He hated time. Even though he lost track of it, he hated it. He suspected he was here for hours. Yet it felt like days. Every single second seemed to tick by unbelievably slowly. The only thing that he could use to count time was the number of seconds it took for each drop of blood to fall from his face towards the concrete floor below. So yeah, he didn't just hate time, but at this moment he despised it.
His head was slumped downward making it more painful since his head felt like it was splitting open. His arms above his head, bound by a set of handcuffs and chains locked to a large pipe above running on the ground floor. He tried not to move his hands much, but the numbness was causing his fingers to twitch automatically, making the muscles in his hands move with them. Each little movements caused his already sore, raw, bloody wrists to rub against the metal of the cuffs even more. Just one more bit of torture inflicted on his shirtless body from the bastards before him.
He was sure hours had passed since he had been taken, yet it didn't seem to deter the hunters that took him. Gerard being the center of his agony before the old man decided to let his buddies have a go on a few things. Gerard wanted answers on the pack. He wanted to know about Scott, about Derek and Peter, about why Derek could be such 'a monster' for turning a couple of teenagers. With each question that Stiles didn't answer or answered with his usual sarcastic wit, he would get a new taste of pain. Stiles has never endured so much pain in his life. Not ever. He could deal with the punches and kicks to his body...at first. Each punch or kick would come after he gave a smart comment, but eventually that melted away to becoming more aggressive and longer. It got to the point where Gerard thought his hands and feet were not enough. Even after he let his buddies give him a few knocks, each one laughing and smirking at him as the dealt out blows to him.
Erica and Boyd, who were here when he was brought down here, were screaming and snarling from behind there gags. Each one of them had the evidence of being tortured like him. Cuts and burns were on there skin, temporarily slowed from healing by the wolfsbane that was pumped into them. Both of them in the same position as him near the opposite wall, tied up with chains and electrical wire, their hands above their heads. Despite the cutting, burning, electrocution, and the physical assault from the hunters on them, they still seemed in better shape than Stiles. Even though he could not see his entire body, they at least seemed to stay mostly on their feet.
When they started his interrogation, Stiles thought he was going to have to watch them be tortured, but it wasn't. Gerard said that as betas, they were instinctively ingrained in them to be fiercely loyal to their Alpha, they would never betray him. Instead he became the entertainment for the hunters. Erica and Boyd forced to endure the sight before them. With each question Stiles refused to answer, the hunters would retaliate, and the two werewolves were powerless to help their human friend. Yet Stiles still would not say anything. He refused to give any information on the pack. When the hunters attempted to 'play' with the werewolves, he would bring their attention back by using a few choice insults or words that would cause them want to take a turn for themselves. Gerard allowed it without a single thought, keeping a smirk in place the whole time.
His excuse was to teach Stiles a lesson, a hard, painful lesson.
That was when the cuts started. Not from Gerard, but from Grant, his right hand man. Grant took special care in choosing where he wanted to cut, and what knife he wanted to use next. The man had fascination with watching each cut he made, with a giddy satisfied expression, almost of pleasure that it made Stiles' stomach flip and his skin crawl. He took his time making some cuts, others he went quick, just took get a different reaction from Stiles. Grant would smile and coo at him, encouraging him to scream for him and tell him how it felt. Stiles tried, he tried so hard to not scream or cry out in pain from the cold, biting pain from the cuts, but some of them his could not help. The worst cuts so far was the single one on his chest, running diagonal from tip of his right collarbone down off side towards his nipple. The other two were crisscrossed over his left shoulder blade. Those hurt the most, partly because he was already skinny, but also because his arms were above his head so it felt like the knife was cutting deeper into his already tense muscles.
At some point Gerard said that Grant could stop with the cuts, but then the old man came forward with a large taser gun. Stiles has seen those before, but was afraid to ask how many volts goes into each push of the button. He found out when Gerard asked him what his dad would think of him protecting monsters. That caused Stiles to get angry and spat in the man's face. His body convulsed and tensed and clenched in on itself with each jolt of electricity going through him. He hoped that his teeth would not crack with how tight his was clenching his mouth closed. When he screamed at the top of his lungs from the last, longest jolts going through him, Gerard stopped, letting him slumped towards the floor, the cuffs cutting into his wrists even more. He could feel the skin on his side prickling and burning from the gun, no doubt blistering in some spots, but agonizing just the same. He could barely breathe, his breaths coming in small heaves.
"I will ask you, one last time," Gerard said, moving away with the gun to throw it on the wooden table that he had weapons and instruments sitting on. "What is the pack planning?"
Stiles didn't say anything. He could barely speak through his busted lip and too fast breaths coming and going. Stiles looked up from behind his lashes, panting with each struggled breath. He gazed at the room from the hunters to the two werewolves on the other side of the basement. They were sweaty, dirty, and bloody. Erica had tears rolling down her face as she watched him. Her breathing ragged and forceful as she struggled to break the chains and wire on her arms and feet. Boyd was no different. He currently had no tears, but his eyes were going back and forth from glowing yellow to dark brown, his features were enraged, his growls and snarls ripping from his chest, but muffled from the thick gag in his mouth. He too was trying to break free, but with no more success that Erica. Both of them, watching Stiles, meeting his eyes as he looked at them. He couldn't let them get more hurt. Yet he also couldn't let Gerard and his goons know anything about the pack.
He already figures that they know plenty about the pack. Gerard was a smart man, he had his hunters everywhere, watching the pack as they moved about. Ever since the Kanima came about, the hunters were everywhere. That was one thing, Stiles was worried about. Jackson, of all people, was dead, or at least so it would seem. No doubt the pack was trying to deal with that, but they also would be trying to find him, not to mention Derek's two missing betas. The beta's have been here longer than he has, which Stiles had found odd. Wasn't Derek looking for them? Did Derek know they were here? Regardless, he believed the others would find him. They had too.
"Go fuck yourselves," Stiles said, glad that his voice sounded steady.
Grant chose that moment to stroll forward, carrying a sizable, shiny knife, before reaching to pull his head back, his hand gripping his neck harshly then pressing the knife to his left oblique, pressing down and slicing his skin horizontally. He went slow, causing Stiles to grit his teeth, muffling his whimpers, the sounds of Erica and Boyd crying out in the background. When Grant twitched his wrist, the blade pressed even deeper, the blood welling out from the wound as the blade left the exposed cut, the sheer icy pain causing Stiles to cry out then, no longer able to hold it back as the blade went from his side to the middle of his stomach.
"Enough," Gerard called out, startling the room. The blade left Stiles' skin quickly as if it had never been there. Scarlet blood running out in individual tracks down his lower abs, into the waistband of his lacrosse shorts.
"Boss," Grant said in question.
"Not here," Gerard said, looking towards to the door as if he heard someone standing on the other side. "He's not going to break, most likely because he doesn't know anything I do not already know." Gerard stepped forward, looking at Stiles with a mixture of calculation and annoyance. "Anyway, I have someplace else to be. Take him to the woods and get rid of him. Just make sure his friends are able to find him."
"What," Grant said, for the first time sounding like a stubborn child not getting a cookie. "You said I was able to have some fun with him."
Gerard rolled his eyes, waving a hand in dismissal. "Do what you want. I don't care, just get it done and leave his body for his precious pack to find."
"What about them," one of the other hunters asked, motioning to the struggling betas.
"They will stay here for now," Gerard said matter-of-factly. "They will meet their fate later." The hunters nodded in acknowledgement as Gerard walked up the steps towards the door, not giving Stiles or the betas a last look before he left. Erica and Boyd were growling and screaming out as the hunters made to leave and Grant stepped closer to Stiles.
Stiles’ legs collapsed from under him when Grant unlocked the chains from the pipe and let him drop from there. The cuffs were still on his wrist, but he was no longer bound to the ground floor above. He cried out in pain as the movement aggravated his injuries, his bare knees colliding hard with the concrete floor, his skin meeting the blood that has slowly gathered over the hours of his torture, smearing it on the floor and on his legs. He didn’t know how to get out of this, how to save Erica and Boyd, how to save himself. His wrists were bleeding more freely now that the cuffs were not forced so flush with his wrists. He tried to move the cuffs a little away from the exposed, bloodied skin, worried that with all the blood he has lost he might bleed out before they made it to the woods. Although that may be the better option of the two. His back throbbed with every movement, his ribs were agony with every breath he took, sure that at least a two of them were broken, although he hoped just severely bruised. He was in pain and he was terrified, his brain was starting to get fuzzy that he couldn't see any way out of this. He knew that this was not over, there was much more to come before they were going to let him die.
Grant wrapped a hand around his still bleeding wrists and then hefted him up where he half carried, half dragged him out of the basement. Stiles was barely able to get one last glimpse of Erica and Boyd, both struggling in fear, anger, and pain against their chains and the electrical wire around them. The last look Stiles could see from them was the sheer terror in their eyes along with the desperation to break free and their muffled cries before the door slammed closed behind them. He prayed that they would be okay, he prayed that Derek would find them, even if Stiles' fate was already decided.
The hunters took him out of the house to a black sedan outside before heading off in the direction of the preserve. Stiles couldn't tell where exactly they were going, but he didn't have long to wait when the car stopped and he was being pulled from out into the dark woods. Apparently they new of a path that had led from the road into the woods-maybe an old running and motor bike path-but either way not going to be of use to him tonight. There was no one out there with them. Stiles was alone, with a group of hunters, armed with weapons and predatory expressions. He tried to think of a way out this, anything he could do to escape, any way he could fight his way out of this.
That didn’t happen. He got nothing.
Instead they forced him to starting walking while they followed, continuing deeper into the preserve. The ground was littered with sharp twigs and sticks that cut into Stiles’ exposed legs as he stumbled forwards whenever Grant would push him to keep going. He was freezing and he was sure it was because of shock, it wasn’t exactly a cold night, but wandering around the preserve with multiple injuries, blood flowing from cuts on his body to cool in the night air and wearing no shirt was sure to be sending him into some kind of shock. Stiles wondered vaguely how long it would take him to die of exposure if he just ran now, the idea of dying by freezing to death or by his own injuries if not treated seemed like far better ideas than what the hunter's were probably going to do. The chances of him getting very far were pretty slim anyway, Grant or anyone of the others would probably shoot him before he got more than a few meters. But, if he was honest with himself, he wasn’t going to run, and not because he couldn’t, not because he was scared to die, but because the others would come for him. He just had to give them more time. He had to keep going for them. It was all he had right now.
They were his pack and they would protect him, they would make sure he was okay. Just as he had protected Scott, Derek, and others earlier by refusing to give Gerard any of the information he wanted, no matter what the cost had been to Stiles, what the cost could still be. He knew the others would do the same, they would be strong. So he had to be too.
“Alright, that’s far enough.” Grant spoke into the silence of the preserve. The night sounds around them seeming too calm for what Stiles remembered the last time he was out here at night. His breathing immediately started to get heavier and his already cold skin, turned icy in anticipation. His heart hammered in his chest that he thought everyone could hear it. Stiles turned slowly to face Grant and the others. The man was tall, slicked back blonde hair and bright, wild blue eyes, where something in said eyes spoke of the madness and the way he looked at Stiles with a predatory assessment, made a violent shiver run through his body that he tried to stifle.
“Now what to do with you now.” Grant had spoke to himself. He was still looking Stiles up and down, a smirk playing on his lips. What Grant said after was something that made Stiles' blood run cold. "Take off your shorts, boy," Grant commanded and Stiles looked at him in shock.
He knew that this was coming with the way that Grant had been touching him all night, the way he spoke to him, almost with a sultry, raspy tone when he asked Stiles to scream louder and if him getting cut to ribbons was feeling good. It left very little room for doubt in Stiles’ mind about what Grant really wanted, but still, the very idea of it made Stiles stand frozen, his body unresponsive and his brain running a mile a minute over the very words the man had spoken.
“I am not going to ask again kid, take them off now.” Grant repeated and Stiles could do nothing other than stare. He stared at Grant, at the other hunters, the silent shock in his face. Each one looked at him with a cold indifference or a look of pure dangerous madness.
Grant didn't give him a chance to say or do anything after a final moment of silence, seeming to have had enough of the delay because he took a step forward and went to grab hold of Stiles’ arm. Stiles managed to flail backwards and out of his reach, swiping at Grant's hand as he did. He tripped over a couple of rocks on the ground, falling backwards on his back, the twigs and pebbles and dirt digging into his many cuts, bruises, and burned skin causing him to cry out in pain. He rolled over quickly to alleviate the pain, but his front was no better than his back.
He was powerless and in pain, he heard the laughter of the hunters behind him and gritted his teeth, knowing that they could see it too, and they didn't care. He tried to crawl his way forward, hoping to gain some ground or at least something to pull himself on his feet with. He didn't get much of an opportunity when he felt Grant’s weight settle on his calves preventing him from kicking out, pinning him in place. He tried to move him off with his body, pulling at the ground with his cuffed hands, but it seemed to encourage Grant even more. He felt Grant's laughter vibrate from his legs up his body, his legs heating his own as he sat on him and put his hands on his hurt as the man leaned down, pushing him further into the ground.
“Come on boy, just relax and this will be fun.” Grant whispered into his ear. That caused Stile to fight harder. He pulled his head forward and shot it back as hard as he could. He heard a cracking sound before feeling the pain in his head from the collision. No doubt going to give him a bigger concussion than he probably already had.
"Fuck!" Grant cursed above him. A hand had left Stiles' back, allowing Stiles a slight chance to wiggle out of Grant's hold. He was forced back to the ground quickly, his head buried into the dirt underneath, as Grant leaned over him again, pressing his hold body against his back. "You little shit," he spat in his ear. "You broke my nose, now I am going to break you." His fingers brushed underneath the waistband of Stiles’ shorts and boxers.
Stiles thought he might genuinely throw up and his body suddenly go frozen as his both bits of clothing were pulled down slightly and he felt the night air on his exposed skin along with cold hands on his ass. He was terrified, completely and utterly in horror, there was no other way to say it. His body shook with the pure terror that was running rampant throughout, yet it seemed to cause Grant more happiness as the man moved to widen Stiles' legs apart with his feet as he sat on them.
He could feel the tendrils of a panic attack at the edges of his mind. His vision was getting spotty. He didn't know what he could do. His was out in the middle of the preserve, with armed men, no one else in sight. He couldn't help himself. He was in pain, his body screaming at him, his hands still bound. He couldn't believe this was happening. He couldn't do this-no he couldn't survive this! Where was his pack? He wanted to call out to Scott, he wanted to scream for Derek, but what would it do. Where were they? The panic was starting to rip through his system now, gaining a better foot hold in him. The faces of those he cared about rushing through his mind as they would learn about his damaged, dead body in the woods.
“Anyone got any lube?” Grant called out, laughing loudly and Stiles tensed up even more. The other hunters laughed and spouted their amusement as they all said no.
“It's alright. Spit and the blood running down your back will have to do," Grant said, petting Stiles' head, trailing his fingers down his back and over his bum. Grant held Stiles' tightly by the hips, his body shifting just slightly before he started to undo his pants. The sound of a belt being up buckled and the popping of a button echoing in Stiles' ears. Stiles tried to wiggle some more. But his body was not working. It wasn't responding to him. The panic attack gaining more and more ground over him as his breathing became more raspy, his vision clouding. The cold tendrils of fear spiking up his spine and back down again in harsh paths. This couldn't happen, he couldn't allow this to happen. His friends would save him. They had to save him.
"They will kill you," he found himself saying. His voice gravelly.
Grant pressed closer to him so he could hear him. "What did you say," he asked in what Stiles' assumed the man thought was a playful tone, but was more growly.
"My pack will kill you." Stiles said, turning his head to the side to look at Grant from his peripherals. "They will tear you apart, tear you all apart and leave your insides to burn by the sun."
Grant laughed at that. Loud and open in the silent night, echoing off the trees and seeming to make the preserve even more quiet. "You have fire boy, I'll give you that," he said, turning back to Stiles. "But no one is coming for you. No one even knows you are here and if they did it would not matter. As we speak, Gerard is on the verge of killing them all. He's got a plan to get rid of your pathetic misfits."
"No," Stiles said, barely shaking his head. "They are coming for me. You will be dead by morning."
Grant leaned in to whisper to him, "Then where are they." The whisper sent a chill down throughout his body that he couldn't shake. His breathing became more labored and his mind was screaming at him, mixing with the agony that was his body. "Face it boy," Grant said, a smile in voice. "You are alone. You pack is not coming for you and they will all be bloody and dead. No one is coming to help the poor defenseless human of a poor defenseless pack."
Stiles gritted his teeth. No, it couldn't be possible. His pack was not in danger. He believed they would be alright. Yet the steady certainty and the easy way Grant spoke of it made his body convulse in fear. His mind raced, his pack needed help. He had to help them. He did not know Gerard's plan, but he didn't care. He couldn't let them get hurt, they didn't know what was coming. He had to help Scott, Derek and Isaac. He had to get out this. He had to get out of this to save them, and then help save Erica and Boyd. He couldn't leave them. Yet he didn't know what to do. He was desperate. The terror rolled off of him in waves, and his body was coating in a cold sweat. He couldn’t let this happen, he couldn't let his pack get hurt. He tried to wriggle out of Grant’s grip, tried to do anything, but it was no use, there was nothing he could do. He screamed internally, screaming for someone to help him, to protect his pack, to please save him so he could help them.
He prayed along with it. He was never much of a religious person, but he didn't care at this point. He would pray to anyone who would hear his cries. His mind screamed out, screaming to stop this, to stop all of it. He had to help his friends, he would not let them die!
He didn't notice that he was screaming out loud now. His voice reverberating through out the surrounding woods. It caught the hunter's off guard, but Grant seemed to welcome it. Laughing along with his screams, telling him to keep going. Stiles didn't hear him, his screams ripping through him as the faces of his friends, his father, everyone he cared for ran through his mind over and over again. The plea for help from something, anything screaming in his mind along with the screams from his throat. Stiles felt a little bit nauseous, his body suddenly feeling hot, the sweat on his skin cold under his burning skin. He felt like something was pulling at his chest, his heart beating so fast he felt it through out his whole body.
He felt Grant, grips his hips again, moving closer to him, his intent clear. The faces of those he cared about in his mind, twisting and turning from his fear into pale, lifeless faces. No! He screamed in his mind, they have to be saved, he had to protect them, he had to do something, anything. "Help me! " He screamed out in his mind and out loud into the night. Help me save them!
He felt something building inside him, he wasn’t sure what it was but there was something inside him. It was warm and sturdy and grounding in his chest that seemed to wrap around his heart and spread throughout his body, something that felt safe. The panic attack was still there, but not getting worse, his vision sparkling with black and white dots. Please help, he begged to it, please help me save them.
The feeling of warmth spread and shot throughout his body again, this time so fast it felt like a jolt and he was squeezing his eyes shut and fighting back another scream, his teeth gritted together and his whole body arched up as the warmth seemed to burn in his around his skin now. Grant's weight leaving him suddenly, the feeling of air whooshing around him, yet barely touching him. He felt the twigs and dirt fall over his legs and back. The warmth seeming to burn on his skin, and it became so much that he curled in on himself, hoping to stifle it. The weight in his chest seeming to settle further, expanding outward until it in his gut too. Then suddenly it was leaving just as quickly, rushing out of him as fast as it had come. It felt like a hot, grounding stream of fire shooting from his chest out through his arms, bringing the warmth from all over his body. It felt like something was being pulled from him, pulled out from his hands, which he kept locked around his legs, his arms hugging himself tightly, his hands outward to keep the cuffs from cutting deeper.
Behind his closed lids, light erupted. It was a yellow light that was for sure, but where was it coming from? What was it? It was brighter than a flash light. Was it the others coming for him? Stiles cracked open his eyes and saw fire before him. Fire surrounding him in a circle, rising up high enough to be at least up to his waist.
"What the Hell," Grant spat.
"Put out the fire," one of the hunters yelled.
"It's too hot," called another, the fire crackling and muffling the voices at little. Stiles could hear them faintly, but mostly the fire was in his ears, being deafening as it seemed to roar around him. He didn't have time to think about it, he pushed himself up to slightly, his legs tucked in front of him. His eyes found Grant's who seemed to look at him with such intense hatred and animistic desire that it made him shiver.
"Shoot him," Grant yelled pulling out a pistol from behind him, taking aim at Stiles behind the flames.
Stiles shut his eyes, waiting for the bang, following by the inevitable sharp pain of bullets ripping through his body. No, he thought. It can't end like this. Stop! He couldn't look. He didn't want to see his death coming. He prayed the flames would make it hard for him to be seen. He wanted the fire to stop the bullets. He wanted them to burn up. Or better, he wanted the fire to engulf the hunters. He wanted to stop them, stop them from hurting him, hurting anyone. He closed his eyes tight, praying for this nightmare to stop. No more hunters, no more hurt. He wanted them gone.
He suddenly heard screaming. He couldn't really tell what it was saying or who it was, but he didn't care. The fire seemed to crackle and roar louder in his ears, the light becoming brighter even though his eyelids were closed. He caught briefs moments of anguishing cries, agonized pleas, and sounds of unfiltered pain being ripped from the throats of people nearby. They all sounded like men, but he couldn't be sure. He opened his eyes just a little to see the hunters, each one running around, caught ablaze with yellow-orange flames. It seemed to be licking at their clothes and skin, getting bigger with each piece of new flesh underneath. Stiles watched with wide eyes as their screams surrounded him along with the fire. He wanted to turn his head away, to not see this happen, to have it stop, yet he couldn't. His eyes were fixed, unable to turn from the sight before him. The warm feeling was still leaving his body, draining him of his energy as it did. He head grew heavy and his body was pulsing with the wounds he suffered, almost matching his fast beating heart.
He watched as the fire blackened the land around him and the hunters, only touching where they stepped and touched, burning just for a few seconds, before they seemed to put themselves out. Yet the hunters never seemed to get out of it. One by one, they all fell to ground, the smell of burning flesh and singed hair reaching his nose, making the impulse to vomit rise up in him. The last to fall was Grant, his eyes wide and hellish behind the flames. His roar of pain echoed loud and clear in Stiles' ears, as Stiles watched fire eat and burn away his skin, turning him to a blackened corpse on his feet before he fell to the ground. He would be lying if he said he did not get a small sense of satisfaction at seeing the burned body of Grant behind the flames, but he closed his eyes anyway. He didn't know what had happened, but his mind was not allowing him to think on it.
He felt dizzy and about ready to pass out. He sweaty and his body was pleading for him to get help. As quickly as it had come, the fire was burning out. When he opened his eyes, he saw the flames dying down, even on the now dead bodies of the hunters. Blackened dirt and ash was all left behind on the ground where the fire was, Stiles sitting in a circle, a circle burned into the ground, with untouched grassed and twigs on the inside where he sat.
It looked like the fire went out in a arch, heading from the circle around Stiles, spreading outward, engulfing the hunters and some foliage and small trees nearby. Very slowly, Stiles pulled himself to a more sitting position before crawling towards the closest tree. He was exhausted, he needed to rest, he needed to sleep and to heal. He shook those thoughts from his head, knowing he couldn't have any of that, not yet. He needed to get to the others, he had to go help them, before they walked into a trap or something. The warmth that was in his chest was still there, still grounding him, which he welcome, not understanding how how he was doing so, but he didn't care. Maybe he was crazy from all that has happened, but he had other things to worry about. Somehow he found the strength to pull himself up on a small oak tree, stumbling as he did. He had to get going, because he had nothing, he was in the middle of the woods in his shorts, which he pulled back up. He had no weapons and he was not about to go rummaging on the dead, crispy bodies for anything salvageable. He had to hurry.
He stumbled away from the burn area, not looking at the burnt hunters as he did. He went back the direction they came, since it was a straight shot. It was all he could do in hopes of finding the road. His injuries throbbed with every movement and his head pounded as his feet hit the ground with each step. Stiles tried not to sob in pain, his eyes watering, as he made his way back towards the black SUV. Cautiously he eased himself inside, before pulling away heading towards his house.
He parked the car on the side of the road, about four houses down from his around the corner. He was stopped by his dad's car in the driveway. He thought his dad was still at work, but obviously the universe hated him to not allow him any sort of good luck. Slowly Stiles moved towards the door of the house, finding it unlocked, and letting himself in. He was met with nothing. He inched further into the house, waiting for his dad to come around the corner but found him on his recliner chair, asleep. Stiles breathed a quick sigh of relief, feeling on the verge of tears at the sight. He almost thought he would never see his father again, wanting immediately to go over and drop to his knees and hug him. However, not in his current condition. His was dirty and bloody and his dad would freak if he saw him like that. Moving as quick as his battered body would allow he climbed upstairs and made his way to the bathroom, first pulling out some painkillers and downing more than he probably should have before gently taking a damp wash cloth to wipe away the blood from his body as best he could. He couldn't do anything about the bruises or most of the cuts. So he took large band aids to put on the ones on his front to hopefully stop the bleeding. Of course it did little for the large cut on his gut. Some of the wounds started bleeding again when he tried to clean them. Giving up and gritting his teeth at the ache all over his body, he left his bathroom to get some clothes. He just pulled on a shirt and his favorite red jacket before heading back downstairs.
He was caught red handed when his dad, stood around the corner in the living room, having heard his son upstairs. One look from his dad and it almost sent him over the edge. He had to swallow back tears as he watched his old man's face go from annoyed worry to full blown concern. His dad made to come towards him, pulling his son into his arms. Stiles didn't relax though. The pain was worse with the pressure his dad applied. Pulling back, his dad assessed his face, eyes hovering over each bruise and scrape.
"What happened?" He asked, evident that he was holding back his full blown worry. "Stiles what happened?"
Stiles shook his dad's hands away. "It's nothing. I'm fine."
He made to move, but Sheriff Stilinski wouldn't let him. "That is not nothing. What happened? Who did this to you?"
"Dad, I'm fine. It was just some members from the other team. They decided to punch me a few times after I bad mouthed their team after they lost," he lied. He lied straight through his teeth. what made it worse was that it came easily like he had been working on it for hours. Maybe he had, since he knew he couldn't tell his dad without telling him everything else.
Noah shook his head. "Stile's this is not a few punches. Who are these boys? What are their names?"
Stiles moved out his dad's grasp. "Dad let it go. It's my fault."
"How is this your fault," Noah asked, anger starting to creep in his voice.
"Because it's me." Stiles said easily, trying to give a small smile, and hoping he succeeded. By the look his dad gave him, he failed.
"Tell me the truth," his dad said, his voice sounding more serious, more like the sheriff.
Stiles shook his head. "Dad it's nothing. Leave it alone. It's better if you do." Noah looked like he was about to say something else, but Stiles went on. He had to hurry and he had to get out there. "I got to go. I'm meeting Scott for something important. I got to go."
Stiles rushed out, pushing his already hurt body, so he could get out the door. His dad was calling for him, telling him to get back inside. Stiles knew he couldn't. If he went back now, he was afraid of letting everything slip. He knew that his dad would find out eventually about his injuries, or at least some of them, but he was hoping it wasn't till tomorrow at the very least. He wanted to go back and tell his dad everything, just to get the reassurance that everything would be okay. He owed his dad answers, he knows that. Their relationship has become more strained over the past few months, mostly because of Stiles. How could he tell his dad what he knew? How could he tell him the horrors he has seen? He wanted to feel his dad's arms around him, protecting him, like they did was he was a small child. Obviously that wasn't going to happen anymore.
He headed to his jeep quickly. Climbing in and shutting the door, so he could pull out before he dad followed. Scott had surprised him to take them to the game, so Stiles forgot his phone while he backed out. He had to warn Scott, he had to tell him what happened. The screen lit up to show twenty five missed texts and ten missed call, only 5 with voicemails. Most were from his dad, some from Scott. He didn't know what had happened while he spent some bonding time with Gerard, but he did know that Gerard was Jackson's master. He also knew that the old man had ordered Jackson to kill himself so that he could evolve into an Alpha kanima. He didn’t know really what that meant, but he didn't want to find out and he had no idea if the others knew either.
As he was about to call Scott, it vibrated in his hand to show an incoming text from his best friend. Stiles was expecting it to ask where he was or what happened to him or if he was okay, but that was not what he read.
Scott: Jackson is not dead. He is turning into some kind of Alpha kanima. Come to the old warehouse off of Third and Elm. Bring Lydia. She can help save Jackson. Hurry up!
Stiles was taken aback, but he also felt a sinking feeling in his gut. He stared at his phone for a few moments, almost forgetting that he was driving before he swerved back into his lane. Scott didn't look for him. Did he not know he was missing for hours? Where was he after the game? Where did he think Stiles was? His best friend, his brother, didn't look for him.
Stiles was feeling his eyes water and a panic attack coming, but he pushed it down. He had too. He still felt that warm rock in his chest from earlier, although he suspected that it was residual pain from the beating or his supposed broken ribs. Either way he focused on that, hoping to have it ground him. He needed to focus. He turned his car towards Lydia's hoping to anyone who would listen that she was at her house. He had no idea where she was, but his best bet was to try there. He found that she was in fact at her house, but not inside. Instead as he trudged up to the house, he found her in her car in the driveway, crying and looking totally unlike the Lydia he knew. He was surprised how easy it was, but he didn't care, there was no time. Lydia barely saw him coming and was almost startled when she saw his form coming towards her. She quickly wiped her cheeks before getting out of her car, regarding him with what indifferent look, although it lacked the power it used to.
It was gone when she saw his face, taking in the red welts on his cheeks, the bruises, and the split lip, broken nose, and eyebrow.
“What happened to you?” She asked coming up to him with a look of surprise and strangely concern. He shrugged in response, offering that as the only explanation. He didn't want to tell her, he didn't think she would believe him, probably think he was crazy. However, he needed her to believe in crazy. The irony.
“Come on,” Stiles said, motioning to his jeep, “We need to go now.”
“Go where?” Lydia asked eyeing him and then his jeep uncertainly.
“There might be a way for you to save Jackson. We need to go now," Stiles said. When Lydia just stood there looking like she was really contemplating on if he was crazy or not, Stiles stopped short, turning back to her. "Look I'll explain everything on the way, but right now we need your help. Jackson needs your help. Please Lydia." At his words, Lydia seemed to catch on to his desperation. They both climbed back in and Stiles revved up the engine before speeding off.
He told her, everything that has happened. He told her from the very beginning to the very moment they learned about what was going on with Jackson. Starting with going out to look for Laura Hale's body in the woods, Scott getting bit by Peter, Peter and his revenge and how crazy ass went off the rails, Derek becoming the Alpha, about Isaac, Erica, and Boyd, Gerard and Allison and her family. He still did not tell her about his kidnapping, deciding to leave that out, also thinking about if there was anything he missed while he was in Gerard's clutches. She took all of it pretty well. She didn't interrupt or say anything against what he said. In fact, her face seemed to brighten on a few things as if she finally was able to understand as puzzle pieces went into place. However, when he started to stutter over what happened after the game, after Jackson seemingly dying, she looked at him with a mixture of worry and speculation on her face.
But she said nothing which he was happy for, turning the wheel hard around a curve. He was hoping he was succeeding in showing her the truth. Even if he did not tell her everything. But, he still couldn't think about it now. They were, in fact, almost there.
It didn’t take them long to get to the warehouse, his phone beeping constantly and Lydia reading out the texts to him. Stiles worked his brain fast, hoping that what he was about to do was not totally stupid. It was the fastest way though and hopefully, it would give a good distraction. He had to hope for the best, even if his nerves was rattling. His body ached and he was draining quick, so he pushed down on the gas quick, letting his jeep be floored towards the outer wall of the warehouse. He squeezed his eyes shut as they smashed through the wall, pushing past the falling debris and colliding with something solid before his feet slammed on the brakes. He opened his eyes to see dust and a lot of wide eyes before seeing Lydia rushing to get out of the jeep heading over to the kanima that was a few feet in front of the jeep. He barely heard her calling Jackson's name, his ears ringing from the headache.
Stiles could only watch in astonishment, taking in the sight before him. Aside from Jackson and Lydia, he saw Isaac looking a little worse for wear with a knife in his shoulder, Derek nearby in a shadow, Scott rushing over to Allison to check her for injuries, even though she was brushing him off. Chris was watching Jackson and Lydia with surprise and interest on his face.
Stiles returned his gaze to Jackson and Lydia, listening to her tell him she loved him and cared for him so much. His claws retracting as his yellow, reptilian eyes leveled on the girl before him. Lydia never once broke her gaze from Jackson, her eyes watering with love and happiness as she poured her heart out to Jackson. Stiles felt a slight sting in his gut at watching Lydia with Jackson, but it wasn't much of one. On some level he did still love Lydia, but he also knew that it was not meant to be. He accepted that a while ago, which might explain why it wasn't very hurtful to him. He used to look at Lydia like she could be his greatest love, now he could only see her as a friend, one that he had the pleasure of growing closer to in a real way as of late. He was proud to have that. Although he still thought Jackson was a gigantic douche and she was too good for him. But what can you do?
He watched in horror as Derek leapt from the ground while Peter (surprisingly) came from above, landing behind Jackson as Derek shoved Lydia away, both shoving their claws into the boy, front and back. A strangled sound came from Lydia, before a loud roar sounded from Jackson, vibrating around the warehouse. When they quickly pulled away, the rest of his scaly skin went back to human and his yellow eyes changed to an electric blue and fangs lengthening from his jaw. Jackson had finally become a werewolf, getting what he wanted from the beginning. That douchebag, he thought. Jackson collapsed into Lydia's arms afterward, both of them talking quietly to each other in panting, tired voices.
Stiles leaned back against his jeep, taking a few deep breaths. His chest hurting with each deep breath as it expanded his already aching chest, his ribs protesting at the movement. He worked to steady his heartbeat and control his lingering panic at the night's events. He was glad everyone was safe. However, he did find himself looking for Gerard, for the evil bastard who sought to hurt his friends, hurt him. There was no sight of him. He saw Derek standing off to the side, staring at the ground with a dark look like it had offended him somehow.
Unsteadily, Stiles made his way to the man, hoping to tell him about what had happened. Warn him about Gerard and tell him about Erica and Boyd, hoping that they could get them out of there before Gerard kills them. Derek didn't look at him when he came up to him, his breathing going back and forth from normal to slightly wheezy. "Derek," Stiles said, looking at the man. "Derek, where is-"
Derek turned to him fast, a growl escaping from his lips, his eyes flashing a brilliant red. "Get away."
Stiles was taken aback. He was stunned to the core at Derek. The growl was not something that was new to him, but the look on Derek's face was. The words stopping his words in his throat before he could release them. "W-what?"
"Get away from me," Derek spat between his slightly lengthening teeth. "I knew I couldn't trust you."
Confusion ran through Stiles. What could he have done now? He was missing for hours. What possibly could he have done to make Derek look at him like that? Was Derek mad that he had gotten kidnapped? Did he know that Gerard took him? Did he think that Stiles told him everything he wanted to know?
"What are you-" he began, only to be cut off by Derek again.
"Shut up," Derek raged, stunning Stiles into silence. "I knew it, I knew I shouldn't have. I should have known better. After all you are always the one with the plans. The only one to spin the web of deception."
"What are you on about," asked Stiles, finding his voice although it came out sounding strangled. He looked around for help from the others, hoping someone would be able to help him understand. Or at least hoping they would come to his aid. The only person who seemed to notice was Peter, who was gazing at them with looks of concern and confusion. Peter was barely watching Derek, his eyes glancing at him once, but then finding Stiles. In the short, few seconds, Stiles could not figure out what the older wolf was thinking.
"Scott was working with him, Stiles!" Derek snarled, his eyes flashing red again. "He was working with Gerard! Of course it was your idea, right? No one else could have thought to use the enemy like that. You're a talented liar Stiles, pretending to give a damn when all you want is to prove your wits."
"No, Derek that is not what happened," Stiles tried, his voice bordering on pleading. Scott was working with Gerard? Did Scott know about Stiles' kidnapping? His best friend was not like that, he wouldn't be like that. Derek couldn't think that of stiles either. He couldn't think that he was not trustworthy. He was not capable of doing that to him, to the pack. He still did not know what all had happened. Where was Gerard? How could Derek not notice his pain? Could he not tell or did he not want to know?
Quickly, Derek shoved Stiles, pushing him up against closest wall, a little away from the others. "Do not lie to me. You planned all of this. Scott is not smart enough to have concocted this kind of plan. He wouldn't have it in him to hurt others."
Stiles was shaking his head, trying to catch his breath and not cry from the pain his back was exuding. The hard surface against barely protected back was jarring all the cuts and bruises. He was afraid that the cuts had opened from the forced action. "No, listen to me, please. Please trust me. Listen to my heart, you can tell if I am lying. Always, you can tell," Stiles tried. He wanted to beg Derek to see reason. This couldn't be happening, not now.
There was a small moment, a small hopeful moment where Stiles thought that Derek would believe him. The man's brows furrowed for just a slight moment, the uncertainty cross his eyes. That somehow his anguish had gotten to far from him and would realize that he made a mistake and would apologize for his rash thoughts. Stiles thought he would be able to tell Derek everything that happened and would make him see truth and then go after Erica and Boyd. But that moment did not come and instead Derek's eyes cleared, the red tinge around the irises remaining.
"Like I said," he sneered, "you're a talented liar. Why would I trust you?"
"Because," Stiles stammered, his voice sounding small. "Because I'm pack. Because you can trust me."
Derek looked at him with an emotion Stiles could not identify. "Are you," Derek said with an incredulous tone. He should his head, almost sadly. "You are not pack. You are not someone I can trust. You or Scott for that matter. You are nothing to me now."
"Derek," Stiles whispered in shock. He could feel the threat of tears in his eyes, his heart pounding in his chest. This can't be happening. How can this be happening?
"You are just a human," the man said, his tone growing calm, yet cold. "A sarcastic little boy who whines at the world and lies to everyone. Even his own family."
That felt like a kick in the gut. More like several kicks. His breath left him as quick as it had come. A rising panic attack in the back of his mind, images of Gerard, Grant, Derek and Scott, his father all flooding through his mind. Derek looked at him with such cold disdain and disappointment that it broke his heart. The threat of tears coming even harder as his breathing stopped and caught in his throat like he was going to choke. His heart was so loud, no doubt Derek heard it, but Stiles thought Derek didn't care. Never mind his injuries from Gerard, this hurt a hell of a lot worse. Even more so that Derek still had not taken notice to the condition of his body, not the bruises on his face or the cuts on his lip and eyebrow. It was like Derek couldn't see him anymore, couldn't see past the betrayal Derek thought Stiles had done.
"Derek-," Stiles tried, his voice barely recognizable to himself.
"Just stop, Stiles," Derek said, looking away from him. "Stay away from me." With that, Derek turned and walked away from him, heading out in another direction, going out into the night. Stiles caught Peter's eyes for just a brief moment. The man looked torn, although Stiles could not understand why. Peter had left after Derek, leaving the rest of them in warehouse. He couldn't breathe. He was hurt and he was on the verge of breaking apart completely.
His mind raced with the new information. He had indeed missed a lot in the hours he was held prisoner. He tried to process everything, yet it made his brain hurt. He wanted to deny it all, the very idea of it all, but the look on Derek's face said it all. What he spoke of was true. Scott had been working with Gerard. Scott had betrayed Derek and worked with the lunatic. Stiles was beaten to a pulp and almost killed and Scott was not there. He did not come for him, instead working with the very man who had taken him. He felt sick. He felt like he was falling apart.
He barely was aware pf Scott and the others approaching him. Scott had a smile on his face, one that seemed proud. He had his hand in Allison's although she looked like she was tired and sad herself.
"Hey bro," Scott said easily. "What happened to you face?"
“What do you think happened Scott?” Stiles replied bitterly, trying to pull himself together. He wanted to leave. He wanted to get out of here before something else happened.
“You tell me. You disappeared off the lacrosse field after the game, you left without saying anything and have been gone for hours.” Scott said as he squeezed Allison's hand, Jackson and Lydia hovering off behind them.
“Yeah, we thought you had a panic attack after all your adoring fans came out onto the field. Too much for you nerves to handle," Isaac snickered.
“No.” Stiles spat, glaring at Isaac, really wanting to haul off and punch him. His whole body was still throbbing and each breath was making his body hurt more. He felt like he was swaying, but his vision remained stuck to Scott, who's face seemed too easily happy after the day's events. “What have you done?” Stiles said returning his gaze to Scott, hoping beyond hope that it was not true. Scott had to know that his best friend was hurt, he had to know what had happened to him. "You were working with Gerard?"
“I had no choice” Scott replied with a shrug effectively making Stiles feel like he had been gutted again. “The bastard threatened my mom and he threatened Allison. I couldn't let him hurt the two people I care about most.”
And there is was. The truth of it all. Like another, sharper, deeper blade to the chest, Stiles felt the sting of this words deep. Scott had no only worked with Gerard, but he outright admitted to Stiles that he did not matter. He did not matter to him. He was not one of the people he cared about most. “And that makes what you did okay? What you did to Derek?”
“Derek's an Alpha. He'll get over it.” Scott replied dismissively. Isaac nodded, shrugging his shoulders in nonchalance. Although Allison furrowed her eyebrows slightly, but said nothing. Lydia and Jackson were quiet. Lydia was looking at him with concern and looking at Scott with mild surprise. Jackson was looking uninterested, although he was looking at Stiles with a smirk on his face. Like the jackass knew the effect the words had on Stiles. At Scott admitting that Stiles was not important to him.
“And what of me?” Stiles asked, looking at his best friend. Even as he looked at him, he could barely stomach the sight of him.
“What about you," Scott said quizzically. "This has nothing to do with you."
“You betrayed him, Scott. You know what the bite means to him. You forced him to do the one thing he would never do for someone like Gerard. Now what? What happened with Gerard?” Stiles said, almost in a whine, his pain from his body starting to show in his voice. It was building with each moment. He needed to leave, like now.
"I tricked him into ingesting mountain ash by putting it into his medication pills. Deaton helped me with that. It was his idea mostly. It worked too. Gerard is now harmless to everyone considering how sick he is now. He ran off before you got here," Scott said, again proudly, although Allison seemed to be conflicted.
"So Deaton knew. Did you not think that if you could trust Deaton with this that you could let Derek in on this? Or even me?" Stiles asked regarding Scott as calmly as he could manage.
"Of course not," Scott replied with a wry smile. "I knew Derek would not go for it if he knew and I knew you would warn him. Not to mention, Gerard threatened mom and Allison. If he found out about the plan, he would have hurt them."
"So you instead had Deaton help you, a man who is as cryptic as they come. And you betrayed Derek in the process. Betrayed me too. You didn't trust us," Stiles said, his anger starting to rise, mixing with the pain in his heart.
“I didn’t betray you, dude.” Scott said. "It was my plan and just because I didn’t tell you doesn’t mean I betrayed you. Stop acting all hurt over something that is nothing.”
“It is not nothing. You knew what Gerard was going to do and you said nothing. You kept everything to yourself, while the rest of us were kept in the dark.” Stiles hissed, he needed to get away and calm down by himself. Panic was swirling more and more in his head. His already unsteady body was becoming even more so. He could feel warmth trickle down his back and he felt his boxers get a little wet at the waistband. The wounds were open, no doubt his fast heart making it worse. He was spinning with all this information. Scott had known. He knew about Gerard's plans and he said nothing. Scott didn't trust him or Derek, so he worked behind their backs. Scott might as well had handed Stiles over to Gerard. Since he didn't want him to know his plans, it was the perfect excuse.
“Come off it,” Scott said getting angry now. He took his hand from Allison, Isaac and her looking at him in surprise. Jackson and Lydia staying quiet, but no less stunned. “You are just mad that you were kept out of the loop. That it was not your plan. Grow up Stiles. This is not a game. People's lives are at stake and I did what was necessary. It was my plan and I worked it out the way I could. Not everything is about you. Accept it and get over it."
“Yeah,” Stiles said sadly after Scott's little rant. He was sad and hurt, and so angry. His body was screaming at him and his mind was cloudy with panic and sleep. He could feel the pull of exhaustion and it called to him like a siren. It was welcoming him. Yet, he couldn't give in. He had to keep going just a little longer. He wanted to say something more, argue with Scott over what he had done. He wanted to reveal to him what really happened to him. He needed his best friend, his brother. He needed him to help chase away the lingering panic and tell him that it was over. He still had no idea what happened in the preserve, the fire and the burning hunters. The images flashing through his mind, making his skin hot and clammy, his breathing catch in his throat. Scott was supposed to trust him, was supposed to confide in him. Stiles has always done the same to him, has always helped him when he needed it. How could he tell him what had happened, when Scott cared so little for him, when Scott was also working for Gerard. When he saw Stiles as a child, complaining about unfairness, prone to panic attacks over too much attention, with little to offer when the people he cared about were in jeopardy. Was that where Scott classified him in his life?
”Just go home, Stiles,” Scott said shaking his head slowly. “Go home and let my pack handle the rest.”
Stiles nodded, stepping away from the group. The truth coming out again of how Scott saw him. He saw Scott’s true colors now. He saw what he was to him. He was nothing. He was a burden if nothing else. He was not pack to them. Not to Derek and not to Scott. He turning on them quickly to go to his jeep. He barely heard his name being called and he didn't know who by. He didn't care. He hopped in his jeep, barely muffling the sound of pain as his back hit the seat, turning the engine over and backing out of the warehouse to drive away. He didn't want to go home and face his dad again. He was hurt and in pain. He wanted to help Erica and Boyd, but how? He had no pack now. Derek didn't want him and Scott thought so little of him. What was he to do?
He drove along the darkened streets, trying to head back to his house. He needed rest. His vision was blackening. He vaguely knew he should pull over, but he didn't. He had to get home first. He had to come up with a way to get Erica and Boyd. He couldn't leave them. If Derek didn't want him, then he would give his help to his betas. At least that is what he told himself. His head felt heavy. He was passing by the streets, heading closer to the outskirts of town where his house was. The buildings becoming more distant from one another. He was almost there, at least he hoped. Stiles could barely make out shaped in the dark. Each passing moment, his vision clouded more and more. When his eyes closed, his felt his consciousness slipping from him. He barely felt his arm turn the steering wheel to the right hard, the sound of tires squealing as the jeep lurched to the side. A large thump, jolted Stiles, making him hit his head hard on the roof of the cabin. He caught the shape of a tree and the start of concrete freeway dividers before his jeep slipped between the two, knocking the jeep to a holt, effectively pinning in the middle where in the front just behind the front two tires.
Stiles fell forward, the wheel knocking into his chest, a wave of pain shooting from his chest into his shoulders in arms before he fell to the side in his seat. His eyes swimming in darkness and water from his tears that he had forgotten about. He had passed out, barely aware of the lights moving over the cabin of his truck.