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More Pain Than The Rest

Chapter Text

"Let me in!"


Stiles wasn't actually sure how it got to this. Maybe that's because his own mind and body hadn't actually been his for a while and he was trapped in some dreamworld, playing a game of Go with the Nogitsune while said dark spirit caused a slaughter and hurt the people he cared about, but there were other reasons too. Like, no one really knowing what the fuck was going on and how to beat it. He remembered splitting from the Nogitsune and having his own body, one made up of the dark spirit's power. Although the body he was using was exactly like his own, scars and everything, it wasn't his and he was painfully aware of it. He recalls the surrogate sacrifice when he, Allison and Scott temporarily died in place of their parents and the darkness it had caused in all of them. Deaton had warned them of it and just as the man had said, he could feel the darkness around his heart every single day. Every waking moment and even in dreams, that darkness was still there, forever a part of him that wouldn't be erased, regardless if he was awake or not.

That darkness had only grown when the Nogitsune took over him and used his hands, his face and his voice to slaughter the masses of innocent people. To hurt the people he cared about and kill them. The darkness had grown then. But now, with this body made from the Nogitsune's power, it was... Different. The darkness was still there, oh boy, it was definitely still there. But now it was...

Well, it was void.

Before the darkness had simply felt like, well, darkness. Like a looming shadow cast over him constantly, always lingering and never-ending, causing the hair on his arms to stand on end. A dread that followed him, constantly whispering in his ear that something was going to go wrong. It was like hypervigilance but again, it was... Different. Different in the sense that it wasn't a fear of dying or losing someone, but a constant reminder he was being followed by darkness. But now... The darkness had more... of a form, so to speak. Before, the darkness was just there, a ring around his heart, shadowing him at all times. But now it had depth, now it stretched further than his heart, now he had a void within him. A dark, endless abyss of pure nothingness. A vacant mass of endless darkness that was... everywhere. He was void. But not in the sense that he was the Nogitsune itself, but it certainly was a lot closer than he was comfortable with. It almost felt like he was becoming void. Like he was becoming the void within him.

In a weird, twisted way, it did make sense to him. This body had been made from a dark Kitsune - a void Kitsune and so, perhaps it was only natural that the body it made for him would be void as well. He had become a void, but he wasn't void. Which made a lot of sense while making absolutely zero sense. But then again, when did anything in this twisted Supernatural world actually make complete sense?

Stiles would tell you; never. That's frickin' when. Never. It never made any damn sense half of the time. He had become void but wasn't actually void. Perfect.

Maybe that's why the Nogitsune was after him. Again. Because he was void, although it was different. The Nogitsune was smart. Much smarter than anyone had given him credit for. Blowing up the sheriff station? Okay, that wasn't entirely unexpected. After all, if you wanted to stop police from stopping you, you had to wipe them out first, right? Massacring random people at the hospital? Bit much but it wasn't the first time the hospital had been attacked. Tricking the entire pack into thinking it really was Stiles? Smart but average overall. Using mind tricks while in Stiles' mind? They'd be more surprised if the Nogitsune didn't do that.

But turning their only way to beat the Nogitsune against them and spreading their power pretty much all over the city? Well, shit. The only way they knew to beat the Nogitsune was to 'change the host' as the Shugendo scroll had said. So, after managing to escape the Nogitsune's... Illusion? and finally entering the school, they had managed to confront the Nogitsune. Or at least, the Nogitsune-using-Stiles'-face-and-real-body. Scott had managed to bite the Nogitsune and for a moment, it truly seemed as though they had beat it. Isaac had caught the fly in the triskelion box and for a moment, it had seemed like that was it. Like that was the end of it.

Then a whole fucking swarm of flies had escaped Stiles' body and everyone present had no idea what the hell to do. Turns out, the first fly to leave Stiles had been nothing but a decoy and the real one was in that mass. They had fallen for the trick, hook, line and sinker, caught the decoy and let the real one escape. Which one it was, they had absolutely no idea and with only one box, there was no way they could catch them all before the real one got away.

And that's the story of how Stiles ended up, two weeks later, staring at some stranger he had never seen before. But the dark entity in said stranger was more than familiar. Far too familiar and quite frankly, Stiles wasn't happy to see it. The Nogitsune smirked at him. He was possessing another teenager or perhaps young adult, looking to be about 18-22 at best. He had black messy hair, green eyes with serious bags underneath, much like how Stiles had looked under the Nogitsune's possession, no doubt from the sleep deprivation. Stiles knew from experience that the Nogitsune hardly bothered sleeping unless it played a purpose in his tricks, like, say, pretending to be unconscious when found by someone to play a part. Stiles noticed that the man that the Nogitsune was possessing had quite a bit of muscle on him. It made him nervous because he already knew the Nogitsune could give super strength to whoever he possessed - again from experience - and the addition of his current host already having strength would probably only make him even stronger, which was just fantastic. Stiles already didn't stand a chance against the Nogitsune and now his chances were in the damn negatives.

"Great. Just great," he mumbled bitterly, glaring at the smirking teen. He was on his way to Scott's house, having promised to help the Alpha with hunting the Nogitsune down. His brother in all but blood had insisted - more like demanded, really - that he rested before he helped them hunt the Nogitsune down, especially since there was a chance that the Nogitsune may target him. He hadn't slept in who knows how long, nor had he eaten and the whole process of getting a new body in itself hadn't exactly been an easy one either. So, all in all, he needed some serious rest and Scott wasn't willing to watch him burn himself out any more than he already had. The pack had been searching for the Nogitsune the past two weeks but hadn't come up with much. They had found a few of the flies but only because they made themselves present. As in, they were controlling someone and causing chaos but other than manipulating hormones to make said people angry and cause fights, it was nothing more than a distraction to throw them off the Nogitsune's trail. It was, unfortunately, working. They couldn't ignore the bouts of chaos randomly popping up throughout the city, the sudden riots that were thrown, the random murders in back allies and parties and wherever people could be found. While said events were usual, they were happening far too frequently to be isolated events from the chaos-loving dark entity. What's more, is that the Nogitsune was probably feeding off of it all, only getting stronger each passing day.

They had been stretched too thin. With a lot of the police force put out of business from the bomb, they had limited help. And with several doctors and nurses also having been taken by the Nogitsune, they weren't able to treat and save as many people as they would have liked. The entire town was stretched too thin while the Nogitsune was just feeding off of all the chaos, strife and pain it was causing everywhere. They were not the slightest bit closer to finding out where the Nogitsune was and what it's next move would be.

Until it appeared before Stiles now, who was completely alone and without back-up. Stiles, despite being the genius he was, wasn't sure what the Nogitsune wanted other than kill him. He knew the Nogitsune wanted to kill him when they were spilt because it would mean he would have permanent control over his body. But now the Nogitsune was possessing someone else so he didn't need to kill him for that reason. Stiles' original body had been destroyed after Scott's bite. Other than not wanting him to help Scott, Stiles didn't see any other reasons for the Nogitsune wanting to kill him. Not that would help him, of course. The Nogitsune didn't even need a reason to kill him - it was all just a sick game to the dark spirit. It fed off of pain and what better way to do than to kill people?

Stiles had faced a lot of supernatural creatures while standing by Scott's side but the Nogitsune was something Stiles truly feared they weren't capable of beating. The thing was a thousand years old and way more experience than they had. They were also running out of ways to beat the Nogitsune. The Shugendo scroll had been all they had but the Nogitsune had found a way around that. Other than killing the host, they were out of ideas. But that wasn't exactly the ideal solution, considering a, they didn't want to kill people and besides, they weren't sure it would even kill the Nogitsune too. It was just a spirit, after all. Killing its host probably wouldn't kill the Nogitsune too, the fucker would probably just possess someone else. They had no idea what to do with it other than lock it up but they weren't sure they could keep the dark entity secured. It was a trickster, after all, and an old one. It had more experience than the whole pack combined and it probably knew its way around confinement.

"Did you miss me?" The Nogitsune drawled, lazily smirking at Stiles with its new host's face. Stiles backed away, uncertain. He may be a lot better than when the Nogitsune left two weeks ago, but that by no means meant he was ready to face the fox spirit. Not by himself with absolutely no plan. His best bet was to call Scott and tell him the Nogitsune was here but by the time he got here, Stiles could already be dead. Or missing. His mind raced with possibilities of what the Nogitsune could have in store for him and his friends - the nightmares alone had kept him from getting much sleep these past few days and provided more than enough ideas - and Stiles cursed his uselessness. He wasn't sure how to handle the trickster spirit at all. He had spent days thinking about it but hadn't been able to come up with much.

"What do you want?" Stiles asked instead, his voice strong with only the slightest waver giving away his fear. He glared at the possessed human in front of him, not breaking eye contact. The host's eyes darkened with malice, the smirk stretching into one far more sinister. Stiles took a step back towards his Jeep, hoping that at the very least, he would able to reach his phone so he could call Scott and the rest of the pack. The trickster tilted its head, watching him in amusement but Stiles didn't miss the malice still present in its eyes.

"Why so cold, Stiles? I would have thought you missed me," The fox replied, snickering. Stiles' glare only hardened. The fox sighed wistfully, now smiling at him. "And after all I've done to prepare for you..." Stiles froze, his stomach dropping. What? The hell did it mean by that? Actually, screw that. Stiles didn't want to know. It would probably be best if he didn't know.

"Sounds great. I'll put it in my calendar. I'm free between the 8th of never and the 22nd of go fuck yourself," Stiles snarked, still glaring at the fox as he took quick steps back. He gripped the door of his Jeep, quickly wrenching it open and never once taking his eyes off the fox in human form. The aforementioned fox made no move to stop him, simply watching Stiles with amused eyes, not looking worried in the slightest, which very much worried Stiles. Still not taking his eyes off of it, Stiles hauled half of his body into his Jeep, blinding patting down the surfaces for his phone. Still, the Nogitsune made no move and it made Stiles anxious as hell. He could never tell what the damn thing wanted, aside from chaos. But this wasn't exactly chaotic. Maybe the Nogitsune was waiting for something? The thought made Stiles shiver because if it was, then Stiles was probably walking right into its trap.

His fingers finally caught his phone and he stepped out of his Jeep, keeping the door open and hiding his phone behind it. The fox probably already knew what he was doing but Stiles would rather not take his chances. There was a very minimal chance that the Fox wasn't entirely certain what he was doing. Stiles locked eyes with the fox again, glaring murderously, hate in his eyes. Stiles wasn't a person who held a lot of hate within him but the Nogitsune was an exception. The amount of hate he held for the Nogitsune almost suffocated him. He typed his password in without looking, having to make several attempts at getting it right without looking. After the third try, he was lucky enough to get in without his phone locking him out. Which was usually just his luck and Stiles thanked whatever deity that was out there listening to his prayers.

Still, the fox just smiled at him, watching him with amusement in its dark green eyes. Stiles brought up his notes, writing a very quick and brief message before leaving his notes and pulling up his contacts, instinctively knowing where Scott's number was saved and clicking on it. His eyes darted to his phone quickly, ensuring he was pressing the right buttons. His finger hovered over the call button and he turned back to the Nogitsune. Just before he pressed the call button, he hesitated. The fox was far too calm for his liking and Stiles could tell it knew what he was trying to do. But it wasn't doing anything about it. It was letting him call Scott and probably the rest of the pack. This was a trap if he'd ever seen one and alarms went off in his head. If he called Scott here just to land the Alpha in the Nogitsune's trap and got him hurt, Stiles would never forgive himself.

He had already hurt the pack enough and if this time he willingly brought harm to them... Stiles wouldn't be able to live with himself. Frankly, he would rather die.

He lowered his phone, unsure. There was a risk in both actions. If he called Scott, he could be bringing him right into a trap. If he didn't, he could be causing himself a lot of harm. If it wanted Scott, it could have found him when the Alpha was out searching for it... But instead, it had come right to Stiles and had said something about having prepared something for him? Stiles tensed, only just remembering those words, however. There was a risk in both actions and he seriously needed to consider his options heavily. If he made the wrong choice, it could be deadly for everyone. But, being the loyal self-sacrificing idiot he was, he lowered his phone anyway. He really would rather die than so much as risk bringing Scott straight into a trap.

The Nogitsune tilted its head, its eyes flickering to the phone and back to Stiles' eyes. It smiled, mocking. "What's wrong? Aren't you going to call your precious pack?" The sentence was smooth and Stiles picked up the undertone of malice in it. The Nogitsune was playing a dangerous game, as always, with an endgame filled with bloodshed. Stiles swallowed past the lump in his throat.

"What do you want?" He forced out, holding his gaze steady. His finger hovered over the call button just in case. In case the Nogitsune actually starting saying something useful, he might need Scott to hear it. The smirk on the trickster's face grew, wide and threatening. It looked insane. It probably was.

"I want my host back," The Nogitsune stated, watching Stiles intently. Stiles froze, body tensing as his blood ran cold. He stumbled back in shock, eyes widening. He wanted what? Instinctively, he pressed the call button. If the Nogitsune was going to try to possess him again, he couldn't let the fox trick the pack again.

"You already have a host," Stiles whispering, begging to no-one that this was just another trick, another lie to mess with his head. He could hear the blood rushing in his head, blocking out sound as his phone trilled in his hand. He could feel the blood pumping throughout his body and he twitched anxiously, recalling the feeling of actually being in control of himself. Hell, he savoured it and he wasn't ready - he never would be - to give up control of his body again.

The Nogitsune smiled, beginning to walk towards him and Stiles' breath hitched. No, he wasn't going to be possessed again. Not by this thing. This creature that longed and craved for violence, blood and death. He couldn't let it happen again. Not while he had a fighting chance. Although, that being said, he couldn't actually fight against the Nogitsune. He needed to find another way out of this. If it came down to a physical fight, Stiles would be completely done for. He couldn't win against a regular human on a daily basis, let alone an already strong human possessed by a dark spirit that gave their host more strength. Using his head had always been his strong suit but the Nogitsune was smart, probably even smarter than him and had way more experience than he did. If he was going to outsmart the Nogitsune, he would have to think of something that even the Nogitsune wouldn't see coming. Which was... going to be very hard.

Scott picked up on the second ring. "Stiles?" His voice came through the speaker and Stiles stumbled back some more as the Nogitsune began to close in. His eyes darted around, looking for anything he could to help him formulate a plan. Trees, his Jeep, a lamppost, some houses that looked currently empty - Stiles wouldn't yell out for help, that would be like asking the Nogitsune to kill random people - Stiles focused on the gardens. One had a small foundation, surrounded by rocks which Stiles could pick up and throw but that wouldn't be very effective against the dark spirit. Some flowers and Stiles quickly scanned them, hoping that one of them would be something a supernatural creature would be weak against but of course, no such luck. He lifted the phone to his ear.

"The Nogitsune is here. Don't fall for his tricks, it might not be me when you see me," Stiles breathed out in a rush, wanting to warn Scott before the Nogitsune made an official move. Moving faster than Stiles expected, the Nogitsune was suddenly right in front of him, tightly gripping the wrist that held his phone. Stiles grunted in pain at the bruising grip. The fox pried his hand away from his ear, grinning wickedly.

"Where are you?" Scott demanded urgently and Stiles could easily hear the worry he wasn't bothering to hide. Stiles opened his mouth to answer but the Nogitsune slapped its other hand over his mouth and shoved him backwards into the back of his Jeep. Stiles grunted in pain, gripping his phone tightly and bringing his free hand up to try to pull the trickster's hand off his mouth. It didn't budge and Stiles made a muffled protest, trying to twist his head out of the fox's grip. The hand just followed him, not releasing him. The trickster smiled at him, mocking him silently.

"Stiles?! Stiles!" Scott was calling him. Stiles grunted, trying to shake the hand off of his face but the Nogitsune was persistent in keeping him quiet. "What's going on? What happened?! Stiles!" When shaking his head proved to be fruitless, Stiles tried to bite the hand. It took a few attempts but he eventually managed to catch the skin in his mouth and bite down with all his strength. The fox's smile only widened, not looking pained in the slightest. Of course. Stiles' eyes darted to the phone still in hand, hearing Scott still calling for him. The Nogitsune followed his gaze, tilting its head almost innocently before looking back to Stiles. The fox pressed its body into Stiles, pushing Stiles into the Jeep more and crushing him slightly, making it a bit harder to breathe. The hand on his mouth remained firm.

"Ssshhh, Stiles. Wouldn't want to ruin the fun now, would we?" The fox whispered, smirking, the look in its eyes getting darker with malice and glee. The grip on his wrist continued to tighten until Stiles couldn't take the pressure anymore and was forced to drop his phone. The phone clattered to the ground, Stiles letting out a muffled whimper. The hand pressed into his mouth more, the pressure beginning to hurt.

"Stiles! Stiles! I'm coming to find you! Just- just- uh, hold on! I'll find you! I'm coming to get you, Stiles!" He could still hear Scott's voice through the speaker. He looked desperately down to his phone the best he could, willing Scott to not try to find him. Wishing that Scott would stay where he was and out of harm's way - out of the fox's way, just this once. The Nogitsune slowly looked down to the phone, smiled mockingly and then looked at Stiles with another smirk.

"Then we better get going, Stiles. Wouldn't want to still be here when he arrives, now would we?" The fox whispered, yanking Stiles forward by his wrist. Stiles stumbled, not expecting the movement and before he could do anything to resist, the Nogitsune took its hand away from his mouth, grabbing his head and slamming it into the boot of his Jeep. Stiles collapsed to the ground in a heap of limbs, everything turning black.

Chapter Text

The first thing Stiles was aware of was the splitting pain in his head. Whatever had hit him sure packed a punch. And yes, Stiles was aware that this wasn't a normal headache. He had been hit enough to know when he was waking up from a natural pain or inflicted pain. Being friends with a True Alpha Werewolf tended to land you in a lot of trouble and Stiles frequently losing consciousness. Whether that was because he was being kidnapped by god-knows-what, knocked out in a fight against who-even-knows, or fainting because of some horrid, terrifying abomination like a needle, Stiles was becoming accustomed to waking on the ground. He probably shouldn't but given his lifestyle, decisions and the fact he was the son of a cop, it was probably best he got used to it and was prepared for any situation. Especially if he wanted to work as an officer or FBI agent when he was older.

He moved his head slightly, twitching his fingers to see if he was free and mentally checking over his body for injuries. A wave of nausea assaulted him and it took everything in Stiles to not throw up the little he had in his stomach. He hadn't been eating recently, too caught up in his guilt and thoughts to be able to stomach much. Other than his head, he couldn't feel pain anywhere on his body so he was uninjured and that wasn't too much trouble. But Stiles imagined that the second he opened his mouth, he was going to be.

He listened carefully, wanting to know if he was alone or being watched. He laid still, relaxing his muscles to make himself look like he was still asleep. The surface underneath his body was cold and he was certain he was on the floor. It felt like cement. The room was cold and he shivered slightly, only just noticing he was shaking slightly. He wouldn't deny he was afraid but he scared enough to be shaking, so it must be from the cold, which meant he had been here for a while. He could feel the coldness seeping into his bones. Jeez, would it kill his kidnapper to invest in a damn heater? Unless they planned to freeze him to death, which certainly made sense, because, at this rate, he probably would freeze to death. He might be exaggerating a bit but still.

Listening intently, he heard the sound of howling wind. Okay, that was good, right? It meant there was likely a window nearby, so he might be able to escape. Or at least, make enough noise that someone would hear him. It was also bad in the sense that meant he had no protection against the weather outside. Which would be fantastic. Because who wouldn't love to be cold all the time? Especially when it was nearing winter. Hopefully, he wouldn't be here long enough to feel the effects of the cold weather.

Stiles couldn't hear anything else other than the wind and rustling trees. It was quiet. It didn't sound like he was in the main part of the city, so he must be on outskirts, or somewhere around or in the forest. It didn't help him much but it was better than nothing. He couldn't hear or sense anyone else in the room with him, but he didn't have super hearing like his wolf friends so there was a chance he just couldn't hear them. Regardless, it was probably best to get this over with.

He tested his arms and legs to see if he was tied up and to his surprise, nothing bound his hands and feet together. Confused and disorientated, Stiles lifted himself up, the sound of clanking following his movement. He scanned the room, finding himself in a circular room. The dirty walls were made of stone and some vines were growing along the wall on his right. There was a metal door on the wall in front of him to the left. The floor was dirty with dirt and who-even-knows what, but luckily, whatever it was, it was all dry so it wasn't sticking to him. If Stiles didn't know any better, he'd say he was in a well, but a glance upwards confirmed there was a ceiling and a window covered in rusted bars. He studied it carefully, wondering if it was loose. The problem was that the window was too high up for him to reach. He looked around, noticing the old wooden table to his right and the chair tucked underneath it. He frowned. Even if he stood on the table, he still wouldn't be able to reach the window. It would still be too high up. He wisely chose to ignore the equipment on the table, experience told him he wouldn't want to know what was on there.

Stiles squinted up at the window again, just barely able to see a glance of the dark sky through the bars and the angle he was at. Judging by the darkness of the sky, it was night time. How long had he been out? Stiles stood up and as he did, only just acknowledging the clanking of metal behind him and the weights on his arms and legs. He looked down at himself and then quickly turned around, cursing quietly at what he saw. He had been chained to the wall. Metal cuffs were wrapped securely around both his wrists and ankles. His jeans had been pushed up so the cuffs clung only to his skin. He checked the cuffs, testing for wiggle room. To Stiles' frustration, the cuffs were the exact size of his wrists and ankle and were firm on him, not budging in the slightest. The cuffs were tight, not enough to cause extreme pain but enough that Stiles could feel them now that he wasn't so caught up in his thoughts. Great. He scanned the cuffs and chain some more, hoping to find some kind of weak link so he could break out of here. He tested the strength of the chains and how well they were locked into the wall. Stiles, with his ever so persistent good luck, found that it was very firmly locked into the wall. He wouldn't be breaking out of these anytime soon. He checked the locks, hoping it was one he could maybe find a way to lockpick.

The metal door behind him creaked open and Stiles quickly spun around, dropping the chains. At the very least, the chains gave him some legroom so he could take a few steps. He might even be able to pace if it came down to it. He wasn't sure yet though. The unfamiliar possessed teen walked into the room, shutting the metal door behind him. Stiles' eyes flickered to the door, hoping to see what was behind the door but the door blocked him from seeing anything in what Stiles assumed was a hallway. The possessed teen smirked as he made his way into the room, grabbing the chair from the table and setting it a few feet away from Stiles. He sat down on the chair backwards, resting his arms on the back of the chair. Stiles only just remembered that he had been kidnapped by the goddamn fucking Nogitsune and mentally cursed because his life fucking sucked sometimes.

"I hope you like it. I made some nice...accommodations, to help you fit right in," The fox started, smiling almost innocently at him. The fox was anything but innocent. The fox watched him, soaking in his every movement, a dark amusement in its green eyes. For a brief moment, Stiles pitied the poor guy being used as its host, having known first hand how horrible it was to be under the control of the trickster. But then his eyes hardened and he glared into the fox's eyes because despite how bad he felt for the person locked inside, they weren't in control right now and the fox very clearly was. Honestly, being held captive by a Nogitsune that fed off of pain absolutely terrified him. At least the other times he was kidnapped, it wasn't by a homicidal (aside from Gerard), sadistic, lunatic that got off of and got stronger from pain. If that wasn't a scary thought then Stiles didn't know what was. He highly doubted he was going to come out of this unscathed if he was going to come out of this at all.

"What do you want?" Stiles ground out through gritted teeth, not wanting to play the fox's games. He had played long enough and he was sick of it. He remembered the fox's answer from the last time he asked that question but it still didn't make sense to him. Why would the Nogitsune want him as its host again? Especially when the guy in front of him looked a lot stronger than Stiles ever did. Maybe that was just another trick. He wouldn't be surprised if it was. After all, the foxes breathed lies.

The fox tilted its head, watching him. "I already told you; I want you," The fox stated, feigning confusion as he watched Stiles. Stiles glared at him, forcing himself to keep his emotions in check. If he got too emotional, this could go south really quick. But even as he tried, he couldn't stop the fear from climbing up, making itself known and making his muscles tense in preparation. For what, he wasn't entirely sure but he wasn't about to let his guard down around the trickster.

"That's bullshit. You already have a host," Stiles snapped, standing his ground. He clenched his fists, still willing himself to stay in control. He couldn't afford to slip up. Scott and the rest of the pack would find him soon, they had to. It might take them a while, of course - the fox was good at hiding, practically a pro at it - but he couldn't hide forever. No, Stiles doubted it would hide forever. It couldn't and it wouldn't, that much Stiles was sure of. It was far too interested in causing chaos to hide.

The fox hummed, nodding. It looked away, eyes inspecting the vines on Stiles' right. "True but I prefer you. You're a lot more interesting. You're smart," The Nogitsune sounded at peace like it was talking about good weather and not fucking holding Stiles hostage who knows where, possessing an innocent person and probably also killing someone at this very moment. "You're not stupid like the rest of that ridiculous pack. Frankly, I think they'd be dead if it hadn't been for you so I'm interested in how they'll fare without you," The fox turned back to him, smiling mischievously. "After all, you're always the one with the plan. Aren't you, Mischief?"

"Don't call me that!" Stiles snapped immediately, out of reflex more than anything. Hearing the nickname after so long sent a sudden jolt of pain through him, images of his mother flashing through his mind. The fox smirked at him, clearly having received the reaction it wanted. Stiles was quick to remember the bastard fed off his pain and stamped it down, forcing the memories to the back of his mind. Quickly getting himself together, Stiles held his voice steady as he spoke again; "The pack will find a way to take you down. Even without me."

The fox tilted its head, still smiling and what Stiles wouldn't give to smack the smile right off the bastard's face. "Careful, it almost sounds like you're calling yourself useless, Stiles," it remarked, the amusement clear in its voice. Stiles huffed, deciding not to dignify it with a response. It didn't matter what he did, he was just going to amuse the fox either way. Maybe if he bored the fox, it would go away. It was unlikely but it was still worth a shot. Stiles looked behind him, shuffling back until he was by the wall and sat down. He pressed his back against the wall, lifting his knees up and resting his elbows on them, his eyes sliding over to the vines, inspecting them.

The vines ran all the way up the wall, from bottom to the top. The vines stretched over the walls and had stuck to the ceiling too. Stiles followed the path of the vines, noticing that it looked like it was going to grow down from the ceiling onto the wall across from him. He wondered how long it would take. Vines grew quite fast, didn't they?

"Stiiiiles," The fox drawled playfully. Stiles ignored it. He wondered if he would spend enough time here - he ignored the implications it meant to stay here for a long time - if he could watch the vines grow further throughout the room. If they started to overgrow, he wondered if he would be able to play with them - have something to fiddle with. Although he would probably end up fiddling with the chains attached to him.

"The more you take, the more you leave behind. What am I, Stiles?" Another riddle. Fantastic. Stiles found himself thinking about it anyway, his sharp mind finding the answer within seconds. It took a bit longer than he would have liked due to his headache but he managed.

"Footsteps," he whispered, voice hoarse. He swallowed past the lump in his throat, returning his thoughts to the vines. Perhaps they would stay within a certain area and not grow any further. He tried to remember how fast vines could grow and what conditions they needed.

"What has a head, a tail, is brown and has no legs?"(A/N) The Nogitsune continued. Stiles absentmindedly thought about it, reaching an answer but deciding not to say anything. He wasn't willing to play the Nogitsune's game again. Not when he knew what the end result would be. Instead, he decided to start using his head for something useful. The fox had said it wanted Stiles to be its host again? That it preferred him over its current host? Okay, so, in that case, why wasn't the Nogitsune trying to forcefully possess him again? Why did it bring him here? There was another motive here. He thought about it, recalling the events that had happened before. He did his best to ignore the splitting headache but it was certainly making its presence known.

There was something off about this whole thing. The Nogitsune was a lot stronger than him, hell, probably smarter too. So why did it bring him all the way here and chain him up? The Nogitsune could easily keep him contained, especially since it still had the Oni. So why... Then, something clicked. The body split. If he recalled correctly, if Stiles died while they were split, then the Nogitsune would have permanent control over his body. Instead, the Nogitsune had lost his body and had to possess someone else. So, did that mean that Stiles now couldn't be possessed by it? Or that he was immune to some of its powers? Whatever it was, the Nogitsune clearly wasn't willing to take its chances and perhaps felt threatened enough to take him.

"You can't possess me anymore, can you?" Stiles found himself asking, looking up to the fox. Its eyes narrowed and there was a dangerous glint in it, followed by anger almost immediately. Stiles took that as a yes. So, he had been right. But that still didn't make sense. Even if the Nogitsune couldn't possess him anymore, why take him? There must be another condition or effect that the Nogitsune was trying to avoid. Not being able to possess him wouldn't be a problem so there had to be another reason. He racked his brain, trying to think about what the Nogitsune could possibly be threatened enough by that he would take him.

The fox stood up from the chair, marching towards Stiles, who tensed, watching with wary eyes. The fox gripped his hair tightly, lifting him off the ground a bit. Stiles grit his teeth, his feet scrambling for a hold so he wasn't being lifted off the ground solely by his hair. The fox glared at him, lifting its face down until they were at eye level.

"Don't rack your brain too much, young one. My intentions are simple. I cannot possess you unless you willingly and truly allow it, however, this comes with its own benefits and disadvantages. You are here for my benefit, not because you are a disadvantage," The fox spoke, its eyes beginning to light with dark amusement which sent chills down Stiles' spine. He didn't like that look because it meant nothing but bad news for him.

"Oh yeah? And what's that?" Stiles ground out, meeting the fox's eyes defiantly. He wasn't going to willingly let the fox possess him at any point and it must have known that. Which meant it probably had something in store for him and although Stiles really, really didn't want to know, there was no getting out of it. That is, at least until he found out what it was.

"Your pain will feed me twice as much as any other will. You, Stiles, will make me twice as strong, the more pain you feel," The fox snickered, dropping him suddenly and standing over him with a smirk. "Maybe even thrice as strong if you're in enough pain." Stiles gulped, seriously not liking that implication. So, the dark fox had brought him here to hurt him and feed off of him. That was... just wonderful. He was stuck with a sadist that got off on pain and got stronger the more he suffered. This was, without a doubt, the worst situation that Stiles could ever be in. He could feel the fear crawling through his body, making his muscles tense and alarms ring in his head.

"Scott will stop you," Stiles shot back, his voice wavering. He believed in his brother but he knew the chances of Scott bursting through the door within the next few minutes was very low, so he would be stuck here until Scott and the rest of the pack found where the fox had stashed him. Until then... Well, he wasn't going to be having a pleasant time, was he? The fox crouched down before him, watching him with amused eyes.

"Maybe he will, maybe he won't, but he won't be here to save you in time, will he? He's a little too busy trying to stop his little pack from dying like Allison," The fox purred. Stiles flinched at the name, the guilt immediately overcoming him and bile rising up in his throat. Allison. He had thought about her a lot the past two weeks and even though Scott had said it wasn't his fault, that didn't stop the guilt from overwhelming him. It was his fault and no one could convince him otherwise. If he had just fought against a little harder, just moved a bit faster, had realised what was happening sooner, done something, anything, he could have done something to stop it. Could have avoided that whole mess. Could have not taken a bright life so soon. If he had just better, smarter, he could have...

A dull stinging in his hand caught his attention, snapping him from his self-loathing. He looked down, seeing the fox had grabbed his hand. It was feeding off him- the bastard! Stiles snatched his hand away from the fox, glaring at it as he cradled his hand to his chest and shuffled back. The fox merely just smiled at him.

"That's not even the tip of the iceberg of pain I'm going to make you feel, yet, that was so satisfying. Just a little bit of pain and guilt like that... And it was so nice," The fox purred and Stiles practically hissed at it. He lashed out, kicking the fox away from him. It didn't do anything, the fox just smiled, not moving in the slightest.

"Fuck you," Stiles growled angrily. Since he couldn't go back any further, he shuffled to the side, away, away, from this demonic fox. The fox hummed, still smiling, looking much more amused than earlier and how Stiles just wanted to slap that stupid smile off its face-.

"I'm sure you would," the fox replied smoothly, standing up and walking towards the table. It stood in front of it, looking over the items on the surface and Stiles felt his stomach drop. Fear coiled through him like a snake, suffocating him. He gulped, trying to push down the fear, knowing that the fox would only feed off it.

"Hell no. You wish," Stiles retorted, trying to keep his voice strong but failing miserably. His voice was low and quiet and it nearly cracked. Stiles decided his best bet would be to stay quiet if he didn't want the Nogitsune to know how truly scared he was - although he imagined the fox could probably sense it anyway. A strong front had never hurt him before (lies, lies, lies).

"Well, I'm just anxious to get started, aren't you?" The fox in human skin asked, picking up his object of choice, which, just to Stiles luck, was a whip. The classic torture weapon. Stiles shuddered. He wasn't supernatural. He wasn't going to heal like Scott. He didn't have the pain tolerance like Derek. He didn't have a voice that could be heard almost anywhere like Lydia. He wasn't trained like his Dad. He only had his wits and sarcasm and that wasn't enough to beat a thousand-year-old demonic fox spirit that was much smarter than him and with more experience than Stiles would ever have.

"Don't," Stiles whispered, his last defence as the Nogitsune drew closer, a wicked look now adorning his stolen face.

"Let's have some fun, shall we, Stiles?" The fox purred and Stiles could only squeeze his eyes shut as the whip loudly cracked in the silent room, soon to be broken by his screams and sobs.

Chapter Text

Scott was having a bad day. He had been for about a month now. It started a month ago and still hadn't ended. Perhaps it was just a bad year in general? He would like to say that it started with the Nogitsune but honestly, it had started long before then. The Alpha pack and Darach had also been a big problem and had caused him a lot of grief, especially when his mother, Stiles' Dad, and Allison's Dad were almost sacrificed, causing them all to have to be surrogate sacrifices, which led to his current dilemma. It was all a mess and Scott was stressed. He wanted a break but he wasn't going to be getting one any time soon.

First, they had to deal with the side effects to being surrogate sacrifices, then deal with Oni, find out Stiles was possessed and race against the dark spirit, a Nogitsune, that was possessing his brother to find a way to beat it and save Stiles. In the process, he had lost the love of his life, Allison Argent, to the Oni that were now under the Nogitsune's command who was still possessing his brother. Then one of the twins, Aiden also died. They had lost two people and Scott just wasn't willing to lose anymore. They had found a way to beat the Nogitsune and after all their efforts, the damn thing had outsmarted them, survived and got away. They had no idea where it went and Stiles was checked again for the fox, who obviously wasn't hiding in him again. The fox had disappeared and it didn't even take two days before the chaos started up throughout the city again. Riots, sudden murders, random attacks. The Nogitsune still had the Oni under its command which was just fantastic because as long as it had the Oni, it was even more untouchable than before and didn't even need to be present to cause chaos.

But, it had to be present to feed off of the chaos it caused and that's what Scott was counting on. Except, he had no idea how to find the fox - it could be possessing anyone by now and it was a good actor so Scott had no idea how to single it out. It was good at hiding its aura when it wanted to and even with his sense of smell and eyes, he couldn't tell when the fox was actually present. It had him completely fooled when it was pretending to be Stiles and Scott couldn't go around accusing and attacking random people of being the Nogitsune.

They needed a plan and they needed one fast. Stiles was always the one who came up with the plans, being the brilliant strategist he was. But everything that had happened with the Nogitsune and the whole body split incident, Stiles needed to rest. Scott wasn't willing to watch his brother constantly be suffering and drowning in his own guilt. When they first separated, Scott had allowed Stiles to come along instead of resting because he just got him back and wasn't willing to lose him - he needed to keep him in his sight at all times. Because honestly, Stiles looked like he was dying and he was in constant pain and Scott couldn't bring himself to let Stiles out of his eyesight for even a few minutes, especially in his current condition. He just couldn't, so he had brought Stiles with him - although that was also partly due to Stiles insistence on coming and Scott knows from years of experience that when Stiles wants to do something, he does it. Regardless if it screws him over in the end or fails miserably, whether that be via humiliation or a trip to the ER, Stiles was nothing but stubborn when he needed to be and Scott respected that. It was one of his many favourite things about Stiles. He had always been the braver of the duo before Scott became a werewolf. He was still brave, hell, probably even braver and he was loyal to a fault.

It was one of the main reasons that Scott didn't blame him for any of this. It wasn't Stiles' fault that he had been possessed, nor had it been his fault that any of this happening and he wouldn't let his brother believe otherwise. The Nogitsune was an entirely different person - or entity, spirit, whatever - and it may have been using Stiles' body to carry out such horrible acts but it wasn't Stiles and it would never be Stiles. Not him. Never him. Stiles would never do any of that.

It wasn't like he had intended to be possessed - the fox had forced and crawled its way in. There were signs and Stiles even tried to convince him that there was something wrong with him - that he wasn't entirely himself for some reason, from the extra key, the message on the board about Kira, Stiles had tried to warn him something was happening but Scott believed it was all side effects from the surrogate sacrifice. They were all experiencing side effects, after all. Scott wondered if he had done something about it then, could he have saved everyone? Would it have even made a difference? Would the Nogitsune just find another way around it? Found another host and upped its game? He didn't know and he knew there was no point in thinking about 'what ifs'. What mattered was now and how they were going to beat the fox spirit.

Once he was satisfied that Stiles had rested enough or at least had enough time to rest, even if he wasn't fully recovered - Stiles wouldn't stay on the sidelines forever - he allowed Stiles to join the pack in hunting down the Nogitsune. It was causing trouble all over town and although Stiles had told them everything he knew about the fox over the phone (which hadn't been much but Scott was thankful anyway), they weren't any closer to finding where the fox was. Stiles had managed to make himself remember where the fox hid before and other places it had checked out while it was in Stiles' body, but all those areas were completely empty of the dark entity.

Stiles was more than enthusiastic about finally being able to 'actually help' as he put it - which Scott disagreed with because Stiles was helping, even if it was just by resting (it put Scott's mind at rest a bit, which allowed him to think clearer), and Stiles was on his way over. Scott would have preferred to go over to Stiles' house and pick him up but he was informed by multiple people that he was 'mother-henning' and being 'too overprotective', which he was not. He was reasonably concerned about his best friend after everything that had happened. Stiles had also said he would be fine and if Scott came over, he wasn't going to let him in because "seriously Scott, I'm fine, stop worrying. Jeez, nothing will happen. I'll be like, five minutes. Try not to have a panic attack during that time, alright?"

And then Stiles called him, literally only two minutes later, informing him that the Nogitsune was there and Scott lost it. He had dropped everything immediately, running from his pack and destroying his front door in his rush to get to Stiles before the Nogitsune did something to him. He had sprinted through the streets, Stiles having told him the route he was going to take to settle Scott's nerves, not stopping until he saw the familiar busted Jeep his best friend drove and no Stiles. Scott was absolutely manic, screaming at the top of his lungs for Stiles, not caring who's attention he caught, trying to follow his scent, he forced himself to ignore the faint smell of blood, not allowing himself to think about what it could mean - he couldn't, he couldn't (all he could smell was Stiles' scent in his Jeep and although the smell helped, it did little to calm his nerves because although he could smell Stiles' scent, he could not follow the trail). He stopped screaming, trying desperately to listen out for any sound that could indicate where they were. Still, he picked up nothing and Scott cursed, rushing his hands through his hair, a breath away from a full-blown panic attack. He couldn't lose Stiles too, he just couldn't. Anyone but him. Out of everything Scott could lose, his mother, Stiles and the sheriff were the three people he absolutely could not live without. They had been there his entire life. Always. Always by his side and with him when he needed them the most. They had been there as he had grown up and through every major life event that had changed him and he could. Not. Lose. Any. Of. Them.

He knew he should have gone to Stiles' to pick him up. God, he was so stupid. He shouldn't have even considered letting Stiles come to his alone, it was so dangerous. He shouldn't have let the others convince him it was going to be fine. He should have done something. He should have known that this was going to happen. That the fox was not done with his best friend but he didn't and Scott was furious with himself for it.

Scott searched inside and around the Jeep, hoping that Stiles had left some kind of clue, being the smartass he was. Finding nothing inside, Scott looked around the vehicle, finding Stiles' phone on the ground by the back tire. He quickly picked it up, turning the screen on. Other than a small crack and the coded password, there was nothing else of interest. Scott quickly typed in Stiles' password, wondering if Stiles had left anything on his phone to help him find him. The phone unlocked onto his contact and Scott quickly pulled out, checking his recent apps. His notes were still open. Frantically taping on the screen, he opened the notes and checked the most recent ones.

"grn eyes bck hr 20

- Saved 7 minutes ago,"

Green eyes, black hair and around twenty, Scott assumed. Not for the first time, Scott was both impressed and relieved by Stiles' intelligence and wit. This would help a lot in tracking down the Nogitsune. At least, it would narrow down the search a lot. The Nogitsune had to be close to feed on pain, so they would have to find someone fitting that description somewhere in the chaos. But, that would not help him in finding Stiles right now and oh god, if Scott didn't find Stiles within the next twenty minutes, he was seriously going to have a panic or asthma attack - whichever one came first, really.

Checking the Jeep for anything more, Scott noticed the blood he had smelt earlier. There wasn't a lot of it, thank fuck, just a bit which helped loosen Scott's muscles just a bit. Okay, so the Nogitsune hadn't just straight up killed Stiles. That was good, that was good... So... If the fox hadn't killed him, then what had it done? Scott's blood ran cold as a hundred scenarios rushed through his head, assaulting his mind with vivid pictures of outcomes Scott wished he would never see happen to anyone. It looked like the Nogitsune had knocked Stiles out and judging by the lack of body and this being the only blood he could smell, the Nogitsune had taken Stiles.

Confusion washed over Scott. Why? Why would it take Stiles? He recalled Stiles' earlier words on the phone call, trying to pick apart Stiles' words for any clues.

"Don't fall for his tricks. It might not be me when you see me."

Scott squeezed his eyes shut, forcing himself to take a few deep breathes, trying to smother the panic that welled up in his chest and suffocated him. Tried to rid himself of the images and the thoughts. He gripped the phone in his hand tighter, the pressure threatening to break the phone entirely. He couldn't let himself think like that, not yet. Right now, he had to focus on finding Stiles before the Nogitsune did anything to him.

But still, the grief and fear rising in him is too much, it was too suffocating, too painful. He did the only thing he could - he tilted his head to the sky and howled his grief to the moon, the sound echoing in the night.


Stiles lay on the cold floor, sobbing despite how he tried to hold himself together. He was trying, trying so hard not to feel this way, to not be so weak and powerless. The fox crouched before him, feeding off his pain and misery and although Stiles desperately tried to pull himself together, the pain was just too much. His back was absolutely burning with agony from the whipping, his heart was basically strangling itself with grief and pain from the fox's cruel, taunting words and he was hating himself for being so weak, for laying here an absolute mess. While you could argue he had every right to be like this, Stiles couldn't help the humiliation he felt.

He didn't know how many times the Nogitsune had whipped him, how much truth was really behind the words it spoke. He just knew that it hurt and he couldn't stop himself from hurting. Physically and emotionally. A little part of him was relieved, for two different reasons. One of those reasons being that Scott made him rest for the past two weeks, because honestly if he had been forced right into this without a break from being possessed, he would be a lot more broken. The second being he was... Well. He knew that he deserved this. It was like a punishment for all that he had done while the Nogitsune possessed his body. Sure, he may not have wanted it but he had caused it all, had watched it, had the memories of it. Worst of it, he remembered the feelings of it all, he had liked the power, the fearlessness, feeling invincible and untouchable. He had liked it, even though the cost of it all was innocent lives that had nothing to do with any of this. The lives of people who saved others all the time - the police officers, the nurses and doctors. The lives of those who were already in pain, grieving from their losses or learning of horrible news, or healing from a traumatic event. A hospital was a place for healing, not for being torn down again. Yet, Stiles had walked in there with the fox and slaughtered everyone in sight.

So, yeah. He deserved this. He deserved this pain. This torture. He had caused countless others so much pain because he was too weak to stop the Nogitsune from possessing him, too stupid to realise what was happening to him, too useless to help contribute, to help find a way to stop the fox. Because of that, he deserved to feel as much pain as them. As much pain as they all felt.

Another sob escaped him, his body shaking and shuddering, all while the fox happily fed off him, a wicked, cruel grin on its face. It snickered, its eyes alight with dark pleasure. "Look at you, Stiles. Look at how pathetic you've become. What happened to that peppy, sarcastic boy that was willing to face the world, huh?" The fox sneered, still grinning, watching his face clearly. Another sob wracked Stiles' body, more shame washing over him and he pressed his face into the cold floor, letting it cool him down and hide his face from the way too amused fox. He hated this so much but he knew he deserved it, regardless of how much it hurt. He deserved it and he hated it.

He killed innocent people. He killed people who spent their lives saving others. He killed his best friend's - his brother's first love, he destroyed someone by killing their other half - by killing their twin right in front of their very eyes. He killed them all. He deserved this. This humiliation, this pain, this shame, this regret, this guilt, this fear, this grief. He deserved it all.

Stiles could still feel the blood oozing down his back and he absentmindedly wondered if he was going to die. He certainly wouldn't be opposed to it. He deserved to die for what he had done but he also deserved to suffer. He wasn't sure if he had suffered enough yet - and wow, wasn't that just a horrible way of thinking? - to be allowed to die but Stiles found himself not able to care. If anything, he wanted to die. He wanted to be free of this overwhelming guilt. He wanted to be free of it all.

"Sssh, Stiles," The fox murmured softly, now stroking his cheek. Stiles didn't dare lift his head or look at the fox. "I'll take care of you, don't worry," and then the fox is gone and Stiles can hear his footsteps. He's relieved to get some space from the fox but judging from its words, it was going to come back. Stiles hears the sound of rummaging and sure enough, the fox comes back. The fox forces him onto his stomach, leaving his bloody back on full display. Stiles hates how vulnerable it immediately makes him feel. Stiles moves his head to the wall, looking at his own blood splattered across it from the multiple times he was thrown against it. He takes several deep breathes, trying to even out his breathing before he has actual panic attack - although honestly, Stiles thinks he's already had one but he's not entirely sure. His mind is too clouded and fuzzy to think properly and all he can focus on is the pain. Distantly, he acknowledges that tingly feeling as the Nogitsune undoubtedly feeds off him again.

The dark spirit rips his shirt off and Stiles gasps in both surprise and pain, more tears welling up in his eyes. Some of the fabric had managed to get stuck in the wounds or tangled with the ripped skin and having the fabric removed had tugged on the wounds and skin and Stiles was fairly certain it had ripped a bit of said skin out. He shuddered. The fox let out a snicker and before Stiles could even wonder why it was laughing, his entire back was burning from the disinfectant the fox suddenly poured him.

A scream ripped its way from Stiles' throat, his body jolting in surprise. Not thinking straight, he began to get up, almost on instinct but the Nogitsune pushed him right back down, holding him to the floor. Stiles mind completely blanked, the complete and utter agony overwhelming. The whipping had been incredibly painful as it was, but now his back was burning- oh god it hurt so much.

He was in so much pain. Why was this happening?

Goddammit, it was hurting so fucking much-

Someone help him-

His back was literally on fire. It hurt.

He was in a g o n y. Holy crap, how could he even feel this much pain at once?

Complete agony.

The fox laughed loudly, clearly amused and still feeding off him. "Your pain tastes so great!" The fox slapped Stiles' back, as if smacking a table when laughing too hard and somehow Stiles' pain increased. As if he wasn't already going over his pain tolerance! Unholy crap, it hURT-

Stiles blacked out from the pain.