Authors Note: This is part two of the last chapter. Thing's start to go into Season 2 after this. If you have any questions about what's to come, leave them in my inbox on tumblr. I was thinking of doing a Q&A for Strangers. I did one once before for another story of mine so feel free to ask some questions about some things that have already happened or that are still to come. I'm super excited to start working into Season 2 AND plan for Season 3. Don't forget to review!
I woke up startled, breathing heavy and feeling a searing pain in my chest. I was lying in wet grass and could taste the fog in the air. I rubbed at my head confused as to where I was until I turned around and saw my old house.
"Scott? Stiles?" I called out hoping for someone to answer but it stayed silent. I realized I didn't have my shoes once I started walking, feeling the wet blades of grass tickle my ankles and the ache of my entire body as my muscles moved against my bones with every step.
"Derek? Hello?" I called out again as I walked up the sidewalk with my back facing the house. I was starting to feel truly alone and wasn't sure if I was scared or relieved.
"IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?!" I yelled more forcefully this time. That's when I felt a presence behind me.
"W-who are you?" I asked without turning around.
"You know who I am baby." The voice brought instant tears to my eyes. I hadn't heard it in so long and I couldn't believe it. I turned around slowly and felt my chest ache as my mom stood on the top of the steps to our old house.
"Welcome home baby." She smiled at me with tears in her own eyes as she descended the steps one at a time.
"This…this can't be real. You aren't real." I accused backing up slightly.
"I can show you I'm real." She said stopping in front of me. I looked her up and down as she moved closer and put her arms out. When she wrapped her arms around me, I felt warmth invade my entire being. I let out a breath that I felt like I had been holding my whole life.
"It's me Maggie. It's momma." She said as I inhaled her familiar scent of vanilla candles. I hugged her back, not believing I could actually feel her arms around me again. I've had dreams of this moment for years but none of them compared to this feeling.
"Mom? Momma!" I said in disbelief as I squeezed her tightly.
"I'm here baby. I've got you." She said as my knees gave out and she held me in her lap like I was a little girl again. She rocked me back and forth in her lap for a few moments before I even bothered looking up and when I did, Evie and Caroline were standing on the porch smiling down at us.
"Wait…if this is all real, if you're all real then does that mean…" I was cut off by another voice.
"You're not dead, but we are." It was Karen and she walked out of the house.
It had been a week since Derek killed Peter. Lydia had somehow managed to fight off the bite and seemed to be immune to it but the only person who hadn't recovered from that night was Maggie. When Peter ran into Maggie he managed to shove his claws deep enough to almost penetrate her heart. They've kept her on machines ever since she checked in but she still hadn't woken up yet. Stiles was practically living at the hospital while I tried to get some kind of answer from reading through the spell books at her house but the pages wouldn't appear to me for some reason. I tried to call Deaton but he had disappeared for a few days on "work related issues". Derek was also suddenly impossible to find but we weren't going to give up. I was relieved when my phone finally rang and Deaton's name came across the screen.
"Thank God! I've been trying to reach you. Maggie is-" He cut me off.
"I know Scott and I'm sure you boys are doing everything you can to ensure she comes out of this but reading those books won't help you." Deaton said making me look down at the blank pages.
"How did you know I was reading the books?" I asked curiously.
"Because you're smarter than you give yourself credit for. However those books require blood to be read and it can't be the blood of a werewolf. Perhaps give them to Mr. Stilinski." Deaton said and I quickly gathered the books.
"When are you coming back? We could really use your help." I said adjusting the phone on my shoulder.
"Soon. Has Karen passed yet?" Deaton's words made me stop moving.
"What? No. She's still unresponsive." I said unsure of why Deaton would ask that.
"Well be prepared for it. She is key to Maggie's survival. Call me again if you can't find what you're looking for." Deaton said before hanging up. I looked at my screen confused before shoving the phone in my pocket and racing out the house with the bag of books on my shoulder.
I knew Stiles would be at the hospital because the Sheriff had called me to see if he was in school today and he still wasn't. I actually had to bring him his work to do in between the doctors doing tests on Maggie. We both were torn up about what was going on but Stiles was taking it to the extreme.
I pushed through the hospital to see Sheriff Stilinski hugging Mom.
"Oh no...what...is it-" She gripped my arm as I feared the worst and she shook her head.
"We lost Karen this morning." She clarified. I let out a heavy breath and let my mom hug me. The sheriff nodded at me.
"I brought Stiles school books for us to work on." I put a hand on my bag and mom wiped her face.
"You know where he is." Sheriff nodded over his shoulder. I gave my mom a squeeze before walking towards her room in the I.C unit. I could hear Stiles talking from down the hallway.
"It was foggy this morning. It's kind of cool though. I wouldn't actually know. I don't even remember the last time I went outside. Scott is working on reading through your books, I hope you don't get pissed about that. We're just trying to help. You know we couldn't live without you again...I know I couldn't." His words faded off and I stepped into the room.
"Hey, did you find something?" He asked eyes wide.
"Um Deaton actually called. He said the reason I can't read them is because you need pure blood or something. I brought them with me just don't let your dad see them I guess." I handed him the bag and he nodded his head.
"You hear about Karen?" He asked rubbing his face.
"Yeah just now. My mom is pretty broken up about it." I pointed towards the door.
"Maggie's going to be devastated." Stiles added making me look at Maggie's body. She was pale and her lips were discolored. I didn't have the heart to tell him she smelled like she was dying.
"Stiles...what if she doesn't want us to save her? What if-" Stiles looked up at me like I'd just insulted his mother.
"So you're giving up on her? Just tell me now Scott so I can know that I'm wasting my time with trusting you to read these." He lifted the bag up and dropped it.
"No man I just-" He cut me off again.
"I'M NOT LETTING HER GO!" Stiles yelled at me.
"I KNOW! Okay? I know. I'm not letting her go either but this isn't what she would want you to do. Look at yourself man. You barely sleep, you stopped going to school and have you eaten today?" I questioned and he shook his head.
"Look she told me to take care of you and I'm not going to break that promise to her okay? I'm all in this with you but you've got to take care of yourself too otherwise who will she have to lean on when she comes out of this?" I tried talking sense into him and he took a deep breath.
"There's just..." He looked like he was getting choked up.
"There is so much I didn't get to say to her man. I need to say those things. I just have to." He rung his hands out in front of him and I walked around the bed to give him a hug. He seemed resistant at first.
"You will man. It's going to be okay." I said trying to reassure him and he finally gave in and hugged me back. When I released him he ran his hands down his face.
"Go get some food and take a shower. You're starting to reek bro." I said slapping his back. He cracked a smile before looking over at Maggie.
"Will you stay with her? I won't be gone long. I've still got the clothes my dad brought this morning and I can grab something from the cafeteria." Stiles said and I shook my head.
"I won't move until you get back." I sat down in the chair and he looked at her again before grabbing his bag from the table and walking into the bathroom to shower. I grabbed Maggie's hand carefully not to bump the IV that was sticking out of it and watched the machine's beep.
"Hey Mags, I guess I should tell you what's been going on outside of here. You know I've been trying to get Stiles out of here for a few hours but it's obviously difficult. Not that sitting with you isn't important, you're still important!" I felt like I was making a fool of myself and she was laughing internally at me.
"School is quieter than usual. I guess without you and Stiles there I don't know what I'm doing most of the day. Isaac asked about you. Stiles wouldn't let him come in here so he told me to send good vibes. He seems like a good guy. Allison and I were kind of forbidden from seeing each other which kind of sucks because she's the only one helping me deal with this." I frowned and ran my thumb over her cold, clammy hand.
"Love isn't like what we all grow up thinking it is. I thought when I found someone that I loved it would be magical and life changing. I never expected having a gun in my face and death threats. I'm sorry you've had to go through the ringer with Stiles all these years. Nazareth was right, love does hurt." I joked not seeing her face even twitch.
"I need you to give me a sign Maggie. I need to know what the right thing to do is. Do you want us to save you or do you want us to move on? Honestly I can't stand the thought of losing you again but what I'm most worried about is Stiles. Maggie...I don't think Stiles will survive losing you, not like this. Not after his mom." I rested my forehead on her hand and said a silent prayer to whoever was listening to give me some answers.
I walked into the house and could actually feel my childhood memories rushing through my head. Blanket forts with Scott and Stiles, movie nights with mom, everything that reminded me of when things were happy and joyful flooded me like a welcoming slideshow.
"I'm sure you have a lot of questions." Caroline spoke up from the chair in the living room.
"GOD! She is so grown up. I just want to hug her!" Evie jumped up and hugged me tightly making me laugh.
"Give her some room Ev. We don't want to make any of this harder for her." Mom said as Evie released me.
"Make what harder? This is...this is everything I could possibly ask for. I've missed you all so much." I said honestly but they didn't seem as excited to see me as I was to see them.
"You can't stay here Maggie. You aren't meant to die yet." Caroline spoke up. I looked between all of them and shook my head.
"Clearly I am considering I know you three are dead without any doubts and I can see you right now. If Karen is here then there is nothing for me to go back to anyway." I pointed out and Karen frowned at me.
"This is how it's meant to be. Our deaths were set in motion so that you could absorb the power of the coven. Because Peter was killed as an alpha, you're wolf bloodline has been triggered. You're one of the strongest beings in the supernatural realm." Caroline explained.
"But I never wanted to be the strongest supernatural being in the realm. It's hard enough being a mediocre witch and now I've got to be a werewolf too?" I raised my voice.
"Maggie-" Karen stepped closer to me and I threw my hands out.
"NO! I'm not going back to be alone! I don't want to be some super werewitch! I want to stay here, with all of you!" I shouted making my mom cover her mouth.
"That's not your fate sweetheart." Karen finally spoke up and I sat down on the couch crying like a child. I felt the couch sink on both sides of me as arms snaked around my neck. Karen and Mom sat on either side of me while Evie held me from behind and Caroline held my hands kneeling in front of me. I don't ever remember being this surrounded by love my whole life.
"I don't want to go back and be all alone. I'm not ready to take all of this on. I've barely got the witch thing down and even then I fail at times." I explained and Karen wiped my face.
"You've been doing just fine. It's all about control Maggie. You have the power to control your surroundings. As long as you focus on the task then you can do extraordinary things." She explained.
"I don't want to do extraordinary things. I want to be normal and have a family and be able to worry about school and my dating life. I don't want all of this and I sure as hell can't do it alone." I said and Karen broke down a bit.
"This is just our messed up fate and I'm so sorry you got caught in the middle of all of it." She bit her lip and Caroline gripped her hand.
"Just because we aren't there doesn't mean you can't communicate with us. If you really need us then all you have to do-" Evie started to say but Caroline cut her off with a look.
"I thought you couldn't bring the dead back?" I asked and Caroline rubbed her temples.
"You aren't supposed to but there is a way you can communicate with the dead but you can't become dependent on it." Caroline explained.
"You wouldn't have had the power to do it before now but once you go back there is a spell you can use to communicate with us but you put yourself in danger when you leave your body so I insist that you don't use the spell often." Caroline said making sure I was looking into her eyes.
"So what? I just go back and pretend like everything is okay while I raise myself? Who is supposed to take care of me?" I asked and Mom smiled.
"John and Melissa will make sure you're taken care of. Our families have been close for a long time. I have faith in them." I savored the feeling of my mom's hand on my cheek.
"Nathan will also stick around." Karen spoke up.
"We don't know that he's committed yet." Caroline shot her down but Karen shook her head.
"Louis and I have been talking to him about this for months. He'll do the right thing by Louis." Karen said making me feel horrible. I didn't want to become anyone's burden.
"What about Peter?" I asked and she furrowed her eyebrows.
"Don't call your father by his first name. He's still your father." She said making me laugh.
"Well Mom he did try to rip my heart out of my chest, sorry for the formalities." I said sarcastically.
"He knew he was going to die. I guess he figured he had to be the one to kill you in order for it to work." Karen said.
"So does that mean it's true, the Argents are responsible for all of your deaths?" I asked confused.
"We can't be sure but it's starting to feel that way. It seems more and more like maybe there is a bigger picture here but you shouldn't go looking for those answers." Evie said.
"That doesn't mean you can trust him. Peter has always had an agenda." Caroline said.
"You guys realize this is way beyond the average amount of stress you should put on someone right? I mean I haven't even had sex yet." I said making them all react differently. Evie laughed, Caroline sighed and rubbed her temples, Karen shook her head and Mom just bit her lip.
"I always knew this day would come but I always figured I would be able to be with all of you. It was one of the main reasons I never feared death and now you're telling me that I have to go back to live in this crazy world without any of you. Do you know how terrifying that is?" I asked looking at all of them.
"Maggie, the time that you spent with each of us was important to who you're going to become. You have the skills and the intelligence. You have nothing to be afraid of." Caroline said simply.
"I'm afraid of being alone!" I spun around and looked at her.
"You know Stiles hasn't left the hospital since they brought you in? He held you the entire way and Scott carried you in." Mom said making me look at her.
"Scott has been trying to take care of him but he doesn't know what to do. He keeps asking for you to respond to his prayers but you never do." She added walking over to me.
"Even Derek has slipped in once or twice when Stiles was asleep or taking a shower." I shut my eyes shaking my head.
"You will never be alone Maggie. I promise you that." She said making me open my eyes.
"What if they can't bring me back?" I asked hoping for a miracle.
"Deaton knows the spell and Stiles has the book. It won't take him long to find and I'm sure it won't take long before they have everything in order." Karen pushed my hair off my shoulder.
"Then we don't have much time." Caroline added.
"For what? I don't think I'll ever want to really leave on my own accord and I don't want to spend the time I have left with you guys talking about the supernatural." I let out a shaky sigh.
"No magic talk, only girl talk." Evie said sounding excited.
"You got time for some motherly advice?" Mom spoke up from next to me with a hopeful smile and I nodded looking at her.
"I'm all ears." I said sitting back down on the couch with the four of them to take in as much time as I could.
I had been reading these books for almost 4 hours before any of it remotely made sense. My fingers were covered in band aids as I flipped through the pages, allowing the worn tough paper to cut my skin. Scott was passed out on the little couch I typically slept on and his mom came by once or twice to check on all of us but didn't say anything.
"I never realized how much work it took being a witch. No wonder you hated having to read these." I said talking to Maggie.
"I always kind of wondered if you could show me some of the cool stuff in here but now that I'm reading through it, magic is kind of scary. I mean in books, fairies are evil so why would you want to summon them? Or love spells. I mean you would know that the other person doesn't truly love you so why even bother?" I hated that she couldn't talk back. I've been sitting here for a week trying to get a response out of her and I still couldn't even get her to move her hand. My eyes felt like they were starting to cross just reading through the pages but when my eyes finally found what we were looking for I let my feet drop off the side of the couch.
"That's it…I FOUND IT!" I shouted making Scott jump up.
"Mmh what?! What's going on?" Scott rubbed his face and laughed.
"I know how to save Maggie." I stood up and kissed the book.
"I figured you would Mr. Stilinski." Dr. Deaton was standing in the doorway. Scott jumped up quickly and straightened himself out.
"This is right isn't it? This will work won't it?" I asked showing him the page. He looked it over and nodded.
"You certainly have the spark. I went ahead and retrieved the blood from Karen however we've run into a bit of a problem as far as obtaining her father's blood." Deaton said but I shut the book.
"I can get it." I said confidently.
"Stiles, Derek hasn't even spoken to us since all of this happened. You think he's going to unearth Peter's remains to give us blood?" Scott said but I shook my head.
"Well he'll either give me the blood or I'll dig up his entire burnt out house." I grabbed my jacket and Scott grabbed my arm.
"Wait, what am I supposed to do?" He asked confused.
"Distract anyone who comes in here. I know they want to shut her machines down, I heard my dad talking to your mom earlier. I just need you to buy me some time." I said and Scott looked over at Deaton.
"You best hurry, Stiles." Deaton said and I nodded before running out of the door. It felt weird being back in the jeep again. It's like what people say about getting back on the horse. It's strange at first but you fall right back into it. I drove to the burnt down house first and searched for the body myself. If I could keep Derek out of the loop that would work even better but his sudden voice startled me almost into cardiac arrest.
"I know why you're here and I can't help you." Derek said before I could even open my mouth.
"You don't have to help me I just want to know where you buried Peter's body." I asked.
"You want his blood to bring her back but that's not what she would want." Derek said making my insides cringe.
"She isn't dead yet so I'm not bringing her back. I'm trying to wake her up." I said firmly.
"The blood won't make her want to live, it'll make her wish she'd died." Derek said and I put the pieces together.
"Wait, you've known this whole time that his blood could help save her and you've been holding out? What the hell is wrong with you? She's your last living relative for crying out loud." I raised my voice and Derek stepped towards me.
"And you're supposed to be her best friend! You think she wants to come back like this? Do you even know what this would mean for her? She wouldn't be just a witch anymore. She would be one of the most powerful beings to walk this earth." Derek's words were just pissing me off.
"So this is a power struggle?" I challenged and he practically growled at me.
"NO! She would also be the biggest target!" Derek's words made me stop and think for a minute.
"Stiles…I know how you feel about her and I know she's important to you but isn't watching her die once enough for you?" Derek questioned and I closed my eyes thinking about actually letting her go.
"I need her, okay? I just…I need her." My voice broke in my throat and Derek held my gaze.
"We all need her but think about what she'd be coming back to. She would have to bury another family member, she would have to deal with the Argent's full force and where would she even live? She's not 18 for another few years so who's to say that she'd be able to stay in Beacon Hills. You want me to help you bring her back but to what? We can't give her what she needs." Derek explained.
"I know you've been without a family for a really long time but blood doesn't make you family. Scott is like a brother to her, my dad would protect her and she actually does have a handful of friends. I could be her family. You could too." I reminded him.
"She's 16, Derek. She's barely had time to live. Don't rob her of a future because you think it's best for her. I know she reminds you of your sister. Give her the chance to live long enough to know who she is…what being a Hale is." My words made Derek lock his jaw. I could tell he had things rolling around in his head as he paced on his feet. He walked over to the steps and bent one of the boards back to retrieve what looked like a jar. He eyed the jar for a moment before walking over to me and holding it out to me.
"She's all the blood I have left out there and I'll admit that it would kill a piece of me to let her go but let me remind you that you are making a decision on her behalf. If you do this, there is no going back. Don't lie to yourself and try and say this is what she'd want. You are bringing her back for you." I looked at the jar and carefully took it from him.
"Deaton will know what to do with it. I just hope you know it won't make things better. It will only be the beginning." Derek said as I gripped the jar of blood tightly.
"I'm not letting her go. She can hate me for that all she wants but she'll have family to lean on. I can guarantee that." I started for the door and thought for a moment that Derek had said something in reply but I didn't have the time to waste.
All I could think about was her opening her eyes. We would help her get through Karen's death and help her adjust to living without her family. I was convinced of that. However when I pulled up to the hospital and saw Deaton standing out front I was a bit unnerved.
"I'll take the blood and get it ready but we may have a bigger issue at hand. It would appear her uncle is signing the paperwork to turn off her machines." I could feel my eyes go wide as I ran into the hospital to see Louis's brother, Nathan standing with my dad and Scott's mom.
"Stiles, where the hell did you go?" Dad said in a panic.
"You can't turn the machines off. She just needs more time." I said not answering him.
"Honey, her organs are starting to fail. Keeping the machines on is only prolonging-" I cut Melissa off.
"NO! Please don't. Just give her more time. One more night is all I'm asking for." I begged looking over at Nathan who I didn't even know. I watched Deaton go back into the room stealthily.
"Son, we've got to let her go. There's nothing more that can be done." Dad gripped my shoulder and I shrugged away from him.
"How could you say that!? No, don't. DON'T!" He tried to wrap his arms around me and I fought it. Scott came out of the room as his mom started to tear up.
"She's gone son! We can't keep her here." I could hear the pain in my dad's voice and I just kept shaking my head.
"I'M NOT LOSING HER TOO! I'M NOT! I CAN'T!" I yelled as I fought against my dad's hold on me. We were distracted when the alarms behind the desk started to go off.
"That's Maggie's monitor." Melissa said before we all started to sprint towards the room. Her heart rate had dropped and I gripped the top of my head. How could it not have worked?! Deaton had the spell and the blood. I felt my dad grab my arm but we all jumped when a sudden gasped came out of Maggie's mouth and her eyes shot open practically glowing. She blinked a few times before she fell back against the bed taking deep breaths.
"Oh…my…God." We all said at the same time.
"So Isaac is a sweet boy and has never done anything wrong to you? I personally think you should date around." Evie said waving her hand around.
"Stiles is protective of her and we always hurt the ones we love the most. It's human nature." Karen defended Stiles and I laughed.
"I honestly don't think she should be worrying about her love life when she gets back." Caroline spoke up.
"I'm sure she'll be able to handle it." Mom spoke up as she stroked my hair.
"I don't really think I'll be up for anything when I come out of this." I got up from the couch and walked the room a bit.
"What's on your mind sweetie?" Karen asked.
"I just keep thinking...maybe they won't try and save me. Maybe they'll just let things be, you know? I mean if you're already gone then they know I wouldn't have anyone to come out of this with and it's not like they even get a say right?" I started pacing the room.
"Maggie..." Karen started to say but I shook my head.
"Stiles will always be in love with Lydia, Scott has Allison and Isaac and I were never going to work out. The only person that will possibly struggle with being alone is-" She cut me off this time.
"Derek." Karen put her hand on my shoulder and I looked at her.
"Derek is still family. He isn't just someone you know. He is blood. He will be able to help you with some of your changes." Mom said sincere. She was right. Derek was the only one I knew that would still be alone if I didn't come back. On one hand, I wanted him to have someone to turn to but on the other I knew that he wouldn't want the kind of life Scott had. I hoped he wouldn't help them bring me back but in the short time that I got to know Derek, I realized that family was something he always wanted but never could get back. He was strong with a lot of things but not when it came to his family.
The fire in the fireplace started to rise and I looked down at it confused.
"The flames are turning." Evie said staring at the fireplace.
"It's time." Caroline stood up as I looked back at all of them.
"Time for what?" I asked thinking the worst but Karen let out a sigh.
"Time for you to go where you belong." Karen looked almost at peace with letting me go but I was hoping that wasn't true.
"What if I don't want to go?" I asked stepping back away from the fire but Mom gripped my shoulders.
"I know it's not going to be easy baby but you are a Stevens. You are strong and beautiful and my daughter and I believe that you can do anything. We will never be too far away for you to reach us. I promise you." She kissed my forehead before giving me a tight hug. When she released me, I knew it wasn't going to be okay but there was no fighting it.
"What do I have to do?" I asked trying to hide my emotions.
"Focus on the flames, look inside of yourself and just let yourself fall. Never let the darkness consume you Maggie. Don't ever forget the light that burns inside of you." I kept playing Karen's words over and over in my head as the flames started to feel ice cold on my face. I started to feel dizzy as I fell forwards into the fire but it felt more like a frozen pond. My heart raced as I got that familiar feeling of falling and when my eyes snapped open I could see a bright light.
Everything happened so quickly as I finally came back to the world. I could hear Melissa McCall trying to get people to help me as I flopped back onto the bed and I could see Sheriff Stilinski trying to shuffle the boys out of the room. I instantly felt like my body was being supercharged and I blacked out.
When I came out of it again, I felt my senses starting to come back fully.
"Hey! It's good to see your eyes open again." Stiles looked overjoyed that I was back and I could feel him holding my hand.
"How long was I out?" I asked in a harsh whisper. Scott walked over and handed me some water which felt amazing on my dry throat.
"A week since the...incident but only a few hours since we got you back. I can't believe that thing worked." Stiles said in disbelief.
"How do you feel?" Scott asked making me look over at him. He looked scared.
"How do I feel? I feel like my dad tried to rip my heart out, literally. I feel like my entire body has been thrown down a burning gravel road. I feel like when I tell someone what my dying wishes are that they should stick to them." I felt my blood pressure rising.
"Maggie, you've got to calm down. We don't know what the alpha blood will do to your system yet." Stiles spoke up and I turned my gaze on him.
"Oh and then there's that. As if it wasn't enough of a problem being a witch, you thought throwing alpha blood into my system would be better?" Stiles let go of my hand looking almost dumbfounded that I was upset with him.
"You want to know how I feel? I feel like if you cared about me at all then you would have let me die!" I yelled watching Stiles eyes falter and jaw lock. He shook his head at me before storming out of the room. Scott ran out after him and I laid back in the bed feeling my body ache as it tried to recover. I let tears roll out of my eyes as I ran my fingertips over my skin and realized I'd never feel Mom's embrace again. I know what Stiles was trying to do and I know he cared but I couldn't help but feel like he robbed me of being with my Mom again. I wish I could shake that feeling but it was all too overwhelming at the moment. I tried to pretend I was asleep for most of the other visitors. Nathan came in and tried to talk to me but I rolled over trying to sell the sleeping thing which I guess made him uncomfortable because he left shortly after. I knew the new senses that Caroline had told me about were starting to kick in when Derek first sat down next to the bed. He didn't make a noise but it was his presence and scent that gave him away.
"Are you sitting there for a reason or did you just want to brood in my company?" I asked not looking at him.
"How do you feel?" I had to chuckle to myself at that question. How could they keep asking that? They were all there when Peter dug his claws into my chest. How do they think someone should feel after coming back from that? I turned my head to look at him and saw he was nervous.
"I feel like you should have been stronger and just let me die but I guess that doesn't really matter anymore." I said harshly. He ducked his head down and looked at his hands.
"I'm sorry." He was the first person to say that to me. He was the first person and I could actually feel his emotions when he said it.
"You know you're all I have left right? Me and you...we're the only blood left to speak for both sides of this messed up family." He looked up at me.
"You're the alpha now. Step up...do what needs to be done and don't ever forget that the line of people who love you ends right here." I said making him nod his head. I felt like I got my point across when he finally left the room. I knew he couldn't stay long because of his current standing with the police. I wasn't entirely sure what the story was that was going around about that night at the Hale house but I'm sure it wasn't even remotely true.
I had finally managed to sit up when John and Melissa walked in looking sullen.
"You both look pretty depressed to see me. I already know about Karen so no need to feel the pressure of having to drop bombs on me." I said wincing.
"Sweetie we need to talk about a few things." Melissa walked over and rested a hand on my bed.
"Yeah I figured considering I'm not only an orphan but a burden." I chuckled darkly as John sat up in the chair.
"What? How could you even think that?" He looked offended that I even said that but it was the truth in my opinion.
"Look, I know you both feel like you're somehow responsible for me but you're not." I said honestly.
"That's where you're wrong sweetheart. You are family to all of us." Just the word family made my chest hurt. I looked up at Melissa coldly.
"All of my family was murdered. I have no family." I said swallowing the lump in my throat.
"I know you've been through hell Maggie but you know that's not true. We all care about you and want you to find some kind of peace of mind after all of this. You aren't alone kid." He reached out and took my hand and I felt my emotions getting the better of me. I will never understand how someone can have so much good will in them, not after all I've seen.
"Whether you like it or not, you're stuck with us and we're going to make sure you're taken care of." Melissa sat down on the side of my bed and I snorted wiping my face with my free hand.
"Explain to me how that's not being a burden?" I questioned.
"Because we love you." John squeezed my hand and I bit my lip. I felt the rush of emotions finally take over realizing that these two knew all the bad shit that followed me around, all the horrible things that have happened to my family because of me and yet they still wanted to take care of me. I finally broke down into a heap of tears feeling their arms wrap around me. They had told me that Nathan was going to take leave from his job to come back and get things in order so I'd be staying with John and Stiles for a few weeks. They said I could go between staying there and Scott's but all I really wanted to do was get out of the hospital.
We also had to talk about Karen's funeral which was actually going to be one big funeral for Louis, Karen and the baby. The most they could put that off was a week so I knew I wasn't going to be ready for that. By the time they brought up Kate and how she had been the one responsible for all of the deaths, I was too exhausted to even sit up straight.
I was laying on my side facing away from the door so I could watch the sun go down out of the window. My body was healing quickly and I knew it had to be the healing of the alpha blood. My head was too all over the place for it to be magic of any kind. It was too bad I couldn't just be happy to be alive. I really felt like I owed it to Sheriff Stilinski and Melissa to at least put on a smile but every time I tried to smile I felt tears roll down my cheeks. I heard the door shut slowly and knew it was Stiles. He stood in place for a few moments and I knew he was pissed.
"You don't get to do that to me." His voice was angry but unsteady.
"You don't get to make me feel guilty for caring about you. I'm not going to apologize for wanting you to live past 16 Maggie. I won't do it." He was pacing slightly.
"That's the problem with wanting things. Once we get what we want, we just want something else." I spoke finally.
"How's Lydia?" I asked feeling a female presence. I figured that Stiles ran off to check on her.
"She's fine. Apparently she's immune to the bite." Stiles answered stubbornly.
"Lucky her." I said still not looking at him.
"Don't change the subject. I sat in here every single day talking to you and trying to find a way to bring you out of this, I never left your side and the moment you wake up I get completely shut down like I did a bad thing. I'll admit it was selfish but you can't just come back into my life and expect me to just be okay with losing you forever. You promised me in the hallway that it wasn't goodbye. I'm the one who should be pissed off here." Stiles said walking around the bed so I could see him. He shifted slightly seeing that I had tears in my eyes. He sat down in the chair and put his hand on the bed, unsure about touching me.
"Is it really so awful that you're alive and well?" Stiles practically whispered and I closed my eyes tightly trying to calm down.
"Do you ever dream about your mom?" I asked and he looked at me strangely.
"All the time." He admitted.
"You know how when you have those dreams and she's reaching out to hug you but you can't feel her touch and it's bittersweet because there she is, standing right in front of you but it's not real. You can't feel her, you can't smell her perfume." I said watching him swallow hard.
"When I was out, I got to be with her again. I got to be with her and Evie, Caroline and even Karen. I got to hear their voices and feel the touch of their hands on my shoulder trying to give me a reassuring squeeze because they knew that I couldn't stay with them." I finally met his eyes.
"I went for so long without being able to feel her arms wrapped around me and suddenly I had that again. I'd never felt more loved then I did when she had her arms around me again." I let the tear slide down my cheek as Stiles looked at me, his eyes full of sadness.
"And now...now I've never felt more alone and utterly broken." My voice broke off and I covered my face with my hands. I heard Stiles get to his feet but I didn't know if he was leaving the room or getting me tissues. That's when I felt the shift in the bed. Stiles had slid in behind me and put his arms around me.
"Listen to me okay? I know I will never be as comforting as your mom but I'm holding onto you as tightly as I can without hurting you and I'm begging you to want to stay." Stiles was pleading with me and I could hear his voice break as he got upset.
"I swear on my life, I will never leave you Maggie. You're not alone. We will figure this whole thing out together. I promise you." He leaned his head on the back of mine and kissed into my hair.
"I can't ask you to do that." I said sniffling.
"You aren't asking, I'm telling you. I...I get that you blame me for taking you from your Mom so I'm going to make sure you have a good reason to stay." Stiles said and I kept thinking about what Caroline had said.
"Things aren't going to be like they were Stiles. Whatever I am now...it's dangerous. Eventually, things are going to catch up to me and I don't want you next to me when those things happen." I said firmly as I turned over to face him.
"W-why not?" He asked looking a bit hurt.
"Because everyone that I love always ends up getting hurt and I don't want that to happen to you. I love you, more than I honestly should." His cheeks grown red and blotch as he licked his lips.
"I'm not going to let you pull away from me Maggie. You can hate me all you want but I'm not going anywhere." He said clearing his throat. In the back of my mind I knew that Lydia would always play a factor between Stiles and I but I was starting to think maybe that wasn't a bad thing. Maybe he would be better off chasing after the girl who could fight the bite opposed to being with the one who was a walking kiss of death.
"I could never hate you Stiles." I said looking down at his shirt.
"Well I guess that's a plus." He joked.
"You know that whatever we were considering the night of the dance...between the two of us...we can't be that." I said trying not to sound like a bitch but he nodded his head.
"Yeah I kind of figured you were going to say that considering the first thing you did when you came out of a coma was hand me my ass." Stiles said making me give him a sad smile.
"Thank you for wanting to bring me back." I touched his cheek and he looked down.
"Thanks for not hating me." He said lifting his gaze to meet mine.
"Can you tell me about what it was like...being with them again?" Stiles asked curiously and I let out a sigh.
"Can you tell me about what it was like to watch me die?" I asked in return and he nodded.
"Too soon. Noted." Stiles said leaning on his elbow.
"You look like you haven't slept." I ran my finger across the dark circles under his eyes.
"Well I've been worried about you. I slept on that love seat thing most nights. This is actually the first bed I've been in since the night before the dance." He confessed.
"Scott was supposed to be taking care of you. I thought I mentioned that." I reminded and he shook his head sadly. I knew he was having flashes of that night in his head.
"We all kind of made shitty promises that night I guess." He said back and I knew he was halting my reminders. It was like a mental tug of war we were playing but neither of us wanted to put the other in too much pain.
"I guess now that I'm alive and well you can go home and get some sleep." I said and he pursed his lips together.
"Yeah I guess I could." He said but remained in the bed next to me.
"I know you think I'm trying to get you back for being shitty earlier but on a serious note, I hope that you can really tell me about what happened while you were gone." Stiles was sincere and I nodded at him.
"I just need some time right now." I said and I could see that he understood that. I knew when he shifted in the bed that he wasn't going to go anywhere so I let him fall asleep next to me. His hold on me was still just as firm as it was before when he was trying to console me but as I watched him sleep I knew that this was going to be the beginning of a whole new life for the both of us. The last thing I wanted to be was a werewolf in any form and I was going to fight it every step of the way but harnessing all this supposed power I had wasn't going to be easy.
I was on my own now. I didn't have Karen helping me or Louis to remind me of my human side. One of the first things I knew I would have to give up was my childhood crush on Stiles.
The sequel to Strangers is on my page. It's called What Lies Beneath and it will cover what happens in Season 2 of TW. I hope you continue the story there. Thanks for reading and reviewing.