It starts with an itchy feeling between the layers of his skin and his muscles. Almost like something is valiantly trying to claw its way free of his skin, which makes Stiles restless.
Restlessness is not a new feeling for Stiles, who has the hyperactive-impulsive brand of ADHD. It’s the kind that sometimes makes him want to do nothing but move and jump and occasionally do something stupid and exceptionally adrenaline-rushy. Needless to say, when the restlessness increases ten-fold, Stiles thinks nothing of it. It’s normal for him – not for other people, never other people – but always for him.
Scott and the others don’t notice anything at first. They just shake their heads because that’s just how Stiles gets sometimes.
The first muscle spasm happens in P.E. They’re climbing the rock wall again (Erica beats him this time because she can) and Stiles goes to reach for the hand-hold above his head. His hand does this sort of jerky twitchy thing and Stiles blinks before shaking his hand out to the side and continuing to climb to the very top even though Erica’s already at the bottom. Stiles Stilinski does not give up just because he was beaten by a girl (who happened to have the furry advantage of being a werewolf but a girl nonetheless).
Thank God they have lunch after P.E. because Stiles is STARVING. Seriously, Adderall is supposed to decrease his appetite but he feels like he hasn’t eaten in days and he’s bouncing his legs so much that when another spasm happens, his knee comes up and smacks the table.
Let it never be said that Jackson Whittemore can’t pull off a look because he pulls off lime gelatin fabulously.
He can also run at speeds bordering on Cheetah but the world – and Stiles – already knew that long before Jackson came barreling towards Stiles.
Scott uses the opportunity to take a photo of Stiles’ face when he realizes what he’s just done to Jackson’s horrifyingly expensive outfit because Stiles never believes him when Scott says that his scared face also looks like that ring-tailed lemur from that kids’ animal show on the public access channel.
Later, when Stiles blames his inability to properly catch his breath on the fact that he had just outrun Jackson freaking Whittemore, Scott will show him the picture and Stiles will groan and cover his face because damn it, he does look like a lemur.
That night, when he and Scott are tangled in a fierce battle against some race from outer space that’s Hell-bent on taking over this fine and fair planet, Scott pauses the game and takes a big ‘ol whiff of Stiles and his teenage musk.
“Um… Dude. You know I love you right? Like, I do, really, don’t get me wrong, but even we have boundaries and this? This has hopped the boundaries and sprinted right into bad-touch zone. Stiles no-likey,” Stiles says, leaning away from his best friend and using one of his hands to gesture at his torso with clock-wise hand motions.
Scott just scrunches up his nose and says, “Dude, you stink. When was the last time you showered?” Scott McCall, ladies and gentlemen. He has the tact, subtlety and delicacy of a potato.
“Okay, one? Rude. Two? After practice. Three? I understand that you can be… How can I put this nicely… Completely oblivious, but being friends does not mean you get to ignore all social conventions. Meaning – and I say this with all of the love and affection I can manage when you’re involved – I’m sure you don’t smell like freaking roses either, Mister ‘Thumper-tastes-better-fresh’. Yeah, that’s right. I think I still see meaty bits in your teeth now if you wouldn’t mind, we have an invasion to stop,” Stiles snaps back, pointing at the screen with his controller.
So maybe he was a little over aggressive with Scott… But dude. You don’t get all up on another dude without having very clear intentions and taking a whiff of man-musk is not a clear declaration of intention, wolf or not.
For whatever reason, Stiles has a panic attack after Scott leaves.
He isn’t thinking about his mom or his dad’s health or even the seemingly rocky relationship he and his father seem to have lately.
In fact, he’s just doing more research for Derek – dude, he’s officially the Giles of this tiny little supernatural town – when it just sort of slams into him. One minute he’s reading more about aconite and the next he’s got twenty gallons of water sitting on his chest and in his throat.
Something alerts his dad to his current emotional state (probably the fact that he falls out of his chair with the effort of trying to pull in a breath and Stiles may not weigh much but the sound of a body hitting the floor is distinct) and warm, familiar hands are rubbing his back and telling him to breathe.
They don’t talk about it because it’s not the first and it won’t be the last.
Stiles still has more work to do for Derek - which he does without complaint (he likes his testicles where they are, thank you very much) - so when he feels his eyelids drooping, he pops another pill and settles in until it’s time for him to head back to school.
At which point he takes two more pills, not even thinking about the fact that he hasn’t slept in three days or that his overall Adderall total for the day is astronomically high compared to what his actual dosage should be.
Stiles makes it through the day feeling simultaneously like he has the energy to jump off a bridge and climb back to the top to do it again, and like he’s been hit by a freight train. Ugh. So achy.
He blames the muscle pain and all-over soreness on over-exerting himself at Lacrosse practice (that kind of happens when you’re the team’s punching bag) and swings by Scott’s house to drag his furry ass to Derek’s for a pack meeting or whatever they do.
While Scott argues with Derek and Peter about what color the drapes should be – not really but Stiles doesn’t actually care what they’re arguing over because it is definitely not his fault – Erica and Boyd decide that his personage is something they need to violate with their noses.
Seriously, he showers every day. He does not smell.
Erica cocks her head to the side and is just about to say something to Stiles when two things happen at once.
Thing the first: Derek snaps his head in their direction, barking out an “Erica, Boyd–“ in his best Alpha voice.
Thing the second: Stiles pukes up all of the food he’s eaten (which hasn’t been much) all over Derek’s crappy, burnt out floor.
Stiles wipes his mouth with the back of his hand, dizzy and even more nauseated than before, if that’s possible. He doubles over himself against the cramping stomach pains, eyes squeezed shut.
When he notices the room has gone quiet, Stiles looks up, arms wrapped around his middle. All of the wolves have their noses scrunched in disgust with Derek and Peter looking varying degrees of angry. Well that’s encouraging.
“Of course the one time he shuts up for more than five minutes would be to hurl all over our ancestral family’s home. Instead of word vomit it looks like he went for the real thing this time,” Peter says with an air of derision.
Derek’s got his fury-face on. The one that usually ends with a dent in the wall and a concussion for Stiles so Stiles just sort of scrambles backwards up the dilapidated steps.
“Uh… S-sorry… Must’ve had a bad sandwich at lunch or something… I’ll clean it up, dude, I swear,” he rambles as he pulls himself to his feet using the railing.
Note to future self: Standing is baaaad. Such a bad idea.
The minute he’s upright, he starts to wobble a bit and Derek pinches his nose, as if Stiles’ very existence is offensive at this very moment - which it probably is, considering it usually is when Stiles and Derek are involved with one another.
Erica’s still looking at him funny and Stiles is getting kind of annoyed. His heart feels sort of fluttery in his chest and it’s not the kind he would normally welcome. This is like the ‘oh-my-God-we’re-going-to-die-stop-doing-that’ thing where his heart forgets it’s not supposed to miss a beat.
Stiles can see the moment when Derek hears it because he’s looking at Stiles with something that normal people would call concern. Stiles calls it the ‘another-dead-teenager-is-bad-for-my-health-but-good-for-my-reputation’ look because Derek does not like Stiles and vice-versa. Plus if Derek lets Stiles die, the sheriff is never going to let him live.
“Derek… I know that smell,” Erica says slowly, sounding a little panicked. Why is Erica panicked? Stiles just has a flu, that’s all. He’ll be fine with some soup and a heated blanket and some sleep. A lot of sleep. Mmmm sleep.
“Stiles, you need to sit down,” Derek orders, voice tight and angry. When is he not angry? Seriously, the guy needs a hug and some court ordered therapy. He’s got Issues with a capital ‘I’.
“Guys, look, I’m fine, I just need to clean this mess up and go home,” Stiles argues, suddenly exhausted. He tries to descend the stairs but is stopped by Isaac, who just seemed to materialize out of the woodwork. The guy’s like Houdini sometimes. It’s a little scary.
But… When Isaac gets worried, Stiles kind of has a hard time saying no. The kid’s been through a lot and he tries not to care about other people but when he does care, you know you’ve deserved it. So when Isaac politely asks Stiles to at least go sit on the floor in the shell of a living room, Stiles can’t refuse. Nor can he refuse Isaac half carrying him there because his legs suddenly decided to turn to jelly. Stiles has always hated jelly. Not enough fruit in it for him.
His vision begins to swim when he’s lowered to the ground and he moves his head from side-to-side, giggling slightly at the fishbowl effect. Suddenly there’s an entire congregation of wolves in front of him – Peter included because the guy loves a show – and they’re all staring at him.
Except for Erica. Erica’s looking away, angling her body as far away from Stiles as she can and Stiles knows that look. It’s the kind of look he gets when he sees other people having panic attacks. He knows what they’re like and he doesn’t ever want to see another person have to go through that.
Before he has a chance to ask Erica what’s wrong, everything goes white and rigid.
Before Derek turned her, he never actually saw her have a seizure. He could smell the misery, found her in the hospital and looked up her records.
In fact, Derek Hale has never actually seen anyone have a real seizure.
So when Stiles goes straight as a board with his head tipped back and his fists clenched tight at his sides, eyes rolled back in his head, Derek panics.
Derek slides onto the floor and scrabbles next to Stiles, pulling him into his lap and shouting at the rest of his pack.
“What the Hell happened?!” he barks.
“I… I don’t...”
“He was fine earlier, we swear!” Isaac and Scott are frantic to find an answer.
“Stiles! Stiles, can you hear me?!” Derek yells, shaking the convulsing boy vigorously. (Scott secretly believes he's incapable of being gentle with anything.)
“He won’t snap out of it, Derek,” Erica remarks quietly. Despite the cacophony of sound in the room, she knows Derek will hear her.
“What? Why not? Erica, if you know something, I want to know now,” he half-growls, half-yells. Doesn’t even give her the chance to answer him. If Stiles was conscious he would say something along the lines of ‘rude’.
“He’s having a seizure. It’ll pass in a minute or two.”
“Why is he having a seizure?” Derek growls at her, eyes flashing red with the influence of an Alpha.
“I don’t know, Derek! Why don’t you ask him?” she snaps back, pissed at the fact that he thinks she has all the answers right now. He’s panicking; she gets that. But it’s not an excuse to be a dick. Then again… Derek is always a dick. “I had seizures because I was an epileptic. He’s Stiles and he's not an epileptic, despite his spastic tendencies. Ask him.”
The scent of urine hits their noses all at once and Derek looks down at the grown boy who has just pissed himself in Derek’s arms. Charming.
Stiles’ eyes roll back to their proper positioning but his pupils are still blown wide. His teeth are clenched and the air rushing between his teeth makes an ugly sound. Almost like the suction-y thing at the dentist that wicks the spit away before it gets in the dentist’s way.
It takes two more minutes for him to be somewhat coherent.
By that time, Isaac’s at his side again, helping Derek help get Stiles to sit upright against the milk crate that functions as a sofa on occasion.
“Stiles? Stiles, can you hear me?” Derek asks, waving his hand in front of Stiles’ face.
Stiles manages an intelligent, “wha?” before Erica’s in his face and he’s dizzy again.
“Welcome to my pre-furry world. Congrats, Stiles, you just had a grand mal seizure. Sucks, doesn’t it? Just be glad you weren’t climbing a rock wall when it happened,” she says, just a touch bitterly. There’s no call for it really because that day in the gym hadn’t been Stiles’ fault. But she does feel a sick sense of vindication knowing she’s not the only one to know what that particularly brand of Hell is like.
Something in Erica’s rant gives Derek an idea.
“Stiles, how much Adderall have you taken?”
“Derek, what does Adderall have to do with the fact that he just had a freaking seizure?! We need to get him to the hospital and tell his dad, right now,” Scott argues. Because he is apparently an idiot that pays attention to nothing. Sometimes it makes Peter wonder why he wasted his energy turning Scott McCall. Seriously.
“Scott, shut up. Stiles, answer the question.”
“Uh… ‘s not… I can’t…”
“Stiles,” Derek growls, threat evident.
“How much exactly?”
“Had to refill my prescription twice this month… Insurance company's gone nuts... Been taking a few day… Not sure...” It’s easier for Stiles to think now, the after effects of the seizure slowly wearing off. And there’s that ‘just-been-hit-by-a-freight-train’ feeling again. With one hell of a headache, no less.
“Why?” Isaac says, voice full of wonder and an equal amount of horror.
“Had to stay awake. Had to stay focused. Had stuff to do,” Stiles murmurs, shrugging slightly. Seriously, could he just get on that sleeping thing now? Sleep sounds like a really good idea right now.
Ugh. Great. Derek’s got his pissy face on again. Stiles is just waiting for the slap upside the head or the meeting between his spine and the wall, facilitated by Derek’s kung-fu grip.
“You’re an idiot. I mean, this is a whole new level for you,” said sourwolf intones.
“Aww, didn’t know you cared, fang-face.”
“I’m serious. What the Hell was so important that you had to take a month’s worth of speed?”
“I had class, Lacrosse, research for you, chores, homework and running drills with you guys. Didn’t have time to sleep and I had to stay up somehow.” Stiles thinks it’s logical. He had stuff to do so he did it.
Once again, everyone in the room is staring at him.
“You mean to tell me that you overdosed on Adderall and gave yourself a seizure because you’ve been busy?”
“Derek, you do know that one, you’re still holding me and two, I peed myself, right? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m finding this a bit past awkward so if you could just…,” Stiles says, making shooing motions with his sore hands.
That’s when the other wolves – minus Scott and Isaac – started slowly backing away.
“You’re a two year-old, Stiles! A two year-old! You could have killed yourself! You’re not messing with some stupid over the counter painkiller here!”
“Um… Yeah I kind of know that? See the thing about ADHD is that it’s sort of a lifetime deal so I’ve been in this rodeo a while, buddy,” Stiles’ voice is thick with dry sarcasm.
“Derek, maybe we should get Stiles home…,” Isaac suggests meekly.
“Yeah I’m with Isaac. I want new pants, lots of sleep and to miss school for the next three days so that’s exactly what’s going to happen. So if the Mighty Hulk would be so kind as to release his live-action grip on the puny human, we can get this show on the road.” Stiles blames his traumatic experience on the fact that he reaches out and pats Derek’s thigh.
Next thing Stiles knows, Derek is lifting him into his arms and carrying him out of the Hale house like a girl - seriously, Stiles gets no respect anymore - while Stiles is beating His Furry Beefiness and ordering King-Kong to release him.
It doesn’t work.
Stiles gets driven home in Derek’s Camaro because Derek has never seen Stiles so vulnerable and weak before and he will never admit this to another soul but it scares the crap out of Derek.
The Sheriff doesn’t ask, Derek doesn’t tell and Stiles has an ex-fugitive houseguest watching his every move (and his Adderall bottle) for the foreseeable future.
They argue like a married couple. All the time. But Stiles doesn’t have another seizure and Derek stops growling all the time so Stiles counts it as a win.