Disclaimer:Teen Wolf and all recognizable characters, settings and plots are the rightful property of Jeff Davis and MTV Studios. Anything that didn't happen in the show is most likely all mine.
Genre: Family, Romance, Humor and Hurt/Comfort
Rating: T (It may need to go higher later but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.)
Warning: Spoilers for all of Season 1.
Summary: By the time senior year starts, The Pack has faced their share of enemies, become a family and even found love. Too bad Stiles can't remember any of it. Now it's up to the Pack to help Stiles recover his memories or risk losing Stiles entirely. SLASH.
Author's Note: Sorry for the delay. Unfortunately you can expect more in the future. Apologies if this feels a little off from the rest of the story. I would spend more time trying to fix it but it's already been so long since I updated that I figured you wouldn't mind. It was harder than I thought it would be to try and capture Stiles' essence again after telling the story from alternating POVs for so long. Especially a pre-Sophomore year Stiles.
Title credit for the chapter title goes to Snow Patrol. It's one of their best songs.
Haunt You Every Day
"Open Your Eyes"
It really wasn't Stiles' fault if he mistook reality for a nightmare. Sure he no longer felt as if he was being sucked through a tube but that was the only positive. The world had turned painfully solid as his limbs experienced gravity once more. Not even the cushion of the hospital mattress was of comfort. The pain that had only been coming in flashes of consciousness before was now constant and widespread. The rips in his skin felt freshly torn, his stomach was a solid ball of painful knots, and his lungs screamed in agony with every desperate intake of air.
But it wasn't until Stiles finally pried open his eyelids and took a look around at the big, bad world that he was truly terrified. In his defense he was not expecting to see a crowd of shadowy figures hovering over him; one of them was even in the bed with him. Stiles' slight panic blossomed into full-blown fear as he realized his visitors were bleeding. The veins in their arms, neck and face were stained black like the monsters out of one of those horror movies his Dad never let him watch after dark. The final piece of their terrifying tableau were the warm, happy smiles they were offering him in complete contrast to their zombie features.
Stiles' screams were swallowed by a thick tube that someone had rammed down his throat. Rude.
All of a sudden he was choking on a plastic tube that he'd completely overlooked. Stiles flailed only to cry out at the pain of moving his limbs. Hands clamped down all over him with impossible strength as if they'd been pre-positioned to stop his thrashing. Tears flooded Stiles' eyes before tumbling over the sides of his face and down his cheeks. The bloodied face of the figure whose lap Stiles' head was cradled in loomed ever closer, their fingers forcing his neck to stay put with bruising force.
"Stiles? Stiles, don't struggle, sweetheart," a familiar voice cooed. "I'm going to get it off your face but you've got to stop moving." Hands prodded the device around his mouth. With every second that passed the voice grew more emotional in their desperation. "Just one more minute, Stiles. Please relax."
That one-minute felt like ages of agony to Stiles but he did his best to hold still. Pain erupted into existence along his throat with every inch the tube was pulled out of. His jaw ached, clicking noisily as Stiles opened and closed it rapidly in the void left behind. Stiles tried to talk, to scream, to moan in relief but all that came out was an inhuman screech that could only be a combination of raw throat and unused vocal chords.
Someone – not Stiles – whimpered at the sound.
A new voice from somewhere on his left quietly asked, "What's wrong with him?"
"And he hasn't spoken in weeks."
Someone sniffled near Stiles' feet. His head spun, dizzy with effort of trying to keep up with which of the bloodied figures was speaking and from where.
"I'll get him some water," A feminine voice muttered as a pair of hands detached from Stiles' waist.
"Ice chips!" the familiar voice corrected, the evil plastic breathing tube held precariously in their hands.
Stiles grimaced through the pain of leaving his jaw and forced himself to suck down as much air as possible. His lungs and stomach burned as they expanded and contracted quickly but Stiles feared that slowing down would cause him to pass out. The threat of a panic attack boiled to the surface and flooded his body. Black spots started clouding his vision returning the strangers to their former status as blurred figures.
The shadows around his bed shuffled so that the largest one was closest to his head. Stiles blinked up at the spot where he thought the person's head was. His breaths were growing more painful and his vision began to spin.
Calloused hands clumsily petted Stiles' sweaty forehead. It would have been sweet if the man hadn't chosen to speak too. "Stop that. It's hurting you."
Stiles wanted to laugh. He probably would've done it if he wasn't so sure it would rip his insides into bloody little pieces... or bloodier pieces if his stomach looked half as bad as it felt. It was just so ridiculous how the man with the gruff voice sounded personally offended, as if the pain Stiles was in was some big imposition on him.
He offered up a garbled reply that failed to convey either his sarcasm or his irritation. Which was probably for the best because the large figure's eyes were glowing red. Blood red. Stiles flinched backwards into his human pillow and completely lost the battle against hyperventilating. Creepy, glowing eyes will do that.
"Get back, Derek! You're scaring him."
Stiles' eyes roamed over the sea of bleeding monsters desperate to find his father. The man sounded pissed and protective. Stiles had never liked hearing that tone because it usually meant he was grounded for jumping off the roof or something equally dangerous but that was fine. Stiles would take pissed-off-Sheriff over no-Sheriff-in-a-room-full-of-nightmare-creatures any day of the week.
Sensing his son's distress, the Sheriff shoved his way through the crowd to take up the position opposite the big blur with the red eyes. Or at least Stiles hoped it was his father that was holding his hand. It was a little hard to tell what with the crying in pain and the way the world was tilted sideways but it felt like a familiar blur next to him.
"Just breathe, son." If Stiles' eyes watered just a little more at the wounded quality in his father's voice than that was his own little secret. "You're going to be okay. I'm here and you're awake now. That's all that matters."
Stiles wanted to argue that the pain was pretty important but he appreciated the sentiment all the same. He hoped that clinging to his father's hand – weak as Stiles' grip was at the moment – would convey his feelings. Stiles felt a little bit of the pain leave him as the Sheriff squeezed back lightly.
"Here you go, Stiles."
An ice chip rubbed against his mouth. The freezing liquid did wonders for moistening Stiles' severely chapped lips and relieving his pain. He had a hard time not moaning at the sensation. He opened his mouth just wide enough for a dainty hand to push the ice chip into his mouth. Stiles sucked on the chip eagerly, swallowing the melting substance and relishing in the cool trail it took down his throat towards his stomach. In short, it was heaven.
He was so wrapped up in the instant relief that he nearly missed the frantic conversation going on around him.
"It's not my fault!" the blurry goddess with the ice chips snapped over her shoulder at the others.
"You couldn't get ice chips without alerting the hospital that Stiles was awake?" Someone from the right side of the bed practically growled. "It was that difficult?"
Ice-chip blur huffed indignantly. "They're already figuring it out. You think these machines just take his readings and hold on to them? No. They send the info to the nurses' station. Which is why we need to hurry up and stop arguing because they'll be coming to check on him any minute!"
"We're on the visitor's list," Stiles' human pillow protested.
"Yeah but we're also covered in our own blood," a second girl, whose blurry clothes looked extra gory, pointed out.
Red-eyed blur straightened up and started forcibly dragging his fellow blurs away from the bed. Stiles couldn't be sure but it looked like some of the blurs were getting naked and switching clothes. Several of them stopped by his bed one last time to whisper promises of a return visit or just to touch him briefly before disappearing out of the room and into the hallway beyond.
It wasn't until his human pillow removed himself from the bed that Stiles finally passed out. The sounds of his father and the red-eyed blur calling his name were the last things that he heard before the darkness swallowed him whole.
They're all still there the next time he wakes up.
Everything remains hazy but Stiles feels a little more alert than the first time. He's not sure how much time has passed since then and now but it's definitely been at least a day. The people in the room are in different clothes than before. But what is most noticeable is the distinct lack of blood and black veins.
He really wants to ask if the gore was real or imagined but there are several men in doctor's coats checking him over and quietly pointing things out on his chart. And Stiles knows that if there's one person you don't want to ask about hallucinations in front of, it's people with the power to get you admitted to a psych ward. Stiles really did not want to end up as the unfortunate protagonist in a Lifetime Original Movie.
Stiles goes to open his mouth and demand to know why there are so many people in his room but Mrs. McCall quickly shoves an ice chip between his lips. The irritated glare Stiles sends her way is met with a stern, motherly glower that should have upset him but instead makes him feel all warm and loved on the inside. It's not the first time since he's woken up that Stiles has tried to talk – he wouldn't be himself if he didn't at least try and be a one man debate team – nor the first time Scott's mother had warned him not to irritate his vocal chords.
The first time he'd tried it had sounded like a trash compactor turning on.
And the long list of questions building up inside Stiles was making it impossible to keep quiet. Especially when everyone kept smiling at him or offering him thumbs up. THE Lydia Martin even gave him a hug and if he didn't find out why in the next ten minutes than Stiles was going to just start screeching all his questions no matter how much damage he might do to his throat.
Because if he's done something to get Lydia Martin's affections than he needs to know about it ASAP. So that he can repeat it again and again. It wouldn't surprise Stiles if it wasn't some stupid stunt where he'd declared his undying love for the red haired goddess that had landed him in the hospital.
So worth it, Stiles thinks as he catches Lydia smiling at him again. He cheerily waves at her until it's gone on long enough to be awkward and she's forced to wave back. The confused looks that Scott exchanges with that douche bag Jackson (who Stiles thinks is the next likely reason he's waking up in a hospital) and the others whose faces he can't quite place make him drop his hand back to his side.
The tall, dark and broody guy sulking in the corner frowns even harder. Which Stiles finds pretty damn impressive since the guy was already single handedly bringing the cheer factor in the room down about ten notches.
Mrs. McCall finally clears her throat to catch the gaggle of doctors' attention. Stiles could have kissed her – if that wouldn't make things really awkward with Scott… or his mother… or the Sheriff. Yeah, Stiles was just going to go ahead and cross that off the list of appropriate gestures of appreciation.
"I think the patient is coherent enough for his exam," the nurse added with a pointed glance at the hospital bed.
"Perhaps we should clear the room?" the white coat in the middle suggested with an overly bright smile.
Mr. Broody in the leather jacket squashed said suggestion by simply planting his legs firmly under him and narrowing his eyes at the smaller man. Stiles raised an eyebrow at Scott, confused at why the big, scary dude he'd never met before was running the show. The answering frown from Scott did little to settle him. Even more confusing was the way the Sheriff merely rolled his eyes at the display and gestured for the doctors to continue.
"It's nice to have you back with us, Mr. Stilinski," the center doctor continued as he put himself on the opposite side of the bed from the dude decked out in leather. "We're going to run a few basic tests but we're going to ask that you not speak when giving your answers. A simple nod for 'yes' and shake of the head for 'no' will be fine."
The shortest doctor gently pushed forward on Stiles' shoulder and started using his stethoscope along his back. Stiles quickly got used to the cold of the metal pressing along his bare flesh. Every few minutes he would ask him to breath in or out. Stiles didn't quite manage to hold back a blush as the gown was peeled away, exposing his naked top to the room.
Thankfully his main doctor started asking the questions off his chart. Stiles distracted himself in a mix of nods and shakes as the other two doctors continued to poke and prod at him.
Can you feel this?
Does this hurt?
How about now?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much does it hurt?
Use your fingers to count, Mr. Stilinski.
Stiles Stilinski! That is not the finger you show your doctors!
They find out pretty quickly that he can't move his legs.
He can feel the cold metal of prod they use to check sensation. He can feel the pain from the sharp edge they prick him with. The pressure as they press fingers into his skin even feels right.
But he still can't make his legs move.
The doctors all trip over each other to reassure him that it's most likely temporary. The annoying white coat in the middle gives a big spiel about how coma patients can experience sluggish messages being sent from his brain to his nervous system. Mrs. McCall rushes off to secure some lab time for him so that even more doctors can check him over and confirm the diagnosis. She comes back with some pamphlets on physical therapy programs for the Sheriff.
Stiles feels totally justified in the panic attack that follows the grim declaration. He tunes out the rest of conversation in favor of channeling his inner Uma Thurman to try and "wiggle his big toe". He does it so long that a steady ache builds behind his eyes and eventually erupts in a full-blown migraine. The best he could manage was a slight tremor along his left thigh that made his knee wobble.
It's not until the blonde girl in the corner starts sniffling that Stiles remembers he's getting all this news in front of a crowd. Scott is gripping the guardrail on the side of the bed so hard that Stiles could swear the metal starts to cave in on itself if he didn't know his asthmatic best friend were actually a weakling. And either the heater in the corner is on the fritz or his visitors are growling their displeasure under their breaths.
Stiles chooses to fixate on their odd behavior because his only other option is to look at his Dad. It was bad enough being able to tell his father is tearing up using only his peripheral vision. Stiles really didn't need a clearer image to be reminded of the last time his father had cried next to a hospital bed. He can still picture the way his father had broken down next to his mother's pale form.
Inspired by his mother's strength under similar circumstances, Stiles sets out to be the strong one. It's a role he's been forced to play before in order to keep his Dad from falling into the abyss of depression and raging alcoholism. What was one more time really? Stiles could always wait until all these people finally left him alone to properly break down.
His hands were shaking as he picked up the miniature white board and expo marker Nurse McCall had left at his bedside. Stiles isn't quite sure if that was another nerve-issue acting up or just his regular nerves. He pops the cap and ignores the way the whole room comes to a halt and stares at him in anticipation. It's ridiculous but just as Stiles set marker tip to white board he's suddenly not sure which question to ask first.
He wants to know more about why his central nervous system is apparently on holiday but doesn't want to push his Dad. He wants to know when he can go home and leave the annoying doctors alone. He wants to know who the hell the people in his room are. He wants to know how long he was asleep because either Scott started taking steroids or Stiles has been unconscious long enough for Scott to get stupidly attractive.
Eventually Stiles shoves the cap in his mouth and scribbles out a sloppy, What happened to me?
It should be a safe question. It should be easy to answer. Instead the room freezes for the second time that day. The doctors are the only ones who don't look concerned. His Dad and Scott's mom exchange nervous glances. The other teenagers in the room all look to the Biker Dude for direction. A few minutes pass and no one says anything.
Stiles uses the marker as a weapon and starts tapping it against the puny whiteboard with increasing force until the noise becomes an overwhelming irritation. He even underlines and circles the question for emphasis.
"There was a shooting," his Dad answers, the words coming out croaky with emotion. "You tackled the gunman. You were… hurt."
The marker cap falls out of his gaping mouth. Stiles manages to point at his chest, the surprise on his face making his question even more clear than just writing it down.
Scott manages a weak chuckle at the sight. "Yeah, dude. You were a genuine hero."
"My Dad's going to give you an award when you finally get out of this shit hole," Jackson adds. His comment earns him the unhappy glares of the hospital staff in the room. Only Mrs. McCall seems unaffected by the description.
Stiles furrows his brow in confusion. Last he knew Jackson's dad was a big shot lawyer and not endowed with award-giving powers. Stiles is all set to write a message questioning just that (and possibly a poorly disguised condemnation of how much power the Whittemore's really have in the town) when Lydia pulls Jackson closer to her side. Stiles tracks the way their bodies lock together from shoulder to knee and feels a different kind of pain slice through his chest. The idea of even thinking about Jackson for one second further pisses him off enough that he puts off the question.
Did anyone else get hurt? He writes instead.
His father shakes his head in answer. A proud little smile plays at the man's lips. "Unless you count the perp."
"Your dad did a real number on him," the blonde girl says as if the idea of the town Sheriff using excessive force were Christmas come early.
"He shouldn't have shot my son," his father says with a slight shrug of his shoulders.
There's something familiar about the blonde to Stiles – like maybe they'd actually met before – but whatever sparks his memory dies as soon as she flashes a predatory grin at him. It could even count as a leer with the wink she tacks on as she counters with, "I would have done much worse."
"Someone still could do more," the leather clad gorilla grunts. There's a flash of something dangerous in his eyes that has Stiles leaning back against his pillows.
Scott's mom clears her throat before nodding her head at the trio of doctors shuffling nervously next to his hospital bed. The big guy doesn't look very contrite but he does turn slightly so that his glare is aimed at the bathroom door and not the other people in the room. Stiles wonders how long it will take for the door to catch fire with that kind of heat being focused on it.
What happens now? Stiles writes before realizing it might count as an opportunity for the boring doctor to go on another monologue. He quickly crosses out the question and writes another right below it.
How long until I can get back home? To school?
Whittemore rolls his eyes. "Don't be such a nerd, Stilinski. Enjoy the excuse to skip all the easy classes and jump straight to graduation."
"There's nothing wrong with taking academics seriously," Lydia interjects, pinching her apparent boyfriend so hard that he grimaced. "Not everyone has lacrosse scholarships to fall back on."
Or trust funds, Stiles thinks to himself barely resisting the urge to actually write it down.
Not that you care but I doubt I'll be here until senior year, Stiles writes instead. He doodles out a closed fist with a middle finger sticking up before flipping it around so that the side of the room without adults on it could see. He flashes Scott a conspiratorial grin and waits for the double thumbs up his partner-in-crime usually gives him after insulting Jackson.
Only Scott doesn't give him said thumbs up. Instead his face takes on the same pinched look that he usually saves for pop quizzes he's about to fail. Jackson frowns. Lydia's lips flex into a frown as she stalks forward and snatches the clipboard from him and shoves it in the faces of the doctors. He can't see what her expression is but all three of the physicians assigned to him take a step back.
Stiles tries not to blush as Lydia sits on the edge of his bed and takes his hand between hers. He fails.
"Stiles do you know what grade you're in?" she asks. Her face is all business with him. There's nothing gentle or comforting from her tone. Apparently holding his hand was enough polite bedside manner in her book. He uses his free hand to motion for the whiteboard back but she slaps it away. "Just nod when I say the correct one okay?"
"Are you a senior?"
Lydia doesn't react but everyone else seems to. Stiles tries to look around and figure out what the commotion is all about but Lydia holds him by his chin. She smiles kindly at him and Stiles feels the terror grip him for the first time. Lydia hadn't given him pity when it came to his defective legs but suddenly she was treating him as if he were glass.
She points to his father. "You know who that is?"
Stiles rolls his eyes and nods.
"And crooked-jaw over there?" Lydia asks.
He expects Scott to look indignant but his friend looks nervous now. Stiles nods and watches as Scott slumps back in his seat, the relief clear on his face. It's then that Stiles starts to get a good idea of what the redhead is getting at. Lydia must read his expression and know that he's on the same page because she jumps to the punchline.
"Is there anyone in this room that you don't know?" she asks slowly.
Stiles instantly points to the doctors. He knows it's childish because he is not stupid. He knows what she's really asking. Luckily for him Lydia decides that pinching the soft flesh beside his elbow is punishment enough. Stiles hands his head, knowing he's been caught and that there's no point in putting off the inevitable.
He lifts his head and locks eyes with the older guy in leather. Stiles can't help but feel bad as the flash of devastation in the man's expression as he realizes why Stiles is looking at him without any hint of recognition. Stiles avoids eye contact with him after that before pointing at the trio flanking the man. The curly haired boy actually lets out a whimper at being included in the list. Then he adds the slender girl holding hands with Scott and everyone starts getting emotional again.
The Sheriff has a death grip on his shoulder that is sure to bruise but it's the strain in his voice that leaves Stiles feeling wounded. "He has amnesia?"
Melissa steps up before the doctors can answer. "It's not uncommon after… after what he's been through, John."
"We'll run tests," the center doctor says before taking the excuse to flee the room. The other two doctors ran after him. A few minutes later and the leather-clad dude leaves in a huff. The large black boy smiles at Stiles before chasing after him. Melissa finally catches on to the exhaustion Stiles has been trying to conceal and kicks the rest of them out.
His dad shifts his grip to the hand that Lydia had finally relinquished. His eyes are red and wet with unshed tears that has Stiles choking up himself. "It'll be okay, son. We'll get through this."
Stiles nods and tries to look more optimistic than he feels.
So much for not starring in a Lifetime movie.
Author's Note: Today is the last day you can bid on me in the Sterek Campaign's Fanfiction Auction. The highest bidder will win up to 10,000 words of fic from yours truly on whatever prompt you'd like to give me. All proceeds support a wolf pack sanctuary in need. To bid please visit my tumblr and look at my most recent post.