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Chapter 10

It takes Scott another day to show up at the hospital and when he finally does John, Malia and Lydia are gathered around a Monopoly board spread out over the cleared off rolling table. Stiles, drained from a recent bandage change on his burns and unable to join them, lies in the bed watching them play, offering random bits of humorous commentary about the game that makes John chuckle every time he does it.

The view outside the window today is gloomy. Steely grey storm clouds have rolled in from the south to settle over Beacon Hills and blanket the town in a heavy, relentless rain that's been beating against the glass of the window all morning. Inside the room it's cozy and quiet so when the door to the room bangs open unexpectedly and hits the wall behind it with an echoing thud, it manages to startle every single one of them. John instinctively reaches for the sidearm that isn't there at his hip, but relaxes a moment later when he realizes who it is. Looming in the doorway, dripping rainwater down onto the tile floor, is Scott McCall.

"You're awake," the teen stammers like he's hardly able to believe it and stumbles forward into the room with a hand slightly outstretched like touching Stiles is the only way he's going to convince himself that his friend is really there. Everyone in the room goes silent and John watches his son's face go as stormy as the weather outside at the sight of Scott.

McCall stops in the middle of the room, suddenly aware of the intense scrutiny he's now under, and drops the hand to his side.

"Stiles…"

"Where were you?"

"I wanted to be here, you gotta believe me, Stiles, but I had to…" but Scott doesn't go on. He pauses and flicks his dark eyes over to John. Whatever the teen was going to say, it's obviously not something he feels he can say in front of the Sheriff of Beacon Hills (or Stiles' dad, John can't tell which) and looks suddenly uncomfortable.

"I couldn't get away," Scott pushes on, "a lot happened while you were in here."

"They managed to show up." Stiles inclines his head towards Malia and Lydia who are watching everything unfold from their chairs with wide, uncertain eyes. Malia opens her mouth to say something but Lydia delivers a quick smack to the side of the girl's arm and she stays silent.

"Please don't get mad at me, dude," Scott pleads, making his way further into the room until he's standing beside Stiles' bed. "I swear to god I would have been here if I could have."

John watches Stiles study his friend for a moment like he's waiting for a better explanation than that, but Scott just stays quiet and glances pointedly over at John. Everyone looking over at him, actually and he thinks he finally gets it. Scott's been kept away because of what's going on in the town and is apparently still unwilling to let John in on it.

He sighs, ready to defend himself, but Stiles unexpectedly does it for him.

"Dude, it's just my dad," the kid chastises everyone lightly. "Why all the sudden secrecy?"

Why indeed. John would like the answer to that question, too, but Scott just stands there beside the bed toeing at something unseen on the floor near his feet looking uncertain.

"Look guys, I already know something big is going down," John addresses the group, none of whom meet his eyes besides his son. "I took a leave of absence from the force to be here for Stiles until he's back on his feet so I'm not the Sheriff right now. You can trust me with whatever it is that's going on. I know it's bad and I know it has something to do with the Chimera and those Dread Doctors, but I can't help you guys if you keep me in the dark! And you could use all the help you can get, Scott," he pushes, looking back over at the teen. "So until I go back to active duty, just consider me another ally and let me help!"

For a few minutes the room descends into a tense, uneasy silence. He can see Scott processing what he's just said, uneven jaw working as he tries to decide what to do.

"I was trying to find Liam," the teen finally admits and Stiles straightens in the bed.

"He's missing?" John asks.

Scott nods. "Yeah, we lost him and Hayden that night at the high school. I had a lead on where they might be and Theo, Mason and I have been trying to find them for the past two days."

"Did you?" It's Lydia who asks and John has a sudden sense that this continuance of the conversation means he's in. Finally.

"Yeah, they're safe now, but…" Scott glances over at John again.

He puts his hands up in surrender, "Civilian, remember?"

The kid sighs. "They arrested Kira tonight."

"What?!" A chorus of voices rise up, John's included. Parrish was supposed to call him if anything big happened! He pulls his phone out, the phone he forgot he put on silent last night when Stiles dreams were plagued by nightmare and he was up half the night with his distraught son, and sees a dozen or so missed calls.

Shit.

"They think she killed someone."

Scott suddenly looks like he's about to keel over so John pulls his own chair over for the kid to collapse into. He takes it with a small wince of thanks and then starts in on his weeklong tale of kidnappings, murders and Dread Doctor mayhem. Everyone listens with various degrees of shock painted across their faces, but John only has eyes for Stiles. The kid's been through so much already that John worries this will be too much for him. He's gone pale again and John leans back against the concrete block wall behind him and keeps an eye on his son as Scott takes them through the events of the past week.

"So what, that's what, three chimaera dead now?" Stiles asks quietly from the bed and Scott looks over at him sharply.

"Four." John watches Stiles' brow furrow in confusion for a moment and then something seems to spark between the two boys in an instant that takes John completely by surprise. It's not something he would ever have expected to see between his boy and his best friend in the world and John watches what little color there is drain from Stiles' face.

"Donovan's dead, too," Scott finishes darkly and Stiles' eyes go wide in horror at the mention of that name. The heart monitor they've still got him hooked up to goes haywire and he's desperately trying to pull in enough oxygen to keep his breathing steady. John can see he's headed straight for a panic attack and is at his son's side in an instant.

"Stiles?!" He calls, but his son's eyes have rolled up into his head. The panic attack mixed with his already weakened lungs have begun turning his lips blue. Without thinking John rounds on Scott and grabs the poor kid by the shoulders.

"What did you do, Scott?" He demands, all thought of being the calm, professional cop he is going out the window as his son disintegrates into a full-blown panic attack beside them. "Why's he reacting like this?"

"I'm sorry, Mr. Stilinski!" Scott pleads as the nurses begin rushing in, summoned by the alarms and the shouts coming from within the room. "I didn't mean for this to happen. I swear!"

"Just what the hell's going on here, Scott!?"

"I-I can't tell you," the teen stammers, reaching his own arms up to break the hold John still has on his shoulders. "You're going to have to ask him!" He points towards Stiles who's lost in a sea of multi-colored scrubs.

"No, i'm asking you, Scott!" John snaps back, refusing to look away. "Why the hell did he react like that to Donovan's name?"

"I honestly can't tell you, Sheriff!"

"Then get out, Scott," John practically growls and the teen's eyes go wide with surprise. "Seriously, if you wont tell me what the fuck is going on, then I want all of you out of here now!"

He's reached the end of his rope, the alarms and the worried murmurings of the nurses surrounding his son making him completely irrational. The teen wisely doesn't say another word, just lets his head fall in something that looks a little like shame before flicking his eyes over to Malia and Lydia. The two girls are huddled together look just as confused and lost as John. Still, they follow their alpha out of the room quickly leaving John alone with his struggling son and this feeling in the pit of his stomach that something has gone terribly, terribly wrong.



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