As much as I would like to avoid long-winded explanations in the A/N, this time it is kind of needed because, as with many crossovers, sometimes major themes and such need to be changed, etc. So, I'll just start with one very important thing, that I really do suggest you read as it will help with the understanding of the story; otherwise this might get confusing.
Timeline Issues: Basically, this will be set towards the end of season 4 of TVD; however, in terms of the school year, I am going to make a change and say that the vampiric/supernatural events took place during the summer between junior and senior year. This, of course, means there isn't a graduation just around the corner as the present day of this story is set in the first few weeks of senior year. As for Teen Wolf, I won't be moving back the timeline but moving it forward; so the pack are also currently in the beginning of their senior year. However, plotline wise they are about midway through season 3a.
Ok, here we go! Oh, and keep in mind, long sections of italics are flashbacks. This part in particular will be very flashback heavy as it is the introductory chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't the Vampire Diaries or Teen Wolf, unfortunately.
Alone, Apart, Afraid
Caroline woke up in confusion, bewildered as to why she was sleeping on the forest floor in the middle of the night. Looking around she noticed her phone lying next to her amidst the many leaves that littered the ground. What happened? And then Caroline felt the lingering pain in her chest and her foggy mind began pulling out her memories. Stake. I was staked. The blonde's hand immediately flew to her chest in panic, feeling only slightly relieved to find it wasn't there anymore.
Who staked- Wait. It was Klaus… She shivered at the thought of his angry face, the fury in his eyes as he had pushed her against that tree. He'd never looked at her with so much hate before. No, no… it wasn't Klaus… it was Silas.
Shit, shit. This is not good.
Caroline immediately grabbed for her phone, scrambling to her feet, fear engulfing her at the thought that the oldest creature in existence was tormenting her. She found herself panicking, unable to stop it. As soon as she was up, she began running, heading instinctively to the nearest building, her dead heart beating so hard she thought it might explode out of her chest.
"Caroline! Where've you been?" The blonde screamed as she suddenly felt hands grab her by the wrists, frantic until she saw familiar blue eyes looking down at her.
"Matt!" She exclaimed with some relief, though her fear could still clearly be heard. "We have to get out of here." She told him desperately, already pulling him along, her only thoughts of being far, far away from this place.
"No, Caroline, Caroline, wait, it's okay." Matt held fast, making the vampire turn back to her friend, her heart running wild as she tried to explain herself.
"No it's not okay!" She insisted, holding her hands to her face, frustrated and scared. "Silas was out there and he made think he was Klaus and-"
"What are you talking about? What's Silas want with you?" Matt interrupted her.
"He's trying to get to Bonnie." Caroline took a deep breath, getting her mind back on track. "Do you know where Bonnie is?"
And then the expression on Matt's face turned from curious concern to one of malice, making Caroline's chest fill with dread. "If I knew where she was I wouldn't bother with you." He growled, suddenly grabbing her by the throat and choking her; the blonde barely let out a gasp as his hands encircled her neck. Silas. "Now get me Bonnie or I'm going to kill someone…" Caroline felt her panic rise, "…maybe I'll start with your beloved aunt."
With a sudden burst of strength, Caroline managed to break free from his hold before running away from him as fast she could, her mind operating on pure instinct. She saw the nearby building and ran for the stairs behind it, sprinting up them, looking back to see if Silas had followed her. For a moment she thought she was safe until she ran into a rock solid body and hands seized her arms tightly.
"No one in the house can help you." It was again Klaus' face looking at her now, his blue eyes that usually conveyed so much more to her now only looking at her with unadulterated hatred. His hands held her tightly, fingers digging into her skin. Silas. God, she hated him. "Find Bonnie or I'll kill the person you love the most." And then her worst fears came true because the next thing she knew, she blinked and the face looking back at her was no longer that of Klaus.
Instead, deep hazel eyes looked down at her from a slightly taller figure, his brown hair longer than the last time she'd seen him, similar to the way he wore it when they were younger. The expression on his face was twisted, however, out of place. Too cruel, too sadistic to ever belong on the face of the best person she knew. That same person who could always make her laugh and smile even in the worst of times, the one person she knew she could always depend on… and the one person who could never know what was really out there, who she hadn't seen since she'd been turne. Who she wanted nothing more than to protect.
"You can't. You can't, he's not here." Caroline whispered, looking up at the monster wearing her brother's face. Please, please not Stiles. She couldn't bear to see this sick and perverse version of him.
"Oh I wouldn't be so sure." Silas smirked with Stiles' features, the usually familiar face contorted. "Your brother is not as safe as you want him to be." He told her with malicious delight as his fingers tightened painfully around her upper arms.
"What are you talking about? He's out of your reach." Caroline insisted, desperation edging into her voice as the panic set in. Oh God no not my brother, not Stiles, please, please, not him. He can't be hurt. He can't be hurt. Please.
Silas' smirk only widened. "Maybe out of my reach, but there are others under my command… others considerably closer to him right now than you or I…" Caroline's dead heart stopped in her chest, her entire body suddenly going numb as her mind filled with horrible thoughts and situations that simply could not happen.
"No… Oh God, please, no…" She barely noticed that she said the words aloud, too focused on the plea in them, her entire soul filled with dread.
"No, you're right…" Silas said after a moment, contemplatively, his voice cruelly, painfully familiar. "Maybe it won't be big brother tonight; but it looks I can't say the same thing for your aunt after all." Her relief that Stiles, the real Stiles, would remain unharmed, at least for now, immediately turned to ash as she though about her aunt. Oh God, Liz.
In an instant, Silas threw her brutally from the stairs, sending her crashing harshly to the ground with a scream of agony and fear. This time Caroline didn't wait as she scrambled back to her feet, using her vampire speed to get her away as fast as possible. Liz. I need to make sure she's ok. Her thoughts went into overdrive, for now putting her brother back into that little box at the back of her mind where she always kept him. She needed focus on the present and solely on that. She couldn't allow her distraction to get the woman who's been like a second mother to her killed.
When she saw her car was within her reach, she took her cell phone out hurriedly and dialed her aunt, hoping to god that she was ok. They've had their rough patches over the years that Caroline had lived with her, but she still loved the woman, especially after they mended things when she turned. I can't Liz get hurt, not after everything we've been through. When her aunt finally picked up, Caroline warned her and told her to go home, clambering into her car all the while. She made the phone call as quickly as possible, driving away as soon as she was done.
Even then Silas continued to torment her, reappearing and trying to push her off track, but she didn't let him this time. She wouldn't fail her family. She wouldn't.
So, later, when Silas managed to trick her again, managed to get around her and hurt Liz just like he said he would, it tore Caroline apart. She'd done exactly what she told herself she wouldn't. She'd failed.
But it was the thought of her brother, of Stiles also getting hurt because of her that allowed Caroline to get her control back and save Liz, even if just barely. Still, at the end of the night, Caroline and her aunt had both survived and the young blonde vampire realized something very important.
She had to protect Stiles in any way she could. She had to keep Silas away from him.
She had to go home…
It was about time.
"1, 2, 3…" The tiny blonde girl said, her hands held tightly over her eyes. "…4, 5, 6…" She kept counting, messing up a few times but always getting back to the right numbers; just like her teacher and her mommy and daddy had taught her. They always told her and her brother not to rush, said that that was the only reason why they both had trouble with certain things; her brother was even worse than her at it though. She leaned against the tree only a little longer until she finally reached 30. "Ready or not here I come!" The six-year-old yelled gleefully, her words lisping a bit, still not completely used to all the sounds she had to make to speak properly.
She walked carefully over the leaves and twigs that littered the floor of the forest, looking all around her for her brother. She wanted to find him as quickly as she could, to prove that she was just as smart as her big brother no matter what he said. The little girl thought she found what she looking for when something suddenly jumped out from behind the tree next to her.
"Boo!" Stiles shouted, startling his little sister and causing her to trip and fall, scraping her knee badly in the process.
Caroline screamed in surprise as she fell, hitting the floor hard. Tears were already building up in her eyes when she managed to sit up somewhat. "Ow, ow…" She whimpered, her throat clogging up as the pain continued to sting in her knee and in her palms, the skin there red and raw.
"Oh man!" Stiles immediately scrambled towards his sister, going as fast as his seven-year-old body carry him. "I'm sorry Care, y'okay?" He asked, flailing wildly around her as she started to cry, not knowing what to do. "Mom and Dad are gonna be so mad." He groaned before turning back to his injured sibling. "Um… It's ok, Care, it's ok; I'll bring you back to Mommy now, she'll make you all better." He said, trying to sound calm and comforting like Mommy did when either of them got an ouchie.
"But it hurts, Stiles." Caroline said sadly, a fat tear rolling down her rosy cheek. She looked up at her brother with huge, glassy blue eyes, her little heart breaking.
Stiles sighed, before sitting down next to her, his intelligent, young mind whirring. "Do you know why Mommy can make you better?" He asked finally, smiling at his new plan, brown eyes twinkling with his usual mischief.
"No…" Caroline sniffled, confused.
"Well it's coz she's our mom – all moms have a special make-better power that only work on their kids." The elder Stilinksi replied knowingly, gesturing enthusiastically with his arms.
"Really?" The blonde asked, wide-eyed.
"But how do you know?" Caroline pressed, her hand clutching desperately around her knee, wanting to make the pain go away.
Stiles looked at her as if she was stupid. "Coz I'm your big brother, I know everything." He told her in a duh tone.
"Oh, ok." She nodded, not arguing. Stiles always told her that big brothers were better at everything than their little sisters; that was just the way it worked, according to him. Naturally, Caroline believed him, though she wouldn't for much longer.
"Now, come on." Stiles said in triumph, having managed to calm her down at least a little, scrambling to his feet and helping Caroline when she started to struggle. They walked a few steps silently when the blonde girl stopped abruptly, looking at her brother pleadingly.
"Stiles…" She called out nervously.
"What now, Care?"
Can I-Can I hold your hand like I do with Mommy?" Stiles was about to refuse when another tear rolled slowly down her cheek, and her eyes widened impossibly more. "Please?"
If Mommy knows I made her cry, I am so busted.
He was resigned to his fate. "Fine." He held out his small hand reluctantly, allowing his little sister to quickly clutch it. He immediately started walking again, slowing down only the tiniest bit for Caroline. Sometimes it was difficult being the older one, he thought, it meant you always had to help and share your toys. Still, he supposed he could deal with having to hold her hand (and no he did not like it – girls were full of cooties, even sisters, everyone knew that), after all, Mommy and Daddy always said that he had to look out for his sister.
That was his job.
Little did he know that Caroline thought much the same thing, only about him.
"Stiles! Give it back! Give it back now!" Caroline cried out angrily, chasing after her annoying brother as he ran (well more like stumbled) through the house, triumphantly clutching his younger sibling's favorite Barbie doll. The blonde eight-year-old hated this of course and was practically fuming. As she chased Stiles into the kitchen she suddenly came up with the perfect plan to get him to stop and get her much-deserved revenge. "Mom! Stiles took my doll!" She called out to where her mother was cutting up some vegetables for dinner.
"Stiles stop pestering your sister, you should know better, honey." Claudia Stilinski said calmly, used to the siblings' constant bickering by now.
"But Mom!" Stiles whined, coming to a stop beside her, looking up at her with honest brown eyes, his stance even more twitchy than normal. "She started it - she's the one who was playing with my toys first!" He insisted, stuttering only the slightest bit in his frustration.
Claudia took a deep breath, knowing from their tones this would take more than just few words of instruction. She put down her knife, cleaning her hands off on one of the kitchen towels before turning around and crouching in front of her daughter, whose little head was down as she stared at her shuffling feet. "Caroline?" The older woman asked gently. "Is that true, sweetheart? Did you take your brother's stuff without asking him first?"
Caroline's upper lip trembled. "Yes, Mommy." She said quietly, ashamed; she really hated disappointing her mom. But Claudia only sighed a little bit, carefully tilting the young girl's chin up so she could look at her properly, before she reached for her son, bringing him in front of her as well.
"Come here both of you." She said, placing a hand on each of their shoulders and staying crouched so that she could make eye contact with them. She'd learned quite a while ago that her children were more prone to listen to her if she talked to them like they were all equals. They were both very intelligent, she and her husband were able to tell that from the start, and they liked to be treated as such. "Look kids, you two are family, right?" She waited until they both nodded hesitantly. "That means you care about each other..." She watched in amusement as the two looked at each other, identical expression of appraisal and semi-annoyance on their young faces. "I think getting into fights about things like toys isn't really needed, now is it?" Claudia continued after they nodded again, slightly sheepish looks on their faces. "No, I didn't think so..." She paused for a moment, allowing it to sink in before clapping her hands together once. "Now, do you think you can share a little more?" Again, her children looked at each other, only this time without all the added annoyance; they seemed to come to some sort of conclusion as they turned back to her at the same time.
"Ok." Stiles said, deciding that he should be the first to agree with his mom as he was the oldest. Claudia smiled fondly at her son, knowing him well enough to know what his reasoning was.
"Yes, Mommy." Caroline spoke quietly, still wearing the smallest look of guilt on her features as she looked up to her mother, whose fond smile had gentled at the sight of her youngest child and only daughter looking so guilty over such a small thing. Caroline had such a good heart and so did Stiles; she often found herself wondering how she'd gotten kids like this.
"Good." Claudia said kindly before reaching out and tugging both children to her, embracing them tightly. It didn't last long until Stiles started squirming causing her to immediately let go, giving them a gentle push out of the kitchen. "Now go off and play for a bit more while I get dinner ready."
"C'mon Care!" Stiles immediately exclaimed, grabbing his sister's wrist and dragging her off, twitchy as usual. "I have an idea..." Claudia chuckled as they ran off to the living room, watching as her son animatedly explained his plans to Caroline; despite their bickering they actually got along quite well, little partners crime. She shook her head, a smile still present on her face as she went back to cutting the vegetables.
As she continued making the simple meal, she found it harder and harder to concentrate on it, the dull panging that had been in her head all day growing louder. It had been happening a lot lately, sudden migraines, once or twice she had even begun shaking uncontrollably. Claudia maintained that it was nothing to worry about, and tried to hide it, not even telling her husband. She told herself that it was nothing, just stress… It had to be just stress… A piercing pain ran through her brain again, and Claudia couldn't help letting out the tiniest groan. She shook her head, trying in vain to clear it but only ending up making herself dizzy.
It was getting worse. Much worse.
The world around her began to blur, her vision coming in and out. The knife she was holding slipped through numb fingers, clattering loudly to the floor. The sound of it made the needles in her brain intensify to knives and daggers. Claudia raised shaky hands to her face, her entire body trembling and twitching, much harsher than Stiles ever did. She attempted to move towards the kitchen stool, her foggy, pained mind still aware enough to know she wouldn't be able stand for much longer. Unfortunately, it seemed her body was no longer listening to her and the next thing Claudia knew she herself had fallen to the floor. Disoriented, she tried to keep her eyes open, but all she could see were black dots and fading images. As her eyes roved around she noticed indistinctly that the knife she'd dropped before was now covered in red. Her sluggish eyes moved slowly her arm, realizing that there was a deep cut there, gruesome and crimson. She couldn't focus on it for long though, the harsh pangs in her head now making her see flashes, sudden pictures of everything and nothing.
"Mom! Mommy?" Vaguely, she realized that it was Stiles that was now over her, trying to shake her awake. She tried to do what he wanted to her to do but found she couldn't, no matter how hard she tried. Her eyes were simply to heavy, her mind clouded and lethargic.
"Stiles, what do we do? Stiles!" Claudia heard another voice, higher pitched and terrified, briefly recognizing it as Caroline's.
"I don't know... I don't know..." She only just heard her son's reply, his shouts becoming the tiniest of whispers as the world around her began to fade.
Claudia's flickered, listlessly rolling around.
And they closed. And all she saw was black.
"C'mon Stiles, Auntie Liz is going get us something to eat in the cafeteria." Caroline said, tugging at her brother. Stiles pulled his arm away stubbornly and shifted uncomfortably in his seat; for a place that was supposed to heal people, hospitals weren't exactly cozy places. It was annoying, to be honest, especially since as of late most of the siblings' time was spent in and out of the hospital, though it wasn't there own health that kept them there.
"No, I wanna stay here." The elder of the two Stilinski siblings replied, his hand trembling the slightest bit as he reached for one of his mother's. It was waxy and cold between his warm fingers. His hazel eyes flicked up to her face, shocked even now at her appearance. His mother had always been a beautiful woman, with soft fair skin, bright blonde curls and the same hazel eyes that he had, eyes that had always been filled with laughter and joy. Now, though, now her hair had fallen out because of the chemo, her skin was cracked and aged, and her eyes… they were sad. Always sad. Stiles had made it his mission to bring happiness to those eyes again. It had been more than a year since Stiles had last seen only joy in them, more than a year since he and Caroline had found her collapsed on the kitchen floor. And now here they were, all of them hoping that the thing that was eating away at his mother would just go away.
"You sure?" Caroline asked again, interrupting his melancholic thoughts.
"Yeah." He replied after a moment, voice cracking a bit.
His sister seemed to consider for a moment before she replied with a slight shrug. "Ok, I'll see you later Stiles." The younger Stilinski then leaned forward and pressed a quick peck to her mother's cheek. "See you later Mommy." She whispered, a little sad. The fact that her mom managed to send a tiny smile her way lifted Caroline's spirits, however, and she nearly skipped out of the room.
As she headed to the hallway, her aunt took her hand gently, knowing the little girl well enough that she needed some form of comfort. These past two years had been hard on everyone in the Stilinksi and Forbes families, but none more so than the two kids. Before they went down to the hospital cafeteria, Liz stopped at the nurse's station, checking up on a few things. Caroline stood patiently at her side when a shiver suddenly went up her bare arms.
"Auntie Liz, I forgot my sweater. Can I get it?" She asked, tugging at her aunt's arm.
The blonde woman nodded. "Ok, honey, I'm just going to talk with the nurse's a bit longer so come back here after, alright?"
"Ok." Caroline immediately ran off, wanting to hurry, only as she once again neared the room in which her mother and brother were she started feeling sick to her stomach, and not hungry sick. The kind of sick that filled your entire stomach and made your heart beat hard in your chest. Caroline couldn't seem to shake it off but she decided to ignore it anyways, bursting into the hospital room that was now so familiar to her.
"Sorry Mommy, Stiles, I just forgo-" The ten-year-old stopped abruptly when she realized what she was seeing, her eyes filled with a horrible image. Numbly, she realized that Stiles standing, yelling at their mother, desperate and hoarse. Her eyes went from her brother's panicked expression to the pale body in the bed… the very same body that had bare moments smiled at her. And then her eyes flicked to the machine by her mommy's bed, the one that usually had squiggly lines on it but now was flat and making a long high-pitched noise. The machine that Caroline had known for a while now was tuned to her mom's heart.
"No…" Caroline let out, suddenly bursting blindly forward and practically pushing Stiles out of the way, wanting nothing more than to get to her mom and prove that this, all of this was just a stupid a lie, a nightmare. Something like this just couldn't be real, right? Right? As her mind filled with nothing but panic and utter denial, Stiles startled next to her, only just realizing she was there.
"Caroline. You shouldn't… shouldn't see…" He stopped in his movements as the emotion melted off his face, barely getting the words out as he stopped in his frantic movements; Caroline immediately took over, her mind refusing to accept what was in front of her and instead focusing on doing what Stiles had been trying to do barely seconds before her; she needed to wake her mom up.
"Mom?" Caroline whispered, putting one of her hands on her mom's unnaturally cold arm. "Mommy." She said, louder this time. "You have to wake up, Mommy." She waited impatiently for her mother to open her eyes… but they stayed firmly closed. "Wake up! Mommy, it's time to wake up!" Caroline was shouting now, voice cracking, desperation running through her entire body, through her very soul as she tried vehemently to deny what was happening before her. She started shaking the pale body in front of her, putting as much force into it as she could, thinking that maybe if she was able to shake her hard enough, her mom would open her eyes. "Mommy!" Caroline cried continuously, her cries turning into sobs as tears spilled from eyes, her throat clogging up with horrible emotion. "Mommy, please."
She continued to shake her helplessly, not ready to give up just yet, her own smaller frame shivering with the sheer force of her emotions. She's just sleeping, she's just sleeping, she'll wake up any second now, she's just sleeping, Caroline's mind chanted in despair.
And then she felt movement from beside her, but not by her mother. The next thing she knew, Stiles was pulling her away from their mother and she was fighting him with all her might. Caroline tried to reach for their mom, wanting nothing more than for her to just open her eyes. She didn't understand, didn't want to understand. Even though for the past two years now, she'd learned what exactly the concept of death was, right now, at this moment, she just couldn't accept it.
"Stop, Care, please just stop." Stiles' voice was hoarse and terribly broken, not sounding at all like the eleven-year-old boy that he was as he tried to quell his sister's struggles. His face was devoid of emotion, almost as if he had shut himself down. But his eyes… they were cloudy and horribly pained. It was as if he had aged twenty years in a single, dreadful moment. Eventually, Caroline stopped struggling and her knees gave out as she wailed. Stiles went down with her, his arms still around his younger sibling, subconsciously holding on for dear life as they waited for the doctor's and nurses to come trampling in. And whilst the smaller of the two hid her face in her brother's shirt, sobbing, confused and heartbroken, Stiles could only stare, only look at the dead body of his mom.
The image would haunt him for the rest of his life.
"What are you doing John?" Liz Forbes demanded, looking at her brother-in-law in disappointment. "You can't keep this up, you know that. You have two kids that are depending on you." She told him severely, needing to get it through to him. This had been going on far too long.
"I know, Liz, I know… I just…" John sighed tiredly and hung his head, pulling his hand over his face.
"Do you think this is what Claudia would have wanted?" Liz ranted on, standing in front of where he sat on the couch. "Do you think my sister would've wanted her husband to come home drunk, leaving his kids to fend for themselves?" The exclamation was loud and full of frustration.
"I've really fucked this up, haven't I?" John asked after a long moment, his voice containing barely restrained emotion as the usually stoic man's eyes watered slightly. Liz took a deep breath and calmed down, knowing that the whole ordeal was eating him up inside, more so than it would ever do her.
"You can say that again." The blonde woman replied resignedly as she sat down heavily next to the closet thing to a sibling she had now. It was so difficult to believe that it had been more than six months since… since Claudia passed.
Six months since everything had changed for all of them.
Liz didn't blame John for how he was acting lately. Not really. He was a good man, she'd always known that, her sister had always known that; he'd just been straying down the wrong path recently. He was grieving the death of the woman he loved most, the person who had been most important to him. But sometimes John forgot the difference between then and now, past and present. As much as it might agonize him to accept, Claudia was gone… and now his focus should be on his kids, his wonderful kids that were in pain because their mom is gone and their dad can't comfort them.
Liz had tried her best to help him out these past months, coming down from Mystic Falls as often as she could, always checking up on him and her niece and nephew. The first two months in particular had been the worst, none of the three Stilinksi's left had been there at all, mentally at least, each one of them lost in grief. But then, miraculously, they had come back… but John… it was like most of the time he was only there halfway. He was stuck in this rut and he couldn't get out of it.
Not on his own, anyways.
"I just don't know how to take care of them." John said helpless, breaking the silence that had been around them. "Stiles, I get, for the most part. But, Caroline… I don't know how I'm supposed to act around her. She won't talk to me; the only time she did she said she hated me because I wasn't there when Claudia… when Claudia…" He trailed off, unable to continue.
Liz looked at the other cop, considering. "Maybe she just needs some space." She suggested after a moment, her mind going to the recent conversations she'd had with her husband concerning the children.
"But how I am supposed to give her that? How am I supposed to do any of that?" John shook his head, frustrated, blood-shot eyes full of desperation and confusion.
Liz took a deep breath, readying herself for what she was about to propose. She and Bill had been thinking of this for a while now, in their many discussions and arguments about it. It wouldn't go over well at first, she was sure, but even John himself couldn't deny it; he needed help.
So she did the only thing she could, despite her misgivings. She suggested it anyways.
"Bill and I can take her, we can take Caroline." Liz said quietly.
As expected, John immediately exploded. "What? No!" He stood from the couch, no longer seeming miserably hung over and at a loss for what to do.
"Just hear me out for a second." Liz raised her hands in a placating manner before gesturing for him to take a seat again. For a moment, she thought John was going to refuse and walk away from this. But, as she should've expected, he was a bigger man than that and he conceded, if reluctantly.
"Caroline has just lost her mother and you don't know how you can help her. She's out of control John, and she doesn't listen to you because some part of her blames you." Her brother-in-law looked like he was about to argue but Liz only continued, raising her hand again, trying to get him to just listen for a bit. "Now, I'm not saying that blame is right, but she's just a child, a little nine-year-old girl who doesn't know how to deal with her anger so she's taking it out on you." She placed a hand on his forearm, letting him know that even though he had made some mistakes lately, it really wasn't his fault. "I think she needs to be around other people, at least for a while, so she can see the perspective; maybe this way she'll stop connecting her mother's death to you…" She continued, deciding blunt honesty was the best avenue to take. "Besides, Caroline's going to need a woman in her life; someone to help her out with the things her mom can't anymore."
John sighed heavily, no longer angry but there was grief, and not just for Claudia, clear in his blue eyes; the very same blue eyes that his daughter had inherited. He let his face fall into his hands again, tired of all the hits life kept dealing him. Him and his family.
"I can't separate them, Liz. Stiles and Caroline they need each other."
"I'm not taking her away forever, John, I would never do that to them." Liz replied immediately, vehement. "But you need to clean up your act, and to do that you're going to need time to yourself; time that Caroline can't afford. Do you understand?" Now she looked him in the eye; he needed to pull his head out of the sand, he couldn't ignore the problems surrounding his children anymore. She knew John always had the best of intentions but sometimes those intentions got pushed aside along the way.
Liz waited with baited breath to what he would say.
"I think I do. But how am I supposed to explain this to the kids? What if doing this will make Stiles hate me as well as Caroline?" John explained to her, surprisingly calmly. His previously clouded eyes now held a clear and sharp intelligence, similar to the intelligence she often saw in her niece and nephew.
"Stiles loves you, and he's smarter than people give him credit for; he might not like it but he'll understand." She insisted, regardless.
Her fellow cop and brother-in-law shook his head. "I don't know if I can do this, Liz." He admitted gravely, though neither was sure whether he meant taking care of both his kids, or letting one heal elsewhere.
"Just think about it ok?" Liz finally said, giving in for the moment, but not without giving him a warning first. "But, John, I'll tell you now, if I find out that anything like this has happened again – I'm going to take both kids."
"Why can't Stiles come with me?" Caroline asked again, for the thousandth time, looking up at her aunt with clouded blue eyes. Her pink backpack sat by her sneaker-clad feet, full of things that would keep her occupied for the journey to Mystic Falls.
"Because, honey, Stiles needs to stay with your dad." Liz replied patiently, adjusting the lapels of the girls jacket.
"But, why?" Caroline insisted, her voice getting that edge of frustration when she could simply not understand.
Liz paused in her movements, meeting her niece's eyes for a moment, appraisingly. "Your dad… he needs to figure some things out… and so, I think, do you." She ultimately said. It had been a month since she first suggested her idea to John and since then they'd had many more talks about it, eventually agreeing on waiting and seeing if anything improved in the Stilinski household. Despite John's efforts, they hadn't. At least not with Caroline; it was simply too little, too late for the girl and so finally they settled on trying it her way, despite the fact that they were both a bit uncertain about it. "Things haven't been easy at home, have they?" Liz found herself asking, though she knew the answer well enough.
"No, I guess not." Caroline took a moment to think on it before she answered, the girl looking at her with dull eyes, as if she didn't care anymore. It frankly scared Liz to see such a transformation in a girl who had always been so utterly happy.
"Well, maybe this is the best way to heal… do you understand?" The older woman suggested, trying not to let her sadness show.
After a little while, the youngster nodded. "I think so." She mumbled hesitantly, demonstrating the first tangible emotion she had all day. Liz found herself smiling at the child, feeling that maybe, just maybe this might work.
"Now, come on, why don't you say goodbye, ok?" She led her over to the two Stilinski men who had, up until now, been watching the both of them silently. John immediately stepped forward, looking at his daughter in nervousness and no small amount of desolation. He didn't want to do this, but he saw no other option. At least this way he knew his little girl would be safe. Liz was a capable woman, and not only that, she was a cop like him; point was, he trusted her, enough to trust her, at least temporarily, with the care of his one and only daughter.
John stared at said daughter for only a moment, before placing a warm hand on her shoulder. He tried not to react at the way she astutely ignored him, instead talking to her as normal. "Caroline, we'll see you soon, all right darlin'?" He told her quietly, peering into her young face, frowning slightly at the stillness he found there. "You know, uh, your old man's going to miss you. A lot." He continued, somewhat awkwardly, waiting for a response but getting none. "Yeah… ok…" He sighed slightly before leaning forward and pressing a firm but gentle kiss to his daughter's forehead. When he pulled back, he held onto her shoulder just a little longer, not ready to let her go right away.
And then his fingers slipped from her shoulder and she walked away from him, not even looking back once.
Her feet carried her to her brother instead, who stood a bit behind their father, watching them with eyes that were far to old for his young face. But when his sister walked up to him, his face split in a smile, trying as always to cheer everyone around him up. "Hey, Care."
"Hey, Stiles…" The young blonde girl replied quietly, playing nervously with her fingers. "I made you something." The eleven-year-old admitted after a moment, almost shyly, as she shuffled her feet.
Her brother's eyes widened in surprise. "You did?"
"Yeah, I used that kit thing that Mommy gave me to make it." Caroline said, her voice tinged with slight sadness before she reached into her pocket and pulled something out, depositing it into Stiles' waiting hand. He looked down at the object curiously, examining the threaded strings of the bracelet carefully, recognizing it to be one of those friendship bracelets all the girls made nowadays.
"Oh, um, thanks." Stiles mumbled, weirdly stupefied about the whole thing. He didn't expect saying goodbye to be like this, he didn't expect it to be so… emotional. This wasn't supposed to be so similar to saying goodbye to his mom. After all, Caroline was coming back. She was. They were all simply taking a break, just for a little while. At least, he hoped that was the case.
"You don't think it's girly and stupid?" Caroline asked him, looking at him hopefully.
"Nah, Care, I don't. It's-it's great." Stiles replied, sending her a lopsided smile, before tying the simple threaded thing around his wrist. He held a triumphant fist right in front of her face, waggling it slightly, trying to get at least one last bout of laughter out of her before she had to go. As it was, Caroline only sent him a small, amused smile before her face went serious again.
And then the next thing he knew, he was being crushed by the tiny blonde girl, her arms encircled around his chest. After Stiles got over his initial surprise, he found himself putting his own arms around her as well, allowing himself the rare opportunity of just holding his little sister.
"I'll miss you." Caroline whispered, her voice cracking as she made her misery known. Her arms tightened around him. Stiles wasn't sure exactly how long he hugged her and allowed himself to be hugged, but it was much longer than he had ever allowed before. He felt like any second from now, a part of him would go missing, like his arm or leg. His logical mind told him that was simply ridiculous; Caroline was his sister, not a limb, but the twelve-year-old couldn't shake the feeling either way. So he held tight, not willing just yet to let her go, let another of his loved ones go.
And then their aunt approached them and touched Caroline on the shoulder, pulling her back a bit. "Come on, Caroline, it's time to go." She told her when the girl turned back to look at her.
The young blonde shook her head furiously, simply hanging on tighter, her mind suddenly panicking at the thought of going somewhere without her brother, her constant companion, her crutch in all things. "No, I don't want to go, I want to stay with Stiles." The young girl exclaimed suddenly. "Please? Can I stay with Stiles?" She turned her head to look at the tall woman at their sides, her eyes wide and pleading.
"Sweetheart, we already talked about this." Liz replied, trying not to let her niece's look sway her.
Blue eyes went from beseeching to determined. "No! You can't make me go." Caroline refused sharply, with a harsh shake of her head. Stiles stood helplessly with her, not sure whether he should agree with his sister or with the adults. It seemed that said sister took that decision out of his hands, however, when she suddenly burst towards their father, much to the shock of everyone in the room. She put her skinny arms around the man's waist and tugged hard at him, as if wanting to somehow shake her decision into him. "Daddy, Daddy! I promise I'll be good, I swear. I won't be mean anymore." She rambled, begging.
John looked down at his daughter with an utterly pained expression, seemingly on the verge of simply scrapping the whole plan and keeping Caroline with him. But John knew, deep down, that this would only be a temporary solution.
So he did the hardest thing in his life.
"Caroline, this…" He trailed off for a moment before steeling his resolve, "this is for your own good."
In that moment he saw Caroline's heart break in her eyes, and all John could do to comfort himself was convince himself that this lesser heartbreak would help with healing the bigger one. But as of right now, John simply felt like the worst human being and father on earth, watching in silence as the little blonde girl that looked so much like her mother ran to Stiles.
"No, no, no…" She mumbled until she finally got to him, his name exploding from her mouth. "Stiles!" Caroline exclaimed as she once again tackled him into a hug, this time holding impossibly tighter, hanging on by a mere thread.
"Care, Care…" Stiles said around the strange thickness in his throat, lightly pushing his sister a bit away from him so she standing right in front of him and actually looking up at him. "It's ok." He said with some difficulty, knowing he had to be the strong one in this. "Christmas isn't far away… And we're going to the lake house next summer again, remember?" The mention of the summer home that had once belonged to their mother and her sister seemed to brighten the young preteen up, even if only slightly. The house, located only a few hours away from their mom's childhood home of Mystic Falls had always been a happy place for the siblings. The fact that Stiles was telling her about it like it was absolutely sure that they would be going there this year gave Caroline some hope.
But not so much that she was ready to let go just yet. "Stiles…" She whispered, with a small shake of her head, still rejecting this big plan.
"We gotta listen to Dad and Aunt Liz; they're the grownups, they know what they're doing." Her brother told her, for once completely serious. It was a rare sight to see Stiles like this and it was sign to Caroline that it was probably best to follow his advice.
Regardless, she could not stop the tears that sprung into her eyes. "I don't want to go." She whispered so quietly that even he could barely hear her, despite standing mere inches from her.
"I don't want you to go, either, Care. But it won't be for long, you'll see." Stiles tried for a smile, though he only felt emptiness inside.
"Promise?" She looked up at him with trusting eyes.
Stiles nodded. "Promise."
It was the only promise that Stiles ever broke.
Stiles Stilinski did not have much coordination; anyone around him knew that. So when his sister watched him attempt to show off by doing some sort of jump-flip thing on the long wooden dock of the lake, she knew it would go wrong. And go wrong it did. Instead of being a ninja move like Stiles had hoped it would be, he ended up falling flat on his face. Literally. Caroline only rolled her eyes when Stiles let out a pathetic-sounding groan, his tendency to over-dramatize these things always getting the better of him.
Honestly, how had she ever believed that this guy knew everything?
"You're such an idiot, Stiles." The fifteen-year-old girl said, a fond smile on her face despite her slight annoyance at the whole thing. You could say a lot about her fool of a brother, but he was never not entertaining. At least that hadn't changed since she last saw him. Unlike his ungodly haircut. Seriously, why the hell would he just cut it all off? Caroline blamed it on the lack of female influence in his daily life, because if she had been back home at the time, she would never have let that… atrocity happen.
It had been more four years since Caroline had moved in with her aunt in Mystic Falls, which was about three years longer than it originally was going to be. Her 'temporary' arrangement just seemed to stretch longer and longer. The first year, Caroline had wanted nothing more than to go home; she'd hated everything about her new life, down to the smallest details. But then she began to get over her anger and she began to adjust to her life, even starting to have some fun. But even though her anger at the world had faded, her anger at her father had not. Rationally, she knew he'd only wanted what was best for her and for Stiles but she doesn't know if she'll ever be able to fully forgive him for just sending he away like that. It was because of that, that when she did get better, she still found herself staying in Mystic Falls anyways.
Her only regret because of this decision was the fact that she was still separated from Stiles. Sure, she saw him every holiday season and every summer but it wasn't the same. They weren't the same. They didn't get much time together and even when they did, most of the time it was like there was a heavy cloud of tension over them, just waiting to burst. Even being here at the lake house it was difficult.
"No I'm not; take it back." Stiles called out, his indignant tone cutting through her somewhat melancholic thoughts.
The younger Stilinski shook her head slightly as returned to the present. "Nu uh, no way." Caroline denied, deciding to revert back to a six-year-old and stick her tongue out at him.
"Great, first time I see my little sister in months and she's already making fun of me." He whined, coming to sit by her on the side of the dock.
"What can I say? It's a talent." The blonde replied with smirk before the two fell into a peaceful silence.
A silence which, of course, did not last. "Hey, Care, can I ask you something?" Stiles spoke up abruptly, looking at her curiously.
Caroline sighed, wanting to enjoy the restfulness of the afternoon a bit longer but knowing Stiles wouldn't stop prodding her until she talked to him. "What's up?"
"Why won't you just talk to him?"
And just like that, with one question, all hopes of a possible further peaceful afternoon were shattered.
"You know why." Caroline turned to face him with a glare, arms crossed, signaling that she really didn't want to talk about this right now.
But Stiles wasn't having any of it. "He's our dad! You can't just keep ignoring him and acting like he doesn't exist!" He exclaimed, fed up with ever expanding rift between the father and daughter. Though there was ever-growing distance between the siblings too, it was nothing compared to John and Caroline's relationship. Stiles knew they loved each other, but ever since Caroline left it was like she refused to even try anymore with their dad. At all. She had a right to be angry, that was true, but he just wished that his family could be together again, could be at least somewhat normal.
"Yes, I can." His sister told him now, basically confirming all of his worst thoughts on the whole situation as the blonde rose to her feet and stalked off, just like he thought she might. Caroline really didn't like to face such personal problems face-to-face, but Stiles was going to make her do it anyways.
"Caroline!" He shouted, scrambling after her.
Caroline turned abruptly back around. "What? What do you want me to say, Stiles? He sent me away, not the other way around." She exclaimed, annoyed and frustrated and utterly drained of energy from all the fighting and arguing lately.
"Well maybe if you two, I don't know, talked it out, you could come back!" Her brother accused loudly.
"Who says I want to come back?" Caroline burst out, immediately silencing Stiles, who looked at her in disbelief. The younger Stilinski regretted her words almost directly thereafter. She wasn't supposed to tell him like this or, you know, ever. She couldn't stand the hurt that she saw in his eyes now.
After a few long and painfully silent moments, he spoke up again, his face holding a vulnerable and crestfallen expression. "You don't mean that." He stated, not even phrasing it as a question because he simply did not want to believe that she really meant that.
"Stiles." His little sister said, at a loss but not agreeing with his statement either.
He held up a hand, the other pinching the bridge of his nose as he tried to alleviate some of the sudden headache he had. "No, Caroline, just no. Stop, ok?" He just needed a minute, minute to process what was happening around him.
"Ok." She conceded, wanting nothing more than to end this stupid argument. She really hadn't meant to tell him like that.
"Do you… do you really not want to come back?" Her brother asked again after a short while, still looking gob smacked at the idea she really might not want to come home.
Caroline struggled to explain. "I don't know, Stiles, it's just… I like my life in Mystic Falls now, I have good friends, I'm doing well in school. I'm the freaking cheer captain!" It was true; despite the harsh first year she'd had living with her aunt, soon after she'd blossomed. She was much healthier now, not filled with all the anger as she had been before. Her friends were supportive, she was involved in every aspect of the community… Heck, she'd even skipped a grade because she'd once again been able to concentrate on school. But back home… Caroline met Stiles' eyes, knowing she had to say it though it would likely hurt him. "And in Beacon Hills… all I have is pain and bad memories." She said quietly, sadly. For so long she'd wanted to go back but now only the thought of it made her hurt.
"You have me." Stiles replied seriously, the undertone of his voice betraying his unhappiness and disappointment.
But his answer made Caroline smile. That's so Stiles, always thinking of others. "Yeah, I know." She squeezed his forearm for a moment, letting him know that it wasn't because of him that she didn't want to go back, at least not yet.
"But, you still won't come home. Because of Dad." Her silence was enough of an answer for him. "God! You two are so stubborn!" Stiles threw up his hands in brief frustration before taking a calming breath. He turned to her again a moment later. "Ok, whatever, let's just change the subject. I actually want to enjoy the little time I have with my sister." He suggested, now with only a slight hint of his former frustration.
Caroline's previously serious face cracked up into a teasing grin at his comment, finding this to be the perfect opportunity to lighten the mood. "Aww, aren't you just adorable?" She said mockingly as she reached up and ruffled his nonexistent hair just to get on his nerves, as any good sister should.
"Will you quit it?" Stiles huffed, pushing her away and patting his head with a pout. Once he was finished 'grooming himself' (though how he took that long to do so when the guy didn't even own a comb, Caroline had no idea) he turned to her again. "I'm a very manly man." He stated in a matter-of-fact way before pointing to her. "Ok, repeat after me, Stiles is a very manly man." He enunciated each syllable, talking to her as if she were a two-year-old, wagging his finger.
Caroline just rolled her eyes. "Like I said; idiot."
For a moment Stiles looked indignant and offended until a very familiar mischievous light entered his eyes. That, of course was never a good sign, so when Stiles started towards her in determination, Caroline immediately backed up, bare feet brushing against the wood of the dock until she realized she was heading the wrong way. Instead of heading away from the water like she'd wanted, she found herself being pushed towards it.
Suddenly she understood Stiles' plan.
"Stiles, what are you doing? No, no don't you dare!" She demanded as she tried to get around him only to realize she was at the very end of the dock, which was very, very bad place to be in her current predicament. Just as this popped in her head, Stiles reached over triumphantly and shoved Caroline into the freezing lake water. To her dismay, she let out a loud scream before she hit the water with an even louder splash. She rose up only moments later with a gasp and revenge already on her mind when she heard Stiles' loud guffaws of laughter.
Caroline rose out of the water quickly, a woman on a mission. Her clothes were completely soaked through and dripping onto the wooden boards of the dock when she finally got back to her feet, but the ridiculous of that image was diminished by the killer glare she wore. "You are so dead, Stiles!" The blonde threatened dangerously.
"Everyone run for your lives, rabid teenage girl alert!" Her brother shouted, cackling, before he realized just how serious Caroline had been in her statement.
Stiles didn't waste another moment and ran as fast as he could, wanting to live to see another day.
But, as always, Stiles wasn't particularly coordinated and Caroline was more determined than ever.
It was an easy win. On her part.
Caroline woke up groggily; her eyes were much heavier than they usually were in the morning but still she managed to wake herself up… Only to find that she was in a completely white room, sterile. And then it hit her; hospital. Immediately Caroline shot up in the bed; she, of course, regretted this decision soon after as dizziness worked its way through her system. Still, you couldn't blame her for reacting the way she did; there was nothing that Caroline hated more than hospitals. All they held for her were bad memories.
Even so, the blonde knew she had to calm down; she needed to figure out what was going on. As she settled cautiously back, she took catalogue of herself, noting that she didn't really feel any pain, in fact, other than the faint fogginess in her head, she felt completely fine. That was odd she knew, especially considering she was in an accident. Suddenly flashes of what had happened sprung to the forethoughts in her mind.
Matt… Tyler… The crash…
Great, Caroline thoughts were filled with sarcasm, I was in a car accident. Just fantastic.
Well, at least the blonde could be relieved that it seemed to be nothing serious, considering the fact that she wasn't even in the ICU. Still, she really needed to have a talk with Tyler about appropriate driving behavior. As she contemplated just how she would go about this plan of revenge and justice, the door to her room flew open with loud bang, causing her to nearly flop of her very uncomfortable bed in shock.
Of course, who she saw standing in the doorway shocked her ever more.
"Stiles? What are you doing here?" Caroline asked, bewildered at the fact that it was her older brother that was with her right now in what she assumed to Mystic Falls' local hospital. He looked exactly the same as the last time she'd seen him, a few months ago. Same plaid, same big eyes, same buzz cut.
Different expression though. Last time it had been teasing, now it was only worried.
"Care, oh thank god you're ok." Stiles continued into the room taking a barely a pause as he rushed over to her and hugged her tightly. Caroline almost couldn't put her own arms around him with how he was crushing her. She patted his back rather awkwardly, trying to catch a breath. Her brother seemed to finally realize what he was doing and abruptly pulled back, almost tripping over his own feet in the process.
As usual, Caroline gave him a moment to collect himself. "Yeah, I'm fine. Now are you going to answer my question?" She replied firmly, not wanting to show that any of this had affected her. Stiles didn't need to worry anymore than he already was about her; so what she'd been out of her mind scared when the car swerved? She could deal with it on her own, she had been doing fine these past few years with it after all.
"You were in a car crash, of course I'm here." Stiles replied, incredulous, looking at her as if it were blasphemous that he wouldn't be here. "We both are." He added for good measure, taking a seat in the chair by her bed now that he had calmed down from his initial relief and joy somewhat. God, the panic and fear he'd felt when they'd gotten the call… Stiles was sure he wouldn't be able to get rid of this feeling for a while yet, not this feeling of being helpless.
Caroline froze at this, her surprised joy taking a pause. "You mean Dad?
"No I mean Santa Claus." Stiles replied immediately with a dead pan; the younger of the Stilinski siblings only looked at him with an unamused expression. Sometimes Caroline just wished Stiles would stay serious.
Stiles spotted the irritated expression on his sister's face and decided it was probably best to change his tactics if he wanted to get through to her. "He's really worried about you, you know. He wants to see you." He said after a moment, looking at her hopefully. He really didn't want to have another argument about this whole thing, not now. Not when she had just been so hurt.
It seemed that Caroline, for once, following his line of thinking. "Ok." She replied simply.
"Ok? You're serious?" Stiles exclaimed, shocked at how easy that had been. A huge, genuine smile spread on his face. Just minutes ago he'd been sick out of his mind with worry, thinking of all the worst cases but here they were and he was probably getting the best possible outcome from this whole ordeal… he didn't know what to think. "Great, great! I'll just go get him, over there, outside your room… yeah, ok." Stiles stumbled over his words, a little flustered. It had been a while since he'd been taken so off guard.
He ran out of the room quickly and Caroline watched him go. His shock at her reaction was expected in all honesty as, even Caroline had to admit herself, she was normally very stubborn. Especially about this. But she'd had a hard and long week and could have lost her life today. She didn't want to go without at least having one conversation with her dad that didn't end in an argument. Even if she didn't forgive him, she still loved him. He was her dad, and the only parent she had left and Caroline felt a sudden, small bout of regret that she been so tough on him all of these years.
"Caroline." The sheriff of Beacon Hills' gruff and familiar voice filtered through her brain and when she looked up from her hands, there he was, watching her with tears in his eyes. It was that expression on his face, that expression of unconditional, paternal love that brought emotion clogging up in her throat and was to blame for her next words.
In the next instant, her dad's arms had encircled her and pulled her into his comforting chest. Caroline was surprised to find that she was crying, her emotions going haywire with all that had happened. And yet, even more surprisingly, she found that she didn't care. She didn't care that she was showing weakness, she didn't care that she was supposed to be mad at her dad, she just didn't care because all she wanted right now was her parent.
And in that moment Caroline found herself thinking that everything might be ok again. That maybe, just maybe she was on the path of finally letting go of all of her anger. She was sure the arguments between her and her dad weren't over, that was true, but that didn't mean they couldn't finally mend their relationship. Because now both parties were more than willing to try. Because she was moving on.
At least, that was what she had thought… until only a day later her dad and Stiles left again; the sheriff needed back in Beacon Hills immediately because of a body that had been found mutilated. Until only a few hours after they said goodbye, she was murdered by the exact replica of her best friend.
Until she was suddenly turned into a vampire, a creature she hadn't even known existed until then.
And when she learned the dangers that came with this new world that Caroline found herself thrown in, she vowed never to put her family in that danger.
Even if that meant breaking the fragile connection that just formed between them and avoiding them.
Even if it meant her own happiness.
At first Stiles thought that only pack members and other werewolves were being tormented. And Stiles' thoughts and theories were very often correct. It made sense, well what qualified for sense in his crazy world, that whatever was haunting the Glen Capri would primarily target the supernatural creatures on its premises. But then he started to hear it, that voice... It was so familiar, so very familiar. Like a memory from a long time ago, the whispered voice of a young girl he once knew...
The first time he heard it was when he was when he had joined Lydia and Allison after he received Lydia's text about all the suicides that had happened over the years in this very motel. He'd dismissed it immediately, not willing to admit to himself that whatever was happening to their wolfy friends might be happening to him too. That would be too much for them all.
Unfortunately he couldn't delude himself anymore when he started to understand what exactly the voice was saying and when he realized just whose voice it actually was.
'Stiles...' His sister's nine-year-old voice called out. 'Let's play, Stiles...' He tried to shake it off but the voice only seemed to come closer and closer, creeping up on him and unable to be pushed away. As the voice continued torment him, his mind shifted to the sister that he hadn't seen in almost a year. Caroline… I have to keep her away from here, have to keep her safe from all of this...
Stiles had to almost physically shake himself out of it; he really didn't need this right now, not when his friends were depending on him to help. He needed to stay aware. Come on, Stilinksi! Keep it together, now's not the time to go completely nuts, especially not insane-asylum 'I'm gonna scratch my face off' nuts!
For once it seemed fate would be kind to him when he finally managed to push the voice to the back of his mind, refocusing on the conversation he was supposed to be having with the girls. Only a few minutes later though he found himself pulled, yet again, out of that conversation and instead saving the life of Ethan. Ethan, one of the freaking Alpha twins, that were basically making everyone's lives miserable. However, despite Stiles' many misgivings about the situation, it seemed that this proved to be a good distraction for his mind, as he didn't hear from the voice at all whilst he was doing so.
Of course, it didn't last for long because as soon as it was done, and Ethan hightailed the hell away from them, it came right back. He tried to get away from it by talking to Lydia, telling her about his theory of who might be involved in this haunting of sorts, but it seemed even his long-time crush couldn't help him with providing a distraction; so when she fell to her knees by a drain, rambling about a mother and her baby and drowning, all he could hear was that voice, that voice that he knew so painfully well.
'It's your fault, Stiles…' It hissed venomously, now changing to present-day Caroline's voice but sounding nothing like the sister he knew and loved. 'How could you send me away?' It started yelling now, screaming at him in fury. 'You were supposed to protect us, but you couldn't even do that! You let Mom die and you've caused Dad nothing but trouble!' Stiles felt his vision blur as he tried to scramble for footing, something to hold him down to the real world.
"Stop," he muttered, clutching at his head, his fingers threading tightly through his hair. "Stop." He knew what was happening, rationally he knew what he was hearing wasn't real but he just couldn't seem to get away from it. It was like it was feeding off of all his insecurities and fears and no matter what he did, he wouldn't be able to just stop thinking there was at least some inkling of truth to them.
'It's your fault, it's all your fault.'
Through his blurry eyes, he saw something, something that definitely was not supposed to be here in the middle of motel hell. The blonde figure wandered toward him, barely there but visible all the same. Stiles let out a sudden shuddered gasp, frantically shaking his head when he realized what this was. That figure…. It was Caroline, but Stiles was sure there was something horribly and utterly wrong with her.
'It's your fault I'm a monster.' She, no, it said now, oddly calm. And then Stiles saw it, his sister's normally beautiful face turning into an unnatural thing. Cruel red eyes stared out at him apathetically, but they weren't the Alpha red he was relatively used to seeing, no these eyes bulging, filled with what Stiles knew must be blood. There was blood around her mouth too, staining the porcelain skin there, marking the deadly looking fangs that protruded from her lips. And she was holding something long and sharp in her hands, lifting it slowly until it was over her heart, the point of dagger-like thing pressed to her chest, drawing even more blood.
"No." Stiles found himself exclaiming, his heart beating faster and faster as he stared at this cruel and unforgiving version of his little sister. "Oh God no, Caroline!" He fell to his knees, shaking his head in a futile attempt to disperse the images, his hands almost clawing at his face; he did not want to see his sister kill herself, no matter what version of her this was. But then Stiles was vaguely aware of another pair of hands covering his own, as he continued to be trapped in his own mind. . Please, please, please not again… I can't watch this again… I can't see another person I love die… please… please…
And then came the stinging pain in his cheek and suddenly Stiles saw a different face from Caroline's in front of him. "Stiles! Stiles! Snap out of it!" Lydia was shouting at him, shaking him with all the power her tiny frame could muster.
"What? Lydia?" Stiles wondered out loud, momentarily at a loss as he was brought crashing back to reality. His hand was now rubbing his stinging cheek, realizing that Lydia must have literally slapped him out of it, the hands that had been on his now moving to his shoulders, keeping him grounded. Stiles' heart was still thundering in his chest but luckily his mind was clear, at least for the moment.
"Oh, thank god." The strawberry blonde on the floor in front of him exhaled. "Why didn't you tell me it was happening to you too?" She berated him barely a second later despite the panic still clear in her expression.
"I-I, uh…" Stiles stumbled over his words, trailing off. For once he didn't really have an answer. How do I explain that I don't want people to know what I see in my nightmares?
Either way, it seemed that the girl in front of him didn't have time for an answer. "You know what, forget it, I think someone's drowning, and we have to go now." Lydia changed the subject as she quickly got back to her feet, fear in her voice and desperation in her green eyes. "Do you think you can keep it together?" She asked him hurriedly as he joined her standing, needing him to say yes to this. They really couldn't lose another player to whatever this thing was.
Stiles nodded, his head still spinning and feeling like it had been spit in half, but knowing that now was not the time for rest. They had work to do. "Yeah, come on." He said and immediately Lydia ran off faster than he thought she would be able to, considering her short stature, carried by her impossible instincts. Stiles didn't hesitate a second to follow her, already seeing where she was going.
Luckily, they ended up managing to make it time to save Boyd from drowning himself. And then they saved Isaac too and all the while Stiles had to keep pushing that little traitorous voice back, had to focus as much as his scattered brain could on the here and now. But when he had to save Scott, the closest thing he had to a brother, he couldn't ignore Caroline's voice anymore. And so he found himself considering joining in on Scott's insane plan. But somehow he managed to convince himself that he shouldn't do it, that the real Caroline was probably out there somewhere, having fun with her friends, a normal teenage girl.
So he saved them both instead. And he let his mind calm down, putting all thoughts of monsters and sisters away. He decided not to think on the feeling of foreboding he'd had when he the saw the image of his sister. He did not think of the fact that it hadn't been her fangs that horrified him but rather the eyes, the deadness of them, and the fact that she'd been ready to end herself. And he definitely did not think about the fact that he'd been the only human in the group to be affected by the thing that had attacked them…
Later, however, later he and Lydia would wonder why he was affected too and how he was able to snap out of it with just a slap rather than fire; they would even spitball a few theories but get nowhere in the end.
And later Stiles would realize that the thing that that distorted image of Caroline had been holding, the tool she had chosen to bring about her own demise, was a stake. And he would realize that this was important, that it had meaning to it.
Later, Stiles would decide that there was only one thing to do, only one way to make sure that what he had seen would not happen.
He needed to see his sister, he needed to see Caroline.
But later. Only later.
Anyways, that's it for now. Hope it wasn't too OOC or cheesy or whatever…
So, this chapter turned out to be almost three times the length that I had originally planned it… Oh well. Hopefully, the next chapter will be easier to write.
Before I sign off, I'm just quickly going to cover the last few things that I feel you should probably know, just so you all will understand a little more how this story will generally end up working.
Ships/Couples: For the most part, this will take a backseat in this story; simply because I am going mostly going to be focusing on Stiles and Caroline and their relationship. However, as we get further into the story, I might consider adding it a bit more.
Updating Schedule: This year is very, very busy for me so sometimes I might update within in a week and sometimes only in three. I do apologize for this but there really is nothing I can do.
Werewolves: As you know, the werewolves in the shows are different and will continue to be so in this fic; why will be explained later on in the actual context of the story.
Anyways, that's it; thank you so much for reading and let me know what you think :)