"I wanted to say, umm..."
Stiles knows what he wants to say. The words are echoing in his mind, sitting on the tip of his tongue, begging him to just say it. But when he looks at Scott, sees the worry and panic in his eyes, not because of what Stiles might be about to say but because they are dealing with something so much bigger. They need to stop whatever's taking people, they need to find Liam and Hayden before they get taken as well, and Stiles knows that, he knows that now isn't the time for this. But what if he doesn't get another chance to tell Scott how he feels? What if something goes wrong?
It's only when Stiles can tell that Scott's about to say something that he pushes himself to speak, say anything that will finally let Scott know the truth. And so, just as Scott opens his mouth to say, "Tell me later," Stiles jumps in, heart pounding wildly and head spinning a little.
"Screw it, this is quicker and a lot less complicated," he says before closing the distance between them.
His hand goes to the back of Scott's neck, pulling him into a kiss that's desperate and urgent and a little sloppy because Stiles doesn't know what's going to happen next, he just needs Scott to know. And then Scott's kissing him back, hands on either side of Stiles' neck, both of them practically clinging to the other. It's so clear how desperate they both are to get across how they feel, not even caring about the many police officers behind Stiles, including the Sheriff. They both just need each other to know.
When Stiles pulls away, he's breathing hard but there's a grin on his face that Scott hasn't seen for years and it's like it's contagious, forcing Scott to grin back, hands still on Stiles' neck and momentarily forgetting what they're supposed to be doing.
Then Stiles reminds him. They need to find Liam and Hayden and stop anything from happening to them. They still have to figure out what's taking people and making everyone forget they ever existed. Scott doesn't leave without another kiss, this one quicker but still just as desperate because now the stakes are even higher, they somehow have more to lose now.
And only a few minutes later, Scott does lose Stiles. He doesn't recognise the voice on the other end of the call. He doesn't even know he's lost him, he doesn't remember that Stiles ever existed at all. But he knows something's not right, he can feel it, clawing at him from the inside, telling him that something is missing, something so important that he just can't live without it.
When Lydia becomes determined to find Stiles, saying that he was her best friend, someone she's sure she loved, Scott helps her. He does everything he can because he's just as desperate to find this person, there's something in the back of his mind, a sliver of a memory that shouldn't even exist. But it does, and Scott isn't sure but... he thinks he loved Stiles as well. He's sure he loved him.
So after Malia tries to dig through her memories, forced to stop too soon before something can go wrong, Scott steps into the freezer, determined to do this, to find a way to bring Stiles back. The memories are all overwhelming, too much for him to handle at once, completely flooding his mind with the feelings that accompany them. But he tries to push through it, he needs to find the right one. And he does.
The locker glows and Scott knows that it has to belong to Stiles, there's no other reason for it feeling so familiar. He doesn't have to wonder about anything as he pulls the flare out of the locker, the memory immediately hitting him. The dark sky above them, the flare in his hand lighting up the motel parking lot, the stench of gasoline so strong it makes his head hurt. But all that matters is the person in front of him, trying so hard to stay calm, to gently take the flare out of Scott's hand and telling him that he needs him, that he's important to him. And Scott finally realises something that he didn't back then. Looking at Stiles, his eyes shining but meaning every word that's coming out of his mouth, so willing to either stop Scott or die with him. The way his heart jumps when he says that Scott's his brother and Scott finally realises why, finally knows that what he really wanted to say was "I love you" because even back then, Stiles was in love with him.
Then the door is open and Scott's being pulled out of the freezer by Lydia and Malia. He wants to tell them he needs to go back in, he can't stop until it works. But then he sees the bright blue glowing light that resembles a portal and Scott's body completely slumps in relief because they did it.
They don't waste any time in going to it, fear running through their bodies as they hope that this is it, that it actually worked and that Stiles is coming back to them. And then Scott can see him, standing there, just beyond his reach but he's there. He reaches out to him, a smile on his face as he tells Lydia and Malia, shouts for Stiles to come back.
And then the portal's gone. No bright blue glowing light. No Stiles. Just the dark, damp stretch of tunnel. Scott can't help the empty feeling that's weighing him down, making his chest tight. They had been so close to getting Stiles back. This was their chance, and they failed. They might never get him back now.
Scott stands in the middle of the train track that's so out of place in the dimly lit hospital and he watches as Garrett turns around, a voice coming out of nowhere and catching them all off guard. And suddenly Garrett's falling to the ground, having just been hit with a baseball bat. Scott's eyes dart to the person who knocked Garret out and something inside of him twists, his chest tightening once more but for a completely different reason. Stiles is standing in front of him, eyes a little wild and gripping a wooden bat in his hands tightly but he's here, he exists.
"Bad guy, right? I didn't misread that?"
Scott grins. Stiles is back. And when their eyes meet, Stiles' composure completely breaks and he drops the bat, rushes over to Scott and nearly tripping on the tracks, causing both of them to laugh.
Stiles wraps his arms around Scott and Scott does the same, holding him so tightly he worries that he might hurt him. But all Stiles does is squeeze him tighter, burying his face into Scott's shoulder as he tries to control his breathing. Scott grins again as his eyes burn and he has to squeeze them shut but he doesn't mind, Stiles is here and in his arms.
And then Stiles pulls back, hands moving from Scott's shoulders to either side of his neck as he leans in, pulling Scott into a kiss. He happily leans in, the memory from months ago playing in his mind as he does. Their first kiss, desperate and urgent, both of them worried about what was to come next. The complete opposite of this kiss. This time, it's not as urgent, it's slower, happier. More like an "I've missed you" kiss. Scott really doesn't know how he survived the past few months without this, without Stiles by his side.
It's not even surprising that them being so distracted by the kiss is what nearly gets them killed by Ghost Riders. But thankfully, they survive. And they finally get to talk, Stiles finally gets to admit everything he's been hiding from Scott for years, and Scott listens, realising just how long he's been in love with Stiles but just never knew, convinced himself he only saw Stiles as a best friend.
Stiles is so glad that he kissed Scott at that moment so many months ago, stopped him from saying the words "Tell me later." If he hadn't, none of this would have happened. Stiles would still have been taken by the Ghost Riders but Scott might not have been the one to bring him back. He wouldn't know that Scott loves him. That's what kept him sane in that train station, what made him more determined to get back. Knowing that there was even a slight chance that Scott loved him. So, if Stiles hadn't kissed him, who knows what would have happened.
And honestly? Stiles doesn't want to know. He's happy with how everything turned out. He's with Scott and they're both happy, nothing's trying to kill them and their friends and families are all alive. That's all that matters.
Barely a few months passed since they had gotten rid of the Ghost Riders for what they hoped would be forever, and then everything went wrong. Again. Just as things were starting to go well for them too.
Stiles was doing an internship at the FBI in Quantico and he was actually enjoying it. He was good at it.
But then Scott called him and explained what was going on back in Beacon Hills with some new supernatural thing called an Anuk-Ite.
How could Stiles not go back and help? It was the least he could do considering it was technically his fault it was even there in the first place, thanks to his friends saving him from the Ghost Riders. Plus, Stiles couldn't just stay in Quantico knowing that Scott might get killed by this thing. Not when they haven't seen each other in months.
So, Stiles goes back to Beacon Hills. They make a plan, things go wrong - no surprise there. Thankfully, they prepared for all of it.
Then it's time for Stiles to do his part. He's gripping the jar of Mountain Ash in his hand so tightly that he worries he's going to break it, legs aching as he runs towards the library, praying to whatever messed up and sadistic god that's watching over them that he's not too late.
He pushes open the doors of the library, nearly tripping over as his feet refuse to stop running. But that's the least of his worries. Right in front of him stands the Anuk-ite, face looking like someone literally peeled every inch of its skin off.
Stiles' eyes widen and he risks just one second to look over at Scott. His heart jumps in his chest when he sees his face, the dry blood running down his cheeks from his eyes. He doesn't let himself lose focus though, no matter how absolutely terrified he is.
Just as the Anuk-ite slowly turns to face him, Stiles clenches his jaw, hoping this will work, and throws the jar of Mountain Ash at it. The jar smashes as soon as it hits the ground and the Mountain Ash immediately begins to rise into a dark grey cloud, completely enveloping the Anuke-Ite. And then it's gone.
For a second, Stiles doesn't know what to do. He just stands there, staring at the spot where the thing that had been terrifying everyone and turning innocent people into monsters had been standing. And then his brain finally catches up and his stomach is twisting and he's a little nauseous as he quickly turns to face Scott, who's now collapsed on the bottom of the stairs.
Stiles wastes no time in rushing over to him. He kneels next to him, his hands flailing a little in mid-air as the panic fully sets in.
"Scott? Scott, I need you to talk to me," he moves his hands to either side of Scott's neck, lifting his head up slightly. "What happened to your eyes? Come on, Scotty. Please, for the love of god, say something. Make a noise. Do anything! Just..." His voice cracks and he has to pause to swallow the lump in his throat. "Tell me you're okay. Please, Scotty."
Scott can't open his eyes, look straight at Stiles and tell him in an unwavering voice that everything is fine and he is absolutely okay. But his hand does reach up to rest on top of Stiles', thumb stroking along his knuckles.
"I'm sorry," he says, shaking his head. "I had to."
"It's okay," Stiles quickly tells him. He swallows again and this time, he forces his voice to stay even, to at least sound calm enough to talk Scott through this. "Scott, you need to heal. Your eyes - they're - you need to heal them. Like, right now."
Scott shakes his head again. "I - I can't. Stiles, I can't."
"You need to, Scott. I don't really know how supernatural healing works, but I'm guessing that there's a pretty limited time span on how long you can wait to heal yourself before it's no longer an option."
The doors of the library swing open, banging off the wall and drawing Stiles' eyes to them. Derek, Lydia, and Malia all rush in and Stiles doesn't know whether to be relieved or to continue panicking. They stop beside him, all of their eyes on Scott. Stiles doesn't need to have supernatural senses to know that they're all worrying.
"Oh my god," Lydia mutters, voice quiet. "Scott, what happened to your eyes?"
He just shakes his head once more. "I had to," he repeats.
Stiles' vision blurs slightly as his eyes sting. Scott's grip tightens on his hand as if trying to comfort him.
"Scott, you have to heal," Derek says. Stiles glances form him to Scott, the urgent but calm tone of Derek's voice only making him panic more. "If your eyes stay like this much longer, the damage is gonna be permanent."
"Come on, Scott, concentrate," Malia jumps in, clearly trying to sound encouraging.
He leans his head back, jaw clenching before he begins shaking his head again.
"I'm trying." His desperation seeps into his voice and Stiles hasn't heard him like this in so long - it's like he's already given up. "It's not working - I can't focus."
"Hey, hey, yes you can," Stiles tells him. His heart is pounding in his chest and his head hurts and he's sure he's about to break down crying any second now. But he forces himself to keep it together, at least long enough to get Scott through this. "You can do this, Scott. Just concentrate. Just like all the other times you've healed, okay? All you have to do is concentrate. Just listen to my voice. Concentrate, Scott."
Scott swallows, head still moving back and forth. "I can't - I can't. I can't do it."
"Yes you can," Stiles says again, voice cracking. "Scotty, please. Just listen to my voice. Just concentrate."
Scott doesn't say anything, he just keeps shaking his head, his breathing uneven. And Stiles is practically clinging to him, eyes wide and frantic as the tears finally slip down his cheeks.
Then Lydia has an idea.
"Stiles..." He turns to look up at her. "Kiss him."
His forehead furrows in confusion. "What?" He doesn't understand how that's going to help, how is kissing Scott-
"Kiss him," she repeats, emphasising her words.
And then Stiles understands. It clicks into place and he knows exactly what she's talking about.
He turns back to Scott, licking his lips as he hesitates for only a second and hopes that this is going to work. Then he leans in, hands still on either side of Scott's neck, and he presses their lips together. The kiss is soft and warm but there's an urgency to it, just like their first kiss. Scott's hand is still on top of Stiles', fingers slipping under his palm and holding it gently, his thumb stroking over Stiles' knuckles again. Stiles would be completely melting into the kiss - into Scott's touch - if he wasn't still so worried and absolutely terrified of the possibility that Scott might not be able to heal.
But when Stiles pulls back, silently begging for it to have worked, he watches as Scott's eyes slowly open. They seem to glow red as they begin to heal and within barely a few seconds, Stiles is looking into the wide brown eyes that he loves so much.
He breathes out in relief, eyes briefly closing as he lets it sink in that Scott is okay, he's alive, he healed. He doesn't bother to look at Derek, Lydia, or Malia, already knowing exactly how they feel. All he cares about right now is Scott.
A smile slowly spreads across Stiles' face, tugging at his lips as he looks at him. And Scott grins in return. He squeezes Stiles' hand lightly and they just sit there for a second, practically clinging to each other to remind themselves that they're really there.
And then Scott moves his hand up to Stiles' face and he's pulling him back down into a hungrier but still just as soft and warm kiss, which Stiles happily leans into. As Scott gently strokes his thumb along Stiles' cheek, Stiles realises that once again, one of the only good things to come out of yet another hellish nightmare in Beacon Hills is kissing Scott McCall.
Even in the middle of all the chaos and the crazy supernatural things, Scott is the one thing that can keep Stiles optimistic. Can give him hope. He keeps him grounded when everything else is too hard to deal with. And Stiles is the one person who can help Scott focus when it's too much. They're each others' light in all the darkness that surrounds them. Scott McCall is Stiles' anchor, and Stiles is Scott's.
Somehow, even after having just defeated a mythological monster that's been terrorising Beacon Hills and all of his friends, Stiles can find that one bit of happiness. That one good thing that came out of this horrible situation. And of course, that one bit of happiness is Scott McCall.