Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or the places unique to these fandoms. I do own any original storyline ideas that come up within this writing.
Title: A Haunting For One Please
Author: The Red Hoodie
Shows: Teen Wolf, Lost Girl
Characters: Stiles Stilinski, Kenzi, Scott McCall, Allison Argent
Summary: Stiles Stilinski is in his junior year at college, and he's staying in his own place for the first time. A small apartment near the college, where nothing bad happens. Except well...murder.
A/N: Okay…so I got this idea after making some video collab parts where Kenzi was a ghost and Stiles was her housemate. So this was born. Mostly just to get the idea to go away cuz it wasn't leaving me alone, and also because I know how much Becca loves her Stilinski! It's long, and it took a long time to figure out the exact plot and how to end it!
A Haunting For One Please
Stiles let out a satisfied breath as he flopped down on his new couch in his very first apartment. It had working electricity and water and was fully furnished and cheaper than cheap and it was all he could ask for. A bus came to the corner every half hour and went right to campus so he wouldn't be late for class as long as he got up on time.
Of course, there were cons to all of the pros. The biggest one…there was no internet in the building. No cable either, so he had no TV or even wifi, so he'd have to steal some from the shop on the corner if he didn't want to go to campus. And of course, he was alone. Stiles had never done well being alone. His dad had always been around and after that, he and his best friend, Scott, had managed to be roomies for four semesters. Stiles wasn't sure how he would deal with being alone…especially alone with no internet or cable. The only thing he had was his phone, which was some droid thing with a big screen and he could watch Netflix but the connection liked to cut out more often than it was on so it almost wasn't even worth it.
Stiles didn't worry about Scott. Scott was a nice guy, who was easy to get along with. He could overhear a conversation and jut in and no one would glare or snap at him like when Stiles did the same thing. Not that Stiles was jealous…no way. He was twenty now, there was no reason for him to get jealous of his best friend, even if he did have a girlfriend and superhuman powers and everyone instantly liked him.
Stiles was just…Stiles. He was obnoxious and loud and basically just a bundle of nerves who told bad jokes littered with pop culture references at bad times and mostly made a fool of himself. He couldn't settle on things or he made quick decisions that would have repercussions or need to be looked after drastically in the future. That was probably why he changed his major three times during his first semester.
Classes started in three days. It was a Friday night and he really should have been heading out to a party or something. He pulled out his phone to text Scott.
Tell me you're a party with alcohol.
He stared at the blank wall for a good three minutes before his phone buzzed.
Sry. Nite in w/Allison.
Stiles rolled his eyes. Of course. Sure, they were young and in college, but even werewolves and their crossbow-bearing girlfriends needed quiet time from time to time. Especially now that Scott had a single and Stiles wasn't a third wheel in the room.
Good thing I'm not there. Stiles texted back. He tossed the phone onto the other side of the couch and slid down, crossing his ankles, letting his head settle against the back of the couch and folding his hands over his stomach. For once in his life, he didn't know what to do.
He should go through his textbooks. He should go to campus the next day and find all his classrooms and calculate the time he would need to get from each one to the next and how long exactly it took to get from his place to campus. But that was all things he could do tomorrow. He didn't have anything to do tonight. He didn't really have any other friends besides Scott that he would want to hang out with off campus, and the last time he had a girlfriend it had ended in a disaster that he wasn't about to try to start up again.
His phone vibrated against the wooden post in the couch arm, shaking the entire piece of furniture. Stiles reached over and squinted at the screen. He was getting a phone call, of all things, from someone other than Scott. He debated not answering but his thumb had already swiped across the answer button.
"Uh…hello?" he answered.
There was nothing on the other line. Not static—did cell phones even get staticy anymore?—or breathing or a click of a phone call ending.
Stiles raised an eyebrow and pulled the phone from his ear, pursing his lips and looking at the screen. His eyes swept over the number hovering above the still rolling length-counter and went round as saucers when he realized it was his own number sitting there.
"What the fuck!" he exclaimed, throwing the phone down and jumping up, slamming his shin into the coffee table and cursing, his eyes never leaving the phone on the cushion. It eventually went dark but he didn't even think of going over to touch it. The thought sent the hair on the back of his neck stand on end.
He ended up staying in, making a list of food to buy—mostly consisting of boxes of mac and cheese and six thousands packets of ramen noodles—overhearing a fight between a couple in the apartment across the hall and falling asleep on top of a textbook at one in the morning.
The beeping of his phone in the other room brought him to consciousness. He made a face at the drool on the open pages and wiped his mouth with the back of his hand as he stood up and yawned and shuffled out of the small room.
He was expecting to be alone, which was why shoving his hand down his boxers wasn't a cause for concern. What he was not expecting was to open his eyes to see a girl sitting on the counter next to the fridge.
He froze and she turned clear blue eyes on him and screamed, scrambling to pull her legs onto the counter with her. Stiles was startled and screamed as well, though it was more like a yell—or so he told himself—and he started sputtering. "What the—how the hell did you—who the hell are you?"
The girl was also stuttering out about the same things, only she ended with the, "Get the fuck out of my house!"
Stiles was taken aback. "What?" he said, just as she grabbed a steak knife from the pottery shaped like a fat chef on the counter and tossed it at his head. If he hadn't moved out of the way, it would have hit him. He swung around with a curse and the knife clattered to the floor. He stared at it for a second before turning back around, ready to give her a piece of his mind, but when he looked at the place where she had been sitting, there was no one there.
"What the fuck is going on?" he muttered, glancing from the empty spot to the knife and back again. He scratched his head and walked over to the front door. Still deadbolted.
He had only been alone for one night and he was already hallucinating. Fantastic.
Stiles spent his entire morning telling himself that he was just having fears about living alone. Through his breakfast, shower, scramble to find his schedule, walk to the bus stop, ride to campus, and as he started in toward the first building, he tried convincing himself that he wasn't crazy and all that werewolf business he had dealt with in high school was behind him. He was just human Stiles; there was nothing special about him, except that maybe all of that shit seemed to have done some damage to his sensibility.
He was so enveloped in his own thoughts that his heart jumped into his throat when a hand came down on his shoulder. "Holy God," he gasped out as Scott's chuckling face came into view.
"Sorry," he said, though he didn't look like he meant it.
"Hey, Stiles," Allison said from beside her boyfriend. She had cut her hair short to her chin over the summer, and the new do really showed off her sculpted-by-some-ancient-Greek-dude-jawline. She smiled brightly and laced her fingers through Scott's.
Stiles dropped his harsh expression. "Hey, what're you two doing around campus? Shouldn't you be breaking in the new room some more?" he asked with typical Stiles-style.
Allison just rolled her eyes and Scott snatched the paper from Stiles' hand. "Oh, are you checking out classrooms?" he stated the obvious.
"Yeah, Sherlock," Stiles said, grabbing the paper back and shoving it into his jeans pockets along with his hands as they started walking. "You guys don't think I'm crazy right?"
"Uh…can you be a little more specific?" Allison asked, voice all filled with summer and chirping birds and sunshine. Seriously, she was one of the happiest and cheerful people Stiles had ever met. It was intoxicating, but in a good way.
"I mean…" There was no way he was telling them about his chance encounter with a possible hallucination along with a kitchen knife. He didn't want to give them any reason for not wanting him to live alone and complaining about it every since he saw them. "I mean, am I coo-coo, like asylum, straight-jacket crazy because of how easily I take so much of the…stuff that goes on with you know."
Of course…they had learned in high school, after people started noticing, to talk in code and not use words like 'werewolf' and 'supernatural' and 'magical' and others along those lines amid hearing range of others.
"Dude, you're not crazy," Scott assured him. And it really was assuring, since no matter that they weren't as close as they had been in high school, Scott was still Stiles' best friend. "You're probably the sanest person I know."
Stiles gave him a 'stop exaggerating, that's my job and you suck at it' look. "Yeah, yeah whatever. Look, I'm trying to time how long it takes to get places, you two are totally ruining the rhythm here."
"Oooh," Allison made a face at him. "Fine, we're going. Want to meet up for lunch at the sub place?"
Stiles agreed and they trailed off, leaving him to backtrack and go back to timing and scribbling down notes on his schedule.
Lunch was good. The three of them had a sort of friendship that might not be the strongest, but they had been through so many unthinkable things together that it was impossible not to continue to see each other and just…deal.
They talked about Danny—he had been one of the ones to learn about werewolves through not-to-sneaky hallway talking—who had been accepted into MIT before he even graduated but still kept in touch and came back for summers to play lacrosse and drink beer over burgers.
Stiles asked about the rest of the pack, since none of them kept in touch with him, but Scott was always in the loop. After Erica, Boyd and Isaac were old enough, the four of them ran. The hunters—after the death of Allison's mother, which had been quite an awful time and landed in Scott and Allison not being together for close to eight months and even Stiles didn't know why she had flipped back to her happy self or how she and Scott ended up back together—left to go to Portland, but Derek still hadn't felt safe so they ran. There had been too much destruction in Beacon Hills to stay. On the way, Derek had bitten a fourth member, presumably to take the place of Scott when it came to the power wheel of wolf packs, named Lucas, and the five of them had settled into a wolf-free place in Wisconsin, keeping low but living well.
No one liked to talk about Jackson. It was hard enough thinking about Lydia—who had gone through an emotional breakdown and had to go through intense therapy before she could start college a year later than everyone else—who was still alive, and not the sixteen year old boy that had to be maimed and killed because there was no stopping him. Or so they had thought…there was too much guilt and death and darkness surrounding him, so they just skipped over to Lydia, who still kept in touch with Allison. Lydia had changed her dream to become a super scientist and she was focusing on teaching seventh grade science. All the supernatural stuff had taken a normal, natural toll on her, unlike Stiles, who was pretty much exactly the same as when he first dove into the world.
Aside from that, they matched up schedules and Stiles didn't tell them about the girl in his apartment. He complained about having no TV or net and how his phone was acting weird. Allison asked if he was going to try to find a girlfriend. It had been a lonely six months since Brittany had ripped out his heart and manhood and sent them both through the grinder. So he just heaved a sigh and shrugged his shoulders.
They went back to Scott's room after that, so Stiles would know where it was. A few guys from one of Stiles' classes in the spring were staying on the same floor and they tossed around 'how was your summer?' and 'oh you're living off campus, sweet!' meaningless conversations before Stiles said he should get back even though he had nothing to go back to. He was feeling, regrettably, even more aloof from Scott's life now that they weren't living together.
"Fantastic," Stiles muttered as it began to sprinkle. He hunched his shoulders, though it didn't do much considering her was in nothing but a t-shirt and plaid overshirt. He really didn't want to get his schedule wet and pushed himself through other people and onto the bus when it pulled up.
He actually hesitated at his front door after unlocking it. He wet his lips and stared at the handle as if he expected it to grow fangs and bite him. "Ha ha," he shook his head and walked inside with the flourish. The door banged against the wall and he quickly scanned the living room and kitchen from where he stood. Nothing. It was empty and everything was in the same place.
"Right, yeah, Stilinski, you were just half-dreaming this morning," he told himself, shutting the door and making his way to his bedroom to change into a shirt that wasn't damp. He still had to go out to shop for food so he checked through his cabinets again—tiptoeing around the corner of counter next to the fridge—before pulling on his raincoat and heading out once again.
He was not going crazy.
No, he was definitely going crazy.
Stiles woke up the next morning, eyes settling on the very same girl from the previous morning. She was perched on the top of his dresser, long, black clad legs crossed.
"Nice wood, dude," she said, tactfully raising an eyebrow.
Stiles scrambled to sit up. "You again," he said, pulling at his blankets. He was thankful there were no knives around.
"You again," she replied, stabbing a finger in the air.
Now that she was close and not screaming or throwing pointy objects at him, he took a second to see what she looked like. Pale skin, round face, straight black hair and awesomely clear blue eyes. She was wearing some sort of mix of punk and gothic with shoes that looked impossible to walk in. And he knew at once that she was a hallucination. Really, what else would she be doing here?
"I happen to live here," he said, still not moving from his place on his mattress.
"Whatever." She rested her chin on her hand and her elbow on her knee.
Stiles frowned and finally swung his legs off the bed, pushing himself to his feet. "Do you…do you have a name?"
She turned her eyes to the ceiling for a moment, tapping her chin before she met his gaze. "Kenzi."
He swallowed. He had never known a Kenzi before. But he was becoming more and more convinced that she was just a hallucination, so he was going to take everything in stride. "Alright, and I'm Stiles," he said, blinking and walking out into the living room.
Kenzi followed. "You're not gunna leave, are you?"
Stiles sighed as he pulled open the fridge to grab the milk carton. "Are you?" he shot back, before popping off the lid and taking a gulp.
"Eww…what if I wanted some of that?" she protested, crossing her arms and giving him an evil look.
He lifted his eyebrow and held out the jug in her direction, cheeks puffed out and filled.
She waved a hand and he swallowed, putting the cap back on and turning to grab a bowl from the cabinet. When he turned back around, cereal bowl in hand, Kenzi was perched on the island in the middle of the room, looking at her nails.
"Do you have to put your ass on every flat surface in my apartment?" Stiles asked, pouring out some cereal.
"I happen to know I have a very fine ass, so why are you complaining?"
He lifted his head, about to argue, but his eyes took one sweep of her from head to toe and he shrugged. "Fine." Milk splashed out of the bowl as he poured it. "What are you doing here anyway?"
Kenzi tilted her head and looked at him out of the side of her eye. "What do you mean?"
He shoved a spoonful of Cheerios into his mouth and spoke between chews. "Why are you here?"
The smallest of frowns and flashes of uncertainly came across her face. "I…I don't know," she said, tossing her head. "I just know that this is my apartment. And you're here."
Well, this was unexpected. He figured that since she was a figment of his imagination, she would have some elaborate backstory. Maybe he was too stressed out to think of one. "That's it?"
"Yes, what are you, a detective?"
Stiles wiped his mouth with his wrist. "Going to college to be one, so yeah," he replied.
She pushed her lips into a thin line. "I also know that you talk in your sleep."
His eyes widened slightly. "I what?" he sputtered.
"You talk in your…well you sort of moan and sleeperbate," she said with a snicker.
Stiles choked on his cereal. "I don't—!" he exclaimed, looking over at her…only she was gone. Just like that. Stiles coughed one last time and blinked at the air where she had just sat.
"I am seriously going fucking crazy," he muttered, looking down at his cereal bowl and wondering who spiked his milk.
Stiles didn't see Kenzi again until Monday night. He was setting up the desk that had come in the mail—he had broken his original one while trying to take it apart in the spring—and he was having a hell of a time following the instructions.
"Who the fuck writes these things?" he muttered, grabbing the instructions and twisting the paper this way and that. "And draws them? The hell is that supposed to be?"
"I think that's a bracket," Kenzi's voice came from behind him.
"Oh my…God," Stiles exclaimed, bumping into what he had managed to put together already.
She grinned, plopping down on her bottom, pulling her legs under her and taking the instructions from his hands. "Men think they can do anything, but let's see if I can't make this shit work faster than you." She concentrated on the paper, bit her bottom lip and fished around the nuts and bolts and screws strewn about the floor.
Stiles watched her quizzically. He honestly didn't know where she came from. Why did she keep showing up? Why did she not remember anything? He couldn't remember ever seeing someone that looked like her before, so why was his mind cooking her up? Was he really that lonely, living on his own?
"What are you staring at?" She shook him from his thoughts. "Dude, if you've been picturing me naked, I am going to punch you in the face."
"I wasn't," Stiles said, shaking his head and sitting back, watching her place things into piles and look at the pieces he had put together so far. "Where have you been?" He didn't know where that question had come from; it had just sort of slipped out.
"What do you mean?" she asked offhandedly, distracted by the pieces she began fitting together, grabbing bolts and a wrench to start putting on the braces to hold up the top.
"Nothing." He frowned and watched her expertly fix up the rest of the desk, just like she said she could. Putting down a screwdriver, she pushed herself to her feet and dusted off her legs and hands.
"Told you so," she said with a smug look on her face. "How do you survive if you can't even put a desk together?"
Stiles stood as well, checking out the stability of the new piece of furniture. It seemed put together well enough. "I have other, countless skills," he replied, turning to face her. She was almost the same height as him with her monstrous shoes.
"Oh?" Kenzi had the look of challenge in her eyes. "Dazzle me."
"D—dazzle you?" he stuttered. That was not what he was expecting. What sort of hallucination was she, surprising him like this?
"Can't do it?"
"I can…do it," he shot back lamely.
"I'm aware that you can do it," she raised her fingers in air quotes and took a step closer. "I'm asking about other useful skills."
He blinked down at her and swallowed. Maybe he made her up to try to get over his fear of jumping into another relationship? Was she here to flirt and make him feel better (or worse with the way she was poking at him all the time) so that he could find some nice girl and not be afraid to talk to her? He sucked in a breath.
"I can play lacrosse," he said, pulling out the first thing that came to mind. "And solve murder cases before the police can. I read the entire dictionary once so my vocabulary is just about as diverse as it can get."
"Have you ever killed someone?"
"What?" Stiles was taken aback. He took a step backward and eyed her suspiciously.
Kenzi shrugged a shoulder. "It's a simple question."
He had been involved in a murder…but he had never actually taken the life of anything more than a plant or a bug. "No," he said firmly, meeting her eyes. As much as he didn't want it, the images of Jackson Whittemore, cut in half, blood and guts and eyes wide, completely human and not kanima, flashed before him like a film.
She sort of stared him down for a moment before slashing a grin. "Good. 'Cause I am not down with befriending a murderer," she said cheerily. She moved closer, to tap his shoulder, only…the weirdest thing happened. Her hand went through him. Right through. Her mouth fell open and her eyes grew wide. He went slackjawed. They stared at each other for a silent, prolonged moment before she disappeared right before his eyes.
Stiles blinked, turning around and around. "Kenzi?" he called out feebly, before kicking himself mentally and rubbing a hand over his face. "I am going crazy."
"You don't remember anything?" Stiles repeated, over his hand of cards. He was sitting on the floor, opposite Kenzi, using the coffee table as a card table. She was teaching him some Slavic card game.
She shrugged, poker-faced. "I know my name. I was born in Canada. I have a shitty family. And then I remember…you. I think I've seen you naked more times than your mama."
Stiles' brow furrowed, and his eyes concentrated on the cards. "Uh…my mom sort of…died, when I was a kid," he forced out, not taking his eyes off his hand.
"Oh." Kenzi frowned. "Sorry. I didn't mean to offend. I have just been seeing a lot more of you than I signed up for."
"It's fine." And then… "Wait…have you been stalking me in the bathroom?"
She shrugged. "Who needs to stalk?" She smirked and slammed down her hand. "Beat that, brah."
"Queens beat Aces," Stiles said smugly, laying out his cards.
"Damn," she muttered, letting her head fall back.
Stiles chuckled. "Did I mention I'm good at just about everything anyone teaches me?"
"You rock," she said softly, looking down at her hands in her lap. She smiled softly and looked across the table at him. "Why do you stay in this apartment all the time?"
"Not all the time. I go to classes," Stiles said, gathering up the cards and wondering why he was getting warm and fuzzy feelings about a hallucination.
Kenzi went to kick him under the table but her foot just went right through his leg. "Don't you have any friends?"
All my friends are dead or werewolves or mentally scarred, Stiles wanted to say. Instead…"I have a problem with trusting people."
"I get it. Me too." She frowned slightly. She didn't know why she didn't trust people, but she knew that she didn't.
"Yeah? I learned from the best," Stiles said, shuffling the deck against the table. "Derek Hale…he was the grumpiest person and he never trusted me, not even for the almost three years we knew each other."
"Major issues," Kenzi said with a wide eyed face. "Where is this dude now?"
Stiles' eyes flashed up to hers. "Dunno. He ran off with a bunch of crazy people."
"You know the strangest people," she said with a smirk, reaching across the table to grab the cards. It was weird…she could touch the cards, but her fingers went right through his flesh and bone.
Stiles smiled and shook his head, watching her deal out the cards. "You have no idea."
"You're not helping." Stiles was sitting at his desk, pushed against the wall between the bedroom and bathroom doors. Kenzi was sitting on the floor next to him, flipping through his criminal justice textbook.
"I'm not trying to," she replied with a smirk, giving his chair a kick.
"Hey, quit it, I've got to memorize this shit by tomorrow," he grumbled, scrolling down the screen on his computer and turning the page of the book flipped open on the desk.
She let out a huff and pushed away the book, flopping back on the floor and locking her fingers behind her head. "You are really boring. Don't you have friends to study with?"
Stiles narrowed his eyes at the line he had been reading for the past five minutes. "Scott isn't good at this stuff. And Allison is…Allison is artistic. If Danny were here…"
"Danny?" Kenzi lifted an eyebrow. "You haven't talked about him before."
Stiles swung around in his seat and looked down at her. "He's a great guy. He got into MIT with a full scholarship. He's like a genius."
"Sounds like you have a crush," she teased.
Stiles actually made a face. "He's not an unattractive guy. And I am his type."
Kenzi giggled. "Do you have any single, straight friends?"
She rolled her eyes. "Nevermind." She pushed herself up on her elbows. "I'm worried that you have no friends, you know."
"You sound like my dad."
"Smart man." She stood, swaying on her feet and reaching out to steady herself. But she reached out for Stiles, so she fell right through him and into the table. "Ow."
"Get out of me," Stiles said between clenched teeth. Because Kenzi was literately half through him and he was starting to feel numb and cold where her torso met his chest.
She snickered and stood up straight. "Sorry."
He shivered. "That was…weird."
"I didn't feel anything," she mumbled, brushing her hands down her shirt as if to straighten it even though it was never out of place.
"Really?" Stiles pushed his seat back and she leaned her palms against the desktop. He frowned up at her. He hadn't given much thought as to why she was around the last few weeks. It was already October, and he hadn't told anyone about her. Not Scott or Allison…he had that weird feeling that Kenzi was his and he'd never had anything that was just his before other than his Jeep. So no one knew about her. Because, as far as he was concerned, Kenzi was still just a figment of his imagination. Which should scare him, considering he was becoming more and more attracted to her.
"I'm stealing your computer," she said suddenly, kicking the leg of his chair and reaching for the laptop. She didn't even think that anything would go wrong…she was used to being able to touch inanimate objects. What she didn't expect was…the computer to suddenly flicker and spark and smoke the second her fingers touched it. Her eyes grew wide and she took her hands back. Sparks shot between her fingers and the side of the laptop.
"Whoa, whoa, what the hell!" Stiles exclaimed, jumping up from his seat and grabbing the computer. He almost whimpered as something exploded and the keyboard popped up in a tent shape. He let out a strangled sound and Kenzi backed up slowly from him.
"Oh my god. I am so sorry," she gasped.
Stiles looked from his fried computer to her face. "What…did you do?"
She blinked. "I'm…I'm sorry."
"What…did you do?" he repeated, plopping down on his seat again, laptop in hand. When he looked up again, she was gone.
Stiles wasn't stupid. He was going to college to become a detective. He just should have figured it out sooner. He had been living with Kenzi for six weeks and he hadn't even thought of it. This whole time he had been self centered and just figured he had conjured her up in his mind.
It was the computer that really ticked him off and got him thinking.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and he hadn't seen Kenzi since Friday morning. He took the bus and headed to campus and right to Scott's room. He banged on the door.
"Scott! C'mon man, open up!" His heart was racing and his mind was whirling and he was in dire need of sitting down and just processing.
A moment later, Scott answered, hiding himself behind the door. "What are you doing?"
Stiles didn't answer, only shoved his way inside. Allison hastily pulled up the sheet to cover herself. It wasn't like Stiles hadn't caught the two of them in the middle of the act before…Scott was notorious at forgetting the sock-on-the-door rule when they were rooming.
"Stiles, what're you doing here?" Allison asked as he went straight to Scott's desk and ran his finger over the trackpad to wake up the computer sitting there.
"I need to use your net," Stiles said as the screen popped up. It was locked. Stiles typed in "ALLISON". It had been Scott's password for four years, even though Stiles had tried to get him to change it because it was so damned obvious.
"Don't you have a computer and wifi across the street?" Scott asked, shuffling back to bed. He handed Allison a shirt.
"My computer is fried." Which is exactly why Stiles was here. Clicking on the browser, he waited for the search bar to pop up before hovering his hands over the keys. What should he type? Frowning, he typed in his address first followed by "death". Nothing came up, so he switched it for "murder".
"Why are you looking up murder?" Scott asked. Of course he could see the tiny text on the glowing screen from where he was sitting. He was a werewolf.
Stiles didn't answer. The first link that came up was for the local newspaper. He clicked on it and scrolled down.
WOMAN IN EARLY TWENTIES FOUND DEAD IN APARTMENT
There was a photo of the police and ambulance outside of Stiles' apartment and the text began:
'Five days ago, there was an anonymous call to the police, reporting hearing screaming and commotion in apartment 5B on 1687 Grove Street. When the police arrived on scene, there was no answer from inside. After forcing entry, they found a gruesome scene. A young, as yet unidentified woman, was found on the floor, fatally stabbed.
'The only identification on her body was a fake ID, with the name "Kenzi Williamson". It has been suspected that is not her real name. (See photo below)'
Stiles' breath caught as he scrolled down. There, on his screen, was the smiling, albeit slightly grainy face of the girl he'd been flirting with in his apartment for the past almost two months.
"Who is she?" Allison asked suddenly. Stiles jumped. He hadn't realized that she and Scott had moved behind him and were looking at the screen.
"Uh…" Stiles blinked away sudden, random tears and swallowed. "I uh…I haven't finished reading."
'The autopsy performed shows she had some sort of unidentifiable toxin in her bloodstream, most likely an immobilizer. It would have prevented her from fighting back while her attacker cut open her stomach horizontally with a very sharp and thin blade, leaving her to bleed to death.
'In a neighborhood so close to college, there is cause for concern and certain curfews have been placed as well as police patrolling the streets, trying to catch the attacker. Police ask to call if you saw or heard anything that could help them catch the culprit.'
And then Stiles' eyes fell on the date of the article. It happened ten years ago.
His chest seemed to seize up, like he was about to have a panic attack and start hyperventilating, but suddenly Scott put his hand on his shoulder and he felt better.
"Dude, what's wrong?" Scott asked. Because he was a werewolf, he could basically feel what Stiles was feeling.
Stiles swallowed hard. "I uh…I think I'm being haunted."
"Haunted?" Allison repeated.
Stiles turned the seat around and the two of them sat on the bed, facing him. "Yeah. Haunted. I didn't want to tell you because…I don't know why, I'm a selfish bastard I guess."
"Stiles," Scott said, not enjoying Stiles' self destructive tone and words.
"No, Scott. Look, I'm just the human right? You're a werewolf…all our friends are practically werewolves. Allison…you're like Robin Hood with the bow and arrow, even Lydia got superpowered up by Peter for a while but all I've ever been is human Stiles," he said, eyes hard, fingers locked together. "And for once, I had one thing that was mine…I thought…I thought because I was alone for the first time of my life that I was just hallucinating her. I should have told you, Scott. You could have come over and met her and seen that she wasn't just from my head. I mean…she doesn't remember anything, she can't touch me, she fried my computer…And that," he twisted to point at the screen, "is exactly what she looks like."
"Stiles…" Allison started, only to stop when he looked up at her.
"It's not your fault," Scott said.
"I haven't…I haven't even seen you in like…months. All I want to do is stay home and hope that she shows up. God…what is wrong with me?" He leaned over, elbows on knees, head in hands. "I think I've fallen in love with a fucking ghost."
Scott frowned, searching Allison's face for something to say. "Uh…she doesn't know?"
"What? That I love her?"
"That she's dead," Scott said trying to sound as sympathetic as he could under the circumstances.
Stiles sat back, eyes glittered with frustrated tears that he wiped away with a hand. "It would have been better if she was just my imagination. I have no problem loving myself," he tried to crack a grin.
Scott frowned. "Stiles…maybe if you talk to her…tell her that she died? Maybe you just think you love her because you can see her?" He was just winging it entirely on what he learned about ghosts from movies. Didn't they have unfinished business and always show themselves to those who could help them? Or something.
Stiles swallowed, trying to take Scott's words to heart. "Yeah?"
"I think Scott could be right," Allison piped in. "If you tell her that, maybe she'll remember why she didn't like…move on?"
"You think?" He didn't know how they could be calm. Oh wait…yes he could. They had dealt with scarier things than ghosts in their day. He blinked a few times, wide like an owl and pushed himself to his feet. "I should. I should tell her."
Scott nodded, standing as well and putting a hand on Stiles' shoulder. "It'll be okay," he said with a reassuring squeeze.
"Says the smashingly good looking werewolf with the perfect girlfriend," Stiles shot back, though he was thankful. He really was. Stiles was doing this to himself, this burrowing away from society, living in his apartment with a ghost and not really doing much interacting at all with people of the alive variety thing. He just couldn't help himself.
He left with a heavy heart and went over how to tell Kenzi that she was a ghost while on the bus. There was no easy way to say "Hey, sorry to mention it, but you're like dead".
Stiles almost didn't go back to his apartment. He would eventually, but he wasn't sure what to do with himself. He was basically in love with a ghost who didn't know she was a ghost. How does one cope with such a thing?
He ended up at the grocery store—even though he didn't even need food—when he should have done something more productive. Like check out laptops and give his dad a call to try to figure out how to pay for a new one.
An hour later, he walked through the front door, four bags in one hand. He didn't see Kenzi anywhere and put the bags on the island. Hh didn't call out for her either, because then she would more than likely show up.
He shoved things into cabinets and checked his phone. There was a message. Scott still texted like a twelve year old.
How r u?
Stiles leaned against the counter and lifted his phone.
Fine. She's not here.
Only Scott wouldn't make fun of him for thinking—knowing—he was living with a ghost of all things. This was the only thing in his life, supernatural wise, that Stiles had ever had complete control over. He was glad that Scott had never come over to check out his place. This wasn't werewolves or vengeful lizards. This was a ghost…it had nothing to do with full moons and Alphas and hunters and thinking you were going to die everyday.
Want me 2 come over?
Stiles frowned down at the phone. He didn't want Scott to meet Kenzi…that is, if he could even see her. Maybe Stiles was the only one who she showed herself to, he had no idea. But if Scott was here, she probably wouldn't show up and Stiles could prolong having to tell her the news of her death. Biting down on his cheek, he stared at the screen and his thumbs moved of their own accord.
Scott texted back with a simple 'k' and Stiles tossed his phone onto the counter, rolled up the plastic bags from the store in his hand and tried to toss them into the trashcan but missed. He mumbled to himself and went over to poke around his completely trashed laptop. He was keeping it in case he could like…get something for it, if it was still under warranty. He couldn't remember if it was or not.
The laptop looked like someone had set off a firework under it. The keyboard part was almost completely bent in half and the screen was cracked and burned around the edges.
"Ghosts and electronics don't mix so well," he muttered under his breath, flopping down on the couch and sinking into the cushions. Minutes passed by like seconds and there was a knock on the door. "It's open!" Stiles called from the couch, not moving.
Scott slowly opened the door and peered in. This was his first time here since helping Stiles and the Sheriff move things in. "Hey," he said, shuffling into the living room. His eyes fell on the demolished computer. "What…happened to your laptop?"
"Did you know that ghosts and electrical currents don't mix?" Stiles didn't move and Scott sat next to him. "I dunno why. There aren't actual scientific books on the subject."
Scott frowned. "We should go out. We haven't really hung out this whole semester."
Stiles opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. "Yeah. Kenzi said the same thing…" Scott didn't say anything so he continued. "She said that I should start doing things away from my apartment."
"You should listen to her," Scott said. "She sounds…smart."
Stiles smirked. "She's a smartass."
"She's uh…she's not here, is she?"
"No. I think you'd be able to see her," Stiles said honestly. "Since you're a werewolf and everything. That's how it is in the movies."
Scott nodded slowly. "Mom's been calling me about Thanksgiving. We're both going back home, right?"
Stiles nodded. "Yeah." It had become a sort of tradition for joint Stilinski and McCall holidays. Christmas, Thanksgiving…the big ones. They didn't have much family so they would alternate between houses and enjoy the days together. Stiles was beginning to think that his dad and Scott's mom were actually seeing each other, but his dad hadn't said anything about it. Not that he would have a problem with it. Scott was his best friend…
"Derek called yesterday," Scott added, looking over at Stiles to gauge his reaction.
Stiles blinked and pushed himself up into a normal sitting position. "What did he have to say? Is he coming back?" He hoped that wasn't the case. Stiles felt that his dad was safe now that there were no werewolves or hunters in Beacon Hills; he didn't want that to change.
"No," Scott shook his head. "He wanted to see how I was doing, if any hunters had come around or any other Omegas."
Stiles nodded. "Good. Which is…no right? No one has found you?"
"Yeah. Don't worry about it." Scott pushed himself up to his feet. "C'mon, we're going out."
"I shouldn't," Stiles whined. "I have a midterm paper…"
"You have two weeks before November even starts. Get your phone and let's go." Scott grabbed his arm and hauled Stiles to his feet.
"This is new," Stiles mentioned as they walked down the stairs in the building. "Are you taking me to dinner and a movie?"
"Sure," Scott said.
"Okay. Just be gentle with me after."
Scott rolled his eyes and playfully shoved Stiles into the wall. Both of them chuckled and slipped right back into the ease of being just two best friends.
Stiles woke up the next morning and found Kenzi sitting crosslegged on the island, a box of matches empty in front of her. She was lining up the matches in little rows of five.
"Hey," he said, mind flashing back to the article he had read the previous day.
"Yo," she said softly, not looking up from her handiwork. "I had a dream."
"A dream?" Stiles frowned, hand on the fridge handle. "Do you even sleep?"
She sighed, keeping her face hidden from him. "No. I don't…know. It was more of like a nightmare. I don't remember much. Just…I felt terrified. And then I had to wait for you to wake up."
"You could have set off my alarm or dropped some pans," Stiles suggested with his typical humor. A dead weight settled in his stomach. "I um…I have to talk to you, if you're up for it."
Kenzi lifted her head slightly. "Will you be late for class?"
"Nope." Stiles put his hands, palm down, on the edge of the counter, in front of her. "So…I'm going to be honest here."
"Oh crap." She straightened her back and rested her hands on her knees, meeting his eyes.
"Uh…I've sort of…thought you were a hallucination ever since you showed up," he said quickly, not giving her time to interject. "I thought that because I was on my own for the first time, I was just sort of coping by making up someone in my head to keep me company."
"I'm your imaginary friend?" Kenzi managed to sneak it.
Stiles furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "You…you agree with that?"
She swallowed. "I um…I don't know what I am."
Stiles wet his lips. He knew. And he would have to tell her. "I do," he forced himself to say. She leaned forward in anticipation. "I um…I figured it out after you fried my computer."
"What did you figure out? Don't leave me hangin', dude." She sat forward more, eyes wide. She was scared to know…but she needed to know.
"You…are a ghost," he said slowly, as if speaking to a little kid.
Kenzi processed the words and sat back, a look of disbelief on her face. "What?" she almost laughed. "That is ridonculous."
"I'm serious," Stiles insisted. "I went and checked online. I looked up this apartment and an article came up about a murder here. It was…it was you."
She pushed herself off the counter, scattering matches. "No way," she said, backing away slowly.
"Kenzi…" Stiles went to take a step forward, but she just moved back another inch when he did. "Think about it. You can touch everything but me…a living person. You disappear and reappear and don't know where you go. You don't sleep. You don't ever change clothes or eat. You fry electronics when you touch them."
She backed up to the couch and gripped the edge with her hands. "No…no way," she muttered, shaking her head, eyes searching the ground. The ground…she sucked in a breath as an overwhelming pressure seemed to bear down on her. The air around her got hot and her eyes burned but she couldn't blink.
And then she saw it…it was a flashing, darting image.
A pool of blood on the floor…and her body…Kenzi…she could taste the blood as she tried to breathe, shirt stained and slashed.
In an instant, it was gone and she was slammed back into the now, with Stiles looking at her worriedly a few feet away. She crumpled to the floor, arms clasped around her middle as if she was trying to keep her insides inside.
"What…what just happened?" Stiles crouched beside her, reaching out to touch her but remembering he couldn't. His hand hovered an inch above her shoulder.
"I…I…" she heaved unneeded breaths and squeezed her eyes shut. "I saw it…I saw myself…right here on the floor."
"Oh…" Stiles didn't know what to say. Or what to do. He started half a dozen sentences but let them fade out. "What…what did you see?"
Kenzi sat back, releasing her arms from her middle. Her hands were shaking. "I…I was laying on the floor." She pointed to the spot smack dab in the middle of the floor, not a foot away from where she was. "In blood…and all I could taste was blood. My stomach was…" She glanced down, but saw no blood, and her shirt wasn't even torn. "My stomach was ripped open."
Stiles nodded slowly, running a hand over his hair. It was just like the news article said. He sat on the floor, using the back of the couch to rest up against. "They said—"
"It was the same feeling as my nightmare," she said quietly, eyes never leaving the spot. She could still see the outline of the blood pool and her body.
"You're…remembering," Stiles guessed. He should have been more freaked out that someone had died in this apartment, but he was so accustomed to death that it didn't.
She heaved a breath and brought her knees to her chin. "Is…is that what happened to me?"
"Yeah." He looked over at her. He felt bad…was pity the right word? He felt something for her because she didn't know. She didn't know she had died, and she didn't know how she died. It must be a terrible feeling.
"I'm…I'm dead." She didn't remember dying…she didn't remember who she was before…but she could feel the pain and taste the blood and she felt like her life was slipping away all over again.
"Yeah." Stiles didn't know what else to say. He hadn't planned on what to do after he broke the news. He had mainly focused on planning out how he would tell her.
"Fuck," she let out, shivering. "This is a major download of information."
"You're telling me."
She swallowed, tearing her eyes from the spot where she had died, and looking over at him. "You…but you can see me."
"Yeah. I can see you. Probably because we have equal statuses on the plane of awesome," he joked. Of course he did. He was Stiles, it was what he did.
She smiled ever so slightly. "How can you see me?"
"I have no idea."
Frowning slightly, Kenzi turned back to look at the spot. "I feel like I should have the answers…but I can't remember a thing."
Since her identity was never given over to the public and her body had been taken away to Canada by anonymous persons, there was no way that Stiles could find her. Unless he had his hands on some super tech that could scan her face from that fake ID photo and match her to someone in the world's database of persons…but there was no such thing in the real world.
He eventually told her that it had been ten years ago. He printed out the article from the school library and gave it to her to see if it could jog any of her memories. It didn't.
Stiles did not tell her the fact that he was ninety-five percent sure he was in love with her. That would just ruin whatever the reason she had for still being around after all these years. He talked to Scott more and gave Danny a call to see how MIT was going. He told Stiles that he was going home for New Years and everyone better be there so they could play drunken lacrosse.
"That sounds nice," Kenzi said from where she sat on the back of the couch. She apparently had some aversion to sitting on things that were made for sitting, like couch cushions and chairs.
"It will be," Stiles said. He had papers and books strewn about the coffee table and was sitting on the floor, gnawing on a pen. Since his laptop was broken, he was stuck handwriting things and typing them up on campus if he worked on them at home.
"I can't picture you playing lacrosse," she mused, leaning forward, sinking her heels into the cushions.
"No?" He tilted his head to look up at her. "I'll have you know, I was team captain Junior year."
He almost slipped and said he was the only human captain during the last three years of high school, but caught himself. She had been quieter the past few days…obviously in shock from learning that she dead. But she was still around, which was something. "Yeah. Scott is actually here on a sports scholarship. I…I got in on some writing thing I don't even remember doing."
She snorted. "Nice."
He nodded his head and got onto his knees, gathering up papers and pushing them into folders and closing books. "I've got to head to the library for a few hours to get this done, it's due in a week," he said as he walked around the apartment. He got his bookbag, shoved feet into shoes and grabbed a hoodie. Shoving the work into the bag, he slung it over his shoulder and snatched his keys off of the island in the kitchen. "Will you be…okay?"
Kenzi nodded. "Of course. I'm dead, nothing worse can really happen to me, can it?"
Stiles gave her a sad smile before leaving. He had a midterm paper that really had to be spot on. He couldn't be distracted by a ghost, or thinking about the upcoming New Years that was surely to be awesome with the whole gang back together, or by any other things his mind came up with to distract him. Lord knows he was capable of procrastinating work until the night before, but he couldn't do that. Not in his third year. It was too important.
So he took the bus to campus, hunkered down in front of a computer in the basement of the library—it wasn't completely packed so he was able to find a good place to sit—and spread out all his work. He linked his fingers and cracked his knuckles before nodding. "Let's do this," he told himself.
Four hours later, Stiles' eyes were about ready to bug out of his head, but he has successfully typed up an ten page rough draft. He saved it on a flashdrive and printed it so he could hand edit it the next day. Shoving everything back into his bag, he heaved it over his shoulder and left the building. He walked passed Scott's dorm building but remembered that Scott said he and Allison were going to a pre-Halloween party tonight. So he walked to the bus stop and waited with a handful of other students.
He sat next to a window.
He had told Kenzi that she was a ghost almost a week ago. She hadn't disappeared and hadn't remembered anything else. She had gotten quieter and had fewer witty retorts. He couldn't blame her…he would probably act the same if he found out that he had been dead for ten years. Ten years…he shivered. His mom had died almost that long ago.
"Don't go there, Stilinski," he muttered to himself, resting his head against the cool window.
The bus pulled to a stop at the corner and he lugged himself and the bag out into the darkness. His stomach rumbled. He was starving. He should have stopped to get something to eat, but as he turned the corner at his apartment building, he heard a scream. It was definitely not from pleasure. He furrowed his eyebrows and stopped, listening again. Another…how was no one around hearing this? Why wasn't anyone reacting?
"Kenzi…" he breathed out. And then he broke out into a run. Or tried to. He dumped his fifteen pound bag on the outside stairs and bolted inside. People looked at him like he was insane, but he was the only one who could see and hear Kenzi…it had to be her.
He raced up the stairs and was surprised not to see the front door kicked in. In fact, it was completely intact. He tried the knob, and it opened, unlocked.
He didn't know what he was expecting to find. He was confronted with the back of someone in a fedora—fedora, really?!—standing in his bedroom doorway. He could hear Kenzi pleading and crying.
"What the fuck," Stiles got out, just before the man turned around. He didn't seem so impressive, but then he started whistling or something and Stiles's head felt like it was about to explode. He dropped to his knees and clapped hands over his ears as if that would help, but it didn't. His head swam, he saw spots and he felt blood drip as capillaries dropped.
"Stop it!" Kenzi's voice ripped through the apartment. She stood from her crouch on the far side of Stiles' room and ignored her own symptoms from getting hit by the siren song when she saw Stiles. "Hale, stop it, please, you're going to kill him!" She begged. Kenzi didn't beg…but she was just then. She stepped forward and pushed Hale with her palms. Her hands didn't go through him and he stumbled forward, breaking off his deadly tune. "Hale, what are you doing?" she whispered.
She remembered everything now. Hale had come into the apartment and cornered her…he could see her and she didn't know why at first, but then he sent a mind shattering blast at her and her memories came rushing back.
She remembered Toronto. She remembered meeting Bo, their shared, rundown house and their friendship. She remembered Dyson and Hale and Trick and Vex and The Morrígan. Almost dying by foot soup, swapping bodies that one time, spending half of her days at the Dál. She remembered the fae, the light and the dark, and her part in all of that. The human pet.
And she remembered how she died. Things were bad between the light and the dark and Trick had sent her, Bo, Dyson and Hale on a trip to California to deal with some sort of unified group of unaligned American fae. They were here for a few weeks and had gotten this apartment. Things were fast and chaotic and Bo needed healing almost every night. One day, the fae had all left and Kenzi was at the apartment when the rogue fae broke in. She didn't know what type he was, but he smelled like a sewer and had massive claws.
She could almost taste the stench and had fought back as much as a human girl could do with the weapons at hand. But she was no match. She had gotten slashed by his talons, which were covered with some sort of venom that had almost instantly stopped her ability to control her muscles. She fell to the floor, useless…she couldn't struggle and fought to breathe.
She might have called out for Bo feebly, but she didn't have any strength left as the fae pulled out a knife and sliced open his palm with it, coating it with his blood, before he brought it down in one sweep and sliced open her middle. Blood seeped, tender organs were damaged. Blood rose up her throat as she tried to breathe and she coughed, a rattling cough that sent blood flying. Her body felt numb, then hot, then cold and then the fae was gone and she slipped into the black.
No one had saved her.
That was why she was still here.
"Hale! What are you doing?" she repeated as he turned to look at her. His eyes were harsh, and not at all what she had remembered them being like.
On the floor, Stiles' ears rang and his vision slipped from side to side as he tried to stand, holding his arms out so he wouldn't fall over.
"Kenzi," Hale said, emotion edging into his voice.
Tears filled her eyes. Stiles gasped out her name and she was suddenly at his side…and touching him. Her fingers didn't go through him like before.
"Stiles," she said out of surprise as she steadied him with her hands. Her hands. She could hardly believe it. What was happening?
"Who…who are you?" Stiles asked, not able to think about more than one thing at a time for once in his life. His eyes were turned to Hale. "Do you…Kenzi, do you know him?"
Kenzi nodded, marveling over the fact that she could touch someone who wasn't also a supernatural being, like Hale was. Unless Stiles had been lying to her. "I know him. He…he used to be my friend." Stiles seemed capable enough to stand on his own, so she dropped her hands from him, though she couldn't help but not want to stop touching him. She stood in front of him, between Stiles and Hale. "What happened to you, Hale?"
The siren swallowed, keeping his guards up. "A lot has changed in the last ten years, Kenzi." He kept his voice even.
"Are you…oh God, are you dark fae now?" She took a step back, bumping into Stiles' chest. He had no idea what they were talking about from what he could hear through the ringing.
"What? No, absolutely not." The muscles in Hale's jaw moved as he clenched his teeth. "There is close to a war going on, we all do what we have to."
Tears flooded her eyes. This was not like her. Kenzi didn't cry. But she had been abandoned…and it had been so long. All of her friends looked the same and had moved on without her. "So…you kill people now? You are actually about to fucking kill me?" She wiped a hand across her face. She didn't know how she could be a ghost and still cry, but crazier things had happened.
"You're already dead. Which is why I came." He took a step forward.
"Wait, just…wait," Stiles piped up suddenly. He was seriously aware that he could feel Kenzi's back against him which was throwing him for a loop. He had wiped his face and found blood from his nose and ears and his hearing was still fuzzy but he needed some answers. "What the fuck is going on?"
"We used to be friends," Kenzi said sadly, eyes on Hale. "Back when I was alive. He…he had the biggest crush on me. I even had to play his pretend girlfriend once or twice." The point of this was to make Hale feel bad. She hated doing it, but she needed the time so all she could do was distract him. "He…he was with me, here in this apartment, before I died. It was Hale and Bo and Dyson…the four of us…like the freakin' Musketeers. But…the three of them, they left. And I died."
Hale swallowed. "We didn't leave you to die."
"Bo tried…she tried to bring you back. But it didn't work."
That stung. Kenzi sucked in a breath. "How could you leave me?" She didn't mean alone in this apartment…she meant after she had died. "You're a fae…you should have known that I would be here. Why did you leave me?"
Hale took a step back. "We didn't…we didn't know this would happen."
"And what exactly did happen, huh?" She didn't realize it, but she had somehow grabbed Stiles' hand from behind her and was holding onto his wrist. She didn't know how it had happened or why she could suddenly touch him.
"You're touching me," Stiles blurted out.
"I'm touching you," Kenzi repeated, glancing down at their hands.
"He's not fae," Hale stated. "You can touch me because I'm fae. He…he must have lots of contact with people who aren't human."
Kenzi furrowed her eyebrows and turned to face Stiles. "Is that true? What aren't you telling me?"
Stiles blinked. "Uh…my um…" He closed his eyes for a moment as a wave of dizziness hit him. "Scott is a werewolf."
"Your best friend?"
"That's the one. And uh…like the entire lacrosse team at home…"
"It must have had some effect on him," Hale said. Kenzi turned around again, protectively standing in front of Stiles. "Just like you."
"Like me? Is that why I'm still here?"
Hale licked his lips. "Look, I…I'll tell you the facts. There wasn't anything we could do to save you. But, we brought you back to Toronto and gave you a proper funeral and everything."
"And forgot about me," she interjected sharply.
"It wasn't like flipping a switch. We missed you. Bo almost went darkside. She chose light…because she didn't want to be associated with the unaligned since one of them had killed you. But…we had to move on. There was fighting between sides and the foundation under the Ash and the entire light fae elders was crumbling. We had our hands full. But…we…I…none of us ever forgot about you, lil' mama."
Kenzi sniffed, trying not to cry.
"And then, a little while ago, a fae told Trick that she had sensed you. We knew that you were gone, but Trick did some research…you were around so much fae magic, almost killed and healed by fae, that it had changed you. It's what kept you here.
"I'm only guessing, but there have been many other people in this place since then. If this guy had any contact with other beings, than it probably shook you out of the woodwork."
"And you were sent to kill me. Again."
Hale swallowed. "It's not that easy…fae are an evolved species, Kenzi. We're meant to be here. But ghosts…they are an imbalance, one that throws off the equilibrium of the fae."
"So you're just going to kill her?" Stiles finally cut in. Almost everything being said between them was over his head. "No…you can't kill her. I need her."
"It won't hurt," Hale said softly, a bit of his old self coming through his eyes.
Kenzi's eyes filled again and she cursed in Russian under her breath as she wiped her cheeks. "Says you…I…Stiles…" She turned, and her hands found their way to Stiles' face. It was smeared with blood, but at least he was alive.
"You're going to let him kill you?" he whispered, hurt and betrayed.
"I…I think I have to," she said softly, rubbing the pads of her thumbs over his cheeks.
This was it. "I have to tell you something."
"Tell me quick. Hale has never been patient," Kenzi said, trying her best not to sound scared of all this. She had already died once…she didn't want to do it again. And she didn't want to leave…she worried about Stiles in more ways than she could actually convey with words that didn't sound like a Hallmark card.
"I uh…I think I love you." Sometime, Stiles had put his hands on her hips because he was pulling her closer. She was facing her death and he didn't think he could do anything about it…it didn't matter if she was a ghost or not.
Kenzi gave him a look. It was loving and kind and she let out a small breath. "That is so not healthy, you know," she said quietly. "Will you…will you do something for me? Please."
He didn't know what he expected, telling her that. To be mocked? To have her say something of equal value? He didn't know. "What is it?" he asked.
"You…you need to get your ass into the real world, okay?" She was doing a lot to hold back the floodgates. Good thing she remembered how good of a con woman she used to be. "You are too perfectly amazing to hole yourself in this apartment every day. You need to make friends. You need to invite people over and go out to parties and live. Because…I'm proof that you never know when you'll die. Okay? Will you promise?"
Stiles…Stiles could do that. He used to do that. He knew it wasn't right of him to stay in this place all the time. He was loosing touch with Scott and that was cause enough for concern. He blinked and nodded. "Yeah…yeah, I promise. I will."
She smiled softly then. "Good." This was it. "Close your eyes and hold still for a sec."
Under any other circumstances, Stiles would have come up with something to say, but he did as he was told. And a moment later he felt her kiss him. It was an odd feeling, because he couldn't quite feel her, like she was fading back to being able to just walk right through him.
"There…I hate saying goodbye," she said, taking a step back and dropping her hands from his face.
He nodded sadly. "Thanks for that."
Another step back. "Do you promise?"
And another. "You'll find someone new? A real…living person?"
He did his best to smile. "I'll do my best."
"How…how does this work?" she asked, now standing next to Hale.
"I will…I'll go at low frequency and it will separate…you. You'll just sort of float off," he explained.
She nodded, her Kenzi-face coming on. Stubborn, ready for anything. "Okay." He motioned for her to stand as far back as she could, so she stood between the two windows opposite the couch.
"You might wanna stand behind me," Hale said to Stiles.
Stiles nodded. "You're not gunna kill me after…are you?"
"Not unless you put up a fight," Hale replied, though his eyes said otherwise.
Stiles nodded and stood in the far corner, his eyes on Kenzi. She was looking at him too, and he didn't know if that was good or bad. Then Hale took a step into position and started to sing…whistle…whatever it was a siren did. The soundwave was pointed right at Kenzi.
It sort of tickled. It wasn't the pain from earlier…she wondered if Hale had just done that so she would get her memories back and die as Kenzi and not just some ghost. But she found that she couldn't speak. So she set her eyes on the kind and crazy human she had gotten accustomed to being around. She felt that he would heed her words…she could only hope, since it was her dying wish.
And then…Kenzi started to disappear. It was as if someone had drawn her with glitter but no glue and suddenly started blowing…bits of her image sort of swirled and faded away until she was nothing but a faded face and then she was gone…just like that.
The air was still and felt warm. Stiles stared at the empty space where Kenzi used to be. "Is…is she gone?" he asked.
Hale walked forward to the space and nodded. "She's gone." And with that, he left.
Stiles just stood there, alone again…for real this time. Finally, he took a step forward and ended up leaning his hands against the back of the couch. He fumbled in his pocket for his phone and dialed Scott.
"Hey, man," Stiles said, startled into speaking by the voice. Kenzi's promise echoed through his head like something out of a cheesy movie, but he wasn't about to knock it. He didn't want her really coming back and haunting his ass. "Are you uh…are you still going to that party?"
"What? Yeah. We were just leaving. Why?"
Stiles looked at the space where Kenzi had once been and smiled. "Let me tag along? Will there be booze?"
"Then count me in."
Call him crazy…but Stiles had been told to embrace life by a dead girl…he thought it best to take her advice.
A/N: BTW, I totally wrote this before the final, and that is why certain things are the way they are.