Stiles had never seriously contemplated ending his life.
At least not for the reasons one would assume. Granted, he has been given enough reason in this lifetime that if the incident would ever occur, no person would have to ask themselves of why. If one were to try to summarize the reason these thoughts so habitually find themselves in Stiles seventeen year old mind, if one were to strive to break away all layers and break it into the simplistics, to the fundamentals, they would easily find it was none other than curiosity. A curiousness so intense and vile, so like a wound that has been festering for years and has finally embalmed him whole, that he is truly amazed none of the wolves he runs with can sense it. A feeling that just a few days prior caused Stiles to push his blade from the razor deeper than necessary. As if searching for a pressure point, for a vein that would cut his interest right at the source.
But the idea soon fleeted as quickly as it came and he easily reasoned the wound as an accident when Scott questioned him that morning. He realized, after each brief encounter with that thought process, he did not want to die. Not wanting to leave his father to his own devices, and Scott and Melissa to their grief, were one of the main reasons. If not those, then purely for the fact that Stiles did not want to die. Despite this, despite his surety on the matter, he was still disposed to these moments of doubts. These moments where even he feared he would stumble so far deep into this obsession he’s created--because that’s what all of this was. An obsession. One he’s entangled himself long past the point of recognition. He no longer knew where the obsession ended and he began.
It scares him.
Not that he needs help. Contrary to popular belief, Stiles is not depressed. He is not guilt ridden at the things he’s done with his hands in moments where his body was not his own. He is not biting his nails at the thought of going to sleep--not anymore. And he is not at odds ends with those around him. If he were being honest, things haven’t ever been so… normal. That is at least what he assumes is happening. Because it’s been over a month since the alpha pack officially disseminated right in front of his eyes. Been even longer since Stiles had a nightmare related to katanas and fireflies and blood. He might not be fully healed, (the sight and smell of blood still leaves him frozen) but he is better. They are all better. At least, that’s what he thought.
What if he wasn’t?
Stiles swallows down the more ketchup than french fry and shuts the ideas in his head for the time being. Scott was in the middle of talking about Derek. Again.
“It’s not like I’m asking for much.” Scott reasons, taking a sip of his fruit punch as if what he was saying was completely obvious. “What is so hard about him just coming over to my house for meetings instead of whatever train wreck he chooses?”
Stiles stills at this, remembering the time where they discussed a game lacrosse at one of these literal trainwrecks. It was an abandoned subway station, but same thing really.
“Maybe it’s some sort of territorial thing?” Stiles suggests, taking another bite of a too crisp fry. “Sorta like giving you an inch of deciding where we talk takes an inch of his power?”
Scott scowls at that and Stiles honestly feels the need to apologize. Not because he feels like he did something wrong but simply because Scott is that good. How was Derek able to say no to that face?
“That’s stupid. I think he just wants to avoid my mom. She yelled at him a couple days ago, you know?” He admits as if this was the most common of knowledge even though no, this was definitely not common knowledge. He didn’t even know where Derek was currently residing so there was also a question of how she even found him. God knows Stiles hasn’t been able to.
“No, no I don’t know.” Stiles inputs, waiting for Scott to further explain.
“Well, I wasn’t really even there in the first place. I came home after hanging out with Allison and she told me Derek stopped by. And then mentioned she had a… “talk” with him.” Stiles is not even joking when he says Scott made the gestures around the word talk. It would have even been funny if it wasn’t for the fact that Scott just admitted that Derek sought him out while he simply ignored Stiles.
“Okay, but how do you know it was a yelling talk, rather than a “I want what’s best for my son” talk?”
Scott grimaces at Stiles’ suggestion as if his mom would never have a gentle talk like that, and finishes his fries.
“Because Derek texted afterwards and said that my house was a big no no since he wouldn’t really feel welcome.” Scott finishes his milk then and Stiles is just about to ask if Derek changed his number when the bell rings.
Scott, as if noticing Stiles still had more on his mind, asked what he was about to say. Swallowing the question, Stiles says it wasn’t important and they both make their way to chemistry.
Stiles doesn’t pay attention, too busy wondering why Derek seems to be ignoring him and only him.
* * *
He doesn’t mention Derek to Scott again. It seems almost anti progressive for him to start caring about someone who threatened him almost daily just a couple months ago. But that thought gets put into the back burner for a later time, preferably never, as Erica mentions how she and Isaac both seem to be struggling in English. Stiles, feeling guilty about not paying much attention to her in the beginning, agrees to a study session after school in order to prep for the upcoming test. There’s a gleam in her eyes and Stiles contemplates telling her there’s a ninety-seven percent chance he’ll let her down because English isn’t his strong suit. He almost suggests her to Lydia instead until he remembers the reason he said yes in the first place.
“Boyd will drop us off after school around four, is that okay with you?”
“Sounds good. I’ll order pizza.” Stiles suggests.
“God bless you Stiles.” Erica exclaims as the dramatic woman she is.
All the same, Stiles smiles at Erica, proud of her and how close they’ve grown. He can never be as grateful as the day she and Boyd came back, a bit bruised, but whole with hearts beating.
God knows how much of a rarity that has become in his life.
* * *
As promised, Erica and Isaac show up a four on the dot and Stiles smiles as he opens the door for them. He and Boyd share a wave as he then drives back out into the open road.
“Boyd said he gets enough of English at school and even I’m not worth anymore of it.” Erica pouts, but both of them know that she is the most important thing in that man’s life. And he and hers. He’s happy for her, he’s happy for them and there won’t ever be a day he won’t be.
“As if Boyd needs help in English” Isaac says as the three make their way to Stiles’ room. He’s not an animal. He cleaned up his room enough to be presentable to other teenagers but can’t help the itch under his skin. It has been a while since someone other than Scott has been in his room and even that has become a rarity since all of the Allison stuff. But he tries to clip the anxiety since he knows the two teens won’t mind. Nothing is out of the usual, and nothing has changed since the last time the two were in his room. Except maybe a couple of added books in his shelf to keep his curiosity at bay.
A majority of those books were personal works of those who suffered near death experience, or died and came back to life. Although if you ask him, they all sounded like lies. Like someone was writing it and only put together what they thought would sound good. What they thought they could sell. And he’s read so many varying descriptions of God that he began to doubt the figure was real.
“But I can kick his ass in calculus any day.” Erica smirked and Stiles was brought back to his room and the two occupants in it. He did away with the concern of his bookshelf since he was almost certain they wouldn’t notice the new additions.
“Let’s start this, the sooner we start, the quicker we get pizza.” Stiles practically bribed.
Going over the material was simple. This unit of English was mainly about rhetorical analysis and identifying rhetorical devices. Essentially, it was very heavy on terminology, knowing what means what and what it looks like put into a sentence. What came to be difficult was getting that information to stick. Stiles had repeated the definition of anaphora almost twenty times (he's been counting) only to find Isaac confusing it with an appositive and Erica to struggle to answer at all. The mood was shifting, and he could tell the betas were getting frustrated. Not with him, but with themselves.
“I think we all deserve pizza.” Stiles sighed, and went to grab a menu.
“Thank the lord, I’ve been starving.”
They all decided that it had been enough and agreed on meeting once more tomorrow, considering the test was on Friday and it was only Tuesday. With that, the two betas left with promise of Chinese food tomorrow too. Stiles is in the midst of starting his European history essay which was due the next morning when he hears it.
It's the more than familiar sound of his window being shimmied open and Stiles has the strength to not turn around. He knows well who it is and decides to not deem them with a response. Depite Stiles clearly giving a shit about that happens to lives other than his own, it repeatedly becomes apparent that that can't be said about the intruder. The intruder who Stiles has been rigurously attempting to contact only to find himself ignored. And contrary to popular belief, Stiles can take a hint. Derek obviously wants nothing to do with him.
So why the hell is he here?