Sorry that it has taken so long to update this. Life has gotten in the way of writing time. I hope you enjoy this installment of the story. This is the final chapter; but, there will be a sequel, as this story has spiraled out of control from its original intention and took on a life of its own. XD
Stiles slowly woke up on Christmas Eve and the first thing he noticed that the birds were being annoyingly loud outside. What did they have to be so cheerful for that early in the morning? Then, Stiles realized that he was not alone on the bed. He had a brief moment of panic before he remembered that it was Jackson. Jackson was laying behind him, and it was Jackson's arm that was draped over his waist as it had been every morning since the night of that dream. A faint smile tugged on his lips as he turned to hide his face in his pillow. He had very easily gotten used to waking up having Jackson there. After a few minutes of Stiles absentmindedly brushing his fingers along Jackson's arm, Stiles smiled when the other teen's arm tightened around his middle slightly.
Jackson mumbled out something that sounded much like, "Good morning," as he pressed his face against the top of Stiles' shoulder.
"Boys, breakfast!" Maria called up the stairs, effectively breaking through the relative quite of the morning to that point.
As they both got up, Jackson studied Stiles a little before he asked, "Any more bad dreams?" It had been something that Jackson had asked every morning, something that Stiles should have found annoying, but he did not. It was nice to know that Jackson actually cared enough to ask.
"Nope," replied Stiles as he flashed a grin in Jackson's direction. He walked over to his bag, which had made its way to Jackson's room after the two of them had fallen into habit of Stiles sleeping in there. "I may just have to keep you if having you there is all it takes."
Jackson rolled his eyes, but smirked as he got up out off the bed. "I'll meet you downstairs in a few," he said as he grabbed his clothes and went into the bathroom to shower since he had not had one the night before like Stiles had, pressing a kiss to Stiles' shoulder as he passed.
The younger teen smiled slightly at the action and nodded a little, waiting until Jackson was actually in the other room before he changed. Then, Stiles made his way downstairs to the kitchen. By the time Jackson got downstairs, Stiles was sitting on one of the tall stools at the island in the middle of the kitchen, talking to his mother about school. She seemed to be very pleased by whatever it was that Stiles was sharing. "Good morning, sweet," Maria said when she spotted her son, setting a plate down at the empty spot next to Stiles for him. "Sleep well?"
"Mmhmm..." replied Jackson with a small smile as he sat down, ignoring his mother's responding comment of how Jackson did not talk much whenever he first woke up.
"So I noticed," Stiles stated, smiling as he lightly knocked his knee against Jackson's.
"What're your plans for today?" Maria asked as she brushed her hair out of her eyes before sitting down next to her husband on the other side of the island so that she could eat, as well.
"Figured I'd take Stiles into town so he can get actual winter clothes instead of stealing mine every time we leave the house," Jackson answered, chuckling as Stiles poked his tongue out in response while absentmindedly twisting back and forth in his seat.
About an hour after finishing breakfast, Stiles found himself in the car with Jackson once again. There was soft music playing over the radio, some kind of Christmas song that neither one of the teens cared anything about. They did not talk, but the silence was a companionable one, not awkward in the slightest. The closer they got to town, however, the antsier that Stiles grew. He bounced his knee repeatedly until Jackson reached over to gently squeeze it, leaving his hand there until he needed to switch gears only to put it back again. Stiles relaxed a bit under the touch, but the feeling that had him antsy in the first place only grew worse the closer to the town they got. "Something's wrong," Stiles mumbled, though Jackson heard it, and the elder teen glanced over at Stiles with a faint frown. "Jackson!"
The elder teen quickly focused ahead of them again, just in time to see a big something dart across the road, causing him to slam on the breaks. The car started to skid and Jackson lost traction, but it only lasted for a few moments as the car came to a complete stop, nearly hitting a parked car outside of one of the stores. "What the fuck was that?" Jackson asked as he unbuckled and climbed out of the car, looking over in the direction the thing had disappeared to.
"I don't know," replied Stiles as he shakily got out of the car as well, shoving his hands into his hoodie pockets as he looked around.
The wind was eerily still, and for a town that was usually bustling with winter tourist activity, there was no movement. Stiles pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and frowned when he saw that he had no service. Stiles gestured to the diner in front of him and said, "I'm going to go use the phone."
Jackson nodded, watching over in the direction the thing had gone before looking to Stiles. "Yeah, I'll be right there," he said before gesturing to the building across the street. "I'm gonna ask George somethin' real fast."
Stiles was unsure about the idea of splitting up, but after worrying at his lip for a moment, he nodded and went up the stairs to the deck, slipping on ice only once on his way to the door. He laughed softly when he managed not to fall, and reached up to brush snow out of his hair as he stepped inside, the bell above the door sounding once as it opened and again as it fell shut behind him. "Hello?" Stiles said, brow furrowing a little as he looked around the room. There was not a single person there. That was not normal, was it? "Hello?" His voice raised in volume just a little, but at the echoing silence, Stiles' uneasy feeling only grew worse. Taking in a sharp breath, Stiles took a slightly stumbling step back toward the door, reaching for the handle.
His eyes widened and he froze in place for a moment when he realized that the handle was warm, and wet. Stiles took a deep breath before he turned around, lifting it to find it stained with blood. There was blood on the handle and all over the bottom of the door. Mixed in with the bloody hand print was what looked like claw marks. Stiles' heart jumped when he heard a terrible sounding roar from outside. "Jackson!" he called as he rushed outside, stumbling off the stairs and onto the snowy ground. He paled instantly when he saw the blood on the ground. He swallowed thickly and followed the short trail of it to where Jackson was laying in the snow, an odd set of tracks leading away from him. "No, no, no." Stiles repeated the word under his breath as he rushed over to the other teen's side, dropping down onto his knees in the snow next to the elder boy.
Stiles laughed a little when Jackson said something that sounded like an attempt at his name. "Shush. You're fine," Stiles stated, using his hand and the front of Jackson's jacket to press on the wound on his chest from claws that was still bleeding. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." The last thing Jackson saw before he lost consciousness was Stiles' eyes flashing gold for only a moment.
It was cold when he woke up, very cold; but, he was no longer in the snow. He was on a bed, a very stiff and uncomfortable one at that. The air smelled of cleaning products and sterilization. A hospital; he was in a hospital. Jackson groaned as he shifted on the bed, slowly opening his eyes, wincing as the lights in the room made his head hurt a little. "Good, you're awake," he heard from somewhere near the door and looked over to see Melissa McCall walking in with a clipboard. "How're you feeling?"
"Like I got hit by a bus," complained Jackson as he slowly sat up with a little help from Melissa. "Where's Stiles? What happened?"
"We were hoping you could us," Melissa answered with a slight frown. "Stiles found you out in the snow, already attacked and alone."
"Where is he? Is he okay?"
Melissa chuckled and gently pushed on Jackson's shoulder to get him to sit back a little more when he'd sat up straighter as he asked about Stiles. "He's just fine, Jackson. Relax, please." Melissa smiled in a motherly fashion when Jackson sighed but settled back into his bed. "Stiles is sleeping at Derek's place while his dad's at work. We finally got him out of here about an hour ago. He didn't want to leave you here alone. I'll have Derek tell him you're up whenever he wakes, okay?"
Jackson nodded a little and closed his eyes with a sigh. Melissa left the room only long enough to make the call to Derek before returning to the room with a smile. "Alright, Jackson, let's check out those injuries, yeah?" she said with a nod as she walked over to the bed, tying her curly hair back with an elastic band.
"How bad are they?" questioned Jackson as he let her move down the top of the hospital gown so that she could see his chest without exposing him any.
"Could have been much worse. You're lucky. Nothing vital was hit. As she spoke, she carefully started to peel back the bandaging on his chest. A glance down at the reddened area showed Jackson that there were a few, long, jagged, and parallel lines running down his chest. They looked like claw marks, and given what he had recently learned, he figured that's what they were. "Do you remember who did this?"
Jackson shook his head with a furrowed brow, wetting his lips as he tried to think back to what happened. "I remember that it was oddly still, and that there weren't people there like usual. I heard footsteps, and then everything hurt."
Melissa nodded and smiled as she carefully returned the bandaging, pressing on the white medical tape to keep the gauze in place. "That seems to be healing fine. Just make sure you keep the area clean and don't aggravate it or anything and it should heal right up quickly. I can't promise there won't be scars."
The teen shifted uncomfortably in his spot and nodded a little, glancing over toward the windows. He felt restless for some reason, like there was somewhere else he needed to be. Jackson was not sure where that was, though, or he would have been up out of that bed and going there. He was drawn out of his thoughts by a sharp intake of breath from his side where Melissa was checking the injury under the bandaging on his shoulder. "What?" questioned Jackson, his head snapping to the side to look at her.
Melissa took a slow step away from Jackson, her hand immediately going to the phone in her pocket. "I should call Derek," was all she said before she walked out of the room to do just that.
Jackson's brow furrowed and he looked to his shoulder to try to see what it was that she had seen to freak her out, but he did not see anything. It took a few moments before he realized. He did not see anything but slightly reddened skin where there should have been a bad wound if the bandaging and blood on it were anything to go by. Jackson paled a little as that thought slowly started to sink in. What did that mean?
Melissa did not return to the room, and Jackson wanted to go see where she had disappeared to. At the same time, however, he could not bring himself to move. Not even an hour passed before he could hear rushed footsteps coming from down the hall and he sat up a little straighter in bed just before Stiles came into the room, followed closely by Derek and Scott. Stiles looked paler than he should have been, something that made the frown on Jackson's face deepen just a little; but, the younger teen seemed relieved in the fact that Jackson was awake anyway. "Can someone tell me what is going on?" Jackson snapped toward Derek and Scott, figuring they had more answers for him than Stiles did anyway.
"You were bitten," Hale offered gruffly, and Jackson's brow rose in silent urging for him to continue with the information. "It wasn't healing so we thought... we hoped it was just a rogue omega."
"My mom says it healed, though," said Scott, in a more confused and worried tone of voice than the one that Derek had. Jackson rolled his eyes at the obvious statement and Scott crossed his arms over his chest. "That means that it wasn't an omega, Whittemore."
Stiles remained quiet as he stood off to the side, wringing his hands together in front of him as he kept his eyes trained on a spot on the floor. Jackson did not even need to speak to him to know that the younger teen was feeling guilty for what had happened, as if he could have changed something if they had not have split up. "The full moon's tomorrow," Derek stated with a glance toward the windows after a few tense moments of silence had passed. "We have to make sure you're out of here before then."
"Then what? I turn into some freak like the rest of you?" Jackson asked with a scowl, not missing the way that Stiles flinched at his words. Jackson almost wanted to take them back. Almost.
"Jackson..." Stiles said softly, wetting his lips as he finally stilled his hands. "They're just trying to help."
Jackson let out a heavy breath through his nose as his eyes darted over to where Stiles was, and the younger teen could have sworn that his eyes flashed unnaturally blue there for a second. Stiles glanced over at Derek, the only other werewolf he had ever known to have blue eyes, before focusing on Jackson again. "Look, I get that this whole thing sucks, dude," Scott said, drawing Jackson's attention once again, "but don't hate on us. We're gonna do what we can to make this an easy transition. It wasn't for me."
"Because you didn't listen to me," Stiles insisted with a huff as he crossed his arms over his chest, earning a sheepish smile from Scott.
"I'm gonna go let Isaac and the others know what's going on," Derek said with a nod before looking toward Jackson. "Don't do anything stupid."
Without another word, Derek left once again and Jackson rolled his eyes. "Uhm, I'm gonna go talk to mom," Scott said, smiling at Stiles with a wave to Jackson before he left the room.
Stiles stood where he was as another few moments of silence passed between him and Jackson before he finally walked over to the bed. "Jackson, I'm... I'm sorry," Stiles said softly, worrying at his lower lip for a moment. "I shouldn't have left you."
"I swear, if you blame yourself for some asshole attacking me, I will-" Jackson started to say, breaking off when Stiles laughed with a shake of his head and a slight smile.
"I tried to fix it...," Stiles stated, gesturing toward Jackson's chest and shoulder with one hand. "I, uhm... I couldn't, though. I thought..."
"Stiles, I'm fine."
Jackson nodded and reached out to gently grab Stiles' wrist, tugging him closer to the bed. Stiles sat down next to the elder teen, facing him. "You weren't, though. You stopped breathing and they had to... It was bad, okay; and, this, this whole thing is huge. I mean, nothing is going to be the same anymore."
"Yeah, I gathered that." Jackson sighed and reached up with the hand that was not still curled around Stiles' wrist to run through his hair a few times. "I don't want this."
"I know, I'm sorry." Stiles worried at his lower lip, but he stopped when Jackson let go of his wrist to link their fingers together. "Derek and Scott, they're gonna help. I mean, none of this is easy, and the one who bit you had to have had a reason. You're going to be tied to him like Scott was to Peter, and..."
Stiles' words were cut off when Jackson leaned forward to silence him with a kiss, pulling away with a slight smirk at the fact that it worked. "It could be the pain medication, but 'm not as freaked out by this as I should be," Jackson stated. "I know I don't want to deal with this, and I want it to be some stupid dream; but, 'm oddly calm."
"Yeah, I'd say that's the meds," replied Stiles with a laugh. The two of them sat there in silence for awhile, Stiles moving to actually sit next to Jackson on the bed next to the other teen, leaning against him slightly. "Whatever is going on, it's big. It's huge, and we've no idea what it is. This is just the beginning."
Stiles nodded a little as he rested his head on Jackson's shoulder, glancing out at the slightly snowy world outside the window toward the nearly-full moon that shone between the clouds that passed overhead. Jackson's arm wrapped around his waist to pull him closer and he pressed a barely-there kiss to the top of Stiles' head, silently agreeing with the other teen's words. Neither one said anything else as they looked out the window of the hospital room. Nothing past that point was going to be easy, and neither boy was willing to admit that he was scared. There was nothing they could do but prepare themselves for whatever was to happen next.