H is for Heal
See Chapter 1. A/N:
Well, it's time for Stiles to have his say about things and this one of my favourite chapters that I've ever written - my other is the next chapter. Thanks again to those of you reviewing and reading. It really warms my heart that you are enjoying the story, especially my pairing of Faith/Derek. Writing isn't something I'm confident with or fast at and I'm just glad you are sticking with me through this.
Give love to my girl, Dru, who made me this awesome vid, Running
. That song is the whole reason this fic and poster for it exists.
Also, a huge thanks to Noturbaby for the beta - love you hon!
Now, I'm going to have to thank Girls Aloud and their song, 'Something New', as it's the only thing that got me through the night while I wrote this chapter and it was on constant repeat for hours. I don't even want to look at my itunes to see how many times it was played but it kept me awake better than coffee and if I came up with a dance routine to go with it is my business and my pets.Chapter 8: H is for Heal
Stiles was on the edge of having of a monumentally bad panic attack, as in full meltdown, ‘danger Will Robinson’. He had been on the verge ever since he had seen Faith being dragged into the shadows by the Alpha; her blood leaving a wet red trail behind her. He was used to having panic attacks but he hadn’t felt anything this bad since his mom passed, and that had been years ago. He really thought he had had a handle on them after all this time. He thought wrong. His chest had been tight the whole time they were at the school; his breathing quick and sharp and had hurt like hell but he had made sure no one else caught on to what was happening. All of his thoughts focussed on one goal – get home.
Stiles didn’t really care how Faith had gotten home; just that she was
home. When he had burst through the front door and there had been no sign that anyone had even been there, his panic had increased tenfold. He was all for dropping to his knees and letting his panic attack overtake him but the sight of her walking down the stairs had made him want to drop to his knees in relief instead.
He hadn’t really taken in her full appearance or her injuries until she had hissed in pain when he hugged her. He had wanted to pull away and not her hurt her more but he couldn’t as he felt her hug him back just as hard. It wasn’t until he pulled back that he got a good look at the damage and what he saw made him wonder how the hell Faith was still standing, let alone just taken a shower. He didn’t want to even think about how she looked before that. When the cut on her lip started to bleed he all but dragged her through to the kitchen; his panic forgotten in his drive to help.
“We need to get some of these injuries seen to,” he ordered while trying hard not to pull her with him.
Stiles came to a stop as he took in the state of the kitchen, which in his haste to find Faith he hadn’t really paid proper attention to what had been laid on the floor. His eyes came to rest on Faith’s leather jacket, lying on the kitchen floor and caked in dry blood; stiffening where the blood was thickest. Her shirt was lying next to it and was shredded into ribbons of torn fabric; wet blood was still glistening on the areas that were visible.
He looked back at her in disbelief. The simple fact of the matter is that she should have been dead. Scott had already told him the state he had found her in on the basketball court and Stiles had been picturing various ‘worst case scenarios’ all the way home. Although he knew all of this and understood what she was; his mind would not allow him to process the fact that she was not only alive but up and walking… for the first time since she told him, he was truly glad that his cousin was a supernatural badass.
He watched as she sat down at the kitchen table then quickly dashed to the cupboard and pulled a roll of black bags free. As he pulled one free, the roll dropped to the floor and ran across the kitchen in a long black trail. He bent down and hurriedly pulled the roll back in to a coiled mess and pushed it back in to the cupboard. He bent back down and pushed the blood sodden clothes in to the open bag.
“I don’t know how I’m gonna explain these if someone finds them,” he muttered.
“Just tell them I had a particularly bad nose bleed,” she joked. As a small laugh left her lips it was immediately followed with a sharp intake of breath as pain wracked her chest and lungs… laughing was not pleasant at this moment in time.
Stiles sat down next to her at the table and she could see that he was concerned for her.
“Don’t worry about me cuz, I’ve dealt with far worse than Cujo back there,” she reassured him. “What happened with you guys?”
Stiles told her about how they got out and how they figured out the Alpha’s plan to have Scott kill his ‘old pack’. He casually revealed that he punched Jackson during an argument and about how good it felt but didn’t linger on the point, even with Faith looking at him as though she wanted him to elaborate further. He made mention of Lydia’s master stroke of concocting a self-igniting Molotov cocktail from scratch; Faith couldn’t help but notice the pride in his voice.
After Faith asked how they explained to everyone what happened. Stiles went on to explain to her that Scott had blamed everything on Derek, thinking that he was dead, and subsequently an easy scapegoat.
He watched as anger spread across Faith’s face but didn’t have to say anything as it was gone just as quickly… he got the impression that she could understand his decision; even if she didn’t entirely agree with it. He finished up his summary of the evening’s events with Scott and Allison’s break up.
Stiles looked at her, “Do you remember leaving the school?”
Faith shook her head, “No, not really.”
“Do you remember what happened at the school?” Stiles pushed.
“I remember everything up until I got dropped on my ass by the Alpha,” Faith sighed as she rubbed her temple. “It’s kind of a blur after that.”
“Scott said you were in the gym but we couldn’t find you or anyone else afterwards. There wasn’t even any blood…,” Stiles trailed off.
Faith nodded at him in understanding. “Derek brought me home and helped pop my arm back into its socket,” she paused, “He left as I went to take a shower. Your guess is as good as mine as to where he is now.”
Stiles nodded but refrained from asking anymore questions.
Stiles walked over to Faith, first aid kit in hand and placed it on the table. He pulled her head back gently and carefully brushed her hair away from her face. “Are you sure you’re ok?” he asked as he inspected the cuts and bruises. He prodded the black bruise that covered the entire right hand side of her jaw. Stiles had thought for sure that it would be broken as he had definitely heard a crack back at the school.
“Jesus,” she said as she reeled away from his aggressive nursing, “Lighten up Doctor Mengele!”
Stiles grinned meekly, “Sorry, I just want to check that you’re….” His words faded away as he pushed her hair to the side. He could see fresh claw marks on her neck. He put his finger in to one of them causing Faith to hiss in pain. “These are claw marks, from the Alpha,” Stiles said worriedly.
“Don’t worry about it, they’re not deep enough to cause any long lasting effects, but they will take a long time to heal,” she said.
“So you’re not going to….?” Stiles asked, purposefully leaving the question open.
“Become furry and start howling at the moon? No, I’m fine. I already turn demonic once a month,” She smiled. “Besides, he’s gonna have to bite me for me to turn.”
He smiled back and cleaned the wounds. As he moved her hair back he saw a larger scar and then something that made his heart jump.
Faith knew something was wrong and the fact he was holding his breath made it all the more evident. “What is it?” she quizzed.
He looked at her neck for a second longer, staring at the two puncture wounds. He touched one, “What did this? Did he bite you?”
Faith visibly relaxed. “Oh those, nah that was from a vampire back home,” she replied nonchalantly.
Stiles moved round to look at her, his eyes wide. “You were bitten by a vampire!? Doesn’t that make you one too?”
Faith could tell that his fear was real, even if his concern was misguided. “No Stiles, I’m not a vampire … A single bite won’t turn you. There’s a whole thing where they suck your blood and you suck their blood. It’s a whole sucking thing. Hurts like a bitch and I wouldn’t recommend it.”
Stiles stayed quite for a moment in unblinking comprehension, “That just sounds so… unhygienic.” His faced screwed up in disgust.
Faith laughed loudly, causing her to reel in pain. She kept laughing anyway. “Of all the things you could have said, I didn’t expect that. Never change, kiddo.”
Stiles continued to help her clean the wounds she couldn’t get to, coming across many other scars. He looked at her with concern, “Why do I get the feeling this isn’t even close to the worst you have been?”
“Dare I ask?” He pointed to a scar on her abdomen.
Faith looked at it, letting her fingertips graze the raised skin lightly, but didn’t answer right away. She looked back at him, “I was in a coma for a while.”
Stiles leered at her, “A while being?”
“Eight months,” she confirmed with her eyes downcast. She looked up to see the shock on Stiles’ face. “It’s not a big deal so don’t make it one. It was a long time ago and I really don’t want to talk about it,” she warned acting as if this would be the end of the discussion… it was as if she didn’t know him at all.
Stiles stood open mouthed and Faith could actually see the questions rushing through his mind. He closed his mouth and focused back on her once more. “Fine, another time then. And no, that’s not a question.”
Faith nodded in agreement.
Stiles had left Faith alone whilst he dashed around cleaning away any evidence of the recent events. She sat at the table, basked in the calm and bemoaned Stiles overuse of Spongebob Squarepants band aids. She had protested at the over-zealous way he had attached them to every scratch she had and made a point of arguing that it was a waste as she would heal quickly. She had given in after seeing that the more of the pink band aids he applied the calmer he got. However, she had started to remove them one by one when he wasn’t looking and now had more than half a dozen hidden in the pocket of her shorts.
He dashed past her with a garbage bag and pulled the soiled cotton swabs and wipes from the table in to the bag. Stiles glimpsed at her, “I’m still pissed at you for what you did at the school.”
He had caught Faith off guard but she composed herself quickly, “Stiles, you have to realise that this is my job
, my life. Just like your dad protecting this town as the Sheriff is his job, his life. The only difference is I didn’t get a choice to begin with.”
“You said there was an army now. Why can’t they do the job instead?” Stiles argued.
Faith smiled, “They are
doing their job. There are worse things out there than this Alpha and they are dealing with those. I can deal with this, and I will… we all will.”
Stiles looked down as he asked, “Would you still do this if you had been given a choice?”
Faith contemplated the question slowly before answering honestly, “Yes.” She paused before explaining further, “I’d already been given glimpses of what was truly out there before I even became a Slayer… and I’ve seen much worse in the following years. I just couldn’t stand by and do nothing. Once your eyes are opened to this world, it’s hard to go back to being blind to it.”
Stiles shrugged. “I suppose,” he conceded.
Faith lightly punched him in the arm, “Same question kiddo. Given the choice, would you go back to how it was… knowing what you know now?”
Stiles paused but shook his head, “No.”
“Why?” she asked.
“Same reason I guess. I couldn’t just ignore it.” Stiles admitted.
Faith gave her cousin a big smile, ignoring the pull from the cut on her lip. “And that kiddo is why I am proud you’re family. Give someone all the powers in the world at their disposal but if you don’t have the heart then it’s all for nothing. You may not be a werewolf or a Slayer, but that doesn’t mean you’re weak. In fact it makes you better because you know you’re not invincible, yet you’ll still do everything you can to help.”
Stiles blushed in light of Faith’s humble honesty.
Faith nudged him again, “You’re important so don’t ever think you’re not and never doubt your own bravery. One day kiddo, you’re gonna do great things … just remember to stay alive long enough to do them.”
Stiles smiled and nudged her back, “You too.”
Stiles helped Faith back upstairs and into her bedroom. He disappeared into his own room for a moment before coming back with an open front shirt. He helped her pull it on over her vest so that it didn’t have to go over her head. She still gasped as she tried to lift her arms.
“It’s the biggest one I have,” he said as he helped her button it up. “Why don’t you want to take something for the pain?” He pushed.
Faith shook her head. “It won’t do any good; my body would just burn it up… I heal different from you humans.”
“Not as fast as werewolves though,” Stiles quipped.
“Wow, kick me when I’ve only just left death’s door why don’t you….” Seeing the worried look from Stiles she stopped, “Too soon?”
Stiles shook his head and gave her a weak smile. He helped her on to the bed and pulled the sheet up and over her, making sure she was comfortable. “Dad will be home soon. Do you want me to run interference until he goes back to work?” he offered.
Faith nodded and snuggled under the covers, “Yeah. I think a couple of days should clear this up, except the ribs but it’s nothing I can’t handle. The claw marks will be hidden by my hair. ”
Stiles left Faith’s bedside and headed towards the door. He stopped at the doorway and turned, “Just rest up, ok?”
Faith didn’t answer but he wasn’t looking for one. As he left he closed the door over quietly he heard her whisper, “Thanks kiddo.”
Stiles walked around the house to double check everything was in order and there was nothing lying around that could give away anything of what transpired that night. He made sure the blood sodden trash bags were hidden at the bottom of the trash can where his dad couldn’t stumble upon them. Stiles knew it was his job to take the trash out but sometimes his dad took the notion to help and he really didn’t want him finding something he shouldn’t.
As he walked back into the house he pulled out his phone and sent Scott a message to let him know that Faith was alright and had been waiting for him when he got home. He didn’t mention Derek or the state Faith was in when he found her and to be honest, he didn’t really want to think about that again – ever.
He received a message from Scott in seconds with his usual smiley emoticon. Despite how tired and drained he was feeling, he decided to take a quick shower before heading to bed. Dressed in sweats and a comfy t-shirt, Stiles left the bathroom and headed to his own room but not before checking on Faith once last time. She was sound asleep.
Stiles crawled into bed and lay back, staring at the ceiling. Now that everything had calmed down he took stock of what had happened. He was no longer on the edge of a panic attack and he couldn’t remember when that feeling had faded away; he was thankful none the less. All he knew was that he needed to help Faith and not break. He felt confident that she could tell what he was feeling but she had made no mention of it and he loved her more for that.
He really didn’t like what Faith had done at the school but he was beginning to realise that he’d much rather she was here with them fighting this rather than stuck God knows where fighting God knows what… never knowing if she was still alive or dead.
It scared him that she could have died so many times in these past ten years and neither he nor his dad would ever have even known. He hadn’t forgotten her admission that she had been in a coma for eight months or the feeling of his stomach dropping when he had heard her either; they would definitely be going over that one again.
In the short space of time she had been there, he had come to love having her around and he knew his dad did too and it had nothing to do with her being a Slayer. Even before he had found out he had thought she was pretty awesome. It may seem small and insignificant to some but he had noticed that she never told him to shut up when he started to babble or go off on tangents. This was a huge deal to him, especially as he heard that phrase more times than his own name on most days. She didn’t seem to get annoyed by his hyperactivity to the point that she was actually able to keep up with his chaotic ways and was just as protective of his dad as he was.
Before sleep claimed him, Stiles realised that he would need to offer Derek a thank you but knew he had to get over his fear of him first; he didn’t see that happening anytime soon… maybe he would send him some kind of fruit basket instead.