Sheriff Stilinski is out of town. Stiles hasn’t left the house much since Derek and Cora left. He lies in his bed, staring at the ceiling as his eyelids grow heavy. His reoccurring nightmares make him dread sleep. The worst part is he’s not able to tell the difference between reality and his nightmares.
Stiles misses the dreams where his mom would give him advice. Claudia helped him cope with his thoughts, feelings, and problems. He’d update her on everything she’s missed. She’d always reply sweetly like she used to. His dreams were always about normal everyday stuff, but then everything changed when Scott was bitten. His life became about werewolves, the pack, monsters, life-and-death situations, crimes, suspects, and mysteries. His feelings for Derek come up a lot too.
He misses the dreams where Claudia sits in the front pew and watches him enter the auditorium. He sees his best men on left side of the wedding arch, Scott and Danny. Right next to them is his maid of honor, Allison. The groom waits on the opposite side with his best men, Isaac, Aiden, and Ethan close beside him. Lydia stands in the archway with a bible. Mr. Stilinski happily takes his son’s arm and guides him down the aisle. The groom turns with his hands tucked neatly behind his back. Derek and Stiles’ eyes meet one another, their smiles lighting up the church.
Everything seems alright after the whole Jennifer Blake ordeal. The pack has been closer than ever. Lydia and Danny have kind of gotten back together with alpha twins. Allison and Isaac may have something developing between each other. As for Stiles, well he’s got his best friend, Scott. While the rest of the pack is happy, Stiles isn’t feeling quite as blissful.
“You okay?” Scott asks.
“Yeah,” Stiles replies. “It’s just…doesn’t it feel like something’s missing?”
Derek Hale is the last person on earth that Stiles thought he’d ever pine for. He wishes the Hales hadn’t left and that his recent nightmares would go away.
"What do you mean?” Scott asks.
“About the pack,” Stiles tells him. “I feel like there’s something missing about the pack.”
“Like what?” Scott questions further.
“Never mind,” Stiles shrugs it off.
How does Stiles tell Scott he misses Derek without making it obvious that he’s head over heels for the guy? Derek and Cora are pack to him, but were they to anybody else? There isn’t a day that goes by that Derek doesn't cross his mind. Every now and then, he’ll text Derek to ask how things are going with Cora. He never answers.
“Stiles seems a little down lately,” Scott tells the pack. “So make sure to give him your full support, especially he needs someone to talk to.”
“Let’s do something nice for him,” Ethan suggests.
“Yeah,” Aiden says.
“What about a pack movie night?” Allison says.
“We can throw it at my house!” Lydia says.
“I’ll bring the movies and snacks!” Danny exclaims.
Lydia texts Stiles that the pack will be having a movie night on Saturday.
“Hey Stiles!” Lydia opens the front door. He’s the last pack member to arrive. “Everybody’s downstairs!” She leads him down to the basement.
“Stiles,” Danny slaps him on the back and throws an arm around his shoulder. “How’s my favorite lab partner doing?”
“Okay, I guess.” Stiles says. “How are you?”
“Great, thanks!” Danny tells him. “I brought the first three Star Wars movies since Scott’s never seen them before!”
“Episode IV, right?” Stiles asks.
“Yep,” Danny says. “The old ones are the best! Especially if we want to get Scott into it.”
“Are you ready to have your world turned upside down, Scott?” Stiles asks as Danny sets up the movie.
“Totally.” Scott says. He plops down in between Aiden and Stiles on the couch. Lydia manages to squeeze in next to Aiden. Danny, Ethan, Allison, and Isaac snuggle up in front of the couch. They lean their weight on one another, creating a giant puppy pile. The pack watches all three Star Wars movies together. Stiles is already feeling better with his loved ones close to him. They makes him feel safe and secure. The next day, the pack finishes up the prequels. However, every time Stiles returns home, he’d sink back into his depression again.
Stiles remembers what Deaton told them. They’d have a darkness around their hearts after sacrificing themselves for their parents. As time goes on, the darkness grows stronger.
Stiles feels worthless whenever he goes to school. Kids pick on him and feed off his hurt reactions. He doesn’t even bother standing up for himself anymore. Often, they’d shove him into lockers or book him in the hallway. However, his best friend is always there to stand up for him. Scott typically ends up in nasty fights with his bullies and then gets a detention.
Stiles feels like it’s his fault, like he’s a burden to everyone else. He starts to carry the weight of the rest of world on his back, as if everything that’s gone wrong in Beacon Hills is his fault. That’s when the cutting starts. He finds a kind of relief from the pain. Sure, there had been many times that Stiles considered hurting himself, but has never acted on them. He only cuts in places that people can’t see them. He knows it’s an unhealthy coping method, but it helps him cope with the feelings he can’t quite express. How would everyone feel if he came out as bisexual? How would the pack feel if they knew Stiles is in love with Derek? For years, he’s been keeping secrets and he’s grown tired of doing so. His whole life feels like a lie and he can’t take it anymore.
One day, Scott is absent from school and isn’t there to defend Stiles from the bullies. He feels emptier than he’s ever felt in his life. There’s no hope left and nobody cares. Nobody wants to be around a stupid, annoying, and hyperactive teenager. Before he met Derek, he felt like his whole life was missing something. His mother passing away left a void in his heart and Derek nearly fills it. He was one of the reasons he’d get up every day, but now he’s gone.
It’s almost as if the void has returned. He goes home feeling number than ever before. Suddenly, it all makes sense to him. The world would be a better place without him. Everything is his fault and this is only solution.
Stiles sobs in horrible pain as he drags the blade across his wrists. To ensure his death, he carries a heavy weight into the bathtub. He won’t be able to fight back when his body screams for air. Without a last breath, he closes his eyes and lets the water take him. The weight presses down on his chest, fully submerging him to the bottom.
His clotting wrists slowly ooze in to the bathwater. He hardly thrashes as his body refuses to take water in. Finally, when he can’t hold off any longer, he inhales the water. As the water burns the back of his throat and fills his lungs, he tastes the bitterness of his own blood. His chest feels as if it’s been set on fire. Everything becomes heavy and is then followed by a sense of peace.
Scott drives his motorcycle over to his house. He’s been wanting to hang out with him for a while now. Normally, they walk into each other’s houses, like they live there, like they’re brothers. They rarely ask permission to go over anymore. He parks his bike on the driveway and enters his home. Suddenly, the scent of blood fills his nostrils and scares him. He tracks down the scent to the upstairs bathroom. The bathroom light is on and there’s a bloody knife on the counter. The mirror’s reflection shows his body in the bathtub.
“STILES!” Scott yells. His heart drops to the pit of his stomach as he runs into the bathroom.
Scott effortlessly lifts the weight off of him. He isn’t sure why the water is bloody until he heaves him out of the tub and lays him on the floor. He isn’t breathing and his wrists are slit open. Scott calls the police before tying towels around his wrists. He performs CPR to keep his blood circulation going until help arrives.
Scott calls the pack to inform them about Stiles.
Meanwhile, Derek stops in his tracks behind his little sister.
“Derek, what is it?” Cora comes to a halt.
“I think…there’s something wrong with Stiles.” Derek tells her. He puts a hand over his burning chest, feeling a deep sadness. He puts his hands on knees as he grunts out in horrible pain.
“What? How do you know?” Cora asks.
“I JUST KNOW!” Derek ends up yelling. There’s a silence between them.
“...Is he your mate?” Cora asks.
Derek groans and nods aggressively at her.
His phone rings in his back pocket but he doesn’t answer it. He's trying to figure out whether Stiles is alright or not. Cora’s immediately phone rings after. She sees that Scott’s calling her.
“Is Stiles okay?” Cora picks up the phone.
“How…did you know?” Scott asks, his voice cracking.
“I’ll explain later,” Cora says. “Is Stiles okay?”
“He…he tried to…kill himself…” Scott sobs into the phone. A lump grows in Derek’s throat. He somehow manages to restrain all of his feelings from showing. Cora appears to be hiding hers as well.
“We’re on our way,” Cora hangs up her phone.
Scott talks to Sheriff Stilinski over the phone.
“Don’t worry,” Scott says. “I’ll be here all night.”
The rest of the pack sit in the waiting room. Their faces flushed from crying over the devastating news.
“Why is his Dad late?” Allison asks.
“His flight got delayed because of the weather,” Lydia explains.
Danny, Ethan, and Aiden walk into the room.
“Sorry we’re late.” Aiden says.
“How is he doing?” Danny asks.
“He’s still unconscious,” Isaac frowns.
“Who found him?” Ethan asks.
“Scott did,” Lydia says.
Derek bursts through the hospital entrance, giving the hospital staff quite a scare. Cora follows closely behind him. She speaks with the front desk while Derek impatiently paces back and forth. They are then led to the waiting room.
“Where is he?” Derek asks frantically. Scott leads them into the hospital room.
The wolf’s heart aches when he sees his human. Stiles lies unconscious in the hospital bed with bandaged wrists.
Scott has a difficult time explaining what happened. He struggles to tell the horror story from start to finish without shedding tears and sobbing.
“You and the pack can go home,” Derek offers. He sits down in the chair beside the bed. “I’ll be here when he wakes up.”
“Hmm, I don’t know,” Scott says. He takes a long while to decide. “We’ve be here a long time, I suppose....the pack could use a break.”
“You too, Cora” Derek says. He hands her the car keys.
“Are you sure, Derek?” She asks. She glances at Stiles and then back at him. Her older brother nods.
“I’ll let his Dad know you’re here,” Scott says. “You better call us first thing if he wakes up though.”
“I will,” Derek promises.
“We’ll be back, hopefully soon,” Scott says. Cora follows him out the door.
Stiles opens his eyes and catches Derek’s gaze. It takes him a moment to realize that he isn’t in heaven. His mom’s still gone and he’s still alive…but Derek’s here with him. The wolf sits hunched over in the chair. He’s never seen Derek look so sad before. Neither of them say anything; both just stare at each other for a long while.
Suddenly, Derek clenches his jaw and closes his fists. Stiles is thirty-two percent sure Derek might kill him. The wolf stands up and hurls his own chair across the room. It hits the wall and breaks into several pieces. Stiles knows Derek too well to be surprised. He barely has time to react as he watches him storm out of the room.
“Stiles, so glad to see you’re awake!” Melissa comes in to check on him. “Look, I'm always here to listen if you ever need someone to talk to, sweetie.”
“I know,” Stiles says softly. He can’t believe he’s alive.
“I’m going to call the others and tell them you’re awake,” Melissa says. The broken chair falters her from leaving. She glances over at Stiles. “Derek?” She guesses. Stiles nods at her.
Stiles hears a herd of quiet footsteps walking down the hallway. Allison, Lydia, Scott, Danny, Aiden, and Ethan walk into his room. They stare at Stiles and he stares back. It’s overwhelming for Stiles to see them all at once. His heart and breathing starts racing. He can feel a panic attack coming on.
Melissa rushes into the room. “Why are you all in here?!” Melissa asks “I told you to come in one at a time! Weren’t you listening?” She’s never looked so fed up with them. “It’s overwhelming to have too many people in here!” Stiles watches Melissa lead the pack out of the room. “Go home! All of you! Except you, Scott. You stay.”
Stiles hears Melissa give Scott a long lecture in the hallway. She tells him to be there for him and not to say anything stupid, but Stiles already knows that Scott would’ve respected and watched out for him anyways – without any directions. Scott eventually returns and sits at his bedside. Neither of them really say much to each other.
The next day, the Sheriff manages to visit him. Stiles doesn’t know why he expected him to be angry. He should’ve known that his father would be miserable. It adds on to the shameful thoughts he’s felt since the pack visited yesterday. He made everyone so scared and worried. One at a time, his father and the pack come by to visit him, even Cora. He doesn’t bother asking about Derek, as much as he wants to. It’s a given that he’s not talking to the pack at all. Derek never returns to see Stiles again. It shouldn’t faze him at all. Besides who wants to be around someone who’s fucked up in the head like he is?
Stiles eventually gets out of the hospital and returns home. His father is really good about it. He secures the house, eliminating all elements that Stiles might be able to hurt himself. He even drives Stiles to places for him like school, therapy, and back. As time goes on, he’s able to go back to normal things like Lacrosse and pack meets.
Derek never shows.
Scott and Stiles play video games at his house.
“Why’d you pause it?” Scott asks.
“I want to talk about it,” Stiles states.
“Okay,” Scott says. “I want to listen.”
“Remember that darkness Deaton told us about?” Stiles asks. Scott nods at him. “I can feel it.”
There’s a brief moment of silence.
“Me too,” He replies.
“I think Allison can too,” Scott sighs. “Both of us have been acting different.”
“I think that was part of it,” Stiles tries to relax. “And I’m tired of pretending to be someone I’m not.” There’s another pause.
“So you’re in love with Derek, huh?” Scott says. Stiles’ jaw drops open. How could he possibly know? “The pheromones make it really obvious.”
“Oh,” Stiles utters. “Wow…so you guys have known a while?”
“Yeah,” Scott says with smile. Their acceptance makes Stiles much happier than before.
Since the Hales left, Stiles isn’t sure just how many times he’s been back here. He approaches the loft door and stands there, hesitating for a long moment. He musters the courage to slide it open and nearly forgetting to close it behind him.
Raindrops trickle down the glass of the enormous window. Derek stands at the table, his back facing it. The wolf’s head is sagged, his hands gripping the edge of the table. Derek looks like a piece of shit. His skin is ill colored and there's bags under his eyes like he hasn’t slept in days. He tilts his head up to see Stiles standing ten feet away from him. The light seems to come back to his eyes.
They make eye contact. Except this time, Derek isn’t hurling a chair into the wall and breaking it. For a long moment, without speaking, they stare at each other. Stiles barely remembers what he’s been planning to say to him.
“I’m sorry,” Stiles says. He can’t recall how many times he’s rehearsed it. “I understand that you don’t want me around anymore. So this me saying goodbye…I guess.” He turns his back on him and starts to head towards the door to leave. Then he remembers the nights in the hospital he waited for Derek to visit him. Anger boils up inside of him. He comes to halt and chokes out “It just would’ve been nice if you had said it your fucking self.”
Derek tightens his grip on the table as Stiles makes his way to door.
“I don’t want you to go away ever, Stiles,” Derek says quietly. Stiles whirls around to look at him.
“What did you say?” Stiles asks.
The human knows exactly what the wolf said but wants to hear it again.
“I said I don’t want you to ever go away,” Derek repeats. Another silence washes over them as he looks down at the table. The rain tapping on the roof and windows is the only noise echoing off the walls. “It’s my fault, Stiles.” Derek blames himself. “I never should’ve left Beacon Hills.”
“No, no, no, no, no” Stiles' heart falls. He rushes over to him, hesitating a bit before taking his face into his hands. Derek tilts his head up to look Stiles in the eyes. “It’s not your fault, Derek, it’s mine…it’s my fault.”
Derek presses their foreheads together for a good while. Eventually, he looks up into his eyes and kisses him deeply.
The wolf leads the human over to the living room. Derek grabs a blanket and pillows from off the couch. He sets them up on the wooden floor. Both of them lie down on it together.
“Please don’t leave me,” Derek says. He wraps an arm around him, pulling him into his side.
“I’m right here,” Stiles says. He curls an arm around Derek’s torso and rests his cheek on his chest.
“I need you here,” Derek says. He kisses him on the top of his head.
“I’ll never leave you,” Stiles says. He reaches up to kiss him on the lips before settling back down again.
And then they fall asleep.