Stiles went straight to his room when he got home from school. He knew that his father was at the station and wouldn't be back until later. While he didn't mind his father being gone so much, some part of Stiles wished that he was home more often. Setting his backpack down on his bed (or, rather, throwing it), Stiles went to his desk to start his laptop up. Scott had mentioned something about a Yotsuya Kaidan, some sort of Japanese creature Kira had mentioned, and Stiles was instantly intrigued. In fact, Scott was going to come over later so they could discuss it and then waste a couple of hours on one of their all-time favorite video games. His phone made a soft ringing sound and Stiles practically fell out of his chair to get it out of his backpack.

"Stiles," he said into the receiver.

"Hey, I can't come."

"Wait, what? Are you okay?" Stiles's face adopted a puzzled expression and he shifted his weight onto his left foot.

"Yeah, I'm fine. I just have…other things I need to, uh…take care of. Could I come over tomorrow?" Here Scott let out a short giggled laugh that ended in a sort of muffled sound, like someone had pressed a hand up against his mouth. Frowning, Stiles felt a feeling of annoyance start to gnaw at him.

"I guess." It was all Stiles could say to keep the clipped, angry tone out of his voice.

"Sorry, Stiles." Scott's voice rang with sympathy. In the background Stiles could hear Kira giggling. Anger pulsed through Stiles's veins as he realized he was once again being blown off for a girl. First it was Allison, and now Kira.

"Yeah, see you." His voice was tight and he hung up before throwing his phone at the wall, putting a small dent into the blue paint and shattering the phone to pieces. Sighing, Stiles felt back on his bed, barely missing his backpack, and spread his arms out. His golden brown eyes stared at the ceiling like it held all the answers he needed. Like why did he feel like Scott and him weren't as great as friends anymore? Oh, well, that might have to do with the fact that he was pushed aside every time for a girl. It might also have to do with the fact that he killed Allison. Granted, he was being possessed by the Nogitsune, but he could still see and hear and feel everything going on. It was almost like he himself had killed her.

Stiles started to shake and realized that he needed to calm down before he had a panic attack. A shower - that sounded good at the moment. At no particular speed, Stiles undressed and hopped into the mildly-hot shower. Breathing in and out slowly, he let the water run down his body, flushing his skin slowly. His heart seemed to have a different idea, however, and started speeding up again. Calm down, Stiles told himself.

Control. He needed to get in control of himself. His mind raced, trying to find something that would calm him. He needed an anchor, or at least something, that would be comforting. A vivid thought passed through his head, and the second he actually thought about doing it, he froze, his skin seeming to prickle underneath the cooling spray of the shower.

Stiles hadn't actually considered hurting himself until years after his mother died, and roughly two years before Scott had become a wolf. It was a late night when he had gotten back home from hanging out at Scott's place. His father had gotten into an accident that could've been severe and had wound up in the hospital. The only reason he wasn't there was because Mrs. McCall forced him home so Stiles could sleep in his own bed and insisted that he could come back when he was rested. True, she knew of the amount of worry Stiles had for his only parent, but she convinced him that he wouldn't be able to help if he didn't get any sleep. Reluctantly, Stiles had gone home. Scott had offered to come over, yet, despite the fact that he really did need someone, Stiles denied it and said he'd be fine, that he really just wanted to be alone.

But with everything that had happened over the past few weeks, Stiles felt the urge to cut again. It was becoming overpowering and, regardless of the consequences, Stiles stepped out of the shower and took out a razor, carefully taking it apart before throwing out the plastic. He knew that the wolves would be able to smell the blood, but Stiles could just say he tripped and the steam that was leftover from the shower should help mask some of it.

He held the blade in his left hand, the twitching tendons making it tremble slightly. Don't do it….do it….Don't do it…do it. He kept debating back and forth inside his head and, suddenly, there were four small cuts on his right wrist. Stiles felt his heart rate slow down a little. One more…then it'll stop…any more would just make them worry. And he really didn't want anyone else worrying about him. With a shaky hand, he cut. Stiles gasped, the pain shrieking down his forearm. The smart part of his brain was screaming at him - quick, bandage it. The cut wasn't extremely deep, but it definitely wasn't shallow. Laying his wrist down on the counter, Stiles got out the thin medical tape and a large, but inconspicuous enough, band-aid.

Once again, Stiles fell back onto his bed, eyes closed this time, slightly more relaxed now. Roughly an hour later he jolted awake, panic coursing through him with a chilling swiftness.

"Stiles…it's alright."

Whipping his head around, he made out the dark outline of one Derek Hale, with a peculiar, unexplainable look on his face, staring down at him.

"It's alright." Derek's voice was quiet and it took a few minutes before Stiles realized his heart had been racing, practically dancing against his ribs. It took an even longer moment for him to realize that he was gripping Derek's shirt tightly and Derek's warm hand was rubbing comforting circles into his back.

"It's alright." The soft words continued to be whispered to him, Derek's voice so unusually even and mellow, but not unpleasant, and eventually his grip relaxed and he leaned against the werewolf's chest.

"I'm okay…" Stiles managed to say. "Don't worry. I'm okay…" They stayed like that for who knows how long. It could've been twenty minutes or an hour. Stiles didn't pay attention to anything in particular, nothing but the sound of Derek's heart beating and the feeling of circles being drawn onto his back.

"Stiles…" Stiles tensed a little, knowing what was to come. He, at least, had a pretty good idea what Derek was about to ask.


"Why do you smell like blood?" Stiles had to remind himself over and over again that this was Derek, the sourwolf that would threaten him daily (though Stiles knew he wouldn't actually harm him) and would push him up against the wall as a favorite pastime.

"It's nothing, sourwolf." Gently, he pushed off of Derek's chest and rubbed his eyes with the palms of his hands. They were crusted with sleep, and he grimaced, knowing he probably looked awful.

"You can tell me if something's wrong, you know." Derek stared back at him with such an intensity that Stiles had to look away. He knew the wolf would be able to hear the stuttering of his heartbeat if he lied, and it was already bad enough that Derek could smell the pain he had put himself in.

"I really can't."

"Can't what?" Derek pressed, his hands stilling in their motions tellingly on Stiles's back.

"I can't - I don't know how…" Annoyed with himself and his apparent sudden lack of speaking abilities, Stiles ran a hand roughly through his hair. "I didn't know what else to do," he murmured, his voice painfully faint.


Stiles glared at him, knowing that Derek heard what he said.

"I didn't know what else to do," Stiles murmured again, mostly because he didn't have anything else to say.

Minutes passed before anything else was said. Stiles just looked down at his hands uncomfortably and started counting his fingers. It was the gentle hand covering his own and the calm voice of Derek's next words that made him stop.

"You could've called me." There was an abundance of hurt in the werewolf's voice, so much that it almost made Stiles wince. "You may be human, but you're definitely pack."

Stiles looked at him, and, for some reason, it didn't matter to him that a tear was rolling down his cheek.

"I would've come right away, and if you ever feel like this again, I want - no. I need you to call me." Stiles just nodded, which made Derek shake his head ruefully. "You don't understand, Stiles. I need you to call me." The emphasis on the word 'need' made him just stare at Derek, somehow still noticing things that surprised him about the usually distant alpha.


"I won't pester you more tonight, since you have school tomorrow and I can smell how tired you are, but I'll be here when you get home tomorrow, and I expect us to talk about this." Derek made a move to go, but Stiles grabbed his wrist, causing him to turn back around and give him a look of confusion and…anxiousness?

"Stay." Stiles almost couldn't believe what he was saying, but now it was out there, hanging heavily in the air between them. But it seemed that one word had eased all the tension in the room at once. Derek smiled softly, took his shoes off, and laid on the bed next to Stiles. He hesitantly turned slightly into the wolf next to him and was surprised when Derek allowed him to. He was even more surprised when Derek wrapped his arm around him and pulled him closer.

"You'll be alright." It was the last thing he heard before he fell into a blissfully dreamless sleep.