*Notes at the end*
Allison wiped the sweat and remaining tears off of Stiles' face with a warm washcloth. She looked over his sleeping body to make sure that there was nothing that needed immediate attention. Stiles, even when he was sleeping, looked exhausted. She traced her eyes over the fading bruises and scars on his arms and felt her heart tighten.
Isaac stood by the window and monitored Stiles' heartbeat. He seemed alright, considering everything that had just happened. The only stress that Isaac could sense in the room was coming from Allison. He looked over at her and met her eyes.
"Let's go downstairs." She whispered.
Isaac nodded. They made their way downstairs and stopped in the living room. Isaac looked down at his shoes and continued to listen to Stiles' heartbeat.
Allison folded her arms and let out a tired breath. "Now that no one's dying, mind filling me in here?"
Isaac sat down on the arm of the sofa and rubbed his hands together. He hadn't noticed how shaky he was until now.
"Stiles told me that he was trying to mask his scent. He said it had something to do with Scott and Derek attacking him, but I don't know much more than that." Isaac's looked down at his hands. "I guess that's how he got those marks on his arms."
"Yeah, I figured as much."
Isaac looked up confused. "Wait, you knew about all this?"
"Not that he was going to poison himself with wolfsbane. If I had, he wouldn't have even gotten his hands on it." She snapped.
Isaac recoiled into himself and rubbed his hands together faster. Allison scolded herself for yelling at Isaac because honestly, she knew he was only trying to help. She softened her voice before continuing.
"I didn't know about Derek, either. I thought that Scott was the only one who had attacked Stiles." She could feel the guilt welling up inside her. "I knew that Stiles was getting hurt, but I didn't do anything about it. I thought that keeping Scott away from him for a while would keep him safe until we looked into it, but I guess we never really got around to it."
Silence lingered in the room.
"We've all been pretty shitty friends lately, huh?" Isaac said quietly.
Allison let out a dry laugh. "I think shitty is an understatement. We're a pack; we're supposed to look out for each other."
Isaac nodded. The pack had been there for him when he needed them, now it was their turn to help Stiles. He just hoped that they weren't too late. Isaac didn't completely understand what was going on, but he knew that he would help if he could. He glanced over at Allison and watched her pull out her phone.
"I'm going to call Scott. I think he'd want to hear about this." Allison said.
She pressed the keypad and walked towards the kitchen. Isaac dropped his hands to his sides and stood up. The conversation was quiet, but Isaac could still hear the urgency in Scott's voice when Allison started explaining. He listened for a while, but a different sound interrupted his concentration. Stiles was waking up.
Stiles groaned into his pillow. The memories of the past few hours flooded his mind, causing him to scrunch his eyes together and burry his face in his hands. His whole body was soar, especially his stomach - it ached whether Stiles moved or not. His arms vibrated with new bruises. Wonderful. Just a few more additions to add to the collection.
But more than anything, the most intolerable aspect of waking up after almost overdosing on wolfsbane was the disgusting taste in his mouth. It tasted like death, and maybe that was a bad comparison to make after almost dying, but that's what it tasted like. And his breath probably smelled worse.
Stiles pushed himself up in bed, intending to wobble over to the bathroom to brush his teeth, when Isaac walked in.
Isaac leaned against the doorway and looked over at Stiles. His hair was sticking up everywhere and his clothes were still stained with his sweat. Dark bangs sat under Stiles' tired brown eyes, causing Isaac to break the eye contact. Stiles looked terrible. Not as bad as when he was writhing on the floor, but pretty close.
"Hey, man." Stiles croaked, causing his raw throat to burn.
"Good news," Isaac said. "You're not dead."
Stiles' lips curved up into a lazy smirk. "No, I guess not. Can't get rid of me that easy. Better luck next time."
Stiles threw the covers back and dangled his stiff legs over the side of the bed. Isaac grimaced at the dull pain radiating off of Stiles.
"Maybe you should stay in bed." He suggested.
"Dude, I'm just going to brush my teeth. I think you of all people would appreciate that, with your puppy nose and all."
"I can't even smell your breath. Just get back in bed. If you pass out on the floor, I'm leaving you there."
Isaac started to turn to leave the room but froze when he saw Stiles' eyes widen.
"What?" Isaac asked. Worry blossomed as he quickly scanned over Stiles' body.
"You can't smell my breath?"
"Look, if you think that it's disgusting, then I really don't want to smell-"
"No, shut up, stop. You can't smell it at all? Can you smell anything else on me?"
Isaac folded his arms and concentrated on Stiles. He tried selecting certain areas that tended to emit a strong smell distinct to the human, but…
"I don't smell anything. I mean, I still smell some wolfsbane, and I can smell your scent in your bed and on your clothes, but I can't smell you."
Stiles let out a surprised laugh and flopped down back onto the bed. A wide smile spread across his face. He looked back over at the doorway and saw Allison run into the room. He caught her alarmed eyes.
"It worked!" He exclaimed. "I can't believe it worked, oh thank God!"
Relief flooded over Stiles. He could feel the misery and pain from the past few months just slip away; he could finally see the end of this hellish tunnel he'd been crawling through. He thumbed the raised scars on his chest through is shirt, and for once, didn't feel the world crumbling beneath him. He didn't feel like a slab of meat waiting to be ripped apart. His heart thudded against his chest, spreading warmth over his aching body.
He looked back over at Isaac and Allison. Allison gave him a soft smile and leaned against his desk. She was glad to finally see a genuine smile on her friend's face. She hadn't realized how much she missed it. The tension left her shoulder as she let herself relax with the good news, but noticed Isaac growing tense next to her. She looked over at him and saw him frown.
"What's wrong?" she asked, suddenly becoming alert. Isaac shook his head.
"It's coming back."
Stiles' face fell. "My scent?"
"I can barely smell it, but it's there. It's coming back."
A wave of devastation hit Stiles. He could feel his friends' worried stares, but shook them off. Okay, it worked, but only for a few minutes. But the wolfsbane still worked. He just had to figure out a way to make it last longer.
"How long was the wolfsbane in my system before I threw it up?" he asked.
"Isaac said around fifteen to twenty minutes."
Shit, he didn't last very long.
"Okay," he said, organizing his thoughts. "So we just need to figure out a way for me to take it without barfing or dying."
He could hear the imminent argument bubbling from his friends across the room.
Yes, I know, I've been gone forever. I really am sorry. But rest assured, I've read every message that you lovely people have sent me, and I truly appreciate your passion for this story. But keep your eyes peeled, the end it near. You're all wonderful and amazing, and I hope that you're all having a good start to the new year. Cheers!