Author's Note: This is the final installment for this story. Thanks to everyone who gave my story a chance. It always brings happiness to a writer to know that their work is being read and appreciated. If you liked this story, check out some of my other Teen Wolf stories and keep an eye out for more to come.
Stiles felt like he was watching a movie as he took in the setting around him.
Everyone was dressed neatly; their respectfully black clothing created a dark tint to the usually bright living room that they all stood in. No one was speaking loud. Whispers and murmurs mixed together to form a low steady buzz.
Stiles returned sympathetic glance after sympathetic glance that was sent his way by practically everyone he had ever met. Eventually he decided to alternate between staring at his shoes and staring at the ceiling.
He looked up and saw his father, looking lost and broken standing with some of his mother's former co-workers. Their eyes met and Stiles attempted to send him a reassuring smile.
He had cried for three days straight after it happened so he didn't really have any tears left.
Three Days Earlier
The doctors told the family that it was coming so they had their chance to say goodbye. He had cried through that too.
His father had tried to comfort him for a while, but nothing consoled him. At some point the distraught Sheriff had left his son's side to find his own solace in his oldest bottle of scotch.
Stiles had waited until he heard his father's soft snores from the couch to exit his bedroom. He closed his eyes as he walked by his parent's bedroom. He could smell her perfume and it made his stomach hurt.
He exited the house as quietly as he could, all the while knowing that his father had numbed himself to the point that he would not be waking up for quite some time.
Stiles walked down the driveway and contemplated where to go. The sky was clear and the moon was shining bright, almost full.
His mother always loved to sit outside during the full moon and stare at the sky. Last month it had been cloudy and they hadn't been able to see it. Stiles shoved his hands deep into his pockets and shivered, wishing he had brought a jacket as the night air chilled his skin.
His mom had just bought him a new jacket; a purple one. She told him it matched his bright and quirky personality but Stiles had told her that it wasn't cool. He wished he had it on now.
His stomach rumbled and he tried to remember the last time he had eaten. The hospital cafeteria had become their kitchen for over a month, even more so in the last three weeks.
While sitting in the hard plastic chairs pretending to eat what was supposed to be meatloaf Stiles had missed his mother's cooking. She was the best cook in the world.
He wiped at his eyes and decided that he wasn't hungry after all.
Stiles stopped his slow pace, realizing for the first time that he had had a destination in mind after all. He reached down and removed a key from the welcome mat at his feet and unlocked the door in front of him.
He pushed the door shut as gently as possible, pulled his shoes off and laid them neatly by the other pairs. The house was dark and quiet; just like his own.
This house was different though. It didn't feel empty or tainted. Nothing was missing or out of place or just wrong like it was at home. The tiniest hint of jealousy ran through Stiles' mind before it was replaced with relief as he realized that for the first time since his mother's hand had gone lax in his grip less than half a day ago, he felt grounded.
For the moment he didn't feel as if he were going to disappear or float away or shatter into a million pieces.
This house was normal.
This house was familiar.
This house was safe.
This house was Scott.
Scott's tired voice drifted into Stiles' mind and he looked up into the concerned, questioning eyes of his best friend standing on the middle of the staircase. His hair was a mess and his pajamas were rumpled.
"Hey buddy," Stiles attempted to give Scott a smile but it looked more like a grimace.
Scott descended the rest of the way down the steps and moved closer to his friend. He kept some distance between them as he noticed that Stiles looked as though he might bolt. He was fidgeting more than usual and his eyes were looking everywhere other than at Scott.
"What are you doing here so late?" Scott asked.
He frowned when Stiles got perfectly still, his nervous energy was gone immediately and replaced by an exhausted, defeated slump to his shoulders.
"Did I wake you?" Stiles asked.
Scott felt his heart clench as Stiles finally met his eyes. He had never seen that expression on anyone before. There was so much pain in those teary eyes. It took all of his mental capabilities to resist pulling his friend into the biggest bear hug possible and never letting go.
"No," Scott shook his head. "I couldn't really sleep."
Stiles nodded, "Yeah, me either."
"You wanna sit down dude?" Scott asked. "'Cause you look like you're about to fall down." He joked, trying to get that look out of Stiles' eyes.
"I can't be there," Stiles said quickly, the words came out in one exhaled breath.
"Okay," Scott replied gently. He moved closer and placed a hand on his friend's shoulder, worried by the tremors he could feel coursing through the thin frame.
At the contact Stiles almost lost his composure. His eyes filled up once more and a few tears escaped from beneath his lids. He wiped furiously at his face.
"Sorry," he muttered.
"Don't you even think about apologizing for any of this Stiles," Scott ordered firmly but softly.
Stiles closed his eyes and took a shaky breath as more tears threatened to fall. He could feel Scott watching him and he felt guilty for intruding, for needed the comfort. The guilt lessened as Scott moved in even closer and placed his arm across Stiles' shoulder. He rubbed his hand up and down Stiles' arm.
"You're exhausted, you're shivering, you look like you haven't eaten in days," Scott whispered.
Stiles shrugged, "My mom usually takes care of most of that for me. Meals, bedtimes, you know typical mom stuff."
Scott didn't comment on the way Stiles voice squeaked as the word 'mom' practically caught in his throat. Instead he removed his arm from around his friend, noticing that Stiles flinched at the loss of the contact. He grabbed one of his jackets from the coat hanger by the door and put it around the shivering form of his best friend. He placed his hand on Stiles' back and slowly pushed him toward the kitchen.
"Well tonight it's typical Scott stuff."
Scott was satisfied to see the ghost of a smile on his friend's lips as he moved to lean against the counter. Stiles watched as Scott gathered all of the ingredients for a typical lunch meat sandwich.
"Dude, you're a carnivore," Stiles joked as Scott put three different kinds of meat onto a slice of bread, covered it with another slice of bread, and then handed it to Stiles.
Scott lifted an eyebrow and Stiles almost smiled again. "Cheese, veggies, mayo? Prime sandwich ingredients. Ever heard of them?"
"I think we have a bag of salad in the fridge," Scott said as he moved to search for it. "You can pick the lettuce out of that for the sandwich."
Stiles pushed the fridge closed and halted his friend's investigation with a dismissive wave. "No dude, this is perfect."
Scott watched as his friend took a bite of the overloaded sandwich and was disappointed to see a grimace pass over Stiles' face before he could hide it.
"You don't like it?"
"It's every kind of meat ever slaughtered. What's not to like?" Stiles answered. He took another bite and swallowed but had a hard time hiding the distaste. One look at Scott's expression told him that he had failed miserably. "I'm sorry."
Scott shook his head. "I told you already, no apologizing."
Stiles nodded. "Everything just kind of tastes like ashes to me right now," he admitted quietly. He put the sandwich on the counter and stared at the floor as if it were the most interesting thing in the world.
"You need to eat though Stiles," Scott pushed.
Stiles looked up and met Scott's eyes and the expression was back; the one Scott never wanted to see in his friend's eyes ever again.
"Alright fine," Scott relented. "You don't have to eat it, but you have to agree to eat whatever ridiculously huge breakfast my mom makes in the morning."
Stiles couldn't stop himself from flinching at the pang those words sent through him, but it only lasted for a second.
Scott put the rest of the sandwich in a ziploc bag and returned it to the fridge before turning back to Stiles and initiating the final part to the plan.
"When was the last time you slept?"
The question caught Stiles off guard and he didn't answer. He wasn't sure he even knew the answer to that question. He had been terrified at the hospital that if he were to close his eyes he would miss something. He didn't want to take his eyes off of her in the days leading up to today. The knowledge that he only had a limited time left to see and hear and feel her had prompted a severe case of sleep deprivation.
He looked up and there was an understanding expression in Scott's eyes that hadn't been there before. Stiles knew immediately that Scott knew exactly what he was thinking. He wouldn't have to explain it to him; he just knew. He always knew.
"Let's go to bed," Scott said softly. He put a guiding hand around his friend's elbow and ushered him toward the stairs. Stiles didn't resist. He let himself be ushered up the staircase, down the hall, and into Scott's bedroom. He sat down heavily on the edge of the bed and rubbed at his tired eyes.
Scott flipped the light switch off and crawled into the other side of the bed. He lifted the covers and gave Stiles a pointed look.
"I let you get away with not eating," he sighed. "But you're going to lie down and get some sleep."
Stiles relented and crawled under the blankets. He could already feel his eyes beginning to droop as warmth and security surrounded him. The feelings made his breath catch as he imagined feeling warm and safe when wrapped in a tight hug from his mother.
"It may not seem like it now," Scott whispered in the dark. "But it's going to be okay. I promise."
Stiles instinctively turned toward the voice, seeking any comfort he could find as his exhausted brain tried to push him into a dark place that he didn't want to go. A place that he knew his mother wouldn't want him to be in.
Scott lifted his arm and pulled his best friend closer. There was no awkwardness as Stiles' head ended up resting on Scott's chest, or when Scott starting carding his fingers gently through Stiles' buzzed hair.
Minutes later Stiles' breathing evened out and his body relaxed, finally getting the rest it deserved. Scott smiled slightly at the sight and made a silent promise to do everything he could to put his friend back together.
"I've never had a crab puff before, but they're pretty good."
Stiles looked up as his friend's words startled him out of his thoughts. Scott was wearing a nice black suit with a dark blue shirt. He looked uncomfortable in the unusual attire.
"Yeah, me and dad had to pick the menu," Stiles explained with a shrug. "For some reason crab puffs screamed funeral food."
"I brought you some," he held out the plate. "Noticed you haven't eaten anything today."
"Real subtle," Stiles shook his head and smirked at his friend. "You would notice that."
Scott smiled back affectionately as Stiles' grabbed a crab puff and stuffed it in his mouth.
"Yeah, not half bad," he concluded.
Scott sat down next to his friend and put the plate in Stiles' lap so he could eat more.
"How're you holding up?"
"About as good as can be expected," Stiles sighed and gave Scott another small smile, "Better now that you're here."
Scott nodded, "There's nowhere else I'd be."
"Thanks though," Stiles said seriously. "For the other night, for being there, and for now."
Scott put a hand on his best friend's shoulder and gave it a reassuring squeeze.
"I'll always be there."
Welp, it's done! Thanks again to everyone who read, reviewed, alerted, and favorited. I had a blast writing this, and I will definately be adding more ScottXStiles FRIENDSHIP stories.
Let me know what you thought of the story!