure if he believed that, but he didn't argue

He didn't want to be more of a burden than he already was....

 

~+~

 

"Parrish!!"

Looking up from the computer screen, the security guard turned his attention to the pair rushing towards him

"Hey guys, something wrong?"

"We're looking for a missing patient, he's tall, pale, has blonde poodle hair-"

"And naked," Boyd supplemented

Erica pursed her lips, giving an eager nod

"And naked,"

Parrish raised his eyebrows, mouth opening slightly

"Well... I haven't seen anyone naked come through here.... but I'd be more than happy to help you guys look, Shadow here is a master at catching scents,"

Erica turned her attention towards the massive black dog sitting on the floor at Parrish's feet

The dog barked, prompting Erica to raise her eyebrows at him as Parrish got out of the chair at the security desk

"Alright, where's the last place you saw him?"

Erica and Boyd exchanged looks, Erica wincing before turning her attention back to the officer

"Yeaaah.... about that...."

 

~+~

 

"Please! You HAVE to find a way to admit me!!"

"Lydia... we've talked about this," Scott said with a long, low sigh, eyes closing with slight frustration

"I know but ... but there has to be some way! Please, I'm telling you, something is coming Scott, something bad, and someone has to be here to stop it,"

Scott looked skeptical.... but also sympathetic, shoulders sagging in defeat and heaving a sigh

"Alright.... alright, I may know of a way to get you admitted... but just for a few days, I can't keep you for very long,"

"That works," Lydia promised

Hell, anything worked at this point...

 

~+~

 

That night, Derek dreamt of flames

Angry, furious flames eating away everything around him, destroying everything and everyone...

"STILES!!!! Stiles help!!! Stiles!!!"

It was that same little girl's voice....

She was calling for help...

There was a light up ahead, cutting through the flames, he could see the form of a man coming through the light, only to shift into that of a deer....

The dream ended before he could see any further

 

~+~

 

"Where are you going all of a sudden?"

Lydia glanced at the woman beside her, struggling not to sigh

She knew that Scott was doing more than enough just by getting her admitted in the first place and asking for a private room was really out of bounds but...

She really did wish she could have had a private room, it would have made all of this so much easier...

"I'm just going to visit a freind," she replied vaguely, securing her backpack over her shoulder as she stepped out of bed and slid her slippers on

"Right, and where should I tell them you've gone then?" the other woman asked blandly, clearly not impressed with Lydia's plans

"I don't know, the bathroom? It isn't that hard Braeden,"

Braeden huffed, shaking her head and turning back to her book, a knowing smirk on her face as Lydia slipped out of the room, hoping she could make it upstairs unnoticed

 

~+~

 

"Are you kidding me?! You had ONE job McCall! ONE! Do not. Admit. The crazy person! And what do you do? You admit her! For three days!!!"

"She isn't CRAZY Jackson, she's just sick," Scott protested with a deep frown

"I don't care what you call it, I'm getting her out of this hospital- TODAY,"

"Not if my father's money can stop it," Allison replied with a challenging stare, crossing her arms over her chest

"Oh don't tell me you're in on this now too..."

"Do you have to be so mean all the time Jackson? Can't you just accept that there are some problems that can't be seen with the naked eye?" Kira pointed out

Jackson was just about fuming now, gritting his teeth harshly and snarling as he pointed down the line of doctors in front of him

"Loser, loser, LUNATIC,- BIGGER loser!" he shouted, turning tail and stalking down the hall to visit some unfortunate patient

"I'm sorry for getting you guys involved in all of this.... really," Scott said quietly

"Don't apologize, Jackson is a jerk and you're doing the right thing," Kira said with a soft smile, squeezing Scott's shoulder as Allison nodded in agreement

"She's right, Jackson just wants to run this hospital his way- wich isn't a very good way to begin with- and he can't accept that you're better than he is so now he's going after your patients,"

"I'm not sure if that's exactly it but... thank you anyway," Scott said with a shy smile, turning towards the nurse next to him and handing him a file

"Corey can you go check on Derek again for me? I need to get to surgery,"

"I can do that," Corey agreed with a happy nod, accepting the file and starting on his way upstairs

"I'll see you guys later, we'll have lunch ok? Three o'clock?"

The girls nodded in agreement, waving as Scott hurried off down the hall

"I have to go too, I've been meaning to check in on Mrs. Keller all morning,"

"See you Kira," Allison smile politely, waving just long enough for Kira to start heading off before rushing down the other end of the hallway and speeding around the corner, hurrying to catch Erica's shoulder

"Well? Any progress?"

The nurse didn't exactly look positive, wich just made Allison's stomach drop with frustration and anxiety

"None at all, Parrish is checking the security footage but he still doesn't know the entire story, seriously, how far could a corpse have gotten in twelve hours!?"

"I wish I knew," Allison sighed back, scrubbing a hand down her face and shaking her head again

"I have patients I have to check with, but if we don't hear any good news from Parrish, it may be time to start checking off grounds,"

"You don't really think he could have left the hospital do you?" Boyd asked with concern

"I don't know, but he has to be SOMEWHERE, he couldn't have just vanished into thin air,"

 

~+~

 

"Scott!! Scott!!!"

The young doctor spun around on his heel, a worried frown on his face as he caught sight of the two residents rushing towards him

"Liam? Mason? Wha-"

"We have to show you something!" Liam panted desperately, grabbing ahold of the wall to keep himself steady

"Guys... I can't right now, I'm late for surgery-"

"But we need your help!!"

"Is it a life or death emergency?"

"Well.... no..."

"Then I trust you to handle it yourselves," Scott replied simply, setting a hand on Liam's shoulder and giving it a squeeze

"I trust you guys ok? You're plenty competent enough to handle things on your own, I promise I'll see whatever it is later ok? But right now I REALLY have to go,"

Liam watched in stunned despair as the doctor turned around and rushed off again, leaving himself and Mason standing there with no idea what to do next

"Ok.... ok, we're in charge of this mess, we're just going to have to find a room for the guy, can't be that hard, we'll go to the front desk and just.... put him in a room until Scott can see him," Liam said with determination

"There's just.... one little problem with that," Mason said slowly

Liam raised his eyebrows, turning around and immediately realizing exactly what the problem was

"He's gone.... isn't he?"

 

~+~

 

Derek felt sick

He was lucky that he wasn't throwing up at this point, face pale and eyes watery

All he wanted to do was just sit there and cry from the anguish he had felt in his nightmare, but he knew he couldn't do that, hell he wouldn't even be sure what he'd be crying about if he did anyway...

He gave a shakey breath, rubbing his eyes and licking his lips

At just about that moment the door opened, prompting the other man to turn around and stare in surprise at his visitor

"You... you're the girl from yesterday,"

"And you're the amnesiac who can see spirits," Lydia replied simply, stepping into the room and shutting the door behind her

"I guess so," Derek replied vaguely

"Good, now that that's out of the way, I need your help with something,"

"My help? With what?"

Lydia set her backpack down on the floor, opening it up and pulling out a deck of cards

"Contacting the spirits of this hospital,"

 

~+~

 

"Well? Do you think you can remove the tumor?"

Scott swallowed tightly, eyebrows pinched in concentration as he stared down at the offending mass in front of him

It was in an awkward position that was for sure, one minute, hairline slip of his hand and he'd slice open a major blood vessel....

Surgery of this level was high risk at best, but ...

He could do this

Or, he supposed, more accurately- he could have help doing this

"I can do it," he assured the nurse, taking a deep, steady breath and moving his hand towards the tumor, blade positioned right over it

He watched then in fascination as a long, black tongue from the stag next to him reached into the open chest cavity, wrapped around the tumor, and plucked it right out

He watched out of the corner of his eye as the stag swallowed down the mass of flesh, leaning closer and licking over the organs that had been closest to the diseased lump

It always unnerved him to watch, it always made him feel like he was standing on the edge of an enormous tower with one foot dangling off the side

Watching the Stag in action was like nothing he could ever describe and even now he had a hard time processing it...

"You did it, you actually did it..." one of the nurses breathed

Scott blinked, looking down at the patient again and swallowing as he noted the utterly perfect removal of the tumor

The removal all of the other people in the room had witnessed him accomplish, even though he knew that it hadn't been his work at all

"Let's close him up," he said with a nod, turning his head to look behind him- but the stag was gone

 

~+~

 

"Freaking McCall.... thinks he owns this hospital... thinks he can just make up his own rules as he goes along," Jackson grumbled bitterly to himself as he walked towards the surgical room Scott was currently supposed to be working in

To say he was angry was putting it mildly- it was like saying fire was hot

He was absolutely fuming is what he was

This was far from the first time that Scott had undermined one of his decisions or overriden his permission, and he had just about had it with the other's impulses!!

Worse than that, the rest of the staff usually sided with Scott on any debate that came up between them, and Jackson was half certain that Scott had made them some kind of huge promise for that or something

After all, who would actually, honestly, and sincerely disagree with him!?

He knew something was up here- specifically, something concerning Scott, and he was ready to get the proof he needed

So he approached the window into the surgical bay, huffing in anger as he peered through it- ....

And got the shock of his life

The patient, who was still sliced open and being operated on, opened his eyes, slowly sitting up as Scott moved away from him and drawing the tube out of his throat, staring around the room before a slow, almost sickening smirk made it's way over his features

"I stay out too late," he sang- voice rough and husky as he waited for someone else to join in

There was a long pause, quiet for a few moments, before Scott yanked off his surgical mask and smirked

"Got nothin' in my brain!"

The nurse beside him- a woman who's name Jackson was always forgetting- grinned back, swaying her hips as she added to it

"That's what people say, mm-hm,"

And then, all of a sudden, the entire staff in the room started to dance, each taking a different line and singing with enthusiasm

"I go on too many dates!"

"But I can't make them stay~"

"Atleast that's what people say, that's what people say," Scott sang onto his stethoscope

The patient- who's chest was still sliced open down the middle- suddenly got off of the table and started to dance around with them, singing just as happily

"But I keep cruisin', can't stop won't stop movin', it's like I got this music, in my mind, sayin' it's gonna be alright~"

And then the chorus hit, and the dancing stopped being so... natural....

All of a sudden it was choreographed, everyone using the tools around them as dancing props

Scott climbed on top of the operating table, spinning and twirling as he sang into the stethoscope

The nurse next to him had a scalpel as her makeshift microphone, hopping onto the medical cart and twirling around as surgical instruments went flying off around her

Jackson had had quite enough of this- he was going to get his cell phone out and record it, get McCall fired, and THEN see who the top dog in this hospital was!!

 

~+~

 

"Did anyone else just get a chill?" Erica asked suddenly, rubbing her upper arms and shivering as she stepped into the elevator

"What kind of chill?" Boyd asked

"I don't know .... like.... like Jackson is about to do something incredibly crazy...?"

"No that's pretty much always there for me," Allison shrugged back, pressing the button for level four and bobbing her head a little as "Shake It Off" started playing over the elevator radio

 

~+~

 

"How could we LOSE a patient?! Scott trusted us with this! The first thing he trusts us with and we lose it!" Liam shouted desperately, rushing past another corner in the anxious search for the mysteriously missing patient

"Technically, Scott didn't know what the hell he was trusting us with, so this is as much his fault as it is our's," Mason pointed out

Not that that seemed to make Liam feel much better, unfortunately

"This is the worst, we're the WORST," Liam fretted miserably

"There you guys are! I've been looking all over for you!"

The residents both turned around, mixed looks of releif and anxiety over their faces as they spotted the nurse coming their way

"Hayden! We need help!"

"So do I, Corey fainted again,"

"Again?" Liam groaned

"He walked in on me drawing Mr. Linberg's blood sample," Hayden replied with a heavy shrug

"So stick him in a bed and wait for him to wake up, what do you need us for?" Liam asked

"I think he hit his head, it was on the tile floor and there's definitely a bruise,"

Without another word, Mason and Liam exchanged a look and took off after Hayden down the hall

Wich was really quite unfortunate, given the walking corpse they were looking for had just walked around the corner and away from the broom closet he had been hiding in all this time

 

~+~

 

"Your hand went through the mirror?" Lydia asked incredulously

Derek nodded slowly, wrapping the blanket a little bit tighter over his waist as he watched her lay out another card on the bed

"It went straight through, it didn't even feel like a solid object, more like.... liquid,"

Lydia pursed her lips, eyebrows narrowed and frown clearly present on her face as she rolled that over in her mind

"That would explain alot..."

"What exactly would it explain?" Derek asked in confusion

"My cards.... they're all basically repeating the same thing,"

"What? That objects in mirrors may be closer than they appear?"

Lydia, for her credit, didn't seem nearly as amused

"That something is coming, something bad, and the veil in this place.... it's vaper thin..."

"The veil.... between the living and the dead?" he guessed

Lydia gave a quiet, slow nod, staring down at her cards again

"I've been coming here for many years and I've always gotten a strong vibe, I've always... SENSED things, but I've never seen anything, not once in all this time, not until yesterday... and yet, ironically, you saw something yesterday too, at pretty much the same time that I did, if that's a coincidence, it's a pretty huge one,"

"So what do you think could be causing this?"

"It could be a number of things, whatever it is, I'm sure the timing doesn't HELP, Halloween is in just a couples of days, that always thins the veil pretty significantly,"

"Halloween?" Derek asked slowly

He ... vaguely remembered that he was supposed to be doing something with someone on Halloween, but he couldn't remember what or with who...

"Yes, Halloween, the time of year when the veil is always at it's thinnest, it's the day after tommorrow,"

Derek felt a sudden chill sweep over his body, biting down on his lip as the cold air lingered

The little girl's voice- still hastily calling out for her freind- was in his head again

It was quieter than any of the times she had called out to him before, but Derek could feel something stronger

Something that he hadn't felt in any of the other times...

"Halloween," he repeated quietly, staring up at Lydia with concern and feeling a thread of anxiety starting to creep into his veins

"Something bad is going to happen on Halloween, something.... terrible,"

"Then we're going to stop it, we're going to stop all of this from happening- we have to," Lydia insisted, reaching out and flipping another tarot card over

XIII- Death

 

~+~

 

"I'm onto you McCall!!"

Scott blinked, shock radiating throughout his body as he stared at Jackson in confusion

"Onto me? For... what...?"

"Don't play dumb! I know what you were doing in the operating room earlier, singing Taylor Swift with that guy's body and dancing around! Well mark my words, the board is going to hear about this!"

"I... honestly have no idea what you're talking about," Scott said slowly, pursing his lips into a tight frown and tilting his head in confusion

"Sure you don't, well I'll bet that the security footage will remind you! I'm going to see Parrish and we'll just see what he has to say about all of this!"

Scott watched the other doctor walk away, more confused than he had felt in days- that is.... until he heard a low, throaty chuckle from behind him and turned around, a pout on his face as he caught sight of his companion

"Stiles, what did you do?"

The stag stepped forward, fur and antlers starting to fall away from his body with each step, slowly taking shape into a different form until what stood in front of Scott was not a stag at all- but a man

A man who barely looked older than nineteen, who was as pale as a sheet and had dark black circles under his eyes

"I had a little fun," he replied with a casual smirk, leaning against the edge of the reception desk

"What did you make Jackson see?"

"Does it matter? He didn't see ME and that's the entire point, besides that guy is a jerk, let him get fired for being crazy, it'll make our lives alot easier- well.... your life, my UNlife," he added

Scott crossed his arms over his chest with disapproval, but it didn't seem to bother the spirit any

"About that..... something's changed here, hasn't it? Something.... something's changed for the worse,"

"Yep, I've been expecting it for months now, it finally happened yesterday," Stiles replied, reaching out and stroking his fingers along a few petals of the flowers sitting on the reception desk

"What happened?"

"The gates of hell opened," Stiles answered dryly, glancing up at the shocked, panicked look on his freind's face and shaking his head

"Scott, buddy, how many times do I have to tell you? There IS no hell, I was kidding,"

"That's not funny Stiles..."

"Yeah well, I wasn't trying to be funny, I was trying to be gentle, the veil is getting thin Scott.... razor thin, by the time Halloween gets here I'm afraid it'll be completely gone and you know what that means,"

"So how do we stop it from happening?" Scott asked with a deep frown

"The banshee and the memory-lacking werewolf hopefully,"

"You really think they can do this?"

"They're our only hope, if they can't, we're all screwed, and this entire hospital will become a mad house- well, more of one that it already is..."

"Do you know what happened to make it this way? To thin the veil so much?" Scott asked curiously

Stiles gave a slow nod, glancing back up at him and heaving a quiet sigh

"I do, but I can't tell you,"

"Why not?" Scott frowned defensively

"Some things just aren't meant for the living to know, if you know it'll just make things worse,"

Scott went quiet for a few moments, shoulders sagging as he stared listlessly down at the floor

"How do you do it Stiles? How do you.... exist.... like this all the time?"

"As if I have a choice," Stiles snorted back

"No no I... I'm serious, how do you handle it? How do you not just.... give up? Or move on atleast? Hell how do you keep SANE?"

Stiles stared up at him seriously, a calm but tired look on his face as he answered

"One day Scott, you're gonna have kids, and then you'll understand, because there will be no amount of pain that you won't suffer to keep them safe,"

"Stiles!! Stiles c'mere!!"

He turned his attention down the hall, a bittersweet smile on his face as he stepped away and the familiar black fur of the stag started to take shape over his body

"Just like there's no amount that I won't suffer for mine,"

And in an instant, just like always, he was gone, leaving Scott to feel the heartache of their conversation on his own

 

~+~

 

"I really am sorry about that Kira,"

"It's fine, it's fine, it's just a little blood," Kira assured the other nurse quickly, a soft smile on her face as she did so

It was more than just a little, if she was being entirely honest- it was an entire blood bag that had ended up being squirted all over her after the nurse in front of her dropped it and Kira stepped on it

The blood was everywhere, on her face and under her clothes and in her hair...

But she wasn't going to let the other woman stress about it

"I'll just take a quick shower in one of the empty rooms, it'll be fine," she insisted, smiling a little more as the relieved nurse thanked her for her patience and headed off to her next stop

Breathing a soft sigh to herself, she looked down at her blood soaked clothes and shook her head, turning down the hall to go find a free room

 

~+~

 

"What is it Malia? What's so important that you couldn't even come and get me?" Stiles asked in confusion, stepping closer to the little girl

"He's back," she said quietly

If Stiles had any blood at that point, it would have turned ice cold, but even without blood he still felt the sudden chill in the air at her words

"...Are you sure?" he breathed

"I'm sure.... he's back, I saw him, he was going downstairs to the morgue, I watched him,"

The girl paused, hugging her teddy bear closer as she stared up at Stiles anxiously

"What are we gonna do?"

"Ask for help," Stiles replied simply, giving her a little nudge with his head as the stag heaved a long, loud breath, eyes set forward as he started walking down the hallway towards Derek's room

 

~+~

 

"I think I found your missing patient,"

"Really!?" Allison gasped with joy, eyes lit up and excited as she stared over the reception desk at the officer

"Where?!"

"Last I saw there was an unidentified naked man on his way to the morgue,"

"That's him," Erica said quickly

"Thanks for your help Parrish, we can take it from here!" Allison insisted quickly, dashing off towards the elevator with Erica and Boyd hurrying behind her

Parrish exhaled slowly, a slight smile on his face as he stared down at the dog by his feet

"I can't believe we wasted this much time just trying to find the guy, you'd think with modern technology the way it is we would have known immediately,"

He leaned back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling and letting his hand fall down to his side as he scratched the dog behind his ears

"I just hope all of this isn't happening too late," he mused quietly, eyes flashing a vibrant orange before closing entirely as he relaxed into his chair

 

~+~

 

"The name of the ghost I met was Malia, do you have any indication of what your ghost's name might have been?"

Derek worried slightly at his lip, eyebrows creased as he thought it over

His ghost was a stag, did wild deer even HAVE names...?

But then he remembered something, a distinct voice calling out that had made the stag run towards it...

"I think .... I think his name was Stiles,"

No sooner had Derek gotten those words out of his mouth did the door fly open, the aforementioned stag and little girl standing there in front of them

"I have to admit Lydia, I didn't think your divination would work that well," Derek breathed in shock

"I don't think it was my divination," Lydia confessed back under her breath

The spirits began walking towards them, the door swinging shut behind them as they came to pause in front of the hospital bed

"We need your help," Stiles said simply

"Our help? With what?" Lydia asked in confusion

"As you already know, the veil is getting thinner, thinner than what's reasonably acceptable, if it thins any more than it already has it'll cease to exist, and the worlds of the living and the dead will begin to merge, starting with this hospital but surely spreading to the rest of the world in time, the problem is... All Hallow's Eve naturally thins the veil, and All Hallow's Eve is-"

"The day after tommorrow," Derek said quietly

Stiles gave a single nod of his head, turning his attention back to Lydia

"We can't allow it to thin any further, there's nothing we can do about All Hallow's Eve, but we can thicken up the atmosphere in advance, so that when Halloween gets here it won't cause so many problems,"

"And how exactly do we thicken the veil?" Lydia asked in confusion

"You're a banshee, the only solid, equal bridge between worlds, you can thin or thicken any veil to any realm as you see fit,"

"But HOW?"

"You'll know when the time comes, unfortunately, not being a banshee myself, I can't just tell you how to do it,"

Lydia looked frustrated, but all around trusting of his opinion

"Not to interrupt, but ... where do I fit into all of this?" Derek asked in confusion

Stiles glanced up at him, seeming almost... reluctant, to say anything

"Well, it's a long story.... but I suppose I can give you the short version,"

Before he had the chance to say another word though, the lights suddenly went out, and not a second later, there was a loud scream coming from down the hall

"Kira!" Stiles shouted, turning immediately and staring down at Lydia and Derek

"Keep Malia safe, whatever you do," he said, the door flying open just long enough for him to run out before not only shutting, but also locking behind him

"Stiles!!!" Malia shouted, rushing towards the door and banging hard on it- but it was no use

The door was locked, and it was obvious that it wouldn't become unlocked any time soon

 

~+~

 

"I don't understand, why did the lights suddenly go out?!" Erica yelped as she clung tightly onto Boyd's arm

"I don't know, I have no idea," Allison replied quietly, a look of frustration on her face as she tried to look around in the dark

They had been in the elevator, on their way down to the basement where Isaac had last been seen, when the lights spontaniously went out

And for some reason, they hadn't come back on yet....

"When is the backup generator kicking in?" Erica asked suddenly, closing her eyes tightly and pressing against the wall behind her

"It should have already kicked in," Boyd replied quietly

"The fact that it hasn't has me more worried than the fact that we're experiencing a blackout to begin with..."

 

~+~

 

Stiles ran as fast as he could and slid into the small bathroom Kira was currently in, his mouth going dry as he stared at the pool of bloody water seeping out from behind the curtain

He didn't waste time, grabbing the shower curtain in his teeth and yanking it aside

Kira screamed again, and it was with utter horror that Stiles came to the realization that Kira was - ....

Absolutely fine

There wasn't a scratch on her, and she didn't even seem bothered by the fact that the electricity had been cut

His mouth opened slightly, horror washing over him as he came to a very important, very horrible realization: This was a decoy, and his real target was Malia....

 

~+~

 

"I think I can light the room up for you, if you want,"

"If you can, that would be great sweetie, thanks," Lydia said softly

A moment later there was a soft, orange glow emitting from Malia's hands- a tiny flame dancing around on a match she held

Where she had gotten the match was certainly another question for another time, but atleast the room had some light

"I want Stiles to come back," she said quietly

"Don't worry, I'm sure he'll be back soon," Derek said quietly, leaning down to gently pat the little ghost girl on the head

"Derek..." Lydia said softly

"Mm?"

"There's someone behind you..."

Derek turned around at almost the exact moment that Malia looked up and screamed her little lungs out

Standing behind him was a tall man, looking roughly Stiles' age with brown hair, a chiseled face, and a sickening smirk across his lips

"Long time no see Malia," he crooned

Malia didn't waste anytime in deciding Derek was the unofficial guardian and rushing behind him, squeezing her eyes shut as the other spirit took a step closer

"Go away Theo!!!"

The spirit- Theo, apparently- only grinned wider as he approached

"It looks like you're without your little guardian now," he snickered

"I'm going to make sure Stiles regrets the day he ever screwed with me by making sure he never sees your pathetic face again,"

Malia screamed again and suddenly, without warning, Derek let out a loud, enormous roar- a roar so loud that it nocked the spirit back

"What the hell?" Theo hissed, staring up at Derek with hatred burning in his eyes as the man's features shifted into something more wolf-like- fangs, claws, and eyes that burned a bright blue

 

~+~

 

"We need to get the lights back on, do you need to get to the generator?"

"Eventually yes, but I can send a short charge through any of the outlets to jolt the lights back on long enough to get down there and set things straight," Kira explained, wrapping a towel around herself and stepping out of the shower as Stiles lead her towards the nearest outlet

"I can handle this on my own, you should go- before something happens to Malia,"

"I left her in good hands, besides, I might be wrong, if Theo is sticking around to mess with you instead-"

"I'll be fine, I can handle myself," Kira insisted, a spark of electricity bouncing off of her fingertips as she reached for the outlet

"GO!"

Stiles didn't wait for her to tell him a fourth time, taking off out of the room and racing down the hall as quickly as he could

 

~+~

 

"So, you're the new Link," Theo scoffed, an irritated curl to his lips as he paced around the dark room

Derek could see him thanks to Malia's light- but only barely

"I guess the last one was too weak after all,"

"Link... what are you talking about?"

"Oh... you don't know? Well isn't that rich," the spirit scoffed

The werewolf swallowed tightly, eyes narrowed as he glared ahead at the pacing spector

"Stop beating around the bush, if you're going to do something just do it!!"

And in that moment, before Theo could even respond, the lights flickered back on, and all Derek heard was a deep, maniacal cackling before the door slammed open again and Stiles appeared in front of it, looking frantic and out of breath

"STILES!!" Malia screamed, racing forward as quickly as she could

Derek and Lydia watched in awe as the fur and antlers began to fall away from the figure in front of them, his body taking on a smaller, simpler shape- a human shape

"You're ok..." Stiles breathed, eyes watering as he reached out and wrapped his arms tightly around the little girl, squeezing and swaying as he bowed his head into her hair

Derek felt....

Derek felt like he had just been punched through the heart looking at them like this

For all that Stiles was terrifying, he was equally just... terrified....

Terrified of losing the little girl he had clearly spent his entire afterlife protecting

Underneath the teeth and antlers and intimidation was just a person

Just another person scared to death of losing the one he cared about....

The thought was equal parts sobering.... and absolutely horrifying....

 

~+~

 

"I don't understand why the lights went out like that,"

"Me neither, but it isn't something we can afford to care about for now," Allison replied briskly, stepping out of the elevator and feeling an excited rush return to her system as she caught sight of the man in front of her

"ISAAC!!"

The walking corpse lifted his head, blinking in confusion as he stared at the doctor

"Allison...?"

Before he could inquire further, Allison raced forward, slamming into him with all she had and giving him a tight, squeezing hug

"Isaac... I missed you," she breathed

"Missed me?" he asked quietly, a confused look to his face as he slowly wrapped his arms back around her, bowing his head against her and biting his lip

"Where did I go...?"

 

~+~

 

"It was.... about twenty years ago, back when the hospital was in it's infancy," Stiles said quietly, looking down at the floor as he brushed his fingers through Malia's hair, a deeply melancholy look to his features

"I was a young doctor back then too, I had just started my residency... Malia was sick, I don't even remember what she had at this point but ... I was a pediatrician, I spent alot of time in the children's ward and she and I got along better than anyone ever thought we would... she was an orphaned kid, no parents, no relatives, no home basically.... I never told anyone except her, but I planned to adopt her when she was better, I know that sounds crazy, a twenty-something doctor still in residency taking on a sick little kid? I'd be lucky to even get through the papperwork but.... but I was all she had... I was all she'd ever had.... how I could just push her back into the world alone because she was healthy again? How could I punish her for getting better? Malia needed me... and in my own way I needed her too, I was alone back then just as much as she was, orphaned myself, a stupid intellectual with ADHD and a big mouth who no one had the time of day for.... I was too opinionated for the smart people and too smart for the opinionated people so I went through most of my college and residency years basically by myself, that's why I decided to be in pediatrics, kids and I always spoke the same language somehow, they never judged me for anything the way adults always did, and Malia.... she's always been as much of a hard-headed big-mouth as I am, so it was practically kismet, but.... one day things got bad,"

"With Malia?" Lydia guessed quietly

"No.... no, Malia was getting better.... she was getting ALOT better.... but... there was a scandal at the hospital, one of the other doctors was caught up in some ... less than favorable financial activity, embezzling from the hospital, and when some of the staff found out he wanted to make them- and the evidence- disappear,"

"Theo," Derek bit

"Exactly.... I was one of the unfortunate few who found out about it and wile he had managed to pay off most of my colleagues I wasn't about to step off of my moral highground for a few stacks of cash.... even if it WOULD have helped me adopt Malia, but Theo.... he was relentless, as stubborn as I am, when he realized bribery wasn't going to work he turned to blackmail, when he realized he had no dirt that he could throw on me- none I would really care about anyway- he turned to threats, he threatened me but I didn't care, so then ... the day before I was supposed to talk to the FBI, he threatened Malia, I'm sure you can imagine how that went down... anyway, I ... was going to go into witness protection, I was going to take Malia with me, she was well enough to leave the hospital at that point, I thought.... I was her doctor, I could take care of her, so one night long after most of the staff had gone home, I snuck into the children's ward and took her, I had some ... contacts who owed me a favor, I'd already gotten her a fake ID, we were going to run away, talk to the FBI in another state and then go into Wit-Pro, I'd already worked it out with the cops, it was... going to be a new start, a new lease on life for both of us, how ironic right?"

Stiles cleared his throat, squeezing his eyes shut before staring down at Malia's sleeping face

Ghosts, technically, didn't need to sleep, but sometimes they still did, for whatever given reason

Stiles had found Malia to be one of the sleepier ones

"We were on our way out when I ran into Theo again and... it'd just be easier to show you from here,"

Stiles held his hand out, a sad, empty look on his face as Derek and Lydia slowly put their hands over top of his

The next thing the two living souls knew, they were in the hospital from twenty years ago, witnessing everything as it happened

"Put down the gun Theo.... put down the gun,"

"You're not going to the FBI Stilinski," he sneered out

"Look... I won't go to the cops ok? I won't go to anyone, just.... just put down the gun... let us go, please... please just... just let me take my kid and go and you'll never see or hear from us again I swear it,"

"It's already too late for that," Theo insisted, nocking the safety off of the gun

"I won't tell anyone!!! I won't! I'll keep my mouth shut, Theo please! Don't hurt her!! Just put the freaking gun down!"

"You've always been a horrible liar Stilinski,"

Derek and Lydia could see the exact moment that Stiles knew he wasn't getting out of this alive, the sudden change in his expression as he set Malia down

"Run,"

"Stiles!!"

"MALIA RUN!!" he screamed

The next thing they heard was a gunshot, watching in horror as Stiles' body fell to the floor, motionless

"STILES!!" Malia screamed in horror, racing towards him and collapsing on the floor, sobbing desperately- horribly, shakily- as she started to shake his shoulders

"Stiles.... Stiles!!! Stiles wake up... Stiles wake up!!" she begged, sobbing louder and louder as she watched the stream of blood drip out of his mouth

"STILES WAKE UP!!!"

"Shut up! Shut up you little brat before the entire hospital hears you!"

Malia's bottom lip was trembling, tears pouring from her face as she stood up

"You hurt Stiles.... wake him up! Wake him up!"

"He isn't going to wake up kid! He's DEAD! Don't you know what that means!?"

Malia clearly wasn't having it, her little face turning deep, angry red as she screamed, charging suddenly and nocking into Theo's leg

The man shouted in anger, the sudden loss of balance forcing his finger to squeeze the trigger as a bullet shot out and into a nearby medicine cabinet

Flames started to pour out of the cabinet as Malia wrestled Theo to the ground, trying to get the gun away from him

"Wake him up! Wake him up!!!" she screamed

The gun went off again, this time further igniting the flames as they started to spread towards them

Within seconds both Theo and Malia were coughing, surrounded by fire as the little girl turned her attention back towards Stiles, tears leaking out of her eyes again as she stumbled forward and collapsed next to his body, her tiny hands fisting into his shirt as she panted and struggled for breath

"Stiles..." she wimpered, her head falling against his chest

"Stiles please.... wake up...."

The vision faded just as quickly as it had begun, and both Lydia and Derek were left stunned and speechless

How did anyone speak after something like that?

How did anyone even... think of anything to say?

Apparently Lydia was better at this than Derek was, it only took her a few seconds to compose herself enough to speak

"What about.... how did you... become a deer?"

"I was blessed, there was a Death Keeper at the hospital then who was so impressed with me that he made me the Guardian of the hospital, I keep this place safe from all of the negative energy collected here, keep malevolent spirits like Theo away, I guide the dead into the afterlife and prevent those who still have time from dieing, I keep this place running behind the scenes, keep portals closed, keep angry spirits from causing too much trouble, that kind of thing, ofcourse, as long as I'm a Guardian I can't move on to the afterlife, not really, I'm just stuck here roaming the hospital... but, that's ok, Malia is a ghost here, she died too young with too much unfinished business, as long as she knows Theo is around she'll be trapped here, so... I get to protect her for eternity now,"

Once again, Derek found himself speechless, but Lydia managed the words

"A Death Keeper.... what's that?"

"You know, Death Keepers, like... Hades, Anubis, Hel.... they're some of the originals, long ago they chose willing spirits to help carry on their abilities, they use creatures such as Jackals, Morrigans.... Hellhounds, or, as you may better know him: Parrish,"

 

~+~

 

"So, what can I help you with today?"

This was working out for the better, atleast

After the less than stellar morning and afternoon Jackson had been having it was about time something actually went his way, and having a beautifull patient to work on?

Now that was CERTAINLY going his way

"I got into a little car accident yesterday and when I woke up this morning my shoulder was just KILLING me.... do you think you could fix it?" the blonde asked, batting her eyelashes at the young doctor

Jackson grinned, winking at her as he clicked his pen

"Oh I'm sure we can get it fixed right up.... now uh, what was your name again?"

"Kate," the woman replied with a smirk

"Kate Argent,"

 

~+~

 

"So Parrish is the one who gave you your powers? Because he's carrying on work from Anubis?" Lydia asked

Derek shook his head, heaving a sigh and closing his eyes

"This is all too much..."

"I know it may seem that way, but you'll get used to it,"

"Why? Why do I need to get used to it?" Derek frowned back

"Because you're a Link, you're as much a part of this as Lydia is now,"

"Right.... and a Link is what exactly?"

"A powerfull supernatural being who cheated death, basically, you died yesterday when that car hit you, I brought you back to life and kept you alive until the doctors here did their part and helped your healing factor kick in, you're a powerfull werewolf who now has journeyed through the realm of death- something banshees do all the time but... few other creatures get the honor, you're meant to serve as, well, a link, between the living and the mostly-living, people like Lydia who could get stuck all too easily on the other side, harmed far too much by spirits and other undead creatures, and ... one of the very few people who can see spirits and actually ACT on what they see, Lydia can see them all she wants but there's little she could do to fight them off if it came to that, you, on the other hand-"

"I'm basically the bodyguard,"

"Something like that, my other Link can explain it to you alot better than I can, or so I've heard,"

"Right.... and this other Link, who would that be?" Derek asked almost suspiciously

Stiles smirked, gently shifting Malia in his arms as he stood up again

"Scott McCall,"

 

~+~

 

"I shouldn't be long, I just have to get those X-Rays ordered," Jackson said with another wink, practically purring at the woman as he left the exam room

The second he was gone Kate gave a long, loud sigh of releif and frustration

God, the things she had to put up with....

But ofcourse she couldn't risk running off anyone at this point, not if she wanted to be absolutely sure that she wouldn't be paying for the Hit & Run- not financially, and not physically or mentally

And ofcourse, the best way to do that was to put on the cute, innocent little girl act she had learned when she was honestly a little too old to be using it

That, ofcourse, didn't make it fun, or even past tolerable

She had to do what she had to do though, and things could be worse

After all, she could have gotten a SMART doctor who would have asked what had caused the accident, and she couldn't very well confess to hitting some guy and driving off....

Inhaling deeply and tilting her head up towards the ceiling, she closed her eyes, thoughts replaying over and over again in her head

And that was when she heard something.. like.... a curtain rustling....

Blinking, she looked over her shoulder, a small grin on her face as she spotted the hand waving her towards the back of the room where the curtain was

Excellent

If she could get this guy in bed with her- or so to speak- then she could always just blackmail him if he ever decided to ask what kind of accident she was in

This day couldn't get any better

 

~+~

 

"You don't remember what happened at all?" Allison asked slowly

Isaac gave a slow shake of his head, biting the inside of his lip

"I... remember going out fishing but.... that's about it, you... you're saying I've been dead for a month? Like... DEAD dead?"

Allison nodded slowly, a grim look on her face

"Dead dead," she confirmed

He leaned back, swallowing tightly and looking down

"How.... how am I alive now then?"

"I brought you back," she replied with a slight smile, eyes eager and hopefull

"You... brought me back to life?"

"And it wasn't easy, I can promise that," Erica huffed

"But all of my pappers and everything say I'm dead... what are we going to do?"

Admittedly, Allison hadn't QUITE thought this through

 

~+~

 

"The best thing you can do for now is just wait, trust me, when the time comes you'll know it, and then I'll need your help putting Theo back in his cage and shutting the door on it- and him- forever,"

Lydia and Derek nodded slowly, swallowing tightly as Stiles headed for the door

"Wait," Derek said suddenly, drawing the spirit's attention towards him

"Why... me? Why did you save me of all people?"

"Well.... it's not every day a powerfull werewolf dies for a little wile but wasn't SO badly mangled that I could just bring him back to life,"

"Is that really the only reason?" Derek asked skeptically

Stiles was quiet for a few moments, ultimately deciding not to answer as he opened the door to the room

"I'll see you guys later,"

And just like that, he was gone

 

~+~

 

"I'm glad you're back Dr. Whittemore, but I have to tell you, the pain in my shoulder has mysteriously disappeared, so I'm afraid there's nothing for you to treat,"

Jackson frowned, pursing his lips in slight annoyance as he took a step closer

"Really? That's a shame..."

"It is, I was looking forward to getting treated by the best doctor in this hospital, or... maybe even in the state,"

Jackson snorted, a smirk on his face as he hung his head and shoved his hands in his pockets

"I'm glad atleast someone agrees with me on that,"

"What do you mean? Do people not tell you how good you are all the time?"

"Hell no, everyone is all caught up over that freaking McCall kid," he grumbled back

"McCall? That hack?"

"You know him?" Jackson asked in surprise, eyebrows raising as Kate slid off of the table in front of him and sauntered closer, both hands in her jacket pockets

"I know of him, and I haven't heard good things,"

"Oh really? Mind elaborating on that?" he asked with a growing grin

"Mmm, I just think that a doctor like that shouldn't even be allowed in a hospital, much less in the practice of medicine.... wouldn't things be better without him?"

"Without a doubt," Jackson agreed effortlessly, giving a quick nod as Kate slipped her hand around his upper arm

"Then maybe you should do us all a favor.... and get rid of him," she hummed

"Get rid of him? How?"

Jackson looked down into her eyes, a weight starting to form in his chest as he felt her move her hand into his pocket.... and deliver a gun into his own hand

"I think you know how," she winked back

"You want me to-... I ... can't do that," he frowned, eyebrows pinching together

"Why not? You wouldn't get in trouble for it- believe me," she insisted, sliding her hands slowly around the back of his neck and massaging the heels of her thumbs into his shoulders

"Because..... I'm not a murderer," he replied slowly, eyes beginning to haze over as he stared into the other's

"You can be anything you want to be if you set your mind to it," she replied, smirk stretching out deviously as she watched the doctor's eyes turn a glassy, almost opaque shade

"I can do anything if I set my mind to it," he repeated robotically

"That's what I thought," Kate replied with a low chuckle, her own eyes shifting from blue to brown- brown, like Theo's

 

~+~

 

The night was restless- to say the absolute and utter least

Derek could barely sleep, he felt sick to his stomach

Stiles hadn't offered him much information after that, he hadn't even seen Stiles since then- or Malia, for that matter

Something about this place felt off now, in a way that it hadn't before

It felt like things were suddenly growing more and more intense and he couldn't help fearing what was to come- not for his own sake, but for that of the hospital's

For Lydia's and Scott's and Kira's.... and for Malia's and Stiles' too....

What would happen if the veil dissappeared?

What would happen to them specifically?

He wasn't sure, but he felt pretty certain that it couldn't be good

He tossed and turned in his bed, and everytime he closed his eyes, all he could see were flames

 

~+~

 

"Leaving again so soon?"

Lydia turned around, lips pursed in frustration as she stared at her roommate

Braeden hadn't even looked up from her book

"Is that really any of your business?" she snapped

"I'm just saying.... it's still pretty early in the morning, maybe you should atleast eat something first, before you go off on your adventure,"

She wasn't sure if the other woman was being serious or sarcastic, but she wasn't sure that she liked her tone either way

Deciding not to waste any more of her energy, she slung her backpack over her shoulder and almost rushed out of the room, heart pounding in her chest

She needed to find Stiles and Malia, she needed to talk to them unfiltered, get a better idea of what she needed to do as a banshee to prevent this hospital from going down

She had barely slept last night and she could feel the steady shift in energy as Halloween neared closer

She was so preoccupied with her thoughts, in fact, that she completely missed the slight chuckle that Braeden gave, and the violet tone her eyes took on once the door had closed

 

~+~

 

"Your name is Cora Hale, right?"

"Yes! As I've said for the fourth time now, you called me this morning and said you found my brother, where IS he!?"

"Calm down Ma'am, what was your brother's name again?"

Cora felt like she was about to explode, gritting her teeth roughly and willing her claws not to come out and scratch against the wood of the reception desk

"Derek, ok? Derek. Hale!"

"Derek is your brother?"

She wipped around quickly in the direction of the new voice, eyebrows raising at the woman in front of her

She wasn't a doctor, she was just some redhead in a backpack

"Yes, why? Do you know him?"

"I know him.... and I know where he is," she replied quietly, adjusting the strap over her shoulder as she took a step forward

"I can take you to him, try not to pay too much attention to Meredith, she isn't great with details," she replied with a rush, hurrying down the hall and glancing over her shoulder, eyebrows raised expectingly

"Well?"

Cora didn't waste any more time, following after the stranger, anxious to make sure her brother was alright

 

~+~

 

"I still don't get how I could've died without remembering it, I mean, that seems like the kind of thing I'd remember," Isaac said slowly, rubbing the back of his neck anxiously

"It must have been a quick death, I'm glad for that atleast," Allison replied quietly, taking a nervous breath as she stared down at the floor

"And you brought me back with electricity? Like... like Frankenstein?"

"Electricity and an experimental serum," Erica interjected with a shrug

The man looked down, staring at his newly clothed legs, letting his fingertips glide slowly against the scrubs

He hadn't been in scrubs in over a month, but it felt like it had just been yesterday....

"What do we do now? I mean, everybody thinks I'm dead, how can I just go back to my life now?"

"You can find another hospital to nurse at, move in with me for a wile, I've kept all of your stuff... we'll just modify some papperwork and-"

"But what about people? You can't modify people's memories.... can you?"

"Not that we know of," Boyd answered simply

"Look, not to sound like a jerk but you didn't really have any freinds or anything to begin with, so it isn't like there'd be alot of people to remember you- or that you died," Erica noted bluntly

"Gee, thanks," Isaac grumbled back

"As much as I hate to say this... Erica is kind of right, there weren't alot of people who knew you Isaac, you can start new, and if someone you know DOES see you, there are a million different excuses we could come up with, like... that they heard wrong about your death, that they misunderstood who died, that you have a twin!"

"A twin also named Isaac?" Boyd asked skeptically

Allison glared at him over her shoulder, lips drawn into a tight line

"What about Scott?" Isaac asked after a short moment

Things went quiet for a moment, the others' faces all falling into something more solemn and resigned

"Scott.... can't find out about this, about any of this, there's just .... too much that could go wrong, we can't just say that someone who was dead a month ago has suddenly come back to life, he'd never believe it, I mean, it'd be easier to get him to believe in ghosts,"

 

~+~

 

"So you told them the entire story then? About how you and Malia died?"

"Every bit," Stiles said with a sigh, staring listlessly out the window and pressing his hand to the glass

Scott nodded slowly, watching him in silence for a few seconds before prompting him again

"And?"

"And they're going to help, ofcourse, I mean, you can't just tell everyone that the world is going to end if they don't help and then not expect them to help, sure it isn't a gurantee but it's a pretty good bet,"

"Then... Derek is like me now right? So is he going to hang around here more or...?"

"I have no idea, as you know, what role you take as a Link- if you even take one at all- is completely your choice, I can't influence anyone to do anything with it,"

Scott nodded again, eyebrows narrowing slightly as he stared at his freind

"Are you ok? You seem kinda.... I don't know.... down I guess,"

"Yeah I'm fine," Stiles shrugged, pushing off of the window and heaving a sigh as he stared back up at Scott

"I'm just tired I guess,"

"I didn't know ghosts could GET tired...."

"It.... isn't a physical kind of tired, but I just... I've been doing this for twenty years now you know? Protecting this same place from the same threat for twenty years and it... it doesn't change... you know what I mean? I feel like I'm just running into a dead end, like ... it doesn't matter how many times I clean up this mess, it's just going to repeat again and again anyway, like... like nothing I do matters..."

Scott felt his shoulders sag, biting the inside of his cheek as he gently rested his hand on Stiles' shoulder

"It'll get better Stiles, I promise, this time... this time you'll stop Theo for sure, I know it,"

Stiles nodded slowly, nearly forcing a smile as he gave Scott a soft pat on the back

"Thanks Buddy, I appreciate that," he added, brushing past Scott as he exited the room, leaving Scott alone to stare out the window, down at the people and the parkinglot below, and wonder if he believed his own sentiments at all....

 

~+~

 

"You remember me... don't you?"

Admittedly, Derek didn't remember at first

He found himself staring at a stranger who insisted she was his sister, but he couldn't remember her name or recognize her face

But then she came a step closer, and he felt a strangely familiar... recognition... blooming in his chest

That scent....

He recognized her scent....

"Cora?" he breathed

The other wolf broke into a relieved smile, rushing closer and giving her older brother a tight, excited hug, squeezing her eyes shut and swallowing tightly

"You remember..."

He nodded slowly, hissing slightly and pressing one hand to his head as it throbbed, a dull, acching pain starting to pound in his skull

It was starting to come back to him now, little by little, peice by peice, stitching it's way back into his mind...

"Yeah," he breathed, hugging her a bit tighter

"I remember.... it's all coming back to me now, it's ... a little fuzzy and it's taking it's time but... it's better than nothing atleast..."

"No kidding," Cora snorted back, stepping away from him and turning towards the woman in the doorway, offering her a gentle smile

"Thanks for your help,"

"Ofcourse," Lydia nodded, adjusting the bag over her shoulder and clearing her throat

"I have some things to do, I'll see you later Derek,"

Derek nodded, waving back to her as she left the room and turning his attention to Cora again

"So, are you all healed up now? Feeling alright?"

"Yeah, I'm still a bit sore in places but everything has pretty much popped back into place,"

"Good, the sooner we can leave this place the better," Cora huffed as she moved to sit on the edge of the bed

"I swear, this hospital is giving me the creeps... way worse than normal hospitals do, as soon as we can get the forms processed we can get out of here,"

"Yeah...." Derek said slowly, hanging his head and trying his hardest not to look up at her- he couldn't, he knew that if he did he may not say what he was about to- what he knew he NEEDED to- say...

"I... have to stay a little bit longer Cora,"

The younger Hale turned around, her face scrunched up in a mixture of confusion and frustration

"What? Derek... why!? Why would you-"

"Cora please, I promise I'll be home in a few days but until then-"

He didn't have the chance to finish his sentence, a soft tapping on the door drawing his attention away from his sister as he glanced up and watched the doctor step into the room

"Hey, I'm glad to see you found your sister," Scott said quietly

Derek took a breath, he was glad for the save if he was being honest, he never had been good at these sorts of confrontations, least of all with his family...

And with the only family he had left, to make matters even worse

"Thank you.... you're the one who figured out who I am right? Thank you for tracking her down, really, I owe you,"

"You don't owe me anything," Scott replied with a shake of his head, taking a cautious step closer and glancing at Cora out of the corner of his eye

"I uh... DO need to talk to you alone for a second though, about something from last night,"

"Last night? What is he talking about?" Cora frowned

"It's... personal," Derek replied awkwardly

He knew that wasn't a good enough excuse, not given the circumstances, but he still hoped that he wouldn't have to expand any further- not now, atleast, not until he had time to make up something believable and lie well enough that his heart wouldn't stutter...

Luck seemed to be on his side in that moment as Cora slowly stood up, glaring at Scott and leaving the room to give the two men some privacy

Things were silent for a few moments- a few dreadfully long, horribly awkward moments- before Scott finally spoke up

"So... you know the truth about Stiles now,"

"And I know the truth about you too," Derek added casually

Scott's eyes fell, crossing his arms nervously over his chest

The action didn't go unnoticed by Derek as the werewolf slowly slid out of bed, taking a hesitant step closer and resting a hand on the doctor's shoulder

"You ok there?"

"No.... no not really, I feel like something bad is about to happen,"

"Well, obviously, Halloween is tommorrow-"

"No, not that.... something else, something with Stiles.... he and I have been at this for so long now, partners, working together.... freinds even..... I feel like... like all of a sudden that's going to change, I don't know why, and I don't want it to, but ... I feel like it will, something about all of this is different from the times before and I don't know why it feels so strange but it just .... does,"

Derek squeezed a little harder, a stern but compassionate look on his face as Scott looked up to meet his eyes

"I'm going to make sure it doesn't, ok? I swear it on my life, nothing bad is going to happen to Stiles, or atleast.... nothing worse,"

"How can you promise that?" Scott asked quietly

Derek was quiet for another moment, inhaling a deep, silent breath

"You just have to trust me, that's all, just.... trust me to get him through this and I will, I'll make sure nothing happens, you have my word,"

 

~+~

 

"That's him? The one who opened the veil?"

"That's him," Stiles replied with a slow nod of his head

Malia frowned deeper, wrinkling her nose as she stared at the previously dead man

"Why won't he close it again? Doesn't he want to go to the other side?"

"I don't think he remembers what it was like," Stiles explained

Not that he would really know, he had only been dead for a few minutes before Malia died and even then he had been a ghost- he had never crossed over either

Malia pursed her lips, staring up at the stag and wrapping her arms around his leg

"If he goes back, will the veil get better?"

"I don't think it works that way," he replied quietly, eyes heavy and sad as he watched Allison and the others fill Isaac in on all that he had missed in the last month

He couldn't help feeling.... jealous....

Not of being alive again, he had lost his urge for that years ago, but for there to be so many people who cared about Isaac, who were happy to have him back...

Stiles hadn't even gotten a funeral when he died....

"Stiles?"

The stag blinked, looking down at Malia and leaning down to gently nudge her with his head, letting her pet his muzzle

"Stiles.... something's wrong, I feel it.... something really bad is about to happen,"

Before Stiles could even get the chance to question her, the earth began to tremble beneath them, the ground shaking under their feet as realization dawned on him

"We have to get back to the main floor... NOW!!!"

Malia climbed onto the deer's back, holding onto his scruff tightly as he raced towards the stairs as fast as he could, hoping he could just make it there before it was too late...

 

~+~

 

"You don't have to do this,"

"Yes, I do,"

Scott swallowed tightly, hands held up in front of him in surrender as he stayed cemented in front of Kira, a bead of sweat making it's way down his face as he stared down the barrel of the gun

"Jackson please.... you don't have to do this...."

"Shut up! Shut up!! God why are you always talking?! Why are you always trying to be better than everybody else!?"

"I'm not," Scott replied stiffly

"It doesn't matter... none of it matters, once you're out of the way I'll finally get the recognition I deserve," Jackson snarled

At just about that instant, Stiles skidded to a stop, his eyes wide as he stared down at the scene in front of him, Jackson holding Scott and Kira at gunpoint, everyone else around them holding their hands up in surrender- obviously afraid of backlash

"We have to stop this,"

"But what about Theo?" Malia wimpered

"Theo...? What about Theo?"

"He's going to hurt Derek!! He's already in his room!"

Stiles cursed under his breath, bowing gently to let Malia climb down and gritting his teeth

"Malia, go find Lydia, bring her back here- HURRY!!"

The ghost girl wasted no time, vanishing into thin air as she took about the task of finding the banshee

The earth quaked beneath Stiles' feet again, and all he could do was hope that Jackson stayed balanced, that he didn't accidentally shoot- or shoot on purpose either

He had to get to Derek- and more importantly, he had to get to Theo, he had to make sure that Theo wasn't going to make any of this worse, he had to stop the veil from getting any thinner, and judging by the way the floor was shaking, he was starting to run out of time

 

~+~

 

"You..." Derek snarled viciously, eyes a bright, vibrant blue as he kept one arm held out protectively in front of Cora

Kate cackled, a twisted grin on her face as she stared them down

"So we meet again Derek~"

"What do you want from us!? Haven't you already taken enough from my family!?" Derek roared in anger

"Oh little wolf, I haven't even gotten started yet,"

He let out a loud roar, fangs and claws already dropped as the woman raised her gun towards him

Derek was getting ready to attack, or atleast to provide a decent sheild for Cora to get away, when the door to the room suddenly burst open and Stiles flew in, taking upon his human form and stepping between them

"Stiles-!"

"This isn't her!" Stiles shouted suddenly

"Derek, whoever you think this is-"

"She's the one who murdered my family!! She's the one who burned down my house with my family trapped inside!"

"No she isn't, she's Theo! She's being possessed by Theo!!"

There was a momentary pause, a tense silence falling over them before finally, Kate let out a low chuckle, eyes burning copper again

"Very perceptive Stiles, but it doesn't matter, no matter who's face I'm wearing, or what body I use, one thing will always remain the same- I am going to kill you, I'm going to take on human form and take away everyone and everything you care about, and then, I'm going to snuff out that little spirit of your's- once and for all!!"

"Not if I can stop it," Derek snarled back

"Oh yeah? And what do you plan to do about it?"

Wordlessly, Derek pounced forward, claws poised to slash the throat of their attacker

A gunshot rang out through the room, and everything fell suddenly still

 

~+~

 

"Hurry!! You have to hurry!!!" Malia shouted, tugging as hard as she could on Lydia's arm as the banshee rushed to follow after her

"I'm trying, I'm trying!" Lydia shouted back, finally rounding he corner and feeling her stomach drop

Jackson had Kira and Scott at gunpoint....

She had always known that Jackson was a little unhinged, more than a little temperamental, but she had never thought he would go this far....

"Jackson!!" she shouted

The doctor suddenly turned around, his face draining of color as he stared at the other woman

"Go away Lydia, this isn't about you!!"

"Oh please, it's always been about me," Lydia sneered, letting go of Malia's hand as she stalked forward

"Stop! Leave me alone!!"

"So you can what? MURDER your colleagues!?"

"Shut up!!"

"Would you stop trying to get revenge on me through everyone else!? It didn't work when we first broke up and it isn't going to work now!"

"Wait a second.... you mean to tell me that all this time... Jackson has been a pain in the neck because you two used to date?" Kira asked slowly

"Essentially," the banshee huffed back

"I can't believe Allison was right," Scott said quietly

Jackson swallowed tightly, eyes welling up with tears as his girp on the gun began to loosen

"How could you do that to me? How could you dump me for no apparent reason!?" he shouted

"Oh there were plenty of reasons," Lydia huffed back, taking a slow, calm step closer

"Yeah... yeah you went crazy! You went crazy and turned into a hypochondriac!"

"I never went CRAZY Jackson, and even if I had, it would have had nothing to do with why we broke up!"

"Then why? Why?!"

"If you really want me to tell you .... then give me the gun, and we'll talk...."

Jackson's hand shook, looking torn and distraught, before finally releasing his hold on the weapon, wich Lydia took immediately and handed to Scott

"So that's why he kept saying you were crazy..." Scott said quietly

Lydia gave a slow nod, turning her attention back towards Jackson, but before she could get the chance to fullfill her promise, the sound of a gunshot down the hall rang through the building, and without any control over it, Lydia took in a gasping breath, opened her mouth, and let out a loud, earth shaking scream

 

~+~

 

"DEREK!!!"

Stiles collapsed on the ground next to the werewolf, his eyes wide and terrified, tears leaking down his cheeks as he stared at the body of the man in front of him

Just seconds after the gunshot Cora sprang forward, tearing the gun out of the woman's hand and slashing her throat with her claws

"Derek.... Derek!!!" he shouted desperately, shaking the man's shoulder as blood leaked out of the corner of his mouth

Derek's eyes were cold and lifeless, and it made Stiles want to scream even louder

It felt like twenty years ago all over again, for a second time this man... this.... monster had taken someone from this world

Someone special, someone beautifull and wonderfull....

"Stiles?"

The stag turned around, feeling a weight sink in his chest as he locked eyes with Derek's spirit

What was he supposed to say?

How was he supposed to address this?

Derek was a patient here, one who was strong, who Stiles had brought into this entire mess

Derek was caught up in this because of him and now here he laid, dead, with a mourning, terrified sister screaming for him to wake up

Derek's spirit was still new, still weak, not nearly strong enough to be visible to anyone in the living world just yet

But before he had the chance to say anything- before he had to come up with something to say- there was a loud, earth-shattering scream coming from down the hall

There was a bright, shimmering yellow light that burst in front of them suddenly, blinding both of the spirits as they bowed their heads, trying to sheild their eyes from the brightness as Parrish stepped forward, his dog at his side

"You've done well," he said simply

Stiles looked towards Kate's body, searching for a sign of Theo's lingering presence but... finding none....

"I... don't get it, what happened?" he asked in confusion

"The banshee's scream, Theo's spirit disappeared from the woman's body right when she screamed, the vibration sent his spirit across the veil, believe me, he won't be coming back anytime soon, if ever,"

"And the veil?" Stiles asked quietly

"Thickening, the absence of Theo's presence, the woman's spirit being taken to the other side, and the banshee's scream were enough to repair most of the damage that was done by Allison bringing the nurse back to life, not to mention the little insurance policy I have, I brought a witch in to room with Lydia just in case, she's been working behind the scenes,"

Most of the damage was repaired.... but not all of it....

Stiles blinked, looking down as he felt Malia begin to tug at his sleeve

"Stiles, Stiles look, do you see it?" she asked quietly

"See what?" he asked in confusion, looking forward and seeing.... nothing

Malia was clearly looking at something in front of them, but he had no idea what it was

"You don't see that? It's a light..... Stiles it's so beautifull!!"

"She sees the light.... does that mean what I think it means?" Derek asked quietly

Yes, it meant exactly what Derek thought it did

With Theo gone, Malia had nothing trapping her in this realm anymore....

"Stiles... Stiles look!! Look it's my mommy!! Stiles do you see!? Do you see!?"

The stag had never felt this much pain before, this .... agonizing, horrible, burning pain lighting up inside of his chest....

He knew he couldn't keep her here

He couldn't force her to suffer on this plain, never moving forward, never moving on, any longer....

She had spent twenty years stuck in stasis, standing still with him here in this God foresaken place....

She deserved to move on

She deserved to go home

And most of all, she deserved to have her family- the family she had only had for the first few years of her life...

He felt the tears running down his cheeks now, but he had to be strong, he had to be, or she wouldn't leave- and he knew that she had to leave...

"Go on then, run to her," he said quietly

Malia jerked her head up, looking at him in confusion

"But.... what about you? Aren't you coming?"

He nodded slowly, swallowing the lump in his throat and taking a deep, deep breath as he forced his voice to steady

"I'll be there soon ok? I promise.... I'll be there before you know it, I just.... I have to wait on my mommy to come and get me like your's did,"

Malia seemed hesitant, reluctant, she stared at Stiles with a look of concern, but the stag just leaned down, pressing their foreheads together and cupping her face

"Go on, go.... I'll be there before you know it ok? I promise,"

"You're not.... gonna leave me right? You promise?"

"I promise, I promised twenty years ago and I haven't broken that one yet now have I?"

Slowly, Malia shook her head, and Stiles blinked away the next wave of tears that wanted to spill out of his eyes

"Ok then.... then go, trust me Malia.... I'm gonna.... I'm gonna be there soon ok? Just go on,"

Sniffing quietly, the girl gave him a tight, tight hug, before dashing off towards the light that she saw, taking her mother's hand and disappearing to the other side

Stiles couldn't see her anymore, she was gone now, she was at peace with her family, where she belonged...

But he couldn't help bursting into tears, louder, more desperate sobs racking his body now that he didn't have to be brave for her anymore

All of this time, and what had it amounted to?

He had spent the last twenty years- his entire death- looking after her, protecting her, carving out his entire world around her....

And now he was alone again, just like he had been when he was alive

Except, strangely, he felt a hand on his shoulder, looking up at Derek's own teary-eyed face, and allowed the werewolf to collapse onto the floor next to him and pull him into his arms

Derek knew loss

He knew loss probably just as well as Stiles did, he was one of the only people who possibly could

He leaned closer, wrapping his arms around Derek's neck and allowing himself to cry into the other's chest

He didn't get to cry for long though, a low cough being heard from behind him as he looked up just long enough to see Parrish, still standing there, looking... torn

Though, torn on what, Stiles wasn't sure

"Well this is awkward," the officer said slowly

"I was going to offer you and Malia the chance to rejoin the living, ofcourse now that she's found peace.... I suppose I could give that spot to someone else,"

Both Stiles and Derek were quiet, confused and surprised as they slowly exchanged looks

"But.... isn't it bringing someone back to life that started all of this in the first place? When Allison brought Isaac back the veil got thinner, it caused a rupture.... that was how Theo managed to get through and possess someone..."

"True, but that was an unauthorized revival- and one I'll be visiting them about later, this one is a gift, for someone who's served me so well for so long,"

Stiles sniffed, another tear rolling down his cheek

"But.... but my body-"

"I can take care of that,"

"I don't understand..... why would you make that offer? Don't you still need me to take care of things around the hospital? To protect it?"

"Yes but... I know you Stiles, protecting stranger isn't enough, you have to have someone to care about or you'll be all but useless, so I'm offering you Derek, and it'd be awfully hard for you to really bond if one of you is alive and one is dead,"

"So why not just keep me dead?" Derek asked in confusion

"You're much the same way, Malia and Stiles worked well together because they were all eachother had but.... you still have your sister, you'll never be able to fully dedicate yourself to death as long as she's alive,"

"So you're willing to bring us both back to life... for that?" Stiles asked skeptically

"Well I have a choice here, I can either keep one one person working for me who has limited power.... or I can have two people working for me with unlimited potential, ultimately, ofcourse, it's your choice, but the offer is there,"

"Working for you.... how would that work with us being alive?" Derek asked quietly

"Much the same way it works for Scott McCall, you live your lives, but you stay near to the hospital, and when you're needed, you come, you protect the people in this hospital, you keep them safe, guide those who have died and save those who need to live, I'll allow Stiles to keep some of his powers so that he can continue to assist me, as a gifted werewolf, Derek, you're fine as you are,"

"But... won't you need people here full time? If Derek and I are really going to have lives we can't be here 24/7...."

"I have a stag, a banshee, two Links, a kitsune, a witch, and a dead man, and that's just for now, I think working as a team the seven of you can mostly accomplish what two ghosts were able to accomplish for now,"

Derek and Stiles went quiet for a few moments before the stag finally let out a shaking breath, rubbing at his eyes and giving Derek a slight, uncertain smile

"Well, what do you say big guy?"

"I say...."

He paused, glancing up at Parrish and letting a smirk slip over his lips

"I want to live,"

 

Seven years later....

 

"Another painting, huh Derk?"

Derek smirked slightly at Scott, giving a shrug as he set the package down in front of the doctor

"I have to have a reason for coming back here all the time, and unlike Lydia I don't really have a nack for feigning illnesses,"

"I wouldn't say that around her if I were you, you know how sensitive she is about that,"

Derek just gave a slight shrug, leaning against the reception desk and watching as Mason helped Corey stagger towards the nearest gurney after the nurse had fainted- again

Honestly, he'd never understood why that poor guy continued his career as a nurse when he fainted at the sight of blood....

"Kira still on maternity leave?" Derek asked after a moment

"Yeah, she's at home now, wich reminds me, I've gotta stop at the store on the way home and get cereal..."

"Well don't rely on Stiles to remind you of that, the last time I asked him to pick up anything he drove past the store entirely," Derek huffed teasingly, glancing over his shoulder as the other man walked towards them

"Hey, I was running on three hours of sleep!! You can't blame a guy for forgetting something after spending eight hours in this place, especially after I ate like.... three different tumors,"

"Uh-huh," Derek teased, leaning forward and giving Stiles a gentle kiss on the cheek

Stiles chuckled, gently adjusting the baby he was carrying in his arms and looking down as the toddler by his feet started rushing towards Scott, slamming into his leg and giggling

"Scotty!! Up! Up!!" she begged

Scott beamed, reaching down and gently picking up his god-daughter, laughing as she reahced out to playfully pull at his hair

"Percy you know better than that," Stiles frowned as he took a step closer

"She's fine she's fine, I've got strong hair, don't I Persephone?" the doctor asked with a bright grin

Persephone just gave a loud giggle, clapping her hands enthusiastically

"How's Freya adjusting to things?"

"She's fine, I think she might be starting to like us," Stiles grinned back, gently kissing the baby's cheek as she leaned her head on his shoulder

"What're you guys going to do when you run out of names associated with death deities? Wich will be, you know.... soon.... unless you want to start getting really out there I mean,"

"I don't think that's really our first concern when we adopt children," Derek teased blandly, grinning from ear to ear as Scott gently passed Persephone back to him

"I've been meaning to ask, how's the new guy working out?" Stiles asked suddenly

Scott blinked, turning to look over his shoulder at the newest ghost to roam the halls of Beacon Hills Hospital

An EMT who had died trying to save a patient from a fire in the basement a couple of years ago, it was.... eerily familiar

"Danny's working out pretty well, Parrish seems happy with him and he seems happy with himself, plus his shifted form is a giant raven, wich is cool,"

"Sounds like it," Stiles snorted back

"What about you? What's life like? I mean..... literally,"

Stiles smiled warmly, leaning into Derek's side

He still missed Malia every day, but he knew that he would see her again eventually, and right now he had a family- something he hadn't had in thirty years...

And he was going to enjoy it to the fullest

"Happy," he finally decided, smiling a little bit more

"I'm happy,"