Scott McCall shed his lacrosse gloves the second the final whistle blew. He lifted his helmet and pulled his cell phone from his pocket. He remained oblivious to his celebrating teammates and the Beacon Hills crowd as he checked the screen. Stiles hadn't called; hadn't texted.
One glance into the mass of congregating fans revealed Sheriff Stilinski, looking equally confused and concerned by the absence of his son. He had his phone to his ear, his head on a swivel, as though he expected Stiles to just pop up. His eyes locked with Scott's and before he could look away, the Sheriff was headed towards him.
Scott put his own phone away and moved to meet the Sheriff half way.
"Scott," he began. "Do you have any idea where Stiles is? I tried calling him half a dozen times, but he's not picking up."
Scott didn't know what to tell him. He had no idea what had kept Stiles from the game. He said he would be here. "I'm not sure Mr. Stilinski. I talked to him before the game and he said he'd be here."
Scott looked around nervously. He suddenly had a feeling that something was wrong. He put his hand in his pocket, his fingers running over his phone, practically itching to call his best friend.
"Why do I get the feeling that there's something you're not telling me Scott?" Sheriff Stilinski looked at Scott questioningly. "Should I be worried about the safety of my son?"
Scott did his best not to waver under the scrutinizing glance. "I honestly don't know where he is or why he didn't show up, but I'm sure he's gonna have a good explanation. He's fine. I'm sure of it." Scott wasn't sure if he was trying to convince himself or the Sheriff.
"I wasn't trying to sound harsh Scott." Scott gripped the phone in his hand as he felt it vibrate, alerting him to a new message. He was slightly startled when the Sheriff placed a hand on his shoulder. "It's just, with all of these murders, and everything that happened at the school that night, I worry more than usual."
Scott gave him a small smile. "My mom's the same way. Maybe Stiles was just nervous about playing his first game?" He needed to get away, check his phone, and find Stiles.
The Sheriff sighed and shook his head. "For the past few months Stiles has looked like he's had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He doesn't sleep well, but he won't talk to me. When he told me that he made first line, he was happier than I've seen him in a long time. He wasn't nervous." With that statement, the Sheriff began looking worried once again.
Scott was momentarily shocked to hear this parental confession about his happy-go-lucky best friend, but shook it off quickly. "Look Mr. Stilinski," he began. "I've gotta go turn my gear in at the locker room. But I'm sure Stiles is fine. If I find him, I'll have him give you a call."
"Please do," the Sheriff replied. "Thanks a lot."
"No problem." Scott turned and began making his way to the locker room as he pulled out his phone.
"Oh, and Scott?" He turned back towards the Sheriff, slightly frustrated. "Good game tonight."
"Thanks Mr. Stilinski." Scott smiled a little as he resumed his walk to the locker room. He finally looked at his phone, his blood running cold as he read the message. He immediately dropped all of his gear where he stood and took off in the direction of the hospital. He didn't even notice as he nearly plowed over Allison and Jackson in his haste. Stiles' message played on repeat, screaming in his head.
At the hospital. Alpha is here.
Scott couldn't remember a time when he had ever felt so helpless. The Alpha was his problem, not Stiles'. He silently cursed himself as he picked up his pace. What was Stiles doing at the hospital? He hadn't mentioned anything about a plan on the phone before the game. Scott knew that this had everything to do with him. Stiles didn't know how to be selfish.
The scene in the locker room when Stiles heard he had made first line flashed his mind. He had been ecstatic. But tonight, something had come up. Something had kept Stiles from being there; and the only explanation that Scott could come up with involved Stiles protecting him.
Scott was running as fast as his legs would carry him. The bright lights from the hospital came into view and after scanning the parking lot, he saw his best friends blue jeep. He skidded to a stop next to the car, placing his palm on the hood. No heat came from the engine. Realizing that Stiles must have been here for a while, he began towards the hospital entrance.
He could smell the fear as he walked in the door. He knew immediately that it was coming from his best friend.
He sensed anger also, though it came from someone else. The Alpha.
Panic. He turned his head slightly. Panic was the strongest emotion he felt; but it wasn't coming from the Alpha. Derek?
A small amount of hope flared within Scott. If Derek was here, then maybe he had protected Stiles. He tried to be as silent as possible as he stalked through the strangely deserted hall. He couldn't call out to Stiles and he sure as hell wouldn't risk making his phone ring if he was hiding. Scott took a deep breath, using every ounce of self-control to slow his heart rate down.
He turned a corner, coming into another empty hallway. Worry crept up inside him. Where was everyone? There were no patients, no doctors, and no nurses.
Just as the thought entered his mind the shuffling of feet caught his attention. He looked up, startled to see a nurse standing at the end of the hallway. She stared at him for a moment before she turned a corner and walked out of site. Scott picked up his pace in order to catch up with her; to warn her of the danger she was in.
He turned the corner she had disappeared around but stopped in his tracks. Stiles stood in the doorway to a room on his right.
"Stiles!" Scott released a breath he didn't know he had been holding. He grabbed his friends shoulder, relieved he was here, standing in front of him. Unease settled into the pit of his stomach as he took in his friend's unsteady stance, the thin trail of blood that slowly slid down from his temple, and the look in his eyes.
His gaze brimmed with unshed tears and a flurry of emotions that Scott had never seen in his friend before: fear; hurt; guilt?
Scott gripped Stiles' shoulder a little tighter, trying to reassure him. "I got your text Stiles; we gotta get out of here before he comes back."
Stiles raised his own hand and placed it over Scotts. "I would never lead the Alpha right to you Scott. I didn't text you."
"It came from your phone Stiles," Scott said, thoroughly confused.
Stiles nodded, guilt seeping onto his features. "He took it from me. I swear, I tried to stop him." He lifted a hand and gingerly touched the blood running down his face.
"Stiles, it's okay. Let's just get out of here." Scott pulled on his friend's jacket, trying to move him from the doorway he was in. "Did you see who it was?"
The light in the room that Stiles blocked from view came on and Scott's heartbeat increased dramatically. He saw an unconscious Derek on the floor, a growing pool of blood surrounding him. Derek's previously immobile, wheelchair bound uncle stood just behind Stiles.
Scott turned to Stiles for confirmation, disbelief in his eyes.
Stiles nodded. "It's good ole' Uncle Burn Victim. We're screwed, aren't we?"
Scott swallowed nervously. Yep.