A few minutes earlier at the Stilinski home
Melissa had spent more time than she would like to admit sitting in her car in the hospital parking lot psyching herself up to drive over to John’s house. She probably would have spent another twenty minutes sitting in driveway parked next two John’s cruiser, but her headlights had passed by the living room and she had no doubt he knew there was someone parked outside. She passed by the recycling bin on her way to the door, pausing for a moment to count the number of whisky bottles, then she squared her shoulders, her resolve solidified and knocked on the door.
When John opened the door the last person he had expected to find on the other side of it was Melissa, but her jaw was set and he knew he wouldn’t turn her away, no matter how angry he was, they were in this together.
He stepped back to let her in. “I didn’t expect soon to mean so soon,” quipped the Sheriff, trying to lighten the mood a bit. Mel’s face stayed stoic though, “I won’t overstay my welcome, John but I have some questions that need answers.”
John nodded, “Do you want them answered here in the entryway?” When Melissa shook her head he led her to the kitchen, offering her a drink of water, which she politely declined. They stood on opposite sides of the kitchen, leaning against separate counters and Mel couldn’t stop the parallels from that day she’d come over to help Claudia filter through her mind.
“You said something yesterday, about things that happened to Stiles after Claudia, things you did. I need to know if he’s safe here, John.”
Of all the things Melissa could have said, John had not anticipated this, “Excuse me?”
“There are over half a dozen whisky bottles in your recycling, John. You heard me, I need to know what happened and if Stiles is safe here.”
“Stiles and I are sorting out my past issues, things I’ve said that hurt him, but none of that requires your interference.”
Melissa glared at him, “Is he safe here with you or not, John? I’m giving you a chance here.”
“What exactly are you implying, Melissa?”
“We both know that Stiles would do anything to protect you. He covered for Claudia for who the hell knows how long!” Melissa raised her voice, tone fierce “Have you hurt him, John? That’s what I’m asking. Have you hurt your son?”
She had expected him to yell back, not for him to slump his shoulders and look so utterly destroyed “I don’t know, Mel. I don’t know.”
“He didn’t tell me anything, but we both know that means nothing. I don’t know!” his voice cracked, “Oh, god, what if I have?”
At that moment both of them heard tires squeal on the street, both of them snapping to attention, and moving into the hallway, confrontation forgotten when the front door flew open heralding the arrival of Stiles who looked thunderous. Scott appeared just seconds later making a move to follow Stiles when his friend turned to actually growl at him, stunning Scott into stillness.
“I think it’s time you left, Melissa” Stiles’ voice was clipped as he made his way over to the two adults, situating himself between Mel and his father, eyes cold and challenging.
Melissa wouldn’t back down though, “Stiles, I know you think what you’re doing is right, but I have a duty to you…”
Stiles scoffed, lightly and lowly in his throat, “You have no right, to come here and make accusations. None, Melissa. Do you understand me? Leave.”
“Stiles,” Scott whined as he moved slowly from the door, “Stiles, if it’s not true then just tell me. Unless you can lie to me?” He said the last bit as if he was merely thinking out loud.
“Yeah, that’s how I’ve spent my time since you’ve been turned, Scott. Not keeping us alive, but learning how to lie to you.”
“Then tell me it’s not true, and we’ll leave.”
“Get out, Scott,” Stiles ground out the words, gnashing his teeth unintentionally.
“Mica,” John spoke quietly from behind his son, “Mica, you have to tell them if something happened. I… we need to know.”
“No, you don’t,” Stiles replied, fear overtaking his other emotions, and Scott could feel the cold terror wrapping around his friend.
“Stiles,” Melissa stepped forward, seeing the young man in front of her panicking, she reached out a hand to cup his cheek, “Sweetheart, you need to be honest with us.”
“I don’t owe you anything,” Stiles stuttered out, taking an unconscious step back while also flicking his fingers, his father’s arms coming up to support him.
“Mica, please,” John crooned, softly, just like he had in that examination room eight years ago when Stiles had refused Melissa’s help after Claudia’s attack.
“No, no, you promised you would stay. I still need you, daddy,” Stiles’ words were fast, terror evident in his tone, his body still frozen only supported by John. He clutched at his father’s hands, the room spinning, he needed his dad.
“Stiles?” Scott’s worried voice made it through the cacophony of Stiles’ thudding heart and then he heard the question again, the truth, they wanted the truth. Maybe the truth would make all of this stop, “Once,” he heard his voice say, “Only once, didn’t mean it, please don’t leave, daddy, I’m sorry.” The litany of pleas and apologies dropped off when Stiles’ body seemed to reject his current state of consciousness and he passed out.