water4willows: (Tea & Book)
water4willows ([personal profile] water4willows) wrote2015-10-09 09:13 pm
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[fic] Teen Wolf - Unprotected: Ch 5

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Chapter Five


It doesn't take long for Stiles to get settled into a room and John wonders if he has Melissa to thank for the fact that it's private. With the kinds of friends Stiles has and the visitors that will inevitably file through his room, he figures it's a good thing he has his own space, least the people of Beacon Hills start to get wise to the fact that they share their town with werewolves and kitsunes and all other manner of supernatural creatures.

And speaking of supernatural creatures, John hasn't seen hide nor hair of Liam and Kira and that fact alone sets him to worrying again. Everything about the past day and a half has felt off but he can't get any of the kids to open up and talk to him about what's really going on. There's no doubt in his mind now that it has something to do with what happened at the high school last night. Whatever it was, it must have been bad, because they don't keep watch over Stiles in a group. They're taking it in shifts and John knows enough about pack mentality to recognize that something else is going on here. In the quiet stillness of Stiles' room there isn't much else to do but think, and trying to decide what Scott and his friends are keeping from him is easier than dealing with what's happening to his son right in front of him.

Stiles has always been pale but surgery and loss of blood has only made it worse. He looks lost in a sea of white. Like if John were to screw his eyes up just so Stiles would disappear from view entirely. The only thing keeping him visible is that damn ventilator and the color-coded wires that crisscross up from his body and away into their respective machines. They're pumping his son full of blood and fluids and monitoring every vital and John's never seen Stiles look so vulnerable and small.

Even though he kind of resents it for doing so, time marches on and light eventually begins to filter in through the drawn blinds in Stiles' room. At some point during the day, Melissa shoves a sandwich into his hands and demands that he eat. They're alone for a rare moment, and could argue, but he just doesn't have the strength anymore.

The sandwich tastes like cardboard and looks to be a sad leftover from the lunch rush in the hospital cafeteria, but he manages to force it down without much danger of it resurfacing. Melissa doesn't stop eyeing him until he finishes it completely.

John watches from his chair as Melissa McCall works silently around his son. She settles quickly into a well-rehearsed routine and her practiced hands are almost mesmerizing to watch. She hums lightly as she works and John doesn't realize his thoughts have drifted until she's kneeling down in front of him, shaking him slightly.

"John, are you okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," he lies, shifting in his chair and shaking his head a little to try and dislodge the congestion. "Has there been any change?"

Melissa flicks her eyes back over to Stiles' and when her gaze returns to John there's something sad there. It looks for a moment like she wants to lie to him; to tell him that yes, there has been a change and yes, it's for the better. Melissa is a mother. She knows exactly what it is John is going through right now – especially after the events of the past few years – and he almost wants her to do it. He almost wants her to give him the same thing Scott asked of him in the waiting room earlier: to flat out lie and tell him that everything is going to be okay. That his son will pull through this and be the same Stiles that John saw off to school two days ago.

Only Melissa can't lie to him; or wont – he's not sure. She pats his knee again and offers up a smile that doesn't quite reach her eyes before she replies with, "no change, but it's still early yet." John could put his fist through the wall right now, but all he lets himself do is nod stiffly before going back to watching the readouts of the monitors keeping watch over his son's vitals.

The next few days pass by in a blur of jumbled inactivity, each hour bleeding into the next with nothing new to set them apart. There's a constant stream of visitor's to Stiles' beside, and they're not all just Scott and the pack. A young kid John has never seen before named Mason makes a couple of appearances, as do some of Stiles' lacrosse buddies. A few of John's deputies even stop by and he feels a bit better knowing that things have been pretty quiet around Beacon Hills while he's been away. He's not completely stupid, he knows Scott and the other kids are up to something and that crap is still going down somewhere in town if their staggered appearances at the hospital are anything to go by.

Each time someone new comes to take their shift with Stiles, John can't help but notice the lines of worry etched into each young face. Scott's is the worst and he always manages to look more anxious and haggard than the last time John saw him. He's got enough on his own plate to worry about, but on the 3rd day of Stiles' hospital confinement when Scott staggers into the room and falls into a chair looking utterly decimated, John can't help but try and penetrate this vow of silence the pack seems to have made.

"I wish you would just tell me what's going on, Scott," he says out of the blue and the teen's bloodshot eyes dart over to him instantly.

"What are you talking about?" His brow furrows and he tries to play it cool, but it doesn't work. For someone who's supposed to be this big, mysterious werewolf alpha, Scott McCall's awfully easy to read.

"You kids come in here day after day looking like you've just been up half the night going three rounds with a berserker." It's sad that John even knows to make that reference. "I know you're not camping out here at the hospital, so why don't you just do us all a favor and read me in on what the hell's going on here, Scott! Where's Liam? Why hasn't Kira been by?"

Whatever response John is expecting to get to his demands, it isn't to watch Scott McCall visibly deflate before his eyes or for the normally stoic alpha to heave one of those chest expanding, frame shuddering sighs as his eyes brim with honest to god tears. It takes John completely by surprise and for a moment he wonders if trying to get Scott to talk is the best idea anymore.

"S-something's happening," Scott lets out slowly, fatigue and stress coaxing the thick words out of him and making the teen look younger than ever. "Things are falling apart and I don't know how to fix them." Scott's eyes fall to the hands he has resting in his lap and a single tear releases from his lashes to roll down his cheek. It cuts a haphazard path down his olive skin that glistens in the daylight making its way in through the room's only window. The father in John wants nothing more than to go over to the boy and pull him into a hug, but he makes himself stay seated.

"Scott, please just tell me what's going on." The teen doesn't look back over at him. Instead, he lets his glassy eyes linger over Stiles' still form.

"I should have been there with him…"

"This not your fault, son," John interrupts him almost immediately, finally understanding what's going on here. "Scott, you are not responsible for what happened to Stiles!" John truly believes the words and he tries to catch the teen's eyes again to tell him as much, but Scott resolutely refuses to look back up.

"You just don't get it. None of you get it," he mutters ruefully, lips curling into something that almost looks like a sneer. "I could have stopped this. I should have stopped this… and now look at him." Scott gestures towards Stiles, emotion clogging his throat again. "I put him here. I'm the reason he's para..."

"Stop!" John forces in, lifting a finger and pointing it at Scott. "You just stop it right there, kid." Scott swipes a sleeve over damp cheeks and drags in a shuddering breath that shakes his entire frame again. "None of this is your fault. You didn't make Stiles go to the clinic that night!" He's amazed they're even having this conversation. Scott has always been the down to earth one.

"But I did!" The teen thunders at him unexpectedly, darting slightly smoldering eyes back towards John. The flash of red is barely perceptible, but it's there. "We needed to know what was happening to the bodies and he suggested a stake out to find out who might be behind it. I told him to go! He was there because of me!"

Scott's outburst is so out of character that John sits in stunned silence for a moment, unsure of how to respond. These kids keep getting themselves into impossible situations and he doesn't know how to help them. This is too much even for mere mortals, let alone kids not even old enough to order a beer yet.

"Scott, you know as well as I do that Stiles doesn't listen to anyone. If he got it into his head to stake out that clinic than nothing you could have said or done would have changed his mind."

"I could have ordered him," Scott volleys back a little insolently and John can't stop the snort that catches at the back of his throat.

"Yeah sure, sport. Whatever you say." Scott narrows his eyes but John keeps going. "Look, you had no way of knowing what was going to happen, Scott! I don't blame you for any of it and he certainly wont when he finally comes out of this."

That seems to get Scott's attention and his eyes soften. "Even if he…"

John knows where he's going with this. "Even then," he promises softly and for a moment, Scott almost seems to believe it.


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