A/N: So I usually don't do the whole, "What if" thing, but this idea has been bouncing around for a while now and I really wanted to write it and since today is my birthday, I wrote it in a rare fit of self-indulgence. So, enjoy! R&R! The characters do not belong to me, sadly…
Stiles turned the radio up, not caring that the song that was on was crap. He didn't want to think. Things had been…weird since that night with Peter. Tense. It was as if the world was holding its breath, waiting for something terrible to happen. Even now, four months after it had gone down, Scott seemed to be looking over his shoulder.
Today Scott had been acting especially strange, his mood foul, and being a hell of a lot more angsty than Stiles had seen him in a long time. Stiles had tried to ask him about it, but Scott had snapped at him-yelled at him-and then stormed off.
So now Stiles was driving home, pissed off at Scott and the world in general as he listened to some Carrie Underwood song about keying someone's car. Stiles wondered absent-mindedly what would happen if he keyed Scott's bike.
He pulled into his driveway and hopped out of his jeep, grabbing his backpack and storming into the house. Sitting at the kitchen table, he pulled out his chemistry textbook and notebook, and tried to do the homework, but he found it impossible to focus. His mind was on Scott's strange behavior, and what on earth could be causing it. It wasn't the full moon. It wasn't Alison. So what was it? A the question formed, somewhere, in a very dark corner of his mind, an answer also began to form. He wasn't even fully aware of what that answer was, but it sent a shiver down his spine and he shuddered. Something bad was coming; he could feel it.
Suddenly, there was a bang, and with a yelp, Stiles dove from his chair. He crawled to the window and peeked out, to see a slightly shell-shocked bird flying unsteadily away from the window.
He let out a nervous laugh. Just a bird. Of course it was just a bird. What else would it be?
The word whispered into the front of his mind against his will. Peter.
It wasn't possible. It couldn't be. There was no way that he could have survived.
But a body was never found. And neither Derek nor Scott is an Alpha, that part of Stiles' mind reminded him. The hair on the back of his neck stood up and he got to his feet. Every fiber in his body was suddenly on high alert. He walked into the hallway, hugging the wall. And that was when he heard it.
The sound of claws dragging down the door.
Stiles let out a frightened sound and ducked into the nearest room, slamming the door behind him and locking it. He took his phone out and dialed with trembling fingers. He cursed when it went to voicemail.
"Scott! Scott, it's me. He's here. Peter is here. Just-come when you get this. Hopefully I'm still alive." He hung up and punched in another number. The sound of a glass window breaking somewhere in his house made him jump, and his heart pounded against his ribs, threatening to burst out.
"Stiles? This had better be good, I'm in the middle of something."
"Dad! Dad, thank god, okay, um, I need your help. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to do." He suddenly found himself unable to form a coherent thought. He was afraid and alone and he was pretty sure he was going to die.
"Stiles, hey. What's wrong? Why are you whispering?"
Stiles took a deep breath. He needed to focus. "Dad, there's someone in the house."
There was a pause from the other end. "Stiles, are you sure it's not just one of your friends?"
"Would one of my friends break in through the kitchen window?"
Hi father's voice took on a sharper, more alert tone. "Okay, Stiles, I'm on my way. But until I get there I need you need to listen to me very carefully. Where are you?"
"Uh, your room. I'm in your room."
"Okay, good. Good. In my nightstand drawer there is a gun. Take it out and only use it if you have to. Understood?"
Stiles opened the drawer and dug through the papers there until he found the gun. He lifted it up, surprised at the weight of it. "I've got it."
"Good. Now go in the space between the bed and the wall. Keep your eyes on the bedroom door. And stay. Quiet. Got it?"
Stiles nodded before remembering his dad couldn't see him. "Yeah. I got it. Quiet. Okay."
"Okay. Stiles, I'm coming. I'll be there soon with backup, okay? Just hang in there, son."
Stiles closed his eyes as he sat crouched in the space between the wall and the bed, his heart pounding uncontrollably, his breath coming in panicked bursts that reminded him all too much of the panic attacks he used to have as a kid.
There was a creak just outside the door.
"Dad. He's here. He's at the bedroom door, I don't know what to do."
"Stiles, I'm coming, son!"
The doorknob started to turn. When that didn't work, there was banging against the door. Peter was going to get in.
"Dad, he's coming in!" Stiles cried, not bothering to whisper anymore. "Oh-oh my-"
The door crashed open and Stiles jumped, the phone slipping from his grasp. He could still hear his dad yelling at him through the phone. He pointed the gun at Peter with shaking hands and pulled the trigger. Peter didn't even flinch, smiling as his body healed itself, pushing the bullet out of his chest and onto the floor.
"Shit," Stiles muttered as Peter calmly approached.
There was a gunshot, and then Stiles muttered, "Shit," and then there was a scream that made Sheriff Stilinski's hair stand on end and then the line went dead.
"Stiles!" he cried, knowing his son couldn't hear him. He pressed harder on the gas pedal and grabbed his radio. "This is Sheriff Stilinski, requesting backup. I need all available units, with me, now."
Scott paced back and forth in Derek's house, Derek watching him.
"Will you cut that out? You're making me worried just looking at you," Derek griped.
"He's here, Derek. Peter is back. I know you can feel it, too. How are we gonna get him? And how do we kill him? I still can't believe torching him didn't do the trick. What are we supposed to do?"
Derek shrugged. "I dunno. Last time we encountered him, he was carrying out some personal vendetta. Now that he's back in Beacon Hills, he could very well be continuing that."
Scott looked up at him. "Alison." He pulled out his phone. There was a voicemail from Stiles. Alison's life could be in danger, but something told him he needed to listen to it.
"Scott! Scott, he's here. Peter is here. Just-come when you get this. Hopefully I'm still alive."
Scott's heart stopped. The phone slipped from his hand.
"Scott? Scott! Scott!" Derek snapped. Scott jumped and looked up at him. "What the hell is going on, Scott?"
"Stiles. Derek, we have to go. We have to go now."
Stiles struggled for breath as Peter's grip on his throat tightened. He had Stiles against the wall, his feet dangling above the ground, his face bleeding from where Peter had hit him.
"This didn't have to be the way it went, Stiles," Peter said in an irritatingly conversational voice.
"I know what this is about," Stiles managed to say. "Scott is never going to join your pack. Especially not if you kill me."
Peter chuckled, the chuckle growing into a full on laugh. "You think that's what this is about? Huh? No, Stiles. This isn't about Scott, this isn't about the pack. This is about you and me. More specifically, about how you tried to catch me on fire."
Stiles sucked desperately for air even as he found himself begin to lost consciousness. And then Peter loosened his grip, just enough for Stiles to breathe. He gulped down air, breathing thankfully. Peter's next words made him wish he had passed out.
"I want you awake when I kill you nice and slow."
Stiles let out a nervous laugh. "No, no, no. I mean, come on. It wasn't anything personal. I mean, you know that right?"
Peter ignored him, extending a single claw. He dug it into the skin of Stiles' temple, then dragged it down the side of his face. Stiles let out a cry of pain as blood poured down his face and neck, warm and sticky.
"It's a shame, really," Peter murmured. "I honestly did like you."
A loud noise made Stiles and Peter both turn toward the door. Peter growled, baring his fangs, his eyes glowing red.
"Scott, I'm in here!" Stiles cried. Peter snarled at him and tightened his grip on Stiles' throat. Stiles choked for air, but none was coming in. His world was beginning to grow dark at the edges when Scott and Derek burst into the room, both in their wolf forms and ready to fight.
"Put the kid down, Peter," Derek growled, low and dangerous.
Peter grinned at him and extended his claws.
"Don't!" Scott cried.
Peter plunged his claws into Stiles' side. Stiles screamed in agony and Peter dropped him. He crumpled to the floor. Derek lunged at him, and Peter burst out the bedroom window. Derek and Scott stared after him.
"Derek, you go. I need to stay with Stiles."
"No," Stiles gasped. "You…Alpha…"
"That doesn't matter now, Stiles. Derek, go."
Derek nodded and bounded out into the night after his brother. Scott fell to his knees next to Stiles.
"Oh, shit," he whispered.
There was a lot of blood. Too much blood. Stiles' face was growing pale, his forehead shining with sweat.
"Stiles, I'm sorry. I'm sorry," Scott muttered. There was so much blood… "Stiles. I could give you the bite. I could save you."
Stiles shook his head. "'d rather…take m' chances," he said, his voice barely above a whisper. He coughed and blood flecked his lips, and he let out a groan of pain. "Hurts."
Scott tried not to grow flustered as he dialed 9-1-1. "I know Stiles. Just stay awake for me."
"911, what's your emergency?"
"My friend is hurt-he's been stabbed- and he's bleeding and you have to help-there's so much blood."
"Slow down. Where are you?"
Scott told her the address.
"We're sending someone your way. They'll be there soon. What's your name?"
"Okay, Scott. I need you to try and stay calm for me. Do you have something near you, like a towel or pillowcase?"
Scott pulled of his sweatshirt. "Uh, yeah. Yeah."
"Good, Scott. Now put pressure on the wound and wait for the paramedics."
Scott pressed the sweatshirt against Stiles' side, wincing when Stiles let out a weak moan.
"I know, I'm sorry," Stiles muttered. The sound of sirens greeted his hears a moment later, but it was the wrong kind of siren.
He heard slamming doors and shouts of, "Clear!"
"In here!" he shouted.
Sheriff Stilinski came into the room, gun pointed at Scott's head. "Get away from my-Scott?"
Scott had his hands up. They were covered in Stiles' blood. "Mister Stilinski."
"Move," Sheriff Stilinski said breathlessly, pushing Scott aside and collapsing onto the floor next to his son. "Holy shit." He put pressure back on the sweatshirt and put two fingers to his son's neck, grimacing at the fast, thready pulse. "Come on, son. Come on Stiles. Hang in there buddy."
"I've already called for an ambulance," Scott said softly. "They said they're on their way."
Sheriff Stilinski nodded, continuing to mutter soft reassurances to his son. Scott stood awkwardly to the side as other officers streamed in and out. One of them pulled him gently to the side.
"Scott, we're going to have to take you in for questioning at some point," the officer said.
Scott nodded, then looked down at his hands, noticing for the first time the blood that covered them. "Oh, no," he muttered as the world began to sway. The policemen caught his elbow as his knees buckled.
"Whoa, there! Come on, let's get you sat down. A call's been made to your mother to come get you. Go home and get a night's sleep. The questioning can wait."
Scott nodded numbly as the officer guided him to a chair and sat him down. The world seemed to move in slow motion as paramedics rushed in, adding to the flurry of activity, and Stiles was taken away on a stretcher, with paramedics yelling things to each other and Sheriff Stilinski asking desperately if his son was going to be okay.
Sheriff Stilinski followed quickly as his son was wheeled into the hospital, until a nurse stepped in front of him.
"I'm sorry, Sheriff, but you can't go back there. You've done your job. Now you need to let the doctors do theirs."
He tried to take another step, but the nurse stopped him again, this time putting her hand to his chest. "Sheriff, I don't want to call security."
"But that's m-that's my son."
The nurse looked at him sympathetically. "I'm sorry Mister Stilinski. We'll keep you informed on your son's condition, I promise."
And then she was gone, and Sheriff Stilinski was left standing alone in the hallway with his son's blood on his hands and his shirt and tears rolling down his cheeks.
Scott sat in the station, legs bouncing nervously. His mom reached over and held his hand.
"It'll be okay, Scott. Just tell them the truth about what you saw. As soon as we're done here, we'll head over to the hospital, okay?"
Scott nodded silently. He couldn't tell the truth, obviously. And he wasn't a very good liar. He was just grateful he'd been able to practice a little on the Argents.
His mom gave his hand a squeeze and shot him a quick smile before he followed the policeman into his office.
"I'm Officer Williams," the man offered, shaking Scott's hand.
"Hi. Nice to meet you," Scott said quietly.
Williams smiled. "No need to lie, son. I imagine you don't want to be here right now. Am I right?"
Scott nodded. "Pretty much. I'd rather be at the hospital."
William's expression softened to one of sympathy. "I know that, so we're gonna get through this as quickly as possible. What happened that night? Just tell me from the beginning."
Scott sighed. "Stiles and I were supposed to study together, but we'd kind of been fighting that day and I guess I sort of just forgot about it. He tried to call me, but I was a little miffed, so I ignored the call. But Stiles isn't one to give up easily, so when I didn't get any more calls or texts, I started to get a little worried. And I felt bad about being a jerk, so I decided to go over to his house and apologize. When I got to the house, the kitchen window was broken. I grabbed the spare key and let myself into the house. I guess Stiles heard me come in because he started yelling and then-" He stopped as the image of Peter stabbing Stiles flashed across his brain.
"Take your time, Scott. I know this must be hard for you to talk about, so just tell me when you're ready.
"He started yelling but by the time I got into the room, whoever it was who'd broken into the house had stabbed him and left. That's when I called 9-1-1. And then you guys got there." He stared at the floor, trying not to think about the pain and fear in Stiles' eyes.
"And you didn't see his attacker?"
"No. I heard him break through the glass window, but I didn't see him. He was out by the time I got into the room, and it was dark, and I was too worried about Stiles to even really watch for someone."
Williams jotted some things down, nodding. "Okay. Thank you. Just one more thing before you go. Nothing was stolen from the house. Do you know anyone who would want to hurt Stiles?"
Scott looked up. "No. I don't understand why anyone would do that. Stiles is always so good to everyone and- I'm sorry." He stopped again, overcome by emotion.
"Thank you. That's all. You can go. Call if you can think of anything-anything at all-to help us find whoever did this to your friend."
"Absolutely," Scott said. He closed the door behind him and walked back to his mom.
"How is he?" Scott asked softly.
"He lost a lot of blood, and one of the stab wounds nicked a kidney, but the doctors say they're hopeful he'll make a full recovery," Sheriff Stilinski answered. He looked tired, and like he'd aged a lot in the past few days, Scott noticed.
"That's good," Scott muttered, not sure what else to say.
"The doctors also say you saved my boy's life. You kept him from bleeding out on my bedroom floor. Thank you." And he wrapped Scott in a smothering hug. Scott stiffened, startled, and then relaxed into it.
When Scott was finally allowed to see Stiles, Stiles was asleep. His skin was pale and there were dark circles under his eyes and he was hooked up to far too many monitors and IVs for Scott's liking. The little table beside his hospital bed was adorned with flowers and cards and even a teddy bear Alison had insisted Scott take to him.
So he sat in one of the uncomfortable plastic chairs and held Stiles' hand and sat silently, determined to be there when Stiles woke up.
There was a knock on the door, and Stiles looked up to see Derek standing in the doorway.
"What are you doing here? If Stiles' dad sees you, he'll freak."
"How is he?" Derek asked, ignoring Scott.
"Fine. The doctors say he'll be fine."
Derek nodded. "Good. As much as I hate the twerp, he actually had me worried there for a minute."
Scott raised an eyebrow at him, but let it go. "And Peter?"
Derek smiled, a dangerous smile that sent a shiver down Scott's spine. And for a moment, his eyes flashed red.
"I took care of Peter."
And then he was gone.
Scott slumped down in the chair. So it was done. Derek was the Alpha now, which meant Scott had missed out on his chance of finding a cure. He let out a sigh.
"Stiles! You're awake!" Scott cried happily. "Good to see you, man!"
Stiles smiled. "Yeah, I know. Man, my voice sounds like hell."
"Well you look like hell," Scott said with a grin. Stiles stuck his tongue out at him, then took on a more serious expression.
"You saved my life, Scott. Peter would have killed me if you hadn't come along."
"He almost killed you anyway."
"Yeah, well, he didn't. Thanks to you. Thank you. And tell Derek thanks, too."
Scott gave him a half-smile. "Will do, Stiles."
Stiles nodded. "Good." His eyes were already falling shut again, and it wasn't long before he was snoring softly.
And it was then that Scott vowed to himself that if anyone-human or otherwise-were to ever lay a finger on Stiles again, he was going to rip their throat out.