SONG OF THE LAST DAY
- II -
Going from zero to hero is pretty fucking strange. All of a sudden, everyone wants to talk to him. He's the guy who nearly lost a leg after surviving enforced starvation under a landslide in the midst of enemy fire (although what's so heroic about being trapped under a rock, like a snail, Stiles doesn't know), and he's the guy who apparently kept Commander D'rek alive by touching him and talking to him, since Vulcans are touch telepaths and they need to be kept 'psychically stable,' or something.
Stiles had no idea he was doing that. He'd just - done what he had to.
But saying that only makes people more starry-eyed, so Stiles mostly sticks to his console and avoids talking to anyone unless it's for work. What's weird is that a couple weeks ago, he would've loved this sort of attention, but right now, it just makes him queasy. He keeps rubbing his hands over his uniform, because sometimes, they still feel slick with blood, and he keeps flashing back to the image of D'rek's pale, slack face.
Shit. The fucker really did traumatize him. And he isn't even polite enough to wake the fuck up, which means Stiles has to keep visiting him, keep talking to him, even though Captain Argent tells him that it's okay, that D'rek's been stabilized, that he'll wake up any day, now. Any day.
The captain also insists that Stiles see Lieutenant Danee, the ship's counselor and resident Betazoid, who's way too young and sexy for a job that involves dealing with vulnerable, hormone-driven officers.
"So, how many times a month do you get propositioned, anyway?" Stiles asks him.
"Why, are you going to do it, too?"
Stiles gives it some serious consideration. "No," he says, finally. "I mean, don't get me wrong, you're very attractive - in a deadpan prince kind of way - "
"Deadpan prince?" echoes Danee, somewhat faintly.
"But I'm all worn out, right now. Which is why I'm here, obviously. The captain thinks I'm practically dead on my feet."
"How are you sleeping?"
"Not at all."
"What do you think about, when you're not sleeping?"
"Boobs, mostly. And D'rek. Commander D'rek. Not with boobs. I mean, not Command D'rek with boobs - more like, Commander D'rek and boobs. Completely unrelated boobs. Not his boobs - "
Danee holds up a hand. His eyes are a little wide, but his voice, when he speaks, is more even than a goddamn keel. "Thank you for that mental image."
"Heh. Deadpan prince."
Danee sighs. "And when did you stop touching him?"
"When you were on the planet," Danee clarifies. "How long did you touch him for?"
"Why does everyone keep asking me that? I didn't molest him while he was unconscious, okay? No matter how ripped a guy is, the fact that he's bleeding to death pretty much ruins any latent homoeroticism in being trapped together in a confined space. Also, my leg was crushed to bits, which meant I couldn't have gotten hard even if I wanted to. Happy?"
"So you didn't stop touching him until he was back onboard."
Stiles huffs. "Yeah. I - what's the big deal with that? Isn't it supposed to be a good thing? Keeping him… psychically stable, or whatever?"
"Yes, well, in normal conditions…" Danee trails off. "I'm sorry. You'd best hear it from the commander, when he awakens. To say anything to you, without his consent, would be a breach of patient confidentiality."
Stiles's gut clenches. "I fucked something up, didn't I."
"Ensign - "
"You sound like Commander D'rek when you refuse to punctuate properly," Danee observes, peacefully. There's something that resembles a smile on his face. Except that it isn't a smile; it's more a subtle shifting of facial features that doesn't actually change his expression, at all. He'd make a better Vulcan than a Betazoid, damn him. Maybe he and D'rek were switched at birth.
"Aren't you supposed to be empathizing with me? Aren't you, like, an empath?"
"Oh, would you look at the time," Danee says. "Same time next week?"
"The commander would've awakened, by then. I can't discuss this any further with you, until he's awake and has given me permission to do so. But you can always consult me about other things, in the meantime."
"Other things," Stiles repeats. "Like the Lakers, maybe, and how much they suck. Or the fact that Nurse Yska is having another woman's baby. Or the fact that the replicators keep turning every drink into seaweed slushies. Yeah, I'm absolutely interested in random gossip and sports scores and ship malfunctions. Why would I wanna talk about Commander D'rek after being trapped on an alien planet with him and almost dying together? Sheesh."
"Sarcasm will get you everywhere," Danee deadpans, in his princely way, and points at the door.
"Thanks for your time, Lieutenant," Stiles says, acid-sweet, and this time, Danee does smile.
"You're welcome. And don't worry, Ensign Stilinski. Commander D'rek will be fine."
D'rek is fine. Very fine. It's a toss-up (or, heh, a toss-off) whether it's his pecs or his abs that're finer (Stiles has seen the guy work out), but he's just really damn fine, in general.
Still, that isn't the point, here.
The point is that, as Stiles hovers near the biobed and tries not to look like he's having an aneurysm (he totally is; he doesn't get why Dr. Deaton keeps telling him he's all right), D'rek's brainwaves start spiking, changing from delta to theta to beta.
D'rek's waking up.
His chapped lips part.
"Dr. Deaton," says D'rek, in a perfectly normal tone, like he's just strolling in to say hello, not that D'rek says hello to anyone, or, or strolls, but, fuck. Can't he sound even a little upset? Jittery? Concerned? "Is it safe for me to open my eyes?"
"You don't have any optical damage, no. Go ahead and open your eyes."
D'rek opens his eyes.
Stiles catches his breath.
D'rek immediately looks at him, as sharp and aware as if he hasn't just surfaced from a six-day coma. "Ensign Stilinski," he says, in exactly the same tone, and suddenly, Stiles wants to break something.
"Fuck you," he says, before he can stop himself. "Just - what the hell did you - what were you - "
"I will not discipline you for your insubordination, as these are exceptional circumstances."
"Exceptional, my ass. You nearly died - "
"Ensign. Stand down."
Stiles's body… relaxes. As if on automatic. Stupid Starfleet training. "How'd you know you were in sickbay, sir?" he asks, instead, after taking a minute to compose himself. "Before you opened your eyes, I mean."
"The beeping of the medical devices is distinctive. Are you well?" D'rek glances down at Stiles's leg, and Stiles shifts uncomfortably.
"Yeah. I'm fine. Still need a bit of physio, but - " Stiles blinks. "Hey, wait, how'd you know about my leg? Weren't you passed out, down there?"
D'rek is quiet. Then, he says: "I was continuously aware of your mind. Of your thoughts."
"Uh." Touching. Touching a touch telepath. Not just essential to maintaining psychic stability, apparently, but also essential to absolutely humiliating the ensign doing the maintaining. Was this what Danee was trying to warn him about? Too fucking late. "Right. So. Everything? Everything I was thinking? Everything I was saying?"
Fuck. He's told D'rek his life story. So his First Officer is now the person who knows the most about him in the entire world, including that time Stiles wet his bed and didn't tell his dad about it. Having a superior officer know that kind of shit about him… Crap. If that isn't awkward, Stiles doesn't know what is. He decides to repress the whole thing and freak out about it later. "How… are you?"
"I, too, am well. My body and mind appear to have healed." D'rek turns to Dr. Deaton. "When will I be free to return to active duty, Doctor?"
Deaton waves his scanner. "A couple of hours. You seem to be fully recovered, but we need to monitor your vitals for a little longer. I've notified Captain Argent that you'll be restricted to light duties for a week."
For a moment, it D'rek gets this bull-headed (for a Vulcan) look on his face, like he's going to object to the light duties, and Stiles's heart clenches in anxiety.
D'rek… pauses. And meets Stiles's eyes.
"Very well, Doctor," he says, eventually. "And… thank you, Ensign."
"What?" Stiles startles so badly, he jumps. Just, 'thank you' is the last thing he'd ever expected D'rek to say to him. Or to anyone, for that matter. Wasn't gratitude supposed to be 'irrelevant'? Maybe Stiles just popped D'rek's gratitude cherry. The thought is mind-breaking.
"You saved my life."
Stiles's pulse is hammering. Which is ridiculous, it's not like he's at phaser-point, but there's an edge to D'rek's new focus on him that makes him feel cornered. "I just sat around," he says, more squeakily than he would've liked. "You - you were the one who hung in there." Stiles swallows. "Thank you."
"For what do you thank me?"
Stiles shrugs and looks away. "For not dying on me."
The silence stretches.
There's something taut in it, some quality of tightening tension that makes the space between D'rek and Stiles seem like it'sshrinking, somehow, or collapsing in on itself, like a folding star. Several equations about dimensional shifts and the Elway Theorem flit through his mind, bright as birds.
Dr. Deaton is staring at them.
Nurse Yska is staring at them.
Stiles's throat is getting drier by the second, and he doesn't even know why.
"I, uh, I'd better get back to my console," he blurts, finally, when it becomes evident that no one's going to rescue him from this pit of incomprehensible, self-imposed awkwardness.
"Indeed," says D'rek, almost dryly. "Else, I would have to discipline you for dereliction of duty. Again."
"You never did discipline me, sir."
"Did I not? How remiss of me."
Holy crap. D'rek is joking. D'rek is joking. Or Stiles hopes he's joking, anyway, because if he isn't, Stiles definitely is going to get court-martialed for non-practicing necrophilia. Like people used to get court-martialed for non-practicing homosexuality. Back in the day. (It isn't even surprising how tolerant society's become after encountering species with, like, five different sexes, or in some cases, no sexes at all. Pretty much the only thing that's taboo nowadays is corpse-fucking, unless you're a Dorathian, in which case, it's a compulsory part of every funeral service.)
Somehow, he manages to back out of the door without tripping over his own feet - and he can't explain why he backs out, instead of just, like, walking out, other than the fact that it keeps D'rek within visual range for a little longer.
Not that he wants to keep looking at that sour Vulcan face. That living Vulcan face. That living, breathing, threatening-disciplinary-action-but-not-really face.
D'rek is alive.
He's - he's alive. And now, he's awake.
When Stiles returns to his console, he finds himself literally, physiologically incapable of understanding what the hell he's seeing on his screen. He just sits there, heart still thrumming, like a string on a Vulcan lute that keeps vibrating after being plucked.
The commander returns to the bridge, every bit as stern and stiff-backed as ever, except for this weird tendency to crowd Stiles against his console in order to ask perfectly normal questions that don't require a gross violation of personal space. He also spends countless minutes just… watching Stiles. Creepily. From the command deck.
"Did you make him mad?" Ensign Patel whispers, now that she's decided that talking to Stiles is worth her time. "I thought you saved his life."
"So did I," Stiles mutters, ignoring the hair-raising feeling that comes from being skewered on the pointy ends of a pointy-eared bastard's pointy eyes. Great, now he's got goosebumps.
After another half-hour of it, though, he's had enough of the heebie-jeebies.
"Excuse me, sir." Stiles swivels his chair around, until he's looking up at D'rek, on the command deck. "Do you want something?"
D'rek just keeps watching him. "Yes," he says, after a while.
And? "Is it something I can do?"
"Yes," says D'rek, and… leaves the bridge.
"He's back to being freaky, isn't he?" Patel sounds nervous, as well she should; D'rek's got that ticking time-bomb thing going on.
"He was always freaky." Stiles frowns. "But he's being freakier."
Stiles doesn't realize how freaky that is, until he gets back to his quarters and takes off his jacket and turns around, and… D'rek is on his couch.
D'rek is on his couch. What -
Stiles stumbles back against the door -
"Ensign Stilinski," D'rek greets him, politely, like they're just passing each other in the hallway.
"You're - " Stiles boggles. "Sir, did I do anything wrong?"
"Wrong?" D'rek tilts his head. "No."
"Uh." Stiles's mind races. Sure, the captain and the first officer have blanket access to crew quarters, in case of emergencies, but there isn't exactly a ship-wide red alert, right now. "All right. I. You're in my room, sir."
"Yes," D'rek says, and gets up. And stalks toward Stiles, eyes a flatter blue than usual - a hot, arid, alien blue, unthinking as an animal's.
Stiles's heartbeat ratchets right up. This can't be real. It's like some crazy acid trip, but without the acid. Unless that drink Patel shared with him after his shift was way more than it seemed to be.
He should say something. Possibly, he should scream something, or just squeal like a stuck pig or a three-year-old girl, but all he can do is stand there, breathless and numb with a sort of yawning, inchoate panic. D'rek's gone Dark Side. Clearly. Maybe his recent near-death experience fried his circuits. Shish-kebabed his neurons. Fiddled his fiddlesticks. Did to him what the destruction of Romulus did to Nero.
"S-sir," Stiles begins, but then, D'rek is there, or rather, here. All over here. All over Stiles. Pressing him back against the door. "F-fuck - "
"Yes," says D'rek, and Stiles wonders if that's the only word psycho-D'rek can say. But then, D'rek continues: "That is what you can do for me."
It takes several seconds - or a stretching, agonizing eternity - to figure out what D'rek means. The realization swoops through Stiles, slow and heavy and dark, like a bird of prey, casting its shadow over everything.
D'rek's hands come up to cup his face.
Stiles jerks backward, hitting his head on the door.
D'rek touches him, anyway, gentle but implacable, fingertips pressing against Stiles's temples. D'rek's thumbs settle on Stiles's jaw, then slide down to his throat, above his collar.
It's not -
Stiles feels hot, sick, terrified, betrayed. The pads of D'rek's thumbs are callused, hardened with years of handling consoles and phasers, and they're -
They're everything that's wrong with this situation. D'rek's hands are huge, huge and lived-in and experienced. They're the hands of a commanding officer. An older commanding officer. An alien with three times the strength of a human. A bully that apparently thinks he can intimidate a subordinate officer into having sex - Stiles had thought D'rek was better than that -
"You mistake me," D'rek murmurs, a moment before Stiles remembers the touch-telepathy, remembers that D'rek can hear every thought in Stiles's brain. "Were you, also, a telepath, you would understand."
"Well, I'm not a telepath. Sorry about that - "
"Your apology is illogical, as is your fear. Once you meld with me, you will see that."
Meld. Meld. What -
D'rek's fingers press harder against his temples, not enough to hurt but enough to call attention to themselves, and D'rek's voice drops to a whisper - a sinuous, rasping whisper. "My mind to your mind. My thoughts to - "
"No!" Stiles shoves D'rek away - or tries to - and D'rek doesn't budge, of course, but he does stop the meld. He looks mildly surprised.
"You are genuinely terrified," D'rek says, and his eyes are less flat, now, more normal. He looks strangely lost, for a moment, the kind of lost Stiles had expected him to be in sickbay. It makes something inside Stiles twist. "I - I do not intend to injure you."
"Then maybe you could not force a mind-meld on me? That would be great. Sir."
But D'rek doesn't move away. There's still that falcon-sharp hunger to him, a spareness to his features, the spareness that belongs on a starving man. "You…" He removes his hands and rests them on the door-panel, on either side of Stiles, not touching him. "I will not force a meld on you. That is - that is not the Vulcan way."
"And demanding s-sex, sir?" Stiles hates himself for stuttering. "Is that the Vulcan way?"
An expression flickers briefly across D'rek's face - a contortion that could be rage or horror - but it's gone before Stiles can make sense of it. "No," he says, and, shit, Stiles shouldn't have mentioned sex, shouldn't have spoken the word, because D'rek's eyes are going flat, again. And they're fixed on Stiles's mouth.
Fuck, Stiles's dick is taking this particular moment to wake up and join the party, but Stiles is going to ignore it because his dick is a self-centered prick. So to speak.
"Sir, I - "
"Your refusal is illogical. You desire me."
"Uh - "
"I have seen your thoughts. You have long viewed me as sexually attractive. Now, your body is reflecting that attraction."
Stiles splutters. And tries not to squeeze his legs together to hide his hard-on, because a) it won't work and b) he'll only look like a three-year-old that really, really needs to go to the toilet. "I - idle thoughts don't mean - I've even had the odd sexy thought about Captain Argent, I'm seventeen, I'm practically an erection on two legs - "
"Your fantasies regarding me are not 'idle'. They are repetitive and detailed."
"Comparatively, your fantasies regarding the captain are non-existent; you have merely noted his aesthetic appeal. You have not desired that he immobilize you with one hand and masturbate you with the other, nor have you desired that he mount you while you sleep - "
"Okay, just - stop. Stop." Stiles wants to die. Or just disappear into the nearest worm-hole and never, ever come back. "Please. I - you weren't supposed to know any of that - "
"I am amenable. To all of that."
Stiles stares. His dick is on the brink of staging a one-man - one-penis - coup. A hostile takeover. Stiles can feel his hips starting to twitch. "No. No. Just because you… heard a couple stray thoughts, doesn't give you the right to - to - "
"Mount you," D'rek says, slowly, precisely. His pupils are blown. "I - will. Mount. You."
Holy shit. Sex-crazed Vulcans weren't part of Starfleet's Interspecies Relations seminars. And Stiles is finding it harder and harder - pun intended - to think with anything not located on his crotch.
But - there's a reason this is wrong. Bad-wrong. Several reasons, even. Not least of which - now that Stiles has stopped panicking long enough to process it - is the fact that D'rek's never acted like this, and maybe he's been dosed with sex pollen or dirilium radiation or -
"This is the Pon Farr, isn't it," says Stiles, weakly. It all adds up. D'rek's increasing agitation, even before the away-mission. The reason both Deaton and Danee were worried about how long Stiles had been touching D'rek. The reason D'rek keeps eyeballing him.
"Yes," growls D'rek, almost subvocal. He's leaning in toward Stiles. His hands are inching closer, as if drawn to Stiles magnetically.
Right. Starfleet has only learned about Pon Farr about the destruction of Vulcan, as the Vulcan High Council thought it more logical to release information that might make it easier for the few surviving Vulcans to find compatible mates, since the pool of potential candidates from their own species was now limited, and telepathic compatibility was no longer guaranteed among those that remained.
The idea that Stiles is apparently compatible - with a Vulcan - is bizarre enough, even leaving aside the wackier side-note that said Vulcan is his commanding officer.
"Don't," says Stiles, when D'rek's fingers almost brush him.
D'rek freezes. He's panting, like he's been running instead of standing still, and looks less like an intelligent life-form than something feral, with fangs and claws and fur, about to bite.
Stiles has a thing for biting, but that's neither here nor there -
Especially not here -
At least, not right now -
"You're a baby duckling," Stiles blurts, and D'rek… stops. And looks at him. Fine, so that might've been a ridiculous enough non-sequitur to even break through a Pon Farr haze, but it's true. "A scary baby duckling - a terrifying baby duckling, sure, but - you've just imprinted on me. It's all those days of touching. It's not - it's not me, it's - "
"It is you. Only you." There's a scraping, metallic sound, and Stiles realizes that it's D'rek's nails, scratching the door-panel. Jesus. How close is he to going Frankenstein? "The beginnings of a bond cannot only be established by physical proximity. There must be true compatibility, else my mind would not reach for yours, unsatisfied, at least once every zero-point-four hours."
"Th-that often?" Stiles is pretty sure nobody has ever thought of Stiles that frequently. Hell, even Stiles doesn't think of Stiles that frequently.
"I have been without a mate for six Terran years. In that time, I have been actively seeking another mate. I have not found one. Until now."
Six - six years. Six years of searching, and Stiles is all D'rek can come up with?
"Consent to me." D'rek's starting to look wild. "Consent. To a meld. You will see - "
"I don't… I don't mean to. Make you suffer, sir, but - "
D'rek's brows lower. His voice goes from the consistency of gravel to the consistency of igneous rock. "I will have you as my mate."
What does he mean, 'will'? "Aren't you, like, supposed to ask?"
D'rek frowns. Thoughtfully. Then says: "I would have you as my mate."
Stiles boggles. "That isn't, actually, a question. You basically just replaced 'will' with 'would', how is that even - "
"The first was a statement of fact. The second is a request."
"Um. Maybe in the middle ages, sir."
"Speak to Lieutenant Danee," says D'rek, and that - that's not a request. It's a command. "Tomorrow. Discuss with him, in his capacity as ship's counselor, whether or not you wish to consent to me. If you do not, then you should - stay away. From me. Leave the bridge. Take up your previous post, and replace Ensign Markov at his console, until such time as my Pon Farr is over."
"Shouldn't - shouldn't I be talking it over with you?"
"No extended interaction with me will stay limited to the non-telepathic - or the non-sexual."
Stiles gulps. "Um." It's true that D'rek still looks like he's about a split second away from tearing the uniform off of Stiles and nailing him, right here, against the door. Which isn't, sadly, doing anything to make Stiles's hard-on go back down. "All… all right. I'll - I'll talk to Danee."
"Lieutenant Danee," Stiles corrects.
"Do you know him personally."
"You refer to him by his name alone. Do you - "
"No!" Stiles yelps, because D'rek's eyes are going from psycho-horny to psycho-murderous. "No, I - it's just that he's closer to my age, and - I didn't think about what I was saying - "
"You are friends."
"Not even that," Stiles assures him, then wonders how insane it is that he's assuring his Pon Farr-ed commander that he's sexually and romantically available. Shit. "Sir, this is - maybe you should. Go, now?"
D'rek breathes. And doesn't even shift. If D'rek were a human, Stiles would say that D'rek just had a seriously bad case of indigestion, but on a Vulcan, that expression probably translates to 'tormented'. Very, very tormented. Eighteen-century-novel tormented. Ghost-haunting-a-ghost-ship tormented.
"I'm sorry," he says, before he can stop himself - he has nothing to apologize for - and that, apparently, is something D'rek agrees with.
"No," D'rek shakes his head, and gradually pulls away - with excruciating slowness, as if he's literally tearing himself away, and his skin keeps catching on hooks. Stiles-shaped hooks. "Your - apology is illogical."
"Look, either my fear is illogical, or my apology is illogical. Can't be both."
"Humans," says D'rek, "are not logical."
"Good," Stiles says, letting his own sweat-slick palms slide down the door. He won't slump in relief, though. Not yet. Not until D'rek is gone. "It's good that you, um. Know that."
"I know my crew."
"Yeah." Stiles is D'rek's crew. And fraternization isn't legally banned in Starfleet, unless it's coercive or corrupts the command structure, but Stiles can't see how just agreeing to anything his First Officer says, without even knowing exactly what the hell he's agreeing to, wouldn't be coercive. Or corruptive of the command structure.
"You will inform me when you have spoken to Lieutenant Danee."
"I'll - I'll let you know. What decision I. Um. Reach. How long do you have? Before the… the final stage of the Pon Farr?"
"You must inform me immediately - "
"How long. Sir."
"Three weeks," says D'rek, "and four days."
Crap. Crap, crap, crap. "So you don't really have the time. To find someone else. And - won't you die if you don't mate?"
"I will not coerce you."
"That's not what I'm - what were you planning on doing? Before I came along?"
"I was planning to secure myself. In my quarters. With fortified force-fields. And give only Captain Argent the access codes."
No. No way. "You… were planning to die in there."
"Not all Vulcans perish without a mate."
"But most do."
D'rek raises an eyebrow. He looks more normal, now that he isn't all up in Stiles's face, like being near Stiles drives him even further up the wall than he already is. "That is irrelevant to this discussion."
"Irr - no, it's not. It's fucking not - "
"I will not coerce you. You will not consent to save my life."
"Don't tell me what I - I mean, sure, you're my commander, but don't - "
"You will consent to me because you desire me."
Stiles… doesn't even know what to say to that. No, wait, he does. "Just when I think you're being altruistic - "
"Altruism is illogical."
"…right. Just when I think you're trying not to pressure me into saying yes, you - pressure me into saying yes. It doesn't matter whether you're guilt-tripping me with your impending death or just being some sort of invasive, arrogant jackass that uses a guy's private fantasies against him, it still makes you a total bastard - "
"Your insubordination - "
"Fuck my insubordination. Sir."
D'rek is silent. Watching Stiles.
Oops. Maybe Stiles shouldn't have said 'fuck' out loud. Not when D'rek's still only a foot away, and in the grip of a genetically predetermined mating cycle that predates - by little more than three goddamn weeks - a frenzy of violent, absolutely uncontrollable fucking. "I'll… speak to Danee. Lieutenant Danee. I should have a reply for you when I'm done."
"What time will that be."
Vulcans seem to lose the ability to use question-marks when in the midst of involuntary sexual arousal. Interesting tidbit. Thatdefinitely wasn't in the files released by the Vulcan High Commission. "Um. By 1700 hours, I think? The lieutenant's made a free spot for me, right about then."
D'rek takes another step away.
Stiles inches sideways along the door.
It immediately swishes open.
D'rek only looks at Stiles once, before leaving, but that single glance burns, like a shot of tequila, and Stiles gasps. There's - everything in that glance. Everything.
"Sleep well, Ensign," says D'rek, somehow managing to pull on a mask of maybe-I'm-okay-and-not-planning-to-kill-everyone, which is, Stiles realizes, the exact same mask he's been wearing for weeks.
Stiles still hasn't replied to D'rek - because he can't, because he's too busy trying not to cream and/or piss his own pants - when the door slides shut.
This time, Stiles does slump.
D'rek's gone. The most insistent - and downright creepy - marriage proposal ever made has just come to an end.
Stiles's problems, though, are just beginning.