Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Wolf. No profit is being made from this fanwork. Title inspired by the song "Howl" by Florence and the Machine.
Setting: Canon divergent past season 2 episode "Fury." AU events mixed with canon.
Warning: Violence and trauma and light torture, but all things you'd see in the show, and not very graphic.
A/N: Written for the Dark Paths Big Bang. I'd like to point out that this isn't going to be a "Scott is a bad friend" story, even if there is some manipulation and misunderstandings, and while I like our girl Allison, I'm sticking to canon when it comes to her behavior after her mother's death...so she doesn't make the best decisions.
Panic. Stiles was familiar with panic, had been since he could remember. He said it started with Mom, but there was anxiety looming there, just beneath the surface, even before she was ever sick, when the nightmares were just nightmares and he could believe his parents when they said there was nothing to be scared of in the dark. Sometimes, lately, it felt like all those years of panicking on the inside were building up to what happened to Scott.
Monsters were real. Panic was justified. Only, he wasn't really scared of the monsters. Monsters were cool. Interesting. Fun to research. No, it was what the monsters could do to the people he loved. That was what make his stomach churn, his fingertips go cold, his body shake.
His feet barely able to make little circles on the floor, it took all his effort to lift his heavy arms, claw his way across the slick floor toward the detention room. He wouldn't get there in time. He knew he wouldn't. Why he was trying was lost to him. Did he really want to watch? Again? Like he had at the mechanic's shop, only this particular waking nightmare starring his dad and Melissa?
But he couldn't stop himself. He gripped the edge of the door frame, trying to pull his body further into the room, closer. Until suddenly he slowed.
Dad was on the floor. Movement, movement meant breathing, but Stiles worried it was just his own labored breathing that was sending tremors through his vision, making him imagine his father's hand twitching, his back curling as his lungs expanded. No, not today, Panic: Dad would be fine. People survived blows to the head every day. People also died from them daily, but that was to be filed away, because surely, surely, it was simply a good thing that Reptile Boy and his two inch claws were no longer interested in Dad.
Stiles did stop, though, hesitating when he saw Derek and the kanima were going head to head and that fighting didn't mean winning for those watching. Scott joined in, and there were too many players in too small a space.
Panic, there it was, this time acting as a survival instinct.
Stiles put his effort into pushing himself back out of the room, away from the battle. Going in reverse was somehow harder. Until something touched his ankle, holding tight to it, pulling him backward. The kanima was still in the room, wasn't it? Then he remembered, there were other monsters here, ones with nice faces.
The wind was kicked out of him before the shout could leave him. Scott had other problems anyway, Stiles realized. He wouldn't hear the cry. Wouldn't realize it wasn't just a warning.
The monster pulled him into the room he'd spent so many long minutes trying to get out of. Interrogation, where he'd been left. Safe. Away from harm. So much for that part.
Matt slammed the door and was over him, kneeling, shins pinning down Stiles' arms before he could try to raise them. If Stiles had been asked any other time whether or not he could have taken Matt in a fight, he would have gambled on it being an even match, but the kanima's venom left Stiles barely able to squirm under Matt's weight.
"You know, Stilinski, you have a bad habit of being in the wrong place at the wrong time," Matt spat. The boy was livid, spittle hanging from his lip, eyes red and wet with tears. Unhinged. "Lucky me," he finished, more quietly.
"Listen, jackass," Stiles snapped, "my friends are on the other side of that wall, and you've murdered innocent officers here tonight. You really think you're still the victim? You're not. See scales for reference. You really should be running while you still have the chance."
Matt offered a bitter, crooked grin. "Oh, I think Jackson's keeping them plenty busy. Sure hope your dad doesn't get in the way of all those claws."
Stiles bucked in anger, but Matt barely moved an inch. If anything, the attempt left Stiles weaker, breathless, the weight of Matt on his ribcage reminding him far too much of the boot that had been pressed on his chest earlier.
"So, what?" Stiles asked, trying to hide a shaky breath, "Without lizard boy helping you, the only person you can pick a fight with is someone partly paralyzed? No wonder Allison brushed you off."
Matt shook his head once. "Oh, this isn't a fight, Stiles," he assured. "This is retribution. I'm having a bad night, if you haven't noticed, and I'm sure I'm not going to win. But, even if I can't have Allison, even if Scott gets her, I can take something else of his. Think he'll miss you?"
Matt leaned forward, his fingers wrapping around Stiles' neck. "Or do you think he'll just be happy it wasn't Allison's body on the floor?"
Stiles could barely hear the words. Matt's fingers had tightened, a hot tearing pain trailing up the back of Stiles' throat. He could ignore that burn, if it weren't for the sudden buzzing in his ears, the pressure building. Surely only a few seconds had passed, but it felt like a bomb had set off in his head, like his skull would crack if there wasn't a release.
I can't breath.
I can't breath.
Panic. Panic again. Stiles' finger tips scraped at the floor beneath him, his heels trying to dig in, but he couldn't move. Control was a thing of the past. All Stiles could do was watch Matt's flushed face blur out of existence.
Derek could feel it, the rush of the fight still inside him, overlapping the weakness in his bones, a reminder of the venom making him lag and the wolfsbane from Lydia's ritual still circling through his system. He knew it was a wonder he was able to move, much less shift, but it still angered him, the fact that he was getting tossed around like a rag doll. If he hadn't been weak, he could have put an end to this battle. Instead, a voice at the back of his head was screaming. No. Howling.
Because the wolf was aware of how screwed they were, the hunters in the building, the dead bodies littering the hall, Matt and the kanima still on the loose. And, of course, there was Melissa from the safety of her cell, fear so vivid on her face it made him ashamed. He knew she was the reason Scott was still in there, but Derek couldn't wait around for him, couldn't hope the boy saw something like acceptance on his mother's face.
Instead, Derek rushed out without him and almost into Matt Daehler, the human with such murderous rage.
Derek let out a growl. A swipe of his claws and one problem would be out of the way, and Scott wasn't even beside him to slow him down. Weakness, Derek blamed his hesitation on the weakness, and those few seconds paused were all Matt needed to run down the hallway toward the back door. Still, Derek didn't give chase, unsure as to what he was sensing, what it was that held his feet in place. The hunters, they were what put a chill down his spine, but when he listened, he heard them coming from the other side of the building. There was something else that was off. Something missing.
Where was Stiles?
He hadn't imagined Stiles on the floor earlier, almost exactly where Derek was standing now. He hadn't imagined his annoyance at seeing the teenager trying to slide in, right in their way, or that thought, that Scott was supposed to have put Stiles somewhere safe. Despite the blood and smoke setting his senses on edge, Derek could still smell Stiles here in the hall. His fear was pungent.
But where had he gone?
Derek stepped down the hallway, finding the cracked door that Matt had run through. The body was on the floor just inside.
Derek felt cold. It wasn't natural, the way the blood left his limbs and his tongue felt like ice when he sucked in a breath. Werewolves ran hot, but Derek had felt this sort of chill far too often of late.
Stiles. That was Stiles, pale and unmoving, sprawled out on his back and staring up at the ceiling. Eyes unblinking.
Derek was on his knees, touching the body before he could stop himself. Because this was a body, wasn't it? This wasn't a person. The person was gone.
Derek looked at the door and back down again, any attempt to cry for Scott's help died on his lips. Scott couldn't help. And for some insane reason, Derek almost felt the urge to hide Stiles, as if there was something here for Derek to feel shame about… There was, wasn't there? His mother had always told him their family should protect the weak, and he'd abandoned that philosophy in fear of his own survival. And he'd left Scott's weakest pack mate to die.
Derek closed his eyes, trying to concentrate. Trying not to think about the way Stiles had held both of them afloat in the pool. Trying not to think about the fact that that debt was never repaid.
Hunters were coming. The kanima would kill again. And Stiles was on the floor, not moving. Not moving, but-
Derek opened his eyes when he heard it, a faint heartbeat beside him. Stiles wasn't breathing, but he wasn't gone yet. Derek ran his hands over the young man's chest, up to his neck, gently prodding at the skin there. Something was wrong beneath, crunched and rattling and broken under the surface.
Melissa. Melissa was a nurse. She could help. But she couldn't fix it.
Derek could feel it in his bones, that certainty. Stiles couldn't be fixed. Not like he was, not like this, and he only had seconds left to become something more.
"I'm sorry, Stiles."
Derek didn't understand the apology, even as he said it, but he knew it was needed. He'd told Scott the bite was a gift, not a curse, and he'd meant it. But he needed to apologize, he needed Stiles to hear the words, because Derek knew he'd never be able to do the one thing necessary to avoid them. Ask permission.
Blood filled his mouth, and the world was heat and red fog. Derek almost lost himself, almost forgot what he was doing until he forced his jaw to open wider, pull free without ripping the skin any further. In his fragile state, the boy could still bleed to death. Might still bleed to death if he didn't suffocate first. Derek's lips hesitated an inch from Stiles' hip, open mouth dripping a river of red down on the pale, damaged skin.
The gouges from his fangs looked unnatural, gory, too open. Derek sat up straight, his blood rushing as he moved to cover the wound, not wanting to look at the bite. The shirt soaked up the mess, so dark it looked black. But it wasn't black, Derek told himself. It wasn't. Stiles wouldn't resist the bite. It would take. It had to take.
Derek forced his eyes to stay on Stiles' face, hoping to see something, anything. He raised his fingers again, running them down that long stretch of throat again, more carefully now. His claws were out, refusing to retract, the bloodlust keeping him shifted. Beneath the skin he felt it, something move of its own accord.
"Stiles," he whispered, "Stiles, if you can hear me, you need to breath. Just breath, Stiles. You need to try."
Blue lips twitched, something like a tremble, and Derek could hear it, a shaky, wheezing breath, in and out.
"There you go… there you go… keep going, Stiles," Derek muttered. His voice trailed off, and he was suddenly aware of more heartbeats, steady and loud.
They were coming. The wolf in him nipped and whimpered and urged. He needed to take his beta, and he needed to run.
The words were muffled, and Chris chose to ignore them. He never thought he'd have to hear hate, spite, emptiness, in his daughter's voice. He hated the part of himself that felt that way, hated that his wife, a woman he'd grown to love over the years, had left him to face all of their demons, the ones Gerard was such an expert at summoning.
If Allison was trying to struggle to stand on her own, to fight him as he carried her weight against his side, he couldn't tell. The venom had left her limp, defenseless, and still she wanted to go back to whatever battle waited inside. Instead of listening, Chris heaved her up with one arm and out the back of the department's storage garage. There were other hunters here, ready to do Gerard's dirty work.
Chris had the stomach for it. Had since he was a teenager. But he'd go to Hell and back before he let Allison develop a taste for it like his sister, no matter what she wanted, what Gerard wanted, what Victoria had wanted. Chris wouldn't respect anyone's last wishes if it meant losing his daughter.
"We're done here," Chris assured her, as soon as they were out the door.
He knew Gerard was positioned on the other side of the building, waiting for word from them, or for the chance to face their prey after Chris and Allison flushed them out. He didn't want his father to see them, to know they were retreating.
The back exit should have been secured. Had been, Chris thought, so it was almost with a dazed realization that he watched the shadows shift as someone walked out without any resistance. The figure paused, frozen for a split second, and Chris was much the same, holding too tightly to Allison to raise his gun.
The word left him, and he could almost feel Allison hold her breath against his shoulder. He'd hoped her head had been turned, that she couldn't see what was in front of them.
The moonlight striped the werewolf's face, the beast showing true in the furrow of its brow and the glisten of its canines. Its chin was soaked in red, a wet mess dripping down onto the body in its arms.
Chris blinked, shocked he knew the boy's face. Allison's friend. Scott's friend. Stiles. Stiles lax and unmoving in Hales' arms and with blood in a dark wet puddle over the front of his shirt and pants.
"No… No…" The utterance came from his side, from the weight against him, Allison breathing the mantra in blind panic. "No… Not, Stiles…"
Hale stared at them, eyes wide and shining red. A monster more than a man. Then he ran, the boy still in his arms. No, not a boy anymore. Not his daughter's friend anymore. Stiles was gone now, just like Victoria. Thanks to Derek Hale.
He had been afraid this would happen, afraid that his threats and warnings would go unheard by the stubborn teenager. Afraid Stiles would become a victim if he chose the wrong side, if he didn't run from this world instead of staying with his friends. It didn't feel good, being right.
Chris watched and felt his daughter's tears soaking his shoulder.