Summary: Stiles is always there for Scott and Derek, but what can you do when everything you have done still isn't good enough.
I would like to give a humongous THANK YOU to agentdouble0negative2 for giving me the idea for this chapter If you hadn't said what you did, I would still be sitting here thinking about what to write. Thank you! Also Thank you VCCV for being my beta, you have been a huge help and I appreciate that you're still with me.
I was beyond irritated at this point. Every single movement I made had the Sheriff's head snapping in my direction. A switch of position, a stretch, even the slightest twitch. It was like he expected me to jump out of the vehicle at any given moment or rip his head off. I'd been watching the houses and trees zip by for the past hour on the most boring patrol of my life, while the Sheriff's eyes bore into the side of my skull.
"What?" I finally snapped.
"Hmph." He shrugged his shoulders as his eyes went back to the road. A few minutes of silence passed, and I could feel the Sheriff's glare, again.
"Why are you watching me?" I asked, irritably, trying not to sound like an irritated werewolf.
"I'm trying to find an answer." He spoke as if I'd just asked the obvious.
"To what?" I lowered my voice, but my irritation was still present.
"To why my son was involved with you." The Sheriff's glower darted between the road and me.
I thought about it. Stiles wouldn't have been involved at all if Scott weren't his best friend. Stiles' loyalty was strong, especially towards Scott. It just happened to subsequently fall to me; right around the day, I got shot. Stiles took care of me, terrified that I was going to rip him apart if he didn't, but I could smell the worry coming off him. He wanted to help, and not just because I was threatening him. That's when he really became involved in things.
"Well," the Sheriff asked impatiently. "Are you going to answer me?"
"He was helping Scott, and Scott needed my help. Stiles got thrown into the middle of things and instead of just leaving things be, he ended up helping me, too." I stared out the windshield blankly.
"And how do you treat him?" The Sheriff glanced at me with disdain.
I could have lied to him, but that didn't seem like the smart thing to do since I was trying to gain the man's trust. "I rough him up," I admitted "but only when he won't do what I need him to."
"Explain." The Sheriff demanded.
"Threats, but never ones I'd go through with. I've also pinned him against a wall on occasion." I could feel the Sheriff's glare deepen. I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt this uncomfortable.
"So, you've never physically hurt him?" He asked disbelievingly.
"No!" I looked at the Sheriff, eyes wide. "Never." Something about this man's son made me cringe at the thought of hurting him.
"Good, because if you did, I swear to God I'd shoot you." He threatened fiercely.
The silence that had held for the past hour came back, and I found myself deep in thought. It was understandable that the Sheriff was terrified for his son, but to accuse me of hurting him, I kind of felt insulted. Sure, I roughed Stiles up every now and then, but I could never bring myself to really hurt him. Every time I smelt fear come from the boy, it made me sick, even more so when I caused it.
And then there were the weird feelings the boy gave me. He was like a rubber band. I'd try to walk away, but I snapped right back into place. I'd find myself intently watching the boy, more so than I should have been. I'd keep an eye on him, make sure he was safe, and if he wasn't, I was ready to fight to protect him. It was as if he sparked something in me that I thought I'd put to rest.
"What are you thinking about?" The Sheriff's question brought me back to the present.
"Huh?" I replied, a bit confused at the sudden desire the Sheriff had to talk again.
"You were frowning." He brought a hand off the wheel to motion towards my face. "And you were staring pretty intently at the dashboard."
"Oh." I brought my eyes back to the road. If the Sheriff were anything like his son, he wouldn't be able to stand the one-word answer. Sure enough, the SUV slowed down and the Sheriff pulled to the side of the road
"So, what were you thinking about?" He prodded at me once again.
"I'd never hurt Stiles," I blurted out.
"What?" The Sheriff looked at me, perplexed.
"I'd never hurt Stiles," I repeated. "If it were my choice, he wouldn't even be involved in this."
"If it were your choice?" His puzzlement seemed to grow.
"Stiles doesn't listen," The Sheriff snorted in agreement. "He'll do things, and he'll do them his way. I can't stop him, even with threats. He just does what he thinks needs to be done." I gave a small smile, but it quickly disappeared when I thought of how many times Stiles ended up hurt because he did 'the right thing'. I hated thinking that even at my best; I still couldn't keep him safe.
"That's my boy," The Sheriff finally replied. "He was always like that, but he really took charge three years ago." The Sheriff's gaze went to the steering wheel; I could smell the guilt emanating from him.
"What happened three years ago?" I asked, curiously. What could have brought so much guilt to the Sheriff and so much pain to Stiles?
"My wife, Stiles' mom, died." The Sheriff briefly squeezed his eyes shut, but that was the only physical response he allowed himself. "Stiles had to watch his mom pass right in front of him, alone. I wasn't there to comfort my boy. He had to wait until the doctor called me from the station." Guilt and grief combined to make a scent unlike any other. The waves of it coming off of the Sheriff were actually making me a bit sick.
Stiles' earlier behavior suddenly made sense. I understood now why he didn't want to go back; understood why the Sheriff felt so at fault. "I'm sorry." I knew how hard it was to lose family; it ate at you until you just fell apart.
"Stiles took on a lot of responsibility. He had to grow up way before his time. He's a good boy." The Sheriff gave a conflicted smile. I could tell he was proud of his boy, but guilty at the loss of youth for him.
I slumped into the seat. The Sheriff had gone quiet, thinking about his boy. Stiles and his father had a close relationship, one that I never had with mine. I was closer to my mother, she took care of me, taught me how to live as what I was. I saw a lot of her in Laura; both in physical features and in the way she acted.
In the middle of my mental meanderings. I found myself tensing up. I could hear the echo of a howl. It was faint but it was still loud enough that the Sheriff could hear it. He tensed and shifted around in his seat, looking through every window of the SUV.
"What the hell was that?" he asked quickly, voice a little higher than usual.
"The Alpha," I answered.
"What is he doing?" I could tell that the mention of the Alpha had him slightly unnerved.
"He's calling out." I tilted my head a little, trying to locate him. "Dammit!" Frustration was building up in me quickly.
"What?" By now, the Sheriff's eyes were as wide as saucers.
"He's too far away," I growled. "I can't pinpoint where he is."
"Who's he calling to?"
"I don't know. He's just calling." I was pissed off; all I knew is that it didn't sound like the Alpha was going to attack anyone. A few minutes passed, and there was no second call from the Alpha. An uneasy feeling settled in the pit of my stomach. I got the sudden urge to get back to the hospital as fast as possible. I wasn't able to get any words out before my cell phone went off. I hastily shoved my hand in my pocket and answered it.
"Scott, is everything okay?" I asked worried, but he answered with sobs.
"I'm sorry!" Scott forced the words through his crying.
"For what? What happened?" I demanded.
"I didn't mean to. I'm so sorry." Scott was crying so hard it was difficult to understand him. "I couldn't control it."
"Scott, is Stiles all right?" My concern was growing and so was that uneasy feeling.
"I'm sorry, please. Just hurry!"
"Scott! Is Stiles all right?" The line went dead. "Scott? Dammit!" I shoved my phone back into my pocket.
"What the hell happened?" the Sheriff angrily demanded, worry in the undertone of his voice.
"I don't know!" I snapped. "Just drive!" I yelled at him.
The Sheriff had the car started and turned in a matter of seconds. The drive to the hospital felt like hours. My concern for Stiles grew the longer it took to get back. I didn't know how bad things were, but they sounded pretty fucked up. The Sheriff and I came to a screeching stop in front of the hospital; we flung our doors open and raced inside. The smell of death hit me hard, I could pinpoint one dead body, other than that there was an unsettling silence through out the entire hospital.
"This way!" I took the lead, the Sheriff following hastily behind me. I locked onto Stiles' scent and carefully tracked it through the halls. The trail ended in an OR room. An OR room that smelled of Stiles' blood and that horrible guilty grief scent.
"Stiles!" The Sheriff and I yelled in unison, fear coursing through both of us.
"Over here." His voice drifted from the corner of the room.
The Sheriff dashed for his boy. I stepped further into the room and visually examined Stiles from a distance. Everything seemed fine, until I reached his leg. His right pant leg had been ripped open, and a bandage covered a still bleeding wound.
"What the fuck happened!" I snarled, snapping my head towards Scott.
"I didn't mean to." Scott's voice cracked as he spoke. "I tried to stop it…but I couldn't." He lifted his head from his lap, eyes puffy and red. My eyes widened as I connected everything together. The Alpha called out to Scott, his wolf took over and attacked Stiles.
"You bit him." My eyes fell back to the bandage on Stiles' thigh.
"I'm sorry." Scott was doing his best to hold back his sobs.
"What's gonna happen to my son?" The Sheriff asked worriedly.
"He'll become one of us…if the bite doesn't kill him." I answered quietly.
"Wait." Stiles looked at me panicked. "If it doesn't kill me?" His voice went up an octave.
I locked my eyes with his and nodded slowly. Stiles' heartbeat was banging against his chest uncontrollably, and his body was shaking. He looked petrified. Watching him and seeing him so fearful, practically broke my heart.
"What are we supposed to do?" the Sheriff snapped at me.
"We take him home, and we wait." I frowned at the Sheriff. "The only thing we can do is watch him through the night, and hope that he's healed in the morning."
"But that would mean he's a werewolf?" The Sheriff looked at his son. Stiles hadn't said anything more, but his eyes had gotten wider with what was said.
"Yes." I averted my eyes to the ground. The guilt and grief circulating through the room nearly choked me, and I wished Stiles weren't given the outcomes he was.