Stiles wishes he were on the really good drugs. The kind that make him feel like he's floating instead of lying on an uncomfortable hospital bed that is far too lumpy. It makes Stiles wonder if there's some kind of conspiracy going on where the hospital is trying to ensure that their patients will come back with back problems if nothing else, which seems rather unnecessary since people will always come back to the hospital. Stiles is proof of this. Of course, he has a pack of 'much too fond of violence - dammit Derek' werewolves to look after so there is that.
The point is, everything hurts and he would feel a lot better about life in general if he were on the good drugs. If he were high he wouldn't have to look at his dad sleeping in the visitor's chair, looking old and bruised, as if the chair is keeping him from collapsing back against the floor never to get up again. Every breath aches, which could be because his ribs are cracked but Stiles is pretty sure it's guilt.
He leans his head back against his pillow. With his left hand sealed in a cast he digs the fingers of his right hand into the bedding and decides that something has to change. They're barely holding their own, with Derek struggling to be the Alpha for his pack, and the others still too new at being wolves to know when Derek is fucking up. They need help, and Derek would rather chew his own arm off before going to Argent for a freaking cup of sugar, let alone back up against the creatures that have been crawling out of the woodwork.
Plus, Stiles knows his dad is worried sick about him. Long looks that follow him up the stairs to his room, too quiet stillness settling between them in the mornings when they manage to share breakfast.
It had started out fun, in a twisted kind of way. Stiles had enjoyed being one of a few in the know, breathing in secrets and danger every night, with magic mixed through it all. He got a chance to live in two worlds: one where he goes to school and shops for groceries so he can manage his dad's cholesterol, the other where he learns to force his will into mountain ash and track down supernatural creatures that occasionally leave bodies for his dad to find.
But things have changed. They're slowly losing ground and as long as Derek keeps insisting that they don't need help, one day someone is going to pay the price. And Stiles has a feeling it's going to be him.
He clears his throat before he can think it through, because if he does then he's going to keep his mouth shut until the next incident, which might very well end up with him dead. "Dad."
His dad's eyes shoot open and he straightens in his seat, reaching up to rub at his eyes with the heel of his hands. "Stiles." His dad's voice is gravel rough and the guilt seems to grow heavier, until it feels like he has a lead ball rolling around in his guts. "Are you in pain? Did you need me to call someone?"
"No I'm good." With the werewolves and the magic and figuring out what was myth and reality, you'd think he would have a surefire way to start this kind of conversation. His fingers start plucking at the bedding again "So..." That's as far as he gets because all the secrets have built up between them like some kind of demented Lego experiment, and Stiles honestly has no idea where to start.
"Stiles?" His dad's gaze has sharpened into what suspects would call an 'interrogator's' face and what Stiles considers the 'what did my son do inow/i' face. "What's wrong?"
This needs to happen, has needed to happen since it started if he's being honest with himself, which he's not because everything hurts and delusion makes it that little bit better. The worst that can happen is that his dad will think he's crazy and try to throw him in a psychiatric ward. Or disown him and never speak to him again, which Stiles thinks actually sounds a lot worse than being crazy. At least if he was crazy his dad would still visit him.
He's kind of starting to regret the whole being 'in the know' about the werewolf situation.
"Dad, you see..."
"Is this where you try to tell me that you weren't actually involved in a car accident? Which I already know, so you might as well spare me."
That was not what Stiles was expecting at all. He stares at his dad with his mouth hanging open until he manages a half-strangled, "What?"
His dad leans back in his chair and there's a long sigh, as if it started in his toes and worked its way up. He rubs at his face, and there's the slight rasp of stubble on skin. "Kid, we have a lot to talk about, and don't think that being hurt will make your punishment lenient."
"Wait, wait—what?" Stiles tries to push himself up only to bite back a hiss as his ribs protest. His dad ends up helping him, piling his pillows up behind him so he can lean back without putting too much strain on his ribs. Once he's regained his breath he says, "You already know?"
How could he know? Stiles hadn't said anything, and the others would have warned him if his dad had seen anything. Or at least he thinks they would have warned him. Scott would, and Derek. Erica... maybe not so much.
His dad lifts an eyebrow, the rest of his expression flat. Which does not spell good things for Stiles' future, a future without internet or friends or a life outside of his house, but his dad isn't yelling at him so that's a plus. Maybe. Depending on what he actually knows.
It's hard to maintain eye contact with his dad looking so disappointed. He should really be used to that expression now since his dad wears it so much, but this one is backed up with the double whammy of exhaustion and lingering traces of fear. Stiles looks down at where his fingers are twisting in the sheets. "What exactly... do you know? And how? Also when is good."
The look his dad gives him is not comforting. It kind of reminds Stiles of how his father looks at a person and decides how soon to break out the cuffs because they will be needed, it's only a matter of when. "I don't know whether I'm glad you think I'm dense enough to miss bloodstains, or furious." From the ridged line of his jaw, Stiles is going to guess furious. "I considered locking you in a cell until you told me what was going on, but I didn't want to hear you lie to my face again."
"Not to mention I'm pretty sure it's illegal," Stiles can't help but add. He's been steadily sinking further and further into his pillows, wondering if maybe the lumpy mattress would do him a favor and swallow him whole.
"I thought I would take a page from your book, since committing illegal acts doesn't seem to be bothering you all that much lately."
Stiles doesn't bother fighting back his wince. So—shutting up now.
"What I did do was talk to Melissa. She had the decency to explain why my son kept sneaking out late at night, and why his laundry always seemed to smell like dog and end up covered in blood."
Trying not to drown in his shame and guilt, Stiles swallows hard. "Ah," he says. Nothing his dad said was conclusive to him actually knowing about the whole werewolves issue. Time for a gamble. "So Mrs. McCall told you about the—uh—werewolves?"
It felt strange saying werewolves in front of his dad, as if two worlds had collided and he was the only one to feel it.
He waits for his dad's expression to turn puzzled, but his gaze remains steady, as if he knows what Stiles is doing. "Yes, Stiles. I know about the werewolves."
There's that colliding feeling again only it's happening behind his eyes. Stiles hears the steady beep of his heart monitor spike and he closes his eyes as his world shifts a whole foot to the left. "God, Dad. I'm sorry. I should have been the one to tell you."
Stiles opens his eyes to see his dad's expression harden. "Yes, it should have been you." Stiles sucks in a breath as his heart plummets down to the pit of his stomach, and the guilt is back, twice as strong as before. He swallows hard and the noise of the heart monitor ratchets even higher, and Stiles starts taking deep breaths before a nurse comes running in to check on him.
He's startled when his hand is covered, fingers rough from gun calluses curling around his palm. Stiles didn't think it was possible, but his dad looks even more wrecked. "There are no words for how much trouble you're in right now. I can't ever remember being this furious and when I get you home we are going to sit down and talk about this."
Stiles looks at his dad sideways, but his heart is fluttering with relief. "When you say talk, you mean yelling, don't you?"
"So much yelling," his dad agrees. "When you get home, you are grounded into the next century. But right now, I'm just happy that you're okay." His dad stands up and presses a kiss to the top of his head and if it lasts a little longer than normal, and there's a slight hitch in his dad's breathing, well, Stiles seems to be having a similar problem. Probably got something stuck in his eye.
His dad sits back in his chair. "Go to sleep, Stiles. You've got a big day tomorrow."
Sleeping should sound impossible right now because holy shit his dad knows, but it actually sounds like a fantastic idea and Stiles is going to get right on that. He inches down the bed in little movements that manage not to make his ribs start screaming in pain. "That doesn't sound very comforting."
"I never said it should be. I'm pretty sure I mentioned the grounding."
"I'm glad you know, Dad," Stiles can't help but say. "I've wanted to talk to you so many times but I never knew how to bring up the whole—werewolves thing—without sounding like a complete lunatic."
His dad gives him the stink eye. "You always sound like a lunatic. And as much as I like to hear it, don't think that this apology earns you any points. The only reason I haven't hauled your ass into a cell already is because I don't actually know all the details of what you've been up to." There's a glare this time. "Which you will tell me. Every single detail, starting from the night I found you in the woods looking for the other half of that woman's body."
Oh yeah, totally going to sleep now. Knowing his luck he might already be asleep and this is some kind of really bizarre dream. He hopes not. He knows he's in for it, and that his dad might very well forbid him from helping the wolves ever again, but he doesn't think so. If there's anyone who understands putting their life on the line for what's right, it's his dad.
The whole grounding thing is seriously going to suck though.